On academic bullying

by Judith Curry

So Prof. Enoch is basically seeking to harm Prof. Bell’s reputation, without providing literally ANY documentation that Prof. Bell is wrong, much less so egregiously wrong that his work should be considered “pseudo-scholarship” and his reputation should suffer. 

If you google ‘academic bullying’, you come up with a number of articles that are really about bullying in the workplace, which happens to be universities.  What I am interested in is academic bullying that occurs in the context of public debates. Not the cyber bullying where anonymous individuals send hate emails to academics.  I’m interested in academics bullying other academics publicly, in the context of public debates.

A stark example comes to us today from the legal academic community, via an article by David Bernstein in the Washington Post Academic Bullying.  Excerpts:

Let’s say you’re a law professor in Israel. You write mainly about philosophical issues along the lines of “How Noncognitivists Can Avoid Wishful Thinking,” consistent with your Ph.D. in philosophy, though you do occasionally venture into legal and philosophical issues related to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Another law professor, Avi Bell, who teaches in the U.S. and Israel and has written widely about international law and the Arab-Israeli conflict, writes something that you think is outrageous; in particular, Bell writes that Israel, having withdrawn from Gaza nine years ago, is no longer under any legal obligation to provide electricity and water to the Gazan population.

So do you

  • (a) co-author a memorandum with a colleague who specializes in international humanitarian law explaining why Bell is wrong;
  • (b) given that it’s so obvious Bell’s wrong, just write that memo yourself, even if it’s a bit outside your areas of expetise; or
  • (c) write a note to Brian Leiter for publication on his blog, denouncing Prof. Bell, without providing any explanation as to why Bell’s legal analysis is wrong, or any link to a rebuttal of Bell’s work, but simply claiming that “Israeli academics working in international humanitarian law are working, of course, on detailed documents refuting the legal technical claims made in Bell’s opinion.”

Professor David Enoch of Hebrew University chose c, and concluded as follows: “I think that the legal academic community should do what it can to make it clear that there are consequences of such abuse of legal pseudo-scholarship and status in the service of gross immoralities – if nothing else, in terms of reputation.”

So Prof. Enoch is basically seeking to harm Prof. Bell’s reputation, without providing literally ANY documentation that Prof. Bell is wrong, much less so egregiously wrong that his work should be considered “pseudo-scholarship” and his reputation should suffer. We should instead just take Prof. Enoch’s word for it because, … well it’s not really clear why we should according to Enoch, except that Prof. Bell’s work suits Israel’s “right-wing,” and therefore apparently must be legally incorrect.

I’m sure Leiter himself could tell us which logical fallacy this best represents, but I can’t recall ever seeing a law professor attack another law professor in such a bullying manner, and without providing ANY indication that the attack is deserved beyond “trust me.”

As an aside, as a colleague points out, bullying of a somewhat less egregious sort seems relatively common among international law scholars, where those who are outside the predominant leftist consensus are considered beyond the pale. Keep that in mind next time you see a reference to “consensus” in international law scholarship, and consider whether it means anything beyond, “dissenters are afraid to voice their opinions.”

From the comments:

If want you really want to say is that “I’m politically and morally opposed to Israel doing this, and Prof. Bell, whatever his legal views, should keep his mouth shut because he’s giving aid and comfort to the other side, and that makes him a bad person,” than please just say that explicitly, rather than pretending this is an issue of “pseudo-scholarship,” as Enoch put it.

He would not recommend doing it. No, I suppose he would not. But would he recommend against it? It’s multiply equivocal, and so tells us nothing with certainty. Francis Urquhart would be proud.

Academic analysis as to the legality of policies that you strongly oppose must not be allowed, lest those who would enact policies may be encouraged. All methods are permitted and justified to stop research that supports countervailing ideology, including personal attacks and unsupported arguments.

It appears that Bell has sufficient legal and academic qualification to reasonably opine on the legality of cutting-off water and power from Israel to Gaza. I do not care whether Bell, or you, actually supports such a policy. If you or Enoch believe that such a policy is legally untenable, then I expect to see a detailed and cited refutation, not a “trust me” or “shut up.” If you oppose the policy simply on social or political grounds, simply admit that you care little about whether it’s permissible under international or Israeli law, and argue that the policy of providing water and power to Gaza is right regardless of the relevant law. Ironically, the failure to present substantive opposing legal arguments might lead one to reasonably believe that the law is not on your side.

As every trial lawyer knows, “If you have the facts on your side, pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, pound the law. If you have neither on your side, pound the table.”

Bullying in climate science

Well, the legal example seems pretty tame stuff relative to what goes on climate science. But  I like this example since it provides some clarity of thinking on the issue, that can be applied to the bullying problem in climate science.

First, the issue of expertise.  How many people who call themselves ‘climate scientists’ but have no expertise in climate change detection/attribution call out academics that are skeptical of the consensus  as ‘deniers’, ‘anti-science’, etc?  Peter Gleick comes immediately to mind.

Second, the issue of less egregious bullying where people outside  the predominant leftist consensus are considered beyond the pale.  This one is rampant in climate science.  The ostracism of non-consensus scientists (most recently Lennaert Bengtsson, see also the recent article on John Christy), both publicly and privately is bullying.

Third, the issue of (undefended) personal attacks by climate scientists against other scientists (personal case in point is described on thread (Micro) aggressions on social media, subsection Hockey Sticks and Stones).  Twitter has the unfortunate effect of legitimizing the one-liner insults, see #deniers, #antiscience; Michael Mann is a master of this one.  Bernstein says it’s not really clear why we should take the attacker’s word for it.  In climate science, its easy:  argument from consensus; anyone attacking/disagreeing with the consensus is fair game for attack, when the consensus supports political decision making.

Fourth, the comments clarify disagreement that is political/moral versus scholarly.  This is the root of most of the bullying in climate science.  Even speaking about uncertainty is interpreted as a political rather than a scientific statement by those trying to bully other academics to ‘conform’.

Michael Mann has an op-ed If you see something, say something.  I would like to add the corollary: If you say something, defend it (and appealing to consensus does not constitute a defense.)  Disagree with the argument, not the person.  Attempting to make someone’s scholarly reputation suffer over political disagreements is the worst sort of academic bullying.

 

 

465 responses to “On academic bullying

  1. Dr. Curry,
    One of you most loyal fans . But this strikes me as an exercise in belaboring the obvious. You’re right of course. People shouldn’t act like jerks.

    • Unfortunately the obvious is that academic bullying became a method to build consensus, by eliminating anyone who disagreed.

      • anonymoustache

        No honest person, with any non-trivial experience in a modern academic environment, can deny that liberals are generally obnoxious bullies who ostracize dissenters and work tirelessly to restrict intellectual debate.

  2. The abhorrent bullying in Climate Science will not cease until a legal precedent is set bestowing compensatory and punitive damage awards to the victims. With no negative repercussions, what incentive do they have to ever stop their immoral behavior?

    • So looking forward to Mann vs Steyn.

      • That’s without question going to be the most significant event in this arena since climate-gate. The implications will be huge imvho. If Mann wins, it’s a clear step in the direction of the politically correct dystopia the Progressives are pushing for. If Steyn wins, it’s a major black eye for the consensus bullies. Any skeptic who’s not dug deep for Mr. Steyn’s legal expenses ought to think about doing so now…

      • If the case survives the current appeal by NRO, you should expect Mann to win at the trial level. There is a very good reason his very good lawyers chose the court they did.

        The test will come on appeal. First, the DC Court of Appeals is the District’s highest court. And as can be seen by the opinions in the Steyn case so far, not much less progressive than the DC trial courts.

        Steyn could very well find himself appealing the case to the Supreme Court just as the NY Times did in NY Times v. Sullivan, and for the same reasons. There the outcome will likely depend on whether Obama gets to appoint another justice if one of the conservatives retires. Or if Kennedy or Roberts wakes up on the wrong side of the bed that day.

      • Gary,

        I know there’s been much pressure on R.B.G. tor retire while Obama’s still in office.. She fortunately seems to have no intention of doing so. How long if it goes all the way to the Supreme Court, would that process take? Several years, correct?

        Of course I take your legal opinion seriously, and yet based on what I’ve read about what it takes to libel a public figure….given that there are plenty of experts who’ve gone on record to the effect that Mann’s work is bogus…it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around such an outcome. OTOH, since I know he’s got excellent counsel, they must think they can win.

      • pokerguy,

        It will take years if things go the way I expect. This round of appeals, then the trial, then another appeal to the DC appellate court, and If Steyn loses then, and only then, will he have standing to appeal on first amendment grounds to the Supreme Court. A conservative estimate would be five years, and it could take longer for a final result.

        As to Ginsburg, if she retires and Obama replaces her, that will be a wash on the current count. The real difference would be that he would be able to appoint someone much younger who will be around for probably an additional 20-30 years.

        There will be, and may already be, considerable pressure on her to resign. And I fully expect her to do so. The question is when.

        Here’s a prediction, if the Democrats lose the Senate this year, expect a snap retirement by Ginsburg, and an immediate appointment by Obama with fast track confirmation by Harry Reid. (The Senate no longer operates as a collegial body; the Dems do as they are told, and the Republicans were neutered long ago.) They won’t chance a Republican Senate refusing to appoint his hard core progressive choice to replace her if the Senate changes hands.

        If the Dems somehow maintain the Senate, she will hang on as long as she can, but retire immediately before the 2016 presidential election.

      • Here’s one for you, Gary. Does Boehner’s lawsuit have a chance in your view? I’m pulling for that just about as much as for Steyn to win. I’d pay a lot to see Obama and his sneering lackeys humiliated.

        I’ve become a fan of Jonathon Turley..who I’m sure you know is a liberal guy for the most part. He recently had this to say:

        “A dominant presidency has occurred with very little congressional opposition,” he noted. “Indeed, when President Obama pledged to circumvent Congress, he received rapturous applause from the very body that he was proposing to make practically irrelevant. Now many members are contesting the right of this institution to even be heard in federal court.”

        “This body is moving from self-loathing to self-destruction in a system that is in crisis,” the law professor charged. “The president’s pledge to effectively govern alone is alarming, and what is most alarming is his ability to fulfill that pledge.

        When a president can govern alone, he can become a government unto himself,” he warned, “which is precisely the danger the framers sought to avoid. What we’re witnessing today is one of the greatest crises that members of this body will face.”

      • @Pokerguy – I am actually not confident of Boehner’s lawsuit and think it is wrong. The founders gave congress a way to rein in rogue president, but as Turley noted (in your quote) congress is shirking its duty. In the final analysis,the courts cannot do a thing about the lawsuit. They have no standing.

      • pokerguy,

        Boehner’s law suit is a joke. And a dangerous joke at that. He personally has no standing. He is characterizing the suit as the legislative branch vs. the executive branch. That subterfuge shouldn’t work because he is not the legislative branch. Not even the House acting at his request represents “the congress.” The House and Senate together are the congressional branch.

        Even if the House and Senate both passed resolutions authorizing the suit, the Supreme Court has long standing precedent that it will not decide political issues arising between the other two branches of government. But that is irrelevant because it will never happen under Harry Reid.

        Boehner is not challenging Obama’s actions on the basis of any harm to him personally or the House. He is saying the president is trampling the prerogatives of the legislature by unilaterally amending legislation. While that is a true fact, the Constitution provides two obvious remedies for the legislature in such cases, and one that the House alone could enforce.

        First, the congress can impeach the president for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” And that term does not mean what you hear in the progressive press. Andrew Johnson was impeached on purely political grounds, and only barely survived trial in the Senate, by one vote.

        The fact that the Senate would never convict Obama does not mean the remedy is not available. It just means that one half of the legislature disagrees with Boehner. This alone strongly undermines any claim to standing. It is the Senate, not the president, that makes redress under impeachment unavailable.

        The second remedy available to the House, and for which it requires no support from any other parties, is the power of the purse. All appropriations bills have to originate in the House. The Senate and president together cannot fund individual programs, let alone the entire government.

        The reason Boehner is filing a law suit is purely political. He is a political coward (as are the rest of the GOP “leaders” in congress), and is unwilling to risk his personal position and power by either trying to impeach Obama or to deny funding to the very presidential abuses of power he claims to be trying to stop.

        The law suit is not designed to stop Obama. It is designed to give GOP primary voters the impression that Boehner and the rest of the GOP establishment are doing something before the November elections.

        The suit does present a very real danger though. That is that progressive judges will hear the case, and see the opportunity. If a precedent is set that the leader of one house of congress has standing to sue the president for impinging on the prerogatives of congress, any future Republican president who is faced with one house under Democrat control will face a never ending series of law suits.

        The reason Turley supports the suit is that as a progressive, he would love to see a precedent set where one house of congress could combine with the courts to control the executive. He is completely right about the risks of Obama’s conduct. He is desperately wrong that the Boehner suit is the answer. Boehner and the rest of the Republican congressional “leadership” need to put their big boy pants on (to borrow a phrase) and stand up to Obama in the way the Constitution expressly provides.

        Boehner’s end run around the Constitution is fundamentally no different from Obama’s numerous such. Rather than follow the procedures established in the Constitution, Boehner is going off on his own and claiming authority to do something that if successful, will establish a horrible precedent.

        Boehner’s conduct here is stupid, arrogant, dangerous and completely self serving.

      • @GaryM – A much better explanation of the ills of the Boehner lawsuit than I wrote. Outstanding!

      • Kids these days. Don’t know what a busy signal is, or a two-party government.
        ============

      • Gary: Respectfully, from an interested onlooker of law, a court function is to judge between competing precedents, sometimes very many precidents, and determine applicability to the case before it. If the Boehner lawsuit succeeds, it will establish a precident, but IMHO will be business as usual for the courts, no big deal. The courts will have to determine if each new case is applicable to Boehner. The applicability of Boehner will be narrow; does the case represent a clear violation by the executive branch of legislative authority. The courts will not be subjected to frivolous lawsuits as a result.

      • rls,

        The courts are full of frivolous law suits already. Boehner’s bone headed suit is the first of its kind. If he is found to have standing, the repercussions will be huge, not just due to Democrats in congress, but because of disgruntled state legislators everywhere.

        We haven’t had a new nuclear power plant built in decades. Nor any refineries. The Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act and many other “environmental” regulations were specifically written, in part, to give standing to progressives who would bring suit to implement policy that progressive politicians could not openly pass as law – an attack on development. Litigation is one of the primary weapons of the left in their attempts to “fundamentally transform America” in ways the voters would never approve.

        The entire purpose of the standing requirement is to stop people from bringing suits unless they personally have an interest affected by the action challenged.

        Political decisions should be made by politicians answerable to the voters, not judges with lifetime tenure.

  3. At the conference in Washington, during the question period, Ehrlich was reminded that after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, scientists were quoted as saying nothing would grow there for 75 years, but in fact melons were growing the next year. So, he was asked, how accurate were these findings now?

    Ehrlich answered by saying “I think they are extremely robust. Scientists may have made statements like that, although I cannot imagine what their basis would have been, even with the state of science at that time, but scientists are always making absurd statements, individually, in various places. What we are doing here, however, is presenting a consensus of a very large group of scientists”

    I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

    (Aliens Cause Global Warming: A Caltech Lecture by Michael Crichton)

  4. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    At the highest levels, science is pursued with passion and for keeps. A pretty considerable fraction of scientists collapse under the strain.

    “It is difficult for people to imagine the wounds and scars that attend the rise of an acclaimed scientist.”
       — Red Jost (quoted in “Einstein’s German World”, 2001)

    Civility helps to reduce this mortal strain — James Hansen (for example) is well-respected in this regard  — yet (as with any passionate pursuit) it can never be eliminated entirely from science pursued seriously.

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • Absolutely, civility is essential. Anyone who chooses to use terms like “anti science” and “denier” instead of sticking to the facts and keeping the debate reasonable and polite ceases to be a contributing academic and becomes a obstructionist bully. It takes so little to be gracious and polite, even with those you disagree with, and it pays such dividends.

    • Isn’t James Hansen a retired global warming alarmist?

      • Adding alarmist to my list of bully terms.

      • Government scientists view FOIA requests as bullying.

      • Government scientists view FOIA requests as bullying.

        Yep, when they proclaim something is true beyond question and anyone says “prove it” or show me the data so I can figure it out myself, they consider that bullying.

      • He is a retired government employee. He is not a retired global warming alarmist. He is still active in global warming alarmism.

      • “Government scientists view FOIA requests as bullying”

        For The Team members in the thrall of The Cause, it’s bullying only if the request is made of their team. It’s to be applauded if it’s a request made of the opposition.
        The Team Is just like a political party

    • FOMT preaching civility?? NowbI must clean my monitor and re-fill my coffee mug. FOMTartuffery has been the epitome of incivility and ANTI-civility for as long as I have seen him here.

      “hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue”

    • David Springer

      Crank alert!

    • The systemic bias and dishonesty unpinning the consensus must surely add to strain too, all the time wondering when someone will blow another whistle.

    • And Yes, being asked to come clean by satisfying FOI requests is how the consensus views “bullying”.

  5. Judith. Of all the examples to give, an Israeli/Palestine argument may be the worst you could find.. Stepping in to the mess of all the physical, moral and legal wrongs which have been done by both sides in that conflict is a complete distaction and an imposdible debate. Acedemic bullying in that context does not seem to be a major thing.
    IMHO.

    • I respectfully disagree, markx. Although I only occasionally mention them on my own blog – more in passing than anything else – to my mind, the many parallels are quite uncanny.

      Starting with the indisputable fact that, the United Nations bears primary responsibility for the seeding, feeding and promoting of so many myths, distortions and all-around “revisionisms” – while preying and depending on the very superficial knowledge of both facts and history in the general population – which have led to the ever-increasing great divide on both the climate wars front and the Arab/Israeli wars front.

      The UN wrote the playbook for the latter – and has applied it quite diligently and persistently to the former.

      Extending this metaphor, one might say that the UN has succeeded in expanding its own bailiwick by focusing on and exaggerating the plight of the Palestinians (which it has created and perpetuated) just as it has succeeded in demonizing carbon dioxide (which it has also created and perpetuated).

      Your mileage may vary, but, that’s the view from here;-)

  6. Anonymous peer review is the favourite tool of he academic bully. Secure behind the screen of sacred anonymity, you can say anything and cause any number of terrible consequences for a colleague and they won’t even know who did it. To quote Jack Rudloe, “You can always spot an academic by the number of knives in his back.”

  7. Phooey. My expertise as a climate scientist gives me the background to comment on all sorts of things climate-related. But the point you make, using me as an example, is nonsensical. I’m not a medical doctor, but I have a pretty well informed opinion about the effectiveness and need for vaccinations. I’m not a tobacco scientist, but I have a pretty well informed opinion about the science linking smoking and cancer. And I have a right — as does everyone — to express opinions about these issues and those who deny fundamental and accepted science. You are proposing a pretty elitist set of criteria for requiring “expertise” to comment on issues of high public interest. I know you don’t like the terms “denier” or “anti-science” but they are accurate and appropriate in certain places and times. Like the climate debate.

    • As soon as terms like “denier” and “anti science” are utilized all reasonable debate of the facts ceases and the you are left with bullying.

      • Buzz Fledderjohn

        Except, of course, where people are clearly denying the science. Like with most of those rejecting significant human influence on global temperature.

      • David Springer

        Peter Gleick is not a professional entertainer but he’s still an impersonator.

        ROFLMAO

        I can believe the asswipe had the nerve to comment here using his real name. Was there some medical breakthrough that happened allowing him to grow some balls?

      • “people are clearly denying the science”

        Actually, they are just denying someone’s opinion.

        Andrew

      • Everybody’s got a right. It’s what they do with it that speaks volumes.

    • It would be more informative to get Peter Gleick’s expert commentary on phishing, fraud, (lack of) ethics, document forgery etc. It would be good if the public could at last see the full, complete, honest account from the ex-Chairman of the AGU’s Taskforce on Ethics.

      http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/02/peter-gleick-confesses-to-obtaining-heartland-documents-under-false-pretenses/253395/

      • That’s what I don’t get about these guys. The lack of shame. Holy God, if I had been driven by some form of temporary insanity to do what Peter Gleick did, I’d be so overcome with shame….and guilt…and good old fashioned embarrassment, that I’d likely spend the rest of my life trying to atone. They suffer from a kind of self-righteous narcissism which is beyond my comprehension.

        If these fraudsters weren’t doing so much damage, I’d be moved to pity them..

      • I’m with you on that one, pokerguy. Even if I believed my cause was just, I couldn’t sleep at night if I’d done half what Gleick, Connolley and Mann had done.

      • Pokerguy, the fact that you can see all that in your mind’s eye will keep you well grounded. Gleickster not so much. His lack of self awareness is breathtaking.

    • Peter, the term “denier” is never accurate nor is it appropriate. It has misappropriated by the intellectually lazy and historically ignorant in order to apparently undo over fifty years of work on holocaust denial. The term took decades of hard work to be forced into the international consciousness and now that work has essentially been destroyed by the likes of you.

      • Perhaps you can request that be added to all psychological texts dating back to the late 1800’s that reference “denial.”

      • Buzz, could you be more ridiculous if you tried? There is a difference in a word being used as a noun and its use as a verb. The clinical use of the verb denial was the basis of its use as a noun to address a specific intellectual dysfunction: the denial of the historical truth called the Holocaust.

        The folks in the climate change debate, being too intellectually lazy to come up with a term misappropriated this one. It has been argued, very convincingly in my opinion, that this was a deliberate act to conflate the denial of the Holocaust with the intellectual debate around climate sensitivity to CO2.

        I can only hope that in the case of Dr. Gleik and others of his ilk that this is not the case and that they are simply intellectually lazy and not viciously callous.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Kingb decries [nonsensically]  “The clinical use of the verb denial.”

        Climate Etc readers are invited to reflect that (1)  “denial” is *NEVER* a verb, and (2)  “denial” and “denialism” — in their manifold well-established scientific usages — are *ALREADY* the topics of thousands of scientific articles.

        The article Denialism: what is it and how should scientists respond? and the review Denialism: How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives both are commended to Climate Etc readers.

        Kingb, it is a pleasure to help augment your appreciation of the (vast) scientific literature relating to denial and denialism!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Kingb… They’re of the same derivation. A denier is the person in denial. Same thing.

      • In fact, Kingb, you’re doing what is clinically described as “denial of denial.”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial#Denial_of_denial

      • More,

        Did you even read the second article you cite? In it the author specifically indicates that the term is recognized as having a previous use and how it is viewed by many as a misappropriation. As for being lectured by the folks from Climate etc. that their misappropriation of the term is legitimate, isn’t that a lot like a shoplifter explaining why shoplifting shouldn’t be a crime?

        I spent almost a decade in the 1980’s – 1990’s working with fellow travellers to counter the growing Denial movement in Western Canada during the rise of voices like Keegstra and Zundel. To have folks like you Johnny-come-latelies try to argue that a term “denier” that was still only sporadically being used in the vernacular in that era is somehow free game is, at it simplest, vacuous. Don’t lecture me about how the term is used in a clinical sense, because we all know that it is also a clinical term in the adverb, verb form. Its use as a one word descriptor Denier, denialist etc… was unique to the context of Holocaust denial thereafter. I suppose you could honestly not know the history of the term but a cursory examination of the historical record seems appropriate rather than doing global searches for a term that has a legitimate clinical meaning when used as a verb or adverb.

      • KingB, pot calling the kettle black! You have invoked the use of the Godwin Rule so many times one loses count. You , Judith, and ilk are ‘denialists’. If that offends you too bad, so sad.
        You are the climate bullies not rational people with an iota of common sense. People who believe in real science and accept the well substantiated fact that AGW is real and your apologetics, hyperbole, semantics, vitriol, etc,.etc. are just tired of your stall tactics and b.s!
        Edward Bernays would be proud of you.

      • David Springer

        JOHNNYUNSU = LOSER.

        If that offends you, too bad. Dork.

      • johnnyunsu,

        Me, personally? I have invoked the Godwin Rule? Not sure where, not sure when? Your statement may represent some contrarians out there but it certainly does not represent either myself nor Dr. Curry (based on my reading of her writings).

        As a pure side note, I would be placed somewhere between a “lukewarmer” and a “warmist” in the climate change name-calling spectrum (closer to lukewarmer than alarmist I will admit). I am definitely not a “climate alarmist”, however, and since I live in one of the very few constituencies in the world with a functional carbon tax (that I supported and helped get passed) I’m not sure how I earned your vitriol on this topic.

        I WOULD be considered strongly against the deniers in the Holocaust denial debate, having spent hundreds of hours working to counter the venomous hate of the Keegstras and Zundels while a younger man. Something that clearly you and your ilk did not do or you would be ashamed to be one of the morally bankrupt who have chosen to misappropriate the term.

    • And guesses-just so we’re clear-are merely expressions of prejudice. Nor can there be “informed guesses.” (Crichton)

    • Bernd Palmer

      @Gleick, granted, you have the right to your own opinion, but don’t expect everybody to share your opinion. And you don’t have the right to your own facts, even if you make them up.

    • It would be more informative to get Peter Gleick’s expert commentary on those mysterious Heartland documents. It would be good if the public could at last see the full, complete, honest account from the ex-Chairman of the AGU’s Taskforce on Ethics.

      http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/02/peter-gleick-confesses-to-obtaining-heartland-documents-under-false-pretenses/253395/

      “Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue”

      • yes, we have seen that Gleick exists above the law

        whether and why that should be the case are further questions

      • His expertize in ethics might just do it.
        Are those team members who deny the ethical lapse to be reminded of their denialism every time they congratulate Mr Gleick on his derring-doing?

    • Peter Gleick, there are few fundamental facts about climate science. The academics you call deniers don’t deny them. What they “deny” are things which we are, at best, largely uncertain about. That many people don’t believe your exaggerated claims and overstated certainty does not mean you are entitled to call them deniers.

      Quite frankly, if we’re going to call people deniers, we should call people who routinely exaggerate the extent of our knowledge deniers. They deny their lack of evidence. They deny alternative explanations. They deny basic scientific principles.

      And by they, I mean you.

      • Denying lack of evidence? [facepalm]
        What do you call direct measurements of up and downwelling IR absorption bands? Chopped liver?
        What do you call ice mass loss in Greenland, Antarctica and net glacial ice mass loss?
        What do you call…

        Oh never mind. What’s the point?

      • Buzz Fledderjohn, you have to try pretty hard to misunderstand my comment the way you just did. I never said anything about the evidence you talk about. Saying someone lacks evidence for a viewpoint in no way claims they lack evidence for any portion of that viewpoint.

      • Brandon, you clearly stated, “Peter Gleick, there are few fundamental facts about climate science.

        Only one way to interpret that statement. I listed fundamental facts about climate science. The actual list is about 10k times longer than that.

        As for uncertainties, these are not our friend for they can go either way. The uncertainties can mean that man-made influence is far more than central estimates as much as they can mean they are lower.

        There’s an old saying, “Hope for the best, plan for the worst.” You (and other “skeptics”) are saying, “Hope for the best, and… hope we’re right.”

      • Buzz Fledderjohn, nothing you listed is a fundamental fact of or about climate science. None of our knowledge of climate science hinges upon anything you described. If we didn’t have the evidence you refer to, our state of knowledge would be almost completely unaffected.

        As for the idea uncertainties go both ways, that’s a stupid argument to make here. Trivially, it’s stupid because uncertainties “go both ways” if and only if they are evenly distributed. That people say things are X does not mean our range of uncertainty must range from X – Y to X + Y.

        But the more serious problem is I never said anything that would suggest we shouldn’t consider uncertainties going in both directions. You’re claiming I’m biased and wrong for a position I’ve never advanced. You have absolutely no basis for what you just said, yet you used it to smear me. You could read everything I’ve ever written, and you would never find any basis for what you just said.

        Telling people they’re wrong and biased because you’ve read their mind so you know what they believe is pretty stupid.

      • Don Monfort

        buzzy, buzzy

        He murmurs:
        “The uncertainties can mean that man-made influence is far more than central estimates as much as they can mean they are lower.”

        We keep on puffing the CO2 into the air, but we ain’t seeing evidence that man-made influence is far more than central estimates:

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/02/95-of-climate-models-agree-the-observations-must-be-wrong/

        You need to adjust your central estimates. And adjust your attitude. Don’t be like Gleick. He is an embarrassment to the cause.

      • Buzz,

        care to explain how Greenland or Antarctic ice mass loss is a fact of human caused climate change?

      • “What do you call ice mass loss”

        You do realize that ice melting is a natural phenomenon, don’t you Buzz?

        Andrew

      • Buzz Fledderjohn

        Trivially, it’s stupid because uncertainties “go both ways” if and only if they are evenly distributed.

        This is correct. Problem is, there is more certainty that climate sensitivity is NOT low, and there is less certainty that climate sensitivity is NOT high.

      • Buzz Fledderjohn, I find it interesting you addressed the point I describe as trivial but not the one I described as important. And by interesting, I mean telling. And by telling, I mean you pretended to have knowledge of me for no other reason than I disagreed with you, and it’s pathetic you’re now refusing to address your error.

        As for what you said about my trivial point, you state your belief as a fact. It isn’t one. That’s why many people disagree. And unlike you, they often state their beliefs as beliefs, not facts. Also unlike you, they often offer evidence to support their beliefs.

        You won’t convince anyone by stating your beliefs as fact while doing nothing to support, especially not if you do so while making stupid remarks about what they believe with absolutely no basis.

      • Buzz Fledderjohn

        Here then, Brandon…

        They deny their lack of evidence. They deny alternative explanations. They deny basic scientific principles.

        1) There is no lack of evidence. There are well over 100k research papers full of evidence dating back over 100 years.
        2) There are currently no other viable alternative explanations that wouldn’t also require completely rewriting vast other areas of research on past climate.
        3) No one who is agreeing with significant human influence on climate change is denying basic scientific principles.

      • Buzz Fledderjohn, at this point, I think everyone can see you have nothing of value to offer. You’re not even attempting to address what people say, and the things you do say amount to nothing more than hand-waving.

        If you start saying things worth responding to, I’ll atart responding again.

      • Buzz:

        The uncertainties can mean that man-made influence is far more than central estimates as much as they can mean they are lower.

        If someone had said to you, “The uncertainties can mean that man-made influence is far less than central estimates as much as they can mean they are higher”, you would probably (rightly) accuse them of being biased.

      • Buzz:

        What do you call direct measurements of up and downwelling IR absorption bands?

        I’d call them direct measurements of up and downwelling IR absorption bands. What would you call them?

      • @Buzz Fledderjohn | July 18, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
        What do you call ice mass loss in … Antarctica and net glacial ice mass loss?
        *****
        Buzz just fizzed out. Obviously he is clueless Antarctic ice is near a record. Buzz, here’s a clue: Read up on the subject before you attempt to make an argument about it. You’ll fare a lot better. Just sayin’.

    • Dr. Gleich: Respectfully, perhaps less name calling could improve the discussion, and improve the standing of climate science.

    • Right, you are perfectly correct that you have the right to embarrass and discredit yourself.

    • Mr. Gleick, I have been meaning to ask you, what was it like to break a gazillion ethics rules while leading an ethics committee? Must have been a thrill! And the best part must be that you somehow got away professionally unscathed. And that you can still come to places like this and demand respect and trust. What a crazy world huh?

    • Peter Gleick,

      your expertise? It is my understanding that your expertise is in water issues. I am probably as expert in climate science as much as you are. I’ve at least taken the course work.

    • The self-declared “climate scientist” known as Peter Gleick wrote:

      Phooey.

      I see he has not lost his rather unique way with words.

      But I do wonder how – on an increasing scale of 1-5 – one is supposed to rate “Phooey” vs (another of his oh-so-professional-and-scientific pronouncements) “Yuck”.

      As I had noted a few years ago:

      In Gleick’s world (shared by such luminaries as Phil Jones, Michael Mann and the late, great communicator, Stephen Schneider), the professional and scientific response when learning that a journal peer reviewer has requested data and code is: “Yuck“. FWIW, from Jones’s reply, there may well have been “consensus” on this.

      Another question that occurs to me derives from a more recent confab, for which a press release had noted:

      “Common understanding has central importance in international discussions and water security can’t continue to have a variety of meanings,” says Zafar Adeel, co-chair of the UN-Water Task Force on Water Security and Director of the United Nations University’s Canadian-based Institute for Water, Environment and Health.

      A shared and working definition is needed to get everyone on the same page. Only then can we collectively start to write a coherent response to the challenges.

      “Access to safe water and sanitation is now a fundamental human right. But water management also requires realistic ways of recovering delivery costs. An agreed definition of water security is vitally important in that context.” [emphasis added -hro]

      So, notwithstanding his self-declared status as a “climate scientist”, perhaps (if he’s still here, rather than having pulled one of his more typical rant ‘n runs) Gleick – who is known for his expertise on the water-front – would deign to bring us up to date on the latest and greatest agreed and/or “working definition” of “water security”.

      Or is it still in (perhaps conveniently?!) undefined limbo?!

    • catweazle666

      Peter Gleick:

      These days it is becoming increasingly clear that you lot are “anti-science” and “deniers”, as I suspect you are beginning to become uncomfortably aware.

    • Peter, let’s see – what else are you good at. Nah, forget it, you got caught as I remember

    • It’s funny that I actually defended you in a thread earlier this week.

      Basically I said your work in hydrology shouldn’t be tainted by your beliefs. Hopefully your peers can evaluate it technically.

      That said, going all Fred Phelps doesn’t help your credibility much. Being religious is fine, but going so evangelical is probably counter productive.

    • (unless your just trying to raise money)

    • nutso fasst

      Is there anything more nonsensical than “accepted science” that’s been repudiated by reality?

    • Steven Mosher

      Looking at the style of this paragraph, the guy who wrote this also forged the heartland documents. Good to see you again Peter.

    • Peter Gleick is certainly qualified to talk about Phooey and nonsensical things.

      The sad thing is that whether you are correct on your points here or not, your ethical lapses make it irrelevant.

      Users of the ‘n’ word defended their use of the term using much the same logic as you in defending the term denier. Somehow, someone was able to convince them that users of hate speech don’t get to define its level of appropriateness in public discourse. I had colleagues who said that because black people use the ‘n’ word amongst themselves, that made it okay for them to say it.

      Eventually of course, it was decided by civilized people that those who were the target of hate speech should have some input about the issue. So racists had to find another way to make their feelings known.

      You have disqualified yourself from public discourse on what is ‘accurate or appropriate’ by breaking the law, stealing and forging documents. In that sense you are indeed like a tobacco scientist.

      Of course you are free to express your opinions. Welcome to a climate blog that doesn’t censor, unlike yours and those of your fellows on the alarmist side of the blogosphere.

      And as for the (admittedly little) substance of your post, comparing the climate debate to a possible case of cancer is daft. Comparing two things that have nothing in common does not improve our understanding.

      Climate change, adaptation and mitigation, if it is to be analogous to a medical condition, fits perfectly something like obesity and should be discussed in those terms. It’s not immediately life threatening, the patient can influence the course of the condition and medical procedures can lessen its impact.

      But those who need to alarm the public to satisfy their own egos and career ambitions can continue to prattle on about the planet having a fever, the relative weight of opinions of heart surgeons and the supposed resemblance of organizations that oppose alarmist policy to tobacco lobbyists. You are one of those.

      Fortunately you have outed yourself as an unprincipled hack. Most everyone here, from your supporters to detractors, know who and what you are.

      Have a glass of bottled water.

    • The point you make is accurate, but what you are missing is that other people who also do not have the specific expertise in question hold an equally legitimate view as yours in these cases.

      The inherent belief that a person’s view would be superior given their larger expertise in an unrelated area is something I have seen quite often, and it is a fallacy.

      For whatever reason, many academics tend to have a very bad case of this.

      • Tom, I am not too sure about that. My son was born at 29 weeks and that sure as hell changed by views about all sort of things.

    • Fake NASA astronaut forged a memo—Therefore (Climate) Science ethicist is a Fraud: An Anatomy of the Motivated Perversion of Science

    • Peter Gleick, I just loved your well-formed opinion on the Amazon book review!

    • oh look ,it is peter the thief attempting to be taken seriously.big problem peter,dishonesty is dishonesty ,that makes you untrustworthy .this ties in well with the annunciations of climate scientists of the cagw persuasion based on the output of climate models that have but a fraction of the relevant input,which appear untrustworthy.

      not one single negative effect of the slight warming up until the late nineties can be documented,simply because there have been no negative effects.
      the rubbish trotted out by various advocates of mitigation based on projections of warmist scientists has now been realised for what it was. spending on this futile exercise will slowly but surely be reigned in,and not before time.

      let us have no more disastrous waste of taxpayers funds like the insane building of desalination plants in austrailia to mitigate for excessive droughts due to cagw that to date have never been required ,while the dams fill with rain that was forecast never to come by the warmists.

      european seas and landscapes covered in wind turbines that contribute a fraction of our energy requirements at a cost several multiples of conventional generation. turbines that will fail long before their predicted lifespan ,requiring more taxpayer funding for removal.
      worst of all,increased winter deaths in northern europe as a result of increased energy costs,costs driven by insane subsidy of systems doomed to fail from the outset. several cold winters in a row now would have a devastating effect,particularly on the young ,elderly and infirm. you and many of your colleagues should hang your head in shame . utterly disgraceful the lot of you.

      • let us have no more disastrous waste of taxpayers funds like the insane building of desalination plants in austrailia to mitigate for excessive droughts

        Actually, these are probably a good idea regardless of what the global temperature does. With population growth and historical weather patterns, Aus’s water system should be robust.

      • Agree with aaron on this. Flim Flam may have been grossly wrong about the ‘permant drought’, but the droughts will return to Australia. They always do.

    • Peter Gleick on July 18, 2014 at 3:52 pm says,

      “Phooey. My expertise as a climate scientist gives me the background to comment on all sorts of things climate-related. But the point you make, using me as an example, is nonsensical. . . . ”

      – – – – – – –

      Judith,

      In his comment Peter Gleick confirmed your point about bullying. He maintains that if he disagrees with the climate science position of a person then it is righteous for him to make anti science charges against that person and to label the person with the copycat kind of denier name-calling. He flaunts you (us) to stop him like any schoolboy bully, while he is absent simple use of applied reasoning skills.

      John

  8. markx,

    I think you are missing Judith’s point. The putative academic bullying need not reference anything of substance about the dispute(s) which may have motivated said bullying.

    The question here is not whether one can sort out all the contested strands of evidence and argument in Israeli-Arab disputes.

    The example given is of one academic working to harm the reputation of another without even pretending to make substantive arguments on the points in question. One need not consider the original political source(s) of the controversy to evaluate behavior that does not meet academic and intellectual standards, no matter which side(s) Enoch and Bell may take in the substantive controversies.

    p.s. Enoch’s substance-free bullying is in the same vile family as many of FOMT’s strange rants at Climate, Etc., malicious and substance free (or irrelevant, etc.). The fact that FOMT can pay homage to “civility” above shows that such a Tartuffe as FOMT can pretend to any virtue.

    “hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue”

    — FOMT —

  9. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    A recent FOMD experience (with an article first-authored by a graduate student):

    Journal A (well-respected)  “Your manuscript was judged to be of such low quality, and so little interest to our readers, that we decline even to review it.”

    The graduate student was devastated.

    Journal B (comparably well-respected, upon receipt of essentially the same manuscript)  “Based upon enthusiastic reviews, and subject to minimal changes, we accept your beautiful manuscript for publication.”

    Now the graduate student is thrilled!

    Yet another FOMD experience  “Two reviewers disliked your article, but *I* liked it … and since I’m the editor-in-chief, it is accepted.”

    Every reviewer’s and editor’s nightmare  Rejecting Nobel-winning research (yes it *DOES* happen). That’s why it commonly occurs that reviewers and editors will work *ASTOUNDINGLY* hard to help improve a faulty-but-novel manuscript … and this outcome is peer-review at its very best.

    Summary  Every young scientist discovers that like democracy, peer review is the worst of all systems, except for all the others that have ever been tried.

    Confidence, commitment, humility, compromise, cheerfulness, a robust ego, risk-aptitude, and a science of humor *ALL* are required … equally of editors, reviewers, and authors.

    In all of these respects, science is not so different from politics, eh Climate Etc readers?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • The lesson from your example is the value of equanimity, of maintaining a balanced mind rather than being being swept away by perceived abuse or praise.

      Faustino

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        [Faustino?] extols “the value of equanimity, of maintaining a balanced mind rather than being being swept away by perceived abuse or praise”

        Yes. The great physician/teacher William Osler wrote an enduring (albeit old-fashioned) essay upon this virtue:

        Highly recommended to ALL Climate Etc readers … young scientists-in-training especially … whose careers will require PLENTY of it!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Fixed linky!

        The great physician/teacher William Osler wrote an enduring (albeit old-fashioned) essay upon this virtue: AEQUANIMITAS

        Apologies are extended by FOMD to the ghost of Sir William Osler!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster / And treat those two impostors just the same;…” Kipling

    • David Springer

      Crank alert!

  10. Pingback: Academic Bullying And Climate Science | Transterrestrial Musings

  11. The global warming industry — including academia — bullied 15-year old Kristen Barnes (Ponder the Maunder) because she had the temerity to question Al Gore’s science –e.g., when Al Gore claimed there was a scientific consensus of opinion that humanity was causing global warming, he was being dishonest. All of academia that stood by quietly was being dishonest.

  12. This post has really riled people up on twitter

  13. Twitter, the perfect forum for verbal bullying

    (I do recognize that it has other more useful qualities)

  14. Excellent article. With good points made. But one thing that is absent is what exactly is a bully. Many psychologists have opined on the subject, but there is a new vein out just this month:

    new research shows that many are actually popular kids who raise their social standing by picking on others.

    In English, it means that they are the examples of the Peter Principle that have gone as far as they are capable of and any further increase must come at the expense of others. In short, they are greedy opportunist that seek to enrich themselves unjustly at the expense of others.

    • I won’t attempt to define “what exactly is a bully,” but I do find that bullying is a sign of insecurity and lack of self-esteem. Rather than address these issues directly, the bully compensates by abuse of others, which might give him or her a transient release from feelings of inadequacy. The best response is not to be affected by the bullying, but to have compassion for the suffering of the bully.

      Faustino

  15. ==> “Second, the issue of less egregious bullying where people outside the predominant leftist consensus are considered beyond the pale. ”

    Interesting.

    Judith – is Kerry Emanuel is “outside the predominant leftist consensus,” and thus considered “beyond the pale?”

    • Interesting. Joshua attacks the host. That’s new.

      • Love the smell of sceptiscim in the morning.

        Joshua asks a very reasonable question on a point – Tom ignores the question, and attacks Joshua.

        Oh wait, that’s ‘skepticism’.

      • No, Joshua attacks a generalisation by picking out some inevitable specific, in effect, attacking the flea on the elephant’s back whilst ignoring the pachyderm.

    • Phatboy –

      Is Kerry Emanuel “outside the predominant leftist consensus?”

      The question is to get you to address the fallacy in Judith’s statement. I don’t doubt that there are political/ideological associations with views on climate change. Seems pretty indisputable to me.

      But that doesn’t justify characterizing the “consensus” in political terms. To do so is politicizing climate science. But perhaps the characterization is correct. Perhaps the “consensus” on climate change is “leftist.” If so, however, you need to explain someone like Emanuel. He isn’t alone in being a conservative who accepts the consensus on climate change – but his example serves to provide a challenge to Judith’s characterization.

      So since she doesn’t seem to be answering, perhaps you’ll step in for her.

      Is Kerry Emanuel inside or “outside the predominant leftist consensus?” Please note – calling a consensus is predominantly leftist is grammatically quite different than saying that the predominant consensus is leftist (which is what Judith said). She didn’t say the “predominantly leftist consensus.”

      • Focusing on a small point of semantics is either missing the point, or deliberately deflecting from it – which is it?
        Besides, “Predominantly” isn’t synonymous with “exclusively”.

      • ..or are you making mischief out of what was probably a typo – leaving the “ly” off the end of the word?

      • phatboy –

        What is Judith’s point?

        Is it that the consensus is predominantly leftist? Ho hum. What else is new? What does that tell us about the price of tea in China? It is rather obvious that there are political/ideological associations with views on climate change.

        Is it that the consensus is “leftist?” Well, that is what Judith said. Maybe she meant something other than what she said. Or maybe she didn’t. Maybe she meant what she said.

        In that case, (1) she is actively politicizing the science. That’s her right. But it is activism – ostensibly of the sort that she decries and, (2) she should provide evidence for her characterization. Emanuel serves as one of many examples for evidence that contradicts the assertion.

        I’ll ask again. Is Emanuel inside or outside the predominant leftist consensus?

        Interesting, always, how more than one person will respond, repeatedly to a simple question without actually answering the question.

      • Ask a pertinent question to which you genuinely don’t already know the answer, and you might get an answer. But you’re just playing a game.

      • Steven Mosher

        of course kerry is outside the leftist camp.
        That is why he was selected.

        After climategate people started listening to some communication experts.
        The recommendation was made that we should look for people who were like the skeptics ( politically right leaning). After much discussion and circulation of names.Kerry was selected.
        he didnt do to good. .
        a few others were selected. none very effective.

        Part of the problem is they pitched him as an “oxymoron” go google it.
        la times as I recall

      • Calling yourself a “Republican” does not put you “outside the leftist camp.”

        Progressive Republicans:

        Michael Bloomberg (NY), Olympia Snowe (ME), Lincoln Chaffee (RI), Susan Collins (ME), Kerry Emmanuel (MA). (Notice the geographical similarity?)

        And Emmanuel certainly is not “outside the leftist camp” on globalclimatewarmingchange.

        http://www.masterresource.org/2011/09/lindzen-vs-emanuel-non-sequitur-mit-climate-scientists-on-the-policy-implications-of-global-warming/

        Expecting a progressive to know progressivism when he sees it is like expecting a fish to recognize water. It’s what he lives and breathes every day. It is reality. (If you expose a progressive to real conservative thought, the reaction is not unlike that of a fish out of water, gasping for breath, wriggling in terror.)

      • Bloomberg was only very briefly a republican (just long enough to win the office of Mayor). He dropped the party as soon as he was in. I would not classify the others as “progressive” republicans, but others would. I find them more “moderate”. Except for perhaps Jim Jeffords. But he dropped the party as well.

      • It actually appears there are exceptions to these generalizations. Individuals don’t always march lock-step with their chosen political side. Maybe some of them think for themselves on individual issues.

        We have all learned something vitally important today that we apparently weren’t already aware of before Joshua so kindly determined it was critical for us to understand this.

        A hardy thank you for pointing this out.

      • ===> “And Emmanuel certainly is not “outside the leftist camp” on globalclimatewarmingchange.”

        Well. I see that someone finally stepped up to the plate to answer the question. Or at least try to.

        So GaryM says that Emanual, a non-leftist, is certainly not “outside the leftist camp.” Not actually an answer to the question asked, but let’s call it close enough for now.

        So we can see in his answer a possible indication for how poorly-conceived was Judith’s comment. She calls the predominant consensus a “leftist consensus.” But we see that according to GaryM, this leftist “consensus” includes non-leftists. Hmmm. Looks like the concept of a “leftist consensus” is a bit incoherent. What a shock.

        But perhaps GaryM is an outlier. Anyone else case to answer the question?

        Is Emanuel inside or outside the leftist “consensus” on climate change? If inside, then how could it be a leftist “consensus?’ If outside, then is he being “bullied” by the leftist “consensus?”

        Do tell.

      • Joshie, a consensus is, by definition, predominant, so it makes no grammatical sense to call it a “predominant consensus”.
        It was a typo – get over it!

      • Besides which, it’s not required of a “leftist consensus” for all its participants to be leftists.

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua

      “Second, the issue of less egregious bullying where people outside the predominant leftist consensus are considered beyond the pale. ”

      :Second, the issue of less egregious bullying where all people outside the predominant leftist consensus are considered beyond the pale. ”

      finding an exception to a gross generalization is one of your favored tactics.
      Its cheap and easy. However, when these exceptions are made against you gross generalizations, you cut yourself slack

  16. “Second, the issue of less egregious bullying where people outside the predominant leftist consensus are considered beyond the pale. This one is rampant in climate science.’

    Actually, your second point is just a subspecies of your first. Who precisely do you think are the ones “call[ing] out academics that are skeptical of the consensus as ‘deniers’, ‘anti-science’?” And what do you think their motivation is?

    In any event, I’m not a big fan of calls to “stop the bullying.” I’m more of a “punch the bully in the mouth” kinda guy. (See eg Mark Steyn.) If someone is acting like a jerk, complaining that he is a bully and asking him to stop for the most part doesn’t work. (See eg Peter Gleick above). You don’t necessarily expect the victim to do the punching, sometimes others have to do it for them. But the principle is still the same.

    (And may I say as an aside how absolutely frickin’ hilarious it is to see one of the poster children for dishonesty in obnoxious politicized science show up here in defense of “bullying?”)

    This is the norm when you are dealing with progressive activists. Anyone who disagrees is stupid, evil, crazy or all three. And the end justifies the means – pretty much any means. (See eg Peter Gleick again). The most effective reaction is shining a bright light under the rock they are hiding under.

    For some reason the term “big boy pants” comes to mind. In the words of the inimitable John McClain, right after throwing a corpse at a cop – Welcome to the party pal!

    • In any event, I’m not a big fan of calls to “stop the bullying.” I’m more of a “punch the bully in the mouth” kinda guy.

      In an anarchy (which is what the world is, and always has been except for occasional isolated sub-regions) it’s almost always important to make bystanders aware of your reasons before “punch[ing] the bully in the mouth”. Especially when you’re not the one being bullied.

      That, IMO, is the real reason for complaining: so that people will know why you’re “punch[ing] the bully in the mouth”. Or shooting him dead. Then, they make their own decisions and decide whether (and how) to react.

      This logic applies to everyone from the 9/11 conspirators to the US action against Osama bin Laden.

    • AK, On the other hand:

  17. Consensus is invoked only in situations where the science is not solid enough. Nobody says the consensus of scientists agrees that E=mc2. Nobody says the consensus is that the sun is 93 million miles away. It would never occur to anyone to speak that way. (Crichton)

  18. ==> “:This post has really riled people up on twitter.”

    Mission accomplished, eh Judith?

    • actually, Joshua, I think that any fair-minded discussion of Judith’s “mission” would recognize that she devotes her efforts to trying to stimulate thought-filled discussions, even if many web exchanges prove unworthy of her ….

      • Skiphil –

        I’d say that the reaction to Judith’s comment about the “predominant leftist consensus” was fairly easy to predict. It seems that she likes to stir the pot, apparently because she thinks there is a beneficial net outcome from doing so.

        I don’t agree. I think it amounts to same ol’ same ol.’ But certainly her denizens will be very happy – as there is considerable support here when she contributes to the politicization of climate science.

      • i am sick to the back teeth of supposed left right issues,as though humanity can be split down the middle by only two viewpoints,outdated viewpoints at that.

        more like rational thinking vs what or who is out to get us next.

      • David Springer

        Gym teacher Joshua flexes a well muscled mouth but, absent the guidance of a well educated brain, nothing of interest happens.

      • ==> “Gym teacher Joshua flexes a well muscled mouth but, absent the guidance of a well educated brain, nothing of interest happens.”

        Does it take polymath skills to reason your way into ridiculous conclusions and hold on to them no matter that they are ridiculously wrong?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Joshua, it is *ALWAY* (as FOMD sees it) good to reflect that folks like Judith Curry (and James Hansen too) — whose writings are civil and reasoned — are well-deserving of our appreciation and respect.

      Good on `yah Judith Curry!

      Your sustained commitment to good science *AND* civility is appreciated by *EVERYONE*.

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • Fan –

        I appreciate Judith and respect her, but I still think that sometimes she contributes to the partisanship that characterizes the discussions about climate science.

        This post amounts to red meat. It seems implausible that she couldn’t have predicted an ensuing feeding frenzy. I fail to see how this kind of post contributes to good science and/or civility. In fact, I think that in the end the net effect of this kind of post is to fan (pun intended) bad science and incivility. To each his or her own.

      • What I am doing is shining a light on bad behavior. Not surprising that those behaving badly object to this

      • David Springer

        BURN!

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Vigor and civility *BOTH* are virtues … and (as FOMD sees it) Judith Curry consistently does commendably well in combining them.

        Good on `yah, Judith Curry!

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • “What I am doing is shining a light on bad behavior. Not surprising that those behaving badly object to this.”

        Ahh, now that is right on the money.

        Notice what brought Gleick to comment here – not an appeal to civility, but calling him out on his anti-scientific behavior. The creepy crawly things that hide under rocks do indeed get POed when someone shines a light on them.

        Some time ago I for one noted that Dr. Curry was, shall we say, cautious in calling the hokey stick dishonest, but not Mann himself. As I argued then, there was no real difference between the two,

        Mann himself clearly saw it that way too. If you want to know how influential Dr. Curry still is among the consensus (despite what I sometimes call her naivte), look a the reaction of Mann to that comment. I suggest that is the reason he has been playing Hatfields and McCoys with Dr. Curry to this day.

        Sometimes you build a bridge to bring both sides together so you can negotiate peace. But other times you build the bridge to give your army access to the enemy so you can defeat them..

        Patton had great bridge builders.

      • Joshua tries to play the “politically correct” card and posits Judith shouldn’t ruffle anyone’s feathers. Right. There’s too much of that BS in the USA now. Good on her.

      • ==> “:What I am doing is shining a light on bad behavior. “:

        Very selectively, Judith. Which is why it’s same ol’ same ol.’ It only contributes to the partisan rancor. Surely, you must see that by now?

      • jim2 –

        ===> “Joshua tries to play the “politically correct” card and posits Judith shouldn’t ruffle anyone’s feathers.”

        I haven’t posited what Judith should or shouldn’t do. It is certainly her right to be just as activist as she wants to be. She should act in accordance with her view of what’s best.

        I’m offering an observation on the outcomes of her advocacy, and how easily predictable they are. It’s up to her to decide what she should or shouldn’t do. Not me.

      • Speaking truth to power has a little more moral force than bullying the weak. But apparently Judith is required by Joshua to do both.

        Perhaps we have finally found the appropriate usage of the phrase ‘false balance.’

  19. First, the issue of expertise. How many people calling themselves ‘climate scientists’ draw conclusions based on data analysis and/or statistics, only to embarrass themselves by demonstrating their incompetence? You come to mind.

    As for “If you say something, defend it,” I’m reminded of your attempt to defend the claim that Arctic surface temperature anomalies in the 1930s were as large as the recent temperature anomalies. Nobody should fault you for quoting the IPCC report, but your attempt to “stick to your guns” when the error was pointed out by citing literature, none of which supported your contention, most of which contradicted it, tells us a lot.

    • Mann and Steig are the first to come to my mind. Mann kinda defines the genre.

    • Yes, if only more people would be like you Tamino. Then they could make arguments by posting models and ban people who point out those models are unphysical. I mean, that’s exactly why you banned lucia (of The Blackboard) from your site.

    • Mr. Foster
      Just a reminder for the ‘climate scientist’ :
      It has been about 3 years since you asserted that the CET June temperatures 350 years of no warming and zero trend is not true, stating that I fabricated the data.
      http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-June.htm

    • Don Monfort

      This clown banned lucia? It seems he doesn’t like intelligent ladies.

      • It wouldn’t surprise me if that were true Don Monfort. Tamino is a sexist who thinks women are second class humans who must be treated specially because they’re inferior to men. I wrote about it here.

        The short version is if you think women are too weak to be treated as equals, you can’t respect them as equals. And Tamino thinks women are too weak to be treated as equals.

      • Yeah. Tamino banned Lucia. Circa 2009?

        She committed the unpardonable sin of not only noticing, but pointing out Tamino’s abuse of the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

      • appears judith hit a raw nerve here ,highest concentration or warmist lunatics i have ever witnessed on a blog in recent times.

      • Bob Koss,

        I don’t know anything else about that case, but I found this post of Lucia.

        http://rankexploits.com/musings/2009/two-box-models-the-2nd-law-of-thermodynamics/

        The argument presented in that post is totally wrong. A two-box model like the one presented by Tamino must be considered as a deviation from some existing state, not as full models that includes all energy fluxes. When that’s done, nothing is left from the arguments of Lucia that are supposed to prove a violation of the second law.

        More specifically issues that enter are:
        – The main flow of energy is sun -> ocean -> atmosphere -> space. Lucia assumes effectively that the arrow between the ocean and the atmosphere is in the opposite direction.
        – While she is correct on the sign of dependence of the flow on the temperature difference, all processes occur at a point in state space that safely off from the restrictions set by the Second Law.

        This error of Lucia is closely related to many discussions in various threads on this site, but finding links to those discussions is too difficult to be worth the effort.

      • David Springer

        “This clown banned lucia? It seems he doesn’t like intelligent ladies.”

        Fixed that for ya!

        Which clown though, Tamino or Pirila?

      • Pekka,

        While I followed the thread long ago and tend to agree with Lucia’s argument, the correctness of her argument is the secondary point here.

        In the thread in question, Lucia was direct, on target and technical. Her demonstration showed that Tamino either did not do the calculation he said he did or he did them incompetently. If Tamino had actually been willing to have a dialog that was scientific in nature and to insist that Lucia had misinterpreted him, I might be willing to cut him some slack. Unfortunately the give and take of scientific discussion is not his forte and because he was getting utterly owned in the technical discussion he banned her. This had little effect other than highlighting his dishonest and hackish nature because the discussion simply moved from Tamino’s site to Lucia’s.

        If you want to take your technical point up with Lucia, by all means do so. She seems to like to argue and does so quite competently. As a lurker in the ether, I might actually learn something from the exchange. I have a great respect for competently argued technical discussion. What I have no respect for is bloviating blowhards purporting to be “scientists” cutting off technical discussion because they lack the mental wattage and technical skill to actually stand in the fire. Tamino banned Lucia because she hurt his ego, made him look foolish and the discussion was not helping his holy cause. In Judy’s thread about academic bullying, Tamino is the actually very poster child for such a discussion.

      • “A two-box model like the one presented by Tamino must be considered as a deviation from some existing state, not as full models that includes all energy fluxes”

        And with one bound he was free. Got to love how physicists cleave to the results of box models they know to be untrue.

      • I do agree that the main issue here was not whether Tamino’s two-box model was wrong by violating the second law, or whether the claim of Lucia on that was correct.

        I have witnessed myself such attitudes at Tamino’s that I detest deeply, worst part of that from some regulars, but something from Tamino himself. Even so I wanted to point out that the criticism of Lucia on this particular issue was totally misplaced and wrong. Very similar two-box models have been introduced by many, including such top level scientists as Isaac Held.

      • Pekka, thanks for posting that link to Lucia’s view on the two-box model. She seems to have twisted the surface box into an atmosphere-only box that everyone knows has very little heat capacity and doesn’t govern the surface temperature by itself. Having twisted that, she can easily prove it wrong, but she has the caveat that this may not be what Tamino meant by the surface box, thus undoing her whole argument.

      • JimD,

        Yes. The argument on Tamino requires only that the temperature of the upper box affects the energy flows of the lower box when two alternative cases are compared. The sign of the temperature difference does not enter that argument at all.

        One way of stating the error is that Lucia claims implicitly that the difference between the two alternative cases must follow the Second Law, but that’s not true. All true physical systems must follow the second law, but values calculated as differences between two such cases need not do that, when neither of the cases is a limiting case at the edge of the validity of the second law. That’s the case, because the Second Law is mathematically not an equation but an inequality (a lower limit for the change of entropy).

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Pekka Pirilä, I think lucia’s view is completely correct. Other people have endorsed it as well, including ones like Nick Stokes. As far as I know, nobody, including Tamino, has advanced the defense you’ve raised.

        If you really think you’ve found a problem in lucia’s view that nobody else has ever noticed, you should write a post explaining your viewpoint. A few vague comments on a random blog post won’t let anyone understand your view, much less judge the merits of it.

        I bet lucia would even let you write such a post on her blog. That’s a great opportunity if you’re right.

      • Brandon,

        One problem is that I haven’t seen Tamino’s related posts as they are not readily available any more. They might be in some other archive, but I haven’t taken the effort to search for that.

        Looking once more at Lucia’s post, it’s possible that I have misunderstood in part the situation. It’s possible that there’s an quantitative error in Tamino’s argument. I would definitely not call that a violation of Second Law, as the possible error is in in the time constant of the upper box. It’s true that the time constant of temperature changes of the atmosphere alone is not 1 year. Whenever this kind of models have been used by others the upper box has been defined to contain some layer of the ocean as well, and that allows for a time constant of 1 year or more. Isaac Held uses in his blog such a model with the time constant of about 4 years.

        From the post of Lucia it’s not possible to conclude with certainty, whether there’s something significantly contradictory in the argument of Tamino, but taking into account that similar models have been used for similar purposes correctly the possible error can hardly be described as violation of the Second Law. She has gone trough the calculation assuming that the upper box is just the atmosphere, but presents some comments on the possibility that it would include a layer from the ocean. The problems she finds with the latter alternative don’t seem to be severe. Of course, they might still affect the quantitative conclusions of Tamino.

      • Pekka Pirilä, I have to say, it sounds like you have no idea what you’re talking about. You began this discussion by saying lucia was “totally wrong,” but now you show you didn’t even understand what she said. Now you say you wouldn’t call the supposed error a violation of the second law of thermodynamics because it is just an erroneous time constraint. This ignores the fact the time constraintd directly lead to a violation of the second law, something which can be (and was) demonstrated mathematically.

        I’d suggest if you want people to believe lucia did something wrong, you should put the time and effort into understanding and explaining what she did. Until you do, your comments sound like hand-waving.

    • Tamino: Good luck to you. Does Mann support your fight with the IPCC?

    • Grant,

      and your credentials are …..?

    • “but your attempt to “stick to your guns” when the error was pointed out by citing literature, none of which supported your contention, most of which contradicted it, tells us a lot.’
      Tamino, go on the recond again- do you still support MBH98. Tell us a lot. Remember Joliffe? Tells us a lot.

      • Ian Jolliffe to Tamino

        Apologies if this is not the correct place to make these comments. I am a complete newcomer to this largely anonymous mode of communication. I’d be grateful if my comments could be displayed wherever it is appropriate for them to appear.
        It has recently come to my notice that on the following website, http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/03/06/pca-part-4-non-centered-hockey-sticks/ .. , my views have been misrepresented, and I would therefore like to correct any wrong impression that has been given.
        An apology from the person who wrote the page would be nice
        In reacting to Wegman’s criticism of ‘decentred’ PCA, the author says that Wegman is ‘just plain wrong’ and goes on to say ‘You shouldn’t just take my word for it, but you *should* take the word of Ian Jolliffe, one of the world’s foremost experts on PCA, author of a seminal book on the subject. He takes an interesting look at the centering issue in this presentation.’ It is flattering to be recognised as a world expert, and I’d like to think that the final sentence is true, though only ‘toy’ examples were given. However there is a strong implication that I have endorsed ‘decentred PCA’. This is ‘just plain wrong’.

        http://climateaudit.org/2008/09/08/ian-jolliffe-comments-at-tamino/

      • There’s no point in asking, you’ll get no reply.

      • > There’s no point in asking, you’ll get no reply.

        Rhetorical questions need no reply.

    • Seldom have I seen someone making so much of so little.

    • Steven Mosher

      The clown who banned Lucia for asking a question ( turns out she was right), the clown who banned Statistician RomanM for pointing out his mistake..has arrived.

      preyty soon his pet rabbit will be along

    • I think Dr. Curry should moderate you out of existence but unlike you, she allows dissenting views on her website, even from ad-hom flinging hypocrites like you. Commendable, but in your case, unfortunate.

  20. We can take as an example the scientific reception accorded a Danish statistician, Bjorn Lomborg, who wrote a book called The Skeptical Environmentalist.

    The scientific community responded in a way that can only be described as disgraceful. In professional literature, it was complained he had no standing because he was not an earth scientist. His publisher, Cambridge University Press, was attacked with cries that the editor should be fired, and that all right-thinking scientists should shun the press. The past president of the AAAS wondered aloud how Cambridge could have ever “published a book that so clearly could never have passed peer review.” (But of course, the manuscript did pass peer review by three earth scientists on both sides of the Atlantic, and all recommended publication.)

    But what are scientists doing attacking a press? Is this the new McCarthyism-coming from scientists? Worst of all was the behavior of the Scientific American, which seemed intent on proving the post-modernist point that it was all about power, not facts.

    The Scientific American attacked Lomborg for eleven pages, yet only came up with nine factual errors despite their assertion that the book was “rife with careless mistakes.”

    It was a poor display, featuring vicious ad hominem attacks, including comparing him to a Holocaust denier. The issue was captioned: “Science defends itself against the Skeptical Environmentalist.”

    Really. Science has to defend itself? Is this what we have come to? When Lomborg asked for space to rebut his critics, he was given only a page and a half. When he said it wasn’t enough, he put the critics’ essays on his web page and answered them in detail.

    Scientific American threatened copyright infringement and made him take the pages down. Further attacks since, have made it clear what is going on. Lomborg is charged with heresy. That’s why none of his critics needs to substantiate their attacks in any detail. That’s why the facts don’t matter.

    That’s why they can attack him in the most vicious personal terms. He’s a heretic. Of course, any scientist can be charged as Galileo was charged. I just never thought I’d see the Scientific American in the role of Mother Church. ~Crichton

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Wagathon asserts “Lomborg is charged with  heresy  shilling for Big Carbon at an annual salary of $775,000.

      Wagathon’s claim; FOMD’s correction!

      \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • –e.g., …seeking to harm Bjorn Lomborg’s reputation, without providing literally ANY documentation that Lomborg wrong.

      • While your one year number is correct, in the two prior years the non-profit he is associated with, paid zero compensation.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Wagathon requests “documentation that Lomborg [is] wrong”

        Hansen  has accepted the sustained scientific discipline of peer-review through 48 years

        Lomborg  not so much

        They can’t *BOTH* be right, eh waggy?

        \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

      • … guess you haven’t noticed that we’ve been discussing the failure of peer review for weeks. An approving circle-jerk of sycophants does not credibility make. We’ve learned that when it comes to climate science, those who determine what data should be collected should not be the same people the analyze the data — there’s just too much dishonesty (remember, CRUgate and how the data went missing to avoid disclosure?).

      • David Springer

        Lying faggot alert!

      • Careful, Springer –

        David Hagen is deeply concerned about the harmful impact of civility.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/07/18/on-academic-bullying/#comment-609484

        He is going to be very upset with you.

      • errr….incivility.

      • Big boy beams on fire,
        Bundle a crossing of styx.
        ===========

      • David Springer

        I was merely testing the blacklisted word filter. Faggot and lying are allowed. G a y and l i a r are not allowed. See this is how real science and engineering works. I formulate a hypothesis “Curry doesn’t add obvious synonyms for words she blacklisted” then I design an experiment to test my hypothesis and draw conclusions, if I can, from the results.

        L I A R is a good one. There’s a game you can play with blacklisted words due to how the filter works. Any word that contains the string L I A R is blacklisted such words like F A M I L I A R throw a comment into moderation. The game is how many words can you think of which contain that string?

        P I L L is a favorite of mine but that comes in the standard blacklist from WordPress. S P I L L and P I L L O W are also forbidden words. Phrases like “a bitter P I L L to swallow” and “P I L L O W clouds” are moderation triggers. And you sure would have a lot of moderation in a blog article on the “BP Oil S P I L L”.

        Great fun!

  21. One of the worst evils in the world is consensus. Consensus is when a group of “experts” or any group in power, tells you they know everything about something important and that everyone who is properly trained in their field agrees at the 97% level and they will do everything to squash anyone who does disagree and who will do everything to keep Skeptical People out of their field and many citizens or subjects go along with it. Along the way, citizens become subjects. They can easily maintain the 97% consensus because they kick anyone out of the clique who disagrees. They cannot get to 100% because they cannot find the people who disagree and kick them out fast enough. One of the worst evils in the world is climate consensus!
    If you count all the scientists, or even just climate scientists, there is not likely a majority who agree with the extreme alarmist consensus. If you frame the questions, you can ask things like do you believe earth has warmed. You should get 100% consensus, but knowing there has been warming does not prove that manmade CO2 caused the warming. It has warmed before and it was supposed to warm again, with or without Man-Made CO2.
    If you only count the scientists they include in their clique, you can easily get 97%. It is their list.
    Hitler understood this. Destroy those who disagree. Enron understood this. Madoff understood this. Many, or Most, Consensus Climate Scientists do not understand this, but they are using this.
    When you cease to be skeptical of what the “experts” and the people in power tell you, you are in their power. When you cease to be skeptical of yourself and your own theories, you are not doing science.
    Never trust your government too much. Never trust your “experts” too much. History does teach this lesson, over and over again.
    In many disagreements, there is no way to determine who is right and who is wrong.
    In the Climate Disagreement, it is really easy. Mother Nature’s actual data is right. It is an actual record of what has happened. The rapid, accelerating, diverging, Consensus Model Output, must be wrong, because it does disagree with what actually happens. Their Model output diverges more and their consensus that they are right increases and they pat each other on the back and call each other experts. When engineers do this, they do not call us “experts”, they call us “fired”.
    They said they needed 5 years. That did not work out. They said they needed 7 or 12 years. That did not work out. They said they needed 15 or 17 years. That did not work out. They now say they need 30 or 50 or 100 years. That will not work. There is something really simple and basic and important in Climate that they really do not understand or even suspect.
    People will pay too much to defeat alarmism threats. The wolf is at the door, the sky is falling. The seas will rise. It will snow no more. Most of the polar bears will die. Drought will cover the world. We will not be able to feed the world. The alarmist list goes on and on and on and on.
    None of these things are supported by data. More and more and more people are living better and better and better and all these disasters are moving into the future and the disaster timeline gets extended and extended and extended and extended.
    The news media does not show that more people are living better. They only show people who are not living better. I read that soy sauce is doing really well because people in China are eating more pork and they are buying the soy sauce from us. The alarmist media let that story slip through.
    Real understanding of what really regulates climate will destroy their alarmism and their Gold Mine.
    People will not pay too much to try to control natural variability and natural variability is way ahead.
    Earth temperatures and sea level records are well inside the bounds of the past eleven thousand years and they are not even close to out of bounds and they are not even headed out of bounds.
    There is no real data that supports the alarmism. More CO2 only makes green things grow better while requiring less precious water.

    • Buzz Fledderjohn

      “Consensus is when a group of “experts” or any group in power, tells you they know everything about something important…”

      That’s completely absurd. Consensus is when a group of experts are in general agreement on a position. From there it is for people to accept or reject the opinions of those experts. We have no problem listening to experts when it comes to our medical care. We have no problem listening when it comes to fixing our plumbing, electrical wiring or foundation work. We have no problem listening when we’re looking to buy a new car. We have no problem listening to experts when we need a tree removed from our property. We have no problem listening when we need to have a new computer system installed in the office.

      So, when it comes to this issue, why is it suddenly an affront to anyone’s sensibilities to listen to the consensus of experts on climate?

      Hey! If you just don’t want to listen to the expert opinion, that’s fine! Just say that. Be like the anti-vaxxers. Be like the faith healers. But don’t complain when that tree comes crashing through your roof because you wouldn’t listen to the experts’ opinions.

      • You mean the expert opinion of Western school teachers or Western politicians? Because outside the West scientists have likened climatology to the science of astrology and in some instances are predicting decades of global cooling ahead.

      • Numbnuts,

        why do you think every good doctor recommends getting more than one opinion?

        Because they know that medical consensus is a good way to get somebody killed.

        You must be a glutton for getting your butt kicked buzz.

      • Buzz FlubberJon,

        You aren’t the first yahoo with a silly internet name to post Climaniac nonsense on Climate Etc, FYI.

        Andrew

      • David in Cal

        There is no consensus on the important aspects of climate change. Yes, there is a consensus (or a near consensus) that CO2 emissions make the planet warmer by some non-zero, positive amount. That’s where the consensus ends. There is not a consensus on
        — the reliability of various climate models
        — the rate of warming due to man’s emissions
        — whether the warming will be catastrophic within this century
        — what to do (if anything) about the warming

    • David Springer

      “Consensus is the worst evil in the world”

      Really? There’s a pretty strong consensus that, for instance, slavery is an unacceptable human rights violation.

      The places where consensus is undesirable are few. Science is one of those few places.

      • David Springer

        Sorry for the misquote.

        “one of the worst evils”

      • Really? There’s a pretty strong consensus that, for instance, slavery is an unacceptable human rights violation.

        And 200 years ago there was an equally strong consensus it was OK.

        Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

      • AK – not in the UK it wasn’t. Banned over 200 years ago and plenty disapproved long before that (ie no consensus).

      • I meant world-wide. But I suppose world-wide there may not be a consensus even today.

  22. John Brooks

    Well if consensus is correct then why is the earth no longer the centre of the universe??? There have always been the minority who are persecuted for their beliefs and in the end proven correct, case in point. I’d like governments of the world to pull all funding away from climate change and then see how many rats leave the sinking ship, because they rely on the conclusion to distort the science all in the name of money. Just because they say it’s consensus doesn’t mean it’s correct otherwise we would still be using textbooks from 50 years ago which we are mostly not. Just take Astronomy, that changes on a regular basis. Most of what was written and postulated in the past 50 years has been proven incorrect so it goes to show that not all consensus is correct.

  23. I’d like to make one other point regarding all these graphs we see published with the old hockey stick. You can make just about any graph do this by 1, distorting the data and 2, by making the scales so large like 0.1, 0.2, 0.3 deg difference. Why not just do 1 deg difference and the see how different the graph looks. It’s all about making the graph look as bad as possible to prove a point regardless of what the data actually shows. The fact is as a species we do much better in a warmer environment than a colder one.

  24. ‘A question as recently as 6 years ago was whether the recent Arctic
    warming and sea ice loss was unique in the instrumental record and whether the observed trend would continue (Serreze et al., 2007). Arctic temperature anomalies in the 1930s were apparently as large as those in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still considerable discussion of the ultimate causes of the warm temperature anomalies that occurred in the Arctic in the 1920s and 1930s (Ahlmann, 1948; Veryard, 1963; Hegerl et al., 2007a, 2007b). The early 20th century warm period, while reflected in the hemispheric average air temperature record (Brohan et
    al., 2006), did not appear consistently in the mid-latitudes nor on the Pacific side of the Arctic (Johannessen et al., 2004; Wood and Overland, 2010). Polyakov et al. (2003) argued that the Arctic air temperature records reflected a natural cycle of about 50 to 80 years. However, many authors (Bengtsson et al., 2004; Grant et al., 2009; Wood and Overland, 2010; Brönnimann et al., 2012) instead link the 1930s temperatures to internal variability in the North Atlantic atmospheric and ocean circulation as a single episode that was sustained by ocean and sea ice processes in the Arctic and north Atlantic. The Arctic-wide increases of temperature in the last decade contrast with the episodic regional increases in the early 20th century, suggesting that it is unlikely that recent increases are due to the same primary climate process as the early 20th century.’ WG1 AR5 Ch 10

    http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/Arctic-HadCRUT4_zpsbbfc8b05.png.html

    It seems a perfect example of hectoring and bullying based on inadequate knowledge and an insistence that 2005 onwards was somehow different. Odd psychological aberrations seem more likely as a basis for such insane quibbling.

    The real question seems not prevarication over fractions of a degree that are meaningless within error bounds – but what are clearly shifts in the global state at multi-decadal intervals.

    • The problem is the implication that “something different” is man made and so “bad”.

      The real reason it is different is ocean process change and ice extent and distribution were different. I think it is likely that a similar mechanism drove the change in ice extent, but the path was simply different.

  25. Eli thinks you need to figure out that Brian Leiter is not exactly amongst the pure at heart when it comes to academic bullying

    http://abovethelaw.com/2013/03/celebrity-law-prof-death-match-paul-campos-v-brian-leiter/

    but then again this is deep in the weeds

  26. Megan McArdle of Atlantic.com had one of the best succinct assessments if Gleick (and his loyal dissembling allues):
    [emphasis added]

    “After you have convinced people that you fervently believe your cause to be more important than telling the truth, you’ve lost the power to convince them of anything else.”

  27. I appeared as a defense witness at an appeal for a Ph.D. student who was fired by his supervisor for incompetence. She was under the impression that a student should be able to reproduce the type of nitric oxide traces seen in the sales material provided by the company that sold her the electrode.
    I had helped the student in his set up,showed him some of the ropes advised him over the course of a year and he had tried really hard to get the system to deliver what she wanted, but he could not. She hounded him and in the end fired him. Although I patiently explained to the appeals panel that I had used the same system for 8 years, and I would have great difficulty in generating the signal/noise ratio, in biological sample,s that she insisted was possible, in a year, the poor sod got shafted anyway.
    Supporting a student, against an academic, was not popular amongst some of my colleagues and two senior ones who were friends of mine specifically warned me to ‘watch my back’.

  28. I don’t post here much.

    I do read here often.

    It is amazing the level of conflict we see when Judith gets over the target. It brings out the best and worst of many.

    I think most here know what the science tells us and doesn’t tell us..

    My suggestion to you all would be to look in the mirror.

    How do you feel about what you convey from a gut level perspective.

    How many of you are actually comfortable with what you display as your take on things.

    Do you follow a party line, policy, or are you influenced by the impact of funding, or do you tell the truth with respect to our actual understanding of what we actually know and don’t know?

    How does that image look in that mirror to your conscience?

    You surely feel it!

    How is that going?

    • Jim Cripwell

      I have difficulty typing. when I look in the mirror on everything I have written on ce, I have a completely clear conscience.

    • +1.

      I appreciate what Judith is achieving on this blog because to get the number of hits and (far less) the number of comments she gets on this blog is phenomenal!

      But it can often involve “stirring the pot” to get the level of interest and responses and she generally has to be selective of her targets, which is what Joshua has been pointing out.

  29. David L. Hagen

    As detailed in Aristotle’s logical fallacies, resorting to bullying and name calling exposes the extreme weakness of the the person’s argument and/or lack of objective evidence.
    For example, Peter Gleick spitting “denier” is simply refuted by Christopher Monckton in:
    The Climate Consensus is not 97% ist 100% in asking:

    1. Does climate change?
    2. Has the atmospheric concentration of CO2 increased since the late 1950s?
    3. Is Man likely to have contributed to the measured increase in CO2 concentration since the late 1950s?
    4. Other things being equal, is it likely that adding CO2 to the atmosphere will cause some global warming?
    5. Is it likely that there has been some global warming since the late 1950s?
    6. Is it likely that Man’s emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases have contributed to the measured global warming since 1950?

    At a conference of 600 “climate change deniers”, then, not one delegate denied that climate changes. Likewise, not one denied that we have contributed to global warming since 1950.

    One of the many fundamental dishonesties in the climate debate is the false impression created by the Thermageddonites and their hosts of allies in the Main Stream Media (MSM) that climate skeptics would answer “No” to most – if not all – of the six questions.

    That fundamental dishonesty was at the core of the Cook et al. “consensus” paper published last year.

    It is rather Gleick who tries to hide the evidence that global climate models fail the scientific method with >95% of 34 year predictions being outside actual global temperatures.

    • nottawa rafter

      To the average, disengaged person the only issue is warming vs non-warming. They have no idea of the subtleties in the real debate among most of the scientists. It is much simpler to portray that binary question in the MSM than to take the time to explain all the complexities of the issue. Personally, I think the greatest weapons of the skeptics are the likes of Gleick, Mann & Hanson. The mask of the detached objectivity normally associated with true scientists is stripped away. To any reasonable person their conduct with the ad Homs, etc is revolting. Give’m the biggest soapbox they can find , I say.

      • David L. Hagen

        nottawa rafter
        While Mann et al. are shooting themselves, Truth is more important.
        Incivility harms civilization. Both for our sake and for our children’s, expose unscientific illogical arguments and promote civility. See Os Guiness The Case for Civility Harper Collins

  30. We have to remember that bullying is a term used for superior/stronger people intimidating weaker/inferior people. In academia, I am not sure what defines one person to be superior to another or who these inferior bullied people are. I am confused by the term “academic bullying”. Do the skeptics regard themselves as inferior in some way? Or does using litigation to try to get someone’s emails or attempting to get someone fired count as bullying too? A confusing term when it could be used both ways.

    • When you are in an asymmetric power relationship with someone and bring that power to bear then you are bullying.

      • Pierre-Normand

        You are merely rephrasing what Jim D just said. You are thus agreeing with him. But you didn’t say in what way the power relationship is asymmetric in the case at hand. Why are skeptics considering themselves to be inferior or powerless?

      • Pierre-Normand, I find it odd you would even ask the question. The climate alarmist brigade (mostly non-scientists, but abetted by some like Michael Mann) hold all the levers of power and have done so for decades. Academia, media, political position, funding and control over the research agenda.

        Look at what happened to Roger Pielke Sr. He had the temerity to claim that measuring ocean heat content was a better metric for analyzing climate change than global surface temperatures.

        Because at the time temperatures were warming, he was ridiculed, marginalized, forced out of the IPCC process and lost funding for his research.

        Now, of course, ocean heat content has been… well… rehabilitated. Sadly, Pielke Senior has not.

      • As much as I like the idea of being the skeptic rebel force against the evil consensus empire, it isn’t so bad.

        The empire is not having its best days.

        The latest Gallup survey on the US’s most important problems, Climate science didn’t even make the 2% threshold, and is missing entirely. At least 17 other issues are rated higher. It used to be dead last, now its dropped off the list.

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/173306/one-six-say-immigration-important-problem.aspx

        Climate policy has become toxic in politics. We shall see how many Democrats or Republicans run on a platform of climate science (for or against) this November. They will all have predictable positions but will move on to the next question ASAP.

        Any Paris 2015 agreement has about 0.0% chance of getting through a Senate ratification process. The house will never see a bill with the words UN or climate on it for the next several years.

        The asymmetrical force of the EPA will do what they can, but I suspect they know if they ever really deliver measurable economic pain to the consumer, the days of carbon oversight are on death watch.

        Australia just repealed its carbon taxes.

        The credibility of climate science shows no signs of improving, and I don’t really see anyone taking much effort to repair the wounds.

        They just released AR5 and it barely made a blip on the radar.

        The latest screeching of “false balance” and eliminating dissent by authoritarian fiat just speaks for itself to any fair minded person who sees free speech as a useful thing to have. Another own goal.

    • I don’t know. Seems that Jim and Doc are both talking about harrassment rather than (what I understand as) bullying. Bullies sometimes exploit a real power advantage to aid and abet their bullying, but sometimes there is none except in the mind of the victim. I think some bullies make use of a kind of psychological first-mover advantage–making charges that can’t easily be refuted. The charge sticks in the minds of observers, the victim has no goode way to refute it–or sounds lame if they try–and so loses status. In some cases, asymmetric power is thus the result of the bullying, rather than vice versa.

      • Bullying only works in the longer term with the co-operation of the bullied and his or her peer group.

        The bullied simply need to become assertive communicators rather than passive communicators and get the support of his or her peer group.

        Sadly it rarely happens and this situation seems to be endemic in many academic fields as well in the schools and workplaces.

    • We have to remember that bullying is a term used for superior/stronger people intimidating weaker/inferior people.

      Actually it is an inverse relationship ie the weak need large numbers to survive eg Vladimir Arnold (on Bourbaki)

      How could this happen in France, which gave the world Lagrange and Laplace, Cauchy and Poincaré, Leray and Thom? It seems to me that a reasonable explanation was given by I.G. Petrovskii, who taught me in 1966: genuine mathematicians do not gang up, but the weak need gangs in order to survive. They can unite on various grounds (it could be super-abstractness, anti-Semitism or “applied and industrial” problems), but the essence is always a solution of the social problem – survival in conditions of more literate surroundings.

    • Jim D, I don’t agree with your use of “superior/inferior.” I replied to philjourdan above as follows:

      “I won’t attempt to define “what exactly is a bully,” but I do find that bullying is a sign of insecurity and lack of self-esteem. Rather than address these issues directly, the bully compensates by abuse of others, which might give him or her a transient release from feelings of inadequacy. The best response is not to be affected by the bullying, but to have compassion for the suffering of the bully.”

      The bully would tend to be inferior in some respects to the person bullied. But what they do have is some power (strength, position) through which they can impose on others. In this context, some of the CAGW establishment have used their position and power to deal with others, climate scientists and more, in a way which can be defined as bullying rather than fair dealing. Cf Tom Fuller’s comment.

      Faustino

      • Floored by the Lies.
        ===============

      • Well, The Lord of the Flies was trying to uh, invade Gilligan’s Island, and as you can see, the landing kind of got botched. Some liked Betty, others Veronica so there was wroth and froth in the surf.
        ===============

      • I don’t remember the study, but bullies actually have good self-esteem. It’s the bullied that have bad self-esteem – and they are the ones that go postal.

      • @Faustino – and I agree with you. I was quoting a new study. Which I found interesting in light of Dr. Curry’s decision to post on the same subject.

    • No, bullying is a term used for (usually) inferior/weaker people intimidating others through higher powers and/or numbers

    • David Springer

      I have a hard time picturing limp wristed academic fatasses like Michael Mann as being bullies.

      • Man, that Springer sure is a non-limp wristed he man.

        From behind his keyboard.

      • Pity him, he’s Pinocchio.
        ======

      • David,

        I thought everyone knew that Dr Mann is cut from warrior cloth. Who else has fought harder on the front lines than Michael, the soldier – scientist Mann? I tear up and feel patriotic every time I hear him speak.

        Even the Corps knows that why look for a few good men when all one needs is one Michael Mann.

    • Sorry Jim, Bullying has nothing to do with “superior” people doing anything to “inferior” people. For one very simple reason. Superior people do not bully. So the bully is always inferior.

  31. –Bell writes that Israel, having withdrawn from Gaza nine years ago, is no longer under any legal obligation to provide electricity and water to the Gazan population.–

    If any region in the world had a legal obligation to receive electricity and water, that would mean that some region could get water and electricity for free.
    Or no State is obligated to provide water and power for free to any region within the nation, never mind beyond the nation’s borders. {Though one could have specific contracts or treaties allowing for all manner of things]

    So a valid question in regard to Gaza could be, are they paying too much for water and electrical power, but not that they have some right to it.

    So of course there are land ownership rights and/or sovereignty ownership in terms of access to water. But getting water to some a tap, involves more than mere access to river or water table. There are costs of maintaining all infrastructure needed to deliver the water to some person’s tap and maintaining the infrastructure has costs. And if living in failed state, then one should expect that trains are not going to run on time.
    But in terms of electrical power, there is no territorial aspect related to electrical power, except in regard for such things as easement for such things like power lines- but no requirement that someone else must provide the electrical power.

  32. “What is intentional “over-representation of factual presentations”? It is called lying.” (The Scoreboard)

  33. “Michael Mann has an op-ed ‘If you see something, say something’. ”
    The message of this op-ed is if you feel strongly enough about something bad being done to the climate, say it. The title comes right out of advice on calling out bullying when you see it. Don’t let them stop you from doing what you believe is right. There is nothing wrong with advocacy if you are ready to face the consequences of taking this very public step. These are words for both sides, I would think. If you see nothing to be alarmed with in the climate changing, it is advocacy to say that too, and it has its critics who will call you a fool or stooge, but that is just what public advocacy does as a side effect. Both sides have people calling the opposition bad things, but that just comes with the territory in politically charged debates.

    • “Both sides have people calling the opposition bad things, but that just comes with the territory in politically charged debates.”

      This is to be expected when the name callers are politicians, advocacy groups, riled up members of the public – this is now what I am talking about. When one scientist/academic calls another scientist/academic bad names etc, it violates the norms of science and reflects logical fallacies. Such behavior by scientists does harm to the overall reputation of science.

      • True it may be that mud slinging and name calling might damage the reputation of science for short periods and in specific fields, but that reputation is quickly restored with each passing discovery that leads to some new application or understanding. It is the overwhelming success of the process of science that guarantees its overall evolution, rather than some simple and unrealistic expectation that scientists should be perfect themselves and beyond the pitfalls of ego driven humans attempting to practice objective science.

      • I agree. Science is self healing. However scientists are not. The damage done to science by the behavior is fleeting. But the damage done to the scientists guilty of the behavior usually outlasts the scientist.

      • > it violates the norms of science and reflects logical fallacies.

        I’d rather say it violates civility. Your “norms of science” is too lose to be fruitful. A variation on this theme:

        Scientist A may be having lunch with scientist B and say, “Scientist C is an ass.” Scientist B probably wouldn’t blink an eye, unless he/she liked scientist C. But scientist A standing up at a conference and saying “Scientist C is an ass” would be thoroughly frowned upon. Unless scientist A proceeded to demonstrate, through evidence and logic, that scientist C really was an ass, in which case many scientists in attendance might appreciate the elegance of the proof.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/3344965660

        ***

        Also, a personal attack only reflects a logical fallacy if it’s used as an argument. Some distinguish an ad hom argument and a personal attack — ask Brandon about that. Or I can find an old comment of his.

        Your “teamsters analogy” is an ad hominem, btw, or at least a fallacy, because you try to undermine someone’s position by targeting its interests. It would like offering “libertarian climate scientists asks we privatize an industry controlled by leftists” as an analogy for something or other.

      • It violates the norm of disinterestedness.

      • Dr. Curry,

        But hasn’t this always been the case? Isn’t there almost always an institutional consensus to protect, while those who come along to challenge the status quo are treated by the insiders as barbarians at the gate?

        That said, I’d certainly agree that it’s worse these days…a function both of the Internet which provides a vast arena for 24/7 sniping, and the deeply political nature of the climate debate.

      • Mann is behaving as an advocate when he starts to accuse opposite advocates of being politically motivated. The wearing of two hats by some who have stepped into the advocacy arena muddies whether this is something scientists may or may not do, as opposed to advocates. Judith, you may not consider yourself an advocate, but Mann for sure thinks you are, even if you are just making statements against any alarmism, which has political ramifications too.

      • > It violates the norm of disinterestedness.

        This undefined and unreferenced norm is introduced in our thread as a proof by assertion. Do you think this has an impact on reputation too?

        I’m quite confident you’re onto something, Judy, but I have no idea what it is. How does name calling violate the norm of disinterestedness, again?

      • Disinterestedness is one of the mertonian norms of science: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mertonian_norms

        Disinterestedness according to which scientists are supposed to act for the benefit of a common scientific enterprise, rather than for personal gain.

        See also this article: http://scienceblogs.com/ethicsandscience/2008/01/29/basic-concepts-the-norms-of-sc/

        Disinterestedness

        One way to think about the norm of disinterestedness is that scientists aren’t doing science primarily to get the big bucks, or fame, or attractive dates. Merton’s description of this community value is a bit more subtle. He notes that disinterestedness is different from altruism, and that scientists needn’t be saints.

        The best way to understand disinterestedness might be to think of how a scientist working within her tribe is different from an expert out in the world dealing with laypeople. The expert, knowing more than the layperson, could exploit the layperson’s ignorance or his tendency to trust the judgment of the expert. The expert, in other words, could put one over on the layperson for her own benefit. This is how snake oil gets sold.

        The scientist working within the tribe of science can expect no such advantage. Thus, trying to put one over on other scientists is a strategy that shouldn’t get you far. By necessity, the knowledge claims you advance are going to be useful primarily in terms of what they add to the shared body of scientific knowledge, if only because your being accountable to the other scientists in the tribe means that there is no value added to the claims from using them to play your scientific peers for chumps.

      • JimD, ” Judith, you may not consider yourself an advocate, but Mann for sure thinks you are, even if you are just making statements against any alarmism, which has political ramifications too.”

        Such is life. Luckily though, regardless of IQ, education level, gender, race or ethnicity or religious preference, humans have a remarkable capacity for extreme stupidity.

      • yes, talking about uncertainty has become a political statement. Crazy.

      • curryja | July 19, 2014 at 10:46 am |
        “It violates the norm of disinterestedness.”

        Aw, give us a break.

        Having a go at someone on a personal level, and ‘disinteterestedness’, are not even on the same planet.

        This is more akin to appealing to the silly old ideal/stereotype of science practised by emotionless automatons.

      • +100. Nailed it. Scientists have a leadership role in society. One of the top organizations in the world in developing leaders, IMO, is the US Army. Could say more, but will highlight these points; Leaders must first gain trust, must be ethical, must be stable, and must listen. It probably wouldn’t be too difficult to get access to some of the Army’s Leadership Courses; recommend them for scientists/professors.

      • When we get to areas of science that could potentially have huge repercussions on human welfare and economic concerns, the norm of disinterestedness begins to bump up inevitable human emotion and morals. The battle between science and Big Tobacco from decades ago or the discovery of CFC destruction of ozone are prime examples. How could the norm be applied in these examples? Where does true concern for health and welfare begin to trump this standard of disinterestedness?

      • JC says “yes, talking about uncertainty has become a political statement. Crazy.”
        It suits certain politicians a lot to have this nothing-to-be-concerned-about message, especially when combined with such certainty that the majority is wrong to even be concerned about increasing CO2 levels.

      • JC says “yes, talking about uncertainty has become a political statement. Crazy.”
        It suits certain politicians a lot to have this nothing-to-be-concerned-about message, especially when combined with such certainty that the majority is wrong to even be concerned about increasing CO2 levels.

        Potential risks are certainly (heh!) not “nothing-to-be-concerned-about”, just because they haven’t been 100% proven to exist. But the fact that they’re only potential does mitigate in favor of low-regrets approaches to dealing with them.

        The “certainty” involved in much of the leftist consensus over “Global Warming” is thus needed to justify the very “high-regrets” solutions those leftists propose. Any attack on this “certainty” is thus a political statement, because, whether explicitly stated or not, it changes the relatively perceived desirability of “high-regrets” vs. “low-regrets” solutions.

      • yes, but this should not be the concern of scientists! the fact that it has been has led to a manufactured consensensus, overconfidence, and attacks on people that disagree with the consensus.

      • Prof. Curry, I’ve seen the same thing in the debate over Biblical Minimalism, and other “historical” interpretations of the Deuteronomistic history, a subject I’ve studied. (The interpretations and politics/historical “science” around them, not just the “history” itself.)

        I’ve found by careful checking an apparent pattern of the politics of interpreters informing their supposedly “disinterested” interpretations of when and how the “Jews” actually occupied the Holy Land.

        The most extreme case is the clowns who claim that the “Jews” were a bunch of native Babylonian farmers who settled in the region of Jerusalem using a “Bible” made up out of whole cloth. And they have a record of intellectual hooliganism just as bad as, and much longer than, the “Global Warming” types. IMO their denial of centuries of textual criticism is just as bad as the leftist consensus’ denial of the role of the role of uncertainty.

      • Thank you, Judy. This desinterestedness is a norm that guides the scientific acts: “for the benefit of a common scientific enterprise, rather than for personal gain.”

        What you have to show, then, is that name calling is an act that decreases the benefits from the scientific enterprise, rather than it provides a personal gain. If we could see how the social benefits are balanced against the personal gains in a Mertonian framework, it would be nice. It seems to go against the idea that these two sources of interest may not be opposite.

        Generalizing the Mertonian framework to scientific activities like being interviewed by the Daily Mail is certainly welcome. The problem is that it may lead to interests audits. These audits risk to create a feedback loop that would decrease the benefits of the scientific entreprise.

        ***

        A more immediate difficulty is that this:

        By necessity, the knowledge claims you advance are going to be useful primarily in terms of what they add to the shared body of scientific knowledge, if only because your being accountable to the other scientists in the tribe means that there is no value added to the claims from using them to play your scientific peers for chumps.

        is false on empirical grounds. The “publish or perish” culture and the actual academic publication process provide solid evidence against such necessity.

      • R. Gates, yes, Mann’s linked item on “If you see something, say something” expresses this advocacy role well. If scientists find things to be concerned with in their field of research, whether on health or the environment, it is a responsible decision to come forwards with it to inform the public debate rather than hide this in academic reports, and let the debate be dominated by those who don’t know the science. However, doing this does usually involve some pushback, including at the personal level.

      • What Mann sees is other scientists saying things that don’t help his ’cause’, and then he starts attacking them by calling them denier, anti-science, etc without justification in terms of criticizing their actual arguments. Can someone please tell me how Mann is informing the public debate other than to call people he disagrees with ‘deniers’ etc.

      • The italics should be closed after interests audits, which I’m transparently doing hereby.

      • On “disinteredness”, the core of the scientists are not advocates. Advocacy should not affect the way you do science. However, it may affect the way your papers are perceived by others in the field which can work against it. In peer reviews, unjustified statements of scientific certainty or drawing too broad conclusions from limited evidence are not tolerated, so you don’t find these in journals. An advocate, just like the silent majority, in the end has to publish academic peer-reviewed science, and this is the control mechanism. Press releases are not controlled this way and advocates can publicize their opinions more using these, but often even these go to independent researchers for comment before being put in a newspaper article.

      • Saying that the scientists are “overconfident” rather than just confident is an advocacy position and should be realized as such.

      • If your confidence level is too high, and subsequent assessments drop back in terms of confidence level, than you were overconfident, and failed to adequately account for uncertainties and areas of ignorance.

      • I seem to recall Heisenberg talking about uncertainty, and getting accused of “Jewish physics” for it.

      • Thy Wiki entry for Mertonian norms cites a paper revisiting the norms:

        This paper re-examines the relevance of three academic norms to contemporary academic life – communism, universalism and disinterestedness – based on the work of Robert Merton. The results of a web-based survey elicited responses to a series of value statements and were analysed using the weighted average method and through cross-tabulation. Results indicate strong support for communism as an academic norm defined in relation to sharing research results and teaching materials as opposed to protecting intellectual copyright and withholding access. There is more limited support for universalism based on the belief that academic knowledge should transcend national, political, or religious boundaries. Disinterestedness, defined in terms of personal detachment from truth claims, is the least popular contemporary academic norm. Here, the impact of a performative culture is linked to the need for a large number of academics to align their research interests with funding opportunities. The paper concludes by considering the claims of an alternate set of contemporary academic norms including capitalism, particularism and interestedness.

        http://dx.doi.org/10.1007%2Fs10805-008-9055-y

        It would be interesting to know if name calling increases or decreases interestedness.

        ***

        Having to reinvent pragmatics via scientific norms may not be the best way to proceed, Judy.

      • nottawa rafter

        Michael
        If you are going to debate Judith, at least do it about something that is debatable. Her points were so self-evident and fundamentally correct, I can’t imagine how you could take exception. She had a slam dunk. You threw up a brick.

      • curryja | July 19, 2014 at 12:49 pm |
        “If your confidence level is too high, and subsequent assessments drop back in terms of confidence level, than you were overconfident, and failed to adequately account for uncertainties and areas of ignorance.”

        No, no, no.

        That’s just palying monday morning quarterback and claiming foresight.

        Subsequent assessments and additional data will naturally have different results, and inidcates neither overconfidence, nor underconfidence for that matter.

        Do I detect a hint of statistical determinism here?

      • Steven Mosher

        bully willard defends bullying.

        except now he does it by playing smart rather than stupid

      • > bully willard defends bullying.

        This, of course, is false. I don’t condone academic bullying, but I know what to expect from academics, including Judy. Bullying is more related to the use of force, coercion, and threat anyway. So even that connection is unclear.

        Judy attacks Mike by armwaving to a misconceived logical fallacy, by handwaving the violation of a principle argued by assertion, but when inspected reveals that it goes against her own ideology. Judy’s winging it. This may work for a blog. This may not work in a guest article in a philosophy journal.

        Winging it is an academic art form. Its purpose is oftentimes to bully, like it was here (i.e. it “forces” logical connections where there’s none to coerce a submission). There are worse kinds of bullying, like Mike shows. Victim playing is also a non-mild form of manipulation.

        Bullies wear big boys pants.

        ***

        Here’s a solution to Judy’s conceptual problem:

        Willard didn’t threaten me. He simply said that IF Curry has a solid response, my reputation would be damaged. I replied by saying that I wasn’t worried about that aspect of it.

        I am concerned about the ad hominem aspects of my Curry piece, and about what this does to my reputation, but the amount of doubt I have that the flag business is very bad is less than epsilon.

        http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/10/willard-on-curry.html?showComment=1288670875152#c6354263071454021728

        Personal attacks damage the reputation of the person that indulges in them. It’s a basic norm of civility.

        It’s not that complicated.

      • I don’t regard Tobis as a bully; by definition David can’t be the bully but Goliath can. Tobis is no Goliath. Tobis is just mostly wrong (not to mention rude) in his attacks on things he doesn’t understand (unfortunately he gets positive feedback from the Goliaths)

      • Steven Mosher

        bully willard
        This, of course, is false. I don’t condone academic bullying, but I know what to expect from academics, including Judy. Bullying is more related to the use of force, coercion, and threat anyway. So even that connection is unclear.
        #######################
        of course it is true. you continue to condone bullying, like every bully only now you do so by quibbling with the definition.. the connection is clear. one need not use force coercion or threats to be a bully. It’s enough to imply these things.
        willard can atone for his past bullying by either admitting that all communication ( including the victim playing) by doing a job on Mann.
        #############
        Bullies wear big boys pants.
        really? not in all cases. You’re a bully and you refuse to own your bully behavior.

        ***

        Personal attacks damage the reputation of the person that indulges in them. It’s a basic norm of civility.

        in some cases

        reading your chatting with MT is interesting. your personal attacks on Judith notwithsatnding

      • > Tobis is just mostly wrong in his attacks on things he doesn’t understand […]

        That ClimateBall ™ episode was about the Italian Flag. It thus seems that you are claiming that Michael’s criticisms are wrong and that Michael does not understand your Italian flag. Am I correct?

        I think that Michael’s main criticism was that your Italian Flag was incoherent:

        As I have pointed out previously, that last sentence is immensely sloppy, conflating a hypothesis (a proposition that must be either true or false) with a weighting.

        Now, I believe (and haven’t really made the case) that weightings are much more useful in decision making under uncertainty than are hypotheses. But that’s not the issue here. The issue is that Judith Curry, in unveiling her new intellectual tool with great fanfare and off-key notes of false modesty, conflates confidence in a hypothesis with weighting.

        This leads to an unambiguous contradiction.

        http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/10/judith-curry-born-beyond-shark.html

        Have you countered this criticism somewhere? The only response I recall is that you said something like “doesn’t matter.” If you could provide a summary of your response, that would be nice.

        ***

        > by definition David can’t be the bully but Goliath can

        To which defintion are you referring, Judy? So Michael is no Goliath. What does it take to be a Goliath? Let a Joyful Academic JA be a David, and let JA say:

        Curry’s confusion is evident and more than a little embarrassing, given the strength and volume of her claims. It will certainly be interesting to see if she says anything coherent and quantitative in her forthcoming Climatic Change article. My bet is she’ll be long on vague claims and insinuation and short on specifics.

        I’d be more inclined to give her the benefit of the doubt if this pattern of behaviour wasn’t so well established. At this point she has burnt though all her credibility IMO.

        http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/10/judith-curry-born-beyond-shark.html?showComment=1288445607488#c2801887402464825462

        Do you have anything coherent and quantitative to offer to that JA?

        Standing it aside, if that comment was made by a Goliath, this would be bullying. But since it’s proferred by JA, which we assume is a David, it can’t be bullying. Right?

        Everyone can be uncivil, Judy, just like everyone can bully. To bully is to use force or threat to coerce. All it takes for a David to bully a Goliath is a slingshot. To write a blog post about Goliaths every three days that appears to be vaguely civil looks like a slingshot to me.

      • > Re the Italian Flag: […]

        Thanks, Judy. Here’s the take-home:

        This [using influence diagrams] is how it should be done. This paper has made obselete my draft Waving the Italian Flag: Part II.

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/03/15/reasoning-about-floods-and-climate-change/

        So Michael Tobis criticized a product that has not been deprecated. How does it show any misunderstanding from his part?

        Also, it indicates that the Italian Flag has now become a boxology that generalizes Bayesian networks. Does it mean it’s not a three-valued logic anymore?

        If that’s the case, it’s certainly possible that remains from the beta version of the Italian Flag is only the brand. Is it the case?

        Finally, traceability might require that you warn readers that the pages before your discovery of Hall, Twyman & Kay 2005 renders the analyses that precede it obsolete, for instance:

        https://judithcurry.com/2010/11/28/waving-the-italian-flag-part-i-uncertainty-and-pedigree/
        https://judithcurry.com/2010/10/24/overconfidence-in-ipccs-detection-and-attribution-part-iii/
        https://judithcurry.com/2010/09/15/doubt/

        PS: It seems the paper is not on Georgia Tech’s server anymore.

      • > Re the Italian Flag: […]

        Thanks, Judy. Here’s the take-home:

        This [using influence diagrams] is how it should be done. This paper has made obselete my draft Waving the Italian Flag: Part II.

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/03/15/reasoning-about-floods-and-climate-change/

        So Michael Tobis criticized a product that has now been deprecated. How does it show any misunderstanding from his part?

        Also, it indicates that the Italian Flag has now become a boxology that generalizes Bayesian networks. Does it mean it’s not a three-valued logic anymore?

        If that’s the case, it’s certainly possible that remains from the beta version of the Italian Flag is only the brand. Is it the case?

      • [It that goes through, you can delete the comment that has been sent into moderation, Judy. Here’s the last part of it.]

        Finally, traceability might require that you warn readers that the pages before your discovery of Hall, Twyman & Kay 2005 renders the analyses that precede it obsolete, for instance:

        https://judithcurry.com/2010/11/28/waving-the-italian-flag-part-i-uncertainty-and-pedigree/
        https://judithcurry.com/2010/10/24/overconfidence-in-ipccs-detection-and-attribution-part-iii/
        https://judithcurry.com/2010/09/15/doubt/

        PS: It seems the paper is not on Georgia Tech’s server anymore.

      • Erratum:

        Finally, traceability might require that you warn readers that the pages before your discovery of Hall, Twyman & Kay 2005 are renders the analyses that precede it obsolete,

      • No, they are not obsolete! Hall et al. provides a good, real world application of the italian flag and three valued logic. It does not in any way refute my previous posts related to Italian Flag.

      • > Hall et al. provides a good, real world application of the italian flag and three valued logic.

        In 2005?

  34. “Third, the issue of (undefended) personal attacks by climate scientists against other scientists (personal case in point is described on thread (Micro) aggressions on social media, subsection Hockey Sticks and Stones). Twitter has the unfortunate effect of legitimizing the one-liner insults, see #deniers, #antiscience; Michael Mann is a master of this one” – JC

    Twitter, or blogs, are not required for this.

    Just think back to people using the media to attack other scientists, eg “fossilized brains”.

    Nothing new under the sun.

  35. “Second, the issue of less egregious bullying where people outside the predominant leftist consensus are considered beyond the pale. This one is rampant in climate science’ – JC

    Due diligence would require that we get some clarification of what exactly is this “predominant leftist consensus” thing that Judith handwaves at, before we can comment.

    • “…some clarification of what exactly is this ‘predominant leftist consensus….’”

      Easy: read the NY Times, Washington Post, the L.A. Times, virtually any other major circulation newspaper, Time, the Huffington Post, or Think Progress; or watch NBC, CBS, ABS, CNN, MSNBC or PBS.

      • So, it’s the NYT etc in “climate science” that is “rampant’???

        Hmmmm.

      • The media seemed to reach an exquisite peak of climate silliness around 2008. That was when the Sydney Morning Herald, still a massive tree-gobbling broadsheet, published its special wrap-around segment offering an evacuation plan for Sydney. They actually had reader complaints that the article was biased toward beachside residents and neglected the possible plight of those living by estuaries. Estuarism must be the ultimate first world prob, don’t you think? All of this was even funnier if you knew the geography of Sydney. It’s hardly situated as stupidly as New York.

        Spiegel used to be tops for neurosis and sheer hysteria but they seem to be calming down. Still, even now you don’t want to ruffle their angst over their lebensraum.

        I rate the Guardian as the pottiest, especially when they had pages of daffy little green products for sale. If there is such a thing as a solar powered vegan sandal, it would have been advertised in the Guardian’s environment pages. You won’t be surprised to learn that the products tended to be expensive.

        As for the New York Times…now as always, it just has to be in the pay of Big Smug.

      • How can anyone with above a third grade education interpret “read the NY Times…” as meaning that “the NY Times is in climate science?”

    • It’s worth noting that the formulation originates from the article of Bernstein:

      As an aside, as a colleague points out, bullying of a somewhat less egregious sort seems relatively common among international law scholars, where those who are outside the predominant leftist consensus are considered beyond the pale.

      Judith just linked that to the climate science.

      • Yes, handwaved at it.

        What is it in climate science??

      • If we search only for cases in the U.S. where both the general political attitudes and acceptance of main stream view on climate change are presented the correlation is probably very strong. Most seem to agree on this observation.

        That’s, however, not a proof of dominance of leftist political views among climate scientists who agree with the “consensus”. Even less it is even an indication that political views have influenced views of scientists on climate change. In my reading the formulation of Judith can be interpreted to imply the first of the claims described in this paragraph, but not the second.

        The implications on climate science are weakened in my mind by the observation of the origins of the formulation.

      • Pekka Perila, “That’s, however, not a proof of dominance of leftist political views among climate scientists who agree with the “consensus”. ”

        You don’t need “proof” just need to show a “statistically significant” correlation.

      • Pekka –

        Is Kerry Emanuel inside our outside the predominant leftist consensus that exists in climate science?

        Judith is politicizing the discussion of climate science. OK. That’s her right.

        But her description implies that the “consensus” is “leftist.” I say that is an overstatement by an activist scientist – rather very much something that, based on your previous comments, you think is counterproductive and likely serves to undermine public confidence.

        Is there a prevalence of left leaning shared among climate scientists who align with the “consensus” position? Probably. But there are many related factors: For example:

        Only six percent of America’s scientists identify themselves as Republicans; fifty-five percent call themselves Democrats. By comparison, 23 percent of the overall public considers itself Republican, while 35 percent say they’re Democrats.

        The ideological discrepancies were similar. Nine percent of scientists said they were “conservative” while 52 percent described themselves as “liberal,” and 14 percent “very liberal.” The corresponding figures for the general public were 37, 20 and 5 percent.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/10/only-six-percent-of-scien_n_229382.html

        Should we then say that the “consensus” on any particular scientific debate is “leftist” since there is likely a high prevalence of leftists who are aligned with the consensus opinion?

        Of course, there is much evidence that views on climate change reflect a political/ideological divide – but that does not support Judith’s statement that the “consensus” is leftist. And certainly, one could look at virtually every thread at Climate Etc. and see abundant evidence of “bullying” associated with climate science emanating from non-leftists.

        There are many ways to discuss the political and ideological patterns that are associated with the climate wars – and the form of Judith’s reference to those political and ideological associations seem to invariably appeal to the inflaming the partisan rancor.

      • Pekka said:

        “It’s worth noting that the formulation originates from the article of Bernstein:”

        Yea, what exactly does that have to do with climate science?

        Every professor that teaches a university class inevitably has to turn into a bully when they fail a given fraction of the students. Is that not bullying when you dash the hopes of those students that were hoping to progress? What right does an instructor have to pass judgement on these folk?

        Yes, I know, the hypocrisy runs rampant.

    • GaryM,

      Judith linked “bullying”, “the… leftist consensus” and “rampant in climate science”.

      You referring to various media outlets wasn’t much regarding due dlilgence.

      Would you like to try again?

      • Michael,

        I wasn’t responding to Dr. Curry. I was responding to your question. If you have to ask “clarification of what exactly is this ‘predominant leftist consensus’ thing” is, you have not been paying attention. The “progressive consensus,” in other words, is pretty much everything you believe as far as politics and policy. Because it is the only thing you ever read or hear.

        Which was my point.

      • GaryM,

        As i was referring to Judith’s statement, ignoring it seems to be a sub-optimal response on your part.

        You might as well have told me what constitutes ‘bullying’.

        But thanks for you concern.

    • From my experience in the climate business it was obvious that a skeptical mindset and voicing that mindset was a career killer.
      Cant claim bullying. More just a pervasive mindset. A sort of leftist consensus, I suppose.

      Sometimes you just don’t fit in. And sometimes u hit the road. Would suck to be a young scientist without options, though. I guess you just duck it up, keep quiet and take it until some day you’re on top, then you fish it back out. Seems to be the academic way.
      Corporate isn’t totally different except you have responsibilities tied to money, and results trump status. Much better if you have some talent.

      • If you take a class in climate science from Georgia Tech and voice a skeptical mindset to the material being taught and demonstrate that by answering incorrectly on the exams, you will fail.

        That is a career killer, ain’t it? And it is all because the instructor bullied you by handing out an F-grade.

        These denialists just don’t fit in. Go get a mirror.

  36. ” In climate science, its easy: argument from consensus; anyone attacking/disagreeing with the consensus is fair game for attack, when the consensus supports political decision making.” – JC

    Big boy pants MIA…..

  37. A bully is either lacking a group (1), part of an exclusive clique (2), or part of a large group such as a consensus (3). This would seem to give us at least three kind of different bullies. In the case of a 2, the bully may say, you are not a 2 to outsiders. The bully may be the leader of the clique or the enforcer for the leader. This might be sort of a high school situation. Which btw, might make a bullying strategy a bad approach as people may identify with the victims. Still on the 2s, the act of bullying may break the clique apart as those inside it will leave because they don’t agree with such behavior. They also may not leave, knowing that even if they do, the bully is not going anywhere. They’d have been cowed. With a 3 situation, the point is not to be a clique for the most part as far as I can tell. Now the bully is mostly keeping people in line. The possibility is raised of being banished and ridiculed. That decision is made by either the bully or the leader. Acceptable behavior determined by certain people is part of this equation. The bully also in a way, protects the group from outsiders. They also go on the offensive against outsiders at times. If there are consensus bullies, who is endorsing them from inside the consensus, or who is afraid to kick the bully out? One way to shut down a bully is when their own group does it. Kick them into the wilderness and let them stand someplace else and do what they think they need to do. I believe there are no consensus leaders telling the bullies what to do, The bullies are doing this own their own. This all applies to the skeptics as well. They need to not make these kinds of mistakes. Any attacks they make need to be carefully considered to not involve what may be perceived as bullying.

  38. John Vonderlin

    gbaike,
    Unless I’m wrong in my perception, residents of Gaza do not have the ability to come and go freely. Even fishing more than 3 miles off Gaza’s coast is forbidden. Nor are they freely allowed to import whatever they want. Even cement importation for home construction was controlled because of its potential dual use in tunnel building. They exist in a strange combination of self-determinism and occupation, not that different from U.S. prisons where gangs often control the prisoners lives almost as much as do the prison staff.
    The Supreme Court has made numerous decisions about the rights of prisoners that would seem to contradict your statements about there being no legal, let alone moral obligations in regards to controlled populations. Did I misunderstand your point? If not, I’d suggest you read “The Wall,” a great book about the Warsaw Ghetto, and see if that doesn’t change your mind.

    • –gbaike,
      Unless I’m wrong in my perception, residents of Gaza do not have the ability to come and go freely. Even fishing more than 3 miles off Gaza’s coast is forbidden. Nor are they freely allowed to import whatever they want. Even cement importation for home construction was controlled because of its potential dual use in tunnel building. They exist in a strange combination of self-determinism and occupation, not that different from U.S. prisons where gangs often control the prisoners lives almost as much as do the prison staff.–

      By your description, Gaza seems a lot like Cuba. And to call Cuba and Gaza
      prisons doesn’t seem like it’s much of exaggeration if you know anything about such countries. Or the people of Gaza and Cuba might find US prisons have a lot more freedom then they are allowed as citizen in their nation. Plus US prisons are not necessarily a life sentence, nor are children of the prisoners required to stay in the prison.

      Now the word which come to mind in regard to prisons [and Cuba or Gaza] is not self-determinism. I know that some people could want to live in a cage, and prisoner released, might pine for the day they returned to prison.

      But, it’s not what I would call self-determinism.
      Or I would say the main purpose of any prison is to remove self-determinism.
      As consequence of a person’s actions and found, according to a court of law, to be criminals. Or a state requires laws followed and one can not have people who violate laws to continue to do so. Hence the idea of the forced confinement.

      But in regards to international law, nations have self-determinism:
      wiki: ” It states that nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and fair equality of opportunity have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or interference”
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-determination
      So in regards to the States of Cuba or Gaza, such political bodies do have self-determinism, even though their citizens do not have self-determinism.

      And generally these kinds of States are not what one should call democracies- regardless of number election they may or may not conduct.
      As simple rule, any country which prevents you from leaving said country is
      not a democracy [or republic]. So it’s a prison which has sovereignty, rather than a prison within a sovereignty [which would the responsibility of the sovereignty].
      So Cuba is not a US prison. And Gaza is not a Israel’s prison. Nor does any prison in the US have it’s own sovereignty.
      So because nation makes itself into a prison, it does not entitles such a nation the rights afforded prisons in the US.
      –The Supreme Court has made numerous decisions about the rights of prisoners that would seem to contradict your statements about there being no legal, let alone moral obligations in regards to controlled populations.–

      As said, US Supreme Court does not have any jurisdiction in regards to other nations. Of course in regard to prisons governed by the US, one must provide enough food, water, and shelter [and medical care]. Else the prisons would be slowly killing prisoners.
      But when this is extended to sex changes or internet and TV privileges. Well. Supreme Court gets many things wrong.

      As for controlled populations, those governing Gaza certainly have moral obligation to ensure their population are not being deprived of fruits associated with modern technology [electricity being one] . But the fact they imprison their population is all need to know about their degree morality.
      So the nuisances of lobbing missiles and their desire to be a constant war with Israel would not need to be included.
      A general problem with Gaza, is they tend to think they have sovereignty over Israel [and larger region extending to entire world] and that Jews are unlawful immigrants. And that God or custom has given them this sovereign right. It’s not really not much different than Lefties who think what is needed is a totalitarian world government. But generally Lefties aren’t quite so mad to imagine their totalitarian world government already exist or has existed for thousands of years.

      –Did I misunderstand your point? If not, I’d suggest you read “The Wall,” a great book about the Warsaw Ghetto, and see if that doesn’t change your mind.–
      Obviously.
      And there is no comparison of Warsaw Ghetto and Gaza. Or, Gaza could be wonderful state if not for it’s madmen who were intent on murder.

  39. I thought “academic bullying” was a pleonasm.

  40. I thought about this for a little while and tried to get to the core of motivation. It seems like the consensus would have, long ago, just dismissed the skeptics and ignored them. They did that with Heartland, and it would seem, successfully. Why bother with the other fragmented individuals perceived as a bunch of ignorant toothless hillbillies? I could only think, given some of the tactics, that it has to do with control.

    If you put two small children in a room with a bunch of toys they will inevitably both want just one toy; the same toy of course. Each will think that it has an inherent right to that toy and fight for control. It is a matter of personal pride and self worth.

    The consesus has a pretty wide margin in the polls of convincing the public about global warming. It is, however, not a high ranked priority for most people it’s always ranked at the bottom. Perhaps they are insecure of the control of their possession and need to avert the greatest perceived threat. The greatest threat to possesion of the toy (science) is of couse the ultimate scientific outcome. Regardless, it looks to be all about control.

    Orsen Wells once made a movie with this theme about a priveledged child who was a boorish brat. He eventually had his comeuppance but ruined his own life and those around him. It was called the ‘ Magnificent Ambersons’. Perhaps consensus control is suffering from Amberson Syndrome.

  41. the big problem with academics is they are too nice . my standard response to bullying in any form is a punch in the face.

  42. Bullying is more difficult to define than most people care.
    It is very much self diagnosed than recognised from outside.
    Bullying is very much a part of normal human behaviour and much needed by society to work properly.
    When working properly in this regard it is no longer considered bullying but thought of as normal behaviour.
    In this regard we have police officers, soldiers, teachers, professors, prison officers, doctors and politicians.
    None of them would consider themselves bullies but they all direct people in what to do, think and behave.
    This is bullying as defined but is what most of us accept as essential, practical, necessary behaviour for our society to function hence we “forget” that it is bullying.

  43. The bullying referred to here is social organisation by a bigger group, believers, over a smaller group, deniers (or sceptics) and is perfectly understandable behaviour, the purveyors of the bullying, Peter Gleik, Tamino, Mann and the usual denizens here cannot see their behaviour as bullying and in this context never will.
    The people arguing for a scientific view or review see themselves as bullied and want to fight, kick or punch on one hand due to the intransigence and to put up a reasoned argument on the other.
    Neither approach can work and the people who take their frustrations out unfortunately become bullies themselves, sorry guys.
    Personally I am pleased to see Peter and Tamino comment here. It cannot and never will be easy for them.
    One of them is bright, stubborn, opinionated and a fighter hence almost immune to reason. The other has had a horrible noble cause experience and might be amenable to conversion one day though still unlikely.
    Eli is ineluctable.
    I love them commentating because their blindness to their flaws is illuminating for everyone else who reads them.
    Please do not kick them, particularly Peter.
    Remember we are blind to our own flaws and the arguments for and against are best put up by the toughest proponents on both sides

    • Yah, yah, I’ve said for years we’ll eventually feel sorry for the worst of the alarmists. This has been a madness for them, but since the infection spread so broadly, and so disastrously, it is difficult at present to drip(shed) mercy softly. Perhaps if they are simply considered the worst of the afflicted, and so those most deserving of pity? Yeah, there’s a tikket, bring on the show.
      =======

  44. I can’t find the comment of Tom Fuller’s that I want to post this behind so I’ll just drop it here.

    Judy’s piloting the Voyage of the Climate Eagle, a rancor with anchor.
    ================

  45. Dear Dr. Curry,
    Sometimes you make statements which are baffling to me.

    (1) You make a statement that I 100% agree with: Disagree with the argument, not the person.
    Attempting to make someone’s scholarly reputation suffer over political disagreements is the worst
    sort of academic bullying.

    (2) But you also make the statement: The issue less of less egregious bullying where people outside the predominant leftist consensus are considered beyond pale.

    In your 2nd statement, its your phrase “predominant leftist consensus” that’s raised my eyebrows.

    Do you consider yourself a “Conservative” Scientist, and someone who may disagree with you (I’ll
    specifically cite Dr. Muller and Dr. Molina) as “Liberal” Scientists?

    Are you saying that scientists like Dr. Muller and Dr. Molina are “Liberals” and letting their political ideology drive their science opinion?

    Confusing — I hope I’ve misinterpreted your statement. Thanks.

    • The last refuge of a Progressive is Liberalism.
      ==========================

    • I’ve just never thought of science as “liberal” or “conservative”. Of course, any Scientist can be liberal or conservative.

      I personally think Dr. Oppenheimer is an example of this. I’m in Ag and watched a video with him discussing catastrophic famine/crop failure from the latest IPCC release.

      What Dr. Oppenheimer never mentioned once was this opinion is based on a bunch of climate models coming true (including regional models which are very lacking). He also just looked at the bad, and didn’t address regions where crop yields could increase.

      I disagreed with his “core argument”, as I didn’t think he was being objective.

      • I think it’s been pretty well established that academics tend to be overwhelmingly liberal. You are fighting a losing battle with this one.

      • jim2,

        College students also tend to be more liberal than the general population.

        Reality also has a well known liberal bias.

      • To me, the progressivism of climate science consists in the belief in giant levers and switches, both as problems and solutions. A rough observation set, once given an acronym, quickly becomes a mechanism, deemed manipulable by the tax knob or by that darling control of the New Class, the Market.

        This is a field of study which ought to be very much based in curiosity about the natural world, yet it’s hard to get many of its practitioners even to open a window let alone get wet feet. Not that I blame them too much: the number of things you’d need to check out seems pretty daunting, starting with those oceans deeps which lie at or near the centre of every theory.

        Climate science is starting to resemble an anti-USS Enterprise…it’s mission: to boldly NOT go where no-one has gone.

      • Mosomoso,

        That’s quite profoundly ignorant of you.

      • Michael, stand all spring in an Easten Australian grove or paddock during an El Nino, expecting this or that, and you’ll quickly learn what you don’t know and others can’t tell you. Add what info you can scrape up of PDO and IOD and you stand a chance of understanding more…maybe!

        Turning valuable shreds of knowledge or observation into master mechanisms can sometimes block off the desire to gather up a few more valuable shreds.

      • “I’ve just never thought of science as ‘liberal’ or ‘conservative’. Of course, any Scientist can be liberal or conservative.”

        It is correct that “science” does not have a political disposition, scientists do. In modern, government funded, policy driven science, the primary customer is government. So perhaps it is not so surprising that so many scientists are pro-government progressives.

        CAGW in particular is overwhelmingly peopled by progressive “scientists,” because it is primarily a political movement. Does anyone doubt that the efforts of the consensus to enforce conformity among the professional journals is mirrored in the process of who gets hired to faculty, promoted to professor, granted tenure? Or that students who dissent have trouble finding an advisor for their thesis?

        Western universities are becoming as conformist and dogmatic as madrassas, because they are being used for the same purpose – indoctrination, not education.

      • Michael: “College students also tend to be more liberal than the general population”/”Reality also has a well known liberal bias”. How are these comments relevant?

      • CAGW in particular is overwhelmingly peopled by progressive “scientists,” because it is primarily a political movement.

        First how do you define CAGW and what evidence do you have that it is a political movement or that scientists that subscribe to the theory are “progressives” and do so because they are part of this political movement?

      • The predictions on impacts to agriculture have always been one of those key markers in determining how BS much of the CAGW argument is.

        They ignore record setting harvests. They ignore the basic fact of the world continuing to produce increasing amounts of food at the same time the amount of acreage under production is decreasing. They ignore any possible positive impacts. In fact all they have are model projections whose imputs are from climate model projections. They project increasing drought and flooding, when research to date shows no increase in either (at least in the US).

        When someone tells you how worried they are about feeding 7 – 9 billion people and that we have to do something about it right now (as in we have to do what they tell us) and they are not talking about improved transportation and storage, walk away.

      • “Climate science is starting to resemble an anti-USS Enterprise…it’s mission: to boldly NOT go where no-one has gone.”

        Yep. And, as with all groups involved with dogma or bullying it is the group that loses when the enthusiasm, talents and perspectives of those bullied is lost.

    • I assume Republican climate scientists like Kate Hayhoe and Barry Bickmore, both of whom can be considered ‘alarmist’ in the context of this blog don’t count for some reason?

    • The ‘considered beyond pale’ is a quote from the article. I don’t advocate for particular policies related to climate change; politically i am independent. In climate science, it seems that 97% or so have liberal leanings.

    • Stephen, “leftist consensus” struck me too, but then I saw that phrase was lifted from the main article. However, by not putting it in quotes, it implies that Judith thinks the shoe fits. I would have called it an academic or scientific consensus, being a scientific, not a political position.

      • It was in the italicized block quote.

      • Jim D, it seems you’ll twist anything any which way in order to support your position.

      • AK, it was stated again without quotes in the JC comments which has led to a lot of this discussion.

      • AK, it was stated again without quotes in the JC comments which has led to a lot of this discussion.

        Yeah, somehow I didn’t properly use the search function.

        But I don’t think it makes a difference. Anybody who isn’t egregiously lying to themselves (and probably also leftist themselves) can see that the climate “consensus” is predominantly leftist. Just like the “consensus” WRT Israel.

      • Yeah, I know, “No true Scotsman…”. But we’re all doing rhetoric here, not Aristotelian “logic”.

  46. The kind of bullying that is described here is displayed in the documentary about Lance Armstrong and use of illegal substances to win the Tour de France. The documentary is “The Armstrong Lie”,, here is a review by the gaurdian…sounds a lot like what is going on in climate science. http://www.theguardian.com/film/2014/feb/02/the-armstrong-lie-mark-kermode-review. It is amazing the lengths people will go to to cover up, bend the truth, bully people to project their power and to protect their power.

    • Think ‘democratization of information’. The quality of Truth seeps as softly as that of Mercy.
      ============

  47. Hmmmm … does this fit a Mann we know?
    From the article:

    Research studies have proven that there is no link between kids who behave aggressively toward other kids and low self-esteem. In fact, psychologists have found that kids who behave like bullies have high self-esteem, but that they are very “shame-prone.” That means they are afraid their failures or shortcomings will be exposed. A person can have problems with shame and still have high self-esteem, and this is what makes a person act like a bully. Their mean behavior toward others keeps their self-esteem high because it takes their own and others’ attention away from the parts of themselves about which they are ashamed.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/intense-emotions-and-strong-feelings/201010/do-bullies-really-have-low-self-esteem

    • All furiously recursive, dontcha know. Oh what a wicked storm doth tread, with thuds and dreads within their heads.
      ============

  48. About moral responsibility of the invader, I once asked an MD if he was a surgeon or a specialist. He answered “I am a surgeon, but once you cut…”

  49. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry asserts [without evidence] “Those who are outside the predominant leftist consensus are considered beyond the pale.”

    Judith Curry, it may perhaps comfort you to reflect that philosopher/essayist/poet Wendell Berry is passionately cherished by the reading public and also showered with numerous academic and civic honors despite (or because of?) Berry’s lifelong practice of vigorously asserting non-consensus opinions, that offend equally the ideological left *AND* the ideological right.

    Climate Etc readers may wish to reflect upon this excerpt from one of Berry’s recent essays.

    Title of excerpt supplied by FOMD …

    Has Climate Etc evolved
    to be a “Teenage Culture”
    ?

    In the present political atmosphere it is assumed that everyone must be on only one of two sides: liberal or conservative.

    It doesn’t matter that NEITHER of these labels signifies much in the way of intellectual responsibility, or that BOTH are paralyzed in the face of the overpowering issue of our time: the destruction of land and people; of life itself; by means either economic or military.

    What DOES matter is that a person should choose either one side or the other; accept the positions and thinking of that side and its institutions; and be so identified forever more.

    How you vote is who you are.

    Above all, one must not cause confusion among the loyalists. If the liberals or conservatives agree with you on one thing, they’re entitled to be shocked to find that they don’t agree with you on EVERYTHING.

    It follows that you must NOT change your mind about mere ISSUES. The only change that is expectable or normal is to go from one of these disreputable sides all the way over to the other …

    … changing in effect your identity, which is understood to be no more, or less, than your side.

    We appear, thus, to have evolved into a sort of teenage culture, of wishful thinking, of contending positions, oversimplified and absolute, requiring no knowledge and no thought; no loss; no tragedy; no strenuous effort; no bewilderment; no hard choices.

    Of the contention of American liberals and conservatives, in the cold-war politics of the 1950s, [historian] John Lukacs remarked that

    “the opposition of two stupidities does not mean that the truth is somewhere in the middle.”

    It is well to reflect (with humility) that the most common reason — by far! — for a scientist, artist, politician, religious leader, or enterprise to experience disregard and/or failure is to assert ideas, artworks, platforms, dogmas, or business schemes that simply aren’t worth much.

    Moreover, the most merciless critics are young students and young families, who have a keen eye for ideas that are short-sighted and/or self-serving.

    Conclusion  Climate-change denialism’s utter incapacity to recruit talented young scientists and committed young voters is driving the ascendency of the worldview of James Hansen, Naomi Oreskes, Pope Francis … and Wendell Berry.

    That’s obvious to *EVERYONE*, eh Climate Etc readers?

    \scriptstyle\rule[2.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}\,\boldsymbol{\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}\,\heartsuit\,{\displaystyle\text{\bfseries!!!}}\,\heartsuit\,\overset{\scriptstyle\circ\wedge\circ}{\smile}}\ \rule[-0.25ex]{0.01pt}{0.01pt}

    • “Conclusion Climate-change denialism’s utter incapacity to recruit talented young scientists and committed young voters is driving the ascendency of the worldview of James Hansen, Naomi Oreskes, Pope Francis … and Wendell Berry.”
      What? The utter failure of current leftist alarmist academia to allow any young scientists to freely observe the climate without foregone alarmist biases continues to drive “deniers” out the door. You can’t get grant money if you admit to wanting to disprove the consensus. And young voters have not been around long enough to realize when they are being lied to, keep your doctor, etc. Please. You know real scientists are sitting on the sideline when you see Oreskes and Lew in the news. No one with credibility would want to be mentioned with those two.

    • @fomd If you had only found it within your power to constrain yourself to the observation that the middle ground between two stupidities does not constitute wisdom, how grateful I would have been. Is there anything anyone could say that would convince you to drop your unctuous manner?

  50. Interesting post. The Israel versus Palestine topic surprised me (I’m pro Palestinian), but I can see why it would get traction with a USA audience.

    My sense is that as individuals or groups get more power they tend to abuse it. This include distortions, half truths, incomplete documents, shell games, and the tendency to begin history at a convenient point.

    In other words, we Homo sapiens, who survived tens of thousands of years of competitive evolution as social and highly communicative animals, learned to win at all costs by using every verbal and communication weapon we could muster. This is reflected in the behavior Dr Curry described in her post. The bullying she described is just what Homo sapiens does when it thinks it can use it and get away with it.

    • Given what you said in your post how can you be pro Palestinian. How can anyone be pro any group that for any reason pursues genocide?

  51. I’m a lurker here, as I’m not scientist but try to keep up, however badly. But I do want to pose a question. Do any of you think that you have a chance of stopping these climate madmen or turning back the tide of this? You see I see the sloppy science and incivility and low morals of those playing for keeps in the CAGW as only part of a larger political movement, one that finds CAGW a very useful tool. It’s not a coincidence that every single CAGW hysteric is also a progressive or a marxist.

    My bottom line? They are winning. You can’t reason with them because they are not about reason. They are about power. They are about “change”. And decades after post-modernism and post-structuralism, you can’t allow yourself to be surprised that the opposition here has boiled it all down to power. They want it and will do whatever it takes to get it. Many other issues in society are just as absurdly bandied about “scientifically” by social justice warriors. Not to get distracted here, but have you taken a look at the “scientific” ideas of say, feminism? Rape culture theory. Patriarchal oppression rampant and women – today – as oppressed. Men’s innate violent ways when the data has always shown women to initiate domestic violence as much as men. Or women committing more sexual abuse and other abuse of children – I’ll stop here, but basically most of what feminists peddle today is backed up by horrifically bad “studies” and awful research. If you are curious, Google “debunking Mary Koss campus rape study”. Actual reports of rape on campuses are orders of magnitude less than her study predicts, leading one rabid feminist at U.T. to decry it, asserting that according to Koss, there should 12,500 sexual assaults a year at U.T. And she “believes” that. But there are a tiny fraction.

    My point? This is everywhere. Our entire political and public intellectual debate has been deformed by pseudo-science twisted to the political purposes of social justice warriors. They’ve cheapened it – and they just don’t care because they are winning and they “know” they are right and morally superior.

    The question? What, if anything would you personally be willing to do about any of this beyond posting comments on the web? The fact is that we’ve barely slowed these people down. Something more is going to be required at some point, and I don’t mean counter-bullying. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination but essentially our political system and society is becoming unstable due to this. The political system in the U.S. isn’t resolving any of these issues – so how long should we continue to rely on it?

    • There’s only one cure, we gotta have more cowbell.
      =================

    • You need to direct your anger at the skeptical scientists. They have mounted such a puny case (witness NIPCC) that they have been bull-dozed by the mainstream. Get on their case to do better science. Blog postings don’t cut it. They need to show up at the front line, which is the scientific basis, but currently they are just absent where it matters, apparently not trying hard enough. This happens across the board with theory, data, models. Just a complete absence of active skeptical research that comes across as a surrender. What do you expect? Demand more from them.

      • Have you read the published journal references cited by the NIPCC? Its rather difficult to argue that published skeptical research is absent. Are the skeptics as good at propaganda? No. The science will work itself out, although it is being slowed down by consensus enforcement games. The only place political progress in terms of AGW policies are being made is the U.S. and that is through executive decree, which may not outlive the term of the current President.

      • The problem with the NIPCC is the words they put around the references. Chapters and sections seem to be the opinion of one or two individuals. Their part on model predictions was seemingly mostly written (rehashed) by an economic forecaster (Armstrong) who thinks the basis for these forecasts is similar. It’s just a hopeless mess of opinion from outside the actual fields of research that was clearly not even reviewed by anyone who could put them straight on factual issues. They needed some real climate scientists writing this and a proper review process. Their absence showed.

      • ‘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…’ TAR WG1 14.2.2.2

        The nature and behavior of models has been clear for a long time. The coupled, non-linear, chaotic nature of the climate system suggests that the current hiatus is more likely than not to persist for decades at least. Neither is it guaranteed that climate will then shift to a warmer state.

        Both theory and data seem immensely robust.

      • Here’s a gem of NIPCC “science” from Chapter 2 – Forcings and Feeebacks, which should be the meat of their case.
        “Starr (1993) also found the atmospheric lifetime
        of CO2 is about five years, consistent with the
        seasonal photosynthesis swing of atmospheric CO2
        and the bomb 14C decay history. The short residence
        time suggests anthropogenic emissions contribute
        only a fraction of the observed atmospheric rise and
        other sources, such as ocean and volcanic degassing
        of CO2, need to be sought. ”
        How many would agree with that? Even some skeptics may have difficulty saying that we are not at 400 ppm because of emissions. Yet this is one of their conclusions.

      • What part of “Starr 1993” did you not understand? That was NOT their conclusion. They were reporting on a paper that was talking about that.

        Argue the paper, not the messenger.

      • JimD, “How many would agree with that? Even some skeptics may have difficulty saying that we are not at 400 ppm because of emissions. Yet this is one of their conclusions.”

        That actually relates to the “other” anthropogenic impact aka land use. Loss of soil carbon storage due to erosion, deforestation and older agricultural practices. Fossil fuel emissions are a rather small percentage of the overall carbon cycle. Stott et al. also note that ocean up welling can have a larger than anticipate impact on the ocean’s ability to absorb CO2.

      • I don’t get the impression that the skeptics are out there looking for the real emitter (OJ reference). They know it is BS.

      • Why would you be chasing a white rabbit? The bottom line is – WHO CARES? The increase in CO2 has so far (and for the foreseeable future) shown positive impacts. It is the same thing as the DDT scare, the ALAR scare, and every other scare out there. If man is causing it, so what? The temperatures are not responding as the models predicted (or projected). And the crops HAVE.

      • JimD, “I don’t get the impression that the skeptics are out there looking for the real emitter (OJ reference). They know it is BS.”

        http://dornsife.usc.edu/cf/faculty-and-staff/faculty.cfm?pid=1003737

        Stott appears to be luke warmer which would be a skeptic. Steven Schewartz, Bjorn Stephens, Graeme Stephens and quite a few others have a number of issues with the climate science status quo and I doubt would be considered whack job denier/skeptics. I seriously looks like the assumed tripling of the basic CO2 forcing impact was misguided.

      • captd, you will notice that these people are looking for absorbing mechanisms, not emitting processes. The assumption that it is net absorbing is mainstream, and so yes Stott would be obviously mainstream on nature being a net CO2 absorber. The NIPCC take the opposite view that nature is the main emitter. How about that one? Crazy or what?

      • As noted on an earlier Open Thread:
        ““Somewhere on earth, on land, one-quarter of all our carbon emissions released through fossil fuel emissions is disappearing,” said David Crisp, a senior research scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “We can’t identify the processes responsible for this. Wouldn’t it be nice to know where?””
        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/30/science/nasa-launching-satellite-to-track-carbon.html?_r=2

      • Jim D | July 19, 2014 at 5:17 pm |
        I don’t get the impression that the skeptics are out there looking for the real emitter (OJ reference).

        If the temperatures cool it, you must acquit.

      • JimD, ” The NIPCC take the opposite view that nature is the main emitter. ”

        Nature is the biggest emitter and absorber. It is a CO2/carbon cycle. Fossil fuels and cement production are significant but only about 4Gt/yr of a roughly 120 Gt/year cycle. Land use change estimates are not all that great and get worse the further back you go like every thing else. It is not that far fetched to question the impact of emissions or emission reductions. Skeptics should question everything really.

      • Ragnaar, that makes my point. The problem is where is the CO2 being absorbed? We know where it is being emitted, right? Not NIPCC, apparently.

      • captd, OK, so you agree with NIPCC that we got to 400 ppm by some unknown natural mechanism, and it can’t possibly be emissions that account for this increase. I was looking for skeptics who agreed with that, and I seem to have found one.

      • Ragnaar, “If the temperatures cool it, you must acquit.”
        Perhaps if they cool to pre-industrial levels. Not likely in my view.

      • JimD, “captd, OK, so you agree with NIPCC that we got to 400 ppm by some unknown natural mechanism, and it can’t possibly be emissions that account for this increase. I was looking for skeptics who agreed with that, and I seem to have found one.”

        No, I see more uncertainty in the land use contribution meaning that land use mitigation i.e. more conservative land use practices, are likely to be more effective than emissions regulations at least in the short term. I agree with the NIPCC that fossil fuels done it all by themselves is not likely. .

      • Great reference though. We believe CO2 did it, and yet it seems to have got off. Next step, civil court.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Skeptics should question everything really.”

        they should first question the possibility of questioning everything

      • JIm D States that CC2 only stays in the atmosphere 5 years.
        Yet he persists in worrying about AGW.
        JIm D all we have to do is stop for 5 years and we will all be OK.
        Why would one bother with mitigation when we can just stop anytime it was proven to cause a problem.
        I am sure you have argued the opposite to this many times in the past

      • mosher, ““Skeptics should question everything really.”

        they should first question the possibility of questioning everything

        More like they don’t question anything until evidence tends to require otherwise. Why waste time.

        Take the assume 40Wm-2 atmospheric window. I questioned that. It doesn’t exist. That impact the “surface” that will be effected, basically what Angstrom said 100 years ago.

      • Jim D wrote
        “Ragnaar, “If the temperatures cool it, you must acquit.”
        Perhaps if they cool to pre-industrial levels.”

        Please supply your reasoning for that. What you label “pre-industrial levels” also happens to be “LIA levels”.
        If temperatures do ANY long term cooling WHILE CO2 is above 400 ppm, that, logically, should be enough to convince you.

      • Here’s a nice place to slip in the reminder that the higher the climate sensitivity to CO2, as measured by temperature, then the colder we would now be naturally without man’s additions to the atmospheric parcel.
        ============

      • @ Jim D

        “I don’t get the impression that the skeptics are out there looking for the real emitter (OJ reference). ”

        Well, I can’t speak for skeptics, plural, but I can speak for skeptic, singular.

        I am not out there looking for the ‘real emitter’ because as as far as I can see, the identity of the ‘real emitter’ is of absolutely no importance to anything measurable and perceptible to the ‘casual observer’.

        Until someone can demonstrate convincingly there is some identifiable problem associated with CO2, I see no reason to wast time, resources, and freedom in saving myself from it. Or giving a bubbly fart where it came from.

        My solution to the ‘Where is the CO2 coming from?’ problem is to ignore CO2, anthropogenic or otherwise, completely, and obtain energy from whatever sources are cheapest and/or most expedient for the requirement.

        Based on the observation that Temperature of the Earth (TOE), for which atmospheric CO2 reputedly acts as a thermostat, is ignoring the fact that the thermostat has been cranked up monotonically for the last 15-20 years, I conclude that if ACO2 does in fact have an effect on the TOE, it is small enough to be ignored for the foreseeable future. And that it acts so slowly that if at some future time it is conclusively determined that it has an undesirable impact on the climate, the “We gotta act now, instantly, or sooner, or we’re all gonna die!!” demand for political action will remain what it is today: an excuse for enacting specific policies, rather than solving an evident problem.

      • curryja | July 19, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        “Have you read the published journal references cited by the NIPCC? Its rather difficult to argue that published skeptical research is absent. ‘

        It’s a bad joke.

        Sure it’s full of refernces, lots to mainstream science where the the authors simply voice their opinion on the papers cited.

        But on one score, you’re right, it’s bad propaganda. Do you want them to do better at propaganda?

        I guess that is a reasonable request, as there seems to be a vanishingly small chance that they’ll do much actual science.

      • angech, so you believe that 5 year thing the NIPCC brought up. How do you think CO2 is accumulating if there is only a 5-year residence time? I think you haven’t quite thought this thing through. The emission rate has a 100-year time-scale, so it would not accumulate at all if it all was removed with a 5 year time scale. Think. The NIPCC are playing you for a fool. Their report is aimed at politicians, not scientists who can pull it apart. It’s a nice glossy thick book or pdf they can point to. What’s in it clearly doesn’t matter.

      • Ragnaar, yes, the CO2 defendant team at the NIPCC are off looking for the real emitter, which remains a mystery to this day, but only to them, and possibly not even to them. It’s just dishonest in my opinion, but they can fool some of the people some of the time.

      • Jim D | July 20, 2014 at 12:34 am |
        Ragnaar, yes, the CO2 defendant team at the NIPCC are off looking for the real emitter…
        This is probably unwise but, I see CO2 in a white bronco being followed by the EPA with lights flashing.

      • Ragnaar, not quite. CO2 now sits in prison thanks to the EPA prosecution of its separate crimes against clean energy. No one believed the NIPCC defense team anyway, so justice is being done.

      • Jim D for Denier wrote

        ” ‘Ragnaar, “If the temperatures cool it, you must acquit.’
        Perhaps if they cool to pre-industrial levels.”

        It doesn’t require ANY cooling – merely not rising is enough for acquittal.
        But then, you may be an anti-science Denialist.

      • ClimateGuy, it is rising enough for AGW so far (0.8 C), so if you want to show that AGW was wrong you would have to undo that rise first to convince me. Where do you stand on whether the CO2 rise to 400 ppm is manmade?

      • Pierre-Normand

        “How do you think CO2 is accumulating if there is only a 5-year residence time?”

        It is true that the residence time is 5 years (or even less). But whoever wrote that part of the NIPCC report was confused and severely misinformed. The residence time applies to individual CO2 molecules. It is the average time that they remain in the atmosphere before moving to another reservoir. It has little relevance to the time that it takes for some imbalance to be restored. The latter is a function of partial pressure both in the oceans and in the atmosphere (and the balance with the biosphere).

        For instance, when everything balances, there is no net exchange between the oceans and the atmosphere, but the residence time still is 5 years. In that case, whenever x molecules move from the atmosphere to the oceans, an approximately equal number of molecules move in the opposite direction, so there is no net change.

        The time required for some fraction of a CO2 excess in the atmosphere to be captured by oceans (and/or terrestrial biosphere) depends on the difference between the fluxes, and it is much longer than the residence time and it depends very much on the differences in partial pressures.

      • No one is confused but Jimmy D and PN. It is just one of these 1st order effects that have no bearing other describing a small part of actual carbon dynamics.

        If you actually went into it carbon – I am sure there would be an adequate carbon budget and not an inadequate and derivative quibble about something that is one of the more basic ideas.

      • Climateguy –

        Careful there. Judith considers calling people “deniers” to be the worst sort of scientific intolerance.

      • No one is confused but Jimmy D and PN.

        If no one else is confused, then NIPCC has really failed. The discussion contained in that chapter of NIPCC is totally irrelevant for climate science and has virtually no connection to the higher level title Forcings and Feedbacks. It’s perhaps to be expected that whole chapter contains almost nothing about forcings and concentrates in discussing details irrelevant for that. The obvious purpose is to get people confused by implying that nothing else is known without explicit statements of such untruths.

        It’s difficult to imagine anything of less value for climate science than the chapter 2 of NIPCC.

      • My imagination, Pekka, has just herniatically strained itself, but out pops the Piltdown Mann’s Crook’t Hockey Stick. Which is worse for climate science, that sad sack of stick or the continued defense of it?
        ========================

      • Jim D wrote
        “ClimateGuy, it is rising enough for AGW so far (0.8 C), so if you want to show that AGW was wrong you would have to undo that rise first to convince me. ”

        Jim D,
        Why wriggle to a different argument? Your statement concerned the future, and you said that temperatures would have to drop to pre-industrial levels.

        It doesn’t make sense in light of theory and assertions that anthro CO2 emissions now dominating natural variation, that such cooling as you need would be logically consistent if CO2 is at 400 ppm and rising.

      • Pierre-Normand, yes, this confusion over residence time is the NIPCC trying to pull the wool over the politicians’ eyes. These are the only people they need to fool with their report so they have set a low bar. Anyone who knows anything on this is aware that even water vapor has a short residence time of 10 days, but doesn’t get sucked out of the air for the same reason that CO2 doesn’t.

      • JD and P-N,

        These skeptics don’t understand the behavioral dynamics behind diffusion. They never took any courses or studied it, so they just assume a 5-year residence time implies something that other denialists are asserting. So funny watching them flail.

      • ClimateGuy, I said what it would take to convince me that CO2 is “innocent”, and you can take it or leave it. In fact everyone, even kim, knows adding CO2 leads to more warming, and we have only just started on that path having used only about 20% of the easily available fossil fuels resources to get this far.

      • Coming back to the thread topic, sometimes pointing out to the skeptics that the kinds of things they believe in their reports is wrong is considered to be bullying. Even when there are things that are easy to ridicule, I guess we need to be sensitive to that perception. Like here, even something that is scientifically wrong just comes across as a difference in opinion to those who don’t know the scientific basis. So if we say the consensus is that the 400 ppm is due to man, they say that’s just an opinion, and the expert majority is just bullying those who don’t think so.

      • Discussing difference of opinion, and using arguments to point out what is wrong is what we want more of! Scientist from the majority perspective calling other scientists anti-science, deniers, troll, etc. is my concern about bullying.

        Case in point: Mann’s twitter response to my bullying post:

        Michael Mann: #JudithCurry jumped the shark a long time ago. The time to ignore her has long passed. #DontFeedTheTroll

      • If you jumped it, he got eaten by it.

      • I don’t believe that NIPCC has any effect at all. It may get referred by some, but that’s only to “justify” claims made for other reasons. It’s a total waste of effort that is of no value to anyone.

      • Thus spake the anti-science crowd. Ignore all the science that does not fit the bias.

      • Whenever I see NIPCC, I immediately think of the satire TV show Not_Necessarily_the_News.

        Most of the culturally aware laugh at how blissfully unaware (i.e. clueless) the principals behind NIPCC must be.

      • ‘The alternative evaluation of the CO2 residence time—giving values of about five years for the bulk of the atmospheric CO2 molecules, as per Essenhigh’s (2009) reasoning and numerous measurements with different methods—indicates CO2 is part of a dynamic, not static, system, where about one-fifth of the atmospheric CO2 pool is exchanged every year between different sources and sinks due to relatively fast equilibria and temperature-dependent CO2 partitioning governed by the chemical Henry’s Law (Segalstad 1992; Segalstad, 1996; Segalstad, 1998).’ http://www.nipccreport.org/reports/ccr2a/pdf/Chapter-2-Forcings-and-Feedbacks.pdf

        My professional specialty is biogeochemical cycling and carbon is of course a key nutrient. Long ago I spent weeks working systematically through a study of Chesapeake Bay that used a 14 compartment carbon model. I was very pleased with myself for understanding – only to read in the last sentence that they needed at least 3 times the trophic links just for Chesapeake Bay.

        The reality of carbon dioxide is that natural fluxes are orders of magnitude greater than anthropogenic emissions. Natural variability of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere seems to vary considerably in ways that are not captured by ice cores.

        e.g. http://www.academia.edu/2949675/Stomatal_proxy_record_of_CO2_concentrations_from_the_last_termination_suggests_an_important_role_for_CO2_at_climate_change_transitions

        The increase in flux with temperature is well established – and seems to be in the order of anthropogenic emissions. The balance is biologically mediated in a fast response. Most of the early century warming was quite natural. The available satellite evidence says quite obviously that most late century warming was quite natural as well – as I keep saying. Absent any compelling alternative – we are entitled to go with the evidence.

        ‘One important development since the TAR is the apparent unexpectedly large changes in tropical mean radiation flux reported by ERBS (Wielicki et al., 2002a,b). It appears to be related in part to changes in the nature of tropical clouds (Wielicki et al., 2002a), based on the smaller changes in the clear-sky component of the radiative fluxes (Wong et al., 2000; Allan and Slingo, 2002), and appears to be statistically distinct from the spatial signals associated with ENSO (Allan and Slingo, 2002; Chen et al., 2002). A recent reanalysis of the ERBS active-cavity broadband data corrects for a 20 km change in satellite altitude between 1985 and 1999 and changes in the SW filter dome (Wong et al., 2006). Based upon the revised (Edition 3_Rev1) ERBS record (Figure 3.23), outgoing LW radiation over the tropics appears to have increased by about 0.7 W/m2 while the reflected SW radiation decreased by roughly 2.1 W/m2 from the 1980s to 1990s (Table 3.5).’ AR4 WG1 3.4.4.1

        This ERBS data showing 2.1 W/m2 warming in SW and 0.7 W/m2 cooling in IR is consistent with ISCCP-FD and with changes in ocean heat content.

        It certainly raises some interesting questions. How much of the increase in CO2 was natural? How much is reversible as the natural warming of the planet reverses this century?

        What we get from the usual suspects – however – is the usual simplistic narrative with the usual partisan invective.

      • stay tuned . . . tomorrow’s post exactly on this topic

      • Of the 120 ppm added, 10 ppm could have come from a Henry’s Law type of adjustment due to the warming of the oceans. A similar thing happened as CO2 rose by 90 ppm from the depth of the Ice Ages to the pre-industrial level consistent with temperature rises of 6-8 C.

      • ‘… due to relatively fast equilibria and temperature-dependent CO2 partitioning governed by the chemical Henry’s Law…’

        Yes Jimmy Dee – it is quite evident that outgassing is a minor element in the carbon cycle.

        Is there a need to repeatedly obfuscate by misdirection?

      • The obfuscation is the use of the five year residence time, which is only an equilibriation time scale, to try to say that therefore CO2 can’t accumulate due to fossil fuel emission rates and something else must be the emitter as that section you quoted goes on to conclude. Maybe you agree with that, but I think even the majority of skeptics don’t go that far. The section also quoted Susan Solomon who knew the correct time scales to use, but it was only quoted to dismiss it, as they do with many of their mainstream references.

      • The 5 years establishes a context of fast atmospheric turnover with increases coming from a number of different sources – biological as well as smaller sources such as outgassing and volcanoes.

        Jimmy’s is a wrong headed and motivated quibble on a quite obvious and correct point contained in a broad discussion. An object lesson in obfuscation and motivated disparagement.

      • Rob Ellison, you can go back to their final conclusion that I quoted (4:07pm July 19) and see if you agree with it. You seem to be dancing around a statement on it.

      • Anthropogenic emissions are a fraction of the accumulation?

        That is what I said.

        Stop wasting everyone’s time.

      • Rob Ellison, the short residence time doesn’t show anything of the sort. It’s an error of logic. They quoted Susan Solomon and should have stuck with her numbers that are the relevant ones for this. Unlike them, she does have a clue.

      • The increase comes from physical and biological processes – go back and check my original comment.

        The fast turnover and orders of magnitude larger natural flux has implications for persistence in the atmosphere.

        It is all covered in a broad discussion. Solomon’s is an inadequate model. Jimmy Dee is just an inadequate modeler who thinks he can ‘win’ by being more stubborn in refusing to discuss the actual issues merely sticking fingers in ears while repeating endlessly the same song and dance.

      • curryja | July 20, 2014 at 1:13 pm |
        “Case in point: Mann’s twitter response to my bullying post:

        Michael Mann: #JudithCurry jumped the shark a long time ago. The time to ignore her has long passed. #DontFeedTheTroll”

        Why is that bullying?

        Why can’t Mann express a personal opinion on your opinions?

        Why should ‘minority’ views be immune from criticism?

        So any quesions, so few answers.

      • Rob E is and inadequate modeler because he has never shown his work.

        This is the way it works. The fast 5-year time constant is part of the fat-tail diffusion characteristic. The longer adjustment time is the fat-tail.
        http://theoilconundrum.blogspot.ch/2011/09/derivation-of-maxent-diffusion-applied.html

      • Steven Mosher

        “Why can’t Mann express a personal opinion on your opinions?”

        well, he can, but he didn’t.

        He said you could ignore Her.

        He could say, I think we can ignore this opinion of hers.
        That would be less bullying than saying
        Ignore Her.

        pretty simple.

      • Sorry Jim, that is flat out false. No ‘case” can be made when the MSM refuses to print any side but the one side – which is happening. And you are also wrong about the NIPCC. They are not “presenting” a case, they are blowing holes (huge ones at that) in the Alarmists ‘case’.

        The MSM is at fault, They WANT to believe the case. So they sacrifice all their integrity to promote it.

      • I’ve got 5 minutes to waste on fathead nonsense.

        The turnover time is the result of fast processes being greater than bicarbonate sequestration – or anthropogenic emissions – by orders of magnitude.

        On second thoughts – naw – rational people address the published science and do not do dodgy and inadequate calcs on loser websites. And you know what they say about arguing with irrational people.

      • “Michael Mann: #JudithCurry jumped the shark a long time ago. The time to ignore her has long passed. #DontFeedTheTroll”

        The level on unprofessionalism in such a statement to a colleague is profoundly bizarre to me. My company would actually fire me for using my name and social media in such manner. I dont think that is right, but it just demonstrates how completely out of touch and whacked academic culture can be….
        Where is the public censure from other colleagues for this type of teenage behavior? The lack of that shows an academic discipline whose ethic are rotten to the core, IMO.

    • Glenn: I’m not that worried for several reasons: 1. Thus far I only see a few irrational and wasteful moves (for example the solar plant mania we had in Spain, which has now evaporated). 2. Some moves towards efficiency and reductions in oil consumption are useful (because we are running out of oil) and 3. There are many other issues I’m worried about, such as the poor quality of USA foreign policy which has led to the emergence of a “dictators’ club, or the fast growing population in third world countries, and finally I suspect there is some attributable warming to co2, methane and the other junk we put in the air. Therefore although the problem may not as bad as touted it may be something which may eventually lead to higher sea level and a slightly warmer planet.

    • “Do any of you think that you have a chance of stopping these climate madmen or turning back the tide of this? You see I see the sloppy science and incivility and low morals of those playing for keeps in the CAGW as only part of a larger political movement, one that finds CAGW a very useful tool. It’s not a coincidence that every single CAGW hysteric is also a progressive or a marxist.”

      Exactly so! Some who have been identified as AGW proponents who aren’t also Progressive or Marxists are able to follow the data and when the data turns against their assumptions they are honest enough to admit the ideas need revision.

      I wouldn’t say it’s always clear cut, easy to identify but it is odd that if fossil fuels are a problem why haven’t we unleashed nuclear energy? Half of the scare of that energy is simply false. Why aren’t the greens rushing to embrace the nuclear alternative as a bridge. What you have in the CAGW crowd are people committed to a Paul Erlich/Jeremy Rifkin view of the world instead of a Julian Simon/Peter Diamandis view.

      Which is why I said you can’t ignore political theater and the moral/philosophical dimension in all this. The difference between the two camps isn’t a scholarly difference over how to understand the role of CO2 in the atmosphere and if anyone thinks that’s the extent of it then they haven’t been paying attention.

    • JustinWonder

      You are absolutely correct – it is about power. The issue of AGW is used as cover to award political friends, like donation bundlers, with generous grants and “loans” out of the public treasury. Consider the $500,000,000 loan to Solyndra. The high economic stakes of this game make climate science a contentious pursuit. It has to be hard on scientists that just want to do research, investigate the miracles of nature, teach, and earn a living. The political and economic consequences of climate research will impoverish some and enrich others, and will do so via the enormouse coercive power of the state. Everyone knows this, so tempers run hot.

      • JustinWonder

        My post was directed towards Glenn. Also, my cat caught an enormouse, but I meant to say “enormous…power of the state”.

  52. @ Fernando Leanme – Sorry, but I take exception to your comment. I’m an an American and am anti-Zionist. I however cannot be pro-Palestinian because of their own actions (too much terrorism and violence without any chance of winning anything and serious political malfunction). Many thoughtful Americans are as I am. More to the point, there was no position taken by Judith on this issue, she just saw the discussion as a nice analog. I think it is you who is bringing your biases to bear, and your arrogance. Have a nice day.

    • Glenn, as I mentioned I was surprised the subject was introduced. I’m used to a biased position in the USA. But I live in Europe, here it’s a bit different. Feel free to look for what I write elsewhere, and you can find my story about the time I wanted to volunteer for the IDF (ok, so I’m a little crazy).

    • re:
      Fernando Leanme | July 19, 2014 at 11:06 am | Reply

      “Interesting post. The Israel versus Palestine topic surprised me (I’m pro Palestinian), but I can see why it would get traction with a USA audience. ”
      And
      “I however cannot be pro-Palestinian because of their own actions (too much terrorism and violence without any chance of winning anything and serious political malfunction).” —

      What does it mean to be pro or not pro-Palestinian?
      Does overthrowing the State of Israel by terrorism mean one is pro-Palestinian?
      An analogy could be draw with IRA and UK. IRA purpose was not to over throw the UK, but was related British forces in Northern Ireland.

      So I was not pro IRA, but also not really anti-IRA. There was a problem, and at this point in time, one could say some of these problems have been resolved.
      So general US position was that UK take steps to resolve the problem and
      and this was eventually worked out. It was not one sided, it was a negotiation.
      I would conclude from this conflict, that IRA, did not need to take the path they took in terms of the needing the conflict, but rather lots of unnecessary warfare and misery, and then after far too much time, both sides managed to end the war.

      So in terms of pro-Palestinian as in terms with IRA, the problem was mostly
      a failure of leadership, and though terrorism grabbed headline, it was not effective. Which is not vaguely surprising, that is normal trajectory of such a conflict throughout history.
      So for me to be pro-Palestinian, what is the most important aspect is my confidence in Palestinian political leadership. And that confident is related to how effective the Palestinian political leadership can reach a peaceful settlement. And I would say I have a very low confidence in the leadership and it seems highly corrupt.
      So my question is on what basis can a person be pro-Palestinian?
      Is it the State of Israel is bad [and Palestinian political leadership is better?] Is it the vision of future which appealing.
      Or what?

  53. “Distancing science from the sceptics has been very effective. Mainstream science has erected only a limited defence against ongoing pressure from alarmists, environmental organisations and interested companies.” – von Storch, at the link.

    The Science of today might someday be defined as, Who did it surrender to? Like a small weak country that could not defend itself and had to form an alliance. Could it have followed the Switzerland model? Could it still do that?

  54. Seems to me that CAGW policy is driving a lot more than many here seem to believe. Yes, Spain is an egregious example of “green energy” run amok, but almost every western country has some significant funds going to such madness. And many have unnecessarily increased fossil fuel costs by restraining exploration and taxes. Or consider the Keystone pipeline opposition – that is all based on CAGW. Candian Tar Sands opposition? And on the state and even some cities levels many very costly and wrongheaded policies are being implemented. Just take a close look at California.

    Professor Curry, I will defer to your knowledge of how the science is advancing – you seem to have some confidence that reason will win out at some point. From my remove, I have none. Skeptics like you are in a tiny minority and have no voice in the mainstream. While global Kyoto or Copenhagen treaties may not be doable, that’s more due to game theory/prisoners dilemma dynamics than a lack of will. The costs will be huge and whoever goes first loses – no surprise nobody is playing.

    Kim – Cowbell, ha ha…Our entire society is circling the bowl because of the anti-intellectualism I cited above, I’m in no mood for a joke. My area of interest is economics and political philosophy, and for what it’s worth, we have entered a period of social, political and economic breakdown that mirrors almost perfectly the decline of Rome. As for the economics – we’ve already lit the fuse on that bomb. The dollar will collapse at sometime within the next 15 years – and it could happen tomorrow.

    The cost of our idiocy and the fanciful anti-intellectualism of today’s leftist social justice set will be the end of our very nation as we know it. And we are hurtling towards that end with increasing velocity. A little fun economic fact for you folks here. Do you realize that in 2013, the number of hours worked in the U.S. aimed at production was the same it was in 2000? Lol. While productivity gains explain a small bit of that, the rot in our hollowed out economy is what it really demonstrates. I’ll stop now, but really, this sanguine attitude strikes me as out of step with the reality I encounter every day.

    • The opposition to construction of pipelines from Canada to the USA is partly driven by environmentalists. But there’s also subtle or stealth lobbying by corporations which benefit from the increased refining margin they get from cheapened Canadian synbits. And I have seen links between the Venezuela chavista network and some environmentalist groups working to stop the pipelines. Venezuela is trying to increase its production of identical extra heavy oil, needs the USA market because USA refineries were kitted up to refine their crude. Canadian syncrudes and synbits arriving in the gulf coast are formidable competitors. …. And if the Venezuelans don’t sell it for hard cash in the USA it has to go around the world to India and China. Chase the money and don’t take this personal, it’s only business.

    • Glenn, along with the tales of stuffing elephants in phone booths and Volkswagens do you know how to tell if you’ve passed an elephant?

      A. The toilet won’t flush.
      ============

    • I agree that there is danger of a ” social, political and economic breakdown” in western society currently, lead by those who consider themselves the elite – progressives and liberaltarians. (Though funny enough, statistics show they don’t practice the hedonism they preach nearly as much as the lower economic classes to whom they preach.) But a “breakdown that mirrors almost perfectly the decline of Rome?” Not a chance.

      First, Rome took hundreds of years to fall. Of course there was a lot of damage on the way down. But our embrace of socialism began in the late 30s, and our moral decline in the 60s. As Adam Smith said, there’s a lot of ruin in a nation. And Islamist terrorists are a danger, but not to end western civilization like the visigoths.

      Thee is always danger in centralization. Liberty has been the exception in human history. But we are nowhere near a irreversible decline, any more that we face a “tipping point” in climate catastrophism.

      I often speak of western economies approaching the abyss, but I mean in the sense of an economic collapse on the scale of the great depression. What most people who have only studied revisionist history don;t understand is that most of the west recovered from that depression in a relatively short time. It dragged on interminably in the US because the Roosevelt administration was determined to micro-manage the economy.

      Many who believe WW II ended the depression for the US are probably right, but not for the reasons they think. When the US entered WW II, all the economic central planning of the Roosevelt administration was put mostly on hold to fight the war effort. The government boot was taken off the neck of the US economy, and in short order we joined the rest of the west in resuming a normal economy.

      We survived Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, and Mao. We will eventually defeat the Islamist exremists, in part because of their own ideology. And we will certainly survive Obama and Clinton and Cameron and the CAGW priesthood. The question really is just how much damage can they do in the mean time. And unfortunately the answer is quite a lot already, with probably a lot more to come. But the fall of western civilization? They aren’t smart enough.

    • Glenn
      “Seems to me that CAGW policy is driving a lot more than many here seem to believe.”
      Read the novel ‘Atlas Shrugged’ for a road map of where the Left is heading. The angst in my soup is not the Left, not guys like John Rawls and his Theory of Justice, but that the Non-Left has been so feeble in it’s opposition to the moral/political tenants of Progressivism/Marxism. That opposition has been disjointed, timid, shallow, superficial and ineffective.
      We are all headed for an economic meltdown as a result.

  55. Reading the op-ed piece by Michael Mann cited by Dr. Curry make me feel like reading an article in Pravda, circa the Soviet Union of 1950. How is it possible for the New York Times (which I admit to having a very low opinion of) can publish such obvious and crude propaganda as ” THE overwhelming consensus among climate scientists is that human-caused climate change is happening. Yet a fringe minority of our populace clings to an irrational rejection of well-established science. This virulent strain of anti-science infects the halls of Congress, the pages of leading newspapers and what we see on TV, leading to the appearance of a debate where none should exist.”? It is very bizarre…worthy of Alice in Wonderland.

    • NYT = Liberal rag.

    • Daniel, Dr Mann is a really sharp political scientist, and we do have to applaud his word choice. Human caused climate change is happening. Is anybody really willing to dispute that point? The issue, as I’m always writing, is what fraction of any measurable parameter can be attributed to humanity. What Dr Mann and his friends do is state the obvious, then play their shell game and blame everything on us. They won’t find any consensus if they state EVERY BIT OF CHANGE iS ANTHROPOGENIC. But that’s their game. The key to slicing and dicing these word artists is to pay very close attention to each and every word, see how they are ordered, and identify the way they distort. It’s a political game. Treat it like it is, expect lies, and don’t take it personal.

      • Human caused climate change is happening. Is anybody really willing to dispute that point?

        See Curry, J.

      • –Daniel, Dr Mann is a really sharp political scientist, and we do have to applaud his word choice. Human caused climate change is happening. Is anybody really willing to dispute that point? —

        Mann is incompetent in terms of being a scientist, in terms of being politician it seems he could be better than most bureaucrats. Or it seems Mann would an improvement over our railroad engineer who heads the ICPP- but that is not saying much, as anyone, replacing such a fool on random chance would be an improvement
        It seems, word choices evoke less excitement from me. “Human caused climate change is happening” is something I would expect from dim witted 10 year old child.
        The enrichment of CO2 concentration which can assumed to have been effected human activity, has increase global vegetation, particularly around desert regions. Humans by controlling water resources, have transformed large desert region into move livable areas. And with irrigation, large parts of US have in last century have transformed this continental region. This is clear evidence that humans have transform climate in various regions of the world.
        But we live on the world covered with about 70% oceans, and human have had little effect upon oceans which comprise most of the surface of Earth, and what occurs in regard to our oceans have largest effect upon global climate. In addition about 30% of land area is desert regions and the majority of desert regions do not have irrigation and have very low human population. So I mean other than CO2 increasing amount vegetation in deserts. In terms of forests, Human activity has had large effect [and forest effect local climate], but in recent decades, globally and in particular in US, there has been a steady and significant increase in forested regions. So human activity decreased forest regions, but also due to various factors there substantial re-growth- both are human caused and both would effect climate. One could say that without fossil fuel use, which is coupled with enthusiasm for using wood as source of energy, we not be having such rebound in forested regions.

        In terms of the metric of average global temperature, we of course currently have 15 years or more of a “pause” in global temperature.
        The 1 C or more increase of global temperature from coming out of LIA, and returning the world to temperature found in MWP, has not have much change in global or regional climate and much of this change in temperature is assumed not to be mostly caused by human activity.
        And changes in terms of more severe weather, has not been a factor related such warming.

      • @Fernando

        I take it personally because the destruction they wrought will be experienced personally. What makes me the angriest, however, is not Mann or Hansen or the Gang of Gulag warriors who march us into a dark night but those who should have been the guards, the advance warning, the protectors of Western Civilization being asleep at the wheel. Hell, they have abandoned their posts. Who speaks up with a moral defense of Freedom, Free Markets, Liberty? Who speaks with a clear and consistent voice to defend what made this country great? It wasn’t the people. It wasn’t the land. It wasn’t the resources or the weather or the geography. It was the ideas that animated us! And who will stand to defend those ideas against the likes of John Rawls or Sam Harris or Paul Krugman or Barack Obama or ten thousand public and private figures, of scientists and academics who all genuflect to the authoritarian ideal of the Philosopher King whose psychology is as obsessive and anal as Immanual Kant’s and whose inner life is as dark as any nihilists. Who?
        Who has the intellectual and moral cajones to stand up and call a pox on the moral nightmare they are building with their pc codes and redistributionist schemes, their ends justifies the means, sanctimonious, self-righteous prattlings.
        The Left has risen to fill the vacuum created by the death of god and no one seems to have risen to challenge the Left in any credible, consistent way. The morality left behind by religion fills the Left’s agenda much better than it does that of the advocates for Liberty, Freedom and prosperity. So the side that would oppose the Left are undercut by using a morality that serves the Left better. That’s like going to a gun fight with a butter knife.

    • Daniel,

      The NY Times is, like most of western “mainstream media,” peopled with people who have never known anything but the group think and dogma of progressivism. All they have ever heard is revisionist progressive history, the blissful wonders of central planning, and the evil of the western culture created by racist, sexist, homophobic, dead, white males.

      They have been taught to be critical of those who dissent from the “consensus,” but have been programmed never to engage in real critical analysis, particularly regarding the consensus – on anything.

      Of course they print the loony imaginings of Mann as revealed truth. It’s all they know.

    • @Daniel
      Such a strange quote by Mann. I never knew it was irrational to consider modelling error, numerical error and the unprecedented use of models to make predictions for a century as reason to stop and curtail arrogant certainty.

      “How will history judge us if we watch the threat unfold before our eyes, but fail to communicate the urgency of acting to avert potential disaster?”

      I have noticed that as people age and face their own mortality the urge to become a doomsayer seems almost irresistable. I saw it growing up around fundamentalists, and with the environmental crowd. These two groups are so similar in many ways it strikes me as bizarre. A sort of projection from “I’m going to die” into “Everything is going to die”. Another thing seems to be the ‘kids these days….’. Since the dawn of time, these reflexes.

  56. “This is hardly a radical position. Our Department of Homeland Security has urged citizens to report anything dangerous they witness: “If you see something, say something.” We scientists are citizens, too, and, in climate change, we see a clear and present danger.” – Mann
    He sandwiched his take home message between Homeland Security and a Tom Clancy book title. Forgive me, I am picturing a U.S. Flag. The Clancy book had to do with the war on drugs.

  57. ” Disagree with the argument, not the person. ”

    Yes, In the discourse on climate science, I have often noticed that some attack the person rather than the problem, and have been attacked myself for ho other reason than I belong to a supposed clique of Australians. I simply ignore it. Having fought both under and with Americans in WW2 I know our ties are stronger than that.

  58. David Springer, offended? No more like amused at your lame retort.
    You have however proven my point. Climate change denialists are bullies!

  59. Mickey Reno

    What about when science itself is used as the vehicle of bullying. I’m not offended by Lewandowsky’s “peer-reviewed” claim that seeks to marginalize all the people of my political alignment. His studies and papers are such obvious pieces of weak-ass propaganda, as to be laughable. My problem is with his elevation in status by the other side, in spite of his weakness as a true scientist. Where are the honest scientists condemning the overt agenda built in to Lewandowsky’s protocols? All on the “denialist” side, apparently. Apparently Michael Mann was privately resented by some of his fellow scientists for his more egregious interpretations of natural phenomenon leading to hockey sticks. What offends me is that people who claim to be scientists, who claim to value only objective truth, and who could have influenced him, and the public debate stemming from his results, kept their mouths shut in deference to an ideology (and/or continued funding).

    I’m offended that as a taxpayer, I have to pay the salaries or the grants that fund these people who think their brand of Lysenkoism will lead to a better world.

    • @Reno
      You have pointed out the classic bully group response. Each in the group is attracted to the forcefulness of the bully due to their own insecurities. Hence they keep quiet. Shortly thereafter the process of rationalization begins and soon everyone in the group forgets about the bullying, a hero and a pariah are born.

  60. Just respond with the argument for your position.

    Resaying what has poorly stated and has not been understood is the essence of language.

    I put insults down to a misunderstanding of ad hominem.

    Ad hominem classically is not an attack on the person but an appeal to his interests, an argument tailored to his vanity. Hence the “ad.”

    This comment is an example of a classical ad hominem, in fact.

    Learn how it works.

  61. @ Gary M – Wrong on almost everything. We are already at “bread and circuses”. The Roman empire didn’t have the ticking time bomb of the currency implosion and debt that we have. Across the west, we aren’t reproducing at replacement rates. You throw out Hitler and Stalin – what does that have to do with anything?

    I suggest you read a book by Charles Murray called Coming Apart. See what’s happening to the working class in this country and tell me how much longer that can go on. Forget his tradcon prescriptions.

    You also really don’t get the economics. I spent a long time in global finance -in fact I sold AIG their market risk mgmt system, so I know a little about this topic…What our central bank is doing is suicide. Period. Read Stockman’s, The Great Deformation for a sense of how long this insanity has actually been going on. The bill is coming due and you could wake up tomorrow morning to a currency crisis and a global depression of a proportion the world has never seen. Many people in the business know this, fyi, I’m not being hysterical.

    But whatevs, keep on keeping on. Fyi, scientists are often idiots about politics, geo-politics and economics because they don’t ever actually study such subject much but see them as easy. Lol.

    Hope you all have some gold…You will need it.

    • nottawa rafter

      Glen
      I have read Coming Apart and The Great Deformation and about 50 other books lately about The Financial Crash and events leading up to it and all sorts of economic treatises. Fun stuff. Having also read “The Next Crash is Coming” books for 50 years as well as books predicting 100 recessions for the last 11 that we actually had, I am a little more sanguine about what is going to happen as a result if the Feds action.

      Classical economics say you are right. But then something always seems to get in the way.

      Re AIG and you selling them risk management systems. I thought that was a joke. Maybe it is. But if not, I don’t think I would repeat it. Hush is the word. I will keep a secret if you will.

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  63. It seems more important to be politically correct these days than factually correct.

  64. I am surprised that since the issue is bullying in climate science that no one has mentioned the “Gunsmoke at the Notch” incident — aka Dr. Evans experience upon posting his new hypothesis at Jo Nova’s.

  65. @gbaikie |
    –Daniel, Dr Mann is a really sharp political scientist, and we do have to applaud his word choice. Human caused climate change is happening. Is anybody really willing to dispute that point? –

    Yes, I want to dispute that point. Not because I can prove that it isn’t happening but I want the people who assert that to show me the proof of it. It seems to me it’s all conjecture and hypothesis.

    I want to see, in rigorous detail how x heat was caused by a molecule of ACO2 and not by natural forcings. There seems to be an awful lot of grand assumptions going on.

    And that CO2 has been rising consistently for the past 20 years while temperature has not should make everyone pause with the easy assumptions.

    I have nothing against ACO2 warming the atmosphere. It may be a splendid thing. If the Sun goes quiet for 30 years we may wish to reinstitute the family weekend drive in our SUV to keep the planet warm.

    A reasonable statement is made here by Roy Spencer, but this isn’t rigorous. You’d still be faced with quantifying this to be able to say some heat is due to ACO2.

    “Clearly, we skeptics feel our point of view is being vindicated, that (1) warming is relatively benign, (2) warming is only partly human-caused, (3) the benefits of more CO2 in the atmosphere appear to greatly outweigh the risks, and (4) there’s little that can be done about reducing CO2 emission anyway, until we have new energy technologies sufficient to meet global energy demand.”

  66. Academics and media supports happen to mostly be sympathetic or even fanatically “green”, greens are bullies across the globe;

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10978678/Owen-Paterson-Im-proud-of-standing-up-to-the-green-lobby.html

  67. @GaryM: They have been taught to be critical of those who dissent from the “consensus,” but have been programmed never to engage in real critical analysis, particularly regarding the consensus – on anything.

    Never attribute to education that which is adequately explained by nature or nurture.

    Max Planck purportedly said, “Science advances one funeral at a time.” What he actually said clarifies this. “A scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.”

    The truth about global warming (whatever it turns out to be) is not going to prevail by convincing its opponents, but by becoming so obvious to coming generations that they will have difficulty imagining how it could once have been a source of so much contention.

    Science is not a matter of consensus, it is a matter of what has become obvious.

    Once upon a time it was not obvious that the continents could slide around on the mantle. Section 4.2 on p.162 of this book gives an excellent idea of just how non-obvious it was.

    After reading that section, ask yourself which should be less plausible, Wegener’s theory of continental drift in 1921, or the AR5 account of global warming in 2014. Box 12.2 of Chapter 12 of WG1 (p.1110) in particular should give you some idea of just how non-obvious the value of climate sensitivity is. It’s only a couple of pages.

    I would expect your answer to say a lot about which side of the climate debate you were on.

    • > Never attribute to education that which is adequately explained by nature or nurture.

      Education not being part of nurture then?

    • Box 12.2:

      “Based on the combined evidence from observed climate change including the observed 20th century warming, climate models, feedback
      analysis and paleoclimate, ECS is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C with high confidence.”

      High confidence!!!

      “but the simulation of key
      feedbacks like clouds remains challenging in those models.”

      Ah, clouds probably aren’t very important anyway.

      “confidence today is much higher as
      a result of high quality and longer observational records with a
      clearer anthropogenic signal, better process understanding, more
      and better understood evidence from paleoclimate reconstructions,
      and better climate models with higher resolution that capture
      many more processes more realistically.”

      Higher resolution!! Cool. Even though after a month the simulation is with ‘inifinite certitude’ (joing the word game)
      at 100% error in the solution, by increasing the grid resolution its a smaller %100 error than the previous %100 percent
      error, so we have much more confidence today.

      “A number of caveats, however, apply to
      those studies (see Section 12.5.3). Those long-term feedbacks have their own intrinsic time scales, and are less likely to be proportional
      to global mean temperature change.”

      But they are itty bitty caveats. Like, basically, the kind that we can ignore and still keep our ‘high confidence’.

      Anyway, let me paraphrase box 12.2:
      We have high confidence in our results, even though we don’t have any idea if they are even the slightest bit good,
      but no worries, because those two conflicted philosophies are separated by a comma, so we can just stick with our high confidence.

      Not sure which side of the debate that puts me on ;)

  68. If Michael Mann – possibly the biggest science frawdster there has ever been – accuses you of jumping the shark, it probably means you are doing good work.

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