Bertrand Russell’s 10 commandments

by Judith Curry

Here is some more help for climate scientists suffering from pre-traumatic stress syndrome.

Via brainpickings, a very nice post A liberal decalogue: Bertrand Russell’s 10 commandments  of teaching.  Excerpts:

From the third volume of The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell: 1944-1969 comes this remarkable micro-manifesto, entitled A Liberal Decalogue — a vision for responsibilities of a teacher, in which Russell touches on a number of recurring themes from pickings past — the purpose of education, the value of uncertainty, the importance of critical thinking, the gift of intelligent criticism, and more.

It originally appeared in the December 16, 1951, issue of The New York Times Magazine, at the end of the article “The best answer to fanaticism: Liberalism.

Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:

  1. Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
  2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
  3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
  4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
  5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
  6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
  7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
  8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
  9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
  10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.

JC reflections

Brainpickings is becoming one of my favorite blogs, and I follow Maria Popova on twitter @brainpicker.  From the About page:

Here’s a little bit about my seven most important learnings from the journey so far.

The core ethos behind Brain Pickings is that creativity is a combinatorial force: it’s our ability to tap into our mental pool of resources — knowledge, insight, information, inspiration, and all the fragments populating our minds — that we’ve accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world, and to combine them in extraordinary new ways. In order for us to truly create and contribute to the world, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these pieces and build new ideas.

I think of it as LEGOs — if the bricks we have are of only one shape, size, and color, we can build things, but there’s a limit to how imaginative and interesting they will be. The richer and more diverse that pool of resources, that mental library of building blocks, the more visionary and compelling our combinatorial ideas can be.

Whenever I despair of the climate community (broadly defined) of being able to step back and reflect and reframe the climate problem and solutions, it is useful to ponder history and wisdom from great thinkers.  Who are the ‘great thinkers’ these days?  Presumably in the past you didn’t need the lens of history to identify a great thinker.   Perhaps the larger global population, the growing complexity of the world,  and the cacophony of the internet makes it more challenging to find/identify wisdom.

397 responses to “Bertrand Russell’s 10 commandments

  1. Wow! It’s amazing to observe how far the “Liberal outlook” — or at least the outlook of people who freely describe themselves as “Liberals” — has changed in 63 years.

    • I was thinking the same thing. Unbelievable that zealots who think the ends justify the means have somehow usurped the label.

      • It’s hard to come up with a short discussion on this, but one difference between the American and French Revolutions is that in the US there was, at the time, an openness to divergent opinions. In France, the only thing that united the various successful factions was their hatred of the people they sent to the guillotine.

        But there’s always a proportion of fanatics to whom anybody who disagrees with them is to be demonized. “Counter-revolutionary”, “Climate Denier”, it’s the same thing: a label to paste on anybody who disagrees.

        “Liberal”, and for that matter “progressive”, are at heart terms that describe an openness to different opinions. But that very openness makes them vulnerable to being hijacked, “usurped”, by hateful fanatics who want only power, under the label of some ideological agenda.

        Marx &Co. were instrumental in hijacking the label “progressive”, which literally could apply to anybody who sees “progress” in some direction and tries to encourage it to continue. And their fellow travelers have been hijacking the term “liberal” for a century or so, a process much more advanced in America than Europe.

        And, of course, you have a subset of “conservatives” who use those very terms (“Liberal”, “progressive”) as demonizing labels for anybody who disagrees with their own narrow-minded fanaticism.

      • AK: “you have a subset of “conservatives” who use those very terms (“Liberal”, “progressive”)

        Unfortunately the Socialists AKA “Liberal” Left now refer to themselves as “Progressives” when they mean big government authoritarian corporatists, and are the most narrow-minded fanatics of the lot.

        As George Orwell predicted many decades ago, of course.

    • Russell wrote that when conservatives were “the establishment” in government and academia. Once that changed and liberals became the establishment that list became no longer operative.
      Remember, just 7 years ago dissenting from the US president’s policies was “the highest form of patriotism.”

      • Then the terms “Liberal” and “Conservative” have no more meaning than “Redskin” or “Cowboy.” So all that matters is which team is currently ahead?

      • nah, it means the search for principles among the left is fruitless. They’ll say whatever gets them put in charge, and then tell you to STFU.
        Classical liberals, like Chris Hitchens are a different story. Which is why American liberals hated him at the end.

      • Agree as I do with all you say, Jeff. A slight “correction” I would like to make, the nastiness perpetrated in pursuit of power is a vice that afflicts my side too not just the left.

    • It is not wise to assign all these good traits to one label.
      Rose

    • Would be “amazing” if the ‘skeptics’ could just manage the first one.

      • Really would be amazing if alarmists could manage just the first one.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        hey Micheal
        many of us come here because of Dr.Judith Curry
        watch her presentation at National Press Club
        main point
        “we don’t know”
        don’t come to class if your not going to pay attention

      • Yet the ‘skeptics’ are so certain of so many things.

      • How “certain” do you have to be to take some action?

        A car comes careening toward you as you walk down the street. Are you 100% certain that car’s driver will not turn the wheel at the last second and miss you? Do you have to be 100% certain to take action? Probably not.

        The the data tell us the climate is changing rapidly and the science tells us that humans are most likely the primary cause (especially in the past 50 years) of this change. The majority of climate scientists agree with this assessment. How much more evidence do we need to take some action? The problem is, the longer we wait, the more severe the changes will be for generations to come and the harder to undo, if we can. JC disagrees with this and suggests the “hiatus” and some specific models tell us the change will not be as bad or as rapid. She could be right, though I am skeptical she is. The rate of change is not constant (it is accelerating in a non-linear way, and hence, the latest IPCC report represents a watered-down consensus undershoot) as the system is seeing the largest forcing since at least humans became humans. Using short-term data and a few specific models to suggest the sensitivity is low or the changes will not be as great is gambling at best. Gambling on this scale is not advised. The only prudent course of action is to reduce our GH gas emissions in the most economically viable and humane ways possible.

      • How do you use the word “skeptic,” Michael? I remember Bill O’Reilly getting roundly and deservedly criticized for saying that “Muslims carried out 9-11.” Did he mean “all Muslims”?

        He stuck by his story and there is no doubt that looking at it a certain way, he was correct. Still it was sloppy use of language disguised as careful use, So your standard of language use is the same as some blow-hard on Fox News?

      • Michael, I do believe you have that backwards. The CONSENSUS is all ABOUT being absolutely certain that man causes global warming. 97% approve this message. Skeptics, for the most part, are simple asking ‘what else is involved’. How can a question be an absolute certainty? Besides, uncertainty is their motto in case you haven’t noticed.

      • are you certain they can’t

      • I wish I had thought of that one, Mosh.

      • ordvic –

        ==> “Skeptics, for the most part, are simple asking ‘what else is involved’”

        I’m wondering about your evidence and methodology for quantifying what “skeptics” are simply asking, for the most part.

        From what I see, “skeptics,” for the most part, are arguing – with unscientific certainty – that ACO2 mitigation will be “economic suicide” to address a problem that doesn’t exist at the expense of starving children.

        But I know that my view on that is anecdotal. You seem to be saying that you’re quite sure that your view is certain So, then, you must have evidence?

      • Joshua,
        The economic suicide arguement still goes under the heading ‘What else is involved’.

      • “I’m wondering about your evidence and methodology for quantifying what “skeptics” are simply asking, for the most part.”

        Oh so tediously typical. If there were a “painting with a broad brush” award, your name would come up every year as a strong contender.

        For “Best Supporting Hypocrite in a Boring, Role.,” I nominate Joshua. And the winner is……

      • Joshua,

        Just curious why you didn’t as Michael about the evidence and methodology for his statement that ‘skeptics’ are certain of so many things. You wouldn’t be going tribal, would you?

      • Steve –

        Of course I’m tribal. As we all are. I, at least, admit it – rather than claiming the high ground of “integrity.”

        Now back to my comment. Whether or not I’m tribal doesn’t logically relate to the answer to my question.

      • Ordvic – Part I

        ==> “Joshua,
        The economic suicide arguement still goes under the heading ‘What else is involved’.”

        Ok. I thought your “simple” “what else is involved” was focused on the science. Because you preceded it with this:

        ==> “The CONSENSUS is all ABOUT being absolutely certain that man causes global warming. 97% approve this message.”

      • But back to this:

        ==> ” Skeptics, for the most part, are simple asking ‘what else is involved’.”

        That isn’t all they’re “simply” asking/doing. We could speak of many other things that “skeptics” are asking/doing. For example, they are proclaiming “economic suicide” – with total certainty, which goes back to your distinction between “skeptics” and “the consensus” by using this characterization: “The CONSENSUS is all ABOUT being absolutely certain…”

      • Part III –

        In other words, and going back to Michael’s comment – it ain’t so simple as “skeptics” are “simply” asking questions. And many of them are not complying with Russell’s pr*scription for respecting uncertainty.

      • Josh,

        Before you tie yourself up in too many knots, I’m sure there is absoluteness of views in the skepitical ranks. I also don’t have evidence of the statement I made it is only a descriptive narrative. That narrative goes like this:

        When the proponents of global warming recieved some push back from their proclamations of the dangers we faced from AGW they decided to use a tactic to marginalize this skeptical group. The language they used is ‘The science is settled’. There has also been three different attempts at showing a broad consensus (97%) that there is no doubt that humans are causing a dangerous warming pattern. There is now a whole government industry dedicated to the global warming problem.

        The skeptics come along and say: What global warming?, CO2 is pollution and does what?, You want us to quit using fossil fuels? They proceed to show all kinds of stuff to say it ain’t so. Oceans, clouds, glacial events (little and large), Solar and planetary cycles, etc etc. Their whole presence is questioning the idea of dangerous global warning and the need to give up fossil energy and waste time and money on an imaginary problem.

        So the first group (the Consensus) have taken deliberate steps to proclaim with absolute certainty that global warming is here, it is real, it is dangerous for humans and other creatures, and we need to do something about it. The second group (the Skeptics) have their BS meters on and think they will have their energy taken away and end up in ruin all for a little extra warmth before the next big Milankovitch glaciation. So one is certain and that we must act and the other is uncertain and sees no reason to act. Do you feel absolutely certain about anything?

      • Ordvic –

        IMO, your narrative is very one-sided. Let’s just start at the beginning:

        ==> “When the proponents of global warming recieved some push back from their proclamations of the dangers we faced from AGW they decided to use a tactic to marginalize this skeptical group. The language they used is ‘The science is settled’. There has also been three different attempts at showing a broad consensus (97%) that there is no doubt that humans are causing a dangerous warming pattern. ”

        First, you narrative condenses decades of events rather tightly, and presents a chronology that misses quite few bits. Here’s an alternative narrative.

        When climate scientists first started discussion potenetial risk of ACO2 emissions for long-term changes to the climate, they were attacked by political entities as perpetrating a “hoax,” as for any number of reasons (trace gas, the sun, god, etc.) it should be clear than man’s activities cannot influence at the scale of global climate. When “realists” responded by saying that the physics of the GHE show that the science is settled that, ACO2 does affect the climate and as such, presents a “fat tail” of risk, “skeptics” first misrepresented them as saying that there was no uncertainty related to the GHE and then claimed that they agreed that the GHE is real but they only aren’t sure about the magnitude of the effect (and indeed, climate scientists also say that the magnitude of the effect isn’t certain, but within the realm of probabilities there is a risk of dangerous impact). And the “skeptics” then went on to say that any attempt to address the potential risk of dangerous climate change would lead to certain disaster (and don’t forget, starving children).

        Now I don’t think that my narrative is any more comprehensive than yours, but it is no less correct than yours either. Both are rhetorical narratives that serve no purpose other than to reinforce tribal boundaries.

        Anyway, have a nice evening.

      • ordvic | October 31, 2014 at 12:20 pm |
        “Michael, I do believe you have that backwards. The CONSENSUS is all ABOUT being absolutely certain that man causes global warming”

        ordvic,

        Not even close. The consensus is that it’s “very likely” a certain percentage of the warming is caused by human activities.

        That incorporates the uncertainties, as per Russell. Quite different to your assertion.

      • “That isn’t all they’re “simply” asking/doing. We could speak of many other things that “skeptics” are asking/doing. For example, they are proclaiming “economic suicide””
        Devoting 1 or 2% of GDP to mitigation isn’t suicide, unless of course the economy is highly sentitive to such relatively small sub-optimal policies. It might be hard to find the mitigation finger print when looking at our economy as it could be swamped by other factors.

      • Ragnaar –

        ==> “Devoting 1 or 2% of GDP to mitigation isn’t suicide, unless of course the economy is highly sentitive to such relatively small sub-optimal policies. ”

        Tell that to Benny Peiser, many other prominent “skeptics,” Judith’s bud David Rose, and many of our much beloved “denizens.”

      • RGates, argument by analogy depends heavily on picking the correct analogy. You failed to pick the correct analogy.

      • Josh,

        yeah, I’d pretty much go along with your narrative as well. I don’t know if I was so one sided as I made the skeptics look silly in the next paragraph as well. The meme is sort of a sidetrack here as the point was absoluteness of view: “Are you absolutely certain about anything” The narrative (good or bad) is just for the purpose of demonstrating that the consensus is wholly set up to express an absoluteness of the view that humans are causing dangerous global warming and that we must act. Yes, I know you qualified it using ‘potential risk’ and that is fine but the public face of consensus, I believe, is expressing an absolute sureness of the reality and danger of AGW. That is its whole purpose and mission.

        Yes, good evening, happy Halloween, and have a nice weekend.

      • R. Gates: “The the data tell us the climate is changing rapidly”

        No, it does nothing of the kind.

        Stop making stuff up.

        And don’t bother posting any more of your Hokey Schtiks either, they’re boring.

      • Joshua:
        “Tell that to Benny Peiser, many other prominent “skeptics,””
        Okay, there are some of those. I am seeing some parrallels here. Those that think we can drive the economy ala Keynes or some other means and those that think we can drive the climate. Seeing great danger. I think the economy cannot be driven, but allowing it to find its own way will work out the best. This is not to say that the economic actors are not responisble for what they do. I disagree with those that would say a broadbased 2% mitigation tax will sink our economy. It might combine with many other factors and then some time later our economy might sink. But as the underlying cause, no.

      • Michael,

        This is the statement from Nasa’s 97% climate change page:

        Titled
        “Statement of climate change from 18 scientic associations”

        “Observations throughout the world make it clear, that climate change is occuring, and rigorous and scientific research demonstrates that greenhouse gases emitted by human activity are the primary driver”

        So that is not my assertion it is the consensus assertion. I don’t see any ‘maybe’ or ‘very likely’ in there.

      • Steven Mosher

        Everybody together now.

        Joshua is tribal, but at least he admits it. and goes back to being tribal

        WAAA.

        Everybody raise your hand and admit you are tribal. One biig happy confession.. we are all tribal

        Note that Joshua’s tribe is all about admitting one is tribal. Just admit it.

        Of course we know there are ways of controlling for tribal influences

        For example: giving other tribes a place to speak, a seat at the debate,
        the benefit of the doubt..

        but that too is tribal.

      • So, from what tribe does Josh hail? The Boreahns?

      • I want to belong to the middle tribe. Occasionally I will ally with the skeptic tribe against the warmist tribe. This is politics, and can’t be dressed up as something better than that.

      • Dear Senator,
        As you consider legislation, we as leaders of scientific organizations, write to state the consensus scientific view.

        Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occuring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver.

        If we are to avoid the most severe impacts of climate change, emissions of greenhouse gases must be dramatically reduced

        See the whole letter signed by the 18 scientific organization leaders:

        http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2009/10/21/204838/18-leading-scientific-organizations-send-letter-to-senators-affirming-the-climate-is-changing-human-activities-are-the-primary-driver-impacts-are-projected-to-worsen-substantially-and-if-w/

      • ordvic – that 18 scientists thing was back when common people were scared by global warming.

        BY JOE ROMM POSTED ON OCTOBER 21, 2009 AT 5:46 PM UPDATED: OCTOBER 22, 2009 AT 9:47 AM

      • R. Gates | October 31, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
        “The the data tell us the climate is changing rapidly…”

        Since nobody else will tell us what data shows “climate is changing rapidly,” perhaps you would. While you are at it please also tell us what data shows that man is causing this rapid climate change.
        Thank you.

      • Little Audrey

        Michael | October 31, 2014 at 9:48 am | Reply
        Would be “amazing” if the ‘skeptics’ could just manage the first one.

        Rich coming from one who so doggedly opposes each and every one. While deviously pretending not to – thereby exhibiting the charaxteristic dishonesty of the alarmist truebeliever – and of the motivated science climate establishment in general, blinkererd slaves as they are to their paymaster’s vested interests.

      • ordvic | October 31, 2014 at 7:38 pm |

        “Michael,
        This is the statement from Nasa’s 97% climate change page:…
        So that is not my assertion it is the consensus assertion. I don’t see any ‘maybe’ or ‘very likely’ in there.”

        ordvic,

        I went to that page.

        Here’s the very first sentence;
        “Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities”

        Hmmm.

        As I said “Would be “amazing” if the ‘skeptics’ could just manage the first one.”

      • ordvic –

        ==> ” The narrative (good or bad) is just for the purpose of demonstrating that the consensus is wholly set up to express an absoluteness of the view that humans are causing dangerous global warming and that we must act. Yes, I know you qualified it using ‘potential risk’ and that is fine but the public face of consensus, I believe, is expressing an absolute sureness of the reality and danger of AGW. ”

        Again – I think that the way towards anything other than a continuation of pointless bickering is to step back from the rhetorical embellishment.

        Clearly, there is a thrust in the “consensus” messaging to impel the public towards action — action to hedge against what the science indicates: a risk, a potential harm from BAU. Yes, “realists” see a reason to stress the risk element, except when they’re discussing the outcomes of mitigation policies; just as “skeptics” see a need to stress the uncertainty element – except when they’re discussing the outcomes of mitigation policies. As a part of that dynamic, “skeptics” see a benefit in exploiting a “science is settled” statement made with reference to the GHE only, by contorting that statement as if it means that absolutely nothing about the climate is uncertain. And they do this even as they say that “skeptics” don’t disagree with the basic physics of the GHE. So a real issue, IMO – i.e., whether the “consensus” position on the science narrows the band of the uncertainty range beyond what is supported by the science, and whether sometimes in their rhetoric, “realists” downplay the uncertainty that the science demonstrates – gets turned into a rhetorical device, and when “realists” are, in fact, talking about the range of uncertainty they get portrayed as saying that there is no uncertainty. I’ve seen this happen countless times.

        There is a symmetry of unintentional irony – just as we could predict if we look at how humans reason when assessing risk in the face of uncertainty within a polarized context. We see, abundantly, the identity-aggressive and identity-defensive behaviors that are associated with cultural cognition and motivated reasoning and confirmation bias, etc.

        So to bring it to a more direct discussion. I responded to you at a more “good faith” level than I typically comment here because you are one of the relatively few “skeptics” I’ve encountered who is at least willing to acknowledge the manifestations of tribalism within the “skeptical” rhetoric. And indeed, you did acknowledge that but you also doubled down (IMO) on an example of that rhetoric: an overplay of a real issue (an inconsistency in integrating uncertainty in the messaging of “realists”) to the extent that it merely become same ol’ same ol’ (as if “the science is settled” most commonly is used to mean that there is no uncertainty in climate science and as that is at all predominant in the conclusions presented by climate scientists).

      • “Michael | October 31, 2014 at 9:48 am | Reply
        Would be “amazing” if the ‘skeptics’ could just manage the first one.”

        Many IPCC supporters have broken the 11th one.

      • Michael,

        That lead in is not the statement from the 18 Scientific organizations. Read the letter to the Senators.

      • Michael,
        BTW, where is your example of Skeptic violation of the first one?

        Also if you read all the individual statements voted on by the scientific organizations you’ll find the same unequivocal language.

      • Josh,

        Yes, your right I have doubled down on my original assertion as Michael calls it. I find it humourous or ironic or something that you and Michael are arguing with me saying, in essence, that you don’t believe (absolutely) in AGW and the dangers it poses, and that we should take action before it’s too late. I will continue to assert that the consensus is all about sending that message to not only the public but also to the policymakers as demonstrated by the letter to the US Senators. It is the whole purpose of the consensus! Why else would they bother to line up all these organizations behind a clear message about AGW? For anyone to say that is not their intention is just grasping at straws.

        Josh, I’m also curious why you consider me a Skeptic? I am not a scientist and haven’t fully formulated any opinion about AGW and all of it’s nuances. In fact I basically think that the consensus message is true and proper. I would be in favor, as I am, with a move toward alternative energy even without AGW. I’m even in favof of a carbon tax, but the devil is in the details there. That the arctic ice extent is waning and methane is being released is in fact very alarming.

        I suppose that since I bothered to look at the apisidal precession as the reason why Antarctica is not receeding like the arctic you could say well he’s a skeptic about CO2. However, just because I find another factor involved doesn’t mean I don’t think CO2 is a factor. If being a realist, as you call it, means that you can’t stray from the company line, well I’m sure you can see the irony of that, the realists not being very realistic. Maybe arguing your cause for you in light of Michael and you insisting it’s not unequivocal has helped advance me more toward the realist brand.

      • would be amazing if Michael and friends could ever display any intellectual virtues

      • Michael seems to have a severe misunderstanding of the word, “skeptic”.
        Hilarity ensues.

    • Classical liberalism is a political philosophy and ideology belonging to liberalism in which primary emphasis is placed on securing the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the government. The philosophy emerged as a response to the Industrial Revolution and urbanization in the 19th century in Europe and the United States. It advocates civil liberties with a limited government under the rule of law, private property rights, and belief in laissez-faire economic liberalism. Classical liberalism is built on ideas that had already arisen by the end of the 18th century, including ideas of Adam Smith, John Locke, Jean-Baptiste Say, Thomas Malthus, and David Ricardo. Its greatest expression as a political (as well as economic) philosophy in the 19th century was in the works of John Stuart Mill. It drew on a psychological understanding of individual liberty, natural law, utilitarianism, and a belief in progress.

      In the early 20th century, liberals split on several issues, and in the United States in particular, a distinction grew up between classical liberals and social liberals.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism

      Social liberalism is a political ideology with the belief that the right to freedom from coercion should include a societal foundation. Social liberalism seeks to balance individual liberty and social justice. Like classical liberalism, it endorses a market economy and the expansion of civil and political rights and liberties, but differs in that it believes the legitimate role of the government includes addressing economic and social issues such as poverty, health care and education. Under social liberalism, the good of the community is viewed as harmonious with the freedom of the individual. Social liberal policies have been widely adopted in much of the capitalist world, particularly following World War II. Social liberal ideas and parties tend to be considered centrist or centre-left. The term social liberalism is used to differentiate it from classical liberalism, which dominated political and economic thought for several centuries until social liberalism branched off from it around the Great Depression.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_liberalism

    • Liberals ain’t the least bit liberal no more; the Progressive voyage in search of justice has cast them off the lee shore of statism, and their anchor, Liberty, is dragging in the treacherous and tyrannical sand.
      ======================

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        kim
        outstanding

      • Some of us liberals try to remain conservative with our liberalism.

        No need for a whole new world order government or great restrictions on freedom to solve what I see as the climate change problem, but still all monopolies need to regulated and we need to change the way we create and use energy. Drastically reduce our standard of living needs to not be part of the solution.

      • Thanks for the laugh Bob.

      • pokerguy (aka al neipris)

        “Liberals ain’t the least bit liberal no more”

        Which is why I turned in my uniform. Truthfully, it was never a comfortable fit anyway. I felt the left’s authoritarian impulse back in college….going all the way back to the very early 70’s…when a bunch of dope smoking, bearded dorm-mates chastised me for declining to march in an anti-war march. It’s not that I didn’t think Vietnam was a stinking pile of manure, it was the notion that I was being pressured to “get my mind right.” Always bothered me. Now more than ever.

      • kim, I don’t believe that is true. I do believe that it is easy to make that criticism. But I think that is because many illiberals come dressed in liberal clothing.

      • Tom, you’re in a pinnace, well off shore. You don’t need an anchor, it’s within yourself.
        ============

    • Brian, I am a liberal. Bertrand Russell has been my hero since I stumbled across a collection of his essays at age 12. He still is my hero. I am still a liberal.

      If many of the fools in town take up the liberal label, that is the way of the world and I imagine some true conservatives feel the same way about some of those hijacking the term.

      The solution is to engage with the highest arguments and the best thinkers on the other side of the fence, not the feeblest.

      • Like red pepper to dynamite.
        =====================

      • I suspect Tom that you are a traditional liberal of the type represented by Lionel Trilling and others who were anti-authoritarian. The problem is that American liberalism has been infiltrated since long before the fall of Communism by reactionary leftism. I do believe Obama is from that school of thought and virtually everything he’s done in office confirms that. Many of the true believers among the warmists are also of that ilk, with Michael Mann being the most conspicuous.

      • Tom, I went thru a Bertrand Russell phase in the 60’s. I probalbly been better off if I stayed there. I still use Russells pamplets when I teach liberal arts math. His use of the binomial theorem to prove the assassinations were a conspiracy always gets students talking.

    • Clueless Liberals: And they think we’re dumb.
      Stanley Kurtz 2002
      The reason why these ceaseless defamations of conservatives will not go away (as I explained in “The Church of the Left”) is that liberals can’t feel good about themselves unless they are fighting someone else’s bigotry. Liberalism has stopped being a mere set of political principles for managing conflict and has turned instead into the religion of the secular elites. That religion can supply a purpose to life, only if it is felt to be a crusade against radical evil. However clever all these accusations of conservative bigotry are as a political tactic, they are not mere manipulation, but are sincerely felt.
      http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/681276/posts

      The Church of the Left; Finding Meaning in Liberalism by Stanley Kurtz

      Of course to say that liberalism has ceased to be a political
      perspective and has become a religion is another way of saying that
      liberalism has betrayed itself and become illiberal. This point is made
      very nicely in an excellent article entitled, “Illiberal Liberalism,” by
      Brian C. Anderson in the current issue of City Journal. Anderson
      shows how the persistent attempts to silence and stigmatize
      conservative views by even mainstream liberal voices betray the
      commitment to rational and civil debate at the core of genuine
      liberalism. Once liberalism became a religion, the principles that made
      liberalism what it was – principles like free speech, reasoned debate,
      and judicial restraint in the face of democratic decision-making – went
      by the wayside. The secular religion of the educated elite is still
      recognizable as a distorted version of classic liberalism. But
      underneath all the talk about “oppression” and “rights,” what we’re
      really looking at is a modern way of reproducing good versus evil, and
      us against them.

      http://listserv.virtueonline.org/pipermail/virtueonline_listserv.virtueonline.org/2001-June/002408.html

    • I’d suggest that that’s because the term has been redefined for you. I would, regard myself as a socialist liberal. The meaning of the words to me is that “liberal” represents individual freedom of expression as in “liberated”, freedom to live in line with your personal aspirations, freedom of sexuality, for women to vote and have equality, for religious tolerance, and to accept and in fact celebrate variety and diversity in society. In a nutshell, personal liberty.

      Socialism to me, and from its historical context, is simply a form of governance that focuses on acting on behalf of the most number of people possible, as opposed to libertarianism which focuses on ensuring that government interferes as little as possible in people’s lives, ie freedom (and also responsibility) to decide on ones own security.

      I am sure I am not alone in noting the deeply and passionately held positions on either of these political positions in evidence on climate blogs, with skeptical commentators expressing the view that some how the great global warming scare was a concoction of the left and modern liberalism, as if it was some vindication of their views on it.

      Well, let me say now I think that view is myopic, as myopic as looking at CO2 going up with temps and concluding we are entirely responsible for the imagined disaster that it must be. I will concede that CAGW does play to the liberal concience, that a world view that concerns itself with the well being of the global village, of society and the environment, is going to be fertile ground for fears about it to take hold. But it comes from a sense of social responsibility, not some intrinsic desire to revisit communism.

      For me, as a liberal, the consequence of the fear over manmade global warming is greater than what little contribution to climate change we might be making. It’s distorted our priorities as a society, it is a drag on the creation of wealth and of appropriate and efficient advancement of energy technologies, and is most harmful to the poorest in society – something that as a liberal, I wring my hands over.

      Because make no mistake, wealth is key to the security of the most vulnerable I most want to see protected, as well as the environment. Those are my “liberal” ideals.

      I despair at how willing people are to fool themselves, to fear the shadows, and the misapplication or wilful avoidance of logic. It goes for both sides of the debate, and not just in climate science. I have posted Bertrand Russell’s Decalogue on climate forums many times. How strongly it resonates now!

  2. Ancient Proverbs:

    Beware of Klingons bearing gifts.

    Beware of Climate Scientists producing squiggly lines.

    Andrew

  3. Hank Zentgraf

    And not once did Russell lecture me on political correctness!

  4. nottawa rafter

    I often think back to my education 60 years ago and wish I could have had a series of courses with just the theme of wisdom. Learning the simplest lessons of life would have benefited every decision I had to make. With a devaluation of our culture, it seems the need by each new generation for some time honored perspectives is even greater today.

    • I don’t think one can learn wisdom in a classroom. If I think about it, I learned a lot from watching Star Trek.
      Rose

      • You do know that that show is fictional, right? So any lessons you absorbed from that show were planted by the writers, right?

      • And that’s different than learning wisdom from books, say great works of fiction, and people, say giving you advice, how?

      • It doesn’t. One should just be aware, when drawing conclusions from, for example, fictional situations, that the creator of those situations has one of the most powerful tools of rhetoric at their disposal, the ability to omit contrary facts.

        I wonder what the Odyssey would look like if the point of view of the people in the villages pillaged by Odysseus and his merry band of looters was included?

        Works of fiction cannot help but be shaped by the experiences, limits of knowledge, and opinions of their creator. A “great book” is often a book which defines or re-enforces the culture in which the book is considered great. It doesn’t make it true in any other sense.

      • Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future is remarkable. I don’t believe that ideas are “planted” by writers (the use of that word makes me suspicious of your news sources). Many students went into science because of the values and human flaws reflected in that show. Spock is the iconic scientist, Scotty the iconic engineer.

        This topic is not about science but more about a way of living. I feel that one cannot divide people according to these 10 rules.
        Rose

      • (the use of that word makes me suspicious of your news sources)

        Wow. Moving right along…

        So writers don’t think about the moral implications of what they write? Spock is a fictional alien. He might represent an ideal that scientists should strive toward, but nobody can achieve it, being human, as we are, anymore than working out can turn you into Superman, another fictional character.

        If your vision of scientists is that of Spock clones, you might think about how realistic that is.

      • “don’t think one can learn wisdom in a classroom.”

        Brings Obama to mind. Guy’s been in plenty of classrooms and plainly never learned a thing.

      • Rose, agreed, wisdom comes from the capacity to learn from our experiences, and be open to what they might tell us.

      • Spock reminds me of a typical Asperger’s syndrome patient and Rose’s description strikes a bell for me. Scientists should NEVER get emotional about their work, at the risk of poor science. Climate science has become problematic because of this emotion factor.

      • To quote another TV series, I think it was Dragnet, “Just the facts, Ma’am” . Look at the nurse who came back from helping in West Africa. She is defending herself using science. But her defenders are using emotion. I interpret what they are saying, and I include Pres. Obama in this, that she should not be quarantined because she is a wonderful person. But it is irrelevent whether she is a good person or not. If she was infected and a wonderful person, would she be set free?

        I am as frustrated about the way things are as everyone here. Just for different reasons.

    • Steven Mosher

      wisdom is over rated

      • It is overrated because it is underobvserved.

      • Wisdom isn’t even a coherent thing. It’s entirely a hindsight attribution to choices that are perceived to have turned out well. That’s why there’s no catchphrase “Too wise by half.” You can’t be too wise because wisdom simply means being evaluated as having been right after the fact.

      • Steve Postrel, for once I disagree with you. Wisdom arises from understanding the world as it is, from observing with detachment its changing nature as it manifests within each one of us, and through this free ourselves from the attachments which colour our volition and actions. Wisdom lets us respond without attachment, without ego, without distorted perception, to whatever arises. It helps us to deal with others with compassion and insight rather than with reactions from our deep subconscious of which we are not aware. It does not involve hindsight, it enables us to live in, and deal well with, the moment.

        Your posts are rarely facile, this one is.

      • Faustino +1. You have expressed my POV on wisdom that I never seem to do it the justice that it rightly deserves.

      • “For wisdom is better than rubies,
        And all the things one may desire cannot be compared with her.”
        — Proverbs 8:11, New King James Version (NKJV)
        https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Proverbs+8%3A11&version=NKJV

      • Steven Mosher Nice video.

      • Faustino, the problem is that all of these things you attribute to “wisdom” are not independently observable or even intellectually distinguishable from your assessment of the choices people make. That applies both to the values people hold–could you both be wise and hold evil values?–and the cognitive processes people use–can a wise decision ever be mistaken? Wisdom is usually defined in such a way that it is tautologically identified with goodness and correctness. It carries no independent meaning.

      • Steve, good points, I’ll draft a considered response rather than my usual quick-fire ones.

    • Intelligence is knowing, wisdom is knowing but not saying…

  5. Who are the ‘great thinkers’ these days?
    I suspect that your audience prides itself in being anti-elitist.

    • I suspect you pride yourself on aligning yourself with elite opinion without any deep understanding of how that opinion was formed. So we are even.

    • Your first comment violates number 4 in its appeal to elite opinion as “authority.”
      When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.

    • I have observed a strong vein of anti-elitest spirit in many who contribute to this blog.
      Rose

    • So, people on this blog do not bow to the authority of those proposing to rule their lives unquestioningly? Is that your problem with them Rose? They they are “anti-elitist”?

      You know who thought WWI was a great idea? Intellectual elites. If the 20th century has taught us anything, it is that unquestioning acceptance of “elite opinion” leads to horrific outcomes.

      Those same members of the intellectual elite split up the Middle East, imposed punitive sanctions on Germany which led to WWII, and pretty much ended any prospects for peace in our time. Oh, by they way, and also assigned millions of lumpenproles to death and dismemberment.

      • I hear very often this “wanting to rule my life” theme in this blog as well. There’s an element of anger or fear behind it.

        I think the definition of “Intellectual Elite” needs to be established here. I feel those with money are running things today.

        Rose

      • Those with money are a kind of elite. Are you an anti elitist?

        But I am curious about this response to AGW of yours that doesn’t involve controlling my behavior in some way.

      • “Those with money are a kind of elite.”
        _______
        It is not the “having” of money that matters or makes a person an “elite”, but how it was gained and how it is used. Elites who use their money to perpetuate the Plutocracy that America has become are of the worst kind, as they inherently are gaming the system to perpetuate and expand their own wealth. This kind of elitism is beyond politics and party as at this level of deep political control, the only party is $$$ and the power that it brings.

      • but how it was gained and how it is used

        Right, if it was gained in politically incorrect ways and is used in politically incorrect ways, then well, it’s “bad.”

        I hear, to quote rmdo, “an element of anger and fear,” does that invalidate your point?

      • I do not fear the Plutocracy and elite rich that control Washington, but indeed, I am both saddened and angered by the fact that they usurped our democracy and even cloak themselves in the flag (and even religion) to hide themselves from the unsuspecting masses who then will gladly send their sons and daughters off to fight foreign wars that ultimately only make those very same Plutocrats richer.

      • Right, but “other people” are ruled by fear and ignorance and blind obedience to a flag. Have you ever wondered if maybe you oversimplify other points of view?

      • Cogni, you are equating intellectual elites with small intellectual cadres like neocons that occasionally inflict dangerous ideas on national policies when they get to influence the leadership. This is very different from scientific peer review that suggests policies, not just on climate, but on pollution and safety standards. There is a long history of following peer reviewed science for policy and it has led to a cleaner, safer world. The scientists don’t want to take over. They just want to point out risks in business as usual, as they have before. Sensible politicians listen and act, and don’t instead accuse the scientists of seeking power as an excuse not to do anything about the risks.

    • RB, one can be against an elite, if that is defined as a ruling or dominating body driven by self-interest, but recognise and appreciate excellence when you see it.

  6. Russell was very much a modern liberal. Humanity was his strong point, humans were his weak point.

    • Show me what in that list of 10 items represents “modern liberalism” and we can discuss it.

      • Nothing in the list. That’s just all-purpose stuff nobody is likely to argue with, not even a village parson.

      • I would argue that modern liberals respect exactly one of the above principles, principle 5:

        Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.

        Is Naomi Oreskes a “modern liberal”? She advocates the use of power to silence contrary opinion. Maybe your argument is that she is not a “true liberal.”

      • I dare say modern liberals like Oreskes would agree with all those principles – and then proceed with the necessary caveats and exceptions for the collective good. For humanity, doncha know.

      • Exactly, Oreskes is no classic Liberal in any sense, she is a modern liberal. The two are completely different animals. Classical Liberals deeply believe in The Enlightenment, for example, Modern Liberals, not so much, viz Oreskes and her inquisitions once again.

      • Curious George

        A difference between a liberalism and a modern liberalism is the same as a difference between a jacket and a straitjacket.

      • In Castro’s Cuba Naomi Oreskes would be considered an elite member of the Party’s Gulag Secretariate. The same people who jailed my first cousin for holding 8 US dollars and trying to escape the worker’s paradise.

    • moso, Russell was a long-time hero of mine, I met him and heard him talk when he was past his peak, aged 95. He was, like all of us, a fallible human being. And I later realised that he gave too much emphasis to mind and rational thought, which is a great limitation. Deep understanding comes from direct experience, involving the whole mind, not merely that small part of it which we label the conscious which he drew on.

  7. “Do not feel absolutely certain of anything ”
    Boy is that a good one. Those of us in a certain 12 STep outfit are familiar with BIll W.’s warning about “contempt before investigation”… which of course ultimately means no investigation at all. In the climate wars, noble cause corruption… among other more venal forms… abounds. There aren’t many things more dangerous than the absolute conviction of one’s moral and intellectual superiority.

  8. Planning Engineer

    I see some similarity between Bertrand Russell and Richard Feynman. They both had a strong feel for what was good evidence, how knowledge could be tested as well as how people could go off track. I don’t think their wisdom comes from either a leftist or rightest perspective, but rather speaks against any “dominant” way of thinking gone bad.

    • +1. Evidence that is examined without emotion is good evidence, irrespective of “which side” it supports. I don’t know much about Feynman but Russell was certainly a strong analyst and lacking in humanity, which is a “good” trait for the performance of good science.

  9. Tom Wolfe addressed the decline of liberal thinking into intellectualism in his essay “In the Land of the Rococo Marxists”. He sees a pattern of American intellectuals mimicking Europeans in assuming superiority and indignation, eventually becoming enslaved to political correctness.
    For example:
    “For eighty-two years now, America’s intellectuals, right on time, as Nietzsche predicted it, have expressed their skepticism toward American life. And, as the French say, “Skepticism soon hardens into contempt.” As any Fool sociologist could tell you, there are only two objectively detectable social classes in America: people above the bachelor’s-degree line—i.e., people who have graduated from four-year colleges—and people below it, who haven’t. By now people above it have learned to shrug and acquiesce to “political correctness,” to Rococo Marxism, because they know that to oppose it out loud is in poor taste. It is a … breach of the etiquette you must observe to establish yourself as an educated person.”

    If you have the stomach for it, the essay is here:

    http://wickeddox.blogspot.ca/2007/05/in-land-of-rococo-marxists.html

    • @ Ron C.

      “…….. because they know that to oppose it out loud is in poor taste. It is a … breach of the etiquette you must observe to establish yourself as an educated person.”

      They also know, via observation over the 4 years necessary to establish themselves ‘above the line’, that if they oppose it out loud their GPA’s, controlled in large measure by the professors of the undergraduate ‘core’ courses who enforce ‘Rococo Marxism’ ruthlessly, will go into the toilet and that they will find themselves ‘below the line’ before they know what hit them.

  10. ==> “it’s the same thing: a label to paste on anybody who disagrees.”

    Alarmist. Eco-N*zi. Warmista. AGW-fanatic. Green extremists. Eitists. so-called environmentalists. Marxists. Neo-McCarthysists. Groveling, terrified cowards, proto-eugenicists. Lysenkoists. Lefty global warming drones. green-bigots. Nature worshipers. Propagandists. weasel. narcissist. self-absorbed. brainwashed.

    And let’s not forget Judith’s “extreme weather deniers.”

    https://judithcurry.com/2014/10/13/my-weeks-in-review/#comment-637816

    • Global Warming Drones is the best one. I’ll take the credit for it.

      Andrew

      • I think that Wags deserves credit. He’s better at this than even you. You’re good at the labeling, but you’re more on the level of Peter Lang, Chief, stan, etc. Good, but not all-star quality. Wags is at the top of the class – along with few others such as pokerguy, Gary, and Cwon.

    • Curious George

      My favorite is “anti-climate”.

    • You left out True Believers in the Church of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.
      I have no problem labeling people, places, things, ideas etc. The problem is when the label is confused with the thing. Or when people assign a label based on one or two characteristics that are not central to what the label identifies. A knee jerk reaction to labeling that says it’s bad without reference to what is being labeled, is irrational. Labels are short hand but must always be available for review and changing. I don’t think labeling a Marxist a Marxist is unwarranted anymore than labeling someone who thinks free markets are preferable to government control of markets a Libertarian is unwarranted. I think today’s liberal isn’t a liberal but a fascist who uses group identity and political correctness to justify authoritarian measures. I use the label ‘fascist’ because it seems to fit far better than ‘classical liberal.’ Not all fascists are the same so reference to this or that party is irrelevant but the core of fascism is a subordination of freedom to authority, of free markets to regulated markets, of truth to political correctness, of honesty to ‘we each have to decide how honest to be to convince the rubes that we, the elite, are right.’ A classical liberal believed in progress, humanity, freedom, prosperity. Todays liberal believes in paradise on earth and all it takes is that we turn our lives and treasure over to them.
      I find today’s liberal an affront to everything that liberalism stood for. But the corruption of language is one of the first victims of propaganda and lying.
      A Classical Liberal valued freedom, civic society, voluntary association and organizations and sought ways to promote them. Today’s liberal values government above all else and seeks countless ways to impose the authoritarianism of government on every aspect of life. They are tireless in their quest to ‘control’ everything.
      The use of the words, “today’s liberal” is an amalgam, a distillation of those traits that stand out and shout the loudest. Not a way to identify every individual as some individuals who consider themselves liberal are as disgusted with the modern liberal as I am. Just recently I read that Democrats on the FCC want to regulate The Drudge Report. These are not peccadillos by harmless folks. They have earned the label, ‘fascist.’ IMHO.

      • “Today’s liberal values government above all else and seeks countless ways to impose the authoritarianism of government on every aspect of life” – Daniel

        Thankfully, true liberals like Daniel adhere to Rule #1.

      • Thanks. I’ll add that also. And fascist.

        And great logic there. Hitler, tens of millions of Americans = same, same.

      • Michael –

        Lets pray together in gratitude that folks like Daniel are around to save us from fascists liberals imposing authoritarianism on every aspect of life.

      • BTW, Daniel –

        Just so you know, you have become my new favorite “denizen.” dude, you leave wags, CWON, and GaryM in the dust.

      • nottawa rafter

        Daniel
        Wonderfully expressed.

      • “The problem is when the label is confused with the thing.”
        Such as “Climate Change” used as a meme for Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming”

  11. “Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them.”
    – Laurence J. Peter

  12. The global warming alarmists have filing cabinets full of their repetitive and narrowly focused research with circular citations and biased data that they say supports their demand they control every aspect of the lives of the productive. But, their research has been debunked.

    What we need is not the will to believe but the will to find out. (Bertrand Russell)

  13. David L. Hagen

    Remember the Commandments
    Judith
    Re: “It is useful to ponder history and wisdom from great thinkers.”
    Indeed. Russell’s 10 Commandments help stimulate civil liberal debate and further the scientific method. Their importance can be clarified in light of the original 10 Commandments the greatest and him and“second greatest command”, and Jesus’ “Golden rule”. Vishal Mangalwadi documents how the scientific revolution and Western civilization were founded on these principles. The greatest failings of climate science come from failing these greater commandments. For example, applying “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” to peer review and the free flow of ALL ideas and evidence.

    • David, I’ll go along with 5-10, pass on 1-4.

      • David L. Hagen

        Faustino
        That’s a good start. Most civil codes are built around 5 to 10. Judicial and legislative codes and oaths are founded on 3. US Government practice presumes 4. e.g., Congressional bills, patent office deadlines.
        Note <a href=The Magna Carta, the foundation of modern constitutional government, pre-supposes God, and is secured by oaths sworn before God

        KNOW THAT BEFORE GOD, for the health of our soul and those of our ancestors and heirs, to the honour of God, . . .
        + (1) FIRST, THAT WE HAVE GRANTED TO GOD, and by this present charter have confirmed for us and our heirs in perpetuity, that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired. . . .
        * (61) SINCE WE HAVE GRANTED ALL THESE THINGS for God, for the better ordering of our kingdom, and to allay the discord that has arisen between us and our barons, . . .
        * (63) IT IS ACCORDINGLY OUR WISH AND COMMAND that the English Church shall be free, and that men in our kingdom shall have and keep all these liberties, rights, and concessions, well and peaceably in their fullness and entirety for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs, in all things and all places for ever. Both we and the barons have sworn that all this shall be observed in good faith and without deceit. Witness the above-mentioned people and many others.

        So too the USA was founded by the Declaration of Independence 1776, with appeals to nature’s God, the Creator, divine Providence, governments are instituted (implying the Great Governor of the World), the year of our Lord, and sacred Honor.
        PS May I suggest taking up the issue with Him the next time you talk with Him – it’s might be too late if you wait until you see Him.

  14.  
     
    We should be more skeptical of more rules.

     

  15. This is an excellent post, and it keeps us grounded. Let’s take a look at these commandments and apply them to what we know:

    1, Do not feel absolutely certain of anything. (An honest skeptic never is, but it doesn’t keep them from stating what is most likely true)
    2. Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light. (Goes without saying. Share you data and your program used for analysis and be extra skeptical of those who won’t)
    3. Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed. (Only the worst kinds of people try to discourage thinking or try to force feed their perspective in lieu of thinking.)
    4. When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory. (Yep, they’ll agree just to make you happy or shut you up. Hollow.)
    5. Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found. (Indeed, and don’t confuse authority with wisdom or knowledge, but on average, PhD’s know more about climate than news pundits, but some citizen scientists know more than PhD’s.)
    6. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you. (Authoritarian science smacks of the Inquisition and the Dark Ages).
    7. Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric. (Equally, don’t quickly discount the eccentric opinions of others, for they too may be accepted and even proven correct one day. In fact, a true skeptic will never completely discount any opinion, since they are not 100% certain of anything.)
    8. Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter. (That’s always been a hallmark of CE – accepting intelligent dissent and even encouraging it. Hope it stays that way.)
    9. Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it. (This goes back to the desire to be “right” versus the desire to find the truth.)
    10. Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness. (Well, this is larger philosophical point that goes much deeper into the nature of reality. Many “warmists” would say “deniers” live in a fool’s paradise and visa versa. Happiness is a very subjective thing, sort of like what food tastes good to you. So long as someone’s happiness does not come at the cost of taking happiness away from another, it’s all good.)

  16. Rule #1: Throw all the bums out! ~Tea Party

    • Well, not suggesting the corporations get thrown out. The Tea Party has not seen fit to throw the corporate masters out of Washington. If the Tea Party stands up and proclaims:

      1. That Corporations are not people
      2. That Corporate control of our Democracy must end
      3. There must be real reforms in campaign financing
      4. There must be term limits

      Hell, I’ll join the Tea Party. Sadly, the Tea Party has been taken in under the wing of the Republican Party, and thus, we’ll just see the same old thing– the Plutocracy continues masquerading as a democracy to keep the masses confused. Just wave the flag in their faces, play some patriotic songs, and they’ll think they actually have a voice. Sad.

      • Something out there

        affects our climate more

        than CO2 and none of

        the computer models

        knows what it is.

        ~Jonova

         

      • Airplanes aren’t people. I’m not sure why we get so excited when terrorists fly them into building which aren’t people either.

      • http://humanevents.com/2013/08/16/mark-levins-liberty-amendments/

        1. That Corporations are not people
        2. That Corporate control of our Democracy must end
        3. There must be real reforms in campaign financing
        4. There must be term limits.

        Clearly 2 out of four 2 & 4.

        Of course with 2 & 4, 1 and 3 become somewhat moot.

        I suppose we can start by focusing what we violently agree on: 2 & 4.

        The legislative branch will not on its own limit itself so 4 would have to happen by a meeting of the states for the purposes of ammending the constitution.

        2 is harder, as long as the tax rates on corps are high they have an interest in folks who decide taxes. end corporate taxes and take away corporations primary reason for meddling in politics.

        once we see how 1 & 2 work we can see what is needed on 1 &3

      • 1. That Corporations are not people

        If they are not people, what are they? Are they not constituted of and governed by people? It is the people of the corporation who decide what a corporation does or does not do.

        2. That Corporate control of our Democracy must end

        Evidence please. Oh, and some might argue “they fund it, why shouldn’t they control it”? After all, what percentage of all taxes are paid by corporations or the individuals who work for the corporations?

        3. There must be real reforms in campaign financing

        Nope. Free speech is free speech and one must be willing to recognize that some may have the ability to speak louder than others. Doesn’t mean anyone has to listen.

        4. There must be term limits

        Yep, 100%. You put this fourth yet it is the most important.

      • 1. Corporations are legal entities designed to actually be separate from any individual or even group of individuals. They exist virtually forever. I don’t know of any person that lives forever. Corporations are not people and it was clearly a huge hand out to the Plutocrats to define them as such.

        2. Our country was found on the basis a democracy “of the people”. This is why the SCOTUS “corporations are people” was so damaging to the real people…the living flesh and blood people. One more nail in the coffin of real democracy.

        3. Money must be taken out of the equation to get the best men and women elected to office. The Plutocrats like the money being so key because they have the money. We need to get the best leaders elected, not the richest or best financed.

        4. Term limits prevent career politicians. Serve two terms and then go back and be a farmer, accountant, banker, or whatever. You’ll be paid a fair wage for serving, with a modest amount added to your 401K during your service, but you’ll get no lifelong pension. No cronyism if you go back to farming after serving and no one for the Plutocrats to get their hooks in.

      • Matthew R Marler

        R. Gates: 1. That Corporations are not people
        2. That Corporate control of our Democracy must end
        3. There must be real reforms in campaign financing
        4. There must be term limits.

        1. Corporations are treated legally as though they were people for certain purposes, such as to limit the power of government to stifle dissent, and to limit the power of government to stifle electoral opponents. e.g. the Citizens United case.

        2. Corporations are composed of people, and those people will always have a legitimate right to influence government.

        3. All “reforms” in campaign financing are restrictions that will be enforced by government; there is no way to “reform” campaign financing that does not enhance the power of incumbents. Reforms to date have mostly been counterproductive.

        4. Term limits are a limit on the people to elect whom they want to elect; I did not like the particular politics of Strom Thurmond or Robert Byrd (to select just two fairly recent examples), but I never found a good principle for term-limiting as applied to either of them.

        However well meaning, your points are poorly conceived. Sometimes democracy just plain sucks: here in California my positions are regularly voted down by the statewide majorities, and “Corporate Power” is way too limited compared to the power of State Employee Unions, imo. Term limits on Assembly members has been a net setback, as they increase the power of lobbyists over voters. But I do not see any benefit in further limiting the rights of the people who generally oppose me, as those proposals probably would if adopted; term limits on US Senators? I regularly vote against both of our liberal Senators, but I do not see how term-limiting them would accomplish anything.

        I do not dispute the existence of problems, or the appearance of problems, just as I do not dispute the radiative energy transfer basis of the worry that CO2 might cause warming and warming related problems. What I dispute is the claim that these proposals will produce any benefit; and I dispute the claim that they are based on any serious appraisal of how things work in politics (and in climate.)

      • Steven Mosher

        As I said guys

        1. Address term limits.
        2. End cronyism.

        You do those two things and you wont have a STUPID debate over whether corporations of people should be accorded the same or similar rights as persons. It will simply be moot for almost every interesting question.

        Or you can engage in a silly debate about personhood and forget the thing that we agree on: having a political class is sub optimal.

        Hell start with 1. see if you can agree and work on that.

      • “1. Address term limits.
        2. End cronyism.”

        and bring peace to the Middle East.

      • Corporations are an association of call them investors. Many of us are these investors, these owners when we invest our retirement funds. Do we ask associations to trade away certain free speech rights?

      • Corporations are a legal fiction. They have legal rights. But as far as I know they lack individual human rights. They also lack souls, and they don’t worry about their children’s grades. The day a corporation can use a toilet I will reconsider my position.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        Steve Mosher,
        While they might be helpful, at least in theory, term limits are not going to happen. It’s a ‘fox and hen house’ thing… and the foxes will be deciding on term limits.

        WRT corporations: in many respects corporations are similar in a legal sense to people. Heck, in Portuguese, a person is legally a ‘pessoa fisica’, while a corporation is legally a ‘pessoa juridica’. Corporations can be sued like a person, charged with crimes, fined, etc. They just don’t vote. I am not very concerned about corporations participating in political campaigns; nor unions or other organizations for that matter. One way or another the people who control most any organization will use that organization to politically advance their own best interests. That is not going to change.

      • The selectivity of the reasoning at climate etc. never fails to amuse…libertarians arguing for term limits….

      • I read once that the Tea Party and Operation Wall Street had more in common than either wanted to admit. It’s too bad no one had the wisdom to carry this further. That, perhaps, is the definition of wisdom.

      • On paper I would agree to all four mantras, but then again on paper I love “from each according to his capacity…” Or whatever. In reality not so much. People with or without resources will always figure out a way, especially the one with resources. The answer IMO is to decrease the size of what they are trying to influence so the incentive is minimized though my theoretical desire is for it to be zero.
        Your suggestion seems to ignore the incentives size and crminalize the effort, which will have its own unintended consequences

      • “I read once that the Tea Party and Operation Wall Street had more in common than either wanted to admit.”
        ______
        I have read that and thought that as well. Both want change to the process, though each view the nature of that change a bit differently. If we could stop our petty bickering based on “right” and “left” and get back to the roots of our democracy, we’d see that the core of the problem is that our democracy has been usurped by the Plutocratic elite who rule in Washington, and those Plutocrats are both Dems and Republicans, because the process is the corruption, not their political beliefs. To get elected, vast sums of money must be raised, and the only way to raise that money is to go begging to the corporate elite. If you’re a Dem, you’ll likely get more money from the Google’s of the world, and if you’re a Republican, you’ll go to Oil, Defense, etc. But the corporations are smart enough to contribute to both, making sure that all who are elected are beholding to support policies that keep the money coming in.

        We need a valid 3rd party with the platform we’ve been discussing. Until we turn off the big money flow to D.C. (i.e. break the Plutocracy), our democracy is a sham. They’ll simply wave flags in our faces, divide us with emotional issues, and laugh all the way to the bank, knowing that both Dems and Republicans are beholding to the Plutocrats.

      • This thread uses the word “democracy” a lot. You know, of course, that the United States of America is not a “Democracy”. It is a “Republic”. The dangers of a “pure” democracy were discussed in the Federalist Papers (esp. Federalist 10, Madison). The choice of a Republic was a counter to rule by faction to the detriment of other citizens.

    • Nice that you’d quote Jonova but not address my issues with the Tea Party being a sad parody of a party for real reform in Washington.

      Additionally of course, Jonova, as entertaining as she is, misses the mark widely the area of being a neutral broker on the issue of climate science.

      • The ‘Tea Party’ is not party.

      • You are right…sadly, the Tea Party simply represents the extreme of the extreme right wing of the Republican Party, and hence, just another extension of the “business as usual” Plutocracy that Washington has become.

      • Sure, sure, if Hells Angels and diesel truckers circling Washington and people who don’t believe taking in a million of Mexico’s unwanted children is a good idea are all conservative Republicans.

      • Gates

        One of the tenets of the so called Tea Party is to address the debt. The Liberals have deluded themselves into thinking that the Bush Tax Cuts and the wars caused the explosion in the debt. In the last 20 years the spending on Social Programs has increased by $2 Trillion per year. During that same period spending on Defense has increased by $300 Billion per year. The Bush tax cuts (which have all but disappeared) reduced annual revenue by no more than $180 Billion annually. The Social Programs spending will still be going up each year while the Bush Tax cuts and the cost of the wars will just be a memory. There is nothing extreme in trying to address the real problem in the debt which is the $2 Trillion per year added due to Liberal obsessions with increasing Social Program spending.

      • ceresco,

        I agree that spending must be gotten under control, in all areas. I am quite fiscally conservative. Don’t spend beyond your means, and look at each thing that you do spend money on closely in terms of its necessity and likely return. If this is a tenant of the Tea Party, then I applaud that. But what is festering at the root is a corporate control of Washington. Anyone who has spent any time there, or simply is an observer of the dynamics knows that our democracy is broken (not just broken, but not really a democracy any more). We, the people, the real flesh and blood people, must regain control of our government. If you don’t realize that Bush II’s attack on Iraq was really corporate welfare and a big pay day for his friends in Texas (and around the world) then you are completely blind to the way the real world works.

      • Rgates

        You say it was a pay day for bush’s corporate friends around the word. The UK is one of your friends. How did we benefit?

        Tonyb

      • Matthew R Marler

        R. Gates: You are right…sadly, the Tea Party simply represents the extreme of the extreme right wing of the Republican Party, and hence, just another extension of the “business as usual” Plutocracy that Washington has become.

        Which of their professed proposals do you think would do more harm than good? The consistent policy professions from the Tea Party are a reduction in the size, cost, and power of the Federal Government (and state governments); fewer EPA regs instead of more, for example; less support for the Export-Import Bank; reduced subsidies and protections for favored industries (Solyndra) and favored unions (teachers and other government workers). Considered purely on their merits, most of the things that they advocate have some merit, whether in the end you support or oppose them.

        As for “Plutocracy”, have you considered the record of the current mostly Democratic Federal Government that the Tea Party has been trying to oppose? “President Goldman-Sachs” may be an exaggeration, but the modern Democratic Party is very sweet toward large finance, who reward it with large campaign contributions. Proposed regulations, such as Soxley, don’t hurt large corporations at all, but protect them by burdening the start-ups that might compete against them.

        Neither are the Tea Partiers Saints, but these blanket dismissals of them show lack of information and lack of thought.

      • Matthew R Marler

        R. Gates: . If this is a tenant of the Tea Party, then I applaud that.

        First, picking a nit: you mean “tenet”.

        But now a question: Do you mean that you did not know that?

      • I’m a libertarian and as such I could have belonged to a break away party which shared my basic positions. The Tea Party seems to be a hijacked libertarian movement taken over by ultra right neocons. It’s what I call the Fox News cancer.

      • “We also need to declare corporations not to be a person.

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

        _____
        Yep. But that was all SCOTUS, who also has become handmaidens to the Corporate Plutocracy.

      • “R. Gates: . If this is a tenant of the Tea Party, then I applaud that.

        First, picking a nit: you mean “tenet”.

        But now a question: Do you mean that you did not know that?”
        _______
        The close alignment of the Tea Party with the far right wing Republicans has led me to not pay much attention to them. Dems and Republican are both so far down the rabbit hole with their Corporate Plutocrat masters that the whole process needs purging. When I think about how many people have died needlessly around the world to feed the bank accounts of the Washington Plutocrats…it makes me a bit sad.

      • “The Tea Party seems to be a hijacked libertarian movement taken over by ultra right neocons. It’s what I call the Fox News cancer.”
        ____
        I would agree. The name holds so much promise– actually returning our democracy to the people. But now that “corporations are people my friend”, the real people are screwed and the Plutocrats are stronger than ever.

      • “Neither are the Tea Partiers Saints, but these blanket dismissals of them show lack of information and lack of thought.”
        _____
        Well, I’ve never been accused of “lack of thought”, so that’s a new one. If the Tea Party would break ranks with the Republicans as an independent party and adopt these for tenets:

        1. That Corporations are not people
        2. That Corporate control of our Democracy must end
        3. There must be real reforms in campaign financing
        4. There must be term limits

        plus of course:

        5, A constitutionally a balanced budget every year (except in times of war)

        Then sign me up!

        But as long as they are the crazy far right uncle of the Republicans, they merit very little of my attention.

      • I think a more complete list of organizations that aren’t people is in order or is your list limited to just corporations?

      • Umm, just to inject a note of reality here, the entire U.S. budget for 2013 was. 3.4 trillion.

        Social Security received $808 billion
        Medicare and Medicaid received $851 billion
        DoD received $625 billion
        Net interest was $221 billion
        Other Mandatory was $373 billion
        Non defense discretionary spending was $576 billion

        Hack away all you want, but use real numbers, please.

      • Oh, and if your hacking starts with Social Security, you might note that the Federal Government received $948 billion from Social Security taxes and insurance charges, while spending $808 billion on SSI.

      • It’s Ponzied, Tom.
        ==========

      • Tom Fuller

        We have no disagreement on the numbers except I was citing FY 2015 vs FY2013. The point was that ALL Social Programs have gone up by $2 Trillion from $800 Billion to $2.8 Trillion while Defense has gone up by $300 Billion from $300 Billion to $600 Billion. Just a little nit pick with your SSI reference. The Social Security Trustees Report shows that the General Fund subsidizes SS and Medicare by $350 Billion. Some of that revenue you cited for SSI is actually Interest from the SS Trust Fund which is actually General Fund support. That is a common misconception about whether SS pays for itself. it does not since the Federal Government is on a cash flow budget and accounting system. Dig down into the components of the SS Revenue and you will see how much is payroll taxes and how much is interest.

      • Joshua and R. Gates: “Corporations are not people”

        People are at liberty to associate for common purpose, and people have the liberty to speak out on issues that concern them. You and others have the right to demand that corporations be restricted; others have the right to suggest you be ignored.

        The “Golden Rule” has been cited. Take care that your demand to limit speech does not metastasize. Sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander.

        Staff, Findlaw. “First Amendment: Right of Association.” Legal. Findlaw, n/d. http://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment1/annotation12.html

        “Right of Association: ‘It is beyond debate that freedom to engage in association for the advancement of beliefs and ideas is an inseparable aspect of the ‘liberty’ assured by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, which embraces freedom of speech. . . . Of course, it is immaterial whether the beliefs sought to be advanced by association pertain to political, economic, religious or cultural matters, and state action which may have the effect of curtailing the freedom to associate is subject to the closest scrutiny.’ It would appear from the Court’s opinions that the right of association is derivative from the First Amendment guarantees of speech, assembly, and petition, although it has at times seemingly been referred to as a separate, independent freedom protected by the First Amendment. The doctrine is a fairly recent construction, the problems associated with it having previously arisen primarily in the context of loyalty-security investigations of Communist Party membership, and these cases having been resolved without giving rise to any separate theory of association.”

    • That goes for the National Academy of Sciences as well.

      They, more than any other group, had responsibility for protecting the integrity of government science.

    • Excellent points Mosh. If we can get a “consensus” among both right and left leaning citizens about these points, maybe even the basis for actual real political change. But the hard part will be restoring people’s faith that they don’t need Washington’s permission to reform the way Washington is run.

      • Steven Mosher

        Its called a convention of the states for the purpose of ammending the constitution. Hopefully the organizers wise up and limit their agenda to term limits only. We can restore the concept of public servant. The political class, right and left, has got to go.

      • So nations where corporations can’t take out advertisements, like the UK, don’ have any trouble i take it?
        The Conservative Party, the worlds most successful political party, is 180 years old in its present form, but in truth was founded in form in 1678. More than 330 years is quite an age for an non-human sentient entity. You going to have time limits for political parties?

      • We also need to declare corporations not to be a person.

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

      • I like your optimism Mosh, even if I can’t personally rise to all of it. I’ve seen far too many good men and good women with good intentions going into public office get a bit “twisted” somewhere along the way and it always has to do with money and “re-election” campaign fund-raising, which inevitably causes them to pander to the corporate teet.

      • Years ago my brother proposed that all politicians appoint their successors. When challenged, his reply was along the lines of how would that differ from the present custom.
        =======================

      • R. Gates, “I’ve seen far too many good men and good women with good intentions going into public office get a bit “twisted” somewhere along the way and it always has to do with money and “re-election” campaign fund-raising, which inevitably causes them to pander to the corporate teet.”

        Power does tend to change people. If you replace corporate with successful, you have a more realistic situation. The government should pander to the things that make a nation “successful”. Since the laws of the land basically force businesses to incorporate to protect personal assets, of the corporate members, you would need to look at the punitive regulations that force groups to form corporations and PACs.

        Instead of whining about abstract “Corporations” with big Mammies remember that there will always be groups that want to become successful and groups that want to maintain what success they have.

        Politics is all about pandering and making deals with the ultimate goal of improving or maintaining conditions of the constituency of the politician. If you want a constituency that is creative and productive you have to allow them to achieve whatever their vision of success might be. It might not be your vision and it will never be ideal, but as along as you target the successful unfairly, it will be less than productive.

      • It might not be your vision and it will never be ideal, but as along as you target the successful unfairly, it will be less than productive.

        So Cap’n lobbies that instead of the voting public, he should be the arbiter of “fairness” – because the sheeple will get it wrong and only be duped by the big bad politicians. And, of course, “it will never be ideal,” but still we should hold what exists to some Nirvan-like ideal that has never existed on the face of the planet, because in Cap’n’s Shangri-La fantasies we would reach what is not “less than productive” if we just followed his advice.

      • “It might not be your vision and it will never be ideal, but as along as you target the successful unfairly, it will be less than productive.”
        ________
        I would never insist that we target the successful unfairly. Rather, that is exactly what the Plutocrats do through the process. From the Pharm industry to telecommunications, the laws are written to protect the big companies and actually discourage the innovative little guys from having a chance, and ultimately the consumer is the one who pays the bill. We could have much cheaper prescription drugs, much better internet service, much more fuel efficient cars, all at lower prices, but the Plutocrats know that their profits would suffer. The 1% will not let go of their Plutocracy easily.

      • Joshua, There is no Utopia. The system will always be imperfect because people are imperfect. Demonizing “Corporations” is just a catchy way to blow smoke. Really, how can Gates do good without some evil to battle?

        There are “Sheeple” though and they can be well educated.

        One of those silly human imperfections.

      • I get it, Cap’n. Anyone who disagrees with you is a sheeple*. And the causality is clear – they just ain’t as smart as you and so can’t appreciate the wisdom of your analysis:

        Just imagine how much less “less than productive” there would be if only more people were as smart as you, or even closer to your level of intelligence (after all, it’s obviously impossible that more than just a handful could be as smart). More smarter people = more people who agree with Cap’n.

        * of course, there’s also Chief’s insight that people who disagree with him = sociopaths.

      • Joshua, My opinions are mine and yours are yours. If we were neighbors, I doubt we would agree on everything but I am sure we would agree on somethings. I think people that sign petitions without knowing what they are signing are idiots. Not they are always idiots and never have any socially redeeming value, but the act of climbing on a bandwagon without thinking, is idiotic. I would also think that anyone demonizing “corporations” without considering why there are corporations is an idiot. In a way corporations are just like people, some better than others, but on the whole they have value.

        Gates soapbox is eliminating buzz words, there isn’t a lot of meat in his argument. He is proposing to “fix” a problems that exists because of other problems. Term limits, end cronyism, a chicken in every pot, peace in the Middle East, yada yada yada. I am not jumping on his bandwagon without a bit more detail. You are more than welcome to jump aboard though.

  17. Bryan Magee in his ‘Confessions of a Philosopher,’ spent a day
    conversing with Bertrand Russell in preparation for Magee’s BBC
    TV series. At 87 years Russell was still a brilliant conversationalist,
    witty and ironic. Says Magee:
    ‘As a philosopher Russell had done more than any other individual
    to apply new techniques of logical analysis … to traditional problems
    of philosophy’ but unlike the logical positivists still considered the
    central purpose of philosophy ‘its traditional task of understanding
    the world.’

    And while Russell was penetrating in his philosophical observations,
    Magee observes ‘he had a tendency to say and do idiotic things
    when it came to practical matters, and always for the same basic
    reason. He treated practical problems as if they were theoretical
    problems. In fact I do not think he could tell the difference. I would
    even go so far as to say that he did not know there was a difference.’

  18. Bryan Magee in Confessions of a Philosopher, spent a day in
    discussion with Bertrand Russell in preparation for Magee’s
    BBC television series. Russell was 87 years old but still a brilliant conversationalist, witty and ironic, said Magee.

    And while ‘Russell had done more than any other philosopher to
    propagate the revolutionary developments in logic …and to apply
    new techniques of logical analysis to philosophy ‘ he regarded
    these developments not as an end but a tool for philosophy’s
    ‘traditional task of attempting to understand the world.’

    Russell’s genius, Magee observes, was for solving theoretical
    problems He treated practical problems as if they were also
    theoretical problems. Magee didn’t think Russell was even
    aware of the difference. ‘When a problem was theoretical he
    was masterly, but when it was not theoretical but a problem of
    private or public life he was a blunderer.’

  19. Here are two modern examples of the consensus being totally wrong only to be corrected by “skeptics.” First, for decades, the scientific consensus was that ulcers were caused by excessive stomach acid and stress. In 1984, two scientists proposed that the real cause of ulcers was a particular bacterium. For over a decade these scientists — Barry Marshall and Robin Warren — were ridiculed by the medical establishment. In 1997, Marshal and Warren were awarded the Nobel prize for proving the real cause of ulcers. Second, since the 1950s the scientific consensus (with wholehearted government support) was that dietary fats were harmful and carbohydrates were good. Hence the discredited food pyramid. Recent studies, including a significant recent study by the National Institutes of Health challenged the long-prevailing view that low fat diets are key to better health. In fact, higher fat intake often leads to more weight loss and reduced risk factors for heart disease. If only the “consensus” climate scientists would take Bertrand Russell’s lead.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Egdal: Here are two modern examples of the consensus being totally wrong only to be corrected by “skeptics.”

      It is always worthwhile to be reminded by good examples like that.

      Your comment and Tom Scharf’s comment immediately following make a good pair. Despite the “self-correcting” nature of science, it nevertheless has happened recurrently that most of the people in a field have jumped on a bandwagon prematurely. Most of the time, people who are “skeptics” toward some propositions are not “skeptics” toward other propositions; that is one of the many reasons that it is important to focus attention on propositions and their evidentiary support, and not on whether a “skeptic” is or is not a “true skeptic”.

    • Rod Montgomery

      For an example of how a scientific consensus interacts with politics and bureaucracy and business, see The Epidemic That Never Was: Policy-making and the Swine Flu Scare by Richard E. Neustadt and Harvey V Fineberg, which is an expansion of a report prepared by the same authors for the Depatment of Health, Education and Welfare, The Swine Flu Affair: Decision-Making on a Slippery Disease.

      The original report is available online at http://biotech.law.lsu.edu/cphl/history/books/sw/

  20. It’s simple enough to follow these rules and most people usually do….until their pet cause is not succeeding on its merits. Then what?

    Start throwing them out one by one and rationalize that the end justifies the means. The overall lesson here would be that breaking these rules is in the end counterproductive. Can we really look at the reality of society today and say this is true? I’m not sure I can answer that either way, and it is easy to be cynical.

    The definition of an activist or politician seems to be a person with a cause that is breaking at least one of these rules. I fear that academia has been slipping into this category of late as well. Pretty sad.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Tom Scharf: It’s simple enough to follow these rules and most people usually do….until their pet cause is not succeeding on its merits. Then what?

      Well said.

    • Tom, the problem is attachment. If you are attached to a “pet” cause, then you will not respond rationally to evidence against it.

      Of course, the problem in almost everything is attachment, so long as people are reluctant to address that, we’ll continue to have bun-fights over both major and minor concerns.

  21. Jonova (The Skeptics Handbook) says:

    The only 4 points that matter…

    1. The greenhouse signature is missing.
    Weather balloons have scanned the skies for years but can find no sign of the telltale “hotspot” warming pattern that greenhouse gases would leave. There’s not even a hint. Something else caused the warming.

    2. The strongest evidence was the ice cores, but newer, more detailed, data turned the theory inside out.
    Instead of carbon pushing up temperatures, for the last half-a-million years temperatures have gone up before carbon dioxide levels. On average 800 years before. This totally threw what we thought was cause-and-effect out the window. Something else caused the warming.

    3. Temperatures are not rising.
    Satellites circling the planet twice a day show that the world has not warmed since 2001. How many more years of NO global warming will it take? While temperatures have been flat, CO has been rising, BUT something else has changed the trend. The computer models don’t know what it is.

    4. Carbon dioxide is already doing almost all the warming it can do.
    Adding twice the CO doesn’t make twice the difference. The first CO2 molecules matter a lot, but extra ones have less and less effect. In fact, carbon levels were ten times as high in the past but the world still slipped into an ice age. Carbon today is a bit-part player.

     

    • Regarding:

      #1 – Completely false. No credible climate scientist is claiming this. The only discussion is about the rate of change or climate sensitivity.

      #2 – The fact that the ice cores show temperatures rising first (during Milanokovitch cycles) with CO2 ocean outgassing and biological changes following on as positive feedbacks accelerating that forcing, does not take away from the basic forcing that comes from adding CO2 to the atmosphere. This is a false-flag argument at best, and deceptively over-simplifies the issue at worst.

      #3 – Odd way for “no warming” to occur with the last 10 years are the warmest on record, with the last 6 months being the warmest of those ten years and oceans are at their warmest on record and we are seeing the highest rates of glacial ice retreat. This “hiatus proves no CO2 warming” meme has been a pernicious one, fully inserting itself like a virus in the weak minded, unscientific community.

      #4 – Simply a load of crap. CO2 (and Methane and N2O) will continue to warm as they continue to increase in concentration. For a bit of science on this, see: http://www.skepticalscience.com/saturated-co2-effect-advanced.htm

      Really, are these the best “meme of the day” that you can come up with?

      • “meme of the day”

        Global Warming.

        Andrew

      • Wag: Is that your way of admitting the O-S ice age doesn’t contradict AGW?

      • #1. Provide your list of “credible” climate “scientists”.
        #2. Oversimplification = “the only possible explanation for rising temperatures/climate change is increased levels of co2”.
        #3. Warmest day/week/month/year/decade are meaningless when past temperature measurements have consistently been lowered. This has bee pointed out many times, yet feeble minded warmests continue to make the argument.
        #4. Sks? Really?

      • Your point 3 rebuttal is, as you say, crap. The hiatus being talked about is lack of Temp increase, which is what the meme was when it was rising, not the THC of the globe. Since that has gone away now you go formulating crap “hottest” of last y years or whatever. Shame on your blatant illegal ism, that too in the post with Russell Ten Commandments. All you prove is that you are a partisan hack

      • Let’s see Deebee, point #3 began by stipulating:

        “Satellites circling the planet twice a day show that the world has not warmed since 2001.”
        _____
        And yet 2010 was hotter than 2001 globally. Would temperatures have had to rise between 2001 and 2010 for 2010 to be warmer? More so, 2014 will be hotter than 2001. Will temperatures have to rise to be warmer than 2001?

        Rather Deebee, it seems to be you that is so in love with your faux-skeptic meme’s that you’ll defend them even if the actual facts and data don’t support them.

    • Wagathon wrote:
      “In fact, carbon levels were ten times as high in the past but the world still slipped into an ice age. Carbon today is a bit-part player.”

      I assume you’re referring to the Ordovician–Silurian ice age. What you didn’t mention is that the Sun was 4% dimmer than today. (Solar irradiance increases about 1% every 110 Myrs.)

      That’s -55 W/m2 at Earth’s orbit, and -14 W/m2 at the Earth’s surface.That’s huge — by comparison, anthropogenic CO2’s radiative forcing is now only about 1.9 W/m2. Also, the continents were arranged nothing like what they are today, and the Earth’s albedo could have been signficantly different.

      In a 2005 article, Dana Royer writes, “A simple analysis of radiative forcing
      (see Fig. 2) suggests that if the CO2-ice threshold for the present-day Earth is 500 ppm, the equivalent threshold during the Late Ordovician would be 3000 ppm.”

      http://droyer.web.wesleyan.edu/PhanCO2(GCA).pdf

      Also, the CO2 proxy data from back then is not very good (~10 Myrs between time steps; the O-S ice age lasted 0.5 Myrs), so much of the knowledge of CO2 back then comes from carbon models.

      • Climate has always changed and is always changing. The last Ice Age, which covered places like what is now New York City with ice two miles deep ended between 17,000 and 12,500 years ago, with overall but highly variable warming since then. Among the variations during the last thousand or so years, there was a warming period lasting approximately 300 years, from A.D. 950 to 1250, known as the Medieval Warm Period… followed by the Little Ice Age, which lasted from approximately mid-1400 to 1700 A.D… ~Daniel Botkin (Ibid.)

      • So essentially, the other faux-skeptic meme says, “The climate is always changing so we should ignore this…”

      • Is this your way of admitting the O-S ice age doesn’t contradict AGW?

      • Or this, which doesn’t show much change over the last 10,000 years, until recently>

      • And the faux-skeptics would like to suggest there is not basis for suggesting there is a relationship between the end of these two curves:

        and

        These sharp spikes upward, or “hockey blades” have no relationship to each other, despite the fact that the basic physics tells us that the rapid GH gas concentration increase represents the strongest and most rapid forcing on the climate in millions of years.

        Hence, the basis for my skepticism of these faux-skeptics. Perhaps they should not be watching so much Faux News.

      • Rgates

        You often refer to ‘faux news’ as an example of an illiberal media.

        Can you link to a couple of examples of theirs that in your opinion demonstrate this illiberal bias as we don’t get Fox over here? Thanks

        Tonyb

      • bummer, that link inhaled deeply.

      • Capt: That link is just another version of Marcott et al. It makes the same point.

      • Tonyb
        Did you see sea level rise article at WUWT.
        Any estimate an your next one on sea level?
        Scott

      • David Appell, “Capt: That link is just another version of Marcott et al. It makes the same point.”

        But it does so comically, befitting a comparison of overly smoothed paleo data with a spurious end point due to the limited number of proxies available in the last few centuries. If you smoothed everything uniformly, today meaning the past 120 years, would be the warmest since,.. since, the MWP :) +/- the appropriate uncertain which would be based on the minimum number of proxies used in any period.

      • Hi Tony,

        How many weeks do you have? Fox News, owned by Murdock, has an agenda, that is clear from articles like this:

        http://www.foxnews.com/science/2014/04/09/new-report-claims-un-findings-on-climate-change-is-just-bunch-hot-air/

        and the anti-science (spreading misrepresentations of what the data actually is telling us) is clear from stories like this on Fox News:

        http://www.foxnews.com/story/2009/04/18/report-antarctic-ice-growing-not-shrinking/

        Despite the fact that the actual trends for Antarctic glacial mass is like this:

        Many of the Faux News watching friends will insist that the growing ice in Antarctica “proves” that AGW is a lie. I just smile and keep quite as you can’t argue with someone who gets their science from Faux News.

      • Scott

        Did you mean the Purkey article which covers a 20 year period?

        My part 2 of Sea level rise covers some 800 years. It could be some time!

        More seriously I need to finish the article I am writing on climate between 1200 and 1400AD as that will identify the change from MWP to LIA and hopefully will give some clues on sea level rise during this period.

        tonyb

      • Capt:

        “overly smoothed paleo data”

        What does that mean exactly?

        “with a spurious end point due to the limited number of proxies available in the last few centuries.”

        The proxies are the same proxies the hockey stick is based on. Any uncertainty about them is included in the graph’s uncertainty limits.

        “If you smoothed everything uniformly, today meaning the past 120 years, would be the warmest since,.. since, the MWP :) +/- the appropriate uncertain which would be based on the minimum number of proxies used in any period.”

        That science has been done again and again — there is no global MWP; See:

        “Continental-scale temperature variability during the past two millennia,” PAGES 2k Consortium, Nature Geosciences, April 21, 2013
        http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v6/n5/abs/ngeo1797.html

        whose abstract reads:

        “There were no globally synchronous multi-decadal warm or cold intervals that define a worldwide Medieval Warm Period or Little Ice Age, but all reconstructions show generally cold conditions between AD 1580 and 1880, punctuated in some regions by warm decades during the eighteenth century.”

        .

      • David, where does that first image come from? I would like to read the paper.

      • Cog: The graph is from

        “A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years,” Shaun A. Marcott. et al;. Science 8 March 2013:
        Vol. 339 no. 6124 pp. 1198-1201 DOI: 10.1126/science.1228026
        http://content.csbs.utah.edu/~mli/Economics%207004/Marcott_Global%20Temperature%20Reconstructed.pdf

      • You’ll hear them tell you the even Marcott has disowned that graph trying to insinuate that that means the graph is not an accurate representation of what the temperatures were doing. That’s not at all what Marcott said. The graph very likely is a reasonably good representation of what Holocene temperatures have generally done up to the present day, with the salient feature being the Hockey blade uptick at the end. The data simply come from two different data sets, one reconstructed and one direct observations. It was the technique of joining these that was at issue.

      • You wouldn’t be able to detect today’s warming using Marcott’s methodology so what exactly is it evidence of?

      • “I need to finish the article I am writing on climate between 1200 and 1400AD as that will identify the change from MWP to LIA and hopefully will give some clues on sea level rise during this period.”

        _____
        As I’ve stated before Tony, if this article is to be taken seriously or have any basis in how the climate actually works, you need to find data on any ocean heat content reconstructions during this period. An undue focus on simple tropospheric weather events or paleoclimate reconstructions of surface temps will not tell a very complete story. This graph of IPWP heat content is a good place to start: (yes, and please note the big downturns around 1257 and again around 1453)

        As go the oceans, so goes the “climate”. The ocean is the dog that wags the troposphere and climate tail.

      • David Appell, ““overly smoothed paleo data”

        What does that mean exactly?”

        It means that there are a variety of temperature reconstructions using a variety of proxies with various naturally smoothed periods per sample combined after binning to a common sample period of approximately 120 years per binned data point. Then the binned reconstructions were adjusted to anomaly based on a common period then averaged which creates a “dimple” at the baseline period. So the data is naturally smoothed to a variety of different time frames, expanded to a common time frame then re-smoothed i.e. averaged. There are limits to the data that imputing new data, binning, cannot fix.

        “The proxies are the same proxies the hockey stick is based on. Any uncertainty about them is included in the graph’s uncertainty limits.”

        Actually, if you are referring to Mann’s iconic hockey stick, these are different lower resolution data sets. If you use a different binning period and/or select a different baseline period, the uncertainty changes. So I guess there are uncertain limits to determining uncertainty for a reconstruction of various types of temperature proxies with varying temporal and spacial resolution.

        In addition to this basic stuff, there are a number of issues with properly selecting end dates and why more recent higher resolution core samples were not used to extend the longer term reconstructions that ended before 1950. Paleo is making progress but there are plenty of opportunities left for the youngsters.

        For example PAGES 2K has a recent revision and likely with get another before too long.

      • “You wouldn’t be able to detect today’s warming using Marcott’s methodology so what exactly is it evidence of?”
        ____
        It is evidence of the existence of the sharp “hockey blade” spike up in 20th century temperatures compared to the general Holocene downward trend and this spike closely parallels the general spike in GH gases.

      • Gates, it isn’t evidence that todays warming is anything unusual. You have your modern correlation between CO2 and warming. Marcott does nothing to bolster your argument. Take the 1C or so of modern warming. Now drop the temperatures 0.5 C below the trend and take them 0.5 C above the trend. Now smooth it all using resolutions of 200 years. Isn’t going to look any different than the rest of his graph.

      • David, as an example, this is one of the reconstruction used in Marcott et al. where they missed the actual date of the end point.

        Tierney also had a higher resolution reconstruction at the same location which if you attempt to splice the two together you find that there is likely some dating issues. Forgive the smoothing I let OpenOffice provide, but the temperature around lake Tanganyika was likely somewhere in that ballpark. Equatorial Africa would represent a lot more thermal energy than Yamal I would imagine.

      • Rgates

        I do keep all your material on volcanoes and ocean heat content and shall evaluate them when the time comes . As you know I am sceptical of the 1257 event but have no opinion of the 1453 event as I haven’t looked at that era and will not do so in the next article.

        Tonyb

      • “That science has been done again and again — there is no global MWP…PAGES2K”
        Little out of date here, David – PAGES2K has issued a set of correction on their Arctic data, and the MWP is back – worldwide: http://climateaudit.org/2014/10/28/warmest-since-uh-the-medieval-warm-period/
        If they continue making the rest of the corrections that McIntyre suggested (like the ones they just did) it would presumably be even worse.

      • R Gates

        Just looked at the ocean heat content in your post of 2 . 35 again. It shows in essence 1500 years during the historic past when the ocean heat content was above the zero degree anomaly and only 50 years when it was above it in the modern era.

        Why should that Modern warming be a matter of concern?

        Tonyb

      • R. Gates is making things up. Again.

        You’ll hear them tell you the even Marcott has disowned that graph trying to insinuate that that means the graph is not an accurate representation of what the temperatures were doing. That’s not at all what Marcott said.

        It is true Marcott et al have never disowned the graph in its entirety. What they have disowned is the spike at the end of the graph, the spike Gates says is ever so important. That spike is purely an artifact of their methodology, and as the authors themselves have acknowledged, their methodology cannot possibly find a signal in a period so short as the modern temperature record. So when Gates says:

        The graph very likely is a reasonably good representation of what Holocene temperatures have generally done up to the present day, with the salient feature being the Hockey blade uptick at the end. The data simply come from two different data sets, one reconstructed and one direct observations. It was the technique of joining these that was at issue.

        He is just making things up. Anyone who knows anything about Marcott et al, including people who defend it (e.g. Tamino), knows the spike at the end is spurious. Only willfully obtuse, willfully ignorant or outright dishonest people would continue to say things like R. Gates says.

      • So the maximum error from these reconstructions from 13,000 years ago is +-0.2C?

        Wow, that is some excellent technology, especially since the error in the measured temperature record around 1850 was nearly the same.

        Must be some pretty fancy number crunching to get to that certainty level. Congratulations to the team for their excellent work. I find no reason whatsoever to doubt this, does anybody else?

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        Tom Scharf, if you think that’s remarkable, you should look at the uncertainty levels in the period they standardized their long series for. Because they forced all the series to agree in that “calibration” period, they found no deviation for that period. In their calculations, no deviation means no uncertainty.

        That’s right. According to Marcott et al, there was a period about ten thousand years ago we know temperatures for with absolute certainty.

        Which I’d say is a good sign they didn’t really know what they were doing.

      • “That spike is purely an artifact of their methodology.”
        ____
        No, not “purely”. The spike is a result of joining paleoclimate reconstructions with the modern temperature record. To the degree that the ensemble of multi-proxy reconstructions is an accurate accounting of those past temperatures trends and to the degree that the modern temperature record is accurate is the degree to which that spike actually represents what has occurred and is far more than an “artifact”. It could very well be extremely accurate or wildly wrong. Given that they used a multi-proxy approach and took the mean, and then the modern record, it seems more likely than not that a spike (or hockey blade) has occurred in the past century. More likely that then a flat line or continued decline in Holocene temps. Neither of those is indicated as likely by the record.

      • The climb of N2O in ppb is no laughing matter for so many 0.000,000,0001ths of reasons…

      • R.Gates, “No, not “purely”. The spike is a result of joining paleoclimate reconstructions with the modern temperature record. ”

        The main reason for the spike is that there are very few proxy series that ended in 1950 or later. Those few would dominate the end of the reconstruction which led to the question why more short term reconstruction at the same sites were not used to make the length of the proxy series more uniform in overall length. Marcott et al. also had a problem where the end dates of some of the data series were not calculated correctly. All of this seems to be par for the course in paleo reconstructions done without consulting the original data collectors.

        http://www.moyhu.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/proxy-viewer-with-choice-of-dating-and.html

        You compare the blemishes there

      • See ,

        Marcott dating:

        Author dating

      • R. Gates, you’re full of it when you say:

        No, not “purely”. The spike is a result of joining paleoclimate reconstructions with the modern temperature record.

        The graph you showed doesn’t even have the Marcott et al reconstruction joined with the modern temperature record. The two are shown as separate lines. The same is true for other graphs you’ve shown of the Marcott et al reconstruction. Some of them didn’t even show the modern temperature record at all. Despite that, you still talked about how the spike in them was ever so important. So when you say:

        Given that they used a multi-proxy approach and took the mean, and then the modern record, it seems more likely than not that a spike (or hockey blade) has occurred in the past century.

        Realize the Marcott et al reconstruction gives absolutely no support for the idea there has been a spike in temperatures during the modern period. As the authors themselves explain:

        A: Our global paleotemperature reconstruction includes a so-called “uptick” in temperatures during the 20th-century. However, in the paper we make the point that this particular feature is of shorter duration than the inherent smoothing in our statistical averaging procedure, and that it is based on only a few available paleo-reconstructions of the type we used. Thus, the 20th century portion of our paleotemperature stack is not statistically robust, cannot be considered representative of global temperature changes, and therefore is not the basis of any of our conclusions.

        The uptick in the Marcott et al reconstruction has no validity. It offers no support for the idea there has been a spike in modern temperatures. Everybody talking about this, save you, agrees about this. That includes the authors themselves.

        Whether or not the “spike” is real does not hinge upon Marcott et al’s results. All that hinges upon Marcott et al’s results is your credibility as you’ve repeatedly insisted Marcott et al’s results shows the spike is real – an idea everybody else knows is false. You can admit you were wrong, and join everybody else in agreeing the spike in Marcott et al is spurious.

        Or you can continue to say things which are obviously false. It’s your credibility and integrity on the line.

      • Brandon

        You will remember we had a long discussion on your blog last month about paleo proxy reconstructions.

        I subsequently contacted the author of the borehole daTa and looked at each of the tree ring proxies.

        The only conclusion I could reach was that you could prove whatever Climate scenario you wanted by selecting the correct sequences of proxies . Warm, cold, stable, you name it and the answer you want is achieved by selecting the ‘correct’ proxies

        Tonyb

      • steven wrote: “You wouldn’t be able to detect today’s warming using Marcott’s methodology so what exactly is it evidence of?”

        C&W show 0.8 C of warming since 8/1964. That would be detectable, except for (at least) the divergence problem for northern latitude tree rings. Fortunately we have instrumental temperatures for the modern era.

      • David Appell wrote:

        Fortunately we have instrumental temperatures for the modern era

        Indeed.
        Now we can be irrelevant to three decimal places.

      • It’s your credibility and integrity on the line.

        I’ve heard tell that freedom’s just another word for “nothing left to lose”.

      • “Fortunately we have instrumental temperatures for the modern era.”
        _____
        Indeed, but it doesn’t stop the faux-skeptics from trying to attack that as well. Multi-proxy reconstruction plus the modern instrumental record gives us a pretty good feel for what the climate was over the Holocene. Not perfect, not without uncertainty, but good enough for reasonable assumptions about general trends. Faux-skeptics seek certainty or nothing. That is not science.

      • David, no it wouldn’t be detectable because that is only a 50 year period. You have to average it in with the 150 years prior to it. You go right back to the scenario I gave Gates.

      • The Skeptical Warmist is dead! Long live the Human Carbon Fibber.
        =======================

      • @Brandon Shollenberger…

        What I don’t understand is why everybody is arguing over the existence of a “spike (or hockey blade) [that] has occurred in the past century.” What really matters is this:

        […] shorter duration than the inherent smoothing in our statistical averaging procedure […]

        IOW, there’s no evidence (in their paper) that similar spikes haven’t been occurring all along, since their “inherent smoothing” would have smoothed it out.

        What I suspect is a semantic issue: people who really understand the statistical analysis (or lack thereof) take that for granted, people who understand less don’t see it.

        Wouldn’t it help to reduce confusion to make that point explicitly? And loudly? And to, perhaps, look at the actual paleo evidence (e.g. tree rings) for evidence of prior “spike[s] (or hockey blade[s]”?

      • AK, that is an important point, but I don’t agree it is more important. Without the spike in the Marcott et al graph, it wouldn’t have had a notable visual impact. Most people wouldn’t care about it. It’s only because they included that spike they could get people to pay attention.

        Marcott et al’s visual impact depends on two things: 1) They have to generate an artificially smooth past; 2) They have to generate a significant spike at the end. I don’t think either is more important. They needed both if they wanted to get any sort of significant media play.

        But really, my only reason for commenting on the results at this point is I’m tired of R. Gates going around telling everyone things which are so obviously false. If he had actually paid any attention to what the critics of the paper said, something he pretends to have done, he’d know what he’s saying is complete nonsense.

  22. Dunno how anyone can designate a political system ‘liberal’ when
    its denizens require our most fundamental liberty, free speech,
    hedged in with ‘thou shalt not’s’.

  23. Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.

    If CAGW activists could just get this one point right many of the sins of the other nine would be avoided.

    – Lewandowsky was attempting to suppress opposing arguments.
    – Getting editors fired from journals is an effort to suppress opposing arguments.
    – Advocating the death penalty for “deni*rs” is and effort to suppress opposing arguments.
    – Redefining peer review is an effort to suppress opposing arguments.
    – The 10:10 video was an effort to suppress opposing arguments.
    – Banning letters to the editor from CAGW skeptics is an effort to suppress opposing arguments.
    – Ad hominem attacks on the likes of Judith Curry and others by other scientists is an effort to suppress opposing arguments.
    – Threatening people like Lennart Bengtsson is an effort to suppress opposing arguments.
    – Attempting to blackball meteorologists who don’t fall in line is an effort to suppress opposing arguments.
    – Coordinating with behind the scenes emails to freeze out other scientists is an effort to suppress opposing arguments.

  24. Judith, you failed #2, by not even alluding to the newer data in your WSJ op-ed about your paper with Lewis.

    • Oops…well, she is only human after all.

      • Sure can seem some relationship between these two graphs:

        Unless of course you happen to be a faux-skeptic, who is so in love with their meme of “anything but CO2” that they’ll desperately search for any possible reason that the physics of greenhouse gases must be wrong. Sad to see, but all too human I suppose.

      • Rgates

        I posted this for you yesterday

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/10/31/bertrand-russells-10-commandments/#comment-643181

        According to your own graphic it seems the MWP ocean heat content (and therefore the land temperature?) was higher than today, indeed much of the last 2000 years had an ocean heat content higher than today. WUWT?

        In addition I posted the borehole data that showed temperatures rising since at least 1700. Where does the graphic in your 10.41 fit into that scenario?

        tonyb

      • Actually, I find those two pictures highly supportive of Salby’s smoothing hypothesis. Especially comparing the curve from McKay and Kaufman 2014 with what I imagine the CO2 curves would look like if the difference from the mean were amplified with age.

        Might be worth trying.

      • tonyb
        Just a note to add to the response to your question about what about Fox news some find biased.

        Like the climate control authorities, the main stream media in the US is on message and controlled by left wing authoritism. i.e. Sheryl Atkinson a CBS news journalist must resign to speak honestly about government breaking into her computer and stonewalling the investigations.

        Fox news tries to be balanced and let the viewer decide. Even the right wing hosts bring on opposition viewpoints. Like your BBC stating that in fairness to the viewed they can only present the CAGW information, mainstream media in the US is an elite organizaion that controls information in support of the democratic party.

        Lonely opposition voices like Dr. Curry continue to try to present facts and are called names. I appreciate your continuous efforts to ask logical questions and follow through when blanket statements by some accuse her of not being professional or competent.

        This climate issue is complex. Data in the oceans is sparse and proxies are not definitive but subject to interpertation. Satellite data must be massaged to provide temperatures.
        Land temperatures in Australia and the US are changed without even providing the originals. UHI effects are discounted as the past is cooled and the present warmed instead of UHI cooling the present.

        I look forward to your posts.
        regards, Scott

      • Tony noted:

        “According to your own graphic it seems the MWP ocean heat content (and therefore the land temperature?) was higher than today, indeed much of the last 2000 years had an ocean heat content higher than today. WUWT?

        In addition I posted the borehole data that showed temperatures rising since at least 1700. Where does the graphic in your 10.41 fit into that scenario?”
        ______
        Well, first I am not one to try and deny the existence of the MWP, even on a global scale. It is clear in many paleoclimate proxy temperature reconstructions. It shows up in both tropospheric surface temperatures and ocean heat content. It shows up in historic records, as you well know.
        What interests me more is the causes of the MWP, and more importantly comparing the combination of forcings that produced that warm period versus today’s warming. Going back to the notion that a combination of volcanoes + solar + natural variability dictated the evolution of the climate in periods prior to the HCV, then analysis of the MWP would suggest that is was the lower volcanic activity of 700 AD – 1225 AD, plus natural variability that led to this warmer period. Paleoclimate data confirms both the lower volcanic activity period + slightly higher TSI when compared to the following LIA, which really got it’s GLOBAL beginnings in the 13th Century:

        Overlaying these two charts, you’ll begin to get a good picture of the natural external forcings that drove the climate during the past 2000 years. Moreover, it becomes clear that over the past several centuries, there has been a combination of recovery from the LIA cooling, (a recovery which really ended by 1900), as well as the new forcing from GH gas increases into the atmosphere from anthropogenic activity. While anthropogenic forcing includes both aerosols (as a negative forcing) and GH gas increases and land use changes, the positive forcing from anthropogenic activity vastly overwhelms negative anthropogenic forcing and all natural forcings and natural variability over longer-periods. A large volcano (such as Pinatubo in 1991) can provide a temporary slowdown to warming, but is still no match for the forcing from GH gas increases over the long-term.

      • Scott

        Thanks for your comment. Bias is in the eye of the beholder I suppose. I would be interested to see examples of what those who watch Fox news believe are instances of bias from the ‘other’ side. I don’t know which media would be considered to be left of centre in the States?

        tonyb

      • Scott

        In your post to me you said;

        “This climate issue is complex. Data in the oceans is sparse and proxies are not definitive but subject to interpretation. Satellite data must be massaged to provide temperatures.”

        As I have said here several times I was struck when I heard Thomas Stocker say at a climate conference organised by the Met Office of IPCC reviewers, that “we do not have the technology to measure the temperatures of the deep oceans.’ He was referencing waters below 2000metres. As you know the average depth of the ocean is 4000 metres.

        This was a spontaneous off the cuff remark in passing to a question posed to him. I can’t help feeling that its not an answer that would have been put the same way if this had been in a written report.

        There are many illogicalities in CAGW which I try to research, together with a lack of historic context which I endeavour to provide.

        tonyb

      • Rgates

        Thanks for your detailed response.

        We will agree to differ about the 1257 volcano Until I find evidence of its impact. As for the 1453 event, as I say I have not researched that era so won’t comment until I do.

        Did you see my comment here to Brandon?

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/10/31/bertrand-russells-10-commandments/#comment-643219

        I would be interested in hearing your views on this as you place a lot of store in paleo proxy reconstructions. The more I delve into them the more I view them as the ultimate in cherry picking whose varieties can be adjusted according to the type of pie you hope to bake

        tonyb

      • Tony, for evidence of bias look at the lack of coverage by the broadcast media in the US of the likelihood of significant losses by the Democrats in next week’s elections. Virtually no coverage on the evening news programs. Then look at the same outlets during the same situation under Bush. Google Media Research Center for the details. One outlet, ABC, has not run a single story on the elections. Fascinating.

      • K Scott Denison

        I found this

        http://hotair.com/archives/2014/10/22/what-election-network-news-gives-up-on-covering-midterms/

        This seems to be evidence of bias. Perhaps some of obamas supporters here will be able to explain this.

        From this side of the pond my perspective is that Obama has been a hopeless leader of the western world and just let many dangerous threats develop. Lets hope the next President reassumes leadership

        Tonyb

      • Unfortunately I agree with your assessment of Obama Tony. He is the secmost no coming of the ineffectual Jimmy Carter. But worse. It is what happens when the people elect an individual who has never run or led anything in his life. Good news is whomever comes next has a high likelihood of being better.

    • Curious George

      David Appell never refers to newer data when discussing a hockey stick graph.

      • Of course, the newest data only continues to confirm the basis hockey stick blade or sharp spike upward in temperatures over the past century relative the overall Holocene curve. The denial of this spike upward or hockey stick blade and even worse, undue focus on the so-called “hiatus”, is the most common joint themes or memes currently being virally spread among the faux-skeptic community. Even among those who admit the hockey stick blade exists, ascribe it to “LIA recovery”, which is yet one more meme that is more popular among the less educated faux-skeptics.

      • Curious George wrote: “David Appell never refers to newer data when discussing a hockey stick graph.”

        False — I always mention the PAGES 2k paper from last year. Are there more recent data?

      • False — I always mention the PAGES 2k paper from last year. Are there more recent data?

        The revised PAGES2K Arctic reconstruction from this year. McKay and Kaufman 2014.

      • It would be more improbable that this would NOT have an effect on the climate:

        Most likely would look something like this, given the physics of GH gases:

      • Actually, I find those two pictures highly supportive of Salby’s smoothing hypothesis. Especially comparing the curve from McKay and Kaufman 2014 with what I imagine the CO2 curves would look like if the difference from the mean were amplified with age.

        Might be worth trying.

    • You fail to understand the Lewis and Curry paper, and her op-ed about it. As was discussed here on that thread then. Repeated a losing/irrelevant/ false argument does not make it into a winner. And does violate several of Russell’s rules. Whichnwas to be expected, given your previous contributions here.

    • Steven Mosher

      David

      “Judith, you failed #2, by not even alluding to the newer data in your WSJ op-ed about your paper with Lewis.”

      Rule 2 is “Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.”

      Let’s have a test of your consistency.

      But first lets look at Judith’s case.

      A. She failed to mention and her and Nic failed to look at C&W.
      B. failing to mention something and failing to look at a dataset
      is not CONCEALING the evidence. C&W are still there
      anyone can download it and test.

      Rather, Judith Violated rule 9. being completely truthful.

      Now,

      1. When Mann hid the decline where were you
      2. When Jones hid the decline where were you
      3. When Santer used shortened datasets where were you
      4. When Tiljander was used upside down, where were you.

      Simple questions.

      There may be some arguing whether or not Briffa ‘concealed’ evidence.
      Recall the argument.. since the data was presented elsewhere nobody
      really hid the decline.. since it was shown in some other document it
      wasnt really concealed.

      Comes the question: If Judith is less than completely and totally truthful
      by failing to mention C&W in her editorial, what is your judgment of the
      WMO cover? of Ar4 chapter 6? of Santer.

      What I want to see is whether you are a warrior for total and complete disclosure in all cases.

      I suspect not but we can rummage through your previous writings to see.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Steven Mosher: Rather, Judith Violated rule 9. being completely truthful.

        number 9 is : Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.

        The problem with being “completely” truthful (your paraphrase) is that you can’t write anything shorter than 3 million words. Every truncation omits something that someone somewhere thinks ought to have been included.

        Lewis and Curry stated clearly why they focused attention on IPCC AR5. Curry’s WSJ editorial was based on that. Had she tried to incorporate 1 more data set into her WSJ article, she’d have had to incorporate at least 100 more that touch on this or that aspect of warming, sensitivity, or methodology, perhaps including the not-yet published work of Bob Tisdale and Willis Eschenbach.

        The important parts about being “not quite complete” is that the omission was decided by a criterion (essentially, publication date) independent of the outcome, and there was no attempt to “conceal” or suppress it. That contrasts with a well-known ” trick to hide the decline”.

        The problem I find with precepts like Russell’s and Feynman’s is that they are impossible of achievement for us mere mortals, so we always end up trying to decide whether some effort or some person is “good enough” or “not good enough”.

      • Further, i have serious reservations about C&W, which i discussed in a blog post and Nature Geoscience.

      • Matt T M, “precepts like Russell’s and Feynman’s (are) impossible of achievement for us mere mortals.” In the words of an old song, “You can be better than you are!” I’ve known some people who are pretty close to perfect.

      • curryja | October 31, 2014 at 4:58 pm |
        Further, i have serious reservations about C&W, which i discussed in a blog post and Nature Geoscience.
        *****
        Oh well, Mosher wanted the truth. There it is.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Faustino: In the words of an old song, “You can be better than you are!”

        Yes I can. Still, I thought it was harsh to say that Prof Curry had “failed” or “violated” a principle. Her rational had been clearly expressed. I don’t think her WSJ article would have been “better” had she digressed to consider the C&W article as a special case or otherwise. The WSJ article had a disciplined approach, and she had addressed C&W elsewhere.

      • Matt, that wasn’t directed at you, but at your comment that the precepts of Russell & Feynman are “impossible of achievement for us mere mortals.”

    • Steven, You wrote “failing to mention something and failing to look at a dataset is not CONCEALING the evidence.”

      It certainly can be. I’m sure Lewis and Curry know about Cowtan & Way. Why didn’t they are least mention it? Even you’ve said it’s a superior dataset. Why didn’t they/she at least mention the latest ocean heat content data?

      “When Mann hid the decline where were you”

      He (or Jones) didn’t “hide” anything — he didn’t use proxies that weren’t good proxies for temperature. “Decline” is a decline in the proxy temperatures for northern latitude tree rings since 1960 (the “divergence” problem), not a decline in surface temperatures.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        David,

        You conveniently ignore Santer et al using old temperature data (three years out of date) to avoid admitting a statistically significant discrepancy exists between models and measured upper tropospheric warming. Several people have pointed this out in the past (Mosher today), but you ignore that rather admit Santer et al simply refused to concede the obvious. Why will you not address this?

  25. Russell published an “auto-obituary” in the Listener in 1936 which ends:

    “His life, for all its waywardness, had a certain anachronistic consistency, reminiscent of that of the aristocratic rebels of the early nineteenth century. His principles were curious, but, such as they were, they governed his actions. In private life he showed none of the acerbity which marred his writings, but was a genial conversationalist and not devoid of human sympathy. He had many friends, but had survived almost all of them. Nevertheless, to those who remained he appeared, in extreme old age, full of enjoyment, no doubt owing, in large measure, to his invariable health, for politically, during his last years, he was as isolated as Milton after the Restoration. He was the last survivor of a dead epoch.”

    The epoch he meant was, of course, the Enlightenment and he felt its values had disappeared by 1936 But he was wrong, they hadn’t then and they won’t now either. So we can be encouraged.

  26. Here’s a paragraph from Jose Duarte’s site. He says he believes there is a scientific consensus that’s quite large and that it doesn’t need “help” from bogus studies. He’s appalled at the methodology used in support of the 97% figure. He’s also naïve enough to be under the assumption that it’s a given that the Cook paper would/will be retracted just because the methodology was so bad. (Italics from the original.)

    The extract:
    “Beware centralized authorities and lofty scientific organizations. Climate science is going through a pompous phase right now, where they think that if they issue a report under the banner of the AAAS or the Royal Society or the IPCC, laypeople should just kneel before them. That’s unscientific, un-American, and terrible epistemology. Authority and officialdom are not good heuristics for scientific truth, and clearly, organizations like the AAAS can no longer be trusted. I don’t think climate scientists fully appreciate the fact that lots of people simply do not trust them — and behavior like the AAAS’ scam report will only further erode the public trust, and deservedly so. They need to have much higher standards, make it trivially easy to obtain their data, and always, always, always tell the truth. AAAS grossly misled the public about the quality of the evidence for their 97% consensus figure, and I can’t tell you how much that crushed me — they’re a left-wing political advocacy organization at this point, not a scientific body. A scientific body would use robust scientific methods like meta-analysis, and carefully control for the political biases of its membership – cherry-picking junk studies is the well-worn tactic of mediocre political advocacy think-tanks.”

    – See more at: http://www.joseduarte.com/#sthash.S6MftDZr.dpuf

    • They need to have much higher standards, make it trivially easy to obtain their data, and always, always, always tell the truth.

      That part is very Feynmanian. Mannian, not so much.

  27. “Presumably in the past you didn’t need the lens of history to identify a great thinker. ” To my understanding, this is not the case. For example, the works of Socrates/Plato represented in large part a reaction to Homer (see Havelock). The lens of the past has been represented in many different ways. It has been with us certainly for all of recorded history and likely as long as there has been memory.

  28. Curious George

    “The best answer to fanaticism: Liberalism.”

    How should we classify these organizations: IPCC, the Royal Society, the University of Pennsylvania, the Environment Protection Agency?

  29. I agree, Professor Curry: “In order for us to truly create and contribute to the world, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these pieces and build new ideas.”

    That is how we finally figured out, “Solar energy,” Advances in Astronomy (submitted 1 Sept 2014) https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Solar_Energy.pdf

  30. Independent thought has always been discouraged as it is disruptive to the status “flow”, cognitively distressing as it is challenging and on the backhand suggestive that others have not been professionally open to learning. What has been a great surprise is that modern education and the availability of information has not reduced the resistance to the new idea. I’d argue the resistance is greater: the more computer oriented, the more information “out there”, the less disagreement is perceived possible by the technically untrained. Disagreement is considered a prejudice, a type of personal cussedness of the agenda-driven, cranky old guy of the neighborhood.

    Despite what recent history has shown us about the lies, manipulation, personal interest and simple conceit masking ignorance or indifference, the “educated” modern world still accepts much of what politicians, celebrities and cute talking heads says without question. We want simplicity, certainty and, perhaps most, someone else to do the heavy lifting.

    We want a pretty package and we want FedEx to deliver it to out door.

    Not a good situation for our society to move into the future.

    • Doug, “Disagreement is considered a prejudice, a type of personal cussedness of the agenda-driven, cranky old guy of the neighborhood.” Fortunately, there are a lot of us old guys about, including at CE, who may have cussedness and crankiness but are not agenda-driven..

  31. For an independent forecast of the timing and extent of the probable coming cooling based not on the inherently useless IPCC type model approach but on the natural 60 and 1000 year periodicities clearly obvious in the temperature data and using the 10 Be and neutron count data as the best proxy for solar “activity” see
    the series of posts at
    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com

    • Unfortunately Dr. Page, the current forcing from GH gas increases so overwhelms any natural periodicity that might exist, that all bets are off as to whether those natural variations can even be seen against the long-term anthropogenic fingerprint which only increases in strength every year. Additionally of course, the strength of the anthropogenic forcing creates non-linearities such that even the rate of change is changing. Earth 1600 or even 1960 does not equal Earth of 2050. Different planet, different forcings. Humans are not good at predictions when even the rate of change is changing.

      • “Humans are not good at predictions when even the rate of change is changing.”

        You seem to be pretty good. You know what’s going to overwhelm what without actually having been there or seen it happen.

      • Unless we know where we are with regard to the timing and extent of the natural 60 and 1000 year cycles we cannot begin to estimate the effect of anthropogenic CO2.For the 1000 and 60 year cycles see figs 5,67,8,9 and 15 ,16 at the next to latest post at
        http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com
        No doubt anthropogenic CO2 has some small effect – but the growing discrepancy between increasing CO2 and temperature seen in Fig 3 in the next to latest post suggests it is minimal. If CO2 continues to increase its fertilizing effect will however help to reduce the negative effects of more frequent shorter growing seasons on food production.The McLean paper linked at the latest post on my site correlates cloud cover and temperature very nicely without reference to CO2 .
        In fact if you believe CO2 drives temperature you would have to conclude that through the last several thousand years of the Holocene it acts as a coolant- look again at Fig 5.

      • “…the long-term anthropogenic fingerprint which only increases in strength every year.”

        Bwahahhaha! Too funny.
        Read the AR’s – all of ’em.
        Notice that each one “projects” less future warming than it’s predecesser.
        Reconcile with your quoted comment – we could all do with the amusement of watching you tie yourself in knots trying.

      • Humans are not good at predictions, full stop. So don’t make policy on wild projections pertaining to 2100 AD.

      • “Humans are not good at predictions, full stop. So don’t make policy on wild projections pertaining to 2100 AD.”
        ______
        A small spark starts a corner of the drapes on fire in a movie theater. We can’t, with 100% certainty be sure that flame will grow the engulf the whole theater, though our best analysis tells us that it is likely to unless we take action. Oh well, the uncertainty is there so continue watching the movie. Pass the popcorn!

      • The point is not whether or not continued growth in GH gases will affect our climate. It already very likely is, and without action, will likely become more extreme in the future. The issue is about how much time we have before we’ve passed the point where serious climate change will occur. The problem, as Ray Kurzweil has pointed out on many occasions, is that change is often non-linear, and if you try to shoot for where you think the future is headed, you’ll likely miss because things accelerate. JC seems to think that the “hiatus” and specific models show we might have more time than we thought. That is one perspective, though it seems a bit short-sighted and more gambling than anything. The more we do now, the less difficult it will be later.

      • R. Gates, like many warmists draw up pointles and frankly idiotic analogies. Let’s see, a small fire in a theater is exactly like increased levels of co2. We all wait for that increased level of co2 to set the world afire while blindideologues like gates stand and scream to an incredulous crowd.

  32. I conclude that the machinery created by the politics of kindness doesn’t work very well—in the sense of being economical, adaptable, and above all effective—because the liberals who build, operate, defend, and seek to expand this machine don’t really care whether it works very well and are, on balance, happier when it fails than when it succeeds. ~William Voegeli

  33. This post by the blog proprietor article follows the same general pattern usually exhibited in the posts here, of broad vagueries that don’t really have anything to do with the issue, but can be generically applied to anything to create generic doubt unrelated to, and often implicitly misrepresentative of, the specifics; or simply interpreted in a way that can be easily fit with and thus shaped into a re-affirmation of how the interpreter wishes to see things.

    It is more misleading than not, confuses the actual issues, and employs the use of subtle rhetoric in the place of cogent, objective, dispassionate, and non misrepresentative analysis.

    From the Wash’ Post:

    There’s just one problem. According to a number of scientific critics, the scientific consensus represented by the IPCC is a very conservative consensus. IPCC’s reports, they say, often underestimate the severity of global warming, in a way that may actually confuse policymakers (or worse). The IPCC, one scientific group charged last year, has a tendency to “err on the side of least drama.” And now, in a new study just out in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, another group of researchers echoes that point.

    It’s an interesting contrast with the one that this blog, regularly misunderstanding the IPCC, very erroneously presents of an IPCC “forced into an issue amplifying consensus.” And it is a contrast that is more accurate than not, for a number of specific reasons.

    If one carefully reads this piece (updated and revised) and considers the dozens of relevant links therein to the world’s leading science organizations on the topic, and after reading it still believes that the proprietor of this site has a good understanding of and grasp of the issue of climate change on which this blog nevertheless so popularly focuses, then there is a good chance the reader is not being objective and sufficiently detached about the issue.

    Notice the parallels, along with the same initial response back in the 80s and 90s to ozone depletion – a much simpler, more direct, tightly controlled and shorter time frame issue, and which otherwise reflected the EXACT SAME parallels therein as on climate change now – as well (emphasis added):

    Our National Security Adviser at the time, Condoleezza Rice, was, ironically, scheduled to give a major speech on national security on September 11, which was to run about 45 minutes long, and which was, naturally, cancelled. The speech itself contained barely a minute’s worth of reference to Al-Qaida, or even rogue sovereign-less terrorism – our most significant national security threat, and the one that outgoing National Security Adviser Sandy Berger had personally met with Rice to warn her about; a warning, much like to many in Rice’s political party, that went unheeded, [eerily parallel] to the issue (although one that is much longer term, and more complex), of radical long term atmospheric alteration now.

    In the above quoted from piece, much of the science on some of the under-examined but centrally relevant and rather profound processes and facts on this issue, and, if implicitly, why those actual facts – not rhetoric – present such a stark contrast to the misplaced philosophical pablum that passes for rigorous scientific inquiry, examination, and questioning on this blog, are covered. And will leave a reader FAR better informed, no matter what their persuasion, than the generic musings of Bertrand Russell on certainty; as with most that is so often similarly offered on this site, as “climate science.”

    For some further additional perspective on Russell’s musings as misapplied to the science of what we simplistically label “climate change” but which really reflects our geologically radical and still ongoing alteration of our long term atmosphere’s heat energy re absorption and re radiation nature, here is a different take. It is one offered by another person who also knows far more about the science of this issue..and who is if anything one of the U.S.’s leading experts on it…

  34. For most html, from what little I know of it, using the shortened “quote” instead of blockquote, also works. Apparently it doesn’t on wordpress? Which makes the comment very hard to follow, as two large paragraphs are blockquoted, quotes.

    I’ll repost with this html shortcoming, corrected.

  35. This post by the blog proprietor follows the same general pattern usually exhibited in the posts here, of broad vagueries that don’t really have anything to do with the issue, but that can be generically applied to almost anything to create generic doubt unrelated to, and often implicitly misrepresentative of, the specifics; or simply interpreted in a way that can be easily fit with and thus shaped into a re-affirmation of how the interpreter wishes to see things.

    It is more misleading than not, confuses the actual issues, and employs the use of subtle rhetoric in lieu of cogent, objective, and non misrepresentative analysis.

    From the Wash’ Post:

    There’s just one problem. According to a number of scientific critics, the scientific consensus represented by the IPCC is a very conservative consensus. IPCC’s reports, they say, often underestimate the severity of global warming, in a way that may actually confuse policymakers (or worse). The IPCC, one scientific group charged last year, has a tendency to “err on the side of least drama.” And now, in a new study just out in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, another group of researchers echoes that point.

    That presents an interesting contrast with the one that this blog, regularly misunderstanding the IPCC, very erroneously – and more than a little ironically – presents of an IPCC “forced into an issue amplifying consensus.”

    If one carefully reads this piece (updated and revised) and considers the dozens of relevant links therein to the world’s leading science organizations on the topic, and after reading it still believes that the proprietor of this site has a good understanding of and grasp of the issue of climate change on which this blog nevertheless so popularly focuses, then there is a good chance the reader is not being objective and sufficiently detached about the issue.

    Notice the parallels, along with the same initial response back in the 80s and 90s to ozone depletion – a much simpler, more direct, tightly controlled and shorter time frame issue, and which otherwise reflected the EXACT SAME parallels therein as on climate change now – as well (emphasis added):

    Our National Security Adviser at the time, Condoleezza Rice, was, ironically, scheduled to give a major speech on national security on September 11, which was to run about 45 minutes long, and which was, naturally, cancelled. The speech itself contained barely a minute’s worth of reference to Al-Qaida, or even rogue sovereign-less terrorism – our most significant national security threat, and the one that outgoing National Security Adviser Sandy Berger had personally met with Rice to warn her about; a warning, much like to many in Rice’s political party, that went unheeded, [eerily parallel] to the issue (although one that is much longer term, and more complex), of radical long term atmospheric alteration now.

    In the above quoted from piece, much of the science on some of the under-examined but centrally relevant and rather profound processes and facts on this issue, and, if implicitly, why those actual facts – not rhetoric – present such a stark contrast to the misplaced philosophical pablum that passes for rigorous scientific inquiry, examination, and questioning on this blog, are covered. And will leave a reader FAR better informed, no matter what their persuasion, than the generic musings of Bertrand Russell on certainty; as with most that is so often similarly offered on this site, as “climate science.”

    For some further additional perspective on Russell’s musings as misapplied to the science of what we simplistically label “climate change” but which really reflects our geologically radical and still ongoing alteration of our long term atmosphere’s heat energy re absorption and re radiation nature, here is a different take. It is one offered by another person who also knows far more about the science of this issue..and who is if anything one of the U.S.’s leading experts on it…

  36. Judith, you say:

    Presumably in the past you didn’t need the lens of history to identify a great thinker. Perhaps the larger global population, the growing complexity of the world, and the cacophony of the internet makes it more challenging to find/identify wisdom.

    I couldn’t disagree more. There is no indication great thinkers received more notice before than now. History shows many people thought of as great thinkers in their time were nothing of the sort, and it’s also full of examples great thinkers who were only discovered after their death.

    I don’t think there’s been any change in this regard. I think humans are just terrible at recognizing intelligence, wisdom or any other trait I would associate with being a great thinker.

    And I think the reason is given in the childish saying, “It takes one to know one.”

  37. It follows, then, that the answer to the question of how liberals who profess to be anguished about other people’s suffering can be so weirdly complacent regarding wasteful, misdirected, and above all ineffective government programs created to relieve that suffering—is that liberals care about helping much less than they care about caring. ~William Voegeli

    • “””It follows, then, that the answer to the question of how liberals who profess to be anguished about other people’s suffering can be so weirdly complacent regarding wasteful, misdirected, and above all ineffective government programs created to relieve that suffering—is that liberals care about helping much less than they care about caring. “””

      I’m not a liberal, but first of all, it DOESN”T follow.The above quote is half illogical just in that regard alone.

      The issue of liberals caring about others suffering is separate from the issue of wasteful programs The original writer (Voegeli) is merely writing something that sounds highfalutin and clever, but really is not.

      It also presupposes – very incorrectly, and yet upon which the entire framework of the quote is based – that all said programs are misdirected and ineffective. I might think some are – you might – but it does not mean that others believe this also. They may support the programs.

      And if that wasn’t enough, it also pretends that if liberals do think a program is wasteful, misdirected or ineffective, that they don’t support improving it. Again a major fallacy.

      (Not to mention that again, if a program helps some people, but is also somewhat wasteful, it may be a bad program but some might support it precisely bc of their caring for others, even if I might think not supporting it and working to help others (or toward better programs) is more effective – and again, the enormous leap to the conclusion that this is inconsistent with caring about others, is irrational.)

      Rhetoric is not logic. It fools people into thinking it is logical, or that they are being logical, by believing what they want to believe.

      –don’t fight, confuse, falsify, erroneously convince yourself through belief, or repeatedly and in the same direction misconstrue what is not a program or policy, but is separate facts or even science, merely because you don’t like or fear a program that might be attached to it.Work towards better programs, or make the case why the programs as solutions are ill advised, or markedly improvable.

      Using massive over generalization to categorically condemn, or wildly misconstrue, as both this quote, as well as the original blog post do (and which this blog also does all the time), is a major way to perpetuate and reinforce an actual belief on an issue, under the guise of actual and open minded examination.

      • The pathology of pathological altruism is not the failure to salve every wound. It is, rather, the indifference—blithe, heedless, smug, or solipsistic—to the fact and consequences of those failures, just as long as the empathizer is accruing compassion points that he and others will admire. As philosophy professor David Schmidtz has said, “If you’re trying to prove your heart is in the right place, it isn’t.” ~William Voegeli

    • Wagathon: Seeing that liberals/progressives so often miss the mark when trying to describe conservatives, I’m hesitant to do in like. But I ask: How did the progressive movement come about, and what are the core beliefs? I think I know but I’m not the brightest bulb on this blog.

      • The objective of ‘progressives’ is to divide America and by that install their secular, socialist liberal Utopia –e.g.,

        Ironically, proving America is completely the opposite of the evil racist country they relentlessly accuse her of being, progressives used America’s goodness, guilt and sense of fair play against her. In their quest to destroy America as we know it, progressives borrowed a brilliant scheme from Greek mythology. They offered America a modern day Trojan Horse… ~Lloyd Marcus

        Marcus, who is a black man and an outspoken Tea Party supporter goes on to give his perspective on how Obama is that <em<Trojan Horse and how the Left — not the Tea Party — injects racism into American politics, –e.g.,

        Never mind the fact that it was the American “progressives” who founded the KKK, fought desegregation, and cooked up groups like Planned Parenthood to abort black babies and other “human weeds” as founder Margaret Sanger described blacks and others thought to be “inferior” in her eyes and the eyes of the other “progressives.”

      • I’m a progressive. I don’t want to divide America. I don’t want to install any kind of Utopia.

        I have friends who are also progressive. Not one of them wants to divide America. Not one of them wants to install any kind of Utopia.

        Not one.

      • Little Audrey

        Words.

        “Progressive” is a meaningless progaganda word. Everyone is a progressive. But not everyone wants to progress to the same state of affairs. What is progression to one person (going to something better), is retrogression to another (going to something worse).

        And “liberal” as used by Russell, is as in the classical sense – a person who advocates liberty. Not in the new/corrupt/US sense, which means the very opposite, ie one who advocates the destruction of liberty.

    • Exactly so, despite the pedantic remarks of John Carter. If LIberals gave a damn about what they pretend to give a damn about they would be very concerned with data that follows the failures of the programs they advocate and work to amend the principles and procedures they have crafted but all Liberals ever do is wail for more money and more power and nothing changes except their wealth and the power they wield. Their failures, like the ban on DDT or the money wasted on Head Start are simply ignored. Nothing is learned from them, nothing amends their belief in their own wisdom and power and ‘right’ to contravene the choices other people might make in their lives.
      Todays, ‘liberal’ is more ‘certain’ of their ‘wisdom’ than 50 years ago. Pelosi: ‘We have to pass the bill to see what’s in it’ with the implication that we are the good people so it can only be good and no need to be concerned about the details.
      Has anyone apologized for that train wreck or for the ban on DDT or for the thousand other programs that have wasted people’s lives and wealth for the sanctimony of the ‘we care’ crowd?

      • Liberals often fail when in power. In what way is that different from the record of Conservatives when they achieve power?

        Liberal successes however, are really notable and inspiring. The GI Bill. Social Security, etc.

    • I haven’t seen anything to indicate that most conservatives care about helping the poor as a group. I think that might be worse ethically than implementing ineffective programs. My view is that there will always be poor people and so therefore we need programs that don’t leave families with no money, nowhere to live, and nothing to eat.

      • William Voegeli asks and answers the key question:

        Why do liberals feel that no matter how much we’re doing through government programs to alleviate and prevent poverty, whatever we are doing is shamefully inadequate?

  38. Russel’s decalogue has been simplified by Google in their largely meaningless and unfilled motto: “Don’t be evil”. Russel did not live within the confines of his list because like a good progressive it was always meant to apply to others, and he certainly pushed #9 from scrupulously honest to brutally honest when dealing with his own wife. Hedonism can be found buried under a thin layer of logical polish all through the list. In short, the list is a false front and no more applicable to progressives of the time than it is today.

  39. We can probably all pretty much agree that most who believe climate change does not pose a significant threat of major climate shifting, also believe that NOT trying to heavily address what scientists believe is right now causing what will be a future shifting climate (our major changes to the atmosphere), will avoid negative effects – e.g., less or more expensive fossil fuel use, macroeconomic change (and, in some very assuming but popular viewpoints, lessening growth within it), convoluted and perhaps overly dictating or choice restricting legislation, etc. etc.

    And we can probably all pretty much believe that in general, at least, the above is an understatement: And that it is the response to climate change that is heavily feared. (And, may even be coloring the perception of the issue, and willingness to consider what we maybe don’t want to or don’t ‘want to accept, and willingness to discard what seems to support what we want to believe, but is really irrational, misleading or incomplete.)

    And most of us, whether we know climate change to pose a huge, globally changing threat of increasing non linear shifting or not, certainly wish to believe that the issue, or problem, IS LESS THAN it really is – and the more so, the better. (This includes all “skeptics,” and the great great majority of those who are not – although that last fact is also sometimes twisted around to try and dismiss the issue by thinking illogically, making enormous false presumptions about people, or cherry picking a few extreme statements.)

    So here’s an interesting quote that was nevertheless LEFT OUT of the above little philosophical snippet that comprises the above blog post by @jcurry:

    “When you are studying any matter… Never let yourself be diverted either by what you wish to believe, or by what you think would have beneficial social effects if it were believed. Look only and solely at what are the facts.”

    The author’s name? Bertrand Russell

    Once again, here are a lot of directly relevant facts, that are often ignored, overlooked – or when not, heavily misconstrued – on this blog.

    And again, the main facts are comprised by the geologic record, the basics of heat absorption and re radiation molecular air chemistry, the large climate driving or affecting global systems, and the incredible data on the ongoing level of atmospheric alteration involved. Not the facts of “warmer air.”

    Observational empiricism of the entire globe and its larger driving systems simply tends to offer corroboration to what the facts in scientific terms all but compel, it does not create it.

    • Methane (CH4), 0.360% of all greenhouse gases (nearly all of natural origin), compared to 95% of greenhouse gases which is comprised of vapor (94.999% of which is natural). The amount of CO2 is far greater and it is insignificant: Carbon dioxide is 0.000383 of our atmosphere by volume (0.038 percent) … Only 2.75 percent of atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic in origin … If the atmosphere was a 100-story building, our anthropogenic CO2 contribution today would be equivalent to the linoleum on the first floor. ~Reid Bryson

  40. We may have more in common than we thought.

  41. I have often wondered why liberalism has such a poor following in the US? Was it simply because the US never had the like of Robert Menzies, the founder of the Liberal Party of Australia. No, some dark blot in US history turned them against liberalism, I suspect. Or, it maybe that liberalism came along too late in US history.

    • Alexander: Could it be that the US government was formed on the heels of a revolution, against excessive government?

    • It is a confusion of terminology – indeed the Australian Liberal Party is conservative. Progressive, conservative and classical liberal are probably better descriptors. Herein lies an attitude to democracy, free markets and the rule of law.

      ‘Conservatism proper is a legitimate, probably necessary, and certainly widespread attitude of opposition to drastic change. It has, since the French revolution, for a century and a half played an important role in European politics. Until the rise of socialism its opposite was liberalism. There is nothing corresponding to this conflict in the history of the United States, because what in Europe was called “liberalism” was here the common
      tradition on which the American polity had been built: thus the defender of the American tradition was a liberal in the European sense.[2] This already existing confusion was made worse by the recent attempt to transplant to America the European type of conservatism, which, being alien to the American tradition, has acquired a somewhat odd character. And some time before this, American radicals and socialists began calling themselves “liberals.” I will nevertheless continue for the moment to describe as liberal the position which I hold and which I believe differs as much from true conservatism as from socialism. Let me say at once, however, that I do so with increasing misgivings, and I shall later have to consider what would be the appropriate name for the party of liberty.
      The reason for this is not only that the term “liberal” in the United States is the cause of constant misunderstandings today, but also that in Europe the predominant type of rationalistic liberalism has long been one of the pacemakers of socialism.’ Hayek – ‘Why I am not a conservative’.

      Bertrand Russell saw the history of civilization as being shaped by an unfortunate oscillation between two opposing evils: tyranny and anarchy, each of which contain the seed of the other. The best course for steering clear of either one, Russell maintained, is liberalism.

      “The doctrine of liberalism is an attempt to escape from this endless oscillation,” writes Russell in A History of Western Philosophy. “The essence of liberalism is an attempt to secure a social order not based on irrational dogma [a feature of tyranny], and insuring stability [which anarchy undermines] without involving more restraints than are necessary for the preservation of the community.”
      http://www.openculture.com/2013/03/bertrand_russells_ten_commandments_for_living_in_a_healthy_democracy.html

      In the words of Hayek.

      When I say that the conservative lacks principles, I do not mean to suggest that he lacks moral conviction. The typical conservative is indeed usually a man of very strong moral convictions. What I mean is that he has no political principles which enable him to work with people whose moral values differ from his own for a political order in which both can obey their convictions. It is the recognition of such principles that permits the coexistence of different sets of values that makes it possible to build a peaceful society with a minimum of force. The acceptance of such principles means that we agree to tolerate much that we dislike. There are many values of the conservative which appeal to me more than those of the socialists; yet for a liberal the importance he personally attaches to specific goals is no sufficient justification for forcing others to serve them. I have little doubt that some of my conservative friends will be shocked by what they will regard as “concessions” to modern views that I have made in Part III of this book. But, though I may dislike some of the measures concerned as much as they do and might vote against them, I know of no general principles to which I could appeal to persuade those of a different view that those measures are not permissible in the general kind of society which we both desire. To live and work successfully with others requires more than faithfulness to one’s concrete aims. It requires an intellectual commitment to a type of order in which, even on issues which to one are fundamental, others are allowed to pursue different ends.’ op. cit.

      Thus through democracy is achieved the appropriate balance between tyranny and anarchy. It is a balance that brings the most peaceful of societies. Free trade is central to the classic liberal stance – and is the basis of prosperous and peaceful societies. Indra de Soysa and Krishna Chaitanya Vadlamannati (2014) provide a contemporary perspective.

      How might market institutions, the more neglected aspect of the liberal peace, matter? In the eighteenth century, classical liberals such as Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and Bernard Mandeville argued that when individuals pursue self-interest, they serve a higher social purpose “as if by a hidden hand” (Stilwell, 2006). Free markets provide the basis for prosperity—while other desired outcomes, such as peace, arise from cooperation among people acting out of self-interest. In this view, cooperation stems from the expectation of mutual gain, rather than from religious (or other) ethics, or from the inherent feelings of sympathy for others. Classical liberalism also held that self-interested economic activity produces wealth more
      efficiently and that freer markets could create and distribute goods and services (i.e., wealth) more efficiently, increasing the welfare of all—including the state because expanding economic activity increases taxable wealth. Consider the following observation, made in the 1830s by Alexis de Tocqueville, a keen observer of how democracy, rather than chaos, was taking root in the newly formed United States of America:

      ‘You have some difficulty in understanding how men so independent do not constantly fall into the abuse of freedom. If on the other hand, you survey the infinite number of trading companies in operation in the United States … you will comprehend why people so well employed are by no means tempted to perturb the state, nor to destroy the public tranquility by which they all profit’ (de Tocqueville, 1956: 118-119).

      The growth of commerce marginalizes violence because it binds people meaningfully in a way suited to addressing the collective dilemmas stemming from violence—theft and deprivation. When Thomas Hobbes, who suffered the consequences of the English Civil War, thought that a “leviathan” was necessary to enforce peace by monopolizing the use of force, John Locke suggested that it was also possible with the “consent of people”. As Pugh (2011) has argued, the liberal agenda of bringing top-down democracy high-jacked for convenience by the “aid and development industry” may not nourish the endogenous bases of peace likely to be found in local processes, often in informal settings. http://www.fraserinstitute.org/uploadedFiles/fraser-ca/Content/research-news/research/publications/free-markets-and-civil-peace.pdf

      I might add that the US doesn’t make the top 10 in the index of economic freedom. http://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

      Bjorn Lomberg has recently suggested that free trade would add $15 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Aid in the same period will be some $2.5 trillion and should be applied with the principles of Elinor Ostrom’s polycentric governance for defined and cost effective purposes. Central to global development objectives are the three pillars of classic liberalism -democracy, free markets and the rule of law.

    • Thank you, Richard and Robb for trying to answer my questions,

      • Alexander: My answer was mostly a guess. Rob’s however was truly enlightening, for me. I now better understand the different meanings of liberal and their origins. However, still lost with the official meaning of conservative. My knowledge of the modern American conservative started with Ronald Reagan. For me, it was all about the Laffer Curve. Having recently completed the MBA, it made sense to me. When Reagan took office the economy was bad, perhaps worse than in 2009. Inflation, interest rates, and unemployment were stuck on high, there was no hope or plan to bring them down. There were recessions every three years, like clockwork. I started following the economy closely, saw the tax cuts implemented by Reagan and saw the economy slowly turn around. At the end of Reagan’s two terms US Revenue from income taxes had doubled and economic growth was strong, unbelievably strong.

        So, in the USA, from my perspective, economic conservatism is the core conservative belief; to my knowledge all conservatives believe in economic concervativism, but not all believe in social conservatism. We believe in strong economic growth, that tax and spending should guided by the question of growth. Conservatives (including those in the tea party) are against corporate-government collusion, so called corporate cronyism, and against spending and tax breaks for the few.

    • nottawa rafter

      Alexander
      I don’t know the answer to your question but Ihave asked myself if we are different since we are all immigrants, even if our ancestors have been here since the 1600s. Did we self select when our DNA said “move”? We certainly have a frontier mentality and a strain of individualism that may exist elsewhere. Knowing how incredibly difficult it must have been pulling up stakes, leaving family and perhaps the easier path, for a life of uncertainty fraught with danger and deprivation, leads me to think our genes have some commonality, regardless of our ancestors’ origin. My great-grandmother spent 2 winters in a sod hut in the 1890s without a husband in North Dakota raising 3 kids. She had to be a tough ol’ bird.

      • Thank you Nottawa for your reply. Yes, yor grandmother was tough as was my paternal grandmother in Scotland. I think those who believed that US citizens already had liberalism in their constitution, came closest to answering my question.

  42. Some of readers may or may not be aware, that Bertrand Russell was brought up by his grandmother. They lived at Pembroke Lodge, what once was one of the most desirable London (well then. Richmond) properties, centuries ago Henry VIII’s hunting lodge.

    Now is a restaurant with the old fashion English tea rooms. Gardens are exquisite crisscrossed with walking paths lined with rare tree specimens. Spent there many a happy hour walking with my young children.
    Anyone visiting this part of London should find time to visit, there is a large car park near the gardens entrance, bus stop is about 5 min and Railway and tube station another 10 min walk. Hundreds of deer roam park just outside, at this time of year bucks a bit restless, do not get to close.
    And finally

  43. Climate Researcher 

    It’s time to relax and eliminate all this “stress” because, however you look at it, the impact of 0.04% of carbon dioxide being doubled to 0.08% is infinitesimal, probably being less than ±0.1 degree and maybe less than ±0.01 degree of warming or cooling. You can put your own figures into this calculation:

    Start with the real world and assume there is 2% water vapour and 0.04% carbon dioxide. Assume the radiating altitude is 4.5Km and temperature gradient 7C/Km. Imagine replacing the 98% of other air molecules with CO2. The troposphere is a mean of 11Km high. It is unlikely that the radiating altitude would rise above 7Km. So multiplying the CO2 concentration by about 2,500 raises the radiating altitude 2.5Km. So just doubling it raises that altitude a mere 1 metre. Applying the temperature gradient, that 1 metre represents 0.007 degree of warming. But there is a cooling effect because carbon dioxide absorbs some incident solar radiation in which the 2.1 micron photons have about 5 times the energy of the 10 micron ones coming up from the surface. There is also a cooling effect due to the gradient being reduced by inter-molecular radiation. And there is a cooling effect due to greater expanse of vegetation which, in general has higher emissivity than soil and rock.

    • Climate Researcher,

      Oh no! Global temperature may change by 0.1 C!

      If I stay away from the noonday sun, will I be able to avoid frying of the little grey cells, or my eyes boiling out of their sockets?

      Please, please, save me from this terrible fate, I implore you! I might go out of my mind with worry. Who wouldn’t?

      Live well and prosper,

      Mike Flynn.

    • Yup. So pervasive and homogenising in the ‘humanitees.’
      (Kinda’ like BOM temperature adjustmentising.)

    • Comparing strong Republicans with strong Democrats, Carl finds that Republicans have a 5.48 IQ point advantage over Democrats. Broadening party affiliation to include moderate to merely leaning respondents still results in a Republican advantage of 3.47 IQ points and 2.47 IQ points respectively. Carl reconciles his findings with the social science literature that reports that liberals are more intelligent than conservatives by proposing that Americans with classically liberal beliefs are even smarter. Carl further reports that those who endorse both social conservatism and economic statism also have lower verbal IQ scores.

      “Overall, my findings suggest that higher intelligence among classically liberal Republicans compensates for lower intelligence among socially conservative Republicans,” concludes Carl. If the dumb, I mean socially conservative, Republicans keep disrespecting us classical liberals, we’ll take our IQ points and go home.

      As gratifying as Carl’s research findings are, it is still a deep puzzle to me why it apparently takes high intelligence to understand that the government should stay out of both the bedroom and the boardroom.
      http://reason.com/archives/2014/06/13/are-conservatives-dumber-than-liberals

      Climate science is looking simpler by the day. We know that there are quasi 30 year regimes – chaotic at the core – leading to warming and cooling in the 20th century. The last 2 full regimes – 1944 to 1998 – saw 0.4K of warming at a rate 0.07K/decade. It is quite unlikely that all the warming was anthropogenic CO2. Climate regime theory suggests non warming at the very least for decades. Nor is it guaranteed that the next shift will be to yet warmer. This is fundamentally at odds to the ‘realist’ meme.

      Nor is it even guaranteed that the central meme of CO2 levels higher than for millions of years is more than an artifact of the ice core proxy.

      But can the paroxysms of illogic – not the mention the tortuous syntax – revealed in every comment from these ‘realists’ be laid at the door of a mere lack of IQ points? It seems much more likely to go well beyond that to a psychopathology of progressive groupthink.

      • RE
        If you haven’t read it you might enjoy Richard Epstein’s Why Progressive Institutions are Unsustainable.

      • Robert, I suspect that those over-precise assessments of IQ differences have much in common with over-precise determinations of temperatures past and present.

      • I find the truth of progressive dumbness to be self evident.

      • It’s not because they’re dumb…it’s because they’re fascist, cultists intent on starving children and committing “economic suicide.”

      • Dumb as a doorknob and genocidal about covers it.

      • Not quite…you need to add sociopathic to really be accurate.

      • “I suspect that eradicating small pox was wrong. it played an important part in balancing ecosystems.”
        John Davis

        “Global Sustainability requires the deliberate quest of poverty, reduced resource consumption and set levels of mortality control.”
        Maurice King

        “If I were reincarnated I would wish to return to earth as a killer virus to lower human population levels.”
        Prince Phillip

        I suspect it goes without saying

      • I’m amazed to discover Prince Philip is a progressive. Did he abandon his title?

      • Do you have to be a pleb to be progressive? I’ll take note. I suppose you have to be poor to?

        ‘”A total population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”
        Ted Turner

      • “If, however, a world-government is established, it may see the desirability of making subject races also less prolific, and may permit mankind to solve the population question. This is another reason for desiring a world-government.” – Bertrand Russell.

  44. “If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion.” Friedrich August von Hayek

  45. Just want to thank me much beloved “denizens.” I’ve spent the last couple of hours in an emergency room with my “father-in-law” as he gets a three inch, nasty gash in the back of his head stitched up (fell down a bunch of stairs) and you certainly have kept me entertained to make the waiting time pass more quickly…

    • Sorry to hear about your “father-in-law” – why the quotes?

      At any rate, the game of nit-picking things Dr. Curry DIDN’T say is small beer. She doesn’t censor you, so if you feel there was something she didn’t say that you would like to bring to our attention, you have every opportunity. The nit-picking game of “inconsistency” is also small beer. It almost always ignores context, new knowledge, etc.

      • Not married.

        No worries. He’ll be fine. Tough dude. ..got some cognitive impairment going on, but a real sweet guy and strong as a horse

    • In your time of need, who are you going to count on? : )

    • Sorry to hear that. I hope he recovers soon with no I’ll effects!

  46. I might be a dope, but if there’s been no warming for 18 years, if there is no deep ocean heat sink, if the Antarctic ice is now growing profusely as is the Arctic, if sea levels have not risen appreciable in 100 years, if state my grand daughter ments such as: “it will never rain again” and “our dams will never fill again”, are shown to be completely wrong, if Pacific Islands are sinking and not oceans rising, if there have been less severe storm activity and not more, if the “warmists” claims are based upon fraud and manipulation of data, if we poor souls that dwell on this planet need carbon dioxide to live and we learn about the carbon cycle in first year chemistry at High School and if there has been 5 times the concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere in previous times, then why are we having this argument?
    When Al Gores proselytism is based upon a series of lies and exaggerations and kids are brainwashed in schools and governments have seen a pathway to redirect money, participate in social engineering and promote the dubious religion of “climate doomsday” aided and abetted by some in the scientific community, I feel very sad for society. The disingenuous, complicit facilitators have a lot to answer for. When my grand daughter is so scared to and confused about the scaremongering, it’s time to stop. Wake up and be true to yourself and not to this diety.

    • Aided and abetted by climate “scientists”, “academia”, the MSM, shows on Discovery, and the History channel, pop culture (jon stewart, colbert, letterman, etc.), and while we are at it, throw in the green blob/mob (greenpeace, sierra club, wwf). The lie has so thoroughly saturated our society, and the left is so invested in it that it may take a generation or two before we come to our senses. The problem is by that time, we will likely have wasted trillions of dollars on mitigation efforts that actually cause harm by making us poorer and less resilient while doing nothing to “control” the climate. Investments in adaptation to an ever changing climate would be money much better spent while allowing us to continue to prosper by not irrationally increasing the cost of energy.

    • “I might be a dope, but if there’s been no warming for 18 years…”
      ______
      If you believe the second clause, then the first clause is true.

      • Thank you RGates. Your response was enlightening, however its says just a bit about you. My response was offered in good faith about a subject I think is important. Your response was a malicious jibe to someone who maybe thinks differently to you. So you assume, like a lot of your ilk, the moral high ground, but as good people stand up to you and your Thought Police cohorts, abuse becomes your attack weapon, for you have nothing else.

  47. Please delete after “state” in line 4 “my grand daughter” Entered in error and I cannot edit my post.

  48. Climate Researcher 

    So are you going to report on this speech about fudged climate records addressed to the Australian Parliament?

  49. Didn’t Russell wind up throwing his body at submarine pens?

    Apparently the commandments didn’t work.

    In science, all you need is curiosity. The rest follows.

    Russell lost his curiosity.

  50. Speaking of principles, two liberal organizations held a video contest – produce a video about the corrupting influence of money in politics. A video looking at the money spent by Tom Steyer won – it got ten times the votes of any other entry. So, of course they announced that it lost and the winner was some predictable droning message about the evil dollars of “fossil fuels.”
    See the whole sordid silliness here: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2014/10/mayday-explains-when-we-say-money-we-mean-conservative-money.php

    The internet will not be good to liberalism. People can check their claims.

  51. The UN Quietly Wages War on Religion
    Calgarian Hermina Dykxhoorn, president of the Alberta Federation of Women United for Families, has seen the UN executive at work. Over the last decade, she has been a pro-family lobbyist at UN conferences in Beijing, Istanbul, Rome and other venues.

    “At the 1996 Istanbul Conference, the director general of the World Health Organization (then Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima) told a press conference that `the three great monotheistic religions are not compatible with the New World Order’,” Dykxhoorn, a Christian Reformed Protestant, recalled. “I heard him say it. And when you’re a member of one of those monotheistic religions, it’s rather chilling.”

    But the UN Secretariat isn’t opposed to all religion, she said. “They don’t mind Hindus and Buddhists, because they’ve got more flexible moral codes. And they love the Bahai’s because Bahai’s are big on world government. But they don’t like Orthodox Judaism, Christianity or Islam—any religion with an absolute moral code is an obstacle to them.”
    UN executives appear to be particularly tolerant of “Gaia” or “earth religion,” ancient paganism in a new guise. Dykxhoorn has seen Gaia religion material distributed in UN offices, and spokesmen for the London- based Gaia Foundation hold their press conferences in normally off-limits UN press rooms. “Gaia is the ancient Greek name for the Earth Goddess,” says the Gaia Foundation’s Web site. “This Goddess, in common with female deities of other early religions, was at once gentle, feminine and nurturing, but also ruthlessly cruel to any that failed to live in harmony with the planet.”
    Dykxhoorn said, “They’re against the three great mono-theisms, because those religions stress the sanctity of life and the sanctity of the family.”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/26/bizzare-anti-defamation-league-apparently-gives-a-green-light-to-defamation-of-climate-skeptics-by-comparing-them-to-holocaust-deniers/#comment-1577753

    If as the head of the WHO said, the three great monotheistic religions are “not compatible” with the New World Order, what exactly is the ethical basis for our New One World Religion.

    The Earth Charter is not just some warm fuzzy irrelevant document.

    Here’s what one of the creators of this document said in a perhaps incautious moment

    “Interview: Maurice Strong on a “People’s Earth Charter”
    But, let us be very clear, the UN action is not going to be the only goal. The real goal of the Earth Charter is that it will in fact become like the Ten Commandments, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It will become a symbol of the aspirations and the commitments of people everywhere. And, that is where the political influence, where the long-term results of the Earth Charter will really come. ”

    there’s more at this link :
    https://judithcurry.com/2013/09/11/responsible-conduct-in-the-global-research-enterprise/#comment-378892

    In terms of Christian theology, there was something called a Holy Trinity .( which i never really understood the significance of. I’m an earlier boomer. I was raised in the most liberal(by far) Protestant denomination in Canada. I left in my early teens. As religious terms are commonly understood, I’m an agnostic)

    Well the new Eco-Theological Trinity is:
    The Father Rev Stephen Rockefeller (A keen Bio-Centrist)
    The Son Maurice Strong
    The Holy Ghost Michael Gorbachev

    Here are the links for the Earth Charter:

    http://www.earthcharterinaction.org/content/pages/Read-the-Charter.html
    http://www.earthcharterinaction.org/invent/images/uploads/echarter_english.pdf

    The Earth Charter is based on “BIOETHICS”. It’s very worthwhile I would say to carefully scrutinize what the “leading thinkers” in this
    field are really up to.

    all the best
    brent

    Is Bioethics Ethical?
    Brave new bioethics”.
    The Bioethics Mess
    https://judithcurry.com/2013/08/31/open-thread-weekend-30/#comment-373005

    P.S. Matt Briggs has done a lot of posts discussing “BIOETHICS”

    • brent, I’ll skip the links, I’m about to lie down with a strained back, a quick comment on Dykxhoorn’s morality remark. I don’t know about Buddhists per se, but the Buddha taught a strict moral code, one already adopted by some in India before he taught, which in brief was to abstain from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and taking intoxicants. Although adherence to this has benefits in itself, it was taught as a prerequisite of developing concentration of the mind, in turn a prerequisite for practising Vipoassana meditation to purify oneself of past conditionings and learn to live a happy, harmonious life, good for you, good for others. No ambiguity there. Buddhism developed about 500 years after the Buddha’s death, when unenlightened teachers sought to gain followers by relaxing the moral code.

      But I take your point, many of those at the heart of UN-related approaches allegedly intended to forestall CAGW are fundamentally opposed to many of the foundations of the successful Western cultures. TTFN.

    • Brent

      The scary part is they plan to impose this on people via political power, if I read it correctly.

      “Interview: Maurice Strong on a “People’s Earth Charter”
      But, let us be very clear, the UN action is not going to be the only goal. The real goal of the Earth Charter is that it will in fact become like the Ten Commandments, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It will become a symbol of the aspirations and the commitments of people everywhere. And, that is where the political influence, where the long-term results of the Earth Charter will really come. ”

      Personally, I don’t give a rat’s patoot about anything the UN says. It is a rogues gallery of dictators, despots, and rent-seeking statists. I live under the protection of the US Constitution.

    • @Faustino,
      What I’m about to note is something I really struggled with, and I know how difficult it is to get one’s mind around.
      As background, I’m an old Petroleum downstreamer and have been discussing effects of HC Depletion and how we cope with it for quite a while. I’m pretty well aware of the range of opinion amongst the sustainability crowd. Incidentally, it is my opinion we should have started the migration away from FF earlier .
      I’ve been told I’m a Denier about CAGW, and I happily agree.
      I’ve also been told I’m in utter and complete denial if I don’t concede that human population needs to be reduced to a few hundred million. Incidentally I agree that it is valid in principle to look at carrying capacity, but we are in dangerous territory and the devil is in the details and a raft of assumptions.
      Now the person that told me the latter, I emphasize was not at all one I would consider to be amongst the real human haters, which is exactly what the radical leadership are IMO. He was just a long time devotee of Limits to Growth, and Overshoot etc.
      We have groups completely talking past each other.The LTG crowd and the BAU( Business as usual).
      As above I’m a Canuck and an early boomer. I certainly grew up thinking thank God (metaphorically) the good guys won WWII.
      I’ve come to a different view in the specific sense, that probably the most problematic misconception after WWII was that the filth and evil of the Eugenics movement was some kind of uniquely German/Nazi problem. This of course was completely untrue. Eugenics was the creed of the elite all over the Western world.
      Now the creed of the elite is BIOETHICS.
      I’ve taken the time to scrutinize some of the elite thinking. My personal and “considered” opinion is that BIOETHICs is analogous to Eugenics on steroids. I mean this in the sense that whereas it’s now conceded that Eugenics targeted part of the human race; BIOETHICS IMO is targeting the “human race as a whole”
      I say the above not to convince you, more to state my view. It probably seems otherwise, notably because I’m a terrible communicator(a major fault of mine). I actually think no one should care in the least what I think. We are each personally responsible for our own thoughts and there’s just no substitute for being ruthless in “gaining ownership” of our own thoughts.
      all the best
      brent
      P.S. when I see the smear by the warmers that anyone who disagrees is “anti-science” I immediately question what they mean by that. If science just refers to a a wonderful investigative tool, it’s neutral. Why would anyone be against it. But if what they are really contesting is a belief system, a religion, then there’s a reason for dispute.
      I think Michael Ruse insights are quite helpful in this regard. I posted three links from him in this post
      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/17/climate-change-is-sucking-funding-away-from-biodiversity/#comment-1664385
      My personal opinion is that the most dangerous(by far) religious zealots are the militant Darwinists
      PPS. I didn’t mean to denigrate Buddhism by referring specifically to the Abrahamic religions. I’m not familiar with Buddhism

  52. RGates,
    “The the data tell us the climate is changing rapidly and the science tells us that humans are most likely the primary cause (especially in the past 50 years) of this change. The majority of climate scientists agree with this assessment. How much more evidence do we need to take some action? The problem is, the longer we wait, the more severe the changes will be for generations to come and the harder to undo, if we can.”

    Are you sure of this? If not, then, you can accept that there is too much uncertainty, why do you say :
    “The rate of change is not constant (it is accelerating in a non-linear way, and hence, the latest IPCC report represents a watered-down consensus undershoot) as the system is seeing the largest forcing since at least humans became humans.”

    Again, are you sure of this? If not, then adaptation should be the only prudent course of action in the most economically viable and humane ways possible. All the big money used to control the climate could be used to take care of actual and urgent problems (you know them) instead of an trying to tackle a pseudo problem that might happen in an unknown long term futur.

  53. pb, a widely shared view here.

  54. Bertrand Russell, the UK aristocrat who could not make up hiis mind on the subject of war. While he acknowledged the loss of life and destruction of war and the ultimate futility of it, he only rarely acknowledged that there were times when nations had no choice but to make war. This is the ultimate choice of the ‘turn the other cheek’ christian, although I am not suggesting that Russell was a Christian.

  55. Should read: ‘Bertrand Russell’s 10 Commandments for the Intellectually Polarized’.

  56. How can 16 units of atmospheric anthropogenic carbon dioxide in one million units of atmospheric gases cause the planet’s climate to change?

  57. William Palmer

    How often in Earth’s history has CO2 increased….then followed by global warming? Or has it always been the reverse sequence?

  58. Reblogged this on This Got My Attention and commented:
    Great advice!

  59. The contrarian position on climate modeling more resembles Lovecraft’s 1928 summary than Russell’s 1951 exegesis