How to criticize with kindness

by Judith Curry

“Just how charitable are you supposed to be when criticizing the views of an opponent?” – Daniel Dennett

An interesting post at brainpickings.com: How to criticize with kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the art of arguing intelligently. Excerpts:

“In disputes upon moral or scientific points,” Arthur Martine counseled in his magnificent 1866 guide to the art of conversation, “let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent. So you never shall be at a loss in losing the argument, and gaining a new discovery.” Of course, this isn’t what happens most of the time when we argue, both online and off, but especially when we deploy the artillery of our righteousness from behind the comfortable shield of the keyboard. That form of “criticism” — which is really a menace of reacting rather than responding — is worthy of Mark Twain’s memorable remark that “the critic’s symbol should be the tumble-bug: he deposits his egg in somebody else’s dung, otherwise he could not hatch it.” But it needn’t be this way — there are ways to be critical while remaining charitable, of aiming not to “conquer” but to “come at truth,” not to be right at all costs but to understand and advance the collective understanding.

In Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking, Dennett offers what he calls “the best antidote [for the] tendency to caricature one’s opponent”: a list of rules formulated decades ago by the legendary social psychologist and game theorist Anatol Rapoport, best-known for originating the famous tit-of-tat strategy of game theory. Dennett synthesizes the steps:

  1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.
  2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
  3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
  4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

But rather than a naively utopian, Pollyannaish approach to debate, Dennett points out this is actually a sound psychological strategy that accomplishes one key thing: It transforms your opponent into a more receptive audience for your criticism or dissent, which in turn helps advance the discussion.

JC reflections

This little essay definitely struck a chord with me. In the midst of mudslinging this past week about my new book but most particularly my forthcoming lecture at the Marshall Institute Roundtable, I see how pointless all this mudslinging is.  I tweeted this:

Wow. This is just like high school.  The cool kids aren’t allowed to talk to other groups?  Sorry I don’t play by your rules.

The most compelling statement to me in the essay was this one:

It transforms your opponent into a more receptive audience for your criticism or dissent, which in turn helps advance the discussion.

This statement has made me rethink my decision to respond to Gavin Schmidt’s response to my 50-50 Argument essay.  My remarks in the Atlantic vs Pacific vs AGW thread were reactions, not a response or a critique.  My challenge is that I have been particularly short of time as of late, with preparing for a number of public lectures.  Responding to Gavin’s response would provide a good opportunity to try out Dennett’s approach.  But don’t hold your breath for a quick response, I am traveling/lecturing extensively through late October.  I will be at a workshop in late Oct that Gavin is also attending; I will certainly try to post my response before then.

 

 

631 responses to “How to criticize with kindness

  1. Judith,

    I am impressed with your kind and charitable way of dropping the hint, nicely, to the team of new commenters on CE. I’ve been wondering how you’d handle it, and as usual you’ve done it with style and grace.

  2. Professor Don Aitkin posted this on his web site some months ago:
    “A flowchart to help you determine if you’re having a rational discussion”
    http://twentytwowords.com/a-flowchart-to-help-you-determine-if-youre-having-a-rational-discussion/

    • One thing I notice about that flowchart is that it’s entirely focused on the other person. What the first box should say is:

      Can I envision anything that will change my mind on this topic?

      • AK,
        I think that goes without saying. In a recent debate I had elsewhere with an intelligent, open minded physicist CAGW believer, I introduced it and stated my answers to each question. I stated what would change my mind. It seems obvious to me if a person is going to agree to follow the process, they are also agreeing that they are prepared to abide by all steps in the process, otherwise they wouldn’t suggest it or agree to it.

      • I think that goes without saying.

        Not around here it doesn’t.

      • The problem here is that you get “Defenders of the Faith” types who see this as a trap.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Peter Lang: I think that goes without saying.

        Things that go without saying tend to be forgotten first, so they should be repeated when they are on point.

    • Peter, it’s very reluctant to download – chugging away for a few minutes and only a header and few lines of text to show for it. No chart.

    • Thank you Peter L for the link. No problem downloading with Google Chrome on Windows XP 32 bit platform. The flowchart requires that rules will be understood and abided by, which means that if the general level of compliance with Judith’s rules is any guide, it is unlikely to happen anytime soon.

    • I wonder if the person is open to discussing the need for a flow chart.
      In short, it assumes a notion of rationality that is often at issue in many debates.

    • The conclusion of the flowchart is terrible. It says if a person breachs any rule of the dicsussion the discussion is terminated and they:

      are deemed to have concede all opposing arguments up to this point.

      And:

      forfeit any right to complain about the discussion.

      That’s silly. It’s basically saying if a person ever messes up, they lose everything.

      That’s absolutist nonsense on its face, but it’s even worse when you realize none of the rules cover anything like civility. According to that flowchart, I can be a complete prick, and if it ever annoys you enough that you mess up, I win. Not only do I win every point of dispute, but I also win the discussion because you have no right to complain about it. All because I was such a jerk I provoked you into slipping up.

      (Not its rules are particularly good ones anyway.)

    • Hmmm. Good flowchart.

      One problem is only 10-20% of studies used as “evidence” are repeatable. 80-90% of studies are bull-science (a combination of science and something else). This tends to cloud the clarity of discussions.

    • Brandon,

      This is how the physicist and I handled it, We met on The Conversation some time ago. It’s impossible to conduct a rational discussion on that site. I suggested we move to Climate Etc. he wanted to take it to SkepticalScience. We argued about that on the Conversation and he agree to try Climate Etc. We had quite a discussion and Manacker was one other person who contributed to that. But the discussion broke down (I don’t member why, but I was at least part of the reason). We continued to discuss from time to time on The Conversation. After I saw Don Aitkins post on his web site, I looked at the flow chart post and suggested to the physicist that we try it. We got email contact and I sent him an email confirming that I answer Yes to the four questions and stating what would change my mind. In the discussion we agree how we would sort out some of the differences you raised. Here are some excerpts from the first few emails:

      [PL original] First, I can answer “Yes” to each of the four boxes on the top left. If you can too, we can have a discussion (if your time permits, and if we can find a site where debate can be allowed without comments being deleted and where most people will behave. This site is no good for that. Nor is SkepticalScience.) Second, I agree to obey the rules 1 to 4. If I err, you can remind me, we’ll go into ‘committee’ *, sort it out, then come back to the debate. Do you agree?

      [Physicist’s reply to above] Yes I agree – and same for me of course. What matters of course is resolving the issue in Box 2 (faulty arguments) – we will need to work out by trial and error some protocols for this. Obviously errors in things like calculations are easy. Disagreements about what is reliable evidence may be a little more tricky but hopefully we can work through them :)
      [PL reply ] Agree.

      [PL original] Now I’ll define what are the key points in the debate from my perspective. These are where you would need to persuade me my understanding and weighing of the evidence is wrong. [I defined four] …

      [Physicist’s reply] Only partially agree here – …

      It went on from there. We decided to leave the arguments one to three aside and focus on point 4.

      * Committee in the sense intended here is referring to the Committee stage in parliament in the Westminster system of government.

      The purpose of the Committee stage is to examine the Bill in detail, and make amendments where considered by the majority to be necessary.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Act_of_Parliament
      My meaning is we go into committee to sort out our differences and rules of engagement.

      Point of incidental interest: the well governed countries use this process, but not the USA. :)

      • I thought it would be fun to build a web-app that can help structure and manage a debate. The public could get involved, choose sides, add references, etc. Tangents would inevitably form which others could take up, evolving into topics in their own right.

        The cool part (for me) is that something useful would come out of it: the entire debate (and references) would be well-structured and documented. It would be a “living document” of sorts, constantly being updated and evolving; and showcasing the best arguments and evidence available from both sides (ideally a variety of perspectives could be accommodated).

        After seeing that graph you posted, the obvious suddenly occurs to me, that there must be a number of formalized processes that have been developed for this sort of thing. I’m not up to developing a formalized process myself, certainly not from scratch. Can anyone point me in the right direction?

      • JamesNV,

        Your web app would be fantastic. I’ve been wanting just that. My physicist mate I mentioned above plus several other individuals (including one long time excellent contributor to CE), have been working on structured Decision Analysis that needs exactly what you are suggesting. I’d like to be able to contact you by email. If you would like to make contact, can you give me some way to contact you? If not, there is another way that I will use if you don’t have a way you can post on line for me to contact you.

        I could post more about it here, but it’s off topic for this thread.

    • Walter Allensworth

      Love the flow-chart Peter!

  3. Have you read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? That book set me to paying attention to the difference between rhetoric and dialectic, and the distinction between a conversation (between/among two or more people even if it has an audience), and a debate/argument: undertaken for purposes of impressing that audience.

    So what goes on here, seems to me, is mostly (or at least partly) for the sake of readers following a link here from somewhere else. Sometimes people listen (read) with “sympathy”, but often enough, IMO, just a pretense of sympathy for the sake of appearances. Sometimes people are actually trying to convince whoever they’re talking to, sometimes just going through the motions for the sake of (not putting off) the audience.

    And sometimes they’re just preaching to a choir of visitors from their more usual hang-outs.

    • Zen and the Art …. has a special place in my library. The difference between socratic reasoning and mere argument has never been more obvious to an unbiased reader of this blog.

    • My problem with that book is that the whole thesis is that the wrong people won the debate at the dawn of Western Civilizations. The book seems to claim that the sophists are right, and that if a person is in touch with their “Zen” that they have no need of the process of empirical reasoning, because the Zen method of reasoning is faster (undoubtedly) and more accurate to the truth (balderdash). He seems to believe that the Empiricists should have lost the battle and the West would have advanced more correctly.

      Unless the whole book was written ironically, and I didn’t catch it.

      I once thought that Vonnegut wrote “Sirens of Titan” was written ironically, but then through his public statements and later works, it seems clear he meant what he wrote sincerely.

    • Matthew R Marler

      AK: Sometimes people listen (read) with “sympathy”, but often enough, IMO, just a pretense of sympathy for the sake of appearances.

      In a blog, I doubt that true sympathy can be distinguished from a pretense of sympathy.

      • I am extremely sympathetic to your position Matthew.

      • +1 to both Matthew and Bill.

        But do we also require pure hearts?

        Personally I’d be very happy with more or less good behavior, regardless of what is in people’s hearts or heads.

      • Absent the introduction of new evidence in the form of data or even synthesis, I have decided what my position is on climate change and global warming (lukewarmer).

        This makes me one of the unpersuadables, at least by rhetoric. I find myself gliding over the points repeated by both alarmists and the most extreme of skeptics. I’m no longer involved in discussions on blogs–I’ve become a hit and run artist. I usually read a thread until I find the first post by Joshua or Michael, get annoyed, criticize them and leave.

        And I think the rules of conduct contributed to the stasis. Or at least the lack of standardization for acceptable behavior.
        The fact that U.S. commenters have dragged climate change into the partisan political arena is distracting as well as annoying. Also completely provincial.

        There are very few commenters whose posts I read through completely any more–TonyB, Andrew Adams, Steve Mosher (my cryptic co-author), one or two others.

        The blogosphere hasn’t managed to halt climate change, but we have done a fairly good job of killing off the debate–obviously, I’m as guilty as anyone, perhaps more than most. But we’re at the Kabuki dance stage of the debate, it seems to me.

        I’m not really sure what could change the situation. Certainly not facts on the ground–all sides are able to neatly pigeonhole new information into the appropriate mental construct.

        Bit of a dilemma for one such as me, who almost lived within the blogosphere for about 5 years.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Tom Fuller: This makes me one of the unpersuadables, at least by rhetoric. I find myself gliding over the points repeated by both alarmists and the most extreme of skeptics. I’m no longer involved in discussions on blogs–I’ve become a hit and run artist. I usually read a thread until I find the first post by Joshua or Michael, get annoyed, criticize them and leave.

        Evidence is accumulating, but most studies do not support strong conclusions one way or another, like this one:http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2247.html

        Global assessment of trends in wetting and drying over land

        Peter Greve, Boris Orlowsky, Brigitte Mueller, Justin Sheffield,
        Markus Reichstein & Sonia I. Seneviratne

        Changes in the hydrological conditions of the land surface have substantial impacts on society1, 2. Yet assessments of observed continental dryness trends yield contradicting results3, 4, 5, 6, 7. The concept that dry regions dry out further, whereas wet regions become wetter as the climate warms has been proposed as a simplified summary of expected8, 9, 10 as well as observed10, 11, 12, 13, 14 changes over land, although this concept is mostly based on oceanic data8, 10. Here we present an analysis of more than 300 combinations of various hydrological data sets of historical land dryness changes covering the period from 1948 to 2005. Each combination of data sets is benchmarked against an empirical relationship between evaporation, precipitation and aridity. Those combinations that perform well are used for trend analysis. We find that over about three-quarters of the global land area, robust dryness changes cannot be detected. Only 10.8% of the global land area shows a robust ‘dry gets drier, wet gets wetter’ pattern, compared to 9.5% of global land area with the opposite pattern, that is, dry gets wetter, and wet gets drier. We conclude that aridity changes over land, where the potential for direct socio-economic consequences is highest, have not followed a simple intensification of existing patterns.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Tom Fuller,

        And there is this one also on the hydrologic cycle:http://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci.net/18/1575/2014/hess-18-1575-2014.html?utm_content=buffer5d68c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

        Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 1575-1589, 2014
        http://www.hydrol-earth-syst-sci.net/18/1575/2014/
        doi:10.5194/hess-18-1575-2014

        A general framework for understanding the response of the water cycle to global warming over land and ocean
        M. L. Roderick1,2,3,**, F. Sun2,3, W. H. Lim2,3,*, and G. D. Farquhar2,3
        1Research School of Earth Sciences, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia
        2Research School of Biology, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 0200, Australia
        3Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science, Canberra, Australia
        *Currently at: Department of Civil Engineering, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Tokyo, 152-8552, Japan
        **Invited contribution by M. L. Roderick, recipient of the EGU John Dalton Medal 2013.
        Abstract. Climate models project increases in globally averaged atmospheric specific humidity that are close to the Clausius–Clapeyron (CC) value of around 7% K−1 whilst projections for mean annual global precipitation (P) and evaporation (E) are somewhat muted at around 2% K−1. Such global projections are useful summaries but do not provide guidance at local (grid box) scales where impacts occur. To bridge that gap in spatial scale, previous research has shown that the “wet get wetter and dry get drier” relation, Δ(P − E) ∝ P − E, follows CC scaling when the projected changes are averaged over latitudinal zones. Much of the research on projected climate impacts has been based on an implicit assumption that this CC [Clausius–Clapeyron] relation also holds at local (grid box) scales but this has not previously been examined. In this paper we find that the simple latitudinal average CC scaling relation does not hold at local (grid box) scales over either ocean or land. This means that in terms of P − E [precipitation – evaporation], the climate models do not project that the “wet get wetter and dry get drier” at the local scales that are relevant for agricultural, ecological and hydrologic impacts. In an attempt to develop a simple framework for local-scale analysis we found that the climate model output shows a remarkably close relation to the long-standing Budyko framework of catchment hydrology. We subsequently use the Budyko curve and find that the local-scale changes in P − E projected by climate models are dominated by changes in P while the changes in net irradiance at the surface due to greenhouse forcing are small and only play a minor role in changing the mean annual P − E in the climate model projections. To further understand the apparently small changes in net irradiance we also examine projections of key surface energy balance terms. In terms of global averages, we find that the climate model projections are dominated by changes in only three terms of the surface energy balance: (1) an increase in the incoming long-wave irradiance, and the respective responses (2) in outgoing long-wave irradiance and (3) in the evaporative flux, with the latter change being much smaller than the former two terms and mostly restricted to the oceans. The small fraction of the realised surface forcing that is partitioned into E explains why the hydrologic sensitivity (2% K−1) is so much smaller than CC scaling (7% K−1). Much public and scientific perception about changes in the water cycle has been based on the notion that temperature enhances E [evaporation]. That notion is partly true but has proved an unfortunate starting point because it has led to misleading conclusions about the impacts of climate change on the water cycle. A better general understanding of the potential impacts of climate change on water availability that are projected by climate models will surely be gained by starting with the notion that the greater the enhancement of E [evaporation], the less the surface temperature increase (and vice versa). That latter notion is based on the conservation of energy and is an underlying basis of climate model projections.

      • Matthew Marler, “Evidence is accumulating…”

        Definitely, but few have taken that giant leap into the reality zone. For example that hydrology link you provided. Latent and convective cooling offset close to half of the surface temperature increase and mixed phase clouds limit the gain in upper troposphere specific humidity. Due to “scientific” inertia though, reductions in projected “sensitivity” move at a snails pace. Someone will step up though, there should be an absolutely glorious restructuring of the climate science elite which I suspect will be very entertaining.

      • Tom Fuller | September 15, 2014 at 6:28 pm |
        ” I’m no longer involved in discussions on blogs–I’ve become a hit and run artist. I usually read a thread until I find the first post….Michael, get annoyed, criticize them and leave.”

        I thought my contributions were mostly pointless…..until now.

      • Matthew R Marler

        bill: I am extremely sympathetic to your position Matthew.

        I can’t shake the suspicion that you are making fun of me, somehow.

  4. Timely post Judith. It behooves all commenters to endeavour to disagree without being disagreeable. The standard of debate on this forum has been in decline in recent months and is one reason why I have not found it easy to comment as constructively as I would like.

    IMO the debate is not progressing scientific or policy issues surrounding the AGW hypothesis and is just another form of cud chewing, with very little new material for people interested in climate change to ruminate on.

    The use of short term data by both sides of the AGW debate in support of future prediction of climate trends over the next 50 years, let alone the next millenium, leaves me quite unmoved.

  5. Judith said;

    ‘My challenge is that I have been particularly short of time as of late, with preparing for a number of public lectures. Responding to Gavin’s response would provide a good opportunity to try out Dennett’s approach.’

    As I have suggested that you ought to do this it seems that I must have unconsciously absorbed the message in Dennett’s work . Or, as its only a recent piece of work, perhaps he has absorbed his Socratic ideas from ME!

    Rather more worryingly is that as Joshua has expressed the same view Dennett might have been influenced by him instead :)

    Joshua? Socrates? Its a disturbing image.
    tonyb

  6. anthony thompson

    In “The Open Society and its Enemies” before attacking Marxism Karl Popper first makes suggestions as to how Marx’s ideas could be buttressed and improved. His subsequent demolition job is all the more complete because the reader is aware that Popper’s assault is on Marx at his strongest rather than at his weakest. The most effective debater is the person who understands the opponent’s argument better than the opponent.

    • As I’ve quoted before

      If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.

      To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.

      Sun Tsu

  7. Tit-for-tat rather than “tit-of-tat” strategy.

  8. Wise words for many posters here.

    While a lot of posters here stick to the facts and lay out their arguments in a very polite fashion, there is also quite a lot of unnecessary name calling from some posters.

    I also find the use of demeaning nicknames childish and not very polite.

    Here’s hoping that we can move our argument to a higher plane.

    Thank you Judith for your kind reminder.

  9. “Dennett synthesizes the steps:

    1. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.
    2. You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
    3. You should mention anything you have learned from your target.
    4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.”

    Good in theory; many of us might fall at the first hurdle; but it would certainly make for dialogue rather than the punch-counterpunch which too often prevails. The questions for we posters include “How often are we seeking truth and concord rather than merely asserting our position or engaging in entertainment or ego-boosting?” I believe in promoting harmony, but that doesn’t often provide the best entertainment.

    … AK, Zen atAoMM … read it in the mid70s, last read it many years ago, much appreciated at the time.

  10. Yep, definitely a subject worth of reflection.

  11. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Perhaps this link to Gavin Schmidt’s essay will assist Climate Etc readers in judging for themselves the substance-and-style of his critique.

    Many folks (including me) would say that Schmidt’s essay is well-reasoned and more-than-adequately kind.

    Good on `yah, Gavin Schmidt!

    A notable contribution to reasoned discourse  Of the 97 scientific comments in John Cooks 97 Hours of Consensus, *ALL 97* are well-reasoned and kind.

    Good on `yah, all 97 scientists who contributed to John Cook’s amicable blend of science, art, rationality, responsibility, and community!

    The world appreciates too, the fundamental contrast between John Cook’s work and (what Climate Etc commenters have called) the “character assassination, bad manners, and incivility” that has so deplorably characterized the Steyn/CEI rhetoric, and characterized too the vicious propaganda of the (unrepentant!) Heartland Institute.

    In regard to the disengenous scientific practices of the Marshall Institute, Carter Scholz’ novel-critique Radiance is commended to all climate-science students (as was recently discussed in another thread).

    Scientists who visit/speak at the Marshall Institute are well-advised to read Scholz’ critique of its historical foundations.

    Good on `yah, Carter Scholz!

    Quaker faith-and-practice upon “Worship with attention to business” perhaps are relevant:

    The antidote to impatience or subtle manipulations lies in the clear understanding that success in business meeting [and climate-science?] is measured by the quality of worship [and climate-science?] and not by the results. Our business process seeks to embody nonviolent principles such as “the end is already present in the means,” (as opposed to “the end justifies the means”)

    Corollary  If it is true that the end is already present in the means, then 21st century climate-change denialism already is bereft of legitimacy.

    Good on `yah, Quakers!

    There is also Ralph Waldo Emerson’s sage reminder:

    “We cannot part with our friends. We cannot let our angels go. We do not see that they only go out that archangels may come in. We are idolators of the old.”

    In climate-science, “angels to be let go” are the the 20th century shibboleth’s of “market efficiency” and “robust planetary biomes”and “unaffordability of carbon neutrality”.

    Good on `yah, Ralph Waldo Emerson!

    *EVERYONE* appreciates *THESE* civil contributions to rational climate-change discourse, eh Climate Etc readers?

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

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      I forgot to praise also James Hansen, who throughout many decades

      • Never squanders time in “twittering”, and

      • Always is scrupulously well-reasoned and polite, and

      • Deservedly wins numerous scientific and civic awards.

      Good on `yah, James Hansen.

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

      • That would be James “Death Trains” Hansen?

        It’s cute that warmists, the team that produced the 10-10 video and put forth Joe Romm as “the essential” voice on global warming (Ny Times), think skeptics poisoned the civility well.
        Of course, things are getting better- Romm’s old boss was last seen practically shouting “drill-baby-drill” in support of Obama’s fracking record. And James Hansen is now a fan of Republican energy policy (nuclear) and now has his advocacy opposed by Democrats (this must be confusing to poor old chap- hint, Dr. Hansen, you were just a means to a political end.)
        One of the most interesting things to watch with this issue is and will be the shift in liberal advocacy as it becomes more and more obvious that liberal solutions aren’t the answer. The UN is already pivoting almost full time to income redistribution (good luck with that, even under a “climate” pretense). Revkin is writing about whales, Kloor about GMO, Grist’s only interesting writer went on extended sabatical, Klein has gotten so loopy the left is attacking her, and CAP shortened Romm’s leash- at least until we see the results of 2016.
        Even the Web Telescope is reduced to trading fallacies with his old friend BBD in the safe cocoon of blindly partisan sites.
        As another old commenter was fond of saying- “zombie issue.”

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        JeffN froths  “[science-free rant redacted]”

        Your comment mentioned science not even once, Jeffn.

        Whereas The Climate-Science 97 focus exclusively on science.

        Why the difference? The world wonders.

        Conclusion  Before her coming visit to the Marshall Institute, Judith Curry would be well-advised to reflect upon the syndicates that the Marshall Institute has served.

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

      • no, I mentioned science as much as your post praising Hansen did. How many “syndicates” are served by Greenpeace, Al Gore and Naomi Klein?

        I’ve not followed your Climate-Science 97 link yet, but will. I was responding to your other post in this thread. The Breakthrough Institute was one of many liberal warmists urging a more polite (and accurate) advocacy on the part of the warm long ago so good on ya climate science for taking a break from bashing them and reconsidering.
        This month the UN will gather in New York to discuss climate in the midst of a host of bad news on short and long time scales- the tail end of an unusually cool summer, after an unusually cold winter with another predicted, the latest in a record-breaking streak of quiet hurricane seasons (that the warm forecasted to be above normal) and two decades of unpredicted pause in global warming. If they take to the streets to shout that it’s worse than we thought, might want to do it politely and check facts first.

      • Matthew R Marler

        JeffN: That would be James “Death Trains” Hansen?

        You see the problem. Partisans perceive gross exaggerations and unhinged policy recommendations as “well reasoned” and polite. If you point out that the gross exaggerations and unhinged policy recommendations are gross exaggerations and unhinged policy recommendations you will be criticized by those partisans as uncivil and off-topic.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Jeffn proclaims “Two decades of  unpredicted  as-predicted  pause  continuation in global warming.

        Unsupported denialist rhetoric by Jeffn, scientific predictions and observational verification by FOMD.

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

      • FOMD, you don’t seem to realize that you are completely off topic here. You don’t even seem to be interested in contributing to the discussion. Why are you here, anyway? Have you got a mission?

      • A fan wrote:
        >Unsupported denialist rhetoric by Jeffn, scientific predictions and observational verification by FOMD.

        *You* just proved Jeffn’s point by referring to him as a “denialist.”

        I actually am a scientist (Ph.D. in physics from Stanford), and I have no axe to grind in this debate: I.e., I am not committed either to the position that global warming will be catastrophic nor to the opposing position.

        I have tried again and again and again to elicit from those who claim to have scientific proof that global warming will be catastrophic the actual evidence behind their claims. My reward has been, over a number of years, constant vilification, and, often, outright lies. It has never reached the point of being able to have a debate on the science: let me make this completely clear — I have not yet been able to find even one single person who claims that global warming has been proven to be catastrophic who will respond in a civil way.

        (And, yes, I have received similar treatment from the “sky dragon” folks and their allies on the other side. Both of these competing tribes are less than civilized.)

        Simply breading the East Anglia emails makes clear the tribalism on the catastrophist side. I assume you will agree with me on the “sky-dragon” cult.

        Speaking as an actual scientist who is unaligned in this bizarre tribal war, I can say definitively that your attribution of good behavior to the catastrophists is, at best, disingenuous.

        Dave Miller in Sacramento

      • physicistdave, the reckless route is burn all the fossil fuels, find more sources and new ways to exploit those, and burn those too, and see where temperatures and sea levels end up. A more cautious route is to stabilize the climate change that has already started, and preferably at the fastest pace technology allows. While you may not advocate the reckless route, you may at least see the benefits of leaving large amounts of fossil fuels in the ground and expanding technologies that make that possible. So, in the face of deep uncertainty about the future climate, it is still a case of reckless or cautious. It is not clear to me where catastrophe, tipping points, etc., fit into this choice because these are part of the uncertainty. It’s just rational to slow down, and preferably halt the manmade part climate change.

      • Jim D wrote to me:
        >While you may not advocate the reckless route, you may at least see the benefits of leaving large amounts of fossil fuels in the ground and expanding technologies that make that possible.

        Yes, Jim, of course, I do see those benefits: even the most hard-core of the denialists do. But, I also see costs: the costs of immediately switching over to alternative energy sources that, right now, are much more expensive. And, while those costs would be very large for the USA, they would be devastating for, say, India.

        Jim also wrote:
        > So, in the face of deep uncertainty about the future climate, it is still a case of reckless or cautious.

        Unfortunately, any possible course involves certain costs and risks — there is no possible course that is not “reckless,” in some sense. But when people like me try to point this out, well, we are commonly accused of being evil tools of the oil companies who want to flood the Maldives, or something like that.

        I lived through and remember the Great Society, the Cold War, and lots of other plans to perfect the world. I have therefore become a bit cautious about grand plans to save the world.

        Anyway, I think this is a somewhat different question from the issue of what happens when I, as a scientist, carry out my job by asking both catastrophists and denialists what their evidence is.

        Neither side likes being asked for evidence.

        All the best,

        Dave

      • physicistdave wrote:

        I actually am a scientist (Ph.D. in physics from Stanford), and I have no axe to grind in this debate: I.e., I am not committed either to the position that global warming will be catastrophic nor to the opposing position.

        I have tried again and again and again to elicit from those who claim to have scientific proof that global warming will be catastrophic the actual evidence behind their claims. My reward has been, over a number of years, constant vilification, and, often, outright lies. It has never reached the point of being able to have a debate on the science: let me make this completely clear — I have not yet been able to find even one single person who claims that global warming has been proven to be catastrophic who will respond in a civil way.

        I feel your pain; I am in pretty much the same place. I am also a physicist who knows lot about statistics and data analysis. I fall in neither camp. There is a lot of so-called “skeptical” crap out there, including nonsense about how CO2 is not a greenhouse gas, etc. The thing about those arguments, though, is that pretty much everyone competent knows they are nonsense and ignores them.

        The upsetting part to me is that the “side” of the debate that should be making convincing scientific arguments does not, and instead resorts to invective. FOMD is a great example of this, constantly spewing propaganda that is embarrassingly transparent and misleading. Why would anyone who is interested in giving science a better reputation behave that way? Why not defend the science, rather than defend the consensus?

        My experience in both experiment and modeling leads me to be very skeptical about predictions based on climate models. Statistics is difficult, and it is remarkably easy to convince yourself that you have a result when it’s nonsense. Same goes for modeling; agreement with data observed is far less powerful than the climate science community seems to believe. Witness the claim that today’s climate models would have predicted the “pause.” I am absolutely stunned that the claim is being treated with anything but derision by real scientists.

        The point is that while Dr. Curry has handled herself with remarkable professionalism and grace, her critics have not, and they should be embarrassed. That they are not calls into question their competence and ethics.

      • Dave and fizzymagic,

        You both know that generic knowledge leads only half-way towards judging the present level of understanding in a specialized branch of physical sciences. Beyond that we all are dependent on what the specialists tell. We may look carefully at their arguments to judge how well they present their arguments and for signs that might indicate, how trustworthy the particular scientist is, but ultimately we are dependent on the specialists, when we go beyond the limits of our own knowledge.

        As a general rule scientists have quite a lot trust on what other scientists tell to be accepted knowledge in their field, while they may well be highly suspicious of results obtained by one group only, and not supported by independent evidence. The situation of climate science is exceptional in the extent of lack of trust in other scientists. There are some objective reasons for that in the nature of knowledge, in particular in the shortage of direct evidence on many important issues, and related dependence of less direct evidence. The less direct evidence is dependent of models that range from simple conceptual models to very large GCMs of atmosphere and oceans (and even other components of the Earth system). The dependence on models makes it difficult to justify valid conclusions to non-specialists including scientists of other specialties.

        The dependence of models adds also to the risk of errors in the climate science. It adds to the possibility that most or all scientists make the same error. Thus it’s right to be more skeptical of climate science than of such fields of science where repeatable experiments allow for detailed analysis and confirmation of the basis of the conclusions. Climate science is, however, not unique in that, as similar problems apply to cosmology and parts of the elementary particle physics, to give just two examples.

        Under these conditions every physicist should remember to be humble, avoid drawing too strong conclusions. This time I mean mainly that a physicist should not conclude that climate scientists do not know much more than she or he knows personally. It’s right to retain some skepticism, but it’s not right to overplay that.

        Judith has been emphasizing the uncertainties, she has discussed the uncertainty monster. When we cannot ourselves find evidence that contradicts her position, it’s tempting to accept such arguments. But should we really think that it’s likely that she is right and that most climate scientists are too certain of their conclusions? We should try to be objective in our own judgment. We should not accept her view just because it’s so tempting to do that.

        ==

        I just add very briefly that rational policy conclusions are not necessarily very dependent on the judgement about the uncertainties of climate science, because basic policy conclusions do not require certainty of severe consequences, it’s enough to think that such consequences are not highly unlikely.

      • @fizzymagic said: Why not defend the science, rather than defend the consensus?

        Exceptionally well put.

      • nottawa rafter

        Pekka, Dave and Fizzymagic

        While I have none of your credentials, it is comforting you are looking at this debate in much the same way I do. I have found many scientists who are in fact not such absolutitists as is generally being portrayed. Intuitively I balk at easy answers when there are still so many unanswered complex questions.

      • fizzymagic wrote to me:
        >My experience in both experiment and modeling leads me to be very skeptical about predictions based on climate models. Statistics is difficult, and it is remarkably easy to convince yourself that you have a result when it’s nonsense. Same goes for modeling; agreement with data observed is far less powerful than the climate science community seems to believe.

        Yes, and when I try to make this point, I have been told that since I am not a “climate scientist,” I do not understand how incredibly reliable their models are. Taken seriously, that would imply that climate modeling is a much simpler task than the sort of modeling you or I have been involved in.

        Of course, even the slightest knowledge of the physics of climate shows that is not the case.

        I have yet to figure out how to make clear that, when I say I do not trust the climate models, I am not impugning the modelers: I am merely implying that global climate modeling is stunningly, incredibly hard.

        I do suspect that most of the people actually doing the nuts-and-bolts of the modeling share your and my view on this, but that they are not the ones we hear from in public: they are actually busy sitting at their terminals, really doing work, trying to push the science forward a little bit day by day.

        Dave

      • Pekka Pirilä | September 16, 2014 at 5:47 am |

        “You both know that generic knowledge leads only half-way towards judging the present level of understanding in a specialized branch of physical sciences. Beyond that we all are dependent on what the specialists tell.

        Then how can we ever develop new knowledge, Pekka?
        Unless we question the old. When we do and there is no answer other than trust us we are scientists” then one has to do what Judith does and question [uncertainty factor] the so called specialists.
        True there has been warming for a while but quite disconnected from the CO2 rise and now in a pause.
        True there is Arctic ice loss but there is Antarctic ice gain.
        The sea level is rising but the sea has hidden the heat.
        There is room for massive doubt.
        A scientist such as yourself should embrace doubt.
        A true believer has no doubt, and no tolerance.
        There are a few true believers here

      • Pekka wrote to me and others:
        >Beyond that we all are dependent on what the specialists tell. We may look carefully at their arguments to judge how well they present their arguments and for signs that might indicate, how trustworthy the particular scientist is, but ultimately we are dependent on the specialists, when we go beyond the limits of our own knowledge.

        Pekka, in all honesty, I think I am probably much, much less trusting of other scientists than you are.

        To give a concrete example, over thirty years ago, although I was not an expert in black holes, I concluded that the astronaut-falling-into-a-black-hole scenario could not be made consistent with Hawking radiation. If you have followed the recent “black hole firewall” debate, you know that my idiosyncratic skepticism has (at last!) become mainstream.

        I have long held similarly skeptical views on the “experts’” positions in quantum field theory, the interpretation of quantum mechanics (e.g., Bohm-de Broglie theory), etc. I am happy to say that in all of those cases, the field has moved in the direction of my skepticism.

        I could make similar comments about my initial reaction to cold fusion, faster-than-light neutrinos, etc. Indeed, on numerous matters in other natural sciences and even the social sciences, again and again, when I was a rare person who thought the “experts” were wrong thirty years ago, the current “experts” seem to share my unease.

        So, I feel that having little faith in my fellow scientists has been vindicated experimentally!

        The main thing I learned as a student of Feynman’s when I was at Caltech was “Don’t trust the experts,” unless of course their expert statements could be verified by independent observation or experiment (i.e., independent, among other things, of the data set used to create their hypotheses or tune their models).

        And that is really my one and only big complaint with the global climate modelers: when they are able and willing to make strong, statistically significant predictions about future data and agree that their models will stand or fall on whether clean, unambiguous future observation confirm their predictions (i.e., no after-the-fact spinning of why the models failed!), then and only then will I take their models seriously as means of predicting the future.

        That is precisely the same criterion I apply to, say, superstring theory.

        I’m an equal-opportunity demander of evidence.

        Pekka also wrote:
        >The dependence of models adds also to the risk of errors in the climate science. It adds to the possibility that most or all scientists make the same error. Thus it’s right to be more skeptical of climate science than of such fields of science where repeatable experiments allow for detailed analysis and confirmation of the basis of the conclusions.

        Indeed, though I would put it even more strongly.

        Pekka also wrote:
        >Climate science is, however, not unique in that, as similar problems apply to cosmology and parts of the elementary particle physics, to give just two examples.

        Yes, and that is why I am just as skeptical of superstring theory, eternal inflation, the multiverse, etc. as I am of climate modeling.

        Have you followed the so-called “string wars” (e.g., Woit vs, Motl)? It’s about as nasty as the climate science wars, but with one major difference: it is basically irrelevant to politics, economics, etc.

        So, yes, I urge everyone to be just as skeptical in physics, cosmology, etc. as in climate science, and I think in all those fields there is much of which one should be skeptical.

        Such skepticism is just the scientific method in action, as Feynman said, the key thing for a scientist is to remember that it is very easy to be fooled and easiest of all to fool yourself.

        Dave

      • Angech,
        Science is the source of new knowledge and understanding. The process of science leads gradually to better and better knowledge. On that way mistakes are made – and corrected. Confirmation of findings builds up confidence in the results, but results of science get never strictly proven, they get only generally accepted as close enough to truth.

        When only specialists can do much of the original judgment, others can only trust, or distrust, them. People close enough to the science may use various signals to help in deciding, how far to trust, others are likely to decide even more indirectly.

        It’s important that science gets appropriate trust, not blind trust, but not blind distrust either. Replacing trust in science by wishful thinking is not a good approach.

      • Dave,

        You give almost trivial examples.

        I never gave much value for the finding of cold fusion. Some very close colleagues of mine were working in fusion research. Therefore I got involved in discussions that concentrated almost totally in telling to others, how unlikely cold fusion is, and how much more likely was an experimental error.

        The case of faster than light neutrinos was even more unlikely in spite of the more extensive effort the experimentalist had put in their search for explanation.

        These are extreme examples of my general attitude that I never trust new unconfirmed results. Solid knowledge is really seldom generated by a single observation. What’s needed much more often is a series of observation that confirm the finding. Such a series is typically an outcome of further research that not only confirms the earlier one, but also advances the knowledge by further details or by practical applications.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: physicistdave, the reckless route is burn all the fossil fuels, find more sources and new ways to exploit those, and burn those too, and see where temperatures and sea levels end up. A more cautious route is to stabilize the climate change that has already started, and preferably at the fastest pace technology allows. While you may not advocate the reckless route, you may at least see the benefits of leaving large amounts of fossil fuels in the ground and expanding technologies that make that possible. So, in the face of deep uncertainty about the future climate, it is still a case of reckless or cautious. It is not clear to me where catastrophe, tipping points, etc., fit into this choice because these are part of the uncertainty. It’s just rational to slow down, and preferably halt the manmade part climate change.

        Does anybody advocate that in public? It sounds a lot like the much-belittled “business as usual”; and the “fastest pace technology allows” has been called “technological cornucopianism” (and even worse in one of the essays cited by FOMD.)

        You mentioned once a phase-out of fossil fuels over a span of 50 – 100 years — Is that what you actually support?

        What is the evidence that climate change since the end of the Little Ice Age, or the accumulation of CO2, has had more bad effects than good?

        What impact on climate will a reduction in human fossil fuels use actually produce?

        For now those are merely rhetorical questions. We debate details from time to time. Just to ask about the evidence regarding the relative magnitudes of good and bad effects of CO2 accumulation or climate change gets people called bad names. From the perspective of the part I quoted, how does the proposal to fine CO2 production from coal-fired power plants achieve what you want over the 50-100 year time span that you once wrote of.

      • Pekka wrote:

        This time I mean mainly that a physicist should not conclude that climate scientists do not know much more than she or he knows personally. It’s right to retain some skepticism, but it’s not right to overplay that.

        I may have not made myself clear enough. I do, for example, know plenty about statistics. Enough to know that proxy papers published in the late 90s and early 2000s were completely wrong. I mean, embarrassingly wrong. Wrong in ways that anyone with less statistical knowledge than I have should have known.

        Yet the response from the climate science community is to still treat those papers as valid. My rule is this: when I see scientists get something wrong that I do know a lot about, I tend to trust them far less in things I don’t know about.

        A second example: plasma physics. Detailed hydrodynamic models have been developed at great expense over many years. Yet when NIF turned on, representing a mildly new regime, the data did not match the models. Not even close. To an experimentalist, this fact was no surprise. Nature has a long history of showing models to be inadequate.

        Now consider the situation in climate science: none of the models predicted the so-called “pause.” Instead of reacting with appropriate humility to the mismatch between data and observation, the climate science community has doubled down on their claims for the predictive power of the models. The message I am hearing now is “well, we didn’t know about the ocean enough back then, but now the models are good, and if we’d used the new models back then they would have predicted the “pause.”

        I see zero evidence of scientific humility. Zero acknowledgement of model failure. Zero awareness that “prediction” with already-observed data is problematic.

        Given those observations in areas I do understand, why should I give weight to the “experts” in the field? Maybe there are people in the field who understand the problems, but they sure as heck are not being heard by anyone outside their own community.

        Oh — your use of particle physics as an example is not a good choice in this instance. Particle physicists want nothing more than to prove their current models wrong. You make your mark in particle physics by finding experimental data that the models no to predict. I would say that climate science views their models in exactly the opposite way. One makes a mark in climate science by proving the models correct,

      • Matthew Marler, yes, while the position I expressed as being reckless was burn it all, find more, and burn that too, that was one end of the spectrum. As you say, possibly very few hold that position which puts the rest on a spectrum where they are already seeing the need for some level of caution with fossil fuels, and the only question is how much of a slow down or reduction in the burn rate would they want, and what would they be willing to pay for it or advocate for? Would they advocate for China and India controllong their increasing CO2 emissions? Do they want to leave any fossil fuels in the ground? Do they want to phase in alternative energy or nuclear power as quickly as is practically (pricewise) possible? Many skeptics see the reckless route for the stupidity it is, but don’t, even for the sake of the debate, advocate for anything less than that.

      • Pekka wrote to me:
        >You give almost trivial examples.

        Well, Pekka, they would not have been “trivial” if they had been right!

        Of course, you are right that almost all of us physicists were very skeptical of cold fusion and faster-than-light neutrinos, and we were proven right in being skeptical.

        But… weren’t you just a tiny bit curious to see if other experimentalists could verify the results? If an overwhelming weight of experimental evidence had confirmed either cold fusion or faster-than-light neutrinos, I trust you would have been willing to accept empirical reality!

        Which gets me back to my major point, a point I take from my own teacher Feynman: never, never trust the experts. Trust empirical evidence.

        And, that is the problem with the “climate scientists” who claim to have “proven” the case for catastrophic global warming. When we ask them for the observational evidence that, using the usual canons of scientific method, confirm the accuracy of their models, they take it as a personal attack, insist that we are impugning their professional expertise, and demand that we put our faith in the experts.

        No, that is not science; that is theology.

        You did not address my other points – superstring theory, the multiverse, and eternal inflation.

        Perhaps in those areas you do indeed “trust the experts” despite the absence of convincing empirical evidence, in which case you and I really do have a sharp disagreement. However, I rather suspect that in those areas also (hardly “trivial” areas: they are areas of current research and hot dispute among our fellow physicists!), you also take the “Show-me-the-evidence” stance rightly taken by most physicists.

        I have no reason to believe that most climate researchers are any less honest than most scientists or most human beings in general. But, I do know that humans are enormously prone to bias, self-delusion, and simple mistakes.

        So, I simply make the same demands of climate scientists that I make of all scientists: show me the clear, convincing observational evidence that you used to test your models.

        Without such evidence, we have at best interesting speculation, not “settled science,” to use the phrase wrongly invoked by the catastrophiists.

        Dave

        P.S. Sorry for the delayed response.

    • Fan –

      => “Many folks (including me) would say that Schmidt’s essay is well-reasoned and more-than-adequately kind”

      Perhaps it was well-reasoned and kind, but it did definitely contain “something extra” – as did the limited response that Judith gave previously.

      But I think that the previous exchange was generally closer to the type of exchange that Dennett lays out than the typical level of exchange we see in there here parts, So in a relative sense, maybe it was a promising start. What would be nice if Judith and Gavin alike would agree to put Dennett’s principles in practice as the exchange continues, and to utilize the same principles in other discussions as well.

      What a refreshing change that would be. I could retire the term “same ol’ same ol’,” at least for a while.

    • thisisnotgoodtogo

      Fanny,
      Think if you are you issuing a true statement or not.

      When McIntyre found an error dubbed the “Y2K” error, James Hansen was nasty and untruthful, not giving credit, etc., rather unlike the portrait you lovingly paint….

      Hansen, writing of lights out upstairs, teapot dome, then

      “What we have here is a case of dogged contrarians who present results in ways intended to deceive the public into believing that the changes have greater significance than reality. They aim to make a mountain out of a mole hill. I believe that these people are not stupid, instead they seek to create a brouhaha and muddy the waters in the climate change story. They seem to know exactly what they are doing and believe they can get away with it, because the public does not have the time, inclination, and training to discern what is a significant change with regard to the global warming issue.

      The proclamations of the contrarians are a deceit, … The characters in the main drama are big fish, really big fish. But before we get to that matter, I need to expose how the deceit works. Instead of showing the impact of the flaw in our analysis program via a graph such as Figure 1, as a scientist would do (and as would immediately reveal how significant the flaw was), they instead discuss ranking of temperature in different years, including many false statements. We have thus been besieged by journalists saying “they say that correcting your error caused the warmest year to become 1934 rather than a recent year, is that right!?”
      The contrarians will be remembered as court jesters. There is no point to joust with court jesters. … Court jesters serve as a distraction, a distraction from usufruct. Usufruct is the matter that the captains wish to deny, the matter that they do not want their children to know about. “

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        thisisnotgoodtogo commendably cites  “[James Hansen’s analysis of usufruct property rights in the global climate-commons]”

        Thank you, thisisnotgoodtogo, for this illuminating conservative-minded comment! .

        Observation  Rational conservatives and science-respecting liberals share good reasons to deplore the Marshall Institute’s gross trampling upon usufruct property rights.

        Further information  Hansen’s on-line essay The Real Deal: Usufruct & the Gorilla (2007) provides an in-depth analysis of the social, scientific, economic, and moral elements of usufruct property rights.

        Conclusion  Conservatives and liberals alike can find common ground in Hansen’s thoughtful property-rights essay.

        Good on `yah, thisisnotgoodtogo! Good on `yah, James Hansen!

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

      • Fan

        That was a good essay by Hansen.

        However I know nothing whatsoever about the Marshall institute and would like to see comments from both sides before coming to an opinion about them. Hopefully other people will weigh in.

        Although I am unlikely ever to be asked I can’t see myself talking at a Heartland conference but whether the Marshall institute is a similar fish or not I have no idea.

        Tonyb

      • I have long come to the conclusion that if each of us could only be the higher self we portray ourselves as when describing our actions to others, the world’s problems would end. If we didn’t know how to act better, we couldn’t describe ourselves as acting better than we did to others.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        It wasn’t the Marshall Institute, Fanny.

        It was a private unpaid citizen, Steve McIntyre who politely informed NASA of the problem when he found it.

        The reaction was toxic.

        What you offered might be considered disinformation, if you thought it over.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Judicial Watch obtained emails regarding Hansen’s misbehaviour as a government employee:

        http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-uncovers-nasa-documents-related-global-warming-controversy/

        “According to the NASA email, NASA’s incorrect temperature readings resulted from a “flaw” in a computer program used to update annual temperature data.

        Hansen, clearly frustrated by the attention paid to the NASA error, labeled McIntyre a “pest” and suggests those who disagree with his global warming theories “should be ready to crawl under a rock by now.” Hansen also suggests that those calling attention to the climate data error did not have a “light on upstairs.”

        “This email traffic ought to be embarrassing for NASA. Given the recent Climategate scandal, NASA has an obligation to be completely transparent with its handling of temperature data. Instead of insulting those who point out their mistakes, NASA scientists should engage the public in an open, professional and honest manner,” stated Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.”

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        McIntyre’s letter to NASA indicates that through diligent work he found and raised a legitimate issue and spoke in a polite and respectful manner.

        “On the weekend, I notified Hansen and Ruedy of their Y2K error as follows:

        Dear Sirs,
        In your calculation of the GISS “raw” version of USHCN series, it appears to me that, for series after January 2000, you use the USHCN raw version whereas in the immediately prior period you used USHCN time-of-observation or adjusted version. In some cases, this introduces a seemingly unjustified step in January 2000.

        I am unaware of any mention of this change in procedure in any published methodological descriptions and am puzzled as to its
        rationale. Can you clarify this for me?

        In addition, could you provide me with any documentation (additional to already published material) providing information on the
        calculation of GISS raw and adjusted series from USHCN versions, including relevant source code.

        Thank you for your attention,
        Stephen McIntyre”

        Hansen, in return, was a pig.

        Thank you Fanny., for the object lesson in disinformation!

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Tonyb opines “That was a good essay by Hansen [on usufruct property rights]. However I know nothing whatsoever about the Marshall Institute and would like to see comments from both sides before coming to an opinion about them.

        Please allow me to commend this summary assessment of the Marshall Institute’s historical patterns of advocacy from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

        Mind and habitat:
        Nuclear and climate threats,
        and the possibility of hope

        This [Marshall Institute] sequence from nuclearism to climate science falsification should not surprise us. In both there is a negation of the harmful effects of technologies acting upon our habitat, along with a form of scientism that sees an always-available techno-scientific fix for problems that arise.

        This mind-technology illusion connects readily with a political context of a fierce crusade against not only Communism (and other political enemies) but also against the kind of liberalism that would diminish the number and centrality of nuclear weapons and place restraints upon industries that spew carbon into the atmosphere.

        It is a pleasure to assist your understanding, TonyB!

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      • Hansen sound’s angry and paranoid. I knew another genius type that had those same attributes and it led to his demise.

        You can make thd exact same argument in reverse (ie we do a little smoothing and whul la) and instead of cranks (gee who seem to be sooo unfunded) you have heralded scientists who someday, when the Milankovitch cycle kicks in, will be looked at as primatives with tin foil greenhouse hats and be wondering what their tribal dances were.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        thisisnotgoodtogo opines “Hansen was a pig.”

        Thank you for bringing your concerns to the attention of Climate Etc readers.

        Immediate action was taken to verify that the name “James Hansen” does not appears on FOMD’s roster of modern-day saints.

        The check was easy, since at present the *ONLY* name on the FOMD-sainthood roster is “Fred Rogers”. That’s `cus Mother Teresa (“she’s not who you think she is!”) was purged last year (for being comparably grumpy to Hansen).

        Question  Were write letters denouncing Hansen’s persona to the dozens of agencies and peers who have celebrated his scientific achievements, and to Hansen’s hundreds of scientific collaborators perhaps some good might result?

        The world wonders. At any rate, this work would fully occupy your time.

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

      • Hansen’s ‘light on upstairs’ is obscured with a Venusian fog.
        ==============

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Fanny, Hansen might have a trillion admirers, but that does not mean that the picture you painted of him was not false.

        “• Always is scrupulously well-reasoned and polite”

        False, Fanny. And you’re being dishonest in your responses.

      • Matthew R Marler

        from Hansen’s essay, linked by a fan of *MORE* discourse: Jefferson’s philosophy regarding generational relations was based on this “self-evident” principle. That we have an obligation to preserve Creation for today’s and future generations is a widely held belief. Native American Oren Lyons, a Faithkeeper in the Onondaga Nation, discusses the belief of Native Americans in their obligations to the “seventh generation”. It is
        also a biblical paradigm that the Earth, Creation, is an intergenerational commons, the fruits and benefits of which should be accessible to every member of every generation.

        So much for vapid generalities. The rest is in the details.

        Would we really be better off if we had preserved iron ore instead of building railroads and turbine engines? I would say that we had and we do have an obligation to build accumulated wealth, including medical and agricultural technology, so that future generations have better lives than ours. Preserving our current CO2 levels (or reverting to 350 ppm) is at least debatable as a goal. Does any one really believe that we have an ability to anticipate the next 3 generations, much less the next 7?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        thisisnotgoodtogo gets particular  Fanny, Hansen might have a trillion admirers, but that does not mean that the picture you painted of him was not false.”

        LoL … let’s move forward together on this one, thisisnotgoodtogo!

        The “thisisnotgoodtogo”/FOMD Accords 

        (1) James E Hansen’s work has won dozens of awards.

        (2) James E Hansen has recruited hundreds of collaborators.

        (3) James E Hansen’s scientific work has received thousands of citations.

        (4) James E Hansen’s professional/public persona is scrupulously rational and good-natured.

        (5) James E Hansen (apparently) never “twitters” at all.

        Note  Good on `yah, Jim … perhaps *THAT* is how you find time to get so much work done!

        (6) However, in 1997, in a private email, James E Hansen did criticize Stephen McIntyre intemperately.

        Whaddya say, thisisnotgoodtogo? Shall we declare “a consensus”?

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

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        Fanny, I can agree to all but #4.

        Hansen is an irrational scaremonger, a guilt-tripper, and commits and condones illegal acts acts against lawful agencies entities, both nationally and internationally, that if multiplied could cause grievous harm.

      • We can see from FOMT’s warped perspective on the Hansen-McIntyre business that FOMT is nothing more than a propagandist hack.

        Not only is FOMT incapable of reading what TINGTG presented but FOMT proves incapable of staying ON-topic. It is the usual stream of disingenuous FOMT trolling in response to a legitimate question/issue raised….

        There, is that kindness enough for the likes of FOMT, who has polluted this kindness thread with numerous vicious, dishonest, and/or OT diatribes?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        skiphil fulminates against “[FOMD], who has polluted this kindness thread with numerous vicious, dishonest, and/or OT diatribes”

        skiphil, your diatribes are appreciated by *EVERYONE* as modern exemplars of old-fashioned “Tennessee Journalism” (Mark Twain, circa 1871).

        “While he was writing the first word, the middle, dotting his i’s, crossing his t’s, and punching his period, he knew he was concocting a sentence that was saturated with infamy and reeking with falsehood.”

        Here we experience a style of commentary that is familiar to *EVERYONE*, here on Climate Etc.

        Thank you for a smile, skiphil and Mark Twain!

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

      • Hmm… apparently FOMD has different standards of behavior for people with opinions he agrees with and those who differ.

        If he agrees with your conclusions then no matter what you say or how you say it you are being “temperate” and “professional.”

        If he disagrees with your conclusions, then no matter what you say or how you say it you are being a “denier” and may be treated with any amount of disrespect.

        I wish I could say I am surprised.

        See, the thing about science is that how you perform your research is actually more important than what results you get.

        So, for example, your repeated claim that Mann’s early papers were good science because he arrived at the “right” conclusion is completely antithetical to science.

        Likewise, your claim that Hansen is a responsible, respected scientist is entirely dictated by the fact that you agree with his conclusions, and not at all about how he does science.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        fizzymagic asserts [reasonably as it seems to FOMD] “How you perform research [and also, express skepticism] is actually more important than what results you get.”

        Reasonable judgment by fizzymagic, reasonable examples by FOMD.

        Conclusion  Judith Curry would be well-advised to set a good example for her students, by responding reasonably and collegially to the reasonably collegial critiques set forth by Gavin Schmidt and “ATTP”.

        *MANY* reasonable people see it this way, eh fizzymagic?

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

    • Had somebody else linked it, I might have been more tempted to click. BUt your judgement in the matter of civility has long been discredited by your own words.

    • Matthew Marler,
      Poor James Hansen, the warm think he’s “unhinged” and “exaggerating” when he advocates nuclear power. Remember, AGW is never that bad when discussing nuclear power.
      The problem with the AGW gang is that they turned their entire PR apparatus over to partisan hacks and a handful of researchers who were willing to work for them. Partisan realists on the left- folks like Tom Fuller, Pielke Jr., Breakthrough Gang, Revkin, and increasingly Curry, have been trying to reel them back into some sense of honesty. But it’s a lost cause because it’s now obvious that the “solution” isn’t what the progressives want, so the Romm’s, Joshuas, Michaels, and FANs will become even more aggressively unhinged.
      If the solution to CAGW is natural gas bridging to a future where nuclear plays the primary role in power generation, all the fake warmists on this blog will wander off and focus on some other pretend catastrophic situation (like income inequality- the study of why it is unfair that people who save have more money than you). They already are, by they way, just look at any list of top issues- even among Democrats- and the end of the world by fossil fuels ranks way down there.

      Hey FAN, I love it. Keep sayin’ the models got everything right!

    • “reading” not breading” of course. Sorry for the typo.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        physicistdave
        read your comments with interest
        As I’ve tried to learn about this issue I’ve become suspicious
        97% of climatologist believe in CAGW
        physicist, statisticians, geologist, oceanographers maybe not so much

    • The 97% is not heavy with women or brothers is it.

      • You are not insinuating that the 97 are predominantly old white men are you?
        I felt the same when I saw the ceremony celebrating the CERN announcement of the discovery of the Higgs Boson. Some OWMs had reanalysed some data so now some events were in the six sigma bucket. Now they could retire after successful careers.Personally I think their success was the creation of a wonderful machine, it will show what it wants to.
        Hopefully, like Hansen, more Warmist OWMs will retire now.

    • FOMD, you really lost me by referring to Quaker faith and practice as supporting any corollary involving ‘denier’ name-calling, and self-satisfied conclusions about the illegitimacy of others.

      I’ve worshipped with Quakers for thirty five years and never seen anyone misread quite as badly as you have here the Quaker spirit of business meeting decision making in unity (which is not the same as decision making by manipulated consensus). The idea is that you should listen with an awareness and respect of some divine light even in what a very annoying person brings to a discussion.

      The subtle manipulations being referred to in what you quote are mentioned to enhance every person’s own self-awareness. They are by no means a tool of other-bashing. You really need to read this with a different heart.

      • My fan, Tartuffe, I’m feeling giddy. Or is that the Lord dizzying me?
        ============

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        With respect, bentabou, doesn’t history show us plainly that past Quaker traditions — and therefore, future Quaker traditions — been substantially more variegated (and radical!) than your post would suggest?

        The Free Quakers:
        Reaffirming the Legacy
        of Conscience and Liberty

        Within the Society of Friends, there is a keen desire to recognize and honor the particular orientation towards the faith community of each member.

        This spirit of liberality was, for example, exemplified during the [USA] Revolutionary War when Nathaniel Greene, a Quaker from Rhodes Island, became George Washington’s first general in the field to fight the British.

        In 1781 Samuel Wetherill broke with the Philadelphia Monthly Meeting of Friends over the issue of whether or not Friends could support the war with Britain.

        George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, among many, contributed to the building of the Religious Society of Free Friends’ Meeting in Philadelphia which opened on June 12, 1784 with 200 attending.

        Betsy Ross, among many, became a Free Quaker but, with many starts and stops, the Free Quakers were eventually re-united with the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting and now only holds a single meeting annually in November to commemorate their founding.

        Thomas Paine, himself, had embraced the Society as a way of fending off the political pressures of faith-affirmation in colonial America, a tendency of control which has always characterized American political activity.

        @article{Morgan:2012aa, Author = {John H. Morgan},
        Journal = {Journal for the Study of Religions and
        Ideologies}, Number = {32}, Pages = {288-305},
        Title = {The Free Quakers: Reaffirming the Legacy
        of Conscience and Liberty (The Spiritual Journey
        of a Solitary People)}, Volume = {11}, Year =
        {2012}}
        

        Note  To Morgan’s roster of distinguished Friends of the Radical Enlightenment might be added the name of yet another “Fighting Quaker”, Maj. Samuel Nicholas, the first Commandant of the US Marine Corps.

        Question  Will the vigorous enterprises of Enlightened Quaker Radicalism of the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries similarly spawn vigorous 21st century enterprises of Enlightened Quaker Radicalism?

        The world wonders. And Quakers — programmed, unprogrammed, and free alike — ponder these weighty questions and enterprises too!

        Good on `yah, Friends!

        Note Jonathan Israel’s recent Spinoza Day lecture is particularly commended to Climate Etc readers what are interested in Radically Enlightened perspectives.

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

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        As a followup, to crisply summarize FOMD’s views regarding modes of Quaker faith and practice:

        Programmed worship grounds Friends in tradition, and

        Unprogrammed worship grounds Friends in community, and

        Free worship grounds Friends in enterprise.

        Observation  The overall community of Friends has historically been healthiest when all three modes of worship are vigorously active … precisely because the (very real) strains and differences among these three views are continuously, adaptively, and creatively accommodated among Friends.

        Conclusion  Individually, Friends aren’t saints, and communally, consensus isn’t their primary objective … at least, it’s never yet been achieved.

        Good on `yah, Friends!

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

      • FOMT is not fit to wash the socks of all the real Quakers I know, many of whom I have worshipped with over the years in my own spiritual explorations. The notions that FOMT displays as his fake spirituality to go with his fake ethics and his fake scientism and fake Wendell Berry derangement are among the reasons he is the laughing stock of Climate Etc.

        I am left wondering what his real purpose(s) could be here — he does not actually think that people respect and learn from his diatribes, does he?

      • Skiphill-

        ==> are among the reasons he is the laughing stock of Climate Etc.”

        now just one minute there buddy. I’m the laughing stock of climate etcetera. And don’t you forget it!

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse
        skiphil froths “[FOMD] is not fit to wash the socks of all the real Quakers I know […] he is the laughing-stock of Climate Etc.”

        Joshua objects No, I’m the laughing-stock!”

        LoL … No, I’m the laughing-stock!”

        Your gift of mirth to Climate Etc is appreciated, skiphil!

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

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Doh!  … skiphil’s post also reminds me of a staple joke of Friendly stand-up comedy …

        Q  What do you get from a cross between a Friend and a Witness?

        A  Someone who rings your doorbell, then stands there without saying anything.

        Good on `yah, skiphil! By one path or another, your posts help to inspire *EVERYONE*.

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

      • Or Fan, who blabs on the doorstep, but doesn’t ring the bell.
        =====

      • FOMD, your pointing out at length that there have been different kinds of Quakers over the years really doesn’t really respond to my point; we both obviously already knew that. Quaker process encourages tolerance, i.e. not presuming to judge another heart’s darkness, so it makes sense there would be different kinds of Quakers.

        You can be in love with the idea of being radical, without understanding at all that love itself, tolerance itself, is the most radical act– especially while you are applying it to those who are less radical than you want to be. I don’t see from your patterns of discourse here that you have understood that yet. You could return to the Quaker sources, and read again with an open heart.

        I often find myself feeling an odd man out in the climate catastrophe skeptic crowd, because I am definitely leftward leaning most of the time. I really don’t care for all the Obama bashing and Ayn Rand-y market ideology many seem to enjoy spewing forth here. It saddens me to see how worked up the left had gotten over climate change, leaving behind traditional concerns for poverty and justice, and traditional skepticism that scientific authority should get an automatic override on other visions of the futures that are possible for us. The left’s adoption of the religion of climate catastrophism seems obviously regressive to me. So many more important issues are getting short shrift.

        It makes me bonkers sometimes to sit in Quaker meeting and hear person after person whinge about climate change rather than disease, malnutrition, safe water, poverty, and justice in access to resources. But there I sit in Quaker meeting, listening, and belonging. That may not be your perspective on Quaker values, but it’s mine.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        For me, three recent lectures that speak in Friendly terms to Friendly concerns are:

        •  Hansen’s Why I must speak out (2012)

        •  Berry’s It all turns on affection (2012)

        •  Israel’s Spinoza Day lecture (2012)

        These three speaksers (as it seems to me) embody pretty accurate the five principles of Free Quakers, as summarized in the concluding passage of John H. Morgan’s above-cited article The Free Quakers: Reaffirming the Legacy of Conscience and Liberty:

        The Five Principles of Free Quakers  (1) Nurturing the Inner Light of self-understanding; (2) living simply and plainly in a complex and troubling world; (3) exemplifying by their life and work a world of peace and non-violence; (4) seeking for human rights and social justice in all walks of life; and (5) striving at every opportunity to care for the earth.”

        Here the words are entirely Morgan’s; only the five numbers were added by FOMD.

        The Hansen/Berry/Israel lectures are commended to you, bentabou — and to all Climate Etc readers — in a Friendly/FOMDLY spirit!

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

      • Hansen’s extremely manipulative in the TED talk you provide. I’m not so keen on his invoking “because grandchildren”. We have child labor laws, so let’s let the adults due the adult work of speaking only for themselves, because, y’know, grandchildren! I’m also pretty unmoved by his relating energy balance in terms of Hiroshima bombs; why not equate the energy balance to some number of puppies being thrown off the World Trade Center by terrorists? And then you have to wade through tiresome denier insults, and imputing a desire to confuse on the part of those who think differently, and overstating his knowledge to say our future is “equivalent” to “a giant asteroid on a direct collision course with Earth,” which posits no other possibility than utter annihilation.

        Hansen’s way is simply not the plain speech, and shows none of the respect for the light of others, of the Quaker traditions I understand and respect. I’m really not sure how these thoughts connect for you, FOMD, or how you can be drawn to Hanson and to Quaker traditions at the same time.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        bentabou wonders “How [anyone] can be drawn to Hansen and to Quaker traditions at the same time?”

        More than in single-person video lectures, Friendly Climate Etc readers will find climate-change illumination in articles like Assessing “Dangerous Climate Change”: Required Reduction of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature, whose twenty-six pages reflect in-depth “the sense of the meeting” of its eighteen authors: Hansen, Kharecha, Sato, Masson-Delmotte, Ackerman, Beerling, Hearty, Hoegh-Guldberg, Hsu, Parmesan, Rockstrom, Rohling, Sachs, Smith, Steffen, Van Susteren, von Schuckmann, and Zachos (and in its two hundred+ scholarly references).

        Friendly Climate Etc readers will appreciate that this article reads like the well-considered minutes of a lengthy 18-person “meeting for worship with attention to business”.

        Given Quaker traditions in science, perhaps these parallels are unsurprising to you, bentabou?

        In any event, it is a pleasure to join with you in commending Friendly studies to Climate Etc readers!

        @book{Address = {New York}, Author = {Raistrick,
        Arthur}, Publisher = {Kelley}, Title = {Quakers
        in Science and Industry; Being an Account of the
        Quaker Contributions to Science and Industry During
        the 17th and 18th Centuries.}, Year = {1968}}
        
        @book{Author = {Cantor, Geoffrey N.}, Publisher =
        {OUP Oxford}, Series = {Cambridge studies in
        nineteenth-century literature and culture}, Title =
        {Quakers, Jews, and Science: Religious Responses to
        Modernity and the Sciences in Britain, 1650-1900},
        Year = {2005}}
        

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

  12. From my experience question in a critic is who you want to convince.

    Sometime you are facing groupthink victims and to be sincere it is hopeless, unless to have St Thomas style of evidence, really huge. like a plane flying in from of you… that was required for people denying Wright planes. like levitating superconductor. The tea kettle fallacy a sign of denial.
    Another symptom is when the opponent start to accuse of fraud/artifact without concrete evidence nor any sorting of people or experiments/evidences… it is a wildcard answer that you cannot refute if you consider it as something else pure vacuum per se.

    Even calorimetry and torsion balance cannot convince physicist in their armchair, especially because they are incompetent in that domain.

    in that case your job is not to convince your sparing partner but to convince the lurkers, and probably the innocent lurker who is not impregnated by one of the point of view, yet he have good reasoning from others competence (engineer, other scientists).
    Political debates are of such characteristics. Climate debate is political, so mostly it is so.

    Even some debate in experimental physics (LENR, EmDrive) are in a way political, where dogmatism have replaced the political vision of what is good for humanity. A detector of such debate is when someone is sure despite the lack of any concrete evidence, facing unsure but unrefuted opposing evidence… The uncertainty monster ignored, is a sign of denial.

    In both case Judith Curry remind the good method, nor far from Aïkido.

    First you take all you agree, all you learn, you express it , behave with kindness and respect, embrace the momentum of her reasoning, and then HOP… you put the victim on her back, using it’s own momentum, facing the incoherence of what is said internally or with evidences.

    it is very difficult to practice, especially quickly and without facing the victim.
    Hard to respect deluded people who insult you as deniers, as devilish counterpart…
    Hard not to behave the same and not to get locked symmetrically, in a maybe currently right position, but impossible to get out if finally it is wrong.

    all groupthink started by being a rational consensus.

    • “Hard to respect deluded people who insult you as deniers, as devilish counterpart…” True, look no further than the comment just above yours: “Good on `yah, Quakers!”

      • 15+ years into a pause after 15 years of significant warming, with limited accurate data that sometimes only goes back 10 years – basically most viewpoints on any climate topic are defensible. For debating defensible positions you should use soft words because you may end up having to swallow them later.

        The tendency of people in the warming camp to use invective, poisons the debate and provokes a response. The warming camp also repeats claims that are either outright lies or unsupported by good scholarship. The use of bad scholarship to support outright lies, or mutating the surface data to better match the GCM simulations is irritating.

  13. It will be interesting to read your \response to Gavin.

    You might also consider whether the following is consistent with your conversational aspirations:

    ==> “Sorry I don’t play by your rules.”

    • “whether the following is consistent with your conversational aspirations:
      ==> “Sorry I don’t play by your rules.””
      It definitely is. “The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.”
      If there is no progress to be achieved, don’t play by rules that are imposed on you and whose only aim is victory. at any price.

    • Joshua.

      explain how it is consistent.

      “You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.”

      • I’ve been trying to get just one warmist to try that since I have been commenting here. Willard offered to once not long ago, but he faded away.

      • > but he faded away.

        Here it is, again:

        contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com

        Please retract your words.

      • ==> “Please retract your words.”

        I would be impressed were that to happen.

      • Ah yes, that well known skeptical policy argument of “pixie dust.”

        I stand corrected. At some point willard did indeed pretend to restate some skeptical arguments, but he could only manage a SkepticalScience-esque parody.

        That’s not even a fail. It demonstrates exactly my point, that you are incapable of actual critical analysis of the dogma you accept without question.

        I think I have said this before. Stick to trying to be cryptic. When you come right out and say something, it’s just embarrassing.

      • Shocking that GaryM ducked accountability. Shocking, I say.

      • Although I will say that this is an improvement:

        ==> “that you are incapable of actual critical analysis of the dogma you accept without question….”

        More typically, in GarM’s non-elitists world view, it has just been that anyone that disagrees with him about political issues (i.e., “progressives,” which includes about 90%? of the American public?) is incapable of critical reasoning altogether.

      • Here’s a little question…

        I often read rants from PG or other “denizens” about how people who have different opinions about climate change are invariably nasty people.

        So here we have GaryM who responds to arguments by not only attacking an individual, but carrying it further to attacking the intellect and morality of some 90%? of the American public.

        Does PG think that GaryM is an outlier? What about when Faustino attacks the morality and integrity of wide swaths of the public? Willis? Peter Lang? Chief? Wags? Cwon? jim2? All outliers?

      • Joshua,
        Nastiness is endemic in the climate debate…which is to be expected in what it essentially a political argument. I’ve certainly been guilty of it. That said, there’s a certain streak of nastiness among the warmist crowd…I’d say born of defensiveness…that’s impossible to miss. This is especially evident among the scientists, who one would like to think are or should be the grownups in the room.

      • PG –

        => “That said, there’s a certain streak of nastiness among the warmist crowd”

        You say that a lot. Usually in significantly stronger terms, and more categorically.

        So when I read comments like those that GaryM typically writes, I wonder what you think when you read those comments.

        Just to be clear (FWIW) – I think that nastiness is no more characteristic on one side than the other. When people engage on polarized issues where they are identified, they tend towards identity-aggressive and identity-defensive behaviors. It’s a human characteristic, and I think mostly a product of the act of identifying, not which side someone identifies with.

      • “Just to be clear (FWIW) – I think that nastiness is no more characteristic on one side than the other. ”

        That’s something else warmists share, a kind of tone deafness. Also to be found on that side, is a dearth of wit. Willard’s the only exception I can think of.

        To get back to the nastiness discussion, I think you’re better off looking for the exceptions if you want to get a clearer picture. So think about the patient, open, generous types…people like Tony and Judith whom I think we can agree are skeptics in the broadest sense. Who are their counterparts on the warmist side? Can you name one?

      • On the wit side of things, I should add Mosher. But he’s sui generis, and a look warmer to boot.

      • ==> “That’s something else warmists share, a kind of tone deafness. Also to be found on that side, is a dearth of wit.”

        Oh. OK

        (nice duck).

      • Joshua – It’s hard to take your critique of Gary M seriously. You are the guy who has, on the last two posts, tried to discredit Judeo-Christian ethics by spreading obvious lies about Sarah Palin. Yeah, you are definitely the go-to guy regarding rational, reasoned discourse.

      • Hi Tom –

        ==> “Joshua – It’s hard to take your critique of Gary M seriously. You are the guy who has, on the last two posts, tried to discredit Judeo-Christian ethics

        I am a fan of Judeo-Christian ethics. As sets of ethics go, they are a fine set. Further, there’s no way that I could “discredit” a set of ethics. They stand on their own, to be judged on their own.

        My point was to show the elitism and irrationality of GaryM’s arguments w/r/t Judeo-Christian ethics and the manner in which he uses them to attack some 90%? of the public that doesn’t share his political world views.

        ==> ” by spreading obvious lies about Sarah Palin”

        Obvious lies? By what measure do you determine that the news reports about her family’s involvement in a public brawl amount to “obvious lies?” What is your source?

        ==> “Yeah, you are definitely the go-to guy regarding rational, reasoned discourse.”

        That’s kind of you to say so, but I must differ. I don’t think I am a go to guy regarding rational, reasoned discourse.

        But of course, whether I am or not, as a flawed individual, says nothing about the level of GaryM’s discourse, for example where he asserts that progressives (who he defines in such as way as to include some 90%? of the America public) are “incapable” of critical thinking.

        But nice duck, Tom.

      • Joshua –
        You did not link to “news reports”. You linked to two blogs whose proprietors are long time Palin haters. And the reports of Palin saying “do you know who I am?” are transparently bogus.

        Gary M has said that a loss of commitment to JCE leads to a more dishonest society. This is the position of thousands of great minds throughout history and about, oh, one-fourth of the people on the planet today.

        But, please, you did not bring up dirt about Palin in order to “tweak Gary about elitism, blah,blah”. This was an attempt to discredit a third party by a smear against a second party.

        But, you are making progress. No scare quotes in your comment.

      • Joshie is going to say that you are the master of unintended irony. According to joshie, all “skeptics” are the master of unintended irony. Joshie has been appointed Judge of All “Skeptics” and Master of Smarminess.

      • Hi Tom –

        I’m thinking that it’s time to drop this discussion, but I’ll include one more comment before taking my leave.

        ==> “You did not link to “news reports”. You linked to two blogs whose proprietors are long time Palin haters.”

        Fair enough. I have no particular faith in the veracity of their portrayal of the situation, While LGF does get some things right, many of the posts maniuplate facts to serve an agenda – that was the case when it was a favored blog on the right, and it is still the case.

        ==> “And the reports of Palin saying “do you know who I am?” are transparently bogus.”

        What is your basis for saying that? Breitbart?

        ==> “Gary M has said that a loss of commitment to JCE leads to a more dishonest society.

        I would like to see what metric is being used to measure the magnitude of change over time in the “honesty of society” (paraphrasing). First, I’d just be flat out interested in how, as a scientifically-oriented person, you measure such an attribute across society and 2nd, I’d like to know how you control for any number of variables to determine causation between the change over time. It would really,l really be quite fascinating.

        ==> “This is the position of thousands of great minds throughout history…”

        Argument ad populum? I mean I’m not saying it is an absurd argument – only that I don’t see on what basis it is verified.

        ==> “and about, oh, one-fourth of the people on the planet today.”

        ==> “But, please, you did not bring up dirt about Palin in order to “tweak Gary about elitism, blah,blah”. This was an attempt to discredit a third party by a smear against a second party.”

        Well, you certainly are entitled to your opinion, Tom. I wouldn’t have it any other way. But my point, again, was to tweak GaryM about his elitist arguments denigrating some 90/%? of the American public that don’t happen to align with his political ideology.

        ==> “But, you are making progress. No scare quotes in your comment.

        Well thanks, Tom. That means a lot to me.

      • Hi Tom –

        I lied – one more comment because I somehow deleted a question I meant to ask you:

        ==> “and about, oh, one-fourth of the people on the planet today.””

        How did you measure that, Tom? How do you know that some 1/4 of the people on the planet today assert that there is a more dishonest society due to a loss of commitment to JCE?

        And what time frame are they assigning to that loss? Since the enlightenment? Since the Dark Ages? Since Medieval times? Since the Civil Rights era? Since the American revolution? Since the Civil War? Since Obama’s election?

    • I thought this was good:
      “The cool kids aren’t allowed to talk to other groups?”
      Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.
      I had not thought of the consensus that way. To relate it to high school and cliques. It can resonate twice with someone. One’s own experience and that of one’s children. Not to attempt to pigeon hole scientists, there’s an opportunity to to evolve the situation to something better by people who had a shared high school experience.

    • There really isn’t much imperative in my mind for a response to Schmidt. He made one obviously correct but not very important point (about the difference between 50% certainty and 50% of the warming), and the rest was astoundingly irrelevant to the basic issues at hand–to what extent natural variability on multi-decadal scales might have accounted for the late 20th century runup in global SAT. If Curry preferred to rest her case and let onlookers judge her arguments based on what’s already been written, that would be perfectly reasonable.

      One’s main blogospheric motivation to debate is worry that onlookers will be misled by the state of the discussion at the time you left it. But making the rubble bounce isn’t necessary. Sometimes giving up the last word is the most civil thing to do.

  14. Michael Mann.

  15. Dennett cites Martine(1866) as “In disputes upon moral or scientific points, let your aim be to come at truth, not to conquer your opponent.” This sentiment was expressed earlier by Joseph Joubert: “The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.”
    h/t Carrick

    Another relevant quotation from M. Joubert: “Every one should be provided with that sort of indulgence, and that readiness to listen, which makes the thoughts of others bloom. It is a bad sort of cleverness which deprives the character of kindness, indulgence, and sympathy, which makes it difficult for us to live and talk with others, to make them pleased with us, and pleased with themselves—in a word, to love and be lovable. The gentle mind is patient, gives itself without hurry to the task of understanding, is open to conviction, afraid of obstinacy, and would rather learn than take the lead.”

  16. Last time I tried to be kind here at C.E…..it was to the Human Telescope…,he slammed me for being condescending. Now for what it’s worth out in the real world anyway, I’m a get along kind of guy with in all modesty my fair share of social intelligence. His nasty response was so off the mark that it took me aback. Proffered kindness reminds me of the old aphorism about a horse and water. You just can’t make some people drink it.

  17. Forward is their truth today and yesterday as well. They want their product, they are not in it for the process. When you look at it like this you will come around and see that it fits. Why don’t they admit their errors? They are not important in the long run.

  18. Hi Judith. If you will be speaking in public forums, please post the wheres and whens. Thanks. If you were coming to my neck of the woods, I would make an effort to visit the lecture.

    Cheers.

    • Yes I will start adding my speaking engagements to week in review, thx

      • Judith

        Don’t worry. If you are extremely busy with your speaking engagements a number of us can fill in for you on a first out of the hat system. So turning up at one of your talks to represent you might be Me, Brandon, David Springer, Mosh, Joshua and er…Webby.

        We’ll remit half the fee to you and we keep the rest. Should ruin your reputation in days…

        tonyb

  19. I also often feel drawn into snarky, condescending, and critical additions to comments. I try to hold myself back, and sometimes succeed. Aside from the main point, that that’s not the kind of person I want to be, it doesn’t work well. I can see my own reaction to other people’s snarky, condescending, and critical comments: I’m not going to listen. Why would I waste my time if people aren’t going to listen?

  20. Heh, had the alarmists ever been curious, never mind kind, this discussion would have followed a completely different path.

    The humility of curiosity begets kindness, so they drew the short straw. I’d be pissed, too.
    ==========

  21. What an interesting place Climate Etc. would be if Judith posted Dennett’s prescription for valuable dialog as guiding principles for participation. I wouldn’t suggest using those principles as a moderation policy (two reasons: (1) I think that those principles can only be manifest through investment and good faith on the part of discussants, not through enforcement and, (2) the moderation would require 24/7/365 attention)

    Anyway, in the spirit of Judith’s post, and for the benefit of my many Climate Etc. fans, I have decided to change something about my participation here.

    I have never been able to figure out what terms to use to describe the “teams” in the debate. I use the terms “skeptics” and “realists” (in quotes) since skeptic and realist seem inadequate, as I often run across skeptics presenting unskeptical arguments and realists presenting unrealistic arguments (and, of course, skeptics presenting unrealistic arguments and realists presenting unskeptical arguments).

    The very use of labels is counterproductive as it buys into the whole dynamic of focusing more on identity and identification than on the arguments being presented. But at some level, it’s hard to discuss these matters without referring to the broad distinction between different perspectives.

    Although no one has ever objected to me putting “realists” in quotes, some “skeptics” find it offensive that I put skeptic in quotes – understandably so, since it give a connotation of “fake skeptic.”

    So I think I’ll try using SWIRLCAREs (Someone Who Is Relatively Less Concerned About Risks from Emissions) and SWIRMCAREs (Someone Who Is Relatively More Concerned About Risks from Emissions).

    Although it may be too much of a pain to keep up for very long, and I fear that those terms won’t make Don, PG, Peter Lang, Scott, Bill, jim2, mosher, etc. angry enough to start slinging insults – which is always funny.

    • Well…

      The are two parts to the climate science field. Climate science is a research field that investigates ocean and atmospheric physics and attempts to understand and model the natural cycles and atmospheric trends.

      The other part of climate science is global warming. Global warming is an environmental/energy policy war conducted by proxy in the science field since the policy war can’t be won on its own merits.

      This is bad. It has dragged DailyKos style ranting into the field of climate science field.

      Converting to expensive early adopter energy technologies before they become cost competitive is unwise. Increased CO2 is beneficial. All the science paper in the world isn’t going to change the facts of the debate.

    • better yet avoid the urge to classify at all.
      find a conversation partner and converse with them about their ideas, rather than trying to identify, classify and name groups of people.

      • I concur with the classification idea. Lose it. This general idea is why I don’t mind anonymity on the internet. An anonymous person is more likely to have ideas judged on their merit, rather than due to authority or a lack thereof.

    • You will note joshua that I dont think I’ve every insulted you for your use of scare quotes. Rather, I’ve consistently pointed out that you do one thing.
      You read a post looking for the one thing you can disagree with judith about.
      Oh ya, you also derail the conversation. You rarely if ever re state a persons argument in a way that shows you understand it.

      Try that now. What are my major complains about your participation?
      State it in a way that I will read it and say “Joshua I could not have said it better”

      • It’s sad, but amusing, watching Joshua demean his own method.
        ======

      • mosher –

        ==> “You will note joshua that I dont think I’ve every insulted you for your use of scare quotes. ”

        I love me some moral equivalence.

      • it is quite funny. wonder why he doesnt get it.

        Maybe this will make it clear.

        he has these kinds of “conversations”

        1. “conversations” with a “tribe”. That is, he attempt to identify, label, classify a set of individuals according to certain behaviors. He then tries to criticize this “group”. Of course, these conversations can never really happen because the group doesn’t have conversations only individuals do.
        2. conversations with Judy. In these cases he rarely tries to restate her position in its strongest form.
        3. Moralizing where he tells other people to do as he says not as he does.

        maybe there are more types.. I could be wrong

    • Joshua: “The very use of labels is counterproductive as it buys into the whole dynamic of focusing more on identity and identification than on the arguments being presented.”
      You are right, but why do you use labels at all? Labels are about presumed (!) characteristics of persons, not about factual things, not about reasoned arguments. Fact is, you don’t know the person you are addressing, you don’t know what they think, they express their opinions and the facts as they see them. You have your own, diverging, opinion, your own, diverging, facts? You disagree with a comment?
      It’s simple, stop classifying, categorizing people according with what YOU think they are; they might be different, but there is no way you will ever know the truth about them.

      • ==> “You are right, but why do you use labels at all? ”

        I think that at some point, it is useful to create general models out of the two oppositional perspective w/r/t climate change. They are too pervasive to just ignore. Further, the implications of climate change, particularly policy-wise, are to some significant degree contingent on the magnitude of risk you assign to continued emissions of ACO2.

        Of course, the determinations of risk and the related implications are not binary, and there is a trap in constructing “sides” through a binary taxonomy – but I at least try to address that somewhat by including the term “relatively” when looking at the levels of risk presented by continued emissions.

        So yeah – one option might be to eliminate any generalizations on the reasoning that they are inherently imperfect, simplistic, needlessly polarizing, and more about labeling than sharing insight. I’m not convinced that isn’t the way to go.

        But on the other hand, the reality is that the polarization already exists – so I don’t see how that previous option is practical. How does one discuss the implications of the risk of ACO2 emissions w/o discussing the differences in opinions about those levels of risks in the different respective participants?

        I do think that one way to approach the non-labeling strategy is to start the discussion with an investment of seeking out synergies and shared interests rather than using “positions” as a foundational element of the discussion. The field of conflict resolution (and negotiation) includes reference to distinguishing “interests” and “positions.” But there, again, it is easy to adopt too much of a binary approach in that regard. A related discussion:

        http://www.beyondintractability.org/artsum/provis-interests

      • “They are too pervasive to just ignore. ”

        Actually the opposite. Ignore them because they are pervasive. Engage the actual human in front of you rather than the “model” of his position you have construed. Because

        A) if that model applies to him, nothing will change in your approach.
        B) if that model does not apply to him, you will be off to a bad start by imputing beliefs to him.

        In short, the approach you are using doesnt work. The planet is at stake, try something different.

      • ‘why do you use labels at all?’

        Anthropomorphic, anthropogenic; lets call the whole thing off.

    • Joshua,

      You are making a false dichotomy; there are more than two major positions involved here:

      A) There are those who claim to have scientific proof that global warming will be catastrophic.

      B) There are those (e.g., the “sky-dragon” folks) who claim to have scientific proof that anthropogenic CO2 cannot warm the globe.

      C) There are those, including a number of people here, including at least Judith and me, who agree that anthropogenic CO2 does warm the globe but who think that it is very challenging scientifically to determine if the warming will be catastrophic and who have found it very difficult to verify the supposed evidence on which groups A and B respectively claim to rely.

      It is just as bizarre to group B and C in one group as it would be to group A and B together.

      In fact, in a sense, group C is not a group at all in this fight: we are sort of a “meta-group” standing above the fray and gaping in disbelief at the bizarre A vs. B food fight.

      Of course, the result is that we get slimed by both groups A and B!

      Anthropologically amusing, but it does not improve one’s faith in human nature!

      Dave

      • phycisistdave –

        ==> “You are making a false dichotomy; there are more than two major positions involved here:”

        Please read my comment again. I spoke to that issue, and explained that is why, with the terms SWIRSCARE and SWIRLCARE, I reverence “relatively” less and more concern.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/15/how-to-criticize-with-kindness/#comment-628504

      • Joshua,

        I understand what you said. But, you are insisting on fitting things on a one-dimensional spectrum: I suppose that means Judith (and many others here) would be in the middle between the catastrophists and the denialists?

        But, that is a mistake: I reject both the catastrophists and the denialists completely, 100 percent, unless and until they seriously address the issue of evidence. A more reasonable spectrum, if you must be one-dimensional, would be to put WHT and the “sky-dragon” loons right next to each other as blood brothers under the skin and to put those of us who want actual evidence at the opposite end from those two.

        Do you see the point? Your proposed one-dimensional spectrum is the wrong measure, at least from the viewpoint of many of us here.

        Dave

      • Joshua,

        An additional point that just occurred to me: It seems to me that “less and more concern” does not really capture even the distinction between catastrophists vs. denialists.

        I suppose that denialists, who think that humans cannot cause global warming at all, would obviously have zero concern for something they are sure cannot happen.

        However, it is certainly possible to believe, and I have actually seen various people (mainly economists) argue this, that indeed global warming will flood the Maldives, Bangladesh, Manhattan Island, etc. but that by then we will be rich enough that we can handle it easily and so should not be much concerned.

        In fact, just a day ago, I ran across some catastrophist complaining that this view is the up-and-coming thing in the climate debate: i.e., sure weather, sea level, etc. will change dramatically, but there is no reason to think it will be hard to deal with. (He seemed to think this was some sort of sleazy move on the part of denialists.)

        If I myself ever see convincing evidence that global warming will be huge, I would actually seriously consider this as one of the viable options.

        So, not only does “less vs. more concern” not really capture the distinction between Judith and Hansen, it does not even capture the distinction between those who believe in huge changes vs. small changes in climate.

        (As I recall, Pielke Jr., Judith, and various others have already made the point at length that predictions about the magnitude of change and optimal strategies for mitigation are largely different questions.)

        The debate just is multi-dimensional.

        Dave

      • Joshua | September 15, 2014 at 12:40 pm |

        ==> “You are right, but why do you use labels at all? ”
        So yeah – one option might be to eliminate any generalizations. I’m convinced that is the way to go.”

        Joshua | September 15, 2014 at 10:04 pm |

        ==> “Josh, may I asked why you think the term ‘realists’ is an appropriate choice?”
        I use “skeptic” and “realist” because they are terms both sides use for themselves.

      • I would suggest splitting up your group C into two subgroups.

        There are people who agree that the direct effects of CO2 will warm the globe (probably about 1.2C – which is the calculated direct effects from CO2, by 2100). Call this C(1).

        There are people who believe that there is an amplification feedback factor which will triple the direct effects to about 3-4.5C by 2100. Call this C(2).

        I am a C(1) person.

        It is also difficult to obtain the evidence of the amplification feedback factor.

        As far as I can tell, the observational evidence has been following the 1.2C number and there is no evidence to support the amplification feedback effect.

      • However, it is certainly possible to believe, and I have actually seen various people (mainly economists) argue this, that indeed global warming will flood the Maldives, Bangladesh, Manhattan Island, etc. but that by then we will be rich enough that we can handle it easily and so should not be much concerned.

        Key question: What do you mean by “rich”?

        I’m not being facetious here! The relative costs/prices of various technology is highly dependent on its socio-economic matrix. This is sometimes hard for people to see, if they assume that the growth of our own technological society has been deterministic.

        But, IMO, this is not the case, and can be illustrated with reference to much less technological societies in history. For instance, the cost of land recovered from the sea was (AFAIK) relatively much lower in the Netherlands than, say, Greece, or Turkey, prior to the Industrial Revolution. Taken at similar points in general technological development.

        Applied to the future, this suggests that how expensive it might be to “adapt” to “flood[ing of] the Maldives, Bangladesh, Manhattan Island, etc.” would depend partly on how much effort is put into R&D leading to the appropriate technology.

        Would the development of such technology be valuable only in such cases of flooding of areas densely inhabited today? Doubtful. Depending on how our technology develops and matures, it’s quite possible that by 2040 or so it will be cheaper to build structures floating on shallow ocean than on land. And safer. Which would open huge areas of the world, potentially, to exploitation with a far smaller “eco-footprint” than current urban development.

      • Physicistdave, with all of your moral superiority, could you define catastrophic?

      • Eric wrote to me:
        >Physicistdave, with all of your moral superiority, could you define catastrophic?

        I am not the one claiming that there will be a catastrophe, Eric. I do not know.

        Ask them.

        And, I truly appreciate your acknowledging my moral superiority – keep it in mind!

        Dave

      • AK,

        I take your points. Those are the sort of arguments I have seen made by various economists, and they seem plausible to me.

        Dave

    • Josh, may I asked why you think the term ‘realists’ is an appropriate choice?
      Since coming to America I cannot but help but notice that the legality and provision of abortion services is a much vexed subject. Those on one side of access maintain that they are ‘pro-Choice’ and are in favor of ‘women’s reproductive health’, whereas the other side prefer the label ‘pro-Life’ and are in favor of ‘fetal rights’. Now if one were to label the two sides ‘baby killers’ vs. ‘saviours’, then ones position is quite evident, as would be the case of using the labels ‘uterine rights’ vs. ‘misogynists’.
      Your choice of label; those who accept the truth as ‘realists’ and those who refuse to face the truth ‘skeptics’, is quite sufficient for anyone to know your position.
      However, the truth is that there are not two camps, with respect to either abortion or CO2 linked changes in the Earths temperature. The more baby-like and less embryo-like a neonate is, the more people care. Something similar applies to CO2; if 2xCO2 means 1.5 degrees, then no biggy, if it is 4.5 degrees, then we need a crash decarbonizaion program.
      P.J. O’Rooke has written about the different types of money, including;

      your money you spend on someone else
      (buying your kid a computer for school)
      someone else’s money you spend on someone else
      (buying computers for schools using an education budget)
      your money you spend on yourself
      (buying yourself a home computer)
      and someone else’s money you spend on oneself
      (ordering a new workstation at work)

      He noted that specifications of the latter will be much better than the latter.

      For some reason one gets the impression that your ‘realists’ are dealing with ‘someone else’s money you spend on oneself’ and the ‘skeptics’ are dealing with ‘their money they have to spend on someone else’.

      • Much as I love PJ, I think the original version is due to Milton Friedman. Though it wouldn’t surprise me to learn it is very much older.

      • ==> “Josh, may I asked why you think the term ‘realists’ is an appropriate choice?”

        I use “skeptic” and “realist” because they are terms both sides use for themselves. I add the quotation marks to give a putative connotation, as the terms are not always accurate.

      • Joshua wrote:
        >I use “skeptic” and “realist” because they are terms both sides use for themselves.

        Ah, but the “skeptics” clearly think they are the true “realists” and are merely polite enough to use a term they know their opponents will accept.

        I.e., both sides agree that the “skeptics” are skeptics, but there is no consensus that the “realists” are realists.

        An important asymmetry, I would think.

        And, I take it you are still putting Judith and the “sky dragon” folks in the “skeptic” camp? That is like putting both atheists and fundamentalist Muslims in the “non-Christian” category. True in a way, but very, very misleading.

        I vote for describing Judith and her sympathizers as the “scientific method” camp: i.e., they do not want to view catastrophic climate change as “settled science” until it passes the same tests that are generally used in science to see if something is settled science. E.g., superstring theory, faster-than-light neutrinos, and life on Mars are not settled science (not sufficient evidence though some interesting claims), whereas, the quark theory, the theory of evolution, and the heliocentric theory of the solar system are settled science (more than enough evidence, by the usual canons of the scientific method).

        Or maybe the “evidence-based” camp would work….

        Dave

  22. Sorry – that should be SWIRLCAREs, not SWILCAREs.

    Heh.

    • Thanks, we were worried about that.

      • Perhaps for more than 20,000 Earth years.

      • All the human sacrifices meant nothing, save one.

      • The main difference between us is that I believe in one less God than you do.

      • Says the doctor to the polytheist. Now everybody bow down.
        =================

      • Takin’ the global temperature?

      •  
        How would you rate this argument:

        Dear Mr General Secretary: If you really wish to cut back on CO2 emissions, then you should NOT jet around the globe in your UN jet to supposedly see climate change with your own eyes. Perhaps you have heard that the Pacific Atolls are living corals that are growing along with sea level rise. The glaciers already melted before, 1000 years ago during the Medieval Warm Period when it was as warm as today. Currently the Sahel desert regions are not expanding as you claim, rather they are becoming greener. Moreover the rainforests of Brazil are threatened foremost by deforestation thanks to palm oil and biofuels. That is something to be really worried about, and not about climate change.

        __ Nice and Kind?

        __ Too Harsh?

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        maybe 2nd most serious threat to the Amazon is ,,, oh, GreenDamn!!! it’s…it’s soy…..bwahahahahaha

      •  
        And, what of the infamous treaty known as the Kyoto-Protocol that expired in 2012? What of the countries that signed on back then when the time came to sign on for an extension of the treaty? So far, only 11 out of the original 144 and no EU countries.

        Bush was right…!

        Argument Rating:

        __ Nice and Kind?

        __ Too Harsh?

      • Since they hate business, surely the Left will heartily endorse this kind of argument, no?

        …The company stands to make millions, so Siemens ad campaign is obviously part of an overall pitch to persuade Congress to extend the hefty wind Production Tax Credit (PTC), more accurately called “Pork-To-Cronies.” As Warren Buffett recently admitted, “We get tax credits if we build lots of wind farms. That’s the only reason to build them. They don’t make sense without the tax credit.”

      • Stephen Segrest

        Wagathon — You never mention that the tax credit on new nuclear is basically the same as wind — but where Congress went a step further in capping financial exposure to electric utilities for cost over-runs.

        You never mention Price-Anderson.

        You never mention the DOE Loan Program for building Georgia Power’s new nuclear plant.

      • Growth of nuclear power in the US ended in the 1980s, however the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was passed in 2005 which aimed to jump starting the nuclear industry though financial loan-guarantees for expansion and re-outfitting of nuclear plants. The success of this legislation is still undetermined, since all 17 companies that applied for funding are still in the planning phases on their 26 proposed building applications. Some of the proposed sites have even scrapped their building plans, and many think the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster further dampen the success of expansion of nuclear energy in the United States. ~wiki

      • Wag,
        Bad luck about Fukishima. 16,000 killed by the tsunami, 12,000 washed out to sea, 3 workers with 25 rem dose that increases risk of cancer from 20.0% to 20.1 % over a 70 year lifetime. Still no new nuclear reactors. Looks like a long hiatus in energy generation. At least Georgia is mostly warm in winter. I think they have the only nuclear plant under construction in the US. Good logical decision making should allow for shutting coal plants in time for winter and electricity shortages and price rises. Energy policy is a mess.
        Scott

      • Stephen Segrest

        Its these one-sided argument paradigms (that for the most part go unchallenged at CE) that folks like you and Wagathon create that causes so much unpleasant “war of words”.

        Coal power plants are not being closed in the U.S. because of Greenhouse Gas Regs — they haven’t even been written yet.

        Coal power plants (for the most part) are closing because of mercury emission regs.

      • And you have some basis for claiming coal plants are closing because of mercury standards?

        Mercury reduction technology is widely available – China for instance has new standards tighter than the US.

        Coal plants in the US are not commercially competitive with gas.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Rob — This is very common knowledge on coal plant closings (very old units) here in the U.S. You can Google it.

        You are of course absolutely correct on new NG vs. coal units here in the U.S. with current prices.

        But those of us who have been around a long time in the energy business know that prices and trends change. This is why we must find a way to make coal work here in the U.S.

        I think my greatest professional disappointment has been in coal gasification (e.g., IGCC) not taking off and achieving the heat rates so many of us expected.

      • Stephen – http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=15031

        Coal is simply uneconomic – and adding more scrubber technology may be a straw. Or a strawman.

        Not sure that installing uneconomic technology because it might become economic is a feasible strategy.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Wagathon — Taking your Warren Buffet quote on wind energy, its totally appropriate to ask: Does it make sense to build nuclear power plants without tax credits, loan guarantees, and liability indemnification which could be in the trillions of dollars (Price Anderson)?

      • That liability scenario has never happened in the US. And considering new designs are inherently safer, the “Price Anderson” problem is a contrived one. Perhaps that insurance should be decreased every year it isn’t needed.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Then I take it that you believe that Price Anderson should be repealed by Congress — and let the nuclear power companies pay their own way in a free market on insurance?

        This is the position of Ron Paul, and while I disagree with him — its a position one can at least respect to eliminate “ALL” subsidies.

      • I would eliminate all energy subsidies except for nuclear. I can live with the inconsistency given that nuclear done right will power us for hundreds of years, if not thousands. If Price Anderson is necessary to tranquilize the nervous Nellies, then keep it.

        Life is unfair. I forget who said it.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Jim2 — There is nothing wrong in you having your opinion. But just because someone has a different opinion on Renewables — this doesn’t automatically make them a “Liberal” or “Socialist”. Putting ubiquitous labels on people is the problem — and the theme of this current blog.

      • With the downfall of the Soviet Union, Marxism lost almost all of its appeal for hormonally disaffected young men of the West, leaving them bereft of significance and purpose. Except for one group among them, they now had only a potpourri of causes (sexism, racism, the environment, etc.), none of which quite met the need or filled the gap. ~Theodore Dalrymple

      • Stephan
        Don’t usually agree with you. But polite discussions w/o labels can be enlightening.

        Here is a solar article about roof tops replacing part of base load.

        “Despite such breakthroughs, the U.S. economy is harnessing only a fraction of solar’s potential benefits. Based on U.S. Census Bureau data, about 100 million U.S. residential units could physically hold rooftop systems one day, generating by one estimate 3.75 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity a year. In 2011, total U.S. electrical generation from all sources was about 4 trillion kilowatt hours—42 percent of that from coal, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The trouble is, many of the big,investor-owned utilities that provide about 85 percent of America’s electricity see solar as both a technical challenge and a long-term threat to their 100-year-old profit models. And the lack of a national energy policy means regulation of solar is up to states, public service commissions, and a wealth of local governments and bureaucracies—many of whom have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo.”

        Source: http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2012-10-25/solar-energy-is-ready-dot-the-u-dot-s-dot-isnt

        On the other hand nuclear and coal have clear advantages, especially in the east. Most likely Europe as well.

        I am with jim2 re Price Anderson is an invisible subsidy that doesn’t ever need to actually be paid.

        Not like some. Spanish solar plants are accused of running diesel generators at night for the subsidy price of electrrcity

        Incentives do weird things to the market and have to be watched and (horror) regulated.

        Lots of tools available. Energy is needed and big green machine can distort economics as much as Enron.
        Scott

      • Scott – The rain in Spain also falls in the US.
        From the article:

        It’s been lauded as the world’s largest solar power plant, but the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System could also be called the world’s largest gas-fired power plant (largest as in physical size, not gas consumption). Each of the 4,000-acre facility’s three units has gas-fired boilers used to warm up the fluid in the turbines in the early morning, to keep that fluid at an optimum temperature through the night, and to boost production during the day when the sun goes behind a cloud.

        The project’s managers, BrightSource Energy and NRG Energy, originally estimated that the plant’s main auxiliary boilers would need to run for an hour a day, on average, to allow the plant to capture solar energy efficiently. But after a few months of operation, they’re now saying they need to burn more gas, with the boilers running an average of five hours a day.

        To that end, the companies have asked the California Energy Commission (CEC) to change the project’s license to allow Ivanpah to burn more than 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas a year, and the plant’s operators say that change won’t have any environmental impact.
        Story Continues Below
        Support KCET

        The request from Ivanpah’s operators comes in the form of a petition to amend the plant’s
        air quality conditions of certification, posted Thursday on the CEC’s website.

        Under its current license, the project is allowed to use up to 328 million standard cubic feet of natural gas (MMSCF) per year at each of its three units. That’s with the proviso that the total amount of natural gas used can’t climb above 5 percent of the energy the project gets from the sun. Ivanpah’s owners (doing business as the shell corporations Solar Partners I, II, and VIII) want that upper limit increased to 525 MMSCF per year per unit, and the 5 percent limit abolished altogether.

        If you’re wondering about that acronym, MMSCF is a bit of natural gas industry jargon based loosely on Roman numerals, with M meaning 1,000. A standard cubic foot, generally speaking, is the amount of natural gas that would take up a cubic foot of volume at sea level at room temperature.

        If the petition is approved, ISEGS would be allowed to use a quantity of natural gas that would have been enough to supply about 35,000 typical California households.

        In asking for the changes to the plant’s permit, Solar Partners say that they’ve been climbing a steep learning curve in ISEGS’ first months of operation:

        ISEGS is unique. For some aspects of operation, the only way to fully understand how the systems work has been through the experience of operating the powerplants. Petitioner first became aware of the need to increase annual fuel use after the completion of construction and commencement of commercial operations, which began in December 2013. The experience gained during commercial operations indicates that more boiler steam would be needed than previously expected in order to operate the system efficiently and in a manner that protects plant equipment, and to maximize solar electricity generation.

        http://www.kcet.org/news/rewire/solar/concentrating-solar/ivanpah-solar-plant-owners-want-to-burn-a-lot-more-natural-gas.html

      • Stephen Segrest

        Scott (and Others) — I of course do not believe that Price-Anderson should be repealed. But I also believe it is a major subsidy and the U.S. nuclear power industry wouldn’t exist without it.

        Can you provide us with a link to any reputable studies that conclude that catastrophic nuclear power insurance would be available from the private market with a repeal of Price-Anderson that would satisfy Wall St. financing (e.g., bondholders), permitting agencies like public service commissions, etc?

        I don’t think such a reputable study exists.

        As to this CE blog topic — this illustrates how many CE bloggers cherry-pick a negative on things they don’t like, and give a free-pass (or a rationalization justification) on similar items for things they do like.

      • Why should private insurers provide it when the government has taken care of it.

        If you think solar and nuclear are somehow equivalent, you need to rethink that. Nuclear is reliable and plentiful. It supplies base load 24/7. There is every reason to subsidize it but not other energy sources.

        You seem to be trying to make a big deal because I discriminate among various energy sources. It’s a good thing, Stephen.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Jim2, we have three types of load requirements, base load, intermediate, and peaking requirements. All three are very important. We certainly don’t want a large MW, high cost base load unit sitting idle most the time — this would be uneconomic.

        In addition, in developed countries as our regional transmission grids become more integrated, “smarter”, and more efficient (i.e. lines) — this is changing how we view wind energy.

        Also, your statement that there is every reason to subsidize nuclear, why would nuclear be more important than base load natural gas or coal (not requiring subsidies)?

      • Stephen Segrest

        Called “engineering economics”, we need a diversified portfolio of different generation types to mitigate risk under all types of fuel cost and load scenarios.

      • Nuclear must be regulated due to the nature of the fuel. Therefore, the government has to be intimately involved anyway. And, as I said, nuclear will outlast nat gas and probably coal. It is a good investment.

        And I don’t see how anyone with an IQ above 5 could want a smart grid. Just about every company connected to the internet has been hacked and having the electricity grid hacked will be much worse than credit card theft.

        Wind and solar are way too expensive to nurture. No subsidies for them or other energy except nuclear.

      • Stephen Segrest

        Jim2 — Maybe you’ve identified my problem with your IQ above 5 comment! I’ll pass your insight along to my old University of Chicago professors for their input.

      • Stephen, all you have to do is stay reasonably current with the news to be able to predict that the “smart grid” will be hacked. Do you disagree with that or do you simply not care if our electricity is cut off for some unknown length of time?

      • Also, Stephen, there are quite a few designs of small modular nuclear reactors that are load following. They can take the place of any other technology. More than that, they can be deployed at the point of consumption – like mines, industrial parks, refineries, chemical plants, auto plants, etc. Not only do they handle peak load, the transmission distance is eliminated. Therefore, more of the energy is available for use. Small load following nukes would also be good for remote cities – many of which are nearer the poles where the Sun isn’t so reliable anyway.

      • I never equated people who are for renewables with socialists. Show me where I said that or I just might pull a Mann. Personally, I think a lot of people who purport to make renewables are simple con men who suck blood from the body politic. They may or not be socialists. Maybe they are more like fascists – well, that’s just a variant of socialism.

      • Stephen, without having followed the earlier discussion, in principle I am against government subsidies for whatever purpose. I would, however, prefer explicit subsidies to the hidden ones which often exist under government regulation, e.g. urban telecoms users paying higher prices so that far distant rural users can pay the same fees – we are currently about to fund rural customers to the extent of $A7000 per connection so that they can get super-fast broadband movie downloads.

      • Stephen Segrest

        All I’m asking is for some balance in our discussions — this would make for much more civil and constructive discussions. Not everything is a “liberal conspiracy”.

      • You don’t want them disadvantaged at changing fantasy football rosters, do you? Wouldn’t be right.
        =================

      • Well, if no one is using the nuclear credit – that is interesting but of academic interest.

        And the wind credit is about 28% (23vs18) higher.

        That is about the amount NOAA “adjusts” temperature data.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        DocMartyn posts [perhaps in reference to this comment?]  “The main difference between us [?] is that I believe in one less God than you do.

        DocMartyn, your remark inspires useful reflection upon the following topic:

        DARWIN/HANSEN PARALLELS

        Fact  Bible-fundamentalists (who number scientists among their ranks) are threatened by the moral and social implications of evolution; hence deny the validity of evolutionary science; hence personally attack (for example) Charles Darwin.

        Consequence  As the scientific evidence for evolution grows stronger decade-by-decade, denial of evolution becomes less-and-less rational; hence dialog between committed denialists and rational scientists becomes more-and-more difficult.

        —————-

        Fact  Market-fundamentalists (who number scientists among their ranks) are threatened by the moral and social implications of anthropogenic climate-change; hence deny the validity of climate-change science; hence personally attack (for example) James Hansen.

        Consequence  As the scientific evidence for climate-change grows stronger decade-by-decade, denial of climate-change becomes less-and-less rational; hence dialog between committed denialists and rational scientists becomes more-and-more difficult.

        —————-

        *THESE* common-sense parallels are obvious to *EVERYONE*, eh Climate Etc readers?

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

      • Funny you will talk about the motivated reasoning of lefty academics until the cows come home. Not so much about the actual climate science. Probably because you feel more comfortable in an area of “science” were political identity carries the weight of evidence.

      • Pushing buttons, kept close to the vest.
        ===========

      • Is climate ‘science’ sort of like weather science only more accurate the further into the future we get? If so, that’s amazing!

      • They haven’t a clue. Worst, warming is demonized, when warmer sustains more total life and more diversity of life. And even if AnthroCO2 can’t significantly warm, there’s the plant food bit to absolutely rely upon.

        I’m highly amused that Bill Clinton once called CO2 ‘Plant Food’, but only once. I suppose he couldn’t resist the dig at the Gorebellied Fool.
        ===============

      • Oh, well, talk to the reply button. Who shat in the stream this time?
        =============

      • If the climate research establishment really believed AGW was an impending disaster and a real threat to humanity they’d say the present hiatus is a godsend.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Summary Proposition  Those of Judith Curry’s students who never learn (from her example) how to respond professionally to well-mannered, well-reasoned professional critiques — for example, Gavin Schmidt’s critique, and more recently the critique of “and then there’s physics” — cannot reasonably hope to achieve James Hansen’s level of scientific achievement, recognition, and world-wide esteem.

        *THAT* common-sense professional reality is evident to *EVERYONE* who has read these two critiques — climate-science students especially — eh Climate Etc readers?

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

      • ‘… respond professionally to well-mannered, well-reasoned professional critiques…

        And the irony of the month award goes to FOMBS.

      • Oh dear – it seems from that link that I might have broken and then there’s physics. Ah well, probably for the best – he did enter a battle of wits largely unarmed.

      • Hmm – my comment at September 16, 2014 at 5:16pm was supposed to be a reply to FOMDs comment September 16, 2014 at 2:48 pm… the context is needed for the comment to make sense!

      • > it seems from that link that I might have broken and then there’s physics.

        Not only that, but Spence seems to have broken the Internet too.

        His chaotic God may be stronger than Chuck Norris, after all.

      • you are the one who hasn’t got a clue. Human emissions are a serious threat to the stability of the planet.

      • Earth will abide; it’s whether emissions persist or not.
        ============

      • Fan-of-More-Tartuffery is a blight on this website.

        No, said “parallels” are not “common sense” and not “obvious” to “everyone” (or to anyone except ideology-addled buffoons like FOMT).

        Fortunately, we’ve all learned that his links are to be ignored, so he wastes his efforts.

      • I have found that fanny’s persistent efforts to annoy are easily thwarted by not reading its comments.

      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: hence dialog between committed denialists and rational scientists becomes more-and-more difficult.

        Lucky for you there are no committed denialists here. People read most of the articles that you link to, and generously share their discoveries of flaws.

  23. Well…

    In most cases (cloud effect, forcing attribution, climate prediction, climate feedbacks, ocean warming, etc.) the scholarship is all over the place or the changes are small enough or the data incomplete enough that the facts support a number of views.

    Hard criticism should be reserved for outright lying or scaremongering. Such as claims like:
    1. 800 PPM CO2 in 2100
    2. Animal deaths with odd lesions in Alaska are due to Fukushima or Global warming (it is red tides).
    3. CO2 forcing results in a more than 1x positive feedback.
    4. The starfish deaths off the California coast are due to Fukushima or global warming.
    5. The melting arctic will kill off the polar bears.
    6. More CO2 is bad for plants.
    7. Using “Climate Change” or “Climate Disruption” or “Global Warming” or “Catastrophic Anthropomorphic Global Warming” when you mean “Catastrophic Man-made GHG induced Global Warming”.
    a. The UHI/terraforming/other anthropogenic factors that contaminates the surface data doesn’t scale, isn’t due to CO2, and is a significant part of the warming. It has to be removed from the forcing attributed to GHG.
    b. All the rebranding is an attempt to implicitly attribute all change to CO2, all forcings to CO2, and push the meme that all change is bad.
    8. GCMs provide useful information about climate 80 years in the future for policy purposes.
    The models have been dead wrong in the 21st century and are an academic toy.

    The claims of more violent weather due to global warming and the wet get wetter and the dry get drier meme look like they will be added to the list soon (new scholarship on the wetter/drier thing).

    Questions like how much of the CO2 increase is due to the increase in temperature (not man) is a subject for more scholarship.

    Claims that CO2 has no effect or all the CO2 increase is natural should probably be added to the list above.

    • “Hard criticism should be reserved for outright lying or scaremongering.” My impression is that most of this is just ignorance by fools. Most people aren’t very informed, and are repeating what someone else told them. Calling them outright liars isn’t helpful.
      Anyhow, your list is quite incomplete. I don’t think I would have much of a problem compiling a similar list of ignorant mistakes by skeptics.
      In both cases, “hard criticism” is probably less effective than a gentle note that such-and-such is a mistake, plus a link that the person himself would acknowledge.

    • PA
      +1 Summaries are extremely useful…thanks. (To me anyway.

    • Well said, PA!

  24. Thank you, Judy.

    We all fail to abide to these regulative principles from time to time. Even Daniel still does. He’s close to the Four Horsemen of Atheism, whom are not particularly charitable, and his debate techniques against Plantings were quite suboptimal.

    As long as we always try to speak out, hate can only slow down our mutual pursuit of truth.

    • Wasn’t Dennett the guy who said that creationists might have to be put in cages?

    • “Four Horsemen of Atheism.” I had to smile.

    • Plantings you mean Plantinga?

      • Yes, Plantinga. Here’s one debate:

        Indidentally, they have authored a book together. A book written by Mike & Steve would be nice. By Judy & Gavin too.

      • Plantinga is very interesting I would recommend his books.
        I started out with his book on the problem of Evil ( sophmore year I think)
        and then his book on Other Minds. Interesting approach.

        On one trip home I sat in on one of his classes and we had a nice talk. Nice man.

        I like reformed epistemology.

      • I have about a foot thick of photocopies on the warrant debate, in case a student is interested. Make that two feet to make sure. I don’t have time anymore for such epistemological debates, and I think I found my niche.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      From Francis Spufford’s Unapologetic:

      The “truth claims” [of religion] certainly matter. If God doesn’t exist, Christianity is a ladder leaning on nothing.

      [In regard to faith] anything might happen. I think I have made allowances for the kind of despair which would test my faith, but you cannot know in advance what disaster to those you love would be too much to bear faithfully, and like everyone’s, my faith is weakly conditional in some ways.

      I hope, I pray not to lose it. My fingers are crossed. Also my heart.

      Conclusion  Francis Spufford’s two books Unapologetic (theology) and Red Plenty (economics) both are heartily commended to broad-minded Climate Etc readers.

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

      • “Human error and human corruption are inevitable features of being human and not a machine, and need to be built into planning assumptions. What cybernetics should have taught the mathematicians and planners, tucked away in the relative comfort of the Siberian science city of Akademgorodok, and the Moscow offices of Gosplan, is that systems work best when self-organised from below, not centrally planned from above in a command economy. Although this is now widely recognised, it has been an expensive learning process in terms of both political and individual human tragedy.” By Steven Ross…

        Fan, unfortunately your tribe is permeated by watermelon-thought. They seem to use the AGW issue as a Trojan horse. The horrors I saw from the USSR to Cuba and Venezuela convince me I’d rather be dead than red.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Don’t forget the horrors of Denmark and the Netherlands! Oh the humanity!

        For forms of government
        let fools contest;
        what’s best administered
        is best.
         &nbspl; — Alexander Pope

        Conclusion  Optimal strategies commonly are mixed strategies.

        This pragmatic truth is highly inconvenient for the ideologues of the far-left and far-right!

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

      • Fan “The “truth claims” [of religion] certainly matter. If God doesn’t exist, Christianity is a ladder leaning on nothing. ”
        er , it rests, like most religions, on the moralities of the group believing in it. Most religions do not have a tangible god or one who has to prop up a ladder.
        This is not true with AGW as it needs to lean on something.

  25. I keep thinking of the MSM and politicians complaining about partisanship. like “getting along” is more important than doing the right thing. Sorry, Gavin seems to me to be the “Jay Carney” of climate science by carrying water for one side at all costs at all times.

  26. How can I love my neighbor?
    Thank you Judy for evidencing such grace.
    It expresses well the second most important command to:
    “Love you neighbor as yourself”. Mark 12:31
    Especially in dealing with those “Samaritans” (aka global warming alarmists)!

  27. I won’t name any, but I could name many denizens who (I think) want to play nice. Nevertheless a lot of us are provokable. Anatol Rapoport was mentioned in Dr. Curry’s post as the inventor of the ‘tit for tat’ strategy for repeated games. One of the virtues of tit-for-tat, as a dynamic strategy, is that it is quickly provokable; but that has to be paired with quick forgiveness to work well as a dynamic strategy. Additionally, some people (Dixit and Nalebuff come to mind) argue that ‘tit-for-two-tats’ is better in a world where players make mistakes. That would be a strategy that is slightly less provokable, that waits for two aggressive or inappropriate plays before resorting to agression. The problem with plain old tit-for-tat is that it can get locked into bad behavior forever (or alternation between good and bad behavior forever) if it meets certain other strategies (e.g. tit-for-tat with an error rate).

    We live in a world where some people misbehave at least some of the time, either intentionally or through less-than-perfect play. Exhorting us all to give peace a chance is nice, and could work great in theory (if everyone gets it and no one slips up), but in practice real strategies for handling the real variation in the world require some provokability as well as some forgiveness.

    • I turn the other cheek to bring the airy artillery in play.
      ==========

    • ==> “Exhorting us all to give peace a chance is nice, …

      The use of the word “charity” is perhaps unfortunate in that it leads to that kind of a response.

      The principles about how to engage in productive and well-reasoned discussion need not be based in “charity” or in giving peace a change.

      A good scientist does a good job of laying out alternative perspectives along with explaining the logic of their own.

      The basic point is rather simple. You can’t disagree with me if you don’t know what I’m saying (or trying to say). To make sure you understand what I’m saying, or trying to say, you have to confirm it with me. Without that, you are likely to fall into the trap of arguing against something that I’ve never said – as we see so frequently in these here parts.

      There is no “requirement” for provokability. There is a requirement that you try to understand what I’m saying, which might sometimes, temporarily, cause me to object that your charcterization of what I’ve said is incorrect. Forgiveness is also a rather strange thing to require. Although forgiveness is not usually counterproductive, IMO, why should I need to “forgive” someone for making an error if they’re engaged in good faith? The notion of “forgiveness” seems to imply bad faith. If bad faith is there, then perhaps forgiveness might prove beneficial – but the more important component there is for the person who was engaging in bad faith to correct their own approach.

      • Joshua – Maybe the reason that so many persons here dislike you, me included for sure, is that you constantly engage in bad faith but fail to admit it. Take this comment. You insisted on putting “charity” in quotes. This says, “what you value above all in dealings with others I consider to be absurd, beneath contempt. I will not even deign to use it as a real word with a valid meaning”. Almost every comment you write uses this tactic. Cut out the sniffing condescension of anyone with religious beliefs and you might find someone willing to engage you.

      • Joshua has a point, Tom C. Morals pertain to personal affairs, not public discussions. This point does not contradict NW’s point, it just orients it in a way that could be settled more constructively than another round of blaming game.

        The first rule of good manners is never to appeal to good manners. Good manners impose themselves, or they become protocolar artifices. They implement humane ways to increase togetherness, not creating patronizing alpha hierarchies.

      • Tom C –

        Oy.

      • In the discussion of a dynamic strategy, all “forgiveness” means is returning to cooperative play. Sorry, it is in this context a technical term, meaning to return to cooperation after a period of noncooperation.

      • Perhaps you ought to present the background to these ideas, NW. I think you’re referibg to iterative prisoner’s dilemmas. How about a blog post?

      • NW –

        ==> “In the discussion of a dynamic strategy, all “forgiveness” means is returning to cooperative play. ”

        I think that “cooperation” (sorry for the quotation marks there, Tom C.) is also a bit off point. Yes, “good faith” (sorry for the quotations marks there, Tom C.) is something I consider a prerequisite for productive engagement about points of scientific or policy disagreement – but “cooperation” is not really a requirement, IMO. Good faith and cooperation are not exactly the same thing. I think the concept of cooperation is a bit of a misdirection; it puts the focus on a, perhaps, essentially irrelevant feature. I can successfully negotiate a point of disagreement to reach common definitions and understandings of what we’re discussing without necessarily operationalizing cooperation. Not so with good faith, IMO.

      • Unless in economic terms, “cooperative play” and “cooperation” (sorry for the use of quotation marks there, Tom C.) are not inextricably related.

        BTW – I have found the specialized usage of ordinary terms by economists for specialized meanings to be rather amusing. I used to earn a living (in part) by working with (foreign) graduate students (often in economics) on giving presentations to general audiences (e.g., undergraduate students). Getting them to understand that terms such as “utility” (sorry for the use of quotation marks there, Tom C. – I promise I really don’t have a lower opinion of folks who believe in utility) had meanings other than their specialized understanding was always a challenge. There were better examples than “utility,” but I can’t remember them at the moment.

      • Josh, the traditional penalty for debasing the coinage was death. Money is based on trust, and an attack on a currency, is an attack on the vector of trust. It is the same with language. The way you debase the tools for transmitting thoughts and arguments from one brain to another, robs us of trust. Insisting that a word does not have the meaning that it is generally held to have destroys the medium of communication.

    • Likewise, the use of “kindness” is also unfortunate. Kindness is necessarily subjective. Principles for good faith exchange needn’t rely on or “require” that sort of subjective assessment, although I can’t think of any reason why they’d be incompatible with that sort of subjective value assessment.

      • Joshua,

        While kindness and also charity of interpretation are indeed subjective, a good rule of thumb is that they should be judged by one’s interlocutor…. i.e., if the person(s) we are addressing cannot agree that there is kindness and charity-of-interpretation present then that is an excellent indication that I/we have fallen short in these criteria (I address this to myself and all others here, not only to you).

      • skiphil –

        Agreed.

    • Here’s what I think is the intended meaning, Joshua:

      > In game theory, a cooperative game is a game where groups of players (“coalitions”) may enforce cooperative behaviour, hence the game is a competition between coalitions of players, rather than between individual players. An example is a coordination game, when players choose the strategies by a consensus decision-making process.

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

      Your suggestion that we try to reformulate the otter’s argument in a way to reach agreement about the nature of the disagreement is a cooperative game. The word “enforce” here is primitive and does not belong to the theory, I think. You can replace it with the notion of constitutive rule, which means that if you stop to cooperate, you simply are notlayong anymore.

      • Did I just mentioned “consensus”?

        Sorry about that.

        :-p

      • willard –

        I think that the discussion, (well, at least for me), would be more useful if framed in a less theoretical context than game theory. Indeed, one problem that economists face is trying to bridge the gap between the theoretical and real-world behavior of “players,” “maximizing utility,” etc.

        One of my favorite cartoons (can’t find a link) is of two economists looking at a blackboard with a bunch of equations and scratching their heads.

        One of the economists says to the other: “This theory is absolutely perfect. The only problem is that people won’t cooperate and act they way they should.”

      • Yes, Joshua. This is why I asked NW for a post. For our own edification, and to help him gain in vulgarity.

        By “vulgarity” I mean vulgarization skill, of course.

      • Willard, yes I have in mind an iterated (or repeated or dynamic) prisoner’s dilemma (PD), where each player has two strategies at each iteration, cooperation or noncooperation. I’m not really thinking that “cooperation” means entering into a cooperative game in the formal senses described by that wiki entry. Rather, the strategy “cooperation,” when played by all, maximizes social welfare of the players, defined in some suitable way, while the strategy “noncooperation,” when played by all, does the opposite. Metaphorically–and it is a metaphor, keep this in mind–I’m viewing the decision to play the conversation game as Curry describes (or in any other way that is supposed to be good and/or right) as equivalent to playing the PD strategy “cooperation” and I’m viewing the PD strategy “noncooperation” as not doing so. In typical pedagogy we label these two possible PD strategies as C and D, for “cooperate” and “defect (from cooperation).”

        I’m not the right guy to do such a blog post on the theory.

      • Thanks, NW

        Anything you’d like to write about would be fine with me. Denizens may be interested to hear about your audit of cognitive sciences. Or your own papers. Anything.

  28. Joshua: Thanks for the link. It was a very interesting discussion though it seems to have not included equally talented “believers”. As they seem to all agree, it is hard to argue with true believers since their beliefs are not subject to genuine empirical tests. This seems to me to capture what is currently occurring in the CAGW debate.
    I also noted that David Dennett did not practice much of what he preached.

    • bernie1815 –

      There is much I disagree with in that discussion. Yes, I think that there were many examples in that discussion that don’t live up to the principles outlined in the OP.

      But that doesn’t mean that the principles outlined are not ones that would advance quality discussion if there were adhered to.

  29. You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.

    –e.g.,

    Modern man is guilty of Rising Seas. Academia is the sole sitness against this crime of Western Civilization.

  30. http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2014/sep/15/97-vs-3-how-much-global-warming-are-humans-causing

    After reading the guardian article this morning I came over to Climate Etc and found the perfect response in the Daniel Dennet post.

    Thank you for keeping such a good blog. I come here everyday, because the ad hominem branch of science is kept to a minimum.

  31. Excellent post. However, for this to work you have assume that both sides, assuming there are only two sides, are trying to work toward truth or compromise. I’m not sure that is the case in the climate debate. It seems to me that one side, the warming camp, is out to win at all costs and is willing to destroy anyone that gets in their way. This side is allied with the media (MSM), academia, POTUS, and the political left. I think their method of choice is described by “Rules for Radicals” by Saul Alinsky.

    http://www.mynacc.org/Rules_for_Radicals.pdf

    See especially the chapter on tactics beginning on page 125.

    A young climate scientest would be ostracized if she tried to publish results that contradicted the current dogma. She would be living in a hostile environment. I think she would have to be very strong and secure in her career, like a tenured professor, to challenge the status quo.

    Richard Clarke, the former Bush “security czar”, wrote the book “Against All Enemies” criticizing the Bush administration’s handling of the pre-911 terrorist threat. He was vigorously attacked by the right (disclosure: I’m a Republican). When asked about the attacks he said, “I’m old, I’m rich, they can’t touch me.”

    Justin

    • “This side is allied with the media (MSM), academia, POTUS, and the political left.”

      All of these allies mentioned are the political left. Dr. Curry will only goes as far as mentioning generic “politics” impacting climate science. When she mentions; “Sorry I don’t play by your rules.” It’s important to remember she’s talking to her political peers. There’s no truth in picking Trotsky over Stalin being the point. The “precautionary principle” is simply another road if only longer to hell. Structurally it leaves all the same people in place, funded and theorizing policy when they should all be defunded and removed from any authority.

      If you can’t acknowledge (directly) a basic fact like the political ID of climate advocacy you really aren’t talking about very much in the way of overall understanding or social improvements. Many skeptics like this status quo as well and the support for Dr. Curry reflects how reality is a minor thing compared to arguing over cherry picked, range of error data endlessly or equivocating sides alone left-wing paranoid cultural standards “big oil vs. ….etc. etc.. I hope the Marshal Institute has a positive impact but Dr. Curry generally is playing an inside the peer group (leftist culture) game that isn’t an answer to the broader climate science abuse of our time. Sure, she annoys her peers but she covers for them everyday of the week as well. No one is going to grill over at Marshall either, she’ll be treated like a defector no matter what she says.

    • Justin, when we face people who have very different backgrounds, religions, or happen to know a truth that’s very different its important to mix a hint of disagreement without being very forceful. Being polite and sweet works better, that’s for suren. People will reject a truth we KNOW is for real because they can’t accept having their apple cart turned over. My truths are usually quite different from everybody else’s truths, so I try to use amateurish comedy to make it a bit easier to shove the FACTS down their throats.

  32. I suggest that Dennet’s techniques form a highly admirable approach to discussion and debate, yet that there are also times when an interlocutor is so far gone that the attempt us hopeless. Still, in such cases, following Dennet’s guidelines can benefit the overall climate of discussion, especially in a public forum as this. Often the best way to think of discussion here is to have regard and respect for all of the other people who may be experiencing one’s words.

    I will be the first to say that I have trouble trying to live up to these recommendations here, since my main impressions from these comment threads are the hectoring harangues of the people who disdain my views and will never make the slightest effort to understand them. The rants by FOMD above are good examples of the hopelessness of expecting Dennett’s suggestions to prevail here. FOMD did not make the slightest effort to understand what Judith or Dennett are saying; instead, FOMD launched into his usual blustering rants which display total contempt for his audience.

    • To elaborate on my sentence,

      “Often the best way to think of discussion here is to have regard and respect for all of the <bother people who may be experiencing one’s words.”

      What I mean is that in cases where one’s immediate interlocutor is belligerent and disrespectful, think of addressing all of the more reasonable and respectful people here who deserve something better. Don’t get caught up in the food fights with one or a few people who are determined to disdain Judith and Dennett in these matters. I address this to myself first and foremost, not only to any others reading my words.

    • I think some of the denizens, including those you mentioned, post on this blog just to stir up a little trouble and pollute the debate. They don’t want the blog to work. Any scientist that sees the poisoned exchange would likely stay away. That may be their intention.

      Justin

      • Yes, there is a little cadre of mindless crusaders for the cause who are here to poke the evil deniers with sharp sticks. Their main target is Judith. If she wants the blog to be more civil, she should run off a few of these cockroaches.

      • Don Monfort, the cockroach is one of God’s most beloved creatures, this is why he created so many varieties and in such huge numbers. Your karma will evolve and you may be rewarded by being reborn as a famous movie star Nobel prize winning politician with a heated indoor swimming pool. But first you must be kind to roaches, as I learned to do in Kazahstan.

      • ==> “If she wants the blog to be more civil, she should run off a few of these cockroaches.”

        Gotta say – this kind of stuff is one of the reasons I love Don as much as I do.
        2nd only to Chief in his mastery of unintentional irony.

      • Fernando, the French used a robot to send a camera into the reactor room of one of their power stations, found cockroaches.

      • Not a disease vector, but ooh, they eat paper.
        ================

      • Yes Fernando, and God created man, and man created RAID. And the Roach Motel. And shoes.

        And man also created an off Broadway play “Steambath” that was made into a PBS teleplay broadcast in 1973. It starred Bill Bixby, naked Valerie Perrine, and the real God. I can’t readily find the whole show, but here’s a clip. The part where the Puerto Rican steambath attendant proves that he is God:

        I highly recommend that you seek out and watch the full video. You can preview the plot on wiki. Don’t miss Valerie.

      • You think just about everything anybody says that you disagree with is unintended irony, joshie. Are you blessed with some extraordinary ability to detect irony where none was intended and none exists, or is it that you don’t know what irony is? Look it up, runt.

      • Willy is a lot smarter than joshie.

      • “Life is full of ironies for the stupid–if you’re stupid enough to think so.”

        –PJ O’Rourke

      • what kind of irony?
        given the right interpretative approach everything can be read ironically.
        It other words the meaning of a text is indeterminate; that is, one can always interpret a text to mean something other than what was intended because intention doesn’t control meaning. The text is out of control or rather cannot be controlled.

        hmm, read “allegories of reading”

      • Steven Mosher wrote

        “given the right interpretative approach everything can be read ironically.”

        I wonder if Hofstadter could work with the quote. Smells a little like all men are liars.

      • Thanks, Steven. Not having had a particularly liberal artsy education, I don’t know whether to call your little ditty esoteric, abstruse, or just plain silly. Are there many other words whose meaning can be rendered meaningless with the right interpretative approach? Wish I had known about this sooner. I am fond of irony. Could have had a lot more of it.

    • When a discussion is started with the statement that the other side is in a cognitive trap, at the mercy of some denial mechanism, then it dies right there. That is why I call him “The ironically named FOMD.”

      • Yes, TJA, and when incivility is so rampant as in FOMD’s endlessly repetitive screeds, it is difficult to refrain from having fun with him. What astonishes me is that he might actually think that he promotes discourse, civility, rationality, mutual respect, and his much referenced Quaker-ly values. I have enjoyed so much of my life around people who are exemplars of those traits and values that FOMD’s rants and pretensions are jaw-exploding exercises in inanity. FOMD is so much the opposite of the many thoughtful, mainly rational, highly civil people I have been privileged to know that his false pretensions do fill me with disgust and disdain.

        Of course, as many have pointed out to me, the best way to deal with such a troll is to ignore him, but since he opines on many groups and topics dear to my heart it is not always easy to pass over his blundering bluster without comment.

      • Willard, a couple of days ago I wrote a comment about this topic. Based on comments by participants here and a couple of emails I researched the subject a bit more, prepared additional spreadsheets, and so on and so forth. I concluded the impact from the Proved and probable (about a 50 % probability) and the Coal proved as defined by BP in their world factbook of energy allow for CO2 concentration to reach 627 ppm. This should be reached sometime after 2100.

        I also had a request to provide a figure for what some call “technical reserves”. However, the term isn´t defined to allow us to prepare a coherent estimate to cover the whole world.

        The great imponderable we have on this side of the equation is our ability to extract more fossil fuels as price rise – while keeping prices low enough to avoid competition from other energy sources. I don´t think that´s feasible. The market will deliver the competitors, or we are toast in the sense that energy costs will climb so much the world economy will be shot to hell.

      • > I concluded the impact from the Proved and probable (about a 50 % probability) and the Coal proved as defined by BP in their world factbook of energy allow for CO2 concentration to reach 627 ppm.

        Show me, Fernando.

  33. I can’t imagine that engaging with Judith Curry in a courteous and honest debate is a part of Gavin’s agenda. The strategy of the consensus crowd is to not discuss their cosa nostra science with disinforming anti-science deniers, it’s to delegitimize and stigmatize them. Gavin will stick to sniping at Judith from the weeds.

    Gavin learned a lesson the last time he debated with deniers:

    http://www.npr.org/2007/03/22/9082151/global-warming-is-not-a-crisis

    Gavin et al got their clock cleaned. The NPR crowd turned on them:

    “In this debate, the proposition was: “Global Warming Is Not a Crisis.” In a vote before the debate, about 30 percent of the audience agreed with the motion, while 57 percent were against and 13 percent undecided. The debate seemed to affect a number of people: Afterward, about 46 percent agreed with the motion, roughly 42 percent were opposed and about 12 percent were undecided.”

    • Interestingly gavin was invited to have discussions, group discussions, with Judith, Ravetz, McIntyre, Me, and a few others in Lisbon to discuss climate science. In the end he refused to come.

      That was unfortunate because we spent a good deal of the time discussing non violent communication.. more time on that that climate science.

    • > I can’t imagine that engaging with Judith Curry in a courteous and honest debate is a part of Gavin’s agenda.

      I can. That I’ve seen it recently helps. Gavin has no civic duty to curtsy anyone: he has a style if his own and looks quite WYSIWYG to me.

      When there’ll be not much choice than engage with Judy’s arguments, it’ll happen. But then even that may never be necessary, as science communication, like science, is more a race than a boxing match.
      Which may be why nothing happens in the end, like in Kafka’s castle.

      The same applies to everyone. Hi, Judy. Got any candy for me?

      • It often is, but it shouldn’t just be a race with two non-interacting participants:

        You learn a lot more from people who are willing to be critical of you than you do from people who just want to be seen as agreeing with you.

        I agree that Gavin doesn’t have a civic duty to be civil, but it is to his advantage to do so.

      • I agree, Carrick, that showing openness increases credibility. On the other hand, there are risks that it turns into a circus like Bill Nye contra some random contrarian, in which case everyone loses.

        So there’s a tradeoff, and it’s a judgment call. And there are situational aspects, like past history, caffeine levels, occupational hazards, etc. Even the Denizens should not feel foreign to how Judy’s received.

        OK. I really need to go. I’ll be more than happy to read more on Judy’s 44-55 argument.

      • Since you know Gavin so well willy, why don’t you arrange for Gavin and Judith to meet for debate in a public forum? Maybe NPR would be interested in revisiting the issue. But we both know that Gavin’s only business with Judith, is to attempt to discredit her.

      • You might be right, Ole Willy.. Remember Gavin here:

      • Don, honestly I don’t see public debate as particularly useful or informative here. Oftent these unfortunately often devolves into “a three-ring circus sideshow full of freaks.”

        I was thinking more one-on-one conversations with a willingness to listen to other people’s views without confrontation and the ability to ask questions that are intended to probe the other person’s perspective and understanding, rather than just to “put them in their place”.

      • Carrick, “I was thinking more one-on-one conversations with a willingness to listen to other people’s views without confrontation and the ability to ask questions that are intended to probe the other person’s perspective and understanding, rather than just to “put them in their place”.

        Carrick, if employed with Michael Mann, what do you predict the outcome to be?

      • As we know only all too well, Gavin Schmidt prefers a conversation he can control. That’s what he’s hired to do, and he’s boring.
        ==================

      • Did you know this was staged behind Gavin’s back, Bob?

      • Ole Willy. “Did you know this was staged behind Gavin’s back, Bob?”

        If by that you mean the stage was behind him, I tend to agree Willy.

      • Carrick, if the alarmist crowd had their scientific doo-doo together, they would be clamoring for debate. They are the ones who need to persuade the public to take drastic action. But they run from debate and whine about false balance.

        Did you see Mosher’s comment about Gavin declining to even sit down and talk. He was afraid someone would get a cellphone picture of him sitting amongst heretics. They are not interested in a scientific dialogue, Carrick. They would have to talk about the uncertainty monster.

      • Willard, the new EU ENERGY & env’t Commissioner is Miguel Arias Cañete. I understand the extreme left here in Spain had a cow when they heard about it. But I’m sure greens and their friends the paleoclimatologists can meet with Miguel and explain that 97 % of scientific experts are terrified because the world will cross the horrifying 2 degree C threshold by 2048, and it is all because of women and men practicing greedy capitalism while seeking profits. That should secure his commitment to push for more solar panels in Poland, offshore wind in Germany, and subsidies to move the people of Funafuti to Sydney, Australia.

      • > But we both know that Gavin’s only business with Judith, is to attempt to discredit her.

        Should we infer from this that we both know that Judy’s only business with the IPCC is to attempt to discredit it, Don Don?

      • @willard (@nevaudit) | September 15, 2014 at 4:43 pm |

        Did you know this was staged behind Gavin’s back, Bob?

        Do you mean the part where Gavin refused to stay at the table when they brought Spencer back in was faked?

      • AK, of course it had to be staged, it was a bit of an embarrassment so Foxnews/Murdock/big oil/big tobacco and Coke had to be involved.

      • Willard, there is no civic duty for anyone to curtsy, but Gavin damn well does have all kinds professional and civic obligations due to his paid position as a prominent scientist in a taxpayer-funded govt. agency. He has willingly assumed a much higher level of public civic obligation than private citizens and privately funded scientists. This should not mean that he must spend his time on any and all comers, but when he does engage in public discussions he has an added responsibility to be civil, polite, and competent, as we can demand (though not always get) of any govt. official.

      • Oh, yah, it made great TV. A reality show peek at a Terrible Two’s Tantrum.
        ==========

      • > Do you mean the part where Gavin refused to stay at the table when they brought Spencer back in was faked?

        Yup. Look closer. It shows.

      • Judy too is a civil servant, Skiphil. And even if she was not, she’d still need to mind her manners. At least toward her clients, both private and public. And your point is?

        People are people, so why should it be. You and I should get along so awfully. People are people, so why should it be. You and I should get along so awfully.

      • This Is Your Life, and the camera caught Gavin candid.
        ==========

      • “> Do you mean the part where Gavin refused to stay at the table when they brought Spencer back in was faked?

        Yup. Look closer. It shows.”

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

        Willard believes the moon landing was a hoax.

      • What shows is that Gavin was setup, and decided to confront that sleazy bastard.

        As if Gavin would have agreed to go on a stage to discuss why he would not debate with Roy, right after declining to debate the undebatable for the sake of a good TV show.

      • now willard redefines the meeting of “set up.”
        white knighting for gavin is hella funny.

        gavins beenn through media training. he knows exactly what to expect
        every time he goes on conservative TV.

        1. expect to be invited to debate
        2. expect questions about why you wont debate.
        3. expect them to make the offer LIVE.

        Anyone who has watched michael moore know the plot.
        ya gavin fell, gravity its a set up

      • The offer was made beforehand. Ask Gavin. I did.

        But speaking of conspiacy, is Gavin honest?

      • Gavin looks dishonest. And he is really ugly. There’s a career for him as the villain in James Bond films. Roy looks like a scholar and gentleman. No wonder Gavin doesn’t want to be seen with him. Remember when Gavin whinged that his Team lost the NPR debate because Michael Crichton was tall and good looking. What a chump. Gavey learned at least one lesson from that buttwhupping. Now that’s what the little troll get’s for dissin’ Roy, Judith and the other real climate scientists. How am I doing with the kindness foolishness?

      • of course the offer was made before hand. I havent argued anything different

        Gravity is a set up.

        You have never been invited to speak on conservative TV. here is the drill.

        1. you will be invited to debate.
        2. you will turn it down, as expected
        3. You will appear.
        4. they will ask you why you declined
        5. they will make a LIVE offer.

        That’s no mystery. Thats fricking GRAVITY willard. now go pick your princess up willard, she’s fallen off the horse and gravity conspired to make her hit the ground. Its a set up i tell you.

        You know on wheel of fortune they allow you to buy a vowel. here’s a dolllar, buy a third digit for your IQ and stop playing dumb

      • Gavin Schmidt is dishonest. I don’t think there’s any way to argue otherwise after his behavior at Keith Kloor’s blog where he defended Michael Mann’s 2008 temperature reconstruction. He repeatedly insisted certain points were true, openly mocking the people who disagreed. He went so far as to argue the people who wouldn’t accept his position are why reasonable dialogues aren’t possible. When people pointed out he was misunderstanding/ignoring what his critics said, he dismissed them with more haughtiness.

        Then he realized he was wrong and vanished. He acknowledged the point his critics had been making all along, but he only did so in an inline response to comment buried on a different blog. He has never attempted to correct anything he said at Kloor’s blog nor retract his insults.

        I don’t see how anyone can be expected to view him as honest after that.

      • don, “Now that’s what the little troll get’s for dissin’ Roy, Judith and the other real climate scientists. How am I doing with the kindness foolishness?”

        You’re a model of self restraint. Say, have you gotten your check from Coke yet? :)

      • Brandon –

        ==> “I don’t see how anyone can be expected to view him as honest after that.”

        How can anyone be expected to someone if that person says that Dan Kahan said something that he never said?

        Did you know the universe began with a huge explosion? If not, you’re an idiot. So says Dan M. Kahan.

        How about “after that?” Should someone be expected to view you as being honest “after that?”

      • Thanks capt, but I may be undeserving of praise for self-restraint. There are nine previous versions of that comment stuck in moderation. Hey, willy asked the question. I guess he hasn’t seen any of those courtroom dramas on TV. Don’t ask, if you don’t know the answer.

        I am one of those dollar a year men, capt. I get a token salary of a dollar a year, plus all I can steal. Just kidding. That was told to me by a friend who was the chief of staff of the armed forces in a country I won’t name. Officials of his rank were typically paid less than $1000/mo., but it was assumed that they were clever enough to steal up to 10% of their department’s budget. In the majority of countries, constitutions are just pieces of paper.

      • It was not a setup
        Because there was a setup
        The setup was to be expected
        There’s always a setup

        So it was not a setup.

        Stop changing what “setup” means.

    • The Hockey Team is comfortable only in the realm of Pal Review. Head to head is too unpredictable for them.

      • Researchers are interest-oriented, jim2. Appealing to pride alone is simply not strong enough. One needs challenging ideas too.

        Also, they’re quite busy, and are free to focus on whatever they fancy. Just like any one from the auditing sciences. Although auditors do seem to have a bit more time. Speaking of which, mine’s up.

        Good afternoon,

        w

      • My challenge this week is to make you think about the uselessness of it all because we are running out of fossil fuels….those high CO2 concentrations you use in your heads when you have climate warming nightmares are unreal.

      • > we are running out of fossil fuels….

        We could even be walking out of it, Fernando ;-)

        If you mean that fossil fuels are not renewable, I already agree.

        But I sense you mean something stronger than Manacker’s argument, which leads to 980 ppm:

        https://judithcurry.com/2013/10/10/the-stadium-wave/#comment-403155

        If you do, I’m very interested to know your arguments, with your main citations.

        Many thanks!

      • Yep, we’ve been running out of fossil fuels since the first ancient pulled out a gob of tar. We will be running out of them for some time to come.

      • If people would stop finding more and more fossil fuels century after century we’d at last be able to have a proper peak. Truth is, the stuff will be left lying in the ground when something even better than fossil fuel comes along. (Fair to suggest that investing in alternatives which suck has critically delayed development of alternatives which don’t suck? As someone who likes alternatives on principle I find that frustrating. Even old wind, old geothermal and getting-old solar are handy when you don’t pretend they can do what they can’t.)

        Here we are in NSW sitting on top of the best Permian black, superlative quality, gloriously recoverable and enough for centuries…but our well conditioned Aussie activists are sure “we” are running out of fossil fuels. It’s in “the literature”…or something.

        Peak coal. It’s like a mouse making up its mind to starve in a full wheat silo. A real act of the will. Or like banning jelly beans because one day you might run out of jelly beans. Funny times.

    • Fiction beats a textbook. Who knew?

  34. I’ve been guilty of less than gracious criticism. I’ll be more mindful of that.

  35. While I agree the recommendations of this post have merit, I don’t believe they are suitable as something to be done in every response. If you do 1-3 in every comment, most of your comments will be long-winded and artificial.

    Additionally, the ability to provide exact quotes from people reduces the need to restate people’s positions. Restating their positions is good when a point is complex, there is a lot of verbiage or there is some confusion, but on simple points, it’s rarely necessary.

    When you’re writing a blog post or other lengthy response, these steps can be good to follow. When you’re writing three sentence comments, these steps will likely just make things worse.

    • Brandon,
      I quite agree that always detailing comments along the lines of Dennett’s 1-3 would be tedious and artificial. Thinking of these as part of an internal thought process to work through, rather than items which must be detailed every time, may make most sense. Dennett’s remarks apply best to extended philosophical ruminations, I’d say. Here, where it is often appropriate to make one or two focused points, perhaps others will be able to infer or intuit whether someone has bothered to work through 1-3 before commenting.

      • Skiphil, I’d definitely agree with that. I think all comments should involve more thought than is necessarily stated. I usually go through points 1 and 2 when making a comment. I just don’t write my thoughts on them out all the time.

        I’d be curious to read the context of those points. My understanding is they were a summary of a section he wrote in his book. It’d be interesting to know just what the section was about, as well as what his lengthier remarks on the topic were.

      • Brandon –

        Sorry – this belong here

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/15/how-to-criticize-with-kindness/#comment-629218

        (I know you wouldn’t want to miss it – with the advantage that if you decide to read it, you can hold me responsible for wasting your time rather than being accountable for your own decisions),.

    • ==> “While I agree the recommendations of this post have merit, I don’t believe they are suitable as something to be done in every response.

      Not only that, they won’t cure hunger or the heartbreak of psoriasis.

      • hehe. that was funny.

      • Sure, it was funny. Joshua chose an uncharitable interpretation of my comment to make a snarky response implying I was uncharitable. That’s funny as it shows the potential value of following the guidelines I was discussing in my comment.

        What’s also funny is how you made two comments implying fault on my part which were vague enough not to come out and say it. That allows you to the option of acting as though you weren’t accusing me of anything while knowing any casual reader of your comments would think you had.

        Given your repeated claims of skill in understanding text and arguments, one could reasonably assume you understood my comment then intentionally smeared me with remarks vague enough to leave you an out. Or one could not. As this post discusses, the question lies in how charitable we should be in our interpretations.

      • Joshua, after 58 years of it, I haven’t found psoriasis a heartbreak. Attitude is all, it’s just an inconvenience, far more minor than many others I have suffered short and long-term.

      • “What’s also funny is how you made two comments implying fault on my part which were vague enough not to come out and say it. That allows you to the option of acting as though you weren’t accusing me of anything while knowing any casual reader of your comments would think you had.”

        wrong again. I am accusing you. It’s clear I am accusing you.
        I am accusing you of engaging in a typical form of behavior.
        Given a choice of how to read a text, you regularly adopt an approach that seeks to MISUNDERSTAND the text so that you can score a point.

        It’s pattern you exhibit. It’s pathological.

      • Steven Mosher, I think your portrayal of me is not only wrong, but is so wrong as to be absurd. I suspect it says far more about you than me. I don’t really care though. I think people reading my comment and the responses can judge the situation for themselves quite easily.

        Skiphil responded to me with a constructive comment, suggesting a clarification for the issue of the scope of this list. I quickly agreed to it, and we both wound up on the same page.

        You and Joshua wrote a series of comments which weren’t constructive, didn’t lead to any progress and ultimately contributed nothing. Ostensibly, you two were commenting because of the same point which caused Skiphil to comment, yet the patterns of discussion were dramatically different.

        Feel free to keep diagnosing me with whatever you want. I doubt many people will listen to those who behave in a manner indistinguishable from trolling.

      • Brandon –

        ==> “Steven Mosher, I think your portrayal of me is not only wrong, but is so wrong as to be absurd.”

        It’s not only absurd. It also just “doesn’t make sense.” Not to mention, it won’t cure the heartbreak of psoriasis.

        And it won’t prevent anyone from asserting that other people said things that they never said:

        Did you know the universe began with a huge explosion? If not, you’re an id*ot. So says Dan M. Kahan.

        See. Mosher’s portrayal of you didn’t prevent you from saying that Dan Kahan said something that he never said:

      • Joshua:

        It’s not only absurd. It also just “doesn’t make sense.” Not to mention, it won’t cure the heartbreak of psoriasis.

        Why you aren’t banned for constantly posting this dreck is beyond me.

        What does this add?

      • Carrick –

        Why you aren’t banned for constantly posting this dreck is beyond me.

        What does this add?

        Why you aren’t banned for constantly posting this dreck is beyond me.

        What does this add?

    • “While I agree the recommendations of this post have merit, I don’t believe they are suitable as something to be done in every response. ”

      Note he never makes the argument that it is suitable for every response on a blog.

      “You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.”

      • Steven Mosher, I have no way to know that is true. The list was preceded with:

        How to compose a successful critical commentary:

        Which does nothing to limit the type of “critical commentary” they can be applied to. On its own, that line implies the scope is all critical commentary, exactly opposite what you claim. As such, it was perfectly natural for me to point out it would not work in such a broad scope. Doing so doesn’t assume he was intending the scope to be so broad. It merely recognizes the text we’ve been provided can easily be interpreted to be that broad.

        All I did was discuss the limitations I feel are appropriate for the list. If those limitations were already provided in context we weren’t presented (which I have indicated my interest in reading), I have no practical way of knowing it. My repeating a point the author may have made does not require the author have failed to make it. He and I can both make the same point independently of one another.

        “You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.”

      • ==> “I have no way to know that is true.”

        Yes. “Basically” the author was saying that the recommendations would be appropriate as something to to be done in EVERY response.

        ==> “It merely recognizes the text we’ve been provided can easily be interpreted to be that broad.”

        Yes. It would be “easy” to interpret it that way. It would also be “easy” to interpret the authors intent to be so broad as to mean that he felt that the recommendations would cure hunger and the heartbreak of psoriasis.

        Not hard at all.

      • Brandon first mistake

        “Which does nothing to limit the type of “critical commentary” they can be applied to.”

        True, but if you want to have a fruitful discussion then you should AVOID
        precisely what you did. In the absence of a list you focused on the silly
        “it we do this in every comment, then comments will get to long”

        See what you did? you SOUGHT OUT the cases where the principal would not apply rather than starting with obvious cases where it WOULD apply.

        You illustrate why he is right

      • Steven Mosher:

        See what you did? you SOUGHT OUT the cases where the principal would not apply rather than starting with obvious cases where it WOULD apply.

        You illustrate why he is right

        What? He’s right because if I don’t follow his advice, people like you and Joshua will intentionally interpret my comments in an uncharitable way rather than the obvious, charitable way?

        I could go out of my way to try to prevent you guys from intentionally misunderstanding things, but I don’t think there’s a force in this universe which could stop you.

      • Joshua

        “Yes. It would be “easy” to interpret it that way. It would also be “easy” to interpret the authors intent to be so broad as to mean that he felt that the recommendations would cure hunger and the heartbreak of psoriasis.”

        This is one pattern of Brandon reading.

        he has two patterns. One pattern is over literalizing. The other pattern is the one you mention. Interpreting a text so broadly that it turns into something meaningless… and then he argues that it is meaningless.

        It’s one reason why folks should take liberal arts where you are forced to making sense out of things.

        so much depends
        upon

        a red wheel
        barrow

        glazed with rain
        water

        beside the white
        chickens

        Now, imagine teaching this to brandon.

      • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        Really? I hate that. OK, let me see if I can find the problem….

        Before I gave up trying to have conversations with Brandon, exchanging views with him made me of working with Chinese clients, for whom changes in tone signifies different words – and discussing with them how the use of tone for an English speaker can be somewhat different….

        This was a useful phrase to examine:

        I didn’t say you stole my wallet….

        So consider the impact of tone:

        I didn’t say you stole my wallet….
        I didn’t say you stole my wallet…
        I didn’t you stole my wallet…
        I didn’t say you stole my wallet..
        I didn’t say you stole my wallet…
        I didn’t say you stole my wallet…
        I didn’t say you stole my wallet

      • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        Really? I hate that. OK, let me see if I can find the problem….

        Before I gave up trying to have conversations with Brandon, exchanging views with him made me of working with Chinese clients, for whom changes in tone signifies different words – and discussing with them how the use of tone for an English speaker can be somewhat different….

        This was a useful phrase to examine:

        I didn’t say you stole my wallet….

        So consider the impact of tone:

      • Your comment is awaiting moderation.

        Part I

        Really? I hate that. OK, let me see if I can find the problem….

        Before I gave up trying to have conversations with Brandon, exchanging views with him made me of working with clients for whom changes in tone signify different words – and discussing with them how the use of tone for an English speaker can be somewhat different….

        This was a useful phrase to examine:

      • Whew!

        Part II:

        Before I gave up trying to have conversations with B. Schollenberger, exchanging views with him made me think of working with Chinese clients, for whom changes in tone signifies different words – and discussing with them how the use of tone for an English speaker can be somewhat different….

      • You got caught in the part of the filter that doesn’t like repetitious mundane silliness.

      • Judith – please don’t liberate any of my earlier attempts from moderation prison!!!

        —————
        Here’s a very nice, recent example of what I was discussing above:

        “Did you know the universe began with a huge explosion? If not, you’re an idiot. So says Dan M. Kahan. “

        Of course, I do have to agree with my dear B. Schollenberger that his pattern of discourse is “easy.”

      • “Really? I hate that. OK, let me see if I can find the problem…”

        Joshua, sometimes you just have to be patient and wait a couple minutes. Eventually it clears. Btw, I like that exercise.

      • B. Schollenberger, in my experience, reads something where he doesn’t have information about tone and instead of clarifying his understanding, imprints the tone he wants to hear onto what someone says and then insists that his opinion is fact.

        Therefore, depending on what he wants to hear (and irrespective of the intended meaning), he can claim that whatever interpretation he wants, makes sense, and whatever interpretation he doesn’t like “doesn’t make sense.” He can even extend it to not only interpretation of what someone says, to actual statements of fact about what they do, or don’t. say…

        Here’s a very nice, recent example:

        “Did you know the universe began with a huge explosion? If not, you’re an id*ot. So says Dan M. Kahan. “

        Of course, I do have to agree with B. Schollenberger that his pattern of discourse is “easy.”

      • Whew! Made it through. Much to Don’t relief!

      • ==> “Joshua, sometimes you just have to be patient and wait a couple minutes. Eventually it clears. Btw, I like that exercise.”

        Well, that’s good. Because if my previous attempts clear moderation, you’ll get to read it about 20 times.

        Yeah – patience is not exactly my forte’.

      • Joshua
        “B. Schollenberger, in my experience, reads something where he doesn’t have information about tone and instead of clarifying his understanding, imprints the tone he wants to hear onto what someone says and then insists that his opinion is fact.”

        precisely. Its actually pathological in his case. When you spend a bunch of years with children with certain disorders you come to recognize it.
        that is all.

      • Steven, I think it’s called the Eischenbach Syndrome.

      • Steve Mosher, the blog item which is linked at the top of this thread actually did make the comparison explicit, between Dennett’s rules and optimal blog behavior:

        [from Maria Popova at brainpickings.org]: “If only the same code of conduct could be applied to critical commentary online, particularly to the indelible inferno of comments.”

        So while Dennett himself may not have had blogs in mind (we don’t know), both the author of the blog piece at Brainpickings and Judith Curry in excerpting it here do seem to have had blogs and comments on blogs in view.

        I don’t know the history between you and Brandon (or Joshua and Brandon, or you and Joshua) since there are many threads I don’t read, but I took Brandon’s concerns to be appropriate and reasonable within the context set by Judith Curry (including a title of the thread, “How to Criticize With Kindness” taken from that Brainpickings blog).

        It’s not only about whether Dennett intends his advice for blogs, it’s that both Curry and Popova are quoting his list in hopes that blog readers will take it into account before composing comments.

        Of course, Dennett was not talking about “kindness” anyway, but about interpretive “charity” …. so the discussion got away from his control right in the headline(s).

      • Skiphil:

        So while Dennett himself may not have had blogs in mind (we don’t know), both the author of the blog piece at Brainpickings and Judith Curry in excerpting it here do seem to have had blogs and comments on blogs in view.

        Aye. The reason I didn’t mention the author of the list is I was responding to how the list was used in this post. Even then, I wasn’t certain how the list was intended to be used. That’s why I didn’t direct my comment at anyone. I discussed the list on its own because I figured doing so would be the best way to focus on what the proper scope for the list would be.

        I don’t get why people would take that as me misinterpreting anything. And even if someone did, I’d still think the best response would be one like the one you made. That created a simple exchange in which the issue of scope was hashed out. Even if that wouldn’t have been necessary had I not made a mistake, it was hardly a burden.

        And it was definitely better than the alternative others took.

    • Brandon –

      This is quite fascinating:

      ==> “Additionally, the ability to provide exact quotes from people reduces the need to restate people’s positions. ”

      Do you think there might be a difference between quoting someone and restating their position? Perhaps their might be a benefit to restating their position? Do you think it might signify something important if you restated someone’s position, and they responded with:

      Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.

      Or even something such as “Yes, Brandon, that is what I am trying to say,” or even “Well, Brandon, you have some aspects of what I wanted to say, but some of your restatement isn’t what I wanted to say – here, let me clarify…”

      Do you think there might be a reason that many times, people tell you that you’re arguing with them from a mistaken perspective about what they’re trying to say? Do you think that at least some of the time, it’s because you are misunderstanding what they were trying to say? Do you think that even if you quoted them, you might not fully understand what they were trying to say – and that such an error could be corrected if you tried to restate what they were trying to say?

      Give it some thought, Brandon, and perhaps you won’t find yourself stating so frequently, “that doesn’t make sense.”

  36. The reason they made Socrates drink poison is that people got tired of him asking questions nobody wanted to answer, because, basically, they couldn’t. Sounds familiar.

    • Matthew R Marler

      TJA: The reason they made Socrates drink poison is that people got tired of him asking questions nobody wanted to answer, because, basically, they couldn’t. Sounds familiar.

      They got tired of his smug arrogance, always thinking that he knew more than they did because he could find spots of ignorance, usually unrelated to their achievements (there is an interesting disparagement of a successful businessman early in The Republic, for example.) They did not “make Socrates drink poison”; they sentenced him to his choice of death or exile. He chose death over exile. Personally I think he made the wrong choice. I wonder sometimes if he chose death over exile because he had no paying students or job skills to support him in exile, and was afraid of starving.

      I realize that I am way off topic and free-associating, but Theodore Roosevelt’s two uncles on his mothers side were also sentenced to death or exile (for their role in financing warships for the Confederacy), and they chose exile. I wonder if they would have become more famous had they slipped back to their plantation and drunk hemlock.

      • > I wonder sometimes if he chose death over exile because he had no paying students or job skills to support him in exile, and was afraid of starving.

        In Crito [1], we are being told that all was arranged for his escape. He preferred his duty as an Athenian. He may have been a bit skeptical (?) about death too, but that’s in Phaedo.

        I won’t push the latter point and mention instead that he may have been quite old at the time of his execution. Journeys were no cruise vacation back then. People in the seventies stayed home. At least I would.

        So Matthew’s idea makes sense.

        I prefer to think that Socrates was a man of honor. A veteran. A warrior.

        [1] http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0170%3Atext%3DCrito%3Asection%3D45b

  37. Matthew R Marler

    You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.

    One can’t help but smile. More common in actual practice is to misquote and exaggerate, then claim to be doing one’s best to be exactly accurate.

    Each of us feels perfectly honest, isn’t that obvious everyone, eh Climate Etc readers?

    • Matthew, your points are *ALWAYS* perfectly obvious to *EVERYONE* at Climate Etc.

      This can be said for me, too, and for others with whom I most often agree, but not for those with whom I disagree.

      [this comment is not meant as an incivility but as a kind, sympathetic observation about the behavior of certain people here, one in particular]

  38. “It transforms your opponent into a more receptive audience for your criticism or dissent, which in turn helps advance the discussion.”

    Not to rain on the kumbaya parade around here, but convincing your opponent is not the only reason people communicate.

    If you want to be effective in writing or speaking, there are a few simple rules:

    1) define your audience;
    2) decide what effect you want to have on them;
    3) understand the nature of your audience’s philosophy (this is impossible if you discard “labels,” otherwise known as nouns);
    4) understand your audience’s motivation; and
    5) tailor your communication to your audience, with your ultimate objective in mind.

    “Can’t we all just get along” does not work when:

    1) your audience is CAGW activists who are unreceptive to critical analysis of their own views;
    2) you want to engage in reasonable debate with them in hopes of changing their mind;
    3) central to your opponent’s progressive philosophy is that those who disagree with them are by nature stupid, evil or crazy, or all three;
    4) your audience is a political opponent whose motivation is to win by any means (the end justifies any means, see eg Saul Alinsky or either Clinton); and
    5) no matter what you write or say, your audience will still think you are stupid, evil or crazy, or all three, for disagreeing with them.

    The climate debate is about centralization of control of the global economy through the pseudo-scientific CAGW PR campaign referred to as decarbonization. The audience of those who oppose this political movement should be the low information voters and middle-of-the-roaders in general. OK, and fellow skeptics, to keep the spirits up under the never ending onslaught of CAGW PR.

    1) your audience then is pre-programmed by the ubiquitous selling of CAGW at all levels of education, but has no vested interest in maintaining their current beliefs:
    2) your goal is then to give them information to allow them to decide for themselves (often for the first time);
    3) their philosophy is usually pretty inchoate, so they are open to counter-arguments;
    4) their motivation is usually based on wanting to do the right thing (they just have been told since pre-school that the “right thing” is whatever authority tells them it is);
    5) to this audience, reasonable debate, including avoiding the demonization of opponents, can actually work.

    Debates with warmists are only useful to the extent they serve to educate those low information types. Which is why the warmists avoid debate like the plague.

    On the other hand, debating warmists can be a great time waster, like playing solitaire. It doesn’t take much thought, winning is irrelevant, and the time passes more quickly.

    • GaryM

      I think I agree with all your points. However it does work both ways.

      The overwhelming majority of climate scientists are not perpetrating a hoax or fraud or fiddling the figures. They are not stupid, they HAVE thought of all the angles relating to their narrow field of expertise, they ARE open to genuinely new ideas, they are generally friendly and receptive if you are the same towards them.

      There ARE however a small coterie of scientists who are activists and they occupy a pre eminent position and dominate the debate. If you cross them they have enough influence to make your life difficult as can be seen with Judith’s experience. There is a large sub group of second trier pseudo scientists/activists who can be exactly like those described in the second set of 5 points you make.

      If all ‘sides’ followed the guidelines laid down here we might be able to have a more serious debate without name calling and bitterness on both sides. As it is, few working climate scientists show up here to discuss general questions or their latest research as sooner or later they are likely to be insulted or be put off by the food fights going on all around.

      tonyb

      • tonyb,

        When these reasonable, open minded, climate scientists start showing up here, I suspect they will receive a welcome reception from skeptics and lukewarmers alike, and will be vilified by CAGWers.

        “The overwhelming majority of climate scientists are not perpetrating a hoax or fraud or fiddling the figures.”

        I agree with this completely. I will go further, the most vociferous advocates, including Michael Mann,are convinced that the “ultimate” truth is on their side.

        That is why I call most of them “default progressives.” They believe what they believe, not because they are stupid, or evil, or crazy, but because it is all they have ever known. They have been taught the progressive view of reality since pre-school, with the focus becoming ever more intense as they progress (so to speak) through university and beyond.

        Their colleagues all hold the same opinions, as well as most of their family, virtually all of their friends, Their sources of news all agree as well, since any sources of contrarian thought have been demonized throughout their lives.

        But I don’t find it the same on “all sides.” Every conservative I know, myself included, has come to change their minds on some of the most important issues with which they are faced. There are some very civil progressive commenters here (and certainly some uncivil skeptics), but I have not seen one progressive here who has actually changed his/her mind about anything of importance.

        With the exception of course of Dr. Curry. And look what it got her.

      • myself included, has come to change their minds on some of the most important issues with which they are faced.

        Putting your sweeping anecdotal generalization aside, can you give an example of an important issue that you changed your mind on?

      • Jos. displays an active curiosity for anecdote.
        ==========

      • Joseph,

        “…can you give an example of an important issue that you changed your mind on?”

        Sure.

        1) I originally believed it was best to alternate between conservative and progressive governments. Conservatives seemed better at creating wealth, and progressives at redistributing it. I learned over time that the second proposition was dead wrong, and became a full conservative, rather than a “moderate.”

        2) I was an agnostic for about 25 years, after a “Catholic” university education, and later became a conservative Catholic. I was born and raised a Catholic, so I changed my mind twice on that topic. Once at 19, and once about 25 years later.

        3) I was initially receptive to claims that anthropogenic releases could become a problem in the near future, until I learned the source of the arguments, looked at their policy agenda, and looked at the consensus scientists’ own comments about what they didn’t know.

        That’s three, as an adult. How about you give me one example for yourself?

      • Joseph –

        GaryM was also absolutely sure that pollsters were skewing their data prior to the last presidential election – so as to make it seem like Obama was doing better than he really was, so as to help him win the election. He did deep analysis to explain how he knew that the skewing was taking place.

        Now one can certainly surmise that after the election, and it became apparent that actually the polls were underestimating votes for Obama, he realized that he was wrong and hence changed his mind.

        I mean it’s not like he admitted that he was wrong on the topic, even though I called him on it many times. But that may just be because he’s not one of the “conservatives” that’s big on personal responsibility.

        But at any rate, we can certainly assume that would be at least one example where he changed his mind and (realized that there really was no conspiracy afoot).

      • Joseph –

        I’ll also guess that GaryM might have changed his mind about Sarah Palin being an example of his exalted “Judeo-Christian values” of “conservatives” – that he thinks makes people who agree with his political outlook intellectually and morally elite and superior to those who disagree with his politics.

        http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/43838_New_Details_on_Palin_Familys_Drunken_Brawl-_It_Started_When_Track_Was_Mackin

      • Not exactly in agreement with your source, but I suppose a blog that continued to maintain that Anthony Wiener was set up even after the truth came out is a more reliable source than the Washington Post.

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/in-the-loop/wp/2014/09/14/palin-source-she-was-in-full-mama-grizzly-mode-during-brawl/

      • Tony, wrt your optimistic view of most climate scientists, 1’m afraid you’re wrong. Think about it. If most, climate scientists were as honest and open as you think, don’t you suppose a bunch of them might concede that the models are for sxxx. In fact, the vast majority weren’t even conceding the existence of the pause until just a few years ago.

        You share it seems some of Judith’s fine qualities, patience, kindness, optimism. 1 admire that. You are without question a more highly evolved person than I am. But its possible to take a good thing too far.

      • Reny –

        Truth told, I wouldn’t trust any source on that issue easily. I do agree, actually, that people like to throw dirt on Palin – just as she likes to throw dirt herself. Rumors about Palin attract interest, and so the bar for skepticism should be high.

        But my point was more to tweak GarM for his holier-than-though, elitist arguments about the intellectual and moral inferiority of those who don’t align with his political views, not the least because his views are outliers and thus, his polemics would apply to the vast, vast majority of people.

      • “When these reasonable, open minded, climate scientists start showing up here, I suspect they will receive a welcome reception from skeptics and lukewarmers alike, and will be vilified by CAGWers.”

        really, look around at the skeptics who attack Zeke or those who attack Judith.

        Look at the reception Judith first got at Climate audit.

        You in fact are one of the worst

      • Gary, I noticed that all of your examples involved you taking a

        more

        conservative stance. I am sure you can find many liberals who have become more liberal on issues. For example, I originally sided with Clinton on NAFTA and free trade and now I think NAFTA was a bad idea and am more skeptical of any proposed free trade agreements.

      • Mosher, if re GaryM you “assume you are in the legal profession or have sympathies for it,” rather than know that he is, you haven’t been paying attention.

      • Joseph,

        Not even close to the same thing. NAFTA is a single issue, and your change was on tactics, not fundamental governing philosophy.

      • Mosher,

        “You in fact are one of the worst.”

        Perhaps you can give me an example of where I have attacked anyone?

        And my pointing out your poor reading comprehension does not count.

        You know, maybe if you took the title of this post to heart, “How to criticize with kindness,” rather than telling people to “read harder,” calling them “stupid” and nit picking their every comment, you might not get so embarrassed when you saw off the limb you are sitting on, rhetorically speaking.

      • “The overwhelming majority of climate scientists are not perpetrating a hoax or fraud or fiddling the figures. They are not stupid, ”
        But they DO KNOW what side their bread is buttered on….and you will never have a serious debate with true pathological warmers, they would just as soon push a button and make you go away.

      • A craft captive to a cult. Free the science.
        ==================

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        tonyb and GaryM
        Is it really uncivil here?
        Some of the other sites appear civil but only because they are echo chambers
        It’s a false imposed civility
        a little rough and tumble feels honest to me
        I’m honored to have been insulted once by FOMD
        also by a couple of others, but I’m not smart enough to know for sure
        I think the quality of discourse and content here is high in comparison to the alternatives

      • 1. JC has turned echo off apparently. That is why there is no echo chamber effect. Most activist sites leave echo turned on.

        2. It is nice when climate scientists weigh in on the blog. They come across as knowledgeable, thoughtful individuals and raise the level of the discussion.

      • John smith

        You ask if it is uncivil here?

        Well, this is certainly amongst the mosT civil threads I have seen in recent times.

        There are two or three people on either side who have periodic spasm of rudeness and there are severa running feuds and in addition there are fly by’s who can often be very rude.

        This amtathy causes name calling and often protracted bun fights which I am sure must scare off real scientists many of whom do not seem to like public debate anyway.

        I personally like banter, parody and satire all of which can sometimes be cutting! and sometimes downright rude comments can be so funny even the recipient must smile.

        Unfortunately the highly committed activists on eitherbside simply won’t listen as was detailed in Garym ‘s list and when they combine that with bluster and name calling it can be quite lively

        As you remark however it is better than many other blogs which are simply an echo chamber for one view or the other

        Tonyb

      • John smith

        Fourth paragraph down, the mystery word is antipathy.

        iPads have a mind of their own. I think they could form the basis of a new game show called ‘what did I mean to write?’

        Tonyb

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        tonyb
        you are a gentleman and a scholar
        i can only aspire for the first, not much chance for second

    • Agree with all that. There is no point in wrestling with pigs.

      The debate is about influencing those who have open minds. The goal should be achieving a better understanding of reality. Honest debaters should see their own need for humility and a recognition of our own overwhelming ignorance.

      There is no point in debating people who regard any disagreement with their own views as being evidence of evil.

    • Not to rain on the kumbaya parade around here, but convincing your opponent is not the only reason people communicate.

      If you want to be effective in writing or speaking, there are a few simple rules:

      1) define your audience;
      2) decide what effect you want to have on them;
      3) understand the nature of your audience’s philosophy (this is impossible if you discard “labels,” otherwise known as nouns);
      4) understand your audience’s motivation; and
      5) tailor your communication to your audience, with your ultimate objective in mind.

      That would be RHETORIC. Rhetoric is concerned with you achieving your ends.

      The author is discussing coming to truth.

      • Actually, the title of this post is “How to Criticize with Kindness.” Not “How to Come to Truth.” and perhaps you might have noticed that by “kumbaya parade” i was referring to the comments on this thread.

        The article discussing the Dennett book, quoted above, says this of his method “Dennett points out this is actually a sound psychological strategy that accomplishes one key thing: It transforms your opponent into a more receptive audience for your criticism or dissent, which in turn helps advance the discussion.”

        A “psychological strategy,” the key objective of which is to make your “opponent” “more receptive” to your arguments. But that’s not rhetoric.

        rhet·o·ric
        noun \ˈre-tə-rik\
        : the art or skill of speaking or writing formally and effectively especially as a way to persuade or influence people

        Yer a funny guy.

      • The truth? The truth? You can’t dandle the truth.
        =================

      • Gary
        you are forgetting rule #1.

        “But it needn’t be this way — there are ways to be critical while remaining charitable, of aiming not to “conquer” but to “come at truth,” not to be right at all costs but to understand and advance the collective understanding.”

        Like I said, giving an account of the authors position in its most strong form. The author is concerned with coming to truth. Your rules are
        about rhetoric.

        I assume you are in the legal profession or have sympathies for it.
        That would be about winning not about coming to truth

      • “The author is discussing coming to truth”.

        I’m not sure much progress can be made in the search for eternal truth in this blog because that search has been going on for a while with inconclusive results.

        However since the topic is responding to other posts…

        1. Read the post first.
        2. Identify the points in the post.
        3. Respond to the points in the post, don’t create strawmen and respond to strawmen.
        4. Respond factually if possible.
        5. If giving an opinion – supply supporting information.
        6. Avoid grabbing on to a single point like a Gila monster. After a few posts in a thread let it go. Use the “dead horse” standard. After about an hour if the horse hasn’t moved, it is dead, quit beating it. Move on to a new horse.

        The strawman problem is responsible for some endless circular arguments.

        I have is

      • Steven Mosher you are my audience, I want to convince you because your philosophy is pure kindness and generosity, and you are motivated by your desire to have a meeting with Pope Francisco, which you can earn in a raffle I’m holding for my Drowning Islands Campaign Gold Class Donors.

      • “Like I said, giving an account of the authors position in its most strong form. The author is concerned with coming to truth.”

        Yes, I am a lawyer. No, I have no sympathy for the profession.

        As such, I am used to reading what other people write and thinking about it critically. You do the same, just no with those with whom you agree, He wrote what he wrote. I criticized his position and many of the comments above that followed.

        It’s a blog.

      • Gary M.

        except you didnt think about it critically.
        First you got IT wrong.
        And then you thought critically about a faulty representation .

        To think critically about IT, you first have to get IT right.
        you didnt get IT right.

        F-

        most freshman do better than you did.

      • Here Gary let me show you how its done.

        I begin by articulating the STRONGEST version of his case
        Dennet is talking about those situations in which our aim is to come
        to truth. He is not arguing that all situations require us to come to truth
        with our audience. He is not arguing that there are not different rules for
        for other situations. Given that, he argues that these rules are allow
        us to come to truth. the rules are….blah blah blah

        Dennet may then clarify and say ‘ no we should also try to come to truth”
        in this case your argument is then devastating.

        But first, I try to make his strongest case.. a case that is immune from objections like those that you and brandon make.

        You see, if he is talking about all rhetorical situations then he is obviously wrong.

      • OK, school marm.

        There is no “IT” on a blog. I am not limited to accepting what you. or any writer whose work is discussed here, claims they mean at face value. Kinda like you and your mini-me constantly picking nits on the comments of others.

        The article that is the subject of this thread discussed both “coming at truth” and rhetoric. As did the comments that followed. Think of it as “no regrets rhetoric.” Don’t get hissy with me just because you don’t get IT.

        By the way, the quote about “coming at truth,” is a reference to a completely different book by Arthur Martine – Martine’s Hand-Book of Etiquette, not the Dennett book, from which the quote is I commented upon was taken.

        But then you knew that too, didn’t you? Or did you miss IT?

        What grade do you give yourself for reading comprehension?

      • MOsher,

        Wrong pronoun. Not “he,” but “:they.” Two authors, two books, two quotes from different authors, all of which is irrelevant to my point. Which would stand even if you hadn’t misread the article.

        You try too hard to win the debate of the moment, no matter how trivial, and end up missing the forest for the leaf.

    • Once again, I’m in accord with GaryM. But please don’t label me a “garyemmaran” just because he and I have reached similar positions based on our different experiences.

  39. Well, I do my best to understand, dear
    But you still mystify and I want to know why
    I pick myself up off the ground
    To have you knock me back down again and again
    And when I ask you to explain you say
    You gotta be cruel to be kind in the right measure…

  40. While reading Dennett’s four rules, I thought I was reading Dale Carnegie’s 1936 book, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. I don’t doubt Carnegie stole or adapted them from someone else himself.

  41. We are watching you, you will die

  42. •RULE 1: “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood.

    •RULE 2: “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.

    •RULE 3: “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.

    •RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.

    •RULE 5: “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.

    •RULE 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.

    •RULE 7: “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news.

    •RULE 8: “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.

    •RULE 9: “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.

    •RULE 10: “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.

    •RULE 11: “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem.

    •RULE 12: “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.

    I offer a more realistic set of strategies – pre interweb but ideal for the blogospheric battle fields of the climate war. It is the latest manifestation of a hundred year old culture war. There are two side. A cohort that is perhaps 5% of western populations – they are connected – sometimes powerful individuals – who have an agenda of transforming societies and economies in some utopian (perhaps dystopian) fantasy. We know this because they say so.

    Then there is the rest of us. Most people find the statements linked to morally repugnant – the comments raise the specter of an unimaginable 21st century holocaust. It always puts me in mind of Hayek. ‘From the saintly and single-minded idealist to the fanatic is often but a step.’ They require catastrophe to justify societal transformation and so catastrophe becomes the core belief in some infinite regression. The science of uncertainty and complexity is anathema. They require complete faith and sonorous proclamations.

    ”The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.”
    Emeritus Professor Daniel Botkin

    Fundamentally it is not about science or truth but of the triumph of a worldview forged in the groupthink hothouse of blogospheric echo chambers. The memes are practiced and then the culture warriors venture out to regurgitate them. The Allinsky rules are so much a part of progressive thinking that they are second nature. They emerge organically from the groupthink dynamic. There is no getting past it except as reality challenges the groupthink memes.

    They are noisy extremists who are a little more than an annoyance. They impede progress on emissions because their goal is transformation of economies and societies – which everyone rightly rejects – rather than practical and pragmatic multi-gas strategies and technological innovation consistent with critical economic and social development. They then whine about the consumer society via their ipad.

    The rational response is to frame an alternative vision to dystopian fantasies. Perhaps a shining city of man.

    https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/13/week-in-review-22/#comment-628301

    .

    • It’s a passing cloud, one with no silver lining.
      ==========

    • The best way to defeat the enemy is to convince them that safety comes first, to implement an audit system, and to have them assign ever increasing safety audit goals to key decision makers. They’ll be so busy filling audit reports they won’t even be fully aware that their building is on fire. Your enemy’s bureaucracy is your best ally.

      • ==> “The best way to defeat the enemy”

        Interesting. Interesting how the discussion goes from “criticizing with kindness” and learning and points of agreement, criticism, dissent, and advancing the discussion…..

        to “enemy” and “defeat.”

        Ah yes, the 101rst Chairborne Division of the Keyboard Battalion, vanquishing their enemies with their vorpal swords…

        .

      • The rhetoric of enemy and defeat comes from Allinsky’s rule for a radical – something that informs Joshua’s every utterance. Unconsciously or not.

        He exhibits every trait of tribal warfare – but insists that we not explicitly name it as such.

        Pick a side. A shining city of man where the enlightenment is the pinnacle of human reason and the underlying principles of a civil society. Or apocalyptic delirium justifying the overthrow of democracy, free markets, free peoples and the rule of law and threatening a 21st century holocaust.

        Does Joshua insist he is not part of the delirium? Appearances to the contrary? I certainly don’t give a rat’s arse. Although he should really work up some new material.

        Shoot them all – metaphorically speaking in a civil society – and let God sort them out.

      • Seems ter be working fer the progressive decision echelon.

  43. This reminds me a little of the debate that Bill Buckley had with Joan Baez and some other peace activists. I’d like to see it again actually. If I remember right Buckleys main arguement was what do you do if your attacked? Just capitulate? I remember also being fairly impressed with Joan Baez. She seemed pretty intelligent and could hold her own.

    • Buckley was wrong. I don’t see Canadians or Mexicans invading the USA unless they do so to get a job. Most of the time we argue about secret cows which turn out to be chicken feathers.

      • Well actually I think that was his argument. Have enought deterrent to prevent attack. It didn’t stop the WTC bombings though. I think he was thinking more russia/china along those lines.

      • Actually, Canada (when it was British – Burgoyne anyone?) did invade the US and Santa Ana certainly invaded Texas (admittedly, not part of the US at the time). The real question is why hasn’t the US invaded Canada since the War of 1812 or Mexico since 1848? That is strange given the history of the rest of the world, with Georgia and the Ukraine being two recent and relevant examples.

      • DaveW | September 16, 2014 at 1:13 am |

        The real question is why hasn’t the US invaded Canada since the War of 1812 or Mexico since 1848?

        Um, you seem to want Mexicans and Canadians?

  44. Curious George

    I wonder how these rules apply in the following model (but real) situation:

    *** 5/18/12 From: (me)
    In your “Description of the NCAR Community Atmosphere Model (CAM 3.0)”, NCAR/TN–464+STR, Table 6.1, “List of Physical Constants”, there is a Symbol Lv, Latent Heat of Vaporization, 2.501*10**6 J/kg. This is a correct value for 0 degrees Centigrade. Do you apply any corrections for other temperatures? If so, the correction coefficients should also be listed in Table 6.1. If not, could you please point me to a paper showing that no such correction is necessary.

    *** 5/24/12 From: ucar.edu
    As far as I know we only use the value for 0 deg and don’t any temperature corrections.

    • As explained in the text in the next three pages the parameter isn’t important because it’s only an input. It’s not used in the model, it’s intended to give you something familiar to look at. Seriously, though, don’t you use an equation of state to run within the model?

  45. So good. I’ve kept this link open in one of my browsers for a while now. Maybe this is a sign I should actually buy the book. :)

    When I read most Internet commentary, I wonder how much is genuinely intended to persuade or even inform. Most seems toned in “look at me!” fashion, either to ridicule the opposing team or with the specific intent to provoke an emotional response. Maybe faceless commenting areas are just a natural dumping ground for people to blow off steam. Sometimes I learn a lot from generous donations of time and effort by the anonymous masses, but it does seem one has to wade through quite a bit of muck to get to those points.

  46. There is, of course, an enormous difference between substantive scientific argument and sheer polemical cant. By failing to draw the requisite distinction, there’s more than a sniff of a sophomoric suggestion here that one should always show kindness to purposeful purveyors of rank BS. Alas that’s become the ethos of PC “culture.”

  47. It is forgotten that a classical ad hominem argument is one that appeals to your opponent’s interests, not one that disparages him. The disparaging argument would be contra hominem, if it had a name.

    Long ago I snarfed away a discription of a classical ad hominem, long quote :

    Some time since I had a pleasant discussion with a university professor who held that faith and knowledge are in inverse ratio. As the area of knowledge enlarges, he claimed that of faith diminishes correspondingly. Once people accepted by faith what has since become known, and science has thus made faith superfluous in all such things. The professor admitted, however, it was not likely that knowledge would ever entirely banish faith; there would still remain some unexplored regions where faith could find room, and so preachers could still find a field for their activities. I came back at this professor with an argumentum ad hominem, “Is it true,” said I, “that the more knowledge your wife has of you, the less faith she has in you? And is it true that the more you know of her, the less faith you have in her? In your home are faith and knowledge in inverse ratio? If so, I pity you both.” It is not true that knowledge excludes faith. The more you know of your family physician, the more faith you have in him. The more soldiers know of their general, the greater their faith in him; else the army is in a bad way. The more we know of our friends the more faith we have in them. The greater a man’s knowledge of nature, the greater his faith in nature. Intelligent faith is not weaker than ignorant faith.

    unquote

    In science, curiosity would fix everything. Trust nobody who stamps it out.

  48. When Civility Matters
    http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2014/09/when-civility-matters/

    Paul Krugman thinks that civility in discussion is not that important. Roughly stated, the idea is this. Sure, we should be polite and civil to our interlocutors, he writes, but some interlocutors are beyond the pale. To those, you can be as rude and dismissive as you’d like. The difference is whether the other is seriously interested in finding the truth.
    [ … ]
    The problem here is that we judge who is beyond the pale in terms of the moral, political, and social scientific views we already accept. And it is all too easy to put more and more people beyond the pale – especially those with views that, if they were somehow right, would be real threats to our most cherished ways of thinking.

  49. Gavin Schmidt wrote the following at RealClimate as part of his response to Prof Curry’s thoughts –

    ” I have tried to follow the proposed logic of Judith’s points here, but unfortunately each one of these arguments is either based on a misunderstanding, an unfamiliarity with what is actually being done or is a red herring associated with shorter-term variability. If Judith is interested in why her arguments are not convincing to others, perhaps this can give her some clues.”

    Possibly Gavin is not intending to be gratuitously offensive, condescending, patronising or anything similar. He may merely be suffering from an over abundance of hubris, or maybe he really is motivated by an earnest desire to provide some clues – as he puts it – so that Professor Curry can learn how to convince others that there has been no warming for a couple of decades or so, for example.

    He has tried his best to follow the logic proposed by Prof Curry, but alas, she clearly either misunderstands or is unable comprehend reality. Gavin, of course, understands all, and is obviously far too clever to be distracted by red herrings.

    From this it follows that the globe is warming in line with Gavin’s CO2 knob, sea levels are rising, weather is becoming more extreme, and so on. Computer models are experimental evidence of forcings, and climate controls weather.

    It is quite evident then, that we must immediately stop using fossil fuels, and lower the Earth’s temperature by 10 or 15 C. Anyone complaining about lack of heating, food, potable water, and so on, needs to realise that sacrifices need to be made, and Gavin, and those of his ilk, are the only ones with sufficient knowledge to instruct the rest of us how to live.

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  50. Joshua is not about truth or science – he has not the slightest clue. He is the complete progressive and the Allinsky rules are his road rules. Unconsciously ironically or not. He insists that his commentary dripping as it does with sarcasm, ridicule, accusations, insults and trivial and snide snark Is value free – content free is probably closer to the case – and objections are expressions of conservative tribalism and deeply in error.

    There is no rapprochement possible with Joshua – buy into a worldview or be prepared for an attempt to marginalize. It is pretty much the same for all of them.

    • I really suggest that you work up some new material Joshua. The old lot is tedious – and regurgitating it is not helping. It is seriously not helping your hit rate.

    • The problem with progressives is the use of Alinsky rules which means they have no standards and believe in win any cost. The first victims to “win at any cost” are honesty and truth. Nothing a progressive or activist in the Alinsky camp says can be trusted. You can believe them if they say the grass is green, only after viewing said plot of grass in person.

      Having viewed some progressive sites – some progressive sites are so venomous they are unreadable. If you soak in your own venom for too long it poisons your viewpoint.

      A “win at any cost” dishonest approach requires that opposing viewpoints be suppressed since they might actually be true/factual.

      Progressives tend to do “public policy in reverse”. They decide on policy, think up rationales to support the policy, then go fishing for bad science to support the rationales.

    • “Human happiness, and certainly human fecundity, are not as important as a wild and healthy planet. I know social scientists who remind me that people are part of nature, but it isn’t true. Somewhere along the line–at about a billion years ago, maybe half that–we quit the contract and became a cancer. We have become a plague upon ourselves and upon the Earth.
      It is cosmically unlikely that the developed world will choose to end its orgy of fossil-energy consumption, and the Third World its suicidal consumption of landscape. Until such time as Homo sapiens should decide to rejoin nature, some of us can only hope for the right virus to come along.”
      David Graber

      There are more here – https://judithcurry.com/2014/03/21/growth-versus-sustainability/#comment-502318

      Rich Materese may be totally over the top – but it pales to the innocuous in the face of extreme ecoporn indulged in by progressives. These people abjure democracy, individual freedoms, the rule of law and other niceties of scientific enlightenment. Violence in a civil society is counterproductive. Violence in an uncivil society is always an option.

      Pick a side. A shining city of man where the enlightenment is the pinnacle of human reason and the underlying principles of a civil society. Or apocalyptic delirium justifying the overthrow of democracy, free markets, free peoples and the rule of law and threatening a 21st century holocaust. .

      • Chief, you may also like….

      • Rob @ 10.01, re Hayek writing in 1943: at that time I was spending time in a bomb shelter in blitzed Coventry, I remember post-war austerity and growing up in a poor fatherless family. And England had higher living standards than most of Europe, never mind the rest of the world. Point taken. [And back in the 1980s, I read many and varied studies which found that the optimum share of government for economic growth (and all of the benefits which it entails) was 22% of GDP. Perhaps surprisingly, that was the figure generally arrived at rather than the average of a range. Label me a 22-percenter.]

    • The wittle wabbette is telling big whoppers. He is a jealous and disgruntled underachiever:

      http://www.ratemyprofessors.com/ShowRatings.jsp?tid=543236

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Rob Ellison apprehends  “Progressives [who] abjure democracy, individual freedoms, the rule of law and other niceties of scientific enlightenment [and foster] apocalyptic delirium justifying the overthrow of democracy, free markets, free peoples and the rule of law and threatening a 21st century holocaust.”

      LoL … would President Al Franken really initiate the Apocalypse?

      The world wonders! (you heard it first from FOMD!)

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

      • ”My three goals would be to reduce human population to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with its full complement of species, returning throughout the world.”
        David Foreman, co-founder of Earth First!

        FOMBS does no quote me – it is a fraudulent construct intended to mislead. He can go phuck himself.

        How’s that for kind?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rob Ellison, please reflect that your worldview may vastly underestimate the scope, scale, duration, potentialities, and transformational ambition of the centuries-old and ongoing Radical Enlightenment?

        The world wonders!

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

      • The ‘radical enlightenment’ – so-called – was a product of the French revolution building on Spinoza.

        Israel traces the lineage of this Radical Enlightenment to Baruch Spinoza, the 17th-century philosopher who serves here as the father of all atheists and “one substance” materialists who rejected the suspiciously spiritualist dualism of mind and body. Spinoza was certainly a radical critic of Scripture, who denied miracles and seemed to equate “God” with nature. But in Israel’s controversial account, a complete “package” of modern values sprang from Spinoza’s head — fully formed like Athena from Zeus — including equality, democracy and a litany of basic human rights. Taken up in turn by a band of intrepid followers, “Spinozism” spread clandestinely throughout Europe, challenging and bedeviling the moderates until it burst forth into the open in the mid-18th century.

        In the French encyclopedist Denis Diderot and his Parisian allies, the Baron d’Holbach, Claude Helvétius and the Abbé Raynal, Israel sees the true heirs of Spinoza. Declaring the “entire existing social order” unjust, they formed a small band of “deliberate, conscious revolutionaries . . . preparing the ground for revolution.” NY Times

        The radical enlightenment with the rhetoric of liberty, equality and fraternity overthrew societal norms and descended into bloody anarchy before self immolating. It led through Marx to the same pattern repeating in ever bloodier holocaust in the 20th century. Now there are those who would reprise history.

        The scientific enlightenment built of norms of democracy, individual freedoms, free trade, the rule of law and restraints on government. It evolved from the Reformation though Scottish enlightenment thinkers to the America of the founding fathers.

        No FOMBS – I don’t deny the transformational ambitions of radical enlightenment. What is denied is the that we want or need such transformation. There is a cohort that is perhaps 5% of western populations – they are connected – sometimes powerful individuals – who have an agenda of transforming societies and economies in some utopian (perhaps dystopian) fantasy. We know this because they say so.

        Most people find statements linked to morally repugnant – they raise the specter of an unimaginable 21st century holocaust. It always puts me in mind of Hayek. ‘From the saintly and single-minded idealist to the fanatic is often but a step.’ They require catastrophe to justify societal transformation and so catastrophe becomes the core belief in some infinite regression. The science of uncertainty and complexity is anathema. They require complete faith and sonorous proclamations.

        ”The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.”
        Emeritus Professor Daniel Botkin

        These are noisy extremists who are little more than an annoyance. They impede progress on emissions because their goal is transformation of economies – which everyone rightly rejects – rather than practical and pragmatic multi-gas strategies and technological innovation consistent with critical economic and social development. They then whine about the consumer society via their ipad.

        They presume that we need and want western civilization to change. We don’t. We have achieved unprecedented health, education, peace and prosperity outcomes. We have a perfect system based on scientific enlightenment principles of democracy, the rule of law, principled and transparent governance and free markets.

        Why do some countries experience civil war and others don’t? Is it to do with political systems, perhaps ethnic or religious tensions? Perhaps a more important question is what needs to be put in place so civil war does not happen in the first place?

        According to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom Australia rates third behind Hong Kong and Singapore. New Zealand is ranked at 5, Canada at 6 and Denmark rounds out the top 10. All of the countries in the top 10 are considered to be Free. They are all also peaceful. A new study has found that higher levels of economic freedom can help reduce the risk of violent conflict. That if peace is more profitable than war then peace wins out. It all comes down to the pursuit of self interest.

        The perfect society involves government at some 25% of GDP – giving optimum growth – personal freedoms, a transparent rule of law, a consensual social contract, efficient and transparent governance and practical things like balancing budgets and managing interest rates.

        This is the perfect society and not the perfect world. The two cities – of man and God – are ever separate.

        As I see that I have still to discuss the fit destinies of the two cities, the earthly and the heavenly, I must first explain, so far as the limits of this work allow me, the reasonings by which men have attempted to make for themselves a happiness in this unhappy life, in order that it may be evident, not only from divine authority, but also from such reasons as can be adduced to unbelievers, how the empty dreams of the philosophers differ from the hope which God gives to us, and from the substantial fulfillment of it which He will give us as our blessedness. St Augustine – The City of God

        Nonetheless – the spread of scientific enlightenment – the pinnacle of the reasoning of men – very practically leading to maximum economic growth – is the sin qua non of the creation of a truly global civilization – a shining City of Man – this century.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Rob Ellison gets factual  “According to the 2014 Index of Economic Freedom Australia rates third behind Hong Kong and Singapore. New Zealand is ranked at 5, Canada at 6 and Denmark rounds out the top 10. All of the countries in the top 10 are considered to be Free. They are all also peaceful.”

        Strikingly, all ten “Free Nations” have implemented national health-care programs that are regulated at least as stringently as ObamaCare.

        That’s how the Free Nations achieve equivalent-or-better national health, with access far greater, and costs far less than in the USA.

        What a *TREMENDOUS* economic advantage that is, eh Rob Ellison?

        Corollary Ellison-style conservatism requires the strengthening of ObamaCare-style regulation of healthcare markets.

        And can carbon markets be far behind?

        *THIS* common-sense conclusion is evident to *EVERYONE*, eh Climate Etc readers?

        Isn’t this where your reasoning leads, Rob Ellison?

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

      • There is no reason why in a society which has reached the general level of wealth which ours has attained [NW note: Hayek was writing not in prosperous post-war America, but in war-torn, austerity-ridden Britain in 1943] the first kind of security should not be guaranteed to all without endangering general freedom. …. [T]here can be no doubt that some minimum of food, shelter, and clothing, sufficient to preserve health and the capacity to work, can be assured to everybody. … Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individual in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision.

        Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance – where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks – the case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong. There are many points of detail where those wishing to preserve the competitive system and those wishing to super-cede it by something different will disagree on the details of such schemes; and it is possible under the name of social insurance to introduce measures which tend to make competition more or less ineffective. But there is no incompatability in principle between the state’s providing greater security in this way and the preservation of individual freedom.

        To the same category belongs also the increase of security through the state’s rendering assistance to the victims of such ‘acts of God’ as earthquakes and floods. Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken.

        There is, finally, the supremely important problem of combating general fluctuations of economic activity and the recurrent waves of large-scale unemployment which accompany them. This is, of course, one of the gravest and most pressing problems of our time. But, though its solution will require much planning in the good sense, it does not — or at least need not — require that special kind of planning which according to its advocates is to replace the market.

        Many economists hope, indeed, that the ultimate remedy may be found in the field of monetary policy, which would involve nothing incompatible even with nineteenth-century liberalism. Others, it is true, believe that real success can be expected only from the skillful timing of public works undertaken on a very large scale. This might lead to much more serious restrictions of the competitive sphere, and, in experimenting in this direction, we shall have to carefully watch our step if we are to avoid making all economic activity progressively more dependent on the direction and volume of government expenditure. But this is neither the only nor, in my opinion, the most promising way of meeting the gravest threat to economic security.

        In any case, the very necessary effort to secure protection against these fluctuations do not lead to the kind of planning which constitutes such a threat to our freedom. The Road to Serfdom, pp 148-149

        There is no threat to the core of classic liberal values in universal health care – or indeed many other provisions of the state. There are practical considerations. I was in a public hospital on Friday – I pay for it with my private medical insurance. But the fracture clinic is efficient and convenient. It doesn’t work without a strong private system operating outside the public system. The private system provides keeps a competitive pressure on the public system – it provides an overflow capacity – it provides way around the limitations of state medicine if you can afford it. But it is not a core threat to liberal values.

        Nor are carbon taxes a fundamental threat to democracy. You may tax anything you like – if you have the votes. It is – however – ultimately a progressive fairy tale. It addresses a fraction of a multi-gas problem and add to prices and decreases productivity – increasing the number of marginal people in world economies – with the best will in the world. My most charitable interpretation is that they truly don’t know this. The least charitable is that they are accessories to planning a holocaust.

        The old climate framework failed because it would have imposed substantial costs associated with climate mitigation policies on developed nations today in exchange for climate benefits far off in the future — benefits whose attributes, magnitude, timing, and distribution are not knowable with certainty. Since they risked slowing economic growth in many emerging economies, efforts to extend the Kyoto-style UNFCCC framework to developing nations predictably deadlocked as well.

        The new framework now emerging will succeed to the degree to which it prioritizes agreements that promise near-term economic, geopolitical, and environmental benefits to political economies around the world, while simultaneously reducing climate forcings, developing clean and affordable energy technologies, and improving societal resilience to climate impacts. This new approach recognizes that continually deadlocked international negotiations and failed domestic policy proposals bring no climate benefit at all. It accepts that only sustained effort to build momentum through politically feasible forms of action will lead to accelerated decarbonization. http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

        There are better ways. We have voted. We would like to move on now.

      • Repeating a post which I misplaced above (missing a Reply option which was below FOMD’s over-long tag-line):

        Rob @ 10.01, re Hayek writing in 1943: at that time I was spending time in a bomb shelter in blitzed Coventry, I remember post-war austerity and growing up in a poor fatherless family. And England had higher living standards than most of Europe, never mind the rest of the world. Point taken. [And back in the 1980s, I read many and varied studies which found that the optimum share of government for economic growth (and all of the benefits which it entails) was 22% of GDP. Perhaps surprisingly, that was the figure generally arrived at rather than the average of a range. Label me a 22-percenter.]

      • Michael,

        I have no great commitment to 25% – I recall that was generally agreed by as a rough cut by Keynes and Hayek.

        Cheers

      • Fan, Once again you are confused on your facts. Obamacare is Not a universal health care program. It may or may not be a form of enlightenment. I suspect that would be in the form of health care entitlement meaning free health care. Of course nothing is free, the government either pays for it with taxes or deficit spending.
        Map of countries that provide universal health care (America is still not on it):
        http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/06/heres-a-map-of-the-countries-that-provide-universal-health-care-americas-still-not-on-it/259153/

        In the old system you would get health care in one of three ways. You would buy health insurance, you would pay out of pocket or the provider would absorb a loss or use a government program such as disability to get paid. Obamacare is set up much like social security where the younger payers will supposedly pay for the older payers whose amount of sickness will outweigh the amount of insurance. This may not work out due to the silver tsunami:
        http://www.kfiam640.com/onair/billhandle-30603/silver-tsunami-12764373

        As social security is confronted with the new reality of the baby boom with the number of benificiaries far outweighing the current work force, so will Obamacare face the same reality. That may be further exacerbated by young people not having employment or just unable to pay for expensive insurance they don’t need. The government will have to pick up the tab probably with deficit spending. Now in california the state is picking up a tab for illegal immigrants who go to emergency care (even if it’s just for a cold) and they don’t normally pay the bill. This tab is partly picked up by medicaid emergency program that costs billions for both the state and the fed. So there are two examples of subsidized programs.

        My prediction is that Obamacare will eventually fail (that may be by design). So when it does the question is will we go back to the old system or move on to universal coverage that is free? I suspect the latter.

        That only leads to the same old question about economics. Liberals believe in distribution as decided by government conservatives think this is a failed model doomed to failure. So far the US has had both systems in place and is the most successful nation (or at least toward the top – think China). Will it continue and will it’s citizens still enjoy the high standard of living that they have?

    • Had forgotten about that little bit of crazy.

      Judith once espoused ‘big boy pants’ , but now wants kumbiyah.

    • its funny how few people actually understood the comments as parody.

      • Once again the white knight rides in to explain Judith.

        We’re all saved.

      • May not an ass know when the cart draws the horse?

      • save Judith?
        Save the fools who missed it.
        read the whole thread, see my comments at the bottom.

        Now of course, the 10/10 video did the same thing

        you probably didnt get a modest proposal

      • No Steven,

        Only you understand stuff.

        Thank god for Steven.

      • Good policy for most comments.

      • Michael

        “No Steven,

        Only you understand stuff.

        Thank god for Steven.’
        ####################

        now you see of course that I never argued that only I got things.
        For one thing, Judith got it. The very fact that I explain what Judith and I both got ( as well as others ) should show you that my claim isnt that
        only I got it.

        My claim is different. My claim is that many, not all, did not get get it.

        Given a text that can be interpreted as a parody or hyperbole, you’re killing me Michael, a reader has a choice. does the text force you to read it in a certain way? Is it impossible to read it any other way?

        The response to the text tells you more about the responder than it does about the text. So, you read it and you choose to take it literally. in doing this you attribute certain motives to the writer. You infer a motive. I read the text and I choose to take it figuratively. Now of course your type of reading
        is fundamentalist –god created the world in 6 days kind of nonsense — and mine is more charitable.

        Could I be wrong? Of course, this isnt a 2+2 kind of problem. Now, given the highly ambiguous and indeterminate nature of that text, I would probably A) tell the commenter that is parody goes over the line because some naive people will take it seriously and too many dishonest people like Eli and Michael will misread it on purpose. and then I would delete it.

        Next, what can one read into Judith’s decision to leave it up.
        A) she interpreted it as humor and thought most people got it.
        B) she was naive in underestimating the dishonesty of people like you and Eli.

        What one can’t do is conclude that she endorsed the comment. Well, you can, but then there are no limits to your behavior.

    • Sounds like my wife, Eli.

  51. Thanks perhaps to Climategate, the American public is skeptical of their government, but I also see signs of increasing “espirt de corp” (love and tolerance) among citizens.

    We cannot change the system by fighting among ourselves.

  52. We’re so fossiled up that our whole economic system is depended on it. That won’t change overnight. The Climate will do what it’s gonna do in reaction or otherwise. The rest is posturing

    lost anyone yet?

    Try this:
    CO2 global warming will raise the sealevel. By 2100 NYC and Miami are joining Atlantis. We must act now, no matter the sacrifice.

    How do you see it?

    • Good riddance, I say…

      No no, just kidding!

    • The sea level is rising 1.7 mm per year. Most coastal subsistence is much greater than that. Many coastal communities are pumping ground water and increasing the natural subsistence, they are drinking themselves into drowning.

      The sea level has been rising since the last interglacial although in the last millennia the trend has been oscillating. In the 20th century it was more or less positive increase.

      Until we get “good science” data (as opposed to “global warming science”) that accurately identify the sources/%contributions to the rise, formulating a solution is premature.

  53. It seems that global warming as indicated by near surface air temperatures and sea surface temperatures is not occurring.

    One view is that this is merely due to the fact that the globe is not warming, and therefore we need to do nothing to avert a disaster that isn’t happening.

    Another view is that global warming is occurring at a potentially disastrous rate, but there are in excess of fifty reasons why this is only apparent to those who hold this view.

    There are other views about the whole sorry saga, of course.

    Pick a view and join their queue.

    Meanwhile, the bills still need to paid, and the lawn needs mowing again. Some people haven’t eaten for several days, and are hoping they and those near and dear to them will avoid death from starvation. People dying from the effects of the Ebola virus are too ill to have a view on anything much, I guess. And so it goes.

    Ah, the rich tapestry of life. It’s grand, isn’t it?

    You may have a different view. Mine is what I have – if facts change, I change my view. What about you?

    Live well and prosper,

    Mike Flynn.

  54. such recommendations may be valid if the premise is that one wishes to persuade.
    is that premise the only one worthy of consideration?
    one is only responsible, to himself, to ensure his thinking is supported by reason. nobody is responsible for what anybody else may think.

    to scrutinize a rationale, there is no logical requirement to persuade or to cater to imagined sensitivities.

    how about this:

    write your thoughts.
    go back and remove every sentence that is not focused on the point(s)
    go back and remove all personal pronouns
    go back and remove all extraneous adjectives (hint- substitute numbers that quantify)
    go back and think about it again
    realize that you are no pundit and nobody hangs on your every word
    realize that nobody listens to you or cares what you think.
    then, decide if it’s going to produce anything of value to you by hitting the POST button. (hint- think twice)

    or become a troll and have a whole lot more fun!

  55. I really suggest that you work up some new material Joshua. The old lot is tedious – and regurgitating it is not helping. It is seriously not helping your hit rate.

    Butthurt Liberal

    A liberal that feels victimized when something doesn’t go their way. Often comes with the feeling that anything that doesn’t reflect their world view has some unfair bias against them. Almost all liberals fall into the category of “butthurt liberal” due in large part to their inherent weaknesses: mental retardation and being vaginas about everything.

    Butthurtroll

    Usually a fail-troll who is not trolling over a big event or for the lulz, but because he is, himself, butthurt.

    failtroll

    A troll that’s too unfunny to simply label an unoriginal troll or an unfunny troll. No, this troll is astronomically bad. They enter in forums with either the intention of being offensive and fall short, or they lack responses alltogether. Everyone knows even the simplest trolls get at least 3 or 4 replies. Not the failtroll. The failtroll gets none except his/her sockpuppets. Sometimes a failtroll is too ambitious and delusional to realize no one is biting their crap and proceed to flood and/or spam a message board or
    chatroom in order to get some feedback.

    Urban Dictionary

  56. A little over a year ago, I happened to stumble across what, IMHO, was quite an amazing debate that took place in October, 2010.

    Participants included Fred Pearce, Oliver Morton and someone of whom I’d never heard before, Tony Gilland from (the sponsoring organization) the U.K. Institute of Ideas (IoI)

    What I found particularly impressive about this debate (apart from the content) considering the subject, i.e. “Can We Trust the Evidence? The IPCC – A Case Study“, was the fact that no one interrupted anyone and everyone listened to everyone else, including those in the audience.

    I might have been overly favourably impressed with this debate because (as noted in my post) I had recently also watched Al Jazeera English’s Mahdi Hasan taking (a very ill-informed … he would have been utterly lost without his copious notes) centre stage in what was supposed to be a debate between Richard Lindzen and Mark Lynas.

    But having just re-watched “Can We Trust the Evidence? …”, I can honestly say that even without this comparison, we could all learn some valuable lessons from the way in which Pearce, Morton, Gilland – and the audience participants – conducted themselves.

    Not to mention that this debate, less than a year after Climategate, succeeded in focusing on many – if not most – of the major points of contention that (alas) are still with us. And as a bonus for any “newbies” who might be lurking here, I would highly recommend this IoI video as an excellent introduction to what has (unfortunately) come to be known as “the climate wars”.

    So, without further ado … why not sit back and enjoy a civilized and respectful debate:

  57. Far more important than kindness for rational dialogue, imho, is mutual respect. Displaying and embodying respect for others is among the most important dialogic virtues. However, when such respect simply doesn’t exist, the problem arises whether to be insincere and pretend to respect someone, to ignore them, to argue with contempt, to revile them etc. I’d say that ignoring someone for whom one does not have genuine respect is the typically the best option. Yet, that is often difficult to do, especially if said person is busy trashing one’s own beliefs, arguments, values, and/or person.

    • I agree. The scroll wheel on your mouse has many uses. Never get caught up in a flame war as they are invariably counter productive and any prospect of reconciliation is greatly diminished.

    • Skiphil, I agree wholeheartedly. The people who stand out the most to me when it comes to discussions were generally people who didn’t like me and weren’t kind to me. We didn’t get along as people, but we did respect each other.

      Thinking about that makes me chuckle at this post. The people I have in mind and I didn’t treat each other kindly. We routinely insulted each other. We just did so for legitimate reasons. If a person said something right, they didn’t get insulted for it. It didn’t matter if you liked it or not. You only insulted them if they did something wrong.

      Personally, I miss that. I think it’s a shame remarks like, “You said X, which is wrong because of Y, you idiot” are frowned upon. The idea you should treat everyone kindly is weird to me. Why should we treat people who behave well the same way as those who don’t?

  58. There can a a real “race to the bottom” in blog and website comments, where hostility and contempt are multiplied many times. Generally it is best to avoid comments which will degrade the conversation, although I know as well as anyone that it can be difficult always to live up to this precept.

  59. Now for a musical interlude? The title of this thread made me think of the idiom, “killing with kindness” heh heh. Too much kindness can be, well, too much — is it always a virtue in rational dialogue, especially with strangers? Perhaps kindness is sometimes (often?) beside the point of the discussion.

    Then I thought of the song “Killing me softly with his song” —

  60. John Smith (it's my real name)

    Dr. JC
    In regards to your response to Gavin
    “clearly re-express your target’s position”
    is that possible?
    I read GS’s post thrice and can barely follow it
    I do not recognize my impression of your position in his oddly organised rebuttal
    he seems to say that human attribution is greater than 100% … uh?
    if you can re-express his points clearly I’ll be really impressed
    plus you’ll doing him a favor IMHO

    • Despite his prolix syntax(sand in the eyes), Gavin’s position on attribution is clear, as is Judy’s. The longer the passage of time, the more indelibly will one of those views come into focus.
      ===============

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        yeah, but will any of us live long enough to see it?
        my bet is that in 30 years “climate change ” will be as fondly remembered as the “population bomb” or “saturated fat causes heart disease”

      • Or a kidney stone

    • Stephen Segrest

      John — Reading up on some basic statistics (probability density function) can clear up your confusion. Unlike a probability, a probability density function can take on values greater than one.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        SS and Jon
        googled PDF
        alas, too much of an uneducated peasant to understand what you mean
        also, comparison to a small rodent could not me more true
        when you greater minds have worked this all out, let us know

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        “be” more true – us peasants lack editing skills
        plus we have to go to work

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        oh wait Stephen
        your referring to Gavin’s greater than 100%
        so we would be cooling if not for human activity
        ok … really doubt it is possible to know
        thou shall never hear Herald anymore

      • Gawd help us if it’s greater than 100% because we haven’t enough fossil fuel to keep us warm. Pay attention, Gavin, it’s all slipping away.
        ============

      • Huh? How is that relevant?…I really don’t see it.

      • Asking me? The higher the sensitivity the colder it would now be without man’s input. Any attribution close to or exceeding 100% means we are fighting a losing battle against the cold, with our meager AnthroCO2 weapon.
        ================

    • Perhaps this will help. People are responsible for two opposing forcings on the climate additional CO2 and aerosols. The effect of aerosols on global temperature is negative, the effect of CO2 from burning fossil fuels is positive.

      The CO2 forcing is much stronger than that of the aerosols as in

      120%-30% = 90%.

      In that way of looking at things the attribution of greater than 100% to fossil fuel emissions makes sense.

      • Eli, “In that way of looking at things the attribution of greater than 100% to fossil fuel emissions makes sense.”

        One could also look at the way the original argument was posed instead of creating a new argument. What percentage is Anthro and What percentage is natural? The GS would have simply said he thinks 90/10. then if he liked he could have gone into his throttle up to 170% song and dance.

      • Eli:

        I agree with you that aerosols are net negative.

        But what about black carbon?

        Is it a net negative when it is floating around in the air?

        Isn’t it a net positive when it has landed (say on the snow)?

        Are all aerosols negative all the time?

        Thanks for any thoughts you might have on black carbon as an aerosol.

  61. One should avoid conscripting all-purpose intellectual heroes like Edmund Burke, George Orwell or Richard Feynman to one’s point of view. That’s like sticking a dead El Cid on a horse to lead a battle. My opinion’s a poor thing, but mine own.

    Apart from that…go with the adversarial, go with human nature.

    Now, show me a warmie I can snarl at.

    • Ah, for some swirling swill at which to snarl and snap.
      ==========

    • The important thing is to have a horse – or risk ending under a carpark in Leicester. Then you have a chance to win a famous horse – Tencendur even. You have a chance to get lucky with a Joan or a Godiva. The latter like some 60’s mid north coast sprite. No side saddle for these gals. If you have a horse you can cut your head off and terrify the neighborhood. If your horse is called Bucephalas you may mount it and conquer the world. If you have a horse you can be a cowboy and be laconic as hell.

      TR: You are crazy. You know that?
      GK: Just telling you what I think.
      TR: Loneliness has driven you over the brink into paranoia and insanity, pardner.
      GK: Ha! I’m a cowboy. Loneliness is what I crave. Insanity is what we eat for breakfast. No, sir, solitude is a gift, Dusty. We are cowboys. Lonesome is part of the iconic nature of the calling.

      If you have a high horse – you can get on it. If you have a gift horse you can look it in the mouth. It will be some lumbering, almost toothless crone. As the Greek philosopher said – there is no such thing as a free horse. If you have a hobby horse – you may ride it in the hobby horse stakes against other hobby horses. If the barn door is open and the horse bolts – there is no sense in closing the door. If your horse is dead – pointless to flog it.
      You don’t want to change horses – if you are in mid stream – but even if you are in the water you can’t make it drink. If you want the truth – you can get it from a horses mouth.

      Finally – ce n’est pas la mort du petit cheval. It is certainly not the end of the little horse.

  62. The most compelling statement to me in the essay was this one:

    It transforms your opponent into a more receptive audience for your criticism or dissent, which in turn helps advance the discussion.

    I marvel that Dennet apparently believes he can turn anyone into anything by any unilateral action.

    Furthermore, Ms. Curry, given that egotism manifests itself in every demographic group, scientists included, I suggest you consider the possibility that kindness, real or otherwise, is at least as likely to inspire contempt in your adversary as collegiality.

    • yguy –

      ==> “I marvel that Dennet apparently believes he can turn anyone into anything by any unilateral action.”

      Keep in mind it wasn’t a direct quote of Dennett

      Second, look at what is described as transforming the “opponent”

      You should attempt to re-express your target’s position so clearly, vividly, and fairly that your target says, “Thanks, I wish I’d thought of putting it that way.

      You should list any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).

      You should mention anything you have learned from your target.

      Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

      Each recommendation assumes a bilateral dynamic – not “unilateral” action.

      • Well, well Joshua. I read the links about the “Palin brawl”. Looks to me like you were trafficking lies from a very untrustworthy source in order to discredit Gary M and Judeo-Christian ethics. As far as I can tell Sarah Palin did nothing wrong, nor did her husband. For some reason a bunch of guys jumped their son, who might have done something wrong. But his parents simply seemed to be defending him. Honor and courage are high on the list of Judeo-Christian ideals.
        Lying is discouraged in Judeo-Christian ethics, which was the context in which Gary M originally brought up the topic. I think he was suggesting that fewer scientists would be willing to lie about their work were their commitment to JDE stronger. Maybe fewer blog posters would be willing to lie about their political opponents as well.

    • :: ‘It transforms yr opponent, ‘opponent’, into a more receptive
      audience fer yr criticism or dissent which helps advance the,
      er, discussion.’ ::

      In the best of all possible … ?

  63. My own view is that one should always be polite to other contributors. even if they disagree with you. they should be thanked for their reply. Communication functions best if there is common courtesy. On climate I always seem to be in a minority of one, as exemplified by my theoretical model on my website underlined above, but I remain broadly committed to that model. I don’t know how it compares with the IPCC/s models because they don’t publish their mathematical models. However we do know, according to Dr Christy’s evidence to the US congress, that they all indicate present climate should be hotter than it is, and we are in an era of rising global temperature, which is contrary to the evidence.

    • Walter Allensworth

      Alexander – Just so. I general respond in-kind.

      If my un-insulting and rational post is met with a rational answer or argument then I respond the same way.

      If someone skips rationality and jumps right to ad-hom or vitriol, then they get derision in return.

      This is usually done in such a way that it’s obvious to everyone that the responder is an uneducated wing-nut. There are a lot of them that once pinned down by facts simply disappear like a vampire in the morning light. Poof.

  64. Pingback: The purpose of argument … | The k2p blog

  65. Dear Professor Curry,
    I’m usually just a lurker, because my mother always told me (paraphrase) ‘if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all’, but I think I can make a valid point that none of the other commentators seems to have done that might advance what I take to be the gist of your post.
    Your title is “To criticize with kindness” and you reference Dennet’s “Just how charitable are you supposed to be …”. I think you and Dennet are off the mark here. Both charity and kindness imply a kind of condensation and an implicit assumption that the receiver is in need of the gift. What I take to be your meaning (and I am being ‘charitable’ here, if only to emphasize how the word has connotations) is that one should argue fairly, not misrepresent your opponents views and rebut their points without malice. That is quite different from giving them the benefit of your largesse (well, they could converge if you are right and they are very wrong).
    Anyway, the concept of ‘fairness’ (or even that ancient concept ‘honourable’) doesn’t seem to make it into most of the comments, so I thought I’d mention it. Back to lurking.

    • DaveW, assuming you meant “condescension” rather than “condensation”, I generally agree.

      • yguy – correct(ed). May be one day spellcheckers will evolve past bad second-guessing and actually correctly correct misspellings. Also, I missed some of Skiphil’s comments (starting at 9:21 pm) on respect that are similar.

  66. A few threads back I attempted a broader challenge of whether people would admit any kind of argumentative weakness. I listed a set of arguments made IN FAVOR of positions I support that I NEVERTHELESS BELIEVE ARE FALSE OR MISLEADING. I asked others to give examples of such things from their own perspectives. Now this can’t be too difficult–how often do you hear people supposedly on “your side” saying stupid or wrong or misleading stuff? One’s own ego wouldn’t be too tied up in those statements.The examples given didn’t even have to be about climate issues (only one of mine was).

    Result: Crickets. Except for a predictably (initial) ignorant and uncharitable reading by Fan, followed by his apology after being called on it, then a bunch of entirely non-responsive obscure comments from him that avoided the challenge. No one else wanted to accept this challenge, even though it did not require anyone to admit that he himself was wrong.

    That suggests to me that not too many people are ready to think of this blog as a site of communal reasoning; rather, it is an arena for expressing opinions, showing off, and amusing ourselves. By accident, however, as a side effect one might say, you can learn quite a bit about climate and other topics here, as bees do not intend to pollinate plants but still do. “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”

    • Good post Steve. +1 I liked your analogy of the bees doing stuff unintentionally. I have indeed learned a lot from reading the comments on this site, if not about the science and politics of climate change, then most assuredly about the natures of the commenters themselves.

    • Steve, I didn’t see that challenge, but I do call out people when they make false arguments to bolster views or policies which I favour, including via the media. Can’t immediately think of an instance, if a strong one crops up, I’ll let you know.

      The issue is: do you genuinely favour honesty, integrity and what you see as good policy, or do pursue an end which you favour without regard to ethics and high public standards? The non-response to you suggests that some/most posters either follow the latter approach or lack self-awareness. I’m self-aware and don’t compromise my honesty and integrity. And I know we’d all be better off if that attitude were prevalent.

      Of course, those attributes need to be allied with knowledge and wisdom if the policies one favours are to be beneficial. In recent years my capacity to research and comprehend complex issues has diminshed, I recognise that and try not to jump in where I lack the knowledge or understanding to make a worthwhile contribution.

    • So, how much are you offering to play your truth or dare game, stevepostrel?

    • There is a lot of uncertainty on all sides as far as I can see. That’s one of the biggest issues with global warming – ignorance. This is why I want to gather more data. And also pursue nuclear power with a vengeance. These are two ways to deal with uncertainty.

    • That’s an interesting point.
      Most sceptics are dismissive of Slayers and many come down hard against Steven Goddard’s more hysterical diatribes but I’m yet to see Joshua, Michael or Fanny distance themselves from any behaviour at all on the ‘other side’.
      I’d be happy for them to prove me wrong.

    • Willard: I went first, for free. It’s a cost-free process if you don’t like having your own case besmirched by bad arguments. It isn’t even ego threatening, because you’re not admitting error. So I don’t see why you should need a financial inducement to play.

  67. John Vonderlin

    I like Dennett’s four points. I’d add another. I think it is best to express your reality in terms like: believe, think, in my view, it seems, I can’t imagine otherwise, probably, may, might, possibly, in my opinion or any of a thousand other qualifiers that get your point across, yet leave your reader less defensive in evaluating the gist of your opinion.
    I am not impressed by blowhards stringing together a bunch of assertions as if they were the Truth, descended from on high. But, will try to listen if a reasoned argument embracing the Uncertainty Monster is presented to me to consider.
    I think I am the expert on this subject, so if you possibly don’t agree with me about this, you are probably an idiot in my view. Which is my way of saying, a small dose of satire, sarcasm, parody, or even self-deprecation may also help you to undermine your doltish opponents’ willful ignorance and allow you to shout GOAL, once again.

  68. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Of 368 comments to date  Precisely *NONE* have defended the scholarly reputation of the Marshall Institute.

    Conclusion  Consensus has come to Climate Etc.

    Good on `yah, Climate Etc commenters!

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

    • Fan

      Perhaps because some commenters, like me, know nothing of the Marshall institute and do not want to defend or attack anyone without having relevant information.
      tonyb

      • Thanks for the usual claptrap alarmist propaganda, prof. wabbette. You better get to class, halpern. Your few students need their sleep.

      • Eli provides a link to a 2007 paper which essentially claimed that anyone who disagreed that the rate of warming would continue unabated was an idiot and that all intelligent scientists agreed that AGW was an immediate danger.

        In hindsight Eli, weren’t those scientists who said there was no reliable evidence to support the notion that AGW is a dire threat proven correct?

        Where is the increase in the rate of sea level rise?

        Where is the increase in adverse weather?

        Where are the great harms from AGW????

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Myanna Lahsen’s fine article Experiences of modernity in the greenhouse: A cultural analysis of a physicist ‘‘trio’’ supporting the backlash against global warming is an outstanding partner to Carter Scholz’ fine novel Radiance.

        Conclusion  Few scientists defend the Marshall Institute because many scientists are aware of its dubious history.

        Judith Curry — like all scientists who lend their name to Marshall Institute programs — are well-advised to study its history.

        (you are so advised too, TonyB).

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

      • Eli

        Thank you for taking the trouble to post that link which I read with interest.

        The author seems a committed environmentalist

        http://www.zoominfo.com/p/Myanna-Lahsen/927773142

        Now there is nothing wrong with that at all but the lady concerned dos not seem that objective and as she will see in my link obviously thinks that sceptics and especially sceptical scientists have some deep seated physcolgical problems.

        It would be good to see some more objective and less lengthy tracts on the Marshall institute as I still don’t really know who they ae and whether they are the incarnation of evil as some of you seem to believe.

        If you or Fan can furnish me with some more material I will read it as my mind is not closed on their desirability or not as a venue for Judith ( not that she would be concerned of course if I were to suggest she might find nicer people to talk to)

        Tonyb

      • FOMT … on a thread which is supposed to be about “How to Criticize With Kindness” … launches into his typical stream of snarling frothing character assassinations. None of us has expressed any knowledge or experience of the Marshall Institute, so of course FOMT’s attacks cannot be intelligently discussed here…. yet, he persists in posting his highly OT diatribes with links to suspect sources which could never be relied upon for objective, accurate information. But then, FOMT (and Rabbett) have never been known for providing sources of objective, accurate information.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Eli Rabbett: Perhaps you need to read this paper by Myanna Lahsen

        At least she acknowledged that the Marshall Institute was formed to counter the politicization of science and (from its web page) to provide balanced reviews of the science.

        Realistic appraisals of technological possibilities and climate catastrophism are assumed bad by the writer.

    • FOMT, I don’t know squat about the Marshall Institute, but knowing YOUR activities here I suspect that M.I. can hardly be of any lower scholarly or scientific quality than YOU.

    • http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/24/magazine/24labor-t.html?_r=4&em=&pagewanted=all&

      Gee, all the knock on Marshall seems related to the above article.

      From the article the guy sounds fairly liberal so some of the Marshall Institute viewpoints might have gone against the grain.

      He doesn’t accuse the Marshall Institute of “lying like a global warmer” – just being selective with their choice of facts.

      Without an actual example it is hard to tell if the Institute is biased or he is.

      The institute does gore some activist oxes. If the claim is that activist oxes are sacrosanct, and opposing them makes you evil… that claim is incorrect.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        PA claims [without evidence, and utterly wrongly]  “Gee, all the knock on Marshall seems related to the above [2007] article.

        Climate Etc readers are invited to verify that skepticism of the scientific community in regard to the Marshall Institute’s ideology-driven anti-scientific campaigns began *MUCH* earlier than 2007.

        *THIS* dubious Marshall Institute history is well-known to both the scientific community *AND* the general public, eh Climate Etc eraders?

        @ARTICLE{Mccright03defeatingkyoto:, author = {Aaron M.
        Mccright}, title = {Defeating Kyoto: the conservative
        movement’s impact on U.S. climate change policy}, journal
        = {Social Problems}, year = {2003}, pages = {348--373} }
        
        @book{marcus1999paranoia, Author = {Marcus, G.E.},
        Publisher = {University of Chicago Press}, Series = {Late
        Editions: Cultural Studies for the End of the Century},
        Title = {Paranoia Within Reason: A Casebook on Conspiracy
        as Explanation}, Year = {1999}}
        

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

      • Well, wiki on Marshall only has one negative comment about Marshall and I found the source of the original claim (in an article mostly about having a motorcycle shop). Finding the actual source of negative claims is evidence.

        Given the 19, 16, 15, 14, 26 or whatever years of the hiatus, and the abysmal failures of the climate models, Marshall’s caution about Kyoto was justified.

        CO2 is a beneficial gas that has increased plant growth (according to CSIRO) 11% from 1982-2010.

        The global warmers have demonstrated no harm from CO2 that comes close to matching the benefits of more CO2.

        For the period of the hiatus global warmer are having problems showing ANY harm from CO2.

  69. I’ve made two unsuccessful attempt to reply to a post above. I’ll see if it works here:

    Pekka, you wrote @ 5.47 “I just add very briefly that rational policy conclusions are not necessarily very dependent on the judgement about the uncertainties of climate science, because basic policy conclusions do not require certainty of severe consequences, it’s enough to think that such consequences are not highly unlikely.”

    Pekka, two issues here. Resources are not infinite, and every choice to pursue a particular policy means not pursuing some other policy or policies. The fact that a policymaker thinks that certain consequences are not unlikely is not sufficient reason to devote significant resources to the issue; it might be cause for seeking more information about it and seeking to reduce the uncertainty, so that there is a better basis for choice. Second, the fact that it is possible that there could be some reason for concern does not, as a rule, lead to a particular policy prescription. For example, I have argued that whether or not global warming resumes, and whether or not a resumption might have net negative consequences, costly emissions reduction policies are inferior to policies which promote growth, innovation, flexibility, self-reliance, entrepreneurship etc, which will help us to deal better with whatever future befalls. Uncertainties extend far beyond global warming and its impacts.

    So it is not, in my view, rational to think that the uncertain possibility of severe consequences in one field is sufficient reason to devote significant resources to potentially reducing that possibly severe impact, especially if it seems to be distant in time.

      • Pekka’s just skeert by the bogeyman under the bed. Little does he know it’s Santa Claus distributing the gifts of the Human Carbon Cornucopia.
        =============

    • Faustino,

      When I wrote that paragraph I pondered, whether I should write more, but decided to stop at that.

      The argument that I wrote is not sufficient for telling specifically what to do, but the main reason for that is not in the remaining uncertainty in the knowledge provided by the physical climate science, the main reason is in lacking knowledge about the actual outcomes from alternative policy decisions.

      Pinning down with less uncertainty the actual warming from a given CO2 release may affect a little the optimal policy, but the effect is barely noticeable in comparison with the other uncertain factors that affect the policy process.

      • If Nature is cooling the globe, then all the cost benefit calculations of fossil fuel use shift dramatically, and she is, she is, short, medium and long term. Winter is coming.

        See, Pekka, I’m scared of real cold bogeymen. Pitch another log on the fire, dawn is a long way off.
        =================

      • I’m more worried about bias in the estimators (in the statistical sense) than in their sampling variance.

      • I should say, I am equally worried about both. As many have pointed out, the lower bound sensitivities and the upper bound sensitivities seem to have quite different policy implications.

      • Unipolar fear has handicapped policy scandalously and tragically to one view. It’s dreadfully unbalanced. Yes, you, Pekka.
        ===================

      • Judith says that her talk today is “is largely on this exact topic.” Should be interesting, I hope that our discussion influences it!

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pekka Pirilä the main reason is in lacking knowledge about the actual outcomes from alternative policy decisions.

        It is important to remember that.

        There has not been much of a showing that a coordinated plan to rapidly reduce human fossil fuel consumption will have any beneficial effects, either in actually reducing atmospheric CO2 or in producing any other beneficial effect. Much less a showing that the benefits would outweigh the costs.

    • > Resources are not infinite

      Neither is growth. But again, that depends what kind of resources. There many not be an infinite number of adjectives and adverbs, but there are a lot:

      So it is not, in my view, rational to think that the uncertain possibility of severe consequences in one field is sufficient reason to devote significant resources to potentially reducing that possibly severe impact, especially if it seems to be distant in time.

      I too prefer when possibilities are certain.

      • You wanna glacial or an interglacial? Choose ignorantly, and irrelevantly, cuz you have no choice.
        =========================

      • Willard, I don’t have a preference. There are always uncertainties, we always have to make decisions, the uncertainties will influence the weight we give to alternative options.

        Growth may not be infinite, but, given human ingenuity, many of the limits to it are from poor policy decisions rather than inherent.

      • Faustino, I agree with your general drift, but it may be worth putting a finger on (at least part of) the underlying disagreement. If (say) you point toward someone’s (e.g. Lomborg) alternative uses for the resources, many will think “What’s wrong with doing all that AND climate mitigation?” At some point, the argument is about how much of a nation’s resources should be diverted to (allegedly) worthwhile public investments. I know you know this, but it’s worth bringing it into the open. For people who never met a public investment they didn’t like better than the current value of a Whopper at the margin, opportunity cost arguments fall flat.

      • Lost opportunity costs compound. Oh, the grandchildren.
        =================

      • Matthew R Marler

        kim: Lost opportunity costs compound. Oh, the grandchildren.

        Excellent!

      • > What’s wrong with doing all that AND climate mitigation?

        In case of Lomborg, that “all that” includes eradicating poverty and the seven plagues of Apocalypse using small change. This kind of argument may be good to earn 750k per year, but that’s not something I’d consider the only rational game in town. Speaking of rational response, I don’t think betting the house on ingenuity can be considered reasonable, although the more we wait, the more this wet dream will impose itself, nor is asking for sufficiency conditions, for that matter, since it’s only the dual concept of necessity, which may be the mother of all inventions, but certainly not of empirical sciences.

        I certainly hope there are ways to maximize welfare that do not turns into invisible hands arm waving.

      • Willard,
        Interesting:
        “Speaking of rational response, I don’t think betting the house on ingenuity can be considered reasonable, although the more we wait, the more this wet dream will impose itself, nor is asking for sufficiency conditions, for that matter, since it’s only the dual concept of necessity, which may be the mother of all inventions, but certainly not of empirical sciences.”

        “Ingenuity” includes Carbon capture, windmills, solar panels, batteries, nuclear power, fracking, tidal, biomass, etc etc. Even policies aimed at adding a price to carbon are billed as being a means to achieving a replacement fuel.
        Aren’t “both sides” betting the house on ingenuity? Or do you favor something else?

      • Lomberg’s focus is on funds committed – some $2.5 trillion to 2030 – and to most cost-effectively use those resources. It is merely rational cost/benefit analysis.

        Environment benefits emerge from reducing population pressures in a holistic package that includes family planning, health and education measures – as well as reducing black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone and nitrous oxide. Carbon dioxide is mitigated in increases agricultural soil fertility and in conservation and restoration of ecosystems. Much environmental progress – as we have known for decades – emerges organically with social and economic development.

        The other rational investment is in energy innovation. Is there a guaranteed return? I think there pretty much is. There are dozens of technologies that require technological evolution – rather than a whole new idea. There are dozens of out of the box ideas as well.

        Whenever I hear the meme of infinite growth being impossible on a finite planet – I think – this is not relevant – not here not now. Optimum economic growth is the sin qua non of the creation of a global civilization this century.

      • “Lost opportunity costs compound. Oh, the grandchildren.”

        Sure. So too (allegedly) does the value of those investments in public goods, if for no other reason than population growth.

      • JeffN, I’m not “betting the house” on anything. I do think that human ingenuity, adaptability and inventiveness are among our great strengths, which enable us to cope with, and profit from, a great variety of circumstances. I also think, from long experience as an economic policy adviser and empirical evidence, that much smaller governments than currently prevail in developed countries would be positive for our well-being and our capacity to deal with future events. And I think that, if warming is a serious threat – something of which I’m not convinced – that costly emissions reductions programs which reduce growth and divert resources from more pressing problems – the definition of which, of course, involves value judgements – are not a good way to deal with it. The opportunity cost issue raised above is pertinent.

      • Yes, JeffN, everybody agrees with progress, including conservatives.

        But only those who are willing to play the Lomborg gambit (say the Breakthrough guys) won’t try anything else in case innovation does not kick in in a timely manner. And that’s notwithstanding that if this is the only bet you’re willing to make, you need to start ASAP. This observation could be confirmed by anyone who played Axis & Allies.

        Mr. T needs to start his martingale early.

      • ==> ” For people who never met a public investment they didn’t like… ”

        Yes. Because there are so many of those around. I’m sure they’ll all be grateful.

      • Oddly – the failure of Kyoto mechanisms escapes them.

      • Willard, define the “something else” that the breakthrough guys won’t accept. Remember, ingenuity cannot be involved.
        If we’re talking about off-the-shelf solutions that provide zero emissions energy, there was only one of those in 1990.
        If we’re talking about the unicorns, well there’s no reason to believe “merchants of doubt” have kept them away from you.

        Faustino, well said.

      • Taxing carbon, JeffN, using a simple user-pay principle, e.g.:

        http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/programs/energy-and-climate/the-carbon-tax-fantasy

        Or something like the mechanism BartR presented over and over and over and over again here, until he got fed up being moderated while Big Dave and Chief and other Denizens were abusing everyone else:

        http://prezi.com/hthhffwhdz7p/carbon-cycle-privatization/

        I think you had some discussions with BartR, JeffN, right?

        ***

        More specifically, what I’m referring to is being more aggressive on the RE < C inequality by making the C more expensive, not just by increasing R&D:

        http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27939/1/HartwellPaper_English_version.pdf

        Against increasing that C, they basically argue "yes, but the poor," using fancier words. So these guys explore just about any R&D idea instead of expressing a willingness to try the most basic policy on the matter. And yet this is sold as policy analysis, not techno-pop.

        Consider me underwhelmed.

      • ‘As such, a carbon tax can only be seen as effective climate change policy in the extent to which it funds clean energy innovation. In contrast to the neoclassical economic doctrine, innovation economics recognizes that the government can and should play a much more proactive role in supporting the clean energy innovation process. Fittingly, the Brookings scholars recommend setting aside at least $30 billion in carbon tax revenue annually for “an independently managed fund for supporting top-quality energy-system RD&D activity.” That policy proposal mirrors the “innovation carbon price” concept put forward by ITIF last year that called for a portion of revenue to go towards funding “a Clean Energy Innovation Trust Fund that would support clean energy innovation initiatives.” Establishing a dedicated revenue stream for clean energy innovation in this way would simultaneously reduce policy uncertainty and tackle climate change mitigation in a meaningful way. Nor would it be without precedent – gas tax revenue, for example, is dedicated to the Highway Trust Fund.’

        Oddly – he seems to misrepresent the articles he links to. And – btw – underestimate Bart’s usual stream of bloody minded calumny.

      • “In contrast to the neoclassical economic doctrine, innovation economics recognizes that the government can and should play a much more proactive role in supporting the clean energy innovation process.”

        If something called ‘innovation economics’ can’t even get facts straight about neoclassical economics, I have to wonder what sort of arguments it makes. But seriously Chief: Neoclassical economics is full of theoretical discussion of innovation as a public good and hence worthy of subsidy, extensive empirical analysis of the role of communications and educational infrastructure investments as determinants of patent activity and other measures of innovation, and of course the role of patents in rewarding innovation, traded off against the temporary monopoly they grant (this goes back to Article 1 of our founding doc but I digress), a classic example of the time-inconsistency problem pointed out by Nobelists Finn and Prescott.

      • Wait till you read the last sentence, Chief:

        As debate continues, Congress and the president would do well to more carefully consider all the products of the “wonkish energy” being expended on possible carbon tax designs.

        http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/programs/energy-and-climate/the-carbon-tax-fantasy

        The title and the illustration may have been too subtle giveaways.

      • Ooops. Finn Kydland and Ed Prescott. Sorry Finn, wherever you are.

      • I mean, NW, I don’t want to insist, but just this:

        “Rules Rather than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans”, from 1977, studies the sequential choice of policies, such as tax rates or monetary policy instruments. The key insight is that many policy decisions are subject to a fundamental time consistency problem. Consider a rational and forward-looking government that chooses a time plan for policy in order to maximize the well-being of its citizens. Kydland and Prescott show that if given an opportunity to re-optimize and change its plan at a later date, the government will generally do so. What is striking about this result is that it is not rooted in conflicting objectives between the government and its citizens, nor is it due to the ability of unrestricted policymakers to react to unforeseen shocks. The result, instead, is simply a problematic logical implication of rational dynamic policymaking when private-sector expectations place restrictions on the policy decisions.

        A significant upshot is that governments unable to make binding commitments regarding future policies will encounter a credibility problem. Specifically, the public will realize that future government policy will not necessarily coincide with the announced policy, unless the plan already encompasses the incentives for future policy change. In other words, sequential policymaking faces a credibility constraint. In mathematical terms, optimal policy decisions cannot be analyzed solely by means of control theory (i.e., dynamic optimization theory). Instead they should be studied as the outcome of a game, where current and future policymakers are modeled as distinct players. In this game, each player has to anticipate the reaction of future players to current play: rational expectations are required. Kydland and Prescott analyzed general policy games as well as specific games of monetary and fiscal policymaking. They showed that the outcome in a rational-expectations equilibrium where the government cannot commit to policy in advance–discretionary policymaking–results in lower welfare than the outcome in an equilibrium where the government can commit.

        http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/economic-sciences/laureates/2004/advanced-economicsciences2004.pdf

        This seems to have a direct application to the climate policy problem.

        Perhaps expecting rational expectations is too strong a constraint, though.

      • “This seems to have a direct application to the climate policy problem.”

        Yes, almost certainly… and, almost certainly some reasonably bright applied theorist has explored that, but I don’t know that environmental and resource econ field so well. I’m not a theory guy so I wouldn’t be comfy holding forth about time inconsistency of policy, as applied to another area (environmental policy) I also don’t know that well. BUT I might be able to track someone down.

        I would say that rational expectations aren’t really a necessary condition for time inconsistency of policy plans. Kydland and Prescott use it because it lets them get a result and all the cool kids were using it at the time, but all you really need is some positive relation between anticipated future government behavior and what future governments actually do, which is a much weaker requirement.

        Seems to me there might be interesting things to say about policy toward climate-relevant innovations. Think of the current brouhaha about the current Hep-C treatment that is priced very high, or the same brouhaha about the HIV drugs some time ago. Future government has a very strong incentive to modify or negate future patent protection once crucial innovations are achieved; but if so, firms will partially anticipate this future battle and be less willing to invest in innovation now. This could be a strong argument for carrying on a lot of basic research in public institutions with public funding. This is all speculative–a lot depends on the magnitude of these kinds of effects. It could all be very small, so to speak, and not worth worrying about.

      • ‘The growing belief that a carbon tax is some sort of “silver bullet” for solving climate change is false. Pricing carbon won’t spur private sector innovation to reduce carbon emissions at the scale we need. Only massive public investments that make clean energy cheap can do that.’

        Wee willie should read his own links with fewer preconceptions . This is an old idea of a hypothecated tax delivering a stream of public funds for energy research and development. A couple of bucks a ton of CO2. So this first of all doesn’t provide a fraction of the price incentive need to drive low carbon substitution at current prices. Secondly – it is predicated on driving energy innovation. The very possibility that wee willie was just discounting I believe. The low hypothecated tax idea is perhaps best left alone – it just confuses them. Wee willie starts off confused and gets hopelessly muddled.

        I am not clear what ‘neoclassical’ economics says about carbon taxes. Perhaps classical economics would suggest that economic substitution is closest to the point. Ratchet up the cost until a substitute is economically viable. Not quite uncharted – but quite new territory. It would leave economies with much higher energy costs and lower productivity is what classical economics would suggest.

        Innovation has been secondary to discussions of the role of government. Although as you point the protection of intellectual property is essential to ensuring rewards for innovation. The role of prizes is another area of active interest.

        e.g. http://www.uschamberfoundation.org/power-prizes-incentivizing-radical-innovation-0

        A billion dollar global energy prize would certainly generate some interest – and be a very cost effective approach.

        I think what the Breakthough Institute was suggesting was that 9 out of 10 economists are thoroughly unimaginative and can think only in the dimension of fiscal policy on any issue. This needs a bit of thinking outside the box.

      • Rob, you say that “I think what the Breakthough Institute was suggesting was that 9 out of 10 economists are thoroughly unimaginative and can think only in the dimension of fiscal policy on any issue. This needs a bit of thinking outside the box.”

        Fiscal policy is a macro issue. Much policy work, and many of Australia’s positive economic policies since the 1980s, is in the micro field. Perhaps macro economists are unimaginative – although Tony Makin, my only SEQ contact in the field, isn’t – but many microeconomists are innovative and imaginative, e.g. Henry Ergas. I’ve always worked in the micro area. Colour me imaginative.

      • Yes, I have had some back and forth with BartR. The questions are what do you think a carbon tax would accomplish (ingenuity of course), is it necessary to accomplish the goal (not at all), and does it have a snowballs chance in hell of adoption (nope, it’s regressive – which means the left will oppose it too, and it’s regionally disproportionately painful, which is why a small are republican government won’t approve it.)

        The Breakthrough guys don’t like carbon taxes because they don’t address the issue.

      • > The very possibility that wee willie was just discounting I believe.

        Read instead of believing, Chief.

        You really should read conversations before jumping in.

      • > The Breakthrough guys don’t like carbon taxes because they don’t address the issue.

        The Breakthrough guys are more subtle than that, JeffN. All they need is to raise concerns regarding implementation details, and of course some iron law, which interestingly never applies to their techno-pop wishful thinking. Appeals to pragmatism are not required, but why not throw some too: the audience has no idea what it’s supposed to mean anyway.

        Anyway. I hope this answers your question (the one before the latest “yes, but the issue”), and will now take my leave. Please continue the deaths and taxes ringtones to your heart’s content. There’s a new thread where you can repeat more of the same.

        Gentlemen, I don’t know what came over me. Forgive me. Forget all I said. (More and more his old self.) I don’t remember exactly what it was, but you may be sure there wasn’t a word of truth in it. (Drawing himself up, striking his chest.) Do I look like a man that can be made to suffer? Frankly? (He rummages in his pockets.) What have I done with my pipe?

      • Speaking of rational response, I don’t think betting the house on ingenuity can be considered reasonable, although the more we wait, the more this wet dream will impose itself, nor is asking for sufficiency conditions, for that matter, since it’s only the dual concept of necessity, which may be the mother of all inventions, but certainly not of empirical sciences.

        The disingenuous wee willie seems to suggest that he wasn’t discounting innovation? Quite apart from mistaking a hypothecated tax for ‘putting a price on carbon’ and not clearly not appreciating Lomberg’s energy investment recommendations.

        He is clearly deeply confused – and this seems to be a perennial condition.

  70. In regard to the 50/50 argument
    by Judith Curry Pick one: Gavin writes
    The basis of the AR5 calculation is summarised in figure 10.5:
    Figure 10.5 IPCC AR5and herein lie a number of problems

    kindly pointed out by Tom Curtis at Skeptical science to the maths challenged Russ R statement that G = +0.9±0.4°C and OA = -0.25±0.35°C. So, by simple math, ANT = 0.65± 0.75°C. So, the PDF would would be centered around 100% (not 110%) of the observed warming with (5-95%) uncertainty of ± 115%. [see first comment at blog , Judith, Russ R. at 06:27 AM on 16 September, 2014 ] , that would be a giant variability due to the OA uncertainty range if correct

  71. We need examples of using more kindness and less harshness when criticizing the works and motives of those in the climate research establishment –e.g.,

    Harsh, unproductive criticism: The continued failure to admit your mathematical models are invalid is simply lying to the people.

    Kind, thought-provoking criticism: The formulas that are used in your models are, less universally valid than previously assumed.

    • Wag,
      Kind toc us tge models don’t simulate current observations and did not do so in the 1940 to 1970 period. What changes are appropriate to more reaslitcally match observed climate data. Please don’t change historical temperatures. Let the past rest.
      Scott

      • What good are GCM but to scare children?

        This virtual world is isolated from the real world of weather and climate. Few of the GCM modelers have any substantial weather or short- range climate forecasting experience. ~Dr. Wm Gray

  72. “Baby, you gotta be cruel to be kind.” -Nick Lowe

    Andrew

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  74. Why do comments get stuck in moderation all day?

  75. “Kindness” isn’t warranted to those who deny CFCs caused ozone depletion (matt ridley / GWPF), or deny that CO2 rise is anthropogenic (Salby, ), that the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist, or that we are entering a new ice age (Tim Ball/ WUWT)

    Kindness lends these stupid ideas credibility they don’t deserve. Terse put downs are far preferable.

  76. The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate has put out a report on The New Climate Economy which “aims to drive action by world leaders, business executives and investors ahead of major summit on climate change.” I note that this makes them self-declared activists and advocates. The Commission is chaired by former Mexican President Felipe Calderon, Vice-Chair is Nicholas Stern of the LSE, members include former NZ PM Helen Clark, who took the economy backwards between two right-wing governments which took it forward. Sceptical? Moi? The report might provide material for many hours of kindly debate on CE and elsewhere.

    Press release: http://newclimateeconomy.net/content/press-release-economic-growth-and-action-climate-change-can-now-be-achieved-together-finds

    Report: http://newclimateeconomy.report/

    The report argues that the cost of tackling climate change is modest. It appears to involve a high degree of direction and regulation. The BBC says that “Critics say the report is too optimistic,” but provides no details.

    • All you need to know about the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate is contained in its name. I have this well tested theory that one should assume the worst of any body with a name that might have come out of a Superman comic of the 1950s.

    • Faustino

      +1. Thank you.

      The report argues that the cost of tackling climate change is modest

      Show me the evidence.

      What’s the evidence that the costs of GHG emissions are net negative?

      What’s the evidence any of the advocated policies would deliver the claimed benefits (control the climate and reduce the claimed damages by the claimed amounts)?

      What’s the evidence the advocated policies could even be implemented globally, let alone sustained for 100 years or so? (the world can’t even agree to a world trade agreement which would deliver benefits to just about everyone, so why would it agree to policies that will severely damage economies for as long as they operated and almost certainly deliver negligible benefits (in terms of climate damages avoided). Another example is the the Arab states are not even prepared to send their troops to fight the terrorist groups they’ve sponsored and funded. And the Europeans are reluctant and next to useless in any of the conflicts. So, waht chance of getting an international agreement that will damage economies?

      Answer, Bucklies and none!

    • @Faustino, what I found interesting about this “New Climate Economy” report when I first stumbled across news of its expected birth, a few months ago, was its self-proclaimed “parentage” and apparent timing of genesis (not to mention the oh-so-convenient – but planned – timing of its release)!

      First, this so-called “Global” Commission on the Economy and Climate” consists of a mere:

      “seven countries – Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom – as an independent initiative to report to the international community.”

      Funny, I thought that the “international community” depended on the UN’s IPCC/UNFCCC for pronouncements on such matters, didn’t you?! But I digress …

      As for this illustrious group’s raison d’être, and “Approach”, I learned that:

      The New Climate Economy’s starting point is the perspective of economic decision-makers: government ministers, particularly ministers of finance, economy, energy and agriculture; business leaders and financial investors; state governors and city mayors.

      For such decision-makers, climate change is rarely a primary concern.[…] Yet their decisions powerfully influence the trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions.

      In light of the above, at the very least one might wonder why Al Gore and the IPCC were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for their:

      efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change

      And as for the group’s (very quiet, IMHO) birth announcement, it could just be sheer coincidence that it was in late September 2013 … right around the time of the release of the (considerably less than impressive) findings of the IPCC’s AR5 WGI SPM.

      Nonetheless, there has certainly been lots of hoopla surrounding the release of this new, improved Report to address a matter that – in the eyes of the decision-makers of the world “is rarely a primary concern”.

      Even he who must be oh-so-busy (what with all the upheavals and concerns in the ME, these days; matters which – considering his bailiwick – I would consider to be of immediate and far greater concern), i.e. UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, was slated to be the “keynote” speaker at the grand unveiling of this Report on a matter deemed by so many movers and shakers to be “rarely a primary concern”.

      Amazing, eh?!

  77. Historically it appears that the rise of lock-step consensus models in science was closely linked with the rise of communism worldwide after 1945:

    http://wchildblog.com/2014/09/16/atlas-shrugged-now-non-fiction/

    Ann Rand was a Russian woman who came to the West and recognized the unfolding of predictions George Orwell made in “Nineteen Eighty-Four.”

  78. @Scott | September 16, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Reply
    I have a reply to your post, but it’s in moderation. But, once it’s out, it is an interesting read. Just sayin.

  79. IMO, this idea stinks, but hey, anything to keep texting, eh?
    From the article:

    Charge your phone using ‘urine-tricity’

    Waste not, want not, the saying goes, and researchers at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory are turning something we all produce – urine – into clean electricity, or ‘urine-tricity’.

    It sounds outlandish, but earlier this year, at the Reinvent the Toilet Fair in New Delhi, India – co-hosted by the Indian Department of Biotechnology and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation – the team exhibited a functional urinal that was able to charge a phone using just urine, a world first.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/101999986

  80. We can talk all we want. The wolves however, aren’t inclined to eat grass. They like the fresh taste of sheeple.

    I thought that one of the agendas of AGW was to breathe new life into the nuclear industry. It was going pretty well till an earthquake in Japan fixed that. Armchair financial wizards have no idea how hard and expensive it is to build a nuke. And one of the other problems is that there isn’t enough space on earth to build the number of nuke plants to replace fossil fuels.

  81. David Springer

    Dennet’s an outspoken atheist with a long history of being a mean spirited Darwinian fundamentalist. Moreover he’s an expert in the stupidest science on the planet, evolutionary psychology, which is a narrative art where the practitioners imagine how the very past must have been to result in every little detail about how we think today.

  82. Stephen Segrest

    Jim2 — Much of the conflict and snarliness that exists on CE comes from just dog-gone wrong paradigms that are being created. These paradigms are often framed in terms of black/white, either/or.

    Solar versus coal or nuclear is a good example. Coal/nuclear is framed as good, reliable, base load reliable 24X7 — where solar is framed as intermittent and unreliable. The paradigm framed is either/or.

    Electric utilities just don’t think this way. Utilities build a fleet of units to meet their daily and seasonal demand/load requirements — which daily is like a bell shape curve representing base, intermediate, and peaking load.

    A base load unit is only economic if it has a high capacity factor (running a lot). Because of this, many electricity providers throughout the World meet their peaking load with low capital cost combustion turbines using high cost oil. Less than a decade ago, we did this in the U.S. also, before we became blessed with low cost natural gas.

    A correct paradigm in much of the world is: Can solar beat the cost of low capacity factor oil generation combustion turbines? The answer is yes.

    No electric provider will build a fleet of 100% base load units where many don’t run much of the time — this would result in very high cost per kWh (as capital cost has to recovered whether the unit is running or not).

    Yes — solar has a place based on economics — not some liberal, socialist ideology.

    Video on the bell shape daily demand curve:

  83. Judith Curry,

    For a more civil and respectful dialog one only needs to take the patience approach of achieving intellectual level understanding of the participants and their supportive audience.

    If one does the patient intellectual homework on, say, Gavin Schmidt then he can be civilly engaged through his own intellectual framework. And the viewing audience will tend to respect the civility of the dialog participants.

    But, if there are no participants volunteering, then there is no dialog.

    John

  84. SnorpleTheThird

    What’s amusing is that Dan can be just as cutting as anyone else, he’s just more subtle about it.

    I should mention that Dan wouldn’t be thrilled to see himself referenced on this site, as he’s big on science (ie, he accepts anthropogenic climate change as a threat to our species and others).

    It would do most of you well to read Dan’s works (Darwin’s Dangerous Idea and Breaking the Spell), as I know a majority of you are religious believers, and your dogma contributes to your denial of climatological consensus (ie, humans can’t affect the planet to such an extent, that’s god’s domain!).

    • You don’t know squat about “us” Snorple. The fact that you are so quick to assume belies the degree of care you exercise establishing your opinions. It diminishes any gravitas you might have had.

      You would do well to be less quick to jump to conclusions about global warming as well as skeptics.

    • snap shop?

    • I’m an atheist who’s “dogma” includes the “denial of climatological consensus”, and you’re an idiotic bigot who demonstrates that unfortunately atheism too has it’s share of extremists. Thanks a bunch.

    • Heh, little acts of unremembered kindness. Sorry for the aisle clean-up, Judy.
      =========

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