My week(s) in review

by Judith Curry

Some reflections on my recent travels, speaking engagements, and workshops.

It seems that the Denizens need a new blog post.  I remain behind the great Chinese firewall, pretty much unaware of what is going on the climate world. So for this post I thought I would present some reflections on my recent travels, prior to the China trip.

Marshall Institute

I was soundly criticized by a number of people for giving a lecture that was invited by the Marshall Institute. Oreskes and Conway in the Merchants of Doubt have demonized the founders of the George Marshall Institute, particularly Nierenberg who had received some funds from Tobacco and who questioned the assessment that second hand smoke was dangerous.   I need to investigate the Marshall Institute a bit more, but overall I have to say that I have been favorably impressed.

In the questions following my talk, as summarized by the article Judith Curry: Woman in the Eye of the Political Storm Over Global Warming:

“I mean, lots of people have presented at the Marshall Institute; I think I’ve done it sometime long ago,” MacCracken explained later in an interview, “and so they [the institute] generally do get a range of views.”

“But I think it’d be nice sometimes,” he continued, referring to Curry, “if you were presenting with some other sponsors over time.”

Curry explained in an interview that she would be happy to speak at greener venues, but that she doesn’t get invited. “I’m demonized by green groups,” she said. “I don’t invite myself to give these talks; people call me up and invite me.”

In hindsight, there was really a better response: “Mike in 2007 you invited me to attend a conference. Why has your organization not invited me again?” I even wrote up a chapter Potential Increased Hurricane Activity in a Greenhouse Warmed World, no idea where this was eventually published.

I have the impression that the Marshall Institute invited me to speak not so much because I am critical of climate change consensus, but because of my ideas related to thinking about the climate science/policy interface and decision making under deep uncertainty. I have the impression that Mike McCracken (and other green advocacy groups) do not invite me to speak because I am critical of the climate change consensus.

The bottom line is that the audience covered a broad spectrum. The questions were predominantly from people that were challenging aspects of my analysis and perspective.  The fact that this diverse group of people attended and asked me challenging questions speaks well of the Marshall Institute.

Workshop on Ethics of Communicating Scientific Uncertainty

I’ve started a separate blog post on this Workshop, which was extremely interesting. But I want to comment on the perspectives in this group of scientists, journalists and lawyers that were invited. I was one of only a few climate scientists there. The overwhelming perspective of the participants was acceptance of the consensus on climate change – I was a definite outlier. One of the members of the organizing committee strongly recommended that I be included on the invite list specifically because I was skeptical of the consensus. Another person on the organizing committee is well aware of my blog and my writings on uncertainty. Some of the participants railed against the ‘deniers’ and seemed surprise to hear that there was legitimate scientific criticism of the consensus.  I hope I was able to raise awareness that there is legitimate criticism of the consensus.

Texas Public Policy Institute 

Here are some more details about “At the Crossroads: Energy and Climate Policy Summit” organized by the Texas Public Policy Institute.

You can view video and presentations by clicking here (https://texas-policy.squarespace.com/crossroads-summit/) . You can also watch a short documentary about the summit here (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSugIzPGa5I)

I was invited by Kathleen Hartnett-White to participate in a debate that included myself, Roy Spencer, and a leading Texas scientist that supported the consensus. I immediately agreed; I first met Kathleen Hartnett-White who also testified at the same Senate hearing. I then learned that none of the high profile climate scientists that were asked to participate in this were willing and able to participate. A response to one invite said: “As a rule, Dr. XXX has no interest in taking part in any event that continues to perpetuate the myth that scientists don’t agree that human induced climate change is a real and serious problem. Multiple studies have shown over 97% consensus.”  Frightening.

Then I started hearing more about this, turned out this was to be a big conference, with a very pro-fossil fuel perspective. I started to wonder about my decision to participate in this. In the end it turned out to be a very unique professional experience for me. Unlike the George Marshall event, the TPPI event was Conservative/Republican with capital C/R. I was one of perhaps a very few individuals in the room who did not self-identify as a conservative or Republican.

The Conference started with a lunchtime plenary presentation by Matt Ridley via Skype (which was superb). But first, a state Senator offered a prayer.

The ‘debate’ included myself, Roy Spencer, Hal Doiron, with Zong-Liang Yang of Univ of Texas representing team consensus.   I give Yang a lot of credit for participating in this, he is a scientist with a prolific research record, but was rather out of his depth in defending the consensus against serious skeptics. In any event, I am glad to have met Dr. Yang for the first time, and I was very impressed with him as a person of integrity.

Some of the other sessions were quite interesting, they were all recorded.

At the dinner, Governor Rick Perry gave the evening plenary talk (but first, another state senator offered a prayer).   It was a much better performance than anything I saw when he was a Presidential candidate last time around, and the content of his talk suggests that he plans for another run for President. See media coverage for his talk. But it was all about the virtues of Big Oil and Gas (TX oil and gas industry has now outstripped Russia’s entire production). And, perhaps not incidentally, about the 1.2 million jobs that Texas has added in the last 5 years (about 80% of total jobs added in the U.S.), with Texas economy now bigger than California’s (and bigger than Australia’s and just smaller than Canada’s economy, equivalent to the 12th largest economy in the world).

At dinner, I was invited to sit at the table hosted by a venture capitalist investing in the oil and gas industry, and one of the principal donors for the Conference.

The Texas culture and politics, not to mention economy, is unique in the U.S., and I had never really experienced it in this way.  This event was steeped in capital R/C Republican/Conservative (much more so than the Marshall Institute event).

Oberlin: Debate with Pat Michaels

 When I was invited by Oberlin to participate in a debate, I didn’t know who I would be debating; I figured I was representing a skeptical position and would be debating someone who was defending the consensus. I was quite surprised to find out that I would be debating Pat Michaels, for two reasons. First, PM and I are not too far apart on the science. Second, this seems like a pretty hefty dose of climate skepticism for a university (which tend to be pretty ‘politically correct’ on this subject).

It turns out that Oberlin has been quite proactive in inviting controversial people to campus, including conservative perspectives. It turns out that Pat Michaels has visited there previously to give a talk. I can’t remember all the conservative people that they have invited, but I do remember Carl Rove. The University President is committed to promoting critical thinking on major public debates. Wow, how refreshing!

The debate went fine, we each had 10 minutes to make opening statements on the science, and then an additional 10 minutes to discuss broader implications. I used my time to discuss the values issues and decision making under deep uncertainties. PM discussed the increasingly perverse incentives in academia and government funded science, see [link] for some of his recent writing on this topic. He definitely makes some valid points.

We had the opportunity to meet some of the Oberlin students, including student reporters (see this article) and some members of the Libertarian/Conservative Club over dinner. Also, there were lively questions/discussion in response to our presentations. There was a very refreshing vibe from the Oberlin students, faculty members and administrators, in terms of supporting open discussion and respect for minority perspectives. I actually did not feel like a ‘minority’ in this environment!

Op-ed

Other than the CE blog comments a few dozen emails that I’ve received, I have no idea of the reactions to my WSJ op-ed (WSJ is blocked in China), although I am aware of considerable discussion on twitter and in the comments at WSJ. I will let you know once I get back to the states whether I am glad I missed twitter and WSJ comments in real time, or not. Probably good for my health and disposition to have missed all that in real time.

China

I am busy preparing two new talks on Arctic sea ice, which I am presenting in Nanjing, I will make these available on the blog as soon as they are finished (and I receive permission to post from someone whose results I’m using, which were presented at the recent Royal Society Meeting on Sea Ice LINK

I will be preparing a lengthy post regarding my trip to China, although I will wait until I get back to the U.S. owing to difficulties in working on the blog (esp uploading pictures) while in China.

I’m having a very interesting time, but am totally exhausted.

Summary

Well it has been interesting getting out in the ‘real world,’ but all this travel has been exhausting.  Also, I failed to factor into this busy schedule publication of two papers which required a lot of my attention (and not to mention two op-ed invitations).

Finally, I am relieved to have gotten a strong connection so I can moderate the blog and post something new!

281 responses to “My week(s) in review

  1. Thank you, Professor Curry, for your personal integrity and insight to see how information is controlled: ” I remain behind the great Chinese firewall, pretty much unaware of what is going on the climate world.”

  2. Nice to see you getting about. Though it may be tiring, this mixture of science and public speaking is good. I hope that it will re-invigorate you. It is also nice to read of good hearted critical thinking, rather than the constant food fights here in climate blogland.

  3. Some thoughts.
    Richard Millar responded to Lewis & Curry paper at Real Climate with a reasonable discussion of the issues, and concludes with “While of some scientific interest, the impact for real-world mitigation policy of the range of conceivable values for the TCR is small (see also this discussion in Sci. Am.). For targets like the 2 K guide-rail, a TCR on the lower end of the Lewis and Curry and IPCC ranges might just be the difference between a achievable rate of emissions reduction and an impossible one… – it has back and forth discussion / comments by Nic Lewis. http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2014/10/climate-response-estimates-from-lewis-curry/#more-17582
    Re the debate at the TPPI “…unfortunately he (Yang) is a scientist with a prolific research record, but was rather out of his depth in defending the consensus against serious skeptics.”
    Of course a huge issue is the manner / style of debate by the non serious non qualified amateur believers and skeptics which fills the internet. For example, a smear of Curry’s WSJ editorial at Desmogblog http://www.desmogblog.com/2014/10/10/judith-curry-back-advocating-climate-inaction-wall-street-journal

    Smearing the opposition (discrediting or disfiguration) is one of the key propaganda techniques I have mentioned before … “Oxford historian Norman Davis outlined five basic rules of propaganda in “Europe – a History,” Oxford Press, 1996, pp 500-501):

    – Simplification – reducing all data to a simple confrontation between ‘Good and Bad’, ‘Friend and Foes’, etc.
    – Disfiguration – discrediting the opposition by crude smears and parodies
    – Transfusion – manipulating the consensus values of the target audience for one’s own end
    – Unanimity – presenting one’s viewpoint as if it were the unanimous opinion of all right-thinking people; drawing the doubting individual into agreement by the appeal of “star- performers,” by social pressure, and by ‘psychological contagion’
    – Orchestration- endlessly repeating the same message in different variations.”

  4. JC said, ” Oreskes and Conway in the Merchants of Doubt have demonized the founders of the George Marshall Institute, particularly Nierenberg who had received some funds from Tobacco and who questioned the assessment that second hand smoke was dangerous.”

    I wonder what institutes will be demonized in a couple of generations?

    • Look to North Korea for their model. I posted an amusing little Nork Style denouncer

      And FOMD considered it a promising advance in artificial intelligence. Approved “consensus” is how the left thinks about everything, from morality to economics. If you want to enforce a “consensus,” denunciations and demonizations are handy tools.

  5. I think California’s economy is still bigger than Texas’ based on GDP, TX is ~$1.5 trillion, CA is ~$2.1 trillion, so maybe he was using some other measure or you heard wrong.

    http://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/regional/gdp_state/2014/pdf/gsp0614.pdf

    • Yes I raised an eyebrow at this too. Whatever measure he used was most likely either inappropriate or fictitious. It definitely wasn’t GDP or population. I trust Dr. Curry’s hearing far more than Gov. Perry’s veracity.

    • Steve Reynolds

      Maybe PPP (purchasing power parity) was used, as is often used to compare GDP in nations with very different cost of living. Dollars don’t buy as much in CA as in TX.

  6. Curious about whose results “which were presented at the recent Royal Society Meeting on Sea Ice” you refer to — there’s a missing link. Wadhams’ presentation caused a stir.

  7. Thanks for the update, Judith. Looking forward to the upcoming posts.

  8. David L. Hagen

    Compliments on your effective communication.
    To complement your presentation on Arctic Sea Ice, I would be interested to hear further why the Antarctic Sea Ice record high was about 4 standard deviations above the satellite era mean.
    What’s going on with Antarctic sea ice?

    The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) announced this week that the sea ice surrounding Antarctica reached its maximum extent—its widest halo around the continent—in 2014 on 22 September: more than 20 million square kilometers, which also set a record for the highest extent of sea ice around the continent since satellite measurements began in the late 1970s. . . .
    According to NASA, the Arctic has lost about 54,000 square kilometers of ice per year, while the Antarctic has a net gain of about 19,000 square kilometers. This year, sea ice extent in the Arctic was the sixth lowest on record, at 5 million square kilometers on 17 September.
    Q: OK, but isn’t the planet warming up? Why is Antarctic sea ice growing at all?
    A: This enigma has puzzled scientists, and it’s an active area of research; both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s fourth (2007) and fifth (2013) assessment reports commented on it.

    Global sea ice is only down -0.439 million sq km compared to the low of about -2.5 million sq km in 2012 and a high of 1.9 million sq km in 1988.

  9. Well, I am very interested in hearing more about the attitudes of those Texas oil-men. Speaking for myself (I guess the description Conservative/Republican w capital C/R is not a bad description for me): Even though the public face of Climate Science seems to me to be mostly a bunch of political hacks who care more about their preferred policies than getting the science right; even though they seem to care more about sliming Steve McIntyre, even when he’s right, and propping up Michael Mann, even when he’s wrong; even though they seem oblivious or indifferent to the idea that their preferred policies may have enormous costs and may cause literally billions of people to die in grinding poverty in places like China, India, and Africa, their house economists assuring them that top-down mitigation policies for the whole world will work very well This Time For Sure – with all that, I would think it very wrong to ignore the issues presented by Global Warming. I think it’s a really risky idea to conduct an enormous experiment with the earth’s climate. I’d like to get the science straight, so that I can decide if the risks are enormous enough to justify the enormous cost.
    Do these oil-men feel the same way? Are they nervous that they are contributing to a potentially very serious problem? Would they be willing to stop doing what they do if the world needed them to? Have they somehow decided on the science and there’s nothing to worry about? Or do they figure that their grand-kids will have enough money to survive the problems? I’d like to know if Dr. Curry can describe their attitudes.

    • I´m in the oil industry, and I don´t feel I contribute more than anybody to global warming. Would I stop trying to make oil? I would as soon as you stop paying for it. Why? Because I don´t think it´s reasonable to starve people to death. If you don´t want oil to be produced then you need to encourage the development of technologies to replace oil. Technologies people really want. Or encourage geoengineering solutions to remove CO2 from the ocean and the atmosphere.

      • Yes? Is that true _regardless_ of the level of harm the oil causes? What if it were known that the Greenland ice sheet will collapse, sea level will rise some vast amount this century (far more than its current rate), or such other really disastrous Black Swan outcomes which are possible but apparently not “too likely”? Is there no level of harm that would make you say, “The harm far outweighs the benefits. Maybe being a cocaine dealer is not moral even if I still have customers?”
        Even if we discount the really disastrous outcomes, what if the outcomes are just moderately severe? The value fossil fuels provide is very large, but it is direct – for those who buy it and use it. If it also causes severe overall harm, what mechanism do you propose for paying for the harm out of the profits from the value you provide? We would require that of a chemical factory that pollutes downstream; is this different?
        Is your attitude a result of preferring the climate scientists/biologists/economists/political scientists who give the results that you prefer? Is it based on your best estimate of the science? Is your best estimate of the science affected by your day job?
        I don’t know the answers to any of these questions, and don’t mean to suggest that you are wrong or hypocritical. I would like to hear more input from people in the business.

      • What if it were known that the Greenland ice sheet will collapse, sea level will rise some vast amount this century (far more than its current rate), or such other really disastrous Black Swan outcomes which are possible but apparently not “too likely”?

        What if Greenland ice sheet collapse is made LESS likely by oil use? ( a plausible scenario ). Here is what the WWII crash of a P38 looked like in 1942:

        decades later ( decades of global warming ) when they tried to find the plane, they did – under 61 meters of accumulated snow and ice:

        You’ve accepted disaster scenarios because of the emotional appeal, not cold analysis.

      • Is there no level of harm that would make you say, “The harm far outweighs the benefits.

        It is encumbant to prove harm, and not just at any level but harm beyond the provable benefits. There is a lot of imagined harm based on the emotional appeal of ‘scary stories’ ( and scary analogies, like cocaine dealers ), but most is not reasonable.

      • “You’ve accepted…” Read what I said.

      • “Is there no level of harm that would make you say, “The harm far outweighs the benefits. Maybe being a cocaine dealer is not moral even if I still have customers?”” Well, as it happens, I was once offered the opportunity to earn almost a year’s income in three hours by moving some cocaine, I refused without hesitation. But your point is ridiculous, most of the commentators on policy here are concerned with the costs and benefits of alternative approaches.

      • Old Nick, today

    • @ Miker613

      “Would they be willing to stop doing what they do if the world needed them to?”

      It appears that you have bought into the idea that the oil-men are ‘doing something’ to ‘the world’. Against its will, apparently. If it weren’t for a few thousand greedy ‘oil men’, forcing ‘the world’s’ billions to fill their tanks, fuel their airliners, turn their light switches on, set their thermostats on 76 in the dead of winter and 72 in the heat of summer, growing,transporting, storing, and cooking ‘the world’s’ food, powering the factories that make ‘the world’s’ clothing, appliances, and mobile gasoline disposal devices (which conveniently enable ‘the world’ to shuffle itself among myriads of desirable points while the ‘oil men’ are experimenting with the Earth’s atmosphere), charging ‘the world’s’ cell phones and iPads, and in general providing the energy that makes life possible for ‘the world’, the world would be a better place?

      What they are in fact doing is providing a product that ‘the world’ desperately needs and is wiling to pay big bucks to obtain. The ‘oil men’ will be happy to stop. Just as soon as ‘the world’ demonstrates that it has no further use for their product and refuses to buy any more of it.

      It is in fact a self solving problem: the ‘oil-men’ will stop ‘doing what they do’ when ‘the world’ stops paying them fortunes to do it.

      Do a little thought experiment: Postulate that ‘the world’ announced to the ‘oil-men’ (presumably the ‘coal-men’ are included) on all the Sunday talk shows one Sunday that it needed them to ‘stop doing what they do’. Then suppose that the following Monday the ‘oil/coal-men’ called a press conference and made the following announcement:

      ‘We agree. For far too long we have enriched ourself by poisoning Mother Gaia with our filthy products and we can no longer continue to do so in clear conscience. Therefore we make the following pledge:

      By one week from today, all oil and gas wells will be sealed and capped. All off shore oil platforms will be scuttled. Oil refineries will be closed and permanently disabled. Pipelines will be destroyed. Coal mines will be dynamited to prevent additional coal from being extracted. Coal fired generators will be shut down and disabled. In other words, we, as century old exploiters of ‘the world’ will make every effort to do as you have requested: stop doing what we do.

      Thank you for your time and please accept our humble apologies for the incalculable damage that we have caused over the past century in our pursuit of personal wealth.’

      Then did exactly what they were asked to do: stopped doing what they do.

      As the final step of your thought experiment, consider the state of ‘the world’, or what would be left of it, six months after the ‘oil/coal men’, as requested by ‘the world’, stopped doing what they did.

      • Read what I said.

      • Walt Allensworth

        Well written Bob.

        I often suggest that those who complain about ‘corrupt’ coal and oil men to make a stand and “show them.”

        Show them by not buying their gasoline, heating oil, and electricity. Park your car. Disconnect your house from the grid. Live in a home not made from plastic, not covered with a roof that is tarred, and not assembled from wood that was cut down using fossil-fuel driven chain saws. Show them!

        It is, in fact, the consumer that wants cheap energy that is causing the problem, not the people who are trying to supply the energy as cheaply as possible.

      • Miker613, you posed several questions and they answered them. Why are you repeating the mantra “read what I said”?
        They did read what you wrote.
        Well said Bob and Walt. I’d add that oil companies are publicly traded. You can divert their profits to pay for the harm of AGW easily- buy shares and send the dividend check to the Maldives or China.
        The exception, of course, are the oil companies owned by states, which Mike curiously ignores.
        Mike, some questions for you- do you think the oil states are less “greedy” than the oil corporations and if so, what percentage of the “profits” of state-owned oil companies are going to pay for the damage of AGW?
        If the answer is none, and the oil state is just as “greedy,” that presents a couple of questions: Why force Exxon to pay for something the state doesn’t think is worth paying for? and Why shouldn’t we conclude that giving more tax money to these greedy states that do nothing about AGW is no morally better than increasing subsidies for oil?

      • Bob

        You said about heating homes to 76 in the dead of winter.

        You must live in the US if you can afford to heat your home to that level. Our energy is said to be three times more costly thn on America and our fuel for cars at least double.

        Tonyb

      • Neither of them read what I wrote. If they had, they would have realized that I included in my question the answers they gave: that fossil fuels provide great benefit to the world, and that major harms are by no means established by science. I said all that explicitly, and their answers assumed that I said just the opposite.

        What I did ask, and they didn’t at all address, is the possibility of harms that are greater than the benefits. I don’t know the chances of that – but neither do they. Dr. Curry has said that she is still concerned about the possibility of Black Swans, and that the IPCC assurances that they are unlikely are not convincing. That is, they may be unlikely, but no one really has a clue how unlikely. That’s in the nature of Black Swans always.
        Note that I said I don’t know. Please don’t misread me again by claiming that I think I do.

        If astronomers saw a planet-killer asteroid headed our way, I have enough faith in humanity to assume that we would (mostly) put aside our differences to find ways to stop it. Even if the means necessary would have dreadful economic consequences to the world, we would do them since the alternative would be worse.
        The analogy is not good, as we don’t have clear sight of an asteroid, and it doesn’t even seem very probable at this point. But I’d like to know if fossil fuel producers are dealing with the possible costs of their actions, enormous or hopefully smaller. So far the answers here have been, No! We do good, so we can’t be doing bad!

      • Miker,

        If they had, they would have realized that I included in my question the answers they gave: that fossil fuels provide great benefit to the world, and that major harms are by no means established by science.

        precisely, so why are they even a matter of discussion?

      • Actually, an asteroid is a good example. We do see lots of asteroids, we do know that asteroids have collided with earth many times, we do know that they will continue to do so. Why are you so complacent about asteroids?
        The answer is risk. You aren’t going to collapse your economy for “heck if I know” and neither will you do it for “very low” risk.
        You asked several specific questions, including ““Would they be willing to stop doing what they do if the world needed them to?”
        That’s worthy of an answer. And the answer is that the question is spurious. There is no “They” stopping you, me or all of us collectively from doing anything. There is only “us,” as in it is up to us whether coal and oil will be used in the future. And, pace all you of the left, there is no global or regional government that will come along and force people off fossil fuels via taxation or any other method. Cheap energy is lifeblood of modern society, you’ll have to do the actual hard work of finding actual alternatives. And then you’ll have to accept them no matter how hard you protested them in the ’70s.

      • Tony: During Christmas 1963 I was invited to spend a week in Scotland. I stayed with a woman and her teenage son. There was no central heating, which was the norm for the neighborhood, and the experience was delightful. We slept under a foot of blankets and in the morning the woman got up first and made a fire in the fireplace before leaving for work. Then, after hiding under the blankets for awhile, the son and I would dash to the fire to begin warming ourselves. Sometime later the entire house was warm enough to start regular activities.

      • Walt, “It is, in fact, the consumer that wants cheap energy that is causing the problem.” What problem? Rising living standards globally?

      • Faustino: Right. How many of the Progressive Wealthy would sign up to the castle life of old-time royals? Never saw central heating in the castles I visited.

    • miker,

      we have read what you said. You just don’t like the answers.

      Risk analysis is common in a number of fields. The problem with analyzing risks posed by climate change is that we have very little real data to plug into risk equations. Almost all that we have relating to risks are derived from GCM outputs. If you’ve been paying attention, that poses a serious problem, as the outputs vary widely, the models are not validated, and at this point they are not tracking well with actual temp data.

      So if I’m an oil or gas man, why should I be worrying about supposed risks which no one can adequately quantify in order that they can be analyzed?

    • Matthew R Marler

      miker613:Even if we discount the really disastrous outcomes, what if the outcomes are just moderately severe? The value fossil fuels provide is very large, but it is direct – for those who buy it and use it. If it also causes severe overall harm, what mechanism do you propose for paying for the harm out of the profits from the value you provide? We would require that of a chemical factory that pollutes downstream; is this different?

      There is no need to continue in the subjunctive; read the commentaries here and at Real Climate (you could add more, such as WUWT if you have time), tote up the arguments and quantitative estimates of this and that (in other words, “keep score”, and form a judgment of your own and vote accordingly.)

      There is no need to speculate or question concerning the motives (hidden or manifest) of other people — motives of other people are rarely possible to elucidate with any accuracy or completeness. The oil industry provides products that people want to buy: whether an oil industry professional is greedy or public spirited hardly matters: when better products are available, people will buy them; where there are external costs in producing products from oil, you can advocate for policies or torts to internalize the external costs. If after consideration you decide that the costs of adaptation to CO2-induced global warming exceed the benefits of the energy produced, you can lobby the government for a policy (and budget) to move away from fossil fuels faster than the free market and business-as-usual will do on their own.

      the motives and beliefs of individual oil company scientists, secretaries, engineers, managers and owners is pretty much incidental. For a gross analogy, consider the beliefs of the executioner toward capital punishment; when thinking of the correct public policy toward capital punishment, that person’s motives and beliefs are incidental to your considerations.

    • Several pretty good answers this time. Several of them seem to expressing the same idea:
      “It is encumbant to prove harm, and not just at any level but harm beyond the provable benefits.”
      ” ‘major harms are by no means established by science.’ precisely, so why are they even a matter of discussion?”
      “You aren’t going to collapse your economy for “heck if I know” and neither will you do it for “very low” risk.”
      Surely not. But Judith Curry is not convinced that we are talking “very low risk” here. “heck if I know” might be more accurate, but there is no doubt that the climate is being forced (somewhat?) in an unknown direction, with numerous (perhaps) unpredictable changes, and that means that Black Swans are possible. There is plenty of scientific discussion of some possible disaster scenarios; fortunately, so far they look fairly remote. Collapse your economy – I wouldn’t say so. But I can’t accept total irresponsibility to possible consequences. We are doing something dangerous here. We may have no choice but to grit our teeth and hope nothing bad happens, but we should be gritting our teeth.

      And, if we are decent people, we should be hoping for more and better science to come in. If a Black Swan/asteroid does appear, we should be willing to accept the consequences of stopping it.

      • @ Miker613

        ” “heck if I know” might be more accurate, but there is no doubt that the climate is being forced (somewhat?) in an unknown direction, with numerous (perhaps) unpredictable changes, and that means that Black Swans are possible.

        Actually, there is a great deal of doubt that the climate is being forced anywhere, since it is not doing anything that it has never done before in the absence of any plausible human ‘forcing’, and NO empirical evidence that however the climate is changing, is has anything to do with the CO2 produced by burning coal and oil. (Paraphrasing the late Jim Cripwell).

        That was his problem: Climate Science states, ex cathedra, as an AXIOM rather than a testable theory, that the climate change is dominated by ACO2 and goes all out in attacking any organization, any individual, any theory, or any data that suggests otherwise. Ask Dr.Curry how her treatment by the Climate Change hierarchy has changed since she exhibited the first, faint whiff of ‘I’m not 100% on board with ACO2 driven Catastrophic Climate Changism.

        Also: “What I did ask, and they didn’t at all address, is the possibility of harms that are greater than the benefits. I don’t know the chances of that – but neither do they.”

        Based on the ex cathedra proclamations of the High Priests of Climate Change, the possibility that damage exceeds benefits is 100%; based on empirical observations of climate variations in the face of monotonically increasing atmospheric CO2 over my entire lifetime (I’ve already got my ‘three score and ten’ safely in the bag.), the chances are zero, since so far, ALL harm resulting from ACO2 is framed as a future possibilities, maybes, coulds, mights, etc, while you can’t swing a cat without hitting an observable, happening right now benefit. Since no one KNOWS of any harm caused by ACO2 and the benefits are obvious everywhere you look, the conclusion is that our emission of ACO2 must be sharply curtailed (taxed and regulated) immediately, just in case??

      • Miker163:

        OK, let us try this.

        YOU – explicitly, no other excuses, no pointing the finger at anybody else – YOU will cause the specific and credible death of 15 million people per year for 86 years from today through 2100 BECAUSE of YOUR fears of a possible CAGW “experiment” on the world’s global average temperature between now and 2100.

        There is a 35% chance that global average temperatures between now and 2100 will go down. We are after all, 900 years after the Mediaval Warm Period Peak, and six past 1000 year year cycles have risen and fallen at this same rate.
        There is a 15% chance that global average temperatures will stay the same the next 86 years – as they have the past 18 years.
        There is a 20% chance that global average temperatures will go up by 1.0 degree by 2100 – a BENEFIT to all in the world now, and a positive benefit for all who will live in the world between now and 2100.
        There is a 15% chance that global average temperatures will go up between 1.0 degree and 2.0 degrees by 2100 – a BENEFIT to all in the world now, and a positive benefit for all who will live in the world between now and 2100.
        There is a 10% chance that global average temperatures will go up between 2.0 degree and 3.0 degrees by 2100 – a BENEFIT to all in the world now, and a positive benefit for all who will live in the world between now and 2100.
        There is less than a 5% chance that global average temperatures will go up between 3.0 degree and 4.0 degrees by 2100 – a BENEFIT to all in the world now, and a positive benefit for all who will live in the world between now and 2050, and a small problem to a few who live in the world between 2080 and 2100.

        After all, name one government-paid climate model that has been correct over the 25 years from 1989 through 2014, then name the 21 that will be correct through 2100.

        So, because of your fear of a potential minor problem to a few in 86 years, YOU demand WE accept YOUR requirement that YOU are fully capable of deciding that billions must be condemned to ever-shorter lives of death and misery living enslaved to YOUR energy-deficient poverty, while condemning billions more to poverty and pain for fear-shortened lives of despair and misery.

      • YOU … YOU …YOU …
        For all of your capital letters – read what I said. What you said has nothing to do with my opinions.

    • Miker, there have been many posts on CE demonstrating the enormous benefits which fossil fuels have brought, and the high costs to less developed countries if they are refused access to fossil-fuel generated benefits with no practical alternatives. We know that GHG emissions reduction policies to date have been very costly, yet their estimated impact on future temperature rise is negligible.
      As for “what-ifs,” well they are only what-ifs, they should not in influence policy. I’ve argued many times that the future, including that of climate change – who would have believed there would 16 years and counting of flat temperatures from 1998 – and that the best policies are those which increase our capacity to deal well with whatever future emissions. Warmista-promoted policies don’t cut the mustard.

    • Mike – google “The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels”, download and read the first chapter, then order the book which is scheduled for release in November. If your mind is not completely closed, then you might find this book informative. I am not holding my breath however.

      • Read what I said.
        Getting tired of this, though. It’s like people have their minds so made up that they can’t even hear what anyone says. Everyone else is either With Me or Against Me, and that’s all they hear. Even if someone asks them, Are you so sure that you’re right that you see no other possibility? – they just hear Against Me.

      • miker, look in the mirror. Most posters at CE became involved because they understood that Catastrophic Anthopogenic Global Warming was a major issue to be addressed. As you can see, most of them have changed their minds. They didn’t come here as anti-warming sceptics; on the country. Their present views have been developed from long observation. In my case, and much to the horror of the Australian Commonwealth Government, the Queensland State Government in 1997 accepted my advice to support the Kyoto Protocol, while continuing to further investigate the CAGW issue.

      • … “on the contrary” … [note to self: re-check before posting]

    • miker613 :
      “Well, I am very interested in hearing more about the attitudes of those Texas oil-men. Speaking for myself (I guess the description Conservative/Republican w capital C/R is not a bad description for me): Even though the public face of Climate Science seems to me to be mostly a bunch of political hacks who care more about their preferred policies than getting the science right; even though they seem to care more about sliming Steve McIntyre, even when he’s right, and propping up Michael Mann, even when he’s wrong; even though they seem oblivious or indifferent to the idea that their preferred policies may have enormous costs and may cause literally billions of people to die in grinding poverty in places like China, India, and Africa, their house economists assuring them that top-down mitigation policies for the whole world will work very well This Time For Sure – with all that, I would think it very wrong to ignore the issues presented by Global Warming. I think it’s a really risky idea to conduct an enormous experiment with the earth’s climate. I’d like to get the science straight, so that I can decide if the risks are enormous enough to justify the enormous cost.
      Do these oil-men feel the same way? Are they nervous that they are contributing to a potentially very serious problem? Would they be willing to stop doing what they do if the world needed them to? Have they somehow decided on the science and there’s nothing to worry about? Or do they figure that their grand-kids will have enough money to survive the problems? I’d like to know if Dr. Curry can describe their attitudes.”

      1. Your point about the arrogance and mean spiritedness of the public face of CAGW is well taken and is part of the reason their message is badly received.

      2. The oil company workers are doing their jobs and trying to provide the US with abundant cheap energy. This is a noble task.

      3. The point about the CAGW activists being blind or indifferent to the effects of their policies is also true.

      4. You appear to have been misinformed about CO2 levels. We are not trying to drive CO2 levels above 7000 PPM, that would be an experiment since CO2 levels haven’t been that high in a while. Nature was running an experiment on low CO2 levels and it was causing extinctions. Plants stop growing at 200 PPM of CO2. Levels of CO2 below 300 PPM choke the life out of the planet. 1/3 of the land area is currently desert. Fortunately man is reversing the cruel experiment of nature and returning CO2 levels to a more normal and natural level, the deserts are shrinking, and plant growth is increasing.

      5. “Do these oil-men feel the same way? Are they nervous that they are contributing to a potentially very serious problem”.
      Actually they are solving a very serious problem (low CO2) and bringing more growth and life to the planet, so they should be proud of themselves.

      • How the would be world rulers got this so badly wrong still amazes me. Oh, well, a cultural experiment headed down a dark alley to a dead end.
        ============================

      • The action of the sun on the biome inevitably drives the carbon in CO2 into near permanent sequestration. Vulcanism is an inadequate replacement mechanism.

        It’s a process, only cruel from the viewpoint of living beings.
        =============

  10. Dr. Curry seems to represent a neutral informed perspective in an area of science that seems to have a dearth of visible neutral informed perspectives.

    This is very beneficial.

    I look forward to the arctic analysis.

  11. “The bottom line is that the audience covered a broad spectrum” – JC

    That’s kind of the idea in the successful dissemination of propaganda…

  12. So… Rick Perry for president?

  13. I thought Perry’s keynote was weak–like he is on wind power: https://www.masterresource.org/texas/texas-perry-on-energy/

  14. So long as someone has a PhD, should we have to wait for the next Ice Age before he or she will admit that the IPCC’s claimed consensus is nothing but theatre? Should we be entitled to expect more from a PhD and rightly be properly judgmental when it is obvious ulterior motives have trumped reason?

  15. Pat Michaels raises an important point regarding the failure to publish negative research results. This issue is getting a lot of discussion in the medical research field, but it is new to the climate debate. Silence on negative results contributes to overconfidence. Instead we see lots of hype over reportedly positive results that are actually just conjectures. There is a serious lack of balance here and it is funding driven, as Pat points out.

    • When will the Heartland Institute take a stance against publication bias, David?

      • I hear it’s in the works.

        But seriously Will, you’re not seeing the false equivalency implied in your question?

      • It is remarkable that Eisenhower ( or staffers ) would be aware of the corruption of science and make it a point in a farewell address:

        We’ve lived to see the predicted outcomes.

      • Willard, I have not talked to Heartland for some time but I think they have long been on record against the shameful pro-AGW bias that pervades the scientific journals.

        However, the issue of not reporting negative research results is a different and more serious failing. Hiding the decline might be a good example, because the serious fact that the modern proxy record did not agree with the so-called instrumental record (actually just surface statistical temperature models) was not disclosed. In the same way I wonder how many inconvenient climate modeling results have not been published?

      • You have to pick cherries to bake a cherry pie. Send willard back to Tulsa.
        ==========

      • Steven Mosher

        When Team Climateball poses a question it is vital for people to understand that it is rarely an honest question seeking information.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Kim: You have to pick cherries to bake a cherry pie.

        You can buy them in cans, without an awareness that they were ever picked. Lots of climate science communications are like that.

        Do you think no one bakes cherry pies in Tulsa?

      • Whenever anyone would find a pit in one of her canned cherry pies, my mother would proudly announce that that was how you could tell the cherries were real.

        Take me back to Tulsa, I’m too young to bake a cherry pie, charmin’ willie.
        ==============

      • Ooops, fergot to append ‘Integrity’ to willard’s name. I don’t want you to get the wrong willies, now.
        =================

      • David,

        Good point.

        The pro-science bias in the science journals is quite disgraceful.

      • > Willard, I have not talked to Heartland for some time but I think they have long been on record against the shameful pro-AGW bias that pervades the scientific journals.

        Pat Michaels seems to be referring to a publication bias, the Heartland Institute’s (and the Cato’s and the Marshall’s) bread and butter.

        Also, I thought the Heartland Institute was pro-AGW, David. As NG would say, “think about it”:

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/19013134024

        ***

        Why haven’t you talked to the Heartland Institute recenly, may I ask?

  16. Re: “Some of the participants railed against the ‘deniers’”.

    Not unprecedented:
    “And yet it moves.” — attributed to Galileo Galilei. Fortunately for all of us, the Inquisition is passe.

  17. Another of Judith’s posts full of interest.

    Two reactions:

    1. Oberlin would have been one of the last places I would have expected to invite both Judith and Patrick Michaels. Many liberal universities have seen invitees with conservative views “disinvited,” so kudos to Oberlin.

    2. Marshall Institute and funding from cigarette manufacturers.

    I read recently that 30 years ago, it wasn’t uncommon for a manufacturers of a product under attack, or a medicine thought to be harmful, to pay a big researcher to research and publish a journal article defending the product, and to be invited to give presentations at conferences, with the sponsorship often being above board. But even then, we knew that smoking killed, it wasn’t even a close decision. I think the Marshall Institute provides a forum for dissenters to various accepted norms. There is a need for such forums, when almost all mainstream media provide a megaphone for various “consensus” views, when they should have at least some sense that media should have some skepticism, some investigative instincts. But I do have to say, even 30 years ago, tobacco money was blood money.

    • “There is a need for such forums, when almost all mainstream media provide a megaphone for various “consensus” views, when they should have at least some sense that media should have some skepticism…” – John.

      No, you’d never see someone like Christopher Monckton getting time in the media….

      • Which media would that be Michael?

        tonyb

      • In terms of the MSM not giving time to skeptical views, it seems that the MSM never gives any notion that it is even marginally credible to question the notion that disaster may soon strike and the world needs to do much, much more to reduce CO2. It isn’t the lack of air time for people like Judith and Steve McIntyre that is the issue, as much as it is the general condemnation (explicitly and implicitly) of any of their ideas.

      • tonyb,

        Perhaps you’re more fortunate than us here in Oz, where we’ve had repeated visits from Bonkers – admittedly the media coverage is now considerably less than on his first few visits…….even ‘churnalists’ can learn, I guess.

        But even on his current visit we have commercial radio interviewing him as some “world renowned” expert.

        John’s assertion about media and consensus doesn’t bear much scrutiny.

      • Michael

        I have certainly not heard from him on any of our main media such as the BBC and ITV.

        He no doubt pops up in the Guardian as a hate figure but I certainly haven’t read about him in any of the many newspapers that I read.

        He pops up at WUWT frequently of course

        He certainly doesn’t speak for me but he is pretty knowledgeable on some aspects of AGW. How accurate he is will depend on the subject.

        I have heard he is an engaging speaker but I’ve never seen a lecture of his advertised anywhere near where I live.

        So I think his MSM exposure, here and in Australia is pretty limited

        tonyb

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Tonyb
        once again you ask a simple direct question
        and get no answer
        I’ll try
        Michael, what specific news outlets have given C. Monckton attention not offered to the other side?

        one more …
        which skeptics would you allow the “media” to cover?

        Tony, don’t stop trying

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Tonyb
        I see you graciously offered Michael an answer to your question
        imagine me tipping my hat

      • Will you all stop feeding the donkey.

        With his diarrea, we are left with a real mess.

      • Tony, FYI, I’ve attended a talk by Monckton, and spoke to him briefly. His presentation was excellent, very engaging and very convincing, backed by charts and data rather than rhetoric.

      • John Smith (it’s my real name) | October 13, 2014 at 12:52 pm |
        “Michael, what specific news outlets have given C. Monckton attention not offered to the other side?”

        Nice goal post shift John.

        Your original assertion implied that there was no MSM coverage of ‘skeptics’ – easily shown to be ‘not even wrong’.

      • Faustino | October 13, 2014 at 7:29 pm |
        “……very engaging and very convincing, backed by charts and data rather than rhetoric.”

        Yep, lots of charts and data…….and even more rhetoric and obfuscation.

      • Michael, aspiring speech controller.

    • Re: cigarettes and Marshall Institute

      There’s a big difference between saying that smoking is not dangerous and saying that second-hand smoke was not proven to cause lung cancer.

      The debate over research on second-hand smoke was similar to the current debate over global warming/climate change — complete with a Public Enemy Number 1, statistically questionable studies and huge amounts of money/power at stake. In both debates, sides were chosen before any evidence was examined.

      Admittedly, it’s hard to shed any tears for the repugnant tobacco industry. But if you value the scientific method, you won’t allow it to be corrupted by political agendas and profit-motivated propaganda. By either side.

      Kent

      • Having smoked most of my life and enjoyed it, along with billions of other people, I do not find the tobacco industry repugnant.

      • Couple of points:

        1. Big Tobacco lied so relentlessly for so long, when almost everyone knew that smoking shortened the life of the average smoker (glad you are still with us, David Wojick, you are entitled to your vice, mine happen to be different), that even 30 years later, the climate change catastrophists STILL use the Big Tobacco analogy to scare their sheeple away from listening to legitimate scientific arguments, such as the ones that Judith and Steve McIntyre and many others make.

        2. The climate change catastrophists are actually USING Big Tobacco tactics in some ways, denigrating their opposition and pretending scientists not on the other side have nothing worthwhile to say, while trying to keep the noise and indignation levels high enough to get in the way of rational discussion. These techniques work, for either side. Green certainly isn’t clean any more, if it ever was (35 years ago, yeah, I thought it was).

  18. People who don’t do it don’t realize how exhausting travel can be. My solution has been to schedule days off.

  19. “Probably good for my health and disposition to have missed all that in real time.

    Judith,
    I don’t know how you manage to stay as even as you do. I really can’t recall a single time when you’ve even approached losing your temper. Greatly admire your courage, grace, and forbearance.

    • She is able to challenge the community to do better science because she has that skill or temperament. The trolls come into the blog to throw people off their game plan, make them look foolish, and poison the discourse in order to discourage busy scientists from joining the conversation.

      Don’t feed the trolls, and everyone knows who they are.

      Justin

  20. > I have the impression that the Marshall Institute invited me to speak not so much because I am critical of climate change consensus, but because of my ideas related to thinking about the climate science/policy interface and decision making under deep uncertainty. I have the impression that Mike McCracken (and other green advocacy groups) do not invite me to speak because I am critical of the climate change consensus.

    Wow.

    • Your point willard?

      Or are simple points confusing to a complicated mind?

    • Willard, don’t know exactly what you mean here. I haven’t followed the personalities here very much, I know what to expect from Joshua, for example, but not from that many others, so I genuinely am not sure of your point.

      That said, are you are doubting that climate catastrophists make it a point not to invite even the most knowledgeable scientifically trained skeptics, like Judith?

      If so, you shouldn’t, because the catastrophists themselves make it a point to say they won’t give people like Judith and Steve M, etc., etc., what to them is a platform that would make them “more respectable.”

      There was a video a few years back where Gavin Schmidt refused to be on the same TV stage as Roy Spencer. So the video host would sit there in amazement, when Gavin left the stage any time Roy came on to say something, and Roy would have to leave before Gavin would come back to respond. As you say, Wow!

      • Steven Mosher

        “That said, are you are doubting that climate catastrophists make it a point not to invite even the most knowledgeable scientifically trained skeptics, like Judith?”

        the point of the wow is achieved when you speculate.

      • > Willard, don’t know exactly what you mean here.

        Come on, John. Even if you’re new here, which I doubt, Judy uses her “ideas related to thinking about the climate science/policy interface and decision making under deep uncertainty” to be critical of climate change consensus.

        Unless you can show me where she has used these “ideas” without being critical of the climate change consensus, I submit that Judy’s rationalizing.

      • Perhaps we she published a peer-reviewed paper on the potential for increased hurricane intensity due to global warming? Nah, she’s a denier witch, willard. Bring your matches?

      • > Nah, she’s a denier witch, willard.

        Victimization. Another ClimateBall ™ tactic.

      • Looks like willard’s strategy to counter the Climateball label is to play the slimeball.

  21. “A response to one invite said: “As a rule, Dr. XXX has no interest in taking part in any event that continues to perpetuate the myth that scientists don’t agree that human induced climate change is a real and serious problem. Multiple studies have shown over 97% consensus.”

    I’d say another real and serious problem is this person’s monumental arrogance.

  22. Oreskes and Conway in the Merchants of Doubt have demonized the founders of the George Marshall Institute … [for receiving] some funds from Tobacco and who questioned the assessment that second hand smoke was dangerous.

    Given their keen eye for the corrupting influence on a science, of a funder of that science with a massive vested interest in skewing the conclusions that the science in question comes to …

    … how surprising then that Oreskes and Conway don’t criticise mainstream climate scientists for receiving funds from government, when government plainly stands to make such spectacular gains in taxes and powers from an alarmist skewing of climate science.

  23. “Get Ready, Florida: 3,200 Days Have Passed Without A Hurricane, But That Streak Will End … Eventually” ~Chrissy Warrilow (Weather.com)

    • Actually, Bayesian probability says thatbthe longer Florida goes without a strike, the more likely a strike becomes. And I live part time in Florida, personally struck 5 times in two years. But the pause is certainly refreshing.

      • It also could be like actuarial tables –e.g., the longer you go the total number of expected years continues to increase but at any point in the future, the fewer number of years left before you reach the end of the line.

    • Whenever the eventual hurricane strike happens, be sure to remember three things-
      1. big or small, early or late, now or never, that is exactly what climate science predicted,
      2. it’s all your fault.
      3. Tax hikes will reduce hurricanes to levels not seen since, well, before the tax hike. Guaranteed.

    • Chrissy Warrilow is a GT alum of my department!

  24. Judith – A suggestion to improve your wonderful blog. Post something every day, even if it is a guest post or a link to news article with little comment from you. As the posts age they degenerate into food fights between the usual suspects.

    • Justin

      Sorry, but I think this is a very bad idea. Having an article up for discussion for several days allows arguments to develop and those who were not aware of it on the first day can comment in the knowledge that their responses are still relevant.

      Whilst WUWT is an excellent blog I personally thinks it suffers from having too many articles, at up to some 6 a day, which doesn’t always allow discussion to develop before everyone moves on to the next subject.

      Two of the worst food fighters here seem to have departed and whilst some aren’t perfect, generally its better than it was a while ago.

      There does seem to be a natural time limit for topics, unless the subject is especially compelling, which I would put as 2 to 3 days.

      tonyb

    • Steven Mosher

      “As the posts age they degenerate into food fights between the usual suspects.’

      someone could calculate the half life of a blog discussion.

      • >someone could calculate the half life of a blog discussion

        Already have – about 120 comments and it is kerflunk. One can halve that number if Joshua LittleTree, Appellations or (decreasingly) WingNUT appear

      • The mad, naked Emperor Moshpit complaining about food fights? No it can’t be.

        Technical food fights about minutiae are the most interesting. I am still in the open post arguing lapse rates with P-N and Dougie. Although I think I have had enough – when it gets to the stage of full blown Monty Python department of arguments. It is full of huffing and puffing and sonorous declarations of nonsenses of course. I have worked through the math. But it is more the evolution of a visualization. I have the picture of the jiggle jiggle of the molecules of air rising in the atmosphere. It is nothing like the simplification of the math.

        “What I am really trying to do is bring birth to clarity, which is really a half-assedly thought-out-pictorial semi-vision thing. I would see the jiggle-jiggle-jiggle or the wiggle of the path. Even now when I talk about the influence functional, I see the coupling and I take this turn – like as if there was a big bag of stuff – and try to collect it in away and to push it. It’s all visual. It’s hard to explain.” Feynmann

        Don’t know about P-N and Dougie. Although contaminated by tribal dogmas those type of discussion have interest. I followed one recently on rock cores introduced by FOMBS. An interesting subject – which FOMBS promptly disowned when the implications were discussed. That I chimed in completely missing the point is
        beside the point.

        I commented recently on a recent blog civility radio program.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/10/09/my-op-ed-in-the-wall-street-journal-is-now-online/#comment-637158

        What we have in the climate war is a community of climate extremists who move freely between encampments on both sides. The home territory is the training ground for activists who venture out to skirmish in enemy territory. The tactic is very simple. Be as uncivil as possible in commentary and that creates adverse perceptions of the content of the blog – according to the study linked.

    • I agree, my goal is 5 posts per week. Problem is that while in china, most of the time i haven’t even been able to logon to the blog! In 2015, i promise less travel and more blogging :)

      • Judith, you don’t have to succumb to our demands to be fed. If you want to travel, travel. If we are over-dependent on a CE new thread diet, well, we’ll have to deal with that.

      • Just look after yourself, Judith, and don’t worry about the blog. It’s a free gift to those of us that read it, and we don’t “deserve” any of it.

        And yes, work – related travel is very exhausting – I always hated it. In fact, I became a very popular manager by sending my staff instead whenever possible. They were young and inexperienced enough to regard it as a perk. :)

      • If yer get in fer nothing yer should clap. ie be thankful fer the
        CE open forum. Heck, yer don’t even hafta’ have a PHD ter
        gain entry .. Thx Judith.
        bts.

  25. lol so much for the “pause”

    According to NASA GISS, September of 2014 saw global surface temperatures that were 0.77 C hotter than the 20th Century average. This record beats out 2005 by a rather strong 0.04 C margin and represents the 3rd month in the GISS record for 2014 that was either the hottest or tied for the hottest (May, August and September).

  26. Funny that Oreskes wrote one of the best takedowns of climate models. Has a lot of citations too.

    I guess the rest of her career has been penance.

  27. “Oreskes and Conway in the Merchants of Doubt have demonized the founders of the George Marshall Institute, particularly Nierenberg who had received some funds from Tobacco and who questioned the assessment that second hand smoke was dangerous.”

    Judith, it’s not Nierenberg. Among the “handful of scientist” who recur in Merchants of doubt, the only two they try to link explicitly to tobacco are Fred Seitz and Fred Singer.

    I have the details here: http://www.evilquestions.com/2014/09/14/debunking-oreskes-part-2-the-wicked-handful-of-scientists/

    • The thing about Oreskes book is that the title ‘The Merchants of Doubt’ seems to apply to those with the ‘climate agenda’.

      The IPCC peddles a large range of temperature outcomes, and disaster scenarios, even if they are extremely unlikely, to appeal to the emotion of the cause.

      • ‘Merchants of Fear and Guilt’ will be along one of these days, not authored by Oreskes, the Guilt Tripper, the Narrator of Fear.
        =================

      • O NaOmi -Oreskes

        sO intO catastrOphes

        by methOd pOlemicist

        re cli-matic nemesis.

        But NaOmi’s prediction

        is based On a fictiOn

        Of Antarctica’s melt-dOwn,

        we’re nOw intO cOunt-dOwn!

        Hmm, yet anOther distOpian

        attack On Our western

        sOciety’s freedOm

        nO Orestian TrilOgy ,

        but Oreskian parOdy

        Of hOnest enquiry,

        this is.

      • Overwhelmed, but, heh, you missed an ‘o’ in line 5.
        ==========

      • Hawk-eyed kim ) TOo late I saw it.

    • Thanks Dagfinn. I encourage the Denizens to check out Dagfinn’s new blog, some interesting and relevant analyses.

  28. Dr Curry:

    Dr Roy Spencer says:

    “Contrary to popular belief, there are no “fingerprints” of anthropogenic global warming.” (http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/10/climate-change-a-meaningless-artifact-of-technology/)

    Do you agree?

  29. Sorry to miss you in Houston, but thanks for the link to the talks. I attended the second day and found it pretty interesting, but wish I could have made it to the first day and been able to say hello. I look forward to watching the 1st day videos.

    I agree that the conference gave a particularly Texas-flavored impression–perhaps that results from TPPI’s political focus and Austin location. The majority of oil and gas people who I know here in Houston are much less political and much more practical. Of course they tire of being the favorite punching bags of politicians. They do some absolutely incredible science and engineering (that is mostly unknown to the general public) and provide low-cost energy at a scale that is essentially impossible for anyone to fully grasp. Much of their emphasis is on doing this work as safely as possible, since they know better than any how dangerous it is to work with large quantities of highly compressed energy. The major companies look at renewables and other alternative energies from time to time, but they generally conclude that there isn’t a viable business model in those areas yet. They are energy companies, and if they or others came up with viable (i.e. cost effective) strategies to produce fuels from biologicals or sunlight, of course they would take up the challenge. They are mostly just trying to keep up with the demand of a very thirsty world. If you come back to Houston, I’d highly recommend the Hall of Energy (although the Paleontology exhibit is even better!) at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and the Oceanstar Offshore Drilling museum in Galveston (built on an old drill rig) to gain further appreciation for the oil and gas challenges:

    http://www.hmns.org
    http://www.hmns.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=114&Itemid=122

    http://www.oceanstaroec.com

    What stuck out for me from the second day of the TPPI conference was the sheer immensity of the challenge if one expects to eliminate hydrocarbon-based energy. Mark Mills described the current world oil consumption of 90 million barrels per day as a tower of 55 gallon drums being built at 5000 miles per hour. He also made the point that every smart phone consumes as much energy as a standard refrigerator when one adds in the power needed to keep the server farms and connections humming. It’s an energy starved world and demand is growing immensely, as you’ve likely experienced from the air quality in China!

    Simplistic answers (often in the form of slogans) are not helpful. It’s sad that the public has so little appreciation for the scale of the problem or the complexities and consequences of the simplistic solutions offered by politicians.

    • Gene, thanks for your perspective on this, sorry I missed meeting you in Houston

    • GeneDoc, thanks for that perspective.

    • Server farms – the true cost of Amazon!

    • Where are you externality whiners when it comes to Amazon?

    • He also made the point that every smart phone consumes as much energy as a standard refrigerator when one adds in the power needed to keep the server farms and connections humming.

      That was an interesting number. However, it appears to be a high-end computation and the low-end could be a couple of order of magnitudes lower. .

      • From your link: “Gernot Heiser, a professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney and co-author of a 2010 study on power consumption in smartphones, echoed Koomey’s sentiments that Mills’ work was flawed.
        Writing to MSN News, Heiser said Mills’ work “seems blatantly wrong.” He said Mills overestimates the amount of power used by a modern smartphone, in this case a Galaxy S III, by more than four times.
        “I’d have to have a quick look to see how they arrive at this figure, but it certainly looks like baloney to me,” Heiser said.”

        Not a very scholarly objection!

  30. Matthew R Marler

    ” … Multiple studies have shown over 97% consensus.” Frightening.

    It is also interesting. People trained in scientific skepticism and careful data analysis are making things up. This continues their tradition: recall the “predictions” that snow would be unknown in England and Philadelphia, that Katrina like damage would be done every year thereafter, that it would never again rain in Queensland, that the polar bear population was declining, that current temperatures were unprecedented, and others.

  31. Matthew R Marler

    In any event, I am glad to have met Dr. Yang for the first time, and I was very impressed with him as a person of integrity.

    I am glad you wrote that. It is important to remember that many people who are strong proponents of the consensus are people of integrity.

  32. The recent Nobel winner has some suggestions for a roadmap for international negotiations:

    http://blogs.cfr.org/levi/2014/10/13/new-nobel-economics-winner-jean-tirole-on-energy-climate-and-environment/

  33. I have the impression that the Marshall Institute invited me to speak not so much because I am critical of climate change consensus, but because of my ideas related to thinking about the climate science/policy interface and decision making under deep uncertainty.

    Right, because you have made it clear (even if not always explicitly) that you advocate for not making any serious attempt to mitigate against climate change now. You do this despite your “deep uncertainty,” which you must concede could include very damaging consequences. By advocating against serious mitigation attempts, you seem to be concluding that the “science is settled” on whether climate change will be harmful and requires immediate action. So, of course, you will be embraced by the right wing who also want little nothing done to mitigate against climate change.

    • I agree with Joseph that we should fire off all of our ammo in the dark.

    • Joseph, let us suppose that CO2 warms to climate to an uncertain extent, but according to recent modelling, which includes the 16 year “hiatus,” at a relatively low level of sensitivity (central estimate within moderately wide error bands).

      Does it follow that western economies need to go to almost any length to reduce CO2 emissions, even if the same emissions pop up in China and the US?

      That is a real example. Since 2006, EU electricity rates rose over 40% relative to those in the US, mainly because of expensive renewables, and to a lesser extent, due to cheap natural gas in the US. Cheaper labor in China is of course a large part of the allure of manufacturing there. Bottom line is that considerable industrial production has left the EU, and more will soon follow, quite a bit of the loss due to the huge increases in power costs.

      This production is mostly not “lost,” but rather occurs elsewhere. If in the US, not too much of a change in CO2, but if in China, with all its inefficiencies and the need to transport goods around the globe, a pretty big CO2 increase.

      So a question to you: have the EU’s carbon policies been worth the trouble? Recession again is coming, high paying jobs continue to evaporate, the far right is making political inroads in many parts of the continent (as usually happens in poor economic times). How do you compare what has been gained (or not) with CO2 emissions, vs. what has been lost in the EU (in incomes, taxes, and jobs)?

      Would it be fair to say that different policies might have been better?

      Would it be fair to say that policies should be tailored to the size and timing of the threat?

    • “By advocating against serious mitigation attempts, you seem to be concluding that the ‘science is settled’ on whether climate change will be harmful and requires immediate action.”

      OK, let me try to follow the warmist logic here.

      By holding the position that she does not think the CAGW “science is settled” enough to justify massive changes in governance and taxation right now, Dr Curry is in fact showing that she has “concluded” the opposite, that the “science is settled” contra-CAGW.

      Uh, no, I guess I won’t try to follow the “logic,'” because there is none. I’ll just translate it.

      “I don’t understand Dr Curry’s position, because I have been trained to never listen to those who dissent from government dogma, So I’ll just pretend she believes something else that I can argue with, and go from there.”

      • “By holding the position that she does not think the CAGW “science is settled” enough to justify massive changes in governance and taxation right now, Dr Curry is in fact showing that she has “concluded” the opposite, that the “science is settled” contra-CAGW.”

        I wouldn’t call a carbon tax a “massive” change in governance. Especially,, if it includes a rebate to the consumer. Nor do I think incentives to increase the use of renewables as well as research and development to be unreasonable or massive change. And don’t forget that any tax can be modified or abolished should the evidence and or circumstances warrant it.

      • Joseph,

        Neither a limited, rebated carbon tax, nor “incentives to increase the use of renewables,” even with additional research, is in any way a ” serious attempt to mitigate against climate change now.”

        None of them will mitigate against climate change in any significant amount. None of them are even serious attempts to do so, because they omit the accelerating emissions in China, Russia, and India.

        Here’s a hint. They are not even intended to do so. Globalwarmingclimatechange is just the latest rationalization progressives are using to urge the adoption of policies they want on general progressive principles.

        The governments that are funding the CAGW movement know how useless their policies are with respect to GCWC, but they don’t care. Stopping “climate change” is simply not their goal.

      • The way carbon trading is working now in California is that the emitters have to either pay a lot of money that goes to consumer energy rebates, or they take measures to get their emissions below a cap.

      • “any tax can be modified or abolished” – Joseph

        Ha ha ha!

    • Joseph, Lucifer’s doing what is known as a “gish gallup.” , but his own data is thin (ie citing Tisdale, a complete non-scientist lol). As a single example: He’ll authoritatively present the global drought chart, as if it’s official, when in fact it’s the result of a single very disputable paper in Nature. If you were to cite all the other papers in Nature (including recent ones describing climate change’s contribution to drought), they’d howl that its cherry picking,a conspiracy. etc.
      Meanwhile people from Sao Paolo to Yemen are feeling the very real effects of drought. Doesn’t matter what’s going on right under our noses lol. As Miami is flooded, they’ll just find more excuses.

      “Over the weekend, NASA announced that last month was the warmest September since global records have been kept. What’s more, the last six months were collectively the warmest middle half of the year in NASA’s records—dating back to 1880.

      The record-breaking burst of warmth was kicked off by an exceptionally warm April—the first month in at least 800,000 years that atmospheric carbon dioxide reached 400 parts per million.

      According to the National Climatic Data Center, which keeps a separate record of global temperatures, this April ranked as the warmest April on record. Followed by the warmest May on record. Followed by warmest June on record. (July wasn’t quite as hot—just the fourth-warmest July on record.) But August—again, you guessed it—was the warmest August on record. The NCDC will release its numbers for September later this month.”

      Some of them here still claim we’re actually COOLING!

      Whattyagonnado

      • Arrogant in his ignorance or shoddy in his disingenuousness. It’s always the same question, the same question.
        =============================

      • It’s funny ( and telling ) that Sks minions flee from a list of items as a ‘gish-gallop’. The list, of course, was one provided as a list of ‘damaging consequences’.

        Those claiming ‘damaging consequences’ cannot defend the lack of evidence, even as warming occurs.

        Lack of precipitation is not caused by higher temperatures.

  34. very damaging consequences.

    One of the logical problems with ‘climate change’ is that it becomes a categorical catch-all for adverse events, most of them untestable and obscure.

    What specific very damaging consequences do you imagine?

    And why haven’t they occured, at least commensurately over the last half century?

    • Warming is always better for the biome, of which we are a part. A warmer world sustains more total life and more diversity of life, a fact which is clear in paleontology. How did they ever get this so wrong? When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?
      ========================

      • A large subset of the UN is salivating over the potential reparations. We are a few weeks away from an election in the US in which the Republicans may take the majority away from Obama’s Democratic party. Could the leak be related to that. I don’t know, but I do know that the Republicans would not support the kind of transfer of wealth from the US to the UN that the Democrats do.

    • Well the most obvious are increased temperatures, heat waves, droughts that are exacerbated by the higher temperatures, ocean acidification, and wildfires that are exacerbated by the higher temperatures, These events will likely have negative impacts on wildlife, agriculture, and be particularly disruptive to certain human populations (e.g. coastal residents). There are other impacts that they are more uncertain about the likelihood (e.g flooding and hurricanes), but the risks are there as the temperature continues to increase and more energy is added to the system.

      • It’s decreased severity of weather from a diminished Polar/Equator temperature gradient vs increased severity from more energy in the system. I’m amused that the two hypotheses are countervailing.

        You’ve been unnecessarily frightened, kiddo. You ought to resent it.
        ==============

      • Joseph

        Which 2013 Extreme weather events are you attributing to AGW as neither NOAA nor the met office are claiming that man has been responsible?

        2014 has not yet been analysed

        Tonyb

      • So, let’s go through:

        increased temperatures Yes, temperatures have increased – is this a very damaging consequence? Human health, longevity and standard of living have certainly all improved over the last century’s warming.

        heat waves One can imagine that temperatures of heat waves might increase as the average temperatures also increase ( though not necessarily ). But heatwaves are not caused by the global average temperature but dynamic stagnation of polar air masses. And there’s no reason to believe that the range of temperaures of a heatwave would vary. Nor the frequency, since it’s the dynamics, not the global average temperature, that determine the occurence.

        droughts that are exacerbated by the higher temperatures
        Droughts are caused most importantly by lack of precipitation.
        Secondary factors are temperature, wind, and solar exposure.
        Since wind and solar are less frequently measured, the drought indices include only precipitation and temperaure. Even considering this, the US PDSI shows no increase with the last century of temperature increase ( and even a statistically insignificant decrease! check it here: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/ ). Clearly no drought exacerbation in the US. What about the globe? Looks like a slight decrease there, too:

        wildfires that are exacerbated by the higher temperatures
        Probably insignificant, especially considering all the other more important human factors: like more people starting fires and unnaturally supressing fires since human flight came about. Here’s a study of ‘charcoal influx’ that indicates the last century has had far fewer than normal fires in the Western US:

        Fire scars in long lived trees indicate the same.

        (e.g flooding
        Flooding may be increased as precipitation increases. But even there, it’s important to remember that it’s at the margins – the risk of flooding has never been zero – history is full of floods. Further, the benefit of greater precipitation will always be tied to the risk of floods ( hurricanes account for a significant portion of annual precipitation in many regions ).

        and hurricanes)
        It is true that when tropical cyclones traverse from relatively cooler waters to warmer waters, they tend to intensify. But this spatial transformation is not the same as temporal warming ( which is supposed to stabilize the tropics – not destabilize them ).
        In any event, the global accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) and numbers of storms are completely unremarkable over the last four decades:
        http://models.weatherbell.com/tropical.php

        but the risks are there as the temperature continues to increase and more energy is added to the system.
        The important energy of atmospheric motion does not derive from temperature but temperature gradients and the rotation of the earth.

        The accumulated assumptions of what climate change includes do not stand up to scrutiny.

      • Joseph,

        Do you put any effort into checking if any of these things are happening, or do you just take someone’s word for it? The information is out there. You can look up USGS studies which show no trend in increased flooding or drought for the US. The wildfire issue is not straight forward (for one you need to know what metric is being referred to when you hear talk of a “record”). Are you aware that while Oregon and Washington had a busy fire season, most of the rest of the country was below normal for wildfire activity.

        You can look up data on agricultural production. The trend is up, not down. And as to disruption to coastal residents – perhaps you would like to explain why people continue to move into coastal areas, not away?

        Tell us again why we need to be so concerned about risks which you are unable to quantify? You do understand that until you can quantify them, conducting a risk analysis is a useless exercise.

      • Lucifer, first of all I didn’t say that temperature increases would affect all regions or all weather events equally . But I don’t know how you can say increasing average temperature won’t affect the severity of a drought or wildfire. Averaging data over a large area doesn’t really tell you how climate change is affecting particular events or regions. Second, we already have evidence and data that heat waves are becoming more intense. Third, I forgot to mention sea level rise and you failed to acknowledge ocean acidification, Finally, you have to acknowledge as the temperature increases the negative impacts will likely grow worse and more apparent in the data.

      • There is no right acidity or alkalinity. The seas are buffered and the minute pH changes will just encourage different biological diversity (just like fish can live in salt and fresh water).
        Where one place gets a heat wave another freezing cold place becomes livable, and at a rate of hundreds of years to change will be quite easy to walk to.
        Droughts in some areas will mean rains and rivers for the other currently dry and arid areas of the earth as more water goes into the atmosphere.

        soak up the good will, Joseph and become a Pollyanna.

      • On the wildfire issue, the evidence in Australia is that Green-driven bans on off-season burning to reduce the fuel load have been a major factor in intensity of and damage from fires. A major fire last year was triggered (no pun intended) by army live-firing exercises in high-fire-danger conditions. The devastation of Canberra in 2003 arose from blase negligence by the (Greenish) ACT pollies, an easily controllable fire destroyed over 400 houses and killed several people. In Tasmania last yaer, the “responsible” agency’s fire protection software showed a clear and dangerous threat to one area of Hobart, they ignored it, issued no warnings, made no plans, the residents had to leave their homes without prior warnign and be rescued from a beach – they had no e3ascape, many houses were destroyed. I don’t know of any evidence that the overall incidence or intensity of fires has increased int eh last century, mosomoso can probably tell you that it hasn’t. The major issues on fire in Australia relate to poor governance, not changing climate.

      • Drought in some areas will mean rains and rivers for the other currently dry and arid areas of the earth as more water goes into the atmosphere

        People who say this are, in essence, saying that very unstable climactic conditions (as opposed to relatively stable) are a good thing

      • Josepth, no, they are saying that, as has always been the case, change can benefit some and disbenefit others, there are always questions of net impact and the distribution of costs and benefits. Policymakers deal with this on a daily basis.

      • Joseph | October 13, 2014 “Drought in some areas will mean rains and rivers for the other currently dry and arid areas of the earth as more water goes into the atmosphere. People who say this are, in essence, saying that very unstable climactic conditions (as opposed to relatively stable) are a good thing”
        NO,
        Climate varies, it changes, all the time, it is unstable most of the time and that is not a good or a bad thing, it is just normal natural climate change.
        Nothing in the above comment said that droughts and rain were very unstable, the only very unstable event is a certain perception of innocent words.

      • “natural climate change” TM angech

  35. What is disquieting about the `Hockey Stick’ is not Mann’s presentation of it originally. As with any paper, it would sink into oblivion if found to be flawed in any way. Rather it was the reaction of the greenhouse industry to it – the chorus of approval, the complete lack of critical evaluation of the theory, the blind acceptance of evidence which was so flimsy. The industry embraced the theory for one reason and one reason only – it told them exactly what they wanted to hear. ~John L. Daly (pre-M&M)

  36. Proof that Judith is not a Republican: he spells it “Karl Rove” not “Carl Rove.”

    As for all that prayin’, you never know who might be watching.

    • Isn’t misspelling Karl Rove’s name just part of Judith’s very deep plot to prevent us from knowing what she really thinks?

      (insert smilicon here)

  37. First, PM and I are not too far apart on the science.

    Seems like a waste of time, then. What exactly were you debating? Who is more uncertain about the science?

  38. Great Feynman quote via Jo Nova:

    “You cannot prove a vague theory wrong. If the guess that you make is poorly expressed and the method you have for computing the consequences is a little vague then ….. you see that the theory is good as it can’t be proved wrong. If the process of computing the consequences is indefinite, then with a little skill any experimental result can be made to look like an expected consequence.”

    http://joannenova.com.au/2014/10/the-scientific-method-in-61-seconds/

    This is the essence of the problem with AGW.

    • What’s vague??

      That a measurable increase in atmospheric CO2 will cause measurable changes in the earth’s climate?

      • Define “changes” to start. Be specific, especially regarding the magnitude of the measured changes will be. When “changes” are unspecified, any change can be chosen to fit the hypothesis.

        How many times have we heard from the AGW crowd that increased [heat, cold, rain, drought] is “consistent with predictions”? The essence of the scientific method is to make hypotheses that can be falsified with appropriate experiments or observations. Feynman’s point is that vague hypotheses are intrinsically unfalsifiable and are of no use in understanding the world (i.e. making predictions from collected data).

    • Gary thx for this link, i think we are due for a blog post on Oreskes and Conway, perhaps in a few weeks

      • Ditto, I actually read the whole article with my short attention span. Devastating put down on many levels.
        “I cried with laughter”
        Please see if you can link to it with any post on Oreskes.
        Who is this author?

      • Don’t look now, Kyle, but there’s a lot of geopolitics in that lovely rant.
        =============

    • Devastating is, clearly, in the eye of the beholder.

      Anything that manages to get “extremists on both sides” false equivalence silliness into the first sentence doesn’t inspire much confidence. (the “polemic” warning on top of the article is appropriate).

      “This essay addresses only one side of this spectrum, that of the doomsayers who think we must forsake democracy…”

      Huh???

      Why does honest broker-ism require such hyperbole (while complaining of others hyperbole)?

      And just glide over the fact the book says it’s partially a work of fiction.

      • Steven Mosher

        Huh

      • No one can play dumb as well as moshpit.

      • Michael Ma Belle read and weep
        “Devastating is, clearly, in the eye of the beholder” Quotes

        On the equally aptly named alarmist side of the divide, reasonable concerns often yield to dismal fantasies upheld by exaggeration to the point of absurdity. More alarmingly, climate activism seems to be veering in an unabashedly authoritarian direction. .
        the doomsayers who think we must forsake democracy and throttle our freedoms if we are to avoid a planetary catastrophe.

        By engaging in mendacious reporting and misleading argumentation, they provide ample ammunition for their conspiracy-minded opponents. By championing illiberal politics, they betray the public good that they ostensibly champion.
        : A View from the Future In actuality, virtually nothing that is recognizable as either science fiction or history is found between its covers

        The great cat catastrophe of 2023, one instance of risible fear-mongering found in the book. It would seem there is no limit to the horrors that global warming will spawn, including a resurgence of bubonic plague and the creation of “viral and retroviral agents never before seen

        Oreskes and Conway’s focus on the supposed sins of Western Civilization also demands further scrutiny. Not just science by also logic suffers

        The most troubling aspect of Oreskes and Conway’s book, however, is not its scare-tactics, its sloppy depictions of climatic patterns, or its attack on scientific standards. What is truly frightening is its embrace of authoritarian politics, coupled with its denigration of liberty and democracy.

        , Oreskes and Conway still think that it necessary to scold the West for its failure to enact coercive population control measures
        .
        Former U.S. senator Timothy Worth describes the scenario outlined by Oreskes as “chilling.” what chills me is rather their totalitarian response.

        Oreskes et al authoritarian inclinations are seemingly linked to their contempt for the West, with a dangerous devotion to personal freedom.
        . By putting forth grotesque exaggerations, by engaging in misleading reportage, and by embracing authoritarian if not totalitarian politics, they discredit their own cause

      • Yes, it’s big on hyperbole and rhetoric.

        If you’re into polemics more than science, I guess it would be your thing.

      • The science is all there as well explaining every little bit of dissection (your hyperbole) in explicit terms (your rhetoric).
        Please read it all Michael, then explain where the science laid out in the article could possibly be wrong.

    • Curious George

      I have not read the book, but it seems to be almost as good as The Lord of the Rings. Hollywood, take notice.

    • Thanks so much for that link, Gary. I have propagated it here and there.

      What makes it so powerful is that it was written by a fellow-warmie, but one who has not lost faith in either the scientific method or democracy and freedom.

  39. Climate change occurs as discrete jumps in the system. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope – shake it up and a new pattern emerges – than a control knob with a linear gain. it makes for an unpredictable system but I presume one with a spectrum of risk something like a log-Pearson distribution. Log-Pearsons are used for hydrological distributions. Frequent low impacts events and a long tail of low probability high impact events. Not by any means solely as a result of CO2 changes.

    Presuming that we need to respond on this basis of risk management – there are certain minimum conditions to be met. One of these – to my mind – is maximum economic growth this century at least. This is not negotiable. It is a fundamental value – but available responses are broad and flexible.

    Building resilience to climate variability that will happen regardless remains a central objective of rational policy. Economic development is the core of building long term resilience. Fast mitigation is not merely possible with reductions in population pressures and emissions of black carbon, tropospheric ozone, methane, CFC’s and nitrous oxide – but are outcomes of health, education and economic development strategies. We may also reduce carbon emissions by building soil fertility on agricultural lands and conserving and restoring ecosystems. There are practical and pragmatic approaches that provide real no regrets policy options.

  40. I don’t get it.

    What can a climate scientist actually do in a workshop? Tell you floods will eventually happen on lower ground? Tell coastal developers that sea levels have been creeping up in most areas for some centuries, and stuff erodes – so watch where you build? Tell Californians and Australians they live in drought-prone regions that have been much drier in the recent past? Tell New Yorkers they’ve been building near sea level in a hurricane belt notorious since the 1600s? Tell the English that their rainfall has never been nearly as abundant as shown in the movies and that they need to conserve and harvest water? That their great storms of 1702 and 1953 and 2013 can happen again? That their 1540 heatwave might have been even worse than their 2003 heatwave?

    Isn’t all this obvious or, at least, easily known?

    Or is a workshop for improving how one “communicates” these obvious facts everybody should already know? Shouldn’t you just tell ’em?

    Surely a workshop wouldn’t encourage policy makers to make assumptions about future climate based on a current trend or set of conditions. That would mean climate had ceased to be climate.

    Really, what’s a workshop for? If policy people have forgotten the obvious then I guess an authority figure reminding them of the obvious is a good thing. But is that what goes on in a climate workshop?

    • mosmoso, your understanding of “workshop” is over-influenced by that old shed out the back where activity is practical, logical and directed at concrete improvements in your circumstances. How limited can you be!

      • I’ll bet you just like going to policy workshops for all the attention – and for sandwiches filled with proper red salmon, not that pale pink stuff.

        I’ll bet you’re even willing to use “workshop” as a verb to get to those sandwiches. I know your type, Faustino.

      • But do you know TJ Blinds? My sister-in-law has just advised me that her blinds were sourced from Dondingalong (approx).

      • Faustino, if your sister-in-law is receiving packages from the ‘dong they probably contain something less legal than blinds.

        But let’s workshop that idea!

      • They’re not talking sheltered workshop Moso.

    • Oh, the dreaded “workshop” which, as Faustino points out, is an utter perversion of the meaning of the word.

      I would move heaven and earth to avoid these things, which just resulted in my having to work more hours to catch up on the stuff that kept pouring in while we were faffing around with sheets of butcher’s paper and textas.

      • Johanna, I was on the board of a not-for-profit. When I joined, it was run by sociologists/psychologists. We spent 45 minutes discussing the order of discussion and how long we would allocate to each topic. Meetings tended to run 5-6 hours, and often not address all of the agenda. Those discussions usurped the normal role of a chairman. When I became chairman, I presented a (restructured) agenda and ran the meeting, Everyone had a chance to contribute, all items were concluded, and meetings lasted 2 – 2.5 hours. I recently attended a workshop of the same group, and, sad to say, nothing seems to have come of it. Volition was good, but is not sufficient.

      • Faustino, the difference between a meeting and a discussion group is lost on the flabby intellects that dominate the social sciences.

        I was a ruthless chair of meetings, for which I do not apologise. The shorter the better, in 99% of cases.

    • mosomoso- Thank you so much. Much of the practical aspects of climate sensitive infrastructure is pretty obvious; to wit: Extreme Weather happens all the time. AR5 notes there is no upswing in frequency and intensity of Extreme Weather, but we still have to install and maintain vital infrastructure– canals, dams, dykes and levies – to protect populations. And furthermore, building in known flood plains and exposed coastal regions needs to be discouraged and certainly not subsidized.

      Beyond that, the features of energy production should be reliability, low cost, and low pollution (smog and particulates) …. with the stipulation that CO2 emissions cannot yet be considered a “pollutant” …That only leaves fossil fuels and nuclear as base load sources.

      Meanwhile, climate research should proceed and when new scientific data unambiguously justify a change in energy policy, appropriate measures need to be taken,

      That’s not so hard to communicate to the public.

      • ‘ when new scientific data unambiguously justify a change in
        energy policy …’. but, Posa, it IS unambiguous isn’t it? The
        IPCC SAID that it is EXTREMELY LIKELY that more than half
        the global average surface warming from 1951-2010 was
        caused by humans. The IPCC KNOWS this because the
        model simulations show that warming is going through the
        ceiling, … don’t they?

  41. “The real scientific method [not, the so called 97% consensus] would have them [scientists] throw out the theory [AGW] and come up with a new one. But the fat cats in government, industry, environmental groups and universities that have benefited from this public scare would have too much too lose… We will pay the price this winter.“” ~Joseph D’Aleo

  42. An interesting and candid posting. You rise in one’s estimation all the time. The difficulty you will start to have now will be that you’ll be giving your view of the science to people who are really not interested in it as a subject, but simply as a justification of policies they favor out of instinct or self interest. Pressure will rise to gloss over any inconvenient truths. You will in fact find yourself subject to the same pressures as the few detached scientists on the other side come under. Its going to get harder from now on. All the signs are that you are equal to it, but this was the easy part. The hard part is just starting. One hopes you are ready for it.

    • Sounds like wishful thinking on your part, Michel.

    • stevefitzpatrick

      It would be interesting to know if you can even entertain the possibility that people resist the draconian measures you call for other than “instinct or self interest”. Your assumption of bad faith strikes me as cartoon-like and childish.

      There are lots of people acting in good faith who simply disagree with your priorities/values and/or technical assessment. Your insistence on ‘bad faith’ is in large measure what makes it so difficult to reach consensus on prudent public action, and prudent action really is needed… maybe not the action that will fulfill your dreams, but better than nothing,. Assuming those who disagree with you are acting in bad faith makes consensus just about impossible.

      • Was this a response to me? I don’t advocate any drastic measures, am not aware of having insisted on ‘bad faith’. I do think that on climate there are many who are finding reasons for policies they believe on instinct. Its normal in politics. But it does lead to considerable pressures of a sort that the warmist scientists have experienced, and the skeptical ones too.

    • Michel – “It’s going to get harder from now on.”

      No, it is going to get easier, except for all the demands on her time.

      Judith is anti-fragile (see Nassim Taleb). The more controversial she becomes the more attention she and her ideas will get. She can’t lose. The people who are trying to protect vested interests have the most to lose and the most fragile edifice to defend. They hide behind consensus and self-selected peer review and closed conferences, pulling themselves into a cloistered cocoon. Judith is using the blog and twitter to reach a wide audience and present thoughtful questions. Now she has written for WSJ. What’s next? The die is cast, it’s all over but the shouting.

      • Oh I luv Nassim Taleb’s ‘Antifragile,’ JW,
        see me http://beththeserf.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/12th-edition-serf-under_ground-journal/
        … and JC fits the bill. bts

      • Beththeserf

        Your blog is interesting, and prods many thoughts. I like the quote “And freely to speak my thoughts, it argues a strange self love and great presumption to be so fond of one’s own opinions, that a public peace must be overthrown to establish them and to introduce so many inevitable mischiefs”. Indeed, some think themselves so smart that their ideas should be implemented regardless of the costs – genocide, famine, war. Decentralized decision making, by people close to the action and thus with the best skills for the context of the decision and with ” skin in the game”, leads to better solutions. Perhaps it is the law of requisite variety, I don’t know.

  43. Steve Fitzpatrick

    Judith,

    You know you have sold your soul to the Devil when you get an invite from the Marshall Institute. Orberlin appears to be in the process of turning to the dark side. Substantive discussions of climate charge are NOT politically correct and therefore, not permitted. ;-)

  44. Gary Harmon
    Thanks for the link
    http://www.geocurrents.info/physical-geography/eco-authoritarian-catastrophism-dismal-deluded-vision-naomi-oreskes-erik-m-conway
    The review is very penetrating, well documented, and the points it makes are quite chilling. It is really extraordinary that open advocacy of dictatorship can be published by our liberal university presses and preached at our liberal universities. And the authors well regarded in our liberal press.

    We should recall that the Chinese regime so admired by Oreskes in its earlier Maoist incarnation accomplished genocide on a scale to dwarf that of the Nazis. As someone put it, we know they killed hundreds of millions, we just do not know how many hundreds.

    We saw and see the same thing regarding the Soviet Holocaust. To the end of his life, Hobsbawn equivocated on the organised murder of some 20-40 million Soviet citizens. His indignation over Nazism was unrestrained. What exactly was the difference? What is the difference for Oreskes?

    One suspects that it is OK to kill those I disapprove of. But when it comes to killing those I support, well, then we will invoke liberal values and the Constitution.

  45. “Not really to understand how the system works, but only to look at how humans cause climate change.
    As a result, we don’t really understand the rest of the climate system and how much is natural variability versus human cause. That’s really been based on U.N. policies, government policies, and where the funding goes. As a result, there’s a whole lot of things we don’t understand about the climate.
    But scientists have done their part, because they’re only looking at one thing, and they become highly confident about that one thing when they’re not looking at the big picture.”
    http://oberlinreview.org/6317/news/off-the-cuff-patrick-michaels-and-judith-curry-climatologists-acclaimed-authors-and-experts-on-climate-change/

    Mesmerized by CO2. Expecting others to be as a kind of test. Our role in the system is important, but looking at ourselves to the exclusion of the other factors leads us to, Look what we did, and look what we can potentially do now. So it can be a study of humans to the exclusion of a study of the system. Tell me how the climate works? They tell us it’s us. So we keep looking at ourselves when there’s an interesting climate system to learn about. One that will throw curves balls at us so that we need to have more of understanding of it than, We caused it.

    • I was just in Geyoeung ju a few weeks ago. My wife last visited as part of a high school trip. We stayed in a bed (no breakfast) place which was orginally built as a Confucian school over 500 years ago. Way cool.

      • There is some very relevant dialog WRT to science verus politics
        and an interest story of the oldest observatory in east asian woven into the story

  46. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Judith Curry observes  “Governor Rick Perry gave the evening plenary talk (but first, another state senator offered a prayer) […] it was all about the virtues of Big Oil and Gas”

    “This event was steeped in capital R/C Republican/Conservative (much more so than the Marshall Institute event).”Judith Curry, please appreciate the faux-conservative dilemma:

    Faux-conservatism has lost the “Culture Clash”  `cuz global marriage rights are a done deal.

    Faux-conservatism has lost the “Obamacare Clash”  `cuz global healthcare rights are a done deal.

    Faux-conservatism has lost the “Climate-Change Clash”  `cuz global sustainability values are a done deal.

    What We’ll See  From (what JC calls) “Big Oil and Gas” — *MUCH* asset-protecting slogan-shouting, *LITTLE* scientific discourse, and *ZERO* effective actions.

    *EVERYONE* appreciates these three realities, eh Climate Etc readers?

    STEM students and STEM professionals, especially!

    The Big Question  What is the future of rational, science-respecting, morally grounded conservatism?

    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}

    • Your moral preening and moral case for action on climate change would ring a lot less hollow, we you able to articulate a technical case for it beyond “look at that blade!”

      The Hockey Stick for you guys is l like those images of Jesus or Mary that appear in the mold on the wall in the basement of some tenement. You believe it so you see it. The rest of us would like a more convincing technical case before we throw out the greatest force for the betterment of mankind in the history of mankind.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        TJA demands [bizarrely and without justification] “A more convincing technical case before we throw out the greatest force for the betterment of mankind [namely, a global carbon energy economy?] in the history of mankind.”

        LoL … ordinary conservative Common Sense is rightly skeptical regarding the carbon-cabal’s self-serving hyper-inflated claims that strip-mining the planet for cheap carbon is “the greatest force for the betterment of mankind in the history of mankind.”

        Big Carbon: Humanity’s problem child

        Summary  Common-sense is telling *EVERYONE* that Carbon Cabal’s story is just plain toxic, 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}

      • Of course your appeal, once again, to rhetoric over argument once again provides further evidence that you don’t have a coherent technical argument, eh FOMD?

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        TJA seeks “a coherent technical argument.”

        Technical request by TJA/conservatives, technical fulfillment by FOMD/STEM!

        \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}

      • To which I reply Link

      • Once again I make the mistake of clicking on a fan provided link. This time to a wiki article (strike 1) which says nothing about strip mining (strike 2), let alone being skeptical of anything, as fan claims (strike 3).

        Honest discourse – what fan finds impossible to do.

    • Matthew R Marler

      a fan of *MORE* discourse: global healthcare rights are a done deal.

      Off the deep end again, brother.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse
        FOMD asserts [correctly]  global healthcare rights are a done deal

        Matthew R Marler objects  “Off the deep end again, brother.”

        LOL … Tell it to the Marines, Matthew R Marler!

        Tell it to the Marines now deploying to “deep end” in Africa, who ask that you donate to their partners in this must-win 21st century war: Doctors Without Borders.

        Good on `yah, US Marines and Doctors Without Borders!

        Please consider a donation to this good cause, Climate Etc readers!

        The faux-conservative market-fundamentalist alternative  Do nothing.

        Here market-fundamentalism makes *ZERO* sense, eh Matthew R Marler?

        \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 organisation you mention is very worthy.

        For our part We donate to a locally based charity

        http://www.shelterbox.org/about.php

        it has the great merit of supplying items that few third world dictators or corrupt officials are interested in so it gets directly to the people who most need it

        Tonyb

      • fan,

        where do you think the money comes from to equip and deploy those Marines?

        Maybe that faux-conservative market-fundamentalist system, as you put it?

      • I don’t read Fan-driven epics, but will make a couple of comments on the later posts. I don’t know what a faux-conservative market fundamentalist is, but I do know that market-driven growth, allied to fossil-fuelled energy, has been of huge benefit to the world, and that non-market approaches have time and again been shown to be inferior.

        And I support Medicins sans Frontieres because it seems to do a good, efficient, well-directed and worthwhile job while not pushing an ideological barrow.

      • Matthew R Marler

        a fan of *MORE* discourse: Please consider a donation to this good cause, Climate Etc readers!

        MSF is one of the few organizations that I donate to every year.

      • 16 members of MSF infected, 9 now dead. This is what a crisis looks like.

  47. Professor Curry, you continue to help restore my confidence in science and scientists!

  48. Good sense from The Australian:

    Coal is good for humanity The Australian October 15, 2014 12:00AM
    Energy has transformed and enriched the world. The large-scale provision of electricity and the lighting, transport, refrigeration, heating, air-conditioning, manufacturing, health care, education and communication it has enabled have lifted billions of people out of poverty and exponentially improved our quality of life. This process continues relentlessly, as countries such as India and China modernise and improve the living standards of their populations. Elsewhere energy deficiency is a problem for more than a billion people in developing countries. Even the United Nations Development Program says; “Energy is central to sustainable development and poverty reduction efforts.” A UN working group in July this year recommended a new goal to be added to the much-vaunted Millennium Development Goals when they are updated and renamed next year. Its first objective will be to deliver by 2030 “universal access to affordable, reliable, and modern energy services.”

    Historically, electricity has been provided to the masses by the burning of coal to drive steam turbines. Coal still fuels more than 40 per cent of all energy needs on the planet. So, energy is good and required; and coal is its most important source. As the Americans would say, you do the math. If bread is the stuff of life, as they say, it is not too much of a stretch to suggest coal is the stuff of civilisation.

    Tony Abbott was simply recognising this reality when he spoke at the opening of a coal mine in Queensland this week. “Coal is good for humanity, coal is good for prosperity,” the Prime Minister said, “coal is an essential part of our economic future, here in Australia, and right around the world.” That such an obvious and incontestable statement could cause consternation in parts of the political, environmental and media landscape says something about the poor state of the energy debate in this country.

    Coal is this nation’s second largest export industry, after iron ore, and we vie with Indonesia to be the world’s leading coal exporter. Despite the focus on carbon pricing and alternative energy sources, the rising global demand for coal is expected to continue for many decades. Australia has the fourth largest quantity of known reserves, sufficient for more than a century of black coal production and five times that for lignite. Not only does our coal industry fuel the world, providing a quarter of all thermal coal and half the metallurgical coal, it helps to lift millions of people out of poverty. It underpins our economy, directly employing 55,000 people, contributing about $3 billion a year in state royalties, almost $2bn in company tax, and, of course, providing the bulk of the domestic baseload power.

    Together with all fossil fuels, coal is a finite resource with environmental ramifications. Efforts to reduce carbon emissions are already prompting more efficient use of coal and other fuels, as well as driving a shift to renewables. Fossil fuels will always be required for some purposes, so the migration to nuclear and renewable sources must accelerate over time, regardless of the climate change debate. All this must play out, over time, and needs to be debated and managed sensibly. But just as coal has played a crucial role in our economic and social development, it will remain vital to this nation, and many others, for decades to come. To pretend otherwise is to tilt at windmills.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/editorials/coal-is-good-for-humanity/story-e6frg71x-1227090541610

    • Faustino – “Good sense from the Australian”

      Yes. The human brain must always exploit energy gradients to create order, while dumping waste heat and increasing disorder. We can’t do otherwise, it is our destiny. People that advocate energy poverty to slay some mythical dragon don’t get it.

      Regarding coal, two excellent books worth reading are “Coal: A Human History” and “The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention”.

      People were amazed to consider coal hauling itself.

    • Together with all fossil fuels, coal is a finite resource with environmental ramifications.

      Right and why don’t we try to leave some in the ground, in case we might need it in some future that we might not be able to predict. An efficient and relatively cheap resource may save the entire civilization.

      Right now the best option would be to phase out coal with no or low carbon energy sources. I think each country should have the flexibility to phase it out at their own pace, but where the alternative energy source makes sense, then they should be adopted. If we have the proper incentives in place, the private sector will get more involved and make it more likely they will develop the new generation of more efficient low carbon technologies that can be used by developing countries to ease their transition. There may be disagreement about how fast we should transition ,but I think it is reasonable to begin the transition now.

  49. Ah yes. Those lefty/c*ommie/alarmiste/p*nko/eco-N*zi/progressive/climista/religious zealot/ho*xster/money-grubbing researchers/McCarthyist/Lysenkoist/St*linist/poor-children-hating/starvation-mongering/capitalism-hating/statist/rent-seeking/moocher
    deniers” at the Pentagon are at it again:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/14/us/pentagon-says-global-warming-presents-immediate-security-threat.html?_r=1

    • Yes, they confuse extreme weather events as being caused by anthropogenic global warming. I would call them extreme weather deniers – they seem to be in denial that these are caused naturally.

      • ==> “I would call them extreme weather deniers ”

        In spite of your oft’ stated, deep concern about the pejorative of “denier” being used against you, you would use the term to describe others? Why would you use a term that you find so offensive to describe others?

        At any rate, be prepared of the onslaught of SWIRLCAREs expressing deep offense that you would compare the Pentagon to holocaust deniers, Judith.

      • BTW – this should be quite interesting:

        The new report does not make any specific budget recommendations for how the military will pay for its climate change agenda, but if the Pentagon does request funding from Congress for its initiatives, it will clash with congressional Republicans, many of whom question the established scientific evidence that human activities are causing climate change.

        I predict another fine example of the selective of motivated reasoning.

        SWIRLCAREs who ordinarily call people traitors for questioning the Pentagon’s call for spending based on their risk assessment, will suddenly downplay the Pentagon’s assessment of risk.

        And, of course, because some of my friends here at Climate Etc. are so fixated on binary thinking,…

        I should also point out that SWIMCAREs who ordinarily think that the Pentagon’s call for spending based on their risk assessment is primarily based on the economic gains of the arms industry, will suddenly embrace the Pentagon’s assessment of risk.

        I predict same ol’ same ol;.

      • curryja | October 14, 2014 at 5:45 pm | Reply
        “Yes, they confuse extreme weather events as being caused by anthropogenic global warming. I would call them extreme weather deniers – they seem to be in denial that these are caused naturally.”

        Of course they are all “caused naturally”.

        What’s at issue is if increasing GHG’s and related forcings influence these events.

        I think it would be far closer to denial to suggest that a 30% increase in atmospheric CO2 would have no effect.

      • Last I checked, the Pentagon is under civilian control, and civilian control is decided by politics.

    • Joshua

      You finally got a response you didn’t deserve.

      • Thanks for reading and responding, Justin.

        I can’t tell you how much it means to me.

        Meanwhile, are going to express your outrage that Judith is comparing people to holocaust deniers again? I mean I see so much hand-wringing in thread after thread by people who are deeply hurt and offended about being called “deniers,” and yet no one has protested Judith’s use of the term?

        What’s up with that?

    • The Pentagon report is called a roadmap for adaptation. This is taken by the NY Times to be a call to action on a global climate treaty. Predictably it ties in with the philosophies of limits, capitalism is evil and people are a pestilence on the planet themes of climate extremists.

      http://www.acq.osd.mil/ie/download/CCARprint.pdf

      The reality of climate science is very different. The temperature rise between 1944 and 1998 was 0.4 degrees C. The rate of increase was 0.07 degrees C/decade. Rather than the pause ending in September 2014 – it is much more likely to persist for decades. Climate is unpredictable – future warming is far from guaranteed.

      The reality of weather extremes is far different as well. Moy et al (2002) present – for instance – the record of sedimentation shown below which is strongly influenced by ENSO variability. It is based on the presence of greater and less red sediment in a lake core. More sedimentation is associated with El Niño. It has continuous high resolution coverage over 12,000 years. It shows periods of high and low ENSO activity alternating with a period of about 2,000 years. There was a shift from La Niña dominance to El Niño dominance some 5,000 years ago that was identified by Tsonis (2009) as a chaotic bifurcation – and is associated with the drying of the Sahel. There is a period around 3,500 years ago of high ENSO activity associated with the demise of the Minoan civilisation (Tsonis et al, 2010). It shows ENSO variability considerably in excess of that seen in the modern period.

      Joshua’s mode of operation is to focus on claims of selective reasoning based on ideological obsessions, delusional ideation stemming a lack of self awareness or conservative groupthink cognitive aberrations. His practice is to ridicule and marginalize according to the progressive rule book. But what is the reality of climate extremism?

      • Chief –

        In case there was any doubt….

        ==> “His practice is to ridicule and marginalize according to the progressive rule book”

        This is why I love you so much, brother. No one, and I mean no one, is better at unintended irony that you. Not even Don. Keep up the good work.

      • Irony – ‘the expression of one’s meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite, typically for humorous or emphatic effect.’

        Joshua’s protestation seems to prove the point – empty and quite odd disparagement using irony whether intentional or otherwise.

      • Indeed, Chief, just to prove your supreme talents, you selectively choose among definitions of irony, in an ironic (unintentional, of course) attempt to deflect.

        Look again, Chief. There are more definitions of the word. Since you favor appealing to authority, you will find that from that authority that there’s one definition in particular that applies to your comments – with the added descriptor of being unintentional, of course.

      • ‘•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.’

        The rule book is of course Allinsky’s. I have been wondering lately whether satire is not more productive than discussing science and policy. Both of which I did above.

        Joshua’s argument seems to be that if I identify his method – his sole recourse -of ridicule and marginalisation that I should not refer to the Borg collective cult of AGW groupthink space cadets. It is a false premise.

      • ==> “Joshua’s argument seems to be that if I identify his method ”

        Not my argument Chief. My argument is that you constantly ridicule, yet identify ridicule as being a tactic of others.

        And Chief, who are you talking to?

        I think it’s unintentionally ironic that you are addressing me and directed your responses as if you’re talking to someone else. I would expect that someone talking to me would not address his comments to someone else.

        I think it is unintentionally ironic that you would claim that you don’t read my comments, even though you make it quite obvious that in fact, you do read my comments. I would expect that someone who claims to not read my comments would, in fact, not read my comments.

        You see? You repeat your unintentional irony over and over. That’s why you da Chief, bro’. No one else can touch you.

        Anyway, Chief, have a nice night (or day, I guess, where you are). As always, I appreciate your amusing comments, but it is getting a bit tiresome now.

      • ==> “Joshua’s argument seems to be that if I identify his method ”

        Not my argument Chief. My argument is that you constantly ridicule, yet identify ridicule as being a tactic of others.

        My expressed point – following on from the excised quote – was that recognizing Joshua’s method of ridicule and disparagement – his only dog in the fight btw – did not imply that I should not respond in kind.

        And Chief, who are you talking to?

        I think it’s unintentionally ironic that you are addressing me and directed your responses as if you’re talking to someone else. I would expect that someone talking to me would not address his comments to someone else.

        It’s an open forum – sue me. I am emphatically not talking to Joshua – I am talking past him to more receptive sensibilities. I have made this point to him before – he just doesn’t seem to get much at all. Talking to Joshua – or any of these climate extremists – is quite pointless.

        I think it is unintentionally ironic that you would claim that you don’t read my comments, even though you make it quite obvious that in fact, you do read my comments. I would expect that someone who claims to not read my comments would, in fact, not read my comments.

        I have never claimed not to read Joshua. In fact seems not to read my comments before responding because I said this above. Mind you reading 1 out of a 100 of Joshua’s comments seem overkill on the basis of content.

        You see? You repeat your unintentional irony over and over. That’s why you da Chief, bro’. No one else can touch you.

        Anyway, Chief, have a nice night (or day, I guess, where you are). As always, I appreciate your amusing comments, but it is getting a bit tiresome now.

        Joshua has been tiresome from day 1. By now his endless repetitions of claims of selective reasoning based on ideological obsessions, delusional ideation stemming from a lack of self awareness or conservative groupthink cognitive aberrations is well beyond reason or tedium.

      • Joshua when did you join the borg collective of climate change? It started for me after I began taking interest in climate change in the early 2000’s after which I was recruited, brain washed, and now I am unable to think for myself when comes to the subject. Rob caught me. I was hoping I could keep it a secret,

      • Joshua’s not interested in science. Just non-partisan communication on a deep level of mutual respect and consideration. Unless you are not part of the collective of climate/societal transformation extremists.

        The of anything substantive from Joe on the report, science or policy suggest that’s not what climate extremism is about. What is it about?

        Let’s start with these guys.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/03/21/growth-versus-sustainability/#comment-502318

      • It was as ridiculous as those terms you use to describe people who trust the science.

      • It was as ridiculous as those terms you use to describe people who trust the science. – Joseph.

        Maybe a better formulation would be that you trust the people who tell you what the science is.

    • Rational responses are far different as well. Building resilience to climate variability that will happen regardless remains a central objective of rational policy. Economic development is the core of building long term resilience. Fast mitigation is not merely possible with reductions in population pressures and emissions of black carbon, tropospheric ozone, methane, CFC’s and nitrous oxide – but are outcomes of health, education and economic development strategies. We may also reduce carbon emissions by building soil fertility on agricultural lands and conserving and restoring ecosystems. There are practical and pragmatic approaches that provide real no regrets policy options. This includes spending on energy innovation.

      These are quite rightly described as conservative solutions to climate change by climate extremists.

      • Oh for God’s sake – Joshua’s ability to repeat trivial nonsense over and over is unparalleled. I have never claimed not to read Joshua – just perhaps 1 in 100 is quite sufficient.

        Irony in English usage is the deliberate use of language that means the opposite to the intent.

        Irony as a literary technique involves characters whose true nature is obvious to the audience while the character remains oblivious. Joshua’s motivations – and limitations – are fairly obvious. His purpose is to disparage and marginalize on the flimsiest pretense. Perhaps he is oblivious.

    • Joshua’s method is abundantly evident here. The same disparaging song and dance over and over using pretty much the same words even. On the flimsiest excuse.

      • Why don’t you respond on point, Chief?

        Why, in your appeal to authority, did you select out only one definition of “irony” when clearly, I was applying a different (certainly valid according to your authority) usage?

        I think it was quite ironic, that in defending against my observation of your habit of unintentional irony, you managed to ignore a valid usage that was clearly the one I intended. But you didn’t intend it to be ironic. You intended it to be some kind of valid justification. One would expect that someone trying to make a valid justification of their reasoning about a term would not just ignore perfectly valid usage of the term in question.

        You know what else I love about you, Chief? I love the way that you continuously respond to my comments, even as you claim that you don’t read them. I also love that you respond to my comments as if you’re talking to some external audience when; (1) no one else really cares about these handbag fights and, (2) obviously, your comments ostensibly directed at some external reader are actually, quite obviously, intended for me to read.

        There are many things I love about you, Chief.

  50. The Oberlin debate with Pat Michaels is now on Youtube

  51. There’s an interesting story now that the IPCC WGII final version has been published. The “Final Draft” had originally said (in Chapter 10):

    Climate change may be beneficial for moderate climate change but turn negative for greater warming.

    A lot of people were happy about that statement. Only, it’s not present in the actual, final version of the IPCC report. It was removed after Bob Ward complained to the IPCC about it and data errors in the section saying it. He has an article in the Guardian about it.

    Oddly enough, I had begun looking into the same thing prior to that article being published, and I wrote a post which covered some of the same things without having seen it:

    http://hiizuru.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/undisclosed-changes-in-the-ipcc-ar5-report/

    My post shows there were a number of changes to this section, and those changes were not disclosed by the IPCC. Some of the changes even add new errors to the sections, and some have no possible explanation. For instance, multiple numbers in a table and figure of the paper were changed. They still give the exact same citation as before though, even though they contradict the paper they cite.

    It’s a really strange situation.

  52. Being behind the great firewall of the Iron Curtain in Moscow in 1980 gave insight into UN’s Agenda 21 and how western government science became propaganda after WWII:

    Government science became propaganda after Stalin emerged victorious from a black-out of CHAOS and FEAR in Aug-Sept 1945 [1] to form the UN in Oct 1945 and expand totalitarian control of science and society from the USSR to the rest of the globe.

    Eliminating national governments and forbidding public knowledge of nuclear energy and irrational FEAR that gripped world leaders were surprisingly successful.

    Credible scientific discoveries were scandalized, blocked or discredited as science returned to the Dark Ages:

    1. Carl von Weizsacker’s deceptive concept of nuclear binding energy replaced Aston’s valid concept of nuclear packing fraction to prevent access to nuclear energy by Hilter during WWII and western scientists after WWII.

    2. Kuroda’s 1956 discovery of natural nuclear reactors on Earth

    3. Peter Toth’s 1977 discovery the Sun pulses like a pulsar

    4. Our 1983 re-discovery of information astronomers knew in 1945 – but hid from the public in 1946 – iron (Fe) is the most abundant element inside the Sun

    5. Fleischmann-Pons’ 1989 discovery of cold fusion

    6. Marvin Hernndon’s 1992 discovery of natural nuclear reactors in the cores of giant planets like Jupiter.

    7. The Galileo mission’s 1995 finding of excess Xe-136 in Jupiter’s atmosphere from rapid neutron capture

    8. Our 2001 discovery of neutron repulsion as a major source of stellar energy

    9. Fischbach and Jenkin’s 2006 discovery that rates of radioactive decay depend on distance from the Sun:

    http://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2010/100830FischbachJenkinsDec.html

    However, Stalin’s force of darkness cannot hide the energy that powers the cosmos, the Sun, sustains our lives, and totally controls Earth’s ever changing climate, because precise experimental data [2] show that the Sun’s pulsar core:

    _ a.) Made our elements;
    _ b.)
    Birthed the solar system five billion years (5 Ga) ago;
    _ c.) Sustained life’s origin and evolution on Earth after 3.5 Ga ago; and [2]
    _ d.) Thus supplied the force that holds each atom together to create the illusion of stable matter [3].

    And Galen Winsor already exposed these exaggerated fears of nuclear energy generated by governments after WWII [4].

    As Max Planck noted in 1944 (before Stalin gained control): “There is no matter as such! All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particles of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together …

    “We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent Mind. This Mind is the matrix of all matter.” [3].

    These words by Max Planck illustrate how science, religion and spirituality operated before 1945 as separate paths to the basic truths that underlie all constitutional governments and respect for the basic right of humans to self-governance.

    Restoration of Max Planck’s respect for religions, science and spirituality is the key to restoration of sanity in today’s troubled society.

    References:

    1. Aston’s WARNING (12 Dec 1922); CHAOS and FEAR (Aug 1945) https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/CHAOS_and_FEAR_August_1945.pdf

    2. “Solar energy,” Advances in Astronomy (submitted 1 Sept 2014) https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Solar_Energy.pdf

    3. Max Planck, “The Essence of Matter,” from a speech Dr. Planck gave in Florence, Italy in 1944, entitled “Das Wesen der Materie” (The
    Essence/Nature/Character of Matter) Quelle: Archiv zur Geschichte der
    Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Abt. Va, Rep. 11 Planck, Nr. 1797:
    http://www.greggbraden.com/resources

    4. Galen Winsor, “The Nuclear Scare Scam”: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ejCQrOTE-XA&feature=player_embedded