We are all confident idiots

by Judith Curry

Stumbling through all our cognitive clutter just to recognize a true “I don’t know” may not constitute failure as much as it does an enviable success, a crucial signpost that shows us we are traveling in the right direction toward the truth. – David Dunning

In pondering how we rationalize the ‘hiatus’ in context of theories and predictions of anthropogenic global warming, I have been looking to the fields of philosophy of science and psychology for insights.

The linkages between philosophy of science and psychology in context of epistemology is articulated in this statement by Quineepistemology itself “falls into place as a chapter of psychology and hence of natural science”: the point is not that epistemology should simply be abandoned in favor of psychology, but instead that there is ultimately no way to draw a meaningful distinction between the two.

Below are some articles I’ve recently come across that provide some insights.

David Dunning

David Dunning  has penned an article for the Pacific Standard entitled We are all confident idiots. Subtitle: The trouble with ignorance is that it feels so much like expertise. This is a fascinating article, some excerpts:

For more than 20 years, I have researched people’s understanding of their own expertise—formally known as the study of metacognition, the processes by which human beings evaluate and regulate their knowledge, reasoning, and learning—and the results have been consistently sobering, occasionally comical, and never dull.

The American author and aphorist William Feather once wrote that being educated means “being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don’t.”  To a great degree, we fail to recognize the frequency and scope of our ignorance.

In 1999, in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, my then graduate student Justin Kruger and I published a paper that documented how, in many areas of life, incompetent people do not recognize—scratch that, cannot recognize—just how incompetent they are, a phenomenon that has come to be known as the Dunning-Kruger effect. 

What’s curious is that, in many cases, incompetence does not leave people disoriented, perplexed, or cautious. Instead, the incompetent are often blessed with an inappropriate confidence, buoyed by something that feels to them like knowledge.

Because it’s so easy to judge the idiocy of others, it may be sorely tempting to think this doesn’t apply to you. But the problem of unrecognized ignorance is one that visits us all. And over the years, I’ve become convinced of one key, overarching fact about the ignorant mind. One should not think of it as uninformed. Rather, one should think of it as misinformed.

 As the humorist Josh Billings once put it, “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.”

Because of the way we are built, and because of the way we learn from our environment, we are all engines of misbelief. And the better we understand how our wonderful yet kludge-ridden, Rube Goldberg engine works, the better we—as individuals and as a society—can harness it to navigate toward a more objective understanding of the truth.

Some of our most stubborn misbeliefs arise not from primitive childlike intuitions or careless category errors, but from the very values and philosophies that define who we are as individuals. Each of us possesses certain foundational beliefs—narratives about the self, ideas about the social order—that essentially cannot be violated: To contradict them would call into question our very self-worth. And any information that we glean from the world is amended, distorted, diminished, or forgotten in order to make sure that these sacrosanct beliefs remain whole and unharmed.

The way we traditionally conceive of ignorance—as an absence of knowledge—leads us to think of education as its natural antidote. But education can produce illusory confidence.

It is perhaps not so surprising to hear that facts, logic, and knowledge can be bent to accord with a person’s subjective worldview; after all, we accuse our political opponents of this kind of “motivated reasoning” all the time. But the extent of this bending can be remarkable.

But, of course, guarding people from their own ignorance by sheltering them from the risks of life is seldom an option. Actually getting people to part with their misbeliefs is a far trickier, far more important task. Luckily, a science is emerging, led by such scholars as Stephan Lewandowsky at the University of Bristol and Ullrich Ecker of the University of Western Australia, that could help.

But here is the real challenge: How can we learn to recognize our own ignorance and misbeliefs?  Behavioral scientists often recommend that small groups appoint someone to serve as a devil’s advocate—a person whose job is to question and criticize the group’s logic. While this approach can prolong group discussions, irritate the group, and be uncomfortable, the decisions that groups ultimately reach are usually more accurate and more solidly grounded than they otherwise would be. For individuals, the trick is to be your own devil’s advocate: to think through how your favored conclusions might be misguided; to ask yourself how you might be wrong, or how things might turn out differently from what you expect. 

Another quote sometimes attributed to Franklin has it that “the doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.”

The built-in features of our brains, and the life experiences we accumulate, do in fact fill our heads with immense knowledge; what they do not confer is insight into the dimensions of our ignorance. As such, wisdom may not involve facts and formulas so much as the ability to recognize when a limit has been reached. Stumbling through all our cognitive clutter just to recognize a true “I don’t know” may not constitute failure as much as it does an enviable success, a crucial signpost that shows us we are traveling in the right direction toward the truth.

Lewandowsky

Dunning refers to Stephan Lewandowsky in a favorarable light.  Lewandowsky conducts psychological research on the subject of bias. In the context of the climate debate, Lewandowsky’s psychological research is highly controversial, see discussions by Steve McIntyre and Joe Duarte.

At WUWT, Andy West has just published a lengthy three part series:  Wrapped in Lew papers: the psychology of climate psychologization [Part I, Part II, Part III].  The main point is that Lew is so busy dissecting the ‘bias’ of climate change skeptics that he misses his own rather glaring biases.

Lewandowsky’s latest essay is Are you a poor logician?  Logically you might never know.  Lew applies the Dunning-Kruger ideas to dismiss AGW skepticism.  Ben Pile counters with a post Lewandowsky’s logic.  I just spotted Paul Mathews Lewandowsky’s loopy logic, which provides a good overview and extensive links.

I decided not to pull excerpts from these posts, but my summary point is this.  Psychologization can be a dangerous tool in ideological warfare.

It pays to be overconfident

An article in New York Magazine:  It pays to be overconfident, even if you have no idea what you’re doing.  Excerpts:

We deceive ourselves about our superiority so that we may better deceive our potential competitors, collaborators, benefactors, and mates. To be a good salesman, you have to buy your own pitch.

It turns out, we tend to (over)use confidence as a useful proxy for competence — if you speak firmly, it sounds like you know what you’re talking about. People who showed more confidence, regardless of their actual ability, were judged to be more capable and accorded more regard by their peers.

As for the effect of confidence on perceived ability even after actual ability has been reported, the authors note the lasting power of first impressions have been long known to disproportionately affect our judgments of others. All of this suggests that even when we’re unmasked as less skilled than our self-assured manner would suggest, there are ancillary social benefits to overconfidence.

Maybe this is how pundits (and Times columnists) maintain their audience, and why political candidates feel free to make undeliverable campaign pledges: There may simply be insufficient downside to their overpromising. 

Oh my, that certainly puts the IPCC’s confidence levels in a new light.

Assertions of scientific confidence

On the other hand, Pacific Standard has a post Assertions of scientific certainty are greeted with skepticism.  Subtitle: New German research suggests the public is wary of statements suggesting a scientific debate has been closed.  Excerpts:

On many fronts, scientists continue to be frustrated by the public’s unwillingness to accept their conclusions. On issues ranging from Ebola to climate change, their impulse is often to re-state their case in ever-more-vigorous terms, forcefully noting that there is no serious doubt about their assertions.

Newly published research from Germany suggests that sort of language may, in fact, be counterproductive.

“This means that readers were not persuaded by powerful formulations which described scientific evidence as very certain, but seemed to be skeptical when information was presented as too simple.”

JC reflections

I am interested in the overlap between epistemology and psychology; I’ve only dabbled in the relevant psychological literature (as pointed to from blog posts), so I have no idea what interesting papers out there that I might be missing.

What I would like to see is some studies related to the psychology and social psychology of scientific belief by scientists.  If you know of relevant papers, I would appreciate a pointer.

I am very concerned about the brand of psychological research conducted by Stephan Lewandowsky, that seems to be more of a tool in ideological warfare than anything else.

I like Dunning’s suggestions of devil’s advocates, which is similar to suggestions made by Steve Koonins and John Christy regarding a red team to critique the consensus statements.

Dunning-Kruger is a popular rationale for dismissing skeptics (particularly in the blogosphere); however I remain very concerned about the general phenomena in the scientific  community.  I will pick this issue up in a future post on scientific underdetermination.

The most disturbing point here is that overconfidence seems to ‘pay’ in terms of influence of an individual in political debates about science.  There doesn’t seem to be much downside for the individuals/groups to eventually being proven wrong.   So scientific overconfidence seems to be a victimless crime, with the only ‘victim’ being science itself.

How does the New Yorker article (overconfidence pays) square with the Pacific Standard article (certainty greeted with skepticism)?  Well within the group of the ‘converted’, overconfidence pays.  However, in the broader population (e.g. uncoverted),  certainty is greeted with skepticism.  In the later group, I’ve found that humility and discussing uncertainty works to build trust.

But of course I am absolutely not confident of any this.

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725 responses to “We are all confident idiots

  1. Pingback: Lewandowsky’s Loopy Logic | The IPCC Report

  2. The Climate Debate, the hyperpolarization of politics, and even the resurgence of racist rhetoric, and the ensuing discussions, such as this, of bias and finger pointing, has become all the rage.

    Has the Internet/Social Media, and the filter bubbles created, cleaved society down the middle?
    Has the progressive influence on the entire school system, K through PhD, for more than two generations destroyed the ability of people to think logically and critically analyze?
    Both of the above?
    Am I an old man just telling the kids to get off of my lawn?
    Is my tendency to see Noble Cause Corruption as a major motivation for my political opponents simply me fooling myself?
    I don’t know where I am going with this, but this seems to be the BIG issue of our time, the one which will influence how society evolves moving forward, and I’m not very happy with how it’s looking.

    • ctm: Yes and Yes to the first two. But “progressive”? Try regressive or repressive.

      • Good point, steven. And indeed, my belief – that the cause of your amusing logic that I excerpted above is clearly the destruction of logical thinking and critical analysis as the result of progressive influence on K through Ph D. education – is certainly warranted. Well, either that or the monkeys flying out of your butt could have caused it – which is also a warranted belief.

        And yes, AK – digging into a stated “warranted” belief in a singular cause for a broad-scale societal phenomenon (such as the supposed “destr[uction] of logical thinking and critical analysis) by asking for definitions and evidence is just nipticking.

      • Joshua.

        Of course your beliefs are warranted. You are free to believe in anything you like. As long as you are able to function, feed and clothe yourself, nobody gives a rats ass what you believe or why you believe it.

        Question: why do you care that charles has
        a) different beliefs than you
        b) beliefs that you consider wrong.

        In short how do your motivations govern your interpretation of his position?

        And.. once again, perhaps we can agree on filter bubbles.

        I’l; say more on noble cause corruption and progressive thought in a bit

    • => “Has the progressive influence on the entire school system, K through PhD, for more than two generations destroyed the ability of people to think logically and critically analyze?”

      I really love unintentional irony, and that’s why I really love Climate Etc. You get some of the bestest comments here.

      • Joshua — the Jonathon Gruber of Climate Etc.

      • Actually Joshua Charles poses these as questions not assertions of fact.
        He is allowed to ask questions.
        He is allowed to have beliefs.

        We can probably agree that filter bubbles are real and that they don’t help.

        As for his opinion of progressives effects on education. As a conservative who spent years in academia I have some data. Of course just one data point.

      • Of course he’s “allowed” to ask inane questions and to have beliefs about the answers. On the other hand…:

        If a “skeptic” wants to make claim about an incredibly broad cultural/societal phenomenon, then it seems to me that they might start by:

        Defining and quantifying the phenomenon, systematically looking for evidence of the hypothesized results, and controlling or variables to help establish cause-and-effect.

        Please, do show evidence of ” progressive influence on the entire school system, K through PhD” for “two generations.”

        Show evidence of a “destroy[ed] ability to think logically and critically analyze.” How would you measure that across society? Would you document a loss of products from logical thinking and critical analysis? Less technological output, for example?

        Do you see that some segments of our educational environment that display larger “progressive influence” relative to others, and which show a more marked reduction in logical thinking or critical analysis? Perhaps comparative trends in school and college performance in Montana as opposed to Berkeley, for example, or better trends in school performance in Texas as compared to “socialist” countries in Scandinavia?

        How have you controlled for variables such as poverty or class size or %’s of special needs students or %’s of speakers of English as a 2nd language?

        How have you controlled for “progressive influence” relative to non-progressive? influence in a country where higher #’s identify as conservatives rather than liberals?

        What’s your “data,” steven?

        You boyz are hilarious.

      • Here – I have a “belief” about the cause for this kind of amusing logic:’

        Joseph: “I think statements by actual scientists is even more relevant than some blog comment by Michael”

        Mosher: “You realize that you just claimed you are not relevant.”

        What’s your belief about it, steven? That’s it’s because of the influence of progressives on K through Ph D education?

      • You are not being fair to Johnathan Gruber, stan. Gruber is not an insignificant little anonymous twit. Heir Professor Gruber is a monumental twit. He didn’t get the memo about loose lips sinking ships. Give the Team climate scientists some of what Gruber is smoking and we could learn a lot.

      • The old-school delivery of this critique of U.S. education can be found wittily expressed in the late Richard Mitchell’s The Graves of Academe and his Underground Grammarian newsletter. He goes back to the very foundation of organizations such as the National Education Association and shows how their very first actions were to agitate against academic excellence and for socialization of students into conformity.

      • My data is simple Joshua.
        I can only speak for my experience.

        Do you think filter bubbles are good things?

        also

        If a “skeptic” wants to make claim about an incredibly broad cultural/societal phenomenon, then it seems to me that they might start by:

        Defining and quantifying the phenomenon, systematically looking for evidence of the hypothesized results, and controlling or variables to help establish cause-and-effect.
        #####################
        that is one very narrow way of understanding. You dont need to do any of that to have a warrented belief. Collecting that data MIGHT be interesting to you, it might convince you. But there is not requirement for Charles or anyone else to follow your protocals of knowledge, people are allowed to form beliefs based on their experience. These beliefs may or may not be useful for them.

        “Please, do show evidence of ” progressive influence on the entire school system, K through PhD” for “two generations.””

        As I said, in my experience I have seen the influence. I actually dont need to justify this to you. Im not interested in changing your mind.
        Some of the influences of progressives are laudable.

        “Show evidence of a “destroy[ed] ability to think logically and critically analyze.” How would you measure that across society? Would you document a loss of products from logical thinking and critical analysis? Less technological output, for example?”

        you dont need to show that evidence to have a warranted belief.
        you dont need to document anything. You keep thinking that people actually have to have proof to hold a justified belief. They dont. people
        hold beliefs all the time without such requirements. And they get to have these beliefs and these beliefs are rational. You might hold opposite beliefs. They are also rational.

        “Do you see that some segments of our educational environment that display larger “progressive influence” relative to others, and which show a more marked reduction in logical thinking or critical analysis? Perhaps comparative trends in school and college performance in Montana as opposed to Berkeley, for example, or better trends in school performance in Texas as compared to “socialist” countries in Scandinavia?”

        None of that is even close to being relevant to the point I am making. So let me make it clear. People dont need to live up to your ideals of proof to hold beliefs that are rational justified and warrented. IF they want to convince you, then they would be wise to present you with the kind of evidence you require. I suspect that charles is not interested in convincing you. Im not interested in convincing you.

        Now, do you agree that filter bubbles are not helpful

      • None of that is even close to being relevant to the point I am making. So let me make it clear. People dont need to live up to your ideals of proof to hold beliefs that are rational justified and warrented.

        What standards? Those standards are only a cover under which he nitpicks people he doesn’t agree with, in line with the tribalism he’s admitted to.

        IF they want to convince you, then they would be wise to present you with the kind of evidence you require.

        Actually, not. That would just be wasting their time. All he wants is to waste people’s time by nitpicking what they say on the basis of his double standard.They’d be wise to forget about trying to convince him.

      • Yikes –

        belongs here. https://judithcurry.com/2014/11/13/we-are-all-confident-idiots/#comment-647388

        Sorry – but I posted that in the wrong place because of the progressive influence on K through Ph D. education. It’s a warranted belief. No evidence required – ‘ cause that would just be nitpicking.

      • Another interesting study in bubbles:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com

        Not sure Charles knows about that one.

    • So far, the climate wars have been uncivil. Mebbe it should be termed the War Between the Future States, or the War of Climate Aggression.
      =========================

    • About the school system : I think it’s time to campaign to get the basics back into education. Not the old “three Rs”, but the new “four Rs” : Reading, ‘Riting, ‘Rithmetic and Reasoning.

    • David Springer

      charles the moderator | November 13, 2014 at 6:44 am | Reply

      “this seems to be the BIG issue of our time, the one which will influence how society evolves moving forward, and I’m not very happy with how it’s looking.”

      In a deterministic universe it really doesn’t matter. Free will is an illusion.

    • Scott Basinger

      The New Yorker had a good article on this a while back. Amongst OECD nations, the US scored very poorly from nearly last to dead last in several categories.

      How this correlates to a progressive or conservative influence on education could be a subject of further debate. In any case, what is clear is that what the US is currently doing isn’t working out all that well.

      http://www.newyorker.com/news/john-cassidy/measuring-americas-decline-in-three-charts

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/11/education/us-students-still-lag-globally-in-math-and-science-tests-show.html?_r=0

      • The first problem with education in the US is usually that reality is ignored. The reality is that scholastic ability conforms, generally speaking, to the normal curve. The expectation that persons of a given age should perform similarly in school is bunk.

        With that reality in mind, what would be reasonable is to let students progress at their own rate. At the end of high school, the student would graduate with whatever level of achievement (s)he managed. This doesn’t mean slower students wouldn’t get some extra help, but simply is an acknowledgement of the reality of the matter.

      • JIm2,

        You and I align quite well in the “learn at your own pace” thinking.

        I can remember back to the last ice age (climate joke) when I was in elementary school. We had a program called S.R.A. (Scholastic Reading Achievement-if memory serves). There are two things that come to mind today about this program. We could read and respond at our own pace with immediate evaluation. Then, moving on, there was a bit of competition amongst us kiddos to finish well, first, and progress as far as we could. There was no ‘prize’ at the end other than our confidence in comparison with our peers. Now, I did well through those “modules” and can offer no perspective of those who did not do as well. I have to wonder now if it was a confidence killer for them, but it certainly would have been diagnostic for the teachers.

        I’ve never grasped the reasoning behind holding back anyone in order to maintain the group.

      • jim2, “The first problem with education in the US is usually that reality is ignored. The reality is that scholastic ability conforms, generally speaking, to the normal curve. The expectation that persons of a given age should perform similarly in school is bunk.”

        One of the biggest difference between the US and Finland is that Finns don’t really have a mandatory K-12 system. Students can opt out, pursue higher formal or technical educations. The US went the other way and is trying to force uniform standards which would reduce overall performance. Not that one is particularly better than the other, but as an ignorant, redneck, conservative with centrist leanings, I prefer letting students make more of their own choices.

      • Danny and CD, and then there is the reality that some kids shouldn’t be allowed in school with kids that want to learn or at least know how to behave themselves. Expulsion should be an option.

      • I’m not going that far. Kids need structure, guidance, nurturing, and an intangible called love. Expulsion is not an acceptable alternative for me. Kids are sponges, and only absorbed what they’re submersed in. If they’re submersed elsewhere in inappropriate substances, that can be partially offset by society. Kids aren’t inherently good or bad, but they mimic what they see. This of course does not take in to consideration the potential for chemical imbalances.

    • Coming as it does from that great locus classicus of the Dunning -Kruger effect , WUWT, this quiddity must have Van Quine laughing in his grave.

  3. Interesting that the general public’s understanding of science is better than the scientists’.

  4. Could we stop having research and studies in areas of simple common sense and common judgement? Academising these things only obscures them and creates vast new communities of touts, push-pollers and shills with doctorates.

    Did studying bias help Lewandowsky with his monumental bias problem? When a big fly lands on your nose you don’t start studying flies. It’s a fly. It’s on your nose. You swat the fly.

    • I made a comment on the other thread which I partially repeat below as it is relevant. Is overconfidence the same as exaggeration?

      In this statement of Carol Clayson on the previous thread can be encapsulated much of what is wrong with climate science;

      ‘However, significant data gaps remain, particularly below 2000 m, which is nearly unmeasured.’

      Much of what is stated, or inferred, by climate alarmists, (some scientists some activists, many politicians) often turns out on investigation to be much less solid than it appears.

      Two examples; the idea that we have anything like a good idea of SST’s back to 1850 and the other related to the (honest) statement above.

      The IPCC insisted to me as an ‘expert’ reviewer of the AR5 draft that we knew the abyssal depth temperatures but would not give me the studies to prove it.

      We have people on this blog pointing to studies by people like Purkey and Johnson in which sweeping assertions of abyssal temperatures are made.

      The truth is as you state above. I also heard Prof Thomas Stocker say in an off the cuff remark at a Climate conference that we did not have the technology to measure the deep oceans (below 2000metres)

      Judith often writes about the ‘uncertainty monster’ but it seems to me there is an even bigger beast ‘the exaggeration monster’ which takes snippets of possible facts or unlikely statements and turns them into ‘science is settled’ papers that reinforce the climate change narrative demonstrating AGW.

      tonyb

      • Wunsch did his study and said there was slight cooling of the abyssal ocean. I believe he also said something to the effect of his position cannot proven to be correct and P&J cannot be proven to be incorrect.

        And it doesn’t matter too much as any heat distributed into the abyssal ocean will stay there for a very very long time. Said so often on Real Climate it sounds like a stuck record. Said by Trenberth.

      • jch

        Thanks for your comment. So when something is unproven but stated to be likely or as a fact, is that ‘Overconfidence’ or is it ‘exaggeration’?

        Indeed, can you have exaggerated overconfidence?’

        tonyb

      • I simply do not see the problem. What I have seen is you conflate the missing heat problem with the abyssal ocean stuff, and it makes no sense.

      • JCH

        The IPCC insisted to me that we knew the abyssal temperatures were warming. Wunsch says otherwise. Thomas Stocker says we don’t know as does Carol Clayson.

        I am not sure what we are arguing about as my point was that merely we exaggerate things when we should just say we don’t really know.

        tonyb

      • Climatereason, Isn’t a pity you did not ask this IPCC person why they knew that there was extra heat at the bottom of the oceans! I suspect his answer could be paraphrased thus:

        We know from our models that more heat is being trapped in the atmosphere by the extra CO2, and we can’t find it anywhere else, so it must be at the bottom of the oceans where it can’t be measured properly!

        A far more plausible explanation is that the feedback parameters in the climate models are wrong, so there isn’t any extra heat, so it doesn’t have to reside anywhere.

      • Did the IPCC insist, or did some individual who is somehow linked to the IPCC insist.

        And what is the consequence of this either way? It’s consequential, but barely. Cooling probably better supports the IPCC story.

      • David Bailey

        The part of the draft report I was reading said something along the lines of
        ‘Studies show abyssal depths are warming.’

        When I asked the IPCC to cite the studies they said I needed to quote the references

        I said there were no references merely comments about a study

        They said in that case they couldn’t supply them

        I said but it was you said there was studies that showed warming but you didn’t give a reference

        Without a reference we cant give you the information

        But you didn’t give any references

        In that case we cant give you the studies.

        It was a classic catch 22. Which is why I was interested to hear Thomas Stocker say we did not have the technology to measure the deep oceans as that surely is correct. Which is why I commented about Exaggeration, which may be the same thing as overconfidence and often closely related to uncertainty.

        tonyb

    • Excellent point mos. One thing we might consider is to stop calling social science a science. Lewandowski is no more a scientist than my dead grandmother.

      • A child of the enlightenment, she must have been more scientific than some of the recent specimens in climate science.
        ===============

      • But we have no data regarding your grandmother–she might have been the greatest scientist in human history

      • John DeFayette

        I read pokerguy’s comment as possible hyperbole, with the second verb implied: “Lewandowski is no more a scientist than [is] my dead grandmother.” I find it reasonable that, even had pokerguy’s grandmother been Albert Einstein, the fact is that today she is not active in any thinking capacity. And Lewandowski is no more a scientist than most any dead human being as far as I can tell.

        It was nicer the way pokerguy put it.

    • ‘The only not altogether agreeable thing about him was his habit of every now and then slowly and carefully raising his hand to catch the flies on his face, and sometimes managing to squash them.’

      H/t it’s Father Alexei, T, F&S.(1861)
      ===========================

  5. A couple of shortest paths through the thesaurus from “certain” to “uncertain”:
    certain unerring accurate careful leery uncertain
    certain axiomatic assumed hypothetical conjectural uncertain

  6. What if I become confident that I am ignorant? I find this whole area fascinating. We don’t often talk about the weaknesses of reason even though it is a wonderful tool. How much do our deep axioms, assumptions, presumptions impact our reasoning? How much is our world view the driver, how much constraint does it apply to our thinking? Is our ‘religion’ still king in the scientific age/age of reason? How much does it effect the big scientific programs/unifying theories/wicked problems like climate change which includes so many subjective judgements and imprecise use of language (and complexity)? I believe a certain way, and my own conclusion about myself has been for some time; Bob you are so biased! Help!

  7. Lew and friends: Jumping through mental hoops, trying to make the data fit a theory.

  8. Successfull landing on a f***ing comet!

    And it’s definately not a “dirty snowball”. Good riddance to the paradigm!

    • F=ma, works every time!!

      • No it does not. F=ma ASSUMES constant radius (distance between the two bodies). The formula works relatively well near the surface of the earth, but even there, subtle changes can be measured. Geophysics anyone? Try to figure out F=ma from first principles without assuming constant r. I would love to read that paper! I have actually attempted the math, it is not an easy thing to derive. That is how you get the expression “rocket scientist”.

      • Did I say anything about gravitation? No. F=ma and its rotational analogue.

      • Let me try this again. F=ma. You act on an object with a force and it accelerates. Okay, now where did the force come from?
        1. Gravity
        2. Electromagnetic Forces
        3. Some other form of Energy
        As long as the force is constant, the acceleration will be constant, and the formula holds.
        How many systems out there exhibit constant force and therefore constant acceleration?
        1. As long as the distance between the bodies is constant the force is constant and the formula holds for gravity.
        2. It is the same basic formula so the same holds true here for electromagnetic forces.
        3. I can’t think of examples here that have constant force.
        a. Springs – generally no (force gets larger as spring compresses)
        b. A human pushing on something – can’t think of an instance where this would be yes.
        c. Solar radiation – generally no (solar flares)
        d. Pendulum – relatively yes, but no in specifics (based on gravity)
        e. Rockets, vehicles, etc. – generally no. Most if not all exhibit some sort of power curve (non-constant force).

        Now why does the force have to be constant? Because the actual formulas (currently excepted laws), look like the gravity one which is:
        F=Gm1m2/r^2
        F=ma is DERIVED from the above formula, by setting r to be constant.
        You could think of a=Gm2/r^2, and you get F=ma.
        If you do not make the simplifying assumption that r is constant, then you can not use F=ma, but have to use the above formula instead.
        If you do not ASSUME r to be constant you can use calculus and it is extremely more difficult, because the force, acceleration, and radius are all changing at the same time.
        There are other formulas (normally not in rectangular coordinates) that one can use, but they do not resemble F=ma.

      • Sigh, let me try again, a bit less obtuse I suppose:
        “Here is a branch of sciene we can actually deal with, alas!! Rigid body mechanics!!”

      • I dont think I know what obtuse means, how obtuse of me. A bit less obscure, ???

      • David Springer

        In what universe does force not equal mass times acceleration?

      • As my dad would occasionally say, HA>A.

    • Successfully parked it in a cave on two bounces.

  9. Planning Engineer

    Great post! I think a lot of people have an over-exaggerated trust in scientists and even scientific institutions as opposed to having properly varying degrees of trust in various scientific processes. When effective double blind experiments can be performed, they are a gold standard. Science works well and is able to crush various fringe and pseudo scientific ideas such as homeopathy, crystal therapy and the like when the phenomenon are open to controlled experiments. In such areas the idea of a “science denier” may have some utility.

    Double blind experiments are not always possible. Scientific understanding that allows for hypothesis testing however is deserving of more respect than understandings that merely seeks to describe and perhaps project (without testing) what’s been observed so far.

    When “science” is expanded to whatever it is that scientists do (simulations, thought experiments, categorizations, ad-hoc explanations) it should not be placed on the same pedestal and granted the same deference that might be provided to “experimental” science. Unfortunately those who label others as “deniers” miss this subtlety, scream consensus, and ignore that science is carried out by fallible humans.

    • Always employ the best possible quality control process. Those who reject the implementation of ANY quality control have to know, deep down, that they are producing a lot of garbage.

      • The quality control process for building a commercial jet airliner is truly staggering. You can imagine why.

        I’ve asked about climate models wrt ISO standards or independent verification and validation or software version management, etc. The answers are not confidence inspiring.

        Judith Curry, perhaps you could comment someday about my above paragraph?

  10. ” In the context of the climate debate, Lewandowsky’s psychological research is highly controversial, see discussions by Steve McIntyre and Joe Duarte.” – JC

    Calling what JD wrote a ‘discussion’ is indeed, highly controversial. An apopletic rant full of errors, would be another way to describe it.

    “I am very concerned about the brand of psychological research conducted by Stephan Lewandowsky, that seems to be more of a tool in ideological warfare than anything else.” – JC

    And that is something that Judith is very confident of.

    • “Concerned” and “seems” equals “very confident”. Not very confident you can make that assertion legitimately, but such proves the point of the post. You are very confident that Judith is incorrectly confident, but can not see your own overconfidence.

    • You are soo freaking predictable Michael.
      I am awaiting a similar type of comment downthread from Joshua, saying the same predictable thing, only muuuch longer, with lots of big words and quotation marks.

    • If anyone could be bothered to collect all of Michael’s comments here over time, one would see, in sum, only “an apoplectic rant full of errors.”. Pot, kettle, meet often? Just who is way too over-confident in these discussions? I take vituperative, abusive language to be a good proxy for over-confidence….

    • Duarte may be apoplectic. He may be deservedly so. I am confident that Lewandowsky is a charlatan. Mr. Dunning would do well to look carefully at his work before championing him.

      There are not many things I am confident about in the debate over climate change. I am, however, confident that those like Lewandowsky and closer to home, Joshua, are not a force for good in either reconciling opposing points of view or advancing our understanding of the universe.

      As for you, Michael, you’re just sad.

      • Tom,

        Just so delicious!

        In this thread partly on Prof David Dunning’s work, Tom lectures Prof Dunning about his field of expertise – a Prof of 30 years research experience.

        Could you make this up?

        Surely it’s self-parody??

        No one could be so obliviously thick, could they?

      • Wow – missed this:

        ==> “I am, however, confident that those like Lewandowsky and closer to home, Joshua, are not a force for good in either reconciling opposing points of view or advancing our understanding of the universe.

        That’s impressive. Not a force for good! Too funny.

      • An evaluation of Good or bad is time and perspective dependent

      • Tom,

        It isn’t that Michael is sad. He is just acting in accordance to his nature. Jackasses bray.

      • You actually miss quite a lot, don’ you Joshua? Price you pay for manicaly obsession on the humanity of Judith Curry.

      • Tom.

        Joshua doesnt even pretend to understand the science. It’s not that he is a force for evil. he is a force for nothing. Hmm, so not a force for good. not a force for evil. just good for nothing when it comes to the science.

        As for ‘reconciling view points. Here the record is more spotty.
        While he admits the importance of having stakeholders of all stripes at the table, in practice he spends his time trashing a particular group of stakeholders. Hmm.. Lets say he is no richard betts.

    • Michael:

      Calling what JD wrote a ‘discussion’ is indeed, highly controversial. An apopletic rant full of errors, would be another way to describe it.

      Can you point out anything that Joe Duarte said that is an unambiguous error?

  11. One pertinent quote by Dunning that bears thinking about for those amateur scientists out there who doubt the actual scientists.
    “If you’re incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent. […] the skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is.”

    • The real problem IMO is ‘actual’ scientists and their overconfidence in related research. I.e. lots of scientists highly confident in IPCC attribution without publishing in this area or even reading the primary literature.

      On the other hand, some unpaid (amateur if you will) scientists dig into the primary literature and even publish papers.

      • “The immediate response to confident scientific studies is to say” –??

        Imo, the reaction to the study is directly related to the potential impact the suggested actions will have on my life or the lives of others. In most cases there is no impact so I don’t really care and await the truth to come out over time.

        In cases where the conclusions will lead to an impact, I am generally skeptical unless or until I have reviewed what I consider to be sufficiently reliable evidence to support the stated conclusion(s). The relative impact of implementing a case certainly relates to the amount of evidence needed to reduce the skepticism.

      • Richard Cronin

        Dr. Curry – I am merely a Chemical Engineer, but in 2006 I stumbled across the website of Dr. J. Marvin Herndon: http://www.nuclearplanet.com. He first published in 1992 and has been completely dismissed by mainstream science, but everything he has described makes so much sense, including the cyclical cause of terrestrial warming and cooling. The GeoReactor — a fast Neutron Closed Cycle Breeder Reactor formed at the core of every planet in the solar system as well as the ignition trigger for stellar fusion.

      • > I.e.

        That should be can “e.g.” unless that’s something which only applies to the IPCC.

        Lapsus latinum, perhaps.

    • On the other hand, the loudest proclaimers that the scientists are wrong seem to be the ones who know very little when you try to dig into their reasoning, which often just ends either in namecalling or in an ingrained plain wrongness.

      • Jim D

        When someone states that they are “sure” or ‘highly confident” that more CO2 will lead to disastrous changes in the climate, what is the appropriate response in your opinion?

        imo, they are wrong to make such a claim based on available information. Sure there is a potential risk, but very, very little reliable evidence to support the conclusion that anyone can be sure or highly confident that changes resulting from more CO2 will make life for humans worse overall over the long term

      • “the loudest proclaimers that the scientists are wrong seem to be the ones who know very little when you try to dig into their reasoning,”
        I think this is true. However, I don’t understand your own motivations – since the loudest proclaimers that the scientists are right also seem to be the ones who know very little. Go to any comment thread on the web; most commenters and almost all the ones screaming or sneering know very little.

      • ==> “Go to any comment thread on the web; most commenters and almost all the ones screaming or sneering know very little.”

        It isn’t just commenters on blogs. For the public more generally, the certainty of views on any variety of issues – of which climate change is a quality but certainly not unique example – do not reflect what someone knows as much as who someone is (in the sense of group identification).

        On average, blog commenters are probably more invested in the arguments – but: (1) they reflect larger tendencies and, (2) it would be a mistake to generalize from them, as they represent only a tiny slice.

      • nottawa rafter

        If one has been paying attention to claims by scientists over 50 years in various fields and remember how many “findings ” are reversed decades later and then that “finding” is reversed itself, and so on and on, one becomes a little skeptical about each new “finding”.

        The immediate response to confident scientific studies is to say “Ya ya, I have heard it all before.”

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: On the other hand, the loudest proclaimers that the scientists are wrong seem to be the ones who know very little when you try to dig into their reasoning, which often just ends either in namecalling or in an ingrained plain wrongness.

        this could do with some specific examples.

      • Well, the way wrong or right is judged is by looking at testable predictions.

        The testable predictions of global warming are invariably false.

        The models represent a prediction based on the current science. Either the science isn’t very good or the planet is lying to us.

        Arctic sea ice anyone? Supposed to be gone in 2012, 2013, 2015, 2020, 2030, 2050… So far no luck.

        Last century runaway global warming was predicted. The big debate this year is whether the temperatures are still crawling forward or if they have sat down and are taking a siesta.

        I am unaware of any correct global warming prediction.

      • thisisnotgoodtogo

        On the other hand the loudest proclaimers that the scientists are right know nothing at all about the scientsts not knowing which was up is.

        “Record 20 was corrected to reflect the interpretation of Tijander et al. (S32) that X-ray density is related inversely to temperature
        Record 21 was corrected to reflect the interpretation of Haltia-Hovi et al. (S33) that varve thickness is related inversely to temperature”

      • For testable hypotheses, since you can’t prove the future, you can look at the past. Last time the earth had 500-700 ppm it was an iceless hothouse with very high sea levels, and current climate science can explain why. Skeptics talk very little about this for some reason. Perhaps it is a part of the denial thing too.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: Skeptics talk very little about this for some reason.

        The explanation is full of holes (most of that past isn’t known), and there is no reason to believe it applies to changes in the upcoming decades as CO2 concentration increases toward 700 ppm.

      • Jim D | November 13, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        For testable hypotheses, since you can’t prove the future, you can look at the past. Last time the earth had 500-700 ppm it was an iceless hothouse with very high sea levels, and current climate science can explain why. Skeptics talk very little about this for some reason. Perhaps it is a part of the denial thing too.

        Ah, more fluff from the reality deniers.

        When the earth was at 3000 PPM the Antartica moved to the south pole. The temperature and CO2 levels have gone down ever since.

        Since then the Himalayas grew, the Arctic became semi-enclosed, and around 3.0 megayears ago the Americas joined to seal the deal.

        But no… let’s ignore planetary geologic changes, claim that there could be any other cause for the temperature increase, and blame temperature on a trace gas concentration that is temperature dependent. That is some real science there.

      • Jim D | November 13, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        For testable hypotheses, since you can’t prove the future, you can look at the past. Last time the earth had 500-700 ppm it was an iceless hothouse with very high sea levels, and current climate science can explain why. Skeptics talk very little about this for some reason. Perhaps it is a part of the denial thing too.

        https://gmat.economist.com/gmat-practice-question/22c64/reading-comprehension-structure-questions
        “About 65 million years ago, Antarctica, then still connected to Australia, still had a tropical to subtropical climate. About 40 million years ago Australia-New Guinea separated from Antarctica, and the first ice began to appear. Around 23 million years ago, the Drake Passage opened between Antarctica and South America, which resulted in the Antarctic Circumpolar. The ice spread, replacing the forests that then covered the continent. Since about 15 million years ago, the continent has been mostly covered with ice, with the Antarctic ice cap reaching its present extension around 6 million years ago.

        When the earth was at 3000 PPM the Antarctica moved to the south pole. The temperature and CO2 levels have gone down ever since.

        Since then the Himalayas grew, the Arctic became semi-enclosed, and around 3.0 megayears ago the Americas joined to seal the deal.

        Only a REAL reality denier, would deny the reality of planetary geologic changes to claim that a trace gas, whose concentration is temperature dependent, is instead driving temperature.

      • Matthew R Marler | November 13, 2014 at 8:17 pm |

        “…and there is no reason to believe it applies to changes in the upcoming decades as CO2 concentration increases toward 700 ppm.”

        Are there good reasons to believe it doesn’t?

      • Matthew R Marler

        Michael: Are there good reasons to believe it doesn’t?

        Yes.

        Consider the calculations presented in this paper, which I discuss a little below: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/346/6211/851

      • Jim D,

        when you gonna admit that it is all a smokescreen?

        when someone says the seas ate rising and faster than ever, I look at the data. That will tell me whether they are wrong or right.

        If someone says we will see crop failures and starvation, I look at the data.

        When someone says we will see mass extinctions, I do what? I look at the data. For you that must be a novel concept.

        iT is hard to find a single claim on the dangers of climate change where the so called experts have been right.

      • PA, you are relying on a very old schematic that is based on someone’s hand-drawn ideas. More recent information from paleoclimatology is here. Warm iceless periods like the Eocene and most of the Mesozoic had high CO2 levels. Cold periods like the Ice Ages and Permian didn’t.
        http://descentintotheicehouse.org.uk/past-and-future-co2/

      • Matthew R Marler | November 14, 2014 at 1:12 pm |
        “Consider the calculations presented in this paper, which I discuss a little below: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/346/6211/851

        Below where?

      • > let’s ignore planetary geologic changes,

        Let’s ignore mechanism and simply correlate events and numbers together.

        That ought to show how much knowledge we have of the science compared to otters.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Michael: Below where?

        Search on “Romps” or “Marler”.

      • @nottawa rafter

        “””If one has been paying attention to claims by scientists over 50 years in various fields and remember how many “findings ” are reversed decades later and then that “finding” is reversed itself, and so on and on, one becomes a little skeptical about each new “finding”.”””

        When it comes to ACC (or “AGW”), this is again a lot of hype and misinformation, and massively incorrect. It is also the constant pattern of taking issues and corrections and adjustments to things we don’t know or are evolving our learning on, and then falsely applying them to, or conflating it with, what we do know if not the issue itself. (This is what a lot of ACC skepticism is based on)

        The fact is scientists who study this have been saying the same thing for several decades. Even before a massive avalanche of increasing corroborative (not probative, corroborative,the issue is the air chemistry and physics and trailing data with respect to physical alterations, not climate data, despite misunderstanding (including on the part of a few scientists) to the contrary) empirical evidence. Even back in the 70s, when there was some fear of eventual cooling bc the earth had been slowly cooling overall (as CO2 has slowly been reducing and going into the ground, until we suddenly reversed milllions and millions and millions of years in the process in an instant) and we are in an ice age and inter glacial period, papers predicting AGW outnumbered those worried about or predicting longer term cooling many times over. in the SEVENTIES.

        By the 90s scientists were pretty overwhelmingly solid on this.

        The idea that we keep hearing different things, is again a fiction, created by a false skepticism (aka, a real desire to merely refute, or not accept, which is what is often practiced on this blog) , and it is a conflation of the natural process of science itself – study, examination, analysis, adjustment, correction, etc for non knowledge or an underlying shift in basic knowledge. On this issue – which though complex is at root still a pretty basic one – anyway.

    • You seem to have completely missed the point Jim D, which is that this applies to Lewandowsky et al, who for example make and repeat the same statistical blunder (pointed out by numerous people, summarised at my blog).

    • Jim D, I disagree to a large extent (qualification follows). The only skill needed to approach ‘right answers’ is critical thinking. That, plus time/willingness to dig into primary research and data, now much easier thanks to the internet. Wrote a whole book on that topic, The Arts of Truth, using lots of examples from public health, public education, energy, and climate.
      The qualification has to do with advanced mathematics/statistics, which may be necessary for precise answers, the only way to produce accurate ‘rocket science’. But when for most purposes I run up against such difficulties, I am reminded of a profound anecdote taught by one of my economics professors (I degreed in econometrics). John Kenneth Galbraith taught himself how to eyeball a column of numbers and estimate the sum to within 10%. He also headed the OPA during WW2. When asked how he could be making so many momentous decisions without closer study, he said: ‘I have found that when a question requires more precision than an estimate to within 10%, it is the wrong question.’
      Much food for thought.

    • Matthew R Marler

      Jim D: “If you’re incompetent, you can’t know you’re incompetent. […] the skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is.”

      If you raise a point or post a question, and the response is an ad hominem, that is a clue that the respondant does not know the answer. In my experience, people will give an answer if they know it.

      If you raise a point, or post a question, and the response is a link or a reference to a source that answers a different question, or avoids the issue entirely, that is a clue that the respondent does not know the answer to the question.

      If this happens frequently, that is a clue that no one knows the answer to the question or point that is raised.

      If you raise a point or post a question, and the respondents supply diverse sources with diverse conflicting answers based on partially overlapping evidence and scientific theory, that is evidence that the answer to the question is not known. The most frequently occurring example of that is the question and diverse answers: What would climate change have been over the last 150 years without the addition of anthropogenic CO2?

      A lot of the time here at climate etc the problem is not that the so-called incompetents can not recognize a right answer, it is that the self-identified competents can’t produce answers that are logically consistent and consistent with data and published science.

    • Curious George

      “the skills you need to produce a right answer are exactly the skills you need to recognize what a right answer is.” So when Einstein developed a theory of special relativity, no one recognized it was the right answer?

      This is a quote you selected .. are you really impressed by it? I consider it a sheer nonsense. To invent is much more difficult than to follow.

    • I dont know about the climate for sure, but when it comes to solutions 97 % of scientists don’t know what they are talking about.

  12. If someone diagnoses someone as ‘Dunning Kruger’ are they not at risk of suffering it themselves (and it then becomes truly recursive) particularly in the blogosphere..

    An example blogger, Michael Marriott diagnosed me (Anthony Watts, Jo Nova) as Dunning Kruger a number of times on his blog – Watching the deniers.. (he added in Bulls***, Deniers, Cransk, Disinformers as well)

    he started doing this, after commenting on Jo Nova’s blog, got laughed at in the comments, went back, read a wiki article about it, and promptly diagnosed every sceptic as Dunning-Kruger..

    http://watchingthedeniers.wordpress.com/2010/03/10/the-dunning-kruger-effect-deniers-may-take-down-what-they-dont-understand-but-at-heart-they-are-curious/

    “My own experiment: Jo Nova’s blog
    Jo Nova, the Perth based denier has quite active discussions on her blog site. They provide rich examples of conspiracy theories, vicious attacks on climate scientists and technical discussions on climate science.”

    After it was discovered that Marriott was a researcher and co-author of Lewandowsky’s Recursive Fury papaper (no retracted) Jo Nova – reflected on Mike here:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/02/lewandowsky-dismisses-bloggers-but-they-are-his-research-team-who-is-mike-hubble-marriott/

    So when Marriott (no academic background,no relevant qualifications) was chosen by Lewandowsky to be a researcher for the now retracted – Recursive Fury’ paper – ! (which named Jo Nova, and Anthony Watts as suffering psychological traits, and as the sources of conspiracy ideation (I only made the data set) think we should severly question Lewandowsky’s professional competence and judgement in using him.

    And now we see, Lewandowsky making using The Conversation to make sneering innuendoes about Anthony Watts, at the Conversation.. My response (deleted at the Conversation) is in the comments at Paul Matthews blog
    https://ipccreport.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/lewandowskys-loopy-logic/comment-page-1/#comment-1742

    the Conversation article is reproduced at the Cabot Institute (where prof Lewandowsky now works) , where I have a response allowed.
    http://cabot-institute.blogspot.com/2014/11/are-you-poor-logician-logically-you.html?showComment=1415789105989#c6729485571897269555

    • The best commentary I ever heard on the Dunning-Kruger effect was this comment by Markx at the now defunct Skepticblog:
      http://www.skepticblog.org/2013/06/26/the-dunning-kruger-effect/#comment-85562

      • Here’s an excerpt:

        The Dunning-Kruger effect; Interesting research, and cute.
        But does it have any ‘real world’ significances? What is the salient point to take away from all this? That we should only listen to experts or those in a position of authority? That the masses should always be ignored? A voice from the wilderness is worthless?
        In reality it has simply become another technical riposte to be used in contentious debates, and is in my opinion (take that with a grain of salt, I am no debating expert, nor cognitive psychologist, and yes you can label this DK effect if you like) has little more worth than that.

  13. We are all confident idiots?
    “Lewandsky a scholar”
    Said confidently.

  14. John Smith (it's my real name)

    Dr, Curry
    Once again you return to the hiatus as the central question
    this question brought me here

    objective observers seem to accept the hiatus

    yet, when I look out my window I see a large mob that screams that “dangerous” unprecedented warming continues

    this is what frightens me

    what we are witnessing is outbreak of cultural hysteria
    akin to the pogroms against witches

    perhaps this is what happens when affluent societies lack sufficient existential fears like war or famine

    this post I think represents the right direction for this debate

    dueling data seems to go in circles

    • Planning Engineer

      John –

      I am amazed at how the mere mention of a hiatus has been demonized.
      I am seeing a lot of supposedly “science based” or “science supporting” individuals deriding Ted Cruz in various Facebook postings for this quote “The last 15 years there has been no recorded warming.” I’m not that well informed on Ted Cruz and there may be a lot not to like about him and many things he’s said. But it seems they are mutually attacking him and anyone who would ever bring up the hiatus. Unfortunately it seems that among large segments of the general “science supporting” population you can get yourself labeled as ignorant, a denier, anti-science, evil, or worse by just noting anything from recent IPCC documents that could be perceived to threaten any of the current “warmest” talking points.

      What is the avenue for combating collective willful misrepresentations?

      • Planning Engineer

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Planning Engineer
        this worst kind of agitprop
        the mindlessness of that add gives me chills
        again, I live in a highly progressive urban area
        dominated, literally, by a major private university
        more than a few “doctors” of both kinds, have said to my face “the pause is as lie, made up by Rush Limbaugh” (direct quote)
        Yet, none of them could identify IPCC or HADCRU or knew any other basics about the issue
        absolutely slays me, and I have no idea what to make of it

        this has become a cultural battle
        a secular religion
        carbon is the devil,
        “out with thee, denier!”
        not sure I’m willing to agree that we are all willful idiots either

        BTW, enjoyed your post
        it is the engineers and tech people like you, quietly working, who are going to render this argument moot
        clean safe energy solutions will come

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        Planning Engineer
        my reply to you was modded, not sure why

      • To quote from Charles the Moderator:
        Noble Cause Corruption insidiously corrupts the leftists/progressives orders of magnitude more than it corrupts conservatives.

        The warmist viewpoint is infested with “Noble Causism”. The sufferers believe they are working for great good and their opponents therefore must be darkly evil.

        Noble Causism induces the afflicted to be capable of incredible evil since they are working toward what they believe to be a “good” end, and the end justifies the means.

      • A noble question.

  15. “At WUWT, Andy West has just published a lengthy three part series: Wrapped in Lew papers: the psychology of climate psychologization [Part I, Part II, Part III]. The main point is that Lew is so busy dissecting the ‘bias’ of climate change skeptics that he misses his own rather glaring biases.” – JC

    Judith, please tell me that you didn’t read these before linking to them.

    Otherwise, you surely would have noticed what a complete load of bollocks it all is; Lewandowsky has published papers on cognitive bias , therefore he must have these same biases – so there!!

    I wish it was less stup!d than that, but it isn’t.

    • Given your ‘therefore’ above is not at all what is argued, maybe you haven’t read them yourself? If you have, how about something substantive? For instance if you think some or all of the Lew and Crew cognitive bias list *doesn’t* apply to the Consensus? So say why. The excellent applicability of this list to the Consensus is the thread that the argument *does* travel through on the way to Lewandowsky himself.

      • Andy,

        Sdly, I did.

        Though to read stuff like this;
        “These papers warn of cognitive bias effects, all of which occur in the CAGW Consensus, confirming it is heavily biased”
        does make it challenge to convince yourself there’s any point going further.

      • Michael | November 13, 2014 at 9:43 am

        Well I’d be very suprised if you or other ardent Consensus advocates were not challenged by that sentence. So I’m impressed you continued on. Yet given you’ve read the pages of evidence that provide said confirmation, by mapping the Lew and Crew list of well-defined biases to the Consensus characteristsics, I’m most unimpressed that you chose to imply to the denizens that such evidence didn’t exist. And indeed more unimpressed still that you fell out of all reasoned argument to simply deploy the ‘stupid’ word. How is this going to help anyone’s progress here? While you may indeed have disagreed with some or all of this evidence, you haven’t offered any argument as to why.

      • ‘Evidence’ is a rather strong word for what you produced Andy. Maybe ‘opinion’, or ‘impression’ would be more accurate?

        And a clear operational definition of your “CAGW” might have been helpful, even for the “Consensus CAGW’, given how its use is largely restricted to use by inhabitants of blog commentaries which suggests it’s a sign of a very distinct ‘worldview’, likely with it’s very own set of biases.

        Some accounting for that my have made it sound less like a long-winded diatribe of begging the question.

      • Michael | November 13, 2014 at 5:59 pm

        Regarding CAGW Consensus, the culture of ‘the certainty of catastrophe’ is made clear throughout. The bias types and characteristics that map so well to the Consensus are not my opinions, but the output of the Lew and Crew papers. And regarding sampes, all sources / surveys / quotes that demonstrate the Consensus exhibiting those characterstics, are from solidly Consensus sources. This is evidence, which doesn’t mean it isn’t challengeable evidence, but you haven’t challenged any.

      • Andy,

        So it’s not “CAGW” , or even “Consensus CAGW” that you fail to define, what at issue is something even more vague – the ‘Culture of Consensus CAGW’.

        What a fascinating world view that must emanate from.

      • Michael | November 15, 2014 at 9:48 am

        I agree regarding the fascinating worldview. It emanates from the Consensus itself, per the given quotes. And a culture of belief in the certainty of catastrophe is hardly vague, but both specific and audacious.

    • Michael | November 13, 2014 at 8:45 am | Reply

      Otherwise, you surely would have noticed what a complete load of bollocks it all is; Lewandowsky has published papers on cognitive bias , therefore he must have these same biases – so there!!

      Hmmm. I don’t believe it is correct to say Lewandowsky suffers from cognitive bias. He doesn’t seem very cognitive.

    • Defending Lewandowski. Now there is cognitive defect. Nice job Michael.

  16. Thanks, Judith.

    Another major theme in my series of posts linked above is that Lewandowksy’s own papers on cognitive bias, demonstrate that the climate Consensus itself must be soaked in bias. A full list of bias effects / quotes / characteristics is provided, which mesh with other literature. This bias will have an enormous impact on what the Consensus actually says, indeed even upon how it defines itself and how it operates.

  17. “Majority decisions tend to be made without engaging the systematic thought and critical thinking skills of the individuals in the group. Given the force of the group’s normative power to shape the opinions of the followers who conform without thinking things through, they are often taken at face value. The persistent minority forces the others to process the relevant information more mindfully. Research shows that the decisions of a group as a whole are more thoughtful and creative when there is minority dissent than when it is absent.”
    Philip G. Zimbardo,

  18. A man’s got to know his limitations.
    – Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood in Magnum Force)

  19. In brief, the conclusion of Lewandowsky’s first paper was somewhat supported by the conspiracy thinking that went into attacking it. It was quite ironical, so he managed to get another paper out on those attacks, which was the recursive fury one. Then, if I remember, they had to retract that paper because the supplementary material named someone along with his blog quote, even when he had not been anonymous in the blog, but that person complained about being publicly quoted on what he said anyway. Odd and entertaining stuff. Nothing to do with climate science, but a hornet’s nest was stirred up there.

    • nobody claimed about being publicly quoted… You’ve been reading Lewandowsky’s misrepresentation of what happened and what the complaints were?

    • JimD, The first paper investigate conspiracy theories that Lew suspected were conspiracy theories. That would be bias. Had he investigated more general conspiracy theories/paranoia, he would have found that Big Oil, Corporations, Cronyism, Capitalism etc. would tend to level the conspiracy playing field.

      • How exactly is vested interests funding opposition to mainstream science and carbon reduction policies a conspiracy?

      • Joseph, by believing that vested interest funding is inherently evil. Everyone has some vested interest and there is no such thing as a perfect system. Attacking generalized concepts or entities is basically just paranoia.

      • Joseph, I think the conspiracy theory beliefs by your side are based on the generalization that ANY donation, to an organization which expressed doubts about ANY aspect of the global warming problem, was intended to support what you like to call “climate denial”. I realize that’s a long sentence, but I’m sure you can figure it out. Lewandowski, Oreskes, and the others are boring conspiracy theorists.

      • I don’t think it is necessarily “evil.” And even if were evil doesn’t make it a conspiracy.

        But I will ask whether you would trust the science or statements by politicians heavily funded by tobacco companies?

      • Again, Fernando, explain to me how it is a conspiracy?

      • Joseph, demonizing “corporations” leads to conspiratorial thinking. You can give a neat little name so people that march against whatever can feel good about themselves, but there isn’t any real difference. All a “conspiracy” is, is two or more people conspiring to harm others in some way, whether the “other” is a corporation, ethnicity, individual or group. Merchants of Doubt feeds the paranoia that breeds conspiracy thinking.

        If your cause is truly noble, a little conspiring can’t be a bad thing, can it? After all, it isn’t really paranoia if they are out to get you is it :)

      • Being skeptical of the efforts of vested interests to undermine the mainstream position of scientists is not engaging in conspiracy related thinking period.

      • And it isn’t paranoia either. It’s common sense..

      • Joseph, “Being skeptical of the efforts of vested interests to undermine the mainstream position of scientists is not engaging in conspiracy related thinking period.”

        There is nothing wrong with being skeptical, taking it to extremes like accusing anyone that disagrees with you as being in the pocket of big whatever, is implying that big whatever is out to get ya. How often to hear people blame the world not adopting their absolutely perfect ideas on big oil, big tobacco, big coal or whatever? Sometimes “perfect ideas” suck. Get over it.

        The great Satan Bush the younger was all aboard with regulations to limit black carbon and generally recognized air pollution, which is not contrary to typical Republican principles but Hansen went ballistic that it was not enough. Since then Hansen has chained himself to coal plant fences and admitted that black carbon was likely underestimated.

        You have to be rational to have a rational conversation and the pervasive paranoia that big whatever is out to get you is a self fulfilling prophecy.

      • No doubt the oil companies are driving the alarmist train to try and eliminate the coal competition. Wonder how much they pay.

      • How often to hear people blame the world not adopting their absolutely perfect ideas on big oil, big tobacco, big coal or whatever?

        I think the large amount of money that fossil fuel interest give to Republicans and to think tanks does undermine action on climate change. How is that irrational or engaging in conspiracy ideation?

      • Joseph, “I think the large amount of money that fossil fuel interest give to Republicans and to think tanks does undermine action on climate change.”

        How large of an amount is that Joseph? Could it be an urban myth? Most large corporations tend to hedge their bets and donate to a variety of “causes”. Now oil companies did increase political lobby funding following climategate, that would be when “Climate Science” showed it ugly political underbelly. That would be the self-fulfilling prophecy aspect. If you keep saying how much oil and gas are doing to subvert your cause, they just might show you what they can do. Prior to that, climate science was doing a fine job publicly sucking up to Big Oil while the minions bashed them. Shell and BP invested a lot into the green causes.

        Glieck even went into espionage mode and got documents from the Heartland Institute. Only the documents were not damning enough so he had to add some of his own. A lawyer suing Exxon-Mobile also decided to create is own “facts’. In general, the enviro-chihuahuas are doing a fine job of shooting themselves in their paranoid feet.

      • Now oil companies did increase political lobby funding following climategate, that would be when “Climate Science” showed it ugly political underbelly. That would be the self-fulfilling prophecy aspect.

        ROTFL! ClimateGate?? Come on.. You can’t be serious..

        How large of an amount is that Joseph? Could it be an urban myth?

        Nope. Look at the numbers for political spending.

        Oil & Gas
        http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/totals.php?ind=E01++

        Coal
        http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/totals.php?ind=E1210

      • Joseph, “ROTFL! ClimateGate?? Come on.. You can’t be serious..”

        Koch Bros. Industries was one of the largest oil industry political campaign donors. You don’t think that they aren’t aware of climategate and the general anti-Koch attitude of the more politically vocal climate scientists? What do you think they are going to do? Bend over and take it?

        Image is everything in politics. Climategate was not good for the image now was it?

      • You tell me, Joseph. I don’t believe big bad corporations are conspiring to make Al Gore look like a politician who can’t do proper math. I visit Eli and all I get is conspiracy theories, and from what I gather they are utterly convinced their proposed changes into renewables really work. This is why we get all these conspiracy theories by what appears to be liberal arts students and climatologists who don’t know much about electrical engineering.

        Regarding the hockey phenomena, I suspect some scientists tend to be skullcentric (the universe revolves around their heads). This seems to give them the license to tweak their plots to make us drive smaller vehicles.

        Or maybe it’s a career issue? Do you think I will be famous if I publish my paper about global warming causing an increase in the occurrence of giant snowflakes?

      • Joseph,

        Which of these is not a “vested interest”?

        government researchers dependent on federal funding

        universities relying on grant money

        environmental organizations such as Sierra Club , WWF and Greenpeace

        manufacturers of solar panels, wind turbines and electric cars

        IPCC and the UN

        Al Gore
        David Suzuki

        or is it only certain vested interests we should be concerned about?

      • Joseph,

        from 1989 to 2012, Koch Industries donated ~ $12 million to political causes. During that same period the top 23 unions donated over $600 million. They are what is called vested interests.

        And while we are on the topic of the Koch brothers, their contributions for climate change issues runs in the hundreds of thousands range. A far cry from the $26 million Chesapeake Energy gave Sierra Club.

      • Is there a link you can provide? I can’t find Koch’s info as their a private concern. I have a friend that I’d like to send this and the Sierra Club info.

        Thanks,

      • capt look a little past this thread for your response..

        I visit Eli and all I get is conspiracy theories

        Fernando, such as?

      • government researchers dependent on federal funding

        universities relying on grant money

        How is most science funded? Should we doubt all science?

      • IPCC and the UN

        Al Gore
        David Suzuki

        I don’t think Al and David really matter in terms of the science. And the UN is merely a reflection of it’s member states. The IPCC is an all volunteer effort. I hope we aren’t talking about a conspiracy.

    • It has everything to do with climate science, jimmy dee. Lewandowsky is a tool of the climate science establishment. As you are, jimmy.

    • The first paper was widely misinterpreted. It is not surprising that people who subscribe to conspiracy theories also largely subscribe to climate science being another one. Note the direction of attribution, but it was interpreted as those denying the science are all conspiracy theorists. Logic 101 teaches you about these types of statements.
      All grass is green.
      Dollar bills are green.
      Therefore dollar bills are grass.

      • If you had downloaded the climategate emails and read through them you would realize it isn’t a theory. Something that is factually proven isn’t a theory anymore.

      • So a person hiding a tree-ring trend is the extent of it?

      • …10 years ago, no less.

      • Jim D.. you obviously skipped the whole Manipulation of Journals thing etc
        by “the team” which is well documented in the climate gate emails.
        Fairly obviously you did not bother to read them or digest the content.
        Else you would not be so comfortable with some of the statements I have seen you (and other consensus supporters) make.

      • JimReedy, that also is not even close to the extent of the conspiracy thinking we see here, and maybe you just ignore it or don’t notice. Lewandowsky was onto something with that. I mean the idea that the possibility of CAGW doesn’t actually exist for any amount of added CO2, but all of the scientists are ganging together and just inventing sensitivities for some self-interested political or financial motive. This is conspiracy ideation. Finding scientists saying frank things about the occasional skeptic paper or a journal editor does not make a conspiracy theory. Scientists have views of each others work and state them in emails sometimes. It’s not tame, and Judith participates in this active type of discussion questioning peoples’ motives at least via Twitter and blogs too. Having frank opinions on other peoples’ work doesn’t make anyone a conspiracy theorist.

      • “ganging together and just inventing sensitivities for some self-interested political or financial motive”

        This is human nature.

        Andrew

      • Jim d, read False Hope at Scientific American. Check the graphs. Feel free to go read my critique (“False Hope by Michael Mann”). That article shouldn’t have been published. The editors are hired by Nature publishing editorial bosses.

        Nature has a tendency to publish low quality papers which peddle global warming hysteria. Therefore this whole thing may be just driven by a few guys who want to make more money. Or maybe they got Dedevelopment in their minds?

        The bottom line for me is that I dont trust anything I read in Nature. Nor can I trust any government controlled institutions (check my “are NASA employees color blind?”). I find a more reliable set of materials at Max Planck, and from Judy and a few others. That’s just the way it is as long as I can see distorted information popping up everywhere.

      • Jim D,

        the only thing Lewandowski was on to was his own ego trip.

    • Another defective in cognitive ability rides to defend Lewandowski. Both papers were crap. That Lewandowski was willing to put them out is about as solid a proof of his bias as one could get.

      that Jim D defends him illustrates his bias. Seriously Jim, learn to recognize crap. In this case it’s that stinky stuff you’ve tracked in here.

      • There is conspiracy ideation on blogs related to climate skepticism, and Lewandowsky pointed to it. It is a statement of the obvious that anyone who reads here can attest to.

      • Jim,

        I have yet to find a conspiracy theory of and sort I believe to be true. Yet I have no trouble recognizing crap papers (Lewandowski) or alarmism (climate science in general).

        That you are willing to accept that the Lew has offered anything of value indicates bias or defective thinking.

      • One of the funny things is the Flat Earth Society is solidly behind CAGW along with anti-preservatives, anti-GM crops, anti-nuclear power, anti-Dihydrogen Monoxide and anti-fracking crowds

        I wonder what percentage of the Pro-CAGW crowd thinks that 100 mpg cars aren’t available because of big oil and big auto?

      • You could probably list a few people here who firmly believe various conspiracy theories, couldn’t you? Lewandowsky was right about their presence on the skeptic side.

      • JimD, it is actually not too hard to believe that Global Warming is a hoax when one year you hear that kids will never know what snow is and the next you are buried in it.

        Then think all of the things “caused” by global warming. If you consider all of the them from shrinking male peni to cannabalism to the extinction of coffee trees, a casual observer would think it is the greatest prank of all time.

      • Yes, the science-by-press-cuttings learning technique has its risks. Better to look at the actual reports done by the scientists than sound-bites gleaned by reporters.

      • JimD,

        Yes, listen to what the Union of Concerned Scientists tell us:

        http://www.ucsusa.org/our-work/global-warming/science-and -impacts/global-warming-impacts#.VGaOXWalZoM

      • http://www.ucsusa.org/our-work/global-warming/science-and-impacts/global-warming-impacts#.VGa2rEi5_35
        Fixed link. Do you have something against advocacy? If you see something, say something, is a good motto. Don’t just keep quiet and then complain when nothing was done to prepare for or avoid a large climate change.

      • JimD,

        Pointing out the affirmative should hardly deserve being rebuked for an imaginary position against advocacy. Examine what those scientists say. You said we should listen to them not the pundit press.

        They stuck to a fairly realistic appraisal of what we should be worried about. I wouldn’t try to judge whether or not those are realistic concerns since I’m far less educated and informed than them. I would only say that those types of events all existed before human gas emmisions some with great frequency. Since they really don’t discuss cause and effect, I guess it is an appeal to authority. I’ve seen where skeptics claim extreme weather events were more frequent during the LIA. I suppose it could go both ways. I would also ask what is the motivation or bias of that hypothesis and how robust is the evidence. I don’t think such a think is necessarily falsifiable so where does that leave the science?

        I would suggest that these scientists want us to be concerned about this. They want us to understand that human activity is consequential for the enviorment. I don’t think that is any secret as far as advocacy of the group. Maybe it’s worthy maybe it’s not, believe what you want.

      • ordvic, in each case whether it is a scientist that says something or a journalist that quotes them, the rule is to check the published reports and original press releases from the scientists, which tell you what is supported by what evidence. When someone says our grandchildren won’t know what snow is, look for the paper that supports that. If someone says the LIA was worse than now, look for that paper for evidence. It’s better than collecting press clips and believing them unconditionally whatever side they are on.

    • capt, if you look at the links I provided, the amount given by the vested fossil fuel interests listed dwarfs the amount given by the Koch brothers. And like I told you before, most of it is going to Republicans. I don’t think there is any doubt about either of those two points.

      As to whether the Koch brothers are concerned about “climategate”, do we really know this to be a fact? Do you have evidence? I look at “climategate” in the light of the numerous inquiries that found no wrongdoing. And I wonder if you think any of the alleged misconduct also applies to the thousands of scientists also doing climate related research? Do the Koch brothers think about them and their work? Finally, I would like you to list what you think “climategate” implies about the individuals involved.

  20. Dunning-Kruger is a popular rationale for dismissing skeptics

    It is more about brain washing others to believe what you want them to believe, with no matter to what is right.

  21. Too much talk about climate and not enough data. How about shutting down discussion for a few years?

  22. jim – that is a total misrepresentation of facts.

    Watts, Mcintyre, Lucia, Chambers all named IN the paper.

    and for a reason retracted one reason was ethical issues and conflicts of interest were an issue –

    see Marriott’s (co-author) partian public attacks on people named in the paper, whilst he was researching them!

  23. What I would like to see is some studies related to the psychology and social psychology of scientific belief by scientists. If you know of relevant papers, I would appreciate a pointer.

    I would highly recommend Barber&Barber’s When They Severed Earth from Sky: How the Human Mind Shapes Myth. While it isn’t about “scientific belief by scientists”, what it does do (IMO) is put beliefs and narratives in evolutionary context: before writing myth, usually carried by metaphorical narrative, was the primary way in which societies framed their universe, and remembered things farther in the past than a few generations.

  24. Oh boy! A Lewandowsky fight!

    Because those are always so informative and useful! So much openness to exploring new ways of looking at things. New, and innovative arguments revealing unexplored pathways.

    Reminds me of discussions about the size of the “consensus,” whether Muller is a “skeptic,” estimation vs. measurement, etc.

    Thanks god for the “extended peer review” of the blogsphere.

    • here is some music to people to enjoy with your Whine

      • I ht the link and my wife asked who is getting married.

        I am guessing it’s Joshua. To his own sense of self importance.

    • Lewandowsky is Exhibit A for the comment regarding progressive education by Charles the Moderator which you dismissed.

      • Tom C –

        ==> “Lewandowsky is Exhibit A for the comment regarding progressive education by Charles the Moderator which you dismissed.”

        If a “skeptic” wants to make claim about an incredibly broad cultural/societal phenomenon, then it seems to me that they might start by:

        Defining and quantifying the phenomenon, systematically looking for evidence of the hypothesized results, and controlling or variables to help establish cause-and-effect.

        Please, do show evidence of ” progressive influence on the entire school system, K through PhD” for “two generations.”

        Show evidence of a “destroy[ed] ability to think logically and critically analyze.” How would you measure that across society? Would you document a loss of products from logical thinking and critical analysis? Less technological output, for example?

        Do you see that some segments of our educational environment that display larger “progressive influence” relative to others, and which show a more marked reduction in logical thinking or critical analysis? Perhaps comparative trends in school and college performance in Montana as opposed to Berkeley, for example, or better trends in school performance in Texas as compared to “socialist” countries in Scandinavia?

        How have you controlled for variables such as poverty or class size or %’s of special needs students or %’s of speakers of English as a 2nd language?

        How have you controlled for “progressive influence” relative to non-progressive? influence in a country whgere higher #’s identify as conservatives rather than liberals?

        Tell me, Tom – is your highlighting Lewendowsky’s work as “exhibit A” for a broad scale social and cultural phenomenon an example of logical thinking and critical analysis?

        Too freakin’ funny.

      • Forgot an important part –

        After you’ve quantified this trend of growth in “progressive influence on the entire school system, K through PhD” in the last “two generations,” please show differentially and proportionally, the relationship to “logical thinking” and “critical analysis” in prior generations.

        That shouldn’t be hard, eh? I’m sure you can whip that up in no time.

      • Joshua – You don’t get it. I don’t have to do all that work – all I need to do is say “How did this Lewandowsky moron get a job teaching at a university?” Much preferred shortcut.

      • Joshua – Are you impressed by Lewandowsky’s work?

      • I actually agree with Joshua more than he realizes. I DO NOT KNOW, as I asserted above if it really is progressives destroying the educational system as I asserted with qualifications.

        I live in a world where two people look at the same thing and one identifies is as black and the other white.

        I live in a world where Bush is evil personified.

        I live in a world where Obama is evil personified.

        I BELIEVE progressives have destroyed the educational system. I do not KNOW that I am correct.

        I BELIEVE that Internet filter bubbles and progressive indoctrination have created closed loops of reality that are not a reflection of objective facts. I also believe conservative indoctrination also creates closed loops that are not a reflection of objective facts.

        The major difference that I BELIEVE operates differently between the groups is that Noble Cause Corruption insidiously corrupts the leftists/progressives orders of magnitude more than it corrupts conservatives. Again, what will one not do in order to right injustices, save the world, and liberate all the victims?

        I think people researching this disconnect are trying to be honest, even little ol’ Lew, but most are so deeply embedded in these worldviews that they are unable to see two trees let alone a forest.

      • Charles makes an excellent point.

        You see, while some people BELIEVE that they’ve seen monkeys flying out of his butt, no one actually KNOWS whether that has happened.

      • Joshua is well within his rights to dismiss Charles beliefs. Just as Charles is well within his rights to believe what he chooses to believe.

        What happens when you naturalize epistemology? ( Joshua may not get this, but this is what his appeal to motivated reason does), what happens is this.

        You lose the position require to critique what others believe.
        When you naturalize epistemology, when you explain how people come to believe, you set aside the project of epistemology which is coming up for rules for true belief or knowledge in the traditional philosophical sense. Truth in the ideal sense gets replaced with “what works”. What works for the individual and more broadly what works for a majority of people.

        You can then observe that if you want to change other people’s beliefs that following certain rulz tends to be more successful than not. Science codifies these rulz. But you can clearly live a happy productive useful life without ever using the rules of science. Moreover, you don’t even have to be consistent in the application of rules.

        Charles has certain beliefs. He doesnt need to provide evidence to have those beliefs. They only need to work for him. When Charles tries to change Joshua’s beliefs ( for example if he wants to argue that he is right and that Joshua is wrong ) then as a matter of pragmatics he should appeal to Joshua with arguments that are known to work with people like Joshua, but only if he is interested in changing Joshua’s mind.These may or may not be logical arguments. On the other hand if someone wants to annoy Joshua rather than change his mind, then they can of course use other methods.

      • ==> “Just as Charles is well within his rights to believe what he chooses to believe.”

        Of course he is.

        ==> “He doesnt need to provide evidence to have those beliefs. ”

        Of course he doesn’t.

        Just as of course he’s “allowed’ to express his beliefs.

        It seems that you think that I’m arguing against some or all of that.

        I’m not. But you’ve never let that get in the way of your rich fantasy life before, so why should you do so now, eh?

  25. Ya gotta mutter ‘I dunno’ to yourself. Otherwise it ain’t got no schwang.
    ====================

  26. Daniel Stewart

    Judith

    Thanks for all your good work.

    Your link for the Quine quotation – http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/scientific-underdetermination/ – points to a discussion of the position in the philosophy of science that, in general, observations do not uniquely determine the theory derived from them. There will be other theories, perhaps equally plausible, compatible with the evidence.

    If that is true (and it is disputable), then the choice of theory will depend on factors beyond the evidence — bias, self-interest, politics (small and large), animosity, caprice . . . ; it’s a long list.

    The full article is worth a look since many of the issues covered arise again and again in climate science controversies.

    • I have a post on underdetermination coming soon, i got sidetracked with the overconfidence piece.

    • DS, the issue of underdetermined theory is a deep and fascinating one. But in the end any theory must be judged at any point in time (as new information becomes available) along a spectrum from untrue through uncertain to likely true (as Einstein pointed out, seldom absolute truth). That is where critical thinking comes into play. And where beliefs and agendas can not only morph uncertain into ‘true’ as the IPCC has done, they can even morph ‘untrue’ into seemingly ‘true’. Intelligent Design’s assertion about the irreducible complexity of the eye, and the NEA stance on classroom size and educational acheivement are two examples from my book on critical thinking, The Arts of Truth.
      And my opening chapter on the philosophy of ‘truth’ (science) quotes liberally from Stanford’s Plato project at the website you linked above.

    • I thought theories were confirmed when new data matched their predictions? But theories can’t be proved. Regarding under determination, I have run into company managers who wanted us to attribute a certain performance or behavior to a specific driver. However, everything we did and knew told us the full system was responding to multiple factors which we really couldn’t honestly separate. It was similar to the climate warming issue, but we could get around it by having obtuse managers promoted to Vice President.

      • Athletes that tested negative for the presence of performance enhancing drug were obviously not using performance enhancing drugs were they?

  27. An example of “humble confidence.”

    As a young lawyer, Abraham Lincoln once had to plead two cases before the same judge on the same day. Both involved the same principle of law, but in one he appealed for the defendant and in the other for the plaintiff. His eloquence won the case in the morning. In the afternoon, he argued the opposite side with equal conviction. The judge, half smiling, asked him what caused his change of attitude.

    ” Your Honor, ” said Lincoln, ” I may have been wrong this morning, but I know I’m right this afternoon. “

  28. Those who refuse to put a quality control process in place are obvious candidates for overconfidence stemming from ignorance. See e.g. academic research in general and climate science in particular.

  29. It was doing OK until it got to this bit: Luckily, a science is emerging, led by such scholars as Stephan Lewandowsky .

    At that point I gave up on it.

  30. We should all be confident in understanding that Michael Mann and the CRUgaters, the UN and the IPCCers, the climatists of government-subsidized Western science, the Eurocommies, have been all to eager to put politics before methodology when looking at the world around us.

  31. “We are all confident idiots”

    This headline is lame. And that being the case, I can’t read any further. It’s not true. This kind of generalization doesn’t help anyone, whether they be idiots or non.

    Andrew

  32. For more fun on this, recall that science recently discovered the social sciences are loaded with unreplicated (and unreplicable) papers. Social scientists responded that it is “bullying” to check their work:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2014/07/replication_controversy_in_psychology_bullying_file_drawer_effect_blog_posts.single.html

    For even more fun recall the dustup in anthropology. There the urge to purge anything that challenges political orthodoxy became so strong that anthropologists decided they needed to drop the word “science” from the description of what they do. You see, if anthropology is a “science,” there are some crazy people out there who actually check your work and expect your assertions to have some sort of verifiable validity.

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/fetishes-i-dont-get/201011/no-science-please-were-anthropologists

    When Chris Mooney talks about the GOP “War on Science,” we all know what definition of “science” he’s using.

    • Given the Accumulated Cyclone Energy lately, I’ve directly asked Chris Mooney when he is going to write ‘Calm World’. I can call spirits but he do not answer when I do call.
      =================

    • Nice article, JeffN – thanks for the link.

      Some questions for you, though:

      ==> “Social scientists responded that it is “bullying” to check their work:

      Weren’t the people who conducted the replication studies social scientists? Didn’t they publish in a social science journal?

      • Do you don big floppy shoes, red rubber nose and wild hair wig before posting to get in the mood, or does it come natural?

    • Interesting quote:

      ==> “there’s no reason to think that replicators are any more motivated to “fail” to replicate original findings than are original authors, as a group, to “succeed” in finding evidence of an effect in the first place. ”

      Valid point. Of course, corollary – a point that many of my much beloved “skeptics” seem to have trouble grasping – might be that the replicators, as a group, would not be any less motivated to fail to replicate the original findings than the original authors would have been to find the effect in the first place.

    • Also interesting:

      Psychology has long been a punching bag for critics of “soft science,” but the field is actually leading the way in tackling a problem that is endemic throughout science.

      and

      According to the Science article on the special replication issue, several authors of original studies described the replication process as “bullying.” But a different view was offered by another researcher, Eugene Caruso of the University of Chicago, who reported in 2013 that priming subjects by exposing them to the sight of money made them more accepting of societal norms. This result also “failed” to replicate. Caruso acknowledged that the outcome “was certainly disappointing at a personal level,” but added, “when I take a broader perspective, it’s apparent that we can always learn something from a carefully designed and executed study.”

      Could it be that JeffN – a “skeptic” was painting with a broad brush?

      Say it ain’t so!

    • Is little joshie the conscience of the skeptics, or just a trolling twit?

  33. There is (to me) an interesting analogue in learning a musical instrument. It is basically impossible to know how well you are playing (especially with regard to feel and timing) while playing. Which is why the pro educators insist one must record oneself, which is the only way to know how you are actually doing. It can be brutal. But, in time, one can develop a more tuthful ear.
    How do we record the climate scientists, and the question is “Will they listen”?

    • Nickels – Indeed. As a muscian, the old saying is that “the tape never lies.” A group performance can sound great from your seat on the stage, but when you listen to the tape, you will hear things you never heard during the performance. That is why a live performance is “walking a tight rope.” You must have absolute trust in the conductor to listen to all the performers and maximize the quality of the performance.

      So who do we “trust” on the “climate change podium” to maximize the quality of the science?

      • I guess the analogue to tape for science would be verifiability, and given the climate problem….and just line fitting climate models to the climate we have data for is kind of like going back and editing your track…

      • Conductor: interesting, does the conductor give signals back to the orchestra during the performance I guess? Learned something…

      • I don’t mind tightropes for the daring and erring Flying Climandas. Let ’em have safety nets, or bungee cords, or sumpin’.
        =====================

  34. Oh, and as far as the idiocy of the whole confidence game, just look no further than the wonderful world of dating….

    • Yeah, Dutch? Or not?
      ==========

    • This guys gets all the dates, even without any looks (he’s invisible)!
      “Power, I said! Power to walk into the gold vaults of the nations, into the secrets of kings, into the Holy of Holies; power to make multitudes run squealing in terror at the touch of my little invisible finger. Even the moon’s frightened of me, frightened to death! The whole world’s frightened to death! “

  35. The Dunning-Kruger effect is often misconstrued. If you ask the average person what they know about ancient Greece, they will say they know nothing, which is true. Often people rely on those they trust, such as climate experts or newspaper statements about inflation or unemployment. This externalization of knowledge is efficient because it saves us from all the work of learning everything about everything. The problem arises when the experts present a distorted picture of what they know to achieve some goal of their own. When pundits and Nobel Prize winners get an exaggerated sense of their own genius, Dunning-Kruger comes into full force. Thus older individuals become more cynical because they have discovered that the pundits lie or spin.

    • Craig wrote- “The problem arises when the experts present a distorted picture of what they know to achieve some goal of their own.”

      My question- How is the situation different if/when an “expert” sincerely presents a scientific case that ultimately turns out to be incorrect? Doesn’t the public’s trust in “scientists” overall also get reduced?

      • This reflects the fact that people love their own research and are not likely to see it as wrong. I have had discussions with 2 top scientists in Ecology who had very different views that could not both be right, and neither would budge an inch. For this reason scientific truth is external to any single scientist. If the scientist is basing his work on a very small sample size or a survey or some other squishy method, he is ethically bound to qualify his assertions, but training to this effect is not adequate.

      • Model projections,of AR5. Might ye call these an example of
        the over confidence of ‘experts?’

      • beth–Imo, claiming that we can rely upon ANY model prior to it having demonstrated a history of performance in meeting observed conditions within reasonable margins of error in total folly. It doesn’t really matter if the error was a sincere scientific error or an intentional effort to mislead. It is still a silly scientific practice.

      • Rob –

        ==> “beth–Imo, claiming that we can rely upon ANY model prior to it having demonstrated a history of performance in meeting observed conditions within reasonable margins of error in total folly”

        So I take it that you reject the economic projections related to mitigation?

        As pure folly?

      • Joshua asks-“So I take it that you reject the economic projections related to mitigation?”

        My response- You would need to be more specific about which projections and on what they were based. Generally, I do not find evidence to support incurring higher costs to implement CO2 mitigation activities as I do not think there is generally sufficient evidence of a positive return on the cost of the investment.

      • Just reverse the cost/benefit ratio from Stern. He used it upside down.

        Easy peasy. Much too easy for the quiz in the AM.
        ==============

      • ==> “You would need to be more specific about which projections”

        The ones that are used to support “economic suicide” claims by “skeptics” who are concerned about ACO2 mitigation.

        ==> “Generally, I do not find evidence to support incurring higher costs to implement CO2 mitigation activities as I do not think there is generally sufficient evidence of a positive return on the cost of the investment.”

        So let me see if I get this right. I am told, all the time, that “skeptics” don’t doubt that ACO2 will warm the climate, they are only uncertain about the magnitude of the effect. Assuming that you’re one of those “skeptics,” and looking at the range estimations of likely impact based energy balance that are often promoted by “skeptics” (although certainly there are many “skeptics” who think that there is no possibility that ACO2 will warm the climate to any measurable extent) – then we can reasonably assume that you agree that there is a “fat tail” potential for high impact consequences from BAU.

        Yet, you say that there is not sufficient evidence of a positive return on the “cost” of investment. So you have no real basis for assuming “costs” would be greater than “benefits” for any given magnitude of impact, and you acknowledge that there is a fairly wide range of potential impact, yet you can say with certainty that there is insufficient evidence to warrant “investment.”

        IMO, your logic is inconsistent with how decisions have to be made in the face of uncertainty, because your approach towards uncertainty is inconsistent. You focus on uncertainty at one end and dismiss it on the other so as to reach a broad conclusion that, effectively, relies on certainty – which you say doesn’t exist. Your rhetoric does not match the logic of your argument, or your argument doesn’t match the logic of your rhetoric (I’m not sure which is the case but it has to be one of the other). Otherwise, you would agree that policies need to take into account all the uncertainties, and thus your bar of evidence to be “sufficient to warrant investment” is unrealistic – and can only be conceptualized through an inconsistent approach to uncertainty.

        Now I’m not suggesting that your illogic – of a sort that predominates among “skeptics” – is unique to “skeptics.” Indeed far from it – it predominates among humans and is not a function of where someone aligns w/r/t views on climate change or views on other polarized issues. What we see in the evidence collected about how humans reason while assessing risk in the face of uncertainty, in polarized contexts, is that the logic you’re presenting is endemic. It is explainable by the phenomenon of cultural cognition – where “motivated reasoning” leads to analyses that don’t reflect what people know or don’t know, or what evidence exists or doesn’t exist, but who they are, how they identify ideologically and/or culturally.

      • “I am told, all the time, that “skeptics” don’t doubt that ACO2 will warm the climate”

        Stop listening to whomever is telling you that.

        Even Warmer Generated Squiggly Line Drawings clearly show dips/declines/downward squiggles where ACO2 is not warming the climate. Put on your thinking cap and try to understand what that means.

        Andrew

      • Joshua,

        I don’t know what most skeptics believe but JC has dedicated some blogs to mitigation and adaptation and seems to believe in some action. Aside from that, I think many skeptics see action in terms of futility. Obama has signed an agreement with China that has the US persuing policies of mitigation and has China do nothing until 2030. Since that is already the course of both countries it hardly changes the landscape. One could certainly understand the skeptics grips under those cercumstances.

        The skeptics would see action as futile given the measures undertaken by the US would not amount to any benefit and add cost to energy. Meanwhile, China will make up for any CO2 emissions mitigated in the US and enjoy the cost benefits. I personally think action by the US is a good idea not just because of leading by example but because it could lead to new technology. I certainly can understand a skeptical view however as far as feckless politically expedient policy and cost factors favoring China (basically letting them off the hook) to the detriment of the US.

      • I meant politically expedient agreement not policy.

      • Joshua
        No, I do not believe you understand my position on the topic.

        No- I also don’t doubt that ACO2 will warm the climate if all other conditions remain unchanged (which is highly unlikely to happen in the actual system), but am uncertain about the magnitude/timing of the effect in the real climate system and whether any change will lead to conditions that are better or worse for the US or the planet overall.

        There are very limited financial resources and these should be used wisely. In the real world there are not unlimited funds. If we invest in CO2 mitigation then we do not have those funds to invest elsewhere.

        I have read nothing that seems remotely reliable that shows that we would have a better climate for the USA or the world overall as a result of implementing a CO2 mitigation activity. Does it make sense to incur costs to do something that you are not confident will have a benefit? If you can’t state with high confidence what the benefit will be and when it will occur, shouldn’t everyone be skeptical of a claimed benefit???

      • Joshua, the problem arises because your proposed solutions have a huge fat tail which leads to the deaths of billions of people. And to make matters even worse the Dunning Kruger problem in the warmist population leads to conspiracy theories spun up by your tribal leaders. This of course leads to the ongoing train wreck. Your inability to perceive all the fat tails leads you into a blind alley.

      • Rob
        I think the difference is that the real scientist takes on board the evidence presented against his theory and either adjusts the theory or abandons it.

        It appears to me that many who identify as climate scientists get this round the wrong way.. no matter what the evidence against, the theory is correct or the ” I am not going to give you my data as you will poke holes in it”… that sort of position indicates the “scientist” has gone missing.

        When one sees the money being put on the table because of the theory I suppose one can see why that occurs (human susceptibility and all that..) however that does not make it science. It makes it the opposite.

      • Joshua

        you didn’t reply lol

      • “I think the difference is that the real scientist takes on board the evidence presented against his theory and either adjusts the theory or abandons it.”
        _______
        Yep. But more than that, the best practice is to actually seek out the evidence that might disprove your theory, putting more effort into that then searching only that which might confirm your theory. This is the hallmark of rational skepticism and avoids confirmation bias.

      • Rob –

        Because I don’t think that you addressed my point, and essentially just repeated the same flawed approach to uncertainty.

      • Gates

        What reliable scientific evidence makes you think that a world with higher levels of CO2 is unfavorable for the US or the world overall? if the rate of warming is significantly slower than believed by the IPCC, and the rate of sea level rise virtually unchanged from the long term rate of change- what is your largest fear of the rise in CO2.

        Is it fair to summarize your real concern that the rate of warming may increase significantly and that more bad things may happen if that occurs?

      • Joshua

        I do not understand how I have not addressed your point.

        You (neither has anyone else actually) have not shown that a CO2 mitigation activity is likely to have any positive benefit and these activities use limited economic resources, therefore is does not make sense to support their implementation.

        What is the logical flaw? It would seem necessary for those supporting CO2 mitigation measures to show that they do make sense as the best use of limited resources.

        Seems a dodge by you…imo

      • John Carpenter

        “You (neither has anyone else actually) have not shown that a CO2 mitigation activity is likely to have any positive benefit and these activities use limited economic resources, therefore is does not make sense to support their implementation.”

        CO2 mitigation will have a positive benefit under the assumption that less atmospheric CO2 leads to less warming. It also assumes that the climate we have experienced in the last 150 years was/is the best climate there is. It is the notion that ‘no change’ in the climate is the best. The problem with getting masses of people on board with reducing atmospheric CO2 concentration is that the benefits, under the assumptions made and according to all the model predictions made to date, will not occur until several generations in front of us. So we will never experience a climate benefit, neither will our children or their children. The level of CO2 in the atmosphere now and the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere predicted dictates that the warming will continue for some time (centuries even) before there is any kind of reversal. The train has left the station, the warmth is already baked into the pipeline, its all gonna happen and nothing, nothing we do today can change that to a climate benefit today. It can only change it for generations ahead of us. So the real problem is how do you get the masses on board to change future generations we have no connection to, who will live in a presumably technologically different world we live in and under unknown future political/governmental regimes?

      • John
        In my opinion, the majority of the basis of the conclusions that a warmer world is worse for humanity overall over the long term is/was based on the principle that said warming would necessarily result in a rapid rise in sea level. There is no reliable data to support this conclusion.
        There were also many other claims for a worsening environment that would result from more CO2 (more severe storms, etc etc) but I do not think there is evidence to support the stated beliefs. Challenge the basis of the assumption that a warmer world is worse for any particular nation and see what data supports it.

      • John Carpenter

        Rob, to argue the point Joshua argues, you have to assume that the planet is going to continue to warm due to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentration… the ‘realist’ point of view. Using that as the starting point of the argument, you can then argue that according to all the work that supports that premise, there will be no benefit to the climate through mitigation of CO2 for several generations to come. We wont see it, our children wont see it and their children wont see it either. If there is no benefit for that period of time, who is going to step to the plate to make significant human behavioral changes needed to achieve that end? In my opinion, if you take the ‘realist’ position for all the reasons we need urgent action now, you then have to accept that we and the next several generations are not going to be the ones to benefit by it. So in the end this will be, IMO, a hard sell. The idea of adaption then becomes more front burner because that is what we and our children and their children are going to have to face. Mitigation can take place slowly along the way, but we need to prepare ourselves for the inevitable future of what a warmer world holds.

      • Rob -‘

        ==> “I do not understand how I have not addressed your point.”

        Gotta run. I’ll try to get to it later.

      • John Carpenter-
        Thanks for the reply to explain your understanding of the position advocating CO2 mitigation actions.

        To clairify my position- I do agree that over time a goal should be to develop and implement technologies so that humans release less CO2. As long as these technologies are reasonably cost effective they will be adopted. Expensive short term acitons won’t change the long term curve for emissions. Will it matter if CO2 concentrations are 500 ppm in 2100 vs 525 ppm?

        Long term- what is the likely average CO2 emissions per year per human?

      • Rob and John –

        Interesting discussion. For the most part, John does a pretty good job of outlining why I find your position, Rob, logically incoherent – although he doesn’t frame it in that way.

        If you accept that ACO2 definitely warms the climate, but you’re not sure as to the extent, then you accept that the extent might be significant. Indeed, the sensitivity ranges promoted by those “skeptics” who claim to not doubt that ACO2 warms the climate, include fairly significant levels of warming within their range. See here:

        Thus, your uncertainties dictate that you don’t know how damaging the warming might be, and you cannot logically argue that mitigation is not justifiable. You can only argue that you don’t know that it is (or isn’t) justifiable.

        Add on to this the basic assumption of “cost” of mitigation that you rely on. You say that there are uncertainties related to range of sensitivity, but then ignore the range of uncertainty w/r/t cost of warming, but further than that, you rely on a certainty that there will be a “cost” that would tax limited resources as opposed to benefit that would reduce the strain on resources.

        IMO, this all goes back to the problem of decision-making about risk assessment in the fact of uncertainty. The decisions must be made with: (1) a recognition of ambiguity and, (2) an acknowledgement that unless policies are, essentially, to be dictated by either extreme climate change or a lack of climate change over an extended period of time (so as to make any concerns about significant climate change invalid) – affirmative policies must be made in a context where oppositional points of view are accommodated. We don’t have proof, IMO, in either direction – so the way forward is through the recognition of common interests. Arguing about positions is same ol’ same ol’. It’s identity politics. It’s cultural cognition and motivated reasoning. It’s Otterball. It’s identity-aggressive and identity-defensive behaviors masquerading as a discussion of science.

        Logically, I think that the approach I would take is easier to do in a context where more local communities are discussing potential policies of dealing with, say, adaptation to sea level rise. Expecting such an approach to be realized on a broader geographical scale w/r/t mitigation or large-scale energy policies is, clearly, a goal that is likely to exceed reach. In this way, I think that there’s quite a bit of overlap between my perspective and John’s. IMO, the science dictates that the “debate” about climate change probably won’t be “settled” for maybe 150 years, when error ranges will pretty much exclude ambiguity at a meaningful level.

      • BTW –

        Since my typical word salad is likely to confuse more than clarify – this thread pretty much gets at what I was talking about. In particular, note Anders’ comments to Nic Lewis at the end.

        http://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/11/08/some-thoughts/

      • Joshua is funny

        ” IMO, the science dictates that the “debate” about climate change probably won’t be “settled” for maybe 150 years, when error ranges will pretty much exclude ambiguity at a meaningful level.”

        1. Re funding the satellite to measure aerosols would cut this dramatically
        2. Higher sensitivity staellities measure radiation at TOA could provide the data in around 20 years or so based on a cool presentation I listedn to at AGU.
        3. Investment in Paleo would also help

        The option that rarely gets discussed is reducing the uncertainty through better measurements and better observation systems which serve MULTIPLE purposes.. not just settling the debate

      • “what is your largest fear of the rise in CO2.”
        _______
        I don’t really have any fears related to CO2. If it does turn out to be a problem, it will likely be long after I’m dead. Weather may be turning a bit more nasty (or not) in my lifetime, but I tend to like extreme weather events, so that would be more of a plus for me, not a fear.

      • Steve Mosher

        What you suggest would seem to help establish a tighter range for probable TCR. Would you agree that a follow on step to make a determination of whether that rate of change is good or bad, and for whom will take much more work and time.

    • Joshua

      One can easily argue that most CO2 mitigation activities make no sense simply because the specific activities would not do enough to warrant incurring the cost of the activity. You seem to try to illogically argue that one must support all CO2 mitigation or they necessarily are ignoring the potential risk that additional CO2 might lead to a worsening of conditions.

      Your position is logically flawed.

      We seem to agree that higher levels of CO2 might, someday lead to a worsening of the earth’s climate somewhere. We also therefore must agree that it may lead to an improvement in conditions. We both seem to agree that there is no reliable evidence to claim that we know if this will actually occur, where this might occur or when it might occur as changes in other conditions seem to be able to dominate the system over timescales of importance to humans.

      Current CO2 mitigation activities will have virtually no impact on the shape of the long term CO2 growth curve yet the cost to implement them often can take away the funding needed to build and maintain critical infrastructure. Good infrastructure saves lives. In a world where governments must cut spending to manage their budgets, how does it make sense to not have spending on building and maintaining infrastructure the higher priority.

      Whether more CO2 leads to better weather or worse weather overall, the one thing we know is that there will be always be periods of adverse weather. If you accept this as truth, then advocate building and maintaining the right type of robust infrastructure at local levels to prepare for the inevitable true future.

      • One can easily argue that most CO2 mitigation activities make no sense simply because the specific activities would not do enough to warrant incurring the cost of the activity.

        Yes, it’s hard to argue the opposite because that would entail actually collecting data and analyzing it, as done for example by William Nordhaus in his book “A Question of Balance: Weighing the Options on Global Warming Policies”.

      • Vaughan

        To accept Nordhaus’s philosophy one must agree that all should be forced to represent and pay for perceived “externalities,” i.e., social consequences not accounted for by the workings of the market in the market. His philosophy is that the market has failed in regards to CO2 because people do not pay for the current and future costs of their actions.

        I do not agree with his philosophy and I strongly disagree with his assumptions regarding future damages related to CO2.

      • Rob –

        ==> “One can easily argue that most CO2 mitigation activities make no sense simply because the specific activities would not do enough to warrant incurring the cost of the activity. You seem to try to illogically argue that one must support all CO2 mitigation or they necessarily are ignoring the potential risk that additional CO2 might lead to a worsening of conditions.”

        In the first sentence of paragraph you failed to address my point about your inconsistency in addressing uncertainty. In the second, you miscontrued my views as to whether one “must” support mitigation in order to not ignore potential risk of ACO2.

        I didn’t answer your earlier comment because I anticipated that type of response – based on the earlier exchange. To get anywhere here, we’d have to basically start from the beginning and go step-by-step to reach understanding, sequentially, as to what each other is saying. I think this just a practical forum for that kind of exchange.

      • Joshua

        You write I have– “inconsistency in addressing uncertainty”

        My response- isn’t that appropriate? It all comes down to the specific situation. Resources available and priorities for use.

      • To accept Nordhaus’s philosophy one must agree that all should be forced to represent and pay for perceived “externalities,”

        What people should or should not do has nothing to do with your claim that “the specific activities would not do enough to warrant incurring the cost of the activity”, which is simply a cost-benefit analysis of the kind Nordhaus conducts in book-length detail and which you contradict on the basis of hearsay. Nordhaus’s “philosophy” is that one should accurately understand the costs and benefits before deciding whether or not to take action.

  36. In light of CAGW advocacy, you-all might find this interesting. It deals with “methods”.

    FoxNews. “Yet Another Video Shows ObamaCare Architect Disparaging Voter Intelligence.” News. FoxNews.com, November 13, 2014.
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/11/13/yet-another-video-shows-obamacare-architect-disparaging-voter-intelligence/

    Ross, Chuck. “In Third Video, Obamacare Architect Talks About ‘Basic Exploitation’ Of American Voters [VIDEO].” News. The Daily Caller, November 12, 2014.
    http://dailycaller.com/2014/11/12/in-third-video-obamacare-architect-talks-about-basic-exploitation-of-american-voters-video/

  37. When I am posting here or writing a scientific paper, I have confidence in my ability to do research and argue logically. I also have confidence in the fact that other people will not take my word for anything, since I lack one of those Nobel thingees, and that they may not be familiar with facts I take for granted. Therefore, keeping my audience in mind, I work hard to support all my arguments. This is how to avoid Dunning-Kruger effects: remember that it is a conversation.

  38. The Dunning / Lewandowsky relationship is circular reasoning one removed.

    Dunning’s studies claim the unskilled suffer from illusory superiority.

    Lewandowsky uses Dunning to justify his perceived “real” superiority when he uses badly constructed studies to denigrate people whose viewpoint is different than his.

  39. “It turns out, we tend to (over)use confidence as a useful proxy for competence — if you speak firmly, it sounds like you know what you’re talking about. People who showed more confidence, regardless of their actual ability, were judged to be more capable and accorded more regard by their peers.”

    I think the chattering classes are particularly vulnerable to this.

    Obama has never said much that was very smart, yet I keep hearing the pundits say how smart he is. His great gift is the ability to voice the most groundless of propositions with complete confidence–even when he completely contradicts something he said with equal confidence only a few months before. And gazing into the middle distance as if he can see something the rest of us can’t also helps.

  40. Like next week, for example, some are saying bombogenesis instead of polar vortex because… it sounds cooler? Or, is it more like the cuckoo, Michio Kaku, always trying to look relevant–e.g.,

    Superstorm Nuri packs more energy that hurricane Sandy. It’s headed our way and we are in the bulls-eye. This weekend it’s going to plow into Alaska creating 50 foot waves. Then by mid week all hell breaks loose. It’s going to collide with the jet stream, pushing Arctic air all the way down perhaps as low as Florida. Now remember the polar vortex of last year? This is different. There is a name for this. It’s called “bombogenesis.” That’s geek talk for when pressures suddenly drop. When you have hot air, cold air colliding like what we’re going to see over Canada and the American Midwest. Plunging temperature perhaps 30 degrees below normal.

    ….In a worst case scenario it could mean a deep freeze. It means airlines cancelling flights left and right. It means transportation being disrupted. Train schedules being disrupted. People’s schedules being thrown a kilter. So we’re talking about a massive disruption which will peak around November 13 to November 15. But ripple through the rest of November.

    …It peaks mid week next week so expect several days of pretty miserable weather but then ripples, ripples will probably be with us for the end of the month.

  41. How many people here want their doctor to wait until they know exactly what a problem is before they embark on a course of treatment? I believe it was Moshe Dayan who said of (military) leadership that the key was the ability to make decisions and stick to them, rather than the ability to make the right decision. There may indeed be a theoretical decision that yields the best cost beneficent, but we never really know the consequences of making a particular decision, nor are we able to know, a prior, the actual cost-benefit.
    Without the K-D effect we would spend out time either wracked by indecision or with subordinates lacking confidence in our ability to direct.

    • “their doctor”

      Doc, are you resorting to the Doctor Analogy because Doc is in your name?

      If your doctor doesn’t know what she/he’s doing, should they go ahead and treat you anyway?

      The stupidity continues.

      Andrew

      • For the life of me, I cannot understand why some people continue to suggest that climate scientists and doctors are equivalent in some way.

        Lazy, lazy non-thinking.

        Andrew

      • If your child has the symptoms of bacterial meningitis do you want to wait 24 hours for the histology or have prophylactic Chloramphenicol ?

      • I knew a fella once who thought everyone sensitive to that drug was wiped out after introduction of it. I dunno.
        =================

      • Matthew R Marler

        Doc Martyn: If your child has the symptoms of bacterial meningitis do you want to wait 24 hours for the histology or have prophylactic Chloramphenicol ?

        Two of the many obvious questions:

        1. Do you want to ignore outright the risks entailed in treating with Chloramphenicol?

        2. Is there some intervention in climate science that has as much demonstrated effectiveness as the demonstrated (though not perfect) effectiveness of Chloramphenicol in treating certain bacterial infections?

      • The side effects of bacterial meningitis include catastrophic brain damage or death. The side-effects of Chloramphenicol are easily managed.
        HIV Prophylaxis is routinely offered to victims of sexual assault, along with an antibiotic prophylaxis potion and plan B; standard practice in health facilities throughout North America.

      • Matthew R Marler

        DocMartyn: The side-effects of Chloramphenicol are easily managed.

        I don’t know about Chloamphenicol in particular, but people have died from antibiotics: strong allergic reactions and untoward reactions when the bacteria happened to be resistant to the antibiotic chosen for treatment.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Doc Martyn: HIV Prophylaxis is routinely offered to victims of sexual assault, along with an antibiotic prophylaxis potion and plan B;

        That is really irrelevant to the cases of CO2 increase and climate change.

        Routine use of antibiotics, as you doubtless well know, has produced and is producing anti-biotic resistant gonorrhea and syphilis. But at least the antibiotics and antiretrovirals have been shown to work when first introduced into widespread use. Nothing has shown that treatments aimed at reducing warming will actually work.

    • “If your child has the symptoms of bacterial meningitis”

      What does this have to do with climate science?

      Andrew

    • How about if you have a little blip in your cardiogram and the doc wants to do a heart transplant? There are in fact many unnecessary surgeries done every year and people die from them. so yes, I want the doc to be sure and I want a second opinion. And the difference is that medicine, though suffering from many unknowns, at least has millions of case studies over hundreds of years so that some therapies are highly successful with known success rates and known adverse outcome rates (take carpel tunnel surgery for example).

    • Planning Engineer

      The doctor analogy scares me in many ways. Focusing on one, I would encourage everyone to be the central decision maker as regards their personal health care. Doctors generally are reluctant to provide risk probabilities, but at the end of the day patients frequently should make their own personal evaluations as to the risks they face versus the burdens and likely benefits of various treatments or none. Doctors often push horrible cumbersome therapies that do not make sense to their patients. With climate we are in this together, so we can not make individual decisions there. But I am suspicious of the perspective that we should go with great burdens because “experts” (who don’t know the cost of the treatment) think there is a possible but unquantifiable risk out there. Even more so if they are kind of foggy on the efficacy of the treatment.

      • I am trying to understand the paperwork, to begin a study plan, to get funding, to do animal studies, to get a chemotherapy ready to go into human trials.
        Medicine is very complicated and what has worked in the passed is a ‘good’ starting point to plan. The treat/no treat, treat how, treat when, based on limited symptoms is a very difficult determination to make.

      • So with the doctor analogy. If there is reasonable causation (IE, smoking) and the patient has no recognized symptoms the doc could suggest the patient stop smoking as it has a high probability of a negative outcome to continue the behavior of smoking.

        But, if there are symptoms (regionalized indicators of climate change) with an unknown cause (smoking/CO2), do we have them stop smoking at huge cost for the Chantix (CO2 abatement) or do we use that money to conduct further diagnostics?

        This, in a poorly worded nutshell, is what I perceive is the dilemma.

    • When possible, decisions should be broken down (Do A then B or C, etc). For instance, US Army Doctrine is structured for uncertainIty; combat operations often take unexpected turns and flexibility is key to success. Orders are issued with objectives and rationale, giving the flexibility to the lowest echelons. And there are always contingency plans. This is the modern doctrine; can’t explain Vietnam and Iraq but it looks like the top generals were not prepared for the unexpected turns.

    • Or you could reject Moshe Dayan and state “the best strategy is to choose a non fully optimized solution while knowing very well it’s not fully optimized and explaining to your officers they had to make it work even if it wasn’t fully optimized, as well as having an idea of how to react when plans went to hell”.

  42. “Duhem’s original case for holist underdetermination is, perhaps unsurprisingly, intimately bound up with his arguments for confirmational holism: the claim that theories or hypotheses can only be subjected to empirical testing in groups or collections, never in isolation. The idea here is that a single scientific hypothesis does not by itself carry any implications about what we should expect to observe in nature; rather, we can derive empirical consequences from an hypothesis only when it is conjoined with many other beliefs and hypotheses, including background assumptions about the world, beliefs about how measuring instruments operate, further hypotheses about the interactions between objects in the original hypothesis’ field of study and the surrounding environment, etc. For this reason, Duhem argues, when an empirical prediction turns out to be falsified, we do not know whether the fault lies with the hypothesis we originally sought to test or with one of the many other beliefs and hypotheses that were also needed and used to generate the failed prediction:”

    • If you believe that tripe, then you might as well just sit and wait for the inevitable end.

      Nature *always* has to make sense.

      The quote above is dead-end thinking assuming everyone is a cowardly confidant idiot. If a grand hypothesis is a Rube Goldberg contraption of sub-hypothesis and the grand hypothesis is falsified, then the nature of the falsification provides a direct clue to identify which sub-hypothesis failed.

      This is the essence of problem solving. You build an edifice, then try and destroy it. That process identifies the sub-system weak points.

      Some people need to get out of their own heads.

    • Looked at briefly when writing Arts of Truth. Maybe valid in some cases. But just an intellectual morass for most things related to the scientific method. Duhem in essence implies there is no solid footing and everything depends on beliefs and assumptions. There is some solid footing. I don’t have ‘beliefs and assumptions’ about gravity. I have Newton and Einstein and the fact that all mass ‘falls’. Falling is Aquinas’ ‘correspondence’, as articulated by alHazan in his Book of Optics, and then Roger Bacon. Congruence with other facts/theories is a short cut saving having to redo everything from scratch all the time. We just use the gravitational constant first determined by Cavendish in 1798 (and he was ‘true’ within 1% of the presently accepted constant). This philosphy Usually works so long as one does not stray far from congruence with ‘truer’ theories. Duhem says it doesn’t work, even given the ‘truer’ qualifier. Of course congruence does not rule out a ‘Potemkin Village’ of mutually consistent ‘truer’ theories that are all ‘untrue’. Phlogiston was perhaps an example, as was luminiferous aether. And CAGW…
      When using congruence rather than correspondence, one must be very careful to note the accrual of anomalous observations, of the sort that eventually overturn ‘normal science’ in one of Kuhn’s paradigm shifting scientific revolutions. That is why the pause is so interesting for CAGW.

      An underdetermined theory should be called a speculation (or hypothsis or some such) not a theory. Theories should be well tested, so never underdetermined. And when sufficiently tested, we even start to call theories natural laws. That still does not mean they are completely true. Newton’s gravity needs modification by Einstein’s relativity for GPS satelites to function. Example from The Arts of Truth.

      All just semantics along a spectrum from untrue through don’t know to truer. Critical thinking is IMO the process of deciding where on that spectrum an assertion lies. The many assertions of the IPCC do not fall on the truer side of the spectrum. The Climate chapter in The Arts of Truth is a critical thinking primer on why. Cliff Notes version.

      • Perhaps the point is simply that any particular belief can turn out to be false. But as Descartes pointed out, this is not evidence against any particular belief, hence not a reason to doubt any. It is a rather empty fact.

        Speaking of gravity, Einstein’s point was that it does not exist, we just got the geometry wrong. That was a real surprise.

    • Obviously, underdetermination can, will, and has happened. E.g., the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. If a physicist is working at the fringe of knowledge, things like this are bound to happen. Scientists have to puzzle their way out of dilemmas over time and usually with more work. The problem will dictate the means needed to put the phenomenon in the proper light.

      Philosophers are kind of like arm chair quarterbacks. They look at what is happening and try to characterize it. But the next scientific mystery may require an approach no one has ever thought of before.

      Scientists drive this process, not philosophers.

  43. David L. Hagen

    Re: “So scientific overconfidence seems to be a victimless crime, with the only ‘victim’ being science itself.”
    Models are only “scientific” when they have been verified, validated and shown to be skillfully predictive.
    “Overconfidence” is thus inherently unscientific.

  44. Judith, there’s another aspect that might be interesting here, and it’s David Brin’s hypothesis that righteous indignation (which I’d certainly argue is in effect on all sides of climate policy) is addictive.

    http://www.davidbrin.com/addiction.html

  45. Daniel Stewart

    Steven Mosher — Yes; and as Quine said, we are capable (not necessarily wisely, but capable) of adopting ANY belief as long as we are prepared to adjust our other beliefs to fit.

    • Hard to believe. It’s a hard, it’s a hard, it’s a hard, It’s a HARD……
      ==========

      • Oops, I believe I banged the anvil one too many times there. Oh well, it’s all malleable.
        =============

      • Matthew R Marler

        kim: Oops, I believe I banged the anvil one too many times there. Oh well, it’s all malleable.

        I think you got it right. The next is “It’s a HARD RAIN’S … ” I got the CD around here someplace, and I’ll check. I’ll let you know if I’m wrong.

    • yup.

  46. Everything you know is wrong

    The Firesign Theater.
    1974

  47. Judith, I ran into this recently and it seemed to be along the lines of what you were interested in. It took me awhile to find it again so I hope it has some relevance or perhaps the references will lead to something:

    http://www.nature.com/news/scientific-method-statistical-errors-1.14700

  48. A modest proposal. For some time, I have thought the term “Climate Science” is a bit too broad and indistinct to use to describe the discipline. It is a bit too vague for me, somewhat like lumping all work in biology into biological science, or physics into physical science. I would like to see some precision introduced when thinking about climate science.

    In particular, I think something along the lines of how astronomy and cosmology are categorized. I think it would be useful to categorize “climate science” into three sub disciplines: Climonomy, Climometry, and Climology. Climonomy , modeled after astronomy, would be the science of understanding the climate as it is, either now, or over relatively short time frames, say the reliable instrumental record. This would try to incorporate what is and has been measured recently into a coherent theoretical picture. A possible long term application would be extensions of knowledge to subsystems where we have high confidence of theoretical understanding. I am thinking here in astronomy of notions such as the concept of main sequence star evolution, where we have fair confidence that we understand the physics and sufficient observations to enhance that confidence. Climometry, modeled after astrometry, would be the science of measurement of climate variables. Astrometry is usually limited to positional measurements of astronomical objects, but I could see climometry being more broadly defined to include all of the physically measureable variables such as temperatures, heat content, turbulence intensities, other flow characteristics, atmospheric and oceanic species composition, radiant intensities, etc. Climology, modeled after cosmology, would include study of projected future climate conditions, beyond what we can predict with simple differential integrations of the present state as determined by climonomy and climometry. The sense would be, as in cosmology, that the result would be possible future states of the climate (as in the universe) but with the understanding that the results are more tests of our understanding of the fundamental equations than a bankable prediction of a distant future state. I am not sure what the time scale for climology would be but I would think almost anything beyond a decade or so would qualify. Certainly past millennial considerations would be the analog of the origins aspects of cosmology. (Note that climology is modeled on cosmology and not astrology as would seem a natural extension of the astro- theme. That would be a bit of a slur which some might want to make, but the idea is to figure out how to get the discipline back into science mode and avoid the astrological mode.)

    I think not enough emphasis is placed on the experimental and observational efforts in climate science, and often, observations are too immediately linked to what I call climatological conclusions without sufficient attention to the underpinnings of such long term projections. My personal preference would also be to mirror somewhat the funding allocations along these lines. What I mean is that, for astronomy/cosmology, by far the most funds are allocated to astronomy and observational astronomy (the analog to my notion of -metry). These disciplines include requirements for instruments (observatories on land and in space) which need significant funding. In addition astronomy has significant practical applications. Cosmology on the other hand, recognizing the speculative nature of the results, the relatively small instrumental requirements since the discipline is largely theoretical and computational, and the relative lack of immediate application, receives far less funding. I would think this would be about the right approach to climate science: heavy funding (perhaps even where it is now at the level of the Global Change Research Program) for climonomy and climometry and relatively modest funding for climology.

  49. I’ve had the following Mark Twain quote pinned to the board over my desk for more than a decade: “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.”

  50. re: Quine

    An excellent way to approach his view of knowledge and “psychology” is to review his “Epistemology Naturalized” article and philosophical discussions which resulted. “Naturalized” epistemology is the broader program for understanding what Quine advocated:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epistemology-naturalized/

  51. John Smith (it's my real name)

    interesting
    since the physical sciences have failed to produce a resolution

    we now turn to the social “sciences”

    no matter
    it won’t end ’til it becomes clear that the space ship is not comming

  52. There’s a lot of good science out there that never makes it though the media filter. Maybe we are in an ugly phase of “celebrity science”. The more crazy and more certain you make an assertion, the more likely you are to be given a high profile and be rewarded for it. And it sure seems that being wrong doesn’t have a lot of downsides.

    How would that situation be reversed? Public shaming? Professional shaming?

    In Japan and Korea being wrong scientifically has led to massive public rebuke in a few high profile cases, even leading to suicide.

    You don’t want to prevent people from innovating, and throwing ideas out there, and trying things that are out of the box. Being wrong shouldn’t be a crime. Innovations should be highly rewarded and people should be pressed to take risks.

    I guess I would prefer the system as it is with the occasional cult science and clowns than one that would make taking risks more…ummmm….riskier.

    • Curious George

      You are probably referring to a scientific fraud, not to just being wrong scientifically.

    • Tom, as an inventor completely concur.
      But there is a difference between whoops wrong, and ‘deliberately wrong on purpose…’ In my own case, EEstor (see recognition chapter of Arts of Truth) has been a bugaboo since 2008. That guy has taken in over $14 million and is still going.
      As PT Barnum ( also cited in ebook Arts of Truth) said, there is a sucker borne every minute…And you can fool all the people some of the time (CAGW)–but not some of the people all the time. Welcome to the ‘some’ side.

  53. John Smith (it's my real name)

    oops … delete extraneous m

  54. One (of many) things that have bothered me as a non scientist observer of the debate, discussion, discourse, and so on is why is there a need for a “Psychology of Climate Communication”. So I went on a search for a “Psychology of Physics Communication” and “Psychology of Chemistry Communication” and “Psychology of Oceanography” and “Psychology of Cloud Communication”, “Psychology of Geologic Communication”. Nothing found on those topics, so they I have to ask myself Why?

    • Danny

      The answer is because sceptics exist so therefore need education in order to think correctly about climate science

      We have much the same thing in Europe. When the EU doesn’t like the results of a referendum (i.e they get a sceptical rebuff) they run it again in order to get the answer they want.

      tonyb

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        tony
        I think you mean re-education
        it helps if there are camps

      • Re: Re-education camps

        The movie “Cool Hand Luke” is a great metaphor for the climate debate. First, there has been a massive “failure to communicate”:

        We need places to get people’s “minds right”:

        Right?

    • Danny,

      It’s a about risks, costs and potential outcomes. Climate science is a scientific as well as a social and financial issue. Research into the theory and physics of the Higgs Boson for example, doesn’t have the same obvious potential impacts on society as what might happen to humanity if we don’t reduce our GH gas emissions. Additionally of course, if you gradually raise the temperature in the lobster pot, the lobster won’t realize it is being cooked. Humans are wired much the same. Long-term, multi-generational threats are hard to grasp, harder still to believe, and hardest of all– to communicate.

      • nottawa rafter

        Gates you are absurd beyond belief. Millions of skeptics would line up shoulder to shoulder with warmists for appropriate action if the science was clear. It is not at all clear and you and others can’t deal with it and are on a perpetual journey of self denial. As a starter, why don’t you tell us all how much more the OHC warming trend post 1950 is over the previous 150 years. Do you see how lacking the science is? When there is some real science people will line up in droves to do what is necessary.

      • R. Gates,

        I understand the pieces of the overall picture (sans much of the science) and it’s been offered to me before about the risk based scenario.

        The big word to me is “potential” outcomes, vs. the givens. I’ve seen numbers from between $20 and $2000 per ton. APS uses $600/ton: In 2011, for example, the American Physical Society said that the typical cost of an air capture system would be around $600 or more per metric ton of CO2, or six times the amount of Rau’s procedure.”http://www.eenews.net/stories/1059981902

        Then, what do we do with it? Put it in the ground is the predominant answer from what I can find.

        The best “sales” people with whom I’ve been acquainted were psychology majors so I suppose I use that life experience as a filter when I see “Psychology of Climate Communication”. I guess I’m looking for a decision: we must remove CO2 NOW due to “x”, vs what I’m being offered which I perceive as: “we must remove CO2 NOW due to the likelyhood, possibility, that maybe………..and those maybe’s come from APS, National Academy of Science, and so on.

        So my risk analysis is we don’t have to use dollar bills to put out a fire that may not be there. My standby fire extinguisher is “faith” that science will either step up with more substantial proof that we have a fire, or that we don’t; or, that we’ll come up with a better fire extinguisher if we find out we really have that fire. This is counter to the AGW side that has “faith” that that fire already exists. The other side then is what is the likelyhood/potential that global warming is only mother nature doing what she does and we could toss money at CO2 all we want and it will result in only wasted money? So where does the needle on that scale actually sit?

        But I have to admit I do put money down on a blackjack table every once in a while.

      • ” if you gradually raise the temperature in the lobster pot, the lobster won’t realize it is being cooked”

        Myth

      • Either way, it’s a good thing we’re not Lobsters. :)

      • “…When there is some real science people will line up in droves to do what is necessary.”
        _____
        Yep, they will, and they have:

      • “” if you gradually raise the temperature in the lobster pot, the lobster won’t realize it is being cooked”

        Myth
        _____
        Actually, not a myth, as lobsters really lack the neo-cortex region of their brain necessary to access their position in the universe or “realize” anything. So whether you cook them fast, or slow, they won’t know they are being cooked. They will simply have an autonomic response that says, “damn, it’s getting hot!, I need to get me away from this hot water.” Sadly for them, they usually can’t get out of the pot, but good for those of us who like lobster. In the case of humans and global warming. There is no way for us to escape the “pot” either if it turns out that the highest GH gas levels in 3.2 million years is really bad for us. Most prudent thing is to we not let the pot get too uncontrollably hot.

      • R. Gates,

        But how? Do we
        1) turn off the fuel if it’s uncertain as to the source so don’t know which of the 10 knobs to turn?
        2) spend time to confirm where the knob is?
        3) turn off this knob here while letting that knob run over there? (China/US)
        4) turn off the knob we think is the right one only to find out it was that knob over there leaving us with limited resources to turn off the correct knob later.

        Someone in another post mentioned “we’d all line up shoulder to shoulder” if we knew which knob to turn. Presuming we all wish to not end life on our planet as we know it, it’s reasonable to believe this to be true (acknowledgement Rud).

      • Matthew R Marler

        R. Gates: Long-term, multi-generational threats are hard to grasp, harder still to believe, and hardest of all– to communicate.

        that may well be true, but the theory of CO2-induced warming, and the theory that such warming would be a threat in case it should occur, is full of holes. Another less popular theory, also full of holes, is that Earth faces catastrophic cooling due to the reduced activity of the sun over multigenerational time spans. At least two competing theories with strongly contrasting predictions, each full of liabilities.

        What is hardest for most people to grasp is the multifariousness of the problem and the conflicting evidence. Communicating the science behind each liability (consider the mass and energy flow calculations in the Romps et al Science paper presented above) is complex enough, and communicating how the whole panoply of liabilities undercuts any simple claim is harder still.

        The lobster analogy is worthless (sometimes it is a frog), because it presupposes ongoing warming and that the presupposed warming is akin to cooking; careful evaluation of all the evidence undercuts both claims, as well as the claim that any particular mechanism is dominant, or even has an effect.

      • ” it presupposes ongoing warming and that the presupposed warming is akin to cooking; careful evaluation of all the evidence undercuts both claims, as well as the claim that any particular mechanism is dominant, or even has an effect.”
        ______
        Believing that climate is not a random walk, but is actually part of a universe that follows basic physical laws, the supposition is that the climate is always the sum of all forcings and related feedbacks. As such, over any given period, some forcing may indeed dominate the climate and nudge it one way or another. We know what the basic forcing from increased CO2 is, and we know that the basic physics tells us that nothing else we know of is as strong, even without feedbacks. What we don’t know is the absolutely sensitivity of the climate to the increased CO2, which will be determined by the associated feedbacks. So the basic science tells us that all things being equal, CO2 doubling will dominate the climate direction. What we don’t know is how dominant that will be.

      • Further to our conversation. Is this not a plausible alternative? I, for one, don’t know. And as the presentation will not be until Dec. 3rd, I’m not sure others can know either. But it goes to the point of why can we not wait, and additionally why would we (the U.S.) agree to that pact with China where we reduce by they don’t? These leave me quite uncomfortable.

        * * Professor Henrik Svensmark, House of Commons, 3 December 2014 **
        Professor Henrik Svensmark is a physicist at the Danish National Space Institute and director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at the Danish Space Research Institute.
        Since the early 1990s there has been strong evidence that changes in the Earth’s climate follow changes in the Sun’s electromagnetic activity. In principle this correlation might explain much of the warming in the 20th Century, but no mechanism was known by which the Sun could affect terrestrial climate so much.
        Svensmark’s research has established a possible link between galactic cosmic rays and terrestrial climate change mediated primarily by variations in the intensity of the solar wind. This celestial mechanism can significantly influence cloudiness and thereby temperatures on Earth.
        In his talk, Dr Svensmark will present an update on his Sun-Climate research.
        Date: 3 December 2014
        Time: 18:00
        Venue: House of Commons, London SW1, Committee Room 15

      • Matthew R Marler

        R. Gates: So the basic science tells us that all things being equal, CO2 doubling will dominate the climate direction. What we don’t know is how dominant that will be.

        The basic science also tells us that other things will not be equal: I have written about water vapor pressure, and now Romps et al (see excerpts above) have a [first?] calculation of the subsequent increase in evaporation rate. Their calculations dramatically undercut the claim that a 3.7 W/m^2 could warm the surface water by 1C. There isn’t enough extra power supplied by a doubling of CO2 concentration to do that, if the evaporation rate increases 11%.

      • Matthew R Marler

        R. Gates: So the basic science tells us that all things being equal, CO2 doubling will dominate the climate direction. What we don’t know is how dominant that will be.

        We also know that all things will not be equal. Surface warming will increase the water vapor pressure, and hence the evaporation rate; increased downwelling LWIR will also increase the water evaporation rate where ever and whenever the water evaporation rate is already greater than 0, possibly without raising temperature.

        You are among those who use the phrase “the basic science” as though science excludes the thermodynamics and rates of H2O evaporation.

      • Matthew R Marler

        oops, sorry. R. Gates, I replied twice to your comment about other things being equal.

      • Matthew Marler,

        As more water vapor enters the atmosphere, that in turn absorbs more SW radiation, and, as this recent MIT study has shown, we might actually see that we have a seemingly paradoxical effect of the bulk of the warming then being in the SW, even as net LW actually increases with increasing GH gas levels:

        http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2014/global-warming-increased-solar-radiation-1110

        There is so much more energy in the SW, that a little increase in SW absorption can add significantly to net energy in the system.

      • Gates, here’s an alternative scenario for why they got the results they did with their model run. At least some models produce centennial oscillations. For some reason many climate scientists appear unaware of this.

        http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~jsmerdon/papers/2012_jclim_karnauskasetal.pdf

        They forced the model with CO2 and happened to catch it when it was in the process of increasing poleward ocean heat transport. That increased water vapor and decreased albedo.

        http://water.columbia.edu/files/2011/11/Seager2005OceanHeat.pdf

        What is curious to me is why these oscillations don’t produce model runs that have CO2 causing cooling. Think they might throw those runs away since they know the answer has to be warming?

      • “What is curious to me is why these oscillations don’t produce model runs that have CO2 causing cooling. Think they might throw those runs away since they know the answer has to be warming?”
        _______
        I think it would be good to clarify what we mean by “cooling”. Cooling of what? Net loss of energy of the entire climate system? Just the troposphere? More CO2 increases net outbound LW (their finding) but also increases net uptake of SW at a certain point. This was the counter-intuitive finding. The uptake of SW is stronger (involves more net energy) than the outbound LW, and thus, the system increases in net energy.

        Thus, as Isaac Held pointed out, the basic physics is correct, increased GH gases cause an increase in net energy of the system, but this new paper further refines the dynamics, with (in my mind) some new exciting understanding of how the process actually unfolds. We’ve not heard the last on this, I’m sure.

      • Gates, cooling. Net loss of heat. Decrease in OHC. Decrease in surface temperatures. Decrease in tropospheric temperatures. That kind of cooling.

      • Matthew R Marler

        R. Gates: As more water vapor enters the atmosphere, that in turn absorbs more SW radiation,

        Water vapor does not merely “enter” the atmosphere: it rises, condenses to water, freezes to form clouds (thus warming the upper troposphere), then falls to the ground cooling the lower atmosphere and surface.

        Romps estimated a 11% increase in the rate of energy transfer from low to high, without addressing the cloud cover change that might accompany the change in lightning flash rate. Always these narrations that imply CO2-induced warming and increased net absorption by increased water vapor are incomplete, and what’s more they are obviously incomplete.

      • Matthew R Marler | November 16, 2014 at 1:36 pm |
        R. Gates: As more water vapor enters the atmosphere, that in turn absorbs more SW radiation,

        Water vapor does not merely “enter” the atmosphere: it rises, condenses to water, freezes to form clouds (thus warming the upper troposphere), then falls to the ground cooling the lower atmosphere and surface.
        *****
        Well, that’s just idjitotic Marler. If that were the case we wouldn’t see a tropical hot spot … oh, wait a minute!!!

    • Danny, the psychology of climate communication is linked to the psychology of making you accept: 1. a higher electric bill, 2. paying more taxes, 3. the benefits of riding a battery powered vehicle, 4. That you should merrily sing the Anthem to Dedevelopment, 5. a smaller GDP, and 6. wearing sandals.

      • LOL! I like wearing sandals. And sometimes with socks!

        I’m not quite as jaded as some of what I read here as I personally know some who espouse the AGW line for altruistic reasons (if misdirected from my view). Some hearts are in the right place if even their heads may be just a bit off, but the same could certainly be said of me.

        Expecting at some point that “the truth” (there ya go Rud) will be found and time will lead to new discovery of appropriately applied and managed technology that we can all live with. Today’s politics is not what I recall in my earlier days when “compromise” wasn’t a dirty word. I get beaten about the head and shoulders when I state that on both sides. I’ve learned over time that if “neither team” is happy, the officiating was likely reasonably fair.

        You know that I always appreciate your perspective. It’s why I’m here!

  55. LOL–so many with so much confidence that they understand

  56. The key to successful scientific thought is to assume everyone, especially oneself, is a lazy moron. This is the attitude that drives double checking assumptions, redoing equipment calibration, collecting more samples, repeating tests, evaluate sources of systematic error and comparing results to back of the envelope calculations.

    Even then, it is good to be somewhat doubtful about any conclusions.

    However, this shall not constitute an excuse for analysis paralysis as DocMartyn pointed out. With the right kind of mindful experience, error checking can be accomplished efficiently. However, once a decision is made to implement a *cure* or plan of attack, one must assume that problems will arise and be ever vigilant to look for hints and clues that your theory is flawed and the cure or attack must be halted. In medicine it’s life or death, in business, it’s throwing good money after bad. This is why I trust the scientific and engineering judgement of pilots more than doctors.

    • This is why I trust the scientific and engineering judgement of pilots more than doctors.

      If the pilot make a mistake, the pilot dies with you, the doctor does not.

      • I was not making the point that the Earth has a temperature and we should intervene. The point is that many professionals have to make quite important calls based on poor, incomplete and contradictory information. The military and medics are faced with life or death choices, and in both cases they have developed a culture to deal with it.

  57. Odd how Doug overlooks the fact that the planet does have clouds and other reflecting surfaces.

    • D o u g  C o t t o n 

      In reply to Rob Ellison Nov13, 4:08pm

      Not an Earth without water vapour that I’m talking about.

      Lesson 1: Clouds come from water vapour Rob Ellison.

      Without water vapour or any GHG the surface would receive the full 341W/m^2 and have radiating temperature 278K. You cannot claim water vapour warms by just ignoring the clouds. Empirical evidence shows it cools and you have not pointed me to any contrary study. Amazing isn’t it that so much money is spent on mere thought experiments and nothing on real experiments that might confirm the fissics.

      •  

        …it is important that people understand that most of what we experience in terms of weather and climate change is largely out of our control. ~Dr. Roy Spencer

      • D o u g  C o t t o n 

         

        In reply to Wagathon Nov 13 5.48pm

        Yes, but Roy Spencer needs yet to learn that it is not “largely out of control” but “fully out of control.” There is compelling evidence that all of Earth’s climate is controlled by planetary orbits because it correlates compellingly with the 934-year cycle and the superimposed 60-year cycle in the inverted plot of the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and all the planets as can be seen at earth-climate dot com..
         

      • “””””…it is important that people understand that most of what we experience in terms of weather and climate change is largely out of our control. ~Dr. Roy Spencer””””

        It is important to understand that Spencer is not only a very rare climate scientist who holds the “views” that he does – which is fine, he also has a pattern of making repeated, and sometimes egregious mistakes, and remarkably, for a scientist (and in essence ultimately, unless this is some sort of bizarre fluke, the opposite of what science is) all his mistakes are all “coincidentally” in the same direction. He also has a goal that transcends science, has nothing to do with science, and depending on how applied, may be directly at odds with science, and a policy goal, to restrict government action, and “protect taxpayers,” as his reason for practicing science.

        You may like his policy goal. But one should have a policy goal (if one even has one, as a scientist) because of the science they learn. In Spencer’s case, it is reversed.

        So to put it nicely, Spencer doesn’t know what he is talking about, most of the time. But naturally he is a favorite source of the skeptic, who cling to anything, and anyone, that can possibly support their “argument,” or be used to dismiss, ignore or misconstrue the real issue, or relevant facts

        Over the short term, we can barely affect anything weather wise (unless we take to geo-engineering the skies) but over the long term, the statement is more fundamentalism dressed up as logic; the idea that “the world is too big for us to affect.” We can and we have – though a lot of people are resistant to the idea – and far more than we realize, since climate change is a compounding and heavily lagging phenomenon, for reasons (along with anything else that is relevant) that are never discussed on this blog.

      • For the hard core far right wing authoritarian skeptic, as the original offeree of the above quote, at a guess, might be, probably nothing will remove the self sealing pattern of seeing everything in a way that supports their view, almost no matter what.

        For libertarian conservatives, there is a chance to learn and grow about the issue, but only if they don’t use as their source blogs like this (and many others that are far worse) that continue to post clever philosophical musings to chip away at the basic idea of climate change, rather assess what those actual facts of the issue are, and more importantly, why they are relevant.

        Here’s a humble start, on how we may be starting to both change and accelerate change in the key drivers and stabilizers of future climate. It might be far more germane to this issue than unrelated philosophical musings that fit the same pattern, and be interpreted any way one wants to simply reinforce one’s point of view.

      • its.not.co2@gmail.com

        John Carter

        But methane (in your “humble start” link) like water vapour, lowers the temperature gradient (as we see in the Uranus troposphere) because of its radiating properties. Hence increasing methane lowers the surface temperature, but by a minuscule amount of course. All climate is compellingly correlated with the 934 year and superimposed 60 year natural cycles in the inverted plot of the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and all the planets.

      •  

        Here’s a link to the inverted plot of the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and all the planets. Clearly the 934-year and superimposed 60-year cycles correlate well with Earth’s climate that is thus regulated by planetary orbits.
         
        Carbon dioxide has nothing to do with it, and never will.
         

      • “””””But methane (in your “humble start” link) like water vapour, lowers the temperature gradient (as we see in the Uranus troposphere) because of its radiating properties. Hence increasing methane lowers the surface temperature, but by a minuscule amount of course. All climate is compellingly correlated with the 934 year and superimposed 60 year natural cycles in the inverted plot of the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and all the planets.”””””

        = gobbledygook that serves as a perfect example of the pattern laid out here.

        But you know, it that’s wrong, being as how it would essentially contradict basic climate science, you should get it published in a vetted science journal, instead of in a comment on here.

      • John Carter wrote:
        >For libertarian conservatives, there is a chance to learn and grow about the issue, but only if they don’t use as their source blogs like this (and many others that are far worse) that continue to post clever philosophical musings to chip away at the basic idea of climate change…

        Ummm….. John you have not actually been reading this blog, I take it?

        When has Judith denied that climate change is real or that anthropogenic CO2 does produce a greenhouse effect?

        Are you unaware that she, and many of the rest of us, have tried to point out the fallacies of, e.g., the “slaying the sky dragon” folks who try to deny those basic facts?

        The issue that serious people here are trying to raise is that the global models have not been properly tested so that we can know whether anthropogenic global warming is likely to be a minor issue or a true catastrophe.

        That is simply normal science: until a theory has been clearly and decisively tested, responsible scientists do not claim definitive results.

        For example, to take the field in which I received my Ph.D., I, like most physicists, favored the standard model for the Higgs particle. But, until the Higgs was discovered at CERN, we knew it was a plausible theory, not established fact. And, Indeed, until we get more detailed studies on the Higgs, we have to remain open to the possibility that the discovered particle does not really behave quite the way our models assume.

        Why do you think climate science should be any different?

        Dave

      • In the worst pause in global warming we’ve seen we could end up in the deep freeze. This disruptive lack of global warming means the Left’s private jets may be grounded left and right. A hiatus in long term global warming like this means transportation will be disrupted; train schedules will be disrupted; and, people will have more time to parody Mathew McCaughey. The people’s government in Washington will be all a kilter. So we’re talking about this cataclysmic pause in global warming leading to a massive disruption that may peak over today or tomorrow but it won’t end there: This hiatus in long term global warming could ripple effects lasting through to 2016. Some global warming scientists believe this could be perhaps the most miserable hiatus we ever experienced and the ripple effect may well be with us until 2035. But, that’s just more alarmism.

      • Dave & John Carter,

        I come to this site as a non scientist, in order to gain perspective.

        Dave, in your note to Dr. Curry discussing culture I’ve found that these blogs have cultures of their own. In the most extreme (fringe) sites, I’ve dived in after declaring that I’m not a scientist but I am a voter. Interestingly, on many sites I’ve expressed perspectives and been pummeled for doing so (both sides). I’ve learned that “fresh eyes” can sometimes help folks look at things differently and perspective is valuable so I speak up from time to time on things that seem out of context or inaccurate, to me. So many have reached the end of their journey and it’s hard to get them to look back to when they began.

        John, my perception (and forgive me for stepping in here) is that your generalization of this site is quite different from mine. There are multiple dynamics occurring. The politics, if removed via filter, has a definite bent that I think you observe. But the discussion of the climate issues I find to be reasoned. When I say climate issues (after removing politics) I’m thinking: policy, psychology, science, and others. When anyone, starting from whatever position they lean, tosses out a concept, most here take on the topic and not the person (unless there’s a history). Now you’ve likely been visiting here longer than I and are more scientifically oriented than I, but sans politics (which I try to filter) the meat of the discussion I find to be reasonable, fair, and well thought. The folks here won’t let one get away with much less. IMO. Do you truly see it differently?

      • Danny –

        What’s your technique for removing the politics from the discussions of policy, psychology, science, and others?

      • It’s unscientific I assure you. I use a mental filter. When the thread bends towards politics, I’ll toss out an opposingly political comment to see what the politics of the poster is. Sometimes this works and gives me a perspective from which I can see that the poster is coming. Sometimes it’s apparent, and there is no need for me to do so.

        When a commenter offers up…….Obama, the idiot……..I can reasonably assume an orientation. This functions as well the other direction.

        When I see “Greenies”, it’s apparent. When posters state leftists, democrats, republicans, whatever, it’s apparent.

        But the one common (from my perspective) is the policy and science are pretty reasonably challenged. I can’t analyse the science well, but policy and even some of the psychology I can do reasonably well.

        Devil’s advocacy is a useful tool. It works both ways.

        Does that offer a reasonable answer to your question?

      • 1. filter people who have not read the science.
        2. filter people who claim to not understand the science.
        3. filter people who talk about motivations as a FIRST response to a text.

        that approach doesnt work perfectly, but its a useable model.

      • Ouch. That stung. Guess I’m filtered. In my defense (presuming this is directed at me as it has all my hallmarks except maybe #3).

        1.) I read a lot of the science, but much is over my head. Not everyone can do physics.
        2.) See #1, but in no way does this invalidate my need for further understanding and eventually some of the science does sink in.
        3.) My motivations are to try to learn (please note this is the 3rd response, not the first).

        Sometimes those of us who fit your 3 laws provide value. If not, I have little doubt that some would not bring it to our attention in a direct fashion. And if that value does not exist we should be able to ask for specifics as to why not. If this is not directed at me, then may I suggest the laws be reconsidered or at least grouped differently? All of the discussions here are not scientific, just like they’re not on other sites.

      • The conclusion results from the methodology that is chosen. That’s the way climate science works. Are you challenging the methodology?

      • Indeed I am. As stated above, this is not all about science. My value in the science end is less than substantial, and I freely admit that. My value in the political discussion is on equal footing to others, and maybe more beneficial. Some have other dynamics involved in their political decision making that if a new or different perspective is presented (through which their decision was not filtered) a different outcome may be considered or alternatively, that decision may be reinforced. That applies to me as well, which in part, is why I’m here. And sometimes, I can provide entertainment value which is hard to quantify, can we not agree? :)

      • I think a post titled “We-are-all-confident-idiots” is signal that anybody should be welcome to jump in..

      • Confident about that are we?

        Is there an application that one should complete showing some sort of credentials in order to be able to post here? And what might those credentials be? Some folks try to be genuine in stating their self evaluation including strengths and weaknesses. They do all they can to look in the mirror first. They’re hear to learn what they can. They do all have degrees in physics, but they are decision makers (voters) and where would one suggest those folks go to gain perspective, information, knowledge, and be able to interact (honestly) with others about very serious topics. Main stream media?

        Veiled evaluation and generalized commentary is not helpful towards good communication.

      • He puts up facts and figures that either have nothing to do with the issue, misrepresent the issue, or misconstrue what the issue is.

        But he puts up enough facts and figures, under complex sounding language, that for those that want to believe AGW is not a big deal, it can be used to perpetuate that.

        I have no problem with Ellison being far smarter and more knowledgeable on this issue than the world’s ;leading scientists who professionally study it.

        What I have done is quote from NASA, the NAS, peer reviewed science.

        John Carter has nothing but some odd and very pejorative narrative to offer. Including some odd construct about models that purports to be an argument from me about models. Purely made.

        I have run hydrological and other models for 30 years. There are intrinsic uncertainties in climate models that are collectively known as irreducible imprecision.

        Lorenz was able to show that even for a simple set of nonlinear equations (1.1), the evolution of the solution could be changed by minute perturbations to the initial conditions, in other words, beyond a certain forecast lead time, there is no longer a single, deterministic solution and hence all forecasts must be treated as probabilistic. The fractionally dimensioned space occupied by the trajectories of the solutions of these nonlinear equations became known as the Lorenz attractor (figure 1), which suggests that nonlinear systems, such as the atmosphere, may exhibit regime-like structures that are, although fully deterministic, subject to abrupt and seemingly random change. http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/369/1956/4751.full

        The paper from Julia Slingo – head of the British Met Office – and Tim Palmer – head of the European Centre for Mid-Range Weather Forecast – suggests that climate models using a range of feasible initial and boundary conditions may be used to generate a range of solutions with associated with probabilities.

        James McWilliams – a professor at the UCLA Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics and Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences – perhaps goes a little further in a footnote to a 2007 paper.

        Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation. http://www.pnas.org/content/104/21/8709.full

        But below is the original comment – and I still have no clue about his actual gripe is. All we get is quite empty rhetoric with obscure motivations and pejorative intent. His characterization of Judy – for instance – dismisses a depth of scientific understanding with shallow complaints of some sort. He is not remotely knowledgeable – there is no substance of any note.

        I can never figure out what their problem is with Lomberg, Pielke Jr, the Breakthrough Institute, etc. At the most basic level the science is quite evident – and the rational responses obvious. But this is not what they want to hear. At the bottom their motivations seem to be about transforming societies and economies in some neo-socialist wet dream – and this is the problem for classic liberals.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/11/13/we-are-all-confident-idiots/#comment-647522

      • @ellison

        “””What I have done is quote from NASA, the NAS, peer reviewed science.”””

        What you’ve done is cherry picked from NASA and NAS and peer reviewed science to arrive at conclusions that NASA NAS and almost all (if not all) peer reviewed science completely rejects,while often misrepresenting that science.

      • The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… Over the last several hundred thousand years, climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation. Wally Broecker

        What science is suggesting is that there are multi-decadal regimes that are related to changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation in the broader Earth system. Including thermohaline circulation.

        I have addressed these multi-decadal regimes – and the rational responses – elsewhere on a number of occasions.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/24/lewis-and-curry-climate-sensitivity-uncertainty/#comment-633005

        That it isn’t John Carter’s understanding of ‘The Science’ is not my problem – it is his.

        But it is science. It is in fact the most modern – and powerful – idea in climate science and has profound implications for the evolution of climate this century and beyond. The old theory of climate suggests that warming is inevitable. The new theory suggests that global warming is not guaranteed and that climate surprises are inevitable. The title of the NAS report from many of the leading lights of climate science is in fact – ‘Abrupt climate change: inevitable surprises’.

        Yet it is cherry picking to quote this report – or indeed NASA on Pacific Ocean regimes.

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        Quite simple and obvious really – these regimes added to surface temps between 1976 and 1998 and are cooling the surface since. The regime seems likely to persist for 20 to 40 years from 2002.

        There is a review here – http://watertechbyrie.com/2014/06/23/the-unstable-math-of-michael-ghils-climate-sensitivity/

        The problem with these guys is that they can’t really picture themselves being wrong and so-called ‘skeptics’ right. Thus they are unable to follow where science is leading. Heads would implode.

      • “””The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… “””

        It’s not my science, Rob, it’s climate scientists science. They don’t agree with you. In fact they think you are a little bit radical. As for Broecker’s statement above, he was somewhat wrong.

        But it also depends on semantics. What do we mean by prediction. Writing the script in advance, or a general estimate of ranges. Sure the idea of thresholds makes a lot of sense, or of things that cause something to shift that changes ocean currents that change where ice forms that changes albedo and or that changes wind currents that changes something else, etc etc etc so in the general sense, of course his idea still makes some sense,

        But it’s all just noise. It’s part of your pattern – and climate skepticism in general and it’s not science, it ideology driving science, because your scientific abilities are not that abysmal, – to find anything that captures the idea of uncertainty, and use that then try and refute the general idea that a radical shift of the atmosphere in a geologic instant WILL, or, is likely to, significantly shift climate as well.

        How much exactly? It’s more of an academic exercise at this point.(Though I know many scientists view it as necessary to convince a “dense” public and media of the magnitude of this issue – not true climate skeptics bc those might never be convinced – but your massive misinformation, and false conflations, and constructions of what the issue is, is helping to sow confusio and doubt. Which is exactly what skeptics want. Or at least the fossil fuel industry, short sighted, and prone as we all are to believe our own advoacy, as it is and has become.)

        But you’re not assessing the data or what do know or what is relevant anywhere in the same ball park – or even the same zip code – as even moderate objectivity warrants- so engaging in the discussion with you on what those chances are, what determines them, what we do know, is kind of pointless.

        You ignore the basic changes in the oceans and ice sheets that have occurred – and when you are not ignoring them, you are fighting tooth and nail with the very idea that they have changed. That’s zealotry Rob, flat out I’m just telling you. Don’t listen, I know you don’t want to. But it is. And while you are earnest, I think it sucks for our kids and their kids,and poorer areas of the world.

        The fact is the change in energy has been radical, and the presumption is for change to be thus. There is nothing logical or scientifically validated to rebut that presumption, but for a bunch of assertions, housed as “reasoned skepticism” as “overconfident idiots” (to use the piece’s title). NOTHING>

        On top of that the growing empirical evidence heavily supports the main presumption. In a pretty big way. But you keep selectively cherry picking data and select “quotes” to try and refute that to.

        The real questions raised by Broecker’s quote today is how radical is this going to be? There is a chance – a very good chance, that it still beyond most our your – and most of our , I should say, imaginations. Because it is meaningless to the earth> We’re just wired into what we expect.

        Then there’s this talk of “maybe a lot of change is already baked in.” well, yeah, a LOT. Even if we didn’t raise the atmosph level of total ambient GG in GPWe an iota more (and you know we can’t just shut off tomorrrow) a lot more change is likely irreversible, for simple reasons never explored on this blog. So that is then used as an excuse for inaction.

        The bottom line is that while it is shifting, non linear, and there may be sort of thresholds (some of which we may have crossed, some of the most significant perhaps not), the problem is also cumulative and amplifying for the basic reasons that huge sheets (and our ocean temps) stabilize our global climate, and the more change we put in, the higher the chances of those radically changing, or to a further degree, and a far more devastating re making of the global climate. So it makes no sense to continuue to add to the problem.

        You don’t like the proposed or anticipated solutions? Part of that is simple, normally conservative resistance to moving away from what we are used to and perceive (often myopically) that we need. But work on that end of it. That’s the conversation the world needs to have. All you’re doing is making it more likely that ultimate efforts to combat this, out of desperation and panic down the road, will be more radical and ill though out, while, by waiting, we get far less benefit (or harm mitigation)

        In short, the entire picture is being missed here, as delicately as I can put it. just consider that. I know of the ff fealty, the economic presumption, the worry about foolish gov rules. But let”s have those conversations.

        And we don’t need fossil fuels to thrive. IF you work for the ff industry, transition, like AT&T did when phones started o become obsolete (or minimal cost). But instead the industry puts off the problem by creasing massive confusion on this issue, that it then starts to believe. (Human nature, studies keep showing this. Advocate it and you come to believe it.) the plan I’ve come up with – as have others, is pretty market based is revenue neutral, and specifically puts most of the funds for industry and worker transition, since while our market properly motivated can solve this (or help immeasurably, while maximizing choice and incentive), it can’t instantaneously and markets don’t transition quickly without some loss of efficiency… etc… and while the “warning” has been there for a while, people and industry are pretty entrenched in their habits, so it’s also still reasonably fail to provide some transitional help, as well as probably macroeonomically reasonable.

        But I think you’d be shocked when the full power of the market – particularly American markets , is unleashed,. But right now is mind boggling inefficient, as there is an enormous, probably almost immeasurable, external cost here that is not remotely being integrated into the pricing structure.

      • John wrote to Rob:
        >You ignore the basic changes in the oceans and ice sheets that have occurred – and when you are not ignoring them, you are fighting tooth and nail with the very idea that they have changed. That’s zealotry Rob, flat out I’m just telling you. Don’t listen, I know you don’t want to. But it is. And while you are earnest, I think it sucks for our kids and their kids,and poorer areas of the world.

        Oh, John! Have you actually seen “Rob” “fighting tooth and nail with the very idea that they have changed”? Do you actually know exactly what Rob thinks about ice sheets? Have you actually bothered to ask him???????

        John, you keep posting bizarre statements indicating that anyone who disagrees with you is an “authoritarian conservative,” even though many of us who disagree with you are not in fact conservatives at all. You keep making bizarre statements about the incredible level of your scientific knowledge compared to, say, an actual scientist such as Judith Curry (or me)., without giving any evidence at all for your scientific brilliance.

        And, of course, you keep using the word “skeptic” as a term of defamation, ignoring the fact that all competent scientists must be skeptics, especially of their own theories, as my quote above from my own professor, the Nobelist Richard Feynman, reminds us. (Oh, I forgot: no doubt your own scientific brilliance greatly exceeds Richard Feynman’s!)

        Can you see how your repeated, specific, but definitely false statements about other human beings are causing sensible people to think there is something wrong here?

        No, I guess part of your syndrome is an inability to see that, isn’t it?

      • John Carter,

        I clicked on your name and it took me to a blog titled “NFL Football Strategy: Covering some of the Better Stories, and Digging Into the Key Game Strategy Decisions and Moves Not Covered Elsewhere.”

        So… I propose the following deal: You promise to stop posting things about science, a subject about which you seem to be stunningly ignorant. And, in exchange, I promise not to blog about NFL football, a subject in which I will cheerfully admit your expertise vastly exceeds my own.

        Deal, John?

      • Dave, a semi civil comment. Much appreciated.

        I disagree with your premise that I am stunningly ignorant on the subject of science, and in particular climate change, in the same way that I might disagree with the statement that an atom is “one of the more astounding large things we know.” (On the other hand, I do admit my analogies could use some work.)

        You want to believe that suggestion on your part to dismiss my points, and I can not stop you from believing it, nor make you consider my points.I can only ask that one day, you consider, taking away whatever pre conditioned notions you have (if it is possible to do) and consider said points, and engage civilly, in discussion, on the substantive points if you understand (and if you don’t, say “i don’t follow”), if at all.

        That would be my proposal, and I imagine to an objective observer, it’s pretty darn reasonable. Far more so than you telling me what subjects to post on, and what not to post on.

        I really don’t appreciate the hard core skeptic pattern of trying to advance their cause by beating down climate change advocates by any means they can come up – and whether you realize it or not PD, that’s what you have done.

        If you’re a d bag, well, maybe no biggee to you. If you’re not, maybe you might want to consider it.

      • The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… Over the last several hundred thousand years, climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation. Wally Broecker

        What science is suggesting is that there are multi-decadal regimes that are related to changes in ocean and atmospheric circulation in the broader Earth system. Including thermohaline circulation.

        I have addressed these multi-decadal regimes – and the rational responses – elsewhere on a number of occasions.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/24/lewis-and-curry-climate-sensitivity-uncertainty/#comment-633005

        That it isn’t John Carter’s understanding of ‘The Science’ is not my problem – it is his.

        But it is science. It is in fact the most modern – and powerful – idea in climate science and has profound implications for the evolution of climate this century and beyond. The old theory of climate suggests that warming is inevitable. The new theory suggests that global warming is not guaranteed and that climate surprises are inevitable. The title of the NAS report from many of the leading lights of climate science is in fact – ‘Abrupt climate change: inevitable surprises’.

        Yet it is cherry picking to quote this report – or indeed NASA on Pacific Ocean regimes.

        http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        Quite simple and obvious really – these regimes added to surface temps between 1976 and 1998 and are cooling the surface since. The regime seems likely to persist for 20 to 40 years from 2002.

        There is a review here – http://watertechbyrie.com/2014/06/23/the-unstable-math-of-michael-ghils-climate-sensitivity/

        The problem with these guys is that they can’t really picture themselves being wrong and so-called ‘skeptics’ right. Thus they are unable to follow where science is leading. Heads would implode.

      • If as suggested here, a dynamically driven climate shift has occurred, the duration of similar shifts during the 20th century suggests the new global mean temperature trend may persist for several decades. Of course, it is purely speculative to presume that the global mean temperature will remain near current levels for such an extended period of time. Moreover, we caution that the shifts described here are presumably superimposed upon a long term warming trend due to anthropogenic forcing. However, the nature of these past shifts in climate state suggests the possibility of near constant temperature lasting a decade or more into the future must at least be entertained. The apparent lack of a proximate cause behind the halt in warming post 2001/02 challenges our understanding of the climate system, specifically the physical reasoning and causal links between longer time-scale modes of internal climate variability and the impact of such modes upon global temperature. Fortunately, climate science is rapidly developing the tools to meet this challenge, as in the near future it will be possible to attribute cause and effect in decadal-scale climate variability within the context of a seamless climate forecast system [Palmer et al., 2008]. Doing so is vital, as the future evolution of the global mean temperature may hold surprises on both the warm and cold ends of the spectrum due entirely to internal variability that lie well outside the envelope of a steadily increasing global mean temperature. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008GL037022/full

        Of course they cannot entertain the concept for a millisecond. Heads would implode.

      • And of course instead of cherry picking BS – he has the opportunity to actually read some of the science in full.

      • John Carter wrote to me:
        >I disagree with your premise that I am stunningly ignorant on the subject of science.

        In all honesty, I am not sure you really do disagree with my premise. You, after all, know better than anyone what your lack of education and accomplishment is in science. I’m not sure what your motive is, but I think you do have some sense that your knowledge of science is not what you have claimed it to be.

        Look, John, you have repeatedly made comments such as the following that are simply and utterly bizarre:
        >And no offense but I’ll take my understanding of science over Judith Curry’s any day of the week.

        If you sincerely mean that, then you are deeply and profoundly delusional.

        And, if you don’t mean it, then you are dishonest.

        Either way, no sensible person is going to take you seriously.

        I really do have a Ph.D. in science from a very highly rated university (Stanford); I have published in prestigious, peer-reviewed scientific journals; I also hold patents on various applications of math and science to real-world engineering problems.

        But, I would never think of saying something as arrogant as you said about Judith Curry, despite the fact that I am “on Judith’s level” in the sense that we both have Ph.D.s, etc. Indeed, I hope I would not say such a thing even about people such as James Hansen and Michael Mann with whom I have some disagreement.

        You are not on Judith’s level, not at all. For you to make the statement I just quoted is for you to completely and totally destroy your credibility with any sensible person.

        Yes, I know that a non-scientist may, now and then, find an error made in science by a scientist. And, if you had said, for example, “Even though I [i.e., John Carter] am not on the scientific level of Judith Curry, I nonetheless think I have found an error in her reasoning” and then backed that claim up by showing an actual error, then I would take you seriously.

        But for you to say:
        >>And no offense but I’ll take my understanding of science over Judith Curry’s any day of the week.

        Well, that is just utterly bizarre. Sane people do not behave that way. That completely destroys your credibility, and, as a result, no sensible person who knows what you said will take you seriously.

        You keep making these incredibly bizarre and pompous claims off the cuff, as if normal people behave this way. They just don’t.

        Over the last forty years, I have run into numerous people like you, first out in the real world and then later on the Web. For a long time, several decades in fact, I tried to take them seriously and tried honestly to address their invincible ignorance of science.

        It proved a waste of time, every single time.

        If it were possible to communicate rationally with people like you, you would have already figured out for yourself, that, no, you do not know as much about science as people such as Judith or myself who have concrete, verifiable achievements in science.

        You also wrote to me:
        >I can only ask that one day, you consider, taking away whatever pre conditioned notions you have (if it is possible to do) and consider said points, and engage civilly, in discussion, on the substantive points if you understand…

        Life is short, John. I am a highly educated, rather busy person. You have proven yourself to be either seriously deluded or dishonest. I have learned not to try to seriously address real scientific issues to people such as you: it is an utter waste of time.

      • @physicistdave
        Dave, I’m going to add this:

        I am going to try not to insult you. (Do NOT take comments that illustrate why I think your views or comments have the issue wrong or don’t make sense, That is not insulting you, so stop taking it as that.) I would ask in return that you consider the idea that maybe I have some relevant understanding of this issue.

        You don’t have to, I just offer the possibility.. My offer of trying very hard to not direct insult or even judge your intelligence level is unconditional. (And honestly it matters not to me what a person’s intelligence is, their intellectual honesty, particularly with themselves, is what matters to me – or at least their attempts to be.)

      • John Carter wrote to me:
        > I would ask in return that you consider the idea that maybe I have some relevant understanding of this issue.

        Oh, c’mon, John! We have already proven that you are faking it.

        Case closed.

      • Once again,your assertions are illogical or baseless.

        You’ve proven zilch. You’ve simply repeated it over and over. That and name calling have been your responses.

        While you call it weird I say that J Curry miscontrues the issue. But not weird that you say that the world’s leading climate scientists, misconstrue the issue.

        And fail to see the illogic in that as well. Naturally,

        Anyway, I forgot from before, the answer to the question I asked, so once I remembered I already knew the answer: Trying to be reasonable with you is pointless.

        It’s either I’m faking it, or you need to consider your zealot radical fairly narrow minded and extremely ideological position on this issue (you know, the one that knows a lot more than the world’s leading climate scientists.) So naturally, which one do you choose?

        And you just repeat it, over and over and over. Your way of re affirming climate change “skepticism” to yourself.

        The “logical” way.

        Maybe one day you’ll see it. But I doubt. I think your brain is stuck. And authoritarian conservatives who think they have strong general science knowledge? On this issue, studies tend to suggest they stay stuck. I’d say you are a case study in that.

        Prove ’em wrong….

      • John wrote:
        >But not weird that you say that the world’s leading climate scientists, misconstrue the issue.

        Where did I say that, John?

        As I have said so many, many times over so many years, I think that the globe is indeed warmer than it otherwise would be as a result of anthropogenic CO2. I also think that the problem of ascertaining the path of future climate is an exceedingly difficult research problem, and that no one can yet do that reliably.

        Who among the “world’s leading climate scientists” disagrees with those points? Please give us a name and a citation, if you would not mind, John.

        John also wrote:
        >Maybe one day you’ll see it. But I doubt. I think your brain is stuck. And authoritarian conservatives who think they have strong general science knowledge…

        I’m an atheist and an anarchist, John, not what would usually be called a “conservative” (although, if you press me on it, I am not really dogmatic about either atheism or anarchism). You keep throwing out the term “authoritarian conservatives” as if you actually know other people’s political views. Have you considered stopping that and actually asking them what their views are?

        No, I didn’t think that had occurred to you.

        You might like to know that there are a few rumors floating around that our hostess here, Judith, is actually a liberal of sorts, but I do not suppose you would ever go to the trouble to consider that, eh?

        As I keep saying, I honestly do not know what the future of climate is: how is my not knowing and being open to future empirical observations equivalent to having my brain “stuck”?

        I would have thought it is people who are sure, one way or the other, who could be said to be “stuck.”

        Just asking.

      • email me your essay, and i’ll consider it for a post. I’ve gone to your website (listed as part of some of your posts) and frankly I don’t see much there.

      • In might be amusing, but I greatly doubt that any further knowledge will be exchanged beyond providing further evidence that John Carter has a strong system of beliefs.

      • @ Dr. Curry

        “I’ve gone to your website (listed as part of some of your posts) and frankly I don’t see much there.”

        I don’t think that drawing conclusions based on observation is John’s strength. In fact, from my perspective, it appears that he does it backwards: draws observations from conclusions.

        For example, in his posts he repeatedly treats ‘authoritarian’ and ‘conservative’ as if they were one word, when a cursory examination of the politics of the authors of the overwhelming majority of the rules, regulations, laws, ad infinitum that we are forced to obey and who control the bureaucracies established to ensure that we DO in fact obey them, and of the individuals and organizations who are pressing, forcibly, to impose even more authority over us in the name of ‘Fighting Climate Change’ would reveal that they are anything BUT politically conservative.

      • So according to John Carter – Wally Broecker was wrong? Says it all really.

        If he took the time to actually read something instead of indulging in long winded and quite empty rants – he would realise that there are rational responses consistent with risk.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/24/lewis-and-curry-climate-sensitivity-uncertainty/#comment-633005

        The political problem of abrupt change at decadal scales is evident enough. A lack of warming for another decade or three – the simple and obvious conclusion from the NASA page I linked to and much else – will undermine the political impetus to address anthropogenic emissions and land use change. But there remains a risk that is quite explicitly described in the comments linked to.

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

        The old climate framework failed because it would have imposed substantial costs associated with climate mitigation policies on developed nations today in exchange for climate benefits far off in the future — benefits whose attributes, magnitude, timing, and distribution are not knowable with certainty. Since they risked slowing economic growth in many emerging economies, efforts to extend the Kyoto-style UNFCCC framework to developing nations predictably deadlocked as well.

        The new framework now emerging will succeed to the degree to which it prioritizes agreements that promise near-term economic, geopolitical, and environmental benefits to political economies around the world, while simultaneously reducing climate forcings, developing clean and affordable energy technologies, and improving societal resilience to climate impacts. This new approach recognizes that continually deadlocked international negotiations and failed domestic policy proposals bring no climate benefit at all. It accepts that only sustained effort to build momentum through politically feasible forms of action will lead to accelerated decarbonization. http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

        This is a framework for a comprehensive response – it addresses all of the other emissions which together are the majority of the issue as well as population pressures, the restoration of ecologies and agricultural soils and energy innovation. As opposed to a carbon tax apparently.

        I am far from skeptical – I am educated in science and informed on the issues. Far more so than John Carter it seems. He – like many others – seems obsessed by dark imaginings dire futures. This is far from rational – it seems based instead in the millennialist impulse that drives groups of people to psychological extremes occasionally in human history. But we just don’t get it do we?

      • JC,
        Obviously all I can do is ask, but I prefer an open debate, so that those beyond your blog can consider both “views,” rather than just you serving as arbiter of the relevancy of any considerations I throw out.

        Re my humble blog, I know you are busy,but aside from broad brush dismissals, when you have a moment to swing by and re consider, I’d be interested in which parts of this particular essay regarding the pattern of skepticism are mistaken or otherwise not relevant? Please try to skip the title, focus on the points/pattern http://bitly.com/1sWkFAY

        I will also take a look the links you provided as critique of AGW and let you know any ideas re response or (if I see any) mistakes, as per….
        Thanks

      • John Carter wrote to Judith:
        > I’d be interested in which parts of this particular essay regarding the pattern of skepticism are mistaken or otherwise not relevant?

        Since I assume Judith has more useful things to do than to respond in detail to John’s challenge, I thought I would at least point out the general thrust of what is wrong with John’s essay.

        For example, John wrote:
        >Although the climate of the globe is changing, and such change generally has been expected, there is a great amount of claim that the climate hasn’t changed, or that if it has, it is simply random…

        Well… the problem is that nearly everyone thinks the climate has changed over the last couple centuries: John is attacking a “straw man” here.

        Of course, we have seen how John Carter weasels out of this in his exchange with Rob Starkey above:
        >You “know what makes most sense” on climate change, but DONT know what is referred to by the phrase??
        >It specifically refers to the phenomenon of an affect [sic] on climate from our actions changing the gg composition of the atmosphere over time.

        Bait and switch. If we use words in their ordinary English meaning, John’s statement in his essay that “there is a great amount of claim that the climate hasn’t changed” is mendacious.

        So… John will just alter the meaning of “climate” and “change” so that his false claim is metamorphosed into a true (albeit uninteresting) claim.

        Even more than that, many of us whom John chooses to attack actually have acknowledged repeatedly that of course anthropogenic CO2 makes the globe warmer than it otherwise would be. But, we also acknowledge the great difficulty of figuring out what fraction of the warming during the last century is due to anthropogenic CO2 and what fraction is due to natural causes and whether the long-term effects of anthropogenic CO2 will be minor or disastrous.

        Both in his essay and in his responses above, he shows no ability to grasp that basic fact.

        Of course, since John knows we are “skeptics” and since John knows that “skeptics” must be people who deny “climate change,” well, we cannot possibly actually be saying what we repeatedly have said.

        So, he can denounce us for positions we do not hold without his being bothered at all.

        Finally, John’s essay cites a handful of studies as if they are absolutely definitive, ignoring the fact that almost all of the claims he cites are subjects of ongoing debate within the scientific community.

        I think that fact illustrates nicely how John’s lack of scientific training helps lead him astray: The primary scientific research literature is a collection of “work in progress.” My own field is physics, the most solid of the “hard” sciences; yet, even in physics, I could go on and on and on about all of the nonsense published in the research literature and taken seriously, for a time: this is true not only of work by ordinary journeymen scientists but even by brilliant geniuses such as Einstein and Heisenberg.

        Indeed, when I was a doctoral student at Stanford, my thesis advisor warned me, quite correctly, that even most of the papers published in the most prestigious journals should not be taken seriously: the research literature is simply full of stuff that is wrong.

        What, then, is a scientific amateur such as John Carter to do?

        Admit the truth: it is impossible even for serious, well-trained scientists to know for certain which current hypotheses will prove to be correct until those hypotheses have been subjected to the most brutal and rigorous criticism and testing by skeptical scientists.

        For John Carter to believe that he has the scientific knowledge to judge debates among James Hansen, Judith Curry, Richard Lindzen, et al. is as foolish as if John were to think that he could walk into an operating room and engage in brain surgery.

        John has learned to repeat (some) claims made by (some) scientists. But, he indicates no understanding whatsoever of the difficult, uncertain, and necessarily contentious process that we summarize as the “scientific method.” John thinks that those of us scientists who dissent from the “consensus” are somehow anti-science; John fails to realize that intelligent skepticism and questioning of the scientific “consensus” is in fact what makes science possible.

        John does not understand the scientific process at all, and, much worse, he does not know that he does not understand the scientific process at all.

        I am pretty sure neither Judith nor anyone else will ever go through John;’s essay line by line and point out all of his confusions, ambiguities, and misstatements. Life is short.

        But, for anyone who cares (not, I fear, John himself), I hope I have indicated clearly why no serious person can take John Carter’s essay seriously.

        David H. Miller, Ph.D. (Stanford, physics, 1983) in Sacramento

      • Thanks Dave. I encourage technically educated ‘amateur’ climatologists to engage, and to conduct analyses and put forward arguments. Steve McIntyre, Nic Lewis and many others have made significant contributions in this regard.

        With regards to John Carter’s site, I see a collection of assertions and flaws in reasoning, nothing that is worth a serious critique.

      • On twitter, someone asked for the main critiques of mainstream climate science, I referred them to my APS presentation
        https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/jc-aps.pdf

      • I believe that what she actually said was that she was willing to debate anyone who makes a reasonable argument. Trying to sift through your lengthy dissertations for such is very painful for me, and my interpretation of other’s comments as well. Try to list approximately 5 ways that you think skeptics are wrong. Then provide support for those five things in roughly 5 paragraphs, each consisting of about 5 sentences. Avoid all of the logical errors, and personal attacks, and stay on topic. It is my opinion you ramble a bit, which makes reading your comments less than ideal. If you stick to the above I believe you will get better responses. Take my advice, or don’t but if not I doubt that I for one will ever get the inclination to respond to you again.

        Note: I really wish the creators of webpages like this would create a mute button for particular people so that I would not have to read through stuff from people who demonstrate over and over that what they produce is not worth reading.

      • ==> “Note: I really wish the creators of webpages like this would create a mute button for particular people so that I would not have to read through stuff from people who demonstrate over and over that what they produce is not worth reading.”

        While you wait for the “creators of webpages like this” to create that mute button – I have a suggestion.

        1) If someone writes comments you don’t like reading, don’t read them. You can stop after you see their name at the head of their comment. You actually don’t “have to” read any comments you don’t want to read. Really.

        2) Consult with a conservative* about “personal responsibility.” He/she might be able to explain to you how not to blame other people for your actions.

        * But not Brandon S. He is a conservative who insists on blaming other people for his actions.

      • I can stop at “Joshua”? Seriously? You think that’s possible? They’re right, you really are full of yourself.

      • Yes. Really.

        It really isn’t necessary to whine about people who write comments that you don’t like. You really can just not read them. You really don’t “have” to read them. Really.

      • Amazing.

        Who created this option?

      • John Carter | November 20, 2014 at 7:48 am | Reply
        @physicistdave

        … a page or two of null content

        Well climate scientists claim they do, with enough degree of confidence – not the exact range, but a likely range, and it’s relevant enough to make some sort of assessment. Many are pulling their hair out, asking “why can’t/won’t the public get it.”
        … several pages of null content.

        TLDR. Longest most content free post I have seen at ClimateEtc.

        I did spot one statement as I paged past it, about the scientists certainty and frustration…

        Gee. The sea level during the MWP was about 6 inches higher than today (about 85 years at the current rate of sea level rise)..

        Steric sea level is the dominant factor in sea level this would imply the MWP was significantly warmer, since a significant part of the current sea level rise is “CO2 polar ice melting” that would not have happened in the MWP.

        Until we exceed the MWP sea level we are still in the natural range of climate variation. The hair pulling by the scientists is difficult to understand or justify.

      • “”””‘They’re here to learn what they can.”””””

        no they’re not @dthomas

        They”re here to learn what they can to perpetuate skepticism in the basic idea that our geologically radical alteration of the concentration of the long lived gg molecules to levels not seen on earth doesn’t pose an enormous risk if major climate shifting in ultimate response.

        Most comments clearly point to this, and someone taking issue with those comments is repeatedly, by the same commenters not calling skeptics ( often with far far less knowledge) such things labeled “superficial,” “liar,” “con artist,” “scientifically illiterate,” “not a white of science interest,” and worse.

        While most points by any such commenter, instead of being considered, are also otherwise labeled attacks on skeptics,rather than attacks on their line of reasoning.

        As to the question of where would one go? To the scientific papers themselves, barring that, defer to the leading climate scientists on the issue.

        Although I already presented to you before that one good site,among many, was skeptic science. but skeptics hate this site,because without exaggeration and overall pretty objectively illuminates myth after myth after myth that the climate change skepticism foundation is based upon, so skeptics take any little crack in sks’ posts and response to their own often hyperbolic comments (real or, often, imagined) and turns them into something they are not.

        But go there. Learn about the actual science. Or anyone of a 100s of leading university sites,that have good primers on the basic science. Or once again,as I answered before, NASA< NOAA< EPA, or the IPCC reports and assessments.

        You act as if these things don't exist.

        But come to skeptic sites like this,and all you are going to do is get self reinforcing skepticism under the guise of science. Whether a generalization of not, Ive given 100s of specific examples now in my comments. Examples that then – because skeptics really don't want the examples but want to keep believing what they are believing – get turned into something they are not – called "bitter attacks," or "lies" or "scientific illiteracy." Or generalizations. Even when the examples are very specific.

        As is the example of this original post itself, where Curry talks about the human tendency toward aggressively over stating what is known , and of all things, applies it not to skeptics, not to all the ideological think thanks fighting the idea of climate change and putting out all sort of "information" to the ends of doing so, but OF ALL THINGS, to the end result of ultimately a conservative scientific consensus – and ultimately the process of science itself, which understates what is known.

        Naturally. Because that's what this blog does. As is my point.

      • John,

        You may well be more formally educated than I, but you could not be more wrong. You are painting with too broad of a brush. I, for one, am here to learn. I have no predisposition as I do not have enough information. I find it useful to seek out perspectives of those on both sides of this discussion (and I find both here) as that leads me to ask questions of both sides as an offset to those perspective.

        I agree that there seems to be a “playbook” for the skeptical side (of which I count myself one if I must be put in a box), but I see the same on the AGW side.

        I mentioned in another post that another blog has a counter going for keeping track of the number of variations on the theme of CO2 equals warming (#53 so far). That gives me pause. Since the track record of the predictions is in question I’m therefore not comfortable with your suggestion of “relying on the experts”.

        You say I act as if those other sites and yet I’ve been to them all. Every one. that you listed. And if offer others, I’ll go there also.

        I have sufficient evidence to state that warming is occurring, but I cannot state the same for cause. This is what I perceive many here see. But because we don’t say A GW, we’re by your definition, skeptics. From my view, I perceive most to be here for climate enlightenment.

        You see this site as being only contrary to AGW (and therefore you). I see it as a foil that makes me think about climate change from differing perspectives. It is useful to me as an educational tool. Folks are tolerant of those not educated in the physical sciences, but not tolerant of extremism. I get that.

        The AGW side says CO2 mitigation at all costs. I don’t agree. Another thread is discussing improved Ag methods and I can buy in to that one for CO2 mitigation (as it satisfies you), and to benefit the world food wise, plus it makes farmers happy. Win win. Your way is win/lose and up against ideology in addition to science. That’s a tough sale. Especially using abrasive communication and overbroad generalization.

      • Danny Thomas wrote to John,
        >But because we don’t say A GW, we’re by your definition, skeptics.

        Danny, it is very important to add that all legitimate scientists are “skeptics.” “Skeptic” is a badge of honor to any real scientist.

        To quote my own former professor, the Nobel laureate in physics Richard Feynman (I knew him from my freshman year on and took classes from him my junior and senior years), “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

        One of the truest signs that our friend John Carter is just faking it is that he seems to think that the accusation of “skeptic” is an effective way to criticize scientists!

      • Dave,

        Thanks for that perception. I’m on this quest as I’m not comfortable with what’s being offered so in my own lacking method maybe I’m actually being scientific after all. I don’t like Denier as that comes across to me as having made up one’s mind. But skeptic seems to me to be more like a mind open to possibilities with reasonable evidence. Science isn’t static. Even when discoveries are made fine tuning never stops.

        It bothers me that if they (being deniers and AGW’ers) can’t convince me (yet?) how can they convince those with better backgrounds.

        I’ve been beaten on by both sides to “take a stand” but as I see it, that would be like stopping research in the middle and formulating a conclusion without sufficient evidence. Does that make sense? I actually wonder if there will ever be sufficient evidence as the data set is so large. From the sun to the soil and everything in between. Vicious loop? I’m intrigued and the journey fascinates me, but I question if I should just move on and try to learn guitar.

      • Stay furious, my friend.
        =========

      • Cheer up, Danny. You are not the only non-scientist who dares to have opinions around here, even if it earns us the contempt of Mosher and his ilk. :)

        My expertise is in policy and economics, and given that the debate has huge implications for those areas (about which I know a good deal more than … some …) I have no hesitation in applying those skills to the discussion, as does my countryman Faustino, who is better qualified that most in those topics, including me.

        Don’t be intimidated!

      • I appreciate the pep talk more than you can know.

        I can’t say I know Steven well enough to be intimidated. After all, I did challenge his rules! :) I’ve earned the contempt of many others so adding Mr. Mosher would be of no surprise. I’d rather earn his respect but surmise that both he and I will do just fine if it turns out otherwise.

        I’m really quite impressed with this site. In some others, I’ve been belittled and castigated thoroughly. Some based on assumption that I’m a CAGW troll (as I play Devil’s advocate often to learn about others), and others due to my ignorance is some areas, and some is due to the ignorance of others. But here, I’ve found more respect than most. And I still chose to stay involved with the others as I don’t get brushed off that easily. And the only way I know of that I can prove my intentions is staying power. Some sites it’s worth it like this one, and others not so much.

        I’m happy to meet with you and look forward to more learning.

        Thanks again!

      • Planning Engineer

        #3 is the killer. People who park there and pair it with some mantra that’s meant to distinguish them from others, but does not. IE. I care about the environment.

      • Planning Engineer

        I ment #3, talking about motivation, on Steven Mosher’s list, not the one by Danny Thomas.

      • Climate science is joined at the hip with politics. So, while I think reading the papers (if you can get to them at all to read in the first place) is a good thing, the lack thereof does not mean a citizen does not or cannot voice his or her preference when it comes to solutions.

      • Jim2,

        Help me get this. Why are they joined at the hips? Science is science. Is physics, geology, oceanography, chemistry, etc. joined at the hips with politics? Heck, climate science is made up of all these other areas of specialization.

        I have found myself to understand the differentiation between “x” science and “y” science.

        I get that policy is being set based on the science, and sooooo much money is in the conversation, but I don’t get why the science doesn’t stand alone.

      • P.E.

        Point taken. I care about the environment, as I presume do you, and pretty much everyone else. So that’s really no differentiation at all.

      • The only logical conclusion is easily apparent –e.g., see the above link to Paul Mathews “Lewandowsky’s loopy logic.”

        Climatists claims about future warming are based on speculative computer models that are increasingly failing to match reality and we’re not supposed to notice or be skeptical of the methodology being employed by academia to help the Left take over the American economy and subvert the country’s traditional principles of individual liberty and personal responsibility.

      • Wagathon,

        It seems some compartmentalization would be appropriate. I’m not sure it’s fair that everyone who leans left lacks personal responsibility. I, for one, lean left socially. But I’m at least taking personal responsibility for my vote by doing the best I can to learn as much as I am capable of learning about this important topic.

        The statement about the observable results not following the climatic models (IE the pause) is a fair evaluation. This is a classic, here’s the model and here’s the data comparison.

        This, “being employed by academia to help the Left take over the American economy and subvert the country’s traditional principles of individual liberty and personal responsibility.” seems a bit over the edge. Verifiable mistakes, sure, but conspiracy theory (is theory too strong a word), maybe not so much, huh?

      • “…sure, but conspiracy theory (is theory too strong a word), maybe not so much, huh?”

        Not too strong just blind to the obvious. Global warming has been a major plank in the Democrat party platform from the beginning. It’s because it is a Left vs. right issue that we know it has nothing to do with science. Global warming is nothing but a hoax and scare tactic. It’s a tool in pushing the Leftist ideology and provides useful propaganda, from evil oil companies, evil Walmart, evil capitalism, evil Judeo-Christian heritage, evil Tea Party racists, the right’s war on women too… why can’t we be more like the anti-America UN and Eurocommies and all work for the government like the good climate-fearing school teachers?

      • Wagathon,

        I perceive we have warming, but am uncomfortable with the cause. My view is based on things other than CO2. We have expanding growing seasons, see level increases, melting ice. You probably can name them better than I. However, I do not fear them. I can attribute them to nature as easily as anything else based on my admittedly limited science background. So I’m not quite comfortable with global warming being a hoax.

        Now based on some of the politics I can see your point. However, the war on against the right is not all misdirected, no more than the war on the left is. There are valid issues with reasonable, but differing, approaches that come from both sides. My point would be that with the current dynamics in our country’s politics today it seems compromise has become a dirty word and a thing to be avoided at all costs.

        There are reasonable as well as excessive regulations regarding much of what you detailed. If we remove the modifiers can we not agree that women’s issues, racism, environmental protection (clean air and water), appropriate corporate regulation (against monopolies, financial reform), freedom of religion (basic to our country, not just yours and my religions) are all things we can do better. The swinging pendulum going drastically either direction I don’t see as healthy for our country. I’m not supporting those on the left in the climate discussion, but I’m just as alarmed when “checks and balances” are removed.

        I just perceive this as a return volley which gets us only more of the same (continued polarization). We must all change our behavior or we must not expect different results. My .02.

        Thanks for discussing with me.

      • Let’s begin and end with the facts. Let’s talk about this cataclysmic pause in global warming perhaps leading to a massive disruption in the weeks ahead of the inexorable rise in the in average global temperatures that actually may have ominously peaked (some say 16 years ago, others say as much as 26 years ago): this hiatus in long term global warming could have ripple effects lasting through to 2016. So, Democrat politicians are cooling it. It’s all politics.

      • Thank you. I can read, let’s agree to disagree between those lines and I respect that.

        I’m having quite the conversation with my CAGW buddy and cannot get him past the CO2 conversation. Today, he threw at me my lack or morals and ethics for killing off the kids of the future. I tossed back why spend money for CO2 mitigation today based on unsettled science and let’s take those kids to dinner now.

        I share this only to say no harm was intended. I truly appreciate the discussion.

        Now if we could only understand why banking on models with unproven (or inaccurate) results is nonsensical we might make some progress.

      • If Americanism isn’t good for children why are they flooding our southern borders?

      • Curious George

        Danny – you talk about politics and science. But your CAGW friend sees it from a religious perspective. Once it becomes a religion, logic is useless.

      • Curious,

        I fear there is much to that.

        Not my words, but from another poster came:”Personally, I never trust anyone’s science if they can’t describe for me the potential weaknesses and limitations of their conclusions.”
        Might have been Willis or Joshua, wish I could attribute as it’s a wonderful thought so used here with apologies to the author.

        I’ve sent that to my CAGW friend in hopes of a response. Who knows.

      • Unlike El Niño and La Niña, which may occur every 3 to 7 years and last from 6 to 18 months, the PDO can remain in the same phase for 20 to 30 years. The shift in the PDO can have significant implications for global climate, affecting Pacific and Atlantic hurricane activity, droughts and flooding around the Pacific basin, the productivity of marine ecosystems, and global land temperature patterns. This multi-year Pacific Decadal Oscillation ‘cool’ trend can intensify La Niña or diminish El Niño impacts around the Pacific basin,” said Bill Patzert, an oceanographer and climatologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “The persistence of this large-scale pattern [in 2008] tells us there is much more than an isolated La Niña occurring in the Pacific Ocean.”

        Natural, large-scale climate patterns like the PDO and El Niño-La Niña are superimposed on global warming caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases and landscape changes like deforestation. According to Josh Willis, JPL oceanographer and climate scientist, “These natural climate phenomena can sometimes hide global warming caused by human activities. Or they can have the opposite effect of accentuating it.” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=8703

        The use of a coupled ocean–atmosphere–sea ice model to hindcast (i.e., historical forecast) recent climate variability is described and illustrated for the cases of the 1976/77 and 1998/99 climate shift events in the Pacific. The initialization is achieved by running the coupled model in partially coupled mode whereby global observed wind stress anomalies are used to drive the ocean/sea ice component of the coupled model while maintaining the thermodynamic coupling between the ocean/sea ice and atmosphere components. Here it is shown that hindcast experiments can successfully capture many features associated with the 1976/77 and 1998/99 climate shifts. For instance, hindcast experiments started from the beginning of 1976 can capture sea surface temperature (SST) warming in the central-eastern equatorial Pacific and the positive phase of the Pacific decadal oscillation (PDO) throughout the 9 years following the 1976/77 climate shift, including the deepening of the Aleutian low pressure system. Hindcast experiments started from the beginning of 1998 can also capture part of the anomalous conditions during the 4 years after the 1998/99 climate. The authors argue that the dynamical adjustment of heat content anomalies that are present in the initial conditions in the tropics is important for the successful hindcast of the two climate shifts.http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00626.1

        Recent scientific evidence shows that major and widespread climate changes have occurred with startling speed. For example, roughly half the north Atlantic warming since the last ice age was achieved in only a decade, and it was accompanied by significant climatic changes across most of the globe. Similar events, including local warmings as large as 16°C, occurred repeatedly during the slide into and climb out of the last ice age. Human civilizations arose after those extreme, global ice-age climate jumps. Severe droughts and other regional climate events during the current warm period have shown similar tendencies of abrupt onset and great persistence, often with adverse effects on societies. http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10136&page=1

        A vigorous spectrum of interdecadal internal variability presents numerous challenges to our current understanding of the climate. First, it suggests that climate models in general still have difficulty reproducing the magnitude and spatiotemporal patterns of internal variability necessary to capture the observed character of the 20th century climate trajectory. Presumably, this is due primarily to deficiencies in ocean dynamics. Moving toward higher resolution, eddy resolving oceanic models should help reduce this deficiency. Second, theoretical arguments suggest that a more variable climate is a more sensitive climate to imposed forcings (13). Viewed in this light, the lack of modeled compared to observed interdecadal variability (Fig. 2B) may indicate that current models underestimate climate sensitivity. Finally, the presence of vigorous climate variability presents significant challenges to near-term climate prediction (25, 26), leaving open the possibility of steady or even declining global mean surface temperatures over the next several decades that could present a significant empirical obstacle to the implementation of policies directed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions (27). However, global warming could likewise suddenly and without any ostensive cause accelerate due to internal variability. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, the climate system appears wild, and may continue to hold many surprises if pressed. http://www.pnas.org/content/106/38/16120.full

        John Carter is clearly wrong about just about everything – but especially about the scientists who study these things. But I wonder which part of that this is potentially problematic and to be addressed in practical and pragmatic ways in his particular gripe?

      • John Carter was, if not mistaken, the name of the first man on Mars in a novel.
        Look what happened to Mars from following his advice!

      • John Carter, Climate Warrior II: ClimateBall­™ on Mars.

        I see a novella series that covers the solar system.

        …and his robot dog C-owetoo.

        Andrew

      • “”””John Carter is clearly wrong about just about everything – but especially about the scientists who study these things. But I wonder which part of that this is potentially problematic and to be addressed in practical and pragmatic ways in his particular gripe?””””

        Well naturally you have to say this Rob. If you don’t, your whole belief system is undermined.

        Funny thing. My belief system has nothing to do with whether climate change presents an enormous problem, or is a ruse perpetuated by the world’s leading scientists, one which the likes of James Inhofe are able to figure out

        So I could care either way. Actually that’s not true. I would desperately like ACC not to be an issue, I pursue it bc I think it’s an obligation to our progeny, and we are seriously mucking it up, but I would rather a) not be, and more importantly b) not have the issue muck things up for our progeny in the first place. http://climatesolutionsandanalysis.wordpress.com/2014/11/06/not-necessarily-just-change-over-time-but-increasingly-volatile-weather-most-problematic-for-agriculture/“>And probably increasingly devastate a huge portion of the world’s poor, unfairly to them, in the process.

        But the point is, my bias, if anything, lies as yours, in wishing it not to be so. Though I have no fealty to fossil fuels, and believe that the idea that we have a natural entitlement to them, if they are counter productive to use, is inane.

        And I also believe that the idea that we need them to grow an economy, is myopic, inane, and sells both the positives of capitalism (the negatives are it doesn’t take into account externalities as these) as well as ourselves, extremely short. Progress and growth don’t require us to slowly damage -, if not, in so far as we are concerned, purpose, destroy spme of our world, but grow from investment, however we define it, so long as we invest, and produce. Even if that production is a far more sensible way of using and producing energy and food.

        Whereas your belief system, on the other hand, is predicated on finding ACC to be non existent or trivial. And you think you can be objective?

        If blind self sealing zealotry = objectivity, then yes, you are. But no worries, in keeping with that self sealing belief, you project it outward. So you will be happily immune to this reality, and persist in being able to dismiss my points as “ignorance,” and continue in your delusion that we are not much affecting our climate. As anyone who really wants to, can until well after the fact, and probably could even continue to do so then as well, really: The brain has no limits on its ability for self deception so long as one wants is sufficiently driven.)

        When Future Generations Ask Why, this is why Future Generations. Right Here. A perfect example of it. When you say you don’t believe it,when you say we “couldn’t have been that incredibly stupid/selfish,” just like many ACC advocates preemptively can’t believe it and call people like Ellison liars (they are wrong, right Rob? I mean you don’t even know you have this issue ludicrously backward, right? They all argue with me that you and others like you HAVE to know you are lying, or are just driven by greed)…. Here, look no further future generations, than the tom foolery that passes for objective science and examination of the issue on this blog, and particularly in Ellison’s comments, and on the site that for her next article Curry posts from to “balance” out Kevin Trenberth, and to which JCurry actually linked to as it if was a credible source. This is why, future generations.

      • “”””I tossed back why spend money for CO2 mitigation today based on unsettled science “””””

        Just because skeptics ideologue non science think tanks, and fossil fuel backed interests, and a rare occasional scientist who professionally studies this issue, claim the science isn’t settled, doesn’t mean that it isn’t settled.

        The general idea that our ongoing alteration of the atmosphere is going to significantly affect the climate, and presents a strong likelihood of doing so in an increasingly counter productive way, is settled. And has been for a long time.

        You want to cling to fictions created by the skeptic industry to continue your supposed vacillation, that’s fine. But you’re kidding (or deceiving) yourself, or being deceived. Not by purposeful liars, but ideology, stubborness, zealotry and a fealty toward cling toward now archaic modes of energy.

      • Our interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Anastasios Tsonis

        Another day – another broken thread it seems. C’est la guerre. C’est magnifique mais ce n’est pas la gare?

        My personal journey began in the 1980′s with a passion for water. From the thundering power of flows shaping landscapes to the sublime beauty of coral seascapes. It began with an observation that east Australian rivers changed form – from high energy braided to low energy meandering – in the late 1970′s. Many years later and it is clear that this abrupt change in form is related to abrupt changes in the state of the Pacific Ocean at multi-decadal scales. It results not only in global hydrology changes but in shifts in the trajectory of global surface temperature.

        There are a couple of interesting implications. The first is that global warming was 0.4K between 1944 and 1998 at a rate of 0.07K/decade – a rate not likely to be exceeded in the 21st century – all other things being equal. The multi-decadal regimes seen in proxies over 1000 years suggest that warming is unlikely for 20 to 40 years from 2002. Climate will then shift abruptly and unpredictably and the only certain outcome is climate surprises. The conceptual model of climate here is of a system pushed by control variables past a threshold where the balance between powerful internal climate mechanisms shifts. The push may be undetectably small.

        It suggests that anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases may be problematic – but then there are many other real and potential problems. The rational responses remain the same – based as they are on core values of the scientific enlightenment. The values are time-tested and non negotiable. They are based on liberty and a free conscience, democracy, the rule of law and free markets. The appropriate balance between government and markets is government at some 22% of GDP. The role of government in the economy is to manage interest rates to mitigate asset bubbles. Beyond this there are many roles for government permitted in the social contract that emerges from the cut and thrust of politics. This includes at least potentially carbon taxes – although these have failed to achieve anything much but increase energy costs and are therefore not broadly supported

        The old climate framework failed because it would have imposed substantial costs associated with climate mitigation policies on developed nations today in exchange for climate benefits far off in the future — benefits whose attributes, magnitude, timing, and distribution are not knowable with certainty. Since they risked slowing economic growth in many emerging economies, efforts to extend the Kyoto-style UNFCCC framework to developing nations predictably deadlocked as well.

        The new framework now emerging will succeed to the degree to which it prioritizes agreements that promise near-term economic, geopolitical, and environmental benefits to political economies around the world, while simultaneously reducing climate forcings, developing clean and affordable energy technologies, and improving societal resilience to climate impacts. This new approach recognizes that continually deadlocked international negotiations and failed domestic policy proposals bring no climate benefit at all. It accepts that only sustained effort to build momentum through politically feasible forms of action will lead to accelerated decarbonization. http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

        The energy solutions are technological – both in improvement to the safety and sustainability of existing technologies and in the deployment of improved or new technologies. But the broader problems of society and the environment requires broader objectives of social and economic development, conservation and restoration of agricultural soils and ecosystems and management of diverse sources of – inter alia – the climatologically active compounds – cfc’s, tropospheric ozone, black carbon, nitrous oxide, sulphides and methane. It must include health, education and economic development as primary drivers to – in addition to purely humanitarian goals – provide the resources to build resilience to whatever surprise future climate throws at us. Natural or anthropogenic.

        I may be an id..t (avoiding automatic moderation I trust) but I am confident of the new conceptual framework for Australian hydrology – and by extension that of global climate. It must be so – it it the best theory of the facts of fluvial geomorphology. However – it is inherently a difficult, threshold concept – it is an idea that when followed through to a conclusion transforms the conceptual landscape.

        e.g. – http://www.gees.ac.uk/planet/p17/gc.pdf

        In the interim – ‘between the idea and the reality – between the motion and the act’ – lies the liminal space.

        This space is likened to that which adolescents inhabit: – not yet adults; not quite children. It is an unstable space in which the learner may oscillate between old and emergent understandings just as adolescents often move between adult-like and child-like responses to their transitional status. But once a learner enters this liminal space, she is engaged with the project of mastery unlike the learner who remains in a state of preliminality in which understandings are at best vague. The idea that learners enter into a liminal state in their attempts to grasp certain concepts in their subjects presents a powerful way of remembering that learning is both affective and cognitive and that it involves identity shifts which can entail troublesome, unsafe journeys. http://www.ee.ucl.ac.uk/~mflanaga/thresholds.html

        I am confident also of the values of the scientific enlightenment as a fixed point enabling navigation through to a rich and peaceful global civilisation this century.

      • I too have found wonder and new hope in how we go on given the pervasive nihilism in our society that has given rise to the insanity of global warming alarmism.

      • @danny, Ive addressed the cause argument a few times, and specifically in response to your question. Did you not read it?

        Here is the comment. https://judithcurry.com/2014/11/13/we-are-all-confident-idiots/#comment-648991

        I think addressing the idea of whether our change to the atmosphere is “causing” a change in climate, is addressed starting about half way down, and should clarify this for you and remove your “concerns” that we are not the “cause.”

        That is if you are what you say you are and open minded and really just trying to be objective. If it doesn’t, then I think you have to really wonder if you are really being logical about this, or really a skeptic by desire – which is not objective at all, and instead biased towards reformulating everything possible to fit a skeptical point of view.

        Here is the salient gist of it, from that comment:

        Climate is variable, but the essence of the changes we are seeing now, given the studies done on our trailing geologic climate, and the increasing rates of change, would be remarkably coincidental were they to be just part of some natural variability or related cause. It’s possible, but it’s not very realistic

        It’s even far less realistic when you consider that for that to be the case it would also HAVE TO MEAN that our atmospheric change wasn’t really much affecting the climate – remember, if the change is just some random fluke on it’s own, that means that in the absence of such random fluke the climate wouldn’t much change – and that makes even less sense. And this is not a relatively new idea, as the core of climate and other related discipline scientists who have been studying this, misinformation and cherry picked misrepresentation aside,have essentially been saying the same thing, and for the same fundamental, unchanging reasons, for decades. (We just have a lot more corroboration, and some honed but still evolving knowledge..)

        I also covered this more extensively in the link I provided to you earlier, and in response to a similar question, and from which In my answer to you I blockquoted extensively, and I thought you had read.

        But perhaps you didn’t. If you did read it and are still asking this question, then I have to go back to wondering if are really being logical about this, or really a skeptic by desire, which is not objective at all, and instead biased towards reformulating everything possible to fit a skeptical point of view.

        I guess another possibility is you didn’t follow it. Sometimes with things that are conceptual or analytical in nature, it is hard to know what someone else will really “get,” (let alone if they are skeptical toward something or even heavily predisposed, or,as on climate change with many, even more so) If so, try again. https://climatesolutionsandanalysis.wordpress.com/2014/11/11/why-climate-change-refutation-is-illogical-and-driven-by-something-else-not-science/

      • “1. filter people who have not read the science.”

        That would be over 97% of politicians, greenies, and agency employees.

        Andrew

      • And probably over 97% of the scientists themselves.

        Andrew

      • Danny – my guess is that it was directed at me. Methinks you’re off the hook.

        I will wait for you comment to pass moderation.

        In the meantime, the model offered by Mosher wouldn’t work, basically at all. There are any number of people who are overtly linked to the politics and who have read the science, claim to understand the science, and who don’t talk about motivations as a FIRST response.

        I can only surmise that the underlying logic of that highly insufficient model is the product of logical thinking and critical analysis being “destroyed” by progressive influence on K through Ph D. education.

      • It should be out of mod now.

        I wasn’t sure if Steven’s post was directed at me and I have a feeling it will take a while to “get to know him” via this format, but I’m enjoying the journey as I am with all the others here.

        You and he can ‘have at it’. I’ll observe from the side lines.

        Thanks for your participation. For me, at least, it’s appreciated when those of differing perspectives will at least communicate with each other. The mutual respect shown on this site is refreshing (if not sometimes filled with a few jabs).

      • FILTERS FOR FLAVOR

      • Our interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. So we were very excited when we realized a lot of changes in the past century from warmer to cooler and then back to warmer were all natural,’ Anastasios Tsonis

        My personal journey began in the 1980’s with a passion for water. From the thundering power of flows shaping landscapes to the sublime beauty of coral seascapes. It began with an observation that east Australian rivers changed form – from high energy braided to low energy meandering – in the late 1970’s. Many years later and it is clear that this abrupt change in form is related to abrupt changes in the state of the Pacific Ocean at multi-decadal scales. It results not only in global hydrology changes but in shifts in the trajectory of global surface temperature.

        There are a couple of interesting implications. The first is that global warming was 0.4K between 1944 and 1998 at a rate of 0.07K/decade – a rate not likely to be exceeded in the 21st century – all other things being equal. The multi-decadal regimes seen in proxies over 1000 years suggest that warming is unlikely for 20 to 40 years from 2002. Climate will then shift abruptly and unpredictably and the only certain outcome is climate surprises. The conceptual model of climate here is of a system pushed by control variables past a threshold where the balance between powerful internal climate mechanisms shifts. The push may be undetectably small.

        It suggests that anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases may be problematic – but then there are many other real and potential problems. The rational responses remain the same – based as they are on core values of the scientific enlightenment. The values are time-tested and non negotiable. They are based on liberty and a free conscience, democracy, the rule of law and free markets. The appropriate balance between government and markets is government at some 22% of GDP. The role of government in the economy is to manage interest rates to mitigate asset bubbles. Beyond this there are many roles for government permitted in the social contract that emerges from the cut and thrust of politics. This includes at least potentially carbon taxes – although these have failed to achieve anything much but increase energy costs and are therefore not broadly supported

        The old climate framework failed because it would have imposed substantial costs associated with climate mitigation policies on developed nations today in exchange for climate benefits far off in the future — benefits whose attributes, magnitude, timing, and distribution are not knowable with certainty. Since they risked slowing economic growth in many emerging economies, efforts to extend the Kyoto-style UNFCCC framework to developing nations predictably deadlocked as well.

        The new framework now emerging will succeed to the degree to which it prioritizes agreements that promise near-term economic, geopolitical, and environmental benefits to political economies around the world, while simultaneously reducing climate forcings, developing clean and affordable energy technologies, and improving societal resilience to climate impacts. This new approach recognizes that continually deadlocked international negotiations and failed domestic policy proposals bring no climate benefit at all. It accepts that only sustained effort to build momentum through politically feasible forms of action will lead to accelerated decarbonization. http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

        The energy solutions are technological – both in improvement to the safety and sustainability of existing technologies and in the deployment of improved or new technologies. But the broader problems of society and the environment requires broader objectives of social and economic development, conservation and restoration of agricultural soils and ecosystems and management of diverse sources of – inter alia – the climatologically active compounds – cfc’s, tropospheric ozone, black carbon, nitrous oxide, sulphides and methane. It must include health, education and economic development as primary drivers to – in addition to purely humanitarian goals – provide the resources to build resilience to whatever surprise future climate throws at us. Natural or anthropogenic.

        I may be an id..t (avoiding automatic moderation I trust) but I am confident of the new conceptual framework for Australian hydrology – and by extension that of global climate. It must be so – it it the best theory of the facts of fluvial geomorphology. However – it is inherently a difficult, threshold concept – it is an idea that when followed through to a conclusion transforms the conceptual landscape.

        e.g. – http://www.gees.ac.uk/planet/p17/gc.pdf

        In the interim – ‘between the idea and the reality – between the motion and the act’ – lies the liminal space.

        This space is likened to that which adolescents inhabit: – not yet adults; not quite children. It is an unstable space in which the learner may oscillate between old and emergent understandings just as adolescents often move between adult-like and child-like responses to their transitional status. But once a learner enters this liminal space, she is engaged with the project of mastery unlike the learner who remains in a state of preliminality in which understandings are at best vague. The idea that learners enter into a liminal state in their attempts to grasp certain concepts in their subjects presents a powerful way of remembering that learning is both affective and cognitive and that it involves identity shifts which can entail troublesome, unsafe journeys. http://www.ee.ucl.ac.uk/~mflanaga/thresholds.html

        I am confident also of the values of the scientific enlightenment as a fixed point enabling navigation through to a rich and peaceful global civilisation this century.

      • Rob,

        I’m looking for perspective and you sure provided one. Thank you for that. And eloquently put.

      • @ellison

        “””””Our interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. “””””

        With all due respect, it is 100% clear that your interest, for instance, is to disprove the legitimacy of the basic climate change theory, or mitigate it’s relevance, as much as as possible and by any argument, fact, belief, miscontruction believed to be otherwise, omissions, etc, as possible.

        Of course, if that were so clearly seen on this issue, here at least, then we wouldn’t be having the “false debate” over whether our multi million year worth increase in a near geologic increase to the long lived molecules responsible for keeping this earth from being a frozen ball of ice, is going to invariably change our climate our not. But because it covers a huge time span, is a change atop a complex, extremely variable, and itself long range issue, it’s easy to convince oneself of this false debate, if that is what one – for a whole host of reasons – wants to or has been led through massive misinformation, to believe.

        It’s too bad this is such a long time frame (probably, but maybe not), so by the time you say to me “Dang, sorry I gave you such a hard time in comments, you were right,” we’ll both be like 100 years old. But that’s sort of the nature of it, and why belief can so easily drive it. (For the less hard core skeptics, who are not mired in stone on the issue, it could be a few years to a few decades, who knows.)

        And belief, does drive it. Under the guise of a “better science” than almost all of the actual climate and atmospheric physicists who professionally study the issue. (Although belief has driven the idea that that’s not true either. Naturally. And then when a search of all vetted Journal articles turns up not a one that reasonably refutes climate change, there’s a reason offered for that too,”It’s a big conspiracy!” At which point all reason has left the building,which is kind of the case on this issue at times.)

      • John Carter | November 15, 2014 at 1:04 am | Reply
        @ellison “””””Our interest is to understand – first the natural variability of climate – and then take it from there. “””””
        With all due respect, it is 100% clear that your interest, for instance, is to disprove the legitimacy of the basic climate change theory, or mitigate it’s relevance, as much as as possible and by any argument, fact, belief, misconstruction believed to be otherwise, omissions, etc, as possible.”
        No due respect shown here, just the full Lewindowsky treatment, The chief puts up facts and figures and is prepared to discuss them, no omissions and no misconstructions, other than yours.
        ” it covers a huge time span, is a change atop a complex, extremely variable, and itself long range issue, It’s too bad this is such a long time frame (probably, but maybe not),”
        Hoist with your own petard,
        You admit it is a long time frame, a huge time frame atop a complex, extremely variable and itself a long raise issue. Trust John Carter, faced with all these complexities and a massive time frame [thousands of years] he knows exactly what will happen in the next 50 years and can castigate those less intelligent than himself.

      • He puts up facts and figures that either have nothing to do with the issue, misrepresent the issue, or misconstrue what the issue is.

        But he puts up enough facts and figures, under complex sounding language, that for those that want to believe AGW is not a big deal, it can be used to perpetuate that.

        I have no problem with Ellison being far smarter and more knowledgeable on this issue than the world’s ;leading scientists who professionally study it.

        But I don’t see them constantly misconstruing the issue, turning it into something it is not, playing unrecognized rhetoric games that sound like scientific logic, or most commonly of all write about things that take a misrepresented thin sliver of a part of the issue and present it as if it refutes the issue itself or shows that somehow, changing the atmospheric concentrations of gg to levels not seen on earth in millions of years, despite the basic physics involved and their huge role in keeping this earth from being a ball of ice, won’t affect climate.

        Why – and I mean this as a legitimate ,not a rhetoric, question – do you subscribe to Ellison’s conclusions (never mind that they don’t apply to the issue) but not the world’s scientists who professionally study it (And stop with the nonsense that there’s no general consensus, there’s a small handful of cranks and bad scientist – such as this guy http://theworldofairaboveus.blogspot.com/2014/07/roy-spencer-exhibit-that-climate-change_26.html – for every several hundred who professionally study it, who understand our alteration of the atmosphere has affected future climate. Read the published papers relevant to the issue. In science journals, no vetting process but to have a point of view we subscribe to think tank and think tank backed publications.)

        I’ll give you an example of the profound tautology of Ellison’s “take.” (And it’s not his fault, he is arguing an impossible point.) He argues that climate change is not real because models fail to precisely project both the amount and timing of changing as if were were writing the script in advance. Then also argues that how difficult it is to even predict weather over a medium time frame, and how absurd it is to think we could accurately model future climate.

        So in essence because we can’t model out the exact movements within later climate shifts – climate being about 30 years – which we all agree we can’t do (except Ellison and “skeptics” when arguing against ACC, in which case we are supposed to be able to for ACC to exist) we therefore can’t or aren’t likely affecting the long term climate of the earth.

        This pig is gussied up with some of the most beautiful eloquent lipstick imaginable (see Ellison’s comments for example, and his fantastic looking website – I wish he would help me with mine – but the entire argument, veiled as this is, is completely illogical, to put it mildly.

      • @angech
        “”””You admit it is a long time frame, a huge time frame atop a complex, extremely variable and itself a long raise issue. Trust John Carter, faced with all these complexities and a massive time frame [thousands of years] he knows exactly what will happen in the next 50 years and can castigate those less intelligent than himself.””””

        No, we don’t know what will happen exactly in the next 50 years, which climate change skeptics are incorrectly using to refute what we do know, and more importantly, why we know it, and what it means.

        And aside from John Carter, notice you are also not trusting the enormous majority of the world’s leading scientists who professionally study this issue, but are instead trusting a seeming “Side” in some sort of false debate, backed by huge self interested fossil fuel interests.

        I don’t ask you to trust anything. I ask you to follow the analyses I lay out, objectively. And if you can’t, ask. Or maybe, just maybe, set your own opinion aside if following my arguments is too complicated, and defer to the scientists that professionally study the issue.

        But you don’t want to, is the problem. And then follow a chain of logic that reinforces whatever supports that notion.

      • John Carter,

        I’m no scientist. I’ve read much on the climate change topic. And I have a perspective that I hope you don’t mind me sharing with you.

        I don’t see a black and white discussion. I see a scale from AGW to Denier with skeptisism somewhere in between.

        I see sufficient evidence to support that our climate is changing, my quest is to discover why. I can’t do the physics myself. Matthew R. Marler is on a quest for discovery relating to a new paper in Science about the warming caused increase in lightening strikes. My understanding of his concern is that there is not sufficient evidence that the increased energy leading to the increase in lightening strikes cannot also manifest in increased warming. This is one example. The “hiatus” heat transferring to the oceans is a recent theory. Examples like these lead me to the conclusion that the science is not settled.

        I see that even the so called AGW “consensus” cannot state emphatically that it’s CO2. The terminology is “likely”. So within the black and white debate lies the policy discussion of spending huge amounts of money for CO2 abatement when it’s “only” likely that CO2 is the cause.

        I’ve read papers that show the “potential” costs if we delay. But those papers do not account for “likely” technological advancement.

        I see equally logical debate that natural variability is at least partially responsible for warming.

        My unsupported supposition is that it’s likely a bit of both.

        So, for me, I’d prefer that the science be settled more fully prior to spending those dollars as “potentially” those dollars could be misdirected. Do we not have time for further study, and would that approach not be “prudent”?

        Please let me know if you consider this to be wrong minded and why, if so.

      • Spot on, Danny. Hasten slowly, because we don’t know much yet, and we have been accurately measuring ocean temperatures for all of 6 or 7 years.
        And economic knowledge, theory and modelling is more of a mess than climate modelling.

        Do NOT heed the, “Do something! Do ANYTHING! But do it NOW!!!” clarion call.

      • Do NOT heed the, “Do something! Do ANYTHING! But do it NOW!!!” clarion call.

        Sounds like more chaos to me! :)

      • When you’re worried, when in doubt,
        Run in circles, scream and shout!

      • @markx

        “””spot on, Danny. Hasten slowly, because we don’t know much yet”””

        We don’t know much yet is more massive misinformation put out by the groups that are ideological, fossil fuel industry backing (and lobbying) and economic transformation rigid or change fearing (typically, but not always, conservative to staunch conservatives, and which such resistance to change, is, as study after study also illustrates, generally, but clearly not in all instances, lower in intelligence and higher in prejudices)

        Even back in the 70s, when some scientists suggested (reasonably, if we ignore the issue of atmospheric change) that we would ultimately see another glaciation period (major cooling) , papers predicting increased warming due to our atmospheric alteration outnumbered such cooling theories by ove 500%.

        That’s almost half a century ago.

        By the 80s understanding among those who studied the issue was pretty well established.

        The basic concept doesn’t have anything to do with models, and it really doesn’t have anything to do with ocean warming. Models just hone our understanding further, and help us make projections.

        Since the 70s, and 80s in particular, we just happen to have seen a masive, and continually increasing, amount of overall corroborative evidence. Including, most notably, and most importantly, an increase in ocean energy, and at a geologically rapid rate.

        between 1971 and 2010 was taken up by the ocean. From around 1980 to 2000, the ocean gained about 50 zettajoules [10 to the 21st power] of heat. Between 2000 and 2013, it added about three times that amount.” World Meteorological Organization, 2013 report:  https://docs.google.com/file/d/0BwdvoC9AeWjUeEV1cnZ6QURVaEE/edit

        Also see fall, 2014 paper: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v4/n11/full/nclimate2389.html
        and more basic http://www.weather.com/news/science/environment/where-global-warming-going-ocean-20140205%20
        And re the geologically significant to radical speed (the thing that really matters) of the ocean gaining heat, not just the fact that it is http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6158/617.short

        Also, for far more detail, simpler explanations, and information and multiple links to net and accelerating polar ice sheet melt at both ends of the earth, and warming ocean columns warming sea bed floors and leading to methane eruptions spiking arctic atmosphere methane levels http://bit.ly/1ELH61m, which will also have a great deal more information, in stark contrast with the mistaken idea we know little.

        Yeah, sure, in terms of thorough understanding of almost anything on earth we have little knowledge. But the relevant knowledge here, the incredible atmospheric change – putting levels higher now than at any point in 3 million years for just co2 alone http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-10/hawaii-carbon-dioxide-measurement-for-may-9-passed-400-ppm.html which doesn’t take into account methane, nitrous oxides, or CFCs, and the methane along greatly increases the overall total Global Warming Potential Equivalent in terms of geologic historic significance and how far back we would need to go – and the basic knowledge of air chemistry, physics, radiative forcing, and the now overwhelming corroboration in temperature data that the air has been warming overall for many many decades now, but most energy is going into heating the earth itself – ocean, ice sheets, permafrost (and that right now stabilize and help moderate our climate, but that are changing), is overwhelming.

        That we don’t know enough to act to transform our practices has been a fiction for over 2 decades, and almost tragic comedy type of one today, dwarfed as it is by the massive misinformation and ideological zeal on the issue. Not to mention pretty horrendous overall media coverage.

        Climate scientists tend to feel the same way about the media coverage:
        http://t.co/8lqCp0BwRO

        And doing something now, well, 20 years ago, frankly, is different from “Do anything.” And what to sensibly do is the discussion the world shoud be having, instead due to massive ignorance on this issue (not lack of knowledge, but profound error and mistake taken to be and far more righteously, even zealously, fervently, passed off as knowledge) of the fake debate over the very existence of scientific reality, where suddenly scientists are liars and not the real arbiters of science bc they get “grant money” (i.e. like every other profession in the world they get paid, if not all that great) …etc.

        What I propose – others have, former Treasury Secretaries R Rubin (D) and Henry Paulson (R) propose similar – is the immediate end to fossil fuel subsidies, which is azz backward (fossil fuel lobbyists go ape over this of course, bc all the massive misinformation, which they come to believe, and which gives them traction, makes it seem like a good short term business plan), and put in a tax on all atmospheric affecting activities to, if not level, at least somewhat close the ludicrous gap between true cost and actual market paid cost for highly atmospheric harming (or altering I should say) processes, and use the revenue raised (so it’s revenue neutral) to help business and industries and workers in transition and hardest hit ,and the poor, and this way not only create but in fact encourage and market motivate actual choice in the process, and see what we can do.

        See what the motivator of economic motivation, choice, and opportunity, which will apply to everyone, consumers, business, etc, does. We have no idea – and by that I mean we likely massively underestimate, stuck as we are like blind bats on this idea that we need to do what we’ve been doing, despite it changing the nature of our world to our and our progeny’s future harm, to “progress,” what we could and would, will, accomplish.

        That approach alone – once we got past the myopic whining and griping by people who have very little broad based macroeconomic conceptual understanding but think they’re geniuses – (read, the same ideological forces trying to undermine climate science right now) would probably shred any results we’re going to achieve from such artificial targets as “decrease by 26%.” This is an issue where it’s remarkably clear, the more we reduce, the better, and the less we do, the worst, so let’s see what we can do. (And by the way, making an “agreement” with China that China was all but committed to on their own anyway to have them continue to increase emissions for another 15 years was ridiculous.)

        Curry could be helping with this, instead she’s helping further misinformation on the topic.

      • John Carter | November 17, 2014 at 6:42 pm:

        From around 1980 to 2000, the ocean gained about 50 zettajoules [10 to the 21st power] of heat. Between 2000 and 2013, it added about three times that amount.”

        And they know this for sure? ARGO was fully deployed about 2007. Prior to that there was partial and sporadic coverage, mainly of shipping lanes, switching between 3 or 4 different instruments/modes of measurement.

        Hence the argument “we don’t know much yet”.

        And the economics of it all? Do you really have that sorted and understood? Just as the very foundations of capitalist theory and free trade theory are being hauled out and re-examined. There has been many a slip twixt cup and lip regarding economic theory.

        Surely a classic case of “we don’t know much yet”.

      • Ragnaar,

        Here is one I find interesting – new information from the 26 degree north array.

        http://www.ocean-sci.net/10/29/2014/os-10-29-2014.pdf

      • As far as ocean heat is concerned – Argo shows large variability year to year – the splice to old and whooly inadequate data is dodgy – and differing data treatments result in vastly different results.

        The Scripps ‘climatology’ for instance shows a steric (ocean warming) sea level rise of 0.2+/-0.8mm/yr.

        It is a bit like the highest carbon dioxide in millions of years meme – they don’t seem to be capable of processing anomalous data.

      • Stuffed it again – this was meant as the top graph in the comment above.

      • Rob Ellison:
        Where is was going with the salinity as information idea relates to this:
        “We construct a network of observed climate indices in the period 1900–2000 and investigate their collective behavior.” Not a physical network we say. I say why not? For our climate network we need information storage (about the past that can effect the future). Ice sheets and sea ice seem good for that, as well as salinity values. “imagine that there is a different chaotic oscillator (like the Lorenz butterfly) at every point of space (so there is an infinity of them)” The network looks something like Milanovic said. Each kind of oscillator would have different information storage capabilities. Ice sheets would have significant amounts of that, and on long timescales has used that information with amazing results(Lake Agassiz). Sea ice would have some as well and it is perhaps a good information transmitter with its binary nature. Now that I think about it, vegetation is looking good for information storage. Carbon we can see, albedo and transpiration effects.

      • Not knowing exact numbers “for sure” is not a logical argument for thinking that the issue presents less of a threat than it does.

        Notice that?

        But that is precisely how you are using it.

        As for the general “we don’t know much yet,” that can always be said, the issue is what we do know, which is being distracted from by quibbling over certainties of things where it is the range that matters, etc.

        As for economics, we don’t know much yet, Yet we make enormous presumptions

        Know why Coke went back to Old Coke from new coke decades ago?

        Studies showed in blind tests users preferred new coke. When they were TOLD it was new coke, the preference gap became wider.

        Then Coca Cola made the switch to new coke, and eventually the outcry – including by massive protesters who acknowledged in blind tests THEY preferred it – caused coke to go back.

        People didn’t want to change. Initially they liked new coke bc it wasn’t “available.” it was thus “scarce: in econ terms, and old coke was everywhere. But they didn’t like the idea of change, and then when the switch was made, they couldn’t get old coke.

        We fear the same, but much worse, with fossil fuels.

        Far more irrationally than on old coke.

        And use arguments like “there’s so much we don’t know” to continue the same habits and patterns that we DO KNOW are radically altering the atmosphere in a way that WE DO KNOW is affecting climate and extremely likely to change it in a very significant way,for many fundamental reasons- massive misinformation and hype on this notwithstanding – that we DO KNOW.

        All while we confuse what we don”t,or what is uncertain, with what we do, and use it as an excuse not to change the pattern and habit and fight the arguments for it, under the self believed guise of logic and reason..

      • You seem very confident!

      • Oops! Either threading is broken or I made a mistake. Darn!

      • John Carter wrote:
        >Not knowing exact numbers “for sure” is not a logical argument for thinking that the issue presents less of a threat than it does.

        But, John, oh, John, what if the “threat that it does” really is a very small threat or no threat at all? Then it would be unjustified to suppose it is a serious threat, wouldn’t it?

        And scientists just do not know. Anthropogenic global warming may be a much less serious threat than, say, the threat of earth’s being hit by an asteroid.

        Or not. We just do not know.

        Please note once more that you were being blatantly and despicably dishonest when you accused Judith and some of the rest of us of being deniers. I have no doubt that anthropogenic CO2 has made the globe warmer than it otherwise would be. I believe that is Judith’s position also.

        But many legitimate scientists, such as Steve Koonin, who served as Obama’s Under Secretary for Science in the Department of Energy, have raised very serious questions about the unjustified levels of certainty pushed by a handful of climate scientists and a large number of media talking heads.

        If you had actually bothered to read Judith’s blog over an extended period, or the comments of people like me and many others on this blog, you would know that, rather than being “deniers,” we are trying to address the same questions raised by President Obama’s former Under Secretary for Science in the Department of Energy.

        Now, if you want to claim that Barack Obama and his appointees are part of some sinister cabal of climate deniers…

      • Turnabout is fair play? Nice. That’s a fun twist. Thanks for that lighthearted thought.

      • John Carter | November 17, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        You say:
        The basic concept doesn’t have anything to do with models, and it really doesn’t have anything to do with ocean warming.

        ….. then you spend the next 3 paragraphs talking about ocean warming.

        You can have theoretical zetajoules, John, and you can have those that are measured.

        And that measuring can only be done by measuring ocean temperatures.

      • “”””I see a scale from AGW to Denier with skepticism somewhere in between.””””

        @danny T

        That statement is just flat out incorrect. There is a range of concern on what is at this point an essentially known issue. Then there are “skeptics,” nicely called skeptics, and not nicely called deniers (I don’t like the term but for clarity sometimes use it ) a great example of one, the head of our Senate Comm on the Env, or soon to be, is here: http://bit.ly/1sWkFAX

        I have empathy for some skepticism (despite sounding annoyed here, which is different, bc reponses to my comments are often wildly misrepresentativeand there’s an incredible amount of stubborness posing as logic.) The reason is that a lot of people concerned about ACC are convinced that all skeptics are liars or greedy slobs or idiots who simply cant be helped. They don’t get that if someone has a different perspective or way of looking at things, or their own somewhat different biases, at how given that, just how influential massive misinformation can be, and they tend to often conclude, tell, presume, instead of show. While I think only further entrenching a lot of climate change skepticism, and seeming to validate it, by not being willing to consider their (the reasonable if misinformed skeptics) concerns. And not being clear that they are not dismissing alternative views, but disavowing misinformation on the topic, which they are also very presumptive about believing “everyone knows.”

        So in that range of those outside of what we actually know on the science, or the basic reality of major AGW (overall ave global temp change of at least a few degrees C over time, at a minimum, which will reflect a lot more than just temp) are then skeptics, potentially reasonable skeptics who will at least listen once in a while and if everything really ell presented will at least consider.

        I think Curry is in that category but the problem is with her pedigree, while using the excuse of “we don’t know all that much,” she is far too sure of what she thinks she knows, or how she perceives the issue, to be very open to real consideration (I could be wrong, she could yet prove me wrong on that).

        To then less reasonable skeptics, who probably can’t be reached (many of the commenters here, but not all). Then to the extremely ideological rigid, who are zealous and simply non stop in putting out anything that refutes trivializes or calls doubt to AGW and willing to entertain believe or say almost anything to perpetuate that, and the sureness (despite the wild irony) of their belief. (A few of the commenters here, many to most on WUWT, for instance,.)

        So I’m saying that maybe your idea of range isn’t necessarily completely misplaced.

        But how you define it is:

        AGW is not a scale of “maybe we are changing the climate, maybe we’re not.” And the whole notion, removing all the biases, that the level of change we’ve affected to the atmosphere, let alone the changes we are starting to see in the radical rate of ocean heat energy accumulation (see above links in comments) polar ice melting north and south poles, acceleration in both of late, and ongoing long term ambient air temp changes, wont significantly affect our climate, given the basic dynamics of the earth and the major stabilizing climate related systems on it (oceans and ice predominantly), is idiotic. (Most if not all skeptics simply also just don’t want to accept this, for one reason or another, though convincing themselves they are just being “skeptical.”)

        And I’m not saying Curry is an idiot, for example. I’m saying her notion on this issue is idiotic.

        There’s a difference.

        So skepticism is not “in between.” Skepticism is outside the basic reality, or conceptual understanding, or in many (most) cases, evenjust basic knowledge of, the real facts of the issue, and usually under a deluge of incorrect facts, instead.

        Then skepticism itself may have ranges – to at that point roll with your idea, and not simply put all skeptics into the earth really is flat and will not believe climate change is real even after FL is underwater, but will find yet another thing to blame even that or anything on (and there are a LOT of people like that, just wait and see) category.

      • John,

        One thing I think you miss is the vast majority of folks are not scientists or science oriented. When you use a term like “real facts” you have made “the decision” for everyone else. There are so many like me w/o a science background or career. But we can read, learn, remember what it was like when we had science in school.

        You’re at the end of your journey. You know what you know. You’ve decided, you chose, but you forget. You forget that others are not wired as you are. Make your case, provide evidence, and step away. You cannot change the logic of others. You attacked me in an earlier post and you don’t know me.
        I don’t take offense (unless repeated over and over) as you’re “some guy on the internet” and so am I.

        Make your case, this column adds up to more than that one. Heck. Make it in columns, I don’t know. AGW’ers give zero potential to natural variability (same play book, sorry) while demanding nothing less than 100% buy in to the AGW line. And there is enough evidence of error on the AGW side and enough rational reasonable counter on the other. My own “lying eyes” don’t tell me the same story you do. Who do I believe, you or my “lying eyes”.

        Man, I’m working at this. Hours, and days and weeks and months and years. It’s not scientific but it’s true effort. Give me and the vast majority of others like me out here the benefit of the doubt. Your scale is more black and white, but mine has shades in between. I see it differently than you. I’m not saying your wrong, but you saying I can’t be right is insulting. And frankly, I think you’re wrong.

        The science is settled for you and you cannot fathom that it’s not for others. It’s a common theme to AGW’ers. I don’t know how else to describe the perception that I see.

      • Danny,

        I am one of the people that John Carter is so bitterly attacking, and yet I myself actually do think that AGW is a reality, and I have publicly criticized those who say that this cannot be so: I just happen to have some serious, legitimate scientific questions as to whether the warming due to AGW has been or will be as large as the catastrophists claim.

        John is not motivated by an interest in the science. He is playing some game here, either just as a lark or to fulfill some pseudo-religious ideological obsession.

        What will the feedback effect of clouds be? How can we test the accuracy of the GCMs? Those are interesting scientific questions.

        John Carter… not scientifically interesting. Apparently not even scientifically literate.

        Dave

      • Whose sentences are the complexidiest of them all?
        ============

      • Shoot. This is a test isn’t it? Uh……….yours?

        “Whose sentences are the complexidiest of them all?” (Did I get it right? :)

      • Escritoire, Escritoire, on the Wall.
        ===============

      • Dave, I just wanted to add to our previous conversion about Chinese vs American culture that I worked for a Chinese woman with a PhD for a few years. I understand what you mean by the difference. I’ve worked with several Asians over the years.

        On the AWG note, what is your take that warming by whatever means will be catastrophic and to what degree would warming have to occur to present a significant problem?

      • jim2 wrote to me:
        >On the AWG note, what is your take that warming by whatever means will be catastrophic and to what degree would warming have to occur to present a significant problem?

        Well… basically I agree with Judith that these are much more complicated questions than either of the two extremes (the dogmatic catastrophists or the true denialists) will admit.

        I.e., if the most extreme projections for global warming turn out to be true, if we flood Bangladesh, etc., I certainly think that would be a very, very serious matter. And, I certainly cannot prove that will not happen.

        However, even if we knew for sure that it were going to happen, maybe the best approach would be to try to mitigate the damage (e.g., a giant seawall for Bangladesh or an international effort to relocate Bangladeshis).

        One point that I think Judith has made (and various catastrophists occasionally point this out, without following through on its implications) is that the climate change for the next few decades may already be “baked in”: almost no one thinks that the CO2 we have pumped into the air will magically disappear in the next decade or so, and it is pretty clear that humans will continue pumping out a lot of CO2 for at least the next two or three decades.

        So, it seems to me that mitigation is an issue that needs much more serious discussion than it is getting.

        But, again, I really do not know what will happen it coming decades to global climate. Of course, neither does anyone else.

        (By the way, I am not opposed in principle to “extremist” positions if they are backed by evidence. I myself am an “extremist” on evolution — i.e., I am quite, quite certain that humans are the product of hundreds of millions of years of evolution. But, I just do not see legitimate scientific evidence backing up either side of the “extremist” views on climate change.)

        Dave

      • Physicistdave @ 8.33, you suggest (top of the head?) a giant seawall for Bangladesh or an international effort to relocate Bangladeshis. The former does not seem appropriate given the delta environment, and with a population nearing 160 million, large-scale relocation is unlikely to be viable.

        Here’s a brief look at the issue in 1990 which gives you an idea of the delta and why a giant seawall et al would not help. I’ve seen a lot of recent material to the same effect, mainly via CE. The environment, lifestyle and livelihoods are all adapted to the pattern of flooding and deposit of sediment.

        The Ganges delta begins 200 miles (322 km) from the Bay of Bengal. It is largely a tangled swampland, covering much of Bangladesh and which I think is home to most of the population. The delta is massively polluted.

        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02394131#page-1
        http://www.ucd.ie/dipcon/docs/theme08/theme08_12.PDF

      • Faustino wrote to me:
        >Physicistdave @ 8.33, you suggest (top of the head?) a giant seawall for Bangladesh or an international effort to relocate Bangladeshis.

        Yes, as you say, just “top of the head”: I was just giving examples of the sort of thing that might need to be considered.

        I suspect that with enough effort some sort of seawall could be made to work, but it would not surprise me if an effective seawall were utterly unrealistic economically.

        My main point was that we will see the effects of AGW, whatever they may be. For better or worse, the proposals that most catastrophists have for stopping the increase in CO2 are not going to be put into effect in the next couple decades.

        I hope we do not face catastrophe as a result of AGW, but I honestly do not know what will happen.

        Dave

      • John,

        This wiki is in part why I perceive a scale: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

        Those that question IPCC climate predictions.
        Those that say climate change is natural
        Those that say the cause of climate change is unknown.
        Those that say there will be few negative consequences.

        Note that predominately (if not all) say that climate is changing. That’s a common thread. It’s cause, and level that’s in question. Add in AGW(only)er’s and deniers, and viola………a scale.

      • @physicistdave

        “””The issue that serious people here are trying to raise is that the global models have not been properly tested so that we can know whether anthropogenic global warming is likely to be a minor issue or a true catastrophe.””””

        Thanks for your response Dave. Climate models do not establish that climate change is a problem, they are a tool by which to further hone our understanding, and make projections.

        I think that I speak to the general reluctance to consider that a multi million year increase in the concentration of long lived greenhouse gases would naturally tend to accumulate energy and slowly (but increasingly, and non linearly) change the basic stases systems that stabilize and drive our climate, while simultaneously of course continuing to absorb and re radiate more thermal radiation atmospherically at the same time, on an ongoing basis, and would naturally thus ultimately shift climate.

        This blog spends a lot of time on tangential musings that have nothing whatsoever to do with the above point, that are cast to introduce generic doubt on it, as well as basic climate scientists, without I believe adequately addressing (or often even getting right) the basic underlying reasons why this likely is a major issue for us and more and more our progeny as we continue to remain in half denial over it. (See the second comment, and my response, for instance, to the link I will share with you in a moment. It is a crystal clear and striking example of that phenomenon, albeit to the extreme.)

        And, also I speak to conflation of the imperfections, adjustments ,and ongoing processes of science itself, with therefore a lack of credibility or general relevancy or accuracy in the more basic understandings of climate change phenomena.

        Again, I very much invite and encourage you to read this piece, for instance, to look at the not just how poor the actual logic of most climate change refutation is (which is almost as telling w/ respect to the underlying ACC idea itself) but the persistent and almost robotic pattern of it, which is the exact opposite of dispassionate, reasonably objective, open minded examination and adjustment.

        And again more to your point, I also think this blog engages in a watered down, somewhat more intellectual version of the former. (I use the word “think” here, naturally, as a term of art. I’ve seen it on every single visit, and in almost every post by the proprietor of this blog. But then it is clear, not to many of the commenters here yet perhaps, but to myself as well as almost any leading climate scientist the world over, that the proprietor, despite being a very gifted writer and persuasive, certainly of admirable passion, and probably very smart, is badly misconstruing the issue.)

      • John Carter wrote to me:
        >This blog spends a lot of time on tangential musings that have nothing whatsoever to do with the above point

        John, I’ll try to put this politely: you are being more than disingenuous.

        Judith is a real scientist; she has repeatedly talked about her scientific work in this blog, including her research papers, her recent book, etc.

        What more do you expect of her? Do you expect her to write ten thousand words a day just for this blog to try (no doubt without success!) to educate you about climate science?

        Neither she nor anyone else has the time. But, she has, in this blog, given you references to her detailed scientific research which you can pursue if you actually want to learn any science.

        Of course, that requires you to give a damn.

        Dave

      • “””””””John Carter wrote to me:
        >This blog spends a lot of time on tangential musings that have nothing whatsoever to do with the above point

        John, I’ll try to put this politely: you are being more than disingenuous.

        Judith is a real scientist; she has repeatedly talked about her scientific work in this blog, including her research papers, her recent book, etc.””””

        You didn’t put it politely. And you’re being disingenuous, or missing the point. Which I believe that you want to miss.

        First, I didn’t write to you. I wrote a comment on her blog, trying to specifically respond to and answer your seemingly earnest – but now I see otherwise – question.

        Seems picky, but it’s not. Comments are also for readers.

        More importantly, your response that Judith is a “real scientist” [Wow!!!] and has spent time on this blog talking about her scientific work” has nothing to do with my point that: “This blog spends a lot of time on tangential musings that have nothing whatsoever to do with the above point.”

        It has NOTHING to do with it. Yet you called me disingenuous (in fact you went past impoliteness, and error,and called me “more than disingenuous”) for making the point which, aside from being absurd (and impolite, because I think this blog does spend a lot of time on tangential musings… and so unless you KNOW what I think you calling me a liar for writing that either makes you illogical, or disingenuous – take your pick), you then refuted by making a “point” in response that has nothing to do with mine.

        But that is the pattern of climate change deniers, who convince themselves (and each other in insular fashion enabled by self reinforcing Internet choice) of their own logic.

        And in this case you convince yourself of your own logic, against me, because you don’t want to accept or consider what I have to suggest because it conflicts with what you want to or think you know on this issue. Completely consistent with the overall pattern of climate change “Skepticism” in general.http://bitly.com/1tT7y2A

        I’m sure I’ll get little other than a disingenuous response back now, if anything, while making more accusations and misrepresentation at the same time.

        That’s what it takes to perpetuate your skepticism, and it also takes you not seeing it. Which is how you called me “disingenuous” – based on an opinion regarding my observations, that either requires you to suspend logic, or know what I’m thinking (and you don’t, and your guess is completely backward) in the first place.

        But you probably won’t get that either.”””””

      • John,

        I’ve worn your shoes of going to sites that do not see things as I do (both sides). Now, for me, I’d like to share that I declare myself skeptical due to seeing a track record of projections not meeting with actual. This leads me to state the I have sufficient evidence that warming is occurring, but I do not have enough to state that it is only man and only CO2. So I’m seeking that second level definition.

        I sense you’re B.P. is up a bit. I only wanted to suggest that you get a definition of “skeptic” from the skeptic. This may help with understanding.

        My two cents. I’ll step away and shut up now.

      • John Carter wrote to me:
        >But that is the pattern of climate change deniers…

        John, neither I nor Judith (nor almost anyone at all) doubts that the earth’s climate has changed in the past and will continue to change in the future. By trying to label us “climate change deniers,” you are going far, far, far beyond being disingenuous.

        You are not telling the truth.

        Judith and many other scientists have serious scientific questions about various details of the claims being made by some scientists (and by many who are ignorant of science in the mass media): as I said before, raising such questions is a normal and necessary part of the scientific method. It is taken for granted among legitimate scientists.

        Why does that so offend you that you must post untruths?

        Why did you come here and decide to start making these bizarrely and obviously false accusations?

      • John Carter wrote to me:
        >, I very much invite and encourage you to read this piece, for instance, to look at the not just how poor the actual logic of most climate change refutation is (which is almost as telling w/ respect to the underlying ACC idea itself) but the persistent and almost robotic pattern of it…

        I have looked at your piece, John; I am unimpressed, highly unimpressed.

        You and Joshua will disapprove of my addressing the actual substance of what you wrote, but your essay appears to be that of a not-very-bright high-school student who is basically repeating what he has read without understanding it: there are real scientific issues here, involving whether the predictions made by climate alarmists have in fact been confirmed or refuted empirically, whether you alarmists correctly understand the behavior of clouds, etc. (No, I am not claiming you are a high-school student, merely saying that your essay sounds like that.)

        Judith has addressed these issues, she clearly knows enormously more about the relevant science than you do, and yet you feel free publicly to trumpet your superiority to her!

        Your behavior is unconscionable. You should be ashamed.

        But people like you never are.

        Dave

      • John Vonderlin

        John,
        Congratulations on this sentence. “For the hard core far right wing authoritarian skeptic, as the original offeree of the above quote, at a guess, might be, probably nothing will remove the self sealing pattern of seeing everything in a way that supports their view, almost no matter what.” While this quote of yours is a truly marvelous mangling of the English language and its punctuation, your usage of the qualifiers: “at a guess, might be, probably, and almost” in one sentence earns you the “Overconfident, but Certainly Not Underqualified Award,” for today.

      • Matthew R Marler

        John: For libertarian conservatives, there is a chance to learn and grow about the issue, but only if they don’t use as their source blogs like this (and many others that are far worse) that continue to post clever philosophical musings to chip away at the basic idea of climate change, rather assess what those actual facts of the issue are, and more importantly, why they are relevant.

        I am a fairly libertarian conservative, or at least center-right: a fiscal conservative, social liberal who believes in human rights and limits on government power, even when the government is elected. As such, let me invite your comments on the paper by Romps et al above.

        What do you mean by the “basic idea of climate change”? Climate changes all of the time, and the mechanisms of climate change are not all well characterized. CO2 accumulation is only one of the mechanisms of climate change, and the multiplicity of mechanisms of climate change, and the only partially quantified effects of all of them, make the evaluation of any effects of CO2 quite difficult. Surely you are not one of the people who discounts all of the science except the absorption/emission spectra of CO2 and H2O?

      • @Marler

        “””What do you mean by the “basic idea of climate change”?”””

        I am specifically referring to a phrase that I think is a poor one to use what we use it for. Namely, the phenomenon of a changing climate over time (and the expectation of that change) in response to geologically radical long term alterations of the long lived molecular heat absorption and re radiation quotient of our atmosphere. Nothing more, nothing less.

        The points you otherwise raise in your comment, frankly, are irrelevant and scientific doublespeak. Yea, “lots of things affect climate, bla bla blla bla bla bla..” What skepticism tries to do is focus on all of this, in a sort of reverse occam’s razor, rather than the central change first.

        All these other things are out of our control, and not what the issue is about.

        What is in our control, and what the issue is about, is the radical atmospheric alteration that is still ongoing, and that has occurred in a near geologic instant, and how that alone, on top of an otherwise complex dynamic system responsible for long term climate on this earth, but which is ultimately driven ONLY by energy input (i..e, the sun and then thermal re radiation, although secondary factors can than affect how the latter changes based upon how changes in the latter change basic system structures) is likely to affect the earth.

        The points you raise are in fact why we can’t predict exactly what will change and exactly along what path – but what is then by skeptics falsely used to refute ACC – but then on the other hand they are flip flopped to go from arguing we can’t write the climate script in advance as if it was a movie therefore ACC is not real (or not a big deal) to the similarly sidestepping and overly generic “my God, there’s so many variables, how can we possibly know a thing.”

        Which in turn is then repeatedly defended and self reinforced, but is just another way to perpetuate skepticism that again, sidesteps the actual relevant issue; and when not so doing – as this blog repeatedly does in its posts – misconstrue that issue.

        You need to first be willing to REALLY consider the idea that our radical atmospheric alteration of the atmosphere (again, defined as a change on the order of several million years, and geologically speaking still shooting essentially straight up, by increasing the amount of thermal radiation absorbed and re radiated by long term gg molecules to amounts not seen on earth in millions of years), will slowly heat the earth, change ambient atmospheric temperatures overall while slowly changing regional climate patterns, and most importantly of all start to change the underlying conditions that drive and stabilize our climate as they continue to gain in heat energy – just as our oceans ice sheets, permafrost land areas, and ice sheets are doing now.

        I’m not trying to sound harsh to you, I appreciate your response and imagine that your comments for the most part on here are an attempt on your part to try and reflect what you believe, but what you believe, is wrong, for very fundamental reasons.

        It’s not a big deal to be wrong. Most of use are. It’s a bigger deal to cling to it, as I fear that on top of everything else, a lot of “Democrats (generally), by castigating and condemning climate change skeptics as “idiots” and “liars who are just driven by greed” in lieu of just simply better communications (this also, however, includes showing the remarkable pattern of misinformation and using anything to try and refute or lessen ACC by climate change skeptics), and less castigation and conclusion about what everybody should or does “already know,” are only furthering. That’s just my take, having observed what is going on, and the patterns that continue.

        If you’re unwilling to do that, genuinely, as most skeptics are, then you’re not going to learn anything relevant to the issue, but for things (often things that misconstrue or misrepresent the issue) that self reinforce your held belief, or perception – that in turn gets further reinforced by sites like this, and many even far more misinforming sites and multiple ideological “news” sites and even TV stations that botch the science and facts of this issue to an almost caricatured degree, yet pass it off as serious news and analysis.

      • Matthew R Marler

        John Carter: The points you otherwise raise in your comment, frankly, are irrelevant and scientific doublespeak.

        Quote specifics.

        It’s not a big deal to be wrong. Most of use are. It’s a bigger deal to cling to it, as I fear that on top of everything else, a lot of “Democrats (generally), by castigating and condemning climate change skeptics as “idiots” and “liars who are just driven by greed” in lieu of just simply better communications (this also, however, includes showing the remarkable pattern of misinformation and using anything to try and refute or lessen ACC by climate change skeptics), and less castigation and conclusion about what everybody should or does “already know,” are only furthering.

        That’s incoherent.

      • It’s not incoherent. It’s just complex. Think it through. Break it down.

        I warrant, even though these are just comments, for God’s sake, I shouldn’t write such complex sentences, since you lack the capacity to follow them.

        But yet you’re smart enough to know that the world’s leading climate scientists are wrong.

        Amazing.

        Just as amazing, and far more remarkably “coincidental”: “and you’re right, along with a minion of skeptics who just happen to be mainly fossil fuel industry led, and ideologically biased, economic transformation fearing, and gov regulation fearing. (I’m with you on that last one, but it, just as all the others, has NOTHING to do with the science of the issue, which skeptics cant seem to grasp.)

        Those last four lines probably a little too complex to follow also, right?
        Or did you get those. If you did, consider them.

        If you really did get them, you’ll see the oddity in just who “happens” to be a skeptic when it comes to ACC, by absolutely remarkable coincidence.

        The people who are not skeptics?

        SCIENTISTS who professionally study the issue, whose job it is to be as objective, imperfect or not, as they can be. As that – the pursuit of physical truth of the world around us – is what science is.

      • @marler

        This system on wordpress, or here, isn’t really great or discussion. I hit reply and it just went to the bottom. Also, any reply to something that is technically a reply just flops to the bottom of the replies. Anyway, this comment was specifically in response to your comment here: https://judithcurry.com/2014/11/13/we-are-all-confident-idiots/#comment-647978
        ______

        @marler:

        It’s not incoherent. It’s just complex. Think it through. Break it down.

        I warrant, even though these are just comments, for God’s sake, I shouldn’t write such complex sentences, since you lack the capacity to follow them.

        But yet you’re smart enough to know that the world’s leading climate scientists are wrong.

        Amazing.

        Just as amazing, and far more remarkably “coincidental”: “and you’re right, along with a minion of skeptics who just happen to be mainly fossil fuel industry led, and ideologically biased, economic transformation fearing, and gov regulation fearing. (I’m with you on that last one, but it, just as all the others, has NOTHING to do with the science of the issue, which skeptics cant seem to grasp.)

        Those last four lines probably a little too complex to follow also, right?
        Or did you get those. If you did, consider them.

        If you really did get them, you’ll see the oddity in just who “happens” to be a skeptic when it comes to ACC, by absolutely remarkable coincidence.

        The people who are not skeptics?

        SCIENTISTS who professionally study the issue, whose job it is to be as objective, imperfect or not, as they can be. As that – the pursuit of physical truth of the world around us – is what science is.

      • Using a new measure of coupling strength, this update shows that these climate modes have recently synchronized, with synchronization peaking in the year 2001/02. This synchronization has been followed by an increase in coupling. This suggests that the climate system may well have shifted again, with a consequent break in the global mean temperature trend from the post 1976/77 warming to a new period (indeterminate length) of roughly constant global mean temperature.
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2008GL037022/full

        The threading gets disordered when long-winded, irrelevant, repetitive or otherwise unwelcome comments get deleted. I would suggest that John Carter is ripe for the picking.

        What he and other of his ilk clearly don’t get are these natural climate regime shifts. Shifts around the middle of the 20th century, 1976/1977 and 1998/2001 – with shifts in the trajectory of surface temperature. So if we isolate the ‘signal’ over a cool and warm regime – 1944 to 1998 – we get a resultant that may be sue to greenhouse gases during the period of most CO2 increase in the atmosphere. Some 0.4K at 0.07K/decade. There is however very little chance that all of this was greenhouse gases – or indeed much confidence that the next natural regime shift will be to yet warmer conditions. Is this potentially problematic over the 21st Century?

        The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) defined abrupt climate change as a new climate paradigm as long ago as 2002. A paradigm in the scientific sense is a theory that explains observations. A new science paradigm is one that better explains data – in this case climate data – than the old theory. The new theory says that climate change occurs as discrete jumps in the system. Climate is more like a kaleidoscope – shake it up and a new pattern emerges – than a control knob with a linear gain.

        The theory of abrupt climate change is the most modern – and powerful – in climate science and has profound implications for the evolution of climate this century and beyond. A mechanical analogy might set the scene. The finger pushing the balance below can be likened to changes in greenhouse gases, solar intensity or orbital eccentricity. The climate response is internally generated – with changes in cloud, ice, dust and biology – and proceeds at a pace determined by the system itself. Thus the balance below is pushed past a point at which stage a new equilibrium spontaneously emerges. Unlike the simple system below – climate has many equilibria. The old theory of climate suggests that warming is inevitable. The new theory suggests that global warming is not guaranteed and that climate surprises are inevitable.

        Many simple systems exhibit abrupt change. The balance above consists of a curved track on a fulcrum. The arms are curved so that there are two stable states where a ball may rest. ‘A ball is placed on the track and is free to roll until it reaches its point of rest. This system has three equilibria denoted (a), (b) and (c) in the top row of the figure. The middle equilibrium (b) is unstable: if the ball is displaced ever so slightly to one side or another, the displacement will accelerate until the system is in a state far from its original position. In contrast, if the ball in state (a) or (c) is displaced, the balance will merely rock a bit back and forth, and the ball will roll slightly within its cup until friction restores it to its original equilibrium.’(NAS, 2002)

        In (a1) the arms are displaced but not sufficiently to cause the ball to cross the balance to the other side. In (a2) the balance is displaced with sufficient force to cause the ball to move to a new equilibrium state on the other arm. There is a third possibility in that the balance is hit with enough force to cause the ball to leave the track, roll off the table and under the sofa.

        The last suggests there may be a risk from greenhouse gases – but then there are many other controls on the system. The rational responses – http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation – ‘centers on efforts to accelerate energy innovation, build resilience to extreme weather, and pursue no regrets pollution reduction measures — three efforts that each have their own diverse justifications independent of their benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation.’

        I’m fairly confident that John Carter is not merely fairly clueless on climate science – as opposed to “The Science” – but has not a scintilla of practical policy options to offer.

      • Well, since the climate system regularly gets sinusoid input changes on a number of time scales we can surmise a couple of things about the system.

        1. There is integral feedback on a number of time scales (it tends to ramp in response to input changes).
        2. The system is heavily damped (significant negative feedback).

        There aren’t any wild oscillations (it doesn’t hit boiling at the end of the summer). The summer temperatures are highest when surface temperature + solar input is highest (about 1 month after peak sun). The system follows available energy pretty closely and most of weather and climate is the insulating atmosphere redistributing energy through convection.

      • ‘The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… Over the last several hundred thousand years, climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation.’ Wally Broecker.

        Surmise all you lie.

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160289614000373

      • Rob Ellison:
        I’ve been reading about the THC lately. It occurs again that the sea water’s salinity is a tag indicating how much freshwater has been taken from it, mostly by solar evaporation. It’s telling a packet of sea water when to descend, for instance become Atlantic deep water. A form of information it picked up in its past. I think that sea water’s salinity value is a kind of coherency. Instead of random molecules of water descending, they all do the same thing. On this map: http://www.nasa.gov/images/content/505786main_mean_salinity_2005-full.jpg I think in the Barents Sea, there is a big salinity change from 35 to 28 over a short distance. I suppose the 35 side is the Atlantic’s reach into to Arctic at the time the map was made. Do you think it could be said the salinity value is the a parameter determining when the sea water descends and joins the Atlantic deep water? I realize there are other factors and there may be more to it than temperature and density. And there’s the interaction with sea ice complicating things. It was mentioned recently that the volume flow of the THC is minimal compared to the Gulf stream. If salt has a large effect, that might explain why the THC is still important.

      • Well, the real question is how low does the net insolation have to get to trigger a return to the ice age? I’ve seen a number of 2 W/m2 (better scholarship is welcome).

        If so we are dancing on a fine edge here and more CO2 even with its seemingly small forcing may be helpful. We should investigate ways to trigger more methane/CO2 release in case it starts cooling too much.

      • I don’t think net isolation triggers shifts into and out of ice ages all that often. If it did there wouldn’t be irregularities in the glaciation and solar cycles. Ice/snow is the main factor and it has a lot more influences other than just the sun, like ash, earthquakes, extreme tides, types of vegetation migratory herds, impact events etc. It seems the over emphasis on CO2 forcing has caused people to lose sight of the real deal with Ice ages, Ice.

      • Matthew R Marler

        John Carter: But yet you’re smart enough to know that the world’s leading climate scientists are wrong.

        I have identified some questions that they have not provided answers to. when they answer them, please let me know. You have informative comments about the Romps et al paper, perhaps?

      • We don’t need to know every detail to have an understanding of the concept of risk, what presents it and why, and generally what it presents.

        But, no offense,I’m just pointing it out because I think that’s what you’re doing here, that’s what deniers/skeptics do’ they conflate the ongoing process of science itself, with refutation of or skepticism over the basic underlying concept

      • John Carter,

        Do have any quantifiable facts to bring to the discussion, or just the usual Warmist collection of patronising, condescending, nonsensical assertions?

        Climatology was surely created to give credence and stature to the astrological sciences. The Moon trine Venus composite makes more sense than warming a lump of rock by surrounding it with CO2, wouldn’t you agree?

        Away with ye, laddie! Leave global warming to the fools or frauds silly enough to believe in it – they at least are occasionally coherent, if misguided.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • Instead of a bombogenesis to replace a polar vortex the Left now has Kool-Aidogenesis to explain why global cooling is caused by America’s CO2.

    • Not odd at all. Quite consistent.

  58. “In pondering how we rationalize the ‘hiatus’ in context of theories and predictions of anthropogenic global warming”

    We should start by questioning the very idea of the haitus, or pause.

    Compare the average of global temperature in the mid 1990s with the average in the mid 2000s.
    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1900/plot/hadcrut4gl/from:1996/trend

    It’s clearly a 0.3C jump. So I find it interesting we are talking about a pause but not about the sharp jump in temperature that took place beforehand.

    Because surely the implication is obvious, a 10 year 0.3C jump followed by a 10 year plateau is an average of 0.15C/decade, which matches trend (since 1970). So all we have is the longterm warming rate happening in a non-linear fashion.

    A very different scenario than if global temperature had warmed 0.15C continuously every decade since 1970, but then went flat after 2000. Yet this is how the pause is framed, as a cessation of the prior warming trend, rather than a plateau following a sharp jump upwards.

    Even researchers seem to be overlooking the prior jump to a new high level and focusing on the “pause” exclusively, or perhaps that impression I have is just because the media only reports research where popular attention on a pause is.

    As far as I see it vested ideological interests have invented and pushed the pause meme into the public sphere through the media from day one, and through that popularity alone it has become a subject for researcher focus and media reporting. I have yet to see any reporting of the pause that acknonwledges the longterm warming trend has not been affected by it.

    • tomas, The Hiatus is relative to the model projections which project a continuously increasing temperature not jumps and plateaus. The warmists and IPCC went to great length to “sell” “Global Warming”/Climate Change/Climate Disruption as directly caused by CO2 related Green House Gas effect. That would mean warming would be “predictable” with the models, there would be a tropical troposphere hot spot, hurricanes would increase in frequency and intensity, polar bears would be drowning in droves, cats and dogs would be sleeping together etc. etc.

      When all that is “projected”, you are not allowed to cherry pick your “proof”.

      • I don’t believe models project a continuous increasing temperature on decadal (<10 years) timescale. jumps and starts are compatible. Especially as model projections should be seen as predictions of the central tenancy. It is the multi-decadal trend that is important. The ins and outs of 10 year trends is always going to be harder when events like pinatubo and super el ninos have greatest impact.

        It's one thing to argue that the projected multi-decadal trend is too steep in the models, but to argue that it has stopped going up (ie a pause or haitus) just seems incorrect. A 0.3C jump in 10 years followed by 0C in 10 years still averages 0.15C matching the longterm (eg 1970-1990) trend.

        0.15C in 10 years followed by 0C in 10 years would be a very different matter.

      • In addition, the expectation of a 0.15C/decade trend since 2000 is a demand that after jumping 0.3C in 10 years global temperature should immediately jump another 0.15C in the next. A total of 0.45C in 20 years in other words.

        While that may be possible it seems unreasonable given the multi-decadal trend in hadcrut has always been about 0.15C/decade (eg 1970-2000 for example).

        A continued-warming of 0.15C/decade we should expect that after a jump of 0.3C in 10 years, ie 20 years worth of warming, there might be a decade of no warming to compensate.

        The question is really is it right to just look at a flat trend in one decade without factoring in the large jump in the 10 years before?

      • tomas, I believe you can actually look at the projections so you don’t have to “believe”. The “pause” noted by David Rose was directly related to fail predictions by the UK MET office. A lot of “Alarmists” have made very bold statements that have failed to materialize. Since then, the climate science “community” have 50 or so reasons for the “pause”/Hiatus/Slowdown etc. Santer even chnaged the rules a bit by requiring 17 years for a “pause” instead of the typical 15 years.

        There are a lot of things that have changed and will change in climate science as more data becomes available and more eyes double check bold statements.

      • “It’s one thing to argue that the projected multi-decadal trend is too steep in the models, but to argue that it has stopped going up (ie a pause or hiatus) just seems incorrect. A 0.3C jump in 10 years followed by 0C in 10 years still averages 0.15C matching the long-term (eg 1970-1990) trend.”
        _____
        Exactly. Decadal average temperatures are the absolutely shortest period in which you might be able to detect a long-term tropospheric signal from anthropogenic GH forcing. The troposphere has far too low of thermal inertia and is far too subject to ENSO and other influences to give us any meaningful signal at less than decadal averages.

      • R. Gates,

        To me, this:”might be able to detect a long-term tropospheric signal from anthropogenic GH forcing” presumes this observable warming is only from GH gases at the exclusion of any other. The problem that I see (w/o the capability to do the physics) is that while there may be a “concensus” that GW is occurring there is no “concensus” that it’s CO2, or indeed mother nature doing something of which we’re as yet unaware.

        Is that wrong minded of me?

      • R. Gates, “Exactly. Decadal average temperatures are the absolutely shortest period in which you might be able to detect a long-term tropospheric signal from anthropogenic GH forcing. The troposphere has far too low of thermal inertia and is far too subject to ENSO and other influences to give us any meaningful signal at less than decadal averages.”

        Which is a reason OHC is a better metric to use, but the alarming climate change was sold based on the model projections of average global mean surface temperature anomaly.

        Had the salesmen mentioned before hand the real margin of uncertainty there wouldn’t be a pause/hiatus/slowdown/standstill. Santer would not have redefined the period required for a “significant” deviation from the models. When model “projections” are used as a sales tool, they are predictions, doesn’t matter how much after the fact rationalization is involved.

      • “The problem that I see (w/o the capability to do the physics) is that while there may be a “concensus” that GW is occurring there is no “concensus” that it’s CO2, or indeed mother nature doing something of which we’re as yet unaware.

        Is that wrong minded of me?”
        _____
        Not wrong minded, just ignorant of the actual facts related to what the vast majority of climate scientists believe to be true. The vast majority hold that not only is the Earth retaining more energy in the climate system on a long-term basis, but that it is very likely caused by human activities. There simply is not another known physical explanation for the energy being retained.

      • R. Gates,

        Ah, that vast majority thing. Still sounds like 4 outta 5 dentists to me and “the vast majority” of the public who like me are not scientists. I have a CAGW buddy who’s used that terminology but his overly biased excessively leftist leanings just reinforce my reasoning for skepticism. I’ll admit my ignorance on the science, no problem. But he, and I’ll guess you, cannot eliminate nature as the source of our warming. Is it wrong minded then for me to say that although I don’t expect 100% confirmation of CO2 being “THE CAUSE” of global warming, that I should be able to expect the elimination of other potential causes which would then lead me to a more logical conclusion that it’s GH gases?

        My buddy put some numbers together that we could remove enough CO2 for the cost of health care in the U.S. from between 2000-2004. Well if I’m not comfortable that CO2 is the cause, and I know folks need health care why would I not want that money spent for more health care?

        I, for one, have sufficient evidence to state that global warming is occurring. I am not comfortable that sufficient evidence exists that it’s GH gases vs. mother nature or some combination. That’s the difficulty from my perspective. And since what I’d consider authorities (not bloggers, including me) such as National Academy of Science, American Physical Society, and others uses the term “likely” regarding CO2, when I read that it also says “maybe not”. So why not spend a bit more time to find out more? Is that not a reasonable decision based on the evidence at hand?

        You may have reached a conclusion about the cause, but so many others have not. I admire that you’re willing to discuss it here, but can you also see my perspective?

        I’m open to correction of my thinking based on evidence, but not based on 4 outta 5 dentists. For me, that’s selling and not science, and I’m not sure why you and my buddy cannot grasp that.

      • “Which is a reason OHC is a better metric to use, but the alarming climate change was sold based on the model projections of average global mean surface temperature anomaly.”
        _______
        As has been frequently discussed here an elsewhere, the oceans are of course the far more reliable metric, but are far less accessible. What is most disturbing however, is that some would use the tropospheric “hiatus” as a justification for suggesting the system has stopped warming or retaining energy. Added on to this is the absolutely silly suggestion that heat going into the ocean won’t effect us or the climate and/or is harmlessly dissipated throughout the ocean. The expanding and warming of the IPWP over the past 60 years, would tend to disagree with all of that given the global climate effects that this warming and expanding has.

      • R. Gates, ” There simply is not another known physical explanation for the energy being retained.”

        Which part, the 0.9 +/- 0.18 Wm-2, the 0.64 +/- 0.44 Wm-2 or the 0.32 +/- 0.3 Wm-2 of energy being retained? While it is not a “Physical” explanation, human error is a pretty good explanation. Especially when it comes to physically explaining things that may not exist.

      • Gates writes
        “As has been frequently discussed here an elsewhere, the oceans are of course the far more reliable metric, but are far less accessible.”

        Imo the oceans are very accessible to measurements, but if someone wants to immediately validate their position, the lack of a history of relaible data is inconvenient

    • Tomas, some people like to ignore the jump in the 1990’s just like you ignore the flat trend after 2000. They also love to point at the mistie between predictions and real life.

  59. In one of my first tutorials as an undergraduate at Oxford in the fifties the value of exploring a problem using multiple working hypotheses was impressed upon me. This notion is obviously an anathema to the establishment climate scientists who have simply staked their reputations an academic careers on the assumption that anthropogenic CO2 is the main climate driver.
    I have been saying for several years that unless we know where we are relative to the natural cycles we can’t begin to estimate the small effect of anthropogenic CO2.
    The temperature projections of the IPCC forecasts have no foundation in empirical science being derived from inherently useless and specifically structurally flawed models. They provide no basis for the discussion of future climate trends As a foundation for Governmental climate and energy policy their forecasts are already seen to be grossly in error and are therefore worse than useless. A new forecasting paradigm needs to be adopted. See

    http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2014/07/climate-forecasting-methods-and-cooling.html

    This post provides forecasts of the probable 650 years of coming cooling based on the 60 and 1000 year natural periodicities ( Figs 5 and 15 in the link) clearly seen in the temperature data and using the 10 Be and neutron record as the most useful proxy for solar “activity” on recent millennial time scales . We are just past the peak of the latest 1000 year cycle The simplest working hypothesis is that we are about to repeat the general temperature trends from 1000 AD on.
    The climate conversation needs to move away from the useless reductionist IPCC approach towards discussion of the timing and amplitude of the natural cycles and an understanding of the important regional differences in we might expect on a cooling world .The linked post concludes:

    “As to the future, the object of forecasting is to provide practical guidance for policy makers. The rate, amplitude and timing of climate change varies substantially from region to region so that, after accounting for the long term quasi-millennial periodicity, I would then estimate the modulation of this trend by providing multi-decadal climate forecasts for specific regions. This would be accomplished with particular reference to the phase relationships of the major oceanic and atmospheric systems PDO AMO, NAO, ENSO etc, a la Aleo and Easterbrook linked to in section 2.4 above. The earth has been subdivided into tectonic plates. It would be useful to have, as a guide to adaptation to climate change, multi-decadal regional forecasts for the following suggested climate plates, which are in reality closely linked to global geography.

    1 North America and Western Europe.
    2 Russia
    3 China
    4 India and SE Asia
    5 Australasia and Indonesia
    6 South America
    7 N Africa
    8 Sub Saharan Africa
    9 The Arctic
    10 The Antarctic
    11 The intra tropical Pacific Ocean. Detailed analysis of the energy exchanges and processes at the ocean /atmosphere interface in this area is especially vital because its energy budget provides the key to the earth’s thermostat.”
    It would obviously be prudent if the climate community would calculate the impact of a cooling world on civilization – if only to see the possible effects of an alternative scenario – another working hypothesis- so that we might be fore- armed if my cooling scenario actually develops.

  60. Julian Simon quoted Isaac Asimov’s reaction to Ehrlich losing the natural resources bet. Asimov’s statement is very relevant to this post.

    “Asimov read about the resources bet and then wrote:

    ‘Naturally, I was all on the side of the pessimist and judge my surprise when it turned out he had lost the bet; that the prices of the metals had indeed fallen; that grain was cheaper; that oil…was cheaper; and so on.

    I was thunderstruck. Was it possible, I thought, that something that seemed so obvious to me – that a steadily rising population is deadly – can be wrong?

    Yes, it could be. I am frequently wrong.’

    Asimov permitted himself to be bewildered. “I don’t understand this,” he wrote. And he says about economics in general: “I cannot understand it, and I cannot believe that anyone else understands it, either. People may say they understand it…but I think it is all a fake.’

    Unlike Asimov, the doomsayers refuse to allow themselves to be bewildered by the facts. Instead, they simply reject the facts and deride anyone who presents the facts.”
    See http://www.juliansimon.com/reply-critics.html

    JD

    • Curious George

      Beautiful!

      Let me remark that Dr. John Holdren was also a losing party of Ehrlich-Simon wager, and now he bets taxpayer’s money.

    • I’m a doomsayer when it comes to oil and gas. I am convinced we will hit a wall within the next 20 years. But I merely base my position on my inability to figure out where the future oil and gas reserves will be coming from. I guess you could say I’m out of ideas. Which happens to be a real hassle when I’ve been in the business for almost 40 years.

      • Fernando, please read Gaia’s Limits (my first ebook). You are correct.
        But your very knowledgeable concern is only half of the story. Food calories are the other half. A hard factual slog, that. In the end, a clear simple numerical answer. Nothing like Ehrlich BS. Still, soft and hard carrying capacity limits become clear. Highest regards.

      • I’m sure we will run out of oil and nat gas, too. It’s just harder and harder to say when. Today:

        OIL 74.31
        BRENT 78.07
        NAT GAS 3.971
        RBOB GAS 2.0081
        DIESEL 2.3751
        ETHANOL 1.982
        URANIUM 43.00
        COAL 51.95

      • Fernando,

        Simon’s point proven again and again is that technological advancement (occurring at an exponential rate) outpaces resource scarcity. Simple substitutions that I can imagine now for traditional fossil fuels are bacteria that emit butane and engineering plant dna to grow forms of energy. Additionally, there will undoubtedly be breakthrough understandings in physics that almost certainly will lead to new ways of harnessing energy. For instance, in the early 1800s, electricity was merely a curiosity. Now it is the powerhouse that drives the world economy.

        I can’t predict precisely what scientific breakthroughs will occur, but, based on a large body of past experience, I can confidently predict that breakthroughs will occur.

        JD

      • From the article:

        Joule is advancing a production platform for Liquid Fuel from the Sun™, expected to eclipse the scale, productivity and cost efficiency of any known alternative to fossil fuel today. Its transformative Helioculture platform directly and continuously converts sunlight and waste CO2 to infrastructure-ready diesel, ethanol or commodity chemicals with no dependence on biomass feedstocks, downstream processing or precious natural resources.

        This process can yield renewable fuels and chemicals in unprecedented volumes with a fraction of the land required by current methods, leapfrogging biomass-dependent approaches and eliminating the economic and environmental disadvantages of fossil fuels.

        http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2014/03/13/joule-unlimited-biofuels-digests-5-minute-guide-2/

      • @Rud Istvan, (Harold Doiron, David Hagen, Fernando)

        Rud, I’ve finished reading the energy chapters in “Blowing Smoke” and you’ve done a very valuable service. I’m going to take it slower on the climate chapters… I need to keep my blood pressure down :)
        One thing I’ve been meaning to ask you if you’re still up for more investigation, is that if you haven’t covered it already, it could be potentially quite useful to debrief Roscoe Bartlett.
        He’s 88 I believe, and got re-districted a couple years ago, and out of Congress.
        Judith attended a congressional hearing 4 years ago now (I believe) Nov. There was a very large panel at this hearing.
        The only congressman whose questioning really interested me was Roscoe. Unfortunately Roscoe didn’t connect all the dots.
        He led off saying there were 3 groups who wanted to migrate off fossil fuels:
        Those concerned with HC Depletion (Roscoe was prime mover in Peak Oil Caucus)
        Those concerned with National Security
        Those concerned with Climate Change
        At one point he was literally begging the Climate Change sceptics, couldn’t you just go along since it’s something we should do anyway?
        Lindzen corrected him, saying energy policy should be justified on it’s own merits (i.e. not by bending Climate science to justify it)
        There was a second small hearing (4-6 speakers) later on (Judith wasn’t at this one. ) At this second hearing Roscoe got at cross-purposes with the economist on the panel. Roscoe again said there were three groups (as above) that wanted the same thing. The economist disagreed vehemently that restrictions on C as CO2 gave the same signals as if one addressed energy policy issues directly.
        What the economist was really detailing were the deficiencies in using CAGW dogma as a Proxy for HC Depletion, however neither Roscoe nor the economist realised that that IS what is being done IMO.

        As some background to my thinking, I figured out in 97/98 timeframe much to my shock and chagrin that there was only the most remote possibility that the GCMs would be validated and therefore the IPCC was blowing smoke.
        I immediately connected a couple more dots.
        I’m an old/former downstreamer a supply and refining guy who spent most of my career in the oil industry heavily involved in optimization modeling. It’s just routine in the job function I was in that one is involved in assessing the financial impacts of new environmental regs or product specification changes (often driven environmental concerns). Over time it was a source of some bewilderment and not a little frustration that some of the purported justifications were really stretching credibility. What I had already encountered was the “precautionary principle” before I ever heard it enunciated as such.

        Further to my thinking, using an example you used in Blowing Smoke, if one takes a dirty feed like coal , and converts old Pulverized Coal plant to IGCC, gasification with associated well proven cleanup steps means one can handle basically all the real pollution problems. All one would have left to worry about at all could be NOX from nitrogen in combustion air.
        It is because there ARE good technical solutions for many real pollution problems, that if one wanted to use an environmental RUSE/HOAX as a PROXY for HC Depletion, there is no option ultimately but to demonize C as CO2

        And that is exactly what has been done.

        John Hofmeister was President of Shell until a few years ago when he retired
        Prior to retirement he was on a 50 city tour communicating his message (what i would call a charm tour)
        Here’s one of his presentations and it’s worthwhile to scrutinize carefully
        http://connectedsocialmedia.com/3450/view-from-the-top-shell-oil-president-john-hofmeister/
        I previously posted some comments at link below however old link to Hofmeister video is now dead.
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/28/canada-pulls-the-plug-on-the-u-s-keystone-pipeline-will-send-oil-to-asia/#comment-1672450

        I’d like to draw your attention specifically to what John Hofmeister says between 3min and 4:30 min in the above presentation.
        Here are some questions to ask oneself.
        Shouldn’t what Hofmeister reveals in that short comment have been “predictable” well in advance?
        Why didn’t the oil industry tell the public say 20 years in advance that this would be something we would have to deal with?
        I think everyone understands the concept of self interest(I.E. oil industry in this case), but what about the DOE. Same questions as above.
        Should the public feel well served by the Oil Industry and the DOE if they had good reason to believe this would happen but didn’t warn ahead of time?

        From my observation, there is a great deal of anxiety amongst the Peak Oil group that their concerns are not acknowledged by government. In the runup to the 2007 NPC Hard Truths study
        http://www.npchardtruthsreport.org/
        , I would say some of the ASPO crowd were a bit giddy that here was the opportunity to have their concerns acknowledged. I.E. The ASPO folks were hoping the Oil Industry would “come clean”. I was of a slightly different opinion. I thought this study would be used politically as an opportunity to “bury bad news”.
        (Robert Hirsch on the deliberate avoidance by the U.S. government to talk about peak oil.
        http://evworld.com/article.cfm?storyid=1751 )
        If one digests the HARD TRUTHS study, the ASPO type concerns were acknowledged, then downplayed, which is pretty much how I thought the politics would play out.
        Which is not to say concerns about future supply weren’t mentioned. See especially page 12 in the 2008 update: “Required New Capacity” . Quite a gap to fill !

        See Page 12:
        http://www.npchardtruthsreport.org/Hard_Truths-update_2008.pdf
        Does one think they will be able to fill that gap: Required new Capacity?
        My personal opinion based on a study I was privately involved with a long time ago, is that what John Hofmeister revealed in 3-4:30min in above video should indeed have been predictable long in advance.

        The “political acknowledgement”( by PROXY) of the so called Peak Oil issue” IS” the carbon demonization agenda.
        I figured this out immediately in the 97/98 timeframe once I realized the GCMs would not be validated.

        I’m deeply cynical about the political process, however I believe that Roscoe Bartlett might have been an exception to a rule had he been able to connect all the dots. That’s why I suggest it might be useful to debrief with him.

        All the best
        brent

        Navy Secretary Announces Energy Changes
        Energy Conservation Moving Up Pentagon’s Agenda

        17-Mar-2006 12:24 EST

        Rep. Roscoe Bartlett [R-MD] is Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee’s Projection Forces subcommittee. He has been talking about Peak Oil issues for about a year now, and recently discussed a September 2005 Army Corps of Engineers Report entitled “Energy Trends and Their Implications for U.S. Army Installations” [PDF format] in the House. Part of its conclusions section notes:

        “One thing is certain: it is going to be challenging and comprehensive approaches to energy issues are required. Uncertainty cannot be an excuse for inaction. Integrated resource planning is required and issues must be addressed from both the supply and demand viewpoint. The U.S. cannot drill its way to energy independence nor can we do it all with renewables and efficiency. A secure, reliable, and cost effective energy system must be robust, diverse, and aggressively incorporate renewables, energy efficiency, and intelligent use of fossil fuels.

        The days of inexpensive, convenient, abundant energy sources are quickly drawing to a close…. We must act now to develop the technology and infrastructure necessary to transition to other energy sources. Policy changes, leap ahead technology breakthroughs, cultural changes, and significant investment is requisite for this new energy future. Time is essential to enact these changes. The process should begin now.

        Our best options for meeting future energy requirements are energy efficiency and renewable sources. Energy efficiency is the least expensive, most readily available, and environmentally friendly way to stretch our current energy supplies. This ensures that we get the most benefit from every Btu used. It involves optimizing operations and controls to minimize waste and infusing state of the art technology and techniques where appropriate. The potential savings for the Army is about 30 percent of current and future consumption. Energy efficiency measures usually pay for themselves over the life cycle of the application, even when only face value costs are considered.”
        http://tinyurl.com/8h4q9g

        September 2005 Army Corps of Engineers Report

        Conclusions about Petroleum
        In summary, the outlook for petroleum is not good. This especially applies to conventional oil, which has been the lowest cost resource. Production peaks for non- OPEC conventional oil are at hand; many nations have already past their peak, or are now producing at peak capacity. Polar, deep, and non-conventional will contribute to future resources. Most conventional oil production reserves are in OPEC
        http://tinyurl.com/8r4dry

      • Brent says:
        “John Hofmeister was President of Shell until a few years ago when he retired Prior to retirement he was on a 50 city tour communicating his message (what i would call a charm tour) Here’s one of his presentations and it’s worthwhile to scrutinize carefully”
        ************
        At about 5:30 min in that video, he begins to point out that we have trillions of barrels of oil left to produce. Same with nat gas and coal. We are not going to run out of liquid fuels anytime soon.

      • @jim2
        Hofmeister is spinning like a top as I noted on this thread.
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/28/canada-pulls-the-plug-on-the-u-s-keystone-pipeline-will-send-oil-to-asia/#comment-1672450

        He says don’t worry, be happy we’ve got Deepwater, we’ve got a Trillion bbls Orinoco, a Trillion Bbls Kerogen in Piceance basin alone, another Trillion Bbls Athabasca Bitumen
        I downloaded another of his speeches (City Club at Cleveland). In this one he calls it 1.3Trillion Bbls Athabasca bitumen as i recall.

        The official numbers for Athabasca bitumen i linked here
        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/28/canada-pulls-the-plug-on-the-u-s-keystone-pipeline-will-send-oil-to-asia/#comment-1672405

        (Original) Ultimate potential recoverable of 315Billion Bbls.
        So he throws out wild numbers to (unknowing and gullible audience) 3 to 4 times higher than official numbers for ultimate potential recoverable.

        In the City Club Cleveland speech after wowing the audience about
        A Trillion Bbls kerogen in Piceance basin alone. A Trillion Bbls!! A Trillion Bbls!! He then said in a sort of aside, well we might not get it all :: ))
        ROTFLMAO Yeah John!!! You might not get any of it ::))

        Of course since that time Shell has abandoned yet again their efforts at Kerogen recovery ::))

        Best to carefully deconstruct the statements you hear or you will just allow yourself to be misled by wishful thinking

        P.S. I’ll put in a plug for Rud’s book(s) here, both “Blowing Smoke”, and “Arts of Truth”.

        cheers
        brent

      • Brent – I noted the date of the video is 2007. This was before shale oil. And he did seem to wield some prescience WRT the Permian. The Permian is cooking again, with oil production going up every month.

        Trillions? Probably not. But not the end of liquid fuels in 10 or 15 years, either.

      • @jim2
        Tight oil will in the bigger picture be no more than a flash in the pan IMO.
        It’s also interesting that we seem to be embarking on a little price war right now.
        In 1986, the Saudis tanked the crude market. It was speculated at the time and continues to be that Reagan worked with the Saudis to cut crude price to hurt the USSR export revenue.
        It’s being speculated now that price is being tanked to hurt Iran and Russia. (and some say US Tight Oil production from Saudi perspective)
        In 1986, Saudis had an OPEC quota of i believe about 4.3 MMBpd but were pumping i think only about 2.5MMBpd since they cut back disproportionately because of other OPEC members cheating on their quota. I think Saudis at that time probably had a production capacity of 9-10MMBpd
        Now Saudis are pumping about 9.6MMBpd i believe and have nowhere near the spare they had then.
        Take a look at the decline rates from the NPC 2008 graph and estimate how long current spare will exist if there isn’t major investment requiring high prices for marginal production capacity.

        Continental Resources is of course one of the highest profile Shale players. Harold Hamm would have in the past typically been quoted as don’t worry we’ve got lots of tight oil
        Now what are we hearing?

        Why Harold Hamm Isn’t Worried About Plunging Oil Prices

        “We need more supply. It’s crazy to think that China and India won’t continue to demand more oil,” Hamm says. “Even if overall economic growth slows, oil demand will grow, because they want something other than a bicycle; they want to farm with a tractor instead of oxen.”

        What’s more, the oil industry is constantly fighting against natural production decline rates. Worldwide, output from the average oil field declines by about 5% a year. Declines are much steeper in the big new U.S. fields like the Bakken and Eagle Ford, where a well might come on line at 1,200 bpd, but lose half of that within four months. Even with technological advances to get more oil out of old fields, drillers need to bring on about 4 million barrels per day of new volumes, just to keep world production flat.
        And although there remains some low-hanging “easy oil” to be harvested in Iraq and Iran, most new supplies will require sustained high oil prices to justify investment — prices higher than the $100 or so that we’ve seen in recent years.
        http://www.forbes.com/sites/christopherhelman/2014/10/20/why-harold-hamm-isnt-worried-about-plunging-oil-prices/

        And:
        Harold Hamm, chief executive of Continental Resources, told the Financial Times all shale companies were reviewing their plans, and some were already cutting back on drilling.

        However, he said, the industry would not fall into a crisis in the way it might have done had the oil price fallen this far in 2012.

        …Like many shale producers, Continental is still spending more than its operating cash flow on drilling rigs and other capital expenditures. Mr Hamm suggested that many companies would want to bring their spending into line with their income.

        “When the market’s going up, you can overspend what your cash flow is, with confidence. But when the market’s going down, it’s not best to do that, because the debt market goes away,” he said.
        http://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2014/10/where-to-for-oil-and-lng/

        The Current Tight Oil boom is as much a product of financial bubble,as anything else. Many companies are way outspending their cash flow, and when prices go down they are going to find their financing drying up
        Shale Boom’s Allure to Wall Street Tested by Bear Market
        http://www.businessweek.com/news/2014-10-23/shale-boom-s-allure-to-wall-street-tested-by-bear-market

        Why oil prices will be ‘robust’ long-term: Shell CEO
        http://www.cnbc.com/id/102072881

        The people who think the current price drop indicates no problem are misdiagnosing the situation.

        Energy shortages ahead without major investment, IEA says
        http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/energy-shortages-ahead-without-major-investment-iea-says-1.2832451

        Privately, Saudis tell oil market: get used to lower prices
        The Saudis now appear to be betting that a period of lower prices – which could strain the finances of some members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries – will be necessary to pave the way for higher revenue in the medium term, by curbing new investment and further increases in supply from places like the U.S. shale patch or ultra-deepwater, according to the sources, who declined to be identified due to the private nature of the discussions
        http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/10/12/oil-saudi-policy-idUKL2N0S70J720141012

        cheers
        brent

        We’re Sitting on 10 Billion Barrels of Oil! OK, Two
        http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-09/ceos-tout-reserves-of-oil-gas-revealed-to-be-less-to-sec.html

      • JD, if that new technology arrives 10 years too late we will be like Easter Islanders. That’s bordering on supernatural belief. We do run a risk that nothing will be found in time.

        Jim2, I wrote something for a friend this morning you may wish to read

        http://21stcenturysocialcritic.blogspot.com.es/2014/11/we-can-blame-usa-for-low-oil-prices.html

        I suspect the current low price environment will last 3 to 24 months. The midpoint is 12 months. And I would call it a medium confidence prediction, predicated on a rational approach to war by the USA and EU, which seem to be trying to push Russia around a bit too much.

      • @Fernando
        Hang in there. We need good problem solvers to make the best of the situation, even when it’s frustrating that we cannot easily envisage an all in long term solution that we would like.
        Biggest hurdle IMO is accepting that there must be fundamental change. But it’s kind of liberating too.

        There’s lots of current speculation how long current price drop will be sustained and how low it will go. Will the US Tight Oil drillers end up as roadkill to larger geopolitical agendas? Interesting questions!
        cheers
        brent

      • @jim2 says
        ” But not the end of liquid fuels in 10 or 15 years, either.”

        Nobody is saying that. Certainly I haven’t :)

      • The only way to get those trillions of barrels out of those formations is slave labor. Think Moses and “let my people go,” only in Colorado. Lots of rock breaking in exchange for beans and water.

    • My bet is that there will be oil and gas lakes and it will be harder, though not impossible, to manipulate supply and price as did the old cartels.

      Hilarious if coal and nukes continued to boom leaving Putin and his best buds like Exxon with too much product. After all that fuss to grab warm water ports and nab the pipeline burglars! Not to worry. The Kremlin, the sheiks and Big Oil will think of something. They have the odd lazy dollar for persuading “world opinion” (ie the Guardian-perusing classes) on the enviro-naughtiness of their major competition.

      Expect Big Oil to be even greener and preachier against coal and nukes, with lots of new bird-choppers in need of “transitional supplementation”. Gazprom, Rosneft, Exxon, BP, Shell, Boone Pickens…never met a wind turbine they didn’t like.

  61. Confident, first impressions, being first with the idea, square jaw, firm hand-shake, hand on the other’s shoulder, looking directly at the person’s eyes are all theatrical behaviors telling your audience: “listen to me.” Using appropriate theatrical behaviors is most important in selling your idea.

    Climate scientists wish to sell the public their view of the science; and, to do that, they are being theatrical: charts, figures, tables and computer experiments as the visual effects. Assertively saying, we are 95% confident in what we are selling for the auditory effects. And, hidden messaging for the subliminal buy-in by the audience; letting the audience “connect the dots”.

    For any good stage play, there needs to be at least one comedic character, currently played by Michael Mann; one serious scientist in face and demeanor currently played by Gavin Schmidt; and a muse to tell the audience the right way to think about what is happening, that character is currently played by Kevin Trenberth.

    All of climate science’s a stage, and all the scientists merely players. They have the exits and entrances, and one scientist in their time plays many parts. Their Acts are in seven ages: Infant science, mewling and puking in the Congressional nursery; Then, the whining interviewee with his satchel and shiny mourning face, creeping like a snail unwillingly to observational reality; And then the lover of one’s models and conclusions, sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad made to his Governmental mistress’s brow; Then, a soldier full of strange oaths of certainty, bearded like Moses, jealous in honor, sudden and quick in quarrel, seeking the bubble reputation even in the skeptic cannon’s mouth. The Justice awaits wisdom. The aged awaits redemption and then lapses into senility.

    We are all paying good money for this theater-in-the-round. Applause, applause, applause.

    • It’s more like “Waiting for Godot” – or waiting for CAGW but Natural Variability keeps turning up

    • Take Off That Mask!

      Masks, like the spots and stripes of
      tigers or leopards lurking in undergrowth
      may be a cover up for sinister intent,
      for a Macbeth say, who smiles and smiles,
      yet may, behind that smiling mask, be
      a damned villain waiting for nightfall
      to carry out an undercover
      nefarious (or murderous) event.

      Just as likely though, wearing a mask
      may be concealment for a shrinking self,
      the donning of a protective covering
      like a turtle or a whelk, or as in classic
      drama, putting on the mask of an Achilles,
      now there’s a way for an un-heroic actor
      to become a hero, just for one day.

      b-t-s

  62. Walt Allensworth

    “We are all confident idiots” – Judith Curry

    “The science is settled.” – Barack Hussein Obama

    I rest my case.

  63. Over-confidence results from a scientific method deficiency and being around others who have the problem.

  64. D o u g  C o t t o n 

    And, Rob Ellison, you can’t escape the fact that Pierrehumbert (when considering an earth without GH gases) made that huge mistake in reducing the 341W/m^2 by the 30% which energy diagrams very clearly show as being reflected by clouds back to space. Yes there are other reflecting surfaces (actually a part of the surface) assumed to reflect 6% when there are oceans, ice and snow. But that’s at least fully balanced out by a reduction in emissivity.

    So the temperature without GH gases would be at least 278K and you have no argument that can correctly refute that Rob Ellison.

  65. Dunning’s laudatory reference to Lewandowsky tends to weaken his credibility, but there is some merit in his extract. He acknowledges that people’s self-worth is wrapped up in their “foundational beliefs,” and sees that “getting people to part with their misbeliefs is a far trickier, far more important task.” But he seems to accept that there are people with “truer” beliefs that need to re-educate those with false beliefs. Surely those judging which are truer or superior beliefs are subject to the same delusional forces as those in whom they seek change? I fully support people gaining deeper self-knowledge, but the accent is on “self” – on developing wisdom through one’s own efforts, not being subject to “correction” by those external to you. And, yes, recognising what you don’t know – or at least that you don’t know, what it is you don’t know is unlikely to be immediately apparent – is critical to developing deeper understanding.

    But it’s not an easy process. My first ten-day Vipassana course in 1972 was extremely intense, like ten acid trips, and I learned much about myself that I didn’t like, which didn’t accord with my “self-view.” On succeeding courses, I continued to learn that my ignorance was far deeper than I realised, I continued to bring my weaknesses and failings to the surface, in a process which was often painful but always rewarding, as I shed conditionings and ignorance which had caused my pain and imperfections. This of course is an internal process, not being corrected by those with true beliefs (such as CAGW), and goes far beyond what Dunning appears to contemplate.

    [Steve Postrel – I owe you a post on wisdom – I’ll probably e-mail you when I’m ready to.]

  66. The BBC has an article relevant to my criticism of Dunning re who has the capacity to re-educate the allegedly misguided. Science Prof Anne Glover was appointed EU Chief Scientific Adviser in 2012, with the task of providing “independent expert advice on any aspect of science, technology and innovation as requested by the President.” Glover’s views included that opposing GM technology was “a form of madness.”

    This outraged that non-scientific body Greenpeace, whose protests have led to Glover’s post being summarily abolished. http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-30037531

    • Good.. The record of Chief Scientific Advisers such as in the UK is such that the position should be recognised as a dangerous “political hack” and the positions should be abolished.

      Scotland’s new Chief Scientific Adviser
      delivers an open lecture at the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
      How does she shape up?

      My curiosity as to who is Anne Glover had been heightened by the fact that the Scottish Executive had recently announced a radical change in the way it was going to fund scientific research in Scotland. It was going to concentrate the very substantial funding that it provides on projects that conform with its own political agenda, rather than on projects the scientists might want to do.

      My curiosity was further heightened by the fact that, once appointed, she announced that she wished to dispense with the services of the Independent Scientific Advisory body that previously helped the politicians. She wanted to select her own advisors. The Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) had previously played an important part in the organisation and running of that independent advisory body.

      To me, having spent many years in clinical medicine and in the application of research to clinical problems, this sounds pretty dangerous stuff, or at least potentially so. After all, there is a complete dearth of credible scientists amongst the MSPs that frequent Holyrood, although some who hold a basic degree may masquerade as such.

      To me, it seems that this “big sister” approach, together with her political masters, involves seizing far too much power over scientific endeavour. The consequence could be that the freedom of Scotland’s scientists may be severely restricted. What chance anyone who wants to pursue research in a topic that is not conducive to the political agenda of a bunch of essentially scientifically ignorant MSPs with their ideological hunches?
      http://www.land-care.org.uk/science/current_topics/2007/february%202007/glover_anne_15_02/glover_anne_15_02.html

      Can we really trust chief scientific officers?
      http://www.agenziafarmaco.gov.it/aifaminesi/201001/articolo_20100111_115257211.htm

      Sir David King bragged that his handling of the 2001 UK FMD epidemic made his reputation as the then newly anointed UK Chief Scientist. He further claimed that this substantiated further emphasis and power to “science” in guiding public policy.
      Nothing could be further from the truth!!

      Carnage from a computer
      WE ARE USED to politicians suppressing the truth. When scientists do it as well, we are in trouble. Not one of the Government’s senior advisers, from Sir David King, the chief scientist, downwards, has yet dared to confirm in public what most experts in private now accept, that the mass slaughter of farm animals in the 2001 foot-and-mouth outbreak was not only unnecessary and inhumane, but was also based on false statistics, bad science and wrong deductions
      https://judithcurry.com/2013/09/19/peer-review-the-skeptic-filter/#comment-383128

    • We should also fire Holdren while we are at it!!

  67. There are nu limits to the extent of misdirectuion in a complex field like climate. When you consider the relative ease with which German leaders were able to instigate two world wars in the twentieth century which caused the death of millions and took more than 5 years out of my life, it is not surprising that we can be misled by UN agents in the 21st century.

    One thing Charles Darwin taught us is that there is no guardian angel to protect us from our own folly. If we had not invented the atom bomb millions more would have died on the beaches of Japan. So science can point us in the right direction, even though it might seem terrible at the time.

    • I know this may sound like an oddity, but I tend to think World War II was caused by USA president Wilson. We just happen to have different world views. I got my idea from an old American professor. But I bet the French have a different point of view.

      • Thank you, Fernando. There was no Marshall Plan after WW1, but then European cities did not suffer the damage that they did in WW2. Wilson just wanted to distance the US from European wars. After WW1 the US was not the world’s policeman it is today.

      • Alexander, the idea is a bit different. Wilson entered a war he didn’t have to enter, then he walked off the scene and left the French and British to gut the german economy. Meanwhile they cut away and carved a piece of the Middle East, creating a series of colonies and countries which were set up to cause the gigantic mess we see today. The professor I knew said the USA should have stayed out of WWI, and this would have changed history. No Hitler, probably no USSR, no WWII, and no Middle East conflict. Israel wouldn’t have existed. By now we would have Mars colonies .

  68. Speaking of idiots, the fear-mongering never lets up. From the article:

    By now we’re familiar with some of the scarier potential impacts of climate change: Floods, fires, stronger hurricanes, violent conflicts. Well, here’s a new one to add to your nightmares. Lightning strikes in the continental United States will increase roughly 12 percent for every degree Celsius of global warming, a study published today in Science finds. If warming continues unchecked, that could translate into a 50 percent increase in lightning by the end of the century—three strikes then for every two strikes now. (On average, there are currently about 25 million strikes per year.)

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/11/climate-change-means-more-lightning

    • Jim2,

      Let’s give credit where credit is due. They did say “potentially” and “As a result, the Science study explains, previous estimates for how lightning will change with global warming range from an increase of 5 percent to and increase of more than 100 percent for each degree of temperature rise.” I coulda done that for free, but would have used 0-100% just for a better margin of error.

      And finally, “Taken together, those proxies accurately predicted 77 percent of actual lightning strikes observed in the US in 2011 by a national web of electromagnetic sensors.” Sure wanna see that.

      And I can’t get an accurate local weather forecast where I live. Guess I live in the wrong place.

    • Hi Danny, potentially, we could be eaten by green creatures flying around in UFOs. We could be hit by an asteroid. The Sun could suddenly swell to 5,000,000 times its current size. All the continents could sink. The air could suddenly, by quantum mechanical tunneling, move to Mars.

      Right, Danny. They said potentially. It’s still non-potential BS.

      • That was kinda my point. Did I forget my sarc font?

        I gotta work on my presentation as I guess the rest of the post was unclear. Or, did you forget your sarc font?

        Thanks Jim2

      • And I still wanna see where they “predicted” accurately 77% of lightening strikes in 2011. This is not sarcasm. I really want to see this!

      • Matthew R Marler

        Danny Thomas: Anyone have membership?

        I got this from the supporting on line material.


        1 Methods for 2011 observations
        To assess the \CAPE times precipitation” proxy for lightning, three different data sources are needed: high-vertical-resolution radiosonde data (to accurately calculate CAPE), hourly precipitation data (to provide a precipitation rate contemporaneous with the radiosonde
        releases), and the location and timing of lightning ashes throughout the contiguous U.S. With the three such data sets that were available for this analysis, they overlapped only during the year 2011. Those three data sets are as follows:

        CAPE is calculated directly from the radiosonde data archived by the Stratosphere-troposphere Processes And their Role in Climate (SPARC) project, which is part of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). For 2011, the SPARC project has the High Vertical Resolution Radiosonde Data (HVRRD), which stores the thermodynamic
        proles at 1-second intervals for radiosonde releases at 0 and 12 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) from 68 weather stations in the CONUS. For each radiosonde release, CAPE and the level of neutral buoyancy (LNB) is calculated for the adiabatic ascent of an air parcel taken from a height of 50 meters above the surface. As the parcel is lifted to
        dierent pressures, its temperature, vapor mass fraction, and condensate loading are obtained using a root solver and an expression for equivalent potential temperature that accounts for the latent heat of fusion and the parcel’s varying heat capacity [1]. The maps of CAPE and LNB are interpolated over the CONUS at a 0.5-degree resolution using a bicubic interpolation, and any negative values of CAPE or LNB
        that result from this procedure are set to zero. The upper-left panel of Fig. 1 shows the mean distribution of CAPE during 2011. The time series shown in Fig. 2 of the CONUS-mean CAPE at 0 and 12 GMT is obtained by spatially averaging these maps.

        Precipitation rates are obtained from hourly, gridded maps of precipitation that arearchived by the National Weather Service (NWS) River Forecast Centers (RFCs), which are part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) These maps represent a best estimate of the precipitation rate over the CONUS, using a combination of radar and rain-gauge data [2]. The data set contains a map of accumulated precipitation over the CONUS for each hour in 2011 at a resolution of 0.02-0.04 degrees. These hourly maps are then averaged down to a coarser grid of 0.5 degrees in both latitude and longitude, and then maps of mean precipitation rate at 0 and 12 GMT are generated by averaging the four maps centered on each time (e.g., the map at 12 GMT is the mean precipitation rate during 10 GMT to 14 GMT). The mean
        precipitation rate for 2011 is shown in the upper-right panel of Fig. 1. In this year, no gridded data is available for the western United States, so this region is excluded from the CONUS mean of precipitation. Since the vast majority of precipitation, high CAPE reports, and cloud-to-ground (CG) lightning ashes are to the east of the Rockies, the eect of this omission should be negligible. The time series shown in Fig. 2 of the
        CONUS-mean precipitation rate at 0 and 12 GMT is obtained by spatially averaging each four-hour map.

        Lightning ashes are obtained from the National Lightning Detection Network (NLDN [3, 4]), which is a ground-based collection of sensors that detect CG lightning ashes throughout the CONUS. For each ash, the data provide the time (to the nearest second) and location (to the nearest thousandth of a degree in longitude and latitude).
        Over the CONUS, the detection eciency of cloud-to-ground ashes is in the range of 90{95% [5]. The data have been ltered down to only cloud-to-ground ashes by removing all positive ashes with a peak current below 15 kA, which validation campaigns have found to be a good discriminator [5]. At 0 and 12 GMT throughout the year 2011, the ashes that occur within a four-hour window centered on the respective time (e.g., for 12 GMT, all the ashes occurring between 10 and 14 GMT) are binned
        onto a 0.5-degree grid. The lower-right panel of Fig. 1 shows the density of lightning ashes for the year 2011 obtained by averaging these maps. A similar result is obtained by averaging the CG ash rate during the same times (i.e., 22-02 GMT and 10-14 GMT) over the years 2004 to 2008. Since these times sample the minimum and maximum of
        the diurnal cycle in lightning ash rate over the CONUS (see Fig. 2 of [6]), the lower-right panel of Fig. 1 also broadly resembles the distribution of ashes in the full diurnal and annual mean (Fig. 1 of [6]). The time series shown in Fig. 2 of the CONUS-mean CG ash rate at 0 and 12 GMT is obtained by spatially averaging each four-hour map.

        I didn’t resolve all of the font translation problems.

        What is interesting here, and the reason that I quoted this stuff at length, is the explicit attempt to model the increase in the rate of non-radiative transfer of energy away from the surface. That is, the increased rate of lightning strikes accompanies an increase in the rate of evaporation of surface water, cloud formation, and rainfall. I have not read the entire paper yet, but work on the general problem of the increase in the rate of the hydrologic cycle is welcome.

      • Matthew R Marler

        to continue, here is the abstract from Romps et al: : Lightning plays an important role in atmospheric chemistry and in the initiation of wildfires, but the impact of global warming on lightning rates is poorly constrained. Here we propose that the lightning flash rate is proportional to the convective available potential energy (CAPE) times the precipitation rate. Using observations, the product of CAPE and precipitation explains 77% of the variance in the time series of total cloud-to-ground lightning flashes over the contiguous United States (CONUS). Storms convert CAPE times precipitated water mass to discharged lightning energy with an efficiency of 1%. When this proxy is applied to 11 climate models, CONUS lightning strikes are predicted to increase 12 ± 5% per degree Celsius of global warming and about 50% over this century.

        In order for the rate of lightning flashes to increase at about 12% per degree, the rate of evaporation has to increase at about 12% per degree, if I understand their methodology correctly. It takes about 660 times as much energy to vaporize a kg of water as to warm a kg of water by 1C; if the effect of doubling the concentration of CO2 is to increase downwelling LWIR by 3.7 W/m^2, then it is clear that the water can not warm very much in response to increased CO2. More refinement than that will take a while.

      • Matthew R Marler

        and there’s more: this from the paper:

        Here we propose that the lightning flash rate per area is proportional to the precipitation rate times convective available potential energy (CAPE). This proxy combines the observed linearity of flash rate on precipitation rate (16–19) with suggestions that flashes are positively correlated with CAPE (20–23). In mathematical form,
        Formula(1)

        where F is the lightning flash rate per area (m−2 s−1), P is the precipitation rate (kg m−2 s−1), and CAPE is in J kg−1. Using an adiabatic definition of CAPE, the product of CAPE and P is the theoretical maximum rate at which kinetic energy is imparted to ascending water condensates, in units of W m−2. The constant of proportionality, η/E, contains the dimensionless conversion efficiency η and the energy discharge per flash E (in joules). The efficiency η is the ratio of power per area dissipated by lightning to the CAPE per area per time available to condensates. We do not propose here a specific charging mechanism, but we note that most charging mechanisms are consistent with the notion that higher updraft speeds and water contents should yield higher flash rates.

        formula 1, which did not copy, is:

        F = η/E x P x CAPE

        I think that this paper will prove to be important in the debate about whether increased CO2/surface temp will or won’t increase cloud cover, because they explicitly propose to model an increase in the evaporation rate leading to the increase in lightning flash rate.

      • Matthew,

        Thank you for that. There was obviously a lot of work put in to these 3 posts. It’s going to take me some time to go through and absorb as best I can.

        I really appreciate your work. It will likely benefit those of a more scientific bent than I, but your effort is of extreme significance to me.

        Respectfully,

      • Matthew R Marler

        Danny Thomas: Thank you for that.

        I sent a copy of the paper and the supporting online material to Prof Curry with the suggestion that she post it for discussion, if the copyright laws permit it.

      • Would you be so kind as to tell Steven that my thrashing about led to a find that may support that I have value even as I break two of his three filters? :)

        And maybe provided some entertainment value? :)

      • Matthew R Marler

        Danny Thomas: Would you be so kind as to tell Steven that my thrashing about led to a find that may support that I have value even as I break two of his three filters? :)

        Maybe later. Up until now, Steven Mosher has always used the phrase “the science” in a way that excluded the science related to evaporation and the non-radiative transport of (latent) heat from the surface. I addressed this problem to him again today at the blog WattsUpWithThat, and I provided the link to the paper. I’ll see whether he responds, and if so how.

        I am hopeful that the paper will stimulate discussion and analysis, and stimulate efforts to replicate and extend the methods used.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Danny Thomas, read my comment and his here, if you are interested:

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/11/13/guy-stewart-callendar/#comment-1789012

      • I’m very interested although in following with Steven’s 2nd law of political filtering I must say I can’t do the physics. I would be most interested in the follow up. The entire paper was rec’d via Dr. Curry. Much thanks. I believe I can absorb at least a portion of it and have sent it to a friend for his review also. He’s an engineer so has some background in physics and maybe he can also provide assistance.

      • Matthew R Marler

        According to Romps et al, an increase of 1C is calculated to increse the rate of lightning discharges by 11%, +/- 5%. They say that this amount is directly proportional to the energy available. the get the rate by multiplying the energy available times the rainfall rate. Essentially, their causal analysis, or narration, is that increased temp produces faster evaporation and rainfall, and the increased rate of energy transfer in that speeded up process is what raises the lightning rate by 11%. Notice the implication of the proportionality assumption: according to the energy flow diagram published by Trenbert et al in Science in 2009 (it’s reproduced on p24 of David Randall’s book “Atmosphere, Clouds and Climate), the average rate of transfer of energy from surface to upper troposphere by evapotranspiration is 80 W/m^2, 11% of which is 8.8 (range 5.5 to 16.5) W/m^2. The effect of doubling the CO2 concentration is to increase downwelling LWIR by 3.7 W/m^2. It must be obvious that a doubling of CO2 concentration does not provide a sufficient increase in power both to raise the water temperature by 1C and to increase the lightning flash rate by 11%. If the entire 3.7 W/m^2 were invested in the evapotranspiration/cloud/rainfall process (not impossible, as far as I can tell, as the increased radiation is added to the surfaces where evaporation is already occurring), the maximum rate increase would be 3.7/80.0 = 4.6%, and that would produce no temperature increase at all.

        I look forward to more refined calculations from others.

      • Matthew

        I haven’t been following this part of the sub thread but are you talking about the new lightning study the BBC has been promoting the last few days?

        In essence they are saying that due to rising temperatures because of co2 we can expect 3 lightning strikes instead of 2 by 2100 with related positive feedbacks

        Tonyb

      • Matthew R Marler

        tonyb: I haven’t been following this part of the sub thread but are you talking about the new lightning study the BBC has been promoting the last few days?

        I do not know if the BBC is reporting on the same paper, but the lead author is Romps, and the paper has been published in Science. According to Romps et al, each degree C increases the lightning strike frequency by 11%, +/- 5%. Going with the upper limit, a 50% increase in lightning strike rate would require a temp increase of about 3C. So a 50% increase “is consistent with” a high end estimate of the effect of warming, and a high end estimate of warming through the rest of the 21st century.

      • Matthew

        Thanks. The BBC assume a 3 degree rise by 2100 so that looks like the same study. Sounds interesting. I’ve seen you posting in various places about it but how much credence the paper has I don’t know.

        tonyb

      • Mathew R Marler – In order for the rate of lightning flashes to increase at about 12% per degree, the rate of evaporation has to increase at about 12% per degree

        Matthew, I believe that you are misinterpreting Romps et al. The rate of evaporation increases by only a couple of percent/degree C, a result consistent with the the overall vertical energy transport under conditions of increased CO2. See the following discussions:

        How Much Will Precipitation Increase With Global Warming?

        Isaac Held’s blog

      • Matthew R Marler

        Pat Cassen: Matthew, I believe that you are misinterpreting Romps et al. The rate of evaporation increases by only a couple of percent/degree C, a result consistent with the the overall vertical energy transport under conditions of increased CO2. See the following discussions:

        If you can show where I misinterpret Romps et al, I would appreciate it. The explicitly assume (in words and in the equation that I quoted) that lightning strike rate is proportional to the product of the available energy and the precipitation rate. They may be wrong, but that is what they say, afaict.

        If Held is correct and precipitation increases 2% per degree, then the rate of upwelling non-radiative transport of heat increases by 1.6 W/m^2, based on the figure from Trenberth et al. in that case, a doubling of CO2 concentration can not produce a 1C increase in mean surface temp. Held may of course have a more accurate estimate than Romps et al. I thank you for the link to his blog.

        Does Held say anything about how cloud cover changes in the rate of precipitation increases 2%.

      • Matthew – The[y] explicitly assume (in words and in the equation that I quoted) that lightning strike rate is proportional to the product of the available energy and the precipitation rate.

        Correct.

        If …precipitation increases 2% per degree, then the rate of upwelling non-radiative transport of heat increases by 1.6 W/m^2, based on the figure from Trenberth et al. in that case, a doubling of CO2 concentration can not produce a 1C increase in mean surface temp.

        I presume that your 1.6 W/m^2 is based on the Trenberth et al. estimate of 80 W/m^2 evaporative flux. But from there on, I’m not sure what your reasoning is. The energy required for evaporation is returned to the atmosphere where condensation occurs; it is only one term among several that sum to the net energy transport.

        My suggestion that you were misinterpreting Romps et al. was based on your statement that the increase in the rate of lightning flashes required a quantitatively commensurate increase in the rate of evaporation; it does not, and Romps et al. do not claim that it does.

        Does Held say anything about how cloud cover changes i[f] the rate of precipitation increases 2%.

        Not that I know of, but you can ask Held. I know of no compelling answer to the question of how clouds will change with warming.

        Three things to keep in mind:

        1. Clouds (depending on type) provide both positive and negative feedbacks;
        2. Only a tiny percentage of atmospheric water resides in clouds at any instant of time, which makes conjectures about their response to warming diffiucult;
        3. Although evaporation equals precipitation on average, most clouds do not produce precipitation (in extratropical regions – not sure about the tropics). They form by condensation due to transport to cool places, but then evaporate again as they are transported to warmer places.

    • I’ve been using the relative humidity outputs from a 54 climate model ensemble, and the results show global warming causes giant snowflakes. This in turn leads to more vehicle accidents because a giant snowflake can drop a huge amount of ice crystals on a windshield. This factor seems to be worsened if the vehicle is one of those super aerodynamic electric battery driven gizmos (the lower turbulence factor allows the giant snowflakes to stay in one piece until they splatter and cause the accident). A new paper is in the works.

      • Fernando

        Sorry, but i have already written this paper for which I was very well funded by BIg Car. In addition I have also got the exclusive rights for 25 years to provide the solution. Giant windscreen wiper blades.

        You might as well stop your own works.

        tonyb

    • Curious George

      Matthew – the National Lightning Detection Network has registered every lightning strike in the 48 states for at least 10 years – their history is not prominent on their web page. It is a subscription service. It should be possible to compare historical trend in lightning strikes with a historical trend of CO2, instead of a speculation. Did the authors attempt it?

  69. So the previous article said we need to stick probes in the ocean to generate data to drive understanding. This article demands we stick probes in peoples heads to understand opinion. The later seems like a jolly (*) distraction while we wait for the former.

    JC enjoy the pathologizing of your scientific opinion.

    (*) jolly = nightmarish.

  70. D o u g  C o t t o n 

    At TOA the solar constant is about 1,362W/m^2. On average 30% is reflected by clouds, but not on a clear day of course. Then 21% is absorbed by the atmosphere. So on a clear day with the Sun directly overhead in the tropics we could get 1,076W/m^2 which has a radiating temperature of 371.15K – almost the boiling point of water. But so what? In reality the Sun does not have sufficient time to reach that temperature during the day, and much of the energy is being lost immediately by non-radiative processes.

    What we learn from this is that, whatever radiative flux we use, the actual surface temperature will not be as high as the radiative temperature and could be 50 degrees less in cases like this. The mean flux reaching the surface is only 163W/m^2 which is obviously far less, and this flux could not raise the surface temperature even to the radiating temperature of 231K.

  71. “I decided not to pull excerpts from these posts, but my summary point is this. Psychologization can be a dangerous tool in ideological warfare.

    I am very concerned about the brand of psychological research conducted by Stephan Lewandowsky, that seems to be more
    of a tool in ideological warfare than anything else.”

    I think tool should be understood that fires or bombs are a tools.

    Or Lewandowsky is a monkey playing with a fire.

    Perhaps I should be worried about the monkey, but he probably just burn
    himself- not too badly- and will learned a valuable life lesson.

    As for the general point, I think we no where near the end of science, despite reading a book that tried to claim we are [funny stuff].
    Or we no where vaguely close to the end of science.
    And we ever encounter a very advanced civilization of space alien, they too will probably be no where near the end of science.
    Or think it’s possible what we think are an “advanced civilization” are not actually even ahead of us in terms science in general or vague wise. Or just because we happen to be stupid, about going out in the universe and learning various things, the space aliens don’t have to share the same kind of stupid, but they can have infinite possibility to be stupid in other ways.

    Generally only once psychology can manage the relatively easy task of making most insane persons, sane, would I be very impress with their tools skills.

    Or related to the insane, how about solving the problem of criminals in general?
    I would nice to not have to keep millions of people in prison.

    Or manage the personal task of not always lying [being a idiot].
    Or if they can even manage the task of being somewhat happy- that would be tremendous progress and of great usefulness.

  72. This is good:
    “As such, wisdom may not involve facts and formulas so much as the ability to recognize when a limit has been reached.” I think this is part of the warmist/skeptic divide. Some are saying things near, at or past the limits of our knowledge. We might say weather prediction limits out by 14 days. The skeptics may hear that that limit doesn’t matter on longer time scales. I might think there must be something wrong with that weather prediction limit, that someone is standing on the other side of the limit using knowledge I am was not aware of. I don’t know that I have ever actually gone past a limit, but it could be interesting.

  73. @jcurry said

    “””””In the context of the climate debate, Lewandowsky’s psychological research is highly controversial, see discussions by Steve McIntyre and Joe Duarte.”””””

    Naturally. The theory of climate change is controversial also: See discussions by.. examples of climate change “Deniers” or “skeptics.”

    Shocking how climate change skeptics are more informed – or think that they are – on the issue of climate change than the scientists who professionally study the issue of climate change. Yet use the general philosophy of our lack of knowledge, or misplaced expertise, to of course perpetuate that very same illusion, and thus continue to refute the climate scientists who professionally study the issue, but almost any mechanism, tangential, or otherwise unrelated argument under the sun.

    Thomas Jefferson said:

    Ignorance is preferable to error, and he is less remote from the truth who believes what is wrong.

    By ignorance, Jefferson was referring to lack of knowledge, which is a little different than the word is sometimes used today, meaning incorrect knowledge, biases, prejudices, and presumptive generalizations. What skeptics have is both a lack of knowledge, and a lot of error, which is a huge base of supposed knowledge that all fits the view that skeptics either want to believe or had a predisposition toward, and hit with massive misinformation, reaffirmed or, in rare instances, acquired. Without seeing that in many instances it is fear of redress, massive economic presumption, a fealty toward fossil fuel use or a basic “entitlement” to cheap fossil fuels, a fear of transforming our economy, and a belief that progress is whatever we do to propel a market no matter the externality, that are all radically coloring the “science,” since that is easy to argue against or “not believe,” as is anything that can’t fully be proven until after the fact, if one wants.

    Skeptics of course will also immediately use Jefferson’s quote to bolster the idea that climate scientists have the basic science on climate change wrong – missing the point completely of both climate change and Jefferson’s quote, yet serving as an example of the latter: They believe that climate scientists are wrong without having anywhere near the knowledge of climate scientists, clinging to all sorts of rhetoric devices under the guise of logic to continue that belief. Such as three quarters of the blog posts on this site (if not more) engage in, while the basic issue, and what it actually is, and why it is a problem, is repeatedly ignored, or misconstrued.

    Jefferson also, aptly, said:

    I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led.

    This idea could be rearranged to capture today’s Foxy approach, on the Climate Change issue:

    We were bold in pursuit of supporting what we wanted as facts, never fearing to follow whatever advocation was necessary to adhere to them, and equally bold in our pursuit of ways to dismiss whatever real facts, or even good logic, happened by accident to occasionally come our way.

    See the first comment to the piece just linked to. Remarkably, it not only serves as a perfect example of the latter on climate change, one couldn’t make up a better example of it.

  74. I used to just trust science as a default habit. Which turned out to be very misguided (physics, chemistry and biology etc. aside).

    I actually only came to have second thoughts about the IPPC-story because there is so much bogus science in other areas that could be described as dealing with complex systems (more or less big parts of psychology
    psychiatry, psychotherapy, economics). A consequence was to ask: so what about the climate?

    Some good lit. might be (besides Kahneman of cause): Robin Dawes (Rational Choice in an Uncertain World …), and perhaps https://www.mpib-berlin.mpg.de/en/staff/gerd-gigerenzer .

    Wampold about psychotherapy.

    Of cause all of Quine but its a bit of work. You’l have to have a solid enough
    understanding of formal logic.

  75. I have thought seriously and studiously and come ter the conclusion
    that I am but a no-nothing idiot. Say, if Socrates could say, ” I know nothing,” how could a serf say anything more? Or any Dunning-Kruger
    expert like Lewandowsky, say, reviling skeptics questioning a-witch-way
    -the-wind-blows-con-sens-us? Tsk.

  76. Academists and ivory towers…
    http://abstrusegoose.com/165

  77. Fabulous thoughts, Judith. The much missing “humility” these days…

  78. Judtih,

    In my first job after getting my Ph.D., three decades ago, working in the semiconductor industry, I happened to be in a meeting that involved planning to acquire some equipment that I knew nothing about. So, I kept my mouth shut, hoping I might learn something.

    After the meeting, my supervisor, a Ph.D. from Taiwan, chastised me for being silent, so I explained that I just would have wasted everyone’s time if I had spoken up. He explained, helpfully, that I just did not understand America: in America, he explained, you had to pretend to know what you were talking about even if you were faking it completely!

    A few months later, I was in another meeting with my office-mate, who was also a Chinese immigrant from Taiwan and who was the company’s technical expert on our manufacturing process. A bunch of Americans in the meeting were spouting utter nonsense, and I kept looking to my office-mate to correct them. She remained silent.

    Afterwards, I asked her whether I was right that what the others had said was indeed complete nonsense, and she confirmed that it was. So, I exasperatedly asked why she did not point this out in the meeting: she answered that, since she was not absolutely sure of the correct solution to the problem we had been discussing, she was unwilling to say anything, although she was absolutely sure that what our colleagues had been saying was total nonsense.

    From which I conclude that the phenomena you are discussing has a cultural aspect. (It would not surprise me if younger Chinese have mastered the lesson my Chinese supervisor tried to teach me and have learned to compete with Americans in terms of faking knowledge they do not possess.)

    Dave Miller in Sacramento

    • This “talking non sense” issue can be a serious problem if nobody dares raise their voice and object to this nonsense. Very educated PhDs require specific orders and questioning during meetings to avoid having the whole team take a trip to Abylene:

      http://www.executiveagenda.com/resources/abileneparadoxsummary1.pdf

      • @ Fernando Leanme

        The linked article is good, but if you EVER have an opportunity to see the video of Dr. Harvey’s lecture on the ‘Abilene Paradox’, take it. It conveys the same principles as the document you linked, but Dr. Harvey’s taped lecture is rolling on the floor funny. Peanut oil to jet fuel was one example, and the ‘trip to Abilene’ that inspired him was presented, believably, as his personal experience while visiting his in-laws in West Texas one summer.

        I tried to buy the video, but the only copies I could find were in the $900 range. I called Dr. Harvey to see if he had any copies (this was 15 years or so after I had seen the video) and he didn’t have any. At least none he was willing to part with.

    • First, let me thank you for the reference to the book on decoherence.

      WRT BS, it does happen in some companies, but the degree depends a lot on corporate culture. It’s far more productive and fun when BS isn’t tolerated.

      You seem to have painted with an overly broad brush.

      • jim2 wrote to me:
        >You seem to have painted with an overly broad brush.

        Hmmm…. I related two of my experiences and suggested that this shows there is a “cultural aspect” to the matter. That is painting with an “overly broad brush”??

        As it happens, I married into a Chinese family, so I actually do know beyond reasonable doubt that this is a Chinese cultural trait: the in-laws have discussed it in great detail over the years. Among Chinese, it is not just my former supervisor who know of this.

        Of course, as Joshua points out, to cover this in detail would require a long discussion, which is why I restricted myself to just describing two personal work experiences.

        But… let’s face it: we Yanks have a big BS problem!

        Dave

      • Dave. I’m not disputing any cultural differences. Instead, the broad brush remark was referencing the fact that not all US denizens are fond of BS. I know I’m not. Again, in my judgment, you are painting with too broad a brush.

      • jim2 wrote to me:
        > Instead, the broad brush remark was referencing the fact that not all US denizens are fond of BS. I know I’m not.

        Jim I assumed that of course everyone who reads this blog is intelligent enough to know that not all US citizens are fond of BS!

        But, braggadocio is admired (and practiced) by a lot of Americans at a level it was not admired among traditional Chinese (I’m not sure about the younger generation of Chinese today). The two experiences I had illustrated that fact with a handful of Americans and also indicated that Chinese seem to be aware of that fact.

        I fear it is you who thought that my two examples were meant to apply universally.

        I think America does has a BS problem, but of course that does not mean every single American does.

        Dave

      • Physicist Dave, “I think America does has a BS problem, but of course that does not mean every single American does.”

        American BS is a combination sales and coping. Just about every American community has tall tales. If you work for Ford you wouldn’t want to say your product is almost as good as a Dodge.

        Americans come by it honestly. Since we are mainly immigrants from just about every nation in the world, you get a blend of folklore. High latitude cultures seem to be the best at creating larger than life images probably because of those long winters with not much better to do. Do you think the Norse just flipped a coin to come up with Iceland and Greenland?

        If you really want to experience folklore in the making, buy an American, Aussie and a Brit fisherman a drink or two to prime the pump.

      • Aye, CAPTDALLAS!

        First liar doesn’t stand a chance!
        “I caught 20 huge fish today”
        “How huge?”
        “The smallest was over 30 inches long!”

        “Ah. We use those for bait”!

    • Dave –

      I’ve worked quite a bit with international clients/students on identifying and adapting to differences in cross-cultural communicative norms.

      There is quite a bit of literature that discusses the specific type of differences that you wrote about – in particular when you’re talking about cultures that are more consensus-based (as compared to American culture in particular) such as Japan and Korea in particular.

      One classic article I remember discusses how Japanese executives during business negotiations with American execs would deliberately rely on American boastfulness and bluster as a way to gain information without revealing information in return.

      I will say, however, that I think that the phenomenon you’re discussing is a bit more complex. One factor to consider is that in some cultures, making a “mistake” has a greater “shame” component whereas in this culture there is generally more acceptance that if you explore issues more freely you might make more mistakes but you can learn from those mistakes. There are also aspects such as that in some cultures, in a public context, you shouldn’t express your own personal opinion if it contradicts that of a superior, or someone older than you. In fact, sometimes there’s an expectation that you not even express an opinion until after the people present who are older than you have expressed theirs.

      ==> “It would not surprise me if younger Chinese have mastered the lesson my Chinese supervisor tried to teach me and have learned to compete with Americans in terms of faking knowledge they do not possess.”

      I think it is some movement in that direction – but it is very challenging to ask someone to shift across cultural norms of communication. Even relatively young people from Korea and Japan (in particular) have a great deal of difficulty feeling comfortable freely expressing opinions in academic and business group contexts in the States. Of course, many Americans have that difficulty also, so I’m only talking in general terms.

      For example, if someone is from a culture where it is considered rude and selfish to interrupt a teacher to ask questions when perhaps you are the only one in the room who doesn’t know the answer – then it can be frustrating to try to teach them that sometimes participating in class discussions is a crucial component of the prevailing instructional norm. On the other hand, imagine how difficult it might be to change the behavior of someone, who is accustomed to interrupting a teacher’s ongoing lecture to ask questions for clarification, that they would be judged as selfish and rude should they raise their hand to ask a question (that other students might already know the answer to).

      I have seen similar types of struggles with the challenges across cultural norms in working with American minority students or students who grew up in rural environments trying to adapt to the communicative norm in “prestigious” American colleges and universities.

      • Nice comment, Joshua.

      • Basically building on your comment about broad brush, jim2, and yes, corporate culture is a big part of the mix also.

      • Joshua wrote to me:
        >One classic article I remember discusses how Japanese executives during business negotiations with American execs would deliberately rely on American boastfulness and bluster as a way to gain information without revealing information in return.

        Yes: my wife, who is the daughter of Chinese immigrants, has been quite explicit about using that approach for decades.

        Joshua also alluded to:
        >when you’re talking about cultures that are more consensus-based (as compared to American culture in particular) such as Japan and Korea in particular.

        Curiously, most of the Korean males I have worked wit were just as good at BSing as we Yanks. I have not worked with enough Japanese to form an opinion.

        My main point, by the way, was that the American acceptance and even encouragement of incredible levels of “faking it” is not inevitable: it is a cultural trait that we have but that not everyone has.

        And, my old supervisor is probably right that I would have risen higher and faster if I had been more willing to fake it. But, alas, I suffer from the old-fashioned scientific ethics, no longer au courant, it seems, that I should proportion my beliefs to the evidence (AKA “Clifford’s principle”).

        Dave

    • Many years ago at Argonne National Lab we had a big meeting to try to put together some sort of innovative project. Someone was confidently spouting a nonsense idea. 2 of us pointed out that it was nonsense, I thought in a strictly technical way. The department head later pulled us aside and chided us for (to paraphrase) not being respectful to idiots. The whole department a few years later imploded and most lost their jobs due to incompetence of the leadership.

      • It can be a lose/lose proposition, especially if you are a newbie.

        Years ago I started in a new job where I had the right skills, but lacked (initially) the fine-grained knowledge of the subject matter that it takes a bit of time to pick up. My supervisor, who had no role in hiring me and hated me from Day 1, put me to work with a team on a complex and sensitive project. I worked hard, but mostly kept my mouth shut because (contrary to the Dunning-Kruger theory) I knew the extent of my ignorance, and concentrated on trying to learn as much as possible while contributing as much as I could.

        At the end of the project, which was successful, she called me in and announced that she was very disappointed in my lack of “proactive” input.

        You can’t win sometimes. No doubt if I’d made a fool of myself with bluster, I would have been berated for that instead. Note that she couldn’t find a single mistake in my actual work.

        A lot of this stuff is just office politics, IMO.

  79. John Smith (it's my real name)

    is observed climate change due to natural variation or human activity?

    for heaven’s sake
    human activity is a natural variation
    (unless you believe in heaven, then we have a problem)

    let’s prove that without human activity the climate would be more stable

    let’s prove that if there were only women, and no men, there would be no war

    let’s prove that without Australia, there would be no ‘roo

    is the observed increase in CO2 in the atmosphere causing changes in climate distinguishable from historical variation?
    good question
    conclusion from current observation
    no

    transubstantiation … always a fun fight
    never gets old

  80. @ Dr. Curry

    ” So scientific overconfidence seems to be a victimless crime, with the only ‘victim’ being science itself.”

    I think you need to rethink this one, Dr. Curry.

    Reflect back over the last 20 odd years at the actions that have been taken by the politicians, citing the works of absolutely confident scientists as justification, and convince yourself that ‘science’ is the only victim.

    Our kids are being brainwashed from kindergarten on to the point that many of them are literally scared into psychosis.

    We are engaged in the process of shutting down civilization, with the stated objective of eliminating somewhere around 90% of the people.

    The wretched poor of the third world are being denied access to electricity in the name of ‘controlling carbon’ and ‘fighting climate change’.

    The government is assuming dictatorial powers over every aspect of our lives in the name of saving the planet from the ACO2 monster.

    I could go on indefinitely, itemizing victims of scientific overconfidence, if I really believed that the ‘scientists’ involved were actually confident of the patent BS they are peddling. Sadly, they don’t have to believe it; just say it loudly, confidently, and often and invest anyone who questions them with pariah-hood, and the political mission is accomplished. The politicians will continue their march toward totalitarianism, fully justified by the absolute certainty of the scientific emergency proclaimed by the confident (Overconfident? Why YOU must be one of those deluded, anti-science ‘deniers’.) scientists. Who are funded by the politicians doing the marching. And who AREN’T funded if they do not exude ABSOLUTE confidence in the critical need for the politicians to march.

    Victimless? Try to buy a 75 cent 100 watt bulb.

  81. Imagine if the scientists at CERN had said ‘Higgs exist, take our word for it – we won’t release the data because people will try and find something wrong with it”.

  82. Dunning’s commentary (minus the undeserved praise of Lewandowsky) restates the pedagogical premise of Plato’s dialogues. Those playfully serious works invite us to discover our own ignorance in the specific blind spots that define the all-too-human archetypes represented by Socrates’ interlocutors. Does Dunning realize he is another one of Whitehead’s footnotes to Plato?

  83. Joshua,
    Re:’What’s your technique for removing the politics from the discussions of policy, psychology, science, and others?”
    My response is in mod for some reason. Hope it’ll get to you soon.

  84. John Smith (it's my real name)

    John Carter
    I clicked to the link in your comment concerning Roy Spencer, to find a article by … you

    your first line is “Roy Spencer is not a scientist.”

    your second paragraph begins…
    “In the real world, Scientist Roy Spencer has a repeated history of errors”

    ok,,,I tried
    thanks for reminding me why I became a “denier”
    … ’cause the only “scientists” are ones who agree with you

    Sir
    I consider it my solemn duty to resist this kind of thinking

  85. Hólmsteinn Jónasson

    * * Professor Henrik Svensmark, House of Commons, 3 December 2014 **
    Professor Henrik Svensmark is a physicist at the Danish National Space Institute and director of the Center for Sun-Climate Research at the Danish Space Research Institute.
    Since the early 1990s there has been strong evidence that changes in the Earth’s climate follow changes in the Sun’s electromagnetic activity. In principle this correlation might explain much of the warming in the 20th Century, but no mechanism was known by which the Sun could affect terrestrial climate so much.
    Svensmark’s research has established a possible link between galactic cosmic rays and terrestrial climate change mediated primarily by variations in the intensity of the solar wind. This celestial mechanism can significantly influence cloudiness and thereby temperatures on Earth.
    In his talk, Dr Svensmark will present an update on his Sun-Climate research.
    Date: 3 December 2014
    Time: 18:00
    Venue: House of Commons, London SW1, Committee Room 15

  86. For Dr. Curry,

    Underdetermination sidetracked by overconfidence? That just sounds too funny? :)

    • Yes @Jimc who shows a map of snow cover on part of the U.S. as a comment on this thread.

      Weather over a few months or weeks of about 1/200th of the surface of the globe is a relevant expression of the climate – or weather patterns over several decades ( about 15,000 weeks) of the entire globe. Kidding. It’s about as relevant as the price of tea futures this afternoon in China.

      Climate change is also about regional change, not every area will change equally, or the same degree, and while it is generally about warming, it is also about, and one of the main points of those who studied this FROM DECADES AGO was increasing weather volatility. Of which your map is also an example. Although on its own an infinitesimally trivial one.

  87.  

    Here’s a link to the inverted plot of the scalar sum of the angular momentum of the Sun and all the planets. Clearly the 934-year and superimposed 60-year cycles correlate well with Earth’s climate that is thus regulated by planetary orbits.
     
    Carbon dioxide has nothing to do with it, and never will.
     

  88. I have had a nightmare recently where I felt I started to understand just how much I did not understand of the world I am ensconced in and cannot get out of. It was a horrible feeling of being trapped. I can rationalize it both in the dream and awake as that all emotions are abstract concepts but when one is feeling an emotion logic does not work.
    How sad to realise that Dunning admires Lewindowsky’s work. Neither of them can be said to have much insight emotionally or professionally no matter how logical they think their thought processes are.
    Of course in assessing them I cannot conceive of how blind I am myself.
    They are blind to the psychological damage they cheerfully inflict on other people who do not agree with their views.
    I understand the damage I do to them with this comment, it does not make it right for me to comment either, only needed to keep my blindness in check.

    • Having found through exhaustive research that misinformation, stubbornness and self-deception are rife in this naughty world, Dunning could not wait to share his discovery. A grateful world has named important, er, stuff after him.

      Dunning had to share, but tacking on Kruger, whoever he was, turned out well, the Germanic surname being a real clincher with thinky types, as Robert Ludlum learned when dreaming up book titles. If you want an effect named after you, Lewandowsky is obviously going to have more cred than Smith, but it’s not as simple as that. You still have to do the push-polling and cook all those dodgy stats.

      It’s been a real breakthrough, and so much better than just: “Yours is a perfect example of cognitive dissonance” or “To quote Orwell” or “As Kahan has shown.” Now people can get mad and even with opponents by learnedly suggesting that those who disagree with them are operating under the influence of a sort-of-medically-defined “effect”. Whoever can pronounce Dunning-Kruger first wins. It’s all part of the art of pathologising opposition and skepticism. Cool Hand Luke needs to get his head right.

      And if anyone is disagreeing with me right now…sorry, but you got Dunning-Kruger.

      I said it first!

  89. Beware the Dunham-Kruger syndrome. If you’re absolutely sure you’re right, you very probably are one.

  90. I predict that psychologists, sociologists, and philosophers will be of little use to elucidate the mechanism of the climate. It will require gathering more data and a lot more hard work by scientists.

  91. Should say “don’t” have degrees in physics. I’m an idiot.

  92. Curious George

    Danny – don’t worry about credentials. I studied vacuum physics, so I know everything about nothing, that’s a great credential to make fun of. Take Willis Eschenbach who makes good science despite being derided for his high school education. On the opposite side, take “The Reference Frame” blogger who is certainly a mathematical genius but thinks that he is a universal genius. Still worth following and very informative.

    About confidence, we all may be confident idiots, bur some take a next step and become useful idiots.

    • Curious,

      Thank you for that. I’m confident that I’m an idi*t. But my hope is to become/remain useful! :)

      I read the story about Willis’ journey and found it to be quite intriguing. I have so much to learn. I hope to learn the stories of others. And I can only hope that I may provide some value no matter how miniscule.

  93. Comment five hundred in confidence.
    ========

  94. Aye! For whom?

  95. There is a profound problem being touched on here: And that is the innate assumptions we all must carry into any debate on the truth value of a proposition.

    This is metaphysics where it actually has some use.

    Consider: a schizophrenic apparently hears voices that are indistinguishable from real voices, and they are only distinguishable by the fact that others do NOT hear them.

    So the schizophrenic has tow choices, to trust his own judgement and sensory apparatus, or to trust that of others. Who may be lying to him…no wonder he is paranoid!

    What is the truth? Even something as simple as an ‘objective fact’ is heavily influenced by cultural norms.

    This has lead the post modern philosophers on a heady trail of statements like ‘there is no truth outside of cultural context’, and by extension, to the assumption that ‘the truth is ultimately what people believe it to be in the terms in which they see it’.

    UNfortunately, that is a self defeating statement: by the same token their won ‘truth’ that there is no truth…is only a cultural construct…;-)

    A more pragmatic approach to this is to recognise that there has to be a truth somewhere beyond what we simply believe: and although that truth may be biased and colored by our own cultural context, it cannot be completely at odds with the reality of ‘whatever is the case’ otherwise it will lead to results and predications that are patently false….

    In this light we see that there is a Truth somewhere, but its forever unattainable in absolute terms, bit we can use reality as a yardstick – and our experience, to judge whether some particular cultural viewpoint is more true than another.

    The schizophrenic has a choice: Remain in a private isolated and profoundly asocial world, trusting to his inner voices, or to give up the reality of his won perceptions and join the human race, albeit as a flawed being in terms of messed up sensory perceptions.

    So too the climate believer has a problem. The socialised norm is to believe AGW, especially in those that are ecologically and politically aware.

    To give up those inner voices and external voices that have presented a complete moral and scientific view encapsulated in the doctrines of Climate Change, and strike out on a lone path as a sceptic, is a very very tough thing to do. A bit like being a Zionist in WWII Germany.

    Most people simply do not have the ability to distinguish the scientific reasoning from the snake oil. WER have to take enormous parts of te wprld on trust, and we place our trust in those who, by and large, we feel know more than we do on any gibven subject.

    The tragedy of the 20th century is the utter and total abuse in every sphere of human knowledge that those who understand that process, have put it to.

    The post modern marketeers have abused media – mass media – and the name of experts, to promote a visions of the world that has little or nothing to do with what it really is, and everything to do with how they would like you to see it, for the sole purpose of power and profit.

    Carefully constricted emotional narratives guide people into views of the world that are profitable and powerful for those forming them.

    And remember, these are the people who believe themselves that there is no truth but what people can be persuaded to believe. Politically, this is almost true, but when it comes to climate,. they over reached themselves. No amount of faith will make the world one degree warmer than it actually is, even if you manipulate the data.

    And that friends, is the unfolding story of the 21st century: Propaganda has gone too far. So much of almost everything one hears and reads is twisted and spun and woven into what is essentially a tissue of lies, that the average man in the street is beginning to completely distrust the main stream media and the political apparatus of the state.

    Conspiracy theories abound. It is ultimately totally confusing to the point where I personally believe people are just ‘switching off’ and disregarding almost everything they are told.

    There is in short an almost total trust-vacuum.

    Whether the human race will learn to do without trust, or establish a new way to decide who can be trusted, is the burning question of the age.

    • Almost anything relevant in the above comment, in keeping with the pattern of climate change denialism, is backward or incorrect, but this in particular is interesting:

      “The socialised norm is to believe AGW,”

      The commenter, among other things, has convinced himself of the fact that believing in AGW is the socialized norm, but not that there is any solidarity in not “subscribing” to the idea of AGW but going against – with a band of like minded fighting the ills of presumed conscientiousness groupthink run amok – said norm so powerfully, insularly, and self selectively reinforced on blogs and websites (and even several media sources) like this, so much so as to similarly represent a socialization, if not more so.

      What’s also interesting is that socialized norm or not, more than half of the U.S.population doesn’t believe in real, or significant, AGW; believing either that the climate isn’t much changing right now, or if it is that it is in large or full part simply just coincidental to but otherwise has little to do with the very same atmospheric change that climate scientists say already is and is going to shift the globe’s climate.

      The commenter also writes:

      “””Most people simply do not have the ability to distinguish the scientific reasoning from the snake oil……

      The tragedy of the 20th century is the utter and total abuse in every sphere of human knowledge that those who understand that process, have put it to.

      The post modern marketeers have abused media – mass media – and the name of experts, to promote a visions of the world that has little or nothing to do with what it really is.””””

      It seems to never dawn on the commenter that perhaps the snake oil – originally promulgated by those backing real oil, or fossil fuels, and then by ultra conservative think tanks that just don’t “get” the concept of environmental externality, and make huge economic presumptions, who excessively fear economic downturn, or just fear any type of transformation or change in general, in perpetuating massive amounts of misinformation on the issue of climate change – is in the bill being sold by and to climate skeptics.

      Nor that the abuse of media, and experts, to promote a vision – that continuing to over-rely on fossil fuels, and continue the same old ways of large scale agriculture, and that a geologically radical alteration of our atmosphere, increasing levels of long lived greenhouse gases to levels not seen on earth in millions of years, won’t affect our climate – that has little or nothing to do with what really is.

      “And that friends, is the unfolding story of 21st century.”

      • John Carter

        You wrote about:
        1. “climate change denialism”- Can you point to a skeptic who doesn’t agree that the climate changes? Your system of belief is that more CO2 is leading to changes in the climate that are unfavorable for humans. Try presenting the evidence to support your beliefs about what has gotten worse as CO2 has risen.

        2. “more than half of the U.S.population doesn’t believe in real, or significant, AGW”-
        The key word is significant. If the rate of temperature change shown over the last 10 years were to continue—who would care? You believe the rate will increase, but can’t accurately state by how much or when this will happen. You believe that bad things will surely happen, but sadly for your position, you have no reliable evidence to support your beliefs.

        3. “ultra conservative think tanks” –
        John tries to spread blame that his system of BELIEFS is not universally accepted.

        John- Believe what you wish, but cry quietly when others do not accept your personal system of beliefs. BTW- I voted for Obama in 2008 so I do not fit in your view of this being a democrat vs republican issue. To me it is simply what makes sense.

      • “You wrote about:
        1. “climate change denialism”- Can you point to a skeptic who doesn’t agree that the climate changes?”

        Is this purposeful ignorance on your part?

        You “know what makes most sense” on climate change, but DONT know what is referred to by the phrase??

        It specifically refers to the phenomenon of an affect on climate from our actions changing the gg composition of the atmosphere over time.

        You know this, right?

        So why then the above quote and stupid argument , when you KNOW what I’m referring to by climate change, that “climate always changes.”

        (Which is also, incidentally, largely irrelevant to the issue of whether we’re changing it now. And certainly doesn’t support or even provide relevant evidence that we’re not. But I’m not even sure you can comprehend that.)

        I am beginning to think you are an extremely unintelligent person. I don’t mean this as in insult, we are what we are. But again, maybe u should temper ur judgment on the CC issue, or try not to get ur “info” from skeptic/denial sites. Or both.(Applies to most frankly, as it’s sort of amazing how suddenly everyone is a genius when it comes to long term complex and conceptual physical science questions.)

        My comments on this issue btw, also have nothing to do with belief, which is a big part of the point. And if by belief you simply mean “view,” than isn’t what you write applicable to everybody and nobody?

        As for your logic on the issue, same crap as always. You don’t understand what something that presents a risk range over time means in the first place.

        Or on this issue you don’t want to understand it, (whoever u voted for,whenever.)

        Which means you haven’t the foggiest idea of what the issue really is, or at least, more importantly, how to comprehend it.

        Lastly, ur statement about the “rate of change” over the last ten years, is idiotic.

        Seriously, consider, try for once to actually use your brain. Because in your responses to me you dont except for the single purpose of trying to be skeptical on cc and argue with or try refute by any means possible any point I make. As well as disparage me (in keeping with the pattern of finding ways to perpetuate a belief) repeatedly. And constantly misrepresent what I write or suggest.

        The CC issue is not the change in air temp from 10 years ago to today. If you think it is, you also know worse than nothing on the issue (at least if you knew nothing, you’d know that, and reserve ur opinions)

        And if you DO know it, then please consider why in God’s name you wrote it then, as the standard of being concerned over CC?

        It”s one or the other, You were either manipulating readers (and yourself) or you don’t have the foggiest understanding of the issue or how to comprehend it. NO other option here.

        I kind of think it’s a fair amount of both,

      • I don’t remember saying anything here about this being a democrat v republican issue I used the phrase ultra conservative think tanks to refer to ultra conservative think tanks.

        Though I like how you repeatedly read into EVERYTHING. almost always incorrectly. A pattern I recall that goes back to when you first started responding to my comments, and I naively believed we might have some decent communication on the topic. And a pattern that is also, and not coincidentally, almost identical to your “understanding” or or take on the climate change issue,such as it is.

        But you just won’t let yourself see that.

        You want to be smarter? You won’t be clinging to what you think you need to in order to convince yourself of being smart in your own mind (the irony, huh), but by learning to allow yourself to see the parallels between your pattern of constantly making heavily mistaken presumptions on my comments, and your “Take” on and “knowledge” of the AGW phenomenon….

        I think you are earnest. I just don’t think you understand the issue.The first step towards intelligence, or at least a small shred of wisdom, would be in recognizing that.

      • John Carter

        Try actually responding with data to point out where I am mistaken vs. more of your philosphy of beliefs.

        What will TCR be over different timescales?

        Waht places will benefit vs. being harmed?

        Is it that you do not know but in spite of not knowing that you are still sure in your belief that more CO2 is a dire problem?

      • IPCC, being overly conservative in response to excessive skeptic badgering and also to appeal to the lowest denominator (all had to agree on “at least: what IPCC says so it reps the lowest of ranges,and it also excludes risks that are less than highly certain but that are still relevant and increase overall risk range more) already did that,most recently just a few weeks ago, in a pretty strong statement, no?

        And the world’s climate scientists have done it repeatedly. So why are you asking me?

        Two things are clear Mr.Starkey. You don’t understand my comments.

        And you have no desire to understand my comments.

        A third seems clear,but Im not sure,it could just be bias, exposure to wild misinformation, and a lot of ignorance on your part, you’re not willing to accept the threat of cc

        But then again,if you can’t understand what it even is,…but I really kind of get the feeling you just dont want to. Read this piece.
        http://bitly.com/1tT7y2A

        But then again I’m not sure u’ll understand that either.

        We can’t write the long term weather script in advance. That doesn’t mean the threat of radical change isn’t significant (and the reasons have been gone over ad nausuem by leading climate scientists – if perhaps somewhat drowned out by misinformation and skeptics). .I just don’t know how much ur brain simply doesn’t have the intellectual threshold to comprehend this,and how much it just doesn’t want to.

      • John Carter

        You have a system of beliefs that has led you to conclude that more human released CO2 will lead to a series of highly probably disasters. You accept and agree with the IPCC’s conclusions. To try to make your position more believeable you have also started describing the issue as “climate change” vs. Global warming.

        Again–the climate has always been changing and it always will. You are worried about it getting warmer and that other conditions will change negatively for humans as a result of it getting warmer. Be honest and specific.

        I do not accept the IPCC’s conclusions because the models upon which these conclusions were based are insufficiently accurate to make such conclusions even reasonably reliable. Papers written based upon the output of flawed models are highly suspect at best.

        I accept that conditions could change and would revise my conclusions if they did. What is interesting, (to me at least) is the number of people who have not changed their position in the last 10-15 years as it was shown that the models were unreliable.

      • Matthew R Marler

        John Carter: “You wrote about:
        1. “climate change denialism”- Can you point to a skeptic who doesn’t agree that the climate changes?”

        Is this purposeful ignorance on your part?

        No, that was a comment on the persistent use of loose language by people promoting climate change alarmism, and the use of all climate change (documented and undocumented [e.g. so-called increase in hurricane intensity or frequency or something]) to justify a policy of reducing fossil fuel use.

        Seriously, consider, try for once to actually use your brain. Because in your responses to me you dont except for the single purpose of trying to be skeptical on cc and argue with or try refute by any means possible any point I make. As well as disparage me (in keeping with the pattern of finding ways to perpetuate a belief) repeatedly. And constantly misrepresent what I write or suggest.

        fwiw, I think that your writing is incoherent. Do you fail to grasp the idea that reductions in human fossil fuel use, all science considered, may have no effect on future climate change? Consider the Romps et al Science paper that I have been pushing lately: if their computations are accurate, then too much energy is used up in raising the surface temperature by 1C for either (a) the increase in surface temp over the last 150 years to have been caused by the increase in CO2 or (b) a future increase in surface temp of 1C to be caused by a future doubling of the CO2 concentration. I refer to the “holes”, “liabilities” etc in the case against CO2; most commonly, I have referred to the fact that there is no quantitative account of the effects of CO2/warming on the rate of non-radiologic transfer of heat from surface to upper troposphere. I once proposed that the increase might be proportional to the rate of increase of radiative transfer, and pointed out that the increase in downwelling LWIR would not provide enough power both to raise the surface temp 1C and increase the rate of energy transport by the estimated amount. That was a rude back-of-the-envelope estimate. Now we have had two published papers with the same message, one a few weeks ago, and this one by Romps et al in Science.

        The debate is not about the aggregate impacts of all human activities. The debate among Hansen, Ehrlich, Holdren, FOMD on the “alarmist” side and me and others on the “skeptic” is a debate about the influence of anthropogenic CO2 on climate.

        Hence the objection to the interminable use of “climate change” to justify reductions in fossil fuel use.

      • Matthew,

        You’ve put in to words quite well that which is formulating in my little bitty brain.

        All AGW’ers seem to come at things from the same playbook, but all “skeptics” are not cut from the same “skeptic” cloth.
        It seems AGW’ers are “all in” on their way or no way (again, my perception).

        Some skepticism is political. So that’s a toughy. If it’s “you’re a leftist” so I’m against you because I’m a “rightist” then, sigh, polarization likely wins here.

        Most (from my perception) are comfortable stating that sufficient evidence exists to state that global warming is occurring with cause being the issue. This can be defined through more study which will take time (and money).

        Some are “coolists” which is a different concept to discuss.

        It occurs to me that topics such as deforestation may be more easily insulated from others, and addressed via policy. Would that be too presumptive of me?

        Improved ag methods (more CO2 to a point) equals improved plant growth which might be something on which compromise on policy could be reached, as long as everyone gets food. Use less land, grow enough food, fallow (or forest) the rest and that equals “mitigation”.

        I still (maybe naively) see some middle ground that skeptics, with sound fiscal choice, could embrace. I’m presuming already that on the AGW’ers side achieving more focused “mediation” would be a given.

        What am I missing?

      • “””””I do not accept the IPCC’s conclusions because the models upon which these conclusions were based are insufficiently accurate to make such conclusions even reasonably reliable.”””””

        And you know more about the general range accuracy of those models than the scientists who professionally study it.

        Imagine that.

        Also imagine this. Models are to try and create projections. They don’t prove, they don’t really even “support” the basic idea itself. They just exist to hone understanding and help with projections.

        They are imperfect. That is why there are ranges. But you completely glossed over the multiple reasons I gave as to why the IPCC assessment of risk as well as overall ranges is conservative. And all of those reasons are valid.

        And notice what else you did:

        Not only are you more of an expert on the models than the scientists whose job is to assess them (relying upon papers supplied by the hordes of often ideologically and fossil fuel lobbying industry backed climate change “skeptics” or selected out for focus) but you elected to simply undercut their estimates, rather than to expand them.

        And you did this despite the fact that their estimates are conservative.

        That is, unless you base your idea that cc does not pose a risk simply bc models are highly imperfect, without expecting that they necessiarly over or estimate. Which would mean again what I continue to repeat, yuou don’t really understand the issue, and you don’t have any real conceptual understanding of what it presents, or of what uncertain broad based risk ranges of various outcomes and probability over time really means, or presents. Let alone any sense of what those are here.

        Yet you know enough to continue to argue with me.

        Vintage climate change skepticism self deceivingly hoodwinking itself into think it is reason, logic and knowledge. Yet again.

      • John Carter
        You wrote- “And you know more about the general range accuracy of those models than the scientists who professionally study it.”

        John I am very familiar with the use of models and modeling. Can you name the scientists who “study it” who think that the ensemble of models are performing well? Can you name anyone familiar with the use of computer models who advocates the use of a model prior to that model having demonstrated a reasonable history of matching observed conditions. (GCMs do not do this they only match hindcasts)

        You are correct that models are not perfect. Models do not need to be perfect; they need to perform within expected margins of error (hopefully reasonably small margins of error with slowly increasing margins over time). The IPCC and a small group of scientists oversold what these models are currently capable of doing. You are not knowledgeable enough to notice that you have been bamboozled, or you are so blinded by your beliefs that you accept the results anyway.

        The estimates of warming are NOT conservative. They are inaccurate. There is no current means of reasonably accurately determining what areas of the planet will benefit vs being harmed by AGW over time.

        I will adjust my views as more reliable information becomes available over time. I doubt you can claim the same. Your views are like others views of their religion.

      • @dannythomas
        “What am I missing?”

        Pretty much everything that has to do with the actual relevant science of the issue.

        Also, your statement that all AGW proponents are cut from the same cloth whereas all skeptics, on the other hand,” is hilarious.

        You don’t know diddly squat about the issue. Glad to see you are trying to learn, on a vintage head half in the sand fearful of economic transformation skeptic site run by a now semi well known environmental professor who repeatedly misconstrues the basic issue of climate change itself.

        Good place to learn!

        If by learning we mean continue to gain an increasingly skewed view of the actual basic science of and data on the issue, as well as what the issue actually represents. Where surrounded by a bunch of similarly ignorant, but often science backgrounded (and so thinking they’re brilliant and informed) often ideologically led climate change skeptics, that ignorance becomes further and further reinforced, and comes to be the “science” of climate change.

        So yes, Danny, what “is” the cause?? Whatever IS the cause:

        The global climate, and to a greater extent many regional climates, is starting to change. And in a way that, if not unprecedented in the last 11,000 years, is far out of the ordinary in terms of temperature change alone………. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/339/6124/1198.abstract

        Although the climate of the globe is changing, and such change generally has been expected, there is a great amount of claim that …. [any change]…. is simply random, and thus what the earth would be doing even if we hadn’t increased the concentrations of long lived greenhouse gases to levels not seen on earth in millions of years.

        Such assertions also mean by definition that said change, by similar remarkable coincidence, is not changing or affecting the climate, which in turn is thus proceeding along the general path it would have anyway had our atmosphere not been altered. (In scientific terms this is called a flight of fancy. In much of the media’s eye, and climate change refuters eyes – some of whom are scientists but very few of whom are actual climate scientists – it is called a “point of view.”)

        Yet both of these together have to be accurate to support the basic climate change refutation claim. And the chance would be the probability of each, multiplied together.

        For instance – forget oceans radically heating, ice caps on both poles melting, and accelerating – imagine that there is a 1 in 10 chance of just the global air temperature heating as it has over the past 100 years, even though by far the most exhaustive study on the issue suggests that the chances are low that the earth as a whole increased this much in temperature in any single 100 year period over the last 11,000 years even once; and that there is a 1 in 20 chance that increasing the level of long lived greenhouse concentrations to levels not seen on earth in millions of years would itself somehow not really affect the climate.

        Then the chances of this change we are seeing being simply, oddly “coincident to,” but essentially not caused by, our atmospheric alteration, would be .1 x .05 or .005, or .5% or 1 in 200. And that’s overstating it, because the numbers used here are high estimates.

        Regardless of what the actual number is, take note of the fact that in a field of unknowns (which climate change refuters stipulate, since they use the same “unknown” argument to also simultaneously argue against climate change), the most basic argument for climate change refutation relies upon the choice of an outcome or interpretation which is very improbable, over the one that is very probable. (The opposite of Occam’s Razor, on speed.)

        And thus relies upon the choice of an outcome over the one that actual scientists who study this issue themselves professionally, overwhelmingly support (once again hype to the contrary notwithstanding): Namely, the bizarre coincidence we are seeing is of course connected to the change we produced and that we overwhelmingly expect to have this type of general – climate affecting, and likely overall warming, if erratic – effect.

        So, the question is, are skeptics just so low in general overall intelligence that the remarkable coincidence of this, the complete lack of any scientific support for it and extensive scientific support for the opposite notwithstanding, simply isn’t grasped?

        Or is there such an ideological, economic, and political bias, and massive perpetuating misinformation on the topic now self selectively reinforced, that it’s simply not seen.

      • Mr.Carter,

        Why are you insulting me. If it’s because your general blood pressure is high I suggest you bring it down. There is no benefit to you if you suffer from a heart attack and no benefit to you to insult one who’s clearly stated I’m in the middle and undecided as to what my determination will be, but you will make no more “friends” for your side with vinegar. I’m not and never have addressed you less that respectfully.

        I’m not here to fight with you, but you seem to have your hackles up. I posted observations. You wrongly assume I get ALL my information from this site. I have found it to be enlightening to seek perceptions from all sides. There are blogs I’ve visited, National Academy of Science, Dr. Spencer, Realclimate, my friends pro AGW site, NOAA, NASA, USDA, and way too many others to list. This site is only one of my sources and as an open minded person I can see that yours is closed. So I ask you why. Is there no, absolutely no possibility that CO2 is not the ONLY cause of warming? Have you ruled out 100% that nature is not involved? Because if you have, you’re about the only one.

        I have never said that I (a skeptic of ONLY AGW) exclude CO2. What I have clearly said is that I have NOT excluded good old mother nature. You, obviously, have come to a different conclusion.

        I see the “consensus” and am bothered by the criteria in which it was formed. I see that in one quick wiki search I find 54 credible sources that are uncertain of cause. Dr. Curry is one of those.

        My assertion, and it has pretty much always been this, is that I am not (yet) comfortable with mitigating CO2 to our fiscal detriment unless/until we are more confident that that mitigation would prove to be the correct choice. I advocate further study. When I read about “the cost of delay” I see they also leave out even the possibility that this is a natural process. I really, really, really want to save the planet. Prove, but don’t hammer, that this is our only choice. I don’t see it.

        And frankly, when I’m told “more frequent and stronger hurricanes” and I go to NOAA and find that to be inaccurate, and “the pause”, and “the hockey stick” (self explanatory), and I find that Antarctic ice melt may be due to other than air temp. increases and may be from water heated by volcanic/tectonic activity it gives me pause and reasons for further skepticism. Even you have to admit that the predictive ability and track record of the AGW effort has had sufficient “hicups” along the way. If you won’t agree with that, then from my view you’re not being a critical thinker.

        Apparently I touched a nerve by stating the observation that all AGW’ers follow the same playbook. Not one, that I’ve asked, has quantified how much CO2 is impacting climate and how much is natural. So here’s an opportunity for you to be different if you chose. This, I do not control.

        IPCC is quasi governmental. They specifically state that they don’t do the research. What government does anyone follow blindly and fully?

        You don’t know me, so your assumption that I know nothing about the relevant science. Please support that as a reasoned scientist and not an emotional over reactor. I respect your passion, but I’m not there. Your derision is misguided and is something I see from other AGW’ers so I stand by the “same cloth” comment. Please prove me wrong.

        I have no difficulty stating I can’t do the physics, but sir, I can read. I can think. And, most importantly, I can ask questions.

        I have been in your shoes and feeling “attacked” by being on foreign “territory”. But that’s because I declare that I’m not a believer/supporter of either side but instead am in the middle. I’m not your enemy. Your response assumes I am. Make a different assumption.

        Your words? “Or is there such an ideological, economic, and political bias, and massive perpetuating misinformation on the topic now self selectively reinforced, that it’s simply not seen.” As if these were the ONLY choice. You really should rethink this.

      • John Carter,

        You wrote –

        “You know more about the general range accuracy of those models than the scientists who professionally study it.”

        You might support your bizarre unsupported assertion about models by specifying the models to which refer. Please bear in mind that if the models have different outcomes, at best only one can be correct. Therefore, the more models, the greater the percentage of them that are demonstrably incorrect.

        Assuming you are talking about the one (at best) correct model, you might specify which one it is, and why any of the foolish Warmists waste time with the incorrect ones,

        Having specified which climate model is correct, you might then care to name one scientist who professionally studies it, and why? Is one scientist studying something shown to be correct not enough? How many Witless Warmists need to observe a fact professionally, before it becomes a fact?

        None of the climate models referred to by the IPCC are worth as much as the lint in my belly button, which is a less than highly desirable commodity.

        I would politely ask you you to nominate a useful climate model, but of course you can’t. Climate is the average of weather. No more, no less. Pretending otherwise merely suggests to a rational person that you may be suffering from a form of mental disturbance ranging from extreme suggestibility to severe and intractable delusional psychosis.

        Live well and prosper,

        Mike Flynn.

      • @danny thomas
        “””So I ask you why. Is there no, absolutely no possibility that CO2 is not the ONLY cause of warming? “”””

        I don’t really understand what you mean here.

        Warming is energy. There’s some stuff apparently from within the earth that is minuscule, but essentially this comes from the sun. It hits the earth. Some of that energy – solar radiation – is reflected, back, some is absorbed.

        That heats the earth. The earth then gives off thermal radiation – much longer wavelengths than solar, and which unlike solar are absorbed and re radiated by gg molecules. The most predominant of which are water vapor molecules, which being ephemeral and a product of evaporation and weather (as well as a component of weather) are generally a result or part of the climate, not a driver of it; and the most predominant long lived of which are CO2 molecules.

        We all know this process is pretty key. Without it there is general agreement the earth would be about zero degrees (or at the very least wildl friggn cold, overall), and not near sixty, on average, and life as we know it wouldn’t exist, and the earth would largely be a ball of ice.

        While the gg make this change, it isn’t all direct. Without them for instance (or say if there was just far less) there’d be a lot more ice. That increases earth’s albedo, and far less solar radiation gets absorbed in the first place.Meaning the earth has less heat energy to thermally radiate, etc.

        Short version: Ice sheets and our oceans generally stabilize the climate. Change gg enough and more and more re radiated energy will change the amount of energy retained by the earth – which is what is happening now as the ocean is retaining more and more heat energy,and ice sheets are not only melting, but, at BOTH ends of the globe, now doing so at an accelerating rate. In other words, there is enough of an imbalance between the air and earth such that the earth is taking in a lot more than it is giving out, and it is warming, keeping the air artificially cooler than it would otherwise be just from the influence of more gg gases alone.

        That’s a simplification, but essentially what’s going on. So is co2 (or long lived gg in general, as several others are relevant, particularly, and increasingly, despite once again misinformation – methane) the only cause? After the sun, yes, pretty much gg are the only cause. (Along with anything that changes the level of sun that reaches earth, such as distance, aerosols maybe, etc.)

        But gg gases then in turn affect many things which affect climate, and drive climate. With the big ones over time probably being ice cover,when you take into account the enormous permafrost regions (and all the carbon buried within), sea ice and the massive polar region ice sheets. Those start to change through the input of extra energy – remember,increasing gg increases the total net energy of the lower atmosphere earth system – and they will in turn help to drive and reshape climate through a multitude of both simple and complicated means.

        Almost all of which are positive feedbacks. And not by coincidence, but by the fact that we happen to be in an ‘ice age” right now with a lot of ice, helping to stabilize the earth in a moderate range (and one which led us prone – though likely not any more – to possible periods of extensive glaciation), and which help to keep the earth’s albedo high.

        Now, if by the “only” cause, do you mean If our change to the atmosphere is the only cause for the changes we are seeing now?

        Climate is variable, but the essence of the changes we are seeing now, given the studies done on our trailing geologic climate, and the increasing rates of change, would be remarkably coincidental were they to be just part of some natural variability or related cause. It’s possible, but it’s not very realistic

        It’s even far less realistic when you consider that for that to be the case it would also HAVE TO MEAN that our atmospheric change wasn’t really much affecting the climate – remember, if the change is just some random fluke on it’s own, that means that in the absence of such random fluke the climate wouldn’t much change – and that makes even less sense. And this is not a relatively new idea, as the core of climate and other related discipline scientists who have been studying this, misinformation and cherry picked misrepresentation aside,have essentially been saying the same thing, and for the same fundamental, unchanging reasons, for decades. (We just have a lot more corroboration, and some honed but still evolving knowledge..)

        The fact that, to be frank, this is not an “attack” on anybody just a coherent, objective analytical assessment, that such a scientifically irrational conclusion – that such a wildly unlikely set of bizarre conclusions “could” be the case so therefore the entire concept of not certainty, but significant risk of climate change, is less significant, is one of the key bases of most climate change skepticism, is remarkably telling in terms of the biases and preconceived notions that drive most of it. For the entire argument itself – “climate could change so maybe were’ not” whereas in theory maybe we’re not but the chances are scientifically microscopic – as a means of refuting the idea of a significant risk of major shift, is irrational.

        That this is not seen, and therefore, in various formulations, the idea advanced as “skepticism” over the climate change phenomenon, is also similarly indicative. Although the catch – 22 (and why so many advocates, largely missing this, call climate skeptics greedy lying or just plain unreachable stupid idiots – bc they do not see how our own views filter and reinforce our perceptions, particularly when there is massive misinformation and a lot of self righteous shouting by like minded folk, as seeming substantiation) is that of course climate skeptics don’t see this.

        Hopefully now you, and perhaps some others at least, can see this a little better.

        Maybe not.

      • Thank you for this. I’ll read and absorb. I have a couple of questions, but will wait till later. B.P. seems to be running a bit high right now and I don’t want to add to your pile at the moment.

        Regards,

      • Working on these one at a time.

        From you: “Climate is variable, but the essence of the changes we are seeing now, given the studies done on our trailing geologic climate, and the increasing rates of change, would be remarkably coincidental were they to be just part of some natural variability or related cause. It’s possible, but it’s not very realistic”

        I get that climate is variable. I’m having a hard time pinning our current warming to “predominately” CO2 (man caused) vs. nature doing it’s thing. We once had a “climate” much like Venus, and we’ve had ice ages so extremes are not unprecedented.

        I’m comfortable stating I have evidence to state warming is occurring. It’s the cause with which I’m uncomfortable, and I see I’m not alone. I get that one shouldn’t make decisions based on bloggers, and I don’t. But this is a list of much more learned than I: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming. And these all have varying degrees of “skepticism”. I value them no more or less than I do on the AGW side.

        Since so much focus is on man’s CO2 emission and we’re not settled on “the pause/hiatus” and the AGW side seems to be “thrashing about” to explain it away (it’s in the ocean then volcanoes) I’m having discomfort with credibility of the climate professionals when folks like Dr. C state they’re not satisfied with the modeling and I consider her a reasonable authority even if you do not. And predictions of the climate scientists you’re so comfortable with are not that good (not more and stronger hurricanes, for example).

        I grasp a bit of the aerosols in the equation. I grasp a bit of albedo. I can see how sunspot activity could be some percentage of the warming. In other words, I can see reasonable and as not yet fully understood alternatives to the strong focus on CO2 especially since authorities like the American Physical Society and National Academy of Science (as apolitical as I can find) use terms no stronger than “likely” when it comes to CO2 caused warming.

        We know what it will cost us if we chose to mitigate based on what I perceive as unsettled science (I know you see it as settled). But if we’re wrong, we’ve misallocated lots of resources if it turns out that natural variability was the cause (or a substantial portion) all along (and we know this has occurred historically). And in your words that variability is “possible” if unlikely.

        This is my perspective.

      • @danny

        There is comfort for most (maybe all) in not being alone in their ideas, but the fact that your skepticism on the cause is shared by many doesn’t make it a scientifically rational assessment

        PLEASE read the responses I gave to you on this a little while ago.

        As for the “if we’re wrong,” while common, it’s not logical.

        A hypothetical to illustrate the CONCEPT, put the numbers aside. Let’s say I am most of the more renowed scientists at the IPCC (which is true) think that the likely temperature range change is at the upper end of their estimates, and possibly much more due to more uncertain factors (permafrost carbon release, sea bed methane eruption, an overly accelerating greenland or permafrost coverage melt, etc). It is a level that would remake our globe, make Greenland’s melt unavoidable (20 feet more of sea level on top of the 10 that is at this point from irreversible parts of the antarctic ice sheet that two independent studies concluded this past year), and that’s just for starters.

        The costs to mankind are incalculable. Well, the “expected cost” is the actual cost (however incalculable) times the probability, and of course this would in theory be done for other reasonably possibilities along the range of outcomes, based on our best knowledge.

        Doing that comes up with such a devastatingly large impact in terms of just measurable dollar losses that it makes the entire idea of worrying about present “cost” of spending a little more on energy (all of which also still go into GDP by the way) almost laughable. I cant convey it any better that that,and just think that it’s a comprehension of scope issue.

        Compounding this problem is this huge presumption that transforming our economies (never mind near knee jerk conservative resistance to change and the belief in an “entitlement” to cheap carbon based fuel) is some sort of large cost, when likely in the long run it is not at all

        But that’s even more conceptual, so I’ll leave it at that.

        But logical conceptual is something I still don’t think you are getting: EVEN IF the Marcott study was wrong and there have been a few periods that there smoothed out long term data (accurate to only a few hundred years so random blips could have occurred) over the past 11,000 years, the chances of this type of temperature change along upward over the past century would be a freak concidence.

        That makes the chances low that it’s coincidental. If the chances are 90% or 95% or 99% and the impacts would be huge, we don’t not act simply because it’s “possible” it would be a coincidence. (particularly when we need to transform off of fossil fuels anyway, and transform our agricultural practices, the other problem here.)

        But again the chance are far lower, because it would simultaneously have to mean that the atmospheric change didn’t do much, when we would (and have for decades) expect it to.

        But it’s much worse than that, because the air temperature is secondary. it’s the accompanying accumulation of energy in the ocean – studies suggest about 1500% faster than at any point in the past 10,000 years (that seems a bit much, but simply a) accumulating heat, and b) doing so at a faster rate than at any point in the past 10,000 years, is sufficient. ) while we are losing net polar ice. .And yet sill in just the past decade that process has started to accelerate.

        ____-

        But you know. Geniuses physicist Dave and Rob Starkey are right. I’m just an idiot, Concepts have no applicability here.

        It makes sense like bees who can’t see the open window below the cleaned glass, who continue to smash into that glass, to keep doing the same thing we”ve been doing, despite now a multi million year alteration to the air, an attendant and increasing change in empirical observations, and warnings all over the place from the scientists – consistent for over 30 years now but only growing louder – about how we’re making an enormous mistake ignoring this.

        I mean I do the bee smashing into the window thing in continuing to try and talk to you guys, right? (I suffer from the belief? delusion? that not everyone’s mind is mired in concrete.)

      • John,

        I don’t know what else I can say to make it clear that I’m not “you guys”.
        I read all that you write. I look up and analyse (to the best of my ability) your references. I do the same from all sides.

        I do appreciate your passion.

        I see your point that the argument should be expressed in ranges, and that make sense. But a criticism of the AGW side is that the AGW side provided the specific projections that have not come about as being accurate. So if there is some challenge with the communication, that was initiated by the AGW side. AGW says, “more frequent and stronger hurricanes”. Quite specific and totally wrong. (Just one example). So I’m having difficulty accepting the word of the climate authorities. This does not mean I accept ONLY the skeptic side. This evaluation came from my own “lying eyes”.

        So, for me, it will take evidence that falls more accurately to the results. In my own elementary way, I’m okay with the risk/reward analysis as it stands. More time with more study.

        In fact (and she needs no assistance from me) I’ve thought about how Dr. Curry must realize her influence in this discussion as a reasonable authority stating publicly of not denying warming but questioning methodology. It takes broad shoulders to carry that weight. I doubt that very large checks are forthcoming, so what good reason would she have to put herself out there continually instead of sitting on a tropical island (that she owns) sipping her beverage of choice?

        This is not personal. I don’t think you’re an idiot, and if the passion is removed (human nature) I’m not sure others do either.

        But if I’m looking at a column of prediction (from AGW side) laid side by side with results, the comparison is not convincing (yet) to me. Therefore, for me to then accept the strict AGW story would (to me then) be illogical.This is how I think about this discussion. I can’t change how I think except slowly. And I’m not sure (yet) that I should.

        I might be naieve, but one of the columnar evaluations is “fossil fuel backed skepticism” opposed with “government grants” and those arguments cancel each other out in my little bitty brain, as political noise. And to be clear, I’m a fan of research for research sake. Enlightenment for enlightenment’s sake I’m happy to fund with my tax dollars.

      • By the way. About the only really significant negative feedback I can think of is cloud cover, a very complicated one. Clouds increase albedo,but their overall gg effect is much greater. Reduce them and yes more sunlight gets through, but with the gg affect thus lowered both day (when there is sunlight) and night (when there is none and the balance between earth and air often shifts, with the air cooling and the earth now retainging extra energy) the overall likely affect might be as a negative feedback.

        But overall this is also bad. A warming world increase the need for precipitation. And with more storage capacity (a warmer atmosphere can hold a lot more water vapor) leading to likely large spreads in precipitation intensity (which even at this early (by early though it does not mean we’re hundreds of yeas off – the entire idea of shifting is very much non linear and accelerating) meaning that in heavy downpours more will be lost to runoff, etc, even less water vapor overall would only intensely compound this.

        The oceans rising are going to be a problem for future generations. It’s my hunch – it’s only a hunch, that the positive feedback of accelerating warmth and ice sheet melting is preferable to having the one negative one (which won’t stop the process, it is just one negative feedback amonst other positive ones, thus it will reduce the overall intensity of energy change, and maybe ultimate warming) of less water vapor,since humans need food first and foremost.

        Well, we also need land, but a drier world is no guarantee that there isn’t’ going to be a massive reshifting of ocean/land boundaries anyway) and with huge regional changes and increasing drought areas likely even without a decrease in water vapor,but just from changing patterns and far more intense precipitation patterns (and more atmospheric water vapor retention capacity) than the current floral and river system evolved to handle, decreasing overall water vapor and less total rainfall – much less for such a negative feedback to be of any major note – would be wild in its implications.

        The consensus is, studies seem to show a positive effect, bad for the rate and possibly ultimate degree of change, but good in terms of not even further compounding the drought problem.

        It’s also not coincidental why most to all outcomes are “bad.” its simple. We evolved under the current set of conditions of the last few million year, or even less. So did our current geology. And we built under it.

        It’s funny, but in a not good way, how it is really fear of change (change that we really”feel” we know, such as economic change) causing us to avoid addressing what is in fact a far more powerful, and counter productive change (bc that is change we feel we don’t know,can’t’ grasp,and even to the extent we can, wrongly dismiss bc it’s “just weather,” and “weather changes daily!”).

      • Need your help again. Remember I don’t get all the science so references would help.

        So presuming the current atypical weather is caused be global warming, but has generated vast amounts of snow which is more highly reflective of solar radiation, is it possible that this process is just more of mother natures response to that warming by her generating a more cooling oriented response?

        (I’m a little warm, so I need to put on a white shirt over this dark one?)

        Not meant to be sarcastic, it’s a real question.

      • @danny

        Even if you’re just playing me I’m gonna respond:

        “So presuming the current atypical weather is caused be global warming, but has generated vast amounts of snow which is more highly reflective of solar radiation, is it possible that this process is just more of mother natures response to that warming by her generating a more cooling oriented response?””

        I just posted a long comment in response to Ellison that should be illuminative on this. I can’t link to it, it’s in moderation. (And uncharacteristically, the first post of it, which was yesterday, was in moderation then disappeared. Either by mistake or bc I asked if el’ knew how full of b.s he was.)

        Mother nature, or the earth, or the climate system, doesn’t need to do anything. There is no control because there is nothing to control. Climate is a function of the energy inputted,and way that it is inputted, period.

        Also local snow cover over a short period of time is irrelevant to the issue of global climatic shifting. But one of the earliest predictions from our atmospheric alteration was going to be an increase in volatility. And later in precipitation patterns.

        Snow is precipitation. Cold weather didn’t just “go away.” (nor is it likely to, completely, it will just on average probably move farther north, though with differences to different regions.)

        There’s nothing to indicate that there would be a sufficient increase in precipitation combined with an increase in overall cold conditions (just the opposite, in fact) to so extensively increase overall snow cover globally so as to shift albedo upward.

        In fact, there is evidence, as the far more relevant permafrost areas start to melt, of just the opposite.Not only is this there all the time, and over an enormous proportion of the northern hemisphere land surface, but it is there in summer when northern rays are far more direct, rather than heavily oblique, as they are in the north, during winter, passing in only a fractional amount of solar radiation as in the summer months to begin with.

        So the loss of permafrost areas – let alone the release of massive amounts of trapped carbon within term which reflects not just the normal vagueries of weather, increased snow fall in some areas (as part of increased precipitation patterns) or not – from high albedo white, to melting snow (which has a lower albedo) to open tundra (much lower still) and on a constant – including summertime basis – over potentially vast tracts of land, is potentially pretty huge.

      • I’m not playing with you at all. I’ll read, absorb, and follow up later. I appreciate your efforts.

        Keep in mind I’m no physicist so I won’t grasp it all. It was a serious question as I don’t have a handle on the albedo even though I’ve read a handful of explanations over and over.

  96. John Carter wrote:
    >I think that I speak to the general reluctance to consider that a multi million year increase in the concentration of long lived greenhouse gases would naturally tend to accumulate energy and slowly (but increasingly, and non linearly) change the basic stases systems that stabilize and drive our climate, while simultaneously of course continuing to absorb and re radiate more thermal radiation atmospherically at the same time, on an ongoing basis, and would naturally thus ultimately shift climate.

    Am I the only person here who has finally figured out that our friend John Carter is, as they used to say, “pulling our leg”???

    No normal English speaker writes that way — e.g., “basic stases systems” — except as part of a practical joke!

    Really, try to parse the sentence above: “multi million year increase” and all the rest of it.

    Anyone want to bet that JC does stand-up?

    Dave

    • phyciusistdave –

      Personal attack? It seemed you were above that. Disappointing.

      • Physicist Dave doesn’t understand most of what I write, nor does he really want to.
        But yet nevertheless he’s an expert on the issue of climate change, as with most skeptics.

      • Joshua wrote to me:
        >Personal attack? It seemed you were above that.

        Oh, you misread me, Joshua!

        When someone is a liar and a con artist, I believe there to be a positive moral obligation to point that out.

        In all honesty, do you really doubt that “John Carter” is just faking it??

  97. More illogic from this commenter

    “””she has, in this blog, given you references to her detailed scientific research which you can pursue if you actually want to learn any science.

    Of course, that requires you to give a damn.”””

    Yes, I don’t give a damn, that’s why I go through the extreme unpleasantness of trying to help broaden the information or at least perspective on this topic among skeptics, who make it as pleasant as a root canal (see above comment,and Dave”s response about how I’m “more than disingenuous” bc of my observation that this blog spends a lot of time in tangential musings… (see above)… an observation, or opinion, that he simply doesn’t like.)

    And no offense but I’ll take my understanding of science over Judith Curry’s any day of the week. And as far as choosing my sources, there’s a world of information out there that can’t be gotten to in a thousand lifetimes.

    So given the level of error and more importantly misconstruction of the issue that I repeatedly see on this blog alone (that’s not disingenuous, that’s my opinion, and I’d be happy to debate it publicly with Curry in a published forum) I think I’ll choose many many other sources in my exhaustive work as it is.

    Thus as far as the latter part of your comment goes as well, you are once again being either disingenuous, or manipulative (as well as illogical) , in the implication that I need to read Curry’s other work in order to form an opinion on the blog posts.

    But once again in a way to self reinforce, if not again seal your own beliefs, and (mis)interpret and (mis)represent my comments in a way consistent with your view that you feel you need to hold on the issue of climate change, a view that goes against what the great majority of those who study the issue believe, but yet on which you nevertheless feel you are more intelligent, and educated, on, than the majority of climate scientists (and I). Which illogical comments like these of yours go to self reinforce.

    • Another long John Carter comment without meaningful content

      • Because in keeping with precisely what that comment illustrated, you don’t understand, or don’t want to understand the content,

        And if you don’t have the intelligence to understand it – which is fine, we are what we are – perhaps the zealotry of belief that goes wildly against what the actual professional experts on this topic implore the public to please understand, should be suspended, or at least tempered.

        And if you do have the intelligence, it then raises the question again why you don’t allow yourself to.

        Hence my suggestion at the outset: Because in keeping with precisely what that comment illustrated, you don’t understand, or don’t want to understand the content.

        Namely, because it would conflict with what you believe, and what you won’t change or consider changing your belief in regard to when it comes to basic climate science and the likely long term range or risks and affects from our alteration of the gg concentration of the atmosphere – to levels of long lived greenhouse gases not seen on earth in several million years, and still rapidly shooting up.

      • John Carter
        I believe :)
        1. I have not read reliable evidence to determine what the TCR will be for the next 25, 50, or 100 years
        2. I have not read reliable evidence to determine what places in the US or the world will benefit vs. be harmed as a result of any warming that will occur and when these changes will occur. I have not read reliable evidence that the world will experience net harms as a result of AGW. Much of that determination is dependent upon the rate of TCR imo.

        John- Show the evidence to support your beliefs! Are they based upon poorly performing models or something else???

      • John Carter

        Several days ago I pointed out that the Met office were perfectly comfortable with the ‘pause’ even though you confidently denied its existence based on evidence that seems to have eluded the Met office, an organisation with 2000 scientists and a 100 million pound computer that might be a little more capable than the one you are using.

        I asked you a few days ago for an explanation of why we can observe periods warmer than today throughout the Holocene interspersed with some very cold eras such as in the dark ages and the Little Ice Age, the coldest period this side of the Holocene.

        You need to explain these previous episodes of natural variability before you can claim as confidently as you do that co2 is the overwhelming cause of the current observed warm period.

        I am also unclear as to why you believe you have a greater understanding of ( climate) science than Judith Curry does. Could you provide the Evidence for that please? Thank you

        Tonyb

      • “I asked you a few days ago for an explanation of why we can observe periods warmer than today throughout the Holocene interspersed with some very cold eras such as in the dark ages and the Little Ice Age, the coldest period this side of the Holocene.”

        Huh? we dont observe ANY periods in the holocene warmer than today.

        Some people might create a model of past temperatures using various proxies for temperature that have wide uncertainties.

        1. These models could be wrong.
        2. we dont need to understand past warming to predict future warming.

      • Ya, these methods of observation have their little measurement problems, so we, uh, estimate. Yeah, that’s the ticket.
        ============

      • Mosh

        So, let’s get this straight. You believe this is currently the warmest extended period for at least 10000 years? I am not talking about projections for the future or one off heatwaves, but an extended period of abnormal warmth as of NOW.

        Tonyb

      • Steven Mosher, “2. we dont need to understand past warming to predict future warming.”

        Right, We can confidently predict that a doubling of CO2 equivalent gases would cause 1C of warming +/- 0.5 C, all else remaining equal. To really screw up the prediction we need to assume we know what normal is.

      • I’ll be curious as to how Mosh responds, but in term of the Holocene temperature evolution, this chart is likely to be not far off the mark:

        Thus, in the past 20 years we’ve have likely just spiked beyond sustained temps seen during the Holocene Optimum. The “spike”, as a direct result of anthropogenic activities (mainly the burning of fossil fuels) and could be called the Human Carbon Volcano (HCV) spike, or a hockey blade, or whatever you like. It represents the human forcing on the climate.

      • R. Gates, We have discussed Marcott issues a number of time so presenting it as “not being far off the mark? is like producing a Lean et al. 1995 solar paper to prove the sun done it.

        From the Marcott response at real climate, that is the instrumental and proxy comparison. As for the uptick you like to flant;

        “Q: What do paleotemperature reconstructions show about the temperature of the last 100 years?

        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. Our primary conclusions are based on a comparison of the longer term paleotemperature changes from our reconstruction with the well-documented temperature changes that have occurred over the last century, as documented by the instrumental record. Although not part of our study, high-resolution paleoclimate data from the past ~130 years have been compiled from various geological archives, and confirm the general features of warming trend over this time interval (Anderson, D.M. et al., 2013, Geophysical Research Letters, v. 40, p. 189-193; http://www.agu.org/journals/pip/gl/2012GL054271-pip.pdf).”

        – See more at: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2013/03/response-by-marcott-et-al/#sthash.4nG9F7Mz.dpuf

        If you want to splice instrumental, use an ~120 year moving average to match the reconstruction. No spike. Also even Marcott, despite not properly using end dates, has the LIA ~0.9 C below “normal”.

        If you are going to use comical cartoons try this one.

      • The problem with models – until we can combine monumental commonsense with zettaplop computing power – is not that they are wrong, might be wrong, or have been wrong. The obvious problem with models, when we contemplate the enormity of that flux called climate, is that they HAVE to be wrong.

        A dinky toy Ferrari HAS to lose in a Formula 1 race. A model of future climate HAS to be wrong. Your dinky toy might be a great dinky toy, superb in detail and presentation, worthy of many awards, a ground-breaker and masterpiece.

        But it’s a dinky.

      • ‘In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. The most we can expect to achieve is the prediction of the probability distribution of the system’s future possible states by the generation of ensembles of model solutions.’ TAR 14.2.2.2

        Naw – the problem with models is that there are thousands of divergent solutions possible – none of them guaranteed to be right.

    • John Carter wrote to me:
      >And no offense but I’ll take my understanding of science over Judith Curry’s any day of the week.

      Let’s see…

      Professor Curry has a Ph.D. from a legitimate university. She has authored a number of peer-reviewed scientific papers. She has authored technical books. She is currently a professor at a legitimate university and was recently chair of her department.

      And, perhaps more important, many of us with legitimate scientific backgrounds find her writings lucid and informative.

      And, your background, John, is…….?????

      Prove me wrong: actually show us that your understanding of science is superior to Professor Curry’s or mine or any of the other scientists here.

      It’s so easy, John, just tell us: where, oh, where is the evidence that you know more than Dr. Curry about science?

      Easiest thing in the world… unless you are just a liar.

      Unless you are just a liar.

    • @physicistdave writes, using my name specifically, and in direct reference to me

      “When someone is a liar and a con artist, I believe there to be a positive moral obligation to point that out.”

      Calling me those things indicates the level of commenter Dave’s objectivity, to put it (very, very) mildly.

      And also at the same time, pointing out flaws in, and expressing disagreement with, some of Dave’s assertions, is “bitterly attacking” him. He writes in another comment on this thread.

      So says the person who calls me a “con artist and a liar” for pointing out flaws in Dave’s reasoning. Because Dave can’t accept those flaws, or the fact of them, or even their possibility, or entertain notions that may suggest why.

      So to avoid all that, when the logic is otherwise staring one right in the face – in his (again, I emphasize, in his “objective and reasoned”) mind, I am a con artist and a liar.

      It’s zealotry. And the fact that it’s been recognized by so few readers (or at least commenters) is disturbing. But I guess that is why this site is what it is.

      • John Carter,

        You stated:
        >>And no offense but I’ll take my understanding of science over Judith Curry’s any day of the week.

        If you want anyone here — indeed anyone in the whole wide world! — to not think of you as a con artist, then just give us the evidence that your understanding of science is superior to Dr, Curry’s.

        Where did you go to school, what are your degrees, what publications do you have in peer-reviewed, legitimate scientific journals?

        Inquiring minds want to know!

        Just tell us, John! If you have legitimate answers, you can quiet all of us who are trying to point out the truth about you.

        Otherwise… well, my criticisms of you are the truth, now aren’t they, John?

        But prove me wrong: just answer my questions.

        Do it, John! Tell the truth.

        For once.

      • “””You stated:
        >>And no offense but I’ll take my understanding of science over Judith Curry’s any day of the week.

        If you want anyone here — indeed anyone in the whole wide world! — to not think of you as a con artist, then just give us the evidence that your understanding of science is superior to Dr, Curry’s.”””

        Whatever Dave, ur a hard core zealot.

        Comments are what they are. Consider them or trash them. You choose to trash them when the conflict with the views that you want to hold – which is a good deal of what CC skepticism is based on, and the only reason why there might be a little truth to what you write.

        An not only do you trash them, you try to figure out every way possible and them some to be able to dismiss them. Like this latest tact you’re using, instead of just substantively considering. And then, if you’d like (though ideally without too much misrepresentation and name calling) responding.

      • JC SNIP

        John, I will be deleting your posts that insult other commenters here. Your very lengthy posts are becoming repetitive and insulting other commenters is in violation of blog rules.

  98. Steven Goddard shows body language conveys the message that propaganda artists try to conceal from the public:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/friends-and-enemies/

  99. Isn’t Mosher’s comment accurate since nobody alive today “observed” the temperatures in the Holocene?

    Also it is possible to create a model that accurately forecasts future temperatures that never used past temps as a basis of the model. It would be much more difficult to develop and validate that model.

    • Rob

      It was me that used the phrase ‘observe’ up thread and I an afraid that though Mosh is an English Major and a splendid fellow (usually) he does not always know all the meanings of words, just like he struggled with the words’ measurement’ and ‘estimate’ that Jim Cripwell always used to pull him up on.

      Here is the definition of the word ‘observe.’

      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/observe

      In what way did I use it incorrectly? I clearly wasn’t claiming to have been there at the time but it has wider meanings than that

      tonyb

  100. John Carter | November 18, 2014 at 1:17 am

    …..conflate the ongoing process of science itself…

    You acknowledge the process is ongoing, but presume the conclusions are reached.

    • Scientific learning is ongoing. The process of science is ongoing. We can learn more and more about any complex issue that covers the future.

      You conflate the fact that we can learn more, falsely, with the idea that we therefore can not know enough to arrive at any decisions or conclusions about anything.

      This is illogical, but veiled, is precisely what is being done here, as well as in this response, arguing how I “acknowledge” that the process is “ongoing.”

      And missing the entire point I made.

      It hasn’t changed yet, so I imagined this pattern will continue, if there is yet another response, it will something similar, try to argue, stick with, continue, the idea that we don’t know enough.

      Rather than focus on what we do know, and what is the most sensible to do , based upon what we do know. Which is what all rational, logical decision making is.

      But on climate, because of resistance to the idea, because of resistance to any type of economic change, because of fear of change (rather than the abstraction of changing weather since “weather always changes”), we, or skeptics, constantly select out uncertainties in terms of what we don’t know, and conflate that with the idea that we therefore do not understand or know enough about the basic issue.

      • John,

        Tell us what your background in science is. You claimed above to have superior knowledge of science to Judith Curry’s

        So, spill the beans: what is your background, your degrees, etc.?

        Unless you want everyone to realize what the truth is.

      • John C. would be a useful idiot if he could only put his thoughts into words.
        ==========

      • “””John,

        Tell us what your background in science is. You claimed above to have superior knowledge of science to Judith Curry’s”””

        Any personal information I give, like everyone else,is just used to call me more names. But I’ve studied the issue far more extensively than Curry has. And I probably have more innate ability on it, since unless she’s a fluke of nature, I’m sure I’ve scored higher on every standardized test of science (and likely other) similarly taken.

        Is that less relevant than had I pursued some of my studies in officially finishing up up my Phd in environmental science on top of my law degree?And having a few professors, including some such as Curry, say ‘nice work!” (And almost all of whom, on this issue who in fact study it and have a degree in a science field related to it, generally agree with me on)

        Is any of it really relevant?

        It doesn’t really matter, as your comments, and your intense hostility, and your calling me a liar and a con artist, and your conflating my strong disagreement with your lines of reasoning with “bitter attacks,” show, your not willing to consider things that strongly go against your line of reasoning or “interpretation” as it is. One or two or 80 Phds (or perhaps the world’s leading climate scientists) aren’t going to make a difference.And this request isn’t’ an attempt to legitimize, to want to be able to “believe’ my logic, but just another way for you in your mind to be able to refute it all, which is what you need to do.

        And by the way, my main point with respect to Curry is not necessarily overall knowledge, I’ve acknowledged on multiple occasions that she is learned, and has some background in this specific issue (and is a very good writer), but that she misconstrues the basic issue. (And that she brings an overwhelming bias to the issue: this post itself serves as yet another example.)

        I’d be willing to debate that publicly with her as a series of posts and re-posts, thus with time for reasoned response, supported research, etc., on here. But why would she do that unless she was truly interested in putting her perspective to the test and really expanding knowledge and awareness on the subject, instead of just pursuing her perspective?

      • I’m game to debate anyone, but frankly I haven’t waded through your lengthy posts, what I have seen are critical remarks (about motives and other ancillary topics) rather than actual arguments about the science.

      • Let’s do it. I’d rather go first, but it’s your blog, so I’ll defer.

        Three posts each (so I at least get two responses, and you get three) with some time in between for careful and reasoned consideration (and other work). They all go up on your site. I’ll start with a post about why climate change presents a huge threat.

        With plenty of time, to do so, you rebut, to the extent you think a rebuttal is warranted, and why, with detail. Then we’ll each do two posts, again with time, in response, so there is a chance for the real controversy, facts, and logic to be reasonably fleshed out.

        Re my posts, I do speak about the science, but I tend to focus more on what I think are the more important underlying conceptual points, and what are largely being missed here. I also think it is too easy to cherry pick out small select parts of data which in itself isn’t part of the probative aspect of the theory of climate change, but merely corroborative empirical support, and then use that to try and make any case one wants.

        I try to respond to that tendency. As for the ancillary topics, ironic, as I think that has been a tendency of this blog. Perhaps I do, but try not to. Most has been focused on the tendency here to not consider my points, but instead seek to undermine the person communicating them so the points need not be considered, or, misrepresent or misconstrue those points – even more common, and often by way of a pattern.

        I also try to examine why this might be done, rather than simply continue (as I do as well) to point out the pattern.

        But, regardless, fair enough.

      • John Carter

        OMG- I thought you were simply uninformed or misguided. I was mistaken–you are a nut job.

      • Judith –

        Looks like my comment got lost in the ethernet.

        Since you’re willing to debate, I was wondering what happened to your response to Gavin – the one that you said that you’d write, after changing your mind a couple of times previous to that.

        Are you making much progress? You said earlier you didn’t have time. I know you’re busy, but I was wondering if any space might have opened up in your schedule?

      • still extremely bizzy

      • Well – still looking forward to it.

        Given that many “skeptics” often wail plaintively about not being given the opportunity for debate, it would be a shame if you didn’t have time to take advantage of that opportunity.

      • John Carter wrote to me:
        >Any personal information I give, like everyone else,is just used to call me more names.

        Well, only if you deserve it, John. If the personal information indicated that you really did have greater scientific knowledge than Dr. Curry (or I), then you’d prove that all of us who are criticizing you are wrong, and we’d have egg on our faces.

        Of course, we know you have no such “personal information,” now don’t we, John, You’re just a verbose, pretentious, prevaricating poseur, aren’t you, John?

        But, prove me wrong, and I’ll apologize, John. Just tell us all about your brilliant Scientific background. Pretty please. Pretty, pretty, pretty please?

        John also wrote:
        >But I’ve studied the issue far more extensively than Curry has.

        Really? This is her professional career, her life — she has published at length on this over many years.

        How many decades have you been seriously pursuing climate science? How many peer-reviewed publications, John?

        Tell us. For once, tell the truth, John. It’s not that hard.

        John also wrote:
        >And I probably have more innate ability on it, since unless she’s a fluke of nature, I’m sure I’ve scored higher on every standardized test of science (and likely other) similarly taken.

        Really, John? What were your scores on the physics GRE test? Did you take the physics GRE test? Do you even know what it is? What “standardized test of science” have you taken and why are so sure your scores are higher than Judith’s or mine?

        This is getting really weird. Why do you have these delusions of grandeur thinking you are so much smarter than people who have proven expertise?

        Tell us, John: for once, try telling the truth.

        Trust me: you will find it a cleansing experience.

        Just try it, John. Just this once.

      • Don’t waste your time feeding the trolls, Judith.

      • Disagreement with the fundamental premises made on this site, on an issue that affects the entire world our progeny will share, and expressing the reason for that disagreement and trying (even if unsuccessfully) to broaden the perspective a little bit and introduce a few new ideas, is not being a troll. Or anywhere close

        But such is the nature of the highly polarizing self reinforcing Internet these days, where like minded even if misled or mistaken souls go for increased solidarity, re affirmation, and reinforcement of their notions. Ceasing all real learning, and only further and needlessly polarizing any real discussion.

      • Speaking of trolls, what happened to our webby?

      • @steven

        Given the site you are posting on, i imagine you didn’t mean the doobie brothers song this way: but it is a nice parable of the skeptics who believe that our radical alteration of the long term composition of the atmosphere – representing an increase on the order now of several million yeas in the molecules that capture heat energy – won’t significantly affect our climate.

        Not to mention the insistence on the idea that the few small signs we’re starting to see – increasing long term air temps, an increase in overall temp volatility and volatility overall, increasing precipitation intensity, increasing sea bed floor methane eruptions, beginning signs of permafrost melting, and most significantly of all an ongoing and near geologically profound increase in the ocean temperature at all measurable depths, and a now melting, and accelerating, net loss of polar ice sheets at BOTH ends of the glob — all just freakishly coincidental.

      • John, I haven’t started an argument with you yet so I must not find your arguments interesting. Perhaps if you would identify one topic, make an argument, and provide some supporting literature it may stir my interest if it happens to be on a topic I have read on or am interested in. If not it might get the interest of some other skeptic. So far your basic argument appears to be that you are smart and skeptics aren’t. Not interesting nor convincing to me.

      • @Steven

        No, not enough but to provide a mocking video in lieu of any substance.

        SO you haven’t started an argument, but responded to me with “what a fool believes.

        So your initial response – no substance – is “you are a fool”

        I provided a very cohesive, if summarized, argument as to why your little mocking “song” by the doobie brothers, doesn’t as aptly apply to climate advocates as you think. Why the group that is kidding themselves is probably skeptics, and I noticed you glossed right over that. Doesn’t fit into your skeptic handbook.

        And my comments are not remotely how you characterized them. After getting repeatedly misrepresented, nothing substantively discussed or addressed, and me called names, then yeah i have responded with the idea that maybe you’re (aka, john doe skeptic’s) not really construing the issue correctly But what else do you want me to do after nothing substantive is addressed and I am called names. Play doobie brothers songs calling you a fool?

        I forgot, That was your approach. In lieu of substance.

        Shocker.

        Same playbook. Same pattern> Same self delusion over it.

        And btw, the specific “topic” in response to you that i identified, was the same one you were referring to in that comment. AGW. So appropriate for two reasons. Moreover, select sub topics tend to be used around here to misrepresent the issue, of conflate the scientific process of uncertainty over them

      • John, the song doesn’t mock you or anyone else for believing in AGW. It mocks you for thinking Judith would be interested in arguing with you. “she had a place in his life. He never made her think twice.” I don’t think you are worth the time since you don’t bring a coherent argument. Why should she?

  101. Geez .. WordPress is dodgy today .. dropping comments wherever it likes:

    John Carter | November 18, 2014 at 1:17 am

    …..conflate the ongoing process of science itself…

    You acknowledge the process is ongoing, but presume the conclusions are reached.

  102. Just so happens I was looking a the “top 20” Ted talks while on the elliptical… and the 1rst two both had elements related to the “Americans BS too much” discussion.

    Only a small part of either video relates directly – the upshot being that there is another side to Americans’ propensity for BSing that Dave doesn’t seem to recognize.

  103. That fact that this post doesn’t illustrate JCurry’s remarkable bias on this issue, to most of the many commenters here, helps support the idea that likely nothing will, or can.

    Her essential conclusion?

    “Oh my, that certainly puts the IPCC’s confidence levels in a new light.”

    Of course the generalized societal trait toward overconfidence, particularly when “selling,” to Judy Curry, puts the “IPCCs confidence” in a new light.Of all things.

    Not climate change skeptics, most of whom are not scientists. And even fewer of whom are climate scientists. And most of whom ARE trying to sell something, whereas the very process of science itself, is to discover physical objective truth about the world. Not sell.

    The IPCC is political in that it was created by governments to assess the climate change phenomenon, but its main input is by scientists, and it’s an assessment panel, not one to sell.

    It also gets a tremendous amount of pressure from zealous, absurdly overconfident and over extreme non expertise anti climate science interests posing as experts (an extreme and classic example of the over confident subject, which of course Curry immediately switches over to the IPCC instead), and has greatly influenced public opinion and increased often lll founded and incorrect fact based skepticism to an excessive extent This exerts a downward pressure on how the IPCC couches its warnings, if anything, so that it captures at least the generalized range of risk without seeming too, too at odds and simply be dismissed by an often overwhelmingly misinformed and often intensely biased populace.

    It also, more importantly, captures the lowest common denominator of agreement. That is, the IPCC does not “average out” the consensus of just what the most relevant risk assessment is. It hammers out one acceptable to almost all or all involved in the process, meaning that it reflects a lower estimate than the consensus actually is. It is, by its nature, a very “conservative” body.

    It also leaves out most of the relatively uncertain risks from its overall assessment. This renders the overall risk range inaccurate, or “low balled,” since a risk range by definition includes risks, meaning the chances of things occurring (or their range times the further fractional chance of each point) times their harm if they do, added together. Leaving out substantial, if uncertain, risks, lower the overall projection.

    The IPCC does all this for several reasons, a few of which were just given. Another key one, possibly mistaken, is that it believes that the assessment it gives carries the weight of the definitive leading international body. (If it does, it’s watered down because of climate change skepticism, boldly and even blindly asserted as expertise, often self righteous expertise, often loudly condemning climate science,and sometimes even in somewhat hostile terms, even climate scientists and climate change advocates.)

    And that it believes, or those involved believe, that the very conservative estimate it does give, sensitive to all of the considerations above, is more than sufficient to make it clear we need to transform away from archaic practices and reliances that came into play a long time ago,when things were very different. Yet this may also be a largely mistaken presumption, for the reasons just given in the last paragraph.

    But the point is, the IPCC is a very conservative body, of largely scientists, assessing, if conservatively and appealing to the lowest common denominator within, the state of the science.

    It is, for the most part the very opposite, if anything, of Curry’s conclusion. A conclusion, far more relevantly here, also not only near perfectly applies to much anti climate change skepticism, but which understates it.

    And yet> Judy Curry, after going through all of that analysis, misses all of that; and immediately and fundamentally, concludes, “naturally” (given this blog’s excessive bias on and fundamental misconstruction of the issue) that:

    “Oh my, that certainly puts the IPCC’s confidence levels in a new light.”

    Oh my, indeed.

    • John Carter

      You trust the IPCC blindly, in spite of having been shown repeatedly that the models that were used for the analysis were deeply flawed. Try learning a bit more about the actual science and do not rely upon what other have told you to BELIEVE.

      You might be suprised to know that many who actually do science for a living used to also accept the IPCCs position to a greater degree (pun intended), until the data showed we shouldn’t

  104. That fact that this post doesn’t illustrate JCurry’s very strong bias on this issue, to most of the many commenters here, helps support the idea that likely very little can.

    Her essential conclusion?

    “Oh my, that certainly puts the IPCC’s confidence levels in a new light.”

    Of course the generalized societal trait toward overconfidence, particularly when “selling,” to Judy Curry, puts the “IPCCs confidence” in a new light.Of all things.

    Not climate change skeptics, most of whom are not scientists. And even fewer of whom are climate scientists. And most of whom ARE trying to sell something, whereas the very process of science itself, is to discover physical objective truth about the world. Not sell.

    The IPCC is political in that it was created by governments to assess the climate change phenomenon, but its main input is by scientists, and it’s an assessment panel, not one to sell.

    It also gets a tremendous amount of pressure from zealous, absurdly overconfident and over extreme non expertise anti climate science interests posing as experts (an extreme and classic example of the over confident subject, which of course Curry immediately switches over to the IPCC instead), and has greatly influenced public opinion and increased often lll founded and incorrect fact based skepticism to an excessive extent This exerts a downward pressure on how the IPCC couches its warnings, if anything, so that it captures at least the generalized range of risk without seeming too, too at odds and simply be dismissed by an often overwhelmingly misinformed and often intensely biased populace.

    It also, more importantly, captures the lowest common denominator of agreement. That is, the IPCC does not “average out” the consensus of just what the most relevant risk assessment is. It hammers out one acceptable to almost all or all involved in the process, meaning that it reflects a lower estimate than the consensus actually is. It is, by its nature, a very “conservative” body.

    It also leaves out most of the relatively uncertain risks from its overall assessment. This renders the overall risk range inaccurate, or “low balled,” since a risk range by definition includes risks, meaning the chances of things occurring (or their range times the further fractional chance of each point) times their harm if they do, added together. Leaving out substantial, if uncertain, risks, lower the overall projection.

    The IPCC does all this for several reasons, a few of which were just given. Another key one, possibly mistaken, is that it believes that the assessment it gives carries the weight of the definitive leading international body. (If it does, it’s watered down because of climate change skepticism, boldly and even blindly asserted as expertise, often self righteous expertise, often loudly condemning climate science,and sometimes even in somewhat hostile terms, even climate scientists and climate change advocates.)

    And that it believes, or those involved believe, that the very conservative estimate it does give, sensitive to all of the considerations above, is more than sufficient to make it clear we need to transform away from archaic practices and reliances that came into play a long time ago,when things were very different. Yet this may also be a largely mistaken presumption, for the reasons just given in the last paragraph.

    But the point is, the IPCC is a very conservative body, of largely scientists, assessing, if conservatively and appealing to the lowest common denominator within, the state of the science.

    It is, for the most part the very opposite, if anything, of Curry’s conclusion. A conclusion, far more relevantly here, also not only near perfectly applies to much anti climate change skepticism, but which understates it.

    And yet> Judy Curry, after going through all of that analysis, misses all of that; and immediately and fundamentally, concludes, “naturally” (given this blog’s excessive bias on and fundamental misconstruction of the issue) that:

    “Oh my, that certainly puts the IPCC’s confidence levels in a new light.”

    The IPCC’s, of all things.

    • John,

      I’m curious about something. May I ask what blogs/sites you like? Wondering for perspective purposes, so you’ll know.

      I have some I like and some I don’t and filtering your response is only so I can analyse my “confirmational bias” as apparently we all have some.

      I’ve told you before that I’m on my journey and have made no determination. I understand that you’re not in agreement with my choice to not “take a stand” but so that you’ll know that you’re not alone, those on other sites also try to get me in a box. My response, before you ask (assuming you might) is that would one expect a scientist to declare a conclusion before the data from their research is in?

      • @danny

        “John,

        I’m curious about something. May I ask what blogs/sites you like? Wondering for perspective purposes, so you’ll know.””

        I tried to answer this before, but I’ll share a little further. First, the irony. (yet another one). I have several times been accused of having no mind of my own, but instead being just a ‘parrot” of the echo chamber of the blogosphere. In one of his first comments to me Rob Ellison reiterated this in fairly scathing terms. Remarkably wrong, as with most of Ellison’s comments to me.

        I don’t read a lot of them. I tended to read studies more, and frequent more information websites. I also read the science journals and magazines, some of them, at least given how poor the general media’s understanding and coverage of some science topic is (CC in particular), do a pretty good job. Of course any that do a good job, just like skepticalscienc.com, get torn into by climate change skeptics, so it kind of becomes a self perpetuating thing.(I also have done a lot of independent analysis, just haven’t published it. Some of it goes back many years, and foreshadowed a few things climate scientists are currently saying, but of course that’s just words, being as I didn’t publish it. But I know it.)

        I just ask one thing, after of course reconsidering this issue anew, and reading -and CONSIDERING – some of my stuff on it (Ive just started posting, and ive linked to the piece sufficiently,so you’ve had oppty to read) in 20 – 30 years, when but for the hard core zealot minds will NEVER be changed even when Florida swamps type of skeptic, when knowledge is more advanced and more more empirical data has accumulated, don’t say wow JC was kinda lucky in his guess.

        I do warrant no one can know for certain what will happen (and certainly not the time frame) but there’s a pretty high likelihood that in 20 or 20 years (if not sooner) there will be sufficient change for the non fully radicalized skeptic to realize, “wow, we’re really changing the earth.” But it’s not a guess. There’s a difference between assessing a risk range, and various levels of probability and outcomes with a fairly high degree of confidences, and speculations.And there are fundamental reasons why this is far removed from speculation,

        I’ve offered a few, but those keep getting tossed aside as “broad.” But what’s not being realized is that specific data does not nor likely can it fully prove this issue by the nature of what it is. An uncontrolled long term experiment on the earth. That doesn’t mean we don’t know there will be change, or even to some degree, some of the extent of it. but we can’t know the exact path as if we were writing the script, after the fact, yet doing so in advance.

        I think a lot of skeptics have a lot of trouble with that concept. And what risk really is in this context.

      • May I share another couple of perspectives.

        You shared so websites with me earlier. I assure you that I’ve been to those. If I had a choice, I would take a class from Jim Hansen, Judith Curry, and the most denialist (note, not skeptic but denialist) that I could find. As it ads perspective. I consume media from more sources in this information than I could possibly name. When others provide links, I follow them. And often those links have links and I follow them. But I’m no scientist. And I’d venture to say that some substantial percentage of fellow bloggers are not either.

        Scientists think like scientists. And they don’t “play well with others” who are not as they can often not speak in the language of the receivers. I would suggest that you consider learning how others think if you wish to communicate well with them. One of my liberal arts classes was thinking about thinking. Not philosophy, but the ways differing folks think.

        One of my life long friends has studied climate change (formerly global warming in his words) since 1998 so I’ve been exposed that long. But due to the numerous “hicups” between modeling and observation I became skeptical and am seeking answers for myself.

        I perceive as you do that due to ideology some will not be swayed, but that works both ways. You can provide a “likelyhood” that CO2 is causing warming but you cannot exclude mother nature as a cause. I’ve not read anyone anywhere who can.

        I think a preponderance of folks agree that warming is occurring. The obstacle is cause. AGW side has too many errors between modeling and observation to be credible. Not meant as derogatory, just my observation.

        Risk varies by individual. Some drive motorcycles w/o helmets. Some won’t get on one. So the risk tactic without proof (not likelyhood) that injury will occur doesn’t play. Look at it like that and it may help with your understanding.

        Find what works because what’s being done now, over and over again while expecting different results, doesn’t work. Continuing to pound the drum just makes folks not hear.

  105. “”””Danny,

    I am one of the people that John Carter is so bitterly attacking”””””

    Another example of the same point made above.

    Physicist Dave mistakes flaws pointed out in his arguments, as bitterly attacking him.

    The same thing Danny did. This is part of the problem with climate change skepticism, skeptics get their sense of self from their “belief” on this issue, so if you undermine that belief, show logical reasons why that belief is not accurate, misplaced, based upon a misconstruction of the issue, etc, they continue, no matter how many times it is pointed out, to take it as an attack upon themselves. “belief in agw skepticism – the person.”

    That’s part of why there is rampant stubbornness

    And it leads to ludicrous assertions like this:

    “John is not motivated by an interest in the science. He is playing some game here, either just as a lark or to fulfill some pseudo-religious ideological obsession.

    ….
    John Carter… not scientifically interesting. Apparently not even scientifically literate.”

    Sort of like how climate skeptics in general know more about the issue of climate science, than actual climate scientists, who instead often get called names.

    Physicist Dave brags about how he believes AGW is real. We increase the level of LL gg to levels not seen on earth in millions of years, the same molecules that keep the earth from being a largely lifeless ball of ice, and which increase the lower atmosphere/earth energy balance, of course it’s going to affect that.

    So Dave realizes that, so ever single suggestion he makes is immune from criticism, it’s immune from having flaws pointed out, or things he is missing, or misconstruing, pointed out. And to do so, is, of course, “attacking him.”

    For, as he also writes, in between actually (and wildly inaccurately, almost delusional so as to be able to adhere to his exact same mindset) disparagingly me pretty heavily:

    “What will the feedback effect of clouds be? How can we test the accuracy of the GCMs? Those are interesting scientific questions.”

    Yes, therefore his skepticism is warranted, And anyone who otherwise points out why it is not, is on some pseudo religious ideological obsession.” (But not climate skeptics, naturally.)

    That physicist Dave even thinks that is about as big a clue of his intense bias in this issue as can be. That he can’t recognize the basis for my concern (and that of many climate scientists who study this) based upon the physical reality of the world and nothing more nothing less would in other contexts than the highly politically charged one of climate science, be mind boggling.

    Yet it is he, not the climate scientists who study this, who is the “objective” one. And point out where perhaps he is not being objective, or skewing the issue, or taking things we don’t know and confusing them with things we do, or overly dismissing the underlying relevance of things we do? Why, that’s not discussing the issue. Only skeptics can “discuss” the issue by making THEIR points. That’s, instead, “attacking” him. And “bitterly,” no less.

    Climate skepticism logic in a nutshell.