Why farmers don’t believe in anthropogenic global warming

by Judith Curry

If there’s one thing U.S. farmers can count on, it’s bad weather, and perhaps as a result, many of them don’t think humanity is to blame for the long-term shifts in weather patterns known as climate change.

David Biello has an interesting article at Slate entitled Why Don’t Farmers Believe in Climate Change?  Excerpts:

Take, as an example of skepticism, Iowa corn farmer Dave Miller, whose day job is as an economist for the Iowa Farm Bureau. As Miller is happy to explain, it’s not that farmers in Iowa don’t think climate change is happening; it’s that they think it’s always been happening and therefore is unlikely to have much to do with whatever us humans get up to down at ground level. Or, as the National Farm Bureau’s spokesman Mace Thornton puts it: “We’re not convinced that the climate change we’re seeing is anthropogenic in origin. We don’t think the science is there to show that in a convincing way.” The numbers back that up: When Iowa State University sociologists polled nearly 5,000 Corn Belt farmers on climate change, 66 percent believed climate change is occurring, but only 41 percent believed humans bore any part of the blame for global warming.

It’s not just the Corn Belt: Farmers across the country remain skeptical about climate change. When asked about it, they tell me about Mount Pinatubo and weird weather in the 1980s, when many of today’s most established farmers were getting their starts. But mostly I hear about cycles in the weather, like the El Niño–La Niña cycle that drives big changes in North American weather. Maybe it’s because farmers are uniquely exposed to bad weather, whether too hot or too cold. Almost any type of weather hurts some crop; the cereals want more rain, but the sweet potatoes like it hot and dry.

Year-to-year variability in the weather dwarfs any impact from a long-term shift in the climate. Consider this: A farmer in Iowa might deal with a 10-degree-Fahrenheit shift in average temperatures from year to year, so why worry about a 3- or even 4-degree shift over 100 years? As the old saying goes: If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change.

The long-term prediction for the Corn Belt in Iowa says that the weather will get hotter and drier—much like western Kansas is currently. Yet, over the decades of Miller’s farming career, conditions have been increasingly wet. “If I had done what climate alarmists had said to do, I would have done exactly the wrong thing for 20 of the last 25 years,” Miller says.

Miller doesn’t speak for all farmers, of course, and there are few less monolithic constituencies.  But big farmers certainly aren’t skeptical about all science, particularly the kind of science that makes them money by improving yields. “Last year’s drought was in many places as deep as it was in 1933, and yet we didn’t see too many stories of blowing dirt storms,” like in the “dirty ’30s,” notes former North Dakota farmer Roger Johnson, now head of the National Farmers Union.* Breeding and genetic modification have brought crops resistant to drought and flood, as well as insect pests. Also important are better tilling practices, such as leaving a cover crop or stubble to hold down the soil, which helped the dirt stay in place. Even in the depths of the 2012 droughts, the United States delivered an abundant harvest.

Few would have to change their livelihoods as radically as American farmers if efforts to combat climate change became more serious. Maybe skepticism also flourishes because farmers tend to be more conservative, and denying climate change falls under the same political umbrella as, say, gun ownership. (According to Robert Carlson, who leads the World Farmers Organization, farmers in other countries are more likely to believe in climate change, and many feel they are already facing new weather extremes.)

But even if American farmers don’t believe in climate change, there are reasons for them to behave as if they do. The Agriculture Department has begun incorporating climate change into its projections and outreach, such as encouraging no-till practices where applicable. Oregon wheat farmer McCullough is following their advice to reduce tillage, which helps keep the soil from blowing away. “It’s cheaper to farm that way, and you still get the same type of crop, if not a bit better.” Weather is always changeable and unpredictable in the long term, which means a farmer must take good care of the soil so that the soil can take good care of the farmer when the weather turns challenging.

In other words, many American farmers—even those who would question whether climate change is man-made—are already doing exactly what efforts to combat climate change would require: precision agriculture to cut back on fossil fuel use, low or no-till farming, cover crops, biodigesters for animal waste, and the like. The key to reaching farmers is bringing them practices that improve their farms. “If you can help me deal with weather variability,” Miller says, “I can probably adapt to climate variability.”

JC comments:  Several things struck me about this essay:

There seems to be analogies between farmers and weather forecasters, who are similarly skeptical of AGW.  The livelihood of both groups depends on their understanding weather and climate variability.  What could conceivably be their source of ‘motivated reasoning’ for denying AGW?

And why the skepticism among U.S. farmers but not elsewhere in the world?  Does anyone have data or anecdotes on this topic? The answer may be the advanced technologies and practices used by U.S. farmers, and the lower overall levels of agricultural vulnerability.

Mitigation of CO2 can happen if it makes economic sense to do so, such as reduced tillage; in this case, CO2 mitigation is rather an irrelevance in motivating the response.

And the farmers seem to understand a central tenet of adaptation: “If you can help me deal with weather variability, I can probably adapt to climate variability.

 

573 responses to “Why farmers don’t believe in anthropogenic global warming

  1. Trees for Free

    “If there’s one thing U.S. farmers can count on, it’s lack of water, and perhaps as a result, many of them don’t think humanity is to blame for the long-term shifts in water availability known as water wet.”

    Sounds dumb doesn’t it?

    • David L. Hagen

      Judith
      Re: International farmers on anthropogenic global warming

      . . .why the skepticism among U.S. farmers but not elsewhere in the world? Does anyone have data or anecdotes on this topic? The answer may be the advanced technologies and practices used by U.S. farmers, and the lower overall levels of agricultural vulnerability.

      Most farmers internationally ignore “anthropogenic global warming” because:
      1) They are illiterate
      2) They have no internet
      3) They are trying to scrabble a living
      4) They are praying that the monsoon does not fail.
      5) They have seen no evidence that anthropogenic impacts on monsoons and droughts differ significantly from numerous historical catastrophes.
      Monsoon failures cause major droughts and massive famines. e.g. see famines recorded in Maharasthra India from 1397 to 1948.

      A Millennium of Monsoon Failures, Droughts and Famines By Ananda Gunatilaka

      “the Monsoon Asia Drought Atlas (MADA), which also provides an absolutely dated, annually resolved reconstruction of Asian monsoon spatio-temporal variability over the past 1000 years. . . . The major finding of MADA is that historically recorded monsoon failures/excesses in the past 150 years have been exceeded in intensity and duration many times during the past millennium. The Atlas picked the Ming Dynasty Drought of 1638-1641- the worst in 500 years in northern China and its recorded final collapse in 1644; the Strange Parallels Drought (SPD 1756-1768), the East India Drought (EID 1790-1796) and the late Victorian Great Drought (VGD 1876-1878).

      See contemporary reporting of famine in India.
      e.g. 1770 Bengal famine – 10 million deaths, 1877 India famine – 6 million deaths

      For a glimpse into the intricacies of monsoons and drought see
      Asian Monsoon Failure and Megadrought During the Last Millennium
      Edward R. Cook et al. Science Published 23 April 2010, Science 328, 486 (2010) Supplement

  2. Frauke Hoss

    Do farmers right out DENY AGW? I more get the feeling that it simply does not matter to them what caused it. All that matters to them is how to deal with it. They have always been dealing with weather variability, so for them things haven’t changed. In fact, they have seen improvements in dealing with weather variability. This success makes it even less relevant what causes climate change, because there is the feeling that they can deal with it. Believing in AGW means acting accordingly. Given the scale of weather variability compared to climate change, this must seem like a superfluous effort to the farmers. Why take pains to prevent climate change, if one can easily deal with its effects. Not believing in AGW might be an expression of that sort of intuition.

    • Whatever. They sure do believe in planting maps which have been shifting northward just as theory predicts.

      • Eli

        We are fortunate in having good records that illustrate the shifting patterns of plants as they migrate northwards and southwards.. Sometimes the past seems remarkably similar to today in the plants that can be grown in certain areas.

        This concerning the temperature humps noted around 1540 and commencing 1610/15 *In his 1625‘ideal garden sketch’ essay Francis Bacon wrote of the plants that could be grown in their season in the climate of London (then a small city of only 450,000 people)

        “Latter Part of November, you must take such Things, as are Greene all Winter; Holly;Ivy; Bayes; Juniper; Cipresse Trees; Eugh; Pine-Apple-Trees; Firre-Trees; Rose-Mary;Lavander; Periwinckle, the White, the Purple, and the Blewe; Germander; Flagges;Orenge-Trees; Limon-Trees; And Mirtles, if they be stooved; & Sweet Marjoram warme
        set. There followeth, for the latter Part of January, and February, the Mezerion Tree, which then blossomes; Crocus Vernus, both the Yellow, and the Gray; Prime-Roses;Anemones; The Early Tulippa; Hiacynthus Orientalis; Chamaïris; Frettellaria. For March,There come Violets, specially the Single Blew, which are the Earliest; The Yellow
        Daffadill; The Dazie; The Almond.” http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Of_Gardens/Of_Gardens

        The similarity of seasons around 1625 is striking when compared to the modern warm period in the UK.

        *More scientific confirmation of growing warmth is confirmed by Professor Dr C Pfister the noted historian and geographer who identified Heat waves in 1525 and 1616 ( roughly comparable or greater than Europe 2003)
        *The compilation book ‘Climate since AD 1500’ edited by Phil Jones and incorporating work by a number of scientists, notes the warm periods around 1630 and 1550 and the cold interval that separated them;’

        We have similar records for the 1920 to 1940 period.

        tonyb

      • Chief Hydrologist

        According to the theory that it is getting warmer? I’d like to see the theory of how much is natural.

        I like this one.

        http://www.weather.com/outlook/weather-news/news/articles/noaa-july-searing-heat-report_2011-08-08?page=2

      • Say Tony, if it gets any cooler, what with pauses ‘n such,
        mebbe yer;ll hafta shift south if yer want ter successfully
        continue yer ground_breaking tomato-stem-ring study …
        Shades ‘a Yamal Peninsular tree ring core’s methodology
        ‘n such.
        Concerned serf.

      • Tonyb, cooling in China after the MWP, decline of the Ming etc are paralleled by citrus species and sub-tropical herbs losing ground. A southward shift, thanks to climate change!

        On the other hand, imperial records and agriculture direction books from the 13th century indicate that, during the later Song and Yuan, the northernmost boundary of citrus well exceeded that of today.

        Of course, the past has been abolished, so it hardly matters.

      • Beth and Mosomoso

        The past? China? Never heard of either of them. Get with the program. . Our educators will be along to speak to you and correct your misunderstandings..

        “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” Goerge Orwells 1984 is sometimes quite scary. I wonder what he would make of today’s double think and the surveillance society?

        tonyb,

      • Tony, @ 4.31am re ‘the past’

        Seems ter me,
        lacunae in histree
        leave the gap open
        fer myth ter take over,
        conveniently,
        the ‘convenient’ ‘truth.’

        Bts.

      • Somehow Eli doubts that there were planting maps for North America in 1540.

      • Eli

        Yes, its a good job we can trace plant records from places like the UK else you might be thinking the sort of things you point to are ‘unprecedented.’
        tonyb

  3. “What could conceivably be their source of ‘motivated reasoning’ for denying AGW?’

    Don’t know, but I’m sure Joshua does, something he’ll be happy to explain in his trademark concise, non-sneering, even-handed way.

  4. The real shame is the massive government resources applied to climate science at the expense of not advancing seasonal weather forecasts. Ask the farmers which they would prefer. Biello’s article suggests an answer.
    Hank

  5. tempterrain

    Hang on a minute. Before you write posts on the “why” you have to establish the veracity of your general statement on farmers’ beliefs.

    There are farmers all over the world. They do exist outside of the US and Canada!

    In Australia, there’s a large acceptance, including the farming community, that AGW is a reality that has to be dealt with and planned for.

    • yes, the article and my comments remark on this being a U.S. phenomena

      • Average age of farmers in developing world is young, and records are poor. Their perceptions of climate are different. In central and Eastern Europe, political conflict and recovery from WW2 have colored perceptions, perhaps.

    • Kent Draper

      Are there any studies to show this? Or should I say, what percentage of Australia’s farmers believe “they” are causing global warming. Sorry, I’m uncomfortable using “climate change” as climate has always been changing.

    • temp,

      Regardless of what farmers in a particular region of the world might believe about climate change, you do realize that grain harvests are expected to reach record levels this year not only in the US but world wide?

    • I have farmed all my life in Aust (55years) and I do not give any credit to AGW in fact todays weather is very reminiscence of the seventies in southern Australia .

      • I am 75 years old and have been a broad acre grain farmer in the state of Victoria in Australia’s SE all my life until i retired a few years ago.
        Having seen the severe droughts and great dust storms of the early 1940’s and the extreme wet and cool periods of the 1950’s and 1970’s plus the droughts of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s I agree completely with Stephens comment above.
        When talking around privately and personally with local farmers there is an almost universal rejection of the man made climate change belief.
        If those same farmers are ever asked to comment publicly and personally on global warming / climate change or what ever the supposed latest fad description of any supposed variability of normal weather is currently going under they will tell the interviewer that there is likely to be a human influence on the weather.
        The reason for this difference in the apparent public and private sayings amongst farmers is that they are a bit shy and unused to publicity and public exposure and so they just don’t like to be seen to be too far out in front of what they think the herd mentality currently is.
        So they will often give an interviewer the answer the interviewer is angling for.
        We live and work and battle Nature and everything she can throw at us all our working lives and Nature as all farmers know and have experienced is almost infinite in her ability to dream up yet another variation in the theme that farmers have to live with and work around.
        So climate change or what ever it is called today is just another imponderable that we all accept and work with in our daily lives.
        It doesn’t really mean a thing as the daily variations in weather and so many other factors are far, far greater than anything that might take a few years or a few decades to manifest itself into something that might be another of those innumerable imponderable we as farmers have to deal with on a daily basis.

  6. Pingback: Why Judith Curry and others don’t believe in farmers | The Drinking Water Advisor

  7. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Mr Posselt, who is delivering a message about the impact of climate change to rural communities on his nine-month adventure, said yesterday the strong anti-climate change beliefs might in part explain the lethargy of conservative politicians to the issue.

    “About 98 per cent of adults I’ve met along the river say there’s no such thing,” Mr Posselt said.

    “They think it’s just a short-term cycle and everything will soon be back to the way it used to be.”

    http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/up-the-creek-over-climate/story-e6freoof-1111114287377

    Steve Posselt was suggesting that the drought was climate change. Naw mate – it just cycles.

    They are certainly more right than Posselt. There is a bit of a history of cycles in Australia as well. Inigo Jones linked the orbits of the outer planets with rainfall in the first half of the last century – premonitions of Scafetta. Inigo Owen Jones (1 December 1872 – 14 November 1954) was a meteorologist and farmer – and a self publicist of some note. A lot of attention came from his rain making activities. Hard to ignore cannons going off in the back paddock.

    Rainfall regimes are a lot more accepted these days – indeed are the cornerstone of hydrological theory globally. No doubt at all. Thus calculating variability from the 1950’s is a statistical nonsense. Nor is there any doubt that paleoclimatic variability of rainfall far exceeds what we have seen in the instrumental record.

    More recently – at least since the 80’s – regime is the preferred terminology because they lack the regularity implied by cycle. Much more recently we have put together five plus five to get?

    A hand is five
    Another is five
    So what do you get
    – add five plus five?

    A butterfly.

    The Earth system is complex, coupled and nonlinear and shifts abruptly between regimes as a result of changes in controls and multiple feedbacks.

    BTW – the idea for the poem came from the tiniest little girl.

    Here’s an Auslan poem about butterfly hands – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhvQz7W0c5Q

  8. Farmers (and weather forecasters) know there is nothing unusual about the recent warming, Google dust bowl.

    Why US and not international? Google dust bowl. NCDC may lack a certain credibility as the dust bowl years get steadily cooler and less extreme.

  9. Speaking as someone who owns a genuine US farm (dairy, 350 head total, 1.1 million pounds of grade A milk per year, plus or minus, plus veal, beef, a few hogs, and carryover corn and beans…), I can suggest another important reason for farmer scepticism. They are conservative (and have to be, since there are enough risks without willfully adding additional risks from ‘hair brained’ new fangled schemes). But they are also intensely empirical realists, therefore scientific in a profound sense. You try something, or your neighbor does, and if it works you adopt it. Anything that improves yields or productivity and conserves the land. Tractors instead of horses, Rotation contours, Round balers, GMO crops enabling no till with Roundup herbicide), milking parlors, spot precision pesticide and fertilizer application based on micro environments and GPS coordinates, … All such ‘good practices’ spread remarkably rapidly because they ‘work’ empirically.
    AGW and climate change are theoretical uncertain rounding error by comparison, as the article points out. No farmer would change anything based on the CAGW ‘field trials’ to date.
    May we all return to being farmers, at least philosphically. The world would be a far better place.

    • Kent Draper

      +100 Having milked the old fashioned way as a youth I kinda like some of the new fangled farming methods :)…. but the character of most farmers in my experience is correctly stated.

    • Holstein asks the guy who worked a local Jersey farm?

      • Kent Draper

        Honestly, I don’t know. All I know is her name was Suzy and
        she had very small rear teats. I could only get my index and middle finger around them. I also knew that even if the end of the world was pending, she had to be milked twice a day :)…. Luckily I was born with a twin brother so we split up the duties. Absolutely nothing as good as
        home made ice cream.

      • Perhaps a discussion about Suzy’s teats would be a nice change of pace.

      • TMG – LOL! Thanks!

    • Rud,

      Perhaps you can also confirm that your average farmer is not some hick riding a tractor, but instead college educated and often holding down a full time job in addition to farmering. I remember how many of the folks I worked with at a nuclear plant in Minnesota were also farmers.

      If one were to stack up farmers on one side and journalists on the other, it would be no contest as to which side would kick ass in their understanding of science and technology.

      And why is it that whenever the subject is the impact of drought and extreme weather on agricultural production, little facts like this:

      “Even in the depths of the 2012 droughts, the United States delivered an abundant harvest.”

      go missing? Even if we were to experience some sort of increase in drought conditions, the bottom line is the degree of impact it would have. If your last name is Little, you apparently will assume that baaad things will happen. How bad nobody knows. But they will be bad. Very, very bad. Trust us.

      • Will confirm your view about the ‘average farmer’ today being at least college educated.have to be to survive. I am probably not your average farmer. But the family next door that runs the operation full time and does the milking has two grown brothers with BAs in agriculture (one in animal husbandry, the other in crop science, both from University of Wisconsin). And their sister, who is in the military, is an RN. When you are responsible for over a $million in machinery, a $million in livestock, and another $xmillion in land, you actually have more capital invested and more personally at risk than most urban entrepreneurs. And have to make do without Starbucks.
        In addition to their other jobs, most farmers can fix almost anything out in the fields or back at the tool shed. Diesel mechanics, hydraulics, welding metal fatigued parts… Sort of the ultimate in experimental ‘science’. My trusty diesel tractor has only defeated me once since 1985 with a tow to the dealer. Turns out was a damned electrical problem I could not trace–Internal Wire insulation had gone bad.

      • On the other hand, there are the Hutterite Colonies. Very successful farmers where I grew up. Back then I believe the kids stopped schooling at around 15. They seemed to adopt new farming technologies quickly.

    • Exactly,

      Farmers will adopt as necessary as will the rest of society. Once we have real proof of CAGW we will change our ways as needed.

  10. Farmers have not necessarily been taught that without greenhouse gases in our atmosphere at the level they are at, the world would be 33C cooler than it is. Translate that for American farmers and that is about 59 degrees F cooler.

    Then explain that one of the GHGs is in the process of being doubled and the concern is that things will get hotter. Ignoring the value judgements implicit in this statement, they can at least try to relate to the science behind the phenomenon.

    Same thing with many broadcast weathermen, as they typically get training at a VoTech school. They wouldn’t be expected to understand atmospheric physics, but should at least know to how to frame the issue for their viewers and listeners.

    • Tell the average American mid west farmer that a doubling of CO2 primarily means winter temperatures will get a couple of degrees warmer and see how he reacts.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      It seems to me to be more that the Earth would be very hot. Without greenhouse gases – radiation can escape directly from the surface. But there is some energy transferred by conduction to oxygen and nitrogen in the remaining atmosphere which is unable to cool. Such that the atmosphere gets warmer and warmer. Either that or it gets very much colder as ice sheets spread.

      In any case – an atmosphere without carbon dioxide and water vapour is a hypothetical. Another example of climate trivia at which webby is so bad.

      Far better to use real science and real data.

      ‘The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’

      http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

      The devil is in the detail.

    • Farmers know that CO2 makes their green things grow better with less water. I grew up on a farm. Many Farmers have college education and are some of the most knowledgeable people around. George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were farmers. What farmers think does make a difference. What farmers know about climate and weather is way beyond what people who sit in air conditioned buildings in cities and universities even suspect.

    • Web,

      Stick with oil. You apparently are not that familiar with farming or meteorologists.

    • Good point Hubby. High levels of CO2 will be good for plants.

      • David Appell

        It is not at all clear that higher levels of CO2 will be good for crops. A 2007 study by Lobell and FIeld found that higher temperatures were already counteracting the CO2-enhancement effect:

        Environmental Research Letters Volume 2 Number 1
        David B Lobell and Christopher B Field 2007 Environ. Res. Lett. 2 014002 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/2/1/014002
        http://iopscience.iop.org/1748-9326/2/1/014002

        Crops depend on a variety of factors, and sorting them out does not seem so easy.

      • ” higher temperatures were already counteracting the CO2-enhancement effect:”

        Higher temperatures do not enhance growth? Memo to the treenometer guys……

      • David Appell

        Not according to this study, no.

  11. It is not just U.S. farmers who are skeptical about AGW. Eastern European farmers, some of whose families have tilled the same toil for centuries, are no less aware of the highly irregular natural cycles that affect their livelihood. It’s mostly academic scientists toiling with their computers under flourescent lights that remain out of touch with realities.

  12. I wonder if the international farmer meme is similar to the 97% meme?

    • As in 97% of farmers would not be surprised about climate scientists believing TOB equals milk in the pail.

  13. > What could conceivably be their source of ‘motivated reasoning’ for denying AGW?

    Is that a rhetorical question?

    Wheat has long dominated the windswept farm fields of the northern Great Plains. But increasingly, farmers here are switching to corn, reflecting how climate change, advancements in biotechnology and high corn prices are pushing the nation’s Corn Belt northward.

    http://stream.wsj.com/story/latest-headlines/SS-2-63399/SS-2-253613/

    • willard,

      Don’t you think the third item – high corn prices – might be the dominate reason for a switch in crop?

      And while not certain, I believe corn may require a greater amount of water. Not exactly a good fit with climate change driven drought conditions.

      • > Don’t you think the third item – high corn prices – might be the dominate reason for a switch in crop?

        Don’t ask me, ask Steve:

        North Dakota farmer Steve Fritel planted more acres with corn as its prices climbed. ‘Wheat is profitable; corn is just more profitable,’ he says

        http://stream.wsj.com/story/latest-headlines/SS-2-63399/SS-2-253613/

        From that same article.

      • Willard,

        Thanks.

        I figured as much. Which begs the question What does this have to do with climate change?

      • > What does this have to do with climate change?

        Some might believe that warmth brings more profit, timg56. Unless, of course, you live in Colorado and every tree gets burned down each year until the end of times:

        Reporter Julia Kumari Drapkin tells the story of Colorado’s State Climatologist, Nolan Doesken. Doesken has long believed that humans are driving climate change, but never connected it to his own life. Even after several years of some of the most devastating weather his state has ever seen, Nolan considered climate change a worry for the future. Then, last year, he watched as his state experienced some of the most extreme weather it ever has. For the first time, Nolan felt like he was looking at what the future would be like where he lives. He felt scared. Julia tells the story of how this has all changed Nolan, and changed what he’s saying to the people of his home state.

        http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/495/hot-in-my-backyard

        In any case, that does not matter much, as the article quote by Judy concludes:

        “You’ve got so much to do anyway, trying to figure out rotations and moving animals and crops through and taking good care of your land and making enough money,” says my brother. “It’s unclear what the point of talking about climate change would be.” Or as I would put it: If many farmers are doing the right thing anyway, does it matter why?

        http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/07/farmers_don_t_believe_in_climate_change_but_maybe_that_s_ok.2.html

        Perhaps climate change is just a theorical distraction even for farmers.

      • willard,

        ever consider the possibility Nolan Doesken is a bit of a drama queen.

        As for Colorado, I believe they still have a tree or two which hasn’t burned down.

      • > [E]ver consider the possibility Nolan Doesken is a bit of a drama queen[?]

        Ever consider the possibility to listen to the episode before inserting your foot in your mouth, timg56?

    • Has nothing to do with laws mandating 10-15% Ethanol in gasoline, does it?

  14. In terms of a previous post, farmers believe that the dog has a long leash. Beyond their empirical reasoning, the improvement in climate models when actual weather conditions are used as initial conditions (and the much smaller “climate sensitivity” to CO2 that results) also seems to support the idea that current gcm’s have underestimated the impacts of natural variability.

  15. ,

    “Miller doesn’t speak for all farmers, of course….

    Really? He doesn’t speak for all farmers?

    Well then, you’d think that to come up with a line such as “Why farmers don’t believe in anthropogenic warming,” some validated data might be useful?

    I have met farmers who are quite convinced about ACC (occurring) …. I would guess that climate “skepticism” is more prevalent among farmers than among non-farmers – but that’s a pure guess. Does anyone have anything to offer other than a guess? Does anyone have any data that quantifies any greater prevalence of “skepticism” among farmers? Does anyone have any data controlled for other variables, such as political orientation – which we know is strongly correlated with views on climate change?

    Why do people who are concerned about quantification of uncertainty accept such poorly validated arguments?

    Calling Mr. Monster.

    Uncertain T. Monster – you have a call on line #2 from Juidith Curry.

    • the validated data seems to be the University of Iowa survey of farmers, although I could not easily track this down based on information provided in the article

      • What variables are controlled in the survey?

      • you’ll need to dig up the original paper to answer these questions, go for it

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Easy enough to find Joshua – http://heartland.org/sites/default/files/arbuckle_ppt_2013_climate_change_beliefs_concerns_attitudes_toward_adaptation_mitigation.pdf

        Why don’t you look before making a nuisance of yourself. In fact – why don’t you read the post before making ill founded remarks about a lack of validation – and subsequently trying to divert attention from your idiocy by questioning a polling methodology without any basis at all.

      • Chief, thanks much for the link

      • Chief,

        making a nuisance of himself, at least whenever the opportunity to pull on Judith’s pony tail, is what Joshua does here.

      • Heh – so asking for validated data when assertions are being made is being a “nuisance.” So much for skepticism. Why be a skeptic when you can be a “skeptic?”

        Looking at the %’s briefly, I’d say that the numbers line up fairly well with political ideology. Maybe not. Do you have a freakin’ clue whether they do or not?

        Maybe before drawing conclusions you should consider controlling variables – eh?

        But why bother if all you’re interested in doing is confirming bias?

      • Steven Mosher

        “Data were collected through a stratified random sample survey of farmers from 11 states
        spanning the U.S. Corn Belt. The geographic scope of the survey comprised “major crop
        areas” for corn and soybean as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA
        1994). Our sample was drawn from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service
        (NASS) Census of Agriculture sample frame, which is the most comprehensive and up-todate
        list of U.S. farmers. The sample frame included only farm operations with greater than
        80 acres of corn production and a minimum of US$100,000 of gross sales. Across the 11
        states, farm operations with 2007 gross sales of at least US$100,000 represent 27 % of farms
        with cropland and 78 % of all cropland acres (USDA-NASS 2009).
        The sample was stratified by 22 six-digit Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) watersheds.
        The HUC system is a standardized watershed classification system developed by the U.S.
        Geological Survey that organizes watersheds in a nested hierarchy by size (USGS 2012).
        The sample was stratified by watershed because: (1) climate and ecological conditions that
        vary spatially are expected to influence farmer perspectives on climate change; (2)
        ecological conditions vary largely by hydrological unit and shape agricultural systems;
        and, (3) many of the predicted impacts of climate change are hydrology-related. The 22
        watersheds are contiguous and cover substantial portions of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa,
        Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin
        (see Figure 1 in the suppleme

    • BTW –

      Along the lines of quantifying the prevalence of “skepticism” among farmers – an interesting account of the experiences of Colorado’s State Climatologist, Nolan Doesken , and how he is dealing with his changing views on ACC and dealing with constituents where “skepticism” is quite prevalent:

      http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/495/hot-in-my-backyard?act=1

      It’s a good listen, IMO.

      • I find your use of Anthropogenic Climate Change to be interesting. Back when it was AGW alarmists could at least point to empirical evidence of a global warming trend. ACC is actually a more intuitive argument, especially at the regional level, but hard to prove empirically. Having abandoned AGW in favor of ACC, alarmist have now put themselves in the difficult position of of relying anecdotal evidence of extremes, having to tap dance around is it climate or is it weather.

        Trying to spread the alarmist umbrella over warming and cooling trends is going to mightily stretch it I think.

    • “Why do people who are concerned about quantification of uncertainty accept such poorly validated arguments?”

      It appears that nobody answered your question. We don’t.

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua.

      what Variable were controlled in the study? stop asking stupid questions and do some reading

      http://www.wicci.wisc.edu/uploads/Arbuckleetal2013.pdf

      A February 2012 survey of almost 5,000 farmers across a region of the U.S. that
      produces more than half of the nation’s corn and soybean revealed that 66 % of farmers
      believed climate change is occurring (8 % mostly anthropogenic, 33 % equally human and
      natural, 25 % mostly natural), while 31 % were uncertain and 3.5 % did not believe that
      climate change is occurring. Results of initial analyses indicate that farmers’ beliefs about
      climate change and its causes vary considerably, and the relationships between those beliefs,
      concern about the potential impacts of climate change, and attitudes toward adaptive and
      mitigative action differ in systematic ways. Farmers who believed that climate change is
      occurring and attributable to human activity were significantly more likely to express
      concern about impacts and support adaptive and mitigative action.

      • Steven,

        I don’t think that answers Joshua’s question at all.

      • Steven Mosher

        michael. how does it not answer his question. Did you read the paper.
        It describes the methodology. all the answers he seeks are in there.
        His silence speaks volumes. “what variables did they control for” is a standard skeptical question. Joshua only asks this question when he hasnt done his homework. he never asks it of studies he likes. His skepticism is slective and opportunistic it is not methodological

      • His silence speaks volumes

        Heh.

        Reminds me of when I had to explain to someone (maybe Bad Andrew?), that he couldn’t tell a thing from the fact that Steven Mosher hadn’t responded to blog comments.

        Why do so many people in the blogosphere employ such specious reasoning, Steven? Any idea? I could offer a few suggestions if you’re interested.

        And btw, one of these days you’ll have to explain to me why you so frequently want to make the discussion about me. Such a curious habit of yours.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Controls was after all merely a specious distraction after making an arse of himself by not reading the post and making specious claims.

        ‘Really? He doesn’t speak for all farmers?

        Well then, you’d think that to come up with a line such as “Why farmers don’t believe in anthropogenic warming,” some validated data might be useful?’

        http://www.soc.iastate.edu/staff/arbuckle.html

        Funny as hell – but ultimately dishonest.

      • Heh.

        Do the data show that “farmers don’t believe in anthropogenic warming?”

        Why no, they don’t. They show that some portion do – meaning that it is plainly obvious that one person doesn’t come close to speaking for all farmers.

        And further – do the data answer the question as to the “why” for that portion of farmers who don’t believe in anthropogenic warming?

        No. Not even close. They don’t give a freakin’ clue. Why don’t they? Because they don’t control for variables – such as the influence of political ideology. Is it because, in some way that hey are farmers? Well, in order to answer that question, you’d have to control for some variables, such as political ideology – now wouldn’t you? You’d have to show that controlling for political ideology, farmers are more (or less) likely to not believe in anthropogenic warming than meter maids, or people who sell night crawlers.

        There, now I’ve explained it yet again since it seems to have flown over your head the first couple of times I explained it.

        It is interesting why there’s so much focus on me rather than on providing answers to simple, and obvious questions related to the post.

        Tell me, Chief – Why do some % of farmers not believe in anthropogenic warming? Do you have any validated data that provides insight into that questions?

        Of course you don’t. Now do you?

        Too funny.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So here we have some more lying bullsh_t from Joshua. The point was that you leaped in with a full blown misapprehension and started throwing around totally irrelevant accusations followed up with a campaign of misdirection to attempt to cover up your impetuous idiocy.

        That you fail to admit error and attempt to hide it with specious distractions is the point – and not your specious whines about something you understand nothing at all about. I am talking about your honesty and good faith – entirely lacking – and not about the poll at all.

      • Steven Mosher

        joshua.
        your silence did speak volumes
        think about what that means and what it does

        it did exactly what i wanted it to

      • Steven,

        Sorry about the time lag – real life getting in the way!

        Yes, read the paper.

        Joshua’s question stands. You comment addresses it in no way – the paper doesn’t deal with the issue Joshua has raised. It deosn’t even pretend to. Why you think it does is a complete mystery.

        Maybe he could have been clearer. By ‘variables’, I’m pretty sure Joshua is talking about things like age, gender, political affliation etc.

        If your sample of ‘farmers’ is highly skewed, what might be described is little to do with ‘farmers’ and a lot to do with older males, or a particular SE demographic etc.

  16. Apparently, farmers, along with multitudes of other lay people, and experts, acknowledge that AGW is a theory, which is opposed by contradictory historic and contemporary evidence that must be objectively considered. Unfortunately, this objectivity has not infected more among the ranks of climate “experts.”

  17. I grew up in the corn belt. My Grandfather grew just amazing corn in NW Missouri. My Dad attended veterinary school in Iowa, and his family veterinary business served clients in five corn-belt states.

    I would never say they are unintelligent. It’s quite the opposite. There has been decades of winnowing of the ranks of corn-state farmers. The survivors are shrewd business people. There are a lot of corporate CEOs who would have failed where these guys succeeded.

    I’m surprised it’s 41%. There is nothing in it for them. Natural or manmade, they cannot change anything, and they will experience any changes as weather, as they always have.

    Their numbers are incredibly small. The school systems up there continue to consolidate. Out on the farm, there is just barely anybody left. In sections of land where my father had maybe two or three clients in the 1950s, there are often none left at all. A huge number of home places have fallen to ruin. Once in awhile a farmer rolls in with his equipment, does his work, and then it returns to silence. Where children once laughed and played, on most days nothing comes through but the wind. If the 100s of millions of suburban and urbanites are about to end the corn belt as these farm families have known it for generations, they stand no chance. They’re screwed. They could not out vote the customers who visited an Apple Store today.

    If it’s natural, there is at least some hope. Natural they can do. It’s gotten them this far.

    Never heard one pray for CO2. Have heard them pray for everything else.

  18. As one of your farmers commented, climate is changing all the time.
    We have two examples here, the first from a Bishop as the climate turned down towards the end of the Roman optimum and the other from a pastor who noted complaints from the farmers about the climate.. Mind you they had good cause to moan as they were experiencing the sharp decline to one of the coldest phases of the LIA.

    Saint Cyrian was Bishop of Carthage around 250AD.* (see Note 1) He was talking about the huge increase in Rome’s population which had caused wars against Carthage and the building of 500 towns in North Africa to satisfy the eternal city’s ever increasing needs for timber, cereal, and exotic animals for its gladiatorial contests. Here is an account of lack of sustainability and climate change caused by a variety of factors, with the hints of a decline in the warm climate that had sustained Rome now starting to work against them as it intermittently turned cooler

    ‘The world has grown old and does not remain in its former vigour. It bears witness to its own decline. The rainfall and the suns warmth are both diminishing. The metals are nearly exhausted the husbandman is failing in his fields. Springs which once gushed forth liberally now barely give a trickle of water.’

    Around 1560 the Rev Schaller, pastor of Strendal in the Prussian Alps wrote;

    “There is no real constant sunshine neither a steady winter nor summer, the earth’s crops and produce do not ripen, are no longer as healthy as they were in bygone years. The fruitfulness of all creatures and of the world as a whole is receding, fields and grounds have tired from bearing fruits and even become impoverished, thereby giving rise to the increase of prices and famine, as is heard in towns and villages from the whining and lamenting among the farmers.”

    tonyb

    • tony b

      Thanks for that brief insight into how European farmers in earlier times responded to extended periods of cooling.

      I’d say that this would still be seen as a more serious problem for farmers throughout Europe than the warming over the past century (or the projected warming for the next one).

      Max

    • A cooling will follow this warming. That has happened every time in the past ten thousand years.

      • David Appell

        Unlikely. CO2’s influences will last for many, many millennia:

        Lifetime of anthropogenic climate change: Millennial time scales of potential CO2 and surface temperature perturbations, M. Eby, K Zickfield, A. Montenegro, D. Archer, K.J. Meissner, and A.J. Weaver. J. Climate 22(10): 1502-1511, 2009.

        Millennial Atmospheric Lifetime of Fossil Fuel CO2, D. Archer and V. Brovkin, Climatic Change 90:283-297, 2008.

        The Long Thaw: How Humans are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth’s Climate, David Archer, published by Princeton University Press, 2009.

        http://geosci.uchicago.edu/people/archer.shtml

      • We can sure hope it lasts many, many millenia, because we’re facing an 8-10 dig C drop before many more millenia. Too bad CO2’s warming effect is apparently weak. Thank God & Gaia(quite the pair, they) that CO2’s plant enhancing effect is so strong. Who planned it this way but that pair?
        =================

      • kim,

        Be careful throwing around the “G” word. If you think Willis Eschenbach was testy on the previous “AGW Skeptics” thread, get him started on that.

      • Heh, Willis gives Judy street cred.
        ============

      • Dig C,
        Dipsey doodle,
        Rooned. we all be;
        The Kit and Caboodle.
        =============

      • When oceans get warm and wet it snows and puts an upper bound on temperature

      • CO2′s influences will last for many, many millennia:
        I do hope so because it makes green things grow and has a trace influence on temperature that is equal to a tiny part of the error bar.

      • As warm as the Roman and Medieval Warm periods is still a good upper bound for temperature. As cold as the Little Ice Age is still a good lower bound for temperature. A manmade fraction of a trace gas can not change that more than a fraction of a trace.
        Seventeen years of saying the sky is falling don’t make it so.
        So, saying, ok, the sky is really not falling, but give us a few more years and it will fall. With the snow start we had this year and the snow end that is coming, 2013 will be yet another year that is not warmer than 1998. You can never overcome huge amounts of snow with a fraction of a trace gas. Look at actual data and when actual data and model output disagree, guess which one is always right.

      • I am a retired NASA rocket engineer. We require actual data to prove we have a problem before we do stupid stuff to fix something that is not broke. When a system operates in the same bounds for ten thousand years it ain’t broke if it is still operates inside the same bounds.

    • Tony, you are spot on. There are two things I can attest real farmers have always done exceedingly well:
      1. Complain about whatever.
      2. Survive despite whatever

      • Chief Hydrologist

        “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan
        In accents most forlorn
        Outside the church ere Mass began
        One frosty Sunday morn.
        The congregation stood about,
        Coat-collars to the ears,
        And talked of stock and crops and drought
        As it had done for years.

        “It’s lookin’ crook,” said Daniel Croke;
        “Bedad, it’s cruke, me lad
        For never since the banks went broke
        Has seasons been so bad.”

        “It’s dry, all right,” said young O’Neil,
        With which astute remark
        He squatted down upon his heel
        And chewed a piece of bark.

        And so around the chorus ran
        “It’s keepin’ dry, no doubt.”
        “We’ll all be rooned,” said Hanrahan,
        “Before the year is out.

        http://users.tpg.com.au/dandsc/job/job01.htm

      • Chief, the rest of your Aussie poem could have been written anywhere in US farmland. Thanks for the link, now gratefully preserved.
        We’ll all be rooned! Somehow, somewhen, perhaps… But not by CAGW.
        I suspect your Hanrahan is a Wisconsin neighbor (in our farm country that means just a mile or so down the road, right close by…).
        May you and yours prosper.

      • Selective competitive pressure on cash-crop farmers has been very strong. The small number left have to be really competent on average compared to, say, 1933, not even counting all the practical and technological improvements since then. For globally traded products, it’s like an Olympic sport–not too much room to make even small mistakes. So it’s not just a battle against nature; they have to beat nature by at least as much as the horde of skilled competitors.

      • Yul Brynner’s other great line–‘Only the farmers win.’

  19. It appears that polls show that farmers in the USA are not convinced that AGW is causing any effects, which would be detrimental to them.

    Comprehensive polls of farmers on AGW do not exist in Switzerland (or other central European countries).

    While it is generally accepted that the climate is warming slowly, farmers here have not observed this in the daily weather they experience. Studies made at the ETH in Zurich show no correlation between detrimental extreme weather, such as hail, and global warming. It is generally accepted that moderate warming plus higher CO2 levels will have net beneficial effects for farmers, at least until around 2050, if the more dramatic warming forecasts after 2050 prove to be realistic.

    Farmers are usually common-sense people, who do not “buy into” new fads. They live with (and are dependent on) the weather on a daily basis, so they have developed a practical knowledge of how to cope with (or take advantage of) weather swings, which have always occurred as they are occurring today.

    And in Switzerland (as in much of central Europe), cold, wet springs and summers are a bigger problem for farmers than too much heat.

    So I would expect that farmers in central Europe see AGW in the same light as their counterparts in the USA.

    Max

    • David Appell

      While it is generally accepted that the climate is warming slowly, farmers here have not observed this in the daily weather they experience.

      That seems unlikely. Temperatures in Texas have risen 1.9 F in 30 years, according to NOAA data.
      http://www7.ncdc.noaa.gov/CDO/CDODivisionalSelect.jsp

      Drought there has cost farmers billions of dollars….

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The question is how much is natural –

        – and how much will be reversed in the current cool global mode.

        Similarly – it might be best to assume that the current drought is indistinguisable from past conditions and prepare for drought into the decadal future.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/USdrought_zps2629bb8c.jpg.html?sort=3&o=39

        http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/oceananddrought.html

        Things are as they ever have been – with recent variability well within the limits of Holocene variability. Conservation farming is the best approach to adapting to whatever happens in weather. Ironically – it can sequester huge amounts of carbon while being business as usual and so not attracting UN carbon offsets.

      • Now do the same graph back to 1895. And looks at the record for adverse weather set in the 1930’s and 1950’s. Particularly farmers from families that have farmed for generations will have generational memory of these adverse agricultural conditions, and not merely evaluate present conditions in context of recent decades.

      • David Appell

        The question is how much is natural.

        And it is a question that science has answered: see the summary to the latest IPCC AR.

      • David Springer

        I live on the shore of an impounded lake in Texas. It has yet to reach the low water mark it reached in the decadal drought of the 1950’s which is referred to as “the drought of record”. There’s over a million more people using water downstream from the lake too. Imagine that.

        But I don’t suspect you’ll suddenly start letting facts interfere with your beliefs so you keep right on believing that the 2010’s drought is something new for Texas. Ignorant putz.

      • David Appell

        The plural of “anecdote” is not “data.” You can analyze the NOAA state data at your leisure:
        http://www7.ncdc.noaa.gov/CDO/CDODivisionalSelect.jsp

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You will have to do better than that David. AR5 I presume? The leaked version of the summary? I haven’t followed this at all. Or AR4? Whatever.

        This?

        ‘It is extremely likely that human activities have caused more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature since the 1950s. There is high confidence that this has caused large-scale changes in the ocean, in the cryosphere, and in sea level in the second half of the 20th century. Some extreme events have changed as a result of anthropogenic influence.’

        Human activities are extremely unlikely to have caused more than half the warming from 1976. More than half of it occurs in ENSO transitions in 1976/77 and 1997/98. I’d suggest that these are dragon-kings associated with climate shifts.

        ‘We develop the concept of “dragon-kings” corresponding to meaningful outliers, which are found to coexist with power laws in the distributions of event sizes under a broad range of conditions in a large variety of systems. These dragon-kings reveal the existence of mechanisms of self-organization that are not apparent otherwise from the distribution of their smaller siblings. We present a generic phase diagram to explain the generation of dragon-kings and document their presence in six different examples (distribution of city sizes, distribution of acoustic emissions associated with material failure, distribution of velocity increments in hydrodynamic turbulence, distribution of financial drawdowns, distribution of the energies of epileptic seizures in humans and in model animals, distribution of the earthquake energies). We emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of Rene Thom), or a tipping point. The presence of a phase transition is crucial to learn how to diagnose in advance the symptoms associated with a coming dragon-king..’ http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290

        The 1976/77 transition is most evident as the Great Pacific Climate Shift – notably associated with a warm PDO and more frequent and intense El Niño. The climate shift in 1998/2001 we know is associated with a cool PDO and more frequent and intense La Niña over 20 to 40 years presumably.

        We know this involves changes in Earth’s energy budget.

        The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’ http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

        It certainly does. What was the nature of cloud change?

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/cloud_palleandLaken2013_zps73c516f9.png.html?sort=3&o=14

        http://www.benlaken.com/documents/AIP_PL_13.pdf

        It all seems consistent. We should understand also the underlying physics of climate change. This is the central tenet of the new climate paradigm.

        ‘The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… Over the last several hundred thousand years, climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation. We place strong emphasis on using isotopes as a means to understand physical mixing and chemical cycling in the ocean, and the climate history as recorded in marine sediments.’ http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/2246

        Chaotic climate implies a sensitivity to small changes near a region of bifurcation – which seem to happen every few decades. Nonetheless – it seems unlikely to warm for another decade to three at least.

      • David Appell

        You will have to do better than that David. AR5 I presume? The leaked version of the summary? I haven’t followed this at all. Or AR4? Whatever.

        If you don’t follow the literature, then you irrelevant to the debate. I’m not going to spend time trying to school you.

      • Actually Chief seems to follow the primary literature, and pay less attention to assessment reports.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The other David – otherwise known as Jabberwocky – is quite right. As Judith attempted to convey to you – and as described in the US drought page I linked to.

        Given low frequency climate and hydrological variability – analysis of variability since the 50’s is statistical nonsense. But it is all you have – isn’t it David?

      • David Appell

        Do you really thing Assessment Reports do not summarize the existing literature??

        I suspect that every scientist I’ve ever talked to, who all see to work very hard when they volunteer for ARs, would disagree.

      • AR4 is substantially outdated. From what I have seen of AR5 (leaked drafts), I do not find some of their conclusions to be justified in a broad sense. Whether or not the IPCC authors work hard or not, the IPCC consensus seeking process introduces biases. See my published paper No Consensus on Consensus. Some brief excerpts:

        The consensus approach used by the IPCC has received a number of criticisms. Oppenheimer et al. [48] warn of the need to guard against overconfidence and argue that the IPCC consensus emphasizes expected outcomes, whereas it is equally important that policy makers understand the more extreme possibilities that consensus may exclude or downplay. Gruebler and Nakicenovic [49] opine that “there is a danger that the IPCC consensus position might lead to a dismissal of uncertainty in favor of spuriously constructed expert opinion.” Curry [18] finds that the consensus approach being used by the IPCC has failed to produce a thorough portrayal of the complexities of the problem and the associated uncertainties in our understanding.

        Goodwin argues the consensus claim created opportunities to claim that the IPCC’s emphasis on consensus is distorting the science itself [4]: “Once the consensus claim was made, scientists involved in the ongoing IPCC process had reasons not just to consider the scientific evidence, but to consider the possible effect of their statements on their ability to defend the consensus claim.”

      • David Appell

        Last year’s drought in Texas may, indeed, have caused some farmers “billions of dollars”, but total agricultural cash receipts in Texas have grown from $13.8 billion in 2001 to $22.7 billion in 2011 and $25.1 billion in 2012.
        http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/farm-income-and-wealth-statistics.aspx#27405
        http://agecoext.tamu.edu/fileadmin/user_upload/Documents/Resources/Publications/Facts/2013/AgFacts.pdf

        Max

      • Round and around the merry-go-round,
        Pop goes the weasel.
        ==============

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Not true – I quote AR4 and TAR regularly.

        ‘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. ‘ IPCC wg1 3.4.4.1

        ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions. This reduces climate change to the discernment of significant differences in the statistics of such ensembles. The generation of such model ensembles will require the dedication of greatly increased computer resources and the application of new methods of model diagnosis. Addressing adequately the statistical nature of climate is computationally intensive, but such statistical information is essential.’ TAR wg1 14.2.2.2

        I haven’t read the leaked version of AR5 – if that is what you refer to. I would hardly call it scientific literature. And AR4 is not scientific literature as such either and a little dated as well.

        Not about to educate me David? I doubt if you are capable of adding much to rational discourse at all.

      • David Appell

        And inflation over that period rose about 28%. GDP rose 48%.

        But so what? What does that have to do with losses from the recent drought? Let alone potential losses from future warming? Will it matter if Texas cattle is all raised in North Dakota by 2100?

      • David Appell

        Stop whining.

        If you want to win the scientific debate, then present superior science. Stop whining about funding and editors and conspiracies.

        Just present better science.

        Better science has never lost the day since the scientific method was developed. It is the only thing that has ever won the debate, and the only thing that can.

      • So, David Appell, are you trying to tell me that AR5 will represent superior science? Didn’t you just try to tell me that God needs a testosterone injection?
        =============

      • David Appell

        AR4 is substantially outdated. From what I have seen of AR5 (leaked drafts), I do not find some of their conclusions to be justified in a broad sense. Whether or not the IPCC authors work hard or not, the IPCC consensus seeking process introduces biases.

        Are you serving on any AR5 committees?
        Submitting comments?
        Is there any reason why we should put more stock in your views than in any other scientist writing the AR5?

        I strongly believe that the best science wins the day. Always has, always will. That doesn’t make the losers happy, but it is how science marches on.

      • maksimovich

        AR5 is stuck in a time inversion,the review with regard to stratospheric water vapour,and CFC’S etc,is at odds with the WMO 2010 review it is poorly written,it makes substantive judgmental errors and does not update with regards to the literature.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        So much arm waving – such little light. The question I asked is how much of the recent US warming was natural and how much will be reversed in the current global cool mode.

        It is a question that is not answered by science.

        ‘The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’ http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-Fig1.png.html?sort=3&o=51

        The balance is unknown but natural – indeed abrupt and nonlinear -variability is obvious everywhere in climate.

      • Ooh,

        Professor Curry shows she understands the dual purpose of ruler. David’s next comment will be done one handed.

      • David Appell

        curryja wrote:
        The consensus approach used by the IPCC has received a number of criticisms.

        Of course.
        No system is perfect.
        Do you have a better system?
        Not just for the IPCC, but for the standards of academia in general?
        For the advancement of ideas?
        How can it be done better?
        Science is a rough and tumble business. Ideas get shot down all the time. Egos get squashed, people get wounded.

        But the field advances. Better ideas come to the fore. Plate techtonics, Dark energy. QCD. Einsteinian gravity.

        Phlogiston dies. The Bohr atom goes. The bootstrap model of elementary particle physics falls by the wayside, except for a few best-selling books by crooks.

        What is there to say?

        The best ideas win.
        If you want to win, present better ideas.
        It’s really that simple.

      • Yes I have a better solution, read my paper no consensus on consensus
        Excerpt:

        The linear model of climate science expertise conceals uncertainties, ambiguities, dissent and ignorance behind a scientific consensus. The authors have argued previously [17] [18] that the single most important actions that is needed with regards to climate science – particularly in context of the IPCC assessment reports – are explicit reflection on uncertainties, ambiguities and areas of ignorance (both known and unknown unknowns) and more openness for dissent in the IPCC processes. Greater openness about scientific uncertainties and ignorance, and more transparency about dissent and disagreement, would provide policymakers with a more complete picture of climate science and its limitations.

        Along these lines, some specific recommendations for the IPCC have been made. Oppenheimer et al. state [48]: “Increased transparency, including a thorough narrative report on the range of views expressed by panel members, emphasizing areas of disagreement that arose during the assessment, would provide a more robust evaluation of risk.” Van der Sluijs [40] suggests including a dissent chapter in the synthesis report of the IPCC, which contains a sketch of minority scientific views and points of ongoing scientific dispute. Socolow [55] recommends that the IPCC provide a perspective of earth systems science as an evolving human enterprise, explaining how recent research has altered perspectives. In the context of iterative risk management, policy makers need insight into the rate of learning, as well as what is known and unknown.

        Moving forward requires a reassessment of the ‘consensus to power’ approach for the science-policy interface that has evolved in the context of the IPCC and UNFCCC. Given the discomfort associated with scientific uncertainty and ignorance in the linear model of expertise, Socolow [55] makes the point that “It will take courage to disclose lack of consensus.” He further states that coexistence of contending views (‘low agreement’) is normal in science and not a cause for embarrassment, and that users of the IPCC reports need this information. Pielke [53] cites an example of decision making described by Gross [56]: “The limited knowledge and predictive capacities of science were not seen to be signs of poor science. Instead, the actors agreed on what was not known and took it into account for future planning.” Pielke argues that awareness of ignorance actually opens up possibilities for political compromise and policies that proceed incrementally based on the feedback of practical experience: agreement on facts as a prerequisite to action is not necessary, so long there is an agreement to learn based on experience.

        The challenge is to open up the decision making processes in a way that renders their primary nature more honestly political and economic, while giving proper weight to scientific reason and evidence [53]. Holt [44] argues that messes and wicked problems require organizations to abandon the desire to design a solitary strategy determined from within a specific ‘culture’. Holt views risk management for messes and wicked problems as the resolution between alternative solutions and the dissolution of confusions, more so than the pursuit of optimal solutions.

        There are frameworks for decision making under deep uncertainty and ignorance that accept uncertainty and dissent as key elements of the decision making process [57] [58] [40]. Rather than choosing an optimal policy based on a scientific consensus, decision makers can design robust and flexible policy strategies that account for uncertainty, ignorance and dissent. Robust strategies formally consider uncertainty, whereby decision makers seek to reduce the range of possible scenarios over which the strategy performs poorly. Flexible strategies are adaptive, and can be quickly adjusted to advancing scientific insights.

      • David Appell

        judithca wrote:
        Yes I have a better solution, read my paper no consensus on consensus.

        OK, I will read it.
        But, you know as well as I do, that science is a bald, brutal arena of ideas.
        Superior ideas prevail. Inferior ideas do not.
        That isn’t meant as anything personal, by any means. It just is.
        Can you name one superior idea that did not prevail? One inferior idea that is still believed?
        There aren’t any.
        One way or another, with fights and trouble and difficulty, the best ideas prevail.
        Those ideas that best account for the observational data win the day. Always. Always.
        Scientists aren’t crooks. They aren’t idiots. In fact, they are some of the most skeptical, most critical people anywhere.
        They are why science has the strength it does.
        The better ideas always come out on top.

      • ‘best account for the observational data’. You are getting warmer, David.
        ====================

      • Data is good. Here is data that states as far as Texan droughts go the 1950s are not the benchmark to exceed.

        http://journals.tdl.org/twj/index.php/twj/article/view/2049/5840

      • David Springer

        http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/article/Texas-headed-for-another-record-drought-4253916.php

        The state climatologist confirms the 1950’s Texas drought is still the worst, Appel. You’re such a hack. Even hack might be a compliment in your case.

        Your protest over the anectdotal is commendable but ultimately hypocritical given how much you get your panties in a bunch over isolated incidents like Sandy. Anecdotes that support your stupid narrative are okay but ones the don’t are not. Big fat hypocrite.

      • David Springer

        Large water users downstream from me on the Colorado River (Texas, there’s two of them) are farmers. Farmers that have farming for generations. Like, you know, relevant to the OP. You wouldn’t know relevant from a hole in the ground Appell which is one reason you can’t write worth a schit.

      • David Springer

        steven | July 18, 2013 at 6:35 am |

        Data is good. Here is data that states as far as Texan droughts go the 1950s are not the benchmark to exceed.

        http://journals.tdl.org/twj/index.php/twj/article/view/2049/5840

        Good link, Steven. As the article states the 1950’s drought is the one state planners plan around so it’s more or less common knowledge. The lake whose shore I live on was impounded in the 1930’s. The water level as we speak is the lowest since I think sometime in the early 1960’s. Curry’s conjecture about “generational memory” struck a chord with me because as the lake recedes on my property artifacts from the past that have been underwater for decades are seeing the light of day for the first time in a very long time. The valley here, usually inundated since the dam was completed in the 1930’s, used to be a farm that had been here since before the civil war. So there’s all kind of interesting features showing up. Tree stumps in neat lines that must have been orchards or windbreaks, stone outlines for things I’ve yet to identify, ceramic potshards, bottles dating back a century or more… these things have not been exposed to the light of day for 50 years and unless we get some torrential rain real soon now I can expect even more neat stuff showing up as the summer & fall grinds on.

      • David, somewhere in there they rank the droughts with the 1950s being third after the early 1700s and the mid 1800s. The author, Cleaveland, has been arguing that preparing for the 1950s drough is underpreparing although I can’t say for sure that argument is in this particular paper.

      • David Springer

        Yes I saw that in the article re; 1950’s decadal drought not the worst known. It’s the worst one in the modern record where we have lots of diagnostics like annual rainfall in inches all over the state, widespread knowledge of underground aquifer levels, cubic feet per second flow rates in major streams and rivers, and things of that nature.

      • I think that the type of drought we have to worry about is discussed here.

        http://www.pnas.org/content/107/50/21283.full

      • Bob, what in there is what we should worry about? All I see is yet more evidence the current drought is not unusual and some more scary stories based upon flawed climate models. What do you see?

      • Steve,
        What I see is that the governments of the region have based water use agreements based on the availability of water on a rather moist period, and long term they have promised more water than there is.

      • Bob; me, you, and Stevie Wonder can all see that.

      • Steven,

        I can’t get a handle on your position.
        You ask what I think are rhetorical questions.
        Dismiss “flawed climate models,” yet cite an article that relies heavily on dendrochronology.
        Imply the problems are so obvious that even Stevie Wonder could see it yet you go all Bobby McFerrin on me.
        All the while the Hadley cells continues to march northe and south.

      • Bob, the past tells us that water may be a problem. The article mentions a 3-5 C temperature increase as projected by climate models. It should be fairly obvious why my opinion is not self-contradictory.

      • I’ve lived in Texas most of my life, and drought is nothing new here. Much of the state is wedged in between the Gulf of Mexico and the great Chihuahuan Desert, and the weather here can be described as long periods of drought punctuated by floods. As I said, there’s nothing new about that.

        As for the reported 1.9F rise in temperatures, a look at the longer view (e.g., 1900-present) shows many excursions on either side of a 65 F baseline, but no real trend in the data. BTW, thank you, David, for the link…it’s quite useful.

        I’d also point out that where there are signs of Texas warming over the last 30 years (e.g., the South Central Texas region), much of it is likely due to UHI effects from population growth. In both San Antonio and Austin, for example, the temperature readings are taken at places that were near the edge of town 30 years ago, but which are now surrounded by miles of development and urban sprawl. At my family’s place in the Hill Country, within 50 miles of both Austin and San Antonio, there has been no discernible temperature trend in the 30 years I’ve tracked the weather there.

        I think it’s overly simplistic and misleading (not to mention, factually unsupportable) to claim that CO2 increases have caused temperature increases and worsened droughts in Texas.

      • David Appell

        Scientists aren’t crooks. They aren’t idiots. In fact, they are some of the most skeptical, most critical people anywhere.
        They are why science has the strength it does.
        The better ideas always come out on top.

        EVENTUALLY.

        Piltdown Man and phlogiston eventually met their demise.

        Is that what is happening today to the CAGW premise, as outlined by IPCC in AR4?

        Time will tell.

        Max

      • curryja wrote:
        The consensus approach used by the IPCC has received a number of criticisms.

        Of course.
        No system is perfect.
        Do you have a better system?

        When you have a system that always makes forecasts that are always wrong, the better question is could there possibly be a worse system.

        NO SYSTEM WOULD BE A BETTER SYSTEM. I vote for that.

    • David Appell

      I’m sorry, but I don’t waste much time trying to understand unsourced, uncited graphs from a site with the [dumb] name of “photobucket.”

      Please present proper citations if you want them to be taken seriously.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Silly question…

        ‘CH, with this stuff you would be at a loss to explain anything that happened in paleoclimate. You will notice that they are talking about decadal natural variations, but you want to extend it to longer term climate change in a non-sequitur of a jump that they never made themselves.’

        You bring up the LIA and talk about solar forcing. I suggest that we don’t know what the radiative flux were in the LIA – we don’t know what the planetary reflectance was. You suggest that I wanted to dissociate the LIA from solar forcing. I quote Enric Palle on the changes in solar irradiance not being sufficient to cause such change and that there needs to be a feedback mechanism involving albedo.

        Your illogic is astonishing.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      I read the first assessment report when I was a little environmental scientist back in the early 90’s. I find the AR4 useful as a primer in things I little understand – but usually go to the primary literature as well. It is less useful in that regard as more actual science emerges.

      I suppose you are talking to me David. The photobucket contain graphs extracted from papers. I commonly include the subject, the authors, the date and sometimes the figure No’s. At any rate you will find that the following link has the source. Always reputable sources or peer reviewed science. I do nothing by halves.

      You are full of complaints and arm waving – intellectually superficial, loud and obnoxious. Is that about right?

      • David Appell

        The photobucket contain graphs extracted from papers. I commonly include the subject, the authors, the date and sometimes the figure

        Not in what you showed me.
        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-Fig1.png.html?sort=3&o=51

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Well – in that case there was a quote – a link to the paper and then the graph. The Loeb et al graph seems pretty well described, colour coded and labeled at any rate.

      • David Appell

        Sure, because Loeb has only written one paper in his life, right?

        If you can’t take the time to cite work properly, so it can be read and digested and put in context, don’t waste our time.

      • The Chief’s lightning wastes less time arriving than David Appell’s thunder.
        ==================

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’

        http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

        Seriously – it is Figure 1 of the paper linked to and quoted. The only paper mentioned in that comment. If you are going to be a fraud – there is no more obvious way to go about it.

      • David Appell

        If you are going to be a fraud – there is no more obvious way to go about it.

        I’m hardly a fraud, and if your that PO’ed about having to provide a proper citation to someone’s work then the hell with you. I’m not going to waste my time dealing with truculent, disrespectful people.

      • Appell of his eye,
        Truculent, disrespectful;
        What’s a teach to think?
        ==================

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Oh for God’s sake – you could just apologise for being a dick. But no – you have to carry on with a charade. You have no answers to the science merely distractions and obfuscation. You insult and denigrate and then take umbrage when I expose your transparent pretense. It is quite the song and dance – but ultimately is in such bad faith and is profoundly anti-intellectual and anti-science.

      • David Appell

        What ground-breaking science have you presented? An unsourced graph with no context.

        I’m just not used to dealing with such superficial claims/complaihts.

        If you’re trying to make a point, you’re doing a really lousy job of it.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        https://judithcurry.com/2013/07/17/why-farmers-dont-believe-in-anthropogenic-global-warming/#comment-345996

        https://judithcurry.com/2013/07/17/why-farmers-dont-believe-in-anthropogenic-global-warming/#comment-346044

        ‘What ground-breaking science have you presented? An unsourced graph with no context.’

        ‘Chief Hydrologist | July 17, 2013 at 9:28 pm |

        So much arm waving – such little light. The question I asked is how much of the recent US warming was natural and how much will be reversed in the current global cool mode.

        It is a question that is not answered by science.

        ‘The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’ http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Loeb2011-Fig1.png.html?sort=3&o=51

        The balance is unknown but natural – indeed abrupt and nonlinear -variability is obvious everywhere in climate.’

        The paper was quoted, linked to and the Fig. 1 provided in photobucket. The continued whining about an unsourced graph lacking context is simply dishonest.

        It is evident that the paper was quoted in the context of natural variation – indeed abrupt variations with the Wally Broecker quote. Starting with decadal variability in temperature and of course rainfall. This literature is extensive but if you don’t know of it – I suppose it could be the fault of AR4 if that is all you read. They missed it entirely.

        Here’s a primer from NASA.

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        But please enough of your dishonesty, distraction and obfuscation.

      • CH, you seem to be saying that the forcing changes can’t be doing anything to climate because of the presence of natural variability in the TOA balance, while the sentence you quoted states quite clearly that forcing changes impact the global climate, which is of course the basis of AGW.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        WTF? Why the hell would you say such a stupid and crazy thing? What of Earth could you possibly be thinking to imagine that I would not understand the very simple central idea of climate change and simply unthinkingly quote it. You seem to have totally lost the plot I am afraid.

      • CH, then I am lost as to the point of your showing plots of natural short-term TOA variations when the climate problem is one of long-term forcing trends that you wouldn’t expect to see this way.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Large natural variability is the point over several decades and outweighing by a great deal the mooted changes in forcing. There are 2 implications – most of recent warming was quite natural it seems and therefore why would we assume CO2 is suddenly going to be important in the future?

        There is decadal variability and there is abrupt change.

        ‘The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… Over the last several hundred thousand years, climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation. We place strong emphasis on using isotopes as a means to understand physical mixing and chemical cycling in the ocean, and the climate history as recorded in marine sediments.’

        http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/2246

        Try to understand what that means and not merely regurgitate endlessly your simplistic memes in some tendentious fantasy world you live in. You are not a scientist – you are a space cadet. Get used to it.

      • CH, let’s use the example of the LIA that even skeptics attribute to a solar variation that would have had a magnitude of 0.5 W/m2. Now let’s say CO2 has already had an effect of nearly 2 W/m2 with at least 4 more due in this century. Where do you see the problem with the LIA explanation being used also for CO2?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        We have no idea at all what the TOA radiant imbalance was in the LIA. It comes under the heading of specious argumentation.

        The ENSO proxies suggest that it could have been quite different.

      • CH, so you want to say that the LIA and Maunder Minimum were coincidental rather than possibly have a connection through solar forcing. The LIA goes into your “don’t know” list. How about the connection between the sunspot cycle and surface temperature? Also a coincidence, or is a pattern emerging yet? You seem to have an inbuilt resistance to certain lines of argument. If you throw out one forcing, you have to throw out the others, so at least this disbelief in the solar/LIA connection is consistent.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Changes in the Earth’s radiation budget are driven by changes in the balance between the thermal emission from the top of the atmosphere and the net sunlight absorbed. The shortwave radiation entering the climate system depends on the Sun’s irradiance and the Earth’s reflectance. Often, studies replace the net sunlight by proxy measures of solar irradiance, which is an oversimplification used in efforts to probe the Sun’s role in past climate change. With new helioseismic data and new measures of the Earth’s reflectance, we can usefully separate and constrain the relative roles of the net sunlight’s two components, while probing the degree of their linkage. First, this is possible because helioseismic data provide the most precise measure ever of the solar cycle, which ultimately yields more profound physical limits on past irradiance variations. Since irradiance variations are apparently minimal, changes in the Earth’s climate that seem to be associated with changes in the level of solar activity—the Maunder Minimum and the Little Ice age for example—would then seem to be due to terrestrial responses to more subtle changes in the Sun’s spectrum of radiative output. This leads naturally to a linkage with terrestrial reflectance, the second component of the net sunlight, as the carrier of the terrestrial amplification of the Sun’s varying output. Much progress has also been made in determining this difficult to measure, and not-so-well-known quantity. We review our understanding of these two closely linked, fundamental drivers of climate.’

        http://bbso.njit.edu/Research/EarthShine/literature/Goode_Palle_2007_JASTP.pdf

        But I guess you wont understand that either. Specious arguments are you.

      • CH, if you read their first sentence, they believe in forcing as a cause for climate change too, but I guess you missed that part. The fact that solar irradiance isn’t the only thing correlated with sunspots has some other adherents too, and in fact irradiance alone can’t account for the size of the surface temperature changes seen in sunspot cycles unless there is a very high transient sensitivity near 1 C per W/m2 which even sounds high to me.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        First of all you accuse me of not understanding the first sentence I quoted from Loeb et al. Now you accuse me of not understanding the same sentiment from Palle et al. Seriously.

        You give me spiel about solar forcing in the LIA – I quote a study that suggests that there is a solar amplification mechanism in Earth reflectance that explains the otherwise inexplicable response to minor changes in irradiance.

        You then change your story to solar irradiance not being the whole story. You are incapable of a rational discussion – you leap from one assumption to another all along a predetermined path. Let me spell it out for you. There is absolutely no correspondence between changes in solar forcing – which includes UV – and changes in greenhouse gases. They work in vastly different ways.

        You are a waste of my time.

      • “Changes in the Earth’s radiation budget are driven by changes in the balance between the thermal emission from the top of the atmosphere and the net sunlight absorbed.”
        This is your quote. I agree with it. You seem to agree with it, but not with the way CO2 can reduce thermal emission from the top of the atmosphere by 3.7 W/m2 per doubling. I also agreed with the item that solar irradiance may not be the whole story with the LIA and said why I think that from independent evidence. This independent evidence may have been uncomfortable for you to accept as you have complained now that I am changing the subject rather than addressing it yourself.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’ http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

        Now understand the rest.

      • CH, I ask again whether you think just doubling CO2 can affect the emitted radiation, and, if so, by how much. You are claiming that natural variability can force this more strongly than CO2, and by inference, solar changes, which is where we started. We have now gone full circle.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        There are two basic approaches to apprehend the complexity of climate change: deterministically nonlinear and stochastically linear, i.e. the Lorenz
        and the Hasselmann approach. The grand unification of these two approaches relies on the theory of random dynamical systems. We apply this theory to study the random attractors of nonlinear, stochastically perturbed climate models. Doing so allows one to examine the interaction of internal climate variability with the forcing, whether natural or anthropogenic, and to take into account the climate system’s non-equilibrium behavior in determining climate sensitivity. This non-equilibrium behavior is due to a combination of nonlinear and random effects. We give here a unified treatment of such effects from the point of view of the theory of dynamical systems and of their bifurcations. Energy balance models are used to illustrate multiple equilibria, while multi-decadal oscillations in the thermohaline circulation illustrate the transition from steady states to periodic behavior. Random effects are introduced in the setting of random dynamical systems, which permit a unified treatment of both nonlinearity and stochasticity. The combined treatment of
        nonlinear and random effects is applied to a stochastically perturbed version of the classical Lorenz convection model. Climate sensitivity is then defined mathematically as the derivative of an appropriate functional
        or other function of the systems state with respect to the bifurcation parameter.’ http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/tcd/PREPRINTS/Math_clim-Taipei-M_Ghil_vf.pdf

        I addressed one aspect of solar amplification. The forcings and feedbacks are not the same. But what really is annoying is the pig headed one dimensional appreciation of sensitivity. Simple ideas for a simple man – aye Jim?

      • CH, with this stuff you would be at a loss to explain anything that happened in paleoclimate. You will notice that they are talking about decadal natural variations, but you want to extend it to longer term climate change in a non-sequitur of a jump that they never made themselves.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You seem to think that I should answer some silly that we have been over. Ultimately – the atmosphere is warmer and incoming energy is reradiated.

        The natural changes in TOA flux in the satellite era are equivalent to the entire CO2 calculated nominal forcing. The effects of CO2 in recent decades is trivial. The recent warming is overwhelmingly natural.

        The natural variability is at least an order of magnitude greater than increase in forcing form added CO2 over these periods. Ocean heat content follows TOA net flux which is dominated by natural variation.

        This is just what the data says. CO2 forcing is trivial. Although trivial forcings in a coupled nonlinear system are potentially significant.

        The world is in a cool mode and the surface is unlikely to warm for a decade to 3 more. The argument is that there is natural variation and some effects from added CO2. Natural variation is winning hands down.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Silly question…

        ‘CH, with this stuff you would be at a loss to explain anything that happened in paleoclimate. You will notice that they are talking about decadal natural variations, but you want to extend it to longer term climate change in a non-sequitur of a jump that they never made themselves.’

        You bring up the LIA and talk about solar forcing. I suggest that we don’t know what the radiative flux were in the LIA – we don’t know what the planetary reflectance was. You suggest that I wanted to dissociate the LIA from solar forcing. I quote Enric Palle on the changes in solar irradiance not being sufficient to cause such change and that there needs to be a feedback mechanism involving albedo.

        Your illogic is astonishing.

      • CH, I disagree that the 2 W/m2 CO2 forcing so far is trivial and that the 4-6 W/m2 due is also trivial because it is persistent and growing. It is equivalent to a solar irradiance change of up to two percent – not trivial. Let’s leave it at that.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It is a 1% to 2% change in albedo. Albedo can change from 0.25 to 0.5.
        CO2 is and always has been TRIVIAL.

        http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/tropicalcloud.png.html?sort=3&o=57

        It becomes significant only in the context of sensitivity to initial conditions in the coupled nonlinear climate system. Luckily there are many ways to address emissions – we just need to get past stupid little space cadets.

  20. Now you should take this same sample group and using just the ‘best, most consistent’ producers, ask them what they think about the AGW science and see what answer you would get. I have a guess about the answer.

  21. I grew up in the wheat belt of Western Australia and now live in the opposite side of the continent. But I suspect that the farmers there would have a similar reaction to climate change. The year to year variations they have to cope with are greater than the projected changes of AGW.

  22. David Appell

    Perhaps there is an element of tribalism involved. Farmers tend to be conservatives, especially the big ones. And conservatives tend to be, uh, climate contrarians, thoughtfully or not.

    • Conservatives who own guns. Don’t forget that part David. Biello certainly didn’t.

      He did miss the part about believing in God. You know, the whole clingyness thing.

      • David Appell

        Guns have nothing to do with this. Put down your testosterone .

      • I was mistaken to attribute the comment to Biello. It was by someone else, referring to how farmers, as conservatives, also tend to own guns. I’ll have to track down the comment.

        As to your testosterone comment – I’ll note that D.A. also stands for dumb ass. Being such a sciency guy David, how about referring us to all of the research showing that people who own firearms have higher levels of testosterone than the rest of the population?

      • David Appell

        My testosterone comment was about you, not them.

      • Are you trying to tell me, David Appell, that God needs a testosterone injection?
        ============

      • Does not refute you being a dumb ass.

    • David

      Some folks call that “common sense”.

      Max

      • David Appell

        I doubt it. Who has “common sense” about the greenhouse effect, let alone its enhancement?

      • The effect of the greenhouse is to enhance my life, your life and the life of all the sentient beings on Earth. Also all the living non-sentient ones.
        ==============================

    • Since you want to talk about tribalism, perhaps you should check out this book.

      http://www.amazon.com/The-Strongest-Tribe-Politics-Endgame/dp/0812978668

      It deals with a part of the world where real tribalism exists. Not the sort someone sitting in their favorite coffee shop with their laptop thinks of as tribal.

    • David Springer

      David Appell | July 17, 2013 at 7:08 pm | Reply

      “Farmers tend to be conservatives”

      Farms are businesses. People who own businesses tend to be conservatives.

      Did that really escape you or do you just not want to admit it?

      • David Appell

        They get huge subsidies from the government. If you want to call that a “business,” go right ahead.

      • Heh, if you want to call that a ‘sneer’ go ahead.
        ======================

      • Speaking of conservative business owners:

        A recent poll of small business owners across the United States produced a surprising result: a majority oppose public subsidies for oil, coal, and gas companies; support renewable energy; are concerned about carbon dioxide impacts; and support disclosure of chemicals used in “fracking” for natural gas. The results are in a new report called Small Business Owners’ Views on Energy & Environmental Policy Reform by the American Sustainable Business Council.

        http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/surprising-beliefs-from-conservative-business-owners-213318641.html

        Being “conservative” may mean many things.

      • David Springer

        If you want to call farms non-businesses I guess that’s about par for the course for an ignoramus like you.

        Farms get subsidies because food is considered a critical commodity where supply and demand needs to be somehow regulated to ensure stable price and availability from year to year. Too subtle for you, dummy?

    • Farmers and serfs, folk with skin in the game,
      keep a whether eye on the weather.
      Bts

  23. Diamonds are found, in a diamond field. Not a baseball field, AGW folks.

  24. Of course, we get the little subliminal ads for AGW, mixed in with praise for no-till and so on. What about no-till and no-grow of subsidised corn? What about fallowing prime land that is being flogged to grow petroleum substitutes…and just drilling for the real thing? 97% of me likes the idea.

    Well, at least we are spared “Why farmers should love a carbon tax”. Where’s Ed when you need him?

    • moso, Ed’s off dolan’ out unwanted pro-tax advice somewhere, no doubt.

    • David Springer

      mosomoso | July 17, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Reply

      “Well, at least we are spared “Why farmers should love a carbon tax”. Where’s Ed when you need him?”

      If he reads your comment we’re in for it. Maybe we can petition Curry to eschew more Ed Dolan.

  25. If one believes there is a “greenhouse” effect, it can only be better for farmers and also mankind. Farmers already know plants grow better in greenhouses, and greenhouses are often more than 2 degC hotter than outside. If the earth is a warmer greenhouse, farming productivity will only be higher. Really, this is just what a growing world needs when there is talk about the limits of agricultural production to support the earth’s population.

    • David Appell

      This is a naive POV. Higher CO2 also means higher temperatures, with disruptions to the hydrological cycle. At the level of an individual region, it is simply not obvious how it all plays out.

      • David Appell | July 17, 2013 at 7:56 pm | Wrote
        “Higher CO2 also means higher temperatures…”

        Unless someone can prove that feedback is positive and not zero or negative, this is a statement of belief not fact. That is, after all, what all the fuss is about.

      • David Appell

        There is not an iota of doubt that higher CO2 means higher temperatures. So what is your point?

      • One iota-all other things being equal. That’s a Hell of a large iota your toting around in your underclothes there, David.
        ================

      • Chief Hydrologist

        He is just pleased to see you Kim.

      • David Appell July 17, 2013 at 8:50 pm “There is not an iota of doubt that higher CO2 means higher temperatures.”

        Science isn’t about doubt, it is about proof. If you can prove that “higher CO2 means higher temperatures” in the earths atmosphere (not in a laboratory on on paper) you will make headline news.

      • David Appell

        Science isn’t about doubt, it is about proof. If you can prove that “higher CO2 means higher temperatures” in the earths atmosphere (not in a laboratory on on paper) you will make headline news.

        Dumb. Just dumb.
        I take it you don’t read a lot of textbooks on climate science?

      • David Appell | July 17, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
        “Dumb. Just dumb.”

        Although you may be right, the fact is that the only proof you have is “Dumb. Just Dumb.” Thank you for making my point. You have an educated belief and that is all.

      • David Appell

        Although you may be right, the fact is that the only proof you have is “Dumb. Just Dumb.”

        Even dumber.
        Next?

      • David Springer

        David Appell | July 17, 2013 at 8:50 pm |

        “There is not an iota of doubt that higher CO2 means higher temperatures.”

        Yes. That’s called dogma, dummy. There’s plenty of doubt if you’re not riding on the bandwagon. In actuality there’s not an iota of evidence that higher CO2 means higher temperatures. Nothing but correlation. And even the correlation has been missing in action for the past 17 years which is why you and your ilk are becoming even more desperately shrill. Warming from CO2 is an expected result not a measured one. It’s fair to say it’s widely expected but when, where, and of what magnitude is highly controversial.

      • Water vapor, by far the most abundant green house gas, is at best inadequately treated in the GCMs and virtually not discussed by readers to this blog. In her Congressional testimony our hostess emphasized that “natural climate variability”, also almost never discussed by readers to this blog, is poorly understood. We know that water vapor and natural variability among other effects are at best (from lack of knowledge) ignored or inadequately treated in the GCMs. We may discover that “higher CO2 means higher temperatures” is wrong or that it is right but a minor contributor. There is no other field of science where sweeping claims such as “there is not an iota of doubt” would be tolerated in the absence of no supporting empirical data.
        Name calling (e.g. dumb) is not a substitute for proof and only serves to give science a bad reputation.

  26. David Springer

    Maybe farmers think the weather forecasters know what they’re talking about.

    Teh commonality between farmers and weather forecasters is they both suffer for being wrong i.e. they’re accountable.

    What happens to climate scientists when they’re wrong? Seems to me nothing happens because they’re only accountable to their own peers and given they have a consensus they’re all wrong so they all forgive each other and jointly write more grant proposals and co-author pal-review more papers where it still doesn’t matter if they’re right or wrong.

    Maybe that’s overly cynical and maybe it isn’t cynical enough.

    • David Appell

      Yes, it’s overly cynical, and not at all in tune with the way that science actually works.

      Want to know what happens to climate scientists when they’re wrong? Ask Bob Carter, or Murry Salby, or Nicholas Drapela.

      • Steven tells us it won’t be measured accurately anyway, so why bother.

      • A soupcon of nastiness in the tempest of rage. Giddy-yap Go!
        ===============

      • David Springer

        Those guys broke with the consensus. That doesn’t mean they’re wrong. Non sequitur. It does however mean they no longer enjoy the protection of their tribe. Which was my point (if you had a nominal amount of reading comprehension you’d know that) – nothing happens if a climate scientist is wrong so long as the mistake is part of the bandwagon narrative you so stupidly adore.

  27. sandy mcclintock

    I heard an Australian farm manager talk about weather. He had found over 100 notebooks, one per year, containing temperature and rainfall records for the property he managed. At the end of each year was a one sentence summary of the year. He said the most common summary was “This has been a most unusual year.”

  28. David Springer

    @Joshua

    Instead of making a cowardly little snit about the data why not learn how to google? It isn’t difficult. At google.com I typed

    iowa state university farmers poll climate change

    I typed that because the OP states Iowa State University polled thousands of farmers about climate change.

    http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&aq=&oq=iowa+state+university+poll+farmers+climate+change&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4LENN_enUS461US461&q=iowa+state+university+poll+farmers+climate+change&gs_l=hp….0.0.0.8550………..0.orR-fdyfM_c

    I know you’re just a physical education teacher Joshua, and they aren’t exactly known for being the sharpest tools in the shed, but fercrisakes surely you can string a few relevant words together into a google query.

  29. Farmers, meteorologists, and engineers, deal with the real world.

    Scientists, academics, politicians, and people on the dole, deal with the world as it exists in their minds.

    One group thinks reality is what they experience. The other thinks it is what comes out of their models.

    One group depends on an accurate description of reality to preserve their lifestyle. For the other, their lifestyle depends only on government, and being right or wrong is irrelevant.

    It is not at all difficult to understand why one group is skeptical of risking their livelihoods in the real world, based on the dreams of the world as it is claimed to exist in the minds of the other.

    • David Appell

      Scientists, academics, politicians, and people on the dole, deal with the world as it exists in their minds.

      And those minds are responsible for nearly everything good and useful in your life.

      Products based on quantum mechanics constitute about 20-25% of US GDP. If not for the minds that developed it, sitting in their offices staring at blackboards, scribbling equations, we would be a much poorer country and world today.

      • Let ’em eat GCMs.
        ===========

      • Absolutely nothing in my life do I owe to Michael Mann, James Hansen, Rajendra Pachauri, or you.

        You delusional twit.

      • David Appell

        Absolutely nothing in my life do I owe to Michael Mann, James Hansen, Rajendra Pachauri, or you.

        Not today — applications lag basic science by decades.

        But you do owe the people who developed quantum mechanics, the transistor, the CCD, lasers, and more.

        And someday, those alive now will owe those who have proven and stressed climate change via the enhanced greenhouse effect.

      • “And someday, those alive now will owe those who have proven and stressed climate change via the enhanced greenhouse effect.”

        How will anybody owe anything to the well paid Chicken Littles who have been feeding at the public trough of the government funded climate alarmism industry?

        Get back to me about how you are the savior of the universe when you at least have a clue about clouds. Or water vapor. What the hell the actual temperature is today, let alone 100 years ago, or 100 years from now.

        Never have so many, who knew so little, about something so complex, collected so much in other people’s money to support their delusional messianic complexes.

      • Dude, you are going to give pomposity a bad name.

      • David Appell

        How will anybody owe anything to the well paid Chicken Littles who have been feeding at the public trough of the government funded climate alarmism industry?

        Call all the names you want, but you are losing the debate.
        Deal with it.
        Perhaps in some manner that retains a little self-respect.
        Or present better ideas and superior science.
        So far you have not.

      • If skeptics were losing the debate, we wouldn’t have so much wailing and gnashing of teeth by you alarmists.

        You progressives control virtually every western government. You dominate what is laughingly called the news media. The culture puts out climate porn lie Day After Tomorrow and An Inconvenient Truth. You have gate keepers at virtually every climate related journal. And the academy is by far the most progressive area of society, trudging in intellectual lock step down the CAGW path to “salvation.”

        Yet the only way you can impose your agenda is by executive fiat in the U.S. Or regulatory fiat. Or on occasion judicial fiat.

        Why? Because with all your organizational dominance, you still can’t convince the voters to let you take over the energy economy. If this is what you call winning the debate, I would hate to see what losing looks like.

      • > If skeptics were losing the debate, we wouldn’t have so much wailing and gnashing of teeth by you alarmists.

        Holy Bandwagon, Batman!

        If anti-evo were losing the debate, we wouldn’t have so much wailing and gnashing of teeth by you, atheists.

        If anti-vaxxers were losing the debate, we wouldn’t have so much wailing and gnashing of teeth by you, vaxxers.

        If AIDS deniers were losing the debate, we wouldn’t have so much wailing and gnashing of teeth by you, AIDS alarmists.

      • Eli said that all the really good ideas have already left college with, know where to go for big intellectual money but down the rabbit hole.

      • David Appell

        You progressives control virtually every western government. You dominate what is laughingly called the news media. The culture puts out climate porn lie Day After Tomorrow and An Inconvenient Truth. You have gate keepers at virtually every climate related journal.

        Boo who who. Whine, whine. Complain, bitch and bitch and bitch. Poor you, life is so tough and unkind.

        You want to know how to get your ideas accepted? Prove them!
        In a more convincing manner than your opponents.

        The superior idea wins. Always.
        Whining, not so much.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Note, David Appell’s idea that a “superior idea” will always win does not prevent him from believing completely untrue things without the slightest shred of evidence, even in the face of overwhelming evidence.

        In the real world, superior ideas often lose. It often happens with no fault from the idea’s originator. People like David Appell are a large part of why.

      • Regarding benefits from GCM’s, there are documented benefits from the space programs, from DARPA programs, etc. etc.

        Name one side benefit that has derived from GCM’s.

      • David Appell

        Name one side benefit that has derived from GCM’s.

        You mean besides tellng the world BAU has us down for a big load of warming and climate change?

      • Those broken computers have employed an army busily breaking the windows of the Enlightenment.
        ======================

      • David Appell promises climate change, and I’ll hold him to his promise, because I’m confident he’s right. He promises global warming, but I’ll not hold him to it because he’s confident he’s right.
        ==============================

      • David Appell

        Whatever that means. Fact is, no one here would have, in 1970, have ever accepted 0.6 C of warming by now. It would have been laughed away from all consideration. I’ve long ago realized that deniers like you won’t accept any evidence, that you will always find a way to squirm out of it.

      • Right, David Appel, who probably assumes that recent rise is from CO2.

        Name the harms of the temperature rise from the depths of the Little Ice Age. Name the harms of a future such rise. Try to be convincing that we can actually generate more temperature rise than 2 deg C from AnthroGHGs. Pick a number for sensitivity that scares you and calculate how much colder we would now be without AnthroGHGs.

        Denier, heh. If you only knew.
        ==========

      • David Appell

        Right, David Appel, who probably assumes that recent rise is from CO2.

        There are no assumptions — this is what science has proven.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        David Appell, I provided you full correspondence between two people, conclusively showing one person never did what the other claimed was done. You responded by suggesting the correspondence wasn’t “full,” but instead there may have been some secret correspondence which justified the claim. You provided no explanation as to how that additional correspondence could have happened given the correspondence provided to you, offered no explanation as to why the blatant lie of hiding correspondence would never have been disputed, and you promptly refused to continue the discussion any further. You now say:

        I’ve long ago realized that deniers like you won’t accept any evidence, that you will always find a way to squirm out of it.

        Think about that for a while.

      • You forgot to capitalize ‘Science’, David Appell, or surround it with hosannahs. You’re gonna regret the unwitting error.
        =========================

      • David Appell

        David Appell, I provided you full correspondence between two people, conclusively showing one person never did what the other claimed was done.

        What?? Who are you, and what are you talking about??
        No riddles please.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        David Appell:

        What?? Who are you, and what are you talking about??
        No riddles please.

        I provided a link to our previous exchange. If you can’t figure out what I’m talking about despite me pointing you directly to it, I don’t think I can help you. If you need help finding the link, it was in this comment.

        I’m not sure why you would though. That comment immediately followed one of yours, and you responded to the comment immediately after it.

      • Steven Mosher

        But wait, quantum mechanics is clearly traceable to Faraday’s work on cathode rays, which relied on Otto von Guerikke’s work, which relied on the work of Torricelli and his invention of the barometer… hmm basically to settle philosophical question about the existence of a void, so philosophy gets credit for that 25%.

      • David

        thanks for confirming the lack of discernable benefits from GCMs.

    • > Farmers, meteorologists, and engineers, deal with the real world.

      What about lawyers, GaryM?

      • Why they resolve conflict economically and safely, dontcha know?
        =============

      • Lawyers as a class are as reflexively progressive as any other group, particularly the ones who run associations, like the ABA.

        But there are some of us who still like to think for ourselves.

      • This might depend upon what is meant by “economically”:

        The costs of liability systems can vary significantly from country to country with potential consequences for international competitiveness and productivity. Simply put, litigation costs affect the ability of companies to compete and prosper. But higher direct costs of doing business are just the tip of the iceberg: litigation also imposes indirect costs. These indirect costs stem from the uncertainty created by litigation, which may deter investment in high-cost jurisdictions. They also may affect companies’ borrowing costs and hence their ability to invest, grow, and create jobs. Concerns surrounding litigation can also occupy management time, which may distort or hinder effective business decision making.

        http://www.instituteforlegalreform.com/doc/international-comparisons-of-litigation-costs-europe-the-united-states-and-canada

        And that’s notwithstanding what is meant by “safely”, which some may wish to wait a few weeks before promoting.

      • > But there are some of us who still like to think for ourselves.

        Indeed, there may be as many independent lawyers as they are true Scotsmen.

      • I can only be sure of one.

      • GaryM,

        But there are some of us who still like to think for ourselves.

        Please keep doing so!

      • Of course, and I’m a ninja.

        But I think you were talking about “dealing with the real world”, GaryM.

      • David Appell

        Farmers, meteorologists, and engineers, deal with the real world. What about lawyers, GaryM?

        Yes, because we all get huge government subsidies every time our harvest says ‘boo.’

      • Have you ever seen the effects of a famine?

    • > One group thinks reality is what they experience. The other thinks it is what comes out of their models.

      Holy dichotomies, Batman!

      Please tell me more about model-less meteorology.

      • Willard,

        Nice straw man. I never said meteorologists don’t use models. I only said they realize the difference between models and reality.

        Most would never use the term “ground truth” to describe model generated “data.”

      • > I never said meteorologists don’t use models

        This is true, as GaryM only said:

        Farmers, meteorologists, and engineers, deal with the real world.

        Scientists, academics, politicians, and people on the dole, deal with the world as it exists in their minds.

        One group thinks reality is what they experience. The other thinks it is what comes out of their models.

        https://judithcurry.com/2013/07/17/why-farmers-dont-believe-in-anthropogenic-global-warming/#comment-346049

        But of course, meteorologists do use models. Only they have a grasp on reality that escapes the academic elite who have drunk the leftist kool-aid.

        Do you really win cases with such cheap tricks, GaryM?

      • Willard,

        No, I win most of my cases because most of my opponents are as dense as you.

        See, you think there is a dichotomy between using a model, and not mistaking that model for reality. So please, apply for a law license and come into my jurisdiction.

      • This dichotomy is in your story, GaryM.

        You did put a dichotomy in your wedge between your good guys and your bad guys. On the side of your good guys, you had the very original idea to put models. But now you’re being reminded that meteorologists do use models.

        You used a cheap rhetorical trick. Please own it. I won’t ask twice.

      • Grrr. Copy-paste ate my sentences:

        > On the side of your good guys, you had the very original idea to put reality-based experience. On the side of your bad guys, you had the subtle idea to put models.

      • Look genius, read the two sentences you quoted, and put in bold. Read it as it is actually written, not what you wish it said.

        “One group thinks reality is what they experience. The other thinks it is what comes out of their models.”

        Here’s a clue. In the second sentence, “it” refers to reality. So a sentient adult would read the sentence as follows: “The other thinks [reality] is what comes out of their models.” It does NOT read, the other side uses models.

        Sometimes you progressive drones are just being obtuse, pretending to be dumb. But in this case, I figure you are being so consistently dense, and so proud if it, that you probably aren’t faking.

      • Thanks for playing, GaryM.

        See you tomorrow.

      • Hello GaryM,

        Your Gish gallops might work in front of a jury, but now we have all the leisure to watch the play-by-play. Not only I will to read back the two sentences you quoted, but I will show how your polemical rant works.

        Here it is:

        Farmers, meteorologists, and engineers, deal with the real world.

        Scientists, academics, politicians, and people on the dole, deal with the world as it exists in their minds.

        One group thinks reality is what they experience. The other thinks it is what comes out of their models.

        One group depends on an accurate description of reality to preserve their lifestyle. For the other, their lifestyle depends only on government, and being right or wrong is irrelevant.

        It is not at all difficult to understand why one group is skeptical of risking their livelihoods in the real world, based on the dreams of the world as it is claimed to exist in the minds of the other.

        First, note that this comment contains not one single argument. It asserts descriptive terms. There are two groups good guys and bad guys. The good guys share characteristics that you associate with a position regarding AGW which, by pure coincidence, you endorse.

        If I ever had to provide the perfect example of a pile of self-serving bile, that would be it.

        ***

        Second, note the attributes of the good guys. They deal with the real world, conceive reality as what they experience, and depend on an accurate description of reality. The other deal with the world as it exists in their mind, which comes out of their models, and depend upon the government, which means being right or wrong is irrelevant.

        If I ever had to provide the perfect example of a populist framing, that would be it.

        ***

        In case you are wondering how populism works, here’s a quasi-description of your rhetorical gambits hereunder, GaryM:

        In his description of the “populist argumentative frame,” Michael Lee provides us with four attributes of populist reasoning: Populist rhetoric (1) invokes a virtuous people “portrayed as heroic defenders” of time-honored values (358); (2) identifies this rhetorically constituted people against a rhetorically constituted enemy “hoarding power” (359); (3) further compounds the enemy rhetoric by claiming to work against a “system” (like government or the economy) once virtuous but now “sullied” (360); and (4) expresses an “apocalyptic confrontation” or a “mythic battle” set in a political order on the verge of collapse (362). Running through these four strategies is a “narrative of victimization and redemption” that inverts the biblical soteriology by turning the congregation itself into the undeserving scapegoat (363).

        http://www.presenttensejournal.org/vol1/ayn-rand-conservative-populists-and-the-creed-of-self-immolation/

        You act as if you were the first one to come up with that kind of rhetoric, GaryM. Your cheap gambits do have a long tradition. They do have their polemical efficacy, but they come at the expense of using reason to convince people.

        One does not simply pretend formulating a rational position by hammering a populist framing.

        ***

        As soon as you would introduce the idea that “yeah, but meteorologists, farmers, and engineers do use models”, your audience can see how your special pleading works. The models you inject into the academic elite is also an essential element of meteorologist’s thermometers, farmer’s almanachs or even engineer’s tables. Omitting this fact, and hinting at the possibility that being model-oriented makes you lose grasp on reality, appeals to the anti-model sentiments of your audience.

        It is cheap, gratuitious, and wrong.

        Lots of meteorologists and engineers are employed by the government, BTW. Most farmers receive subsidies or insurances, financial aids which are model-based. Your idea that scientists are not result-oriented simply because they’re academic is a ludicrous caricature that only serves to fuel the culture war you wish to promote at Judy’s and elsewhere.

        ***

        You might wish to stop this fear-mongering melodrama while chanting the glory of all those who are reality-based, GaryM.

    • Farmers, meteorologists, and engineers, deal with the real world.

      Scientists, academics, politicians, and people on the dole, deal with the world as it exists in their minds.

      I think that is a version of reality which exists in your mind and has little do do with the real world.

  30. Farmers, as a rule a very educated. We use many facets of science on a daily basis, from chemicals to fertilizers etc. We also use research results daily, monthly, annually. We understand variables, the LSD, etc..etc.

    Climate science projections do not pass what we call the “smell test”. So many results are not based on reality, the results ignore LSD’s, etc.

    One learns to recognize a “snake oil” salesman pretty quickly, or else you are broke. Current climate science is falling into the “snake oil” salesman arena.

  31. “And those minds are responsible for nearly everything good and useful in your life.”

    Hmm, where do engineers, farmers, fisherman, manufacturing folk appear on the scale of those responsible for our well being? I detect a particular world view at work.

    • David Appell

      They appear beneath the ones with the big ideas.

      • John Carpenter

        What came first? The use of electricity in telegraphs for communication or the theory of how electrons pass so easily in conductors but not insulators? The use of radio transmission for communication or the theory of how electromagnetic radiation works? The light bulb or the discovery of quantization of light? The flying buttress or lines of thrust? The steam engine or thermodynamics?

        You have it mostly backwards David. More often than not we make big technological advancements through engineering, then later we learn why or how it works (the science part) which makes further technilogical advancments possible. So you can dismount yourself from the pedestal you appear to have placed yourself on.

      • They have smaller heads than the ones with the big heads.
        ==================

      • John Carpenter,

        There is no question that science has had an often positive effect on humanity. What is ridiculous is David Appell trying to get some sort of reflected superiority by taking credit for the contributions of real, consequential scientists.

        Notice who it is that feels the need to denigrate farmers, fishermen and factory workers as “beneath” the so called scientists of the CAGW political movement.

        These clowns wouldn’t know humility if it came up and bit them in the ass.

      • > What came first? The use of radio transmission for communication or the theory of how electromagnetic radiation works?

        In that case, neither were first:

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p00kjqcv

        But your point is still well-received. You might like this:

        http://www.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/philosophy/philosophy-science/representing-and-intervening-introductory-topics-philosophy-natural-science

        Science is more guess-work than we might presume, something we tend to forget when comes the time for Popperians to bash Mike.

      • You had the car, then you needed a radio.

      • David Appell:

        …but well above those whose big ideas prove empty.

      • David Appell

        What is ridiculous is David Appell trying to get some sort of reflected superiority by taking credit for the contributions of real, consequential scientists.

        For Gods’ sake, stop your petty, childish whining.
        It’s too bad — for you, not me — that your ideas have not carried the day.
        But they have not.
        Whining and whinging about it won’t help.
        In fact, it just makes you look like a whiner.
        And a whinger.
        Be a man. Present better science, or else.

      • David Appell

        I will wager you can’t do the same on a single issue of any importance. You have been trained not to think critically about your own positions.

        Lying about your opponents won’t win you the debate. Nor will bluster. Superior ideas will.

        If you have them, present them. You are about the biggest whiner I’ve come across on the Intertubes.

      • This is our courageous, superior scientists’ response to my offer here.

        https://judithcurry.com/2013/07/17/why-farmers-dont-believe-in-anthropogenic-global-warming/#comment-346203

        Chicken.

      • If you change your mind, you can do some homework over night, learn something about opposing thoughts, and try again tomorrow. I will be happy to oblige.

        It would be worth the effort, and so much fun, just to watch one of you progressive drones try to get your brain around an opposing thought.

      • John Carpenter

        Thanks Willard, the links look interesting, I also needed a new book to read!

      • > Chicken.

        Holy ad superbiam, Batman!

        ***

        Consider starting with episode 1, John:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhgo9fAlAQQ

  32. > What could conceivably be their source of ‘motivated reasoning’ for denying AGW?

    I have no idea:

    Cars and coal may get most of the attention, but one of the biggest contributors to climate change is the food industry. Globally, agriculture accounts for at least 25 percent of humanity’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. But some think that this situation could be radically changed—instead of just cutting agriculture’s carbon footprint, maybe we can use agriculture to reverse climate change.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/07/16/can_an_agriculture_revolution_fight_climate_change_a_future_tense_event.html

    Who could be blamed for causing a problem that doesn’t exist?

    What problem anyway? CO2 is plant food, you know.

  33. Why do US farmers tend to be skeptical about the human influence on global warming? As mentioned above, they are conservative, but furthermore, in the US conservatives also have their own TV and talk radio media that drum into them the unbalanced skeptical view all the time. To me, it is no surprise that they don’t disagree with their media sources which filter and spin the science for them. The insulated right-wing news media and their monopoly in certain communities is fairly unique to the US, I suspect. Some call it “the bubble”.

    • Where are these communities in the US that have no access to television (NBCABCCBSMSNBCCNN), no access to radio (NPRABCCBS), no access to the internet (alloftheaboveandHuffintonPostSlateSalon), and no newspaper delivery (NYTimesWashPostLATimesChicagoTribune).

      I sometimes think that is you progressives couldn’t project your neuroses on conservatives, you would have nothing to talk about.

      • You think farmers prefer to watch CNN or ABC to Fox? No, Fox speaks to Republicans. They are Republicans. They watch Fox and listen to Limbaugh, read the WSJ, probably almost exclusively. Their climate views come with that package.

      • “The insulated right-wing news media and their monopoly in certain communities….”

        Oh, I forgot, you are a progressive. “Monopoly” means whatever you want it to mean at the time of writing. My bad.

        Don’t let the fact that conservatives listen to, read and watch progressive media and culture all the time. And that it is you who ostracize anyone who voices a dissenting opinion. What matters is that you read it on the Huffington Post, so it must be true.

      • David Appell

        Like I said: tribalism.

      • David Appell

        Don’t let the fact that conservatives listen to, read and watch progressive media and culture all the time.

        Really? Please prove that assertion.

      • Here’s how I will prove it. I can state, fairly and accurately, the progressive position on virtually any political or economic issue. I will wager you can’t do the same on a single issue of any importance. You have been trained not to think critically about your own positions. You have been taught to ignore the arguments of those who do not follow the dogma you have been fed since per-school. In fact, you take pride in your ignorance of anything that conflicts with your stunted view of history, economics and culture.

        What I nknow of the consensus view, I learned at Real Climate, or (shudder) SkepticalScience, or reading the various papers cited here or on other climate blogs, or asking consensus supporters. What6 you know about skeptics you almost certainly learned as ThinkProgress, RC, SS, the Huffington Post or some other safely progressive outlet.

        So prove me wrong. Pick an issue. This is a climate blog, so pick a commonly debated issue. Temp records, paleo, models, climate sensitivity, you name it. Then you state, fairly and objectively, the skeptical perspective. I will do the same for the consensus. And you should have a distinct advantage. As a “scientist,” you should be aware of all arguments and counter arguments on the climate issues of the day.

        But I wager you will not be able to. You can’t get your mind around contrary opinion. The way you write is typical default progressive caricaturization of opposing views, ala SkepticalScience.

        So pick a topic. We can even post at the same time. Three minutes after you pick the topic. Hey, you’re a progressive, you can always cheat and take a quick trip to WUWT before you choose. Or you could really show your breadth of knowledge – no googling, no cutting and pasting. Just show what you already know of opposing points of view.

      • Tick…tick…tick…

      • She cut off their tails with a carving knife.
        So tuck in your tale
        And help with that bale,
        Before messing with harvest and that farmer’s wife.
        ===============

      • Tell us again Steven how you measure assumptions…

        “There are no assumptions — this is what science has proven.”

        because David. said science has proof to show us.

      • Steven Mosher

        Tell us again Steven how you measure assumptions…

        “There are no assumptions — this is what science has proven.”

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

        I thought that was funny as well.

        In general you dont measure assumptions, you enumerate them. So, for example, if you tell me that measurements have no assumptions, I point out that all measurement assumes the standards of measurement dont change. Now thats a pretty solid assumption, and we cant get too far without making it, so we make it.

        That said, the universe might not make sense

        https://www.simonsfoundation.org/quanta/20130524-is-nature-unnatural/

      • GaryM will prove that Conservatives listen to, read and watch progressive media and culture all the time by stating, fairly (!!) and accurately, the progressive position on virtually any political or economic issue.

        Holy induction step, Batman!

    • Jim D:

      Have you ever stepped outside your own bubble of presumptions and actually spoken to a modern U.S. farmer?

      • More to the point. Have you ever spoken to a climate scientist? I don’t really care to hear whether farmers believe in AGW, only why they don’t if they don’t. Just the science, that’s what I want to know about. Where do they get their “science” from, other farmers or the conservative media?

      • Jim D:

        Yes, indeed, as a geophysicist who has worked for decades in the marine environment, I have spoken as matter of course and often to a panoply of generalists who call themselves “climate scientists.” And what I discovered is that they have little comprehension not only of what is happening in situ, but that the crux of bona fide science lies there, rather than in their heads or computer models. Your proclaimed interest in “just the science” seems likewise lacking. Modern farmers, to whom I’ve also spoken, strike me as better empiricists, who get their science from careful observation. They’re certainly less presumptuos in every respect.

      • John S, within the climate science community there is no controversy about how much effect gases like CO2 have on the climate both in the past and future. It explains what is known about paleoclimate and is textbook stuff. It is only on blogs like this or “news” channels like Fox that these scientists are vilified for their textbook beliefs, and no one has even produced an anti-AGW theory which makes it even more remarkable that they are attacked.

      • Jim D:

        The very fact that you think that “within the climate science community there is no controversy about how much effect” CO2 has on past and future climate speaks volumes. Outside of a cabal of modellers and eco- activists, in situ “climate sensitivity” is very much controversial among those qualified to form a judgement. Your view seems that of student, informed only by currently required academic reading, rather than by data.

      • Those highly educated farmers back their acute daily observations with modern agricultural science and economics, which are a great deal better grounded than climate science and economics. Jeez, if I look there’s a pun in there somewhere hiding.
        ========

    • GaryM, I do watch Fox News for entertainment when CNN gets stuck on a story (like now with 24-hr Trayvon Martin). Fox do a good job of inventing a scandal of the month that then quietly goes away when the facts come out. In the meantime, they have worked their hosts and guests into a frenzy with conspiracy theories about this government, so mission accomplished. It’s not really news, but a series of what-ifs and fear-mongering. Fun stuff. From what I hear, Limbaugh is even more entertaining in that way.

      • “From what I hear…,” The mantra of the church of progressivism.

      • Do not send to know for what the commons ring, it bores at the core.
        ===================================

      • I’ve heard Limbaugh excerpts. Priceless.

      • ‘commons sing’ is better.
        ===========

      • Ahhh, there’s the open progressive mind we all know and love. I hear selected, edited excerpts presented by people with an agenda of keeping me from listening to alternative arguments. Therefore I don’t need to actually listen to alternative arguments. Thank you for confirming what I wrote.

        I swear, you can’t make this stuff up.

      • Like I said, I have watched whole stretches of Fox where they expound on their issues of the day for entertainment purposes. Point is farmers drink it all up with no counterview. They think the mainstream media are lefty when actually they have as many right as left leaning views presented. People used to Fox probably get a shock when they see NBC News or CNN Newsroom presenting things as they are without spin. It is like news without a safety net. The extremist politicians get the tough questions there instead of being molly-coddled.

      • The unconsciousness of it all is what amuse me. David Appell hasn’t the least conception of how hilarious he has been this evening. I’m tellin’ ya, he made my day.
        ==================

      • David Appell has displayed the raw shock at seeing some of the comments here since he has not been here long enough, like me, to have seen it all before. We see this with occasional knowledgeable scientists and Ph. D. students who wander over here too. They are completely taken aback by the uninformed comments, like these people here don’t even accept the obvious things that the outside world has for a century and is even in textbooks. I can understand how they feel. I am used to it.

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Jim D, I have to say you’re sounding crazy to me. Putting aside the fact David Appell is in no way new to this site, or that his “shock” would more fairly be directed at his own comments… NBC and CNN “are without spin”?!

        Seriously? No matter how bad anyone may believe Fox News is, there’s no way to say NBC and CNN lack spin. I’d wager they are every bit as biased as Fox News, maybe even moreso.

      • David Appell

        At least they aren’t Orwellian, i.e “fair and balanced.”

      • Brandon, I just don’t agree. Look at NBC’s Meet The Press. They had just as much issue with the DOJ going after the press as Republicans did. They echo the popular opinion on gun control.

      • David Springer

        Jim D | July 17, 2013 at 11:54 pm |

        “David Appell has displayed the raw shock at seeing some of the comments here since he has not been here long enough, like me, to have seen it all before.”

        If you weren’t so new here you’d know Appell is no stranger here. He’s a binge commenter. Can’t be moderate. Either stays away or buries the joint in 2nd rate hack drivel.

  34. According to USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), national net farm income—a key indicator of U.S. farm well-being—is forecast at $114 billion in 2012, down 3.3% from last year’s record, but still the second-highest total on record.

    In addition to near-record farm income, farm wealth is also at record levels. Farm asset values— which reflect farm investors’ and lenders’ expectations about long-term profitability of farmsector investments—are expected to rise nearly 7% in 2012 to a record $2,540 billion for a fourth consecutive year of gains. Farm land cash markets have continued to see gains related to strong crop prices in 2012. Since 2008, farm asset values are up 26% while farm debt has risen by only 10%. As a result, the farm debt-to-asset ratio has declined steadily since 2008 and is expected to fall to 10.5%, its second-lowest level since 1960. The 2012 outlook for a second year of strong farm income occurs in spite of slow growth in the domestic economy and the most severe and extensive drought in at least 25 years. The ongoing drought is expected to destroy or damage a significant portion of the U.S. corn and soybean crops, with deleterious impacts on all U.S. livestock sectors—cattle, hogs, poultry, and dairy—and with the potential to affect food prices at the retail level. Yet, drought-induced large increases in the value of this year’s crops, plus substantial crop insurance indemnity payments, are expected to more than offset rising production expenditures for both crop and livestock activities and generate record farm income.

    Government farm payments, at about $11 billion, are expected to remain relatively small in 2012 (second-lowest total since 1997) as high commodity prices shut off payments under the pricecontingent marketing loan and counter-cyclical payment programs.

    These data suggest a strong financial position in 2012 for the agricultural sector as a whole relative to the rest of the U.S. economy, but with substantial regional variation.

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R40152.pdf

    The magic of empirical realism.

  35. My grandparents were all farmers, and as far back from them as the family history goes, farmers all the way. My parents were the first generation that moved off the farm before they had their own farmland.

    I’ve worked for one of the big five agribusinesses, and know one thing about farmers from family and friends and work: farmers are all born suckers.

    A farmer has to be a creature of faith and belief, striving against every shred and every mountain of evidence, fact, knowledge, science, reason or patent truth. A farmer has to be. There is no one who would plow ground and plant seed and trust the seasons to deliver a bounty sufficient to feed their family and give them income and make their livelihoods secure, if they honestly assessed the evidence like a reasonable person, if they faced facts truthfully.

    Farming is just that hard on the mind, day in, day out. Only a true believer farms. Only a sucker.

    And yet farmers are the salt of our earth, the backbone of our nations, the foundation of our civilization. We obtain most of our nutrition from farmers, as modern people. The inexplicable optimism, the folly of trusting seeds and soil, the drive that lets farmers carry on in this impossible way of life, it’s what feeds the world.

    Everyone knows a travelling salesman joke involving a farmer. Farmers are the target of salespeople for a reason: farmers buy. Desperate enough, on the edge of ruin, a farmer will invest in whatever they can believe in to accommodate them to the drudgery, the uncertainty, they face seasonally.

    Farmers have little use for a science that proves climate change presented as danger and harm and increasing costs spiralling out of control, therefore, where it opposes everything farmers need to sustain their way of life. A farmer whose been persuaded climate change is alarmism and tax, shortage of gas for their tractor and natural gas for their greenhouse and lower prices for their corn and higher costs for their fertilizer.. that farmer’s easy to persuade of these things, true or not, and once convinced, why should they believe in climate change? What good does it do to take away even more of their hope, with facts and evidence, knowledge and reason.

    The fact is, most of the things that address climate change, the pricing of the carbon cycle, the paying of dividends to citizens per capita, the value of sequestering carbon one gets by improving soil and producing crops.. those things favor farmers. Farmers outside America know this.

    Farmers in America have been sold a bill of goods by their politicians and fear-mongering red-baiters. That is why there is a divide between American farmers’ belief in the human cause of climate change, and the belief of farmers elsewhere.

    American farmers have been played for suckers.

    • David Appell

      And yet farmers are the salt of our earth, the backbone of our nations, the foundation of our civilization.

      Once, maybe. Now they are mostly big corporations getting huge government subsidies, with no special claim to intellectual fame.

      • When we were obligate locavores, we were almost always also obliged to be malnourished by Spring.
        ================

      • ‘obligate locovores.’ h/t kim.
        See me second e-dish-shu of Serf Under_ground
        on Food and Famine.
        Bts
        http://beththeserf.wordpress.com/

      • Steven Mosher

        Err David. select any random american. select any random american farmer.

        who will be more educated?

        dont be stupid.

      • David Appell

        The stats show it won’t be the farmer.

      • Steven Mosher

        Farmers: 8% no high school
        General public 13%
        Farmers: 69% High school + some college
        General public : 57% ( HS, some college, AA degrees)
        farmers 22% 4 years +
        General public 30% 4years +

        http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0231.pdf

      • John Carpenter

        Dave, where did you get your stats on farmer education? Can you refute what Mosher sited? Otherwise, it looks like you make up convenient facts like so many stupid “skeptics” do. Maybe concede you were wrong on that one? I pursue this because when someone who talks like he is above everyone else, throwing rocks at glass houses on how you have to substantiate your claims with data, citations and arguments with superior ideas (incidentally, all values I embrace myself) and then fails to follow those same rules or does not acknowledge when he has been bested, it becomes an amplified feedback mechanism to the “skeptical” viewing public. A simple occurrence that on the surface doesn’t really seem to hurt the cause much can get blown into a larger communication problem which adds bad image energy to the climate science/skeptical public perception feedback loop that says climate scientists are all a bunch of lying, cheating, arrogant frauds. So here’s the rub and this is my opinion, you as a representative of the cause you endorse, but not generally endorsed by “skeptics”, have to rise above all that and present yourself, not as a higher than thou smarty scientist, but as a more humble human ready to accept the details are still fuzzy. That and you have to be 100% correct in what you write/say -or- concede when you are not. Just a suggestion after reading through this thread.

      • John Carpenter

        Another little follow on comment David, you have been presented with a demographic, farmers, that mostly don’t agree with the position you endorse. How do you get them under your tent? May I suggest that using arguments where you dismiss their ideas and perceptions as worthless because you perceive them as not too educated is not a winning approach. How can you, as a qualified educator, teach them in a way they will understand? This is your challenge, not throwing “skeptics” under the bus for tossing bad apples into the barrel, which is one of the current strategies used by your tribe. Whining about “skeptics” and big “fossil fuel corporations” mucking up the understanding of climate waters has been a failed strategy for your tribe since the battle started.

      • John –

        Leaving aside David’s argument (I agree with you about that, btw, and I have observed that he tends to make arguments akin to those made by “skeptics”)…

        farmers, that mostly don’t agree with the position you endorse. How do you get them under your tent?

        Why should anyone single out farmers as a group – independent of SES and other variables that might correlate even more strongly?

        Looking at the numbers it would seem that the views of farmers on climate change, like the views of many other sub-groups, could be predicted rather well by identifying their political orientation. If so, determining causality is difficult, but on what basis would you think that an approach for engaging with farmers would benefit from targeting that is related to their identity as farmers as opposed to strategies oriented towards their political orientation?

      • The whole “Why Farmers Don’t beleive in AGW” is just silly.

        Look at the numbers in the report that this nonsense is based on;

        Think that AGW is happening – 41%
        Thnks any changes are mostly natural,or there aren’t any – 28%

      • > I have observed that [David] tends to make arguments.

        I have not observed that.

      • willard –

        I have not observed that.

        Well, ok. Obviously, out determinations of what we observe are subjective.

        As an example, I will point to when David insisted that posting anonymously is an act of cowardice. I have seen Willis, Springer, and Watts make the same “skeptical” argument.

      • John Carpenter

        “on what basis would you think that an approach for engaging with farmers would benefit from targeting that is related to their identity as farmers as opposed to strategies oriented towards their political orientation?”

        Joshua, I pointed out the farmer demographic since that is what is presented here for discussion. Political orientation may be a broader more encompassing demographic inclusive of many walks of life, but since the topic was specific to farmers, I kept it specific to farmers.

        What I think is more important is how David interprets his intellectual standing in comparison to farmers and how he uses that as a hand wave excuse to label his perceived idea that less educated farmers are ignorant of the facts as he knows them. There may be truth to that, however, it is not the type of communication strategy that will win the minds of those folks (or bystanders watching). He also doesn’t appear to follow his own rules about providing evidence for some of his assertions. The overall emphasis should be less of “I am smarter than you, so listen to me” and more of finding ways to identify with the demographic, whichever one it is, by finding common ground and building off that. This is what I believe Judith is after. It is a strategy I would foster if I were in a position to make a difference. It means holding your tongue at times, listening and answering in a respectful manner. In other words, common sense manners (which incidentally farmers generally have.)

      • OK, John. I agree with your critique of David’s argument – but still I think that there is little evidence to suggest singling out farmers for consideration of what will or won’t promote effective engagement, or what does or doesn’t influence their views on climate change. My guess is that for the most part, the influences are no different for farmers than they are for nurses than they are for engineers than they are for undertakers. etc.

      • > I will point to when David insisted that posting anonymously is an act of cowardice.

        Exactly. This wasn’t an argument, but an empty claim.

        Besides,

        http://www.treelobsters.com/2013/07/494-ballpark-frank.html

      • > There is no substantiated difference between the beliefs of US farmers and those in other parts of the world when it comes to their “belief in the human cause of climate change”.

        Citation needed.

    • You sound like you are still on the farm, too bad Bart_R. You still can hope.

    • Bart R, as an ex farmer I believe that farming is a lifestyle choice for an individual rather than an economic one. Its the thrill of getting a good season and the creation of good produce from the soil against the odds that nature throws up, that drives the family farmer, not the prospect of getting rich.

    • “Suckers?”
      Farmers don’t need any defense, but here goes.
      The reason we have mandated corn to ethanol, is because farmers came up with an answer to, “what are we gonna do with all this corn?”
      Now for a farmer or skeptic joke

      What’s the difference between a farmer (skeptic) and a jet plane?

      Even a jet plane stops whining when it gets to Florida

    • Bart R

      There is no substantiated difference between the beliefs of US farmers and those in other parts of the world when it comes to their “belief in the human cause of climate change”.

      Farmers have been living with “climate change” and its impact on local weather for centuries, so they have a more common-sense approach to this than climatologists in their ivory towers.

      Max

    • David Springer

      Nah. Farmers are honest. Honest people tend to think other people are honest. People who live and work together in the heartland usually don’t go wrong trusting each other to not be evil. Urban and suburban types not so much.

  36. For those of you who have been thrashing about for a reason why American farmers look to adaptation to climate change rather than invoke a belief system of ill-willed Gods, look no further than the Morrill Act of 1862. The Morrill acts of 1862 and 1890 were enabling legislation for Land Grant universities. Rutgers was likely the first. Michigan Agricultural College (now Michigan State University in 1855) was part of a long line of Colleges and Universities including some historically black colleges and universities. Aside from the private Cornell and MIT, most others have gone on to become large public universities.

    The mission? teaching Practical Agriculture, science, military science and engineering.

    The Iowa State Legislature was an early adopters with the establishment of the State Agricultural College, now Iowa State University.

    So these educational institutions instructed in practical agriculture to future farmers of America, and then established the agricultural extension programs emanating from these agricultural colleges with state legislature funding..

    Hmmm, maybe a viewpoint of adaptation comes from an educational background with reinforcing from Ag Agents.

    Does this educational and outreach system exist in the rest of the world? The family farm in America is a function of a State Educational endeavor.

    Adaptation to weather and climate is what American Farmers do.

    • No, farmers are stoopid. Climate “scientists” who all believe exactly the same thing, and have since 1988, and those who slavishly follow them and regurgitate their holy writ on blogs, are SMART. They’ve been telling us so all night here tonight.

      I swear, you have to be really, really, REALLY vain to make Bart R look humble.

      • David Appell

        Climate “scientists” who all believe exactly the same thing, and have since 1988,

        Yes, climate scientists all believe in the acts.
        They all also believe in Newton’s universal law of gravitation, Maxwell’s equations, and the quantum theory of radiation. Lemmings!

      • Another word warped beyond understanding or feeling: ‘Smart’. It now means centrally planned, presumably by two-legged animals.
        ===================

      • It’s almost as if David hasn’t any idea of the degree to which the consensus has been compelled.

        Not Stockholm Syndrome. We’ll have to think of a new appellation for the true believers; this is not a unique phenomenon, but it is BIG.
        =================

      • David Appell

        It’s almost as if David hasn’t any idea of the degree to which the consensus has been compelled.

        Spoken just like someone who as lost the debate, but has no other tactic available to try and save a little face.

        In other words, not scientifically convincing at all.

      • Had it been convincing it would not have needed to be compelled.
        =============================

      • GaryM,

        No, farmers are stoopid. Climate “scientists” who all believe exactly the same thing, and have since 1988, and those who slavishly follow them and regurgitate their holy writ on blogs, are SMART. They’ve been telling us so all night here tonight.

        +1000

        It’s hard to how elites and IT geeks, like Mosher, can become so arrogant and remain so ignorant. What on Earth would they know about the real world?

      • Farmers will never learn. When sandstorms and mega-drought brought down the Old KIngdom of Egypt 4200 years ago, nobody could persuade the farmers on the hard science of climate change. Just as now, the temple priests and Pharoahs tried to get more offerings out of them…but those bean growers were too stoopid. Stoopid fellahs.

      • > No, farmers are stoopid.

        Holy ad misericordiam, Batman!

      • Steven Mosher

        It’s hard to how elites and IT geeks, like Mosher, can become so arrogant and remain so ignorant. What on Earth would they know about the real world?

        huh. moshpit doesnt do IT.

      • GaryM | July 17, 2013 at 11:33 pm |

        One might say that an incessant quest to humble others is vanity. Or possibly envy. One of those seven deadlies, anyway. Whatever it is, it’s not an attractive feature in you, GaryM.

        Maybe focus instead less on ad hom and invective, and more on the arguments and facts?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        This must be deliberate irony form Bart – whose comments are almost completely vitriol.

    • There is a very long history of agricultural extension programs in Australia, although they are mostly delivered by State ag.departments and national research organisations such as the CSIRO. CSIRO, despite its appalling record on climate science, still does good work in this area – including maintaining experimental farms, researching GMOs and providing a range of outreach services.

      In some States at least, there are specialist agricultural high schools where budding farmers can study stuff like animal husbandry and horticulture as well as the usual subjects – located outside cities so they get to do practical work.

      Farmers are far from stupid – to survive the vagaries of Australian weather and remain competitive (most of our produce is exported) they have to be very smart indeed. They are also probably the most weather-obsessed people on the planet, and do not take kindly to being fed a bunch of nonsense about CAGW-caused weather extremes when their own records are often longer and better than the BOM’s.

      • Is this from a survey or is it an opinion?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Mr Posselt, who is delivering a message about the impact of climate change to rural communities on his nine-month adventure, said yesterday the strong anti-climate change beliefs might in part explain the lethargy of conservative politicians to the issue.

        “About 98 per cent of adults I’ve met along the river say there’s no such thing,” Mr Posselt said.

        “They think it’s just a short-term cycle and everything will soon be back to the way it used to be.”

        http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/up-the-creek-over-climate/story-e6freoof-1111114287377

        Steve Posselt was suggesting that the drought was climate change.

        Naw mate – it’s just cycles.

        Posselt is as dumb as you are Max.

        The farmers are wrong. It is not cycles at all – it is rainfall regimes.

        http://www.lavoisier.com.au/articles/greenhouse-science/weather/Franks2007.pdf

        The difference is complexity theory – and don’t I feel dumb even saying that to you.

      • Johanna,

        Well said.

        + 1000

        It is amazing how ignorant are the people who spend their lives in cities, buildings and looking at a computer screen.

      • My cousins in WA, farming border land, a large property,
        successfully, He topped agricultural college, had a pilot’s
        licence, was expert with the heavy farm machinery on the
        farm, she was a scholarship winner to a well known high
        school, did the farm books and was prominent in local affairs. )
        They also raised three bright children.

      • Beth,

        East side or west side.

        Of the Cascades.

      • Prolly West Australia.
        ====

  37. Chief Hydrologist

    ‘Whether it is possible to actually travel through a wormhole without being crushed out of existence, Thorne reasoned, depends on the laws of quantum gravity, which are not fully understood at this point. What he and his colleagues ultimately discovered is that, as Kip told me, “all time machines are likely to self-destruct the moment they are activated.” Thorne’s colleague Stephen Hawking agreed, only half sardonically calling this conclusion the “chronology protection conjecture,” in which “the laws of physics do not allow time machines,” thus keeping “the world safe for historians.” Besides, Hawking wondered, if time travel were possible, where are all the time tourists from the future?’ http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-chronology-protection

    I am a bit late with this and a bit for early for the open thread – but we can all breath a little bit easier. Unless you’re sitting in the seat of a time travel machine. If so – get up carefully and s-l-o-w-l-y move away. Hell we all love science – but when Phillip J Fry became his own great, great, great, great, great grandfather it was a bit creepy.

    There are lots of climate scientists who are really great – lots and lots. Guys like David Appell are not climate scientists – dimwit space cadets in my opinion – but hey that’s just me. Is there a consensus? What exactly does it say?

    Tim Palmer and his Lorenzian Meteorological Office I like quite a lot.

    ‘Prediction of weather and climate are necessarily uncertain: our observations of weather and climate are uncertain, the models into which we assimilate this data and predict the future are uncertain, and external effects such as volcanoes and anthropogenic greenhouse emissions are also uncertain. Fundamentally, therefore, therefore we should think of weather and climate predictions in terms of equations whose basic prognostic variables are probability densities ρ(X,t) where X denotes some climatic variable and t denoted time. In this way, ρ(X,t)dV represents the probability that, at time t, the true value of X lies in some small volume dV of state space.’ (Predicting Weather and Climate – Palmer and Hagedorn eds – 2006)

    If this is the consensus – I’m down with it.

  38. One of the back-handed values in this thread is the quite wonderful running profile Appell provided of a psychotic. A lovely person …

    And no, I do NOT care what he himself makes of this comment

  39. Dr. Strangelove

    Why farmers don’t believe in man-made global warming? Because they don’t know any better than scientists; they know CO2 is good for plants; the know warm climate good for agriculture; they want to farm in Greenland; they don’t live in New York City that will be flooded; they want to use petroleum-based fertilizers; they don’t believe in organic farming; they know biofuels use more energy to produce; they don’t like Al Gore; they hate Greenpeace; they think biodiversity is overprotected; they don’t see the environmental catastrophe the doomsayers say is happening; I don’t know, your guess is as good as mine.

  40. All of the above.

  41. You forgot geologists. They also doubt AGW.
    So we have among skeptics: farmers, meterologists, engineers, physicists, practically everybody, except climate-scientists and UN busybodies and other tree huggers.

    • Of course, farmers are mere slaves to their fight-and-flight response. Wouldn’t know a complexity or a nuance if it jumped into their laps.

      Our Green Betters are far more considered, reducing climate to a kiddie console of forcings and mechanisms. Silly farmers were out doin’ chores when they could have been mastering “GHGs versus Aerosols: The Final Conflict – now with added natural forcings for realistic background effect!”

      • “reducing climate to a kiddie console of forcings and mechanisms”

        Worse. For public consumption, they reduced it to a squiggly line. No person who ever thought about being a scientist would buy that.

        Andrew

      • Rob Starkey

        Bob Droege- How well has the model upon which the paper you referenced been doing in reasonably accurately forecasting annual rainfall for the region in question??? If it has not done very well, (which is what I think you will find) why does the paper have meaning?

      • Rob Starkey,
        Looks reasonbly accurate to me, I am not expecting the year to year variability to be spot on, but the general long term trends appear to be correct.
        In respect to the water levels in Lake Powell and Lake Mead, does continued drought, or a progression to a more arid climate in this area pose a problem or not?

        Is this the model paper you are referring to?

      • David Springer

        Texas gets floods when the Pacific ocean surface is warm and drought when it’s cold. With global warming one might presume the Pacific ocean surface would be warmer. That’s the whole problem, Bob. You warm about climate change with knowledge of how it might change that’s as reliable as flipping a coin or worse.

      • The problem with you Dave, is that you don’t realize that global warming and PDO oscillations are two different things.

        The baseline for what we call droughts and floods is going to change as the southwestern region of north america becomes more arid as the Hadley cells move away from the equator.

      • The state of Texas Climatologist has said that the data shows that precipitation in Texas has increased as the temperatures have risen.

      • Rob Starkey

        Bob

        You believe that hadley cells will cause such a change but it is by no means a fact. Neither is the continuing drom in water levels in lakes in the west. How was the snow pack just a couple of years ago when water level dramatically rcovered. The is natual variability

      • You believe that natural variability is the cause but it is by no means a fact. Neither is the continuing drop in water levels in lakes in the west.

        http://lakepowell.water-data.com/

        http://www.knpr.org/son/archive/detail2.cfm?SegmentID=10158&ProgramID=2805

        Looks like the snow pack caused a recovery of the Lake Powell and Lake Mead water levels just like the Arctic sea ice recovered.

      • Bob,

        I was under the impression that lowering levels along the Colorado river system have a lot to do with usage. There is increasing demand for water, which has nothing to do with annual precipitation.

  42. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    This survey of farmers indicates the larger tendency of people to incorrectly believe that all similar effects must have the same cause. This tendency can help us in times when a quick “fight or flight” decision is needed (i.e. I hear growling, it must be a tiger), but it is not useful, and even harmful when dealing with complex situations that might require more logical and scientific analysis.

    Considering that as a group, farmers might tend to be on the conservative side of things, their beliefs about AGW are hardly surprising at all.

    • R. Gates, There beliefs may come from the fact that of all sectors of society they may have the greatest (regional) first hand data based upon observation. They remember, because all in all it weather/ climate conditions determined their livelihood.
      I am the product of pioneer settlers in Southern Minnesota. If conditions now were even close to what they were like in most of the 1930’s, certain green groups would be going ballistic. I have aerial pictures from the University of Minnesota showing conditions of our 10,000 plus lakes.
      When compared to DNR contour maps, lakes levels were down by more than 20 feet. Attempts were made to farm a majority of them, although other than pasture land, there was little success because lake bottoms were too alkaline. Some became overgrown with trees, which due to the dryness actually caught on fire.
      Records show that in 1936, much of the state was over 100 deg F. for all of July. During those years crops turned to dust. Any current drought doesn’t reach the level of being called mild by comparison.
      Being an educator, I have always thought that long term weather/ climate conditions was significantly under taught as a cause for human endeavors.

    • R. Gates

      I’d go a step further.

      Considering that as a group, farmers might tend to be on the conservative common sense side of things, their beliefs about AGW are hardly surprising at all.

      Max

      • > Considering that as a group, farmers might tend to be on the conservative common sense side of things, their beliefs about AGW are hardly surprising at all.

        Indeed. Most of them believe in AGW.

  43. It’s not just farmers.

    http://www.equipmentworld.com/opinion-why-i-write-about-global-warming-on-a-construction-equipment-site/

    Tom Jackson fundamentally believes that science and scientists are at war against him and his livelihood, if they are right. Ergo, he must believe they are wrong, must look for anything he can to arm himself against a stance that, were he to believe it right, he would himself join the war against everything his career to date has stood for.

    That is motivated reasoning. It is confirmation bias. It is perfectly understandable denialism: who wants to be the villain of their own narrative?

    However, it’s also wrong. Tom Jackson need not be at war with himself. He doesn’t need be alarmed, or spread alarm, about the death of diesel or a war on mining. “Point of fact is that if the global warming zealots have their way, about 90 percent of you are going to be out of a job.” While it’s a stark claim, it’s also backwards.

    We can’t know what solutions are going to be sought to all the problems in the world, but we can be pretty certain that none of them will involve the unmitigated loss of 90% of heavy equipment use.

    Sequestration by biochar?

    That’s heavy equipment.

    Geothermal?

    That’s heavy equipment.

    Biodiesel?

    I know it’s a scam, but that doesn’t mean it’s not going to be adopted widely.

    For every job lost in coal, there won’t be a job gained in solar or wind or tide?

    For every life not lost to black lung, there won’t be spin off jobs of that living healthy person continuing to be a productive member of society and a consumer?

    No. Tom Jackson’s job isn’t in danger. His entitlement to do his job by dumping his waste into the air — pollution or not, his CO2E is waste, he dumps it to get rid of it not to fertilize plants — without paying the rest of us for the trespass he makes in his lucrative work, that’s what is in question. Do we enforce our private property rights on air by the standard of Capitalism, do we seek privatization of the carbon cycle by fee and dividend directly to each of us, per capita, so we are compensated for the trespass on our rights by these free riders?

    It’s not a man valiantly waging a war against science we’re seeing here.

    It’s a thief trying not to get caught and being made to pay.

    • Bart_R, Why do small engine repair shop owners love our ethanol regulations and private pilots refuse to put the same fuel into their aircraft? What have these regulations cost us and what was the direct benefit to the end user again? Feel good about saving mother earth?

    • Steven Mosher

      Bart

      “Tom Jackson fundamentally believes that science and scientists are at war against him and his livelihood, if they are right. Ergo, he must believe they are wrong, must look for anything he can to arm himself against a stance that, were he to believe it right, he would himself join the war against everything his career to date has stood for.”

      no the logic goes like this.

      He sees that his livilihood is at stake because his experience with regulators and teaches him that when they come after your business you suffer. That fear makes him open to give more weight to some arguments than you would. Its the same way someone who thinks he is danger from climate change looks for economic arguments to protect himself.

      • Steven Mosher | July 18, 2013 at 2:33 pm |

        I could buy that logic, were I not possessed of the knowledge that businessmen lobby regulators, that David Wojicks exist to rewrite regulations to order for business interests right under the noses of regulators, that anyone who wants favors and gifts and subsidies at the taxpayers’ expense need only donate to political campaigns, and perhaps speak out and blog sympathetically to the cause of the tribe you hope will shower you with rewards for your fear-mongering on their behalf.

        Which hypothesis better explains Tom Jackson’s behavior?

        Which is more parsimonious, simple, and universal, yours or mine?

    • David Springer

      A lot of the cost of operating a farm is fuel cost. The price of fertilizer is mostly the cost of the fuel needed to mine, refine, package, and deliver. Steel farm implements are mostly the cost of the energy to mine, smelt, cast, and deliver.

      Just a guess but maybe farmers are more directly and knowingly effected by fuel price than your average urban pissant progressive.

      • David Springer | July 18, 2013 at 3:16 pm |

        Investment tip for you, David. Most fertilizer is made from fuel, not just with fuel. When there’s widespread global crop failure, it tends to trigger the “Triple-F” commodity price spike of fuel, fertilizer and food, generally in the two years subsequent.

        Might be a good time for you to look into rebalancing your portfolio.

  44. And oh look, our host has been cited again!

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/07/18/senate-gop-criticizes-past-global-warming-claims-ahead-of-hearing/

    A convenient summary of twist, spin and nuanced retelling of cherry-picked out-of-context quotes.. one wonders how farmers could possibly have not gotten the wrong idea?

    Did Al Gore really say back in 2008, “..entire north polar ice cap will be gone in 5 years?”

    It was much reported that he did make this statement.. On WUWT! However, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/12/14/gore-polar-ice-may-vanish_n_391632.html reports the target year to be 2014 not 2013, the topic to be projections by computer models, and the 2014 target date to be the earliest date in the projected range, not the expected date, with the significance of the 2014 date being that it was a dramatic revision of what had previously been a 2030 projection.

    As a reminder of where we stand today, “During the first two weeks of July, ice extent declined at a rate of 132,000 square kilometers (51,000 square miles) per day. This was 61% faster than the average rate of decline over the period 1981 to 2010 of 82,000 square kilometers (32,000 square miles) per day. ” — http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/ for 2013, on the present date the fourth lowest sea ice extent on record, and tied for third lowest sea ice volume. Does this make Al Gore sound wrong to you, or the people making up ludicrous lies about what Al Gore said? We’re right now at the point older projections were not expecting for another decade; in short, the projections cited by Al Gore are standing up and coming to fruition, despite the wildly inaccurate claims of the GOP.

    Which brings us to their David-Rose-like citations of Judith Curry.. and, well, of David Rose’s interpretation of pretty much every projection or prediction the report finds fault with. Was it produced for the GOP by the GWPF?

    We know for a mathematical fact that Judith’s reasoning about, “This shift and the subsequent slight cooling trend provide a rationale for inferring a slight cooling trend over the next decade or so, rather than a flat trend from the 15 year ‘pause’” is dead wrong.

    How do we know?

    We use Judith Curry’s own Italian Flag method:

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-co2/normalise/offset:0.27/detrend:0.27/plot/esrl-co2/normalise/offset:0.45/detrend:0.27/plot/hadcrut4gl/last:108/mean:29/mean:31/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1994/to:2003/mean:29/mean:31/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1984/to:1993/mean:29/mean:31/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1974/to:1983/mean:29/mean:31/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1964/to:1973/mean:29/mean:31/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1954/to:1963/mean:29/mean:31/plot/hadcrut4gl/mean:79/mean:83/from:1955

    Every decade warmer than the decade before for the last six decades, the current decade the warmest on record, the statistical significance of this shift validated to a confidence interval Popper himself commended as falsification of alternative hypotheses.

    In short, the GOP report is just plain lying to America.

    • The global sea ice anomaly is + 214000 sqkm. ie north + south.

      • maksimovich | July 18, 2013 at 10:37 am |

        Which is evidence of Global Warming, as the northern ice already close to melting point is bumped up to melt more rapidly, and the southern ice much colder than in the north is in the range where temperature change leads to the weakening of solid structures, pushing the conveyor of continental ice across the southern seas to the point it melts away.

        What you’re doing is not much different from failing to reverse the sign when multiplying by a negative number.

        It’s pointless to add the absolute value of two such dissimilar extents.

        It might be worthwhile adding the absolute mass or volume, if inference of future sea level matters to you.. do you live on the oceanfront?

    • > one wonders how farmers could possibly have not gotten the wrong idea?

      One also wonders in which states these farmers live and who is their state climatologist.

    • Bart, checked your data–at Wood for Trees–Graph of CO2 at M.L. and some comparisons.
      Much to comment on, but ‘Every decade warmer than the decade before for the last six decades–‘ Really?
      There is universal agreement that there was cooling from the 40’s to the 70’s. I began teaching in the late 60’s, I have over 50 articles from major magazines and science journals, all dated in the 70,s, warning of the coming ice age. They are written with absolute certainty and dozens of temperature graphs with extrapolations on them dipping into ice bergs.
      Of course temperature records have been homogenized and comparing GISS records made in the late 1990’s to more recent ones, the 30’s cooled and the more recent warmed. However, not by that much!
      Do you remember a speculation from Erlich that it is possible that a huge chunk of ice could fall off the Antarctic sea causing a tsunami of untold proportions?
      Of course I was a young and foolish teacher, believing that and what all those confined within the Ivory walls told me, now I actually check sources of information.

      • DarrylB | July 18, 2013 at 12:04 pm |

        Not my data. That’s data from multiple independent sources. You can rerun the effect with any of the long-enough datasets there.

        And yes. Every decade in the past six warmer than the previous decade. This is true when you compare climate timespans (32 years) ending a decade apart, a method that gives sufficient confidence for Popper.

        So whoever this universal agreement you’re preaching is among, the cooling from the 40’s to the 70’s — real cooling — that cooling is still part of a pattern where every decade for the past six has been warmer than the decade before, and to a statistically significant degree when the overall trend is considered. (Though of course the differences in some decades would be too small to consider significant in isolation from the overall trend.)

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1981.42/to:2013.42/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1971.42/to:2003.42/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1961.42/to:1993.42/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1951.42/to:1983.42/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1941.42/to:1973.42/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1931.42/to:1963.42/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1921.42/to:1953.42/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1911.42/to:1943.42/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1901.42/to:1933.42/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1891.42/to:1923.42/trend/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1881.42/to:1913.42/trend/plot/none

        Go ahead, compare the means of each of the linear trends in the plot. You’ll find few decades where the overall warming is reversed, the last one the seventh decade ago.

        In the 60’s, people believed a lot of things that we know are crap today. Free love couldn’t kill you. Tobacco was healthy. Do you have any idea how many articles extolling the benefits of nicotine there were back then? So your compilation of 50 nostalgic trinkets from an age of ignorance and dissipation impresses me not at all. What’s your point? That you were taken in by the media and a few poorly done journal articles then, so we should trust your judgement about the media and journal articles now?

        There’s no apparent evidence that this judgement has improved in five decades.

        So if you wish to reverse this impression you leave, perhaps you’d like to describe how exactly you check sources of information, because going by the results of your ‘analysis’ of WfT data, you don’t appear to know how. And if your answer is WUWT, then you deserve nothing but derisive laughter.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Recent work is identifying abrupt climate changes working through the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation, the Southern Annular Mode, the Artic Oscillation, the Indian Ocean Dipole and other measures of ocean and atmospheric states. These are measurements of sea surface temperature and atmospheric pressure over more than 100 years which show evidence for abrupt change to new climate conditions that persist for up to a few decades before shifting again. Global rainfall and flood records likewise show evidence for abrupt shifts and regimes that persist for decades. In Australia, less frequent flooding from early last century to the mid 1940’s, more frequent flooding to the late 1970’s and again a low rainfall regime to recent times.

        Anastasios Tsonis, of the Atmospheric Sciences Group at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, and colleagues used a mathematical network approach to analyse abrupt climate change on decadal timescales. Ocean and atmospheric indices – in this case the El Niño Southern Oscillation, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the North Atlantic Oscillation and the North Pacific Oscillation – can be thought of as chaotic oscillators that capture the major modes of climate variability. Tsonis and colleagues calculated the ‘distance’ between the indices. It was found that they would synchronise at certain times and then shift into a new state.

        It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. 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,’ Tsonis said.

        Four multi-decadal climate shifts were identified in the last century coinciding with changes in the surface temperature trajectory. Warming from 1909 to the mid 1940’s, cooling to the late 1970’s, warming to 1998 and declining since. The shifts are punctuated by extreme El Niño Southern Oscillation events. Fluctuations between La Niña and El Niño peak at these times and climate then settles into a damped oscillation. Until the next critical climate threshold – due perhaps in a decade or two if the recent past is any indication.

        Climate change in the 20th century can only be understood in the context of the periods between climate shifts. It is all pretty arbitrary otherwise – and Bart is the champion of arbitrary. Trendology at wood for dimwits is of no significance. Only testable hypotheses matter.

        This decade will be cooler than last.

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2001/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2001/trend

      • Chief Hydrologist
  45. The farmers were asked:
    “Please select the statement that best reflects your beliefs about climate change”
    and given the alternatives:
    – Climate change is occurring, and it is caused mostly by human activities
    – Climate change is occurring, and it is caused more or less equally by natural changes in the environment and human activities
    – Climate change is occurring, and it is caused mostly by natural changes in the environment
    – There is not sufficient evidence to know with certainty whether climate change is occurring or not
    – Climate change is not occurring

    Is it possible to read from the answers, what they think about the likely future, or can we only conclude something on how they interpret the expression “Climate change”? I think that we can see only an unspecified combination of these two factors.

    What is “Climate change”? How does it differ from (multidecadal) variability of climate? Dust bowl was not climate change, but it was a very important climatic phenomenon. Such phenomena have surely occurred many many times in the past and will occur also in the future, but “Climate change” should be defined as something more persistent.

    What is the relative importance of human activities in “Climate change” depends crucially on, how the above question is answered. It depends on the time scale being considered. If we look only in the past we get one answer, if we consider likely and possible futures over next 50 or 100 years, we should get very different answers.

    A few people think that AGW has already had very significant consequences but that’s certainly not the view expressed by IPCC. For most the real question concerns the future, not the past or present. This kind of survey is very misleading when it does not take this properly into account.

    Past and present are important only to the extent they can be used in projecting to the future.

    • Pekka

      You write:

      Past and present are important only to the extent they can be used in projecting to the future.

      I’d agree completely.

      And since (as you also write) there hasn’t been any significant past or present warming, which can be directly attributed to AGW, it appears unlikely that there will be potentially catastrophic future warming from AGW, as IPCC has outlined in some detail in its AR4 report.

      Max

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… Over the last several hundred thousand years, climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation. We place strong emphasis on using isotopes as a means to understand physical mixing and chemical cycling in the ocean, and the climate history as recorded in marine sediments.’ http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/2246

      My new favourite quote from Wally Broecker. We are having such perfect weather here. 17 to 23 degrees C – bright days with the diamond clarity of skies found in Queensland in mid winter – rain showers in the early hours of the morning. Just bragging.

      The Dustbowl emerged from a particular climatic pattern. Rather than a random event there are physical causes result in decadal – and shorter and longer periods – of variability. Hurrell et al (2009) – http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/2009BAMS2752.1 – suggest that is a continuum of changes blurring any distinction between weather and climate. Rainfall, drought and surface temperature have decadal regimes.

      ‘Recent research suggests that the AMO is related to the past occurrence of major droughts in the Midwest and the Southwest. When the AMO is in its warm phase, these droughts tend to be more frequent and/or severe (prolonged?). Vice-versa for negative AMO. Two of the most severe droughts of the 20th century occurred during the positive AMO between 1925 and 1965: The Dustbowl of the 1930s and the 1950s drought. Florida and the Pacific Northwest tend to be the opposite – warm AMO, more rainfall.’ http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/phod/amo_faq.php

      ‘More than half (52%) of the space and time variance in multidecadal drought frequency over the conterminous United States is attributable to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). An additional 22% of the variance in drought frequency is related to a complex spatial pattern of positive and negative trends in drought occurrence possibly related to increasing Northern Hemisphere temperatures or some other unidirectional climate trend. Recent droughts with broad impacts over the conterminous U.S. (1996, 1999-2002) were associated with North Atlantic warming (positive AMO) and northeastern and tropical Pacific cooling (negative PDO). Much of the long-term predictability of drought frequency may reside in the multidecadal behavior of the North Atlantic Ocean. Should the current positive AMO (warm North Atlantic) conditions persist into the upcoming decade, we suggest two possible drought scenarios that resemble the continental-scale patterns of the 1930s (positive PDO) and 1950s (negative PDO) drought. —McCabe (2004)’ http://oceanworld.tamu.edu/resources/oceanography-book/oceananddrought.html

      The AMO is persisting in its positive phase and the Pacific Decadal Variation is intensifying in the cool mode. Current conditions leading to super warm water in the north of both the Pacific and Atlantic suggest warm summers, cold winters and drought over much of the continental US for a decade or so. We have just short of La Nina conditions in the central Pacific.

      Predicting much beyond that is utter nonsense. The variability of the Pacific mode over many millennia exceeds by a lot anything we have seen over the past 100 years. Even without CO2 we can count on many more extremes. We can count on abrupt shifts between climate states.

  46. Focus groups.

  47. Willard, by observation I mean that they lived in and their whole being depended upon the elements (weather) When Hail takes ones entire income for one year it is remembered and usually recorded in some fashion.
    Many I know kept a daily, or weekly, or monthly record.
    Quite often some of today’s farmers are farming the same land that their grandfathers and great grandfathers farmed. Records may be anecdotal, but there are recordings which may be photographs, personal rain gauges,
    local newspaper stories and many more items.
    Just how US temperatures of the first decade of the 21st century surpassed
    temps of the 1930’s decade is amazing and too long to discuss in this comment. However, I am quite sure certain facts may come to light now that Mr. Hansen is not in the position of doing things and making preposterous
    statements—as in New York City should be partially flooded by now.

    • DarrylB,

      Thank you for your concerns, and for your side-swipe against Hansen.

      The framing is quite interesting. Do you live in a city, by any chance? A friend of mine did his thesis on the perception of rurality by city dwellers. There’s also a lawyer I know that is using your dichotomy.

      So please tell me more about the farmers’ habitus, if you don’t mind.

      • Willard, — Live in country in lake region, may I ask where you live and more of exactly you might like to know–Back later

      • Steven Mosher

        i would peg willard as a city dweller– Montreal perhaps.

      • DarrylB,

        I’d like to know more about farmers lived “in and their whole being depended upon the elements”, as opposed to a conservative like Hansen, say.

      • Saskatcho Man.
        ===========

      • > i would peg willard […]

        Don’t pretend you don’t know who I am just for the sake of trying to sound like you’re not trying to out me, Moshpit.

        That would be dishonorable.

      • Willard, I have the curious feeling that you may be bating me slightly, in part because you did not state your residence.
        Therefore, I will bore you my personal history as being typical of those whom I speak and I am guessing atypical of most of the contributors to this blog.
        Great grandfather, -born 1829, pioneer settler, had to prove himself to get parcel of land. Came into area about time MN was becoming a state with nothing. Able to borrow a little money Area of land so thick with trees that it was said you could not see the sky. Cleared land, by one or two man saw, grub trees for five years to clear stumps, had to produce enough of record so as to receive 40 acre land grant. After two years had cleared 10 acres and built an adequate habitat. His dad, born 1791 followed. Obtained oxen and workhorses.
        It was recorded that great grandfather and bride to be who lived nearby walked 14 miles to city to get married, then walked home.
        Every year, weather determined if there could be any crop to feed livestock to survive.
        Brother on nearby land killed in 1891 tornado.
        Grandfather born in 1870. 7th of 15. Same story for him on nearby land.
        All married late because they could not afford to much earlier.
        Dad born in 1909. Dad didn’t talk of his hardships, Mom did. Said that on some days in the 30’s Dad began farming at 3:30.AM Went to work as deputy county treasurer. Came home, farmed, then had his own band and played often, then at midnight sometimes cleaned fish for 2 cents apiece. Then began the same the next day Mom, of course, did extensive gardening which became the winter supply.
        Talked of the 30’s drought and just not enough money. Often slept outside because it was intolerable inside, however MN is famous for mosquitos. I have records of highs and lows recorded locally and in National data pool showing much of country over 100 and above 80 for low temps for several summer months over several years. Farms turned to dust.
        Weather Pattern finally broke with what was known as the armistice (now Veterans day) Blizzard.
        I was born in 45. Had it easy by earlier standards, but still worked, I believe, hard enough. In fact some thought dad took it too easy on me.
        In summer months, my day started about 5:30 AM (Dad still liked the cool of the morning at 3:00) and I worked to about 6:00. Like everyone my age we swam or fished as late as we wanted to, starting the same time the next day was all the discipline we needed.
        The work was always in the elements, caused a series of injuries and was extremely tiring. I expect I shoveled as much or more manure as anyone else on this blog. But what I did was no different than what anyone else in the area did.
        I remember a drought in about 1951 where we played ball on the sand bottom of where the lake normally was.
        Of course during school we all had time for after school activities etc.

        I know of the elements (weather) my grandparents survived in and my parents, and those during my age. I can make one statement with the utmost of assurance. In the area in which I live, anyone who says there are more extremes than in the past is simply full of what I shoveled
        I have degrees in math, physics, chem and art and have been studying human nature and the science of climate change extensively over the last four or five years. I have been in contact with many and am very surprised by so many that express so much while knowing so little. I am absolutely disgusted with the character, integrity and general bearing of what to me seem like spoiled children.They have turned the processes of science upside down. I very much appreciate the balance that J. Curry brings to the table.
        My wife and I are foster and adoptive parents of special needs children, and deal with very poor people at home and abroad.
        None will be blogging here.
        I was in Cancun at the time of the annual climate change bash.
        Watched on T V as they celebrated Mayan culture as Mayans served their every need for a few pesos. I could not get near of course as tanks or armored vehicles blocked the entrance to their most plush of
        the plush. Only six miles away children were eating their only cooked meal of the week. -and some talk about them leaving there carbon footprint.
        I was angry when President Bush did not sign the protocol in Copenhagen. Later I read of how those attending did not have room to park their private planes. Started to change my thinking.
        A non-solution of a non problem will ultimately lower most the quality of life of the poorest.
        I have listened to speakers on the issue as scientists, as journalists, as humanists, as Christians (K. Hayhoe) but to anyone who sees themselves as experts in some area, I tell you that if you really believe you are worthy of what you claim to be, then at the end of day, everyday, examine yourself to see if you are correct, and I will do the same. I have given myself many headaches, Steve M. has given me the most—but I find that he is correct and the boys at Real Climate-grasping.
        Do not base anything on MSM, to which bad news is good news and good news is no news. Base it on specific studies and analyze it in depth and if you can’t then you are not in a position to make nay claims. Farmers would simply say that you are full of it.
        Well, I am embarrassed by my spouting off. It is not important who wins this argument, what comes of it in response might be critical.
        And as always, you know what rolls downhill.
        BTW, back to farming. most farmers work with the most advanced technology available. I have a little land, and even with the small amount of land I have, the doctrine of AGW has made me richer. I really do not believe in making a food product a source of energy. But the process has made many farmers rich and everybody pay more at the grocery store.
        .

      • DarrylB,

        Thank you for your personal testimony, dating back to the Napoleonic Wars.

        Of course I was bating you. You clearly expressed your contempt about people that you think had not been acquainted with your experiences and generalized the usual frame that goes with it. Ands since you wish to talk from your own authority, I wanted to see that.

        You do not have to feel ashamed for what you said. We’re not an argument. I simply want to know on what you based your knowledge of the farming experience. My own is limited, but both of my grandparents left their rural regions to settle in the city where they hoped to get work. So let’s just say that I know what working in a factory means.

        One of my best buddies grew on a milk farm, which was built by his dad that was an orphan. He was a King and his farm was his kingdom. To convince that guy, one had to be very, very, very convincing. It helped when you said what he thought was true or when you made it like he was the one discovering the Chuck Norris truth.

        Not unlike Sir Rud Istvan, so to speak.

        There’s also this documentary that provides vivid characters:

        http://www.nfb.ca/film/bacon_the_film/

        Anyway. I simply did not state my place of residence because I did not argue from my own authority. As I said, I wanted to know what connection you had with the gut feeling of farmers, most of which endorse AGW, a little fact that tends to be forgotten in the comments.

        ***

        Your last paragraph contains this idea that “the doctrine of AGW has made me richer.” Since the ethanol subsidies date back to 1980, I’m not sure where you’re heading:

        On June 16, 2011, the U.S. Congress approved an amendment to an economic development bill to repeal both the tax credit and the tariff, but this bill did not move forward. Nevertheless, the U.S. Congress did not extend the tariff and the tax credit, allowing both to end on December 31, 2011. Since 1980 the ethanol industry was awarded an estimated US$45 billion in subsidies.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol_fuel_in_the_United_States#Tariffs_and_tax_credits

        My emphasis. Let’s note that we’re not talking about corn, yet:

        Corn is already the most subsidized crop in America, raking in a total of $51 billion in federal handouts between 1995 and 2005 — twice as much as wheat subsidies and four times as much as soybeans. Ethanol itself is propped up by hefty subsidies, including a fifty-one-cent-per-gallon tax allowance for refiners. And a study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development found that ethanol subsidies amount to as much as $1.38 per gallon — about half of ethanol’s wholesale market price.

        http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-ethanol-scam-20110323

        The subsidies on corn might have more to do with High-Fructorse corn syrup than anything else:

        High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)—also called glucose/fructose in Canada, glucose–fructose syrup (GFS) in the EU, and high-fructose maize syrup in other countries—comprises any of a group of corn syrups that has undergone enzymatic processing to convert some of its glucose into fructose to produce a desired sweetness.
        Due to US-imposed tariffs, in the United States sugar prices are two to three times higher than in the rest of the world, which makes HFCS significantly cheaper, so that it is the principal sweetener used in processed foods and beverages. It is commonly used in breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups, and condiments.

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

        US-imposed tariffs, fancy that.

        I hope you can take comfort in the fact that corn is used to feed the population, even if it’s mainly junk, as it contains nothing useful to the organism, and used in products targetting the poorest portion of the population, and possibly a contributor to obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

        As if any of this had anything to do with climate change.

        Anyway, thank you for your comment and please thread lightly on INTEGRITY ™.

      • Willard, thanks for your response.
        Very astute of you— It was the failure to over throw Napoleon !!! that was the stimulus at that time. French immigrating through Germany and Germans through France and for me Alsatians through Germany.

        Bated me also with Hansen the conservative, but I did not bite.

        You are correct in keeping my emotions corralled in descriptive adjectives of some. Regardless of what might be the case, it accomplishes nothing and I abhor it myself.

        As for farm products, Southern MN as well as Iowa, Illinois and parts of many other states are heavily corn and bean producers. I agree with you that corn syrup, which is in almost everything it seems is a bane to good health.
        Last years drought amplified farm commodity prices, but the emphasis on corn for ethanol made both corn and bean prices skyrocket. Beans because there was a shift in acreage from beans to corn.
        Farm land prices have exploded to averaging close to $10,000 per acre.
        So a relatively very small 100 acre tract of farm land is worth a cool mil! Wow!
        Finally, it is the meme of the absolute conviction of all climate change being anthropogenic and thus requiring a certain response that causes me to be disillusioned. There may be some relatively small anthropogenic signature. But the models themselves prove otherwise. I have studied in depth, the models, and the science involved in their preparation, with each really being its own hypothesis. Temperatures are falling outside the 95% confidence level of their projections and outside the lowest of projections. Other predicted consequences, both in the tropics and the polls simply are not being observed. So then instead of acknowledging the possibility of an incorrect hypothesis, there is, in fact, more manipulation. So, yeah, one thing that is heavily instilled in me is to accept the consequences of my own actions. Integrity and honesty are derived from that. I will accept that I may be wrong, but I still believe in, unlike Trenberth, the correct concept of a Null Hypothesis.
        It someone wants to change it, prove it.

      • My best buddy is an Alsatian, DarrylB, and you’re just a bit older than my dad.

        Godspeed,

        w

      • Steven Mosher

        ‘Don’t pretend you don’t know who I am just for the sake of trying to sound like you’re not trying to out me, Moshpit.

        Actually I dont. The montreal reference is one crumb. I started down the path after finding that and then stopped for a very obvious reason.

  48. One of the major points to consider is that American industrial farming practices are a big contributor to GHG emissions. Combined with the country’s cultural tendency to think in terms of self-interest rather than duties to others (in many other areas of the world, the cultural tendency is the opposite), it is not surprising that some American farmers are slow to ‘believe’ in climate change.

    However besides being big emitters, they are also impacted and many are finding that they have to change the crops they grow, where they grow it, and how. While impacts are not as negative as in other areas of the world, it is still significant. Fortunately, American farmers tend to have access to resources and technologies for adaptation of agricultural practices and the food systems that other countries and people do not.

    So there are both risks and opportunities in the U.S. context.

    In other parts of the world, farmers and farming organizations are also speaking in their own voices. In many areas, the risks and impacts are greater, recovery harder, and opportunities and resources far fewer. Some farmers are finding ways to adapt by making different livestock choices, etc. However, others have lost their livelihoods and their ability to feed children, families and communities.

    These challenges are longterm.

    It makes no difference to this reality what some U.S. farmers say they ‘believe’ or what they are reported to believe: their challenges, actions and requests for resources are evidence of the role of climate change impacts on U.S. farming.

    • Rob Starkey

      Martha writes- “Combined with the country’s cultural tendency to think in terms of self-interest rather than duties to others (in many other areas of the world, the cultural tendency is the opposite)”

      Martha—What area of the world or country in your opinion shows that it cares more for others than their own self interest?

    • Steven Mosher

      raising food for others is their duty to others. It happens to be in line with their self interest. How weird it is to oppose the two.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘Recent studies indicate that U.S. agricultural soils are now being managed as a modest carbon sink – accounting for net sequestration of 4 million metric
      tons (MMT) of carbon annually (U.S. EPA, 2003). It is generally believed that these soils could be managed to store significantly more carbon.’ http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/434512/tb1909_1_.pdf

      US agriculture moved to a net sink early this century. It is part of a global project to restore carbon to soils – increasing productivity, decreasing costs, conserving water, reducing runoff, building groundwater stores, reducing erosion and impacts on downstream ecologies. US farmers and extension services have taken a global lead in the transformative technologies of conservation farming that is the hope of the world this century in many ways – e.g.

      http://www.vt.edu/spotlight/impact/2013-06-17-senegal/curriculum.html
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/10176217/The-underground-forests-that-are-bringing-deserts-to-life.html

  49. ” Combined with the country’s cultural tendency to think in terms of self-interest rather than duties to others (in many other areas of the world, the cultural tendency is the opposite), it is not surprising that some American farmers are slow to ‘believe’ in climate change.”

    Oh for pete’s sake, can we dispense with this garbage once and for all? A willingness to take from others to build yourself a cozy pension and welfare state is selfishness, not “a duty to others.”
    Likewise, a willingness to tax effective sources of energy in order to prevent third world residents from enjoying what Martha enjoys is selfish, it is not “a duty to others.”
    Wasting 20 years pursuing a stridently partisan, ineffective set of policy choices when effective and bi-partisan options are available to you is political selfishness, it is not “a duty to others.”

  50. I’d like to see a post on what big insurance companies believe about AGW, starting with Munich Re (http://www.munichre.com/en/group/focus/climate_change/default.aspx).

    • Rob Starkey

      Big insurance companies believe in avoiding risk and making money. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    • Steven Mosher

      you have to control for the amount of regulation.

    • Because of cutthroat price competition and the insurance premium cycle, both primary property and casualty insurance writers and reinsurers are ALWAYS looking for any excuse to raise premiums.

      With the sole exception of Berkshire Hathaway, property and casualty insurers have historically had underwriting ratios of less than 100 (meaning that they ultimately pay out more in claims than they take in from premiums). The shortfall has, historically, been made up by investment returns (from the float during the interval between collection of premiums and payment of claims).

      • > Because of cutthroat price competition and the insurance premium cycle, both primary property and casualty insurance writers and reinsurers are ALWAYS looking for any excuse to raise premiums.

        The second part of the sentence would be true only if the first part is false. That is, if there was a cutthroat price competition in market M, raising premiums for M would be a losing strategy.

  51. It’s probably an age thing. About 60% of farmers are age 55 or older.

    http://www.epa.gov/agriculture/ag101/demographics.html

    Older people tend to resist believing what’s new. Anthropogenic climate change is new.

    Someone else may have already covered this point. I haven’t read all the comments.

  52. The unanswered questions here are how do farmers’ views on global warming compare with the views of the general population by age group ( e.g., younger than age 30, 30 to 39, 40 to 49, 50 to 59, 60 to 69, and 70 and older) and by educational level (e.g., less than H.S., H.S. , some college, bachelors, at least a masters).

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Max should try to answer the question if he thinks it at all relevant. It is otherwise just a lazy and shallow distraction.

      This might help – go for it.
      http://www.soc.iastate.edu/staff/arbuckle.html

      • Chief, if you see anything there by age and education, point it out, and comment on it.

        If not, you could change the subject and amuse me.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        The educational comparisons have been made above by others. It is not really something that I am interested in. I doubt that people generally have sufficient depth of knowledge to make prognostications. This might extend to scientists.

        ‘The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… Over the last several hundred thousand years, climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation. We place strong emphasis on using isotopes as a means to understand physical mixing and chemical cycling in the ocean, and the climate history as recorded in marine sediments.’
        http://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/2246

        If Wally Broecker is struggling to understand I doubt that many others have made much progress. Broecker is described as the father of climate science and is – btw – 82 years old. You in comparison are a gnat brained poseur. Sorry about that but it is just the way it is.

  53. “Over the last several hundred thousand years, climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation.”
    ——–

    Which in turn seem to be related to climate change?

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Oh it’s much worse than that. Climate is a coupled system that is nonlinearly sensitive to small changes. The potential is for abrupt change of 10’s of degrees in North America in as little as a decade. It would need to all come together in a perfect storm – but it has in the past.

      But it remains the case that the planet is in a cool mode likely to last for a decade to three more along with reduced rainfall in North America. Notwithstanding the simple and erroneous of the space cadets that are on a hiding to nothing.

      ‘To his colleagues, peers and admirers he is a genius and a pioneer, the Grandfather of Climate Science. And to his countless friends – most of whom also happen to be colleagues, peers and admirers – he is simply Wally.’ Wally is a technological optimist as well.

      “I think we have an option and the option is to let them industrialize but take care of the problem by capturing and storing the CO2.” He says that “we’re going to have to learn to capture the CO2 and bury it – just like we learned to collect and put away garbage [and] sewage… We’ve taken over stewardship of the planet and with that we have the responsibility to take care of it.”

      There are lots of options for capturing CO2 – storing in agricultural soils, air capture and recycling into fuels and plastics, feeding microorganisms. The solution to carbon dioxide emissions is technological not taxological. There is no solution to climate change and the only sensible response is building societal resilience.

      • The solution to climate contrarians is time. They are old and weak, and will gradually fade into history.

      • Chief, I just thought I would join you in saying whatever comes to mind regardless of whether it’s related to what anyone else has said.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        You mentioned climate change – I said it was worse than that. That it goes straight over your head is not unexpected. I doubt that you have even read a paragraph of my many comments or tried to comprehend the many links to reputable science let alone done some background research on your own.

        Shallow, anti-intellectual and anti-science is the best that can be said of you I am afraid.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Max – you’re the one you disagrees with the study. Quote stuff out of context. Lie, berate and dissimulate. Attempt to dishonestly distract from the fact that you have been an idiot and don’t have enough personal integrity to backtrack.

        I have invited you to replicate the study. By all means knock yourself out. I can tell already that I am likely to be unimpressed – you astonishingly shallow intellect seems unlikely to produce anything of any worth any time soon.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      Are you claiming that Wally Broecker is a ‘climate contrarian’? How amusing.

      Age is not a factor in how people understand climate change. Stupidity is.

      • Again, this time in the right place.

        Chief, I just thought I would join you in saying whatever comes to mind regardless of whether it’s related to what anyone else has said.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Again and with emphasis.

        You mentioned climate change – I said it was worse than that. That it goes straight over your head is not unexpected. I doubt that you have even read a paragraph of my many comments or tried to comprehend the many links to reputable science let alone done some background research on your own.

        I have given you opportunities to be a serious person – but shallow, anti-intellectual and anti-science seems the best that can be said of you. strong>

      • Chief, to be fair, in my 6:26 PM post I did invite you to change the subject and amuse me.

        I’m amused.

      • Chief, returning to the topic of age, American farmers are much older than American workers as a whole. About 60% of the farmers are age 55 or older (see my 5:42 PM post for source), compared to only 21% of all employed workers. We know old people tend to be more skeptical about anthropogenic global warming than young people, but do we know whether old farmers tend to be more or less skeptical than old people in general?

        http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat03.htm

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It is not true that old people are more skeptical. Middle aged people tend to be more skeptical than both groups but old and young are equally skeptical. More and more people of all ages will be skeptical as the world doesn’t warm for another decade to three at least.

        An so who really gives a rat’s arse about your trivial and scientifically useless opinions.

      • Nah, Chief, it’s true. AGW skeptics tend to be older people. Why do you deny the obvious? It can’t be because you are old. You say you are younger than Obama. Anyway, your denial of the obvious makes you look bad.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Beliefs about climate change are strongly related to political preferences, voting behaviours and gender, but no clear relationships between these beliefs and location, age or income have emerged.’
        http://www.garnautreview.org.au/update-2011/commissioned-work/australians-view-of-climate-change.htm

        You are about as much use as a bicycle for a fish.

      • Chief, you didn’t quote the rest of the Australian study, so I’ll quote it.

        “Respondents aged 55 and over were more likely to think climate change was the result of natural causes and that nobody could do anything (ARCCANSI). The ABS research indicated that respondents aged 65 years and older (60%) were less likely to report any concerns about climate change (60%) than were adults in other age groups, … ”
        _______

        So there you have it, older Australians tend to be more skeptical about AGW. I have said the same about older Americans. Yet, you continue to deny there is a relationship between age and skepticism.

        By selectively quoting the study you were being dishonest, unless of course you didn’t read the entire paragraph, in which case you were being lazy and incompetent. And when I say dishonest, I don’t mean just intellectually dishonest, I mean crooked.

        But why would you provide a link so that I could see you were crooked or lazy and incompetent? The answer has to be that’s what you want me to see.

        So, Chief, are you (a), (b), or (c) ?

        (a) crooked
        (b) lazy and incompetent
        (c) crooked, lazy, and incompetent

      • Chief Hydrologist

        I quoted the Executive Summary to the effect that no consistent patterns emerge wrt age. You quote a part of a paragraph. To quote the entire passage.

        ‘The effect of age on climate change beliefs is inconsistent across studies. The CSIRO Science into Society survey found that both younger and older age groups are less likely to believe or be engaged in climate change issues or behaviour than other groups. Respondents aged 55 and over were more likely to think climate change was the result of natural causes and that nobody could do anything (ARCCANSI). The ABS research indicated that respondents aged 65 years and older (60%) were less likely to report any concerns about climate change (60%) than were adults in other age groups, however the Lowy Institute Poll found that older people were more likely to be willing to pay more for electricity.’

        There were 22 studies in all and you selectively quote 2 and delete even the other 2 mentioned in the particular paragraph – and the opening sentence. I don’t know what you imagine you are doing here – but it is nothing rational.

      • Chief, you left that entire paragraph out (the one you just quoted) in your first post, but let’s go over what you have done.

        In your post of July 18, 2013 at 11:06 pm, you said:

        “Age is not a factor in how people understand climate change.”

        In your post of July 19, 2013 at 1:48 am you said:

        “It is not true that old people are more skeptical. Middle aged people tend to be more skeptical than both groups but old and young are equally skeptical.”

        Then on July 19, 2013 at 2:53 you quote from a survey of studies, apparently with the mistakenly believe it supports your previous statements:

        ‘Beliefs about climate change are strongly related to political preferences, voting behaviours and gender, but no clear relationships between these beliefs and location, age or income have emerged.’

        Sorry, Chief, but no clear relationship emerging does not mean no relationship existing.

        I’ll retract “crooked” in describing you, but not lazy and incompetent.

        Of the 22 studies, the summary talks about four that addressed age. Two of the four found older people are more skeptical, and a third found older and younger people are more skeptical than middle age people. The fourth didn’t specifically address skepticism. If you believe theses four studies show skepticism is not greater among older people.

      • Please delete the last sentence from my previous post.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Did you review all 22 studies – or simply take a quote out of context?

        ‘Sorry, Chief, but no clear relationship emerging does not mean no relationship existing.’

        No clear relationship means that no relationship was demonstrated across 22 studies. Who do you think you are kidding? You make an idiot of yourself in an another intellectually superficial statement full of your usual vitriol and what? Try some tendentious quibbling that no clear relationship doesn’t actually mean what it says?

        You are a fraud – a fool and a buffoon.

        It is irrelevant at any rate. As I said – the most important thing is that skepticism will continue to grow. The world is in a cool mode and warming is very unlikely for a decade to three more at least. I have been warning space cadets of this for a decade – but very few have the brain power of a gnat.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        BTW – I quoted the relevant section of the Executive Summary in full.

        ‘‘Beliefs about climate change are strongly related to political preferences, voting behaviours and gender, but no clear relationships between these beliefs and location, age or income have emerged.’

        http://www.garnautreview.org.au/update-2011/commissioned-work/australians-view-of-climate-change.htm

        That you come to a different conclusion means very little at all. But then no clear relationship means that there is a relationship? Yes?

      • “No clear relationship” doesn’t mean no relationship. If the authors had found no relationship between age and views on AGW, they would have said “no relationship.”

        No, I haven’t read the 22 studies. If I have time, I will.

      • Rob Starkey

        Max

        It appears you do not have much background in statistics or you would know why they would not state there is “no relationship” vs “no clear relationship”

      • Chief Hydrologist

        On the other hand – if there was a clear relationship perhaps they would have said so.

      • Chief, this is the first part of my analysis of “Australians’ views of climate change,”
        a report by Zoe Leviston, Anne Leitch, Murni Greenhill, Rosemary Leonard & Iain Walker

        Of the 22 studies cited in the report, links were provided to 7. Only 3 of the 7 addressed attitudes on climate change by age. In those 3, older people were found to be the most skeptical of AGW. Adding these 3 to the previously mentioned ARCCANS and ABS findings, gives me 5 studies that show older people are the most skeptical of AGW.

        Chief, I challenge you to find 5 studies (among the remaining 13) that show older people are not the most skeptical about AGW. If you do not accept this challenge, I will conclude you lack confidence in your notion age does not matter on attitudes about AGW.

        1. http://www.garnautreview.org.au/…/australians-view-of-climate-change.htm‎

        Those most likely to think it is a normal fluctuation in the Earth’s climate were Liberal/National voters (53%), aged 55+ (47%) and men (40%).

        2. http://ipsos.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Ipsos-Social-Research-Institute-Climate-Change-Report-2011.pdf

        Those respondents aged 50 and over were more likely than
        younger people to nominate natural cycles as the main
        cause of climate change 26% compared with 12% of those
        aged 18 to 49.

        3. http://polling.newspoll.com.au/image_uploads/110408%20Climate%20Change.pdf

        Of those age age 50+, 8% don’t believe climate change is caused by human activity, compared to 6% aged 35-49, and 2% aged 18-34

        4. http://www.pewglobal.org/2008/06/12/chapter-8-environmental-issues/

        No Pew survey on attitudes on climate change by age was found.

        5. http://www.gallup.com/poll/141782/australians-views-shift-climate-change.aspx

        The results of this Gallup poll don’t address age.

        6. http://www.gallup.com/poll/126560/americans-global-warming-concerns-continue-drop.aspx

        This Gallup Poll didn’t address age. I don’t know why it was included, since it’s a poll of Americans, not Australians.

        7. http://gpcnz.co.nz/Site/News_Releases/GPC_survey_2010.aspx, a

        This survey did not address age.

        ____

        Chief, I know my challenge requires some work on your part. Don’t wimp out on me. Do the work.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘Beliefs about climate change are strongly related to political preferences, voting behaviours and gender, but no clear relationships between these beliefs and location, age or income have emerged.’

        ‘The effect of age on climate change beliefs is inconsistent across studies.’

        Do you imagine for a second that if an age relationship was found that it would not be reported. I have no intention of redoing the review. This is your desperation to dispute the result to quibble and to prevaricate – not mine. Age itself is your obsession and an absurd one – not mine. As is political orientation for others. Either serves to marginalize people based on false dichotomies. Put it all together we have the perfect demon – old, conservative, white guys.

        But as I keep saying – it is of no point at all. Scepticism will continue to intensify in all age groups as the planet doesn’t warm over the next decades. Scepticism is far more right than space cadets – and that’s all that counts in the end. You lose because well let’s face it – you are not very bright.

      • Chief, apparently you have decided accepting my challenge is too risky for you. Fearing you would expend a lot of effort only to lose, you have backed away from the opportunity to show you can work as well as talk.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        ‘‘Beliefs about climate change are strongly related to political preferences, voting behaviours and gender, but no clear relationships between these beliefs and location, age or income have emerged.’

        The work has already been done. That’s the point. That you refuse to accept the conclusion is not my problem.

      • It’s a race! Will Max_OK wise up before he gets old?
        ================

      • Chief, when I challenged you to do the same work I did, you put your tail between your legs and crawled away. If you don’t want to leave the impression you are lazy windbag without backbone, accept my challenge.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Your dumbarse challenges have about as much interest as dog doo.

        Tell you what – why don’t you redo the study and let the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization know. I am sure they will most interested.

        ‘CSIRO was contracted by the Garnaut Climate Change Review team to review recent studies examining Australians’ views of climate change, their beliefs about the role of human activities in producing climate change, and their support for various policy responses to climate change. The review also considered whether, and to what extent, public views had changed since the previous Garnaut review in 2008.

        A total of 22 studies were identified and analysed. Working to the priorities outlined by the Garnaut review team, relevant information from each study was extracted, reviewed, and considered in relation to information from other studies.

        From the existing research, we conclude that:
        • Most Australians believe the climate is changing, but fewer believe that the change is attributable to human activity.
        • Belief in climate change and its anthropogenic drivers has waned in recent years, reflecting trends in other Western countries.
        • Responses to questions about climate change vary systematically with question wording and response formatting, but these differences do not negate the overall conclusions above.
        • Beliefs about climate change are strongly related to political preferences, voting behaviours and gender, but no clear relationships between these beliefs and location, age or income have emerged.
        • Most Australians believe that Australia should take action on climate change without waiting for global consensus.
        • There is no clear consensus on what policy actions Australians prefer, such as setting a carbon price or establishing an emissions trading scheme.

        There is a clear need for further directed research into Australians’ understanding of climate change policy options, their support for those options, and their willingness to pay within each policy option.

        The best ways to communicate information about climate change, its anthropogenic drivers, and potential policy responses to climate change all require close consideration and further inquiry.’

      • That’s enough, Chief. You have convinced me you are not interested in doing any real analytical work.

      • You get old fast, Max_OK.
        ============

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Max – you’re the one you disagrees with the study. Quote stuff out of context. Lie, berate and dissimulate. Attempt to dishonestly distract from the fact that you have been an idiot and don’t have enough personal integrity to backtrack.

        I have invited you to replicate the study. By all means knock yourself out. I can tell already that I am likely to be unimpressed – you astonishingly shallow intellect seems unlikely to produce anything of any worth any time soon.

    • Max,

      Doesn’t matter what your age is when you start out in life incapable of finding your own ass with both hands tied behind your back.

      And get back to me when you’ve finally figured out how to empty that piss filled boot. Hint – the instructions are on the heel.

  54. The bane of “climate science” is the proclivity to attribute changes to processes outside one’s field of competence. Geologist Broecker gives no credible physical explanation how the THC (a feeble, gravity-driven adjunct to the much stronger wind-driven near-surface currents) can develop distinct circulatory “modes.” Neither gravity nor seawater density are subject to abrupt changes. It is such appeals to phantom physics that renders “climate science” almost comical at critical junctures.

    • That is surprising. I was an expert in THC myself when I was just starting high school. Yes, indeed, I had a great deal of experience with THC until midway through my senior year.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      I’m afraid you have a half-arsed understanding of these physical processes and leap to wrong conclusions. You seem to have a half arsed understanding of geology as well. We need a little more intellectual depth and much less ignorant pontificating.

      http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/abrupt/index.html

      • If the fanciful handwaving in the link that you provide constitutes full-arsed understanding of physical processes relevant to abrupt climate shifts, then you provide yet another example of unfounded conclusions drawn outside the field of one’s competence. FYI, physical oceanographers have long been aghast at the erroneous conflation in “climate science” of strong wind-driven currents, such as the Gulf Stream and the Agulhas, with density-driven THC, which is nearly imperceptible.

      • BTW, here’s an excerpt of Carl Wunch’s take on the subject of potential AGW shut-down of “the great conveyor belt:”

        He responded that this was “absolutely not” the case, stating that “you can’t turn the Gulf Stream off as long as the wind blows over the North Atlantic and the earth continues to rotate!” and went on to describe the ‘conveyor’ as “a kind of fairy-tale for grownups”. Professor Wunsch said that “I’m willing to talk about these things. I believe that there are all kinds of things happening in the oceans, many highly troubling, but I also believe that one should distinguish what the science tells us and what is merely fantasy”.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It is very easy to tell the difference between surface currents and THC.

        http://www.pik-potsdam.de/~stefan/thc_fact_sheet.html

        You do understand that that THC involves sinking of water, deep water currents and upwelling? All are completely perceptible and fundamental to Earth climate, biology, hydrology and surface temperature.

      • Seriously now, what do you think is meant by “density-driven” if not the sinking of denser water? And “nearly imperceptible” refers to the orders of magnitude slower rate of flow, not the categorical distinction between the inferred THC and the actually measured wind-driven currents! Rhamstorf’s blog does a disservice to science by blurring that distinction in tying upwelling, which is likewise wind-driven, to THC. It’s important only to bottom-water formation–not to surface climate, as AGWers hold.

        Have a good weekend.

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Upwelling occurs where surface currents attenuate the warm surface layer allowing the emergence of subsurface currents that are themselves driven by THC. Mass continuity. It is a critical process in global climate.

        http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/ctl/thc.html#figure

      • The oceans are highly stratified in their mass density. Cold, highly saline
        bottom water does not spontaneously rise and magically morph into a warm
        tropical current, as the cartoon you present shows in the middle of the
        Indian Ocean. That’s why Wunsch calls such ”conveyor belt” depictions a
        “fairy tale.”

        While shallow Langmuir vortices may develop in mid-ocean convergence
        zones, deeper upwelling is confined to those coastal zones where steady
        winds from the quadrant critical for Ekman drift drive the surface layer
        away. Hydrostatic re-balancing then pushes cooler subsurface water in
        towards the coast and up to the surface. The classic example is provided by
        the SE trades off the Peru coast. THC is not a relevant factor. Abyssal
        bottom water remains nearly in place, however, with only replenishment by
        sinking contributions from the polar regions spreading along the ocean
        floor and–immeasurably slowly–pumping the cold bottom mass upward, as it
        gets mixed by tidal streams.

        Belief in aphysical fairy tales is scarcely a sign of “intellectual depth.”
        Let’s not prolong this off-topic exchange.

    • I should add that fantastic depictions of THC are also important in burying phantom “missing heat.”

  55. We should ask Cargill if it believes in global warming:

  56. R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

    Here you go Cooling Kim:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/2013/6

    Seems while you have been cooling, the rest of the world…not so much. As for what farmers know…best they stick with farming.

    • Chief Hydrologist

      ‘The top-of-atmosphere (TOA) Earth radiation budget (ERB) is determined from the difference between how much energy is absorbed and emitted by the planet. Climate forcing results in an imbalance in the TOA radiation budget that has direct implications for global climate, but the large natural variability in the Earth’s radiation budget due to fluctuations in atmospheric and ocean dynamics complicates this picture.’ http://meteora.ucsd.edu/~jnorris/reprints/Loeb_et_al_ISSI_Surv_Geophys_2012.pdf

      Unless you understand how and why things are changing you are blowing smoke up your arse.

      It seems fairly obvious that this decade will be cooler than last.

      http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2001/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2001/trend

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        GH gases never sleep. The natural variations will only temporarily magnify or mask the long-term forcing from the Human Carbon Volcano. We can run (as in deny) but we we cannot hide. Best to get on with the business of Anthropocene Management.

      • Rob Starkey

        Gates

        There are a lot of assumptions that have to be correct for that conclusion to be true. You may be correct, but do you acknowledge that you may be wrong during timescales important to humans?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        It depends on the significance of long term variability. Very little of the ‘recent warming’ seems to be CO2. Most was natural variability. Small changes in a coupled nonlinear system are relevant – but there is very little to suggest that the longer term natural variability is not more cooling – that we are not at the threshold of Bond Event Zero.

      • Rob Starkey

        Chief

        So in your opinion when will the planet see 3 consecutive years of cooling?

      • Chief Hydrologist

        Why 3 years?

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2001/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:2001/trend

        We are talking more likely three decades at least.

      • R. Gates aka Skeptical Warmist

        Rob,

        I remain quite open to the possibility that we may not be seeing the effects of Anthopogenic CO2 during time frames important to humans, though I think this is increasingly unlikely. To many converging events in all the spheres (atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere) seem to be indicating profound effects humans are having on the planet. I can hardly pick up a professional journal without seeing evidence of the human fingerprint.

        Now of course there is natural variability, both long and short term, and of course there are other forcing agents at work besides GH gases. Keeping that in mind and being open and honestly skeptical is essential as we try to fully understand and account for all the anthropogenic forcings and related feedbacks. Being honestly skeptical does not mean not asking position, but doing so in a provisional way and being willing to alter that position or abandon it as new data arrives.

  57. About sixty-percent of American farmers are age 55 or older. It’s unlikely their livelihood will be affected by climate change before they retire, so why would they worry about it?

    http://www.epa.gov/agriculture/ag101/demographics.html

    • Is there any real evidence that older people worry less about future than younger ones? Some of the young ones may be more vocal – but we have also Hansen and others of his generation.

      I don’t believe that this is an explanation at all. Older people have, however, met more scares that have come and gone. That has certainly added some cynicism.

      What makes the case of AGW different from the earlier ones from the perspective of anyone grown to be skeptical of various scares? One sure way of maintaining a cynical attitude is making explicit claims that cannot be supported by evidence or that will soon contradict the reality. People have learned that weather is highly variable. If the present is genuinely different that’s only on the level of wide area averages.

      On local level the variability is still hiding the persistent climate change. That’s more obvious to farmers and meteorologists than most others. Claiming that they should see the change makes them conclude that no change has really occurred.

      From early on it was clear that the climate change will be directly observable only when it has proceeded far, and when its further progress cannot be stopped. It was realized that early warnings can be justified only through the use of model projections. It’s natural, and correct, that the most scary projections are taken with skepticism. To convince people with skeptical attitude all exaggeration must be avoided. Every error is used against the message both by those who oppose it actively and those who have just learned to be skeptical of scares.

      The old story on crying wolf is always relevant. Making people understand slowly evolving risks of long lead times is extremely difficult. it’s even more difficult when the best experts have very different views on the specifics (even those who agree fully on the basics of climate change).

      • Pekka Pirila,

        This is one of your most sensible comments.

        Is there any real evidence that older people worry less about future than younger ones? Some of the young ones may be more vocal – but we have also Hansen and others of his generation.

        I don’t believe that this is an explanation at all. Older people have, however, met more scares that have come and gone. That has certainly added some cynicism.

        +1

        To convince people with skeptical attitude all exaggeration must be avoided.

        Nah!. That is not the main issue, IMO. What is needed is the cost-benefit and the economic justification for the proposed policies. We need engineering quality configuration management and quality management of the relevant information to support the case and justify the expenditure. It must be able to be presented in courts of law and stand rigorous cross examination. It must be of the quality that is needed to do best practice due diligence for justifying trillion dollar investments.

        Every error is used against the message both by those who oppose it actively and those who have just learned to be skeptical of scares.

        And so it should be. Anyone who tries to avoid adversarial investigation into every piece of evidence that is used to justify the expenditure of trillions of dollars should go to jail, in the same way as we lock up business leaders and bankers who try to defraud the public and the tax payer. Pekka I am surprised that you would think for one minute that such skepticism and adversarial investigation is not absolutely essential and should be supported by everyone.

      • Pekka Pirilä asks on July 19, 2013 at 4:35 am
        Is there any real evidence that older people worry less about future than younger ones?
        ______

        I don’t know, but I do know older people have less of a future to worry about.

        Older people may be concerned about the future of their immediate descendants, especially those they already know, but I doubt many lose sleep worrying about several generations in the future.

      • Pekka –

        You make a number of claims here, stated as fact, even though you have not shown evidence to support your conclusions. I can understand why you might speculate as you do, as there is a logic to your speculation, but for each claim I could offer logical speculation that would lead to opposite conclusions.

        One sure way of maintaining a cynical attitude is making explicit claims that cannot be supported by evidence or that will soon contradict the reality.

        As a statement on it’s own this seems logical enough and we can probably all think of cases where we’ve seen this dynamic take place. In fact, we may know of the case with individuals where this has happened w/r/t climate change. But what I haven’t seen evidence of, and I doubt that you have either, is that this has taken place on a sizable scale relative to public opinions on climate change. Instead, what we have evidence of is that (1) a general tendency among people to filter new information so as to confirm biases with such controversial topics and (2) a very strong correlation between political orientation and views on climate change. We can think of many examples where people who were “skeptics” are biased to use any evidence at hand – including recent weather phenomena – to reject the opinions of scientists who believer there is a footprint in recent climate change to support the assertion that ACC to have strong dangerous potential. We can also think of many “realists” who are biased to use any evidence at hand – including recent weather phenomena – to reject the assertions from “skeptics” that recent whether phenomena do not provide evidence that ACC has strong dangerous potential.

        Where is your evidence that on a significant scale, views among the public on climate change have been altered over time from one opinion to another because of what people see to be contradictions between weather phenomena and “unsupported claims” by climate scientists (or “skeptics” for that matter)?

        On local level the variability is still hiding the persistent climate change. That’s more obvious to farmers and meteorologists than most others. Claiming that they should see the change makes them conclude that no change has really occurred.

        This is another unsupported statement. Where do you see evidence of the causal mechanism that you speculate about? We know that there is strong correlation between political orientation and views on climate change. If the prevalence of “skepticism” is particularly high for a particular sub-group – how do you know it is because of their experiences or because of how their political orientation shapes their interpretation of experiences?

        My guess is that left-leaning farmers (for the most part)see short-term weather phenomena as confirming beliefs that ACC presents significant danger where as right-leaning farmers see short-term weather phenomena as confirming skepticism about ACC. The general principle that applies is that people filter new information to confirm biases. We have validated evidence to support that causal mechanism.

      • And BTW, Pekka –

        The above post does not mean that I think that Max’s theory that age is casual for views on climate change to be particularly persuasive. If there is a correlation between age and views on climate change, I would guess it is because age has a moderating/mediating effect on the relationship between political orientation and views on climate change.

      • One of these fine days Joshua is going to figure out what got us into this mess, and another fine day Pekka will discover that climate changes.
        ============================

      • To the extent the alarmist-skeptic divide is oriented along political lines, one might conclude one reason is underlying skepticism of the value of government, The progressive position might be “even if we are wrong, we should decarbonize anyway.” A position that many skeptics would embrace to one extent or another, Though skeptics will always wonder why, if decarbonization is the goal, why is nuclear off the table?

        The conservative position might be even if the alarmists are right, the government cannot do anything about it. Certainly that thread is common in articles mocking Australia’s efforts as saving a tiny fraction of China’s increase in carbon output. Further, the recent spectacular failure of highly hyped federally funded domestic green energy initiatives heightens cynicism toward government intervention. And, of course, the non farm-belt conservative considers ethanol mandates and subsidies somewhat obscene in a world where people still go hungry. With some justification, the conservative might conclude that irrespective of the science, it will all end up as another government boondoggle.

      • Joshua,

        My interpretation of the observational data is that AGW type changes in the climate have not reached a level that’s even close to being observable by individuals.

        With best effort using all data available scientists have not been able to determine the transient climate response more accurately than up to an uncertainty of a factor of two or so, let alone the more difficult to determine equilibrium climate sensitivity. Reaching that requires data of global coverage over the whole period on which data is available. How could anyone think that any individual can observe the effect? Many individuals may think that they have observed the warming, but that’s not based on facts but on erroneous thinking.

        Observing changes in extreme events is even more difficult that observing changes in average temperature. On them the strongest conclusions based on statistics are still questionable.

        The “pause” in warming is one example of observations contradicting what we were told, so are more local observations in many parts of the world. These local observation of apparent contradictions are not really contradictions with real projections based on science, but they are contradictions with what people had picked from the message presented by many scientists. In some other cases the projections have been more correct or the local observations have exceeded the projections. All this is variability that we knew to exist.

        It’s obvious that the most skeptic people have not changed their mind, but on the other side many people who took the scary versions of the message seriously shift their worries to some other issue and start to get used to having Climate change as yet another issue that’s serious in principle but that we need not worry all the time. They start to feel that it’s not really going to change their life – and that applies to young people as much as old.

        When a negative change is slow enough a strong early scare turns to fatigue. Creating an impression of rapidly worsening problems is not the way of building up a response that persists when those problems are not directly observable for a couple of decades. Even worse when some of the random fluctuations are claimed to be such evidence when they are mostly, indeed, only random fluctuations.

      • Pekka –

        It’s obvious that the most skeptic people have not changed their mind, but on the other side many people who took the scary versions of the message seriously shift their worries to some other issue and start to get used to having Climate change as yet another issue that’s serious in principle but that we need not worry all the time. They start to feel that it’s not really going to change their life – and that applies to young people as much as old.

        I think that what you describe there is true to some extent – but it isn’t some reaction to more alarmist predictions that is causing a shift, it is the inability to detect an unambiguous signal of climate change within lifetime-like time frames.

        Is it theoretically possible that some % of people (who were initially “concerned”) would currently be more concerned than they currently are about long-term climate change had scientists made fewer “alarmist” predictions – despite a lack of unambiguous signal during lifetime-like time frames? I suppose that is possible – but I would guess the % to be small. We know that there are two overriding influences on peoples’ views on climate change. One is their political orientation (as climate change has become a politically contentious battlefield). The second is a tendency towards risk perception that characterizes how people approach risk in myriad contexts. People tend to assess risk on the basis of proximity.

        When a negative change is slow enough a strong early scare turns to fatigue.

        Perhaps – but IMO, despite many claims to the contrary, that “turn to fatigue” is not caused by the strong early scare. That turn to fatigue is caused by the inherent “wickedness” of the risk presented by climate change.

        Creating an impression of rapidly worsening problems is not the way of building up a response that persists when those problems are not directly observable for a couple of decades. Even worse when some of the random fluctuations are claimed to be such evidence when they are mostly, indeed, only random fluctuations.

        Yes, I would agree. Such a methodology is ineffective. IMO, in the sense of being a “opportunity cost,” there is a problem that has been manifest through downplaying of uncertainty (in the manner or claiming a climate change footprint when it may not clearly exist). In theory, there might be more effective methods of getting the public to comprehensively assess the cost and benefits of policies that target climate change mitigation and adaptation. But that too, is a “wicked” problem.

      • Joshua,

        One difference in our starting point is that I’m in Europe. While I do discuss the American situation I have also the European situation in mind. Here the early scare was very influential. A great majority is still concerned about the climate change, but the climate issue is not any more near the top of worries to many, and I don’t expect it to get back it’s earlier significance until we see direct evidence of actual damage.

        The EU bureaucracy is slow to change. It will continue to push for a strong climate policy, but my guess is that even that will slowly change.

        You may be right that less alarmism would not result in stronger policy on any time scale, but in the long run it would be at least as effective – and without those unnecessary losses that the panicky early reactions have caused in Europe. (Whatever the truth about climate change, the early European reactions have surely been very wasteful, i.e. they have had very little influence on climate or future capabilities, but caused relatively much larger costs.)

        There’s no doubt that political attitudes influence strongly the views of people on climate change. In U.S. conservatives react negatively to the idea of government intervention while here in Europe the strongest political link is with the green movement and anti growth ideologies. They take the climate issue as evidence that their views are also more generally correct and use it as a tool to push policies towards the direction they prefer.

        While many conservatives in U.S. seem to present views that I see as contradicting clear facts, surprisingly many here in Europe do not only accept that Climate Change is a serious issue but are also ready to accept costly policies that can certainly not be justified by an objective analysis.

      • Pekka,
        That was a helpful summary of Europe. To help you better understand the US situation, Joshua, Dave Appel etc still want the panicky, wasteful response.
        They grasp that political conservatives are unlikely to support panicky wasteful and ineffective action, but they just can’t bring themselves to admit that is a good thing.
        It has something to do with their motivated reasoning. We’re waiting for them to figure it out.

      • Pekka –

        One difference in our starting point is that I’m in Europe.

        Yes. An important point. It seems that the level of political polarization w/r/t climate change is not as great in Europe as it is in the US. An inverted by parallel situation might be GMO controversy here – where it is not particularly politically polarizing – and Europe, where it seems to be more politicized.

        As for your last paragraph – I know that you have studied the economics of energy policies more than I, but I am less confident that you w/r/t the costs of policies long term. I see far too much uncertainty about the costs/benefits related to negative externalitiies to share your confidence.

      • Thanks for the moving words, Pekka, from which the pen moves on.
        =======================

    • MaxOk

      You don’t think that through observation, looking at crop records and experience that the older farmers would know of the constant shifts in climate?

      Here in Britain a 55 year old would have seen 3 noticeable climate shifts, two up and one down , Their life would have included one of the coldest winters in the 350 year history of CET, one of the hottest summers , In addition severe droughts and severe rainfall. and everything in between.

      Perhaps the younger farmers are not so aware that climate change didn’t begin the year they were born


      tonyb

      • True, Tony. And I don’t know about UK farmers, but many Australian farmers keep their own weather records. In the case of properties that have been farmed for a long time (in our terms) these records can go back 100 years or more – and have the added benefit of not being “adjusted” by the BOM.

        Apart from climate scientists and meteorologists – a relatively recent phenomenon – I can’t think of any other occupational group that is as obsessed by weather and climate. It is the lifeblood of their business. And they are certainly much better informed about it than the average bear, especially the older ones.

      • tonyb,

        While younger farmers haven’t seen the extremes older farmers have seen, it may be human nature to exaggerate the severity of what happened “way back then.” That’s why instrumental records are important.

        On climate change and it’s issues, It would be interesting to see if there’s a difference in the opinions of older farmers and older people who aren’t farmers.

      • Johanna

        One of the denizens here kindly helped to extend our knowledge of the past by translating from French and Latin climate records of one of the great estate of England. So we have weather records from the land and the people who worked it from 1150 to 1450 plus the Merle Weather diaries from the 15th Century and of course Matthew Paris from the 1200’s.

        We have an awful lot of other records as well , many of which can be cross referenced to other studires. I referenced a graph above. Climate changes very frequently and very often those changes are very noticeable to mankind and nature.

        Just because the climate isn’t the same as when we were children doesn’t mean the current change is either extraordinary or unprecedented or even, in the greater scheme of things, unusual.
        tonyb

      • MaxOk

        See my reply to Johanna.

        That’s why farmers through the ages keep records. They needed to know ;likely dates for sowing and harvesting and likely periods of rain or frost. These records go all the way back to the Ancient Egyptian ‘Nileometer’

        .http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nilometer
        You do know about this sort of thing don’t you?
        Farmers work with the land and are tuned into the seasons.

        AS for older people who aren’t farmers, people in skyscraper airconditioned offices reached via aircon cars who shop in windowless Malls are unlikely to have the same level of knowledge of nature as farmers, or the same need to keep accurate records. .. Don’t you agree?

        tonyb

      • Johanna,

        but many Australian farmers keep their own weather records.

        I can vouch for that. My Grandfather and Father religiously maintained daily max and min temperature and rainfall records from 1898 to 1969. There were no missed entries. Always someone took the readings when Grandfather or Father were away. When we stopped taking regular readings in 1969 (due to a car accident), BOM was really keen to try to find a way to keep them going. We struggled on for a while but became eratic. We had greater concerns at the time.

      • Peter, a friend from a farm that has been working since the 1880s in north western NSW showed me the weather records for that property. They were meticulously kept. For the benefit of international readers, it is about 12,000 acres of wheat and sheep country. For most of its history, the BOM station (which was a long way away) wasn’t of much practical help.

        They have bred prize merino sheep and fine wool, crossbreds for meat, and grown various crops without going broke for over a century. In Australian agriculture, that is no mean feat. But yeah, they are dumb rednecks according to the “cosmopolitan” set.

        Pinhead academics who try to tell these people that they are stupid and don’t understand what is going on get short shrift. I wonder why that would be?

      • Hi Johanna,

        I agree with all that. I’ll add a bit more about our property because some of it may be of passing interest regarding extreme weather events.

        My youngest brother now owns the property and his son is at uni now and has an interest in continuing it. Originally, before i was born, it was 30,000 acres. Bit by bit it got split between sibblings and my brother now owns about 5000 acres. It is sheep and cattle country. About 300 acres are river flats and used for various crops, mostly lucern (alfalfa to North Americans).

        Now for the extreme weather bit. There is evidence of a massive flood some time after white man arrived (and before my Grandfather bought it in 1898). Early diary records indicate the river was a “chain of ponds” and swampy meadows. All covered in grasses, reeds and tussocks. Now it is an incised river bed, about 6 m deep. The river bed is comprised mostly of coarse sand and mostly of cobbles up to 20 cm diameter.

        Just downstream from the homestead a tributary gully comes down from the hills and joins the river. It created a large alluvial fan. However, now it has a deep gully cut through it – it is about 4 m deep with near vertical banks.

        On top of the alluvial fan are some large boulders (about 0.5 m diameter). In the river bed down stream from where the gully joins the river is a boulder about 1 m diameter and others between 0.5 and 1 m.

        It seems the large boulders that are on top of the alluvial fan have been brought down the gully from the hills in a massive flood, rolled across the alluvial fan and left stranded on top before the incised gully was formed. I expect, at the same time, the gully was formed and the 1m diameter boulder in the river was rolled down the gully into the river.

        Either at the same time or earlier, the river was eroded from a chain of ponds – a stable environment that had probably lasted since the retreat of the ice sheets (there are striated pavements, formed by moving ice, on the high ground just a few kilometers from the homestead) – to the incised valley that exists now.

        I interpret the cause as follows:

        1. removal of trees and excessive grazing by sheep and cattle after white man settled the area,

        2. a massive flood event

        There are signs of massive floods 200 km downstream with recent gravels extending up to 20 m above a wide flat valley floor.

        We had large floods in 1956 and other years, but nothing like the ones that caused the incised river bed and scoured and rolled cobbles up to 20 cm.

        The point of all this is that the extreme weather events that occurred where I grew up were long before man’s GHG emissions played a part.

        Just a bit of trivia. I realise this stuff is just undocumented trivia, but just thought I’d have a chat. :)

        I could say much more, but that’s probably enough for now.

      • climatereason | July 19, 2013 at 4:42 am | Reply
        MaxOk

        You don’t think that through observation, looking at crop records and experience that the older farmers would know of the constant shifts in climate?
        ______

        I doubt they would be aware of a long-term trend (i.e. the global warming of the 20th Century).

      • Maxok

        I am baffled as to why you think farmers are so dumb and have such a short perspective on climate. Various posters above have written of the records kept on farms.

        A farmer from Buchan in North East Scotland, one of the snowiest parts of lowland Britain, wrote in the agricultural section of the local newspaper during the exceptionally mild winter of 1933/34.

        “1934 has opened true to the modern tradition of open, snowless winters. The long ago winters are no precedent for our modern samples. During the last decade, during several Januarys the lark has heralded spring up in the lift from the middle to the end of the month. Not full fledged songs but preliminary bars in an effort to adapt to our climatic change.”

        It then goes on to say;
        “It is unwise to assume that the modern winters have displaced the old indefinitely”
        and also; “Our modern winters have induced an altered agricultural regime”

        The farmer was correct of course as the temperatures dropped in the 1960’s and 70’s then started rising again. They have been dropping again over the last decade,

        GS Callendar was so surprised by the extremely bitter winter of 1962/3 that his biographer confirms he doubted his own greenhouse warming theory.

        tonyb

      • Tony, I didn’t say farmers are dumb, but it helps to be dumb to stay in farming.

        After winning a 10 million dollar lottery, an old farmer was interviewed by a TV news reporter who asked him if he planned on doing anything differently now that he was very wealthy. The old farmer considered the question, then replied “no, I think I’ll just keep farming until the money runs out.”

        Tony, I’m sorry but I can’t accept the notion farmers keep meticulous records of daily temperature ( highs, lows) recorded at the same time every day, year after year, over their entire working lives.

      • Max_OK, When you are having your caramel roll & coffee in the morning, you should try to laugh along with everyone else.

    • David Springer

      If you’re young and conservative you have no heart. If you’re old and liberal you have no brain.

      This and the fact that climate change is a culture wars battleground has vast explanatory power. The demarcation isn’t by age it’s by which side you’re on in the culture wars. Younger people tend to be easily taken in by progressive schemes which are, more often than not, underwritten by old greedy schemers like Al Gore. Older people are more likely to have developed a cynical attitude towards promises of change for the better made by schemers such as Gore.

  58. Talk all you want about climate-change but farmers in Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa will not listen until they can improve their yields by switching from 105 day corn to 110 day corn.

    Talking heads have been yapping for twenty years about climate-change but farmers still cannot factor it into their plans.

    Don’t get me wrong, farmers around here are acutely aware of micro-climate, they have to be.

    Most city people think that farmers live where they work.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Most farmers own and rent fields scattered near and far. It is not unusual to work a field 20 miles north of the bin-site and one 20 miles south. As everyone knows around here, a temperature gradient runs through that 40 mile latitude difference and one has to take it into account.

    What farmers have not been able to take reliably into account – is a change in growing season. Once they can, they will believe in climate-change.

  59. GregS says:

    “Talk all you want about climate-change but farmers in Southern Minnesota and Northern Iowa will not listen until they can improve their yields by switching from 105 day corn to 110 day corn.”
    _____

    Well, maybe they should.

    http://corn.agronomy.wisc.edu/AA/A039.aspx

  60. The Iowa study the mean age of farmers was 64.5 years. See Table 2 in the linked study.

    http://www.soc.iastate.edu/staff/arbuckle/Arbuckle_Morton_Hobbs_2013_Farmer_beliefs_concerns_climate%20changeWEB.pdf

    • Well, maybe they should. – Max-OK

      Not quite sure what your link was attempting to say, Max.

      Optimum Relative Maturity for Yield and Profitability in Corn is a strategy for balancing the risks of late season harvest and drying costs against the price of corn. It says nothing about the number of growing days shifting northward.

      Farmers will be justifiably skeptical of climate change until they can account for changes in growing degree days (GDD).

      While there is evidence of GDD change over the long term, there is very little support for GDD change on time-scales that a farmer can plan on.

      Until the

  61. You don’t have kids.

  62. Judith you missed an opportunity to plug a new paper by some of your colleagues.

    http://rxb.eas.gatech.edu/papers/westby_lee_black_2013.pdf

    Which shows that at least when it comes to boreal winters the sort of things that vex US farmers ARE just weather. Some really interesting work in this paper. One thing that’s missing in many of the discussions out extremes is the role of large scale dynamics. It was clearly missing in the stuff Hansen did, it’s good to see these guys working on it.

    • This for pointing this out, I am on Rebecca Westby’s Ph.D. thesis committee, didn’t realize this was published yet.

      • ‘All models considered are unable to replicate observed associations between ATRs(anomalous temperature regimes) and the PDO.’
        ============================

      • Yeah, and farmers are so stupid they don’t believe in anthropogenic climate change. Apparently they aren’t stupid enough to believe in models such as these. It must be all their higher edumacation, or maybe the alternative analog supercomputers they’ve got running in the back Forty.
        =============

  63. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy news Roundup | Watts Up With That?

  64. Its all personal opinion. You can’t call someone dumb for having there own opinion. I mean there are facts out to prove them wrong. But its a great debate topic. Thanks for the post!

  65. this story is copied verbatim from here
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-farmers-do-not-believe-in-climate-change/
    or here?
    http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/07/farmers_don_t_believe_in_climate_change_but_maybe_that_s_ok.html

    theres no journalism here, just plagiarism, or collusion to sow the internet with a one sided story

    to all those who think farmers are ‘ignorant of ‘anthropogenic’ global warming’
    how damned ignorant and arrogant of you to think that those who live on, off and by the land dont know what is business as usual or not!

    you who live in your condo with strip lighting with your widescreen plasma tv’s and your kindles, tablets and laptops dont know ANYTHING about the weather that you havent been told, you dont work in it, your job doesnt occur in it, the only time you are in it is when you are going to and from work, the gym, or doing your weekly shops.

    you have NO clue what is real regarding weather and what is not, so pipe down at the back!

    • this story is copied verbatim from here

      No it’s not. That’s a lie, or at least culpably careless ignorance. Stupid as well. You’re exposing your real agenda.

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