Is the road to scientific hell paved with good moral intentions?

by Judith Curry

We find ourselves in scientific hell when we discover that our powers of persuasion are limited to those who were already predisposed to agree with us. – Philip Tetlock

Resulting from a comment made by Joe Duarte on a recent blog post, I have been communicating with him via email, and he has introduced me to some papers in political psychology.  Political psychology shares some common challenges with climate science in that much of the research occurs in the political arena (e.g. racism, wars, etc).  Duarte sent me one of his recent papers (a blog post on this will be forthcoming), which introduced me to this 1994  paper by Philip Tetlock:

Political psychology or politicized psychology? Is the road to scientific hell paved with good moral intentions? 

Abstract. This article proceeds from the premise that a completely value-neutral political psychology is impossible.  The article goes on, however, to argue that our collective credibility as a science depends on self-critical efforts to monitor and minimize the influence of scientifically irrelevant values on inquiry. I also identify logical and empirical strategies that investigators can use to check the influence of extraneous values. These strategies include rigorous skepticism toward counterfactuals that underlie causal claims in historical an­alyses, embedding of experimental manipulations in representative sample sur­veys to isolate determinants of public opinion, developing methods to translate case studies into standardized data languages so that we can more readily identify potential sources of bias, and continual open-mindedness to the possi­bility that patterns of thinking that scholarly observers laud as cognitively or morally superior in one set of political settings may look quite maladaptive or immoral in other political settings.

Excerpts from the paper (JC bold):

What exactly is scientific hell? I use the concept to denote the complete collapse of our credibility as a science. We find ourselves in scientific hell when we discover that our powers of persuasion are limited to those who were already predisposed to agree with us (or when our claims to expertise are granted only by people who share our moral-political outlook). Thoughtful outsiders cease to look upon us as scientists and see us rather as political partisans of one stripe or another.

How do we fall into scientific hell? The principal temptation in political psychology-the forbidden fruit-is to permit our political passions to trump normal scientific standards of evidence and proof . Researchers sometimes feel so passionately about a cause that those passions influence key methodological and conceptual decisions in re­ search programs. When journal reviewers, editors, and funding agencies feel the same way about the cause, they are less likely to detect and correct potential logical or methodological bias. As a result, political psychology becomes politicized.

It is one thing, however, to argue that values can easily influence inquiry and quite another to argue that values inevitably drive and determine the conclusions of inquiry. Value neutrality is an impossible ideal, but it still remains a useful benchmark for assessing our research performance. Indeed, the price of abandoning value neutrality as an ideal is prohibitively steep: nothing less, I believe, than our collective credibility as a science.

Do we seek scientific knowledge of causal relationships? Or do we seek to advance certain moral or political causes by stigmatizing groups with whom we disagree and applauding groups with whom we sympathize? These skeptics raise serious questions that merit serious responses. We should be candid about our motives as political psychologists. Very few of us, I suspect, are driven by purely epistemic motives or by purely partisan motives of policy advocacy. We are motivated, in part, by causal curiosity and in part by the desire to make the world a better place in which to live. And, being human, we don’t like to acknowledge that these goals occasionally conflict.

My own view is that epistemic and advocacy goals frequently collide. The most overt cases of politicization tend to occur when evidence of causality is particularly weak and the policy stakes are particularly high. It is understandable that political psychologists as citizens often lend their voices to one or another political cause; it is less understandable when political psychologists (consciously or unconsciously) bend normal scientific standards of evidence and proof to advance those same causes.

Granted that the temptation to politicize our field is often strong, to what lengths should we go to resist temptation?  If I attach high priority to the epis­temic autonomy of science and low priority to policy activism, my choice is an easy one. I will argue that we should never bend standards of evidence and proof, no matter how morally inspiring the cause. It is not enough, moreover, just to admonish everyone to be fair-minded; we need to institutionalize procedures that apply the same methodological and logical standards to politically popular and unpopular hypotheses alike (no small order in an ideologically skewed subfield where most researchers and reviewers hold left-of-center values). If I hold the opposite value priorities, the choice will again be easy. I will argue for the “consciousness-raising” functions of political psychology and for an active role of the discipline in promoting desired social change. If I attach high importance to both epistemic and policy advocacy values, I will argue for some form of integratively complex compromise solution that will look neither attractive nor principled to the “extremists.”

I take an integratively simple stand on this question. It is generally a bad idea to dilute the goal of doing high-quality science with a host of additional moral and political goals.  I believe that if we fail to institutionalize checks on the overt politicization of political psychological knowledge (most importantly, rigorous and even-handed peer review), we sacrifice our collective credibility as a science. We become just one more partisan voice clamoring for media attention. Because we choose to investigate such controversial topics, political psychologists-more than most scientists-should continually ask themselves “Stockman’s question”: “Are we ideo­logues masquerading as scientists: Have we rigged the research dice in favor of our political agenda?”  We should ask these questions because we claim-in our journals, in our classrooms, in our conversations with those who wield power-to represent a self-correcting scientific community.

JC reflections

Tetlocks’ 1994 paper on the dilemmas faced by political psychologists is stunningly relevant to  climate science in 2014.

Tetlock defines scientific hell as discovering that our powers of persuasion are limited to those who were already predisposed to agree with us.  Well, this seems to happening in context of the public debate on climate change.

The reason for this is issue advocacy by climate scientists. I’ve discussed issue advocacy by individual scientists in a number of posts; while I generally think it is not a good thing, it is up to each scientist to decide where they stand in the value conflict between the epistemic autonomy of science and the partisan motives of advocacy.  As Tetlock points out, the real issue of concern is the institutionalization of such advocacy (something I warned against in (Ir)responsible advocacy).

I’m intrigued by Tetlock’s proposes for strategies to check the influence of extraneous values.  While some of these strategies aren’t particularly relevant for climate science, but there are two of relevance:  rigorous skepticism toward counterfactuals that underlie causal claims in historical an­alyses, and continual open-mindedness to the possi­bility that patterns of thinking that scholarly observers laud as cognitively or morally superior in one set of political settings may look quite maladaptive or immoral in other political settings.

There is an important difference between the fields of political psychology and climate science:  political psychologists have some awareness of the problem regarding the influence of extraneous values, whereas climate scientists seem not to.  Consider this twitter exchange circa Jul 19/20 in response to my blog post On academic bullying.

Julio Nieves:  Dear Judith: I do not know any other case in history of Science where someone has acted like you  (some context:  Nieves is NOT complimenting me)

curryja:  Someone with a big cv interested in research integrity rather than politics & careerism?

curryja:  Its my job, and the job of all academics paid by the government, to protect research integrity

There’s Physics : suggests that you think you are somehow purer than others. I’d call that sitting on a high-horse.

All of this was gleefully retweeted by Michael Mann.  Because I talk about research integrity and try to defend it and point out problems when I see them, I am somehow dismissed as trying to present myself as purer than others.

Am I the only climate scientist on the planet that is concerned about these issues and reads the social science literature relevant to these concerns?  Well, I seem to be the only one speaking out publicly on these issues.  Are those scientists that are so wrapped up in AGW ideology completely blind to the impact that their advocacy is having on climate science?   Again, the main failing is not with individuals, but with the institutions – professional societies, journals, funding agencies, etc (see (Ir)responsible advocacy).

Until climate scientists and the institutions that support them wake up and start confronting this issue,  they are paving the road to climate scientific hell.  The punchline for me of Tetlock’s article is this:

Indeed, the price of abandoning value neutrality as an ideal is prohibitively steep: nothing less, I believe, than our collective credibility as a science.

 

road to hell

 

656 responses to “Is the road to scientific hell paved with good moral intentions?

  1. MoB on the Great Pause:

    In 1990, the IPCC’s central estimate of near-term warming was higher by two-thirds than it is today. Then it was 2.8 C/century equivalent. Now it is just 1.7 Cº equivalent… [and] even that is proving to be a substantial exaggeration.

  2. The road to ecological hell is also paved with good intentions!

    • Alas, Lenin, Stalin, Lysenko and Al Gore knew all too well the, power of the megaphone.

      • Doug Proctor

        As others have noted, it is not observations that create problems between people, but “implications” of those observations.

        The Climate debate is all about implications. The rise in temperatures “is”, but what does it mean? CO2? Yes, in part, but how much of a part? Feedback, yes, but how much? Is a “reasonable” curtailment of fossil fuel use going to have a meaningful effect? What is the social cost – the implication – of a greening of energy? We observe the costs but what are the implications?

        We observe and psuedo-measure certainty, even if it really is professional opinion. Okay. What are the implications of the certainty? Disaster? Really?

        Here, the implications are not clear. We have adjusted and homogenized and produced a computational result but what it IMPLIES about the future is not clear. That is where the argument lies.

        You wish to say that the science is hard, certain and the outcome of what we are doing is certain. The skeptical argument is that the science is what it is computationally, but what it implies – the outcome – is not hard and is open to dispute at this point. Which means that we should be careful not to overreact because we do know that a strong reaction – as advocated as essential – would be socially and economically and politically (internationally) painful.

      • You are right, Doug.

        In going from observations to implications, the ego can easily destroy the intrinsic value of the observation if the scientist lacks humility.

        That is why in science, as in the rest of life, selfishness is a big problem. The battle of life is the battle against self, for scientists as well as for other members of society.

  3. “Tetlocks’ 1994 paper on the dilemmas faced by political psychologists is stunningly relevant to climate science in 2014.” – JC

    With an even more stunningly relevant distinction – political psychology doesn’t have much in the way of physical reality to check itself against.

    To say the link between a paper looking at examples of papers interpreting historical ‘natural experiments’ and the physical study of the atmosphere and climate is pretty big stretch even by your standards Judith.

    • “to say there’s a link”

      • Still missing.

      • Why is all this meta-rationalization going on right now?

        Probably because of this firestorm:
        “National Review declares war against the nerds”

        “Oh boy, them’s fightin’ words. I can tell you, nerds are spitting mad. They’ve got the torches and pitchforks ready to hand. They’re going to burn some sh!t down!

        Well, actually, probably not. What they’re really going to do is craft some sarcastically amusing tweets, because you know, they’re nerds. That’s how nerds roll. “

      • Steven Mosher

        Micheal, Let’s take deterrence. the analog in climate science is clear.

        To understand this type of stuff ( epistemically ) you need to learn to empty an argument of its empirical content and characterize it structurally.

        start with counter factuals and look for this type of argument in climate science.

        its right there. in the heart of the attribution argument.
        its right there in the definition of sensitivity.
        its right there in nearly all observational science.

        whether one is observing the climate which we cant control or observing people we cant control.

        read more epistemology. comment less.

    • Steven Mosher

      “With an even more stunningly relevant distinction – political psychology doesn’t have much in the way of physical reality to check itself against.”

      The analog is simple.

      CLimate science doesnt have much in the way of solid observations to check itself against. And yes, I work in observations.

      Those observation we do have have are

      1. Proxies, which have been data mined to death.
      2. temporally short or incomplete
      3. Spatially limited.
      4. So uncertain that they cannot resolve fundamental questions.

      We are talking about understanding a process that changes over the course of hundreds of years. And we have one dataset that barely come close to covering that time span. And we are finding out that this dataset
      ( land/sea temps) doesnt capture what we need to understand:

      • You might have the wrong end of the stick there Steven.

      • Steven Mosher

        Not really micheal.

        The keep issues: sensitivity, forecast skill of models, and attribution
        all come down to inadequate observations.

        With an even more stunningly relevant distinction – climate science doesn’t have much in the way of physical reality to check itself against.”

        Now its true that we can check “physcial reality” look outside at the weather. but the reality we are interested in, the climate, is a much harder beast to get your arms around.

        So its not a matter of either or its a matter of degree

      • No, i was thinking – go and look at the 2 papers Tetlock (1994) was discussing and then come back and tell me about the “physical reality” therein.

      • “The keep issues: sensitivity, forecast skill of models, and attribution all come down to inadequate observations.”

        Only in part. They also come down to not knowing what exactly to observe – ie. known unknowns and unknown unknowns.

        Merely observing clouds, for instance, will not tell us how to predict their impact as a feedback on GAT. That process in itself might prove to be too complex to model.

        A massive increase in observations of all of the known physical components of global climate would be a nice place to start; rather than ever more statistical massaging of data already collected by someone else. But it will not be sufficient. I don’t know why warmists can’t get their heads around at least the possibility that global climate may be just too complex and chaotic to ever be modeled in a way that long term, future “global average temperature” can be predicted with any accuracy.

        And if you can’t model the climate, then you can’t determine what the climate’s long term sensitivity to CO2 is in any practical sense.

        It’s not just the observations that are inadequate, but our understanding of many of the component parts of climate, and global climate as a whole.

      • Also related is the fact that the GCM process models for critically important, relative to fidelity to physical reality, cannot be tuned to the very slow phenomena and processes. To assume that tuning to states that materials have attained will lead to some kind of universal representation is not grounded in good science. The problem is additionally complicated by assuming “realizations” based on process models of material states are representations of realizations of the material properties that make up the physical domain.

      • nottawa rafter

        Mosher

        “…doesn’t have much in the way of solid observations…”

        A sincere thank you.

      • Steven Mosher

        nottawa rafter | August 4, 2014 at 12:33 pm |
        Mosher

        “…doesn’t have much in the way of solid observations…”

        A sincere thank you.
        #####################

        don’t make the skeptic mistake of throwing up your hands and saying
        we know nothing, or make the mistake of saying we dont know enough to set policy.

        We have the observations we have. They set boundaries on what can be true. We have the physics we have. It also bounds what can be true.

      • Mosher…

        “We are talking about understanding a process that changes over the course of hundreds of years. And we have one dataset that barely come close to covering that time span. And we are finding out that this dataset
        ( land/sea temps) doesnt capture what we need to understand:”

        “but [sic] the reality we are interested in, the climate, is a much harder beast to get your arms around.”

        +1… and, as you’ve pointed out many times before, we have the research $s going too much towards models which don’t help us with this problem and too little towards better observational systems which would.

      • Mosher…

        “…don’t make the skeptic mistake of throwing up your hands and saying
        we know nothing, or make the mistake of saying we dont know enough to set policy.

        We have the observations we have. They set boundaries on what can be true. We have the physics we have. It also bounds what can be true.”

        IMHO, many skeptics aren’t saying that… what we are saying is that the boundaries aren’t nearly good enough to make policy decisions as significant as what the “warmists” are pushing. Perhaps a subtle, but a very important, difference.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steve Mosher: or make the mistake of saying we dont know enough to set policy

        Well, consider: (1) the next doubling of CO2 from present day levels will take 174 years to occur, using my estimate that the rate of growth is 0.4% per year. A previous writer on this blog gave 0.5%, which predicts doubling in only 140 years. Padilla et al, considered here long ago, used 1% per year for doubling in 70 years, but that looks way too high given the measurements at Mauna Loa.

        (2) doubling the CO2 concentration will increase global mean temperature by no more than 2C, most likely, on present best evidence (Nic Lewis’ contribution at Climate Dialogue.)

        (3) research to date shows that increased CO2 promotes plant growth in forests and crops.

        (4) climate change since the end of the Little Ice Age has been on the whole beneficial: somewhat higher global mean temp, somewhat higher global mean rainfall.

        I’d say that is enough knowledge to take CO2 accumulation off the list of things to develop policies about for the next 20 years at least. I think you are right that present knowledge, considered all together, provides a reasonable bound on what CO2 will do: very little, very slowly, beneficially.

        You might have different science in mind.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steve Mosher: We have the physics we have.

        And yet, we do not know whether increased atmospheric CO2 will increase the rate of evaporation from the non-dry surface of the Earth; or whether increased cloud cover will result and cause cooling. We can’t tell at the present time whether total inaction on the restriction of CO2 will produce good or bad effects on climate.

        Tell us what physics you think we have so that we can remind the lurkers what the holes in the physics are; and why $$$ trillions invested in CO2 reduction might produce no climate response at all.

      • Steven Mosher

        “IMHO, many skeptics aren’t saying that… what we are saying is that the boundaries aren’t nearly good enough to make policy decisions as significant as what the “warmists” are pushing. ”

        Sure they are.

        the rub is this. You think that more certainty is needed.
        Its not.
        people make decisions all the time with little information.

        you dont like the decision: more taxes. therefore you want an unreasonable amount of certainty.
        people who dont mind taxes, are happy to make the decision on less certain grounds.

        you think you need more info. they are happy with the info they have.
        there is no calculus that will decide this issue. It comes down to power.
        you dont have a pen and phone. Obama does.

        Republicans had an opportunity to “make use” of the climate crisis to push a conservative agenda. Instead they played the doubt game.
        Pens and phones beat doubt. they shouldnt, but life isnt burger king and you dont get to have things your way.

      • “don’t make the skeptic mistake of throwing up your hands and saying we know nothing, or make the mistake of saying we dont know enough to set policy”

        Missing the point here. Why should we chase the poorly argued climate catastrophe when we have so many other and more potentially deadly doomsday scenarios such as the Christian Armageddon, the intergalactic invasion and the asteroid threat? Given equal evidence for each as a potential game over, how is one to decide which to spend their OCD and their economic future on?
        Unless you’re arguing that being straightforward is a dumb political strategy…

      • Steven,

        Did you read those papers, or are you too busy commenting?

      • Are these papers Richard Tol’s 300 papers, Michael?

        Science is Sparta!

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: We have the observations we have. They set boundaries on what can be true. We have the physics we have. It also bounds what can be true.

        You have the germ of a development there. What are the bounds set, and how are they set, by the observations and “physics” that we “have”? You have used the word “physics” and the phrase “the physics” lots of times without ever listing any of the propositions subsumed under those terms, or showing how they “set boundaries” or have any other practical implications. Of course I know what Raymond T. Pierrehumbert and David Randall mean, because they have written books that I have read, cited, and critiqued (not that there is anything wrong with the books, but that no policy implications clearly follow due to holes in the knowledge base that they survey.)

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: Republicans had an opportunity to “make use” of the climate crisis to push a conservative agenda. Instead they played the doubt game.

        I think you misunderstand.

        1. the evidence that there exists a “climate crisis” is full of liabilities, so “the doubt game” is nearly optimal, meaning very hard to improve upon;

        2. the “conservative agenda” is to resist increases in government power, to enhance the liberties and autonomies of the states, and of the people.

        3. keeping federal taxes low is a part of enhancing the autonomies of the states and of the people.

        4. keeping regulations out is a part of enhancing the autonomies of the states and of the people.

        Here is a current detail: Republicans in the House have been pushing a bill that would allow states greater authority in developing the resources in Federal lands within their boundaries. That is because the citizens in some states, e.g. Utah and Louisiana, want to develop the fuel resources in their states, emulating North Dakota. The Obama Administration, by contrast, has consistently increased restrictions on fuel development in its lands, and the Congressional Democrats have opposed the Republicans, preferring that all states be as restrictive as California. Let me repeat my points: because the case for a “climate crisis” is so poor (perhaps like an aerogel, which seems solid but is mostly empty), the Republicans have actively pushed a conservative policy of increasing the autonomy of the states and of the people.

        The Republicans do not need “better skeptics”, because they have really good skeptics already. I can’t claim to be “really good”, but my House member gets information from me on the indisputable holes in the evidence, complete with references to the peer-reviewed literature. I expect skeptics in other districts do the same with their House members.

      • “the rub is this. You think that more certainty is needed.
        Its not.
        people make decisions all the time with little information.”

        Just because you assert that more certainty is not needed doesn’t make it so.

        Please provide me the history of such aggressive policies being made on information as uncertain as what we have for “climate change”?

      • Steven Mosher

        Michael,

        There are not two papers to read.
        the reference is to White and his book on the psychology of US/Soviet relations published in the early to mid 80s.

        Suppose you worked as a threat analyst from the mid 80s to early 90s.

      • Threat analysis in the cold war. Real sophisticated stuff!

      • Mosher:
        “Republicans had an opportunity to “make use” of the climate crisis to push a conservative agenda. Instead they played the doubt game.”

        If the Democrats are too far on the edge of the spectrum here, the smart play is for the Republicans to drift towards the middle and steal some support from the Democrats.

    • Michael: define the experiment’s “determination of success” policy, prepare forecasts, wait 15 years, compare forecasts to reality. Report on whether the comparison tells you the theory and associated predictions are “confirmed”. I would take small bites. See if you can forecast the minimum Arctic ice extent over the next 5 years within 20 % of the actual value.

      Or since Obama made such a deal about extreme weather, predict the number of class 4,5 hurricanes hitting the USA over the next five years. Or they can pick whatever suits them.

      But as long as the science blunders around hitting walls then I do think there’s a problem : low credibility they try to mask with a lot of baloney.

      They do need to up their professionalism several notches. And this includes being more selective about co authors.

  4. catweazle666

    You go, Judith!

    Soon you are going to be proved right.

  5. Though i do like Judith’s new game – 6 Degrees of Michael Mann.

    Is there anything Judith can’t work back to Michael Mann??

    • Why shouldn’t there be. Mann, as well as those who uncritically defend him, is the poster boy for corrupt science.

      • Mission accomplished Judith!

        Within 30mins of posting we have “Mann….corrupt science”

        Go Team Skeptic!!

      • Michael,” Within 30mins of posting we have “Mann….corrupt science”. What is truly stunning Michael is that you still don’t understand it.

      • If Mann ever stops putting his foot in his mouth, maybe people will stop pointing out the foot in his mouth.

      • And it only took 15 minutes for mikey’s kneejerk reaction. Our mikey is one of the alarmist drones who uncritically defend the mann.

      • Steven Mosher

        Don, the two dwarfs have arrived

      • Steve Mosher,

        +100

        I only wish they would find something new to say….

      • ==> “I only wish they would find something new to say….”

        Indeed. Because outside of Michael and myself, there is so little repetition here. In fact, I’ve never read Judith speak of the horrors of issue advocacy by climate scientists. It’s all so new!!! I’ve never read GaryM railing about “progressives” before. It’s so “refreshing.” I’ve never before read insults from “skeptics” towards Michael Mann. New worlds have opened. Never before have I seen steven contribute his value neutral insults directed my way. How unique!!!

      • It may surprise you Joshua, but I tend to read mainly the critics of Judith (and often me by implication) here, because I am indeed looking for fresh perspectives on each post, ideas that have not occurred to me before. That may be why I get most offended by the nastiness of Michael and the OT diatribes of FOMD, because I would like to find they have something of interest for me to think about. As for you, I don’t really get bothered like some here do, because I find you are generally polite and civil, you do have some interesting things to say (to me anyway), and I don’t read the site enough to get toooo bored with any of it.

        My 1.5 cents anyway, not that anyone need care what I think… except that I may indicate to some extent the views of some number of silent auditors here who do not bother to speak up as I do occasionally.

      • p.s. to qualify my

        Skiphil | August 4, 2014 at 1:27 pm |

        (should anyone care, heh heh)

        I do not mean to suggest that I do not enjoy reading quite a few commentators here, I do. It’s simply that I am always seeking the value added to my own thinking and to the site, so I will be more critical of people who mainly enjoy the bickering.

      • Skiphil –

        When you leave out the ad homs, I enjoy sharing perspectives with you. To the extent that you leave out the ad homs, I care about your perspective because the way is cleared for deepening my understanding.

      • “still don’t understand it.”
        Michael’s not a dummy. He simply doesn’t want to understand it. He must be a conservative Republican.

      • Steven Mosher

        Seeing “new things” is a function of motivated reasoning

        That explains why Joshua misses new things.

        he missed a bunch of new things on Zeke’s thread.
        he missed new commenters.

        He comes and looks for two or three things.
        he finds them as he must.

        He never reads harder before he comments.

        once in a while he finds something good to say about judith.
        perfunctory.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Here is something new, the stratosphere is cooling, at least part of it.

        Abstract: http://www.atmos-chem-phys.net/14/7705/2014/acp-14-7705-2014.html

        The full pdf is not behind a paywall.

        Some time ago I conjectured (surely not the first to do so), that increased atmospheric CO2 would increase the rate of heat loss from the top of the atmosphere, when we were discussing Stephens’ update of the Trenberth and Fasullo heat flow diagram. From this result, it looks like that conjecture is “live” (i.e. not “murdered by an ugly fact”.) The total mass up there is nothing compared to the total mass of the ocean, so the increased rate of heat loss isn’t much, but that’s the direction.

      • No – Matthew Marler should comment exactly as much as he does. By far my favourite commentator.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Howard: Matthew: Read more, comment less

        Read more I agree with. Was there something wrong with my post that you could alert me to? I cited a recent data analysis.

      • Michael,

        Your adoration of Dr Mann perhaps explains why you play the jackass here so often.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Howard: Matthew: Read more, comment less

        Just to be clear, the top two entries at the site you referred me to were model results, so those models are “alive” as well.

        When I wrote out my conjecture, I was assured by some commenters that the net effect of increased CO2 had to be increased temperature, because the overall increase in radiation was from the top down. Clearly, that need not be true. What is interesting if that study is confirmed is that the temperature gradient from the upper troposphere to the stratosphere has increased (because the satellite record shows no recent increase in troposphere temp.) Can that occur without an increase in the rate of transfer of energy from the troposphere to the stratosphere? Can this be a part of an accounting for Trenberth’s missing heat?

        A few commenters here relate a hypothetical TOA imbalance to a hypothetical OHC increase. Is that likely if increased CO2 in the atmosphere has caused an increase in the rate of heat loss from the stratosphere?

      • ” Again, the main failing is not with individuals, but with the institutions – professional societies, journals, funding agencies, etc”

        I believe the main failing is with individuals! The problem is the money that can be made by false climate “science” pronouncements.. Remember the saying, ” publish or perish” so.. if I am not a member of the consensus I can’t publish. If I am a lazy reporter, I print only news of doom.

        Judith, are you leaving GT because of a Bengstan experience from your colleagues?

      • I’m NOT leaving Georgia Tech, I am still a professor there, and intend to stay there until my retirement.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Howard: http://scienceofdoom.com/?s=stratosphere+cooling

        I should note that was a good read. Thank you for the link. The irony is, had I not commented, you’d have not posted the link. Right?

      • Matthew:
        Thanks for the good humor. I really don’t care if you comment alot, I was just going with the Mosh Memo of the week. It’s very good advise.

        Stratospheric cooling data is old news. It’s just new news to you because you have obviously not been reading enough. If you liked the above link, go read through the entire SOD blog from the beginning. It only started a few years ago and it is quite a journey. Also, Isaac Held has a good technical blog that covers modeling. Perhaps after spending some serious time educating yourself, you won’t be so quick to condemn everything to do with models.

        http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/blog/isaac-held/

      • Skiphil | August 4, 2014 at 1:27 pm |
        “why I get most offended by the nastiness of Michael”

        The self-proclaimed ‘skeptic’ is offended by crtiique.

        Maybe scepticism isn’t really your thing?

      • Steven Mosher | August 4, 2014 at 1:11 pm |
        “… the two dwarfs have arrived”

        Yes, I have to admit that I’m dwarfed by Mosher’s ego (but then who isn’t? – Springer maybe?)

        I have to also concede that I’m likely the dumbest commenter here – what with all the self-proclaimed “polymaths” and geniuses around – but i just work within my limitations.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Howard: Stratospheric cooling data is old news.

        Yes to more Isaac Held.

        Should the empirical study that I linked to not have been published, due to the fact that it is old news?

        Perhaps after spending some serious time educating yourself, you won’t be so quick to condemn everything to do with models.

        Is it true that I am quick to condemn everything to do with models? I wrote this, and then praised the site some more: Just to be clear, the top two entries at the site you referred me to were model results, so those models are “alive” as well.

        I do intend a serious read of Prof Curry’s book on cloud thermodynamics, plus a bunch of papers listed in the references of the AOAS article that I linked.

      • What’s worst about Joshua and Michael is that they’re boring. They have their shtick scripted in advance and they throw a token reference to the topic in just for drill.

        It’s boring.

    • Michael, Dr Mann is such a juicy target for constructive criticism even a mental weakling like I rolled on the floor laughing out loud when I read his paper in scientific American. He sure is slick, isn’t he?

  6. Huge subject all on it’s own. The idea of good/evil (moral/immoral) is a concept common to virtually all cultures. In the U.S. currently and in the West in general, there is a bit of diminution of a common moral norm. This does not free one from the idea of moral norms. Rather, it creates a catalog from which to choose.

    It makes a good deal of sense that someone who is immersed in a discipline professionally and perhaps socially at least to a large extent, would seek a normative morality from within the perspective of that discipline.

  7. Richard Lindzen used a term, ‘cheap virtue,’ to describe the attraction of climate alarmism. But as Milton Friedman emphasized, good intentions are not enough!

  8. Funny.

    “rigorous skepticism toward counterfactuals that underlie causal claims in historical an­alyses, and continual open-mindedness to the possi­bility that patterns of thinking that scholarly observers laud as cognitively or morally superior in one set of political settings may look quite maladaptive or immoral in other political settings.”

    This is what I’ve said to you Judith – perhaps once or twice? Heh.

    But you provide that quote after you just said this?

    ==> “The reason for this is issue advocacy by climate scientists.”

    Really? You provide a causal claim in historical analysis. Where is your rigorous skepticism?

    I think this post ranks a “Wow, just wow” Judith.

    • dang html tags!@#!

    • Joshua,
      do you know Voltaire’s expression “si Dieu n’existe pas, il faudrait l’inventer”??

      (if God did exist it would be necessary to invent him)

      For your obsession with Judith we may say “If Judith did not exist, Joshua would need to invent her.”

      I don’t think I have ever witness such obsessive behavior in my life. How many times need we see the same points made? You cannot pound Judith in submission. But whatever gives you jollies….

      • “if God did NOT exist” ofc

        overly fast typing here

      • You miss the point, Skiphil.

        My goal is to “derail” and “distract.”

        Thanks for complying.

      • Who said that anyway,…

        “My goal is to “derail” and “distract.”

        Darwin?

      • “my goal is to derail and distract.”
        Whether you realize it consciously or not, and it’s scarier if you don’t, that’s exactly correct.

      • You rarely, if ever, have a point josh.

      • Oh. I realize it, PG. It’s deliberate. You see, your brilliant comments are so devastating to the cause I feel it is necessary to “derail” and “distract” you. And the other commenters here.

        Because, you know, it’s not like you (and many others) write basically the same things over and over in thread after thread no matter what. Oh. No. . It’s not like I’ve seen you write over and over about how those who disagree with you about the risks posed by climate change are universally mean-spirited, closed-minded (unlike you, of course), nasty, etc. blah, blah, blah. And the impact is so devastating. And that’s why I “derail” and “distract,’ because I just have to stop you from doing that and “derailing” you and “distracting’ you will accomplish that task!!!!

      • ==> “You rarely, if ever, have a point josh”

        No. I always have a point. My point is always to “derail” and “distract.”

        See how well it’s working? You could be writing devastating critiques of arguments made by those who think that ACO2 poses more risk than you. But instead, here you are insulting me.

        My evil and devious plot has succeeded yet again!!! Hahahaha! (evil and devious plotter-type laugh)

      • Look –

        I admire yous guy’s attempt to counter my “derailing’ and “distracting,” but I have to say that none of you can hold a candle to Rud’s brilliant explanation. Why just look at his standards of clarity and value-neutral analysis:

        1. Rud Istvan | July 27, 2014 at 9:31 pm | Reply
        Joshua, this is just my personal opinion.
        You are obtuse enough, immune to factual rebuttal enough, and just insinuative of poster malmotives enough ( especially of Dr. Curry herself), that had I been proprieter of this blog you would have been permanently banned long ago. On grounds of offensive language and irrational conduct unbecoming of any scientific discourse.
        Please go away. If you stay, post with less personally offensive and more fact reasoned replies. You pollute this dialog otherwise, and always have IIRC. And you contribute nothing of scientific substance except in your own minds feeble assertions. Which you have more than once now proven via your own posts is small, shriveled, and biased.

        Try as you might – you’ll never reach that level of brilliance!

      • Joshua, I think you are well meaning, probably donate to charities, pray to god when you are scared, and are not prone to kick your dog. If you ever visit the beach in Alicante, let me know and I’ll make you one of Fernando’s famous Spanish sausage, ham, onions and bell pepper pizzas sprinkled with Emental cheese. Relax. You are starting to sound like I do when I think about Fidel Castro.

      • Fernando –

        You’re on, dude. Best offer I’ve had all day. I’m planning a trip to Portugal – maybe in the fall or if not next spring. Although you’re on the other coast, I think you’ve given me sufficient reason to include a detour to the Costa Blanca.

        Any way I can get you to throw in some paella? Do you make it with fava beans?

        Yum!

      • Josh,

      • Yes, Joshua, we will never match Rud’s level of excellence regarding Joshua. Of course eloquence is kind of wasted, given the topic.

        But the point is we don’t keep repeating what Me Istvan said, either.

        You may have had a point once, about three years ago. Not a good one, but a point. But have you no other arrow in your quiver? Have you nothing else to say on a subject as rich as climate change?

        Hellfire and damnation–you could at least talk about the weather once in a while.

  9. You Wrote: Am I the only climate scientist on the planet that is concerned about these issues and reads the social science literature relevant to these concerns? Well, I seem to be the only one speaking out publicly on these issues.

    Not so. You did not attend the Ninth Climate Change Conference.
    You are not the only scientists who has become more skeptical.
    You are not the only scientist who is speaking out on these issues.

    You should go to the website and listen to what was said and look at the qualifications of the people who were speaking. You should have been there.

    • SNAP

      That’s gotta hurt, Dr Curry. Her arrogant and thoughtless snubbing of Art Bell’s Ninth Conference on Skydragoons and Intelligent Design guarantees she will never be invited on the Alex Jones radio hour.

    • Watch the Videos and tell what you agree with or disagree with and why.

      If you disagree without watching, you are part of the problem with solving anything.

      If you do not watch because you already know everything they say will be wrong, you are part of the problem with solving anything.

      If you never listen to anyone who has a different opinion, you are not likely reading Climate Etc and you likely never saw this post.

      http://heartland.org/ Watch, listen and comment.

  10. The paper seems dead on relevant. Keep up the good fight, thank goodness someone is doing it.

    • Yes, definitely ‘dead, on relevant’, but perhaps thought to be ‘dead-on relevant’ by people who haven’t read it or had a look at the papers it refers to.

  11. Judith –

    We find ourselves in scientific hell when we discover that our powers of persuasion are limited to those who were already predisposed to agree with us. –

    This is motivated reasoning. It applies as a condition of human thought processes. It is not “asymmetrical.”

    Now here’s an interesting passage:

    Value neutrality is an impossible ideal, but it still remains a useful benchmark for assessing our research performance. Indeed, the price of abandoning value neutrality as an ideal is prohibitively steep: nothing less, I believe, than our collective credibility as a science.

    1. How do you abandon something that doesn’t exist?

    2. Isn’t you basic argument about advocacy, Judith, is that your advocacy is value-neutral? Or perhaps you’re only arguing that your advocacy is more value-neutral than that of people that you disagree with. Given that “we find ourselves in scientific hell when we discover that our powers of persuasion are limited to those who were already predisposed to agree with us,” then don’t you see a problem with your matrix of value-neutrality?

    Observer bias is very strong, Judith. That applies to self-observation as well.

    So the argument presented is that value neutrality doesn’t exist, and we are all predisposed in how we define value-neutrality – but abandoning value-neutrality brings a terrible price, even though it doesn’t exist and our views of what it looks like are inherently biased.

    I love the logic.

    • Let’s take a non-climate example and examine whether the quote is logical.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arming_America
      1. Nobody expected Bellesiles to be “value neutral”- it would be an impossible task.
      2. If he had used “value neutral” instead as a “useful benchmark for assessing our research performance,” he would not have published made-up stats to “prove” an inaccurate thesis just because it fit his political values and his supporters and publishers would surely have caught the problem early if they used the standard instead of searching for what they wanted.
      3. Bellesiles’, and his supporters’, choice to abandon value-neutrality as a standard had a price that was “prohibitively steep: nothing less, I believe, than our collective credibility as a science.” He lost his job, the awards were rescinded, the book is acknowledged as being junk and his supporters and publishers (those with consciences anyway) are embarrassed to this day by the hit to their own credibility.

      The quote, it appears, is useful and logical. Just not very helpful to partisans.

      • ==> “The quote, it appears, is useful and logical. Just not very helpful to partisans.”

        Who determines which way partisanship lies? Perhaps a bunch of climate “skeptics” get to determine that they’re more value neutral than a bunch of “realists?” Or perhaps it’s the other way around? Do tell.

        How do you determine value-neutrality, Jeffn? On the basis of whether you agree with the conclusions drawn? How do you define partisanship? Is it that those who disagree with you are partisan whereas you are not?

        Oh. Hey. I know. Let’s cherry-pick an example – because finding an example of value-influenced science (that supports conclusions you are ideologically opposed to) proves that value-neutral science exists? Beautiful logic in its own right!!!

        You got it backwards. The quote is useful for partisans – because they can subjectively determine which way value-neutrality lies, as Judith does.

        How do you use value-neutrality as a benchmark if your very definition of value-neutrality is subjective, and in fact you’re trying to use something that doesn’t exist as a benchmark?

      • It’s not about me Joshua. What matters in the case are the thoughts of the prize committee that granted then revoked the award and the university that supported, then rejected the scholar.
        All because the man and his supporters abandoned “value neutrality,” everybody paid a high price in credibility. That is undeniable.
        I have no doubt you can find examples where abandoning “value neutrality” cost the credibility of someone who pushed a theme popular on the right. Have at it. I encourage you to do so- it would support my argument.

      • > Nobody expected Bellesiles to be “value neutral”- it would be an impossible task.

        I thought this was Joshua’s point all along.

        An appeal to perfection can indeed become a fallacy.

      • willard: “An appeal to perfection can indeed become a fallacy.”

        I would say the problem here is the opposite. People who are appealing for improved scientific practices are getting shoe-horned by other people as “appealing to perfection” simply as a means to ignore the appeal for improved scientific practice.

        I would say your buddy Anders is guilty of that practice of shoe-horning.

        It’s an easy way to dismiss criticism in other words, even if it is a bit transparent.

      • Your “improved science” understates the appeal to neutrality, Carrick:

        > Value neutrality is an impossible ideal, but it still remains a useful benchmark for assessing our research performance.

        Such minimization could be considered sophistic.

        It’s trivial to question neutrality. Such questioning shoehorns itself, most of the times. Also, trying to play Anders against Mike or C13 inducates a return to the good old “green line tests”:

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/tagged/beingtested

        These tricks are getting old.

      • It’s also a sophistry to dismiss other people’s reasoned comments as rhetorical tricks rather than discussing them in any depth.

        I do try to make substantive comments on ethics. Some of them relate to violations of human participants research policies. Others relate to responsible conduct of research (RCR) issues, of the sort that show up in CITI training on RCR. If you were able to confront these issues head on, I think you would have already.

      • > It’s also a sophistry to dismiss other people’s reasoned comments as rhetorical tricks rather than discussing them in any depth. I do try to make substantive comments on ethics.

        I made no commitments to discuss your substantive comments on ethics, Carrick. And I’m not dismissing them. Have at it. See if I care. Just don’t consider scientific sociopaths those who could not care less about your moral outrage.

        Please, do continue.

        Meanwhile, I still maintain that it’s trivial to question neutrality, which is the only point to which I committed anything in this subthread.

        ***

        Burdening others with commitments they don’t have is bad practice, BTW:

        Key to any successful debate is managing the basic responsibilities: who is obligated to defend what. If responsibilities aren’t limited, a debate e.g. over some immediate political issue can easily devolve back into a debate on how we know anything at all–philosophically interesting, perhaps, but far from the original topic. And if the responsibilities aren’t clearly defined, participants can find the debate slipping from one issue to another in what may be an unproductive fashion.

        http://scientistscitizens.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/debate-in-the-blogosphere-a-small-case-study/

        Trying to play Anders against Mike or C13 mismanages basic responsibilities.

      • Steven Mosher

        “An appeal to perfection can indeed become a fallacy.”

        ya I noticed you jumped all over the demand for “air tight” evidence.

    • Joshua:

      1. All perfect benchmarks do not exist in reality. They are quite useful. No one can be perfectly nice all the time, it’s impossible. By your logic, using perfectly nice as a benchmark should be abandoned. Insert Godwin violation comment here. I hate illogical drivel, try to do less of it, Joshua. Pure logic is impossible, but don’t abandon it as a benchmark.

      2. I don’t ever recall Dr. Curry claiming she was Jesus. It is common knowledge that the path to sobriety is impassable if one does not accept the fact of being a lying, scheeming drunk. Awareness is not a cure. There are no cures in this Universe. However, awareness of shortcomings will reduce their negative externalities. What you suggest is that nothing matters because we are programed to have motivated reasoning and are powerless to change.

      These opinions and your other comments on this blog indicate that you have a superficial patina of liberal leftism while at your core, you are a reactionary conservative. In other words, you have no awareness of the nature of your own motivated reasoning.

      Like the good and most holy Rev. Mosher preaches: read more, comment less.

      • Howard –

        ==> “All perfect benchmarks do not exist in reality. They are quite useful.”

        I disagree. I think that realistic benchmarks are useful in a practical sense. Perfect benchmarks, that don’t exist in reality, are useful only as perhaps a rhetorical tool with which to please those predisposed to agree with me and demonize those predisposed to disagree. If you think that is “useful.”

        So perhaps we’d be better served if people stopped claiming ownership over “value-neutral” advocacy, or “pure science,” and stopped exploiting those unattainable concepts as pedestals and battering rams – and to instead be open and honest about our own biases.

      • These opinions and your other comments on this blog indicate that you have a superficial patina of liberal leftism while at your core, you are a reactionary conservative. In other words, you have no awareness of the nature of your own motivated reasoning.

        Good point, Howard. Because it’s about me.

      • Joshua: All significant benchmarks in science are unreal, ideal, for example, all other things being equal. It is how we bracket shadow to see light such that the real can be manipulated.

        More about you: start taking some community college courses in hard science like physics, chemistry and serious math like calculus. An education might bring you to the awareness that exact science is a myth so children, punters and dilettantes may sleep at night.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Joshua: All significant benchmarks in science are unreal, ideal, for example, all other things being equal. It is how we bracket shadow to see light such that the real can be manipulated.”

        somebody has done their reading. keep commenting.

      • > All significant benchmarks in science are unreal,

        Here’s Radford Neal showing that microbench is inaccurate:

        http://radfordneal.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/inaccurate-results-from-microbenchmark/

        You’re welcome.

      • Steven Mosher

        radford does good work.

        read more radford willard

      • The claim that benchmarks are unreal is surreal.

      • Steven Mosher

        The claim that benchmarks are unreal is surreal. Depends. Ask the person what they meant.

      • Joshua:

        ==> “All perfect benchmarks do not exist in reality. They are quite useful.”

        I disagree. I think that realistic benchmarks are useful in a practical sense. Perfect benchmarks, that don’t exist in reality, are useful only as perhaps a rhetorical tool with which to please those predisposed to agree with me and demonize those predisposed to disagree.

        Careful Josh, you are exposing your own moties here. As in, that would certainly explain your predisposition to continually disparrage Judy for not meeting your ideals of a perfect blog, wouldn’ it? You don’t agree, so you “demonise” her.

        Thanks for clarifying.

    • For a self-appointed logician, Joshua, your own logical and linguistic analysis is pathetic.

      Value neutrality is an impossible ideal, but it still remains a useful benchmark for assessing our research performance. Indeed, the price of abandoning value neutrality as an ideal is prohibitively steep: nothing less, I believe, than our collective credibility as a science.

      1. How do you abandon something that doesn’t exist?

      Was the phrase “as an ideal” so intellectually difficult that you decided to ignore it?

      “Ideal” = “a concept of something in its perfection”

      Aspiring to perfection in something where it may not be attainable is one of the mainsprings of human ethical and practical endeavour.

      Try substituting “compassion” for “value neutrality”. Because it’s often impossible to achieve – should aspiring to it be sneered at?

      Abandoning attempts to achieve compassion have been tried in quite recent history – and the results certainly demanded a prohibitively steep price.

      Your post reads as if it’s from someone totally bereft of moral sense.

      I’m hoping that isn’t true and you’ll try reading your pompous & fatuous junk before you post it in future.

      • ==> “Aspiring to perfection in something where it may not be attainable is one of the mainsprings of human ethical and practical endeavour.”

        I disagree. I think that aspiring to attainable levels of positive qualities is one of the mainsprings of human ethical and practical endeavor. I think that aspiring to unrealistic and unattainable levels of perfection is counterproductive. The trick is to focus on differentiating what is and isn’t attainable, and not conflating the two.

        What happens in the climate wars on a regular basis is that combatants is that they exploit the notion of perfection as a rhetorical tool with which to elevate their own status and demonize others. It becomes a tool in the arsenal of identity protective and identity defensive behaviors – without even a serious attempt to scientifically quantify or define the notion of “perfection” in such a way as can be measured. Instead they are complacent and content to simply project their subjective standards and feel satisfied in doing so as long as those predisposed to agree with them don’t object.

        Same ol’ same ol.

        ==> “For a self-appointed logician, Joshua, your own logical and linguistic analysis is pathetic.”

        Now this is interesting logic. It’s interesting because I have never “self-appointed” myself as a logician. I am not a logician. I merely have opinions, sometimes, about what are or aren’t logical arguments.

        It’s also interesting because of the faulty logic contained there in – at multiple levels. Whether I “self appoint” myself as a logician has no bearing on the quality of my analysis. That’s an ad hom, my friend. And most people generally agree that ad homs such as that are logically fallacious. If you want to discuss my analysis, have at it. I’m always up for a laugh.

        ==> “Was the phrase “as an ideal” so intellectually difficult that you decided to ignore it?”

        More ad hom. See above.

        ==> “Try substituting “compassion” for “value neutrality”. Because it’s often impossible to achieve – should aspiring to it be sneered at?”

        Interesting. Please explain how compassion is impossible to achieve, let along “often” impossible to achieve.

        I would say that complete compassion is impossible to achieve, and therefore it is counterproductive to have the pretense and self-deluded goal of trying to attain it. More realistic is understanding and trying to deal with how self-interest and compassion are sometimes at cross-purposes so that you can adjust accordingly.

        ==> “Your post reads as if it’s from someone totally bereft of moral sense.

        I’m hoping that isn’t true and you’ll try reading your pompous & fatuous junk before you post it in future.”

        I appreciate the “as if.” A weak delineation between an argument and an ad hom, but at least you made the effort.

        And I appreciate the good intent on your part to help me out – but I’m sorry to disappoint. Of course my “junk” is pompous and fatuous – but you see, when I post “pompous and fatuous” junk I can “derail” noble climate combatants such as yourself – who are seeking out value-neutrality.

        Too funny.

      • ” I think that aspiring to unrealistic and unattainable levels of perfection is counterproductive.’

        The most worthwhile endeavors are those which aspire to attain the unattainable. The unattainables of yesterday which are today’s attained, are the evidence.

      • > How do you abandon something that doesn’t exist?

        You stop assuming it exists.

        You stop offering arguments that relies on its existence.

        You refrain from having it as a values if a bounded variable.

        You adopt free logic:

        http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-free/

        Any other fantastic questions like that, Mr. Fox?

      • “I would say that complete compassion is impossible to achieve, and therefore it is counterproductive to have the pretense and self-deluded goal of trying to attain it. More realistic is understanding and trying to deal with how self-interest and compassion are sometimes at cross-purposes so that you can adjust accordingly. ”

        Joshua says “complete” compassion rather than just compassion. And “perfect” neutrality.
        These are just evasive maneuvers to discount the truth that abandoning them is discreditable conduct which leads to destructive behaviours.

        He inserts the unattainable in order to discount effort to achieve the attainable. Oh, he gives the nod to the attainable. He gives the nod to “compassion”.

        These were originally the subject, though.
        So he attacks Professor Curry’s statements with strawman arguments.
        Perhaps thinking that nobody will dwell on his own disregard for ethical boundaries.

      • Joshua’s position makes no sense. The point of having unreachable ideal standards is that they provide directionality in the quest for progress, i.e. they allow you to compare two hypothetical or real outcomes and judge which one would be better. Any “realistic” standard that could be attained would have the perverse result that once surpassed it would point in the wrong direction. (Even in the context of strictly descriptive, non-normative systems unattainable ideals such as an ideal gas or an ideal black body play an important orienting role.)

        Hence, there is an ideal heat engine that no actual engine can match but that enables us to compare any two actually existing engines. There is an unattainable ideal of economic efficiency to which consequentialist/utilitarians can compare different resource distributions. As one of the inspirational posters in school said, “Our ideals are like the stars. We never reach them but we set our course by them.”

      • steve –

        ==> “Joshua’s position makes no sense. ”

        Channeling Brandon?

        ==> “The point of having unreachable ideal standards is that they provide directionality in the quest for progress,…”

        Two problems with that. (1) it is entirely possible to have directionality in the quest for progress through having attainable goals. (2) Do you think that a directionality towards something is unattainable is desirable? How about directionality towards desirable and attainable goals. How about “stretch goals,” that might or might not be beyond your grasp, but which you haven’t identified as unattainable before hand because they are unrealistic by their very nature?

        ==> “Any “realistic” standard that could be attained would have the perverse result that once surpassed it would point in the wrong direction.”

        ??? There is nothing to prevent you from creating new attainable goals once the original goals have been achieved. Why do you assume a static condition that once your goals have been met you can’t create new goals based on past success.

        I believe in meta-cognition. You set out attainable goals, or at least goals that re theoretically attainable and you evaluate your strategies for getting there. After some time, you evaluate your progress and consider whether some strategies might be in need of revision. If you achieve your goals you can evaluate your strategies to see if you might have reached them with less effort or with better quality. If you don’t, you consider whether even with modified strategies, you’d be better served by altering your goals because the ones you originally set were unattainable.

        => “Hence, there is an ideal heat engine that no actual engine can match but that enables us to compare any two actually existing engines. ”

        This is beautiful. So if you own an engine factory, you’d set out to build an engine that couldn’t possibly be built, rather than setting out to build the best one you can realistically build, or one that you’re not entirely sure you are able to build, but think that you might be able to build and if you don’t at least you’ve built the best engine you can?

        ==> “Our ideals are like the stars. We never reach them but we set our course by them.”

        It’s a nice platitude.

      • Still not getting it. How do you know if your “attainable” goals are moving in the right direction? You do it by reference to the “ideal’ goals. Don’t know if you genuinely don’t understand this obvious point or are just getting caught up in trying to defend your position.

        There is a vast literature on organizational goal setting. But all of it presupposes that you know what the direction of progress is and what would be ideal. For example, when Toyota sets up its efficiency improvement goals for its supplier network they start with how the present setup would perform if all the waste in it were eliminated (an “ideal.”) Then they set goals for partially approaching that ideal over the relevant time period. But the ideal must come first.

        And of course engineers benchmark engines on their heat efficiency by reference to the ideal heat engine (although heat efficiency is only one concern or we’d all be driving with engines that ran at higher temperatures but were impractical from other points of view (each of which has its own ideal).

      • ==> “Don’t know if you genuinely don’t understand this obvious point or are just getting caught up in trying to defend your position.”

        Oh. I am really this stupid that I don’t understand this “obvious point.” Countless “denizens,” smart and knowledgeable people such as yourself, have made this quite clear. (Or maybe it is just that I’m fatuous, bereft of moral sense, or “small, shriveled and biased.”

        ==> “There is a vast literature on organizational goal setting. But all of it presupposes that you know what the direction of progress is and what would be ideal. ”

        You set goals to maximize your outcomes in a realistic setting. You certainly don’t systematically lay out goals that you know are unattainable because they are unrealistic. You study, specifically, what intrinsic factors limit your outcomes and which limiting factors are changeable or can be addressed or mitigated. And you take into account probabiilities – probabilities that some of the limiting factors can potentially be altered. Probabilities that you can attain your goals more easily than you originally planed, and so you can set new, higher goals.

        Sorry, I know I’m just stupid, but simply repeating your assertion that you can’t have direction unless you are tying to reach unattainable and unrealistic goals will not convince me that you’re right. I certainly know that I don’t need to try to reach unattainable goals, goals that I have stated are unphysical and unrealistic, to know what direction I want to head. For example, I can walk as far as I can on a mountain, in the direction towards the top, while knowing that I physically am incapable of reaching the top and that trying to do so is an unrealistic goal. If my goal was to reach the top, even though I knew it was impossible, I would be loaded down with gear that would be useless, I would block out time that I could use for other activities. People would say to me why are you carrying enough food to enable you to reach the top when the trail is impassible and no one could possibly get there? In the end, I would get less close to my goal than I would have if I had a realistic goal from the very beginning.

        ==> “:For example, when Toyota sets up its efficiency improvement goals for its supplier network they start with how the present setup would perform if all the waste in it were eliminated (an “ideal.”) Then they set goals for partially approaching that ideal over the relevant time period. But the ideal must come first.”:

        What you just described is that they specifically differentiate what is realistic from what is unrealistic, and set goals accordingly. Perhaps you missed what I wrote below? That is exactly what I described.

        I think that aspiring to attainable levels of positive qualities is one of the mainsprings of human ethical and practical endeavor. I think that aspiring to unrealistic and unattainable levels of perfection is counterproductive. The trick is to focus on differentiating what is and isn’t attainable, and not conflating the two.

        What they are not doing is trying to reach unattainable and unrealistic goals – because it would be a waste of time.

        The “ideal” is to maximize your progress towards you goals – not to set unrealistic goals that can’t be attained. The “ideal” is not to hold progress hostage to the unattainable.

        That is what we see, so ubiquitously, in the climate wars. Hostage-taking. Where potential real progress is forsaken for the rhetoric of unrealistic goals like “pure science” and “non-advocacy.” Unreal aspirations that are used as battering rams against opponents, and as ladders to scale the high horses of grandiosity and false-superiority. It’s same ol’ same ol’ Realistic ideals held hostage by identity-aggressive and identity-defensive behaviors.

      • OK, you’ve effectively conceded the argument now. Obviously, you are using the unattainable ideal of the mountain top to set the DIRECTION of your efforts. Without that, your “attainable” goal would likely end up with you lower on the mountain than when you started. If you want to quibble over semantics to try to save your point, fine, but we’ve now established that we agree that unattainable ideals are essential to setting the direction of attainable goals. That’s all Tetlock and Curry and every sensible person is saying.

      • And let’s be clear – here is what I responded to – this is the statement that my position, you know, the one that doesn’t make sense, the one that displays my ignorance, was in response to.

        “Aspiring to perfection in something where it may not be attainable is one of the mainsprings of human ethical and practical endeavour.”

        I have not said that you shouldn’t assess the range of possibilities. I haven’t said that you shouldn’t define what is and isn’t unreachable. I haven’t said that you shouldn’t assess the range of possibilities.

        I have said that you don’t make progress by “aspiring to perfection” – when you know that “perfection” is unattainable.

        I think that aspiring to attainable levels of positive qualities is one of the mainsprings of human ethical and practical endeavor. I think that aspiring to unrealistic and unattainable levels of perfection is counterproductive. The trick is to focus on differentiating what is and isn’t attainable, and not conflating the two.

        I think that is not supportable to argue that you can’t have a directionality in your progress by aspiring to attainable goals – with an eye towards the outer boundaries where you can’t be certain exactly what delimits what you can and can’t achieve.

      • ==> ” but we’ve now established that we agree that unattainable ideals are essential to setting the direction of attainable goals. ”

        Not at all. I can aspire to a realistic goal of climbing part way up the mountain without aspiring to “perfection,’ without believing that reaching the top is my “ideal,” without even a consideration of what is an “unattainable goal.” I set my direction by determining what my realistic goal is. To climb part way up the mountain – perhaps to the campsite with the beautiful overlook. It is attainable. I don’t even consider going further because there is nothing “ideal” to me about seeking a goal that is unattainable.

        And with that, have a good night. I’m glad that you’ve decided that the discussion is concluded, and that you’re right, and that “every sensible person” would agree with you. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    • Steven Mosher

      Joshua

      “Value neutrality is an impossible ideal, but it still remains a useful benchmark for assessing our research performance. Indeed, the price of abandoning value neutrality as an ideal is prohibitively steep: nothing less, I believe, than our collective credibility as a science.

      1. How do you abandon something that doesn’t exist?

      you need to read more, read more carefully and comment less.

      Let’s suppose I hold an Ideal.

      My ideal commenter is someone who reads all the literature before commenting.

      You tell me to abandon the ideal because it is impossible.

      I agree. It’s an impossible ideal. No commenter can achieve it.

      Yet, I say we should not abandon this ideal because its USEFUL

      Like so:

      Moshpit: Joshua, there are 1023 papers on this topic, ideally you would
      read them all before commenting.
      Joshua: that’s impossible.
      Moshpit: yes, tell me how many you read
      Joshua: zero.
      Moshpit: hey Springer, how many did you read?
      Springer: 4 or 5.
      Moshpit: thats better, good job, hey Pratt how many did you read
      Pratt: the top 30.
      Moshpit: dang, thats a pretty good benchmark for people to aim at.
      Joshua: How do you abandon something that doesnt exist.
      Moshpit: read harder.

      Joshua what the writer is addressing is the following.

      Moshpit: The ideal commenter should read all papers.
      Dingbat: That ideal is impossible, we cant read all papers, therefore we should throw out that consideration entirely. Its impossible.
      Moshpit: yes, its impossible, but useful for benchmarking. Dont make the perfect the enemy of the good.
      Dingbat: hey that’s a good saying, did you think of it?
      Moshpit: read more, comment less.

      • Steven Mosher

        Hi game boy

      • > You tell me to abandon the ideal because it is impossible.

        That’s not what Joshua’s suggesting.

        Read harder before commenting.

      • Steven Mosher

        no willard
        you read harder

        “You tell me to abandon the ideal because it is impossible.”

        That’s not a statement of past fact.

        You read harder

        “Let’s suppose I hold an Ideal.

        My ideal commenter is someone who reads all the literature before commenting.

        You tell me to abandon the ideal because it is impossible.”

        Let’s suppose.

        not statement of historical fact or ‘what Joshua said”

        Stop playing dumb

      • > Let’s suppose.

        For this supposition to be relevant, Joshua must hold what is mansplained through this supposition.

        Which is false.

        Checkmate.

      • Willard: Is this dialogue a play on equivocality?

      • Steven Mosher

        willard

        “For this supposition to be relevant, Joshua must hold what is mansplained through this supposition.

        Which is false.

        Checkmate.”

        Wrong again.

        The purpose of the supposition is to set up the second dialogue which shows you what the author is concerned about.

        Not to engage Joshua, but rather to give him an opportunity to clarify.

        stop playing dumb

    • Joshua,

      re: your 1) and the role of ideals, I think it may be useful to think of ideals functioning something like the idea of “limit” in mathematics (but I am NOT pretending to be a mathematician, perhaps I will have this wrong:

      “In mathematics, a limit is the value that a function or sequence “approaches” as the input or index approaches some value”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limit_(mathematics)

      I’m not sure if that helps but that is how I think of ideal practices and norms, until someone offers something better here — actions and practices are aimed at some limit even if it’s never possible to reach it. Loosely like “man’s reach must exceed his grasp, else what’s a heaven for?” (not that I believe in some fantasy heaven)

      • Skiphil –

        Thanks for the ad hom free response.

        Sure, it may sometimes be important to recognize the theoretical limits of what might be possible in a perfect (theoretical) world. From that we can work backwards, perhaps, to compare the real world to that theoretical world – using the theoretical world as a kind of benchmark.

        But that is different than setting an unattainable and theoretical goal, and judging others (subjectively) on where they fit on our taxonomy of who attains that goal and to what degree – let alone without even working scientifically to quantify and define the metrics we’re using

        ==> “actions and practices are aimed at some limit even if it’s never possible to reach it. ”

        Again – I would say that more useful is trying to distinguish between what is and isn’t attainable so as to set realistic goals. We can play probabilities into that to create “stretch goals” – that with some degree of probability cannot be attained. But setting goals that we state at the outset are unattainable? Sure, we don’t want to limit ourselves and often we create self-imposed limits that don’t reflect reality. (I think of when I used to take school kids hiking up mountains, who would complain the whole way that they couldn’t reach the end target because they had never pushed themselves to see how far they could actually go). But I don’t think that’s what we’re talking about here.

        Although I wouldn’t say that aspiring to unattainable goals is necessarily exploitative – certainly if we look at the climate wars we see that it is: we see, quite frequently, the notion of the perfect being held hostage and used as a battering ram against others or a stepping stool for grandiosity.

        I could name names, although I won’t – but IMO the pattern is quite apparent.

      • Interestingly, the consensual theory of truth relies on consensus as a regulative principle:

        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Consensus_theory_of_truth

        Let’s revise all that was said about consensus a few posts ago.

      • good link

        “If consensus equals truth, then truth can be made by forcing or organizing a consensus, rather than being discovered through experiment or observation, or existing separately from consensus.”

      • As if the possibility of a cargo cult science prevented sound science.

        Either you accept appeals to regulative principles, or you don’t.

        You’re trying to have to both ways, Judy, yet again.

      • Willard: Do regulative principles exist in climate science?

      • > Do regulative principles exist in climate science?

        Why of course, rls. For instance, appealing to consensus rests on intersubjectivity [1], which is probably the main ingredient of science as we know it.

        Not everyone who cries wolf will become the new Galileo.

        [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersubjective_verifiability

      • This is a better theory of truth, though, in fact each has something to offer.
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correspondence_theory_of_truth

      • Willard: Thank you for the link and expanding my knowledge. I have more questions professor, but don’t want to intrude on your time; hope you can answer:
        1. Does intersubjectivity require universality?
        2. During the discussion of politics of science on a previous post, one of the ideas was that often in science there are competing schools or factions. Can these schools/factions exist concurrently with intersubjectivity?

      • Steven Mosher

        Better is reformed epistemology
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reformed_epistemology.

        Simply, for any position you want to hold about climate science or any other matter there is a school of philosophy you can appeal to that gives you a rational basis for holding that belief.

      • Steven Mosher

        The problem with intersubjective verifiability and climate science is clear.

        Let’s stick with Willard’s referenced definition. Why? well because he referenced it and we can reasonably assume ( although we may be wrong ) that he agrees with it

        “Intersubjective verifiability is the capacity of a concept to be readily and accurately communicated between different individuals (“intersubjectively”), and to be reproduced under varying circumstances for the purposes of verification. It is a core principle of empirical, scientific investigation.[1][2][3]

        Although there are areas of belief that do not consistently employ intersubjective verifiability (e.g., many religious claims), intersubjective verifiability is a near-universal way of arbitrating truth claims used by people everywhere. In its basic form, it can be found in colloquial expressions, e.g., “I’m from Missouri. Show me!” or “Seeing is believing.” The scientific principle of replication of findings by investigators other than those that first reported the phenomenon is simply a more highly structured form of the universal principle of intersubjective verifiability.”

        How does climate science fair?

        1. Can climate science be readily and accurately communicated?
        The evidence of the past 20 years says probably not.

        2 Can it be reproduced under varying conditions for the purposes of verification?

        Well, no. The best evidence for this is the IPCC “determination” of the value of sensitivity. Here is the challenge. Take the same documents the IPCC used in constructing the consensus. Take those documents and try to replicate the conclusions of the IPCC. or better, hand those documents to someone who doesnt know what the IPCC concluded and see what they come up with. The IAC complaint about the IPCC was that their process was not transparent. We cant see the steps they took.

        Or randomly pick 10 papers from climate science. See if they give you the information you need to reproduce the results under varying conditions. That’s a good one.

        So, yes, intersubjective verifiability. let’s pick that as a philosophical foundation. Then apply it to climate science. Apply it to Cook’s paper on the consensus.. guess what. Neither are intersubjectively verifiable.

        On the other hand, both are largely true. Not because they can be easily communicated, not because they can be verified.

      • “Intersubjective verifiability” (IMO) works much better within a paradigm than from outside it.

    • I think it has to do with whether one is aware of our internal biases and tries to control them. Dr Curry seems to be quite aware of the problem. However, I see too many “scientists” who no longer merit much credibility. They aren’t about to get into this problem, or get off their political grandstand to acknowledge the problem is quite serious. And your position tells me the problem is plenty awful. The church of climate orthodoxy made a serious mistake when they published Oreskes and Dr Lew as co authors in a paper about models matching ENSO trends and blah blah blah.

  12. ‘may look look quite maladaptive or immoral in other political settings. For years, in my merciful moments, I’ve said we’d one day feel sorry for the alarmists, many of whom had(ve) fine intentions.

    It’s also useful to remember that the Road to Heaven is also paved with Good Intentions.
    ==================

    • Heaven is the road, Hell the destination.

    • A scientist involved in an honest enterprise of conjecture
      and refutation concerning physical phenomena will not be
      an ideologue and salesman masquerading as a scientist.
      The following dilemma would not arise:

      ‘To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some
      scary scenario, make simplified and dramatic statements
      and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us
      has to decide the right balance between being effective and
      being honest.’

      Dr Stephen Schneider, Discover Magazine October 1989.

      • I think you’ve captured the problem. It is unbelievable to me that people allow themselves to lie and deceive. IMHO it borders on sociopathy.

  13. The road to Hell is also paved with not-so-good intentions.

    We shouldn’t assume good intentions.

    Andrew

  14. As someone said, “You never know what your research results will be used for.” Maybe it’s a good idea for climate science, and all science, to walk away and leave it at that.

  15. A lot would resove itself if everybody stopped calling it climate science.

    The problem is with the word science.

    Perhaps everybody is too young to remember what science looked like when it was just geophysics. Just bits and peices of stuff you could work on, without an overarching theme that everything has to be made to fit into.

    A nonlinear mechanism for the generation of sea waves would be a memorable example.

    No name-calling arose from it. No persuasion question came up.

    It was merely interesting to the curious.

    Curiosity is missing in climate science because it is not science, where curiosity rules.

    There’s no curiosity in politics or astrology either.

  16. It’s not nearly so complicated. If you hold with any of these 5 tenets about your models,

    (1) Falsification, (2) Peer review & publication, (3) Established Type II errors, (4) Consensus building, and (5) Tuning for social consequences (Popper’s “Intersubjectivity”),

    then the problem is that you are practicing Post Modern Science (PMS), not Modern Science (MS).

    MS rules, as it must, in industry, but it has been abandoned in many academic physical sciences. MS boils down to just one tenet:

    Models must make predictions that are better than chance.

    Science is the mapping of existing facts onto future facts, where facts are observations reduced to measurements and compared to standards. It is the systematic elimination of the subjective. Science is the objective branch of knowledge.

    Politics and psychology properly objectivized can produce topics for scientific study, but political and psychological notions may not substitute for fact.

  17. “Very few of us, I suspect, are driven by purely epistemic motives or by purely partisan motives of policy advocacy. We are motivated, in part, by causal curiosity and in part by the desire to make the world a better place in which to live. And, being human, we don’t like to acknowledge that these goals occasionally conflict.”

    It must just be a coincidence then that every progressive policy proscription just happens to increase the power of government that progressives see as their own source of political power, wealth and prestige.

    Was Marx really a utopian? Or was he merely an arrogant ideologue drunk on his perception of his superiority to, and frustrated by his lack of power over, the stupid bourgeoisie?

    There is a fine line between motivation and rationalization. You know how to tell the difference? When someone’s stated purpose is their true motivation, they change tactics when the results they claim to want do not materialize. When they keep pursuing the same policy despite indisputable evidence that they are achieving the exact opposite of their stated intent, then you know the stated purpose is a rationalization.

    Education in the US is a good example. If the goal of progressive education policies were educating children, in particular poor children, there would have been a complete over haul of the system decades ago.

    Since that is clearly not the case, you look to what the policy actually produces very well to determine actually motivation. Huge numbers of government employees, massive transfers of taxes to the Democrat Party laundered as mandatory union dues and indoctrination of children into progressive group think.

    As a means of educating particularly poor children, progressive education policy has been a resounding failure that has gotten inexorably worse over the last 20 years. As a means of maintaining and increasing progressives’ power through government, it has been a remarkable success story.

    “For the children” is not a motivation, it is a rationalization.

    In the climate debate, I will believe that saving the climate is the real motivation of all these government funded scientists advocating larger government and more research, when they have an actual debate about the consensus that was born full grown in the 80s.

    • ==> “It must just be a coincidence then that every progressive policy proscription just happens to increase the power of government that progressives see as their own source of political power, wealth and prestige.”

      I love the comic book description of Good guys = us, bad guys = them, fits with with the arguments of “skeptics” related to value-neutrality.

      Here’s something particularly beautiful – GaryM’s notion of how to “prove” his comic book reality.

      Education in the US is a good example. If the goal of progressive education policies were educating children, in particular poor children, there would have been a complete over haul of the system decades ago.

      Because, as we all know, “progressives” have complete control of everything in the U.S. If there’s anything that they want, they can just implement it. If they wanted a “compete overhaul” of our educational system, they would have just done it years ago.

      Because, as we all know, it is abundantly clear how to “overhaul” our educational system.

      Because, as we all know, no poor children are educated as the system currently exists.

      Because, as we all know, now “progressive” educational systems with any government involvement are effective in any way.

      Because, as we all know, GaryM can point to so many real-world examples of more effective educational systems that deal with the same complex of problems to affect superior outcomes than this system we have controlled by “progressives” that fails to educate poor children.

      Because, as we all know, the myriad factors that affect educational outcomes of poor children are all controllable by “progressives,” and if “progressives” really wanted to education poor children they could overcome those factors merely with educational policy

      You see? Value-neutral science courtesy of GaryM. And from his logic, we can see the way to the truth about climate change.

      It would all be so simple if those baddie “progressives” (has anyone else noticed how all progressives always wear black hats?) would just get out of GaryM’s way.

    • Filter has kicked in. Let me try to work around it:

      Part I:

      ==> “It must just be a coincidence then that every progressive policy proscription just happens to increase the power of government that progressives see as their own source of political power, wealth and prestige.”

      I love the comic book description of Good guys = us, bad guys = them, fits with with the arguments of “skeptics” related to value-neutrality.

      Here’s something particularly beautiful – GaryM’s notion of how to “prove” his comic book reality.

      Education in the US is a good example. If the goal of progressive education policies were educating children, in particular poor children, there would have been a complete over haul of the system decades ago.

      Because, as we all know, “progressives” have complete control of everything in the U.S. If there’s anything that they want, they can just implement it. If they wanted a “compete overhaul” of our educational system, they would have just done it years ago.

      Because, as we all know, it is abundantly clear how to “overhaul” our educational system.

      • Part II:

        Because, as we all know, no poor children are educated as the system currently exists.

        Because, as we all know, now “progressive” educational systems with any government involvement are effective in any way.

        Because, as we all know, GaryM can point to so many real-world examples of more effective educational systems that deal with the same complex of problems to affect superior outcomes than this system we have controlled by “progressives” that fails to educate poor children.

      • Part II:

        Because, as we all know, no poor children are educated as the system currently exists.

        Because, as we all know, now “progressive” educational systems with any government involvement are effective in any way.

    • Way to knock that Straw Man off your Hobby Horse, Gary M. Luv your embracement of “Bloviaty is the Sewer of Wit”

    • Mayor of Venus

      Many “greens” don’t want to “make the world a better place” because their unstated assumption is the world was as good as it could possibly be before humans made any impact. Now atmospheric carbon dioxide is increasing due to human activity, and they write thousands of papers predicting bad consequences. They ridicule anyone, such as “Minnesotans FOR global warming”, who anticipate any good consequences for their part of the world.

    • Education policy is set primarily at the local level and to some extent at the state level. There has been no shortage of Republican governors, so I really don’t think you can blame progressives for not overhauling education even if a “complete” overhaul were possible (and I don’t think it is possible).

      • “Education policy is set primarily at the local level and to some extent at the state level.”

        Which of course explains the nationalization of curriculum in Common Core, and before it No Child Left Behind, and the current prohibition at the federal level of bake sales in grade schools and high schools.

        “There has been no shortage of Republican governors….”

        I said progressives, not Republicans. The GOP is full of, and lead by big government progressives, just like almost all European “conservative” parties. Not to mention that governors didn’t even run education at the local level before the feds started taking over decades ago. They used to be run by local school boards and sometimes city mayors.

        It may be news to you, but virtually all major US cities are and have been governed by progressives, and the education colleges that churn out teachers/indoctrinators are run entirely by hard left progressives. The school boards in those cities are primarily run by Democrat school board members, whose party relies on the campaign contributions and get out the vote efforts of the teachers’ unions. Which is why so many of them have bankrupted themselves in inflating pay and unsustainable pensions for their fellow progressives.

        “…so I really don’t think you can blame progressives for not overhauling education even if a ‘complete’ overhaul were possible (and I don’t think it is possible).”

        The only reason a complete overhaul is not possible is because the whole education establishment is being federalized, and in almost every large city is run by progressives who might not ever win another election if they didn’t launder campaign contributions through the unions, and keep the local populace uneducated and therefore dependent on government.

        Washington DC spends almost $30,000 per year, per pupil, and somehow doesn’t teach 83% of the children to read or write at grade level by 8th grade. $240,000 over 8 years, more than a degree at Harvard. And they can’t teach simple reading?

        http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/terence-p-jeffrey/dc-schools-29349-pupil-83-not-proficient-reading

        But that’s OK, you progressive drones can blame the poor children and their parents. Further proof that racism is still institutionalized in the Democrat Party.

      • “Which of course explains the nationalization of curriculum in Common Core”

        What problem do you have with common core? And it is not a nationalization of the curriculum. It is a set of standards

        “It may be news to you, but virtually all major US cities are and have been governed by progressives,”

        What about the cities not run by progressives?

        “The only reason a complete overhaul is not possible is because the whole education establishment is being federalized”

        What would a complete overhaul look like? How can you have a “complete overhaul” without adopting a top down approach?

  18. On the road to Hell, one usually has a stop-over in Purgatory or so the religion goes. This stop-over is to cleanse one-self from prior sins of omission or intention and to be judged by others, whether or not we have done enough to reverse our course of destiny.

    Climate science does not seem to have this way-point; rather, its all or nothing: you are a warmist or a heathen: all in for the CO2 meme or a denier.

    This either/or situation occurs in political science as well:

    “Are we ideo­logues masquerading as scientists: Have we rigged the research dice in favor of our political agenda?”

    Climategate revealed that for climate science at least that the road to Hell wasn’t even paved with good intentions. Climate scientists were to change the entire peer-review process.

    I don’t see politicians like our President as on the road to anywhere in particular, rather, being in a state of perpetual Purgatory. Kind of like Dante’s Inferno, only not having the strength of character to change one’s self to achieve Paradise.

    Climate scientists still have time, except for the elite who are followers of Stephen Schneider: It’s all right to lie, lying gets the bad ones out.

  19. nottawa rafter

    When I think of climate scientists, I don’t visualize them being burdened with a lot of self doubt or laying awake at night pondering, reflecting or sorting out how they might be wrong. I have this romanticism of scientists always struggling with their lack of total knowledge and an obsessive drive to seek truth wherever it lies and however it affects their current views. Oh well, back to the novels.

  20. Judith, there is a danger in your stated desire to focus more of your interests on the sociological aspects of climate science. You will unwittingly subject the rest of your readers to a plethora of inanities from Joshua, Michael, and Ole Webby.

  21. This is from the NYT’s from 11 years ago. Oddly the NYT’s staff cannot understand why many people refuse to threat it as a news source.

    The News We Kept To Ourselves
    By Eason Jordan
    Published: April 11, 2003

    http://www.nytimes.com/2003/04/11/opinion/the-news-we-kept-to-ourselves.html

  22. Curious George

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions. The road to scientific hell is paved with good grants.

  23. YeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!11

  24. Though this article identifies the problem, I don’t think it offers any solutions.
    Saying that we need rigorous skepticism and an open mind is no good, because they will claim they are doing that.
    The name of a notorious blog comes to mind!

    • Yes, WUWT

    • This is key – we need some solutions! I’m trying to shine a light on the problem, anyways.

      • There is no solution. The truth will out all in good time. As a nameless philosopher once said: “We live in the Slow Learner Universe!”

      • Solutions, that is the truly difficult part. There will be no solution until the money spigot is attenuated. Having 2000 climate scientists vie for grants is no different than having 2000 lobbyists twist congressional and executive arms for their pet projects. It will take presidential leadership to right this wrong. Nothing else will stop this gravy train. Only a new and scientifically oriented president has the bully pulpit to slow this train down. Unfortunately, it will probably continue once the next bozo is elected. The ultimate solution lies with the ways grants are doled out (Government) by the various funding agencies. Unless this is seriously changed, I am afraid we are stuck with political science. We know the wicked problem, we also know the solution. But do we have the will to do it?

      • No acticle can provide solutions. It seems what is happening is step by step new science publishes the slowdown of surface temperature increases, then the falsificaition of tropical hotspot, delays of temp increases for over 17years according to Dr Ben Santer, then an increased delay of up to 20 years may create model problems by our hostess, Dr Curry and then Steve Goddard on past temperatures being cooled and present being increased and the long slow thaw by Tonyb. All the evidence accumulates. It is like a tuilip bulb bubble or a mortgage bubble but eventually the collision between reality and hypothosis crash to earth.
        Scott

    • I was thinking more of SkS and RealClimate

    • Steven Mosher

      The missing element is BETTER SKEPTICS.

      I count the following

      1. McIntyre
      2. Lewis
      3. Troy Masters

      Let me put this another way. No amount of controls or checks and balances on the current group think will help. Yes release code and data. Yes improve peer review, yes have more statisticians work on climate stuff, yes yes yes. But in the end, what is missing is better skeptics.

      If we take some core fields , paleo, observation, and modelling, what’s missing is more better skeptics.

      instead of doing real work skeptics putter about playing gotcha games and other Goddarian crap. Imagine if all the skeptical brain power got focused.
      instead, folks spend time commenting on blogs.

      • Not sure someone would want to throw their career away swimming uphill, being ridiculed, blocked when there are so many other profession where there talent would be applauded and appreciated.
        Once the rot sets in its pretty hard to get out.
        Seems to me the only realistic potential for skeptics are the well established and brave.

      • There’s a lot of sense in what Mosh says here. It’s certainly true that skeptics waste a huge amount of time on pointless bickering on blogs. Attempts to organise them into doing something more coherent have failed – perhaps because they tend to resist authority and prefer to work independently.

        The “better skeptics” call is a big ask. You need someone who has the necessary technical expertise, and is prepared to work full time for no money. So it’s not surprising that there’s only a tiny handful of people that fit the requirements.

      • And there’s the whole needing to make a living thing. Kind of hard to focus on something that doesn’t pay.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: instead of doing real work skeptics putter about playing gotcha games and other Goddarian crap. Imagine if all the skeptical brain power got focused.
        instead, folks spend time commenting on blogs.

        You seem to hold the view that citizens are not permitted to evaluate the science and the liabilities in the policy implications without meeting some unstated criteria that you approve of. Perhaps you could elaborate: what exactly would “better skeptics” do? How would that be “better”?

        as for “folks spend time commenting on blogs”, look at how much time you spend commenting on “tar babies”, as I have called them. It’s your right, but it does undermine your implicit claim to moral superiority in blogging.

    • David L. Hagen

      Solution 1: Fund Red Teams to “kick tires”.
      Direct 30% of total climate R&D funds to “red teams” to “kick tires”, to test/validate/expose models and create alternative models with more accurate predictions.
      Solution 2: Link grants to accuracy in modeling Tropical Tropospheric Temperatures. Ross McKitrick writes:

      Global Warming – The T3 Tax

      A few years ago I came up with a policy proposal that reconciles my doubts about the seriousness of the global warming problem with the worries of those who don’t share my doubts: calibrate a carbon tax to the average temperature of the region of the atmosphere predicted by climatologists to be most sensitive to CO2. I call it the ‘T3’ tax (for Temperatures in the Tropical Troposphere) and I think the proposal could, in principle, make everyone happy, except the most extreme alarmists or those whose stance on global warming is merely a pretext for some other agenda. . . .
      On July 3rd 2013 I presented a paper to the Global Warming Policy Foundation at the House of Lords in the UK entitled An Evidence-Based Approach to Pricing CO2 Emissions.

      See: New Paper by McKitrick and Vogelsang comparing models and observations in the tropical troposphere

  25. The alarmists, revealed by climategate, strive to save the world and cast aside the scientific method to meet that end. This is similar to president Obama’s decisions to cast aside the constitution for the greater good.

  26. Thought provoking post. The paper’s diagnosis is much sounder than its prescriptive solutions.
    The biggest utility may be in the analogizing of problems and solution pathways from another discipline. I suspect there are other fruitful analogies as well that can stimulate thoughts on limate diagnoses and therapeutic prescriptions. Cardiovascular effects of HRT comes to mind in the 1990’s, as does Dr.Snows battle against the miasma theory of cholera and the Broad Street pump handle in the 1850s, both from medical epidemiology where the uncertainty monster also lurks.

    Nothing good ever seems to come from good intentions coupled to bad science/economics, since Mother Nature and Adam Smith’s invisible hand usually win those tussles.
    With respect to climate science, we have seen enough chicanery to also doubt the ‘good intentions’ of many key actors apparently too bought off by grant funding and peer status to be honest. Without honesty no intention is to be trusted because one enters the dangerous world of ends justifying means. Santer altering IPCC conclusions after the final draft is ‘final’. The hockey stick and it’s sequelae. Bengstrom affair. Marcott affair. Cook and UQ lying about non-existent ethics approvals in order not to provide Tol with the promised anonymized rater info and timing stamps. Mann egregious misrepresentations (about himself, no less) in both first and amended Steyn complaints….This interesting thread’s comments yet again hijacked by the usual two suspects, neither of whom can quote straight or avoid projecting bad intentions onto others. Ample evidence thereof above.

    • Rud,
      Dr Santer deserves credit for recommending benchmarks in papers re global warming impacts. One is the tropical hotspot and another a 17 year hiatus is an indicator of model problems. We should go back to look at the papers. But he set marks in paper to be evaluated. Most other CAGW don’t use firm marks but projections out 100 years to the EPA 300 year social costs of carbon meme.
      Scott

    • ==> “….neither of whom can quote straight or avoid projecting bad intentions onto others.

      I’ll bet you find that “disgusting,” eh Rud?

      1. Rud Istvan | July 27, 2014 at 9:31 pm | Reply
      Joshua, this is just my personal opinion.
      You are obtuse enough, immune to factual rebuttal enough, and just insinuative of poster malmotives enough ( especially of Dr. Curry herself), that had I been proprieter of this blog you would have been permanently banned long ago. On grounds of offensive language and irrational conduct unbecoming of any scientific discourse.
      Please go away. If you stay, post with less personally offensive and more fact reasoned replies. You pollute this dialog otherwise, and always have IIRC. And you contribute nothing of scientific substance except in your own minds feeble assertions. Which you have more than once now proven via your own posts is small, shriveled, and biased.

      Beautiful, Rud. Just beautiful.

      • Joshua, you have yet again proven my original point, now the third time in three posts. And you, not I, said ‘disgusting’. What I said you quoted verbatim above, and have yet again proven true by hijacking at least half this thread with stuff unrelated to the paper being commented on, which concerned unconscious biases and hidden intentions.
        Your own biases are evidently conscious. And they are certainly not hidden. And you continue to spread your intellectual ‘pollution’ here, on this post, above, commandeering what? over half the comments with your own mostly off topic drivel. And then react quite typically when that is pointed out even obliquely. Like the IPCC, and climate models, at least you are predictably wrong so safely ignored.

      • Rud –

        Gotta post less, so you are the lucky one as my response to you will be my last post for a while.

        I put “disgust” in quotes because you have in the past come on here and talked about how nasty comments in these threads disgusted you (paraphrasing the larger aspect).

        I think that my point should be rather clear.

    • >Thought provoking post. The paper’s diagnosis is much sounder than its prescriptive solutions

      Sorry Rud, but this issue has been around for well over 20 years now

      There is, and has been, no resolution within any reason. Pielke Jr’s Iron Law has always prevailed

      In an attempt to circumvent this, various western govt’s have lied, cheated, denied voting power and avoided democratic processes. The EC has even insisted on referendums being repeated until it got the answers it wanted – in the end, dictats are issued in lieu of the “correct” referendum answer

      The MSM promotes all of this in a spectacular display of abuse of power, simultaneously demonstrating the key weakness of a democracy (the inability of a majority of the populace to resist propaganda)

  27. Pingback: The Road to Hell | And Then There's Physics

  28. One of the interesting things about this post is how it goes both ways. As soon as the “facts” no longer suit people, being “factual” is suddenly not a priority; standards suddenly drop and sloppy arguments abound. If the science did not support skeptics, I believe the majority of them would still be skeptics. (Watch what happens when skeptics have disagreements amongst themselves!)

    The climate debate offers a fascinating glimpse into human nature. It’s especially fascinating to watch scientists, who represent modern societies’ ideals of knowledge and reason, act like children. I like to joke à la Soylent Green, that “scientists are made of people!” What a horrifying truth to have to face.

  29. The reason for this is issue advocacy by climate scientists. I’ve discussed issue advocacy by individual scientists in a number of posts; while I generally think it is not a good thing, it is up to each scientist to decide where they stand in the value conflict between the epistemic autonomy of science and the partisan motives of advocacy

    But as I pointed out in a previous post( e.g. adaptation vs mitigation), you are just as much of an advocate as any of the others you have criticized. I fail to see why you don’t realize this.

    • Can you remind me again what I am advocating for? Apart from integrity in research?

      • Doesn’t help. Saying that these two testimonies are a powerful counter to Obama’s plan, ‘advocates’ for what exactly?

      • Have you ever said anything positive about someone advocating for mitigation? To me it’s obvious what side you come down on even if it you aren’t explicit about it.

      • I’m advocating for something I’m not explicit about?

      • One can also advocate against, Judy.

      • you mean in context of discussing robust decision making, saying “Co2 mitigation is not a robust policy”?

      • Steven Mosher

        “One can also advocate against, Judy.”

        best dumb play ever.

        that’s almost brandon worthy

      • Can you remind me again what I am advocating for?

        For no serious action aimed at mitigation of climate and/or reduction of CO2 emissions to be taken.

      • Actually I agree with Lomborg that funding clean energy technologies would be a good investment. But I don’t advocate for that (I try to avoid suggesting how other people should spend their money).

      • What is with people randomly bringing my name into discussions just to paint me in a negative light? Are that many people trying to be petty bullies, or is there some purpose I’m missing?

      • > I think that you can have a perfectly good sell recommendation without necessarily having a buy recommendation in mind[.]

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/34253462351

        The usual anti-realist gambit.

      • …mitigation of climate change

      • > For no serious action aimed at mitigation of climate and/or reduction of CO2 emissions to be taken.

        I’d rather say it’s against serious action &c.

        Anything but mitigation.

        Bonus points if that thing is moralistic, as it can be deployed both against Mike and to add klout to the Judge Judy stance.

        It’s quite transparent.

      • Judith,

        Here’s an example of what I mean.

        If people are concerned about the adverse impacts of extreme weather events, reducing CO2 emissions are not going to have any impact on policy relevant time scales, even if you accept the IPCC analyses. Resources expended on energy policy are in direct conflict with reducing vulnerability to extreme events.

        I don’t see how that is in principle much different to saying for example “if people are concerned about extreme weather events we need to reduce CO2 emissions. Resources expended on energy policy are necessary in order to reduce vulnerability to extreme weather events.” Either way it’s advocacy.

        Willard,

        Sure – against action/for no action, it amounts to the same thing.

      • Judith,

        Also, apologies for my earlier rather intemperate comment which was no doubt captured by moderation, but do you really think that “QED” is a reasonable response to ATTP’s piece?

      • > Sure – against action/for no action, it amounts to the same thing.

        Not exactly. If you’re against something, you don’t need to offer anything specific. The secret ingredient to a well run science audit operation.

        The audits never end.

      • Oh I see, something like ‘passive-agressive’ advocacy: by not supporting what I am expected to support, I am advocating for the opposite? Scratching my head is a polite way to put it.

      • Willard,

        Point taken, and I think that sometimes it is sufficient to simply say “no” to obviously reckless and futile actions. But in this case lack of action to mitigate means accepting whatever climate change is in store for us and adapting to it the best we can. That’s a positive choice for a specific course of action.

      • More and more your name gets spelled right, Shollenberger. I’m a strong advocate for that.
        ===============

      • Judith, I think I answered your point in my reply to Willard, but as there isn’t some nice comfortable third option whereby climate change conveniently becomes a non-issue and we don’t have to make decisions about what (if any) action to take, then yes, that’s about right.

      • kim, does it really? It would be nice if so.

      • > something like ‘passive-agressive’ advocacy:

        I prefer to speak of an auditing stance, Judy.

        There are breadcrumbs in your about page:

        My views on climate change are best summarized by my recent Congressional Testimony:

        President’s Climate Action Plan
        Policy Relevant Climate Issues in Context
        Rational Discussion of Climate Change: the Science, the Evidence, the Response

        https://judithcurry.com/about/

        I thought you embraced advocacy a while ago, when you said that you have stepped up your advocacy. From the top of my hat, I’d say that this wins:

        > We need to put down the IPCC as soon as possible – not to protect the patient who seems to be thriving in its own little cocoon, but for the sake of the rest of us whom it is trying to infect with its disease.

        https://judithcurry.com/2013/09/28/ipcc-diagnosis-permanent-paradigm-paralysis/

        I’m not sure this “not the IPCC” stance is well represented in your about page.

      • In my advocacy for research integrity, I am advocating against manufactured scientific consensus. This does not relate directly to CO2 emissions (other than in the minds of people demanding consensus to power).

      • Judith

        I thought you might appreciate this from a 1966 book ‘The Elements rage’ by Frank W Lane. One of those intriguing books that I look for as it comes from the period BA-Before Alarmism.

        There appears to be some close analogies to those scientists who refuse to believe in observations and evidence ‘on the ground’ and has close parallels to the general subject of climate change. It also smacks of ‘climategate.’

        This item concerns the scientific establishment refusing to believe that meteorites fell from the skies
        —– —–

        ‘In the afternoon of Sept 13 1768 a meteorite fell at Luce in France. The French academy of science, then the foremost scientific body in the world, sent a commission which received the unanimous testimony of numerous eye witnesses and were given the ‘rock’ itself. But the commission concluded it did not fall. The statement of one of the witnesses was actually altered to make it fit the explanation that the rock was merely a terrestrial body which had been struck by lightning.

        A further example of obscurantism was to come. On July 24 1790 a shower of meteorites fell in Southwest France burying themselves in the earth. Some 300 written statements by witnesses were sent to scientific bodies and journals and pieces of the stones were produced. Still official science would not reverse its ipse dixit that ‘stones do not fall from the sky.’ Charles P Olivier said;

        “In the face of all this evidence we have an example of stupidity and bigotry, exhibited by the foremost body of scientists of the day -men who doubtless considered themselves, and were so considered by others, the most advanced and modern of their time, which for all ages should stand as a warning to any man who feels that he can give a final verdict upon a matter outside his immediate experience.”

        They are words which any scientist would do well to ponder when confronted with evidence running counter to long cherished opinions. ‘

        ——- —– —-
        Perhaps scientists through the ages get stuck in a rut as deep as their confirmation bias and aren’t as sceptical and open to new ideas and observational evidence as they might be?

        tonyb

      • Here is another example of you engaging in what I would call advocacy for adaptation over mitigation.

        Two points here: mitigation funding (largely going to China) is directly competing with adaptation aid, that is serving humanitarian and development needs that exist now. In terms of ‘bang per buck’, I suspect that that the adaptation funding, if wisely used, is money that is much better spent.

        <

      • “I suspect” = advocacy?

      • And another:

        https://judithcurry.com/2013/11/08/practice-relevant-climate-adaptation-science/

        The most significant point may be the heralding of a move away from climate science in support of CO2 mitigation and in the direction of adaptation. We have clearly reached the point of diminishing returns from research and large climate modeling in support of refining emissions targets. The move towards adaption, if done sensibly, gets around the issue of the attribution of change/variability.

      • Uh . . . this one is about the limitations of climate modeling. I would advocate for better climate models, but i don’t think that is going to happen given the current path that climate modeling is on.

      • Apparently Andrew Adams and Willard cannot tell the difference between advocating a policy position and making an observation of fact.

        I have a hard time believing it is due to an inability to perform simple arithmetic. Which is all one needs to conclude that mitigation is highly unlikely to have any noticeable impact. Leaving one to wonder on their true motivation.

      • Hey Jude, yer not obscure,
        yer sing a glad song of open societeee –
        yer sing discovery may take place at ports,
        not with false finality, enclosed behind walls
        waalls…waalls… waalls!
        Nuh,nuh,nuh,nuhuhnuhnuh nuh nuh, nuhuhnuhnuh
        hey Jude … nuh, nuh, nuh, ….

        H/t Beatles.

      • John Carpenter

        But Judy you said….

      • Brandon –

        ==> “Are that many people trying to be petty bullies, or is there some purpose I’m missing?”

        I think that the purpose to use a kind of shorthand for an amusing style of argumentation.

      • Joshua,

        You make no sense!

      • In this context, I must agree that our hostess is effectively advocating public policy and not merely science integrity or policy (although she is definitely most interested in that). When she says that

        “The most significant point may be the heralding of a move away from climate science in support of CO2 mitigation and in the direction of adaptation. We have clearly reached the point of diminishing returns from research and large climate modeling in support of refining emissions targets. The move towards adaption, if done sensibly, gets around the issue of the attribution of change/variability.”

        it is hard to read this as other than an endorsement of adaptation as a policy rather than mitigation. Now, if I am misreading this and it is only an endorsement of doing more scientific study of adaptation and less of mitigation on the grounds that the former will generate more knowledge, then I apologize. But the natural reading of this is that adaptation policy is more practical and beneficial than mitigation policy.

      • I’m summarizing and interpreting what a particular study had to say. I am not telling anyone they ought to do something.

      • willard –

        Joshua,

        You make no sense!

        Indeed. So I just found out from none other than Steve Postrel – who’s a very smart and knowledgeable guy:

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/08/04/is-the-road-to-scientific-hell-paved-with-good-moral-intentions/#comment-614756

      • Judith has been pretty consistent in arguing for adaption over mitigation.

        How that is not advocating a policy position is a mystery.

      • > In my advocacy for research integrity, I am advocating against manufactured scientific consensus.

        After countless hours on the subject, you’re still equivocating standing for principles and advocacy, Judy. This is barely good enough for political slogans.

        Promoting editiorials asking that we disband the IPCC sounds more like advocacy.

      • you mean like this?

        “The IPCC needs to get out of the way so that scientists can better do their jobs”

        That was the point of my op-ed on kill the IPCC

      • While we know that Judith is very much against ‘manufactured consensus’ it appears that she is for manufactured dissensus.

      • OK, but if you say a study is worthwhile or interesting and the study says to do adaptation more than mitigation, it sounds like an endorsement of their conclusion. Again, perhaps I misunderstood their conclusion and it was only about the direction of research effort on grounds of better knowledge accumulation per dollar, but the quote could be read to endorse a policy. So if you say “this is an interesting paper that I like” and it comes to such a conclusion, that comes off as an indirect endorsement of the favored policy.

        If I’m misinterpreting perhaps you need to insert more hedges and qualifications in reporting on these papers. Personally, I have no problem with you saying that you think “no-regrets” polices and adaptation policies are better if that’s what you think–all you have to do is clarify that that opinion is not based on your expertise in things like cloud physics or natural variation.

        It’s tricky because there seems to be an assumed tight mapping between scientific conclusions and preferred policy, e.g. between sensitivity estimate and urgent mitigation v. watchful waiting and/or investment in adaptation. So a scientific conclusion is perceived to be tantamount to a policy conclusion. That mapping assumption is probably too strong, but it does drive some of the skepticism about your policy agnosticism.

      • I definitely think robust decision making strategies and no regrets policies are the better way to approach complex, wicked problem with deep uncertainty. I have advocated for this approach, not for any specific policies that might emerge from this approach. This is the fundamental flaw in the reasoning of those that claim i am a policy advocate – they infer that a scientific conclusion is a policy conclusion. I have been making arguments as to why that is fallacious reasoning.

      • OK, but

        “I definitely think robust decision making strategies and no regrets policies are the better way to approach complex, wicked problem with deep uncertainty. I have advocated for this approach, not for any specific policies that might emerge from this approach.”

        does RULE OUT many specific policies that fall outside your approved set, i.e. they are non-robust or could leave regrets. That’s why it has bite and is not a mere platitude. One of the policies that I think we would agree is ruled out by this set of criteria is the Kyoto approach for a worldwide, immediate, and drastic reduction in CO2 emissions to be administered through a worldwide cap-and-trade market. Since that is precisely the policy favored by the Urgent Mitigationists who dominate your professional group, you seem to be advocating against their favored policy.

      • ==> “:does RULE OUT many specific policies that fall outside your approved set, i.e. they are non-robust or could leave regrets. “:

        Exactly what I described below. The counterproductive argument is that we should aspire to “no-regret” policies – as if they exist.

        Except they don’t exist. All policies have regrets, or certainly at least the potential for regrets.

        And instead of accepting that reality, and having a discussion about how to maximize outcomes and minimize risk in the face of uncertainty, instead of distinguishing positions from interests and seeking out synergistic policies, we have “tribes” rejecting options because they selectively determine which policies will have regrets without dealing with the reality that all policies have regrets. They hold reality hostage to unrealistic goals.

        Precisely what I described below.

        One tribe says that mitigation policies should not be engaged because we might have regrets (as if we know that we won’t have regrets if we don’t engage mitigation policies, or as if we know that we won’t have regrets if we do engage adaptation policies).

        One tribe says that adaptation policies should not be engaged because we might have regrets (as if we know that we won’t have regrets if we don’t engage adaptation policies, or as we we know that we won’t have regrets if we do engage mitigation policies).

        And the beat goes on. And this false choice and false zero sum gain that set up adaptation and mitigation in opposition, and the false notion that addressing ACO2 emissions and addressing poverty are in opposition in a zero sum gain, play out in thread after thread.

      • Come on, Joshua. Don’t be such a putz.

        Let’s put down the IPCC. There’s no regret there. Everybody wins.

        OK. Next thread, please.

      • > you mean like this?

        No, I mean like this:

        Advocacy is a political process by an individual or group which aims to influence public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions. Advocacy can include many activities that a person or organization undertakes including media campaigns, public speaking, commissioning and publishing research or conducting exit poll or the filing of an amicus brief. Lobbying (often by lobby groups) is a form of advocacy where a direct approach is made to legislators on an issue which plays a significant role in modern politics.

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

        No policy about resource allocation, no effective advocacy; no positive policy promoted, only reactionary advocacy; no implementation details, no constructive advocacy. Ethics and Politics 101.

        See also:

        http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/the-road-to-hell/#comment-27979

      • willard –

        Don’t be a putz.

        Judith advocates shutting down the IPCC precisely because she’s trying to avoid influencing public policy.

        That’s also why she testifies before Congress* and tells Mann to put on his big boy pants.

        Because she’s trying to avoid influencing public policy.

        *At the request of Republicans, who only enact policies for which we will have no regrets. If she testified at the request of Demz, it would be a different story. There would be the potential for regrets and there would be the potential for political influence in that case.

      • Steve, policy is your forte, and mine. I have pointed out several times that people without a strong policy-making/advising background often show a lack of capacity to judge policy proposals; I picked Judith up on this once when she lauded a head post implying/advocating particular policies which were then torn to shreds by a long list of posters, on very convincing grounds.

        By the same token, while I don’t see Judith as an advocate, she does occasionally – and perhaps unwittingly, cf your Kyoto reference – make statements which implicitly favour particular policies over others.

        What I would say, is that Judith, in her posts and comments, is not pursuing an ideological or partisan agenda. As she says, her main push is for integrity in science, so that scientific understanding can develop (and, by implication, be a “pure” input to the policy-making process). Secondly, she provides a forum in which a wide range of evidence, views and suggestions can be put forward, so facilitating a better understanding of climate issues and how to deal with them. This adds to the basis by which policy can be determined and assessed.

        I think that Judith can find a paper interesting and like it, without implicitly endorsing the policy implications of that paper – I’ve had such responses to papers while disagreeing with their policy stance.

        But overall, I agree with you that Judith at times appears to favour certain policies, though I can’t identify one off the top of my head. But if and when she does so, it appears incidental to her broader efforts rather than representing a driving force. That is, advocacy is not her primary drive or intention. I don’t think that it weakens her concern about scientists who are driven by advocacy of particular conclusions and positions rather than seeking truth through science.

      • Perhaps, Dr. Curry, you could point out specific examples of what you see as advocacy from others. I can think of none from climate scientists.

      • ” Faustino | August 5, 2014 at 12:37 am |

        Steve, policy is your forte, and mine. ”

        Could have fooled me.

      • timg56,

        What seems to you to be an “observation of fact” would actually be disputed by many people, hence there is a considerable body of opinion arguing for urgent and significant actions aimed at reducing emissions significantly over the medium to long term. But even if you were right and the facts were as simple as you claim then arguing for specific policy decisions which might logically follow from those facts still constitutes advocacy.

      • Faustino: I don’t disagree with general tenor of what you say, but I think there is a specific and avoidable pothole that Judith has stepped in more than once and it has to do with this question of advocacy. If one says “we should prefer policies with property x,” that’s advocacy of a sort even if the set of policies that possesses x is pretty broad. That characterization is especially the case if a strongly favored policy that is front and center on the public agenda does not possess property x.

        If I said, “I’m not advocating for policy in the area of drug regulation, but any good policy ought to recognize that animal testing throws out a lot of drugs that would be safe and effective in humans” that would be implicit advocacy to change the process by which drugs are approved in the U.S. I agree that the broader the two sets of included and exclusive policies are, the less pointed the advocacy and the more “disinterested” it may appear to other policy advocates. But I can remember when ideas like cap-and-trade and carbon taxes were seen as agents of the devil by mainstream environmentalists, and economists saying “we should use market-based mechanisms to implement pollution control” were perceived as controversial advocates. That perception occurred even though these economists weren’t trying to prescribe the tightness or greenness of the actual environmental policy but were applying “neutral” science to the problem of maximizing the amount of pollution reduction per unit of lost output. But they were indeed advocating against “best available technology” standards that have been the norm in U.S. air pollution control.

        When you rule out someone’s favored policy on “scientific” grounds, they are going to see you as an advocate and they are not being illogical. You are indeed advocating–it is simply a matter of specifying the modesty or non-directiveness of what you are advocating. And that is where I think Judith ends up: Her policy advocacy is mild in that it doesn’t specify exactly what ought to be done, but it is considerably sharper in saying what should not be done. And I suspect she perceives her views in a similar way to the economists who pushed market mechanisms in environmental policy: As value-free perceptions of scientific reality that ought to apply regardless of how alarmed you are by the threat of catastrophic global warming.

      • I think I got it. By advocating for rationallity and considered study, you’re indirectly advocating against irrational and il-considered policy.

      • John Carpenter

        “Judith has been pretty consistent in arguing for adaption over mitigation.
        How that is not advocating a policy position is a mystery.” – Michael

        “Have you ever said anything positive about someone advocating for mitigation? To me it’s obvious what side you come down on even if it you aren’t explicit about it.” – Joseph

        “Bonus points if that thing is moralistic, as it can be deployed both against Mike and to add klout to the Judge Judy stance.” – Willard

        “While we know that Judith is very much against ‘manufactured consensus’ it appears that she is for manufactured dissensus.” – Michael

        “Judith advocates shutting down the IPCC precisely because she’s trying to avoid influencing public policy.
        That’s also why she testifies before Congress* and tells Mann to put on his big boy pants.
        Because she’s trying to avoid influencing public policy.” – Joshua

        You boys sure have been busy advocating against Judy. Like Joshua says…. Same ol same ol. All that’s left is to tell me to stop white knighting for Judy and the circle will be complete.

      • > By advocating for rationallity and considered study, you’re indirectly advocating against irrational and il-considered policy.

        Besides committing a category error, you’re branding yourself self-righteously. You’re not so indirectly mudslinging.

        Should be easy for everyone to hear: on the Internet, we’re all dogs.

      • > You boys sure have been busy advocating against Judy.

        Can you remind me again what I’m advocating against, John? Apart from using INTEGRITY ™ to mask a political endeavor?

      • John Carpenter –

        I think that Judy’s holier-than-thou stance on advocacy is counterproductive in that it feeds tribal attitudes on both sides of the debate.

        You’re entitled to consider me as “advocating against Judy.” I consider it as advocating against a counterproductive line of argumentation. I happen to value advocacy as an important part of our society, and I don’t think it should be exploited to serve rhetorical goals in the climate wars. IMO, not all advocacy is good advocacy, but IMO, the criteria used to evaluate advocacy should not be subjective and selective – at least w/o some justification as to why. I prefer to judge advocacy on the merits of the arguments being made. Disagreeing about the arguments being advocated for is different than holding forth “non-advocacy” as some morally superior ideal – all that much more so when those holding forth “non-advocacy” as an ideal are advocates themselves.

        But yeah – it is same ol’ same ol’. And it will be the next time we have this discussion as well.

      • John Carpenter

        Willard, Against Judy.

        When one repeatedly expresses or writes an opinion about about a topic it becomes advocacy… remember that conversation? In this case Judy is the root cause of the topic you advocate for (integrity). When looking for a root cause, one should ask ‘why’ 5 times? In this case that leads you to Judy. Auditors should be keen on knowing how good RCCA is done. So the question becomes, what corrective action fixes the problem? I posit that simply pointing out the problem and identifying the root cause does not automatically facilitate a corrective action. If one is not endeavoring to facilitate a corrective action to the problem in good faith, then one is merely advocating against the problem and the problem is never fixed. i.e., one just becomes a by-standing complainer that the problem has been identified, root cause known but nobody is doing anything about it and its not my job to help correct it.

        Point taken Willard, what can you do to help with corrective action? Merely pointing out what Judy has said in the past and finding conflicting statements later to show hypocrisy is not corrective action in good faith IMO. Let me know how I have got this wrong because I don’t see your efforts made to constructively help Judy adjust for her bias.

      • John Carpenter

        Joshua, thanks for the reply. For what I am talking about, see my reply to Willard above. But further wrt to your frequent comments, how can one help Judy adjust for her bias? Are we here to simply throw stones or can we constructively help her strengthen her position? I have to assume everyone that comes here does so with good will… but that’s only an assumption. I do not think you come here with ill will, but merely throwing stones at Judy does not constructively make her position stronger. And since we are not here to service ill will, you surely have more constructive ways to help her correct for bias you observe?

      • > Merely pointing out what Judy has said in the past and finding conflicting statements later to show hypocrisy is not corrective action in good faith IMO.

        Here’s what I did, John:

        When Judy (rhetorically IMO) asked “what am I advocating for,” I pointed out that one can advocate against. A point that Steve Postrel seems to agree with. He called this a pothole, and I agree with him.

        When Judy asked if the criticism was that she was passive aggressive, an appeal to ridicule if you ask me, I pointed out that she has a whole About page where she advocates for stuff. I also pointed out a specific example where she was advocating against the IPCC, and suggest it should be included in her about page. That Judy’s against the IPCC should not go without saying somewhere in her About page.

        When Judy replied (a verbal excuse, if you ask me) that she advocated for INTEGRITY ™, I pointed out that one does not simply advocate for a regulative principle. I also identified what I think can be called reactionary advocacy. If thou shalt use unattainable ideals to measure up what thee’s doing, what thou shall think justified to do? Not much, I guess. Low hanging fruits, perhaps. If they’re not far from where thou sits, and easy to measure.

        ***

        Look. Transpose this debate into the subprime mortgage crisis:

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

        However hard one might try to advocate for integrity of the financial system, until and unless one delimits one’s positions to (a set of) specific corrective measures to be enforced, one is simply grandstanding. And when one does commit oneself to a (a set of) specific corrective measures to be enforced, low hanging fruits disappear.

        To me, this is a resource-allocation problem. But it’s not mine to solve. What’s mine to solve is to point out that Judy’s line of defence (the rhetorical question, the appeal to ridicule, and the verbal excuse) is a suboptimal way to allocate her rhetorical and cognitive resources. A more constructive suggestion would be to tell Judy to do (science) politics, because that’s what she does best.

        If I did not think that Judy can make a difference, I would not be here.

        ***

        > [W]hat can you do to help with corrective action?

        I think what I did ought to help. In my line of business, it does. I’d sell my soul to have an automatic corrector to do what I’m doing right now.

      • John Carpenter –

        ==> ” I do not think you come here with ill will, but merely throwing stones at Judy does not constructively make her position stronger. And since we are not here to service ill will, you surely have more constructive ways to help her correct for bias you observe?”

        Parenthetically – I contend that I’m throwing stones at Judy’s arguments, not at her. I think that is skepticism, not “skepticism” – a distinction which sometimes lies in whether the stones are targeting ideas or people – although I recognize that sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish the two, and sometimes, in the end, the meaning of the difference is lost in the weeds.

        As to constructive ways to help her correct for what I think are biases – I am open to suggestion. I am not contending that anything I’ve done has worked in the past. But I have to say that in the end, I don’t think it’s likely that anything that I might or might not do will alter Judith’s trajectory. I’m just a troll, and not a very bright one at that. I’m fatuous, pompous, and I’ve heard on good sources (that Judith respects) that I’m feeble, small, shriveled and biased.

        Judith directs her trajectory – and from what I’ve seen, she does not do a particularly good job of incorporating “constructive criticism” when doing so. I’m open to evidence otherwise. But let’s say I’m wrong about that, and I think that she has made a fallacious argument that serves a counterproductive end. How do you suggest I deal with such a situation constructively?

        I will do my best to follow your advice – and that of anyone else who offers such advice in good faith (as opposed to as a cloak for personal a personal attack).

      • Actually, I read most of the comments on the blog (sometimes I have more or less time to pay attention to them). I learn a lot from some of them. However, I do not blow with the wind.

      • John Carpenter –

        My response is in moderation – no idea why, and I’m tired of trying to find ways to get through the basically random aspects of how the filter screens out comments.

        I’m make one attempt and then give up and see if Judith lifts the comment out of moderation.

      • ==> ” I do not think you come here with ill will, but merely throwing stones at Judy does not constructively make her position stronger. And since we are not here to service ill will, you surely have more constructive ways to help her correct for bias you observe?”

        Parenthetically – First, it’s hard for me to see how throwing stones at a person could be done if not with ill will. Second, I contend that I’m throwing stones at Judy’s arguments, not at her. I think that is skepticism, not “skepticism” – a distinction which sometimes lies in whether the stones are targeting ideas or people – although I recognize that sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish the two, and sometimes, in the end, the meaning of the difference is lost in the weeds.

        But that’s not the meat of your comment, so let’s move on:

        As to constructive ways to help her correct for what I think are biases – I am open to suggestion. I am not contending that anything I’ve done has worked in the past. But I have to say that in the end, I don’t think it’s likely that anything that I might or might not do will alter Judith’s trajectory. I’m just a troll, and not a very bright one at that. I’m fatu*us, pomp*us, and I’ve heard on good sources (that Judith respects) that I’m f**ble, small, shr*v*led and biased.

        Judith directs her trajectory – and from what I’ve seen, she does not do a particularly good job of incorporating “constructive criticism” when doing so. I’m open to evidence otherwise. But let’s say I’m wrong about that, and I think that she has made a fallacious argument that serves a counterproductive end. How do you suggest I deal with such a situation constructively?

        I will do my best to follow your advice – and that of anyone else who offers such advice in good faith (as opposed to as a cloak for personal a personal attack).

      • BTW, John Carpenter –

        In terms of constructive engagement with Judith, I think it will be interesting to see if Judith responds to this comment:

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/08/04/is-the-road-to-scientific-hell-paved-with-good-moral-intentions/#comment-614865

        And if so, how.

      • Andrew,

        The “fact” I refer to is this: The US and Europe could go to zero emissions tomorrow and it wouldn’t mean squat. This is one of the issues that has me saying people need to be able to do arithmetic before advocating for mitigation and carbon free strategies.

        Now, if I could save the world by sitting on a hot poker while jabbing a sharp stick in my eye, well it’s arguable the sacrifice on my part is a worthwhile endeavor. But it won’t. Just as most mitigation solutions being promoted won’t save the world, but may very well feel like getting a sharp stick to the eye.

      • John Carpenter

        Willard, thanks for the clarification. As for constructive help,

        “I think what I did ought to help. In my line of business, it does. I’d sell my soul to have an automatic corrector to do what I’m doing right now.”

        Wouldn’t we all! But in reality it is a team effort to solve problems. I understand not everyone is team oriented, but offering solutions to problems is an invaluable personal characteristic (of which I cannot claim to have any superiority in this case either).

        Which leads me to…

        Joshua,

        “I think that Judy’s holier-than-thou stance on advocacy is counterproductive in that it feeds tribal attitudes on both sides of the debate.”

        I’m not sure ‘holier-than-thou’ is the most productive way to make what is otherwise a true statement. Whenever anyone with standing in a field offers a particular stance it feeds attitudes on both sides. But I see Judy clarify consistently what she ‘advocates’ for. Whether you agree with it or not is another thing.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/08/04/is-the-road-to-scientific-hell-paved-with-good-moral-intentions/#comment-614673

        “And this false choice and false zero sum gain that set up adaptation and mitigation in opposition, and the false notion that addressing ACO2 emissions and addressing poverty are in opposition in a zero sum gain, play out in thread after thread.”

        This is a good point Joshua. It is a false choice. It is not a zero sum gain. So if that is the case, then what is the solution to the problem? But first a quick digression by way another quote of yours…

        “Judith directs her trajectory – and from what I’ve seen, she does not do a particularly good job of incorporating “constructive criticism” when doing so. I’m open to evidence otherwise. But let’s say I’m wrong about that, and I think that she has made a fallacious argument that serves a counterproductive end. How do you suggest I deal with such a situation constructively?”

        I suggest you take a step back and look at larger problems you identified such as the false choice between adaption and mitigation. IMO, getting tangled in the weeds of personal bias sleuthing is what gets the tribes agitated. Agitating the tribes only focus’s folks on issues smaller than the larger problems. The problem is not Judy’s bias (though she clearly has one… as we all do) The solution is to refocus on the larger problem… ACO2 and its potential affects to our climate and environment.

        I believe the only way to solve this problem is to recognize that compromise has to be made on both sides. For instance, both adaption and mitigation have to be variables in the equation to solve the larger problem of preparing ourselves for a different climate regime. It is also necessary to do both in order to get both sides to work better together.

        Of course there is another side, one that believes there is no need to do anything. To that side, it needs to be pointed out that fossil fuels are finite and we will need alternative means of generating power for the future anyways. So what are we waiting for?

        gotta go now!

      • Please correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that Judy is careful to delineate betwen facts (what is known), conjecture (what is believed) and opinion (what is supported) – ie, she will say “…I support..”, or “…I think…”, rather than “… the science says we should…”.

        Which is, IMO, more in line with RPJr’s “honest broker” than advocacy (stealth or overt)

      • Steve Postrel @ August 5 5.06 am: I was just thinking about the difference between advocacy and comment when I saw that this thread was still running. Wiki defines advocacy as: a political process by an individual or group which aims to influence public-policy and resource allocation decisions within political, economic, and social systems and institutions. Advocacy can include many activities that a person or organization undertakes including media campaigns, public speaking, commissioning and publishing research or conducting exit poll or the filing of an amicus brief. Lobbying is a form of advocacy where a direct approach is made to legislators on an issue which plays a significant role in modern politics.

        I think that the “mildness” of Judith’s advocacy is that her comments which can, as you say, favour one policy approach rather than alternatives (scrap the IPCC/expand the IPCC) don’t have the force of advocacy as defined above. Yes, she has views with policy implications, but – at least in general – she’s not campaigning other than for integrity in science etc.

        I’m obviously a bit caught here between seeking to mitigate (where have I seen that word?) criticism of Judith, who I think makes a very valuable contribution to the whole alleged CAGW issue, and the validity of your earlier posts. Yes, I do tend to catch my biases rather than be blindly driven by them.

      • I’m planning an entire thread on this topic, to address the issues raised by Steve and others.

      • WebHT @ August 5 @ 2.27: I said that “policy is my forte,” you said “could have fooled me.”

        Webby, I’m rarely involved with your posts as they tend to be technical and I’m not qualified to comment. You are fully entitled to disagree with my views on policy. As to whether it’s my forte, I studied economics at LSE 1961-64. Many of those who taught me were world leaders in economics, e.g. Lord Robbins. All/almost all also advised governments, and I saw economics in policy terms rather than as an academic exercise. I later did policy-related research with some of them, primarily Dick (R G) Lipsey, at the University of Essex. I had a policy position with the UK Central Electricity Generating Board. I later was an economic policy adviser to the UK National Economic Development Council, chaired by Prime Ministers Wilson then Heath. I had a similar role in Canberra, at the Economic Planning and Advisory Council, chaired by Hawke, where I wrote many papers which contributed significantly to national policy, e.g. my paper on Competition Policy in Australia, which helped trigger the National Competition Policy inquiry and process, both of which I was heavily involved in. Prior to EPAC, I worked on a Ministerial Taskforce on Longer-Term Economic Growth, with five ministers. I got a call out of the blue to work with (future PM) Kevin Rudd, who recruited me primarily to write Queensland’s state economic development strategy. I had the same role with the subsequent Coalition state government, while heading the economic policy branch. Many economics graduates I recruited at various times said that they learned more in 3-4 months working with me than in their 3-4 years at university.

        Now, I’ve cautioned many times at CE that following multiple serious illnesses 2000-09 and early retirement in 2002 I don’t have the capacity that I had when in work, that I no longer keep up with the economic literature, and that my capacity to read and brief on lengthy serious documents is very limited. I’m living off my capital, but the underlying skills and training remain.

        So, is Judith an advocate? Is policy my forte? I’ll leave that with you.

    • If your model doesn’t work, make sure it fits the dogma, get it published in a peer reviewed professional journal, and become an advocate for grants and recognition.

      If your model actually works, relax. It will advocate for itself.

      • Really? Or would a model that works and its author encounter vicious opposition from those whose ox is being gored?

      • Pochas, 8/5/14 @ 11:08 am:

        No viciousness is on record following Einstein ‘s publication of five papers circa 1905 without peer review. Nor did any appear when Watson & Crick similarly published on DNA in 1953.

        You’re correct that publishing against the standard model will be met with viciousness, but that happens in the peer-reviewed professional journals (PRPJs), where no criteria exists for models actually to work (make nontrivial predictions better than chance).

        Worrying about what’s in PRPJs occupies Post Modern Science (since Popper), not Modern Science (since Sir Francis Bacon). The two schools are orthogonal. Concern about what’s in the PRPJs is like worrying about to whom the Academy is going to award the next Oscars, a mutual admiration society.

        Bad science reliably collapses of its own weight. AGW and the anthropogenic CO2 conjecture are going the way of bad movies. While it’s mostly a matter of luck, the whimsy of the Sun, it’s still going to prove a very expensive excursion into nonsense.

  30. There’s Physics : suggests that you think you are somehow purer than others. I’d call that sitting on a high-horse.

    All of this was gleefully retweeted by Michael Mann. Because I talk about research integrity and try to defend it and point out problems when I see them, I am somehow dismissed as trying to present myself as purer than others.

    This would make sense. Neither There’s Physics (“Anders”) nor Michael E Mann have ever demonstrated that they have a moral compass. In fact Anders seems to have suggest (in context with the ethical transgressions in Cook’s paper), that he (Anders) completely lacks one.

    So it would makes sense that, rather than seeing a call for more ethical behavior on the part of scientists for what it is, both Anders and Mann would interpret it as moralizing. Scientific sociopathic behavior at its finest.

    I can deal with a lack of competency a lot easier than I can people who themselves are so heavily invested in a particular socio-political outcome that they are completely morally and ethically compromised by their advocacy.

    • QED this I think:

      rather than seeing a call for more ethical behavior on the part of scientists for what it is, [Anders] would interpret it as moralizing.

      • Here’s the sentence that follows, dear Carrick:

        > Scientific sociopathic behavior at its finest.

        Wasn’t that the conclusion of your moralistic argument?

      • I would say what I highlighted was more central in my interpretation of Anders’ comments in the present context. Judith wrote “Q.E.D.” but probably didn’t mean it to be read literally.

      • Well, ATTP proved my points by the statements in his blog post

      • If it was literal, it would be a psychological argument, Carrick.

        Moralistic outrage works so well mixed with pseudo-diagnostic.

        Unless one agrees about our goat busting [1], one is a scientific sociopath. That’s just great.

        [1] http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/12555250618

      • It’s interesting Willard that you focused on and framed the scientific sociopathy comment, which wasn’t the conclusion, as if it were the conclusion state of my original comment. It’s almost as if you picked what you thought was the least defensible part of my comment to attack, rather than address substantive issues brought up by the comment.

        I say this because this is a rather common tactic used by people who would rather dodge meaningful discourse.

        It’s also interesting that you still insist in framing any scientific discourse dealing with scientific ethics as if it were some form of “moralistic outrage”.

        Is that one of the new talking points by the advocates to divert attention away from discussing scientific ethics as it relates to climate change?

        I ask because I know the “play book” calls for calling out peoples ethics only as it deals with people asking questions about the strength of a particular position taken by the advocates to the point of calling them out by name for “not being helpful”.

        I’ve said plenty here, perhaps you can find some minor point to nitpick on rather than deal substantively with this, even further.

      • > which wasn’t the conclusion, as if it were the conclusion state of my original comment.

        What was it, then, Carrick? You may wish to take it back.

        You’re backtracking to “that’s not my main point” again, Carrick. Since you like that one, I’ll go reply to your inane comment at Joe’s.

        Your main point has been addressed, BTW. In many ways. For instance, you’re using the green line test, you’re moralizing, etc.

        ***

        Now you’re making it about me. Soon enough, all you’ll have is “you make no sense”. Yet again.

        You really should stick to data analysis.

      • Willard you’re just being churlish now.

        Simply because the statement that you mysteriously transformed to the conclusion statement didn’t appear as the concluding statement:

        I can deal with a lack of competency a lot easier than I can people who themselves are so heavily invested in a particular socio-political outcome that they are completely morally and ethically compromised by their advocacy.

        doesn’t mean I don’t stand by the statement that you are trying to frame “scientific sociopathic behavior at its finest” as if it were the “conclusion of [my] moralistic argument.”

        Again you are nitpicking and I would guess if you had anything of substance to say, you would have said it by now.

        What you think about me isn’t particularly interesting or relevant, and you obviously have nothing of value to actually say on this topic, so … bye.

      • I wonder about the ethics of vague insinuation and finger-wagging.

      • Carrick,

        Either the sentence containing your pseudo diagnostic follows from your previous sentences or it does not. Either it’s related to your moralistic outrage or it is not. I bet it is ampliative, but related to your main point.

        Your only way out would be to argue that it’s unrelated to what you said. But you can’t unless you take revise all your moralistic argument. So you can take back your “sociopath” remark or your overall moralistic argument.

        Tough choice.

        ***

        Your red herrings to protect a silly hyperbole reveal that you have no honor, Carrick. You have to give me something.

        You know, your “but the main point” is so strong that I could use it against any criticism of C13 that does not contest the fact that there’s an overwhelming majority of scientists who endorse AGW, which is the main point of C13. And none that I’ve seen contests that fact. It is so strong as to undermine any kind of auditing practice that focuses on nits, details, and secondary points.

        Either you defend your accusation, or you take it back. If I’m focusing on an inconsequential nit, just take it back. It undermines your moralistic argument anyway. Your moralistic argument is already quite weak. You should take it back.

        Show some objectivity, which is supposed to be your regulative principle.

      • Are you mansplaining now, willard?

        I used “scientific sociopathy” in the sense of “one who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience wrt to his behavior on scientific matters.”

        This is just another way of saying people who have become so heavily invested in a cause that it has totally blinded them to any underlying ethical issues, and prevents them from behaving in a moral or ethical manner themselves.

        But I agree the term “sociopathy” is overly strong in its negative connotations (the “excess baggage” the word carries with it), so you are right to criticize its use here. Strike that sentence if you prefer from my original comment, since it adds nothing that wasn’t said below more clearly.

        Michael, what part of what I am saying is “vague”? It’s not finger wagging either, it’s condemnation of behavior that I find personally repulsive. I’ve been accused of many things in my life, but being vague has never been one of them.

      • Carrick,

        I had Judith in mind, but on reflection of your comment I think it’s a fair assessment there too.
        ‘Moral compass’ is fairly meaningless in that it’s used primarily as a derogatory term in the negative. What exactly a ‘moral compass’ is in this context is…well, vague.

        And you want “more ethical behaviour”. Could we be more specific, spell some thing out rather that appealing to motherhood statements?

      • > I used “scientific sociopathy” in the sense of “one who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience wrt to his behavior on scientific matters.”

        Which is why the points I made are not so peripheral as to be dismissed simply by recanting “sociopath,” Carrick.

        You’re simply goat busting:

        Scapegoats work as follow. A hater with a sufficiently strong dislike of some group (the goat) finds a plausible problem to blame on them and fabricates two piles of evidence: that the problem is far more serious than we’d realized, and that the group is the cause of this dreadful problem. Armed with these two stories the hater goes into business as: the goat buster! Who you gonna call?

        The best goat busters are those skilled in the art of story telling. Weave a sufficiently compelling story about the problem and its cause and a good goat buster can inflame the passions of millions.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/12555250618

        But please, pray tell me more about biases, ethical compasses, moral responsibilities, and social consciences.

      • Observed evidence helps us to see other…

        http://www.wnd.com/2014/08/is-thinking-now-obsolete/

        facts.

      • Michael, a moral compass has a definition, it’s not a vague term, it’s “used in reference to a person’s ability to judge what is right and wrong and act accordingly.”

        willard, I would have preferred Cook have “gotten it right”. He could have made a useful contribution to the field. Done properly it’s a masters thesis quality work. Imagine a nice bubble graph showing the topology of opinion in climate science.

        But you have a broken moral compass too, if you can’t recognize that Cook violating his country’s and his university’s ethics problems is a problem. It’s not “goat busting” to point out it’s a serious ethics problem, if it’s a serious ethics problem.

        You can either a) say he didn’t violate the ethics code (but then you’d have to explain how subjective data collection can be done without human participants) or b) you can say it doesn’t matter because it serves a higher cause or c) you can just attack people who say it does matter without ever stating your own opinion. You’ve obviously chosen “c”.

      • Sigh… try this “But you have a broken moral compass too, if you can’t recognize that Cook violating his country’s and his university’s ethics code is a problem.”

        /facepalm

      • Steven Mosher

        Carrick.

        Willard and Anders are pretty clear.

        you can never talk about integrity.

      • You are talking to the Ends Justify the Means Kidz about ethics and the moral compass.

      • Carrick | August 5, 2014 at 11:18 am |
        “Michael, a moral compass has a definition, it’s not a vague term, it’s “used in reference to a person’s ability to judge what is right and wrong and act accordingly.” ”

        Yes, it’s all very clear.

        “Neither There’s Physics (“Anders”) … have ever demonstrated that they have a moral compass. In fact Anders seems to have suggest ….that he (Anders) completely lacks one.” – carrick

        I think someone else asked for some more detail than this and all they got was more vagueness.

        But now that you’re more specific, perhaps you can justify saying that ATTP has an inability to “judge what is right and wrong and act accordingly.”

      • > I would have preferred Cook have “gotten it right”. He could have made a useful contribution to the field. Done properly it’s a masters thesis quality work. Imagine a nice bubble graph showing the topology of opinion in climate science.

        In my own culture, even with five more editing rounds, this is at best semester work. Our master thesis are 100-200 pages long and up and our doctoral thesis are thicker than phone books. OTOH, students are not gouged by usurpatory fees that become debts that they carry all their lives.

        So mileage varies.

        ***

        > you can’t recognize that Cook violating his country’s and his university’s ethics problems is a problem. It’s not “goat busting” to point out it’s a serious ethics problem, if it’s a serious ethics problem.

        I don’t even know what the hell you’re talking about, Carrick. Nor do I know why I should care to have an opinion on this. I spent about two months on C13 last summer. I have read thoroughly all versions of Tol’s drafts. (Notice how well he hides his stupid Kappa argument in the last one.) I have spent many threads at AT’s pulling Dana’s ears. I’ve been at SkS and got moderated. All this for an uninteresting result.

        Consider me underwhelmed.

        After realizing that nobody cares about improving Cook’s method to survey and classify abstracts and papers (the ideal crowd sourcing effort), even Jim Bouldin can’t even bother being constructive, I got fed up and deleted all my notes.

        ***

        As far as I can tell, this hurly burly is pure crap all the way down. That you insist in judging me based on yet another Litmus test about something that you prey on shows a lot about your authority on moral compasses, Carrick. You’re using “you have no moral compass” the same way people use “you’re a denier”. The obviousness of your judgment presumes an appeal to consensus that in another setting makes you cringe.

        Besides, your thuggish manners are not even funny. Not only that, they are not even challenging enough to be worthwhile. This only adds to what was already apparent a while ago:

        http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/lewandowsky-strike-two/

        ***

        So please, pretty please, do keep harping about moral compasses while indulging in the very same kind of behavior Judy considered bullying a while ago. More importantly, let Judy approve and others pile on. Let Moshpit declares that I’m preventing from doing something so suboptimal that makes you sound like a moralistic goat buster.

        See if I care.

        Now that Judy just found interesting GaryM’s comment, in which he says about the same thing as I did except for the usual reactionary emprunt of INTEGRITY ™, I think I’ll simply leave you the last word.

        ***

        Here’s something you might like:

        > The inaccuracy of microbenchmark has two main sources — first, it does not correctly allocate the time for garbage collection to the expression that is responsible for it, and second, its summarizes the results by the median time for many repetitions, when the mean is what is needed. The median and mean can differ drastically, because just a few of the repetitions will include time for a garbage collection. These flaws can result in comparisons being reversed, with the expression that is actually faster looking slower in the output of microbenchmark.

        http://radfordneal.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/inaccurate-results-from-microbenchmark/

        Please do go preach robust stats to Radford. I dare you.

      • ==> “It’s not “goat busting” …

        For sure. Personality politics has nothing to do with this.

        ==> “to point out it’s a serious ethics problem, if it’s a serious ethics problem.”

        Yes. Serious indeed. Carrick is, quite obviously, concerned.

      • ==> ““Neither There’s Physics (“Anders”) … have ever demonstrated that they have a moral compass. In fact Anders seems to have suggest ….that he (Anders) completely lacks one.” – carrick”

        This is quite beautiful.

        Carrick has studied Anders carefully. Contacted colleagues. Spoke to acquaintances. Inverterviewed family members. Researched school records.

        Carrick is someone who is concerned about ethics. And as such, it is quite obvious that he would not make a statement such as that w/o researching very carefully.

        I am fully convinced that Anders has never, ever, not even once, demonstrated that he has a moral compass. Nothing he has ever done contradicts the eithics-concerned Carrick in his assessment of Anders’ moral compass. Nada. Zilch. Niente. Bupkis. In fact, everything that Anders has ever done seems to suggest that he has no moral compass.

        Wow. This is serious.

      • I actually value Theres Physics contribution to the climate debate. Much more sensible/interesting than SkS, Rabbett, Stoat, RC, etc.

      • Careful Judith, he’s lost his moral compass…..no wait, he *never* had one.

      • Steven Mosher

        Thug Willard lectures on bullies
        Plays dumb
        Plays outrage

        Bet he hasn’t read Carricks 129 papers

    • Neither There’s Physics (“Anders”) nor Michael E Mann have ever demonstrated that they have a moral compass. In fact Anders seems to have suggest (in context with the ethical transgressions in Cook’s paper), that he (Anders) completely lacks one.

      I’ve been reading and commenting at ATTP since it started and there has never been anything which has called his moral compass, his ethics or his integrity into question.

      • I can point to examples.

      • Unless by moral compass, ethics and integrity you mean “commitment to a cause”. He’s on my “no read, discount anything he says” list now.

      • I disagree andrew adams. Anders falsely accused Steve McIntyre of cherry-picking runs of a simulation to exaggerate his results when he hadn’t even looked at the paper in question. That’s iffy on its own, but when I confronted him on the issue, he adamantly refused to look at the paper. When I pressed this issue, Anders banned me because he didn’t like what I said on a different site.

        I think banning a person despite them having never behaved poorly at your site, because they say you are leveling baseless accusations against a person based upon a paper you refuse to even look at, calls a blogger’s moral compass, ethics and integrity into question.

      • Brandon those were two examples I thought of. I think there are actually many more where that comes from.

        ATTPs branding is to have a moral compass, to be ethical and have integrity. His business practice leaves much to be desired in that respect, to go along with his general lack of technical competency.

      • Carrick, I’m sure there are many, many other examples. I can think of several I wasn’t involved in off the top of my head. I don’t think there’s much point though. He’s already said:

        I agree. As I said to Judith on Twitter, you’re only actually responsible for your own integrity.

        Which is just a reiteration of what he said to our hostess on Twitter. She said academics (paid by the government) should “protect research integrity.” Anders disagreed.

        I think that says everything which needs to be said.

      • “I think banning a person despite them having never behaved poorly at your site…”
        :)
        Intellectual cowardice embodied.

      • > I think banning a person despite them having never behaved poorly at your site,

        Of course:

        I only post under a different handle if there is a specific issue or concern I feel a site’s readers should be aware of, I never post under a different handle to troll, and I never post under a different handle for more than a few comments.

        http://hiizuru.wordpress.com/2014/02/05/sock-puppetry/

      • willard is being dishonest here. As anyone who reads that linked post knows, I specifically limit my use of “sock puppets” to sites where I have been unfairly banned. The third paragraph in that post specifically says:

        However, sometimes I find I’ve been capriciously banned at a site and I decide to try one of the other handles. My reasoning is simple. I believe the minor deception of not announcing my identity is justified by the far larger deception imposed upon the readers by inappropriate moderation decisions.

        willard posts my discussion of how I might respond to being banned as though it is justification for banning me. That’s obviously nonsense. He knows that. He knows you can’t justify banning a person based on how they might respond to being banned.

        That’s why he intentionally cherry-picks a quote. That’s the only way to pretend what I said in that post justifies me being banned.

      • > As anyone who reads that linked post knows, I specifically limit my use of “sock puppets” to sites where I have been unfairly banned.

        True Scotsmen like Brandon can decide what’s fair or not on another person’s propriety and take justice in their own hands.

        By chance Denizens have an Internet vigilante like Brandon.

        ***

        > willard posts my discussion of how I might respond to being banned as though it is justification for banning me. That’s obviously nonsense.

        I post this because I find the lack of self-awareness refreshing, and because I think the story deserves to be quoted considering Brandon’s recent ethical commitments. The story is also related to INTEGRITY ™. As far as I am concerned, here’s the only justification AT needs:

        http://xkcd.com/1357/

        But I will ask around to see what were the original reasons.

      • I think willard is smoking something when he says:

        True Scotsmen like Brandon can decide what’s fair or not on another person’s propriety and take justice in their own hands.

        Then again, I get that impression from him a lot.

      • Steven Mosher

        Brandon

        ” Steve McIntyre of cherry-picking runs of a simulation to exaggerate his results when he hadn’t even looked at the paper in question. ”

        he must have had air tight evidence.
        According to him and willard thats the only time you get to question the behavior of a scientist

      • Steven Mosher:

        he must have had air tight evidence.
        According to him and willard thats the only time you get to question the behavior of a scientist

        LOL. Yep.

        willard I don’t see an admission you misread Brandon’s post. Weren’t you the one discussing honorable behavior earlier on this thread?

      • > I don’t see an admission you misread Brandon’s post.

        I don’t think I did. Show me. We’ll see.

        ***

        AT may have decided to ban Brandon after some tweets and this:

        http://hiizuru.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/basic-truths/

        You’ll notice that Brandon still disagrees with Nick Stokes about the MM05 cherry pick. You’ll also notice Brandon behaving like Brandon usually does.

        Tell me how it fares on your moral compass.

      • In an amusing twist, willard makes the exact same mistake Anders made. Actually, he makes two of the same mistakes. Apparently, he didn’t read what he’s criticizing any more than Anders did. Notice, he says:

        You’ll notice that Brandon still disagrees with Nick Stokes about the MM05 cherry pick.

        I disagree with Nick Stokes because what he did was quite misleading. That’s not an issue here though. What he and I disagree about isn’t about “MM05.” It’s about the Wegman Report. Like I pointed out to Anders, MM05 doesn’t plot the results he claims were cherry-picked. That was (if you believe the accusations) done in an entirely different document written by entirely different people.

        The second problem is minor, but suggestive: there is not one “MM05.” There is more than one. Saying MM05 suggests the speaker doesn’t know enough about the topic to even provide useful references. willard apparently doesn’t even know which paper he’s making things up about.

      • willard, If you didn’t misread what Brandon said, then it seems you were insinuating behavior that you knew to be false.

        As to Brandon’s thread, Anders was saying things that were false, he was called out on it and rather than admit to an honest error, he banned Brandon from his blog.

        Putz is the word that comes to mind here.

      • Brandon, I’ve marked the link to go back and read.

        To borrow a turn of phrase, willard is being willard. Which means not reading being criticizing. I think this is why he likes to nitpick. He can avoid having to digest what people are actually trying to say that way.

        It does seem rather troll like in retrospect.

      • > That was (if you believe the accusations) done in an entirely different document written by entirely different people.

        Using the same code.

        God this is silly.

      • > seems you were insinuating behavior that you knew to be false.

        I was insinuating something Brandon himself declared having done: being a sock puppet.

        I quoted Brandon admitting to sock puppetry.

        Tell me more about moral compasses, Carrick.

      • willard either doesn’t read what I write, or he flat-out lies about it. He says:

        I was insinuating something Brandon himself declared having done: being a sock puppet.

        I quoted Brandon admitting to sock puppetry.

        Yet that is impossible to justify given I specifically said:

        Some would call that using sock puppets. I don’t know if I agree.

        I have never “admitt[ed] to sock puppetry” because I don’t know just what qualifies as a sock puppet. I’ve seen many different definitions. What I admitted to doing fits some of those definitions. It doesn’t fit others.

        While willard is free to call what I openly admit to doing sock puppetry, he is not free to falsely claim I said it is sock puppetry.

      • willard, you’re right. This is silly:

        > That was (if you believe the accusations) done in an entirely different document written by entirely different people.

        Using the same code.

        That two people use the same code does not mean they do the same thing with the results of that code. Anyone who bothered to read the paper you and Anders criticized would immediately see you are wrong.

        It is only by adamantly refusing to look at that which you criticize that you two can continue this charade.

      • Steven Mosher

        Sock puppets don’t admit to it.
        Using a different Id to avoid moderation
        Isn’t sock puppetry.

        Note. I don’t agree with Brandon on much.
        But Willard is wrong and willard knows it.
        Let’s call that lying.

      • ==> “Using a different Id to avoid moderation
        Isn’t sock puppetry.”

        Oh boy.

        A prescriptivist food fight about the meaning of “sock puppet.”

        This should be even better than endless food fights about the meaning of “ad hom”, or “troll.” Leaves bickering about the meaning of measurement and estimation in the dust.

        Because there is a definitive answer as to what sock puppet means, and clearly it doesn’t mean signing on under a 2nd ID in an attempt to circumvent a blog owner’s moderation.

        Nope. Doesn’t mean that. Because the meaning has been established through decades of scholarship from the best of minds. Linguists. Anthropologists. Philosophers. Poets. Freeman Dyson. They’ve all consulted and they’ve all agreed. There is one meaning that god intended for the term sock puppet. Check the bible.

        But even if all of that weren’t true, I’d still know.

        I know this because the authority has spoken.

        And this is a matter of truth. It is a matter of ethics. It is a matter of integrity. It is serious

        Anyone who things that this is juvenile personality politics or same ol’ same ol’ is just a troll.

        And of that, there is no doubt.

      • Seriously? The blog filter AGAIN?!

        OK. Here goes to see if I can find the term that has offended the moderation gods.

        Part I

        ==> “Using a different Id to avoid moderation
        Isn’t sock puppetry.”

        Oh boy.

        A prescriptivist food fight about the meaning of “sock puppet.”

        This should be even better than endless food fights about the meaning of “ad hom”, or “tr*ll.” Leaves bickering about the meaning of measurement and estimation in the dust.

        Because there is a definitive answer as to what sock puppet means, and clearly it doesn’t mean signing on under a 2nd identity in an attempt to get around a blog owner’s moderation.

      • Joshua, I’ve been very generous in allowing your off topic posts. You have contributed 80 of the last 1000 posts at CE, which is beyond my typical trigger for putting someone in moderation to slow them down. Please slow down your rate of commenting, in particular the ones that are off topic.

      • > That two people use the same code does not mean they do the same thing with the results of that code.

        The Auditor even admits having helped Wegman’s clique to run the code. Not that this means the Auditor truly did. It’s just testimony, after all.

        The question is about what the code produces, not what we can read in MM05b (my mistake; as if we could mistake the GRL paper from the EE paper) or the Wegman report. According to Nick Stokes, the code selects the top 100 out of 10k simulations.

        This selection is not the product of a random process, unless monkeys jumped on keyboards in Toronto to write the code.

      • Judith –

        Sure. I’ll post less, and less “off-topic.” Alls ya’ gotta do is ask.

        Although it might help if you could give a coherent explanation for what you consider off-topic. For example, are mosher posts to willard off topic? Carrick’s comments about Anders’ moral compass? Brandon’s discussion of sock puppetry? Chief’s discussion of sudden climate change? Cwon’s discussion of central planning, greenshirts, academic enclaves, and left-wing radicals, GaryM’s discussion of how libz don’t care about educating poor children, etc.?

        I get that you’re saying the issue is the number of comments primarily, and will comply, but to the extent that you indicated that topicality is an issue, an explanation of how you draw a line would help.

      • Off topic posts are amplified if they are very large in number. A few off topic posts don’t derail the thread. Thx for your cooperation in this.

      • willard continues to be disingenuous:

        The question is about what the code produces, not what we can read in MM05b (my mistake; as if we could mistake the GRL paper from the EE paper) or the Wegman report. According to Nick Stokes, the code selects the top 100 out of 10k simulations.

        That’s bull, and willard knows it. As I said before, Steve McIntyre intentionally chose an outlier to demonstrate what sort of effect a methodology could produce. He made sure to label it as non-representative so nobody would mistake it as representing a typical result.

        That is completely reasonable. There was never any basis to criticize McIntyre on this. It is only by ignoring what McIntyre wrote in his paper that one can act as though he misrepresented the results.

        So that’s exactly what willard does. Anders too.

      • > There was never any basis to criticize McIntyre on this.

        Wegman used the Auditor’s code, and the Auditor helped Wegman use his code. But it’s Wegman who used the code, a code about which Nick Stokes said:

        Clearly, there is also a strong appearance of HS shape. But this has nothing to do with the decentered mean. It is the result of the prior selection for HS shape that Wegman used.

        http://moyhu.blogspot.com/2011/06/effect-of-selection-in-wegman-report.html

        This shows that Brandon’s claim above is quite subjective indeed.

        ***

        Wegman does not always ran the Auditor’s code:

        Although Wegman had said that “We have been able to reproduce the results of McIntyre and McKitrick (2005b)”, the PC in Fig 4.1 was identical to one in MM05b. Since the noise is randomly generated, this could not have happened from a proper re-run of the code. Somehow, the graph was produced from MM05 computed results.

        Op. cit.

        Again, this is not the Auditor’s fault if Wegman uses the same figure as in MM05b.

        This suffices to show that Brandon’s claim that

        MM05 doesn’t plot the results he claims were cherry-picked. That was (if you believe the accusations) done in an entirely different document written by entirely different people.

        is true only insofar as he’s referring to fig. 4.4 of the Wegman report. If we accept that fig 4.1 was taken from MM05b and that this figure also shows a plot that uses the top 1% trick, Brandon’s claim belongs to truthiness more than anything else.

        Also note that Brandon’s sidesteps the fact that both Wegman and Nick Stokes testify having reproduced the results using the code that MM05b. Unless Brandon wishes to imply that MM05b’s code is not a part of MM05b (some might even say that MM05b’s code is even the essential part, while the paper itself and its figures are mere advertisements), I don’t think his “different document written by entirely different people” has any merit.

        ***

        Incidentally, whether Wegman ran the Auditor’s code or “reproduced” MM05b, it seems that he did something that may have misled a reviewer:

        I think the point about the status of figs 4.1 and 4.4 is well made by that Nature reviewer’s quote:

        “a procedure that gives the ‘hockey stick’ shape for all 10 simulations, when such a shape would not be expected.”

        I presume he’s referring to Fig 4.4. That’s what people notice. And he’s been misled.

        Incidentally, I presume he saw a copy which was made by the code but didn’t finally appear in MM05b, but surfaced in the WR.

        http://moyhu.blogspot.com/2011/06/effect-of-selection-in-wegman-report.html?showComment=1307774593913

        So there’s another ambiguity as to what “MM05b” refers. If it refers to the previous version that a Nature reviewer allegedly previewed, then we could surmise that fig. 4.4 indeed belongs to MM05b.

        ***

        Whatever we may think about who should “own” Fig 4.4, it’s quite clear that Fig. 4.1 from the Wegman report comes from MM05b itself. Here’s the description in MM05b:

        The simulations nearly always yielded PC1s with a hockey stick shape, some of which bore a quite remarkable similarity to the actual MBH98 temperature reconstruction – as shown by the example in Figure 1.

        Source: http://deepclimate.org/2010/11/16/replication-and-due-diligence-wegman-style/

        But of course, there’s no basis to criticize the Auditor in any of this.

        Let’s thrown Wegman under the bus instead.

        That ought to orient our moral compasses.

        ***

        Brandon may wish to revise his “basic truth” thread before we go pay due diligence to it.

      • Again, willard says stupid things:

        Again, this is not the Auditor’s fault if Wegman uses the same figure as in MM05b.

        And:

        is true only insofar as he’s referring to fig. 4.4 of the Wegman report. If we accept that fig 4.1 was taken from MM05b and that this figure also shows a plot that uses the top 1% trick, Brandon’s claim belongs to truthiness more than anything else.

        As I’ve said multiple times, Steve McIntyre created a figure to demonstrate an effect, specifically chosing an outlier for demonstration purposes. He indicated the non-representative nature of this figure. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. And no matter what one may think of the Wegman Report, that this figure is reproduced in it (as Figure 4.1). in no way justifies any sort of criticism of Steve McIntyre, nor does anything about Figure 4.4 of the report as that figure was never presented by McIntyre.

        There isn’t the slightest shred of actual criticism of McIntyre in willard’s post, but he wants you to believe there is. willard wants you to believe the fact McIntyre helped people run the code he published means something more than he helps people replicate his results. willard wants you to believe the fact people used McIntyre’s code and results in ways he didn’t use means McIntyre should be responsible for them.

        Either willard knows he’s deceiving people, or he’s saying a whole lot about things he doesn’t understand. In that case, he’s deceiving himself, as well as everyone else.

      • When Willard admits his untruthfulness, who knows what that could portend?

      • Ugh. Apparently Tom Curtis decided to discuss what I’ve said on this topic too. As he often does, he gets a lot of things wrong (and even contradicts himself). I don’t think our hostess would care for me to bring even more off-topic issues up, so I’ll just provide a link and a quote I find interesting.

        His comment can be found here. It’s lengthy, but this part is relevant:

        After a discussion with Shollenberger on his site, I heartily endorse Anders sentiment of never wanting to discuss anything with Shollenberger again. It is not a moral or a personality flaw to dislike discussing things with people who do not discuss in good faith, show a lack of personal integrity, and behave like complete pricks.

        Banning a person is obviously not the same as disliking discussing things with them. I obviously don’t agree with Tom Curtis’s description of me, but even if you do, that doesn’t mean I should be banned from sites I’ve never done anything wrong at.

        Basically, Curtis is saying it’s good to ban people from sites because you don’t like their character.

      • In the history of Climate Etc., I haven’t banned anybody. Several people are in permanent moderation for persistently violating blog rules, others land in temporary moderation. If you are in moderation, you can still post; but it requires me to manually approve your post. The main thing that people get put in moderation for is personal attacks against other commenters (rather than attacking their arguments).

      • > Basically, Curtis is saying it’s good to ban people from sites because you don’t like their character.

        This misrepresents what Tom Curtis said. Tom showed where AT erred, that these were trivial mistakes for the facts of the matter, that AT’s position is weaker and less definitive than how Brandon portray it, and that it still has merit. He also claimed that Brandon’s ban was justified considering how he behaved in the following discussion, something which is not even necessary to show, as AT’s is not a public space, but private property.

        ***

        Speaking of matters of the fact, Brandon sidesteps that if we accept that fig 4.1 was taken from MM05b and that this figure also shows a plot that uses the top 1% trick, Brandon’s claim belongs to truthiness more than anything else.

        Also note:

        In the McIntrye & McKitrick (2005) Supplementary Information, you can download a file containing what McIntyre & McKitrick call “a sample of 100 hockey sticks”.

        […]

        So, as I think Tom and others have pointed out, the sample of 100 hockey sticks provided by McIntrye & McKitrick (2005) appears not to be a random sample from their 10000, but a sample selected on the basis of hockey-stickness (i.e., they are the 100 most hockey-stick like out of the sample of 10000).

        http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/the-road-to-hell/#comment-28068

        Unless Brandon wishes to argue that MM05b’s SI is not a part of MM05b, his parsing of AT’s claim does not even hold.

        I would accept the criticism that the term “cherry pick” is overly strong in its negative connotations (the “excess baggage” the word carries with it), and would gladly strike that sentence if I could, since what I say stands with AT’s “not to be a random sample” or Nick’s “prior selection”.

        ***

        > Steve McIntyre intentionally chose an outlier to demonstrate what sort of effect a methodology could produce. He made sure to label it as non-representative so nobody would mistake it as representing a typical result.

        A quote from MM05b might be needed here to substantiate Brandon’s claim and, more importantly, make it relevant to the “basic truth” under discussion.

    • The reason Joshua’s posts become so prolific in quantity (never quality) are when the subject titles lead to the essential truth about climate science. It was ALWAYS a politically motivated meme and never driven by hard verifiable SCIENCE. Hence the thread-jacks, quibbling, Sophistry and general moral sanctimony that surrounds AGW belief systems (delusional as they might be).

      We have a had a rash of topics of late that are at least somewhat linked to political/social corruption and exposure of the green/AGW agenda. Hence we get a rash of Joshua and others to spin distraction, they can’t acknowledge the point. The whole house of cards is built on false purity of the science “integrity” in the dubious academic “profession”.

      While Dr. Curry implies, hints, sympathizes she never directly endorses the essential skeptical point; AGW belief systems were politically based from inception and an evolution of prior “science” based political memes. So in essence Dr. Curry supports the likes of Joshua, depressing in the name of reason as that may be.

      • Excellent. A shaft of light through the mud.

      • Do you walk on water cwon?

        Your continuous complaining about Dr Curry not acting in the manner you think she should gets to be as tedious as Josh’s harping.

      • Tedious is in the eye of the beholder.

        If we’re talking “tedious”, the hairsplitting narrative that there is a “no regrets” central planning policy somewhere between the greenshirt fanatics and people essentially lining up on my side fits the bill. So you should get over it timg56.

        Anything obfuscating the political core of the AGW movement or its sad-sack history is disinformation. Joshua and a number of others of the ThinkProgress, Daily Kos, SKS ilk are pure nonsense at best but it reflects the moderator that their views could be remotely tolerated. It’s beyond the pale of logic with brief inspection. Yet, we’re suppose to be moved that in the middle of Full Moon crazy and what’s left of rationality in Western civilization we should reach a compromise. That’s Dr. Curry’s basic premise.

        Why doesn’t Dr. Curry just acknowledge AGW beliefs are driven by core political ambitions of the proponents and stop offering to any degree “science” coverage at all to a crowd of AGW advocates who deserve nothing but contempt if we are truly interested in preserving science standards of reasoning and ethics to protect it from statist predators as represented by the IPCC process?

        I don’t even hold my lowest opinion for the likes of Joshua or other cultural believers. It’s the sad state of imagined “skeptics” who wish to go along with this sort of framing and enable it to exist.

  31. There is an important difference between the fields of political psychology and climate science: political psychologists have some awareness of the problem regarding the influence of extraneous values, whereas climate scientists seem not to.

    Is that the only difference – or the main difference?

    Take a look at climate science journals. What’s the fraction of papers that might be significantly biased due to the influence of extraneous values?

    Many more might be than really are, thus the fraction of papers that really are seriously biased is a fraction of the fraction that’s found as answer to my above question.

    I do not think that climate science is at the verge of the scientific hell described by Philip Tetlock.

    • I agree with you. The only only reason, in general, people on the conservative side of the political spectrum don’t accept AGW is because of the policy implications.

      • I think this is partly true.

        But I would say people who like outcome (policy implications) of a particular worldview pushed within the AGW community are not willing to accept the same rigorous and ethical oversight that other fields are subjected to.

        Bias works both ways.

      • Joseph, ” The only only reason, in general, people on the conservative side of the political spectrum don’t accept AGW is because of the policy implications.”

        Which parts of AGW do the conservative scientists not accept? Politically, in order to get a reasonable compromise a conservative would initially not accept any part of a liberal bill. That is just part of political horse trading. Scientifically, it seems most “conservative” scientists believe that the more alarming parts of AWG are grossly overstated.

      • I was thinking in terms of the general public, especially in the US. I don’t really know what the political leanings are of most scientists. But holding the belief that AGW will not have serious consequences is consistent with policies that involve little to no government involvement.

      • Joseph, “But holding the belief that AGW will not have serious consequences is consistent with policies that involve little to no government involvement.”

        It is pretty normal to notice that when some claims are grossly over sold that others likely are as well. That is skepticism. The “projections” included very high and alarming rates of warming and “signatures” of Anthropogenic cause i.e. the tropical tropospheric hot spot, that are the verge of being laughably wrong. Energy model based estimates of sensitivity are continuously decreasing and if you allow for scientific inertia would be much lower.

        So exactly what part of AGW do you think conservative scientists are denying?

      • No. Most all conservatives accept AGW, we just don’t fall in lock step with the folks who claim Catastrophic consequences that require rich western nations to tax the crap out of themselves which will somehow result in the magic C)2 level dropping. I am actually more worried that a technology will be developed to supposedly “reduce global warming” and send us back into a low CO2, low food production, low chance of survival ice age. We seem to have a lot of consensus on throwing that switch. There does not seem to be much data in our last 3 million years that we are at a tipping point to fry everyone, but lot’s of data that says we will have another ice age.

      • We don’t accept AGW because there is no actual data that supports it.

        Model Output is not data and that is all they have and all the models have been wrong for two decades.

      • We don’t accept AGW because there is no actual data that supports it.

        Well that’s the rub. There is data that supports it. It’s logical for us to see people who don’t accept evidence as evidence as being political driven, but the alternatives are worse.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Joseph: The only only reason, in general, people on the conservative side of the political spectrum don’t accept AGW is because of the policy implications.

        I’d like to recommend three alternatives.

        1. People on the conservative side have noticed that a lot of AGW advocates receive government stipends of one kind and another, and their AGW advocacy is clearly self-serving. It isn’t literally true that because their advocacy is self-serving therefore it must be a “scam”; but this kind of motivational inference has its counterpart in claims from the left that scientists in the oil industry can’t be trusted. It might be a sort of general human tendency to distrust anyone whose “moral” advocacy is clearly self-serving.

        2. There are so many liabilities in the theory of AGW that, once you get beyond a general outline, there isn’t a credible claim that expensive policy initiatives to forestall AGW will have a beneficial effect. When money for solar farms, for example, is diverted from investment in flood control and irrigation, there is no good case that the expected benefit exceeds the expected cost.

        3. There is a large overlap between people pushing AGW and people pushing all sorts of other transfers of wealth from the rich nations to the governments of poor nations. That was clear at the Copenhagen and Rio conferences, and in the readings of political commentaries. There are people who rally to any cause to take money away from commercial enterprise and spread it around, and to lots of them AGW is one of the latest causes.

      • If, hypothetically,, AGW had no policy implications whatsoever, I can almost guarantee you that there would be no conservative backlash. In fact, most people would not even care about the issue.

      • Joseph, I agree that if there were no politics involved there would be no politics involved. However, there is. As a Conservaphobe you likely don’t consider that the Bush administration was completely on board with black carbon reduction legislation. Hansen had a cow though because it was not enough. Then Hansen took the wild activist romp only to years later publish a paper that the impact of black carbon was greater than he thought. If you behave like a politically ignorant butthole, you are likely to get treated like a plain ol’ ignorant butthole.

        You still haven’t addressed my question or tried to stay on topic. What do conservative SCIENTISTS deny about AGW? I am sure that without regard to intent of any policy recommendation you can lable some idiot to create a red herring.

        These are your stereotypical democrats right?

      • opps, moderation I used the b word twice :)

      • A bit of Cart and Horse, Joseph. No one (right, left, indifferent) except specialists and their spouses would be interested in AGW if there were no policy implications. People only care about what matters or about what they think matters.

        Therefore, it’s no surprise that the guilty left and their SEIU enablers wants to force the West into a hair-shirt and the profligate right and our corporate masters wants to party like it’s 1999.

        This sums up the climate debate to six sigma

      • Well that’s the rub. There is data that supports it.

        offer a link to the data or post it. All they have is model output and model output is NOT Any Kind of DATA.

      • My response to Pekka was related to this quote from the paper:

        We find ourselves in scientific hell when we discover that our powers of persuasion are limited to those who were already predisposed to agree with us (or when our claims to expertise are granted only by people who share our moral-political outlook).

        For the non-expert the actual science of AGW is secondary to the policy implications. They latch on to “skeptic” arguments as a way to justify their position for not taking action to mitigate climate change. That is why I believe their is not near universal acceptance of the science. I would characterize it as typical political divisiveness rather than “scientific hell.”

      • Capt,

        I already said I don’t know the political leanings of any relevant scientist. I hear a lot that those that who believe in AGW are all liberal with little to back it up.

      • Joseph, perhaps you should research the subject? Try Googling, “Conservative professor fired for”

      • For me it is arithmetic Joseph.

        And the lack of evidence regarding catastrophic outcomes.

        And knowing just how little we really, truly know about our climate system.

      • Flip it Joseph, the only reason AGW is a large social meme in the first place is because of pro-central planning authority policy that it rationalizes. It rationalizes socialism, anti-industrialism and all the cultural codes globally.

        AGW consolidates many movements in one simple minded acronym.

      • I suspect the people you consider conservative accept global warming, but do not accept your perferred policies. Global warming doesn’t actually imply the policies you want. That’s the problem, the implications are mostly just your imagination.

      • Joseph | August 4, 2014 at 5:06 pm |

        “I don’t really know what the political leanings are of most scientists.”

        Did your mother have any children who weren’t stupid?

      • Like the Penn & Teller viideo. It pretty much sums up the popular trajectory with global warming. The pressure to conform has always killed brain cells, probably always will…

    • Part of the bias is the questions that don’t get asked. There is also value laden statements stuck in many journal articles. The situation with peer review in journals is a disgrace; a week doesn’t go by where someone sends me an outrageous example of reviewer and editorial treatment of anyone who questions the dogma. I just got reviews back on a paper that required that this particular statement be removed: “These results suggest that global climate models may misrepresent some of the essential dynamical feedbacks instrumental in the 20th century climate change.”

      The advocacy statements by professional societies are the most visible, and worst, examples of the problem.

      • Disputes about peer review have always been ubiquitous in all science. Concluding that there’s a dogma that cannot be criticized requires extraordinary evidence. The sentence whose removal was requested could probably be formulated differently presenting, what the study really supports, but in a way that had been more acceptable to the reviewer. It’s difficult for me to see, how any study would fully support the present formulation and it’s implications.

      • Pekka Pirilä:

        Concluding that there’s a dogma that cannot be criticized requires extraordinary evidence.

        I find it to be a very naive position that you need extraordinary evidence before you can conclude there is “dogma that cannot be criticized” in nearly any given field of science.

        Of course that is the case. I would even argue that this is ubiquitous of all sciences.

        The point is that most dogmatically held positions (e.g., F=ma) are based on an overwhelming amount of evidence and an understanding of the context in which they are true. F=ma doesn’t apply to relativistic problems for example.

        In my view, the problem isn’t that dogmatic positions exist, they are a necessary pillar of the scientific method, but that dogmatic positions are adopted and not soon let go of even after they are not tenable (e.g., caloric theory, theory of the ether, etc.) or when the problem that the domain of applicable is not well understand or has been over-generalized (F = -G m1 m2/r^2).

      • David L. Hagen

        Judy
        Amazing.
        Would they accept “unable to” instead of “misrepresent”?
        “These results suggest that global climate models may be unable to represent some of the essential dynamical feedbacks instrumental in the 20th century climate change. This is further demonstrated by the inability of climate models to quantitatively represent the tropical tropospheric temperature.” McKitrick & Vogelsang (2014)

        HAC robust trend comparisons among climate series with possible level shifts, Ross R. McKitrick and Timothy J. Vogelsang, Environmetrics
        Article first published online: 14 JUL 2014 DOI: 10.1002/env.2294

      • Would they accept “unable to” instead of “misrepresent”?

        I would go with “They really don’t even have clue as to what is going on” They cannot really misrepresent something that they really don’t understand.

      • Yes

        +1000

      • Which advocacy statements from which professional societies? Specific examples would be helpful in understanding what you consider advocacy.

      • Going through some older posts of yours Dr. Curry, it seems you consider the AGU statement on climate change to be the most egregious. I see no advocacy of any policy in the statement. Is saying action needs to be taken advocacy? If so, is saying no action should be taken advocacy?

      • The advocacy is starkest in its title: urgent action needed.

      • David Hagen, excellent suggestion. This also highlights a problem prevelant in climate science, the excessive use of emotive language and value judegments (good/bad characterization) in scientific papers.

    • I would say the problems with bias are less severe in the physical sciences due to the presence of an underlying objective reality.

      That said, you can have decades long “wrong turns” in science, and you don’t have to go as far as climate science to find problems that have smitten other fields for decades.

      • Curious George

        Take a string theory. Theorists are undoubtedly trying to explain the underlying objective reality, but the connection is far from being direct, or provable – at least with current technology. It bears similarity to year 2100 climate predictions.

      • Curious George, string theory is a particularly bad example to compare against. It’s not really a theory at this point so much as an applied math problem.

        On the other hand, much of climate science is based on well-tested physical principles, whether it be radiative physics or meteorology.

        The problem with 2100 AD climate model predictions is it’s impossible at this point to make them: You need to know the future course of CO2, aerosols and other anthropogenic activity based on assumed different policy implications.

        You can make forecasts based on different scenarios, and these can inform on the outcome for climate from different policy choices. That also is a difficult thing to test with the “engineering accuracy” one would like before making expensive or risky commitments to a particular climate policy.

        We don’t know enough to make a fully informed decision. The question is what to do about it. Putting your head in the sand and hoping for the best is one choice.

      • Curious George

        [For 100 year climate prediction] “you need to know the future course of CO2, aerosols and other anthropogenic activity based on assumed different policy implications.” Agreed. But, if the physics is known, where is a 100-day weather prediction? A 100-hour weather prediction, even?

        There is a convection; a viscous flow; cloud physics – all known only microscopically but not at the scale of interest.

      • Curious George, there are weather forecasting that can accurately forecast beyond 100-hours (e.g., see ECMWF). The biggest obstacle to advance in meteorological forecasting in the US at this point is not theoretical issues, but practical ones, such as assess to high end computing.

      • Curious George

        Carrick, thank you for pointing me to ECMWF. Unless they upgraded their system in 2014, their own “Evaluation of ECMWF forecasts”, http://old.ecmwf.int/publications/library/ecpublications/_pdf/tm/701-800/tm710.pdf shows a minimum statistical significance for Day 3 of a forecast and no statistical significance for Day 4, for Europe. Of course they provide a 14-day forecast; go ahead and plan your vacation accordingly.

      • Curious George, it depends on the measure you’re interested in looking at. Ten day advanced warning for severe weather outbreaks can be routinely done. The tracking of a hurricane when it meets the ocean-land interface is another that ECMWF does well in advanced forecasting.

        Clearly, we don’t need to know down to the last degree the temperature before we go on vacation. E.g., whether it is raining, warm/cold, partly sunny are the questions that need to be asked.

        So it depends on what you are demanding from the product before anybody can tell you whether it meets those demands.

        For climate change and most practical meteorological applications, we need the mean value of properties and not their instantaneous values to be right. So you have to correlate over the right variable to decide if it’s adequate.

    • It is a lot easier to get things published with small error bars than with large ones.
      You can Google ‘Nature flank model tumor’ and see a whole lot of graphs showing the average tumor size (measured( widthxwidthxlength)/2) and error bars from S.D., like this one

      http://www.nature.com/onc/journal/v31/n31/fig_tab/onc2011523f8.html

      (a) The curves of tumor growth. The tumor volume was calculated every 3 days. Points,mean (n=5); bars, s.d..
      http://www.nature.com/onc/journal/v31/n31/fig_tab/onc2011523f8.html

      The tumors are actually shown in (b) .

      I picked this figure as it is the first with graph and image.

      For the drug treated you can work out yourself the minimum size the error bars should be for an n=5, where we have 0, 0, 0, 250 and 250 mm3; 100+/-137
      The control is trickier, but the largest is almost exactly twice the size of the smallest, and so the data gives about 750+/-198 mm3.

      Now this type of thing is very, very, common in my field; biological sciences are half of Retraction Watch’s coverage.
      How does a fair and honest scientist compete in a field where grants and manuscript reviewers ding you down for having wide error bars when you report you tumor studies?
      How can we trust anyones Western Blots when so many people fake them, but journals do not demand that an original Tiff file is deposited?
      My field is suffering hugely.
      Luckily for Climate Science the general consensus is that there are no problems and Judy is just making trouble over nothing.

      • You have my sympathy. It seems to me almost a problem of scale and the collapse of the old-boy network, which, for all of its many justly criticized faults could allow oral reputation and gossip to police the most egregious cheaters. Today, the explosion of biomedical research has probably made it much harder for researchers to know and pass the word on those who exaggerate their findings.

    • I am not sure about that Pekka. One has only to catalogue the exploits of Trenberth in black balling people he disagrees with to realize that people think twice before publishing something calling into question the consensus. I believe Pielke Jr. is the latest target of this sort of thing.

      It is in fact true I believe that the literature is significantly biased and that some inconvenient facts and topics are not discussed very robustly. It will be interesting to see what happens with the latest ocean heat uptake estimate by Wunsch but it seems inconsistent with earlier estimates.

  32. It’s surprising in 2014 that greenshirt political lust to tax and regulate could be called “good intentions”.

    The cow left the barn on this perception decades ago, AGW advocates are essentially on the evil side of the 20th century in particular. Once you wrap your mind around it you can make progress.

  33. Hank Zentgraf

    Let’s open up peer review. All published papers and their written peer reviews are available on the internet. Reviews include one scientist outside the climate science community. All math and statistics are certified by a mathematician outside the climate science community. Names of all involved are published. A third party ranks publications for quality of review.

      • We can’t even get paper submissions to include data, code, and methods yet so a sanity check can be made. I mean, we don’t just want to submit papers so they can “torn apart”….cough…

    • For a good example for how suPEERior review used to be done, read Callendar, G.S., “The Artificial Production of Carbon Dioxide and Its Influence on Temperature”, 2/16/1938. It’s free online in pdf, linked at onlinelibrary.wiley.com. Back then, the Discussion section wasn’t written by the author, but by the editor, who paraphrased the reviewers in the third person. This could be a model for the future to overcome some of the fraud and shenanigans in today’s peer review system.

      The Discussion is also a good read for a couple of other reasons. (1) It is a patronizing-to-sarcastic wirebrushing inflicted by reviewers on the namesake of what Revelle & Seuss crowned the Callendar Effect, now the Greenhouse Effect. And, (2), Sir George Simpson, then head of the MetOffice (now) observed that “it was not sufficiently realized by non-meteorologists who came for the first time to help the Society in its Study, that it was impossible to solve the problem of the temperature distribution in the atmosphere by working out the radiation.”

      Simpson was correct, of course, not so much for the CE/GE, but for radiation forcing modeling, the GCM paradigm. The problem recognized today is that while global climate temperature depends on the global average radiation, that average is not the radiation of some knowable complex of atmospheres averaged over time and space.

      • Cwon14 8/6/2014 @ 9:43 am:

        For the record as the reverberations of this thread sink into the noise, AGW and the CO2 conjecture, if not climate science, have always been political. As I wrote above on 8/4 @ 6:43 pm, the Greenhouse Effect rose out of the ashes of Guy Callendar’s 1938 paper, after it had been scorched by his superiors in review. His paper was accepted for publication according to some professional standards. It was not endorsed by the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, as is the rule in today’s professional journals, a style that subverts the meaning of peer-review and objectivity. Revelle & Seuss promoted that paper to the level of a scientific theory by relying on it, and referring to the Callendar Effect. However, Revelle & Seuss had had no success in their search for supporting data. Instead, their scientific paper became a pitch for funding for the first International Geophysical Year being led by Revelle, and for CO2 measurements by his protégé, CD Keeling, as lead investigator.

        Certainly nothing is unethical about scientists making honest pitches for funding. The line is crossed, though, when the scientist allows conjectures and hypotheticals to appear as theories or laws for public purposes, whether for funding or regulations. He has a professional obligation to prevent the public from confusing speculation for fact. Revelle crossed that line when he famously said, “Thus human beings are now carrying out a large scale geophysical experiment … .” Read on, and one finds that R&S qualified this not as a threat, but as a basis for scientific study:

        >> In contemplating the probably large increase in CO, production by fossil fuel combustion in coming decades we conclude that a total increase of 20 to 40 % in atmospheric CO, can be anticipated. This should certainly be adequate to allow a determination of the effects, if any, of changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide on weather and climate throughout the earth. R&S, p. 26.

        But as laymen, like James Garvey, concluded, “It was the first loud warning about climate change, the first serious expression of concern from the scientific community.” Garvey, “The Ethics of Climate Change: right and wrong in a warming world”, 2008. Experiment, a virtue in science, meant mad scientist to the public.

        Garvey joined the bandwagon to assume that AGW is a real global threat, and so investigated the ethics in responding to that truth. He exposes the alarm created by an unethical act at the outset, first allowing and then encouraging non-scientists to believe in something yet to be established as true. R&S allowed this to happen. It is a hallmark of Post Modern Science, which cannot distinguish between a hypothesis and a theory.

        In the Summer of 1992 and less than a year before his death, Revelle signed on to an article that said,

        >>The scientific base for a greenhouse warming is too uncertain to justify drastic action at this time. [¶] There is little risk in delaying policy responses to this century old problem since there is every expectation that scientific understanding will be substantially improved within the next decade. Singer, S.F., R. Revelle, & C. Starr, “what To Do about Greenhouse Warming: Look Before You Leap”, Cosmos: A Journal of Emerging Issues, V. 5, #2, Summer 1992.

        Debate has raged (in the temple of AGW) over this recanting by one labeled the Father of the Greenhouse Effect. Taken scientifically, i.e., at face value, Revelle regretted the evil he stirred up by his pseudo scientific pitch, when all he wanted to do was to check into the physics. Sure, now. Roger that.

    • John Carpenter

      Hmmm, sounds like traceability.

    • +1 again

      It’s frankly astonishing that whoever is paying for the science (especially if its the taxpayer) doesn’t require this sort of approach in the terms of the contract. In any branch of science.
      I sometimes seriously wonder if anyone involved really wants to get to the truth or are more concerned about tiptoeing around peoples’ feelings.

      I used to design avionics and I was subject to internal audits every month, where everything I did was pulled apart and reviewed by the QA manager and others – I had to provide evidence for everything I did. It took at least half a day. Some of the engineers complained about such a regular ‘waste of time’ but I liked it – I knew it made my work better and saved me time over all.

      A lot of scientists seem to take their work as seriously as if they were still Victorian gentlemen amateurs.

    • You’re just trying to find something wrong with it. You can’t have the code and data! Get it?

  34. Thereafter Jurgen abode in Hell, and complied with the customs of that country, and was tolerably content for a while. Now Jurgen shared with Florimel that quiet cleft which she had fitted out in imitation of her girlhood home: and they lived in the suburbs of Barathum, very respectably, by the shore of the sea. There was, of course, no water in Hell; indeed the importation of water was forbidden, under severe penalties, in view of its possible use for baptismal purposes: this sea was composed of the blood that had been shed by piety in furthering the kingdom of the Prince of Peace, and was reputed to be the largest ocean in existence. And it explained the nonsensical saying which Jurgen had so often heard, as to Hell’s being paved with good intentions.

    “For Epigenes of Rhodes is right, after all,” said Jurgen, “in suggesting a misprint: and the word should be ‘laved’.”

    –from “Jurgen: A Comedy of Justice,” by James Branch Cabell

  35. \\Indeed, the price of abandoning value neutrality as an ideal is prohibitively steep: nothing less, I believe, than our collective credibility as a science.//

    As soon as a scientist starts talking in the third-person plural it’s likely that he’s no longer talking about science so much as he’s talking about pressure group politics. The same goes for concern about “collective credibility.”

    And who are they trying to persuade with their “powers of persuasion” and why? Is danger imminent? If so, why can’t science adequately explain it?

    Why would one, as a scientist abandon value neutrality? Isn’t the very act of abandoning value neutrality an indication that the scientist is acting more in the realm of politics and policy than science? That he’s violating scientific ethics?

    Feynman said, “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts,” which is over-stating it a bit, but whenever experts feel the need to group together to push their collective findings for purposes that are other than scientific and based, perhaps more on intuition, they should expect deep skepticism from other scientists and laymen alike.

  36. Consensus Climate Scientists find themselves in scientific hell when they discover that more and more people do not believe the output of the flawed Climate Models.

  37. “Good intentions”???

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/aug/04/worlds-top-pr-companies-rule-out-working-with-climate-deniers

    Most tin pot dictatorships start with similar rationalizations, for the common good. It’s always been about political not scientific orthodox. We shouldn’t play any game to the contrary. By doing so a fraud is validated; “it’s about science”……..nonsense.

  38. I continue to feel that most Climate Scientists don’t spend much (if any) real time on what they can agree on. Much to the chagrin of the “Core vocal Skeptics” here at CE — Dr. Curry is on record (UK interview earlier this year) that she (1) believes that temperatures have been increasing; (2) she believes in the “basic science”.

    Nobel prize winning scientist (ozone) Dr. Molina asks a fundamental question: “Is following a trajectory path to 800 ppm a good idea?” Using arguments of “basic science”, Dr. Molina says, no, it isn’t.

    For a long time, Dr. Ramathan (Scripts) has been telling us how we can change the current trajectory path to give us additional time to “settle the science” better (e.g., all the feedback loops) by addressing 4 short-lived GHGs: ground-level ozone, black carbon, methane, HFCs. Each one of these pollutants pretty much fit into a “no-regrets” approach improving human health.

    Why aren’t scientists talking about this?

    • I’m a fan of the climate fast attack plan that Ramanathan supports https://judithcurry.com/2012/02/18/climate-fast-attack-plan/ and it was my pick for the best climate story of 2012.

      Obama’s plan does have an element of this, but it has gotten lost in the debate on coal plant regulation.

      • Dr. Curry – from the Ramanathan link:

        ” This strategy avoids 0.7 to 4.7 million annual premature deaths from outdoor air pollution and increases annual crop yields by 30 to 135 million metric tons due to ozone reductions in 2030 and beyond. Benefits of methane emissions reductions are valued at $700 to $5000 per metric ton, which is well above typical marginal abatement costs (less than $250). ”

        These numbers seem specious. How did the come up with the costs, specifically? Did they base it on some sort of climate model or climate-like model that is known to produce numbers that don’t jibe with anything in reality?

        Goldman did a study on methane abatement and there was a small, but net positive cost per unit of methane produced.

        “Abatement Economics

        A 40% percent reduction in onshore methane emissions is projected to be achievable with existing technologies and techniques at a net total cost of $0.66/Mcf of methane reduced, or less than $0.01/Mcf of gas produced. The
        cost for some measures and segments of the industry is more or less than the net total. The initial capital cost of the measures is estimated to be approximately $2.2 billion with the majority of the costs in the oil and gas production segments”

        http://www.goldmansachs.com/our-thinking/our-conferences/north-american-energy-summit/reports/icf-economic-analysis-of-methane-emission-reduction.pdf

      • Careful Dr Curry,

        some here might take this comment as more advocacy on your part.

      • Jim,
        If you think their numbers are dodgy, simply apply the logic to their own policy choices and watch them run away.
        In other words, if his numbers are true, then this is also true: “The decision to demonize nuclear power and natural gas production costs .7 to 4.7 million annual premature deaths from outdoor air pollution and decreased crop yields by 30 to 135 million metric tons.”

      • The linked CE post has a link to the paper, it’s paywalled, and a UN link that leads to something other than the paper. So, I can’t get to the info on how they determined the “costs.” I’m guessing the cost cited are basically some sort of guess. Probably more made-up statistical techniques.

    • Stephen, Judith –
      There is considerable out-of-the-headlines activity on this front. Progress is real, but slow. Stronger, more visible US leadership would help. See the web pages of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

      • Thanks for this link! I’ve flagged this for a future post.

      • David L. Hagen

        Indoor wood fires more deadly than global warming
        Bjorn Lomborg gives similar arguments:
        The World’s Biggest Environmental Killer: Indoor Air Pollution

        Yet, the biggest environmental killer we face is actually indoor air pollution.
        More than one third of the world’s population – 2.9 billion people – still burns wood, charcoal and dung indoors to keep warm and cook food. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 4.3 million people in 2012 lost their lives due to indoor air pollution. Compare these figures to the losses from global warming. The new report from the UN Climate Panel recognizes that “at present the worldwide burden of human ill-health from climate change is relatively small compared with effects of other stressors.” Estimates from the WHO and others suggest that between 30 and 150 times more people are killed due to indoor air pollution than global warming. Yet, the latter dominates the headlines.
        In the 20th century alone, 260 million people were killed by indoor air pollution, which is more than the losses of the century’s many wars.

        Are climate good intensions causing millions of more deaths by diverting attention from the bigger more deadly problems?

    • This is just something I feel strongly about — how “liberalism” has hijacked both the science and political dialogue/debate on Global Warming. “Liberalism” as defined by top/down command/control approaches (carbon taxes, cap & trade) versus Conservatism of de-centralized bottom/up approaches (emphasizing international trade).

      I learned about many Conservative approaches to AGW from Jon Huntsman, who got railed out of the Presidential primaries by the Tea Party. Huntsman’s mortal sin was to say he believed in the basic science — where Tea Party responses were that he wanted to “regulate” cow flatulence (that got big laughs).

      Just look at 99.9% of today’s blog comments — nothing but the same old fussin’ and fightin. Really my only point is the “balance” in both the science and political dialogue that goes on — where rarely do you hear about 4 GHGs that could give science the time to better address feedback loops from the “basic science”.

      Huntsman says things like the U.S. should lift bans on natural gas exports, exporting LNG like crazy to developing economies and giving them “favored” status into U.S. markets for their products. What does the U.S. want for this? That these countries also commit to purchasing U.S. “efficiency technology products” (like anaerobic digesters as an example).

    • I said 20 years ago that while it could be questionable if the Montreal accords did anything about the ozone hole, they could very well be the right policy from a global warming prospective.

  39. David L. Hagen

    Or is it paved with the glitter of gold
    World’s top PR companies rule out working with climate deniers

    Ten firms say they will not represent clients that deny man-made climate change or seek to block emission-reducing regulations . . .
    The UK-based WPP, the world’s largest advertising firm by revenue and parent company of Burson Marsteller and Oglivy Public Relations, said taking on a client or campaign disputing climate change would violate company guidelines.
    “We ensure that our own work complies with local laws, marketing codes and our own code of business conduct. These prevent advertising that is intended to mislead and the denial of climate change would fall into this category,” the company said.

    Equivocation on “climate change”.
    Ad hominem “deniers”, “intended to mislead”.
    See: Global Temperature Update – Still no global warming for 17 years 10 months

    The First Assessment Report predicted that global temperature would rise by 1.0 [0.7, 1.5] Cº to 2025, equivalent to 2.8 [1.9, 4.2] Cº per century. . . .A quarter-century after 1990, the outturn to date – expressed as the least-squares linear-regression trend on the mean of the RSS and UAH monthly global mean surface temperature anomalies – is 0.34 Cº, equivalent to just 1.4 Cº/century, or exactly half of the central estimate in IPCC (1990) and well below even the least estimate (Fig. 2).

    The IPCC (1990) predicted 2.78 C/century warming.
    Actual warming 1990 – 2014 1.40 C/century.

    When climate scientists can pressure green groups to use PR firms to pressure politicians to give more grants . . .!

    With the promise of massive revenues and grants, “Don’t confuse us with the facts!”

  40. The cost of politicization of science is more than just “scientific credibility,” it is the end of the enlightenment. And we have WHT, Michael, Joshua, et all, cheering it on.

  41. Numerous times lately I’ve heard the argument that climate scientists must support the idea of cataclysmic climate change because, since we can’t be sure what will really happen, we must err on the side of safety.

    It’s a modern version of Pascal’s wager. To believe in God when he doesn’t exist does little harm, but to not believe in God when he does exist is a catastrophe.

    But the decision to insure ourselves against the possibility of cataclysmic climate change is not one for scientists but for humanity as a whole. To oppropriate that decision for themselves — to “lie for a good cause” — reeks of arrogance and undermines the foundations of science.

    • I always thought that Pascal’s Wager was stupid anyway. If you choose to constrain your freedom by accepting a set of beliefs and behaviors that go along with believing in God, and you are wrong, you have thrown away your one lifetime, the one you have been waiting 15 billion years to have, and which will be over in a flash for trillions of trillions of eternities over, that is a pretty huge cost.

      Same with climate, the cost of giving up economic freedom is staggering, and if we are wrong, we will have the blood of hundreds of millions, if not billions, on our hands.

      Pascal’s Wager posits the stakes are low on one side and high on the other. Nothing could be further from the truth.

      • Time For An Ob

        “always thought that Pascal’s Wager was stupid anyway. ”

        The irony being that we honor Pascal in meteorology by naming a unit of pressure after him because he demonstrated empirically how pressure varied with a barometer advancing the scientific method over authority.

        At the same time, he held strong religious beliefs which were untestable.

        Sound familiar?

  42. The problem is that the benefits of more CO2 are proven. More CO2 means more growth with less water.

    At 200 PPM C3 plants growth reduces 80% to 90% and at 150 PPM photosyntheses stops. C4 growth is limited to a lesser extent extent but is still significantly reduced. 280 PPM is a close to a starvation level of CO2 and claiming it is an ideal level is an outright lie.

    The groups backing CO2 induced warming have not produced empirical evidence of their claimed forcing levels or positive water vapor feedback. Atmospheric studies would suggest the feedback is negative and the net effect is less than that predicted from CO2 direct forcing alone. Further the effect seems to affect low temperatures (higher low = longer growing season), more than high temperatures (higher high = more plant stress).

    Since more CO2 is needed to feed a hungry planet, the people who are advocating policies based on the CAGW risk need to provide absolute proof to justify actions that carry a real risk of starving billions of people.

    A 17 hiatus that they did not predict and have difficulty explaining just isn’t good enough.

  43. “We find ourselves in scientific hell when we discover that our powers of persuasion are limited to those who were already predisposed to agree with us.”
    This sounds like an overplayed hand. One can pursue a strong persuasive approach apparently at the expense of credibility. One might say, I can do both. The Science and the Persuading. Then one might ask, which are you doing at this time? The persuasive field reminds us of used car salesmen, politicians, lawyers, telemarketing and Popeil’s Veg-O-Matic. The skeptics seem to have the better side of this equation. Being able to say things like, We don’t see much of a signal. We may not have to order in the next 10 minutes to get a second Veg-O-Matic by only paying the shipping and handling charges. Persuasion seems to fit well with the phrase – Act Now. Skeptics can raise seemingly reasonable questions such as do we really need this, will we use it, does it really work? To continue with the poker analogy, Don’t bring more to the game than your prepared to lose. If you bring your Science credibility, you may lose that.

    • Ragnaar, people are bombarded by ‘buy this’, ‘believe this’ and ‘do this’ messages all the time. They are by necessity very good at deciding who they should believe and who they should ignore.
      I think ‘class’ plays a part in this too. Most academics come from middle and upper class backgrounds and are not related to or do not personally know people from less rarefied social groups. Mistaking lack of qualification for lack of intelligence and judgement is rather common in academics.

  44. More “good intentions”, same people….different genre but it is all the same theme, totalitarian inclinations and social dogma;

    http://cnsnews.com/news/article/eric-scheiner/rep-delauro-tax-every-teaspoon-sugar

    Not only do they know the correct carbon footprint for everyone…..in the ENTIRE WORLD…..but themselves they’re ready to ration meat, sugar and if it comes to it water;

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/05/water-bottle-ban-san-francisco_n_4900751.html

  45. stevefitzpatrick

    Wow, you could substitute ‘climate’ for political, and the critique is just as valid. Lots of people have been pointing out the grotesque politicization of climate science for nearly two decades, and explaining, mostly to deaf ears, that advocacy delegitimizes scientific conclusions from the field. That climate scientists (for the most part) continue to insist on policy advocacy simply means to me that they have stopped being primarily scientists, and have become mainly (rather inept) politicians. The tragedy is: the strident advocacy only inhibits the kind of broad political consensus needed to institute reasoned public energy policies. The folly approaches absurdity.

    • Steve, not only do they insist on politicizing the debate, they actively ridicule people (including Judith Curry) for suggesting that this politicization is counterproductive. There are even “hit list” blogs like “source watch” which try to construct narratives for the soldiers in the field on how to attack and delegitimize Curry and other critics of the status quo. And of course propaganda websites like SkS and super-secret forums that help them coif their language to make them sound super authoritative.

      Even given the enormous funding they get collectively compared to their critics, they still can’t “win” the debate, and they wonder why.

      It’s beyond absurd, it’s sickening.

    • In applied sciences and engineering, we advocate all the time. Expert opinions are used all the time in business and government. The real point is that the popular and loudest advocacy is idiotic and the advocates are incapable of making rational recommendations.

  46. Thanks, Judith. It was difficult to read Tetlock without thinking of today’s climate science.

  47. The tragedy is: the strident advocacy only inhibits the kind of broad political consensus needed to institute reasoned public energy policies.

    When they are headed down the wrong path, we do not need or want a strong consensus to institute unreasonable public energy policies.

    While they are crazy, we do not want any consensus on doing stupid stuff.

  48. ‘Simply put, if you’re attracted to ideas that have a good chance of being wrong, and if you’re motivated to prove them right, and if you have a little wiggle room in how you assemble the evidence, you’ll probably succeed in proving wrong theories right. His model predicted, in different fields of medical research, rates of wrongness roughly corresponding to the observed rates at which findings were later convincingly refuted: 80 percent of non-randomized studies (by far the most common type) turn out to be wrong, as do 25 percent of supposedly gold-standard randomized trials, and as much as 10 percent of the platinum-standard large randomized trials.’ http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/308269/

    It is difficult to imagine that climate science is immune to these problems – indeed that the problems are not compounded by systemic and entrenched abuse by climate change gatekeepers. It is a wonder that any gleams of sanity shine through the dross.

    Climate change is an uncertain proposition. Climate and models are coupled non-linear systems and prediction is inherently impossible (IPCC, TAR, 14.2.2.2). Paleodata is like ‘trying to figure out the system’s behavior on the basis of some old 78-rpm recordings of the muffled sounds made by the device. Plus, the recordings are badly scratched, so some of what was recorded is lost or garbled beyond recognition’ (NAS 2002). Critical data on albedo is unrecoverable by any means. Modern data lacks the length of record – the precision required and is missing records of significant aspects entirely. If ‘real’ satellite data shows large changes in TOA shortwave flux linked to low frequency climate variability (IPCC, AR4, 3.4.4.1).

    So where there is wiggle room – there are worms. But once you accept that uncertainty is absolute – the ways forward is clear.

    Adaptation – Copenhagen Consensus analysis of the MDG.

    a) hold the increase in global average temperature below an x°C rise in accordance with international agreements

    RATING: POOR – very difficult to draw link between temperature rises and targeted, efficient policies to tackle climate change (the causation chain moves from temperature increases to global carbon PPM targets, to individual country carbon PPM targets, to policies set within national contexts). Targets that cannot be transferred into metrics should be avoided. (Meinshausen et al 2009, Rogeli et al 2013)

    b) build resilience and adaptive capacity to climate induced hazards in all vulnerable countries

    RATING: PHENOMENAL – benefits are large in terms of avoided economic damage, while costs are manageable (Kull, Rojas et al., UNFCCC 2009, UNFCCC 2011). Tends to be evaluated on a specific case by case basis. Examples in “ASSESSING THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF ADAPTATION OPTIONS AN OVERVIEW OF APPROACHES” find BCAs between 1 and 5 with a 10% discount rate. Will be much higher with a lower discount rate.

    c) integrate climate adaptation and emissions reductions into development plans and poverty reduction strategies

    RATING: FAIR from a global perspective, though individual countries might face GOOD or PHE- NOMENAL benefit-to-cost ratios depending on their circumstances. Certain countries may be able to draw in increased development financing by integrating climate change into poverty reduction strategies, which can help accelerate development outcomes (e.g. NAMAs), (Bassi et al, 2013; Tomkins et al 2013).

    d) introduce instruments and incentives for investments in low-carbon solutions in infrastructure, industry and other sectors

    RATING: UNCERTAIN – the rating for this target depends on the instruments and incentives. Implementing a very low carbon tax ($5/tonne) to fund R&D has a PHENOMENAL rating though high car- bon taxes and feed-in tariffs have a POOR rating. Regulations such as fuel standards can have phenomenal ratings as well, if the required technologies to achieve these standards exist.

    e) improve education and awareness raising on climate change

    RATING: UNCERTAIN – but the BCR could be quite large given costs of education and awareness are typically modest. However, there is limited economic evidence to assess moreover the benefits although greater than the costs would likely also be modest.

    What is missing?

    A target on increasing % share of GDP going into R&D for new, low-carbon technologies.

    An additional target could be ‘Reduce coal’s share of gross power generation from 41% to 25% by 2030”. This is a highly ambitious goal but with the current state and progress of natural gas extraction technologies could still maintain GOOD benefit cost ratios

    There is limited focus on livestock, which is becoming an increasingly important and larger share of global diet. Goals focusing on improving meat production per level of input could have high benefits relative to costs.

    The key for assessments are:

    PHENOMENAL – Robust evidence for benefits more than 15 times higher than costs

    GOOD – Robust evidence of benefits between 5 to 15 times higher than costs

    FAIR – Robust evidence of benefits between 1 to 5 times higher than costs

    POOR – The benefits are smaller than costs or target poorly specified (e.g. internally inconsistent, incentivizes wrong activity)

    UNCERTAIN – There is not enough knowledge of the policy options that could reach the target OR the costs and benefits of the actions to reach the target are not well known

    Fast mitigation

    e.g. http://watertechbyrie.com/2014/06/26/food-for-people-conserving-and-restoring-soils/http://watertechbyrie.com/2014/06/26/food-for-people-conserving-and-restoring-soils/

    Put it into a comprehensive development strategy.

    http://watertechbyrie.com/

    This is a webstie that organizes information around the MDG – and which I am slowly adding to. That’s OK – rational policy is glacially slow.

    By the quality of the comments thus far – we seem well short of sanity in this ‘debate’ – but then nobody ‘ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public’.

    • @Rob Ellison ‘Simply put, if you’re attracted to ideas that have a good chance of being wrong,…’
      Good analysis. I’d venture to say that those programs that require the greatest amount of transfer of wealth from developed economies to developing economies will be the ideas most pushed by political, academic and scientific elites, not so much because there exists some moral justification, there doesn’t. But because the amount of money that can be made when you start the gravy train rolling is enormous and it feeds into the moral pretensions of the Left Progressives.

  49. Advocacy came out of the science, not vice versa. The earlier ideas on AGW were divorced from any kind of policy suggestion. Arrhenius even thought warming might be a good thing. All the way through the 60’s and 70’s as the field was being developed, the scientists were just building on knowledge based in physics, and what they came up with is still the basis of AGW today. Towards the 80’s some scientists started to see Nature as being increasingly affected by Man through CO2 emissions, and realizing that these were not stopping any time soon, the advocate climate scientist was born. If you see something, say something, as Mann said. It can be seen as a duty to speak up if you see a slow-motion disaster occurring. Anyway, as I said advocacy came out of the science, which came out of physics in the pre-political age. On the other side, skeptical views have only arisen in the post-political era, and appear almost entirely motivated by politics, so this is where the posted article pertains. These people have to be careful to look back at the scientific foundations of AGW from the 60’s and 70’s, and see what they disagree with there, just from the scientific angle. The are trying to promote any results in favor of little sensitivity with very obvious political benefits, while ignoring that the majority of the lines of evidence show larger sensitivity than they would want from a political perspective. To them, sensitivity isn’t just an objective number you can get from science, it has a purpose, and they have projected their own views onto the AGW scientists because that is where they themselves come from in their interest in the problem.

    • Short version – socio-political ‘skepticism’ is what we mostly see.

      • or, the skeptics need to get their own house in order first before attacking the actual decades-old parts of the science, if they can.

    • stevefitzpatrick

      Skeptical views arise from a combination of experience in dealing with advocates and enough technical savvy to see how uncertain the scientific projections really are. Sort of like listening to the description of a car coming from a used car salesman.

      • ==> “Skeptical views arise from a combination of experience in dealing with advocates and enough technical savvy to see how uncertain the scientific projections really are.”

        Interesting to see such an unskeptical argument from you, Steve. What % of “skeptics” do you suppose have the sort of technical savvy you describe?

      • We never see skepticism in the direction that AGW is underestimated, despite strong evidence that the Arctic sea-ice loss rate was not fully captured by the models. Why is that? Judith initially here had skepticism on both sides, saying the IPCC range was too narrow. Her view has evolved and narrowed to one end of the range, as far as I can tell. This looks like a drift of opinion that you might get from motivated selection of some favored WUWT-approved results and ignoring others within the IPCC range which are just dismissed as motivated alarmism. There is an asymmetry of thought here that can only be political. The IPCC range brackets all skeptical to alarmist values, and is broader and more neutral in that regard.

      • stevefitzpatrick

        Joshua,
        There is a range of course, but lots of skeptical folks are quite technically savvy. Which is not to say that there are not many (on both sides) who couldn’t tell a differential equation from a line of nonsensical gibberish. I usually avoid trying to interact with those folks; seems a waste of time. See, I am skeptical of people who have not a clue what they are talking about, on both sides.

      • “We never see skepticism in the direction that AGW is underestimated, despite strong evidence that the Arctic sea-ice loss rate was not fully captured by the models.”

        Sure we do, Jim. We call them AMO deniers.

    • ‘The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… ‘ Wally Broecker

      What science? Wally is absolutely correct. Climate shift on decadal scales – making climate sensitivity just one of many dinosaur climate concepts. Don’t quite get it? Yes I know.

      e.g http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130822105042.htm

      Nor can we predict the timing or extent of shifts. What seems to be the case from a couple of sources is that the Earth’s energy budget changes in very significant ways.

      e.g. http://s1114.photobucket.com/user/Chief_Hydrologist/media/ProjectEarthshine-albedo_zps87fc3b7f.png.html?sort=3&o=112

      ‘Earthshine changes in albedo shown in blue, ISCCP-FD shown in black and CERES in red. A climatologically significant change before CERES followed by a long period of insignificant change.’

      Ideological dinosaurs are quite common. Nothing’s changes in 100 years? Quite bonkers.

      • Science doesn’t change in 100 years? Quite bonkers.

      • You might agree that adding hundreds of ppm of CO2 forces the climate to “jump” quite a bit, and in a certain direction, compared to not adding them.

      • It is certainly not obvious that it has been more than a marginal effect. It is still not warming and not likely to for decades at least. That really is
        not the major point but the one on which the ship of fools is foundering.

        But the response proposed as well as the dinosaur science are bonkers.

      • Wally’s choice of words saying we don’t know how the climate is “engineered” is interesting.

    • In the beginning everything was good. But then it turned bad, downright evil. We know this from climategate and Christy’s testimony on Mann’s IPCC shenanigans.

    • “Advocacy came from the science”-

      Talk about revisionism, AGW was a spin off of the “anti-glacier” movement which can easily be rooted from the 60’s left onward. Regardless of the particulars it was always about dictating to industry, establishing a new order of authority and targeting money control for “the common good”.

      AGW climate science is a growth enclave of academia, it’s an ideology and like so much of the baby boom arrogant, angry and self-justifying. Jim D. your narrative doesn’t match the history at all. AGW was simply another means to the common cultural end, power and control with a phony moral banner to hold. People were already predisposed to self-hating politics, anti-carbon (oil crisis) emotions with the general rise of Neo-Socialist base of the Democratic Party which was ascended during the same time frame. Ehrlich, Earthday and a campus culture that formed an industry base with a massive funding trigger through a Keynesian debt expansion at the central planning levels. Spare us the “science” card, they had nothing then any more then they have now. As if less then 2 degrees in a century hasn’t happened all the time, largely in the range of error of the feeble measuring the world is guided by.

      You and Michael are living in a fantasyland and appealing to an authority….”science” that you appear to clueless about. “Science” requires a “proof”. Your science are like minded people reassuring themselves with their NY Times subscriptions and that they for the most part generally agree with each other on most commonly debated political topics. Politically correct science.

      • I would say that you are a prime example of a politically motivated person that sees nothing but that in any realm of science. Maybe Milankovitch was also in on your plot as he proposed climate sensitivity to small effects too, although maybe he is on the “pro-glacier” side, so perhaps you can use him as your hero. I really don’t understand your diatribe. Are you pro-glacier? Are anti-glacier people bad? Which particular glaciers are they anti? How long has this movement been going on?

      • The point Jim D is the current AGW “movement” was built on the backs of many other passe movements of the past. You can go way past Earthday and the 60’s retrogrades.

        The irony that is always obfuscated is the link to truly anti-progressive “conservatism” of say a 17th Lord regarding his estate, his entire world order in fact, must be maintained regardless of the economic regressions such views hold. Hence we now have a leftist Green movement that claims to support the underclass (the usual sanctimonious cue cards) but basically want to depopulate the world to maintain it’s essential relevance. It is best represented by the Ehrlich “Zero Growth” movement of the late 60’s and 70’s and The Club of Rome;

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

        So greens are a morf of old order establishment thinking, a static world view. These views superimposed on the poor of the world are far worse then any colonialist stereotype imagined.

        AGW is colonialism in the worst possible form.

      • “Anti-glacier” people had the same MO as AGW people, science didn’t really matter then either.

        “bad” can be applied to some, maybe most. The point is they are mostly the same as AGW mouth foamers and simply need to be defeated.

    • Steven Mosher

      “. If you see something, say something, as Mann said. It can be seen as a duty to speak up if you see a slow-motion disaster occurring. ”

      yes, so if you see a problem with integrity in science, speak up.

      • The Executive Branch of Government, is prepared to act with the help of scientists.

      • Mosh

        Don’t you think there are a number of overbearing personalities in climate science, and this, together with a desire by many not to rock the gravy boat (until you retire) contributes to an apparent failure to point out inconsistencies and mistakes. It is summed up in this Moroccan Proverb;

        ‘if at noon he says it is night, will you say; behold, the stars?’

        tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        tonyb

        there are many explanations of why people fail to point out mistakes.

        for me the question is how do we make mistakes easier to find.

        sort out the why they are made later.

      • Most
        That seems back to front surely? if you know why they are made you can stop making them in the first place, rather than having to sort them out later

        Tonyb

      • Doubt them all, let God sort out the mistakes.
        ===========

      • Steven Mosher

        “Most
        That seems back to front surely? if you know why they are made you can stop making them in the first place, rather than having to sort them out later”

        IF.

        The practical fact is that it is easier to fix the mistakes than to fix the blame.

        in short, you assume, wrongly, that you can determine why a mistake is made ” oh this one is personality based, oh that one is funding.. and this one is just slopiness” When you try to fix the blame first, the problem never gets solved.

        So, fix the mistake. Then hope you can do something down the road of decreasing their occurance..

      • As you are writing…

        http://eagnews.org/1000-member-secretive-progressive-journalist-group-uncovered/

        something. Is this a surprise to you? They are journalists and they have a story to tell anybody.

      • Mosh

        No one is trying to apportion blame but just to save time and money by trying to avoid making mistakes in the first place. its basic quality control.

        Is Berkeley Earth ISO9000 accredited? If not, should it be?

        tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        tony

        you list overbearing personality as a potential cause of mistakes.
        how in gods name are you going to

        A. determine that fairly
        B. correct it.
        C. point it out without giving the impression of ‘fixing blame’

        in short, fix the problem, not the blame.

        ISO9000 is for industry and service business. wrong standard.

        What you need to do is start a standards committee for scientific work performed by non profits. That standards committee would draft standards. maybe it would pull from ISO9000 but most likely it would not.

        one could ask is it MilStandard as well and get a 600 dollar toilet seat.

        some where some one on the internet is pissed that he has to comply with ISO and he thinks that everyone should.

        Ideally, the US government would decide, or a group of skeptics would decide, that the temperature record is as important as other data.

        question. are the monks records ISO9000?
        is your process of creating a history REPEATABLE.
        have you tested that?

        here is how you would do that.

        Pick 30 years were you reconstruct the data.

        take the sources you used to do this.
        describe your method

        Then ask 10 people to use the text you used and your method and tell me what they say.

        NOTE: you should do this BEFORE you proceed any further. In fact you should have done this years ago. Its called testing your method on a subset of data before you plow through the whole pile.

        Did you do this?

        Nope.

        I’d fail your project on QA grounds.

      • Mosh

        “you list overbearing personality as a potential cause of mistakes.
        how in gods name are you going to…”

        I said nothing of the sort.

        I said people are overawed by overbearing personalities and may be afraid to challenge them.

        You provide me with sufficient funding and resources for three years and I will deliver a properly controlled project. As it is I have to do it all myself and mine each piece of data and try to cross reference it. I use the tried and tested classification of seasons method used by such as Van Engelen of De Bilt and detailed in Phil Jones’ book ‘History and Climate’

        I claim nothing more than a reasonable estimate of trends and general direction of travel and follow Lambs diktat ‘We can know the tendency but not the precision.’

        Are all your numerical figures quality tested for accuracy in the manner of Camuffo or is it only historical anecdotes that must meet your criteria, not figures?

        tonyb

  50. It’s too late for current climate science. Fiddling away past climate by various means may have been dishonest, but it shows, above all, a lack of interest in the subject. In short, it’s less about intentions and more about interest.

    To institute a science of climate one will need a generation of people interested in the subject. And since climate is nothing but change, those people will have a natural interest in “climate change”. The outrageous notion of a former stable climate (never uttered too specifically but so often implied) could not even be contemplated by people with an interest in climate.

    For the present generation, it’s all over. If there are reports of extreme weather or marked change on land or in the oceans there’s no point in reading further for the inevitable “expert” explanations. No more than you’d want to read explanations of clerics and scholars after the Lisbon Earthquake. You know what’s coming, know it’s speculative and/or religious claptrap…and wait for more enlightened times. Sorry, but that’s what the weary punters are thinking.

    • And, not wishing to put too fine a point on it, why do we need thousands, hundreds or even tens of climate scientists all telling us much the same thing?

      • It’s a communication problem, dontcha know. That’s why the Piltdown Mann is front and center with the high priced, high powered, megaphone.
        ==================

      • Kim: That’s a subject I’ve been pondering. There was a recent article about Mann, on his concerns regarding communications (it included a statement by Mann, but can’t find the article now). And there are at least two universities that have centers related to improving climate communications. The Yale center identifies a problem in that the public does not know that over 90% of climate scientists have concluded that AGE is happening. http://environment.yale.edu/climate-communication/

        IMO when communication research starts with propaganda the solutions will be propaganda and, in western populations, the public will not buy it.

      • Sorry. That should be AGW

  51. “Indeed, the price of abandoning value neutrality as an ideal is prohibitively steep: nothing less, I believe, than our collective credibility as a science.”

    Regretfully, the lock-step consensus science community had alread paid that price before Climategate emails revealed our error in late Nov 2009.

  52. The links of the “science” to general academic left-wing radicalism and agenda setting have always been clear;

    http://peoplesclimate.org/march/

    Dr. Curry enables the Joshua, Michael and Jim D factions to exist on this forum in obtuseness. Instead of just indirect references of others correct political associating the AGW “science” why doesn’t she simply state that climate science is dominated by left-wing motives and academic bias? That is REALITY. Why don’t we start a conversation that acknowledges the basic truth and work from there?

    It’s pretty glaring how hard Dr. Curry works to obfuscate this most fundamental truth of the “science” community in question. A safe harbor provision for AGW advocate shills found here.

  53. “The reason for this is issue advocacy by climate scientists.”

    That’s a crock of schit, Curry, and you know it. The reason is that climate “science” doesn’t hold up under scrutiny. I’ve seen tea leaves make better predictions than those in your profession.

  54. Antarctic Sea Ice highest extent on record.

    What the phuck is up with that?

    • Has anyone seen Spring*r and H*llbent in the same place at the same time?

      • Yeah. DPing yo momma.

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

        Let’s assume for the moment that the Earth system is a deterministically spatio-temporal chaotic system. It may shift unpredictably at decadal scales as the system is pushed by greenhouse gas changes and warming – as well as solar intensity and Earth orbital eccentricities – past a threshold at which stage the components start to interact chaotically in multiple and changing negative and positive feedbacks – as tremendous energies cascade through powerful subsystems. Some of these changes have a regularity within broad limits and the planet responds with a broad regularity in changes of ice, cloud, Atlantic thermohaline circulation and ocean and atmospheric circulation. The only real certainty in such a system is the likelihood of surprises. Much as a quite substantial increase in cloud in the 1998/2001 climate shift results in zilch global warming since. Now that was a big surprise to the Borg collective cult of AGW groupthink space cadets. ‘Sceptics’ predicted it all along – publicly.

        So – if the presumption is correct – we have an unstable system which Wally Broecker has likened to a wild beast at which we are poking sticks. It is a fickle and hugely variable beast which exhibits extremes the likes of which we have not even remotely seen in the past 100 years. The question then is what do we do about it. I would suggest totally ignoring the utter farcical and total failure of the neo-socialist green agenda. It is just totally bonkers.

        The bottom line is social and humanitarian values. The critical objective is a high growth and high energy future. This is obviously in complete coon ntradistinction to negative growth and philosophies of limits drones from the collective.

        The complete strategy involves adaptation – ‘build resilience and adaptive capacity to climate induced hazards in all vulnerable countries’ regardless of the cause as we have managed to get included in the post 2015 MDG goals. This has been rigorously assessed by Nobel Prize winning economists as having a benefit/cost ration in excess of 15.

        This is to be build on with fast mitigation options involving black carbon, methane, nitrous oxide, tropospheric ozone and sulphide as well as agricultural carbon sequestration and conservation activities. These can usefully be an outcome of development objectives along with health, education, sanitation and safe water measures that should have a restraining influence on population.

        The end game is to facilitate accelerated energy innovation.

        The contrast couldn’t be more stark. Realism about what science can and can’t say – pragmatism and practicality with respect to comprehensive way forward. Compared to delusional groupthink cognition coupled with an obsession with ‘taxing carbon’. Astonishing that they have persisted so long.

      • … contradistinction…

      • Sell them all the guns & ammo we can produce, so they feel safe at home. Then when sales go flat hit them with Ebola? Who would do such a thing?
        History suggests it is not that uncommon. Remember the old Maxim?

      • Are we all Zombies now? We all saw the movies. Don’t worry experts are paying attention.

      • You want to talk about unintended consequences? I was asked yesterday if I heard about what was going on in Colorado –i.e., something about a wave of stoners moving there to lay around streets.

      • It made me think of what happened in the Berkley. Supposed good intentions and an anti-establishment ethic created a homeless problem that is growing like a cancer today.

      • Free-Speech-Movement. Nice. Look how close we all are today because we were given agencies. Now we have been given free-time for taxpayers to spend on are kids.

      • Rob
        THanks for pushing the discussion back to the track of an unstable climate system that goes increases and decreases with regular cycles and natural fluctuations. Broecker established a bench mark in the field for science and conservative projection from current knowledge. The wild beast became the CAGW meme that models the known without unknown unknowns and projected out to infinity and beyond. Actually 300 years plus 2,000 years back. Lots of targets for work including NOx, SOx reductions, mercury capture and water issues with droughts and resilient supply. Move on energy and desalination science and spend some time on study to understand more of the complex systems. But don’t bet other peoples farms and livelihoods today and projections from the weak position of knowledge. Thank goodness for the pause and the cloud impacts and the slow constant sea level rise. Plenty of issues for our limited resources today.
        Scott

      • @Rob Ellison. “Astonishing that they have persisted so long.”
        Only if the phenomenon is seen as being about environmentalism or climate without deep moral/philosophical roots. What drives this whole enterprise is collectivism which is borne on fear and envy and is as old as man.

      • Rob Ellison

        “Astonishing that they have persisted so long.”

        Delusional groupthink cognition reflects the behavior of the modelers and the subsets of niche climate researchers.

        The energy/the reason for persistence is the infiltration of agenda driven warmists into agencies. These driven ideologues influence the rules and regulations in Governmental agencies like EPA.

        The billionaire moneyed campaign contributors to those who prowl the halls of Congress, and the advisors to our closeted President Obama appoint the ideologues to their positions of influence.

        The persistence of one form of climate agenda is no surprise but predictable from the money flow. Following the money leads to the present groupthink who have captured the reigns of power and the media’s attention.

      • Earth temperature, for the past ten thousand years has been well bounded. It never got more than 2 degrees above or below the average. Most of the time, it did not get more than 1 degree above or below the average. This is mostly ocean temperatures. Land temperatures vary more that that. The roman and medieval and modern warm periods are examples of the warm times. The little ice age is a good example of the cooler times.

        This cycle of warm and cool and warm and cool that we have had for ten thousand years is the new standard cycle that is in place and it is the cycle that will stay in place until something major changes and that something is not a change in a trace gas.

      • Steven Mosher

        Witty.

      • Joshua

        I was wondering that. Perhaps they just move around quickly.

        tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        hellbent is identifiable by his style, which I believe I did in his first comment– now in the trash bin of course.

    • Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a smart and knowledgeable “skeptic.”

    • I want to be clear that my pointing to the smart and knowledgeable “skeptic” was to H*llbent’s comment at 12:48, and not to chief’s at 7:45.

  55. Heh. Sorry willard – I missed your comment commenting on the similarity between our new friend and our long lost buddy, Dave.

  56. http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/08/some-climate-change-survey-questions-id-like-to-see/

    1. Do you deny that climate has always changed, even without the help of humans?

    2. Do you trust climate models to tell us the future, even when none of them predicted the recent 17+ year stoppage of global warming?

    3. Do you believe severe weather has gotten worse from climate change, even though the IPCC (and observations) show that it hasn’t?

    4. Do you support EPA regulations on power plants that will increase electricity costs and hurt the economy, even though they will have no measurable effect on future global temperatures?

  57. Misquoting someone and ridiculing their statements based on the misquote causes harm. When informed of a mistake that causes harm what does a person of integrity with an ethical moral compass do? Would we not agree that the mistake needs to be owned up to and an apology proffered?

    Contrast this to JC’s actions in her post titled:Towards a pragmatic ethics of climate change. Rather than owning up to her mistake she edited the post with no note that she had misquoted Professor Torcello. Indeed, she merely referred to it as a “disputed sentence” – and even that acknowledgement was buried 350 comments down the comment thread.

    She offered no apology to Professor Torcello for misquoting him or mischaracterizing his views. Given this displayed lack of integrity and ethics, I can only read her thoughts on the subject with a very jaundiced eye and wonder why anyone would think she has any standing to address the topic.

    • I particularly enjoyed Judith’s attempt to politicize some trivial issue with USHCN data .
      https://judithcurry.com/2014/07/01/ncdc-responds-to-concerns-about-surface-temperature-data-set/

    • It must be terrible to be right, but irrelevant.

    • The other interesting one was Judith linking to a CA post titled “Cook’s Fake Ethics Approval”.

      Which immediately conjures images of someone fabricating ethics approval, which would be very serious academic misconduct.

      But there was no “fake”, only a very real and appropriate ethics approval.

      Is it ethical to direct attention to false allegations of serious academic misconduct?
      https://judithcurry.com/2014/07/27/the-97-feud/#comment-612049

      • It was “a very real and appropriate ethics approval” that failed to cover the primary portion of the project, a fact John Cook hid by acting as though the confidentiality requirements laid out by the ethics approval extended to the primary data set.

        In other words, there was no ethics approval for their primary work, but Cook pretended there was. It’s reasonable to call that “faking.”

      • Brandon,

        There seems to be a misconception as to what human research ethics approval is required for.

        The ‘humans’ need to be the subjects in the study.

      • “Fake ethics approval” is entirely correct, as you should know.

        “Which immediately conjures images…”
        “Is it ethical to direct attention to false allegations of serious academic misconduct?”

        Ethical to direct attention to what your conjured images stem from?
        Why not? They’re only your conjured images, after all. Professor Curry is not responsible for what you imagine.

      • Michael:

        There seems to be a misconception as to what human research ethics approval is required for.

        The ‘humans’ need to be the subjects in the study.

        No, that’s simply not correct.

        If you are collecting subjective data that involves interaction or intervention, this requires IRB approval in the United States. In Australia (where this research was conducted), even if there is no interaction or intervention, the collection of subjective data still requires ethics review.

      • Note by the way that the humans need not be the point of the collection of the subjective data. Examples of subjective data include rendering an opinion about a manuscript. Ranking manuscripts based on the degree of endorsement of AGW certainly qualifies as that.

      • Not this again.

        Michael, Brandon is correct. Cook obtained ethics approval that covered data gathering from scientists via email. In emails and public discussions, he represented this to cover purported confidentiality promises given to volunteers who rated abstracts. It turned out, it actually did not.

        Carrick, you or I, or anyone, can be wrong. Unfortunately however, you are an academic and the mechanism for recognizing this is broken. What a trap eh?

      • Shub, people who have had training in human subjects research and conducted humans subjects research are more likely to know what is human subjects research than people who just try and parse the words “human subjects”. People with experience in human subjects who actually read the relevant ethics codes and make an effort to understand them are more likely to be right than people whose only response is “nah uh uh” or “Cook said xyz”

        One of us is on record as admitting errors. The other, well I’ve not see you admit to a mistake yet.

        So there is that.

      • Carrick | August 5, 2014 at 4:04 am |
        “If you are collecting subjective data that involves interaction or intervention, this requires IRB approval in the United States. In Australia (where this research was conducted), even if there is no interaction or intervention, the collection of subjective data still requires ethics review.”

        Bollocks.

        The purpose of ethics approval is to protect people who are the subject of research. In the Cook paper, the abstracts are the subject of the study, not the people looking at them.

      • Michael:

        The purpose of ethics approval is to protect people who are the subject of research. In the Cook paper, the abstracts are the subject of the study, not the people looking at them.

        I think you are confused by the moniker “human subjects”. It doesn’t mean quite what you think it means.

        If you read the ethics code, you’d find the purpose of ethics approval to protect any human research participant in research, so that includes individuals who provide opinions and other subjective information.

        It does not include people who are providing objective non-personal information. For example, I could hire somebody to count the number of trucks traveling under an overpass, that wouldn’t be considered human subjects research. If I hired a person to say how loud those trucks were to him/her, that would be human subjects research.

        In the US research surveys are exempted from IRB approval, but typically require a “certificate of exemption” that is filed by the research with the IRB before commencing measurements. (This outlines what is exempted.)

        This study would not be exempted in the US because there was interaction and intervention between the PI and the research participants. In Australia, there is no exemptions provided—all research must receive ethics approval.

        Lewandowsky found this out when he attempted to side-step ethics approval for his “fury” paper. Perhaps he gave Cook some bad advise.

      • Carrick,

        I work in Australia and know the HREC regulations and requirements very well.

        No ethics approval was required for this.

        Why don’t you go and make a complaint? See how that works out for you?

      • Micheal –

        With a conspiracy afoot, a complaint will only result in a whitewash.

        Don’t be a putz.

      • Ah yes, the great global conspiracy.

        Silly me, I though it was just about Section 5.1 and 2.1.7 of the Australian NHMRC National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007).

        I’m such a putz, and dopey to boot!

      • Michael:

        I work in Australia and know the HREC regulations and requirements very well.

        Not if you think the collection of subjective data does not require ethics review.

        You were also very wrong in your claim about “The purpose of ethics approval is to protect people who are the subject of research. ” Nobody who’s actually completed their humans subjects training would ever make such a claim.

        The purpose of ethics review includes> the protection of any human participant in research, not just to protect people who are the “subject of the research”.

        When you have human participants, there is always the possibility of harm and you have to weight that against the potential benefits of the research.

        Now if you can explain to me how people who are ranking papers are not human participants, I’d be delighted to know. When I’ve had people perform rankings, I’ve always had to go through IRB approval. I’m sure my IRB committee would be very interested in your theories too.

      • I should point out that the public statement by the University of Queensland makes it very clear that they regard the raters as human participants who should be afforded protection:

        […]. All data relating to the “Quantifying the Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming in the Scientific Literature” paper that are of any scientific value were published on the website Skepticalscience.com in 2013.

        Only information that might be used to identify the individual research participants was withheld.

        This was in accordance with University ethical approval specifying that the identity of participants should remain confidential.

        Note the information that was withheld was the subjects information associated with the ratings done by Cooks group, not the information associated with the authors survey. There is no way to parse this public statement in any other way than the University of Queensland clearly perceived the individuals performing the ratings in Cooks group to be human participants who needed protection.

      • Carrick, six entries in the authors’ self-ratings data file were withheld to prevent the authors from being identified. I suspect those six entries are all the University of Queensland is referring to. I think they’ve simply been misled into believing that’s the only relevant data which has been withheld.

        Of course, there’s no need to assume that. Your interpretation fits, and it doesn’t require assuming the statement is false. That might make it a more reasonable interpretation. Either way, the University of Queensland has problems.

      • Section 2.1.7 that Michael points to without explanation relates to “negligible risk”. Section 5.1 relates to institutional responsibilities.

        In the US, “negligible risk” would include surveys where there was no interaction or intervention between the researcher and the subject. However, this study did involve interaction with and intervention by Cook so it would not qualify as “negligible risk”.

        Even in cases with “negligible risk” in the US, you still end up with an audit-able paper trail. Institutions typically have “exempt research forms” that they fill out at their institution. Exempted research, when you apply for grants, the reasons for the exemption are stated and reviewed by the funding agency.

        Given that Australia in general has more stringent ethics review requirements than the US does, it would be really surprising if this sort of research could be done without any ethics review process at all., which is Michael’s (and Shub’s, if people missed it) claims.

        A reading of the policy reveals that review is still necessary even in cases where there is low or negligible risk. The institutional responsibilities for this case are spelled out in 2.1.1, and in 5.1.18 through 5.1.23.

        One thing that stands out here is 5.1.19 though:

        Where institutions establish such non-HREC levels of ethical review for low risk research, that review must:
        (a) be carried out by people who are familiar with this National Statement and have an understanding of the ethical issues that can arise in the research under review

        So this still requires an ethics review. In the US, we’d call this an “expedited review” because it bypasses the normal review process.

        It appears that in no cases under Australia law, is the judgement of the risk level left entirely to the researcher, whenever you have human participants in research.

        The current version of the Australian National Statement can be found here.

        By the way, there are responsible conduct in research issues with the way the measurement process were carried out as highlighted by José Duarte, which I believe would have kicked this research into full review in the US, even if it started as expedited review.

        Questions for Michael:

        1) Did you actually read the code yourself and if so what is the basis in that code for a different interpretation? If so, please point to the specific section, copy and paste and highlight relevant clauses that support the claims you’ve made above.

        2) Have you ever been PI on a study involving human participants? If yes, did this include the use of subjective data? If not, what makes you qualified to make definitive statements of the sort you have made above?

      • Carrick | August 6, 2014 at 3:57 am |
        “You were also very wrong in your claim about “The purpose of ethics approval is to protect people who are the subject of research. ” Nobody who’s actually completed their humans subjects training would ever make such a claim.
        The purpose of ethics review includes> the protection of any human participant in research, not just to protect people who are the “subject of the research”….

        This is what happens when you opine on topics you don’t really know – you think you have a ‘gothca’ and overreach.

        ‘Participants’ is just the new shiny PC version of ‘subjects’.

        In our enlightened sate we don’t subject people to research, we act in accord with them, treating them as unique and precious individuals, blah blah, blah…..

        Desperate clutching at trivia.

      • “people who have had training in human subjects research and conducted humans subjects research are more likely to know what is human subjects research than people who just try and parse the words “human subjects”. ”

        LOL.

        Carrick, you are wrong as wrong can be. Like I said, your academic ego prevents you from seeing through.

        By the way, I don’t think it is inconceivable to have a study structured as you propose. The volunteer participants in the project would be the subjects of the study and the performance of the classification scale used, among many other possible things, would have been the target. Such a study would have been a survey of raters and not a survey of abstracts and it would have entailed informed consent.

        Cook’s project was structured in the exact opposite direction. They state as much explicitly in their reply to Tol in Energy Policy.

        Of course they used contradictory statements to avoid releasing data to Tol and to threaten Brandon. If you find yourself using such statements to support your case, you should think hard.

      • Carrick | August 6, 2014 at 4:26 am |
        “I should point out that the public statement by the University of Queensland makes it very clear that they regard the raters as human participants who should be afforded protection:”

        Again, I think you are quite confused and don’t know the details of the Australian.

        Certainly the formal ethics approval relates only to the authors of the papers. But there are also approvals that don’t go to the UQ BSSERC – they are classified as low risk and can be given the OK by school heads.
        Heck, even the formal approval was probably being over-cautious – it did only need expedited review ( ie for the lowest risk research).

        Still, I think the UQ press release is likely misleading – it’s more likely that the restrictions on the releasing potentially identifying data is related to the provisions of the Privacy Act.

      • Science proceeds via argument. Scientists routinely argue over hypotheses, analysis, concepts, methods, and theories. Keeping the reviewers in the dark accomplishes what? Protects them from what?

      • Michael, I see you refuse to engage on the question of whether you have ever had to obtain ethics approval for human participants research so I am assuming the answer is no. I would guess based on the errors in your comments that you’ve never had any formal training on human participants research.

        When you say: “This is what happens when you opine on topics you don’t really know – you think you have a ‘gothca’ and overreach.”

        Since you bring it up, I’ve had 25+ years of experience in human subject research. I’ve had multiple projects where I was either PI or the lead person in the human subject research. And I’ve been through formal training on it. So I can claim some amount of authority on this.

        What does your CV look like in this respect?

        I’ve performed measurements both where the human subjects were the “subject” of the measurement and measurements where the human subjects were not the “subject” but a participant of the research.

        There is one study in particular where that participation was certainly more than of low risk to the participants (jury measurements at a remote location), but the data being collected from the subjects was not being used to study the subjects.

        This research required full IRB approval. University lawyers even got involved in reviewing the consent form. Subjects were transported to the remote site by chartered bus, they stayed in a hotel that was paid for off the grant, they were given a per diem and per day honorariums for their participation. They were driven the remote site from the hotel (which left at 5AM) where they collected measurements outdoors for about 6-hours per day.

        So basically, you’re just full of crap when you claim that simply not being the subject of the measurement removes the research from ethics review. You really don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • Michael:

        Certainly the formal ethics approval relates only to the authors of the papers. But there are also approvals that don’t go to the UQ BSSERC – they are classified as low risk and can be given the OK by school heads.
        Heck, even the formal approval was probably being over-cautious – it did only need expedited review ( ie for the lowest risk research).

        I agree that when you have low and negligible risk studies, these can to through expedited review, but as the regulations make clear whether these go through full or expedited review depends on institutional rules. I’ve seen institutes that require all studies involving internet participants to go through full review for example.

        I haven’t been able to find University of Queensland rules but here’s James Cook University’s version How to submit a human research ethics application: Low or Negligible Risk”.

        Expedited review could be department head, but it’s not in the hands of the researcher himself. That’s the point I’ve been making.

        Cook took it upon himself to excuse the main part of his study from review. And that’s a problem. See the comment at the bottom of the document:

        “PLEASE NOTE: THE HREC DOES NOT GRANT RETROSPECTIVE APPROVAL”

      • shub, if you want me to take you seriously, point to the place in the ethics code that supports your claims. I happen to know you’re wrong from personal experience.

        I don’t know what your personal experience is because you aren’t providing any details. Market studies for example aren’t considered research. You need to be a human participant and it needs to be research before ethics review (of some sort) is invoked.

      • jim2:

        Keeping the reviewers in the dark accomplishes what? Protects them from what?

        Answering that is exactly what the ethics review is for. Here are some issues:

        To determine whether the benefits of the research are sufficient to warrant the use of human participants in research.

        To determine whether there are risks to the reviewers and whether the researcher is taking adequate steps to protect his/her participants.

        To determine that the researchers protocol for subjects wishing to withdrawing from the study is non-coercise.

        What does the consent form look like? Does it adequately and accurately explain the benefits of the research, the risks to the participants, and their rights of withdraw?

      • The definition of research in the US includes a list of activities that are excluded (not considered research):

        Research” generally does not include operational activities such as defined practice activities in public health, medicine, psychology, and social work (e.g., routine outbreak investigations and disease monitoring) and studies for internal management purposes such as program evaluation, quality assurance, quality improvement, fiscal or program audits, marketing studies or contracted-for services. It generally does not include journalism or political polls. However, some of these activities may include or constitute research in circumstances where there is a clear intent to contribute to generalizable knowledge.

        A pure marketing study would not be research, but an attempt to contribute to our understanding of the level of consensus in climate science would.

      • “I happen to know you’re wrong from personal experience.”

        Carrick, you throw your personal reputation behind your opinion. Your posts are long and filled with irrelevant detail.

        All the above does not matter. The volunteers in Cook’s project are not research subjects. Their opinion is not the object of study.

        What does it matter how many years of experience you have, or one has? Wrong is wrong.

        I have several years experience of applying for, and conducting human subjects research. That’s not what makes what I say correct.

        Your posting endurance, and time on your hands is stronger than mine. I cede the ground.

      • shub:

        I have several years experience of applying for, and conducting human subjects research. That’s not what makes what I say correct.

        But is it research and is it conducted under the auspices of title 45, section 46 or relevant code in your country?

        And as I mentioned, I have more than 25 years, plus ethics training, plus multiple funded grants that had human subjects research as its focus.

        But that doesn’t make what I’m saying right either, but being able to point to the relevant clauses in the code does.

        In any case, it shouldn’t be hard for you to construct a counter-argument that supports what you claim using, starting e.g. with Federal Regulations 45F46

        It seems to me you are doing what you are claiming I am doing. You are appealing to authority without making any substantiation for your claims.

        My reputation at this point in my field is well established. I can afford to be wrong and admit to it. But before I am willing admit to error, you actually have to be able demonstrate error.

        Simply claiming knowledge and authority without substantiation doesn’t cut it.

      • shub:

        All the above does not matter. The volunteers in Cook’s project are not research subjects. Their opinion is not the object of study.

        I also gave a very specific example in my comments that you obviously didn’t read.

        It involves research participants who’s opinions were not the object of the study.

        And it required full IRB approval.

      • “Michael, I see you refuse to engage on the question of whether you have ever had to obtain ethics approval for human participants research so I am assuming the answer is no”

        Does this arrogant approach usually work for you?

        If you’d been paying attention, you might have noticed that your comment got caught in moderation, so my “refusal to engage” is non-existent.

        And there answer is yes, and i have the advantage of working here in Australia so i understand the processes much better than you do.

        “When you say: “This is what happens when you opine on topics you don’t really know – you think you have a ‘gothca’ and overreach.”
        Since you bring it up, I’ve had 25+ years of experience in human subject research. I’ve had multiple projects where I was either PI or the lead person in the human subject research. And I’ve been through formal training on it. So I can claim some amount of authority on this.” – carrick

        I was referring to our system – you aren’t familiar with it, you are making assumptions based on incomplete knowledge and getting them wrong.

        I’ll help you out a bit more – until recently UQ was my institution.

        You’re making a f00l of yourself.

        “So basically, you’re just full of cr@p when you claim that simply not being the subject of the measurement removes the research from ethics review. You really don’t know what you’re talking about” – carrick

        I’ve never said this.
        Arguing in bad faith does you no credit.

      • Carrick | August 6, 2014 at 11:30 am |
        “I haven’t been able to find University of Queensland rules ……Cook took it upon himself to excuse the main part of his study from review. And that’s a problem. “

        Yet, that doesn’t stop you making baseless assertions based on incorrect assumptions.

        I’ve a comment caught in moderation, in case it stays for a while – I know the UQ rules well. I worked there.

        Just stop.

      • Michael, what I said is based on Australia ethics code, which gives guidance to what the University of Queensland can and cannot do. So not knowing the specifics does not affect the conclusions we can make.

        What we know is that even “low risk” research requires external ethics review external, even if that is by his department head, an expedited review within the IRB committee or whatever.

        The point is that Cook needed to have submitted an ethics application regardless of whatever specific mechanism has been set up by University of Queensland that you know so well.

        Now if you want to find the specific regulations (akin to the ones I found for James Cook U) go ahead, but it’s not going to change the picture in any meaningful way.

      • It’s interesting that Michael would say “Yet, that doesn’t stop you making baseless assertions based on incorrect assumptions.”

        When he knows full well what I said is based on Australia ethics code. I neither have to make assumptions or baseless assertions.

        It’s also interesting that Michael’s entire defense is based on baseless assertions like the fact that because he worked at the University of Queensland that makes him an expert on ethics code.

        This is a classic example of doing yourself what you accuse others of doing.

      • Carrick | August 6, 2014 at 9:20 pm |
        “Michael, what I said is based on Australia ethics code…..
        The point is that Cook needed to have submitted an ethics application regardless of whatever specific mechanism has been set up by University of Queensland that you know so well. ”

        Err…. he did.

        ??

      • Carrick | August 6, 2014 at 9:23 pm |
        “It’s interesting that Michael would say “Yet, that doesn’t stop you making baseless assertions based on incorrect assumptions.”
        When he knows full well what I said is based on Australia ethics code. I neither have to make assumptions or baseless assertions”

        Yet, you also said that you couldn’t find the UQ rules…so we know that we don’t know the UQ process at all.

        And this;
        “Cook took it upon himself to excuse the main part of his study from review..” – carrick.

        That’s just pure invention.

        You’re making less and less sense.

      • Michael, you are not arguing coherently at this point.

        You say:

        The point is that Cook needed to have submitted an ethics application regardless of whatever specific mechanism has been set up by University of Queensland that you know so well. ”
Err…. he did.

        Yet you know full well there was not an application for the rankings by Cook’s volunteers. The ethics application was only for the survey of authors, and the application wasn’t made until after the completion of the rankings of roughly 12,000 abstracts.

        So yes, he submitted an ethics application. But it had nothing to do with the point of contention. You know this full well so, it is dishonest for you to argue this point as if it were different than it is.

        Yet, you also said that you couldn’t find the UQ rules…so we know that we don’t know the UQ process at all.

        So what just happened to your supposed expertise with respect to UQ rules? Again you are not being coherent.

        Either you know something or you don’t.

        To add some detail, I had found them previously and I had read them, but it was back in March. I just couldn’t find the link at the time I wrote that comment. So it’s not like I was operating totally in the dark. Unlike you, I don’t make assertions without being able to back them up.

        I had pointed out that we can infer quite a bit about what U Queenland can do from the federal regulations. You keep choosing to ignore that.

        Anyway here’s the link. And it confirms that an ethics application for Cook’s research is required:

        Research Not Requiring Review

        There are no categories of human research which are exempt from review.

        Data, samples, and materials collected or obtained without UQ ethics approval (and any other relevant approvals) can not be used for research purposes.

        If you knew UQ rules as well as you claimed you did, you would also know that no research is exempted from review, and that the approval cannot be given retroactively.

        So this is a bit of a problem for Cook.

      • Carrick | August 6, 2014 at 10:31 pm |

        “Yet, you also said that you couldn’t find the UQ rules…so we know that we don’t know the UQ process at all.” – michael
        So what just happened to your supposed expertise with respect to UQ rules? Again you are not being coherent.
        Either you know something or you don’t.”

        LOL – obviously that was meant to be “we know that you don’t know the UQ process…”

        “….So it’s not like I was operating totally in the dark…we can infer quite a bit…”- carrick

        Yes, that’s about right – stumbling around in the not complete dark, making guesses.

        ” ‘There are no categories of human research which are exempt from review’.
        If you knew UQ rules as well as you claimed you did, you would also know that no research is exempted from review, and that the approval cannot be given retroactively.”

        And for those who know the UQ processes- ‘review’ is not the same as approval via one of the two ethics committees.

        As I’ve already told you, low risk research can be approved by heads of school without formal approval – this is also ‘review’.

        Stop embarrassing yourself.

      • Michael, the University of Queensland ethical review is governed by the Australia National Statement, as I discussed here.

        Stating what the University of Queensland can do based on national law is not exactly “stumbling around in the dark”. It’s still an informed opinion.

        I knew that ethical review of some sort was required, I didn’t know the details of it.

        And for those who know the UQ processes- ‘review’ is not the same as approval via one of the two ethics committees.
As I’ve already told you, low risk research can be approved by heads of school without formal approval – this is also ‘review’.
Stop embarrassing yourself.

        Oh well thanks for the help. LOL. Like I haven’t said that a dozen times already. >.<

        Look—it still requires a written request from the researcher and a documented response from the head of school. It is not up to Cook to decide he is exempted because there are no exemptions.

        But I also don't think this research even qualifies for "low risk" because of the interaction present between the researcher and the participants. I've explained that above multiple time.

        Given how many gross errors and totally clueless you've been on this thread, you think I'm the one who should feel embarrassed? That's a quite trip.

        This has been Michael's reign of error thread.

        Time for you to claim your victory.

      • Carrick | August 6, 2014 at 11:34 pm |
        “Look—it still requires a written request from the researcher and a documented response from the head of school. It is not up to Cook to decide he is exempted because there are no exemptions.”

        You keep saying this.

        Based on what?? It’s pure invention on your part.

        “”But I also don’t think this research even qualifies for “low risk” because of the interaction present between the researcher and the participants. I’ve explained that above multiple time.”- carrick

        Well this just goes to show how lost you are.

        It went to formal ethics review and was granted an expedited approval – for the lowest risk research.

    • You registered your complaint already on the post to which you refer. Skiphil, immediately after your complain/comment gave you an accurate answer: Torcello’s statement was not commented on because it was of no interest to anybody, and regardless, the slight misquote or the actual quote, there’s not any difference in the message, and they both reflect stupidity.
      If you want to continue commenting on your indignation I will have no problem in repeating this message about Torcello.

      • Above reply to Kevin

      • rls
        agree with the Torcello response. Kevin is off base. Torcello made an outrageous statement that got media coverage but backed off when confronted with the implications of his throw denialists in jail. Parse of exact language is unproductive. His meaning was clear.
        Scott

  58. Dr. Curry,

    “I definitely think robust decision making strategies and no regrets policies are the better way to approach complex, wicked problem with deep uncertainty. I have advocated for this approach, not for any specific policies that might emerge from this approach.”

    Not particularly interested in the food fight above about who is an advocate and who is not. I think it is a distraction form your own messages.

    But it should be clear by now that process is policy. “This approach” that you support is diametrically opposed to the consensus approach of appeals to authority and implementation of decarbonization on a national scale.

    More than just policy, this is advocacy of, horror of horrors, ideology.

    Process IS policy, is politics, is ideology. Governments need to make decisions. What decisions government makes, how it makes them, and by whom, are at the core of the debate that has endured as long as there have been governments. Rule by an “elite” (by birth right, divine right, conquest or now supposedly intelligence) seeking its own priorities, versus rule by the people. And rule by the people is the historical exception.

    Advocating for disposing of the IPCC is policy advocacy, and diametrically opposed to the consensus/progressive policy prescription.

    Advocating for “no regrets policies” is, by your own chosen term, policy advocacy and diametrically opposed to the consensus/progressive policy prescription.

    Advocating for integrity in science is policy advocacy and diametrically opposed to the consensus/progressive policy prescription.

    Advocating for attempting to divorce climate science from the political agenda that drives it is policy advocacy and diametrically opposed to the consensus/progressive policy prescription.

    Advocating against the implementation of decarbonization is policy advocacy and diametrically opposed to the consensus/progressive policy prescription.

    Advocating against the attacks on free speech/bullying is policy advocacy and diametrically opposed to the consensus/progressive policy prescription.

    And all of these are excellent policies, derived from a view of the proper role of science vis a vis government and government vis a vis the people. Which I hate to tell you, is straight out of conservative ideology. The recognition that core principles, integrity, humility, etc. are more important than the political ends of the consensus establishment. The ends do not justify the means, if the means are contrary to certain core principles.

    You are truly speaking truth to power more now by far than when you were part of the consensus, speaking false certainty on behalf of power, to the people. You should not run from the label of advocate, but be proud of it. because what you are advocating, regardless of its ideological roots, is excellent.

    I fear you are still hung up on the characterizing of opposing views as “political” or ‘ideological” as a means of demeaning and dismissing them, that was the norm in your prior tribe. Hopefully you will eventually get rid of that baggage, as it distracts from your laudable efforts.

  59. Is Judith Curry even remotely aware of the irony of this large re-post, on thissite?

    I believe if she was even in the slightest, then the constant self reinforcing (and singular self selected blogosphere commentary ultra reinforcing) parade of carefully crafted one sided arguments that are always leaning in the direction of knocking climate science; or trying to substitute in (or implicitly rely upon) a different definition of what CC (the future threat of major climate shift in response to a geologically radical and still super rapid ongoing increase in long lived atmospheric GH gases) is or what “establishes” it; or one-sidedly re-moralizing about moralizing, when moralizing ultimately doesn’t have anything to do with this (sensible strategy in response to the facts at hand and our best, most OBJECTIVE assessment of risk, does); probably wouldn’t be so casually trotted out.

    Most of the “one sided-ness” of climate scientists emanates from two things. The basics of the issue are unchanged, and not really refuted (see below): A A geologically radical long lived GH alteration to the long term composition of our atmosphere (on the order of several million years now, and growing rapidly) presents a significant threat of ultimately greatly (even radically) altering our climate correspondingly. Not contemporaneously.

    Uncertainties over exactly how and over what exact path (and time frame) and to exactly what extent (and even to exactly what degree of probability) are being incorrectly – but very conveniently – conflated with uncertainty over the basic theory of a likelihood of major change in response to such a radical increase in our atmosphere.

    The second thing is that most of the skepticism is not skepticism in the sense of trying to arrive more objectively at what is really going on, but it is designed to create, or is led by, the belief that CC is not a big deal.

    This has greatly mangled public understanding on the issue, which is only furthered by the intense self reinforcing insularity of blogs like these, and which understandably frustrates many scientists, who see every little error turned into the national or international scandal or the year or decade, while there is past a blind obliviousness to the incredible number (and magnitude) of errors made by climate “skeptics.” Most of which are dismissed, such as is this site pointing out a lot of them, by some pre-orchestrated fashion, as a means to simply ignore analyses that are inconvenient, let alone often accurate and non hysterical.)

    The intensity of the response to my comments on here, the lack of willingness to consider, and the substitution of almost any theory (or accusation) only goes to further illustrate this. But by the same process this point just made will be missed (or misconstrued, as will this comment), as well. But there has been an utter lack of willingness to consider – exactly what is written about above, complained about above, turned into a pretty strong rhetorical argument of “science hell,” above, supposedly on the part of mainstream climate scientists.

    Apparently, Judith Curry can’t (yet) see this either.

    Mainstream climate scientists might make mistakes (everybody does). But selectively picking data to arrive at results such as the “earth is cooling” (while constantly, as with everything, projecting out the same to leading climate scientists, the World Meteorological Association, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, the National Academy of Sciences, etc. etc. etc.); or arguing that since we don’t know it’s therefore not a big threat; or arguing that since the earth has changed before our likely radical alteration of it now either a) doesn’t matter, or b) is therefore unlikely; or that the oceans are not gaining heat based upon a re-orientation of the tea leaves in opposition to every major scientific organization, or again argue that “we can’t know every corner of the ocean so we can’t understand general trends,” in order to fit just such a pre formulated view as talked about in the original (re)post above; or any other argument yet advanced which is just about as irrelevant to the underlying issue, or misconstruing of it, as those, isn’t new information.

    It’s not a new perspective. It’s arguments that have arisen, despite what Judith Curry insists, to try and establish that Climate Change is not a big deal, and to discredit Climate Science, which is most of the effort of so called climate change “skepticism.”

    I challenge climate scientists all the time. Particularly the IPCC.

    It is just not done along the lines that climate skeptics like, because those arguments largely don’t make sense, and come from a desire to believe that CC doesn’t pose a serious threat of major climatic impact, rather than an honest (or at least objective) assessment that it doesn’t or of the arguments actually being made that such a radical alteration of our atmosphere, of the very otherwise atmospherically sparse molecules that individually each absorb and re radiate heat – of the very molecules that in even much smaller total numbers keep our earth about 55 to 60 degrees warmer on average than it is – does not.

    Or they come from a complete alarmist (the irony) view of macroeconomics and little faith in our economies’ abilities to adjust to far more sensible production and energy forms and practices.

    Or they come from huge fossil fuel industry funding and backing and tailored information and dissemination designed to create and further doubt.

    Or they come from a very far right view sort of unconditional entitlement to cheap energy but not our own air and water type of view, along with a sort of philosophical (but scientifically groundless) implicit belief that we “can’t” really affect the earth that much, or are not, or if we are, it doesn’t matter.

    Or they come from some sort of experience (such as Ms. Curry had) that disillusions one with an entire group because of an experience or something they did possibly miss (or maybe they didn’t but one thinks it; it doesn’t matter either way).

    All of which then get greatly reinforced once one joins this anti CC “skepticism” rather than evaluation, which is like a roaring wave built upon the entire notion that ultimately, anything that has not yet happened and by its very nature can be indefatigably “proven” in advance and is yet complex and somewhat conceptual, can be swirled in enough controversy to create, further, and ultimately, reinforce doubt and thus belief in that doubt.

    All the things that have muddled the science environment and the view of scientists, largely unfairly, and which, now muddled, the climate scientists are once again being blamed for.

    If responses to this comment follow the norm, most will only serve to prove the point even further.

    • Very sharp of you to say so.

    • John Carter fails to realize that all he has is a religious like system of belief that humans emitting CO2 must lead to terrible events.

      John Carter fails to be able to point out the rational scientific basis for his beliefs, and fails to moderate those beliefs none the less.

      John– shorten your messages, expand your science knowledge and stop trying to appeal to authority.

    • @Carter
      Just wondering if you have ever had the enlightening experience of being behind a theory or model that has been shown wrong? From the tone I would guess not?
      Skeptics arent trying to muddle things. Skeptics are just calling the BS where they see it.

  60. Present scientific plague harms only western science, and weakens it, perhaps down to a dangerous threshold later on: Public no longer believing Scientists, then cutting research credits, resulting in full science collapse in few decades.
    But other countries are not infected: BRICS, Iran and so on.
    Perhaps they are the future scientific, technical, hence economical and military leaders.

  61. can’t, not can, be indefatigably “proven” in advance

  62. Turrible thread, psychobabble run amuck.

    Where’s the clouds?

  63. It would be a nice luxury if there was a preview window or edit function.
    —-

    Is Judith Curry even remotely aware of the irony of this large re-post, on this site?

    I believe if she was even in the slightest, then the constant self reinforcing (and heavily self selected blogosphere commentary reinforcing) parade of carefully crafted one sided arguments that are always leaning in the direction of implicitly knocking major climate science; or trying to substitute in or rely upon a different definition of what CC – the future threat of major climate shift in response to a geologically radical and still super rapid ongoing increase in long lived atmospheric GH gases – is or what “establishes” it; or one-sidedly re-moralizing about moralizing, when moralizing ultimately doesn’t have anything to do with this (sensible strategy in response to the facts at hand and our best, most OBJECTIVE assessment of risk, does); probably wouldn’t be so casually trotted out.

    Most of the “one sided-ness” of climate scientists emanates from two things. The basics of the issue are unchanged, and not really refuted (see below): A geologically radical long lived GH alteration to the long term composition of our atmosphere (on the order of several million years now, and growing rapidly) presents a significant threat of ultimately greatly (even radically) altering our climate correspondingly. Not contemporaneously.

    Uncertainties over exactly how and over what exact path and time frame and to exactly what extent (and even to exactly what degree of probability) are being incorrectly (but very conveniently) conflated with error in the basic theory of a high risk of major change, in response to the radical increase in our atmosphere’s long lived heat trapping gas molecule content.

    The second thing is that most of the skepticism is not skepticism in the sense of trying to arrive more objectively at what is really going on, but it is designed to create, or is led by, the belief that CC is not a big deal.

    This has greatly mangled public understanding on the issue, which is only furthered by the intense self reinforcing insularity of blogs like these, and which understandably frustrates many scientists, who see every little error turned into the national or international scandal of the year or decade, while there is a seeming blind obliviousness to the incredible number (and magnitude) of errors made by climate “skeptics.” Most of which are dismissed, such as is this site pointing out a lot of these fairly big skeptic errors, by some pre-orchestrated fashion, as a means to simply ignore analyses that are inconvenient, let alone often accurate and non hysterical.

    The intensity of the response to my comments on here, the lack of willingness to consider, and the substitution of almost any theory (or accusation) only goes to further illustrate this. But by the same process this point just made will likely be missed (or misconstrued, as will this comment), as well. Yet there has been an utter lack of willingness to consider – exactly what is written about above, complained about above, turned into a pretty strong rhetorical argument of “science hell,” above, supposedly on the part of, mainstream climate scientists.

    Apparently, Judith Curry can’t (yet) see this either.

    Mainstream climate scientists might make mistakes (everybody does). But selectively picking data to arrive at results such as the “earth is cooling” (while constantly, as with everything, projecting out the same toward leading climate scientists, the World Meteorological Association, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration, the National Academy of Sciences, etc. etc. etc.); or arguing that since we don’t know it’s therefore not a big threat; or arguing that since the earth has changed before our likely radical alteration of it now either a) doesn’t matter, or b) is therefore unlikely; or that the oceans are not gaining heat based upon a re-orientation of the tea leaves in direct opposition to every major scientific organization, or again argue that “we can’t know every corner of the ocean so we can’t understand general trends,” in order to fit just such a pre formulated view as talked about in the original (re)post above; or any other argument yet advanced which is just about as irrelevant to or misconstruing of the underlying issue as those, isn’t new information.

    It’s not a new perspective. They’re largely arguments that have arisen, despite what Judith Curry insists, to try and establish that Climate Change is not a big deal, and to discredit Climate Science, which is most of the effort of so called climate change “skepticism.”

    I challenge climate scientists. Particularly the IPCC.

    It is just not done along the lines that climate skeptics like, because those arguments largely don’t make sense and come from a desire to believe that CC doesn’t pose a serious threat of major climatic impact, rather than an honest or at least objective assessment that it doesn’t, or of the arguments actually being made that such a radical alteration of the long term levels of the otherwise atmospherically sparse molecules that individually each absorb and re radiate heat – of the very molecules that in even much smaller total numbers keep our earth about 55 to 60 degrees warmer on average than it is – does not.

    Or they come from a complete alarmist (the irony) view of macroeconomics and little faith in our economies’ abilities to adjust to far more sensible production and energy forms and practices.

    Or they come from huge fossil fuel industry funding and backing and tailored information and dissemination designed to create and further doubt.

    Or they come from a very far right view sort of unconditional entitlement to cheap energy but not our own air and water type of view, along with a sort of philosophical (but scientifically groundless) implicit belief that we “can’t” really affect the earth that much, or are not, or if we are, it doesn’t matter.

    Or they come from some sort of experience (such as Ms. Curry had) that disillusions one with an entire group because of an experience or something they possibly missed (or maybe they didn’t but one thinks it; it doesn’t matter either way).

    All of which then get greatly reinforced once one joins this anti CC “skepticism” rather than evaluation machine, which is like a roaring reinforcing wave built almost entirely upon the notion that ultimately, anything that has not yet happened and by its very nature can not be indefatigably “proven” in advance and is yet complex and somewhat conceptual, can be swirled in enough controversy to create, further, and ultimately, reinforce doubt and thus belief in that doubt.

    All the things that have muddled the science environment and the view of scientists, largely unfairly, and which, now muddled, the climate scientists are once again being blamed for.

    If responses to this comment follow the norm, most will only serve to prove the point even further.

    • ” the future threat of major climate shift in response to a geologically radical and still super rapid ongoing increase in long lived atmospheric GH gases”

      Because you have fears (beliefs), all others should act????

    • While Dr. Curry places dissenting (to AGW cultural orthodox) commentary on the blog, in this case a far visioned one from 20 years ago she NEVER endorses the obviously correct conclusion that the core of the climate science community was and is driven by an orthodox leftist political culture. Certainly the main compost of the U.N. and its derivative IPCC.

      It’s either denial, adherence to political orthodox for likely many complex rationals (no excuse frankly). It’s time to post Delingpole and endorse the conclusion that may in fact form the silent majority who have explored the agenda in detail. She’s splitting hairs to humor you not the rest of us.

    • John,

      Did you sleep with the light on as a kid? Always scared of monsters under the bed?

      You claim skeptics are trying to create the image that climate change is not a big deal and that they have successfully mangled public understanding on the issue. You use terms such as “geologically radical” and “super rapid” to generate an inflated sense of urgency and risk, but have nothing to back up such claims. You want everyone to be afraid of fat tailed projections from climate models, whose predictive abilities are questionable at best. And the fact that most of the general public isn’t as afraid as you and apparently not all that interested in taking action of any sort is evidence of dirty, immoral skeptics confusing the message. It is inconceivable to you that maybe the problem is your message has little substance and your credibility has been spent crying wolf.

      I took graduate coursework in atmospheric physics and chemistry. I understand how a GHG works and accept the likelihood of it impacting temperature. I also believe that other anthropogentic factors impact climate and that our understanding of how all of these interact is barely out of its infancy. I know that there is far more we don’t understand about climate or for that matter, weather, than what we do understand.

      In light of all the unknowns, all I’m asking for is some evidence of impending disaster. You know, the oceans rising at significantly higher rates than previously recorded. Statistically notable increases in any of the bad things currently attributed to climate change – flooding, drought, hurricanes. Showing that temperature is increasing is not enough. Particularly when we can’t determine how much it should rise with each doubling of CO2. When we can’t determine something as basic as that, what makes you think we can predict future impacts?

      • Timg56

        all I’m asking for is some evidence of impending disaster.

        Do you want the earth to turn from a large ball of rock into a sentient being, grab a megaphone, and warn us?

        What kind of evidence of a future, lagging, cumulatively compounding affect of major to radical shifts in our climate from what is now a several million year plus change in total collective long lived greenhouse gas concentrations, short of the affect itself (at which point, it would be after the fact) do you want?

        Perhaps evidence of a lagging, cumulatively compounding affect itself, as simply additional corroboration of the basic theory (expressed as early as 1965 by then President Johnson, before most of the fairly unusual, if not unprecedented, degree of rise in ambient air temperature alone), such as increasing surface permafrost above ambient permafrost air temperatures, increasing net ice melt, just beginning increasing methane releases (“coincidental” or not), increasing ocean temperatures and signs of an increasing rate as well, increasing net ice sheet melt (with some very subtle but increasing signs of acceleration if one takes off an advocacy hat) and increasing ice temperatures, with, but perhaps even least important of all, a fairly unusual longer term upward ambient air temperature trend that has quickly gone from near the lowest of the past 11,000 years in what has been a very slow general downward trend (if not otherwise completely random) to relatively high levels for our current Holocene, or post last glaciation, period.

        The major “warning” you are looking for is the effect itself. That’s not a warning, and given that this is an accumulating, compounding issue, this will be long after the fact of both predominant causation, as well, more importantly, our ability to even somewhat control our own destiny on it. And since we, if inadvertently and through good intention and normal routine, created it, we should be more actively controlling our destiny on it

        Models can’t predict with precision. And the inability to exactly pinpoint both the precise degree of average ambient rise or just change, as well as the precise almost geologically meaningless path on a nearly year to year or decade to decade basis, has been widely mistaken for the efficacy, vitality or sensibility of the “Climate Change” phenomenon itself.

        There is basic climate variability. (And if anything, it’s probably increased given the huge external radiative forcing this atmospheric change represents.) There seems to be an inherent assumption that it did, but that didn’t go away just because the climate is likely to be increasingly changing over time; and models can’t capture that inherent variability with the precision that is being demanded, and incorrectly conflated with general Climate Change theory error.

        We’re very now oriented, we’re very data oriented, but it’s a geologic issue, and the most relevant data is the geologic record, and the long term atmospheric concentration changes (and ongoing changes.) Observation signs (including data) are just that. The only other relevant data, by definition, ceases to be a warning, but serves as the ultimate effect, probably well after the fact of the cause itself.

        By the way, the conflation of sleeping with the light on as a kid (no, btw, to say the least) with an assessment that increasing atmospheric concentrations of long lived greenhouse gases to levels not seen in several millions of years during an otherwise temperate ice ridden period presents a significant probability of major long term climate impact in response, is ludicrous; and realistically, you should know that. Perhaps that you seem not to is part of why you have (so far) assessed the issue as you have? That or a huge predominant bias; in which case, as a sort of a self sealing belief, and as many have pointed out elsewhere, no facts or logic can be effectively presented, because a way will simply be found to dismiss, ignore, or otherwise denigrate.

    • nottawa rafter

      John
      You speak of the oceans gaining heat. Do you believe the trend in ocean warming since 1950 is greater than the trend for the 60 years prior to 1950? If you do, what data are you using to come to that conclusion?

  64. Joshua | August 5, 2014 at 7:51 am | Reply

    “I want to be clear that my pointing to the smart and knowledgeable “skeptic” was to H*llbent’s comment at 12:48, and not to chief’s at 7:45.”

    I want to be clear that the world would be a better place without you in it.

  65. Pingback: Is The Road To Scientific Hell Paved With Good Moral Intentions? | The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF)

  66. Hahahahahahahahahahahahahah!!!!!!!!111111

    How funny.

  67. Advocacy trumps science. When a scientist advocates, one’s bs reader becomes excitable. Anyone who tries to sell something is looked upon with suspicion in the global society.

  68. Most excellent article. Also interesting that Tetlocks observations have clear association with those of Irving janis (groupthink), Stanley Cohen (moral panic) and the reflections of H.L. Mencken, (The urge to save humanity is almost Always a false front for the urge to rule it).

    Humanity faces a new threat, too many saviors of the world.

    Also interesting that this blog is from earlier today and the comment count for me is 415 already.

  69. “Is the road to scientific hell paved with good moral intentions?”

    No.

    The road to scientific hell is paved by progressives suborning science to advance progressive social and political agendas, which are neither good nor moral. And they are doing it intentionally.

    The result is bad science and government whose power is approaching omnipotence.

    From my point of view, neither outcome is desirable; those ‘going to the mats’ to advance the agendas obviously beg to differ. YMMV

  70. Theo Goodwin

    Excellent post, Dr. Curry. I especially enjoyed your comments. It is a shame that most commenters react to the statement “there is a duty to protect research integrity” with the ad hominem that the speaker takes for granted some high ground of purity. There are two reasons for such a reaction. One is emotional immaturity. I am working on this problem with my 19 year old son at this time. The other is an ignorance of ethics and moral reasoning so profound that it renders one the equal of an emotionally immature 19 year old of today. The solution for the second problem is some serious study of ethics. Let me provide a teaser as a start.

    When someone states that there is a duty to protect research integrity what they are doing is introducing a discussion of the kinds of standards that are appropriate for a particular kind of research. Introducing such standards is entirely neutral and invites discussion and criticism of the standards themselves. Now we are in the context of ethics.

    Who has introduced such standards? In the Western philosophical tradition, the main “landmarks” are Aristotle, Saint Augustine, Saint Thomas Aquinas, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Jeremy Bentham, John Stuart Mill, John Rawls, Robert Nozick and some other interesting writers of recent times who are not yet landmarks. The problem with these sets of standards is that they are too broad because they try to encompass all of human action. Let’s narrow our interests to someone who set ethical standards for science alone, namely, Galileo.

    Galileo gave us the first substantive explication of scientific method. (Read the edition of Galileo by Stillman Drake and Einstein – 1956.) In that explication, he covers such matters as the reproducibility of experiments, the duty of researchers to candidly report (explicate) their experiment, and other related matters. (I should add that he uses examples rather than abstract explanations.) Having found this starting point, we can return to the ethicists for a fuller understanding of what is at stake.

    Immanuel Kant argues powerfully that researchers have the duty to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth when reporting an experiment. Kant argues that failing to do so threatens the very foundations of science. Jeremy Bentham argues that researchers may consider factors other than “the truth” when reporting experiments. John Stuart Mill attempts to correct what he sees as Bentham’s excesses. John Rawls argues that societal expenditures for science, among other things, must take into account both Kant’s position and Bentham/Mill.

    It is a crying shame that there is not a vibrant academic industry in the ethics of science. And it is a crying shame that most of us have so little experience discussing ethics that the very mention of ethics turns some of us into immature 19 year olds.

    • Theo, thank you for this perspective

    • Steven Mosher

      +1

      the way they are constructing the argument no one can discuss research ethics unless they

      1. Name names
      2. are themselves blameless.

      and if you name names, why then you are just a mudslinger.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Theo Goodwin, good post.

      About this: It is a crying shame that there is not a vibrant academic industry in the ethics of science.

      Are you sure that there isn’t? Here is the statement on ethics of the American Statistical Association, worked out and frequently updated by academic and industrial statisticians: http://www.amstat.org/about/ethicalguidelines.cfm

      Recognitions are awarded on the occasions when statisticians are able to discover, document and disclose research misconduct. In my graduate training and since I have had discussions of the principles with respect to specific cases. Am I and statistics unique in this? I would be surprised if it were so.

      Let me single this of your post out for praise: It is a shame that most commenters react to the statement “there is a duty to protect research integrity” with the ad hominem that the speaker takes for granted some high ground of purity. It is a shame: the speaker, I mean writer, has not asserted possession of a high ground of purity.

      • Theo Goodwin

        Matthew,
        Thanks for the information. What I want to see is vibrant debate on ethics in science among ethicists, scientists, and, well, all comers in academic journals dedicated to ethics in science. I would especially like to see a high quality journal, something like the Journal of Philosophy which publishes weekly, that would be named Ethics in Science. I am astounded that no such journal exists. The need for it is huge, as many of you know.

        Theo

      • I have been invited to write a paper on information ethics (special issue in a philosophy journal). I think interest in this topic is picking up. Agreed that there is a huge need

      • Theo Goodwin

        curryja | August 5, 2014 at 3:52 pm |

        I am keen to read it.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Further note on the ASA: the first draft was circulated to the membership in about 1986 and subsequently revised before its first posting. From time to time the Board of Directors actively solicits suggestions and case studies (aka “anecdotes”, descriptions of real-world dilemmas.) At the local ASA meetings we occasionally have discussions of such problems that arise when “consulting”.

      • David L. Hagen

        Judy
        re Ethics in a postmodern world.
        You might be interested in the shift from “right” and “wrong” to subjective individual values.

        the “right” and “wrong,” the “just” and “unjust,” the “good and evil” are inherently suspect because values themselves are suspect. Western opinion makers appear to have learned from elite universities that “values” are “individual” and “subjective.” As a result, they must be taken out of political discourse and decision-making. Hence, too, the coverage by the elite media of the West of both wars as “conflicts” in which the word “just” or its synonyms never once appear, both sides are somehow equally at fault, and therefore a victory by one side is not more morally agreeable than by the other.

        Welcome to an amoral world without just wars.

        That is explored in depth by Nancy Pearcey in Total Truth.

        Michael Mann demonstrates this new “morality” amongst climate science activists. He sued Mark Steyn and National Review for writing/hosting:

        ““Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.” “Michael Mann was the man behind the fraudulent climate -change ‘hockey-stick’ graph, the very ringmaster of the tree-ring circus.”

        Contrast Mann’s statements:

        In 2005, for example, Dr. Mann wrote an e- mail to a New York Times reporter asserting that “[t]he McIntyre and McKitrick paper is pure scientific fraud,” and that “[a] number of us are . . . very surprised that Nature is publishing it.” . . .”many of [the] claims made by the contrarians were fraudulent.”” “those who have funded or otherwise participated in the
        fraudulent denial of climate change,” including “individuals and groups who both made and took corporate payoffs for knowingly lying about the threat climate change posed to humanity ., . ..

        etc. NR Opening Brief

    • The problem with the discussion of ethics in science on the net is that it’s mostlly done to discredit those who disagree with you.

    • ==> “Excellent post, Dr. Curry. I especially enjoyed your comments. It is a shame that most commenters react to the statement “there is a duty to protect research integrity” with the ad hominem that the speaker takes for granted some high ground of purity.”

      I can’t speak for others – but that’s an inaccurate account from my perspective.

      I see absolutely nothing wrong with discussions of integrity, and Judith feeling that it is her duty to protect research integrity. I do have a problem when people use inconsistent standards in how they define and comment on the integrity of themselves relative to others.

      ==> “:And it is a crying shame that most of us have so little experience discussing ethics that the very mention of ethics turns some of us into immature 19 year olds.”

      Discuss away. And be prepared to discuss the standards by which you asses ethics in yourself and others. Including, I might add, the integrity and ethics associated with name-calling and insulting.

    • Hmmm. First try seems to have ended up in the ethersphere. I’ll try again.

      ==> “Excellent post, Dr. Curry. I especially enjoyed your comments. It is a shame that most commenters react to the statement “there is a duty to protect research integrity” with the ad hominem that the speaker takes for granted some high ground of purity.”

      I can’t speak for others – but that’s an inaccurate account from my perspective.

      I see absolutely nothing wrong with discussions of integrity, and Judith feeling that it is her duty to protect research integrity. I do have a problem when people use inconsistent standards in how they define integrity and comment on the integrity of themselves relative to others.

      ==> “:And it is a crying shame that most of us have so little experience discussing ethics that the very mention of ethics turns some of us into immature 19 year olds.”

      Discuss away. And be prepared to discuss the standards by which you asses ethics in yourself and others. Including, I might add, the integrity and ethics associated with name-calling and insulting.

    • David L. Hagen

      Theo & Judy
      A reminder of Richard Feynman’s 1974 Caltech commencement address “Cargo Cult Science” where he set the very high standard for scientific integrity.
      Theo – Note the “Liga” of Aristotelians who sought to destroy Galileo, by turning his friend the Pope against him by theological arguments.

      A major issue in climate science is nobel cause corruption.
      Another is worshipping earth by demanding we spend massive resources to control climate above all – at the expense of and diverting attention from the needs of the poor.

      • Theo Goodwin

        Good point, David. In listing “landmarks,” I do not mean to suggest that everything they wrote or did was defensible. Aristotelian ethics assume that the individual is totally fulfilled by acting as an ideal citizen of the ideal state. Athens was the ideal state for Aristotle. It is ironic that the Inquisitors were so fully committed to Aristotle. However, if someone demanded of me a quick account of the ethics of modern Western academics, I would give them a copy of Aristotle’s “Nicomichean Ethics.”

        Regarding your second point, Michael Mann wrote an op-ed to the NYT some three or four years ago in which he argued that, from an ethical point of view, he and his fellows shoud be treated as “physicians to Gaia,” though that phrase is mine. Physicians have the duty to relieve suffering and to offer healing to each patient. There is no reasonable analogy between, on the one hand, physician and patient and, on the other hand, scientist and Earth. Scientists have the duty to produce understanding. A physician researcher has opted for the duties of a scientist.

    • My problem with all this is that it’s just talk.

      Who wants improved ethics in science? Everyone! Who wants ice-cream? Everyone!

      How?

      Pekka is right that discussing it on blogs is pointless, as it’s just a tactic to attack opponents.
      Judith has said that she’s going to write a paper on it for a journal – but she’s just told us that only 3 people are going to read it…

      But let’s be crystal clear on one thing – the alleged problems seem miniscule, IMHO, compared to the problems that plagued psych and clinical trials research. Problems that eventually led to the quite specific, consistent and systematic approaches to ethics in human research.

      Does something similar exist in relation to the physical sciences? Could it be developed? If no, and then yes, shouting from blogs probably achieve it.

      Maybe Judith, given her keen interest, and position (former?) as Head of School at GT, might point us to something she developed or promoted as mandatory ethics training / guidelines for students and researchers??

      • My numerous posts on research ethics are here
        https://judithcurry.com/category/ethics/

        The post that is closest to the presentation I give in our research ethics class on science and society is
        https://judithcurry.com/2013/08/20/scientists-and-motivated-reasoning/

        I just checked, the materials for our research ethics class are not online.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Pekka is right that discussing it on blogs is pointless, as it’s just a tactic to attack opponents.”

        No, actually at some point in the discussion people demand that you “name names” rather tha just talk about principles..

        who did that.. ah ya Anders

      • Steven Mosher

        first rule of asking questions

        “Maybe Judith, given her keen interest, and position (former?) as Head of School at GT, might point us to something she developed or promoted as mandatory ethics training / guidelines for students and researchers??”

        Dont pull a chris darden

      • Would be interesting to see Judith.

        But i think the only long-term solution is to come up with an agreed framework (ala human research ethics, but less presciriptive) rather than bits and pieces as now, or at the very least some consistent and systematic mandatory education at the undergrad and post-grad levels.

      • I’ve pondered writing a book on this topic with case studies.

      • thanks for your concerns steven.

      • No, actually at some point in the discussion people demand that you “name names” rather tha just talk about principles..

        That’s, indeed, the case. It’s probably impossible to discuss constructively ethics in connection to an ongoing dispute. It must be isolated in some way from that. When examples are needed, they should be picked from well known cases of another field. Pondering on own ethical choices as Stephen Schneider did may also succeed, but naming opponents or allowing for the interpretation that it’s about the opponents is effectively certain to lead to the “road to hell”.

      • In spite of what I say above, it may be possible to argue constructively about the ethical dimension of a well specified individual act avoiding generalizations to the other behavior the person who did that act.

      • curryja | August 6, 2014 at 10:24 am |
        “I’ve pondered writing a book on this topic with case studies.”

        Definitely a worthwhile project.

      • Michael, in the US there is now required “Responsible Conduct in Research” training for many federal sponsors. My institute requires it for any employees who conduct research, including graduate students. So it’s a trend. Judith and I probably are more plugged into this, because we’ve both gone through training, while you obviously have not.

        I also find the handwringing about it being discussed on blogs to be rather overwrought: Blogging provides a forum where people can make public criticisms and others can make constructive responses if they choose.

        It can be used to attack opponents, but if you want to attack them, you can just resort to make silly insinuations about climate ball and goat busting. It’s very possible for criticism to be nonconstructive or even interesting without “banning” certain topics like scientific ethics from consideration.

        The quality of the criticisms of ethics depend on the motivation and experience of the individuals making the criticism and responding to it. It could be a very useful exchange, or it could be totally useless. But that’s the risk of any exchange on the internet.

      • Carrick,
        Thanks for joining the discussions. You are proving to be a reasonable and scientifically relevant voice on the issues.
        Scott

      • Theo Goodwin

        “Maybe Judith, given her keen interest, and position (former?) as Head of School at GT, might point us to something she developed or promoted as mandatory ethics training / guidelines for students and researchers??”

        There is a place for ethics training for researchers. However, that approach is a low level approach. We want to get away from viewing ethics as a list of requirements. The better approach is to make everyone capable of discussing ethical issues from a standpoint of understanding. In doing so, we can do away with the tendency to make ethical discussion a veil for other agendas. Isn’t it plain from the comments on this thread that most people dread discussion of ethics because they fear the motives of those who initiate it? Understanding will dispel that fear.

      • I would like to see the issue of research ethics actually discussed among practicing researchers. There are some thorny issues, especially where research intersects with societal values. Seems somehow to be a taboo topic; the twitter response to this post has been to criticize me for bringing up the issue.

      • Thank you, Scott.

      • The twitter response has been about you claiming the morale high ground without providing any evidence that you deserve it. You proclaim that you’re whiter than white but that is not supported by your behaviour. You have been shown to distort the IPCC findings to govt committees, applaud misleading and partisan media reports and misrepresent other scientists’ work here on your blog. Hardly the behaviour of somebody criticising others’ ethics.

      • Judith Curry:

        Seems somehow to be a taboo topic; the twitter response to this post has been to criticize me for bringing up the issue.

        It seems that some people like the status quo.

      • Looking too deep at motives etc seems threatening to the status quo. Working on my next post on this general topic, stay tuned

      • me: Of course not everybody here agrees with your unfair characterizations of Judith, but I don’t see any claim on her part of a moral high ground. If we have to be perfect before any of us can discuss responsible conduct in research, then the room will get quiet in a big hurry.

      • may I say that I always pay attention, with much respect, to anything that Carrick, or Judith, or Mosher, have to say on these myriad blog topics. That is called earned respect.

        As for the value of such blogs, I think that first one might view this as a kind of coffee shop discussion. Don’t demand so much of it, everyone, just hope that something interesting or worthwhile is said now and then.

        As for changing the world, if bits of that prove possible, so much the better. But to demand that someone not even join the discussion unless they show a documented track record on the specific topic or sub-topic, is unhelpful, imho. I also think of this as a kind of “brainstorming” i.e., throwing lots of ideas at the wall to see what sticks for further discussion. I don’t think ppl should place too many demands upon blog discussions, except to be (occasionally) interesting. My 1.346754 cents, anyway, sent to you all from a Bitcoin account.

      • p.s., I don’t mean to imply that Judith merely hosts some coffee shop discussions here, that was more of a minimalist metaphor to set the floor for expectations. I do think that Judith brings a great wealth of good materials and insights to the table. For people who mainly like to take shots at her, may they aid Judith in continuing to sharpen her tools and arguments for the rough and tumble of public debates. Me, I’m merely a bemused observer so I try to be less stressed about all of the blog war materials, except as it impinges upon the “real” world.

      • Theo Goodwin

        curryja | August 6, 2014 at 1:13 pm |

        Unfortunately, it is totally predictable. The criticism of you is fallacious.

      • Dr Curry: In 1976 my MBA program had a required course in business ethics. It consisted of case studies.

      • Theo Goodwin

        Carrick | August 6, 2014 at 1:30 pm |

        Amazing that criticisms of Dr. Curry all commit the fallacy of assuming that she claims a moral high ground. The thinking behind that fallacy is remarkably childish. According to those folks, one has to prove one is perfect before bringing a criticism and each criticism is viewed not as the beginning of a genuine discussion but as a final condemnation. That view precludes all discussion of ethics.

      • Theo Goodwin

        curryja | August 6, 2014 at 10:24 am |

        You really, really should do it.

      • Steven Mosher

        I don’t know Pekka.
        Jones temperature data is pretty good.
        His behavior around sharing data is bad.
        Discussing a relevant example actually is beneficial.

        For one reason if we draw an example from other fields folks will see the similarity and argue it’s different for climate science.

        Demanding examples from other fields precludes talking about folks taking money from big oil
        And stealing documents from heartland.

      • Steven,

        Making data available is not by itself an issue of integrity in my thinking. Hiding data to hide error is another matter, as is breaking the law, when it applies.

        As I wrote explicit cases can be discussed on their merits. That affects also the scientist guilty of misconduct, but it does so without the need of attacking directly the person.

        Discussing what’s required from scientists in general is fine, but doing that by attacking directly or implicitly your opponents in any other way than through a concrete well specified case leads exactly to the problems Philip Tetlock discusses – claims and counterclaims that are not helpful in resolving the issues. Both sides lose credibility in that, and in worst case even other scientist of the field.

      • Pekka:

        Making data available is not by itself an issue of integrity in my thinking. Hiding data to hide error is another matter, as is breaking the law, when it applies.

        I think you’ve generated a topic for a post. ;-)

        Making data available is an integrity issue for me, except when providing that data would be a violation of the law or violates the stipulations of the grant or funding mechanism by which the data was obtained.

        I do collect data occasionally where this data cannot be publicly shared (by me or my organization). That is understandable when the vendor does not want to fund other organization’s R&D program. In that case the data belongs to the vendor. Sometimes the vendor is the US or a European government and sometime the other organization is a government hostile to them. It’s a separate moral question whether I participate in research in that scenario.

        BUT when the data are obtained using US federal funding AND one stipulation of that funding is the data are to be shared, I have an ethical and moral obligation to share ALL relevant data of any scientific value. And not JUST the data that allows others to be able to replicate that code.

        That said, in cases what the person or organization has requested would require significant labor on your part and goes significantly beyond the scope of what the data were originally collected for, I think it is completely reasonable to ask for remuneration of your time, either through reimbursement to my institute for your time or via as a paid consultant to produce a quality controlled data product for this client.

        But it’s not reasonable (same caveats apply) to deny assess to the data based on intellectual property rights of e.g. a University, when that IP claim is in conflict with the guidelines under which the data were obtained.

        In fact, it’s probably illegal. And yet it happens.

      • To clarify my point.

        I didn’t mean that making data available would not be important. Technical development has made it much easier than before. That adds to the expectation of prompt and full availability, but making complex data easily available may still be a major effort, Steve knows from his experience much better, how big.

        A couple of decades ago making all data available was not practical at all, and it has taken time to learn new practices. U.S. has for long been in the forefront of making government data available. In many European countries the opposite change was going on for a while, when many governmental organizations were given the duty of earning money by selling their data. That affected also the data of the Finnish Meteorological Institute for years, only recently have they moved towards making more and more data publicly available.

        When a research group puts a lot of effort in obtaining new original data, they often wish to analyze the data thoroughly themselves, before they make it available to others as well. If a requirement is made that the data must be made public at the time of publication, that may lead to postponing the publication.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Discussing what’s required from scientists in general is fine, but doing that by attacking directly or implicitly your opponents in any other way than through a concrete well specified case leads exactly to the problems Philip Tetlock discusses – claims and counterclaims that are not helpful in resolving the issues. ”

        so, Mann’s attacks on mcintyre as being in the pay of big Oil?
        Orestes attacks on people or groups
        attacks on Anthony
        attacks on Judith..

        you’ve stood up and voiced your concerns about all of these?

        Lomborg..

        you see historically there has been no shortage of people on our side who wanted to talk about ethics and integrity as long as the object of discussion was Lomborg, or Micheals, or Singer..

        There was no out cry that we were being holier than thou.

        None.

        Zip.

        Nada.

        So, I find that now people want all manner of rules governing discourse about ethics and integrity.

        THAT IS FUNNY and lacks integrity

      • Steven,
        I dislike most of such argumentation as strongly from both sides. Even when I tend to agree that someone deserves such criticism, I notice that the accusations directed towards him or her exceed strongly what I can agree on.

        People discredit themselves in that game.

      • Another sub-thread demonstrating the pointlessness of the conversation?

        me might be right about Judith, but how does that help anything?

        Does discussing Mann or McIntyre or Gleick constitute progress progress?
        More likely it will continue to entertain the Climate-ballers and send everyone else scurrying away.

        Part of the issue seems to be a continuing vagueness as to the nature and consequences of the problem. With human research it was very clear what the nature of the problem was and that there were serious consequences that couldn’t be allowed to continue. Getting institutions and funding bodies on board was a key achievement. Lack of access to funding $$$ is a great motivator.

        If people really think that there is a serious problem here, then they need to much more clearly articulate what the problems are, and the consequences – that it ‘undermines the integrity of science’ is unlikely to stir much action.

  71. Nobody is selling doubt. Skeptics are just reminding all you alarmists that all your projections were wrong, all your assumptions were pessimistic and that skepticism was fully justified; just as it was with the ice-age scare, the acid rain scare and countless other enviro-myths.

    We do have enough information to act however and the correct policy is to stop replacing cheap, reliable energy with expensive, intermittent energy forthwith because it is morally wrong and scientifically unsupported.

    Maybe it was wrong to experiment on planet Earth but
    a) we did it by accident (and yes we all did it – lefties, righties and floaters) and we all happily prospered while doing so, reducing poverty as a byproduct,
    b) the data from this experiment are all (every single indicator) screaming the conclusion is that carbon dioxide is obviously not a climate driver, nor even a significant feedback.

    This much is blindingly obvious to those who have no financial interest in the scare, who are not anti-industry, anti-growth, anti-human pessimists and who have enough integrity to admit they were preaching the wrong thing for too many years. If you have not admitted serious doubts about manmade climate change by now then you are morally dubious at best. Stop being self-righteous and santimonious! Start being humble and skeptical again!

  72. Dr Curry, have seen that another Scientist has apparently been sacked, this time for telling the truth about the Noise form Wind Farms.
    See this post
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2014/8/5/windfarm-critic-fired-by-danish-university.html

  73. John Smith (it's my real name)

    Dr. Curry – recently read (in his WikiBio) that Philip Stott called global warming a “Barthesian myth” – thought you might be interested – Barthes being a French intellectual who wrote about social psychological belief formulation in the 60’s – if you haven’t heard of him – greatly appreciate Climate Etc.

  74. Somebunny care to explain how one can have a value neutral ethics. Ethics are by definition about values.

    • “Somebunny care to explain how one can have a value neutral ethics. Ethics are by definition about values.”

      Was it about “value neutral ethics”, Eli, or did you add something?
      What was said: “value neutrality”.

    • Value neutrality by itself is not ethical because ethics are about values. If value neutraiity swings your boat, welcome to it but don’t expect Eli to trust you.

  75. Ooops, there was more but the results of my Googling (about San Francisco) does not pass the screening test. Even so, I quoted only quoted a bit from what I saw on wiki… and you can read about it yourself, here:

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

  76. The article is 20 years old and still relevant, indicating the tired redundant nature of AGW doctrine. It’s looking backward as well, so we’re talking about about the last 50 years of science declining (rapidly) into a political orthodox tool.

    Warmists can never concede cultural ID point, it’s 100% factual denial rationalized by group dynamics and peer pressure. If Dr. Curry stopped equivocating and just flat out acknowledged AGW was always primarily agenda driven it would get much more reactionary then labeling her a “serial misinform-er” etc. from the usual suspects.

    Why does she pander?

    • We’re also talking about steady decline in the government-education complex that today is simply turning out one AGW-fearing, blue city whacka-a-mole after another…

  77. “… empirical strategies that investigators can use to check the influence of extraneous values …” This may or may not be possible to apply in political psychology. However, in climate “science” I have, since I read the Leipzig Declaration, watched the arguments go back and forth. And I find that climate “science” has actually far outdone political sciences because it has sealed of empirism itself hermetically. Q.v. the heat islands around the temperature gauges. If you wanted “investigators to check” then you either tear all gauges down (and thus loose the audit trail completely) and install new ones under a pre-agreed (if it were possible) protocol or else you will never see and end to bickering about what deviation is e.g. due to the reflection form neighboring tarmacadam and if that road was there before or not. I fear climate “science” does not stand a chance to ever repair the damage some blockheads have wrought.

  78. If you think subjective junk science and authoritarian policy are going to stop with climate science…..wake up!!…it’s only the beginning for these people if they get their way, next the are going for your cupcakes. The Food Police;

    http://online.wsj.com/articles/schools-plan-to-lighten-up-on-bake-sales-1406923280

    They’ll have “scientists” backing the efforts, have no doubt. “The best of intentions” to be sure. This administration has run 7 Trillion in debt, The Fed has printed 3.5 Trillion since 08′ and this is what they spend time on. Priorities.

  79. Thanks for the props Judith.

    Are we getting a skewed sample of physical / climate scientists? I’m confused by what these people are saying on Twitter, and I’d be worried if this was pervasive.

    What confuses me is that they think they’re saying something validly important, or something that has content. They seem to have a very different epistemology. Why would this Julio person think that sarcastic remark does anything? Why does the Mr. Physics person think this means something? “suggests that you think you are somehow purer than others. I’d call that sitting on a high-horse.”

    Some people seem to dispositionally have that mindset, that reaction. We don’t know what to call it yet, but when someone stands out for doing something, or someone comes in and says “this is wrong”, some people react negatively in a very particular way that has always confused me – they express the idea that the person “thinks they’re better than me/us” or in this case, “somehow purer than others.” It’s a specific form of resentment that draws broader comparative implications from people who stand out or argue against the crowd.

    But what puzzles me here is that these are apparently scientists, and worse, they think they’re establishing something by accusing you of mild narcissism. The physics guy said something like that to me today, like “oh, so you think you’re going to correct these fields…” These aren’t valid arguments. They don’t do anything. They’re not methods of knowing anything about reality, or refuting anything. Mann retweeting the insults against you is confusing – there’s no content in those tweets, they don’t say anything important.

    They don’t seem to realize that even if you were “sitting on a high horse”, it **wouldn’t actually make you wrong**. Whether you’re right or wrong is not going to be determined by the height of your horse. Reality doesn’t work that way, isn’t structured that way – truths of the sort you’re talking about don’t evaporate upon discovery that the truthteller is cocky.

    You never play this card, which shows remarkable restraint, but I think you’re treated worse because you’re a woman. I don’t see any other women anywhere in this picture – high profile climate scientists debating climate and policy issues. I’m sure there are other female climate scientists, but they seem to be very few in number and none of them are openly saying they don’t care what their peers think, critiquing the field’s handling of uncertainty, etc. We have lots of research on how assertive women are penalized, by both men and women (the way women treat other women in some contexts is remarkable.) Suspecting them of sexism won’t refute their arguments, but the problem is that they don’t seem to have any, and they’re way, way too comfortable showing malice. The issues you want to talk about don’t merit malice.

    • Joe –

      We don’t know what to call it yet, but when someone stands out for doing something, or someone comes in and says “this is wrong”, some people react negatively in a very particular way that has always confused me – they express the idea that the person “thinks they’re better than me/us” or in this case, “somehow purer than others.”

      IMO, this is a misattribution of cause-and-effect. Do we know what to call it yet when people misread interactions to misattribute cause-and-effect?

    • The gender angle is an interesting one. People think I should be more susceptible to being bullied because I am of the ‘weaker’ sex. When that doesn’t work, they just increase the intensity of their bullying. And it really angers them that I’m not intimidated by the grand poobahs of the climate field ‘disapproving’ of me. I’m too old to care about this stuff, but it is interesting from a sociological perspective.

      • Playing the victim card never gets old.

      • John Carpenter

        “Playing the victim card never gets old.” – Michael

        Ah yes, but playing the bitter old white male does.

      • “… I’m too old to care about this stuff, …”

        Bully for you. (sorry, couldn’t resist)

        The striking thing is that science in general, as well as those who practice it, are not supposed to care about these things either – at least, in theory. In practice of course, they do – hence consenus. And consenus, like common sense, tends to distort science in unpredictable – usully bad – ways.

      • Judy,
        I surmise the criticism may sting some but the balence between accepting the pain and pursuing what you feel are more important goals has driven you in the direction of supporting scientific integrity and reasonable discussions. I first became aware of your posting and discussions in the Discover article that presented you and Dr Mann in contrasting positions. I am grateful for your hard work on this issues and hope the science wins in the end versus the political spins and CAGW meme. 2005 or 2006 I think. Thankyou.
        Scott

      • The difference in treatment of Judith versus other researchers is one I’ve noticed too. This is an over generalization, but women get treated exactly the same as men in science as long as they meet these two criteria: 1) they are error free and 2) they never contradict anything an older white male says.

        The bullying that many women encounter when they try and enter science does lead to smaller numbers of women in science too. This is unfortunately on a number of different levels.

    • Steven Mosher

      +1
      I tried to bully Judith once years ago when she came
      On climate audit. Didnt work. I quit. Same with
      Lucia.

  80. Probably the last frontier pf science is the human brain. Psychologists and psychiatrists claim this domain as their own. Yet as far as I am aware, none has succeeded in setting up of a mathematical model of the processes of the human brain. Or even that part of it that aspires to scientific reasoning. So those experts don’t real[y understand the brain. When it comes to climate no one understands it either. since all models supported by the IPCC exaggerate global warming.

    So what can we learn from the brain experts? That biased views can occur. Big deal, we knew that. But better climate models will be found, provided we ignore the advice of the founding farthers, the UNFCCC. that ‘the science is settled’. This is, after all, a genuine scientific research project and I am surprised that academic research institutions nave not risen to the challenge.

  81. Tony Heller gives one of the best explanations of the most traveled road:

    http://stevengoddard.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/copy-of-tonyhellericcc2014.pdf

  82. This little episode is so symptomatic of the problem with science at the present time with Anders playing the role of the apologist for the status quo The same arguments have been deployed by every opponent of change and reform for 3000 years.

    Even the New York Times thinks there is a problem with integrity in science and advocates more aggressive ferreting it out and punishing the offenders. But the most serious problems are those that do not rise to the usual definition of misconduct. They are violations of the ethic of science and indeed of progressives from Teddy to Franklin. The Economist editorialized on the problems very well. Replication of results is simply not possible with a growing number of scientific papers. That’s a problem when science tries to lay claim to unique relevance to public policy and indeed to people’s lives and lifestyle choices.

    It would be funny if it weren’t so important and the apologetics so pathetic and transparent. A growing body of opinion is calling for reform and its overdue.

    What is really pathetic is the catalogues of Judith’s sins at that “civil” blog with all the usual stereotypes based on prejudice. Did you know Judith that you live in a state that is friendly to climate denial and that your business will benefit as more evil energy companies give you contracts and business? Wow, the tin foil hat is back in fashion and is painted green.

  83. Stephen Pruett

    As a scientist in another field, this is precisely my impression of at least the vocal CAGW proponents in climate science. Their research would not be taken seriously in any other field. Come on, there was a paper in PNAS that was vigorously defended on this an other blogs in which outputs from unvalidated climate models were fed (as though they were real data) into unvalidated models of crop production, and the output of those unvalidated models was fed into totally unvalidated (and ridiculously simplistic) models of human migration to prove that millions of Mexicans would move to the U.S. over the next few decades due to climate change. Nothing remotely so speculative could ever be published in PNAS (or hopefully anywhere else) in epidemiology or any other respectable field of research. Climate scientists should ALL question why this can happen in their field of research. It will ultimately hurt all of them, and possibly all of science. This is why I have bothered to comment on the topic.

  84. Readers may be interested to read our own take on the issue of scientific integrity, more from the point of life sciences (http://blog.pubpeer.com/?p=164 ). In a nutshell, we feel that too many researchers do cheat and succeed, to the point where it has become a real problem. Regulation has demonstrably failed.

    Note however that PubPeer accuses nobody of fraud or misconduct. Commenters simply point out anomalies in papers, many of which are however incredibly difficult to explain other than by misconduct. We argue (read the comments below the blog post) that discussion of published data is always be justified, even if the data imply that misconduct has occurred. If there are signs of misconduct in published work, that’s important information to share publicly, rather than to hide immediately under a cloak of confidentiality during several years of investigation for fraud.

  85. Pingback: Importance of intellectual and political diversity in science | Climate Etc.

  86. “…We are motivated, in part, by causal curiosity and in part by the desire to make the world a better place in which to live. And, being human, we don’t like to acknowledge that these goals occasionally conflict….”

    Reminds me of this, which I happened to read yesterday, “…Many members of certain stakeholder groups are also members of other stakeholder groups, and qua stakeholder in an organization may have to balance (or not balance) conflicting and competing roles…. The role set of a particular stakeholder may well generate different and conflicting expectations…”
    Source: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stakeholder-theory-r-edward-freeman/1111388607?ean=9780521190817

  87. What Tetlock is saying is exactly what I have been thinking for fifteen years. Smear campaigns on both sides. No tolerance for actual science if it doesn’t agree with your preconception. I try to read as much as I can, try to place it into my understanding of actual science, but I can’t say a word to my friends about stuff, even if it just appeared in Science magazine, because they have been vaccinated against consideration of anything that might chip away, just a little, at the edifice.

    I can’t believe stuff I read any more, is the problem. Certainly not the PR headlines, even when buried deep in the article there is good news (you have to search hard for it).

    No, I’m not a denier; my read of the science is that CO2 does warm the climate, but at something like 50% to 60% of the rate the models suggest, and I think the “pause” is good evidence of that. But at the same time, I can not be a “believer” in anything I read about climate change, from either side. It is more like a PR war, actual science gets buried.

  88. Science has no institutionalized quality control process.

  89. I have written about this extensively on my blog (see http://themurgatroydblog.blogspot.ca/2014/06/psychology-science-and-belief-climate.html for an example)..and it is the subject of my next book…but its not just climate science, we see the same in neuroscience and nutritional science…(not to mention quack sciences likes homeopathy..)….the challenge is what to do at the institutuional level…(including journals, research funding and policy making)…

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