Criticism, tolerance and changing your mind

by Judith Curry

“That’s your responsibility as a person, as a human being — to constantly be updating your positions on as many things as possible. And if you don’t contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you’re not thinking.” – Malcolm Gladwell

Brainpickings reports on a recent interview with Malcolm Gladwell,  author of such bestselling books as The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking , Outliers: The Story of Success , and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.  I’ve read Blink; seems like I need to read David and Goliath also, although its not available on Kindle.

The entire interview can be linked to on the Brainpickings site, below are some excerpts from the interview:

Criticism is a privilege that you earn — it shouldn’t be your opening move in an interaction…

The notion that the only way you can critically engage with a person’s ideas is to take a shot at them, is to be openly critical — this is actually nonsense. Some of the most effective ways in which you deal with someone’s idea are to treat them completely at face value, and with an enormous amount of respect. That’s actually a faster way to engage with what they’re getting at than to lob grenades in their direction…

If you’re going to hold someone to what they believe, make sure you accurately represent what they believe.

JC comment:  some lessons here for blogospheric discussion.

What we call tolerance in this country, and pat ourselves on the back for, is the lamest kind of tolerance. What we call tolerance in this country is when people who are unlike us want to be like us, and when we decide to accept someone who is not like us and wants to be like us, we pat ourselves on the back… So when gays want to be like us and get married, we finally get around and say, “Oh, isn’t that courageous of me, to accept gay people for finally wanting to be like us.”

Sorry — you don’t get points for accepting someone who wants to be just like you. You get points for accepting someone who doesn’t want to be like you — that’s where the difficulty lies.

JC comment: The lack of tolerance for opposing perspectives in the climate debate is just staggering.  Even more worrisome is that it is regarded as a ‘virtue’ to attack people with an opposing perspective.

I feel I change my mind all the time. And I sort of feel that’s your responsibility as a person, as a human being — to constantly be updating your positions on as many things as possible. And if you don’t contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you’re not thinking.

If you create a system where you make it impossible, politically, for people to change [their] mind, then you’re in trouble.

JC comment:

In politics, candidates who change their minds are denigrated as ‘flip floppers’.  Personally, I’m fine with candidates who change their mind as a result of new evidence and/or actually thinking; changing opinions in response to political expediency is something that is rightfully criticized.

In science,  changing your mind is arguably a virtue – it reflects consideration of new evidence and active reasoning about the new evidence.  However, there are numerous sociopsychological factors in science that discourage changing your mind, since egos and reputations get tied up in a particular interpretation.

When politics and ‘consensus’ enforcement come into play, it becomes very difficult for scientists to publicly change their mind.  To say that we are in trouble in the climate debate because of this is an understatement.

There is enormous pressure for climate scientists to conform to the so-called consensus. This pressure comes not only from politicians, but from federal funding agencies, universities and professional societies, and scientists themselves who are green activists and advocates. Reinforcing this consensus are are strong monetary, reputational, and authority interests.

The closing of minds on the climate change issue is a tragedy for both science and society.

589 responses to “Criticism, tolerance and changing your mind

  1. The history of doubling down with
    “It’s worse than we thought”
    Sky fallings means that when the denoument finally comes, it will be spectacular.

    • It should be, but likely won’t. Your typical lay warmist will use the easy “I were just listening to the scientists” excuse, shamefully ignoring that we all have a responsibility to seek out and evaluate evidence from all sides. This means that simply skimming the NYT’s for alarmist articles is insufficient.

      As for the scientists…by the time the greatest science fraud in history begins to crumble I imagine the current generation of “leading” warmists will be largely retired. Most of them won”t ever admit they were wrong anyway. They can’t. Much too much invested.

      • By the time the agw fraud is completely revealed for what it is, the primary proponents will b RIP (well, from my perspective, replace “p” with “h” where they belong). Like politicians, by the time their false promises/predictions come home to roost,they are long gone leaving others to hold the bag of s..t.

        If Obama and the libs have their way with co2 mitigation and energy policy in general, it will make the disaster of obumblecare look relatively benign.

    • Brandon Gates

      Well that didn’t take long.

    • To win, quit fighting. Work to help our troubled society:

      1. Regain sanity knowing that science and religions agree: A benevolent and intelligent Higher Power created and sustains the world.

      See “Teacher’s Supplement to Solar Energy” https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Supplement.pdf

      2. Eliminate insanity induced by irrefutable evidence: Malevolent and selfish world leaders allied with scientists to rule and enslave society by deceit, exactly as George Orwell predicted in the book he started writing in 1946, “Nineteen Eighty-Four”

      See “Nineteen Eighty-Four”
      http://www.online-literature.com/orwell/1984/

      http://www.sparknotes.com/sparknotes/video/1984

      • There are whole universes where every day is April Fools’ Days.
        =====================

      • Maybe we should name our universe so mutilverse travelers don’t get confused.

        How about anthropoverse? If we can name a whole geologic epoch..or is it age…. after ourselves, can the universe be far behind?

      • There is a lot of energy in the universe and I’ve long predicted that man will not ultimately use all of it.
        ===============

    • click on Today’s Summary, and then click on temperature anomaly

      The day after March 31, 2015. It’s a Koldie world.

    • After watching the 3 part series on PBS on Cancer the last few days I was struck by the historical consensus of doctors, hospitals, and other institutions for using “radical mastectomy” as a treatment for breast cancer. Doctors who tried using lumpectomy were called names told they were were muderers and shunned by the mainstream community. It makes one think that scientists and engineers might be very susceptible to group think and so called “consensus science”. A combination of factors may be at play here including the obvious chase for research dollars.

      Here’s a short history of this procedure – it took decades to discover this horrible error and doctors went to their grave believing that “radical mastectomy” was the right procedure.

      Halsted developed the radical mastectomy in the 1890s; this procedure removed the breast, skin, nipple, areola, pectoral muscles, and all the axillary lymph nodes on the same side. Even more radical procedures were sometimes used, removing part of the breastbone and ribs to get the internal mammary nodes.

      In the 1940s, doctors in England developed the modified radical mastectomy, which removed the breast and axillary lymph nodes, but left the chest muscles intact. Although the reoccurrence rates seemed comparable to those for the Halsted, the modified radical mastectomy did not become more common than the Halsted procedure in most US hospitals until the mid-1970s.

      When researchers determined that many breast cancers grow slowly, treatment decisions became less urgent, and clinical trials were conducted to evaluate less radical procedures. In a study started in 1971, Fisher compared the survival of women who were randomized into three treatment groups: radical mastectomy, simple mastectomy (which removes only the breast and areola), and simple mastectomy with radiation.

      After 15 years, the survival rate was the same for all three groups. This study, published in 1985, was a turning point, resulting in surgical choices for more women diagnosed with breast cancer. Choices about radiation, chemotherapy, hormonal therapy, and reconstruction also influence surgical decisions. Now that women have so many choices to make, informed consent has become an important issue for breast cancer patients.

    • Thanks for the link.
      Insightful. Accurate. An all-to-common description of how discussions usually go with the global warming faithful.
      Inevitably the argument from authority and simple name calling comes into play.

  2. daveandrews723

    I am a former news reporter and it saddens me to see so many journalists conforming to the so-called “settled science” position of the warmists. Journalists are supposed to challenge the status quo and those in power by asking the tough questions. I do not see the mainstream news media reporting on the many flaws that are constantly being pointed out in the CAGW theories. There should be a Pullitzer Prize waiting for the gutsy journalist who blows the lid off of this terrible science that is being presented as fact.

    • I am a former news reporter and it saddens me to see so many journalists conforming to the so-called “settled science” position of the warmists. Journalists are supposed to challenge the status quo and those in power by asking the tough questions. I do not see the mainstream news media reporting on the many flaws that are constantly being pointed out in the CAGW theories. There should be a Pullitzer Prize waiting for the gutsy journalist who blows the lid off of this terrible science that is being presented as fact.

      If only those poopyheads would stop being poopyheads, we could get past all this attacking and reinvigorate tolerance for different points of view.

    • dave – my cut on this is that 95% of the media outlets are essentially propaganda arms of a powerful leftest regime which is attempting to use CAGW as a big stick to control the population and transfer wealth.

      I would LOVE to hear that my cut on this is wrong, because I lose hope, otherwise.

      • daveandrews723

        Wallensworth… I don’t think it is the ideology of reporters. I think it is more laziness and conformity. Back in the 60’s and 70’s the news media accepted the prevailing view from the “experts” that global cooling/a new ice age was looming. Then in the 80’s a few “experts” came out with the CO2 as climate driver theory and it sounded like a good story. The bandwagon was created and the lazy mainstream news reporters lapped it up. Now they are entrenched and refuse to give any coverage of the evidence that shows CAGW is not holding up to the growing evidence that is disproving it.

      • Wealth is always being transferred. I suspect its just in certain directions that you dont like it.

      • To me, it looks more like an irrational hatred of fossil fuels. The pictures of bellowing smokestacks blowing steam interpreted as blowing pollutants, poisoning streams, acidifying the oceans, etc. All misrepresentations at best with little to no acknowledgement of the fact that fossil fuels are what make the lives we live in developed countries possible.

  3. David Wojick

    I am puzzled by your apparent amazement. This is fundamentally a policy debate, hence deeply political, so it is perfectly normal for each side to despise the other. It is unusual for an entire scientific community to be drawn into such a debate, but the subject matter requires it. It is simply a measure of the strength of environmentalism as a political movement.

    • Steve Fitzpatrick

      David,
      I suspect “being drawn into” the debate is a bit of an overstatement; people with strong ‘green’ inclinations are going to be drawn toward climate science if they are technically inclined.

      It is a deeply political policy debate, but nearly all “experts” in the field are strongly inclined to support only one side of that debate, and IMO always would, even if they worked in some other field unrelated to climate science. It is the potential bias in “the science”, perceived by many (including me!), which takes the debate beyond the normal political realm where these debates are usually held and into the realm of technical substance. In short, what makes the political disagreement more contentious is that many well known climate scientists are outspoken policy advocates. Based of personal experience, reasonable people often doubt the credibility of outspoken advocates.

    • I’m 64 years old, a successful in business, reasonably intelligent, generally cynical when it comes to human behavior. But I too find myself amazed, although dispirited might be a better term. The sheer magnitude of the fraud…and I don’t use that word lightly…seems to me unprecedented in a free society.

      • Yes, it is astonishing, particularly when you consider the freedom with which information can now be disseminated. Who’d a thunk it?
        ================

    • I am an environmentalist AND a skeptic! I have no problem with the science, let the scientists slug it out just like they did with plate tectonics, it is the crony capitalism and political exploitation of the issue that troubles me. Implementing bogus, regressive carbon taxes on transportation fuels, as in California, and then transferring $1,000,000,000 to “clean technology”, is obscene. This is actually happening right now!

      • Justin
        You left at least two zeros off. Should be “over $100,000,000,000 “

      • Well, does the itch have the whole California or the whole World in its hairy hands? And for how long must it scratch?

        For convention, we could add the two zeros after the decimal point, too. Pretty soon we’re talking about real long numbers.
        =====================

      • “I have no problem with the science, let the scientists slug it out…”
        I have.
        Reading about the hockey stick saga and the latest Mann paper troubles me deeply: how can such junk pose as science? How is it possible that 97% of scientists applaud and promote such bu**sh*t ?

        I love and revere science. I am personally astonished and hurt. Not so much by the fact that this rub*sh gets published, as by the fact that it gets applauded and accepted and praised by most main stream scientists and academic institutions. It’s terrible.

      • Justin,

        I would never describe myself as an environmentalist. As I have mentioned more than once, the science education non profit I am involved in srubbed all reference to the term from our literature several years ago. To much baggage. I prefer stewardship and conservationist.

      • Actually, CA “generated” $1,000,000,000 for “clean technology” via the carbon tax on transportation fuels since the inception of the tax in January 2015. The zeros are correct.

    • ” the strength of environmentalism as a political movement.”

      NOT environmentalism in general. Only those folk who like to say “I’m going to carry on protesting (and breaking the law, risking your life) until you do what I tell you”. The descendants of vicious “animal rights” folk who bomb and burn medical researchers; of anti-nuclear demonstrators breaking into top-secret military establishments; of anti-whaling folk who illegally battle on the high seas, etc.

      Those environmentalists who worry about diversity are too busy protecting nature in work-parties and detailed research to spend the effort onpolitics.

  4. For those that haven’t read it:

    Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert Cialdini

    A thumnail of the ideas in the book is here:

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Cialdini

  5. WOW!

    Everyone on all the sides should read what Dr Curry Wrote!

    • Danny Thomas

      Pope,
      You’re right! Pro level “Climateball” played to win with no pads.

      • Dear Danny,

        I thought you were supposed to be above ClimateBall ™, and not being here to play games. This kind of comment:

        Pro level “Climateball” played to win with no pads.

        indicates otherwise.

        Thank you for your concerns,

        W

      • David Springer

        Absence of /sarc tag fooled ya, huh Willard?

  6. Danny Thomas

    Dr. Curry,
    Thank you for this post. Don’t tell Willard, but I’ve wondered out loud here on this very format why “it has to be ‘Climateball'” and from experiences on alternative outlets there is a “if you not with us you’re against us” mentality. This is the only site (so far) on which my personal experience has been one of relative acceptance initially coupled with offerings of educational materials without some requirement to join a particular tribe.
    Having come to this discussion with a leaning towards AGW having been more foisted upon me (media and friends) than from self study I actually went looking for the opposite few in hopes to gain an understanding of what that view percieved as well as why. Due to this interaction, self study, and hopefully an open mind I’ve moved from where I was initially to exactly where I was. I’m a still a leaner towards AGW (no “C” involved). But my perception has change w/r/t “skeptics/skepticism” as I find I are one…….towards both sides. I do take note that I question the AGW prognosticators more but believe that is due to content coming from that side and being defendend against from the other.

    • well said and well done :)

      • Danny Thomas

        I appreciate your kind words but the credit due is to you for this endeavour and the level of contributor you draw. This and your willingness to allow one such as I who has no credentials to offer but only (too many?) questions.
        My personal thanks.

    • > Don’t tell Willard,

      Apophasis is a rhetorical device wherein the speaker or writer brings up a subject by either denying it, or denying that it should be brought up. Accordingly, it can be seen as a rhetorical relative of irony. Also called paralipsis (παράλειψις) – also spelled paraleipsis or paralepsis –, or occupatio,and known also as praeteritio, preterition, cataphasis (κατάφασις), antiphrasis (ἀντίφρασις), or parasiopesis (παρασιώπησις), apophasis is usually employed to make a subversive ad hominem attack, which makes it a frequently used tactic in political speeches to make an attack on one’s opponent. Using apophasis in this way is often considered to be bad form.

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

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,

        You are in no way “my opponent”. (Dude, can’t you take a joke?) In fact, I find your offerings of value (but I don’t want you to know this……..hope that’s not a rhetorical ad hom). I have no “opponents” in this discussion. I do have disagreements, but you see from my view we’re all in this together.
        I sense you enjoy the joust and at times I find entertainment value in it also. But not to the extent you seem to. But then I have no financial incentive in the marketing of this game, nor the new game you’re proposing. Sure hope it pays off well for you, and a mention by name on the box lid would do wonders for my ego. (Let me know if I should end my post with a wiki reference in order to frame it well).

      • Dear Danny,

        I could not care less about your motivations, your deep-down beliefs, your spiritual journey, your past experiences, your sociological background, your curriculum vitae, your self-avowals, or anything related to your person. You are entitled to your own narrative.

        The only reason why I would pay due diligence to these testimonies is when it “content” as arguments, in which case I consider this becomes fair ball. More so when they function as a way to mess with anything related to my person. Reverse ad homs can easily become pure ad homs.

        My motivations, beliefs, perspectives or anything related to my person in none of your business. I can tolerate your stupid newbie act, as long as you stop bugging me.

        Is that clearer?

        Best,

        W

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        Hummm. From this stupid newbie’s perspective there’s a lot more classy way to ad hom. I, personally, obviously prefer “apophasis” as it’s usually employed to make a subversive ad hominem attack (or whatever else you wish to imagine in your mind that I’m attempting to do.
        Or, in other words, should I chose to make an attack on you personally there will be nothing subversive about it. I will be quite clear as I’m too stupid to do it in any alternative fashion. (Hoping you don’t have to strain yourself to read between these lines).
        You really ought to consider a chill pill. No matter how you may wish it, Willard. You are not my opponent. I never intended to “bug you”, but maybe I misread somewhere that there were no rules in “climateball”.
        (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bugs……….couldn’t find one titled “bug you”……….oh, and this is intentional to bug you just to be clear).

      • tolerance tolerance tolerance

      • Danny Thomas

        Guess we all have levels of “criticism (ad homs), tolerance, and changing of minds”. While I’m not wishing to take my words back from Willards direct and personal attack, I do apologize to the blog for my tactic above.

      • Willard,

        Something is wrong, I’m starting to like your comments.

      • David Springer

        If the liking of Willard’s comments persists longer than 3 days see your doctor about it.

      • Oops! And There’s That Nasty Comment to the congenial Danny! Not good!

      • Thanks, Danny.

        You’re not the first to come up with the “who, me?” move. Barry Woods constantly used this in his beginning — Josh captured the look quite well. TonyB’s still the best Denizen. The uncontested remains Junior, even in abstentia. I hope you see the effect of handwaving to people like that.

        I also hope that if I say things like that, I could substantiate it. However, I did not intend to comment on this thread. More shirt ripping. Yawn. So please don’t pull me back in.

        Until later,

        W

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        I truly have no understanding of what nerve of yours I hit, but I assure you it was not intentional. I was joking in the reference to “not telling Willard” and that it got personal from there was unfortunate. But I am too stupid to be subversive in a silly ad hom attack so it would be completely out of character for me to attack you personally as I don’t know you. (Apophasis is a new word for me and I thank you for expanding my vocab). But if you chose to offer silly words in a public format you’ll have to forgive my response in kind.
        Out of ‘tolerance’, I hope you’ll ‘change your mind’, and accept my ‘criticism’ in the jovial fashion intended in the original post in this thread.

      • Danny, don’t mind willard, he is just playing climate ball

      • Danny Thomas

        I don’t mind him at all. I think I kinda appreciate him. Just don’t tell him!

      • Danny is engaging enough to most of us here but he should listen to Mosher’s oft repeated advice to all of us: read more and post less. TMI to me is offputting, especially when it is about personal thoughts and motivations.

      • Danny Thomas

        Peter Davies,
        Wanted acknowledge and thank you for your message. A) I’m talking too much. B) TMI w/r/t my personal situation. My intent was to follow this: ““That’s your responsibility as a person, as a human being — to constantly be updating your positions on as many things as possible. And if you don’t contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you’re not thinking.” as I felt (I know, TMI about personal feelings) it hit home with me.
        Thank you for valuable criticism, it is truly appreciated.

      • No problem Danny. I am often updating my positions on most things too but do not attempt to involve other commenters in this personal process.

      • tolerance tolerance tolerance

        Climateball” is the deadly dodder of Climate Science.

        Should tolerance extend that far?

    • Danny,

      I second the well done. I came to the debate when I heard that it was already over and the science was settled. I first went to Real Climate and SkS. The attitudes there were so off-putting that I knew something was wrong. I started from the position that the planet was warming, that there was most likely human impact and that exploring potential outcomes was a worthwhile goal. That should be a starting point well suited to those concerned or alarmed about climate change to justify engagement. Instead there was lecturing and then negativity when I questioned what was being said. I have come to the conclusion that the issue of climate change is validation of my passion to interest students in science. My worry is that my efforts are akin to a fart in the wind when compared to the machine currently driving the debate on climate.

      • Danny Thomas

        TimG56,
        Many thanks. Sounds like our paths were similar.
        W/R/T:”My worry is that my efforts are akin to a fart in the wind when compared to the machine currently driving the debate on climate.” Open minds and open eyes both directions are important so keep it up. Plus, there’s those butterfly wings and all, eh? :)

  7. “However, there are numerous sociopsychological factors in science that discourage changing your mind, since egos and reputations get tied up in a particular interpretation.”

    I think the biggest problem is obedience to an authority that is false, while having no idea that is false. The response from challenging a fundamental misconception would predictably be wild turbulence rather than a stable Lorenz attractor. The herding goes much deeper than political and financial motives.

  8. Pingback: Criticism, tolerance and changing your mind | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  9. Reminds me of the old joke about how you can tell a good forecaster from a bad forecaster. The good forecaster is the first one to recognize he was wrong.

  10. Doug Proctor

    A man of “fixed opinion” is to be denigrated; a man of “consistent” opinions is to be applauded. Note the difference.

    “Flip-flopping”, as mentioned, diminishes your value in the conversation as it reveals you don’t think things through or consider most aspects before you pronounce. Fixed opinions demonstrate an unwillingness to consider new information or aspects of the discussion that do not support other issues that are collateral to, but irrelevant to the specific discussion. Consistent opinions indicate most aspects have been weighed, but allowance is available for change should new information arrive. We hedge our bets with the fixed-consistent pair because we know irresolute behaviour always leads to problems because solutions partly applied are ineffective. We are also uncertain when positions are not well defined, and we abhor uncertainty. The determined only cause problems when it is also wrong.

    Leaders of lower quality do not recognize the important difference between fixed and consistent, and will seize on the fixed variety when confused, afraid that they will appear irresolute in the face of challenge and lose authority. Examples in the climate debacle are so easy to note that it is too tedious for me to do so here.

  11. The Very Reverend Jebeduah Hypotenuse

    Curry:

    When politics and ‘consensus’ enforcement come into play, it becomes very difficult for scientists to publicly change their mind. To say that we are in trouble in the climate debate because of this is an understatement.

    Agreed – but, of course, there is really more than one consensus…
    Oh, and here’s a nice picture of me posing with Jeb Bush…

    Curry:

    There is enormous pressure for climate scientists to conform to the so-called consensus. This pressure comes not only from politicians, but from federal funding agencies, universities and professional societies, and scientists themselves who are green activists and advocates. Reinforcing this consensus are are strong monetary, reputational, and authority interests.

    Overwhelming scientific evidence and inference to the best explanation do not make the list? Funny, that.

    The geocentric theory of the solar system just doesn’t get the attention and research funding it deserves, you know?

    Because ‘pressure’.

    Over 97% of climate scientists are far too weak-willed to resist the money.

    Why, if it weren’t for the selfless and fiercely independent Tols, Lomborgs, and Curry’s of the world, whatever would science do?

    Anyway – If you want to challenge the so-called consensus – feel free…

    Just do try to get beyond the standard rejectionist tropes and the argument from “You’re reppressed, and I’m Galileo”.

    • “Overwhelming scientific evidence and inference to the best explanation..”

      Then if natural variability was shown to be solar driven and not internal, it would force a move from a literally geocentric to a heliocentric model of the climate.

    • Reverendo Heredia: I suppose you realize you are spinning your wheels in the mud?

    • Rev,

      How about the first step beyond?

      Islands disappearing beneath the waves, tens of millions being displaced, wide spread expansion of tropical disease, increase in “extreme” weather events, our grandchildren never knowing what snow looks like?

      All are claims which deserve at least some evidence in support. Otherwise they risk becoming focal points of scorn and derision.

  12. “There is enormous pressure for climate scientists to conform to the so-called consensus.”

    I am curious to see who disagrees with this statement and their reasoning for it.

    • I agree, and note that where individual scientists publish articles that do not conform to the consensus they do not (usually) make a great song and dance about it. Publish your stuff if you can, but keep your head down.

  13. 1. Humility and truth are close companions.

    2. So are arrogance and untruths

  14. There is enormous pressure for climate scientists to conform to the so-called consensus.

    I sure am glad no other parties feel a pressure to conform otherwise we wouldn’t get anywhere.

    • I wonder if Judith’s efforts to manufacture a consensus of “skeptical” beliefs makes those “skeptics” – who doubt that ACO2 has caused any warming at all over the last few decades (arguably a plurality) – feel a pressure to conform?

      http://www.culturalcognition.net/storage/thumbnails/4177295-25459993-thumbnail.jpg?

      • joshua, this is your tribal fallacy in action.

      • Joshua,

        Most humans feel pressure to conform. We can not avoid that but honest brokers try to take it into account.

      • MW –

        ==> “Most humans feel pressure to conform. We can not avoid that but honest brokers try to take it into account.

        I agree. Taking it into account is worthwhile. But denying the universality of the tendency runs counter to taking it into account.. Trying to exploit that tendency to score points in the climate wars is unfortunate.

        http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2008/07/01/30000-scientists-sign-petition-global-warming

      • “Trying to exploit that tendency to score points in the climate wars is unfortunate. “

        What is unfortunate is that the wars exist…as does collateral damage.

      • mwgrant –

        ==> “What is unfortunate is that the wars exist…as does collateral damage.”

        Again, I agree (I find myself in agreement with your comments often)!

        So then the question is, IMO, what would reduce the adversarial nature of the discussion?

      • “So then the question is, IMO, what would reduce the adversarial nature of the discussion?

        What? Reducing the adversarial nature of the discussion, that is the different parties have to arrive at the point of being to willing to sit at the same table.

        We are clearly far from that and given the possible time-frames associated with some of the alternative risks we likely will not get to decision-making before the decisions themselves evolve. To me this suggests an adaptive, bootstrapping approach which cares its own risks as a policy. There are no guarantees. For example a persisting contentious atmosphere would impede further decisions made in the implementation of the policy–as with any other policy. In a nutshell, attitudes have to change before the mechanics change.

        Either ‘side’ winning means we all likely lose.

      • ==> “We are clearly far from that and given the possible time-frames associated with some of the alternative risks we likely will not get to decision-making before the decisions themselves evolve.”

        True that.

        ==> “Either ‘side’ winning means we all likely lose.”

        I agree. But unfortunately, both sides can only envision a zero sum game.

      • Josh, “What would reduce the adversarial nature of the discussion”.

        That’s easy: Ten years of cooling trends (not paused but actual decline).

      • Well, what you’re are getting so far is nearing 5 straight years of warming.

      • “But unfortunately, both sides can only envision a zero sum game.”

        Yes, that pretty much says it all. I do not understand that and likely never will. So it goes.

      • ?\”Ten years of cooling trends (not paused but actual decline).”

        Well, what you’re are getting so far is nearing 5 straight years of warming.

        Joshua,

        quod erat demonstrandum :O)

      • Joahua – your apparent desire to “reduce the adversarial nature of the discussion” is a straw man. There is no reason people who disagree should begin to agree to give someone else a warm fuzzy. In fact, it would be rather idiotic to change ones position solely to give the appearance of harmony. Now, if there were developments in proof that man-made CO2 would bring down catastrophe on our collective head, then THAT would be a good reason to change opinion. Data.

      • “Jo[s]hua – your apparent desire to “reduce the adversarial nature of the discussion” is a straw man. There is no reason people who disagree should begin to agree to give someone else a warm fuzzy. In fact, it would be rather idiotic to change ones position solely to give the appearance of harmony.

        Hi Jim2,

        Just to be clear:

        The question was ‘what would reduce the adversarial nature of the discussion?’…not ‘can we please reduce the adversarial nature of the discussion?’

        Being collegial or at least civil is not the same as agreeing and does not require changing one’s position or any compromise. No one has suggested ‘agree[ment] to give someone else a warm fuzzy.’

        Perhaps a more germane question is, ‘does being agreeable,or better yet being committed to sitting at the table, offer the prospect of advancing constructive discussion?’ It seems the answer to that determines the nature and extent of any interaction.

      • bedeverethewise

        pssst, Your fallacy is showing.

      • JCH,

        I don’t get into dueling graphs and I don’t talk about pauses or plateaus. I do point out the unarguable point of divergence.

        Explain that. Or lose credibility.

      • Judith –

        Just to help you clean up Springer’s mess, the following comment was posted under my name but I didn’t write it:

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/31/criticism-tolerance-and-changing-your-mind/#comment-689653

  15. “Some of the most effective ways in which you deal with someone’s idea are to treat them completely at face value, and with an enormous amount of respect.”

    In the art of persuasion, using all the appropriate characteristics of style: acknowledging the other’s perspective, respectfully agreeing with items one can agree upon and then critiquing points one objects to, reminds me of English school boys standing at their desk, articulating a specific point/counter point to a room full of peers who may applaud or shout you down. There are times when I have had the perfect retort, only…on the next day.

    Your physical appearance, stance, confidence, quick-wittedness are all on display. Seize the moment by retort and confidence that will carried the day for you. A good way to carry the crowd. Certainly not the laborious and by-the-rules “Debate Team” approach.

    “..if you don’t contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you’re not thinking.”

    Malcolm Gladwell’s quote requires another approach, much less about persuading others as persuading one’s self. “Mulling over”; “I’ve got to sleep on it”, “let me learn more about it.” It also means being in that rarified air of having point/counter point arguments at your fingertips; listening to a tennis match. Frankly, I’ve been to many tennis matches; I haven’t been to any persuasive climate science talks. I wonder why that is. Maybe, instead of putting information together in a novel way for me to understand, I get the feeling I am being sold something; I’m to buy a pig-in-a-poke. The talk, nothing more than a confidence game.

    For me to persuade myself of some idea, I first have to trust the source; I have to compare the new with what I already had learned; and ultimately have to decide if it “makes sense to me”, and emotional/intellectual experience.

    All this takes time for me. I don’t see myself contradicting a previous position, rather, I evolve to a new position. I liken the process of writing in pencil and using an eraser frequently.

    • i like the pencil-eraser analogy

    • RiH,

      Your comment re trusting the source: “For me to persuade myself of some idea, I first have to trust the source;” caught my eye.

      This is a concept that needs to be applied carefully as some people use this to dismiss stuff that they disagree with but is in fact credible. I’ve experienced this recently in another discussion with another denizen on another thread.

      • Mark Silbert

        “..as some people use this to dismiss stuff that they disagree with but is in fact credible.”

        I agree with you and I have dismissed credible information many times when dealing with issues new to myself. Yet, I find that learning is a process, for me, a bit slower than others, nevertheless, I learn by listening to what is being presented and listening to my inner self: i.e., my BS detector. Does this information “make sense.” I try not to be gullible, yet I have been “taken in” more than once in my lifetime. The question really is: how does one verify what is being presented as credible? Here is were the eraser comes in. Write it down (figuratively by speaking to others or literally) as you think you understand it, look at what you have written, listen/look some more, and then erase here and there to have the new idea make more sense to one’s self and write anew. This is a process for me just as science is a process of learning. What ever else science may be, to me, science and learning are one in the same as far as new ideas are concerned. There have been a few “Ah Ha” moments in my life, and I have no idea where they came from, but they are part of the learning process as well, at least for me.

  16. I wrote about the clinging to a “falsified” theory in another discipline, (sociology):

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12108-010-9099-5

    Since, in my belief, winning grants was not part of THAT case, I did not even discuss that. The abstract outlines the case I tried to make.

  17. I don’t buy into the gay example for measuring tolerance as no none becomes gay with an ulterior motive to subvert capitalism and increase government “revenues.”

  18. Wow! Interesting topic, one that I’ve been thinking about recently. I see I’m going to have to bring my laptop with me to my kids extracurricular activities tonight.

  19. The consensus career pressures have built over time, but were there from the beginning. Just look at the IPCC charter, and the founding intent of UNFCCC. The answer was preordained by the political process, so the science flowed from rather than to conclusions.
    As for Gladwell’s “change your mind on new information” (the original statement is a John Maynard Keynes aphorism), that will be very difficult for most of the consensus. There are at least two reasons.
    First, much of the ‘evidentiary’ information was not fit for analytic purpose (ocean heat before ARGO, treemometers). Researchers knew or should have known (hide the decline). Supposed conclusions ignored not just the resulting uncertainty and error bars (Gavin Schmidt 2014 hottest ever, except probably not), they ignored a host of qualitative contrary historical information (MWP, LIA versus hockey stick handle, DMI information on multidecadal Arctic ice variation in essay Northwest Passage). That makes much past climate science worse than merely wrong. Rather, containing an element of intentional intellectual dishonesty. Mann is the poster child.
    Second, much of the ‘information’ really wasn’t. Calling climate model results ‘data’ sufficiently illustrates this second reason. Or, AR5 WG1 Chapter 7 SOD ‘Cloud feedback is substantially positive…This conclusion is reached by considering a plausible range for unknown contributions by processes yet to be accounted for…’! Again, more intellectually dishonest rather than just wrong based on limited true observational information.

    Some of the consensus naturally now tries hard to ignore/hide/excuse away new data (pause, polar ice, unaccelerated SLR, observational energy budget sensitivity, thriving polar bears,…) because of the meme that the science was settled perpetrated by 95% confident IPCC AR5, which hid the hiatus AND deliberately misrepresented its previous conclusions. Mann’s faux pause article April 2014 in Scientific American is another poster child. Continuing evidence of ongoing intellectual dishonesty at both individual and institutional levels.
    Betrayal of the scientific method is a much harder thing to admit than just being wrong based on limited information. The consensus might have gotten away with it but for two things. Mother Nature did not cooperate. The internet provided new means for real information to flow despite consensus gatekeepers (Climategate for intellectual dishonesty like Mike’s Nature trick, Climate Audit on useless paleoproxies like stripbark bristlecone pines, Climate Etc. generally…).

    • Yes

      It’s impossible to forgive these multifarious, deliberate sleights of hand, all knowingly done to convince by stampede the general public, scientifically illiterate and mathematically innumerate, to accept enormous, detrimental changes in their standards of living

      My own children (30ish), my colleagues’ children (same age group) and their many associated friends and aquaintances, all of whom are well educated although not in science or maths, are absolutely bewildered by talk of “feedbacks” and completely flabbergasted by the concept of feedback sign. Their misinformation comes from MSM propaganda (I don’t prosletyse, that’s hypocrisy) and they have no background understanding to pick it apart … so “appeal to authority” is a perfect technique to propagandise them

    • On the other hand, one of the best examples of changing one’s mind in response to further examination and new data comes from the consensus side.

      Steve Schneider. When Carl Sagan and his associates postulated Nuclear Winter as a result of World War III, Schneider initially was on board. But when data and analysis convinced him it would be more like Nuclear Autumn, he changed his mind, changed his writings and eventually changed opinion and policy.

      And he did it again. After initial examination had him worrying (and publishing) about global cooling, he quite quickly saw that warming was far more likely and changed his opinions (right at the time of that current warming began.

      When I interviewed him for Examiner.com, Schneider was not very dogmatic, not hostile, not anything like what we see in the press from the Manns, Santers and Trenberths. He readily conceded that global warming this century could be as low as 2C, calling it a best case scenario.

      I criticized him as fiercely for being associated with the trashy Anderegg, Prall et al PNAS 2010, but he died suddenly before I could interview him again.

      Schneider is quite the hero to many consensus types. As someone who opposes the Konsensus (a slightly different thing) I have to say that I have a lot of respect for him.

      He not only changed his mind, he came out and pushed for policies that reflected the change. On important things with consequences.

      • What Schneider pustulated once, and what Schneider pustulated later are less a function of his ability to change his mind as a tribute to his ability to fool himself. And once having fooled himself, he fooled a lot of others, too. I can’t believe he enjoyed that in his heart.
        ============

      • ==> “Schneider is quite the hero to many consensus types. ”

        heh. “Consensus types.” Those peoplel!! Those “consensus-types”!!!!!

      • Schneider changed his expert scientific opinion from catastrophic global cooling to catastrophic global warming, just as the reported temperatures, and the political leadership of the Democrat party, started to favor warming.

        Funny, both of his opinions required centralization of power in government to deal with the armageddon to come. But that must have just been a happy coincidence.

      • Schneider’s toxic brew of advocacy and science has been bacteremic, bursting little pustules of ‘scary scenarios’ systemically. We have multiple system organ failure of the body politic. We’re infested with little metastatic foci of catastrophe.

        Slip the juice to it, Bruce. I’m never, never, never gonna dream again.
        =============

      • thomasfuller, “On the other hand, one of the best examples of changing one’s mind in response to further examination and new data comes from the consensus side.

        Steve Schneider.”

        Changing your mind requires having your mind set to begin with. That is the “causer” problem. They become attracted to some cause to begin with and climb on the bandwagon. With the GHG effect, you have a 1 to 2 C possible impact with a higher, high side tail because of the “cause” effect. In reality the potential responses are impossible to determine, but the “likely” range could be from nothing to 4 C. Nothing isn’t “cause” effective so it isn’t included. Some warming could be beneficial. Beneficial isn’t “cause” effective.

      • Seems that Schneider was a “catastrophe chaser” (like the ambulance chasers). It didn’t matter to him what the nature of the catastrophe was, as long as he could feel good, acting to save the world from catastrophe, and from those nasty greedy bastards who cause catastrophes.

  20. The longer I live the less I think there is such a thing as tolerance in politics. There seems to be only power…. liberals were my last hope for tolerance and we all know where that has gone…

  21. When politics and ‘consensus’ enforcement come into play

    How utterly ridiculous. How exactly is the “consensus” enforced? Do they need a squad of goons to come around and set people straight?

    • It’s a political statement. It has a political goal.

    • Joseph, you have not been paying attention. Look what happened recently to Soon. To Bengston in Europe. To Judith with the 2010 Sci Am article, or the 2014 Mann tweet kerfuffle. What White House science advisor Holdren said to Congress about Pielke Jr’s testimony on extreme weather and costs.
      All ‘goon squad’ tactics just short of physical kneecapping. Recall Climategate emails on getting editors fired who dared publish skeptical papers?
      You do yourself a disservice evidencing such a selective memory, so easy to counter with multiple real examples.

      • fired who dared publish skeptical papers?

        I don’t really want to go over this again. But tell me someone who has been fired for publishing a skeptic.paper? How can anything John Holdren says “enforce” the consensus? What does criticism of someone for joining a political organization have to do with “enforcing” the consensus especially when participation in an organization has nothing to do with the science.

      • Look what Oppenheimer wrote to Andrew Revkin.

      • Anyone who doesn’t agree with us should be fired

        2151.txt: Tom Wigley says to Mann, regarding the editor of GRL, James Saiers: ” If you think that Saiers is in the greenhouse skeptics camp, then, if we can find documentary evidence of this, we could go through official AGU channels to get him ousted ”

        3946.txt: Kevin Trenberth writes about Chris Landsea, who resigned from the IPCC over Trenberth’s hyping of the link between hyrricanes and warming: ” I understand he has resigned from CA of our chapter. I responded to his earlier message in a fairly low key fashion. I think he has behaved irresponsibly and ought to be fired by NOAA … ”

        4697.txt: Less than a week later, Trenberth’s story has changed: ” Landsea (who was fired by Susan Solomon) “.

        5159.txt: C G Kilsby (Newcastle) to Jones, Oct 2009: ” Hull Uni may be interested to know what their “Reader Emeritus” is up to… ”

        1812.txt: Later in Oct 2009, Phil Jones is furious that two academics (Jonathan Jones and Don Keiller) dared to ask him for data. ” I have had a thought about Keiller and the Oxford Professor. I may have mentioned to you a malicious email that was sent somewhere in the UK pointing to all these awful right wing web sites. The email was passed on to me and it came from an Emeritus Reader at Hull (first name Sonja). I was incensed by this and sent a response to the head of department of Geography at Hull… The thought is whether we should follow the same course with these two at Anglia Ruskin and Oxford? ” He is talked out of taking action by UEA’s head of communications.

        3052.txt: Jim Salinger is upset that Chris de Freitas accepted for publication a paper that questioned the hockey stick, and writes to a large group of climate scientists: ” I have had thoughts also on a further course of action. The present
        Vice Chancellor of the University of Auckland, Professor John Hood (comes from an engineering background) is very concerned that Auckland should be seen as New Zealand’s premier research university, …My suggestion is that a band of you review editors write directly to Professor Hood with your concerns… See suggested text below… ” See this blog for a detailed investigation of this story. (Ironically, it was Salinger who was fired from his job a few years later, not de Freitas).

        https://sites.google.com/site/globalwarmingquestions/climategate-2

    • Craig Loehle

      Being publicly threatened by Congress, by Holdren, by reviewers going nuts if your paper bucks the consensus is enough to intimidate young scientists who must get grants and get tenure. And yes, several state climatologists and TV weathermen have been fired over this issue, and Bjorn Lomborg was officially investigated and almost fired because of his book.

    • Craig Loehle

      I gave talks at 2 local universities in Illinois about climate change (tree rings mostly). At both places something I said set off a geology prof who got up and literally screamed at me during questions, and then left the lecture hall. looking back 5 yrs later, what I said was correct. This is enforcement. Imaging being a grad student in that department!

      • Imaging being a grad student in that department!

        I would choose not to work under that Geology professor, I don’t know if that is a reflection on the Dept. And if I were a warmist, I wouldn’t work under you. See how that works?

    • Being publicly threatened by Congress, by Holdren, by reviewers going nuts if your paper bucks the consensus is enough to intimidate young scientists who must get grants and get tenure.

      What public threat are you referring to?

      And yes, several state climatologists and TV weathermen have been fired over this issue, and Bjorn Lomborg was officially investigated and almost fired because of his book.

      State climatologists are generally political positions and not academic. So if the appointing body doesn’t think someone reflects their views they have to right to remove them. I don’t see how that “enforces” consensus. And weathermen don’t do research. Tell me more about what Lomborg was investigated for and why.

      • David Springer

        If teh military is looking for cheap material denser than depleted uranium for tank piercing rounds they need look no further than the gray matter between Joseph’s ears.

    • This is enforcement. Imaging being a grad student in that department!

      Are you still doing research and giving talks, Craig? If you are, then the “enforcement” wasn’t that effective.

    • Joseph,

      Short answer is yes. Reference a Congressman from Arizona and a Twitter banning just this week.

  22. Alan McIntire

    I’m reminded of a John Maynard Keynes quote, when he was charged with inconsistency:
    “When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?”

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

    Dr. Curry
    the scary thing Is that they attacked you
    you are not a denier
    I doubt the Obama operatives bothered to read a single word you’ve written on the subject, nor do they care to
    they just needed names to cast as cartoon villains
    I’m not sure high minded discussions about debate, criticism and tolerance
    are addressing the real issue

    I think something new and sinister is happening in the political left
    some kind of culture shift
    I thought the right used to occupy that territory but something changed
    I don’t have good handle on it
    they obviously don’t care what Judith Curry actually says

    • Steve Fitzpatrick

      John Smith,

      I have not noted any big change or ‘culture shift’ on the left (or on the right for that matter). There are fundamental moral/ethical disagreements between left and right which are not going to go away. The general attitude of people on the right towards those on the left (“profoundly naive and misguided”) and those on the left toward those on the right (“profoundly selfish and evil”) remain pretty much unchanged over my lifetime.

      • Steve –

        Once again, your bias shows:

        ==> “The general attitude of people on the right towards those on the left (“profoundly naive and misguided”) and those on the left toward those on the right (“profoundly selfish and evil”) ”

        In these threads, on a daily basis, you will see many rightwingers characterizing “the left” as profoundly selfish and evil. In fact, such a characterization drips out of virtually all your comments about “the left.” Even Faustino, who has spent years in spiritual study, embeds such a view within his political comments.

      • David Springer

        Don’t look now Joshua but your skirt is all bunched up in the back and there’s a run in your pantyhose.

      • I don’t see any examples of that, Joshua. Once again you make unfounded statements.

      • Jim,

        Really? To quote the Holy Grail,
        Well what’s that then?


        Global warming alarmism showcases the self-defeating and anti-American intolerance that is symbolic of the tyranny of the Left. Americans have many rights: some are specifically enumerated and some are acknowledged to have been granted to all of humanity by God, a Judeo/Christian God—i.e., human rights that are personal to free individuals that cannot be diminished by contractual fiat.

        Don’t you think that counts as characterizing the Left as evil?

        It was probably easy to miss that example ;) it was on my thread.

      • Mark – one swallow does not a summer make.

      • You have to demonstrate that the majority of the time “In these threads, on a daily basis, you will see many rightwingers characterizing “the left” as profoundly selfish and evil.”

      • Joshua, “In these threads, on a daily basis, you will see many rightwingers characterizing “the left” as profoundly selfish and evil. In fact, such a characterization drips out of virtually all your comments about “the left.”

        ?

        Gullible, comical, and minions would be more common I would think.

      • Jim,

        That’s true enough. I’m not searching. Nor do I know (or care, really) whether or not this be so with respect to you:

        In fact, such a characterization drips out of virtually all your comments about “the left.”

        It’s valid with respect to me. :)
        I haven’t finished sorting it out yet, but I think a lot of my values fundamentally conflict with the values of the Left. But I’m not sure. Maybe it’s not values and it’s just ingrained ideology. Until yesterday I didn’t care at all. Frankly, I’m not sure how much I care today, but it’s disturbing to think it probably compromises my objectivity.

      • Wait, what do you mean, what kind of swallow, European or…

        Sorry. I couldn’t help it. :)

      • Joshua, I had though Sophistry was long since discredited as a philosophical ‘school’ and persuasive argumentum. You have convinced me I was wrong. I have, in Gladwell’s spirit, changed my mind. You provided the new evidence. Sophistry is alive and well, in you.

      • Hi Mark –

        So this is one of those exchanges I said I was looking forward to!

        ==> “I haven’t finished sorting it out yet, but I think a lot of my values fundamentally conflict with the values of the Left. But I’m not sure. Maybe it’s not values and it’s just ingrained ideology.”

        My own belief is that it is not an issue or values (or morality). I think that people try to reverse engineer about values and morality on the basis of assessing someone’s political ideology – but that is mostly identity-protective mechanisms (that take the form of identity-aggression and identity-defense) that are in play.

        I happen to believe that most of the folks in these threads, for example, have fundamentally very similar values. They value family. They value doing right by others. They value freedom and free speech. They value equality and non-discrimination. They value sound reasoning and good science. They value helping those in need.

        I would say that the variety of values within groups people of similar ideological orientation is no less than the differences in values across ideological orientation.

        My view is that the hostilities originate in something very much like what you described – ingrained ideology. As an example, take views on the size of government. Like many of my much beloved “denizens” here, I value a limited government – that should only be as large as it needs to be to ensure the most benefit for as many people as possible. I think that there is always the danger of a larger government tending towards authoritarianism or totalitarianism.

        But I am often told here, among other places, that I am a statist who desires totalitarianism and authoritarianism who wants a nanny state to tell me what to do and to reward slouchers by punishing achievers because I’m “envious” of other classes and I have a guilt complex about being white. That is an amusing and complete misreading of my values. If anything, I am anti-authoritarian, for example.

        But because of an acculturated identification, people rather randomly come down on one side or another of complicated issues that require a balance between competing interests and then project from different positions on these issues to assume that people have different interests and values. The confusion of interests and values is key, IMO, there.

        So what we get are situations where a few years ago, the individual mandate was a mark of “personal responsibilty” for many Republicans – an important value, while now it is a mark of totalitarianism and tyranny – obviously odious values. In reality, what changed were not peoples values, or even their interests, but their positions – because of ideological orientation and not because of deep values. Of course, my example was with Republicans, but the same forces are in play with lefties.

        I’ll leave it here for now…

        Cheers.

      • Joshua,

        I happen to believe that most of the folks in these threads, for example, have fundamentally very similar values. They value family. They value doing right by others. They value freedom and free speech. They value equality and non-discrimination. They value sound reasoning and good science. They value helping those in need.

        I agree with this. I wondered if assigning different priorities to our values might have something to do with it. I’m still not sure.

        Like many of my much beloved “denizens” here, I value a limited government – that should only be as large as it needs to be to ensure the most benefit for as many people as possible. I think that there is always the danger of a larger government tending towards authoritarianism or totalitarianism.

        Aww, see darn it! You’re not supposed to be a member of my tribe! How the heck am I supposed to use you to detect my biases if you share them?
        I’m extremely disappointed in you Joshua.
        ;)

        Thanks for your response. Actually despite my lame joke I appreciate it, that was illuminating.

      • Also, Mark, isn’t Wagathon more a libertarian than a conservative per se?

      • I didn’t ignore the rest of your post Joshua, I didn’t respond because it pretty much mirrors what I’d been thinking, the point about ideology. I’m pretty sure it’s got a lot to do with the matter as well.

      • Mark. You dodged the point, I see. I wasn’t talking about me, I was talking about Joshua’s lack of proof to back up his point. He just spouts this or that without regard to the truth of it. It’s an easy way to produce “rhetoric” although those back-country, gun-totin’, Bible-thumpin’ people in flyover country have a more bucolic word for it.

      • Is he? I wouldn’t know. Possibly I made a mistake due to an unchecked assumption.

        Thanks Jim.

      • Jim,

        Mark. You dodged the point, I see. I wasn’t talking about me, I was talking about Joshua’s lack of proof to back up his point. He just spouts this or that without regard to the truth of it. It’s an easy way to produce “rhetoric” although those back-country, gun-totin’, Bible-thumpin’ people in flyover country have a more bucolic word for it.

        I’m sorry Jim, you are correct. I didn’t mean to dodge your point. I did deliberately hijack it to say something else, and did so thoughtlessly. My apology.

        When I said ‘True enough’ I thought I was conceding the point; I don’t know if Joshua is correct about there being many examples of his point on these threads or not, and didn’t intend to check.

      • Mark –

        ==> “I wondered if assigning different priorities to our values might have something to do with it.”

        That’s a fair and interesting point. Makes me think that what described earlier was too binary.

        Indeed, while the values in general may be shared, there might be, to some extent at least, differing hierarchies of those values. Something to give some thought to. But my immediate reaction is that those hierarchies are not usually static – they shift and flow based on context, and to some degree, experiential interference (which can cause them to shift). And teasing out the ways that ideological identification creates an illusion of substantively different hierarchies is, IMO, likely to be extremely difficult.

      • Mark Bofill,

        “‘I happen to believe that most of the folks in these threads, for example, have fundamentally very similar values. They value family. They value doing right by others. They value freedom and free speech. They value equality and non-discrimination. They value sound reasoning and good science. They value helping those in need.’

        I agree with this. I wondered if assigning different priorities to our values might have something to do with it.”

        If progressives valued family, they wouldn’t be trying to redefine it legally out of existence.

        If they valued “doing right by others” they would not still favor their current leading contender for president, and the outgoing minority leader of the senate, who have demonstrated again that bald faced lying is perfectly acceptable, but only by progressives, among progressives.

        If they valued free speech you wouldn’t have speech codes everywhere and media giants censoring any speech or news that conflicts with their agenda.

        If they valued freedom, they wouldn’t fight to continue forced payment of dues to union bosses, and union elections that do not permit secret ballots.

        If they genuinely valued equality, they would not maintain massive progressive education systems that refuse to educate their students by the millions.

        If they valued helping those in need, they would not have passed, and would not still enforce, laws like Davis-Bacon that were designed to, and still do, minimize the opportunity for minority employment in the construction industry.

        And the list goes on.

        Progressivism has one and only one principle. Power. Look at what they do, not what they say.

      • Have maker, will travel if you axe.
        ==================

      • Joshua, you would have to work very hard to convince me that you have any beliefs or ideals outside of a passion to undermine the credibility of our hostess and hence further the cause of the Konsensus. Those of us who read what you write on Konsensus blogs can see that your ‘sophistry’ here is just that–a debating tool meant to disrupt conversation.

      • Gary,

        Let’s assume all of that is nothing else but the exact truth.

        The point I set out to talk about on this thread was the idea that intolerance leads to a blind spot in one’s thinking where errors can occur. I’m not being very precise. Intolerance, or bias, or rigidly ideological thinking. Errors being mistaking subjective results for objective ones.

        I’m not even certain that this is true, although I’ve got a notion that very well could be, or something similar. I don’t like making subjective judgements and thinking they are objective ones. Don’t mistake me, I make subjective judgements morning noon and night and I’m fine with them, I just like to know which are which.

        So I’m not on a ‘defend the progressives’ kick. I’m not a progressive. I’m not holding hands and singing, I’m not sitting in a drum circle, I’m not smoking peace pipes, none of that. I’m trying to recognize the possible existence of and come up with measures to correct a potential cognitive defect in myself. I thought others might be interested in discussing it, since it relates to the topic Judy introduced.

        Hope this clarifies.

      • Mark Bofill,

        But your comments were not just about your own inquiry. You expressed a moral equivalence between progressives and those who resist them.

        “…a problem that is by no means limited to progressives or liberals.”

        and

        ” That is (perhaps) how does one deal with the intolerance of the Right, except to treat it with intolerance?”

        Your search for a means to critical analysis of your own positions is laudatory. Your implying there is a moral equivalence of some kind between progressivism and conservatism is not.

        And again, perhaps the idea of critically analyzing your own positions is new to you. If so, congratulations. And I mean that seriously. Genuine critical analysis is simply not taught any more. So you will have to learn it on your own.

        But I think that if you look, you will find numerous conservatives who have done precisely that before you. Ronald Reagan, David Horowitz, and (with limited success) Christopher Hitches are a few good examples.

      • Gary,

        Thanks for your remarks. Instead of batting back a reply (which I’ve started doing over the past couple of responses) I’ll think that through carefully. I didn’t think I was expressing moral equivalence, but now that you point it out I’m not sure.

        In a certain way I see your point.

        Is it just that I expressed my point poorly / I said this wrong, or is it an intrinsic unavoidable thing? I was trying to say that ideology can bring a certain type of blindness. Does this mean moral equivalence?

        Maybe. I’m not sure.

        I can say with certainty that this

        That is (perhaps) how does one deal with the intolerance of the Right, except to treat it with intolerance?”

        was an attempt to understand a possible perspective of an ideology I don’t share, not to validate or agree with it.

        Again, thanks for your comment. That’s worth thinking about carefully.

      • Gary,

        I’ve given some thought to this:

        But your comments were not just about your own inquiry. You expressed a moral equivalence between progressives and those who resist them.

        “…a problem that is by no means limited to progressives or liberals.”

        and

        ” That is (perhaps) how does one deal with the intolerance of the Right, except to treat it with intolerance?”

        Your search for a means to critical analysis of your own positions is laudatory. Your implying there is a moral equivalence of some kind between progressivism and conservatism is not.

        The short answer is, I don’t think my statements expressed a moral equivalence between progressives and their adversaries. It is more difficult for me to clearly see whether or not my statements imply a moral equivalence, but again, I don’t think so.

        Regarding my first statement, the problem I was referring to:

        The study in question about social psychologists reporting a willingness to discriminate against conservative colleague candidates and the associated discussion in the links Joshua supplied frankly discussed a problem that is by no means limited to progressives or liberals.

        does not have a moral dimension, as far as I’m concerned. That is, I do not believe the social psychologists indicated willingness to discriminate because of a moral failing, but rather that due to the dynamics of ideology introducing a sort of cognitive blind spot. If human beings have a certain blind spot, I do not agree that this fact has moral implications. If all humans have a certain blind spot, this does not speak to moral equivalence in any way in my view.
        If you wish to argue that having a certain blind spot could lead to some moral failure, perhaps that argument could be made. Personally, I don’t think it would be valid, but such argument I think is beyond the reasonable scope of my original statement; it wasn’t what I was talking about.

        Regarding my second statement:

        I suspect the apparent paradox in the study I mentioned earlier, that the social psychologists surveyed simultaneously said discrimination was largely absent from their professional environments and that they’d discriminate against conservatives might have been due to these academics thinking at least that they were adhering to intolerance for intolerance. That is (perhaps) how does one deal with the intolerance of the Right, except to treat it with intolerance?

        I think it’s clear that by establishing the context for my statement by looking at the preceding sentence, and in particular the words ‘I suspect the apparent paradox … might have been due to these academics thinking at least that they were…’ that I was trying to understand and suggest an explanation for why a group of people did something. Why someone does something is a question of fact, and does not imply any sort of moral equivalence, as far as I can tell.

        Perhaps more to the point than whether or not I spoke clearly or well in these instances, permit me to say that I don’t think the question of moral equivalence relates at all to what I’m talking about. Another viewpoint need not be factually correct, nor morally admirable, nor have any other virtue to conceivably be useful for helping detect oversights in my own reasoning.

    • John Smith,

      “I think something new and sinister is happening in the political left
      some kind of culture shift
      I thought the right used to occupy that territory but something changed
      I don’t have good handle on it”

      It’s not new. See Jonah Goldberg’s book “Liberal Facism”. It’s all about this.

  24. What strikes me about the entire conversation about global warming is the lack of any solutions.

    The problem is well defined – emissions of GHG and in particular CO2 are to high and could cause warming.

    We can quibble about how much warming and whether it is good or bad – but the problem is easily understood.

    What I don’t see are any solutions.

    Keep temperatures less than 2C from what they were in 1850! Yes – but how?

    More recently – keep temperatures less than 1.5C from what they were in 1850! Ok – but how?

    There are no baseload energy solutions which are cheaper than oil, natural gas and/or coal – and which emit no CO2.

    Without some invention in this area, there is no solution yet.

    Basic economics will drive people to use the cheapest form of energy production.

    Nuclear works – but is more expensive than all the hydrocarbon alternatives.

    Renewables are more expensive and only provide about 5% of the necessary power – but emit just as much if not more CO2 because they are not baseload (all the backup energy production still emits GHG’s).

    For all the breast beating and carping, I still don’t see any solutions.

    What we need is fundamental research to drive innovation to generate energy which doesn’t emit carbon (or captures it) and which is cheaper than oil, natural gas and coal.

    Without this solution in hand – all the whining about the problem seems kind of pointless to me.

    • The solution is simple. Plant millions of trees every year on marginal lands. Trees are fairly long term carbon sinks and a future resource to boot. The fact that there has been a clear and agressive political campaign to not recognize tree planting as a way for countries to meet carbon reductions, tells you everything you need to know about the underlying motivations. Planting trees does put control of energy into the hands of those desperate to use it as a lever for control. But as no real solution is being agreed on year after year, eventually countries will do it unilaterally and drop out of the political jockeying. This is assuming co2 is dangerous.

      • Should have read “does not put control”

      • Brandon, as a productive forest owner, I completely empathsize.
        But on a global basis, people don’t eat trees, they eat food ooked with wood from trees they cut down to grow food. So won’t work. See ebook Gaia’s Limits for detailed arguments. See the Haiti/Costa Rica border image therein for a vivid visual example.

      • Brandon,

        You have a good idea and it is worth a try. You can even harvest mature trees and sequester some or most, not sure, of the carbon as a building and manufacturing material (furniture, utensils, etc). As far as food production you could even plant fruit trees, though they are not an adequate replacement for the calories in staples. The forest trees provide many ecosystem services as well.

        Some issues to address:

        1 The nutritional needs of 7 billion people.
        2 Corruption
        3 the rule of law or lack thereof

        One of the most important forests is in the Amazon. The big problem there is the illegal burning (what a waste!) of forests to convert them to cattle ranches (beef is the biggest export product in Brazil), soy beans, and palm oil production. Don’t believe any reports that it is slowing down, it isn’t.

        BTW, most of the products are being exported to,China. Last time I was there the ports were crowded with Chinese ships and the biggest problem was the lack of port capacity. Bye bye mangroves.

        “You can observe a lot just by watching.” – Yogi Berra

    • Rick, nice partial analysis. But partial.
      First missing part is warming, ‘how much and with what consequences’ ? Observational sensitivity says less than modeled by about half, and observation says there will be substantial benefits to offset possible detriments. (plant food, greening, more rain, all that). So if less of a problem, need less of a solution.
      Second solutions like nuclear are still less expensive than renewables (properly accounted) and CCS. Nuclear is more expensiventhan itmneds to be because regulatory costs are pegged to obsolete technology. Three Mile Island and Fukushima Diichi were both gen 1 Reactor designs. Chernobyl can be considered a pre gen 1 design scaled from Fermi’s original U. Chicago graphite pile in 1938. Fukushima had just had its operating license extended 10 years beyond original planned obsolescence when Tohoku struck. Fukushima Daini, just 15 kilometers away but a gen 2 complex, emerged unscathed. Current designs are gen 3 (westinghouse AP1000 or equivalent, Foglte 3 and 4 under construction in the US). And, if a less immediate solution is needed (above paragraph), then gen 4 is on the horizon in several variants, all solving in one way of another the remaining issues of refueling and radwaste disposal. We could pour R&D into gen 4, and not build any until confident,of the answer. Chinamis building gen 3 and pouring money into gen 4 research. US and Europe are doing next to nothing. See essay Going Nuclear in ebook Blowing Smoke.
      There are partial solutions being blinded by the ‘decarbonization’ panic. And there are other energy problems (liquid transport fuels, renewable intermittency) unaddressed by the current climate change political momentum. Tried to lay some of this factually out in the ebook.

    • For all the breast beating and carping, I still don’t see any solutions.

      There is no “solution” of the kind that people here are looking for. Some human behaviors remain resistant to manipulation — the belief that we should (or even can) change the system to eliminate the problem is, in reality, an important source of the problem!

      The only solution is open-mindedness and civility, both of which are lacking on both sides of the so-called “debate” that isn’t really a debate.

      Some wise people here (and I believe that Dr. Curry is among them) understand that the issue is not the science itself; rather, the issue is that science and scientists are being used a political tools by people who are a whole lot better at manipulation than they are.

      For me, I have tried to approach the topic with as open a mind as I can. I find certain people on both sides who consistently comment here in ways that are destructive to the science, and others who more often have useful comments. Since I started reading, I have changed my mind on several things. Unfortunately for both sides, those changes have not preferentially been in either direction.

    • bedeverethewise

      RickA,
      I agree with your assessment. There are no obvious or easy solutions. There are billions of people with access to cheap reliable energy based on fossil fuels and they don’t want to give it up. There are billions more who don’t have it and desperately want it. When it comes to climate change, defining the problem is difficult, but what we do about it is a much more difficult engineering problem.

      In my opinion, when someone says that the solutions to the climate change problem are simple, they are denying reality. When someone blames the lack of action on the climate issue on political opponents or energy companies, they are denying reality.

      Saying that climate solutions are simple is equivalent to saying that CO2 is not a greenhouse gas.

  25. Judith quoted: “The lack of tolerance for opposing perspectives in the climate debate is just staggering. Even more worrisome is that it is regarded as a ‘virtue’ to attack people with an opposing perspective.”

    Part of the scientific method is to attack a theory and try to bring it down. Popper has criticized modern science for spending too much time performing experiments only capable of confirming or refining what is know instead testing their limitations. We all SHOULD appreciate questions which challenge our positions and welcome the opportunities a competent challenge provides to clarify or refine our position. Critics need to fully understand such responses before continuing their attack. IMO, lack of tolerance and close-mindedness are real problems; attacks are not.

    The IPCC’s desire for a consensus has prevented critical analysis of the consensus position. A political need to eliminate the MWP, for example, appears to have turned paleoclimate reconstructions into a cesspool of dubious science

    • Craig Loehle

      Franktoo: The problem is that any scientific criticism is viewed by the establishment as personal and they respond with ad hom attacks to destroy the critic. That is not how science should work.

  26. richardswarthout

    Just as important as energy research is climate research. There is presently too much uncertainty regarding the climate system.

  27. I wrote something on tolerance, can’t track it down, will keep trying. In the meantime:

    “This above all: to thine ownself be true.”
    William Shakespeare (1564-1616), from Hamlet

    • A pertinent snippet: Tolerance implies the capacity to accept that the views and beliefs of others may differ from one’s own view of the world, and that your wisdom might not be absolute. But that does not mean suspending discernment: the other’s view might be inimical, without foundation and harmful to society, and should be opposed rather than tolerated. This distinction seems too often to be misunderstood or ignored.

      In terms of this thread, the question is how to engage constructively with those with different views, given the impact of different views on policy in the alleged CAGW field. If your opponent/person of a different view won’t engage (“The science is settled!”), then it’s very difficult to engage them: instead, one must engage with third parties if you seek to influence opinion and policy; e.g. with media input, blog posts and discussion. If there is scope for engagement, you need to proceed with openness, honesty, integrity and humility, to appreciate that the other person’s view may be sincere even if you think it misguided. (Although in the CAGW case, I don’t think that is always the case, the issue is clearly used by many activists as a cloak or vehicle for pursuing political and economic agendas which would not win support if plainly stated.) And, of course, be across the evidence.

      I fear, however, that there are too many entrenched positions, that many people have too much invested in what they have proclaimed for a long time [IMHO, mainly on the warmist side] for sensible discussion to take place: efforts need to be directed to those who might be amenable to argument, and to the broader population if you feel, as I do, that the pursuit of so-called solutions to the alleged CAGW problem has been harmful and promises to cause much more harm, and that policies more amenable to human well-being should be adopted.

      • Well spoken Michael. Your first paragraph could be slotted straight into a textbook on ethics and morality.

        To me the essence of being a skeptic is to recognise, as you do, the difference between climate science and climate politics.

        A large number of skeptics deny the science of the greenhouse effect, earning us all the epithet “deniers.” On Dr. Curry’s page at least, almost all the commenters accept the GHE.

        But the GHE is very, very basic physics and completely unable to bear the heavy load of all the policies implemented and moral condemnations uttered in its name.

        The warmist position makes me think of the basic chemistry student who learns that table salt is a compound of two dangerous elements, sodium and chlorine, and embarks on a misguided quest to ban salt.

        It would seem that the best skeptic strategy would be to teach the CAGW faithful that the basic GHE theory does not support all the conclusions that supposedly follow from it.

        As you said, Michael, this will not work with activists who use CAGW as a cloak or casus belli for their agendas.

        So I like your suggestion that we should concentrate on the broader population, with the aim of separating “settled” climate science from climate politics.

    • bedeverethewise

      In the meantime:

  28. Every day in every way, thinking is getting better and better.
    ===============

  29. Patrick Moore (Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout…) on zero-tolerance policies:

    Some activists simply couldn’t make the transition from confrontation to consensus; it was as if they needed a common enemy. When a majority of people decide they agree with all your reasonable ideas the only way you can remain confrontational and antiestablishment is to adopt ever more extreme positions, eventually abandoning science and logic altogether in favor of zero-tolerance policies.

  30. I say what I have said below almost everyday because it is true. I am waiting for the AGW crowd to produce data that shows otherwise. Maybe then I might have a tolerance for their side of the climate issue.

    I say to the AGW crowd show me the data that supports your theory either through a change in atmospheric processes as called for by your theory or the data itself showing how this period of change in the climate is something that has never ever happened before and to this degree in such a short period of time.

    The answer is you have nothing you can show to support your theory. Not one single atmospheric process and not one single piece of data.

    Until that changes all AGW theory is , is talk/speculation with nothing to back it up with.

  31. It all comes down to the DATA, and the DATA does not support AGW theory.

  32. harrytwinotter

    Dr Curry is still having issues with the consensus on AGW, apparently.

  33. I’ve got some thoughts on this I’d like feedback on, if anyone cares to supply some. :)
    First off, I think it’s a mistake to limit the scope of the idea to thinking, ‘Oh, this is the mainstream warmist culture’s problem, how swell!’ I started down this road with Joshua the other day myself before backing up (The exchange leading up to this is pertinent and illuminating as well, that Joshua took the initiative to engage quite cordially with me after I demonstrated a very rudimentary fairness and willingness to admit his response counter to another member of my tribe was valid, see here and here, but this post is already likely to be overly lengthy so I’ll mention this point without exploring it further).
    I thought to myself, ah ha! An advantageous starting position. I hesitate to use the ClimateBall idea, since I might not fully understand it yet, but maybe it was first down and I had the ball, so I thought.
    But after I started thinking it through, and the more I thought it through the more disturbed I became. The study in question about social psychologists reporting a willingness to discriminate against conservative colleague candidates and the associated discussion in the links Joshua supplied frankly discussed a problem that is by no means limited to progressives or liberals. If I picked up this stick to beat Joshua with, I had to consider the implications. What’s the point of establishing that your opponents are wrong because they’ve got a blind spot, in the face of the realization that you and everyone else is running around with the same blind spot? (I’m presenting myself in the worst terms, for illustrative purposes. I’m not quite as Machiavellian as I’m making out, but let it slide for now)
    After thinking it through, I came to some preliminary conclusions:
    1) If I value objectivity, and I do, because I like to be right, then I ought to give some thought on how to reduce the impact of my blind spot. I don’t know about tolerance for the sake of tolerance, but I can certainly condone cautiously exploring the idea of tolerance for the sake of objectivity.
    2) This being the case, there seem to be two ways to go.
    A) The Easy Way. Listen closely to and engage politely with your tribal enemies, not to defeat them in ClimateBall, but to get a glimpse of what’s in your blind spot. With respect to this idea, Joshua and Willard and ATTP aren’t my best friends, they are my only friends. Them and others like them. Guys who aren’t part of my tribe, who don’t discriminate the same way my tribe does. No mistake, they’ve got the same blind spot, but because their ideology is different they’ll instantiate different mistakes than I will. At least I can hope so. I don’t suggest holding hands and singing Kumbyama with them. I don’t suggest blindly accepting their arguments, or becoming a part of their tribe or making them part of mine. What would the point be in that? I need a foreign perspective to help me see better, not another native one.
    B) The Hard Way. I don’t like being dependent on others to help see in my blind spot. I’d like to come up with some practicable methodology to help me address this. But it’s hard work, and slow going, when there’s nobody to check but me. It’s like deliberate obsessive compulsive disorder, and trying to sort through the chaos gives me a headache every time I get going.
    I’ve got more to say, but I guess this is long enough for now. :)

    • Glad to help out. Liberal fascism is the reason the global warming debate goes on. It’s the only reason.

      AGW has long since ceased being about scientific discovery. It’s all about politics. That’s why we now see global warming playing itself out as a Democrat v. Republican issue.

      Global warming alarmism showcases the self-defeating and anti-American intolerance that is symbolic of the tyranny of the Left. Americans have many rights: some are specifically enumerated and some are acknowledged to have been granted to all of humanity by God, a Judeo/Christian God—i.e., human rights that are personal to free individuals that cannot be diminished by contractual fiat.

      Additionally, Americans have many other rights — penumbral rights emanating from the Constitution – rights that are not specifically enumerated but are nonetheless fundamental to the American experience. These rights are what the Leftist-libs would destroy from within and from without.

      The Leftist-libs would use their democratic freedom to deprive others of theirs: using the democratic process to prevent others from employing their own mental, physical and psychic vitality as their own personal and individual interest shall dictate. The Leftist-libs’ use of secular, socialist government to undermine personal economic freedom and individual liberty is Liberal Fascism.

      • Thanks for your response. I can’t help but think that your response misses the thrust of what I was saying, but perhaps the failing is mine.

      • “Today we are very conscious of the threat we face from the supreme intolerance of Islamic fundamentalism. It could not be a worse time to abandon our own traditions of reason and tolerance, and to embrace instead the irrationality and intolerance of eco- fundamentalism, where reasoned questioning of its mantras is regarded as a form of blasphemy.” (Nigel Lawson)

      • Intolerance for intolerance? Good point. I don’t know if this is a good idea or not.
        What’s the alternative?

      • Wagathon, the reason the global warming debate goes on is because the world warmed. The current plateau doesn’t negate that.

      • Is the reason the world warmed as irrelevant as the lack of warming?

      • The reason is still under investigation. It would be foolish to rule out human contributions, including emissions of CO2. Of course it is just as foolish to dogmatically insist that only CO2 could be the cause. It is quite likely to have a number of causes, some natural in origin and some anthropogenic.

      • It makes as much sense to spend a billion a day investigating it as it would have investigating fears about global cooling in the 70s.

      • Additionally, Americans have many other rights – penumbral rights emanating from the Constitution – rights that are not specifically enumerated but are nonetheless fundamental to the American experience. These rights are what the Leftist-libs would destroy from within and from without.

        Actually, these are the rights created by the left. A “penumbral right” is one that five members of the supreme court conclude is important to have even though not found in the constitution, having concluded, contrary to the view of Thomas Jefferson, that the constitution is “a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist, and shape into any form they please.”

      • ” Justice Jackson said no. He warned of losing sight of “the balanced power structure of our Republic” and reaffirmed that “ours is a government of laws, not of men.” We should heed his words today.” ~Lawrence Tribe

        As a law professor, I taught the nation’s first environmental law class 45 years ago. As a lawyer, I have supported countless environmental causes. And as a father and grandfather, I want to leave the Earth in better shape than when I arrived.

        Nonetheless, I recently filed comments with the Environmental Protection Agency urging the agency to withdraw its Clean Power Plan, a regulatory proposal to reduce carbon emissions from the nation’s electric power plants. In my view, coping with climate change is a vital end, but it does not justify using unconstitutional means.

        Although my comments opposing the EPA’s proposal were joined by a major coal producer, they reflect my professional conclusions as an independent legal scholar. I say only what I believe, whether I do so pro bono, or in this case having been retained by others. After studying the only legal basis offered for the EPA’s proposed rule, I concluded that the agency is asserting executive power far beyond its lawful authority. ~Lawrence Tribe

      • Wagathon –

        Justice Jackson said no. He warned of losing sight of “the balanced power structure of our Republic” and reaffirmed that “ours is a government of laws, not of men.” We should heed his words today.

        Is this a response to my post? If so, I’m not following.

      • Penumbral rights — e.g., a right to privacy — may be logically inferred from explicit rights; and, I believe it’s legitimate to do so, given advances in technology that were impossible to foresee more than 200 years ago. Nevertheless, as you probably would agree, Lawrence Tribe does not believe that gives the Left an excuse to rewrite the Constitution.

      • Penumbral rights — e.g., a right to privacy — may be logically inferred from explicit rights;

        I think that you and I are generally on the same side, and I think that most people, if asked, would think it appropriate that there be constitutional protection for “privacy,” but the fact is that there just isn’t. If we want it to be there we have to amend the constitution to add it. When the 14th Amendment was passed right after the Civil War nobody supposed that it supplied a general right to privacy. When did that right come into existence? Why are nine lawyers on the Supreme Court qualified to say that abortion, for example, is protected by the right to privacy but that some other activity is not? On what basis can such a judgment be made? And why do people assume that such implied elements in the constitution will always be interpreted as supporting individual liberty? If they’re making it up as they go, and if everybody’s OK with that, then what are we going to say when the next Supreme Court makes it up in a way much less to our liking?

    • Mark, I have had some of the same struggles. Methinks you might oversimplify a bit. (an opinion, not a critique). Ended up writing a book about this, The Arts of Truth. Quite deliberately something to ‘offend’ everyone on some dimension or another. That way, a member of no tribe. For sure.
      Sort of a philosophy of skeptical thought. Several categories of thought flaws emerged, which provided a loose organizing principal. Idea was to provide a ‘manual’ on how to check stuff rapidly and at fairly low personal cost. Penultimate chapter was on climate change, because provided rich illustrations of all categories amd methods. Guess I ended up sort of in the lukewarmer but so what tribe. Don’t know if they will accept me, since their views seem to be at variance on many related energy issues. Truth just is.

      • Methinks you might oversimplify a bit. (an opinion, not a critique).

        Doubtless I do. I don’t mind a critique, in fact it’s more or less welcome.
        I wonder if you wouldn’t provide me some spoilers from your book? :)

        Thanks Ristvan.

    • Mark Bofill. Simply demand they prove their nebulous assertions about skeptics and Dr. Curry. It won’t take 300 words to ask for that. I don’t see it very often out of them.

      • I’m thinking I explained my point poorly.
        It doesn’t matter if they are wrong about AGW. I’ve got problems with the AGW situation that I’m pretty confident are not subject to subjective distortion. It doesn’t matter. It’s not an issue of figuring out which side is right about AGW, it’s about figuring out what you may be overlooking. It may have nothing whatsoever to do with the truth or falsehood of the AGW proposition.

      • Oh. I think I missed your point Jim. Sorry.

        What do their assertions about skeptics and Dr. Curry have to do with being able to figure out what I overlook because of my biases or intolerance?

        The exercise I’m talking about isn’t for their benefit, it’s for mine.

    • Mark –

      ==> “1) If I value objectivity, and I do, because I like to be right, then I ought to give some thought on how to reduce the impact of my blind spot. I don’t know about tolerance for the sake of tolerance, but I can certainly condone cautiously exploring the idea of tolerance for the sake of objectivity.”

      I think this is a very interesting point. Thinking about it, I realized that I tend to think of tolerance as being an attribute that makes one person superior to another. Heh. I like to call that unintentional irony. I use tolerance as a tool to manifest intolerance.

      Knowing the subjectivity intrinsic to assessing altruism in myself relative to others – maybe it is more functional to think of tolerance as being a way to make a more objective person. I know that my life is improved by my the measure of my ability to approach situations objectively. I encounter that on a daily basis. Bias does not necessarily always result in negative outcomes, but I do believe firmly that in balance, the more objectivity I can integrate into my life, the happier I am, the better my relationships are, etc.

      ==> ” Listen closely to and engage politely with your tribal enemies, not to defeat them in ClimateBall, but to get a glimpse of what’s in your blind spot. ”

      Listening is such a valuable tool, and it is something that is in short supply around here. Granted, the medium is difficult; alternating discourse through the the written word has advantages (time for reflection, the ability to prevent unproductive messages through voice or expression), but it is very bulky and unwieldy. I have heard that some 90% of what we communicate comes through the non-verbal channels that trading written comments does not provide.

      ==> “With respect to this idea, Joshua and Willard and ATTP aren’t my best friends, they are my only friends.”

      Nice! With good faith exchange, you can provide a benefit to me that none of my tribe mates can give me.

      ==> “. I don’t suggest holding hands and singing Kumbyama with them.”

      I’m so disappointed!! :-)

      ==> ” The Hard Way. I don’t like being dependent on others to help see in my blind spot. ”

      I don’t think what you’re seeking to achieve can ever be obtained through “dependency.” You are using a tool in the process of self-examination. (and indeed, many people on this forum have called me a “tool’ many times!!)

      ==> ” It’s like deliberate obsessive compulsive disorder, and trying to sort through the chaos gives me a headache every time I get going.:

      Tell me about it!

      • Yes, Joshua,we see this every day in your treatment of Judith Curry. And we saw it in your treatment of Keith Kloor. And others.

      • Tom Fuller,

        You may have been gone too long too. You co-author Mosher assures us that the ankle-biter’s antics are what make this blog what it is.

      • I think this is a very interesting point. Thinking about it, I realized that I tend to think of tolerance as being an attribute that makes one person superior to another. Heh. I like to call that unintentional irony. I use tolerance as a tool to manifest intolerance.

        This is another thing that has been driving me nuts. What qualities (tolerance, objectivity, fill in with whatever you like. ) should I strive for in and of themselves? Why? Is there any objective way to make up my mind about this? Is objectivity really a … I don’t know how to say it. An irreducible starting point value for me to hold?
        It was driving me nuts for a while anyway. I eventually realized I can only go so far. If I’m ‘wrong’ (whatever that might mean in this context, if it means anything) in the core qualities I value, so be it. It’s who and what I am at this point. Possibly this relates to the identity preserving arguments you’ve talked about, possibly not. I haven’t gotten around to doing any serious reading about that, so I don’t really know what I’m talking about there. :) Which is not all that unfamiliar a feeling for me anyways.

        I know that my life is improved by my the measure of my ability to approach situations objectively. I encounter that on a daily basis. Bias does not necessarily always result in negative outcomes, but I do believe firmly that in balance, the more objectivity I can integrate into my life, the happier I am, the better my relationships are, etc.

        Thanks. This is helpful.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Joshua,
        You seem to address properties of the person in your frequent and lengthy essays into the hypothetical.
        It should be obvious to all by now that uncertainty in climate topics results from inadequate, good, accepted data. Have you ever offered actual data about climate on a blog?
        If not, why the heck are you here?
        Geoff

    • Mark Boflll,

      “The study in question about social psychologists reporting a willingness to discriminate against conservative colleague candidates and the associated discussion in the links Joshua supplied frankly discussed a problem that is by no means limited to progressives or liberals.”

      Not to rain on your Kumbaya parade, but I am truly interested in the sources of your knowledge about the larger political debate you are discussing. You seem to feel there are equal efforts to stifle opposing speech by “both sides.”

      I read from the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Slate, Real Climate and other progressive sites to see what progressives think. Where do you go to find what conservatives and skeptics think? What are some of the examples you have seen of conservatives trying to silence progressives, on any aspect of the larger political debate, and where did you see them?

      As for your quandary about this: ” I don’t like being dependent on others to help see in my blind spot. I’d like to come up with some practicable methodology to help me address this.” There is already a well developed process for this. It is called critical analysis. It just isn’t taught or practiced anymore in academia. They are now all about criticism of dissenting speech, not critical analysis of all arguments, including their own. Think John Stewart with a PhD.

      • GaryM –

        ==> “I read from the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, Slate, Real Climate and other progressive sites to see what progressives think.:”

        Please don’t forget, as you have told us many times, that “progressives” are incapable of critical thinking.

        I think that it probably isn’t too far to go from that to being able to conclude that they actually don’t “think” in the way that people normally consider the term to mean.

        So I would offer a correction. You read from those sources not to see what they think, but merely what they say. What they say isn’t actually a product of thinking.

        Hope that helps!

      • Gary,

        I am truly interested in the sources of your knowledge about the larger political debate you are discussing. You seem to feel there are equal efforts to stifle opposing speech by “both sides.”

        No. Thank you for pointing this out. I do not believe there are equal efforts to stifle opposing speech by both sides.

        This is not my point.

      • Someone who agrees with me and Mosher’s mini-me, in the same thread. Scary or suspicious. I can’t figure which.

      • :-> Would it amuse you to discover I dared to hope you meant me when you said Mosher’s mini-me? LOL. I suspect a number of people at WUWT would have said so in less kind terms about me at one point. Seems like every other post I made for a time was a Mosher defense or a Mosher apologetic of some sort. I don’t think I’m qualified to be a Mosher Mini me, but I can dream can’t I?

        It amuses me to admit it at any rate. :)

        It’s been fun this evening, Gary, Joshua, Jim, others. Thanks so much for the discussion.

  34. Because Dr. Curry ,is looking at the data.

  35. John Carpenter

    I have mentioned this before, I came to this site as a skeptic. More skeptical about AGW than i find myself now. I have since moved to a more neutral position… agreeing with the central tenants of AGW, which tends to be the opposite of what most people claim when they come here. I am not an alarmist nor do I see evidence that a looming catastrophe is waiting or imminent. I have to credit my AGW shift to the many discussions I have had here over the years with those who challenged my beliefs and behaviors as well as from reading other discussion here and elsewhere. (I read many sites, however I really only comment here.) To me, to learn is to have the ability to change your mind about what you think you know by exploring the areas you are most uncomfortable with. To expose yourself to ideas you don’t like and then to find ways to adjust your frame of mind to, at the very least, understand those ideas without letting your personal biases solely influence your final conclusions…. and to not really have any final conclusions per se, but rather to let ideas continue to evolve depending on the evidences you observe.

    Thank you Pekka, Moolten, Jim D, Mosher, Joshua, Willard, Bart R, Skeptical Warmist plus others and of course Judy for the many engagements that have influenced and changed my thinking.

  36. John show me just one piece of data that supports AGW.

    I will wait.

  37. http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2010/01/climate-modeling-ocean-oscillations.html

    John , I have the data that refutes AGW theory. This is just one of many examples.

  38. Theories of what will happen with increasing CO2 have been around a long time.

    The IPCC has been around a fairly brief time.
    The IPCC was created of a political body, by socialist Maurice Strong.
    Much of the IPCC structure and agenda was incorporated from the ‘Club of Rome’ who wrote:
    “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….All these dangers are caused by human intervention….and thus the “real enemy, then, is humanity itself….believe humanity requires a common motivation, namely a common adversary in order to realize world government. It does not matter if this common enemy is “a real one or….one invented for the purpose.”

    It is not at all surprising that there is contention and argumentation, not about the real phenomena of science, but about the political agenda that a group is trying to advance by exaggerating or even lying about science.

    • It is well known that the sentence about “real or invented for the purpose” was not taken from this paragraph, but from elsewhere in the book, and just inserted for effect and to fool conspiracy theorists into thinking they have something. Many were fooled, and some still are. They need to go to the source which is “The First Global Revolution”. It is not about what they think it is. Perhaps they will then have some response to those who duped them with a misquote.

      • Nothing about “world government” there either. Another nonsense that makes the rounds.

      • It’s pretty clear that the Club of Rome was an integral part of the formation of the IPCC and that they wished to use the IPCC to further their agenda.

      • Jim D,

        I remember studying the Club of Rome and Paul Erlich back in the 70’s as a college student. Anyone who holds with the views expressed by either is the sort of fool who thinks Bernie Madoff should be entrusted with their investments.

      • I only know that if people have to misquote from their book to make a conspiracy theory, it is those people we have to watch, not the ones who wrote the book. You can read large sections of their book on Google books, and it says nothing along the lines suggested. These quotes are widely used and plain wrong. What does that say to you? You need to check the source with these quotes. They see the use of world solidarity (they even say specifically not world government) on environmental issues, and, from what I can tell, were at that time also concerned that no such plan existed for ozone despite the problem and solution being known. Their vision is what the Montreal Protocol became for ozone, and is also what the UN aspires to with the UNFCCC for CO2. I can see why skeptics don’t like unified international efforts on CO2, but that is the only way to go for a global environmental problem.

      • I can see why skeptics don’t like unified international efforts on CO2, but that is the only way to go for a global environmental problem.

        Probably not true. There’s (almost) always another solution, if you don’t let yourself get rushed into the first one the rusher proposes.

      • AK, are you saying that there is a unilateral solution? Or that there is some kind of international solution that the skeptics will like?

      • […] are you saying that there is a unilateral solution?

        Not exactly.

        Or that there is some kind of international solution that the skeptics will like?

        Not all of them. But you don’t need “unified international efforts”, all you need is general “peer” pressure, along with a variety of solutions that don’t seriously impact the (national) players.

        I’m a skeptic, and I like a solution that’s pretty much BAU, with ongoing pressure to support R&D (and maturation) for appropriate technology, along with a widespread agreement that reducing fossil carbon dumping is desirable.

        Of course, not all “skeptics” will like my solution, and many, along with many “alarmists”, won’t believe my contention that technological advance, in a context that’s pretty much free-market BAU, is sufficient to solve the problem.

        As I keep trying to demonstrate, technology is developing so fast that the problem will go away sooner than any of the solutions based on “unified international efforts” could even be implemented, much less achieve anything significant. (In fossil carbon reduction, anyway. There could be significant achievements in creating a monster world government.)

      • AK, what you call peer pressure comes out of international agreements. Countries can be viewed as succeeding or failing if there are targets, so I believe in publicly stated quantifiable targets, not just feel-good speeches or hoping for something better to come along in due course.

      • AK, what you call peer pressure comes out of international agreements.

        Actually, AFAIK it’s usually the other way around. Why not skip the “ international agreements” and just let different nations respond to approval/disapproval of other nations as they choose?

      • Don’t you think IBM, and the government(s) that funded their R&D, benefited from the announcement of the Sunflower?

      • Jim D,

        The ozone hole and the Montreal Protocols were active when I was in grad school and taking Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry courses. Have you given any thought to why we no longer hear about the ozone hole? It isn’t because it has gone away because of protocols.

        I have never seen you as dishonest as some people here. But I am wondering if you are so convinced of your viewpoint being correct that you are drifting into delusion.

        To use a natical analogy, a sailor relies on aids to determine when and where they are in relationship to dangerous waters. Following the markers laid out by the Erlich’s, Lewandowski’s and Mann’s of the world will find you on the rocks.

      • OK, so maybe you don’t want to look at the book that the conspiracy theorists misquote so widely. I expressed this as a valid concern, and I am sorry that you are having trouble with it being expressed.

    • John Carpenter

      Jennifer got the theory behind AGW wrong in the first sentence. CO2 does not act like a blanket, that is not what the theory describes. See Ray Pierrehumburt for details.

  39. It’s all very well to tolerate opinions. But the opinion elites are not just opinionating. While they are offering to “educate”, “engage” and “communicate”, their white elephants are all over the farm and trampling hard .

    Shoo, warmies!

  40. Sorry — you don’t get points for accepting someone who wants to be just like you. You get points for accepting someone who doesn’t want to be like you — that’s where the difficulty lies.

    Where is the line to be drawn? Is there a line to be drawn?
    I suspect the apparent paradox in the study I mentioned earlier, that the social psychologists surveyed simultaneously said discrimination was largely absent from their professional environments and that they’d discriminate against conservatives might have been due to these academics thinking at least that they were adhering to intolerance for intolerance. That is (perhaps) how does one deal with the intolerance of the Right, except to treat it with intolerance? I am not trying to construct a straw man, I am trying to get at an issue. This may or may not have anything to do with their motivations, I’ve got no idea.
    How should this be dealt with?
    In the political arena, with the Religious Freedoms bill in Indiana and the one contemplated in Alabama, is this an example of tolerance for intolerance?
    Sure, this goes beyond the scope of the climate science discussion. If it’s OT and a problem Dr. Curry will let us know I imagine.

    • We could start here to root out intolerance. From Obungles to your eyes:
      97%
      OF CLIMATE SCIENTISTS AGREE
      that climate change is real and man-made, and affecting communities in every part of the country.

      Yet too many of our elected officials deny the science of climate change. Along with their polluter allies, they are blocking progress in the fight against climate change.

      Find the deniers near you—and call them out today.

      https://www.barackobama.com/climate-change-deniers/#/

    • Jim,

      You bet. That’s an excellent example.

    • Mark Bofill,

      Here’s a good opportunity for an exercise in critical analysis. Simply change the Indiana and Alabama laws to protections only of the religious rights of Muslims,and perhaps certain American Indian sects, with the exact same language.

      Conservatives would still support them, and argue for their expansion. Progressives would do a 180 and accuse anyone against the laws as racist.

      Not all religious bigotry, and state coercion, is equal in the minds of enlightened progressives.

      • It would indeed be a good exercise. Are you sure conservatives would still support them? I’d like to think so.

      • Yes, I am sure. Not 100%, but religious tolerance is a core conservative principle. You see all the anti0-Christian and anti-semtic bigotry on the left. The progressives in the US, the EU, and UN all share in both.

        While conservatives’ willingness to fight Islamist terrorism is often falsely claimed to be religious bigotry by the left, the fact is that that is no different from their labeling every conservative a bigot, sexist, homophobe.

  41. All this about evidence and changing your mind is fine, but it’s not the real item. You’re invited to say how much change and how much evidence and it becomes fog.

    Curiosity takes care of everything.

    Nobody in climate science appears to be curious.

  42. Here’s an idea. When the tide has turned and we are dismantling the whirlygigs, building the dams and nukes, modernising the coal power generation etc…then let’s listen earnestly and intently to all our Green Betters have to say. They can scold away and I won’t say a word to contradict or question. I’ll be the very model of tolerance. Me!

  43. I spent over 10 years working for little money studying aspects of climate change because I thought it was important. After careful consideration, I changed my mind about the science, realizing that it was far from settled. When I let my questions about the science be known, I had my career and my life threatened. I realized I would never be able to work in the atmospheric/environmental sciences given my thoughts about global warming. I took my taxpayer funded PhDs to the financial industry. I wish I could have stayed in science, but you can’t criticize catastrophic global warming if you don’t have tenure. So it goes.

    • +1. Thank you for your comment. I wonder what an honest survey of all scientists would reveal about how common your experience is.

  44. Dr. Curry — David is my favorite person in the OT. An important lesson drawn from the story of Goliath is how David’s older brother treated him before he slew Goliath. David was the youngest of his brothers — a pip-squeak kid. When David surprisingly showed up at the battle scene, his older brother criticized him — that he didn’t belong there, he wasn’t important, he didn’t know anything, he was crazy to think he could fight Goliath, and to just go home and tend the sheep.

  45. Personalities and issues should never be conflated (that C word again mwgrant) but in climate science it seemed never to be any different. It seems a bit like what happens when someone who normally is kind and rational gets behind the wheel of a car or onto a computer keyboard: a transformation happens with some people and its not pretty to watch.

    I am puzzled too about the level of emotion that seems to be engendered on this blog and the acrimony that often arises in debate and can only suggest that blogging to many is indulging in an another form of road rage as a catharsis for their pent-up feelings.

    • Danny Thomas

      Peter Davies,
      Perspectives please: “I am puzzled too about the level of emotion that seems to be engendered on this blog and the acrimony that often arises in debate and can only suggest that blogging to many is indulging in an another form of road rage as a catharsis for their pent-up feelings.”

      There are theories (and this blog is relatively tame IMO) that anonymity of the internet allows this to occur. I think road rage is a similar effect in that folks don’t interact directly with others but have the seperation provided by their vehicle. So were one to be able to “video” blog would you expect that veil to be removed creating more amicable discussion? Not asking for proof, but an opinion.
      As Dr. Curry has noted, scientists (not necessarily their forte) seem to prefer to not have to participate in public debate (yet are not challenged to be at the head of a classroom as example with academics), yet bloggers seems to be almost drawn much like a moth to flame.

      • I call it persona Danny. Its a form of role play and we all develop a persona when we make blog comments. It is a sort form of anchoring so that we each have a platform from which we dive into and return from the somewhat impersonal realm of cyberspace. My persona is one of amiable detachment but I sometimes express myself more forcibly on subjects that I care about and respect other’s right to do likewise.

      • Pseudonymity is not anonymity, Danny. If you want to see anonymity:

        https://www.4chan.org

        Philosophy-minded people over there:

        http://philosophymetametablog.blogspot.com

        ***

        Real names never prevented Denizens to ungentlemanly showcase their gamesmanship.

      • The worst behavior on this blog has clearly been by those who with use their real names, or who make their real identities known.

      • I take exception to that JCH and I sure some others would too.

  46. “The closing of minds on the climate change issue is a tragedy for both science and society.”

    The closing of minds isn’t a tragedy, it is a tactic. And it isn’t limited to the climate debate. The general political tenor of progressivism in the west is the stoking of hatred by low information voters as the primary source of widespread political power.

    A progressive scientist begins to doubt the exaggerated claims of certainty by the IPCC, and is labelled a ‘denier’ in the grand tradition of holocaust denial.

    A police officer who defends himself is falsely accused of shooting a man who had his hands up and was trying to surrender. The Democrat party’s designated race hate mongers are still busy ginning up their get out the vote effort on this one for 2016.

    Those who support the traditional definition of marriage, as our own deified president did just 2 years ago, are homophobic haters.

    Those who would dare to suggest that the socialist “welfare” system that does more to maintain poverty than any other government program, should be reformed, are labelled racists who want children to die.

    National media giants, masquerading as journalists, declare certain thoughts off limits.

    Universities that pushed for ever expanding sexual hedonism on their campuses now redefine rape to include virtually any remotely sexual conduct between their students.

    Universities built on the concept of freedom of expression become the primary centers for speech codes throughout the west.

    Elementary schools, high schools and universities virtually uniformly teach a deconstructionist view of history, economics, literature, and yes, science, designed to ensure propagation of the dominant progressive political culture.

    The Judeo-Christian religion, that made the free market possible, is now defined as racist, homophobic and sexist. Precisely because that religion makes liberty and a free market more probable.

    The climate debate is not the problem. It is just one of the more obvious symptoms of the disease of vanity that calls itself progressivism (when it is honest).

  47. michael hart

    “Criticism is a privilege that you earn — it shouldn’t be your opening move in an interaction…”

    Fortunately, people are still entitled to vote while waiting for his permission to criticize.

  48. Joshua makes another unsupported statemtent: “My view is that the hostilities originate in something very much like what you described – ingrained ideology. ”

    I think what drives the differences between the warmists and skeptics is that warmists accept half-baked science and skeptics want to see more data before any government action is taken.

    • Actually, some of the hostility stems from being equated to people who deny the Holocaust occurred. Not a good starting point for conversation.

      • Tom,

        I have to say the whole denier label never has had much traction with me. While I understand the intellectual aspects of trying to equate one position with another that is almost universally discredited, I also remember an early lesson from my parents. The one about sticks and stones. For me issue is far more about the lecturing and arrogance. Based solely on his public comments, Michael Mann is not worthy of the sweat off my balls. When he is seen as a leading light in the field, I am more than ready to risk stumbling though the darkness.

      • “Michael Mann is not worthy of the sweat off my balls”

        I would be honored to accept the sweat off your balls.

    • I take that sort of Alinsky-esque behavior in stride. Alinksky was almost juvenile at times, although some of his tactics are effective. Unfortunately, his tactics bear little relation or respect for the truth.

  49. I was apparently gone waaayyyy too long. When did Mosher’s mini-mes become the standard for proper blog etiquette and critical thought?

    Good. Lord. In. Heaven.

    If this place turns into Willard/Joshua, Etc. … I’m gonna hurl.

    • > I’m gonna hurl.

      You already do, GaryM. Quite often. You did it half an hour ago. You’ll do it again a few minutes after this promise. For it’s a promise, right?

      ***

      When you’re finished, tell this story to MarkB:

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegory_of_the_long_spoons

      Also tell him that the magic word he’s looking for is “intersubjectivity”:

      http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intersubjectivity

      Please, do continue to hurl.

      Good night,

      W

      • It’s good to see you still have your star shoe shimmy shuffle down.

        This blog wouldn’t be the same without it.

      • Nice!

        Furthermore, overspending, the left-wing media, tax cuts, class warfare, Muslims, Obamacare, Nancy Pelosi, corporate giveaways, socialism, Nancy Pelosi. Washington, D.C.

        http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com/post/115206470194

      • Mark Bofill

        Willard,

        I’m not sure if I’m the MarkB you were referring to as there is another MarkB commenter here who’s not me. Regardless, as is coming to be usual I appreciate the references. Intersubjectivity appears to have a lot to do with these issues, and it’s something else I hadn’t run across. I’m not sure I take your meaning with the other reference, but then I generally don’t follow you completely, so that’s not surprising.

        Thanks.

      • Mark Bo –

        I hope this catches your eye.

        I was thinking that GaryM provided a nice example of what I was describing earlier in the thread.

        When I spoke of people identified with different political ideologies having similar values – as one example, who value family – but who confuse positions on issues with values, GaryM presented an argument where he used a logic of reverse engineering from positions on an issue like gay marriage to determine that “progressives” in fact cannot value family, or cannot share values with him, or you (assuming that in GaryM’s view you are not a “progressive” (keep in mind that GaryM thinks that some 80%?, 90%? of the American public, even Republicans like George Bush or self-identified Republican Kerry Emanuel).

        It seems that the logic is that someone can’t have a position in favor of gay marriage and still value family as GaryM does.

        On the other hand, I have met many people who have different positions than I on gay marriage, but who seem to me to value family. I don’t think that our differences are so much a difference of values, but how we tend to project ideological identification and associated positions to reverse engineer about the values of others.

      • Mark Bofill

        Joshua,

        I would not presume to agree or disagree that what you describe is Gary’s position. Mostly because I don’t want him to jump in and quite justifiably kick my butt for it. :)

        Leaving Gary out of it, there’s sense in what you’re saying.

        Whether or not the positions are consistent with the support, long term care and nurture of the values is a harder question. But this is a harder question for all positions. Does what we do as a political body support our values or undermine them?

        BTW, I find it difficult to muster the courage to continue what I feel is a relatively honest and amiable dialog with you here. Doesn’t mean I intend to quit, but I’ve got to develop a thicker skin I think. I find myself exercising extreme caution in the phrasing of my statements; not only do I wish to be careful in communicating with you, but I do not wish my ideas to be misconstrued by the rest of the denizens either. I do not wish to leave myself open to attack by the rest of the denizens, to put it more bluntly. Ain’t life a beach. I expect I will improve at this over time. Meanwhile, I can only apologize for what probably comes across as a somewhat stilted form of engagement.

        Regards Joshua.

      • > I’m not sure if I’m the MarkB you were referring to as there is another MarkB commenter here who’s not me.

        Yes. It was addressed to you, Mark Bofill. Next time, I’ll address you using your handle. Sorry about that.

        I don’t think there’s any need to explain the allegory to you, beyond pointing out that it’s related to intersubjectivity.

      • Mark Bofill –

        ==> “I would not presume to agree or disagree that what you describe is Gary’s position. Mostly because I don’t want him to jump in and quite justifiably kick my butt for it. :)

        I respect this choice. I think it is wise. The two of us discussing what GaryM did or didn’t mean would be kind of pointless. It is sufficient, for me, that you have read my take on it and consider my take on it – as I think I was able to illustrate my point.

        ==> “Whether or not the positions are consistent with the support, long term care and nurture of the values is a harder question. But this is a harder question for all positions. Does what we do as a political body support our values or undermine them?”

        Hmmm. I’m having some trouble following you there. Let me see if I do follow. You and I might both value family, but we might have different positions w/r/t issues related to family because we see the long-term impact of the role of family in our society playing out differently. Is that right?

        If so, I agree. Anyway, I think that having different views on the likely long-term impact of highly complex and uncertain interactions, IMO, does not support a reverse engineering to determine that we have different values. But we have a tendency, because of identity-protective behavioral habits (at the individual and group levels), which combined with the pattern recognition aspect of how humans attempt to understand the world (which inclines us to be overly confident in our vision of patterns when they might actually not be fully formed), to judge the values of the “other” based on what really amount to different perspectives of complex issues.

        ==> “BTW, I find it difficult to muster the courage to continue what I feel is a relatively honest and amiable dialog with you here. Doesn’t mean I intend to quit, but I’ve got to develop a thicker skin I think. I find myself exercising extreme caution in the phrasing of my statements; not only do I wish to be careful in communicating with you, but I do not wish my ideas to be misconstrued by the rest of the denizens either. I do not wish to leave myself open to attack by the rest of the denizens, to put it more bluntly. Ain’t life a beach. I expect I will improve at this over time. Meanwhile, I can only apologize for what probably comes across as a somewhat stilted form of engagement.”

        Interesting. I appreciate the openness, and no apology necessary. What you say makes sense. Thanks for the explanation to give me a better understanding of the context.

        Cheers.

      • Mark –

        ==> “A better example might be equality. We all value equality. ”

        fyi – I would guess that there are quite a few here that think that I don’t value equality.

        ==> “No actually what I meant to say was that the long term impact of our political decisions (results of our positions) can positively or negatively impact our values.
        To use the family example, I’ve spoken with some who feel that legalizing gay marriage will damage the institution of marriage and family over the long haul. I can’t argue this point persuasively, probably because I don’t really understand it. Possibly as a direct result, I don’t agree with it.”

        But my point was that as with this issue, two people with opposing views on gay marriage can both value family (highly). We can’t determine whether someone values family on the basis of their views on gay marriage.

        The question would be whether a perspective on gay marriage = a “value,” and whether different perspectives on gay marriage = different “values.” I say they don’t. Both people can value family. Both can have the interest of enhancing the value of family in society. But they can also have different positions on the question of gay marriage. They can have different perspectives about the long-term outcomes of different policy choices. And most likely, their positions are strongly associated with cultural orientation.

        ==> “A better example might be equality. We all value equality. Does affirmative action promote or erode equality? While I have a definite viewpoint, I can argue either case.”

        Right. And I would think that even if you and I had different views on the best policy, if we can both argue either case then we very well have similar values on the issue. I would say that if someone couldn’t argue my case, that might be an indication of different values. If two people couldn’t even conceptualize the perspectives of the other, respectively, that would seem to me like it could indicate values in opposition.

        ==> “Why the heck was I talking about this again?”

        Beats me!

        ==> “Oh. I think what I was getting at was a justification for people to get worked up about political positions and how they might impact the realization of people’s values.”

        Oh yeah. To tie this back to the OP of this thread – I think that has a lot to do with criticism, tolerance, and changing your mind. People get locked in because they perceive that they are in a zero sum game, life of death, value struggle, when what they’re really doing is confusing positions, which are different for interests which are shared.

      • Mark Bofill

        Joshua,

        If you’re making an error I don’t see it. I agree with your points. We’re all the same species, broadly speaking we’re going to value the same things.

        Alright. My values aren’t ~different~ from those on the Left, I think that’s reasonably solid. If I’m overlooking some set of values that are different, search me what they might be. So my ideas about how to best serve, or nurture, or realize those values are different. My ideology is different.

    • Mark Bofill

      Joshua,

      You and I might both value family, but we might have different positions w/r/t issues related to family because we see the long-term impact of the role of family in our society playing out differently. Is that right?

      No actually what I meant to say was that the long term impact of our political decisions (results of our positions) can positively or negatively impact our values.
      To use the family example, I’ve spoken with some who feel that legalizing gay marriage will damage the institution of marriage and family over the long haul. I can’t argue this point persuasively, probably because I don’t really understand it. Possibly as a direct result, I don’t agree with it.
      A better example might be equality. We all value equality. Does affirmative action promote or erode equality? While I have a definite viewpoint, I can argue either case.
      I seem to have forgotten what my larger point was. If I had one. :/ Why the heck was I talking about this again?
      Oh. I think what I was getting at was a justification for people to get worked up about political positions and how they might impact the realization of people’s values.

  50. A number of themes emerge from the emails:

    Climate scientists were aware that the ‘hockey stick’ reconstruction was wrong and that criticism of it by Steve McIntyre and others was valid

    Corruption of peer review

    BBC Bias

    Refusing to release data under FOI

    Deleting emails requested under FOI

    Odds and ends

    4027.txt: Tom Wigley describes the papers of Naomi Oreskes as useless, in a discussion about numbers of citations:
    ” Analyses like these by people who don’t know the field are useless. A good example is Naomi Oreskes work. ”

    https://sites.google.com/site/globalwarmingquestions/climategate-2

    • On March 13 2013 the individual responsible for the climategate emails sent an email to several bloggers, including Tom Nelson, Anthony Watts and Steve McIntyre.
      The email included the password to the climategate 2 file, containing 220,000 emails, with the condition that the password should not be made public.

      The text of the email clears up several points that had been the subject of speculation:
      He acted alone – no coordinated campaign, no oil funding.
      He is not originally from the US or UK.
      English is not his native language.
      He does not think the new emails have more big surprises.
      The tone of the message is similar to the message that came with climategate 2, showing in particular a concern for humanity and the poor, together with an ironic sense of humour. The request made is that “responsible individuals” should share the task of going through the emails and picking out any that may be in the public interest. Watts and McIntyre are mentioned explicitly.

      https://sites.google.com/site/globalwarmingquestions/climategate-3

  51. Gladwell’s comments only apply to those circumstances where all interested parties agree that the subject in question is not obvious. For example, anyone claiming 2+2=5 will not be accorded any tolerance. Unfortunately in the CAGW debate, many in the media and public view GCMs as correct (obviously!) and anyone disagreeing is a crank.
    21st Century Science does not advertise it’s failures and problems so the media and public does not have a good understanding of the scientific process and uncertainty. All scientific publications are “success oriented” otherwise funding is unlikely to continue. Hence, as Dr. Curry has noted in many of her posts, solutions to “wicked” problems such as climate predictions don’t exist give the current mathematical and physical state of the art. Science, in it’s quest for funding, has hidden the “wickedness” of scientific problems such as climate change (also nuclear fusion) from the public and media.
    Many participants in the CAGW debate will ignore Gladwell’s comments since they view the participants on the opposite side of the debate as cranks. To change this situation requires the scientific leadership to admit to “wicked” problems and risk future funding – not going to happen.

  52. The main point was this, with which I happen to agree.
    “The notion that the only way you can critically engage with a person’s ideas is to take a shot at them, is to be openly critical — this is actually nonsense. Some of the most effective ways in which you deal with someone’s idea are to treat them completely at face value, and with an enormous amount of respect. That’s actually a faster way to engage with what they’re getting at than to lob grenades in their direction…”
    Taking the scientific arguments at face value is critical. Accusing them of saying something they don’t believe due to peer pressure is the opposite of taking the scientists at face value. This post went horribly wrong if it was trying to use this as advice.

    • Jim D,

      Taking the scientific arguments at face value is critical.

      But which scientific arguments, Jim D? The relevant ones or the irrelevant, side-track, diversions and avoidance of what is relevant?

      • And specifically, with Jim DeeDee, how can one take at “face value” a complete silence as a response to a polite, but direct question ?

        In short, the use of silence as an answer is an overt expression of extremely bad faith. And very common …

      • The post took none of the scientific arguments at face value. It was more along the lines of taking a shot at all the scientists, which is exactly opposite to the advice of the quoted article. When skeptics take scatter shots like this, it doesn’t do them any good in the wider community. Then they wonder why no one listens to them as they harbor these ideas.

      • Jim D,

        You’ve avoided answering the question I asked … again. Answer my question, or you will reinforce my opinion you are being intellectually dishonest.

      • It was generic, just like the main post is.

      • It’s a pretty simple question I asked you and you are avoiding answering it. That doesn’t do much for your credibility, Jim D.

      • It’s a pretty simple answer. The best climate science has is pretty shaky. I can see why Mr. Jimmy darts and dodges.

      • You missed the point I was making. Read it again.Yes, talk about the science, any science. Don’t lump the scientists together in one pressurized groupthink meme and talk about people instead of the science. I was agreeing with Taleb’s quote that I put there. Maybe you don’t. The quote is generic, not even about climate science. It is about a way of arguing. Science at face value, no background agendas imposed.

  53. From reading the title, i thought for a short while that Ms Curry was heading back over to the other side. BTW Dr Curry have you totally ruled out the possibility of dangerous CO2 induced climate change? I ask because for all my skepticism its something I cant quite do.

  54. If global-wraming alarmists believe what they’re saying, why aren’t alarmists who live in D.C. migrating en masse to Maine, why aren’t alarmists who live in SF moving to Juneau, why aren’t alarmists who live in Chicago resettling on the coast of Hudson Bay, why aren’t London’s climate-change alarmists rapidly migrating to northwestern Norway and Greenland?

    If global warming is significant, wouldn’t people notice it? Why are northern-US states’ peoples continuing to flock to Florida and Texas, but migration out of these states to New York, Illinois, and Minnesota, is relatively minuscule?

    Alarming levels of warming just don’t seem to be motivating people to move to higher, ahead of the front latitudes, including warmists.

  55. Why am I a skeptic? I listen to what “experts” say, but then watch what they do. When global warming alarmists announce loudly that we must cut fossil fuel emissions, but fly all over the world, leaving Saquatch carbon footprints, I ignore them. Fer instance, Obama flying to California on 747 AF1, while Michelle goes to Aspen on AF2, Obama and Michelle flying on 747 AF1 to Martha’s Vineyard, and sending their dogs on Marine 1 hell, instead of taking them on the plenty roomy 747, these are clear messages that Obama doesn’t believe that fossil fuel C02 emissions are harmful to the environment. LBJ often traveled domestically on a Lockheed Jetstar executive jet, that he humorously called “Air Force 1/2.” Obama and Michelle can’t do this because…?

    • Danny

      Looks like you’ve arrived. You merit a mention over at Sou’s

      http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2015/04/more-conspiracy-theories-wuwts-tim-ball_1.html#more

      tonyb

    • Danny, interesting link. One way to change minds is to proceed with experimental technology in a limited and cautious way in the right places. (Nobody would have to change my mind because I just love that sort of thing.)

      While the Texas Monthly quotes the snobby, juvenile Guardian – which means much skepticism is needed – I can’t see why wind and solar shouldn’t be implemented in a suitable place if it’s with the consent of the community. It’s a punt, but a sunny, windy place like Georgetown with a large population of retirees who go to bed early might be worthwhile for such an experiment, to be observed without green glasses over a couple of decades. Since I’m not a right-winger or libertarian, I wouldn’t mind if such an undertaking was prudently subsidized in my part of the world. (But attracting businesses as a sympathy vote for “clean” energy would be a damaging irrelevance.)

      The world has people for whom fossil fuels, nukes and hydro are less available or not available at all. Why not experiment for their benefit and for the advance of knowledge? If it fails, as it very well might, you didn’t blow trillions. A billion is not too much to pay for experience and knowledge of alternative energy. Trillions are too much.

      That said, most of the world’s people are entitled now to all the fossil fuels, nukes and hydro they are able to implement. And changing my mind about the white elephants is not the same as getting me to like interesting and novel experiments which are rationally conducted.

      • I’m wondering if there is a free electricity market there, how did Georgetown coerce its citizens to buy electricity from renewable sources? I thought a free market meant individuals have the choice where to get electricity. If it’s an imposition from government, it’s not a free market.

      • Also, will Georgetown disconnect from the wider grid once it’s power system is in place? It will be interesting to see how this one plays out. A real life experiment with solar and wind.

      • @jim2…

        Actually, Georgetown’s utility is a monopoly.

        As for “the wider grid”, I finally found how they’re “managing” the storage problem:

        One of the challenges for cities that want to switch to renewable power is explaining to customers that when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow, they’ll still be able to turn on their lights.

        “We realize we have our work cut out for us in explaining what this means,” Hutchinson said.

        Because Georgetown’s electricity grid is managed by a regional entity, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the city is well-positioned for 100 percent renewable electricity, Edgar said. The city calculates its demand for electricity and contracts for the amount of renewables it needs, and ERCOT makes sure supply and demand is taken care of.

        If there is a surge in demand, ERCOT can send Georgetown electricity, including from coal- or gas-fired plants. But overall, Hutchinson stressed, the city is contracting for more than 100 percent of the energy the city will use in the form of renewable power.

        […]

        “This is why renewables are a good mix with natural gas production,” Woolf said. “You can turn those on and off easily. You can have towns that go 100 percent renewable, but you can’t yet have 100 percent renewable grids. You need some base-line generation.”

        It took a bit of searching though, which says something about the quality of green-biased journalism.

      • Yes, Jim and AK, and we have to allow for the distortions and stunts of the Guardian, as well as Big Green’s reality-adjustments, enticements and bullying, which go on even in conservative circles. If Georgetown really does log out completely from the old power supply, everyone will find out a lot, and in a hurry, about wind and solar. More likely they’ll fiddle the whole thing, but it would be nice to see it succeed on the level, or fail honourably.

        If I had the money to blow, my own home would be full of experiments with solar, just because I like alternatives. Maybe I’d even see how a wind turbine goes pumping water up from Euroka Creek. Provided I don’t have to listen to the bloody thing. (And I would totally have a chunky mud-brick hippie house, though not open plan, instead of the rattly thing I now live in.)

        I’m guessing there are places which would benefit from even a failed experience in Georgetown, provided people are telling the truth about disconnecting from FFs. Wind and solar are inferior-to-bad as main power supply, but sometimes inferior is okay. Georgetown is at around 30 north, it’s pretty dry and windy, doesn’t have heavy industries, isn’t party-town, as far as I know. So maybe. Even if not, remote communities with low demand might find well planned wind and solar better than generators etc.

        Of course, in the present political climate, Georgetown will not be allowed to fail on paper. Reality is another matter, but who cares about that old thing?

        [I just read AK’s comment as I was writing this. Looks like a fiddle after all. A monorail…right here in River City! Should have known.]

      • Danny Thomas

        Mosomoso, PE, JCH, AK & Jeffnsails850,
        It’s an intriguing experiment. As a “breakthrough’er” it seems to have all the pieces for a good evaluation. The city (pop, 47k http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgetown,_Texas) has a size to fit many world wide parameters. Goldilocks and all (just right?).
        Benefit to the draw of business (will the capacity grow to fit?). Politically right orientation (” Mitt Romney beat Barack Obama in the 2012 election by 22 points”). Meeting the needs of the “green” side of the discussion.
        “People in Georgetown may balk at the connotations of being tree-hugging hippies living in solar-powered houses, but the pursuit of renewable energy makes sense in more ways than one: not only does it lock in a fixed-rate plan for home energy costs for the community regardless of what happens to fossil fuels but it also makes Georgetown an appealing site for businesses who are compelled, either for personal or PR reasons, to plant themselves somewhere a little greener. ”
        And economics!
        “Ultimately, the story of renewable energy as it relates to Texas has always been a story about business as much—if not more—than it’s been a story about environmentalism and conservation. And that’s why Georgetown is making headlines by going green: it simply makes economic sense.”

        Finally, should the experiment work out well, the economies of scale that AK foresees w/r/t alternative energy should be supported hopefully leading to fewer subsidies being necessary. PE, would love to hear more on your take and the take of the utility industry as you understand it or hear more.

        This is one to watch!

      • I agree with Mosomoso here. No faulting Georgetown for acting in their own interest. It may be that local conditions allow the economics to work, but I suspect it is more likely that it is the result of subsidies and politically imposed cost assignments.

        But I’m open to evidence that it’s not the case. I would expect that any new technology will first show its capability in niche markets. That’s the first step and then the second is that it proves itself in broader applications. I don’t think broad applications are justified but I won’t argue against local niche applications. I’m not that concerned if utilities have to spend 4% of their cost on renewables which provide only 2% of their need. I get worried as it goes in the direction of spending 40% of costs for 10% of need.

        I would add the suspicion (with overwhelmingly near certainty) that what is being done here is a feat of accounting not engineering. Somewhere at sometime (that does not correspond with consumption in Georgetown) renewable energy is being generate and accounting wise that’s what is ending up being sold to Georgetown. They are connected to a grid and get the support of conventional technology.

      • If my back-of-the-envelope calculations are correct, pumped hydro between Lake Georgetown and Lake Granger could store enough energy to provide daily balance for 40MWatts for each meter of Δdepth (Lake Georgetown). There’s a surface elevation difference of about 80 meters, and they’re maybe 20-25 miles apart. Max depth for Lake Georgetown is listed as “85 ft (26 m)”. The article talks about “150 megawatts of solar energy”, which if we take that as an average would require around 4 meters of Δdepth (Lake Georgetown). If my numbers are correct.

      • From this article it does look like they are making a serious attempt to match generation resources with consumption patterns more so than many of the typical “accounting” arrangements touting full solar service. As noted above they have conventional backup. I’ll keep an open mind on this and look at the detailed info as it emerges.
        https://news.georgetown.org/2015/03/18/georgetown-utility-to-be-powered-by-solar-and-wind-energy-by-2017/

      • I, too, wonder how much in tax payer dollars will be burned to subsidize Georgetown, but don’t have much time to burn myself. Oh well, maybe on the weekend.

    • West Texas is a windy place. It’s bristling with windmills. Go out there and criticize them. I dare you.

    • Good link, Danny.
      Georgetown did this via a contract with SunEdison according to your link. According to SunEdison’s annual report:
      “Our business is heavily dependent upon government subsidies, including U.S. federal incentive tax credits,
      state-sponsored energy credits and foreign feed-in tariffs. In certain jurisdictions, the sale of a solar energy system would not be
      profitable without these incentives.”

      http://phx.corporate-ir.net/External.File?item=UGFyZW50SUQ9NTM5OTM2fENoaWxkSUQ9MjI5Njc4fFR5cGU9MQ==&t=1

      Basically, Georgetown is getting some of their taxpayer’s money refunded to them. Smart move, but not quite sustainable.

      • Here are three hoops it will need to jump through for sustainability.
        1) Do you have confidence in the continuation of the subsidies and penalties that are supporting this analysis?
        2) Will analyses in other areas provide similar results? (Many areas have less wind and solar potential).
        3) Is the analysis appropriate now and will it remain so over time? Many entities have taken it hard when their projections surrounding particular energy technologies turned out to be off target. Cajun EMC, a public entity, went bankrupt because of imprudent decisions around nuclear power. Certainly public entities are not immune from making poor decisions about employing renewable technology.

      • Danny Thomas

        PE,
        “3) Is the analysis appropriate now and will it remain so over time?”

        Based on the interest from business to evaluate relocation posibilities there are interesting considerations. As you stated above, should business flock to the area can it be scaled up to match?
        Additionally, cities which chose to grow often offer tax offsets and other incentives so the evaluation of not having to do so as the “green” label is the draw makes a cost/benefit analysis of those trade offs worthy of consideration.

      • The green label is destructive in the end. It’s more of the fetishism that got us into this mess. Scalability? That been tried, miserably, in Spain.

        Big Green is killing what cred and use wind and solar can have. All those solar panels in Brandendburg at 50+ north are proof that not even Germans, are born efficient. All have come short of the glory of commonsense.

        It would just be nice if old and creaky alternatives like wind and solar could be improved and find a bit of a useful niche in the world. I like the old things, especially solar. If we could stop fetishising and start imagining, who knows?

      • Planning Engineer

        My observation may be off here but it seems in the realm of renewables people want to argue (without further support or going into details or waiting for the results) that iif city/county/country/business X has some renewable program. then somehow it’s evidence of proof of concept and more entities should be doing it as well. First off it’s unreasonable to presume that what works in one area will automatically work in others. As Danny said its a great experiment, but projects for public transportation, sports stadiums, tourist development, water supply, urban renewal… can’t be extended from one success willy nilly to other locals. But maybe more importantly cities/counties/nations/businesses make bad decisions all the time. So just because one city has “determined”that a light rail system will bring in net revenues that doesn’t mean it will happen for them, let alone for many other cities.

        I’m not saying renewables won’t work anywhere or ever-just that advocates have to give better evidence as to why it might work than pointing to the fact that others are trying it. That others are trying it should be the start of the discussion. When we get around to copying renewable success stories it will need to be a careful process. (How many cities get burned carelessly copying tax incentive programs for development?)

      • Brazil to install 350 MW floating solar array at hydro dam in Amazon

        Brazil has become the latest nation to embrace floating solar power technology, with the announcement of a massive 350 MW project at the Balbina hydroelectric plant in the Amazon.

        I was unable to discover (in a quick search) whether pumped storage is used there, but the potential is certainly there. Using floating Solar PV on lakes behind hydro-electric dams seems like a good way to prove the concept.

      • Danny Thomas

        AK,
        From within your offering also found this: http://reneweconomy.com.au/2015/floating-solar-plant-set-to-be-built-in-australian-first-26076
        Addresses energy needs on site, reduces algae, and takes something unattractive and makes it, well, unattractive as opposed to using open land. Good application.

      • @Danny Thomas…

        See here as well.

      • Danny Thomas

        AK,
        I’d read that one before and find it valuable. Your work is appreciated.

  56. One other problem may be that doing justice to a statement, especially a scientific one on a subject you’re not an expert about (and you can make every question into a scientific one), is tremendously time consuming and if you have to have a judgement on more than a very few issues outright impossible.
    You have to act on much more issues than you can have a well reasoned opinion about.
    Imagine a political leader who constantly confess he has no well reasoned idea of what to do about almost everything. Won’t sell.
    Thats why we have simple heuristics for. The less fault tolerant the world becomes the less they will work sufficiently.
    One can lament about it, but this problem will remain.

    And there’s an asymmetry in favour of criticizing. It’s much easier to call something a fraud than to prove to that guy that it’s not. Can be tremendously time consuming. You can’t do that on a regular basis. So you end up calling the fraud-caller a fraud.

    The problem runs deeper than ill will.

    I personally think the most one could achieve is the general public being aware of the limitations of the possible. This might be tremendously civilizing.
    (Loving Science Fiction)

  57. I saw this on the BBC News App and thought it appropriate to share.

    Are we tired of talking about climate change?
    A story that once dominated the news seems to have dropped down the media agenda, so what lies behind the decline in coverage.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32131142

  58. From ATTP’s website, a comment that seems to sum the whole climate war up.

    Pekka

    Climate science can make quantitative projections for the temperature development with wide confidence limits, but estimating the net benefits of specific decisions or policies is very much more difficult, and impossible on objective quantitative level.

    BBD: While strictly true, this is a formula for justifying inaction and therefore generally false.

  59. curryja, stuck in mod for no apparent reason:

    mwgrant | March 31, 2015 at 11:34 pm |
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

  60. Thomas Sowell on critical thinking, and how it is no longer taught:

    “On many campuses, students can go through all four years of college without ever hearing a conservative vision of the world, even from a visiting speaker.

    The problem is not political, but educational. As John Stuart Mill pointed out back in the 19th century, students must hear opposing views from people who actually believe them, not as presented by people who oppose them.”

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/416260/who-really-trashes-liberal-arts-thomas-sowell

    Four years of college? From following the climate debate it seems that most progressives go their entire lives without even hearing a conservative vision of the world, from an actual conservative.

    • I have to wonder about the left and education, journalism, entertainment, and politics. Are leftist thinkers drawn to those fields, by their inner nature, or were they sold on those careers by leftist recruiters? I don’t give much credence to conspiracy theories as any conspiracy is too easily undone by the propensity for people to talk and make mistakes. I do know a generation of leftist journalists was inspired by Watergate. Perhaps many teachers also thought they could “make a difference” or “inspire young mind” and so were influenced to choose teaching as a career. Perhaps conservatives are drawn to business or business people become conservative when they face the taxing and regulatory powers of the leviathan.

      IAC, the left, a minority in the USA, have a death grip on public education, higher education, journalism, Hollywood, government via the public employee unions, and are well represented in politics. It appears to be working for them, if not for everybody else.

      • justinwonder,

        ” Are leftist thinkers drawn to those fields, by their inner nature, or were they sold on those careers by leftist recruiters?”

        Progressivism isn’t a conspiracy, it is a political movement. There are certainly progressive “recruiters” out there teaching young students and politicians the Alinsky methods of pursuing power. I met and was recruited by some in my teens, back in the dark ages.

        The most effective means activist progressives (as opposed to default progressives who are the substantial majority of the movement and voting bloc), was to move into the educational colleges in the 60s and 70s. That combined with the move into education in general helped them proselyitize future voters beginning in grade school.

        Once you indoctrinate the next class of elementary, secondary and university teachers, the rest follows. That is the real fight behind Common Core. He who designs the mandatory test, dictates the curriculum.

        As for journalism and the rest, they are the product of the educational deconstruction of western history, politics and economics. They are the default conservatives, who believe what they believe because it was all they were ever taught, everyone they work with has the same outlook, and they have been taught to avoid exposure to thought contrary to the progressive political zeitgeist.

        Activist progressives are a small minority. But as you note, they are concentrated in positions of power. Why? Because the very nature of progressivism is the seeking and maintenance of power. Default progressives, on the other hand, make up a majority of the country. Default progressives often don’t share the real principles of the activists, they just don’t know what those principles are.

        You will find that the ‘leaders’ of almost every area of society are more progressive than their peers, because it was their progressivism (their vanity) that led them to seek power in the first place. Editors, department chairs, and particularly politicians, all tend to the progressive bent more than other members of the society at large.

      • “default conservatives”

        should of course be “default progressives”

        There haven’t been default conservatives in decades.

    • GaryM

      You are correct, of course.

  61. The CET is back into line after short fall below the 20 year average
    http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/CET-dMm.htm

  62. The problem with trolls like Willard and Joshua is that they’re hammers looking for nails.
    Whatever the outward reasonableness of their statements, at the base is an immutable fanaticism of belief – which rapidly becomes apparent with each of their many new posts.
    I wonder if they recognize that it is this very robotic repetition which highlights the failure of their vision to communicate?

    • What makes you think they’re trying to communicate? Their behavior strongly suggests (to me) that they’re just trying to interfere with others’ communication. Under the cloak (or guise) of eristic discussion.

    • Hi c1ue –

      ==> “at the base is an immutable fanaticism of belief – which rapidly becomes apparent with each of their many new posts.”

      What is it that I (so apparently) believe in fanatically? Since it’s so apparent, it shouldn’t be hard for you to say.

      I say that you don’t know what I believe in. Prove me wrong.

      • I don’t have to say a thing.
        The hundreds of posts you put up every day here as well as on other sites do that quite nicely already.

      • ==> “I don’t have to say a thing.”

        Lol!

      • Lol at your Lol, troll.

      • Mark Bofill

        For goodness sakes.

        I don’t have to say a thing.
        The hundreds of posts you put up every day here as well as on other sites do that quite nicely already.
        Joshua | April 1, 2015 at 1:09 pm |

        ==> “I don’t have to say a thing.”

        Lol!
        c1ue | April 1, 2015 at 1:10 pm |

        Lol at your Lol, troll.

        C1ue, have you no shame? You accuse someone of being a fanatic, then refuse to support the accusation, then laugh at the person you accuse when they protest and call them a troll. Really?
        None of my business. Pardon me, I’ve got a deplorable lack of tolerance for incivility that no doubt introduces cognitive blind spots, but at this moment I don’t particularly care.

      • How long have you been following this blog?

      • Mark Bofill

        :/ It seems different when I participate, like I incur part of the responsibility for the tone.

      • Mark Bofill –

        C1ue, have you no shame? You accuse someone of being a fanatic, then refuse to support the accusation…

        The question Joshua asked c1ue was “I say that you don’t know what I believe in.” But cu1e’s criticism was of a knowing failure to communicate. To then ask him to recount what had been communicated is not to the point. Furthermore, one does not have to be able to define the belief of a fanatic in order to know that he is a fanatic. And he did support his accusation by referencing any/all of Joshua’s posts. If you believe that this does not support his accusation then say so. I have seen some insightful posts by Joshua but I have also seen many that involve a knowing failure to communicate. Nor am I defending incivility.

      • Mark Bofill

        AK,

        Furthermore, one does not have to be able to define the belief of a fanatic in order to know that he is a fanatic. And he did support his accusation by referencing any/all of Joshua’s posts. If you believe that this does not support his accusation then say so.

        I do not believe that referencing any/all of someone’s posts is supporting an accusation. This puts a completely unreasonable burden involved with refutation on the accused. If an accusation involving any/all of someone’s posts is valid, it ought to be incumbent on the accuser to summarize some reasonable sample of the evidence.

        Do you really feel this requires explanation? A simple short cut – pretend this is not Climate Etc but Skeptical Science or Hot Whopper. Pretend you are Joshua, and the denizens of SkS or HW are you. Isn’t it obvious that in such a situation you would reject an accusation based on any/all of your posts as a ridiculous instance of argument by handwaving?

      • Mark Bofill

        Beg pardon, I mis-adressed my post. Swood1000, not AK.

      • Mark Bofill –

        C1ue, have you no shame?

        Is this question designed to promote civility? It is an intentional choice of the most inflammatory way of making one’s point.

      • 1000 –

        I was going to write a longer response, but decided that I’d rather not get involved in an extended back and forth on this.

        But let me simply ask you…do you agree that I’m have immutably fanatical beliefs, and that my immutably fanatical beliefs are made apparent with every comment I make (in a robotic fashion)?

        If so, I’d appreciated it if you could elaborate on those immutably fanatical beliefs that I have, and that I am making apparent.

        If you disagree, then I would appreciate it if you would simply state that you are in disagreement.

      • Mark Bofill

        swood1000,

        Is this question designed to promote civility? It is an intentional choice of the most inflammatory way of making one’s point.

        No. My question was not designed to promote civility, it was an expression of my disgust.

      • Joshua –

        But let me simply ask you…do you agree that I’m have immutably fanatical beliefs…

        No, although my experience is that you are willing to avoid direct communication, and to make obscure comments and references that contain little intention to actually communicate, and that could be interpreted as evasive maneuvers suggesting that your beliefs are immutable and you do not wish to put them at risk. As far as fanatical is concerned, I think that ordinarily is used to refer to a strongly held belief incompatible with the speaker’s, or which the speaker is unable to convincingly refute. This is not a reference to the conversation you had with c1ue since I have not read anything except the most recent posts.

      • 1000 –

        ==> “No,…”

        Thanks. I will note that you, like I, disagree with c1ue’s opinion on that.

      • Mark Bofill –

        No. My question was not designed to promote civility, it was an expression of my disgust.

        I see. That would be the ‘Disgust Exception’ to the desirability of maintaining civil discourse and of avoiding unnecessary antagonism.

      • Mark Bofill

        I see. That would be the ‘Disgust Exception’ to the desirability of maintaining civil discourse and of avoiding unnecessary antagonism.

        By no means swood. Do you imply that I ought to be without flaw and the avatar of perfect civil discourse on Earth? I do what I can, but I assure you that’s not the case. So what?
        Out of respect for the other Denizens, are you going someplace with this? I imagine they find this discussion as pointless as I do.

      • Mark Bofill –
        No, I have nothing further. I was just noting the incongruity of using incivility to criticize incivility, and that your “lack of tolerance for incivility” apparently only refers to the incivility of others, all on a topic about tolerance.

      • Mark Bofill

        Point taken. I regret the manner in which I expressed myself.

      • Mark Bofill –

        Point taken. I regret the manner in which I expressed myself.

        Don’t take it as my assertion that I never respond with excessive zeal. The next time I do just be gentle in your reproof.

      • Don Monfort

        Ah, c’mon. You can’t tell what an anonymous little character believes by the thousands of comments he makes on a blog. He could very well be a blank little troll who doesn’t believe in anything. Empty. Null and void. Maybe he is just here for purely self-serving emotional reasons: attention and self-gratification. If he tells you you don’t know what he believes, you would be justified in assuming he has been hiding his beliefs, if he has any. Why would he do that? Somebody ask the little troll.

      • Mark Bofill

        Don. Don. What am I to do with you. Carrot cake without icing, yoga, sensitivity training, lots of time riding around in a Prius eating organic snacks; that’d set you right comrade. :> Come, let’s sing the Internationale together!

      • Don Monfort

        I am trying to decide if I like you, Mark. Are you related to Angela Bofill?

      • Mark Bofill

        I am not sir. cringe Disqualifies me, doesn’t it.

        For what it’s worth, I’m a fan of yours.

      • Hi Don –

        How are you, my friend?

        ==> “Ah, c’mon. You can’t tell what an anonymous little character believes by the thousands of comments he makes on a blog.”

        There are some folks who read closely enough, and without allowing their own biases to overwhelm their reasoning, that have a pretty good understanding of my views on climate change (as someone neither very bright nor knowledgeable on the subjective). I don’t think that he wants to be dragged into this, but Peter Davies once described my views pretty accurately. What is notable, is that he was able to discern my views without asking. Others, such as c1ue, have demonstrated many, many times that they have a very mistaken impression of my views about climate change – which are neither immutable nor fanatical. What I do find interesting, however, is that there are so many here who misunderstand views, and yet call themselves “skeptics” and are completely confident ini their conclusions about my views (as c1ue indicated) even though they are mistaken and even though they haven’t even bothered to ask questions to clarify their understanding and verify their conclusions.

        Now on other issues where a lack of expertise is not particularly relevant, I am quote vocal, directly, about my beliefs. We have see that in this thread – in my discussion with Mark.

        Now if you agree with c1ue, then here’s you chance, Don. Call my bluff. Explain to everyone what my views are, you know, those immutable, fanatical views that I make so apparent in my comments. You know, those views that AK can determine from looking at my actions (but for some reason seems shy about explicating).

        Go for it.

        But anyway, Don – even if you don’t have the stones to accept my challenge, as always, thanks for reading.

        I can’t tell you how much it means to me.

      • @Mark Bofill
        I have watched Joshua spin his tales for literally years across multiple blogs.
        I have no interest whatsoever in wasting time with this troll – who constitutes a visible percentage of all posts on this blog (and many others) without actually contributing whatsoever to the discourse.
        If you consider my direct responses to him as being uncivil, that’s not my problem.
        It isn’t even that I have problems with CAGW supporters. Some, like the infamous drive-by posts Mosier, push belief systems which I disagree with, but there are still occasional bits of information which I respect.
        Joshua and his recent sidekick Willard, however, nothing.
        But that’s my own opinion – you’ll notice that I have made no effort whatsoever to push others to share it.

      • ==> “I have no interest whatsoever in wasting time with this troll – ”

        Heh. Which explains the original comment, the follow on comments, and this most recent comment.

        ==> “Joshua and his recent sidekick Willard, however, nothing.”

        Heh. Yeah, Willard’s my “sidekick.”

        c1ue – you stated that I have immutable, fanatical beliefs. I challenged you to describe them, and you ducked my challenge by saying that you didn’t have to state what my beliefs are. Well no, I agree with you that you don’t “have” to.

        But again, I challenge you.

        I am saying that despite claiming that my beliefs are obvious to you, and that they’re fanatical and immutable – in fact you can’t even describe what those beliefs are.

        Back up your claim. Take the challenge. Don’t go weaseling away.

        Man up.

      • Don Monfort

        Well there you go, joshie. Thanks to Peter Davies you can point to one kind, misguided soul who you can claim takes at least something you say seriously. Very nearly all the rest of us don’t give a flying f—. Nobody cares what you think about climate change. We know that you know nothing. You are just a troll. What you believe is that you were put on this earth to stalk Judith and annoy your beloved “skeptics”. Very creepy, dude. You really should insist that Judith put you back in moderation. She is allowing you to incite ridicule and to bring humiliation on yourself. Doesn’t seem to be in your best interests. I don’t know what she’s thinking.

      • Well, there’s a shocker. Don has no stones.

      • I had no problem what-so-ever above in my exchange with Joshua. It allowed me to float something in which I am interested–something that I suspect any number of folks on both sides of the fence would be happy to jump on occasions. I’ve had reasonable exchanges with him before and with Willard–who very early in the game gave me a pyramid hat. Food fights…sure. They like not a few others come in part here for that. Mosher is not the only one who uses /used the blog as a sandbox. Pete…hell he puts a glaze of civility on this place of bad-boy wannabes.

        Now about ATTP: is it АТТР (аттр) cyrillic or ATTP (attp) english?

      • Nice trick, joshie. But you have forgotten that you are just a little noisy mosquito without a proboscis. All bzzzz and no bite. I don’t feel any need to defend my internationally renowned manhood by responding to foolish blog challenges from smarmy little anonymous characters. You would be most welcome to come my house and say that crap. Are we clear, joshie?

      • ==> ” You would be most welcome to come my house and say that crap.”

        Ooooh. Internet tough guy. A real keyboard warrior.

        And stoneless. And there from all your boasting, I figured they were like Jupiter.

        I offered you a challenge, Don. It’s still open. Go for it. Or remain stoneless.

      • So, I am going to get stones by doing what some little anonymous clucking clown on a blog says I gotta do. That’s really bizarre, joshie. Come out to sunny California and we’ll talk about it. I could meet you in Detroit. I’d buy you a ticket to get you that far.

      • > They like not a few others come in part here for that.

        I disagree mwgrant. Notice the magic word used in the comments to which I respond in this thread. Notice how the exchanges end.

      • Mark Bofill

        I’m not really with you on Joshua Don. Having engaged with him on Climate Etc. over the past few days my experience has been that Joshua has been courteous, receptive to courtesy, respectful, has expressed intelligent insights, and hasn’t taken advantage of opportunities to score points in his exchanges with me (I.E., has demonstrated honor). It looks like he’s reasonable tough, and fights back when attacked. I don’t find fault with that. In summary, he’s not much different from me except for our difference in viewpoints. Me with bigger balls. I’ve found a lot to respect there.
        I’m not a Climate Etc. cop. I merely felt compelled to say this, since in my last response to you I mentioned I’m a fan of yours, of course I still am. While I think Joshua has pretty much been exhausted as a topic of conversation, I didn’t want to avoid disagreeing with you just because I generally agree with your points and positions.
        I’m moving on from this thread I think.
        Regards all.

      • Willard

        ‘I disagree mwgrant. Notice the magic word used in the comments to which I respond in this thread. Notice how the exchanges end.”

        I see your point. You are not a brawler. Perhaps sparring, in the sense of exercise or training, would have been better?

        Best regards

        mwg

      • Mark Bofill –

        I think that I have already been able to explain the point I was going for earlier clearly enough that it could be understood – but I realized a way that I could make it much clearer, and that using GaryM’s comment about the value of “progressives” was a relatively very poor choice – a choice, actually, driven by my own identity-protective mechanisms.

        Here’s the example:

        Suppose you were reading a discussion between a “Skeptic” named Sidney and a “Realist” named Ronald. Imagine that during this discussion, the issue of a carbon tax came up. Sidney’s position was against a carbon tax in part because such a tax would make energy more expensive and that more expensive energy would differentially impact the people who are the most vulnerable financially. Ronald’s position was in favor of a carbon tax because climate change is likely to affect poor people the hardest and so everything possibility to slow down or reduce the climatic impact of ACO2 emissions should be undertaken (in addition, he argued that the revenues from a carbon tax could be used to reduce the cost of solar energy that could be provided to poor people).

        Now imagine that this discussion devolved to where Ronald said that Sidney was indifferent to the plight of poor people because Sidney’s position was against carbon taxes and Sidney said that Ronald was indifferent to the plight of poor people because of Ronald’s position in favor of carbon taxes. Both walked away from the convo, having reverse engineered from his interlocutor’s position on carbon taxes, convinced that they had diametrically opposed values, and that (surprise, surprise) his own values were superior and that the other’s values (surprise, surprise) were decrepit and immoral.

        Now imagine further that in the real world, Sidney – in keeping with his cultural orientation – was a regular church-attender who volunteered a lot of his time to help the poor members of his community and gave a lot to charity. And imagine that Ronald graduated at the top of his class from a very prestigious law school but – in keeping with his cultural orientation – turned down many lucrative offers from high-powered law firms to work for a community law center, putting in 60 hour weeks at a relatively meager salary, helping poor people who were wrongfully evicted from their homes.

        In other words, both Ronald and Sidney recognized it as being in their interests to assist poor people, and that for both, helping others was core value.

      • Joshua said: “Man up”
        My response: Unlike you, I’m not paid to troll. You are utterly unworth my time – others are welcome to play your games with you.

      • > Perhaps sparring, in the sense of exercise or training, would have been better?

        As the Auditor once said to our Beloved Bishop when recalling is old Oxionan rugby experiences, I play the ball where it lands. While I don’t have the luxury to waste comments playing the man, I see no reason escape from physical play when needed as long as it does not distract me from carrying the ball forward. To that effect, all I need to do is to stay away from moshpits and food fights, which means the opposite of what you presumed is true.

        Cheap ad homs are suboptimal for two reasons. First, I can safely ignore most of them, since they don’t target the ball I carry forward; I seldom (if ever) use my own authority. Second, such moves can be used to carry the ball forward. This very comment is an example of that. For more of the same, please refer to this:

        https://climateball.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/strategic-manoeuvring-with-direct-personal-attacks/

        The inefficiency of personal attacks may explain why there’s so much piling on going on on ClimateBall ™ fields such as Judy’s. Joshua’s second favorite topic is Joshua. Focusing on Joshua just shows how lousy they are at ClimateBall ™. Better than that: they even blame him for it!

        Perhaps Denizens don’t know any better than play such comedies of menace. Perhaps they don’t realize how silly this all looks when there’s neither style nor gusto. At least GaryM’s video and Don Don’s man handling are funny.

        Most playing fields should have moderated piling on long time ago. However, it carries its burden, and in our case it would cast away most Denizens. Yet such attacks just don’t work, and don’t help curators look good. That’s Judy’s concern, not mine.

        ***

        Even if Judy’s turned into an echo chamber, Denizens might still be shadow boxing. Pick a random thread at Tony’s. There may always be otters to blame for the sins of all humanity:

        Whereas the philosophers of the 18th century would have agreed that communal violence comes to an end due to a social contract, Girard believes that, paradoxically, the problem of violence is frequently solved with a lesser dose of violence. When mimetic rivalries accumulate, tensions grow ever greater. But, that tension eventually reaches a paroxysm. When violence is at the point of threatening the existence of the community, very frequently a bizarre psychosocial mechanism arises: communal violence is all of the sudden projected upon a single individual. Thus, people that were formerly struggling, now unite efforts against someone chosen as a scapegoat. Former enemies now become friends, as they communally participate in the execution of violence against a specified enemy.

        http://www.iep.utm.edu/girard/

        One of the reason why AGW is such a wicked problem is that we’re all in it together. This is where I could connect to the topic of this post, but I’ve said enough.

        BTW, the hat still looks good on you.

        Best,

        W

      • C1ue –

        ==> “My response: Unlike you, I’m not paid to troll.

        I thank you for not neglecting one of the most hilarious arguments in the “skeptic” playbook.

        Where’s tonyb?

      • “While I don’t have the luxury to waste comments playing the man, I see no reason escape from physical play when needed as long as it does not distract me from carrying the ball forward.”

        Maybe a change in approach could help.

        The hat makes me happy.

      • You are witnessing the new approach as we speak, mwgrant. It still includes physical plays, if only because the line between the man and the ball is moot, and that playing the ball sometimes lead to physical plays. Here are some other thoughts on this, within an experiment:

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/play-the-ball/

        ***

        Both approaches abide by Love & Light:

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

        Love is about dancing. Light us about RHETORICS ™.

        More in that later on.

        Thank you for your concerns,

        W

      • Don. Don. What am I to do with you. Carrot cake without icing, yoga, sensitivity training, lots of time riding around in a Prius eating organic snacks; that’d set you right comrade. :> Come, let’s sing the Internationale together!

        This is the funniest post I’ve seen in a long time.

      • Unlike you, I’m not paid to troll. You are utterly unworth my time – others are welcome to play your games with you.

        During my brief sojourn over on ATTP, it seemed that a solid 1/3 of the responses I got were either variations of this post or were from people who were responding to me against their better judgment (i.e., knowingly feeding the troll), yet my posts were as sincere and straightforward and respectful as I could make them. What are the requirements for being a troll besides posting on a site that is antagonistic to one’s point of view?

      • Joshua,

        I think that I have already been able to explain the point I was going for earlier clearly enough that it could be understood – but I realized a way that I could make it much clearer,

        You did get the basic idea across, but I appreciate this because I think I had a slightly different notion of what you meant by ‘positions’. This did help clarify.

        …identity-protective mechanisms.

        I think I’ve seen discussion of identity mechanisms over at Dan Kahan’s blog, and certainly I’ve seen you mentioning them here. I’m interested in understanding what is meant by this as well, I just haven’t yet taken the time away from reading and posting over here to go look into it. Is Dan’s blog a reasonable place for me to go to start looking into this, in your opinion?

        Suppose you were reading a discussion between a “Skeptic” named Sidney and a “Realist” named Ronald. Imagine that during this discussion, the issue of a carbon tax came up. Sidney’s position was against a carbon tax in part because such a tax would make energy more expensive and that more expensive energy would differentially impact the people who are the most vulnerable financially. Ronald’s position was in favor of a carbon tax because climate change is likely to affect poor people the hardest and so everything possibility to slow down or reduce the climatic impact of ACO2 emissions should be undertaken (in addition, he argued that the revenues from a carbon tax could be used to reduce the cost of solar energy that could be provided to poor people).

        Not a particularly far fetched example, sure. I think I could find examples where this type of thing happens all over the place, more or less all the time. OK.

        Now imagine that this discussion devolved to where Ronald said that Sidney was indifferent to the plight of poor people because Sidney’s position was against carbon taxes and Sidney said that Ronald was indifferent to the plight of poor people because of Ronald’s position in favor of carbon taxes. Both walked away from the convo, having reverse engineered from his interlocutor’s position on carbon taxes, convinced that they had diametrically opposed values, and that (surprise, surprise) his own values were superior and that the other’s values (surprise, surprise) were decrepit and immoral.

        Yup, again, happens often enough.

        Now imagine further that in the real world, Sidney – in keeping with his cultural orientation – was a regular church-attender who volunteered a lot of his time to help the poor members of his community and gave a lot to charity. And imagine that Ronald graduated at the top of his class from a very prestigious law school but – in keeping with his cultural orientation – turned down many lucrative offers from high-powered law firms to work for a community law center, putting in 60 hour weeks at a relatively meager salary, helping poor people who were wrongfully evicted from their homes.

        In other words, both Ronald and Sidney recognized it as being in their interests to assist poor people, and that for both, helping others was core value.

        This is a good and clear example, if you’re point is to illustrate how people share the same values, but because they disagree in their positions they can come to lose sight of the fact that those they disagree with have the same values. I did exactly this myself earlier on this blog topic.

        I think this error may be a root cause of others. Once I’m able to convince myself that other people don’t share my values, those others become more alien. What matters to me doesn’t matter to them, and vice versa. We do not share common values, we do not share common interests. We are not friends, perhaps we are enemies. So on. Also, it makes it easier to demonize someone when you believe they are fundamentally unlike you.

        Unfortunately I don’t think it is the root cause of conflict. People disagree about policy because policy is hard, and people disagree vehemently about policy because policy is important. At the end of the day I think this is the energy that either drives the boiler or burns the town down.

        As always, thanks for your thoughts Joshua.

      • Mark Bofill –
        Unfortunately I don’t think it is the root cause of conflict. People disagree about policy because policy is hard, and people disagree vehemently about policy because policy is important.

        I think one of the root causes of the conflict is that people suspect the motives of the other person. They feel that a large part of the other person’s motivation is political, and that therefore the scientific argument he makes is disingenuous. The issue lends itself to this because the science itself is somewhat like a Rorschach image with much ambiguity but which different people can insist looks like what they see there.

        Did you see the recent interview in which Harry Reid commented on the remarks he made on the Senate floor about Romney? Did he have any regrets? “Romney didn’t win did he?” Of course tactics such as these are used by many people on both sides of important policy debates, and people know it. Intentional falsity for political purposes. I think that it is this that people attribute at least to the leaders of the other side, who through this means are able to persuade the more gullible. People have become cynical.

      • Swood,

        I think one of the root causes of the conflict is that people suspect the motives of the other person. They feel that a large part of the other person’s motivation is political, and that therefore the scientific argument he makes is disingenuous. The issue lends itself to this because the science itself is somewhat like a Rorschach image with much ambiguity but which different people can insist looks like what they see there.

        Yes. With some justification, perhaps.
        Take me for instance. I formed an opinion on AGW long before I understood the basics of the science well enough to have an informed opinion. My opinion has shifted from … shall we say, uneducated skepticism to the lukewarmer position. What was my motivation in the first place? Was it my politics? I wouldn’t honestly say so. But because I try to stay aware of my blind spots I can’t objectively dismiss the possibility.
        So, if I’m not even confident that I’m aware of my motivations, how foolish would it be for someone else to discount them? How foolish would it be for me to discount that possibility in others I deal with?
        I try not to worry too much about motivations and look for signs of critical thinking and integrity before extending trust, is my heuristic. I try not to worry, but of course I still do. I’m wary of Joshua putting one over on me somehow (sorry Joshua, it’s nothing personal) because I distrust his motivations. For no particularly good reasons, I suspect.
        My point was, even if we could overcome all of these factors, we’d still face difficult problems with multiple potential conflicting solutions and we’d disagree about which solutions to pursue. And we’d disagree strongly, and it wouldn’t necessarily be an amiable matter of difference of opinion. These things really matter.

      • swood1000,

        During my brief sojourn over on ATTP, it seemed that a solid 1/3 of the responses I got were either variations of this post or were from people who were responding to me against their better judgment (i.e., knowingly feeding the troll),

        And yet, as far as I can remember, noone actually called you a troll. In fact, I’m not even sure anyone even implied any such thing.

      • Mark Bofill –

        I’m wary of Joshua putting one over on me somehow (sorry Joshua, it’s nothing personal) because I distrust his motivations. For no particularly good reasons, I suspect.

        I dunno. Distrust of motives can be a matter of exercising due skeptical diligence. The question might be whether that distrust is selective, based more or less only bias or disagreement – but even there, it would be kind of unrealistic to pretend, I think, that it can be avoided.. None of us here are saints (except maybe Don).

        The more significant issue is IMO, whether or not you form conclusions (without solid evidence) about motivations. That’s something I see very, very, very commonly in these threads among probably all others in the blogosphere, and indeed, IMO that is evidence of “motivated reasoning” raising it’s biasing head. It’s a tell, IMO.

        Which is to say that you should be up front with your distrust of my motives. My explication of my motives should be able to withstand your distrust. Indeed, that can (must?) be part of the process by which trust, ultimately, can be established. But the problem gets tricky because we have to also be introspective about where our inclination towards distrust of motives comes from, and aware that it can often be that the root of our distrust lies not in the trustworthiness of others, but in our own biases.

        Let me take this opportunity to deepen my point a bit that I made above, but extending and narrowing my previous illustration. Think back on all the times that “realists” reverse engineered from your perspective on ACO2 emissions mitigation to conclude that you don’t value the lives or poor people, or you don’t value the natural environment, blah, blah, etc. Imagine how obvious it was to you that they were wrong – due to a faulty reasoning process on their part, due to their own biases, due to their limited perspective, due to their limited experiences, due to their motivated reasoning.

        Then look at how “skeptics” here judge the motivations of “realists,” be they scientists or blog commenters. What that tells me isn’t that “skeptics” are more prone to bias than “realists,” but that the self-identification of “skeptic” is, in many cases, not particularly accurate. The willingness of people to call themselves “skeptics” even as they display entirely unskeptical behaviors shows that “skeptics” are just human beings just like everyone else. The tendencies towards motivated reasoning are rooted in our psychology and our cognitive processes. They can never be eliminated, IMO, but there are methods that can help to control for their influence (one of which is to exchange views in good faith with people who have different perspectives on issues).

        I think this error may be a root cause of others. Once I’m able to convince myself that other people don’t share my values, those others become more alien.

        There’s a lot of literature on the concept of the “other.” I think it is relevant to what you’re describing..

        Unfortunately I don’t think it is the root cause of conflict. People disagree about policy because policy is hard, and people disagree vehemently about policy because policy is important. At the end of the day I think this is the energy that either drives the boiler or burns the town down.

        Yes, policy is important. But the question is why do people disagree about policy? Because they have different values?

      • Mark Bofill –

        ==> ” Is Dan’s blog a reasonable place for me to go to start looking into this, in your opinion?”

        I would say that Dan doesn’t spend a lot of time on “identity-protective behavior” mechanisms per se, as much as he identifies and discusses phenomena that result from those behaviors. But, yes, I think his blog would be a good place to start. If you go there, I’ll look forward to reading your comments – and if you do look into it and find some interesting material on the subject, please let me know.

      • ATTP –

        And yet, as far as I can remember, noone actually called you a troll. In fact, I’m not even sure anyone even implied any such thing.

        In the first place, the purpose of my post that you quoted was as a criticism of a poster here who called somebody else a troll and refused to interact with him. My point, which perhaps was a little too obscurely put, was that it is a little too easy to fall into calling people trolls solely because they disagree with you. It has not yet been suggest here that I am a troll but it seemed to frequently happen on a site that disagrees with my point of view.

        Maybe I am over-sensitive and perhaps I magnified the extent to which this took place on your site. I was specifically referred to as a troll (see below) but I am also including the posts that accused me (liberally and relentlessly) of sea lioning, JAQing off, asking rhetorical questions as an unfair debate tactic, asking loaded questions, false controversy, false equivalence, gish gallop. In addition, Willard and Joshua responded to me as one would to a troll by making nonsense objections, as if I knew very well that my approach was improper and they were not going to treat seriously anything I said or asked. (But, of course, the same thing goes on over here.)

        Here are some specific posts from your site that accused me either of being a troll or of an absence of good faith:

        “My recommendation re swood1000: DNFTT!”

        “swood1000: Sorry, I no longer play reindeer games with climate science denier drones.”

        “swood1000: Don’t worry about being inflamatory. Your posts are mostly gibberish and therefore are not taken seriously by many readers of this thread.”

        “Thanks to swood1000, this comment thread has turned into mush.”

        “ATTP – don’t let swood get away with that baseless libel against Stephen Schneider here. He advocated no such thing, and the deliberate misinterpretation of his words like this is a sure sign of somebody already arguing well into the depths of bad-faith denial.”

        “ATTP: In my opinion, -1=e^ipi is using exactly the tactics in this discussion asswood1000 has employed, i.e., make sweeping global statements without documentation and then slice and dice everyone’s response. There doesn’t seem to be much value in attempting to have an adult conversation with either one.”

        “How many questions can swood1000 ask, rhetorically or not?”

        “Are you being obtuse on purpose?”

        “Swood asks “am I misreading this?” I fail to see how anybody could honestly read it and take away the interpretation you have. Yes, 1000 times over, you are misreading it. …That this has been completely turned on its head in the way you did here is one of the absolute travesties of this fake “dialogue”.”

        “Short of that, this observer opines that one side of the “dialog” here is full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

        There were also one or two posts directed to me that you “snipped” as being “unnecessary.” Perhaps partly my impression also resulted from my observation that the attitude of very many “alarmist” posters, on your site and elsewhere, seems to be that the skeptic arguments are so obviously false and long-ago debunked that nobody could bring them up in good faith, so such a person must be a troll. Isn’t that the definition of a troll? Someone who goes to a site solely for the purpose of making inflammatory but insubstantial posts? Again, my intention was not to say that your site was egregious in this respect but rather that we should all be slow to accuse someone of being a troll. The current topic here is tolerance.

        But maybe I should have another crack at your site. Would you prefer that I stay away?

      • > During my brief sojourn over on ATTP […]

        In the first thread at AT’s in which Swood commented, there was 580 responses. The first of his 67 comments is this one:

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/climate-dialogue/#comment-48657

        Four sentences. Four leading questions.

        ***

        > responded to me as one would to a troll by making nonsense objections […]

        Here’s my first comment:

        How many questions can swood1000 ask, rhetorically or not?

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/climate-dialogue/#comment-48705

        The Swood number of this comment is one.

        The first comment had 4 questions, the second 2, the third 4, the fourth 3 and the fifth 1. The Swood number of his comment in response to JH’s “DNFTT” is 5.

        ***

        > Maybe I am over-sensitive

        Here’s Swood’s response to my comment:

        Is this the beginning of the “degeneration into name calling”? I’ll go quietly.

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/02/18/climate-dialogue/#comment-48705

        Indeed, Swood went quietly for 61 more comments, with some discussion of what counts as a rhetorical question thrown in the mix. And of course my own “problematizations” never made any sense to him.

      • I haven’t been able to figure out what you believe in Josh, beyond your own cleverness.

      • My lord Bofill,

        Are you trying to challenge Josh for title of long winded posts?

        You have heard the saying about wrestling with pigs, right?

      • Mark Bofill –

        FYI – this comment wasn’t me, it was Springer.

        Don’t know if you’ve encountered him. He has a habit of posting under other people’s names. He went nuts doing it a while back, leading to Judith requiring registration to post a comment. Not that Judith has lifted that requirement, he’s back at it again.

      • Mark Bofill –

        Sorry, forgot to link the comment that Springer posted under my name:

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/31/criticism-tolerance-and-changing-your-mind/#comment-689824

        Actually, that’s just one of about 10 that he did that with on this thread. I pointed this one out to you because he addressed his sockpuppet comment to you.

      • In case it wasn’t obvious this wasn’t me. Springer?

      • Joshua & ATTP,


        Actually, that’s just one of about 10 that he did that with on this thread. I pointed this one out to you because he addressed his sockpuppet comment to you.

        …and Then There’s Physics | April 3, 2015 at 4:20 am |

        In case it wasn’t obvious this wasn’t me. Springer?

        Treat it as a noisy phone line I guess, it’s all good. I’m not sure if I ended up with a mistaken impression of your ideas somewhere along the line or not at this stage. I’m sure it’ll sort out over time.

        Thanks gents.

    • Trolls. Immutable fanaticism of belief. Robotic repetition. Failure of their vision to communicate.

      Whatever reasonable statements indeed.

      • Got sumpin’ new, in this newest of all new days?
        ============

      • RHETORICS ™ – Non nova, sed nove.

      • Them’s the facts – if you don’t like it, perhaps you should review the massive stream you constantly emit.
        Feedback works for those who listen; for those who don’t, not so much.

      • ==> “Feedback works for those who listen;”

        You claim that my fanatical beliefs are very apparent, as seen in my many comments.

        My feedback for you is that you are overly certain of your opinion – that in fact you don’t know what my beliefs are – as my beliefs are not fanatical.

        Are you listening?

      • Well, FOMD gave us fan antics.
        ==========

      • […] – as my beliefs are not fanatical.

        Actions speak louder than words.

      • AK –

        ==> “Actions speak louder than words.”

        That’s a bit cryptic for me to understand. What immutably fanatical beliefs are made apparent by my actions?

    • Mark Bofill ‘courteous, receptive to courtesy.’ Where have i heard that before? Oh, yes. Silence of the Lambs.

      Why would anyone pay Joshua to do what he’s so desperate to do for free?

      Mr. Bofill, stick around. Joshua will remain courteous. He will also insure that the conversation turns to almost any subject other than that of the post. As he has done here quite successfully.

      willard is the same. The inventor of Climateball brags about it on his website. Joshua reverts to his more normal and less appealing self on other blogs.Here he has a schtick.

      They both are trolls. Stick around and see.

  63. Criticism is a privilege that you earn — it shouldn’t be your opening move in an interaction…

    It seems to me the natural order is to be skeptical of new ideas. Even perhaps bureaucracies are set up to help protect institutions against change, which might not be able to survive without them.

    The internal state to new information should be skepticism, rather than acceptance because the world cannot change based on every new idea. Even, we ought to be skeptical about what we already know.

    The whole privilege to criticize thing, then, is a matter of politeness or a guide to conduct, a way of hiding the internal state of ones mind from whoever or whatever it is you are listening to. In other words, a form of deceit.

    Criticism can come in many forms, and an honest way might be “But what about X,Y,Z,” or “I’m not convinced of this or that.” It doesn’t mean trying to tear down. In an honest world, criticism of a good idea will only strengthen the idea.

  64. The accusation of ‘flip-flopping’ is certainly used as a cheap rhetorical device against politicians. Of the other hand, sometimes the shoe fits. The politician who changes ‘opinion’ in order to gain political advantage – that is, to stay in office – in an unprincipled lout.

  65. Sometimes, war chooses you, as in the examples of the holocaust and the invasion of Nanking. One hopes for peace and reconciliation but the war pulls you into a fight for survival. The CAGW side has shown it’s true face and we are left with no choice. When you are called a denier, when leftist politicians use the tactics of Alinsky and McCarthy, when movies like “Inconvenient Truth” and “Merchants of Doubt” are produced to proselytize young minds and try to discredit skeptics with guilt by association, when every weather event is presented as proof of climate change by the media, when erudite scientists are run out of town by daring to engage the GWPF, when universities quash dissent, you know it is war. They are not seeking to engage. It is war.

    • ==> “When you are called a denier, when leftist politicians use the tactics of Alinsky and McCarthy,

      I mean really, what more needs to be said?

      Not until those poopyheads stop calling us poopyheads will we be able to straighten this all out.

      • John Vonderlin

        Joshua,
        Thumbs up on the “poopyheads,” but you are backsliding on the LOLs. Work harder on keeping it real.

  66. JC comment: The lack of tolerance for opposing perspectives in the climate debate is just staggering. Even more worrisome is that it is regarded as a ‘virtue’ to attack people with an opposing perspective.

    This is only remarkable if it is viewed as a scientific issue. From a political perspective this is how it has always worked.

    Does lack of tolerance have a proper place in science? Suppose someone actuated by base motives poses as a scientist in order to discredit the science. A scientist opposing this would justly be intolerant but is the debate at that point a scientific one or a political one? Also, is it necessarily improper to be intolerant of ignorance or stupidity or obvious error (apart from the duty one might have to correct or educate others)? If a scientist believes, for legitimate scientific reasons, that theory X is a red herring and is wasteful because it diverts researchers, is it improper for him to try to prevent theory X from being published in a widely-read journal?

    • Depends on what you mean by science.
      If you mean: who is considered marquee and influential in a given scientific arena – then the political processes of freezing out dissenters is very much “proper”.
      If instead you refer to an objective goal of science – the problem always arises in: who supervises to ensure that the politicians – scientists or otherwise – don’t interfere with the sausage making that is scientific exploration.

      • who supervises to ensure that the politicians – scientists or otherwise – don’t interfere with the sausage making that is scientific exploration.

        But apart from the question of who supervises it, is it necessarily unscientific to interfere with the sausage making?

      • The victimized public and the relevant authorities get themselves involved when the sausages start making people sick.
        ================

      • Danny Thomas

        “Joe Smith: Accept that climate science is ‘unfinishable'” from:
        Are we tired of talking about climate change?
        http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-32131142

      • The victimized public and the relevant authorities get themselves involved when the sausages start making people sick.

        Which argues that someone should interfere if he believes that the sausage making has gone awry, in an attempt to get it back on course.

      • “Joe Smith: Accept that climate science is ‘unfinishable'” from: Are we tired of talking about climate change?

        Not sure I would agree that it is unfinishable unless we are talking about reaching absolute certainty. For example, what will be the effect of X on climate can be usefully predicted if we can identify what effect X had on climate at some previous point of earth’s history.

      • Danny Thomas

        Swood1000,
        For some reason when I read Joe Smith’s comment and then your following comment I substituted “politics” for X. Guess that’s where my heads at today.

      • Politics exists because it is a way of getting things done without resort to open violence. If your goal as a scientist is to get lots of recognition and grant money – is it so surprising that some resort to politics rather than science?
        Again, I’m not pointing fingers or naming names – just noting that there are perfectly rational reasons why some people act the way they do.

  67. Schrodinger's Cat

    Justinwonder – Your comment about people with a leaning towards left wing politics being attracted towards particular jobs is an interesting one.

    Many left wing people in the UK seem to be in government funded jobs. This was not always the case but has become more of a trend as unions have become more powerful in these areas. A contributing factor is that taxpayer funding has been exploited by unions to pay for full time union activities and activists and this practice has grown out of control.

    The policies of the unions have created an environment more attractive to like minded people and less attractive to others, so the trend is self perpetuating.

    Climate change activists with a mission to save the planet tend to be associated with the beliefs published by the Guardian, a very left wing UK newspaper.

    I seem to remember a discussion about the different approaches to problems by the left and right. Right leaning people tend to have an open mind to possible solutions and tend to go for a practical answer. Left leaning people tend to be impatient to change the situation that enables the problem to exist. Their solution stops the problem but may create others.

    I’m not trying to do political point scoring here. I’m interested by the notion that there seems to be hard wired differences in thinking between the left and right and that this manifests itself in many different ways.

    For example, many left thinking people are attracted towards public service, charity work, campaigning, activism, protest, anarchy. I’ve deliberately used a progression to illustrate that there is some logic to the trend.

    Right leaning people do not seem to exhibit a comparable trend, yet they are equally capable of supporting charitable acts. They do not reach the more extreme end of the scale and are more likely to oppose it.

    Returning to climate change, saving the planet seems to be the ultimate motivator for those with the appropriate hard wiring. This may help to explain why the subject is so polarized, why resolution by discussion seems impossible and why religious belief is an apt description of their thinking.

    My comments do refer to a broad spectrum of behaviour. The vast majority of people have mixed feelings about most subjects and would not show such trends.

    • Cat,

      In the USA, conservatives donate more money to charities than do people on the left.

      • Danny Thomas

        JustinWonder,
        Not meaning to step in to your talk with Cat, but do you have a source?
        I find MSM resources and differing spins, but only one (relatively) recent paper: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2148033
        I did find an article that says “red states” vs. “blue states” but was overbroad as it refers to states and not individuals.
        Then I searched for who dontates more time, liberals or conservatives……and struck out.

      • Gentleman Danny,

        Yes, I have a source, me. But don’t worry, I’ve reviewed my work and it’s airtight. I can’t share my data with anyone because they might criticize me. If they do, I will sue them in my uncle’s court. ;)

        BTW, conservative individuals donate more money to charity, liberals more time and other people’s money. Nobody can deny this is true. ;)

      • Danny Thomas

        Justin,
        Nice to start the day with a laugh. Thanks for that.

        I did look for that at Pew also, so I’m surprised I was unable to locate but when I think about it there not really a blank to fill out on most donation forms. (But I wonder if the IRS might know?)

      • Skipping to the last page of the story first, the answer is neither: As two MIT political scientists determined in a 2013 paper, the inclination to give appears to have virtually no relationship to one’s partisan or ideological views. There are distinctions, however, in the kind of giving between the two poles.

        […]

        The source of the notion that conservatives are more generous is the 2006 book “Who Really Cares,” by Arthur C. Brooks, who later became president of the pro-business American Enterprise Institute.

        The book was a brief for “compassionate conservatism,” but its claim raised a lot of skepticism, and not only among liberals. One problem noted across the political spectrum was Brooks’ reliance on the 2000 Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey to distinguish “liberal” from “conservative.” The problem was that the survey didn’t seem to accurately measure those categories and didn’t distinguish well between social conservatives or liberals and fiscal conservatives or liberals.

        What the MIT researchers did find, however, was that conservatives give more to religious organizations, such as their own churches, and liberals more to secular recipients. Conservatives may give more overall, MIT says, but that’s because they tend to be richer, so they have more money to give and get a larger tax benefit from giving it. (One of the things that makes social scientists skeptical of the benchmark survey Brooks used, in fact, is that it somehow concluded that liberals are richer than conservatives.)

        […]

        An extreme case may have been that of Mitt Romney, whose tax disclosures during his 2012 presidential campaign indicated that he gave a higher percentage of his income away than his Democratic opponent, President Obama, 29.4% to 21.8%. Of course he was richer, so he gave away a lot more dollars. But fully 80% of Romney’s donations went to the Mormon church; and a large further chunk went to a family foundation that also funneled much of it to the church.

        http://articles.latimes.com/2014/mar/31/business/la-fi-mh-conservatives-or-liberals-20140331

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,

        Thanks. In the MSM I was left with the impression that:
        Red states give more than blue (but leaves out individuals and non deductable)
        Conservative gives more to churches
        Conservative volunteer more.
        Rich give less as a pct. than poor.
        It was a surprise I couldn’t find this done in a survey from Pew or the like. All that I found that was scholarly was the MIT work.
        Leaves me skeptical.

      • Seems that you got yourself a research project, Danny.

        Research and report.

      • And people from the low end of the economic spectrum donate a higher percentage of their income than those from the high end.

  68. Craig Loehle

    When I don’t know enough about a topic to have an opinion, I say so. When I have studied an issue and come to a conclusion, that opinion is usually stable. I will, however, change my mind if given new evidence. The flip-floppy stuff comes in when people have opinions about lots of things about which they know nothing.

    • The flip-floppy stuff comes in when people have opinions about lots of things about which they know nothing.

      I agree with this, and add that often they know nothing because not enough is known, and they form an opinion for reasons other than ones firmly grounded in science.

    • Craig Loehle

      ” The flip-floppy stuff comes in when people have opinions about lots of things about which they know nothing.”

      …or when they are still in the process of forming an opinion?

  69. Craig Loehle

    “Some of the most effective ways in which you deal with someone’s idea are to treat them completely at face value, and with an enormous amount of respect.”
    So let us say James Hansen says coal trains are death cars (actual quote). I can take that at face value, but it is impossible for me to give it any respect–the statement is idiotic. Likewise any essay that includes the words “tipping point” or “20 ft sea level rise” or “Earth becomes uninhabitable”. These are not serious discussions and do not reflect any sort of science, just scare-mongering.

  70. “to constantly be updating your positions on as many things as possible. And if you don’t contradict yourself on a regular basis, then you’re not thinking.”

    What twaddle. There are lots of positions that remain constant in your life – and should remain constant. Yes, you better be flexible if reliable new data contradicts your position, and you should challenge your own positions, but without core beliefs/morals/values that remain unchanged, your behavior will be that of a two year old.

  71. What the models predicted which is no where to be found. The wrong predictions go on and on and yet the theory goes on and on.

    I see a disconnect.

  72. LET US SUMMARIZE ALL OF THE MAJOR PROCESSES CALLED FOR BY AGW THAT HAVE NOT COME TO BE.

    No tropical hot spot.

    No evolution of a +AO/+NAO.

    No increase in El Nino’s.

    No decrease in Antarctic Sea Ice.

    No lessening of OLR emissions from earth to space.

    No continuation of a global temperature rise post 1998.

    Yet this theory lives. LOL

  73. No increase in global droughts. Have to add that one.

  74. I see that my name has popped up and that I seem to have been misguided in some way by reading what Joshua is posting. FWIW I find his posts on the state of the AGW debate to be generally true but his persona as reflected in the way he puts points across tends to exacerbate rather then illuminate. I am absolutely certain that Joshua without his keyboard is great human being with a strong interest in preservation of the environment and I hope to meet him in the person one day.

    • John Carpenter

      “I am absolutely certain that Joshua without his keyboard is great human being with a strong interest in preservation of the environment and I hope to meet him in the person one day.”

      Anyone who loves chicken wings, beer and bacon cant be all that bad.

    • Peter –

      I was reluctant to mention your name and get you involved in this juvenile discussion about my immutable and fanatical beliefs that I make apparent with each post – as I know that you usually try (if not always succeed?) to rise above the lunchroom food fight.

      But I hope that you’ll forgive me – as I remember one time where you remarked on the tendency of some of my some of my much beloved “skeptics” to make unfounded assumptions about my views, when a careful reading reading with due skeptical diligence would make the facile nature of their assumptions clear.

      • Judith –

        FYI – that was someone posting under my username. I don’t really care, but I thought that you might.

      • I regret using ‘food fight’ though in this case I meant it more in the spirit of Tom Sawyer. Apparently that was very careless.

      • There don’t seem to be reserved names here. Lots of people are named Joshua. Why then was my comment deleted?

      • I sincerely hope (and unfortunately question) that somebody else posting as Joshua was some sort of honest mistake.
        What sort of zoo is this?

      • unfortunately not an honest mistake, our ‘friendly’ spammer

      • Yup, someone just hid behind my mask. Hah, just try to play the part.
        ==============

      • My apologies for any implied criticism Dr. Curry. It must be quite the headache running this blog. My remark was prompted by my being surprised and disturbed.

      • I’m not happy about it either, which is why have been occasionally requiring registration to comment

      • Danny Thomas

        Dr. Curry and Mark,
        An excellent example of tolerance until you change your mind based on criticism.

      • In a thread about criticism and tolerance, thre are more than 100 ocurences of “Joshua” and only 37 comments by Joshua.

        I did not count other names like “friendly spammer”.

        Fancy that.

        ***

        The numbers of “willard” seems to have stabilized at 48, with 21 “willard |” and 27 mentions of my name.

        Nothing to fancy there.

      • Judith –

        Just to help you clean up Springer’s mess, the following comment was posted under my name but I didn’t write it:

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/31/criticism-tolerance-and-changing-your-mind/#comment-689656

  75. russellseitz

    Suffering fools gladly is one thing. Catering to them is another.

  76. “When politics and ‘consensus’ enforcement come into play, it becomes very difficult for scientists to publicly change their mind. To say that we are in trouble in the climate debate because of this is an understatement.” – JC

    Yeah, there’s about zero chance of Judith changing her mind on all this consensus nonsense.

    • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

      Michael – You just don’t understand Judith’s position correctly.

      See, Dr curry has never published anything in the scientific literature that actually disputes the “so-called consensus”.

      This absence of anti-consensus evidence clearly provides abundant evidence of the pressures that Dr Curry faces from all sides.

      I mean, if tenured profs at reputable universities are forced into silence by the consensus police, what chance do the morally malleable and money-staved masses of grad students and post-docs have to change the minds of the few Truly Rational people left in the world?

      Climate science has become so politicized by the IPCC and Al Gore / Democrats that it is now nothing more that a cleverly-disguised and globe-spanning process for turning Galileos-in-waiting into green-activists.

      It’s a tragedy, I tell you, a tragedy.

      Our only hope is that President Jeb and VP Ted will fix the science by de-funding everything to do with it.

      • So did Judith try to submit papers that de-bunked the “so-called consensus” and was blocked by the evil forces of pal-review, or was she simply too terrified to even entertain the thought?

      • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse


        So did Judith try to submit papers that de-bunked the “so-called consensus” and was blocked by the evil forces of pal-review, or was she simply too terrified to even entertain the thought?

        We will likely never know the awful truth, Michael.

        And that lack of evidence constitutes even more evidence that the “so-called consensus” is all-powerful.

        Florida has the right idea.
        Once climate change is forever and everywhere legislated out of existence, there will be a brighter future. Even for self-deluded consensus-warmist-activists.

        All we need is a politician with the brains of Rick Scott and the heart of Luke Skywalker.

      • Judith did try to submit papers that de-bunked the “so-called consensus” and was blocked by the evil forces of pal-review or she was simply too terrified to even entertain the thought.

      • Jeb and Ted’s Most Excellent Adventure?

        I like it! :)

    • Rev draws the long face of sarcasm, curls a lip through it, and never sees the lemon chiffon pie incoming.
      ===================

  77. Although Taleb doesn’t mention it (if that didn’t change) the issue of anti fragility from the last blog post is fundamentally related to mathematical learning theory, convex outcome functions are what makes learning from experience possible.
    The authors of one book about it called one possible algorithm “choose the best expert” or something. Thats more or less the human cognitive condition.
    Second guessing the performance of experts and learning from the supposedly most enlightened.
    There’s actually a problem with it called the Dunning-Kruger effect
    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/the-anosognosics-dilemma-1/ .
    One of the dilemmas of the climate debate.

    We’re able to learn from observing the outcomes from a sample of an event space. If the outcomes can be given a convex gain or loss function it’s possible.
    So the problem described by the Dunning-Kruger effect sorts itself out sooner or later because someone fails.

    But there’s another possible dilemma:
    What when you can observe only very few events, or just one?
    Alternative histories not being available, history is such a case with only one sample.
    We try to get a feeling of understanding what went on by overfitting the data. The more we overfit the better we believe we understand it.
    Depending on the variables we use we will get different stories. (Being vaguely aware of this problem is probably whats called Post Modernism.)

    And here we’re back to climate science. We have only one climate history to observe. And we have to second guess the experts we trust.
    A wicked problem.

  78. Please don’t feed trolls. I’m SO overweight already.

  79. Tim56 – I don’t know which divergence you’re asking about. To me the most important divergence happened around 1983 when the PDO and the GMT suddenly diverged. If you are talking about the models and observations, the cause of pause that caused that has vanished.

    • JCH,

      As I said, I don’t talk about pauses, and whatever cause you refer to doesn’t matter so long as there is a divergence. If whatever that cause us is correct, it’s end will show up in the diverging data coming back into alignment. Until then you are spouting bs.

      • Flat for next few decades was BS. Never heard you question it.

        The return of the KoldieKamikaze Wind is your only hope.

      • Another dishonest clown. I state that I don’t talk about pauses, plateaus or halts to warming and JCH comes back with “I never heard you question it.”

      • BTW JCH, you refer to the future in the past tense. How does that work?

  80. Springer, I believe you are lying. Your post was written 2 minutes after the one your responded to. And since you have a habit of impersonating others (i.e. being dishonest) why should anyone believe anything you say?

  81. OK,

    I’m late to the party. But both Joshua and Springer are damaging CE. There must be come a time when it is appropriate to ban the perpetual trolls.

  82. David Springer

    Lang, I believe you’re a nitwit. None of these were written by me. I log in using my WordPress account.

  83. Joshua,

    Yes, policy is important. But the question is why do people disagree about policy? Because they have different values?

    I’m addressing this point because it’s the easiest one, not because it’s the most interesting one to me. You touched on a lot of things I’m still thinking about.
    The hard part about answering why there’s disagreement about policy is that there’s so much there it’s hard to approach it systematically. Taking a stab at a rough statement of the principle, while people generally share the same values, sharing values does not cause people to share a common view of what to do, to what degree, and with with what relative priority.

    Say we share an appreciation of the value of education, let’s get even more specific and say we share an appreciation of the value of education to the economic well-being of our society. What policy does this indicate? Should we raise taxes and provide a free education for all citizens? I can value an educated populus and yet agree or disagree that this is a good idea. Who’s taxes should be raised to pay for this? To what extent? Perhaps taxes should not be raised, but some other program cut or made more efficient. Perhaps the plan proposed to cut or make something else more efficient is a matter of disagreement.

    We can disagree about the extent of certainty or uncertainty of our knowledge, in many more arenas than just climate science. Economics. Justice. Foreign policy. We deal with problems where many of our actions have multiple consequences, some desirable and some undesirable. There are trade offs. To what extent should we sacrifice our individual liberties to protect ourselves from terrorism? There can be disagreements about approaches to problems, and there can be disagreement about the implementation of approaches. So on. I doubt I’ve done justice to the spectrum of difficulties involved, but
    perhaps this will suffice as a back of the napkin sketch.

    On another note, I’ve often felt that the term motivated reasoning is an unfortunate label for the concept it describes. Virtually all of my reasoning is motivated, I reason about things I care about in some way. I understand that this is not what’s meant by the term. Calling flour ‘pickle juice’ can lead to unfortunate accidents in the kitchen if one isn’t being careful. I’m not sure how long this thread will last, but I imagine this is something we might bump into again in future discussions.

    Thanks Joshua.

    • But the question is why do people disagree about policy? Because they have different values?

      Without excluding that, I’d like to point out another factor: cosmology. That is, what people believe about how the universe works.

      To pick a deliberately non-relevant example: Person “A” gathers up some stray hairs from person “B”, fashions them (along with wax or clay or something) into a doll, and pokes the doll through the “heart” with a needle. Person “B” dies.

      Clearly a coincidence. Of course.

      But we could certainly imagine a culture where person “A” would be considered guilty of murder, and executed. Indeed, in such a culture, if primitive enough, it might be believed that the track of a bullet out of a gun (obviously imported, since no culture that created guns could have such a cosmology) is random. Just because person “A” points a gun in the direction of person “B” and pulls the trigger doesn’t have anything to do with person “B”‘s death. It’s “just a coincidence”.

      Of course when it comes to proposed fixes for the climate, we might imagine an analogy where the odd culture above simply outlaws guns, since even the risk from random bullets can’t be tolerated.

    • Without excluding that, I’d like to point out another factor: cosmology. That is, what people believe about how the universe works.

      Yes. It is why some people believe that unrestrained private enterprise is the thing most likely to raise the lot of the poor, and others believe that this will have exactly the opposite consequence and that only greater government restrictions and control will solve the problem. And of course science was developed precisely to answer some of these questions, but all problems are not amenable to being tested via the scientific method. Also, some people are motivated to manipulate science in order to be able to ‘demonstrate’ that science supports their policy preference.

      • I think you can have near identical values with someone but completely different understanding of how the world works. That difference in understanding may be due to differing values, part of differing cosmologies, due to looking at different evidence, or just interpreting the same evidence differently maybe because of different background experience maybe not. When you start aggregating people into groups or “sides” you should find as they say that “politics makes strange bedfellows”. Some people on the other “side” may share values with you more so than your allies on this issue.

        I think that’s a good thing that allows for dialogue and change. To me it seems far superior to the factional groupthink we have going on now now where many expect people to line use across issues in some sort of concensus.

      • That difference in understanding may be due to differing values, part of differing cosmologies, due to looking at different evidence, or just interpreting the same evidence differently maybe because of different background experience maybe not.

        Unfortunately, that difference in understanding is typically misattributed. Each faction has the ready-made caricature to which those not sharing their values are automatically assigned. Such a person is motivated by greed and doesn’t care about others. Such a person is motivated by the desire to foist his socialistic fantasies on society. No consideration is given to such falderal as that the person actually holds his beliefs in good faith.

    • Gotta get used to the wordpress login sorry. I wrote responses and lost them due to not being logged in. Not complaining, with clowns monkeying around impersonating denizens I think it’s a good idea (although perhaps there is disagreement on this policy solution :p).
      Suffice it to say, I agree with both of your posts and points AK and SWood.

    • Mark Bofill –

      ==> ” I can value an educated populus and yet agree or disagree that this is a good idea. “

      Right. I agree. And further, we can acknowledge that there are no definitive answers; the data are conflicting, the question of cause-and-effect is enormously complex (how can we control for the myriad variables to assess the costs and benefits of public/federally funded education?). Within the more general agreement about the economic benefits of an educated populous, there can be important distinctions related the type of educational outcomes we consider to be most valuable, etc.

      ==> “We can disagree about the extent of certainty or uncertainty of our knowledge, in many more arenas than just climate science. “

      I see the fights about climate science as being parallel to many other fights about politicized issues – some of which are science-related issues (such as nuclear energy, evolution, the creation of the universe) – and some of which aren’t (the net cost/benefit of higher/lower taxes, the outcomes of more strict gun control laws, the death penalty), etc. Kahan’s data show that indeed, arguments about climate change play out in patterns very similar to those patterns that play out in other issues. IMO, while of course for any individual there might be any number of explanations for what transpires, in the big picture what we see is that climate change is a proxy, identity-related ideological struggle no different, really than so many others.

      ==> Economics. Justice. Foreign policy. We deal with problems where many of our actions have multiple consequences, some desirable and some undesirable. There are trade offs. To what extent should we sacrifice our individual liberties to protect ourselves from terrorism? There can be disagreements about approaches to problems, and there can be disagreement about the implementation of approaches. So on. I doubt I’ve done justice to the spectrum of difficulties involved, butperhaps this will suffice as a back of the napkin sketch.

      This all is in line with my views. It’s not like I can’t understand the reasons why “conservatives” line up the way they do on certain issues. While I don’t happen to agree with their perspectives on many issues, I recognize that for the most part, the differences fall within the bounds of uncertainty. Yet, the arguments are presented as if the reasoning is certain. Issues like the impact of raising the minimum wage, the impact of inequality, the results of raising taxes, the economic impact of illegal immigration, the role of nature vs. nurture (say as it plays out in the discrepancies in how many women and men become leading academics in scientific fields)…these are all issues where empirical study mostly returns ambiguous results. It seems obvious to me that there is so much important context that needs to be accounted for, so many complex variables, so much about the variability in behavior and decision-making, that anyone taking these issues seriously must know that there are no simple cause-and-effect explanatory mechanisms. Yet we find people who are very serious about all of these issues who are absolutely convinced that they know for a fact what the answers are.

      ==> ”On another note, I’ve often felt that the term motivated reasoning is an unfortunate label for the concept it describes.”

      Absolutely. Kahan and I have exchanged a few comments on that topic. It reflexively triggers a reaction that people’s motives are being impugned – because people don’t realize that “motivated” modifies reasoning, not the individual. We can have very similar motivations (say, to find out the real answer about the impact of ACO2 on the climate) yet be affected by motivated reasoning so as to reach diametrically opposed conclusions.

      ==> “Virtually all of my reasoning is motivated, I reason about things I care about in some way. I understand that this is not what’s meant by the term. Calling flour ‘pickle juice’ can lead to unfortunate accidents in the kitchen if one isn’t being careful. I’m not sure how long this thread will last, but I imagine this is something we might bump into again in future discussions.”

      Cultural cognition is a better term and I think is very similar in meaning (I consider it to be as subset of motivated reasoning but for all practical purposes, it can usually be substituted). The next major hurdle to get over is that assumption that if you say that in generally, the data show that “realists” and “skeptics” are influenced by cultural cognition in their belief formation about climate change, that you’re saying that any particular individual is “fooling themselves.”

      See related discussion:

      http://www.culturalcognition.net/blog/2015/3/25/you-talking-to-me-are-you-talking-to-me-actually-no-im-not-t.html

      (Don’t read the comment thread, though. That dude that tim, Don, Tom, AK, c1ue, Springer, Peter Lang, and kim have been warning you about has written quite a few comments. Be afraid. Be very, very afraid).

      I’m glad that I’ve come across someone who’s as much of a fool as I am to exchange perspectives with.

      • Don Monfort

        Your comments on that thread confirm what we know from your comments on this here blog, joshie. You don’t get out much.

      • that anyone taking these issues seriously must know that there are no simple cause-and-effect explanatory mechanisms. Yet we find people who are very serious about all of these issues who are absolutely convinced that they know for a fact what the answers are.
        Another good point. Seemingly obvious once you think about it, although it hadn’t occurred to me until you mentioned it.

        I’m glad that I’ve come across someone who’s as much of a fool as I am to exchange perspectives with.

        That’s good of you, to trouble to say that. To quote Indigo Montoya from the Princess Bride,
        You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you.
        In plain terms, I regret that we’re on opposite sides of some of these issues Joshua. Eventually I hope I understand why that is.

        Regards sir.

      • I hate it when I screw up formatting. Dr. Curry, if it’s not too much trouble I’d like to request that you delete my earlier misformatted revision of this comment please.

        that anyone taking these issues seriously must know that there are no simple cause-and-effect explanatory mechanisms. Yet we find people who are very serious about all of these issues who are absolutely convinced that they know for a fact what the answers are.

        Another good point. Seemingly obvious once you think about it, although it hadn’t occurred to me until you mentioned it.

        I’m glad that I’ve come across someone who’s as much of a fool as I am to exchange perspectives with.

        That’s good of you, to trouble to say that. To quote Indigo Montoya from the Princess Bride,
        You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you.
        In plain terms, I regret that we’re on opposite sides of some of these issues Joshua. Eventually I hope I understand why that is.

        Regards sir.

      • Mark,

        Can you explain what your understanding is of what the f— joshie is talking about here:

        “Absolutely. Kahan and I have exchanged a few comments on that topic. It reflexively triggers a reaction that people’s motives are being impugned – because people don’t realize that “motivated” modifies reasoning, not the individual. We can have very similar motivations (say, to find out the real answer about the impact of ACO2 on the climate) yet be affected by motivated reasoning so as to reach diametrically opposed conclusions.”

        Everybody who is familiar with joshie’s schtick knows that when he accuses one of his “beloved skeptics” of motivated reasoning, he means it as a pejorative. “Ha ha, I caught you engaging in motivated reasoning again. You “skeptics” make me laugh. Ha ha, again” Joshie is talking Prof. Irwin Cory type BS here. Reasoning is not capable of being motivated. It’s the individual reasoner who is motivated. That’s how the reasoning get’s motivated. This is some pretty basic doo-doo. Maybe you two should start your own blog. You could call it:

        Motivated Reasoning Meets Unintended Irony: and other such BS

        (Just funnin ya, Mark:)

      • Don,

        Can you explain what your understanding is of what the f— joshie is talking about here:

        “Absolutely. Kahan and I have exchanged a few comments on that topic. It reflexively triggers a reaction that people’s motives are being impugned – because people don’t realize that “motivated” modifies reasoning, not the individual. We can have very similar motivations (say, to find out the real answer about the impact of ACO2 on the climate) yet be affected by motivated reasoning so as to reach diametrically opposed conclusions.”

        Everybody who is familiar with joshie’s schtick knows that when he accuses one of his “beloved skeptics” of motivated reasoning, he means it as a pejorative. “Ha ha, I caught you engaging in motivated reasoning again. You “skeptics” make me laugh.

        Well, maybe Joshua is the guy to ask. I can tell you what I think, if that’s what you’re interested in (and I guess it could be, if you’re trying to make up your mind why I’m playing Cole Porter songs over here with him) but generally I find speaking for others is asking to have my @$$ handed to me.

        Speaking for myself then, I don’t believe Joshua thinks ‘motivated reasoning’ is limited to skeptics by any stretch. I think he objects to it in people who pride themselves on skepticism because ‘motivated reasoning’ is antithetical to skeptical thought. In a strange way, this actually shows respect for skepticism; sort of demands that it live up to a higher standard.
        I never really gave much thought to the meaning of the term in this context, actually. I suspect lots of people who come down on a certain side of the debate call themselves ‘skeptics’ because that’s the word the rest of the group uses to identify, not because they’ve thought it through and decided that ‘skeptic’ is correct in the pure sense of the term.

        Seems a convenient moment to ask you this Don. I presume you hassle Joshua not as a matter arbitrary entertainment but deliberately for a reason. I’d guess it relates to his haranguing of Dr. Curry. I only ask because if this is the case, it eases my conscience in ignoring it.
        It sort of relates. Bottom line, in my view Joshua doesn’t have to be nice to my team to be OK; I’m not nice to his. We battle on blogs, at least I do, it’s fun. Come on, I bet you like kicking butt in a good blog battle as much as me. :) But does the adversarial exchange go anywhere useful, that’s the real question in my view. I think that question is applicable to all of us.

        Thanks Don.

      • Don,
        Oh, on the ‘individual’ vrs general motivated reasoning question, I can’t speak to that. I do get the impression that that’s an actual thing, that seemed to be what Joshua and Dan were talking about in that ‘you talking to me?!?’ thread on cultural cognition. It’s a thing but I don’t know what sort of thing yet. I haven’t had time to go through it in detail yet.

      • Mark Bofill –

        ==> “In plain terms, I regret that we’re on opposite sides of some of these issues Joshua.”

        It’s kind of semantic – but I think it’s possible to have different or even diametric views on an issue without being on “opposite sides” – at least that’s the framework I’d rather use for approaching further discussions.

        A better framework for me is that I have found it fun and educational to engage in exchange with people who can offer good faith and well-reasoned, but differing views on issues. I kinda view that as being on the “same side” in the relatively rare occasions I run across people I can do that with. The typical food fighting that predominates can be funny, but it’s ultimately not very educational or very challenging or satisfying.

      • Sorry, sorry, I forgot this too. Ought to have a morning breathalyzer that disables my keyboard unless my blood coffee ratio is up to safe limits.

        Reasoning is not capable of being motivated. It’s the individual reasoner who is motivated. That’s how the reasoning get’s motivated.

        I think he and I agree that the term ‘motivated reasoning’ has some problems. From that font of all blog wisdom:

        When people form and cling to false beliefs despite overwhelming evidence, the phenomenon is labeled “motivated reasoning”. In other words, “rather than search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe.

        This is a piss poor label for the idea it describes in my view. What you and I have both said (essentially that, people are motivated to reason about things they care about) really doesn’t have anything to do with only searching for information that confirms belief, which is what the term apparently means in fact. Quite the contrary, I’m motivated to reason quite critically about many things. I don’t ‘reason’ so I can sit in a happy fantasy land, I ‘reason’ so I can accomplish real objectives in the real world. I need to know when I’m wrong, the sooner the better, so as not to waste my resources on things that won’t work.
        Anyways.

      • Fair enough Joshua. :)

      • Let’s just analyze joshie’s BS, in the specific quote I asked you to comment on, Mark:

        Right from the start, this is wrong:”It reflexively triggers a reaction…” Accusing someone of motivated reasoning doesn’t “reflexively” trigger anything. It might trigger a reflexive reaction. It might just trigger a yawn. Point is the reflex would be on the part of the accused, not the accusation. This little joshie mistake is the result of a meandering and illogical thought process. And his mouth runs faster than his mind.

        This is really silly, if not deliberately deceptive:”because people don’t realize that “motivated” modifies reasoning, not the individual.” So when joshie plays the motivated reasoning card, he ain’t impugning the individual /”skeptic”, he’s impugning the reasoning. Like if joshie said that Mark’s behavior is depraved, he’s fine with Mark it’s just Mark’s depraved behavior that little joshie is condemning. And that’s how joshie keeps a clear conscience and appears to the world to be a man of superior intellect and great virtue. It’s a trick that’s only available to those who lack any sense of self-awareness.

        “In a strange way, this actually shows respect for skepticism;” not

        You are looking for some redeeming quality in our little joshie. He will disappoint you.

      • Josh deals in ad homs dressed up as critical reasoning.

      • Dang Don,

        Right from the start, this is wrong:”It reflexively triggers a reaction…” Accusing someone of motivated reasoning doesn’t “reflexively” trigger anything. It might trigger a reflexive reaction. It might just trigger a yawn. Point is the reflex would be on the part of the accused, not the accusation. This little joshie mistake is the result of a meandering and illogical thought process. And his mouth runs faster than his mind.

        You seem to be saying he spoke poorly. Mebbe, it happens. I was trying to focus on what I thought he meant.

        So when joshie plays the motivated reasoning card, he ain’t impugning the individual /”skeptic”, he’s impugning the reasoning. Like if joshie said that Mark’s behavior is depraved, he’s fine with Mark it’s just Mark’s depraved behavior that little joshie is condemning. And that’s how joshie keeps a clear conscience and appears to the world to be a man of superior intellect and great virtue. It’s a trick that’s only available to those who lack any sense of self-awareness.

        I didn’t get that at all from what he said. I doubt he thinks that. Honestly, at this point I’m wondering if it’s me who badly misunderstood him or you, so I’m reluctant and off the top of my head a little confused about what I originally thought he meant.
        I gotta run, I be back!

      • Mark Bofill –

        FYI – I ;have counterarguments to Don’s points, but given that I’m basically beneath his contempt and Don didn’t communicate his opinions to me (and has never expressed any interest in good-faith exchange of views with me), I see no reason to answer his points directly. As far as I can tell, you’ve pretty much anticipated what my arguments would be, but if you are interested in my perspective about any of the points he’s raised, just let me now.

      • Don Monfort

        Don’t play the victim card, joshie. You are not beneath my contempt. You are right in the crosshairs of my contempt. Now why don’t you just say what you got to say without begging Mark to prompt you. You are a needy little rascal.

      • Hi Don –

        How are ya’ bud?

        As always, thanks for reading. I can’t tell you how much it means to me.

      • I’m on my cell, new phone BTW and I’ve no clue how to turn off autocomplete. I mention this as insurance against misadventure. Should I abruptly and nonsensically reference vibrators or something equally inappropriate I’m not being funny, please disregard should this occur.
        so! What shall we talk about? Why Joshua is a such and so, whether or not such and so is a contagious condition? Say, just a whacky whim of mine. Let’s shock the rest of climate etc and do something unexpected with the conversation. Want to?

      • Don Monfort

        smarmy

      • Don Monfort

        I will leave you and joshie to go on with this foolishness, Mark. He’s got something he wants to say, but you gotta ask him for it. Be careful with the little dude. He get’s clingy when someone comes along who pays him some attention. He writes up a bunch of BS and asks you for your opinion on his brilliance. He will follow you from thread to thread to remind you to respond. Good luck.

  84. (Odds and ends)
    Timg56,

    My lord Bofill,

    Yes yes peasant, what it is? ;)

    Are you trying to challenge Josh for title of long winded posts?

    I do tend to wax verbose. :) I’ll try to be more succinct in the future, thanks.

    You have heard the saying about wrestling with pigs, right?

    Meh, I’m not wrastling. Me and that thar peg are talkin weighty matters boy.

    Having a conversation with Josh marks you as a fool.

    Sure. I self identify as a fool on these blogs, saves time to get that out in the open up front. What of it?
    ———————————-
    Tom,

    Mark, it was Clarice Starling who was courteous and receptive to courtesty before her ham-handed segue, if I recall.

    No,I wasn’t comparing you (or anyone) to Lecter.

    Yah but it was Lecter who said so.

    I know you weren’t comparing me to Lecter Tom. I was just being a smart@ss.

    …Oh and Tom, just one more thing. Love your suit! ;)

    • Meh, I’m not wrastling. Me and that thar peg are talkin weighty matters boy.

      Dang tootin!

    • Mark,

      Anyone who has been here awhile learns Josh’s shtick. And discussing weighty matters isn’t it.

      And nothing wrong with long posts. It is long posts responding to Josh’s even longer posts that dulls the mind. Don had it right further up. One could tell the screw you Fuller comment couldn’t have possibly come from Josh. (And to be fair, even were he to discover brevity, one would still know that it was from someone else.)

      • Seriously Tim, I think I understand what you’re saying and I don’t dismiss it, about having threads full of discussions you’re not interested in. I could take my discussions with Joshua elsewhere in private, assuming he was interested in doing so. I’d lose something for catering to your convenience though; AK and SWood and RetiredEngineer have joined into our discussion. Perhaps I’d lose the benefit of other perspectives in future discussions. So long as what we’re talking about is related to the overall topic within reason, couldn’t you just scroll past our stuff, mebbe say ‘blah, blah, blah’ while doing so?
        I’m willing to do this much. In the future I’ll try to keep my discussions with Joshua confined to one contiguous chunk as far as possible, to make it easier to scroll past. I’m open to other suggestions if you’ve got them.

      • holy smokes, planningengineer. Sorry!

      • Danny Thomas

        Mark,
        He may wish he was retired!

      • No problem. When I’m RetiredEngineer I won’t pull any punches.

      • > having threads full of discussions you’re not interested in

        Happens all the time, Mark Bofill. Take the last following threads. Boring as hell, and the Aussie gang’s heart does not seem at it. The same drive-bys as always. Not sure how Denizens could ever recover from zeroing in on Joshua thread after thread. I’m sure they will.

        Don’t mind Timg’s wooing and boohing too much.

      • Willard,

        Everybody zeroing in on one guy might be indicative of a disturbing unanimity of opinion…

        …of opinion…
        …inion…
        …on…

        Shh, did you hear that? Might be something wrong with the acoustics in here.

      • Not sure about the “everyone” part, Mark Bofill.

        Don Don’s man handling was more efficient when he could dismiss Peter’s opinion:

        Thanks to Peter Davies you can point to one kind, misguided soul who you can claim takes at least something you say seriously.

        https://nigguraths.wordpress.com/2015/03/27/censorship-by-judith-curry/#comment-12499

        Don Don seemed to have forgotten John Carpenter’s opinion, but never mind. If he fails to reroute your soul back to his inner circles of sanity, two things may happen. First, his “nobody takes J seriously” will amoint ti gaslighting. Second, you risk changing his mind:

        https://m.soundcloud.com/inquiringminds/5-dan-kahan-and-stephan

        Yes, Mark Bofill. Your own stance is threatening to his man handling business. As far as I can see, only two things can happen. Don Don can become convinced by your stance and cuts J some slack. Don Don can dismiss your opinion, say by surmising temporary insanity or blaming that you’re new here. Third, Don Don can try to dismiss what I am saying to you right now by attacking me.

        This is why ClimateBall sometimes looks like a comedy of menace:

        http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comedy_of_menace

        Which option do you think Don Don will choose?

  85. Long ago, in July 2001, Gladwell wrote an article in the New Yorker starting thus:

    Millions of people owe their lives to Fred Soper. Why isn’t he a hero?

    Indeed, it’s salutary to compare the length of the Wikipedia pages for Soper and Paul Ehrlich. What we as humanity honour we become like – perhaps a bigger explanation of climate dystopia than has often been considered. I’ve found it hard to dislike Gladwell since.

  86. Frankly I can easily see why Mosh and Pekka have been playing elsewhere lately.

    • David Springer

      Mosher was one of the contenders for must juvenile poster. R.Gates and Fan of More Discourse were driven away by registration. Curry wouldn’t have turned on registration if not for juvenile behavior.

      You’re welcome.

    • Dr. Curry
      For me the last couple of days have been too much. Obviously your level of tolerance is higher than mine.

      • I would stay away from this particular thread, and visit one of the other threads, where I am being more ruthless at moderating.

  87. David Springer

    pochas

    I participate in commentary for entertainment. I do not go to unmoderated anonymous blog comments for science. That’s stupid. This is graffiti. Anyone can say anything. Curry does nothing to vet the science that appears in comments. Ergo, entertainment value only.

  88. David Springer

    pochas

    Who goes to anonymous unmoderated blogs for science? Entertainment value only.

  89. <blockquote<. Curry wouldn’t have turned on registration if not for juvenile behavior.

    You’re welcome.</blockquote?

    Lest anyone doubt who David in Texas was, or the serial sockpuppeteer posting under my name and that of many others.

  90. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #175 | Watts Up With That?

  91. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #175 | I World New

  92. This is a test for uploading an image. This post seemed the best place to try it without being disruptive.

    [img src=”http://s1285.photobucket.com/user/mwgrant1/media/fitYr2005–0_zpswjgpzfp0.png.html?sort=3&o=0″ width=400]

  93. “Atlanta and Barcelona have the same number of people and share the same per-capita incomes, but Atlanta’s carbon emissions are 10 times those of Barcelona. We need more Barcelonas and fewer Atlantas, because that will encourage us to change the way we live: walking more, using public transport more, sharing cars, cycling.”
    from
    http://www.theguardian.com/news/2015/apr/08/can-world-economy-survive-without-fossil-fuels

    • How do we turn Atlanta into Barcelona? They have the same population, why can’t they bicycle like the folks in Barcelona. The area Atlanta’s population is spread over is more then 25 times the size of Barcelona. The winter in Atlanta is colder and the summer is hotter. How do you compare these cities? One was founded in the middle ages by Rome, the other at the intersection of two railroad lines at the end of the civil war. Barcelona has mountains, beaches and beautiful rivers. Atlanta the Chattahoochee. On the same income I’d much rather live in Barcelona than Atlanta – but we need to make Atlanta comparably worse by depriving them (or raising the costs) of their air-conditioned homes and automobiles and expose them to the much harsher elements?

      These inappropriate comparisons seem to be a regular and growing part of the “environmental” guilt meme.

      • PE –

        ==> “but we need to make Atlanta comparably worse by depriving them (or raising the costs) of their air-conditioned homes and automobiles and expose them to the much harsher elements?”

        That’s one way to look at it. Another way is that there are certainly ways to alter the built environment (that look more like Barcelona than Atlanta) that lead to reduced emissions as well as environmental, economic, and health benefits.

        This doesn’t need to be zero sum gain.

      • Danny Thomas

        Joshua,
        I realize you’re not them, but Jim D and Joseph will have none of that. Land use is unimportant and not to be “whined” about. https://judithcurry.com/2015/04/03/week-in-review-science-and-technology-edition/#comment-690152
        Note that Stephen Segrest above suggests exactly the same w/r/t rice in Vietnam.

      • Josh -Perhaps Atlanta should look more like Barcelona in some ways but perhaps Barcelona should look more like Atlanta in other ways as well. Cities need to be evaluated based on their own set of challenges, not compared willy-nilly with one as the standard and the other as the one needing improvement.

        I can’t see were my post implied that I doubted, challenged or was unaware that there are ways to alter the built environment “that lead to reduced emissions as well as environmental, economic, and health benefits” or that I see some sort of zero sum gain. I wonder if you imputed these imagined oversights on my part based solely upon my challenging an over simplistic environmental quilting.

        It’s kind of silly when you break it down. I’m all for cities with beautiful beaches, mountains, good climates and rich histories. How do we make more of them? Perhaps people in Wisconsin should teach people in Arizona how to save on their summer heating bills, and the people in Arizona could teach the Wisconsin’s how to save on their winter heating bills.

        Apart from that it might be that based on the challenges and their response Barcelona deserves an A for their efforts and Atlanta a D. In that case maybe they are deserving of emulation and maybe Atlanta deserves some guilt. But that’s a case that was not made however.

      • Joshua – sorry for the unintentional typing error on your name. Purely accidental – no intention of escalating ill-will.

      • PE –

        First, no interpretation of ill-will. My impression is that you aren’t generally inclined to go there, I wouldn’t take offense at a mistyping of my name (why would I?), and I didn’t even notice it anyway.

        Let me see if I can ratchet this back a bit.

        ==> “Perhaps Atlanta should look more like Barcelona in some ways but perhaps Barcelona should look more like Atlanta in other ways as well.”

        Sure. Why not?

        ==> “Cities need to be evaluated based on their own set of challenges, not compared willy-nilly with one as the standard and the other as the one needing improvement.”

        Hmmm. Well, no doubt the evaluations need to be made with a realistic application of context. But that doesn’t mean that general principles can’t be applied. There are some general principles of new theory about built environment/urban planning that I think to apply here – such as increased use of public transportation, increased built infrastructure to increase the feasibility, practicality, and usefulness of using bikes, mixed-use and “walkable” urban designs, etc. I traveled to Nice this year and I was struck with the advantages provided by how that city integrates public transportation, “walkaibility,” auto-restricted zones, etc. to good advantage. For example:

        Surely, I’m not a professional in that regard and there are people who are qualified to make the assessment of related trade-offs, but I kind of doubt that my impressions were completely off the wall.

        ==> “I can’t see were my post implied that I doubted, challenged or was unaware that there are ways to alter the built environment “that lead to reduced emissions as well as environmental, economic, and health benefits” or that I see some sort of zero sum gain.”

        My sense is that you were employing, perhaps, a flavor of reductio ad absdurm rhetoric to criticize what rightfully could be considered a ridiculous standard of measure but which could also be considered, if looked at with a charitable eye, a useful appeal to the application of valuable standards of built environment benefits.

        ==> “I wonder if you imputed these imagined oversights on my part based solely upon my challenging an over simplistic environmental quilting.”

        Well, in part But I think there was maybe more to it than just that. Either way, it doesn’t matter much; more important is that we get to where we seem to be headed, a give-and-take about whether or not there might be some benefit in comparing the advantages of Barcelona (or other cities that share beneficial characteristics) to Atlanta (or other cities that lack those characteristics)

        ==> “It’s kind of silly when you break it down. I’m all for cities with beautiful beaches, mountains, good climates and rich histories. How do we make more of them? Perhaps people in Wisconsin should teach people in Arizona how to save on their summer heating bills, and the people in Arizona could teach the Wisconsin’s how to save on their winter heating bills.”

        FWIW – That’s kind of what I meant earlier….that looks to me a bit like reductio ad absurdum. But I think we’ve established enough ground to continue with more useful dialogue if there’s anything left to say on the topic.

      • Planning Engineer

        Joshua – It’s a bad sort of elitism when people point to someone who grow up with privilege and suggest that someone who overcame a lot of hardship should learn from and emulate the person of privilege because the person of privilege came out better on some measure. In a given case the person of privilege might be worthy and the person from hardship might be lacking, but it’s horrible to assume that without deeper thought. It might well be that a person born of privilege can learn from a person of lesser stature who earned their way on their own against tougher challenges. I see a similar misplaced elitism granted to some parts of the world versus others.

        Atlanta has a rail system, an extensive bus system, work – live – play complexes, bicycle paths, walk able areas and in fact I thought your fountain picture at first was from Atlanta. Georgia gives ridiculously high subsidies for electric vehicles. I wouldn’t presume to judge without looking beyond my impression into some more systematic comparisons whether Atlanta or Barcelona was doing the most with the resources and problems inherent to their histories or locations.

        The above was my opinion. Here’s an expert. This whole Atlanta – Barcelona thing looked fishy to me so I dug into it. Alan Bertaud a scholar and urbanist did the original study discussing Atlanta and Barcelona. The picture gleaned from his publications are very different than what it is being twisted into by the environmental guilt movement. He notes how spatial structures are usually the unintended result of unforeseen consequences that they defy policies meant to shape them and that they are path dependent and change very slowly. He says you can’t define an optimum because objectives change over time. It’s clear from his writings that Atlanta can’t be Barcelona. American cities differ from European and he identifies Atlanta as unique among American cities. Here’s a quote “only after we abandon the illusion that new transit and innovative land use planning will decrease pollution and congestion, is it possible to look at more realistic solutions. We should look for solutions in areas that have a proven track record: technology and traditional economics, i.e. pricing.”

        Further his work meshes with my earlier suggestion that perhaps both cities could learn from the other. He notes that in Atlanta “the average yearly level of nitrogen oxides was 47 mg/m3 compared with 55 mg/m3 in Barcelona. Air pollution due to traffic in Barcelona is higher than Atlanta, in spite of the fact that Barcelona has a density 28 times higher than Atlanta and that 30% of trips are by transit and 8% are walking trips.” Barcelona has lower standards, older cars, worse emission control and less systematic inspections.

        To me it sounds like an ignorant form of elitism to say we need more Barcelonas and less Atlantas based on a cherry picked comparison without digging down into the details. Just as it would be ignorantly elitist to say we need more prep school kids and fewer working class kids because they test higher on the SAT or tend to land better jobs right out of college.

      • Danny Thomas

        PE,
        I’d appreciate a link. I’m a land use guy as I perceive political compatibility meaning it’s an area where some agreement (less contentious) can be reached. Technology is a part of that as is urban planning. Any information is appreciated!

      • PE –

        So that’s the kind of discussion I was referring to…

        I don’t really understand the applicability or relevance of your first paragraph, so I’ll skip past that:

        ==>”Atlanta has a rail system, an extensive bus system, work – live – play complexes, bicycle paths, walk able areas and in fact I thought your fountain picture at first was from Atlanta. Georgia gives ridiculously high subsidies for electric vehicles.”

        You might find this interesting:

        http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Series/jobs-and-transit/AtlantaGA.PDF

        As Wikipedia notes:

        However, reliance on cars has resulted in heavy traffic and has helped make Atlanta one of the more polluted cities in the country.[3] The Clean Air Campaign was created in 1996 to help reduce pollution in metro Atlanta. Since 2008, Metro Atlanta has ranked at or near the top of lists of longest average commute times and worst traffic in the country.[4]

        And there’s this:

        http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2070992_2071127_2071091,00.html

        I’m not suggesting that Atlanta is all bad. I do know some people, however, that are engaged in urban planning/built environment issues and I do know that there are some formidable issues in American cities in a general sense. One of those issues is the ongoing polarization between private automobile users and other constituencies that predominates less in European cities. Now of course, there are a lot of historical reasons why that difference exists, but does that mean that we should rule out making comparisons?

        ==> ” I wouldn’t presume to judge without looking beyond my impression into some more systematic comparisons whether Atlanta or Barcelona was doing the most with the resources and problems inherent to their histories or locations.”

        And that’s why I like you, PE.

        ==> “The above was my opinion. Here’s an expert. This whole Atlanta – Barcelona thing looked fishy to me so I dug into it. Alan Bertaud a scholar and urbanist did the original study discussing Atlanta and Barcelona.”

        Thanks for the resource. So Google found me this:

        In Atlanta the longest possible distance between 2
        points within the built-up area is 137 km, in Barcelona it is only 37 km. The short trip distance due to high density in Barcelona makes it possible for a significant number of trips to be done by foot or bicycle, within Barcelona municipality, 20% of trips are made by walking. In Atlanta, the number of walking trips is so insignificant that it is not even recorded!

        So there are two ways I would look at that. One is in line with your position – that making the comparison is of limited use because it’s apples and oranges. On the other hand, the comparison may be useful if we are looking towards identifying ways to improve built environment with consideration of environmental, health, and economic outcomes.

        ==> “The picture gleaned from his publications are very different than what it is being twisted into by the environmental guilt movement. ”

        Personally, I find it less useful to focus on what is being “twisted by the environmental movement” as there is usually, IMO, a lot of inherent subjectivity in that kind of characterization. It seems to me that it is more useful to get to the meat of the discussion.

        ==> ” He notes how spatial structures are usually the unintended result of unforeseen consequences that they defy policies meant to shape them and that they are path dependent and change very slowly. He says you can’t define an optimum because objectives change over time. ”

        Well, I know people who are engaged in making what I consider to be significant progress in these areas. Yes, there are many, every complicated issues that have to be dealt with, but there are some good models out there for bringing about positive change. In particular, I like the kind of progress that can come about through participatory planning procedures where a variety community stakeholders are involved and gain ownership over outcomes.

        ==> “It’s clear from his writings that Atlanta can’t be Barcelona.”

        I wouldn’t suggest that Atlanta can be Barceolona. That, again, looks a bit to me like reducing the variety of discussion points to one, absurd discussion point. What is the value in that?

        ==> “American cities differ from European and he identifies Atlanta as unique among American cities. Here’s a quote “only after we abandon the illusion that new transit and innovative land use planning will decrease pollution and congestion, is it possible to look at more realistic solutions.”

        That seems somewhat hyperbolic to me. Perhaps he is right, but I have met many people engaged in these processes who don’t think that making progress on reducing pollution and congestion through practices such as dedicated bus lanes and the integration of various new technologies and reducing user fees and decreasing wait times, etc., is an “illusion” that “needs to be abandoned.” Yes, absolute reductions would not be possible and yes, obstacles exist. But are you saying that progress on those issues is not possible?

        ==> ” We should look for solutions in areas that have a proven track record: technology and traditional economics, i.e. pricing.”

        Precisely.

        ==> “Further his work meshes with my earlier suggestion that perhaps both cities could learn from the other.”

        Sure.

        ==> “He notes that in Atlanta “the average yearly level of nitrogen oxides was 47 mg/m3 compared with 55 mg/m3 in Barcelona. Air pollution due to traffic in Barcelona is higher than Atlanta, in spite of the fact that Barcelona has a density 28 times higher than Atlanta and that 30% of trips are by transit and 8% are walking trips.” Barcelona has lower standards, older cars, worse emission control and less systematic inspections.”

        All valuable information.

        ==> “To me it sounds like an ignorant form of elitism to say we need more Barcelonas and less Atlantas based on a cherry picked comparison without digging down into the details”

        I agree that facile and simplistic reasoning is counterproductive. These are complicated issues and they deserve sophisticated treatment.

      • Danny Thomas

        Joshua,
        Thanks. I’ll take a look.

      • PE –

        One final point. As I mentioned, I had a hard time understanding where you were going with the discussion of elitism…but in thinking of elitism and transportation issues….

        The polarization between private automobile constituencies and urban public transportation constituencies tracks quite well with the notion of elitism, IMO. Having lived and worked in a couple of cities where it was very apparent that it was the poor who relied on public transportation disproportionately, I feel that there is a lot to be gained in a broader economic, environmental, and health impacts context from examining why, in some respects Barcelona might be a better model than Atlanta to the extent that we don’t reach that apples and oranges point of diminishing returns from the usefulness of the comparison.

  94. Uh Oh. I’m in big trouble now!

    So a way of spotting trolls early in their online careers and preventing their worst excesses would be a valuable tool.

    Today, Justin Cheng at Stanford University in California and a few pals say they have created just such a tool by analyzing the behavior of trolls on several well-known websites and creating an algorithm that can accurately spot them after as few as 10 posts. They say their technique should be of high practical importance to the people who maintain online communities.

    My days are numbered:

    http://www.technologyreview.com/view/536621/how-a-troll-spotting-algorithm-learned-its-anti-antisocial-trade/

    • Danny Thomas

      Joshua,
      Another algorithm? I’m skeptical!

      BTS, did that even get a giggle?

    • Don’t flatter yourself, joshie. We don’t need a Stanford paper. You were pegged as an ordinary garden variety troll, from day one.