by Judith Curry
The recent article by Paul Matthews has motivated me to start a new ‘Denizens’ thread.
Paul Matthews has recently published a fascinating paper, Why are people skeptical of climate change? Paul has a blog post on the paper also [link]. The paper draws from the Reader Background thread at the Air Vent, but also mentions the Denizens at Climate Etc.
Paul’s paper has motivated several people to ask to add to CE’s Denizen’s list. To keep spam under control, I need to close the comments on threads after 4 weeks (can’t figure out if it is possible to open comments on a single thread, doesn’t seem like it is possible).
I thought it would be interesting to start a new Denizens thread, providing newcomers an opportunity to post. Also, it would be interesting to hear from commenters on the original Denizen’s thread as to how/why your perspective has changed since 2010. This is also an opportunity for ‘lurkers’ to say something.
Relevant topics to include in your post are your background, how you became interested in climate science, why you are skeptical or convinced about AGW, what other blogs you read. If you have a blog or a professional web site, please provide a link. Its up to you what you want to post.
Moderation note: keep your posts to 500 words, and maximum of 5 links (more than 5 will land you in moderation, to await manual approval). Don’t reply to anyone else’s post, to keep some semblance of organization to this. The Open thread is the place for discussion.
For me, climate skepticism is part of an intellectual journey that began about a decade ago when I started trying to replicate results in the CFD literature and carefully compare methods and codes. This has turned into a much larger effort with many collaborators and some interesting publications and still has a long ways to go to complete. We have found that much of the literature is unreliable and that the numerical methods used in virtually all the simulation software is not adequate to resolve or estimate the true uncertainty. This is an important project economically as people try to use simulations not just to design products but to certify them, where the level of public scrutiny is much higher. This is directly related to GCM’s and their heavy use in climate science. Learning more about climate science has also helped me become a lot more knowledgable about where CFD may or may not be going and what the pitfalls are of doing time accurate turbulent simulations.
An original denizen here, still lurking. My 2010 comments still hold without modification. New comments: Five years on, and most of those years were exceptionally warm. I find it a bit disingenuous to divert attention from the simplest observations by finding fault with IPCC projections, inadequate models, and the like – all true, all important issues regarding process and response, but beside the point regarding the signals that the physical system is sending us.
Peter, if you mean poorly chosen targets of criticism I could agree with you. But I suspect you mean more when you speak of “signals that the physical system is sending us.” Could you be a little more explicit and spell out what it is that is disingenuous about all this?
I have gradually changed from a believer to a skeptic to a denier(manmade GW) over the last 15 years, of course climategate was a milestone. Even today though the fear mongering occasionally gives me a scare, then I look at it with a critical eye. It reminds me as a kid being told by my mother that god will strike you down if I did…whatever she didnt want me to do. The money has really corrupted the entire issue, so I understand why there are a lot of believers in positions of power(and money), if the money disappeared this would fall into the same category as talking about the weather.
Society is under attack… by Western academia: they’ve been pushing an ideology of fear for years called, global warming.
It is clear that the global warming scare is highly politicised with the motives of the UN/IPCC unashamedlty and publicly being being global social/economic change rather than anything to do with the climate, the most recent being the following: http://www.unric.org/en/latest-un-buzz/29623-figueres-first-time-the-world-economy-is-transformed-intentionally
In the light of this I am highly skeptical of any push for alarm over global climate. I find the lack of evidence for such simple things as CO2 radiative “forcing” in the temperature record to be apalling, considering how much undue weight it is given. We are constantly told that places like Florida will soon be under water, neglecting the fact that these places are sinking. West Antarctica glaciers are melting due to geothermal heat, not warmer oceans which clearly could not carry record sea ice were they warmer.
I could go on all day……..
There is simply too much alarmist nonsense.
After reading some of the climategate emails in 2009, I was just appalled that nothing was done in academic circles or by the authorities (deleting emails to thwart FOIA requests). Even then, the so-called investigations such as Penn State exonerated this, ahem, climate scientist. With Penn State, the person who hired this scientist was added to the investigative committee and a week later a whitewash completely exonerated him. What was the extent of the investigation? Well, they interviewed him. That’s it.
All these jokers mentioned in the emails are still practicing in academia or a federally supported agency. Only Richard Mueller is the one scientist in mind who felt as apalled as I am about this whole affair. My respect for academia is about nill right now. Would love to see their science funding cut at least half. We’ll see what happens in 2016.
I might add that I would also like to thank Dr. Curry for giving us laymen the opportunity to express ourselves. Everything I had posted is well-known to many folks here. It’s worth repeating especially to those who are new to this forum. Thank you.
Judith, thanks for starting Denizens II.
I posted my background and views in Feb. 2014 in the original Denizens. Since then I have done lots of reading. I follow CE daily and try to add some value when I think I can.
My views have become even more skeptical over the past year than they were before.
The misuse of the GCM’s by the alarmist (warmunist as Rud calls them) crowd to project future catastrophe in order to abet attempts by the UN and the Progressive Green Mafia to reshape the entire world economy is obvious. Similarly the “warmest year” meme promulgated by politicians and government agencies is nonsense, as are the attempts to scare the public re. extreme weather events being linked to climate change.
I have been mightily impressed by the highly technical work and persistence of the likes of Steve McIntyre, Ross M, Nic Lewis and others. I also admire the work and perspective of Nigel Lawson, Rupert Darwall, Matt Ridley and Benny Peiser.
I continue to follow and admire the work and musings of Richard Lindzen, who is IMHO the clearest thinker and best communicator on this subject.
I want to thank Judith Curry for her efforts and for speaking out with courage when necessary. She has introduced me to aspects of this subject that I never would have fund on my own.
While I can easily be accused of only reading the stuff that confirms my own bias, I am open and eager to find credible material by the “mainstream” consensus to read. Can anyone point me to the warmest versions of Curry, Lindzen, Lawson, McIntyre or Lewis?
The auto correct got me again!
It was supposed to be “warmist” versions…….
Seriously, is there anything out there worth reading on the alarmist side that anyone can recommend? I’m not talking about Mann or Oreskes!
I know CO2 is a greenhouse gas. I know it will cause back-radiation. What hasn’t been proven is the feedbacks. I don’t believe that climate models are useful for predicting climate. I’m still skeptical of the accuracy of the land temperature records, but don’t believe anyone is purposefully skewing the data to warm. Also, I don’t believe attribution has been nailed down.
All in all, there are still a lot of unknowns.
I forgot to add, I have a BS in Chemistry.
Jim, why don’t you believe anyone is purposely skewing the data to warm? Here is one example for you. The three ground-based data sets, namely GISS, NCDC, and HadCRUT, have co-operated for years to skew global temperature. What they have done is to make the eighties and the nineties appear as a warming period which is not true. There is no warming from 1979 to 1997 which makes this period another 18 year long hiatus, only hidden by fake warming. I proved that doing research for my book “What Warming?” and even put a warning about it into the preface. Originally I used HadCRUT3 only but later discovered that these tree were all involved. The discovery was by luck because they used computer processing to bring their separate data-sets into line. Unbeknownst to them however, the computer left its footprints on all three of their public data-sets. These comprise sharp upward spikes near the beginnings of years, in exactly the same positions in all three datasets. You will have no trouble recognizing them in comparison to satellite data which is free of this fakery. One of these fake temperature spikes actually sits on top of the 1998 super El Nino and extends it upward by 0.1 degrees. These are supposedly three independent temperature sets, with an ocean between, but obviously they have been doctored in unison to create a non-existent warming. This fakery continues into the twenty-first century with the absurd result that the 2010 El Nino now stands higher than the 1998 super El Nino does which is impossible. That is the only way they could make 2014 the warmest year on record.
Arno – I understand why people are suspicious due to the fact that just about every time an adjustment is made, more warming results. But, until you dig deep into the code and can explain why the warming is synthesized, you just don’t have any proof.
Jim: here is where you are wrong. No one has the right to “synthesize” warming. If it turns out that they did this, the “synthesized” warming must be removed and real data restored. Michael Crichton was appalled by this practice and said so in front of the Congress. Your casual attitude to this scam bodes ill for climate science. Note that my case takes in not just secret warming imposed on global temperature but also cross-ocean cooperation to keep it secret by use of computer adjustments. If they had not screwed up that computer operation we would never even have known about this cooperation. You realize of course that one of the three data sources, HadCRUT, originates from from CRU, the original source of the Climategate emails. Are you suggesting they should get a pass? I am not and I want it investigated. I said that already in 2010 and was completely ignored. So far the so-called “investigations” of Climategate have all been whitewashes and the same people, including mister Hockey Stick himself, are still in business.
Physicist, Ph.D. in Astrophysics, City University of New York
Taught physics and astronomy (Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology) for 2 years.
Environmental scientist at US EPA Office of Research and Development for 27 years (1977-2004). Concentrated on studies of human exposure to environmental pollutants. Directed studies showing that most human exposure occurs at home due to consumer products (solvents, paints, fire retardants, plasticizers such as phthalates and bis-phenol), indoor combustion, building materials (formaldehyde), water treatment (chloroform), smoking (benzene), cooking (fine and ultrafine particles), air “fresheners” (para-dichlorobenzene, alpha- and beta-pinene), etc.
Researcher at NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) (2005-2010)
Independent researcher (2010-present)
Publications (150 or so) can be found at ResearchGate
Lurker here for the last 5 or so years. I read every post. Start to read the comments but quickly stop upon encountering your regulars, who are able (and anxious) to comment on every topic regardless of their demonstrable lack of knowledge on most. It’s too bad that this happens. Somehow Climate Audit and Bishop Hill do not have the same problems. WUWT also escapes some of your persistent gabby commenters. However, your blog is one of the scarce rays of light in our situation of being buried by the UN, world leaders, the media, politicians…beating the drum for climate change.
Became interested in climate change when it was still called global warming. Noticed that research grants could increasingly be obtained only by linking the research to climate change. Turned off by the posturizing, end-of-world claims of Hansen, Mann, Schmidt, etc. Began reading the literature on CO2, paleo, read Plimer, discovered WUWT, Climate Audit, and Bishop Hill. Climategate and the Hockey Stick Illusion confirmed my skepticism.
I accept the radiation physics indicating CO2 acts as a filter for certain electromagnetic frequencies, and also the estimate of 1 degree C of warming per doubling of CO2 in the absence of feedback. However, like the spherical cow, absence of feedback has never existed. In an immensely complicated perhaps chaotic system, which nevertheless has been semistable for some billions of years, it seems to me that feedback must normally be negative, leading to less than 1 degree of warming. (The recent lowering of climate sensitivity from 3 degrees to something on the order of 1.6 degrees in multiple studies is a welcome development.)
Sometimes I get pretty depressed about turning corn into fuel, whacking eagles out of the sky by blades or frying them by reflecting light into a parabolic concentrator, demonizing clean safe cheap nuclear power, killing the poor by the hundreds of thousands perhaps millions by denying them food and cheap energy. I do expect the Chinese will get things right eventually, and perhaps the West will relearn from them the lessons we have forgotten.
Whoops, it sounds like I am adopting the End is Near! outlook of the alarmists.
If we can eventually turn things around, it will be due in large part to you, Judith, and your partners in the Roll of Honor: Lindzen, McIntyre, McKitrick, Watts, Montford, Nic Lewis, Laframboise, Jo Nova, Ridley, Lomborg…
Lance, I have to be honest with you here. I would never have thought that a former high level EPA researcher would have such a thoughtful and highly knowledgeable take on climate change issues. If that is too harsh on EPA employees, please forgive, but I have had plenty of interactions with them. Folks like the recently retired John B…mann.
It makes me wonder why you left the agency. Is that something you feel comfortable sharing?
Thanks very much for this post.
Important historical context for today’s climate alarmism are the Malthusian scares of overpopulation and food riots (1960s), mineral resource depletion/crises (1970s), and, to a far lesser extent, global cooling (1980s). These alarms were mainstream and held by the same advocates of climate alarmism. Same song, new verse.
This does not necessarily mean the climate alarmists are wrong; it means that they should have humility and be open to the very cogent middle-ground of ‘lukewarming’–and the positive side of man-made warming, CO2 fertilization, and fossil-fuel appreciation.
And public-policy-side, respectful of “Public Choice’ economics on ‘government failure’ in the attempt to address ‘market failure.’
I became interested years ago because it was in the news so much and because more and more tax dollars are being spent every year to prevent AGW. I am no scientist. I read climate etc on a regular basis but 80% of it is over my head. I became skeptical because; 1. Nothing significant has yet happened with the climate. 2. All the predicted danger is based on computer models. 3. I love science but science has a terrible track record in predicting the future. 4. Many of the people pushing the danger are radical extremists who seem to hate any human activity and use the threat of AGW to halt the dreaded consumers from consuming. 5. Still too many unknowns.
I started a PhD program in Environmental Engineering because I worried about climate change. It didn’t take long for me to become a skeptic. My first paper, a study about precipitation intensity over the U.S., was rejected by reviewers because it contradicted the climate model projections. Though they could find nothing wrong with the methodology, they decided observational data must be flawed because climate models couldn’t possibly be wrong and wrote that the paper could not be published. I then started reading the atmospheric science literature about precipitation trends. It was clear to me that the theory about changes in precipitation intensity were designed to explain climate model results that didn’t mesh with observations. When I found that changes in observed precipitation were largest in autumn, and did not find the same patterns of precipitation in climate models outputs, I really became skeptical about the use of climate models. When I started working with climate models and saw how poorly they reproduce precipitation patterns, I was forced into the realization that the “science” was being fit to the models and that the models were not very realistic. From my perspective, this runs contrary to the scientific method. After finishing my PhD in Environmental Engineering, I earned a M.S. in Atmospheric Science and started working on a PhD. As I learned more about meteorology and atmospheric dynamics, I started to see the contradictions in the climate change discussion. I had another paper refused by a high profile journal because it showed that cold air is required to produce the conditions that cause storm surges in the western Canadian arctic. That suggestion really seemed to upset the editor (an engineer) who wouldn’t even send it out for review. My later research has shown the importance of strong jets and cold air in building the blocking ridges that cause the extreme weather we’ve seen over the last two autumns/winters. The claims that are being made that a warming of the arctic will lead to warmer conditions in the mid-latitudes because it will cause more blocking are preposterous because strong jets are needed to support the blocking ridges. I received dozens of letters saying my published paper must be wrong because I suggest that strong jets, not weak jets, cause blocking. Most of the claims being made by climate change advocates appear to run contrary to basic meteorology. As I’ve been attacked personally and professionally for offering contrary views, I decided to leave the field. I will defend my Atmospheric Science PhD thesis and walk away. It’s become clear to me that it is not possible to undertake independent research in any area that touches upon climate change if you have to make your living as a professional scientist on government grant money or have to rely on getting tenure at a university. The massive group think that I have encountered on this topic has cost me my career, many colleagues and has damaged my reputation among the few people I know in the field. I’m leaving to work in the financial industry. It’s a sad day when you feel that you have to leave a field that you are passionately interested in because you fear that you won’t be able to find a job once your views become widely known. Until free thought is allowed in the climate sciences, I will consider myself a skeptic of catastrophic human induced global warming.
I have a friend who has worked for a number of years as an environmental engineer in a region that gets lots of work through the Dept of Energy. He went back to school at night for his masters and completed all course work but his thesis. His research was in a pet area of his advisor and she had already scheduled a presentation at a big conference on the other side of the country when he told her the data didn’t support her theory. She told him there was no way she would embarrass herself and the school, so she simply discarded the inconvenient parts of the data and wrote it up as a study supporting her consensus beliefs. He refused to put his name on it and never got his masters. He said that as long as no one ever checks the work of other people, he really doesn’t accept any supposed “findings” any more.
I was employed as a quantitative analyst and modeler for several decades. As such, I am all too familiar with the limitations and failings of models of complex, dynamic, non-linear systems. The years spent in large organizations also made me well aware of the institutional imperative and the dangers/perils of groupthink. I’ve seen far too many examples of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness Of Crowds.
As one familiar with the compilation of large databases over extended periods of time, I have serious doubts about the accuracy and reliability of the global historic temperature records.
I was one of the “154 individuals who expressed some degree of scepticism regarding climate change” in the reader background thread on The Air Vent blog.
My background is nuclear power, initially in the U.S. Navy, serving on a submarine, after 2 year of schools, and then as an instructor. After the navy, I went to commercial nuclear power, working as an operator and, later, operations instructor. Since retiring, I have continued in the field as a contractor. I have a BS in Industrial Technology.
Some time around 2007 or 2008, I came across one of Steven Milloy’s junk science articles related to AGW. That led to reading more on the topic. As I researched the available information online, my reservations about global warming became informed skepticism.
In the nearly 5 years since the reader background thread, I have become more and more frustrated with NOAA, NASA, EPA, and others in the government, especially the president.
I’m in software engineering in the networking space for 30 years. I read/have read WUWT, then to climateaudit, here, and occasionally Mark Steyn. Now if I do any reading of blogs, it is here and at steynonline (sometimes going over to climateaudit), because I think some of the wrong things in America are popping up in climate science as a lawsuit against Steyn. The lawsuit reminds me of the Duke Lacrosse/Zimmerman witch-hunts. The shouting down of skeptics is one of the reasons I followed it for so long, but I’m trying to wean myself off.
When I first heard about the idea of global warming, it seemed unlikely to me that anyone could “know” how earth would react to forcing from CO2. Probably why I ended up spending most of my time here, rather than on the tit/tat sites.
Certainly before climate-gate came out I was having these “How can you know” discussions with various proponents, who were very certain. Oddly, I get the same arguments from both of these smart guys who try to explain my “skepticism” is akin to being a flat earther, or a religious person who denies evolution (being an atheist, I am not too concerned about these attacks). These people do not know each other, which leads me to view them as inquisitors (or probably acolytes) of some religious Global Warming cult, armed with good sounding arguments to convince the unbelievers, and when that fails to use stronger methods.
I’ve now come to the conclusion that earth’s climate system is so incredibly complicated, only observation will provide the answers to “How much warming,” and “How fast”. I can’t make much sense of arguments such as the precautionary principle, etc., and don’t want to try to puzzle them out. Too hard, and it requires an intuitive sense of climate I simply do not have.
I also think the way Climate Scientists have behaved could be very bad for the scientific community at large. If the activists are right, the very bad behavior becomes justified, and the new norm. On the other hand, if they are wrong (and end up admitting it), it will damage science for a long, long time in the public’s eye, it’s relationship with government, etc.
I am more concerned than ten years ago about CO2 forcing. Maybe it won’t be outside of a “natural” range, or perhaps very fast, but who knows. In general if the earth is warming dangerously on account of CO2 production, that’s going to be really bad. There probably isn’t much one could do about global CO2 production without some new invention. In my view the government approaches right now are actually damaging, because they make it seem as if approaches (such as solar/wind) could actually work.
Anyway, that’s the thumbnail of my thoughts having read this stuff for about a decade.
I’m from Miami and, according to some of our local politicians, will be kayaking to work soon.
So about five years ago I started attending local meetings conducted by county staff on climate change.
I became skeptical when their answers constantly changed. For example, in 2010 the county and some other local governments released an estimate of area level rise in 2030 to be two feet higher than today.
When I checked the record, sea levels were rising about a foot or century. Our locals are telling us some future areas level that is more than double the historic rate!
In the abstract, this could be ignored as crackpottery except that our local property insurance rates are now under review by international reinsurers.
Being prepared is wise but preparing for the wrong thing can waste resources and wear out the public. This is where we’re headed in the climate discussion.
I am retired human geneticist whose area of specialization included genetic epidemiology. This meant a lot, and I mean a lot, more statistics than most biologists have and probably more than a lot of scientists in general. One of the cardinal rules of epidemiology is the danger of statistical extrapolation. No matter what you think might happen, there are always unknown factors that change your results or unexpected inputs you never thought of in your model so any kind of extrapolation almost always fails. Computers allow us to do more complex extrapolations and therefore make even bigger errors. Aside from observing a polite debate between one professor who wanted to make all the students watch the Al Gore movie and another who felt it was inappropriate because it was not our field and the movie was controversial, I largely ignored the issue until I retired. I was too busy and it smelled bad. I got dragged to a lecture by Chris Essex and found myself spellbound. He made sense, especially in his criticism of modelling. I read his book through several times looking for errors in his approach. Again, not my field, but I just couldn’t find any. I then started looking at the issue and I made the mistake of asking a question about error bars on an alarmist blog and wow, I got immediately accused of all kinds of horrible things including being in the pay of big oil, a reaction that utterly shocked me. How can a scientist respond to a simple question in that fashion and then dare to call himself a scientist? I then heard about climate gate and since I have seen the dirty underside of peer review and academic backstabbing up close and personal, I began to really question what was going on. The final real doubts that the whole thing was a scam was raised when Mann sued Steyn. Steyn is a mere shock journalist. What does Mann have to hide that he needs to sue a journalist like Steyn into silence? It’s preposterous. If you have proper work you put it out there and if people call you names you ignore them because your work speaks for itself. People ask me Do you believe in global warming? I have to say No, I don’t, because I am scientist and science is not about belief. It is about facts and hypotheses and theories. Do I accept that climate change occurs? Of course, the climate has been changing throughout earth’s history. Do I think C02 contributed by humanity is the main cause of warming today? Maybe. I haven’t seen enough evidence for that to satisfy me that we are 100% certain we are even really warming beyond normal variations and we can’t attribute any warming that may or may not exist to other things. Plus I wonder about factors like suppose a big volcano blows and we are suddenly all freezing? Should we turn our economy upside down to reduce C02? Well it probably wouldn’t hurt, but not so we impoverish ourselves or stop development in the third world because we just don’t have enough to go on for that kind of sacrifice. Should we tax C02? Ah ha! THAT is the real source of this frenzy. There are a lot of taxes to be made by taxing C02 and therefore it is far too attractive to those in favour of big government looking for yet another reason to redistribute wealth. How can they possibly resist embracing that? To me it is the ultimate in conflict of interest for government to pursue carbon taxes to tackle climate change. And finally I have been encountering a lot of greenies who respond to issues like sea turtle conservation with a shrug and “But until we tackle climate change anything we do to save sea turtles is a waste because climate change will just kill them all off anyway.” So climate change becomes the liberal environmental equivalent of “We can’t do anything until we understand the root causes”. In other word, it is a wonderful excuse to do nothing at all while feeling all self righteous and smug. So I classify myself somewhere between the lukewarmers to the outright denialists. And I am not the least bit surprised about the pause because that’s what invariably happens when you extrapolate too far. I hang out on Judith Curry’s blog because I get rationality and adult discussion suitable for scientific inquiry here, mostly. She has also pulled me more towards the lukewarm side than the outright denialist side.
Enjoyed your story, TW. Error bars indeed!
I’m a (still) practicing human geneticist who is aghast at the AGW crowd’s behavior as well. It’s distressing to see the vigorous defense of shoddy science in the name of… well, not really sure, what. Probably reputations, funding, prestige, power, control…hmmm.. the usual human foibles. It reflects so badly on the rest of us in science. Yet it’s so entrenched that any expression of skepticism endangers one’s own position, even in a completely different field. Lumping our serious questions about significantly complicated science with “science denial” and ignorance or religious fervor is just so tiresome.
My final thought: The AGW crowd’s vigorous attempts to indoctrinate the young, starting in elementary school, with the thought that we humans are responsible for “destroying” the planet and its inhabitants are leading to generations of cynical, disconnected, hopeless individuals who lack the drive and imagination necessary to invent the real solution: abundant and inexpensive energy sources. This is the true tragedy of this farce.
So true. You dare to question anthropogenic global warming and you find yourself classified with Atilla the Hun and the people who try to remove the teaching of evolution from our classrooms. I the what this has done to science. I wonder if the public will ever trust us again.
I am from the UK, have a bachelor’s degree in engineering and currently work in the meteorology industry.
After a few years of scepticism, in 2013 I wrote an article about how it came about, that Anthony was kind enough to publish at WUWT: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/07/25/my-personal-path-to-catastrophic-agw-skepticism/
I was pretty staggered by the response and it inspired me to start my own blog here: https://jonathanabbott99.wordpress.com/
I accept that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but think that the likelihood of dangerous warming has been massively overplayed by the IPCC, Hansen, Gore etc. I do not believe there is any sort of CAGW hoax or conspiracy, just some fallible scientists and some political opportunists, riding a very juicy gravy train. I would describe myself as a microwarmer. There is a summary of my views here: https://jonathanabbott99.wordpress.com/2014/04/25/global-warming-what-i-believe/
My thoughts on how it feels for someone like me, who apart from global warming is entirely supportive of science and scientists, to be called a ‘denier’ is here: https://jonathanabbott99.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/the-anguish-of-being-a-denier/
I visit Climate Etc every day, as I find it to be one of the best sites on global warming. The scientific content of posts is usually very high, and there are some very knowledgeable commenters.
The intent (at least I feel) of most of my comments is trying to find some “Common Ground” on GHG emissions and to nurture it. Folks might know I’m a big fan of Dr. Ramanathan’s “Fast Mitigation” (methane, smog, black soot, and HFC emissions). Today’s NY Times article (by Andrew Revkin who you can follow on Facebook) is the type of article that piques my attention on finding this common ground on air pollution and GHGs, especially in Developing Countries:
I am clearly a Greenie — who likes bottom/up market based solutions rather than top/down Government regulations. Although I just don’t have the time to write much, I do have a Blog were I occasionally post — where I feel I’m an equal opportunity Basher.
In this post, I took President Obama to task on his Administration’s international policy on coal: http://www.greenenergy.blogspot.com/2013/11/where-obama-is-wrong-on-coal.html
In this post, I criticize Conservatives: http://www.greenenergy.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-failure-of-conservatives-on-global.html
On Energy matters, I’ve just always thought that Chemical Engineers were the smartest people on Earth. That’s why I really like reading Robert Rapier and highly encourage others to do so also: http://www.energytrendsinsider.com/columns/rsquared/
You can “Friend” Robert Rapier on Facebook to follow his opinions:
Back in the 1970s, before I became a global warming denier, I was a defender of nuclear power (and still am). When I first heard about global warming I used it as one more argument in favor of nuclear power. Then I happened to catch a talk by Fred Singer on the “settled science” of global warming. This would have been around 1991. That provoked me to read up on both sides of the issue and I soon became more favorable to the skeptical side. I was very hazy about the science at first but gradually learned. For me, it was a crucial aha! moment when I realized that no one claims there is any physical property of CO2 that uniquely causes the alleged amplifying feedbacks: in other words, these feedbacks would come into play because of any warming, whatever the cause. Since it has been substantially warmer than today many times in the past, without any evidence of runaway warming, the hypothesis of runaway warming due to positive feedbacks began to look distinctly unpromising. I have come a long way since then. I frequently go to various skeptical sites. I’m more interested in extending my knowledge of the science, especially new research findings, than in poring over the details of just how evil the catastrophists are. To me, it seems clear that the catastrophists sincerely believe that what they are saying is true. I am interested in the general theory of belief systems, and I think the dynamics of belief systems are the same whatever the specific system (and irrespective of whether the beliefs are true or false). So I think of climate catastrophism the way I think of presbyterianism, Trotskyism, scientology, the Paleo diet, est, or, of course, climate skepticism. I am a writer and public speaker and I love to inflict my opinions on others. Recently, I have been predicting that the global warming delusion will not last another ten years (see my talk about this on YouTube). (In that talk, my first on this topic, I committed about half a dozen scientific bloopers, but in all the criticism I have received from catastrophists, no one caught any of them!) Maybe I should add that although global warming is an inherently interesting topic for debate, I am a strong supporter of economic growth to improve the lives of the half of the world’s population who are dreadfully poor, and I see climate catastrophism as an instrument of those who oppose economic growth and thus place themselves in the position of being objective enemies of human well-being.
This is one of the best sites. My main disagreement is with its emphasis on doubt and uncertainty. Doubt and uncertainty rarely kill a theory. Theories are usually killed by more attractive theories that come along. I have wavered back and forth on the Svensmark-Shaviv theory; it’s beautiful but I’m still not convinced. But instead of appealing to doubt and uncertainty, I prefer to advance the definite claim that climate sensitivity is low. This key claim has the merit that it is subject to empirical testing.
Anyone wanting to know more about me can see my public profile at LinkedIn:www.linkedin.com/pub/matthew-marler/15/21b/9a9/en. There is a little more, plus some papers, at ResearchGate.
Because I write here a lot, the reasons that I am a “lukewarmer” and “skeptical” of strong claims about the magnitude and dangers of CO2-induced warming and the need for or likely effectiveness of public policies are public knowledge already.
After reading most of the other short bigraphical notes, I thought that I would add some more details.
Until about 6 years ago I was a “warmist”, “true believer”, or whatever, but my curiosity was piqued when I read an article in Science Magazine on a newly discovered interaction between a part of the solar radiation and the upper atmosphere. It struck me that there was a lot more to learn abut the climate, so I determined to read much more than I ever had before.
To some degree, I just like long debates with lots of point-counterpoint, and I make my mind up, if ever, over long periods of time after reading and writing.
To some degree I like to test out propositions I read and think of by writing them and considering the quality of the rebuttals they elicit. Bacon wrote that “Reading maketh a whole man” and “Conference maketh a ready man”, but I think that disputation alerts me to things I need to learn better. I remember the interchanges when I seek out new reading.
My latest reading includes an article in Science Magazine by Laliberte et al titled “Constrained work output of the moist atmospheric heat engine in a warming climate”; and a textbook that it referenced by M. H. P. Ambaum titled “Thermal Physics of the Atmosphere”, which is compact (only 234 pp of text) and has a very good introduction to non-equilibrium climate-related thermodynamics, examining relationships that hold in steady-state..
I respond to particular comments, as they are written, and I try to imagine that my responses are being read by people who know a great deal more than I do. Clearly, a lot of the denizens do.
I am preparing for a Climate Study meeting next Thursday Feb 19 and a Climate Study Workshop on Friday Feb 20 and don’t have much time.
Here is a link to what I would write here.
I hold a BA summa in economics/econometrics, JD, and MBA, all from Harvard. I am sole or co-inventor of 14 issued US patents concerning RFID (Motorola), wireless patient monitoring (Motorola), topical antiseptics (my main company) and energy storage carbons (my second company). One peer reviewed paper applying nonlinear dynamics to manufacturing. Spent my career in business: consulting, large public corporation, small private corporations. Now winding down.
Until 2011, I thought the IPCC knew what it was doing, but that UNFCC would have a difficult time getting international action on the resulting ‘commons’ problem until problems were much worse. Copenhagen. (The ‘problem of the commons’ describes why there are no rational voluntary solutions to externalities like atmospheric CO2.) So naïve, I was unaware of Climategate.
From 2008-2010 researched market potential for energy storage carbons, to evaluate whether commercialization was warranted. After presenting findings at an international conference, several participants from academia and government asked if I would write them up more formally. Started out as a petroleum oriented energy policy paper. The future of hybrid vehicles depends on fuel saving economics, which depends on fuel prices, which depends on global oil supply and demand. Thus began a three-year journey culminating in the publication of Gaia’s Limits. It covered food and water as well as energy, since future global energy demand (and emissions) depends on population and economic development in places like China and India (as COP21 is rediscovering).
Researching climate change impacts on future food production (for what became that ebook) was my rather abrupt conversion to deep climate skepticism, albeit lukewarm. I found a 2011 Congressional briefing on CAGW food impacts by 2060. It came from the National Research Council, and was worse than grim—projecting billions would die of starvation if AGW is not mitigated. (A 60% reduction in crop yields in the US, India, and Africa would be catastrophic.) It was also deliberately misleading. It misrepresented NSF’s cherry pick of the worst outcome IPCC heat stress papers, all models. The IPCC US corn and soybean scare was based on a single paper’s statistical model. Which used unbelievably poor econometrics. I could not fathom how the authors made such obvious mistakes, nor how it got through peer review. That was my aha! moment. Led to my first guest post on it at Climate Etc 3/22/12. It also led to major portions of my two more recent books, different responses to that aha!
I regularly scan CE, Climate Audit, WUWT, JoNova, BishopHill, GWPF, and Paul Homewood. Just discovered Paul Matthews. Less regularly Pielke Jr., Tol, and Steele. Sometimes a thread leads to places like SoD. Occasionally check RealClimate to see what the consensus is saying.
Went and reread that first post and the comments. What an education!
My, I was still on a steep learning curve then (and probably still now). Ocean acidification, did not know then about buffering or seasonal variation. Guest post Shell Games. SLR, did not know how dodgy the global measurements are. The learning vector since my aha! moment has been from deep skepticism to even deeper skepticism. Partly thanks to feedback from Prof. Curry and her denizens here.
I’m a historian by academic background, but with an interested amateur’s curiosity about science. The history of science has been an area of reading for me. I traveled widely in my career but I’m now nearing retirement. I’ve always reacted against conventional wisdom, and the history of science provides a number of episodes wherein common assumptions proved ill-founded. The critical point for me was reading Bjorn Lomborg’s “The Skeptical Environmentalist.” Modern “consensus” climate thinking on anthropogenic global warming, with all its exceptions, pauses, polemics and excuses strikes me as too much like the Ptolemaic planetary system’s epicycles and reversals: designed to answer debating questions rather than explain the universe. Copernicus swept all that away with a conception at once larger and simpler — more elegant. That’s why I’m attracted to the work of Henrik Svensmark, although I don’t pretend to be capable of dealing with the physics. Count me as an interested observer.
I started out at a firm AGW believer. As an engineer though, I began looking for facts to prove my AGW claims to others. I researched real world met and historic climate data and found AGW not recognizable in those records. I researched the theoretical sources of AGW and found, for the most part, that science was vague and inconsistent. Where specific claims or predictions were made, those turned out to be failures. I began to realize my original assumptions about the truth of AGW were based upon nothing by a gut feeling. Gut feelings are handy in some situations but proved false in the case of AGW.
I’m a fool over at Lucias primarily (in the jester rather than savant sense). Sometimes it’s more useful to think of me as a laxative when it comes to climate discussion. I’m a software engineer, aerospace defense, huntsville AL US. Lukewarmer.
That’s why CERES has a 5W/m2 missing radiation.
This thread is WUWT sans dbstealey ie perfectly tailored to JC’s standards.
For the record I have no scientific credentials; my education is in Engineering and my career in manufacturing has focused on aqueous chemistry, electrochemical processes, and environmental compliance. It was the environmental compliance responsibility thrust upon me circa 1998 that led me to look into the issue for myself in order to evaluate potential future resulting compliance necessities. Prior to that I had pretty much accepted what I’d heard here and there in the media. Already being a geology and history buff (coming in with a certain amount of context wrt MWP, LIA, geologic pre-history, etc.), the obvious Zohnerism being employed in attempts to convince people of CAGW and the need for immediate action (just like a used car, this deal wasn’t going to last) struck me straightaway. Once I had educated myself enough on the subject to have the appropriate context the complete and utter reliance that the entire basis for the movement rested upon cherry-picking and lies of omission became immediately obvious. The fairly solid hypothesis of a slightly enhanced GHE from GHG emissions was/is being twisted into something more akin to a disaster flick in search of a disaster. Once informed on the subject news stories suddenly became propaganda pieces; I was and still am flabbergasted by the sheer inanity of it all. A skeptic could/can say 2+2=4 and the media would/will just quote some alarmist saying how the skeptic is a crank paid by Exxon and shouldn’t be listened to or some other nonsense effectively dismissing whatever the skeptic says without actually addressing what he/she says, ever. It’s been a strange 17 years for me. I hope some future sociologist can make sense of this time, because I sure can’t. The situation is indeed clear; we can logically conclude from geology, physics, climate science, ecology, and economics that a few hundred more ppm of CO2 would most likely be net beneficial globally and even for those areas or circumstances in which global warming would not be beneficial it would be considerably more feasible and cost effective to implement local adaptations than attempt global mitigation which comes with no money-back guarantees should the entire (100%) world not play ball. Furthermore the ethics is indeed also clear; it is morally reprehensible to condemn millions (if not billions) of the world’s poor to energy poverty, suffering, and possible premature death to save the world’s future rich from the potential inconvenience of adapting to their climate. Why is this still a thing? Perhaps it’s politics, because it’s certainly not science or ethics.
Quote: “..effectively dismissing whatever the skeptic says without actually addressing what he/she says, ever.”
I believe this behavior is a sign of cult-like influences. The technical term is ‘cognitive dissonance’. The alarmists feel uncomfortable when they are told that their beliefs don’t match up with reality. One of the ways they reduce the cognitive dissonance is by ignoring, dismissing, or denying any information that conflicts with their existing beliefs. … They may also justify the behavior by changing the conflicting cognition (eg. the warming has just paused and is sure to return at a later date, or the missing warmth is hiding in the deep oceans – where we can’t measure it).
I’m just an old mechanical engineer and the whole idea that some scientists have the global climate system accurately modelled just pegged my BS meter even before I read about the the hockey stick and climategate. I also question the assumption that warming is bad. I kinda think it can be a good thing as I love hot weather! You do good and interesting work here. Keep it up but stay humble and I will continue “lurking” here.
I started posting on here because concerns about climate change were driving energy policy in inefficient, ineffective and harmful directions. I have a BSEE and MSEE in Electrical Engineering and a lot of graduate work in Policy. I’ve worked in the utility business planning Generation and Transmission facilities for 30 years.
If people like Bjorn Lomborg, Judith Curry and Matt Ridley are called deniers – I have to admit to being at least a skeptic. (I’m afraid that in many circles you will be called a denier if you quote any IPCC findings to caution against extreme alarmist nonsense.) No problem accepting that man is putting a lot of CO2 in the atmosphere, that it is a greenhouse gas and that all else equal it causes temperatures to rise. When I saw “An Inconvenient Truth” some 9 years ago – it seemed highly sensationalized to me. What I knew about (gulf hurricanes and potential flooding in New Orleans) was off and I wondered about the rest of it. Feeling on the fence at the time I set out to look at the next 5 years with the intent of seeing if unfolding events supported the alarm. Based on my selected watch points, the alarm is not that high. If you look worldwide you can always post hoc find odd things happening on this planet.
I understand faith in the scientific process of proposing hypothesis, and then challenging and testing those proposals. I don’t understand science as formulating models based on best understandings of how the world might work and having faith in those projections.
My understanding of individual and group behavior tells me that when grants are awarded based on alarm, you will find alarm. Since at least my mid twenty’s I have not typically been one to buy into any of the future panic scenarios. For example, during the horrible and inexcusable horizon oil spill (while watching experts describe how it would not only long term ruin the northern gulf coast, but round Florida and spread up the Atlantic) I bought property on the then tar stained waterfront.
I think that much of the IPCC work is probably good, the summaries more embellished, and then what goes to the press and common understanding even more so. I do wish the best arguments of both “sides” could rise above the noise. I learn a lot here, and very much appreciate the forum.
Long term influences on me include Richard Feynman, Aaron Wildavsky, EE Schattschneider and these not so old, but prescient, writings by Michael Crichton. http://scienceandpublicpolicy.org/commentaries_essays/crichton_three_speeches.html
Up until 1995 I generally had a positive view of AGW, especially because as a forest manager in NZ it meant more tree planting and hence more income for me. My background was University Entrance exams in the 60s at school however I went for the inhouse qualifications of the Forest Service which included a lot on silviculture, geology, botany and even a short course on climatology.
In 1995 I was involved with the old newsgroups and in the course of discussing climate someone mentioned a big disconnect between the IPCC Summary for Policy Makers and the actual science. I was a bit intrigued and went to look at the actual science and was amazed at the very cautious conclusions of the scientists compared to the Summary.. I smelt a very dead rat.
Thats what started my skepticism but it wasn’t till about 2002 that I actually found out about blogs and finally had access to the tremendous body of skepticism about AGW there was around the world. I devoured dozens of climate sites and within a few years I visited never less than six sites a day (plus links). These days I have my old favourites of WUWT, Climate Audit, Bishop Hill, The HockeySchtick,
Climate etc, JoNova that I mostly read everyday plus some floaters like Matt Ridley, C3, Climate Skeptic and A Chemist in Langley.
If I had to pick a handful of topics that deepen my skepticism every year it would be Climategate, The Pause, the “Its Worse Than We Thought” brigade, the 97% Consensus and the unrelenting barrage of insults that flow from the AGW “scientists” and media. Overhanging all this is my growing belief that we are dealing with a huge monoculture on climate change.. a rigid conformity in a belief system that looks distressingly like a totalitarian state or an intolerant religion that can’t possibly be right because its atrophied but still incredibly dangerous.
I am a retired medico and have been interested in climate matters for about 10 years now. Most of my career was in Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration. I was initially impressed when I first saw Mann’s hockey stick graph. Then I read a friend’s copy of Andrew Montford’s book, ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion’. Wow! I could not believe that such mendacious garbage could ever pass peer-review. Pal-review is obviously a different matter. Splicing tree rings with temperature records, censoring the tree ring data to ‘hide the decline’, using dodgy short centring statistics …totally unscientific. And yet this was used as an icon to to beat up support for the CAGW meme. To this day I have not seen any serious criticism of this mendacity from the IPCC consensus camp.
Climategate was a real eye opener. Secret data, secret codes, gatekeeping, bullying, whatever it takes to suppress any contrary evidence being published.
The Inter Academy Council Review of IPCC’s processes and procedures documented a litany of problems – political interference, lack of transparency in the selection of personnel, lack of transparency in the selection of technical material to be considered, bias, failure to respond appropriately to critical review comments, failure to consider the full range of valid scientific views, poor handling of uncertainty, use of reference material which had not been critically assessed (more than 5,500 citations in that category according to later independent review), vague statements not supported by evidence, and a total lack of any policy to preclude conflicts of interest. (Conflict of interest is not confined to fiscal matters – why are Greenpeace, WWF and Friends of the Earth included in IPCC?) And this in an organisation which had been in existence for over 20 years!
Ian Plimer, an Australian geologist, has stated that
6 major glaciations started when atmospheric CO2 concentrations were greater than present levels
at the time of deglaciations, temperatures increased 800 or more years BEFORE atmospheric CO2 concentrations increased. Peak temps were reached and temps declined while atmospheric CO2 was still increasing.
Climate changes have been greater and more rapid in the past than currently.
The politicians and their complicit, equally scientifically illiterate journalist buddies in the MSM have been bombarding us and our kids in the schools with CAGW propaganda on the slightest of pretexts for years notwithstanding all the evidence to the contrary. There are Australian schoolkids who ‘know all about greenhouse gases, climate change, global warming and sustainaility’ but cannot read. Go figure.
I’m one of the original lukewarmers ( http://www.waywordradio.org/lukewarmer_1/ ). My lukewarm view has not materially changed since 2010 except on precipitation (expansion of the dry downlegs of the Hadley cells seems likely and could cause regional agricultural havoc).
One thing that hasn’t changed since 2010 is my “BS detector” alarming loudly while reading science articles on the impacts of global warming. It is highly unlikely (to borrow an IPCC phrase) that a change in something as complex as climate would have nothing but bad effects, yet that’s what the science literature presents. I have the feeling that I’m being hustled. It might be true that some effects are so terrible that drastic action is needed or that one area (a “climate winner”) has no right to cause another area to be a “climate loser”. I could buy those, given evidence. But portraying climate change as all bad smacks of a sales hustle, not science. If you want me to trust you, give me the full story. Otherwise I look at the climate science community the same way I view timeshare salesmen.
My background is engineering.
I am a semi-retired electrical engineer with BS/MS. I retired from industry in 2007 and have been teaching in various energy related areas since then, including community college and corporate training. From 2012 thru 2014, I was the program manager for the Digital Energy graduate program at the University of Colorado Boulder. My primary areas of interest related to climate change are modeling, energy, and critical thinking.
I have a strong background and continuing personal interest in the behavior and modeling of complex systems and in particular their transient behavior. I believe that there is a strong coupling between energy systems and climate change. In addition, I believe that the control of CO2 emissions will be solved by energy technology breakthroughs rather than CO2 emission control technologies. Much of my interest is in understanding the behavior of electrical energy systems both at the system (electric power grid) and the subsystem level.
The US electric power grid is one of the most complex (if not most complex), manmade systems in existence. However, its complexity is dwarfed by the earth’s climate system. We have a far better understanding of the physics of the electric power grid than the earth’s climate. I don’t believe that we can make long-term predictions about climate change when we are still unable to make solid predictions about the short term, dynamic behavior of the electric power grid. I have not trusted the climate change models for a long time and the ongoing hiatus in warming leads me to trust them even less. Richard Feynman had something to say about the failure of predictions (like the hiatus) by scientists (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b240PGCMwV0) . I agree with him.
I am a student and teacher of critical thinking skills (http://www.criticalthinking.org/). Intellectual humility (knowing what you don’t know) is an important critical thinking skill that I see lacking in many of the publications and discussions, both by AGW believers and skeptics. In addition, the use of logical fallacies in climate science discussions appears widespread, by both believers and skeptics. I’m especially frustrated by those who write (using logical fallacies) about the fallacies in the thinking of (primarily) skeptics. In the end, critical thinking is about considering deeply and regularly about how you think, not about how others think. My experience with students on this topic is that lack the ability to think critically about GW (and other topics). And we are not setting good examples for them!
I also believe that long term, successful predictions on climate change are impossible to make because technological breakthroughs are nearly always impossible to predict, yet when they occur, everything can change quite quickly. Bjorn Lomborg makes a strong case for this in his book, The Skeptical Environmentalist. I believe that reductions in C02 emissions in the future will be because of un-forecastable breakthroughs in energy technologies. And I believe that these breakthroughs will happen sooner rather than too late.
Thanks Judith for what you do. I greatly appreciate the ongoing professionalism and balance that you bring to the AGW issue.
I started out with a stint in the US Navy and served on a nuclear powered submarine and made two trips under the arctic ice cap.
I then spent 14 years as a mechanic at a commercial nuclear power station.
Now I am involved making radioactive drugs used to diagnose cancer and alzheimer’s .
I would like to reclaim the word skeptic, to me it means someone who has examined the evidence before coming to a conclusion.
Not the cherry picking mole hill engineers who tend to post on this site.
Yeah, I am a card carrying Hansenite.
You sound like someone that I would have flunked on a crew quiz.
Probably not, as I was a plankowner as well as a bluenose and engineering watch supervisor, more likely you would have been coming to me for the qual siggies.
Since I was assigned a new construction vessel straight out of C school, and I had my pick of C schools, our crew was half fresh out of school and half from the decommissioning crew of another famous submarine, the “Bus”. I heard some interesting stories, likely 6th to 9th hand about ice conditions up north. Pretty reliable, sub sailors never lie.
You may be one, like 90% of the posters on this site, who are flunking science.
But where and when did you serve, you come off as either a nose-coner or worse, a target.
My skepticism about “official” climate science started in the early 1990’s when I attended seminars discussing official measurements of average global temperatures. It struck me as very odd that the ground thermometer readings would continue to be preferred when the satellite measurements became available. There seemed to be so many obvious problems with the ground measurements. They had very poor geographic coverage, the instruments would surely be poorly calibrated, station moves and site changes appeared to be ignored or discounted, unconvincing arguments about corrections for urban heat island effects were offered and so forth. Looking further, the balloon measurements seemed more scientifically defensible than the ground measurements and appeared to confirm the satellite measurements. How could that be if this was a legitimate scientific enterprise?
The second event that increased my skepticism was the “discernible human fingerprint” scandal in 1995. This was when lead author Santer changed the IPCC report after scientists had signed off on it saying there was now evidence of a “discernible human fingerprint” in atmospheric temperatures. Not only was this added after the fact. It relied on one of Santer’s own papers that was later shown to have “cherry picked” data in an outrageous manner. The silence from the scientific experts was deafening.
The third event was a conference on climate change that I helped organize at the end of the 1990s. The event that included prominent establishment scientists and some of their critics (for example James Hansen, Judith Lean, Pat Michaels and Willie Soon all gave presentations along with biologists, economists and political scientists). At a pre-conference dinner, I was shocked when James Hansen said something to the effect that it doesn’t matter whether the science on CO2 and climate is right or wrong because we have to get rid of fossil fuels anyway.
I was also struck in the same conference by the repeated dismissal of the MWP as only a North Atlantic phenomenon while at the same time, and often in the same talk, the melting of Greenland ice was touted as the major threat of CO2-induced climate change. This has the obvious problem that if it is accepted that Greenland was warmer than now in the MWP why wasn’t ice melting from Greenland a problem back then? How could serious scientists make such obvious mistakes unless they were driven by an agenda as Hansen had indicated?
The Mann et al hockey stick paper came out right around the time the co-organizers (including me) sat down to write up the conference. Great pressure was applied to tout this paper as conclusively proving the case for strong global warming from CO2 emissions. The easy dismissal of a mountain of prior evidence for the MWP from many fields of study based on just one newly published and barely examined study struck me as extremely unscientific. My skepticism was later proven correct when the paper by McIntyre and McKitrick was published. The name-calling and childish treatment of their work basically finished the journey to full-fledged skepticism of main-stream climate science for me.
I finally re-read my contribution to the initial Denizen 1 thread
The only surprise was that it was almost 5 years ago
In that 5 years, I have become scared for my children – because I see that the warmista propaganda has succeeded. In my view, the war against irrationality is well and truly lost to the relentless 20 year onslaught of MSM dishonesty
For example, the UK, overseen by the Brussels, is in the process of dismantling its’ power grid without having an economic, reliable alternative. People are actually dying from this deliberate vandalism, yet all major players have tacitly agreed to this amongst themselves. Whichever way one votes, it now makes no difference. Five years ago, I did not believe this could happen in a democracy. I was very, very wrong
The advent of affordable, reliable power grids was a major advance of the 20th century. Dismantling it for costly, unreliable “systems” is cynical in the extreme. So now I worry about my children’s future – 5 years ago, I did not
We develop the concept of “dragon-kings” corresponding to meaningful outliers, which are found to coexist with power laws in the distributions of event sizes under a broad range of conditions in a large variety of systems… We emphasize the importance of understanding dragon-kings as being often associated with a neighborhood of what can be called equivalently a phase transition, a bifurcation, a catastrophe (in the sense of René Thom), or a tipping point.’ http://arxiv.org/abs/0907.4290
I am a climate catastrophist – in the sense of René Thom. Seriously folks. Climate shifts in more or less extreme ways every few decades. The societal imperative is to find ways to cope with these utterly unpredictable – not just uncertain – shifts. The best coping mechanisms involve building societal resilience in ways that are not merely compatible with emissions mitigation – but absolutely essential in a broad strategy involving multiple gases, aerosols, population and conservation. The oddness of the climate war is that there is a pervasive progressive politics that is horrendously misguided on both science and policy – but are utterly convinced of their righteousness and perspicacity. This seems the main barrier to development of rational policy. .
I have an interest in social and development progress. Here’s my MDG post 2015 site – which I must update.
And in technology. Here’s my Kickstarter (draft) project for the Drift EV I posted recently on here.
This car is seriously buildable – and is fuel ale with electricity and hydrogen, natural gas or any liquid fuel.
In 1991 I was engaged in a Masters Degree in Environmental Science – part time – and read the first IPCC assessment report. There was and remains no reason to doubt the central radiative mechanisms of the greenhouse effect. Rational responses to fossil fuel emissions – however – are technological and always have been.
My interest was elsewhere. As an Engineer I modeled water flows through landscapes. As an Environmental Scientist – I added the dimensions of cycling of substances through systems – biogeochemical cycling.
As a student I read a paper by Australian fluvial geomorphologists Wayne Erskine and Robin Warner on geomorphological effects of alternating flood and drought dominated regimes in eastern Australian rivers. Shifts at decadal scales in the form of rivers – between low energy meandering and high energy braided forms – that suggested decadal variability of rainfall. The description of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation in 1996 was intriguing – the periodicity was exactly the same as Australian rainfall regimes. But how could sea surface temperature in the north-east Pacific influence rainfall in Australia? The answer ultimately came in descriptions of changes in climate state that were coherent across the Pacific. Increased frequency and intensity of La Nina in cool PDO and vice versa.
In 2003 I looked at a surface temperature graph for the 20th century – and realised that the temperature inflection points shared the hydrological periodicity – and for very good reason. This I felt sure would be a major development for the AR4. When it didn’t figure at all I wrote an article for American Thinker that still stands scrutiny.
In 2009 I read a paper by Kyle Swanson and Anastasios Tsonis – Has the climate recently shifted? It has – in 1998/2001 accompanied by extreme ENSO fluctuation at the shift. An ENSO dragon-king. These climate shifts are linked to sychronous changes in ocean and atmospheric indices and to changes in the Pacific state. The surface temperature changes are the result of both cloud and water vapour change and changes in heat flux between ocean and atmosphere.
The original paper by Tsonis and colleagues in 2007 – A new dynamical mechanism for major climate shifts – puts it in context. It is no coincidence that shifts in ocean and atmospheric indices occur at the same time as changes in the trajectory of global surface temperature. 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,’ Tsonis said.
Four multi-decadal climate shifts were identified in the last century coinciding with changes in the surface temperature trajectory. Warming from 1909 to the mid 1940’s, cooling to the late 1970’s, warming to 1998 and declining since. The shifts are punctuated by extreme El Niño Southern Oscillation events. Fluctuations between La Niña and El Niño peak at these times and climate then settles into a damped oscillation. Until the next critical climate threshold – due in a decade or two.
Hmmm – Kickstarter preview link didn’t quite work – here’s an alternate site.
I’m an engineer, but I worked in a NOAA research vessel (needed money for college), took three Oceanography courses, have experience running large scale gridded dynamic models, have been involved in research to establish paramerization parameters for our models, and worked for several years in the Arctic together with a team of climatologists and “ice experts”.
I’m not a “climate skeptic”. I’m more of a fence sitter, tend to think there are more serious problems facing humanity. My main worry is the forthcoming end of fossil fuels. I’m also interested in the way governments and media lie to the public. I’m also interested in this “herding forcing” we observe in climatology, whereby individuals are driven to conform in such a dictatorial fashion.
My blog is a mix of atempts at poking fun at climate papers, diatribes against dictatorships, pseudo interviews with imaginary politicians, and my own life stories.
Yours is a good comment, Fernando. I am personally not cynical of the media, but I am doubtful of thier facts as well as motives, and spend a lot of time correcting our local media’s errors in my field. I am particularly unsure of politicians and their motives, however, and find them laughable at best now. (A huge waste of effort in my view)
Since I enjoy this blog, I suppose I am obliged to honour the host’s request. My interest in climate science revived at the time of Climategate and I read widely among blogs, but soon dropped RealClimate and the like. The authors were condescending and tended to bullying. WUWT soon became my main source of information, but its content is highly variable in quality and often unscientific. World Climate Report was better, now but more or less moribund. Now I rely on Climate Audit, Climate Etc., JoNova and Don Aitkin for climate news and William Briggs for entertainment. They provide a balance not found in the MSM.
Although 25 years ago I thought that increasing atmospheric CO2 levels were likely to bring on significant warming, and still consider that a possibility, I have since come to understand that no one seems to have a clue as to what the climate may or not be doing. I also know that almost everything one reads or hears in the MSM is hyperbole or misinformation. Unfortunately, it is also true that ‘climate science’ has completely infested my areas of study and resulted in deterioration in the quality of published research. I am sceptical of simple models: models easily enthral, seduce one away from the data, and lead to false conclusions. Not all models are bad, but those that are successful capture the dynamics of the system they model. GCMs may be very complex models, but they are still simple in relation to the system they are trying to capture.
Climategate had a profound affect in that it made clear the cabal at the centre of the hockey stick and temperature reconstructions were not to be trusted. This reinforced my conclusion that no one seemed to really know what they were doing. The plateau in temperature trends since about 1998 also has reinforced my conclusion. I suppose this makes me a sceptic or denier or heretic, but I consider myself neutral on the importance of CO2 as a primary driver of climate (but leaning towards the hypothesis being false). I am extremely sceptical that GCMs are of any use for forecasting future climate.
I received my PhD at the time that Hansen began his successful promotion of Global Warming and became a postdoc in a research group that applied modelling to various problems in the world. The Federal government started throwing millions at climate research and we jumped right on the gravy train. Along with numerous colleagues, I was an author on a successful large NSF climate grant application and a paper modelling effects of temperature increases on precipitation (and also papers pointing out flaws in models in other systems). That is the extent of my modelling and climate science experience. I decided I could make more useful contributions to science in other areas. My CV currently lists over 150 peer-reviewed articles, conference papers, books, and academic cds and I have trained probably too many post-graduate students.
I became interested about 1 year before climategate broke. I knew about the LIA and the MWP and so was skeptical of claims of constant temperatures for hundreds of years. Now convinced the system is chaotic on every meaningful time scale. I hate the term ”natural variability”…..if we don’t understand system response without our impacts, then we have no hope of understanding it with them. Based on the last few million years of climate it seems that there are two dominant attractors; ice age and interglacial. Therefore, temperatures a few degrees warmer or many degrees cooler are all in the cards.
Dr Curry and Dr Gavin Schmidt posted at collide a scope several years ago, before this blog was started. Dr Schmidt stated that sensitivity was determined based on a “top down” approach and it was hard to explain past climates without a high sensitivity. I posted a comment asking why anyone believes sensitivity several thousand years ago, at completely different initial conditions, would have any bearing on what sensitivity is today. To my knowledge this is the first time anyone questioned the alarmist treatment of sensitivity as either constant or predictable. (Though it may not have been…..I don’t know.)
I work for AEP but obviously speak only for myself. I have worked in nuclear power generation for about 30 years, operations, training, and engineering. I have a BSE (mechanical design) and MSEE.
Ironically, IMO the most credible alarmist argument is that we will exceed a “tipping point”. It is at least consistent with system dynamics….though I am not losing any sleep.
I am a Ph.D. physicist working at a research laboratory associated with a major university. As I said recently on Jeff Id’s blog,
There seems to be universal agreement that, on its own, a doubling of CO2 will cause global temperatures to rise by 1 degree C, and that this is too small to be not dangerous. The subject therefore pivots on the question of feedbacks. Here the universal agreement disintegrates. Even among warmists there is no agreement either as to what the feedbacks are or at what level they are dangerous, although there does seem to a general assumption that the extra warming would have to be at least an extra degree (i.e. 2 degrees in all) before any harm at all is possible.
Surely, in science, the first thing to do is look at the empirical evidence. Why not take the data at face value and see where it leads? Between 1970 and 2000 CO2 concentrations rose 44 ppm from 326 ppm to 370 ppm. During the same period the temperature anomaly rose by 0.32 degrees C. It was these coincidental rises that led scientists to believe that there was a danger of catastrophic global warming.
So the question is, if the 0.32 degree temperature rise was caused entirely by the 44 ppm rise in CO2, what does that tell us about climate sensitivity over this period? Do these figures imply a climate sensitivity that should alarm us or not?
The maths, as I understand it, is as follows. If climate sensitivity is, say, 3 degrees C then that means that the CO2 in 1970 of 326 ppm must double to 652 ppm for the temperature anomaly to rise by 3 degrees. For the next three degrees it would have to double again to 1,304 ppm. This is a declining base 2 logarithmic relationship.
So to calculate climate sensitivity from what actually happened between 1970 and 2000 (assuming all the warming was caused by the rise in CO2) we can apply the following equation:
0.32 divided by Log Base 2(370/326)
This gives a climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2 as 1.8 degrees C.
But this is just taking one set of figures. So to check it out we can do the same calc for all the periods of 20 years or more up to the present day. And all the periods of 21 years, and 22 years and so on.
The overall results of these calcs gives an average climate sensitivity of about 2 degrees. But this assumes that all the warming was caused by CO2 so, although it can only reflect the transient climate sensitivity, it acts as an upper limit on that. In short, the empirical evidence is not an indication of global warming that is likely to do any damage, and certainly not catastrophic damage.
But many scientists say that it is. Why? Are they so mesmerised by their models not to have even bothered with the actual empirical evidence? Or they are deliberately misleading a largely innumerate public.
As soon as one discovers that climate scientists are either idle or not straightforward all faith in what they say collapses and the only rational response is to be sceptical.
I am a person of gentle quality residing in the country in somewhat reduced circumstances. It is my role and my intention to do as little as possible.
I hope for a revival of serfdom to restore society to its proper equilibrium and I view with some optimism the return of expensive and unreliable electrical power. The grid has been a scourge for people of rank, who would like every hour to be Earth Hour.
I am also warmed by the constant streams of academese, management-speak, buzz words, dogma, assumption, push-polling and gobbledegook pouring out of our universities. It was ever thus before this irritation called Enlightenment. And shall be again!
And, no, I would never strike a serf. At least, not hard.
In 1986 I owned a house right on the beach (Long Island Sound). The foundation of the house was approximately 12 feet above the mean high tide level. In that year I had to make a decision to sell that house or another house not on the coast. My decision was “informed” by “scientific” predictions of impending sea-level rise which would cause disastrous consequences on our coastline over the next 30 or 40 years (for example, see http://www.nytimes.com/1986/02/18/science/signifigant-rise-in-sea-level-now-seems-certain.html ). So I sold the beach house. Hansen’s widely-reported 1988 or ’89 claims about massive problems expected to hit NYC due to sea-level rise over about that same period appeared to justify the concerns that led to my decision to sell the house.
Well, it’s almost 30 years since then, and the foundation of that house is still approximately 12 feet above the mean high tide level. I have been deprived of the enjoyment of that property over the last 30 years because I foolishly believed that there was a valid scientific basis rather than a political basis to those claims about impending sea-level rise.
Who is going to compensate me for the damage that was done to my life?
People such as Hansen line their pockets with alarmist cash while making pronouncements that are false. In any other line of work people would go to jail for such deceit.
Econometrics and statistics post grad. Skeptical by nature and the very first point of interest for me was the the series nature of the field of climate science. I also worked extensively building and working with global macroeconometroc models – analogous to GCMs; just as good at hindcasting and just as bad at forecasting.
While there was a model grounded in atmospheric physics, the inference was entirely grounded on application of statistical models to time series and an econometrician can spot most non stationary series at a glance. From that point, all you needed to know was that there was no understanding of cointegration and the need to establish this for temperature trends and CO2 concentration trends.
From there the work of the two Macs and it was clear that there isn’t even the most basic proof that we are witnessing events outside natural variation on a climatic time scale. The scandals that followed, where practitioners in the field needed to manipulate results, hide shortcomings and withhold data only convinced me that the prime face case that this is “unique” is weak, so the case for anthropogenic causation is weaker still.
And there still remains the problem with early 20th century warming which is virtually identical to late century warming in rate, magnitude and length, but axiomatically a natural phenomenon.
The final nail has been the out of sample model accuracy, or lack thereof. Again as an econometrician I have seen more superbly accurate hindcasting models than I care to remember. GCMs by comparison have failed in spectacularly quick time. Given the highly endogenous and non-linear system they are trying to replicate, it comes as no surprise.
Add to that the very many failed model-based predictions; tropical storms global sea ice, global snow cover etc. and the case becomes weaker and weaker
Climate science was starting to be really pushed when I was in school (in the UK) about 25-15 years ago. It didn’t seem to make sense then and was being promoted with a very left wing slant which made me suspicious. There is no reason for actions to mitigate climate change to be socialist rather than libertarian so why the partisan behaviour?
I read things like the ‘sceptical environmentalist’ which accepted man made global warming and put it in perspective. and aside from the catastrophism scenario extremism of a few this made more sense. Lets fix what we can rather than make things worse with short sighted unworkable preventative measures. So I suppose I was a luke warmer by instinct.
As it became more partisan and obviously about politics and money I moved towards more serious scepticism. After climategate and the regular debunking of nonsense papers written to order I become ever more sceptical although I would describe myself as an realist.
I care about the environment, I do volunteer conservation work I work in front line health care and I am not paid to hold my position on CAGW, indeed I would potentially face discrimination if I moe vocal.
I am an aeronautical engineer. Intested in technical discussions. No argument with the radiation properties of CO2 but H2O amplification does not appear to be happening. Probably because additional water stays in troposphere were a radiation effect would be canceled by additional convection. Right now I am curious about stratospheric cooling from CO2 and the effect on ozone as well as high altitude water vapor.
Not worried about global warming because there is an enormous cold reservoir in the deep oceans that could be employed to cool if it doesn’t deliver the next ice age already on its own.
I am a retired geologist and engineer with 40 years’ experience on a wide range of energy projects throughout the world, including managing energy RD&D programs and providing policy advice to Government. Energy projects experience includes: hydro, geothermal, nuclear, coal, oil and gas and a wide range of energy end-use management projects.
My interest in climate change is in the policy-relevant aspects of climate science, particularly as it relates to energy policy. I am interested to understand the probability of success of advocated policies; what is the probability they will be able to be implemented and sustained for the time it will take to achieve their objective? I believe, to succeed, policies will have to be economically beneficial to virtually all countries’ economies over the short and medium term in each country or they are unlikely to succeed.
In 1991-1993 I was involved in energy and CO2 emissions policy-analysis and advice for Australia’s preparations for the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. I believed CO2 emissions were a serious issue, and we needed policies to reduce global GHG emissions. I supported Australia’s commitment to the Toronto Targets (reduce GHG emissions to 20% below 1988 levels by 2005) subject to this important caveat.
This caveat seems to have been largely forgotten since, especially leading up to the Copenhagen Conference. The caveat remains essential for any policy to succeed.
I believed the share of the target that needed to be achieved from fossil fuel use could be achieved by nuclear power largely replacing coal for electricity generation and natural gas largely replacing petrol and diesel for land transport (including buses, long haul transport and cars). At the time I believed electric vehicles share of transport would increase faster than it has.
Regarding human caused climate change I am persuaded as follows:
1. Climate changes abruptly – always has an always will.
2. The ‘Stadium Wave’ concept seems a sensible explanation for much of the natural variability.
3. Climate models are not capable of handling abrupt climate change, so their projections do not provide the information needed for policy analysis.
4. I am not persuaded that human caused GHG emissions are a serious threat to life or to humanity. However, I accept there is some risk of net negative economic impacts in the distant future.
5. We don’t know if GHG emissions are doing more harm or more good. We need probability distributions for: time to the next abrupt change, whether it will be a warming or a cooling, its rate of change, duration and maximum amount of the change and, most importantly, the impacts.
6. Policies that will damage economies are bound to fail. Carbon pricing is an example. These explain why carbon pricing is the wrong approach and highly unlikely to succeed: href= ”http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/26/cross-post-peter-lang-why-carbon-pricing-will-not-succeed-part-i/” Why carbon pricing will not succeed, Part I , href=” http://catallaxyfiles.com/2014/10/27/cross-post-peter-lang-why-the-world-will-not-agree-to-pricing-carbon-ii/” Why The World Will Not Agree to Pricing Carbon, Part II
7. There are proven technical solutions available that could substantially reduce GHG emissions globally. I believe the large gains will be achieved by a worldwide rollout of nuclear power to replace fossil fuels for electricity generation. Electricity will substitute for fossil fuels for heat and produce transport fuels (e.g. liquid fuels from sea water). However politics is retarding progress.
As a geologist I’d be keen to hear your comments on this: http://scottishsceptic.co.uk/2015/02/17/the-caterpillar-theory-of-tectonic-plate-movement-its-just-simple-physics/
It really is not that complex, but for some reason people don’t seem to have the courage to comment.
Lawyer in IT sector. Australia. Intellectual property, compliance with competition and consumer protection (what the US calls anti-trust), contracts, anticipating legal risk (claims, causes of action) and mitigating it. Also Rome and medieval history fan, petrolhead.
I didn’t have a journey to skepticism. Global warming always struck me as stupid because everything that was said to be ‘unprecedented’ was so obviously not. Plus it’s not a real world thing – it’s academic. Academe is, after all, where the second rate go to practice third rate behaviours without consequence (pace Dr Curry). I knew lefties loved it cos they just love anything that makes cars seem bad. But Climategate really focussed my attention. Could hardly believe my eyes. Little known fact but UEA didn’t have a General Counsel – no in house lawyer to force academics to comply with FOI. Guys deliberately flouting FOI, claiming IP rights in material that wouldn’t attract such rights, claiming confidentiality of material that wouldn’t satisfy confidentiality, circling the wagons. They knew there wasn’t warming and they wilfully elected to mislead the public about it. In the private sector, folks engaged in that behaviour would be sacked and good riddance. An officer of a company engaged in that behaviour would be in breach of director’s duties, stripped of office and banned from holding office. Everything stems from Climategate for me. Oh, and Michael Crichton’s book State of Fear and his various interviews on the topic. McIntyre is also a big influence and here, of course.
IT manager at a university. Live in Colorado. Been a lurker here for a year or so, but lately have left a few comments. I am not up to the scientific level of most posters (definitely not Dr. Curry’s), but I do have a BS in Zoology (which I never really used : )
I have had a life long interest in the environment/ecology (beginning with the hippy movement thousands of years ago : ) So when the “climate change” (or, whatever term is used) popped up, I jumped on board with interest.
I immediately sided with the CO2/greenhouse driver for climate change. Cause, it kinda made sense. But after a few years, I began to notice that the predictions of doom did not pan out and that there were (increasingly) other theories that made more sense. It was also apparent that the “facts” being thrown around by some pundits were not always grounded in truth. It seemed to me that we were, possibly, being manipulated.
Based on my current knowledge, I’m in the “CO2 may have a minimal impact, but is not a primary driver” camp. At this point I think the solar influence “may” be the/a “primary” driver. And by that I mean fluctuating energy from the sun, inclination of the earth, etc. However, I believe this “science” is in it’s infancy and that there is a LOT out there to discover and add to the mix.
I’m also in the camp that thinks the global climate is an extremely complex and dynamic system that will take a “very” long time to figure out. Based on the history of humanity, it may actually NEVER be figured out by the current civilization.
I have do have an additional tangential interest in this subject as I am writing a series of books (agentofgaia.com) in which global climate change will play a large role (but, not the central role). While the “driver” of climate change in my book is definitely fictional (or, possibly, not), I do want the book’s verbiage on climate to be grounded in facts and current knowledge. This site is an excellent place to acquire that.
I normally only go to other sites based on links that I find here. I have done a lot of that. Otherwise, I do not have the time to be able to do a lot of independent searching. That said, I am going to review a lot of the information found here http://scottishsceptic.co.uk/2015/02/15/toward-a-new-theory-of-ice-ages-xiv-putting-it-all-together/#more-5276
I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to be a “denizen.” Thank you, Dr. Curry (and the other denizens) for allowing me to do that.
Alright I’ll give this a shot:
1) Background is a Master of Mathematics from Berkeley.
2) Got into this after reading State of Fear. Before that didn’t realize there were non-crazy people who were actually skeptical. Thought it would take a couple hours at most to prove the science. Two years later I gave up and officially claimed the title of skeptic.
3) I’m skeptical only because I don’t believe models, and thus don’t believe any result that comes from models. Here is literally every reason I’ve heard on why to trust models
-They’re based on science
-They agree with past climate
-They’re the best we’ve got
-It’s really urgent so we have to trust something
The first two arguments just make it a model at best a hypothesis. In fact necessary conditions for every hypothesis is that it needs to be in agreement with the science we know and not be contradicted by past observations. That doesn’t make them good. And the pause seems to indicate that hypothesis by model is not a good method, though I would be skeptical even without the pause.
The second two arguments are, for the sake of brevity, stupid.
Like I said, after two years I’ve given up looking for other explanations. I just have to figure that no one has any good reasons for trusting models.
4) Now I only read Climate Etc. My guess is due to JC’s history she now makes a conscious effort to be as level headed as possible and never to assume she’s right and others are wrong. Whatever the reason it’s the only blog I still enjoy. I use to read everything, making sure to especially read twice as many blogs from the ‘side’ I don’t agree with over the side I do, but stopped that once I gave up my search for validity of the models.
In case you can’t tell the models are a really big deal for me. It made me lose a whole bunch of faith that people who call themselves scientists would base so much on something without even the slightest of reasons, let alone scientific reasons. The only thing that’s needed to make me a warmist is to validate the models for me.
Oh and PS: I guess you can say I’ve heard one more reason to trust models which boils down to “we build them in a way that makes us trust them”. Which is funny because to me they’re built in a way that makes me trust them less, which is basically:
-We build them
-If they don’t agree with past observations figure out what would likely make them agree more and implement that change
-Repeat 2 and 3 until you’re done
As a mathematician I’m appalled that there are educated people that think this is scientifically acceptable, and not something that lets in any number of biases. I could go on but I’ve reached my word count.
As more of a historian than a climate scientist, the effort to “disappear” the MWP was a watershed moment for me with Mann’s “hockey stick”. I was aware for 30 years or so of the (quite good, as such things go) historical evidence for its existence.
I consider myself a “lukewarmist”, in the sense that I accept that C02 is a greenhouse gas and a doubling of it likely results in something on the order of 1C increase in atmospheric temp from direct causation. It’s the feedbacks where the real question is, IMO. I remain highly skeptical they are positive on the scale which IPCC tells us is true. And if they aren’t, the near/mid-term policy situation transforms quite significantly.
Ph.D. in Political Science. I know, even Aristotle who probably coined the term said it is not a real science. McIntyre did a lot to persuade me to be sceptical; I laughed out loud at some of his posts: the importance of a single tree, the lack in the hockey stick publications of anything like an honest attempt to both find out the truth and tell it. Why not put on some hiking boots, load up a backpack, and gather some new potential proxies? Why leave it all to Lonnie Thompson? Lots of details were funny, and Montford then put the story together in an informative and amusing way. ClimateGate was a huge learning experience for me.
I’m interested in what Judith has called the sociology of climate science. How could a group of experts with credentials go wrong together, caught up in group think, etc.? Part of my answer is that there are other examples. I learned a lot from Sandy Szwarc’s site, Junkfood Science (alas, with no new postings of content for some time now). She patiently and soberly sifted through evidence about diet and nutrition, including peer-reviewed publications, to show that what was trumpeted in headlines, widely believed, and even to some degree endorsed by experts (who may parse their statements so that they don’t actually lie) is not true. Diet and nutrition has attracted rivers of government money, mainly available to those who are able to frighten the public and/or support government messages about changing lifestyles, etc. People with credentials have responded by supporting deceptive headline-grabbing research, and/or actually getting caught up in group think themselves. In fairness, the boomers came to an age when a lot of them were seeking university and/or research and/or government positions. Were they all going to be capable of truly new and reliable work, or would there be big incentives for them to settle for “new and plausible,” but not very good? Does the demand for truly publishable work exceed the supply?
Even thinking about the diet and nutrition example, there is a difference. As Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit) has said: one might believe the alarmists if they lived as though they believed it themselves. People chasing crazy diet fads actually go on crazy diets, at least for a while–they don’t just lecture about it while never missing their turn at the buffet. The environmentalists at Davos and similar places are a piece of work by comparison. David Suzuki’s daughter said once in an interview that everyone should give up their cars, but she can’t give up hers because she lives in a remote spot on Vancouver Island. There is a lot of humour in this file.
In the case of climate, a small group of people got to run or lead important programs and institutions, including the CRU at East Anglia, on the one hand, and the Goddard Institute of Space Studies in New York on the other. (See Bernie Lewin’s report on Hubert Lamb from GWPF). They were able to play a central role in drafting chapters for the IPCC, and generating influential headlines. I am sure it is significant that baby boomers became the Establishment. They have always wanted to save Bambi, and they knew there was a boomer market for their ideas in both the private and public sector, and a huge appreciative boomer audience. Boomers were ready for a theory called global something something crisis, and they have never required a lot of evidence to believe this one.
I lean toward the view that the effect on temperature of the large increase in anthropogenic CO2 is small, barely if at all detectable using present methods, and likely to be overwhelmed by a number of other factors, mainly natural. Downstream effects other than temperature make for good movies, but are probably almost entirely speculative. As others have said, why would the effects of a temperature increase of 2 or even 3 degrees be entirely bad, or even bad overall, on net?
It has been a great week on the climate blogs. Greg Goodman, on this site, has reminded us that Mt. Pinatubo was a big event affecting the atmosphere, the physics can be understood with some degree of precision, and satellites provide relevant data. For the warming of the 90s, and the plateau of warming since 1998, anthro CO2 does not provide a good correlation or basis for explanation, whereas the volcano may explain a great deal. Then on Climate Audit, with Goodman participating, heavy guns aim their fire at the famous climate models. Sophistication, instead of adding clarity or making a model “more complete,” may add confusion, and some people find this to be in their interest.
I an a serf whose family English /Scottish immigrants,
some with engineering background, came ter Oz in
hopes of a better world. Managed a little book learnin’,
BA Hons Melbourne University went into teaching.
C’est tout – no science, but curiosity re dangers of global
warming led me to climate debate daily and arguments
fer both sides, especially Steve McIntyre and Jeff Id …
then on ter the sainted Judith, Max Anacker, oh and kim. )
Bein’ a serf ‘n such, I consider liberty a precious achievement .
CE inspired me ter write a blog exploriin’ such and Socratic/
Montaigne/ Judith Curry/ Nassim Taleb considerations of
uncertainty. Think me understanding’s been expanded tho’
I still don’t ‘know’ much.
C’est tout folks.
Thx fer the reminder, Richard. Fergot ter mention impact re
Tony Brown’s historic contexts that back up the record of
climate natural variability.
I traveled a different path from most of those commenting here.
I started off as a skeptic. My skepticism was a reaction to the horrible behavior by some of those in the climate community (starting off with the hounding of Lomborg) and their transparent scare tactics, from doomsday imagery to incendiary labeling to hysterical exaggeration.
I have since moved to my current Lukewarmer status, as good people (mostly but not all) in the blogosphere walked me through various elements of the science and answered a host of questions. I have no issues with the science, although it’s clear many questions still need to be answered. My continued participation in the climate conversation is focused on attribution, adaptation and impacts–and the nature of the debate itself.
Skeptics, although I consider them off base with regards to much of the science, are essentially taking brass knuckles into a knife fight. The climate consensus is playing with big budgets, close connections and no scruples in a struggle to control the language and grammar of the debate. The real struggle is political, not scientific. Scientists who have focused on WG 1 issues are doing good work in framing boundaries and I think finally we will see saner descriptions of atmospheric sensitivity and attribution of anthropogenic contributions other than CO2e gases.
But NGOs and a complaisant media are decidedly ahead on points with regards to the iconography, labeling and deligitimization of their opponents. As an illustration, Al Gore and Peter Gleick are still being listened to with regards to climate change despite offenses which would disqualify them from public discourse in almost any other field.
As for my background, I was educated in electronics and physics by the U.S. Navy (to what they claim is degree level) and studied anthropology during a brief spell at university, but left without taking a degree, one of my major regrets.
Thank you for saying that. Not pleasant but vital to face.
The rest (and the rest of this thread) is fascinating, thanks.
My name is Richard Swarthout; my ancestor, Tomys Swartwout, sailed from Amsterdam Netherlands to New Amsterdam America in the 17th century. He left the Netherlands because the incessant wars with neighboring counties had destroyed his business as a tobacco broker. He arrived in a land that would subject his brethren to civil war and that would eventually, through greed and unmitigated industrial expansion, subject the world to climate disaster.
Now, that last sentence is a spoof, influenced many years ago by dialogue I had with a Dutchman, not entirely impressed with America; communism would work if only people gave it a chance.
Back to Me:
Served in the US Air Force as an Air Traffic Control Radar Repairman. Stationed at a remote site in Alaska for one year, then two years at Wethersfield RAF in Essex England (loved it and took a liking to Bitter)
Got out of the AF and went to college: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and MBA.
After working at Ford Motor Co for 8 years as an electrical systems engineer, went to work at the US Army Tank Automotive Command as a project engineer on the Abrams Main Battle Tank (took air while riding in it once – scared the poop out of me). Wound up being the to-go guy on nuclear survivability and electromagnet effects. The job with the army was very gratifying, with great bosses – it trains great leaders. Retired in 2012.
Didn’t pay much attention to climate change until recently but did read the news. Kyoto seemed like a bad deal for the US with no worthwhile end in sight, and Gore was perhaps the worst possible spokesperson to convince me of anything; always thought he was a stiff blowhard. Got interested in the climate debate last year after becoming aware of Dr Curry and following her blog. Read it every day and sometimes go to CA and SoD.
I am a skeptic perhaps mostly because of the work of Dr Tony Brown; there is evidence that that current temperatures are not the warmest of the last 1100 years. Why? I’ve also started some climate courses at MIT OpenCourseWare and Yale OpenCourseWare and have taken an interest in paleoceanography.
Cheers and Salute’
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Been lurking for a year or two. Was brought here by an interview with Judith by Russ’ Roberts on Econtalk.
The discussions here can get fairly recondite but I follow as best I can. I have been an agricultural pilot for the last 26 years and thus have had a ring side seat for the entire commercial history of GMO. What I find striking is how similar the debate is in both areas. Politically charged, highly personalized, a lot of junk science/non science thrown into the fray which tends to dilute any good science. It seems to me that out in the trenches with lay persons AGW winds up being comprised in a constellation of connected issues; pesticides, GMO, chem trails and Building 7. I’m sympathetic to the Bjorn Lomborg position that if AGW is a fact that it is not ALL downside.
The clincher for me, though, is that if one wants to spend a lot of time worrying about Malthusian calamity there are several candidates more deserving of immediate attention. I regard highly centralized, monumentally expensive solutions with suspicion. My feeling is that in a complex solution to any complex problem it is difficult enough to nail down intended consequences let alone unintended consequences. It is also my feeling that the political class world wide is salivating at the prospect of the huge revenue stream that would attend many of the proposed “solutions” that are being offered.
I have been fascinated by weather as long as I can remember. as a dentist, I understand the scientific method, and recognize that most of these studies which support AGW would not fly in the medical community as proof of anything. I am amazed someone is actually providing the funds for these studies.
While not at all objective, I am unable to understand how replacing one out of 10000 molecules in the atmosphere with another one of a meager “greenhouse gas” could possibly disrupt the planet’s entire climatic system to such an extent. Nothing I have seen has changed that perception.
I’ve been reading Climate Etc. for a long time, but don’t usually post comments (I think this is my first). I also don’t read the comments very much. There are far too many of them; I don’t understand how anyone has time to read so many comments. And I agree with what someone said up above, that the comments aren’t very helpful most of the time. About 90% of them are just name-calling back and forth. This is the only climate site I visit regularly, though I see others occasionally. The other site I used to like was Roger Pielke Jr.’s blog, but he doesn’t post very much anymore. (I also used to read Pielke Sr. when he was blogging.)
Anyway, I have a Ph.D. in physics. Climate and atmospheric science are not my areas, but I know a reasonable amount about fluid flow and uncertainty and computer modeling. I think I know enough to be able to recognize a good argument when I see one, and that’s what first bothered me about the climate doom and gloom. It seemed like a lot of hype, and darn little in the way of good arguments. (I’m mainly talking about news stories, op-eds, blogs, etc. I have not read very much of the original literature.) It seems like there is a lack of historical perspective, like people have forgotten that there was ever bad weather before.
One of the first big red flags was when McIntyre and McKitrick demolished Mann’s hockey-stick papers, and instead of admitting that maybe there were some problems with his analysis, Mann and his cohort refused to give an inch and instead demonized them and anybody else who dared to question him. That sort of thing — meeting any questions with name-calling and vitriol — really bothers me. (I will mention that a comment by Richard Muller that I saw somewhere, affirming Mann’s bad statistical practice, was influential, because I’m not particularly knowledgeable about that kind of statistical analysis and I was familiar with Richard Muller from a long time ago and thought pretty highly of him.) In early days, I tried reading Real Climate, but they were just so nasty that it really turned me off. The response to the Skeptical Environmentalist was pretty disturbing, too. I read it and thought it seemed pretty reasonable, but Lomborg was attacked with such vitriol.
I guess I would put myself in the lukewarmer category. I certainly believe in the physics of greenhouse gases, etc., but think there has been way too much hype and exaggeration about global warming/climate change. Climategate confirmed what I already suspected was the case — that there is an influential group within climate science who are behaving more like political activists than scientists. What bothers me most is that other scientists, including the big scientific organizations, have let them get away with it. I fear that there will be a lasting loss of trust in science among a lot of people because of this.
I am a BSEE and have been in the engineering field for 30+ years now. I have been running my own engineering consulting firm for 20 years. I have experience in signal processing, software algorithms, medical device design, and embedded systems.
Climate science is a hobby for me. There were two seminal moments in my voyage to skepticism.
1. 2005 – After Florida had two severe hurricane seasons in a row, home insurance rates skyrocketed. The reinsurance industry started using climate models instead of historical damage records. Long story short, there was little justification for this when examining long term cyclone records. Florida has not been hit by a Cat3+ storm since 2005.
2. 2009 – We all know what this is. On a whim I did a deep dive into the mathematics of the Hockey Stick. What struck was not so much the errors in the papers, it was the reactions to the errors by the climate establishment. It was scientifically unjustifiable. I have never been able to square that circle to this day.
I have moved closer to center since then, more of the opinion that a lot of the misbehavior was centered with a minority of high profile scientists with rather large egos.
WG1 is reasonable. The rest is debatable. I expect warming to continue. I am of the firm belief the danger of warming has been overstated. The science here is unconvincing and seems hysterical (in both meanings of the term) at times.
I don’t think they are capable of modelling the climate accurately at this time due to lack of high precision long term climate records. They are probably doing the best they can, but are crippled by lack of data. I don’t think they are wrong, I just think they don’t know the answers, as in “not knowable” with the current data set.
Politically something goes horribly wrong between the actual science and environmental journalism. What ends up in the media is a caricature of the science.
I think of changing to a new hobby every day.
I’m a meteorologist and environmental engineer with a long-time interest in all earth sciences and astronomy. I have a Bachelors Degree in Engineering Science (1974) and Masters Degree in Engineering (1979) from the University of Texas at Austin with a major in meteorology and minor in environmental health engineering. I have close to 40 years of work experience in air quality and weather forecasting, analysis, monitoring, quality assurance, and data validation.
I initially accepted the human-caused global warming propaganda up until 2008 when I decided to look into the science in more detail. I quickly found that the evidence was shaky at best and largely dependent on speculative positive feedbacks and unvalidated models. I have used weather model output extensively for forecasting weather and air quality and it is amazing how well our modern weather models can forecast the weather for several days compared to what I saw in college days in the early 1970’s. However, these models obviously have severe limitations for longer time periods and that leads me to be very skeptical that unvalidated climate models can tell us much about the future climate. The more I read about the complexity of global climate, the more I am convinced that our infant climate modeling may take decades or even centuries of trial and error to reach a point of reasonable reliability for periods of decades to a century.
I greatly dislike the way “man-made global warming” has been renamed “climate change” because the two are not the same. I believe that global climate is constantly changing but human influence is likely to be small and greatly overwhelmed by a wide variety of complicated natural forcings. My experience in working extensively with temperature measurements and temperature forecasting leads me to believe that our best estimates of global temperature anomalies based on surface measurements have a much larger degree of uncertainty than has been implied by most users of these estimates. My feeling is that in recent years the uncertainty of ground-based annual global temperature anomaly estimates could easily be on the order of 0.3C to 0.5C and prior to 1900 perhaps as much as 1-2C. In my view these large uncertainties make it difficult to reliably determine small temperature trends on a global basis. I believe the USCRN is a baby step in the right direction, but we really need a GCRN including fixed ocean stations.
I find paleo climate to be very fascinating and have been trying to learn more about the evidence for dramatic global climate variation in the past. The evidence for glacial cycles of about 100,000 years over the last half million years seems to be very compelling. My personal belief is that our best forecast of future climate at this point is a simple paleo climate persistence forecast based on our best reconstructions of climate for the last 500,000 years. I decided to start a blog to demonstrate a simple paleo climate persistence forecast since I have not run across one in what I have read so far. The following graph is a simple comparison using the last four interglacial periods as an indication for the next few tens of thousands of years.
I also combined some arctic and antarctic climate proxy data to try to assess the variability of climate over the last couple thousand years.
Thanks for providing this forum for the opportunity to exchange ideas about climate change. I believe humanity’s greatest climate challenge will be in dealing with the next glacial period that appears to be very likely based on past evidence. Thankfully there should be at least hundreds and more likely thousands of years to figure out what if anything can be done to prevent or mitigate this highly probable disaster.
As an original denizen, it has been great to see scientific skepticism assert itself against this alarmist monster called ‘consensus’.
The current emphasis is on ‘climate change’ which should more accurately be called AGF, (and CAGF) ie ‘…Flat-lining’, a very scary prospect, not: though a change to ice age conditions could give us all a nasty surprise.
The answer lies in the political sphere here, and in the US. I hope you have the chance to speak on a suitable Senate Committee, now that Republicans are in control of both Houses.
I became interested in climate science after reading about Fred Singer’s claim that weather balloons and satellites don’t show any global warming Any warming since 1979 is offset by cooling in 1958-1978. Bob Carter said the same thing. No global warming since 1958.
I did not take their word for it. I checked out the temperature data myself. Holy smoke! They were right. Of course land and ocean temperature data tell a different story. Global warming is evident.
I ask the obvious question – what’s the difference between the two data sets? Well, the first set measures lower troposphere temperature. This is where greenhouse effect is happening. The second set measures surface temperature. This is influenced by urban heat island effect and natural ocean cycles such as PDO, ENSO, etc.
What is a logical conclusion? Warming can caused by many things not just greenhouse gases. It’s very plausible that the global warming we are seeing is not mainly caused by greenhouse gases.
I consider myself a skeptical Lukewarmer. I’m so skeptical I don’t even put much faith in what I believe. I began making this one of my favorite blogs to visit by following the RealClimate, Climate Audit Climate Etc. trajectory about 5 years ago.
I started my Science career by working for Trapelo West, a branch of Laboratory for Electronics in 1967. We were contracted to NASA’s
Planetology Branch of Space Sciences at Ames Research Center to provide services to create and launch payloads into outer space from
White Sands to find and analyze any micro-meteorites we could bring back to our clean labs. Eventually, we moved on to launching payloads
from Fort Churchill and Alaska to investigate noctilucent clouds. I was also involved in analysis of the first Moon Rocks brought back to Earth. I may be the only person who has ever snorted Moon Dust.
My next big science-related job was working in the early Seventies for the then 800 pound gorilla National Semiconductor. I worked in the Final Test section of the Hi-Reliability Dept. of Q.A., testing all the parts that went in ICBMs, their ground control systems, jets and their weaponry, heart-lung
machines, the Viking Space Probes, etc. Like most of my fellow workers I engaged in a massive fraudulent conspiracy to “expedite” the flow of
material through our department. I don’t think there is a Statute of Limitations for treason so that probably never happened.
Oddly, I did start having dreams that some of my mishandled parts initiated W.W.III, and that caused me to leave my job, buy an off-the-grid ranch high in the mountains of the Eel River watershed in Mendocino County and develop a Back-to-the-Land lifestyle, made extremely comfortable by the Compassionate Use Provider co-op I formed.
That sybaritic phase of my life ended when my wife began a six year, hi-tech, losing battle against cancer, her life ending just two weeks before the WTC disaster. I followed that with a decade of eventually all-consuming care for my former librarian Mother, as multi-farctal dementia turned her
into a sweet two year old.
In the free time I could muster in that period I began driving from our home in Santa Clara, the heart of the Silicon Valley, 45 miles over the mountains to a unique ocean shore phenomenon I discovered and named Neptune’s Vomitorium, where periodically, but persistently, large quantities of non-buoyant marine debris (for which I coined the more accessible word “sinksam”) are ejected onto the beach in a small hidden cove.
In the last decade I have made more than five hundred visits, collected, sorted, carefully documented and stored over 50K treasures from there.
Subsequently, I have researched their identity if mysterious, their likely source, their likely point of marine entry, the path followed from there to my greedy hands, the probable dynamics controlling that movement, the date of manufacture (often decades ago) the nearly magical rhythms of
some objects’ appearances, their denizen hitchhikers, etc.
I’ve used tens of thousands of objects from my collection to construct hundreds of pieces of environmental art to illustrate various aspects of the enormous quantities of humankind’s carelessness that rests in the out-of-sight, out-of-mind world of the benthos. When my question of “Death, where is thy sting?” is finally answered, I hope my collection will find its way to some museum. If it ends up in a landfill, that’s OK too.
For those curious why a grown man would be so fascinated with trash you can survey some of my collections, art, etc. at the Collections page of my 65K Flickr account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/johnvonderlin/collections/ Enjoy.
Thanks for sharing John. The photos are great and your hobby is fascinating. There is a display at the Tate Modern in Paris of refuse recovered from the river Seine. Yours is better and deserves to be in a museum as well.
I hope you’ve seen the film Local Hero, you have a kindred spirit in Ben Knox.
I have a PhD in physics from an Ivy League school. I’m an experimentalist. I’ve done low-energy particle, atomic, and nuclear physics for around 30 years at a national laboratory that also employs a prominent member of The Team.
I have seen first-hand the results of placing too much confidence in models. As an experimentalist, the only authority I completely trust is Nature herself. Until a model has been very exhaustively confirmed, it should be treated with an enormous amount of skepticism.
The physics of CO2 is well-established, and there is no doubt that in the absence of other effects increasing CO2 will warm the planet. The null hypothesis should be warming as would be predicted for the TCS and ECS for CO2 acting alone.
However, the claims of the catastrophists are entirely based on models with very finicky positive feedbacks. The amplification of the CO2 warming is therefore, to my mind, extremely uncertain.
I guess that makes me a lukewarmer. I still believe that the burden of proof is on climate science community to prove that the amplification processes will in fact amplify the warming resulting from CO2.
Two things make me assert that the burden of proof has not been met: first, the scientific behavior of the climate science community has been execrable. Acceptance of clearly erroneous papers, such as those from Mann et al., pasted-together climate reconstructions, a tendency to jump on every temperature blip as proof of imminent catastrophe, etc. all serve to show that the community is less interested in communicating the truth than it is in maintaining a narrative of impending doom.
Second, specific predictions have been made from climate models that have not come to pass. The standard excuse now is that the timescales have been too short, but no such qualifications were stated when the original predictions were made. Until climate models have been unambiguously confirmed by experiment, I believe that it is unwise to rely on them for policy purposes.
Judith had invited people who are on the Denizens I page to comment on how our perceptions have changed since 2010. I have only been visiting Judith’s blog since September 2011 but even this shorter period has been enough to make me less open-minded and more convinced that the AGW hypothesis is generally based on sloppy science and even sloppier reasoning when it relates climate change to the advocacy of carbon reduction policies.
Natural variability has never been properly evaluated with respect to the human and paleo records dating back millions of years and only now with satellite measurements do we have the ability to evaluate weather and climate trends with any degree of statistical probity. In another 100 years or so we will have sufficient satellite data to be able to make more informed forecasts of climate trends.
In the meantime, I would like to see more funding (government and private) devoted to the improvement of weather forecasting so that vulnerable communities can better prepare for extremes of temperatures, precipitation and winds. If this means that climate studies receive less funding, I for one, would not be losing any sleep over this.
I am a 48 year old, long time Australian lurker. My problem with AGW comes from a sociological historical position. At school, our text books and teachers taught us about an impeding ice age, so we had to do something about it. I left school to work on farms (some which were over 120 years old.) I also worked in industrial supplies, when CFC’s were banned from use. During my younger years, the movie “The Day After Tomorrow” was released…a very polemical political movie – though, extremely interesting.
As a farm hand, I had access to records dating back over 120 years. Those farm records recorded droughts, floods, hail, rain, wind, frosts, and heat, which were often out of season. I hung around with many old and withered farmers, who could read the weather and whose vast experiences and relationships dated further back than many of those records.
As a farmer who was taught to record accurate daily measurements – I started to notice the media saying this is the hottest day in 5, 10, 15, 25, 45, years. There was no consistency in their reporting. If you are going to report records, at least date them back 80 years – or use a consistent time frame. After all, if today was hotter then it was 20 years ago – it means, it was hotter 21 years ago. And the so called broken records were not matching our farm records.
So, I became a denier for a couple of reasons. 1) There was little accountability about the change of scaremongering from the looming ice age. 2) I noticed a lot of people were making huge money from it. 3.) lack of accountability and common sense from the alarmists. 4) The records were not matching up. 5) Few people recalled and acknowledged the alarmism of the past. 6.)….etal.
This is a great thread – anyone little informed about CAGW/climate change and/or misinformed about sceptics/deniers would do well to read it. So many intelligent, well-educated and experienced posters explaining their stance – and no long snidey back-and-forth sub-threads! CE at its best, I’m privileged to be in such company.
Published my first paper showing that the observed climate change is most likely due to the anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions in 1992. Haven’t changed my mind.
Published my first paper showing that projected climate change is a net welfare loss to humans in 1995. Haven’t changed my mind.
Have grown more cynical about climate policy, which I used to see as a program to reduce emissions with some attempted self-enrichment, but I now see as a self-enrichment program with some attempted emission reduction.
Have grown more aware of the lack of interest / courage in my fellow academics to stand up against all the climate nonsense.
I’m and engineer with MSc in computer sciece which I did to convert from a transmissions system engineer to work on the coming together of communications and computing in 1978. I an a naturally sceptical person, but my scepticism of global warming was cemented before I really knew what it was all about by a headline in the South China Morning Post saying that 2500 scientists had signed off on catastrophic global warming.
I’d read about the theory of runaway warming in a Patrick Moore (astronomer) book which explained the intense heat on Venus as a result of the CO2 atmosphere trapping the heat, so was familiar with the properties of that gas.
It didn’t take long to realise that the theory was flawed and dependent upon feedbacks caused by water vapour to be catastrophic. As there is to this day no body of knowledge that I know of about the formation of clouds, with their concomitant negative feedbacks, caused by this water vapour I smelled a rat. So the water vapour will only cause warming – I don’t think so.
I looked into the IPCC and found that the body of the reports were filled with uncertainties, which changed to certainties in the SPMs. It dawned on me that this wasn’t a scientific issue but a political one. I now think it’s political but additionally quasi-religious.
Then came Climategate and the unthinkable became reality. The scientists really were fiddling to get the right results, ruining the careers of people who had different scientific views and refusing to show where the data and workings for the papers used by the IPCC came from.
The subsequent whitewashes confirmed the the science was acting in the “service of politics’ (Richard Linden).
Then came the failed forecasts with global warming changing to climate change, climate disruption and the symptoms including anything and everything, when it’s patently obvious that if we hadn’t been told it was warming we wouldn’t know. Yet there were senior climate scientists, sometimes doing a complete volte face on previous prognostications, making excuses for each and every failed forecast, or simply saying they never made them.
Half of the warming in the 20th century occurred before CO2 was a problem, yet no on in the scientific community has a reason for this, and the pause has continued with an increase of 8% of CO2 in the atmosphere, there is still no credible explanation for it, and it actually took the climate science community over a decade to admit there was one.
It’s a political quasi-religious cult, and it will be 50 years or more before it fades away. Unfortunately.
Long time lurker and occasional contributor.
Collage background in human biology but no research experience.
About a decade or more ago I was active on the evolution-creationists forums and encountered a cross-relationship between those rejecting evolution and the common ancestry of man/apes and those rejecting the findings of climate science.
AS with evolution I spent some time looking at the arguments and claims from both sides. Talkorigins v AnswersinGenesis and realclimate v WUWT.
Despite some initial sympathy for the claims that the climate is too complex to analyse and any projection too uncertain to be useful, I was persuaded by the History of the development of the science, a close contemporary of Darwinian evolution. with similar major strides in the science emerging in the 1950-60s. That depth of development, and the way climate science and the GHE has been subject to strong selective pressure in the ecology of scientific hypothesis for over a century and come out on top, makes me see those still rejecting its findings as the conceptual equals of those who refuse to accept the unity of terrestrial biology.
This is the site which has done most to establish my present views of the issue;-
I recently started a blog, that more by accident than design has dealt with the climate issue, although my interest is in the increased capability computers bring to communication via visual means. The use of images and animated narrative to convey information. Or just combine with music….
I hark back to Quaker meeting yesterday and the idea expressed, that most folk (except the crazed fundamentalists) were, mostly, abandoning the orthodoxy, the dogma, more accepting. Nah. Sadly, those are the folk who have bought into the virgin birth of global warming, never to be challenged, thought about, contradicted. They are the supporters of the imposition of fascism upon all, in the name of good.
It’s the second verse, same as the first. I wish liberals could see beyond it.
I am taking a (short) course on “climate change” where the teacher is a “believer.” The uncritical thinking is, ah, sad.
I suspect that this government-born new virgin birth of “global warming” is not a scientific issue, now, any longer, but will be a justification for global fascism, in the name of good.. ….as always. ….smile.
My twitching elbow tells me that we have moved beyond the facts, the reality, to an arena of believing and we will not fight our way out of that paper bag with facts, reality,
Again, a simple example, when I chuckled about the prediction that no one in England born after 2010 would ever see snow, my Quaker friends all told me about the “climate” problems in California. It is a moving target, not to be underestimated, especially by the “good” believers.
I am not a scientist. I am a people, once married to a very good scientist, I once thought I could not parse the complexity of the issue. It is easy, chump change, even for the liberal arts folk who try.
(I think corruption is the over-riding thing: if you torture the data enough, it will confess. This is not dueling analysis.)
….Lady in Red
I am retired, worked in Philips R&D on Microelectronics, digital TV, Telecommunications, Electromagnetic Compatibility, Acoustics and several other electronics areas. I also taught microelectronics at TU Delft as part-time professor, one day a week.
I live in the Netherlands and on retirement from Philips moved to the Flevoland polder, a very big and fertile polder with lots of e-windmills. I refuse to call them turbines. The nacelle contains a generator which is connected to windmill vanes, not a turbine in sight anywhere.
One of my new Flevoland friends is “windfarmer”; he has a very large cattle farm, a yoghurt factory and a couple of windmills. He is quite successful and has an acute business sense. He told me that windfarming in Flevoland is a good side business for him, thanks to government subsidies, but in his opinion it will never become self-supporting. It is a good business for windfarmers but not for the Dutch people. He asked me to look into wind energy technology which I did.
It was an interesting study. I had many surprises and concluded that e-windmills have no useful purpose. The main reasons are:
1. Wind energy has low power density.
2. The output is a third power function of wind speed which makes it very intermittent.
3. Below Beaufort 3 (about 4m/s) the output is zero.
4. Connection of e-windmills to the electrical grid causes pollution , efficiency degradation and extra wear and tear of backup generators.
5. E-Windmills on the grid need 100% backup from dispatchable generators. Because of this it is an extra on the grid, so all energy costs of e-windmill production, installation, operation and maintenance must be taken into account to calculate the net total system energy savings by wind energy, compared to exclusively fossil fuel generation. The outcome is that wind may save a couple of percent of fossil fuel compared to modern CCGT (combined cycle gas turbine) generation. This is for relatively small fractions of wind energy on the grid, of the order of 10%. When this fraction approaches 30% the fossil fuel savings become negative.
I found a lot of Dutch physicists and engineers, most of them independent like me, who had come to the same conclusions.
From wind energy I moved into climate change, because I found that politicians have been made to believe that climate change can be mitigated by use of renewable power. According to my conclusions above that is not the case for wind energy. I have not looked as deeply into solar energy, but I think that on our latitudes (about 52N) it is not a viable option. The intermittence is even worse than that from wind and the energy density is also quite low, which causes a lot of land use. Depending on the technology used, it is doubtful whether the energy costs of production can ever be won back during panel lifetime.
I was (and still am) shocked by the unscientific attitude of climate scientists like those from CRU and PennU and the idea of consensus science. I am happy to see younger climate scientists, who have not yet been congealed by funding, come up with interesting papers that can be explanations for the observations. I gained a lot of experience with the use of complex computer models during my years in microelectronics. Computer models are necessary for chip design, but they cannot be used for finding solutions to anomalous behaviour found in practice. The reason is that they do not simulate the reality of chip operation. Addition of thermal behaviour and the complete grid of conductor resistances with the voltages across them would make the programs too big and simulation times far too long.
Climate Etc. I find a very good climate science site where a good overview of status and new developments can be obtained. In the Netherlands there are also some useful sites, like Marcel Crok’s. Some of the comments to posts on Climate Etc. are very clarifying, but the majority is a sort of game between opponents, which gets quite tedious. I have some assistance from a script that filters out the worst offenders, because I do want to read the comments for the sprinkling of gems.
I think I am firmly in the sceptical camp. I never believe anyone on his/her word (except sometimes my wife) until I have checked it myself – if I can, of course. In case I cannot understand, the options are open.
I have a degree in electrical engineering (german technical university) and am on some papers from student times (some numerics software in integrated optics). Couldn’t work because of an disease that officially doesn’t exist (more or less). Recovered considerably since I came to know about it after 18 years.
I believed in the authority of anything scientific but after researching some topics in depth came to realize that there’s a lot of well remunerated pseudo science out there. Mostly stuff dealing with complex systems like the human psyche and economics, finance. A lot of money goes into these industries and their prognostications are virtually worthless. This is well known but nobody cares.
So I recently started to have second thoughts about climate change etc.
Same complexity problems.
To really try to have a somehow solid judgement will probably take some more years of work. I don’t want to go into it that too far for the moment and looked for some critical but rational and unbiased info on the web. Most of the discussion is either so simplified that its worthless as input for critical thinking (“Believe me xyz is the truth”-stuff). Then there is original scientific literature that requires years of education to really understand. Literature in between (original and accessible with general advanced science education) is generally in short supply.
After some time I somehow landed at Climate Etc.
Seems to be a good starting point. And I subsequently found some more interesting blogs in that class.
All these good blogs must be an awful lot of work and very time consuming.
I wonder how people can manage to do some other serious work also.
I’m a scientific programmer, and the relevant work was with numerical solutions of PDEs and in particular the Navier Stokes equations.; and in signal processing.
From the former, you can’t solve the Navier Stokes equations yet climate science claims to. (In 3D flows go to shorter and shorter scales, so no grid size suffices even if you have the processing power.) Lie number 1 that makes it through climate science peer review.
From the latter, you can’t tell whether something is a trend or a cycle with data short compared to the cycle (the eigenvalues of the discriminating matrix explode, making every observation useless). Lie number 2 that makes it through climate science peer review.
So I don’t believe that climate science is a field of science at all. You might as well do astrology.
What I know runs up against stuff that’s put out as truth.
Climate as a Mandelbrot set. Interesting and applicable to climate modeling.
I came to Germany as a 19 year old GI back in ’78 and ended up “going native”. I’ve been here ever since. After discharge I spent a couple of years of a bohemian existence, during which time I learned to appreciate such amenities as food and a dry place to sleep, After a while I realized that schooling correlated well with a steady source of income. To this end I attended Engineering School (FH) in Munich eventually finishing with a degree in Applied Physics, with a specialty in optics. This lead to a career working in industrial image processing (robot guidance / inspection). This turned out to involve more software than anything else, which I’ve been doing for the last 25 years or so. Having come of age in a foreign culture gave me an appreciation that everybody has their own idiosyncrasies, preconceived notions, and blind spots. There are always two sides to the story and I do try hard to see both.
I hadn’t paid much attention to climate until climategate. Then I downloaded the whole bundle. What impressed me wasn’t so much the emails as the code. At a glance it was apparent that it had been hacked in more by climate guys than software professionals. I still don’t know whose code it was, or what it’s been used for, but if that’s what those high falutin models are made of, I wouldn’t trust them for much.
Then I started reading articles in places like PhysOrg. There I noticed that the claims in the conclusions varied between illogical and absurd when compared with the text. Climate change was always assumed – to the exclusion of more obvious explanations. But what really convinced me that something was rotten was the vitriol in the comments directed at anybody who tried to point out the obvious.
Eventually I found WUWT, which led me here among other places.
I offer two main reasons for my interest in climate science:
First, a better understanding climate would be of great benefit to humankind. CO2 affects climate? – Yes. But I’m also convinced that there are much more important combinations of factors (oceans, water vapor, sun) that need to be understood first. Unfortunately, the obsession with carbon precludes doing much useful research.
Secondly, I see climate science as an extreme example of problems that affect much of modern science – and perhaps even our society as a whole. The politics of funding, misuse of peer review, trying to get the ‘right’ result, involvement of activist interests and so on, are not unique to climate. It’s just that here they are blown out of all proportion. The ruckus over Climate may someday provide the impetus for reforms that (IMO) are sorely needed in much of the Educational – Industrial Complex (hope springs eternal).
And finally, I am drawn to Dr. Curry’s site because I see her as one of very few people who command the authority and respect to provide an alternative role model for young researchers – and who has the backbone to do it.
Just consider me a fan.
No distinguished education, other than four and a half years of science-related general university study during the very troubled late 1960’s, and all that that implies. Dedicated follower of science-related news since my youth. Hosted an early 1990’s website entitled The Bad Science Times (long since defunct) covering issues of poorly done science and even more poorly done science journalism.
I am a long-term environmentalist having spent my youth hiking the Sierras and deserts of California and have spent the last twelve years living at sea on our sailing catamaran, in the Northern Caribbean, where my wife and I served in various humanitarian capacities.
I author occasional Guest Essays at WUWT but not the usual fare there. You can list my essays by searching “Kip Hansen” (include the quotes) in the WUWT Search box. I am a frequent commenter at Andy Revkin’s NY Times’ Dot Earth blog (including one guest post there) and in the NY Times’ Health and Well sections. I read here at Climate Etc. daily, but seldom comment.
My main interest is in mis- and/or poorly-applied scientific method resulting in conclusions unsupported by the data and the more general issue of ‘press release science’ in opposition to science journalism. I actually concentrate more on medicine/health/public-health related issues, but have been following the climate wars since the 1980’s. I have a special interest in the ethics of science and scientists. Following the various “Science Wars” is a personal hobby.
In 2005 I told a family member who was terrified about the possible effects of CAGW on her children that we should “wait ten years or so and see what really happens”. Those ten years have now passed. How has CAGW played out over those ten years? Opinions vary.
Having scientific training and working in IT I guess I brought a skeptical viewpoint to AGW from the start. It was John Brignell’s work on epidemiology that helped me to understand the misuse of statistics and peer review. Somehow from there I found John Daly’s “still waiting for greenhouse” website, one powerful section of which debunked sea level rise, and Bishop Hill’s blog. From there it was a short step to WWUT, ClimateAudit and all the rest. I’m willing to accept humanity has had some small effect on climate, though I’ve never been an AGW “believer”. The most distressing thing is that the money spent on AGW research could have been used to address real problems such as access to clean water, sanitation and healthcare.
As an engineer in the early ’80s, my office received “Virginia Climate Report” authored by then State Climatologist, Dr Patrick Michaels. Reading between the lines, I could see he was already resisting “towing the line” on CAGW even that early in the game. His articles focused on weather history and precedence (always interesting), and apparently that irked his superiors — alarmism was where the future money was. As a young engineer, that opened my eyes — what is going on here? Years later, searching, I found John Daly’s website, and some years later, ClimateAudit.
This convo returned me to skepticism.
Climatologist: it could cause a temp change by 2.5C-4.5C per century.
Me: Did you just correct the historical values by 1C over the past 5 years?
Climatologist:Yes, it was biased.
Me:Why won’t that occur again in the next 20 years? Just stop a moment and assume your correction were right. Why believe you’re right, now?
If your adjustments to averages in living memory will have to be corrected by more than you are predicting, that’s statistical noise youre predicting.
I am a civil engineer, and have an MA in geography. Also a BA in philosophy, so I have a strong interest in logic and argument. Started out c. 1995 with the precautionary view: could be, why risk disaster?
For years I worked at a firm that did large computer models of natural water systems, bays, estuaries, etc. I did the GIS, data visualization work: deeply involved in data issues.
Then I was on one of NYC’s early investigations of the potential impacts of climate change. I attended meetings at the inner sanctum of AGW, the GISS at Columbia U. Hansen’s home base. I felt I was at meetings of a political cell from the 1930s, or a new cult. I once asked a question that indicated some questioning of the proposed narrative: daggers from all eyes! Softball questions were received with effusive smiles and cooing.
The next shock was when I read the IPCC Statement for Policy Makers AND looked at a lot of the scientific papers: alternative universes!!
Chemical Engineer w PE and Masters in Construction Management. Went into the Navy after college and then out working on rockets and propellants. Then waterfront piers until moving to an oil company on oil production facilities, gas gathering facilities and pipelines and refineries. On to energy projects and as part of that a science program that included climate investigations. Became cautious skeptic with concern over the cloud models and water vapor impacts. Surprised at climate gate e-mals. After years of silent concern saw the Scientific American article with Dr Curry and Mann. That article brought me here. Then shocked at vast areas of unkown temps in Africa, oceans, south america and the poles. Worried that the long slow thaw from Tonyb may be changing but data too lacking and time frame to short to judge either way. Enjoy the links and connections here that provide science and the back and forth. Mostly silent lurker but interesting place.
Out of curiosity, I checked the Denizens file of 2010 to gauge changes in my opinion of Climate Science (CS). My career, PhD p-chem, was spent at a private research laboratory on matters both theoretical and experimental of my own choosing (yes, there really were once such opportunities). CS proved not to be what I expected for 20th century science. Hypotheses were ‘theories’ and analyses rhetorical. Instead of mathematical derivation, multi-colored graphics are the rule.
The motivation for this thread was a Matthew’s article on the scientific competency of skeptics of consensus science. To see whose foot the shoe best fits – here goes!
A textbook description might first assume a spherical object irradiated with black-body radiation at 5600K and a equal amount of energy reradiated at an effective temperature ca. 200K not necessarily with a black-body distribution. In CS this is ‘equilibrium’. In the physical sciences it is a steady state. What’s the difference? A steady-state is not a state of maximum entropy and work has to be steadily performed to keep it from relaxing towards equilibrium – dissipation. Equilibrium is a limiting state of zero dissipation. Many texts and discussions are found online as PDF files and scanning such documents for phrases such as free energy, entropy and dissipation quickly provides my file-of-interest score.
Navier-Stokes approximations seem the root of most computer models. While interesting as nonlinear flow problems, all dissipation lies in an empirical viscosity tensor (linear dissipation of momentum flux in pressure gradients). Thermal dissipation is unmentioned – it is highly nonlinear, independent of viscous dissipation and omnipresent whenever energy flows down a thermal gradient. The crucial flaw incorporated in all computer modelings of which I am aware is the ‘convective adjustment’ which constrains lapse rates. Not a bad approximation in itself, for convection does hold the lapse rate near the adiabat, but the additional work required to sustain a fixed lapse rate when GHG concentrations increase is ignored (zero dissipation = convective equilibrium ?) and crucial to the calculation of temperature perturbations. Catastrophe arises only when enhanced convective dissipation is suppressed by nonphysical approximation and unable to compensate for reduced dissipation by GHG increases.
My personal interest has been to see how far one can go in understanding the relationship between GHGs and surface temperatures by rigorous thermodynamic analysis using generalized energy fluxes and thermal potentials. As head of family with many grandchildren exhibiting academic aspirations, I prefer anonymity although I maintain an ephemeral website with analyses of some problems I’ve found interesting.
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I am a skeptic, I ask but one question, have for over 12 months and received zero answers to the question. The question: if adding 120 PPM of CO2 drives temperature, where is the experiment that proves this theory? It’s as simple as that.
We know that CO2 gas is logarithmic in its make up. We know there is a strong influence in the first 50 PPM of CO2, but afterward, the graph will flatten. And therefore, any amount added will not influence temperature. It is the property of the gas. I don’t understand why the skeptic experts don’t point to this one glaring missing piece of work. I am perplexed by it. BTW, I have found one experiment performed by Herr Koch in 1901 that proved the logarithmic properties.
What line-shape do you think best describes the daily cooling?
I could not follow you link, but am interested.
Sorry wrong place
I was sceptically agnostic 15-20 years ago when this first became a topic of conversation. It wasn’t an unreasonable hypothesis, but with more than 15 year experience in all kinds of electronic circuit simulations and model development, the use of a model to “confirm” the theory left me thinking about how in model development, you model how you think something works, and it has no obligation to actually work like you think. Could be right, but this wasn’t any sort of proof, and I was also put off by those who basically wouldn’t even consider this.
In 2000 I started doing astrophotography with a digital camera.
Part of that process was to capture the sensor noise due to temperature dependent leakage currents in the photodiode that’s the basis of the camera I was using. You did that by taking an exposure of the same length as your image sub, but with the lens cap on while the camera was at the same temp. Since that impacted imaging time by 100%, I started using a library of darks, but you had to log temps, so you could find a matching dark frame of the same temp. After a while of this, it dawned on me just how much temps dropped when the Sun set, through the Co2 blanket (W.E. :) ). 10-20F from Sunset to midnight was possible. It seem ludicrous that a clear sky that could lose 2-3 degrees per hour was able to cause “unprecedented warming”. I decided to go in search of nightly rate of change info to see if I could find a loss of nightly cooling out of the temperature record. With the GSoD data set with min/max temps. I set about creating a set of yesterday’s Rising temps, and last nights Falling temp for every station, for every pair of days (yesterday and today). A rate of change on a daily and an annual basis for each station. How much of yesterday’s warming was lost to space last night. So far when you compare rising and falling temps it show no trend in the loss of cooling.
I’ve been working on this data for 5 or 6 years now. I am disappointed that all these smart climatologists, and all they have done is try to create an average temp, there’s a lot of information in the data they all throw away.
You can find the reports and code here:
My writings about it here:
I started by talking about what I did almost 20 years ago, since then I help implement product data management systems in various companies, and for more than 10 year my main job has been data migrations, I take product data used to make things, and migrate it into a software system for managing change. You want to change a product bill of material, you write a change order, and you get the proper level of approval, or it’s not made. I’m responsible to make sure the integrity of the data of millions of records is preserved, while I enrich the data to support the required business process. And I warn all of my customers about making programmatic changes to their data during the migration process, even when it’s wrong, the best solution if at all possible is to not change anything until after it’s loaded, then use the change management system to implement the corrects, then in the future when someone audits the product record why can see why it was done, and all of the approvals, as opposed to magic transformations between systems, where the people who understand those changes are gone or have forgotten, try explaining that to an FDA auditor!
What’s done with climate data, from the data to what we’re told is a temperature record is unacceptable, unprofessional.
My journey with climate science started in the mid 1990’s as a fence sitter. I have read papers, books and blogs of alarmists and skeptics. I conclude that climate science is still in its infancy and not ripe enough to draw conclusions for public policy. Until we understand natural variations in clouds, percipatation, oceans, the sun, ocean/atmosphere interface, the Artic atmospheric dynamics, and all feedbacks +/- enough to quantify them, projections are meaningless. Progress in the understanding of the science is hindered by biases in the funding and selectivity in publishing. There is no natural force of accountability to drive a process of improvement. Regretfully the financial incentives encourage the current behavior to continue.
Public policy formulations are naive and lack practical considerations for cost of deployment and economic impact. Little attention is given to unintended consequences of policy content and timelines. One gets the idea that policy solutions are thrown against the wall to see what will stick politically.
We will suffer along until we encounter a prolonged period (up or down) of dramatic temperature change.
My name is Richard Arrett. I am a patent attorney with an electrical engineering degree (B.S.E.E.) from the University of Minnesota and a JD from Hamline University School of Law.
I posted on the original Denizens thread on 11/15/2010 and still agree with what I wrote then. I am also over at Airvent – but I am not sure I am part of the 154 or not.
Our patent law firm, being interested in technical subjects, subscribes to Nature and Science (among other science journals) and global warming came to my attention in 2008.
I started seeing science articles and started digging into how the climate models worked.
I started out very skeptical that we understood the climate system well enough to conclude that most if not all of the warming since 1950 was due to human emitted GHG’s.
I started posting at RealClimate, and was gradually phased into the borehole and then banned.
From my point of view, I saw that the climate had varied very widely over the last several thousand years, and in no way did I believe that proxy data (which averages and mutes annual signals) showed that the recent warming was unprecedented over the last 1000 or 2000 years.
I read the Mann papers and Climate Audit and had a real problem with Mann trying to disappear the MWP or arguing that it was merely regional.
I was first called a “denier” in 2009 and I found that very offensive.
Especially as I completely agree with the physics behind the direct effects of CO2, and the 1.2C we should see from doubling CO2 from 280 ppm to 560 ppm.
I am very skeptical of the indirect feedback amplification effects put down to CO2 (and water vapor), which supposedly double or triple the direct effects, don’t see any observation evidence for this and the last 7 years have only firmed my skepticism.
Every year I have seen CS drop until it is now probably around 1.6 to 1.8C (and maybe even lower), and yet the people who call me a denier won’t budge from their center range of 3.0C (which isn’t supported by the actual data and is certainly not supported by the data since 1998).
I also find it very interesting that the sea level has risen 120 meters over the last 20,000 years – which is a background rise of 60 cm per century. This is triple the rise of 20 or so cm we say in the last 100 years.
Since the last 20 cm or so is supposedly down to human emissions, I wonder what the explanation is for the much greater background rise which caused the 119.4 meters of sea level rise.
Clearly it has been warming for 20,000 years.
Clearly none of the 119.4 meters of sea level rise is due to human emitted CO2 – yet a rate of sea level rise which is 1/3 of the background rate is catastrophic?
I also believe that nuclear is a no regrets solution and don’t understand the opposition to increasing the United States nuclear power generation from 20% nuclear to 50 or even 75% nuclear. This makes very good sense to me, the cost would drop dramatically if we changed our regulation environment for nuclear, the new passive cooling reactors are much much safer than older reactor designs, and regional storage (which we have de facto anyway) solves the waste problem.
I don’t believe a proper cost/benefit analysis has been done yet. It is my opinion that the costs of mitigation are huge and dwarf the benefits.
Raising the costs of 7.5 billion people’s food, energy and fuel in order to maybe slow down warming by less than .1C/decade seems like a very risky thing to do to me, and I want to see 60 to 120 years more data to really tease out the human signal from the background natural variability signal.
I consider myself a lukewarmer.
Degree in physics and decades in computer-aided data analysis. I’ve made tens of millions for my employer by showing where pre-existing data analysis was misguided. These days, call me a data scientist.
In my experience, you can’t clarify muddy questions like these by glittering generalities. That way, people hear the same words, but their internal context is different, so they receive a different message. Instead, It takes concentrating together on specific examples.
My initial response to the pronouncements regarding AGW was to accept it as presented – IPCC is part of the UN for goodness sakes – and launch a new business based on the information provided. (A huge challenge for electric utilities is “justifying” to the Public Utility Commissions that a new plant should be built to meet the needs of a growing community. Since temperature and power use are highly correlated, I proposed using rising CO2 levels as an indicator of future temperatures, and thus future demand for electricity.) My idea came to a crashing halt when the first serious client asked how rigorous were the numbers proposed by the IPCC. Oops! That question led me to Steve Mac’s blog, and my “blind acceptance” of AGW began to wilt.
A second influence was Al Gore’s oft repeated “The science Is settled” meme. For those not familiar the law, this expression is lifted from a legal term, “The law is settled,” which essentially means a case involving the law has been tried in court and survived. The expression “the science is settled” clearly did NOT come from scientists, rather from lawyers/politicians.
Third, when I have asked my most fervent AGW friends what specific steps they had taken to decrease their “carbon footprint” in order to save the world? Turns out NOT A SINGLE ONE HAD DONE A SINGLE THING… other than chastise disbelievers. I guess they are paralyzed by their fear of being roasted alive? Do as I say, not as I do.
But the biggest influence in turning me away from the theory is the way people have responded to sincere and earnest questions. I was educated in a way that promotes understanding (as opposed to simple faith) and where “the only dumb question is the one not asked.” But whenever I’ve asked questions to better understand the theory of AGW, I am vilified as a “denier.” Faith-based science anyone?
My background/education is as an economist from Yale University. I live in a Panamanian rainforest and have a carbon footprint MUCH SMALLER than any of my warmista friends.
MS in Atmospheric Science, combined with a lifelong interest in politics, is what brought me to this discussion. I am not much interested in the climate wars aspect, but more interested in learning about how we humans address complex issues via a subject I naturally am interested in. Mostly a lurker here, but visit frequently as this blog always presents interesting topics and ideas. I also pull material from here to use for discussions in a introductory level meteorology class I teach.
Two pieces of information I think everyone reading my comment should consider:
The first is that one’s political outlook correlates strongly how one evaluates the evidence on climate change. This should give everyone who has a strong opinion on the matter reason to go back and re-visit the evidence and to consider opposing viewpoints. It is a very complex issue and I strongly doubt any one individual has all the answers.
The second is that ideology and perception of consensus correlate more strongly to belief in human-dominant climate change than does expertise. This should give everyone who touts scientific consensus as a justification for decision making reason to be concerned that the reported consensus does not truly represent what is known and what remains unknown.
Final thought is that the average person will never care about this issue unless they personally perceive changes in the climate. Weather and climate vary greatly from day to day and season to season and whatever long term climate changes we have experienced thus far are in the noise comparatively. Statistical arguments will lose to personal experience and tying this or that bad storm to climate change is scientifically dubious at best. The average person is just trying to live their life and has a host of “real” issues that they care about and/or have to deal with already.
Thanks to you Judy for all the great work–keep it going!
I admire scientists and the scientific way of knowing but I am not myself trained as a scientist, except inasmuch as my undergraduate training in sociology at a top U.S. university exposed me to statistical inference and standards of valid reasoning about social phenomena. I am now a computer programmer in the business world by day, which in large measure involves trying to understand how other rational minds work, in the way they have offered supporting programming interfaces to solve practical problems for you. So I am at usually at one level removed from understanding anything inherent about the way computers work, and much focussed on how other minds work. That’s a kind of science, I suppose, but never one worth rigidly quantifying and presenting to anyone as the truth; you get your work done, and you move on to the next problem to solve.
I grew up in a rural area that afforded many opportunities to witness the power of natural processes. I spent a lot of time outdoors and learned to preferred the natural organization of a wild growing forest to the more simple-minded organization of the man-made built environment. Being steeped in the natural environment encourages a kind of humility that I began to see was mostly missing from much environmental science. I was inclined to be concerned about climate change and sympathetic to aiming for a kind stewardship of natural resources.
But as I kept hearing more and more claims of certainty and consensus around anthropogenic climate castrophe, I could not help but see the claims as the outcome of a social process rather than a scientific one. The deeper I dug into the methodology of the papers claiming consensus, something at least in my wheelhouse of sociological understanding, the more I came to realize how thoroughly science was being undermined in studying scientists’ beliefs. An undergraduate thesis in sociology in my time, it seemed, would not be accepted with as many logical holes and polemical slants as the studies claiming consensus that I was digging into. If the climate science community would put forward such poor quality studies about consensus, how much should anyone trust them to put forward good quality papers about physical climate processes? Something other than science seemed to be steering the ship.
I am generally a leftward leaning thinker and travel largely in social circles sympathetic to climate alarmism. I have a Catholic family background but a religious home among the Quakers now, though I resist how lost that community seems to be getting in climate change alarmism as time goes on, forgetting its traditional witness for the poor, and living in respect for the insights of others, led by their own experience of the divine in nature and in social relationships. So I am something of a dissenter among the dissentients.
I’m a political conservative who believes in conservation as well. I originally accepted the climate science/IPCC dogma, but my background as an electrical engineer with experience in developing spice models led me to look closer at the details.
As a result, I am a full blown sceptic – and should be considered a denier with regards to Anthropogenic CO2 Catastrophe.
Although I first started out as most young idiots do – by donating to environmental NGOs, age and wisdom have shown that these organizations are – for the most part – just as dastardly as that which they purport to fight.
My view now is that whatever the actual problem (or not problem) of climate, innovating competitive alternative energy should be a common goal whether sceptic or believer. Unfortunately, the same dynamic which drives the aforementioned NGOs is also at work with regards to alternative energy: where doing something is better than doing the right thing.
I’m against present day technology solar PV, wind, biomass, and pretty much everything except hydropower or in circumstances where mass power generation and distribution is not possible.
I am for spending money collected via taxes to fund innovation into unsubsidized yet parity competitive alternative energy.
I am against power mongering whether NGO or politician.
About 10 years ago I changed from a believer to a skeptic. (My current view is that the planet has warmed and that man’s activity is probably one cause of the warming. However, I think the climate models are entirely worthless, and the efforts to reduce CO2 emissions are essentially worthless.)
Several factors influenced me, particularly the hiatus. As a casualty actuary, I created numerous plausible models, but when they didn’t work, I rejected them.
I was influenced by the reaction to climategate. Its significance was obvious, yet denied by many. I recall a debate at MIT where one professor (I think is was Kerry Emanuel) stated, as a fact, that the e-mails had no significance. But, there was no way he could justify that statement. To prove that the e-mails had no significance would have required reading every e-mail and checking available related information. But, that would have been a Herculean effort.
How strange – I can’t actually pinpoint any ‘Eureka’ sceptic moment; I just kind of drifted into this whole business a couple of years ago, mainly via Twitter. I can’t remember having any particular opinion on the ‘climate scare’ pre 2012, other than some vague notion that it might all be a bit overblown. So it’s been a steep learning curve from early 2013 – with no imminent sign of any ‘hiatus’/plateau/pause on the horizon!
I have a science background: BSc Physics/Astronomy, PgD Acoustics. I’ve been fascinated by weather/atmosphere since the days of ‘A’ level Geography. Was accepted on the MSc Atmospheric Physics & Chemistry course at UEA – which I don’t think they even offer anymore. Sadly, financial considerations prevented me from taking up the offer. Had I done so, I might now be a fully fledged climate scientist, though I suspect strongly that, if I had progressed further into academia in my chosen area, my CAGW scepticism would have developed a lot sooner and my career may have been seriously curtailed as a result!
As it was, I drifted into property management and then, following the death of my very much loved German Shepherd on 19th November 2009, started volunteering part time for a German Shepherd Rescue – none of which relates in any way whatsoever to being a climate change sceptic! Except for one weird coincidence: only very recently did I notice that Jade passed away on the exact date that the Climategate scandal broke in the media! That winter was also to be the coldest in the UK since 1978/79, when climate scientists were still scaring us with stories about imminent global cooling and satellites were only just starting to measure the temperature of the lower troposphere and the beginnings of the ‘catastrophic’ decline in Arctic sea-ice. Strange world.
I am longtime lurker with no scientific background. I am interested in history and politics and first came across this topic back when the first climategate emails were released. The comments in the harry read me text file raised my eyebrows since I work with programmers and know how they can often speak the truth in the comments. I started out as a denier based on this, Mueller’s famous youtube video and some of the emails (hide the decline, mike’s trick, redefine peer reviewed literature). After years of reading climate audit, this site, WUWT, bishop hill, real climate and a few others I have switched to a lukewarmer. To me it appears reasonable that human activity can impact the climate. Attribution seems to be the crux of the issue. I am struck at the vitriol directed at people like Judith, Roger Pielke Jr. and Steve McIntyre. “Deniers” get ridiculed but the most vicious comments seem to be reserved for those who technically agree with the global warming hypothesis but are not in lock step with the most extreme forecasts. The failure to release code and data because others “might prove them wrong” or because of hurt feelings is a sure tell in my opinion. If I was convinced the impact was disastrous, I would gladly release all my work, patiently answer questions from critics and even dumb it down as much as possible to ensure the message was understood. After all, we are talking about the survival of the species and/or the planet, right? Because I am not a scientist I have to look at behaviors to help understand the issue. The latest topic at climate audit is a perfect example. The controversy is rather complicated and even when people write down the equations there are still arcane disagreements regarding whether there is or isn’t circularity in the code. To date people have had to make educated guesses or assumptions because the authors have not yet released the code/data or responded to all of the criticism. To this layman the critics of the paper appear more willing to explain their positions than those who defend it (in general). I am still a lukewarmer but am very skeptical of the most ardent proponents of AGW.
I have a B.Sc., M.Sc and Ph.D., all in biochemistry. I have been a post-Doctoral researcher since 93 and have worked on kinetics and bioenergetics for more than 20 years. I transitioned into neurochemistry and currently work on ethyl-mercury neurotoxicity and novel strategies for treating glioma and other cancers.
I have been following cAGW since the early 90’s.
I am fascinated with the approaches in the field and how climate science manages to go its own way compared with other disciplines. Working on systems that are far from equilibrium and display cyclical pseudo-steady state behavior is what biological scientist have been doing for quite a while and they have a large body of theoretical and practical tools to study such systems.
The use of ‘averaging’ and the misuse of well described phenomena such as; flux, feedback, temperature, noise, equilibrium and lag, all make me cynical.
In certain web sites (e.g., The Guardian), climate beliefs are separated into two camps: deniers versus scientists; that is, those who deny that mankind has any effect on the climate versus those who accept that mankind is cataclysmically altering the climate.
This is a false dichotomy. In reality beliefs range from thinking that man has no significant on the climate to thinking that the affects are so cataclysmic that mankind may be extinct in a century or two, with every color of the rainbow in between. And this holds not just for blog posters but it seems for scientists.
Why then do these web sites present climate beliefs as a dichotomy rather than a spectrum?
I suspect it’s because they want to avoid facing an inconvenient proposal; namely, that man-made climate change is real but not necessarily cataclysmic. They don’t want to have to deal with the “luke warmers” arguments.
The reason they want to avoid this discussion is that luke warmers are not the lunatic fringe, and thus not easily dismissed or mocked. There are some good scientists with some good arguments on their side. Further, evidence in the two few decades, and even many aspects of the IPCC reports, give their views considerable support. And the longer the hiatus continues, the more this support grows.
Climatologists such as Nuccetelli realize that these “tweeners” represent real and serious competition to their views, and so they go to great lengths to avoiding acknowledging them, harping endlessly on “deniers”.
I first became skeptical after working on the FAAs weather observation stations at a System Engineering firm. ASOS and AWOS maintenance and calibration were very low on the FAAs priority list (radar, navigation, and communication systems are more critical. Models using data from AWOS and ASOS is suspect. When you start to read about the work Watts and others have done given the Urban Heat Island effect and the siting of stations confidence in what is reported is very low.
In addition, having been to Glacier National Park in the 1990s and having read in the National Park Service Brochure that there weren’t any glaciers in this area during the Medieval Warming Period and then reading Alarmist stories about how these glaciers “will be lost forever ” made me cynical about their claims. Also I have skied in Switzerland on a Glacier that during the MWP was a main footpath between Switzerland and Italy. When I pointed this out in an email to a leading Global Warming leader , he dismissed it by saying that the only evidence for MWP is in the Northern Hemisphere.
Finally during ClimateGate having been a FORTRAN programmer in the past, I looked closely at the code where amazingly duplicitous changes were made to”hide the decline”. I don’t know how these people sleep at night – of course some one published the ClimateGate emails so maybe there is still a few honest people left.
I’m a software engineer with CS/Physics/Maths M.Sc. degree.
I’m a non-believer what comes to major media and their ability to get a grasp on science.
I believe TCR is less than 1.5°C. Since the climate science community has been unable to wash its dirty laundry, I believe it is fully politized and should not enjoy the full trust from laymen.
I’m more scared of climate scare than any actual measurable changes in our environment. We are doing well with droughts, sea level, Arctic ice, hurricanes etc. The only thing to worry at the moment is the price of energy which may slow down development.
I’m an engineer – ’59 EE. After four years in Air Force, ‘spent 33 years in power generation industry, three years in a fossil plant and 30 years in and around nuclear plants.
I was a wannabe pilot, so had some meteorology classes. I remember the new ice age predictions of the 1970s, which inverted and became the CAGW of the 1980s. The climate ”science”pushed by the likes of Al Gore was not consistent with my understanding of the scientific method. I read some of the “we’re all going to die” books from the ’60s and ’70s, partly because they opposed nuclear power that was near and dear to my heart. Climategate destroyed any confidence I had that prominent climate scientists believed in the scientific method.
My personal experience with media coverage of the nuclear power industry showed me that even if journalists are unbiased (which few of them are these days), they know next to nothing about science and industry and will nearly always get the science and the facts wrong.
Online, I follow Climate Etc., WUWT, Real Science/Steve Goddard, Tom Nelson, Pielkie Jr., Climate Audit, JoNova, nofrakkingconsensus.com, Dr. Roy Spencer, Bjoern Lomborg, and Lord Monckton – among others. In addition, I always have at least one book on climate science, the IPCC, etc., in my reading queue.
I believe the climate is changing, but not in CAGW; the climate has been warming since the last ice age; mankind has contributed some unknown, but small, amount to warming; and that climate models should not be used as a basis for changing the earth’s economic and political systems which will doom people in undeveloped countries the opportunity to improve their lives with cheap, abundant, dependable fossil fueled power.
My name is Blair King and I, too, am a member from Denizen 1.0. When I first commented on the Denizen thread I was still keeping my opinions mostly hidden in the background. I only commented on very rare occasions at selected web sites but mostly avoided notice. As the years have progressed I have become more and more disenchanted with the IOC of Science (the IPCC) and those individuals more dedicated to protecting their sinecures rather than practising good science. Finally I started putting my thoughts down and was encouraged to actually collect them at my blog
which has been a very enlightening experience. From my seat in Western Canada I have raised the ire of selected protectors of the consensus and I marvel at the little ways they work to drive outsiders off the playing field. I read comments from people like David Small above, and am disheartened that the gatekeepers of the consensus may make it impossible to make truly informed policy decisions. I plan on continuing to speak out, primarily in my areas of interest (renewable energy alternatives and the use of science in environmental decision-making) because if I don’t then the only voices that will remain are those who are paid to do so (the Bob Ward’s of the world) and those with a vested interest in staying on top. Ultimately, I want a world for my kids that is as good as the one I grew up in and I fear for the future if key decisions today are made by people who have not been provided with the data necessary to make good, informed decisions.
Forgot to include my academic credentials: I am a Registered Professional Chemist and a Registered Professional Biologist. I earned my PhD in Environmental Studies and Chemistry from the University of Victoria (UVic). My studies included graduate level courses in global biogeochemical cycles as well as the science behind, limitations of, and theories supporting the early global climate models (GCMs).
I’m a software developer with 30+ years experience.
I was a tepid true believer until I read David Whitehouse’s 2007 article in the “New Statesman”. After that I no longer believed in the consensus or the science of cAGW. ClimateGate cemented my belief that climate science is largely bogus and only about the money. As a software developer the climate models as science meme pushed by academics and scientists is the height of the absurd only adding to the ridiculous state that climate science finds itself in.
The other major factor of late has been the realization the cAGW is a narrative of fear mean’t to stampede us to political ends that have nothing to do with CO2 and climate change. This cAGW fear narrative reminds me of the fear narrative of weapons of mass destruction (WMD’s), this narrative was used to stampede America into the gulf war fiasco (more political stampeding). Knowledge of the LIA and MWP simply make CO2 as some sort of climate control knob seem all the more absurd.
I will refrain from expounding ad nauseam on things like the term “climate change”, as though this is something new and the many name changes for the CO2 fear narrative in an attempt to confuse the simple minded.
A brief update of my earlier Denizens comment.
As background, I hold a BS in chemical engineering from 1977, and worked 25 years or so worldwide in that field mostly with oil refineries and petrochemical plants. I also am an attorney practicing in Science and Technology, also engineering law. I advise and represent companies and individuals in civil matters related to climate change, process safety, environmental regulations, engineering malpractice and other matters.
My blog is at http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/ , where the most-viewed article continues to be “Warmists are Wrong, Cooling is Coming,” from a 2012 speech, at http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2012/05/warmists-are-wrong-cooling-is-coming.html
I advise and represent clients in defamation issues, including when bloggers and blog comments venture into libel.
I also work to compel regulatory agencies to use sound science rather than Bad Science, or BS. Where appropriate, I bring fraud charges against those who meet the elements of fraud or deceit.
Finally, I work to compel utility regulatory bodies to deny proposed nuclear power projects, and to close operating nuclear power plants.
In the past year, I wrote and published a 30-part series on the many disadvantages of nuclear power, titled “The Truth About Nuclear Power.” The series has had more than 11,000 views, to date. If interested, see the Concluding article at http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-truth-about-nuclear-power-part-30.html
My philosophy is to follow the data in science and engineering, but the data must be verified, valid data. Manipulated data, falsified data, and omitted data, are among the worst forms of Bad Science.
Stewart Trickett, Masters in applied mathematics
The basic principles of man-made climate change are difficult (but not impossible) to deny. My biggest problem with the state of climatology is that it has become hideously politicized, the alarmists showing much of the self-rationalizing behaviour of cult followers. Am I really supposed to accept unquestioningly a cult’s claim that the end if nigh?
Perhaps the surest sign of cult-like thinking is the insistence by many that their ultimate conclusions are incontrovertible. The climate is massively complicated, a chaotic system with open boundaries in every direction and riddled with intricate feedbacks of all types. It’s all wheels within wheels. Don’t tell me the science is settled. I am not that dumb.
In the face of such uncertainty, the evidence — that is, the past behaviour of the climate — must be our principle guide. Projections based on theory are welcome but must always be treated enormous skepticism. We should demand a considerable burden of proof before accepting such theories, and in general this burden of proof has not been met. In particular, the hyperlinear extrapolations of many claims verge on the ludicrous.
Basically, in my view, this posting is a milestone. Here we have qualified meteorologists and atmospheric physicists ect blatantly declaring that they no longer believe in the AGW drivel been spewed out by the current WMO, NOAA, NCDC ect. This is a very encouraging sign for science/meteorology as it signals a return to scientific rigour in that profession. Surely the Zeke, BEST people ect should take note? My father an WMO expert set up all the meteorogical stations in Paraguay and Bolivia ect in the 60’s 70’s to be compliant with stevenson box standards. So yes Goddard and Homewood RAW data is probably correct.. The WMO reports from the time need to examined. As an aside he mentioned when I was a child that AGW was just a tax grab. In contrast, I actually was a 100% believer in 1997 when we had that very strong La Nina and temps in London reached 36C in summer. Now after the long haul I am a proud 100% denier (no effect of C02 on earths temperatures due to massive feedback/controls mechanisms)
I have a PhD in an applied math field and work in academia.
I became interested in climate science with Climategate. Before Climategate, I was only vaguely aware of the whole AGW issue. I was gobsmacked by Climategate. My reaction was “if this is the way these guys do science, what trust can you place in anything they have done?” Granted that the set of scientists represented in Climategate was very small, but then I started reading climate blogs like Realclimate and Skeptical Science. I saw how they tended to shut down honest inquiry and be cheerleaders for certain scientists. In my opinion, cheerleading is incompatible with real science. I grew more suspicious. Then I saw Steve McIntyre’s blog (and eventually this one), and I thought: this fellow is careful in what he says and in the analyses he runs, and he does not hype anything. He is my idea of a scientist, as is Judy. (I don’t give a rat’s ass whether Steve has a PhD; I can recognize good work when I see it.)
The main reason why I am skeptical (perhaps agnostic would be a better word) about AGW, and about CAGW in particular, is that I create and run simulation models and understand that they are only as good as their assumptions. If the models do not reproduce what happens in the system they are supposed to be a model of, that may be an indication that the assumptions are flawed. Given the substantial divergence between the predictions of warming and the recent flat temperatures, I would say that the models are flawed and in fact pretty much useless for decision making purposes. That the scientists who create these models are not willing to say so makes them, and their work, suspect in my mind.
Academics have plenty of career-enhancing reasons to try to push their research among their colleagues, brushing over any flaws in that research, and some of them particularly enjoy being in the spotlight of public attention. It is all too tempting to try to make sure that one’s results goes with the current conventional wisdom so that grants, tenure, and promotion will come one’s way. Given the amount of hype in this area, it must be doubly difficult to be an honest climate scientist.
I’ve got a degrees in Veterinary Science, MSc Physiology, MScComputer Science and PhD in Modeling (pharmacokinetics). I became skeptical when I read and article by Svemsmark re cosmic rays. My father had established on one of the first cosmic ray counter at Chacaltaya (18000 ft high with NOAA) in Bolivia many years ago. So from being an ardent believer, I opened my mind and thought of what my father would have thought. No way Jose AGW. Climategate just confirmed my suspicion but probably made me a 100% non-believer. LOL
Got here in the usual way. Back in 07 I read some catastrophic claim in NYTimes and followed a link to RealClimate.
My professional life has been around modeling / trading / systems engineering in the financial sector. I’m acutely aware of the Feynman adage that the easiest person to fool is yourself. I also have a more than passing interest in physics and many years ago spent a couple of years as a research assistant in a solid state lab automating experiments.
My interaction with RC seems typical. Having spent a large part of my professional career trying to understand the probabilities of prediction I asked some basic questions about what would make the GCMs wrong to the extent that they would be deemed unsuitable. A lot of my questions were simple ones based on variance of the ‘natural background’ vs the ‘signal’. To say that I was treated poorly would be an understatement.
Climate gate was hardly a surprise and confirmed my instincts about the whole field. While I have no doubt that CO2 can change energy state based upon an interaction with an IR photon, it’s a long long long way from there to catastrophe. I’m a size seller of the CMIPS ensemble though in all the time I’ve asked I can find no bids.
Our hostess has gained a lot of cred in my eyes now that she has a business that gets paid on whether or not the models / predictions are correct. People in my field care about your P&L not what your CV says. Would it be that way in the rest of government funded science the world would be a better place.
I did my biography on the original Denizens thread. Since then I have written a few essays for Judith and then, 2 1/2 years ago, started my own website which is doing well, and keeps me busy. In 2008 I set out, in a public address, why I was unpersuaded by the AGW push. Revisiting that now, nothing has changed, other than my original agnosticism about the science and scepticism about the politics have been strengthened.
I regard Climate etc as the best of the websites, and I learn a lot, about as much from the argument within the Comments as from the lead essays themselves.
As an ordinary mechanical engineer – retired now – I was and am still a nature sensitive boy. I sort of woke up with the Gorism of 20ft of ocean water in Manhattan, and I started to dig into the science. In Lomborg’s Skeptical Environmentalist book I found a soul mate in him. And at the time when the US Senate was to vote on Cap-and-Trade I had progressed enough in the study to write a white paper, which I sent to various senators to educate them on the science.
Here is my quick summary on Global Warming:
– it is happening and we cannot do anything about it
– spending significant money on CO2 emission reduction is a folly and huge waste. The problem of the proverbial drop on the hot stone.
– a reduction of 50% in CO2 emissions has been pegged at a cost of $43 Trillions. Nations cannot afford this, and money is better used on mitigation of effect.
– Looking at the global temperature chart from 1900 onward we had the cool-down from around 1945 to 1975. A sharp onset and equally sharp reversal happened with no apparent cause.
– The subject cooling period itself is not explainable. Feeble attempts were attributing this phenomenon to an increase of aerosols, a rise which did not happen.
– The same kind of cooling is occurring since 1998, however there is no decrease in temperature, just leveling. No sensible explanation of the reason and, again, its sharp onset in the temperature curve.
– The relative effective greenhouse contributors are 95% water vapor and 0.26% manmade CO2. Yes, warming causes increasing water vapor, which begats increased warming by the water vapor being this major factor. So, stating rising CO2 increases water vapor, which increases temperature – isn’t this the equivalent of the tail wagging the dog? Further, the 0.26% CO2 warming the globe, which increases the water vapor, which increases warming – that’s an open loop in controls theory and means run-away conditions. That would lead to an exponential rise in temperature, but we are remaining level. So what is the controlling damping factor?
– Again, the atmospheric CO2 is rising and no direct correlation exists to the leveled-out temperatures. There were some measurements (Swiss-German team) in 2003, pinning the European heat wave to water vapor levels, not CO2. But, who knows.
It’s complicated science, and we don’t have a grip.
That’s my scientific credo.
No science background but studied logic and philosophy in college. Luke warm on Co2 physics, but skeptical that we can determine any anthropogenic effect at all with all the noise of natural variability. I enjoy Judith’s civil blog and look forward to her becoming more skeptical. I also read WUWT. Nature rules. I live on an ancient glacial lake bed where the winters are brutal and the ice receded just 10k years ago. If the temp drops just a few degrees all agriculture in the northern states and provinces will be reduced to a few peas and short season barley. No more corn for ethanol. Warming would be a net benefit. The improved yields from increased Co2 is certainly a benefit. We don’t know what the temperature is. We can’t predict how climate will change. Ascribing 50% of the current warming since the 50’s to man made Co2 looks like a lame guess to me. If it does cool we can burn lots of coal and gas but I doubt that could overcome a shift to an ice age. If we are going to worry, it should be about being cold and hungry. I guess we will have to fire up massive numbers of molten salt reactors. http://transatomicpower.com/products.php
The person who sold his house Frank Cooke above based on AGW advice could have a compelling legal case against the “climate scientists” who assured him (through media or otherwise) it would be under water by now. Maybe a legal case for Roger Sowell? This is the only way to deal with these people.
I learned originally some engineering. physics, and mathematics at the Technical University of Helsinki (presently Aalto University). PhD in 1973, dissertation on computational methods in elementary particle physics. Worked two years at CERN, two years at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago, rest of my life in Finland in basic and applied research and academia.
Switched from physics to energy research at the Technical Research Centre of Finland in 1980, and 19 years later to my last position at my Alma Mater as professor of energy economics, retired 2009.
I first learned about GHE in 1980 when I participated in a multi-day seminar at IIASA. It was included as a potentially important factor in the large energy system study “Energy in the Finite World” that got it’s motivation from the oil crises of 1970s. The study included assessments of all important sources of energy and reached conclusions that have in many cases turned out to be quite correct. The overall development has, however, turned out to be highly different from projected in that study.
I have worked with several large energy system models collaborating internationally. I saw, how that kind of models are at the same time very uncertain and crude and very useful. I have experience also on many other large models including equilibrium models of economics as well as models used in physics and engineering. All this experience with models has strengthened my view that models are at the same time important and problematic. I think that this is an appropriate starting point for looking at large climate models as well. I don’t take at face value results of a model, but I take them as an important piece of information to be considered together with other information that can be obtained on the same issues.
My lectures included something about climate change as background material for energy policy, and I was the editor and one contributor to a book on socioeconomic dimensions of climate change mitigation in 1999, but I didn’t make any real effort to understand much more about the atmosphere and the physical climate before retiring.
I don’t think that learning much more about climate has changed much my overall views on climate change or climate science. I consider IPCC WG1 full reports well balanced, in general. I don’t buy easily views that differ substantially from that in either direction. I think that the uncertainties are large, but not too large for drawing conclusions.
Where the uncertainties seem sometimes even too large is in assessing policy alternatives. I don’t think that uncertainties on the strength of warming form a valid reason for not acting, but the difficulties in estimating where each policy choice leads is a bigger impediment. If it’s unlikely that a specific decision is of any help, then that decision cannot be justified. Climate policy must be built on policies that can be sustained in real world political environment. It must also likely produce positive results. There are many weak choices that are expected to lead in the right direction, but even put together such choices may be too little to make a real dent in warming.
GHE in 1980 when I participated in a multi-day seminar at IIASA.
I thought maybe you meant NASA, but I looked it up and now I know what it is.
I’ve always been curious. Do you have a relative who is a medical researcher in Finland?
When my son was just short of his second birthday he very narrowly escaped death. He had a rare infection seen in children his age that killed around 1100 children per year at the time in the United States. He went without oxygen for a long time before intubation, and the doctors did not hold out much hope of survival, and if he did survive, they thought there would be brain damage. It was a very bleak time. He became a doctor last year and starts his residency at one of the perennially top-3 hospitals in the United States in June. In his specialty it is almost always number one. The other day I was looking at a photograph of him taken immediately after he was discharged. He had been on life support for almost two weeks and was very thin. At the time they vaccinated at age two, and he caught the disease less than a week before his appointment for his vaccination. Just bad luck. Now they vaccinate at 3 months. I’ve been debating with some people about the trend to not vaccinate children, so I was doing some research for papers on the disease and one I found was from Finland co-authored by T. Pirila. The disease comes on very fast. When he ate supper he was fine. At midnight he was on life support. Most people today do not know what losing a child to an easily prevented disease is like. His Mom and I sort of do. We went through all of the steps of losing him except the final one. Instead he lived.
Frequent lurker – sometime poster.
I have humble undergraduate degrees in Maths and Physics – follow most issues outside of the fancy statistics debates w2hich are above my payscale.
Spent some time in fairly big league environmental management consulting business – usually working for manufacturing industries or financial institutions doing transaction due diligence.
Became interested in the absolutely abysmal press coverage of the topic. I am a very persistent royal pain in the a$$ to major newspapers by demanding corrections (and not getting them) along with occasional unproductive complaints to the Press Council – they don’t want any part of challenging their funders on climate change!
My satisfaction comes from knowing that each publisher, editor, reporter and opinion columnist knows in very precise layman’s terms just how dishonest their crap really is! My latest crusade was to document the stupidity of the recent ‘hottest year ever’ articles. (Their answer – if the New York Times or NASA lies to us its not our problem – go complain to them. So much for journalistic integrity.)
Bishop Hill, Climate etc., Climate Audit and WUWT are also on the regular reading list. Climate etc. and the Bishop are tops!
I began in the early 80s as a warmist, blaming the human race for changes in the climate.
I knew absolutely ZERO about what was actually going on.
In the late 80s I saw two articles in the paper – the Harrisburg Patriot News. One article concerned scientists discussing what they had learned about El-nino. The other had to do with hurricanes, in which they were curious as to why they were behaving the way they were.
Now, all I have is a degree in geology and a mind that soaks up information like a sponge. So the thought came to me: HOW could they be blaming humans for global warming, if they don’t even know how El-nino events and hurricanes interact?
I’ve learned a hell of a lot since then. Even more so once I began voicing my educated opinion- to be attacked by hystericysts. The more they have attacked, the more I have expanded my knowledge base.
I found WUWT almost the day Anthony put it up. I found john cook’s site almost the same time. It became obvious very quickly who was being honest, and who was not. The political / ideological posturing by warmists is all too obvious. The lack of… sorry, I have to say it, Intelligence, by many who attack me where I post my own writings, speaks very badly for the upcoming generations who have been badly misled. People who believe the Earth’s average temperature has gone up 2C since 2000; people who refuse to look at government databases which verify that hurricanes and tornadoes DO NOT heed CO2 levels. People who are afraid of ONE warm day in January, and then fall silent when double-digit below-zero temperatures hit the next week. People who can’t make the effort to Look at past climate history and the research which supports it.
The more things have changed, the more they stay the same. We’re heading into a new cooling cycle and I will BET you a cookie most of those who shriek about ‘man-made’ Crap knew just as well as the rest of us that it was coming.
I commented in the earlier denizens thread but some updates. As mentioned there, I have Ph.D. in natural resource management (forestry, modeling, ecology) and now have 149 publications–this means I can tell the difference between the usual case and anything I submit related to climate change. Nasty responses by reviewers.
I have always been rather prone to being unconventional, not taking anyone’s word for it. This actually crystalized around the acid rain issue in the 1980s, where I saw conclusions being drawn from studies that were completely not implied by their data. From this I became by default skeptical of any mass movement or consensus–which makes me the most senior skeptic around, I think.
Having done various sorts of modeling (simulation, population models, stability analyses, fractal models, statistical models) and having seen people who just throw any old equation in to make something work, I don’t believe anything about a “model” unless there is a clear explication of it and unless it works well. I have found that with very elegant models, there is often a simplifying assumption that the community of modelers doesn’t think about much but which if you relax it everything about the results changes. For example, the elegant epidemiological models used for mad cow disease policy in England (which was to isolate and cull herds) cost lots of money, but left out the possibility of vaccination, which then of course was not an option even when farmers wanted to try it to save their herds. I showed in two papers that the paradox of animals apparently moving to worse habitat could be explained if the assumption that all individuals were identical (usually made in population models) was relaxed and if the costs of conflict were counted.
The number of simplifying assumptions in climate science is not small and they never want to examine them. If you bring them up it is like you are farting at the garden party.
Climategate and official responses to Climategate guided me back to hints Sir Fred Hoyle (astronomer, astro-physicist, cosmologist) and Professor Paul Kazuo Kuroda (nuclear, geo-chemist) left behind about changes in nuclear and space physics after WWII, . . .
Changes that blocked understanding of Earth’s heat source, solar energy:
The manuscript is open for on-line review. Criticisms, corrections or comments sent to my email will be answered and improve the paper.
Digging out from record snowstorms in Boston and thinking about the collision between record ocean warmth in the north Atlantic and Arctic air descending upon NE. As I biked home this morning it was -2 with wind chills making it 10 lower but the temperature was 20 degrees higher in Fairbanks today. Reality bites.
I think it should be recognized that probably the one site that has done the most damage to the AGW matra is not here, or WUWT or Climate Audit, it is Steven Goddards site real science who has carefully documented all the fraud and lies through data analysis of raw data, adjustments and yes newspaper articles from the past and present time, carefully documenting every statement made by these fraudsters, and of course Paul Homewood, more recently and Mahorasy in Australia.. To Mr M. Mann I say at least I know that my research work will be remembered (it already has a very high citation rate but real), whereas yours is going to be included in a list that will be remembered only as shameful fraud. You and your deceitful work will NEVER be recognized long term (although it is now).
Openness to ideas is at the heart of science. This is not the same as skepticism. Richard Feynman would not claim that he was a skeptic, but at the same time I am sure he would be horrified by the close-mindedness of Hansen, Mann, Schmidt and their ilk, and sickened by the way they engage in personal attacks on those who dare to question their beliefs.
At first, I was moved by things like the retreating glaciers, but then I came across a paper by Lindzen, and soon after saw some of the ad hominem attacks on him. I tried to find well reasoned papers in support of the AGW that properly acknowledged the questions that were being raised (no luck!), and came to see the degree of dependence the AGW camp has on models to prove its case.
I have four decades of experience with models of various sorts. (I once worked on the design of a special purpose computer to simulate the Navier-Stokes equations.) If there is any common denominator that separates the models one can have confidence in from the others, it is the degree to which the models can be validated. Validation of a complex model involves both validation of the individual sub-models, and, importantly, validation of the interfaces between them. Validation involves comparing models with experiments, many of them. It is clear that there is no reasonable way to validate the pieces of the climate models the believers depend on. And as for the interfaces, these seem to be entirely arbitrary (use one that works to give the desired results). Just consider the interface between sea and air models.
I am reminded of my Navy days a long time ago when ships had analog fire control computers. As a budding naval officer, I was introduced to one. The various mechanisms for inputting direction, azmuth, air temperature, pressure, humidity, etc. were pointed out. Then a crank labeled ACTH was mentioned. This stood for Arbitrary Correction To Hit, and was used to add feedback from observers after the previous firing of the gun being controlled. It looks to me like the climate models have ACTH inputs all over the place.
Perhaps CO2 in the atmosphere has something to do with the earth’s temperature, but the science as it stands is far from giving an accurate detailed accounting of how this happens. Meanwhile it is obvious that the earth has seen much larger variations in temperature that have been observed in the last 150 years, and we lack good explanations for these variations. Until the explanations for the supposed changes due to CO2 are melded with explanations for the larger variations over longer time periods, my view is that we have nothing anyone can make strong claims about. Given the current closed research environment, I doubt there will be grounds for me to change my position that the AGW case has not been made in my lifetime.
My first comment ever. I am a Mechanical Engineer who has spent near 40 years in a process industry in varying management roles. Process industries provide a harsh environment where one must apply their best science to every problem that arises in attempts to modify and correct performance. You routinely learn quickly that your science is flawed somewhere because reality is usually different than your expectation. Over those years, one thing I learned the hard way was that the thing that is most likely to bite you is the very thing that you knew and understood 100% (or so you thought). You blindly trusted that certainty only to learn that the variables were not quite as well understood as you thought. Because of this perspective, I became skeptical of climate change because alarm bells started going off when I listened to the Al Gores, Michael Manns etc sounding so certain. There was no room for differing opinions. I started to see while I was absolutely forced to face the reality of what was going on compared to my expectations and adjust my models and operating strategies (or go out of business), the climate alarmists freely ignored reality and quoted models that failed to agree with observation. While I accept that we are likely influencing climate, I do not see any compelling evidence that it is as large an issue as it is made to be or that if moderate warming is even bad for mankind. I certainly believe that access to low cost energy has created benefits well beyond any harm we have done. Climategate was clearly a turning point when it became apparent that to many influential scientists the end justified the means. I firmly believe the current world wide government funding through grants for research drives the outcome of the research. In order to qualify for a grant, you have to be able to demonstrate that you have been drinking the Kool-Aid. The whole issue is now so politicized I believe few media reports and only follow a few trusted websites (Climate Etc obviously)
Angech GP recently retired,love arguing and nit picking.contrarian and bombastic at times.Working on mellowing.
Small addendum to comments above:
Why am I skeptical?
As a Canadian, I had a long term exposure to Suzuki expounding activist ‘science’ to innumerates on national TV. Then Gore came along with ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ that set off my BS alarm. This was followed by Climategate, my discovery of Steve McIntyre’s blog, the hockey stick and Bishop Hill, the phony inquiries, the Gleick caper, Lewandowski, Nuccitelli, Mann lawsuits, Gavin Schmidt, etc., etc.
What other branch of science refuses to debate, circles the wagons around dishonesty and meekly continues to condone so much sleaze?
For thirty five years I have objected when labeled a “skeptic”. My stock standard was, and still is, that skepticism implies doubt, and I have absolutely no DOUBT whatsoever; it is a farce, a scam, and a delusion. I have completed a fifty year career in applied science, and understand that a scientist must be “skeptical” as in questioning and curious and with all things requiring maintenance I have always been so. However, it is more than skepticism when the bullshit detector starts screaming.
I am a software engineer building web applications for the travel industry. I own property in South Florida, so accelerating sea rise is VERY important to me.
I’m not skeptical of climate science. AGW is quite real as far as I’m concerned. I am skeptical of doomsday scenarios. I think humans will deal with whatever changes come along, we seem to be quite ingenious. Also, trying to predict future technologies is silly, so I am very skeptical of carbon limiting policies; it assumes that what we are doing now is relevant to 2100. Wonks need to go back and read predictions made in 1915 regarding the 21st century.
Let’s invest in fusion, hydrogen, better batteries, all that – but not by hobbling emerging economies with hydrocarbon rationing. suck it up and build flood walls, first world!
I’m a lurker here on Judith’s blog, but active member on other blogs. This one is a bit too technical for me to comment on, but I read it for my own understanding, and to read the current arguments and knowledge as best I can.
Ass.Dip Engineering. Dip Computer programming. Dip Computer Operations. As a youngling I surfed a lot, and played in flooded creeks and rivers on paddle boards and anything that would float. I do civil design as a day job for the local council, and have taken an interest in flood modelling. Even written my own storm water hydraulic analysis software.
Being a God fearing Christian, I noted straight away that the world dyeing in a catastrophic warming, was not in the bible. It tells another story, so ignored this one until the Australian government announced it would tax us more in order to prevent a global catastrophe. I didn’t like that idea so immediately started researching the science.
I quickly noted two things. 1/. Those who disagreed with the CAGW theory presented their data, their graphs, discussed what they did and how they did it. They carefully explained as to a layman what they thought was happening, and discussed the subject matter in the comments below the article. 2/. Those who advocated CAGW made sweeping comments, did not state how they came to those conclusions, did not present their data, and were rude beyond common decency to anyone who disagreed with them.
I decided rather quickly that CAGW was a crock, and I’ve never found any reason to change my mind yet.
The science is interesting, but not enough to hold my attention. What really fascinates me is the human psychology behind it all. That has me enthralled.
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I am an EE recently retired from Engineering Flight Test with a major aircraft manufacturer; an engineer by interest, education, and temperament. Although I don’t have the credentials or knowledge in climatology that most of the commenters have, I also do not believe that the issue is one of scientific expertise, which is only important in an environment where scientific principles are being observed and the field is well understood. That is clearly not the case in the “Global Warming” discussions. It is more a free-for-all than a debate or discussion; politics, personality, money, and a little science, which has taken a back seat to the discussions. I have learned a lot from following the learned discussions and encourage the expertise to continue to share their knowledge. The physics and knowledge is, however, incomplete and I do become concerned when people, some of whom I have come to respect, reach conclusions based on incomplete information. A case using (known) physics can be made that the climate should be warming do to CO2; manmade or natural. Until there is real world real climate data, however, I am a long way from believing, much less being convinced, that CO2 is affecting out climate. Although I do become frustrated with the bloviators who seem to think this blog is their personal playground, I much appreciate the efforts of our hostess to bring sanity to what is often a surreal discussion.
I also am a product of Ga. Tech and currently live on the South Carolina coast where offshore wind and fossil fuel exploration are big topics. Although letters I write to local newspapers aren’t going to change anybody’s mind, they do let people know that there are at least 2 sides to this discussion, and despite profits-of-doom who try to stifle debate, it is a debate worth having. For my efforts I have been called “deceitful” and “untruthful” by local clergy and, my favorite, “a fool who doeth think he is wise” by a resident Marine Biologist. As Will Rogers is reputed to have said, “it isn’t what we don’t know that gives us trouble, it’s what we know that ain’t so.”
Mechanical Engineer from Georgia Tech in software modeling, satellite science telemetry, and later business software.
The arguments interested me in high school from “Limits to Growth”, but drew healthy skepticism as the predictions slowly failed about famines and arable land reductions.
Then I took another look in 1997. Still the same kinds of swirl, catastrophic prophecy, world ending stuff. Again in 2008.
Science is about open access to data and reproducible resukts. Hypotheses need explanation of their counterarguments. Scholasticism and fallacious arguments will exist, but they need to be seen for what they are:not science.
Mathematician, Ph.D. in Mathematics & M.Sc. in Statistics, University of Michigan.
Taught undergraduate & graduate mathematics at Caltech for 2 years.
Worked for 30+ years in the defense industry developing radar and communication systems including a number of years managing large, real-time software programs.
Climate Etc lurker since the blog started and have read most of the posts.
My route to AGW skepticism is sufficiently similar to that of Lance Wallace (prior comment) that I will avoid the repetition.
As Lance Wallace points out, our climate system must have sufficient negative feedback to avoid positive feedback catastrophes. However, much of the negative feedback is due to clouds and understanding clouds requires advances in the mathematical theory of turbulence. In fact, a Science magazine report on the state of cloud research stated that turbulence effects dominated cloud research at most of the scales that they studied. I read a similar Scientific American article on cloud research 50 years ago that basically made the same statement: making great progress (?!) understanding clouds but turbulence is a problem. I don’t see much progress in understanding turbulence so I can’t see any near term breakthroughs in cloud research. No progress in cloud research implies GCM predictions won’t improve.
One problem that I see with the current Climate Science AGW paradigm is that very little research effort is applied to understanding when the Holocene will end and the beginning of the next ice age. Note that there is evidence that Heinrich events (rapid NH cooling) occur over decades so we should be very concerned regarding the possibility of future rapid cooling. CO2 induced global warming is not a problem; rapid cooling on the other hand is to be feared. Hopefully CO2 warming will postpone the onset of the next glacial age.
I’m Michael Cunningham, aka Genghis Cunn. I studied economics at LSE 1961-64, including with some world-leading theoretical and applied economists, and have worked mainly as an economic policy adviser, including to heads of government in the UK and Australia. (I’ve also been a journalist, a tree-feller, building labourer etc, and since 1973 have done voluntary work helping people to practise Vipassana meditation.) At LSE economics was not seen as an academic exercise per se, but as a tool to change the world – though not via a particular ideology. I was Dick Lipsey’s research assistant at Essex; I’m neither an economic modeller nor a computer programmer, but I ran economic models from 1966. As an economic policy adviser in the UK and Australia, I well understand that the assumptions that go into models are more critical than the mechanics. I was at one time sufficiently respected in the Australian economic modelling that I was the only non-modeller invited to participate in a one-day workshop for top modellers at the Productivity Commission on significant professional issues. I’ve often found flaws in modelling output which were missed by allegedly top academics. But climate modelling is beyond me, I can’t take a position based on critiquing the models.
I’ve never been a card-carrying greenie, but have always had an interest in and respect for the environment. I became interested in CAGW in the 1980s, was briefed by the IPCC’s Chief Scientist in ’89 or ’90, and have followed the issue since, including developing the Queensland Government’s response to Kyoto. At that time, the modelling I directed suggested that, if the outcomes claimed by CAGW proponents were to emerge, then the cost to the Queensland economy from emissions-reductions was bearable, though high – a reduction in economic growth, but far from a cessation. However, it was clear to me that warming and its potential impacts was a vast topic which was not well-understood. I advocated modest initial precautionary measures to be accompanied by greater research into the reality of the issue, better knowledge of potential impacts and of strategies to deal with it, on the basis of modifying policy as more was learned. I think that Australia’s response has unfortunately been alarmist rather than exploratory, and that the anti-emissions policies adopted by Western countries have been very damaging for little or no benefit, a waste of resources when there are many real issues to be tackled. I’ve long advocated capacity-building measures as preferable to emissions-reductions, so that whatever unknown future emerges – and the future has always surprised us – we are better equipped to deal with it. That means policies which support enterprise, innovation, entrepreneurship and self-reliance, favouring market forces and free trade rather than the central government dictates which dominate climate policy.
Over the years, the more I learned, the more I queried the CAGW meme. I came across Climate Audit in its early years, and was very impressed by the work of the two Ms. I was disappointed at the reception that Judith received when she first ventured on CA – I didn’t know her, but she seemed to have good volition and a willingness to listen and understand – and have followed CE since its inception. The best site I’ve found on climate issues.
When posting at CE, I draw mainly on my economic policy skills, secondly on my understanding of life, the universe and all that, including from Vipassana. I was seriously ill from 2000-2009 and left work in 2009, and my current capacity and skills are far less than they once were; after years of commenting I’ve not often something new to contribute here, and am posting less.
Overall, I’m not convinced that warming will resume or be dangerous, and think that it should be a third-order issue rather than a dominant one.
Correction, left work in 2002.
I failed to copy over my final para: I think that this thread is terrific – the quality of the posters is very high, their backgrounds and rationality make a very good pool for assessing CAGW et al, and it has been found wanting. Anyone warned against irrational deniers should read this thread.
I come here with a MFA in ceramics and art history. I wrote my masters dissertation on the rise and fall of various western civilizations due to changes in the weather back in the mid 80’s before climate change was on my event horizon. There were many books that described the weather conditions as well as paintings and drawings that depicted the conditions at the time. I was curious as to how technology was lost over time and had an excellent teacher that helped open some doors to people that had looked at this issue with some depth.
Around 2003 I became aware of Micheal Mann’s hockey stick graph and my curiosity was raised. It seemed implausible to me that tree rings and pollen were more accurate indicators of the past climate conditions than written accounts and pictorial evidence. At the time I was way into electronics, building single ended triode music amplifiers and building and fixing tube guitar amps so I just barely started looking at the IPCC report and the climate issue in general.
By 2009 I had discovered WUWT and then the climategate emails were posted. What I saw there was unimaginable in my mind. For a while I was a hardcore denier. Eventually I stumbled into the scienceofdoom website and then here to Judy’s interesting blog. Now I am a lukewarmist as far as CO2 goes but more of a climate catastrophist if the past is an indicator. I have appreciated Chiefs many posts though I was predisposed to that thinking from my art history.Tony B also appeals to my sensibilities with his years of research into the anecdotal evidence. Pekka Pirilla here and elsewhere has helped me understand radiative physics. Thank you for your excellent forum Dr. Curry
I’ve worked in atmospheric science since 1979.
Undergrad: U of C (Geophysics)
Grad school: CSU (Atmospheric Science)
Operational jobs: Counter forecaster, hurricane hunter, typhoon forecaster, and Air Force strategic planner (with oversight of all AF weather research and procurement programs). I also managed a multi-year competition of regional numerical models.
Research: Mostly tropical cyclones with some work in cloud physics and severe weather.
I’m currently semi-retired. I teach meteorology, environmental science, and geology as an adjunct.
How I became interested in climate science
Before college, I was an environmental activist. I helped start the first recycling program in my county and helped organize projects for the first and subsequent Earth Days. But, in preparing for our meetings, I became aware of the dissonance between the literature supporting global warming versus the coming ice age. And there were numerous wilder claims that failed to materialize. I also worked for Citizens for a Better Environment and saw some of their untoward internal workings.
After college: Perhaps I was in a bubble, but I never met anyone in the field who was a CAGW true believer. Over the years, I crossed paths with many of the more prominent skeptics and was even involved in a long closed-door debate on AGW between Bill Gray and Dick Lindzen (it still makes me sweat to think about it). I knew people who went to work for VP Gore, but they were clearly in it for career advancement and one indicated that the whole thing was a bit silly. In fact, CAGW was literally a joke when I was in grad school and I managed to keep it at arm’s length over the years. My belief was that the AGW movement would eventually collapse when faced with verification (I was clearly wrong about that). However, the claims of a consensus and the statement from the AMS got my attention—it seemed to me that AGW had evolved into a serious topic and I started to educate myself about it.
My opinion on AGW
I don’t have much doubt that there has been some mild warming due to AGW, but I think that there are many claims of *possible* catastrophic outcomes (based on sketchy models) that pose as *probable* outcomes and consensus science. However: Is it a good idea to keep increasing CO2 emissions for the next 1,000 years? I don’t think so. On the other hand…do we need to completely eliminate CO2 emissions in the next 20 years? No. So the answer lies somewhere in between and it involves building as many nuclear power plants as the politics can support—without climate-Grubering the numbers. And, if we end up decarbonizing too slowly, there’s always geoengineering as an emergency measure. I understand the arguments against geoengineering (and used them while I was at the Pentagon), but, if Florida is underwater, I guarantee that we will be putting stuff in the stratosphere.
See? It’s not nearly as difficult as some people seem to think. :-)
For me, my opinions on global warming started to take shape in 1987 or 1988. I was an intern working summers for Du Pont, the chemical company. This was in the wake of the Montreal Protocol, the global treaty on reducing and eliminating various chemicals (particularly, CFCs) which were thought to be ozone layer depleting.
Anyway, promotional materials for Du Pont’s role in the treaty were easy to come by, and one day, someone copied or faxed a sheet of paper that showed a recent Greenpeace talking point. It showed a drawing of Earth in a griddle pan and a caption paraphrased something like “Du Pont is cooking the Earth with CFCs”. Greenpeace presumably won big with the treaty on ozone depleting chemicals, but they were already on the attack for the next bit of environmental drama.
That bit of anti-Du Pont propaganda soured me on Greenpeace permanently as well as giving me exposure to the dark side of some of the less critical supporters of the AGW theory.
Life moved on, and around mid 1996, I joined (or rather rejoined, since an older version had been discontinued) an interesting market experiment, the Foresight Exchange which traded (via a reputation-based currency) in future possibilities including some climate change-related predictions like sea level rise. That’s the first time I gave any serious consideration to the subject. I just couldn’t see where the extreme predictions were coming from back then, And it’s really sad how much research has been done since then without a fundamental change in the lack of evidence backing these extreme claims.
Glancing at my postings, I see a hardening of my position as a lukewarmist in 2009 with Climategate sealing the deal. At that point, I resolved to wait and see for a couple of decades, the future being evidence that couldn’t be manipulated. That remains my plan today.
Since my 2010 posting I have updated more broadly in social epistemology and in paleoclimatology’s whole account: text-books and other peer-review published joint volumes. I hope to make this an investigative, science-journalistic meta-evaluation, to find out whether in fact Holocene paleoclimatology is, and thus should be presented more clearly as, the climate war’s Other Side, for use in knowledge-dissemination settings.
If it is, it means media should move their focus from both ‘consensus’ and skeptic blogosphere (including the too-much touted short-term pause), suspend talk of false equivalence, and start hold the consensus side up against a Holocene-paleoclimatology side, both being inside scientific-community sides. There exist social-epistemological ways enabling for laymen to deal with this.
The preliminary verdict: it is already. Among the various fields: atmosphere, oceanography, cryosphere, astronomy, paleoclimatology – only paleoclimatology already displays a broad-community understanding contradicting the consensus (meaning e.g. getting to represent its field in a major textbook and antology). Its full narrative includes: the coupling multi-century climate — cosmogenic nuclides increasingly detected, the way this coupling is not just a matter of climate-dependent nuclides transport and deposition, the way ocean lag disqualifies flagship narratives about recent shorter-term modelling purportedly ruling this out, and, the way a 20th century grand maximum would call for a mechanistic incorporation of all this in 20th century understanding/modelling – only, the mechanism (UV or GCR-clouds, probably the former) has not been well enough understood yet.
I became fascinated by how I could not progress a lukewarm argument even with close friends and family back in 2008 so I started commenting on RC. My posts were middle of the road observations about ideas like groupthink influencing the mass belief in a catastrophic outcome. Gavin was always polite but too confident in paleo inferences I thought, Ray was always dismissive and a bit aggressive. I would have some support from some moderate commenters and enjoyed contributing.
My biggest problem with RC and other sites was that I could be dismissed as a layperson and not part of a rarefied 7% who could contribute. Other sites swing a bit too far the other way. JC however is right up my alley, I don’t feel embarrassed about the tone of the posts and I see sociological (God forbid!) perspectives given respectful air.
Well done, good luck.
I have university degree which I’m unsure how to translate into english terms. I’m not working as a scientist anyway. I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, claims that humans were not on Moon make me laugh. Besides things related to Earth climate I am interested in particle physics, astronomy, astrophysics, and space exploration.
I was always great fan of solar and wind energy but I was skeptical about claims of humans affecting global temperature from the very beginning. When requests for reducing CO2 emissions surfaced, I thought everything will be easily solved by employing nuclear power (later I learned it was not realistic) – but to my surprise, the very same groups opposing CO2 emissions and promoting wind and solar were opposing nuclear power and building irrational fears of it. That, together with all the “if we don’t act _now_ we’ll soon reach a point of no return” scare (now for 25 years straight), threats of “ocean acidification”, “climate wars”, “mass extinctions”, and last but not least, claims of dangers of CO2 accompanied by pictures of water cooling towers (they sure look impressive) convinced me that the whole show is not based on science. It’s a new religion.
I started questioning every single claim made by the “warming” side. This has temporarily thrown me on the “skeptical crackpot” heap but I have recovered since then. There are many things about climate that I accept – that human emissions have effect on increases of CO2 content in the atmosphere (while the concentration is driven largely by temperature and resulting solubility of CO2 in sea water, humans still provide the surplus), that this increased CO2 content has effect on temperature (and indirectly on other aspects of climate), that humans affect the climate (but not just through CO2 but also through UHI, agricultural changes, pollution etc), that temperatures have risen since half of the last century. The major thing I accept about Earth climate is that it is incredibly complex.
I still don’t see any catastrophe coming upon us. Some, maybe even major inconvenience at worst (and if we act stupid). Current climate models – and especially their mean – are not reliable even in replicating current climate record. And pressing their predictions down every 5 years or so to match the growing record without any visible quality improvements does not make their new runs look any better than the old ones. Summing up all the predictions I know 20 years back or so, CO2 is running the “worst case” way while the temperature is following the “best case” way every single time the record could be compared to what models were predicting. And it’s not just temperature, weather pattern changes predicted by models also fail to materialize in real world. Yet we are asked to behave as if the worst case scenario is going to take place and apply steps effectively undermining our civilization. That just does not make sense to me.
Jeff Condon at TAV kindly allowed me room on the blog thread that Paul Matthews discussed recently, so I am one of the 154 from way back then, never a lukewarmer, never the slightest tint of green.
One of many topics I find interesting is the way that forever climate sceptics like me are psychoanalysed by Lewandowski style experts who have never even got close to the reasons for my stance.
Seems to me in hindsight that some prominent properties of current sceptics include
– worked many years evaluating technical reports, commonly to approve or reject budget requests from others
– many from industry or military rather than academia
– careers that promote you for delivering the goods, like making profit
– worked in positions requiring accountability
– often with a degree in humanities as well as science/engineering, allowing interest in social conduct
– education more often degrees short of PhD
– old enough to have gained some wisdom
– realistic about the horror of climategate and its whitewashes
– appreciative of the rigour and good spirit of Climate Audit
Conspiracy fixations and funding by big oil are like the flowers that bloom in the spring.
Thank you, Judith, nothing I have written is meant to apply adversely to your good self.
I have followed climate research and debate since the early 1970s. When I was a student (University of Helsinki, Finland), Global Cooling was considered the biggest threat to mankind. I was fortunate to have prof. Olavi Kalela (1908-1974) as the supervisor of my master’s thesis which concerned the effects of weather and climate on population dynamics of northern bird species. Kalela, the founder of Kilpisjärvi Biological Station in Lapland (69° N; http://www.helsinki.fi/kilpis/english/index.htm), had studied global warming/climate change in 1920-40, especially how natural warming affects the distribution of birds and mammals. He published several papers in German (and in Finnish, of course) and one in English, too. This paper, published in USA in 1949, has a very modern title “Changes in geographic ranges in the avifauna of Northern and Central Europe in relation to recent changes in climate”. After Kalela’s death I took over the long-term ecological research at the station.
At first I was quite enthusiastic about “global warming”. For instance, in 1990 I belonged to a two men strong Finnish delegation which participated a large workshop (Monitoring climate change using plant response) organized by the Michigan State University W. K. Kellogg Biological Station. The workshop led to the launching of International Tundra Experiment (ITEX), a network of northern research stations to which ‘my’ station, Kilpisjärvi Biological Station, immediately joined. I also published some climate change related papers (Global warming and egg size of birds & Correlation between egg size and clutch size in the Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca in cold and warm summers; http://www.jstor.org/stable/3682938?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents; http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1474-919X.1996.tb04762.x/abstract).
About in 2000 I started to analyze my long-term ecological data sets (50 years long data sets, among the longest from the North). I was quite surprised to find that there were hardly any clear trends. In 2008 I wrote an article “Is Lapland really warming” (in Finnish; published in the biggest Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat). I also submitted a scientific manuscript to a high-quality magazine. The editor-in-chief rejected the MS by saying: Every magazine would be glad to publish your results, if you only had trends. My answer to him was: “When an editor rejects a manuscript like mine that fails to find significant trends, differences, etc., he/she will contribute to the fact that journals are being filled with the 5% of studies that show Type I errors (false alarms), while authors’ file drawers are filled with the 95% of the studies that show non-significant results. If and when meta-analyses or other reviews are carried out on Arctic or other matters, they are automatically biased. This will have very serious consequences on our common cause, science.” [I published the first meta-analysis in ecology in 1991 (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1474-919X.1991.tb04811.x/abstract)]. :)
After the Hockeystick- and Climategate-scandals I was more or less convinced that there is something very wrong with climate science. I was especially shocked that those who misbehaved did not apology and the scientific community did not condemn such a behavior. Once again I wrote to “Helsingin Sanomat” and demanded open discussion of the matter. At that time I also started to read climate-related blogs (in Finland there is at least one good blog “Ilmastorealismia”, Climate Realism; http://ilmastorealismia.blogspot.fi/2015/01/ilmastoharhan-lyhyt-historia.html). Recently I have been shocked by the bullying Matt Ridley, David Rose and others have experienced. I even submitted a comment on these cases to Helsingin Sanomat but the editors did not want to publish it. It was, however, published here: http://ilmastorealismia.blogspot.fi/2015/02/sananvapautta-on-puolustettava-aina-ja.html.
I have lectured in Finland and abroad of climate and northern nature [e.g. “Observations from the Arctic – science. Facts only, hardly any fiction (opinions, scenarios, models)”]. To my great surprise I have noticed that people – scientists, sponsors, editors & NGOs included – love trends (scary scenarios) and are very disappointed when they do not see them! However, non-alarming (non-significant) messages should be a delight, not a disappointment! Based on my +40 years of field experience in the North, I conclude that there is huge annual and natural variation in all variables. Therefore, we need very, very long time-series to be able to demonstrate “alarming” or other trends. Almost all trends you believe you have found tend to disappear if/when you continue to collect more data. A major problem is that scientists do not read old studies since they cannot find them on the internet (you have to visit a library, i.e., a place full of books). In Finland the icons of “global warming” have been the Arctic charr, the glacier buttercup and the Siberian tit, all species studied by me for years. Based on my and other studies, these species are OK and not suffering from global warming (glacial buttercup is threatened by reindeer overgrazing). The reliability of climate change science, and science as a whole, has suffered from the fact that almost all alarms have proved to be false alarms. Natural variation and cycles are much more important than assumed! And finally, perhaps we should pay less attention to global warming/climate change and more attention to decreased biodiversity and, ultimately, increased human population size behind it!
Best & good luck JC & others, Antero
P.S.: Both animal and human populations flourish during warm, natural periods. This was common knowledge long time ago. Arctic ice periods caused by cyclic variations in ocean currents have been known for ages, too. See the classics below.
– Koch, L. 1945: The East Greenland Ice. – Meddelelser om Grønland, vol. 130, No. 3, pp. 1-374
– Vibe, Ch. 1967: Arctic Animals in Relation to Climatic Fluctuations. – Meddelelser om Grønland, vol. 170, No. 5, pp. 1-227
First Class Hons Degree in Elec Eng and Ph.D in Contact Physics.
– Is the earth’s temperature rising? Yes ~1C over the last 100 years.
– Is CO2 increasing? Yes now ~400ppm from ~300ppm when we first started measuring accurately.
– Is CO2 a GHG? Yes probably (no feedback) warming ~1C per doubling of CO2.
– Is this a potential problem? Yes but how big a problem and when are still highly speculative.
– Should we be mitigating now? No – I personally cannot see any logistical reason to do this? This approach only works if everyone does this – which they currently are not. If they don’t you end up having to adapt anyway? However, I like to believe I am a Scientist and you can convince me of anything with a rational argument supported with credible data. Unfortunately I am not seeing any of this in the argument to mitigate?
– What would I do? Get more data – target spending in this area. The more certain we become the better our responses are. Target improved technologies that remove our dependence on fossil fuels. Though they are unlikely to run out in my lifetime, they will eventually.
Love Science – Hate Politics
BS biological Science 1974. Worked in technology in plastics industry since 1977.
I have always been skeptical, having been taught the scientific method. Became really interested after reading Anthony Watts, and Steve McIntire about adecade ago.
I am typical of many. Has the earthwarmed in the last century, likely, is CO2 the cause, unlikely, or unlikely that CO2 is a major cause.
Should we fear another degree or two of warming? NO! Remember the warm period was called “The Holocene Optimum” for a reason.
Biggest problem with AGW is the perversion of the science.
Love this blog Judith.
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I was an original participant in the Air Vent thread, whilst I think climate science (IPCC WG1) will eventually sort itself out -with time/observations and a younger generation of researchers. I have little hope now that the social sciences will – ie APS/ Cook/Oreskes/Lewandowsky’s of that world
MS in Chemistry, but no longer work as a chemist. For the last 20+ years, have worked with statistics and have done modeling and simulations in several industries. As such, I do know that any model is only as good as the assumptions used therein.
My original skepticism with AGW was based on the lack of a meaningful historical temperature record. Too short of a window of recorded temps, and too much difference in instrumentation, sitings, and methods over the recordable history. Then coming to understand how scientists used proxies for temperatures before that only cemented my skepticism.
I fully understand the principle of CO2 light absorption and conversion to heat. Like another poster above, I have not seen experimental evidence as to its heating effect vs its atmospheric concentration. Truth is, I just don’t believe this planet’s atmosphere is so sensitive to an increase of CO2 concentration from 3 parts per 10,000 to 4 parts per 10,000.
Climategate and the behavior of the scientists in general has sealed the deal for me. This is no longer science. It is religion.
I meant to say radiation absorption, not light absorption.
I am a ‘skeptic’ and ‘luke-warmer’ because there is so much so obviously wrong with the ‘consensus’ science. Any scientifically educated person who takes the trouble to look at the evidence first hand can see this for themselves.
Background: I did a bachelors degree in theoretical physics then spent a few years working in Astronomy, before moving into aerospace engineering. I have been a freelance software developer for nearly 20 years, working in several scientific areas, including computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer, holography, and forensic genetics. My work often involves reading primary research literature, and occasionally contributing to it.
My first beef with AGW was the over-reliance on computer models, which make accurate kind-casts but have no skill in prediction. This is a sign of an over-determined model coupled with wishful thinking. The tendency to refer to models as data, and to treat them as if they were independent measurements of the system being modeled, is simply not scientific.
Far from being a ‘mature’ science, climate modeling is a newcomer, motivated entirely by the AGW scare, and with no proven ability to predict anything.
Then we had the hockey stick and climate gate, compounded by large parts of the scientific establishment closing ranks and saying “nothing to see here”. Er, no. I was in and around academia for long enough to know this is not how honest scientists conduct themselves.
The consensus reaction to the pause, ie denial and excuses, confirms that climate modeling has become a classic “cargo cult” science. http://neurotheory.columbia.edu/~ken/cargo_cult.html
The models have consistently overestimated actual temperatures, and observed climate sensitivity. Any genuine scientific field would have learned from this, revised the models and made new, substantially reduced projections of warming.
In science, data trumps models. “It does not matter how beautiful your theory is, or how smart you are, if it does not agree with experiment, it is wrong” [Feynman].
Perhaps it is not surprising a new and largely politically driven field of science should go off the rails in this way. What is unforgivable is the way national scientific institutions, who should act as guardians of the scientific method, and of public trust in science, have gone along with it. This is going to prove a very short-sighted and damaging decision.
Certainly CO2 is a greenhouse gas, and some of the late 20th century warming was almost certainly anthropogenic. How much? I agree with Curry that a rational best estimate is in the 50:50 region. Any highly confident statement that most, or more than half, is anthropogenic is just not supported by the evidence. And there is no evidence of enough positive feedbacks to make AGW a serious danger.
So, I am not worried about global warming – I am worried about the effect this fiasco is going to have on the reputation of science and its role in public discourse.
I am coming at this as a layman. I am not a scientist. Nor am I an engineer, mathematician, activist or indeed a badger. I have no formal qualifications beyond college level but I do have an interest in many areas of science to a level that still can make sense to me and I read a lot, understanding some. My name is Tim Hunter, I have spend 30 years working in industry in sales, management and operations in the UK and in Europe. During the lifetime I have had to date, I developed an interest in the natural environment and I still retain a wonder at the natural world and angry disdain when it gets screwed up.
I became aware of global warming which was chiefly ignored as an issue in the 80’s, environmentalists were generally perceived as tree huggers, but I embraced what I was hearing as when travelling throughout the UK in the early nineties for my work I saw issues created with drought, reservoirs near empty, water shortages, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/290832/scho1206blsm-e-e.pdf long summers (into October), tempers frayed in hot cars (no air conditioning as standard at that time) and I was convinced that what I had heard about global warming was happening right before my eyes.
But after reading “Eden In The East” by Stephen Oppenheimer, I started to question and to investigate. I read many books and papers including; “The Chilling Stars” by Henrik Svensmark & Nigel Calder, various books on paleo-climatic cycles and ice ages, followed CCNet (which later became GWPF) and WUWT and became alarmed at UHI bias. I went from a “believer” to an absolute sceptic in a short space of time, thoroughly confirmed by Climategate. However, over the last ten years as I have read more, listened more and struggled to keep an open mind, I find my stance is less extreme but I remain sceptical of the motives and intentions of the AGW lobbyists. It seems to me that climate scientists find what they seek even though many are honourable and genuine in their research. There is a clear barrier to not allowing any doubt. Climate change as an issue has crept into every aspect of our lives so that to accept that there is doubt would unhinge policy in all forms of government and commerce.
I still read WUWT, GWPF but also read ATTP, Jo Nova, Real Science, IPCC Report, Bishop Hill, No Tricks Zone, Climatecontrarian, IMABlawg, Shub Niggurath as well as Judith’s site and occasionally The Great White Con, Skeptical Science and Real Climate but I find those 3 difficult to take seriously. I rarely contribute, not having the background to hold a discussion but I am a great believer that this issue needs to be debated properly. I think the Heartland Institute’s Annual Conferences on Climate Change are very interesting and I also consider that certain high level CAGW proponents are thoroughly corrupted. Finally, I prefer to live in a warm world and wonder if CO2 is of great benefit to us all.
As mining geologist by training specialized in geochemistry and data processing I started being skeptical after I saw a chart of co2 vs. temperature. There clearly was no indication of correlation. A little time later I found an article in some oublication of the Royal Society where two mathematicians showed a nice correlation by picking only 20 years of data. This impudent academic fraud showed what kind of science was proof of “global warming”. Just today I read an article on ocean “acidifcation” which was so full of nonsense, that it would make every descent scientist mad. It is this degradation of scientific standards and the Lysenkoism of climate science that makes it totally unbearable.
If anyone were interested in actual data about the participants of the debate, you can find it here: http://scottishsceptic.co.uk/2015/02/16/how-to-convince-a-skeptic-just-give-them-the-data/
I’m an hysterical alarmist, w@rmist, St@linist and all round nasty piece of work.
I failed primary school maths, but can count to 20 (with my shoes off).
I can’t think for myself, but am able to slavishly follow the commands of the AGW overlords, Gore and Mann.
I believe in the IPCC and in the coming salvation via black helicopters.
CE is the best because of the absence of negative stereo-typing of those with whom you disagree, the complete lack of motivated reasoning and because the denizens seem to be the smartest, nicest, most rational and clear thinking people to have ever walked the earth, in contrast to the dirty filthy w@rmists who seem blissfully unaware of their own extreme cognitive biases, lemming-like behaviour and general inability to do science properly while scamming grants to promote the AGW fr@ud.
I teach and do research in applied mathematics – fluid dynamics, differential equations, numerical methods.
Around 2007 – which we now know was “peak climate” time – I decided that I ought to learn something about climate science and was rapidly set on the path to scepticism by Connolley at Wikipedia and the Team at RC behaving in a manner quite alien to my understanding of science. I looked at CA but found it hard going, since at the time I didn’t know the difference between a BCP and a PCA.
My views have not changed much since my comment on the Denizens thread over 4 years ago. I have become more confident, so that I now use my real name rather than just PaulM. I’m more confident that the climate scare has been greatly exaggerated, driven by competition for grants and fame, a bandwagon of groupthink and political motivation. We see naive young activists attracted into the area (What can I do to help save the planet – I know, become a climate scientist) and because the field is awash with funding, mediocre people can get in. One factor increasing my confidence is the continuing pause in warming, and the pathetic sequence of excuses dreamt up to explain it, rather than face up to the reality that they have greatly overstated the role of CO2 and underestimated natural variation.
With my background I ought to be focusing on poor modelling of fluid dynamics and convection, chaotic dynamics and the fudges involved in numerical simulations – like Chris Essex does. While I am interested in these topics, I have got distracted by the public opinion / social science side of things (which is an equally complex problem) partly thanks to some smart people in this area at my university.
The blog I turn to most is Bishop Hill, partly because it’s based in my country and it covers a wide range of topics. I also check Climate etc regularly but the comment threads are usually disappointing. I feel that the “golden age” of the climate blog has passed, now that Climate Audit has quietened down, and more people are using twitter.
It’s great to see another fascinating batch of comments here, from some familiar names but also many new ones. I wonder if there is any significant change since 2010 – at first glance there doesn’t seem to be. Maybe I’ll have to write another paper!
Many thanks for triggering all this Paul :)
My skepticism with the “consensus” AGW positions are mostly based on my observations as a National Weather Service operational meteorologist (retired in 2012).
As far as air temps based on the instrument record, there are some dubious conditions which I have personally observed with especially siting of official recording sites (e.g., ASOS, AWOS sites), even though there are certainly some qualitative evidence of general warming. For example, many if not most official stations have been moved to airports since wx is very critical to flying. These sites in some instances have been moved many miles from their original siting. The temp difference between our NWS office and the AWOS site at the local airport was routinely five degrees F or more during the night. The airport is only about one mile (as the crow flies) from the NWS office.
My second disagreement with the consensus position is that the wx is getting more “extreme.” I have been following weather for almost 50 years now. IMHO, and this is only my opinion based on my casual observations over that 50 years, if anything, the weather is actually getting less extreme. There’s no evidence in my casual observations of the jet stream getting “wavier” due to changes in the polar regions (warming) over that time frame.
This is more or less supported by the IPCC AR5, which also (more rigorously) concludes that there are no clear trends in wx getting more extreme, other that increases in heat waves and decreases in cold waves.
The last point of contention I have with the “consensus” position is that all of the projected climate catastrophes are based on climate model projections decades in the future. It is difficult for me to put any faith whatsoever in model projections that far in the future, when I’ve seen the best weather (NWP) models utterly fail with their projections just a week out. I recall a scenario (January 2011, IIRC) where all of the models and most of their ensemble members projected what would have been a catastrophic snowstorm for the east coast of the U.S. It was unusual because of the unusually good model-to-model agreement and the good run-to-run consistencies that the models showed. I remember that NCEP (NWS headquarters) was unusually confident that this storm would materialize, and many of the NWS offices put out early “heads up” for this storm. It turned out that the low pressure system went well out to sea (Atlantic), and most of the east coast didn’t even get snow flurries out of it.
My premise is that the atmosphere is extremely complex and can only be reliably models for a handful of days, not months, years, decades in the future.
The first time I went to college I accumulated some 170 directionless hours. Several near majors and I guess a boatload of near minors. Then I started building hot-air balloons. When I went back to school they insisted I take another 75 hours, which I finished in 18 months with academic hours. Just proves people with average intelligence can work hard and get good grades. As a hobby, I play lead and rhythm guitar in the styles of Tony Rice and Clarence White. I also traded in very expensive acoustic guitars, etc. No electrics. I don’t understand them. People in my family tend to be creative. One brother change major league baseball. My little brother is an artist who actually sells art. I played a small part in igniting a new golden era of acoustic guitar building. Knew the right people at the right time. Average people can actually buy great acoustic guitars now. That was not the case when I started. To any real standard, the new guitars were awful. I hear tone really well. Can’t stand bad tone.
Background: I have published a number of scientific papers (health related) in peer reviewed literature.
I’ve always found science fascinating, and I’ve always been an environmentalist.
It has gotten easier to be an environmentalist in some ways in recent decades. To take one example, far too much overfishing , so many coral reefs ruined not by climate change but by pollution or physical destruction (dynamiting for fish [!], anchors of cruise ships and recreational yachts), etc. etc. Ecosystem changes due to overfishing can create “trophic cascades,” meaning that (again just for example) if you have finned and killed too many sharks in the western mid Atlantic ocean, their prey (certain types of rays) are much more abundant, and thus THEIR prey is less abundant. That is why some North Carolina scallop beds have collapsed: cow nosed rays have exploded in numbers and have decimated the beds. So that I don’t burden readers with too many examples, please trust me (at least conditionally) on a host of marine issues.
Yet is it also harder to be an environmentalist because environmental groups today are playing by the same rules that 40 years ago they accused industry of using: exaggeration, lying, win at any cost.
With that background, what initially aroused my suspicions was attending a Michael Mann presentation in 1998. He very confidently asserted that there was not a Little Ice Age, no Medieval Warm Period, you know the hockey stick story. I wondered how a young PhD could so confidently assert that he had learned what all his predecessors could not find, and had reversed all previous paleo temperature history, so painstakingly learned over the decades and centuries. (As readers now know, the LIA was in fact world wide, and the Medieval Warm Period was present in many parts of the world). A few weeks later, on the same platform, an expert in boreholes presented evidence from 6 continents that there WAS a LIA. I asked how it was that he found evidence of a worldwide LIA and that Michael Mann did not? He shrugged his shoulders.
That incident fueled my skepticism from that point, not about whether CO2 and methane and black carbon could warm the planet, but rather about the motives and scientific accuracy of major proponents, such as the IPCC and the people who headed up scientific core areas for the IPCC (including Mann). As you know, in the IPCC presentation of their 2003 report, the background image was the hockey stick.
Right now, my sense is that climate sensitivity is on the low side, that weather has not gotten more extreme worldwide (Gavin Schmidt even said so in an environmental newsletter in 2013), that sea level is rising but at far less than the more extreme headlines imply. Also, as solar photovoltaics get cheaper, they will eventually provide most of the world’s electricity. Did you see where Apple is building a 2900 acre photovoltaic “farm” in a remote part of Monterey county, CA? I had thought you at least needed a desert for these, but apparently not — which means that the number and acreage of rural areas that can be used for photovoltaics has now increased.
Bottom line: the problem is real, but for the next century is quite overstated. And: we will deal with the problem this century. Please don’t hijack the science, and tell people like me, who understand most of the science (other than the intricacies of climate models) better than 99% of US citizens, and have followed the science better than 99.8% of US citizens, that we don’t know what we are talking about. Physician, heal thyself!
A Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from the 1980s focused largely on the dynamics of the atmosphere. The equations of motion are the basis of the forecast meteorological models, of course, but are also the “gc” of the gcms. While most of my working career has involved things other than fluid dynamics, the limits to forecasts remain. There is a notion that somehow climate forecasts are immune to the chaos imposed by non-linear dynamics, but one very important aspect of climate change stands out – the failure of the “hot spot”. The “hot spot” is a dynamical feature – it is based on fluid flow ( increased release of latent heat from convection ), not direct radiative forcing. The failure of the “hot spot” to verify means that there is at least one large error in modeled energy exchange. Recently, I’ve run some radiative transfer models on a present atmosphere and these runs indicate that the effects of additional CO2, plus warming and/or humidifying the troposphere enable the upper troposphere to radiate more effectively with respect to the lower troposphere. Let us remember the importance of fluid flow from less infrared transparent regions ( the lower troposphere ) to more infrared transparent regions ( the upper troposphere ) in determining the amount of energy emitted out of the earth system.
The most important factor in climate forecasting is where earth is in regard to the quasi- millennial natural solar activity cycle which I think is in the 960 – 1020 year range. For a complete discussion and forecasts of the coming cooling see :
For evidence of the 960 or thereabouts cycle see Figs 5-9.
From Fig 9 it is obvious that the earth is just approaching , just at or just past a peak in the millennial cycle.
I suggest that more likely than not the general trends from 1000- 2000 seen in Fig 9 will likely repeat from 2000-3000 with the depths of the next LIA at about 2650.
The best proxy for solar activity is the neutron monitor the count and 10 Be data.
My view , based on the Oulu neutron count – Fig 14 is that the solar activity millennial maximum peaked in Cycle 22 in about 1991. A sharper secular decline began about 2005 – 6. See the Ap index break at that time in Fig 13.
There is a varying lag between the change in the in solar activity and the change in the different temperature metrics. There is a 12 year delay between the neutron peak and the probable millennial cyclic temperature peak seen in the RSS data in 2003.
There has been a declining temperature trend since then (Usually interpreted as a “pause”).
There is likely to be a steepening of the cooling trend in 2017- 2018 corresponding to the Ap index break in 2005-6.
The climate models , on which the whole global warming scare is based, are built without regard to the natural 60 and even more important 1000 year periodicities and lack even average common sense.
It is exactly like taking the temperature trend from say Feb – July and projecting it ahead linearly for 20 years or so. They back tune their models for less than 100 years when the relevant time scale is millennial. The whole IPCC – UNFCCC exercise is a joke and a disaster for the reputation of science in general.
I have a PhD in mathematics, specializing in massively parallel PDE solvers, adjoint methods for error analysis and sensitivity analysis of such solvers.
I’ve worked with some of the climate models and frameworks, as well as frameworks at weapons labs. I experienced the horror of how old, convoluted and in need of a rethink/refactor climate models had become.
I was also slightly disturbed at the culture within the climate labs, and how much it reminded me of the religious fundamentalism I grew up with.
I eventually left the business (modelling) completely to become an R&D programmer in industry, mainly because science, where I wanted to live, opportunities and $ did not coalesce.
I decided to become more vocal about my climate skepticism after an Excel letter came to my house informing me of a a rate increase due to the closure of coal plants.
Soon after I engaged some climate propagandists on the issue of solving models for meaningful answers and realized how aggressive and ill founded (in science) climate scare enthusiasts had become.
Searching around I found the Climate Etc blog, which I started to follow. I try to engage online somewhat just to provide some push against what has obviously become a major propaganda movement.
Personal (lamely forgot to add):
I grew up on a 15000 acre ranch in northern california (which my dad managed). It has always been hard to get used to no or < 1 acre yards.
I spend my free time climbing mountains, playing drums, writing physics\game engines and reading. I am currently working to record note for note (from transcriptions) several works of John Bonham and Neil Peart. No better way to appreciate such genius.
I love to read non fiction and the russian greats (Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky).
I had in mind to add myself to Denizens I, but was otherwise engaged. First let me say I am just a sceptic rather than a climate sceptic. I am a retired electrical engineer with a 1966 London external BSc (Hons) – for what its worth. The electronics syllabus, my favourite subject, was all thermionic but came in useful when I had to design a 1kW valve amplifier driven by an analogue IC harmonic synthesizer. I began work in industrial control systems but soon gravitated to the computer industry in the ’70s and later ran my own business for most of my working life.
My first memory was snow up to the windowsill in 1947 and, as student apprentice, I endured the winter of 1963. I clearly remember the early ’70s ‘cooling’ scare as well as the two very hot summers with water shortages, which marked its end. I can vaguely remember the start of this CAGW scare, but was pretty much convinced that saturation effects of CO2 limited it, and I considered ‘tipping points’ as fanciful. Oddly you may think, Kenneth Clark’s ‘Civilisation’ TV programmes did more than any other single thing to make sceptical of CAGW.
Like many, however it was the ‘hockey stick’ that turned me from a casual sceptic on CAGW to a more active one. I had been following John Daly’s website at which he showed the data from many weather stations and the effects of UHI. The ‘hockey stick’ was too good to be true and when M&M released their 2003 paper I had been studying the CET data and was shocked to see that it had been selectively used. From then on I took a closer interest. I submitted a paper to the 2005 HoL enquiry into climate change and as a consequence was drawn into David Henderson’s circle and was privileged to be part of the team that wrote the 2006 ‘Dual Critique’ of the Stern Review. In 2007, I wrote ‘Bias and Concealment in the IPCC Process’, which I hope opened the eyes of a few people.
However, some people will know me as the person Phil Jones thought was worse than David Deming. I may have inadvertently proved him right as my 2008 FOI requests became one of the Climategate flash points. Since then I have been trying to get various public authorities to respect the laws of the UK, with mixed success. Its an unenviable task but one I believed someone must do. I have a reasonable grasp of the science, but for me the attitude some, and it is only some climate scientists, to disclosure make the climate science irrelevant. In the words of today’s Greek hero, “It’s not science – it’s religion with equations”
David, keep up your excellent work in trying to get government to honor its FOIA laws. It may be a lonely journey, but those of us who know what you do admire you and your persistence.
Four and a half years ago in Denizens I, I wrote that the main drivers to my scepticism were dodgy data, dodgy models and dodgy climatologists.
And not much has changed since, though the profile of each of those areas has been raised quite a lot.
Many workers, (Steve Goddard, Tony Brown are the two that spring most readily to mind) have done great work in exposing just what a shoddy job has been made of producing the historical datasets on which all of climatology relies. Prior to the satellite era its clear that they shouldn’t be trusted as far as they could be thrown…on lack of auditability grounds alone.
In dodgy models I find Roy Spencer’s graph a compelling and devastating critique of the state of climate understanding.
These are clearly not ‘fit for purpose’ climate models. The ‘community’ hasn’t yet woken up to just what a mess they are in…but they will eventually have to face reality and not live forever in a fantasy land where model results have more weight than actual observations. This is not a sustainable position and Mother Gaia is trying to tell you something, guys!
And the fashion for dodgy climatologists and their hangers on shows no signs of dying away. After Climategate I had hopes they would get their act together and rein back the more egregious antics of the most excitable. But instead of Jones, Trenbeth, Mann and Schmidt to amuse and appal us, we now have Gleick, Lewandowsky, Gergis and a whole host of other intemperate academics whose apparent desire for fame is well in advance of their professional caution and judgement.
So what of the future? What’s next?
My guess is that Paris will be another gabfest with no particular outcome..and that the world’s pollies will be preoccupied with far more important issues than Al Gore and his polies. ‘Climate change’ will fall yet further down the public’s list of concerns and eventually will die a natural death. It’s time has passed. Nearly 20 years of nothing happening has drained people’s belief in imminent Thermageddon.
Question for all: If you were giving career advice to a young scientist wanting to make their way in the world by practising as a scientist, would you advise them to day to go into ‘climate science’ rather than any other field? You need to be looking 15-30 years ahead.
I’d be interested in your answers…..
I think we desperately need some new young climatologists. I just hope they can make it through the indoctrination that is going on at universities. It is not science that is being taught in that field now, it is religion and sociology, disguised as science.
As fascinating as climate (meteorology and oceanography) can be I would not advise a young budding scientist to go into this field for many reasons, not the least of which is Judith Curry’s repeated condemnation of the climate academy.
As a matter of fact I have a 19 yr. old granddaughter at Ga. Tech right now. She doesn’t take my advice seriously so I just keep my mouth shut.
I should probably change my moniker as it’s been over 5 years since i’ve picked up a deck of cards. I have only a lowly B.A. I have 3 sweet Italian Greyhounds, play the piano…badly but enthusiastically…and also do some freelance writing. Along the way I’ve managed to pick up a couple of Pushcart Prize nominations, of which I’m kinda proud. I’m also a retired small businessman. (The business was small. My height is average).
I’m grateful for Climate Etc which is imvho far and away the best climate blog. Of course Dr. Judith Curry has shown herself to be one of the leading lights in the climate debate. The day will soon come when many more will come to realize what most of us denizens already know, that she is in her quiet, unassuming, deeply human way, a hero. For me, hanging out here at CLImate Etc has been one of the few good things to come out of the climate debate.
I’m one of those innumerate, scientifically challenged people with absolutely no technical background that guys like “the human telescope” …(Where has Webby gone? Haven’t seen him in months.).. is fond of deriding, as if I’ve no right to hold an opinion. I don’t think he could be more wrong. There are many ways to approach a problem, and my God given common sense and general intelligence have served me reasonably well in life. Doesn’t take a ph.d to recognize propaganda, or to appreciate why one side would refuse to engage with the other. If the fate of the planet were really at stake, these guys would be falling all over one another trying to get to the podium first. to explain why skeptics are wrong, and to answer any and all questions.
Thank you to the denizens who took the time to write their short biographies. I am happy to know you better, or to meet you for the first time.
I’m an interested layman. With all the Walter White Caliber intellects around here, I suppose I represent the Jesse Pinkman perspective. I hold a lukewarmer position and I’m concerned about how the climate issue seems to appeal to left wing activists, politicians and people who fly around on private jets. I was very impressed by Matt Ridley’s Angus Miller Lecture:
I favor a Cornucopian over a Malthusian approach. A look at any pie chart of electricity generation makes it hard to argue against more nuclear power. I like Bjorn Lomborg’s emphasis on more research. I find Nate Lewis’s proposal to make hydrocarbon fuel from sunlight to be intriguing:
I’m a process control guy. Started programming PLC’s when they were first invented and have had fun with them ever since. I’ve worked in the rice and oil industry until I retired kinda in 2013. I have no degree’s, being self taught from anything I could get my hands on. I have taught industrial electronics at our local community college.
I got interested in global warming when I kept hearing the term “tipping point” and some older friends of mine had the bejesus scared out of them by Al Gore. So I took a look at it.
Some of my first comments (I’ve commented very little) on this site were to ask why if CO2 had been much higher in the past why had it not run away then. I can’t remember who it was but was told there were different kinds of tipping points????? I had only worked with control circuits where with enough positive feedback, the circuit would oscillate out of control and unless something changed, it would NEVER come back.
I think the earths climate works exactly how it was organized to work.
Thanks Dr. Curry, tis a great site in my opinion where I can continue to learn.
I have been a lurker on Climate Etc. for several years and, with the exception of this post, intend to remain one. I just want to say that when I began to read Climate Etc., I was impressed by the quality of the readership, in terms of their educational and professional backgrounds. The readers validated what I already suspected, which was that Dr. Curry was a scientist’s scientist, and well worth listening to.
I myself don’t have a background in science except very peripherally (philosophy of science). I chose to lurk because I know enough to know when I’m out of my depth and should keep my mouth shut. All the same, I will keep reading Climate Etc. because the state of climate science is a matter that concerns every one of us in the world today.
Here’s WUWT’s equivalent of this Denizens thread:
outstanding people…excluding moi
Background: born into a Pat Conroy novel… third from the left on human evolution chart…learned before age 10 how to hit a curve ball and that it can take more than 10 years for shrapnel to work it’s way out of one’s body
Studied classical guitar in college…short stint in the political industry…had a small contract with the Dept. of the Army of which many pages had been xeroxed so many times they were illegible…some work as a musician…attempts to escape Pat Conroy novel failed
got into martial arts ’cause I hated jogging (bad idea for an obsessive compulsive) matriculated in four, been doing that for a living for 20 years,
actively teaching Hapkido and Iaido, no desire or means to retire
began researching climate after hearing conservative talk show host (yes that one) say ‘there’s been no global warming for 17 years’
I thought, can’t possibly be true
CC views: align with kim and Tonyb, trying to understand the science better but the squiggly line food fight seems to go in circles
as a side effect of my work I did way too much meditation, and become an adherent of Advaita Vedanta philosophy
so my main beef with climate science is this:
there is no separation of man and nature
nothing exist that is not natural
a dichotomy that does not exist can not be quantified
so ‘attribution’ cannot be determined and will always be a fake number
one last observation
most people I know would rather continue believing in ‘climate change’ than to accept that they may have been misled
My name is Henrik Mahlberg. I am lurker since the start of this blog, read almost every thread. I am a Swede and work with information technology for banks and insurance-industry. I am quit enivronmental friendly, for example we owned an electric car for seven years (before the batteries broke down, long before it was a hype). I become sceptic because of Al Gores film. I didn’t just belived in the hockey stick chart. I found Climate Audit…. I have become not just sceptic against climate scientists, I am really sceptic about all kind envirmental NGOs. I should probably label myself as a luke warmer.
A lot of very intelligent people (many of of them scientifically educated, many not – but no poorer for that fact) on here explaining their reasons for coming to view catastrophic anthropogenic climate change with more than a hint of scepticism. Humanity is on display here and I am sure that those people on the other side of the fence, the alarmists, must have equally compelling stories to tell.
Therein lies the conundrum: we are all essentially driven by the same desires, goals, thoughts, feelings. moral guidelines etc. but we are separated by this chasm which has become ‘climate change’. You generally accept that man is (or is likely to be) altering the climate dangerously or you do not; there is very little in between as far as I can see. The adoption of either viewpoint seems to have an unnatural ‘skewing’ effect upon both groups such that their interaction re. climate change is almost always marred by friction; yet we share a vast commonality that seems to be submerged temporarily by this one issue, to such an extent that we tend to view ‘the other side almost as if they were from a different planet. Very odd.
A BSc in Marine Biology and a healthy skepticism has lead me to question all the hype surrounding the Global Cooling in the 70’s and the current Global Warming/Climate Change/Climate Disruption. Even the eyeball rolling from family members has not deterred me from questionning the constant fear-mongering. Reading the Hockey Stick Illusion and The Deniers and Steve McIntyre on Climate Audit has re-nforced my skepticism. Plus my education in Evolution Theory, Climate chnages constantly. To claim it doesn’t or shouldn’t is foolish. And to claim man is the main instrument is even more foolish.
I am a retired information systems executive and actuarial analyst with a BA in Mathematics with a lifelong interest in science.
Early on in my following of the global warming issue I became aware of the Surface Stations Survey, which led me to be very skeptical of the validity of the most recent temperature data trends, as I have never seen any convincing explanation as to how data from the many urban heat island and “corrupted” temperature monitoring sites are properly corrected.
Then the most recent explanations from Rohde, Hausfather, and Mosher for Berkeley Earth adjustments seem to turn this issue upside down, arguing that their process for correcting the data is what results in the lowering of temperatures, not from recent years, but from early years when the urban heat island and corruption of surface station sites would not have yet occurred. The seems exactly opposite to what should have been the effect of any corrections to the record.
Over the years, more and more instances of closing of the ranks of climate scientists against anyone who obtains differing data or who suggests different interpretations of the data or who questions the climate models have thoroughly soured me on the integrity of the scientific process in climate science.
I have a BSEE and 35 years Electro Optical experience in measuring infrared signals.
I go by the initials SCF. I’m in the tech industry, and I have a MSc in mathematics.
I’ve always been skeptical of global warming. I was on the fence for a long time, waiting to see from the late 90s onwards if any of the predictions of warmists bore out, or if they could provide any conclusive evidence to back the theories. As time has passed my skepticism has increased. Not once have I been impressed by the predictions of a warmist scientist or climate model, but on many occasions I have been disgusted by the spin. For instance, despite the obvious failures of climate models shown clearly in diagrams produced by Roy Spencer (shown on this page already), scientists continue to spin about them today, attempting to claim the models are accurate. Scientists continue attempting to pass off garbage paleo-climatology as accurate, and they continue to make absurd claims about the effects of warming today when it is clear there has been no warming for 18 years. To this day all we know is that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and nothing more, and the most accurate predictions are the logarithmic effects that Arrhenius published in 1896, while all the claimed feedbacks, natural disasters, species extinctions, glacier melts, sinking islands, the list goes on, all are nothing more than propaganda posing as science. Then there is the president of the most powerful country on earth quoting the 97% figure from a study that is a disgusting perversion of science. Even the temperature records cannot be trusted in my opinion, as we can see by what has happened to the US temperature record over the last two decades.
Almost none of the (so-called) science has any value, and almost none of the spin has any truth.
For me, climategate was just more confirmation of what I already knew. So I was surprised that it had such a large effect on other skeptics. As far as I can tell, there has been so much dishonesty and bias in climate science that you simply cannot believe most of what is said by so many of the so called scientific authorities. In general, what passes for science these days is usually questionable, not just in climate science but in many other fields. You really can’t trust most of it.
It’s really disgraceful the billions and trillions that have been wasted on windmills and other green schemes, the harmful regulations and the harmful effects on the lives of billions worldwide. It’s ironic that the corrupt goverments of India and China are the ones that are saving much of their own citizenry from increased energy poverty.
I truly applaud some of the people exposing much of the fraud and are honest about the true uncertainties, which include Ms Curry. The worldwide mob behind this pseudo-science is powerful, and efforts to counter it are well-founded. However, I believe that change will only come as the years pass and the failed predictions multiply to the point where their credibility is shattered by the pleasant reality that global warming is absolutely nothing to worry about.
Background: BSc (Maths), Computer programming and Engineering.
In the 1970s I was a student and very familiar with the “Global Cooling” scare. I remember it being presented to us in books, news articles and magazines. Without the internet it could not be promoted as heavily as “warming” is today.
When the reports warning of global warming first appeared, and the prescription was essentially the same as in the 1970s – stop using cars, oil is bad, man is the problem, eat your veggies etc. – I began to smell a rat.
The base science of CO2 as opaque to infrared is fine and of course more CO2 could result in warmer temperatures. At 0.04% of the atmosphere the effect couldn’t be very great, and yet somehow water vapor became a “feedback” that would multiply the effect. Furthermore the explanation of the “greenhouse” was pretty far off from how greenhouses actually work.
Then when it came to “solutions” – every sensible one was taken off the table. Relegating hydroelectric power to non-renewable categories, denouncing nuclear – the only truly carbon free option etc. Promoting unworkable concepts: wind, solar and energy reduction as the answers- it was clear that this was a political movement, and really an anti-civilization one at that.
Currently the world climate appears to have reached a plateau, and nature will shift the climate warmer or more likely cooler. I hope not too much cooler, as humanity seems to flourish best with warmer climates.
I have a BSEE and 35 years Electro-Optical experience in measuring infrared signals. Some say, “I know CO2 is a greenhouse gas. I know it will cause back-radiation.” Please, how do you know that? Atmospheric CO2 and H2O “absorb” no EM flux, as they pass all onto space along with there own contribution to exit flux. Translucent gas at or above the temperature above radiative equilibrium cannot absorb flux. They act only as a low pass filter for spatial, spectral, and temporal “variance” of that exit flux. that is the only thing ever observed or measured. There is no possible way to distinguish “flux” through the translucency and “flux” from that translucency.
Satellites cannot measure this flux or temperature. They measure only radiative intensity over a limited bandwidth, and over a limited and ill defined solid angle, generally with aperture and field stops reversed.
Heard both Gore and Crichton in person (separate occasions!). In the flow of climate tech & policy info for years from my daygig as an organizer of technical-business conferences (energy, power, renewables, etc). No science degrees but consider myself a “sophisticated consumer of science & technical literature.”
Carbon credits & markets seemed like a high finance scam mostly; I researched carbon sequestration & coal gasification for some meetings, but I took the science at face value — warming as just one aspect of oncoming ecological apocalypse. I think I always knew in the back of my mind how insanely complicated it is, so avoided the actual underlying science. I was focused on the peak oil debate for most of the early-mid 2000s.
Most of my crowd are left green activist types. So it was kind of odd to find myself uber-uncool, accused of being on the payroll of big oil or a naive dupe of the Merchants of Doubt– just for asking my own questions. Funny that it all started as a debate on Facebook — some claims and numbers that were thrown at me sounded odd all of a sudden, and I just tried playing devils advocate based on what I know or can guess. I lost at least one Facebook friend, probably a lot more that I’m not aware of. Noone seemed to have any substanctial counter-arguments, they just dismissed what I was saying. Best insult was being accused of “hubris” for wanting to have an analysis of my own.
Around the same time I was diving back into Gaia Theory, and forced myself to start reading skeptic blogs, which was def a case of cognitive dissonance at first, given the preponderance of libertarians and conservatives, at least on WUWT, maybe less so here. I’d switch back and forth between Real Climate, Skeptical Science and the skeptic blog posts, and yet the skeptic stuff just kept making more sense to me.
Warming from CO2 has dropped to the bottom of my list of potential “Planet Killers” – although from a Gaian point of view, there are so many interacting challenges to the biosphere now, who knows what kinds of cascades could trigger some kind of abrupt warming or cooling event – maybe not stemming from GHGs. I’m interested in both the hyper-alarmist views and the extreme hard science debunkings (slayers, Tallbloke, gravity model, etc).
I’m working on a long essay posing that there may be a “left-Gaian” pole to this debate – of course its really a broad spectrum, but the partisans only both sides have polarized it. More later maybe.
I was one of the denizens responding to the Air Vent’s denizens thread. Recently I found my entry there quoted at another blog. I’ve been reading Climate Etc. since its inception, but did not participate in its first denizen’s thread.
I have a BS and MS in mechanical engineering, plus a BA in political science. I’ve always been fascinated by the nexus between technical issues and policy. Formal coursework in thermodynamics, heat transfer, and fluid dynamics. (Supposedly Lord Kelvin said “the steam engine did more for the science than the science did for the steam engine.”) Grad school concentration and professional life for 30 years has been in feedback control systems.
I’ve been following climate issues closely since about 2003, when I read newspaper scare stories that I had a great deal of trouble swallowing. At that point I did not doubt “the science”, as I thought the news media typically could not get technical issues straight.
So I started looking online for better information. I first found Real Climate, but I was quickly put off by both its content and style. The good skeptic blogs were more careful technically, willing to link to opposing blog arguments, and much more willing to respond to criticism rather than censoring it.
I was appalled by the Hockey Stick, and especially the establishment’s stubborn defense of it once its myriad flaws were pointed out. I had delved into things deeply enough that Climategate e-mails did not surprise me, although I hadn’t been sure before that the central players were “true believers”.
My views haven’t changed much in the last 5 years. While I believe you can not explain the overall level of earth’s temperatures without the greenhouse effect, I think it is a very different issue how much additional radiatively active gases will add to this.
As a specialist in feedback systems, I am frequently appalled at how climate scientists treat (or don’t treat) feedback issues.
But fundamentally, I think we don’t know squat about how the climate system works. We also don’t really have any long-term measurements of the quality necessary to tell whether what is happening now is in any way unusual.
A veteran of the U.S. Submarine Service (one hitch) and a degreed Electrical Engineer (U.T. Knoxville – 1968 – three peer-reviewed IEEE papers published), I spent most of my career designing, building and commissioning electric power generating plants including hydro, pumped storage, coal fired, natural gas, nuclear (both PWR and BWR), geothermal, wood-waste, and landfill gas. I avoided wind and solar because in my judgment neither could benefit sufficiently from economy of scale due to inherent energy density constraints. At retirement, I was President of a sizable energy company that included a stable of 23 renewable energy plants, an oil and gas drilling and production subsidiary, a natural gas trading subsidiary and various other diverse operations including such unlikely endeavors as airliner leasing and even a large pistachio farm.
After retirement in 1998 and with lots of time on my hands, I began researching AGW theory. I became suspicious of the theory early on when I realized what a small contribution, by volume, manmade CO2 actually was in relation to the overall volume of gasses in the atmosphere. How could a 1/4th inch tail (at that time) be wagging a 100-yard-long dog? Then I got on to the key claim of the AGW theorists to the effect that the manmade CO2 greenhouse effect is multiplied by positive system feedback (increased water vapor plus other mechanisms). As an engineer, I recognized such positive feedback as the hallmark of a fundamentally unstable system subject to “runaway”, which is precisely what the likes of James Hansen were postulating. Chaotic is one thing, but a fundamentally unstable envelope is quite another.
All anyone should have to do to satisfy themselves that the climate system is NOT unstable at a macro level is to review the 500-thousand-year reconstruction of global temperature. Al Gore’s famous chart will do nicely for the purpose. If periods of horrific volcanic activity and horrendous meteor strikes barely budged global temperature from its cyclic course of transitions between Ice Ages and Warm Periods, man’s puny efforts are surely lost in the noise. I concluded that the climate system temperature response to any temperature forcing function, from whatever source, must be to produce “negative feedback”. For one unit of forcing, there is always something less than one unit of system movement in response.
Nothing I’ve seen to date has fundamentally altered my initial assessment. However, my initial conclusion that “foul play” was NOT at work for the most part on the “true believing” side of the AGW scientific ledger was shattered by the “Climategate” E-mail disclosures. My current view is that a great portion of “pro-AGW” scientific work is more driven by self-interest and politics than by any real curiosity about scientific truth. In politics, a “natural conspiracy” may be expected to form in support of whatever any particular party line may be fashionable. I’m afraid the same can be said of climate science, thanks to a reward system that offers fame and fortune to those who “tow the party line” and a whole heap of the opposite to those who do not tow that line.
BS in Chemistry and Environmental Science. Analytical chemist in pharmaceutical research and development for over 20 years. True believer in college, but started getting turned off by a pair of extremely political, loud and arrogant ecology professors (called Dr. Gloom and Dr. Doom by students) and scientifically ignorant environmental student groups. It was during my last semester in school when I found some more thoughtful professors who quietly spoke about the difference between science and political opinion. I wish I had recorded the lectures, these guys made plenty of “by the year 2000….” predictions, all of them wrong. They were Paul Ehrlich disciples.
First job out of college was working for a environmental remediation company, very quickly found that the job was more about paperwork and obtaining grants and less about cleaning up environmental damage. Found a very scientifically rewarding career in the pharma industry.
Started paying attention to climate when the hockey stick controversy started. The more I looked, the more skeptical I became. Not skeptical of the basic facts, but of the end is near gloom and doom.
CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Burning Fossil Fuels produces CO2. We are changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere. This should cause some increase in temperature. There will be winners and losers from this. It would be nice if we had a source of energy that didn’t change the composition of the atmosphere. But, before a person asks what should we do about it, they need to understand why we burn fossil fuels. In my opinion, when mankind figured out how to turn heat into work, the dawn of the industrial revolution, it was one of the greatest advancements in the human condition. This discovery ranks up there with agriculture, written language, metallurgy, microbiology, etc.
At this point, the population of the planet is dependent upon the use of fossil fuels. There is no replacement. Only nuclear can come close to making a dent in CO2 emissions. Every climate scientist who chants “we must act NOW” or “we need to do something” like a nun saying the rosary, needs to understand that there is not much we can do. Our 2 choices are to buckle up and enjoy the ride or start inventing something better. I vote for doing both.
BSc EE, BSc Comp Sci, systems-analyst/problem-solver in financial markets, infrequent poster.
Guiding thoughts/current assessments:
– CO2 is increasing the total energy in the earth system and human activity is the culprit.
– Increasing energy in complex systems dramatically increases their number of possible internal states and thereby reduces predictability (at the sub-system level).
– Some aspects of complex systems may be approximated by simple models (many caveats).
– For global surface temperature evolution, a trend + known-causes-of-variability + noise over a limited duration seems a good fit for now.
– Best guess equilibrium climate sensitivity ~2.8C (TCS ~2.0C).
– Every system is resilient until a critical resource is exhausted.
– Large error bars on most things climate-related mean significant uncertainties remain with respect to climate sensitivity, model accuracy, aerosol impact, cloud behaviour, ocean heat uptake…
– The last 100 years has undone 5000 of the 7000 year long cooling phase since the Holocene maximum. We are about to enter unchartered territory as a global species.
– The impact of an excessive rate of temperature change on ecosystems and agriculture.
– The expectation of global food insecurity (my primary concern).
– The expectation that a rolling series of haphazard weather-related disasters (e.g. flooding events, drought, glacier loss impact on dry season water flow…) will erode resilience and exacerbate the many other problems that vulnerable nations face until they collapse.
– Warming has positives as well as negatives.
– Climate sensitivity may fall in the lower portion of the range.
– Climate impacts may fall at the benign end of the scale.
– Humans have proven outstanding with respect to innovation and adaptation to date.
– Accurate measurement of total incoming and outgoing radiation.
– Deep Argo.
– An assumption of good will and a willingness to seek clarification to understand each poster’s best case.
Favourite posting style:
– Planning Engineer.
– Alarmed. Unresolved between small “c” and large “C” catastrophe.
– Challenged regarding practical/achievable solutions given engineering, economic and social constraints.
2 years ago. I wanted to keep my mind active in retirement and with my mathematical physics background and career in computer engineering it seemed agood fit.
Over the years I had heard various predictions and what I considered extreme claims like “Arctic warming is unprecedented” which conflicted with historical and archaeological evidence. And “polar bears are dying out” when the Inuit were claiming success for the hunting ban.
Having looked into the science, I think that too much of the statistics is questionable and the temp time series must have large error margins of around a degree centigrade. And the climate is chaotic, deterministic but unpredictable. The theory that water vapour will always provide strong earming feedbacks is unlikely.
Then i start feeling annoyed at folk covering our small island (UK) with wind and solar farms. I think ecological diversity is much morr important than co2.
And ive disliked greenpeace for a very long time as unscientific self-promoters. What they’ve been trying to push for in africa and india is completely wrong.
Consider joining our group which is for those with qualifications in physics who understand the hypothesis presented.
My background in physics is outlined here. Now I’m busy in semi-retirement giving talks on climate, running our group’s website and refuting invalid physics on climate blogs wherever it comes to my attention.
“Also, it would be interesting to hear from commenters on the original Denizen’s thread as to how/why your perspective has changed since 2010.”
My perspective has not changed at all since 2010. CAGW was a political debate then, it was a political debate in 1988, and it is a political debate now. The primary change has been in the CAGW movement becoming more desperate and aggressive as they see western electorates rejecting their policy demands.
But the tactics used by progressives in the CAGW debate are no different from their tactics in other political debates: demonization of opponents; characterizing their political positions as science; seeking to control (ie. limit) the flow of information to voters; attempts to characterize dissent as psychological deviance; questioning the motives of those who dare to disagree; diverting massive amounts of tax dollars to the cause; ignoring inconvenient facts and opinions; the partnership between progressive government and progressive NGOs, etc.
When it comes to the actual science, all you need to be a skeptic can be found in the research and writings of the CAGW scientists themselves. The uncertainty, lack of data, underlying assumptions, and group think are all there in plain sight. You just have to know how to read and deconstruct progressive propaganda. Ignore the headlines and the summaries for policy makers, and read the underlying research.
I have been lurking here for the last 2-3 years. What appeals to me most about this site is Dr. Curry’s balanced, rational approach to her work, and probably most of all, her commitment to the scientific process and exposing the uncertainties in all scientific work.
I am a mechanical engineer by training and experience, but I have spent much of my life reading about the history of science and technology. I am very convinced that there are two essential verities that apply in this area:
1. When we politicize science, we always get it wrong.
2. The data always wins in the end.
I am confident in the outcome, but I also have a sense of observing history in the making, and I am fascinated.
Thanks for offering the chance for me to introduce myself!
I am an electrical engineering and MBA graduate from a leading Canadian University. Although my career is mostly in Management of very large and very small companies, I did invent a patented process while working in the US which is now widely used in the packaging industry and is written up in Wikipedia. My outside interests are flying, sailing, golf and fishing, so I have always had a strong interest in weather. An airline pilot friend introduced me to Intellicast as an information source, and I started checking the site, and the writings of Joseph D’Aleo, under the name of Dr. Dewpoint. One article was about manmade temperature rises, and he showed data that cities were up, suburbs were less up and country areas were not up at all. That was my first introduction to the Climate Change theory, and I started to develop some interest. I then saw the Hockey Stick, and wondered how tree rings could tell you anything about the past and what happened to the medieval warm age. Climategate, Al Gore and the general idea that consensus was the right way to look at scientific issues solidified my doubting of the science.
I started to check websites such as ICECAP, Climate Audit, WattsUp, Real Climate and BishopHill, and got interested. I have often wondered what the fuss was all about. I am a lukewarmer, in that I understand the effect of CO2, but am very dubious about positive feedback, which as I recall leads to unstable conditions. I also don’t understand how the .7 degree rise since the Twentieth Century average is considered so huge relative to our Kelvin temperature of about 288 degrees, ie about .25%. Haven’t we had ice ages in the past? Whenever one researches a particular area, from polar bears to so-called acidification to world ice, the actual conditions are either non-existant or greatly exaggerated.
I have progressed to doing my own scientific survey, which is peer-reviewed (by my long-suffering wife). I have conclusively shown that 97% of Climate Scientists will be out of work when this whole business dies out.
My web-site for more information on How/Why I think the climate may change.
My name is Salvatore Del Prete. The name of my company is South West Weather Inc. This company provides upper air (radiosonde soundings) at various locations across the nation. Also in the climate change arena. I will try sending a link to my web-site.
Another long term mostly lurker. I am a luke warmer / skeptic. I believe in the basic physics, but not in the feedbacks necessary to cause future pain. Main reason for skepticism is the seeming need for believer scientists to use all the classic Alinsky tactics, lie exaggerate and vilify those who disagree. Reason #2 is the fact that I work as an R&D consultant, including with firms involved in both green energy and oil and gas, and other non related activities. Anecdotal, but only those whose funding is dependent on green are believers. All the oil and gas (obviously), but also all those in unrelated fields are skeptics. I don’t work with Government so I can’t speak to that.
Al Gore made me do it. What happened is that while retired I saw his movie. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that a twenty foot sea rise coming at you is an absurdity. I set to work getting scientific info on that and unearthed a paper by Chao, Yu, and Li in Science (April 11th, 2008). They had evaluated all available data on sea level rise and also made allowance for water held in storage by all reservoirs built since 1900.They discovered that sea level rise during the previous 80 years hat been linear. The slope of this linear segment was just under ten inches, not twenty feet, per century. I immediately sent a paper off to Science and to Nature as well and got unceremoniously rejected. I was right but they were clearly suppressing me. I understood what was going on when Al Gore got a Nobel Prize for his nonsense. But I had done a lot of research by now and knew of numerous erroneous ideas in climate science. With the journals closed to me, I put it all together into a book and published it as “What Warming?” in 2010. It contained important information on El Ninos, volcanic coooling, and Arctic warming not available elsewhere but the establishment – those who published – had no use for it. Likewise for my proof that Arctic warming is not greenhouse warming. They think in a variant of Al Gore’s fantasy and do not need anything from an upstart like me. I don’t have any hope for a science that ignores important work in its field for ideological babble. The only thing I can suggest is to throw out the current batch and start over with a brand new group of real scientists.
I can’t remember a time Science wasn’t part of my life.
At age 8 I had a fossil collection and was etching limestone with HCL to recover better specimins.
At 10 I had a paraffin dissecting pan and tools as well as a killing bottle.
At 11 I helped my dad wind the welding transformer from copper wire and laminations and build our 240/120 dual tap welder core, then weld the frame to hold it. We also built a carbon arc cutting torch.
At 13, I got my adult library card, temp drivers license and work permit, started working for $.65 an hour and started building my chem lab in the basement.
By the time I was 19 and a Sophmore in Engineering, I realized I didn’t have time to use the lab, sold it for about $1000.
That same summer, I did my first research project (on waste water treatment) for a major refinery.
Currently retired after an international career including process control, waste treatment, control programing and debugging; currently consulting, mostly specializing in control design and upgrade in metal plating and etching industry.
I can’t remember a time I wasn’t concerned about the environment, can’t remember ever believing the CO2 drives climate hypothesis or the apocalyptic (or even hugely inconveniencing) climate related disruptions. The data doesn’t seem to support such claims, the models seem kludge atop kludge. There are far worse environmental problems waiting to be attended to as I have seen working extensively in SE Asia, C and S America.
The actions of the climate faithful saddens, sickens and disgusts me. Climategate I watched unfold, heartsick at the betrayal of science I saw. Have seen nothing from #IPCC supporting vocal Climate Scientists and ‘green’ NGO’s to offer me hope, with very few exceptions.
Blog erratically at http://imablawg.blogspot.com/, (thanks for building it, @Intrepidwanders!) where we try not to take ourselves too seriously and try to keep it to a very short post form blog, prefer twitter to blogging, mostly talk as @ImaBannedd because I lost so many accounts to getting reported.
For me ‘The Science’ and evidence came later. I was very skeptical of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (though not the possibility of some AGW) from the moment I heard about it as a major political movement, because it ‘smelled’ to much like the Alarmist “Population Bomb” and “Peek Oil” movements, and was being pushed by many of the same kind of people. (or even by THE same people)
I grew up and went to school through the 70’s and 80’s, and was heavily Inducted into the beliefs of Alarmist Environmentalism. School taught me that man and development was the constant enemy of nature. The media bombarded me with the message, on TV, in the newspaper, and even in my favorite magazines (Pop Sci and Pop Mech). Even the games I played pushed the message (like Car Wars, which took place in the future after all the oil ran out around 2000)
By the 90’s I’d started to realize that the Coming Disasters the Alarmists always preached about never actually seemed to get any closer, and more telling, that their chosen solutions (like Solar and Wind Power, Hydrogen Fuel, and especially Governmental Control) never seemed to make anything better. I looked into many of the claims and found their evidence lacking or absent entirely, often based solely on taking a short term trend and projecting it into infinity. Peek Oil was especially vexing because it was still being pushed hard then, with a new graph coming out every few years showing us nearly at the peek before the inevitable and unstoppable decline.
Needless to say that peek never actually came, and soon enough Peek Oil was supplanted in the media by CAGW, with hardly a hiccup over the change from “We’re almost out of Fossil Fuels” to “We have so much Fossil Fuel that using it will burn up the Earth”. Again, all based apparently on taking a short trend and projecting it to infinity. Well, I wasn’t impressed. ‘Fool me once’ and all that. Nor was I surprised when years went by and the ‘Thermageddon’ never actually got any closer. Honestly I didn’t put to much thought into it until Al Gore’s movie and Climategate. A part of me is surprised that this is even still an issue after so many years. I figured that by now the Alarmists would have moved on to a new Disaster in Potentia, like ‘Ocean Acidification’ or something. Maybe they’ve just invested to much into this one to let it go.
I’m a retired lawyer and love to follow science issues. I’m skeptical but accept the greenhouse effect, which I guess makes me a lukewarmer.
The only blog I’ve participated in before now is Dotearth (posting under Spalding Craft, my actual name). I was attracted to Andy Revkin’s inclusive and evenhanded approach, and by his deep generalist’s knowledge of the subject. Unfortunately, Andy’s new career as teacher and go-to climate talking head has made it more practical for him to be a standard warmist. His posts are still high quality but the comment section is now dominated by the Team.
I was first attracted to Judith’s work when she sounded off after release of the Climategate emails. That episode was a real eye-opener for me as we saw scientists at their absolute worst. Before Climategate, it never occurred to me (naively of course) that educated professionals could behave like that.
I was impressed with the way Judith handled herself as she broke from the warmist camp. For this reason, among others, this is by far the most credible blog on the subject of climate climate.
MS in Astronomy. Now retired from NASA Ames Research Center, Space Sciences division, Laboratory Spectroscopy of gases in planetary atmospheres. I worked on intensity measurements of spectral features in the near-infrared for carbon dioxide, methane, ammonia, and water vapor, to help determine abundances of these gases in the atmospheres of Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Titan.
In 1961-1962 I was Carl Sagan’s first graduate student research assistant. At that time the high microwave brightness temperatures were quite new, and Carl was expanding his PhD thesis model of Venus’ atmosphere to include these new data, and determine implications for the immense size of its atmosphere. I acquired my title at that time. Having worked on his greenhouse model of Venus, and worked on the spectral features of carbon dioxide, I certainly accept that the increasing carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere causes some luke-warming of the surface this century. If this warming has some negative consequences 200 or 300 years from now, we can trust our progeny to decide what to do.
I recall being fascinated by the “Harry Read-me” file of the UEA climategate fame, because our spectroscopy department computer was run in a very similar manner. Who actually ran the computer on a daily basis? Our contracted assistant or a new PhD, not in a permanent position, and on a “soft money” fellowship. When that person moves on, his replacement struggles to know what everything does. The computer programs are modified and “improved”, and gradually the computer is doing more and more with less human supervision. The computer output can’t be reproduced exactly, since it’s not known precisely what was done, but the results are completely trustworthy, right??
Spotted this thread through Sou’s, perhaps the denizens may appreciate a viewpoint from outside of their usual circle? Also I owe Judith an apology (see end).
Professional Chemical Engineer, 20+ years experience in process and healthcare industries.
What attracted me to the climate debate?
Whilst generally aware of the issue of climate change, my first exposure to climate change denial came through the letters page of my professional association’s magazine. Some of the “facts” expressed by “sceptics” there were obviously wrong, and that motivated me to do a little more research, particularly reading AR4. It soon became clear to me that most “sceptic” discourse was at best wrong and at worst downright mendacious. The debate generally and Climate Etc specifically has a horrible “train-wreck” quality which is simultaneously fascinating and addictive yet entirely unproductive to follow.
Views on the climate blogospheric debate:
Lewandowsky nailed it. Climate “scepticism” with rare exceptions is almost universally not motivated by facts but rather by political ideology. “Sceptics” engaged in the blogosphere often have immutable views and are entirely unfazed by whole areas of expert research in contradiction to these. Climate Etc denizens are a perfect microcosm of this, as beautifully exposed in this thread.
Views on Climate Etc:
I was aware of Climate Etc from its inception, and in principle the idea of a climate scientist reaching out to “sceptics” is admirable. Whilst Judith doubtless has good intentions, as hosted currently the site has many intractable problems:
-Judith’s willingness to host and link nonsense above the line without comment
-what appears to be an obsessive feud with Michael Mann (see Charlie Hebdo thread, amongst others)
-over – tolerance of toxicity in the comments, particularly towards mainstream scientists but also between participants
-overrunning of the comments with repeated climate myths
-cranks and threadbombing
It has undoubtedly been a great vehicle for raising Judith’s political profile and enabling her advocacy for laissez faire policies on carbon emissions.
As anyone who’s read this far will guess, I’m not a fan of Climate Etc, and rarely comment here. After Judith’s WSJ episode I felt moved to write a critical piece guest hosted by ATTP – my first and only foray into blogging. Whilst I fully stand by the content, I should have let Judith know in advance of its posting and offered her a first response, so I’d like to take this opportunity to apologise for not doing that. I’ve no intention of blogging regularly at ATTPs or anywhere else in the future, and I doubt I’ll comment much if at all here again.
I am a researcher in Environment/Physics/Computing for 15 years. I have a BSc in Physics and PhD in Plasma Physics. I found it too dry and wanted to work in the Environment, where global warming has always been a background to my work but not the focus except for a year where I ran regional climate models. I found the climate models unconvincing (they help us learn about climate but I don’t think have predictive capability) but I accepted IPCC without giving it much thought. I became skeptical as I understood the modelling in more detail and I didn’t see the evidence for the catastrophic hype. I also learned more about palaeoclimate and this reinforced my skepticism about catastrophe.
I do think that uncertainty has been underplayed – I could well believe most warming over the last 100 years to be manmade or natural – just don’t know as it is. But I don’t see any dangerous trends.
I’m also interested in the self selection effect amongst researchers. I imagine many postdocs do a year or two and move on. The ones who think the planet needs saving will stay, whilst the more skeptical pursue other careers. I’d like to see the opinions of climate researchers and former climate researchers.
Overall I predict 3 things
1 – a lowish climate sensitivity
2 – effects of a few degrees warming overplayed anyway
3 – zero carbon solutions becoming economically optimal within a few decades
ie not a problem and we’ll all look back and feel a bit silly
I’d also like to add that as a tree-hugger myself I think it is a desperate shame that CAGW has displaced saner environmental problems that we could be dealing with namely around pollution, biodiversity loss, loss of habitats and everything else brought on by human population growth
I am a chemist by training, an engineer by practice, and an entrepreneur by choice. 20 years ago I co-founded and continue today to operate a company that makes instruments used to characterize the distribution of particle sizes in micro and nano scale materials.
I first became aware of the ‘environmental movement’ on the very first Earth Day, when I stopped studying physical chemistry and differential equations long enough to wander around campus and listen to the speeches. I though I might have been at the wrong place… there was little substantive discussion of environmental issues, but endless tirades on the evils of capitalism, material wealth, and differences in income between rich and poor.
Then, as now, unprincipled people on the left will appropriate any alarming prediction to justify institution of a ‘more fair’ social order. The leftist drum of ‘social justice’ has been consistently beaten for all of my adult life, and I’m sure will continue to be. The ‘justification’ for left wing policies changes over time…. right now it happens to be CO2 driven warming…. but the underlying political motivation does not change.
So my interest in the science of climate change is fundamentally a practical one: I want to keep poor quality science from being used to justify public policies which I believe are both counterproductive and immoral. I trust that if stupid public policies can be delayed for the next 15-20 years, then facts on the ground, like ever more accurate empirical measures of climate sensitivity, will make institution of foolish public policies, always justified by gross overestimates of climate sensitivity and future warming, politically impossible. Of course , leftists will always find another ‘justification’ for their immoral policies, and that too will have to be resisted, but I will leave that for my children….. and theirs.
BSc in Applied Geology and 26 years experience (on and off depending on the oil price..) all over the world in hydrocarbon exploration.
I was a sceptic from the first day I heard one of my fellow 3rd year students talking about Hansen’s show at the US Congress back in 1988. I knew it was all garbage back then and nothing I’ve heard, seen or read since then has changed my mind.
I am a working process engineer, with a background in computer systems and systems analysis.
I was always skeptical of CAGW in the general sense because I couldn’t get my head around net positive feedbacks in a stable climate system and runaway heating of the globe when radiation (i.e. losses into space) is a 4th law function.
I was stuck for a week in a hotel in remote city in a remote country on a remote continent in 2008. They did have a (slow!) internet connection and I somehow ended up at Climate Audit. I read back through a couple of years of posts, classics like:
– Mann: Hockey Sticks from red noise
– Briffa: The Divergence Problem
– Mann: Padding with instrumental prior to smoothing
– D’Arrigo: “to make a cherry pie you have to pick cherries”
– Mann: Upside down Tiljander
– Annan: Texas Sharpshooter
Been a daily blog (CA, WUWT, BH, CE) reader ever since.
I believe that AGW supporters have taken on a lot of the characteristics of a fundamentalist religious movement. They are hanging out in their ideological echochamber and vehemently lambasting anyone who disagrees with their religion. That ain’t science. When I teach my kids what science is I don’t say “Well, you convince yourself of some truth, and then attack anyone who disagrees.”
I agree that climate is too complex a system to prove AGW, but I also believe that we can’t truly disprove it right now. I think it is reasonable to label oneself a “skeptic” of AGW, but that doesn’t rule out the possibility of at some point in the future being convinced of AGW. Either way, a precautionary approach is probably warranted, since the costs of being wrong may be dire. Humans have adapted to natural climate change events for 10’s of thousands of years and we will continue to do so.
By profession I’m an analyst at a software company. I have a BA in Economics and am in no way professionally affiliated with any sort of climate organization.
As a retired judge and previously an assistant district attorney and a public defender, I come to this issue from a legal standpoint. I am a graduate of Davidson College, the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the University of Virginia Law School.
The best I can recall, I came to Climate Audit, Steve McIntyre, Ross M, Roger Jr., Bishop Hill, Jeff ID and others when I read early in 2000 about Steve’s finding regarding some of Hansen’s errors. After that, of course, was Climategate. My impressions later reading Realclimate convinced me, as a long time arbiter of evidence, that there was something decidedly fishy about the alarmist scientific community; most particularly Michael Mann.
Nothing since has caused me to change my mind. The honesty and openness characterized by Steve, Judy, NIc and many others in this debate, viewed in the light of the tactics of the alarmists has made me a skeptic.
I don’t think you meant 2000. 2008?
I will start with a few statements, then my background.
1. I believe CO2 is a greenhouse gas.
2. I believe the earth’s climate changes.
3. I believe man can change the climate with its actions.
4. I believe man is producing CO2 at a rate that seems to match the rate of growth of CO2 concentration on the atmosphere.
5. I have difficulty to accept claims of catastrophic consequences of less than 1 C in an trend, either warming or cooling, because these claims usually fail to include other facts in which I believe. E.g. terrestrial animals are adapted to have sometimes more than 20C amplitude in one day, how can they die because of a trend of 0.x in a decade?
6. Science facts originated from statistics are facts, but they don’t explain reality. The ‘mechanics of things’ is not explained but statistics.
7. I believe our knowledge of the mechanics of our climate are still being discovered, and it is too soon to make claims.
8. Archeological evidences of human activities found under receding glaciers, don’t support the claims of a ‘drastic’ change on the climate.
My professional background is on IT, having 20 years of experience as a developer. I have a Diploma on computer sciences and a licentiate degree in history. I have developer computer systems that deal with huge amounts of data and complex rules, so computer made climate models don’t impress me, some of the source code for climate related software I have seen was not great and very outdated, again didn’t impress me at all.
Having done data analysis that drove critical business decisions, I always find catastrophic claims of future consequences as not serious, because they are presented in a way that in a business environment would be called out as bull**** by any CEO. If computer models are so good why isn’t there a single stock market successful model? Why aren’t clinical computer models as good as actual trials? I believe that is so because our understanding of reality is limited, and overlooking our ignorance when analysing data is not serious, claims of 95% certainty for future events are seen by me as acts of egomania, a personality flaw.
That is why I am sceptic of catastrophic consequences of predicted climate change as a consequence of man’s actions.
Forgot to mention I am a libertarian socialist and an environmentalist. I think we pollute too much in the name of progress, and we should limit our impact on the environment even if it costs more.
I am an apologist of electrical cars and I hope we walk away from fossil fuels as soon as possible.
Not what is usually associated with climate deniers, but there you have it.
I have a Ph.D. in a biomedical field with subsequent training in toxicology. I have done mathematical modeling (mostly with collaborators). I have published more than 115 peer-reviewed publications and have served on many grant review panels and two government (EPA) scientific panels. I became a climate skeptic as a result of climategate. Before that, I assumed that climate science was like biomedical science and that conclusions that most climate scientists agreed about were probably correct. Then I read many of the climategate emails and documents. I also noticed the ranting defense of the indefensible by mainstream climate scientists on Real Climate. I was absolutely shocked. I have never in more than 30 years as a researcher and educator encountered scientists with attitudes expressed by many climate scientists. Their response to climategate and to the many inconsistencies in the catastrophic anthropogenic, CO2-induced, global warming is absolutely and completely unscientific. Every biomedical scientist I know is a skeptic on CAGW (note I did not say a skeptic on climate change; we all know that climate is constantly changing). However, none of us need enemies of any type, so most do not make their feelings public. I read Climate Etc. regularly and admire Judith. I also follow WUWT, Climate Audit, Bishop Hill, and Hockey Schtick. In the past I regularly read Real Climate, but it is more a site for true believers who never have self doubt (which is the opposite attitude of all good scientists who I know), so I only go there occasionally to see what the consensus is upset about.
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Like many here I am an engineer.
I sit on the fence in this debate.
The noisy extremes bore me these days between the twits who say “it’s all a hoax” and the other twits exemplified by the nut who posts waffle including arguments from the pope.
I have gotten somewhat more educated after lurking here and on the science of doom site as well as climate audit.
My only foray into real climate was quite a disappointment. It resembled a religious site.
McIntyre Mosher Curry and the like are my Mark Twain.
The climate wars at the big end of town fascinate me as, although I lean toward the inevitability of agw, it is clear the prominent personalities on that side of the debate have destroyed much goodwill and credibility with activism and attempts to hide uncertainty.
They really need to pull their fingers out and start talking about the state of the science as they are not without meritorious argument.
It is just lost in a sea of justifying past hyperbole.
Unfortunately the ” it’s all a UN scam” guys are winning this debate and they don’t deserve it.
Ya gotta believe computer models to save the world. Donald Fagen nailed this prediction 32 years ago,
“Just machines that make big decisions, programmed by fellows with compassion and vision,
“We’ll be clean when their work is done, we’ll be eternally free yes and eternally young,”
(I.G.Y. What a Beautiful World This Will Be) If you never heard it, it’s on Youtube, from the album The Nightfly)
Undergraduate science degree (mostly biological), computer science degree, MBA. Curious earth citizen. Believer in science and the scientific method.
Started reading about climate science when the world was talking about saving the planet from human-induced warming. Found Jo Novas’ blog which provides an alternative perspective on the global warming money trail. Read Burt Rutan on global warming as a thinking aviation innovator with a clear mind. Read Al Gore’s “Our World” and was astounded by the strongly political tone and lack of core science. Amazed that Al Gore got a Nobel Peace prize, but not when I read how few people are required to vote on the prize.
Started reading about “global temperature measurement”, leading to Anthony Watts and the global thermometer siting scandal. Still not happy that measurements which are critical to pilots flying airplanes get abused as records of earth heat energy. IR satellite photos of cities with airports are interesting. Astonished by how poorly fundamental physics and the standard heat equation is accounted for by climate scientists. Conspicuously lacking is consideration of energy, energy flows and thermal mass. Bo Nordell’s work on thermal pollution makes more sense. Read Tyndall’s orignal work looking for quantified warming- there is none measured. Still astonished by the lack of readily available experimental verification of quantified warming of all IR absorbing/emitting greenhouse gases subject to IR radiation. Happy to accept Gerlich and Tscheuschner’s review of the physics and maths of global warming, which flies against the mainstream. Found Joseph Postma’s derivation of the formulae for calculating planetary temperature very helpful, even if I think he has made a small mistake in failing to account for both albedo and emissivity. There is a load of alternative scientific viewpoint about which makes a lot more sense than the doctrine pushed by climate scientists.
Read the IPCCS AR4 and AR5 and appalled at how the tone of scientific doubt in the base documents is cleansed by the politics of the IPCC processes providing advice to policymakers. It is very clear ot me where the process is corrupt, morally bankrupt, and scientifically fraudulent, and this was even before climategate. Paleoclimate data and geology is likely closer to the truth of what’s been happening on earth for millions of years. A hundred or so years worth of bad temperature measurements and a single 30 year climate period of good quality data provides a really poor statistical base for climate prediction way beyond the time scale of the historical data used for the prediction.Paleoclimate data shows we are near the peak of a climate cycle and cooling will likely occur. Climate science will use that cooling as “proof” that what we did to cool the earth worked. Shameful.
Have perused the code of the open source climate models. Having read Garth Palrtridge’s “The Climate Caper”, the consistency of the various models to produce similar results from backyard-quality hacked code is totally expected. I have no faith at all in the cherry-picked model outputs.
Still waiting to see a proper experiment showing quantified heat retention by any greenhouse gas subject to IR. Also would like to see the temperatures of different colored spheres in space to test the hypothesis that no surface property can be changed to alter the average or core temperature of a passively heated sphere subject to unidirectional IR radiation.
I’m British, a graduate physicist (1966, good degree though I don’t claim to be a good physicistafter 3 years research experience) who changed tracks to become an administrative civil servant.
I was originally worried, in the 1970s, about the apparent likely exhaustion of fossil fuels and later, though doubtful about model based predictions of massively complex dynamical systems, I was also sure that concerns about warming needed to be taken aboard in our energy policies.The obvious solution, to me, was developing safe nuclear power (fission then fusion) as a priority.
Then the public debate started to worry me. The presentation of the climate change case seemed to marginalise the possibility or desirability of nuclear solutions which might allow the developing world to possibly enjoy the benefits the developed world was enjoying. From where I was the the Greens seemed to have taken over the debate and turned it into propaganda.
Beyond the public debate my concerns about models matured as, from my work, I found myself involved in policy and research programmes about information systems security and quality – modelling being a central issue. Although a non-expert I had to learn a lot about these topics. I also found myself working with high powered statisticians who had deep doubts about the way non-statistically trained scientist used statistics (not just in climate
science). All this this meant that alarm bells rang for me when I read Andrew Montford’s account of the hockey stick dispute. I concluded that there was much more to the sceptics’ concerns than I had realised.
Climategate – which confirmed my doubts about the “science” of warming – removed most of my doubts about taking a contrarian stand on the issue.
As someone who was educated as a scientist I find the state of the “science” deeply worrying and the tone and content of the public debate almost frightening. I’m not in any sense a denier. I don’t question the factual basis of what we call the greenhouse effect nor that man-made CO2 emissions may well be contributing to it. I do think that work by sceptics has thrown real doubts both on the versions of the long term historical temperature record depended on by the warmists and on the model predictions. It now seems clear that we are
not modelling future global temperature with anything like the precision the IPCC claims and that the models are very substantially overestimating the rate of global temperature change: basically they are “wrong”. Nothing in itself worrying about that – it’s science and they can no doubt be improved – but they currently offer no basis for making potentially disastrously wrong policy decisions.
This post of Judy’s provides an excellent forum to compile experiences in the climate debacle that has occurred to this community. My experiences have been summarized on my weblog. I list the url of just a few of them here:
1. My 1995 Resignation Letter From The IPCC – https://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/09/30/my-1995-resignation-letter-from-the-ipcc/
That post starts with the text
“In 1995 I was invited to serve as a contributing author to their Chapter which dealt with regional climate modeling. I sent in recommended text and papers. All of this material was ignored (as it was in 1992 when I was asked to review several chapters in the IPCC supplement report). Subsequently, in 1995 I sent the letter below in which I resigned fromm the IPCC. I recently again came across this letter and, in rereading, it still accurately expresses my 2011 views on the IPCC perspective.”
2. Protecting The IPCC Turf – There Are No Independent Climate Assessments Of The IPCC WG1 Report Funded And Sanctioned By The NSF, NASA Or The NRC. https://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2009/01/13/protecting-the-ipcc-turf/
One excerpt reads
“The IPCC is actually a relatively small group of individuals who are using the IPCC process to control what policymakers and the public learn about climate on multi-decadal time scales. This NRC planning process further demonstrates the intent of the IPCC members to manipulate the science, so that their viewpoints are the only ones that reach the policymakers.
If the NSF, NASA and the NRC are going to appoint and accept recommendations by groups with a clear conflict of interest to protect their turf [in this case the IPCC], they will be complicit in denying all of us a balanced presentation of the physical science basis of climate change, including the role that humans have.”
3. Further Documentation Of Inappropriate Behavoir By A Subset Of Members Of The CCSP 1.1 Committee And The NRC Review Committee
One excerpt from the Climategate e-mails that I report on in the post is
“Phil Jones wrote:
BEN WAS REALLY PISSED OFF WITH ROGER — AS WAS TOM KARL I GUESS (NOT YET TALKED TO HIM).ALL OF HIS POINTS CAN BE SHOT DOWN, BUT IT IS A PAIN NONE THE LESS. APPARENLTY JUDY CURRY EXPOSED HER INFERIORITY COMPLEX (ANS HER INFERIORITY).”
4. Conflict Of Interest Process with Respect To An NRC Review Panel Of A Draft Of The CCSP 1.1 Report
On excerpt from my post reads
As those of you who have followed my weblog know, I concluded that Tom Karl, the Editor of the CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences“, abused his position as Chair in preparing that report. I have documented this in
Pielke Sr., Roger A., 2005: Public Comment on CCSP Report “Temperature Trends in the Lower Atmosphere: Steps for Understanding and Reconciling Differences“. 88 pp including appendices. https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2009/09/nr-143.pdf
5. Climate Assessment Oligarchy – The IPCC https://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2008/07/24/climate-oligarchy/
An excerpt reads
“This small community of climate scientists is controlling the agenda with respect to the assessment of climate change. This is an oligarchy.”
And I could go on…….
Roger A. Pielke Sr. February 20 2015
I became interested in climate change around the time of AR4 release. I developed own global by country models of consumption breaking with decomposition of GDP, population and energy consumption / energy type based on published data from IEA, EIA, and BP Statistical review… I found that to be the same model concept as the Kaya identity which is now commonplace.
The historical macro data show the natural tendency of economies towards decreasing energy / GDP and energy / population which is the result of several things notably: 1)these ratios trend downward (unless of course economies are truly”failed”) – meaning economies naturally move to higher value-added composition e.g., technology, retail, services, … 2) developed economies have higher supply and consumption efficiencies simply because the technological bases are more advance and efficient be it automotive, industrial, home, personal, … etc. Around that time the IPCC and other advocacies tried to pull “the old trick” of comparing projections with the “business as usual” (B.A.U.) case to show how bad it would become over a millennial time period unless urgent action is taken. Of course there is no such thing as business as usual in a changing world, this is pure nonsense and nothing more than propaganda in the sense of e.g., Nazi Germany (you see it a lot as well from the current U.S. Administration… e.g., notice use of declarative sentences without any substantiation such that “… and let me be perfectly clear” … and “the truth of the matter is …” and similar “believe me if I say it it has to be absolutely god’s truth.” These are cute rhetorical tricks to misinform uneducated and immature audiences but are actually just pure b.s. and I choke when I see being used especially by high government officials.
There has in my opinion been an significant lack of honesty / directness / acknowledgment on what we know and what we don’t know and honest treatment of these uncertainties…. which has been improving somewhat thanks to folks like Judith Curry and others. And to be very frank, in my opinion, the substance of knowledge that would support climate policy to restructure national GDPs based on some central government energy regulation plan is weak – to non-existent. Bill Nordhaus, Martin Weitzman and others describe it – “unquantified risk is uncertainty, which by definition is unknown.” So it is perfectly reasonable to say we need to understand what is vs. what is not known on actual risk (vs. “unknown” uncertainty) before pushing programs claiming to mitigate actual risk. Similar argument on the usefulness of opinion polls. The “97% of scientists agree” argument is a coordinated propaganda campaign to influence relevant audiences – the general public, media and policy makers. An opinion poll asking “do you believe climate is changing” – of course the answer is yes, climate changes, period…all the time. But it asks the wrong question which is what do we understand about risk vs. uncertainty and what do we understand / not understand about policy that is to support massive policy intervention.
And how many times in history have we gone down the same road using the same tactics… there was Thomas Malthus 1798, “An Essay on the Principal of Population,” Paul Ehrlich’s 1968, The Population Bomb, The Club of Rome’s Limits to Growth in 1972, how similar were they to the current climate change pusch. Some are well intentioned others reflecting more the liberal tendency of the proponent claiming he knows the best thing to do while that is based on opinion not science or data. The “modeler’s fallacy:” is tricky… after developing and working with your model you become overly invested in it and trick yourself into believing model output.
In my opinion, the climate advocates have gone too far, actually hurting their cause…. Climategate / wikileaks, the IPCC’s pseudo characterization of certainty of the millennial climate forecasts (95% certainty of the manmade causes) the “97% of scientists agree that …” trick. But ultimately the empirical data will show the way. what the speak the truth. will determine by opening this crack in the veneer to criticism.. with their unsupportable messaging strategies aimed at making opinion rather than adequately Meanwhile we need to be approaching this issue in an adult way to address holes in knowledge of what is known / not known. My background is BS/MS/PhD in chemical engineering, MBA University of Chicago career in the field of energy and energy research, development, business management and lately consulting.
Background: PhD in EE, work in IR imaging and measurement (~25 patents) including systems measuring climate on Mars, so have some firsthand knowledge of GHG effects. Expert reviewer for IPCC.
Became interested in climate science: Involved professionally, concerned about propaganda in daughter’s middle school science education.
Why you are skeptical or convinced about AGW: Initially un-skeptical, Climate Audit posts exposing flaws in Hockey Stick and other published papers undermined trust in consensus climate science, confirmed by RealClimate lack of answers and censorship of valid questions, and later by ClimateGate.
Presently of lukewarmer opinion: human activity is likely the dominant cause of long-term (~60 year) observed warming, but typical climate model transient sensitivity is greatly over-estimated. AGW is a significant long-term problem, but there is adequate time to develop economical solutions. People of the world (especially the poor) do not need to suffer increased energy costs.
Blogs read: Climate Audit, Bishop Hill, Climate Etc, Blackboard, RealClimate, WUWT (selected articles only, generally Willis).
I am a life-long conservationist. My Boy Scout days started me on a more serious study of environmental matters. I was a member of the Sierra Club, World Wildlife Federation, etc. I graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy with a BS in Engineering and sailed the world for three years. Came ashore and held mainly Mechanical Engineering positions. After earning an MBA from the University of New Haven, held many Financial positions in industry – the last of which was a Financial Planner and Financial Manager for IBM.
During that period I held some Environmental positions – such as ‘Environmental Engineer’ where I positioned my company to adhere to the new regulations coming out of Washington — such as OSHA, the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act. I was mostly the ‘point man’ for implementation of the new rules and gatherer of information needed to show adherance to the new regulations.
After my working days were over, I started to look at the larger picture of environmental regulation within the US. I became aware of and very interested in the IPCC when they published the AR4 in 2007, and have been actively interested in trying to understand its import ever since. My interest is in understanding the science. It has been very interesting to me and it looks like it will never end. I am not interested in the politics of the issue, but in this area of science, how can you divorce yourself of the politics?
On a side note, when I was in Junior High School just south of Seattle, Washington I met my first girl friend,whose name was Judith Curry! Some coincidernce, huh?
I follow Climate Etc, TWTW, GWPF regularly, and a few others when I have the time. Thank you for your contribution.
While trained as a civil engineer, i moved into venture capital investing in 2001. Numerous cleantech opportunities were available even then, so started getting closer to the CO2 debate, and eventually became a “concerned citizen”.
I finally decided to start a business in 2011 focussed on CO2 reduction – but one where the CO2 reduction was not predicated on government subsidies. That is, it had to be a sensible business in its own rights, and the CO2 reduction bit was a “nice to have” component – or what might now be termed a low regret business approach. The business i co-founded and now run is developing a new battery for lightly-hybridised cars, to lift the fuel economy a few percent, but without adding cost. While it may not appear to be as exciting as going for fully electrified vehicles, the simple fact is that by making a small improvement to the majority of cars a lot more CO2 will be saved than by selling a small number of EV’s.
In all my time reading about CO2 and its impacts, it was only in 2012 that i was told by a friend that the world hadn’t warmed for 15 years or so. I simply didn’t believe him, but he suggested that I google “the pause” and quickly ended up at this website. I was shocked to find that the pause was real, and this single fact eroded my confidence in the models that have been developed, and their forecasts. I now shake my head as explanation after explanation are proposed to explain the pause, and yet can only find one explanation offered for the warming.
I would best be described as a luke warmer.
I also strongly believe that any policies relating to combating climate change should be economic/low regret at this stage. I’ve seen the powerful effect that legislation has had in the automotive industry, where great strides have been made to reduce fuel use since 2008 – and at virtually no on-cost to the consumer. This, to my mind, is the ideal approach – consumers are better off (use less fuel, and pay no more for the benefit) companies are OK (can still make money) and CO2 reduces. The problem now is that the low-hanging fruit have mostly been picked, and further CO2 reductions will drive non-economic solutions. For instance, i saw a presentation recently where a car at 87 gCO2/km was going to get a new hybrid system. This was going to drop CO2 emissions to 82gCO2/km – a saving of 1t of CO2 over the 200,000km lifetime of the car. The cost – 2,500 Euro. This is just madness – you could buy 1t of CO2 for a couple of euro today. And the EU regulators don’t even care about climate change science (they too didn’t know about the pause) – they simply have a mandate to reduce CO2 by 80% in 2050. (By the way, the new advanced internal combustion cars have around the same CO2 lifetime emissions as an EV (in Europe) at 95gCO2/km – and lowering this takes de carbonising the grid, which is tough and slow). This part bothers me – a lot: forcing expensive “solutions” on to the public which results in achieving next to nothing. I’m sure that a lot more could be done to reduce CO2 use than saving 1t for every 2,500 Euro!!
By the way, as someone who has an interest in climate change, but not the technical skill to be able to sort out the merits of an argument, i have to say that i am influenced by the way people argue. I am far more likely to be persuaded by those that want to debate the content of an argument in a reasonable manner, and far less likely to be influenced by people who refuse to debate, and have no interest in those that simply try to belittle the person – playing the man, not the ball. When i see this happening, i assume that they cannot argue the content of the argument.