Christopher Essex on suppressing scientific inquiry

by Judith Curry

As the issue of bias in climate science heats up, Christopher Essex has written the best defense of freedom of scientific enquiry that I’ve seen emerge from the Grijalva inquisition.

Essex’s article was published by Breitbart, entitled Climate Science Doubts: Not Because of Payment, but Because the Science is Bad.  Excerpts:

Accusing scientists of venal motives when they raise questions about climate has come to be what passes for scientific debate. Al Gore recently renewed calls for climate deniers (as they are pejoratively called by the dogmatists) to be punished. This follows brazen political-style attacks on scientists because of their views on climate. In particular there has been an aggressive assault questioning our ethics, morality, competence, and even sanity. It has been amazingly coordinated, coming simultaneously from a number of fronts: activists, Congress, Hollywood, and even some psychologists.

This entire assault could not be more anti-scientific. The protagonists are political interlopers in science who do not understand or respect the nature of scientific truths and how they are discovered, let alone how they are justified. One of the greatest lessons from the history of science is that humans don’t only get things wrong, but they stubbornly hang on to the stupidest of ideas to the bitter end. I do not absolve myself from this; it is my legacy as much as yours.

What the dogmatists understand well is eristic argument, after Eris the Greek goddess of discord and chaos. Eristic tactics come to us from the ancient Greek sophists.As the goddess’s qualities suggest, they are inherently divisive. The objective is victory, not truth. This is foreign to the training and personalities of most scientists. I, like other scientists, go into debates with a collegial attitude, tolerant of contrary thinking, no matter how wrong it may seem. Freely doubt the ideas; respect the people. When confronted with eristic tactics though, which are often absurd, aggressive, and deeply irrational, we are left gobsmacked. Like any other humans, scientists can speak the language of political nonsense, but they speak it badly. Their famous political naivety makes them easy prey for any political operative. And so we loose against eristic tactics, even when we know they are coming.

The followers of Eris see opposition in terms of a struggle for power, while scientists see opposition as a means for testing thinking. For scientists, opposition is a feature not a bug. Authorities can proudly convince themselves to be absurdly wrong, until some brave souls stand up to them. 

It does not mean that experts are always even mostly wrong. It only means that when humanity does take a step ahead, that step naturally concerns something that prideful experts didn’t know before. Over the generations, this lesson has been gradually absorbed into the scientific world. The heretics and crackpots might just be right, and so there is an awareness (even if grudging) that tolerance of what seems wrong is essential—the scientific version of free speech. It is probably no accident that scientific advances tend to be made in the freest environments. Scientists must ask critical questions of each other about their works to move us all ahead. It’s their job. Opposition is necessary, but only opposition with a presumption of good will, where all agree that the objective is truth, not crushing your enemies.

The fields and methodologies of climate science are a disjointed collection that few have anything approaching a universal command of, let alone a universal command from which to form a knowledgable consensus. The shared vision of this collection of fields, as they stand, has simply not been academic for the most part. Its identity is inextricably bound to the climate fervor itself, which is created and fanned by politicians and media through relentless promotion, torrents of funding, and the punishing of nonconforming scientists. It is unclear what defines climate science as a whole academically, let alone what climate is in and of itself. No, we don’t even have a coherent, physically based, definition for climate, let alone climate change. That is not because we can’t recognize change, but we do not know what parts of the endless, ongoing ubiquitous change actually count. This is as deep a problem as there is in modern science. All we have are ad hoc definitions guarded from scientific criticism by ignorant followers of Eris. Those followers call this settled science.

The dogmatists and followers of Eris have destroyed the collegial atmosphere among scientists, and they push for scientists on the wrong side of their dogma to be treated as enemies of the state, as we have all recently witnessed. Science, as a whole, has been damaged by them. Because of them, climate science remains frozen and deeply flawed with no way to grow up, despite avalanches of funding thrown at it. Money is not enough. Academic freedom sometimes seems like a gratuitous anachronism, but climate science is the very thing it was made for. Fortunately, some academic organizations, such as the American Meteorological Society and the University of Delaware, have taken a principled position on this. But others seem to have wilted. Modern universities and academic institutions are not as independent as we would like to believe. They live on grants and government funding.

There is no justification for acting like vicious badgers toward scientists. The response of some GWPF scientists to the climate orthodoxy shows that scientists do not need to be paid to have reason to question the climate orthodoxy. Its positions are scientifically very weak, not strong, and it is the dogmatists that are responsible for that weakness. If they want to employ the credibility of science to support their agendas, they must learn to treat scientists holding contrary views in a credible manner. Such scientists have an important and respected role to play in advancing science. Dogmatists, of course, don’t easily change, so this stalemate may well continue until intelligent laymen have had enough and push them off the stage. Meanwhile, we are still here, and we are not going anywhere.

JC reflections

The statements that I find particularly insightful are bolded.  I regard this essay as particularly important as  the Grijalvi/Markey inquisitions are heating up (I say ‘heating up’ measured by the number of interview requests I am getting on this.)

In my Pollyanish way, I am hoping for some good to come of all this, e.g. respect and even support for scientific opposition to the ‘consensus’ on climate change.  Or at least don’t harass us. As I’ve stated many times, I regard the root of this problem to be treating climate change as a ‘tame problem’, with a negotiated consensus (through the IPCC) speaking to power (mitigation policies).  This is a failed strategy; not only is it ill suited to the complex, wicked problem of climate change, but it is destroying climate science in the process.

Kudos to Christopher Essex for his excellent essay.

624 responses to “Christopher Essex on suppressing scientific inquiry

  1. I’ll know I’m not needed on this issue when I see academics quietly debating the evidence and science with an open mind.

    • This has been our version of ‘Lysenkoism’ with imaginary ‘back radiation’, a radiant emittance, potential energy flux to absolute zero our era’s ‘Phlogiston’. 4 basic Physics’ mistakes came from Sagan and have been taught to US Atmospheric Science for 50+ years; ALL practitioners were deceived. The modelling is fake; the discrete OLR emission zone from Hansen et al in 1981, 33 K GHE, was a trick to offset ‘back radiation’ by 238.5 mean negative convective heat flux to stop predicted temperature gradient exceeding Lapse Rate.

      333 – 238.5 = 94.5 excess energy is imaginary, 94% supposed to go into the oceans, the remaining 5.7 being 3.5x increase of atmospheric emittance in the industrial age, mostly CO2. This ‘positive feedback’ does not exist, coming from using 1/3rd excess low level cloud albedo as a hind-casting parameter trick. For 2/3 rds cloud cover it means sunlit oceans are twice as warm above the correct mean as it is cooler under clouds.

      Now the atmosphere has stopped heating we have had nearly 70 spurious explanations as to why the 5.7 has suddenly decided to enter the ocean deeps where it can’t be found. It never existed.

      In reality, the atmospheric water cycle exactly offsets the non-feedback GHE that well mixed GHGs would create for a cloud free planet. There is no CO2-AGW on our World but it’s impossible to bypass Corporation and Government funded blocks to real Science as they keep the Hoax alive.

      Houghton knew the real Science; he showed in Fig. 2.5 of his 1977 ‘Physics of Atmospheres’ why there can be no net surface IR warming of a grey body atmosphere (Lapse rate keeps surface and atmosphere temperature drop near zero; main GHG bands mutually annihilate same band surface IR).

      When he co-founded the IPCC he switched allegiance to the fake GISS physics and now Lay Preaches Thermageddon; apparently the same role as Priestley in the 18th Century. It took 7 years for the Phlogiston Hoax to die after Lavoisier proved it wrong. I give the IPCC Hoax another 21 months; 7 years from Climategate!

      • So, the ether the information is traveling through is so much denser, now? Hmmmm, could be.
        =================

      • This Physics is directly from Maxwell’s Equations via Poynting Vectors and standard wave mechanics. Two opposing plane waves, same frequency and amplitude, produce a Standing Wave of the same frequency. It has no net Poynting Vector so cannot transmit energy. If the amplitudes are different the net PV is the vector sum of the individual PVs. You superimpose thermal incoherence at +/- 4x base amplitude about zero.

        I get blasted by complex physics about photons by people who fail to understand these are a subset of EM waves and obey those Laws. The other issue is that for 54 years (since Goody and Yung), US Atmospheric science has taught that the S-B equation predicts a real instead of a potential energy flux. It also transposes Emittance for Emissivity, meaning Climate Alchemists cannot communicate with real Scientists.

        We process engineers and good physicists always use the vector sum of Irradiances (= integral of all Poynting Vectors) to get real net IR flux. The Bottom Line is that Climate Alchemists exaggerate net mean surface IR by a factor of ~6 then have to offset the excess by numerical tricks All Hansen’s claims to US Congress in 1988 were ‘modelling errors’.

  2. Sadly, the attacks won’t stop because there is personal political gain, personal reputational protection, professional reputation protection, financial protection both short and long term, and philosophical rationalization/alignment. Likely combinations of all of the above.

    • Correct. Those frustrated that the alarmists seem ever more impervious to the science which is slowly but steadily moving away from them, don’t understand what’s at stake for these people. I’m sure most of them are desperately clinging to their beliefs, but there also must be a sizable group who grasp their own dishonesty.

      This is war of sorts, and it’s going to take a long time for it to sort itself out. I’m still waiting for some big name, insider scientist to get an attack of conscience, or some hotshot mainstream journalist to finally catch on to the fact that the real story is the bad science, and all the vested interests that contribute to it, and protect it, and perpetuate it. I likely have a long, long wait

      • I told Andy Revkin in 2008 that he was missing the story of his life. I’m not trying to badmouth him; I’m first in line to testify to his intellectual integrity and curiosity. Perhaps he is still the right man, still picking the right time.
        ==================

      • Hey Kim,

        I struck up a friendship of sorts with Revkin via email a few years ago. He kindly proofread something of mine before I submitted The trouble is he’s just too immersed in that environmentalist culture. He seems to have flashes of clarity here and there, but he’s evidently not able to step back and take the full measure of what’s rightly been called the greatest fraud in scientific history. Sometimes he can fool you in one on one conversations. He once told me in answer to my question about what it would take to change his mind, that another two or three years of no warming might do it…

        That was 3 years ago, and i don’t have to ask him if he’s gone ahead with that scheduled mind change. Climate change is an ever receding mirage, and they just keep trudging after it, never to be deterred…

      • The problem is, they already are, but there are not enough of them.
        Booker & Delingpole have been trying for years, if you read the comments the majority agree with them.
        The problem is TV companies, we have the BBC ramming CAGW down everybody’s throats and the other main channels almost as biased.

      • The bitter ones at DotEarth during 2008 called it DotKim, resentful of Andy’s light moderation of me. I can only remember four or five instances of him deleting my comments. His was about the only media outlet allowing dissent at the time, and for him and his forum I was and am very grateful. I quit there when the Times started requiring registration, but wmar was by then saying everything I could say and more lucidly.

        Check out the last comment on his epic AGU thread from January of 2008. It’s long been about the water and cloud feedbacks.
        ==================

  3. I defend David Legates today at MasterResource: https://www.masterresource.org/ad-hominem-against-skeptics/david-legates-firing-line/. In fact, many of his views are becoming rather mainstream.

  4. No question this is good guidance for scientific inquiry and scientists should rise to the challenge. But I cant think of a discussion area where such civilized discourse should not be the goal and it seems sad that it must be treated as a special case.

  5. “Who will be crowned the nation’s worst climate change denier? Vote Now”

    Barack O and Gina M for denying the science and insisting that climate is a simple problem that we have mastered.
    ha!

  6. Bill Brockman

    You’re one of my heroines, Dr. Curry. Your courage is admirable.

  7. You should bold the sentence: “The objective is victory, not truth.”

      • Judith – I have done a bit of “expert witness” work in my career, and was once asked how I felt about the law. My response: “If the law were a recipe, truth would be an optional ingredient. It is ALL about winning.”
        Thanks.

  8. Holding on to the idea that climate science is science won’t work in the long run.

    The battle against warmist dogma is one thing, but it’s not that the matter is more complex, but that the bits don’t go together as science at all.

    You’d have to be able to calculate much more than is known to put the stuff together, and there’s no idea how to do that. It’s at a horoscope stage.

    Maybe someday there will be astronomy but that’s not where it is today.

    So there are two stakes groups now, both within climate science and after funding. Neither is really scientific.

    The bits can be science, depending on the curiosity of the investigator, but they don’t go together into anything.

  9. This is profoundly beautiful:

    ==> “There is no justification for acting like vicious badgers toward scientists. The response of some GWPF scientists to the climate orthodoxy shows that scientists do not need to be paid to have reason to question the climate orthodoxy.”

    Members of GWPF, or a regular basis, act like vicious badgers toward scientists.

    This ain’t bad, either:

    ==> “Accusing scientists of venal motives when they raise questions about climate has come to be what passes for scientific debate. ”

    Has there ever been a thread at Climate Etc., where the “denizens” have not accused scientists of venal motives? In particular, is it not a regular event at Climate Etc. to see “denizens” accusing scientists of “venal motives” when those scientists raise questions about what has come to pass for scientific debate w/r/t climate change?

    • Joshua, do look up the word denizen.

      • Lucifer –

        ???

        Could you could explain to clarify my misunderstanding of the word “denizen?”

        And how does that relate to Christopher’s selective concern about politicization and polemics in the climate wars?

      • denizen: an inhabitant or occupant of a particular place.

        Joshua by your posting record, you are very much a denizen of Climate Etc.

      • “…do look up the word denizen.”

        And venal.

      • and ‘ain’t’ and its uses.
        =======

    • False dichotomy, members of GWPF are scientists too!!

      • ==> “False dichotomy,

        Not at all.

        ==> “members of GWPF are scientists too!!

        That was my point.

        Scientists on both sides, including those who are a part of GWPF, act like vicious badgers towards other scientists.

        Of course one doesn’t need to be a non-scientist to act like a vicious badger towards scientists.

        What’s interesting is that Christopher seems to think it only happens on one side?

        How can anyone read these threads, with the near constant comparisons to McCarthy, Lysekno,N*azis, etc., and think that it only happens on one side?

      • And that is a tu-quoque

      • @ Joshua

        A hundred lines, written by skeptics in a hundred blogs over a hundred years couldn’t cause more damage to the AGW cause than has already been executed by your own ilk.

        Skeptics are not MMAGW’s problem. You’re being taken down by your own success and the ironing is especially delicious.

        H/O to Bart Simpsom.

    • Has there ever been a thread at Climate Etc., where the “denizens” have not accused scientists of venal motives?

      I would expect someone making a strong statement like this to have data to back it up. After all, that’s your constant demand of others. So please go home and actually do some work to back up your claim.

      I, for one, have never accused scientists with whom I disagree of having venal motives, and I resent being lumped in with those who do.

    • Joshua

      Once again you are viewing ‘ Denizens’ as one homogenous group. We are not. We do not all accuse scientists of having venal motives

      Tonyb

      • +1 Tonyb. Joshua was presumedly referring to those people who have contributed their backgrounds and climate change positions to the Denizen’s page but the truth of the matter is (1) he is more of a denizen himself judging by the number of comments he makes here and (2) not all denizens listed in the Denizen’s pages are necessarily anti AGWers or hold conspiracy ideations against mainstrem climate scientists generally.

      • tony –

        ==> “Once again you are viewing ‘ Denizens’ as one homogenous group. We are not. We do not all accuse scientists of having venal motive”

        That is a fair point – but I have also said many times that you stand out from the crowd because you don’t engage in such viciousness towards scientists (that are in disagreement with your views).

        Sure, not all “denizens” engage in such behavior. But a lot do, in fact I would guess most (by a pretty wide margin). So when I see them whine about how poor, poor “skeptics” are the victims of vicious attacks, it doesn’t exactly pull at my heart strings.

        The viciousness is ubiquitous on both sides. Such one-sided treatment of the problem only perpetuates the problem.

      • Josh,

        It is neither venal nor vicious to swat an annoying fly.

    • Members of GWPF, or a regular basis, act like vicious badgers toward scientists.

      Please provide some evidence to back up your assertion. Also explain what you mean by “regular basis” and “vicious.”

      As has been mentioned before, you are quick to criticize anyone else who makes similar unsupported claims, yet don’t seem to hold yourself to the same standard. Don’t you think that reduces your credibility?

    • Profoundly beautiful as is this elsewhere.
      Joshua ” Cook’s study has some serious methodological flaws”
      Followed by a dissertation saying this does not really matter
      thus giving the ok to use the study carte Blanche.
      Has there ever been a thread at C.Etc where Joshua has agreed with a blog post put up by Judy.
      Ps, read the article JOsh, it is about Eris, discord, sewing the seeds of vitriol. The people you mention have fallen for the 3 card trick which is what he said.

    • Joshua (March 26, 2015 at 12:58 pm) asks “Has there ever been a thread at Climate Etc., where the “denizens” have not accused scientists of venal motives?”. Interesting question.
      I had a scan through the last few Climate Etc comments (that’s where one looks for denizens) looking for accusations of venal motives (venal : willing to behave in a way that is not honest or moral in exchange for money), and I couldn’t find any in the following:
      https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/25/whats-up-with-the-atlantic/
      https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/24/the-stupid-party/
      https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/23/climate-sensitivity-lopping-off-the-fat-tail/
      https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/22/taking-melbournes-temperature/
      https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/22/blog-discussions/
      (Here there is a reference to Eisenhower’s “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.”, which is close, but not close enough. And anyway it was Eisenhower not a denizen.)
      https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/20/week-in-review-49/
      (here there is a connection between money and corruption – “Politicians eclipse the rich when it comes to power and money (and corruption.)” – but is explicitly about politicians not scientists. There are others like that in other threads.)
      https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/18/on-the-social-contract-between-science-and-society/
      (OK, this gets very close. JC says “So the social contract for climate science seems to be: support the consensus and promote alarmism, and you will receive plenty of research funding.”. But I’m not sure that JC is a denizen. I assumed I had to find a frequent commenter, not the blog owner.)
      https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/18/on-the-social-contract-between-science-and-society/
      https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/17/temperature-adjustments-in-australia/
      https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/15/bankruptcy-of-the-merchants-of-doubt-meme/
      https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/15/blog-moderation-etc/
      https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/13/week-in-review-48/
      (This contained “Most scientific studies are wrong, and they are wrong because scientists are interested in funding and careers rather than truth.”, but it was a quote from an article not a denizen’s own statement. It still falls short of venal as it could imply just carelessness.)
      https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/12/adaptive-problem-solving-integral-approaches-to-climate-change/
      https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/10/the-albedo-of-earth/

      That’s the last 14 posts, and I failed to find a single accusation of scientist venality. It took me far too long.

      Joshua, you are the one making the accusation. I suggest you find a scientist venal accusation in every one of the above posts and tell us about them (after all, you ask, “has there ever been a thread …..”, implying that they are in all threads. Otherwise, your implied accusation is clearly very badly misdirected.

    • harrytwinotter

      I was thinking pot, kettle, black myself.

      Anyway how can you allow a writer the moral high ground when the article starts off like this:

      “Their clear, authoritative scientific objections to the Royal Society’s positions reveal the weak scientific foundation on which the great climate fervor has been based”

    • Could you provide an example of what you think of as a skeptical scientist behaving like a badger towards an alarmist scientist qua scientist? Please.

    • Josuhua, could you provide an example of what you think of as a skeptical scientist behaving like a badger towards an alarmist scientist qua scientist? Please.

  10. The behavior of the true climate deniers such as Obama, Al Gore, et. al., reminds me of the Obama White House trying to make Fox News an outlier after they said that, “Fox News is not a real news organization.” The Rules for Radicals approach is alive and well and used by many reprobates.

  11. I can see why some will like this essay, and it certainly says some perfectly reasonable things about how science should work and how scientists should be treated. FWIW, I do object to some of the recent “attacks” (I don’t know if that is the right word, but I can’t think of a better one) and do indeed think that it is not the way to treat scientists. However, overall this essay just seems completely unbalanced and full of unverified assertions, such as

    climate science remains frozen and deeply flawed with no way to grow up, despite avalanches of funding thrown at it.

    • Climate Science has a case of Stockholm Syndrome.
      ===========

    • catweazle666

      So tell us Mr. Physics Man Rice, for all the billions (trillions?) of dollars spent, why are the value and the limits of the most fundamental parameter of climate science – so-called ‘climate sensitivity’ – precisely what they were around three decades ago?

      • catweazle666: So tell us Mr. Physics Man Rice, for all the billions (trillions?) of dollars spent, why are the value and the limits of the most fundamental parameter of climate science – so-called ‘climate sensitivity’ – precisely what they were around three decades ago?

        The problem is hard, and getting all the relevant information is hard. But in fact the estimates of “climate sensitivity” are not precisely what they were around three decades ago.

      • It is frozen because for all the talk about objective scientific research, it is all oriented towards the goal of proving co2 the culprit. Redoing the same premise from 100 different angles, won’t advance knowledge if the premise is initally flawed. We need to move back to trying to understand the climate instead of trying to prove AGW is dominant. Its time to start honestly investigating the premise that co2 may be a smaller player or that its warming may not be catastrophic. There is plenty of papers starting to slowly inch towards this, but it being fought tooth and nail by well financed “cause” defense papers that try to prop up a failing position.

      • catweazle666

        matthewrmarler: “But in fact the estimates of “climate sensitivity” are not precisely what they were around three decades ago.”

        Let’s see what the IPCC has to say, shall we Matthew?

        IPCC First Assessment Report : 1.9 to 5.2°C but states “Hence the models results do not justify altering the previously accepted range of 1.5 to 4.5°C.

        IPCC Second Assessment Report: 2 to 4.5 °C

        IPCC Third Assessment Report: 1.5 to 4.5 °C

        IPCC Fourth Assessment Report 2 to 4.5 °C

        IPCC Fifth Assessment Report: 1.5°C to 4.5°C – ie right back where it started from.

        Close enough for government work, methinks.

        Plus, I note that AR5 has even dropped the “most likely” estimate.

        I am not aware of any branch of “scientific” research ever where so much effort has been expended and the assessment of the most important parameter on which the whole structure and the ramifications thereof is based has changed so little in such a time period and still claims any level of credibility.

      • Exactly Brandon. If you pay someone to search for Bigfoot, you will get lots of fuzzy footage of something hairy.

        CO2 forcing is the Bigfoot of “climate” science and we get lots of fuzzy studies “proving” it.

        After billions of dollars, where is a simple experiment showing CO2 levels re-warming an emission source calibrated by concentration? The basic premise of AGW is physical in nature and should be replicable in a lab.

        Instead we get nebulous global temps calibrated to an accuracy greater than the measuring devices.

      • catweazle666: Close enough for government work, methinks.

        What you said before was “precisely” what they were around three decades ago. Now you are a government worker?

      • FTOP
        “where is a simple experiment showing CO2 levels re-warming an emission source calibrated by concentration?”

        I would argue we have a very clear experimental physical research to back up the absorption and re-emission nature of CO2, but it has always been a small part of the expected warming. I fully expect Co2 to have forcing equal to it’s experimental properties. About 1 – 1.3 degrees for a doubling of pre-industrial CO2. Not a dangerous amount of warming.

        But the modeled positive feedbacks and the systems reaction to that forcing is not reacting as expected. This can likely be laid at the feet of faulty model realizations (or simply lack of knowledge needed to do it in the first place) that were programmed and trained to the assumption that Co2 was the defacto “control knob” that if changed would cause the system to react out of proportion to the input. Something that has not happened. about .7-.8 warming from about half a doubling of CO2 is not cause for alarm. Doubly since half of that happened before any significant increase on CO2 and therefore must have been natural variation. There was no quarter ever given to the idea of systemic stability and dampening, and the positive feedbacks were simply assumed rather than proven.

        Rather than admit the possibility of false or misunderstood premise we are endlessly regaled with, “the system is still warming it’s just magically going to the place we can’t measure”, or “natural variation is hiding it and it will resume with a vengeance soon”. This is fudge factor science, spooned out for people who think a large interconnected complex theory can be salvaged by throwing in the Deus Ex Machina. Add in the fact that, to pick on the “heat into the deep ocean”, That it is based only on it being a new effect instead of assuming it might be present in past temps and might have always been a part of natural variation, is bordering on incredulous. Especially with the volumes of caveats and uncertainties, uncertainties that are already being played down and are still huge. But show me the models reprogrammed to include all the latest forcing discoveries, how many CIMP5 models have added the newest pause excuse forcing in ahead of runs? If these things are real, they must be accounted for in models forward and backward. If they are not worthy of addition to models, they are not valid.

        I get frustrated by how silly this has all become. Add in careers, ego’s, and trillions of dollars and all common sense leave the building.

      • The fact is that the warming since 1950 is twice what you would expect from CO2 alone. While AGW predicts as much, skeptics find themselves in trouble when confronted with these facts. To them it is riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, and they can’t crack it just yet.

      • Jim D: The fact is that the warming since 1950 is twice what you would expect from CO2 alone.

        Typo?

      • Matthew Marler, 0.35 C for no-feedback CO2 and 0.7 C (including the whole pause) in actuality. Twice – no typo.

      • Jim D: Matthew Marler, 0.35 C for no-feedback CO2 and 0.7 C (including the whole pause) in actuality.

        I see.

      • Jim D: The fact is that the warming since 1950 is twice what you would expect from CO2 alone.

        In the US, between the Rockies and the Appalachians, the maximum rainfall has increased 7% since 1950, according to a paper published in Nature that modeled extremes using the generalized extreme value distribution. That’s a greater rainfall increase than could have been powered by by the DWLWIR increase attributable to increased CO2 over the same region and same time frame. It is a regional effect, but rainfall increases have been reported for other regions of the Earth, and the US has been the best studied to date (that I know of).

        Your statement depends on what “you expect” from CO2-induced warming “alone”. I (along with Romps et al and O’Gorman et al) expect that surface warming will increase the rate of the hydrologic cycle and the rate of non-radiative transfer of energy from the surface to the upper troposphere. You expect (I think this is true) only a change in the moist adibatic lapse rate, without a change in the non-radiative heat flux. Other expectations (based on modeling by Scafetta and by Dr. Norman Page) are that the warming since 1880 would have occurred even without CO2 increase.

      • catweazle666

        matthewrmarler: “What you said before was “precisely”

        Oh dear me, let’s try again, you don’t understand sarcasm, do you?

        First assessment report 1.9 to 5.2°C. but states “Hence the models results do not justify altering the previously accepted range of 1.5 to 4.5°C.”

        IPCC Fifth Assessment Report 1.5°C to 4.5°C

        AFAIK 1.5 to 4.5° pre-First Assessment Report and 1.5 to 4.5°C in Fifth Assessment Report IS “precisely”.

        So the limits haven’t altered from pre-First Assessment Report to Fifth Assessment report.

        Perhaps if you got off your high horse and actually read the whole post you might do better.

      • catweazle666: Oh dear me, let’s try again, you don’t understand sarcasm, do you?

        Oh, so you were being sarcastic when you wrote: So tell us Mr. Physics Man Rice, for all the billions (trillions?) of dollars spent, why are the value and the limits of the most fundamental parameter of climate science – so-called ‘climate sensitivity’ – precisely what they were around three decades ago?

        I took it to be a question.

      • catweazle666

        Stop being disingenuous.

        Fact is, after many billions of dollars of expenditure, the value of most important parameter in climate science is no more accurately assessed now than it was three decades ago.

      • “The fact is that the warming since 1950 is twice what you would expect from CO2 alone.”

        Ok, so the trend is higher for a particular period than just CO2, but who ever said that natural variation had to end because CO2 forcing started? It does not require positive feedback if natural variation is adequate. It may not even equal the expected CO2 forcing once you factor in natural variation. What is natural variation? I don’t have a solid answer, but we could use the historical record to work out a very rough guess. I have set this up trying to maximize the trend slope of the recent CO2 forced warming, Then I have added a similar length trend line to the data before any significant CO2 increase. (feel free to cherry pick a better set, I only tried to maximize recent trend slope and used that to dictate sample length for past trend)

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:12/plot/gistemp/from:1975/to:2005/trend/plot/gistemp/from:1910/to:1940/trend

        There does not even need to be hardly any additional CO2 forcing added to the non-CO2 forced warming, let alone positive feedback. To assume positive feedback, requires and assumption that whatever dictated past natural warming, has quit and no longer is an influence. Yes this is a simple exercise, but still a valid one to show what past natural variation might be. It does not require any significant additional forcing above natural variation to arrive at the warming observed in the later half on the 1900’s. But without a full and complete understanding of the forcings that caused past shifts of near equal trend, your just guessing on attributions of CO2 and positive feedbacks.

    • richardswarthout

      ATTP

      You have no concerns about the dearth of cloud research?

      Richard

    • Q: If you call the tail a leg, how many legs does a cow have?
      A: Four; calling the tail a leg doesn’t make it one.
      Moral: Calling someone a “climate scientist” does not make it so. Same applies to “climate science.”

    • Essay-
      “A short piece of writing on one subject, usually presenting the author’s own views.”

      Critical thinking protocols would suggest that the reader explore their own experiences and understanding for every logical reason that someone might say that “climate science is frozen and deeply flawed with no way to grow up, despite avalanches of funding thrown at it.” That being an unsuccessful exercise, the reasonable reader might seek understanding and learning by asking the author to express how he arrived at such a point of view…rather than introducing words like “unbalanced” and “unverified assertions” into the discussion when an “essay” obviously requires neither balance nor verified assertions.

    • Weazle, there is lot more to climate science than studies dealing with sensitivity.

      • There is lots more to astronomy than determining the speed of light. However, because of this exact value, astronomers are now able to make accurate predictions, unlike climate scientists.

      • + 1 Hans… Science is about being able to accurately predict what will happen. So for mine.. Climate studies have not progressed to Science yet.

    • However, overall this essay just seems completely unbalanced and full of unverified assertions, such as

      climate science remains frozen and deeply flawed with no way to grow up, despite avalanches of funding thrown at it.

      ATTP, I can agree that the essay is one-sided, but that is generally the way of opinion pieces. And it should be taken that way, not as a serious scientific paper.

      But I think there is a reasonable argument to be made that climate science is deeply dysfunctional. Any field that continues to accept provably mathematically bad science, such as pretty much anything by Mann, is in trouble. Any field in which researchers feel free to try to have those with whom they disagree fired, is deeply flawed.

      It’s difficult to separate the quality of science from the sociology in any field; history is replete with examples of bad science arising from dysfunctional communities. If climate science wants to be taken seriously, then climate scientists need to behave like professional, objective scientists. And that goes for both warmists and so-called “skeptics.”

      • fizzy,
        Don’t you see this as somewhat ironic

        Any field that continues to accept provably mathematically bad science, such as pretty much anything by Mann, is in trouble. Any field in which researchers feel free to try to have those with whom they disagree fired, is deeply flawed.

        You appear to be arguing that climate science (collectively) should be working to dismiss any work by Mann, while at the same time arguing that they shouldn’t actively work to negatively influence the career of someone with whom they disagree. You can’t have both, surely?

      • ATTF,
        You seem to have a translation issue. For example, someone says something that is fairly clear, and rational to the average reader, but when you respond to it, you alter/change/misrepresent what was actually said, and then argue against your own misrepresentation.

        Hopefully it’s just a simple translation issue, and not some kind of premeditated rhetorical tactic/habit that is glaringly obvious to others, while perhaps not at all clear to you personally. Is English your native language?

        .

      • Aphan,
        Do you understand the concept of a question mark? Also, given your comment, this is brilliant

        not some kind of premeditated rhetorical tactic

        To be clear, I genuinely don’t get the logic of arguing that the climate science community should not accept the work of Michael Mann while at the same time complaining about how they’ve supposedly treated others (I say “supposedly” because it’s not clear that there are many examples of climate scientists trying to have those they disagree with fired, but feel free to provide some evidence for this).

      • Ken, Michael Piltdown Mann is special. Just ask him.
        ========================

      • Brandon Shollenberger

        In what world does saying people should reject provably bad work (such as Michael Mann’s popular work) amount to trying to have someone fired?

      • No, I don’t find it ironic. Disparaging bad work is one thing; trying to have it suppressed is another entirely. I am somewhat concerned that you don’t seem to be able to see the difference.

        I am indeed arguing that climate science should collectively reject Mann’s work, since it is not up to professional scientific standards. Physicists do this all the time in other fields: vice, for example, Joe Weber and his coherent neutrino scattering.

        A good sign of a healthy scientific community is open debate and disagreement; I don’t see any of that from the climate science community, with a few notable exceptions (including our hostess). Instead, there appears to be enormous pressure to keep any disagreements in-house where the rest of the world can’t see them, in order to display a united front on what is essentially a political issue. That is what I mean by dysfunctional.

      • Disparaging bad work is one thing; trying to have it suppressed is another entirely.

        Well, of course I see the difference

        I am somewhat concerned that you don’t seem to be able to see the difference.

        I think this is an example of what Aphan was referring to as a “rhetorical tactic”.

        I am indeed arguing that climate science should collectively reject Mann’s work, since it is not up to professional scientific standards.

        What if not everyone agrees?

        A good sign of a healthy scientific community is open debate and disagreement;

        Of course.

        I don’t see any of that from the climate science community, with a few notable exceptions (including our hostess).

        What if I were to give some examples that I thought were notable exceptions, but that differed from your examples?

      • “Hopefully it’s just a simple translation issue”

        Its not.

        Andrew

      • There’s a blackboard stretching into the distant mists. Here’s your chalk.
        ==============

      • The point is, Ken, that trying to list, or delineate, the variable and dynamic beliefs of the pertinent actors in this scientifico/social drama is as complicated as cloud feedbacks.

        But go ahead. I’ve a few candidates among consensus believers who’ve delivered critical skeptical moments, particularly those diminishing the possibility of catastrophe.
        ==================

      • What if not everyone agrees?

        Math is math. Science is based on math, not opinion. A scientific paper with demonstrably bad math should be rejected. I would hope that position is not a matter of opinion in the climate-science community.

        I mean, it’s not like PCA is rocket science. When you do it as badly as Mann has, it is just embarrassing. For any sizable portion of a community to defend incorrect math is prima facie evidence of something wrong in that community.

        What if I were to give some examples that I thought were notable exceptions, but that differed from your examples?

        I’d love to read them.

      • fizzy,

        A scientific paper with demonstrably bad math should be rejected.

        I’m guessing here, but you’re not actually someone who is directly involved in academic research? If only it were as nice and simply as you suggest it should be.

      • fizzy: A scientific paper with demonstrably bad math should be rejected.

        attp: I’m guessing here, but you’re not actually someone who is directly involved in academic research? If only it were as nice and simply as you suggest it should be.

        Well, that’s complicated right now. But I have lots of publications and I have done lots of refereeing and it’s hard to believe things have changed that much in just a few years.

        Of course there are bad papers out there that everyone in the field knows are bad and that are discreetly ignored so as not to offend the (sometimes famous) authors. I have first-hand knowledge of several examples, e.g. Greenberg’s famous narrow electron peaks in heavy-ion collisions. That one was conclusively shown to be bad statistics, but I don’t think it was ever retracted.

        The point, however, is not that some bad papers make it through peer review and get published, and even generate some discussion. That happens in every field. What doesn’t happen in every field is that a terrible paper gets published and more than a decade later people are still defending it not because the science is good but because they like the conclusions.

        I’m sure examples of similar things could be shown in other fields, but none with such a high profile, for which the integrity of the science is so crucially important.

      • fizzy,

        Well, that’s complicated right now. But I have lots of publications and I have done lots of refereeing and it’s hard to believe things have changed that much in just a few years.

        Well, then my guess was wrong. Let’s clarify something then. Picking something up at the referee stage can certainly stop something being published that is clearly wrong. Once it’s out there, however, it’s not that simple. I’m currently involved in a semi-dispute where I think the other work essentially violates energy conservation. However, it is sufficiently complex that it’s not as straightforward to illustrate as one might hope. Additionally, their result is interesting, and my correction makes it boring. So, it’s not as easy – as you might hope – to get something that you regard as wrong, rejected by the community. In my view, that is almost how it should be. It shouldn’t be easy. So, you think Mann’s work is clearly wrong. Not everyone agrees. That’s called science.

      • ‘So you think Mann’s work is clearly wrong. Not everyone
        agrees. That’s called science.’

        No it isn’t.What you think doesn’t amount ter a hill of
        beans. It’s whether what yer think/hypothesize can
        stand up to observation and critical critical tests. Hey,
        u do raise the issue of consensus howevah, science
        is not a one view activity. Science necessitates enquiry.

      • What you think doesn’t amount ter a hill of beans.

        Yes, that’s essentially my point.

      • And Then There’s Physics, calling Mann’s Hockey Stick Charts horrible science is not attacking Mann. It is attacking his work product.

        It is your tribe that conflates the two. I would argue that no-one on this blog knows Mann’s heart or character. I would also argue that almost all here understand that the Hockey Stick Chart is horrible science. Including most of you who defend him.

        Which is why the argument turns to ‘can’t we move on’ or ‘climate science doesn’t really depend on this’ ad absurdium. Until you call the zombie out of the cave again.

      • On they trudge, certain, blessed, wounded, and Ken Rice without any chalk on his fingertips.
        ==================

      • Ken Rice being dishonest:

        He reinterprets fizz’s comment to read “that climate science (collectively) should be working to dismiss any work by Mann”

        The point was that any field which continually accepts bad work is one that is flawed, using Michael Mann as an example of someone whose work has repeatedly been shown to be poor.

        Honesty Ken. Try it sometime.

      • Ken, what happened to your Ringberg15 tweets?
        =========

      • ATTP: “So, you think Mann’s work is clearly wrong. Not everyone agrees.”

        Ken, you are being disingenuous (and I am being polite). Who disagrees? Please present the name (yes, I’ll settle for just one) of a mathematician and/or statistician who supports the use of decentered PCA.

    • –However, overall this essay just seems completely unbalanced and full of unverified assertions, such as

      climate science remains frozen and deeply flawed with no way to grow up, despite avalanches of funding thrown at it. —

      Well, it has the appearance of being frozen.
      It’s my guess [and only a guess] is that it’s thawing.
      But if consider the amount funding throw at, and if one believes that a large
      amount funding should have results, then it’s quite frozen.

    • …and Then There’s Joystick Physics.

      …and Then There’s The Staggering Complexity Of The Natural World.

      I get the point Chris Essex is making.

      • mosomoso, have you, or for that matter, has anyone here read his (Essex) paper “Does A Global Temperature Exist?” Any thoughts on it?

      • richardswarthout

        Daniel

        The people who work on global temperature data will tell you that there is no global temperature. Rather, they are working on the global temperature index. Merely an imprecise indicator of surface warming/cooling.

        Mosher; do I have that right?

        Richard

      • Daniel, I haven’t read it, and find it hard to take an interest in such a factoidal subject. Maybe a thousand years of improved temp readings might be helpful for something or other, though a global average temp is a bit like that old average depth of the river your are intending to cross. Won’t tell you much at all of what you need to know.

        But I rather hope climate scientists (when we have them) will be interested in such things as Mt Laki-scale spews, 1878 effects, the LIA (in Ming China esp), Bond Events (esp 2200 BC), African/Australian/Californian megadroughts, monsoon failures like the one that intrigued Walker, glacial advance like 1600s, Younger Dryas causes…In short, stuff that can really hurt people. While I prefer the cool myself, it looks like Cool’s the main mischief maker, even for drought – though Warm can certainly rough us up. Don’t need to be told that temps and sea levels go up and down: something had to fill up Bass Strait with water just a few thousand years back.

        I wonder whether miles of grimy solar panels will help Europe survive something a lot more severe than the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull peashooter which caused such chaos. How many lumps of coal will a white elephant be worth then? Averaged out globally, natch.

    • ‘attacks.’ Think of a better word, ATTP. Or go back to your echo chamber.

    • aTTP, why don’t you ask Essex to expand on what you find unbalanced.

      • He’s welcome to, but I’m not sure that I’m all that bothered. My point was more that it’s hard to see why this would be regarded as a good essay, than objecting to the lack of balance. This whole topic is full of things that lack balance; that’s not a surprise. Suggesting that it was somehow good, is.

    • ATTP – this is his opinion as someone on the inside. He doesn’t have to cite papers to back his opinion.

      • Of course, and I don’t need to cite any to express mine :-) Here’s my general view. It’s very good to have people who challenge mainstream views. It’s how science is meant to work. Some of what he says is quite sensible. However, it’s also quite common for such people to be wrong and to be challenged in return. Again that’s just science.

        His essay, however, reads as though he sees himself as someone who is some kind of maverick who is challenging the accepted views and suffering as a result. Fighting the good fight against the forces of evil. That there is something fundamentally wrong with the “other side”. What about the possibility that there is nothing fundamentally wrong with climate science as a whole and that he is simply backing the wrong horse?

        I find it hard to take someone seriously who appears to be painting themselves as some kind of martyr, and who seems to have to argue that everyone else is wrong, rather than considering that maybe they are the one who is wrong. Maybe he isn’t, but that him being right seems to require some kind of major and fundamental problem with a field made up of thousands of other scientists, just seems incredibly unlikely.

      • “considering that maybe they are the one who is wrong”

        Do you do this ATTP? Just asking.

        Andrew

      • ATTP,
        I kind of thought the same thing after thinking about the article for a while. I’m probably closer to his view than you but whenever a narrative goes in the black vs white direction I discount it a bit. It seems that some of the zealots in the AGW movement have been going in the direction described but probably the majority of the scientists believe in and stand by their work. I could easily see an alternate universe article presented by James Hansen taking on big coal and oil and the minions as being the arch enemy conspiring against the forces of good.

      • ATTP – I think it’s safe to say there is a public perception that most climate scientists believe the C in CAGW. I’m not sure how close to reality that is because there is some anecdotal evidence, and some from the affected, that some especially younger scientists toe the CAGW party line just to get along and perhaps get somewhere in the field.

        I believe the above is close to the truth. And that makes anyone, including Dr. Curry who has been on the receiving end of what might be termed harassment from “The Team,” something of a maverick. And he is bucking the “party line.”

        At any rate, I’m sure some of your perceptions are correct, but OTOH, he isn’t totally out of bounds.

      • Bad,
        Of course, and I regularly am.

        jim2,
        There could be a public perception of CAGW. However, if you search the literature you will rarely find a mention of CAGW. So, whether or not relevant scientists actually believe in it, is hard to gauge. Additonally, even when it is mentioned, it is often interpreted as the person saying “it will be severe/catastrophic”, rather than what is more common “it could be severe/catastrophic if …”. I think few would state that CAGW is a definite outcome.

      • Climate scientists are ultimately responsible for the CAGW alarmism, kenny. You know that.

    • Ken Rice,

      Behave in an honest manner and I won’t have cause to call you dishonest. It has nothing to do with your occupation.

      For example, you make the claim that your quoted statement is an unverified assertion. It most certainly is an assertion, but exactly who is it that is responsible for verifying assertions? Is that you? And what sort of verification is required? One could argue that the continued spending on a large assortment of GCM’s, with no real progress in their ability to match observational data, let alone provide useful products such as regional forecasts or short to medium length projections of weather or climate is evidence that the field is frozen or flawed. As is the overwhelming dependence on models of all sorts to “project” future outcomes that might be related to a changing climate. The recent Mann / Ramsdorf paper is a perfect example. Only a deeply flawed field would allow such a product to see the light of day.

      • timg56,

        Behave in an honest manner and I won’t have cause to call you dishonest.

        Wow, thank you for pointing this out. I would never have thought of that if you hadn’t pointed it out. If only someone had mentioned this to me ages ago. Everything could have been so different. (Do you think this needs a sarc tag or not? My guess is that it’s obvious, but given that you seem to think it necessary to point out things that are blindingly obvious, I’m not quite sure.)

      • Ken,

        Do you really think being an ass is going to help with the honesty problem?

      • timg56,
        Do you really think what you said deserved anything else? I had an alternative, but I’ve decided it might be best to not point it out.

        Let me explain something to you (which, normally, wouldn’t need to be said, but since you like pointing out the obvious I will go ahead and do). Honesty is me saying what I believe to be true, not me saying what you believe to be true. If you think there are certain things I need to accept in order to be regarded as honest, you do not understand the meaning of the term “honest”. This is not a particularly complicated concept.

      • Why you tolerating all this disrespect, kenny? Ban ’em all! Oh, I forgot.

      • > Do you really think being an ass is going to help with the honesty problem?

        Does AT has another problem besides beating his wife Rachel?

      • Perhaps, when did he start upsetting applecarts?
        ============

      • Rice, I have not once claimed your dishonesty when engaging in blog converstions was due to your beliefs or opinions. Instead I have pointed out examples of how you argue dishonestly, by changing what others say, by redirecting the conversation away from an area you are being called on and can’t respond, by changing the topic. As is typical for you, your comment above tries to redirect the conversation to something different – the claim that my definition of honesty is when people agree with me. What a putz.

    • aTTP, AKA Ken Rice, has also had his comments deleted from the Ringberg15. They were predominantly questions for the players there at the castle about climate sensitivity.
      ================

      • Sorry, what are you talking about? I’m not disputing it, I just have no idea what you’re referring to.

      • I posted my sensitivity post to #ringberg; this was deleted also. the tweets were rather thin and disappointing. I hope the .ppt presentations are posted soon.

      • I would imagine the scientists at Ringberg don’t want people using their work as a speculative blogball. So when the blackboard comment began its untruthful twists, both Stephens and Schmidt, together, probably thought it best to erase it.

      • JCH, “I would imagine the scientists at Ringberg don’t want people using their work as a speculative blogball.”

        Kind of odd, Gavin specifically mentions Lewis and Curry estimates and Lewis was part of the AR5 last minute sensitivity paper.

      • Where were they being used as blogballs?

      • Okay, I’m still confused. If you’re talking about Twitter, I can still find a good deal of tweets with the hashtag #ringberg15. I’m also not sure how someone can delete my tweets. Not that this really matters, I’m just confused about the context.

  12. I wish I shared an optimistic viewpoint about this, but I can’t honestly say I do.

    Eristic methods have proven most effective politically. But the political victories of those employing them are hollow. They cannot ultimately defeat the scientists opposed to their dogma because those scientists have never been playing a political game, no matter how much dogmatists rant and flail otherwise. They easily push us out of political and popular discourse, but Nature is the final judge. On that, they are way over their heads. No eristically-charged hyper-politics can ever trump Nature. If it is not already obvious to you that the dogmatists have egg on their faces because of this, hold on, Nature has more coming. Eventually stonewalling with, “What egg on my face?” will only leave the wider public laughing at them even more than they already are.

    I don’t think politicians care. It’s sad and sweet, but the idea that political operatives care how climate science fares in its youthful stages of development doesn’t seem to be justified, in my view. Why should they? They aren’t scientists, it isn’t what they do. To the extent that the science is useful to them in some way they care about it, but I’d expect that’s as far as it goes.
    Egg on the face? Bah I say. Politicos live there. ‘Read my lips, no new taxes.’‘If you like your insurance plan, you can keep it.’ etc. If you think they aren’t going to be able to dodge the potential wrong-about-climate-change bullet, you ought to think again. It’s what these guys do for a living. It might take another lifetime for the truth of today’s dogma about climate change to become universally clear one way or the other. The chickens won’t be home to roost before the policymakers are safely interred and beyond the reach of an accounting.
    I’d love to be wrong about this.

    • Mark, I agree 100%

      To most politicians CAGW, or scepticism of the same, is just a useful tool.

    • I unfortunately agree. Unlike the 70’s where there may have been a broad consensus about global cooling, it still did not receive the level of exposure as the AGW meme due to lack of 24 hour news cycles and the Internet. It was much easier to back away from an obviously incorrect theory then than it is now. Those making the CAGW claims and requiring urgent drastic action are simply too invested in their view to give it up, despite any amount of evidence that their theory is at best, grossly overstated. And politicians see it as yet another opportunity to “do something” in the name of the people and impose ever more onerous regulation which further erodes our freedoms.

    • “I don’t think politicians care.”

      Or if that doesn’t work here is the link:

      From the 2013 version of “Yes Prime Minister”

    • Agnostic,
      :) TY! I’d forgotten that clip.

  13. Judith Curry

    “treating climate change as a ‘tame problem’, ….. is destroying climate science in the process.”

    There are precedents for poor assumptions of the complexity of an issue in other areas leading to a downfall in the area of science including: physics (atom), chemistry (catalysts), medicine (cancer) whereby dissent and fruitful avenues of inquiry were stifled. What makes bad behavior in climate science such a wicked problem in and of itself, is the vastness of Government funding for confirmation bias outcomes reaching its tentacles into science which we have come to hold in esteem as in NOAA and NASA. As the cancer of bad behavior grows, there is no simple “cutting out” the bad eggs or “me too” scientists as the very institutions of NOAA/NASA would be compromised. Besides, there is no surgeon or surgical scalpel adept at taking on an Imperial Presidency, a boiler-room of monied political backers, and agency leaders and department heads whose role has become as visionaries following a messianic ideology.

    Obviously, there is no “hand writing on the wall” yet. My guess is that the social service budgets will become so large, that science, as it had existed in the more recent pass in the USA, will not only diminish, but become extinct. Funding relying instead, on a public-private sector slanted towards practical problems and commercialization projects. Science to “understand” will truly be the realm of rarified air, devolving and practiced in the caste system of many years ago.

    Just some thoughts I have been harboring to brighten your day.

    • interesting analysis, thx

      • Judith –

        ==> “interesting analysis, thx”

        Do you think there’s a difference between “analysis” and evidence-free speculation?

      • The definition of analysis from Webster:

        Analysis – detailed examination of the elements or structure of something, typically as a basis for discussion or interpretation.

        Don’t see where one has to evidence Joshua.

      • Well I don’t agree with this analysis either. IMO whenever you hear anything along the lines of “if current trends continue” which this analysis sort of is, it invariably turns out to not be the case. Current trends almost never continue. Human nature always seems to be about swings of a pendulum, with an idea or “meme” existing for a while to be pushed aside for the next one.

        While I agree “knowledge for knowledges sake” type science appears to be on the decline, and might be for all I know, there still seems to be plenty of it about. I’d say the LHC is a pretty good example. There is still an appetite to explore the moons of Jupiter, and to send missions to Mars. Even the whole business of climate change has drawn many people toward understanding our climate system in a wholly unexpected way.

        With the advent of the internet the exchange of ideas has never been freer. What was a trickle on past ages is now a great flood. It may be that the funding for pure knowledge in its “traditional” form is declining, I’d say the search for knowledge is as healthy as it’s ever been, it’s just the form it’s taking is mutating. Which tbh, is the way I think it should be, wouldn’t you say?

      • Anthropology is another field that suffered mightily during the confrontations between the ‘isolationists’ and ‘diffusionists’ with just as much rancor.

        I would argue (as would many anthropologists) that it still hasn’t recovered. Most made a conscious decision to return to data collection and leave the hypothesizing to future generations. Those that didn’t probably should have.

        There is a consensus on climate change, narrower in scope than activists would like, but it is real. About 80% of climate scientists have been convinced by evidence that humans have contributed to the warming seen in the past few decades, and the pause hasn’t changed their minds.

        But the appearance of a Konsensus, filled with pseudoscientists like Lewandowsky, Cook, Prall, etc., and the ambitions of some scientists like Michael Mann risk dragging climate science lower than the depths plumbed by other fields.

        Challenging the Konsensus isn’t attacking science. It is defending it.

      • Thoma Fuller

        There is a consensus on climate change, narrower in scope than activists would like, but it is real. About 80% of climate scientists have been convinced by evidence that humans have contributed to the warming seen in the past few decades, and the pause hasn’t changed their minds.

        What a silly, irrelevant statement. So what?

        Few would disagree humans are having some effect on the climate: land clearing, black carbon, aerosols, etc.

        But what is the consequence? How much effect? Is it relevant or not? What is the consequence? Is it net good or net bad? How do you know?

      • ===========>”Do you think there’s a difference between “analysis” and evidence-free speculation?”

        It could be interesting to Judith due the lack of evidence, joshie. You are interesting. Like a train wreck is interesting. Shall we take a vote on that, joshie? Wouldn’t that be evidence?

    • ==> “Obviously, there is no “hand writing on the wall” yet. My guess is that the social service budgets will become so large, that science, as it had existed in the more recent pass in the USA, will not only diminish, but become extinct. Funding relying instead, on a public-private sector slanted towards practical problems and commercialization projects. Science to “understand” will truly be the realm of rarified air, devolving and practiced in the caste system of many years ago.”

      Perhaps a tad alarmist? :-)

      With such a theory, leading to manifestations on such a large scale, you’d think that we would see some signs now. Perhaps the growth rate of the phenomenon you’re describing would be exponential, so depending on the forces at play, perhaps the existence of only small signs now wouldn’t preclude outcomes on the massive scale that you predict for the future. But even still, you’d think that we would see clear signs, no matter how small.

      What signs do you see? Is there a clear signal that “science, as it [has] existed in the recent past” has begun to diminish? Has there been a notable decline in the production of “science to understand?” Are there examples of countries that have alternative pathways for science funding having greater economic growth than the U.S., thus indicating a kind of evolutionary “survival of the fittest” for those countries who rely on the public-private sector slant?

      • I disagree that in this (speculated) case you’d necessarily see anything now. That would imply that Government, seeing the impending deficits as the catastrophe they are, was proactively attempting to reign in spending in advance. That clearly isn’t the case. Government responded to existing deficits with mostly symbolic hand waving designed to placate an angry public. There is almost no acknowledgement of the realities of unfounded liabilities we are rapidly approaching.

        From what I’ve seen, government spending on discretionary interests isn’t likely to taper off, as you would infer, so much as crash completely when those in power are no longer able to hide the problem from the public any longer.

      • I suspect increased attention will be paid as small localities crash into bankruptcy. Small, like California, New York, and Illinois.
        ======================

  14. Thanks for sharing that Dr. Curry

    The velocity of misrepresented data points, childish slander, and vindictive behaviour has added greatly to the complexity of the climate issue. Perhaps even obscuring it from relevant, logical, policy discussion at this point.

    I am still amazed at the lack of journalism addressing the accuracy of those who get exposure in the MSM. Even the egregious is left alone to stand without question or counterpoint.

    Trust has turned into dust.

    • ossqss

      The Los Angeles Times has made a stated editorial decision to ban all comments perceived as against the consensus on climate change. The Main Stream Media has already been corrupted by the consensus meme; very unlikely to have an awakening to a new reality.

      • Yes. But the LAT perhaps does not yet understand that most people do not comment there. And that their readership and therefore influence is in steep decline. For example, Essex’ essay was published by Breitbart, not any MSM. And is easily recirculated, evidenced here.

      • The LATimes refuses to publish letters that oppose the so-called consensus. Contrary comments still appear online.

      • A little con-fusion regarding the precious freedom of
        the press by The Los Angeles Con-sensus Times.

      • Maybe a merger of LAT, NYT and the WaPo will work. It will be called, naturally, the Byzantium Times. Subscribers might come to know it affectionately as their Journal of Reverence.

        Unlike the old Byzantium, which shockingly allowed up to four factions, the BT will allow only one: the prasinoi, or Greens.

      • I signed up and posted a comment in one session. Since then I can’t log on. Apparently you can’t comment unless your browser is set to accept third-party tracking cookies.

        So much for their “privacy policy.”

        Not that it matters much. Is there a major metro newspaper with fewer online comments?

      • Rud is right, the LAT is augering in. Who cares?

  15. I am hoping for some good to come of all this, e.g. respect and even support for scientific opposition to the ‘consensus’ on climate change.

    But that has not been the game plan up to this point. Have you seen any indication that the game plan might change? So far it has been that the powers of darkness (some of whom are scientists who know better, so they are truly dark) are blocking progress for ignoble purposes, which justifies taking out the brass knuckles (mischaracterizing the opponent, belittling the opponent and refusing to debate). They see the skeptics not as wanting free speech but as wanting a platform for their falsehoods. Add to this the relative lack of success the alarmists have shown in the legitimate debate arena together with press complicity in the brass knuckle strategy so far and one wonders what incentive there is for one of them to break ranks in order to “respect and even support scientific opposition.” If one has been characterizing his opponent as a flat-earther and as a person of base morality how easy is it to turn around and say “Now I am going to treat this person seriously,” even if it were possible to do so without risking alienation.

    but it is destroying climate science in the process

    Consider the leading alarmists who have been making extravagant claims. At this point, in addition to whatever reasons they had before, if the alarmist position goes down they will completely lose face. The incentives to come around do not appear to be weakening. They see themselves as defending the citadel from the barbarous hoards, so a little bit of excess is justifiable.

    I agree with Hal Lewis. Where are the giants who used to walk the earth?

    • ==> ” Where are the giants who used to walk the earth?”

      Well, things just ain’t like they used to be.*

      * (except that of course, the never were).

    • Natural history museum.

      • We’ve a local one and I’ve heard little ones call it the ‘National Mystery Museum’.
        ================

  16. Coincidentally, I have encountered the same thing recently, even to the extent of being called a “soft climate denier” which I recount at my blog.

    http://achemistinlangley.blogspot.com/

    Being attacked by the minions of Eris seems to be just what is happening these days. Any attempt to walk a middle ground is akin to walking between the two warring parties, you get shot at from both sides, sometimes on purpose and sometimes because you just happen to be caught in a much bigger battle.

    • bedeverethewise

      Good post Kingb. Your approach is correct, IMHO

    • Ya, but with low sensitivity you can’t attribute the majority of modern warming to man.
      ===========

      • And with high sensitivity think how cold we’d be without man’s efforts. Then think about how long we can keep up the heavy lifting of warming.
        =====================

  17. Judith –

    Here’s something rather interesting:

    From Christopher Essex:

    Christopher Essex commented in Heartland’s press release, writing that “the probabilities cited by [IPCC] aren’t scientific; they aren’t actual probabilities. They are just the opinions of fallible human beings dressed up to look scientific.”

    Now, assuming that the quotation (from DeSmog) is accurate, what do you think that Christopher would have to say about the confidence levels you described here?:

    ==> “I would place ‘medium confidence’ on Nic Lewis’ ranges of TCR… ”

    And here:

    Expert judgment. my expertise versus the negotiated conclusion of the IPCC. Note, for AR5, i would have judged both TCR and ECS to be low/medium confidence. I argue here that Nic Lewis work raises TCR to ‘medium’

    • Joshua

      As I noted before, you shouldn’t rely on derivative sources, even DeSmog. Don’t be lazy, put the quote into Google and find the original, context and all https://www.heartland.org/press-releases/2014/11/03/heartland-institute-experts-comment-latest-united-nations-climate-report

      You could also attempt to find out a bit more about what the situation is here by looking at the IPCC Guidance on Treatment of Uncertainty (whether confidence in the validity of findings or quantitative measures of uncertainty) and reading a bit about the use of probabilities based on expert opinions, particularly in Bayesian statistics.

      Then you could form an opinion on whether what Essex was fair and how what our hostess said fitted with that, and then comment based on that (should you still think it worthwhile).

      • HAS –

        Well, perhaps this added context is interesting:

        ==> “They become even more meaningless when they are raised from nearly 100 percent to even more nearly 100 percent. ”

        But it doesn’t alter my perspective on the basic point. Many people on both sides of the climate wars take a very selective approach in their views of “expertise.” Many people on both sides, IMO, think an appeal to authority (or self-authority) is not fallacious when they do it, and fallacious when “others” do it – because they circle right back to their own appointed self-authority as a justification.

        It is no different than Essex’s selectivity in identifying the “vicious” attacks on scientists. Good god, man, take a look in this thread. We could publish a link to it in Webster’s definition for irony. In itself, it would be sufficient.

        Indeed, IMO, much of this boils down to “priors,” even as both sides claim that they’re motivated by “truths,” and the otters are motivated by politics. An objective approach to recognizing the dependency on priors is, IMO, a hallmark of a scientific approach. Which is why I find it so interesting that mathematicians and scientists and engineers and “truth”-seekers are so reflexively adverse to ensuring objectivity in their approach.

        I’ll keep watching for something to change. And in the meantime, I’ll continue to comment on the sameolsameol as so well-represented by Essex’s article, Judith’s post about the article, and the follow-on comment thread.

      • Joshua

        You generally seem to miss that only “one side” of the debate is calling for society to change their behavior under the belief that a failure to do so will lead to a drastic worstening of conditions for humanity. Do you not think that those advocating such a change need to justify their cause and that it is a natural reaction for reasonable people to be skeptical?

      • And do some simple homework to make your expert opinions more expert?

      • HAS,

        That would require effort on Josh’s part.

    • Joshua,

      While I’m going to give Judith Curry the benefit of the doubt, in that SHE is probably the highest expert on what Judith Curry thinks and says, I’m going to say that even SHE would tell you that she is NOT the highest expert on what “Christopher would have to say” about anything. I’m going to give HIM the benefit of the doubt and assume that he is the highest expert on what Christopher thinks and feels.

      SO, asking Judith Curry what Christopher would have to say about the confidence levels that she described in the two examples you posted, seems to be silly and futile, rather than actually interesting.

      I’m also not convinced that you aren’t conflating “confidence levels” and “probabilities” and/or using them interchangeably in a less than accurate, honest way.

    • Joshua – both the IPCC and Dr. Curry’s offerings are a product of judgement. The IPCC is a product of a political process and because of that, the judgment is harder to interpret, although it is know that some countries get to change facts that don’t suit their tribe.

  18. A fascinating poll would be to ask members of the climate establishment whether they support the Call Out the Deniers Campaign and Al Gore’s call for deniers to be punished.

    My instinct is that a majority would support the efforts. Any results above 1%, should be of great concern to us all.

  19. One of the greatest lessons from the history of science is that humans don’t only get things wrong, but they stubbornly hang on to the stupidest of ideas to the bitter end.

    Certainty is an Addiction. Climate change has become a new twist on the old saw attributed to Ben Franklin that, in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.

    Most in the Third and Developing world are hindered little by a shortage of certainty –e.g., what the weather will be like in 100 years — because, they’re too busy with basic survival today.

  20. I would encourage Dr. Essex to write a similar analysis of tactics used by some commenters to climate blog. Thanks Judith.

    • I would encourage Dr. Essex to write a similar analysis of tactics used by some commenters to climate blog.

      One difference would be that blog commenters are not subject to the same ethical rules. For example,

      1. Limit communication to area of expertise
      2. Present information accurately, in clear, understandable terms
      3. Disclose relevant interests
      4. Point out weaknesses and limitations
      5. Mention opposing scientific views

      • Mention opposing scientific views

        So mention intelligent design every time we talk about evolution. You have to draw the line somewhere, right?

      • You have to draw the line somewhere, right?

        Your point being that CAGW skepticism does not rise to the level of an opposing scientific view?

      • joseph1002000: So mention intelligent design every time we talk about evolution.

        I have thought for a few decades that scientists ought to do exactly that. The views make clearly distinct predictions about the distributions of attributes and the survivorships of the progeny in every generation of every species. The two things least intelligent in the “design” of the individuals become obvious: (1) the much increased variation in the attributes of the progeny is independent of what any intelligent designer would consider “improvement”; and (2) almost all of the progeny are killed by the environment before reproducing.

      • > The views make clearly distinct predictions about the distributions of attributes and the survivorships of the progeny in every generation of every species.

        There should be no need to mention the theory having made incorrect predictions each time you mention the one that made better ones.

        I did not think creationism made any prediction.

    • Your point being that CAGW skepticism does not rise to the level of an opposing scientific view?

      Seems more like a disparate array of views, some of more relevance than others.

      • Seems more like a disparate array of views, some of more relevance than others.

        What are some examples of ones that you equate with intelligent design?

  21. At some point Climate Science will be at about the same level as Cold Fusion Research. There are still some people out there that believe there is something to it but in the main people have moved on.

  22. This entire assault could not be more anti-scientific.

    You have to consider who is doing the “assaulting” and who is being “assaulted” If it is political figures attacking other political figures, I don’t know what you are going to do about, because that is what modern politics has become. And further while scientists may criticize the work of others, that is not “preventing” them from doing there work. I still have yet to see an example of anyone being “prevented” from carrying out their research.

    • I still have yet to see an example of anyone being “prevented” from carrying out their research.

      Try ClimateGate email 3052 unless trying to get someone fired does not qualify as trying to prevent him from carrying out his research.

    • Were they recommending that he be fired from his job as a professor? That would be an example of someone prevented from doing research.

      • It was an attempt to get Chris de Freitas sacked from the University of Auckland, so yes.

      • I thought it had something to do with the Editorial Board not his position at the University of Auckland.

      • Joseph1002000 –

        I thought it had something to do with the Editorial Board not his position at the University of Auckland.

        Then why was it suggested that the letter be written to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Auckland, Professor John Hood? Email 3052 said that Prof. Hood

        “is very concerned that Auckland should be seen as New Zealand’s premier research university, and one with an excellent reputation internationally. He is concerned to the extent that he is monitoring the performance of ALL his senior staff, from Associate Professor upwards, including interviews with them. My suggestion is that a band of you review editors write directly to Professor Hood with your concerns.”

        The suggested letter to Prof. Hood was to say:

        “We bring this to your attention since we consider it brings the name of your university and New Zealand into some disrepute. We leave it to your discretion what use you make of this information.”

        Prof. Hood did not control the editorial board of Climate Research. What was the appeal to him for if not to get de Freitas fired from the University of Auckland?

      • > What was the appeal to him for if not to get de Freitas fired from the University of Auckland?

        How to reverse the burden of proof with one rhetorical question.

      • What was the appeal to him for if not to get de Freitas fired from the University of Auckland?

        Probably to get him to have a talk with de Freitas to stop his behavior. Do you really think the complaints made would be grounds for firing? I don’t. And also what ever happened to de Freitas? Was he fired? Do you really have an example of someone being “prevented” from carrying out their research?

      • Joseph1002000 –

        Do you really think the complaints made would be grounds for firing?

        I don’t know what the grounds of firing might be at the University of Auckland. It would be easier if de Freitas did not have tenure. Even if this is not grounds for firing such grounds can often be dug up if needed, or the person’s life can be made so intolerable that he leaves voluntarily.

        Probably to get him to have a talk with de Freitas to stop his behavior.

        And how would such a talk go? You have been critical of alarmist theory and we want you to stop it? There’s no threat there to his job security? If de Freitas being a member of the faculty brings the name of the university “into some disrepute” because de Freitas holds skeptic views then it seems that there are only two options: (a) de Freitas stops being a skeptic, or (b) de Freitas leaves the university. What other option is there that does not leave the name of the university in “disrepute”?

      • Willard –

        How to reverse the burden of proof with one rhetorical question.

        A simple statement that for the reasons given it is likely that this was to be the purpose of the letter to Prof. Hood. And it is not a rhetorical question. It says “If you believe that my reasons are insufficient please explain where they fail.” This is a legitimate question.

      • However, a recent incident has alerted us
        to the fact that poorly constructed and uncritical work has been
        allowed to enter the pages of the journal.

        They would discuss this issue with him.

        And don’t forget to address these questions which are related to the point I originally was trying to make:

        And also what ever happened to de Freitas? Was he fired? Do you really have an example of someone being “prevented” from carrying out their research?

      • > It says “If you believe that my reasons are insufficient please explain where they fail.”

        There’s no need to have an alternative theory to see that yours is not the only possible one, Swood. Nobody has any commitment regarding this specific incident except you. What you put on the table is quite thin, and that speaks for itself.

        If I had to sift through stolen emails, I’d start with some “thoughts for considerations” excerpted from 1999:

        a. I think we need to be very careful not to be implying that everything in the peer-reviewed literature is correct–even if the processes are followed meticulously. […] Where the process seems to be being subverted, one would hope that the subscription base will lapse, the set of submissions from leading authors will diminish, or the responsible party will learn about the problems and concerns through letters and even surveys of scientists’ views about the journal and fix the situation.

        b. In all of this, what we need to indicate is the strength of our efforts is the process. […] What gives the IPCC its stature is the process that it uses to get to where it gets–with a brodaly based set of authors and very wide-ranging and careful reviews involving experts from the scientific community around the world. […] However, for IPCC to clima its process leads to the most authoritative presenation of the issue, it is essential it consider not only the peer-reviewed literature, but also the various claims and perspectives of “The Skeptics”–basically, the IPCC has to be careful not to be seen as ignoring or hiding disagreements, but actually facing and explaining them. […]

        c. What I think has been a bit unfortunate is that we (the scientific community) do not seem to really have an effective forum where all the various viewpoints can be published together on an ongoing basis and a really active (but civil) exchange of views can take place. […] I really think we need to find a place where these discussions can occur […]

        d. If one is going to find some forum for a real exchange of views, it seems to me one challenge will be to come up with a sponsoring entity, moderator and rules that might attract both sides to it […]

        e. Meanwhile, rather than think about suing someone about seeming insults, I have taken the suggestion of several people whom have been criticized before me, and have simply added to my resume, for example, that ExxonMobil sent a letter to the Bush Admin in early 2001 urging my dismissal (along with getting rid of Bob Watson from IPCC, Rosina Bierbaum from OSTP, and Jeff Miotke […]

        f. That those of you being attacked are being attacked should be seen as a recognition of the importance of your work–were it not important they would be ignoring it. And if your papers are sound (as you all argue they are–and seems the case to me), the misdirected and false claims of “The Skeptics” will ultimately have no lasting effect, even if in the short term some politicians pay them too much attention and induce some short-term harm and delay. [..]

        That’s from this guy:

        http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/01/mikes-have-willies.html

        I seldom see that email quoted. Wonder why?

        ***

        Wait. Does that email contain a refutation of your theory?

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        Ah! The game of climate ball. Not being as well versed as most I was not familiar with the e-mail from which you quoted, but google is a wonderful thing.
        From the paragraph just above your offering of a “seldom quoted e-mail” this was found: “The “Skeptics”–and I put the term in quotes and capitalize it as it is a name a few have absconded with when all good scientists are taught and practice a degree of skepticism-“…………………………..

        I, for one, “believe” that IPCC might have been a better organization had they not stepped of into the realm of “policy”.
        Thank you for the lesson.

      • Heh, so we get RealClimate, and Gavin.
        ===========

      • Willard – maybe most people don’t have a problem with Exxon communicating with the Administration. I don’t like it and believe the corporate tax should be zero in exchange for a rule that businesses have to address Congress in public hearings if they want something from the government – laws or whatever.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim2,
        I’ll take my taxes being zero if the trade is I have to address congress for wanting something like “laws or whatever”. However, I can’t see how that’s gonna work.

      • It works by having citizens that have the right to vote to pay all the taxes. It is helped along by cutting the size and complexity of government and the laws so the government doesn’t need so much money.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim2,
        Wait. Do I understand this correctly? Corporations can have a voice before congress, yet pay no taxes, and they provide funding for candidates of their chosing, yet I as an individual don’t have the same kind of resources nor same voice all while I pay taxes?

      • I forgot to add that a zero corporate tax should lure businesses back to the US, thereby creating jobs that supply the money that pay the people that pay taxes.

      • Maybe you’re presuming corporations have more rights than academics, jim2.

      • > I, for one, “believe” that IPCC might have been a better organization had they not stepped of into the realm of “policy”. Thank you for the lesson.

        You’re most welcome, Danny Thomas. Beware that it’s easier to agree with stuff with which you already agree. What matters more, to me, is to show that the “stiffling dissent” meme is mostly a meme.

        Wigley’s rant may be better known. That Wigley was in an academic cage fight with Hulme, the newborn champion of CG I and II, might be less known.

        In any case, beware memes. If you don’t trust me on this, trust Dr. Essex.

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        Let me ask you this if I may. While I agree that agreeing with oneself is easy, and as I’ve not yet seen anyone ask you directly, are there any “memes” within the IPCC which give you “pause”?
        Another lesson I’ve been presented here is to only trust “my own lying eyes”. Now my eyes are not calibrated towards the science in sufficent depth to for me to trust them much. But I can read, and often find contrary evidence either head to head within a specific arena (SLR and the W. Post articles as example). And I find enough concern w/ IPCC “projections” to support my personal “meme” of skepticism of the nuts and bolts of the topic. Offered only so you’re aware of the background for my question.

      • Eddie Turbulence

        I, for one, “believe” that IPCC might have been a better organization had they not stepped of into the realm of “policy”.

        The IPCC is a creation of the UN – a political organization.

        The IPCC was a tool of policy from the beginning.

        Do read about Maurice Strong, the Club of Rome, and the quote:

        “The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.”

      • Danny Thomas

        Eddie Turbulence,
        I’ve read some of the history, but was only responding to the content of the e-mail in Willard’s offering w/r/t the “standing” of IPCC. Thanks for the suggestion as that history is relevant to the understanding of “skepticsm” of the entirety even if one happens to agree (or acknowledge) the value of at least some of the nuts and bolts from which that entirety is made.

      • > The IPCC is a creation of the UN – a political organization.

        [Step 1] The Royal Academy is the creation of King Charles II, a political entity.

        […]

        [Step n] Scientific institutions are the creation of political organizations.

        What should we infer from this, Eddie?

      • > are there any “memes” within the IPCC which give you “pause”?

        You go first, Danny.

        Tell me about some contrarian memes that give you pause.

      • Danny Thomas

        Williard,
        I have, but will again.
        Reliance on modeling w/r/t policy.
        Temps not doing as modeled.
        Sensitivities to CO2.
        SLR.
        IPCC reps stating that we need to change the global economy (even if the GW/CC theory is wrong?).
        Attributions.
        There are many unknowns, and I don’t know them all to the extent which some do, but as you project a long history of following this topic and such a deep knowledge base I’d presume (maybe wrongly) that there are areas of concern in your mind.
        This all goes to my point stated before that had IPCC focused on the science and stayed out of policy credibility “might” have been less of an issue. This is not a “climate ball” question to set up you for something but instead is to attempt to gain a grasp of how critically you evaluate this topic.

      • Are you sure these are contrarian memes you happen to doubt, Danny?

        I gave enough already, and I have not forgotten your questions the other day.

        You really should go first.

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        After I posted that thinking you may have meant “contrarian” as in not areas I found to have contrary evidence but instead indicating a “skeptical” viewpoint as the label is applied in the CC topic.
        Not sure why you’re so reluctant to respond, but I’ll have a go thinking you wanted my perceptions of the “skeptical” memes (however, there are “contrarians” on both sides from my view.)
        So here are a few:
        It’s not warming.
        Ice is not melting.
        Nuclear is the only answer (security issues).
        Alternative energy sources are a waste of time.
        CO2 is soley good.
        (You see, I’m skeptical…….of both sides).
        So, now will you participate?

      • > It’s not warming. | Ice is not melting. | Nuclear is the only answer (security issues). | Alternative energy sources are a waste of time. | CO2 is soley good.

        Good. How about

        – The Earth will run down like Venus
        – Ice will all melt next year.
        – Nuclear is evil.
        – We can boostrap our new economy using non-carbon based fuel only.
        – CO2 is solely bad

        ?

      • Danny Thomas

        Are those yours, or are you asking me why I didn’t mention them with the “how about”?

      • They’re mine. My “how about” was meant in the spirit of negociation.

        Think of the exercise as the opposite of an arms’ race. Instead of the usual meme race at Judy’s and elsewhere, we’re exploring the idea of some kind of meme disarmament.

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        “Think of the exercise as the opposite of an arms’ race. Instead of the usual meme race at Judy’s and elsewhere, we’re exploring the idea of some kind of meme disarmament.”
        I’m neither usual, nor in an arms race. I’m here to learn. I don’t have a science background but have gained some knowledge over the past approx. 5 months.
        So did the IPCC (my original frame of questioning) states the Earth will not run down like Venus? (Remember, I was asking about that which the IPCC puts forth that you may have issue).

      • One caricature for one caricature, Danny.

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,

        I’m beginning to notice that you’re all about the “climate ball” game but when specifically asked I’m unable to gain anything of substance. My assumption you were one from whom one could gain insight, but cryptic responses and an attempt at “gotcha” seems to be your “meme”. Lacking evidence to the contrary, I’ll move on wishing you the best. Regards.

      • Confidence tricks exploit characteristics of the human psyche such as dishonesty, honesty, vanity, compassion, credulity, irresponsibility, naïveté and greed.

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

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,

        All about the game, and still nothing about the substance. Yet another lesson learned.

      • You really should go first, Danny:

        To say no to people – that’s wonderful; that’s part of waking up. Part of waking up is that you live your life as you see fit. And understand: That is not selfish. The selfish thing is to demand that someone else live their life as YOU see fit. That’s selfish. It is not selfish to live your life as you see fit. The selfishness lies in demanding that someone else live their life to suit your tastes, or your pride, or your profit, or your pleasure. That is truly selfish. So I’ll protect myself. I won’t feel obligated to be with you; I won’t feel obligated to say yes to you. If I find your company pleasant, then I’ll enjoy it without clinging to it. But I no longer avoid you because of any negative feelings you create in me. You don’t have that power anymore.

        http://www.soulwise.net/99adm03.htm

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        I responded to your inquiry in good faith regarding my skepticism (both directions) and gain nothing in return w/r/t your contribution. Based on your obvious lack of reciprocal good faith my time will be better spent with others (even those with whom no agreement exists). I see now that you are all about “the game” and nothing about the substance. I “demand” nothing of you other than good faith and when you said I should “go first” that comes with the presumption that you would follow. Your deflections of participation and an orientation towards less than good faith and crypticism about being a “con man” or “soul wise” person tell me all I need for no longer interacting with one such as you. Still wishing you the best as you live your life as you see fit. I have no desire for power over you, and you have none over me.

      • You know, Danny, every French kid of my generation had to learn by rote this fable:

        I don’t need your attention, and have no wish to become your guru.

        Give me something tangible to work with. Citations for the memes you offered would best all the professions of faith, Danny. Showing me they’re caricatures that have currency would even compensate for the caterwauls about ClimateBall.

        In return, I’ll see what I can do. You have my word, and what I write under my name is my honor.

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        Your honor?
        My question still stands w/r/t your personal issues with the “nuts and bolts” of the IPCC. You may have none, and that would be a valid response. But what you’re bringing forth so far shows anything but honor especially after I “honored” your request for my issues with both sides with an expectation of your reciprication. So until you show good faith in your contribution, I have all I need from you. I have not the desire to play “climateball” with you, only asking for perceptions. As it stands, I have sufficient perception to understand the value of interaction with you and it’s not pleasant from this end. It’s fine should you not care about my perception. Only you are in position to modify that and since I have no impact on how you live your life, there is zero expectation. I don’t wish you to be “my guru”, but as your choice is climateball over substance there is still a lesson in that as to your preference. You, by your actions, care not about anything but the game. Those on “the other side” I’ve found to be quite open to sharing w/o regard to bias. But I’ll admit to your behaviour reinforcing my perception that the AGW side of this conversation has “exclusivity” of those not in full agreement of that “meme” being of no value. And with this, I have issue.

      • > But what you’re bringing forth so far shows anything but honor especially after I “honored” your request for my issues with both sides with an expectation of your reciprication

        You did not honor anything, Danny. You gave me unsubstantiated crap.

        I don’t recall Denizens using the “memes” you produced. Do you?

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        And you gave me unsubstantiated what? I see what you’re about and the onus is on me that I expected more. Bad on me. Climateball is all you care about. Nothing of substance and where’s the “honor” in that. Have a great day!

      • > And you gave me unsubstantiated what?

        The reciprocal of your crap, Danny.

        See you around.

      • Joseph1002000 –

        Do you really have an example of someone being “prevented” from carrying out their research?

        What you are really asking is whether I have such an example where the person doing the preventing acknowledges that he took his action because of the other person’s skeptic viewpoint. Those, of course, are much more difficult to find. And even if an employer acknowledged that he has never hired any skeptic scientists because he regards such a viewpoint as a sign of incompetence you would not doubt argue that employers have a right to exclude people on the grounds of incompetence.

    • And another thing, swood as a hypothetical active researcher, what would you do or say if you thought someone was letting bad papers in journals? Would you stay quiet?

      • And another thing, swood as a hypothetical active researcher, what would you do or say if you thought someone was letting bad papers in journals? Would you stay quiet?

        Now instead of denying that anyone was “prevented” from carrying out his research you have switched to trying to justify it. Are you saying that the appropriate response to a study with which you disagree is to attempt to get the scientist fired from his University job?

    • Craig Loehle

      At least 3 state climatologists have been fired over global warming. Weather Channel Heidi Cullens publicly argued that weathermen on TV be fired if they don’t believe in Global Warming. There is an attempt right now to get Willie Soon fired for “conflict of interest” by a congresscritter. I hope these examples are adequate. No one can fire Steve McIntyre since he is retired nor Anthony since he is self-employed (thank God).

      • Craig, weathermen do research related to climate change? Are scientists calling for Soon to be fired? Are those calling for Soon to be fired, doing it because they don’t want him to do climate change research or because they feel what he did was unethical by not revealing his funding source.

      • Danny Thomas

        Joseph,
        “Are those calling for Soon to be fired, doing it because they don’t want him to do climate change research or because they feel what he did was unethical by not revealing his funding source.”
        That, I think, is an interesting question. So I googled “who is calling for willie soon to be fired” and those calling for him to be canned seemed to be aligned one direction and those in defense seem aligned in the other.
        Performing this exercise, I percieve, shed zero light on the answer to your question as posed above and think there might be more than just the two suggestions you posed and there may be a third (or more) considerations.

      • I hope these examples are adequate.

        No, I want an example of someone who has been prevented from carrying research related to climate because they are skeptic. Got it?.

      • Joseph,

        Murray Salby was sacked. Because he was skeptic? Obviously, the University wouldn’t have said so if it was the reason. Was it the reason? Did it have anything to do with it? Who the heck knows?

        The trouble is, if the evidence you’re looking for is a case where an institution openly and explicitly states that it prevented skeptical research, you might as well be re-enacting a skit from ‘Good Morning Vietnam’:

        Adrian as Gomer: We found out that we can’t find them. They’re out there, and we’re having a major difficulty in finding the enemy.
        Adrian: Well, what do you use to look for them?
        Adrian as Gomer: Well, we ask people, ‘Are you the enemy? And whoever says yes, we shoot them. [Pause] It’s very difficult to find a Vietnamese man named Charlie. They’re all named Nyugen or Doh or things like that. It’s very difficult for me.

      • Danny Thomas

        Ordvic,
        No luck with this link and since I don’t know to whom you’re referring could not assist: http://www.inquistr.com/1299796/climate-change-editorial-gets-professor-fired-from-think-tank/

      • Danny, I can’t copy/paste with my tablet so the links are tough to do. Go to google and type in scientist fired climate change and you’ll find them all on the first page.

      • Danny Thomas

        Ordvic,
        Thank you. Guess my search wasn’t the correct one. Found 3 in the first page and not sure how many it would take to satisfy Joseph (one is sufficient for me on either side if just w/r/t the politics). Just another indicator in the “climate wars” along with the honorable congressmen from Az’s approach regarding soley skeptics.

      • Danny,

        Yes I believe you’re right, Joseph seems to be very closed minded and has already formed his opinions. All of the scientific suppression is out in the open and has been for a long time. Go to the bottom of the thread and you’ll find a link to a letter sent from Hansen, Mann et al asking for skepticism to be eliminated from public debate

      • Danny Thomas

        Ordvic,
        “Drawing on both our scientific expertise and personal care for our planet and people” as if no one else has “personal care for our planet”.
        From: http://thenaturalhistorymuseum.org/open-letter-to-museums-from-scientists/
        An appeal to “self authority”?
        While I find much lacking in “open conversation” it most certainly does not come from only one side. Thank you for the reference.

      • > Here are three examples of people who lost their jobs due to peer pressure or were fired because they were skeptics:

        Bengtsson did not lost his job, Ordvic. Drapela’s contract has not been renewed. What’s the third?

      • 100 professor contracts were not renewed. The university says his views about climate change had nothing to do with it. So as of right now, nobody knows whether or not his views on climate change were even involved.

        Why were the other 99 let go?

      • Dr. Caleb Rossiter – (public policy) Doesn’t do climate research and he was fired from a “progressive” think tank (still a professor). I would be surprised if any ideological think tank employed someone whose views were inconsistent with the organization

        Dr. Nicholas Drapela (chemist) – Doesn’t do climate change research and we don’t know why his contract was not renewed.

        Dr. Lennart Bengtsson – He voluntarily left another ideological “think tank.” Still continues to do research.

        Got any more?

      • Ordvic –

        ==> “Yes I believe you’re right, Joseph seems to be very closed minded and has already formed his opinions. ”

        Is that you, ‘bro?

        Seems to me that you have determined that people were fired for their views on climate change (as a cause) w/o presenting evidence to support the assertion.

        I don’t doubt that it might happen, although it would seem to me that even if that were true, what would be of importance is to identify how meaningful or widespread that pattern would be. People will always search for these kinds of data points as a kind of cherry-pick to confirm a bias.

        But gotta say, based on the evidence presented thus far, it strikes me in this case you are being closed minded.

      • It’s quite we can all agree that those who work within institutions have their share of internal and external pressure. Climate studies is no exception. The stories of Hansen and Watson show that this is old news.

        Considering the constant requests against the IPCC here, elsewhere, and everywhere, this might be a double-edged meme. Victim playing shrieks and cries that we sacrifice scapegoats don’t mix very well. Or perhaps they do, depending on the blog posts, and the actors involved.

        I don’t believe in that meme so much, and share jim2’s realpolitik view on this.

      • Interestingly, Heidi Cullen got fired from the Weather Channel over her statement about weathermen.

      • Thanks, Judy.

        I’ve used that example to help Shub understand a little secret about moderation:

        https://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/censorship-by-judith-curry/#comment-12446

    • Joshua,

      I don’t doubt that it might happen, although it would seem to me that even if that were true, what would be of importance is to identify how meaningful or widespread that pattern would be. People will always search for these kinds of data points as a kind of cherry-pick to confirm a bias.

      Sounds reasonable to me, I agree with you.

      Can I bring you another cherry? I just picked it myself.

      I read here of a study that is reported as finding that one third of academics and researchers in the field of social psychology would discriminate against conservative candidates.

      Doesn’t prove anything about the question at hand in my view. Does a problem with social psychology academic discrimination imply a similar problem in climate research? Is this one study even valid? Does discrimination against different ideology translate into discrimination against climate skeptics? Not necessarily, maybe and maybe not, and who knows are my answers.

      Why do I even mention it? I guess because it surprised me, to find such a large admission of discrimination. It’s not as far-fetched as I’d have once thought, that there could be a widespread problem of discrimination against skeptical viewpoints.

      Basically I have cherry picked a data point to confirm my bias exactly as you said. Your original point on this was a good one. I’m not sufficiently motivated to devote the time and resources required to conduct a methodical study of the matter. But possibly a similar study conducted with climate scientists would help shed light on the matter.

      • Mark –

        I didn’t get back to you on this earlier.

        Here’s a link you might find interesting:

        http://edge.org/conversation/the-bright-future-of-post-partisan-social-psychology

        and this:

        http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/social-psychology-biased-republicans

        I’ll look at your link later.

        W/r/t your general point. I don’t doubt that there are many layers of bias related to climate science. But the important issue is w/r/t what is the cumulative effect. It’s something that’s very hard to evaluate with any precision – so the question is how can we assess probabilities to help inform us about risk mitigation? The type of study you suggest could, indeed, be informative in that regard.

      • And Mark –

        W/r/t that first link I gave – I found the multilateral “discussion” to be quite interesting and informative – of the sort that I think that blogopsheric interactions might aspire to, but in general fall far short of that goal.

        I found it to be the kind of discussion that people who take the principles of scientific inquiry seriously, can engage in.

      • Joshua,

        I appreciate your response and links. Thanks to you and Willard I’ve got a veritable heap of birthday presents to read and think through, and it’s not even my birthday! :) I say this because I look forward to future discussions with you here, yet it’s likely that I’ll be busy chewing away on the stuff I’ve been introduced to today for a bit. If this turns out to be the case, please don’t misconstrue my lack of engagement as lack of interest!

        Regards,

    • What you are really asking is whether I have such an example where the person doing the preventing acknowledges that he took his action because of the other person’s skeptic viewpoint.

      Right, that’s a problem… Because the implication I get from this paper is that “skeptics” are being “prevented” from scientifically challenging the prevailing consensus theory . And I am waiting for waiting for one concrete example that backs this up. Even though one wouldn’t really be enough, it would be at least a start..

      • And I am waiting for waiting for one concrete example that backs this up.

        But since we know that no one will admit to this, and since you demand an admission, it looks like a safe bet. Do you believe that scientists who espouse a skeptic viewpoint have never had their applications passed over for that reason?

      • But since we know that no one will admit to this

        Well then you need to produce some examples out there of “skeptics” looking for work and unable to do research because of this supposed bias. A case with flimsy evidence is just that, swood.

      • Joseph –

        Well then you need to produce some examples out there of “skeptics” looking for work and unable to do research because of this supposed bias. A case with flimsy evidence is just that, swood.

        No, I was actually asking for your opinion. Do you believe that scientists who espouse a skeptic viewpoint have never had their applications passed over for that reason?

      • No, I was actually asking for your opinion. Do you believe that scientists who espouse a skeptic viewpoint have never had their applications passed over for that reason?

        I have no idea. How could I? How could you? Good way to divert the burden of proof, though.

      • Joseph –

        I have no idea. How could I? How could you? Good way to divert the burden of proof, though.

        No, my asking for your opinion doesn’t shift the burden of proof. It is not really credible that you have no opinion, or that you might think that an alarmist scientist hiring another scientist for his department might choose a skeptic over an alarmist with equal credentials (unless he was under some sort of political pressure to have at least a token skeptic). For example, you claim to have no reason for thinking that one of these scientists would be apt to hire a skeptic for his or her department?

      • Again, no, the burden is on you to provide evidence that “skeptics” have been discriminated against, period. It’s your stated position that they are, not mine.And I will ask you again how can I possibly know if someone has turned for a job because he was a skeptic?

      • Again, no, the burden is on you to provide evidence that “skeptics” have been discriminated against, period.

        Does this qualify? http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/17/3071641/reddit-banned-climate-deniers/

      • Does this qualify? http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2013/12/17/3071641/reddit-banned-climate-deniers/

        What does that have to do with scientists doing climate related research?

    • Here’s one way to look at it, swood. Every experiment can go one of two ways It can either support your hypothesis or it doesn’t. So there is nothing stopping a “skeptic” from doing the exact same research as or similar to a “warmist” and getting the results that they believe supports their hypothesis. I don’t know see why anyone wouldn’t fund that research or publish it as long as the methods were sound. So I just don’t buy the conclusion that skeptics are somehow unable to do the research.

      • Joseph1002000 –

        I don’t know see why anyone wouldn’t fund that research or publish it as long as the methods were sound.

        Surely you are joking. Isn’t a person who publishes findings contradictory to Orthodox Alarmism pretty much guaranteed to be disparaged and belittled by the alarmist side, to say nothing of the effect on his career? I didn’t know that there was anyone who still questioned this, or who believed that the scientific cordiality and respectfulness of bygone years is still with us in the area of climate change.

      • Isn’t a person who publishes findings contradictory to Orthodox Alarmism pretty much guaranteed to be disparaged and belittled by the alarmist side, to say nothing of the effect on his career?

        I don’t know about that, swood. Because most scientists don’t speak out at all and if they do speak out it’s about the quality of or the flaws in the research of some individual. The only people who really make it personal are activists who don’t like what some scientist have to say.

      • Swood, in science if someone’s work is solid it will eventually be recognized by other scientists even if it goes against the current view. That is why science is not static. Views on things change all of the time (because of observations and findings) Unless you are suggesting that there is some conspiracy to ignore or suppress the work of “skeptics.” I think the burden of conspiracy is on you not me. So you can speculate about motives all you want, but I am looking for something far more substantial.

      • Joseph –

        The only people who really make it personal are activists who don’t like what some scientist have to say.

        For example, Michael Mann calling Judith Curry ‘anti-science’? https://judithcurry.com/2014/01/18/mann-on-advocacy-and-responsibility/

      • Joseph –

        Unless you are suggesting that there is some conspiracy to ignore or suppress the work of “skeptics.”

        You apparently have not yet been introduced to the Climategate emails.

      • Joseph –

        Swood, in science if someone’s work is solid it will eventually be recognized by other scientists even if it goes against the current view.

        Yes, but there will be hell to pay until that time. The alarmists will certainly not go gentle into that good night.

      • You apparently have not yet been introduced to the Climategate emails.

        There are at least hundreds if not thousands of people actively doing research. The few individuals associated with “ClimateGate” would not have the ability to be gatekeepers for all the work done and published. I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill

      • Yes, but there will be hell to pay until that time. The alarmists will certainly not go gentle into that good night.

        Who says they are going anywhere?

      • Michael Mann

        Yep there appears to be a few activist scientists on both sides. Not many though. And they aren’t preventing anyone from doing research.

      • Joseph –

        The few individuals associated with “ClimateGate” would not have the ability to be gatekeepers for all the work done and published. I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill

        So when you find a group of people with a common goal, and the leaders of the group are found to display certain attitudes, that would not suggest to you that those attitudes might be shared more generally by the members of the group, at least until they openly admitted it?

      • So when you find a group of people with a common goal,

        What group? What common goal?

        eaders of the group
        What leaders?

        are found to display certain attitudes,

        What attitudes? That they don’t think crappy science should be published in journals? Do you think crappy science should be published in journals?

        that would not suggest to you that those attitudes might be shared more generally by the members of the group, at least until they openly admitted it?

        No it wouldn’t at all..

      • So I just don’t buy the conclusion that skeptics are somehow unable to do the research.

        No, they do the research. The problem is the obstacles that are put in their way.

      • Unless you are suggesting that there is some conspiracy to ignore or suppress the work of “skeptics.”

        What attitudes? That they don’t think crappy science should be published in journals? Do you think crappy science should be published in journals?

        You can’t really have it both ways. The alarmists see studies critical of CAGW as “crappy science,” right? (Because two contradictory points of view cannot both be correct.) They either “ignore or suppress” the “crappy science” or they don’t.

      • No, they do the research. The problem is the obstacles that are put in their way.

        A few examples doesn’t mean “skeptics” can’t get their work published. There are a number of journals in each discipline to choose from. If your paper is rejected in one, you can always submit it to another journal. Do you have an example of paper that should have been published but wasn’t?

  23. The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

    Essex:

    …brazen political-style attacks on scientists because of their views on climate. In particular there has been an aggressive assault questioning our ethics, morality, competence, and even sanity. It has been amazingly coordinated, coming simultaneously from a number of fronts: activists, Congress, Hollywood, and even some psychologists.

    If you can’t stand the heat – break out the tin-foil.

    Essex:

    This entire assault could not be more anti-scientific. The protagonists are political interlopers in science who do not understand or respect the nature of scientific truths and how they are discovered, let alone how they are justified.

    Assault! By “interlopers”, with no respect, no less.

    The scientific barbarians are at the gate!

    It’s always fun when people try to defend science by claiming to have insights into the nature of scientific truth that their rhetorical opponents allegedly lack.
    It’s so meta-eristic.

    Essex:

    One of the greatest lessons from the history of science is that humans don’t only get things wrong, but they stubbornly hang on to the stupidest of ideas to the bitter end. I do not absolve myself from this; it is my legacy as much as yours.

    Ya gotta just love the question-begging false modestly at the end.

    This comes from an applied mathematician who does not accept that there is a quantifiable global average temperature.

    This comes from an academic who thinks that Chris Monckton is a credible scientific witness – and a “very good dilettante”.

    This comes from a member of the infamous “Friends of Science” an oil-industry funded group that lobbies against climate change policy.

    This comes from a featured speaker at Fraser Institute and Heartland Institute Kyoto-bashing sessions.

    This comes from one of the 19 Canadians who signed the Letter of 60 to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, again urging no action on the climate change research and policy.

    This comes from a man who seems to believe that ice-skating constitutes a good argument against anthropogenic climate change.

    But – dear me – Dr Curry,
    Let’s not politicize the science!
    Let’s not descend into fact-free advocacy!

    • richardswarthout

      Rev Hypo

      You apparently have no valid criticism of Dr Essex. But perhaps you are a believer in the efficacy of carpet bombing.

      Richard

      • Oh no! Monckton, Fraser, and Heartland, oh my!

      • Reverend’s “It’s so meta-eristic” sounds like a criticism to me, RichardS:

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/114695704989

        His “Ya gotta just love the question-begging false modestly at the end” also sounds like criticism to me.

        Do you dispute the validity of these criticisms?

        Many thanks!

      • You gotta LOVE someone whose nickname screams “religious sermonizer” tries “to defend science by claiming to have insights into the nature of scientific truth that their rhetorical opponents allegedly lack.
        It’s so meta-eristic.”

        And deliciously ironic.

      • richardswarthout

        Willard

        I meant to say “you apparently have no valid criticism of Dr Essex’s essay”. Perhaps I wasn’t clear, but why is it necessary to explain this?The post is about the essay, not Dr Essex.

        Richard

      • > I meant to say “you apparently have no valid criticism of Dr Essex’s essay”.

        That’s how I read your comment, RichardS. Reverend’s criticisms were about the essay too. Dr. Essex seems to feature in his op-ed, which blurries a bit that distinction.

        ***

        Another criticism would be to underline that Dr. Essex wrote his op-ed in Breitbart’s.

      • richardswarthout

        Willard

        …brazen political-style attacks on scientists because of their views on climate. In particular there has been an aggressive assault questioning our ethics, morality, competence, and even sanity. It has been amazingly coordinated, coming simultaneously from a number of fronts: activists, Congress, Hollywood, and even some psychologists.

        If you can’t stand the heat – break out the tin-foil.

        About Dr Essex not about his essay

        This entire assault could not be more anti-scientific. The protagonists are political interlopers in science who do not understand or respect the nature of scientific truths and how they are discovered, let alone how they are justified.

        Assault! By “interlopers”, with no respect, no less.

        The scientific barbarians are at the gate!

        It’s always fun when people try to defend science by claiming to have insights into the nature of scientific truth that their rhetorical opponents allegedly lack.

        About Dr Essex not about his essay. Also, it is not rare for scientist to speak out when the scientific method is not used.

        One of the greatest lessons from the history of science is that humans don’t only get things wrong, but they stubbornly hang on to the stupidest of ideas to the bitter end. I do not absolve myself from this; it is my legacy as much as yours.

        Ya gotta just love the question-begging false modestly at the end.

        About Essex not his essay.

        Regards,

        Richard

    • Reverend Hypotenuse,

      You approach this topic from a different angle. I like it.

      “It’s always fun when people try to defend science by claiming to have insights into the nature of scientific truth that their rhetorical opponents allegedly lack.
      It’s so meta-eristic.”

      The CAGWistful view was metatastisizing but now appears to be metastatic. Whew! For a minute there I thought it might be changeable, like climate. ;)

    • You write effectively as a politician, expertly demonizing opinions counter to your own beliefs, while dancing completely around the actual science at the center of the debate, or the demonization of those working to advance the science – if not the policitics – of climate science.

      So I ask, is the current rhetoric acceptable to you, or are you just trying to tow the line as circumspectly as possible?

  24. I feel an affinity with Christopher Essex. We are both applied mathematicians, we’ve both written calculus textbooks (I have his on my bookshelf) and we’re both sceptical about climate change. But I’ve never met or emailed him.

    I agree with what he says, particularly the “climate science remains frozen and deeply flawed with no way to grow up”. Climate science stubbornly refuses to admit its errors, as we saw most clearly with climategate but it happens all the time with failed predictions being described as ‘skilfull’ and complete drivel like the Rahmstorf & Mann paper based on long-bunked proxies.

    I don’t share Judith’s optimism though. Climate scientists and their hangers-on are *not* suddenly going to respect or support opposition from people like Essex. They will never admit that they got things badly wrong. They will continue to hurl abuse at him and anyone else who dares to put their head above the parapet.

    • Paul Matthews

      Is this you?

      http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/mathematics/people/paul.matthews

      “…fluid dynamics, non linear systems, … , bifurcations…”

      I really hope to see a post from you!

      • Yes, that is me. You are right I probably ought to write more about fluid dynamics and non-linear systems and numerical computations, as Essex does. But my blog has got rather sidetracked into the social science/public opinion side of things.

      • > But my blog has got rather sidetracked into the social science/public opinion side of things.

        I may have heard this before.

        Welcome to the auditing sciences, PaulM!

    • Its been clear for years that in this area what is valued is not good science nor good behaviour , but producing the ‘right results ‘
      Therefore in an society where poor pratice is rewarded , we should not be surprised to find that poor pratice becomes the norm , especially when that poor pratice is a much easer route then unrewarded good pratice .
      No matter what we think of ‘the Team ‘ the reality is professional, and to some extent personal , the way they have worked has been rewarding . Therefore it should come has no surprise to find others do the same.

    • Paul, I do not share your pessimism (see downthread, previously posted). Understand where you are coming from in the UK. But ever since UNFCCC in 1992? this has been a global play. Unfortunately the UK’s disfunctional renewable electricity silliness will be part of the global object lessons now arriving, which color my optimism that ‘this will soon pass’.

  25. Danny Thomas

    For this observer, there would be much value in seeing one of the “opposite side” of the fence to respond in kind advocating for science and the evaluation of science by all concerned enough to participate. Stifling the conversation no matter from what view, is counterproductive. The conversation is equally as valuable as the science as without same how can we be a society?

    • Danny –

      ==> “Stifling the conversation no matter from what view, is counterproductive.”

      If you had to pick one, do you think that Christopher is doing more to advance the convo or to stifle it?

      • Danny Thomas

        Joshua,

        Both! (I don’t have to pick one).
        My personal experience from wading in to these waters has lead to witnessing stifling approaches to conversation from extremists on both sides.
        Therein lies voicing a desire to see a response from “the other side of the fence”. Maybe then both sides will react in a fashion to accept open dialogue and evaluation.

      • But what if you did have to, Danny? Which would you pick?

        Anyway, please let me know whether you see, in the real world, any non-stifling effect from what Christopher is doing. I’ll bet you won’t see any.

        IMO, Christopher’s intent is not to advance the convo, but to be polemic, to score a victory within a vision of the exchange being of the zero sum gain type.

      • Sorry –

        I made a mistake there, by presuming to be able to assess “intent.”

        Bad me.

        I don’t have the information to judge his intent. Actually, I assume that his intent is to advance the convo – but that his biases lead him to wrongly think that will be the outcome of this dreck.

      • “Bad me.”

        No, Joshua. Bad ME. ;)

        Andrew

      • Joshua said:
        Sorry –

        “I made a mistake there, by presuming to be able to assess “intent.”

        Bad me.

        I don’t have the information to judge his intent. Actually, I assume that his intent is to advance the convo – but that his biases lead him to wrongly think that will be the outcome of this dreck.”

        Good job admitting that you presumed to be able to assess “intent”. But you should have stopped there. Instead you went on to demonstrate that you are just as prone to the same behavior you called others out for earlier:

        “Many people on both sides, IMO, think an appeal to authority (or self-authority) is not fallacious when they do it, and fallacious when “others” do it – because they circle right back to their own appointed self-authority as a justification.”

        Not only did you presume to be able to assess intent, you ALSO circled back to your own self authority (in this case, your lack OF self authority at all on what Christopher’s intent is) as if you are STILL justified in believing that “his biases lead him to wrongly think that will be the outcome of this dreck.”

        If you’re incapable of presuming what his intentions are, I’m going to bet you are equally incapable of knowing what his biases are, or what his thoughts on the outcome of this essay are either.

      • Stifling the conversation is almost as bad as interrupting it, Joshua.

      • Tom,

        Josh has admitted previously that he can’t do the science and he doesn’t have the heft to stifle the conversation, leaving interuption as his only available function.

  26. Every time I look at Google news page there is another review praising Merchants of Doom. Google execs visit White House about once a week to ask favors and get their marching orders.

    https://news.google.com/nwshp?hl=en&tab=wn&q

  27. Outstanding post! First time I have heard of Eris. I’ve learned something, again.

  28. This topic reminds me of Ayan Hirsi Ali, author of “Heretic” and “Infidel”, former member of the Parliment of the Netherlands, colleague of the murdered Dutch film director Van Gough, and a brave person living under the burden of a fatwa and threat of death.

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/03/ayaan-hirsi-ali-a-hero-for-our-time-116404.html#.VRRXTWt5mSM

  29. Fox News, or one of the other networks should challenge Chris Mooney, Naomi Oreskes, Steven Lewindowsky or some other of these shrill jerks to an interview with someone knowledgeable present on the other side.

    • I agree. What better way to stop these shrill jerks from being so vicious?

    • They would likely never go on fox news and no other news outlet has any interest in a real debate as they are also too invested in the lie of CAGW.

  30. An important essay, IMO, for two quite different reasons.
    1. It was published by Breitbart, ‘new age media’. The most recent US Gallup poll (see JoNova today) shows firm skeptics have doubled to 25%, while firm warmists have basically not changed since 1989 (30~35%)– when the whole thing began [between 1988 (Hansen in Congress) and 1992 (UNFCCC founding)]. Despite the evident MSM bias, the bleating in Scientific American and National Geographic, and all the NGO politicking. There are new ways to have ‘conversations’, including scientific ones, as Mann and Rahmstorf found out this week. And these new mechanisms appear to be increasingly effective even tho they still have ‘Wild West’ aspects.
    2. Climate science is inherently “big science”. Supercomputers, satellites, ARGO buoys. So big government dollars subject to politicization. Plus, the policy ‘solutions’ are inherently political, especially on the left (which is apparently where most ‘greens’ reside)– as Obama illustrates for the US. Renewable subsidies, Solyndra, ‘war on coal’, Keystone… So it is not surprising that political tactics have been imported into the ‘science’ portion of the ‘conversation’. Grijalva is an example, but there are many others within the ‘science’ itself. Holdren attacking Pielke Jr.’s Congressional testimony about weather extremes is an example.

    Against those politicized science funding headwinds, internet enabled access to knowledge and new forms of communicating that knowledge (outside the flailing and failing ‘peer review’ paradigm) is a counterforce. McIntyre’s tireless dissection of Mann’s poor paleoclimate research is but one example. The Mann/Rahmstorf paper’s fate is another. Marcott’s abomination in Science 2013 is one discussed at Climate Etc.

    My Polyannish view is that sunlight is a great disinfectant. Especially against political shenanigans. Doubly so on the science side of the ‘conversation’, because most scientists probably respect the scientific method (with exceptions like Mann). With internet enabled communications, communities of technical interest, ebooks, and other new ‘media’, sunlight can be shined on any matter 24/7. And it doesn’t hurt that Mother Nature herself appears to think climate science isn’t settled.

    • Rud

      Be careful of drawing conclusions based on the results of surveys before reviewing the acually questions asked closely. In your #1- how are the terms defined by those responding. Would they respond the same way if asked the same question over time?

      Imo, the question of what government should do in response to the potential concern should be largely driven by ecomonics. Using the US as an example, few people seem to realize the threat the US faces economically in the next 15 years due to an aging population. What is the issue most likely to damage the US over the next 25 years—our economic stability

  31. climate science remains frozen and deeply flawed with no way to grow up, despite avalanches of funding thrown at it.

    I don’t think that is a true statement. The papers by Romps et al, O’Gorman et al, and Laliberte et al show that it is possible to publish papers that within them contain findings and approaches that tend to work against the “alarmist” consensus. I can’t be the only reader to have noticed that the Romps et al approach has implications beyond lightning (though I may be the first person to blog two possibly mistaken elaborations.) It looks to me like there is also a large phalanx of excellent Chinese scientists working independently of the “alarmist” consensus. It also looks to me as though the “pause” has alerted scientists to at least 20 unanticipated avenues of research, as they attempt to acquire information on whether there is any explanation.

    • Danny Thomas

      Matthew,
      “(though I may be the first person to blog two possibly mistaken elaborations.)”. Only two? I feel quite certain I’ve mistakenly elaborated more than that, just not about Romps. Most everything else however……………
      :)
      You do work, and show that work and that sir is admirable.

    • > The papers by Romps et al, O’Gorman et al, and Laliberte et al show that it is possible to publish papers that within them contain findings and approaches that tend to work against the “alarmist” consensus.

      A blast from the past, courtesy of Eric Steig:

      Many of your readers will no doubt ignore this because of my association with RC, but my personal experience as a relatively young person in this game just doesn’t jive with what you are saying. I was highly critical of IPCC AR4 Chapter 6, so much so that the Heartland Institute repeatedly quotes me as evidence that the IPCC is flawed. Indeed, I have been unable to find any other review as critical as mine. I know — because they told me — that my reviews annoyed many of my colleagues, including some of my RC colleagues, but I have felt no pressure or backlash whatsover from it. Indeed, one of the Chapter 6 lead authors said “Eric, your criticism was really harsh, but helpful — thank you!”

      https://judithcurry.com/2010/11/03/reversing-the-direction-of-the-positive-feedback-loop/#comment-7499

      The memes “IPCC dogma,” “religious importance that the IPCC holds for this cadre of scientists” and “they will tolerate no dissent” still persist to date.

      • Willard: A blast from the past, courtesy of Eric Steig:

        Thank you. There were important changes from AR4 to AR5, some of which were discussed here. Every grant proposal reviews an area of research and outlines what needs to be learned next, so collectively the community knows all of the problems in the theories. As long as the agencies fund research into unknowns, the scientists will eventually arrive at a better notion of the truth, even if it is counter to their present beliefs. In this I take my lead from the essay “The Essential Tension” by Thomas Kuhn; it is an essay that I think is more insightful than his booklet “The Structure of Scientific Revolution”, but I read it after reading the booklet, so I can’t be sure.

      • Hee, hee, I can hear O’Donnell: ‘Eric, your criticism was really harsh, but helpful–thank you.’
        ===========

      • > In this I take my lead from the essay “The Essential Tension” by Thomas Kuhn; it is an essay that I think is more insightful than his booklet “The Structure of Scientific Revolution”, but I read it after reading the booklet, so I can’t be sure.

        It’s my impression too. In general, I prefer articles to monographies, so I may be biased. Conferences and lectures are the best, since we can hear the philosophers think more genuinely, I find.

        Considering that Kuhn is mainly interested in fields like theorical physics, I’m not sure how far we can take his framework to analyze climate science, which is a melting pot of disciplines more than anything. In any case, and since we’re on the Essex’ op-ed thread, it might be of some relevance.to recall where Kuhn shows that the dividing line between “applied” and “pure” mathematics is a fuzzy and changes over time:

        http://isites.harvard.edu/fs/docs/icb.topic1367052.files/Kuhn_The%20Essential%20Tension-Title%20TOC%20pp%2031-65.pdf

        ***

        Perhaps more relevant to our mutual point is this post at James’:

        Here is Eric Steig refuting her absurd claim about the IPCC that “they will tolerate no dissent, and seek to trample and discredit anyone who challenges the IPCC.” Her eventual response (which had to be dragged out of her through repeated challenges that she kept on ducking) was merely to dismiss it as an “anecdote”, even though one single case serves to refutes her claim. Well, I don’t think I got quite such a rapturous response as Eric did, with my attempts to improve the AR4 drafts, but I certainly didn’t get trampled and discredited either – merely made to feel mildly unwelcome, which I find tends to happen when I criticise people outside the IPCC too. But they did change the report in various ways. While I’m not an unalloyed fan of the IPCC process, my experience is not what she describes it as. So make that two anecdotes. Maybe I’m an “insider” too, in her book :-) If she ever deigns to address the substantive point on probability, maybe she can let me know, but I’m not holding my breath. Her main tactic seems to be throwing up layers upon layers of an increasing shaky edifice as quickly as possible hoping that no-one will notice that the foundations are collapsing as quickly as people can read.

        http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2010/11/wheres-beef-curry.html

        Things take time, it seems. ClimateBall things takes even more time.

        Audits, on the other hand, never end.

      • > I can hear O’Donnell

        Can you still see his smileys too, Koldie?

      • Willard, it’s about clouds….and stuff.
        ======

      • Ice, Koldie:

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/tagged/antartica

        A ClimateBall episode that may be related to Essex’ concerns.

        ***

        Another chapter from Kuhn:

        http://www.philosophy.org.vt.edu/files/8813/4455/4391/Kuhn.pdf

      • Willard, I’m struggling to find sure footing through the mists and the marshes. Your stuff makes mucky and sucking sounds off to the side.
        =====================

      • Joshua’s a loudspeaker from the clowns on the left, Fan blares from the jokers on the right.
        ==============

      • Start here:

        On Revealing the Identity of Reviewers

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/3263252036

        Don’t worry, it’s NG’s stuff.

        ***

        Do you know by any chance why NG’s categorized as a lukewarmer at Tony’s?

        Many thanks!

      • Do you know by any chance why NG’s categorized as a lukewarmer at Tony’s?

        Maybe he actually looks at the data?

        IPCC AR4 high scenario: 4.0 K/century
        IPCC AR4 low scenario: 1.8 K/century
        Range of global observations: 0.5 to 1.6 K/century.

      • That makes the IPCC lukewarm, Al.

        If that’s the case, then the “lukewarm” brand is simply predatory marketing:

        As I’ve already said, when you’re being predatory and it inflicts the greatest damage it makes response the most difficult. How do you respond if you’re Nike or Adidas when the lie has been exposed? You can’t just drop all the stars.

        http://www.stepchangemarketing.com/blog/what-is-predatory-marketing

        Oh, and Essex was saying something about eristic.

      • That makes the IPCC lukewarm

        And observations are cooler than the IPCC predictions, so…

      • Danny Thomas

        Good thing IPCC has to be “conservative” in it’s negotiaged projections in order to reach a consensus.

      • > Good thing IPCC has to be “conservative” in it’s negotiaged projections in order to reach a consensus.

        Yet winess the memes about “dogma,” “religious importance,” “cadre of scientists” and “they will tolerate no dissent.”

        ***

        > And observations are cooler than the IPCC predictions, so…

        Here:

        http://www.woodfortrees.org/graph/hadcrut3vgl

        Would you buy, keep or sell, Al?

      • Willard’s found the pause: Black and green and red all over.
        ===============

      • Well, a technical analyst would draw a straight line under the lows of that last jag up. Note how the chart breaks to the right and crosses that line. That’s a sell signal.

      • > [A] technical analyst would draw a straight line under the lows of that last jag up.

        Strange.

        I see an ascending triangle. The resistance at around 0.3 is about to get tested for the fifth time. AGW tells me there’s good volume.

        Show me, jim2.

      • Willard’s faith is touching but his mouth is where the money is.
        ==================

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

    Dr. Curry
    I admire your grace in this debate.
    After recent events and the AMOC paper, it appears to me the warmunist will say and do anything.
    I hope you are able to hold the high ground

  33. No, we don’t even have a coherent, physically based, definition for climate, let alone climate change.

    If we think of ‘climate’ being an assessment of past weather over a long period of time –e.g., from 1895 to 2013 — and, narrow the idea of ‘change’ down to a focus on a trend based on the global mean temperature over land and sea, we get -0.13/Decade (see, NCAR/UCAR).

    • +0.13°F/Decade. Not much when you consider it includes the UHI effect that corrupts the land-based temperature record with a systemic warming bias.

  34. Science simply has no place for trying to label others has not merely wrong but mad or bad . The real home for that is religion or politics with its addiction to dogmatic approaches which require an ‘evil other’ opposition to exist.
    Therefore those that go down this route are simply not involved in science at all.
    Although its fair to say their is no grand conspiracy to promote CAGW , there area number of strong vested interests, both political and professional, in keeping a particular view point centre stage and unquestionable.

    ‘This is a failed strategy; not only is it ill suited to the complex, wicked problem of climate change, but it is destroying climate science in the process.’
    True the move away form accepting that our knowledge of this area was not that great , for example has we seen in weather forecasts are being worth little even 72 hours head, to claims of settled science, with climate forecasts for many years ahead to two decimal places levels of precision being claimed . Was not a reflection of our increased knowledge and skill , but one of increasing need to make grand statements based on poor evdainced for politic or ideology reasons.
    The models fail becasue we still lack the skill and knowledge needed for them to work .

  35. There is some cause for hope. It seems that the American public is increasingly resisting unfounded climate claims. As Jo Nova points the skeptical portion of the public is growing (now 25 per cent) and hardening, mainly from undecideds shifting in that direction.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/182105/concern-environmental-threats-eases.aspx

    • I neglected to say that in the Gallup polls you have to look at the detailed answers where skeptics appear as those who are worried “Not at all” about Global Warming/Climate Change. That faction has gone from 12 to 24% and “No opinion” is down to zero. Meanwhile those worrying “A great deal” or “Quite a Bit” has gone from 65% before Copenhagen COP down to 55% today.

    • Correction: Worriers are either “A great Deal” or “A Fair Amount”.

  36. George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

    Is it my impression that the rhetoric from the left and AGW crowd is getting more shrill during the past three months. Is it because they realized they are exposed because too much data and associated interpretations demonstrate that model-based results are off-base? Is it because they fear failure at the up-coming Paris talks and another climategate type of leak? Is it because polls by Gallup and the UN show the public puts climate change as dead last in all its concerns?

    This tell me that perhaps, they are on the run and fighting their last battle. I hope that is true.

    • Dr George it’s Paris. The Western side pumps up papers about melting ice, the chinese lie about their coal consumption, and Pacific Islanders scream for help to save their Drowning Islands.

      • At Kobenhaven, the Chinese covered their chagrin at the failure of the shakedown of the developed countries by scolding The Obama for his neo-colonial maneuvers.

        The actors are in place, memorizing lines, finally primping. The plot is still in the dramatist’s pen.
        ==============

  37. What could be bigger or more tangled than climate? Yet we have been sending people into that unknown jungle with maps drawn up by green theologians and instructions to cull heretics and search for imaginary beasts.

    Is freedom expensive, confusing and perilous? Always is. But, given freedom, someone eventually emerges from the jungle with a better map or smarter idea.

  38. Tactically, the media running with the activists campaign to pin yellow stars on those not toeing the full Greenpeace catastrophe line (see where the stories are being sourced from) will backfire totally. Scientists are generally mild mannered people who like to see fair play. What scientists would want to be associated with this spewing of hatred and the enforced conformance to a single world view? I would expect the better scientists to start to distance themselves from the activists fervour which will in the long run help moderate and more nuanced views to be heard.

  39. “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

    — George Orwell

  40. It is very hard to find anything scientific that Essex has said. It all seems to be this negativity towards climate science and scientists. He has said he doesn’t believe in a global temperature, so he might have interesting debates against people like Spencer and Lewis (and even Monckton) on that subject because these have written whole papers assuming that a global temperature exists. Therefore, I don’t think he speaks for even the minority view here, because they are all part of the problem with this global temperature thinking.

    • Global average temperature can be calculated but you won’t find a relevant physical equation that uses such a term. Certainly, GAT is irrelevant to the motion of the atmosphere and the motion governs the important processes ( precipitation, storms, winds, etc ) that so many will hand wave about.

      • It is rather important to the global energy balance (see Monckton, Soon et al.).

      • Curious George

        A daily minimum and maximum temperature at a place is a physical quantity. When a minimum temperature gets too low, plants die, and animals feel cold. An average daily temperature is just a mathematical construct with some uses, frequently misused, but not a physical quantity. Just like an effective radiative level.

      • It is rather important to the global energy balance (see Monckton, Soon et al.).

        Actually, it’s not. In fact, it’s when you get into energy balance considerations that the truly mythical nature of “global average temperature” really stands out.

        As for Solar enthusiasts, I’d guess that Essex is as skeptical of Solar “forcing” as of greenhouse.

      • Eddie Turbulence

        It is rather important to the global energy balance (see Monckton, Soon et al.).

        Yes.

        But the global energy balance is not that important to the motion of the atmosphere.
        The distribution of energy is very important, but the global balance is not. And the distribution of energy on earth is dominated by the fact that earth is an orbitting spheroid.

    • But, of course, this vid is well worth watching:

      • By his logic, this kind of thing is impossible. He is behind the times.

      • Eddie Turbulence

        Jim D,
        By his logic, this kind of thing is impossible.

        The model depiction is great but it cannot be correct 10 days out.
        And the statistics for a year, a decade, or a century are also impossible.

        But more to the point, consider this.
        The upper troposphere incurs less radiative forcing than the lower troposphere. The prediction of the Hot Spot, then, is entirley a dynamic feature. The fact that the hot spot has failed to occur represents the failure of the dynamics of the gcms, for reasons outlined by Essex.

        The temperature profile of the atmosphere is largely determined by dynamics, and this profile effects the amount of energy emitted to space.
        So, the dynamics do matter.

        He is behind the times.

        You mean the models no longer use the primitive equations?

        Or someone has invented solutions to the nonlinearity of those equations?

        I don’t believe in the authority of ‘expert’ status.

        But at the same time, if you haven’t taken a differential equations course, you will not be able to understand one important reason why fluid dynamics of the atmosphere are not predictable.

    • Of course you’re right. He’s not speaking scientifically. He’s speaking in defense of people speaking scientifically. To even pretend to fight such a straightforward sentiment seems to be a losing proposition.

    • Essex said moral and ethical values in the science of Climate were being trampled on by denying people the scientific curtesy of asking questions.
      How can you miss this, JIm D
      and it’s importance.
      So dismissive and not addressing the subject.
      So unlike you.
      I will try once more.
      Do you agree with his ethics or do you not care?

      • Who exactly is he accusing of what exactly? This is hard to extract from his generalizations, so I cannot comment.

    • Has anyone answered the questions and complications he raises in that paper, or is it all just dismissed with the wave of a hand?

      • He never refers to any papers as far as I know. This is part of the problem with his narrative.

      • He never refers to any papers as far as I know. This is part of the problem with his narrative.

        D’ya suppose that’s because it’s all based on “textbook stuff and basic science”?

      • He didn’t even refer to textbooks. We don’t know which parts of AGW he is opposed to because he doesn’t say. Which areas of scientific inquiry are suppressed, and how, and who does it? No examples. It’s just a non-specific rant.

      • JimD, it’s poor form to play ignorant when the subject makes you uncomfortable. If you don’t wish to comment honestly, then why bother at all?

        You’re far too involved with this debate to not have noticed the attacks against skeptical views from scientists, and that they are increasing in rate and magnitude. Do you agree that everyone concerned with the science unite against such behavior? Or are you going to stick your head in the sand and pretend it’s not your problem?

      • No examples. It’s just a non-specific rant.

        Oh, I thought you were referring to Does a Global Temperature Exist? by Christopher Essex, Ross McKitrick, and Bjarne Andresen Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics Volume 32 No. 1. A well-reasoned, if somewhat sketchy, demonstration of (some reasons) why “Global Average Temperature” is a myth.

    • Hmmm … that’s an interesting proposition I hadn’t thought of before … there is no global temperature. I suppose one could take that view as it is not a direct measurement but rather a compilation of data related to temperatures.

  41. “climate science remains frozen and deeply flawed with no way to grow up, despite avalanches of funding thrown at it.”
    Might I be so bold as to suggest that the flaw is the avalanche itself, IOW change “despite” to “because of” in this sentence. AGW is such a goldmine that no amount of contrary data will easily starve it.

  42. What is crazy about people like Christopher Essex playing the victim card is that only conservatives have actually used the coercive power of government to suppress opinion on climate science. One need look no further than recent events in Florida, where a conservative administration is trying to ban scientists from using the term ” climate change” , to see who tries to suppress.

    • You might want to get out a little more.

    • So, the head of Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection doesn’t believe “man made climate change” is responsible for every environmental issue Florida faces, and is trying to keep that term from dominating attempts to mitigate environmental damage from groundwater depletion, polluted runoff, overfishing, and other human activities?

      Perhaps FEMA can correct this person’s thinking.

    • I agree neither side can claim virginal status in the smear campaign that has dominated climate science these last 20 years. However, to believe nothing as coercive has come from “progressive” leadership like Al Gore is to either be ignorant of current events or complicit in them.

      • How has Al Gore used government to suppress opinion? Any concrete examples?

      • Gore has used the legacy imprimatur of a former government official in his denigrating comments about deniers. And given the pandemic of historical illiteracy and foggy prefrontal cortexes from legalization of weed, there might be sizable segments of the population who believes he is still VP.

      • Electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket. No need to dream in the beam, just open the bill.
        ===============

      • I can see why Florida did what it did. State agencies tend to be populated by leftists and I’m sure if left unfettered they would try to claim every problem in their state is due to “climate change.” I believe this move is perfectly rational and justified.

      • We’ll eventually reach a separation of state and climate.
        ================

      • Suppressing opinion ≠ coercing expression.

        With the assistance of public school teachers and the media, Al Gore has almost certainly coerced many thousands of children into fearing their future. He may be the biggest child abuser of all time.

      • stevenreincarnated

        Politicians determine what is said on behalf of the government. That’s how it works. Start at about 4:30 to hear Hansen complaining about the Clinton administration.

      • The Deity Hanson. Hanson brings down the 10 Commandments of Climate Science. The hype in that video is amazing.

      • Hansen’s warning is now 35 years old. Two “climate periods” if you will. Manhattan is still above water I believe.

      • I just watched that Hansen video. If he’s so concerned about getting his message out, why doesn’t he go debate someone? I never see anyone ask him a hostile or even challenging question.

      • So no examples involving Al Gore. Another talking point shown false.

    • A Florida scientist has described being “coerced” into changing “global climate change” to “global climate variability” in a report she wrote. Given the “human-caused” and “catastrophic” connotations imparted to the phrase “climate change,” that’s kind of like being coerced to change “Godly retribution” to “natural disaster.”

      How does that compare to FEMA withholding disaster funds from states that fail to officially endorse the lies of the Obama administration?

  43. Breitbart eh? Did the Daily Caller knock you back Chris?

  44. I had the pleasure this week of reading an interview with Naomi Klein in my local paper.

    It will be tough pulling the climate cart out or the morass as long as the likes of her have their baggage on board.

  45. The placement of this post immediately after “What is up with the Atlantic” caused me to smile.

  46. Judy,

    Many thanks for this. A few posts ago, I asked for a post looking at more fundamental personality-types than the normal left-right social science seems to give.

    Power is a much deeper motivation, which I hadn’t thought of.

    Regards,

  47. http://ecowatch.com/2015/03/16/al-gore-sxsw-punish-climate-deniers/

    Of course Al fails to mention his investments in “Carbon Trading”, which is the bigger scam than Madoff ever pulled.

    • Why are you against open markets and individuals making money?

      • You can’t possibly believe that carbon trading is an “open market”. Carbon is life on this planet. The thought of someone owning it and trading it is absurd. Who owns the CO2 in the ocean? Who pays for termite release, volcanoes, wildfires, exhaling?

        Carbon trading is an income redistribution plan cloaked in an Eco-robe that is trying to tax the air we breath (out).

  48. So now we have a name for the climate dogmatists: Eristocrats.

  49. Lewandowsky’s behavior around the publication of the DIxon and Jones critique of two of his earlier papers is a good illustration of Prof. Essex’s views.
    http://climateaudit.org/2015/03/27/jones-and-dixon-refute-conspiracy-theorist-lewandowsky/#comment-755806

  50. Just had a great idea after reading Metoffice is betting on 2015 being hottest on record. I say put your money where your mouth is. Convince the bookies to take odds on whether the next year or the next 5 years, or the next 10 etc etc will be the hottest on record. Bookies have a habit of getting things right to the point that they ensure no monkey business applies (their livelihoods depend on it) you might then find that the ones that do the best forecasting get the most money. I’m only guessing that this might redress the distribution of the 97% consensus.

    • Nah, bookies win because they split the odds and therefore the payout to match the bets on each side. With a healthy profit margin regardless of the outcome. They don’t actually know or care which way the issue goes.

      • er, know ahead of time. Obviously they know after the issue is decided. … I need more coffee I think.

    • I probably explained it poorly. Here.

  51. Danny Thomas

    Seems every mind and every approach on everything scientific should be questioned all the time: http://www.inquisitr.com/1953676/albert-einstein-was-wrong-about-quantum-mechanics/

    • If an electron is ejected during a nuclear disintegration, it will move in a certain direction. According to quantum mechanics, the probability of finding the particle in any given place would expand over time, so that after a bit of time, it could be found almost anywhere in the universe. That picture of the behavior of the electron is true, but it is incomplete. Any time that electron encounters a photon from cosmic background radiation, or a neutrino, or anything … it has been “observed” by the environment. This interaction localizes the electron to a very small space and in doing so imbues it with a certain path. This phenomenon is termed quantum decoherence, or simply decoherence. This phenomenon explains why classical physics does not really contradict quantum physics and vice versa.

      http://www.decoherence.de/

      • Perhaps the electron shouldn’t be thought of as an entity but just an instance of something beyond our ken.

      • You have a point there, NF. I thought I had a grip on what a photon was until I read this:

        http://tech.slashdot.org/story/15/03/21/229259/how-to-encode-205-bits-per-photon-by-using-twisted-light

      • Wow. That puts a new spin on my perception of light. And electrons and nuclei, too. Every particle in my being, round and round and round… A dizzying thought!

      • Will there ever be an end to the search for a grand plan?

      • Curious George

        I am afraid that electrons don’t interact with photons or neutrinos. Otherwise you are correct. How a photon of a wavelength of – I am guessing here – about 2 cm manages to get absorbed by a single hydrogen atom is beyond me.

      • nutso, “Will there ever be an end to the search for a grand plan?” Only when everyone realises that there isn’t one, in short, no time soon.

      • Curious George … from the article:

        Decoherence theory1, 2, 3, 4 has been complemented by experiments using matter waves coupled to external photons5, 6, 7 or molecules8, and by investigations using coherent photon states9, trapped ions10 and electron interferometers11, 12. Large molecules are particularly suitable for the investigation of the quantum–classical transition because they can store much energy in numerous internal degrees of freedom; the internal energy can be converted into thermal radiation and thus induce decoherence. Here we report matter wave interferometer experiments in which C70 molecules lose their quantum behaviour by thermal emission of radiation.

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v427/n6976/abs/nature02276.html

  52. Just a thought sorry it was off topic.

    • Naw, short Green Blob.
      ====

    • Ward, 2015 will be the warmest year yet.

      By hook or crook.

      You can take to the World Bank,

      • Ron –

        Ward, 2015 will be the warmest year yet.

        By hook or crook.

        You can take to the World Bank,

        Just goes to show, just ’cause climate “skeptics” aren’t prone to believing that the moon landing was a hoax…

      • Ron –

        Ward, 2015 will be the warmest year yet.

        By hook or c*ook.

        You can take to the World Bank,

        Just goes to show, just ’cause climate “skeptics” aren’t prone to believing that the mo*n landing was a h*ax.

      • Hey Joshua, maybe before making new unfounded generalized accusations about a whole group of people you could provide some evidence for your earlier ones…

        Because, you know, science.

      • fizzy –

        FWIW –

        I don’t assume (1) that any given “skeptic” believes in conspiracies related to climate change, and I don’t (2) think that “skeptics” as a group are prone to conspiracy ideation generally (relative to other groups such as “realists”), and I probably don’t think (3) that climate “skeptics” as a group are more prone to conspiracy ideation about climate change than “realists” as a group (although I would like to see evidence about that one because I think it is, at least, plausible)…

        But I most certainly think (4) that in these threads among many other in the “skept-o-sphere” I see evidence, on a regular basis, of climate “skeptics” promoting conspiratorial ideation related to climate change.

        If you want to see evidence, look at any of the recent threads about temperature adjustments.

        If you don’t consider those threads as valid evidence of (4), then more power to you, and I suspect that I would never be able to present you with evidence that would get you to agree with me on the topic.

      • And fizzy –

        My point was also that Ron’s comment at 1:20 was evidence.

      • Lighten up Joshua. Get some popcorn and let’s see what happens with 2015. Thumbs up? or Thumbs down?

      • I haven’t a clue, Ron. About that or about many other things.

        However, I don’t see why the mean SAT for one year should be particularly important anyway.

      • Ron –

        Perhaps you don’t know, but you should not tangle with Joshua. He is a fist-rate intellectual. He uses words like “ideation” and he has read “Development as Freedom”. He is also a devoted disciple of S. Lewandowsky.

        just warning you.

  53. Oh, and Joshua. I’m saying anything about a conspiracy. I’m like Sgt. Joe Friday: Just the fact, man, just the facts. The effects of adjustments upon station temperature records are a matter of fact, as are the claims about 2014 being a record hot year, and then later walked back, but never with retractions and repentance.

  54. Why have climate scientists become increasingly frustrated with so-called self professed “skeptics?”

    Maybe if these “skeptics” held themselves to some standards, they’d be welcome in the scientific arena. Maybe if they would stop the barrage of errors and logical fallacies that an undergraduate, upon causal inspection, could pick apart then they’d be welcome in the scientific arena. Perhaps if these “skeptics” made a single useful contribution to the science in the over decades of time (with some notable exceptions, Lindzen’s iris hypothesis, some of Nic Lewis on sensitivity) then climate scientists would actually talk about their work at meetings. Maybe if these “skeptics” actually showed that they understand the “orthodoxy” which they are so insistent on demolishing, they’d be take seriously. And then, even if they made a contribution, to be humble enough to place it in the context of what we actually know about a subject or in the “big picture” of what people are talking about without the online blog hit-and-runs, then we could engage seriously.

    But they have failed in all of these respects. Thus, they are and will remain irrelevant. Most single IPCC scientists probably have more publications than the entire Heartland squad combined. One doesn’t need appeals to consensus or “97%” numbers. Whatever the other small percentage are, the quality of their work is third-rate and not important. No paradigms have been overturned by these people because they can’t– it is in fact the “skeptics” who are playing to win, or to create doubt, not to establish truth.

    None of this is unique to climate- if someone with a high school education in astronomy kept claiming to overturn decades of work on astrophysics because black holes didn’t make sense to them, most astrophysicists would not likely (nor be compelled) to engage seriously, no matter what you were taught about how science works or what right you have to be listened to. Climate “skeptics” have not raised the bar from this example above.

    Thus, people like Essex don’t want to open up science to newcomers, they want to lower the bar on what science is welcome, a bar so low that people are going to waste their time reading too much of “the moon is made of green cheese” and not get productive work done. This has been the model of “open discussion” I have seen. But the burden is not on scientists to open up our ears and wait until a useful sound comes in, it’s for you to produce something impactful- and it will indeed receive interest.

    • Chris – Listen carefully.

      Lewandowsky is a fraud and a moron – if you support his work you are a fraud and a moron.

      Mann and Rahmsdorf’s latest paper is a fraud and a sham – if you don’t call out their continued use of contaminated datasets and ridiculous “teleconnections then you are a fraud and a sham.

      Hansen’s predictions of 25 + years ago have not come close to being realized. Sensitivity is much lower than has been claimed. Don’t obfuscate.

      Thanks. I can tantrum as well as you.

    • I’m not sure what you say is relevant Chris, much less whether its true in Essex’s case. What I have seen in his case is mostly applying well known and in many cases rigorous results from math and fluid dynamics to climate models. Certainly, the behavior he is calling out in the political arena is reprehensible.

    • Most areas of science, well understood or not, enjoy general trust. Climate “science” still needs its inverted commas in the public mind, in spite of all the push polling, mass campaigning, MSM saturation, disaster movies etc.

      People understand that climate is vastly more complex than the kiddie console of levers and buttons presented as climate causations. The struggle between the aerosols and GHGs for control of pathetic little Natural Variability is not a convincing script. And when the commonplace and well precedented (however disastrous) are portrayed as unprecedented and part of a new climate, the manipulation is just too apparent.

      Think again. And don’t publish. There’s thinking and then there’s publishing. Not the same. Oh no.

    • Chris Colose

      I hope your graduate studies are going well.

      As many of the skeptical scientists you seem to believe are not worthy of engaging come from areas of science that pertains to climate science, if even only tangentially, you will appreciate that statements and the body of work of these climate scientists are being scrutinized from many perspectives. The baggage borne by climate science today seems to come in the form of climate science activists who dilute the pool of information that can be trusted. It doesn’t help that much of climate science initially is learned through press releases; much of of this work, when assessed by a broader community has weaknesses that would have been best caught by editors and manuscript reviewers; and the confidence in the robustness of the results should be left to others, in particular, the mathematical types.

      It may seem hard to believe that someone outside of one’s studies has useful insight, but it is true. Many of the sage scientists, without much in the way of axes to grind anymore, are truly in a helping mode. When they question, sometimes out of ignorance, it is usually in the quest to understand and contribute their experience derived knowledge to the topic. Engagement helps both parties develop an improved product.

    • Eddie Turbulence

      Wait a minute.

      Models predict a ‘hot spot’ that doesn’t appear ( indicating a failure of dynamics )?
      -Never mind, no need for skepticism.

      Models fail to exhibit proper energy distributions ( per recent Stephens paper )?
      -Never mind, no need for skepticism.

      For the satellite era, all observed trends less than models ( Hansen A,B,C, IPCC AR4 near term projections, RCP scenarios )?
      -Never mind, no need for skepticism.

      Tom Naughton had a great bit about good science and bad science.

      Good science rejects or revises the theory that all swans are white when encountering a black swan.

      Bad science spends its time claiming the black swan isn’t black, or isn’t a swan.

      In these and other matters, the mainstream is bad science.

      • Saying things like “models are wrong at __” is not a very interesting or useful position…but the degree to which you can project that model bias onto your “skepticism” of the whole simulation (or the specific question you’re asking of the model) takes experience and training. You might indeed need to revise a theory, but what precisely needs revision isn’t self-evident by seeing that the model is “wrong.” It is also at this point in the process of engaging the scientific problem(e.g., model wrongness) that we see scientists and mud-slingers separate themselves into people solving the problem and people saying “see, see, I told you there was a problem to be solved!”

        Many outsiders to complex sciences (whether it is atmospheric or astrophysical or ecology) are uncomfortable with the notion of a useful but wrong model, but such devices are the tool most of science is built upon, and the only way we can understand the world. In this context, it becomes even more nuanced when you start asking questions about when a bias matters and when it doesn’t.

        You can certainly be “skeptical” or perhaps the better term is “curious” about all of the issues you raised, but there’s also a lot of literature you need to read on each in order to understand the context in which people are thinking about them. Indeed, it is precisely that the mainstream hasn’t ignored many of these things that so much literature exists. I know this might offend your democratic sensibility, or what you’ve been told about the scientific method in high school, but complex problems and caveats exist, you need to learn about them instead of trusting your gut, and the whole house of cards falling over in response to such problems isn’t usually the direction the science leads.

      • Hi Chris

        Nice to see you around here again.

        Last time you paid us a visit I think you were still a phd student. Have you got your doctorate yet?

        Tonyb

      • Chris Colose: Many outsiders to complex sciences (whether it is atmospheric or astrophysical or ecology) are uncomfortable with the notion of a useful but wrong model, but such devices are the tool most of science is built upon, and the only way we can understand the world. In this context, it becomes even more nuanced when you start asking questions about when a bias matters and when it doesn’t.

        At the present time, the high bias in the GCMs clearly shows that they are not useful for public policy — at minimum, the high bias shows that, although “wrong”, they have not been shown to be “useful”.

        You might indeed need to revise a theory, but what precisely needs revision isn’t self-evident by seeing that the model is “wrong.”

        The most glaring short-coming of the models to date (that is, other than their consistently high bias) is that they account poorly for the changes in non-radiative transfer of energy from the surface of the Earth to the upper troposphere. Even a 2% increase per K in the global rainfall rate puts a limit on how much the surface temperature can be raised by an increase of 4 W/m^2 of DWLWIR, and estimates of up to 7% per K have been published.

        “Impactful”? Skeptics have been persuasive up till now in showing that the projections by the people who have been warning of extreme warming are unreliable. I think that modelers and others in the “warning” community will require at least a decade of really accurate forecasts before they can regain the confidence of voters. In policy, it is valuable to point out that the knowledge base behind a recommendation for expensive new projects is full of holes, even if the people who point it out are not the scientists charged with the investigations. When it has been shown that “you” do not know what the answer is, it hardly satisfices to point out that “your” critics do not know either.

        I posted a short computation at RealClimate, under the workshop on “climate sensitivity” that might interest you. I also posted it here the other day. It is the summation of numerous smaller related posts.

      • I’ve seen it. I was going to comment there, and may do so in more detail at some point, but for one thing you aren’t thinking about radiative forcing or planetary temperature correctly. For example, doubling CO2 doesn’t increase DLR by 4 W/m2, actually much less than that when everything else is held fixed, and even if the term was zero you’d still warm the surface.

      • Eddie Turbulence

        Here’s what I can tell you about the models – they’re not useful for predicting temperature:

        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 )

        I can tell you that the models are useless for predicting precipitation other than a global mean, because precipitation is a function of unpredictable air mass motion. That goes for storms as well.

        I can also tell you that people like Santer tried to concoct a hot spot that matched the models rather than calling it a black swan by looking at two decades only of a much smaller ‘tropics’ when the trends look like this:

        This is a big deal, because as I mention above, dynamics determine how much energy leaves to space by determining how much energy arrives in the upper troposphere.

        A lot of ‘main stream’ IPCC crew wants to claim, the raobs are bad and leave it there. But as you can see, the pattern of trends from RATPAC, UAH and RSS are all quite similar. It would be strange to have an error that occurred just in the tropics and just between 400 and 200 millibars.
        So it’s a tell that the group think is to question the observations and not the data ( it’s not a black swan! ).

        Even Isaac Held, who I respect, can’t seem to bring himself to accept that a key aspect of energy transfer ( and according to theory, a big negative feedback ) doesn’t exist.

        None of this means that radiatively active gasses aren’t active radiatively as has been shown for long before the advent of the IPCC. Yes there should be warming, subject to unpredictable dynamics.

        So, what exactly do you believe the models are useful for?

      • Chris Colose: doubling CO2 doesn’t increase DLR by 4 W/m2,

        Maybe so, but that is the figure that is published.

      • Chris Colose: For example, doubling CO2 doesn’t increase DLR by 4 W/m2, actually much less than that when everything else is held fixed, and even if the term was zero you’d still warm the surface.

        What is your idea of the mechanism by which increased accumulation of CO2 in the troposphere increases the temperature of the Earth surface (water and land), and the deep ocean (thus explaining the “pause”)? At what increase in surface temperature do the changes in the energy flows balance, according to your model(s)?

    • It doesn’t add much to the conversation to make generalizations about unidentified self professed so-called skeptics. Who are you talking about? Judith Curry? Richard Lindzen? John Christy? Roy Spencer? Or are you just talking about random people who write comments on the internet?

    • “Maybe if these ‘skeptics’ held themselves to some standards, they’d be welcome in the scientific arena.”

      Maybe if the’ standards’ of the ‘scientific arena’ weren’t so confined to agreement there would be more illuminating debate.

    • CColose – With that overgeneralized tirade perhaps you could address the questions Essex raises in his paper, Does A Global Temperature Exist?
      It seems to me that that is a pretty fundamental criticism of your whole CAGW/AGW project and can’t be summarily dismissed without showing why it’s nonsense if you think it’s nonsense. If you don’t think the paper is nonsense then where does that leave you?

  55. Mann, Cook, Levandowsky, Oreskes….
    These are the faces of Climate Science.
    They represent you to the public.
    Lower the bar?
    We’re trying not to trip over it.

    • Though I’m not particularly religious, I pray that those faces never appear on any tax-funded monuments.

  56. Craig Loehle

    In the recent episode of State of Affairs, the secretary of state goes on a climate change rant–but only as part of having a breakdown and ending up in the hospital. Pretty funny.

  57. The problem with climate science is not that there are at least two contentious sides of the debate. The problem is that one side wants to impose its will upon the the other, and subjugate them and their children and their grandchildren to the yoke of their demands.

    I for one will not side idly by and let that happen without proof positive. Conjecture or theory will never be an adequate reason for me to surrender my grandchildren’s freedom. Their freedom is reserved without proof or the application of force.

    • Playing devil’s advocate here for a moment, I think an argument could be made by either side that decisions about CO2 emissions involve imposing will upon the other and subjugating children and grandchildren. From the AGW’er perspective, accepting significant climate sensitivity means that emissions are going to affect people. It happens that the status quo (CO2 emissions without government/policy penalty) is on one side. I don’t know that the argument would be correct, but I think a credible argument could be made.

      I’m not a warmist or a progressive, and I don’t play one on T.V.. I stayed at a hotel in San Francisco once though.

      • Imposing a law restricting the freedom of another is a concrete act.

        If a person supposes that an activity of another might in theory affect their offspring to some unknown extent, at some unknown time in the future, then that is not sufficient to take anything more than the most trivial freedom from another. If you want to impose your will on another you must provide the proof of harm. If you don’t have proof, then go away and work on improving your own neck of the woods instead of demanding that someone else remodel theirs. Or else gather your forces and prepare to back your demands with force.

        This is not a symmetrical debate.

        One side is gathering the political forces needed to trample the freedoms of another. Proof of climate sensitivity would be nice, but it becomes more obvious over time that it is not really required. How else does one interpret the rush to worldwide regulation even as models diverge from reality?

        One side asks to be left alone unless proof of net harm is provided, given the backdrop of vastly improving living conditions since the dawn of the industrial revolution.

        Mark, I mean you no ill will and take your argument as a fairly offered one. But I strongly disagree with your premise.

      • Thanks Sciguy. In point of fact I agree with you. Because I agree with you, I’m interesting in understanding the boundaries of the argument (so to speak) clearly.
        It seems to me that hard proof of scientific theories is hard to come by. Theories stand for centuries sometimes. Of course, when they are overturned it’s sometimes because they were found to be incomplete cases, like classical and quantum physics. Still, it seems hard to definitively prove much of anything.
        It seems reasonable to me that we accept some substantial amount of evidence instead. Maybe quantum physics would serve as an example; it stands because it works. It makes predictions that are borne out in reality, time and time again. If it didn’t work, all sorts of devices that rely on it wouldn’t work. So it seems reasonable to accept it.
        In my case with respect to climate science, I can say that I’d never have thought to question the science in the first place except that atmospheric temperatures haven’t behaved as projected by AR4, and this appeared to surprise the climate science community. So, in my view, there’s something wrong. I’m not willing to accept additional regulation and restrictions on my freedom on the say so of a science that isn’t able to make useful and accurate predictions. But if the evidence were stronger? There’s a point past which I’d change my mind.

      • Sorry, the wife interrupted me and I ended my post before I was ready. I didn’t mean to monologue you. :) I wanted to ask,
        1) Am I still making a mistake in my premises in your view, and
        2) Generally, what do you make of my distinction about evidence vrs proof?
        Thanks

      • Mark

        The streets of hell are paved with good intentions. There once was a theory that if your skin was black, then you really needed to be subjugated by others for your own good. This seemed so obvious that men of intellect and good intentions could write a constitution which proclaimed the right of all men to be free but also allowed for the ownership of black men and women in slavery.

        And today we see a confederacy of politicians and persons with scientific credentials rushing to yoke the masses even as measured (?) climate creeps into the most statistically improbable corners of their theory. But it is for your own good, don’t you know!

      • Mark

        Sorry, my earlier remark sat unsent while I made supper for my granddaughters, and then crossed yours.

        Oddly enough, I stand by those words as a reply. When you demand heavy sacrifices of others, you had better make sure that you are standing on bedrock and not quicksand, or else history will judge you very harshly.

        Unless of course you have the luxury of writing history.

      • Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me Sciguy. I appreciate it.

    • John Smith (it's my real name)

      I doubt Barack Obama or Ban Ki Moon has any idea what AMOC is. Mention ‘hockey stick’ and they think sports. They don’t give a wit about the science, only the politics.
      It’s not about the demands.
      It’s about the yoke.

  58. Eddie Turbulence

    Thus, people like Essex don’t want to open up science to newcomers, they want to lower the bar on what science is welcome, a bar so low that people are going to waste their time reading too much of “the moon is made of green cheese” and not get productive work done.

    You mean like a certain PhD we know that used suspect methods to create a hockey stick that had to be uncovered by a certain retiree in Canada?

  59. Danny Thomas – businesses meet now with government officials in secret. At least if their interaction were public, we would know who is sticking the knife in our backs. And you can talk to your reps and moreover, vote. You can also join with like-minded others to support various candidates.

    From the article:
    Google staffers, including Eric Schmidt, met with White House officials 230 times across two terms, or roughly once a week in four years. Those meetings also took place in the final weeks before the commission settled with Google, backing away from what would have been the biggest antitrust lawsuit since the Justice Department took on Microsoft in the 1990s.

    http://www.theverge.com/2015/3/25/8287961/google-ftc-white-house-lobbying

    • Danny Thomas

      Jim2,
      You and agree on the need for methods which do not allow for even the impression of impropriety. But no taxes? On this, I completely disagree. Corporate entities utilize infrastructure, transportation, waterways, and so on and certainly IMO need to pay their fair share for the consumption of those governmentally provided and or overseen products. Passing those costs through to individual taxpayers? Okay, as long as there is a governmental MANDATE that wages/salaries are insured to be an offset (but that’s gonna lead to more governmental inclusion including finances). Still don’t see how that’s gonna work.

  60.  
    THE BIG QUESTION: Were the relatively warmer European winters over the several decades associated with global warming alarmism the result of relatively higher–and indeed ‘exceptionally’ higher–solar activity?

    THE ANSWER: If you are a climate realist, your answer will of course be: Yes!

     

    • “Yes!” That will always be an interesting hypothesis, but solar scientists such as Lief would disagree. Seems to me the answer to your big question just might reside in the Atlantic sea water temperatures.

  61. Theo Goodwin

    “It is unclear what defines climate science as a whole academically, let alone what climate is in and of itself. No, we don’t even have a coherent, physically based, definition for climate, let alone climate change. That is not because we can’t recognize change, but we do not know what parts of the endless, ongoing ubiquitous change actually count. This is as deep a problem as there is in modern science. All we have are ad hoc definitions guarded from scientific criticism by ignorant followers of Eris. Those followers call this settled science.”

    Best criticism of mainstream climate science in existence. Sound on the scientific level, sound on scientific methodology, and sound on the philosophical level.

    • “We don’t even have a coherent, physically based, definition for climate…”

      Isn’t the definition of climate the average weather for a particular area over a particular period of time?

    • The list of scientists is quite long and while some seem to be retired from active practice most seem to be engaged in some form of climate research and while their perspective may well be in the ultimate best interest of the world in which they live, I generally remain sceptical that current climate change is mainly due to the burning of fossil fuels and in particular, of any attempt by these people to constrain an open and honest debate appears to me to be wrong, ethically and scientifically.

    • It’s about this exhibit in particular. See what you think about it.
      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2015/03/23/3637313/smithsonian-climate-change-koch/

      • Danny Thomas

        JimD,
        Appears it’s all about the money.

      • Money used for public misinformation, in particular.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,

        Maybe. But with whom do you lay blame? Smithsonian? Koch?

      • If it is a museum that wants to be factual, Smithsonian failed, probably to appease of one of its biggest donors. It’s not as bad as a Creationist museum, but that is the direction they are going. Money talks and unfortunately the truth suffers.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        I read that to say “Both”. Money, money, money, money, money………….
        Makes be “believe” that it’s an influence no matter where one looks. Self interest, all around.

      • Some people are wary of money used by the rich for propaganda, but some fall for it.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        And Smithsonian tosses Willie Soon under the bus? Who has clean hands here?

      • There is an online version of the exhibit. One section, promisingly, is called Humans Change the World. Look for climate change. Nothing.
        http://humanorigins.si.edu/human-characteristics/change

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        Again, I ask. Whom do you hold responsible? I’d say both and self interests abound.
        It’s very interesting to me, some anonymous guy on the internet, that there is so little responsibility accepted. The Smithsonian? Our museum? Appears to be a sell out, and is Koch the heavy in this? I think not.
        Seems we’re willing to lay the blame at the foot of Essex and yet not willing to state there is fault on all sides.
        What does the offering from your article state?:”The Smithsonian risks damaging its reputation by having a polluter-funded science denier on the payroll and a wildly misleading Koch-funded exhibit that downplays the risks posed by human-caused climate change.” Wow! Polluter-funded science denier” and “wildly misleading Koch-funded”? This observer sees no clean hands here. Jim, please. Call it like you see it! Who’s the lesser of evils here? Who “forced” the Smithsonian to accept those funds and put forth this exhibit? Self interest, or Koch?

      • It’s a kind of pollution to put exhibits in national museums that don’t tell the full truth. I think both ends of that deal are to blame for the museum taking that path. We’ll see if the scientists’ letter does anything, but I suspect in the end it is money over science for them.

      • To start with your link to the Romm article, like most of the trash he writes, it’s full of disinformation and distortions. I can’t think off-hand of any “skeptical” writer with as tortured a relationship with the truth.

        Moving on to the Smithsonian link, IMO it’s got a few facts wrong, but shows some care over current and potential scientific controversies. (For instance, I notice it avoids the oft-repeated claim that the first domestication of grains was for feeding humans.) It also avoids another controversy: it gives dates for post-classical events, starting with the Roman smallpox epidemic of “165-180”, without specifying either “AD” or “CE”.

        Some telling excerpts:

        Modern humans have spread to every continent and grown to huge numbers. Producing our own food, rather than tracking it down daily, has freed us to enrich our lives in many ways—to become artists, inventors, scientists, politicians, and more.

        Benefits

        By settling down and producing our own food, we created:

        • enough food to feed billions of people and respond to catastrophes;

        Including a 1-2°C increase in average temperature.

        • buildings that protect us from extreme weather;

        Which can be air-conditioned.

        • technologies that enable us to extend our lives, communicate worldwide, and venture into space;

        Including air conditioning, as well as technologies to power air-conditioners.

        • time to think, create, play, socialize, and much more.

        Costs

        By settling down and producing our own food, we created:

        • piles of waste that form natural breeding grounds for contagious diseases;

        • large concentrations of people, enabling diseases to spread and become epidemics;

        • domesticated landscapes that displace wild habitats;

        • loss of wild species that depend on natural habitats.

        FACT: About a quarter of Earth’s surface is used to grow crops.

        FACT: Most of the world’s population is dependent on 4 main crops: wheat, corn, rice, and potatoes.

        FACT: A cholera pandemic that began in 1961 is still ongoing in Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The number of cases reported in 2006 was 79% more than in 2005.

        FACT: Every year between 3 and 5 million people get “the flu,” and between 250,000 and 500,000 people die from it.

        FACT: A child dies of malaria every 30 seconds. About 40% of the world’s population is at risk of malaria.

        FACT: Every second someone in the world is infected with tuberculosis. One-third of the world’s population is infected.

        Compared to all this, your (and Joe Romm’s) fantasies of “global warming” catastrophes are small tiny potatoes.

      • Romm makes a valid point that the exhibit seems to forget to mention, which is that civilization grew entirely in a stable Holocene climate in the last 10k years. Climate change as a driver for evolution is a major point of the exhibit, and that is because evolution is a response to a challenging environment that thins the herd only allowing survival of the fittest. So that should have been the connection, which, again they ignore. Will we evolve to a new climate? Perhaps? How about if the new climate is in 100 years? Not so much. You only get the challenge and thinning of the herd part, not the evolution part on that timeframe. If they put the time scales of civilization and a stable climate into the exhibit, they may have done something useful, as Romm says.

      • @Jim D:

        Romm makes a valid point that the exhibit seems to forget to mention, which is that civilization grew entirely in a stable Holocene climate in the last 10k years.

        Not Really.

        Although the dramatic climate disruptions of the last glacial period have received considerable attention, relatively little has been directed toward climate variability in the Holocene (11,500 cal yr B.P. to the present). Examination of ~50 globally distributed paleoclimate records reveals as many as six periods of significant rapid climate change during the time periods 9000–8000, 6000–5000, 4200–3800, 3500–2500, 1200–1000, and 600–150 cal yr B.P. Most of the climate change events in these globally distributed records are characterized by polar cooling, tropical aridity, and major atmospheric circulation changes, although in the most recent interval (600–150 cal yr B.P.), polar cooling was accompanied by increased moisture in some parts of the tropics. Several intervals coincide with major disruptions of civilization, illustrating the human significance of Holocene climate variability.

        @Jim D:

        Climate change as a driver for evolution is a major point of the exhibit, and that is because evolution is a response to a challenging environment that thins the herd only allowing survival of the fittest.

        Climate change provides evolutionary opportunities:

        A comprehensive record of lake level changes in the Dead Sea has been reconstructed using multiple, well dated sediment cores recovered from the Dead Sea shore. Interpreting the lake level changes as monitors of precipitation in the Dead Sea drainage area and the regional eastern Mediterranean palaeoclimate, we document the presence of two major wet phases (~10–8.6 and ~5.6–3.5 cal kyr BP) and multiple abrupt arid events during the Holocene. The arid events in the Holocene Dead Sea appear to coincide with major breaks in the Near East cultural evolution (at ~8.6, 8.2, 4.2, 3.5 cal kyr BP). Wetter periods are marked by the enlargement of smaller settlements and growth of farming communities in desert regions, suggesting a parallelism between climate and Near East cultural development.

      • “Several intervals coincide with major disruptions of civilization, illustrating the human significance of Holocene climate variability.” That’s what I was saying, and anyway variability within the Holocene is nothing compared to what could happen in the next century, both in rate and magnitude. Why do you think the Koch exhibit ignores these issues?

      • […] variability within the Holocene is nothing compared to what could happen in the next century, both in rate and magnitude.

        What rationale to you have for thinking there’s any significant likelihood of that? And if so, that it would be anthropogenic? And if that’s also so, that even stopping all fossil CO2 production today would be sufficient to prevent it?

        Why do you think the Koch exhibit ignores these issues?

        Because they aren’t important. There are much greater threats, much more worthy of attention.

        Especially since “business as usual”, including current subsidies and incentives for fossil carbon-neutral technology R&D, maturation, and commoditization, is almost certain to solve the problem in time, compared to what any feasible “mitigation” program could accomplish.

      • If we burn even half the remaining fossil fuels, the CO2 goes to Eocene levels in the 2100s. It will be an order of magnitude more climate change than the Holocene fluctuations that have disrupted civilizations in the past.

      • If we burn even half the remaining fossil fuels, the CO2 goes to Eocene levels in the 2100s.

        Perhaps. Not proven. But with the current progress in solar PV costs, under BAU, it’s very unlikely to all get burned. Further, with the ongoing progress in ocean surface CO2 recovery, it will probably be cost effective to swap it for sea-floor methane hydrate, which would be a long-term source of fossil carbon-neutral gas for current investments in CCGT generation. Just as a fall-back, in case solar doesn’t carry through with its current price decreases.

        It will be an order of magnitude more climate change than the Holocene fluctuations that have disrupted civilizations in the past.

        Our civilization is at least an order of magnitude more adaptable.

      • Yep, methyl hydrates, just like the tarsands would be “game over” for the temperate Holocene climate.

      • methyl Methane hydrates […] would be ‘game over’ for the” socialist use of the climate “emergency” as a stalking horse.

      • Is it socialists or scientists that you are really opposed to?

      • I’m opposed to socialists. And I resent the way they pervert science.

      • Is that all scientists, or just the ones with theories that you don’t like?

      • No scientists. Just socialist pseudo-scientists.

      • That would be which university departments?

      • The ones that do pseudo-science in the place of science. Doh!

      • Non-specific because you can’t think of any examples. Are we talking MIT, Georgia Tech? How about NASA?

      • I’m talking about individuals, not departments. If a department hires pseudo-scientists (e.g. Mann, Lewandowsky), then it’s guilty.

      • Do you believe in academic freedom? NASA is guilty for hiring Spencer or Hansen? MIT for Lindzen or Emanuel? There is diversity in scientific departments. What would you do to suppress the lines of scientific research that are inconvenient to you?

      • Do you believe in academic freedom?

        Within reason, as long as what’s tax-funded as science really is science.

        NASA is guilty for hiring Spencer or Hansen?

        Maybe Hansen.

        MIT for Lindzen or Emanuel?

        Not IMO.

        What would you do to suppress the lines of scientific research that are inconvenient to you?

        I’m not in favor of suppressing anylines of scientific research”. The question isn’t convenience, it’s science. When so-called “scientists” use political or bureaucratic hooliganism to suppress theories inconvenient to them (or in conflict with their own theories), that’s not science.

      • Which chapters or sections in the IPCC WG1 report are not science in your opinion?

      • The whole thing. Everything the IPCC does is politically driven pseudo-science. Much of it is based on science, but it’s not science itself.

      • So you are going to disagree with the APS, AGU and independent scientific and national societies and industries on their evaluation of the science. Perhaps they are all socialists?

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,

        There is a difference. AGU, APS are member based science organizations. IPCC is a psuedo governmental agency. IPCC has a “Summary for Policymakers”, APS still has a few questions: http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/upload/climate-review-framing.pdf
        http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/upload/climate-seminar-transcript.pdf
        Appealing to the authority of IPCC is like appealing to Democrats vs. Republicans.
        There is a difference.

      • It seems like one person (Koonin) at APS has some questions. The rest don’t.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        Reading the transcript of the APS statement presentation, I’d beg to differ. It was a great interaction of 6 presenters, Koonin, and scientists in the audience. There were a number of “questions”. Not that it’s warming, and not that CO2 isn’t involved. But that nature is also, models are ineffective tools as utilized, aerosols are in question, that “pause” thingy, et al.

      • A more representative discussion would have had 27 mainstream scientists to 3 skeptics. Then you would have a better idea of the middle (let’s not say consensus) view on each issue discussed.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        Not if the science and questions are valid from the so called “skeptics”. The numbers simply do not matter especially if the so called “mainstream scientists” don’t know the answers. Did you bother to read the workshop questions and/or the transcript?

      • I read that last year when it came out. I wish Held and Collins had said more, because they are really good scientists, but they are not debaters. What you really need is someone like Richard Alley who says what he thinks.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        If you read it, what made you state only Koonin had questions? I read many, including from the audience as well as the “skeptics”. Do you not value the questions of “skeptics” because they’re skeptics? Were all their questions (and Koonin’s for that matter) invalid?

      • Koonin is the only one that came out of the meeting and started writing skeptical op-eds. The others APS members, as far as I know have not gone with him. He seems to be out on a limb there.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        Does that make Koonin’s questions invalid?
        You also didn’t address the other questions.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        Even before Koonin (and yes, before the APS presentation):
        “Ivar Giaever, a 1973 Nobel laureate in physics, resigned this month as a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) to protest the organization’s official position that evidence of manmade climate change is “incontrovertible’’ and cause for alarm. In an e-mail explaining his resignation, Giaever challenged the view that any scientific assertion is so sacred that it cannot be contested.

        “In the APS it is OK to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves,’’ Giaever wrote, incredulous, “but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible?’’

        Nor does Giaever share the society’s view that carbon emissions threaten “significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security, and human health.’’ In fact, the very concept of a “global’’ temperature is one he questions:

        “The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degrees Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me . . . that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this “warming’ period.’’

        By now, only ideologues and political propagandists insist that all reputable scientists agree on the human responsibility for climate change. Even within the American Physical Society, the editor of “Physics and Society’’ (an APS publication) has acknowledged that “there is a considerable presence within the scientific community of people who do not agree . . . that anthropogenic CO2 emissions are . . . primarily responsible for the global warming that has occurred since the Industrial Revolution.’’
        (http://www.boston.com/lifestyle/green/articles/2011/09/25/climate_skeptics_dont_deny_science/)

        Maybe, just maybe, it’s a bad career move to “go against the flow” publically.

      • Giaever was a bit of an extremist. The statement was that global warming was incontrovertible. It said nothing about manmade in that sentence. Giaever didn’t even want to admit to warming. There are people like that. Actually a lot of them because the APS took some heat for saying that global warming was incontrovertible. They should have ignored it.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        Also before APS presentation, but also found this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Lewis#Resignation_from_APS

      • You can find individuals in a large organization. We know a consensus doesn’t means the same thing as unanimous. I don’t remember any of Koonin’s questions, but his op-ed was disappointing as it had nothing but the usual blog stuff we see here every day.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        Maybe take a minute to look over the link to the APS review as it’s only 14 pages as opposed to over 500 for the transcript. Most was sensitivities, albedo, model issues………much like you see on a blog like this. :)
        But Koonin was pretty high up there, and a nobel winner are maybe just “more than individuals”.
        And, there’ also this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming
        Varations in climate, variations in levels of skepticism.

      • Danny, I hope you are not just appealing to authority. The skeptics tell us we are not allowed to do that. It is about the science itself, not the people on either side. What do you think is the strongest argument for why we have had 0.7 C of warming since 1950? Why has the land been warming twice as fast as the ocean since 1980? Why is the deep ocean warming during the pause? I have seen a good self-consistent scientific answer that explains all of these in one theory. The skeptics as far as I can tell say it is all still a mystery to them how any of these things happened, let alone all together.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        I don’t care for strictly appeals to authority, but having said that, I don’t reject them out of hand. I read Koonin’s questions and found them reasonable (and in fact some are offered here) to my level of understanding. An example: ” With uncertainty in ocean data being ten times larger than the total magnitude of the warming attributed to anthropogenic sources, and combined with the IPCC’s conclusion than it has less than 10% confidence that it can separate long-term trends from regular variability, why is it
        reasonable to conclude that increases in GMST are attributable to radiative forcing rather than to ocean variability?”
        And it’s a strong statement that he left his position in order to be able to speak freely. As an example, when Dr. Curry makes an expert assesment I give substantial creedence to that over my interpretations. Just as you see to do w/r/t the entirety of the IPCC (and I have no substantive responses from you when I’ve asked you {and others—Willard} specifically what areas they’ve professed you were skeptical about).
        I don’t know the answer to this:”What do you think is the strongest argument for why we have had 0.7 C of warming since 1950?” but would state that it’s a combination of natural variability and anthropogenic contributions. But I cannot split out that which is CO2, Methane, UHI, deforestation. I’m not capable (and not alone).
        You state you are comfortable with a theory to explain, but it’s still only (and I mean that as plausible) a theory.
        I have sufficient evidence (and capability) to make a case that it’s warming. But I also see enough contrary indications w/r/t causes and actual observable evidence vs. “modeled projections” to make a case against drastic economic changes under current technologies. I support further research and alternative energy (FF won’t last forever). I’m all for environmental causes for the sake of environment, species protection (who knows where the cures for disease will come?), beauty, and the like. But I’m not ready to state no more oil. I’ve never seen a cost benefit to replace all the cars out there, we can’t fly w/o oil products, and plastics come from them.
        I see no fire to put out, but my mind is subject to change. I look at myself quite hard for signs of if it’s only confirmational bias on my part but find there are many, many uncertainties out there.
        What I don’t see is that the minds of others oriented differently are oriented towards that possibility of change. Is yours?
        (Sorry so wordy, but your questions deserved a reasoned response)

      • The forcing change even with a small positive feedback accounts for all the warming. The skeptics are willing to accept a coincidental warming with that from CO2 as long as we don’t mention the words “positive feedback”. They want to call the other component “natural” with no possible connection to the CO2-induced part that occurred at the same time. This looks like trying to squirm out of admitting the IPCC may just be right. They believe in both the warming components, but not the whole, not that they know what the other one is. If the other component is simply the likely positive feedback, you end up with business-as-usual committing us to near 4 C by 2100. What 4 C means, I don’t know. There are reports like the one from the World Bank. I do know the land and Arctic will continue warm even more, and that the sea-level rise rate will accelerate, and that there are safer and more modern ways to produce and use energy than the way we have been. That is the direction to strive for.

      • Of course I disagree. IMO they’ve been infiltrated by people using political means to subvert the scientific process. Many of the infiltrators probably are socialists or fellow travelers.

      • If majorities thought differently there would have been an outcry. There isn’t because the statements are reasonable representations of their view.

      • Looks to me as though the Smithsonian has a major investment in the hypothesis that “key human adaptations evolved in response to environmental instability.”:

        This idea was developed during research conducted by Dr. Rick Potts of the Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program. Natural selection was not always a matter of ‘survival of the fittest’ but also survival of those most adaptable to changing surroundings.

        The period of human evolution has coincided with environmental change, including cooling, drying, and wider climate fluctuations over time. How did environmental change shape the evolution of new adaptations, the origin and extinction of early hominin species, and the emergence of our species, Homo sapiens?

        How do we know Earth’s climate has changed? How quickly and how much has climate changed? One important line of evidence is the record of oxygen isotopes through time.

        There are many ideas about the role of the environment in human evolution. Some views assume that certain adaptations, such as upright walking or tool-making, were associated with drier habitat and the spread of grasslands, an idea often known as the savanna hypothesis. According to this long-held view, many important human adaptations arose in the African savanna or were influenced by the environmental pressure of an expanding dry grassland.

        If key human adaptations evolved in response to selection pressure by a specific environment, we would expect those adaptations to be especially suited to that habitat. Hominin fossils would be found in those environments and not present in diverse types of habitat.

        A different hypothesis is that the key events in human evolution were shaped not by any single type of habitat (e.g., grassland) or environmental trend (e.g., drying) but rather by environmental instability. This idea, developed by Dr. Rick Potts of the Human Origins Program, is called variability selection. This hypothesis calls attention to the variability observed in all environmental records and to the fact that the genus Homo was not limited to a single type of environment. Over the course of human evolution, human ancestors increased their ability to cope with changing habitats rather than specializing on a single type of environment. How did hominins evolve the ability to respond to shifting surroundings and new environmental conditions?

        One way organisms can cope with environmental fluctuation is through genetic adaptation, where several alleles, or different versions of genes, are present in the population at different frequencies. As conditions change, natural selection favors one allele or genetic variant over another. Genes that can facilitate a range of different forms under different environments (phenotypic plasticity) can also help an organism adapt to changing conditions.

        Another response to environmental change is to evolve structures and behaviors that can be used to cope with different environments. The selection of these structures and behaviors as a result of environmental instability is known as variability selection. This hypothesis differs from those based on consistent environmental trends. Environmental change in an overall direction leads to specializations for those specific conditions. But if the environment becomes highly variable, specializations for particular environments would be less advantageous than structures and behaviors that enable coping with changing and unpredictable conditions.

        If environmental instability was the key factor favoring human adaptations, new adaptations would be expected to occur during periods of increased environmental variability, and these adaptations would have improved the ability of early human ancestors to deal with habitat change and environmental diversity.

      • Much of the science from which the IPCC’s conclusions are drawn has been created in deliberate ignorance of natural processes in climate.
        =========

      • True. But that just means it’s shoddy science.

      • They included all the forcing changes they could think of, and it is enough to account for the warming seen over the last century.

      • > There were a number of “questions”. Not that it’s warming, and not that CO2 isn’t involved. But that nature is also, models are ineffective tools as utilized, aerosols are in question, that “pause” thingy, et al.

        No memes that appear in this list:

        It’s not warming.
        Ice is not melting.
        Nuclear is the only answer (security issues).
        Alternative energy sources are a waste of time.
        CO2 is soley good.

        (You see, I’m skeptical…….of both sides).

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/26/christopher-essex-on-suppressing-scientific-inquiry/#comment-687698

        Both sides alright.

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        Climate ball, or good faith? I think you only know one and until you show me the other I’ll enjoy my interaction with Jim D who’s patient, and seems to operate soley with good faith and cares not about “climate ball”.
        I’ve stated before that I’m a warmer/lukewarmer, and I can accept that CO2 is involved. But when those with actual standing (unlike you or I) ask questions such as: “If non-anthropogenic influences are strong enough to counteract the expected effects of increased CO2, why wouldn’t they be strong enough to sometimes enhance warming trends, and in so doing lead to an over-estimate of CO2 influence?”
        and
        “With uncertainty in ocean data being ten times larger than the total magnitude of the warming attributed to anthropogenic sources, and combined with the IPCC’s conclusion than it has less than 10% confidence that it can separate long-term trends from regular variability, why is it reasonable to conclude that increases in GMST are attributable to radiative forcing rather than to ocean variability?”
        There are more questions in the APS workshop review, look for yourself.

      • Jim D, from the link: Note to Smithsonian: The “really hot temperatures” are literally decades away. And of all the proposed science-based approaches for dealing with the multiple, irreversible catastrophes that such global warming entails, waiting for Homo Sapiens to evolve ain’t one of ‘em. As long as this anti-scientific video is part of the Koch exhibit, visitors will have every right to assume the museum is intentionally misleading the public on the gravity of the climate situation.

        Note to ThinkProgress: the Smithsonian Exhibit is not nearly as absurd as your appraisal of it.

      • > Climate ball, or good faith?

        https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/black-or-white

        Both sides indeed.

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        Once again from you it’s only the game and zero substance. You win! Great game. You scored the winning goal. Please go away from me.

      • ClimateBall. Zero substance.
        Good faith. Lukewarmer.
        You, you, you.
        Me, me, me.

        Please continue.

        Meanwhile, no meme in the APS questions
        Danny would throw under the bus.

      • > By now, only ideologues and political propagandists insist that all reputable scientists agree on the human responsibility for climate change.

        Citation needed.

      • > Also before APS presentation, but also found this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Lewis#Resignation_from_APS

        The only way to refute Jim D’s claim, which was:

        It seems like one person (Koonin) at APS has some questions. The rest don’t.

        is to cite questions in the relevant APS process that do not come from Koonin.

        ***

        A quote from the Wiki page:

        One week ago Lewis was vaulted to celebrity status by conservative and contrarian Web sites and commentators when he disseminated his letter of resignation …

        Maybe, just maybe, it’s not that a bad career move to “go against the flow” publically.

        Maybe, just maybe.

      • > I don’t remember any of Koonin’s questions, but his op-ed was disappointing as it had nothing but the usual blog stuff we see here every day.

        Here is Koonin’s op-ed:

        http://www.wsj.com/articles/climate-science-is-not-settled-1411143565

        Talking points:

        – Climate Science is not settled
        – My training is relevant
        – The climate has always changed and always will.
        – The impact of AGW today is comparable to natural variability.
        – The crucial question is to predict climate in the next century.
        – Human influence on the climate is small.
        – But oceans.
        – But feedbacks.
        – But teh modulz.
        – But the pause.
        – The science is urgent.
        – We need red teams.
        – We have low hanging fruits.
        – It’s about values.
        – Mr. T.

        Most of them are in the Contrarian Matrix:

        http://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com

        Maybe, just maybe, we might need to throw a few of these memes under the bus.

      • > But Koonin was pretty high up there, and a nobel winner are maybe just “more than individuals”.

        The bottom line is that rather than invoking authority, they’d be well advised to stick to careful argument.

        https://judithcurry.com/2012/02/04/argument-and-authority-in-the-climate-fight/

        The bottom line is that maybe, just maybe.

      • > I don’t care for strictly appeals to authority, but having said that, I don’t reject them out of hand.

        Maybe, just maybe.

        ***

        > You state you are comfortable with a theory to explain, but it’s still only (and I mean that as plausible) a theory.

        Theories are maybes, just maybes.

  62. William McClenney

    I was reading this, and a great many of the comments, and what kept creeping into my consciousness was a recent comment made by a friend of mine on a totally different array of related subjects: “That’s very one-dimensional!” The comment was offered both as an insult and a stimulant to the purveyor of whatever opinion.

    Extrapolated to the climate discussion, virtually the entire discussion regards the anthropogenic contribution to climate debate. And that is what makes it one-dimensional. There are 2 other debates that make the anthropogenic one pale in comparison.

    See if you can pick the other 2 out from Broecker’s 1998 discussion paper:
    http://www.personal.kent.edu/~jortiz/paleoceanography/broecker.pdf

    So it occurs to me, what is it that makes us more susceptible to the thing that is of the least concern?

    The Holocene is presently 11,718 years old, about half the present precession cycle length of 23,000 years. Seven of the last eight interglacials have each lasted about half a precession cycle. Theoretically, if not practically, we should be undergoing glacial inception any day now. Which is the subject of the second debate (point 2 of Broecker).

    If we are due for glacial inception then we must also consider what glacial inception is like, climate wise. Neumann and Hearty (1996) (http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Paul_Hearty/publication/249518169_Rapid_sea-level_changes_at_the_close_of_the_last_interglacial_(substage_5e)_recorded_in_Bahamian_island_geology/links/0c96051c6e66749912000000.pdf) inform us that:

    “The lesson from the last interglacial “greenhouse” in the Bahamas is that
    the closing of that interval brought sea-level changes that were rapid
    and extreme. This has prompted the remark that between the greenhouse
    and the icehouse lies a climatic “madhouse”! ”

    Injury is added to insult in the third debate, (point 3 of Broecker). What if the ongoing buildup of greenhouse gases has already altered the natural course of events?

    What if Ruddiman’s Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis is correct in that the reason we are not already in the climatic madhouse of glacial inception is because of GHGs? Prior to the first debate (AGW), there were only two climate states, the cold glacial state, and the warm interglacial state. If the current warm interglacial state, widely renowned as the Anthropocene, is the anthropogenic extension of the Holocene, then would not removing excess GHGs from the late Holocene/Anthropocene atmosphere remove the only known speedbump to glacial inception? Had you considered that?

    So how suppressed do you feel now? Did you even know how perilously close we are to glacial inception?

    http://www.climate.unibe.ch/~born/share/papers/eemian_and_lgi/mueller_pross07.qsr.pdf

    Did you know that the upper error bar of the worst case scenario of IPCC AR4 (the do nothing scenario A1F1) was a whopping +0.6 meters sea level rise above present? (see figure 10.33) And did you know that such a whopping manmade sea level rise would be only a blip on the end-Eemian climatic madhouse that netted somewhere between +6.0 to +52 meters above present sea level during the second thermal pulse right before it dropped off into the Wisconsin ice age?

    http://www.uow.edu.au/content/groups/public/@web/@sci/@eesc/documents/doc/uow045009.pdf
    http://lin.irk.ru/pdf/6696.pdf

    There are levels on levels of suppression. I had a paper on climate change, a paper I had been requested to write (!) by a professional association, paid by my employer to have ripped out of ~400 binders the night before the conference began. I was assigned an Iraqi-minder to monitor my talk.

    But imagine, if you can, the disappointment I feel that so few even realize that the debate that consumes them is but the least of the big 3 out there.

    Be honest, how many of you are aware of, and aware of the depth of, the other 2, much larger consequence, debates?

    Just curious.

    • Yes, true increased severity of weather events indicates the climate madhouse. If climate is actually getting more extreme(no evidence yet) it is a sign of impending glaciation, not man’s sin.

      How do they get both global warming and climate wierding so badly backwards? When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn?
      =================

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comments and informative links.

      • William McClenney

        I think you will find this paper particularly interesting. In this landmark work Chronis Tzedakis looks at the eccentricity minima conundrum (MIS-1, MIS-11 and MIS-19), as well as Ruddiman’s Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis and concludes:

        “On balance, what emerges is that projections on the natural
        duration of the current interglacial depend on the choice
        of analogue, while corroboration or refutation of the “early
        anthropogenic hypothesis” on the basis of comparisons with
        earlier interglacials remains irritatingly inconclusive.”

        http://www.clim-past.net/6/131/2010/cp-6-131-2010.pdf

        See Kim’s comment below for the final analysis……

    • According to Berger and Loutre the next ice age is 50000 years away: Berger A. And M.F. Loutre, 2002. An Exceptionally long Interglacial Ahead? Science, 297, pp. 1287-1288.

      • Nobody knows. And we won’t ’til we’re in it. Cause for concern? Well mileage varies.
        =============

      • An Exceptionally long Interglacial Ahead?

        That’s what one would imagine, looking at the orbital 65N insolation alone:

        Which is why the ‘tipping points’ and metling the Arctic narratives are silly: if recent few W/m^2 of forcing really did cause the most recent Arctic sea ice decline, then most of the next 100,000 years would be ice free anyway.

      • William McClenney

        Ah yes, Berger and Loutre…….. A medium resolution 2D model run by CLIMBER2, the model run actually done in the late 90’s. Got it.

        This was effectively squelched by observational data 3 years later in Lisiecki and Raymo’s landmark 2005 paper entitled: “A Pliocene-Pleistocene stack of 57 globally distributed benthic D18O records”,

        “Recent research has focused on MIS 11 as a possible analog for the present interglacial [e.g., Loutre and Berger, 2003; EPICA community members, 2004] because both occur during times of low eccentricity. The LR04 age model establishes that MIS 11 spans two precession cycles, with 18O values below 3.6 o/oo for 20 kyr, from 398-418 ka. In comparison, stages 9 and 5 remained below 3.6 o/oo for 13 and 12 kyr, respectively, and the Holocene interglacial has lasted 11 kyr so far. In the LR04 age model, the average LSR of 29 sites is the same from 398-418 ka as from 250-650 ka; consequently, stage 11 is unlikely to be artificially stretched. However, the June 21 insolation minimum at 65N during MIS 11 is only 489 W/m2, much less pronounced than the present minimum of 474 W/m2. In addition, current insolation values are not predicted to return to the high values of late MIS 11 for another 65 kyr. We propose that this effectively precludes a ‘double precession-cycle’ interglacial [e.g., Raymo, 1997] in the Holocene without human influence.”

        Paywalled here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1029/2004PA001071/full

        Which more or less puts Berger and Loutre in the “Oops” category.

      • William McClenney

        Lucifer,

        You might want to check out Sirocko et al, 2005:

        “The onset of the LEAP occurred within less than two decades (see the core photograph in Fig. 4), demonstrating the existence of a sharp threshold, which must be near 416Wm22, which is the 658N July insolation for 118 kyr BP (ref. 9). This value is only slightly below today’s value of 428Wm22. Insolation will remain at this level slightly above the inception for the next 4,000 years before it then increases again.”

        http://seelos-translate.info/LEAP_Nature__Sirocko+Seelos.pdf

      • William McClenney,

        Could you please explain what your tow posts mean in terms a layman can understand (geologist and engineer, but not familiar with may of the terms used in the two quotes).

        Is the key point: the 11,000 years of Holocene so far is typical length for interglacials?

        Does the last sentence of your quote – “We propose that this effectively precludes a ‘double precession-cycle’ interglacial [e.g., Raymo, 1997] in the Holocene without human influence.” suggest it is unlikely that the current interglacial temperatures will continue for much longer (without human influence)?

        Does your last quote – “Insolation will remain at this level slightly above the inception for the next 4,000 years before it then increases again.” – mean we have another 4000 years of Holocene?

      • William McClenney

        Peter,

        Certainly. I am essentially trying to draw your attention to the fact that there is not just one debate on climate change. There are in fact at least 3 debates. Broecker lays them out for us in his points at the end of his introduction (see link above). Essentially, these 3 debates are:

        1. Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are predicted etc. to cause unprecedented insulation effects on earth’s climate.

        2. The end of the present interglacial: how and when? One of the more poignant questions in modern science. One not addressed in debate numero uno. Technically, we are 218 years older than about half a precession cycle. Technically, this means we are ripe, if not overripe, for glacial inception. Glacial inception makes a laughing stock out of each and every prediction of anthropogenic global warming/climate change. It is in this debate that I introduce the concept of signal to noise ratio, because at its bare core that is all that the entire climate arguments are really about. I.e., I am supposed to be scared by an upper error bar climate model prediction of +0.6 meters above present day sea level when at the very least the second thermal pulse at the end of the last interglacial netted somewhere between 10 (that’s one order of magnitude) to 88 (that’s almost 2 orders of magnitude) more sea level rise anyway? Our “signal” would therefore be impossible to measure. End of discussion.

        3. The 3rd debate is the most searing. Let’s assume, for the purposes of discussion, that CO2 is indeed the heathen devil gas it is made out to be. As I always convince my legal teams to do, we just go ahead and stipulate to that. Meaning that we accede to AGW in every way, shape and form. Which also happens to be the absolute worst case scenario you can possibly imagine. Why? Because if the reason the Holocene interglacial has been extended into the Anthropocene (to which we also stipulate) by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, then the only reason we are not already perhaps thousands of years into the next glacial inception (e.g. climatic madhouse) is because of GHGs.

        Would not removing them therefore tip us into the next glacial? How many AGW supporters have thought it this far through?

        Just askin……… :-)

      • William McClenney

        Peter,

        Forgot the next 4k years. What that means is that we are perilously close to glacial inception over the next 4k years. So, if anyone can think of anything that could prevent, you know, glacial inception, say something that could insulate us over the next 4k years, be sure to speak up.

        Oh! I almost forgot! GHGs could do this, right?

        Essentially I am saying that the only insurance policy anyone has postulated so far that could continue to delay glacial inception is GHGs. If you are really intent on removing them from the late Holocene/Anthropocene atmosphere, give some consideration to waiting say 4k years before you implement it.

        Otherwise, enjoy the interglacial…….while it lasts…….

      • William McClenney,

        Thank you. That’s clearly explained and I understand the argument. I’ve copied the sub-thread starting with your top comment and sent it to a senior officer (friend) in the Australian Department of Environment.

      • Yes, thanks, William; that’s lucid.
        ================

      • William McClenney posteth three debates in climate –
        change set out by Broeker not just numero one, AGW.
        Fergit ‘one,’- fiddling while Rome freezeth. It’s ‘two’ that
        occureth and maybe ‘three’ that combatteth fer …
        The Ice Man Cometh and don’t you fergetteth, and
        we’ll need ol’ king Coal ter save our soul(s)
        http://www.personal.kent.edu/~jortiz/paleoceanography/broecker.pdf

      • If you are looking that far ahead, I would say 70 meters of extra sea level is a shorter term threat than the next Ice Age, so that would be the one to focus on first. Also, that later cooling is another good reasons to leave fossil fuels in the ground in case future generations want to keep the CO2 level up to prevent an Ice Age. Actually, 350 ppm is considered ideal, maybe because we can have ski resorts but no Ice Ages. So don’t use it all at once. There aren’t any other easy sources of CO2, and deforestation only gets you so far.

      • Isn’t it past your bedtime, jimmy? You must be worn out from bombarding the blog today.

      • Jim D,

        I would say 70 meters of extra sea level is a shorter term threat than the next Ice Age, so that would be the one to focus on first.

        No. That is not a threat. You need to be able to take account of the time involved. Most Infrastructure has a life of 40 to 100 years. it is replaced. New infrastructure is built where needed. We are dynamic. And people move to where the jobs are – i.e. to productive societies and where productivity is highest. So sea level rise is a non issue. It’s not relevant. The costs are negligible and greatly exceeded by the benefits of a warmer and more productive climate (with a higher concentration of plant fertiliser in the atmosphere).

      • Peter Lang, so that is why I don’t understand why people are suddenly panicking about the next Ice Age here.

      • William McClenney

        Jim D,

        I mean no disrespect but your responses here do seem to suggest one dimensional thinking, e.g. the AGW debate. Once again, I am attempting to introduce the other 2 debates on climate change. From my observations, the one dimensional approach tends to suggest that the Holocene would have simply gone on and on were it not for anthropogenic disturbances best epitomized by the CO2 paradigm. Evidence for this was provided in the form of 350 ppm for CO2, which would apparently stabilize our climate and obviate any further glacials. The inherent assumption here is that CO2 is earth’s thermostat. That would be great, but is it true? I need to see something more substantial than computer models before I would consider plunking down on that. Why? Because I have been writing geophysical and hydrogeological modeling systems since the late 1970s, and since the late 1980s doing expert witness testimony debunking such models. Models are wonderful, when they actually include all the variables. But even on geophysical and hydrogeological modeling of limited terranes it is stunningly easy to subtly tweak the data etc. to get the result you want. Translate that to global climate where the variables are far less well known and it soon becomes a silly buggers game.

        Seventy meters? I presume here that you might be referring to estimates such as Alley et al (2005) “The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets, with the potential to raise sea level ~70 meters if completely melted, dominate uncertainties in projected sea-level change.”
        http://epic.awi.de/13357/1/All2005b.pdf

        As an aside, it is normally courteous to substantiate such assertions with quotations and citations.

        In the earlier parts of this subthread I provided references to end-Eemian sea level curves from 13 studies from around the globe which indicate a possible minimum of sea level rise above present of +6.0 to as high as +52.0 meters which seems to have occurred at the very end of the most recent interglacial. There were at least 2 strong thermal excursions at the end-Eemian, with the second being the stronger and setting the highstand for the interglacial immediately before dropping off into the Wisconsin glacial.

        So the problems here are legion. Half-precession cycle length interglacials are the rule, not the exception. The Holocene is half a precession cycle old. What happens at the end-interglacials? the Climatic madhouse. So if you are worried about extreme weather events, you need to get your mind wrapped around the fact that extreme weather is the rule, not the exception, at half-precession cycle old interglacials. Separating an anthropogenic sponsored extreme weather event from a natural one therefore becomes a silly buggers game.

        And this is far from unusual. MIS-11, the interglacial often discussed as most similar to the Holocene suffered three consecutive warm periods right at its very end:

        “A warmest 32,000 years-long period and three following warm/cold cycles occurred synchronously on land and ocean. The end of the warmest period sees the glacial inception which coincides with the replacement of warm deciduous forest by conifer (pine-fir) expansion in northwestern Iberia and, consequently, with the southward migration of the tree line in high latitudes in response to declining summer insolation.”
        http://www.researchgate.net/publication/229415952_Is_vegetation_responsible_for_glacial_inception_during_periods_of_muted_insolation_changes/file/9c96051e55e2f0f6b2.pdf

        It happened again right at the end of MIS-19:

        “During the glacial inception from MIS 19 to MIS 18, the low resolution
        EPICA Dome C water stable isotope record (Jouzel et al., 2007) has
        revealed millennial variability principally marked by the occurrence of
        three consecutive warm events (hereafter called Antarctic Isotope
        Maxima — AIM, following EPICA-community-members, 2006, and
        noted A, B, C on Fig. 2).” And the last one was again the strongest.

        http://lgge.osug.fr/IMG/fparrenin/articles/pol-EPSL2010.pdf

        It should be rather obvious by now that we are going to have one heck of a time isolating our Anthropogenic climate “signal” from amidst the climatic madhouse of glacial inception. Unless, of course, CO2 can obviate glacial inception.

        Jim, this is a classic signal to noise ratio problem! That is all the AGW debate is when you take into consideration when we live.

        Now to your final concern, why is everyone in a panic about an ice age. Well, first, I am not really in a panic about it at all. I have come to the conclusion that glacial inception could turn out to be that much needed chlorine in the gene pool. Folks who can one-dimensionally come to the exact wrong conclusions are less likely to fare well in the climatic madhouse that is glacial inception.

        And how fast does glacial inception occur? A whole lot faster than you probably think right now:

        “The transition from interglacial into glacial conditions was rapid and is represented in its entirety between 26 and 23 cm. This suggests that the end of MIS5e was a relatively sudden event and not a gradual transition to colder conditions. Alkenone sea surface temperature data from the Southern Ocean record this sharp cooling at around 120 kyr BP (Ikehara et al., 1997), marine cores from the Atlantic suggest that it occurred over a period of less than 400 yr, and possibly much shorter (Adkins et al., 1997), and in Greenland the transition took as little as 70 yr (Anklin et al., 1993).”

        http://www.researchgate.net/publication/222333370_Interglacial_environments_of_coastal_east_Antarctica_comparison_of_MIS_1_(Holocene)_and_MIS_5e_(Last_Interglacial)_lake-sediment_records/file/9c960525ff43b0ac6b.pdf

        In parting, you may wish to consider just how good climate change has been to the old Homo genus:

        “An examination of the fossil record indicates that the key junctures in hominin evolution reported nowadays at 2.6, 1.8 and 1 Ma coincide with 400 kyr eccentricity maxima, which suggests that periods with enhanced speciation and extinction events coincided with periods of maximum climate variability on high moisture levels.”

        state Trauth, et al (2009) in Quaternary Science Reviews. There is just nothing quite like having such a natural fly land in your climate change soup. As it turns out, periods of wet maximum climate variability (in modern lingo, global warming/global cooling correctly re-branded as climate change), cook-up the larger braincases. We went from 500-550cc braincases 2.8 mya to the average of about 1,500cc today in the most rapid encephalization of any mammal in the fossil record.

        http://www.manfredmudelsee.com/publ/pdf/Trends-rhythms-and-events-in-Plio-Pleistocene-African-climate.pdf

        Meanwhile enjoy the interglacial…….while it lasts

      • Inna Gaia da Via.
        =============

  63. As you say, the advocates view “Climate Change” as a “tame problem”. You consider it a “wicked problem”. Perhaps a good name for the reality of climate is “pandemonium” (lc). The advocate’s solution appears to be “Pandemonium” (uc).

  64. What needs countering most of all, is the notion that the “97% consensus” is based on a “collegial” and open basis the author mentions, and so represents solid and trustworthy endeavour.

    It plainly does not. 97% of money in climate science comes from Big Government, and hence simply dutifully says what is good for Big Government, ie CAGW alarmism. It really isn’t difficult to understand. And explains too the aggression towards dissenters.

    So the 97% is firmly in the pocket of Big Government. But in addition to following the money, don’t forget the self-inflicted shredding of their own integrity that the 97%’s ongoing duplicitous silence over Climategate continues to achieve.

    Uncertainty is certainly a big problem in climate science. But this palls into insignificance next to the lack of moral scruples and scientific openness on the part of the 97%. Perhaps now we should stop talking about the 97% Consensus, and start talking about the 97% Lackies. Or 97% Stooges.

  65. Judith, ATTP has an interesting blog up on Richard Tolls review of Cook et al ‘s Consensus 97%.
    Would you consider putting up a blog to discuss this further and perhaps consider asking Richard to elaborate.
    Some interesting concepts still swirl around in the Cook paper.
    The consensus is only for warming not significant warming.
    The breakdown was human warming , no human warming and undecided but all the undecided was lumped in with the rejecting.
    Surely this 1% should have been divided equally making Cook’s claim even larger.
    The uncertain was 1% but the rejection was 1.9 %.
    How can the rejection at the end of a spread be greater than the uncertainty which is closer to the middle of the spread.
    Was any positive uncertainty merely lumped into the implicit endorsement thus allowing them to put the negative uncertainty into its own basket.

    • good idea, but it would be useful to go back to basics. I missed out on the first weeks of this paper at the time and subsequently trying to sort out the arguments and counter arguments was difficult.

      tonyb

    • More than enough time has been wasted on Cook’s nonsense, let’s waste no more.

      • 97% has become a joke. It’s one of those that doesn’t get worse when it’s old, so expect variations on it for the rest of your life.
        ==============

    • PS angech, go to Climate Audit and Brandon Shollenberger for great detail on Cook & Lewandowski’s work, you might then find no need for CE to pursue it further.

    • Number 97 is not number 42.

    • Not wasting, trying to make it clearer if the science has been done badly.
      Or not.
      It was set up and run as a Wikipedia message to the masses.
      Toll is hitting it hard.

    • It doesn’t matter. March 2015 is almost in the books. It’s very hot. The 1st quarter of 2015 looks to be at least .777C.

      SOI just dropped below -.10, and it’s still dropping.

      The climates chaotic. You have to watch it everywhere you can and as often as you can. People who were counting on the hiatus are losing.

      • El Nino is a common event, and an SOI dropping below -10 is extremely common. In 1953, the earliest of more precise readings, it dropped below -30. 1983, needless to say, measured well below -30 and stayed below -20 for many months.

        It’s all just some rough measure or indicator of a common, usually unpopular, set of conditions. On this planet the central Pacific temps, Trade Winds etc just aren’t going to stay the same. They don’t because they can’t. Gilbert Walker was inspired by the lethal monsoon failures of the late 1890s which left so many dead in India (and coincided with Australia’s great Fed Drought). He wasn’t trying to preserve a stable climate. He wanted to know why the climate had always been so bloody UNstable…to the point of killing millions in the 1870s and 1890s. So he finally described the Southern Oscillation.

        How often does it need to be pointed out that the extreme heat/drought conditions described very accurately in the infant colony at Sydney Cove coincided with the monsoon failures and Skull famine of the early 1790s? And there was the Chalisa famine less than a decade before that. And the Bengal of 1770 before that. Think it was all just British or Mughal mismanagement? Think the SOI was just rocking along on an even keel when monsoons failed so colossally?

        Anything is unprecedented if you are not interested in knowing its precedents.

      • In short, you’re losing.

      • The more out in the atmosphere the less left in the ocean. Can’t we contain this stuff? We may need it some day.
        ===============

    • Why should anyone waste time with Cook’s paper. It was crap when it came out and it is still crap. It does nothing but provide reason to continue the ridiculous 97% claim. Just the fact the paper came up with the same exact number as was generated by the George Mason survey from which it originally sprang is good reason to suspect Cook, et al began with conclusion and then worked to get it.

  66. David Springer

    Mosher hasn’t posted anything for five days. Maybe taking me up my challenge that it won’t turn into an echo chamber without him. As I predicted the vacuum he left was quickly filled. In this instance by Ken Rice (a.k.a. and then there’s physics).

    This improved the dialog. Rice uncritically accepts consensus climate change dogma, makes it sound like he’s reading from scripture, which of course gives skeptics the patina of torch bearers for the scientific method.

    • ATTP is very good to come over here and communicate.
      Mosher is commenting at his site.
      On the blog on the Consensus
      really a blog on persistence.
      If we put up a good topic here Mosher might comment on it,
      The issue of course is that the 97% Consensus does not apply to significant AGW, only that there may be some human influence.
      There is a C02 increase with human activity which should cause some warming.
      The question of course is with feedbacks is it significant warming?
      A pause for 18 years [RSS only] would suggest that Climate Sensitivity is very low hence there is no significant warming.
      The message should be that we are 07% sure there is no significant warming based on Cook’s Study.
      ie he was unable to prove it.

  67. David Springer

    Curry writes:

    “This is a failed strategy; not only is it ill suited to the complex, wicked problem of climate change, but it is destroying climate science in the process.”

    What has climate science produced that makes it worth sparing from destruction?

    Let Darwin rule the day. Climate science lives or dies by adding more value to world’s store of useful knowledge than it costs to produce. Useless and counterproductive output will hasten its demise.

    Maybe, like Phoenix, something better will arise from the ashes. It can’t hurt because as of now the net value to civilization produced by climate science is a loss not a gain.

  68. Judith,

    A balanced discussion of home solar and utilities

    Yes, it is balanced and good once you get past the first half (which is presenting what the PV advocates argue). It’s also worth reading the excellent comment by Mark Harrigan, the second last comment: https://theconversation.com/why-rooftop-solar-is-disruptive-to-utilities-and-the-grid-39032#comment_630021

  69. Something worthy of review: Christopher Booker: “No one is talking about our utterly mad energy policy:”

    “One reason why this election campaign seems so trivial and unreal is the number of important national issues that will scarcely be mentioned. … high on the list is our reckless and dangerous national energy policy. Last week, scarcely noticed south of the border, came the news of the premature closure of Britain’s second largest power station. The giant Longannet plant in Fife, with its 2,400-megawatt capacity, can still supply two thirds of all Scotland’s average electricity needs.

    “The reasons given for Longannet’s closure early next year were partly the crippling cost of the Government’s “carbon” taxes and the additional £40 million it is being charged for connection to the grid. But the immediate trigger for the decision was Longannet’s failure to win a contract to supply back-up for Scotland’s ever-rising number of wind farms at times when there is insufficient wind.

    “Even Scotland’s energy minister, Fergus Ewing, called the closure of Longannet “a national scandal”, laying the blame squarely on “Westminster” – which is curious considering that his government’s policy is that by 2020 Scotland should produce 100 per cent of its electricity from “renewables”. (In other words, that it should be able to rely on unsubsidised back-up from fossil fuel plants in England when there is too little wind, while selling heavily subsidised wind power back to England when there is too much.)

    “But Longannet’s real crime is that the 4.5 million tons of coal it burns each year make it the biggest CO2 emitter in Scotland. Which is also, of course, why we will hear nothing about Britain’s energy future in this election: because all the major parties are signed up to the policy set in train by Ed Miliband’s Climate Change Act committing us to reduce our “carbon” emissions by 80 per cent within 35 years.

    “The policy on which they are all agreed, set out in the Coalition’s “2050 Pathways for tackling climate change”, centres on three main steps, each more bizarre than the last. Step one is that we should “decarbonise” our economy, not just by closing down the coal and gas-fired power stations that supply more than 70 per cent of our electricity, but by chucking out all those gas appliances 90 per cent of us use for cooking and heating.

    “Step two is that we should double our production of electricity, which we would then use, not just for cooking and heating but also for virtually all our transport (electric cars, trains etc). Step three is that all this electricity should be generated from “zero carbon” sources, mainly from thousands more wind turbines and a fleet of new nuclear power stations.

    “The only problem is that none of this insane make-believe can possibly come about. When the wind doesn’t blow, the only power to keep our lights on, our homes heated and our electric cars running would be that from those supposed new nuclear power stations.

    “At the present rate, with only one new nuclear power plant dubiously in view by 2024, producing electricity four times as expensive as that from coal, not even tens of thousands of diesel generators could produce enough back-up power to keep our computer-dependent economy functioning at all. (Last Tuesday evening, wind was producing less than 1 per cent of the power we were using).

    “But not a word of this will we hear in the election campaign: partly because all our main political parties have signed up to it, but even more because virtually none of our politicians have the slightest clue what it is they are signed up to.”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/11501235/No-one-is-talking-about-our-utterly-mad-energy-policy.html

  70. My apologies if this point has been made already but with nearly 600 comments it’s difficult to avoid repetition.

    Early in the comments on this excellent article (thanks Chistopher Essex, and thanks to Judith for publishing it) there was a complaint that “sceptics” should not complain about the way they are harried about their funding sources since had viciously attacked climate scientists for veniality because they were funded by organisations with their own warmist agenda.

    The discussion on that topic developed into an exchange of accusations and – as so often – masterful evasion by some warmists (who seem to have learned their argumentative tricks from Robert Thouless’s “Straight and Crooked Thinking” – qv).

    There was one rejoinder to the original claim that should have been made and which I don’t remember seeing so I’ll have a go. While there has been something of a general suspicion amongst sceptics that climate scientists have tended to pursue work where the money is and there’s been no money (or precious little) for work that deviates from the accepted meme, I don’t think that there has been much moral criticism of climate scientists for this let alone accusations of veniality. Most recent sceptical comments I have seen drawing attention to the sources of funding of climate science have not been to label climate scientists as venal but to ask how they are different, morally, from sceptic scientists who receive or have received or may have received or indeed are only alleged to have received support for their work or for other and earlier work from people or organisations with contrarian views. This attack mode implies that publishers of sceptically inclined work are scientific whores who will say anything they are paid to say (and that by the way appears excuse the accusers from actually reading the work concerned – certainly from commenting on it’s quality).

    The warmists say “Ah – evil X funded this work – you’re lying” – and the sort of sceptical response I’ve seen is effectively just pointing out that if they exchanged insults in the same way, the same point could be made about mainstream climate scientists. It is actually a sound logical and rhetorical response to a ridiculous claim – if what the warmists say about sceptical scientists is true, why cannot it be turned round as an accusation about warmist ones?

    For the record I’m not funded by anyone other than Her Brittanic Majesty’s Government – in the form of occupational and old age pensions.