Draft APS Statement on Climate Change

by Judith Curry

The American Physical Society has released its draft Statement on Climate Change to the APS membership.

A little over a year ago, I participated in a Workshop sponsored by the APS Panel on Public Affairs (POPA), which was described at length on this blog post.   I made this summary statement:

I have been harshly critical of the statements on climate change made by various professional societies, and the process by which those statements were crafted and approved (see my post (Ir)responsible advocacy). I give the APS an A+ for the process in preparing their statement. The thoroughness and transparency is unprecedented. And I like the idea of having relatively objective people write the statement, people without a dog in this particular fight.

That said, I have no idea what will actually transpire between now and when a new statement appears, and what the new statement will actually say. In any event, it was a real pleasure and privilege to participate in that Workshop. And I think the Workshop transcript is a superb resources for assessing the state of the debate on climate science.

Well, I now know what the statement actually says.  Particularly given the extensive input provided to the POPA during the Workshop, the draft statement beggars belief.

POPA ready to hear from APS membership on climate change statement

The following message is posted at the APS web site (excerpts):

During the week of April 6, APS members were sent an email with a link to a member website with the draft Statement on Earth’s Changing Climate. The site enables every APS member to comment on the draft. APS members can also access the statement online by using their APS Web username and password. The statement is not published in this article because it is not a public position of APS, and comments are only being collected via the APS website.
The draft statement is the result of a deliberative review of the APS Climate Change Statement. The Panel on Public Affairs (POPA), which developed the draft statement, is eager to receive input from the Society’s membership.
“We have taken great care throughout this process, including focusing on consensus building that has resulted in a solid, science-based statement,” said William Barletta, POPA chair. “We now look forward to hearing from the Society’s membership.”

POPA began reviewing the APS Climate Change Statement and Climate Change Commentary in fall 2013, in accordance with APS policy that requires statements to be formally reviewed every five years. POPA then proposed a subcommittee to initiate the review, and the APS Board approved the charge to the Review Subcommittee.

As part of the process, the Review Subcommittee convened a workshop on Jan. 8, 2014, with six climate experts. “We used this meeting to delve deeply into aspects of the IPCC consensus view of the physical basis of climate science,” said Barletta. “The Review Subcommittee’s goal was to illuminate for itself, for the APS membership, and for the broader public both the certainties and boundaries of the current climate science understanding.”

The Review Subcommittee presented the results of the workshop during the Feb. 7, 2014 POPA meeting. At POPA’s meeting the following June 6, its Energy and Environment Subcommittee presented an initial draft of a new statement. POPA then began the process of finalizing a draft for consideration by the APS Board and Council. On Oct. 10, POPA reported out a draft of the statement.
The APS Council reviewed the statement in November. On Feb. 21, 2015, the Board voted unanimously to forward the statement to the APS membership. “APS members currently have the opportunity to ask questions about the process and submit comments about the statement. POPA will also update an online FAQ that members can access via the APS website,” said Barletta.

If you have questions about the process by which the statement was developed, you can submit them to: statements@aps.org. Although there will not be an opportunity to respond to every question individually, a list of Frequently Asked Questions will be updated on a regular basis along with additional resource material. The last opportunity to submit questions will be on April 29; the last update of the FAQ is scheduled for May 1.

The member comment period will close on May 6. Every APS member will have one opportunity to comment, and submissions are final. All the APS member comments will be reviewed by POPA, and the statement may be modified accordingly. The draft statement will then be presented to the Board and Council for discussion. If approved by the Council, the statement will become the official position of the APS.

Draft APS Statement on Earth’s Changing Climate

As an APS member who received a copy of the email requesting comments from the membership, my first reaction is that I shouldn’t publish the text of the draft statement.  However, the statement has been posted online in public forums (e.g. Reddit), so I see no reason not to post it here.   Here is the text:

On Climate Change:
Earth’s changing climate is a critical issue that poses the risk of significant disruption around the globe. While natural sources of climate variability are significant, multiple lines of evidence indicate that human influences have had an increasingly dominant effect on the climate warming observed since the mid-twentieth century. Although the magnitudes of future effects are uncertain, human influences on the climate are growing. The potential consequences of climate change are great and the policies of the next few decades will determine human influences on the climate for centuries.

On Climate Science:
As summarized in the 2013 report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), there continues to be significant progress in climate science. In particular, the connection between rising concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases and the increased warming of the global climate system is more certain than ever. Nevertheless, as recognized by Working Group 1 of the IPCC, scientific challenges remain to our abilities to observe, interpret, and project climate changes. To better inform societal choices, the APS urges sustained research in climate science.

On Climate Action:
The APS reiterates its 2007 call to support actions that will reduce the emissions, and ultimately the concentration, of greenhouse gases, as well as increase the resilience of society to a changing climate. Because physics and its techniques are fundamental elements of climate science, the APS further urges physicists to collaborate with colleagues across disciplines in climate research and to contribute to the public dialogue.

From the FAQ

Here is a link to the APS FAQ, excerpts:

Q: Who wrote the statement?
A: The entire APS Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) membership was engaged in drafting the statement. The panel’s membership as well as the Charge to POPA and resource documents can be found on the APS Climate Change Statement review website. [link] to POPA membership

Q: How does this draft statement compare to the 2007 statement and 2010 commentary?
A: In this draft statement on Earth’s Changing Climate, APS “reiterates” its 2007 statement in stating that: the climate is changing, humans are contributing to climate change, and rising concentrations of greenhouse gases pose the risk of significant disruption around the globe. While there remain scientific challenges to our ability to observe, interpret and project climate change, APS continues to support actions – as it did in the 2007 statement – that reduce greenhouse gases and increase the resilience of society to climate change. A primary change is that the draft is succinct and does not require an associated commentary.

Q: What will APS do with the statement?
A: If the statement is approved, then the APS Council and Board will make a decision on whether to pursue any policy or outreach activities related to climate change. Those activities would be carried out by the APS Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) and the APS Physics Policy Committee (PPC).

Q: Why is APS qualified to comment on the science of climate change?
A: A number of issues associated with climate change are fundamental physics topics, including the connection between greenhouse gas increases and warming, radiative transfer, spectroscopy, thermodynamics, and energy balance. In addition, climate change is an area of interest for many APS members, including the more than 500 APS members who participate in the APS Topical Group on the Physics of Climate.

Rabett on POPA

Eli has an interesting post POPA throws a curve ball. It discusses the sausage making that went into this (as elicited from the POPA minutes), including link to a report by Philip Taylor, representative of the Forum on Physics and Society (the extreme “left wing” as it were of the APS).

JC reflections

Well, their paragraph on Climate Science is a rather astonishing take on the APS Workshop.  Their paragraph on Climate Change seems to come from the Guardian.  Their statement on Climate Action reiterates their rather crazy statement in 2007

Apart from the issue that no one on the POPA seems to understand any of these issues beyond a superficial level (after Koonin and Rosner departed from the POPA), and that their statements are naive and unprofessional, here is my real problem with this.  This is an egregious misuse of the expertise of the APS.  Their alleged understanding of issues like spectroscopy and fluid dynamics are not of any direct relevance to the issues they write about in this statement.  The statement is an embarrassment to the APS.

Note: Steve Koonin was the Chair of the Subcommittee and organized the Workshop.  Steve is quite knowledgeable about climate physics and the debate about climate change, as evidenced by his WSJ editorial Climate Science is Not Settled.

Some additional minor insights on the process.  The APS has a Topical Group on the Physics of Climate, of which I am a Member and have been elected to the Executive Committee.  The Topical Group was not invited to participate in this in any way, other than to suggest individuals to participate in the Workshop.  So the population of APS physicists who actually know something about the physics of climate were not invited to participate in this process (other than myself and maybe one or two other Workshop participants who were actually APS members).  Another note: of the 6 experts invited to the APS Workshop, I think only 2 of us are APS members; i.e. apparently there is not sufficient expertise within the APS to summon 6 APS member experts.

Well, it will be interesting to see how the APS membership responds.  Lets see how this plays out, I will decide whether I renew my APS membership.  The Topical Group on the Physics of Climate is developing into something worthwhile, but the POPA obviously doesn’t want any ‘interference’ with its policy agenda.

JC message to APS POPA:  no one cares about your political preferences in the climate change debate.  You have demonstrated that you bring nothing intellectually to the table (once Koonin and Rosner left).   You simply have no business issuing a policy statement on climate change. You have embarrassed the APS membership.

 

 

 

495 responses to “Draft APS Statement on Climate Change

  1. Notice that the APS ‘leadership’ released the draft statement before asking for comments. Imagine a society whose leaders had the humility to ask for input from their members before revealing their received wisdom.

    But then humility is anathema to progressives.

    • No, they released the statement to the membership. Some members released the statement to the public.

    • Eli Rabbet,

      I didn’t say it was released to the public, it was indeed released to the membership (with the inevitable and almost certainly intended result that it would then be released to the public). The point is that the ‘statement’ was drafted without any annoying input from the mere members of the organization. And submitted to them for ‘comment’ only after it was completed.

      The statement is a reflection of the beliefs of the progressive ‘leadership’ of the APS, not a reflection of the scientific understanding of its members. Like most ‘climate science’, it is a political statement, not a scientific one.

      If the APS ‘leadership’ really wanted to know what its members actually thought on the science, they had over a year to ask them. The fact that they did not until the statement was completed, tells you all you need to know about their ‘new’ statement.

      • GaryM
        “The statement is a reflection of the beliefs of the progressive ‘leadership’ of the APS, not a reflection of the scientific understanding of its members.”

        Isn’t that true of most if not all the 100’s of organizations that are touted as supporting CAGW?

        These kinds of statements are so transparently phony it seems their only purpose is to take up bandwidth…to create noise for the chatting classes and the acolytes to busy themselves with.

        When you don’t have science this is what you do…read entrails.

  2. How many physicists are expected to comment on it? Should be interesting. Would be interesting to have a few other American technical societies issue a statement and allow comments by members. I am thinking Mechanical, Chemical and Electrical Engineers, Chemists and Geologists. If we really care about the climate we should allows each member of these societies to count 20 hours of effort analyzing the climate science literature, data and papers as a tax deductible charitable effort at say DC Lobbyist bill rates.. Then we can see what the consensus is.

    • Don’t leave out the civil engineers. They are the ones who are closest to nature and provide all our water, roads, ports, bridges, buildings, etc. They are dealing with weather and climate change always and make allowances in their designs for worst case scenarios, maximum probable floods, 1 in 10,000 year floods etc. Don’t forget these guys! :)

      • I don’t know any civil engineers. Oh you mean civil engineers. :O)

      • mwgrant,

        Did you see that I dobbed you in to Judith a few posts back: https://judithcurry.com/2015/03/29/blog-topics-discussion-thread/#comment-688451

        Would that be something you could take on and you be willing to offer to do that?

      • Hi Peter,

        I appreciate the the dob. The topic looks interesting but I suspect other know more than I do. At the present I have been keeping my mind busy and distracted looking at spatial correlation in USA temperatures–that is an easy comfort zone. I would be interested actively participating given my background in DA and RA from the point of view of stretching myself but could not carry that particular expertise [Pareto] to the table.

        BTW I think that the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) is another ‘old’ approach to look at. Back when fuzzy logic was finally taking root in the US there was an interesting fuzzy AHP briefly outlined by a beltway bandit. I’ve thought about that for years–particularly from the perspective of incorporating linguistic characterizations of parameters. That does not make it an ultimate tool but does suggest some utility as a tool to communicate about uncertainty in both the front end and back end of assessments.

        Best regards,
        Mike

      • Thank you. Your comment is enough to make it clear to me that I was right to suggest to Judith it would be better to find someone better qualified than me to carry that topic. i hope she does. Thanks for your reply and for mentioning AHP. I know nothing about that.

      • Peter you have looked at it some. You’ve laid down an outline and prompted some discussion. If no one steps forward maybe it is just a question of an open format–set out the buffet, paper plates and let folks feed. (Serious comment)

      • I’ll think about it. First I have to stop wind farming in Australia. My submission to the Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines should be posted on the Senate website any day now. Once the fun is over I should be able to give more though to Application of Parteto Principle to Climate Policy Analysis, Development and Implementation and Performance Measurement (of the policy at achieving the stated objectives).

      • I poke around some myself. Also I will pdf the fuzzy AHP paper and send it you. You gotta take a break sometime–can’t get windburn.:O)

      • Peter, I deliberately left out civil engineers, cause they are always stirring up shit, which is what we gotta avoid, in order to have us a civil debate, Ha!

      • Peter – I deliberately left out civil engineers who too often stir up sh*t, which is what we gotta avoid, in order to have us a civil debate. Ha!

      • You can’t have a civil society without Civil Engineers. Where would the Babylonians, Egyptians, Romans and all since have been without Civil Engineers,

        p.s. [irrelevant factoid] cement used to build the Roman aqueducts outlasts cement made today. Relevance: we should get more input to climate policy from Civil Engineers.

        Mechanical Engineers are pretty good too, but they dropped more than half the load here:

        The full 1 h documentary is excellent. It used to be available on line but I can’t find it now. You can buy it on line.

      • buck smith and peter lang

        “I deliberately left out civil engineers who too often stir up sh*t”

        It’s called aeration and it is a good thing.

      • Buck Smith,

        Mechanical Engineers also played an important role in this project too (but, of course it was the civil engineers who built the structures, etc) :) http://files.asme.org/ASMEORG/Communities/History/Landmarks/5564.pdf

        Isn’t it amazing that our engineers could build that in 18 months (from breaking ground to in-operation) 70 years ago, but now, thanks to 50 years of Luddites blocking progress, it takes us 5 years to build a plant at many times higher real cost. That first one operated for 24 years and its rated power was increased by a factor of nine during those years – a fantastic testament to the mechanical engineers who designed and built the first one … and a severe criticism of the Luddites who have been blocking progress ever since.

      • Amazingly, the google leads a bunny to, among other things, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers statement on reducing CO2 emissions:

        http://files.asme.org/asmeorg/NewsPublicPolicy/GovRelations/PositionStatements/17971.pdf

        ASME recommends that a policy framework to address CO2 emissions include:
        • Mandatory, progressive targets to reduce emissions associated with all major energy sectors including power generation, transportation, manufacturing, and commercial and residential buildings, focusing on near-, mid-, and long-term timeframes.
        • Flexible approaches to motivate achieving CO2 emission limits that may vary by economic sector, and could include, depending on the sector, market-based incentives; governmental loan guarantees; investment tax credits; performance standards; tax reform; incentives for technology research, development and deployment; and other appropriate policy tools.
        • Approaches that account for the global dimensions of achieving and maintaining sustainable levels of atmospheric CO2 and encourage cooperative action by all countries, including the U.S. and large emitting nations in the developing world, to implement CO2 emission reduction strategies.
        • Investments in research to develop cost-effective renewable and efficient energy technologies,improve the performance of carbon energy systems, and support the research for new, clean energy systems and processes.
        • Increased emphasis and investment in education and training of the workforce in all advanced energy technologies and their deployment.
        • Enhanced development of infrastructures that are required to implement technologies that reduce CO2 emissions.

        Please folks, google before you spitball

      • Eli Rabbit,

        I don’t understand. Are you referring to the link I provided: http://files.asme.org/ASMEORG/Communities/History/Landmarks/5564.pdf That is not the same as the one you’ve posted.

      • The Flying Easter Monkey. He’s dropping eggs. As Gaia is his witness, he thinks they will hatch and fly.
        =========================

      • imagine dealing with these floods in Australia –

        1789 . Drought
        1791 . Drought

        1797 . Drought

        WET PERIOD.

        1799 . Flood

        1800 . Flood

        1801 . Flood
        1805 . Flood

        1806 . Flood

        1808 . Flood

        1809 . Flood

        1810 . Flood

        1811 . Do, slight drought

        1812 . Flood

        1814 . Severe drought

        1815 . Severe drought

        1816. Flood1817 . Flood

        1818 . Slight drought

        1819 . Flood

        1820 . Flood

        1821 . Flood

        DRY PERIOD.

        1823 . Slight drought

        1824. Slight drought 1826 . Flood

        1827. Do., severe drought

        1828 . Severe drought

        1829 . Severe drought

        1830 . Flood1831 . Flood1832 . Flood

        1835 . Slight drought

        1836. Slight drought

        1837. Extreme drought

        1838 . Extreme drought

        1839 . Extreme drought

        1840 . Flood

        1841 . Slight drought

        WET PERIOD.

        1842 . Flood

        1843 .. Flood

        1844 . Flood

        1845-. Drought

        1846. Flood

        1847. Flood

        1848. Flood

        1849 .Drought

        1850 .Flood—drought

        1851. Flood

        1852. Flood

        1853 . Flood

        1856. Flood

        1857. Do., slight drought

        1859 . Flood

        1861 . Flood
        1862 . Flood
        1863 . Flood
        1864 . Flood

    • What about former APS members who resigned because they, like many other APS members, strongly disagreed with the 2007 APS statement? Are they being asked for comments on the draft APS statement? I’m part of that group and I have heard nothing. My experience is that of the many APS members I know, those who took time to extensively study the physics of global warming/climate change are members who would mostly agree with the conclusions expressed by Dr. Steven Koonin in his WSJ editorial (mentioned above). I read the entire Koonin-committee Workshop transcript and I encourage all APS members to do likewise. Please, APS members, read it before you respond to the POPA request for feedback. Thank you.

  3. I’m an APS member but I rank among the “middle level physicists”. Well, it’s all poppycock. Pure irrational nonsense just like the ideas on the number of “civilizations” in the galaxy and the results of a nuclear exchange in the 1980s. Although both interesting questions and in the latter case something we don’t want to test, it doesn’t matter. Too many variables and too little known to make a significant decision. Especially a decision which may give absolute authority to the elite few with the right connections. We need more data over a wider range and better modeling.

    Oh course we could solve this all in one swoop. Pour the money wasted on mitigating CO2 into nuclear fusion research. There, I solved the problem in one sentence. Now to find a J. Robert Oppenheimer to lead it.

    • The world needs more “middle level physicists” who can think for themselves.

    • @ WT

      What is your view, please, on the proposed mechanism of offering the Draft Statement to the APS membership for “comment” ? I mean, will such comment have any influence, do you think ?

    • I let my APS membership lapse several years ago. The APS has become an increasingly political organization, unconcerned, for the most part, with scientific integrity. I had held out hope for this position paper, but I see that was for naught.

    • There’s really only one response required to APS:

  4. The American Chemical Society is equally daft, and I am embarrassed to be a member (I’d quit if it wasn’t useful in finding clients)

    ““Careful and comprehensive scientific assessments have clearly demonstrated that the Earth’s climate system is changing in response to growing atmospheric burdens of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and absorbing aerosol particles.” (IPCC, 2007) “Climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for—and in many cases is already affecting—a broad range of human and natural systems.” (NRC, 2010a) “The potential threats are serious and actions are required to mitigate climate change risks and to adapt to deleterious climate change impacts that probably cannot be avoided.” (NRC, 2010b, c)”

    • The American Chemical Society meeting held its Spring National Meeting in Denver late last month. The ACS procedure for creating ACS Public Policy Statements relies on a set of committees that would help draft and approve a policy,which is then approved by the ACS Board of Directors or its designate. In practice about 50-100 people can get a policy thru that claims to speak for the 159,000 ACS members. A year ago I had a letter published in Chemical and Engineering News suggesting that ACS Policy Statements be approved by the more representative ACS Council (~500 members), or even by a supermajority of ACS members. Interestingly, in Denver several involved committees, after a long drawn out dithering and lamenting, approved an ACS Policy draft on Hydraulic Fracturing, which I found rather benign and not living up to the angst (of which there was plenty) surrounded its creation.

    • Plant life must be getting tired of carrying the “burden” of all that CO2.

  5. burdens of greenhouse gases

    Emotive terms like this are sufficient to dismiss (or atl least file it under ‘catastrophist advocacy’) from the get go

  6. The Draft APS Statement on Earth’s Changing Climate seems perfectly fine to me. Can’t see what all the wailing is about.

    • In particular, the connection between rising concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases and the increased warming of the global climate system is more certain than ever. Nevertheless, as recognized by Working Group 1 of the IPCC, scientific challenges remain to our abilities to observe, interpret, and project climate changes.

      So we are more certain than ever even though we can’t observe it or project it. You are fine wit that?

  7. Yeah, I let my APS membership expire after the last iteration of this farce. It now looks like it was the right decision.

    There are other professional scientific societies that better deserve my time and attention without all the politics, duplicity, and other petty nonsense.

  8. daveandrews723

    There’s probably no doubt that the organization’s formal position will be picked up by the warmists and touted as further evidence of their “97% consensus” nonsense. This whole debate is entering the Twilight Zone now. It is hard to imagine scientists actually acting this way. I’ve lost respect for the profession.

  9. ==> “Apart from the issue that no one on the POPA seems to understand any of these issues beyond a superficial level”

    Yes, this is obvious. If they don’t agree with your assessment of the science, what other interpretation could there be except that they only understand the issues at a superficial level.

    ==> “This is an egregious misuse of the expertise of the APS.”

    Yes. If only they agreed with your assessment of the potential risk of ACO2 emissions, then their expertise would not be misused.

    ==> ” Their alleged understanding of issues like spectroscopy and fluid dynamics are not of any direct relevance to the issues they write about in this statement.”

    Indeed. It is only the alleged understanding of “denizens” and “skeptics,” on all assortment of issues, that matters.

    • Joahua knows the science, therefore he denigrates Dr. Curry’s understanding of it. At this rate Josh will be President, or whatever, of the Royal Society by roughly next week. His brilliance is blinding! His wisdom spanning oceans. And his understanding of climate is rivaled by no one … well, except maybe Al Gore.

      • Don’t knock Al Gore. His knowledge, and his waistline, is expansive. He invented the Internet. The book and movie “Love Story” were both based on his marriage to Tipper. He is an expert on massage, was able to sell a useless TV network to Al J., is the supreme carbon credit trader, is an accomplished documentarian, and is the Bigfoot of the carbon tracking world.

        If only those that knew him best, his home state, had voted for him he could have been president.

        He coulda been a contendah!

      • Agreed Jim. Also possibly Bill Nye the science guy.

    • Perhaps Dr Curry should not give her honest opinion. Perhaps she would be better served to give Joshua’s opinion or at least have it approved by Joshua. Meh!

    • Joshua, you have failed utterly to engage intellectually with Judith’s commentary. Instead, you emit a series of sneers. Try again.

      • Skiphil –

        ==> “Joshua, you have failed utterly to engage intellectually with Judith’s commentary. ”

        I’m pointing to what I consider to be fundamental flaws in Judith’s commentary.

    • Rob Starkey

      Joshua writes–“If only they agreed with your assessment of the potential risk of ACO2 emissions, then their expertise would not be misused.”

      I agree that is the heart of the issue.

      There is a “movement” or “philosphy” or “belief system” that has concluded that conditions might change negatively, somewhere, sometime in the future as a direct result of human released CO2. The faith in this system of belief does not require solid evidence, it requires fear and belief.

      Rationale thought suggests that humans build robust infrastructure that will meet the needs of the population over the next 50 years or so. That protects people from adverse weather regardless of the cause.

      What is more likel to significantly damage the US fundamentally as a nation in the next 50 years, a changing climate or a changing economy???

      • ==> ” The faith in this system of belief does not require solid evidence, it requires fear and belief.”

        The scientific viewpoint being supported is one of probabilities. Because you then use the label of “faith” does not make it so. I don’t see scientists who have a belief in something for which there is no evidence. They believe that the evidence that exists supports a hypothesis of risk. You have a different assessment of the evidence. We could just as easily make an argument by assertion that your view of the evidence is based on fear and “belief.”

        ==> “Rationale thought suggests that humans build robust infrastructure that will meet the needs of the population over the next 50 years or so. That protects people from adverse weather regardless of the cause.”

        Of course, this ignores any counterarguments, and is a typical exercise in “Those who agree with me are rational, those who disagree with me aren’t.” Consider, for example, the arguments of Taleb that Judith highlighted a while back. His view about what is “suggested” is quite different from yours. Does that mean, then, that he is irrational?

        ==> “What is more likel to significantly damage the US fundamentally as a nation in the next 50 years, a changing climate or a changing economy???”

        Looking beyond the subjectivity/artificiality of the limitation of 50 years (is what might happen 51+ one years from now not worthy of any consideration? I think it is – with of course, due consideration that as the time horizon receded, the uncertainty increases as does the potential magnitude of harm), I think that the question that you ask should absolutely be at the root of the discussion. Unfortunately, a lot of people approach that question by ignoring uncertainties. Decision-making in the face of uncertainty is hard. It is something that humans don’t due particularly well. They often rely on heuristics that are counterproductive. We can see evidence of patterns of fallacious reasoning when people are confronted with such a condition, particularly in a highly polarized and politicized context where people are strongly identified with positions even though they aren’t well-informed about the underlying evidence.

      • Joshua
        I wrote– “The faith in this system of belief does not require solid evidence, it requires fear and belief.”
        I did not write that there is no evidence; I wrote that there is no solid evidence. What is the solid evidence that proposed CO2 mitigation actions (if implemented) would result in a more favorable climate for humans? Where will the climate be better and when? Supporting the course of action you have advocated requires great fear of what might happen.

        I wrote- “Rationale thought suggests that humans build robust infrastructure that will meet the needs of the population over the next 50 years or so. That protects people from adverse weather regardless of the cause.”

        50 years is subjective, but it is a time period that addresses the expected life of most infrastructure projects. That is why I wrote 50 years or so. I do not avoid addressing uncertainties. Infrastructure projects need to take uncertainty into consideration. I also do not avoid addressing near term certainties such as the approaching economic problems for the USA due to a population retiring and being a huge expense over the next 40 years.

        I advocate for taking actions that have actual known benefits for those paying for the actions. You advocate actions with no quantifiable benefits. You do this in spite of knowing there are limited funds available. How is that rationale?

      • Rob –

        ==> “I did not write that there is no evidence; I wrote that there is no solid evidence.”

        This is an inherently subjective determination. As long as you continue in asserting that your determination of what is or isn’t “solid” should be used as the measuring stick, there’s no where for us to go in these discussions.

        Solid evidence of potential risk, IMO, exists. I can certainly understand that there are disagreements about the levels of certainty w/r/t the implications of that evidence. I can certainly understand that there are differing scientific views about CIs and error ranges and measures of probability – but categorical statements such a yours, that “solid evidence” doesn’t exist, don’t wash with me. Just how I roll, I guess.

      • Joshua, how about responding to this from Rob:

        “What is the solid evidence that proposed CO2 mitigation actions (if implemented) would result in a more favorable climate for humans? Where will the climate be better and when?”

        For each proposed action will you please included the expected decrease in the GMT? And the time frame for the decrease.

        Thanks on advance. I’ve searched no read but have yet to find any proposed action that would have any measureable effect.

      • Ken –

        ==> “Joshua, how about responding to this from Rob:”

        “What is the solid evidence that proposed CO2 mitigation actions (if implemented) would result in a more favorable climate for humans? Where will the climate be better and when?”

        I have been over this with Rob many times. I look at these questions as being asked in the context of uncertainty that runs both ways. As such, when Rob asks for “solid evidence” I speak to him about uncertainties that run both ways. I talk about probabilities and risk assessment. Apparently, we are unable to resolve conceptual differences. IMO, there’s solid evidence that CO2 mitigation might result in a more favorable environment for humans (obviously, much less likely on a 50-year time frame than on longer time frames). Rob seems to want something different.

        ==> “For each proposed action will you please included the expected decrease in the GMT? And the time frame for the decrease.”

        That answer seems unrealistic given the scientific uncertainties, and looking for answers to fit that question seems to me to be asking for reality to be different than it is (that we can only realistically speak to ranges of uncertainty).

        ==> “I’ve searched no read but have yet to find any proposed action that would have any measureable effect.”

        IMO – even if we accept only lower sensitivity estimates, that statement can only be supported if we completely ignore longer time frames, and only if we limit the range of proposed actions.

        That isn’t to say that I’m convinced that actions that would have an meaningful impact on longer time frames are easily justified. But neither do I think that they are easily invalidated. IMO, until we can fully account for the full range of uncertanties related to climate change as well as the range of non-climate negative and positive externalities related to various energy pathways, I don’t think that definitive arguments reflect the state of the science.

      • Well, Joshua, it seems you are unsure of most everything then. Seems an odd stance to take. I guess your posts are primarily focused only on stirring the pot then.

      • Joshua: “That answer seems unrealistic given the scientific uncertainties,…”

        Heh. Let me see if I have this straight.
        You believe there is a risk of damage from CO2 emissions, but it’s hard to quantify the exact risk because we don’t know either future emissions paths or climate sensitivity with enough precision and accuracy. Nevertheless, you propose (or at least endorse) emissions reductions as policy – a “just in case” decision to reduce the unquantifiable risks.
        Assuming that’s true, here’s the problem: from a policy perspective, you are proposing (or supporting proposals) to implement policy(ies) that can be costed (disregarding the accuracy of the costings, someone will be able to take an educated guess), but the benefits of which you can’t define in your own terms.
        This does not seem to be a reasonable course of action.

        However, let me give you the benefit of the doubt and suggest that what you were actually objecting to was the “solid” (or whatever the word was) part.
        If that is the case, here is the problem: existing policy proposals do not, as far as I know, supply even “fuzzy” benefits – something like (don’t pick on the numbers – I pulled them out of my nether region as an example only):
        Best case: RCP8.5, TCS 6.0, estimated reduced warming: 5C GMST by 2100
        Worst case: RCP2.0, TCS 1.4, estimated reduced warming: 0.2C GMST by 2100
        Estimated costs per 1C increase in GMST: $150B p.a.

        See how that works? If you can’t narrow it down because of the uncertainties, you supply a range from best case to worse case and let the pollies decide what is acceptable – that’s their job, right? Alas, we do not appear to be getting such numbers for ANY mitigation proposals AT ALL. Which makes it hard to support any of them AT ALL.

        Hopefully, this explains the issue with your approach.

  10. Dr. Curry’s comment that it was “rather astonishing” puts it rather mildly. My attempts at reading this ran towards “bilge” and “unscientific claptrap.” I’m not surprised that the APS has struggled so long on a political statement.

  11. Well, it is possible that there was pressure from the White House (what a racist name). Easy to do through the NSF, etc.

    • Yes. How foolish for Judith to have thought that “relatively objective” people were involved.

    • Anybody giving odds whether there’ll be an election in 2016?

      History repeating itself (sort of)?

      Once in power he [Caesar] brought in a new bill that provided land for old soldiers. When the Senate refused to pass the measure Caesar took the bill to the Public Assembly. This action gained him the support of the army and the people of Rome. It also created a lot of powerful enemies in the Senate, especially when he resorted to employing men to beat up senators who disagreed with him.

  12. David W. Norcross

    I have been holding my breath waiting for your response to this outrage. You did not disappoint!. I had such high hopes for TGPC, particularly because you were elected to its leadership, that I joined the TGPC and held back my trembling finger over the “resign membership” button after the original APS policy statement. Now, absent a 180 in the new draft policy statement, I shall resign my APS membership of many decades, and disown my status as an APS Fellow.

  13. Pingback: Draft APS Statement on Climate Change | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  14. stevefitzpatrick

    Judith,
    What happened to Koonins and Rossner? Why did they leave?

    • I’ve always suspected Makiko Sato is a ninja assassin.

    • The cool thing is that though they may have left, the problem they presented didn’t. There is now a spectre.

      We have something even more insidious stalking these stumbling wretches, the certain, the blessed, the wounded. It haunts the certainty, doubts the blessing, and pours through the wound.
      ==========================

    • Read the Rabett, link in the OP.

      Short version: The full POPA committee read the dog;s dinner they drafted and cut them off at the nuts by expanding the drafting group to include serious people.

      • Awesome. Tentative translation: The full POPA couldn’t get the real experts to agree with them, so they packed the drafting group with their cronies.
        Sorry Eli, but a lot of us are going to trust Steve Koonin a heck of lot more than whomever he left behind. He wrote the book – literally – on computational physics.

        Proposal: Koonin should write another post immediately, commenting on the APS draft, explaining why he differs with it, perhaps offering an alternative draft, and urging other physicists and APS members to oppose the current draft proposal.

      • Except Rosner is an astrophysicist and Koonin is a nuclear physics theoretician, who also happened to be chief scientist at BP for a while. Neither is an expert on climate physics.

        As to Rosner, he didn’t quit, his term as POPA past chair ran out at the end of 2014. He was chair in 2013 and chair elect in 2012. Judy is letting you fill in the dots here.

      • I did not know the circumstances re Rosner, but figured it was term limit ‘rotating off’ the committee. Koonin resigned shortly before the WSJ editorial, since he figured the editorial would constitute a conflict of interest.

      • BP? Interesting. Joe Barton – as a paid consultant – worked for ARCO Oil and Gas, which is now owned by BP. The US division of BP is full of ARCO people.

      • IEHO and the record shows he is an accurate bunny, Koonin got his head handed to him at the June 2014 meeting when the POPA “grafted” the Energy and Environment Subcommittee onto the drafting group. At that point it was obvious that Koonin’s preferred statement was not going to be approved. He resigned and sent his missive to the WSJ probably in late August or even earlier. Who knows what the discussion was btw Koonin and the others.

        That the POPA would not accept Koonin.s minimal statement was clear at the earlier Feb 2014 meeting but he did not take the hint. What Eli is waiting for is the leak of the Koonin subcommittee’s statement and the working statement, referred to as a dog’s dinner by an insider, from the Feb 2014 meeting.

        And no Judith, you did not make the situation with Rosner clear. Your statement

        You have demonstrated that you bring nothing intellectually to the table (once Koonin and Rosner left).

        Obviously associates Rosner with Koonin’s reason for resigning.

      • I’ve seen the minimal statement, i would have signed on to this. And no, I am not going to leak the statement.

      • Steve Fitzpatrick

        Eli,
        Yet again we see an ’emergent pattern’ in climate science: no compromise, little discussion of uncertainty, and most of all, no possibility that the projections of doom are horribly wrong. Just as always, it’s ‘our way or the high-way’. Circle the wagons, admit nothing, issue the fatwas, and kill the apostates.

        That the green driven CAGW hysteria is little more than a religious movement is no doubt lost on you. But it’s not difficult to understand why it is lost on you: Rabbits do not appreciate complexity. Besides, they are dumb… note their reaction to headlights.

      • “Neither is an expert on climate physics.”

        Here’s the really funny thing. No one on the planet is an “expert on climate physics.” There are lots of experts on small subsets of all the physics that go into climate, radiative physics, clouds, aerosol, oceans, multi-decadal oscillations, solar, global ice, etc.. But no one is an expert on “climate physics.”

      • “Except Rosner is an astrophysicist and Koonin is a nuclear physics theoretician, who also happened to be chief scientist at BP for a while. Neither is an expert on climate physics.” That’s backwards. We already know that a whole bunch of climate modelers think such-and-such. The question is, Does the APS agree with them? Do you think they are supposed to just take their word for it? If so, what would be the point or the value of any statement they would make? If they want to make a real statement, they need to audit the science of the neighboring field and verify that it meets their standards. The way to answer it is, bring in experts from outside the field. Steve Koonin is one of the biggest experts around in those kinds of techniques.
        Telling me that he’s not a climate expert is tantamount to saying, We in the field trust the work, but it isn’t good enough that real physicists should respect it.

      • Michael Mann, the Paleo “expert” according to ATTP, has a Ph.D. in Geology & Geophysics.

    • David L. Hagen

      Physicists Battle over the Meaning of “Incontrovertible” in Global Warming Fight

      “There was a contingent of folks who were supremely concerned that we would give ammunition to the other side, meaning the deniers,” Rosner said.
      In the spring of 2014, Koonin’s drafting committee produced a statement that attributed equal weight to human influences and natural variability as a driver of climate change, according to a source who declined to be named.
      Koonin quickly lost control of the committee, according to a June POPA meeting’s minutes. Elbows came out, and POPA members presented a series of amendments and strong-armed their way into the drafting of the review, according to the minutes.
      “Physicists can be emotional,” Rosner said, laughing. “Some of us are really passionate.”
      Koonin resigned shortly thereafter. The larger POPA panel prepared the draft, in its present form, by the fall.

  15. Danny Thomas

    I’m sorry, but from this: “Nevertheless, as recognized by Working Group 1 of the IPCC, scientific challenges remain to our abilities to observe, interpret, and project climate changes.”
    We get this:”The APS reiterates its 2007 call to support actions…………”

    Or, we have no idea what’s gonna happen but let’s do this anyhow?

    • Yeah, basically it boils down to that. Just like spending millions searching for Dyson spheres and E.T. live just because someone at a cocktail party put together a wild notion on the back of a napkin. In this case they want to enslave the human race and spend trillions fixing a problem that we guessing is really a problem.

  16. Yep…

    Lenin-style infiltration of the power structure.

    Too bad. Science was a good thing while we had it. Now we have Lysenko 2.0

  17.  
    One small step for Mann. One giant step for Cosmology.

    Applying the Discombobulating Principle to Global Warming: Nothing explains the level of certainty about AGW theory in the field of climatology that ultimately, is not cosmological. AGW theory can never be reduced to a falsifiable hypothesis and therefore has no practical utility outside of making something that is unimaginably complex appear simple: like, fitting a least squares trend-line to a haze of points.

  18. It seems that the content of final APS draft statement has little in common with the earlier work of the Koonan sub-committee. While the process of formulating the APS statement on climate change had the appearance of objectivity, it appears to have been corrupted by a politically driven agenda.

  19. George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

    Dr. Curry wrote, ” have been harshly critical of the statements on climate change made by various professional societies, and the process by which those statements were crafted and approved…” She couldn’t have said it better, and I totally agree.

    I dropped my AGU membership in 1999 because of their advocacy positions, particularly moving into areas where expertise was minimal. Be assured, one day, scientific societies which adopt thee ‘policy’ statements will pay a big price when their non-profit status is questioned. Watch dues go u and membership decline.

    As a Fellow of the Geological Society of America (GSA), I periodically blog on their open forum and on their Climate Community website and among other things, I have been accused of “being on the payroll of the Koch brothers,” and when posting a link to Svensmark’s video on clouds accused of doing science by u-tube,” and a few other choice things from so-called respected “scientists.” I have considered dropping my affiliation but am reluctant to do it because of a career award I was given by them, long service as an associate editor of two of their journals, and because as a 50-year member/fellow, my dues are free. There are day I think it should be renamed the PC-GSA, and perhaps that should extend to PC-AGU and PC-APS

    • I dropped a long time membership in the American Meteorological Society when they felt compelled to advocate.

    • George Devries,

      I am a geologist too (and engineer). I hope you do not drop your affiliation with GSA. You can have much more influcence from within. And being able to quote you affiliation as you have done in this comment gives you creedibilty in comment threads like this that others don’t have.

      You’d be aware of how the Australian Geological Society struggled for years with a statement of policy advocacy on climate change. it was a highly acrimonious time. Thanks fully there were sufficient dedicated pragmatic members to win the day and the AGS dropped its advocacy. It gave up on it. It couldn’t get majority support of the membership. That was thanks to many dedicated geologists such as Bob Carter and many others.

      AUSTRALIA’S peak body of earth scientists has declared itself unable to publish a position statement on climate change due to the deep divisions within its membership on the issue.

      After more than five years of debate and two false starts, Geological Society of Australia president Laurie Hutton said a statement on climate change was too difficult to achieve.

      Mr Hutton said the issue “had the potential to be too divisive and would not serve the best interests of the society as a whole.”

      The backdown, published in the GSA quarterly newsletter, is the culmination of two rejected position statements and years of furious correspondence among members. Some members believe the failure to make a strong statement on climate change is an embarrassment that puts Australian earth scientists at odds with their international peers.

      It undermines the often cited stance that there is near unanimity among climate scientists on the issue.

      GSA represents more than 2000 Australian earth scientists from academe, industry, government and research organisations.

      http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/earth-scientists-split-on-climate-change-statement/story-e6frg8y6-1226942126322

      • Peter

        I quit the GSA (Aus) after 33 years continuous because of the roughshod arrogance of the “Executive” that did this damage. I refused point-blank to donate money (ie. annual fees) to this ratbaggery

        The alternate organisation suits me well enough and has no hidden agenda (to this point, anyway)

      • Who is the alternate organisation? Who are the leaders? Link please?

      • Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG)

        http://www.aig.org.au/

      • Thank you ianl8888. I’ll think about it. I liked point 7 in the Code of Ethics:

        In any public written or verbal comment, a member shall be careful to state whether the statements or assertions made therein represent facts,
        an interpretation of facts, an opinion, or a belief. In all such circumstances, a member shall act only with propriety in criticising the ability, opinion or integrity of another member, person or organisation.

        http://www.aig.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Code-of-Ethics.pdf

      • Well done Peter. As a layman arguing with other laymen (and women), it is good to know that there is at least one prominent society that does not lend credence to the consensus. It will be interesting to see if the APS would take a similar stand if there is an overwhelming nagative reaction to their statement.

        Good luck with your wind farm battle. If succesful in oz, maybe you can export to the US.

  20. Lysenko 2.0 – Lysenko, just without the bodies.

    I can’t resist sharing here a piece from the annals of the Irish Mountaineering Club:

    Comrade Lysenko

    (To be sung to Handel’s Water Music)

    Comrade Lysenko,
    The great transmuter,
    Our brilliant tutor,
    No brain astuter,
    He gives us wheat from oats,
    He gives us sheep from goats,
    And by inbreeding stoats
    New forms of life promotes,
    And in a thousand ways
    Nature herself obeys
    Whatever he may decree.

    Comrade Lysenko,
    The great remoulder,
    No reason colder,
    No genius bolder,
    He teaches cows to calf,
    He teaches calves to sow,
    He teaches sows to laugh
    When they did not know how.
    That simple things he’d shown
    Could be so long unknown
    By bourgeois brain alone.

    In every bourgeois brain
    Fear and confusion reign.
    They have no laughing sows
    And no transmuted grain,
    And it is very clear
    That what they really fear
    Is what they cannot explain.

    Comrade Lysenko,
    The Soviet nation
    With acclamation
    Greets this innovation.
    As Nature’s referee
    New laws will you decree
    To make the workers free,
    And lead them on
    To Communism’s victory.

    Peter Kenny (circa 1950)

    Peter Kenny (1928-1989) was a notable Irish climber in the early days of the Irish Mountaineering Club, before he emigrated to the USA. There he became a leading radiation physicist who pioneered methods of computer-based imaging of tissues that have since become standard methods in medical diagnostic imaging. Like many scientists in the 1950s he toyed with Marxism. With him it was a love-hate relationship, and “Comrade Lysenko” showed his ability to ridicule aspects of Soviet Marxism.

    • Wait a few years.

      But one thing I’m (pretty) sure of, you’ll be there too. Maybe we’ll meet, and I’ll have a chance to laugh at you for your simple-minded naivete.

    • Joshua – Where have you been? There has been an 18-year pause in gulagin’. Just wait a few years.

      • JCH

        “There has been an 18-year pause in gulagin’. Just wait a few years.”

        Modern times. JIT gulagin’. Shot in the streets.

    • Kind of ironic given the latest post at your blog:

      Unsurprisingly, I can report that John Gibbons, having blocked me on Twitter to avoid having his Twitter followers accidentally exposed to “heresy…

      Hardly surprising for an ardent advocate of suppression of views differing from his own manifestly false ‘facts’…

      Where do calls for censorship fit on the spectrum of debate?

      • As someone who has blocked or muted a good number of people, I can attest that it’s never been so as to avoid my followers accidently being exposed to heresy. In fact, it’s normally because if I didn’t block/mute I would probably respond with something I may later regret. It’s an example of my constant struggle between honesty and decency, which I’m not quite sure I’m winning.

      • Heh, I’m censoring you for my own good.
        ================

      • I don’t know how this reply thing is working as my comments seem to be ending up in the wrong place, but – as I understand it – my decision not to talk with people for whom I have little regard isn’t censorship. Suggesting that it is would seem rather silly. If anything, it’s my understanding that the basis of personal freedom is the freedom to choose, not to have choices made for you.

      • Yep, blocking/muting isn’t censoring. Struggle a little more with the honesty bit; be decent to yourself.
        =============

      • Kim,
        Interesting play on words, but – just to be clear – the honesty versus decency referred to the problem of wanting to say what you honestly think, but having the decency to not do so.

      • Heh, now it’s ‘I’m censoring you for your own good’. Son, that’s abusive.
        ======================

      • Kim,
        Jeepers, you’re really struggling with this. My desire to not say something I might later regret isn’t because I’m worried about the person who I might be responding to, it’s because I don’t wish to be the type of person who would say such things. It’s for my benefit, not there’s. Of course, maybe you’re just trying to illustrate the point I’m making :-)

      • So, you suppress so your hypocrisy is not on display?
        ======================

      • Ken’s trying to explain his avoidance of an honest discussion, but he’s gotten a little tangled up in the explanation. What a tangled web.
        ====================

      • I can never tell if you (for example) are being serious, or just pissing about. This isn’t a hugely complicated concept, so I’m finding it hard to see why you can’t seem to get it. Me deciding not to tell someone what I really think of them or what they’ve just said is neither hypocritical, nor dishonest. So, which is it? You’re actually being serious or not? I guess if it’s the latter, then I can’t really expect a serious answer.

      • Ken, I didn’t expect you to understand. I’m willing to leave it at that.

        It’s clear the APS doesn’t want an honest discussion of attribution. They’ve suppressed the dissidents. Now how is that doing them or anyone else any good? Same for you, Kiddo.
        ====================

      • Kim,

        I didn’t expect you to understand. I’m willing to leave it at that.

        Same for you, Kiddo.

        Patronising git….blast, honesty won out that time. Must try harder! :D

      • harrytwinotter

        I am surprised you held out that long.

      • michael hart

        Regrets, he had a few
        But then again, too few to mention…

      • Seems to me Kim is just playing with knobs to get model behavior.

      • That is to tweek model behavior.

      • He’s easy.
        =======

      • Heh, not so easy that he’ll dare debate attribution and sensitivity, though. Darnit.
        =========

      • ATTP

        “I can never tell if you [kim](for example) are being serious, or just pissing about.”

        The answer to your inferred question is yes.

        For the record I may be in the minority but I have no problem accepting your original comment. The particulars of how one reacts to a comment under moderation of course varies from individual to individual. I would worry if the conflict between honesty, decency and practicality did not exist at some level.

        Nobody is winning.

      • Nobody is winning.

        Yes, I largely agree. Although some seem to think that they are.

      • > Nobody is winning.

        The only losing move is not to play:

        As Ross once said, that one has to reach to figures like Lysenko for analogies is telling:

        https://contrarianmatrix.wordpress.com/we-won/

      • Junk Science is calling BS on Obama’s claim today that his daughter Malia is a victim of global warming, having suffered an asthma attack in pre-school because of it. But, as it turns out, she had a peanut allergy and that’s according to Michelle. Rather than another Nobel this time Obama should be given an academy award for best actor in a supporting role…

      • A new meme for the simple: CO2 is pollution, pollution causes asthma.

        Incoming. It’s powerful. It’ll take your breath away with its gorgeous formulation of ignorance and gullibility.
        ========================

      •  
        Latest WA-DC news: Cherry Blossoms Defy Claims of Global Warming Today by Pres. Obama… Peak Bloom Still in Future!

        Note: NPS still expects “peak bloom” to fall between April 11-14.

        Note: according to NPS records, since 1921, the overall average peak bloom date has been April 3rd.

      • The perfect liberal cause, everything can be blamed on it.

      • Oh, dear, imagine the hell the Roman’s went through during the peak of the warm period they lived in.

      • ATTP, above you say, “This does happen (Andrew Montford being the British version of McIntyre) “. They are not the same Mr. Rice. The Bish posts about science and topical policy climate issues. McIntyre has clearly become the leading paleo proxy authority in the world. Telling that you haven’t noticed.

      • Andrew Montford’s expertise is more in the area of providing context and synthesis (different from McIntyre the auditor).

      • Andrew Montford’s expertise is more in the area of providing context and synthesis (different from McIntyre the auditor).

        Yes, but he gets an awful lot wrong. You do realise that he recently claimed on the BBC that the IPCC was stating that the net effect of the next few degrees of warming was zero. This is clearly not true and it is hard to understand how someone who has been writing about this topic for as long as he has can say such a thing by mistake.

      • The argument to come is that the net effect of any warming is positive.

        Paleontology always shows the net benefit of warming and always shows the net harm of cooling. The IPCC tips a tiny toe in that water. Hmmm. A few degrees too cold, that stuff, and awfully wet.
        ===============

      • ATTP –
        Do you agree that the following is generally true?

        Ignoring [partial] defeat or See Sign #1 An intellectually dishonest speaker/writer will NEVER admit that the other side has found a hole in their argument. You will never see them congratulate an opponent on finding a flaw in their argument and they will use all of the other signs if necessary to draw your attention away from the subject. https://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/

        Also, do you believe that earlier posts should be responded to before later posts?

      • swood1000,
        Maybe you could clarify, but you appear to be suggesting that I’m intellectually dishonest? If so, why do you think I would possibly respond to anything else you say? If not, why did you include that quote?

        Also, do you believe that earlier posts should be responded to before later posts?

        Ideally, yes, but I’m – again – not quite sure why you’re asking me this.

      • ATTP –

        Maybe you could clarify, but you appear to be suggesting that I’m intellectually dishonest? If so, why do you think I would possibly respond to anything else you say?

        No, I’m trying to understand why you continue to ignore a question I have asked you twice.

        I asked you to clarify why the “directly” in the first paragraph below refers to both direct and indirect effects, given the succeeding paragraph which distinguishes between direct and indirect effects in order to point out the additional consequence of the indirect effects?

        For example, human additions to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the middle of the 21st century are expected to directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect by only 1% to 2%.

        A third fundamental challenge arises from feedbacks that can dramatically amplify or mute the climate’s response to human and natural influences. One important feedback, which is thought to approximately double the direct heating effect of carbon dioxide, involves water vapor, clouds and temperature.

        If your reason was other than the desire to avoid the necessity of acknowledging that when Koonin used the term “directly” he did not include indirect effects, then simply say so. In that case the honesty quotation is inapplicable.

        On the other hand you may have been avoiding that acknowledgment but nevertheless believe that the quotation about honesty is either inapplicable or inherently false. In that case I am asking for a clarification. If you find such a question insulting please explain.

      • Swood1000,

        No, I’m trying to understand why you continue to ignore a question I have asked you twice.

        Then why did you highlight a paragraph about intellectual dishonesty? The main reason is that I hadn’t noticed.

        In that case the honesty quotation is inapplicable.

        So, you were implying that I’m dishonest?

        I’ll answer your question, though. This is all a bit tedious, partly because it’s now clear that his article is remarkably ambiguous. If he had wanted to refer only to the influence of CO2 then he should probably have said “the direct contribution to the natural greenhouse effect”. The natural greenhouse effect includes CO2 plus all the other feedbacks so as interpret it, by saying “directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect” he means a shift in total, not just the CO2 contribution only. You can disagree if you wish.

        Now, maybe you can go and accuse someone else of being dishonest.

      • ATTP

        I remembered peeking at your site some time back and it looked like an echo chamber – sort of similar but the opposite to the ”its all a UN conspiracy” type blogs.

        Though instead of ‘we are entering an ice age’ and ‘ there is no warming its all adjustments’ waffle I have a look at your blog today and the first comments I look at is someone equating Pr Curry with a anti-vaccination kook with you posting immediately after in agreement.

        Cant you see that is damaging to your side of the debate?

        There are too many of your type on both sides of this debate.

      • ATTP –

        So, you were implying that I’m dishonest?

        Isn’t that just a tad too dramatic? I asked if you were avoiding my question because you didn’t have an adequate response. Does that accuse you of dishonesty? I pointed out an article that described such conduct as dishonest and asked if you agreed with it. Does that accuse you of dishonesty? Your response reminds me of the line from Hamlet, that you “doth protest too much, methinks.”

        Furthermore, it does seem somewhat incongruous that you would react in high dudgeon to the most oblique of contingent references to your own honesty and then invite a guest poster onto your own blog who made the following remarks about Dr. Curry:

        … a breathtaking dash through personal hypocrisy, factual inaccuracy and political rhetoric… it’s very hard to interpret this as a statement made in good faith… a clearer example of disinformation could not be wished for… excellent means to give a misleading impression of uncertainty… shortsighted vision and moral bankruptcy… a shameless call to narrow self-interest… Professor Curry advocates unwise policy based on false claims and bankrupt morals.

        To which you replied “Good post, thanks.” To let this breeze by uncontradicted is a curious attitude toward the reputation of Dr. Curry from a person who is apparently so sensitive to such things.

        The main reason is that I hadn’t noticed.

        If this is the ‘main’ reason then there is at least one other reason. Wouldn’t any other reason, failing to fall under the category “did not notice,” necessarily involve noticing and choosing to ignore? I’m having trouble wrapping my mind around this concept of simultaneously noticing and not noticing.

        If he had wanted to refer only to the influence of CO₂ then he should probably have said “the direct contribution to the natural greenhouse effect”. The natural greenhouse effect includes CO₂ plus all the other feedbacks so as interpret it, by saying “directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect” he means a shift in total, not just the CO₂ contribution only. You can disagree if you wish.

        Of course, the question here is what he meant to say, not how he could have said it better. And of course now we know from Dr. Koonin’s own subsequent post that when he said “directly shift” he was excluding feedbacks. But in the posts from me that you did not respond to I had pointed out to you that Koonin’s remark about “directly” shifting the greenhouse effect was followed closely by a part that said, in effect, “In addition to the foregoing there are the feedbacks to consider. It is thought that water vapor, clouds and temperature can double the direct heating effect of CO₂.” Here is how he put it:

        “For example, human additions to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the middle of the 21st century are expected to directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect by only 1% to 2%. …A third fundamental challenge arises from feedbacks that can dramatically amplify or mute the climate’s response to human and natural influences. One important feedback, which is thought to approximately double the direct heating effect of carbon dioxide, involves water vapor, clouds and temperature.”

        Why does he call it a third challenge if it has already been included in the preceding discussion? Why would he use “direct” if he meant to include indirect? You are saying that in the first use of “direct” above Dr. Koonin also means “indirect” but his second use of “direct” a few sentences later does not include “indirect”? Was that really your understanding, or was that what you couldn’t respond to? Furthermore, as you yourself pointed out, “1% to 2%” would be grossly incorrect if it was intended to include feedbacks but not if it was intended to exclude feedbacks.

        Now, maybe you can go and accuse someone else of being dishonest.

        Do you agree with that author who said that

        Ignoring [partial] defeat or See Sign #1 An intellectually dishonest speaker/writer will NEVER admit that the other side has found a hole in their argument. You will never see them congratulate an opponent on finding a flaw in their argument and they will use all of the other signs if necessary to draw your attention away from the subject. https://judithcurry.com/2013/04/20/10-signs-of-intellectual-honesty/

      • swood1000,
        Was “maybe you can go and accuse someone else of being dishonest” too complicated for you?

      • ATTP –

        Was “maybe you can go and accuse someone else of being dishonest” too complicated for you?

        No not at all. Apart from ignoring the person, that and “You can disagree if you wish” and “You are banned” are the responses you most commonly resort to when the other side has found a hole in your argument. Can you point to a time where, in an argument with a skeptic, you acknowledged that your opponent’s argument had prevailed?

      • swood1000,
        Can you find a reason why anyone should waste their time responding to someone who’s chosen to imply that the other person is dishonest? I can’t see a good one, but maybe you can. Although, given how you complained about how you were treated on my blog, I’m finding this exchange rather irritating. You should probably treat my question as rhetorical.

        FWIW, if you want to argue that Koonin meant only CO2, that’s fine by me. I don’t know what was going through his head when he wrote the piece. To me it’s very ambiguous (as I said in my last response) and not obvious that he meant CO2 only. I don’t particularly care. I still think that the argument he’s making (however, he may be quantifying it) is incredibly poor.

      • ATTP –

        Can you find a reason why anyone should waste their time responding to someone who’s chosen to imply that the other person is dishonest?

        By this you must be saying that you agree with the person who asserted that ignoring a person who has found a hole in your argument is intellectually dishonest. I think that knowingly using logical fallacies is intellectually dishonest, as would be responding with any statement one knows to be false, but I am not sure I agree that a simple failure to respond necessarily constitutes dishonesty. Your approach seems to be whenever such an implication could possibly be drawn the discussion ends. My approach is that asking if someone is dishonest and charging him with dishonesty are not the same. Although I am aware that merely asking such a question can be a (dishonest) way of making such an assertion in a way that some people find safer, it is not always or necessarily the case.

      • swood1000,

        By this you must be saying that you agree with the person who asserted that ignoring a person who has found a hole in your argument is intellectually dishonest.

        Summarising:

        You: “You’re dishonest”

        Me: “Go away!”

        You: “I win!”

        Seems juvenile to me, but YMMV.

      • Skeptic: You’re dishonest.

        Alarmist: Go away.

        Skeptic: Now you’re not convincing.

        There, all grown up now.
        ==============

      • Now do you see what is wrong with the ‘denier’ label, Adult.
        ===================

      • ATTP –

        Summarising:
        You: “You’re dishonest”
        Me: “Go away!”
        You: “I win!”
        Seems juvenile to me, but YMMV.

        I believe that if you were to pause and consider the actual literal meaning of what people say before giving rein to other meanings it could bear, you would probably have fewer misunderstandings with people. I neither said that you are dishonest nor that I win. Here is what I said:

        “By this you must be saying that you agree with the person who asserted that ignoring a person who has found a hole in your argument is intellectually dishonest.”

        What this says is that if you believe that I have accused you of intellectual dishonesty then you must agree with the person who asserted that ignoring someone who has found a hole in your argument is intellectual dishonesty, or else you could make no such connection. This is different from my saying that you must agree that you are intellectually dishonest. Do you see the distinction? I said the former. You interpreted it as the latter.

        Let’s review. The original statement I made to you was in this form: “Did you do X? Here is an article by a person who asserts that doing X is intellectually dishonest.” Does that accuse you of dishonesty? Let’s modify it and for X substitute “earn more money than you need for your immediate needs and fail to give the excess to charity.” There are people who believe that doing this is dishonest. But if I ask you if you did that and add that such and so an article considers that to be dishonest, would you care in the slightest? You could not possibly feel insulted unless you agreed with the article.

        Furthermore, in my previous post I told you that I did not agree with the article. I believe that if a person has been engaging in an argument or discussion and in response to a particular assertion he abruptly refuses to respond further, and it is not because the argument he is presented with is frivolous or insulting, and there are no other extenuating circumstances, then the inference can reasonably be drawn that he is without an adequate response, or else he would give it. Other inferences might be drawn about the person’s character but I believe that dishonesty is not one of them, because a failure to respond in the situation described can be taken as his admission of having lost. It would only be dishonest if he were thereafter to deny having lost the argument, or if he were to feign being insulted in order to end a discussion because he felt he had no adequate response, knowing that leaving a discussion on that ground does not automatically result in the inference being drawn that he has no adequate response.

        Therefore what I said comes down to my asking you this “If you did X and if doing X is dishonest then you are dishonest. I do not think that doing X by itself is dishonest. Do you?” What does that accuse you of?

        Summarizing:
        Me: “Did you avoid responding to me because you did not have an adequate response? The person who wrote this article says that doing that is dishonest. Do you agree with him?”
        You: “You have accused me of dishonesty. Go away!”
        Me: “You must agree with the author of that article, although I don’t think I do.”
        You: “You are saying that I am admitting to dishonesty just because I tell you to go away.”
        Me: “No, I am just saying that you must agree with that article that such an action constitutes dishonesty, or else you would not even be able to draw a connection to dishonesty. That does not imply that you agree that you committed such an action. I actually believe that committing such an action is tantamount to an admission of defeat in the original dispute but that it only constitutes dishonesty if the person thereafter denies having lost the argument or exits the argument under the pretense of having been insulted in order to avoid the inference being drawn that he has no response.

      • swood1000,
        Okay, I’ll explain this again. As far as I’m concerned anyone who implies, in a comment to me that I’m dishonest, is not someone with whom I have any interest in enagaging with anymore. Is that clear enough for you?

      • Okay, I’ll explain this again. As far as I’m concerned anyone who implies, in a comment to me that I’m dishonest, is not someone with whom I have any interest in enagaging with anymore. Is that clear enough for you?

        Yes. And could you quote to me the language I used that implied you you are dishonest?

      • swood1000,
        Look this is getting silly. You included a discussion about intellectual honesty based on people not responding to comments that – potentially – refute something they’ve said. If that wasn’t implying that I’m potentially intellectually dishonest, then you’ve got to work on your subtlety. I’m not interested in engaging with those who think that is a suitable way to interact. You can interact any way you like. I’m not obliged to respond to someone who is essentially just a random person on the internet.

      • You included a discussion about intellectual honesty based on people not responding to comments that – potentially – refute something they’ve said. If that wasn’t implying that I’m potentially intellectually dishonest, then you’ve got to work on your subtlety.

        Well, take care. I’m sorry that you were unable to understand my posts to you, and that you insist on concluding that any appearance of the word ‘dishonest’ in a post to you can only be interpreted as a charge of dishonesty against you. The issue appears to be less about subtlety than about what appears to almost be a willful misinterpretation, although I have a feeling that my original impression was not far off: “The gentleman doth protest too much, methinks.” Best wishes.

      • Andrew Montford’s expertise is more in the area of providing context and synthesis (different from McIntyre the auditor).

        Indeed, aTTP is really just embarrassing himself here. To declare McIntyre and Montford are the same is bizarre. Of course they have one thing in common – they are both critical of the mainstream view on science, but apart from that they are completely different. I can only speculate that aTTP has an extraordinarily one-dimensional view of the debate (of the “you’re with me or against me” type).

        What is more interesting to me is that while McIntyre is apparently not credible, aTTP happily links to a frankly slightly oddball site (“ClimateFeedback News”) that claims to get climate scientists to rate articles. I had a look and although it claims to get scientists to rate them, their methods for accepting people are completely opaque (you apply, and I guess the activist running the site decides whether you are accepted or not – what could possibly go wrong there?). I had a look at one or two of the criticisms of Koonin’s article that lead to the “0.5 out of 4” rating and to be blunt the criticisms I checked were pretty far from convincing, often subjective and scientifically weak. Some of the comments on the article (such as those by “alexis_b”, whoever that may be) are rather odd activist soundbites that have little or nothing to do with the actual points Koonin made.

        My conclusion: aTTP’s ability to assess credibility has very little credibility. Of course, that is just my subjective view.

      • Ahh Spence,

        Of course they have one thing in common – they are both critical of the mainstream view on science, but apart from that they are completely different.

        Yes, I realise they are different. My comparison was simply between two people who are mainly bloggers, but somehow are regared as having expertise. Was that too complicated for you?

        What is more interesting to me is that while McIntyre is apparently not credible

        I didn’t actually say that, did I? My point was mainly that it’s hard to see how one can regard someone who is mainly a blogger as some kind of domain expert. It’s possible for bloggers to have expertise, but quite why we would regard someone who mainly blogs as some kind of domain expert is slightly beyond me (well, unless it’s expertise in blogging that is).

        Well, you can look up who comntributes to Climatefeedback and decide for yourself if they’re credible or not.

      • ATTP – you have a blog. Does that make you “mainly a blogger?”

      • jim2,

        you have a blog. Does that make you “mainly a blogger?”

        In this context, absolutely. I don’t claim to be an expert. I have no interest or desire to be regarded as one. I just exercise my right to write a blog and comment (where allowed) about a topic that I currently find of interest.

      • Well, you can look up who comntributes to Climatefeedback and decide for yourself if they’re credible or not.

        Here’s the thing, aTTP. I don’t assess whether an argument is right based on who said it. I base it on whether their claims stack up. It is a far, far better method than looking at what institution someone goes to.

        The commentary on climate feedback was nowhere near the sort of standard I would expect from careful, thoughtful analysis. Take this for example. Koonin said:

        The climate has always changed and always will. Geological and historical records show the occurrence of major climate shifts, sometimes over only a few decades.

        Alexis_b responded with:

        This makes man-made global warming sound like only another instance of episodic climate changes. It is worth pointing out that there is no known analogue in geological records of a 3-4 degree C-rise in global temperature in a few decades.

        Firstly, Alexis_b suddenly pulls a quantified figure from nowhere. Where has 3-4 deg C globally in a few decades come from? That isn’t what Koonin said, so why create a straw man? We haven’t experienced anything like that today, so why are we claiming such a thing would be an analogue? To what? Secondly, geological scale proxies rarely have decadal resolution, so his example is pretty weak. Yet despite this, there are certainly examples such as the exit from the Younger Dryas:

        4 ± 1.5 °C abrupt warming 11,270 yr ago identified from trapped air in Greenland ice

        The Younger Dryas was a change of around 4 deg C regionally in just a few years according to this paper, and other proxies suggest it was at least hemispherical in extent (with similar change in the Southern Hemisphere, albeit probably slower – but again proxy resolution makes the rate difficult to confirm).

        As we see, scientific evidence actually supports Koonin’s statement more strongly than Alexis_b’s statement. And this isn’t the only example – there are other dubious claims against Koonin’s article on that site. Unlike you, I don’t assess whether arguments are convincing based on people’s bios, I base it on the actual arguments they make.

      • Spence,

        Unlike you, I don’t assess whether arguments are convincing based on people’s bios, I base it on the actual arguments they make.

        I don’t either Spence. That wasn’t my reason for linking to the names (we were discussing expertise). Unlike you, I try to avoid asserting things about how other people behave.

        This makes man-made global warming sound like only another instance of episodic climate changes. It is worth pointing out that there is no known analogue in geological records of a 3-4 degree C-rise in global temperature in a few decades.

        I’ve no idea where the 3-4 degrees comes from (typo – 0.3 to 0.4 maybe?) but the first point is quite right in my view. The “climate always changes” argument is indeed something that appears to suggest that our current changes are simply part of some kind of cycle. They are not. You also seem to have refuted this point which specifically says “global”, by using an example of a regional change. Why would you do that?

      • The “climate always changes” argument is indeed something that appears to suggest that our current changes are simply part of some kind of cycle. They are not.

        I have never claimed they are part of a cycle. As far as I could tell, neither did Koonin. Why are you (and Alexis_b) creating straw man arguments?

        You also seem to have refuted this point which specifically says “global”, by using an example of a regional change.

        Because Koonin did not say global either, and to do so is a straw man response to Koonin’s original article.

        You seem to have forgotten that this is a response to Koonin’s article, and creating a series of additional claims that Koonin did not make is very, very bad form indeed. Basically it shows you have no basis for claiming errors in Koonin’s articles and have to add extra things Koonin did not say in order to show him to be “wrong”. This is hardly convincing, neither is your strange justification that Alexis_b really meant 0.3-0.4 deg C (you really think there are no examples of global change at this scale in the geological record? That argument would be equally absurd)

      • Spence,
        You appear not to understand the meaning of strawman. I said,

        The “climate always changes” argument is indeed something that appears to suggest that our current changes are simply part of some kind of cycle. They are not.

        So, my point – which should have been obvious given what I actually wrote – is that when people talk about the climate always changing when discussing AGW, it appears as if they are suggesting that man made climate change is simply part of some kind of cycle. I don’t know if this is what Koonin meant, but it is what it appears – to me – that he meant. Why else would he say

        The climate has always changed and always will.

        Maybe he had some kind of really good reason, but – to me – he seems to be suggesting that it’s all part of some kind of natural process.

        Because Koonin did not say global either, and to do so is a straw man response to Koonin’s original article.

        Yes, but in articles about climate change the context is often global.

        This is hardly convincing, neither is your strange justification that Alexis_b really meant 0.3-0.4 deg C

        It wasn’t a justification, it was simply a suggestion. Again, I would have thought this was obvious.

        Okay, I’ve just reminded myself of the last time we interacted. That didn’t end well and I’ve no great interest in repeating that experience. As I’ve said to others, if you wish to believe that Koonins article is good, go ahead. I don’t have any great interest in convincing you otherwise.

      • Ken, at 6:06, that was a fairly daft interpretation of Koonin’s meaning. Did a poltergeist disturb your dinner?
        ===========

      • So, my point – which should have been obvious given what I actually wrote – is that when people talk about the climate always changing when discussing AGW, it appears as if they are suggesting that man made climate change is simply part of some kind of cycle.

        I can’t speak for Koonin, but as you well know (because we’ve discussed it before) my personal view is that natural climate variability is governed by Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics. H-K dynamics are not “part of a cycle” in any way shape or form, yet represent a considerable challenge in interpreting climate data and check many of the boxes that the op-ed covers.

        Now, I doubt that Dr Koonin is familiar with H-K dynamics as written, and I am almost certain he would not hold the exact same views that I do. That said, as a physicist he will be very much familiar with Kolmogorov’s work on turbulence, and also quite familiar with the concept of 1/f noise and Mandelbrot’s work on fractals, and the ubiquity of such things in natural processes, and the difficulty this causes in understanding and determining causality complex systems. Of course, he may have something else again in mind.

        So yes, claiming that Koonin’s article implies recent climate change is part of a cycle is unquestionably a straw man response because he claims no such thing, and such a thing is not an automatic consequence of what he wrote. The fact that you can’t imagine anything other than the false dichotomy of deterministic CO2-driven warming vs. “cycles” doesn’t mean the rest of us are so limited.

        And incidentally, your “suggestion” of Alexis_b being an order of magnitude out is laughable, just from the lack of objectivity it shows. Can you imagine the response if Koonin had been an order of magnitude out with one of his figures? Given the logical contortions undertaken to find error with his article as it was, an actual error would have climate activists mobilising all over the ‘net.

      • attp, “The “climate always changes” argument is indeed something that appears to suggest that our current changes are simply part of some kind of cycle. They are not.”

        Some portion of the current climate changes are likely part of some natural variability would be the correct statement. Curry has made a point that assuming more than half, 110%, is anthropogenic is unlikely and confusing. That 110% was based on AR5 estimated forcing including aerosols that has been significantly revised by Stevens et al. It is getting to the point that a “sensitivity” of over 2 C degrees will require something akin to an act of God which is a bit ironic doncha know.

      • Bob,

        The Bish posts about science and topical policy climate issues.

        Yes, I realise this. However, his understanding of science is exceptionally poor.

        McIntyre has clearly become the leading paleo proxy authority in the world.

        In your dreams maybe. In the real world, he’s far from it.

      • Give me an A.
        Give me an L.
        Give me a K.
        Give me an E.
        Give me an N.
        Give me an O.
        Give me an N.
        Give me an E.
        Give me an S.

        What’s it spell? More precision in paleontology.
        ===========

      • ATTP – Bet you won’t answer this question like you didn’t point me to some example of McIntyre being wrong and not admitting it. Convenient that.

        Here goes:
        Do you consider Mann a paleo proxy expert?

      • jim2,

        Do you consider Mann a paleo proxy expert?

        Yes, of course. Do I have any real idea of how is regarded by his peers and whether or not he is some kind of leading expert? No, not really, but it would be hard to argue that he isn’t an expert.

      • So you really believe the Mannomatic algorithm he concocted is valid? I’m speaking of the procedure that produced the hockey stick. The one that pre-selected proxies to conform to the instrumental record, even if it had to invert the proxy? This, even if the proxy’s creator said it should be used right-side-up? Do you call this work product to be one created by an expert? REALLY???

      • jim2,

        So you really believe the Mannomatic algorithm he concocted is valid? I’m speaking of the procedure that produced the hockey stick. The one that pre-selected proxies to conform to the instrumental record, even if it had to invert the proxy? This, even if the proxy’s creator said it should be used right-side-up? Do you call this work product to be one created by an expert? REALLY???

        Wow, you think that is a reasonable response to my answer? You asked me if he was an expert. I think he’s clearly an expert. You then respond by referring to work he did almost 20 years ago and infer that by regarding him as an expert it must means something very specific about that work. REALLY?????

      • He is still doing the same sort of thing very recently. Yes, REALLY!!!!

        Stefan Rahmstorf, Jason E. Box, Georg Feulner, Michael E. Mann, Alexander Robinson, Scott Rutherford & Erik J. Schaffernicht

        http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nclimate2554.html

      • jim2,
        I don’t care. Someone who has hundreds of papers and more than 10000 citations would reasonably be regarded as an expert. Some semi-anonymous person on a blog is not going to convince my otherwise. As I’ve already said, I have no idea how he is regarded by his peers or whether or not he is regarded as some kind of leading expert, but suggesting that he isn’t an expert is silly.

      • Ahhhh … cites. I see. That defines an expert. OK.

      • jim2,

        Ahhhh … cites. I see. That defines an expert. OK.

        Jeepers, are you trying to be difficult? I didn’t say it defines an expert. I’m simply pointing out that it is reasonable to regard someone with a substantial, well-cited publication record as an expert. Also, if he really isn’t one, I’d expect to hear more hints of this than simply the cries of despair from semi-anonymous people on some climate blogs.

      • Got it.

      • So, citations in flawed pal reviewed literature makes him an expert? His expertise lies in agenda driven advocacy and childish responses to valid criticisms of his work.

      • Hardly hints. Detailed analyses,at Climate Audit not refuted
        by counter arguments.

      • Well attp, has Mann backed of his conclusions and admitted to the flaws in his methodology and results? 20 year old work that has been shown to be 100% wrong in method and results while continuing to be vigorously defended does not an expert make.

      • I sent Koonin’s WPJ article to a friend who is an APS member and and also a CalTech grad. He came back with Mann’s hockey stick paper. I kid you not.
        I deconstructed the graph along with Muller’s video, and I have not heard back.

      • Well, yes and no. I can certainly see why ATTP or any number of others would elect not to engage in a discussion with someone like me who is merely a layman with no scientific credentials, just someone with a keen interest in understanding as much as I can and worrying more about the harm from policy decisions than any real harm from AGW. At the same time, deciding not to engage with someone who does have the credentials, or who can argue at the same level, seems to me to be tucking your tail and running. While I may disagree with many of the AGW’rs here, I appreciate that they continue to participate, but I also suspect that their dwindling numbers is an indication that they are in fact loosing the argument when forced to debate in an open, lightly moderated forum, like this one.

      • and then there’s physics: I can never tell if you (for example) are being serious,

        That is a part of the delight in reading Kim.

      • Yes, agree entirely with ATTP….
        … (about the comments ending up in the wrong place, that is!)

      • ATTP –
        On the other hand it would seem to bear an uncomfortable similarity to a site that responds to contradictory arguments by banning them. It is certainly within its rights to do so but it does quite a bit of violence to any implication that they have valid refutations for all relevant counter-arguments, and in fact is likely to be interpreted as an admission that they do not. But of course they may not care what others think or say.

      • swood1000,

        On the other hand it would seem to bear an uncomfortable similarity to a site that responds to contradictory arguments by banning them.

        I presume you mean my site, although feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. This is your interpretation, not my actual banning strategy. The last person I banned, I did so because they chose to call me a c**t. I forget some of the other reasons, but a number were for similar reasons. Maybe you regard that as a contradictory argument. I would argue it as a poor one if so.

      • It seems eminently reasonable to ban someone for that.

      • ATTP –

        This is your interpretation, not my actual banning strategy.

        I don’t know your actual banning strategy. I was responding to your statement that “In fact, it’s normally because if I didn’t block/mute I would probably respond with something I may later regret.” But if by this you were only referring to indecent or obscene remarks, I certainly do not categorize these as valid contradictory arguments. In fact I would be inclined toward the view that obscenity invalidates an otherwise valid argument.

      • swood1000,
        Well, I was talking about Twitter, not my blog.

      • It isn’t censorship. It’s bad manners. I remember when I started my career I used to run into lots of hoitty toitty Stanford PhDs and Harvard MBAs. I could sense their hubris from several meters away. Later in my career I had to learn to be kind, listen to what they were saying even though I knew they were wrong.

      • “It isn’t censorship. It’s bad manners.”

        Indeed. And the best response is ever to reply with good manners, as my late mother did with marvellous aplomb thusly:
        “Good morning, School, how may I direct your call?”
        “Kindergarten”
        “I beg your pardon?”
        “Kindergarten”
        “Oh, I’m sorry, I thought you said ‘Please’. Just a moment, putting you through”
        ;-)
        The caller re-called half and hour later and that time used “please”.

      • > … the basis of personal freedom is the freedom to choose, not to have choices made for you

        Unlike the full membership of the APS, eh Kenny ?

      • ATTP

        I’m quickly swinging over to your point of view. Last night my 9 year old grandson informed me that all of Antarctica will be losing its ice soon and we will be flooded out. When asked where did he get that idea, he said his teacher told him.

        How can anyone go against ATTP and a 9 year old. I’m on my way to Home Depot for the lumber to build my boat.

      • ceresco,
        Well, I’d be surprised if you could find anywhere where I’ve said (or even suggested) that Antarctica will soon be losing its ice and we’ll be flooded out. Of course, misrepresenting what people say seems to be the staple of some people’s arguments, so I shan’t waste my time asking you to point out where I may have suggested any such thing.

  21. stevenreincarnated

    Let the panel publish thier travel record for the two years and show us how serious they are about cutting back on emmisions. If they all stayed home I might think they were serious.

  22. Good for the APS. Guess they could see through all the clap-trap, irrational, unscientific noise put out by the deniers.

    • Danny Thomas

      Gator,
      Absolutely! Much better to fall back on:”scientific challenges remain to our abilities to observe, interpret, and project climate changes”.
      We can’t see, figure out, and have no idea what’s gonna happen.

      Good choice!

  23. APS is appealing to its own authority – I must be right, because I said it, didn’t I?

  24. Climb down is apparently not possible for warmunists. Will you follow Lewis and Giaver’s examples, as it seems reform from within is not possible as Koonin apparently knew months ago given his WSJ op-ed?

  25. John Carpenter

    I’m a little surprised that so many APS members, upset with this latest statement, are just inclined to throw in the towel, take their ball and go home. That doesn’t strike me as a great way to fight back, seems more like quitting.

    • John –

      ==> “I’m a little surprised that so many APS members, upset with this latest statement, are just inclined to throw in the towel,”

      But they aren’t just throwing in the towel. They’re breaking out the tried and true Lenin, Lysenko, and “warmunist” pejorative and tribalistic labels. Give that strategy a chance. Of course, the name-calling hasn’t worked in the past, but who knows, maybe somehow it will miraculously achieve some kind of beneficial results.

    • Will you pay their dues if they stay in the APS, John? Would you want to be a member of an organization that didn’t give a flying f— what you think?

      • The military is the curious exception? (serious ,not tweaking)

      • Maybe I should have said a social organization with no useful purpose. Would that have staved off your question? I am guessing not. That’s all the time I have for you.

      • Yes, it would have. That should be obvious…why even join an organization that serves no useful purpose? g’nite.

      • Don Monfort

        You seem to be a decent sort, mw. But it appears to me that your question presumes that the military is an organization that doesn’t give a flying f— for what its members think. I didn’t get that. If I thought I needed several million dollars worth of ordinance to do a job, or save my a$$, I would get on the radio and ask for it. The Air Force, the Army artillery, Navy, Marine aviation, whatever always gave me what I needed. No questions asked. Most of them didn’t know me from Adam. I have been told I sound like a black man, but they didn’t seem to mind. We all worked together. But I understand that these days, the old esprit de corps is being increasingly undermined by the political commissars. General officers who don’t toe the party line are being fired left and right. That’s what you might want to worry about.

      • DOn,
        I see where you are coming from. I meant the question/comment in the sense that if as a member of the military I am properly trained and indoctrinated [no negative connotation] then [ideally] neither superiors nor subordinates have to care about what I think but instead what I state or request. Hence, ‘No questions asked.’ You last response re-inforces that perception.

        I have always found that working with/under ex-military–regardless of differences in views–to be extremely easy and pleasant. Curiously the thought about your comment came to mind because of a quote I happened to see tonight: “Leadership is about submission to duty.” To me that is pretty profound.

        HTH. Best regards,
        mwg

      • Don Monfort

        I appreciate your reply, mw. But I gotta tell you, this is not the way it works:

        “neither superiors nor subordinates have to care about what I think”

        The opposite is true. Military discipline and training provides the framework, but it’s caring and thinking and motivating that get’s the job done.

        My wife recently gave me a book that I didn’t expect to enjoy reading. I don’t like thinking about the man I most admire and respect being murdered and I didn’t expect much from the nominal author. It’s “Killing Lincoln” by Bill O’Reilly and a ghostwriter. The first 15 (short) chapters cover the end of the Civil War, Grant’s army running down Lee’s starving, shoeless army and the surrender at Appomatox. It’s Lee’s relationship with his men that is most interesting. They will be studying Mas Robert in military academies for thousands of years.

      • Thanks, Don…for the patience. Clearly I keep missing points that are obvious when you bring them up. Thanks also for your short book review.

      • TNX U 2. Profound stuff there around the midnight hour. Now I wanna chase down the ghostwriter. Shall I? Better perhaps to remember Grant’s immortal words as he mournfully surrendered his sword to Lee at Appomattox: “There you are, General,” said Grant. “We dam’ near licked you. If I’d been feeling better we would of licked you.”
        =======================

      • Regression to the mean…modern Grants know when to leave the field. Persistence when cold harbors misery.

      • @mwgrant | April 7, 2015 at 11:50 pm |
        “The military is the curious exception? (serious ,not tweaking)”
        Honor

      • E.g.: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.” — United States Military Academy

      • Well kim, I don’t know if the reversal is meant to be humorous, but you got it bass ackwards. Lee surrendered to Grant. The proceedings were amiable and dignified. No bragging, no excuses. The terms of surrender were generous and respectful reflecting a desire for reconciliation rather than recrimination. Lee kept his sword and his dignity. There were men of style and substance in those days.

        You may be repeating what you saw in a Hollywood movie. They take liberties. I recommend the book:

        “As Lee rides back to his lines, the Army of Northern Virginia spontaneously gathers on both sides of the road. Lee fights back tears as his men call out to him. His dissolved army will soon turn over their guns and battle flags. This is their last chance to show their great love and respect for their leader. “Men,” he calls out to them, “we have fought this war together and I have done the best I can for you.” Each group cheers as Lee rides past, only to give into their sorrow and break down in sobs, all along the route to his quarters.”

      • John Carpenter

        Well Don, I’m guessing the APS sole reason for existence is not to simply issue statements on climate change. If that is the only thing that matters to the members who object to the point of quitting, then they probably aren’t getting anything else out of the APS which means they have been wasting their dues money all along. OTHO, if active and involved members who object quit as a point of principle or protest, I can’t help but think that is hardly the best way to seek change within the organization, all they have accomplished is to hand victory to the opposing view point.

        The idea of announcing to everyone “I quit” in protest just seems a little bit theatrical to me.

      • Well John, I am guessing that what you say will not influence at all any APS members contemplating resigning from an organization that doesn’t share their values or respect their professional opinions.

      • John Carpenter

        Don, I don’t expect my opinion to influence the APS members already considering quitting over a single issue climate change policy statement one bit… but one never knows. They have their chance to be heard now, this is still a draft, it may still be premature to say the organization doesn’t care.

      • “Shultz walked smartly over to the door, opened it, saluted, and stood aside. General Lee, dignified against the blue of the April sky, magnificent in his dress uniform, stood for a moment framed in the doorway. He walked in, followed by his staff. They bowed, and stood silent. General Grant stared at them. He only had one boot on and his jacket was unbuttoned.

        “I know who you are,” said Grant. “You’re Robert Browning, the poet.”

        H/t The Thurber Carnival, p. 142.
        ===============

      • Don Monfort

        John, I confidently predict that the draft won’t be changed. They have their story and they are sticking to it. Pretending to care about comments from members is just window dressing. You should know that, John. They are not likely to buck the 97% konsensus all of a sudden, what with Obama today revealing the tragic news that his daughter caught asthma from man made global warming ten years ago, right in the middle of the pause. Oh, the humanity! But you keep an eye on the APS foolishness and let us know how it turns out.

      • Don Monfort

        Uh, wait a minute. It seems that Obama has been caught in another lie, like the keep your doctor BS.

        This just in:

        “Scary stuff, but there’s just one problem for Obama: comments a couple years ago made by his wife Michelle suggest that being in a crowded circus with lots of dust and particles in the air triggered their daughter’s asthma, not global warming. Their daughter also has a peanut allergy, and circuses are usually teaming with peanuts.”

        There’s probably a book title in that story for Michelle: “It Takes a Circus”

      • He’s just reading from the teleprompter, Don; burning fossil fuels causes asthma, dontcha know?
        ==================

  26. On Climate Change:
    Earth’s changing climate is a critical issue that poses the risk of significant disruption around the globe.

    Disruption?

    Kind of a weak and obfuscatory term for an organization dedicated to clear physics.

    Could be like a MadLibs fill in the blank for climate statement generators.

  27. JC message to APS POPA: no one cares about your political preferences in the climate change debate. You have demonstrated that you bring nothing intellectually to the table (once Koonin and Rossner left). You simply have no business issuing a policy statement on climate change. You have embarrassed the APS membership.

    This should go out to the Consensus Climate Science world and everyone who has signed up for the Alarmism.

    You all have no business making any statements about a subject you clearly do not understand. You have embarrassed yourselves and everyone who does trust you.

    We are collecting much more, much better, data and this will be explained, correctly, in the future. This could be weeks, decades, centuries, but I believe, it will be sooner than later.

  28. Two little words which require us to read no further: ‘Panel’ and ‘Workshop’.

    When someone is so kind as to put the Guarantee of Wank stamp on their work, one should surely trust.

  29. A cursory read of the wailing of the denizens and Judith tells me that the Draft APS Statement on Earth’s Changing Climate is spot on. Well done APS on your correct statement of the science of AGW.

  30. While it is tempting to leave an organization that is doing things of this nature, it would be better to remain a part of it and be able to not only disagree but to actually know what is transpiring. I regret not remaining a part of several scientific organizations. (before AGW became an issue). I truly regret letting my membership to the ACS lapse.
    Your standing in the community increases with time as being both knowledgeable and as a reference source. In short, people will listen to you more so than to me although I may say the same exact things for example.

  31. “multiple lines of evidence indicate that human influences have had an increasingly dominant effect on the climate warming observed since the mid-twentieth century”- a handful of papers a year that only most ardent warmists can find against the thousand of natural influence showing papers. Ignoring the fact the global thermo-hydro system is far far from being understood and local climates can at best be a significant local human effect. And the global climate is changing only to a small degree with a lot of that being severe phenomenon has reduced occurrence. Is this the American Physical Society or American Non-physical society because most of the “evidence” is not measured.

  32. The time for whining has passed. If a major swath of APS membership feels it is being misrepresented by an influential minority who, despite years of substantial objections, remain in positions of influence, then there is one effective solution: Secession.

    Leave them with a flock of echoes.

  33. David L. Hagen

    Steven Koonin had very insightful comments and the APS workshop was very insightful addressing the full range of perspectives.
    I agree that the current POPS/APS

    statements are naive and unprofessional, . . . This is an egregious misuse of the expertise of the APS

    I was once regarded APS membership to be an honor. Now it has been hijacked by politically driven fools. How the mighty have fallen!

  34. Heretofore to be called:

    Daft APS Statement on Climate Change

  35. Danny Thomas

    The APS reiterates its 2007 call………

    (The 2007 statement)
    “Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.
    The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.
    If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.
    Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth’s climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms. The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.”

    Then modified:
    “The fourth paragraph, first sentence, recommends an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on Earth’s climate. This sentence should be interpreted broadly and more specifically: an enhanced effort is needed to understand both anthropogenic processes and the natural cycles that affect the Earth’s climate. Improving the scientific understanding of all climate feedbacks is critical to reducing the uncertainty in modeling the consequences of doubling the CO2-equivalent concentration. In addition, more extensive and more accurate scientific measurements are needed to test the validity of climate models to increase confidence in their projections.
    With regard to the last sentence of the APS statement, the role of physicists is not just “…to support policies and actions…” but also to participate actively in the research itself. Physicists can contribute in significant ways to understanding the physical processes underlying climate and to developing technological options for addressing and mitigating climate change.*”

    So the role of physicists is to “support policies and actions” and oh, by the way do research if there’s time when not supporting policies and actions?

    • Danny,
      Thanks for posting the 2007 statement. Note this line in the new draft:
      “The potential consequences of climate change are great and the policies of the next few decades will determine human influences on the climate for centuries.”
      The warm have to be nervous about that. We went from action “now” to something in “the next few decades” while we conduct more research to reduce acknowledged uncertainties. And we went from humans “are changing..” the climate to “potential consequences.”
      There is a lot to not like in the new draft statement and Dr. Curry has spelled them out well. But with political statements (and this is clearly a political statement) it’s just as important to note what isn’t there and to read between the lines.
      A significant faction of the APS leadership is deeply unhappy with the 2007 statement’s declaration of certainty and were prepared to water it down – what competent journalists would call “backtracking” – before a desperation political maneuver (nicely uncovered by Rabbet) produced a muddled, contradictory, compromise document.
      Quite frankly my first blush reading of the statement was that Curry won, but the APS just couldn’t quite bring itself to admit it. Not surprising, the reputations of the original drafters of the 2007 statement are on the line. If the APS backtracked unequivocally they’d be laughingstocks. The compromise was to allow everyone to point to a sentence they liked.

      • Danny Thomas

        JeffN,
        And what they did say: “They (GHG’s) are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.”
        So what did APS do?: (after suggesting further study)” The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.”

        Then like you said……not a word to users of FF (everyone?), industry, or agriculture directly.

  36. The Consensus Enforcement squad has infiltrated the APS Oh no, what are we going to do?

  37. Judith C quote:

    > You have embarrassed the APS membership [referring to POPA]

    The genuinely sad part is that POPA does not care that it has done this. My own professional society (GSA) went through a similar sausage factory a few years ago; this finally finished with a “We will not make a Statement” backdown, rescinding the original outrageous activism

    I am of the mind now to include Noble Cause Corruption (NCC) as a “forcing” equal to all others

  38. Pingback: Judith Curry pensando en dimitir de la APS | PlazaMoyua.com

  39. “focusing on consensus building” — physics is on the way down, social engineering is on the way up. Just wait for the APS statement on quantum mechanics and whether the moon landing was faked.

    The APS statement is too long; the reading level is too high. I’ve fixed it for them.

    On Climate Change:
    We don’t understand climate.
    On Climate Science:
    The APS urges better research in climate science.
    On Climate Action:
    The APS urges physicists to collaborate with colleagues across disciplines to contribute to climate research and to keep any public dialogue on a professional and scientific and does not exaggerate the current level of knowledge.

    If that last one is too much, just say “don’t go there yet”.

  40. Geoff Sherrington

    My copy of the 8th Jan 2014 transcript, of APS with 6 invited scientists, runs to 573 pages. I value this because it is a recent source of where some scientific matters are at. So, I have read it start to finish at least 3 times and I browse it for specifics once a month or so.
    I cannot understand how matters went from (finally) a learned society trying to be inclusive of expert evidence in January 2014, to the meaningless dreck being circulated now.
    It makes me wonder about the penetration of zealots into science. Is it now so deep that science will bear the scars for some decades, or is there still hope that high scientific standards will prevail?

    • Unfortunately, it is not just science that will bear the scars. The APS statement will be used by our community organizer in chief, along with other agenda driven leftist leaders to justify even more egregious regulation via fiat to curb co2 emmissions. If the left has their way with the energy sector, it will make the effects of Obama care appear relatively benign in comparison.

    • Geoff

      The zealots finally abandoned any connection, however tenuous, with Scientific Method quite several years ago when the MSM started saturating the public space with “CAGW causes every extreme weather event” and this egregiousness went entirely publicly unchallenged by our activist heroes

      It’s as if the Renaissance was just a blot of a nuisance, temporary in its’ effect. I find the potency of Noble Cause Corruption astonishing, the depth of vain puffery unfathomable

  41. On they stumble, certain, blessed, wounded.
    ================

  42. Not so irrelevant to the APS distraction.
    Boeing just PATENTED a laser PLASMA SHIELD [1], that Washington Post asked [2] and may AVERT electro-volcanic [3] and other electric disasters, such an expected new Carrington event, as the July 2012 near-miss disaster, that NASA [4] and even Fmr CIA Director constantly warns about!!! [5]
    1. http://www.engadget.com/2015/03/23/boeing-plasma-shield/
    2. “create a SHIELD that powers up or powers down anytime NASA’s early-warning system detects unusual activity.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/innovations/wp/2014/07/31/extreme-solar-storms-spark-a-need-for-innovation/
    3. Based on the diversion of atmosphere-magma stimulating cosmic rays’ electricity, as we do with spacecrafts and satellites:
    “Explosive volcanic eruptions triggered by cosmic rays: Volcano as a bubble chamber” – Ebisuzaki et al http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1342937X10001966
    4. http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2014/23jul_superstorm/
    5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBfALe8X9C8

  43. Dr. Curry – thank you for so clearly stating your displeasure with the APS statement. As a member, will you also have access to the membership comments and reaction overall? And, what is the probability that the POPA will modify the statement if there is an overwhelmingly negative reaction?

  44. Dr Curry
    Sceptics should not underestimate what they are up against here. Entrenched positions in pure, falsifiable science are difficult enough to overcome, but here we have something much more fundamental at work.

    Climate science is not just science. It’s the ‘humans versus nature’ thing writ large. Most of us – perhaps all – are instantly receptive to the idea that we should be on the side of nature. Natural versus man-made. Organic versus non-organic. Sustainable versus unsustainable. Whether this button is hard-wired, or whether we acquire it as a result of early and subtle indoctrinations, I’ll leave aside for now, but it is there almost universally in western societies. It is good versus bad. Fundamental. So when something like CAGW comes along, it is quickly embraced as something that people WANT to believe (though they may profess scepticism for practical and selfish reasons). Not only the general public, but also dedicated scientists themselves, take this on board. And the science becomes imbued with a moral imperative. It doesn’t matter if you’re an undergrad, or a disciplined member of the APS committee, it’s still there. And because the science is so uncertain, this imperative swings the balance.The errors of Malthus and Ehrlich are extremely well demonstrated, but they still have traction even if only in our subconscious, and still influence policy. Don’t be too hard on the warmists. They have nailed their colours to the mast. They had a plausible basis in the radiation physics, which now needs defending, and they don’t see they are distorting the science, because the moral issue is clear.

    I fear that this edifice will not begin to crumble unless and until the mean global temperature falls demonstrably. A lessening of the warming, or a hiatus, won’t be enough.

    • Excellent comment. Thank you.

    • Oh ye of lovely name,
      have not we all felt
      something of the same,
      needin’ timely reminders
      regardin’ guilt and sacrifice
      of virgins, (hat tip kim,)
      that ol’ black magic
      humanoid original sin.

    • The phrase “Climate Change” is a tautology. Its use in place of “Global Warming” is deceptive. Its use to designate “Anthropogenic Climate Change” borders on fraudulent. Have the “Mad Men” wordsmiths migrated to D.C. and parts of academia?

    • Most of us – perhaps all – are instantly receptive to the idea that we should be on the side of nature. Natural versus man-made. Organic versus non-organic. Sustainable versus unsustainable. Whether this button is hard-wired, or whether we acquire it as a result of early and subtle indoctrinations, I’ll leave aside for now, but it is there almost universally in westernsocieties.

      +1
      And
      “In western societies.”
      An Interesting question is why only there?

      • Nature worship goes back to the origins of modern
        romanticism.’What we call ‘environmentalism’ is based
        on a fear of change,’ argues Frank Firudi. ‘It is based
        upon a fear of human action. And therefore it’s not
        surprising when you look at the more xenophobic
        right-wing movements in the 19th century, including
        German fascism, it quite often had a very strong
        environmental dynamic to it.’
        http://www.columbia.edu/~lnp3/mydocs/ecology/nazi_ecology.htm

      • Good point. Only put in ‘western’ as I don’t have a handle on what might happen elsewhere. Frankly I don’t know how much is genetic, and how much cultural, though the latter must be very important. Perhaps that is outside the remit of this blog.

      • Besides perhaps genetic and cultural influences also standard of living plays a big role imo.

      • Because these are the richest societies. Watch China, which is following the “western” path in accelerated fashion, if somewhat dubiously in at least some aspects. With gross pollution causing health issues, public opinion is forcing changes to reduce the worst of it. As time progresses, they will impose tighter and tighter restrictions on more and more pollutants until, like the west, they will need to start calling things they used to call “harmless by-products”, pollution (eg CO2).
        In short, if you are struggling to put food on the table and a roof over your head, you don’t give a tinkers cuss for the environmental movement. It’s only those with who already take for granted that they have a house and food every day that can afford to care about “the environment”.

  45. harrytwinotter

    So another science society confirms AGW, it is not even news.

    Get ready for lots of name calling, and perhaps even a conspiracy theory or two.

  46. Ken almost completely misconstrues ceresco kid’s point.

    Where is the dissent in that classroom? Why, it’s been suppressed, and look at the result. Strangers blaming Ken for their urge to build arcs. And honestly, there’s worse than that going on out there.

    Patronising? Ah, you don’t know anything about that.
    ================

  47. Pingback: VIA JUDITH CURRY, The American Physical Society’s Draft Statement On Climate Change. “Well, their p… | CRAGIN MEDIA

  48. Dang, comment went astray. I’ll try again.

    Ken almost completely misconstrues cerescokid’s point.

    Where is the dissent in that classroom? What’s the result of suppressing that dissent. Why, strangers blame Ken for their urge to build arcs, and believe me, there is far worse than than going on out there.

    Patronising? You wouldn’t know anything about that.
    ==============

    • Oh, well. I have yet to find a discussion with Ken Rice to be worthwhile.
      ==============

      • Kim,
        Is this reply thing suddenly working? Well, I’ve never found a discussion with you worthwhile, so maybe we’re even. I, of course, don’t really care. I’m not sure quite why I misconstrued cerescokid’s point. I wasn’t quite sure what it was in the first place and, secondly, having people claim I’ve promoted, or said, something that I clearly haven’t, is rather irritating. I also have absolutely nothing to do with what his 9-year old’s teacher may, or may not, have said. Makes it appear that such people are being blatantly dishonest. I gather that some regard that as acceptable, but I’m struggling to see why.

        Here’s a point for you to ponder. When someone tells you the possible consequences of something, they aren’t telling you to definitely do something about this possibility, or – if you should do something – what it is that you should do.

      • Go look for the last comment with a reply. Everything below is stranded, because a few comments were deleted early on. If you reply to a stranded comment, it doesn’t work and your reply gets stranded too.

      • The problem is that when confronted with the effects of fear-mongering the alarmists can say ‘Oh, we didn’t say that’.

        It is a problem, Ken. I do expect you to understand that. Someday. Maybe.
        =================

      • The problem is that when confronted with the effects of fear-mongering the alarmists can say ‘Oh, we didn’t say that’.

        It’s everywhere (the general practice). I’ve seen it done by many corporate managers, in profitable corporations. (Of course, they’d be more profitable if there were some way to hold them responsible.)

  49. McIntyre’s razor-sharp mind is like a light sword slicing and dicing BS in nanoseconds. And there are plenty of suicide commentors willing, like bugs against the windshield, to deposit a load of BS for our enjoyment. It’s a pleasure to behold.

    http://climateaudit.org/2015/04/01/rahmstorfs-third-trick/#comment-756868

    • I’m awfully grateful to Bill H for helping to accentuate what a load of codswallop that Rahmstorf and Mann, the paper, is.

      Here, we know this isn’t a proxy, but let’s use it as one, anyway. Only deniers will notice, and then we’ll simply deny.

      Got ’em coming and going. Yep, science.
      ==================

    • They wave their arms and spout unintelligible gibberish, then go off to other blogs and tell everybody they’ve won the argument. And “everybody” believes them, because they don’t understand the science, and it’s their tribe.

      Then they go accusing their enemies/victims of what they did. Their own tribe doesn’t know the difference.

  50. Neither side is science in this debate, but you can certainly say that we don’t know what will happen, which seems to be the point to have made here.

    Nor will we know, is an additional claim you could make. It’s too complicated and the data is too unhelpful for the question.

    Work on smaller, isolated problems if you want to do science and forget the headline-grabbing.

  51. “Scientists” produce the results they are paid to produce, nothing more. They have to feed their families like everyone else.

  52. Pingback: Hot Curry Easter Egg | izen

  53. Judith,

    Steve is quite knowledgeable about climate physics and the debate about climate change, as evidenced by his WSJ editorial Climate Science is Not Settled.

    Yes, an article that scored 0.5 out of 4, for scientific credibilty. An example of something that Koonin gets wrong is below,

    For example, human additions to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the middle of the 21st century are expected to directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect by only 1% to 2%.

    Whether you agree with it or not, the projections by 2050 range from a minimum of around 1.5oC (if we choose to follow a very low emission pathway) to around 2.6oC (if we choose to follow a very high emission pathway). This is between 5% and 8% of the natural greenhouse effect. How can he get something so obvious, and so simple, wrong? So, this seems wrong

    You have demonstrated that you bring nothing intellectually to the table (once Koonin and Rossner left).

    Koonin seems not to understand the topic well enough to make a viable contribution, so his leaving was probably beneficial.

    You simply have no business issuing a policy statement on climate change.

    Why not? We live in democracies don’t we? Surely, any organisation has the right to make a policy statement if they wish to do so.

    You have embarrassed the APS membership.

    I’d be surprised if many APS members agreed with this.

    • Meh, Ken won’t discuss attribution or sensitivity, and he thinks this daft statement is the response to a democratic urge.
      ===================

      • His sort think of “democracy” as something to subvert and turn to their own purposes.

        And considering the history of “democracy”, all the way back to Athens, …

      • Of course I will. I just choose with whom to do so. You appear to not be someone with whom it worth doing so. Actually, I’ll make a stronger stronger. It’s very obvious that it would be a waste of time doing so with you. With all seriousness, you clearly are incapable of having a serious discussion.

      • With all seriousness, you clearly are incapable of having a serious discussion.

        Projection.

      • Heh, you played dodgeball with attribution and sensitivity at the Bish’s Palace.

        The higher the sensitivity, the colder we’d now be without man’s aliquot of CO2. If man’s done the heavy lifting of warming us out of the coldest depths of the Holocene, then we can’t keep it up much longer.
        =================

      • By the way, Ken, I’ll make a huge sacrifice. If you would like to lay out your views on sensitivity and attribution, I’ll step out of the way and let the others discuss with you. I don’t have to watch; I’ve seen it already at the Bish’s.

        It’s pertinent, you have the floor, and I need a break, anyway.

        Note crossed fingers. I’ll step out of the way on this subthread.
        =================

      • Kim,

        Heh, you played dodgeball with attribution and sensitivity at the Bish’s Palace.

        I vaguely remember something like that, but I suspect it was something like this where you threw it randomly into some kind of discussion and accussed me of not being willing to discuss it.

      • Dang ATTP, the good Bish let Kimmy out of the basement.

      • The Bish went on vacation and the dungeon keepers let the guard slip.
        ===============

    • I’d be surprised if many APS members agreed with this.

      Maybe they don’t want their names on a list?

    • The summary issue of concern is misuse of the APS expertise to opine about their political preferences. Otherwise known as (ir)responsible advocacy by scientists https://judithcurry.com/2013/08/06/irresponsible-advocacy-by-scientists/

      • I disagree, which may seem obvious. If scientific evidence suggests that a certain pathway introduces risks that may be severe, suggesting that we shouldn’t follow that pathway isn’t really advocacy. What would be advocacy is if they explcitly stated how to avoid that pathway. They haven’t done that.

      • “…suggesting that we shouldn’t follow that pathway isn’t really advocacy.”

        Could’ve fooled me….really. Exclusion is an action. Suggesting that we should follow a particular action is advocacy.

        Why is there this continuing persistence by parties to prematurely exclude actions?

      • mwgrant,
        Okay, I agree that virtually anything can be cast as a form of advocacy. Arguing for the status quo (as Judith seems to do) would qualify, as would arguing against the status quo (we can’t keep increasing our emissions). I was simply trying to distinguish between a soft form of advocacy (we should probably not do this) versus a much more specific form of advocacy (we must not do this and what we should do instead is precisely this).

        Whether people here like it or not, the scientific evidence suggests that continuing to increase our emissions carries a risk. I have no problem with scientists/scientific organisations pointing this out and suggesting that maybe we should avoid increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations to the point where this risk becomes potentially severe. I would have more of a problem if they specifically specified how to do this (wind, solar, CCS, nuclear, biomass,……).

        They’re also not insisting that our policy makers follow their advice. They are simply stating it. I suspect that there will come a time when people will criticise them for not having made stronger statements.

      • Got ya coming and going. This is advocacy?
        ===============

      • The summary issue of concern is misuse of the APS expertise to opine about their political preferences

        I think we have a pretty good idea of where you stand on the policy. I think with even more specificity than the APS statement.

      • Exactly where do you think I stand on the policy? My statements on policy relate to how think about policy decisions under conditions of deep scientific uncertainty, and to to assess whether policy responses will have their intended/desired effect and what their unintended consequences will be.

      • Well you don’t think we should take serious steps to mitigate climate change now, right? Everything that I have seen related to policy on your site reinforces this idea. You said yourself you favor no regrets policies.

      • “My statements on policy relate to how think about policy decisions under conditions of deep scientific uncertainty….”

        I don’t know if there can be scientific uncertainty in that sense. It’s just plain old uncertainty. A “we don’t know” in ordinary language.

        Scientific uncertainty would be something a lot closer to definitite. There’d be some procedure to follow that’s so far unfollowed, or something. Here there’s no procedure in sight.

      • ==> “Exactly where do you think I stand on the policy?”

        You have testified before Congress in violation of at least one of the criteria that you suggest to use for identifying irresponsible advocacy:

        Point out the weakness and limitations of your argument, including data that conflict with your recommendations;

        ==> “My statements on policy relate to how think about policy decisions under conditions of deep scientific uncertainty, and to to assess whether policy responses will have their intended/desired effect and what their unintended consequences will be.”

        Let’s also consider that statement against the backdrop of your earlier post:

        However, after further consideration, even the distinction between advising and advocating became muddy. Sometimes expressing an opinion on a matter of public interest obviously points to a particular policy outcome, that is, the science and a specific policy are so close, the listener (the public) will not know the difference.

        Consider your whether advocacy, which exploits a fear of “undintended consequences,” points to a particular policy outcome. Of course it does, which is why Republicans ask you to testify in support of their desired policy outcomes. Consider what mwgrant (one of the most non-partisan commenters at this blog) has to say elsewhere in this thread:

        Could’ve fooled me….really. Exclusion is an action. Suggesting that we should follow a particular action is advocacy.

        Why is there this continuing persistence by parties to prematurely exclude actions?

        As a scientist, Judith, you don’t have to agree that your activity around climate change amounts to irresponsible advocacy, or even advocacy of any sort, but as a scientist it does seem that you have an obligation to address counterarguments to your position in a manner that at least attempts to control for you biases.

      • ATTP

        Certainly the particular risks to which you refer entail severe impacts. There are upside and downside risks to each alternative and both types of risks need to be consider in a context of comparison between alternatives. In AGW we are looking at decision-making in a highly politicized, contentious atmosphere and any careless advocacy by undermines the objectivity needed to arrive at a consensus in the overall society. This does not preclude advocacy by scientific groups but in light of the special role objectivity plays in science there are fiduciary responsibilities. Verboten? No. Difficult and involved? Yes.

      • And btw, Judith –

        ==>

        “My statements on policy relate to how think about policy decisions under conditions of deep scientific uncertainty, and to to assess whether policy responses will have their intended/desired effect and what their unintended consequences will be.”

        None of that is an area of “expertise” for you. IMO, your “opining’ about those issues should not be limited by virtue of you being a scientist – even though by virtue of your scientific credentials, many people give your opinions on those issues a lot of weight. Scientists are people too. And you have earned a certain degree of respect on the basis of the credentials you have acquired.

        But you should nontheless approach how you express those opinions in a scientific manner. You should be careful about defining terms. You should be careful about quantifying all sorts of uncertainty, not just that which undermines the opinions you aren’t in agreement with. You should eschew name-calling and triabalism, not participate in it. You should explicate counterarguments to your own in ways that are comprehensive – as a matter of establishing the reasoning behind your own differing conclusions. You should start from a point of “skepticism” w/r/t the influence of your own biases.

      • Sorry Joshua, this has been my main area of intellectual endeavor the past 5 years, and I have published several relevant papers.

      • mwgrant,
        Yes, I broadly agree. But all that scientific societies can/should comment on are the risks that their science indicates might exist. That’s why policy makers should take advice from many different groups with many different areas of expertise.

      • ==> “Sorry Joshua, this has been my main area of intellectual endeavor the past 5 years, and I have published several relevant papers.”

        Well, I guess this goes back to the over-riding subjectivity in how you define “expertise.” Some folks have relevant expertise sufficient to get involved in policy discussions, such as Dyson or Spencer and Lindzen and Christy and yourself, while others don’t. For yourself “publishing papers” is a valid criterion to use for establishing expertise, yet for others publishing papers is merely an exercise in gate-keeping, tribalism, and pal-review.

        So because you have endeavored intellectually in this field, as someone with a strong opinion on the subject when you first started, indicating that your opinion is not merely a function of your level of expertise you are therefore qualified as an “expert?”

        Once again, Judith, I’m struck by your lack of interest in accounting for your own biases (note, I’m not singling you out as being biased, but pointing to the underlying nature of how cultural orientation and other factors create an human condition for biased reasoning), as we would expect from anyone that is taking a scientific approach to their intellectual endeavors.

        But please do elaborate on your scientifically constructed matrix of inclusion/exclusion criteria for establishing expertise (sufficient to warrant “opining'” as a scientific expert).

      • I have written many posts on the issue of ‘expertise’, i suggest you go reread them. These include challenging traditional notions of expertise (e.g. Steve McIntyre has established himself as an expert on paleo proxies). At the end of the day, some decision makers are asking for my analysis on these issues, based upon what I have written on the blog as well as in journal publications.

        However, issues related to individual expertise are very different from attempting to use the imprimatur and expertise of a professional society to advocate on a topic where the professional society has little scientific expertise (and the drafting committee having essentially none).

      • The pot boldly calls the kettle black. This is not even news Joshua. There is no reason for Judith to write a paper on her own potential biases. We all know everyone has them and your incessant compulsion to bring this up as an issue is boring and non-productive. And I’m putting this nicely. You need to stop messing up the blog with this nonsense.

      • Exactly where does Denizens think the APS stand on the policy?

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        “The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.”

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/04/07/draft-aps-statement-on-climate-change/#comment-691195

      • Hi jim2 –

        How are ya’, bud?

        ==> “The pot boldly calls the kettle black. ”

        Whatever biases I do or don’t have don’t change in any way the influence of bias in others. This is merely another of your long line of ad homs.

        ==> “There is no reason for Judith to write a paper on her own potential biases.”

        Judith rightly, (IMO) stresses the importance of acknowledging and dealing uncertainties. A big part of that, IMO, is that tendencies such as those towards confirmation bias. “Skeptics” like to quote Feynman – which is just fine; but if they’re going to quote him then it seems inconsistent to me if they don’t apply the principles that he talked about – such as overtly taking on counterarguments, explicitly.

        ==> “And I’m putting this nicely. You need to stop messing up the blog with this nonsense.”

        As always, jim2, thanks for reading. I can’t tell you how much it means to me.

      • Joshua,
        This would only seem true if one was very generous with the definition of expertise

        These include challenging traditional notions of expertise (e.g. Steve McIntyre has established himself as an expert on paleo proxies).

        If we allow writing blog posts as a valid way to establish expertise, then I think we open the door for anyone to self-profess as an expert and expect to be taken seriously. This does happen (Andrew Montford being the British version of McIntyre) but I’m struggling to see why they do have any claim to actual expertise. On the occasions where they discussed things about which I would regard myself as having some expertise, they’ve typically blundered and been unwilling to acknowledge their errors.

        I must admit that I’m in general agreement with Joshua. It does seem as though you’re very willing to proclaim your own expertise while dismissing others for reasons that aren’t completely obvious. I don’t have a problem with you regarding yourself as having sufficient expertise, but I’m less clear why you think you have some kind of right/ability to decide who else has sufficient expertise. If the APS has genuinely say something that is embarassing to their members, then presumably that will become evident without you needing to proclaim them as having done so. Of course, you could express an opinion that they’ve done so, but your statement seems stronger than simply your opinion.

      • Sorry, meant to address the above to Judith, not Joshua.

      • Josh says: Excuse me, Dr. Curry. Is that a nose I see on your face? Would you care to explain?

      • ATTP. On the occasions I have seen this …

        “On the occasions where they discussed things about which I would regard myself as having some expertise, they’ve typically blundered and been unwilling to acknowledge their errors.”

        and looked into, especially in the case of McIntyre, they haven’t blundered in the first place. People certainly like to say they have and I’m sure they have at some point. I just haven’t seen any cases.

        I would be interested if you have a few specific cases to which you could direct me.

        TIA.

      • Thank you, Danny.

        If this is a policy statement:

        The APS also urges governments, universities, national laboratories and its membership to support policies and actions that will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

        then this:

        Robust policy options that can be justified by associated policy reasons whether or not anthropogenic climate change is dangerous avoids the hubris of pretending to know what will happen with the 21st century climate.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/01/16/senate-epw-hearing-on-the-presidents-climate-action-plan/

        Many more statements along those lines over there:

        https://judithcurry.com/about/

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        Hmmm.
        Since APS urges policies/actions to reduce GHG that seems clearly a “policy” statement if broad.
        And this:”Good judgment requires recognizing that climate change is characterized by conditions of deep uncertainty.” preceded the quote you offered. This leaves me unclear as to that which you intended to offer.

      • Judith –

        So I ask you for a scientifically constructed matrix for determining “expertise”‘ (sufficient to “opine” on a subject – such as decision-making in the face of uncertainty), and in response you tell me to reread blog posts where you express your opinion about expertise (as someone who is strongly invested in advocating for particular conclusions on the subject and who actively engages in the political arena related to the subject at hand).

        That pretty much sums up what I’m talking about.

        Would you accept a paper where a student presented an argument about the determination of scientific expertise, and referenced a blog post from someone engaged in the political arena, as the ultimate authority?

        I wouldn’t. I would expect a paper that describes a variety of opinions and that lays out the various counterarguments, and that accounts for the likely affect of political orientation.

      • Since you are the one so concerned about how to identify expertise, Josh, you are the one who needs to define it. Now run off like a good boy and get to it.

      • jim2 –

        I think that almost all determinations I’ve seen in the blogosphere (including this blog) of what comprises “expertise” are subjective, and not approached in a scientific manner. But I am certainly not an expert on the subject of expertise.

        Judith has claimed expertise by virtue of appointing herself to make authoritative claims as to who can and can’t “responsibly” claim “expertise” that merits involvement in public discussions that have policy implications (as well as, btw, appointing herself as an authority on decision-making in the face of uncertainty), and that her opinions should be stamped with the authority of a “expert” because she has written some blog posts on the subject.

        Not same, same but different.

      • And jim2 –

        One more comment before I further entice Judith to put me in moderation for commenting too much:

        First, consider this

        ==> “Since you are the one so concerned about how to identify expertise, Josh,

        And then consider this:

        I have written many posts on the issue of ‘expertise’, i suggest you go reread them.

        Interesting, no?

      • Don Monfort

        You don’t have to put up with this crap, Judith. Put the stalker back in moderation. This is just the sameole sameole tedious BS.

        Lol!
        unintended irony
        motivated reasoning
        tribalism
        bias
        big boy pants
        where’s your evidence?
        bwaaahaa! why everybody always pickin on me?

      • Josh. Science is a human endeavor. As such, it does have elements of subjectivity. In fact, I would say most scientists are very subjective about science. Science is never settled and each scientist has his or her own perspective on the questions and putative answers. All answers, in the final analysis, are putative.

        So, they source of your problem may be that you don’t really understand science in the first place. In fact, I believe that is the case. Otherwise, you wouldn’t ask such silly questions and make the same meaningless points – over and over and over again.

      • ATTP –

        If we allow writing blog posts as a valid way to establish expertise, then I think we open the door for anyone to self-profess as an expert and expect to be taken seriously.

        Wouldn’t you agree that expertise is an attribute independent of how the person makes his expertise known? A person can still be an expert even if he doesn’t publish anything. A person “establishes himself” as an expert by the content of what he publishes, not by where he publishes it.

      • Practically speaking, expertise is not in the eye of the expert, it is in the eye of the beholder, e.g. the person/group seeking the expertise. Declaring yourself to be an expert isn’t going to get you much traction, unless you have credentials or have written/published credible analyses.

      • One other comment. There is ‘primary’ expertise, related to creating new knowledge on a topic. Then there is ‘auditing’ expertise, whereby someone can critically evaluate new knowledge, publications etc. (e.g. McIntyre). And finally there is ‘synthetic’ expertise, whereby someone has demonstrated ability to interpret, synthesize and assess research/knowledge in a broader context. It is synthetic expertise that is most badly needed for a complex problem such as climate change.

        Blog posts are a great way to establish auditing and synthetic expertise. Welcome to the 21st century

      • Dr. Curry, I find this discussion fascinating and very much appreciate reading your views on these matters! Thank you!

      • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

        curryja | April 8, 2015 at 1:29 pm |

        Practically speaking, expertise is not in the eye of the expert, it is in the eye of the beholder, e.g. the person/group seeking the expertise. Declaring yourself to be an expert isn’t going to get you much traction, unless you have credentials or have written/published credible analyses.

        Or unless you say what people are predisposed to hear.

        So – Dr Curry declares that she is an expert in expertise….!

        Yeah – and Steve McIntyre is an expert on paleo proxies too…

        It’s remarkable how five years of intense interdisciplinary study and running a blog can qualify some people in the subtleties of arguments from authority.

      • Here’s the preceding sentence from the claim you identified as a policy claim, Danny:

        Because the complexity of the climate makes accurate prediction difficult, the APS urges an enhanced effort to understand the effects of human activity on the Earth’s climate, and to provide the technological options for meeting the climate challenge in the near and longer terms.

        I have no idea why I do that, but you just quoted a sentence that preceded the policy claim I underlined. So that must mean something.

        Hmmm.

        ***

        Another policy claim:

        We need to put down the IPCC as soon as possible – not to protect the patient who seems to be thriving in its own little cocoon, but for the sake of the rest of us whom it is trying to infect with its disease.

        https://judithcurry.com/2013/09/28/ipcc-diagnosis-permanent-paradigm-paralysis/

        This one is a favorite of mine.

        ***

        If you want more, Danny, you just have to ask.

        Due diligence,

        W

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        “Due diligence”. Yep. In the process.
        I happen to agree that IPCC is the incorrect tool for the job. It’s a pseudo governmental creation who’s made inaccurate “projections” while it’s leaders state (para. mine) that it doesn’t matter if the AGW theory is wrong we need to overhaul the world’s economy anyway. Science should be the lead and politicians should be responsive to “we the people”.
        And, I see science “societies” putting forth policy after stating the science is insufficient. These tidbits make me skeptical. And when I look around all I see is 50 shades of grey and it leaves me with the “feeling” that someone somewhere’s gonna get screwed.

      • Judith –

        Practically speaking, expertise is not in the eye of the expert, it is in the eye of the beholder, e.g. the person/group seeking the expertise. Declaring yourself to be an expert isn’t going to get you much traction, unless you have credentials or have written/published credible analyses.

        I agree. Which is why I questioned your declaration as some kind of uber-beholder, as to who is or isn’t an expert. It’s why I described the subjectivity that predominates determinations of “expertise.” Added to your “eye-of-the-beholder” point, is the general tendency of “beholders” to run declarations of expertise, and assessments of the credibility of published analyses, through ideological filters.

        The counterbalance to the subjective declarations about whose scientific “expertise” is sufficient to make public statements on issues with large societal implications lies, IMO, in bringing in the scientific method to clarify and make explicit the working criteria for evaluating expertise, and to control for biasing influences.

        Personally, I think that no matter the criteria used (i.e., even if we could find some pure and objective criteria), the degree of “expertise” is not what measures the quality or advisability or value of a scientist’s input into public discussion of science-related matters.

        Arguments should be judged on their own merits. Assessments of “expertise” are relevant to assessing probabilities for those who can’t assess technical discussions on their own merits, but even in highly technical discussions we can try to assess the degree to which a scientific method of analysis is manifest in the opinions a scientist expresses. Heuristics like looking for acknowledgement of uncertainty, or attempts to control for biases, are useful in that regard.

      • The basis for my judging the expertise of the APS on climate science is based on my participation in the Topical Group on the Physics of Climate, my knowledge of the POPA, and discussions with Koonin re the process for selecting the 6 experts to participate in the Workshop. My opinion on that expertise is stated in the post. It is your choice as to whether you credit my judgment on this.

        Scientists that provide context and are honest about uncertainties tend to be valued as experts in public debates about science. I endeavor to provide context (i.e. both sides of the debate) and discuss uncertainties. On the blog, i also discuss at length sources of bias. I do my best to control my personal biases, but I acknowledge that everyone has biases.

      • Thank you for your honest work toward context and discussion on uncertainties. As a relativity young physicists, it is good to see that not everyone has forgotten the basis set for science in the first place.

      • Mark Bofill –

        ==> “Dr. Curry, I find this discussion fascinating and very much appreciate reading your views on these matters! Thank you!”

        I appreciate the wisdom of the adage about those who speak out and remove all doubt….

        …but you’ve carved out a bit of a unique niche here at Climate Etc. As such, your opinions would be appreciated (by me, at least).

      • Hypotenuse –

        So – Dr Curry declares that she is an expert in expertise….!

        A person does not declare himself to be an expert in a subject merely by giving his opinion on the subject.

        It’s remarkable how five years of intense interdisciplinary study and running a blog can qualify some people in the subtleties of arguments from authority.

        What is the argument from authority that she made?

      • Thank you, I am not aware that I had ever appealed to my own authority in an argument.

      • Joshua,

        your opinions would be appreciated (by me, at least)

        Dunno. :) Haven’t had time to think it through properly. I only piped up because I wanted the participants to be aware that at least some readers found value in reading the exchange.
        Oftentimes the threads I like best are the ones I don’t stink up by participating in. But who knows, maybe I’ll have opinions I want to share on this later.
        Thanks Joshua.

      • > I am not aware that I had ever appealed to my own authority in an argument.

        Once upon a time:

        curryja | April 8, 2015 at 12:06 pm |

        [T]his has been my main area of intellectual endeavor the past 5 years, and I have published several relevant papers.

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/04/07/draft-aps-statement-on-climate-change/#comment-691416

        Hmmm.

      • yawn. defending your expertise when it is questioned is not the same as appealing to your own expertise in an argument. My arguments stand on their own merits (or not)

      • and to to assess whether policy responses will have their intended/desired effect and what their unintended consequences will be.”

        I would have to agree with Joshua that you are not an expert in policy or the consequences of policy. And by “assessing” policy you are going beyond what the APS said in their statement.

      • The Very Reverend Jebediah Hypotenuse

        I guess the “main area of intellectual endeavor” and “several relevant papers” comments were just bits of random text that somehow got cut and pasted into a thread on expertise…

        I find the level of hypocrisy here highly entertaining.

        I especially like it when Dr Curry tells other people that they aren’t qualified to issue political statements.

        It’s one thing to have an opinion, it’s quite another thing to tell others that they have no right to theirs. That would be a (gasp!) political act. Some might even call it irresponsible advocacy by a scientist.

        curryja | April 8, 2015 at 2:39 pm |

        Thank you, I am not aware that I had ever appealed to my own authority in an argument.

        Of course you are not aware.
        That’s the beauty of being a expert on expertise.

      • Don Monfort

        How is stating her credentials and experience by Judith an appeal to her own authority, willy? When you need a tooth pulled, you presumably go to a dentist. Is the dentist putting up a sign and displaying his diploma and license on the wall an appeal to his own authority? Don’t be a stalker like your little pal joshie. What would your former colleagues think, if they saw you acting like this?

      • Well, it was an interesting thread anyways. Looks to be going south to me.
        Again, thanks all.

      • However, issues related to individual expertise are very different from attempting to use the imprimatur and expertise of a professional society to advocate on a topic

        I think your previous statements on advocacy and expertise applied both to individuals and organizations.

      • Mark, it’s Dr. Curry that is making the accusations of ” (ir)responsible advocacy.” I think that is when the thread began going South..

      • my post (ir)responsible advocacy relates to advocacy by professional societies, rather than individuals

      • Hypootenuse –

        I find the level of hypocrisy here highly entertaining.
        I especially like it when Dr Curry tells other people that they aren’t qualified to issue political statements.

        The APS is issuing the statement as an expert on the subject. Dr. Curry, who is an expert (hence the invitation by the APS) stated that “no one on the POPA seems to understand any of these issues beyond a superficial level (after Koonin and Rosner departed from the POPA).” Is your objection that an expert in a subject cannot be assumed to be able to recognize the level of expertise of others? Do you have a nonpolitical reason for questioning her judgment on this question?

        It’s one thing to have an opinion, it’s quite another thing to tell others that they have no right to theirs.

        Can you distinguish between (a) right to have an opinion, and (b) the right to hold oneself out as an expert and have one’s opinion given the deference due to an expert’s opinion?

      • Koonin’s objections are informed, pertinent, rational, and real. They aren’t going away. What is amazing in this whole drama is the insousiant, nay, the zombied manner the consensus has of trudging forward with this great load of illusion, certain, blessed, wounded.
        ==================

      • We’ll ‘c’ about that, oh careless one.
        ======

      • Kim –

        …the insousiant, nay, the zombied manner the consensus has of trudging forward with this great load of illusion…

        A colorful image!

      • my post (ir)responsible advocacy relates to advocacy by professional societies, rather than individuals

        What about this one?

        https://judithcurry.com/2013/12/22/rethinking-climate-advocacy/

        There is a value conflict if a scientist is willing to sacrifice the integrity of scientific research for any other conceivable value (Peter Gleick is the poster boy for this one). Beyond this, I just don’t get the ‘value’ issue, esp since Gavin is not talking about the bulleted list above (which i think are the real issues in value conflicts for scientists).

      • Swomill, their’s is not to reason why.
        =======

      • Joseph –

        What about this one?

        What is the question/accusation?

      • > defending your expertise when it is questioned is not the same as appealing to your own expertise in an argument.

        Both still appeal to an authority in an argument, so that distinction cuts no ice. In any case, here’s another appeal:

        Scientists that provide context and are honest about uncertainties tend to be valued as experts in public debates about science. I endeavor to provide context (i.e. both sides of the debate) and discuss uncertainties.

        Nobody but you put the honesty card on the table, Judy.

        The form of that sentence is interesting, BTW.

      • > How is stating […] credentials and experience […] an appeal to […] authority[?]

        Stating credentials and experience is usually how people claim or defer to authority, Don Don. This is why Congressional hearings start with lines such as these:

        I am Chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. I have devoted 30 years to conducting
        research on topics including climate feedback processes in the Arctic, energy exchange between the ocean and atmosphere, the role of clouds and aerosols in the climate system, and the impact of climate change
        on the characteristics of tropical cyclones. As President of Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN) LLC, I have worked with decision makers on climate impact assessments, assessing and developing meteorological hazard and climate adaptation strategies, and developing subseasonal climate forecasting strategies to support adaptive management.

        https://curryja.files.wordpress.com/2013/04/curry-testimony-2013-il.pdf

        No one from the hearing questioned that authority, on the contrary. This is why we call such an exercise a testimony. Sometimes, it’s even called expert testimony.

        As far as I can see, this is just how appeals to authority works. If you know another way, be my guest.

      • not quite. If the ‘authority’ was all that was needed, all I would need to say in testimony is “here are my conclusions, trust me, i’m a climate scientist.” doesn’t work that way; carefully crafted arguments, supported by evidence and reasoning, are required.

      • > If the ‘authority’ was all that was needed, all I would need to say in testimony is “here are my conclusions, trust me, i’m a climate scientist.” doesn’t work that way; carefully crafted arguments, supported by evidence and reasoning, are required.

        Arguments supported by evidence and reasoning don’t exclude appeals to authority. There is no dichotomy there. Yet another semantic argument.

        Also, climate scientists usually support their claims with evidence and reasoning, more so when they claim authority. So the formulation above is mostly a caricature.

        ***

        I say “mostly” because sometimes, climate scientists don’t always provide evidence and reasoning while appealing to their own authority:

        Trenberth was asked if he regarded me as a ‘denier’. He hemmed and hawed, and asked me if I regarded myself as a denier. I said I was a scientist, and regarded myself as included in the so-called 97%, whatever that means.

        I said that I disagreed with about 85% of Trenberth’s presentation. I don’t have the energy to debunk it here, see my recent Congressional testimony […]

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/04/11/curry-versus-trenberth/

        So the argument is of the form “I am a scientist, and I disagree with about 85% of Trentberth’s presentation.” Even then, the “see my recent Congressional testimony” counts as an argument. Handwaving may not it qualify as being well-crafted, but the quality of the craft is irrelevant for the question at hand.

      • the 97% consensus argument is the most widely used argument in the public debate on climate change.
        The arguments I make in my congressional testimony are serious, rigorous arguments. It is the tradition in presenting congressional testimony to introduce your relevant background and qualifications.

      • > The 97% consensus argument is the most widely used argument in the public debate on climate change.

        Appealing to a consensus is an appeal to an authority, but not all appeals to authority appeal to a consensus. To judge the merit of the latter based on the former’s would be to commit the composition fallacy.

        More importantly, appeals to consensus usually don’t stand alone. They refer to some institutions and an existing body of literature. The bottom line is that even consensus claims may rest on evidence and reasoning, both for the consensus claim to be made and for the claim itself to be substantiated.

        ***

        > It is the tradition in presenting congressional testimony to introduce your relevant background and qualifications.

        Appealing to tradition does not rebut the claim that establishing relevant background and qualifications functions as an appeal to authority. There’s nothing wrong with that per se. The same argument about expertise applies to authority:

        There is now a considerable literature, both in argumentation studies generally and in artificial intelligence research on argumentation, on argument from expert opinion. This form of argument was traditionally categorized as an informal fallacy by the logic textbooks, but in recent years a revolution has taken place, and it is now regarded as a legitimate argument. It is nevertheless a dangerous one that can go wrong in some instances and be quite deceptive as a rhetorical tool for strategic maneuvering in argumentation. Hence we have the problem of distinguishing between the fallacious and non-fallacious cases. When this form of argument is legitimate, it is important to recognize its defeasible nature. It provides the user only with presumptive reasoning for
        accepting the conclusion, subject to further investigations and to critical questioning.

        http://www.dougwalton.ca/papers%20in%20pdf/14ISSAv08.pdf

        Expertise is just a specific kind of authority. The converse may not be true. As long as you admit that what you propose is defeasible (i.e. authority or expertise does not imply the bearer’s right, after all), then the argument is eo ipso invalid.

        One does not simply dismiss an argument as soon as it’s being recognized as being an appeal to an authority anymore.

        ***

        If you want to see what commenting without carrying your own authority looks like, Judy, try to comment without using your real name. See what happens.

      • Editor, edit thyself:

        > then the argument is not eo ipso invalid.

      • Geez. Long sub-thread.

        Judith –

        ==> the 97% consensus argument is the most widely used argument in the public debate on climate change.”

        A bit more used than the “skeptic” appeal to authority that you use, that hardly any “skeptics” doubt that the earth is warming, or that ACO2 contributes to that warming, they only doubt how much.

        Glass houses. Stones.

        ==> “The arguments I make in my congressional testimony are serious, rigorous arguments.”

        Yet your Congressional testimony failed at least one of your tests for irresponsible advocacy: that you have an obligation to foreground uncertainty, and to present the evidence that might be in contradiction to your views.

        ==> “It is the tradition in presenting congressional testimony to introduce your relevant background and qualifications.”

        That doesn’t change the nature of your appeal to your own authority. Personally, I have no problem with you informing the basis for your “expertise.” The problems, start, IMO, with your double standards.

      • yawn. count the number of time i cite/quote the IPCC.

      • Don Monfort

        Willy has an aversion to titles. He pulls his own teeth and recently took out his gallbladder, with the help of his undocumented gardener.

        You are filibustering, willy. Is this how you want to be remembered? Like little joshie.

      • Like it’s something new, trying to figure out who knows what they are talking about.
        ==============

      • Judith,

        Why are you feeding the troll?

      • Judith –

        ==> “yawn. count the number of time i cite/quote the IPCC.”

        Yawn. I was referring to the following from your earlier post:

        Point out the weakness and limitations of your argument, including data that conflict with your recommendations;

        And also this:

        , if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid — not only what you think is right about it; other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked — to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.

        Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can — if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong — to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it.

        For example, when you testified about the “pause,” you could have talked, explicitly, about OHC. And you could have detailed why referring to a slowdown in the long-term rise in GMAT’s as a “pause in global warming” could easily be misinterpreted.

        Judith, you testified to Congress as an advocate. IMO, there’s nothing wrong, per se, with the quality of being an advocate – but what matters most is the quality of your advocacy.

      • The whole point of my testimony was to present what the IPCC had to say, and then give reasons for questioning it. You are failing to understand basic logic. I am through with your little games here.

      • ==> “Why are you feeding the troll?”

        Lol!

      • Did I hear a door slim? Must be a daft in here.
        ===============

      • Don Monfort

        The background music to Judith’s straightarm to little joshie’s face:

      • Ken,

        Whether people here like it or not, the scientific evidence suggests that continuing to increase our emissions carries a risk.

        Simply not true. There is no evidense of increasing emissions increasing risk. So far it seems to be reducing it slightly by increasing food productivity. I’ll be suprised if it also doesn’t speed up the water cycle and reduce water stress.

    • Perhaps you’ve misread Koonin’s statement: For example, human additions to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the middle of the 21st century are expected to directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect by only 1% to 2%.
      I read this as saying that the *change* from now (that is, when he wrote the article) to c.2050 is 1% to 2%. [Roughly, 0.3 K to 0.6 K.] You choose to interpret it as the change from pre-industrial, when such change is already over 2%.

      • Sorry, lost a line while editing. This last is a response to aTTP’s comment at 8:39 am.

      • I think you have to be incredibly generous to interpret it that way as it explicitly says “human additions” not “human additions from now”. Even so, it would be wrong since the range from today goes from an additional 0.6K (for the lower bound of a low-emission pathway) to an additional 1.6K (for the upper bound of a high emission pathway) which would be 2% to 5%. So, however, you try to spin this, it is still wrong.

      • I think one has to be incredibly uncharitable to take a statement about future change and interpret it to include past change *in such a way that it is wrong even about the present*.

      • I think one has to be incredibly uncharitable to take a statement about future change and interpret it to include past change *in such a way that it is wrong even about the present*.

        I don’t understand your point. There is no way to make Koonin’s statement correct. It doesn’t matter if you assume he meant since pre-industrial times, or since now. It is wrong either way.

      • aTTP,
        You disagree with me on two points.
        (1) Whether Koonin’s statement refers to a change from “now” to mid-century, or from pre-industrial to mid-century; and
        (2) Whether Koonin’s range is reasonable.
        I’ve found that when multiple points of disagreement exist, it is more productive to consider them serially. Hence, I am trying to resolve point (1), which is the more fundamental. If you’re willing to concede that point, we can move on to point (2).

      • HaroldW,
        I don’t see the point of what you’re suggesting. He explicitly said “Human additions”. It is perfectly logical to interpret that as all human additions, not only those from now. So, no, I don’t agree with your interpretation.

        On the other hand, if you want to argue that he meant from today, feel free to go ahead and show that if you do so his comment makes sense. I’d be surprised since as far as I can tell, it still isn’t correct.

      • ATTP –

        Even so, it would be wrong since the range from today goes from an additional 0.6K (for the lower bound of a low-emission pathway) to an additional 1.6K (for the upper bound of a high emission pathway) which would be 2% to 5%. So, however, you try to spin this, it is still wrong.

        Koonin’s statement referred to the “direct” effects of CO₂. Are you including indirect effects in your example?

      • As I said, one thing at a time. Just before the “1% to 2%” line is this:
        the crucial, unsettled scientific question for policy is, “How will the climate change over the next century under both natural and human influences?” That establishes the context of the “1% to 2%” as future changes, not the total from pre-industrial times.

        Elsewhere in the same article, Koonin wrote, We know, for instance, that during the 20th century the Earth’s global average surface temperature rose 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit. [Approx. 0.8 K] Which is already above the 1-2% level.

        It is therefore a stretch — and as I said before, an uncharitable reading — to interpret Koonin’s “1% to 2%” as being applicable to the change from pre-industrial, when Koonin agrees that’s already been exceeded, and it’s clear that Koonin believes that warming will continue.

      • swood1000,

        Koonin’s statement referred to the “direct” effects of CO₂. Are you including indirect effects in your example?

        Oh come on. He said “human additions …. are expected to directly shift … the natural greenhouse effect by…”. If you all want to argue till you’re blue in the face the what he said was right if you interpret it very carefully and very specifically, go ahead. I just find it a pathetic illustration of this debate. Someone writes an article that is largely bollocks and everyone who likes what they’re saying bends over backwards to argue that what he said wasn’t actually wrong if you squint and look at it through a kaleidoscope. Absolutely pathetic!

      • HaroldW,

        We know, for instance, that during the 20th century the Earth’s global average surface temperature rose 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit. [Approx. 0.8 K] Which is already above the 1-2% level.

        Yes, but he didn’t assign a percentage to this. However, you go ahead and argue that he didn’t get it wrong. I find it absolutely pathetic and a typical illustration of this online debate. Someone writes an article that is broadly nonsense and people who like what it says will argue till they’re blue in the face that it isn’t actually wrong.

      • aTTP –
        So you’re willing to ignore the context of the “1% to 2%” statement in order to force an interpretation which makes the statement inconsistent with other information in the article, and thereby argue that the article is “nonsense”.
        I agree, this is typical of online debate.

      • ATTP –

        Oh come on. …if you squint and look at it through a kaleidoscope.

        What do you think Koonin meant by the word “directly” in this sentence:

        For example, human additions to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the middle of the 21st century are expected to directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect by only 1% to 2%.

        Was it a word with no meaning, given that in the second paragraph after this Koonin said:

        A third fundamental challenge arises from feedbacks that can dramatically amplify or mute the climate’s response to human and natural influences. One important feedback, which is thought to approximately double the direct heating effect of carbon dioxide, involves water vapor, clouds and temperature.

        Isn’t it clear that the first sentence was actually talking about direct effects?

      • Harold,

        So you’re willing to ignore the context of the “1% to 2%” statement in order to force an interpretation which makes the statement inconsistent with other information in the article, and thereby argue that the article is “nonsense”.

        No, the article is nonsense for more than the reason I gave. Mine was simply an illustration.

        What I’m trying to tell you is that in any normal interpretation of a sentence that goes “human additions ….. will directly shift the natural greenhouse effect …” refers to how something (human additions) will shift something else (the natural greenhouse effect). Interpreting it as “human additions from now” is very obviously not a reasonable interpretation of the sentence, since then it would have to be shifting the natural greenhouse effect plus whatever shift we’ve alread produced.

        Similarly Swood has managed to interpret “directly shift the natural greenhouse effect” as the “direct contribution to the shift of the natural greenhouse effect”. You’ve both managed to take a sentence that has a very obvious meaning and change it to something that allows you to argue that he wasn’t in error. Well done.

        I agree, this is typical of online debate.

        It is indeed.

      • This is why I prefer to deal with one point at a time. As you insist on ignoring the context of the statement in order to make your interpretation, I don’t see any hope for progress.

      • I don’t see any hope for progress.

        I really don’t either. If you want to go ahead and think his article make sense, carry on. I have no interest in convincing you otherwise.

        Try reading the whole sentence below and think about the context. Of course, I suspect you’ll find some reason to regard it as reasonable. The only way it could be reasonable, however, is if our current understanding of climate science is incorrect, which I suspect you think it is.

        For example, human additions to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the middle of the 21st century are expected to directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect by only 1% to 2%. Since the climate system is highly variable on its own, that smallness sets a very high bar for confidently projecting the consequences of human influences.

      • Having seen that sentence for the first time, and not necessarily in its Full context, I would take it to mean human additions since we have had an official co2 impact , ie. from the industrial age since 1750

        Tonyb

      • tonyb – I would encourage you to read the entire article. Here is a more complete context:
        Rather, the crucial, unsettled scientific question for policy is, “How will the climate change over the next century under both natural and human influences?” Answers to that question at the global and regional levels, as well as to equally complex questions of how ecosystems and human activities will be affected, should inform our choices about energy and infrastructure.

        But—here’s the catch—those questions are the hardest ones to answer. They challenge, in a fundamental way, what science can tell us about future climates.

        Even though human influences could have serious consequences for the climate, they are physically small in relation to the climate system as a whole. For example, human additions to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the middle of the 21st century are expected to directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect by only 1% to 2%. Since the climate system is highly variable on its own, that smallness sets a very high bar for confidently projecting the consequences of human influences.

      • tonyb,
        Don’t forget to squint and read it through a kaleidoscope. Then it will make perfect sense. If not, you might think it’s mostly nonsense.

      • Harold

        Ok, to be even handed I will read the article twice to see if a fuller context changes my initial reading.

        Tonyb

      • Well, Ken, the climate, particularly the albedo from clouds, is constantly shifting like a kaleidoscope. Consider your radiative effect twisted through the tubes of cumulonimbus.
        =========================

      • ATTP –

        Similarly Swood has managed to interpret “directly shift the natural greenhouse effect” as the “direct contribution to the shift of the natural greenhouse effect”.

        I think I missed your explanation as to why the “directly” in the first paragraph below refers to both direct and indirect effects, given the succeeding paragraph which distinguishes between direct and indirect effects in order to point out the additional consequence of the indirect effects.

        “For example, human additions to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the middle of the 21st century are expected to directly shift the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect by only 1% to 2%.”

        “A third fundamental challenge arises from feedbacks that can dramatically amplify or mute the climate’s response to human and natural influences. One important feedback, which is thought to approximately double the direct heating effect of carbon dioxide, involves water vapor, clouds and temperature.”

      • Heh.

        Anders is my homie and all, but I gotta say when if I imagine trying to read the paragraph without first reading this argument, I would have read it as referencing emissions from this point forward. If asked to read it skeptically, I would think that it is pretty ambiguously worded (which doesn’t speak well for Koonin’s “expertise” chops, IMO).

        All that aside, it seems pretty irrelevant if his statement doesn’t add up either way.

      • Harold

        I still think my first reading of the sentence was correct but it is a little ambiguous.

        However, I thought the article itself was pretty good.

        I am very interested in natural variability as are the Met office, who a couple of years ago sent me an article by Phil jones written in 2006 .

        In this he was looking at the astonishing temperature rise in England between 1690 and 1740 . The temperature rise was much greater up to 1739 than with the hockey stick, but it ended in 1740 with one of the coldest winters in the entire 350 year instrumental temperature record. Phil jones concluded from this that natural variability was much greater than he had hitherto suspected.

        Currently, we are still within the bounds set by the Mwp and Lia and as such it is difficult to say that human impact has had any noticeable impact on our climate. Certainly, weather extremes were much worse in the past than during our current relatively benign era.

        Tonyb

      • Joshua,

        Anders is my homie and all, but I gotta say when if I imagine trying to read the paragraph without first reading this argument, I would have read it as referencing emissions from this point forward.

        I guess I have to consider any argument made by someone who calls me homie :-), but do you really think that human additions to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the middle of the 21st century would be reasonably interpreted as from now? To me this reads as what we’ve added, not what we’re going to add.

        The other problem is that the end of the paragraph then compares the human contribution to the natural contribution. The expectation is that the human contribution will be larger than the natural contribution under any possible future emission pathway and relative to now or to pre-industrial times.

      • Actually, I should probably have written what we will have added, rather than what we’ve added.

      • Thanks Tonyb & Joshua.
        I agree that one *can* read it either way. And if it had been written by a random Internet anonym, one might be justified in taking the view that the author is just completely off-base. As it comes from a qualified person, I would take the interpretation which is more consistent with the range of scientific perspectives, albeit toward the lower end of said range.

        Given the diversity of interpretations, I’ll drop this here and merely state that (a) my opinion is that Koonin’s “1% to 2%” refers to change from now to mid-century; and (b) an expectation of 0.1 to 0.2 K/decade is not unreasonable.

      • Anders –

        ==> “…but do you really think that human additions to carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by the middle of the 21st century would be reasonably interpreted as from now?”

        No, not necessarily. When I look at it closely, it’s ambiguous (which, again, doesn’t speak well about Koonin’s “expertise” chops).

        But if I could hop into my time machine and read the statement casually as I might have before I read this discussion, I think I’d interpret it as from this point forward. Unfortunately, I can’t prove it because my time machine’s on the fritz right now.

        What’s funny is that tonyb fessed up to likely interpreting it the other way.

      • “What’s funny is that tonyb fessed up to likely interpreting it the other way.”
        I think it speaks well of both of you that neither reflexively took a position.

      • HaroldW,

        I agree that one *can* read it either way.

        Well, since you seem to have at least accepted an alternative interpretation, I apologise for some of my earlier, rather harsh, comments.

      • aTTP: I have a thick hide, or an anatine back, depending on the metaphor one prefers. I took no offense at your comments, which I didn’t think were particularly harsh. [Toward me anyway, perhaps harder on Koonin, but I see no reason to take umbrage at criticism of someone who I don’t even know.]
        But thank you for the gentle thoughts.

      • So we’re *both* wrong in interpreting the “1% to 2%” as a percentage of ~33K ! :-)

    • Whether you agree with it or not, the projections by 2050 range from a minimum of around 1.5oC (if we choose to follow a very low emission pathway) to around 2.6oC (if we choose to follow a very high emission pathway). This is between 5% and 8% of the natural greenhouse effect. [my bold]

      Where is the evidence that the projections given here are, apparently, actually validated predictions instead? The lack of evidence means that Koonin’s projections of the eventual temperature change are exactly as valid these.

      • Dan,

        Where is the evidence that the projections given here are, apparently, actually validated predictions instead? The lack of evidence means that Koonin’s projections of the eventual temperature change are exactly as valid these.

        So, Koonin’s guesses are exactly as valid as climate model projections? Wow, that is one the most remarkable comments I’ve read all day. That isn’t a compliment.

      • Yeah, not to climate models.
        ========

      • I forgot,
        Some say for the past 18 years, more or less, the projections quoted here have been, “Overturned by observations”.
        Love that phase.

      • aTTP, I did not say “guesses”, I said “projections”.

      • Dan,

        I did not say “guesses”, I said “projections”.

        Jeepers, I really don’t care. If you think that Koonin’s “projections” are wildly different to “guesses” then I think you’re giving him way too much credit. Seriously, what you said was marvelous (well, in a “what, did he really say that out loud?” kind of way). I have no interest in taking this any further. I’ve had enough ridiculous discussions for one day.

      • Dan,

        Some say for the past 18 years, more or less, the projections quoted here have been, “Overturned by observations”.
        Love that phase.

        I quite like it too. It tells me an awful lot about the person who says it, which I will illustrate by not continuing this any further.

      • Overruled by obstreperations.
        =========

    • patmcguinness

      ATTP: “Whether you agree with it or not, the projections by 2050 range from a minimum of around 1.5oC (if we choose to follow a very low emission pathway) to around 2.6oC ”

      In the last 20 years, HADCRUT4 measurements warmed by about 0.15C; RSS and other datasets even less. So you are claiming that the next 35 years will suddenly massively increase the warming rates by a factor of 5-10x what they’ve been in the last 20 years, and that’s the only reasonable bounds on projections of warming.

      What’s your basis for such a projection? Models that also predicted warming by 2015 that hasn’t happened in reality?

      Whether you agree with it or not, here’s another projection: Warming rates will be 0.1C/decade on average from 2015 to 2050, like they were from 1950 to 2015. Another 0.35C in 2050. Maybe.

      By attacking Koonin’s credentials with a projection that is lacking in certainty if not credibility, you have inadvertently made Koonin’s point. Koonin is only ‘wrong’ if those projections are right, but thus far, they are not right. Whether you agree with it or not, the science is unsettled and uncertain by virtue of the failure of models to faithfully predict climate.

  54. So, having glued themselves to something in 2007, they are now refusing to admit that anything might have changed since then?

    Oh, dear.

  55. Re: APS Statement 4/7/2015:

    [M]ultiple lines of evidence indicate that human influences have had an increasingly dominant effect on the climate warming observed since the mid-twentieth century.

    None of IPCC’s several rationales for a human fingerprint on climate can withstand elementary scrutiny. And contradicting that human-influence conjecture are two facts. (1) Solar radiation accurately predicts global temperature. And (2) with regard to its main rationale, carbon emissions cause warming, the vector of causation is backwards: atmospheric CO2 concentration follows global warming, empirically and theoretically, while human emissions are lost in the noise.

    APS should provide the specifics for its claim that human influences have had ANY measurable effect on climate. Surely they would have to rely on computer models of climate, but would APS require that those models be validated?

    APS could profit from drafting a position paper on what science is.

    • A rope of multiple weak strands pulls apart easily.

    • andrew adams

      So does the greenhouse effect not exist?

      • Of course it does. No sane person would say it doesn’t exist. It an “effectless” effect.

    • andrew adams, 4/8/15 @ 10:17 am, asked:

      So does the greenhouse effect not exist?

      Yes, but in no way is that one of the reasons for the failure of climate models to work. GCMs can’t predict global temperature principally because they make no attempt to account for cloud cover dynamics, the strongest feedback in climate. That feedback is positive with respect to solar radiation, so the models get solar effects wrong. It is negative with respect to surface temperature, so GCMs fail to account for the natural mitigation of warming, regardless of the cause. The models make atmospheric CO2 concentration the cause of warming, but fail to account for either the solubility effect of CO2 in water, the intense outgassing in the Eastern Equatorial Pacific, or the effects of climatologists’ formula for the residence time of atmospheric CO2 (it’s quite short-lived (~1.5 years), not long-lived (decades to centuries), and its lumpy in the atmosphere, not global).

      Those are the rationale (the models) for the failure, not the evidence of failure. The solid evidence lies in the fact that estimates of the so-called Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity are less than the minimum set for it by the climatologists. The GCMs are thus invalid according to the precepts of Modern Science (but not of Post Modern Science).

      And that says nothing about the fact that the Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity is supposed to reflect the rise in temperature following an increase in atmospheric CO2, but what is estimated is the rise in temperature PRECEEDING an increase in atmospheric CO2. The GCMs’ vital presumption that CO2 leads temperature, when in fact it lags temperature, distorts the interpretation of the measurements. The fact that the magnitude of the lagging ratio happens to be less than the magnitude of the presumed leading ratio is a fortunate accident, a case of the toast falling jelly-side-up for science in its struggle with the political science of climatology.

      Unfortunately politicians don’t have Julia Child’s Five Second Rule for picking up a mess.

      • Jeff,

        But by definition the GHE is the response of the climate system to the presence of GHGs in the atmosphere. CO2 (and other GHGs) leading temperature, not the other way round. So I don’t see how you can accept the existence of the GHE but dispute that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere will cause warming. Yes, that doesn’t mean that it can’t work the other way round as well – it’s uncontroversial that increasing temperatures in the past have resulted in increasing CO2 levels, mainly through outgassing from the oceans. But currently the oceans are acting as a net sink for CO2, which is why only half of our emissions are remaining in the atmosphere. And WRT to the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere, individual molecules of CO2 may have a relatively short residence time due to the carbon cycle but the overall level remains fairly constant and does have a residence time of centuries.

      • A net sink, but they’re warming. Hmmm. OK.
        ===================

      • andrew adams, 4/8/15 @ 3:58 pm, posted:

        Part I:

        But by definition the GHE is the response of the climate system to the presence of GHGs in the atmosphere. CO2 (and other GHGs) leading temperature, not the other way round.

        This explanation confuses the GHE with the IPCC climate model itself, colloquially the GCMs. With one exception, the climate models do make the GHGs lead temperature. That exception is that the GCMs apply the Clausius-Clapeyron equation to make water vapor increase following (lagging) increased surface temperature. In this way the GCMs have water vapor to amplify CO2-caused warming. That is necessary because as much as the GCMs over-estimate the presence of anthropogenic CO2, long-lived and accumulating, it isn’t enough to cause the desired catastrophe. At this point, the GCMs increase clouds because clouds also produce a GHE, but the GCMs don’t use the increased water vapor and clouds to increase cloud cover, thereby increasing cloud albedo, the mitigating reaction in nature.

        The definition of the GHE is defined by IPCC as follows:

        Greenhouse effect Greenhouse gases effectively absorb thermal infrared radiation, emitted by the Earth’s surface, by the atmosphere itself due to the same gases, and by clouds. Atmospheric radiation is emitted to all sides, including downward to the Earth’s surface. Thus, greenhouse gases trap heat within the surface-troposphere system. This is called the greenhouse effect. Thermal infrared radiation in the troposphere is strongly coupled to the temperature of the atmosphere at the altitude at which it is emitted. In the troposphere, the temperature generally decreases with height. Effectively, infrared radiation emitted to space originates from an altitude with a temperature of, on average, –19°C, in balance with the net incoming solar radiation, whereas the Earth’s surface is kept at a much higher temperature of, on average, +14°C. An increase in the concentration of greenhouse gases leads to an increased infrared opacity of the atmosphere, and therefore to an effective radiation into space from a higher altitude at a lower temperature. This causes a radiative forcing that leads to an enhancement of the greenhouse effect, the so-called enhanced greenhouse effect. AR4, Glossary, p. 946.

        This appears to be good enough for government work. (1) The word effectively in the first sentence should be struck. (2) The notion that heat can be trapped is sure to give anyone versed in thermodynamics the heebie-jeebies. (Heat is thermal energy in transit. What is trapped is thermal energy.) (3) The vertical distributions of the trapped energy and temperature are irrelevant. The GCMs use the radiative forcing paradigm, well-represented by the Kiehl-Trenberth (1997) lumped parameter model. See AR4, FAQ 1.1. In this model, the atmosphere is a single node, meaning it has no thickness.

      • andrew adams, 4/8/15 @ 3:58 pm, cont.:

        Part II.

        So I don’t see how you can accept the existence of the GHE but dispute that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere will cause warming. Yes, that doesn’t mean that it can’t work the other way round as well – it’s uncontroversial that increasing temperatures in the past have resulted in increasing CO2 levels, mainly through outgassing from the oceans.

        Only crackpots and a few of their followers dispute that increasing GHGs would increase the surface temperature. What is disputed is the idea that man can measurably increase atmospheric CO2, or any other GHG. Add to that now the idea that outgassing accounts for increasing atmospheric CO2. With respect to the ocean, CO2 flows in and out continuously according to ocean circulations and the associated temperature changes. The dominant current is the Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC), aka the misnamed ThermoHaline Circulation (THC) (it ought to be thermo-haline-carbon), and popularly the Great Conveyor Belt. The major effects of this circulation are two-fold. First, CO2 outgases where cold water from the ocean depths surfaces at the equator to absorb solar radiation. Second, the ocean absorbs CO2 on average all across the lower density surface as the waters cool by radiation to space on their return to the poles. This circulation is about 15 Sverdrup (1 Sv = 1 km^3/sec), 15 times the combined total flow of all the rivers of the world (about 1 Sv). Coincidentally, the carbon flux from the oceans alone is also about 15 times man’s present emissions.

        But currently the oceans are acting as a net sink for CO2, which is why only half of our emissions are remaining in the atmosphere.

        If the oceans are effectively warming, they are a net source of CO2, and if they are cooling, a net sink. Half of man’s emissions no more remain in the atmosphere than do half the emissions from all the other sources, which are 33 times as great. See AR4, Figure 7.3, p. 515, where IPCC omitted 270 GtC/yr from leaf water (TAR, ¶3.2.2.1, p. 191). Natural CO2, being a lighter mix of isotopes, is likely slightly less soluble than anthropogenic CO2, but regardless, the solubility coefficients cannot be set to cause what the GCMs do: nearly 100% of natural CO2 is reabsorbed on the surface while only about half the ACO2 is.

      • andrew adams, 4/8/15 @ 3:58 pm, cont.:

        Part III.

        And WRT to the residence time of CO2 in the atmosphere, individual molecules of CO2 may have a relatively short residence time due to the carbon cycle but the overall level remains fairly constant and does have a residence time of centuries.

        This is a wild speculation actually found on the Internet. However, no such model for individual molecules exists. Residence time is a bulk or statistical relationship relating to the volume of reservoirs and the mass flow between them:

        Turnover time (T) (also called global atmospheric lifetime) is the ratio of the mass M of a reservoir (e.g., a gaseous compound in the atmosphere) and the total rate of removal S from the reservoir: T = M / S. For each removal process, separate turnover times can be defined. In soil carbon biology, this is referred to as Mean Residence Time. AR4, Glossary, p. 948.

        This is IPCC’s formula analogous to filling leaky buckets modeled in first year, high school physics. IPCC ignores its formula in the main body of its Assessment Reports. The formula puts the CO2 residence time as low as 1.5 years with leaf water and 3.2 years without, and it has nothing to do with individual molecules.

        Nor does residence time have anything to do with oceanographers’ imaginary bottleneck in the boundary layer, where CO2 waits thousands of years for deep ocean sequestration to make room in the surface layer, constrained by equilibrium carbonate equations. The surface of the ocean is no more in equilibrium than is the climate itself, and the equilibrium relations do not apply. GCMs force the atmosphere to be a reservoir for excess manmade CO2 (though, mysteriously, not natural CO2) when in fact the surface layer of the ocean easily holds any excess CO2, dissociated or gaseous, allowing Henry’s Law of Solubility (yet to be discovered by IPCC) to proceed apace.

    • Danny Thomas

      Jeff Glassman,
      Ethics and Values (http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/99_6.cfm)
      99.6 “WHAT IS SCIENCE?”
      (Adopted by Council on November 14, 1999)
      Science extends and enriches our lives, expands our imagination and liberates us from the bonds of ignorance and superstition. The American Physical Society affirms the precepts of modern science that are responsible for its success.
      Science is the systematic enterprise of gathering knowledge about the universe and organizing and condensing that knowledge into testable laws and theories.
      The success and credibility of science are anchored in the willingness of scientists to:
      Expose their ideas and results to independent testing and replication by others. This requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials.
      Abandon or modify previously accepted conclusions when confronted with more complete or reliable experimental or observational evidence.
      Adherence to these principles provides a mechanism for self-correction that is the foundation of the credibility of science.

      • Danny Thomas, 4/8/15 @ 12:23 pm:

        Thanks for the link.

        To be kind to APS, the statement you quote on What Is Science is about the Ethics and Values of science. An actual definition, though, might start with science is a branch of knowledge, it ought to say something about objectivity, about facts, and about predictions. It should accommodate conjectures, hypotheses and laws, along with theories, and validity. The success and credibility of science has nothing to do with the cooperative nature of scientists, as APS explains it. Science is about models that work, that map existing facts onto future facts, that make predictions demonstrably better than chance, that are validated by experiment.

        When APS endorsed the notion that humans influences have [any] effect on the climate, was it demonstrating adherence to its ethics and values? Had it conducted the independent testing and replication required by the ethics of science, or were they affirming that others had done so? In what way was APS following its Mission Statement, namely

        The American Physical Society strives to:

        Be the leading voice for physics and an authoritative source of physics information for the advancement of physics and the benefit of humanity;

        Provide effective programs in support of the physics community and the conduct of physics;

        Collaborate with national scientific societies for the advancement of science, science education and the science community;

        Cooperate with international physics societies to promote physics, to support physicists worldwide and to foster international collaboration;

        Promote an active, engaged and diverse membership, and support the activities of its units and members.

        http://www.aps.org/about/mission/index.cfm

        Professional societies like APS have a public duty to speak, and to speak exclusively with a discriminating, authoritative, scientific voice. That duty is routinely abridged, exemplified by the APS Panel on Public Affairs statement, above.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jeff Glassman,
        Finding myself tripping over the “Society” (an organization or club formed for a particular purpose or activity) part of APS. I’m challenged between that while browsing their website and finding “science” a bit hard to find. Then stumbled on this: “The traditional role of the American Physical Society has been to serve the physics community through the organization of technical meetings and publication of journals. Beginning in 1973, however, the Society undertook to expand its role to serve emerging public needs. As one component of its concern with the relationship between physics and public policy, the Society has undertaken a number of studies of timely technical issues. (http://www.aps.org/policy/reports/index.cfm)
        And the origin: “The American Physical Society was founded on May 20, 1899, when 36 physicists gathered at Columbia University for that purpose. They proclaimed the mission of the new Society to be “to advance and diffuse the knowledge of physics”, and in one way or another the APS has been at that task ever since.”
        ” …………APS is active in public and governmental affairs,…………..”
        (http://www.aps.org/about/history/index.cfm)

        So to address your questions beginning here: “When APS endorsed the notion that humans influences…………., I cannot via their website, find that they have done so. Finding policy, outreach, and advocacy was easy.

      • Danny Thomas, 4/8/15 @ 1:40 pm:

        Thanks for the research. Personally, I think the Draft APS Statement on Climate Change violates the first clause of the APS Mission Statement, to

        Be the leading voice for physics and an authoritative source of physics information for the advancement of physics and the benefit of humanity;

        APS is not here being the leading voice of anything, but a trailing (copycat) voice for a movement. It has provided neither authoritative information nor a link to such information, here on climate physics. And just because the position it endorses claims to be for the benefit of humanity doesn’t make it so. Moreover, the fact that what APS endorses is a political movement challenges its beneficial claims.

      • Jeff Glassman: APS is not here being the leading voice of anything, but a trailing (copycat) voice for a movement. It has provided neither authoritative information nor a link to such information, here on climate physics.

        Those strike me as fair statements.

  56. Dear Dr. Curry,

    I believe that you are being somewhat too harsh in your criticism. The statement seems mostly hot air to me.

    The first paragraph has a lot of ifs and buts and doesn’t specifically say GHGs. (e.g. the Aral Sea is also the result of “human influence”). The second paragraph hides behind the IPCC, and the Call to Action amounts to an appeal for more talk and research funding. I can’t imagine this statement pleasing anybody much.

    Sausage making* implies that if the result is tasty, nobody wants to know where it came from. If that’s what the APS was trying to do with this bland statement, they failed.

    Politicians know how to make tasty sausage. Scientific societies would maybe do best to just leave it alone.

    (* btw, last week was O. v. Bismarck’s 200th birthday)

  57. “The blind, leading the blind
    And I am amazed, how they stumble
    Homeward through the haze”

  58. My question to Ken is – what does Barbie think?

  59. After reading the APS workshop transcript with great care and blogging about it, I’m horrified at their new statement but not really surprised. The number of warmist papers, statements, summaries, etc. that have been published that are at odds with the facts and analysis they are meant to synthesize is truely appalling. George Orwell all over again! But, facts are stubborn things. Even Kings and Presidents have to bow to them eventually. The “Pause” is unlikely to go away anytime soon and every year it chips away at the so-called “consensus,” or perhaps more accurately the “Nonsensus.” I wholly agree with what you have said in this post.

  60. Schrodinger's Cat

    At first glance, I misread the first word of the title of this post as “Daft”.

    In retrospect it seems quite appropriate.

  61. harrytwinotter

    The name-calling and conspiracy theories were not long in coming.

    • harrytripletotter

      What else would you expect from a group of deniers funded by the fossil fuel industry?

      Name calling and conspiracy theories are all they have left.

  62. I am appalled at the weak, unprincipled and supine behavior of the APS POPA group for drafting a statement that has surrendered to the unscientific, ideologically motivated political pressure from certain interest groups.

    Just 8 years ago the APS had the strength and integrity to make THIS statement;-

    “The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.”

    What behind the scences influences peddling has forced them to row back from that statement to the anodyne if not supine, mealy mouthed;-

    ” The APS reiterates its 2007 call to support actions that will reduce the emissions, and ultimately the concentration, of greenhouse gases,”

    And the rest of the statement comes with unecessary caveats;-

    “Nevertheless, as recognized by Working Group 1 of the IPCC, scientific challenges remain to our abilities to observe, interpret, and project climate changes. … as well as increase the resilience of society to a changing climate. … While natural sources of climate variability are significant, ”

    Can anybody on the inside shed light on this significant dilution of the APS statement from the 2007 version? !-)

    • It might have to do with the facts. There are huge uncertainties and a lot we still don’t understand about the climate system. It would be foolish to make decisions on the current state of understanding. There are some fools that believe it so much that they know exactly how to predict the future of the climate that they would blast millions of tons of volcanic ash into the atmosphere to regulate the temperature. The models can’t even be trusted 10 – 20 years into the future. Then there is the facts that there was a lot more CO2 in the atmosphere in the past, and etc, etc, etc.

  63. Sadly, I suspect that these various pseudo-scientific networking organizations are actually meeting their fiduciary obligations by putting out these consensus supporting statements.
    After all, if the consensus yields more grant money – isn’t that a big part of being a scientist these days?
    Or put another way: if we follow the money – isn’t it almost by definition that more grant money would be spent looking for/analyzing a big problem than determining one is minor or nonexistent?

  64. Ughhh. More sheep.

  65. Until the data and the atmospheric processes put forth by AGW theory start supporting this theory, this is just more nonsense.

    I have already pointed out many times how none of the data and atmospheric processes as called for by this theory have yet to materialize.

    Until then this theory is just blind speculation with no hard evidence to back it up with ,unless current data is either manipulated, disregarded or changed to make it meet the needs of AGW theory.

    We have seen many examples of this, from the climate gate scandal, to Dr. Mann’s nonsense reconstruction of the historical climatic record to the questioning of satellite data, and manipulation of data in general ,in order to promote this theory which all objective real data says is wrong.

  66. From Prof. Richard S. Lindzen’s slide show (22nd February 2012):

    4. The claims that the earth has been warming, that there is a greenhouse effect, and that man’s activities have contributed to warming, are trivially true and essentially meaningless in terms of alarm.

    Nonetheless, they are frequently trotted out as evidence for alarm. For example, here is the response of the American Physical Society to the resignation letter of the late Hal Lewis (a distinguished physicist and a fellow of the Society):

    On the matter of global climate change, APS notes that virtually all reputable scientists agree with the following observations: Carbon dioxide is increasing in the atmosphere due to human activity; Carbon dioxide is an excellent infrared absorber, and therefore, its increasing presence in the atmosphere contributes to global warming; and The dwell time of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is hundreds of years. On these matters, APS judges the science to be quite clear.

    The first two items refer to the trivial agreement. The last item, however, does not and is actually quite misleading on its own terms. The APS also denies financial involvement despite the fact that POPA’s chair is Bob Socolow who is chair of the Carbon Mitigation Initiative, and on the advisory board of Deutsche Bank.

  67. Maybe it’s because my expectations were a lot lower than yours, but I didn’t think the new APS statement was that bad. Sure, it could be better, but at least it’s a big improvement over the 2007 statement. It mostly just seems wishy-washy to me, which is better than unwarranted exaggerations.

  68. On the one hand it seems to be a softening of the 2007 statement. In 2007 they said that “The evidence is incontrovertible,” and even acknowledged how unusual it is for a scientific statement to use that term. Now they seem to allow for significantly more uncertainty by saying that “natural sources of climate variability are significant” and “the magnitudes of future effects are uncertain.” Furthermore, consider this statement:

    …multiple lines of evidence indicate that human influences have had an increasingly dominant effect on the climate warming observed since the mid-twentieth century.

    Does this mean that the human influence has reached the level of overall dominance, or does it mean that on the scale of dominance the human influence has been increasing, but without saying that it has reached the point of overall dominance? An argument could be made for either.

    This sentence seems to be an endorsement of alarmism: “In particular, the connection between rising concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases and the increased warming of the global climate system is more certain than ever.” But even that sentence is couched somewhat ambiguously in that it refers to a relative rather than an absolute certainty. On the other hand, it could also be seen as a reaffirmation of their prior statement that “The evidence is incontrovertible.” So they would be saying “The evidence is more incontrovertible than ever.” But evidence of what? That CO₂ increases warming? Judith herself has published studies affirming that.

    Is there anything in the statement that is unambiguously alarmist? Is it alarmist to “support actions…that reduce greenhouse gases”? It seems to me that the sentences that need to be clarified/toned down are (a) the one about dominance, and (b) the one about the certainty of the connection between greenhouse gases and global warming.

    • David L. Hagen

      A remarkable news from Scientific American: Physicists Battle over the Meaning of “Incontrovertible” in Global Warming Fight

      According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “incontrovertible” means “not able to be denied or questioned.”
      This term was anathema to scientists. In science, everyone is free to question everything, and that is how the field progresses. . . .
      In the spring of 2014, Koonin’s drafting committee produced a statement that attributed equal weight to human influences and natural variability as a driver of climate change, according to a source who declined to be named. . . . Koonin quickly lost control of the committee, according to a June POPA meeting’s minutes. . . .
      In September 2014, Koonin wrote an editorial where he acknowledged human-caused climate change was happening but wrote that the “impact today of human activity appears to be comparable to the intrinsic, natural variability of the climate system itself.” . . .
      Koonin’s point is one espoused by Curry and other scientists opposed to man-made dominance of global warming. They assert that the climate is indeed changing, but nature and humans both share the blame. The degree to which humans are dominating nature in shaping the climate, they assert, cannot be known using the tools scientists presently have at their command.

      • David L. Hagen –
        The APS is required to re-visit these statements periodically and they probably just wanted to get through it without a huge scene like they had last time when people resigned. They probably resisted the draft that Koonin first came up with because it looked too much like something that people like Michael Mann likes to call ‘anti-science.’

        I get a kick out of Scientific American. If you read any of their articles dealing with climate change it becomes clear that they are not in the realm of those who have reached a conclusion about climate change but they have become policy activists. Their goal seems to be to ‘take down’ the skeptic side and anyone who espouses that view. Here is some of what they said:

        The nadir of all this was reached when Koonin wrote an editorial in The Wall Street Journal that appeared to question climate science.

        Really? He was questioning climate science, as opposed to questioning the conclusions that can properly be drawn from the findings of climate science?

        In January 2014, Koonin organized a symposium in Brooklyn, N.Y., to which he invited six climate experts. Three are well-respected by most scientists.

        The other three are also well-respected by most scientists, though there might be differences as to what conclusions can be drawn. It is true that not all activists embrace character assassination, but Scientific American is in a different class.

        There was a contingent of folks who were supremely concerned that we would give ammunition to the other side, meaning the deniers,” Rosner said.

        In his letter resigning from the APS Hal Lewis talked about how it used to be – when these statements were drawn up by giants in their field without reference to politics. His conclusion: “The giants no longer walk the earth.”

        His article contained some inaccuracies, Raymond Pierrehumbert, a geophysicist at the University of Chicago, said on a phone call from Sweden, where he is on a guest professorship. He said that human influences are not just “comparable” to natural variability as Koonin wrote. Rather, humans have dominated warming since the 1950s.

        What is the “inaccuracy”? That sounds like he misstated some scientific law or the clear results of some study. No, the “inaccuracy” was his view that human influence has not been shown to have dominated warming.

        This may seem like a minor squabble, but Koonin’s point is one espoused by Curry and other scientists opposed to man-made dominance of global warming.

        Opposed to man-made dominance? Sounds like a political position. These scientists must be operating under political motives.

  69. It is a shame that they remain so vague: they aggregate greenhouse gases with other human influences; call for more research without ranking or even listing the most important unknowns; advocate reductions in undifferentiated emissions and also increased resilience. They recognize the IPCC as authoritative without any reference to the limitations of the IPCC. Happily, they agree that we’ll know more in a few decades.

    I don’t see anything that can be accomplished by Prof Curry resigning from the APS or any office she holds.

    Professional organizations have as their number one goal the advancement of their professions and their members. I think this is a clear statement of where the leadership thinks their interests lie. Without a firm commitment to the idea that the threats are serious, it would be hard for them to successfully advocate the research that so many of them depend upon.

    This is a disappointment but not much of a surprise.

  70. Politicians using weather-related events to prove or disprove Catastrophic Antropogenic Global Warming.

    I tire of this game.

  71. Dr. Curry –

    It’s pretty clear that APS has been seduced by the money, like most large government, university, and civilian-sector organizations. The lure of feeding at the trough of the Climate Science gravy train is strong. The reward of promotions, grants, and person power is sooooooo seductive. On the flip-side the price of dissent is steep: prepare to be ostracized, marginalized, defunded, and personally attacked.

    Who can blame them for selling out for 30 pieces of silver?

  72. Pingback: The American Physical Society | Transterrestrial Musings

  73. I am of the mind that I want mainstream to push AGW as much as they can and prepare for it as much as they can and tell us skeptics we know nothing so when the moment of truth comes(which is very soon) we will be able to say we told you this theory was not correct and now is the time to take climate science in a new direction ,and away from this way of thinking, which is what some of us have been trying to do, with so far not much luck.

    That will change if the data going forward cooperates. We shall see.

    • Salvatore – I fear the time for this well deserved gloating will be long after our deaths. It would take another 30-years of hiatus before they even begin to admit defeat, and 50 before it’s really clear. By that time all of the current crop of “climate scientists” will be dead or retired and living off fat pension checks. The new ones will claim that “We not to blame. It was those old guys.”

  74. The statement fails to explain the whole debate revolves around climate sensitivity to greenhouse gases. It sounds like a statement written by a Social or Political scientist. This means it’s pretty useless.

  75. Dr. Curry, May 2014 I was commenting on a global warming article written by Mother Jones. Rob Honeycutt from Skeptical Science was also there commenting.

    There was this exchange between Rob and commenter bigbluecarbondotcom:

    Bigbluecarbondotcom: Physicists disagree. We call bull on you climate politicians.

    Rob Honeycutt: No, “physicists” don’t disagree.

    Bigbluecarbondotcom: Most are skeptics or luke warmers – 95%+. We disagree w/ alarmists like you.

    Rob Honeycutt: No they aren’t. You have no data to support that statement. In fact the American Physical Society has a clear statement saying that AGW is unequivocal.

    Bigbluecarbondotcom: Indeed, and it was so stupid that Lindzen, Christy and Curry were just appointed to their climate statement review panel. Alarmists are losing.

    Rob Honeycutt: I spoke to someone on the panel and they said its unlikely the APS will change their statement.

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/05/inquiring-minds-katharine-hayhoe-faith-climate

    This exchange was a year ago. It sounds like your input was to never have been considered at all. Were you being used in some way? What was the purpose of having you and the others there if they had already made up their mind what the statement would be.

  76. Dr. Curry, May 2014 I was commenting on a global warming article written by Mother Jones. Rob Honeycutt from Skeptical Science was also there commenting.

    There was this exchange between Rob and commenter bigbluecarbondotcom:

    Bigbluecarbondotcom: Physicists disagree. We call bull on you climate politicians.

    Rob Honeycutt: No, “physicists” don’t disagree.

    Bigbluecarbondotcom: Most are skeptics or luke warmers – 95%+. We disagree w/ alarmists like you.

    Rob Honeycutt: No they aren’t. You have no data to support that statement. In fact the American Physical Society has a clear statement saying that AGW is unequivocal.

    Bigbluecarbondotcom: Indeed, and it was so stupid that Lindzen, Christy and Curry were just appointed to their climate statement review panel. Alarmists are losing.

    Rob Honeycutt: I spoke to someone on the panel and they said its unlikely the APS will change their statement.

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2014/05/inquiring-minds-katharine-hayhoe-faith-climate

    This was a year ago that this conversation occurred. It sounds like the APS had already made up their mind on their statement. Were you being used? What was the purpose of having your input if they had already decided the statement wouldn’t change?

  77. APS has always been a political organization first. The state of these societies, APS included, reflects progressing politicization of science itself. The dominance of political operators whose primary success and expertise is in getting grants, political positioning, membership in strategic this or that committees. I quit APS the first chance I had, which was when I left so called basic physics research. I never felt that APS represented me as a young (then) physicist, and I never felt it did anything for me or for physics.

    So, just quit. Do not lend your voice and your money to this group. It is a group of connected academic politicians, not physicists.

  78. John McLean

    This demonstrated yet again that one major casualty of climate change – perhaps the most significant of all – has been science ethics.

  79. A year ago I sent Koonin’s WPJ article to a friend who is a member and and also a CalTech grad. He came back with Mann’s hockey stick paper. I kid you not.
    I deconstructed the graph along with Muller’s video, and I have not heard back.

  80. In a nutshell, POPA is saying: “while we don’t actually understand the workings of the real-world climate system, we are confident of the bottom-line conclusions.” One has to be an addicted academic to buy that mind-numbing conceit

    John S.

  81. Testing. Comment lost in space. (

  82. The APS POPA post is what got me hooked on CE.

    I am nauseated by their draft statement and their blatant political pandering.

  83. Pingback: Draft APS Statement on Climate Change | Climate Etc. | jamesbbkk

  84. Spence,

    my personal view is that natural climate variability is governed by Hurst-Kolmogorov dynamics.

    Yes, I do know. Suggesting that this might be what Koonin is suggesting doesn’t make the article any more credible. Noone credible who works in this field, thinks this.

    And incidentally, your “suggestion” of Alexis_b being an order of magnitude out is laughable, just from the lack of objectivity it shows.

    So, suggesting that someone might have made typoe (because I was surprised he’d said 3-4 in a few decades) shows a lack of objectivity? Jeepers. Thanks, you’ve reminded me why you’re one of those with whom I avoid discussions. Thanks, also for bringing the discussion on this thread full circle.

  85. Pingback: Steve Koonin and the small percentage fallacy | …and Then There's Physics

  86. Judith –

    In light of the discussion about, about how to determine who is or isn’t an “expert,” I thought that for sure you’d find the following quite interesting.

    DR. HELD: …..Some of the questions that came through in your background document I thought were a little off, if I can be frank —

    DR. KOONIN: That’s fine. We are not experts

    DR. HELD: — in the sense that they don’t conform to my picture of how the climate system works.

    Now as an expert in determining expertise, sure you’d like to refute Dr. Koonin’s claim that “we are not experts.”

    • My view is substantially different from held’s. Koonin is humble and doesn’t claim primary expertise, but he definitely has synthetic expertise with regard to climate change

      • Does ‘a little off’ mean ‘from out of the echo chamber’?
        ============

      • ==> “but he definitely has synthetic expertise with regard to climate change”

        What are your criteria for determining who has “synthetic expertise.”

        How do you control for subjectivity when applying your criteria?

  87. Too bad APS took such a good process of both sides of evidence and came back with such an activist based statement. No acknowledgement of uncertainties, lack of measurements globally, lack of basis for increased confidence in man causing increased temperatures since 1976 or even the almost 20 years of level temperatures despite all predictions of the models. All they came back with were vague assureances and maybe the heat is hiding in the oceans or in new clouds increases, or new water or increased rain or decreased rain. So depressing.
    Scott

  88. I have started many blogs with this question and only a few scientists have even tried to look for the answer. “Where is the credible experiment(s) that prove that the “Hypotheses of the greenhouse gas effect exists ” the next question I have asked is “Where is the credible experiments that prove that the reduction of CO2 in the atmosphere will cause the atmospheric temperature to decrease?” The next realization that I throw out is “Why was the hypotheses of the greenhouse gas effect proposed? Is there a need for a greenhouse gas effect when none of the Energy balances issued from 1824 to the present include the “heat of the earth itself” There is a layer of molten material below the surface of the earth (probable keep hot by nuclear materials reactions) that CAN ACCOUNT FOR MUCH OF THE EARTHS CONTINUING TEMPERATURE WHEN ADDED TO THE SOLAR ENERGY INPUT FROM THE SUN.
    Any physicist or mechanical engineer with a background in thermodynamics realizes that we have more that enough Energy to account for Earths and the atmospheric temperatures without the “fairy tale” of the Greenhouse gas effect:.
    In the next part of my posts will be my experiment that shows that the GHGE does not exist and another paper that relates back to what I learn from a physics professor when learning quantum physics (55 years ago) and the Bohr model (which has had revisions with time) the basic is that a gas does not “heat” when it absorbs IR,it has an increase of internal energy.
    Judy Curry has had this material many times but chooses to ignore the scientific fact that the Greenhouse gas effect does not exist.

  89. Svend Ferdinandsen

    Why at all should APS and other institutions give a statement on Climate Change?
    If the topic is unsettled as Climate Change is, then it is simply short circuiting the scientific proces. If it is settled there is no need for a statement.

  90. Waltheof,
    You might have to point out where, because I can’t find any such comment. It’s possible, but I’m struggling to find it.

    There are too many of your type on both sides of this debate.

    You may want to look up the meaning of the word “ironic”.

  91. Rachael Ford

    Judith I understand the APS actually wrote to IPCC questioning on what basis they determined that certainty of the connection between rising concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases and the increased warming of the global climate system is INCREASING.
    I see APS are now advocating this belief only recently questioned. What info were they provided with by IPCC or other info did they determine to be decisive in regard to this question? Is it likely to be released on their proposed website on the topic? Also I saw in the linked blog that “Concerns were raised over the accuracy of the February 7, 2014 meeting minutes. Discussions were overly paraphrased and incomplete; charts referenced were not included. It was generally agreed that a higher-level perspective of the meeting was not captured.”
    Are you at liberty to reveal what charts and discussions were presumably omitted as a means to silence the non alarmist contributions?
    Pls don’t quit, thats how bad guys take control – let them sack you if they find unacceptable the high degree of social responsibility you’ve exercised in airing their weird processes and willingness to comment beyond their area of expertise. The Public has a right to know if they are silencing, misrepresenting and not duly weighting input or yourself and others.

  92. Pingback: American Physical Society: Saying So Does Not Make it So on Climate | The Drinking Water Advisor

  93. Pingback: La verità, senz’altro scomoda, è una sola: AGW, molto rumore per nulla | Climatemonitor

  94. swood1000,

    By this you must be saying that you agree with the person who asserted that ignoring a person who has found a hole in your argument is intellectually dishonest.

    No, I’m making a very simple point that if someone decides to imply that the other party is dishonest, the other party can choose to simply no longer interact. You seem to be suggesting that if someone accuses another of being dishonest and the other chooses not to respond, that it means that the accusation is probably correct. Is that really what you’re suggesting?

  95. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #176 | Watts Up With That?

  96. Stan Robertson

    It is impossible to read the workshop framing document of the APS climate study group and reconcile its contents with the politically driven statement that has been proposed. I agree with JC that the POPA writers have embarrassed the APS membership. The statement that the connection between rising concentrations of atmospheric greenhouse gases and the increased warming of the global climate system is more certain than ever is nonsense. While greenhouse gas concentrations have increased dramatically, warming has slowed dramatically. If the final version is as ridiculous as the first draft, I will seriously consider dropping my APS membership.

  97. Pingback: LA VERITA', SENZ'ALTRO SCOMODA, E' UNA SOLA: AGW, MOLTO RUMORE PER NULLA

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