Trusting (?) the experts

by Judith Curry

Mathbabe asks ‘Whom can you trust?’ and discusses trusting experts, climate change research, and scientific translators.

Mathbabe (very cool name for a blog) has an interesting series of posts related to trusting experts.

On Nate Silver

The first post is Nate Silver confuses causes and effect, ends up defending corruption. Excerpts:

Silver says:

This is neither the time nor the place for mass movements — this is the time for expert opinion. Once the experts (and I’m not one of them) have reached some kind of a consensus about what the best course of action is (and they haven’t yet), then figure out who is impeding that action for political or other disingenuous reasons and tackle them — do whatever you can to remove them from the playing field. But we’re not at that stage yet.

Mathbabe says

My conclusion: Nate Silver is a man who deeply believes in experts, even when the evidence is not good that they have aligned incentives with the public.

Call me “asinine,” but I have less faith in the experts than Nate Silver: I don’t want to trust the very people who got us into this mess, while benefitting from it, to also be in charge of cleaning it up. 

From my experience working first in finance at the hedge fund D.E. Shaw during the credit crisis and afterwards at the risk firm Riskmetrics, and my subsequent experience working in the internet advertising space (a wild west of unregulated personal information warehousing and sales) my conclusion is simple: Distrust the experts.

Why? Because you don’t know their incentives, and they can make the models (including Bayesian models) say whatever is politically useful to them. This is a manipulation of the public’s trust of mathematics, but it is the norm rather than the exception. And modelers rarely if ever consider the feedback loop and the ramifications of their predatory models on our culture.

The truth is somewhat harder to understand, a lot less palatable, and much more important than Silver’s gloss. But when independent people like myself step up to denounce a given statement or theory, it’s not clear to the public who is the expert and who isn’t. From this vantage point, the happier, shorter message will win every time.

This raises a larger question: how can the public possibly sort through all the noise that celebrity-minded data people like Nate Silver hand to them on a silver platter? Whose job is it to push back against rubbish disguised as authoritative scientific theory?

It’s not a new question, since PR men disguising themselves as scientists have been around for decades. But I’d argue it’s a question that is increasingly urgent considering how much of our lives are becoming modeled. It would be great if substantive data scientists had a way of getting together to defend the subject against sensationalist celebrity-fueled noise.

There’s an easy test here to determine whether to be worried. If you see someone using a model to make predictions that directly benefit them or lose them money – like a day trader, or a chess player, or someone who literally places a bet on an outcome (unless they place another hidden bet on the opposite outcome) – then you can be sure they are optimizing their model for accuracy as best they can. And in this case Silver’s advice on how to avoid one’s own biases are excellent and useful.

But if you are witnessing someone creating a model which predicts outcomes that are irrelevant to their immediate bottom-line, then you might want to look into the model yourself.

A lawyer’s perspective

Law Professor Stephanie Tai responds to Mathbabe’s post Stephanie Tai on Deference to Experts.  Excerpts:

So when you apply the claim that Cathy makes at the end of her post–”If you see someone using a model to make predictions that directly benefit them or lose them money – like a day trader, or a chess player, or someone who literally places a bet on an outcome (unless they place another hidden bet on the opposite outcome) – then you can be sure they are optimizing their model for accuracy as best they can. . . . But if you are witnessing someone creating a model which predicts outcomes that are irrelevant to their immediate bottom-line, then you might want to look into the model yourself.”–I’m not sure you can totally put climate scientists in that former category (of those that directly benefit from the accuracy of their predictions). This is due to the nature of most climate work: most researchers in the area only contribute to one tiny part of the models, rather than produce the entire model themselves (thus, the incentives to avoid inaccuracies are diffuse rather than direct); the “test time” for the models are often relatively far into the future (again, making the incentives more indirect); and the sorts of diffuse reputational gains that an individual climate scientist gets from being part of a team that might partly contribute to an accurate climate model is far less direct than the examples given of day traders and chess players or “someone who literally places a bet on an outcome.”

What that in turn seems to mean is that under Cathy’s approach, climate scientists would be viewed as in the latter category—those creating models that “predict outcomes that are irrelevant to their immediate bottom-line,” and thus deserve people looking “into the model [themselves].” But at least from what I’ve seen, there is *so* much out there in terms of inaccurate and misleading information about climate models (by folks with stakes in the *perception* of those models) that chances are, a lay person’s inquiry into climate models has high chance to being shaped by similar forces with which Cathy is (in my view appropriately) concerned. Which in turn makes me concerned about applying this approach.

So what’s to be done? I absolutely agree with Cathy’s statement that “when independent people like myself step up to denounce a given statement or theory, it’s not clear to the public who is the expert and who isn’t.” It would seem, from what she says at the end of her essay, that her answer to this “expertise ambiguity” is to get people to look into the model when expertise is unclear. But that in turn raises a whole bunch of questions:

Given the high degree of training it takes to understand any of these individual areas of expertise, and given that we encounter so many areas in which this sort of deeper understanding is needed to resolve policy questions, how can any individual actually apply that initial exhortation–to look into the model yourself–in every instance where expertise ambiguity is raised? Expert reliance isn’t perfect, sure–but it’s a potentially pragmatic response to an imperfect world with limited time and resources.

Do my thoughts on (3) mean that I think we should blindly defer to experts? Absolutely not. I’m just pointing it out as something that weighs in favor of listening to experts a little more. 

So how to address this balance between skepticism and lack of time to do full inquiries into everything? I totally don’t have the answers, though the kind of stuff I explore are procedural ways to address these issues, at least when legal decisions are raised–for example,
* public participation processes (with questions as to both the timing and scope of those processes, the ability and likelihood that these processes are even used, the accessibility of these processes, the susceptibility of “abuse,” the weight of those processes in ultimate decisionmaking)
* scientific ombudsman mechanisms (which questions of how ombudsman are to be selected, the resources they can use to work with citizen groups, the training of such ombudsmen)
* the formation of independent advisory committees (with questions of the selection of committee members, conflict of interest provisions, the authority accorded to such committees)
* legal case law requiring certain decisionmaking heuristics in the face of scientific uncertainty to avoid too much susceptibility to data manipulation (with questions of the incentives those heuristics create for actual potential funders of scientific research, the ability of judges to apply such heuristics in a consistent manner)

Mathbabe responds

A follow on post by Mathbabe is titled On trusting experts, climate change research, and scientific translators.  Excerpts:

Stephanie asks three important questions about trusting experts, which I paraphrase here:

  1. What does it take to look into a model yourself? How deeply must you probe?
  2. How do you avoid being manipulated when you do so?
  3. Why should we bother since stuff is so hard and we each have a limited amount of time?

People: I’m not asking you to simply be skeptical, I’m saying you should look into the models yourself! It’s the difference between sitting on a couch and pointing at a football game on TV and complaining about a missed play and getting on the football field yourself and trying to figure out how to throw the ball. The first is entertainment but not valuable to anyone but yourself. You are only adding to the discussion if you invest actual thoughtful work into the matter.

Another thing about climate research. People keep talking about incentives, and yes I agree wholeheartedly that we should follow the incentives to understand where manipulation might be taking place. But when I followed the incentives with respect to climate modeling, they bring me straight to climate change deniers, not to researchers.

Do we really think these scientists working with their research grants have more at stake than multi-billion dollar international companies who are trying to ignore the effect of their polluting factories on the environment? People, please. The bulk of the incentives are definitely with the business owners. Which is not to say there are no incentives on the other side, since everyone always wants to feel like their research is meaningful, but let’s get real.

I like this idea Stephanie comes up with:

Some sociologists of science suggest that translational “experts”–that is, “experts” who aren’t necessarily producing new information and research, but instead are “expert” enough to communicate stuff to those not trained in the area–can help bridge this divide without requiring everyone to become “experts” themselves. But that can also raise the question of whether these translational experts have hidden agendas in some way. Moreover, one can also raise questions of whether a partial understanding of the model might in some instances be more misleading than not looking into the model at all–examples of that could be the various challenges to evolution based on fairly minor examples that when fully contextualized seem minor but may pop out to someone who is doing a less systematic inquiry.

This raises a few issues for me:

  • Right now we depend mostly on press to do our translations, but they aren’t typically trained as scientists. Does that make them more prone to being manipulated? I think it does.
  • How do we encourage more translational expertise to emerge from actual experts? Currently, in academia, the translation to the general public of one’s research is not at all encouraged or rewarded, and outside academia even less so.
  • Like Stephanie, I worry about hidden agendas and partial understandings, but I honestly think they are secondary to getting a robust system of translation started to begin with, which would hopefully in turn engage the general public with the scientific method and current scientific knowledge. In other words, the good outweighs the bad here.

JC comments:  I can’t remember how I managed to come across these posts, but I thought they were pretty interesting and they raise some good topics for us to discuss.

972 responses to “Trusting (?) the experts

  1. This gets right to F. A. Hayek’s “Fatal Conceit,” which can be applied to James Hansen: http://www.masterresource.org/2012/02/james-hansen-fatal-conceit/

    • The propaganda techniques used to demonize the productive in Western society are owned and honed by Leftist politicians skilled in the art of deception. These techniques are the same tools employed by charlatans and fascists and their con-job operatives that work their affinity-scams to mobilize the fear, greed, superstitious beliefs and prejudices of the masses. The AGW True Believer scam is but a variation on a theme we have seen many times before over the years from the mass mania of the citizens living in Hitler’s Germany to the “Rainbow Family” drinking the Kool-Aid at the Peoples Temple in “Jonestown,” Guyana.

      • W. – It is trivial to point out that the entire global warming enterprise depends on the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide. It is not trivial to say that greenhouse effect does not exist. And that is what I am saying because scientific observations tell us that. Let’s start with basic science and see if we can put that delusion in its place. When you add carbon dioxide to atmosphere it starts to absorb outgoing long-wave radiation, the captured radiation turns to heat, warms the air, and we have global warming. Or so Arrhenius told us. The physical source of this warming is the absorption of radiation which is a measurable quantity. If you can measure how much the atmosphere absorbs, then add carbon dioxide and measure it again, the difference will tell you if it is true that absorption is taking place. Fortunately, NOAA has been making such measurements for us. They send up radiosondes which measure the amount of long-wave radiation the atmosphere absorbs. In parallel, we have also been measuring the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and know exactly how much was there at any given time. And in 2010 Ferenc Miskolczi put all these measurements together. Using NOAA weather balloon database going back to 1948 he determined that the transparency of the atmosphere in the infrared was constant for 61 years. At the same time, carbon dioxide went up 21.6 percent but did not cause measurable absorption. And no absorption means no greenhouse effect, Arrhenius be damned. I should explain here that no measurable absorption does not mean no absorption by carbon dioxide took place. As Miskolczi explains it, the amount of water vapor in the air diminished at the same time as CO2 absorption increased and this effectively nullified the effect of CO2 absorption that Arrhenius theory predicts. This is called negative water vapor feedback, the exact opposite of positive water vapor feedback that IPCC uses to predict warming. Its existence was already in doubt when the hot spot predicted at ten kilometer height in the tropics could not be found. Now we know why that hot spot is missing. With that settled, the greenhouse theory of global warming is dead. Its predictions are just plain wrong and with it the global warming theory built up on these predictions. Laws and regulations to “mitigate” this imaginary warming were passed under false premises and must be voided. And with it the enforcement apparatus should also be abandoned and its personnel fired.

      • The heros of global warming will not listen to reason because their interests lie elsewhere in places where facts are unimportant and the scientific method is little more than a quaint anachronism.

      • When the Left decided to defrock morality and comon decency they also defrocked the Golden Goose. It will take years to flush a society of worthless turds and their offspring through a dented-up political and economic system that has been so severely corrupted by lies, superstition and envy of government junkies that hatred has become the only medium of exchange in the Left’s ponzi economics and blame game cash for chaos and clunkers liberal Utopia.

      • Where have all the talking flowers gone?
        ==============================

      • A trace of gas
        And flutter byes
        Fly up and face
        The Monarch of the Skies.
        ==================

  2. What’s with this obsession of talking to the masses?

    • All good Democrats believe in global warming, after all, it is the science of one of their key heroes, former Vice President and Senator Al Gore. And all good environmentalists are aboard the global warming band wagon. And, for all of them, the Agenda is what is important. Their Agenda is to eliminate fossil fuels and the internal combustion engine from our civilization. The carbon dioxide, CO2, thing is simply the means to the end. And if the means is not true; who cares. It is only the Agenda that is important. To all of these people, my effort to debunk the CO2 greenhouse gas science is irrelevant. ~John Coleman (‘why the global warming science has failed humanity,’ 26-Feb-2011)

      • John Carpenter

        Omnologos,

        Who, ultimately, will decide what, if anything, will be done about AGW? Think about the answer for a while.

    • > What’s with this obsession of talking to the masses?

      One has to be quite quick to talk to the speeds of light.

      • David Springer

        Not if the mass is in a church.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Tom, please tell me you don’t believe that ridiculous story.

      • Brandon, do you have your eyes wide shut? Of course, not. You are a scientist.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Tom, I’m not sure how much I should say since your comment was removed, but stories involving Satanic rituals involving abuse or murder are never true.

      • Never… is a very large word. May I suggest you read some ancient history?
        THE ANTICHRIST BABYLON
        AND THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM
        by G. H. Pember

        Evil exists.

    • Why communicate with the ignorant masses? Because ultimately they are the ones who determine what funds get spent on?

  3. Scientists’ currency is fame and reputation, which can be valued by itself but is also materially expressed in terms of career, posts and grants. This is a major kind of incentive one has to consider when evaluating possible biases in science, Another important element is ideological or political commitment to advancement of a cause, which is particularly important in the case of climate science (both orthodox and heretical).

    • I agree. Frankly, blind faith in experts is sloth, laziness.

      Trust your own observations, calculations, intuitions . . . but privately check them out with someone else so that you do go off “half-cocked.” We are all capable of self-deception.

      Basically, we all are mostly equal – although we possess varied talents.

      This image shows human’s proper place in the universe – not as the ruler – but as one of many who are aware of their size and place in this vibrant, benevolent universe:

      http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=sun+worshippers&qpvt=sun+worshippers&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=317DC2F3826AAC01016C2B8B5E39A6898528C7ED&selectedIndex=7

      Egocentrics tend to be Godless, unable to accept a Higher Power

      • Trust your own observations, calculations, intuitions . . . but privately check them out with someone else so that you do not go off “half-cocked.” We are all capable of self-deception.

    • Most of those scratching their heads about climate change are doing so because they are incapable of doing the calculations. What of them?

      In other professions we trust experts whose skills we do not share. We have methods for deciding who to trust in the law, medicine, politics and other fields that require mere scholarship as opposed to science.

      And they work. We remember the failures–the crooks, the incompetent and the exaggerators. But by and large our methods of determining who to trust in areas we are not competent to judge ourselves work.

      Those methods are not scientific–some factors that produce trust, such as physical height, seem almost laughable. But the suite of factors evaluated in establishing and retaining trust work.

  4. If we took a poll of Professors of Economics prior to 2008 they would nearly all have advocated ‘light touch’ regulation of banks and commercial markets.
    Not much attention would have been paid to the possible distortion of the markets by the financial incentive of the key players.

    In climate science we have a similar situation.

    If the political authorities realised there was not a climate problem with increasing CO2, then investment in climate science would be cut.
    The career of certain prominent alarmist personalities would be over.

    Does this account for the reluctance of some to release basic data underpinning conclusions and redefining the peer review process.

    • So if climate scientists weren’t doing climate science, they would be flipping burgers for a living?

      HA HA ….. what a crock !

      • Max_OK

        Naw. They’d be doing what they’re doing.

        And when this whole hysteria about CAGW dies down, that’s what they’ll still be doing.

        Max_CH

    • If the political authorities realised there was not a climate problem with increasing CO2…,

      A while back, we ran out of space for all those Judith is throwing under buses. Good news! The new fleet has arrived.

      Would you prefer an aisle or window seat?

      • Joshua

        There is a huge difference between those who do not believe in the physics of additional CO2 leading to additional warming and not being confident that the amount of warming wich may result in the actual system being a “net problem” worth addressing.

      • Rob –

        There is a huge difference between those who do not believe in the physics of additional CO2 leading to additional warming and not being confident that the amount of warming wich may result in the actual system being a “net problem” worth addressing.

        In a pure form that is true, Rob, but the reality is that it is hard to find those distinctions in a pure form. For example, someone who thinks that ACO2 warms the climate but isn’t sure by how much, wouldn’t support the logic behind (ubiquitously found) statements like “global warming has stopped.” So what do you do when someone says that they don’t doubt the basic physics of AGW theory, but then turns around and says that the warming has “stopped.” Which category do they belong in?

        And no matter – despite the oft’ read claims about how “skeptics” don’t doubt the basic physics, we see abundant evidence to the contrary. Judith claims that she doesn’t listen to such folks, even as she praises the input of her “denizens” as members of an extended peer review community.

        The assertion of “difference” seems to me to be undermined by a lack of validated data and a lack of clear definition of terms.

      • Joshua

        You asked: “So what do you do when someone says that they don’t doubt the basic physics of AGW theory, but then turns around and says that the warming has “stopped.””

        It the actual climate system it is entirely possible the additional atmospheric CO2 can be overwhelmed by other factors and the resultant warming might not be noticeable by humans over the timescales or in the amounts initially predicted. The is very typical in a poorly understood system.

      • Rob –

        It the actual climate system it is entirely possible the additional atmospheric CO2 can be overwhelmed by other factors and the resultant warming might not be noticeable by humans over the timescales or in the amounts initially predicted..

        I suggest that the next time that you read a “skeptic” say that “the warming has stopped” or that it has “paused,” that you explain that to them. Be prepared to be busy.

      • Joshua

        Imo the relevant point to the overall post of “Trusting the Experts” would be to ask more focused questions of those experts who are convinced and publicizing that additional CO2 is a great threat to humanity. If an “expert” claims that they know that temperature will rise by “X” degrees +/- a margin of error of 100% then it should be noted that they really do not understand what will happen at all.
        Whether AGW is a problem to humans depends upon how fast any warming will really occur (which we do not know) and what other conditions will change at local levels as a result of that warming (which we also do not know).

      • Joshua,

        It is not that hard to find us. I believe that CO2 has a warming effect, certainly from a theoritical standpoint. I accept that we have enough evidence to say it see that it is in fact doing so.

        Yet it is also not hard for me to look at temps from the past 15+ years and see that they are not increasing at the rate they should be, according to some of the theories and models. No disconnect at all. And that confirms what I already knew – that the state of our understanding of global climate is far less than some people want us to believe. Add in the many claims we have been presented about all of the dangerous impacts, claims for the most part unsupported by any real evidence, and you have the basis for my scepticism. I think the average person (in the developed world) is seeing the same thing and reaching the same conclusion – that whatever is happening with global climate, there is little evidence it is a cause for concern. And when we see increasing attempts to raise people’s conscousness about the threat by tying it to weather events in the news (as a recent editorial in the Seattle Times by a UW Prof. in Public Health, claiming Sandy, the 1930’s Dust Bowl and this summer’s fire over in Wenatchee all share the common thread of climate change), it is a sign that someone has incentives other than good science.

      • Yes but I think Joshua raises a good point.

        If you believe rising CO2 is causing warming then you DO believe natural factors are masking that warming in recent years.

        Then the question is how much warming is being masked and if you look at the data it doesn’t take much to be masked at all for the IPCC projections to be *underestimates*

      • Lolwot writes: “If you believe rising CO2 is causing warming then you DO believe natural factors are masking that warming in recent years.”

        While what you have written is correct a person who has such a belief should also acknowledge that their belief may be determined to be wrong. The system is performing differently than they predicted and it should be a time to reexamine the assumptions about how the system is operating. Sincerely believing something does not make it correct. Many religions are sincerely believed, but that does not make any of them correct (and all certainly can’t be correct.)

      • lolwot,

        Natural factors masking the rate of warming increase is just one possible scenario. It is not one I dismiss. However it is also not one that I accept to the exclusion of other possible explanations.

      • so what are the other possibilities?

      • timg56

        Spot on!

        +100.

        Max

      • tim –

        Yet it is also not hard for me to look at temps from the past 15+ years and see that they are not increasing at the rate they should be, according to some of the theories and models.

        Two points. The first is what if you look at temps from the past 30+ years? How ’bout the past 45+ years? Wouldn’t you think that the larger sample size would instill more confidence? The second is that the theory of AGW is perfectly consistent with relatively short periods of time that fit such a pattern. As such, I have no idea what you mean by “should be?” Do you mean as you interpret what the theories imply, or do you mean what the theories themselves indicate – complete with error bars, CI’s etc.? As I understand it, there is enough range in the theories that the 15+ record of temps that you’re referring to is within the range of what the theories predict “should” happen.

        No disconnect at all. And that confirms what I already knew – that the state of our understanding of global climate is far less than some people want us to believe.

        Well, the “some people” reference is a bit vague, but I’m inclined to think that given the lack of specificity, you are probably right.

        Add in the many claims we have been presented about all of the dangerous impacts, claims for the most part unsupported by any real evidence,

        The vast majority of the “claims” of dangerous impacts that I have seen (do I have to accept impact as a noun at this point?) have accompanying estimations of uncertainty. Yes, there are some that are lacking such estimations, and the problems with such claims should be taken seriously, but on the other side we often see the existing statements of uncertainty either ignored or distorted.

        I think the average person (in the developed world) is seeing the same thing and reaching the same conclusion – that whatever is happening with global climate, there is little evidence it is a cause for concern.

        This seems to be in contrast to the data. It seems to me that you are projecting your views onto others – and not relying on validated evidence. Look at the recent polls on global warming and look at the correlates with the swings in public opinion over the last 20 years or so.

        when we see increasing attempts to raise people’s conscousness about the threat by tying it to weather events in the news (as a recent editorial in the Seattle Times by a UW Prof. in Public Health, claiming Sandy, the 1930′s Dust Bowl and this summer’s fire over in Wenatchee all share the common thread of climate change), it is a sign that someone has incentives other than good science.

        I haven’t read the article you mentioned, but I have seen overstated claims of linkage between weather and climate. But I have seen that on both sides of the fence. Further, I have seen appropriately qualified statements (such as, for example “No single event can be attributed to climate change but this recent extreme event is what we expect to see more often with climate change”) distorted and attacked by the very same people who try to associate weather and climate by pointing to short-term cold weather phenomena (take a look through WUWT archives if you don’t know what I mean).

      • lolwot | January 10, 2013 at 5:11 pm said: ”If you believe rising CO2 is causing warming then you DO believe natural factors are masking that warming in recent years”

        THE ”belief” is wrong, BUT, hypothetically: .in 5-10 years, when the GLOBAL temp is still the same – on your presumption / belief: the CO2 producers saved the planet from ice age => those CO2 producers should be rewarded. Money wasted on the Warmist & Fakes -> should be recovered / with modest interest; and to be given to the big CO2 emitters, as a reward for saving the planet from cooling. how about that?!

        lies have shallow roots, get exposed to the daylight one way or another

        Q: can anybody trust a Warmist & Fake Skeptic for lying that they know what was the ”GLOBAL” temperature in precision, for HUNDREDS and thousandths of years?!

        in 1800’s – was monitored by unreliable thermometers, on 5-6 places in Europe; say: in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome and on 3 places in USA – that will tell the GLOBAL temperature…? How many ”experts” are denouncing those misleading past phony temp charts / how many rely on them – to keep the phony GLOBAL warming alive? E X P E R T S…?!?!?! Experts in what?

      • Joshua, the current lack of warming falsifies the claims of AR4 chapter 10. In particular, the methodology applied in Chapter 10 would indicate that CS is about 1.2C to 1.4 C not 2C with ECS about 1.8C to 2.1 C and not 3C. In chapter 10 you will find the expected natural variance using the AR4 constraints for 2030 that the system can have according to AR4. We are already past that. All of this goes back to two poor decisions by the IPCC. One was using ever shorter times with a highpoint of 1998 as the endpoint region to claim accellerating rates, and not making sure that people understood enthalpy and equilibrium wrt such meant that we could see periods of temperature like the lead up to 1998, and periods like the last 15+ years but they do not effect the underlying rate. In particular, the assumed psuedo equilibrium that has to be used when describing the atmospheric systems means that temperature is a poor metric. These discussions with and arguments with those opposed to the policies reccomended by the IPCC are simply self inflicted wounds by the IPCC.

      • If the political authorities realised there was not a climate problem with increasing CO2…

        They would carry on regardless with carbon taxes and the like.

      • lolwot,

        RE other possibilities.

        1) That the assumed feedback from clouds is incorrect.

        2) That there are other factors besides CO2 that impact temperature.

        3) That the planetary climatic system tends to self correct..

        The last one might explain why summers with reduced Arctic ice cover seem to be followed by NH winters with increased snow and cold.

    • I’m not sure how much attention should be placed on the impact of funding as an incentive for researchers. I certainly do not believe that it is the primary or even a secondary incentive for Dr. Hansen. I think he truly believes what he says.

      I give the vast majority of scientists the benefit of doubt on this. They have to be cognizant of funding, but I don’t see it as a primary incentive. But I do believe one piece of evidence there is at least some incentive, even if lower on the scale, is how often we see reference to “climate change” or “global warming” in research that is not in the field of climate. Some times it is what has come to be the obligatory nod, as in the Nova program on tornado research. It was not mentioned at all until the final minutes and then only in passing. I think a good measure on how much the lay person can trust the “experts” when it comes to climate change is to look at how much emphasis it gets in research that is far from climate. I think the best example is that of Stephan Lewandowski. I have a better claim to being knowledgeable on climate topics than he does, yet he is front and center in the debate. To me that is good evidence that Prof Lewandowski is incentized on the issue and therefore to be taken with a very large grain of salt.

      • tim – just to be clear…

        Are you saying that Lewandowski focused on the question of conspiracists amongst “skeptics” because he was chasing funding?

      • Joshua,

        I hestitate to speculate on what Prof. Lewandowski’s motivation is. I would not place grant funding at the top of the list, were I to speculate. What stands out most about his Conspiracy Theorist paper is its poor quality. It is hard for me to imagine the circumstances which would drive me to put out such poor work with my name attached to it. I would have to believe in something very strongly to risk my reputation. So if asked to speculate, I’d guess Prof Lewandowski was primarily motivated by a strong personal belief – perhaps that humankind (or its actions) is a threat to the planet.

    • Max OK,
      Elvis, is reported seeing real AGW scientists at Burger King too. What is your point?

  5. “Do we really think these scientists working with their research grants have more at stake than multi-billion dollar international companies who are trying to ignore the effect of their polluting factories on the environment?”

    Yes, we do.

    You’re comparing the effects on individuals versus the effects on groups. A single scientist may have less at stake in total dollars – but a million dollars in grant money to study global warming is a pretty large chunk of “professional influence.” Add all of those not-too-huge research grants together, and you have a huge pile of influence.

    Don’t forget the reverse issue, while you’re at it: for at least 20 years, it’s basically been impossible to get a serious research grant in the environmental sciences if you plan on using it to disprove the current global warming theories.

    You also might want to consider the impact when the NASA administrator gets a half-million dollar “award” because of his global warming stance. Would that affect his future impartiality? You betcha – and this is the guy who’s been in charge of the most-touted temperature measurements for the US and the globe…

    Let’s also bring up the various nonprofits that take in – literally – hundreds of millions of dollars in donations to “fight global warming.”

    On the other hand… those multi-billion dollar companies? The amounts they’ve been shown to actually spend on this issue are trivial in comparison. People claim they’re throwing money at anti-AGW propaganda, but the total amount that’s known to have been spent is pennies on the dollar compared to the billions spent by governments touting global warming catastrophism.

    • This is what MathBabe has exactly bass ackwards. Follow the money, honey, I got the time.
      ============

    • Absolutely correct.

      Then you have to look at the Green movements.
      Greenpeace and WWF are billion dollar international corporations, with a huge direct financial interest in AGW.

      If there are no percieved threats to the environment, then those big boys go out of business.

      AGW being proved wrong would potentially have a bigger negative effect on the income of the likes of Greenpeace than the it being proved right would have on the majority of commercial corportations.

      • The Green Movements have to have a disaster to stay in business. Big energy companies would do things differently in a warming world than they would in a cooling world. Actual businesses do best when they understand the truth.

    • “it’s basically been impossible to get a serious research grant in the environmental sciences if you plan on using it to disprove the current global warming theories.”

      You have science totally backwards. You don’t start off with a conclusion and then try to justify it.

      No wonder they can’t get grants if their proposal simply says they plan to disprove global warming theories.

      Besides if they already think global warming theories is wrong why do they need the funding to explain why? How much does typing an argument cost?

      • I hate to break it to you, but EVERY serious scientist who looks at the work of other scientists is trying to prove them wrong. Every major advance of the last century came from someone saying something like “I don’t think the Newtonian physics model is right, let me do some math to show that all of those other guys are wrong.” Real scientists don’t spend thousands of hours on a study to try and prove someone else was 100% right twenty years earlier.

        The “scientists don’t set out to prove people wrong” myth is only popular among scientists who have a vested interest in the old models being right.

        What IS wrong is someone setting out to “prove” the current models are right – by blocking grant funding for anyone who might disagree with them.

        “No wonder they can’t get grants if their proposal simply says they plan to disprove global warming theories.”

        They don’t. They propose things like “I’d like to study how cloud formation is affected by cosmic rays and the solar wind. It may prove that the computer models used to predict global warming are wrong.” Or “I have a model for how solar activity may predict climate cycles, instead of the current AGW models, which are not accurate.”

        You’re trying really, realllly hard to assume the worst for critics of AGW, aren’t you?

      • “I hate to break it to you, but EVERY serious scientist who looks at the work of other scientists is trying to prove them wrong.”

        You don’t get funding for chasing a result.

        See this proposal:

        “They propose things like “I’d like to study how cloud formation is affected by cosmic rays and the solar wind. It may prove that the computer models used to predict global warming are wrong.”

        It’s akin to saying:
        “I want to study the oceans and see if I can find 5C warming per doubling of CO2″

        It’s just wrong. It’s chasing a result.

        This proposal has far more chance of getting funding:

        “I’d like to study how cloud formation is affected by cosmic rays and the solar wind. This should improve our understanding and reduce uncertainty in how cloud formation is affected by cosmic rays and the solar wind.”

        Completely neutral as to the results and whatever the outcome it increases knowledge. And IF does find a significant effect the paper can say the models don’t include it.

        The idea that climate skeptics are blocked from proposing studies like this is ludicrous. Studies like this are done all the time.

      • Not so much. You see, the cloud formation example is a real one – and was almost blocked from being done. It took a large amount of international complaints to convince CERN to allow the experiment. That sort of issue doesn’t come up with explicitly pro-AGW studies.

        See also the Climategate emails, where they conspired – specifically – to block studies casting doubt on AGW from being published.

      • Cosmic rays cause clouds is so 1927, they already gave a Nobel prize for that.

  6. It needs to be understood that trust is a condition for having the body of knowledge currently called science. As Hardwig puts it, ‘the alternative to trust is … ignorance.’ ~Steven Shapin

    • Waggy, I agree that trusty scientists is better than trusting ideologues.

      • Experts are not believable if they are not honest about reporting what they know. That is why CRUgate was a fork in the eye of all scientists. A demands of a fabricated ‘consensus’ demanded that the academic community failed to stand up and be counted before the foi2009.pdf disclosures and even to this day Westerm academics continue to support MBH98,99,08 (aka, the ‘hockey stick’ graph) which has been proven to be scientific fraud–i.e., they have shown themselves to be ideologically-driven to take sides against reason.

      • Max_OK

        What about trusting scientists who are ideologues?

        Max_CH

      • What about trusting scientists who are ideologues?

        I presume you mean people like Jim Hansen, but he’s on record as having supported both main US political parties at various times. Most scientists, including climate scientists, aren’t particularly ideological in a political sense and if they do , like James Hansen, talk in what may appear somewhat emotive terms its because they are of the opinion that the world will experience a scientifically related problem rather than an ideological one.

        The question you should be asking is: “what about trusting the genuine right wing ideologues who don’t understand the scientific case, but nevertheless have decided it must be wrong as it doesn’t fit in with their ideology?”

    • Max_OK | January 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Reply
      I agree that trust[ing] scientists is better than trusting ideologues.

      This deftly misses the central dilemma of climate science – that scientists are at the same time also (statist) ideologues to some degree, since they are selected by and work for the state, and labor to reward it.

  7. The value of an experts’s opinion is correlated to the amount of experimentation available to him. With a time machine, I could become the greatest fund-manager, campaign-manager, or climate scientist (at least in terms of accuracy). And these are quite esteemed expert positions. But say I go back in my time machine and try to be a pilot, doctor, or a chemist – FAIL.

    I have no training in any of these disciplines, but this only handicaps me in the latter since there is an experimentation that goes into training these experts. Where as in the former, “you never cross the same river twice” which is why hindsight is so much more powerful then expert knowledge.

    Thus when considering how we should weigh expert opinion there are two questions: 1. How valuable is it when applied to that domain (in climate science I say low) and 2. How urgent must we come to a conclusion (in AGW, I’d say that could be decades away).

    • Good points concerning the need to consider value of expertise in a discipline and the urgency to take action based on expert advice. Experience tells us that supposed ‘experts’ oftentimes try to create a sense of urgency precisely to avoid scrutiny. It would be silly, for example, to be concerned about the excessive heat inside an airplane–believed by experts to be caused by an excessive amount of CO2 inside–when the plane is diving straight down to the ground. Similarly, it would be silly to be concerned about the excessive heat inside an airplane–believed by experts to be caused by being too close to the Sun–when the plane is close to its destination and in the process of descending below the clouds for a landing.

    • The value of an expert’s opinion is correlated to the ability to examine data and determine what it means. There is plenty of good data that shows climate parameters all in the bounds of the past ten thousand years. Only CO2 is out of bounds and it is not matched by any other parameter. There is no support in the actual data for alarmism an there is no support in the actual data for immediate drastic action. Turn the computers off that crank out flawed forecasts and look at the actual data and just think.

  8. Nice question. I agree that you can estimate that if someone win or lose his cash every day, because of sucessful/failed prediction, he will make the best available prediction, or at least know he have none…
    farmers might be good at choosing the good forecast company, if not having their own integrated in the brain.

    I agree that if you look for models that focast far away, then teh incentive will be to continue to be funded for the prediction… GIEC funded scientist have a strong incentive to continue justify the problem they are paid for; even if the feel they are honest… it is the same for any member of an organization to sincerely think he is useful.

    it start to be tricky when the forecast success depend on the forecast themselves. It is the problem of Financial modeling, which is more like a beauty contest, where the importance is to think the sam as the others…

    Finally Roland Benabou http://www.princeton.edu/~rbenabou/papers.html
    remind us that we can reject all fact if it is painful to us to see them
    http://www.princeton.edu/~rbenabou/papers/Patterns%20of%20Denial%204l%20fin.pdf
    , because we will have to accept we have lost wealth/fame/self-esteem compared to what we estimated before. He have made a mathematical model based on that principle http://www.princeton.edu/~rbenabou/papers/Patterns%20of%20Denial%204l%20fin.pdf and it explains many real situation…
    like why subordinates that see the reality do ignore it if their superiors believe in the myth… because it is not comfortable to see that your boss is ruining you.

    note that initially in his model, the belief is based on facts and is optimal. but when reality seems different from estimated, and the previous actions seems to have been errors, people simply ignore the facts, to ignore the losses, and feel COOL.

    The most stupid is that they do it even if seeing the fact could protect them from a huger loss…
    the boss of enron did cover fraud to hide his losses, but kept his shares untiles he finally was ruined and jailed.

    Note also that as we see in AGW, the more there are blatant fact against the belief, the more the believers are aggressive against the traitors, protecting their delusive assets, put at risk by realists.

    I’ve seen this mechanism many times now, AGW, LENR, Internet bubble, real estate bubble, economy, renewable energy…

    some imagine that it is only interest (mouse in the cheese)… there is some.
    but self-delusion happens often too (frog on the stove).

  9. I think Mathbabe is missing a key variable in her understanding of the incentives. The mythical funding of the skeptical movement by the big energy companies. Those companies are actually funding the CAGW research and carbon rationing efforts such as blocking production only make their products more profitable.

    That funding combined with tens of billions of dollars in government research grants puts almost all of the incentives on the side of experts exaggerating global warming. She also seems to think that being wrong is a disincentive, but being within the consensus now determines whether an expert gets funded and published. The chance that they will be proven wrong in 20 years is clearly not a disincentive if we compare how wrong the predictors from 20 years ago got it. They are still in the forefront, even committing criminal actions whether wire fraud or violating freedom of information act laws are not seen as being wrong as long as they are on the side with all the grant money.

    • Theodore says: “Those companies are actually funding the CAGW research and carbon rationing efforts such as blocking production only make their products more profitable.”
      _________

      As a capitalist with mineral rights, I would say that’s a good idea. I don’t know about the short-term profitability, but it makes the reserves last longer, and increases the value of the investment.

    • I agree 100%. It was almost a perfect ‘crime’.

      • Except if your business is exploration.

      • The AGW side was the loudest, you need a lot of money for that (and some human nature). There’s enough evidence of big oil funding consensus (climategate).

      • I was half joking. Raising prices of fossil fuels in the face of falling demand can cause further declines in demand.

      • Seriously Max,

        You couldn’t come up with more idiotic comments related to economics if you tried to do so on purpose.

        “Raising prices of fossil fuels in the face of falling demand can cause further declines in demand.”

        Under what circumstances do you think prices would rise as demand fell? There are only two that come to mind for me.

        1) Supply is falling at a pace similar to demand.

        2) The price is being artifically increased by non-market measures – i.e. taxes and fees.

        Can you explain the economic benefits from #2 and how they overide the negative impacts?

      • timg56 said on January 10, 2013 at 4:53 pm

        “Seriously Max,
        You couldn’t come up with more idiotic comments related to economics if you tried to do so on purpose.”
        ______

        Well, I was trying to on purpose, but I guess I could try harder.

        OK, I will attempt to seriously address your questions. You said:

        “Under what circumstances do you think prices would rise as demand fell? There are only two that come to mind for me.

        1) Supply is falling at a pace similar to demand.

        2) The price is being artifically increased by non-market measures – i.e. taxes and fees.

        Can you explain the economic benefits from #2 and how they overide the negative impacts?”
        ______

        Re I. Maybe, but I think usually the supply would have to fall faster than demand for prices to rise.

        Re 2. Yes, taxes and fees would do it. The economic benefits and whether they would override negative impacts would depend on how the taxes were used and value judgements.

        3. Did you consider quality improvements?

        4. Nostalgia/ fads? I’m not sure about this one, but I can give you an example. Tube amplifiers, which were the only kind of amps 50 years ago, sell for crazy high prices, but demand is almost entirely for solid state amps.

        Earlier you asked: Ever heard of the time value of money?

        I keep trying to remind myself of it.

  10. Ever since the Climategate e-mail scandal exposed how Mr. Mann’s graph used ‘a trick’ to ‘hide the decline’ in global temperatures, public support also has declined for the fable that cosmic irritation at mankind’s exhalations has made things hotter by an imperceptible one-third of one degree over the course of a decade. In 2000, media-driven climate hysteria peaked with 72 percent of those surveyed by Gallup indicating they were worried about global warming. That according to, Washington Times’ Andrew Thomas who noted that those numbers have since fallen with many more agreeing that the alarm about global warming was exaggerated and that, pursuing policies that sacrifice jobs and economic prosperity on the pagan altar of warmism, amounts to cash-for-clunkers socio-economics.

    Climatists have been, “locked into a simple-minded identification of climate with greenhouse-gas level. … That climate should be the function of a single parameter (like CO2) has always seemed implausible. Yet an obsessive focus on such an obvious oversimplification has likely set back progress by decades,” (Richard Lindzen, July 2012)

    • You don’t even know what the decline in the “hide the decline” was.

      Here’s a clue, it wasn’t global temperatures.

      • So the IPCC is all clean where you are concerned?
        From Climate Audit:
        CA readers will recall Jones’ notorious email in response to David Holland’s FOI request.
        subject: IPCC & FOI
        Mike, Can you delete any emails you may have had with Keith re AR4? Keith [Briffa] will do likewise. He’s not in at the moment – minor family crisis. Can you also email Gene [Wahl] and get him to do the same? I don’t have his new email address. We will be getting Caspar [Ammann] to do likewise.

      • The original “hide the decline” from the foi2009.pdf CRUgate emails refers to “hiding” tree ring data showing a decline in temperatures after 1960.

      • That’s only if you believe that temperature is the only thing that affects tree growth.

        And the period involved was one where we have instrumental records showing temperature that were not declining.

      • Why do you care about hiding something if it never happened?

        And another thing, weren’t you one of those saying CO2 makes trees grow more? Well, why didn’t the rapid rise in CO2 make those tree rings larger?

      • My questions were for Waggy, not Bob Droege.

      • Bob Droege seems not to understand what scientific principle was being violated, nay, raped by ‘hiding the decline’. Always the same question, the same question? Ignorant or disingenuous?

        Besides, BD, are you going to stand by and allow that desecration? The Devil heself must be allowed benefit of the law.
        =========

      • Kim, obviously you are using a definition of hiding that I am not familiar with.

      • Heh, so you tell me what was declining and why it needed to be hidden. I was born at night, but not last night. Rings as treemometers were compromised, and it is practically insane that we are still talking about it. Why are you hiding?
        =================

      • Kim, what do mean by “rings as treemometers were compromised?”

        Are you assuming that they are assuming that all tree rings respond to temperature in a “one to one and onto fashion” thus when we find some trees respond to factors other than temperature that someone is doing something dodgey? Just what part of multi-variate statistical analysis do you not understand other than all of it?

        Waggy brought it up, he is the insane one.

      • Those are your assumptions not mine. However, something dodgy was done. Why?

        That said, and I presume you can honestly answer that question, I’m vastly amused at the misinterpretation by hoi polloi of the whole hiding and declining matter. As is often with massive human behaviour, it can be dead stinking wrong on the particular and right as rain on the general plain.
        ============

      • Bob,

        RE this: “That’s only if you believe that temperature is the only thing that affects tree growth.”

        I don’t believe it is the only thing affecting tree growth. Yet when I point this out to a true believer, I become a “denier”.

        I understand that dendroclimatology tries very hard to select sample specimens in which temperature is the predominating factor. I think people such as Keith Briffa have done some exceptional work. But I also am a bit sceptical about the degree of accuracy of proxies and very sceptical of people who tell me they are accurate, then stop using them when the data stops supporting their theory.

      • David Springer

        Max_OK | January 10, 2013 at 2:02 pm |

        “Well, why didn’t the rapid rise in CO2 make those tree rings larger?”

        Must be all the floods and droughts caused by CO2. Drought conditions not enough water for good growth. Flood conditions not enough sunlight for good growth. CO2 prohibits moderation. Or so I’m told by the usual suspects. /sarc

      • Timg56,
        Any one who takes the stance that temperature is the only thing that affects tree rings, either width or density, is not a dendrochronogist, nor qualified to play one on TV.
        MBH98 was the first crack at a global temperature reconstruction, and I wish Lamb was still alive, because I would like to hear his opinion on it. My guess would be that he would say it was an improvement on his contributions.
        But temperature reconstructions have moved on with improved methods, so MBH98 can be thrown under the bus, even though it is still generally
        correct. About a dozen or so reconstructions since then give basically the same result, including Loehle.
        See this for more http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/07/tree-rings-and-climate-some-recent-developments/
        And I think they stopped using divergent tree ring series not because they disagreed with their theory, but because they disagreed with their data. After all, don’t you trust thermometers better than reconstructions?

      • Bob Droege

        It was the 20thC “decline in temperature” from the proxy data (that was supposed to prove that there wasn’t a warmer MWP), but which didn’t occur in real fact, and so had to be hidden in an attempt to validate the study.

        Just a bit of scientific skullduggery (the “Nature” trick, I believe), that’s all.

        Max

        PS But IPCC still stuck with it’s statement that the 20thC warming was “unusual in at least the previous 1,300 years”

      • Bob Droege offers a helpful clue. If what we care about is his level of knowledge.

      • This is a pretty sad display, Bob Droege @ 6:06. That sort of persiflage will fly at uncritical alarmist sites, but there are too many people aware of the numerous lies that dwell within your few paragraphs.

        Your first sentence is a strawman. You slander the memory of Hubert Lamb, who knew about millenial scale climate change. Subsequent reconstructions do not resemble MBH 98 unless chicanery with selected series, such as Tiljander and Yamal, was utilized.

        You are still dodging around the reason a ‘decline’ had to be ‘hidden’. I give people a lot of credit for ignorance, but you are baring your dishonesty in a public place.
        ========================

      • Max, we know there wasn’t a 20th century decline in temperatures because we have the instrumental data. Should we trust tree ring series that are obviously responding to something other than temperature post 1960? And they never hid them, they actually published them.

      • Kim,
        What about Hubert Lamb, the first director of The Climatic Research Unit, that place in East Anglia that was so prominent in the Climategate scandal? You know his graph in the FAR was not a global temperature reconstruction, don’t you? So he may have known about millenial scale temperatures, but not on a global scale.

        As for my first sentence being a strawman, it is obvious to me from the responses about the “hide the decline” that some people do think that tree rings do respond only to temperature. Waggy said so, Max chimed in as well, so its not a straw man, it’s what is being argued. You know, some subsequent reconstructions don’t even use tree rings, and you have been sold a bill of goods if you believe that bizarre upside down Tijander series crap.

      • A couple of points. First of all, my understanding is that the divergence problem only occurred in trees in certain locations and where tree ring density as opposed to width was used as an indicator of warming, other trees were not affected. This would suggest to me that there was indeed some physical phenomenon affecting those particular trees from the 1960s onwards and so their use as a proxy before then is not necessarily devalued. Of course this is an active area of research, it’s not something that has been swept under the carpet.

        Which leads to my second point. All of this stuff had already been in the public domain for years before climategate – the divergence problem was identified and published in the scientific literature 10 years earlier, MBH98/99 were already the most closely examined papers in climate science, the WMO report which the “hide the decline” email actually relates to was published way back in 2000. If “hide the decline” was a real scandal then it wouldn’t have needed climategate for it to be brought to the public’s attention.

      • If « hide the decline » was a real scandal then it wouldn’t have needed climategate for it to be brought to the public’s attention.

        Eh??? No, the fact that it needed whistleblowing / Climategate to bring it to the public’s and policymakers’ attention, means it is doubly scandalous.
        So a very real scandal, the attempted sweeping under the carpet of which, is indicative of the endemic, utterly unrepentant, politically-correct dishonesty that still charaterises the bulk of climate science today.

      • No, the fact that it needed whistleblowing / Climategate to bring it to the public’s and policymakers’ attention, means it is doubly scandalous.

        But it didn’t need whistleblowing to bring it to the public’s attention – it has always been in the public domain. And it’s not like no one on the “skeptic” side had paid any attention to the HS before climategate.

      • The Hidden Decline most certainly did need whistleblowing to bring it to the public’s and policymakers’ attention, since these people would not have read the science papers. And of course the IPCC et al were very careful to not publicise it.

      • Bob Droege and andrew adams continue to misrepresent the issue badly. I’ll go with Evil Genie above and Brandon Shollenberger below, and ascribe it to ignorance. I’m feeling generous this morning.
        ====================

      • Oops, that’s ‘Vague Genie’ above. Evil crept into my morning after all. I’ll thank aa and BD.
        ============

      • I agree that the general public wouldn’t have been aware of it, but as I said above the skeptics who had been subjecting the HS to such close scrutiny must have been aware of the divergence issue so they could have brought it to the public’s attention. I guess it’s possible they weren’t aware of the 2000 WMO report (which is what Jone’s email was actually referring to) but then that may be becasue in the overall scheme of things it wasn’t very important.

      • Ho, ho, ho, andrew adams stretches his credibility to the breaking point. Fella, what decline was hidden and why? Why was extraordinary effort made to keep the decline hidden? The efforts of Stevie Mac and others are public record.

        It’s also public record that you and so many others persist in ignorance of, or lie about, the meaning of divergence to the shaft of the hockey stick, the truly malevolent wood. This is what was, and still seems is, the reason to hide.

        It is, I repeat, a magnificent irony, that the chicanery has reached a mass audience because of said audience’s misunderstanding that a decline of temperature is what was hidden. The crowning irony is that that temperature decline hadn’t even happened yet, but is happening now.

        The Gods are laughing at us from the clouds. Some of them have been overcome by the vapours. What to do? What to do?
        ====================

      • kim,

        “Hide the decline” in Jones’s email relates to the 2000 WMO report and his decision to append the instrumental record to the proxy record. The “decline” being “hidden” was the post 1960s divergence, which has been well known for a long time.
        Maybe you are referring to something else – if you actually made an argument rather than silly insinuations then I might have a better idea, but that’s what I’m referring to.

      • Yamal trees don’t lie and neither does Fortran but the data from Yamal tree-rings (‘MXD’) can be made to dance to any tune they climatists wish and that is the big lie, that the inconvenience of reality is something academics felt comfortable lying to the public about then and covering up since–e.g.,

        REM Uses ‘corrected’ MXD – but shouldn’t usually plot past 1960 because these will be artificially adjusted to look closer to the real temperatures.

      • The decline that was hidden is the divergence that Briffa et al worried about in this paper published Nature in 1998 (submitted May 1997):

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v391/n6668/abs/391678a0.html

        A strange approach for “making an extraordinary effort to keep the decline hidden” is to publish it in Nature.

      • Yes indeed Pekka, why on earth would they do that?

      • Bob Droege

        I assume that you are well-enough informed to know what the “hide the decline” scam (“Mike’s Nature trick”) was all about, so I won’t repeat it here.

        Fer Chrissake let’s leave the discredited hockey stick in its grave – no point trying to resuscitate and rehabilitate it. It’s dead.

        It was a bit of lousy science based on a bad statistical analysis and fudged data, with a part of the record willfully eradicated because it demonstrated the weakness of the whole study.

        There have been many studies from all over the world since then, using different paleo data, which all show that the MWP was global and slightly warmer than today. So the “shtick” and its conclusions have been falsified by several other studies.

        The only curious thing is that IPCC jumped so quickly on the “shtick” in its TAR report, without first doing sufficient “due diligence”, and – even in its AR4 report – repeated the conclusion of the “shtick” (that 20thC temperature is unusual in at least the past 1,300 years) – ignoring the many studies that showed the opposite.

        Max

        PS Back to our topic here: Michael Mann is one of the “experts” we definitely do NOT “trust” (even if he “got a Nobel”).

      • Max is right.

        Let’s leave the HS alone.

        There are all those other subsequent studies, using different data, different stats mthods, that show the same result, but we know that’s just proof of the ‘forced consensus’ fraudently frabricating the same result in the pursuit of research grants.

        Thankgod for the climate-sceptics and their cast-iron logic and respect for evidence.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Pekka Pirilä, you are above comments like that. Your argument is Keith Briffa published the decline so Michael Mann and Phil Jones weren’t going to great lengths to hide it when they deleted adverse data. Nor were they when they replace the deleted data with instrumental data. Nor were they when they called the resulting series a paleoclimatic temperature reconstruction. Nor when they said things like, as Michael Mann said:

        No researchers in this field have ever, to our knowledge, “grafted the thermometer record onto” any reconstrution. It is somewhat disappointing to find this specious claim (which we usually find originating from industry-funded climate disinformation websites) appearing in this forum.

        The fact the divergence was discussed elsewhere doesn’t change the fact that on multiple occasions, people went out of their way to hide the decline. It doesn’t change the fact those people chose dishonest manipulations of data over honest representations of a problem.

        I assume you’re not aware of the details of this topic. That’s fine. But you look foolish or dishonest when you defend blatant dishonesty with nonsensical arguments.

      • In this one, Pekka’s childish enough to need some old geology school uniformitarianism. Mewling and puking about fill the bill
        =============

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Michael, determined to look foolish, says:

        There are all those other subsequent studies, using different data, different stats mthods, that show the same result, but we know that’s just proof of the ‘forced consensus’ fraudently frabricating the same result in the pursuit of research grants.

        Thankgod for the climate-sceptics and their cast-iron logic and respect for evidence.

        Michael mocks people for their lack of “respect for evidence” while claiming subsequent work gets “the same result” as MBH. This is fascinating as he’s basically making that up. Beyond which, he claims those subsequent studies use “different data” when anyone familiar with paleoclimatology would know there is massive overlap in what data gets used in reconstructions.

        Basically every “hockey stick” ever published since MBH has suffered from the same primary flaw. In fact, many of them have confusingly suffered from the same minor flaws as well. Michael hand-wavingly claims various reconstructions are independent when in reality they’re… incestuous. The fact incestuous work produces similar results is hardly surprising.

        (I doubt Michael would ever care to discuss actual evidence as to the quality of these papers. If I’m wrong, I have a standing offer to discuss any temperature reconstruction in any amount of detail. That provides him a wonderful opportunity to show he has more “respect for evidence” than I do.)

      • Pekka Pirila,

        The decline that was hidden is the divergence that Briffa et al worried about in this paper published Nature in 1998 (submitted May 1997):

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v391/n6668/abs/391678a0.html

        A strange approach for “making an extraordinary effort to keep the decline hidden” is to publish it in Nature.

        That is another statement by a CAGW Alarmist which illustrates why CAGW Alarmists cannot be trusted.

        Sure the decline was published in 1998. In 2007 the Climate Scientists conspired to hide it and IPCC published the intentionally deceptive chart and to my knowledge have never admitted that they set out to deceive the world.

      • “use the same data’ – Brandon,

        Really?

        So the studies looking at just lake bed sediment or ice cores, are lying, and they really used tree rings?

        I’m shocked.

      • Peter is right.

        Hiding things in plain view is very clever.

        Damn those evil scientists.

      • Stupidity defending dishonesty? “Multi” is such a confusing thing.

      • Pekka Pirilä | January 11, 2013 at 4:21 pm |
        A strange approach for “making an extraordinary effort to keep the decline hidden” is to publish it in Nature.

        Which is of course where the general public and the politicians would read it over their cornflakes.

      • Memphis,

        That would imply that you want newspapers to do a much better job in reporting science.

        I agree.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Michael:

        Really?

        So the studies looking at just lake bed sediment or ice cores, are lying, and they really used tree rings?

        I’m shocked.

        I’d be shocked if you could provide any reference to justify your response here. Heck, I’d be shocked if you even bothered to try. It’s far easier to just spout off claims that are so vague as to be irrefutable. Substantive remarks are so much more work.

        If I’m wrong, it should be easy to prove it. I look forward to somebody trying.

      • Pekka might get a clue from Montford, but the inside baseball is at Stevie Mac’s. Michael Piltdown Mann and the wrecking team made an extraordinary effort to sustain the Crook’t Hockey Stick with reconstructions keying on series that had a built in hockey stick, like Yamal and Tiljander.

        There was conspiracy to hide this effort, well documented in released and unreleased emails. The worst of it all, though, is the conspiracy of silence from ‘climate science’ at the fraudulent science of Michael Mann.
        ================

      • http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010GL044771/abstract

        Someone get the smelling salts for Brandon.

      • David Springer

        andrew adams | January 11, 2013 at 7:09 am |

        “But it didn’t need whistleblowing to bring it to the public’s attention – it has always been in the public domain. And it’s not like no one on the “skeptic” side had paid any attention to the HS before climategate.”

        Demonstrably, it did. The public went apeshiit over it once it came to their attention. What you’re struggling to ignore is the success of the efforts by the usual suspects to keep it out of the spotlight through such chicanery as creating a gauntlet-like peer review process with reliably adverse results for submissions contrary to the team’s dogma. Once the divergence problem made it into the public spotlight all hell broke loose. Even the unwashed masses could smell the foulness of what Mann and his close colleagues tried to pull off.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Michael claims this study shows the “same result” as Michael Mann’s hockey stick:

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2010GL044771/abstract

        Why? Because it says:

        We conclude that the 20th century warming of the incoming intermediate North Atlantic water has had no equivalent during the last thousand years.

        Was Mann’s hockey stick limited to “incoming intermediate North Atlantic water”? Let’s see. MBH98’s abstract said:

        Northern Hemisphere mean annual temperatures for three of the past eight years are warmer than any other year since (at least) AD 1400.

        Michael provided a paper that gives results for one part of one ocean. He claims these results are the “same results” as Mann got for an entire hemisphere.

        Someone get the smelling salts for Brandon.

        If I was knocked out, it was only by Michael’s incompetence. It’s mind-boggling anyone would post such a stupid response.

      • kim calls me evil, unintentionally causing such to be true. Lies of omission are sins.

      • Well, colour me shocked, Brandon quibbles with trivialities.

        Let’s review progress on this to better highlight Brandons twisting and squirming.

        Me – “other subsequent studies, using different data, different stats mthods, that show the same result”

        BS (rather appropriate initials!!) – ” he’s basically making that up…there is massive overlap in what data gets used in reconstructions…incestuous work produces similar results is hardly surprising…I have a standing offer to discuss any temperature reconstruction in any amount of detail”

        Me – “So the studies looking at just lake bed sediment or ice cores, are lying, and they really used tree rings?”

        BS – “I’d be shocked if you could provide any reference to justify your response here….If I’m wrong, it should be easy to prove it.”

        He ‘s give a study (just one) that;
        – uses different data,
        – and gets the same rsult (HS – unprecedented recent warming wihtin the last 1000 yrs)

        Does Brandon, like a good sceptc operating with good faith, ‘ oh, you’re right Michael – my mistake. Let me re-evaluate my position given my ‘respect for the evidence’.

        Ha!!

        No , he just sticks to his prior belief, and quibbles, pointlessly.

      • And others too Jim, as anyone who ‘respects the evidence’, would readily acknowledge.

      • City, province, region, area, hemisphere. What’s the difference?

      • Brandon,

        You say that Michael’s argument that other reconstructions have supported Mann’s conclusions is somehow invalid because there are overlaps in the particular proxies used. I don’t doubt that’s true in some cases, and it’s not really surprising as there is a finite number of proxy records in existence, but I don’t see how that necessarily contradicts Michael’s argument given that many of the criticisms of Mann are based on his statistical methods. If others are getting similar results using some of the same proxies but different statistical methods then that is surely significant.

      • Split bark, newly vertical shoots, and disturbed sediments. Once it’s settled, it’ll all be clear.
        ==========

      • Andrew,

        We gave BS different proxies and different methods – he still twists and squirms.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        andrew adams, I don’t get why you say:

        I don’t see how that necessarily contradicts Michael’s argument given that many of the criticisms of Mann are based on his statistical methods. If others are getting similar results using some of the same proxies but different statistical methods then that is surely significant.

        When I explicitly said:

        Basically every “hockey stick” ever published since MBH has suffered from the same primary flaw. In fact, many of them have confusingly suffered from the same minor flaws as well.

        That “same primary flaw” has been giving a small amount of data undue weight. It doesn’t matter what statistical methods are used if they all give an improper amount of weight to limited amounts of data (simple averaging can cause that). Specifically, almost every reconstruction suffers from loss of variance in the past which necessarily enhances a hockey stick shape. In other words, the methods are biased.

        But let’s say we we move away from discussions of methodology. Suppose the same dozen or so hockey stick series get used over and over in different reconstructions. Suppose most, if not all, of those have had serious and specific criticisms raised against their validity as temperature proxies. Now suppose reconstructions generally use fewer than twenty series to cover the MWP.

        Can you see why methodology isn’t that important? The problem is incestuous use of data. If you keep using the same data with the same signal, you’re going to get similar results regardless of your methodology. It’s basically fishing for a specific signal.

        Mann’s methodologies explicitly look for a signal. Many others do it inadvertently due to variance loss (see the screening fallacy). The rest do it by simply not having much data.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        In case I wasn’t clear enough, the problem I see with multiproxy temperature reconstructions is data quality. If you look at temperature reconstructions like Christensen & Ljungqvist’s (which plots all series used), it’s easy to see only a handful of the proxies used have anything resembling a hockey stick. The rest don’t.

        Does it make any sense to combine a handful of hockey stick shaped series with other series that basically amount to noise via any methodology and say, “We found a hockey stick”? The results are foregone. All you’re doing is taking some series with one shape, adding noise to them and saying the result now represents a larger area.

        Why try to find “new” ways to combine series when we can just look at what the series show? If a hockey stick comes from just a handful of series, we should focus on those series to see why they show it. We shouldn’t just average random series with them and say we get a hockey stick.

        If someone wants to discuss a specific paper and why I don’t think it’s results hold, I’m happy to. However, I can already tell you it will almost certainly be, “They used A, B and C series that are known to have X, Y and Z problems.” For example, there are a lot of reconstructions that use one or more precipitation proxies as temperature proxies.

        (When I say “paper,” I mean a paper discussing large-scale temperature patterns. I’m not interested in local or regional ones.)

    • David Springer

      Bob Droege | January 10, 2013 at 9:51 pm |

      “Max, we know there wasn’t a 20th century decline in temperatures because we have the instrumental data. Should we trust tree ring series that are obviously responding to something other than temperature post 1960? And they never hid them, they actually published them.”

      Bob, you ignorant slut. If something other than temperature caused tree ring shrinkage in the 20th century, and we know it did because we had contemporaneous instrument records, then it’s an indictment of the basis for using tree rings as temperature proxies. This is why the decline the was hidden. It’s what it was all about. It hid data that proved tree rings were unreliable proxies for temperature.

      I’m sure I used far too many multi-syllable words for a simpleton like you so please understand this is written at you not for you, dipshiit.
      .

      • MBH98/99/08 (aka, the ‘hockey stick’ graph) is a proven scientific fraud. We know all about the ‘nature trick’ and the attempts by CRUgate conspirators ‘to hide the decline’. We know about global warming in the 10th and 11th centuries and global cooling during the ”Little Ice Age” of 1500-1800. Steve McIntyre of M&M repute noted (30-Nov-2010), as follows:

        “While the term ‘trick’ can be used to denote a sophisticated mathematical method, it can also denote something as simple and unscrupulous as deleting adverse data. It is necessary to investigate the facts of the matter and the context… the Climategate correspondents did not use a sophisticated mathematical method; they simply deleted data that didn’t accord with their expectations. The `investigations’ ought to have denounced/renounced such methods and their failure to do so is to their shame.”

      • On many episodes of Saturday Night Live, Dan Akroyd called Jane Curtin an ignorant slut because he had no argument to refute her position, is that what you are doing here?

        You are one smart cookie

      • Bob said, “On many episodes of Saturday Night Live, Dan Akroyd called Jane Curtin an ignorant slut because he had no argument to refute her position, is that what you are doing here?”

        Very good Bob. When David refers to the Bass-O-Matic and Mann in the same sentence…..?

  11. I have said it before, and I will doubtless say it in the future. Let me say it again now. When it comes to any aspect of physics, including climate science, the ONLY thing we can trust is the empirical data. Not the experts. not the models, not the hypothetical estimations; the empirical data, and only the empirical data.

    This is why I keep on asking the same old question. Where is the empirical data that proves that when CO2 is added to the atmosphere from current levels, it causes global temperatures to rise? No warmist will touch this question with the end of a barge pole. If they claim the empirical evidence exists, then it is impossible for them to produce it. If they agree that the empirical evidence does not exist, then the whole basis for the hypothesis of CAGW is completely undermined. The certainty that the IPCC has claimed in the past, that the “science is settled” is clearly untrue.

    So will any warmist denizen on Climate Etc., including our hostess, answer my question? Of course not. But the more they avoid answering the question, the more it becomes clear that CAGW is merely a reasonable hypothesis, and nothing more.

    • What empirical evidence would convince you?

      There is evidence that global temperatures have risen.
      There is evidence that CO2 levels have risen.
      There is a mechanism that can link the two.
      Adding CO2 to the atmosphere has to warm the same, or else we have so much other science (which is , by the way, totally accepted consensus speaking) wrong.

      Is CO2 the only thing that can affect global temperature?

      No, of course not.

      You ask for proof, this is not a math class, all the empirical evidence will not prove it, but the evidence is overwhelming.

      One by one, Hansen’s predictions are coming true.

      • Bob Droege, you ask, “What empirical evidence would convince you?”

        I have already asnswered that question. The evidence that proves that as you add more CO2 to the atmosphere form current levels, it causes global temperatures to rise. Simple and straighforward.

      • Jim, asked and answered.

      • Quoting now “This is the true global warming signal”

        from

        http://sciences.blogs.liberation.fr/files/rahmstorf-vraies-temp%C3%A9ratures.pdf

      • Sorry, Bob, you are trying to make things much too complicated. What I am looking for, is very simple. What I need for someone to do, is to show that when X amount of CO2 is added to the atmosphere from current levels, it causes global temperatures to rise by Y degrees C. Then some measure of Y/X is the measured value of total climate sensitivity. Simple and straightforward.

        What your reference fails to do is to provide a measurement of total climate sensitivity. Until that figure is measured, then there is no proof that as you add CO2 to the atmosphere it causes global temperatures to rise.

      • There is evidence that global temperatures have risen.
        There is evidence that CO2 levels have risen.
        There is a mechanism that can link the two.

        There is a very simple mechanism that links the two.
        THE LAWS OF VERY SIMPLE PHYSICS.
        Open a hot carbonated drink and open a cold carbonated drink.
        The hot one fizzes a lot and the cold one fizzes a little.
        Ocean temperature does change the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
        When did you last hear that from an alarmist climate scientist?
        The actual warming by CO2 is small and that is accepted by the different sides. The evidence is overwhelming and it shows that CO2, as a trace gas, does do a trace of warming.

        Is there evidence or data that proves this to be wrong? Not in the actual data. Only in the flawed models that have not got anything right for a decade and a half and more.

      • As I thought Jim, you are asking for the impossible, as it is impossible to hold all factors that affect global temperature constant, while one adds a measured amount of CO2 and measures the response.

        Thus no amount of evidence will convince you so you are holding a non-scientific stance.

      • Herman,
        You are wrong, CO2 is not a trace gas, as it exists in the atmosphere at a concentration of more than 100 ppm.

      • Bob, you write “As I thought Jim, you are asking for the impossible, as it is impossible to hold all factors that affect global temperature constant, while one adds a measured amount of CO2 and measures the response.”

        I agree with you completely. The interesting thing is that we draw completely different conclusions from the same truth. I dont want to put words into your mouth, but you seem to believe that, since what I am looking for is impossible, therefore we need to try and find other ways of proving that CAGW is true.

        I take a completely different tack. It must have been obvious, ab initio, when CAGW was first mooted, that it would never be possible to prove, with proper empirical data, and using the true scientific method, that it was true. As long as we both agree with your statement, then CAGW will, forever, remain a hypothesis. That is what I believe should have been stated by people with names like Houghton, Watson and Hansen all those many years ago. That would have been the right and proper scientific thing to do. To admit openly and completely that physics can never prove the hypothesis of CAGW.

        Instead of this, the proponents of CAGW, like yourself and our hostess, have been fooling the MSM, the politicians, and the general public, that it is possible to prove that CAGW is true, when it will never be possible to prove that it it true. And this is where I get really angry, when the IPCC puts up it’s opinion that it is “very likley” that something is true about CAGW, when it is impossible to use the concepts of basic physics to get CAGW to be anything more than a plausible hypiothesis.

        I do not apologise for this rant. The warmists, yourself included, have bastardized science, physics, in the “cause” of saving the world from the ravages of CAGW. And the basic physics will NEVER be able to prove that CAGW is anything more than a hypothesis

      • Bob,

        I would agree that we have empirical evidence for all that you list.

        What we do not have empirical data for are the many dire predictions we’ve been presented with.

        In other words, increased CO2 concentrations is warming the atmosphere, but empirically the degree it has done so has not proven to be either dangerous or at such a rate that it has a high likelihood to become dangerous in the near (i.e 50 – 100 years) future.

      • Bob can you prove that dinosaurs once roamed the Earth using empirical data?

        I don’t mean fossils, they are just old bones that require assumptions to interpret. Can you show me an actual dinosaur walking around 65 million years ago?

        If you can’t then sure it means there’s no empirical evidence dinosaurs once roamed the Earth!

      • lolwot,

        Any 10 year old can prove their were dinosaurs. At least they can if they’ve seen Jurassic Park.

      • “You are wrong, CO2 is not a trace gas, as it exists in the atmosphere at a concentration of more than 100 ppm.”

        Trace gases, by definition, are gases at concentrations lower than one percent, not 100 ppm (one one-hundredth of one percent). The only two non-trace gases in Earth’s atmosphere are oxygen and nitrogen.

        You’re only off by two orders of magnitude…

      • Cirby,

        let’s compare cites
        I am sure you have a better one than me, but here goes!
        cause mine is pretty crappy, but it agrees with better ones I have seen.
        Also with the basic idea of being near detection limits, but this would vary depending on the analyte.
        And I’ll throw in a totally worthless appeal to authority, because I am, in fact a tracer chemist. I make trace amounts of radioactive chemicals for a living. Therefore, I know what trace means.
        http://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080204173120AAApGB2

      • Bob Droege

        One by one, Hansen’s predictions are coming true”

        Huh?

        What are you smoking, Bob?

        Hansen’s 1988 prediction of warming was exaggerated by a factor of 2.

        That’s a lousy prediction, no matter how you slice it.

        The evidence is underwhelming, Bob.

        In fact, there is no empirical evidence that supports the CAGW premise as outlined in detail by IPCC in AR4.

        None. Nada. Zilch.

        And the past 12-15 years “pause” in warming despite unabated human GHG emissions makes Hansen’s predictions look even more screwy.

        Sorry ’bout that. Jim Cripwell is right and you are wrong.

        If Hansen is supposed to be an “expert”, then the advice should be, “don’t trust the experts”.

        Max

      • Bob Droege “As I thought Jim, you are asking for the impossible, as it is impossible to hold all factors that affect global temperature constant, while one adds a measured amount of CO2 and measures the response.”

        This argument works both ways. How can the AGWers be so positive that their position is the truth?

      • “let’s compare cites”

        Fine. Mine’s NOAA. They call CO2 a trace gas.
        http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/aggi/

        You, on the other hand, used a Yahoo page that was “voted on.”

        I win.

      • I don’t know Max, perhaps we should trade, but I think you should keep some back, cause mine causes me to remember a Tommy Chong line from Up In Smoke, in the scene with Rueben and the Jets.

        YESCA

      • One third of all human emissions of CO2 have occurred since the plateau of temperatures in 1998. One-third. A massive forcing in a short time period.

      • there’s hasn’t been a plateau of temperatures since 1998

        The world has warmed since 1998. Both at the surface and in the oceans.

      • Bob Droege 400 ppm is one marble in a pile of 2,500 marbles. That is a trace. Manmade CO2 is 100 ppm. that is one marble in a pile of 10,000 marbles. That one marble is not pushing the whole pile.

      • David Springer

        I hope Bob Droege is a better trace chemist than he is at fact finding. He says CO2 is not a trace gas.

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

        A trace gas is a gas which makes up less than 1% by volume of the Earth’s atmosphere

        When people get encyclopedic knowledge wrong then refuse to admit it they have a deep and abiding ignorance. Of course we all knew Bob Droege was a deep and abiding ignoramus so this just more grist for the mill. Proof piled upon proof.

    • Still in shut-eyed denial mode, Jim?

      This is what you do.

      • One reason I keep staring at the circle is because climate alarmists continue to deny it! On skepticalscience.com they claim the Daily Mail “invented” this “myth”! It’s fascinating.

      • BBD

        No.

        I believe it is YOU who are in “shut-eyed denial mode”.

        Starting with the fact that you are still in denial of the current pause in global warming.

        Max

      • manacker

        No, I have never denied that there is a short term reduction in the rate of surface and tropospheric warming. But what of OHC?

        You are doing this. As I have pointed out over and over again.

        That is called ‘denial’.

      • Marlowe Johnson

        Different site, same old denialist garbage eh Tommy?

      • Sadly Marlowe old chap there’s a lot of it about.

      • Robert I Ellison

        We’d like to get the attribution right first. What we have noticed is an inability to process anomalous information indistinguishable to groupthink. Such as this from Wong et al 2006.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/albums/k538/Chief_Hydrologist/?action=view&current=WongFig2-1.jpg

        http://www.image.ucar.edu/idag/Papers/Wong_ERBEreanalysis.pdf

      • Groundhog Day.

      • Robert I Ellison

        You never said whether you were a shopkeeper or a lawyer? Certainly not someone with any depth of science.

        But if you cite warming of the oceans – you have to aceept that attribution is the central consideration. This is where the satellite data is most intriguing. Is there a good reason to ‘deny’ it? Perhaps not.

        With you it is more like rat’s arse day blah blah for your endearing personal qualities and your supercilious ‘I am not amused’ song and dance. Does anyone give a rat’s arse what you think? Perhaps not.

      • And a Happy New Year to you too, Robert.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Any many happy rat’s arses to you.

      • You are insane Robert. Really. I’m making a calm, objective observation here, not responding to your last in pique. But it needs saying.

      • We’re all driven mad by ignorance of the totality, and find refuge in belief in the partial.
        ===========

      • Robert I Ellison

        You blah blah are an obnoxious, repulsive, abusive space cadet with overweening arrogance and an attitude that sucks big time. You have this unfortunate paternalisitic patian that cracks me up. It is very rod up your arse English. ‘Your one and final warning’. ‘I ask politely but firmly’. ‘Don’t make me come up there or you will regret it.’ ‘I am not just saying this in pique but making a sane, calm interweb diagnoses’.

        I think your projecting again blah blah.

      • Further but redundant evidence that you are deranged, Robert. You have proved my point. Why not stop now?

      • Robert I Ellison

        Oh for God’s sake – grow up.

      • After you ;-)

      • Robert I Ellison

        Oh I forgot – you are a space cadet dedicated to endless trivial digressons and irrelevant snark. You didn’t say whether you were a shopkeeper or a lawyer in your past life. I insist that you reveal just what crappy background you have in any science at all. Geography for the intellectually challenged? It would explain just not why you are such a vapid and facile twit but at least why you are so ignorant.

        space cadet (n) – Some one who acts like they are on another planet or plane of existence. Either they are incredibly stupid or are on drugs or most likely a combination (urban distionary)

      • I’ve told you Robert, I am a retired businessman. An interested layman who has managed effortlessly to show you up again and again for your poor grasp of paleoclimate and your habit of misrepresenting things generally.

        If I were you, I would be worried by this. I would wonder if perhaps my towering intellectual arrogance were not blinding me to my own failings.

        But by all means carry on telling yourself you are the smartest guy in the room.

      • Robert I Ellison

        An unusual application of force could cause unexpected behavior. Hit it hard enough, and the device might do something different from anything seen before. For example, the arm of the balance might bang against the table, and the ball could bounce out of the cup and roll away.

        Now imagine that you have never seen the device and that it is hidden in a box in a dark room. You have no knowledge of the hand that occasionally sets things in motion, and you are trying to figure out the system’s behavior on the basis of some old 78-rpm recordings of the muffled sounds made by the device. Plus, the recordings are badly scratched, so some of what was recorded is lost or garbled beyond recognition. If you can imagine this, you have some appreciation of the difficulties of paleoclimate research and of predicting the results of abrupt changes in the climate system. NAS 2002 – http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=13

        Effortless crap in which you attempt to pull out simple messages in some faux and quite ridiculous paleoclimatic certainty. Abusive, overweeningly arrogant, unreflective and quite simplistically absurd. By all means keep telling yourself that you are not deeply and absurdly in the thrall of cult of AGW groupthink confirmation bias.

      • Still foamingly insane I see Robert. So sad. Too bad.

        ;-)

      • Robert I Ellison

        Odd how quoting the NAS in the vain hope that you will recognise the limitations of the paleoclimatic record provokes sucha vile response.

        I note below the response to Max which one of the most appalling bits of repulsive abuse I have ever seen. All on the basis that TCS differs from ECS by 1 degree C and not 0,6 degree C.

        The lack of scientific training shows in both cases in the inability to evaluate confidence limits for data. It is something more however.

        ‘Janis has documented eight symptoms of groupthink:

        – Illusion of invulnerability –Creates excessive optimism that encourages taking extreme risks.
        – Collective rationalization – Members discount warnings and do not reconsider their assumptions.
        -Belief in inherent morality – Members believe in the rightness of their cause and therefore ignore the ethical or moral consequences of their decisions.
        – Stereotyped views of out-groups – Negative views of “enemy” make effective responses to conflict seem unnecessary.
        – Direct pressure on dissenters – Members are under pressure not to express arguments against any of the group’s views.
        – Self-censorship – Doubts and deviations from the perceived group consensus are not expressed.
        – Illusion of unanimity – The majority view and judgments are assumed to be unanimous.
        – Self-appointed ‘mindguards’ – Members protect the group and the leader from information that is problematic or contradictory to the group’s cohesiveness, view, and/or decisions.

        You are so deep in this you can’t see daylight. So sad – too bad.

      • One of the few compensations for not visiting Collide a Scape at its new location is that I don’t have to see your buffoonish, insulting and error-filled comments.

        You are stupid, rude and mean. A bad combination.

      • Ellison

        You have a serious problem. You witter on about abrupt cooling but never admit that you have no mechanism. The abrupt cooling events during the last glacial and the deglacial phase required large NH ice sheets, proglacial lake runoff etc.

        Ignorance of the topic plus bias plus nuttiness = garbage commentary.

        You lot get treated with the intellectual contempt you deserve. Starting with manacker, who is an idiot even worse informed than yourself. Stop whining.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Apologies for the late reply. I have been in hospital with an infected big toe. Scarier than it sounds. Whatever did we do before mega doses of intravenous antibiotics.

        What is this – insults for the sake of it? The most obvious mechanism seems to be a slowdown in thermohaline circulation followed by ice and snow feedbacks.

        http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/arch/causes.shtml

        Abrupt change is the norm rather than the exception – get used to it, JC SNIP

      • Robert I Ellison

        But it was such an appalling and well deserved insult. Is there not a pattern emerging? He wears out his welcome at blog after blog by being plainly insulting, abusive and facile on top of it. There is really nothing in the previous comment but insult – unless you count the snark and piffle about mechanism as substantive comment.

      • Hey, Robert, I seriously maintain that my best stuff gets snipped, or deleted, or zambonied. Consider her snip an editorial compliment to your superlative skill.

        Now, make that insult a third person joke and repeat it somewhere else in a little while. Hide and go seek.
        ===============

    • Jim Cripwell,

      You seem to be under the misaprehension that there is no climatic “empirical data”. If we hadn’t grasped you felt that way the first dozen or so times you posted about it, then we certainly did the next hundred times. How many postings now?

      Change the subject. Or better still: Give it rest. Put a sock in it. Dry up. Fall silent. Hush, Pipe down, Stop writing. Or less politely STFU !!!!

      • Look, tempterrain, I use my real name. I live in Ottawa, Canada, anyone can look up who I am, they could find my phone number and address with no probems. I am proud of what I write. You use a pseudonym. I understand why some people like to use a pseudonym, and in the ususal way, I make no fuss about it.

        But if you want to give me advice as to how I should behave, then that is a different issue. I take no notice whatsoever of the sort of advice you give from someone who hides behind a cowardly alias.

      • Jim,
        Give yourself something different to think about, for a change, and try rearranging the letters of tempterrain to reveal my real name. If you can’t do it, someone has kindly posted up the answer under the denizens link.

      • tempterrain

        Instead of asking Jim Cripwell to STFU in his requests for empirical data to support IPCC’s CAGW premise, why TF don’t you simply cite these data?

        Cat got your tongue?

        (Or are there no such data?)

        Max

      • Keep asking your question Jim. I am also looking for the empirical evidence. The theory of GHG effect seems to be based on the premise that the Earth atmosphere is a closed system and that temp directly responds to changes in CO2 with no allowance for co-variance.

      • Max,

        Jim has been supplied with numerous references to empirical data both by myself and others but he’s totally impervious to idea that there may be any evidence at all there. He just goes quiet for a time then pops up a week later saying exactly the same thing.

        It would be better if he did use an alias, himself, instead of his real name, and I’d like to suggest something like TotalF*ckwit !

      • tempterrain

        No.

        There has been no empirical evidence cited as yet to validate the IPCC CAGW claim.

        Just you saying so does not make it true.

        So let me be real blunt about this.

        I’m calling you a liar unless you can cite such evidence.

        Got it?

        Max

      • Help! Tempterrain is melting! The gentle rain of observation has poured mercifully over him.
        ==============

      • Max,

        The IPCC would rate the possibility of catastrophic global warming as ‘unlikely’ in the foreseeable future. ~ 2% chance of a rise in sea level of several metres or more due to a collapse a a major ice sheet.

        So you are asking for “empirical evidence” for something which conventional science doesn’t think is likely to happen anyway.

        Jim isn’t the only one who seems to be somewhat intellectually challenged.

      • Max,

        Jim isn’t asking for empiral evidence of “CAGW”, he is asking for evidence that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will increase the GAT.

      • No he isn’t asking for evidence, he’s denying the evidence and asking for proof.

      • lolwot

        You are wrong.

        Jim Cripwell is asking for empirical evidence (Feynman) that AGW will have a measurable effect on global temperature.

        I am asking for empirical evidence to support IPCC’s CAGW premise.

        In both cases, the same “evidence” would do.

        Simply showing a (statistically rather weak) correlation between CO2 and global temperature does not provide any empirical evidence.

        Simply showing results of model simulations also does not provide any empirical evidence.

        Simply citing a wonderful hypothesis – even calling it a “theory” – does not provide any empirical evidence.

        The only thing that counts is “empirical evidence” (based on actual physical observations or reproducible experimentation).

        And that is what is lacking, lolwot.

        As Janice Joplin advised:

        “Try, try, try a little bit harder…”

        Max

  12. From a legal perspective we must consider the Schlub factor. Rules of evidence, 101 (i.e., the Daubert standard)—i.e.,

    &ntsb;

    …that an expert’s testimony pertain to “scientific . . . knowledge,” since the adjective “scientific” implies a grounding in science’s methods and procedures, while the word “knowledge” connotes a body of known facts or of ideas inferred from such facts or accepted as true on good grounds. The Rule’s [i.e., Rule 702] requirement that the testimony “assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue” goes primarily to relevance by demanding a valid scientific connection to the pertinent inquiry as a precondition to admissibility.

    Under Daubert establishing the relevance and weight to be given to an expert’s opinion concerning a scientific theory requires a reliability analysis, as follows:

    • Has the scientific theory been empirically tested? (“The criterion on the scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, refutability, and testability” ~K. Popper (The Growth of Scientific Knowledge, 1989)

    • Has the scientific theory been subjected to peer review and publication?

    • What is the Type I and Type II error rate of the scientific idea to determine the validity and reliability the theory?

    • What is the expert’s qualifications and stature in the scientific community and can the expert’s results be replicated by other experts elsewhere?

    • Can the expert’s explanation of test results be clearly explained and understood by all of us schlubs?

    • Waggy says: What is the Type I and Type II error rate of the scientific idea to determine the validity and reliability the theory?
      _____

      I don’t see how an idea in itself can have a Type I error or a Type II error.

      Perhaps you mean a statistical test of a hypothesis can have a Type I error or a Type II error.

      Unfortunately, not all ideas lend themselves to that kind of testing.

      • AGW True Believers simply assume global warming is man-made. There are no peer-reviewed studies that rule out ‘natural, internal climate cycles’ — i.e., ‘natural, internal variability’ — as the real cause of 20th century warming.

        And, that is the ‘null hypothesis’ of global warming. The ‘null hypothesis,’ according to Dr. Spencer, has never been rejected, i.e., “THAT NATURAL CLIMATE VARIABILITY CAN EXPLAIN EVERYTHING WE SEE IN THE CLIMATE SYSTEM.” ~Dr. Roy Spencer

        “Natural climate variability is the null hypothesis. No one has ever ruled it out. They have only come up with a potential alternative explanation, which is fine. But it is being advertised as some sort of ‘proof’, which it is not.” (Ibid.)

      • Why should we trust Roy Spencer, Wagathon?

        Roy Spencer: “I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.”
        http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2011/07/06/261843/roy-spencer-job-minimize-the-role-of-government/

      • AndrewSanDiego

        lolwot asks: “Why should we trust Roy Spencer, Wagathon?”

        Because he follows the Scientific Method and is transparent as to data, algorithms, code, etc. He allows independent researchers to replicate his results, and when errors are found, he corrects them. Unlike the unethical anti-science catastrophe-mongers like Mann, Jones, Trenberth, Hansen, Thompson, ad nauseam who define the phase “climate scientists”, and their apologists who post here.

        There is as yet no empirical data that the Earths’ climate is outside the natural variability of the Holocene. There is yet no empirical data that the Earth’s climate is dynamically unstable and responds to temperature perturbations with positive feedback. Quite the opposite in fact, as any intellectually honest person knows.

      • Waggy, why let Roy Spenser dictate to you what “the null” is? Shouldn’t you have the freedom to choose any null you want.

        Spenser’s “the null” is useless for statistical hypothesis testing anyway. Why would you want a null like that? You might as well have no null at all.

      • So Andrew where can i download the source code Roy spencer uses to adjust the satellite data? Oh that’s right i can’t because Roy Spencer has it hidden.

        In contrast I can download the source code for hansens record.

      • You may believe human CO2 in the atmosphere is causing global warming for no reason at all — that’s your choice — but, science demands that to have a viable theory you must be able to detect the effect. The null hypothesis simply holds that the effect is greater than what you would expect from natural variation. You cannot reject the null hypothesis and that is why you do not have a viable theory. You have nothing more than a dogmatic belief that has been held by many who have proven to be feckless liars and charlatans.

      • Wagathon, you might not have detected that the land temperature has risen by 0.9 C in three decades or that the Arctic Sea ice is reaching new lows, but I think other people have noticed these effects by now.

      • “Arctic Sea ice is reaching new lows” ??

        No its all part of the conspiracy.

        If they can fake the Moon landings, and crash planes into buildings then photoshopping a few satellite images isn’t at all a problem :-)

      • tempterrain, yes, thanks for giving me this opportunity to bring up some other typical conspiracy language I saw today, like “what is the going rate for being involved in a government hoax?”, and being accused of being a crisis actor, but this time it was the Sandy Hook “truthers” (deniers, in fact) saying those things, that have a familiar ring here, to protect their gun lobby.

      • Real scientists were involved in Americans landing on the moon not some UN-approved Western schoolteachers with delusions of grandeur about saving humanity from American soccer moms driving SUVs.

  13. Even if there were some clear and distinct argument that delineates financial incentives in this debate (there aren’t; e.g., a scientists who could “prove” AGW theory is false would be awarded for doing so), the potential of motivating biases in this debate are certainly not limited to financial incentives.

    There are strong political and cultural influences (just take a look at the overt political and religious cleavages in the debate), and there are strong personal influences (once, for whatever reason people take sides, they are influenced by the very human tendency to want to confirm their ideological orientation as well as the very human tendency to want to confirm that they are “right.”)

    We are conditioned by myriad foundational psychological and cognitive factors to recognize the patterns we’re looking for and to reject the patterns that don’t fit out narratives.

    Chasing down incentives in others is a fool’s errand, IMO – and inherently biased. In reality, we cannot know the incentives of others simply by trying to reverse engineer from what we assume to be their biases. Chasing down our own incentives is more productive, and once we’ve done that, we can work together from a place of mutual trust.

    The kind of facile argumentation recommended by this article is only counterproductive, IMO.

    Control the variables, people, if you want to hypothesize about cause-and-effect. Control the variables. Why is that concept so difficult? Why, in particular, is it difficult for people who spend large chunks of their lives practicing the control over variables within particular domains. Why are those principles that they know so well within their own domain so difficult to generalize?

    • a scientists who could “prove” AGW theory is false.

      Mother Earth is going to do that for us.

      Manmade CO2 will continue to rise and Earth temperature and sea level will not continue to rise.

      Every year that the warm oceans open the Arctic Open, record snows will fall. In time this piled up snow will advance and cool the Earth, Just like it did after the Roman Warm Period and after the Medieval Warm Period and after every other Warm Period in the past ten thousand years.
      The CO2 will rise and green things will grow better with less water and Earth will cool and oceans will drop.

      Just watch the actual data.

      We are well inside the bounds of the past ten thousand years and we will stay inside those bounds, except for CO2 and crop production, which will well exceed the bounds of the past.

  14. I have an interesting hypothesis about this post.

    Some folks, as they read along, will be nodding in agreement until they read the references to “demiers.” Suddenly, their view on the validity of the argument will do a 180.

    Others folks, as they read alone, will be shaking their head in disagreement until they read the reference to “deniers.” Suddenly, their view on the validity of the argument will do a 180.

    Same ol’ same ol’.

    • Heh. Well, interesting to me, anyhoo.

      • Others folks, as they read alone

        Are you saying that the warmists have no friends?

      • Ah yes, the genus typo nanny. Which ranks higher than perhaps only the grammar nanny and the spelling nanny in the bowels of Internet blog discourse.

        Although even that is probably arguable.

  15. Morley Sutter

    Mathbabe demonstrates an excessive belief in the power of models. This is surprising in view of her history of working in finance. As I understand it, excessive belief in and use of mathematical models was part of the reason for the 2008 financial collapse in the USA. Her comments belie the saying: Once burned, twice shy.

  16. “scientists who could “prove” AGW theory is false would be awarded for doing so”

    How naive. On which planet do you live? Furthermore, in science no hypothesis can ever be proven, null or alternate. Data, such as the results of an observation or experiment, can only reject or fail to reject a hypothesis.

    • Sorry Joshua, I misunderstood you. You did say “prove” false. But the first point still stands, the forcing on the scientists to be ‘convinced’ of AGW was very strong (even big oil and banks were promoting it). Now that forcing is plateauing/declining.

      • Now that forcing is plateauing/declining.

        The ‘forced consensus’ meme is paranoid rubbish borne of conspiracy-theory mentality. So claiming this non-existent forcing is declining is rubbish too.

      • BBD, Chomsky would say that you’re discouraging institutional analysis, by bringing up conspiracy. You may be not aware of it, but you’re a part of the propaganda.

      • More paranoid rubbish Edim.

      • And cut out the pseudo-intellectual posing. If you want to play at ‘Chomsky says’ I can make you look even more ridiculous than usual.

        One and only warning.

      • It’s not paranoid, open your eyes – it’s a clear case of many conflicts of interest.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conflict_of_interest

      • It’s no posing, I just agree with the guy and he says it better.

      • Edim, unless you believe that ‘the scientists’ are in cahoots with Big Government to fool ‘the people’ with a forced and bogus consensus in order to bring about World Socialist Government and the Endless Grant then your position is, in a word, ludicrous.

        And I am *bored to tears* with this politicised, crypto-denialist crap.

      • Correction:

        “Edim, unless you apparently believe that ‘the scientists’ are in cahoots with Big Government to fool ‘the people’ with a forced and bogus consensus in order to bring about World Socialist Government and the Endless Grant then and your position is, in a word, ludicrous.

      • Edim is kind of right “the forcing on the scientists to be ‘convinced’ of AGW was very strong”

        and it still is. It’s called data. Scientists kind of find it convincing. Even climate skeptics do when they are willing to admit so.

        Last week skeptics were admitting 1.7C warming per doubling of CO2.

        This week I see skeptics are back to pretending there’s no evidence CO2 causes warming, indistinguishable from zero, maybe all the warming could have been natural, etc etc.

      • David Springer

        BBD | January 10, 2013 at 3:00 pm |

        “And cut out the pseudo-intellectual posing. If you want to play at ‘Chomsky says’ I can make you look even more ridiculous than usual.”

        No one will argue that you’re expert at making yourself look foolish. I’m not certain that translates into skill at making others look foolish.

        “One and only warning.”

        Promise?

      • BBD

        You must be joking when you write:

        “The ‘forced consensus’ meme is paranoid rubbish borne of conspiracy-theory mentality. So claiming this non-existent forcing is declining is rubbish too.”

        Huh?

        Where have you been?

        “Paranoid rubbish?”

        “Conspiracy-theory mentality?”

        Get with it, BBD. It’s quite obvious that IPCC has set up a “consensus process” to filter out views that dissent from its CAGW premise.

        Are you blind? Or stupid? Or do you just not WANT to see what is going on?

        Max

        PS And it appears to me, as well, that the “forcing” of the CAGW “consensus” is easing off a bit, with the new findings of a much lower climate sensitivity than previously predicted by the models. But I think we’ll have to wait and see how IPCC end up responding to this new information.

      • manacker

        PS And it appears to me, as well, that the “forcing” of the CAGW “consensus” is easing off a bit, with the new findings of a much lower climate sensitivity than previously predicted by the models.

        You mean an unpublished and suspect monograph by a contrarian mischief-maker (Lewis) who chose Bishop Hill (of all places) as the venue to unveil his ‘findings’?

        Is that what you mean? Or did you have something more substantial in mind, because I’m not at all sure what that might be. Please list your references (with links). Thanks.

      • manacker

        Get with it, BBD. It’s quite obvious that IPCC has set up a “consensus process” to filter out views that dissent from its CAGW premise.

        No max, it is not ‘quite obvious’ at all.

        All that is obvious here is conspiracy theorising and argument by assertion, not to mention the same dishonest framing you employed on the previous thread with your deliberate and repetitive misuse of the term ‘whistleblower’.

      • Springer

        (misthreaded below; ignore double post)

        No one will argue that you’re expert at making yourself look foolish.

        Nothing I could ever do can equal the own goal you achieved here. That has to be one of the most astonishing displays of total ignorance I have ever seen.

        I’m still chortling over it to this day. Idiot.

      • BBD

        Looks like you find yourself behind Joshua’s “magic 8-ball” on the issue of (2xCO2) equilibrium climate sensitivity.

        First of all, there’s Schlesinger et al. (2012) plus Lewis (2012), both based on actual physical observations.

        There’s Spencer + Braswell (2007) plus Lindzen + Choi (2009/2011), both based on CERES (and ERBE) satellite observations.

        These studies all show that the ECS as predicted by the models cited by IPCC is likely to be exaggerated by a factor of around two.

        Then there are the actual observations since 1850, which show a CO2 temperature response, which again results in a much lower ECS than the models predict.

        All-in-all, it appears to be a safe bet that the ECS is around half the figure previously estimated and reported in AR4.

        The question simply remains, “what is IPCC going to do with these new data?”

        Our hostess has opined that they can’t “sweep it under the rug” without a major loss of credibility, but we will need to wait and see if they attempt this anyway.

        What do you think (as one of the greatest scientists who ever graced this planet with his existence)?

        Give us your “expert” judgment on this, so we can “trust” you.

        Max

      • manacker

        Response to your last in moderation, presumably because of links. Please check back later.

      • I reposting my response with links removed and it went into moderation again. There is no obvious reason for this. I will try one more time, but at the bottom of the main thread.

      • Nope. Into moderation again. Bizarre. We will just have to wait.

      • One made it through… to the end of the main thread. Please see here.

      • Marlowe Johnson

        BBD

        thanks for the link to that awesome post from mr. springer. the concept of fractal wrongness is appropriate here I think.

        “You are not just wrong. You are wrong at every conceivable level of resolution. Zooming in on any part of your worldview finds beliefs exactly as wrong as your entire worldview.”

      • My pleasure. Glad you appreciated it ;-)

      • David Springer

        So you still think climate sensitivity never changes? That’s pretty boneheaded even for you.

      • David Springer

        BBD attempted to constrain climate sensitivity at high value by looking at glacial/interglacial transitions. He clearly didn’t understand that the hypothetical feedbacks which put CS above the generally accepted no-feedback level of 1.1C can vary. The interglacial transition point is not delineated by a change in forcing but rather a critical transition point around a fixed temperature 0C. This is where water changes from a very high albedo solid to a very low albedo liquid. A small perterbuation around that point can have large consequences due a positive feedback effect – melting leads to lower global albedo which leads to even more melting and freezing leads to higher global albeod which leads to even more freezing.

        In a display of what can only be willful ignorance BBD when on to describe a Milankovich driven change in forcing he described as quite small and connected it to a large temperature change. This is wrong. Milankovich cycles do not cause a change in mean annual solar forcing. The Milankovich cycle causes a change in temporal and spatial distribution of solar forcing such that beginning of an interglacial is marked by warmer NH summers and cooler winters which leads to less snow in the winter and more melt in summer. This is common knowledge. Thus, going by BBD’s logic, sensitivity must be infinite because no change in mean annual forcing will end a glacial period. Clearly this is preposterous and if BBD actually understood Milankovich cycles and glacial/interglacial triggering he’d realize it.

        Thus we cannot calculate climate sensitivity by analyzing a rare happening centered around the solid-liquid phase transition temperature of water. Climate sensitivity is not the same under all global temperature conditions because water has a set temperature where its albedo undergoes radical change.

        Therefore we must look to changes in forcing and subsequent temperature change in the current state of affairs which is very little glaciation and consequent low global albedo.

        This was done here:

        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/JCLI3611.1

        The Climate Sensitivity and Its Components Diagnosed from Earth Radiation Budget Data
        PIERS M. DE F. FORSTER
        JONATHAN M. GREGORY

        This is the only climate sensitivity estimate incorporated into the AR4 CS ensemble which doesn’t rely on model results. Let me repeat that. Forster and Gregory is the only CS estimate in AR4 which uses strictly empirical data.

        Forster et al finds a climate sensitivity with a peak probability density at 1.6C and a mean probability at 2.3C. Personally, due to the narrowness of the spike, I’d bet on the 1.6C peak rather than the 2.3C mean.

        Either way, a study of climate sensitivity based entirely upon recent empirical observations is at the low end, not the high end, of the AR4 ensemble. So BBD is basically out to lunch with his blog-quality analysis. Perhaps if his so-called empirical proof of high sensitivity makes it into the literature, which it clearly won’t because his mental of glacial/interglacial transitions is blatantly wrong, I’ll give it further consideration. Until then I’m going with Forster et al 2006.

        Thanks for playing.

      • David Springer

        Forgot to include this graph which shows the probability distribution vs. temperature for climate sensitivity in all CS studies incorporated into AR4.

        http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/fig1_influence-of-prior.jpg

      • “Forster et al finds a climate sensitivity with a peak probability density at 1.6C and a mean probability at 2.3C. Personally, due to the narrowness of the spike, I’d bet on the 1.6C peak rather than the 2.3C mean.”

        Huh?

        Other things Foster et al report:

        1) Net positive feedback in climate
        2) Notes empirical evidence for positive water vapor feedback
        3) Neutral cloud feedback
        4) Human emissions dominate global warming

      • David Springer

        One might also wish to take a closer look at Andronova 01 as of all the climate sensitivity studies incoporated in AR4 it has the highest/narrowest probability spike which happens to be at 1.2C which is almost exactly the no-feedback sensitivity for a CO2 doubling.

        The AR4 ensemble again:

        http://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/fig1_influence-of-prior.jpg

        The abstract (my emphasis):

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2000JD000259/abstract

        Objective estimation of the probability density function for climate sensitivity

        Papers on Climate and Dynamics

        Objective estimation of the probability density function for climate sensitivity
        Natalia G. Andronova
        Michael E. Schlesinger

        DOI: 10.1029/2000JD000259

        “The size and impacts of anthropogenically induced climate change (AICC) strongly depend on the climate sensitivity, ΔT2x. If ΔT2x is less than the lower bound given by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 1.5°C, then AICC may not be a serious problem for humanity. If ΔT2x is greater than the upper bound given by the IPCC, 4.5°C, then AICC may be one of the most severe problems of the 21st century. Here we use a simple climate/ocean model, the observed near-surface temperature record, and a bootstrap technique to objectively estimate the probability density function for ΔT2x. We find that as a result of natural variability and uncertainty in the climatic radiative forcing, the 90% confidence interval for ΔT2x is 1.0°C to 9.3°C. Consequently, there is a 54% likelihood that ΔT2x lies outside the IPCC range.”

        Given that Andronova states its more likely than not that climate sensitivity falls outside the IPCC range and given the probability density spike in the Andronova study is under the minimum of 1.5C it’s probably safe to say that, according to Andronova, there’s better than even odds that climate sensitivity is less than the lowest number in the AR4 range.

        I agree. There is virtually no chance of being at the high end of the range as BBD clumsily and stupidly asserts. Anything over 3C is merely the result of long fat tails. The sharpest probability spikes are 3C or less with the spikes getting sharper and narrower as they become lower temperatures.

        So it isn’t just me that’s saying BBB is full of shiit. It’s also every CS study incoporated into AR4 that says he’s full of shiit.

      • David Springer

        loltwat

        None of the words human, emission, or dominate appears in Forster so I have no idea where you got that from Forster.

        Perhaps you’re looking at Foster not Forster. Follow my link to Forster

        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/JCLI3611.1

        load the pdf, and give me an exact quote from the paper because I can’t find it doing a keyword search.

      • Springer

        It’s too late. You made your seminally stupid comment weeks ago. You can’t make it un-happen. I know you are clueless now and you cannot change this. All the waffling and posturing and pretence just makes it worse.

        As dear old grandma used to say, you can’t put the fart back in the dog.

        I’ve got your number now.

      • Oh, and as well as being risibly ill-informed, you are a liar.

        I agree. There is virtually no chance of being at the high end of the range as BBD clumsily and stupidly asserts. Anything over 3C is merely the result of long fat tails.

        I have *never* said that ECS to 2 x CO2 is above 3C. Go ahead, search my comments and see for yourself. So this statement is a self-serving lie.

        You really are making things worse. I’d stop now, if I were you. It’s getting embarrassing.

    • I live on the planet where scientists who do substantive research that contradicts previous findings often get published, often get funded for further research. Are their barriers to overturning conventional wisdom on various research topics? Of course, But only if I were stuck in a binary mindset would I conclude a universal “world” from examples that comprise a small subset of the larger phenomenon.

      Play semantics all you want: A scientist who can provide the evidence to definitively “reject” AGW theory would be rewarded for doing so. There is some who assert an “asymmetry” in the types of scientific inquiry that are financially supported on the basis of which specific hypotheses a scientist is trying to validate (i.e., that evidence that supports AGW gets funded more readily than evidence that invalidates AGW), but even if that were true, it is clear from the body of research on any given topic that scientific debate continues, and gets funded, even when there is broad agreement.

      The tendency towards a conspiratorial mindset can easily be traced to motivated reasoning. This is why we can see significant groups who are as certain as you are about your conspiracy on both sides of many different debates.

      • I didn’t play semantics – a hypothesis can be ‘proven’ false, I agreed and said sorry. I disagree about everything else. It will take nature to prove it false. Some scientists may be rewarded then, but it’s not that relevant. Only what is counts.

      • I didn’t play semantics – a hypothesis can be ‘proven’ false, I agreed and said sorry.

        Acknowledged. My comment about semantics was written before saw your clarification.

      • David Springer

        Joshua | January 10, 2013 at 2:04 pm | Reply

        “I live on the planet where scientists who do substantive research that contradicts previous findings often get published, often get funded for further research.”

        On the earth science advances one funeral at a time. ~Max Planck, Founder of Quantum Theory

        http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Max_Planck

      • Joshua

        What “planet” is that?

        (It doesn’t appear to be Planet Earth.)

        Max

      • (It doesn’t appear to be Planet Earth.)

        A comment that perfectly illustrates one of the things that differentiates “skeptics” from skeptics.

        “Skeptics” point to published climate research that runs in contrast to previous findings – and say that it undermines the validity of AGW theory – only to later hand-wring about how any climate research that runs in contrast to previous findings can’t get published.

        The world is not as binary as “skeptics” think. Playing the victim card gets old, max.

    • Springer

      No one will argue that you’re expert at making yourself look foolish.

      Nothing I could ever do can equal the own goal you achieved here. That has to be one of the most astonishing displays of total ignorance I have ever seen.

      I’m still chortling over it to this day. Idiot.

  17. It will take nature to prove it false.

    I agree, that in effect, only nature will “prove” this debate, and that only after I’m gone. In the meantime, what I hope is that people can stop confirming their biases by claiming proof (either of their own beliefs or the falsification of others’) long enough to have a serious discussion about costs and benefits and quantifying uncertainties.

    Unfortunately, my Magic 8-Ball says “Outlook not good.”

    • I believe in the expertise of Joshua to ride a semantic hobby horse right out of the magical realm of serious discussions about costs and benefits and quantifying uncertainties, regularly.
      ====================

    • Joshua,

      I hope is that people can stop confirming their biases by claiming proof (either of their own beliefs or the falsification of others’) long enough to have a serious discussion about costs and benefits

      The people who matter, our elected representatives have had those discussions and decided to do what it is we are currently doing.

      The battle against climate change will be one or lost in China and India. If China and India are kept as technological backwaters then the amount of coal they will end up burning will make developed world emissions look trivial.

      Kyoto was backwards. It has the ‘developed world’ adopting clean technologies first and the developing world following at some future point.

      Go re-read the IPCC Scenario A1T narrative…then find a map of where all the nuclear power and hydro plants are being built.

    • It will take nature to prove it false.
      I agree, that in effect, only nature will “prove” this debate, and that only after I’m gone.
      Joshua, unless you are very old or in very bad health, Mother Nature is going to use the warm oceans and open Arctic to deliver enough snow to turn this around in our lifetime. This is happening now. Look at the extreme snow and cold in North America, Europe and Asia. Every warm period is followed by a cold period and the snow has started.
      Every year with warm oceans and open Arctic will be followed by extreme cold and snow until the warming and ocean level rise stops and cooling and ocean level drop starts. Every warm period is followed by a cold period and every cold period is followed by a warm period. A trace gas has a trace of ability to interfere.

      • Global annual snow cover is falling, not growing.

      • lolwot

        Wait’ll next week.

        Max

      • lolwot

        The long-term trend on winter snow cover in the northern hemisphere (where most of the land surface is) is one of no real change since the 1980s.

        Max

      • Winter snow cover looks stable, but spring and fall are dropping. Summer snow cover is decreasing as well and since this means that places that are snow covered year round for the most part are becoming not snow covered for the part of the year that they get the most sunshine, hence there is a positive feedback.

        As usual Max only looks at the data that supports his case and ignores the rest and has the grits to call himself a skeptic.

      • lolwot Snow fall in the Northern Hemisphere is at record highs. They just had snow in the Middle East Countries. It snows more when oceans are warm and the Arctic is open. That is now. Pay attention to the actual data. The snowfall started early and will last long during this snow season.

      • Herman the data show annual snow cover falling. Not rising. Anecdotes won’t help you.

    • Joshua

      You have a “magic 8-ball” that tells you “Outlook not good”.

      I don’t have a “magic 8-ball” like you. All I’ve got is a bit of smarts and a rationally skeptical mind that tells me “nobody knows what the outlook is, but it is unlikely to be determined by human GHG emissions”.

      Max

      • manacker

        All I’ve got is a bit of smarts and a rationally skeptical mind that tells me “nobody knows what the outlook is, but it is unlikely to be determined by human GHG emissions”.

        And the entire field of climate science disagrees with you. Who the f*** do you think you are, Max? The Greatest Scientist That Ever Lived?

        You are neither smart, sceptical nor rational. Towering but misplaced intellectual arrogance is all I see here.

      • For shame, BBD!

        In your obvious frustration and anger, you are throwing a tantrum and resorting to ad hom attacks.

        How shameful!

        Max

      • Not at all Max. Please, read what I wrote again. Every word is true.

      • BBD

        When you claim that “the entire field of climate science disagrees with you” as a general comment, you probably know upon reflection that the claim is unsupportable. Try to be specific in your disagreement and you might make progress in reaching consensus

      • Okay.

        “The vast majority of climate scientists disagrees…”

      • BBD

        Can you please reference the specific issue in which you believe the vast majority of climate scientists disagree with him on? What is the source of your assessment?

      • BBD

        I took your advice and calmly re-read your ad hom post.

        To Joshua’s predicted “magic 8-ball” outlook, I wrote that I do not have a “magic 8-ball” but that I had concluded

        “nobody knows what the outlook is, but it is unlikely to be determined by human GHG emissions”.

        To which you wrote:

        “the entire field of climate science disagrees with you”

        Hardly true, BBD.

        Most scientists would agree that “nobody knows what the outlook is”.

        A good many would also agree that “it is unlikely to be determined by human GHG emissions”

        There are several climate scientists who accept AGW per se as a valid hypothesis (as I do), but do not believe we know with any certainty what its magnitude might be.

        Based on the past 150 years, we can see that the impact is almost certain to not be dramatic, but we do not know what natural factors also helped force the gradual (and cyclical) warming we’ve seen.

        Any scientist who tells you that we DO know the magnitude of AGW is flat out lying (because we do not).

        There are scientific studies based on physical observations, which show a ECS range of under 1C to 3C, and model predictions that go even higher (up to 4.5C).

        The latest findings are at the lower end of the range, with a mean value around half of the value previously predicted by the models of 3.2C.

        The problem is that even these estimates have difficulty separating out the natural forcing from the anthropogenic.

        We have seen from the current lack of warming despite unabated GHG emissions and concentrations reaching record levels, that natural factors apparently play a more important role than was previously estimated by the models.

        So even these latest ECS estimates may be underestimating the natural component and thus estimating an ECS that is too high.

        You used the word “arrogant”.

        It would, indeed, be “arrogant” to claim we know the magnitude of the AGW effect and thus can project with any certainty how the future climate will develop. I’m sure you do not want to fall into that trap.

        Max

      • The latest findings are at the lower end of the range, with a mean value around half of the value previously predicted by the models of 3.2C.

        A couple of (questionable) studies do not overturn the consensus best estimate for ECS. You are being profoundly *unsceptical*. Credulous in fact.

      • A good many would also agree that “it is unlikely to be determined by human GHG emissions”

        Utter, complete rubbish.

      • See detailed response (previously stuck in moderation) here.

      • Max,

        Your estimed latest two papers give estimates of transient climate sensitivity, not equilibrium climate sensitivity, which blows a big fat hole in you conclusions.

        And if you take Schlessingers estimate of climate sensitivity as correct, do you also agree with his recommendations on what we should do?

        I’ll take his number for climate sensitivity if you take his recommendations on what to do about it.

  18. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Jim Cripwell says: “I have said it before, and I will doubtless say it in the future. Let me say it again now. When it comes to any aspect of physics, including climate science, the ONLY thing we can trust is the empirical data. Not the experts, not the models, not the hypothetical estimations; the empirical data, and only the empirical data.”

    Yes, “in data we trust,” Jim! \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

  19. My experience with experts, leaving out myself of course, is that experts tend to have very specialized knowledge which lacks generalizability. The minutia and detail of their particular niche, makes their pronouncements in other areas of world opinion, just that, an opinion, one of many.

    By training, Paul Ehrlich is an entomologist, specializing in Lepidoptera (butterflies). His 1968 book, co-written with his wife Anne: The Population Bomb written and published at the suggestion of David Brower the executive director of the environmentalist Sierra Club, provided publicity for an extension of the Malthusian end of human kind. A charismatic and vocal critic of food aid to countries which were considered “hopeless” to feed their populations, Ehrlich years later (2004) acknowledged that some of what he had predicted had not come to pass, BUT he reaffirmed his basic claim.

    Like Hansen’s Storms of My Grandchildren, books by experts, modeled upon alarmism, are meant to goad people into action that will change the world in a way they believe is most desirable. These experts use their identity to validate that that which is not valid. These stories come from experts in a small realm of science into a world class movement maker.

    My reflection is to observe such behavior, but definitely don’t act.

  20. Mathbabe said:

    “Call me “asinine,” but I have less faith in the experts than Nate Silver: I don’t want to trust the very people who got us into this mess…”

    _____
    Uh, exactly what “mess” is she talking about? For truly, the most important “mess” that we could be in would be if in fact anthropogenic climate change turns out to be far worse than even the IPCC is currently allowing for. The other “mess” would be the current distrust of climate scientists (by some, not the majority) of the population. The majority of the population really doesn’t follow either the science or the controversy too much. So the related “mess” would be the gridlock created by the controversy in the political arena, with that arena already being primed for more gridlock given the big money two-party partisan politics currently crippling the American political scene.

    • the most important “mess” that we could be in would be if in fact the government and the EPA does the stupid stuff they have been pushing that will seriously damage our Energy Production and the Economy.

    • R. Gates

      The “mess” is the unfounded CAGW hysteria.

      The “people that got us into this mess” are principally the IPCC (with its “consensus process”), green lobby groups, politicians eager to generate more tax revenues to spread around, a media that loves disaster scenarios and various corporations and individuals that hope to get a piece of a multi-billion dollar big business.

      Max

      • This ‘mess’ is the famous elephant and the blind men story. We’re all touching different parts of the beast. Guess which part I’m attached to?
        ==================

      • kim

        Just don’t stand in the wrong place and pull on the wrong part.

        Max

      • One of the ‘experts’ sent me for a left handed thermometer, extra large size.
        ==============

      • kim

        Stand back and cover your head when you insert the temperature probe to test for anomalous (or even unprecedented) warming.

        Max

      • You see one treemometer, you’ve seen Yamal. This beast has either split bark or newly vertical shoots.
        ====================

    • Gates, I think the “mess” she was referring to was the global financial crisis.

      • Yes, she doesn’t mention climate science at all (sorry Max). She mentions medical research but she is primarily concerned with the financial crisis and specifically mentions the credit rating agencies. I certainly wouldn’t trust them as far as I could throw them, but then I would be reluctant to class them as “experts” anyway.

      • I certainly wouldn’t trust [credit rating agencies] as far as I could throw them, but then I would be reluctant to class them as “experts” anyway.

        If there’s any merit at all in what you say, there must necessarily be a gap in the credit rating agency market for a newcomer with even halfway decent expertise. Any idea why this hasn’t actually happened ?

      • Fair question. Looking at it more seriously, I think the problem was not so much that they didn’t have the right “expertise” within the confines of their particular field, I don’t doubt that that they had some very bright and well qualified people working for them. But when it came to the crunch they were still, on an institutional level, not very good at doing what they were supposed to do. No doubt some lessons have been learned, but they have some way to go to regain credibility and their pronouncements certainly carry less weight as they used to.

        Whether this means there is a gap for a new player, or whether it is feasible for a competitor to establish themselves, I’m can’t really say.

  21. Regardless of credentials, how can anyone be considered an expert if they get it totally wrong? The climate change “experts” who tout AGW are nothing of the sort – they’re charlatans, which is the opposite of expert.

    • If I get something wrong I’m a charlatan.

      Say, “hello” to a charlatan.

      • Which is most of the time Max.

        At least you are a pleasant charlatan (your word, not mine). There are some who are not.

      • Max OK -There is a difference between an honest mistake, acknowledged when pointed out, and deliberately engaging in fraud. An expert can make an honest mistake, provided he/she sincerely takes responsibility for being wrong on that point. But that’s a very different matter from showing a consistent pattern of deception and lying, which is what the AGW experts” are doing. And they’re not merely wrong on one point – they’re wrong on every single detail of their “theory”.

      • But that’s a very different matter from showing a consistent pattern of deception and lying, which is what the AGW experts” are doing. And they’re not merely wrong on one point – they’re wrong on every single detail of their “theory”.

        This is *completely false*.

      • BBD

        Chad said

        “But that’s a very different matter from showing a consistent pattern of deception and lying, which is what the AGW experts” are doing. And they’re not merely wrong on one point – they’re wrong on every single detail of their “theory”.”

        For the record I do not believe in a conspiracy theory or wholesale lying by scientists. Although I do believe they are mistaken in some of their assertions- through lack of knowledge of history or of natural variabilty or just the obvious the fact that we don’t know everything yet- that is a very different thing to being wrong on every single detail of their theory. That would require incompetance on a grand scale from virtually every climate scientist in every field of climate science.

        Perhaps Chad was referring specifically to one aspect of the theory rather than making a sweeping generalisation?

        Tonyb

      • tonyb

        I think Chad was abundantly clear in his meaning. Hence my response ;-)

    • Chad,
      I think some charlatan totally pwnd you.

    • Steven Mosher

      the opposite of an expert would be someone who thought that climate scientists got “it” totally wrong.

      • That depends on how you define “it”. If defined as it is essential that humanity immediately, drastically curtail CO2 emissions to prevent a disaster for humanity……..then that climate scientist appears to have gotten “it” totally wrong

      • Steven Mosher

        except the science hasnt found that. Some people conclude that from the science, but the science hasnt found that

      • Rob Starkey said:

        That depends on how you define “it”. If defined as it is essential that humanity immediately, drastically curtail CO2 emissions to prevent a disaster for humanity

        except the science hasnt found that. Some people conclude that from the science, but the science hasnt found that

        So ‘climate science’ hasn’t found that but climate scientists do say it (without getting overly pedantic about what ‘immediately’ means). What does that say about the honesty and integrity of those involved in climate science and the wisdom of trusting ‘climate experts’ (or are they extremists)?

      • The second quote in my previous comment should have been attributed to Mosher.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Totally” is such a BIG word.

        The “experts” got some pieces right in all likelihood.

        But they also got some other pieces wrong, because they trusted their models too much and they knew what the answer should be beforehand (like Vaughan Pratt did with his “within a millikelvin” extrapolation).

        The simple truth of the matter is that there are no real “experts”.

        Max

  22. I don’t understand. Is perfectly possible having an expert who optimizes his model for accuracy as best he can, feels very confident about it, and goes way wrong. How about looking for (difficult) predictions come true, as many times as possible? We could maybe quit thinking in experts. There are too many “experts” who are wrong time and again. Curiously enough they don’t end being “experts”. Maybe it could be better looking for good predictors, instead of “experts”.

  23. I am always skeptical of trying to second-guess people’s motives and how incentives (or perceived incentives) affect what they do. It is difficult enough to do this with people you know well; in the cases under discussion most likely we do not know the ‘experts’ at all.

    The only thing that seems sensible is to look, not at was is said or presumed, but at what is done. Very few people have the expertise, time or inclination to dissect specialist models. What we can do is (i) support and encourage those who do have the capacity to do it; and (ii) look at the outputs and measure them against relatively easy to discover empirical facts. For example, Steve McIntyre does splendid work in both of those capacities, and then puts his work out there to be further debated and sometimes improved by open discussion.

    The reality is that the fact that someone has a gambling model that they sincerely believe in and use themselves doesn’t mean a thing in terms of how good it is. It is quite possible that another person who is way too smart to gamble will develop and sell commercially a much better one.

    I think, too, that the term ‘expert’ has been greatly devalued in the last few decades. Experts are a dime a dozen – just ask any TV news/chat/documentary producer. They have lists as long as your arm on just about anything – and between them, they will say just about anything as well.

    So, summing up, the arguments presented in the head post seem sterile and a tad self-serving to me. Why, now we apparently have ‘experts’ on ‘experts’! Good grief.

    • Experts are a dime a dozen
      Court cases often have certified experts on the different sides who do disagree with each other. They usually cost much more than a dime a dozen. If court cases can always find experts who disagree, that makes me suspicious of a science that claims the experts all have consensus. Consensus Science is not Science. Science is always Skeptic.

    • Johanna is right.

      The term “expert” has been greatly devalued in the last few decades.

      IPCC has caused a good part of this in climate science, with its “consensus” process.

      Max

  24. The ‘experts in climate science’ show themselves to be nothing of the sort.

    This following link was posted in a discussion recently. How can the scientists in this supposedly prestigious science organisation show themselves so ignorant of physical properties and processes in the world around us? These so called climate scientists don’t know anything about climate or gases.

    Where is the rain in their Carbon Cycle? All rain is carbonic acid, it is continually being washed out of the atmosphere, why isn’t this in the models? How can anyone write a piece about the Carbon Cycle and not mention rain?

    How can a gas which is heavier than air accumulate for thousands of years in the atmosphere? How can such a minute trace gas act as a blanket? Have they no sense of scale?! How can carbon dioxide trap heat when it doesn’t have any capacity to do so? So all we have to do to keep our houses toasty warm is to raise carbon dioxide levels? Hang on a mo, I’ll just go up into the attic and breathe out a few times as each exhalation lungful is 4% carbon dioxide and I can turn down my central heating..

    Are all climate scientists really incapable of seeing how ludicrous these statements?

    http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/research/themes/carbon/

    “Why is the Carbon Cycle important?
    While CO2 is only a very small part of the atmosphere (0.04%), it plays a large role in the energy balance of the planet.
    CO2 in the atmosphere acts like a blanket over the planet by trapping longwave radiation, which would otherwise radiate heat away from the planet. As the amount of CO2 increases, so will its warming effect. CO2 is the largest contributor (currently 63%) to this effect by long-lived gases and its role increases each year. The additional burden of CO2 in the atmosphere will remain for a very long time, of the order of thousands of years, if we have to rely on the natural mechanisms of erosion and sedimentation to process the added CO2.”

    The only reason they have got away with this utter physical BS for so long is because it was introduced into the education system to deliberately dumb down basic physics for the masses in order to promote the AGW scam, so the ‘masses’ who don’t have any reason to discover the idiocy of this fake fisics for themselves still think of climate scientists as being experts.

    But as anyone even with only the very basics of real physics as still traditionally taught can see through this, so the question is, are these climate scientists simply of the brainwashed masses of this AGWScienceFiction fake fisics scam, or are they knowingly pushing the fake fisics while knowing the real physics basics?

  25. I trust people who I regard as experts. For me to judge them to be an expert they need to have demonstrated impeccable honesty and integrity in their personal and professional lives. The Climate orthodoxy has most certainly not demonstrated honesty and integrity. In fact, they have demonstrated the opposite. Here are some of the groups and people who I feel have demonstrated they cannot be trusted:

    IPCC
    CRU
    BOM (UK and Australian)
    BBC
    ABC
    CSIRO
    Royal Society
    NAS
    Australian Academy of Sciences
    Michael Mann
    Phil Jones
    ‘Once to be the next President of the USA’, Al Gore
    The Australian Treasury Department
    Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Effciency (DCCEE)
    Professor Ross Garnaut
    Will Steffen (Head of the Australian Climate Institute
    Most of the Leading Australian Climate Science academics, including:

    Thirteen extremist propaganda articles by these leading Australian academics in promoting extremists views of catastrophic climate change:
    https://theconversation.edu.au/pages/clearing-up-the-climate-debate

    David Karoly, University of Melbourne
    Stephan Lewandowsky, University of Western Australia
    Michael Ashley, University of New South Wales
    Ian Enting, University of Melbourne
    Ross Garnaut, University of Melbourne
    Michael J. I. Brown, Monash University
    Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, University of Queensland
    Mike Sandiford, University of Melbourne
    James Risbey, CSIRO
    Karl Braganza, Australian Bureau of Meteorology

    And there is the list of academics that supported this extremism:
    https://theconversation.edu.au/climate-change-is-real-an-open-letter-from-the-scientific-community-1808

    Signatories
    Winthrop Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, Australian Professorial Fellow, UWA
    Dr. Matthew Hipsey, Research Assistant Professor, School of Earth and Environment, Centre of Excellence for Ecohydrology, UWA
    Dr Julie Trotter, Research Assistant Professor, School of Earth and Environment, UWA Oceans Institute, UWA
    Winthrop Professor Malcolm McCulloch, F.R.S., Premier’s Research Fellow, UWA Oceans Institute, School of Earth and Environment, UWA
    Professor Kevin Judd, School of Mathematics and Statistics, UWA
    Dr Thomas Stemler, Assistant Professor, School of Mathematics and Statistics, UWA
    Dr. Karl-Heinz Wyrwoll, Senior Lecturer, School of Earth and Environment, UWA
    Dr. Andrew Glikson, Earth and paleoclimate scientist, School of Archaeology and Anthropology, Research School of Earth Science, Planetary Science Institute, ANU
    Prof Michael Ashley, School of Physics, Faculty of Science, UNSW
    Prof David Karoly, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne
    Prof John Abraham, Associate Professor, School of Engineering, University of St. Thomas
    Prof Ian Enting, ARC Centre for Mathematics and Statistics of Complex Systems, University of Melbourne
    Prof John Wiseman, Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, University of Melbourne
    Associate Professor Ben Newell, School of Psychology, Faculty of Science, UNSW
    Prof Matthew England, co-Director, Climate Change Research Centre, Faculty of Science, UNSW
    Dr Alex Sen Gupta Climate Change Research Centre,Faculty of Science, UNSW
    Prof. Mike Archer AM, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Science, UNSW
    Prof Steven Sherwood, co-Director, Climate Change Research Centre, Faculty of Science, UNSW
    Dr. Katrin Meissner, ARC Future Fellow, Climate Change Research Centre, Faculty of Science, UNSW
    Dr Jason Evans, ARC Australian Research Fellow, Climate Change Research Centre,Faculty of Science, UNSW
    Prof Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Global Change Institute, UQ
    Dr Andy Hogg, Fellow, Research School of Earth Sciences, ANU
    Prof John Quiggin, School of Economics, School of Political Science & Intnl Studies, UQ
    Prof Chris Turney FRSA FGS FRGS, Climate Change Research Centre and School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, UNSW
    Dr Gab Abramowitz, Lecturer, Climate Change Research Centre,Faculty of Science, UNSW
    Prof Andy Pitman, Climate Change Research Centre, Faculty of Science, UNSW
    Prof Barry Brook, Sir Hubert Wilkins Chair of Climate Change, University of Adelaide
    Prof Mike Sandiford, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne
    Dr Michael Box, Associate Professor, School of Physics, Faculty of Science, UNSW
    Prof Corey Bradshaw, Director of Ecological Modelling, The Environment Institute, The University of Adelaide
    Dr Paul Dargusch, School of Agriculture & Food Science, UQ
    Prof Nigel Tapper, Professor Environmental Science, School of Geography and Environmental Science Monash University
    Prof Jason Beringer, Associate Professor & Deputy Dean of Research, School of Geography & Environmental Science, Monash University
    Prof Neville Nicholls, Professorial Fellow, School of Geography & Environmental Science, Monash University
    Prof Dave Griggs, Director, Monash Sustainability Institute, Monash University
    Prof Peter Sly, Medicine Faculty, School of Paediatrics & Child Health, UQ
    Dr Pauline Grierson, Senior Lecturer, School of Plant Biology, Ecosystems Research Group, Director of West Australian Biogeochemistry Centre, UWA
    Prof Jurg Keller, IWA Fellow, Advanced Water Management Centre, UQ
    Prof Amanda Lynch, School of Geography & Environmental Science, Monash University
    A/Prof Steve Siems, School of Mathematical Sciences, Monash University
    Prof Justin Brookes, Director, Water Research Centre, The University of Adelaide
    Prof Glenn Albrecht, Professor of Sustainability, Director: Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy (ISTP), Murdoch University
    Winthrop Professor Steven Smith, Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, UWA
    Dr Kerrie Unsworth, School of Business, UWA
    Dr Pieter Poot, Assistant Professor in Plant Conservation Biology, School of Plant Biology, UWA
    Adam McHugh, Lecturer, School of Engineering and Energy, Murdoch University
    Dr Louise Bruce, Research Associate, School of Earth and Environment, UWA
    Dr Ailie Gallant, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne
    Dr Will J Grant, Australian National Centre for Public Awareness of Science, ANU
    Rick A. Baartman, Fellow of the American Physical Society
    William GC Raper, Senior Principal Research Scientist, CSIRO (retired)
    Dr Chris Riedy, Research Director, Institute for Sustainable Futures, University of Technology, Sydney
    Ben McNeil, Senior Fellow, Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW
    Paul Beckwith, Department of Geography, University of Ottawa
    Tim Leslie, PhD candidate, Climate Change Research Centre, UNSW
    Dr Peter Manins, Chief Research Scientist, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research (post-retirement Fellow)
    Prof Philip Jennings, Professor of Energy Studies, Murdoch University
    Dr John Tibby, Senior Lecturer, Geography, Environment and Population, University of Adelaide
    Prof Ray Wills, Adjunct Professor, School of Earth and Environment, UWA
    Jess Robertson, Research School of Earth Sciences, ANU
    Dr Paul Tregoning, Senior Fellow, Research School of Earth Sciences, ANU
    Dr Doone Wyborn, Adjunct Professor, Geothermal Centre of Excellence, University of Queensland
    Dr. Jonathan Whale, Director, National Small Wind Turbine Centre (NSWTC), Murdoch University
    Dr Tas van Ommen, Australian Antarctic Division, Cryosphere Program Leader, Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems CRC
    Dr Jim Salinger, Honorary Research Associate, School of Environment, University of Auckland
    Dr P. Timon McPhearson, Assistant Professor of Urban Ecology, Tishman Environment and Design Center, The New School, New York
    Prof Deo Prasad, Director Masters in Sustainable Development, UNSW
    Prof Rob Harcourt, Facility Leader, Australian Animal Tagging, Monitoring System Integrated Marine Observing System and Professor of Marine Ecology, Macquarie University
    Dr John Hunter, Antarctic Climate & Ecosystems CRC, University of Tasmania
    Dr Michael Brown, ARC Future Fellow & Senior Lecturer, School of Physics, Monash University
    Dr Karen McNamara, Pacific Centre for Environment and Sustainable Development, University of the South Pacific
    Dr Paul Marshall, Director – Climate Change, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
    Dr Ivan Haigh, Post-doctoral Research Associate, UWA Oceans Institute and School of Environmental Systems Engineering
    Dr Ian Allison, Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems CRC
    Dr Jennifer Coopersmith, Honorary Research Associate Department of Civil Engineering and Physical Sciences, La Trobe University
    Professor Emeritus Peter Kershaw, School of Geography and Environmental Science, Monash University
    Professor Peter Gell, Director, Centre for Environmental Management, University of Ballarat
    Prof David A Hood, Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering, Queensland University of Technology
    Professor Lesley Hughes, Head of Biological Sciences and Co-director of Climate Futures at Macquarie, Macquarie University
    Dr Melanie Bishop, Senior Lecturer, Department of Biological Sciences, Climate Futures at Macquarie, Macquarie University
    Dr Jane Williamson, Senior Lecturer, Department of Biological Sciences, Climate Futures at Macquarie, Macquarie University
    Associate Professor Grant Wardell-Johnson, Director of the Curtin Institute of Biodiversity and Climate, Curtin University
    Associate Professor Ralph Chapman, Director, Graduate Programme in Environmental Studies, Victoria University of Wellington
    Dr Malcolm Walter, Director, Australian Centre for Astrobiology, University of New South Wales
    Dr Darrell Kemp, Senior Lecturer, Department of Biological Sciences, and Co-leader of Terrestrial Adaptation Research, Climate Futures at Macquarie, Macquarie University
    Dr Liz Hanna, Fellow, National Center for Epidemiology & Population Health, ANU
    Dr. Patrick J. Conaghan, Honorary Associate, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Macquarie University

    • The climate change debate and all of the supposed fixes for the non-problem of global warming point to one thing that will not change anytime soon. It is embedded in the Democrat platform: in good times and bad both here and around the world there will always be 47% living in this country who will never be proud to be an American. Just one example: George Bush did all anyone could to be a president for all of the people and by his efforts proved that 47% would never be turned around. Bush could only make the Left more angry by loving America with his whole heart. “Even if we closed down every factory, crushed every car and aeroplane, turned off all energy production, and threw 4 billion people worldwide out of work, climate would still change, and often dramatically. Unfortunately, we would all be too poor to do anything about it.” (Philip Stott)

    • Peter, those seem like nice people. If they have to agree with you to be trustworthy, maybe your standard is too high.

      • Max_OK,

        they may seem nice to you, but you may not be a very good judge of character. the question is can they be trusted.

        Read Lewandowski’s three articles in the list of 13 articles here:
        https://theconversation.edu.au/pages/clearing-up-the-climate-debate. E=What do you think of this title: “The false, the confused and the mendacious …? Soes that look like a nice guy to you. Does it suggest he is an objective scientist? Of course you don’t have to go too far to find out how corrupt is his research and how he is up to his ears in conspiracy theories with John Cook and what’s his name from SkepticalScience. He’s also under investigation for breach of UWA academic integrity. That’s the sort of person you feel we can trust, eh?

        Then there is Will Steffen (Head of the ‘Independent’ Climate Institute which was set up by the Labor Government and funded to give the government ‘independent’ scientific advice on catastrophic cimatre change) who briefed and misled the Join Parliamentary Committee on Climate Change – resulting in Australia getting a carbon tax and ETS.

        Then there is Professor Garnaut, ex senior economic advisor in Labor Prime Minister Bob Hawke’s Office. Garnaut is as partisan as they come. The Labor government appointed him to do ‘independent’ modelling for the Australian ETS. Guess what he advised? Yep, we need to implement the Labor Party’s policy of an ETS. And he exaggerated the impacts and said Australia must implement an ETS because if we don’t sea level will rise 1.1. m by 2100, the Murray Darling Basin will dry up, there will be wild fires that will destitute us, the Great Barrier Reef and Kakadu National Park will be ruined and Australian Tourism will be severely damaged. So Max-OK, are these the sort of people you think are ‘nice guys’ and therefore should be trusted?

        What about the Australian Treasury. Under the thumb of the Labor Treasurer they had to tell the government what it wanted to hear, otherwise senior bureaucrats would lose their jobs. So they did what was wanted. As justification for their modelling they said global CO2 concentrations would reach 1500 ppm by 2100 and temperatures would increase 7 C if we don’t act and legislate the Labor-Green alliances’ policy; i.e. a Carbon Tax and ETS. Do you still think these are the sort of guys we should trust, Max_OK?

        Therefore, Max_ I think you trust people who stroke your ego and tell you what you want to hear. You are certainly not objective. And, therefore, you cannot be trusted either, and your opinion is worthless.

      • This is not a place for insulting other posters, you sanctimonious skunk in the grass, you pious prevaricating polecat, you beslubbering beet-breathed bamboozler, you hairless hog-faced hornswaggler.

      • Max_OK

        I think it’s ‘hornswoggler‘.

        ;-)

    • Peter Lang shows just how crook the state of climate science is in Oz

  26. Facts are facts:

    We see that global warming alarmists continue to support MBH98/99/08 (aka, the ‘hockey stick’ graph), despite the fact it has been proven to be scientific fraud. Early on, Von Storch called it ‘Quatsch,’ as would any statistician. McShane and Wyner observed, “it is hard to argue that a procedure is truly skillful if it cannot consistently outperform noise- no matter how artfully structured.”

    So, isn’t it obvious? Global warming alarmists also are frauds!

    • Alex Rawls cited the MBH99 Hockey Stick as evidence that solar activity correlates with global temperature.

      Are you saying that correlation is wrong?

      I guess that’s another piece of evidence for a strong solar influence on climate gone then.

      • “On the contrary — we have MBH and the hockey stick “denying” that there is any significant climate variability at all that nasty old humans didn’t create, starting in the mid-nineteenth century.

        The key to CAGW all along has been the elimination of the natural climate variability from the climate record. With it there, Bayes (also known as “using common sense”, by the way, quite literally) instantly rejects probable catastrophe. With it gone, then the last 150 years are extraordinary, unheard of, remarkable, and can have only one cause, anthropogenic CO2, because otherwise the Earth’s climate is stable.

        Horse. Sh#t.”

        ~Robert Brown

  27. Let me get this straight.

    A consensus that isn’t supposed to exist is being maintained by grants and other rewards.

    Hilarious.

    • Would you like to talk about the consensus of opinion about a lot of things in 1930s Germany?

    • lolwot

      You got it pretty close with your remark – let me modify it slightly to improve its accuracy:

      “A consensus that isn’t supposed to doesn’t really exist is being maintained fabricated by grants, and other rewards, and by ignoring dissenting views.

      There.

      That should do it.

      Max

    • I know of virtually no consensus on the topic of climate science outside of the basic principle that additional CO2 will warm the atmosphere if all other conditions remain unchanged.

      What else are you claiming that there is a consensus on?

  28. Matthew R Marler

    But when I followed the incentives with respect to climate modeling, they bring me straight to climate change deniers, not to researchers.

    I would have appreciated more details: where did she start following? Which incentives? (tenure, self-aggrandizing, security, flexible hours) How did she follow? Which “deniers” did she track?

    Had she tracked people working voluntarily, whom would she have found?

    • Matthew Marler,

      I understand you are a statistician. I would like to ask your expert opinion. Mine is a genuine question. i am not trying to be smart or in anyway devious with this question.

      I would like to know how we could estimate the probability that a policy to reduce global GHG emissions would achieve its objective. Fir example, I would like to know how to estimate the probability that these two policy options would succeed in the real world:

      1) legally binding international agreements to emissions reductions targets timetables, penalties for breaches, global carbon pricing system, etc. All countries would have to participate fully and would have to continue to participate fully for this century and beyond. All GHG emissions would have to be included in the schemes;

      2) no international agreement to emissions reductions, but instead each country and sovereign entity acts in its own best interest. Emissions reductions would be achieved by the developed countries removing the impediments that are preventing the world from having a low cost alternative to fossil fuels.

  29. Stephanie asks three important questions about trusting experts, which I paraphrase here:
    1. What does it take to look into a model yourself? How deeply must you probe?
    2. How do you avoid being manipulated when you do so?
    3. Why should we bother since stuff is so hard and we each have a limited amount of time?

    There’s too much focus on the climate models. There’s been little change in the uncertainty of climate sensitivity in 20 years. It’s naval gazing.

    Therefore, ‘jump out of the cart’. ‘Sneak up on the problem from a different direction’. In other words, put the effort into finding a robust solution instead. That’s what Bjorn Lomborg has been advocating for a very long time. Why not put the focus on that instead of the incessant, down in the weeds arguments about climate models.

    • Climate data is well inside the bounds of the past ten thousand years.
      Why should we find a robust solution for a problem that is not supported by actual data?

      • Herman Pope,

        Why should we find a robust solution for a problem that is not supported by actual data?

        Because it is a genuine political issue and it is not going to go away, at least until the democratic countries go broke. The controversy is seriously damaging our economies. We can have a solution that is good for the world and would satisfy rational people (not the extremist fringe; they can never be satisfied). So why not focus on implementing robust solutions?

      • A proper robust solution is to recognize that climate data is well inside the bounds of the last ten thousand years and look for an energy plan that includes all the options that are cost effective and throw away the options that are not cost effective. This includes that we burn fossil fuels of all kinds until they run out and we build nuclear power to help the fossil fuels last longer and to cover for when they do run out. We must get ready for the cooling that always follows a warming. That will come next and a little ice age is not as nice and the nice warm time we are in now.

      • These truisms are ignored, nonetheless, true.
        ============

  30. I recently had quite a lot of trouble with a torn cartilage in my knee. It may not have been the cheapest option, but call me an unreconstructed conservative , if you like, but I do tend, on balance to favour expert opinion over other options. So I chose to have it operated on by a orthopedic surgeon who was recommended as such by my GP.

    Its certainly a lot better now so it looks like I made the right choice and trusted the right person. Of course if I were more cynical than I am I could have rejected his advice on the basis he had too much of a vested financial interest in performing unnecessary operations. Its good to be sceptical but it can be taken too far.

    • Orthopedic surgeons have a track record of success or failure that can be looked at and considered before you make a choice. Consensus Climate Scientists have track record of failure, but no track record of success. I do not tend to favor failed expert opinion. They say warming warming and it does not happen happen.

    • tempter,

      Did your orthopedic surgeon just sell his TV network to Al Jazeera?

      If he did, maybe you reach a different conclusion.lol ;)

      Andrew

      • tempter,

        Did your orthopedic surgeon rant to you about ‘Death Trains’?

        If he did, maybe you reach a different conclusion.lol ;)

        Andrew

      • tempter,

        Did your orthopedic surgeon do some post-facto adjustments to your vital signs?

        If he did, maybe you reach a different conclusion.lol ;)

        Andrew

      • When Andrew’s car breaks down he calls his dentist to take a look at it.

      • tempter,

        Did your orthopedic surgeon part of a group of Warmer Trolls who infest Climate Etc?

        If he did, maybe you reach a different conclusion.lol ;)

        Andrew

      • Peter, Peter, tempter treater
        Was your Doc ever called by peers?
        ===============

      • tempter,

        Did your orthopedic surgeon present you with a graph derived from estimates of proxies for your actual bodily functions?

        Andrew

    • …except your analogy is on the wrong time scale.

      Instead, someone told you that, in 100 years or so, your great-great-grandchildren will be having knee trouble, so you have to give up a significant percentage of your income so the government can build lots of stairs with rubber steps, and study ways to make sure that those knee injuries never happen.

      The doctors who are telling you this are being given quite a lot of money to do nothing except tell you that their computer models show this is certainly, definitely, 100% going to happen unless you give them the money RIGHT NOW. And if someone tries to tell you that those people are wrong, they get labeled as “kneedeniers.”

      Meanwhile, if someone wants to study things that support Anthropogenic Knee Reconstruction, they find that grants are much easier to get, while the people saying otherwise are denied funding. The people who do manage to show some results casting doubt on AKR are claimed to be on the payrolls of the big wheelchair manufacturers.

    • What!!!

      You didn’t you get a lawyer or a mining exec or an engineer to look at it??

      Bloody ‘expertism’.

  31. “They say warming warming and it does not happen”

    Its odd why they say that isn’t it?

    http://blogs-images.forbes.com/alexknapp/files/2011/10/Updated_Comparison_10.jpg

  32. “Whom can you trust?’”

    No one.

    Complete transparency is the only way. Remember that climate rsearch is a huge Public Service job run by unknown scientists selected by politicians who run the UN. Was the UN set up to do scientific research? No. How do they select their scientists? They don’t. You would think that for such an important task as climate, they would select a wotld renowned scientist to lead the team. Instead they chose an unkown scientist from an unknown institution in a third world country. Democratic? Yes, but science is not a democratic task. It is highly elitist. One of the reasons why transparency is so important. Scientists can and should be prepared to explain to the world what they are doing and why it is important. They shold be prepared to send their scientists to every Town Hall in the world to answer questions. That is the democratic part of science.

    But what happened. They hand down a judgement every few years, refusing to discuss their conclusions and expect the public to calmly accept them. Let us face it. Many of the members of the IPCC are eminent weather experts who have been called on to do a completely different task: to predict the climate many years in advance, an unprecedented scientific task. But this is as much an international public relations task, badly handeled by the UN’s management. They believed they had only a limited time to save the world so they paniced. One of the results was an undue faith in modelling, without the depth of knowledge to support such modelling, it became probability built on probability. So they support around 20 (different?) models, when one fully validated one would do.

    • “It is highly elitist”

      You’ve got this slightly wrong.

      It might be a form of eltiism – but It’s based on credentials and demonstrated competence.

      You do you undergrad studies and show you have a competent grasp of the basics, then post-grad and then ong-oing research and publication.

      Anyone can do this – if they are prepared to put in the hard work.

      Many choose not to.

      But whining about it isn’t a valid response.

      • Of course it is elitist. If you ask someone to do something that no one has ever been able to do before, you are looking for someone with exceptional talent as well as qualification and like experience. Not the kind of person you would normally meet in the street.

  33. Mathbabe responds, “But when I followed the incentives with respect to climate modeling, they bring me straight to climate change deniers, not to researchers.”
    No citation. No example. No smoking gun. No facts. She’s just making stuff up.

    • A key point, which several have noted. She seems otherwise a cogent thinker. This deficit, and it is very endemic, is a measure of the madness of this Extraordinary Popular Delusion and Madness of the Crowd.
      =============

      • From perusing Mathbabe’s interesting site, she spent some time doing work in the financial industry, got disillusioned, and joined the Occupy Wall Street movement. (She now makes her living modeling consumer behavior in some capacity.) One should not be surprised to find that someone with such commitments would be more worried about corruption by “Big Oil” or “Big Coal” than by other forms of intellectual and material corruption possible in the climate arena. (One humorous sidelight on all this is that the nuclear industry was an early funder of global warming research, and that natural gas companies today have an incentive to hobble competition from coal.)

      • “She seems otherwise a cogent thinker.”

        A cogent thinker would not build an argument on a false premise unless he/she was dishonest.

      • Speed, it’s a madness. Benefit of the doubt, you know.
        ==========

    • The alarmist consensus is certainly no ‘Madness’ of the Crowd. It is simply BAU for its financier (the state).

  34. Judith Curry

    Experts are great but, if one is a skeptic, there is no better motto than “trust, but verify”.

    From Wiki:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trust,_but_verify

    Trust, but verify is a form of advice given which recommends that while a source of information might be considered reliable, one should perform additional research to verify that such information is accurate, or trustworthy. The term was a signature phrase adopted and made famous by U.S. president Ronald Reagan. Reagan frequently used it when discussing U.S. relations with the Soviet Union. The phrase was originated by Russian leader Vladimir Lenin.

    Makes sense to me.

    Max

    • Given the recent history of climate science, and given the old maxim about being fooled once and twice, the climate skeptics proper position is ‘Distrust and Verify the Living Hell out of it’. Or at least do the Stevie Mac thing on it.
      ==========

    • Makes sense to me.

      That means there must be a flaw in the argument somewhere!

      It sounds like Reagan was saying he didn’t actually believe the Soviets unless what their information was verifiable. That’s not what most people mean by ‘trust’.

      • tempterrain

        The statement (by Lenin and Reagan) to “trust but verify” captures the very essence of rational skepticism in science.

        It is the antithesis of “trust” as a statement of “faith”.

        The most well-known example I can think of is that of “doubting Thomas” in the Bible, who was rationally skeptical of the claim that Jesus had, indeed, risen from the dead, as the story goes.

        When he saw Jesus standing before him, with the wounds he had suffered on the cross, he finally “believed” that Jesus had risen.

        To which Jesus told him, “…Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

        That is essentially the difference between “trust” and “rational skepticism”: not seeing and yet believing.

        And that’s what “trust but verify” is all about.

        Max.

      • “The most well-known example I can think of is that of “doubting Thomas” in the Bible, who was rationally skeptical of the claim that Jesus had, indeed, risen from the dead, as the story goes.

        When he saw Jesus standing before him, with the wounds he had suffered on the cross, he finally “believed” that Jesus had risen.

        To which Jesus told him, “…Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

        That is essentially the difference between “trust” and “rational skepticism”: not seeing and yet believing.

        And that’s what “trust but verify” is all about.”

        It doesn’t make much sense.
        I could be wrong, but wasn’t doubting Thomas a Jew?
        In other words, he was quite religious [he wasn’t an atheist or non-believer]. The issue is the degree of Thomas’s faith in God.

      • Unless it’s a paleo reconstruction by Michael Piltdown Mann, I doubt we know what Thomas saw or believed.
        ======================

    • Makes sense to me.

      That means there must be a flaw in the argument somewhere!

      It sounds like Reagan was saying he didn’t actually believe the Soviets unless their information was verifiable. That’s not what most people mean by ‘trust’.

  35. Berényi Péter

    “What does it take to look into a model yourself? How deeply must you probe?”

    We do not have to look into models of climatology to determine that their method is flawed. It is sufficient to scrutinize the modelling process itself, that is, how computational models are applied in this particular field. And that’s easy. Fields of expertise of different folks often overlap and a question as general as the one above extends far beyond climatology. Therefore we are in a pretty convenient situation this time, with lots of genuine experts who are not climate scientists themselves.

    And, fortunately, there is an all encompassing consensus among experts about fitting multiple models of high Kolmogorov complexity to a single run of a unique physical instance being not science.

    For what science does is just the opposite of it. It seeks a single model of low Kolmogorov complexity which fits multiple runs of a wide class of physical instances.

    That’s it. As soon as a field embraces methods alien to science, its experts are no longer reliable.

  36. You know as soon as a Warmer scambles for The Doctor Analogy, you know he/she/it still has his/her/it’s head up Patchy’s arse in one of his novels.

    Andrew

    • Heh, Doctors bury their mistakes and they pretty nearly always stay buried. In climate science the mistakes rise from the dead and stumble on.
      =================

  37. “You are only adding to the discussion if you invest actual thoughtful work into the matter.

    Another thing about climate research. People keep talking about incentives, and yes I agree wholeheartedly that we should follow the incentives to understand where manipulation might be taking place. But when I followed the incentives with respect to climate modeling, they bring me straight to climate change deniers, not to researchers.”

    The BIG problem. Say I look at an energy budget, determine that the authors are over-confident in their “models”, misplace five times the estimated energy that a doubling would produce, dismiss data that is related to their “budget” and following second version of the same tripe with the same errors, “real” scientists confirm that the authors, misplaced five times the estimated energy that a doubling of CO2 would produce, were over reliant on models ignoring new more relevant data and then the original authors admit their “minor mistake” and cherry pick models that more closely match the relevant data, that would make me a “denier” in the pocket of some “BIG” something and the screw-ups er climate scientists, some kinda David versus Goliath hero and the error filled “budgets” get to remain as published without a huge, “REVISED” plastered over it so it never darkens Climate Science doors again.

    Think of how many “peer reviewed” ground breaking climate science papers published 5 or more years ago, that should be mullet wrappers now? Are they no longer valid because of BIG or perhaps were they just valiant but misguided attempts at science?

  38. The only “expert” to trust on how our climate behaves is Nature itself.

    Nature has shown us that global temperatures are on a slow rise, with several “bumps and grinds” since the modern record started in 1850 and even further back, using CET as a proxy record.

    And this has been a good thing for mankind, as we have emerged from a period of colder climate called the LIA.

    We had two statistically indistinguishable warming periods in the 20thC and a slightly less prominent period in the late 19thC, each of around 30 years duration.

    In between we’ve had 30-year periods of slight cooling.

    Most recently the warming has again stopped since the end of 2000, for how long no one knows.

    Nature will tell us what is going to happen.

    All the “experts” in this world simply do not know.

    That’s why projections by the IPCC are so absurd.

    Even if they are not biased by “agenda driven science” they are meaningless, because only Nature knows what she is going to do – not the so-called “experts”.

    Max

  39. I don’t need to “look into the climate models myself.”

    I already know that climate scientists don’t know enough to accurately model the climate. How do I know that? Because they have told me so.

    Climate scientists don’t know the net effect of clouds on global temperature.

    Climate scientists don’t know the net effect of water vapor on global temperature.

    Climate scientists can’t “find” the warming their models have been predicting for decades.

    Climate scientists don’t understand the effect of various oscillations like ENSO on global temperature.

    Climate scientists don’t know what causes ice ages to start or stop. (And spare me the “we think it’s wobbles in the Earth’s orbit” nonsense ala Real Climate.)

    Most of all, climate scientists don’t have a clue what the actual global average temperature is to anywhere near the accuracy they think they do.

    And don’t get me started on the claims of accuracy of paleo reconstructions from tea leaves… I mean tree rings.

    Climate scientists don’t know enough to model the Earth’s climate, so why should I waste my time examining their models?

    • GaryM,

      In other words because climate scientists don’t know everything to an accuracy of seven significant figures, they therefore know nothing?

      Is that a fair summary of your argument?

      • John DeFayette

        Simple question, simple answer: no, it’s not.

      • The problem is that climate scientists don’t know ANYTHING to an accuracy of _two_ significant figures. All of their predictions have been deeply into the noise of the data. Their error bars are larger than the trends they’ve been predicting.

        Seven digits? Hell, they’d be thrilled to have one… but can’t admit it.

      • If these complex climate models were, let’s say, an order of magnitude more accurate in their “projections” than a simple 0 dimensional model (eg, back of an envelope calculation), I would have some confidence that they were believable. And yet they do not. And the reason is quite simple – resolution. The current climate models resolution is akin to crash testing a car in an FEA simulation with a resolution of 10cm and expecting a meaningful answer – play with it enough and you can get “believable looking” results, but that is pure chance, nothing more. And so it is with climate models – they have “tuned” an inadequate model so it “looks good”, but it is still just numerical noise.

  40. “JC comments: I can’t remember how I managed to come across these posts, but I thought they were pretty interesting and they raise some good topics for us to discuss.”

    “People: I’m not asking you to simply be skeptical, I’m saying you should look into the models yourself! It’s the difference between sitting on a couch and pointing at a football game on TV and complaining about a missed play and getting on the football field yourself and trying to figure out how to throw the ball. The first is entertainment but not valuable to anyone but yourself. You are only adding to the discussion if you invest actual thoughtful work into the matter.”

    I add that if you believe Al Gore’s end of the world stuff- you have to be a bit screwy- but if you believe it, you would be even more insane, if treat it as entertainment.
    That you will not bother get involved in the topic even if you think it’s the end of the world.

    One possible problem is the idiocy of: if something important, let’s organize a demonstration. As the only solution in the universe.

    Therefore, if something is important, and being part of demonstration is waste of time- hence one does nothing.
    It’s idiotic and result of hideous educational system, but it’s homespun ignorance and apathy, rather than being utterly insane.

    Kind of like, I went to school, why do I need to study anything?

  41. Judith,

    A better title might be:

    “Trusting (?) the Experts or Trusting (?) the F*ckwits”

    Its got to be one or the other, unless we’ve got got several years to spare, and the necessary ability, to study enough Climate Science and then to be able to formulate our own opinions of course.

  42. Whom do we trust? Do we trust the National Academy of Sciences who in 1970 said 500 million human lives were saved by DDT. Do we trust Federal Judge Sweeney, who, after 7 months of taking scientific testimony, ruled that DDT was not carcinogenic, not mutagenic and one of the great advances in science? Or do we believe Nixon’s EPA head, one William Rucklehaus, who summarily dismissed all the scientific evidence and testimony and banned DDT in 1972? Hmm, let’s see.

    • Bob,

      Just on a point of information: DDT isn’t banned. Rather its use is restricted. If it were allowed to be used indiscriminately, target insect species would quickly evolve an immunity and the pesticide would be useless anyway. That’s happened to a large extent in many parts of the world anyway and DDT is much less effective than it was in controlling insect pests.

      That’s what has also happened with many antibiotics which have been overused, the target bacterial strains have developed resistance and they are effectively now useless.

      • Temp – so I understand you correctly – you are worried about tolerance in mosquitoes so it is OK that 500 million people died needlessly. Think about what you said Tempt. Truly frighteningly.

      • tempterrain

        “Banned?”

        “Restricted?”

        The best thing WHO has done for human health since its inception was to silently lift the “ban” (or “restriction”) on DDT, still the most effective agent to control malaria.

        It was a silly mistake to restrict it in the first place and millions have died as a result.

        Max

      • Another sign of a “skeptic”

        It was a silly mistake to restrict it in the first place and millions have died as a result.

        The willingness to run with this counterfactual, without substantiating evidnece of what would have happened had the inappropriate overspraying of DDT for agricultural purposes not been restricted (vector control was not banned, and in fact was specifically supported and/or excluded in various locations). \

        The “ban” which didn’t exist, and the restrictions which did exist were not “silently lifted.” Pure nonsense. DDT was not a magic bullet. It was an effective tool what was not utilized to its maximal benefit due to concerns about its toxicity and due to concerns about resistance had it’s misuse continued.

        Why are “skeptics” so wedded to this facile argument? It is fascinating.

      • 500 million people died needlessly.

        Talk about stunning… I’ve seen tens of millions before – first time I’ve seen 500 million. Nice job. Now why don’t you dig out that epidemiological analysis that details what would have happened had DDT misuse continued as it had been used prior to the international agreements to restrict its usage for agricultural purposes. I’d love to see it.

      • Robert I Ellison

        DDT ban takes effect – http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/ddt/01.html

        WHO reinstates use for vector control – http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2006/pr50/en/

        ‘“The scientific and programmatic evidence clearly supports this reassessment,” said Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, WHO Assistant Director-General for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. “Indoor residual spraying is useful to quickly reduce the number of infections caused by malaria-carrying mosquitoes. IRS has proven to be just as cost effective as other malaria prevention measures, and DDT presents no health risk when used properly.”

        WHO actively promoted indoor residual spraying for malaria control until the early 1980s when increased health and environmental concerns surrounding DDT caused the organization to stop promoting its use and to focus instead on other means of prevention. Extensive research and testing has since demonstrated that well-managed indoor residual spraying programmes using DDT pose no harm to wildlife or to humans.

        “We must take a position based on the science and the data,” said Dr Arata Kochi, Director of WHO’s Global Malaria Programme. “One of the best tools we have against malaria is indoor residual house spraying. Of the dozen insecticides WHO has approved as safe for house spraying, the most effective is DDT.”’

        DDT use had already declined to relatively low levels in the US prior to the EPA ‘cancellation action’ in 1972. The cancellation was the result of poor science and a moral panic about pesticides and chemicals in general. It is an object lesson in unintended consequences with a cost measured in many millions of lives and a failure to adequately learn the lesson is moral turpitude.

      • Robert,

        DDT has always ben available for vector control.

        You accept this as true, don’t you?

      • Chief –

        If you’re actually interested in the topic as opposed to furthering politically motivated and facile arguments – I suggest that you read this thread.

        http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/collideascape/2012/10/22/speaking-truth-to-green-ideology/#.UO-K2WfjEit

        If you wade your way through the nonsense, there is actually a lot of fairly good information – specifically about whether or not international agencies supported use for vector control, and there is more than enough there to lay waste to this nonsense:

        It is an object lesson in unintended consequences with a cost measured in many millions of lives and a failure to adequately learn the lesson is moral turpitude.

        In order to make a valid argument about restrictions of DDT causing “millions of deaths,” you’d have to work out your counterfactual argument. That you would make the claim without having done so, only serves to undermine your credibility in that it shows a poor approach to scientific analysis.

        The DDT policy does offer the potential of a good object lesson about unintended consequences. I think there is little doubt that a more beneficial policy could have been promoted, but that lesson will never be learned by those who are actually not interested in lessons, but who instead are interested in cynically exploiting the deaths of millions to score cheap, politically expedient points.

        But don’t let that get in the way of your moral superiority. No reason why you should step down off your high horse at this point. I imagine you might injure yourself if you did. And besides, old dog new tricks and all of that, eh?

      • Robert I Ellison

        DDT was banned in the US. All well and good. The Stockholm Convention allowed continued use for vector control but the use was negligible given an unholy marriage between poor and misrepresented science and the moral posturings of a western elite. Ring a bell?

        The use was certainly not encouraged or funded through international aid.

        ‘Nearly thirty years after phasing out the widespread use of indoor spraying with DDT and other insecticides to control malaria, the World Health Organization (WHO) today announced that this intervention will once again play a major role in its efforts to fight the disease. WHO is now recommending the use of indoor residual spraying (IRS) not only in epidemic areas but also in areas with constant and high malaria transmission, including throughout Africa.’

      • Here is just one snippet of the useful information I referenced:

        From the NGO Network for POPs Elimination: Background Statement and Elimination Platform (the part “b” of #17):

        b) No country or region must be asked or required to take action under a POPs agreement that is substantively harmful to the health or to the well being of its people. Special consideration should be given to infectious disease control, necessary food production and other significant social or health-related matters. A proposed alternative to a POP should not be considered appropriate or acceptable if it poses a real local or regional health or environmental threat because of acute toxicity or other properties — even if that alternative is not a POP

      • Let’s start with your first few sentences, point out the errors therein, and then work forward from there, K?

        DDT was banned in the US.

        That is an incomplete statement. It was banned for agricultural purposes. Exceptions were made for specific vector control.

        The Stockholm Convention allowed continued use for vector control but the use was negligible given an unholy marriage between poor and misrepresented science and the moral posturings of a western elite.

        Ah yes – the ol’ argument by assertion, eh? Please read the reference to actual policy I listed above.

        The use was certainly not encouraged or funded through international aid.

        Well, the misuse> was certainly discouraged. Programs for POP elimination where structured in such a way as to show the errors in your statement:

        A POPs management regime should be pursued as interim measures under circumstances where POPs elimination requires an extended phase-out period.

        The fact that when properly used – in contexts with the proper management infrastructure – DDT is a useful tool of multiple tools in an arsenal, is not really in dispute. I agree that it was not used maximally, but the silver bullet argument is facile to its core.

        First, as I have repeated many times in these discussions but never seen addressed, you need to freakin’ address the counterfactual nature of the “the ban killed tens of millions argument.” You are arguing about what would have happened had something that didn’t happen, happened. That kind of logic requires you to consider other things that might have happened as well, such as widespread resistance (and other negative impacts) from the ongoing misuse of DDT that was taking place.

        Further – there are other methods that are also effective, and DDT even for proper and well-managed vector control has its downsides as well as its advantages – particularly in some regions as opposed to others This is well-supported by existing evidence. Read the thread I linked if you’re actually interested.

        Edumacate yourself, Chief.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Again I can not make any sense of your discussion. Counterfactual? You seem more interested in generalised abuse followed by an incoherent rant than rational discussion And really – I can’t find any reference in collidiscape to DDT. I would rather stick anyway to the US EPA and the WHO.

        You are really too boring to talk too,

      • Now this is classic:

        I can’t find any reference in collidiscape to DDT

        Try taking a more thorough approach to your research. the thread is full of discussion about DDT. Hundreds of comments on the topic.

        Counterfactual?

        Look up counterfactual reasoning. The entire “tens of millions wouldn’t have died” is by it’s very nature a counterfactual argument. That you don’t know what it means does not make my reasoning incoherent.

        You are really too boring to talk too,

        You seem to forget that each time you promise to take your ball and go home, you come crawling back begging for more. Masochistic, or perhaps you like learning things in spite of yourself?

      • Robert I Ellison

        ‘Nearly thirty years after phasing out the widespread use of indoor spraying with DDT and other insecticides to control malaria, the World Health Organization (WHO) today announced that this intervention will once again play a major role in its efforts to fight the disease. WHO is now recommending the use of indoor residual spraying (IRS) not only in epidemic areas but also in areas with constant and high malaria transmission, including throughout Africa.

        “The scientific and programmatic evidence clearly supports this reassessment,” said Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, WHO Assistant Director-General for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. “Indoor residual spraying is useful to quickly reduce the number of infections caused by malaria-carrying mosquitoes. IRS has proven to be just as cost effective as other malaria prevention measures, and DDT presents no health risk when used properly.”

        WHO actively promoted indoor residual spraying for malaria control until the early 1980s when increased health and environmental concerns surrounding DDT caused the organization to stop promoting its use and to focus instead on other means of prevention. Extensive research and testing has since demonstrated that well-managed indoor residual spraying programmes using DDT pose no harm to wildlife or to humans.

        “We must take a position based on the science and the data,” said Dr Arata Kochi, Director of WHO’s Global Malaria Programme. “One of the best tools we have against malaria is indoor residual house spraying. Of the dozen insecticides WHO has approved as safe for house spraying, the most effective is DDT.” http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2006/pr50/en/

        How many lives were lost because of ‘health and environmental concerns’? Many too many. My point really was the unholy marriage between poor science and moral posturings resulting in unntended consequences. These 2 things find an ideal expression in you Joshua.

      • Robert I Ellison

        And really – I am supposed to work my way through 500 odd blog comments to educate myself on DDT policy? Idiot. Why don’y you start with WHO and the Stockholm Convention as I did.

      • Another classic:

        And really – I am supposed to work my way through 500 odd blog comments to educate myself on DDT policy?

        So after a shoddy attempt at looking at the link, now you claim it is too much work for you to look through the comments? In other words, you fail to do the necessary work and then you whine that it’s too hard?

        The link contains much information that contextualizes the discussion, in particular the WHO policy and the Stockholm Convention. That is why I suggest that you move beyond the starting point. I have already explicated factual errors that you have made. If you took the time to read more of the background, then you wouldn’t make similar errors. Why wouldn’t you take such an opportunity?

        Here, I’ll take pity on you and take into account your limitations and give in to your whining, and I’ll make it easier for you. Just put “thingsbreak” in your browser’s search text box and scroll down through his comments. That should suffice for now.

        And besides, I thought you took your ball and went home? What happened? Which is it – masochist or do you really want to learn? If you want to learn, read the thread.

        Anyway, time for bed. Stay out of the fires, chief – I wouldn’t want anything to happen to you. You’re always good for a laugh and you are the undisputed “chief” (of unintentional irony).

      • Robert I Ellison

        I am as you know an environmental scintist. I lined to WHO and referenced the Stockholm Convention – which I have actualy read many years ago.

        Again – btw – I have explained to you before my lack of a need to be consistent on not talking to you. Occassionally I will read and respond to your incredible waffle. Occassionally – I will not read and respond anyway because really you are pedictably idiotic. Mostly your comments are too worthless to bother perusing.

      • John DeFayette

        Summer is intolerable on my patio most years. Would you please point out where I may purchase that vector control DDT product in Europe or the USA?

      • Robert,

        That was a pitiful attempt to back up your ‘millions of deaths’ wild assertion.

        It’s a fact that DDT usewas being cutsiled in some countires even before the US ban on agricultural use, and that other countrires have continued its use right up to the present.

        It’s use, and non-use, depends on a wide variety of factors; cost, effectiveness, manpower, resistance, convenience, local preferences, etc.

        The science on DDT is good – it was good at the time of the ban,and is now; DDT is only one weapon in the arsenal against malaria.

        One could argue that the tunnel-vision demagoguery pushing DDT as some kind of silver-bullet and deceitfully claiming ‘millions’ of preventable deaths are the ones edging dangerously close to “moral turpitude’.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Michael,

        Here s the quote from the WHO again. http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/10/trusting-the-experts/#comment-284558

        A million people a year die of malaria. ‘“We must take a position based on the science and the data,” said Dr Arata Kochi, Director of WHO’s Global Malaria Programme. “One of the best tools we have against malaria is indoor residual house spraying. Of the dozen insecticides WHO has approved as safe for house spraying, the most effective is DDT.”

        If you want to play absurd odeological games – by all means – but I am not impressed.

      • Take your blinkers off Robert.

        That announcment was not about DDT, but about IRS – DDT is only one of the possible insecticides used in IRS. And, again, there are a range of reasons in deciding which is the best to use. Some will use DDT, some will not.

        What the hell is with this DDT obsession???????

      • Robert I Ellison

        ‘Nearly thirty years after phasing out the widespread use of indoor spraying with DDT and other insecticides to control malaria, the World Health Organization (WHO) today announced that this intervention will once again play a major role in its efforts to fight the disease. WHO is now recommending the use of indoor residual spraying (IRS) not only in epidemic areas but also in areas with constant and high malaria transmission, including throughout Africa.

        “The scientific and programmatic evidence clearly supports this reassessment,” said Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, WHO Assistant Director-General for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. “Indoor residual spraying is useful to quickly reduce the number of infections caused by malaria-carrying mosquitoes. IRS has proven to be just as cost effective as other malaria prevention measures, and DDT presents no health risk when used properly.”

        WHO actively promoted indoor residual spraying for malaria control until the early 1980s when increased health and environmental concerns surrounding DDT caused the organization to stop promoting its use and to focus instead on other means of prevention. Extensive research and testing has since demonstrated that well-managed indoor residual spraying programmes using DDT pose no harm to wildlife or to humans.’

        No the press release was in reletion to the approval of the use of DDT after 30 years of not using it. Are you lying or merely deluded?

      • Robert,

        Why do you keep posting the same thing over and over? Dementia??

        Here’s the primary announcment;
        “WHO promotes indoor spraying with insecticides as one of three main interventions to fight malaria …”

        And that DDT can be one of those insecticides.

        Another sad DDT obsessivem, playing fast and loose with the truth as a stick to beat ‘environmentalism’, which itself is just another of the proxy wars on climate science – pure ideology at work.

      • Robert I Ellison

        WHO gives indoor use of DDT a clean bill of health for controlling malaria

        WHO promotes indoor spraying with insecticides as one of three main interventions to fight malaria

        15 September 2006 | Washington, D.C. -Nearly thirty years after phasing out the widespread use of indoor spraying with DDT and other insecticides to control malaria, the World Health Organization (WHO) today announced that this intervention will once again play a major role in its efforts to fight the disease. WHO is now recommending the use of indoor residual spraying (IRS) not only in epidemic areas but also in areas with constant and high malaria transmission, including throughout Africa…

        “We must take a position based on the science and the data,” said Dr Arata Kochi, Director of WHO’s Global Malaria Programme. “One of the best tools we have against malaria is indoor residual house spraying. Of the dozen insecticides WHO has approved as safe for house spraying, the most effective is DDT.”

        Indoor residual spraying is the application of long-acting insecticides on the walls and roofs of houses and domestic animal shelters in order to kill malaria-carrying mosquitoes that land on these surfaces.

        “Indoor spraying is like providing a huge mosquito net over an entire household for around-the-clock protection,” said U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, a leading advocate for global malaria control efforts. “Finally, with WHO’s unambiguous leadership on the issue, we can put to rest the junk science and myths that have provided aid and comfort to the real enemy – mosquitoes – which threaten the lives of more than 300 million children each year.”’

        No – I simply can’t believe the contortions you subject your consciousness to. I keep hoping that by quoting the source document some clarity might emerge – a forlorn hope I fear.

        The most effective insecticide is DDT – there are no health problems – it is cheap. 30 years and 500 million a year infections later it is an object lesson in poor science and moral panic. It is the hard lesson that you seem incapable of learing for ideological reasons. I read Rachel Carson. I believed the propanganda. I suggest you move on. Either way your mindless zombie defence of the indefensible has no place in the real world.

    • Bob,

      If you are genuinely interested, but I suspect you probably aren’t, read this and you may learn something:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DDT

      • Tempt – But some humanitarians were upset. They claimed the ban was a death sentence to millions of people. And they had statistics. In Sri Lanka, the country’s malaria burden shrunk from 2.8 million cases in the 1940s to just 17 in 1965, due to the use of DDT. Five years after the country stopped using DDT, the number of cases had risen to 500,000. In the 1980’s Madagascar stopped using DDT and immediately had an epidemic of malaria, resulting in the death of more than 100,000 people. The humanitarians’ rage over the ban was summed up by Michael Crichton, author of Jurassic Park. One of his characters in the novel State of Fear says that banning DDT was “arguably the greatest tragedy of the twentieth century” and that the ban “killed more than Hitler.”( com_content&view=article&id=309&Itemid=263)

      • Wow Temp – I am glad you gave me a link to Wikipedia.

      • Bob,
        Malaria mostly kills children under 5 years old.
        And you could classify children up to 5 as special kind
        of very late term abortions.
        So for Lefties it could be regarded as a kind of birth
        control- and birth control is regarded as very
        good thing.
        So, that’s millions of mothers freed of a decade of servitude.
        Probably one of their greatest accomplishments

      • gbaikie, yes you are right. I shouldn’t be, but I am still shocked and dismayed at Tempt’s knee-jerk answer. Notice how his immediate concern was not for the hundreds of millions (mostly, as you point out are children under five), who needlessly died despite only minor concerns, but alludes to theoretical concerns that the mosquitoes might develop immunity to DDT. What kind of mind thinks like that – astonishing.

      • but alludes to theoretical concerns that the mosquitoes might develop immunity to DDT.

        This is rich – even for a “skeptic.” The whole “DDT ban killed millions” is a theoretical argument.

        It is a counterfactual argument, in that it rests on (as you state them certain) assertions about what would have happened had things that didn’t happen, happened. By it’s very nature it is theoretical, and an argument that rests on statements of absolute certainty about something that is by it’s nature theoretical is inherently illogical. It is a sure sign of a “skeptic” and it is a completely unskeptical argument.

    • “DDT has always been available for vector control. You accept this as true, don’t you? ”

      I’m not sure its fair to single out Robert but climate sceptics aren’t particularly interested in what is true. They are, though, much more interested in anything which which can be distorted to suggest conventional science may have got it wrong in advocating that DDT should be restricted.

      They like to make out its evil lefties who rate the survival of Eagle chicks higher than the survival of children in countries which are malaria prone.

      Unfortunately, to anyone with any intelligence, a reading of the available literature shows there is no magic solution based on widespread uncontrolled usage of DDT.

      As reported in by Chapin G and Wasserstrom R (1981). “Agricultural production and malaria resurgence in Central America and India”. Nature 293 (5829): 181–5. “widespread agricultural use led to resistant insect populations. In many areas, early victories partially or completely reversed, and in some cases rates of transmission even increased”.

  43. Robert I Ellison

    ‘More famously, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report (21) shows the spread among climate models for global warming predictions. One of its results is an ensemble-mean prediction of ≈3°C increase in global mean surface temperature for doubled atmospheric CO2 concentration with an ensemble spread of ≈50% on either side. The predicted value for the climate sensitivity and its intermodel spread have remained remarkably stable throughout the modern assessment era from the National Research Counsel (NRC) in 1979 (22) to the anticipated results in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (foreshadowed, e.g., in ref. 3) despite diligent tuning and after great research effort and progress in many aspects of simulation plausibility. An even broader distribution function for the increase in mean surface air temperature is the solution ensemble for a standard atmospheric climate model produced by Internet-shared computations (23), but there is a question about how carefully the former ensemble members were selected for their plausibility.

    In each of these model–ensemble comparison studies, there are important but difficult questions: How well selected are the models for their plausibility? How much of the ensemble spread is reducible by further model improvements? How well can the spread can be explained by analysis of model differences? How much is irreducible imprecision in an AOS?

    Simplistically, despite the opportunistic assemblage of the various AOS model ensembles, we can view the spreads in their results as upper bounds on their irreducible imprecision. Optimistically, we might think this upper bound is a substantial overestimate because AOS models are evolving and improving. Pessimistically, we can worry that the ensembles contain insufficient samples of possible plausible models, so the spreads may underestimate the true level of irreducible imprecision (cf., ref. 23). Realistically, we do not yet know how to make this assessment with confidence.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full

    ‘In 1963, Lorenz published his seminal paper on ‘Deterministic non-periodic flow’, which was to change the course of weather and climate prediction profoundly over the following decades and to embed the theory of chaos at the heart of meteorology. Indeed, it could be said that his view of the atmosphere (and subsequently also the oceans) as a chaotic system has coloured our thinking of the predictability of weather and subsequently climate from thereon.

    Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

    Climate models are different to most models in that the central equations are chaotic. It is odd that there is a consensus amongst experts on the nature of climate models but that this does not translate into the popular zeitgeist. It is I believe the theshold concept problem. Certain concepts are prerequisites to understanding. Once grasped the field reveals itself in new and much broader vistas. Yet these ideas are often ‘troublesome’. – http://www.ee.ucl.ac.uk/~mflanaga/thresholds.html

    These models are chaotic. There is no unique, deterministic solution. The solutions presented in the ensembles of opportunity are selected based on a posteriori solution behaviour. That is: the solutions conforms to expectations without any objective basis for choosing one possible soluion over another – or any investigation of the range of possible outcomes. Yet these are presented as objective calculations by very many who lack understanding of the essence of these models – or are deliberately misleading the public and policy makers.

    Dynamical complexity has broad implications for climate as well.

    ‘Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008GL037022/abstract

    Can’t beat expert, peer reviewed opinion. Although a lot of people seem capable of ignoring it.

    • Chief,

      I see you are off on your hobby horse again. Yes we know that its not possible to predict the weather in NY City on any given day many decades from now. We knew that before. We also know that the prediction of future climate can’t be as exact as we would like. But not knowing everything isn’t the same as knowing nothing.

      The comment below is a bit rich from one who doesn’t accept most peer reviewed work on the AGW question.

      “Can’t beat expert, peer reviewed opinion. Although a lot of people seem capable of ignoring it.”

      Yes they do. And others seem quite capable of distorting it to suit their own purpose too.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Peter,

        We are back to the nonsense of climate averages. What is clear from the above references from leaders in the field of climate modelling is that numerical methods of climate ‘prediction’ are chaotic. There are no unique solutions. There are multiple and widely divergent solutions for the temperature in NYC decades hence – and there is no particular reason (other than liking a particular solution) for choosing one over another. Thus even if climate evolved smoothly over the decades – it won’t – models most assuredly do not. This I believe is the consensus in the field of climate modelling – the threshold concept you are incapable of comprehending. Don’t feel too bad but it would be better if you stopped peddling this particular distortion arising from your lack of comprehension around the interweb.

        ‘Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation.’ http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full#content-block

        Probabilistic estimates may be possible but until those arrive we effectively can know nothing about climate decades hence. Some people know less than that as they still think that we can know something from solutions chosen on the basis of ‘a posteriori solution behaviour’.

        The world is still not warming for a decade or three more. So sad too bad.

  44. That was a sting in the tail from mathbabe, wasn’t it. First the skeptics would have been nodding in agreement with the “don’t trust the experts” talk and then, boom
    “But when I followed the incentives with respect to climate modeling, they bring me straight to climate change deniers, not to researchers.”
    She’s not on their side after all.

    • Robert I Ellison

      The incentive is to have a ‘solution’ within the range anticipated by the peer group. As there is no unique, deterministic solution there is no problem arriving at any required solution at all. Misrepresenting the nature of the ‘solution’ comes from ignorance or deceit.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Unmemorable the first time Josh. Try some science instead – http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/10/trusting-the-experts/#comment-284505

      • Tell us Chief – did you do a 180?

        Or will you stand up and tell “skeptics” to stop with this facile “you can’t trust the experts” line of argumentation?

        Go ahead. Explain to one of the “skeptics” the selectivity of how they treat expertise, the selectivity in their hand-wringing about appeal to authority.

        You won’t mind if I don’t hold my breath, I hope?

      • I did miss it, perhaps because I searched for the word ‘denier’ to see what had been said about it before (you used ‘demier’, possibly being PC).

      • or you did spell it correctly later, so I would have seen it, and subliminally got the ‘nodding’ into my head. I thought I was being original, oh well.

      • Heh. Good point. Anyone who uses “denier” is clearly calling people Nazis.

      • Robert I Ellison

        I don’t know what you are talking about Joshua. This is nothing new. It stems from the liberal waffle that passes for coherent thought in any of your posts.

        I suggested reading some science – http://judithcurry.com/2013/01/10/trusting-the-experts/#comment-284505 – That might help with improving your logic skills – but forgive me if I don’t hold my breath.

    • Joshua | January 10, 2013 at 10:20 pm said: ”Anyone who uses “denier” is clearly calling people Nazis”

      that’s scraping on the bottom of the beryl…. same as: everybody with mustaches is Hitler or Stalin ==== if you deny that you are a bank robber, or a pedophile => does that make you a Nazi…?

      ”denying” any phony GLOBAL warming is honesty. Denying localized warmings as GLOBAL = honesty. Denying that climatic changes have anything to do with the concocted past phony GLOBAL warmings / global coolings is honest science.

      Believing in LIES, just to be trendy and to fit with the nutters from both camps; is irresponsibility, low moral value / bigotry, and total ignorance ; or just ”frozen brains syndrome”

    • Joshua

      Perhaps you need to look closer at how you “judge” people when you prejudically describe someone as a “libertarian extremist”. What does a person have to support in order to be so labelled by you?

      • Rob –

        Read up on Armtrong’s views on education. There is actually much I agree with him about the problems with the methodology and pedagogy of our institutional approach to education – but IMO, he carries his views into the land of extremism. Similar with what Armstrong has to say about DDT.

        And if you really want a nice example of libertarian extremism, try Googling Alex Jones.

      • Joshua

        You are the one who labeled him as a libertarian extremist. I asked what specific position he of another person would take that would warrant them having such a label applied? You seem to like to label people overall as libertarian extremists if they have supported a position on a particular issue that you may disagree with but you do not seem to apply the extremist label fairly or consistantly. If a “progressive” or a “conservative” take a position on a specific issue that is more or less extreme than the norm are they extremist overall or is their view biased on just that issue.

        Sorry but your position seems unreasonable

      • Rob –

        You asked why I called him extremist, and I gave you two issues on which Armstrong’s perspective is extremist. I’m not going to dig up the references now. If your interest is not to the level where you want to do the work, no problem.

  45. It is not even that clear cut. Michael Mann wrote about Nate Silver, and the bottom line is that he thinks Silver is trusting the wrong experts. This from last September.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-e-mann/nate-silver-climate-change_b_1909482.html

    • To expand on this. Apparently Silver interviewed Mann for his book, and Mann was quite happy with how the interview went, but when he read the book, Silver had been talking to experts from the political/economic fields, more related to his own background, and mostly conveyed their views on climate change, and not the scientific view. Mann’s article is titled “FiveThirtyEight: The Number of Things Nate Silver Gets Wrong About Climate Change”

      • Haven’t read the book yet… I’m dubious about Silver’s reliance on J. Scott Armstrong – who’s quite a political extremist and who supports the ridiculous “DDT ban killed millions” argument – although even so, Armstrong did seem objective in his (fairly accurate) election analysis/predictions.

      • Silver, you mean, did better than the Republicans on election predictions. Armstrong was on a recent congressional panel and certainly gave the dubious side of the argument there.

      • Joshua, you say “ridiculous “DDT ban killed millions”. You, as usual, are out of your depth.
        DDT Timeline
        1930s – Malaria was common in the Southern United States.
        1935 – Paul Müller begins a search for a new and better pesticide in Switzerland.
        1939 – DDT discovered by Paul Müller.
        1947 – In 13 southern states, over 4,650,000 houses were sprayed with DDT.
        1948 – Paul Müller awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.
        1949 – Malaria eradicated from Italy.
        1951 – Malaria eradicated from the U.S.
        1955 – The World Health Organization (WHO) makes plans to eradicate malaria worldwide.
        1959 – More than 80 million lbs of DDT was sprayed over the US (half a pound per person).
        1961 – DDT use reaches its peak. It is registered for use on 334 agricultural products.
        1962 – Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring blamed environmental destruction on DDT.
        1964 – Rachel Carson died.
        1965 – Paul Müller died.
        1969 – Residues of DDT and its metabolites (such as DDE) found worldwide.
        1970 – WHO announces that malaria has been eradicated in 37 countries.
        1972 – EPA bans DDT in the U.S.
        1976 – WHO gives up on eradicating malaria.
        1998 – POPS Treaty proposes banning DDT.
        2001 – POPS Treaty grants a temporary health-related exemption for use of DDT for malaria.
        Prior to 1950, malaria was common in the southern US, infecting 15,000 people a year and killing about the same number as scarlet fever. Beginning in 1947, 4.6 million houses were sprayed in the United States, completely eradicating malaria from the country. Similar sprayings eradicated malaria from Europe. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) began as an organization to eradicate malaria. When malaria was gone, it sought other ways to benefit America. That’s why it’s located in Atlanta, GA, in the southern US. In India when the DDT campaign began in 1953 there were 75 million malaria cases a year and 800,000 deaths. By 1966 there were fewer than a million annual cases of malaria and no deaths. In parts of Indonesia, 25% of the population was infected by malaria. When DDT was introduced, the rate fell to 1%. In Venezuela, the number of malaria cases dropped from 8 million to 800 when DDT was used. Today,malaria still kills about 2,000 children a day, most in Africa.
        In Sri Lanka, the country’s malaria burden shrunk from 2.8 million cases in the 1940s to just 17 in 1965, due to the use of DDT. Five years after the country stopped using DDT, the number of cases had risen to 500,000. In the 1980’s Madagascar stopped using DDT and immediately had an epidemic of malaria, resulting in the death of more than 100,000 people.
        http://scienceheroes.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=309&Itemid=263

      • Bob –

        Read the thread I linked as a starting point – if you’re really interested in a meaningful discussion, I’m game. In particular, you seem to be making the basic mistake of correlation = causation (less use of DDT caused more malaria). You will find much information to help you fill out your knowledge base for making that assessment. You will also find out more about the actual policies that were implemented, as opposed to what has been spread like an infectious disease in the rightwing blogosphere. Do some research on what measures were taken for vector control in the US. Look at what happened with malaria eradication in the US prior to the use of DDT, and consider what might happen if there had been funding for similar programs in poor countries that lacked the proper infrastructure for effective DDT usage. Consider the koan of how to spray the walls of houses in houses that don’t have walls. Consider resistance in communities to the usage of DDT. Consider that spraying DDT often just causes mosquitoes to go to the next location where they aren’t spraying. Consider the localities were DDT usage remained high and malaria remained high. Consider what is needed to make DDT usage effective. Consider the managed programs that promoted “extended phase out periods” depending on circumstances.

        Come back if you’re read through the thread I linked, and we can discuss this.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Work your way through a blog thead?

        ‘Nearly thirty years after phasing out the widespread use of indoor spraying with DDT and other insecticides to control malaria, the World Health Organization (WHO) today announced that this intervention will once again play a major role in its efforts to fight the disease. WHO is now recommending the use of indoor residual spraying (IRS) not only in epidemic areas but also in areas with constant and high malaria transmission, including throughout Africa.’

        “The scientific and programmatic evidence clearly supports this reassessment,” said Dr Anarfi Asamoa-Baah, WHO Assistant Director-General for HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. “Indoor residual spraying is useful to quickly reduce the number of infections caused by malaria-carrying mosquitoes. IRS has proven to be just as cost effective as other malaria prevention measures, and DDT presents no health risk when used properly.”

        WHO actively promoted indoor residual spraying for malaria control until the early 1980s when increased health and environmental concerns surrounding DDT caused the organization to stop promoting its use and to focus instead on other means of prevention. Extensive research and testing has since demonstrated that well-managed indoor residual spraying programmes using DDT pose no harm to wildlife or to humans.

        “We must take a position based on the science and the data,” said Dr Arata Kochi, Director of WHO’s Global Malaria Programme. “One of the best tools we have against malaria is indoor residual house spraying. Of the dozen insecticides WHO has approved as safe for house spraying, the most effective is DDT.”’ http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2006/pr50/en/

        Imagine what would have happened had the use of DDT not been curtailed because of poor science and moral panics. You are an incredible idiot Joshua.

        And – btw – I have explained to you before my lack of a need to be consistent on not talking to you. Occassionally I will read and respond to your incredible waffle. Occassionally – I will not read and respond anyway because really you are pedictably idiotic. Mostly your comments are too worthless to bother perusing.

      • David Springer

        Robert I Ellison | January 10, 2013 at 11:59 pm |

        “Imagine what would have happened had the use of DDT not been curtailed because of poor science and moral panics. You are an incredible idiot Joshua.”

        And an anonymous coward.

        Added for completeness.

      • Oh, he’s famous, alright. And I give him credit for bravery for coming back after the Pacifica fell into California. Or foolhardiness.
        ====================

      • Jim D –

        Silver, you mean, did better than the Republicans on election predictions.

        Actually, I was referring to Armstrong (although Silver did well also).

        Armstrong’s site seems to be having some major problems – but here’s the link:

        http://pollyvote.forecastingprinciples.com/

        Reading his predictions was actually quite interesting – as he’s a pretty hardcore libertarian extremist. Just goes to show, not all libertarian extremists are incapable of any form of solid analysis. I wonder why Judy has so much trouble attracting those that are capable?

      • “Just goes to show, not all libertarian extremists are incapable of any form of solid analysis. ”

        A comically distorted view, unmistakenly identifying its author as being a blinkered hardcore totalitarian extremist.

        As supported by the data I notice – it came from Joshua

      • Heh. I guess tomcat objects to me saying that not all hardcore libertarian extremists are incapable of solid analysis.

        Too funny.

      • No, just confirming that an obviously nutty comment came from an obvious nut.

      • No, just confirming that an obviously nutty comment came from an obvious nut.

        See – proof of what I said. You are obviously capable of solid analysis. You “confirmed” that Joshua is the one who wrote the comment under the name of Joshua. Incredible.

        Where would we be w/o people so capable of solid analysis?

    • With the dishonesty and slipperiness generally expected of a totalitarian/alarmist nut like himself, Joshua doges and weaves and wriggles to try and divert attention away from the insinuation he tried to hard to sneak in unnoticed under the cover of pretending to be focused on something else. The comically inept ‘thought’ he is trying to sneak in, being his feigned surprise at a libertarian doing sound analysis, his sad little would-be implication being that this is generally not to be expected of libertarians.

      Often in the past, he has complained of libertarian insights, but has always been utterly at a loss to coherently counter them. His general style of deception and rhetoric being characteristic of his highly ideological tribe.

      • …the insinuation he tried to hard to sneak in unnoticed….

        Excellent point. I tried to “sneak” it in, by writing it in my post. I’m so slippery, I am. I try to sneak stuff in by writing it.

        Once again, I can only thank my lucky stars that folks as perceptive as you can ferret this stuff out. Imagine that, the ingenuity of finding out what people say by reading what they write!! Who woulda thunk?

      • Yes, that’s the style, just continue deny the very impossibility of underhand / sotto voce insinuations . Because of course they stop working once admitted and identified. Can’t have that now, can we?

  46. “I agree wholeheartedly that we should follow the incentives to understand where manipulation might be taking place. But when I followed the incentives with respect to climate modeling, they bring me straight to climate change deniers, not to researchers.” Yes, mathbabe, a hoard of posters on Climate Etc, Climate Audit, WUWT etc have billions of dollars riding on CAGW scepticism, none of us have concerns for good public policy based on provable science. Well spotted.

    • Faustino –

      You do realize that your horde only makes up a tiny % of people who could fairly be characterized as “skeptics?” Now the % of the full gamut of “skeptics” who might profit directly from climate “skepticism” might be small, but the influence of those “skeptics” who would profit directly is quite large.

      Keep in mind, I think that the entire notion of reverse engineering from assumptions about profit motivation is facile, and likely mostly reflective of biases in those doing the reverse engineering – but that said, I have seen you before extend the “horde” you describe to reflect the phenomena of climate “skepticism,” when in fact, it is a small slice. I’d be willing to wager, for example, that the vast majority of “skeptics” have never even heard of any of the websites you just listed. One of the problems in this debate is the pattern where people project their own thinking/experiences onto others.

      We are all outliers here. All of us.

      • We know that the large oil companies, such as BP, have donated lots of money to climate alarmist causes. We know that natural gas producers, such as T. Boone Pickens, work pretty hard to inhibit coal production on CO2 reduction grounds. We know that the nuclear industry has generally been supportive of global warming alarmism. And of course the large corporations like Greenpeace and WWF have been on the bandwagon for a long time. That’s not to mention the huge flows of taxpayer money that are channeled through EPA, NOAA, etc. that are incentivized to support an alarmist narrative (no alarm, less clout, less money).

        Joshua’s phantom skeptics who are secretly funded by the gnomes of Wheeling, WV are hardly important players in all this.

      • Fair enough, and sorry about the spelling mistake. It’s not unknown for me to be an outlier, though in recent times rarely an outlaw..

      • steve –

        We know that the large oil companies, such as BP, have donated lots of money to climate alarmist causes. We know that natural gas producers, such as T. Boone Pickens, work pretty hard to inhibit coal production on CO2 reduction grounds. We know that the nuclear industry has generally been supportive of global warming alarmism. And of course the large corporations like Greenpeace and WWF have been on the bandwagon for a long time. That’s not to mention the huge flows of taxpayer money that are channeled through EPA, NOAA, etc. that are incentivized to support an alarmist narrative (no alarm, less clout, less money).

        Actually, none of that is germane to my point. Now I might argue with some of your points, but nonetheless, assuming your points to have 100% veracity, it says not a word about the influence of a small % of “skeptics” – of which I spoke.

        And this:

        Joshua’s phantom skeptics who are secretly funded by the gnomes of Wheeling, WV are hardly important players in all this.

        Is just a flat out strawman. I had come to expect better of your comments. Play the ball, not the man. You’ll get farther along towards a fruitful discussion.

      • Joshua,

        Do you have any evidence to support your conspiracy theory? Please provide evidence for the massive amounts of money being given to sceptics. I’d be looking for evidence that it is a significant proportion of the money being spent on climate science and climate policies, let alone the economic damage those policies are doing.

      • Enough with the transparent troll tactics. I quote: “Now the % of the full gamut of “skeptics” who might profit directly from climate “skepticism” might be small, but the influence of those “skeptics” who would profit directly is quite large.” Not a strawman but your direct and unfounded assertion.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Joshua, do you not believe Michael Mann who tells of the hordes of bark beetles controlled like border collies by the twitch of a Watt’s eyebrow ?

  47. If you don’t trust the experts, you should go to people in scientific fields who can judge the expert consensus without any ‘benefit’ to themselves (NAS, APS, etc.), or go to other clearly intelligent people (Apple, Google, Microsoft) for their climate opinions. Even Exxon has some climate risk statements these days that would make skeptics’ heads explode, if those are your trusted experts.
    http://www.exxonmobil.com/Corporate/safety_climate_mgmt.aspx

    • Robert I Ellison

      ‘Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008GL037022/abstract

      You could try going to the source of peer reviewed science. Or is this a little too radical?

      • Last sentence in the same paper. Maybe you didn’t read it through.
        “If the role of internal variability in the climate system is as large as this analysis would seem to suggest, warming over the 21st century may well be larger than that predicted by the current generation of models, given the propensity of those models to underestimate climate internal variability [Kravtsov and Spannagle, 2008].”

      • Robert I Ellison

        ‘However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into
        the future must at least be entertained. The apparent lack of a proximate cause behind the halt in warming post 2001/02 challenges our understanding of the climate system, specifically the physical reasoning and causal links between longer time-scale modes of internal climate variability and the impact of such modes upon global temperature.
        Fortunately, climate science is rapidly developing the tools to meet this challenge, as in the near future it will be possible to attribute cause and effect in decadal-scale climate variability within the context of a seamless climate forecast system [Palmer et al., 2008]. Doing so is vital, as the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean temperature.‘ My emphasis.

        The penultimate paragraph. I don’t know what you make of this Jim – but it is the essence of dynamical sysyems in that they exhibit abrupt and non-linear change. I quote it because it is both right and challenges linear climate wisdom. Climate may well be warmer, it may not change or it cool. All bases covered? Can’t help it – it is the way of deterministic chaos grasshopper. If we had some proper probabilistic forecasting – we might be able to estimate the probability of various outcomes. As we don’t we can’t. So sad too bad.

      • Indeed talking about short ranges, they say natural variability has a big impact. We all agree. Then they start to talk about longer ranges which is where they conclude with their climate warming statement that looks more warmist than skeptic. They are warmists, no mistaking that.

      • Robert I Ellison

        The papers are about dynamical complexity augmenting and counteracting warming over these decadal scales – climate shifts. There is no potential for climate to repeat the pattern of the 20th century and therefore there is no assurance that the next shift is to warmer or cooler. Hence the potential for surprises due entirely to natural variability that are outside the envelope of steady warming. There is no basis for deciding the trajectory of future climate shifts within the context of deterministic chaos. The future may well be warmer than guestimated expectations – due to these non-linear mechanisms. Theoretically it may also be cooler.

        In decadal scales – the world is still not warming for a decade or three more at least. Which is all I said. You need to get your head around the concept of abrupt climate change to understand these papers.

      • Abrupt climate change means the warming rate could abruptly resume tomorrow too. You talk about chaos then claim to be able to predict it, which is a completely inconsistent view with itself even.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Indeed the phrase indeterminate length is contained in the quote I supplied. But these shifts tend to last 20 to 40 years in the proxy records.
        A decade or three more seems a broad enough claim.

        Given the shifts in SW at TOA in the satellite recods – a warming shift next time seems not to be guaranteed.

      • Yes, it makes more sense to look at the temperature trend in at least 30-year segments, and for the last 30, the rise is 0.17 degrees per decade, even with the recent flat part, which cancels with the more rapid rise just prior (possibly from the Pinatubo recovery). If you don’t look at 30-year periods, be prepared for a roller coaster, I think everyone would agree. Tunnel vision on the shorter trends doesn’t help at all. Thirty years from now 0.5 degrees is just the minimum rise from extrapolation.

      • Robert I Ellison

        The shifts identified by Tsonis in his network of ocean and atmospheric indices were around 1910, the mid 1940’s, the late 1970’s and 1998/2001. Temperature trajectories and the frequency and intensity of ENSO change at these times. It makes sense to look at these periods as ‘regimes’.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        It makes sense to look at a longer period – over both a cool and warm period at least. Alternatively – one may do as Kyle Swanson did here – http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/07/warminginterrupted-much-ado-about-natural-variability/ – and calculate a trend over a period that excludes the shfts themselves. Either way you get a trend of less than 0.1 degrees C/decade. Much of this is not carbon dioxide at all. Indeed – given that the satellite records suggest that most of the Swanson increase was clouds – if this was all there was there would not be much of a problem at all.

        So we have a cool period likely to last a decade or three more and not see increases in temperature followed by an utterly unpredictable climate shift. It is most unlikely that the 20th century pattern will repeat. This is the warmist dillemma. But risk remains for the dynamical system -transformed from a steady evolution to warmer conditions to that of abrupt and non-linear climate change.

    • Jim D

      You’ve got it wrong.

      If you don’t trust the “experts” (IPCC et al.), DON’T go to other “experts” (NAS RS, etc.) who are judging the “experts” based on their own “expert opinion” (as you suggest).

      Instead, “VERIFY”.

      Demand that the “experts” show you the empirical data upon which their “expert judgment” was made.

      Keep the “experts'” feet to the fire until they show you this empirical evidence.

      Do not accept their “expert judgment” until they do.

      Quite simple, actually (Feynman expressed it long ago).

      It’s called “rational (or scientific) skepticism” and is an integral part of the scientific method.

      Max

      • So you think none of the other experts have verified for themselves that the science holds together with the observations. We know the earth responds in an expected way to forcing changes (volcanoes, solar, global dimming aerosols, natural GHG changes), so why should it not respond when the forcing change is from anthropogenic CO2, and not only that, but this is larger than the other recent forcings added together. Sometimes it looks like acceptance of some forcings, while denying others, in a non-scientific selective way, and no wonder independent scientist societies don’t fall into that line of thinking.

  48. As a non-expert, I count meself well qualified ter contribute ter this discussion. Herewith…

    Mathbae asks: ‘Whom can we trust?
    Trust, say, one of the BIG questions of life, inter related to
    knowledge, ‘wadda-we-kow?’ Socrates, and with interdependency,
    John Donne, ‘No man is an island.’

    Guess from the beginning of life, children (and animals) demonstrate
    a powerful need for regularities and into maturity we cling to our expectations dogmatically even as they break down. A problem of
    learning, as Nassim Taleb discusses in ‘The Black Swan’ is that once
    we produce a theory, we are not likely to easily change our minds.
    And that applies to ‘experts’ as well.

    So should we uncritically trust the expert? Taleb, in Chapter 10,
    ‘The Scandal of Prediction,’ :) gives examples of our human
    epistemic hubris and poor record in prediction, our tendency ter over-estimate what we know to under-estimate uncertainty, and
    our practice of over-looking our record of failed forecasts. Well
    then, so who de we trustt? Every day some of us must rely on
    some expert or other, we catch a plane, visit a dentist, undergo
    a medical procedure. Past record of performance may re assure
    here, and Taleb makes the distinction between experts who tend
    ter be ‘experts’; … eg livestock judges, astronomers, pilots,
    mathematicians ( when they deal with mathematical ‘problems)
    and experts who are not ‘experts’ … eg stock brokers,
    psychologists, intelligence analysts or professions that deal with
    the future and base their predictions on any, other than short term physical processes. )

    But what about scientists and ‘science’? Scientists per se .. well
    …er no…they’re jest human like the rest of us, subject ter
    confirmation bias of paridigm, ideology and the need ter procure
    GRANTS. Fortunately, given the shifting sands we live on, our lack
    of expertise, we have evolved the institutions of the OPEN SOCIETY
    to provide checks and balances on the hubris of individuals and
    power cliques.

    The methodology of science, of conjecture, (guess) of testing,
    tentative provisional acceptance of a hypothesis or theory, and
    of refutation leading ter a new state of play. We recognise that
    scientists don’t always adhere ter the methodology, maybe
    inocculate their theory or gatekeep, but the METHODOLOGY
    opens up to critical examination, show – yer – workings –
    trans-parency and has brought great advancements ter human standards of living and ter life expectancy.

    Like democracy itself, government by non expert representatives)
    of the people, involing transparent enquiry and elections, ultimately
    our fate lies in our own hands, not experts, not central planners , dictators, faceless decision makers of the IPCC an Yew Nighted
    Nashuns At its heart it’s based on skepticism and protecting the
    checks and balances. Amen.

  49. Errata (as usual.) ‘Mathbabe’ ‘know’ ‘paradigm’ (perhaps others)

  50. Brandon Shollenberger

    People who portray great certainty are often those the most full of it. Consider, for example, Bob Droege. He told someone:

    You don’t even know what the decline in the “hide the decline” was.

    Here’s a clue, it wasn’t global temperatures.

    The attitude here implies Droege knows what he’s talking about. It turns out, he doesn’t. A few hours after that comment, Droege posted this comment. It is mind-boggling how much he gets wrong in it:

    MBH98 was the first crack at a global temperature reconstruction,

    MBH98 wasn’t a global temperature reconstruction. The words “Northern Hemisphere” are plastered all over the paper. The caption for the main graph “Northern Hemisphere mean temperature.” The IPCC version of the graph labels it “NORTHERN HEMISPHERE.” The follow-up paper (MBH99) which built upon it is titled “Northern Hemisphere Temperatures During the Past Millennium.” It’s hard to understand how someone could decide it is a “global temperature reconstruction.”

    so MBH98 can be thrown under the bus, even though it is still generally
    correct.

    This shows another basic point Droege gets wrong. MBH98 was one of two papers responsible for the iconic hockey stick. The followup paper is labeled MBH99, and they are collectively referred to as just MBH. There is no legitimate reason one would talk about criticisms of the hockey stick and limit themselves to discussing just MBH98. MBH98 doesn’t even cover the controversial MWP.

    About a dozen or so reconstructions since then give basically the same result, including Loehle.

    Even Mann’s later work doesn’t “give basically the same result.” To show how far off it (and other modern reconstructions) are from MBH, look at this figure.

    And I think they stopped using divergent tree ring series not because they disagreed with their theory, but because they disagreed with their data.

    Nobody “stopped using divergent tree ring series.” What they did was truncate tree ring series at a point to give the impression the series matched instrumental temperature records. Who in the world would say, “I stopped using X series” to mean, “I deleted a portion of the X series with no real reason.”

    But the real shining moment comes in a slightly later comment:

    Max, we know there wasn’t a 20th century decline in temperatures because we have the instrumental data. Should we trust tree ring series that are obviously responding to something other than temperature post 1960?

    Apparently Droege not only doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he isn’t even thinking about what he says. The answer to his question is obviously, “No.” We shouldn’t trust those series. That’s why we shouldn’t use them at all. The fact the series has a problem means the series has a problem. It doesn’t mean we should trust one part of the series but not another when we have no reason to believe anything is different between the two parts.

    Given how much Droege gets wrong, should his portrayed certainty be enough to make you trust him when he says:

    [MBH] it is still generally correct…

    you have been sold a bill of goods if you believe that bizarre upside down Tijander series crap.

    No. If you want something to believe, I suggest reading this and checking the sources given in it. I know self-plugging is a bit cheesy, and that link is to a poorly formatted version (it looks better as a pdf), but it’s still a far better resource than anything Droege could offer.

    • From out of left field, Amac, too, rifles outrage to the plate.
      ================

    • Brandon,

      What is the title of MBH98?

      And why did you leave the error bars off of MBH98 in your graph but leave them on for the other series? If you put the MBH98 errors bars back on, you would see that they overlap the other series.

      And your linky doesn’t work for me.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bob Droege:

        What is the title of MBH98?

        It is, “Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries” of course. What’s your point? That anyone lazy enough to just read the title of the paper won’t see you’re wrong about an incredibly basic fact?

        And why did you leave the error bars off of MBH98 in your graph but leave them on for the other series? If you put the MBH98 errors bars back on, you would see that they overlap the other series.

        First, it wasn’t my graph. Second, it’s hardly fair to criticize me (ignoring the fact it isn’t even my graph) for not including error bars when the error bars you refer to were calculated in a nonsensical fashion (for MBH98; nobody knows what was done for MBH99). Third, even if I wanted to include error bars for MBH, MBH failed statistical verification. That means it’s impossible to assign it any confidence intervals.

        If you want to say MBH is barely similar to other reconstructions if you use meaningless, errantly calculated confidence intervals, you can. I think most people will just say, “Wide error bars barely let the series match? The new results must be fairly different.”

        And your linky doesn’t work for me.

        Given I included about five links, it’d have made sense for you to specify which link you were talking about. Not doing so just makes things more difficult for me. Regardless, somehow the URL for my last link got appended to this page’s URL. It should have been easy to figure out the right URL, but here is a fixed version.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I suppose I ought to point out that graph doesn’t actually show the error bars “for the other series.” When you average four series together, you introduce a source of error. That’s what the error bars in that graph show.

        In other words, error bars weren’t included for any of the five series.

      • Dont give me that crap about MBH failing statistical verification, that’s not applying a statistical test correctly.

        And I meant the last link, the one you stated was your paper.

        Sorry you didn’t get that.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bob Droege:

        Dont give me that crap about MBH failing statistical verification, that’s not applying a statistical test correctly.

        It must be wonderful to hand-wave your way through conversations. Not only can you say whatever you want, you don’t have to explain or justify anything! It must be wonderful. That is, unless you want someone to actually believe you.

        And I meant the last link, the one you stated was your paper.

        Sorry you didn’t get that.

        This is what is called a notpology. A notpology is where one pretends to apologize but actually doesn’t. As you display, it usually involves blaming the other person. In this case, you’re blaming me because I didn’t “get” the phrase “your linky” somehow referred to one specific link rather than another.

        One nice thing about people who put on airs is they generally resort to petulent behavior when challenged in any meaningful way. It’s one of the most reliable methods of telling who is full of it. I mean, if you could respond to me in any substantial way, why haven’t you?

      • Brandon,
        You started off saying I was full of it and now you want me to respond to you in a substantial way, OK, here goes.

        What statistical verification did MBH98 fail? Please be specific. You too are guilty of handwaving.
        I looked at your Watts up post, and I see you are still flaming on the upside down tiljander series crap, care to prove they used it upside down?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bob Droege:

        You started off saying I was full of it and now you want me to respond to you in a substantial way, OK, here goes.

        I said you were full of it while showing you were wrong on multiple points. That is a substantive criticism. The fact I derided you doesn’t some excuse you from addressing your own failures.

        What statistical verification did MBH98 fail? Please be specific. You too are guilty of handwaving.

        The link to my earlier writings discusses the issue in some detail. I hardly think it’s hand-waving to raise a specific point discussed in detail in a source I had just provided. Regardless, the answer is R2 verification.

        I looked at your Watts up post, and I see you are still flaming on the upside down tiljander series crap, care to prove they used it upside down?

        The fact you keep calling this simple point “crap” is quite telling. I think you’re the last person still arguing this. If I go to Skeptical Science and look for information on the topic, the very first link they give acknowledges Tiljander series were used upside down. If Skeptical Science admits a criticism of Mann, it’s amazing anyone would dispute it.

        Heck, the same criticism was leveled against another paper by Darrell Kaufman et al, and they (eventually) admitted the criticism was true. To believe Mann did not use the Tiljander series upside down would require us believe Stephen McIntyre claimed Mann and Kaufman did it, and it turns out Kaufman did but Mann didn’t. That’s a difficult position to take, especially since Ray Bradley was a coauthor on both papers.

        The data and code for Mann’s 2008 paper is available, it has been analyzed by many people, and it has even been replicated. That the Tiljander series were used upside down is beyond dispute. However, if you want to pursue this matter, we can. Before we do though, I require one thing of you.

        I want you to accept that if you’re shown to be wrong on this point, you have no credibility when it comes to discussions of the hockey stick. I want you to accept nobody should believe to anything you say, that my description of you (that you are full of it) was perfectly accurate.

        If you accept that condition, I’ll happily provide whatever proof is necessary. And to be fair, if you can prove you’re right and I’m wrong, I’ll hold myself to the same standard. The key is if you agree to this, neither of us will be able to back away from our positions. It’s a form of accountability.

        (Alternatively, we could bet money on it.)

      • Brandon,

        The R2 statistical test determines how well a series can be explained by comparing it to another series. In what fashion do we apply that to a temperature reconstruction? What number would be considered failing?

        Your cite for the tiljander series clearly concludes that McIntyre got it wrong.

        “Looking at McIntyre’s claims on this and the real situation descibed above shows that McIntyre’s claims are false.”

        And looking at the graph in question, which compares x-ray density to time, looks like x-ray density is higher in the late 20th century no matter what the orientation of the graph. Looks like a hockey stick to me, only not too pronounced.

        Now switching gears to the crux of the biscuit. The question is whether the Medeival Warm Period is warmer than now. From the E&E correction to the Loehle reconstruction (and I so do love pointing out that yes indeed E&E has done peer review) where he states that the warmiest three decades of the medieval warm period were warmer than the warmest three decandes of the 20th century, but not statistically significantly so.

        From the NOAA database, the warmest three decades of the 20th century average to an anomaly of 0.23, while the first decade of the 21st century is 0.57. So clearly the 21st century is much warmer than the MWP

      • Wow, Bob, I begin to understand how you convince yourself of things you do. How do you ever get anything right?
        ===============

      • Bob Droege said

        “From the NOAA database, the warmest three decades of the 20th century average to an anomaly of 0.23, while the first decade of the 21st century is 0.57. So clearly the 21st century is much warmer than the MWP.”

        You are not comparing like for like at all. You need to wait for the first three decades of the 21st century to finish before you can make a proper comparison using your terms.
        tonyb

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bob Droege, I note you once again choose to not respond to multiple points I make. If you wish to selectively respond to/ignore issues, you can, but it only makes you less trustworthy. With that said, response to the points you did make:

        The R2 statistical test determines how well a series can be explained by comparing it to another series. In what fashion do we apply that to a temperature reconstruction? What number would be considered failing?

        I’m not going to touch the first question here as it’s something you should take up with Michael Mann and his co-authors as they’re the ones who decided on the test. However, I will answer the second question. As a rule, an R2 score that is indistinguishable from 0 is always a failing score. Scores that are below one or two percent certainly qualify.

        That said, your question is kind of stupid as the significance of R2 verification scores depends on multiple factors. There is no way to give a single value as the breakpoint between failing and passing as it depends on the individual analysis. If you don’t know this incredibly basic point it’s amazing you’d say “that’s not applying a statistical test correctly.”

        Either you don’t know an incredibly basic point or you tried to set some sort of “Gotcha!” trap for me. Neither possibility makes you look good.

        Your cite for the tiljander series clearly concludes that McIntyre got it wrong.

        Cherry-picking quotes doesn’t make you look trustworthy either. The issue we were discussing is the supposedly “bizarre upside down Tijander series crap.” You took a quote that says McIntyre is wrong while ignoring the fact that link explicitly said:

        Tiljander data is actually handled upside-down there.

        That link explicitly states my point was right. You ignore that obvious fact and focus on an irrelevant quote about a third party. It’s hard to imagine a way you could look less trustworthy.

        And looking at the graph in question, which compares x-ray density to time, looks like x-ray density is higher in the late 20th century no matter what the orientation of the graph. Looks like a hockey stick to me, only not too pronounced.

        And this just makes you look insane. You’re saying a section of a graph looks to be the highest whether or not you flip the graph upside down. How could that possibly make sense? How could anyone believe flipping a graph upside down wouldn’t change what the highest part of the graph is? You seriously just said, “It goes up. If you switch up and down, it still goes up.”

        If you believe flipping a series upside down doesn’t change what the high and low points of the series are… there aren’t words.

      • Brandon,
        One thing, it looks to me like you don’t realize that when McIntyre flipped the graph upside down, the y-axis went along with the flip, so the graph is the same. And you call me insane for noting this, this is my last response to you unless you cut out the ad-homs.

        Here, read the whole quote.

        “Looking at McIntyre’s claims on this and the real situation descibed above shows that McIntyre’s claims are false. Just look at the graphs McIntyre presented. In all graphs there the values in X- and Y-axes give matching values, and yet McIntyre shows them as they would show the mistake. The graphs he presents just show how the data is in the TEA and in the input of the MEA reconstruction so basically those graphs just show that MEA have not flipped the data upside-down before feeding it to their analysis, which is exactly the opposite that McIntyre claims to be the case. He claims that MEA have flipped the data, while in real world the problem is that they haven’t flipped the data.”

        If you look at what I have posted, I have said the “Tiljander upside down argument is crap,” and I asked you to prove that Mann used it upside down, and you have done that, however Mann used the series in the configuration that he received it. He didn’t flip it.

        So you are right, Mann used the data upside down in the state he received it, he is innocent of the charges of fraud, for deliberately flipping the data, to make his case.

        And I don’t see how you apply the r2 test to a temperature series unless you know what the temperature is supposed to be.

        Sorry, can’t respond to every argument you make.

      • Tonybclimatereason,

        Why not?

        Do you claim someone can’t compare say, Albert Puhols’s batting average for one season vs his carreer batting average and argue whether or not he is having a good season or not?

        I’m comparing a 10 year average temperature with a 30 year average temperature, so it is like for like. One thing I did do, though was compare the standard deviations for the two data sets. It was lower for the shorter series, the lower trend possibly explains that.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bob Droege, my apologies. I did not call you insane, but I did say you looked insane because I misinterpreted what you said because of my hastily made response. I didn’t give thought to the fact you were talking about the X-ray density itself.

        The reason for this is nobody was talking about that. Nobody claimed the underlying data was changed. The argument has always been that the data was used upside down. That doesn’t mean the data was changed. That means it was misinterpreted. What you said has nothing to do with that.

        I shouldn’t have said you look insane. I should have instead realized you were raising a completely irrelevant point and criticized you for that. You sound completely unaware of what you’re talking about, not insane.*

        If you look at what I have posted, I have said the “Tiljander upside down argument is crap,” and I asked you to prove that Mann used it upside down, and you have done that,

        Huh. So when you said:

        you have been sold a bill of goods if you believe that bizarre upside down Tijander series crap.

        I see you are still flaming on the upside down tiljander series crap, care to prove they used it upside down?

        You were, in fact, full of “crap”? I guess I was right from the start.

        however Mann used the series in the configuration that he received it. He didn’t flip it.

        So you are right, Mann used the data upside down in the state he received it, he is innocent of the charges of fraud, for deliberately flipping the data, to make his case.

        Seeing as neither I nor McIntyre ever said otherwise, I have no idea why you’d say this. The criticism we’ve been discussing has always been about Michael Mann’s methodology and how it affects his results. You’re demonstrating my point, that you have no idea what you’re talking about.

        And I don’t see how you apply the r2 test to a temperature series unless you know what the temperature is supposed to be.

        You don’t know a basic aspect of the statistics involved, and yet you told me not to give you “that crap about MBH failing statistical verification” as it’s “not applying a statistical test correctly.” I hope you realize you are proving you are “full of it” as I said all along.

        *Neither of which are ad hominems. Insults are not inherently ad hominems.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bob Droege:

        I’m comparing a 10 year average temperature with a 30 year average temperature, so it is like for like. One thing I did do, though was compare the standard deviations for the two data sets. It was lower for the shorter series, the lower trend possibly explains that.

        You’ve again demonstrated a severe lack of knowledge. If you want to talk about statistics, you should learn at least some basics about degrees of freedom and significance levels.

      • Brandon,
        Your cite , the AGW observer one I quoted from says McIntyre claims Mann flipped the data, and shows that Mann didn’t.

        What did he finish the post with?

        “Bizarre, indeed.”

        Your cite proves my point, that McIntyre was wrong, and the upside down Tiljander series is indeed bizarre.

        Now if you can make the case that using the series upside down had a significant effect on the results, then you have made the case that it is not crap. You havn’t done that.

        By the way, I got this from Saturday Night Live:

        “By flipping the data opposite to the interpretation of Tiljander et al, Mann shows the Little Ice Age in Finland as being warmer than the MWP, 100% opposite to the interpretation of the authors and the paleoclimate evidence.”

        “By flipping the data…,Mann shows”

        McIntyre calims Mann flipped the data!

        Your inability to read clearly affects your arguments and no one should believe a word you say until you admit you were wrong when you claim McIntyre never accused Mann of flipping the data.

        And using big words like degrees of freedom, Constantinople and significance levels doesn’t demonstrate your statistical knowledge, much less do anything to my argument that the 21st Century is warmer than the Medieval Warm Period. Although I will admit I can’t put a confidence level on it.

      • Steven Mosher

        Bob.
        Mann used a method that flipped the data.
        It’s not fraud, its a questionable method that inverts data where the relationship between the proxy and temperature is known.
        but there are additional issues with Mann’s treatment of the data which
        indicate that his final results should not be relied upon without a complete re analysis.

        Start here. Mann has the degrees of freedom wrong since there are only
        TWO series from tiljander not the 4 Mann used.
        http://amac1.blogspot.com/2011/08/lightsum-and-darksum-are-calculated-not.html

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bob Droege, you acknowledged series were upside down but now say:

        Your cite proves my point, that McIntyre was wrong, and the upside down Tiljander series is indeed bizarre.

        I’m confused. Are you saying it’s “bizarre” in that Mann’s method makes no sense, or are you saying a point is bizarre despite agreeing it’s true? Either way, even if McIntyre was wrong, that would have no bearing on the issue of whether or the series were used improperly.

        Now if you can make the case that using the series upside down had a significant effect on the results, then you have made the case that it is not crap. You havn’t done that.

        Actually, I did. In the link I provided to my more detailed writings, I provided ample proof of exactly that.

        McIntyre calims Mann flipped the data!

        Your inability to read…

        First off, you butchered a quote while offering it as proof I am bad at reading. The words you removed from that quote were irrelevant. They were, “opposite to the interpretation of Tiljander et al.” Clearly, McIntyre is saying Mann inverted the interpretation of the data.

        Your entire argument rests on saying Tiljander flipped the data and Mann didn’t therefore McIntyre is wrong to say Mann flipped “the data opposite to the interpretation of Tiljander.” At best, that is opportunistic, semantic nit-picking. On the same page, McIntyre says:

        be careful in what you’re saying is flipped. Tijlander inverted the series for interpretation; Mann didn’t. So it’s not that he had to manually do something to get a wrong interpretation. This could have happened by not paying attention.

        You’re seem to be arguing McIntyre wasn’t clear enough in one sentence therefore the entire criticism of Mann (even if it doesn’t come from McIntyre) is “crap.” Oh, and if someone doesn’t over-analyze things the way you do, they can’t read.

        And using big words like degrees of freedom, Constantinople and significance levels doesn’t demonstrate your statistical knowledge

        If you think “degrees of freedom” or “significance levels” are “big words,” that says a great deal about you. As for them, the fact I know what they mean shows I know more than you do. It doesn’t, however, “demonstrate [my] statistical knowledge” as I know far more than just their meanings. For example, I know how to use the concepts.

        much less do anything to my argument that the 21st Century is warmer than the Medieval Warm Period. Although I will admit I can’t put a confidence level on it.

        Your inability to put a confidence level on anything actually does do something to your argument. It renders what you said meaningless. It is impossible to make the claim you made without being able to account for uncertainty in the data.

        (The fact I know this and you apparently don’t is yet another indicator of our relative levels of statistical knowledge.)

      • Two quotes from McIntyre:
        “By flipping the data opposite to the interpretation of Tiljander et al, Mann shows the Little Ice Age in Finland as being warmer than the MWP, 100% opposite to the interpretation of the authors and the paleoclimate evidence. The flipping is done because the increase in varve thickness due to construction and agricultural activities is interpreted by Mann et al as a “nonlocal statistical relationship” or “teleconnection” to world climate. Mann:”

        “#11. Be careful in how you use “flipping”. The climatic interpretation of Tijlander inverted the X-ray density measurements (and thicknesses) etc. When Mann used the raw data without checking to see whether it was a “long” or “short” position, he, in effect, inverted the Tijlander interpretation (by not inverting the original data.).”

        and two graphs

        http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/tiljan11.gif

        http://climateaudit.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/tiljan10.gif

        In the first quote, apparently McIntyre says Mann flipped the data and in the second quote he says Mann flipped the data by not flipping it.

        And the inverted graph is the same as the non-inverted one.

      • And back to my claim that the first decade of the 21st century is warmer than the MWP. Taking Loehle’s published claim that the MWP is not statistically significantly warmer than the warmest three decades of the 20th century. From NOAA the average temperature of the last three decades of the 20th century is 0.23 with a standard deviation of 0.17, while the first decade of the 21st century is 0.57 with a standard deviation of 0.16. The two periods do not overlap with a probability of 67%.
        So I am 67% sure that the MWP was cooler than the first decade of the 21st century, but not 95% sure.

      • Bob,

        You might be interested in these two resources:

        http://amac1.blogspot.ca

        http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2011/06/22/climate-science-scientific-method-skeptics-not/

        My own take on this:

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/tagged/TiljanderAffair

        Please drop Tiljander until you read a bit more about it.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bob Droege:

        And back to my claim that the first decade of the 21st century is warmer than the MWP. Taking Loehle’s published claim that the MWP is not statistically significantly warmer than the warmest three decades of the 20th century. From NOAA the average temperature of the last three decades of the 20th century is 0.23 with a standard deviation of 0.17, while the first decade of the 21st century is 0.57 with a standard deviation of 0.16. The two periods do not overlap with a probability of 67%.
        So I am 67% sure that the MWP was cooler than the first decade of the 21st century, but not 95% sure.

        What an amazing demonstration of statistical… something. One would hope you’d realize having smaller “error margins” in a period with one third the data is nonsensical, but… If you’re “x% sure” based upon absurd calculations like that, more power to you.

        As far as I’m concerned, you’ve proven my point for me.

      • Bob

        10 years is less than a full stop whereas the MWP is a period. There is no comparison.
        tonyb

      • I’ll still take Mann’s response:

        “The claim that “upside down” data were used is bizarre. Multivariate regression methods are insensitive to the sign of predictors. Screening, when used, employed one-sided tests only when a definite sign could be a priori reasoned on physical grounds. Potential nonclimatic influences on the Tiljander and other proxies were discussed in the SI, which showed that none of our central conclusions relied on their use.”

        They did the analysis without the Tiljander data and got the same answer. Which is why I think you guys need to show that the use of the upsise down data is relevant. It isn’t. So why don’t you guys drop it.

        And why is a shorter data set having a smaller variance non-sensical? 10 years of data is still thousands of data points.

      • You can’t win thaïs zone, Bob.

        Let it go.

      • ‘This one.’

        Damn autocorrect.

      • tonyb

        10 years is less than a full stop whereas the MWP is a period. There is no comparison.

        One thing. There’s no such thing as the MWP. There is no evidence of a synchronous ‘warm period’, not even in the NH. Rather the proxies suggest a sequence of *regional* warm events in the NH over a period of ~400 years.

        So the MWP is not a period. Or a full stop. More of a misnomer than anything else ;-)

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bob Droege:

        They did the analysis without the Tiljander data and got the same answer. Which is why I think you guys need to show that the use of the upsise down data is relevant. It isn’t. So why don’t you guys drop it.

        You claimed this. I told you you were wrong and pointed you to a source that proves you are wrong. You responded by simply repeating yourself. This is what we call digging oneself further into a hole. When even Gavin Schmidt won’t defend Mann on a point, you should know you should stop talking about it.

        And why is a shorter data set having a smaller variance non-sensical? 10 years of data is still thousands of data points.

        Somebody should take that shovel away from you. I never said a word about smaller variance. I said “error margins.” If you don’t know the difference yet think you can draw conclusions about statistical issues… you’re proving my point. The fact you apparently have no idea what degrees of freedom are or why they matter shows you have no basis for saying things you say.

        In other words, you’re full of it.

      • Enough with the Tiljander, lets go back to McInyres claim that Mann’s reconstruction failed r2 testing. Anyone who has ever done a regression analysis knows that you pick the function, for example log co2 that you are comparing the temperature series to. What failed is McIntyres fit, not the data.
        I do regression testing to verify an HPLC insrument is suitable for analyses of drug samples intended to be injected in someone’s brain. The instrument has two detectors that must pass regression, 0.99 for one and 0.95 for the other. One has a linear response and one has a log response, if I select the wrong function to do the regression, the test will fail, but what I can’t do is throw out the data, I could be cuffed and stuffed for that.
        The data just can’t fail regression testing, IT IS JUST THAT SIMPLE.
        I am really impressed with a 0.02 r2, cherry pick of the century.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bob Droege:

        Enough with the Tiljander, lets go back to McInyres claim that Mann’s reconstruction failed r2 testing.

        Sure, let’s randomly stop discussing one point you’re wrong on and jump to another point you’re wrong on. Why not?

        What failed is McIntyres fit, not the data.

        Right… What failed is McIntyre’s fit, that Mann calculated. And published in his original paper before McIntyre even knew who Mann was. And it’s all McIntyre’s fault that Amman and Wahl published a paper denouncing McIntyre’s criticisms of MBH that included the verification scores I referred to (in fact, their paper is the source of the image I posted).

        McIntyre is certainly to blame for the people who disagree with him calculating the results of a simple and common test.

        The data just can’t fail regression testing, IT IS JUST THAT SIMPLE.

        You should take that up with Michael Mann, Gavin Schmidt, Eugene Wahl, Caspar Amman and dozens of other people who defend the hockey stick but disagree with you. They’ve all commented on the use of the test you criticize me for promoting.

        I am really impressed with a 0.02 r2, cherry pick of the century.

        It’s funny you mention cherry picking verification scores. Michael Mann published the r2 verification score for the 1820 step of his reconstruction while hiding the adverse scores for earlier steps. So not only did Michael Mann do what you say can’t be done, he cherry-picked while doing so!

        (Should we jump to another topic now, or would you like to admit you have no idea what you’re talking about?)

      • Can you actually cite something to back up your nonsense, and nothing from wuwt will do.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Bob Droege:

        Can you actually cite something to back up your nonsense, and nothing from wuwt will do.

        Cite something? I cited two papers. The Wahl and Amman one may have been a vague citation (though it is easy to find via Google), but surely you know what Mann’s “original paper” on this topic was. Why in the world would you act like I haven’t cited anything?

        I have no idea what you’re asking here. Is there something specific you want a citation for, or did you just ignore the fact I already cited several sources?

  51. For the evaluation of people, even experts, you should also consider the aspects of means, motive, and opportunity.

  52. Yes the problem with experts is not with the quality of their expertise, but with their incentives, integrity and paymasters.
    Climate science is now surely the No 1 textbook example of the problem.

  53. Once the experts … have reached some kind of a consensus about what the best course of action is … then figure out who is impeding that action for political or other disingenuous reasons and tackle them — do whatever you can to remove them from the playing field

    Exactly the opposite problem to the one we face here – which is to figure out who is seeking action for political or other disingenuous reasons, and tackle them.

  54. Climate science ‘experts’ are expert in producing fraudulent science. That’s the bottom line.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2259942/The-crazy-climate-change-obsession-thats-Met-Office-menace.html

    All the temperature, rainfall, hurricane etc. data coming from “climate science experts” is shown to be faked by constant adjustments, cherry picking and other malpractices, all of it. The Hockey Stick was fraudulent science deliberately created to con the ignorant masses into believing that AGW exists, but the adjustments to world temperture records began earlier, when CRU funded by big oil and the nuclear industry altered the New Zealand records as well as adjusting their own and then ‘losing’ the raw data.

    This is a scam, there is no science in this and there is no scientific integrity from those pushing the AGW fiction that carbon dioxide is capable of such great physical effects.

    The “climate science experts” pushing the fake fisics about carbon dioxide and fraudulently manipulating data to fit are not scientists they are climate con artists, they are experts in this.

    Why should we trust expert con artists?

  55. Let me bring this out as a new piece. One of the advantgages of Climate Etc is that scientists from both sides of the issue do talk to each other, and exchange ideas. As a result I, for one, learn more about what issues we disagree on, and why we disagree.
    @@@@@
    Bob Droege | January 10, 2013 at 4:44 pm |
    As I thought Jim, you are asking for the impossible, as it is impossible to hold all factors that affect global temperature constant, while one adds a measured amount of CO2 and measures the response.
    Thus no amount of evidence will convince you so you are holding a non-scientific stance.
    @@@@@

    This brings up an issue, which I do not think has been discussed fully; this is the quality of such little empirical data that we have. Classical physics tends to be based on data from controlled experiments. As Bob so rightly points out, it is impossible to do controlled experiments when we are considering CAGW. This must mean that the quality of any empirical data we have is not as great as it would be, if controlled experiments were possible.

    This might well explain some of the diffrences that skeptics and warmists have. Yes, there is empirical data as Pekka has pointed out, as well as tempterrain. But the quality of this data is not as good as it would be if controlled experiments were possible. So this brings up another question; is the empitical evidence good enough? Being the best that there is, does not mean that it is good enough to prove that CAGW is more than a hypothesis.

    This sort of explanation might go a long way to explaining the difference between the two sides. One needs to look at more that whether a specific reference gives empirical data. One needs to evaluate whether the empirical data is good enough to prove anything. The basic difference between myself and the warmists on Climate Etc is I am never going to be satisfied with the quality of the empirical data. I simply cannot see how it can ever be good enough to prove that CAGW is real.

    This brings me to the issue which I think we might to discuss. This issue is not whether CAGW is more than a hypothesis, but whether the IPCC is correct in claiming that “the science is settled”. It is here that we might have a useful discussion. So let me try a new question. Is the empirical data that we have good enough for the IPCC to claim that it is “very likely” that some aspect or other of CAGW has been proven?

    • Jim,

      Are you sure you are a Physics graduate? Didn’t they teach you that science, unlike mathematics, works on the balance of evidence rather than proof? Maybe you’ve just forgotten. Maybe you’ve lost too many brain cells over the years.

      Yes I know that you “simply cannot see how it [empirical evidence] can ever be good enough to prove that CAGW is real.”

      Ok you’ve set the bar so high that you know it is never going to be jumped over. So what?

      As I said to Max the IPCC haven’t ruled out the possibility of GAGW but they don’t think its likely in the foreseeable future. AGW, though and without the C, is still a serious matter and is something better avoided.

      Its not about proof and its not just about CAGW. If you can’t see that then you should find something else to do in your retirement years like grow roses or join the local bowls club.

      • tempterrain

        There are a couple of errors in your post to Jim Cripwell.

        First of all, IPCC has defined in some detail its hypothesis of potentially catastrophic impacts resulting from AGW over the course of this century, which has been called the “CAGW” premise. I can outline these for you again, if you missed the earlier posts where this was done.

        Secondly, the concept of “empirical scientific evidence” to validate a hypothesis has been covered in several treatises – a good basis can be found in the notes of Feynman.

        Such “empirical scientific evidence” does not exist at this time to support the above “CAGW” premise of IPCC.

        As a rational skeptic of the “CAGW” premise, I would like to see this evidence before I accept the premise as valid, as I have indicated to you in the past. Jim Cripwell has also requested this evidence.

        So far the evidence has not been presented.

        That’s the issue here, tempterrain.

        It can be resolved very quickly by simply citing the empirical evidence, but not by rhetoric.

        Ball’s in your court, tempterrain

        Evidence – not talk.

        Max

      • TT, you write “Ok you’ve set the bar so high that you know it is never going to be jumped over. So what?”

        The “so what” is the final question I asked, and which you have not addressed. If it is, indeed, impossible to produce the sort of quality empirical data that is required to show that CAGW is more than a hypothesis, is the IPCC correct to claim that CAGW has been proven to a very high level indeed? That is the question which I wish you would address.

        But you wont.

      • Jim,

        is the IPCC correct to claim that CAGW has been proven to a very high level indeed? That is the question which I wish you would address.

        Ok Let’s make a start on addressing it then. Can you give me a reference on where the IPCC have actually said that and we can then take it from there?

      • Robert I Ellison

        Well first of all you would have to define CAWG – typically as greater than 2 degrees C increase. As silly as linear thinking in a non-linear system is and as improbable the methods of prediction are.

      • Max,

        ” …………..which has been called the ‘CAGW’ premise”

        Who by?

      • Robert

        A 2C temp rise does not mean the C needs to be added to AGW. The temperature increase in and of itself is not a problem. It is what happens as a result of the temp rise that could be the problem.

      • “Well first of all you would have to define CAWG – typically as greater than 2 degrees C increase.”

        The IPCC reserve the use of the word ‘catastrophic’ for much greater levels of warming.

      • Robert I Ellison

        Actually – the IPCC uses catastrophe in the sense of Rene Thom. Abrupt and catastrophic change.

      • TT you write “. Can you give me a reference on where the IPCC have actually said that and we can then take it from there?”

        Quoting from the SPM to the AR4 of WG1, page 8 it is stated “Most of the observed increase in global averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations”. On page 3 it states that “very likely >90%”. So the IPCC is stating that most of the observed rise in temperature at the end of the 20th century is more than 90% certain to have been caused by increased levels of CO2 concentrations.

        Where is the empirical data that supports the certainty of this conclusion, if we are agreed that it is impossible to do the controlled experiment and measure that when the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere adds X to current levels, it causes global temperatures to rise by Y?

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

        So this is CAGW?

        So you admit that if man is responsible for most of the global warming since 1950 it means there is a catastrophe?

      • lolwot, you write “So you admit that if man is responsible for most of the global warming since 1950 it means there is a catastrophe?”

        What TT and I are discussing is the relationship between the empirical data and the certainty with which the IPCC states it’s conclusions with respect to CAGW. The actual IPCC statement refers to the rise in temperature in the 20th century. But the issue is the certainty with which this issue is stated. If you want to address that issue, the certainty, you are welcome to join in the discussion. But please dont introduce red herrings.

      • The IPCC puts the “C” in CAGW in working group II’s section of the AR4.

        “increases in malnutrition and consequent disorders, with implications for child growth and development;
        increased deaths, disease and injury due to heatwaves, floods, storms, fires and droughts;
        the increased burden of diarrhoeal disease;
        the increased frequency of cardio-respiratory diseases due to higher concentrations of ground-level ozone related to climate change”

        Malnutrition, drought, heatwaves, floods, storms, but no claims of catastrophe… not us, no sirree.

        Hey, I guess we don’t have to listen to any more bilge about the precautionary principle. (Yeah, I know, CAGWers like to have it both ways. Cognitive dissonance – don’t leave home without it.)

      • Jim Cripwell,

        You’ve asked if ” the IPCC [is] correct to claim that CAGW has been proven to a very high level indeed? ”

        So I’m looking for some indication that the IPCC has used the word “catastrophic” and the term “proven to a very high level” in relation to each other. Or even if they have ever written anything at all which might lead you to think they believe this to be the case?

      • TT : The IPCC reserve the use of the word ‘catastrophic’ for much greater levels of warming.

        Yes in keeping with their general dishonesty, they assert catastrophic effects but avoid the word itself.

    • “This brings up an issue, which I do not think has been discussed fully; this is the quality of such little empirical data that we have. Classical physics tends to be based on data from controlled experiments. As Bob so rightly points out, it is impossible to do controlled experiments when we are considering CAGW. This must mean that the quality of any empirical data we have is not as great as it would be, if controlled experiments were possible.”

      If global CO2 were over next few decades rise by 50 ppm, how much would
      this cause global temperature to rise?
      So assuming an increase of 20-25 ppm per decade and before 2035.

      And also what would global average temperature be by 2035 in perhaps
      unlikely case that it was instead around 400 ppm [doesn’t increase- and no reasonable governmental global policy can actually plan on such low levels by 2035].
      So question by time we had increase of 50 ppm, how much will global temperature increase by?
      And if there was no increase of global CO2, how much would global temperature increase by 2035?

      And checking what think is obvious, everyone agrees that 50 ppm already added to global CO2 does have greater impact on temperatures than a future addition of 50 ppm of CO2. Which gets to the two questions: you can only assume the future addition of 50 ppm will have greater effect than a past addition 50 ppm, because you think the past addition of 50 ppm CO2 has in some way been delayed and so will manifest itself if given enough time.
      And I assume if you think past addition of CO2 has had this delayed effect, that also means the future addition of CO2 will likewise be delayed.

      I guess a third question is what if we were get unexplainable massive increase in global CO2 occurring very rapidly, so there is sudden addition of 50 ppm within less than 5-10 years.
      So in summary, we have the kind of expected increase of CO2 over decades adding 50 ppm. And no increase in CO2 by 2035. And the as unlikely, sudden increase of 50 ppm.
      What is predictable temperature increase due to CO2 and whatever increase in global water vapor this rise in CO2 will cause?

      But exclude such things as natural variability, catastrophic methane release, volcanoes, land use, SO2, or whatever else.
      Just talking about the so called “control knob” of CO2.

      • gbaikie

        The climate “control knob” of CO2 (as touted by some “experts”) is being falsified as we speak (if it hasn’t already been).

        There are too many instances in the modern record where warming has occurred without significant CO2 increase or CO2 increase has occurred without warming.

        The ~30-year multidecadal warming/cooling cycles in the record cannot be explained by the CO2 “control knob”.

        The paleo record going back 500,000 years shows CO2 increased lagged temperature increase by several hundred years, with several instances where temperature rose when CO2 levels were below average or dropped when CO2 levels were above average. This belies the suggestion that CO2 was the “control knob”.

        The current lack of warming, despite unabated CO2 emissions and levels reaching record heights, cannot be explained by the CO2 “control knob”.

        CO2 is a GHG.

        GHGs trap outgoing energy and should result in some warming all other things being equal

        But, first of all, the magnitude of this warming is not at all certain and, second all other things are obviously NOT equal.

        Until we know the effect of all natural climate forcing and variability factors on our climate, it is absurd to talk of a CO2 climate “control knob”.

        Max

      • I just want to say that the quality of the data is not related to the nature of the experiment.

        You can have good quality data and do a crappy experiment, just as you can do a great experiment but with crappy data.

        Of coulrse there are the other two extremes.

      • “gbaikie

        The climate “control knob” of CO2 (as touted by some “experts”) is being falsified as we speak (if it hasn’t already been).”

        It’s my opinion that CO2 probably has little to do with average global temperature.
        Or to be clearer, CO2 has too small a capacity to “trap heat” or in any way keep regions of Earth warmer.
        In addition if CO2 somehow trapped 100 times more heat than I think is vaguely possible, this would still not warm the earth by any significant amount.
        Now, water vapor is suppose to “trap heat” by about this factor of 100 times more than CO2 [at least in tropical region where is higher quantities of water vapor]. And I don’t think this more “powerful water vapor” traps any significant amount of heat. And if that if the amount heating which water vapor does were to be increased by factor of 100,
        it still would still not trap enough heat to make any difference in terms of warming earth.

        Earth does not retain heat very well. As example, In comparison I think Venus would retain the energy of a nuclear explosion far better than Earth. Though an under water nuclear explosion would seem to be more effective at retaining heat as compared to Venus.
        And someone at some time may have already measured how much energy this was measured to be- it could even be publicly available information [though doesn’t seem likely].

        In terms of natural effect, lakes of lava, and large lava flows, are also not having much effect upon warming Earth, and it seem to me that if they were on Venus, more of the heat would be retained in the atmosphere.
        So that’s what I mean by Earth does not retain heat well.

        But in terms of low levels of heat gained from the energy of sunlight, Earth is pretty good in terms retaining this heat.
        In comparison I think Venus at Earth distance could be frozen ice house. So, I do think Venus could very well involve some kind of “runaway affect”. But it goes without saying that our level of knowledge regarding Venus is far less than our knowledge of Earth.
        The way look at Venus, is Venus is heated liquids and solids in it’s atmosphere. So mostly warmed by sunlight heating up the clouds of sulfuric acid, and this warmed liquid, heating up the atmospheric gases. And dust also probably part of it.

        But all this is somewhat academic.
        The issue at hand is the empirical evidence of CO2 warming Earth. And also a clarification of the hypotheses regarding the theory of the Greenhouse Effect.
        It seems to me if someone were to believe the theory of the Greenhouse Effect, then adding 50 ppm of CO2 to global CO2 levels
        should cause about .3 to .4 C.
        That would seem like a reasonable guess. Which would based upon whatever empirical evidence one could regard providing evidence for this theory.
        So my answer to my question is:
        .3 to .4 C for addition of 50 ppm
        No warming if there is no increase
        And a sudden addition of 50 ppm also within a few years
        gets this addition of .3 to .4 C to global temperature.
        Or the sudden addition of 50 ppm of CO2 doesn’t in someway
        amplify the effect so one get more than .3 to .4 C of warming.

  56. According to the FED, it became a new American tradition.

  57. Unfortunately, translation of scientific findings to the general public is often undertaken by university Public Relations departments, by press release. Most of these are simply extremely bad to awful — spinning findings way beyond actuality, speculating wildly, and encouraging the authors to give ‘sexy’ or ‘intriguing’ quotes that will encourage the MSM to pick up and print the press release, which they too often do without any further questioning, fact checking, or even looking at the paper’s abstract. The interest of the PR department is to make the university look good — not to forward the public’s understanding of the particular piece of science.

    This is what I (and others) have named Press Release Science. It is not a compliment.

    • Reminds me of Anthony watts major announcement press release

      • David Springer

        Watts press release was a case of fighting fire with fire. Muller fired the first press release across his bow. He responded in kind. Watts was quite clear that he didn’t approve of the practice, that two wrongs don’t make a right, but that if that was the rule that Muller wanted to play by then Watts would do the same.

        I’m not certain you can appreciate the difference between starting a food fight and throwing food only after you unexpectedly get hit in the face with a pie.

      • There’s no distinction. If you value the kind of integrity that says science should not be done by press release then Watts has lost that integrity.

        The Watts press release was aimed far beyond Muller. It wasn’t a rebuttal. It was a promotion of a result in it’s own right: claiming that global warming was less and that the NOAA temperature records were wrong. It spinned the findings way beyond actuality, speculating wildly, and included ‘sexy’, ‘intriguing’ quotes to encourage blogs to pick up and print the press release.

        Science by press release. Skeptics are against it unless they do it it seems.

        Excuses about fighting fire with fire were just failed excuses tacked on to try and justify the hypocrisy.

  58. David Springer

  59. The restriction on the use of DDT and its impact on malaria deaths in several poorer nations is a matter of record, despite a few lame denial attempts, as the Chief and others here have pointed out.

    It appears to have been a monumental “screw-up” by well-meaning (rich, white) “experts”, who thought they were doing the “right thing” for our planet in response to the worldwide public and political reaction to Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.

    Is there a parallel with the current CAGW hysteria?

    Are well-meaning (rich, white) “experts” again doing what they think is “right” for our planet, and will it again have a similar devastating impact on the poorest individuals on this planet, this time by depriving them of the possibility of access to a reliable, low-cost source of energy (based on fossil fuels)?

    Should the world “trust” the well-meaning (rich, white) “experts” this time around?

    That seems to be the pertinent question here.

    Max

    • Fake fur, I hope. But then, that wouldn’t be renewable.
      ===========

      • David Springer

        I love the feel of fur. I prefer it on the beasts of course. Mathbabe looks like a beast but technically she isn’t and I don’t want to even think about her natural fur. Yuck.

        Tip O’ the Hat to CS Lewis.

        ‘I feel just the same,’ C.S. Lewis confessed in correspondence with an American lady who had written to him and admitted her adoration of the feel of animal furs. ‘I like them on the beasts, of course.’

    • thisisnotgoodtogo