‘Big players’ and the climate science boom

by Judith Curry

Big Players of any sort distort the normal systemic activity and render the emergent outcomes unstable and unreliable and create an ideal breeding ground for incentives that motivate ideologically biased people to circumvent normal constraints in the name of pursuing a “greater good”.

I have long been concerned about the role of IPCC in torquing the direction of climate science and promoting groupthink.  I spotted a link on twitter to this very interesting paper, that has clarified my thinking on this issue.

Causes and consequences of the climate science boom

William Butos and Thomas McQuade

Abstract. Scientific disciplines, like economies, can and do experience booms and busts. We document a boom in climate science, sustained by massive levels of funding by government entities, whose scientific direction is set by an extra-scientific organization, the IPCC, which has emerged as a “big player” in the scientific arena, championing the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming. We note the difficulties in obtaining definitive empirical clarity due to the complex nature of climate, the feedback between the effects of the IPCC’s advocacy and the government’s willingness to fund the science, the ideological and political agendas at play, the dangers to the integrity of scientific procedure in the context of ideological bias, and the poor performance of the “crony capitalist” enterprises that have grown on the back of politicized science.

Forthcoming in the Independent Review [link].

Big Players in Markets and Science

“Big Players”, in an economic context, are “privileged actors who disrupt markets” in the sense that, though they are not subject to market constraints and to the discipline of market competition, their discretionary actions have widespread impacts on the expectations and actions of market participants.

Their effects are felt in two ways: in the diversion of entrepreneurial concern away from the assessment of fundamental economic data and toward the attempted prediction of the activities of the Big Player, and in blunting the weeding-out effects of the normal market mechanisms on participants less adept at appraising economic data, especially in the cases of those actively favored by the Big Player. In markets, prototypical Big Players are central banks and government agencies empowered with discretionary policymaking. Markets dominated by Big Players are prone to herding, where market participants, with little reliable information as to the Big Player’s next move, look to what others are thinking and doing.

That the phenomenon of the Big Player has relevance in science as well as in markets can be appreciated if it is understood that markets and science, as systems of social interaction, though differing vastly in the particular transactional forms employed, are similar in their structural form.

Scientists interact with each other in ways that are every bit as complex and structured as the interactions between market participants. As scientists, they don’t produce or buy and sell marketable goods, speculate on future asset prices, or seek financial gain and risk financial loss, but they do participate in interactions that have analogous feedback effects. They publish hypotheses and report experimental findings, use or criticize (and cite) the work of their peers, choose areas of research to pursue often based at least in part on anticipated reputational returns, and face the risk of loss of scientific credibility and funding. In both cases, market and science, the repeated interactions between the participants feed back recursively to generate emergent effects: in markets, a spectrum of goods, prices and brand names, that reflect the realities of resource availabilities, production technologies, and consumer tastes; in science, a body of knowledge and attendant scientific reputations that reflect the realities of the world under observation, experimental techniques, and the dictates of good practice.

So, funding by itself, even if directed to favor one hypothesis over another, is not the problem; the problem arises when the provision of funding allows for or even encourages the continuation of research and publication activities which undermine the operation of the feedback inherent in the standard procedures of science – feedback which performs the scientific analog of profit and loss in assessing the scientific value of publications and in furthering the scientific reputations of their authors.

Science, in rare cases, is also susceptible to another sort of Big Player: one with the ability to portray a favored hypothesis as settled, consensus scientific knowledge even in the absence of a substantial body of confirming evidence.  The IPCC has taken on that Big Player role in climate science.

The IPCC and the Emergence of Consensus

The UN took up the issue in 1988, forming the IPCC as an independent body of scientists charged with assessing current climate science research (specifically emphasizing the effects of human activity on climate) and producing summary and detailed reports geared to public consumption – on the face of it, a very useful service. But the way in which the IPCC is organized and its methods for eliciting agreement on the conclusions given in its reports have opened it up to be the conduit of pervasive bias.

The IPCC qualifies as a Big Player in science in that it possesses all of the attributes characteristic of Big Players in markets: bigness in terms of influence, insensitivity to the usual constraints, and discretion in its ability to promote a favored direction of research. Its influence in climate science is pervasive, and the complex nature of the climate system and the lack of understanding of the feedbacks at play enable it to champion the most politically attractive of the several plausible hypotheses and to largely ignore uncertainties and potential disconfirmations which are the usual scientific constraints on the acceptance of hypotheses. Professional success in climate science has become more tied to the acceptance of the IPCC’s pronouncements than with the exploration of contrary possibilities; in fact, scientists who profess competing hypotheses are routinely castigated as “deniers” and some have reported unusual difficulties in negotiating the publishing process.

While a large majority of climate scientists are reported as being in general agreement with the AGW hypothesis and with the IPCC’s pronouncements, the accuracy and extent of this consensus has been questioned. The oft-quoted 97% number may be unrealistic and unsupportable, but the general acceptance by the majority of scientists having any connection to climate science seems real enough. This herding is a predictable result of the IPCC’s Big Player presence.

In science, when the “common wisdom” favors a particular hypothesis, there is an incentive, particularly for younger, not-yet-established researchers, to follow it. If the hypothesis turns out to be correct, you are seen to have the good sense to have espoused it; if it turns out to be incorrect, you have plenty of company. Either way, your scientific reputation will not be materially damaged. But if you flout the common wisdom but it turns out to be correct, your reputation will suffer greatly. This raises the following question: is the contrarian stance, with a potentially large reputational gain if the hypothesis turn out to be false, worth the risk? In the context of markets, that depends on the reliability of the evidence.

Incentives influence the choice between idiosyncrasy and herding. If the penalty for a bad idiosyncratic decision is high compared with the penalty for the same bad decision made along with everyone else, then one has an incentive to concentrate less on evaluating reports about the empirical evidence and more on noting what other scientists believe. If the available reports about the empirical evidence are reliable, then they provide a powerful counterweight to this incentive, namely, the large gains to be expected from taking a correct but idiosyncratic position. When most of the available reports have been rendered unreliable by a Big Player’s discretionary interventions, this counterweight no longer exists. The expected gain from taking a dissenting position then becomes too small to discourage herd behavior. Herd behavior is encouraged by discretionary interventions because of the role of reputation in the furtherance of scientific careers. The process is self-reinforcing – if herding begins, the fact that increasing numbers of scientists seem to espouse the common wisdom serves only to cement the appearance of consensus. The less reliable are the available empirical assessments, the longer such self-reinforcing movements can go unchecked.

A few more irresistible tidbits:

Ideological Bias and the Undermining of Scientific Norms. The scientific process for the generation of reliable knowledge relies heavily on general adherence to the norms of publication and citation, with feedback effects on the reputations and credibility of contributing scientists. Were these norms to be systematically violated within a scientific discipline, knowledge and reputations would still be generated, but the knowledge would be counterfeit and unreliable, and the reputations would be similarly tainted. In climate science, the presence of Big Players – the IPCC in its ability to direct the science and the government in its supporting role of ensuring that IPCC-compatible science is funded – has engendered a growing politicization of the discipline, showing up in attempts to restrict publication of dissenting views and to attack the reputations of scientists who question the IPCC “consensus”.

Scientists are no less likely than anyone else to be swayed by a fear of crisis, and this is especially the case for those who see that they, with their relevant expertise, may be able to contribute to doing something about it. It is surprisingly easy for scientists to overstate the certainty of their results and to ignore or attempt to explain away conflicting data, but this is not unusual and it does no lasting damage provided that the basic procedures of science (review, publication, criticism, citation, and the feedbacks to reputation) are functioning normally. But when a particular set of conclusions is widely held not only to fit one’s preconceptions but also to have serious social implications, the harsh and critical judgments necessary for weeding out shaky science can be significantly toned down. The ideologically primed sense of impending global warming catastrophe, transformed into near-certainty by the influential publications of the IPCC, has endangered the integrity of the processes of science.

JC reflections

Climate Etc. has had several previous posts that danced around some of these issues:

Butos and McQuade are economists that have no apparent engagement with the IPCC or climate science.  As outsiders, the provide a fresh perspective on the climate science/government/industrial complex.

I think their analysis of herding/crony science versus idiosyncratic/contrarian behavior is spot on. The role of the IPCC in reinforcing herding behavior seems obvious in the context of their Big Player argument.

How to break out of this situation  of herding and crony science?  There is growing evidence that supports an important if not dominant role of natural variability, which is making it a ‘safer’ reputational position to discuss natural climate variability.  Further, the IPCC’s ponderous reports and diminishing reputation (e.g. AR5 was a bit of a yawn, Pachauri’s travails, etc) are working in the direction of cutting this Big Player down to size somewhat.

There remains a strong social contract between scientists who are funded by the government, and the IPCC that supports the government’s political agenda.  The feedbacks supporting this social contract in principle can be reversed; it remains to be seen what, if anything, will trigger this reversal.  I suspect that it will be the climate itself, if the hiatus/pause/slow down continues.

386 responses to “‘Big players’ and the climate science boom

  1. Thank you for having the courage to question orthodoxy The AGW debate is over, but the losing side retained most of the political and financial resources.

    • “the losing side retained most of the political and financial resources.”

      Except the internet!

      And now for the first time in history the establishment who used to be able to hide their mistakes and pretend they weren’t just as gullible as anyone else cannot rewrite their history to make them appear whiter than white.

      So, when history records this debacle, what they will find is that the establishment refused to even consider the blindingly obvious:

      http://scottishsceptic.co.uk/2015/03/06/proof-recent-temperature-trends-are-not-abnormal/

      • Compare this to what I was saying in 2009 in my submission to the climategate inquiry: “The Null Hypothesis (Natural Variation) is Consistent with Global Temperatures”
        http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/387b/387we32.htm

      • Except that the AGW crowd still owns the MSM, gollywood, pop culture (Daily Show, Bill Maher, etc.), the green mob/blob, and our entire educational system. The average citizen using the Internet (at least here in the US) is busy posting selfies on FaceBook, and paying very little to no attention to what is actually happening in general, much less what is going on in the climate wars. Most friends I talk to know little to nothing about the science but just take what they hear from the MSM at face value, and what they hear is 2014 was the warmest year ever and that we are still headed for catastrophe unless we stop burning fossil fuels.

      • @ Scottish Sceptic

        “And now for the first time in history the establishment who used to be able to hide their mistakes and pretend they weren’t just as gullible as anyone else cannot rewrite their history to make them appear whiter than white.”

        Possibly you missed the recent takeover of the US part of the net by the FCC and the announcement that Google was planning to limit its search results to sites containing ‘factual’ data.

        http://rt.com/news/236681-google-truth-algorithm-search/

        is one of many reports on the impending Google policy shift.

        A quote from the above:

        “According to a New Scientist report, the new model developed by a Google research team would count the number of incorrect facts on each website to establish a Knowledge-Based Trust score for each site – an overall rating of trustworthiness.

        Read more
        Google’s updated search engine cracks down on piracy websites

        Each score would be computed using Google’s own ‘Knowledge Vault,’ an automated database that identifies “facts the web unanimously agrees on,” according to the media report.”

      • With such cement they expect the bricks to be sustained?
        ================

      • Bob,

        While it would be interesting to see how a site such as SkS rated, I personally am extremely wary of trusting a Google to sensor information.

      • @ timg56

        “While it would be interesting to see how a site such as SkS rated, ”

        As devine revelation, analogous to the Pope speaking to the Catholic Church ex cathedra.

    • Science does not progress when researchers do their publishing on blogs or take their ideas from libertarian political magazines. Dr. Curry, is it your hypotheses that global climate change is not a threat; or is it that climate change policy is a threat to your political affiliations? When I try to find any research from you indicating that global climate change is not a looming problem, I don’t see papers or statistics, only blog posts with wordy conjectures about a conspiracy of diabolical, leftist scientists. The noise you are generating is obfuscating knowledgeable discourse. Let’s please see some numbers–or else turn your back completely on hard science. Leap off that ivory tower. Your heart is just not in it.
      -a GT alumna, Physics ’89

  2. Curious George

    “We note the difficulties in obtaining definitive empirical clarity due to the complex nature of climate.” Maybe. But an instinctive distaste for any sort of experimet clearly plays a big role.

    I am reading Karl’s classical text on a time-of-observation bias. According to his calculations, a monthly mean temperature derived from a min-max thermometer measurement should be 1.7 degrees C higher in April for observations at 6 pm than for observations at 6 am. He does not mention any attempt to verify this experimentally. His climatology is a numerical science, not a natural science.
    ftp://ftp.ncdc.noaa.gov/pub/data/ushcn/papers/karl-etal1986.pdf

  3. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    Lol … same cognitive melody; different scientific key!

    Causes and consequences
    of the paleo-science boom

       — bu Bil Wutos and Mac Tomade

    Abstract  Scientific disciplines, like economies, can and do experience booms and busts. We document a boom in paleo-science, sustained by massive levels of funding by government entities, whose scientific direction is set by an extra-scientific organization, the Geological Society of America, which has emerged as a “big player” in the scientific arena, championing the hypothesis of evolutionary biology at molecular, cellular, organismic, and paleo-level.

    Summary  Nobody likes being fooled! Stop “Big Paleo” today!

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

    • Wow, Fan, how impressive. Rather than engage in a rational dialogue you throw unrelated insults. And you wonder why everybody thinks your contributions are irrelevant. I’m astonished Dr. Curry has put up with you this long.

  4. Pingback: ‘Big players’ and the climate science boom | john namnik

  5. Where have all the rebels gone?

  6. Monopoly bad -Open conduits good.

  7. I found this post quite depressing until I got to the end.

    “There remains a strong social contract between scientists who are funded by the government, and the IPCC that supports the government’s political agenda. The feedbacks supporting this social contract in principle can be reversed; it remains to be seen what, if anything, will trigger this reversal. I suspect that it will be the climate itself, if the hiatus/pause/slow down continues.”

    Which of course belies the whole point of the cited paper that the IPCC is a bog dog in the climate debate. I was beginning to think that Dr. Curry was losing focus. But her concluding comment Shows a recognition of the true nature of the problem. The ‘big dogs’ in this debate are the governments of the US, Britain, Germany, France, and virtually all of the remaining developed countries. The IPCC is merely the communal tail of these dogs, wagging exactly as it is told.

    This statement in particular shows that the authors have the power structure exactly backwards:

    “…the IPCC in its ability to direct the science and the government in its supporting role of ensuring that IPCC-compatible science is funded.”

    Government in a “supporting role” to the IPCC? Oh please.

    And the answer to the posts concluding question – “…what, if anything, will trigger this reversal?” – is simple. Elections.

    CAGW is a political movement, created and controlled by progressive governments. The IPPC is the primary PR wing of those governments. The way political change is effected in democracies is through elections.

    Unless and until progressives lose control of the massive governmental power they now hold throughout most of the west, nothing will change in ‘climate science”, including the IPCC.

    • Correct about elections, but the IPCC is the offspring of the UN and many of it’s members are hoping for a big payout from the USA. So, which is the tail and which is the dog?

    • Phil Brisley

      Bog Dog? Is this the Climate Witch’s fearless critter guarding the fetid swamp that is Climate Science?

    • @ Gary M

      “Unless and until progressives lose control of the massive governmental power they now hold throughout most of the west, nothing will change in ‘climate science”, including the IPCC.”

      Sometimes the obvious NEEDS to be belabored.

      • Yes, that is why California, with every statewide elective office, the Senate, the Assembly, and the Governorship ( Jerry “moonbeam” Brown), held by Democrats, is tucked.

        The “progressives” broke it, now they own it.

      • Justin –

        ==> “Yes, that is why California, with every statewide elective office, the Senate, the Assembly, and the Governorship ( Jerry “moonbeam” Brown), held by Democrats, is tucked.”

        You misunderstand. By Gary’s taxonomy, it isn’t only Demz who are “progressives.” In his amusing world where he gets to decide what everyone is, Republicans are “progressives” also. According to his ideology, in the U.S., only some 10% or so of the American public aren’t “progressives” (limited to those who agree with him politically). And don’t forget that according to his theory, “progressives” are incapable of critical thinking, and immoral.

        According to Gary, immoral progressives who can’t think critically hold massive governmental power throughout most of the west. In fact, by GaryM’s logic, look at any country with a high standard of living and you’ll find one controlled by immoral governments comprised of people who can’t think critically. They’re all over the place. No need to limit your alarmism to U.S. states with Demz-controlled legislatures.

        Thanks god for the exceptions, like Somalia.

      • Joshua
        So is Gary generalizing “progressives” somehwat similarily to how you generalize “skeptics” of CO2 mitigation?

      • Rob Starkey,

        No.

      • Rob –

        ==> “So is Gary generalizing “progressives” somehwat similarily to how you generalize “skeptics” of CO2 mitigation?”

        I agree with Gary, here – the answer is no.

        Gary thinks that all progressives (which comprise some 90% of the American public in his world view, the governments of practically all countries with a high standard of living, etc. ) are incapable of critical thinking and immoral.

        On the other hand, I think that “skeptics” are just folks – not particularly different from “non-skeptics” or “realists” in any particularly meaningful way. Gary thinks that a “progressive” is in some way a fundamentally different sort of person than a “conservative.” I think that “skeptics” are not a sort of person: I use the term to describe people who have a particular view about the potential risks of ACO2 emissions. I can’t think of any particular reason why holding such views should be associated with any particular moral, intellectual or ethical character.

      • Joshua | March 9, 2015 at 9:33 am |
        Justin –


        You misunderstand. By Gary’s taxonomy, it isn’t only Demz who are “progressives.” In his amusing world where he gets to decide what everyone is, Republicans are “progressives” also. According to his ideology, in the U.S., only some 10% or so of the American public aren’t “progressives” (limited to those who agree with him politically). And don’t forget that according to his theory, “progressives” are incapable of critical thinking, and immoral.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/23/climate-change-polls_n_5870534.html
        Fifty-four percent of those surveyed said that global warming is caused by human activity.

        That would be most Democrats, some independents, and a handful of Republicans.

        So mostly progressives. And that is just for humans cause global warming. Only about 35% worry about it (at the bottom of Gallops environmental radar)..

        That would be just progressives.

        It is pretty clear why all the drum beating for global warming. TPTB are desperately trying to keep it in the news and relevant.

      • Joshua,
        You demonstrated a perfect example there of talking to Labels as I pointed out previously:

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/03/ipcc-in-transition/#comment-680752

      • Ordvic??

        Please explain.

      • PA ???

        Please explain.

      • If politically motivated BS were gold, Joshua would be the worlds richest man.

      • Josh, my reply went to the bottom of the page (tablet connection).

      • Joshua | March 9, 2015 at 9:16 pm |
        PA ???

        Please explain.

        I was making a generalization. So I looked around for a study by affiliation.

        http://environment.yale.edu/climate-communication/files/PoliticsGlobalWarming2011.pdf?utm_source=Yale+Project+on+Climate+Change+Communicationutm_campaign=b83a63aa7a-Politics_and_Global_Warming9_6_2011utm_medium=email

        Global warming caused mostly by human activities
        All 46%
        Democrats 62%
        Independents 43%
        Republicans 36%
        Tea Party 19%

        Now the Tea Party is disaffected elements of the Republicans, Independents, and Democrats (in that order). This makes as much sense as polling for the opinion of the “nuttiest” wing of liberalism which would have a 90-95% belief in AGW.

        What I found interesting is this poll only generated 46% for “Global warming caused mostly by human activities”. Not even half for the weakest form of the question. It is clear why nobody asks what percent believe “GHG will cause catastrophic global warming” if weaker forms of the question only get 46%.

        While the results are clear cut and global warming is clearly political, the presence of RINOs and conservative Democrats is seen in the numbers.

        http://www.gallup.com/poll/166787/liberal-self-identification-edges-new-high-2013.aspx
        Democrats: 43% liberal, 36% moderate, 19% conservative.
        Republicans: 5% liberal, 23% moderate, 70% conservative.

        The numbers say it isn’t all progressives that believe in AGW and there must be some misinformed conservatives who believe in global warming.

      • Republicans in Congress are near 0% on the human-caused question, but they know their job is on the line if they go off message.

      • One correction: the “nutty” branch of liberalism would believe 99.9% in AGW, liberals in general must have a 90%+ belief in global warming.

        As far as the Republican Congressmen who believe in global warming, there are quite a few. It is a little over 10% according to somebody’s survey. The statement that 0% of Republican congressman believe in global warming is simply incorrect.

      • PA –

        I am generally familiar with the basic outlines of the political associations with poll findings on “belief in AGW.” I still don’t understand what your point is. What is the “generalization” that you are making?

        ==> “What I found interesting is this poll only generated 46% for “Global warming caused mostly by human activities”. Not even half for the weakest form of the question. It is clear why nobody asks what percent believe “GHG will cause catastrophic global warming” if weaker forms of the question only get 46%.”

        But you should keep in mind that some “skeptics” often argue that in such polling, when people are asked if they “believe in AGW,” the answers reflect a conflation of AGW and [the strawman of] “cAGW.” And I think that those “skeptics” are not entirely incorrect in that.

        Even in polls that ask separately about “belief in AGW” and beliefs about natural attribution for warming – where theoretically the “man-made” warming and “natural” warming would be less likely to be conflated, I think that there’s probably still some overlap. (FYI, often when “skeptics” are asserting that such a conflation is taking place, they are doing so because they’re trying to explain why so many “skeptics” answer polls as indicating that they think that the Earth isn’t warming or that ACO2 doesn’t contribute anything to warming even though those “skeptics” who are claiming that a conflation takes place are trying to argue that “hardly and “skeptics” doubt that the Earth is warming and that ACO2 contributes to that warming).

        Anyway, I think that your speculation that I excerpted needs to be fleshed out a bit. You are assuming that when people answer about their belief in AGW, they are never referring to cAGW. Pretty funny considering that in these threads we see so many “skeptics” arguing that when a “realist” says that they’re concerned about AGW, that then necessarily mean that they think that catastrophic warming is a certainty.

      • PA, they had a vote and nearly all of them believe in global warming, but none of the Republicans will say it is human-caused. The usual answer is that they are not scientists, and apparently nor do they believe scientists.

      • JimD, “but none of the Republicans will say it is human-caused.”

        Wasn’t it “mainly” human caused they wouldn’t sign on to? What is the denier cutoff anyway? I think Mosher is in the mainly human, greater than 1.6C range and is still a denier. At 0.8 +/- 0.2 C I might be an Uber-denier. Is anything less than 3 C OMG it’s worse than we thought still a denier?

      • captd, yes, they won’t say that it could be mainly human-caused, which mathematically translates to less than 1 C per doubling for the warming since 1950. This is Monckton territory, but the Lewis and Curry 1.3 C does put it into the mainly human category. However, they do have a loophole of saying that the CO2 rise itself is not human-caused, which we have seen hints of them allowing.

      • ==> “PA, they had a vote and nearly all of them believe in global warming, but none of the Republicans will say it is human-caused. ”

        What’s interesting about that, though, is that some polling shows that a plurality, if not a majority, of “conservatives” say that no warming of any kind is taking place.

        But don’t let that stop “skeptics” from asserting that hardly any “skeptics” doubt that the Earth is warming or that ACO2 attributes to that warming. Why should they let facts get in the way of their view of reality?

      • Jim D, the source for your “virtually no republicans” is Jerry Brown. Please come up with a credible source.

        As far as the vote: their constituents are in Republican districts that have probably a 40% or less belief in global warming and they are representing their constituents. The core red states have too much common sense and good judgment for there to be a lot of support for global warming.

        There are enough liberal/moderate Republican congressman that the 3% global warmer figures that are batted around are simple nonsense.

      • JimD, “captd, yes, they won’t say that it could be mainly human-caused, which mathematically translates to less than 1 C per doubling for the warming since 1950.”

        1950 is about 0.3 C lower than 1940 and the rise from 1940 to 2014 is about 0.45 C. There is not way to “pick” a magic CO2 started dominating date.

        Since the model mean shows no significant change at all from 1935 to 1955, it isn’t exactly a shining moment for climate science prognostication.

        Some might not be quite so willing to overlook such minor details.

      • PA, Bob Inglis was the last Republican to say global warming was human-caused. He lost his job, and everyone has pleaded ignorance on this since then. They know the consequences. Good interview with him in 2013 here.
        http://e360.yale.edu/feature/interview_bob_inglis_conservative_who_believes_climate_change_is_real/2615/

      • captd, I would not choose an El Nino year like 1940 to start a trend from. Would you? In fact it makes no sense to use a single year subtracted from another single year and call that a trend, e.g. 2010 minus 1950. I would probably uses a least squares fit to all the years to get a trend, or perhaps use two decade averages like 2005-2014 minus 1945-1954.

      • JimD, “PA, Bob Inglis was the last Republican to say global warming was human-caused. He lost his job, and everyone has pleaded ignorance on this since then. They know the consequences. Good interview with him in 2013 here.”

        Nice dodge.

      • Jim D | March 10, 2015 at 12:17 am |
        PA, Bob Inglis was the last Republican to say global warming was human-caused. He lost his job, and everyone has pleaded ignorance on this since then.

        This is simply incorrect.

        http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/may/18/jerry-brown/jerry-brown-says-virtually-no-republican-believes-/

        Eight Republican congressmen are on the AGW bandwagon based on public statements.

        Many Republican congressman have not staked out a clear position. This isn’t surprising, many people think there are serious problems to worry about and haven’t given global warming a lot of thought.

      • Not only donesn’t Josh address the science, now he can’t even address cogent points addressed to him without asking them to be explained.

        I guess that isn’t surprising for someone whose most often demonstrated skills are yanking Judith’s hair and throwing spitballs.

      • Joshua | March 10, 2015 at 12:01 am |
        ==> “PA, they had a vote and nearly all of them believe in global warming, but none of the Republicans will say it is human-caused. ”

        What’s interesting about that, though, is that some polling shows that a plurality, if not a majority, of “conservatives” say that no warming of any kind is taking place.

        But don’t let that stop “skeptics” from asserting that hardly any “skeptics” doubt that the Earth is warming or that ACO2 attributes to that warming. Why should they let facts get in the way of their view of reality?

        Well, gee. since 1998 no statistically significant global warming has taken place. So if you wanted to argue there is no warming there is some fuel for the fire.

        The pollsters don’t ask “Do you believe that catastrophic global warming will happen?” because the answer is no and heavily no.

        Your characterization of skeptics is incorrect. Most skeptics are in the “it’s kind of warming and CO2 makes it sort of warmer” camp which is what the evidence indicates.

        I believe that CO2 is causing increased forcing.. It is somewhere between 0.2 W/m2 (study) and 0.31 W/m2 (IPCC) for a 22 PPM increase. Since there is no evidence of positive water vapor feedback I assume there is none.

        I believe this is entirely beneficial and we should do what we can to increase CO2 emissions before burning fossil fuels becomes uneconomical. If we wait too long we won’t get to 500-550 PPM which looks like a “sweet spot” for the CO2 level.

        The preindustrial CO2 level was far to low and was causing problems (low plant productivity). .

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age
        The cold of the LIA caused problems and is something a higher CO2 level can help us prevent in the future.

        The MWP is also known as the Medieval Climate Optimum. This would make the present climate the “Current Climate Optimum” if we are indeed approaching MWP temperatures, and we do want to reach MWP temperatures. The sea level isn’t high enough (as the MWP) so we probably aren’t there yet.

    • Elections only matter if those actually running have a clue and the courage to stand up to the collective green mob/blob machine. While electing a republican majority in Congress at least demoted dingy harry to the title of minority leader, we still have not seen leadership coming from the McConnell or Boehner on much of anything, at least not yet. Chances are that Hillary will be our next president which simply means that this meme will continue to live on, even if we have freezing temps in July and August in Texas.

      • There’s eighteen minutes or so of emails missing.
        =============

      • I’m more optimistic. I think AGW is already slipping into the same political position as homelessness- a newsworthy crisis only when a Republican is in charge, otherwise totally ignored with the exception of tossing money at programs everyone knows are ineffective.
        AGW is back on the radar, not because of Paris but because the GOP holds congress and now, suddenly, Harry Reid and Obama thinks it should do something they didn’t do for the last six years. Outside the small group of partisans and the scribes who earn their bread covering them, everyone’s yawning.

      • Perhaps Nixon’s secretary accidentally erased them.

      • @Kim – as usual, you made me laugh. We will see if the media picks up on the “18 minutes of missing emails”.

        @JeffN – I wish I could share your optimism. Problem is that if Hillary (or any other dem) gets elected, they will likely just continue to follow Obama’s lead and rule by fiat using the EPA to come up with even more stringent and onerous regulation by-passing congress. With the current republican “leadership”, I don’t see much changing.

      • Barnes, they’re using the EPA to push the switch to natural gas along. Anything more will result in lawsuits they can’t win.
        The great hope of using AGW to justify the great middle class tax hike is dying on the vine. Luckily, the domestic oil and gas boom is producing revenue instead. Obama is patted himself on the back for gas and oil production growth in the State of the Union while playing lip service to AGW. Kind of like announcing you brought new, softer mattresses to the brothel while promising to crack down one day on the world’s oldest profession.

    • It is difficult to tell the tail from the dog, but it is important to remember that “they” are probably Good, Honorable People – just like you and me.

      • Walt Allensworth

        Omanuel – My interactions have suggested that “they” are vindictive, holier-than-thou, do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do people.

    • David Wojick

      Gary, I agree up to the point of blaming the progressives. Environmentalism has been a relatively autonomous political movement for the last 60 years, with ever growing power, leading to CAGW. There is certainly overlap with the progressives but they are not the origin nor the base of the movement, that is the greens. But yes the IPCC is merely a tool of the movement. The big players are governments.

      • David in Texas

        Progressive take-over of pubic & private education began nearly 90 years ago with the Scopes Monkey Trial which began on July 10th, 1925.

        Cartoon humor from back then seems applicable to climate change today, no?

    • Elections change nothing. They are merely the mechanism by which broad-based changes to popular opinion are expressed. It is the war over public opinion that changes things.

      And that, in a nutshell, tells everything you need to know about why we’re in such dire trouble. The fact that government secured a near-monopoly on the indoctrination of children–universal public education–means that, rather than public opinion controlling government, government now controls public opinion. Look around, and you’ll see the author’s description of the IPCC is not unique to the IPCC.

  8. In Googling what they wrote about before, I found that these same two economists wrote a very similar thing in 2003 on science in general and again in 2006. Which parts of science do they approve of? None are mentioned.
    http://www.gmu.edu/depts/rae/archives/VOL16_2-3_2003/2_mcquade.pdf
    What they miss is that theories stand and fall based on evidence alone, not on the reputations of the people or how much funding the project got to find something out. Some of the least funded and, at the time, relatively unknown scientists have made the biggest advances, not just in climate science. Some have had expensive satellite programs and well documented failure.

    • Jim D,

      “What they miss is that theories stand and fall based on evidence alone.”

      Well that’s not true at all. It is the absence of facts that allows theories, like CAGW, to dominate for decades, if not centuries. And many of those theories are then immune to the facts that do subsequently arise. See eg. (again) CAGW.

      What you are describing is science. What we now really now have to deal with post-modern, agenda driven, government funded science.

      • Everyone, finally, agrees that warming is happening, and the warming itself is the evidence that supports the theory of the dominant effect of increasing greenhouse gases.

      • But throughout Earth’s history it was warming half the time and cooling half the time, so whether the climate was warming or cooling when we invented computers was essentially a coin toss. When we were cooling, alarmist scientists warned that emissions were causing it. When we were warming alarmist scientists warned that emissions were causing it. Always warning those alarmists scientists are.

      • nottawa rafter

        Jim D

        You are too trusting. In an idealized world you would be right. The entire system has been skewed toward maintaining and supporting the consensus. We are looking at a social psychological phenomenon as much as an exercise in classical science. There are too many disincentives to generate a free flow of new ideas, upon which true science is able to flourish.

      • MODEL: IPCC5 (RCP8.5): 4.2C/century
        MODEL: IPCC4 Warming High: 4.0C/century
        MODEL: Hansen A: 3.2C/century ( since 1979 )
        MODEL: Hansen B: 2.8C/century ( since 1979 )
        MODEL: IPCC4 next few decades: 2.0C/century
        MODEL: Hansen C: 1.9C/century ( since 1979 )
        MODEL: IPCC4 Warming Low: 1.8C/century
        ———————————————————————
        Observed: NASA GISS: ~1.6C/century ( since 1979 )
        Observed: NCDC: ~1.5C/century ( since 1979 )
        Observed: UAH MSU LT: ~1.4C/century (since 1979 )
        Observed: RSS MSU LT: ~1.3C/century (since 1979 )
        MODEL: IPCC5 (RCP2.6): 1.0C/century
        Observed: RSS MSU MT: ~0.8C/century (since 1979 )
        Observed: UAH MSU MT: ~0.5C/century (since 1979 )
        ———————————————————————
        No Warming: 0.0C/century

        It’s not surprising to have opinion fill in the voids.

        The faithful can say, well NASA GISS almost (though at the low end ) validates the models.

        ‘Deniers’ can say, well UAH MT mean almost no change for more than a third of a century.

    • Jim, I think we sometimes have an idealized view of science and scientists that blinds us to sources of bias that in modern science are becoming a big problem. What I see is exactly this phenomenon in CFD. There is a big dog in the arena, the AIAA and the government funded laboratories that have generated a narrative that guides virtually all research in the area. Young researchers back the narrative because it is the route to continued funding and career advancement. Only older scientists dare to investigate the validity of the narrative. Selection bias is a very big player here.

      You have a simulation code and some data. You run the code many many times varying the parameters until you get a reasonably match to the data, which you publish. The previous scatter of results is filed in the desk drawer.

      • You only need a one-dimensional model and radiative physics to understand the first-order insulating effect of greenhouse gases in quantitative terms. This is what Arrhenius did. The 2xCO2 climate perturbation is only 1% to the status quo, so it is a small perturbation, and all GCMs do is refine the first-order result.

      • OK, but the existence of the green house effect is not the interesting question. The interesting question is what is the role of internal variability and what is the size of the ultimate warming.

      • The evidence also supports the idea that doubling CO2 has a much larger effect than internal variability. Even small regular forcing changes like the solar cycle can be detected against natural variability.

      • http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/02/new-study-directly-measures-greenhouse-effect-at-earths-surface/
        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature14240.html

        The recent study using historic data to is interpreted as 22 PPM CO2 causes 0.2°C. This is clear sky radiative forcing from observations.

        The IPCC 5.35 ln(C/C0) formula would give 0.31°C. 0.2°C is about 2/3rds of the predicted forcing.

        The CAGW scenarios require much more forcing than the CO2 alone or less forcing. They also require much more fossil fuel to generate the CO2 than is available given the 40% (and dropping) atmospheric retention rate of new fossil fuel emissions.

        I do agree warming is happening. However past warming has been beneficial and, given the small amount of potential CO2 warming, future warming will continue to be beneficial.

      • PA’s got the way, I’d say.
        =================

      • Indeed, Koldie. It’s Inhofe cheeseburgers all the way down.

      • @DavidY”I think we sometimes have an idealized view of science and scientists that blinds us to sources of bias that in modern science are becoming a big problem”

        I tend to agree. It would seem to be the case that many researchers may be biased right from the start of their work and that the funding application process requires that the research show clear goals that are congruent to that of the sources of such funding.

      • “You only need a one-dimensional model and radiative physics to understand the first-order insulating effect of greenhouse gases in quantitative terms.”

        That’s for a perfectly still, one dimensional atmosphere, of course.
        The real atmosphere moves unpredictably in three dimensions, transferring energy and altering the resultant energy emitted to space.

      • Lucifer, “That’s for a perfectly still, one dimensional atmosphere, of course.
        The real atmosphere moves unpredictably in three dimensions, transferring energy and altering the resultant energy emitted to space.”

        That is if you use a atmospheric reference. Physics doesn’t require you to pick the most difficult frame in fact it tend to force you to look for the simplest frames, then a simple one dimensional model rocks.

        Example, the heat capacity of the oceans is ~1000 times the heat capacity of the atmosphere. The average temperature of the oceans ~4 C degrees with a corresponding energy of ~334 Wm-2. Increasing forcing by 3.7Wm-2 would cause an increase in average ocean temperature of 0.65 C degrees requiring an overal increase in forcing of <= 2×3.7 Wm-2 or a temperature increase of <= 1.3 C degrees.

        That would be an all things remaining equal equilibrium climate sensitivity. Now you just need to figure out the time frames and potential feedback. Time frame is ~300 years, feedback is a bitch. As long as +/- 0.5 C of surface temperature noise does bother you, most of the chaos is eliminated, feedback becomes less of a bitch. 0.8C +/- 0.2

      • “That is if you use a atmospheric reference. Physics doesn’t require you to pick the most difficult frame in fact it tend to force you to look for the simplest frames, then a simple one dimensional model rocks.”

        Well, for the still atmosphere, which is the basis of the ‘simplified expression’ of the IPCC cheats. It imagines the radiance, applied to an atmosphere that has been determined by circulation, but doesn’t get the chance to move the energy of radiance around after CO2 forcing.

        Manabe and Strickler computed the Radiative Equilibrium 1-D atmosphere and the lapse rate would be ‘auto convective’. Adding more CO2 makes the atmosphere more ‘auto convective’. It doesn’t mean that warming isn’t likely,
        but it does mean the ‘simplified expression’ is imaginary because the atmosphere will move energy around in ways that are likely to emit more energy to space.

      • Ain’t ya heard willard? The experts are now saying fat is good for you.

    • “…theories…fall based on evidence alone…”

      Maybe not…from Wikipedia…

      “In later years Popper came under philosophical criticism for his prescriptive approach to science and his emphasis on the logic of falsification. This was superseded in the eyes of many by the socio-historical approach taken by Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), who — in arguing for the incommensurability of rival scientific paradigms — reintroduced the idea that change in science is essentially dialectical and is dependent upon the establishment of consensus within communities of researchers.”

    • For “Big Players”, see “Merchants of Doubt” and the NPR piece about it here.
      http://www.npr.org/2015/03/06/391269315/merchants-of-doubt-explores-work-of-climate-change-deniers

      • nottawa rafter

        Thanks Jim, this link has helped me understand why it appears Liberals cannot think for themselves. They all listen to and watch the same propaganda pieces. Every Liberal uses the same people to bludgeon, the same manufactured conspiracy to bemoan and the same tedious evil intentions to lament.

        Thanks for the public service.

      • Ahh the reference are revealing

      • nottawa rafter

        I have an idea for a new app which should cut down on the mixed signals and inconsistency factors for Liberals.

        Rather than rely on brain manipulation from PBS, NPR and MSNBC, at the risk of varying interpretation of Liberal Talking Points, this idea could ensure over 99.9% consistency in messaging.

        Here is how it would work. Prior to falling asleep, you could lay your smartphone within 6 inches of your head and during the night the electronic signals would automatically tap into your neuronal synaptic connectors with new talking points for the next day.

        There are a few technical problems to work out but the market seems to be huge.

      • You have the MSM on your side so, at the moment of your dearth you will achieve total self-consciousness. So you have that going for you.

      • I love the name ‘Merchants of Doubt’ because the IPCC is the biggest merchant – warming could be slight, or it could be huge.

        And create monsters that will lurk under your bed at night!!!

      • Lucifer, like a monster whose intent is to fool us all into energy poverty and starve children in Africa. Something like that? Are you scared? I guess if I did believe that I would be a bit concerned.

      • “Lucifer, like a monster whose intent is to fool us all into energy poverty and starve children in Africa. Something like that? Are you scared?”

        No, I don’t believe in monsters,
        but if you’ve had children, you’ve been through the ritual of:

        1. being summoned to the bedroom
        2. turning on the light and verifying no monsters under the bed
        3. turning off the light and going to sleep, only to return to step 1

        Evolution has left us with lots of inclinations to irrationality that won’t disappear anytime soon.

      • Jim D.

        The CAGW people have lost not because of spin but because of lack of evidence.

        All the CAGW (Cult of Anthropomorphic Global Warming) advocates have to do since the CO2 level is known and measurable – is do observations to measure the change due to CO2 for some period like a decade.

        The recent study which did this seems to indicate the effect is 2/3rds of the CO2 alone forcing and isn’t the 3 or 4 times direct forcing the IPCC claims.

        Perhaps there aren’t many observational studies to actually measure the effect (which should have happened before the claims not afterward) because there isn’t much effect to measure.

        If the CAGW advocates bound the CO2 effect to +/- 10% or even +/- 20% with observational studies they are going to be disappointed and much of their case simply goes up in smoke, so to speak.

        The CO2 alone forcing should produce a measurable 0.3 to 0.4 W/m2 difference over a decade. The IPCC claimed forcings should produce 0.9 to 1.6 W/m2. Measure it, then make your claim. 0.2 W/m2 for a 22 PPM CO2 increase isn’t going to harm anything.

      • Jim D

        Thanks for reminding us that big players can be present on either side of this process and at any stage (science, politics, policy). I guess that means you accept the possibility that the IPCC may be such a big player and as this article suggests could be seen as one of the big players at the science stage.

  9. This all rings very true in a lot of fields, not just climate science.

    • Yes, incentives, pots of gold, and scoundrels. Shirt attracts flies. The scientists are the least culpable in this dirty dance. It is the mutually enabling network of politicians, commercial interests, and a gullible media that are the worst perpetrators of this theater. I believe it is doing a lot of damage to science, one of the greatest institutions of the west.

  10. This just beginning, this comment thread has a strong possibility of bing among the best in Climate Etc history.

    GaryM’s comment increased the odds dramatically.

    Someone get Lewandowsky on the line. STAT.

    • I sense your excitement about getting the economists’ opinion on climate scientists, which only adds to the views of psychologists and social scientists that we have had here so often before. Really I want to hear from the bakers or candlestick makers what they think about the scientists.

      • Jim D –

        In your search, did you find these economists write anything about economics – or do they only write papers where they make arguments by assertion about social theory?

      • At least when they pair up, that’s all they write about. Looks like projection of something that may go on in economics, but you don’t get hypothesis testing or experiments in economics, let alone basic physics principles, so it is a tough stretch for them.

      • How many of the leading climate scientists have been economists? Stern? Pachuri? It would seem they are important to people like Jim D, only if they agree the sky is falling. Economists that use their training to point out issues against big climate, such as this pair or Lomborg are idiot economists that are venturing outside their fields of study. But realistically, the huge amounts of money in the current climate research game and the huge economical implications of their recommendations, economists are very well suited to the climate game.

        For bonus points can we assume you will tell the whole climate community to stop interjecting their economic advice on taxes and spending habits?

      • JimD
        It may be that not every problem encountered by human societies can be reduced to basic physics principles. Im not sure that this means that valid solutions cant be sought.

    • Popcorn Joshua? Perhaps we are getting too predictable with what we post. The rest of the voting community seems to wandered off, perhaps because they don’t worry about what they don’t feel or see in the ambience of where they live?

      • Peter –

        ==> “The rest of the voting community seems to wandered off, ”

        Risk assessment is complicated – particularly when the uncertainties are high, particularly when the time horizons are long, and particularly when the elements of the risk are not apparent day-to-day. And most particularly, when the interpretation of the risk has become heavily politicized – as is so well illustrated by the paper that is the subject of this post, Judith’s commentary, and no doubt, a long line of comments yet to come from the “Denizens.”

        Anyway, it’s amusing to see people concerned about quality science accepting argument by assertion as if it qualifies. You’d think that Judith or GaryM or David might consider the influence of their own ideological biases with some skepticism. You’d think that maybe, in a context where their confirmation biases would be so obvious, they might consider that perhaps they should require more of analysts than that they simply use a tortured analogy to assert a phenomenon – without considering any counterarguments, without presenting a scientific process of hypothesis testing.

        Here, allow me to quote Judith:

        I have long been concerned about the role of IPCC in torquing the direction of climate science and promoting groupthink. I spotted a link on twitter to this very interesting paper, that has clarified my thinking on this issue.

        There you have it, plain as day: Bias in search of confirmation. You’d think that as a scientist, if Judith were seeking to test a hypothesis, she would be looking for disconfirming patterns, for perhaps some evidence that show a cause-and-effect somewhat more complicated than her simplistic scenario.

      • I am afraid that you are beating a dead horse Joshua. Bias is everywhere and its a human thing to have. The state of the debate on climate change is highly politicised and often rude and while I understand where you are coming from, I am not optimistic that the protagonists will change their views anytime soon and I am sure that you will accept that this applies to both sides of the climate change fence.

        As for Judith’s latest comments on the subject of this thread, I acknowledge that she seems to be hardening her position with respect to the current state of climate science and the policy options that seems to centre almost exclusively on carbon reduction in the western countries. This probably has come about more recently because of the personal attacks that have been made on her scientific workmanship and on her personal integrity by people who should know better.

      • Peter

        Surely bias comes from our experiences and knowledge of the subject in hand?

        Confirmation of any bias can only be taken so far if there is no evidence to support it, unless your political or ideological stance is paramount.

        I thought section 18 was interesting. It references the Hockey Stick

        ‘The study purported to show northern hemisphere temperature as reasonably constant except for a dramatic upturn in the last 100 years, so that the last decade of the 1900s appeared to be the hottest of the entire millennium. ‘

        when that was first promoted it went against our previous ‘bias’ (knowledge) that surely the world goes through hot and cold phases. The reintroduction of the MWP and LIA in later studies perhaps shows that the bias we had, based on centuries of previous work, was justified, and perhaps it was the authors who had a mission to put over a particular view point to match their own confirmation biases.

        The Met Office until two years ago promoted the notion expressed in the quote. It influenced their research, their meetings with govt and that man was the problem, and all sorts of consequences have followed such as the belief in extreme weather. Here is their quote from their web site, now removed.

        ‘Before the twentieth century, when man-made greenhouse gas emissions really took off, there was an underlying stability to global climate. The temperature varied from year to year, or decade to decade, but stayed within a certain range and averaged out to an approximately steady level.”

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/policymakers/policy/slowdown.html

        Since then they have become more circumspect, for example the so called hottest year on record-2014- is considered by them to be only one of the ten hottest years on record or amongst the warmest, as it is impossible to be accurate to hundredths of a degree. In 2013 they wrote 3 articles on the ‘pause.’

        I have had various meetings with them over the last 2 years-the latest only two weeks ago-and they are not afraid of referring to the pause. Why are other people?

        So the Met Office had their own confirmation bias which goes through layers of Govt greatly influenced by a study- mbh99-no longer seen as definitive. But the Govts own confirmation bias doesn’t allow them to make a new policy that takes into account increasing doubts and which in this country has manifested itself in an alarmingly simplistic energy policy.

        The thing with confirmation biases is surely to be aware of them and when the evidence shows you to be wrong start to accept that?.

        tonyb

      • nottawa rafter

        Tony
        Given Lamb’s association with the Met I’m amazed his views and work didn’t have more of an impact on their institutional view even after his passing.

      • nottawa rafter

        Lambs methodical primary research is considered old hat and has been largely replaced with computer models using the small amount of data that has been digitised. There is very little Historical climatology work being carried out in the UK at present as it is too expensive. It is VERY time consuming as I can testify. That is a pity as a lot of new material has come to light or become more accessible in recent years.

        tonyb

      • > Confirmation of any bias can only be taken so far if there is no evidence to support it, unless your political or ideological stance is paramount.

        Confirmation bias always leads to confirming evidence, TonyB. This is why it’s called “confirmation bias”.

        It’s as if an invisible hand led Denizens to see more invisible hands.

      • Thanks for your detailed and careful response to my somewhat offhand remark about bias being something humans have and there seems not much that can be done about it.

        On reflection, I agree that bias can be something that can be taken into account by honest scientists when performing their research and through the process of peer review of their finished articles and papers. My comment to Joshua was over-generalised and unduly pessimistic.

        There are a few people who comment on CE who I consider to be genuinely open-minded and you are one of them. The amount of good scholarship that you have contributed and your tolerance of opposing viewpoints is something that I hope will be emulated more often by others in future.

      • John Smith (it's my real name)

        I have a list of unbiased people
        it’s on the back of the list of functional families
        I want big bucks for it though

      • From Josh,

        “Risk assessment is complicated ”

        Question from me,

        “How would you know?” Is there anything in your professional background involving risk assessment?

    • Don Monfort

      Yeah, this thread should elicit a lot of the standard BS droppings, from the herd of tedious IPCC apologists. Watch where you step.

  11. The IPCC might be a big player in the case of Governments and the current climate change controversy but in the eyes of the general community at large, the issue doesn’t even rate a mention in surveys of issues that are of concern in the community.

  12. > Butos and McQuade are economists that have no apparent engagement with the IPCC or climate science.

    It just so happens that they contribute to the Libertarian Alliance.

    • Willard

      “It just so happens that they contribute to the Libertarian Alliance.”

      – Might be worth heeding than.

      Richard

    • ‘Libertarian* and proud of it.’

      *Not ter be confused with Evelyn’s occupation in
      ‘The Mummy’s Curse.’

      • I don’t always take talk about ideological bias seriously, but when I do, it comes from the Libertarian Alliance.

      • I have no idea what the “Libertarian Alliance” is. I would note there is a difference between contributing one’s own money to an organization and getting paid by an organization, as several contributing participants to IPCC reports have been.

        Still, it is a piece of information to take into consideration when evaluating their paper. Doesn’t mean they are incorrect, but it might prompt one to check out competing opinions on the same topic.

    • I suppose we will have to find virgin professionals without any political leanings and absolutely nothing in their record showing any thought whatsoever. I will set to cultivating babies in isolation wards and will deliver them fully educated and trained in 35 years. Just stand by.

      • Here’s one contributor to the Libertarian Alliance, Fernando:

        Godfrey Bloom. This is a guy that ought we should elect to protect us from crony intellectuals.

    • oooh,

      I think there is a Congressman from Arizona that needs to be made aware of this.

      FYI – don’t look for him on the floor. Apparently he has the worst voting attendance record in the House.

  13. Certainty seekers bored and intimidated by flux, by the enormity of the physical world and its bewildering changes, are hardly what you need for a science of climate.

    But, in a climate science boom, they’re what you tend to get.

    • Climate scientists
      disregardin’
      cli-sci flux believe
      they can step inter
      the same river twice.

    • “Big players” – not in the England team, bewildering change puts Bangla Desh in the quarter-finals. And no one in BD is worrying about sea-level tonight.

      • Faustino

        Fortunately, through some robust computer modelling and reassigning of the data into alternative parameters I am pleased to report that England actually won by a crushing 6 wickets. Go England and their superior statisticians!

        tonyb

      • Oh yeah. Love a tournament of underdogs and upsets. Though I suspect tonight’s upset might have been a bit much for you and tonyb. Even just watching text updates on the net made it a thriller – and not the only thriller of this cup.

        Hope BD can adjust to the realities of existing in a massive delta, and I hope we have better help to offer than building white elephants on the other side of the world to BD.

        I’m told that controversial conservation measures which involve retaining silt rather than engineering it away for navigation etc offer the best hope for delta peoples. Who knows? At least it’s direct action, and the Dutch are helping in BD.

        Anyway, tonight David slew Goliath. You gotta love it.

        Sorry, Goliath.

      • moso, I wasn’t surprised, I already rated England at the level of David’s pebble without the sling rather than Goliath. They have never at any time in the tournament looked up for it, their team selection and lack of flexibility have been woeful. But they were far worse than my very limited expectations of them. A case of CAGW – Cricket’s Abject Garbage Wobblies.

  14. While William Butos and Thomas McQuade are not climate scientists there views are interesting. Remember that most of the early leadership in the debate came from economists as well as politicians. The former have become strangely silent in recent times.

    But still we have to give the IPCC some credit for not disputing that the global average temperature rise 0.15C/decade 1910 to 1940 was real and caused by CO2 although it was below their horizon, Had they seen it for what it was, they might have spotted the 1940 singularity and tried to explain the complete reversal of climate change that ensured. Thus they missed discovering that climate change due to CO2 is an on/off phenomena.

  15. Pingback: La “ciencia del cambo climático” vista como mercado de “capitalismo de amigotes” | PlazaMoyua.com

  16. A quite succinct abstract – and without the usual double negatives of acadamese. Now in the peer-reviewed literature as well

    So far, the only sour notes here have been flat contradiction by assertion or ad homs. Perhaps we’ll see argument based on what the paper actually says … (yes, I’ve read it through)

    JC comment:

    > … The feedbacks supporting this social contract in principle can be reversed; it remains to be seen what, if anything, will trigger this reversal. I suspect that it will be the climate itself, if the hiatus/pause/slow down continues

    A big ask – any climbdown based on empirical evidence will be fraught with sour spite and an MSM screaming and screaming … Not something I can have any glee in, although I would be grateful if the power grids are safe from wilful destruction

    • I don’t know if you could have seen the BBC’s latest pile of trash on global warming. But it was noticeable that they focussed on the “history” of the subject and failed to get many if any academics willing to stand up and say the kind of politically motivated non-science that the producers clearly wanted to broadcast.

      • > I don’t know if you could have seen the BBC’s latest pile of trash on global warming.

        Are you referring to Climate Change by Numbers, true Scotsman?

  17. Adam Gallon

    Butos & McQuade are obviously sock puppets in the pay of the Koch brothers!

    • No, it just so happens they contribute to the Libertarian Alliance.

    • I personally try to avoid getting information from ideological think tanks. Or at least you should take their work with a grain of salt.

      • Do you consider the IPCC an “ideological think tank”? If not, why not?

      • The IPCC reports are basically summaries of research dealing with climate change and its impacts. Can you explain to me how that it is ideological?

      • AK,

        Don’t waste your time.

        Joseph,

        Funny you should mention summaries. Part of the issue many people have with the IPCC is how their summaries for policy makers look as if they’ve never seen the science they proportedly are summarizing.

      • Joseph it worth getting info from all sources, especially if they appear to have some impact on the processes that shape our society. You dont have to agree with them though.
        Joseph at its very basic it seem hard for me to think the IPCC is not having some impact on climate science whether that impact comes from a strong evidence based point of view or not. The idea they play a simple reflective role seems unlikely, afterall the ” merchant of doubt” hypothesis seems to accept largely the same process is intervening at the policy level on the contarian side.

  18. “The U.N. is a place where governments opposed to free speech demand to be heard!”
    Alfred E Newman

  19. Jaime Jessop

    Judith concludes: “The feedbacks supporting this social contract in principle can be reversed; it remains to be seen what, if anything, will trigger this reversal. I suspect that it will be the climate itself, if the hiatus/pause/slow down continues.”

    Alas, the dice are are heavily loaded on the side of the alarmists in this respect. A continuation of the pause will just allow them to prevaricate and invent new scientific explanations – financed by lavish government grants – for a few more years whilst the political and economic mitigation machine continues to drain public funds. If temperatures go up even slightly the entire AGW community will raise their voices in a chorus of vindication. If they start to dip, they will be in trouble, but the climbdown may still be far too slow and far too painful and anyway, Mann has this eventuality covered in his new paper on the pause which conveniently reconstructs ‘natural’ oceanic/climate oscillations using CMIP5 models!

    In my opinion, nothing short of a revolution is going to put paid to the IPCC consensus CAGW project and the mitigation industry which feeds off its offings. Quite what form that revolution will take, I know not, but I suspect it will be a political/scientific hybrid which may be sparked by yet another devastating ‘Climategate’ in combination with Gaia refusing to behave according to the central tenets of CAGW theory.

    • But do they answer when you call them, these miracles of the vasty deep?
      ================

    • @ Jaime Jessup

      ” If temperatures go up even slightly the entire AGW community will raise their voices in a chorus of vindication.”

      It may be worth remembering that the ‘entire AGW community’ is the body which controls the thermometers which report the temperature.

      • MicroClimate: Like Mosher and Zeke asserting their own correctness based on the BEST product they themselves produce.

        No fake. Must be sheer coincidence that BEST supports their beliefs.

        Andrew

      • It may also be worth remembering that once their thermometers have been read, the ‘entire AGW community’ is the body which processes the thermometer data to determine which direction that the ‘Annual Temperature of the Earth (TOE)’ has gone.

        See the recent reports of 2014 ‘smashing’ the previous record annual TOE–by 0.02 degrees. A record which requires that we have precision TOE data for the years since 1880 placing the yearly TOE data in rank order, with centidegree resolution and accuracy. According to the ‘entire AGW community’.

  20. The IPCC very purpose is to ‘investigate’ AGW , without it it has no reason to exist . Therefore given this , its hardly a surprise to find that given like all UN organisation with two main objectives , 1 keep going , 2 grow . that in its daily tasks it behaves in the way it does .
    Expecting otherwise is like expecting the Catholic church to spend time explaining why god not not exist . total futile.

    • @ knr

      As you point out: The purpose of the IPCC, as founded, has NOTHING TO DO with investigating how the climate behaves.

      Its founding documents make it clear that it treats as AXIOMATIC that ACO2 causes the planet to warm AND that the warming poses a serious threat unless coordinated political actions are taken to ‘mitigate the warming’ (control the use of fossil fuels).

      From Wikipedia: “The IPCC produces reports that support the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which is the main international treaty on climate change.[5][6] The ultimate objective of the UNFCCC is to “stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic [i.e., human-induced] interference with the climate system”.[5]

    • They are foolish not to take Frederick Colbourne’s elegant suggestion elsewhere to combine a mandate to examine natural factors in climate with the already existing mandate to examine man-made factors.

      Suddenly, climate science could be formally freed of the shackles so far binding it to the CO2 control knob theses. Free the science! Oh, yeah, those poor downtrodden scientists too.

      Hey, it’s a little ugly to suggest ‘suddenly’ in thermodynamic matters.
      ===================

    • I remember the cartoon Judith posted, where the IPCC is voting to fold itself. Not gonna happen.

    • Therefore given this , its hardly a surprise to find that given like all UN organisation with two main objectives , 1 keep going , 2 grow . that in its daily tasks it behaves in the way it does .

      Where in the organization is this scheming to perpetuate its existence going on? Don’t forget organizations are made up of individuals. And what exactly is the scheme?

  21. Interesting paper, I agree atm ‘belief’ in AGW is a ‘safer’ bet for a scientist who doesn’t know any better. The trouble is the more ‘bad’ science is piled atop other ‘bad’ science the more fragile the whole construct will become. The ‘pause’ is showing this in spades and is putting the AGW pro scientists in an awkward position: acknowledge it and project forward on the basis of it (no warning likely) or ignore it & hope it will go away (unlikely by the look of things). Dammed if you do, dammed if you don’t…

    We live in interesting times indeed.

  22. Antonio (AKA "Un físico")

    In front of such a Big Player I feel like David. But instead of a sling I use this document: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B4r_7eooq1u2TWRnRVhwSnNLc0k to defeat Goliath (i.e., IPCC).

  23. Science works – or perhaps it might be safer to say “worked” – because people were willing to argue with each other and saw the evidence and experimentation as the arbiter of truth and not the number of people in a daft “consensus”.

    Science cannot flourish unless there is free, fair and open debate. What we have ended up with is that the whole of climate “science” is distorted and biased and clamps down on any kind of dissent.

    I personally wouldn’t even attempt to get work published because I will not submit my work to the politically motivated and biased critique of people who are suffering groupthink.

    So I publish online where I cannot be stopped and where for example I can show that this group think is very likely based on normal natural variation:

    “This article sets out to test this assertion on CET the longest available temperature series. I find the CET data rejects the hypothesis of ‘climate change’ (>58%) & current ‘global warming’ (>72%) and that overall global temperature has not changed significantly more than would be expected. ”

    http://scottishsceptic.co.uk/2015/03/06/proof-recent-temperature-trends-are-not-abnormal/

  24. So as long as we discuss, essentially, that consensus sucks under the rubric of natural variability we are good. Or provide answers to why GCMs suck, by improving them we are good. Don’t rock the boat.

  25. Jim D | March 9, 2015 at 12:35 am |

    “The evidence also supports the idea that doubling CO2 has a much larger effect than internal variability. ”

    No it does not. First the evidence clearly shows that inter-glacial periods have the type of uniform temperature that only occurs when you have strong negative feedbacks preventing increasing temperature rise:
    http://scottishsceptic.co.uk/2015/02/12/toward-a-new-theory-of-ice-ages-x-5million-years-of-cycles/

    Second, recent climate change is provably well within the normal range of natural variation:
    http://scottishsceptic.co.uk/2015/03/06/proof-recent-temperature-trends-are-not-abnormal/

    Third, unless you hadn’t noticed there’s been a pause. So even if the theories of massive CO2 warming were right – then natural variation must be equal in magnitude to have wiped out the supposed CO2 effect.

    And once you then have to admit that there is massive natural variation, it is false to ascribe all the changes seen in the 20th century to CO2 so that means the predicted effect of CO2 must be smaller and therefore natural variation MUST BE larger.

  26. What a surprise!

    Human beings in hierarchical organizations tend to behave like, well, human beings in large hierarchical organizations.

  27. Reblogged this on JunkScience.com and commented:
    Is the bottom line “follow the money?”

  28. If the Big Players are the problem, does that mean Little Players are potentially a solution?

    This model already gets the trend in OLR at TOA wrong by 50% when compared to NOAA data. (Many groups have “measured” OLR to be slightly different amounts so it’s hard to know whose data is the truth, but I’m settling on NOAA for the time being.)
    So although I already know this model doesn’t entirely succeed, the performance on reproducing sea surface temperature is already looking better than the IPCC’s 1990 predictions. It predicts the current pause when trained on data only up to 1990. Not bad for a Little Player, IMHO.
    I just have to hope my guess about the strength of the Svensmark effect turns out to be close to the reality. If so, there will be cooling as shown, but if not, warming will return soon.

  29. “Abstract. Scientific disciplines, like economies, can and do experience booms and busts. We document a boom in climate science, sustained by massive levels of funding by government entities, whose scientific direction is set by an extra-scientific organization, the IPCC, which has emerged as a “big player” in the scientific arena, championing the hypothesis of anthropogenic global warming. We note the difficulties in obtaining definitive empirical clarity due to the complex nature of climate..”

    Economists playing sociology.

    No wonder it comes across as earnest undergrad waffle.

    • Climate scientists playing politics. I wonder which is worse.

    • “No wonder it comes across as earnest undergrad waffle.”

      My question- Is it possible that your bias on the topic has led you to this conclusion?

      Question– Do you believe that AGW is as significant of a risk as you did a decade ago?

      Question- given the additional information that has become available regarding both TCR and the length of time that CO2 remains in the atmosphere, shouldn’t any reasonable person’s concerns have been reduced?

      • “Question– Do you believe that AGW is as significant of a risk as you did a decade ago? ”

        No.

        Now I believe it’s more of a risk than I had perceived.

      • Michael, “Now I believe it’s more of a risk than I had perceived.”

        elaborate

      • “I believe it’s more of a risk than I had perceived”

        From over 95% to over 97% risky. That’s quite a jump.

        Andrew

      • Michael

        Care to cite what has changed in the last decade to make you believe you should be more concerned or do you just like to be a contrary blogger? Perhaps I missed something in the last decade, but there does not seem to be a basis for your position

      • “elaborate”

        I was far too optimistic in our ability to co-ordinate a global response to AGW.

        Political ideology and economic dogma were always a barrier to risk mitigation, but our difficulty with long-term risk perception is a very serious impediment to action.

        Seeing a truck hurtling towards you as you cross the road is very highly motivating, sea-level rise in 50 years, less so.

        This is fertile ground for merchants of doubt; maybe it won’t be so bad, we’ll think of something, let’s wait and see.

      • Michael

        So you are concerned about sea level rise but are not somewhat less concerns about it being a dire threat even though the rate of rise has been pretty steady over the last decade and there has been no evidence the massive acceleration that you feared would cause damage.

        Doesn’t the fact that we now think that CO2 stays in the atmosphere a much shorter time than was believed a decade ago lessen your fears of immediate action being the only answer of avoiding concentrations above 500ppm

      • Rob,

        When there is a “pause” in the Keeling curve, let me know, I’ll be very pleased.

      • Michael, “I was far too optimistic in our ability to co-ordinate a global response to AGW.”

        With the exception of BRIC countries there has been a reasonable amount of progress towards improving energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. The US which has avoided most of the “one world” nonsense has actually done rather well, most impressively by using agriculture to because a “carbon” sink, even though it doesn’t offset all emission sources.

        Are you sure it is lack of progress or lack of your type of progress?

      • “I was far too optimistic in our ability to co-ordinate a global response to AGW.”

        You must be discouraged that your expectations have not been met.

        How sad.

        Andrew

      • Michael

        It appears you rely upon your system of BELIEFs and do not rely upon facts and data. The issue is will AGW or will cAGW happen.

        Warming is not necessarily bad

      • capt,

        Are you sure about that?

        The US did quite well in reducing emissions….via recession.

      • “It appears you rely upon your system of BELIEFs and do not rely upon facts and data. The issue is will AGW or will cAGW happen.” – Rob

        The Keeling curve is facts and data…..you seem rather disinterested in those facts and data.

      • Michael

        Didn’t US emissions get reduced by an increase in the use of natural gas and by a higher percentage of use of more efficient vehicles? Didn’t this use of natural gas happen in spite of the actions of the US government?

      • We now know the rate in the 20th century was more likely 1.2mm per year than 1.7mm. It’s just plain nutty to multiply 3.2mm times 100.

      • Michael

        LOL–the Keeling curve does nothing to prove AGW is a net negative.

      • > Warming is not necessarily bad.

        It’s not necessarily good either, Rob. Chances are it won’t be that good:

        HOWEVER, just because something can’t be reliably quantified, this doesn’t mean you can’t assess risks. Many components of projected future climate change will clearly be detrimental to agricultural productivity – very high temperatures are known to harmful, and so (obviously) is reduced water availability. Increased CO2 fertilisation will probably have beneficial effects but it’s not clear how much this will offset the negative effects of high temperatures and droughts. Since we don’t know how these things interact, there are risks of the negatives outweighing the positives.

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/03/06/ipcc-ar6/#comment-50130

        That’s from Richard Betts, so I guess you could wave it all away with and in favor of invisible hands.

      • Michael, “The US did quite well in reducing emissions….via recession.”

        The net carbon sink started before the recession, shale gas use increased in spite of the recession and more conversion to clean coal and or nat gas would have happened if the recession didn’t happen. So yes the recession mainly high fuel prices with respect to available income, did contribute, but there was a lot more that just that.

        The biggest problem is coming up with truly affordable improvements that the BRIC will copy. No one cares to be forced to change. They need inspiration., most often of the financial kind

      • All across the country, parents are no longer instructing their children to look both ways before crossing the street.

        Now they say something on the order of:

        “No need, dears, to look both ways before you cross street. You can just look one way only and then walk forward. You can’t prove that you will get hit by a car if you look one way only, and if you can’t prove a net negative there’s nothing to work about. Now run along and go play in traffic. And remember, don’t look both ways!!”

      • HOWEVER, just because something can’t be reliably quantified, this doesn’t mean you can’t assess risks. Many components of projected future climate change will clearly be detrimental to agricultural productivity – very high temperatures are known to harmful, and so (obviously) is reduced water availability. Increased CO2 fertilisation will probably have beneficial effects but it’s not clear how much this will offset the negative effects of high temperatures and droughts. Since we don’t know how these things interact, there are risks of the negatives outweighing the positives.

        Nonsense.

        Droughts cause high temperatures ( heat is realized as sensible, not latent because of lack of water ).
        There’s no evidence the converse is true.
        Precipitation is largely a matter of fluid flow.

        ‘Very high temperatures’ are also a matter of fluid flow.
        Heat waves occur because of large stagnant summer time air masses which foster clear skies and increased solar load.
        When this occurs in winter, we tend to call it ‘nice weather’.

      • “LOL–the Keeling curve does nothing to prove AGW is a net negative.” – Rob.

        LOLs aside, may I remind you that it was yourself who pointed to some wonderously positive news on CO2 residence time. I merely responded with “facts and data” which appear somewhat unmoved by this good news.

      • > Nonsense.

        Chewbacca roars.

      • Willard

        You will notice that I did NOT write that warming is good. I expect that some places will benefit while others are harmed.

        In order to conclude and justify the expense to implement significant and costly CO2 mitigation actions today, it is necessary to come to the conclusion that there is a significant probability that higher CO2 levels will cause harms overall AND that action must be taken now to avoid these consequences.

        When it appears that the rate of warming is much less than was believed a decade ago, and when it is now also believed that CO2 stays in the atmosphere a shorter time than was thought a decade ago; the case for immediate action to avoid harms in 100 years seems to have disappeared from reality.

      • Nonsense. Chewbacca roars.

        So you want to pretend that global warming causes drought, even though you can’t conceive of a physical basis as to why?

        Fine. It’s a free country, or at least it used to be.

        But the real world doesn’t seem to harbour such delusions:

      • Michael

        The keeling curve does does not conflict the a much shorter residence time. A much shorter residence time would seem to largely eliminate the need for any immediate actions if the current levels are not clearly resulting in net harm

      • ” I merely responded with “facts and data” which appear somewhat unmoved by this good news.”

        Here are some good news take aways to cheer you up.

        1. Observations of warming are less than the low end of models
        2. Temperature alone does not determine climate
        3. CO2 emissions are declining in most of the developed economies
        4. Developing economies will likely follow the path of developed economies
        (meaning they too will have declining emissions ).
        5. The rate of removal of CO2 from the atmosphere is determined in large part by the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, meaning emissions could still increase by 2.5 ppm and accumulation would remain constant:

      • > In order to conclude and justify the expense to implement significant and costly CO2 mitigation actions today, it is necessary to come to the conclusion that there is a significant probability that higher CO2 levels will cause harms overall AND that action must be taken now to avoid these consequences.

        Probable consequences, Rob. Don’t be so alarmist.

        As for your necessary requirements, I think what Richard Betts says about the risks seem significant enough to try to do something about this. Simple business decision.

        Why are you injecting “significant and costly CO2 mitigation actions today,” by the way: are you already moving up from Don’t panic to Do no harm in the Contrarian Matrix? Here:

        https://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com

        If you have some references for your necessity requirements, that would be great.

      • “eliminate the need for any immediate actions if the current levels are not clearly resulting in net harm” – Rob

        My earlier point about our weakness in assessing risk is demonstrated in this comment.

      • Michael,

        Appreciate an honest and open comment. In response to your analogy – “Seeing a truck hurtling towards you as you cross the road is very highly motivating, sea-level rise in 50 years, less so.”

        What happens when that truck coming down the road is 100 miles away from your location, you were made aware of it while looking at a Google Earth map, you really don’t have good data on how fast it is traveling, or whether it might head in a different direction before it gets to the point in the road you are crossing at and are aware that the option of installing a pedestrian overpass is technically feasible?

        Would you still argue for measures aimed at stopping that truck?

      • I think Josh is having difficulty dealing with the realization that not all fathers played catch with their kids by tossing the ball out into traffic.

  30. One of your credentialed commentators (PhD Physicist) provided this to Jerry Pournele’s blog as the definitive argument that should remove all doubt about CAGW from the minds of reasonable people who have some understanding of mathematics:

    If that didn’t convince you of the direness of our straits, you are simple an innumerate, anti-science ideologue.

    • daveandrews723

      Any scientist who believes he has it (climate change) all figured out is not a scientist. He (or she) is more of an idealogue than the “deniers,” “skeptics.” and “flat earthers.”

    • I watched that documentary through the fog of war (my household) and was going to post the link because Tamsin Edwards was a consultant for the project. I’m ok with claims of AGW, it’s the “C” that is troubling. Other questions include, but are not limited to, “how much W?”, and, “how much A?”. I am not convinced of the 95% either.

      • The cagw is based on idea of the human influence being always bad. It is a romantic stance – humans destroy their environment, where western peoples (‘we’) are the worst.

        It is largely based on scares. ‘Global warming could harm x, scientists warn’. Well, the scientists did ‘warn’ but more than warning they were either trying to make their results worth publishing – and in some cases, they were actively trying to do politics.

        I call this logic of scare very unscientific. Looking back 100 years, there is nothing to be scared so far. If it turned up to be scary later, we’d wonder why greens so much wanted wind energy that they accepted coal as a price of it – and why greens wanted to reduce emissions so much they decided to manufacture stuff in China using coal.

        I’ll watch and enjoy the show. There is still moderately small risk of Greenland suddenly turning into banana fields. /understatement

    • A pretty good practice of technical solutions in any endeavour involves
      identifying and bounding the problem.

      Warming is a trend and taken to infinite, like any trend, will be infinite.

      But infinite is an unbounded problem.

      What problem, bounded by the end of this century have you so concerned?

  31. I have long been concerned about the role of IPCC in torquing the direction of climate science and promoting groupthink.

    Yes, Dr Curry, we all know that climate scientists are mindless automatons that don’t know what they are doing and are getting only the results that confirm what they believe whether or not the study has any validity (and I guess most don’t). It is also almost impossible to get research funded where the results conflict with AGW. And only a few strong souls like yourself have been able to resist the siren call of the IPCC and continue your work.

    • Yes, Dr Curry, we all know that climate scientists are mindless automatons that don’t know what they are doing and are getting only the results that confirm what they believe whether or not the study has any validity (and I guess most don’t).

      It is really funny to watch people who, when commenting on the scientific studies of “skeptics,” are happy to assume all manner of improper activity from unconscious preferences down to the basest sellout for money, but who are shocked when it is suggested that their own scientists might be subject to “groupthink” or to even the slightest kind of extra-scientific influence.

      • Must be something religulous.

      • 1000-

        ==> “It is really funny to watch people who, when commenting on the scientific studies of “skeptics,” are happy to assume all manner of improper activity from unconscious preferences down to the basest sellout for money,”

        It would be nice to think that the irony there is intentional, but methinks not.

        Do you think that if you gave it some thought, you might understand why I find that comment (likely unintentionally) ironic?

      • 1000 –

        Whudaya think?:

        Rud Istvan | March 9, 2015 at 2:12 pm | Reply

        […]

        Second, whilst I doubt disassembling vested academic research interests subsisting on copious government funds is even feasible until stronger political winds are blowing,….

      • 1000 –

        I thought you might appreciate this – it starts with a quote from tonyb:

        Moving away from coal is fine but what fuel source do you move to bearing in mind the unique circumstances of each country?

        Is this a real question? do you really want a list of every country and what I think?

        Nope you dont want that.

        What you want to do is make a point.

        let me show you how

        “Mosh, I agree that we should move away from coal. However, I think that different countries may have different time scales and different replacement options”

      • Joshua –

        Moving away from coal is fine but what fuel source do you move to bearing in mind the unique circumstances of each country?
        What you want to do is make a point.
        let me show you how
        “Mosh, I agree that we should move away from coal. However, I think that different countries may have different time scales and different replacement options”

        It seems to me that this is what he was saying:

        “We can agree that we don’t like coal but in the case of many countries there is no practical alternative. The person who advocates moving away from coal has to address how the average country without wealth, without technological expertise, and without other energy resources is going to deal with this, from a practical standpoint.”

        So the question can be seen as rhetorical: a satisfactory answer to this question is not yet available and must be developed before we proceed to move away from coal.

        Or the question can be seen as one that challenges the other person to provide a satisfactory answer, implying that until one can do this his suggestion that these countries should move away from coal is premature.

        In either case, I don’t see the problem with posing it as a question. It gives no unfair advantage. There is no trickery involved. If the meaning is ambiguous it is not because it was framed as a question. I don’t see the objection. (If the only reply you have is a nonsense statement or sarcasm implying that I should know better or a reference to Wikipedia, I will take that as a suggestion that I should in the future ignore all your posts unless I am content with that response.)

      • ==> “It gives no unfair advantage. There is no trickery involved.”

        I don’t think there was any attempt to gain advantage, or to use “trickery.”

        tonyb generally engages in good faith. Gaining advantage or trickery would be more in line with bad faith engagement.

        I’m struck, in particular, of your notion of “unfair” advantage. There is nothing unfair about an “advantage” if what is advantageous is a measure of movement towards good faith exchange.

        But note, engagement (in the sense of reaching good faith exchange) doesn’t have to include an effort to “gain advantage” (unfair or otherwise) or use trickery, in order to be sub-optimal nontheless.

        The point is that relative to mosher’s suggested wording, tony’s question was potentially sub-optimal. It didn’t have to be. mosher had a choice: To respond to what he understood as the intent of the question or respond to the question as it might have been viewed if coming from someone engaged in bad faith exchange.

        But the point is that if you avoid questions in the form of tony’s, and instead engage in a way consistent with mosher’s rewording, there’s no down side in any sense; whether you’re seeing the exchange as some sort of zero sum game where one person gains “advantage” (which I have a hard time seeing as compatible with good faith exchange) or whether you’re simply seeking to maximize the positive interaction. You are still able to get to the meaningful part of a good faith exchange, and you have not lost any opportunity to have your own views heard and considered.

        Look again at tony’s question and mosher’s suggested rewording.

        I would suggest that with some forethought, tony could have avoided a potential interpretation of bad faith without any meaningful “disadvantage” (unless tony’s goal is to score points in a zero sum gain, or to play out even more identity-aggressive/identity-defensive games – which I would argue is a useless goal).

        tony – given his track record and general mode of interaction, gets a lot of leeway in how he is interpreted. Given the history of exchange between him and mosher, the likelihood of a bad faith interpretation is mitigated.

        Perhaps if you, too, first established a foundation of good faith exchange, your use of leading questions, loaded questions, and rhetorical questions might similarly be viewed with greater charity. Maybe the point is to not lead with those sorts of questions as a introductory style of discourse.

        But ultimately it’s up to you. The pattern that exists, of a tendency towards bad-faith reaction to your style. You can choose to respond to that in whichever way you wish You can respond by attacking and finding fault elsewhere, or by saying that there’s no inherent reason why your questions should be viewed in bad faith. But I’m a descriptivist, not a prescriptivist, and IMO, if the goal is towards good faith exchange then I would say the approach you employ is wasteful as it is not likely to net the desired results. Or perhaps I should rephrase:

        Do you really think that rather than adjusting your style given a proven history of poor reactions, digging in and doubling down is the best response?

        I’m not suggesting that you should “self-censor” in the sense of not expressing your views. I believe that with forethought, you could find a way to exchange views in good faith where you might clearly establish points of disagreement but not engender an accompanying interpretation of bad-faith intent.

        I will also note, that I’m not unaware of how what I’m describing applies to my exchanges at Climate Etc. W/r/t that issue,, I think that I can and have established good faith exchanges here with those who are inclined to do so with me, and I don’t particularly care about the outcomes of the exchanges with those who, to my satisfaction, have indicated that they have no intent of good faith exchange with me. I don’t see any loss in those situations because good faith exchange necessarily requires good faith intent from both parties.

      • 1000 –

        In short, I don’t think that in discussing “unfair advantage” and “trickery,” you are actually responding to my point. Raising those issues looks to me like a non-sequitor at best, a straw man at worst – although I chose to not respond in alignment with such an interpretation.

        I suspect that with forethought, you might have advanced good faith exchange more effectively.

      • Steven Mosher

        This is hilarious

        “In either case, I don’t see the problem with posing it as a question. It gives no unfair advantage. There is no trickery involved. If the meaning is ambiguous it is not because it was framed as a question. I don’t see the objection. ”

        1. I asserted no trickery.
        2. I asserted no unfair advantage.
        3. I did point out that the question is not a question.

        I argue is that tony’s question isnt a real question, not that it is unfair or some kind of trickery. I wasn’t fooled and trying to flip the script is pimp game . That crap don’t fly with me.

        “Moving away from coal is fine but what fuel source do you move to bearing in mind the unique circumstances of each country?”

        1. Moving away from coal is fine. he agrees.
        2. what I think about the fuel sources for each country has nothing to
        do with that agreement. I take his agreement is real. no ifs and or buts,
        unless he was just faking agreement.

        His subsequent question is neither real nor rhetorical. It does something else. Guess what it does.

      • I would suggest that with some forethought, tony could have avoided a potential interpretation of bad faith

        Can you explain the interpretation of his question that would demonstrate bad faith on his part?

        His subsequent question is neither real nor rhetorical. It does something else. Guess what it does.

        What does it do?

      • Joshua and Mosh

        Good grief! I merely thought I was engaging in an exchange of ideas. I didn’t realise the semantics would be inspected under a microscope and suspect motives attributed that were never there.

        I am neither devious nor want to engage in bad faith conversations. I was merely carrying out an evolving conversation in eventual response to the notion we could Do away with coal and the relative low cost of doing so.

        I had never thought of the notion of leaving coal in the ground as the costs were so relatively small and was intrigued by it. I then merely expressed my view that was only one part of the equation as coal needs to be replaced by something and the obvious non fossil fuel replacement is nuclear, which brings its own raft of problems as there is still a forceful body of opinion, a least in this countrY, that will not endorse nuclear.

        How is any of that bad faith? It hadn’t even occurred to me that merely exchanging views could be construed as such.

        Tonyb

      • Swood1000

        Yes, what does it do? I Have no idea at all as to what is being inferred by that.

        Interpretations welcome.
        Tonyb

      • If more of the skeptics made it more obvious that they were anti-fossil and pro-nuclear, I think the debate would move forwards with them, rather than without them. At the moment, many come across as pro-fossil, but that is just because they don’t argue for moving towards any alternatives at all.

      • Tonyb –

        Yes, what does it do? I Have no idea at all as to what is being inferred by that.
        Interpretations welcome.

        I am totally at a loss. However, every time I have asked what exactly Joshua/Mosher meant by something like this the answer has come back as some enigmatic reference to good faith or “just asking questions” or the objectionable nature of rhetorical questions. I think they’re just yanking my chain. I don’t think that an actual answer to either question will be forthcoming.

      • JimD, “If more of the skeptics made it more obvious that they were anti-fossil and pro-nuclear, I think the debate would move forwards with them.”

        Right and if Lindzen would just quit smoking he might be more believable. Oh, and pro micro-brewer, nothing more off putting than big Anheuser.

      • > His subsequent question is neither real nor rhetorical. It does something else. Guess what it does.

        It leads by deflecting the discussion and by evading the burden of justifying the starting position and the ones implied by the squirrels introduced along the way.

        In a court room or during an interview, it’s fair. In a discussion, it seldom is.

      • Hah, would you discuss per Robert’s Rules?
        ============

      • Steven Mosher

        Thanks Willard.

      • Steven Mosher

        Can you explain the interpretation of his question that would demonstrate bad faith on his part?

        Yes.

      • Steven Mosher

        Stood
        If you try hard to write without asking questions you will immediately see how different it is. You will understand better what questions can do and what they cannot do. Experience is your best teacher.
        Write a comment. Then rewrite with out questions.

      • Steven Mosher

        tony

        “Good grief! I merely thought I was engaging in an exchange of ideas. I didn’t realise the semantics would be inspected under a microscope and suspect motives attributed that were never there.”

        no one suspected your motives.

        I am neither devious nor want to engage in bad faith conversations. I was merely carrying out an evolving conversation in eventual response to the notion we could Do away with coal and the relative low cost of doing so..

        merely

        I had never thought of the notion of leaving coal in the ground as the costs were so relatively small and was intrigued by it. I then merely expressed my view that was only one part of the equation as coal needs to be replaced by something and the obvious non fossil fuel replacement is nuclear, which brings its own raft of problems as there is still a forceful body of opinion, a least in this countrY, that will not endorse nuclear.
        ##################################3
        hmm. that is not what you did. You agreed to limit the use of coal
        and then you asked me what I thought the replacements for be for every country.
        Perhaps this is what you meant to say

        “I cannot agree to limiting coal until you prove to me that there is a cheaper acceptable alternative for england”

        then your agreement would be seen for what it is. No agreement whatsoever! we all agree that coal should be limited if there is a cheaper alternative. The question is can we agree to limit it before such time
        based on squishy numbers about its externalities.
        ##################################################

        How is any of that bad faith? It hadn’t even occurred to me that merely exchanging views could be construed as such.

        ########################################
        here is what better faith looks likes
        SM: We should limit coal.
        TB: I will agree when you prove there is a cheaper alternative for england

        In this exchange you forgo the pretense of looking agreeable.In this exchange you are open transparent and sincere. In this exchange your requirements for changing position are clearly laid out. I know what it takes to change your mind. when you ask me about all the options for any country whatsoever, I suspect you really are not interested in the answer to that question.

        Note that engaging without pretense is really fricking hard.

      • Mosh

        Your 9.20 has left me more baffled than ever as I have still no idea whatsoever as to why you think any of that was bad faith.

        We exchanged ideas and positions. I asked questions as I was intrigued by your initial statement, but recognised buying the coal in the ground was only one part of the equation and asked what could replace it as each country’s circumstances are different. It evolved from there.

        Bad Faith? No you have way over analysed the meaning and intent of our discussion which as far as I was concerned was merely examining a few ideas not trying to score points.

        tonyb

      • > as far as I was concerned was merely examining a few ideas

        Just asking questions.

      • All in favor close eyes.
        ================

      • no one suspected your motives.

        This is a falsehood. You cannot, with credibility, make statements like this and then complain that others are not “engaging without pretense.”

      • Moving away from coal is fine but what fuel source do you move to bearing in mind the unique circumstances of each country?

        1. Moving away from coal is fine. he agrees.
        2. what I think about the fuel sources for each country has nothing to
        do with that agreement. I take his agreement is real. no ifs and or buts,
        unless he was just faking agreement.
        His subsequent question is neither real nor rhetorical. It does something else. Guess what it does.

        Most people would agree that “Moving away from coal is fine but” means the same thing as “I have no problem with moving away from coal except for this…” It is not an unqualified acceptance followed by a qualification, as you seem to be insisting. No clause followed by “but” can be assumed to be unqualified. Nor does the clause have the appearance of an absolute assertion even without the “but”. To say that something is “fine” is to say that one generally has no objection to it, not that one embraces it completely.

        It leads by deflecting the discussion and by evading the burden of justifying the starting position and the ones implied by the squirrels introduced along the way.
        In a court room or during an interview, it’s fair. In a discussion, it seldom is.

        If one deflects a discussion or tries to evade a burden then the appropriate response is to insist that the discussion not be deflected and insist that the person carry his burden. The appropriate response is not to entirely derail the discussion with complaints or accusations dealing with arcane points of logic that the other person likely knows nothing about and will not be able to understand. It is not “engaging without pretense” to make objections that will likely not be understood by the other person, especially if the other person has already put one on notice that he does not understand the objection.

      • > If one deflects a discussion or tries to evade a burden then the appropriate response is to insist that the discussion not be deflected and insist that the person carry his burden.

        Why?

        Let it be noted that neither Joshua nor the Moshpit did that. In response to TonyB, the latter both addressed the topic and explained how to address it. While addressing himself to Swood, Joshua never switched from the “conversation” to the meta-conversation for the simple reason that his point was not in response to anything: it was meta all the way down.

        In other words, Swood is misrepresenting what’s happening.

        ***

        > The appropriate response is not to entirely derail the discussion with complaints or accusations dealing with arcane points of logic that the other person likely knows nothing about and will not be able to understand.

        Is that so?

        Topicality is not an “arcane point of logic.” (It’s not even a point of logic.) Every ClimateBall player knows about switching topics. Therefore Swood offers a caricature.

        Every legally-minded commenter should know about leading questions. Claiming ignorance while repeatedly “just asking” loaded and rhetorical questions is suboptimal. Claiming ignorance after having tried to pussyfoot about the notion of burden of proof, which is at the heart of the whole techniqque, is implausible.

      • > If one deflects a discussion or tries to evade a burden then the appropriate response is to insist that the discussion not be deflected and insist that the person carry his burden.
        Why?

        Well, actually only if you want to have the discussion. If you don’t want to have the discussion then replying in riddles works but no reply is probably the best.

        Let it be noted that neither Joshua nor the Moshpit did that. In response to TonyB, the latter both addressed the topic and explained how to address it.

        After this “explanation” Tonyb said:

        Yes, what does it do? I Have no idea at all as to what is being inferred by that.
        Interpretations welcome.

        If your objections are so clear then why was Tonyb totally mystified by the response he got?

        Claiming ignorance after having tried to pussyfoot about the notion of burden of proof, which is at the heart of the whole techniqque, is implausible.

        At last, a clue? How is the notion of burden of proof at the heart of the whole technique?

      • Every legally-minded commenter should know about leading questions.

        A leading question is in this form: “Isn’t it true that X?” In a trial an attorney is not permitted to ask his own witness leading questions because it is assumed that his own witness is eager to be led into saying the right things.

        But when I say to you “Isn’t it true that X” that does not disadvantage you. You simply reply that no, it is not true. What am I missing here?

      • “Most people would agree that “Moving away from coal is fine but” means the same thing as “I have no problem with moving away from coal except for this…”

        Most people aren’t climateballers.

        I’m enjoying watching Swood run up the score on the ballers, nailing the three-pointers while Willard spins ineffectively, Mosher guards the paint that nobody’s entering, and Joshua appeals to the refs.
        March madness. Time for brackets.

      • Claiming ignorance while repeatedly “just asking” loaded and rhetorical questions is suboptimal.

        A loaded question is one that contains a possibly unjustified assumption, as in “Have you stopped beating your wife?” But if I ask you a loaded question why can’t you simply say “Your question assumes that I beat my wife, which is false.” Instead, you seem to prefer to charge me with bad faith, to make reference to Wikipedia articles, and to refuse to continue the discussion. It may be that my question makes some assumptions that I would be happy to pause and demonstrate to be true.

      • =>> “But when I say to you “Isn’t it true that X” that does not disadvantage you.”

        Do you find this reiterated notion of advantage and disadvantage in good faith discussion to be interesting?

      • Do you find this reiterated notion of advantage and disadvantage in good faith discussion to be interesting?

        What then is the objection? Here was one explanation for why a question was objectionable:

        It leads by deflecting the discussion and by evading the burden of justifying the starting position and the ones implied by the squirrels introduced along the way.
        In a court room or during an interview, it’s fair. In a discussion, it seldom is.

        The complaint seems to be that it gives an unfair advantage to one side. Am I misreading this? What other reason is there for objection?

      • swood1000

        Reading through this series of posts after being out all day, it has become increasingly incomprehensible and I remain completely and genuinely baffled as to what I am supposed to have done.

        I think some people way way way over analyse simple comments and responses and subsequently attribute a deep meaning to them or bad faith elements that simply were never there.
        tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        tony

        “Your 9.20 has left me more baffled than ever as I have still no idea whatsoever as to why you think any of that was bad faith.
        ###########################
        then go back and read harder.

        We exchanged ideas and positions. I asked questions as I was intrigued by your initial statement, but recognised buying the coal in the ground was only one part of the equation and asked what could replace it as each country’s circumstances are different. It evolved from there.
        ########################
        we exchanged ideas and positions. I am describing that exchange.
        you did not ask “what could replace it” you asked me to name
        what could replace it for every country.

        Bad Faith? No you have way over analysed the meaning and intent of our discussion which as far as I was concerned was merely examining a few ideas not trying to score points.

        1. I didnt say you were trying to score points.
        2. i was using your exchange as an example of BAD questions,
        ie questions that are not really questions.

      • tonyb –

        I think some people way way way over analyse simple comments and responses and subsequently attribute a deep meaning to them or bad faith elements that simply were never there.

        I couldn’t agree more. This approach can also be used to obstruct the discussion in order to keep the other person from carrying his point.

      • I agree, I encourage you to ignore comments directed to you if you don’t find them interesting or useful

      • Steven Mosher

        swood

        no one suspected your motives.

        ‘This is a falsehood. You cannot, with credibility, make statements like this and then complain that others are not “engaging without pretense.”

        Actually it’s true. No one suspected motives. One can with credibility
        note ( not complain) that people are engaging with pretense without
        suspecting their motives.

        My friend lied to me today. I don’t suspect his motives. I don’t know what
        his motives are. They may be good ( he wants to protect me). They may
        be bad ( he wants to mess with me). he may not even KNOW that he is lying as he often just does it out of habit.

        In our discourse, in my discourse with tony and with you, I do not suspect
        your motives. If I was asked I would hazard a guess. The guess would
        be that you both are UNAWARE of why you engage the way you do,
        you are unaware of the potential pretense, you have no ulterior or base motives. you think, you really believe, you act as if, it’s just asking questions. But your conversation partners are telling you that it’s not just asking questions.

        The point of all this is to get to to think more carefully, to examine
        your patterns of discourse and ask yourself if it is working to achieve
        the ends you wanted to achieve. For example, we are not discussing what you wanted to discuss now. Perhaps a different approach would help you achieve your ends, whatever they may be. I’m just trying to help.

      • Shaboom, it’s the torque;
        Granny it low, go for it,
        Splatter the mud thick.
        ==============

      • Steven Mosher

        swood

        ‘I couldn’t agree more. This approach can also be used to obstruct the discussion in order to keep the other person from carrying his point.”

        A conversation or dialogue is an exchange, or dance, if you like that metaphor. If you want to carry your point, then you might consider not stepping on toes. Asking questions to carry your point is not working.
        That is why I told you to stop. If you really care about carrying your point, then try something different

      • Steven Mosher

        “Reading through this series of posts after being out all day, it has become increasingly incomprehensible and I remain completely and genuinely baffled as to what I am supposed to have done.”

        no need for being baffled.
        you asked a bad question.
        That sentence is all english.
        Not a greek word in it.
        You may not recognize why it was a bad question.
        You may not want to admit it was a bad question.
        But both Joshua and I were pretty clear that it was a bad question.

        Now, I don’t happen to think that you do this sort of thing on purpose
        or with any bad motive. Think of it as a bad habit you might avoid.
        I share the same habit. Trying to avoid questions altogether is a laudable
        exercise. Try it.

      • > Well, actually only if you want to have the discussion.

        Not at all. Leading questions apply in all kinds of context. They can be used to deflect, dodge, Gish gallop, etc.

        Swood’s assumption helps contrast his own motivation from his interlocutors’. It also “flips the script,” as the Moshpit said earlier. Just asking questions can also be a way to “flip the script.”

        The best defense is the attack.

        ***

        > speaking in riddles

        “You make no sense” is also a common ClimateBall move. I call it the Chewbaccattack. It’s a more aggressive move than the Chewbacca defense:

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

        It’s less aggressive than gaslighting., though.

      • > This approach can also be used to obstruct the discussion in order to keep the other person from carrying his point.

        JAQing not only does that, but burdens the otter to carry the point for you.

        So not only it deflects from the actual topic and redirects it toward the topic introduced by the leading questions, but it also exploit the otter’s resources and hides away from the commitments that are begged into the questions.

        This should suffice to show why JAQing off is as efficient as it is annoying.

        ***

        Swood’s remark on obstruction may indicate some ClimateBall know how.

      • Interesting:

        =>> “I agree, I encourage you to ignore comments directed to you if you don’t find them interesting or useful.”

        Not the first time Judith has offered such encouragement.

        Do you think it is interesting that Judith encourages 1000 not to not respond to comments that s/he doesn’t find useful?

        Why would 1000 do otherwise? Why would Judith encourage him/her more than once to not respond to documents that s/he doesn’t find useful? Do people generally benefit from repeated encouragement to not respond to comments they don’t find useful?

      • > Why would Judith encourage him/her more than once to not respond to documents that s/he doesn’t find useful?

        Judy hasn’t discouraged Swood from not “responding” to comments he may find “useful,” Joshua. JAQing off is a good way to exploit a comment. The comment so ipso becomes useful.

        What makes you think Swood contradicts Judy right now? The comments are useful to speak of “arcane points of logic,” “speaking in riddles” and “obstruction.” It helps him bond with TonyB, and make JeffN sympathize.

        Nothing useless there.

      • I clearly need a new post; this has degenerated into senseless sophistry.

      • Steven Mosher –

        Bad Faith? No you have way over analysed the meaning and intent of our discussion…

        You talk about “engaging without pretense” but you can’t keep your story straight. You said that you could explain an interpretation of his question that would demonstrate bad faith on his part:

        Steven Mosher | March 9, 2015 at 8:29 pm |
        Can you explain the interpretation of his question that would demonstrate bad faith on his part?
        Yes.

        After this you asserted that tonyb made his posts using “pretense” and not in the best faith:

        How is any of that bad faith? It hadn’t even occurred to me that merely exchanging views could be construed as such.
        ########################################
        here is what better faith looks likes
        SM: We should limit coal.
        TB: I will agree when you prove there is a cheaper alternative for england
        In this exchange you forgo the pretense of looking agreeable.

        You have put yourself in the position of having to mischaracterize your earlier remarks, in order to try to back away from them. Is this consistent with your stated goal?

        Note that engaging without pretense is really fricking hard.

        Along with tonyb, I also find this whole thing baffling.

        Actually it’s true. No one suspected motives. One can with credibility note ( not complain) that people are engaging with pretense without suspecting their motives.

        This is dissimulation. One can perhaps do this without suspecting motives, but not without impugning motives. A pretense is by definition a false show of something. Furthermore, good faith is by definition in accordance with standards of honesty, trust, sincerity. To suggest a reduction in those is to impugn motives.

        I’m just trying to help.

        Not my impression. Not the way the average person would go about it. Not believable.

        Asking questions to carry your point is not working.
        That is why I told you to stop.

        Asking questions is my way of finding out where the other person stands and where the disagreement between us lies. Let’s just agree that there is not going to be any productive exchange between us and stop beating a dead horse.

      • I agree, I encourage you to ignore comments directed to you if you don’t find them interesting or useful

        I thought there might be something there, but I was chasing a mirage. Now I see the light.

      • > Asking questions is my way of finding out where the other person stands

        Instead of saying where he himself stands on the issue, Swood asks otters to commit on topics that are mostly irrelevant to the question at hand, for which the quesited has no commitment, for which the querent can gbeg all kinds if questions, and with the net effect of flipping the script, where the questited can be said “not to keep his story straight” and where the prosecutor can epilogue about how the jury, I mean “the average person” will read this.

        A fine lawyer we have there.

      • “…this has degenerated into senseless sophistry.”

        That’s not fair to sophistry.

      • > I clearly need a new post; this has degenerated into senseless sophistry.

        Res ipsa loquitur.

        You know, Judy, if you can’t make any sense if what I say, you’re not supposed to be able to detect sophistry.

        If you want some more, here you go:

        You’re welcome.

  32. Judith writes,
    “There remains a strong social contract between scientists who are funded by the government, and the IPCC that supports the government’s political agenda.  The feedbacks supporting this social contract in principle can be reversed; it remains to be seen what, if anything, will trigger this reversal.  I suspect that it will be the climate itself, if the hiatus/pause/slow down continues.”

    After enough time passes, we will know the truth. However, in the long run we are all dead.

  33. [T]he inordinate growth of administration in universities and the consequent increase in importance of grant overhead… leads to an emphasis on large programs that never end. Another is the hierarchical nature of formal scientific organizations whereby a small executive council can speak on behalf of thousands of scientists as well as govern the distribution of ‘carrots and sticks’ whereby reputations are made and broken. The above factors are all amplified by the need for government funding. When an issue becomes a vital part of a political agenda, as is the case with climate, then the politically desired position becomes a goal rather than a consequence of scientific research… [and] political bodies act to control scientific institutions… [and] scientists adjust both data and even theory to accommodate politically correct positions, and how opposition to these positions is disposed of. ~Richard Lindzen, ‘Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?’ ( Rev. 9/’12)

  34. It is astonishing how the In-crowd continue to project themselves onto others. They accuse skeptics of motivated reasoning, subservience to funding sources, cherry-picking data, intimidation and malicious attacks on reputations. Alarmists so obviously engage in all of these themselves and take no ownership of their own behavior.
    It would be hilarious if so much blood and treasure were not at stake.

    • Ron C. makes an excellent point:

      ==> “They accuse skeptics of motivated reasoning, subservience to funding sources, cherry-picking data, intimidation and malicious attacks on reputations. Alarmists so obviously engage in all of these themselves and take no ownership of their own behavior.”

      Isn’t it amazing how “realists” do all of that without taking ownership? Thanks god “skeptics” don’t behave like that. Never see them accusing “realists” of motivated reasoning, now do you? They never make accusations of cherry-picking, never try to intimidate, and certainly never make malicious attacks on reputations. And lord knows, they’d never, ever, make accusations of subservience to funding sources.

      But most importantly, if they did any of that, they would take ownership.

      Too funny.

  35. Dan Pangburn

    Paraphrasing Richard Feynman: Regardless of how many experts believe it or how many organizations concur, if it doesn’t agree with observation, it’s wrong.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), some politicians and many others mislead the gullible public by stubbornly continuing to proclaim that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide is a primary cause of global warming.

    Measurements demonstrate that they are wrong.

    CO2 increase from 1800 to 2001 was 89.5 ppmv (parts per million by volume). The atmospheric carbon dioxide level has now (through December, 2014) increased since 2001 by 28.47 ppmv (an amount equal to 31.8% of the increase that took place from 1800 to 2001) (1800, 281.6 ppmv; 2001, 371.13 ppmv; December, 2014, 399.60 ppmv).

    The average global temperature trend since 2001 is flat (average of the 5 reporting agencies http://endofgw.blogspot.com/). Graphs through 2014 have been added. Current measurements are within the range of random uncertainty with respect to the trend.

    That is the observation. No amount of spin can rationalize that the temperature increase to 2001 was caused by a CO2 increase of 89.5 ppmv but that 28.47 ppmv additional CO2 increase had no effect on the average global temperature trend after 2001.

    Before you think cherry picking, examine http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com/ . It considers all measurements since before 1900 and corroborates that CO2 change has no significant influence on climate.

    This link also shows that there are only two primary drivers of average global temperature change. They very accurately explain the measured and reported up and down temperature trends since before 1900 with R2>0.9 (correlation coefficient = 0.95) and provide credible estimates back to the low temperatures of the Little Ice Age (1610). It also provides science that explains why CO2 change has no significant effect on climate. The two drivers are also identified in a peer reviewed paper published in Energy and Environment, vol. 25, No. 8, 1455-1471

    • Walt Allensworth

      “Paraphrasing Richard Feynman: Regardless of how many experts believe it or how many organizations concur, if it doesn’t agree with observation, it’s wrong.”

      Indeed.

      I was once argued thusly: “How can CAGW be wrong? Thousands of scientists have spent $ billions proving it’s right!”

      I was quick to point out that this was simply a veiled “argument from authority,” as if spending $ billions on something determines if it’s right or wrong! Ha! One can spend zero on something and it can be right. Such a deal!

  36. Pingback: Una versión "austríaca" del cuento del calentamiento global| Desde el exilio

  37. “We note the difficulties in obtaining definitive empirical clarity due to the complex nature of climate, the feedback between the effects of the IPCC’s advocacy and the government’s willingness to fund the science, the ideological and political agendas at play, the dangers to the integrity of scientific procedure in the context of ideological bias, and the poor performance of the “crony capitalist” enterprises that have grown on the back of politicized science.”

    It seems to me that the difficulty “in obtaining definitive empirical clarity” is caused almost exclusively by the first factor mentioned, “the complex nature of climate” and that the remaining factors are simply taking advantage of the lack of clarity, and aggravating it, in order to advance agendas not necessarily aligned with those involved in climate change.

  38. Pingback: Critical thought? | …and Then There's Physics

  39. Dan Pangburn

    Local climate is complex. Average global temperature for the planet is actually quite simple as is proving that CO2 change has no significant effect..

  40. Judith’s closing remark is more interesting than the paper for a number of reasons.
    First, Nature is not following the CAGW script. It isn’t just the Pause falsifying models. Although contorted attempts to assert this isn’t so grow ever more contorted. Mann redefining ocean cycles to explain the pause that isn’t being a notable recent contribution. SLR has not accelerated. Arctic ice appears to have entered its periodic multidecade expansion cycle, while Antarctic ice has reached record extends. Polar bears are thriving. Extreme weather has not increased. Snow has not vanished. Tuvalu has not drowned. And it is no longer possible to disappear such failed predictions down some memory hole.
    Second, whilst I doubt disassembling vested academic research interests subsisting on copious government funds is even feasible until stronger political winds are blowing, it is already increasingly difficult for them to ignore Mother Nature. This will over time temper the strident alarmism. The next generation of researchers will have no choice in order to advance their own scientific careers.
    Third, the futility of grid renewables gets more exposed, the more of them are on grid. California, UK, German experiences are beginning to ‘bite’. The financial folly is being exposed in Spain.
    Finally, and most importantly, underlying political agendas are becoming clearer. AR5 emphasis on ‘social justice’, Greenpeace antics, Green Climate Fund ‘aid extortion’, crony capitalism in renewables (Solyndra), the fact that China and India won’t play along but rather will develop their societies, 2012 Australian and 2014 US election results…
    Once a pendulum starts swinging the other way, it gathers momentum. The CAGW fever high was 2007 AR4 and Nobel Peace Prize, followed by 2009 Copenhagen failure and Climategate. It took a generation (Hansen 1988 to 2007) to build to the fever pitch. It will take at least another decade to wind down.

    • Rob Starkey

      +1

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      ‘another decade to wind down’
      I suspect this is right…painfully slow
      however, some other existential event could overtake this issue and cause it to be quickly forgotten
      say the Mideast, big volcano, nearby supernova, too close space rock, resistant micro bug
      I think a grand existential fear is an intrinsic aspect of human psychology
      now that we have no Devil
      ‘climate change’ is the flavor du jour
      and not a very good one
      it could be easily supplanted

      • No Devil? Who the heck do you think thought this whole catastrophe business up? Surely humans alone couldn’t have come up with it.
        ==============

      • Note the vast potential for temptation within this Extraordinary Popular Delusion of catastrophe. These are temptations expected theoretically, and richly demonstrated in practice. Name a phenomenon more replete with desire for fame, treasure, and power and the corruptions around the fulfillment. One needn’t personify the Devil, for that angelic presence to pervade.
        ================

      • John Smith

        You are spot on. Historically, rulers have depended on the Devine to justify their power and privilege. Sometimes the ruler would be an ambassador to the God(s), intervening on behalf of the people to avoid some catastrophe. Nothing has changed, except some of us have growed kup. In times past, we would be dispatched as hermitics.

  41. There is nothing to stop you from making stupid mistakes, not even your mother. The same is true for political countries and mother Gaia, the daughter of Chaos.

    There is a time when you are faced with the consequences of stupid decisions and behavior and you mother will say: “I told you so”, she will then wrap her arms around you and say: “I love you.”

    Mother Gaia seems to behave in much the same way. After political countries gouge and claw one another, there is a healing of the earth: grass, shrubs and trees covering the pits and craters; cleansing of the streams by burying with silt the legacy of upstream destruction. Our air gets recycled through plants and animals on land and in the sea, becoming refreshed. Titanic apocalypse of meteor strikes, volcanic eruptions, tectonic plates grind and alter the earth’s crust and yet, earth’s surface temperature ranges between narrow boundaries and remains habitable for many creatures. Restoration is the norm, not the exception.

    It seems to me that only the likes of Trenberth, Mann, Schmidt and their ilk believe that their visionary apocalypse will be different. That they have corrupted the science, the politics, and themselves; facts to which they seem oblivious.

    I am so looking forward to Spring, even as the clear sky sunlight reflecting on the snow covered earth brightens my spirits. The ice on the Great lakes is beginning, just beginning to melt. Time to put away the ice fishing shanty as the ice thickness becomes much more variable. No need to make a stupid mistake, the information is all there.

    • I thought this a very poetic and apt post. Presumably you disagree with this fellow:

      • Agnostic

        Thanks for the video, I didn’t have a clue that I would live to observe my own species extinction. The extraordinary rapid rise in surface temperatures and the logarithmic growth in population; i.e. the bacteria in a petri dish example, allows me the opportunity to acknowledge and appreciate what I have now.

        I am truly sorry that my capricious and wasteful ways means that my grandchildren will suffer the consequences of my conflagrant ways. What it means of course is that from our cabin on the shores of Gichi-gami we will see the forests burn, the water will go dry, the air will be foul, and people will fight for the last insect, snake and vole as food. How depressing.

        I, and subsequently my children grew up frolicking on those shores and return in kind with their children, my grandchildren, to frolic on and in the clear waters. Summer has been so inviting. At least we have shared memories of the time when….

        From neighbors’ reports, the ice is still pretty thick on the waters, the forests are filled with snow, and the winter sunsets are at times as spectacular as those in the summer. I haven’t had a chance to get to the cabin as the road isn’t plowed and of course, neither is my driveway, over the river and through the woods and all that.

        At least these last few years we can make our short time at the cabin as rich and fulfilling as we possibly can.

      • @ Agnostic

        “I thought this a very poetic and apt post.”

        Me too!

        The good news: this guy is patently, obviously, and certifiably insane.

        The bad news: he is a ‘poster child’ for those who have dictatorial power over the education of our children, from the time they begin watching cartoons while parked in front of the TV at age 2 through defending their PhD thesis before a committee of like minded zealots. Thinking like him (or at least PRETENDING to think like him is a necessary, but not sufficient condition for obtaining an advanced degree and prestigious position after graduation for anyone in a climate/environmental field.

        As a bonus, his ideological cohorts exercise equally dictatorial power within every agency of our government.

        Other than that, things are fine.

        I wonder if we are just going to muddle along freezing our butts off for the next 15 years, then go out in a sudden blaze of glory? Or if the temperature will just start shooting up at a degree or so per year? Starting next year.

        And 200 species going extinct per day? Wonder where one would go to find a list? And why we never see them itemized in the newspapers or on TV? With all the hoopla over the Spotted Owl and Snail Darter, you would think that at least ONE of the 200 species going extinct today would garner a mention.

      • John Vonderlin

        Owww! this was painful to watch. As a frontline environmentalist listening to this crap, knowing the damage it does to the movement, leaves me saddened. Rarely, even from the more radical of my brethren, have I heard so many nonsensical, hysterical and flat out wrong statements in such a short piece.
        As to the fantastical 200 species going extinct in a day: Years ago when the WWF used to do TV ads claiming 50 a day I researched where that figure came from. I too was unfamiliar with more than a handful of species that had gone extinct in my lifetime in the Great Satan herself.
        We have the famous E.O. Wilson to blame. He’d mark off an area in the Amazon and research it exhaustively, identifying a number of new species, almost all insects. Using those numbers he estimated the total number of species, identified or not. Then by factoring in the rate of destruction of Amazon forest land at that time he asserted the rate that those species were becoming extinct. Given that the “destruction” of the Amazon has slowed greatly in recent years I’m not sure how the figure has grown to 200.
        While I don’t want to minimize the problems inherent in clear cutting Amazon forest to raise beef for McDonalds hamburgers, I do question his science. And indeed in reading his book that this was in, it would seem his suggested solution to this problem tacitly admits the weakness of his assertions.

      • I lasted until the 1:48 mark when he said “I don’t see any difference between us and bacteria in a petri dish.”

      • @ri @bob @tim @ john.

        My apologies for subjecting you all to that. I suspect the fellow is channeling the spirit of Malthus directly.

        Amazing that the presenter started out by saying she was “skeptical” of such pronouncements and then preceded to swallow everything uncritically.

      • Heh, here’s a merry band of brothers! Guy McPherson
        cites Paul Beckwith telling us saying the earth could
        warm by 6 degrees celsius in a decade. Then there’s
        Paul Ehrlich, ‘our survival chances a maximum of 10
        per cent,’ Guy Mac calculates them at less than that.

        What is it with these Emeritus doom-sayer Professors
        all with ivy-walled-paid-by-human-enterprise-tenure? Tsk!

        http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Guy_McPherson

      • Like the Peak Oil and population/starvation and Mayan Calendar tomes, his book will be in a remainders bin well before 2030 (but only to make room for new tripe), so Guy needs the gaudy cover and shock title; he needs the messianic message with a shorter catastrophe date than the others; and he needs the preening RT interviewer looking concerned at his every sneer and sigh. (Russian Government funded RT appeals deliberately to the American New Class’s self-loathing.)

        The interview is indeed about the future: his book’s near-term extinction.

      • I paid 50 cents for a used copy of ‘Policy Implications of Greenhouse Warming’ sold originally out of the Georgia Tech Bookstore. I would dearly love to know its provenance.
        ==========================

      • It seems that messianic types like this Guy guy, advocate their message kind of like: “Look at me.” For those of modest needs for adulation, the god (small characters) type, a church of 5 or so individuals will do. For those seeking a greater congregation, topics other than about “God” are needed, like world cataclysm from volcanos (virgins needed), earthquakes (shamans only need apply), and then there is Climate Change. There is money in this game as well as notoriety. Once there is money to be made, the proclamations become more strident and silly until one sees interviews of Guy McPherson. I am sure that Trenberth, Mann, Schmidt and others would shun such hyperbole, even by their own standards as they would loose their funding audience.

        But the fact remains: Climate Catastrophe has had a good run, and, as it enters its twilight, fringe elements begin to steal the show. As in the French Revolution, even the extremist Robespierre went to the guillotine. It seems that catastrophists take themselves too seriously, believing they must perish to be remembered. There is precedent for this thinking.

  42. Doug Proctor

    The “consensus” concept strikes me as odd. As far as I can see, there is very little work on attribution. Most is on expectations based on IPCC-determined attribution. Thus the majority of papers START with human-dominated climate changes, not end with it. The “97%” seemed to be in the assumption category. There was no consensus that mankind is fundamentally responsible because 97% of those who had focused on attribution studies had found this to be true; there was consensus that the assumption 97% of the workers were using was that the human attribution was true.

    • It’s a culturally enforced consensus, not a scientific truth. It is part of the job definition of cultures to enforce consensus, typically on the unknowable. Which means that when the enforcement finally fades away, the scientific truth could be anywhere, although highly unlikely it will end up with the same answer as the arbitrary cultural position (which you will notice is also somewhat dynamic, as culture has a strong tendency to evolve; it ‘moves on’).

  43. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    BREAKING NEWS
    “Uncertainty Monster” hit hard
    AGAIN by climate-science !!

    Anthropogenic warming
    has increased drought risk
    in California

    Abstract  California ranks first in the United States in population, economic activity, and agricultural value. The state is currently experiencing a record-setting drought, which has led to acute water shortages, groundwater overdraft, critically low streamflow, and enhanced wildfire risk.

    Our analyses show that California has historically been more likely to experience drought if precipitation deficits co-occur with warm conditions and that such confluences have increased in recent decades, leading to increases in the fraction of low-precipitation years that yield drought.

    In addition, we find that human emissions have increased the probability that low-precipitation years are also warm, suggesting that anthropogenic warming is increasing the probability of the co-occurring warm–dry conditions that have created the current California drought.

    A natural question  How do efficient carbon-markets account drought risk?

    The common-sense answer  “Big Carbon’s” market-fundamentalist answer “not at all” is scientifically, economically, and morally unacceptable.

    *THAT* common-sense reality is increasingly evident to *EVERYONE*, eh Climate Etc readers?

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

    • Abstract continued …. Climate model experiments with and without anthropogenic forcings reveal that human activities have increased the probability that dry precipitation years are also warm. Further, a large ensemble of climate model realizations reveals that additional global warming over the next few decades is very likely to create ∼100% probability that any annual-scale dry period is also extremely warm. We therefore conclude that anthropogenic warming is increasing the probability of co-occurring warm–dry conditions like those that have created the acute human and ecosystem impacts associated with the “exceptional” 2012–2014 drought in California.

      Climate Games anyone?

      • @ Ken W

        “Climate Games anyone?”

        Of course the impact of the ‘record drouth’ would have been noticeably less had the Californians not drained their reservoirs (the ones that they have not destroyed), specifically forbidding the use of the water for irrigation, to keep the downstream fish happy and comfy.

        The good news? Just think how bad it would have been if CA had NOT taken such comprehensive action to thwart the warming/drouth.

        Even with all the effort, the climatary catastrophe was unprecedented over the entire (30 year) history since CNN/MSNBC/ABC/CBS/NYTIMES/LATIMES/et al
        have been calling our attention to the unfolding disaster. What happened BEFORE that is unimportant, of course.

    • oooh, and AGW creates elves too, going by the photo you’ve included! I guess being skeptical of that would be to deny evolution.
      California has embarked on a massive effort to combat anthropogenic global warming. How many fewer droughts will there be in California as a result? Surely that is a number our solid science can produce, right FAN?

      • Ha ha….California willbe dry, until it’s wet again, but someone will have a lot of power and there will be a new aristocracy, or should I say, kleptocracy.

      • @ JeffN

        “…….there will be a new aristocracy, or should I say, kleptocracy.”

        Well, if the determination is to be done empirically, based on which term fits observed behavior better, it will be ‘kleptocracy’ in a landslide.

    • “Megadroughts lasting a century or two are known to have occurred in what is now California over the last 3,500 years.” NYTIMES article -2000

      “The state is currently experiencing a record-setting drought” – 2015 climate modeling exercise paper

      It would seem that you can be very alarmist if you narrow your frame of reference significantly.

    • Fan

      You seem to have a worrying elf fixation.

      Thought you might be interested in these snippets from the US Monthly weather Review.

      ‘ 1888. The more noteworthy meteorological features of the year may be mentioned, first the large deficiency of rainfall over the central valley and southern states which resulted in the worst protracted and disastrous drought that has been known for many years, secondly the unusually warm weather which prevailed in the northern and central portions of the country east of the Mississippi river in July, during which month many stations reported the highest temperatures recorded since their establishment.

      —- —–
      Jan 1899 midsummer weather was being experienced in California-midday temperature from 70 to 80 f were observed in the great valley and southern California. At San Francisco a max temp of 78f was registered on the 26th the highest Jan maximum recorded during the past 27 years.
      —– ——-
      Authors note; For comparison below are modern records. The one set in 2014 only 1 f higher than 1889 (not 1953 as stated) Look at huge growth in the city-UHI considerations?)

      http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2015/01/31/january-ends-with-record-setting-temperatures-across-the-bay-area/

      population of SF in 1899 350,000 in 1906 before earthquake; 837,000 in 2013
      1.4 million in 1900 for all of California 38.8 million in 2014

      —- ——
      Do you not think that farming, industrial and residential needs and a burgeoning population might have something to do with the water shortages?

      tonyb

      • One learns to switch off at those manipulative words “record-setting” when not used with strict qualification and exact references. Even then, it’s kind of pointless.

        We cannot know with measured precision how bad the drought of the late 1820s was in California, nor how bad was the drought of the late 1830s in Eastern Australia. Yet we know they were horrific from description and consequence. (In Oz, the ‘bidgee dried up, which must be some kind of “record”.)

        Was the drought of America’s Great Plains worse in the 1860s? Or did the drought of the 1930s break its “record”? There is strong evidence that New York’s extraordinary drought of the 1960s was not so extraordinary in the longer scheme, just extraordinary for the lucky pluvial of recent times.

        Really, guys, just get ready for drought, especially if you are Australian or Californian. And while you are at it, get ready for flood. That ‘bidgee which dried up in the 1830s swept away Gundagai a bit more than a decade later. The deaths from the first Gundagai Flood (1852) are actually known…and set a grim “record” for flood deaths. (Mind you, the fires further south in Victoria the previous year probably are entitled to claim a record, without inverted commas, for world’s biggest known inferno.)

        Adults, please!

    • Fan,

      Drought is not new to California, which has had droughts last as long as 200 years.

      You should like this one – it has tree ring data.

      http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/pub/cook/Cook_JQS_drought_paper.pdf

      • 2014’s Big Dry in California, coming on the heels of several bad years, was certainly a shocker even by long term standards. But when you consider the strong evidence for late 16th century and MWP mega-drought in California and put it together with numerous serious droughts since, you’d wonder how anyone can be surprised by present conditions.

        I remember taking advantage of the early eighties drought in NSW to wade-walk the fascinating Myall Lakes system. I ran into a holidaying hydrologist who told me that his profession had been centred on flood mitigation all through the 70s and they had somehow taken drought off the table. It was back on the table in a big way by 1983.

        Those people amazed by the recent “world record” snowfall in Italy maybe just aren’t old enough to remember days in the past when it was nearly as heavy. Give people enough rain for long enough and it’s only a few old and canny farmers – and maybe cricket ground curators – who don’t forget drought. Some scientists forget quicker than most of us, it seems. Or want to forget, maybe.

    • Fan oh Fan, if u were a serf out
      in all weathers you would know,
      as Tony Brown, (anuther serf?)
      has discovered in the historical
      records, that whether is *variable.*
      Why Fan, here down under,
      drought ‘n flood, nay-chur
      keeps serfs on our toes,
      out back in Oz, everybody knows,
      that’s how it goes. In Lake Eyre
      fish are jumpin’ in the desert
      ‘n hopefully, up north,
      the cotton’s high.

      http://kirkhopeaviation.com.au/lake-eyre-filling-flood-water/

    • Drought’n flood, fan,
      every one out-back
      down-under knows,
      naychur keeps us
      on our toes,
      that’s how it goes.

      http://kirkhopeaviation.com.au/lake-eyre-filling-flood-water/

    • I can only assume our supposed fan of discourse is a child < 10 years old, being taught state-worship at a state school, including to faithfully regurgitate whatever official state propaganda the government climate stooges, lackeys and totalitarians are doing in their efforts to promote more government by stoking up climate alarm. No adult, of their own accord, could possibly be as cretinous as he presents. Even the UnrealClimate lot have at least a semblence of reason at times.

      • A fan of *MORE* discourse

        Muon avers “No adult, of their own accord, could possibly be as cretinous as he [FOMD] presents.”

        Lol … FOMD aspires someday to a comparable level of adult cognition to the comments on Neven’s Arctic Sea Ice thread Mad max?

        Praiseworthy  Commenter “Old Leatherneck” ain’t afraid to do what denialists daren’t do: POST THE ODDS:

        Some Horse Race!!

        • The horse is the declining sea ice.

        • Humankind is the jockey.

        • CO2 is the drug being injected to cause the horse to run/decline faster.

        Current odds are as follows for September of 2015:

        400:1 Continuous ice from NW Passage to Siberia
        200:1 Ice remaining in Hudson Bay
        12:1 2015 Extent lowest year on record
        8:1 2015 Extent within lowest 2 years on record
        5:1 2015 Extent within lowest 3 years on record
        3:1 2015 Extent within lowest 4 years on record
        2:1 2015 Extent within lowest 5 years on record

        NOTE: Race will be cancelled if Krakatoa, Pinatubo and the Yellowstone Caldera all erupt within the next few weeks!

        Background The Arctic is seeing record-early / record-low ice areas in 2015.

        More evidence that “the pause” is toast.

        Good on `yah for science, rationality, *AND* humor, Old Leatherneck!

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

      • Nope, teacher to a ten year old for whom wonder has been murdered.
        ==============

    • fan’s breaking news and the paper he link’s to has as much connection to reality as the image he includes in his post. Do trees, bows and drought in California exist? Of course they do. Is there evidence that elves and “anthropogenic” climage change exist? Maybe in the imagination of some.

  44. And the Big Players do not spring from nowhere. They are generally formed via social cross-coalitions. Economic theory (an article looking at using game theory to analyze redistribution systems and the cross-coalitions formed therein), and written before Climategate plus with no connection to the climate domain as far as I know, also contributes this:

    ‘The typical signs of memes active during the formation of cross-coalitions are: the formation of a picture of the enemy, non-critical adoration of some authority, tendency towards solutions based on strength, the consideration of some statements as all-explaining or indisputable, the granting of a right to something for only a few chosen ones, a catastrophic vision of the world, expectation of brighter tomorrows [Andy West: conditional on catastrophe avoidance!], relativization of morality as well as rationality, use of double standards, creation of a feeling of being threatened by something, etc.’

    http://is.vsfs.cz/repo/834/ACTA_1_2009_Valencik_Budinsky.pdf

  45. The sentences about young researchers finding it more advantageous to their careers to go along with the consensus resonated with me.

    Money manager Jeremy Grantham, who specializes in climate alarmism, has often written of the Career Risk faced by money managers, and how it is usually advantageous for them to go with the flow. He is fond of quoting John Maynard Keynes: “It is better for reputation to fail conventionally than to succeed unconventionally.”

    While Grantham praises money managers who buck the consensus – he is one of those, he believes climate scientists who do the same must be under the influence of evil oilmen. Delicious irony.

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      Don B is dismayed “Young researchers [are] finding it more advantageous to their careers to go along with the consensus.”

      Yeah! Thank goodness for courageous young researchers who are willing to fight “the consensus hoax”!

      In Florida,
      officials ban term ‘climate change’

      The state of Florida is the region most susceptible to the effects of global warming in this country, according to scientists.

      Sea-level rise alone threatens 30 percent of the state’s beaches over the next 85 years.

      But you would not know that by talking to officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the state agency on the front lines of studying and planning for these changes.

      DEP officials have been ordered not to use the term “climate change” or “global warming” in any official communications, emails, or reports, according to former DEP employees, consultants, volunteers and records obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

      Well, *THAT* sure solves the problem!

      Yeppers, young scientists definitely *ARE* receiving the message loud-and-clear … eh Climate Etc readers?

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

    • For over 20 years, countless thousands of green claprap statements have been made by goverments and leftist ideologists (like FOMD), bogusly linking AGW to all manner of things. Now here we find single example of an attempt to put a stop to that.
      Gosh, how things have radically changed.

  46. The Mosher/Joshua tag team is sillier than the sum of it’s parts. Good grief.

    Andrew

  47. “Butos and McQuade are economists that have no apparent engagement with the IPCC or climate science.”

    It shows. This is the dumbest thing I’ve read in months. Just a lame attempt to make the IPCC into some boogeyman with no facts anywhere to be found. The IPCC is a ‘Big Player’ which distorts science because… they think it must be. Even a half-way competent analysis would note that basic research is typically funded by governments, not the IPCC, and numerous political concerns enter into that funding process, not the least of which are vocal constituencies for all sorts of Big Businesses. One would also note how ineffective the IPCC has been at getting governments to implement major reforms.

    The article also ignores the basic fact that poor contrarian papers being rejected from journals and crackpot holdouts being labelled as such is exactly what one would expect from a legitimate consensus in science. These guys should have talked to an actual scientist. You don’t get a reputation in science by parroting the accepted facts. You get one by improving on the current status quo, whether that improvement refines the conclusions of the status quo or upsets them.

    • You don’t get a reputation in science by parroting the accepted facts.

      But you will certainly be marked as a pariah if you release a study that questions the accepted facts.

      • @ swood1000

        “But you will certainly be marked as a pariah if you release a study that questions the accepted facts.”

        The observed rotation rates of galaxies (among other observations) does not match the rotation rates predicted by General Relativity. This observation can be reconciled with GR by assuming that 90+% of the universe consists of a combination of dark matter/dark energy whose existence, quantities, and distribution cam be deduced from the requirement that the universe behave–precisely–as predicted by GR.

        There have been a few brave souls who have suggested that the observed behavior of the universe at large calls into question the ‘ironiclad-ness’ of GR and suggested theories which differ from GR at the limits and explain the observations without the requirement of either dark matter or dark energy. Look them up and see how their careers have blossomed. Or not.

        Much like the careers of ‘Climate Scientists’ who question either part of the ‘Prime Axiom of Climate Science’.

      • Bob Ludwick –

        Look them up and see how their careers have blossomed. Or not.

        Are you saying that you think that the penalty for questioning the ‘Prime Axiom of Climate Science’ is not different from the penalty for questioning any other “accepted” scientific theory, that questioning climate science is not a third rail of a different magnitude?

      • @ swood1000

        “Are you saying that you think that the penalty for questioning the ‘Prime Axiom of Climate Science’ is not different from the penalty for questioning any other “accepted” scientific theory, that questioning climate science is not a third rail of a different magnitude?”

        Nope. I am in violent agreement with you.

        The same PRINCIPLE, but because climate science (writ large) is a POLITICAL field, rather than a scientific field, with essentially infinite political power (taxing and/or regulating government identified and quantified ‘carbon signatures’) and hundreds of billions to trillions of dollars to be distributed among the nomenklatura at stake, the risk of questioning climate science is obviously, as you pointed out, orders of magnitude greater.

        In the world of physics/cosmology questioning GR will simply shuttle you off to the ‘nut job’ gallery and ensure that nothing else you ever produce will be taken seriously, no matter how well it explains observations.

        Questioning the Prime Axiom of Climate Science will get you fired, or, if the climatariat succeeds in consolidating its power just a bit more, worse.
        ‘Enemies of humanity’, which is how Climate Science proposes to identify anyone who questions either part of the Prime Axiom, have not fared well historically. Based on the recommendations of the hierarchy of Climate Science, the future prospects of Climate Science apostates do not appear rosy.

      • Bob Ludwick –

        ‘Enemies of humanity’, which is how Climate Science proposes to identify anyone who questions either part of the Prime Axiom

        And then they wonder why they are described as being motivated by a kind of religious zeal.

        Based on the recommendations of the hierarchy of Climate Science, the future prospects of Climate Science apostates do not appear rosy.

        But if nature continues to refuse to cooperate, and if discoveries incompatible with alarmist theory continue to be made, how long can they keep this up? Don’t the apostates begin to gain the upper hand?

    • A fan of *MORE* discourse

      swood1000 notes “You don’t get a reputation in science by parroting the accepted facts.”

      Or by ignoring fresh observational evidence (coming pretty much daily) that “the pause” is ending

      http://neven1.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f03a1e37970b01b7c75b5ce0970b-pi

      ‘The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s how the smart money bets.’
        — Damon Runyon

      That’s how the smart young climate-scientists are betting too, eh Climate Etc readers?

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  48. I suspect that it will be the climate itself, if the hiatus/pause/slow down continues.

    Yes, Mother Nature, herself, will settle this.

    We are in a warm period, similar to the Roman and Medieval Warm periods. it could get another degree warmer and still be inside the bounds of the past ten thousand years. It will likely get some warmer before the next little ice age sets in in full force.

    • The stock has been pretty sucky, but depreciation on electric cars is absolutely horrendous. From the article:

      •Chevrolet Spark EV. The little electric is projected to be worth 28% of its $28,305 list price in five years, while a comparable conventional version of the same car will retain 40% of its value.

      •Ford Focus Electric. The compact will be worth 20% of its initial $35,995 list price, while a well-outfitted conventional Focus Titanium with an automatic transmission will still command 36%.

      •Nissan Leaf. Even the best-selling pure electric car is projected at having a residual value of 15% for the 2013 model. A similar Nissan Sentra SL compact would retain 36%.

      “Pure electrics have been slow to catch on in the resale market,” says Eric Ibara, director of residual consulting for Kelley Blue Book. Customers “have been willing to buy a new one, not a used electric vehicle.”

      Indeed, three electric cars — Leaf, Fiat 500e and Smart Fortwo electric — topped the list of models projected by KBB to have the highest depreciation among all cars and trucks for the 2014 model year.

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/12/26/plug-in-cars-electric-cars-depreciation-resale-residual-value/4194373/

  49. “The feedbacks supporting this social contract in principle can be reversed; it remains to be seen what, if anything, will trigger this reversal.  I suspect that it will be the climate itself, if the hiatus/pause/slow down continues.”

    And a voice to communicate such, without bias or adjustment.

    http://theoas.org/

  50. David in Texas

    Funny stuff. Many years ago the National Center for Science Education (usually NCSE) was nicknamed the National Center for Selling Evolution. Back then they weren’t concerned with climate science but the glam seems to have worn off evolution so they branched out into climate science:

    Their 2010 logo: defending evolution

    And by 2012 (up through present) the logo adds defense of climate science:

    The most interesting part is that 2012 is when the pause began to damage the pause in earnest. So the NCSE propaganda machine was wheeled out in defense of it. Hilarious.

    .

  51. David in Texas

    This is just filled with red meat for Joshua. 15 comments authored by him so far or 6.66% of the comments (15/225) so far.

    The number of the beast is purely coincidental I’m sure.

  52. David in Texas

    This is just filled with red meat for Joshua. 15 comments authored by him so far or 6.66% of the comments (15/225) so far.

    The number of the beast is purely coincidental I’m sure.

    .

  53. Josh,
    Well read my link. I’ll give you an example that doesn’t involve either of us. On another post Moshpit described Pielke Sr as a ‘skeptic’. Pielke took exception and told him not to use pejoratives to describe him. Even the term ‘realists’ has a negative connotation for those who don’t buy the entire agw mantra taking it that they are delusional somehow. I don’t know exactly where ‘progressive’ came from but I heard the term ‘liberal’ had such negative connotations they decided to change brands (probably an urban Myth); however global warming was changed to climate change for some reason. The Austrian School of Economics used to refer to themselves as ‘liberals’ now they are considered libertarian or conservative. I think at the time they thought of Hamilton/Keynes economics as government controlled prone to totalitarianism. They thought their model was liberal as it only used government for regulation.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you are necessarily label obsessed and you do ponder the consequences and nuances of such verbage. In contrast R Gates will often reply calling people ‘skeptics’ or pseudo-scientists with abandon. I do think you use it for your convenience but I admit it’s hard to avoid especially when viewpoints are driven these days by media polls. I don’t consider myself as strickly being in any camp. As far as climate science I’m trying to learn but I don’t stick to just one perspective. I like to look at it from as many different views as possible. So if something is said and then it’s interpreted in a labelistic manner I would have to agree with Pielke Sr and consider it pejorative and somewhat of a conversation stopper. That also seems to me to be the whole point of the labels – stop the conversation while casting dispersions.

    • I think the most useful division for this debate is pro-BAU versus anti-BAU. Pro-BAU is subcategorized into do nothing either because (i) it is not necessary, or (ii) that it is but is also too expensive, so we are screwed either way, or (iii) wait and see because we don’t know if BAU is harmful yet. Anti-BAU recognizes the need for limiting the CO2 level to stabilize the climate and the capability of doing something effective starting fairly immediately.

      • Good terminology.

        I’ve tried Someone Who Is Relatively Less Concerned About Recent Emissions (SWIRLCAREs) and Someone Who Is Relatively More Concerned About Recent Emissions (SWIRMCAREs) – as a kind of tongue-in-cheek labeling, but obviously those terms are way to unwieldy to be practical.

        ===> “Anti-BAU recognizes the need for limiting the CO2 level …”

        I still think, however, that the anti-Bau term might mischaracterize those who are not pro-Bau but who aren’t necessarily sure that limiting CO2 is necessarily “needed” but that it should at least be considered (from a risk-assessment angle).

      • Joshua, true, there are two types of “don’t knows”. The ones who say we don’t know how harmful it is so we better at least slow down until we know more (anti-BAU), and those that say we don’t know, but heck, let’s keep doing it until something breaks (pro-BAU).

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: Pro-BAU is subcategorized into do nothing either because (i) it is not necessary, or (ii) that it is but is also too expensive, so we are screwed either way, or (iii) wait and see because we don’t know if BAU is harmful yet.

        I think a more useful division is between people who want more public investment against clear and present dangers such as the alternations of flooding and drought, and people who want the public investment redirected toward the less clear and less present dangers of CO2. Australia and California are examples of places that redirected money away from flood control and irrigation projects that would have proved themselves already, had they been carried out.

        But you are on to something. Pro BAU folks are more optimistic about the eventual success of BAU as the alternatives to fossil fuels are reduced in price. I think that the anti-BAU folks might at present place less value on commercial development generally — California, again, sacrificed billions of $$$ of agricultural productivity to the delta snail darter and other projects to preserve and restore the natural ecology (even while encouraging population growth via immigration.)

      • Matthew R Marler

        Jim D: (ii) that it is but is also too expensive, so we are screwed either way, or

        It might be pro business vs anti business. Neither the water projects of California nor the CO2 reduction projects in California are “as usual”, but the former were clearly pro business, and the latter are not.

    • Ordvic –

      My use of the term “progressive” there was mocking of GaryM’s use of the term.

      I agree that the use of the labels in these discussions is mostly pejorative, and mostly subjective and not scientifically-based, and mostly has little to do with the science, and mostly does not serve to advance a meaningful exchange of perspectives.

      IMO, the labeling related to discussion about climate change, as is the case in many other contexts, is primarily about identity-aggression and identity-defense. It is mostly about reinforcing the psychological need to strengthen a sense of identity by creating an “other.”

      But while it can sometimes, no doubt, be difficult to see that I don’t really believe in using these labels pejoratively, in this comment,

      https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/08/big-players-and-the-climate-science-boom/#comment-682198

      I think that I give a sense of my perspective on how meaningless the labels can be If at any time, you see me acting in contradiction to the sentiments I expressed there (it certainly happens), I will be happy to clarify or offer a correction, accordingly.

      ==> ” I don’t know exactly where ‘progressive’ came from but I heard the term ‘liberal’ had such negative connotations they decided to change brands (probably an urban Myth);”

      As side story – when I was growing up, my father, as a leftist, would rail against “liberals” – a group that he generally felt paid lip-service to leftist ideals but who had no real conviction and didn’t follow through when the rubber hit the road. As a leftist, he would bristle if anyone called him a “liberal.” That’s why I find it kind of amusing when someone refers to me as a “liberal” What I also find amusing is how often people mistakenly think that they know something about my ideology because they have such a simplistic and cartoonish notion of “liberals” and/or “progressives.”

    • > I don’t know exactly where ‘progressive’ came from but I heard the term ‘liberal’ had such negative connotations they decided to change brands (probably an urban Myth);

      Progressivism is related to social issues, at least in principle, while Iiberalism encompasses both social and economic issues. This means it would possible to be both conservative and progressive. In fact, there’s a political party which was called that around here:

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

      The official story is that Harper’s Conservative party is the union of Reform and that party, but in reality the latter gobbled the former.

      ***

      Labels can both be descriptive and evaluative. It is too late now for rehearsing my strictures on labeling.

  54. The “97% Herd”. Nice ring about that.

  55. A fan of *MORE* discourse

    RESOLVED

    It is hereby resolved by Climate Etc readers of all persuasions in regard to AGW that:

    • Judith Curry is a first-rate scientist, and

    • Judith Curry demonstrates a first-rate commitment to open discourse, and

    • Judith Curry has a first-rate sense of humor.

    Your outstanding service and your “trifecta of merit” is appreciated by many, Judith Curry!

    ———–

    The above is posted in response to a deplorable surge in Climate Etc posts that are just plain toxic (no science, no reason, no humor).

    *NO ONE* needs that kind of toxic post, eh Climate Etc readers?

    Thank you for supporting discourse that unites science, reason, and humor, Judith Curry!

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

    • nice

    • Fan,

      Your driveby posts are mere taunts, with little follow-up by you, ie no discourse. Hence, your avatar is at odds with your moniker.

      Judith demonstrates her tolerance by welcoming you to her blog. You demonstrate your ingratitude and disrespect for decency by taunting her and the denizens. Why? Does it amuse you to taunt, like a playground bully? Do you know that enlightened educators no longer allow this behavior in schools? So, why do you do it? Do you have anti-social personality disorder? Perhaps some self-reflection is in order. I don’t think it is too late for you.

  56. Lest anybody become sanguine that the mysteries of temperature adjustments have been sufficiently expounded upon…

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2015/03/even-though-warming-has-stopped-it-keeps-getting-worse/

    • J.Brookes Fang Club

      NASA scientist invent time travel, go back in time, and make it colder in the United States. Again. What’s another 0.4C warming among friends, eh?

    • Ken –

      Thanks for the link. It’s useful to see that I’veone the leading”skeptical” climate scientists is also a conspiracy theorist.

      In contrast, the thermometer data apparently need to be adjusted in such a way that almost always leads to greater and greater warming trends.

      How odd.

      • No conspiracy needed Josh – you once again infer something that simply is not there. Group think and bias provide sufficient explanation for much of what takes place.

  57. Barnes-

    The implication of “apparently need to be adjusted” is that there’s a conspiracy.

    Why would they “need” to be adjusted “in such a way” [that in a biased manner results in warning only and no cooling] if there weren’t a deliberate, shared agenda to skew the data?

    But yeah, conspiracy ideation? What conspiracy ideation?

    • Joshua,

      Have you ever asked yourself what the (scientific or otherwise) value of adjusting past temperature data is?

      If so, what was the answer you gave, if any?

      Andrew

      • Since as far as I know they never adjust the temperatures in a way that would weaken their essential claims, I’d have to say that it’s just a tad suspicious.

        But then, I’m not Joshua.

      • I think changing data recorded in the past is akin to finding a fossil, deciding there is something wrong with it, making a replica that looks different, and then claiming the replica is the real fossil.

        Andrew

      • Hee, hee, hee, and TNX. The good, better, BEST Piltdown.
        ================

      • … or it could be like using your thumb as an approximation for an inch because you have no accurate measuring device. Then when you have other means for ‘calibrating your thumb’ and discover it isnt quite an inch, insisting the rule of thumb measurement was correct and you refuse to accept anything else.

      • … or it could be like using your thumb as an approximation for an inch because you have no accurate measuring device. Then when you have other means for ‘calibrating your thumb’ and discover it isnt quite an inch, insisting the rule of thumb measurement was correct and you refuse to accept anything else.

      • I am sorry, which king are you talking about?

      • Its a poor sort of memory that only works backwards.
        Lewis C.

    • There are lots of ways by which data and measurements can be skewed – only some of which are deliberate.
      There is cognitive bias where results favoring the researchers’ theses are emphasized or searched for more than results challenging researchers’ theses.
      There is political bias where results which further a political goal are emphasized more than results against.
      On the temperature side – there is no question whatsoever that there are many cases where the siting guidelines set by the various monitoring systems are not enforced at a nearly systematic level. How much effect does this have on the record? That’s what the debate is about – and to dismiss these perfectly valid claims is a good tell on agenda.
      Equally, the Urban Heat Island effect (UHI) is real, and equally the ongoing urbanization of populations all over the world is also real. The fact that this documented phenomenon has been very poorly explored and is presently not modeled to speak of is, IMO, a huge flaw in the climate modeling scheme.

  58. Herding, by the way, is only slightly directed.

    Three sheep equals one sheep, is the motto. If you get a crowd of three, you can herd them as easily as one. They follow each other.

    As you see in climate science. You only have to herd one.

  59. Funny how a word or phrase can set up a train of
    associations, like Joshua mentioning the hen house,
    making me think of Chicken Little and climate ‘Tipping
    Points,’ Yikes! … Then thoughts of the IPCC over seeing
    climate science and an image of the fox in charge of
    the hen house … eggs … (

  60. that motivate ideologically biased people to circumvent normal constraints in the name of pursuing a “greater good”.

    And we all know that “skeptics” are generally centrists that really don’t have any problems with the policy implications. They are just objective observers trying to save the world from the evil green blob and their scientist lackeys.

  61. Well, as far as big players, global warming, just in the US is a 27-35 Billion dollar industry.

    The US budget clearly identified as “climate change” is $22.4 billion, with about $ 2.5 billion earmarked for “climate science”.

    This doesn’t include state spending for “climate change”. California spends $ 2 billion per year on climate change.

    This doesn’t include the billions spent annually by environmental groups.

    The low end of just the Federal government, a low ball estimate of environmental group spending (which could be up to $ 8 billion) and just California is $27 Billion.

    This is slightly under gross US casino revenue total or the total revenue of coffee and snack shops.

    The jobs of an industry as large as all the coffee and snack shops or the gaming industry depends on global warming.

    The MSM has a vested interest in stirring the pot. They get advertising revenue from the pro-warming side and the victims of proposed measures.

    And that is in the US. It doesn’t include incentives from other western democracies or third world countries looking for a handout under the guise of “climate change mitigation”.or “reparations”.

    It doesn’t include progressive backing of any measure that increases government authority, size, or influence.

    Before 1988, $0 (zero) Billion dollars were spent in the US on global warming.

  62. JC a question.
    It seems to me that what you might call the ” merchant of doubt” position seems to basically suggest that a similar process is occuring at the policy level with ” big players” that are intervening to bias the decision making process toward the contrarian ( status quo) position. I guess in that case you wouldnt have too much trouble thinking that the M of D position might have some validity?

    • I think the Merchants of Doubt argument is rather ludicrous. They are blaming widespread ‘doubt’ on the likes of Fred Singer and William O’Keefe?

      • Well one has to believe there is some source of information that leads a large proportion of lawmakers and policymakers to think that no action is appropriate. Just like we might think the IPCC are the source of legitimacy for those that are anti-carbon. Maybe the M of D’er oversimplify it, or you are oversimplifying there argument, but some process must be occurring.

      • It is easily explained by some climate scientists challenging IPCC dogma in the published literature, and scientists from other fields and engineers calling ‘bunk’ based on use of unverified models, circular reasoning, etc.

        In terms of whether to take ‘action’, these individuals referred to above are challenging the science. And there is a whole new line of thinking about how to deal with ‘wicked problems’. Not to mention analyses by economists and others that show the in feasibility of mitigating CO2 emissions at a level and on a time scale that alarmists are urging. And then of course there is the political ‘yawn’ effect – people just don’t seem to care, or want to spend any money to address this issue.

      • In their new book, Merchants of Doubt, historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway explain how a loose–knit group of high-level scientists, with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. In seven compelling chapters addressing tobacco, acid rain, the ozone hole, global warming, and DDT, Oreskes and Conway roll back the rug on this dark corner of the American scientific community, showing how the ideology of free market fundamentalism, aided by a too-compliant media, has skewed public understanding of some of the most pressing issues of our era.

        http://www.merchantsofdoubt.org/

        There are big players, and there are very big players, about whom the same argument as the one we’re being sold on this very thread should apply.

      • Except there is some give in the consensus view. Ed Hawkin’s red hatched box would be a good exampl of that. It suggests to me he thinks that the hiatus makes the higher end of model projection less likely. But it doesnt seem to move him from thinking this is a real problem. And when you think about the whole climate science community you have to think they are observation led ( like you and Ed) and that the majority are still of the opinion that the problem is real.

      • “Maybe the M of D’er oversimplify it, or you are oversimplifying there argument, but some process must be occurring.”

        I think it can be simplified as alarmist were alarming, and some people paid some attention to the silly raving.

        I mostly blame the Hockey Stick.
        As it appeared too interesting to ignore.
        Some might mostly blame Al Gore or the crazy indian, but I think it was Mann’s apparent fraud that got the most amount of serious attention.

        The failure of global temperature to rise as predicted was a more simple
        thing that everyone, even the alarmism could be aware, but I think that even if global temperature had more or less followed those incorrect projections, it was Mann’s stupidity which had most profound effect- in regard to “some process” occurring.
        The other obvious thing was the lefty influenced governmental policies which caused a global recession and then this global warming play thing wasn’t important enough for the politicians when they were faced with shortages of tax revenue.
        But even if economic growth had continued and even if global temperature had followed the models, I still think if was mainly the hockey stick which mostly resulted in the exposure of the pseudo science.

      • Willard | March 10, 2015 at 5:40 pm |
        In their new book, Merchants of Doubt, historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway explain how a loose–knit group of high-level scientists, with extensive political connections, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades.

        This is a clear reference to the IPCC and the heads of the climate centers.

        I thought this was a pro-global warming book. Why would they rat out their own side like that?

      • Let’s all live the Marlboro values, PA:

        Interesting lawsuits by ‘big players’ in that episode.

      • HR says “Well one has to believe there is some source of information that leads a large proportion of lawmakers and policymakers to think that no action is appropriate.”
        Exactly, the Merchants of Doubt don’t bother going through the journals and trying to get scientific publications. They put out unreviewable think-tank reports such as the NIPCC, and these take Route One to the politicians. They are not aimed at the scientists, who would find the reports laughable, but they just produce words that politicians, who already have to vote that way, can point to as good enough cover for them. That’s how it works, and the Merchants of Doubt know who their audience is, so they don’t have to do credible science to achieve their purely political goal.

      • Willard | March 10, 2015 at 5:40 pm goes out of his way to push the propaganda for Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway’s Merchants of doubt. I have read this book and there is no science in it. There is pseudo-science, however, and just plain anti-science. First they lie about their opponents having skewed the public by influencing a “too-compliant” media (!), and of having been involved in doings with tobacco companies. Her opponents are also described as having been on the wrong side of the ozone hole controversy, of the DDT affair, and as favoring the ideology of free market fundamentalism. What free market fundamentalism has to do with climate science they keep their own deep, dark secret, however. When it comes to individual scientists their views are nothing but libelous. They reserve their most venomous reaction to four scientists whom they describe as as cold warriors who felt they needed a new target when the Soviet Union collapsed and chose climate science as that new target. That is probably as good an explanation as any for her antipathy to them. I personally would have chosen her rejection of their climate science as a more likely source of her hate. But be that how it may be, it really impresses you when you realize that three of these scientists were already dead when she wrote the book.

      • > What free market fundamentalism has to do with climate science they keep their own deep, dark secret, however.

        There’s no hit for “fundamentalism” in their chapter on global warming. However, it does contain an argument to the effect that the Nierenberg “wait and see” report has been used by the White House Science Advisor Geirge Keyworth against the EPA’s recommendations, and that the media followed suit. It also seems to contain an argument to the effect that Tom Pestorius made quite clear the kind of deliverable Nierenberg was meant to produce.

        Cue to the “big player” argument.

      • “However, it does contain an argument to the effect that the Nierenberg “wait and see” report has been used by the White House Science Advisor Geirge Keyworth against the EPA’s recommendations, and that the media followed suit.”

        Hilarious. So the argument is that if it weren’t for the conservative news media and corrupt “merchants of doubt,” the president would have used the EPA to ban coal and gasoline by now? ‘Cause the ban would be so cheap and easy! And let me guess, you’ll dodge by saying nobody wants to ban coal and gas, they just want to eliminate all fossil fuel emissions as soon as possible. With Easter Bunny solutions.
        When you reach puberty, I recommend that you don’t re-read any of your old posts. It will be too embarrassing.

    • Merchants of Doubt is a ridiculous rag – because it attempts to obscure real questions on the veracity of climate catastrophe claims with accusations of motive.
      The problem with this approach is that the exact same tactic is much more effectively used by skeptics. The amounts of money spent for climate change – both in terms of NGO and government spending – dwarfs that of money put into equivalent skeptic NGOs and skeptic based government spending by 2 or 3 orders of magnitude: billions vs. millions.
      I personally prefer to focus on the data.
      And as was first noted by Warren Meyer at climate-skeptic (to my personal knowledge), the climate catastrophe position is built upon 3 precepts: that climate change is occurring, that this change is almost entirely manmade, and that this man made change is almost entirely due to CO2 emissions.
      The 1st is pretty much consensus among everyone. The second is much much less consensus, the third is the actual IPCC and climate “science” consensus.
      The problem of course is that the 3rd position is based ultimately upon 2 tiers: that CO2 warms – again, pretty much everyone agrees on that, and most importantly: net climate feedbacks are highly positive.
      There is no consensus whatsoever nor is there any form of substantial empirical evidence that net climate feedbacks are highly positive.
      There are individual feedbacks which are highly positive, but the climate as a system exhibits no such behavior either today or in any longer term historical record or reconstruction.
      This is the scam in the 3 card monte game.

      • Good, but perhaps add: … and net highly positive climate feedbacks with be Catastrophic. Hence the fearmongering and Agenda 21.

  63. Reblogged this on CraigM350 and commented:
    Judith Curry highlights an interesting study. Will it be taken on board?

    Scientists are no less likely than anyone else to be swayed by a fear of crisis, and this is especially the case for those who see that they, with their relevant expertise, may be able to contribute to doing something about it. It is surprisingly easy for scientists to overstate the certainty of their results and to ignore or attempt to explain away conflicting data, but this is not unusual and it does no lasting damage provided that the basic procedures of science (review, publication, criticism, citation, and the feedbacks to reputation) are functioning normally. But when a particular set of conclusions is widely held not only to fit one’s preconceptions but also to have serious social implications, the harsh and critical judgments necessary for weeding out shaky science can be significantly toned down. The ideologically primed sense of impending global warming catastrophe, transformed into near-certainty by the influential publications of the IPCC, has endangered the integrity of the processes of science.

  64. What if the buffalo herd had turned around and run the other way?

    • The referenced image has been dropped. Understandable. The connection to the topic was obscure. Sorry.

  65. “If the penalty for a bad idiosyncratic decision is high compared with the penalty for the same bad decision made along with everyone else, then one has an incentive to concentrate less on evaluating reports about the empirical evidence and more on noting what other scientists believe.”

    Surely this herding started long before the IPCC, with Edward Lorenz. His postulate provides the foundation for everything that the IPCC does, as well as the haarp and chemtrail fringes.
    If sufficient evidence for solar forcing at the scale of teleconnections and oceanic modes had emerged previously, especially if it were predictable, none of this would have ever come about.

    “It is surprisingly easy for scientists to overstate the certainty of their results and to ignore or attempt to explain away conflicting data, but this is not unusual and it does no lasting damage provided that the basic procedures of science (review, publication, criticism, citation, and the feedbacks to reputation) are functioning normally.”

    But given a situation where nearly everyone was citing and building upon conclusions derived from a fundamentally flawed model of the climate, these the norms of publication and procedures of science would merely amount to etiquette and table manners. The ultimate form of herding is tightly interwoven into the publication process.

  66. Re: “The feedbacks supporting this social contract in principle can be reversed; it remains to be seen what, if anything, will trigger this reversal. I suspect that it will be the climate itself, if the hiatus/pause/slow down continues.”

    Perhaps. However, the advantages of carbon dioxide control to the “Big Players” are so great that there will be a conflict (brawl) between ground truth and agitprop. Access and influence over the media is powerful and crucial. Historical lessons have been learned.

    However, facts are powerful things, particularly if they support better alternative explanations of observations. One could then explore the consequences of adopting the “Big Player’s” policies.

    “Agitprop.” Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, February 27, 2015.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Agitprop&oldid=649037377

  67. Lowell Brown

    I cannot figure out where the figures are in your first link in this thread

  68. Lowell Brown

    As I said before but with the comment mover higher up:

    I cannot figure out where the figures are in your first link in this thread

    Will this no we in order?

  69. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #172 | Watts Up With That?

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