10 signs of intellectual honesty

by Judith Curry

When it comes to just about any topic, it seems as if the public discourse on the internet is dominated by rhetoric and propaganda. People are either selling products or ideology. In fact, just because someone may come across as calm and knowledgeable does not mean you should let your guard down and trust what they say. What you need to look for is a track record of intellectual honesty. – Mike Gene

I stumbled across these two posts at DesignMatrix:

For those of you who are ready to violate sign #7 of intellectual honesty, I point out that Mike Gene is a proponent of intelligent design, albeit an interesting one.  From a review of Mike Gene’s book The Design Matrix – Tom Gilson:

The way that he supports ID is refreshingly unique, however. He doesn’t argue for a conclusion of Intelligent Design at all. He argues more modestly, for a suspicion of Intelligent Design. He would have a beef with dogmatists on either side of the issue. Quite helpfully he distinguishes between the strong evidence required for conviction by a court of law, and evidence required by an investigating detective. A detective arrives on the scene with nothing but questions. His first objective is to move toward reasonable suspicions. A little hint there, a vague clue there: these things can move him toward a theory of a crime; and from there he can begin to look for more definite signs. Eventually, much further down the road, proof may come. Mike Gene believes we should recognize ID is in the developing suspicion stage: there is no hard scientific proof of design, but there are hints and clues that raise a most reasonable suspicion, and which can lead to a search for more definite signs.

Mike Gene’s 10 signs of intellectual honesty:

1. Do not overstate the power of your argument. One’s sense of conviction should be in proportion to the level of clear evidence assessable by most. If someone portrays their opponents as being either stupid or dishonest for disagreeing, intellectual dishonesty is probably in play. Intellectual honesty is most often associated with humility, not arrogance.

2. Show a willingness to publicly acknowledge that reasonable alternative viewpoints exist. The alternative views do not have to be treated as equally valid or powerful, but rarely is it the case that one and only one viewpoint has a complete monopoly on reason and evidence.

3. Be willing to publicly acknowledge and question one’s own assumptions and biases. All of us rely on assumptions when applying our world view to make sense of the data about the world. And all of us bring various biases to the table.

4. Be willing to publicly acknowledge where your argument is weak.Almost all arguments have weak spots, but those who are trying to sell an ideology will have great difficulty with this point and would rather obscure or downplay any weak points.

5. Be willing to publicly acknowledge when you are wrong. Those selling an ideology likewise have great difficulty admitting to being wrong, as this undercuts the rhetoric and image that is being sold. You get small points for admitting to being wrong on trivial matters and big points for admitting to being wrong on substantive points. You lose big points for failing to admit being wrong on something trivial.

6. Demonstrate consistency. A clear sign of intellectual dishonesty is when someone extensively relies on double standards. Typically, an excessively high standard is applied to the perceived opponent(s), while a very low standard is applied to the ideologues’ allies.

7. Address the argument instead of attacking the person making the argument. Ad hominem arguments are a clear sign of intellectual dishonesty. However, often times, the dishonesty is more subtle. For example, someone might make a token effort at debunking an argument and then turn significant attention to the person making the argument, relying on stereotypes, guilt-by-association, and innocent-sounding gotcha questions.

8. When addressing an argument, do not misrepresent it. A common tactic of the intellectually dishonest is to portray their opponent’s argument in straw man terms. In politics, this is called spin. Typically, such tactics eschew quoting the person in context, but instead rely heavily on out-of-context quotes, paraphrasing and impression. When addressing an argument, one should shows signs of having made a serious effort to first understand the argument and then accurately represent it in its strongest form.

9. Show a commitment to critical thinking. ‘Nuff said.

10. Be willing to publicly acknowledge when a point or criticism is good. If someone is unable or unwilling to admit when their opponent raises a good point or makes a good criticism, it demonstrates an unwillingness to participate in the give-and-take that characterizes an honest exchange.

While no one is perfect, and even those who strive for intellectual honesty can have a bad day, simply be on the look out for how many and how often these criteria apply to someone. In the arena of public discourse, it is not intelligence or knowledge that matters most – it is whether you can trust the intelligence or knowledge of another. After all, intelligence and knowledge can sometimes be the best tools of an intellectually dishonest approach.

Mike Gene’s post on 10 signs of intellectual DIShonesty is based on a blog post by A.robustus on his blog Informing the Misled: Repairing the Damage Done by the Truth.

A new blog by A.robustus takes a very interesting twist on the Ten Signs of Intellectual Honesty.  A. robustus writes:

I did a search of the web to see what information was available to an inquisitive reader trying to learn more about the intellectual honesty concept.  There’s quite a lot – much of it, unsurprisingly, from colleges and universities from all over the world.  The stand-out candidate appears to be 10 Signs of Intellectual Honesty available from the website of one Mike Gene.

While Mike Gene is an intelligent design apologist (who is bound to become the focus of future posts!), I have to admit that his 10 Signs post is splendid.  Looking at the number of others who have linked to this particular page I am not alone in that assessment.  I recommend it to anybody who is searching for a checklist to ensure that their argument is developed and progresses from a foundation of intellectual honesty.

A. robustus then offers his/her clever twist by outlining the 10 Signs of Intellectual Dishonesty:

From the  A.robustus post:

1. Arrogance or “I am the messenger of truth”.  Look for arguments that send the following messages:

  • “What I am telling you ARE the facts and these facts have, and always will, withstand any test.”
  • “ Anybody that disagrees with ‘us’ is either stupid or is trying to undermine ‘our’ dedication and hard work.” 
  • “ They have access to the same evidence, but they either ignore it or deliberately misinterpret it to suit their own agenda or hypothesis.”

2. Handwaving or “Your views have no merit”.  Look for ‘arguments’ that dismiss other views out of hand.  Often accompanied by Sign #1 with the opponent usually being dismissed – not specifically their argument.

3. Unwavering commitment or “I know I am right – why bother arguing?”  Anybody who refuses to accept that they may not be 100% correct, or might be looking at the evidence through their own preferred colour of glasses is not being honest to themselves or to their readers/listeners. 

4. Avoiding/Ignoring the question or “  . . . and let’s not forget about . . .” Anybody who refuses to admit that their argument is weak in an area and, worse still, avoids answering difficult questions in that area is being intellectually dishonest.  If they don’t ignore the question, these people are easily recognised from their efforts to change the subject. 

5. Never admitting error or “I am/We are right – regardless of your evidence”.  These are the people who will never admit that they are wrong – ever – regardless of clear evidence that demonstrates their error. See Sign #1

6. Employing double standards or “Your evidence is unacceptable (because it’s your evidence)”.  This is a question of how high the bar is set for the acceptance of evidence – the bar is set at a much higher level for the other party, while it is set far lower for his/her own evidence.

7. Argumentum ad hominem or “You’re a [insert label/stereotype here] . . . and you have a secret agenda” This is a favoured approach used by those who might be arguing from a weak position.  It is typically employed to avoid answering a difficult question (Sign #4) or used in conjunction with handwaving (Sign #2).

8. Destroying a straw man or “You might say that, but how do you explain . . . ?”.   Usually a case of shifting the subject and attacking the opponent’s position on that, unrelated or remotely related, topic. This is usually employed in an effort to avoid a question (Sign #4) or when the speaker/writer doesn’t have the knowledge to address the issue.

9. Ignoring the principles of critical thinking.  Relying on one source of information – usually without question.  Anybody who only considers information from a single book, article, paper, video – or any number of these from sources that are known to support that person’s views or opinions is being intellectually dishonest. Sign #1 usually applies in this case.

10. Ignoring [partial] defeat or See Sign #1  An intellectually dishonest speaker/writer will NEVER admit that the other side has found a hole in their argument.  You will never see them congratulate an opponent on finding a flaw in their argument and they will use all of the other signs if necessary to draw your attention away from the subject.

JC’s list of 10 signs of intellectual laziness

Intellectual DIShonesty is certainly rampant on the internet.  In terms of climate science, I think that intellectual laziness is the bigger problem.  Here is my characterization of the signs of intellectual laziness.

1.   Oversimplifying a complex problem, and drawing highly confident conclusions from the simplified analysis.

2.  Strong personal convictions that are based not upon an individual’s personal examination of the evidence, but rather on the second-order evidence of the existence of a consensus.

3.  Failure to continually question and challenge your assumptions.

4.   Inadequate attention to characterizing uncertainty and ambiguities.

5.   Cherry picking evidence in presenting your arguments; i.e. failure to present evidence both for and against your arguments.

6.  Tribalism that excludes viewpoints from ‘outsiders’.

7.  Failure to explicitly place your research and its implications in a broader context of previous scientific research

Ok, I only made it to #7; the others I was coming up with variants of signs that were already mentioned.  I’m sure you can think of others

JC summary:  While there is nothing really new here that hasn’t been discussed on previous Climate Etc. posts under the ethics tag, there are some fresh perspectives presented here. In any event, we should regularly remind ourselves of these principles as we get caught up in the debate du jour.

In closing, this statement from Mike Gene bears repeating:

While no one is perfect, and even those who strive for intellectual honesty can have a bad day, simply be on the look out for how many and how often these criteria apply to someone. In the arena of public discourse, it is not intelligence or knowledge that matters most – it is whether you can trust the intelligence or knowledge of another. After all, intelligence and knowledge can sometimes be the best tools of an intellectually dishonest approach.

This paragraph hits home for me.  I do work really hard at trying to be intellectually honest. I am less worried about being ‘right’, but with my attention to uncertainty I am rarely really incorrect :) .  I try to be trustworthy.  In the fallout from Climategate, the climate scientists argued that Isaac Newton was a SOB and this didn’t invalidate his science, which was an argument against paying much attention to the behavior of climate scientists.  That argument is not convincing for the following reason.  Because of the complexity of the climate system, there is heavy reliance on the judgment of experts.  The loss of trust resulting from Climategate (see my previous essay here) has had wide repercussions in the public debate on climate change.

 

880 responses to “10 signs of intellectual honesty

  1. Reblogged this on Professor Brian Blais' Blog and commented:
    This post, and others like it, are things I try to communicate to my students. Recognizing, and publicly acknowledging ones shortcomings, is a big one in my book.

    • Hi Brian, thanks for stopping by, I applaud your efforts.

      • Like Brian Blais, I felt that these points should be widely appreciated, and devoted a post to them, mostly on the work of ‘A.robustus’.

    • David Springer

      You find me recommending Mike Gene’s book “The Design Matrix” shortly after it came out as one of only three books to read to get a gist of Intelligent Design. Lehigh Biochemistry Prof Mike Behe’s “The Edge of Evolution” and Cornell Genetics Prof. John Sanford’s “Genetic Entropy: The Mystery of the Genome” are the other two on my list of must-reads.

      • Behe spoke at my grad school department in the late 1990s. I found him embarrassing. I grant his ability to brazen it out and keep a straight face – nothing else. He is the equivalent of the attorney defending the serial killer suspect who was caught cooking the remains of the victims in a stew pot

        Sorry, but this isn’t a difficult one. If you buy Behe, you can’t think your way out of a paper bag. There is no ‘there’ there.

      • David Springer

        I’d be willing to wager I can outthink you. Want to compare SAT scores?

      • “David Springe r | April 21, 2013 at 10:24 am |

        I’d be willing to wager I can outthink you. Want to compare SAT scores?”

        Which is a very good example of this adage by Howard:
        “Howard | April 20, 2013 at 3:16 pm
        Intellectual Honesty = Solving Problems
        Intellectual Dishonesty = Winning Arguments”

        The latter is really just gamesmanship. When gaming occurs, both sides have to play out the duration. Either side backing out is shown as weakness or defeat.

      • simon abingdon

        David, I take it that your recommendations are for those who want to understand the arguments which have been propounded for ID. I shall try to get round to reading them in due course, as I am fascinated by arguments which try to defend such an unlikely hypothesis. May I take it that you are not yourself a disciple?.

      • “simon abingdon | April 21, 2013 at 3:32 pm |

        David, I take it that your recommendations are for those who want to understand the arguments which have been propounded for ID. I shall try to get round to reading them in due course, as I am fascinated by arguments which try to defend such an unlikely hypothesis. May I take it that you are not yourself a disciple?.”

        Of course David S is a disciple of ID. He moderated Dembski’s blog on ID called Uncommon Descent. That’s where he perfected his argumentation techniques. Disciplines such as Intelligent Design only exist for the sake of argumentation. They don’t actually solve any problems.

      • David Springer

        I’m of the same opinion as Mike Gene for the same reasons. If you read his book “The Design Matrix” you may presume I agree with essentially all of it. I believe ID has merit but I’m not convinced one way or the other. I’m convinced that those who rigidly accept it as true or reject it as false are driven by dogma not objective analysis. There’s a bottom line one keeps coming up against. There are two sets of examples of codes and machines that operate via abstract coded instructions in the universe that we know about. Where the origin can be determined unambiguously the codes and machines are products of human intelligence. When we find similar machines of even greater complexity than anything humans have ever produced and then knowingly state they came about by a random dance of atoms it is nothing short of preposterous. Machines like that don’t self assemble de novo in anyone’s experience.

        Mike Gene in his book talks about the so-called “illusion of design” which Dawkins popularized in The Blind Watchmaker. Gene goes on to say that illusions vanish on close inspection. Yet as we explore the universe more closely on ever smaller and ever larger scales the illusion of design doesn’t go away.

        For WebHubTelescope, yes I ran Bill Dembski’s blog for several years. I was also kicked out of it and out of every inner circle in the ID movement for failure to conform to the party platform. I was pretty much the token agnostic and that finally rubbed too many people at the Discovery Institute the wrong way. Doubt isn’t allowed in either camp doncha know. Welcome to bandwagon science. Check your skepticism at the door please.

      • David Springer

        @wht

        You presume there’s a CAGW problem to solve. The only CAGW problem I recognize is dogmatists such as yourself who uncritically accept the consensus narrative and expect others to be as uncritical as you are and leap on the “save civilization from itself” bandwagon. That bandwagon IS the problem. I can’t solve that by myself certainly but I can do some small part in overtuning the applecart and I can certainly get myself on record so when the truth emerges I’m either vindicated or proven to be an ignorant putz. And unlike certain cowardly others [cough cough] I’m willing to attach my real name to my opinions on the matter. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, WebHubTelescope, whoever you are.

      • ID is easy. Design is visible in the universe. The only question is in what places do we see it?

        Andrew

      • Springer,
        Everyone knows who you are. You are the guy that ran Dembski’s blog comments section.

        Everyone knows who I am. I am the guy who has been authoring an energy and oil analysis blog for going on nine years.

        You don’t like bloggers who go by a pseudonym. I don’t like commenters with multiple sockpuppet handles. Big whoop.

      • David Springer

        No Web. I was the top adminstrator of the blog. Only Dembski had equal administrative authority along with a technician who managed the server hardware and software. I authored scores or perhaps hundreds of articles myself. I determined which others could be editors or authors and what level they were assigned within the WordPress authority-level framework.

  2. There is a very simple metric in the climate discourse, overly simple in fact. Is the writer curious or not?
    ====================

    • A metric that applies to many, kim: fwiw, wayback, I recall discussing with Mosher the theory connecting the two ;-)

  3. The Left essentially says Damn the Fossil-Fuel-Burning Public and demands power over our pocketbooks. Some of thus smell the sulfur when taxes are proposed on the use of resources we could develop in America buy Leftist policies prevent.

    • Waggy, a revenue-neutral carbon tax is a no-brainer.

      It means I pay less tax for being more fuel-efficient . I spend the tax savings on wine, women, and song. If tee-totaling music-hating celibate, you could spend your tax savings on other things.

      • I just love the construction of ‘revenue neutral tax’. Sure, it’s commonly remarked upon, but its self contradiction renders it fabulous.
        ==============

      • Continuing to send dollars to parts of the world that hate America and papering-over deficits by selling bonds to China so government has more money to play with definitely are examples of No Brain at Work.

      • When in the history of the world has there ever been a ‘revenue neutral’ tax enacted that stayed revenue neutral?

      • That’s the amusing point. They are not ‘policy neutral’ and since when has policy not been taxing.
        ================

      • Truly revenue neutral means you get a net rebate if you are below average in carbon consumption. It is interesting to consider how such a thing could be set up. You can’t compare households, transportation and commercial sectors in any equal way. It could be done on a per-sector basis, so household carbon taxes go into a pool that turns into an equally divided rebate, but in an area like the US, people using more energy in the winter cold states or summer hot states would be subsidizing those in more temperate areas. It may need to be a more local pool, like at the state level. There you can game the system by having a second house that you don’t heat, but pay energy bills for, entitling yourself to a rebate as an efficient user. For automobile fuel it is even worse. Those that drive a lot are subsidizing the grannies who use their cars only to go to the church. If the carbon tax on gas goes into a pool that subsidizes gas that is pointless because it is a circle where you pay in what you get out.

      • “no brains” and “carbon tax” go together like peanut butter and jelly.

      • Max_OK

        A revenue neutral carbon tax is a non sequitur.

        Max_CH

        PS No money for women and song – just for tax.

      • k scott denison

        Max_OK: thanks for the laugh. Revenue-neutral carbon tax, haha! And Jim D’s in full design mode, thinking through the details. Classic!

        Nothing like redistribution of wealth, eh guys? Works right up until the point that those who supply the wealth that gets redistributed decide its time to move on.

        How about we just let those who earn it keep more of it? You know, today I pay more than 10x the taxes of someone who earns only 3x less than I do. Probably not a big surprise that I don’t find that fair.

        What we need are fewer taxes, not newer taxes.

      • I am actually opposed to a revenue neutral tax, even though a flat one would give most normal consumers, I figure, a net rebate of a few hundred dollars per year while industry pays little compared to their coffers. I would prefer such a tax to go towards the expenses of adaptation (irrigation, water resource management, coastal protection, flood and drought insurance, fuel and energy cost reduction, etc.)

      • Chief Hydrologist

        A revenue neutral carbon tax is a brainless shibboleth. If set at the highest rate in the world – $30/tonne – the effect is so marginal as to be undetectable. This may be because of the inelasticity of energy demand wrt price- and that a growing economy translates into higher demand.

        If set at a price that results in substitution of sources of energy – then the revenue dries up, there is a deficit or higher taxes elsewhere and economies are left with a one off jump in energy prices and impacts on productivity.

        Low energy costs are the sine qua non of development this century – http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/19/open-thread-weekend-14/#comment-313600

      • k scott denison

        Jim D | April 20, 2013 at 6:02 pm |
        I am actually opposed to a revenue neutral tax, even though a flat one would give most normal consumers, I figure, a net rebate of a few hundred dollars per year while industry pays little compared to their coffers.
        ——–
        Where do you think the “industry coffers” reside Jim D? Who owns those coffers? Do you have the impression the coffers are untaxed? What percentage of the total US taxes do you think are paid by corporations (being sure to add in the taxes paid by their employees on the salaries they are paid, their shareholders on the dividends they receive, the sales tax they pay on purchase from suppliers, etc.)?

        Your statement gives the impression you feel there is a magic, untaxed pot of money just sitting there waiting to be had. Is that what you believe?

      • ksd, well there might be some corporations that can barely add a few percent to their fuel bills. They would be the poorly run ones.

      • k scott denison

        Jim D, if corporations add a few percent to their fuel bills, who will pay for that? Where is the magic pot of money?

        Here’s what is very likely to happen: a) they raise their prices and their customers pay for it; b) they layoff a few percent of their employees to cover the same cost; or c) a combination of the a & b.

        Just look at what’s going on even before the affordable care act is in place. Or look at the response to the medical device tax that went into effect this year.

        There is no magic pot of money Jim.

      • ksd, I would guess that the employee payroll and other costs far exceed the fuel bill of any well run organization, as would the turnover. If they can barely keep the lights on, that would probably be the least of their problems by the time they get to that stage.

      • k scott denison

        Jim D, do you seriously not understand? A corporation will react to maintain its profit margin. It has to because it has shareholders to satisfy. Doesn’t matter how large or small their fuel bill, they will either raise prices, layoff staff, or both.

        The medical device tax in the affordable care act was “only” 2.3% of sales. Now go look at the actions of US medical device companies as a result. Search “obamacare medical device tax layoff”.

      • ksd, do the math. A credible fuel bill, based on a typical household cost since I don’t know what businesses pay, would be at most 10% of the payroll (for minimum wage workers). Adding a 10% carbon tax to it makes 11%. Doesn’t seem significant. It would be lost in the noise of seasonal changes and varying energy costs.

      • A March 19, 2013 article in Vancouver’s Metro News is titlted “B.C.’s revenue neutral carbon tax inspiring U.S. neighbours”

        The following is quoted from the article:

        ‘Rumblings in Washington, D.C. about a possible federal carbon tax are being informed by B.C.’s groundbreaking revenue neutral model, Metro has learned, and so are discussions in several western states.

        At least two draft bills are being circulated by a handful of Democrats in the nation’s Capitol, despite the Obama administration’s insistence last November it would not push for a carbon tax, which Republicans are largely against.

        “Our Climate Action Secretariat works with a lot of jurisdictions,” B.C. Environment Minister Terry Lake said Tuesday via phone from Oregon, where he will deliver remarks Wednesday about B.C.’s tax to a state senate committee.

        Nearly five years ago B.C. became the first jurisdiction in North America to introduce a broad-based, revenue neutral carbon tax.

        The tax, which currently sits at $30 per tonne, contributed to a 4.5 per cent decline in greenhouse gas emissions between 2007 and 2010, even as the province’s GDP and population grew.’

        http://metronews.ca/news/vancouver/601938/b-c-s-revenue-neutral-carbon-tax-inspiring-u-s-neighbours/
        _______

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I assume Max is referring to the energy sector in BC.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/BC_greenhousegases_zps71123c9b.jpg.html?sort=3&o=0

        Business downturns and the increasing use of natural gas is a much bigger factor.

        ‘Energy-related emissions of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas that is widely believed to contribute to global warming, have fallen 12% between 2005 and 2012 and are at their lowest level since 1994, according to a recent estimate by the Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the U.S. Energy Department.’ http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324763404578430751849503848.html

        Just imagine where they would be without a tax.

        The BC table shows other much more promising short term approaches.

      • Max OK
        Sez “tax?” – “OK!”
        Is he jokin’?
        And what’s he smokin’?

      • Chief, I’m not sure I would agree with you, but I may not fully understand your argument.

        Anyway, I am glad to see the revenue neutral carbon tax gain traction. It looks like Oregon may adopt the B. C. model.

        The following is also from the Vancouver Metro News article:

        Tom Potiowsky, a former Oregon state economist and the director of Portland State University’s Northwest Economic Research Center, hosted a pubic discussion with Lake at the university on Tuesday. He said Oregon is impressed with B.C.’s model, and after studies are done it could have legislation on the table as soon as 2015

        “If you would have called two years ago, we would have said there’s absolutely no discussion in Oregon about a carbon tax, but things have changed pretty rapidly,” he said.
        “I don’t think people thought about the repatriation back of the carbon tax to lower other taxes, that neutrality part of it, so I think once people recognized that that’s the real viable option they warmed up more to the idea.”

        http://metronews.ca/news/vancouver/601938/b-c-s-revenue-neutral-carbon-tax-inspiring-u-s-neighbours/
        ________

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It is pretty easy – the US reduction was twice as much in the energy sector without a tax.

        The EU carbon price has terminally collapsed, other carbon prices are utterly pathetic – apart from Australia and that’s totally pathetic and will be removed in September. Hicksville USA would be idiotic to go down that path.

        It is pointless and marginal. A magical solution for pissant progressives that serves only to distract from real ways forward.

        It is utterly dishonest. If set at a level that would encourage energy substitution – the revenue would dry up. No one would be compensated and energy prices would be permanently higher and productivity lower. It is such braindead nonsense.

      • Chief, aren’t you comparing apples and oranges?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        What – taxes or no taxes?

      • It was such a no-brainer here in Australia that our feral government faces the potential of a $9bil blackhole every year. Thank goodness these socialist cretins and their ‘Carbon (dioxide) Tax’ are soon to be hoofed out of government and replaced with adults.

      • tempterrain said on April 21, 2013 at 1:33 am
        a revenue-neutral carbon tax is a no-brainer.

        This seems to have prompted some scoffing!
        ______

        The skeptics/deniers are worried because they see it’s a success in B.C. and other places are considering the B.C. model. The scoffing is fear.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You may organise your taxes however you like – supposing you had any support. We are getting rid of ours in September.

      • Chief, is that a done deal or wishful thinking? If it depends on an election, remember what happened to Romney.

      • Since income tax is not a sacred concept, I would gladly accept a carbon tax in return for the abolition of income tax.
        Trouble is – once a tax is imposed it turns sacred and can never be abolished.
        Proponents of a “revenue neutral” carbon tax need to specify which other tax will be scrapped before the carbon tax is imposed.

        The carbon tax, by the way, is far saner, correct, and less harmful that the insane ETS (emission trading scheme or cap &trade) imposed in Europe.

        And – the most important point: it’s al nonsense. No tax will prevent the use of fossil fuels, because we have no others, and can’t live without energy.

      • k scott denison

        Jim D, I see that you don’t understand. The fuel bill is not the only place a corporation would see its costs rise. How about all of the material they buy from suppliers? Those don’t arrive on a magic carpet so their costs are going up as well. The electricity they use isn’t free either, up it goes. The equipment they use? Yup, from suppliers who pay higher bills and shipped in using fuel as well.

        The layoffs to compensate go up with each added cost.

      • k scott denison

        By the way Jim D, it strikes me as interesting that you reduce the carbon tax down to the simplest terms do impacting the “fuel bill” only and don’t see the other areas it will have an impact. And that you reduce it to small corporations with minimum wage workers.

        Sort of like climate science has over-simplified climate changes down to CO2.

      • simon abingdon

        I know I ought to get out more but for a long while I assumed that a no-brainer had to be an utterance from someone with no brains.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-03-18/labor-fails-to-make-ground-in-latest-nielsen-poll/4578520

        The 2 party preferred is at 56% to 44% – a wipeout victory for the Coalition – and has hovered about that for a year or more. The labor minority government has a terminal stink of confusion and incompetence about it.

        There are two remaining Labor states – a minority government in Tasmania and South Australia following landslide victories for the Liberals in NSW, Queensland and Western Australia in recent time. With corruption scandals in past governments erupting in NSW and Queensland – there is no conceivable way back for Labor for a decade or more if ever.

        In Australia – the Liberal Party has broad support amongst young people, ethnic communities and the broader public. We suggest that is the way forward for the GOP but there is no equivalence between the US and Australia. We have an economy that works because people insist that governments balance budgets. Perhaps the biggest failure of the present government but one that is redeemable with a change that will happen.

    • a revenue-neutral carbon tax is a no-brainer.

      This seems to have prompted some scoffing!

      I think this means that the money I would pay in carbon tax could be offset by a reduction on my income tax, right? Surely those of a right wing disposition wouldn’t want my income tax bill to be as large as it is?

      There must be a possibility of some common ground here.

      • capitalism and a free market is a prerequisite for the maximization of net present wealth and the most efficient allocation of scarce resources.

      • Yes, your income tax would be reduced.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It is utterly dishonest. If set at a level that would encourage energy substitution – the revenue would dry up. No one would be compensated and energy prices would be permanently higher and economic productivity lower.

        It is Orwellian double speak by pissant progressives.

      • Max, if you believe that you’ll also maybe like to view this bridge I have for sale ? The tax collected will go to the corporate pals of the system … the taxpayer will see little of it. Please examine what was done here in Australia … that is where you are headed for with a carbon (dioxide) tax.

      • “capitalism and a free market is a prerequisite for the maximization of net present wealth and the most efficient allocation of scarce resources”

        Ha Ha , not for long. Given a free market, the most powerful capitalists will form monopolies, which means the market will no longer be free. Carnegie, Rocky, Morgan, and others showed us how that works.

      • tempterrain

        “income tax reduced”?

        With a $16.8 trillion US national debt and an annual deficit of around $1 trillion?

        Not likely (in the USA).

        Max

      • Max_OK

        In case you missed it, that’s why there are anti-trust laws in the USA and most developed nations.

        One major exception is the OPEC price-fixing cartel.

        Max_CH

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Max – you talk about markets as if they exist outside of the rule of law. One of the most fundamental market laws concerns monopolies. The US antitrust laws are some of the most rigorous in the world. No one but you is suggesting that these be repealed.

      • Chief, a free market is a market free of regulations. We have a regulated market. Some interests want to move it more in the direction of a free market (less regulated), while others want it more regulated.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        A free market is one where people have the choice to produce or consume according to their own desires. Some Australian environmentalists have proposed committees to determine what is produced. This is the actual threat to free markets. It extends to alcohol, Coca-Cola and fries. In principle I quite like Coca-Cola and fries – and indeed went through a stage of mixing it with Jack Daniels – two great things – and with a Homer Hudson chaser. In principle I think people should look after their own health. Monopoly laws – however – are fundamental to having a freedom to chose.

        I can’t keep doing this – you need to take care of your own educational deficits.

      • Chief Hydrologist said on April 21, 2013 at 4:06 am

        “A free market is one where people have the choice to produce or consume according to their own desires.”
        ___

        Oh Goody, I choose to make cars. No, make that airplanes. What the hell, both.

        I’ll build a house out of old tin cans, line it with asbestos, and decorate it with lead paint.

        HA HA !
        ____________

        Chief Hydrologist also said:

        ” In principle I quite like Coca-Cola and fries – and indeed went through a stage of mixing it with Jack Daniels – two great things – and with a Homer Hudson chaser.”
        _____

        GOOD GAWD, what a waste of fine sour mash whiskey. I hope is was Green Label, not Black Label.

        __________

        Then Chief said:

        “I can’t keep doing this – you need to take care of your own educational deficits.”
        ____

        I’m sorry, Chief, but the only thing I’ve learned from you is I’m glad I’m not you.

      • Max_OK, I reckon you’ve just violated no. 8

      • Chief,

        It is utterly dishonest. If set at a level that would encourage energy substitution – the revenue would dry up.

        Yes, in an ideal world, the revenue could indeed dry up. That would be a measure of the scheme’s success not its failure. Very low CO2 emissions and little tax revenue. Everyone would be happy. Wouldn’t they?
        .

      • yes, everybody’s happy, except for the millions who are previously employed, hungry and huddled together for a bit of body warmth.

      • k scott denison

        So for the roughly 50 percent of the US workers who don’t pay any income tax, what then? If the tax is revenue neutral to them, which means they still pay no tax, where’s the incentive?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘I’m sorry, Chief, but the only thing I’ve learned from you is I’m glad I’m not you.’

        Smart, witty, cultured, handsome, funny and broadly educated in civil engineering and environmental science? Do you think there is any chance at all that you could be like me Max? Funny boy.

  4. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Magical skepticism is completely honest, in the specific sense that magical skepticism entails no false-speaking … rather, cognitive research establishes that magical skeptics are simply blind to evidence cherry-picking.

    Magical skepticism is not complicated, Climate Etc readers! In fact, it’s completely familiar to us!

    \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}

  5. Hi Judy: Where do you put the debate we have had on this scale?

    • Heh, where is confrontation of taboo?
      ========

      • ‘Taboo’ magical institutions where critcism is beyond
        possibility. Sparta compared ter Pericles ‘ Athens.

        Serfer Beth

  6. The ‘hockey stick’ is a litmus test for intellectual honesty.

    • Waggy, if you were as intellectually honest as Michael Mann you would be a Democrat rather than what you are now.

      • Phony capitalists are intellectually dishonest and about as useful to society as a pimple on Ayn Rand’s ass.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        I don’t think Max_OK thougt this one through. He said, “If you were X, you’d be a democrat” where X is a range of values going from completely (intellectually) dishonest to completely (intellectually) honest. In other words, his comment is perfectly in line with Michael Mann being a total liar. In that case, Max_OK would be saying, “If you’re as much of a liar as Mann, you’d be a democrat.”

        You heard it here first. If you have absolutely no intellectual honesty (as Mann does not), you’d be a Democrat.

      • A pimple on Ayn Rand’s ass would be more useful to society than Ayn Rand.

      • Brandon, don’t be silly. If I had meant “dishonest” I would not have said “honest” The following sentence is a good example of the accurate use of both words:

        Waggy, if you were as intellectually dishonest as Brandon Shollenberger you would be more intellectually honest than you are now, but I wouldn’t buy a used car from either of you.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Puh-leez Max_OK. A dishonest person is as honest as any person who is exactly as dishonest as he is. Honesty is a scale which includes negative values. My comment was perfectly correct.

        This is a case where what you said wasn’t what you intended to say. You could have shown intellectual honesty by admitting I had a point. All you had to do was admit your wording was imprecise in a meaningless, but humorous way. You chose not to. You chose to make an argument of a silly joke rather than accept something that kind of appeared to be a criticism of you.

        Good natured ribbing should not provoke hostility. That it does indicates things about you.

      • Seems that Chewbacca can use a slingshot:

        > In logic, a slingshot argument is one of a group of arguments claiming to show that all true sentences stand for the same thing.

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

        Here, the trick was to substitute “being intellectually honest ” with “being a total liar” and redistribute everything else.

        Readers will have to decide for themselves if Chewbacca was intellectually honest or else in doing so.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        And willard makes things up. I didn’t substitute anything like he claims. I didn’t equate, conflate or substitute “being intellectually honest” with “being a total liar.” I said, quite accurately, being “as intellectually honest” as another person can mean being a total liar. Even Max_OK accepts the approach as he used it in his response to me.

        It’s simple. Honesty is a scale: Honest > 0 > Dishonest. If someone is -7 Dishonest, you are more honest than them if your value is – 6, 0 or 4. You are as honest as them if you are at -7.

        If someone asks, “How honest is he?” it is perfectly okay to say, “He’s a total liar.” That’s because honesty is a scale.

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon

        ” intellectually honest as Michael Mann”

        Standing alone outside of any context it is logically possible to construe this in the way you did. In fact, you probably thought it was funny to construe it in a way that was quite the opposite of what Max meant. You know max. you know what he thinks of Mann. Construing his sentence to mean the opposite by playing on the abiguous is funny ( kinda in a 5th grade precious brat sort of way.. you know the signs that say “slow children at play” ) its funny, but being funny is hardly an argument. And now that you’ve proven that you can dish out 5th grade humor. what other stupid pet tricks do you have

      • Brandon, you sure like to misinterpret my comments. If it’s fun for you, go ahead. I don’t care. I want you to have fun.

        BTW, I wasn’t trying to be hostile, but if it pleases you to think I was, I won’t try to change your mind.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Mosher, I made a silly joke because I thought it was funny. That’s the main reason for “stupid” tricks relying on wordplay. The next most common reason is to provoke unreasonable responses, which I did. I find it amusing when light-hearted humor can be used to highlight, or even exacerbate, someone’s intellectual dishonesty.

        As for other “stupid pet tricks,” I wasn’t planning on offering any more. A single trick was all I needed here. Why waste time and effort coming up with new approaches when the goal has already been reached?

        (But since you’re here… Have you decided to stop (at least effectively) lying about me and the Gao issue? It’d probably be a good idea for you to. Which reminds me, I need to talk to Henrik about anoher bug in his package. It’s annoying how long it’s taking me to just be able to read BEST’s data.)

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Max_OK, I offered a clear explanation for my interpretation of your comment. You can claim I misrepresented what you said, but if you don’t address what I said, you’re just going to display the intellectual dishonesty I accuse you of.

        As for hostility, you were defensive and attacked me indirectly while refusing to engage in any direct confrontation of ideas. What explains that if not hostility? There was no humor or alternative purpise for your remark. It existsd purely as an attack.

      • Willard writes:

        Readers will have to decide for themselves if Chewbacca was intellectually honest or else in doing so.

        This reader has already decided that Willard was not intellectually honest in his remark.

        Max

      • Haha, willard, moshe, and Brandon attempt profundity from a comment by Max, oh Kay.
        ===============

      • It seems that far too much was made out of a small play on words by Brandon.

        I would prefer to have let these grammatical/syntax errors go through to the keeper because this blog is a sandbox IMO and I, for one do not keep score.

        If it ever occurred to me that every word I write is scrutinesed for logic, syntax or even saying something stupid would be recorded against me and thrown back at me much later on, in a completely different context, I would feel a bit wary of expressing myself openly.

      • Chewbacca strikes again.

        This:

        > Being “as intellectually honest” as another person can mean being a total liar.

        is exactly how substitution works: you take an expression like “intellectually honest” and replace it with an equivalent, like “a total liar”.

        Then you take the substitution term and redistribute it in its logical construct. This is what is called a slingshot argument.

        Sometimes, slingshot arguments are valid. Sometimes, they’re not. That depends upon the underlying logical assumptions.

        ***

        Chewbacca’s obliviousness is even more patent when he explains yet again the algebraical basis of his joke, as if nobody got it yet:

        > If someone is -7 Dishonest, you are more honest than them if your value is – 6, 0 or 4. You are as honest as them if you are at -7.

        That for Chewbacca honesty is that extensive surely means something. But what? Lots of theories.

        Chewbacca might have played too much D&D.

        ***

        What was being said about “good natured ribbing”, again?

      • Heh, when the stakes are so little.
        =======

      • kim, when the stakes are so little, it’s probably good justification for going to another restaurant ;-)

      • However little, a stake for good nature ribbin’ does not make

        What does it say about Mann’s stake?

      • Now, I’ll go for a Mann-sized stake ;-)

      • I did not really mean “intellectually honest”, in case Chewbacca does not get the Poe.

        That was a typo.

      • Admit it, be honest. Quibbling sophistically over such of so little import is going to get us insight into the climate puzzle?
        ===============

      • We are the climate puzzle, kold.
        Our comedy of menace ain’t that puzzling.

      • Splat! Gad, can’t you even try to make it sing?
        ===========

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Peter, I’m afraid I will scrutinize everything I see you say for bad wording, logical errors, etc. I can’t resist looking for opportunities to make silly jokes!

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon, you still dont get Gao. It pretty simple.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Mosher, you said I hadn’t read the paper. I responded by quoting it, showing it contradicts what you said. I even quoted you making contradictory comments about the paper. You conveniently disappeared rather than address anything I said. In fact, you used personal attacks while avoiding addressing my points.

        It was a perfect example of (intellectual) dishonesty. I should find the link so people can see.

      • simon abingdon

        Brandon, “as intellectually honest as Michael Mann” is a particular value, not “a range of values going from completely (intellectually) dishonest to completely (intellectually) honest”. Did you mean to say that?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        simon abingdon, I may have been unclear in the comment you quoted. I was not meaning to say Mann’s degree of intellectual honesty was a range of values. I meant it is a single value taken from a range of values (that spans from positive to negative). That’s in line with what you say.

        I think my later comments lay it out more clearly than the first one.

      • Brandon you are welcome to make silly jokes at my expense if that what you like to do but I will probably pass on getting involved in any argument with you on semantics or underlying motivations. Be assured that I will not take umbrage because life’s too short and the impotance of all this is minimal.

      • err I meant importance not impotance but hey, that’s funny!

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Peter Davies, I certainly understand that. I prefer not to get into such arguments myself. I like wordplay because it’s fun. Semantic arguments drain all the humor out of it. The only time I want to have them is when trying to understand things (sometimes they’re necessary).

        Mostly, I just think we should all get a laugh out of unintentional humor. Like with your typo!

    • All things seem to be logical inferences in support of AGW theory and liberal Utopia.

  7. I think a lot of the “skeptics” here have just a suspicion the IPCC report could be right in its sensitivity range or century projections, but for the sake of a good argument, or just politically, they are not being intellectually honest here and instead put on display a certainty that the IPCC is wrong.

    • Almost sure the CO2 control knob is exaggerated, almost sure the globe is cooling naturally. Almost sure of little else.
      =============

      • February 2013 is about 0.1C warmer than Feb 1878.

      • sunshine hours

        Egregious cherry-picking is a sign of intellectual dishonesty!

        The big picture makes a mockery of your cherry-picking ;-)

        Sparing me the trouble.

      • Using 1878 is not cherry picking. 1878 is the peak of the 2nd to last peak of the ~66 year cycle. Do you deny there are 3 peaks?

        I find it amazing that as the earths climate desperately clawed it way out the LIA it managed to be so warm without CO2.

        Around 1944 there was another non-CO2 peak. From 1930 to 1949 there were 77 months in HADCRUT4 with an anomaly greater than 0.

        Top 10:

        Year Month Anomaly
        1945 8 0.355
        1944 9 0.295
        1944 1 0.290
        1944 8 0.243
        1943 10 0.229
        1942 1 0.223
        1941 10 0.219
        1944 7 0.216
        1944 10 0.211
        1939 12 0.193

      • sunshinehours1

        You are cherry-picking and so guilty of intellectual dishonesty.

        HadCRUT4, February anomalies 1850 – present.

        It’s worth noting that GAT reconstructions pre ~1900 are not considered to be as robust as those post # 1900.

      • manacker

        Overlaying annual trends on the February-only curve as you do can be forgiven since the upward trend is common to both. Something sunshinehours1 apparently seeks to discredit by cherry-picking, aka intellectual dishonesty. Why do you not comment on this?

      • k scott denison

        Is that the old “correlation means causation” ruse I see BBD?

      • What you have to realize is that run-of-the-mill “science” was sloppy and the technology was primitive back then. All it takes is to be inconsistent in taking measurements during the day or using uncalibrated or broken instruments and the systemic noise becomes overwhelming. What one really needs to do is to compensate for all those variations by compressing the data over the course of a year.
        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1850.08/compress:12
        Even this shows systemic noise, but it is obviously reduced.

        BTW, this yearly compression also removes the compensating errors of people recording data that is exaggerated in both directions. It is human nature to exaggerate heat during the summer and cold during the winter. Add the two errors together, and, voila, they cancel each other out and one is left with a more neutral view of the yearly temperature.

      • k s d
        No. It is physics in operation.

      • k scott denison

        And your proof is? I’m all ears and eyes.

      • Proof of what? That CO2 is a climate forcing? That paleoclimate behaviour makes no sense without CO2 forcing?

      • k scott denison

        The proof that it is not natural variability.

      • Steven Mosher

        “The proof that it is not natural variability.”

        Natural variability explains nothing. It is the absence of an explanation.

      • Steven Mosher,

        “Natural variability explains nothing. It is the absence of an explanation.”

        Somebody better tell those climate deniers over at real Climate.

        “It first needs to be emphasized that natural variability and radiatively forced warming are not competing in some no-holds barred scientific smack down as explanations for the behavior of the global mean temperature over the past century. Both certainly played a role in the evolution of the temperature trajectory over the 20th century, and significant issues remain to be resolved about their relative importance.”

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/07/warminginterrupted-much-ado-about-natural-variability/

        It’s also interesting they were talking about the “pause” in global warming in this paper…in 2009.

        “The contentious part of our paper is that the climate system appears to have had another ‘episode’ around the turn of the 21st century, coinciding with the much discussed “halt” in global warming. Whether or not such a halt has really occurred is of course controversial (it appears quite marked in the HadCRUT3 data, less so in GISTEMP); only time will tell if it’s real. Regardless, it’s important to note that we are not talking about global cooling, just a pause in warming.”

      • Steven Mosher said on April 20, 2013 at 8:08 pm

        “Natural variability explains nothing. It is the absence of an explanation.”
        _______

        Do you mean like the statement “he died of natural causes” doesn’t explain exactly why he died?

      • Steven Mosher

        “Do you mean like the statement “he died of natural causes” doesn’t explain exactly why he died?”

        Partly.

        Let’s say we look at a temperature curve and we see ups and downs. and lets make the example really simple. Imagine the ups and downs went exactly in sync with the solar cycle.

        We might then argue that the ups in down in TEMPERATURE was explained by ups and downs in SUN SPOTS or TSI. see how that works.. forget the truth of the matter focus on the moving pieces

        And so here you see the structure of an explanation. One ontological or phenomenological entity ( temperature ) is explained ( or replaced by ) another entity– TIS.. Such that if we understand TSI we thereby understand temperature.. and knowing the explainer thing allows us to predict the explained thing. So you tell me TSI and I tell you temperature.. because one explains the other. Talk about one can be translated into talk about the other.

        When people look at a temperature record and say “oh its explained by natural variation” they are explaining nothing. they are just renaming it. Oh we call that up and down natural variation. Well, what causes “natural variation”.. err.. well.. its natural.. it needs no explnation.. or they try El nino? ha. just another substitution.. Not an explanation. Thats the bob tisdale trick..

        Another way to look at it is natural variation is whats left over when you’ve explained everything you know.. So, since skeptics claim to know nothing about climate.. its basically everything is left over..
        fundamentally anti scientific..

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Natural variability is what we start with. Just about everything before 1945. And indeed just about everything after.

      • I see. Thanks for the explanation.

      • Mosh
        We probably agree on this, but I’d like to make sure.

        It is not “unscientific” to admit that there are large unknowns and, hence, great uncertainties.

        In fact, I would argue just the opposite: it is “unscientific” to overstate certainty by ignoring that there may be factors whose mechanisms we do not yet understand (both “known” and “unknown” unknowns).

        IPCC made the mistake of underestimating natural forcing factors in its AR4 report (only ~7% of all forcing since 1750), because it only considered the one natural forcing it “knew” (direct solar irradiance) and ASS-U-MEd there were no others.

        So, by using this logic, GHGs (principally CO2) became the main drivers of past climate.

        This approach clearly backfired, as demonstrated by the “pause”.

        Now there is a general recognition that natural factors are playing a more important role than thought earlier, even though the mechanisms for these natural factors are still unknown.

        Max

      • WHT, you can compress average or smooth the data any way you choose – just as long as you recognise that they cease to be temperature data at that point, and you cannot do further analysis on them as if they were still temperature data.
        In particular, you cannot then apply the same rules as you would for absolute temperature, like, for example, the S-B equation which involves the 4th power of K
        Neither should you use them to liken the effects of a few degrees on a Siberian winter to a Texan heat wave.

      • WHT, besides which, the HADCRUT4 data which you ‘compressed’ have already had their summer/winter differences removed, by virtue of being anomaly data.

      • k scott denison

        Steven Mosher | April 20, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
        “The proof that it is not natural variability.”

        Natural variability explains nothing. It is the absence of an explanation.
        ———-
        Of course, natural variability is short hand for the dozens (hundreds?) of parameters that influence the climate. Everything from ENSO to volcanoes to orbital cycles to clouds to the dozens we haven’t even thought of yet. All coupled in a massively nonlinear system.

        Yet amongst all of this, it is the CO2 sensitivity we can extract. Excuse me if I don’t buy into that. Here’s a question, what is the sensitivity to a doubling of cloud surface area and volume? Is it positive or negative?

        But you know, but seem not to want to admit to, all of this.

      • k scott denison

        manacker | April 21, 2013 at 2:18 am |
        Mosh
        We probably agree on this, but I’d like to make sure.

        It is not “unscientific” to admit that there are large unknowns and, hence, great uncertainties.
        ————–
        +1 max

        And please let’s start with the basics that there is no global mean temperature. Taking a grossly under sampled (geographically) set of data and smearing it to cover the globe does not make a global mean temperature. Where have these techniques been validated?

        When we look at the BEST data, they show ~30% of stations show a negative trend, 70% show positive. What if our geographic sampling, which is artificially constrained in so many ways, is unintentionally biased to geographies that show warming? We don’t have to be far off for “global” warming to turn into “global” cooling, do we?

      • k scott denison said “Of course, natural variability is short hand for the dozens (hundreds?) of parameters that influence the climate. Everything from ENSO to volcanoes to orbital cycles to clouds to the dozens we haven’t even thought of yet. All coupled in a massively nonlinear system.

        Yet amongst all of this, it is the CO2 sensitivity we can extract. Excuse me if I don’t buy into that. Here’s a question, what is the sensitivity to a doubling of cloud surface area and volume? Is it positive or negative?”

        This succinctly expresses my concerns about the state of the science in relation to the study of climate sensitivity. How can the effect of ACO2 or even all CO2 build-up in the atmosphere be evaluated in the context of movements in global average temperature?

      • Peter Dais, you write “Yet amongst all of this, it is the CO2 sensitivity we can extract. Excuse me if I don’t buy into that.”

        I agree. But Steen Mosher writes “Natural variability explains nothing. It is the absence of an explanation.”

        What you need to realise, Peter, is that Steven Mosher claims, as does lolwot, that climate sensitiity has been MEASURED. He has not provided a number for the sensitivity, not an accuracy, nor a reference where this was reported, but he is convinced that we have actual measureements of what the sensitivity of CO2 really is.

        So this explains why he is so certain of what he is writing.

      • I was quoting K scott denison Jim but I agree with you entirely and said something to this effect in the previous thread on climate sensitivity. How do you isolate any one variable from all the others so that any effect on another can be estimated/measured/verified in an open system?

      • “phatboy | April 21, 2013 at 6:39 am |

        WHT, besides which, the HADCRUT4 data which you ‘compressed’ have already had their summer/winter differences removed, by virtue of being anomaly data.

        You cannot remove differences arising from subjectivity. All it takes for temperature data is for someone to manually record temperatures to the nearest degree. On cold days, a person would be biased to round closer to a cold integer value and on hot days to round closer to a hot value. Everything was manually recorded back then. Explain how you can remove this kind of anomaly.

        This subjectivity happens frequently with manually recorded data. I am working on an environmental modeling book, and I noticed a very strange anomaly with old USA digital elevation modeling (DEM) terrain data. Old surveying data through vast swaths of the country shows obvious biases to 50 foot elevation intervals.
        http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/8109/demelevationcontouranom.gif
        Look at all those rather artificial-looking plateaus in the rather typical elevation profile. This also shows up with autocorrelations as shown in the right inset, where a strong pair correlation exists between 15 meter (50 ft) intervals.

        In this case the subjectivity happens from expediency. Surveyors have a job to do and they want to get it done. Right down numbers like 1800′, 1850′, 1900′ and no one will care as long as the rough lay of the land is estimated.

        The USGS doesn’t want anyone to use the original DEM data anymore and instead point you to more recent data. It’s not that the old DEM doesn’t work well for rough absolute evaluations, but that is loaded with all these nasty correlations.

        Same thing with old temperature data. Get people like me and Mosh together to search for these subjective anomalies and we could probably suss all the noisy weirdness out.

      • WHT, the anomaly data is already compensated for those sort of subjective errors, by virtue of the fact that those same errors are present in the monthly averages used to calculate the anomalies.
        In fact, there is one kind of subjective error which would be enhanced rather than diminished – and that would be that people who believe it’s warming might tend to round winter temperatures up rather than down.

      • …besides which, my argument was that compressing anomaly data, as you did, does not remove any more subjective error than has already been removed by the process of creating the anomaly data.

      • Nobody had ever heard of global warming pre-1900.
        And nowadays, no one collects data manually.

        The problem we are trying to solve or explain is the variance in the data, which gets worse the farther back you go, even with 12 month moving averages:
        http://berkeleyearth.org/images/annual-comparison.jpg

        What the issue centers around is L.M. Sunshine’s claim that arbitrary extreme temperature data prior to 1900 holds deep significance.

      • Phatboy and Sunshine

        You may want to use the isolate function. This is a quick way to show what the fluctuation level is on any interval of time.
        http://woodfortrees.org/plot/best/from/isolate:12

        Notice how much the values fluctuated in 1800 and then it gradually improved until post-1900 when we started seeing the true aleatory uncertainty in the numbers. That is why the anecdotal numbers pre-1900 that L.M. Sunshine is trying to push are suspect.

      • Steven Mosher

        “And please let’s start with the basics that there is no global mean temperature. Taking a grossly under sampled (geographically) set of data and smearing it to cover the globe does not make a global mean temperature. Where have these techniques been validated?”
        ####################################################
        1. You will never find me claiming that there is a “thing” called the global mean temperature.
        2. The field is oversampled , not undersampled. However, as you
        go back in time you will reach a point where the sampling is
        spatially biased.
        3. There is no “smearing” of data over the globe. The samples taken are used to construct a field which is the estimated temperature at every location. You can test this estimate by holding out data or doing
        a k fold cross valdation.

        4. The validation of the techniques? Start with Cressie. Or if you like
        look at our validation using synthetic data or look at the jacknife results. Or take the entire dataset of 36000 stations and randomly
        select 5000, 1000, or 500.

        #############
        When we look at the BEST data, they show ~30% of stations show a negative trend, 70% show positive. ”

        Actually that is not exactly accurate. A portion of that 30% show a negative trend because
        A) they end in the early part of the record.
        B) they only have data during short periods.
        C) the negative trend is not significant
        D) the negative trend is PRIOR TO the scalpel step
        E) they are missing data.

        The POINT of the 30% negative trend was to highlight ONE ISSUE.
        The issue of S/N in detecting UHI.

        When you consider only
        A) long records
        B) complete records
        C) statistically significant negative trends

        The rate falls to 10%. And of those 95% are in the US. And when you look at those they are stations that moved. And this is PRIOR to scapling.

        #######################

        “What if our geographic sampling, which is artificially constrained in so many ways, is unintentionally biased to geographies that show warming? We don’t have to be far off for “global” warming to turn into “global” cooling, do we?”

        That’s a concern, but it was tested. sorry no cookie.

      • WHT, I agree that the very early data is a lot noisier in that respect, although that wasn’t very clear from the HADCRUT4 data in your first link.
        Also, your point about extreme values pre-1900 works both ways – both high and low extremes are suspect.
        Having said that, zooming in on the early BEST data appears to show that the cold extremes seem to be more ‘out there’ than the warm ones.

      • WebHubTelescope

        More cold extremes from volcanic events.

      • …not from subjective errors then ;-)

      • Krakatoa was not a subjective error, duh

      • It was also in 1883!

      • and little miss sunshine cherry-picked 1878. that is not 1883.

      • so why attack me?

      • “phatboy | April 25, 2013 at 7:30 am |

        so why attack me?”

        Umm, follow the thread?

        Your first comment “WHT, you can compress average or smooth the data any way you choose “ should have been directed at Little Miss Sunshine’s egregious cherry-picking of data instead of my attempt to rationalize it as noise.

        You are about winning arguments, not pursuing the science.

      • No, I answered your comment, and only yours, with what I thought was a valid point – I didn’t even read anyone else’s comments – and your comments did not make it clear who you were responding to or even if you were responding to anyone in particular.
        So don’t attack me and then accuse me of being argumentative.

      • A non-contextual response is to blame. How quaint.

      • Did you get as far as the end of my first sentence before deciding to go for the jugular?

      • Actually that was a rhetorical question so don’t bother replying

    • SO2 in the atmosphere started dropping around 1975-1980 and continued dropping until 2000 when China’s SO2 emissions started to really take off.

      The IPCC blamed the warming caused by less SO2 in the atmosphere on CO2.

      So of course I think the IPCC is wrong.

      • You are sure that doubling CO2 doesn’t lead to a long-term warming in excess of 2 C despite the fact that we are half way to a doubling and have had nearly 1 C in transient response already, more than 1 C in continental and polar areas that react faster. That doesn’t give you even a little suspicion they may be right?

      • February 2013 is about 0.1C warmer than Feb 1878.

      • sunshine, on a completely different topic, what are your opinions on cherry-picking? Intellectual dishonesty or not?

      • Jim D, please note that is a 66 year cycle with 3 peaks.

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/#comment-313782

        It is not cherry-picking to point out the warmth at those peaks in the pre-CO2 era.

      • sunshine, you might be surprised that large El Ninos did exist prior to AGW, but I am not, even if we trust the 1878 monthly ocean data. Were the oceans even fully explored back then?

      • sunshine

        Hans Erren did a quick study on that a few years ago and came to the same conclusion.
        http://members.casema.nl/errenwijlens/co2/usso2vst.gif

        IF human SO2 is to be blamed for the mid 20thC cooling, then removal of that SO2 can be the cause for late 20thC warming.

        Max

      • Jim D

        Let’s do a quick check on that.

        We have temperature data since 1850; it has warmed by around 0.7°C since then.

        Natural factors have been responsible for 7% (IPCC) to 50% (several solar studies) of the warming.

        According to IPCC, all other anthropogenic factors beside CO2 (other GHGs, aerosols) have cancelled each other out.
        Forcing from CO2 ~ total anthropogenic forcing.
        We have a CO2 record (Mauna Loa) since 1958, with ice core estimates prior to this date.

        These tell us (Siegenthaler 1986) that CO2 was at around 287 ppmv in 1850

        In 2005 (IPCC AR4) CO2 was 379 ppmv.
        So the 2xCO2 “transient climate response” (TCR) is somewhere between:
        0.5*0.7°C*ln(2) / ln(379/287) and 0.93*0.7°C*ln(2) / ln(379/287)

        0.9 and 1.6°C

        But IPCC tells us that there are 0.6°C “in the pipeline” (added warming expected by 2100 based on constant year 2000 concentrations)
        So the 2xCO2 ECS is somewhere between:
        1.5 and 2.2°C

        or 1.85± 0.35°C

        Max

      • k scott denison

        Jim D | April 20, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
        You are sure that doubling CO2 doesn’t lead to a long-term warming in excess of 2 C despite the fact that we are half way to a doubling and have had nearly 1 C in transient response already, more than 1 C in continental and polar areas that react faster.
        —————–
        Nope, I’m not sure of this. But neither are you. That’s the point. sunshinehours1 states a reasonable alternative.

        How many parameters affect the climate? Dozens? Hundreds? And yet it would seem all of the focus is on one. Why?

        Wat is the climate sensitivity to a doubling (or halfing) of each of these?

    • if you need so desperately to believe in something make it the scientific method

    • Jim D

      Two questions:

      – Do you really believe what you just wrote?

      – Would you believe it if your statement were turned around as follows?

      I think a lot of the “skeptics” “believers” here have just a suspicion the IPCC report could be right wrong in its sensitivity range or century projections, but for the sake of a good argument, or just politically, they are not being intellectually honest here and instead put on display a certainty that the IPCC is wrong right

      .

      What say you?

      Max

      • Yes, based on physics and other evidence, I would stand by what I wrote in the below link. It is very easy to see why it is a science and evidence-based consensus view to the extent of being as obvious to me as the sun heating the earth.
        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/#comment-313749

      • Jim D

        In the comment you cited you wrote:

        doubling CO2 causes about 1 C of warming, and that given time the ocean warms by 1 C and that maintains the relative humidity by increasing atmospheric water vapor about 7%, which causes the water vapor feedback to more than double the CO2 effect. The water vapor feedback is the largest one, followed by the ice albedo feedback.

        This is not correct.

        According to IPCC AR4 WG1, WV feedback is the largest (1.80Wm-2°K), more than doubling the CO2 effect alone – roughly half of the increase is cancelled out by a negative lapse rate feedback (-0.84 Wm-2°K), so that part is correct.

        But the second largest positive feedback according to IPCC is the cloud feedback ( 0.69 Wm-2°K) accounting for 1.3°C of the 3.2°C 2xCO2 ECS.

        Surface albedo feedback is much smaller (at 0.26 Wm-2°K).

        Of course, there are serious questions regarding both the magnitude and even the sign of the cloud feedback. IPCC conceded that clouds “remain the largest source of uncertainty”.

        Spencer 2006 showed net negative overall cloud feedback with warming over the tropics based on CERES satellite observations; Wynant et al 2005 showed a net negative cloud feedback at all latitudes using climate models with superparameterization for clouds.

        It is clear that if net overall cloud feedback is negative rather than strongly positive, the 2xCO2 ECS would drop to around 1.2°C to 1.8°C.

        IMO this is where the biggest problem lies with the posited 3.2°C 2xCO2 ECS.

        Max

  8. Excellent post. It is the intellectual laziness of most, including the MSM, that enables the intellectual dishonesty of some.
    Critical thinking, however, is more than just fact checking from multiple sources. It requires questioning underlying assumptions and perspectives. Alertness to certain common categories of ‘illusion’ (a catch all phrase for those who advance agendas by distorting, hiding, or ignoring ‘truth’) helps. I wrote a book about it published last year, with about 80 real world examples ranging from trivial to crucial. Unfortunately the penultimate chapter was on climate change because it so richly illustrated all that had come before. On such an important subject, that is beyond unfortunate.

    Thanks for taking on the extra burden of this blog to improve the quality of climate related discourse.

    • David Springer

      Rud Istvan | April 20, 2013 at 11:33 am | Reply

      “It is the intellectual laziness of most, including the MSM, that enables the intellectual dishonesty of some.”

      You got that right. It’s the same thing for Intelligent Design. Few know any significant detail of the basic molecular machinery in cells. Without that knowledge you can’t even begin to assess the odds that law & chance alone could have produced it in a finite universe.

      +1

      • Good job that evolutionary biologists don’t think that the biosphere is stocked with life forms that arose by chance then isn’t it.
        Dawkins gives descriptions of what evolutionary biologists actually believe, and why, as to how we believe that species came into existence following the origin of life.

      • Then would you care to explain the intelligence in the design of, say, Spina Bifida ?

      • David Springer

        I prefer to discuss DNA, RNA, ribosomes, and various accessory enzymes involved in the specification and manufacture of proteins. Discounting virus particles as living things all living cells possess the basic molecular machinery described above without evolution by descent with change is not possible. I don’t have any bone to pick with microbe-to-man evolution. I have a bone to pick with mud-to-microbe evolution. This is often called “chemical evolution”.

        Mike Gene and I both prefer a flavor of Intelligent Design called front-loading which basically states that all the information required to produce the life we see today was present when life first began. Evolution by common descent with change thus becomes a matter of expression of genetic information in a prescribed manner that was present from the word go. Neither of us have much time for biblical young earth creationism beyond saying it’s possible but not plausible. Gene ranks a lot of stuff on scales of impossible, possible, plausible, and likely. I do the same and find myself in great agreement with Gene’s rankings. We’re both engineers so it’s probably not surprising that upon close examination we both reach similar opinions. You should probably read his book before having an opinion on it, by the way, but I’d put it as possible, plausible, and quite likely that you’ll form your opinion without reading the tome. ;-)

      • A most amusing irony, that the believers depend upon faith, as the specific mechanisms have not yet been elucidated.
        ======================

      • David Springer

        As an example of the ranking scale it’s not possible that DocMartyn and ianl8888 are writing to me from Alpha Centauri because the speed of light prohibits them from posting responses in less than 8 years.

        It’s possible but not plausible that DocMartyn and ianl8888 are green bug eyed Martians writing from a secret base on the moon.

        It’s possible, plausible, and likely that Docmartyn and ianl8888 are humans writing via a computer where yours truly was an intelligent agent partly responsible for the design of that computer over the past 35 years that I’ve been designing microcomputer hardware, software, and firmware.

      • In answer to ian8888, is it not true that ID proponents would not necessarily say the intelligent designer is a benevolent all-seeing being, but could just as easily be a long-ago alien that created the genetic code as a machine?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Jim D, Intelligent Design does cover such a theory, but many proponents of ID wouldn’t accept it. You’re right as long as we limit ourselves to ID itself. We just have to remember many ID proponents believe things not supported by ID.

        (ID is used as a trojan horse far more than as a serious attempt at science. You’re describing the “science” of ID, but that’s a small component.)

      • David Springer

        @Shollenberger

        Yes, that’s quite correct. I was drummed out of the movement for calling them to the carpet on it both in private and in public. The vast majority of ID proponents are fundamentalist Christians and are motivated by that and nothing else. There are exceptions. Mike Behe for instance readily concedes the earth is 4 billion years old and life evolved from one or a possibly a few primordial cell lines through descent with modification. That’s why I recommend his book wherein he describes the limits of evolution evident in probably the most widely studied organism in history (other than the human organism) the parasite responsible for malaria. I don’t recommend anything that questions common descent with the exception of John Sanford, a Cornell geneticist and inventor of The Gene Gun, who is a Young Earth Creationist. His book, Genetic Entropy, raises and discusses a valid mystery which is how a few cell lines have managed to survive billions of years when the rule is that most of them go extinct through the normal course of moving from lower to higher entropy. Sanford tries to make the case that no eucharyote genome could defy entropy for even millions of years to make a case for complex genomes only being on the order of 10,000 years old. I disagree with the time frame but agree there’s a mystery in how a few genomes manage to dodge the bullet of rising entropy. The average duration of species is about 10 million years. If nothing else gets them first entropy will erode their genomes with enough junk that they die out that way. Yet there are exceptions with some species surviving relatively unblemished for hundreds of millions of years. Something seems to protect those genomes from the ravages of random mutation that doom the vast majority. My own hypothesis is that there are fundamental genomes that don’t evolve and serve as a fallback when evolution via random mutation eventually goes awry. So Sanford’s book is filled with vital information on genetic descent with modification and if you ignore the short time frame and think million of years instead of thousands it has merit to it. He’s the only exception I can think of to my rule of not giving much time to young earth creationists.

    • Rud Istvan
      Is this your 2012 book? The Arts of Truth
      Compliments on your inventions.

      • Yes.
        And I look forward to Strasbourg in June when we will be presenting the first electrocarbon samples off the pilot line. Developing a fundamentally better material by revising what was basically a wrong understanding about some of the double layer physics has been an interesting experience.

  9. It takes intellectual honesty to ask why was George Bush was so much smarter than all of the Democrat-supported Leftists and liberal fascists back in 2001 when he refused to sign the Kyoto agreement.

  10. Judith, you write “Because of the complexity of the climate system, there is heavy reliance on the judgment of experts. ”

    Precisely. And that is where you, and all the other advocates of CAGW are at fault. In science there must be NO reliance on the judgement of experts. The only thing we can be certain of, in physics, is the hard, measured, empirical data. “To the solid ground of Nature, Trusts the mind that builds for aye ” William Wordsworth. It has been the reliance on expert judgement that has led the learned sciencific organizations, in support of CAGW, into the sorry state that physics is in today.

    • Steven Mosher

      quotes a poet on science.

      • Yes Steven. Many years ago there was a wonderful scientific publication called Nature. When I was at college, I used to rush over to the library the day the new addition appeared, and read it religiously. Sadly, it has gone downhill in recent years. That quotation appeared in a prominent place on the front cover. I read it over 60 years ago, and can still quote it by heart.

      • Steven Mosher

        Dear Jesus. have you ever read Tintern Abbey

        Here is what your poet says about the relationship between Mind and Nature

        “Therefore am I still
        A lover of the meadows and the woods,
        And mountains; and of all that we behold
        From this green earth; of all the mighty world
        Of eye, and ear,–both what they half create,
        And what perceive;”

        (durr.. one of my specialiaties used to be epistemology in poetry.)

        Wordsworth would not agree that there was an objective reality independent of human consciousness.. think of it as a mis reading of Kant..

        or go read “The Prelude” and you’ll soon figure out that Nature magazine knew nothing about Wordworth’s concept of nature when they used his quote.

  11. JC’s list of 10 signs of intellectual laziness

    […]

    1. Oversimplifying a complex problem, and drawing highly confident conclusions from the simplified analysis.
    —–
    The variation on this that I see in the climate is usually wrapped in the claim that the argument is from “basic physics”, and therefore impregnable. It’s possible for an oversimplified model to be based on rigorous physics, and still be wrong, because it’s incomplete.

    It’s sort of like the difference between the ‘truth’ and the ‘whole truth’. There’s a reason why witnesses in court have to swear to tell the ‘truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth’. The truth by itself is insufficient.

    • For instance, certain types of salespeople are required by law to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. They are not required to tell the whole truth, and therein lies a world of difference.
      ===============================

  12. I don’t know that you can address the issue of intellectual honesty without also addressing the related issue of the null hypothesis. Unless the most basic of issues can be settled at the beginning – what is the default assumption absent any evidence – the rest of it doesn’t matter.

  13. What is wrong with these estimates of climate sensitivity?
    We take the GISS global temperature and plot them against the log of Keelings atmospheric [CO2].

    http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w318/DocMartyn/TempvslogCO2_zpsbba18f5c.jpg

    The slope of the plot allows us to state we are about 1.15 degrees warmer that the per-Industrial temperature and that at 560 ppm we will be at 1.2 degrees warmer than at present. The total change we would have for a doubling of CO2 is about 2.4 degrees.

    When will we hit 560 ppm atmospheric CO2?
    Atmospheric CO2 rises as an exponential in the post-industrial age, and as the worse case scenario we assume that humans burn fossil fuels in the future in the same manner has they have done in the past.
    We take the slope of time vs., Log[CO2] using the data from 1982-2012, the thirty years beloved of two 15 year periods.

    http://i179.photobucket.com/albums/w318/DocMartyn/Co2exponential_zps37c0aa80.jpg

    Hindcasting gives us a per-Industrial date of about 1940 and from forecasting we get 2087 as the date when we reach 2*[CO2]. This is the absolute worst case of human atmospheric modification.

    Now we have 75 years to wait for 1.22 degrees. This is 0.16 degrees a decade.

    I think that we can live with that without reshaping the worlds economy and giving power over energy use to unelected bodies.

    ESTIMATE so no look squirrel.
    No mentioning ‘Equilibrium’ in an oscillating system.

    • DocMartyn, I think your estimate of CO2 growth is on the low end. It assumes that todays rate will continue through 2087, that is 2 ppm per year. Given a growth in world population of up tom 50%, this is in real terms a 33% reduction in per capita carbon. This may be achievable with policies, but I don’t think you are advocating those policies. The global average is 5 tonnes of carbon per capita, Europe is more like 10, and the US is near 20. A conservative estimate from global development would raise the global average carbon footprint by 50%, which together with 50% population growth results in a doubling of the annual output to raise CO2 4 ppm per year by 2100. accounting for this unmitigated growth we would probably average 3 ppm through 2100 putting us between 650 and 700 ppm by then.

      • If European countries stopped shutting down their nuclear plants and replacing them with coal, and if Europe allowed drilling for shale gas, and if China ramped up shale gas consumption and Japan replaced their coal plants with methane hydrate power plants, the CO2 growth would approach 0.

        All of the above is possible within 5 years.

        But professional environmentalists are trying to stop the switch from coal to NG because they would go out of business.

      • Sunshine, I think most would agree that complete stopping of coal burning would be an effective policy. Will it happen? No, because there is too much left and it is still cheap without being taxed or incentivized against.

      • Don’t you mean “too many left-wing”?

      • Continue the fight against coal, sunshine. That is the one thing we agree on. The world would be a better place if that alone could be achieved because a large percentage of carbon in the ground is in that form and it is best to leave it there.

      • I’m not against coal. Europe deserves to rely on coal for being stupid. China deserves coal for the benefit it has brought its people.

      • I think DocMartyn did a good job with this. The GISS is a land+ocean data set and so anything derived from this leans to a transient estimate. DocMartyn gets a 2.37C change for doubling of CO2.

        About half the heat is entering the ocean without leading to an immediate temperature rise, so that with 70% of the surface covered by ocean, we can pro-rate the eventual temperature change.
        2.37 = 0.7*(1/2)*dT + 0.3*dT

        Solving for dT, the equilibrium climate sensitivity is approximately 3.6C for doubling of CO2.

        dT =2.37/0.65 = 3.65

        This is above the mean estimate of 3C that most climate models have been converging to.

      • Sunshine.
        Natural Gas beats Coal in fewer GHG emissions as long as extraction leakage rate of NG is below 3.2%. The US EPA says it is at 2.4% but a study from earlier this year says it is 4% and perhaps as high as 9%.
        http://www.nature.com/news/methane-leaks-erode-green-credentials-of-natural-gas-1.12123

        The problem with fracking is that it is hard to perfect the collection of NG. Obviously some of the methane escapes as a potent greenhouse gas, creating a high transient effect before the CH4 decomposes to CO2 and H2O.

      • Web: ” a study from earlier this year says it is 4% and perhaps as high as 9%”

        Yes, environmentalists have told many lies about fracking. Because of those dishonest greenies world deserves the effects of more coal burning in Europe and Japan and China and India.

    • What is wrong with the estimates :- They are based on the assumption that the temperature change was all caused by CO2. If the assumption is wrong then the estimates are meaningless.

    • Steven Mosher

      “The slope of the plot allows us to state we are about 1.15 degrees warmer that the per-Industrial temperature and that at 560 ppm we will be at 1.2 degrees warmer than at present. The total change we would have for a doubling of CO2 is about 2.4 degrees.”

      Good ballpark estimate. I used to play this game with my engineers.
      Estimate how many passengers take off/land from Ohare. Man they hated that. They all wanted a perfect answer.. ( straight A itis ) and some would actually refuse to play because they didnt want to say 60 million because they knew the truth had to be something like 66,663,503 and they didnt want to get the “wrong” answer.

      • k scott denison

        Classic! Estimating climate is just as easy as estimating passengers at O’Hare!

      • k scott denison

        So, if that is the right ballpark, then please predict the increase between today’s concentration of CO2 and 560 ppm in 10 ppm steps please. Lets see how accurate you are. Or is it a simple straight line?

      • Steven Mosher

        k scott denison | April 20, 2013 at 8:39 pm |
        Classic! Estimating climate is just as easy as estimating passengers at O’Hare!
        ################
        boy you violated a bunch of rulz about intellectual honesty there. The point is that there are a certain class of folks who abhor saying 60 million when the actual answer is 60 million and 1, even when perfection is not required. The point was not to compare the two. Having said that, yes, estimating the sensitivity ( not the climate.. he was talking about a metric of the climate not climate itself) is as easy as you want to make it. Please dont confuse estimating a METRIC of a system with estimating the climate, a phrase which doesnt make much sense.
        ###################

        #################
        k scott denison | April 20, 2013 at 8:41 pm |
        So, if that is the right ballpark, then please predict the increase between today’s concentration of CO2 and 560 ppm in 10 ppm steps please. Lets see how accurate you are. Or is it a simple straight line?

        Did I say right ballpark? I said it was a good ballpark estimate. There is a difference, but never mind. Now you want a prediction from todays
        concentration at say 400 ppm to 560 ppm. wow, that’s not even climate science. We will hit 560 sometime between 2060 and 2100. or maybe not at all. big unknowns, very hard to be accurate.. one reason you want to move away from fossil fuels as quickly as practical.. What you can say is that Hitting 560 will not be risk free whenever it happens, so get yourself off that path as soon as practical.

      • k scott denison

        Do you also believe that or can estimate an economic sensitivity? You know, the sensitivity of the global mean economic growth to a doubling in production of nuclear power?

      • Steve it works really well until people do the ‘half the heat is hiding in the oceans’. trick.
        Things like that piss me off.
        The answer to your question is that no passengers take off or land at O’Hare. Passenger aircraft do, but passengers are unable to fly.

  14. Before I ever go to trial, I try to put myself in the place of my opponent, and make the arguments he would make against my evidence. Done properly, it forces you to look at the weaknesses of your own case, and the strengths of your opponent’s. I can assure you this is not the norm in my profession, and that is a shame.

    The best test of whether you can engage in critical analysis is whether you can state your opponent’s argument fully and fairly. There is not a CAGW advocate that I have ever seen that can do this. The best they have is the SkepticalScience practice of straw men arguments. They do not understand skeptical arguments because they have taught to think critically only of their opponents’ arguments.

    There is nothing wrong with rhetoric and propaganda in a policy debate. Those are neutral words in the context of policy discourse. The issue is the integrity of your discourse. Intellectual honesty before you speak makes intellectual honesty when you speak…easy.

    • We spent 9 months fighting for someones life, growing his cancer cells in vitro and trying different drug combinations.
      I was at his autopsy this morning.
      I walk with failure to understand complex systems all the time. I know that nothing I know is completely true and that many things I believe to be false are not.

      • Indeed. Talk to any auto mechanic who’s seen the same car 4 times in the last year for a ‘check engine’ light that just won’t go out no matter what he does.

        It happens all the time.

      • David Springer

        As long as you’re doing it in vitro put DCA on the list of assaults to the cancer cells. One more culture doesn’t seem like a lot of extra effort. If it works you can prescribe it off-label and if it doesn’t work you took hardly any risk to find out. Excellent risk/reward ratio.

    • Brandon Shollenberger

      GaryM, Skeptical Science does far worse than use straw man arguments. They also intentionally engage in deceptive moderation practices to distort discussions. A recent example can be found here where a moderator leveled a false accusation against me to justify moderation. He then deleted my comment responding to SKS regulars, and he deleted an additional comment that drew attention to his obvious misrepresentation of the SKS comments policy.

      I didn’t get a screenshot of my comments this time because my browser crashed, but it’s pretty obvious what the moderator is doing. And if anyone isn’t convinced, I can provide other examples. I can provide examples of SKS moderating comments that didn’t break any of their rules while outright refusing to moderate comments that do break their rules. Of course, the rule-breakers they refuse to moderate all support their “side.”

      And that sort of behavior characterizes the alarmist side of the global warming debate. It’s seen in SKS, RealClimate and many other internet sources. It’s seen in scientists like Lewandowsky et al, Michael Mann, and pretty much everyone on the Hockey Stick team. It’s even seen in scientific journals and the IPCC.

      The public face of global warming science constantly relies on this sort of pathetic behavior. The non-public face of it may not like the behavior, but it does little, if anything, to combat it.

      That is why it is impossible for there to be a legitimate public discussion of global warming.

  15. One problem with these lists is that they are perhaps more often used to support own intellectual dishonesty against alleged dishonesty of the other party than to improve own honesty.

  16. Here’s a test of intellectual honesty for Warmers:

    List what information presented to you could cause you to disbelieve in Global Warming. This is a scientific question so be specific.

    Andrew

    • That there is no IR absorption by CO2.

      • Michael,

        What if the Official Global Average Temperature Trend Goes down for the next 50 years?

        Andrew

      • Was that too specific for you??

      • Sure but you didn’t answer my second question. Would you please? Your list has only one item. It could be incomplete.

        Andrew

      • Bad Andrew, it could go down, but either sun would be doing something quite noticeable or a large volcano would be the obvious cause, and nobody would be arguing about the cause because the observations can pinpoint causes quite well already and are only getting better.

      • You wanted a list, now you want to ask questions.

        Make up your mind.

      • I’m trying to compile a list we all can agree on. I appreciate you fellas efforts. But these aren’t very specific items. I don’t want generalities. I want specific scientific items.

        For instance, specifically, how long would the trend have to show cooling for you to disbelieve Global Warming.

        Andrew

      • Michael, do you mean incoming IR or outgoing IR? About 50% of the suns energy that hits out atmosphere is IR.

      • IR absorption (and radiation) by CO2 is not controversial at all. What is controversial is that it leads to (significant) warming of the Earth’s surface.

      • David Springer

        Yes there certainly is IR absorption by CO2. Millions and millions of CO2 sensors that control ventilation systems in high occupancy buildings work by shining IR light through a hermetically sealed sample of known CO2 concentration and a sample of ambient air with unknown CO2 level. The light filtered by the two samples are compared for total energy and the difference from the reference sample tells you how much CO2 is in the test sample. The CO2 in both samples absorbs some of the IR and ref-emits it back at the source. The more CO2 the less light emerges from the output end of the sample container.

      • So this is where the stupid has reached. Skeptics are now debating whether CO2 can absorb IR!

    • It’s totally pointless to ask for such lists, as nothing happens in vacuo.

      The real questions concern the strength and consequences of warming taking all available information into account. It’s not possible to list the criteria ahead of time, because there are so many variables that some others of them may change totally the relevance of any prefixed criteria.

    • You have to give a precise definition of Global Warming to make this even an answerable question. Do you mean the idea that doubling CO2, everything else equal, causes the long-term effect of a temperature rise in excess of 2 C?

      • Thanks Jim D. You have given the best answer so far. What is the Global Warming you believe in?

        Andrew

      • The ideas I believe in go back a hundred years to Arrhenius, that doubling CO2 causes about 1 C of warming, and that given time the ocean warms by 1 C and that maintains the relative humidity by increasing atmospheric water vapor about 7%, which causes the water vapor feedback to more than double the CO2 effect. The water vapor feedback is the largest one, followed by the ice albedo feedback. What could happen to disrupt this chain of ideas? It is based so much on basic physics, I don’t know. Not only that, but paleoclimate independently supports the idea that warmer conditions prevail with higher CO2 amounts. So all these paleoclimate findings would need to be somehow reversed too.

      • There is documented positive water vapor feedback caused by more CO2.

        “An analysis of NASA satellite data shows that water vapor, the most important greenhouse gas, has declined in the upper atmosphere causing a cooling effect that is 16 times greater than the warming effect from man-made greenhouse gas emissions during the period 1990 to 2001.”

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/03/06/nasa-satellite-data-shows-a-decline-in-water-vapor/

      • There is NO documented …

      • Some “skeptics”, I find, are just impatient. They need all of the feedback effects to be seen yesterday otherwise they won’t think they are at all possible in the future. Of course the ocean takes a while to warm up to where this feedback occurs. It is not called equilibrium for nothing. The tropical ocean responds quite slowly and that is where most of the water vapor will come from. Give it time.

      • Jim D ” Of course the ocean takes a while to warm up to where this feedback occurs”

        How long? Long enough to secure a lot more grant money?

      • sunshine, the problem with climate is it changes slowly, actually imperceptibly on short time scales. We can see it is warmer now than 50 years ago, however, so it is changing in the expected way if you are not too shortsighted when looking at it.

      • The LIA has come to and end. The steps started over 100 years. Well before CO2 could have had effect.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1909/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1909/to:1943/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1977/to:1998/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1998/trend/plot/hadcrut3vgl/from:1943/to:1977/trend

        And we don’t really know what the temperature would have been in the 1800s with the same distribution of thermometers and the same population/UHI.

        You have to explain 1910 – 1940 without CO2. Therefore 1980 to 1998 could have been caused by the same mechanism.

      • I think 1910-1940 is half explained by a solar increase from its minimum in 1910. The other half would be CO2. Being intellectually honest, would you entirely rule out a solar effect? Then with the sun not strengthening, we can’t explain the later increase that way, but the pause may be because the latest solar max appears to be the weakest in at least a century, don’t you agree?

      • Well, Jim D, we do know that from 1975/80 to 2000 the amount of SO2 in the atmosphere dropped by about one Pinatubo’s worth.

        That would explain all of the 1980-1998 warming.

        I don’t think CO2 contributed anything to 1910 to 1940. As for solar, of cycles 15, 16 and 17 only 20 was slightly smaller than 17. 18 19 21 22 and 23 were bigger than the 1910 to 1940 cycles.

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

        So yes, 1980 to 1998 could have had a solar component according to sun spots.

      • sunshine, OK, since you believe in sulphates and solar effects, the pause is explainable by a combination of negative effects of solar reduction in cycle 24, increase in sulphates from new Chinese coal plants, and a negative PDO, all of which would have cooled the earth, but somehow it didn’t cool at all, and some aspects keep indicating a warming rate.

      • The corollary Jim D to sulphates causing the post 2000 pause is that the huge decrease in sulphates most likely caused the 1980-1998 warming.

    • Steven Mosher

      List what information presented to you could cause you to disbelieve in Global Warming. This is a scientific question so be specific.

      Andrew

      ##################################

      1. evidence which shows the increase in GHGs is not due to humans.
      2. Evidence which showed that RTE are wrong ( for example if C02 suddenly became transparent to outgoing LWR.
      3. A pause exceeding 25 years ( with no volcanos or dramatic changes
      in other forcings ) would make me change my view about sensitivity.
      4. A statistically significant cooling regime whilst all external forcing
      increased.

      • Steven Mosher | April 20, 2013 at 3:17 pm |

        1. evidence which shows the increase in GHGs is not due to humans.

        If generating the Mandelbrot set by graphing pixels, one could take this approach too: put all pixels black; if the pixel contains a point in the Mandelbrot set, give it a color value; if a pixel contains a point not in the Mandelbrot set, put the pixel to black.

        Inevitably you will end up with a pure black graph. There are infinite points in the near neighborhood of a point in the Mandelbrot Set that are not in the Set themselves.

        Inference, inductive reasoning, doesn’t rely on all evidence. It relies on relevant evidence.

        It’s impossible to know without first completing the inferential process whether evidence supports or undermines the conclusion; evidence doesn’t belong to any cause.

        I like your #2. Could also be stated as the Cosmological Constant changed, or Planck Length became a variable quantity, etc.

        Why 25 years? And only one pause? I mean, there was a 25 year pause between 1940 and 1970ish.. so you mean a second 25 year pause? Why two 25 year pauses? Is it arbitrary, gut, Bayesian, what?

        And wouldn’t your #4 imply either (a) all Mathematics is wrong; or, (b) there’s an unmeasured (internal or external) forcing?

      • Where did ’25 years’ come from?

      • Mr. Mosher – I should probably know this, but don’t. What do you believe the climate sensitivity to be?
        Do you fully understand the feedbacks, or does your belief stem primarily from empirical data, like Vostok ice cores for example.

      • David Springer

        FYI 25 years of no warming is WAY THE F*CK (technical term) improbable according to climate models with CO2 increasing at the present rate. 15 years in fact is already below the lower edge of the 95% confidence bound. It happened before due to natural variation but should be exceedingly rare now is how the narrative goes. If it happens again that means CO2 warming is much less than expected.

      • k scott denison

        To further Harold’s question: what is,the physical basis for your 25 year time frame? Which mechanisms lead you to know that cooling for 25 years while CO2 increases would invalidate your theory? Why not 23 years? Or 26 years? Why a multiple of 5? Does the earths cycles operate only in multiples of 5? 25? 12.5?

        The HADCRUT3 series shows a pause of > 25 years starting just after 1940, why didn’t that count?

      • i’m interested in why you pick 25 years? NOAA put it at 15 years in their 2008 report. The 15 years is now up, so by NOAA’s yardstick we have a result. Could it be that you want the result deferred by another decade?

      • “Where did ’25 years’ come from?”

        He ‘measured’ it. ;)

        Andrew

      • Steven Mosher

        Bart.

        WRT relevant evidence.

        I take the theory to include these claims.

        1. Humans caused the increase in GHGs
        2. Increased GHGs cause warming.

        So if you were able to show that #1 wasnt the case, then I would have to adjust my beliefs. It has nothing to do with mandelbrot.

        WRT to 25 years. Note what I said. At 25 years of pause I would reconsider my view about sensitivity. Why a second pause? simple, look at the accumulation of C02.

        And yes, #4 would imply internal variation.. Hmm I neglected to say it force me to change my view on sensitivity..

        In the end.. since GW due to increased GHGs is a physical law of sorts, the only thing one can really adjust is one’s view of sensitivity.

      • Steven Mosher

        “jim2 | April 20, 2013 at 4:40 pm |
        Mr. Mosher – I should probably know this, but don’t. What do you believe the climate sensitivity to be?
        Do you fully understand the feedbacks, or does your belief stem primarily from empirical data, like Vostok ice cores for example.”

        ###################
        Well, first off I would say that sensitivity is a low dimensional metric for a high dimensional system. But, it’s probably the best metric we have..

        I put my belief in terms of an over/under bet. Given a sensitivity of 3C to a doubling of C02 ( say lambda = .75C/WattsM^2) I would take the under bet. or 51% of the PDF falls below 3C.

        Why? do I think that? Hansens paleo guesses, and every serious look at the problem.. durr.. read the papers referenced in ar4 and 5.

        I dont consider Vostok to be empirical data. I don’t consider any evidence to be “empirical” in the sense that you might

        See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_Dogmas_of_Empiricism

        “Instead of reductionism, Quine proposes that it is the whole field of science and not single statements that are verified. All scientific statements are interconnected. Logical laws give the relation between different statements, while they also are statements of the system. This makes talk about the empirical content of a single statement misleading. It also becomes impossible to draw a line between synthetic statements, which depend on experience, and analytic statements, that hold come what may. Any statement can be held as necessarily true according to Quine, if the right changes are made somewhere else in the system. In the same way, no statements are immune to revision.
        Even logical laws can be revised according to Quine. Quantum logic, introduced by Garrett Birkhoff and John von Neumann, abandons the law of distributivity from classical logic in order to reconcile some of the apparent inconsistencies of classical Boolean logic with the facts related to measurement and observation in quantum mechanics. Quine makes the case that the empirical study of physics has furnished apparently credible grounds for replacing classical logic by quantum logic, rather as Newtonian physics gave way to Einsteinian physics. The idea that logical laws are not immune to revision in the light of empirical evidence has provoked an intense debate (see Is logic empirical?).
        According to Quine, there are two different results of his reasoning. The first is a blurring of the line between metaphysics and natural science. The common-sense theory about physical objects is epistemologically comparable to the gods of Homer. Quine is a Physicalist, in the sense that he considers it a scientific error not to adopt a theory which makes reference to physical objects. However, like Gods of Homer, physical objects are posits, and there is no great epistemic difference in kind; the difference is rather that the theory of physical objects has turned out to be a more efficient theory. As Quine states in Two Dogmas, “The myth of physical objects is epistemologically superior to most in that it has proved more efficacious than other myths as a device for working a manageable structure into the flux of experience”.

      • It would appear Quine has over-thought science. Sure, many things in science are interconnected, but that does not mean there aren’t parts that are independently testable. Frankly, the thoughts on science you quoted sound like BS.

      • Steven Mosher

        “jim2 | April 20, 2013 at 10:18 pm |
        It would appear Quine has over-thought science. Sure, many things in science are interconnected, but that does not mean there aren’t parts that are independently testable. Frankly, the thoughts on science you quoted sound like BS.”

        read a bit more.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duhem%E2%80%93Quine_thesis

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

        I will ask you this simple question: when an observation disconfirms a theory.. what choices do you have?

      • Steven Mosher

        here jim2

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-underdetermination/

        “The predicament Duhem here identifies is no rainy day puzzle for philosophers of science, but a methodological challenge that constantly arises in the course of scientific practice itself. It is simply not true that for practical purposes and in concrete contexts a single revision of our beliefs in response to disconfirming evidence is always obviously correct, or the most promising, or the only or even most sensible avenue to pursue. To cite a classic example, when Newton’s celestial mechanics failed to correctly predict the orbit of Uranus, scientists at the time did not simply abandon the theory but protected it from refutation by instead challenging the background assumption that the solar system contained only seven planets. This strategy bore fruit, notwithstanding the falsity of Newton’s theory: by calculating the location of a hypothetical eighth planet influencing the orbit of Uranus, the astronomers Adams and Leverrier were eventually led to discover Neptune in 1846. But the very same strategy failed when used to try to explain the advance of the perihelion in Mercury’s orbit by postulating the existence of “Vulcan”, an additional planet located between Mercury and the sun, and this phenomenon would resist satisfactory explanation until the arrival of Einstein’s theory of general relativity. So it seems that Duhem was right to suggest not only that hypotheses must be tested as a group or a collection, but also that it is by no means a foregone conclusion which member of such a collection should be abandoned or revised in response to a failed empirical test or false implication. Indeed, this very example illustrates why Duhem’s own rather hopeful appeal to the ‘good sense’ of scientists themselves in deciding when a given hypothesis ought to be abandoned promises very little if any relief from the general predicament of holist underdetermination.”

      • Mr. Mosher – You appear as a dog chasing its tail. The fact that we can’t measure or observe certain attributes in the micro-world does not somehow imply that all measurements and observations are useless. The fact that theory must b employed to make and interpret measurements does not render the empirical evidence useless. You are welcomed to classify measurement and observation empirical or not, but that hasn’t prevented scientists from making them. It hasn’t prevented funding for such endeavors. It looks to me like you are just muddying the waters because you don’t have enough evidence to make your case for the sensitivity you believe to actually exist – or do you not believe in existence either?

      • Steven Mosher

        jim

        “Mr. Mosher – You appear as a dog chasing its tail. The fact that we can’t measure or observe certain attributes in the micro-world does not somehow imply that all measurements and observations are useless. ”

        ###############
        1. that was not the argument. The argument started with your
        singling out Vostok as if it had some sort of special status.
        I indicated that your notion of “empirical” wasnt going to
        to be something that would find much traction with me.
        2. You made the unwise claim that a theory could be isolated
        from the rest of physics to be tested.
        3. I supplied you with some reading material so you could un fool yourself.

        At NO TIME during this argument have I held that all observations are useless QUITE THE OPPOSITE.

        “The fact that theory must b employed to make and interpret measurements does not render the empirical evidence useless. You are welcomed to classify measurement and observation empirical or not, but that hasn’t prevented scientists from making them.”

        You miss the point entirely. The point is NOT that “observation” is useless. That is NOT what I am arguing. You obviously dont get Quine.
        The DOGMA you believe in is that there are Observations over here and Theory over there.. That the two can be separated cleanly. and that observations always win when observation and theory come into conflict. The point is this: observation is shot through with theory. You dont simply have observation over here and theory over there. So I want to make clear to you before you try to argue that “empirical evidence” has some kind of priority, that it does not have an absolute priority because it is shot through with theory”

      • Mr. Mosher: Evidently you didn’t read my last post. If you had, you would realize that I don’t, in fact, strictly separate theory and observation. Nevertheless, observation – even with the caveat that theory is necessary for measurement and interpretation – STILL trumps theory.
        How can this be, you ask?
        Concepts, to include theory, are a physical realization in a physical brain. Concepts do not exist independently outside the physical realm. As has been, excuse the term, observed, brains throughout the ages have generated concepts that have no correlation to the physical world. In fact, most concepts generated by brains are worthless WRT science. Therefore, our guide to which concepts are worthy and which are not is observation. Therefore, observation DOES play a central and unique role in science. Theory, i.e. concepts, are all over the map without observation.

      • Mosher should read Larry Laudan’s Chapters 2 “Demystifying Underdetermination” and Chapter 3 “Empirical Equivalence and Underdetermination” in his book Beyond Positivism and Relativism (1996). From Chapter 2,

        “More or less everyone, relativist or non-relativist, agrees that ‘theories are underdetermined’ in some sense or other; but the seeming agreement about that formula disguises a dangerously wide variety of different meanings.”

        Laudan goes on to make these distinctions in ways that I think would please Mosher while helping Mosher understand why he sometimes sounds like an epistemological relativist (even though he clearly is not). The Duhem-Quine thesis has become a refuge of what might be called “science deniers” or “epistemological egalitarians,” partly because Quine equivocated a lot about exactly what he was saying, sometimes seeming to believe that all theories were always equally supported by the evidence. The muzzle flashes from unleashing the DQ artillery may seem to locate one on a hill one does not wish to defend.

    • Bad Andrew

      Seen over the past century and a half there is no question that our planet has warmed, so “Global Warming” (itself) is “real”.

      But if the question is

      What would it take for you to conclude that human GHG emissions are not the principal driver of our climate and that there is, thus, no real potential threat to humanity or our environment from man-made global warming?

      (IOW what would it take in your mind to falsify the CAGW premise as outlined by IPCC in AR4?)

      The answer (for anyone who truly hasn’t decided yet would be

      If human emissions of CO2 and other GHGs continue unabated, with concentrations continuing to reach record levels over a period of another decade or two, at the same time that the “globally and annually averaged land and sea surface temperature anomaly” continues to decline slightly.

      Those who have already decided that AGW poses no real potential threat might pick a shorter time frame or say their viewpoint has already been proven by the current pause.

      Those who have already decided that AGW does pose a real potential threat might pick a longer time frame or even try rationalizing away the lack of warming as a result of other unforeseen factors while maintaining the notion that human GHG emissions are still the principal driver of our future climate.

      Max

    • David L. Hagen

      Bad Andrew
      You begin without definition of “Global warming” or specifying the time frame.

      That is particularly dangerous considering how often it is used by equivocation to mean anthropogenic global warming.

  17. A nice intention is represented here; sadly with so many debatable cures and debatable identification of symptoms that it is immediately hamstrung by being too ambitious for its own merits.

    The list focuses blame on writers, placing no burden on readers to READ HARDER.

    It emphasizes doubt and uncertainty, suspicion and undermining the process of reaching conclusions.

    It panders.

    It incidentally insults.

    It coyly polarizes without providing a valid means to reach mutually agreeable outcomes.

    And it places political correctness above correctness, expressing an attitude that prefers niceness over sincerity.

    1. Do not overstate the power of your argument. One’s sense of conviction should be in proportion to the level of clear evidence assessable by most. If someone portrays their opponents as being either stupid or dishonest for disagreeing, intellectual dishonesty is probably in play. Intellectual honesty is most often associated with humility, not arrogance.

    Meaningless gibberish. How often to people read anyone saying, “my argument is the most powerful argument evah, and could never ever be unseated by any means because it is so eternal and great and good and solid..” and don’t immediately undermine their case with properly skeptical readers when they do so?

    Rather, wouldn’t it be better to acknowledge that argument is an adversarial process: in the debate between the writer and the reader, is not every writer going after the win in the field of the reader’s mind?

    Indeed, one of the most commonplace tools of people countering strong arguments is to end-run the power by accusing the writer of overstating the strength of their case even if the writer assiduously avoids making any claims of power at all, or even if the writer specifically and clearly states specific limits on the strength of their case.

    One’s conveyed sense of conviction ought be irrelevant to any reader at all. Who cares about the personality or feelings of the writer, ever, in matters of ideas, fact and evidence? Ought not that clear evidence be made so assessible as practical — indeed it is adverse to the spirit of science, though too commonplace in its practice, to hide some evidence or method and jealously guard access for patently invalid reasons — to the intended audience and beyond, and that audience bear the burden for examining the provided evidence and seeking and providing more evidence (for or against) by such means as they possess?

    What good does it do a writer to /mixed metaphor mode on/ do all the work and hand it down as if from the Mount, and get nothing back from readers? The readers ought run with the ball, move the ideas further along the field if persuaded, or defend against it especially if too easily persuaded by digging deeper on new, fertile ground? /mixed metaphor mode off/

    If some writer portrays their opponents as being stupid or dishonest for disagreeing, it should be ignored by readers: who cares what the writer thinks of other people based on vanity or fear of contradiction?

    How does ad hom affect facts, evidence or ideas?

    If ignoring entirely the ad hom portion of writing leaves nothing to discuss, or only a weak case, then the writer has done the argument no good.

    However, where dishonesty is apparent not because of the disagreement but because of clear and valid evidence of dishonesty, how is it then off the table to discuss it in an honest and open forum?

    If something being read sounds stupid, why not say so? Often the ‘sounds stupid’ is due a failure to communicate on either or both sides. While it would be more efficient to identify such cases by saying, “I think we’re having a failure to communicate, could you explain again what you mean?” or some such, if readers of goodwill are engaging a writer, then any plea for better understanding, up to “what an incompetent idiot that guy is, he’s a stupid doodoo brain,” shouldn’t be suppressed.

    After all, wouldn’t it be better to admit to a failure of communication by blunt and honest expression of one’s sense of the exchange, than to pretend the communication were successful and let it pass?

    It appears the term “intellectual honesty” means more the opposite, in this sense, and by “humility” what is intended is disengagement, while arrogance appears to be the way willingness to engage is portrayed.

    • Bart R

      Well said.

    • Bart R:

      Well, said and said and said and said and said and said and said and said and said and said said and said and said and said and said and said and said and said and said and said

      The Memo you missed: Less is More.

    • Steven Mosher

      “1. Do not overstate the power of your argument. One’s sense of conviction should be in proportion to the level of clear evidence assessable by most. If someone portrays their opponents as being either stupid or dishonest for disagreeing, intellectual dishonesty is probably in play. Intellectual honesty is most often associated with humility, not arrogance.

      #########################
      Meaningless gibberish.
      ################################

      Violates about 6 of the 10 rulz

      • Steven Mosher | April 20, 2013 at 3:28 pm |

        You’ll note, I don’t regard them as rulz; more of ‘guidelines’ really.

        Or a path paved in good intentions.

  18. 2. Show a willingness to publicly acknowledge that reasonable alternative viewpoints exist. The alternative views do not have to be treated as equally valid or powerful, but rarely is it the case that one and only one viewpoint has a complete monopoly on reason and evidence.

    It’s pretty presumptuous to acknowledge that a viewpoint someone doesn’t understand is reasonable before completely engaging in coming to an understanding of it. One might even call it arrogant.

    While generally “reasonable alternative viewpoints exist” (what a bizarre way to say nothing at all).

    This is simply a patent excuse for fingoism. We know from hard experience that it is an inherently wrong approach to finding reasonable other viewpoints.

    Far better to acknowledge that the process of finding the best reasonable viewpoint is never over, but that there will often be a best reasonable viewpoint produced by the parsimonious, simplifying, universal, accurate and nearly true method of science. (If science is the field.)

    Other views can be views. There’s nothing wrong with people holding views: that’s a natural and normal step in forming conclusions. Elevating all views to equality, especially when their cases are weaker or less valid, doesn’t fight the monopoly of one fixed view: it creates a monopoly of inferior understanding.

    No conclusion has a monopoly on evidence: evidence belongs to all valid viewpoints. No conclusion has a monopoly on reason: reason belongs to all rationale. This using of the devil word ‘monopoly’ seeks to slander the ability of reason and evidence to support best hypotheses.

    Who would fall for that?

    • Again, well said. I found much of what was quoted in the OP as irritating as you clearly do.

    • Throw them a bone is common sense 101

    • Steven Mosher

      ” Elevating all views to equality, especially when their cases are weaker or less valid, doesn’t fight the monopoly of one fixed view: it creates a monopoly of inferior understanding.”

      The claim was not that other EQUALLY REASONABLE views exist. The virtue extolled was “PUBLICALLY acknowledging that other reasonable positions exist.” I’ll give you a perfect example. Try to argue with somefolks that the sensitivity is more likely to be less than 3C rather than more than 3C and they will refuse to accept that this position is reasonable. They will call this scientific position a “false flag”,, mumble crap about overtons window, they will count publications, attack pedigrees, say if it’s true, it doesnt matter. They will lump you in with nutjobs who deny all physics..

      I’ll give you another example.. I get mail. I get mail from guys who publically refuse to acknowledge that there is a different reasonable view of the MWP. Privately they slag Mann’s work.

      I

  19. Someone should tattoo the list on Mann’s arse!

    • David Springer

      But then only his sycophants could read it. I suggest putting it on the mirror in his bathroom and the one nearest his office at Penn State where, judging by both physique and personality, he should see it a great many times every single day.

      • David Springer

        Ink doesn’t work on mirrors. Something with a wax in it like a grease pencil is suitable. In your case you could use the vermillion lipstick you keep in your purse instead of a grease pencil.

    • Steven Mosher

      waste of ink

  20. 3. Be willing to publicly acknowledge and question one’s own assumptions and biases. All of us rely on assumptions when applying our world view to make sense of the data about the world. And all of us bring various biases to the table.

    This sounds pretty good. It’s doomed to failure, but it sounds good.

    Explicit statement of relevant assumptions is great, and greatly assists in inference or deduction. However, we can never be certain except in nearly trivial cases that all assumptions have been made explicit, and must admit the possibility our argument is founded on a weak or illegitimate assumption we have not yet uncovered.

    And is bias really news to anyone? Confirmation bias, pious fraud, invincible ignorance.. a platitude about willingness is not going to address these and other problems of bias by itself. Something more vigorous and diligent is needed. In this case the nice is the enemy of the necessary.

    • Steven Mosher

      “However, we can never be certain except in nearly trivial cases that all assumptions have been made explicit, and must admit the possibility our argument is founded on a weak or illegitimate assumption we have not yet uncovered.”

      The claim was not that ALL assumptions be made explicit. You’ve mischaracterized the argument. Hmm that violates rule 8 I think

      • Oh, I don’t pretend the original statement declared ALL; I merely argue that in a large subset of cases, ANY is insufficient as a condition.

        It’s the one illegitimate unrecognized assumption that sinks an argument, not the fifty thousand in good faith acknowledged, often.

      • Steven Mosher

        Huh,

        you made no such argument. Further, the rule talks about the willingness to publically recognize and acknowledge ones assumptions,
        .

        It does not state that you have to explain all your assumptions. It does not state that you have to explain ANY assumption whatsoever. And if you point out an assumption to me that I have not acknowledged and I refuse to recognize it as an assumption, well then the rule applies.

        Note: when you argue this is doomed, you are overstating your case.

      • Steven Mosher | April 20, 2013 at 7:16 pm |

        I’ll have to make a note that what I thought I’d led people to in my writing did not get them all the way there for them, and I’ve left too much burden to think for themselves on the reader.

        Though I agree, if I’d said ‘doomed to complete failure every time’, I’d be overstating the case. Some of the time will fail enough that we’d have hoped for better wording, or at least for the original author to have pointed out this weakness.

  21. Alexej Buergin

    For me it helps when everybody knows your real name, I distrust anonymous nobodies.

    • Alexej Buergin | April 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm |

      Oddly, I find people who advertise their real names too readily accused of arrogance or self-aggrandizement, to deflect discussion and debate away from ideas, evidence and science and into personalities.

      It’s the hallmark of intellectual dishonesty to divert the topic repeatedly and insistently into inconsequentiality, don’t you find?

    • Alexej Buergin

      That might be true for omanuel or JC (somebodys), but I am a nobody, just not an anonymous one.

    • For me it helps when everybody knows your real name, I distrust anonymous nobodies.

      7. Address the argument instead of attacking the person making the argument.

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua, he is not attacking the person. He is saying that he does not give the same amount of trust to a anonymous writer as he does to named writer. You have to acknowledge that this is a reasonable position. please dont mispresent his argument.

      • Lol! His argument is that it isn’t the argument that matters, it is whether the person uses their name or not, because if they don’t use their name, they are an “anonymous nobody.”

        #8, mosher, #8.

      • not to mention distrustful.

        Does the fact that you know my name make me more trustworthy? Any less of a nobody? Nope. I’m just the same ol’ un-trustworthy nobody I always was, Steven. Since we’re in agreement on that, maybe you’ll stop focusing on me, personally, as much as you do?

        I have faith that you can change, steven, because I know your name and that means you are a trustworthy somebody.

    • k scott denison

      +1 Alexej. There’s a reason why, in the US at least, one has the right to face one’s accuser in a court of law.

      So those who choose to hide behind anonymity on line should not be surprised when others discount their contributions.

    • Agree. Another personal approach is to treat all one’s own arguments in private discussions as if they were open to public scrutiny.

  22. 4. Be willing to publicly acknowledge where your argument is weak. Almost all arguments have weak spots, but those who are trying to sell an ideology will have great difficulty with this point and would rather obscure or downplay any weak points.

    If you’re a great writer, with the time to ponder and edit and re-examine your argument for every weakness (see #3 about assumptions and biases) so far as you can, then it’s great if you acknowledge these weaknesses.

    Especially, it’s a known method of rhetoric to acknowledge and dismiss weaknesses that, if identified by an opponent, would otherwise doom a case.

    Who hasn’t heard the phrase, “..now, my opponent will doubtless point out that ..” followed by some straw man that deflates the opponent in the eyes of readers, but so subtly as to fool some readers?

    Better, more honest, to acknowledge weaknesses only after objections have been raised, unless one honestly knows the weakness and its answer to be so patent and urgent that it must be addressed.

    Argument is adversarial. Playing down weak points will happen as a matter of human nature; we all subconsciously downplay losing points, and coddle feeble or undeveloped views. The adversarial process of argument helps throw a clear light on this far better than self-reflection; not that self-reflection ought be avoided by some who apparently never do. You know who you are. (Wait, likely not.)

    • Pride comes before a fall

      • k scott denison

        +1

      • Howard | April 20, 2013 at 3:13 pm |

        In alphabetical order, it comes before ‘prie’, a low bench designed for kneeling on to pray or express humility or subservience. Oddly, due its design, it tends to stiffen the back.

        Proud or humble, admitting of weakness or admitting of none, the writer is less to blame if the reader is not sufficiently, skeptically, vigilant.

  23. lurker passing through, laughing

    Dr. Curry,
    Excellent post.
    The team fails both version of this in such a spectacular fashion as to boggle the mind.

  24. I find the focus on doing this or that publicly rather an odd aspect of this perspective. If you are relying on the threat of being public to somehow strengthen these goals, you are chasing your tail. In fact, I’d say that the focus on what is or isn’t public to likely be counterproductive from the standpoint of applying these principles.

    The process of intellectual honesty is an internal and introspective process. Certainly, external input his helpful in that regard – but you’re only open to that external input if you’ve laid the necessary groundwork internally.

    Essentially, I think this approach is putting the cart before the horse.

    • Steven Mosher

      “The process of intellectual honesty is an internal and introspective process. Certainly, external input his helpful in that regard – but you’re only open to that external input if you’ve laid the necessary groundwork internally.

      Essentially, I think this approach is putting the cart before the horse.”

      huh? I first think you have to admit that there is a reasonable position that intellectual honesty is a public act rather than a private act. That the easiest person to fool is yourself. Lets put it this way, if you are intellectually dishonest you cant lay the necessary ground work internally.

  25. The first and most important rule of intellectual honesty in debate, IMO, is to be able to accurately state the perspective of those you disagree with – to their satisfaction.

    If you twist their perspective in order to support your own thesis, then you are engaging in intellectual dishonesty. If you aren’t fully comprehensive in articulating their argument, then you are, in effect, engaging in intellectual dishonesty.

    • 8. When addressing an argument, do not misrepresent it. A common tactic of the intellectually dishonest is to portray their opponent’s argument in straw man terms. In politics, this is called spin. Typically, such tactics eschew quoting the person in context, but instead rely heavily on out-of-context quotes, paraphrasing and impression. When addressing an argument, one should shows signs of having made a serious effort to first understand the argument and then accurately represent it in its strongest form.

      So I would make #8, #1. And raise it to an entirely different level of hierarchy above the others.

      But “showing signs of having made a serious effort” is not sufficient, IMO. You need to make certain that the person you’re arguing with agrees that your representation of their views is accurate and fully comprehensive.

      Of course, there is a problem if your opponent will not be honest in accepting a good faith and accurate and comprehensive representation of their views. But making that determination is extremely problematic, and is fraught with very subjectively-biased reasoning; that is why you need to make every effort possible to gain their approval of how you represent their views.

      • I agree that No 8 is more far reaching and important. The problem with many commenters is that they consider the art of communication is merely the presentation of their POV AT their audience and by not understanding the it is a two-way process.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Is Joshua capable of intellectual honesty?

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/17/meta-uncertainty-in-the-determination-of-climate-sensitivity/#comment-313241

        http://judithcurry.com/2013/04/17/meta-uncertainty-in-the-determination-of-climate-sensitivity/#comment-313513

        He assiduously attempts to marginalise assigns people he disagrees with on pissant progressive political grounds to psycho-babble categories. I suggest on the evidence that blatant hypocrisy and disingenuous psycho babble is the order of the day.

        ‘Of course, there is a problem if your opponent will not be honest in accepting a good faith and accurate and comprehensive representation of their views.’ We will decide what is in good faith says Joshua and if you object to categorisation it will be grounds for further sub-categorisation. The problem with Joshua is that good faith is not his objective.

      • Lol!

        #7, chief, #7

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Just attempting an honest and good faith interpretation of your views Joshua. You are politically inspired in some pissant progressive sense and as such there is no possibility that the cultural divide can ever be broached. You are a barbarian inside the gates of the citadel of progress and enlightenment. Your objective is to marginalise what you see as libertarians and conservatives in the service of a progressive utopian fantasy. Your tools are psychobabble and trivial distraction. The overall impression is one of repetitive and smarmy snark. You have no science and little couth.

        How am I doing?

      • How am I doing?

        You are doing extremely well, chief – if your intent is to neon flash the above listed #7 and #8 signs of intellectual dishonesty.

        If your intent is to either accurately describe my intent or what I say, you have failed quite miserably.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        But Joshua – it is what I believe and for good reason. So it can hardly be dishonesty. I have said a number of times that the views of pissant progressives are both silly and marginal in the broad sweep of history – you are irrelevant to major currents shaping the future and are incapable of growing and changing. So it is to other people I am talking to – and from others responses to you I can tell they agree with me. If you don’t agree you are simply showing bad faith.

  26. 5. Be willing to publicly acknowledge when you are wrong. Those selling an ideology likewise have great difficulty admitting to being wrong, as this undercuts the rhetoric and image that is being sold. You get small points for admitting to being wrong on trivial matters and big points for admitting to being wrong on substantive points. You lose big points for failing to admit being wrong on something trivial.

    Aw. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if everyone acknowledged when they were wrong? But wait.. what _exactly_ would this achieve, really?

    Should we set as our goal that past writers must mea culpa and apologize and say they’re sorry and grovel a bit where they’ve disagreed with us?

    Doesn’t this describe vendetta, rather than productive discourse?

    We know all people — not just those selling an ideology (and who isn’t selling an ideology, to be cynically blunt?) — have great difficulty admitting to being wrong.. which admission does not undercut rhetoric or image or sales, as marketers well know.

    Admitting wrongs, even carefully constructed right wrongs, generally tends to increase the credibility of personalities. And shouldn’t we be talking about ideas, not personalities? Shouldn’t the credibility of each individual case independently be judged solely on its own merits, not on the authority from whom it comes or our emotions about that person?

    You get equal points, in general, for all admissions of wrong, great or small. Clever propagandists know this and frequently make small admissions of wrong to glaze over their gaping flaws.

    Yet the honest, honorable thing to do, to treat each individual case only on its own merits, is hurt by even the hint by some detractor snidely throwing mud on the source. It’s this very practice that anyone who really values intellectual honesty ought be attacking, and not the reluctance to admit past irrelevant wrongs.

    • Face your failures

      • Howard | April 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm |

        My face, I don’t mind it,
        For I am behind it;
        It’s the people in front I offend.

        I’ve never found myself wanting for people to volunteer to face my failures for me.

      • For Bart R

        Wonderful! My mother’s little self-appraisal:

        As a beauty I am not a star.
        There are others more handsome by far.
        But my face — I don’t mind it
        For I am behind it.
        The people in front get the jar.

    • Steven Mosher

      “5. Be willing to publicly acknowledge when you are wrong. Those selling an ideology likewise have great difficulty admitting to being wrong, as this undercuts the rhetoric and image that is being sold. You get small points for admitting to being wrong on trivial matters and big points for admitting to being wrong on substantive points. You lose big points for failing to admit being wrong on something trivial.

      Aw. Wouldn’t it be a wonderful world if everyone acknowledged when they were wrong? But wait.. what _exactly_ would this achieve, really?
      ##########################

      The part you miss here is what happens when people refuse to admit ANY wrong, even wrongs that make no difference. Like admiting that asking people to destroy mails is wrong. Like calling NOAA a fraud is wrong. When someone refuses to admit any wrong, any wrong whatsoever, then I bump them down on the trustworthiness scale. The point is not that admiting wrongs puts people UP on the trustworthiness scale. The point is that refusing to admit any wrong willearn you negative points.

      It helps if you try to make the best argument for the other side, rather than misconstruing the position and then attacking it.

      • Steven Mosher | April 20, 2013 at 3:55 pm |

        Oh, absolutely, people in the throes of irrationality and polarization, whether courteous (as we have many examples here) or antagonistic (as there will invariably be too many examples anywhere) make us feel like trusting them less. Just as we, in the throes of polarization or irrationality trust other people less.

        And I say, so what?

        I’m far worse off trusting someone (which is also a form of ad hom, and an insidious one) and tempting myself to accept their claims unexamined at face value or contagiously taking on their wrong framing and errors of method because I trust them too much, find them too likeable or reliable or cunning or smart than I am distrusting them, if it means I provide them the best service a reader can for a writer: bringing a new set of eyes to their ideas.

        The least trustworthy reader is a too trusting one. All they provide is cheerleading. And any Black Hat Marketer could generate cheerleading with no trouble at all, without the baggage of trust.

  27. The first four points are closely related to requirements I would present for a good scientific paper:

    1. Do not overstate the power of your argument.
    A scientific paper should not overstate the power of the arguments and empirical data presented in the paper.

    2. Show a willingness to publicly acknowledge that reasonable alternative viewpoints exist.
    A good scientific paper should tell about the existence of alternative interpretations or theories although necessarily elaborate on them.

    3. Be willing to publicly acknowledge and question one’s own assumptions and biases.
    Scientists should always pay attention to potential biases, and also acknowledge that they may be influenced by them, if they feel that there’s a significant risk of biases that they cannot e,iminate.

    4. Be willing to publicly acknowledge where your argument is weak.
    A good scientific paper should tell about the weaknesses in the arguments that the authors know about.

    When scientists follow the above approach the paper may appear weaker that it would otherwise, but it’s a great advantage for the authors that they have told about the weaknesses themselves rather than written a paper that will later turn out to be wrong while the authors gave the impression that they were very sure about their conclusions and failed in seeing what they should have seen.

    • I don’t know about your field Pekka, but mine has a real problem.
      Have a look at a paper in Science or Nature, the gold standard by which we are judged, and look at the biologicals. Notice something odd? No loose ends and linear progression of argument. No blind alleys and no huge error bars.
      This last one hurts me.
      I know that people are getting much tighter distributions in their data than I can ever get. I like to think I am pretty good.
      My technician is great and she is a bit of a witch with the cells, but many people report better standard deviations of cell growth in their controls with n’s of 5 or 6 than I get with a n of 8; and i deliberately design my experiments to have as little variation as possible.
      It must be that I am crap at what I do, because I can’t ever do quite as well as the people who churn out papers at twice my level of productivity.

      • I have a suspicion that papers published in Science and Nature are often intellectually less honest than good papers published in the leading journals of a narrower focus.

        There’s too much search for instant fame in publishing in Science or Nature and these journals weigh too much the level of attention that the papers are likely to get. Even the scientists may be more tolerant for intellectual dishonesty when they read Nature or Science than they are when they read the most highly valued journals of their own specialty. Science and Nature are not so much platforms for documenting the progress of each field as they are for advertizing some recent results for a wider audience.

        Strict limits on the length of the paper may also encourage intellectual dishonesty as such limits may be used as an excuse for leaving out text that full intellectual honesty would require.

    • Pekka Pirilä | April 20, 2013 at 1:58 pm |

      I like your wording better than Mike Gene’s; your view is closer to what I think is a workable approach, though DocMartyn’s caution is one of the cases that prompts my own greater caution with Mike Gene’s items 1-6.

      It appears your list is far less naive than his, and experienced scientists encounter these cases so often they occassionally simplify their statement of them, as a good scientist knows things Mike Gene’s readers do not.

  28. 6. Demonstrate consistency. A clear sign of intellectual dishonesty is when someone extensively relies on double standards. Typically, an excessively high standard is applied to the perceived opponent(s), while a very low standard is applied to the ideologues’ allies.

    More and more, Mike Gene’s 10 Commandments of Intellectual Honesty is coming across as a guidebook to rhetoric and propaganda, a how-to for the systematically intellectually dishonest.

    We know that if you apply any standard evenly across multiple arguments, high or low so long as you retain control of that standard and are the one executing it with nuance that favors your own case (intentionally or subconsciously), so long as you use this as an excuse to confound and obscure the better cases with sufficient weak cases, you are serving your own cause by merely bashing and burying the best of the adverse cases among the dross of all the relatively bad ones.

    If you can dismiss all but a very few (two to five) cases with little effort, and do it honestly, do so before applying the harder standards.

    If your next level of harder standards eliminate all but two cases, do so before proceeding to the most intensive exploration.

    If you have two cases, then apply equal standards to them, sure. But don’t imply, if you’re honest, that yours is the only standard; allow for expansion of the analyses going forward with better standards if any better standard is conceivable. (See #1.)

    For example, while I apply Newton’s standards (of parsimony, simplicity, universality, accuracy and truth), I’m perfectly willing to expand on and extend Newton’s standard. So soon as someone smarter than Newton comes along and makes a superior argument to Newton’s.

    It’s been 300 years. Surely it’ll happen any day now.

    • Don’t be an Arsewhole

      • Howard | April 20, 2013 at 3:14 pm |

        Intellectual honesty doesn’t care one way or the other what you be, so long as you be as honest to others as to yourself.

        In this sense, it also isn’t much of a guarantee of intellectual quality or correct surmise. We’re all susceptible to unrecognized self-deception.

  29. The loss of trust resulting from Climategate (see my previous essay here) has had wide repercussions in the public debate on climate change.

    I agree.

    Particularly the following two emails were extremely damaging, and IPCC is now just going through the motions and their reputation is in taters.

    Email 1

    I feel rather uncomfortable about using not only unpublished but also unreviewed material as the backbone of our conclusions.

    “…the rules of IPCC have been softened to the point that in this way the IPCC is not any more an assessment of published science (which is its proclaimed goal) but production of results.

    Email 2:

    I tried hard to balance the needs of the science and the IPCC, which were not always the same.

  30. Alas that Mike Gene didn’t start with points 7-10. Those are actually quite good so far as I can see. They’ve been done — and well — elsewhere before by other writers, but no one has a monopoly on good sense.

    The 10 signs of Intellectual Dishonesty is nice and all, and I have no quibbles with it, other than being a bit too short: only 10?

    But ..

    1. Oversimplifying a complex problem, and drawing highly confident conclusions from the simplified analysis.

    Uhm.. Simplification of complex problems is how they get solved, how confident conclusions are arrived at. It’s the fundamental process of all Mathematics. It’s why models exist.

    And simplification is far from lazy: it’s hard work to do right.

    Perhaps the laziness comes from only doing it part way? Or underthinking the simplification process, or failing to estimate (or is it measure?) confidence of conclusions.

    2. Strong personal convictions that are based not upon an individual’s personal examination of the evidence, but rather on the second-order evidence of the existence of a consensus.

    Huh. I’m not sure whether this is saying that strong personal convictions based on nothing at all are okay, but if other people have worked for lifetimes on understanding and analysing questions, then it’s automatically wrong to consider they might know something that conflicts with those personal convictions based on nothing?

    While I like to decide these things for myself, and am skeptical enough to examine what I’m told where reason dictates, it’s been my experience people just as often ‘examine evidence’ on invalid as on valid bases, and far from being lazy about it, they put a great deal of zeal and effort into it, when they might have had better, more reliable, outcomes by checking with authoritative sources for guidance in understanding.

    3. Failure to continually question and challenge your assumptions.

    Because there’s nothing less lazy than indecision and paralysis by analysis?

    4. Inadequate attention to characterizing uncertainty and ambiguities.

    Because there’s nothing less lazy than indecision and paralysis by analysis?

    5. Cherry picking evidence in presenting your arguments; i.e. failure to present evidence both for and against your arguments.

    Which is particularly good at saving the intellectual work later of dealing with actual evidence against your arguments instead of the stooge straw man evidence you’ve contrived to knock down and seem fairminded by so doing.

    6. Tribalism that excludes viewpoints from ‘outsiders’.

    While this is certainly wrong, and hardly intellectual, how is it lazy again? I mean, is this a list of bad things, or of intellectual laziness? Taking the time to prune lists is a bit more work, but it saves us from such embarrasment.

    7. Failure to explicitly place your research and its implications in a broader context of previous scientific research

    I always hate when people do this. “So clearly we can see from our study of wooly bear caterpillars that the Democratic plan to coddle takers will harm the makers and destroy America.”

    Overreachingly broad contexts are commonplace in published papers, and fail to serve science.

    • Bart R

      Simplifying things is often an essential step in solving complex questions – exactly as you write. Bart.

      But the problem is oversimplifying things

      o·ver·sim·pli·fy
      v. o·ver·sim·pli·fied, o·ver·sim·pli·fy·ing, o·ver·sim·pli·fies
      v.tr.
      To simplify to the point of causing misrepresentation, misconception, or error.
      v.intr.
      To cause distortion or error by extreme simplification of a subject.

      And the key is in finding that distinction.

      Max

    • Steven Mosher

      manaker. I think Bart is being ironic.. nobody as smart as he is would make the mistake of moving from “oversimplifying” to “simplifying” and expect to get away with that crap in this room.

      he has to be kidding. absolutely has to having a good laugh

      • ‘Over’ is a relative term.

        I do not have a sense that Dr. Curry’s use of ‘over’ in the case of simplification is always consistent with consensus..

        manacker | April 20, 2013 at 4:45 pm |

        This is the crux of the point.

        When one claims oversimplification after one has clearly and rationally deduced mistakes due oversimplification separately from the sole foundation of oversimplification as the mistake itself, that’s one thing. When one begins and largely rests one’s case on an argument of presumptive oversimplification, one merely begs the question.

        So _starting_ a list of intellectual laziness — separate and apart from the label of laziness being generally inapplicable — or an item in the list with the term ‘oversimplifying’ — leads to the mental laziness of easy inference not based on actual evidence, but mere ambiguous implication.

        Instead focus on the reader, not the writer, on such true signs of intellectual laziness in readers who fail to drill deeper at gloss and handwaving, who allow simplification they have not independently themselves verified leads to conclusions that are sound, I suggest.

        You can’t expect every writer to be clairvoyant of what talented and knowledgeable readers will find to object to beforehand. The reader has an obligation to provide feedback, having thought for themselves and checked with other opinions.

      • Bart R

        An example of “oversimplification”:

        In AR4 WG1 SPM, Figure SPM.2., IPCC lists “Radiative Forcing Components” in 2005 (as compared to a “pre-industrial” baseline year of 1750.

        Almost all the forcings are anthropogenic; there is only one small entry for natural forcing: solar irradiance (representing around 7% of all of the climate forcing since 1750, despite the fact that 20thC solar activity reached a maximum level for several thousand years).

        In other words, natural factors were considered to have played a very small role in the change in climate since 1750, with CO2 by far the largest single factor.

        Future climate change was projected based on these forcing factors and estimated changes in the various components.

        On this basis, warming of 0.2°C per decade was projected for the next two decades, modifying slightly an earlier forecast of 0.15° to 0.3°C (average 0.225°C) in the TAR.

        A very neat and “simple” way of looking at our planet’s climate.

        Then came the “pause”.

        Instead of 0.2°C per decade warming there was no change for a period of 12 to 15 years (or even slight cooling, depending on which starting year is used), despite unabated human GHG emissions and CO2 concentrations reaching record levels.

        Suddenly the culprit was “natural” factors, not considered (or grossly underestimated) in the earlier oversimplified approach.

        Max

      • manacker | April 21, 2013 at 2:00 am |

        Thank you for your example of oversimplification. I think we can all agree that your analyses of AR4 contains such superbity of oversimplification the example should be lost on no readers.

        Though a purer example might have included fewer extraneities; but the end it became a quite complicated oversimplification, and could itself have been called an example of overcomplicating an issue.

  31. If by intellectual honesty we mean the ability to admit to being wrong, I’m sorry to report it’s in short supply. How many times have you see words to this effect on this blog or any other? “You know what? You’re right. I was mistaken.”

    I remember Josh admitting to a mistake once. Also Bart R. A few others.

    I of course am more than willing to admit to being wrong. Funnily enough, it just hasn’t happened yet.

    • Well, at least I admitted it the one time it happened.

    • When I notice that I have mistaken on something of significance I try to be the one who states that most explicitly, that’s my view of best defense as I risk otherwise the possibility that others show that against my word. I have done that on a couple of occasions also here.

      There are other cases where it remains debatable, whether what I wrote was right or wrong or only badly formulated. In such cases my reaction varies. There are naturally also minor mistakes not worth being brought up or corrected.

      And then there are matters on which we have opinions and opinions are often not right or wrong, they are just different.

      • Pekka, despite my joking above, I have the same approach. If I say something I later realize is factually wrong, I’m usually in a hurry to admit the mistake before someone else does it for me. I did that the other day concerning the official position of the Royal Society, after I realized I wasn’t sure of my facts…

        Unlike you, I don’t really have a reputation to protect. Just trying to avoid embarrassment.

        How that for honesty?

  32. if you need so desperately to believe in something make it the scientific method

    • blueice2hotsea

      Yes. But with caution – lest it become scientism.

      Observe that The Age of Reason (d)evolved during the French Revolution and became The Cult of Reason and The Reign of Terror, which culminated in Napoleonic military dictatorship.

      Mass murder, religious pogroms and the guillotine were liberally used by so-called proponents of Reason, Liberty, Free Will, and Enlightened Government. Odd, that.

  33. Hmmm…it seems blatantly clear to me that the likes of Mann, Schmidt, Trenberth and the rest of the clowns at RC and SKS violate every single of if those honesty indicators!

    Mailman

  34. the Left’s jihad on capitalism underlies all global warming. it is intellectually dishonest nut to admit it is all political

  35. Intellectual Honesty = Solving Problems

    Intellectual Dishonesty = Winning Arguments

  36. the Left’s jihad on capitalism underlies all global warming. it is intellectually dishonest not to admit it is all political

    • winner winner chicken dinner. this is the best intellectually dishonest haiku ever, hitting all 10 in the fewest words.

  37. David Springer

    The Design Matrix is one of three books I recommend reading to get a gist of ID. Mike Gene presents an engineer’s POV. The other two are Cornell Prof. John Sanford’s (geneticist, inventor of the Gene Gun) ” Genetic Entropy & the Mystery of the Genome and biochemistry (Lehigh) Prof. Michael Behe’s http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Behe#The_Edge_of_Evolution.

  38. David Springer

    You know Mike Gene is a pen name, right?

  39. This used to be a blog where I learned a lot about climate science.
    This thread shows that these days, whatever the subject, the blog has become a place where certain denizens just play ping-pong with each other, to no one’s edification.
    A lost opportunity, IMHO.

  40. Judith Curry

    Good post.

    Gives us all something to think about.

    Max

  41. I think there’s one more that needs to be added:

    11. Admit when you’re over your head in you secondary skills sets (eg statistics) and seek expert help in those areas that are not in your primary skills set. If you argue with an expert, you might be right, but the odds aren’t very strong.

    • David L. Hagen

      An important addition. e.g.,
      1) Consult William M. Briggs regarding “warming” or climate.

      2) Examine the level of due diligence required in professional commercial endeavors as demonstrated by Steve McIntyre such as on the Hockey Stick.

      3) Apply the forecasting principles methodology effectively required to maintain objective scientific forecasting in the face of self interest and political motivation, such as identified by J. Scott Armstrong.
      e.g. Research to date on Manmade Global Warming Alarm (2011)

      The validity of the manmade global warming alarm requires the support of scientific forecasts of (1) a substantive long-term rise in global mean temperatures in the absence of regulations, (2) serious net harmful effects due to global warming, and (3) cost-effective regulations that would produce net beneficial effects versus alternatives such as doing nothing. Without scientific forecasts for all three aspects of the alarm, there is no scientific basis to enact regulations. In effect, it is a three-legged stool. Despite repeated appeals to global warming alarmists, we have been unable to find scientific forecasts for any of the three legs.
      . . .we have, to date, identified 26 historical alarmist movements. None of the forecasts for the analogous alarms proved correct. In the 25 alarms that called for government intervention, the government impost regulations in 23. None of the 23 interventions was effective and harm was caused by 20 of them.

    • David L. Hagen

      (Dis)Honesty in forecasting

      The issuance of probabilistic forecasts introduces additional technical considerations (e.g., in evaluating forecast “goodness”) but does not appear to contradict these general findings related to liability. At the other end of the spectrum, a forecaster should be found liable if a forecast was based on a deliberate, knowing falsehood or withholding of information.

      Roger Pielke Jr. Legal Liability for Bad Scientific Forecasts in the United States

  42. Speaking of courage, here’s Alan Greenspan, after having found a flaw in the idea that the self-interest of lending institutions to protect shareholders’ equity:

    > The whole intellectual edifice, however, collapsed in the summer of last year.

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/20853328017

    By chance there are still other people than Greenspan around to carry the Randian torch.

  43. Mosher just posted an anecdote on the WUWT “escalator” thread that shows how easy it is to fool skeptics with their own confirmation bias. I hope he can post it here. It is a doozy.

    • David Springer

      Working under the theory “birds of a feather flock together” one must conclude that Steven has very gullible friends.

    • k scott denison

      Well Jim D, when Mr. Mosher responds to rgbatduke’s post on the same thread then maybe he will have done something. His little anecdote reminds me of the viral vids of greenies signing petitions to ban dihydrogen monoxide. Yup, you can make believers on *both* sides looks like fools quite simply.

      Now, rebutting rgbatduke’s arguments, not so easy. By the way, have you ask Mr. Mosher why a pause in warming of 25 years (not 24, not 26) would convince him that CAGW isn’t a worry? Did you get a satisfactory explanation of the physical mechanisms that operate on 25 year intervals?

      • Steven Mosher

        rgb doesnt really make an argument.

        Also.

        Note that I said a pause of 25 years would make me change my position on sensitivity. I don’t even know what CAGW is.

        My view is pretty straightforward.

        AGW at it’s CORE is this:

        1. Humans have increased GHGs in the atmosphere.
        2. Increased GHGs, all else being equal, cause warming not cooling.
        3. How much warming? there’s the knob that you adjust as you understand more.

        Given our current state of understanding, the best evidence ( some of which is dodgy ) and the best science ( some of which is wrong and incomplete ) suggests that a doubling of C02 will lead to 3C of warming– all else held constant. As the pause extends, I’m open to turning that
        belief knob down. If warming resumes with a vengence I’m open to turning that knob up.

        So pretty simple.. #1 hard to disprove.. #2. damn near a physical law.
        #3.. wiggle that knob as you learn more..

      • k scott denison

        rgb does make an argument, that the problem is too big to reduce to or even talk about simple concepts like sensitivity to one and only one variable.

        So why 25 years? And why, then, doesn’t the pause from 1941 through 1970 make you rethink sensitivity?

      • Steven Mosher

        k scott denison | April 20, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
        rgb does make an argument, that the problem is too big to reduce to or even talk about simple concepts like sensitivity to one and only one variable.

        So why 25 years? And why, then, doesn’t the pause from 1941 through 1970 make you rethink sensitivity
        ######################
        The notion that the problem is “too big” to reduce to single metric is not really an argument. The question is how useful is that single metric AS OPPOSED to other metrics. Further, nobody seriously ascribes all change to one variable. In my post I said more than 50%.. That is hardly ascribing ALL CHANGE to ONE variable. So he makes no argument against my position. Consequently, he doesnt need to be rebutted.

        25 Years. Well, the first pause is already FACTORED INTO my position. another pause, after such a run up in c02, would have me adjusting my belief about where the sensitivity knob is set.

        A) it would not say anything to me about the usefulness of the knob.
        B) it would cause me to re evaluate where I think the mode of the distribution lies.

    • I would not argue with 25 years. The way you would work it out is to decide what the maximum natural variability magnitude is (0.2 degrees for decadal averages, for example based on what we saw in the last century), and how much you want CO2 warming to exceed that by to be convincing. In 25 years, CO2 global warming should be about 0.5 C, so it should easily outdo any natural variability in that time-range and lead to warming. If it doesn’t, something unusual is happening to make natural cooling larger, and it should be obvious from the data what that would be if it was that large.

      • Steven Mosher

        yup. I was figuring something around .2c for natural variability.. hmm somewhere I think we said .17C.. and we have about a 25 year pause mid century.. so with GHGs continuing to rise if the pause goes on for 25 years.. One would have to re assess the amplitude of internal forcings..

      • k scott denison

        Jim D and Mr. Mosher, you should take a second look at both your statements and what rgbatduke had to say. You start with “decide what the maximum natural variability magnitude is…” and then both quickly agree to about 0.2c.

        And this is based on which direct measurements? Over which period? During which CO2 was constant?

        You start by violating rule #1 of this post, but no matter I guess.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Jim D and Mr. Mosher, you should take a second look at both your statements and what rgbatduke had to say. You start with “decide what the maximum natural variability magnitude is…” and then both quickly agree to about 0.2c.

        And this is based on which direct measurements? Over which period? During which CO2 was constant?

        You start by violating rule #1 of this post, but no matter I guess.”

        ################################

        rule #1 was overstating the POWER of the argument.
        Well, you can see very plainly that I have not ascribed any power whatsoever to the argument. I don’t ascribe any power to the argument. you can accept it or not. To your questions:

        1.And this is based on which direct measurements?
        There is no such thing as “direct” measurement. there is accurate, consistent, repeatable measurement and there is less accurate, less consistent, less repeatable measurment. The measurement in question is the last 250 years or so of air surface and sea surface temperature. Its not repeatable because its historical. It’s inconsistently taken and of varying degrees of accuracy. It is, however, the best we have and any conclusions drawn from it should be conditioned by its state as ‘evidence’

        2. Over which period? The past 250 years or so. Note that what we are talking about is unforced variability.. or internal variability. The quasi periodic residual that is left over after we remove “what we know” The latter, of course, is a construct or assumption.
        3. During which CO2 was constant? C02 has never been constant. That is one of the reasons why statements about “unforced variability” are hard to make. We cannot hold forcing constant to see how the system will wander around. The best we can do is start with an assumption:
        External forcing produces a change of X. subtract X from the wonky measurements we have and you are left with unforced variation.
        How certain is this? hard to say, but its what you do to try to construct a consistent view of things. The alternative is to look at the wiggles and say “IT WIGGLES!” therefore wiggling explains the wiggles. that’s not explanation.

      • Hmmm? AMO/PDO even though PDO is an index, is about 0.2 C. The LIA guessimate is somewhere between 0.5 and 1 C lower than “normal” and based on the Greenland melt records there is a hint of a ~150 year natural pseudo cycle. That recovery may or may not have “finished” circa 1940. If you neglect that part of the natural variability, then you have 0.2, but with it, you are going to need to seriously revise some aerosol fudging and cloud/wv SWAGging.

        Since most of the easy amplification is out of the way, CO2e has a harder row to hoe. That could put CO2e back to its original 1.6 C (2.1 with WV).if you happen to start around 1910 or about 0.8 C if you start about now.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Hmmm? AMO/PDO even though PDO is an index, is about 0.2 C. The LIA guessimate is somewhere between 0.5 and 1 C lower than “normal” and based on the Greenland melt records there is a hint of a ~150 year natural pseudo cycle.”

        #################
        yup.

        The question of a LTP with a “quasi” period of over 100 years is always out there. Like unicorns. So ya, it could be unicorns.

      • Mosher, “The question of a LTP with a “quasi” period of over 100 years is always out there. Like unicorns. So ya, it could be unicorns.”

        More like Narwhals. Fabricate a myth to conceal a reality. Ever read Brierley’s paper on the importance of meridional and zonal heat flux? :).

      • ksd, what was asked is what length of time of no warming would it take to change the minds of people who view AGW as correct to change their minds. AGW is consistent with temperatures over the past century give or take 0.2 C here or there for “natural variability” around the curve (see Vaughan Pratt for just a simple example). So, yes, 0.2 C or thereabouts is consistent with AGW for “natural variability”. How long before CO2 warming exceeds this enough that we can see it clearly? The CO2 decadal trend is near 0.2 C, so periods close to a decade could easily be distorted by “natural variability”, especially if people insist on using annual temperatures to get the 1998 El Nino. Annual temperatures have higher natural variability than decadal averages obviously, making it longer before you can detect a trend with them. With decadal averages the trend is clear, and no waiting is required because the twenty-year decade-on-decade difference never stopped rising during the so-called pause.

      • k scott denison

        Jim D | April 20, 2013 at 9:38 pm |
        ksd, what was asked is what length of time of no warming would it take to change the minds of people who view AGW as correct to change their minds.
        ————-
        Yup, I understood well what was asked and I asked how can one be certain. We have what, a little over 100 years of real temperature data (let’s not go down the proxy path). We have less than 50 years of satellite data.

        Yet you are certain that 25 years without warming is enough to falsify AGW. Really? Every parameter that can possibly impact climate has exhibited it’s effect in those 100 and 50 years?

        So then why wasn’t the pause from 1941 to 1970 enough to falsify AGW?

  44. 1. Oversimplifying a complex problem, and drawing highly confident conclusions from the simplified analysis.

    Over complicating simple problems and claiming you have complicated Models that give the right answer when your models have failed for decades.
    Simple is looking at the data for the past ten thousand years and project this forward as most likely for the future.

  45. Here’s Pat Michaels galvanizing his troops:

    > Make an argument that you can get killed on and you kill us all.

    http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/4027562164

    The story does not say if the kill was executed by an invisible hand.

  46. I’m just wondering how Judith’s uncertainty argument which goes along with a ‘take-home’ message of no CO2 mitigation measures being necessary fits in with this entreaty for intellectual honesty?

    • David Wojick

      You honestly don’t know? Hard to believe.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      It doesn’t – and this has been said again and again.

    • OK, fair enough, I do know. Like Chief has said -it doesn’t. Though I’m surprised we agree on that.

      The correct, and honest, approach would involve an acceptance that a widening of the uncertainty range means that the increased possibility of adverse effects would counteract the increased possibility of less adverse effects and therefore have neutral policy implications.

      The undesirability of the use of any argument merely to create an impression could perhaps be the basis Judith’s point #8 ?

  47. k scott denison

    Below is a copy of a post at WUWT by “rgbatduke” which, I think is the most intellectually honest post I’ve read about climate.
    ——–

    rgbatduke says:
    April 19, 2013 at 5:11 am
    Running your plot up to the end of data looks like about the most convincing argument for a strong CO2 effect I have ever seen. Quite worrying.

    Ah, but don’t stop there. Why “550 months”? 600 months is a fifty year centered average, but it is pretty arbitrary, right? We don’t know the time constants for any of the processes associated with the hypothetical oceanic turnover, and of course it isn’t going to show any of the recent flattening of temperature or the effect of the last two solar cycles as they simply haven’t been around long enough to show up. Of course if you drop it to 60 months (five year centered average) nothing interesting shows up. If you go to 800 months, you don’t HAVE to clip the ends, they get clipped for you. The “perfect” correspondence goes away, of course, but you still get that correlation that is still (last time I looked) not causality.

    And note well, Lief hasn’t even shown up yet to point out that the SSN counts in this database are all incorrect pre-1980, and that by the time they are all corrected even the 550 month truncated correspondence is largely gone.

    Let’s not forget, others would have us plotting planetary influences against the temperature, so even if any given single parameter fits fails it doesn’t mean that it is wrong, only that other things are right as well. You assert that it is convincing to you that CO_2 might be the cause of the divergence at the end, but if you plot the same temperature series against carbon dioxide, you get an absurdly inadequate result because CO_2 was almost flat over the first 2/3 to 3/4 of the graph and has been a smooth monotonic function throughout where the temperature curve has a variety of slope and curvature variations.

    And then there are the global decadal oscillations: ENSO, the PDO, NAO. It actually isn’t completely crazy that these oscillations might substantively moderate the overall heating/cooling efficiency of the planet on a decadal timescale, given that they make significant changes in where heat picked up one place is transported to another, lifted up to be radiated away, or modulates cloud cover and hence albedo or cloud/water vapor GHE (where there is 30 times more water vapor in the troposphere at any given time than CO_2, and where it is a potent GHG all by itself responsible for the vast majority of the GHE). Bob Tisdale has argued persuasively that ENSO alone is largely responsible for the “escalator” pattern in the late 20th century temperature series, not CO_2.

    Somewhere under there are some very slowly varying causes — variations in orbital cycle, for example — but those causes are nonlinearly coupled to everything else so it is not really safe to say that they are irrelevant. In the long-time-series historical record, they very likely constitute a nearly irresistible factor that drives some sort of set-point for the climate, quite possibly with a decadal to century timescale lag, so the Earth could still be “catching up” to variations that occurred 600 years ago and that are responsible for some unknown fraction of the curve.

    At some point, plotting “global T” against any single parameter, especially a monotonic parameter over an interval where “global T” itself was nearly monotonic, becomes a completely empty exercise. That point was reached long ago. It is perfectly clear that no single driver can explain the global temperature series of the entire Pliestocene. We have no single-parameter model that can describe the temperature series for the last billion years. We have no model that can describe the temperature series (deduced from e.g. ice cores) for the Holocene. We have no model that can describe the last 2000 years. We have no model that can describe the last 1000 years. We have no model that can describe the last 500 years. Not single parameter, not two parameter, not ten parameter (well, we can fit anything with ten parameters, of course, but at that point we can fit it hundreds of ways and none of the extrapolate or hindcast the rest of the series above and hence all of them are meaningless.

    Can I point out one more time that this is a hard problem? One that is unlikely to yield to mere numerology?

    And don’t even get me started on the data itself, or the fact that nobody makes woodsfortrees plots with error bars. I mean if one were going to try to fit the data, or look at any sort of correlation matrix or covariance matrix of the two (or more) proposed correlated entities, that would be one thing, but the significance of the fit depends pretty strongly on the error bars one assigns to the points on the basis of unknown factors, since none of the data represented there is pulled from an iid process. One of the factors is data “adjustment”, for example, where a stunning series of adjustments have almost universally increased the perceived warming in the temperature series.

    IMO, one can really only trust the satellite derived post 1979 temperature estimates. Before that time, it is too, too easy to tweak the data within very large error bars and accept this, reject that, UHI another bit, and end up (somehow) with a lot more warming than one might expect looking at the raw thermometry. How one can tweak a UHI to make the series warmer in the present is a good trick, of course.

    Finally, one needs to read about Hurst-Kolmogorov in order to understand the data escalator. This works both ways — the current flat is indeed not necessarily significant. Neither is the trend it is superimposed on. Insufficient information in a strongly coupled multivariate nonlinear system.

    rgb

    • Steven Mosher

      he loses when he starts to talk about adjustments that he has never actually studied. Hmm, roll the clock back to 2007 -2008 and you will find a loud mouth named moshpit blathering on about adjustments and uncertainties in adjustments. hmm. 5 years later after walking through them all, after looking at data that was both adjusted and unadjusted, I came to the conclusion that moshpit was wrong. Took a while, but for me there was no substitute for actually looking at the data and the code.
      What’s more telling is that we know C02 is a problem WITHOUT looking at the data. Arrehenius did not start to explain what C02 would do because he wanted to explain a rise in temperature that had occurred. He predicted the rise from basic physics. Put another way. Toss GISS and HADCRUT and BerkeleyEarth in the trash. Pretend it never existed. Throw huge error bars on it.. guess what? you still know that dumping c02 in the atmosphere will cause a rise in temperatures over time NOT a cooling of the planet over time. The temperature record is not evidence for the truth of AGW. AGW is true inspite of what it says..

      ok.. that will start a fight.

      • k scott denison

        Ok, please tell me what the global mean temperature was yesterday and how you calibrated the measurement. Please point me to where there is a paper showing a sizable region, say 100 miles by 100 miles, covered with thermometers on a one mile by one mile grid, that shows that one thermometer in the middle of this region accurately captures the trend of “climate” in the entire region.

        Also, please point to the papers that show how trends have changed as records gave been update and adjusted. What fraction of the adjustments have resulted in lower trends?

      • Steven Mosher

        “Ok, please tell me what the global mean temperature was yesterday and how you calibrated the measurement. ”

        go look at RSS or UAH. read the calibration documents. Dont expect me to do your work for you.

        “Please point me to where there is a paper showing a sizable region, say 100 miles by 100 miles, covered with thermometers on a one mile by one mile grid, that shows that one thermometer in the middle of this region accurately captures the trend of “climate” in the entire region.”

        Well, you dont have to cover area with thermometers every mile to capture the trend. 1 every 1000 km will do just fine. You can test this for yourself using k fold cross validation. Why rely on a paper when you can do the test for yourself. Take the US. look at all 25000 or so stations. Compute trends for any size grid you like. Then decimate your source. Pick 1000 randomly. pick 500. hell pick 100. how do the trends change? opps they dont change a lot. Or do this. look at data never touched by NOAA, Hansen etc

        http://www.mesonet.org/index.php/site/sites/station_names_map.

        So, I’m in the process of looking at this data. why? to keep challenging the silly notions you have.

        “Also, please point to the papers that show how trends have changed as records gave been update and adjusted. What fraction of the adjustments have resulted in lower trends?”

        I would not suggest that you read papers. The papers are mostly advertisements for the science. I will suggest that you do what I did. get the data. See for yourself. For myself I worked with unadjusted data. The answer didnt change when I shifted to using adjusted data.
        As to the percentage of adjustments that result in lower trends. WHY would you assume that this metric was indictative of anything. Nobody would expect the changes to be equal especially when the biggest adjustment is TOBS and that adjustment was proven to to correct by skeptics. Go figure, bet you didnt know that.

      • Steven – apparently you really do want to start a fight. You are dead wrong that AGW is true. It is simply false. What you wrote first of all indicates that you suffer from intellectual laziness JC is talking about. You are too lazy to think it through, too lazy to read my posts, and if by any chance you saw one you were too lazy to take me seriously. I use “laziness” because I simply can’t believe that you are that stupid. Let’s start with carbon dioxide. It is absolutely true that it will absorb infrared radiation and the energy of this absorbed radiation will warm the gas. Arrhenius new that much. But consider this: carbon dioxide is not the only greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, water vapor is too, and there is more of it. What you must do is measure their combined absorption in the infrared when both are active, and do this in nature, not in the laboratory. That is exactly what Ferenc Miskolczi did in 2010. He used NOAA weather balloon database that goes back to 1948 to measure infrared absorption of the atmosphere over time. And found that absorption had been constant for the last 61 years. At the same time, carbon dioxide went up by 21.6 percent. This means that the addition of this substantial amount of carbon dioxide to air had no effect whatsoever on the absorption of IR by the atmosphere. And no absorption means no greenhouse effect, case closed, no AGW is possible. His observation is purely empirical, does not depend on any theory, and overrides any predictions from theory that do not agree with it. Since the data he used are available to anyone there is nothing to stop you from repeating his experiment if you have doubts about it. Until you decide that you do want to do that to save the global warming theory from total destruction we must go by his results. They tell us that anthropogenic global warming does not exist simply because greenhouse warming does not exist. Since absence of the greenhouse effect is counter-intuitive I should explain to you what is going on. First of all, let me reassure you that carbon dioxide did not stop absorbing in the infrared. Miskolczi theory requires the existence of an optimum infrared absorption window for the atmosphere as a whole. It is maintained by all the greenhouse gases present. If, for example, more carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere this will increase absorption, and the other greenhouse gas, water vapor, must decrease to maintain constant over-all absorption. This is equivalent to negative water vapor feedback, the exact opposite used by the IPCC. The optimum absorption window is a measurable quantity and Miskolczi determined its value to be 1.867 in optical thickness units. Later on he divided the entire database into seven sections and determined the optimum IR optical thickness for each segment. To three significant figures, they all agreed it was 1.87. He presented this graph at the EGU meeting in Vienna in 2011. I reprinted it in my Arctic warming paper which is somewhere here on JC’s web site.

      • Good post Arno. This is the first time I have heard of the Miskolczi study.

        Why is this so? Points 1 to 6 appear to be relevant here and it is not only Steven but all the other scientific types here as well seems to have ignored it.

        To my mind, the presence of large amounts of other GH gases makes the determination of the impact of ACO2 let alone all CO2 on climate sensitivity quite problematic.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The temperature record is the outcome of multiple control variables and multiple feedbacks as emergent behaviour in a complex and dynamic system and not proof of anything at all.

        Nonetheless – Miskolczi claims certain physical laws apply when they don’t. When questioned it out to be radiosonde data that can’t possibly be accurate enough to prove what he claims. There is moreover – no plausible mechanism for a constant optical depth and even if there were the presence of cloud would absolutely confute the theory.

        It is just another mad theory.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Wait. Arno, the guy too lazy to use line breaks, is accusing someone else of being lazy? That’s good for a laugh.

        I’d love to hear how there could be a negative feedback that exactly counters the effect of anthropogenic global warming. I just don’t think I could bring myself to read a wall of text from someone who refuses to hit the Enter key.

      • Thanks for your thoughts Chief. There’s an another Aussie called Christopher Game who has some thoughts of his own on this paper which I not only find interesting but also educational on the science of the GH effect.

        http://jennifermarohasy.com/2009/05/the-work-of-ferenc-miskolczi-part-1/

        and

        http://jennifermarohasy.com/2009/05/the-climatically-saturated-greenhouse-effect/

        There was also an interesting exchange between Game and Roy Spencer on Roy’s blog

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Peter,

        The facts are quite clear. The claimed application of physical laws – radiative equilibrium at the surface, virial theorem, etc, is not the case. When I questioned this I was told that I was quite right and the relationships were based on radiosonde data. The radiosonde data is far from sufficiently accurate enough to divine the optical depth to 2 or 3 significant places or nearly enough to determine the subtle effects of greenhouse gases. If you leave clouds out your characterisation of the energy environment is out by 30% plus or minus quite a lot.

        ‘Miskolczi (2010) proposes a ‘radiative exchange equilibrium law’, stating that on average the downward thermal infrared flux at the Earth’s surface (Ed) and the absorbed infrared radiation with the atmosphere (Aa) are equal. By claiming that this approximate equality is a physical law Miskolczi is putting an additional unphysical constraint on atmospheric radiative transfer. In reality this approximate equality is caused by the fact that the upward surface flux is absorbed in the lower atmosphere and the downward infrared flux (Ed) also originates from this same region. This is due to the fact that the mass of most greenhouse gases is concentrated at lower levels and the temperature of these levels do not deviate much from the surface temperature. In this sense, Miskolczi did not find anything new. In fact, Miskolski overstates the equality of these two terms. Kiehl and Trenberth (1997) and Van Dorland (1999) find differences of 25 Wm-2 (over 5%) if clouds are accounted; Van Dorland (1999) additionally shows that clouds (globally averaged) increase both terms, Aa and Ed, almost equally. Therefore, the difference between Aa and Ed in the aforementioned cloudy case also applies to the clear sky case of Miskolczi.’ http://www.realclimate.org/docs/Rebuttal_Miskolczi_20100927.pdf

        It is pretty much a webby trick of taking a mean and ignoring the variability. What we are interested in is the variability.

        Here’s the data – http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/OLR_zpse5f4a9ef.jpg.html

        But perhaps the simplest refutation is that a constant IR optical depth implies a constant IR flux at TOA – this is far from the case. It is patently nonsense and Christopher is an enthusiast who has deceived himself into believing impossible things. There are of course many of these people on the internet. It is not so much intellectual dishonesty as internet wackiness.

        “Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’

        I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast. There goes the shawl again!”

      • Thanks Chief, its good to have you as guide, philosopher and friend in my personal journey with climate change. Your link was almost intelligible to my non-scientific mind! The learning experience continues.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You are too kind Peter – but I am an honoured to be your friend.

        When I saw one of these papers a few years ago – I had not the faintest idea what he was talking about but spent almost a month trying to understand before coming to a conclusion. Learning goes down paths sometimes that are not immediately rewarding.

      • Some of Miskoczi’s papers are total crap, some later ones contain both valid work and serious mistakes. What I found very disappointing in one of his later papers is that he did a perfectly valid calculation of clear sky IR transmission and presented illuminating plots of his results. But then he stopped just one little step before getting results that would have told about the strength of the influence of additional CO2 on GHE.

        He did about 99% of the correct analysis, but left out the 1% that would have given the correct result. Leaving that last bit undone he was able to continue to present his totally erroneous “theory” without explicitly contradicting his own analysis.

      • k scott denison

        Steven Mosher says:

        Well, you dont have to cover area with thermometers every mile to capture the trend. 1 every 1000 km will do just fine
        ———–
        And where has the validation of this theory been conducted?

        My observation is we typically have thermometers in areas that are easy to reach. Not exactly an unbiased sample.

      • David L. Hagen

        Pekka
        Re:

        he stopped just one little step

        I would appreciate the reference to that paper and details on that step.

      • David Springer

        Arno

        Miskolczi doesn’t dispute a greenhouse effect. He disputes CO2 having increased it in modern times. His hypothesis is called “The Saturated Greenhouse” and it basically says that as CO2 increases in the atmosphere water vapor decreases and thus the greenhouse effect remains the same.

        The main counter-argument is that balloon soundings don’t provide data that is reliable enough to prove it. There is merit in the counter-argument. Better data however is being gathered as we speak and it’s not looking good for Miskolczi so far but it’s looking real good for Springer’s climate theory.

        http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00003.1

        Here a study of surface records at 309 sites in north America from 1948 – 2010 finds relative humidity near the surface decreasing but specific humidity increasing. Miskolczi predicts the RH decrease but can’t survive the SH increase in specific humidity but I predict both as that would be what you’d observe if the cloud deck formed at a higher altitude. I believe that when there is plenty of water on the surface available for evaporation that increased CO2, and hence increased DWLIR, accelerates evaporation with no change in surface temperature. This causes the lapse rate to reduce and water vapor must then convect higher in the atmosphere for adiatic cooling to condense it. When a cloud of the same temperature forms higher in the sky it then has less radiative resistance between cloud top and outer space and more radiative resistance between cloud bottom and the earth’s surface. The result is more efficient cooling of the cloud and hence the GH effect from increased CO2 is negated.

        Given that over land there is often not enough water to sustain evaporation, especially in higher latitudes in winter when the ground is frozen, there will be a temperature increase due to increased CO2. This explains the decreased RH in the observations as the warmer air can hold more water but there’s not enough surface water to fill the gap. Conventional AGW theory predicts both RH and SH would rise so the finding of falling RH and little increase in SH puts the kabosh on so-called water vapor amplification. There’s some but not much.

        Over the ocean Springer’s climate theory turns on the fact that a liquid surface cannot be warmed or insulated to any significant degree by downwelling mid-infrared radiation. DWLIR illuminating a liquid water surface drives evaporative cooling not radiant heating. So there’s little to no direct greenhouse warming of the global ocean. There is significant greenhouse warming of the continents and this indirectly warms the ocean to a small degree by warmer rivers flowing into the ocean.

        The long and the short of all that is that climate sensitivity in these typical interglacial conditions should be roughly one third of the model ensemble projection because GH warming doesn’t do much over 70% of the earth’s surface at any time and not much over very wet continental regions such as most of the tropics. You’ll observe the AGW effect mostly in higher dryer continental regions. Eventually the so-called climate sensitivity pdf will be lowered from 1.5C – 4.5C to 0.5C – 1.5C. Dr. Curry has already pointed out it’s becoming increasingly difficult to support the higher range as the troposphere doggedly continues refusing to warm even though anthropogenic CO2 is pouring into it at an accelerating rate. Mark my words. What I’m telling you will be in Climate 101 textbooks in ten more years.

      • The paper I mean is the 2010 E&E paper.

        In that paper Miscolcki. The Figure 6 explains well essential parts of the outcome of his radiative calculations.

        He could have repeated that calculation with another CO2 concentration and compared the results. The most important comparison concerns radiation to space. From that comparison an estimate for the forcing due to additional CO2 can be seen. The result is certainly not an accurate value for CO2 forcing for the real Earth, because the calculation is a clear sky calculation for a given atmospheric profile, but it’s good enough to tell the order of magnitude and good enough to tell that his own conclusion contradict a basically correct calculation.

        I would expect that Miscolcki is by now fully aware of the situation and understands why his theory is wrong.

        (The basic error of his theory is that he makes some assumptions that are not correct and derives the results from this incorrect input. The assumptions state that certain quantities must be equal, but there’s no reason that they would really be equal. The values are not very different, but different enough to reverse his conclusions.)

      • David Springer

        k scott denison | April 21, 2013 at 8:15 am |

        Steven Mosher says:

        Well, you dont have to cover area with thermometers every mile to capture the trend. 1 every 1000 km will do just fine
        ———–
        And where has the validation of this theory been conducted?

        My observation is we typically have thermometers in areas that are easy to reach. Not exactly an unbiased sample.

        ———————————————————————

        It’s worse than that. The easy to reach places are in the industrialized parts of the northern hemisphere. In higher latitudes over land Springer’s Climate Theory predicts we’ll observe the greatest AGW signal. We’ll observe little to none over the ocean nor over perennially wet tropical climates. Follow the regional potential for evaporation because AGW is inversely proportional to it. That’s what my hypothesis (it’s not a theory as no one has a *theory* of climate) predicts, that’s what we observe, so I’m sticking with it unless contrary evidence comes along to falsify it.

      • David Springer

        Brandon Shollenberger | April 21, 2013 at 12:08 am |

        Wait. Arno, the guy too lazy to use line breaks, is accusing someone else of being lazy? That’s good for a laugh.

        I’d love to hear how there could be a negative feedback that exactly counters the effect of anthropogenic global warming. I just don’t think I could bring myself to read a wall of text from someone who refuses to hit the Enter key.
        ————————————————————————-

        What a cheap shot with not one but two references to run-on paragraphs caused by laziness.

        Here’s another cheap shot. Brandon Schollenberger is an ass.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Cheap shot? This post is about intellectual dishonesty/laziness. Failing to abide by basic, reasonable conversational standards is perfectly topical. A person cannot intentionally post in an unclear manner and make claims toward honest communication. Arno has been informed of the difficulty his use of wall of texts creates time and time again, and he chooses to make no effort to address it.

        A lack of clarity is understandable and forgivable, but a willful decision to not attempt to communicate fairly is not.

      • David S says this:

        “In higher latitudes over land Springer’s Climate Theory predicts we’ll observe the greatest AGW signal.”

        but then parenthetically says this

        “That’s what my hypothesis (it’s not a theory as no one has a *theory* of climate) predicts, that’s what we observe, so I’m sticking with it unless contrary evidence comes along to falsify it.”

        On the one hand he calls his theory a theory and then calls it a “not theory”. This is argumentation for argumentation’s sake. Better do something mathematically formal otherwise your credibility will continue to slide.

        Lately, I am very interested in the lapse rate because there are some potentially revealing thermodynamic invariances involved in its calculation, and in characterizing adiabatic atmospheric processes in general.

      • David L. Hagen

        Pekka
        Thanks for the reference to Miskolczi 2010 and your comments:

        The assumptions state that certain quantities must be equal,

        To clarify, I understand Miskolczi to calculate the global optical depth of all significant greenhouse gases based on available data and finding very little change over 61 years. Changes in humidity measurement technology might have affected the long term data trends. Other than that, do you see any error in his optical depth calculations?

        Secondly, from the data he finds first order relationships between parameters, and from that develops his stationary greenhouse theory resulting in an optical depth that appears about constant, stationary (or effectively “saturated”).
        I agree there are second order effects that need to be included that could impact the results.

      • Brandon, you should draw the water from the river rather than expect it to irrigate your fields on schedule.

        OK, sorry about that. Just read it as stream of consciousness and enjoy.

        Miscolzi, Miscolzi, I’ve heard about him long enough to be able to spell his name correctly and I still have little clue whether he is right or not. If right, it would explain why Jim Cripwell and I can’t measure climate sensitivity yet, though we watch the estimable show on Mulberry Street.
        ===============

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        kim:

        Brandon, you should draw the water from the river rather than expect it to irrigate your fields on schedule.

        I could write my comments in 133+5|>34|(, Spanish or just type all of them backwards. Those are all legitimate forms of communication. None of them are appropriate for this venue. People would be right to take issue with them.

        OK, sorry about that. Just read it as stream of consciousness and enjoy.

        I don’t see why I would enjoy reading comments made in a style known to be annoying. Even if I did enjoy them, I’d still criticize the person for making them. Especially given the number of insults Arno Arrak uses.

      • David Springer

        Your initial reaction to the adjustments was the correct one in this case.

      • Brandon Shollenberger | April 21, 2013 at 12:08 am |

        So now we have a grammarian talking about negative feedback. Not a trivial subject, so it’s not for you. Just remember that there is no anthropogenic global warming and your feedback urge will go away. If not, try reading my wall of words a few more times. It just may help you come out of the daze that AGW has you in.

  48. I know it is impolite to speak ill of the dead. I’m told that I am frequently impolite.

    The quintessential climate scientist’s ethical yardstick.

    Stephen Schneider: scientists, activist, politician

    “On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but — which means that we must include all the doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands, and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both”. (Quoted in Discover, pp. 45–48, Oct. 1989).

    Have I ever told you that Schneider’s ethics makes my blood boil?

    • RiHoO8,

      Though many of us on both sides of the climate debate
      have failed to maintain the high standards cited in this
      thread, for many of us it was the scary scenarios … the
      whatever it takes, revealed in the Climategate emails that
      were a call to arms

      There was also the contempt for contrary views, the name
      calling, and efforts to silence opposition, like Schneider’s
      ‘ got you on a list’ and GATE KEEPING, this an attempt
      to muzzle open enquiry.

      Socrates, I consider, would approve the intellectual
      honesty debate, Plato less so, and Judith is an
      example of it to us denizens.

      A frail serf. (

    • I disagree with Schneider but I consider him honest as he presented his views openly in public. He told what his values are and he explained the conflict between two subsets of his values.

      I disagree with him because his choice leads to two major problems:

      1) It may turn out at his overall judgment is wrong.

      His overall judgment was based both on his understanding of the state of science and on the consequences of various actions and policies. Even if his assessment on the climate science and it’s uncertainties was unbiased input, joining that with the other factors may have resulted in errors in overall judgment. He was not an expert on all essential for overall conclusions.

      2) His approach may be effective in short run but it has a great risk of backfiring.

      My view is that his approach, shared with several other scientists, has already gone trough both phases. First it was, indeed, rather effective, but presently the climate debate policy preparation is suffering from the early simplifications and expressions of more confidence than warranted.

      • Pekka

        Schneider presented (his spin on) “his views” in public.

        But, in doing so, he revealed that he had a problem between choosing honesty and effectiveness, referring to this dilemma as a “double ethical bind”.

        This would be a normal state of affairs for a salesman or a politician.

        But it is not acceptable for a scientist and cannot be rationalized away.

        In my opinion it’s just that simple, Pekka.

        Max

      • Max,

        A honest person tells, what he really thinks, a dishonest does not.

        Ethical considerations are personal, declaring own ethical preferences and following them is – ethical.

        Following own ethical rules when they conflict with law is punishable by law, deviating from what my (or yours) ethical rules are for a scientists is not punishable by law but may lead to other consequences unfavorable for the scientist, or for science more generally, or perhaps we are wrong.

      • Further to the above.

        Intellectual honesty is not the same thing as “ordinary” honesty. While a honest person tells what he thinks, an intellectually honest analyses his own thinking, and that’s exactly what Stephen Schneider tells about in his writing.

      • i have seen a video of Stephen Schneider as a young man, when he was still able to admit ignorance. He has never been so convincing since then. Pekka, you should be ashamed to defend that dedicated activist; he’s analyzed himself to infamy.
        ==============

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Pekka, the effective difference between “honesty” and “intellectual honesty” is just in the target. People are honest with others. They’re intellectually honest with themselves. Ultimately, there is little difference. The only reason it matters is by lying to ourselves, we delude ourselves. That lets us spread our deceptions without realizing they are deceptions.

        Intellectual dishonesty just serves as a way to launder outright dishonesty.

      • Stephen lived long enough to see the high water mark of activism, and to sense the failure of ‘effectiveness over honesty’. Pekka has too.
        =======================

    • BiHo08 says:
      ” Have I ever told you that Schneider’s ethics makes my blood boil.”
      You don’t have to tell me – I have a book called “The Age of Global Warming” by Rupert Darwall. In his last chapter he devotes four pages to Schneider that can make you throw up. What follows is based upon his book.
      On 4th February 2010, Stephen Schneider gave one of his last lectures in Stanford where he was a professor of interdisciplinary environmental studies and biology. Specifically created for him, no doubt. In his lecture he asked the class: “Is the science of anthropogenic climate change settled?” A dumb question and of course they said yes. Why? “Climate science is not like test tube science. You don’t falsify. Eventually you do but not right away,” Schneider explained. “It’s a system science.”
      He described system science as built on a base of of well-established components, then a layer of competing explanations and finally a layer of what he called speculative components. “Every single complicated system science, whether we’re talking climate science, healthcare, security, education, always is going to be in this category.” he said, illustrating the convergence of natural science with economics and social sciences.
      The convergence enables scientists to make their claim to formulating government policy, traditionally the province of social sciences, enhanced by its reputation as a hard science, even though system science was diluting it. Now natural scientists were trading the rigor of knowledge derived from experimentation and falsification for a lead role in determining public policy. “Opinion” perhaps better describes its output. “Knowledge” implies what is known whereas opinion indicates a statement of belief. But in the physical sciences, what is determinative is not what scientists think or believe but what can be demonstrated by testing hypotheses against nature.
      But while forsaking falsifiability climate scientists still kept a problematic feature of scientific practice – a strong tendency to operate within an unquestioned dominant paradigm. In this case, it was belief in anthropogenic global warming.
      This makes even more problematic the form of system science falsification permitted by Schneider. “We do not falsify by single experiments. We falsify on the basis of accumulated numbers of papers and numbers of bits of information.” Near the end of his lecture he elaborated: “There are still some people who think climate science operates on the basis of falsification. In the case of system science it does – by community action over decades.” Thus the “scientific community” is accorded the determinative role formerly given to experiments conducted on nature.
      And what defined this scientific community to him? “I’m talking about those people who actually do the work,” not non-climate scientists who drop in opinions from the outside. Those outsiders just “…write blogs and screeds and do ‘audits’ without really being members of the community.” Their arguments might be technically correct but they would show “…selective inattention to inconvenient components.” He dubbed this form of opposition “courtroom epistemology.”
      He also did not like the media. According to him when they covered both sides of an argument they presented a spurious balance that did not reflect the bell curve of the outcomes. Public confusion about the science was also sowed by malign fossil fuel interests and thereby had stalled global action.

      In summary, climate science according to the Schneider doctrine is a “system science” where experiments on nature no longer count and decisions are made by a consensus. If wrong, decisions can be overturned but on a time scale of decades. Outside criticism is not allowed even if technically correct. The press should not report opposing views. And Climatists should be the ones to advise governments. This is how far he got before fickle fate took him away. Judging by the present state of climate science his heirs are working hard to put his doctrine into action

  49. Steven Mosher

    Hmm.

    I’m going to say that

    6. Demonstrate consistency. A clear sign of intellectual dishonesty is when someone extensively relies on double standards. Typically, an excessively high standard is applied to the perceived opponent(s), while a very low standard is applied to the ideologues’ allies.

    is the most important guideline to whether or not somebody is intellectually honest. Note. People can be honestly wrong.

  50. Chief Hydrologist

    It is perhaps less intellectual dishonesty than cult of AGW groupthink space cadets.

    ‘Groupthink occurs when a homogenous highly cohesive group is so concerned with maintaining unanimity that they fail to evaluate all their alternatives and options. Groupthink members see themselves as part of an in-group working against an outgroup opposed to their goals. You can tell if a group suffers from groupthink if it:

    1.overestimates its invulnerability or high moral stance,’

    It seems largely about politics for many. AGW serves as a narrative of catastrophe and catastrophe itself as a catalyst for the realisation of the socialist utopian dream. e.g. – http://urbanhabitat.org/cj/16-2

    ‘2.collectively rationalizes the decisions it makes,’

    The emphasis in the public sphere is on the so-called consensus rather than the exploration of complexity and uncertainty that is characteristic of climate.

    ‘3.demonizes or stereotypes outgroups and their leaders,’

    There is a whole industry here.

    ‘4.has a culture of uniformity where individuals censor themselves and others so that the facade of group unanimity is maintained, and ‘

    In 2008 and I suggested to a young ecologist that the CRU temperature series was fairly flat since 2008. Her immediate response was to suggest that the CRU were a den of denialists. For the most part the space cadets have very little understanding of the details – but are more than capable of repeating the memes and the rationalisations with overweening confidence. Cognitive dissonance and post facto rationalisation rule.

    ‘5.contains members who take it upon themselves to protect the group leader by keeping information, theirs or other group members’, from the leader.’

    Endless simplified messages intended to persuade politicians and the public to certain actions. Endless complaints that the public ain’t getting it because of right wing ideologues and the consequent push to limit certain – or not ‘tolerate’ – expressions as liable to mislead a gullible public. An Owellian impetus to control dialogue codified by Herbert Marcuse.

    ‘Groups engaged in groupthink tend to make faulty decisions when compared to the decisions that could have been reached using a fair, open, and rational decision-making process. Groupthinking groups tend to:

    1.fail to adequately determine their objectives and alternatives,
    2.fail to adequately assess the risks associated with the group’s decision,
    3.fail to cycle through discarded alternatives to reexamine their worth after a majority of the group discarded the alternative,
    4.not seek expert advice,
    5.select and use only information that supports their position and conclusions, and
    6.does not make contingency plans in case their decision and resulting actions fail.’

    The question I ask myself is do I have skin in this game or am I merely curious. The answer with climate change is that whatever the science says – the rational policy response seems to remain the same and has for decades. The way forward is with energy innovation in the medium term and multi-objective paths I have described endlessly. Evil things like the Copenhagen Consensus priorities and the Millennium Development Goals – even though the latter are UN mandated.

    It is perhaps item 6 above that is the most telling – the failure to make any progress has not resulted in any reassessment by many of their goals and objectives. It is a matter of endlessly repeating the same arguments and actions and expecting a different outcome. This is the insanity of the contemporary pissant progressive.

    http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/theory/grpthink.html

  51. Blindness to the hypocrisy of the Left is intellectual dishonesty.

  52. Steven Mosher | April 20, 2013 at 8:08 pm |

    “The proof that it is not natural variability.”

    Natural variability explains nothing. It is the absence of an explanation.

    The absence of absence is proof of absence [angech 2013].

  53. I think Judith’s is trying to persuade the regular participants on Climate Etc. to improved the quality and integrity of the discourse, desirably to back how it was a couple of years ago.

    I suspect what will happen is there will be an improvement for a while, and then it will slip back.

    I think what Judith is trying to do is akin to herding cats.

    I have a tongue-in-cheek suggestion based on the conviction: “you get what you measure“. The suggestion is that each comment is automatically evaluated and given a score using a weighted average scoring system based on the 10 signs for honesty, 10 signs of dishonesty and 10 signs of intellectual laziness.

    We’d see how our posts rank and strive to improve. Climate Etc. would improve, other blog sites would follow and the world would become a better place!!

  54. The Left’s claim of a scientific consensus, labeling William Gray — a serious scientific skeptic — as a ‘denier’ (and all skeptics as deniers thereafter), pretending the foi2009.pdf disclosure was a criminal act by outsiders instead by a whistleblower with a conscience, acting as if the UN is not a political body, branding CO2 as a pollutant, demonizing ‘big oil’ to obscure the colossal government investment in pushing the global warming agenda, changing the name of the threat from global warming to climate change to disastrous climate disruption, blaming current weather conditions on global warming, and now pretending global warming exists but no one is pushing the ‘alarm’ button today — but, we still must act today based on disaster 50 years for the sake of the unborn — are all examples of intellectual dishonesty.

  55. The embarrassingly awkward public admission of failure we see in the Left’s refusal to concede a single point that undercuts Climatism is another example of intellectual dishonesty.

  56. Chief Hydrologist

    Our ‘interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Anastasis Tsonis said.

    There are many aspects of the climate system showing not merely natural variations but abrupt change.

    ‘In summary, although there is independent evidence for decadal changes in TOA radiative fluxes over the last two decades, the evidence is equivocal. Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing. To the extent that they are real, they may simply reflect natural low-frequency variability of the climate system.’ AE4 s 3.4.4.1

    If real – it requires a fundamental reassessment of climate processes and there seems little reason to doubt that something is happening. There is an obvious and parsimonious explanation of the current cool mode – emergent behaviour seen in such indices as the PDO, AMO and ENSO. This mode is likely to last 20 to 40 years from 2002. I was looking for signs that Australian rainfall regimes had shifted back to a wet period early last decade – it definitively has. But there are implications for the trajectories of global temperatures as Tsonis suggests.

    I find the failure to consider this even as a potential is one of the greatest failures of AGW groupthink. As a failure of mitigation politics it is stupendously short sighted. Rather than dishonest or lazy – it seems definitively an inability to process incongruous information.

    • Hmmm, no, it is the “skeptics” that have failed to consider the cool mode and solar slump as explanations of the pause. The AGW side including Tsonis willingly accepts these to be in play in the most recent decade. The “skeptics” seem to prefer to think it is the CO2 forcing that has stopped, as far as I can tell, not that the pause is the sum of a positive CO2 trend and negative solar and PDO trends.

      • The analogy of a greenhouse as an explanation for why increases in atmospheric CO2 should cause humanity to fear modernity is another example of intellectual dishonesty.

      • David L. Hagen

        Jim D
        Speaking of honesty, on what evidence do you infer “skeptics” prefer “CO2 forcing that has stopped”?
        That appears to have the greatest consistency – and possibly the least impact. How are you distinguishing natural from anthropogenic CO2?
        Water vapor is the greenhouse gas with the greatest impact.

      • I prefer the analogy of the faucet, basin and blocked drain drain, or the dammed river rising, but I am guessing you won’t like those either.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘If as suggested here, a dynamically driven climate shift has occurred, the duration of similar shifts during the 20th century suggests the new global mean temperature trend may persist for several decades. Of course, it is purely speculative to presume that the global mean temperature will remain near current levels for such an extended period of time. Moreover, we caution that the shifts described here are presumably superimposed upon a long term warming trend due to anthropogenic forcing. 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.’ S&T09

        It is suggested that there are two additional processes related to emergent properties of the climate system. A shift in the way heat is transported across the planet and changes in cloud radiative forcing associated with these shifts in ocean and atmospheric patterns – ENSO, PDO, AMO, SAM, NAM, MJO, SSW etc.

        e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/tropicalcloud.png.html?sort=3&o=30

        We are at the peak of the solar cycle – as I am sure I have shown you before. It seems very likely to continue to decline from a 1000 year Grand Maxima.

        http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/total_solar_irradiance_plots/images/tim_level3_tsi_24hour_640x480.png

        And the 20 to 40 year cool mode of the PDO – which are associated with increased frequency and intensity of La Nina – is definitely part of the multi-decadal pattern. Nor should you expect the 1000 year high point of El Nino intensity to persist.

        ‘Figure 12 shows 2000 years of El Nino behaviour simulated by a state-of-the-art climate model forced with present day solar irradiance and greenhouse gas concentrations. The richness of the El Nino behaviour, decade by decade and century by century, testifies to the fundamentally chaotic nature of the system that we are attempting to predict. It challenges the way in which we evaluate models and emphasizes the importance of continuing to focus on observing and understanding processes and phenomena in the climate system. It is also a classic demonstration of the need for ensemble prediction systems on all time scales in order to sample the range of possible outcomes that even the real world could produce. Nothing is certain.’ http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        It is not all about CO2 Jim – your post hoc rationalisations – the inability to process confounding scientific information – the rampant tribalism – the misrepresentation of views – the demonization of deniers. It is all symptomatic of cult of AGW groupthink space cadets.

        Tsonis is about the new paradigm of abrupt climate change and not the old and simplistic views of control knobs and AGW.

      • David Hagen, what would the fuss about the pause be if it was explainable as natural negative and CO2 positive effects offsetting each other? Have “skeptics” accepted there are good reasons the earth should have cooled over the past decade, but somehow hasn’t? If so, I missed it, apart from CH, that is.

      • CH, if it is a solar max, and I won’t say it isn’t, it is the weakest solar max in over a century and much weaker than the one eleven years ago. This should leave a mark in the decadal trend, which I would guess would be of order 0.1 degrees. The PDO cool phase may have added another 0.1 degrees, CO2 opposed that with 0.2 degrees, bingo, there is the pause.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Changes in the planetary and tropical TOA radiative fluxes are consistent with independent global ocean heat-storage data, and are expected to be dominated by changes in cloud radiative forcing.’

        There are good reasons for recent warming as well – it seems to have little to do with CO2.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/WongFig2-1.jpg.html?sort=3&o=19

        I accept that the data is not unassailable in itself – but don’t reject it out of hand r refuse to acknowledge that it raises quite interesting questions.

        How about some cloud observation to compare?

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Clementetal2009.png.html?sort=3&o=31

        Again – the argument is only to consider the potential for lack of warming for anther 10 to 30 years – consider what that will do for the politics of mitigation and consider a plan B. I have been saying this for years only to be demonised as a denier. Utterly incredible.

        The inability to consider these things argues psychopathology rather than intellectual dishonesty or laziness.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The current solar peak is about half a Watt/m^2 below the recent solar peaks – similar to 1928 and heading down. SORCE is the best data – you just have to look at it.

        I doubt very much that we can assign a temperature to the PDO.

        The big changes were in cloud – http://archive.org/details/earthshine – and reversed at the beginning of the last decade.

        The science is there and it seems not all that difficult – it just a matter of being able to understand it. The AGW space cadets seem on another plane entirely – driven by a need to keep their apocalyptic scenarios. The motivation for space cadets seems to be the old millenarian one.

      • Jim D, by the same logic we should have seen a much higher warming trend before the negative solar and PDO trends set in.

      • David Springer

        @Ellison

        Funny you should mention earthshine. I pointed it out in an article I write in 2007. I happened to live about an hour away from the Big Bear Solar Observatory where the experiment was conducted. I used to ski in Big Bear fairly often during the 20 years I lived near it. It’s only an hour’s drive from the beach but, critically, 11,000 feet higher in elevation.

        http://www.uncommondescent.com/science/ipcc-ignores-studies-of-soots-effect-on-global-warming/

        “Earth’s climate is driven by the net sunlight that it absorbs,” says Philip R. Goode, leader of the New Jersey Institute of Technology team, Director of the Big Bear Solar Observatory, and a Distinguished Professor of Physics at NJIT. “We have found surprisingly large–up to 20 percent–seasonal variations in Earth’s reflectance. Further, we have found a hint of a 2.5-percent decrease in Earth’s albedo over the past five years.” If Earth reflected even one percent less light, the effect would be significant enough to be a concern with regard to global warming.

        I quoted that from Science in 2007 so the 2.5% drop in albedo was from 2002-2007. Part of that was undoubtedly due to decreasing depth of perennial snow and ice cover as those years were the warmest in recent decades. As deep snow melts any soot in it floats to the top and gets darker and darker as the melt progresses and buried soot becomes concentrated on the surface. You see I grew up in the northeast US near an intersection where a lot of 18 wheelers had to stop and turn. They belch a lot of sooty diesel smoke in the process. Snowdrifts nearest the intersection would turn black on top as they melted down with decreasing darkness the farther from the intersection you got. The darker they were the quicker they melted too. Yogi Berra once remarked “You can observe a lot by just watching.” How true.

      • David Springer

        Big Bear Solar Observatory is in southern California just east of Los Angeles. The comment above talking about its proximity to the beach and its director in New Jersey might lead one to think it’s in New Jersey not California. I’ve lived in New Jersey too. That’s where I attended Meteorological Equipment Repair School back in the 1970’s just before moving to California as it happens. You won’t be sunbathing at the beach and skiing in New Jersey on the same day unless maybe you’re in the polar bear club. You could do that in southern California no problemo in the winter.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The earlier – 2007 – earthshine result was out by a factor of 2.

      • Jim D | April 20, 2013 at 10:11 pm
        Why, Jim, how do you know so much about the skeptics? How did you find out that ‘…“skeptics” seem to prefer to think it is the CO2 forcing that has stopped…’? I don’t know what these guys think but I am pretty sure they don’t think that you can turn CO2 on and off like that. Lets leave that to the warmist crowd. I for one like to stay with the laws of physics and methods of science. I particularly dislike pseudoscientists who invent an imaginary warming and then want me to pay for saving the world from it. Imagine for once that you are a real scientist and you are told that adding carbon dioxide to air will warm it. You want to know if this is true and you start an experiment. You add carbon dioxide to air every day and measure the temperature also every day. You do this for seventeen years but nothing happens and finally you quit. Your conclusion is that adding carbon dioxide to air simply does not warm it. That is exactly the experiment nature has been performing, and nature has come to the same conclusion that you just did. But lets take it further. The conclusion from this experiment is not restricted to the seventeen (or twelve or something) year period it lasted. It describes a property of carbon dioxide that is applicable to all situations where carbon dioxide is added to an earth-like atmosphere. We are told that presence of carbon dioxide in the air warms the atmosphere in proportion to its amount in the air.There is more of it in the air than ever before but it seems to have lost its charm. Maybe this is where you got your misinformation from. But let’s look at the temperature history and see if carbon dioxide can explain it. Carbon dioxide history is quite boring – an essentially linear rise with a seasonal wiggle due to deciduous trees growing and shedding their leaves. The wiggle is quite informative and tells us that the average lifetime of a carbon dioxide molecule in air is less than ten years. That is quite similar to observations from carbon-14 generated by atmospheric nuclear testing in the fifties. But temperature history of the last century is nothing like carbon dioxide history. Starting with the twentieth century, the first ten years were cooling. Then suddenly, warming started in 1910. It kept going steadily until it stopped equally suddenly in 1940. By that time it had raised global temperature by half a degree. But there was no increase of carbon dioxide when it started. This rules out carbon dioxide as a cause even if you still cling to your greenhouse theory of warming. And you can’t stop greenhouse warming suddenly because you would have to remove carbon dioxide molecules from air suddenly and there is no way to do that. In the fifties, sixties, and early seventies nothing much happened to temperature. The next warming started in 1976 and was called the the Great Pacific Climate Shift. It was a step warming and raised global temperature by 0.2 degrees. It was oceanic in origin and its cause is supposed to be a phase shift of PDO from its cool to warm phase. It lasted four years, until the beginning of the eighties. The eighties and nineties were a period of ENSO oscillations. This is not unusual because ENSO has a period of approximately five years and all temperature curves going back as far as you like show it. But this stretch of ENSO oscillations is so clearly seen on satellite data that we can determine global mean temperature accurately. And it turns out that mean temperature was constant for 18 years. This period was followed by the super El Nino of 1998. It brought so much warm water across the ocean that this caused another step warming to start in its wake. In four years global temperature rose by a third of a degree and then stopped. This is a third of an entire century’s warming. Global temperature curves do not show it because they are falsified to hide the temperature standstill of the eighties and nineties. This step warming was the final warming of the century and there has not been any since then as you should know. It is quite impossible for carbon dioxide to create a step warming so no part of the warming within the last 100 years can be called a greenhouse warming. In fact it is impossible to ascribe any of these three warming periods to carbon dioxide because the record shows that carbon dioxide did not change at all when these various warming periods started and stopped. Which means no carbon dioxide greenhouse effect for the last 100 years.

      • Arno Arrak, OK, so you say the CO2 effect hasn’t stopped because it never started. You might be in a small minority corner of even the skeptics with that one. CO2 has added a forcing near 2 W/m2 since the 19th century. This may not sound much but is ten times the difference between max and min in an 11-year solar cycle and an estimated at least 4 times the difference of the change since the Maunder Minimum. Also larger than volcanic changes that have led to brief coolings, and not only that but it is sustained and rising by 0.04 W/m2 per year. Even as the sun and PDO try to push us towards cooling, this rise has sustained 2012 as one of the warmest on record globally. By the end of the century, the forcing will be 6 or more W/m2 above the pre-industrial value. This should lead to a rise in the global temperature to somewhere in the region of 3 C more than today.

      • David Springer

        Chief Hydrologist | April 21, 2013 at 9:14 pm |

        The earlier – 2007 – earthshine result was out by a factor of 2.

        —————————————————————————————-

        According to who?

      • Jim D | April 24, 2013 at 12:23 am |
        Jim you just don’t understand the physics of it. I am sorry I left it out, so here is the back story you need. I don’t dispute the fact that carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation, it does. But then you have to follow what happens next. Ferenc Miskolczi determined the absorption of infrared radiation by the atmosphere using NOAA database of weather balloon observations that goes back to 1948. He found that the absorption was constant for 61 years. At the same time carbon dioxide went up by 21.6 percent. This means that the addition of this much carbon dioxide to the atmosphere had no effect whatsoever on the absorption of IR by the atmosphere. And no absorption means no greenhouse effect, case closed. This makes anthropogenic global warming physically impossible. To understand how this is possible, you have to know that carbon dioxide is not the only greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. Water vapor is there too, and there is more of it. According to Miskolczi, if several greenhouse gases simultaneously absorb radiation there exists an optimum absorption window for the atmosphere that these gases jointly maintain. If, for example, more carbon dioxide is added and it starts to absorb, the amount of water vapor must diminish in order to bring total absorption back to the optimum value. This is equivalent to negative water vapor feedback, the exact opposite of what IPCC uses. The net effect is to simply nullify the warming that the absorption of radiation by carbon dioxide would otherwise have created. That is exactly why there is no warming today and there has been none for seventeen years even though carbon dioxide is the highest it has ever been and is still increasing. A further deduction is that any past warmings alleged to have been greenhouse warmings were simply a natural warmings, misidentified. I don’t believe there is a list by IPCC that specifically identifies origins of historical warming periods, they just claim a blanket greenhouse for the century or half-century as the spirit moves them. But now there is an obligation for them to determine the origins of all known warming periods. That would be a worth while use for some of the billions of research dollars they have been collecting.

      • Arno Arrak, Miskolczi has made his own definition of optical depth in the IR window region, and it is no wonder he doesn’t see a CO2 effect there, by definition. This little subtlety of what he means by optical depth as opposed to everyone else has caused a lot of confusion. I am not sure why he even expected to see a CO2 effect in wavelengths for which the atmosphere is transparent.

      • Jim D | April 24, 2013 at 12:23 am | (No. 2)
        One more thing, Jim. You think 2012 is “one of the warmest” years and I agree but you have not the slightest isea why this is true. It so happens that the 1998 super El Nino carried a huge amount of warm water across the ocean, enough to create a step warming in its wake. In only four years global temperature rose by a third of a degree and then stopped. This was the one and only warming period within the satellite era that began in 1979. As a result we now have a warm temperature plarform, the well-known temperature standstill that even Pachauri the railroad engineer recognizes as real. This means that all twenty-first century years starting about 2001 stand a third of degree above the previous years. This is not a small thing because a third of a degree is one third of the total warming for a century if that total was one dgree. If it was less than a degree it may be close to half a century’s warming, all created within a four year period by the super El Nino of 1998. And, yes, it is not greenhouse warming as Hansen has been trying to tell us.

      • Apparently a group of fans of Miskolczi decided to band together and try to rewrite his theoretical musings into something that could easily be followed. After awhile they evidently figured it was a hopeless effort because nothing ever came out of the effort.

        Even they couldn’t put lipstick on a pig … expecting it to turn presentable.

    • Chief

      On the one hand, not to consider an alternative and/or dismiss it out of hand does not seem in keeping with “science” as we understand it.

      A failure to “see” or acknowledge may be on some people’s part be a function of their belief system.

      I have been thinking, there appears to me to be a more practical issue as to why otherwise sane and dedicated scientists go off the scientific rails, a political one.

      EPA’s Endangerment Finding relies upon IPCC for the scientific basis for their impending regulatory actions. EPA did not do their own science. Once such regulations were contemplated and now out for comment, the massive political and social movement to move trillions of dollars into one direction: to shut down coal fired power and eventually all fossil fuel use is being asked to change directions.

      Like a supertanker underway, to change directions, to avoid an uncharted reef, requires planning and foresight and energy to redirect. The uncharted reef dead ahead is the current temperature pause. The breaking waves signaling the reef, the paper by Tsonas, the changing cloud’s albedo impact, Lorenz’s attractor, etc. manifest a reality not contemplated nor accounted for: disbelief; “how could this happen?”

      As in the phases of grief, this first phase is shock and disbelief. We are already beginning to see from some, anger and wonderment: “how could this be happening to me?” There assuredly will be those who will never accept and move on, the majority however, will do so. At least, that is my belief.

      • The analogy to me is fog. If the future is fogged by uncertainty, do you go full speed into the fog or slow down a bit to give yourself some braking distance.

      • Pachauri Jones, he better, watch his speed.
        ===========

      • If you’re anything like the UK authorities, you write “Fog” on the roadside matrix displays – job done!

      • The intellectually lazy people are blind and don’t even see the fog. They shouldn’t be driving in the first place.

      • phatboy, it might be more effective if they could insert speed bumps too. Some drivers are just stupid.

      • “The analogy to me is fog.”

        Me too. And I see Warmers manning the fog machines.

        The show must go on.

        Andrew

      • And you remind me of those who insist on blinding everyone with their fog lamps as soon as they encounter a few wisps of light mist.

      • You accuse us of not understanding the physics.
        How long have you been on this blog?
        No, Jim, we understand only too well!

      • phatboy, if everyone understood the physics, the debate would be on specific points mentioned in the WG1 report or in textbooks and arguments against them. Clearly the debate is mostly not on the science itself.

      • “Clearly the debate is mostly not on the science itself.”

        You think?

        Jim D,

        You seem like a decent guy. So take this in the goodwill spirit with which this is intended. You’re on the wrong side, bud.

        Andrew

      • so you’re only willing to enter into any debate of which you have set the terms?
        Enjoy your lonely life.

      • Anyway I like the uncertainty fog analogy. Judith is a proponent of uncertainty. The natural thing to do with uncertainty is be cautious where we can. Slow down what we are doing that leads on an uncertain road, carbon emissions in this case. As it is we globally still have our foot on the gas, or at least China is pushing it for us. The US and Europe are coasting into the fog, no brakes applied yet.

      • Pushing the analogy further, some may even put their seat-belt on, knowing that some impact is likely, be prepared, which is where a carbon tax aimed at adaptation helps or at least some forethought for adaptation even without specific funds.

      • Adaptation is the seat-belt, mitigation is the brakes.

      • Taking it even further:
        The brakes will, by any account, only give a small respite before we hit the buffers.
        But all anyone seems to be doing is screaming that OTHERS must, at great expense to themselves, replace THEIR brakes, while knowing it’s not going to make much difference.
        What science SHOULD be doing is trying to clear the fog, so we can all see where we’re heading.

      • phatboy, we will be crashed and picking up the pieces before some countries put their seat-belts on. Let’s hope we at least are in countries that are prepared. Adaptation doesn’t all have to take place after the crash. There are things that can be started beforehand with scientific guidance as to what is in that fog.

      • Jim D, while ‘the science’ insists on running a closed shop, contending that only they have the answers and denigrating anyone who dares to suggest otherwise, the fog will sadly remain opaque.

      • Adapt to exactly what, Jim D?
        We’ve been told that our climate is going to get warmer, colder, wetter, drier, windier, calmer, snowier and less snowy.
        So what do we adapt to?

      • Yes, while the politicians aren’t listening to the scientists (except for the select few on the optimistic end of the spectrum) all we can do is brace for impact.

      • You don’t know that, and neither does anybody else.
        But you’re quite prepared to spend vast amounts of other people’s money on measures which will probably have minimal effect.

      • phatboy, good question. It is a regional problem, not one size fits all. Definitely a question to get the best scientific answers for.

      • So, while mitigation is one size fits all (one set of brakes, one global CO2 concentration), adaptation is what kind of seat-belt you choose to have and how vulnerable you are in the first place (how close you are to the front of this global bus).

      • Jim D, that’s what we’ve been told to expect on a REGIONAL basis.
        And yes, we do need the best scientific answers, but we’re not going to get them by shouting down all who dare to suggest that we just might not already have all the answers.

  57. AGW theorists who do not puke when Al Gore compares Earth’s future to Venus are intellectually dishonest.

  58. Dunno if it’s already included in Dr. Curry’s list, but the intellectual laziness of commenters on blog posts, and blog posts based on other blog posts: It seems to me that a lot of people see only two sides of an argument, 1) the side of the blog I trust, and 2) the side of my opponents, as presented by the blog I trust along with the refutation.
    This is how most people seem to think that they have a good overall picture.

  59. AGW theorists are steering academia in the wrong direction. They are missing the real reward — truth for its own sake — because, they can only see the research dollars. They cannot see nature overtaking their confabulations and cannot admit they were wrong. They believe the best way ahead is to never admit what happened in the past and what is happening now even if they destroy the credibility of science in the process and abandon all pretense to uplifting in public education.

  60. SPIEGEL ONLINE: What does this vote mean for the emissions trade?

    Felix Matthes: This will have grave consequences. The price for certificates, which is already much too low today, will collapse. On top of that, I foresee a re-nationalization of climate policy.

    SPIEGEL ONLINE: Is Europe-wide emissions trade threatened with extinction?

    Felix Matthes: I would go even further…

    –> And why did all of this happen? Because something happened that the Left will never admit — they’ve turned the West’s economy and it’s headed for a cliff. No one cares anymore about global cooperation to manage a non-problem while Western Civilization is spinning down the swirling vortex and everything the Left and liberal Utopians do only makes the fall that much quicker.

    • Well, Wag, it has often been argued that this is precisely what “the Left and liberal Utopians” have been aiming for, with CAGW as a handy tool given that they can’t attain their anti-capitalism, smaller population goals by any other means.

      • Western de-industrialization due to secular socialism may be where we’re headed but combining that with a Gore minimum is not something we buy ourselves out of with a fiat currency. What government agency is planning for what we do next if 3 to 7 decades of a cooling trend is in our future?

      • Wag, none, I fear, which supports my position that government policies should support our capacity to respond positively to whatever circumstances arise, given that they will often be unforeseen.

  61. Ten Signs of Intellectual Honesty:

    1. One doesn’t make lists one doesn’t need;
    2. One doesn’t publish lists one hasn’t tested;
    3. One’s lists follow their own rules;
    4. One’s mind changes as you learn more;
    5. One strives to learn;
    6. One revises a list when one’s mind changes due new observations;
    7. One may take principles from the example of another, but doesn’t blame others for one’s own shortcomings;
    8. One doesn’t fear making mistakes;
    9. One keeps engaging while one may yet learn;
    10. Ten is a very suspect number, one who is intellectually honest shows doubt anything but digits naturally fall into lots of exactly ten without good evidence, so shows skepticism of lists of ten in particular, and skepticism in general, but once skepticism has completed and one is left with one best conclusion, regards it as accurate or very nearly true until new observation requires review, revision, amendment or disposal of prior skeptical conclusion.
    11. Commitment to act on the best understanding.
    12. Recognition the onus of understanding writing is on the reader, so reads harder, and where possible multiple sources.

    Ten Signs of Intellectual Laziness:

    1. Plagiarism.
    2. Paralysis by Analysis.
    3. Argument by Assertion.
    4. Failure to Fact Check.
    5. Failure to Multi-source.
    6. Failure to Self-assess.
    7. Lack of Transparency.
    8. Failure to simplify.
    9. Starting something one doesn’t finish.
    10. Using claims of personal virtue as a shield from thought.

    Ten Signs of Intellectual Dishonesty:

    1. Using the Techniques of Propaganda (including name-calling, glittering generalities, god-devil words, bandwagonism, tribalism..).
    2. Subverting an Argument for Other Pretexts.
    3. Argument By Reference to Illegitimate Authority.
    4. Abuse of Logic.
    5. Inability to Distinguish Honest From Dishonest Methods.
    6. Dunning-Krugerism.
    7. Failure to Apply Standards Evenhandedly.
    8. Hit-and-Run.
    9. Bad Faith Engagement Lacking Goodwill.
    10. Ambiguity.

    • Bart R

      Ten Signs of Intellectual Honesty:

      1. One doesn’t make lists one doesn’t need;

      [Followed by three lists…]

      Max

      • Max,

        Was it necessary to point it out?

        Well formulated lists of the type presented by Mike Gene are useful for improving oneself, they are just a form of ad hominem when applied to others. We have really a lot of evidence on the latter point in this thread while we see little evidence on improvement in anyone’s writing.

      • Pekka Pirilä | April 21, 2013 at 4:09 am |

        I have no insight as a writer into the needs of readers, my lists are not for them but for self-reflection. Though for every effort I made to hobble their ad hom nature, they still can be used like a hammer to bear down on other writers.

        For example, with apologies to Max:

        manacker | April 21, 2013 at 3:12 am |

        One notes the implication of your comment appears to meat the measure of item 9 in all three lists. You had an opportunity to continue to engage and learn you appear to have turned away from. You got to the word “lists” and apparently stopped reading or stopped short of wondering what need prompted three new lists. I see no goodwill or good faith engagement in your reply. A true hat trick of nines, and all by someone who claims not to believe in hockey sticks.

        We see in so short a time from plentiful evidence in this thread how much mischief one can make with lists, as implicit authorities (we’re using Mike Gene as an authority now?!) and weapons to polarize and terminate discourse while advancing nothing. How many “Violates 6″‘s do we need to further the discussion? Labelling someone Intellectually inferior, as there is no other use for these lists as applied to others than to support name-calling, is guaranteed to add nothing to the topic.

        If you want to internalize some list for self-reflection, to check what you write or even better how you read, before pressing “Post Comment”, that’s wonderful. If we’ve come to the point we need checklists for civility and thoughtfulness, great, use the list that works for you.

        One suggests however to use a better list than Mike Gene’s, and by all means one better than Judith Curry’s.

    • John Carpenter

      “10. Ten is a very suspect number, one who is intellectually honest shows doubt anything but digits naturally fall into lots of exactly ten without good evidence, so shows skepticism of lists of ten in particular, and skepticism in general, but once skepticism has completed and one is left with one best conclusion, regards it as accurate or very nearly true until new observation requires review, revision, amendment or disposal of prior skeptical conclusion.”

      Bart, though what you say is true, humans certainly find base ten numeric quantities as inherently comfortable to understand because of our anatomic ten digit design, particularly for our benefit to manipulate objects and in turn ideas, counting to 10 is inherently ingrained in our DNA.

      • John Carpenter | April 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm |

        I could credit ‘counting one-two-many’ as engrained in our DNA; though granted the motor centers of the brain have deep mathematical processes built in that perform wonders of calculus without conscious ideation.

        It is only by accident or at least poor superstition that the Arabic system stopped at nine for single digits; the Romans didn’t use base ten, and we escaped base twelve or thirteen by happenstance of history. The Mayans didn’t use it. It’s not a natural choice, but a cultural mishap. Base sixteen is infinitely more practical, and base two or eight make logical sense.

        But ten is a dyslexic’s nightmare, and a burden for learning and performing simple arithmetic operations.

      • As Andy Clark said:

        > [W]e are generally better at Frisbee than at logic.

        http://www-users.cs.york.ac.uk/~susan/books/pages/c/AndyClark.htm

  62. Behind thick walls in the corridors of power, and state-
    rooms with their double glazing, its hard ter hear the
    beating wings of a black swan, or the cries of angry
    flocks of geese.

    • “goose” as defined in the Urban Dictionary

      “Just your average looking girl. In between a hot gorgeous girl (juice) and a overweight female (moose). When your at a party and there are a ton of girls there, but none of them are hot and none of them are ugly….you are in the presence of a whole flock of geese.”

      I doubt that’s what you mean by “angry flocks of geese,” but if not, what do you mean?

      • The “banty rooster” in the crowd passing judgment on the “geese”?

      • Max_OK (?)
        I doubt I mean that either… poetic allusions fer yew
        ter puzzle out, mon ami. Contexts and dramatic
        devices applicable, kinda like cryptic puzzles but
        fer moore aesthetic reasons.
        B C

      • Beth, I hope that poem doesn’t mean plots against you are being hatched behind walls.

        Have you considered flying the coop, leaving Australia for good?

      • David Springer

        She;s alluding to wild goose chases.

    • Beth

      its hard ter hear the beating wings of a black swan, or the cries of angry flocks of geese.

      Or the quack of a canard…

      Max

      • Max,
        Say, and those outside
        the walls, may not hear, inside
        the walled garden,
        … the cuckoo’s call …
        Though they be cuckolded by
        the powered coterie.

        Beth a serf

      • Max- Ok
        I have written many scenarios on fear driven apocolyptic
        climate alarmism, pointing the finger controls on individual
        free choice, I would say I am life affirming, I love naycher,
        music, literature, old movies, dance, jokes, enlightenment,
        light and jokes. I’m not departing Oz though I totally love
        globalization, places and people.
        Btcg

  63. Chief Hydrologist

    One sign to rule them all – monkeys on typewriters chasing the illusion of meaning in the service of eschatology.

  64. Reblogged this on pdx transport.

  65. 10 Signs of Planetary Emergency
    1) The atmospheric composition of your home world is changing rapidly
    2) The change is faster than any known event in the planet’s history
    3) The changes involve gases which influence the planet’s environment
    4) The changes are largely irreversible
    5) The impact lags the changes by several decades
    6) Your planet’s best centers of scientific knowledge are sounding the alarm
    6) The governments of your planet have commissioned investigations which report there is a grave danger
    7) Small pockets of your species are in denial
    8) The population is short-sighted and complacent
    9) Your governments are ineffective and indecisive
    10) Time is ticking away

  66. JC’s list of 10 signs of intellectual laziness in the context of the climate skeptic approach to global temperatures of the past millennium.

    Skeptic says: Vikings were in Greenland 1000 years ago and grapes were grown in England! So the world must have been warmer back then!
    1. Oversimplifying a complex problem, and drawing highly confident conclusions from the simplified analysis.

    Skeptic says: Everyone knows the MWP was warmer than today! Any reconstruction that shows otherwise must be fraud. Blogs proved it!
    2. Strong personal convictions that are based not upon an individual’s personal examination of the evidence, but rather on the second-order evidence of the existence of a consensus.
    6. Tribalism that excludes viewpoints from ‘outsiders’.

    Skeptic says: This decades old graph proves it!:
    3. Failure to continually question and challenge your assumptions.
    4. Inadequate attention to characterizing uncertainty and ambiguities.

    Skeptic says: Look at all these proxies that prove the MWP was warmer than today!.
    5. Cherry picking evidence in presenting your arguments; i.e. failure to present evidence both for and against your arguments.
    7. Failure to explicitly place your research and its implications in a broader context of previous scientific research

      • 4. Trying to defend your tribe by the means of distracting with an unrelated issue

    • Ed Hawkins, of the University of Reading, in Britain, points out that surface temperatures since 2005 are already at the low end of the range of projections derived from 20 climate models (see chart 1). If they remain flat, they will fall outside the models’ range within a few years.

      • Another interesting question to ask is, how long might we have to wait before a warmer year occurs? Although, we may be surprised that 1998 is still the warmest year recorded, the GCMs suggest that, for global mean temperature, it is possible that we could wait 17 years; and so far
        we have been waiting 12 years.

    • lolwot – What’s your point? The only thing I get from this miss-mash is that you don’t like skeptics and you want to draw it out. Grist is full of similar stupidities but they are sharper and much more voluminous than you are. None of this contributes to science.

  67. How does this kind of gimmick fit into the discussion?

    Lawrence Solomon: Arctic sea ice back to 1989 levels, now exceeds previous decade

    • You’ve just violated no. 8

    • lolwot | April 21, 2013 at 5:47 am |
      It is not a gimmick, lolwot, it is an observation. Of course I don’t expect you to understand its meaning because you are ignorant of Arctic history. First, note that the Arctic is the only place in the world that is still warming. That is because it is not greenhouse warming but is caused by warm water carried into the Arctic Ocean by North Atlantic currents. It started suddenly at the turn of the twentieth century after two thousand years of slow cooling. It paused in mid-century for thirty years, then resumed, and is still going strong. The mid-century pause very likely was caused by a temporary resumption of the pre-warming pattern of ocean currents. It is important to realize that in nature what has happened before can happen again. That is why I think it is worth while keeping a lookout for any changes in the Arctic warming pattern as Lawrence Solomon does. His cold spell may or may not indicate another reversal of currents but it is definitely important to follow it up. What happens is of huge interest to people planning to use Arctic resources made possible by warming.

  68. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    In the British Medical Journal (BMJ), Martin McKee and Pascal Diethelm survey six pathognomonic characteristics of denialist cultures in a well-referenced article How the growth of denialism undermines public health (2011):

    SIX CHARACTERISTICS OF DENIALISM

    (1) Identification of conspiracies  Denialists argue that scientific consensus arises not as a result of independent researchers converging on the same view but instead because researchers have engaged in a complex and secretive conspiracy. They are depicted as using the peer review process to suppress dissent rather than fulfil its legitimate role of excluding work that is devoid of evidence or logical thought.

    (2) Use of fake experts  It is rarely difficult to find individuals who purport to be experts on some topic but whose views are entirely inconsistent with established knowledge. The tobacco industry coined the term “Whitecoats” for those scientists who were willing to advance its policies regardless of the growing scientific evidence on the harms of smoking.

    (3) Selectivity of citation  Any paper, no matter how methodologically flawed, that challenges the dominant consensus is promoted extensively by denialists, whereas any minor weaknesses in papers that support the dominant position are highlighted and used to discredit their messages.

    (4) Creation of impossible expectations of research  This may involve corporate bodies sponsoring methodological workshops that espouse standards in research that are so high as to be unattainable in practice.

    (5) Misrepresentation and logical fallacies  An extreme example of this characteristic is the phenomenon of reductio ad hitlerum, in which anything that Hitler supported (especially restrictions on tobacco) is tainted by association. Other methods of misrepresentation include using “red herrings” (deliberate attempts to divert attention from what is important), “straw men” (misrepresentation of an opposing view so as to make it easier to attack), false analogies (for example, because both a watch and the universe are extremely complex, the universe must have been made by some cosmic watchmaker), and excluded middle fallacies (in which the “correct” answer is presented as one of two extremes, with no middle way. Thus, passive smoking causes either all forms of cancer or none, and as it can be shown not to cause some it must, it is argued, cause none).

    (6) Manufacture of doubt:  Denialists highlight any scientific disagreement (whether real or imagined) as evidence that the entire topic is contested, and argue that it is thus premature to take action.

    Conclusion  Denialism is cultural dishonesty, in service of shared mercenary and/or ideological ends.

    The Good News  Fortunately for Climate Etc readers, in comparision to garden-variety dishonesty and/or incompetence and/or lack of imagination, the six characteristics of denialist cultures are *easy* to recognize!

    \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}

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse | April 21, 2013 at 8:58 am |
      Hey fan, how did you get an interest in doctoring? These Brits have their problems with bogus medicine and are open about it but so what. If you think that the problems of their medical profession are present in climate science you are making a huge leap of faith. The faith of a true believer, that is. The one who knows who the bad guys are because you read Oreskes and Conway. Now these are two people who did have an in with Nature Magazine. Nature printed a two-page, illustrated, propaganda-filled ad for their book and then refused to accept comments about it.

  69. If these lists of honest and dishonest behaviors are to be of any use, it is only if each person applies them to himself or herself. Surely the act of applying such rules to others is a prime indication of failure.

  70. Steven Mosher said, “Natural variability explains nothing.”

    Then use its proper name, Uncertainty. You could go with irreducible imprecision, but that is too wordy. I do like unicorns, but it is non-standard. Uncertainty in methods, measurements and theory explain most everything.

    • “Uncertainty in methods, measurements and theory explain most everything.”
      Actually this is more than a small part of the scientific argument for CO2 warming. It is the unacknowledged uncertainty in temperature measurements from a century or more ago. Assuming that simply averaging a bunch of readings from different locations and times will produce an accuracy greater than that of the thermometers used (+/- 1 degree F or so) is lazy thinking. Just because that is the way the statistic method chosen works does not justify the assumption. Likewise, just because you can describe any number of non-instrumentation situations where the assumption is valid does not make it valid in this case.

      • GaryM, Yes, but they place too much certainty in the wrong parts of the the theory.

        It should go, “A doubling of CO2 will cause some increase in atmospheric temperature at some level of the atmosphere. At that level, the impact of CO2 should be ~1.44 C degrees per doubling, IF ALL ELSE REMAINS THE SAME.” Then there is uncertainty in the level, the “tropospheric hot spot” and everything else which may or may not be impacted by a change in CO2.

        The first step is to isolate the level or ERL FOR CO2. Water vapor is limited to near the atmospheric boundary layer so it would have a different ERL. Lapse rate is limited by DRY gases above the ABL. Then you move on and find that without finding THE tropospheric hot spot, we know Fu$k all, drop back and punt.

        Instead they assume that the least certain 2/3 of the ideal maximum CO2 impact based on the greatest amount of uncertainty is REAL, Ignore that the diurnal temperature range reversed in 1985 and proceed full steam ahead with false confidence and bravado even though warming since 1976 is 0.6C +/- 0.5 C or they could go with the SST which from 1981 has warmed 0.2 C +/- 0.17C.

        That means the Unicorn is kicking their butts.

    • Amusing, natural variability is capable of rapid and large climate shifts. Until we understand natural variability, it explains nothing. Ironically, that does explain why we can’t explain climate.
      ====================

      • Where does this “we can’t explain climate” meme come from? There are good explanations for climate behaviour. At their core is the energy balance concept.

        Climate agnosia is just another misdirection on the road to the river in Egypt.

      • Yes, yes, all settled. You are pretty funny, the haha kind.
        ===========

      • No kim. This is how the climate system works. This is what the scientists understand. This is physics in operation.

        You are the comedian.

      • Yes, it has occurred to me that you do know how the climate works. You’ve told me so for years.
        ==============

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Steven Mosher, you shouldn’t rely on argument by assertion:

        natural variation is the THING TO BE EXPLAINED.. it is not the explanation.

        I gave an explanation for a viewpoint. You can call that explanation into question by arguing against it. You cannot call it into question by hand-wavingly shouting, “You’re wrong! That’s especially true since phrases can be used in more than one way; things can be both an explanation and a thing to be explained.

        You do not get to dictate truth with nothing but bold declarations. You have to provide reasons and use logic. You aren’t God, after all.

    • “Natural variability explains nothing.”

      Yes it does. Just not the way Mosher likes.

      Andrew

      • Natural variability self-cancels over time. It doesn’t cause significant energy accumulation within the climate system. It doesn’t generate long-term trends.

        That requires a forcing or combination of forcings. Modern warming (which *very much* includes OHC increase) is caused by increased GHG forcing.

        We’ve know this would happen for a century and more.

      • Heh, over what time?
        ===============

      • A few decades at most. Why not read a climate textbook kim?

      • You’ve got the millenial scale changes figured out? Please, let us know, people are dying for lack of that information. Be quick, else the tragedy continues.
        ==============

      • Modern warming (see also *OHC increase*) is happening because of increasing GHG forcing. It’s really that simple. Millennial-scale climate change is also likely to have been the result of changes in forcing. It’s actually not very relevant to modern warming.

        GHG forcings are well understood and the data is in the public domain, eg here.

        And yes, kim, I appear to have a better understanding of how the climate system does than you do. Probably because I have now read a number of textbooks on the topic. You really should consider doing the same.

        You are both badly informed and horribly confused.

      • Yes, we are badly informed and horribly confused. Except for BBD, of course.
        ==============

      • No kim, what I said was that *you* were ill-informed and horribly confused compared to me. Please do not engage in childish misrepresentations. That’s naughty, and worse, it’s boring.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Mosher’s comment can be misleading if one isn’t careful about what “natural variability” means. Hand-wavingly dismissing things as “natural variabilty” explains nothing. Fluctuations or other changes caused by natural factors can explain much. It is fair to call such changes “natural variability.” We can even point to some such changes.

        It’s just a matter of how one uses the phrase. Use it to mindlessly dismiss something, and it explains nothing. Use it to explain something, and it explains something.

      • Yah, yah, millenial scale changes are boring, because BBD can’t explain them. You are coming in loud and clear, BBD.
        ===================

      • kim

        No matter how desperately you try to frame this, a single fact remains paramount: modern warming is predominantly the result of increased GHG forcing. Hand-waving about millennial-scale climate change is misdirection.

      • BBD, I’m sorry to say this, but you are quite deluded. Do you not know that a battle of attribution rages?
        ================

      • BBD, I’m sorry to say this, but you are quite deluded. Do you not know that a battle of attribution rages?

        No, it doesn’t. That is a contrarian misrepresentation of the first order. You are evidently both ill-informed and deeply confused.

        See also Sedláček & Knutti (2012) Evidence for external forcing on 20th-century climate from combined ocean-atmosphere warming patterns.

      • Natural variability vs AnthroGHGs, only your IPCC knows for sure.
        ====================

      • Physics, kim. Physics. Look at the first two links I provided. This is not imaginary energy. You cannot get rid of it by pretending it does not exist.

        That is insane.

      • Come to Je…I mean Jim D, and understand the distinction between ‘forcing’ and ‘warming’.
        ===========

      • Forcing causes *energy* to *accumulate* within the climate system. This results in an increase in ocean heat content and atmospheric warming.

        I understand the basics clearly kim. You don’t.

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon

        ‘ Fluctuations or other changes caused by natural factors can explain much. It is fair to call such changes “natural variability.”

        natural variation is the THING TO BE EXPLAINED.. it is not the explanation.

      • natural variation is the THING TO BE EXPLAINED.. it is not the explanation.

        Exactly. Just like aerosols, water-vapor feedback, cloud feedback, carbon black, etc, etc, etc, They are ALL ANECDOTES on top of ANECDOTES, including natural variation and the arrested 5,000-year long coldening.

      • Sure we got anthroCO2 forcing, to whatever effect, but that’s only one player, not the control knob. Until we’ve unmasked all the players on the stage, you don’t know CO2 dunnit.
        ===========

      • kim

        And on you go. So I am obliged to repeat myself.

        Here are the GHG forcings.

        Here are solar, GHG and total net forcings plotted against GAT.

        The increasingly dominant role of GHG forcing is self-evident. I would have said “undeniable”, but you prove me wrong every time.

      • Other witnesses will be called.
        ==========

      • Evidence denial.

        And not just you. *Everybody* arguing the contrarian “case” indulges in this behaviour continually.

    • “Natural variability” is often used in a lazy thinking way. When people say the temperature rose mostly because of natural variability rather than AGW, but don’t go on to explain a mechanism that does it, that is lazy thinking. With AGW we not only have a mechanism, but a quantification. Natural variability includes solar, volcano and ocean effects, and on longer time scales atmospheric composition has natural variability. The failure of those advocating “natural variability” is to provide any quantification of these effects in addition to saying why they think CO2 is not the cause even as they accept it affects the global IR balance.

      • “why they think CO2 is not the cause”

        Jim D,

        You Warmers are going to have to better than producing squiggly line drawings and then telling us it’s Global Warming. It’s like presenting me a picture of a Whopper. Put the real thing in front of me and you might have something.

        Andrew

      • BA is engaging in blatant evidence denial. End of rational discussion (which did not in fact ever actually begin).

      • BBD,

        Drawings are nice. But they don’t prove anything. Get me thing the drawing is of.

        Andrew

      • See – you simply deny the data. A graph is not a “drawing” it is a representation of the data. Data denial simply places you outside the bounds of rational discourse.

      • “A graph is not a “drawing”

        graph [grɑːf græf]
        n
        1. (Mathematics) Also called chart a drawing depicting the relation between certain sets of numbers or quantities by means of a series of dots, lines, etc.,

        Andrew

      • I have just thought of a number 8 for JC’s intellectual laziness list. Failure to try to understand the AGW scientific case before throwing politically biased slurs against it. It would be a much better debate if the “skeptics” understood something about the scientific foundations. Do they agree CO2 affects IR? Mostly it seems. Do they agree that affects the global radiation balance? Not clear. Do they think the water vapor in the atmosphere is mostly determined by the ocean temperature? Not clear. Do they agree paleoclimate shows CO2 variations in step with temperature variations? Not clear. These areas where their view is not clear look like intellectual laziness, but could equally be because they don’t want to know and just want to be political, which is just plain prejudiced thinking.

      • A fat little cherub just shot the Arrow of Time into Jim D’s paleontological heart.
        ===============

      • She loves you, yeah yeah yeah

      • BA

        Reading comprehension issues:

        depicting the relation between certain sets of numbers or quantities

        Data, BA, data. AKA evidence, and “that which you reject”.

      • Jim D

        I tend to agree with you. There is a great deal of evidence rejection (aka evidence denial) mixed in with the intellectual laziness.

      • “that which you reject”.

        I don’t reject any evidence. I reject that the evidence is conclusive. It’s obviously not.

        Andrew

      • BA claims:

        I don’t reject any evidence.

        Right after saying:

        You Warmers are going to have to better than producing squiggly line drawings and then telling us it’s Global Warming. It’s like presenting me a picture of a Whopper. Put the real thing in front of me and you might have something.

        And following an explanation that graphs are data visualisations (aka evidence visualisations).

        BA is very confused indeed.

      • BBD, to me it looks like prejudice defined as
        “Preconceived opinion not based on reason or experience.”
        Clearly many of them form their opinions