Science, uncertainty and advocacy

by Judith Curry

I’m attending an interesting conference in Nottingham:  Circling the square: universities, the media, citizens and politics.

The website for the Conference is [here]:

Circling the square 2 will explore the role of science in policy making, bringing together international scholars in the natural and social sciences, practitioners at the science-policy interface, the media and citizen groups.

The Conference blog is [here], and you can follow on twitter at @circlesq

JC’s remarks

I am a panelist on a panel Science, Uncertainty and Advocacy.  The other panelists are Conrad Brunk, Andrew Peters, and Dan Sarewitz.  Below is the text of my 5 minute opening remarks:

For the past 10 years, I have been actively engaging in the policy process related to climate change through giving media interviews, writing a blog that discusses the science-policy interface and various policy options, writing the occasional op-ed, and giving Congressional testimony. A major theme of my writings on this topic has been to voice my concerns that climate scientists are doing an inadequate job in assessing and communicating uncertainty.

I don’t regard what I am doing as advocacy – I’m not advocating for any particular policies. However, I have made remarks regarding what I perceive to be the ineffectiveness of proposed carbon mitigation policies. Last year, 5 climate scientists from the U.S. wrote an op-ed for the Huffington Post entitled ‘Judith Curry advocates for inaction on climate change.’ Never have I stated that we should do nothing about climate change, but since I am not actively supporting the preferred policy, then I am accused of advocating for inaction. Discussing scientific uncertainty is regarded as a political act, advocating for inaction.

In the midst of trying to navigate all this personally in a manner that I feel is responsible and ethical, I have become concerned about mess that climate scientists have made of the interface between climate science and policy.

I think it is a good thing for scientists to be involved in the policy process – warning policy makers of possible future dangers, clarifying the science and its uncertainties, and assessing the efficacy and unintended consequences of proposed policy options.

Some people regard any engagement of a scientist with the policy process as advocacy – I disagree.   The way I look at it is that advocacy involves forceful persuasion, which is consistent with the legal definition of advocacy.

In the code of ethics for lawyers, where forceful persuasion is part of their job description, they are ethically bound only not to state something that they know to be false. Lawyers are under no compunction to introduce evidence that hurts their case – that’s the other side’s job.

Unlike lawyers, scientists are supposed to search for truth, and scientific norms encourage disclosure of sources and magnitude of uncertainty. Now if you are a scientist advocating for a specific issue, uncertainty will get in the way of your forceful persuasion.

In principle, scientists can ethically and effectively advocate for an issue, provided that their statements are honest and they disclose uncertainties. In practice, too many scientists, and worse yet professional societies, are conducting their advocacy for emissions reductions in a manner that is not responsible in context of the norms of science.

In their efforts to promote their ‘cause,’ the scientific establishment behind the global warming issue has been drawn into the trap of seriously understating the uncertainties associated with the climate problem. This behavior risks destroying science’s reputation for honesty. It is this objectivity and honesty which gives science a privileged seat at the table.  Without this objectivity and honesty, scientists become regarded as another lobbyist group.

So I see two broad problems. The first problem is with scientists who advocate for an issue in an irresponsible manner. My biggest concern here is when academic and professional societies become advocates – especially when those professional societies publish journals and confer recognition on scientists.

My second concern is with scientists who completely avoid engaging with the policy process for fear of being labeled as an advocate and compromising their objectivity as scientists, or their perception of objectivity.

In effect, the most objective and disinterested scientists are effectively discouraged from engaging in the policy process, leaving an open field for the forceful persuaders. If we had a situation analogous to a courtroom, where both sides have an opportunity to present their case, then such advocacy would not necessarily introduce bias. But when one side has systematically worked to discredit and marginalize their opposition, then we have a problem.

For scientists, particularly scientists in universities, there is no code of conduct for how to communicate with the public and to engage with the policy process. Lawyers and journalists have clear codes of conducts, as do engineers. Scientists employed by the government have some codes of conduct, whereas university scientists do not, beyond admonitions related to research misconduct – fabrication, falsification, and plagiarism.

As a result of this lack of a code of behavior for university scientists, there continues to be what I regard as extremely irresponsible public behavior by some climate scientists, and there are absolutely no professional repercussions.

In conclusion, my concern is that the scientific community is extremely confused about the policy process and too many climate scientists are irresponsibly shooting from the hip as issue advocates. Apart from the damage that this is doing at the interface between science and policy, the neglect and perversion of uncertainty is doing irreparable damage to the science and to the public trust of scientists.

JC reflections

I’ve had a number of previous posts related to issue advocacy by scientists:

These previous posts have mainly discussed other perspectives on the issue of scientists and advocacy.  I appreciate this opportunity to succinctly (5 minutes) summarize my perspective.

This is a very interesting Conference, I will probably do another post on this after I return to the U.S.

535 responses to “Science, uncertainty and advocacy

  1. What you are doing Judith
    Future generations will applaud;
    Freeing the scientific method
    From political fraud.

  2. Just one small point. Although lawyers are in general not ethically obliged to present evidence contrary to their client’s case (with a major exception for prosecutors, who must disclose exculpatory evidence), as a practical matter it is far wiser to introduce negative facts yourself and put your own spin on them than it is to let the other side introduce them for the first time and suggest that you are trying to hide something from the court.

    • good point. I find that if I present both sides, that it gives more credibility to my own perspective

    • Dale Carnegie used to say that unless you appeared persuadable, you could never be persuasive.

    • It is not just prosecutors who are obliged to disclose adverse information. Civil attorneys must as well. The primary difference being the other side as to ask for it.

      But as to adverse controlling law, all attorneys are required to disclose that. From the ABA Model Rules of Profesional Conduct:

      Rule 3.3: Candor Toward the Tribunal
      (a) A lawyer shall not knowingly:

      (2) fail to disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction known to the lawyer to be directly adverse to the position of the client and not disclosed by opposing counsel….

      • Don’t confuse theoretical obligations with real ones.

      • The comment to which I was responding said ” lawyers are in general not ethically obliged to present….”

        My response also said “It is not just prosecutors who are obliged….”

        Obliged.

        No one was talking about actual conduct. So the confusion does not lie here.

  3. Judy:
    While in Nottingham you should visit the Trip to Jerusalem, reputedly one of the oldest pubs in England – circa 1187AD. If you are over 5′ 8″, watch your head.

    • 1187? That was supposed to have been a very mild dry winter all over Europe with fruit trees coming into blossom very early and birds nesting very early.

      Perhaps you could ask the landlord if he could verify this?

      tonyb

      • I love these sorts of posts from you Tony. More please! :-)

      • Did anything of significance happen about 121 years before that? Could that event have had an affect on the climate of the planet??

      • 1187? That was supposed to have been a very mild dry winter

        How were 1186 and 1188? Warmer or colder?

      • Vaughan

        I am glad you asked that question. According to John Kington Formerly of the Met Office and now a visiting fellow at the University of East Anglia the 1180’s were a time of rapid warming believed to have been greater that that during the early 20th century.

        Dry seasons prevailed causing outbreaks of fire such as at Chichester in 1187 . in London the greater risk of fire due to the warm dry weather led to an order issued in 1187/8 that roofs should be constructed of slate and tile
        tonyb

      • Very interesting, thank you for that, Tony.

        Did Kingston say how long the rise in temperature lasted, or offer an explanation for it? And was the same warming experienced outside England?

        Your story, even though from eight centuries ago, resonates strongly with me!

        When we uprooted our little family of four from Massachusetts in 1981 we bought a little California ranch house with a wooden roof close to freeway I-280. In 1985 a massive fire came raging northwest ten miles along the southwest side of I-280, destroying many houses immediately across the freeway from us. Gutters glowed like light bulb filaments, and sparks from them kept jumping the freeway onto our side.

        In panic we and our neighbors (a compact cluster of 43 houses surrounded by hundreds of empty acres on our side of the freeway all owned by Stanford) tried watering down our houses. Not surprisingly the load reduced the water pressure to useless.

        Fortunately the power hadn’t gone out, so I cut the pool sweep hose, attached a garden hose to it, and spent the next few hours standing on our wooden roof watering it down with water extracted from the pool by the sweep pump.

        We probably would have survived without that because the fire brigade attending to our side focused on dousing every spark that jumped the freeway, with the result that all 43 houses rode out the firestorm. Yay fire brigades!

        Nevertheless when we remodeled in 1987 we insisted on concrete tiles, exactly 800 years after the London edict!

      • Vaughan

        Wow! A truly frightening experience.

        The warming was widespread in Europe.

        it is a period I am currently researching in order to tie up with my reconstruction of CET from its instrumental limit of 1659. I am at 1538. I hope to get back to 1086 when the records often start to owe more to superstition and religion than fact. However some notable events can be picked up in the older records especially those of the romans.

        The period 1160 to the early 1230’s appeared to be generally very warm In the 1160’s, 70’s and 80’s, the establishment of Universities, development of architecture and some notably fine crop and wine harvests were said to be due to the warming climate.

        but we can observe from around the earlmiddle decades of the 13th century, increasingly long periods of cold winters and summer. Very notable upturn again in the early decades of the 14th century. Kington records that the thames had only frozen over 8 times in the previous millennium but from then it started to occur more frequently.

        My next article will be caused ‘tranquility transition and turbulence’ as it charts the fluctuating climate with notable periods of very hot summers and very cold summers. The first slice will centre around 1215 in order to tie in with the 800th anniversary of Magna Charta.

        tonyb

      • Tony,

        I would find any reconstruction of CET prior to 1659 of great interest!

        The Maunder Minimum ended when sunspots started to reappear after 1715. However the same 20-year fluctuation that has persisted world-wide in just about all reliable climate records can be found in CET even during the period 1659-1715. It was especially clear for about the next century, but started to become fuzzy when England industrialized, and only cleared up again after mid-20th-century when the UK cleaned up its act.

        But what’s fascinating about this is that that cycle was 180 degrees out of phase with the sunspots when they started up after the Maunder Minimum. Yet within two solar cycles they entered the phase relationship that they’ve been in ever since.

        What drove what into sync is a great question!

        1659-1715 is rather a short interval of time in which to make such judgements of phase. Therefore any reconstruction of prior temperatures in which this 20-year cycle can be seen, and which dovetails convincingly with the extant data, would be absolutely fascinating!

        I asked Leif Svalgaard about this a few months ago and he felt too little was know about that time, or CET back then, to pass any sort of judgment.

        The more data the better, however little.

      • Thanks for that tonyb. I didn’t know about the 1180s. I was aware of 1540 as pretty hellish and good competition for 2003. Mind you, for England that 1976 heatwave must have come as a shock in the midst of rumblings of global cooling. Fire conditions in England in 1976 were downright Australian. (Normally words of high praise, but not in this context.)

        An interesting time in the English record was the early 1250s. Usually one associates rapid back-and-forth of extreme drought and flood with Australia, but it seems to have happened in England in those years. Agricultural records reflect the mess.

        Who knows how and why? I do know what would be pronounced dogmatically – even ex cathedra out of Rome itself – if such conditions were to recur right now.

      • Hello Vaughan

        Yes, the longer record picks up all sorts of things and shows the astonishing variability of temperatures annually and decadally. The reconstruction to 1538 was here

        https://judithcurry.com/2011/12/01/the-long-slow-thaw/

        At the start of Chapter 5 there is a link to ‘supplementary information’ and thousands of references

        i updated the information graphically here earlier this year.

        https://judithcurry.com/2015/02/19/the-intermittent-little-ice-age/

        figures 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 are of particular interest

        The variability we can observe in the records of many countries are smoothed out and lost in the paleo proxy reconstructions (hockey stick and spaghetti derivatives) which tend to be centred on 50 or 100 year chunks. This is demonstrated in this article that I wrote that amplified an article carried here earlier

        http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/16/historic-variations-in-temperature-number-four-the-hockey-stick/

        As for sunspots, I remain ambivalent about them. The same goes for volcanoes. For example the mega eruption of 1257 often cited by Dr Mann as heralding in the LIA actually occurred AFTER a decade of notably bad weather.

        Tonyb

      • mosomoso

        Hopefully we are getting back to a time when climatic variability is acknowledged once again as being the norm, not unusual. See my reply to Vaughan but basically the paleo proxy reconstructions centred on 50 or 100 year smoothing just about erase this variability

        tonyb

      • @climatereason: i updated the information graphically here earlier this year.
        https://judithcurry.com/2015/02/19/the-intermittent-little-ice-age/
        figures 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 are of particular interest

        Sorry I missed that, Tony, I was away with other projects for a while.

        In the paragraph following Figure 5, you say “British Everyman has lived in an increasingly warming world for some 350 years. The criteria used are shown in section 3.4.”

        I would have said that Figure 5 hovers around 9.07 °C until 1840, varying by ±0.2 °C for 300 years, and then climbs to 9.8 °C during the next 120 years. I looked at the criteria in section 3.4 and did not understand how they were supposed to imply “350 years of warming” for British Everyman, nor how Figure 5 could be seen as supporting that statement.

        Then a bit further on you wrote ” What is also intriguing is that whilst the low spot was that of someone born around 1660, over the next 350 years the trend has been inexorably upwards, which can be confirmed by also eyeballing the more conventional depiction of temperatures in Figure 1.”

        Yet the 10-year moving average in Figure 1 shows temperatures around 1630-1650 reaching higher than any subsequent temperature until 1980, with the exception of a temporary return to that temperature in the 1730s. So surely someone born in say 1625 would have seen his adult years cooler than his childhood years unless he lived to a hundred, and if he’d lived to 200 he’d have had a sense of climate deja vu in his second century.

        When Michel pointed this out you replied “Well, it was a rise sufficient enough to have impressed Phil Jones to write an article about the period, even if it doesn’t impress MIchel. Hubert Lamb wrote about it as well.”

        Yes there were rises in that period, but how does your reply address Michel’s observation unless Jones wrote about a sustained rise, as opposed to the interesting but brief rises in 1620, 1640, and 1730. These look more like natural fluctuations, with a deep plunge and return during 1650-1730, than the sustained rise of the past century.

    • Tony, HoP OST Postnote 500, http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/POST-PN-0500 , “Towards 2020 and Beyond” might be of interest, although it is fairly sketchy. It’s comment in the Climate Change section, after warning of various potential dire consequences, that “The main impacts of climate change may not be felt over the course of the next five years,” is a masterpiece of British understatement! Which does, however, clearly imply that there might be significant impacts in the next five years, something with which your friends at BoM might not agree.

      Faustino

  4. Danny Thomas

    As a non-scientist outside observer and intermittent blog contributor this: “But when one side has systematically worked to discredit and marginalize their opposition, then we have a problem.” was an early and now a continuing issue in the discussion. “Global” climate (whatever that is) impacts all. Yet inclusiveness in the conversation is sorely lacking. There is a pervasive “us vs. them” mentality as an undercurrent. Neither “side” seems willing to state the uncertainties of “their” perspectives. Each “side” parrots only that which supports “their” world views. More lawyerly than scientific. Progress in the discussion and therefore the policy cannot be made unless and until recognition of the weaknesses (uncertainties) are embraced.

    I’d suggest we all attempt to take on a blog post and “switch sides”. Maybe, just maybe, this could lead to ……….who knows. (Easier for those of us in the middle).

    Hearing the term “skeptic” sends cold shivers especially once one gets to know a bit about the person behind the label. Surprisingly, I’ve found that many/most here so labeled are environmentally oriented and caring about our planet. Conversely, the term “advocate” is often seen to be undermined based on actual behavior. These dichotomy add fuel to the fire of advocacy on each side.

    Polyanna as always.
    Danny

    • Danny, please stop denying the climate exists. There…I jumped sides for a minute.

    • Well….

      The truth seems to be somewhere in the middle. How do people in the middle change sides?

      We have about 2795 GT of fossil fuel reserves. There are some people who contend there is about 3000 GT of additional coal reserves (2100 GT carbon) that could be burned. We have Indonesia and China to test whether the reserve estimates or the “we have way too much carbon” estimates are right.

      http://www.edf.org/blog/2015/03/18/2014-year-we-first-cut-link-between-emissions-and-economic-growth

      Further – global emissions are flattening and it is hard to identify a major player to drive an increase.

      There are no-warmers and CAGWers. But the actual GHG forcing doesn’t appear to be zero or 3 times its actual value (the IPCC TSR position).

      There are some “CO2 increase” is natural and some “it is all emissions” people. Neither seems to explain the actual trends.

      Any fact in the global warming debate is neither fish nor fowl.

      Perhaps we should figure out what is happening before we try to mitigate it by policy.

    • Neither “side” seems willing to state the uncertainties of “their” perspectives.

      Ah, then you may find WG1 of the latest IPCC report, AR5, of interest. Figure SPM.7(a) in the initial summary spells out the uncertainties in no uncertain terms (if that’s not a contradiction).

      Note that these are the uncertainties estimated by the experts in the physical basis of climate, the subject matter of WG1. The uncertainties estimated by those less knowledgeable about that area are understandably considerably larger.

      Much of the climate debate seems to result from uncertainty as to whose uncertainties to pay attention to.

      • Danny Thomas

        Dr. Pratt,

        Yes, but then the voices of the IPCC then (prior?) state we much change the global economy removing any recognition of the existence of those very same ‘uncertainties’. As stated originally, no clean hands.

      • Here I go again: they fail to dwell on the fossil fuel reserve uncertainty. Maybe I need a cut and paste statement about this topic, sort of like a “Kilroy was here” about oil and gas resources not being endless.

      • they fail to dwell on the fossil fuel reserve uncertainty.

        Couldn’t agree more. No one knows the lengths to which humans would, or could, go if their fossil fuel reserves ever started to remotely approach empty.

        Air pressure at the surface of Venus is 100x that of Earth’s, and all because Venus’s atmosphere is 96% CO2.

        Unless for some strange reason Venus has way more total carbon on their planet than us, this would be us if we could only manage to find the technology to burn for fuel every last atom of unburnt carbon on Earth.

        But not to worry. Since this is way in the future no one is forecasting this doom for your grandchildren or even your seventh generation.

        Lesser dooms await sooner.

      • Lesser dooms await sooner.

        Ignore that. I forgot it was classified. :(

    • David Springer

      97% of scientists agree that climate deniers have hamsters for mothers and fathers who smell of elderberries.

      There. I switched sides.

      • Danny Thomas

        David,
        Not quite what was hoped for likely due to lack of clarity on my part. Of course the desire is to gain perspective of why the advocacy of the “opposite side” occurs (and I’m sure you fully grasped that) and how to reach common ground. Until AGW/CAGW propagandists become inclusive the divide remains. Unless the inclusiveness exists, politics will continue to rule and we all have a pretty good grasp of the state of the politics today.

    • Danny Thomas | June 22, 2015 at 11:07 am

      Danny, you are right about the “”us vs. them” undercurrent. There is a good reason for it: both sides claim science proves them right. The science happens to be on the side opposing the global warming doctrine supported by pseudo-scientists of the global warming movement. There is no way to split the difference because real science can only give one answer. This becomes really bad when one side falsifies scientific observations and then claims that the other side is anti-science for not accepting their lies. I have personal observations that I want to share with you on that. Let’s start at the most fundamental level, meaning existence of global warming. The claim that global warming exists is founded upon the laboratory observation that carbon dioxiode gas can absorb infrared (heat) radiation and thereby get warm.The next step in the argument is that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere absorbs the infrared thge same way as it does in the laboratory. The infrared in the atmosphere is heat radiation from the earth that the sun has warmed, and it leaves the earth for outer space. Atmospheric carbon dioxide absorbs it, gets warm, and thereby causes global warming. And because we burn fossil fuels there is an increasing amount of it in the air which causes more and more warming until we reach a catastrophe. This must not be allowed, according to warming advocates, and therefore we must do all we can to reduce production of carbon dioxide if we want to save the world. This seems very simple and clear but it is completely wrong. That is because the assumption that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does just what it does in the test tube is demonstrably wrong. The atmosphere contains other gases, among them water vapor. Hungarian scientist Ferenc Miskolczi showed both theoretically and experimentally that carbon dioxide and water vapor in the atmosphere combine in such a way as to block warming from increased carbon dioxide in the air. It so happens that both carbon dioxide and water vapor are so-called greenhouse gases. The atmosphere as a whole has a fixed transparency in the infrared that is called its optical thickness. It maintains it accurately as Miskolczi has proved by measuring air samples returned by weather ballooons over a 61 year period of sampling. This is where it fits in. If you add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere this will increase its optical thickness. But as soon as this happens water vapor will start to diminish, rain out, and the original optical thickness is restored. It is not a miracle because what is happening is that reduction of water vapor diminishes the absorption just by the same amount that addition of carbon dioxide increased it and no warming takes place. This is of course totally opposite of what true believers in global warming will say. To them water vapor increases absorption by carbon dioxide instead of keeping it in check. They have absolutely no scientific observations to support this view while Miskolczi proved his point by studying atmospheric data collected by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There is now an unusual global temperature standstill called a hiatus that has lasted for the last 18 years. Those favoring global warming cannot understand it but Miskolczi theory fits right in with it. More than 50 scholarly, peer-reviewed articles have been written to prove that it cannot exist. I get a kick out of it when they start searching for that “lost heat” on the ocean bottom. Some weird predictions about it keep coming out that are best described as pseudo-science, not science. To sum up: there is no greenhouse warming now and it is likely that it never existed. With it, AGW dies. Time to close down those multi-billion dollar mitigation boondoggles.

  5. But when one side has systematically worked to discredit and marginalize their opposition, then we have a problem.

    Then they keep insisting they haven’t done anything of the sort. “They were exonerated by 7 inquiries!”

    • Danny Thomas

      AK,

      I perceive that “one side” applies to “both sides” when I step back and read that citation. Each side attempts to discredit and marginalize their opposition each and every day in this conversation. No clean hands.

      The “lawyerly” analogy is what led to the concept of switching sides. Depending on whom one represents as an attorney leads to the approach taken. Wearing another’s shoes should improve perspectives.

      • Each side attempts to discredit and marginalize their opposition each and every day in this conversation.

        AFAIK the “discredit and marginalize their opposition” being referred to was the contretemps exposed by ClimateGate: using political hooliganism to prevent “inconvenient” studies being published in peer-reviewed journals.

        Only one side has ever been even accused of this (AFAIK).

    • Any scientist who resorts to using the legal system by crying slander to try to silence a critic is, in my opinion, totally unethical and utterly lacking in any integrity as a scientist. But that is just my personal opinion.

      • Any scientist who resorts to using the legal system by crying slander to try to silence a critic is, in my opinion, totally unethical

        Oh, absolutely. Unlike scientists, lawyers should have a free hand in using that strategy. What do scientists know about the legal system?

        Only the experts in an area should be allowed to use its strategies. Climate scientists make this point all the time.

      • David Springer

        As long as we’re being sarcastic then yes I totally agree with you that science and courtroom criminal defense can be practiced in the same manner. The object isn’t to get to the truth but rather win the case for your client regardless of the truth.

      • @DS: The object isn’t to get to the truth but rather win the case for your client regardless of the truth.

        For lawyers, certainly, but it is your assumption that everyone uses that strategy, not mine. I assume that people employ whatever strategy best suits their stated goal. The goal of scientists is to understand nature better..

    • The annals of warmist science are replete with examples of scientific misconduct. I’m trying hard to think of lukewarm or skeptic misconduct. “Our” side is a lot cleaner.

      • Also I think a lot less likely to try to silence those who disagree.

      • But scientific misconduct is nothing new. I’m thinking of how Evans tried to destroy Wace for daring to suggest that some cultural influences might have flowed from Mycenaean culture to Minoan. Evans maintained that the Minoans were always ahead during their one and a half millenia of existence. Subsequent research has tended to support Wace.

  6. Several years ago, just after one was able to buy Al Gore’s movie, one of the professors in our department sent out a department wide email announcing that he was showing the movie and all students MUST attend over a lunch break and view the movie. If anyone is not part of the solution, they are part of the problem. Because I was very junior and the professor was very senior I said nothing, just quietly fumed.

    My reason for fuming quietly was also that I had just been through a huge battle with three Muslim students who were using student journal club time in a related department to promote accusations of Israeli brutality and war crimes and creating a blatantly hostile anti Semitic environment in the journal club well and far beyond any legitimate criticism of Israeli policy. I didn’t feel I could risk getting involved in yet another battle over advocacy without damaging my reputation which was already being tainted as a trouble maker, a negative sort of person, and of being an Islamophobic Zionist racist who supported oppression of indigenous people and used false accusations of anti Semitism to smear critics. (Sometimes I wonder if the Climate Change advocates learned their tactics from the anti Israel thugs.)

    Fortunately, another professor, who was equally senior, sent out his own response over departmental email which stated that the movie was considered biased by some, and was therefore controversial, and he felt it was inappropriate for the movie to be required viewing for students, given its controversial nature, unless they were offered an opportunity to view material from the other side. He suggested holding off on the movie until we could invite Ross McKitrick in for a seminar. The department head then sent out a message stating the movie covered a field that not part of our department’s speciality (Human Genetics) and students had enough demands on their time and we as a department should not use student time to address “outside” issues. The movie would not be required viewing. (It was also the same position taken on using student journal club time to promote the Palestinian cause in the adjacent department.)

    At this point, the first professor apologized in a fourth departmental wide email for overstepping his bounds. Since he was a very nice fellow and very well liked by all, the matter was dropped. I sent the second professor a message of thanks. Very few students attended the movie. I would say scientists as a group tend to be passionate about what they accept and all too ready to pursue advocacy at the expense of science because they like to think of themselves as objective and rational and trained to be above normal human limitations and biases.

  7. khal spencer

    If a university scientist is speaking authoritatively as an expert in a field, I would assume his or her speech would be qualified under an academic freedom rubric, but could also be challenged as research misconduct if it was downright misleading. If a scientist is speaking outside his or her field of expertise, he or she is merely expressing a First Amendment right, i.e., it is freedom of speech but one should not be wearing the academic hat. I think we need to hold faculty who are speaking under color of their university position to a much higher standard when they are wearing that academic hat.

    Its been a while since I was a university scientist, but what I recall from a specific case at SOEST, the faculty union had a heart to heart with the University president after a faculty member was attacked, not for making a public speech, but for the content of a peer reviewed publication by one of his graduate students that got some landowners riled up. We (I was on the union board of directors) forcefully persuaded the Univ. president to keep the administration from attacking that faculty member. He was doing his job. It was in the realm of peer review to decide the merits of the publication. What I also recall was we took a dim view of colleagues whose politics blinded them to the scientific method.

  8. I don’t regard what I am doing as advocacy – I’m not advocating for any particular policies.

    Sure, and I have no doubt that you believe this. Others (myself included), however, think that some of what you do does become a form of advocacy. Similarly, those you accuse of advocacy may – like you – believe that what they’re doing isn’t advocacy. So, how do we decide if someone is advocating or not? I don’t think we can actually easily define when someone has crossed some boundary into advocating, and – personally – I don’t actually care all that much. I have no problem with scientists expressing their views, as long as they’re honest about any potential conflicts, are honest about it being their opinion (even if informed), and as long as they do so in an appropriate setting.

    • I have no problem with scientists expressing their views, as long as they’re honest about any potential conflicts, are honest about it being their opinion (even if informed), and as long as they do so in an appropriate setting.

      Problem – opinion is anti-scientific and the emotion which generates that opinion creeps into subconscious motivation toward confirmation bias.

      Reason is what sets us apart from other animals, but it’s still emotion that gets us going.

      • Problem – opinion is anti-scientific and the emotion which generates that opinion creeps into subconscious motivation toward confirmation bias.

        Well, sure, but scientists are members of our societies and are as entitled to express themselves as anyone else. The idea that scientists must be guided only by their scientific understanding and may not express any views other than those supported by their own research, is simply unrealistic.

        As you may have realised, a point I was getting at is that Judith regards herself as not advocating, while others think she does. So, who decides when someone is or not?

        Reason is what sets us apart from other animals, but it’s still emotion that gets us going.

        Sure, but I’m not sure what your point is. Are you suggesting that we should only be governed by reason? Also, advocacy doesn’t have to based on emotion.

      • Sure, but I’m not sure what your point is. Are you suggesting that we should only be governed by reason?

        No, that wouldn’t be any fun ( and the artificial intelligence of the near future will do that anyway unless we corrupt it with the interesting human emotions ).

      • Also, advocacy doesn’t have to based on emotion.

        Perhaps not, but the evidence appears to make it a leading cause.

        People are quick to point out economic influence ( Big Oil or Big Green ).
        Let’s call that greed.

        Others are genuinely frightened, ( either of calamity or big government/economic harm ). I’m calling that anxiety more than fear because neither seem very imminent nor exemplified.

        But don’t forget ego in all of this.

        Many of the controversial scientific advancements seem to come from some newer theories which contradict the earlier work of someone who started in a different direction with an incorrect or incomplete theory.

        The emotional need to be right may be a big factor. This goes with Michaels citations about the vast majority of papers which confirm hypotheses rather than reject them. And this one is pernicious because the smartest amongst us may also have the biggest emotional need to be right which might ironically lead them to ignore when they are wrong.

      • As you may have realized, a point I was getting at is that Judith regards herself as not advocating, while others think she does. So, who decides when someone is or not?

        Judith is advocating FOR COMMON SENSE.

      • No, that wouldn’t be any fun ( and the artificial intelligence of the near future will do that anyway unless we corrupt it with the interesting human emotions ).

        So the Fourth Law of Robotics is to be:

        4. A robot may not advocate.

        First law of survival:

        1. When accused wrongly of murder, don’t hire an emotionless advocate.

    • khal spencer

      I think Dr. Curry definitely “advocates” for policymakers to spend more time looking at the uncertainties in data collections and climate models rather than taking these as gospel. Merely speaking on a subject like this, to Congress, especially, with an expert’s hat on is a form of advocacy. To use that old expression, you know advocacy when you see it….

      • Curious George

        Demanding an analysis of model errors is a form of advocacy?

        On a positive note, have you ever come across an analysis of error bounds for models? Please supply links. I have been looking for it for years, but it does not seem to be a high priority for modelers.

      • I spent several days trying to determine the accuracy of sea level data obtained by satellites (e.g. Jason). I purchased a copy of “Precise Geodetic Infrastructure: National Requirements for a Shared Resource” authored by the National Research Council. It is a very informative work, but one passage near the beginning (p 13) seemed to stretch credulity:

        “Over the past 50 years, space-based geodetic technologies have revolutionized the way we look at our planet, allowing us to measure and monitor changes in the Earth’s system with unprecedented levels of accuracy and detail. Modern geodesy delivers precision to one part per billion, and precision of one part per trillion can be envisioned in the foreseeable future.”

        A few sentences later, it says “Such exquisitely precise measurements provide critical information for many areas of science with a tangible societal impact. One particularly complex example is sea level change.”

        The Jason1 and Jason2 satellites orbit at a mean altitude of 1336 km, so an uncertainty of one part per billion is equal to 1.336 mm. Of course the altitude of each satellite is affected by throughout its orbit by local differences in gravity, which can be corrected using gravimetric data, and solar wind, which probably cannot be precisely measured or modeled. The distance between the satellite and the sea surface is estimated by using RADAR. The round-trip time is significantly affected by atmospheric moisture, so two frequencies are used in order to allow a correction for moisture. The issue of sea surface wave action is discussed, but I could not find any discussion of how the very low sampling frequency (each satellite requires 11 days to complete an orbit) might result in the type of aliasing addressed by the Nyquist Sampling Theorem.

        My degree is in Computer Science, and my scientific background is limited to five years’ employment as a software specialist in a biomechanics lab. In that environment, we were very happy to achieve accuracy of one part per thousand in the controlled environment of the lab.

        I realize that NASA had some of the best people using some of the best technology to build these satellites, and I am very impressed with what they have achieved. But when I read the claim of sea surface height measurement precision of one part per billion, I couldn’t help being somewhat skeptical.

        If I were purchasing a sensor, or a complete measurement system, I would expect the manufacturer to publish a datasheet listing the accuracy of the measurements that their product can reliably achieve.

        Where is the datasheet for the Jason satellites? So far, all I have found is a single statement of “one part per billion” to describe the entire system. That kind of hand-wavy number does not inspire confidence. It sounds more like a marketing claim than a hard number derived from statistical data. And the fact that one part per billion (1.336 mm) happens to be slightly less than the estimated annual global sea level rise (3 mm) only increases my doubts.

        It seems that NASA is always worrying about congressional funding. It would take a lot of guts for somebody to say “Our sea surface height data is only accurate to within five centimeters.”. That’s not what lawmakers want to hear. A lot of people have a vested interest in having precise and certain data. A lot of people want to believe that we have the ability to measure sea surface height to the nearest millimeter. But what are the actual limits of our technology? What kinds of assumptions are we making about the presence or absence of long-period (e.g. one day) waves that might result in aliasing when sampled at a rate of one sample per location per 11 days (one sample per 5.5 days when combining data from both satellites)?

        I have a lot of questions, and I have not been able to find the answers on the web. So I am just living with the uncertainty. I would like to know more about how the satellites are calibrated, how the true accuracy is determined experimentally, how the effects of solar wind and sea surface waves are compensated and what assumptions are made about them. I want to erase my doubts and have real confidence in the sea level data. But I am not willing to put blind faith in round numbers like “one part per billion”.

      • On a positive note, have you ever come across an analysis of error bounds for models? Please supply links. I have been looking for it for years, but it does not seem to be a high priority for modelers.

        real data is not matched by model output. The difference between real data and model output is error. We skeptics say the model output is wrong. The modelers say the real data is wrong. go figure.

      • @PCT: On a positive note, have you ever come across an analysis of error bounds for models?

        Try reading the IPCC report. Although it has several thousand pages, within the first 20 pages you will already encounter error bounds, whose analysis can be found later in the report.

      • Vaughan Pratt | June 23, 2015 at 5:04 am |
        @PCT: On a positive note, have you ever come across an analysis of error bounds for models?

        Try reading the IPCC report. Although it has several thousand pages, within the first 20 pages you will already encounter error bounds, whose analysis can be found later in the report.

        http://www.carbonbrief.org/blog/2015/04/climate-sensitivity-is-unlikely-to-be-less-than-2c-say-scientists/
        “Climate sensitivity is unlikely to be less than 2C, say scientists”

        Well… empirical measurement (0.2 W/m2 for 22 PPM) would indicate the IPCC ECS, which averages 3+ and is “unlikely to be less than 2C” is around 1°C or less.

        The error on the models appears to be boundless since they will do whatever the programmers program them to do. If they are programmed to produce bad output by the programmers they can be as “Bad As they Wanna Be”.

        “say scientists”… Norm Kmoch used to say, “Talk is cheap, it takes money to buy whiskey!”

      • moshannon | June 23, 2015 at 1:41 am |

        The issue of sea surface wave action is discussed, but I could not find any discussion of how the very low sampling frequency (each satellite requires 11 days to complete an orbit) might result in the type of aliasing addressed by the Nyquist Sampling Theorem.

        The orbital period of the satellite is around 112 minutes (1 hour and 52 minutes) not 11 days. It does 254 passes (127 orbits) in each 9.9 day cycle..

        The literature says a 2 hour period, the math says it is slightly less than that.

        So this really means it takes 9.9 days to collect one complete data set.

        The moon has a 28 day period. Nyquist says the sample period has to be less than 14 days to avoid aliasing for signals…

        Not sure that aren’t some issues that complicate simple application of the Nyquist criterion to this situation. But that does seem to be one factor in why they picked the orbit/sample cycle they did..

      • “The moon has a 28 day period. Nyquist says the sample period has to be less than 14 days to avoid aliasing for signals…”

        Well, yes, BUT…
        How eccentric is the orbit? This will obviously change over time in what would appear to be an uncomputable way (3 body problem). If the eccentricity varies more than 1 mm, what does this do to the accuracy of the samples and how can it be corrected?

        And that’s just ONE issue – there are undoubtedly others as well, like:
        component drift from temperature cycles;
        calibration accuracy, precision, monotonicity and linearity;
        and so on.
        All these will interact to produce the final reading. I’m sure these guys know what they are doing, but 1 part per billion sounds, umm, optimistic is the most polite way to put it, I believe. I suspect the real figure is available – if nowhere else, buried in a multi-thousand page low level specification document.
        Mo wants THAT number, not the feel-good, we-are-all-incredibly-smart number from the document he cited.

      • moshannon raises an interesting point about the precision with which a satellite can detect trends in sea level.

        There are two main kinds of errors, systematic and random, distinguished according to whether their mean in the long run is nonzero or zero respectively.

        Random errors are reduced by repeated measurements: assuming the errors are roughly normally distributed and independent, n measurements reduce the error of the mean of those measurements by a factor of sqrt(n).

        Systematic errors are bad if measuring an absolute quantity, but not if measuring either a relative one, or a trend.

        To tell if the sea is rising, measure the sea and the land as you pass over each and record the difference. This will cancel the systematic error. Even if the land also rises, what you really care about is the rise of sea relative to land and so the difference is the right thing to measure.

        To measure a trend, make measurements over a suitable period and fit a line. If you only care about the slope of the line then the systematic error is irrelevant.

        Combining just these very simple-minded techniques alone can already go a long way towards compensating for unknowns in satellite altitude etc. And ingenuity can yield other methods, for example using two satellites to measure many triangles and quadrilaterals and then using least squares involving very large matrices to fit them together into a single coherently interlocking grid, a technique widely used in surveying to reduce errors.

      • Vaughan

        We have had this discussion about sea level several times whereby I query as to why people blindly accept sea levels, ice amounts etc measured by satellite but refuse to discuss global temperatures derived in the same manner.

        I was involved with the environment agency flood defence committee here in the South West of England for some 10 years. When considering building a new sea flood defence they would not contemplate using satellite measurements. They are highly inaccurate and as far as the coastal waters go-where people actually live-they have no meaning whatsoever.

        Data would be derived from tide gauges. Locally we didn’t have one that was accurate enough (measured in inches by observations) so they set up an electronic one..

        Here is the new one;

        http://www.channelcoast.org/gallery/viewphoto/equipment/oceanographic_instruments/waveradar_rex/1653

        Unfortunately it showed sea levels were falling, but we all appreciate it was over a short time scale-4 or 5 years.

        The visual tide gauge also shows there really hasn’t been any change since Brunel built his original sea wall here some 160 years ago-things are always complicated by land changes.

        tonyb

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        From the IPCC –

        “Since 1992, global mean sea level can be computed at 10-day intervals by averaging the altimetric measurements from the TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) and Jason satellites over the area of coverage (66°S to 66°N) (Nerem and Mitchum, 2001). Each 10-day estimate of global mean sea level has an accuracy of approximately 5 mm.”

        These estimated averages, or averaged estimates, cover a portion of the Earth’s surface only.

        TOPEX/Poseidon accuracy (per NASA/JPL) is an “unprecedented accuracy to better than 5 cm.” And they are probably pushing it a bit – actually, a bit more than a bit!

        Any amount of averaging, smoothing, or other pretense of purported accuracy cannot overcome physical limitations of the altimetric measuring equipment and the environment in which it operates.

        Not only that, but the amount of liquid water in the oceans changes on a moment to moment basis, as does its distribution dependent on the lateral and vertical movements of the crust comprising the oceans’ containment boundaries.

        Have fun anyway!

      • Any amount of averaging, smoothing, or other pretense of purported accuracy cannot overcome physical limitations of the altimetric measuring equipment and the environment in which it operates.

        Humankind has made unbelievable strides in technology in recent centuries. Thank you for making that literal.

      • @tonyb: The visual tide gauge also shows there really hasn’t been any change since Brunel built his original sea wall here some 160 years ago.

        An alternative forecast for south west England can be seen here. I’m guessing you disapprove of the £357m spent in your neck of the woods during 2002-2007 on precautions you don’t feel are necessary.

      • Vaughan

        Errr… I was on the committee that voted for this money to be spent. Seas have been rising and falling gently since at least Roman times and there is no reason for them to stop now. Land rising and falling also complicates matters. In addition there are large areas where councils have unwisely allowed housing to be built that needs protecting from seas and rivers and there are fragile cliffs which may need to be allowed to fall into the sea..

        As for the met office report, Yes that very one was presented to us by a Met office scientist during one of our meetings, together with a lot of other information. You do know that now they are predicting cold weather due to the sun, which is supposed to balance the warming we can observe from 1700? The great change sine 2009 (your article) is that the Met Office now believe in natural variability. Previously they believed in a relatively static climate.

        tonyb

      • I was on the committee that voted for this money to be spent.

        Was the vote unanimous?

        You do know that now they are predicting cold weather due to the sun, which is supposed to balance the warming we can observe from 1700?

        I can’t take that seriously, Tony. Let me demonstrate.

        You Brits have started trusting Met Office forecasts? That’s a bit of a sea change, isn’t it?

        But if it’s true that the Sun is doing something to cool things down in Britain, that should arrest global warming because the sun never sets on the British Empire.

        Maybe they don’t believe that today in the East Indies, but they sure do in the West Indies: the Sun sets in the West but the British Empire is to the East.

        Seriously, I should resist these temptations you place in my path, Tony.

      • Danny Thomas

        Not intending to speak for Tony, but this:”You Brits have started trusting Met Office forecasts? That’s a bit of a sea change, isn’t it?”
        is an assumption. For this reader, it’s an indication of just further uncertainty leading to further doubt when the Met (et al) act as advocates no matter the direction. Might lead one to be a bit skeptical of “projections”.

      • maksimovich1

        But if it’s true that the Sun is doing something to cool things down in Britain, that should arrest global warming because the sun never sets on the British Empire.

        Certainly seems that cooling is reaching the furthest parts of the BE,where NZ has experienced 3 of the top ten minimums in the last three days including -21c

      • I have three responses to that, maksimovich1.

        1. NZ still in the British Empire? Don’t say that out loud if you ever visit NZ.

        2. True to form I was overly cryptic. The reason I couldn’t take Tony’s comment seriously was because he was comparing weather and climate.

        No one complains (much) when the weather cools by 10 °C overnight (I don’t know what your −21°C in NZ means in terms of cooling). But for that to balance the warming since 1700, that warming would have had to have been +10 °C. That’s a very different kettle of fish (lobsters? frogs?) from the reality, namely a degree or so over that period. Mass extinctions, anyone? No? Tennis, then?

        3. (From the Met Office’s own website just minutes ago, forecasting two weeks ahead as distinct from 300 years ago):

        UK Outlook for Thursday 9 Jul 2015 to Thursday 23 Jul 2015:

        The general signal during this period is for southern and eastern regions to be most likely to see the best of the weather with conditions here often fine and dry with any cloudier interludes with outbreaks of rain tending to be infrequent and short-lived. Here daytime temperatures are likely to be often near or a little above average and perhaps very warm at times. Further north and west spells of fine, dry weather with some pleasantly warm sunshine are likely, but here outbreaks of rain or showery weather are more likely than further south and east.

        If that’s what the Met Office says then surely prudence would dictate preparing for it with parka, long johns and Wellingtons. But boy could we Californians sure use every one of those little “outbreaks of rain”!

        I hope this makes it clear why I can’t take Tony Brown seriously. When it comes to forecasting cold he talks like he lives in the north of Scotland.

      • @Danny Thomas: Not intending to speak for Tony, but this:”You Brits have started trusting Met Office forecasts? That’s a bit of a sea change, isn’t it?”
        is an assumption. For this reader, it’s an indication of just further uncertainty leading to further doubt when the Met (et al) act as advocates no matter the direction. Might lead one to be a bit skeptical of “projections”.

        I love you, Danny. (I swear, I did not pay him to say that.)

      • Danny Thomas

        Awww. I’m blushing!

      • Vaughan

        But it was YOU who linked to a 6 year old Met Office article! When I link to a more modern one you then start chuntering on about the British Empire. Here it is again;

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2015/solar-activity

        It refers to winters which is weather but covers a period longer than 30 years which is climate. It wasn’t me forecasting cold but the met office themselves. Scotland? Of course I don’t live there. What has that got to do with anything?

        The point is that the Met Office have become more circumspect over the last few years. Personally, I believe the overall warming will probably continue the overall trend we can observe from around 1700. That isn’t to say we wont have some cold winters which tend to cluster together.

        What has the Met Office forecast for the next two weeks got to do with anything?

        As for your other question, yes it was unanimous on flood defence. Extracting money from the Govt for such projects is difficult enough as it is.

        tonyb

      • Tony b, ‘ touche! ‘

      • @tonyb: When I link to a more modern one you then start chuntering on about the British Empire. Here it is again;

        http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/news/releases/archive/2015/solar-activity

        What do you mean by “again”? I was responding to a remark by you about weather, which mentioned neither climate nor that link nor anything related to another Maunder minimum. I can read your mind, but not that accurately.

        That the link is “modern” is not exactly a plus here—it places the Met Office three years behind Stanford:

        http://www.leif.org/research/Another-Maunder-Minimum.pdf

        But I do apologize for inferring from your scepticism about rising sea levels that you would disapprove of spending a third of a billion pounds on measures against rising sea levels, which your regional director gave as his justification for the expenditure:

        The agency said that, since 2002, £357m had been spent in the South West (including Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and South Gloucestershire) on flood risk management, including £44m in 2009/10.
        The regional director for the agency in the south west, Richard Cresswell, said: “The latest UK climate change data shows that the risk of flooding and coastal erosion will continue to increase in future due to rising sea levels and more frequent and heavy storms.” (Bold mine.)

        It’s nice to know the vote was unanimous even if the committee members’ respective justifications for it weren’t. ;)

    • And if they are doing something they should be ashamed of, they should hide behind a pseudonym. Right, kenny?

    • My problem is with irresponsible advocacy, not so much with advocacy per se.

      I would be interested in exactly what you think i am advocating for?

      Discussing a topic to me isn’t advocacy; to my mind there needs to be an element of forceful persuasion and a statement of ‘ought’ or ‘should’

      • My problem is with irresponsible advocacy, not so much with advocacy per se.

        I agree, which was partly my point.

        I believe you have expressed opinions about policy. For example, I think you’ve claimed that emissions reductions will have no impact on decadal timescales (correct me if you haven’t). I think that’s a form of advocacy; it could influence policy. However, I wasn’t intending to criticise you for apparently advocating, I was more suggesting that it would be better if you didn’t claim that you hadn’t done so.

        Discussing a topic to me isn’t advocacy; to my mind there needs to be an element of forceful persuasion and a statement of ‘ought’ or ‘should’

        By that definition, I suspect that few scientists actually advocate, especially if (as you said earlier) they don’t promote any specific policies.

        My point, though, was more about simply accepting that there isn’t a clear boundary between what is advocacy and what isn’t. I also think that the advocacy issue is an attempt (by some) to discourage scientists from speaking out. I think scientists should be free to do so and should be judged on what they say, not on whether or not it was a form of advocacy.

      • ATTP You really are nit-picking. Humans can not avoid advocating…that is one of the things we are wired to do. One has to look at the cumulative pattern.

      • You really are nit-picking. Humans can not avoid advocating…that is one of the things we are wired to do. One has to look at the cumulative pattern.

        No, that’s kind of my point. Rather than discouraging advocacy, let’s just accept that it happens and judge people (if we have to) by what they actually say, rather than whether or not we can define it as a form of advocacy. My issue is really with Judith claiming that she doesn’t, than with the possibility that she does.

      • ATTP does have a valid point. Virtually everyone who has studied the issue is an advocate to varying degrees

      • Judith

        This from the Parliament UK web site concerning British civil servants;

        “What is the Public Service Ethos?

        248. The Committee has seen many attempts to define the public service ethos. The 1994 White Paper on the Civil Service stated “The Government, like its predecessors, is wholeheartedly committed to sustaining the key principles on which the British Civil Service is based: integrity, political impartiality, objectivity, selection and promotion on merit and accountability through Ministers to Parliament. These are as important to good government in the future as they have been in the past.”

        This seems to me to be good guidelines for all those using public money on a regular basis, which would include many scientists, such as those at the Met Office. I don’t know the status of such places as NASA or NOAA but suspect they are publicly funded.

        Much of the Climate debate is very much a political issue or one of ideology. Should a scientist using public money then express his/her views in a strident fashion (i.e advocacy) or should they be politically impartial, objective and display integrity?

        Surely they should?

        I would suggest that the Met office in being circumspect on rating 2014 as probably one of the 8th warmest years are displaying those features. However, NASA in stridently proclaiming far and wide that 2014 WAS the warmest were pursuing an agenda.

        tonyb

      • tony, thanks for spotting this

      • khal spencer

        Perhaps you advocate for the Climate Uncertainty Monster?
        ;-)

      • ATTP. I understand, but given that there is a lack of clarity* that in defining ‘advocacy’ isn’t calling her out on that aspect really an sideshow issue that can not be resolved? Again what is germane here is the tenor and direction of her comments over time, and I think her she represents herself accurately. Anyway that’s IMO. Regards.
        ——
        It is clear in Judith’s comment that she is aware of difficulty in defining ‘advocacy’.

      • tonyb,
        It’s indeed the case that civil servants are obliged to remain impartial. That is one reason why – as you say – Met Office scientists avoid discussing anything explcitly political, or policy related. However, very few scientists are contractually obliged to obey such a rule. My personal view is that trying to expand this to include anyone using public money regularly, would start to violate the basics of academic freedom.

      • Attp

        I like the equivocation of the met office. Perhaps that is a combination of their Britishness and their civil service status.

        I find it greatly preferable to NASA ‘s in your face over promotion of a record that is much more uncertain than they claim. A claim enthusiastically taken up by advocates.

        Your point about academic freedom is a fair one. However I still think the ethos of civil servants As set out in my link is a good model to follow in general.

        Tonyb

      • From Ken:
        “I think you’ve claimed that emissions reductions will have no impact on decadal timescales (correct me if you haven’t). I think that’s a form of advocacy”

        Actually that is called arithmatic Ken. Not advocacy.

      • ATTP @ 11.40 22/6: “I believe you have expressed opinions about policy. For example, I think you’ve claimed that emissions reductions will have no impact on decadal timescales (correct me if you haven’t). I think that’s a form of advocacy; it could influence policy.”

        ATTP, you are wrong here. A claim on the evidence to hand that emissions reductions will have no impact on decadal timescales is a statement of fact. I’m not an expert, but I’ve seen a lot of supporting analysis for that statement. To put that forward in the view of CAGW alarmism is not advocacy, it’s a duty, given the debate Judith would have been remiss not to point that out. Of course, it could, and I hope would, influence policy. But it is not in itself advocacy. As an economic policy adviser, I frequently had to detail a variety of options for a particular issue. I endeavoured to set out the pros and cons of alternatives in an unbiased way, leaving the decision to the policymakers. I often had a strong view as to what was the best option, but you would not have known it from my brief. If I had switched from dispassionate analysis to promoting my preferred option, that would have been advocacy, and I would have been a bad public servant. Judith isn’t doing that here. And you can comment on policy without being an advocate: for example, in pointing out the economic damage accrued by GHG emissions-reductions problems, something which should be considered. Taking the next step – which I do – to argue for a particular policy approach (e.g., support policies which increase our capacity to respond to whatever future befalls rather than focus on policies which, it seems to me, will have little impact on the magnitude of any future warming) is advocacy. Few climate scientists have the background to argue such issues, but they do; they are then partisan advocates rather than scientists per se.

        Faustino

      • Tony B, a legendary UK public servant set out ten rules which should guide other p s’s. I can’t recall his name, I have a copy but can’t find it. If someone recalls it, it would be pertinent here.

        Faustino

      • Judith, you are advocating for COMMON SENSE.

        I did already say this somewhere else in this thread.

      • ATTP,

        You need to distinguish between advocacy and a responsible assessment. Dr Curry DOES advocate, but they are on issues such as uncertainty, and even on advocacy itself. I think she made that clear in her main post. There is a difference between saying that you do not think proposed mitigation policies as they stand will have any impact on future climate and insisting at every opportunity that they will lead to the decimation of the global economy, cause Santa to fire his elves, melt brains, call anyone who disagrees with you a ‘denier’ of this incontrovertible truth, and write endless one-sided books on the matter.

        I exaggerate for effect, but surely you can see the distinction. In the climategate she was even referred to as ‘not helping the cause’. Advocates have ’causes’ that require help. Experts (should) advise policy makers objectively and make uncertainties and conflicting evidence plain.

      • Danny Thomas

        And for such a great “reward”: https://judithcurry.com/2015/02/25/conflicts-of-interest-in-climate-science/
        “The ‘plot’ thickened yesterday, as Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva (Democrat) Asks for Conflict-of-Interest Disclosures from GOP’s Go-To Climate Witnesses [link].”

      • Faustino @ June 23, 2015 at 2:16 am

        +10

      • @RS: ATTP does have a valid point. Virtually everyone who has studied the issue is an advocate to varying degrees

        I agree with Rob. It is human nature to advocate for one’s beliefs.

        Climate science is a subject that some claim is too complex to understand, yet at the same time claim that their understanding of it contradicts that of the authors of the IPCC report.

        People’s beliefs are all over the place, based for the most part on a very uncritical analysis.

        Were their analysis any good the IPCC should find it of interest. (Whether it actually would is quite a different matter.)

      • Someone on another blog, which I negligently omitted to bookmark (perhaps Tol) commented that lawyers are ethically bound to suppress facts not in their clients’ favor. Prosecutors, however, have a duty to air exculpatory evidence and failure to do so can result in a guilty finding being overturned. Is the position of a climate advocate more analogous to that of a lawyer or that of a public prosecutor?

      • I think she should advocate for some semblance of quality in science. With so many badly flawed studies, work ought to be replicated before we incur trillions is costs. People who work in the real world deal with quality control every day. Scientists should try it.

      • “I would be interested in exactly what you think i am advocating for?”

        I hope the answer is good science. I believe it is (for JC at least).
        If that involves questioning EVERYTHING, what’s so bad about that and isn’t that what science is SUPPOSED to be? You know “prove it!” type arguements, not “because I’m smarter than you”, or “you’re a poo-poo head” arguements.

    • Others (myself included), however, think that some of what you do does become a form of advocacy. Similarly, those you accuse of advocacy may – like you – believe that what they’re doing isn’t advocacy. So, how do we decide if someone is advocating or not?

      Personally, I would define at least three separate categories of “advocacy” to be found from scientists:

      •       Advocating for a specific standard of scientific practice.

      •       Advocating for a specific scientific hypothesis, theory, programme, or paradigm.

      •       Advocating for (a) specific policy decision(s).

      Before talking about “whether or not somebody is ‘doing advocacy'”, perhaps you should define your terms. Unless you’re trying to take advantage of your audience’s confusion of terms/definitions.

      • My nottingham remarks are targeted at issue advocacy related to public policy decisions.

      • I think we all knew that, Prof. Curry. But I suspect some of those making counter-accusations are trying to sew, and take advantage of, that confusion of terms. Behavior I would class as dishonest rhetoric, which is why I seldom bother to visit, and never comment on, their blogs.

      • AK;
        sow confusion
        No needles required.

      • @Brian H…

        Yeah, but they’re stitching together different meanings of the same word. Or trying to. :)

    • I too have no problem with scientists expressing views and engaging in lively debate. I think the line can be considered crossed when it goes to silencing those who disagree with you by misusing peer review, hiring and tenure committees and grants.

      • f-t-t-w,
        my thought exactly. Anybody can advocate for whatever they want. It’s the “The Debate Is Over” crowd that is the problem. As far as this encompasses journalists and politicians – that’s their prerogative. However, when establishment scientists use their power to stifle dissent, that is unethical.

        Of course, it is also self defeating. if their case was so all so irrefutable – why would they stoop so low?

      • @KenW: It’s the “The Debate Is Over” crowd that is the problem.

        Yes. It’s hard to imagine any IPCC author not agreeing strenuously with you on that point. Can you name even one who would disagree with you?

      • Vaughan, If they all agree, then why are they so quiet?

      • Given that over 140,000 comments on AR5 were submitted during its preparation, I’m not sure what you mean by “quiet”.

    • I agree with ATTP. If one has dedicated one’s life to “the cause” and “the cause” is not unbiased accretion of scientific knowledge wherever it leads. One aught to declare that openly, not just in emails they were chagrined became public.

      • Vaughan Pratt, The Pope is advocating that we all sacrifice in the name of global warming and live in energy poverty:

        “Our goal is not to amass information to satisfy curiosity, but rather to become painfully aware, to dare to turn what is happening to our world into our own personal suffering and thus discover what each of us can do about it”.

    • If you out on the climatologist (or physicist) toga and start waving your diploma as you advocate large strategic moves then you are in very soft ground. You see, the problem I see is that 75 % of solutions I see scientists propose are absolutely awful. And then there’s the Pope, Obama, Hollande et al….misguided politicians using climate change to advocate lousy policies.

      • Fernando,
        Your issue seems to be ideas/views you disagree with and politicians you don’t like. That sounds like life to me, not a reason to disenfranchise scientists. Being convinced that you’re right isn’t a good argument for discouraging others from expressing their views.

      • Nah, my issue is to see scientists stepping into politics and using bs to cover for their ignorance about things they don’t comprehend, cover up errors in their work, and issues like that. As you know I think the RCP workflow is Terrible. And the RCP8.5 is trash. Once you step outside your boundaries you are quite lost. While I’m at it, there’s a need to use data kriging, and the ocean reanalysis ought to consider heat flow from below. I can think of a couple of guys I used to work with who would straighten the IPCC and the whole letter soup ensemble. We could even get NOAA to use better color palettes….

      • @FL: And then there’s the Pope … using climate change to advocate lousy policies.

        This is very interesting. What “lousy policy” do you see the Pope as advocating?

      • Vaughan Pratt, I wrote a five page condensed version, “My Readers´ Digest Version of Pope Francis´ Encyclical”. The document covers much more than global warming. It shows the Pope is a Peronist Populist (he’s from Argentina). The document includes several paragraphs opposing family planning measures, or the use of markets (he even states water shouldn’t be considered a marketable commodity). He goes on to demand payments by rich nations to poor nations as reparations for global warming, and so on…

        Here’s a quote:

        “The principle of the subordination of private property to the universal destination of goods, and thus the right of everyone to their use, is a golden rule of social conduct and “the first principle of the whole ethical and social order”. The Christian tradition has never recognized the right to private property as absolute or inviolable, and has stressed the social purpose of all forms of private property.”

        I’ve knocked around a lot. Lived in Castro’s hell, in Argentina (where I met the Pope’s Peronista political allies), in Venezuela (where I saw Cuban trained agents cause an unfolding disaster and what may eventually become failed state), and have read quite a few communist manifestos, books, articles, etc.

        The encyclical was clearly drafted by leftist radicals, tempered with a bit of religious commentary, and given a veneer of willingness to have a dialogue. But the words they use come from their standard textbook.

        As I explain in my blog, it’s fine to have a red pope because I think Jesus was a communist religious figure, and Christians do need to resolve how far they go following a 2000 year old text written to support a Jewish radical (i am just observing from the outside, I don’t think the pope has any authority other than what he gets as the heir of a long political line extending back to roman emperors, so I’m not compelled to follow anything he writes unless I already agree with it).

        So there you have it. The Pope is a political agent, happens to be communist, opposes birth control, apparently doesn’t think women ought to be priests or gays have rights, and thus far ignores human rights abuses by his allies in Cuba and Venezuela. But I’m sure American “enviromentalists” will be highly selective quoting the Pope to achieve their objectives, and ignore the rest.

      • @FL: The Pope is a political agent, happens to be communist, opposes birth control, apparently doesn’t think women ought to be priests or gays have rights, and thus far ignores human rights abuses by his allies in Cuba and Venezuela.

        So, a real son of a bitch, right?

        Well, at least he’s our son of a bitch. (And I’m not even Catholic!)

    • Ken Rice just can’t help himself, claiming we can’t easily define advocacy.

      Ken, Judith provides a definition. Now if you disagree with that definition, explain why and perhaps offer one you think is better.

      I do agree with this part though – “as long as they’re honest about any potential conflicts, are honest about it being their opinion (even if informed), and as long as they do so in an appropriate setting.”

      So when someone brings up the 97% consensus to support their opinion, would you say they are being honest? What about so called research that is designed with a specific goal in mind?

      • What about so called research that is designed with a specific goal in mind?

        Every experiment has a goal in mind. It’s called testing a hypothesis. And you call me clueless.

      • timg56, ATTP posts under the name ATTP/And Then There’s Physics. Presumably he prefers to leave his name out of it, which is his right. What is the justification for those who use his name in their discussions? I think it’s shameful, and if I were the hostess I would forbid it.

      • What is the justification for those who use his name in their discussions? I think it’s shameful, and if I were the hostess I would forbid it.

        Reminds me of the days back around 1990, when anybody who posted anything on the internet that sounded remotely like advertising something, or recruiting, would be roundly criticized for it by someone taking umbrage at it.

        While I do exist on the Internet under other than my real name, lots of luck discovering that connection. For anything that matters at all I use my real name because I know how easy it is to expose a pseudonym. ;)

      • Fair enough Joseph.

        I should have said “with a specific result in mind”.

    • @tp, What Judith does is not advocacy. There are important distinctions that you are perhaps unaware of. You may not understand the issue, but that’s another matter. I’m surprised at that. Judith holds perhaps the concensus position that science has big problems with replicability, peer review, and just wrong or motivated by conflicts of interests results. Denial that climate science has the disease badly can only spring from ignoring what is by now the concensus position. See the Lancet piece Judith recently linked.

      Steve m. I’m surprised you would make such an ethically wrong equivalency. Those with the power have a much higher standard they should adhere to,

    • It’s interesting to see how Anders attempts to criticize this post while ignoring what the post says. Anders says:

      I don’t regard what I am doing as advocacy – I’m not advocating for any particular policies.

      Sure, and I have no doubt that you believe this. Others (myself included), however, think that some of what you do does become a form of advocacy. Similarly, those you accuse of advocacy may – like you – believe that what they’re doing isn’t advocacy. So, how do we decide if someone is advocating or not? I don’t think we can actually easily define when someone has crossed some boundary into advocating, and – personally – I don’t actually care all that much. I have no problem with scientists expressing their views, as long as they’re honest about any potential conflicts, are honest about it being their opinion (even if informed), and as long as they do so in an appropriate setting.

      The problem with this comment is our hostess devotes half a dozen paragraphs to explaining what she means by “advocacy.” For instance, she says:

      I don’t regard what I am doing as advocacy – I’m not advocating for any particular policies.

      And more importantly:

      Some people regard any engagement of a scientist with the policy process as advocacy – I disagree. The way I look at it is that advocacy involves forceful persuasion, which is consistent with the legal definition of advocacy.

      Our hostess devotes a fair amount of effort to explaining what she means by “advocacy.” Anders ignores all that. Instead, he says some people think some of what our hostess does becoms a form of advocacy. Sure. Under some definitions of “advocacy,” our hostess might be an advocate for things. Under other definitions, she won’t be. Words can often be used in different ways. To understand what a person means, we should look at how they are trying to use those words.

      Our hostess spends several paragraphs trying to explain how she means to use the word “advocacy.” Anders’s response is disingenuous, saying a person could claim our hostess is an “advocate” because some people consider her an “advocate” under a different definition than the one she is using right now. If Anders’s was trying to intentionally misunderstand our hostess, he couldn’t have done a better job.

      The reality is our hostess put a fair amount of effort into explaining what she meant, and Anders chose to ignore it all when responding. All that shows is if you go out of your way to ignore what a person is trying to say, you can usually find semantic arguments to claim a person has been unclear.

      I don’t have a problem with discussing semantics, but I do have a problem with people intentionally ignoring things a person says. Anders didn’t even attempt to look at how our hostess used the word “advocacy.” That’s pathetic.

      • Brandon,

        The reality is our hostess put a fair amount of effort into explaining what she meant, and Anders chose to ignore it all when responding.

        No, I didn’t actually. There’s a difference between describing what one is doing, and defining what one is doing, which was essentially my point. I’m not disputing Judith’s description of what she does, I’m disputing her definition of what she does. If I thought there was any point in taking this further with you, I would. Given that there clearly isn’t (“that’s pathetic” being all the illustration I need), I won’t.

      • Anders, I’m intrigued by the curious fact you’ve decided to respond to me given it wasn’t that long ago you explicitly said you weren’t going to respond to me anymore. I’m okay with people choosing not to respond to those they take issue with, but I think you have to be consistent with these things. Either respond to a person or don’t; don’t just pretend you’re going to stop responding to a person when it’s convenient.

        You say:

        No, I didn’t actually. There’s a difference between describing what one is doing, and defining what one is doing, which was essentially my point. I’m not disputing Judith’s description of what she does, I’m disputing her definition of what she does. If I thought there was any point in taking this further with you, I would. Given that there clearly isn’t (“that’s pathetic” being all the illustration I need), I won’t.

        Which shows just what I mean. You take issue with me saying “that’s pathetic,” but it’s actually quite pathetic to say you’re not going to respond to a person then respond to them just to say… you’re not going to respond to them.

        In any event, our hostess gave a relatively clear definition of “advocacy” in her post. You are free to dispute her definition if you’d like, but doing so requires doing more than saying, “I’m disputing her definition.” You have to explain what you’re doing to dispute her definition. The normal way to do so would be to quote what she says to define “advocacy” and explain why you think she is wrong.

        I won’t hold my breath. I expect you’ll fail to respond to our hostess in anything resembling a reasonable manner just like you’ve failed to respond to me in anything resembling a reasonable manner each time you’ve responded to me after saying you wouldn’t respond to me.

        But please, feel free to respond to me to prove I am wrong. And to prove you are wrong to explicitly state you won’t respond to me ever again.

      • Anders, I’m intrigued by the curious fact you’ve decided to respond to me given it wasn’t that long ago you explicitly said you weren’t going to respond to me anymore.

        Yes, I don’t always stick to what I say. However, responding to you is almost always a bad idea, and interacting with you has been one of the least pleasant experiences I’ve had in the last couple of years. So, I shall aim to return to my stated goal of not responding to you any more.

      • Can any of you tell me what i am supposed to be advocating for?

        The definition of an advocate is a person who argues for or supports a cause or policy

        I do not argue for specific policies.

        If scientific research integrity is a ’cause’, then I advocate for this cause.

        My concern is very specifically policy advocates.

      • Firstly, it seems to be partly a case of definitions. If you’re suggesting that one is only advocating if it is for a very specific policy, then maybe you don’t, but then I think very few do. My view is that anything that promotes a particular policy direction (even if it isn’t specific) is a form of advocacy. Even arguing against something is a form of advocacy.

        For example, in your Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, you say

        A growing body of evidence suggests that the climate is less sensitive to increases in carbon-dioxide emissions than policy makers generally assume—and that the need for reductions in such emissions is less urgent.

        I would argue that you were explcitly arguing against urgent emissions reduction and, hence, that you were essentially advocating. Again, I’m not arguing against you doing so; I’m trying to point out a few different things. Firstly, the definition of advocacy seems blurry and seems to be partly determined by who is supposedly doing it and who is defining it. Secondly, I think the argument against advocacy is largely an attempt to disenfranchise people and is – consequently – sub-optimal. People (whether scientists or not) should be free to speak out if they wish to do so. Of course, there are situations where that is not appropriate, but those are typically suitably defined (civil servants in the UK, for example). If anything, I’d rather people spoke out and made their views known, so that they weren’t hiding behind an apparent (but false) sense of objectivity.

        My concern is very specifically policy advocates.

        Okay, but do you mean scientists who are policy advocates, or anyone who is a policy advocate? Is it okay for Academic Economists to advocate, but not for Academic Scientists?

      • My concern is academics in general, but particularly for scientists given the norms and ethos of science.

        This statement from my WSJ op-ed is certainly policy relevant:

        “A growing body of evidence suggests that the climate is less sensitive to increases in carbon-dioxide emissions than policy makers generally assume—and that the need for reductions in such emissions is less urgent.”

        So ‘suggests’ and ‘less urgent’ are policy advocacy? It is very clear from the evidence of the IPCC that if sensitivity is on the low end, then the problems are smaller in magnitude, and that if sensitivity is on the high end, that the problems are of a greater magnitude. I merely restate the policy implications of a lower value of sensitivity.

        This is pretty weak tea if you want to call this policy advocacy; you can of course define it how you like, but I’ve made my own personal definition pretty clear, which is consistent with legal and dictionary definitions.

      • verytallguy

        Judith, you consistently advocate for adaptation over mitigation.

        https://judithcurry.com/2014/09/21/an-unsettled-climate/

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2014/09/24/curry-for-dinner/

        There’s nothing wrong with you advocating, just stop pretending you’re not, and follow your own guidelines.

      • With regards to my unsettled climate essay, which statements do you regard as advocacy? Here is what I say about mitigation:

        “Even if CO2 mitigation strategies are successful and climate model projections are correct, an impact on the climate would not be expected until the latter part of the 21st century.”

        Here is what I say about adaptation:

        “Regions that find solutions to current problems of climate variability and extreme weather events and address challenges associated with an increasing population are likely to be well prepared to cope with any additional stresses from climate change.”

        Where is the advocacy here? Where is the “should” or “ought”? Where is there an explicit statement of a preference overall for mitigation over adaptation? Even if stated, how would my personal preference by inferred to be advocacy in terms of forceful persuasion?

        Depending on your own motivated reasoning, you may choose to connect the dots in different ways.

      • Anders:

        JC SNIP enough has been said re the personal argument between you and ATTP

        Here’s an idea: If you want to claim our hostess has said something which is wrong, quote what she said and explain how it is wrong. That’s all it takes. It’s simple, it’s reasonable, and it’s how normal people hold discussions

      • verytallguy

        Judith,

        Research to develop low-emission energy technologies and energy efficiency measures are examples of ‘robust’ policies that have little downside, while at the same time have ancillary benefits beyond reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile

        If that’s not advocacy then I’m the Prince of Denmark

      • These are evaluative statements regarding policy. I am not telling anyone what to do with ‘ought’ or ‘should.’ Such statements may get in the way of the ‘urgent CO2 mitigation needed’, but I am not advocating for anything.

        Discussing climate policies, their benefits and unintended consequences, does not constitute policy advocacy.

      • verytallguy

        Judith,

        Thanks for taking the time to respond, I appreciate it.

        You have a far more narrow view of advocacy than I do.

      • verytallguy,

        I read simply a technical statement. JC is a scientist.

        Is climate so conflated with politics that every sentence must be considered for policy implications?

      • I’d be quite interested in why, in this post on (Ir)resposible advocacy, Judith rated the AGU statement as very poor, despite it saying nothing about any specific policy options.

      • The “requires urgent action” in the AGU title is a very clear statement of advocacy. In the text, both mitigation and adaptation strategies are mentioned.

      • “Research to develop low-emission energy technologies and energy efficiency measures are examples of ‘robust’ policies that have little downside, while at the same time have ancillary benefits beyond reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, attempts to modify the climate through reducing CO2 emissions may turn out to be futile.”

        Judith’s past statement above has to be taken in some context. If we lived in a word where incredible sums were being spend on such “research” and there were calls to divert more and more of scarce resources to such research – I would take her statement as “advocacy”. In the world we live in, it seems to be a description of “likely” policy options and potential consequences. (But again to the greater degree someone calls for research with specific particulars and increasing levels that would push it towards advocacy.)

      • Oh, I see. You’re judging the entire statement on the basis of the title of the press release? However, the statement itself says nothing specific about policy.

      • Yes it does mention policy, read the last paragraph of the statement.

        The title is the headline summary, what got quoted in the media.

      • The final paragpraph of the version to which you linked says

        Actions that could diminish the threats posed by climate change to society and ecosystems include substantial emissions cuts to reduce the magnitude of climate change, as well as preparing for changes that are now unavoidable.

        I can’t find any “oughts” or “shoulds” in that. Seems to simply be a statement of what could diminish the threats, not an argument for anything specific. Am I missing something here?

      • In the title ‘requires’ is a clear statement of ought, should, even stronger, really. The urgent action that is required is rather non specific, but ‘requires urgent action’ is a clear statement of advocacy

      • Anders,

        If AGU statement represents a purely technical position then criticizing that statement is a purely technical matter. That is her professional prerogative

        If AGU statement represents a political position, and for that reason criticizing the statement constitutes political advocacy, then that is their problem – not hers.

      • aTTP says:

        For example, in your Wall Street Journal Op-Ed, you say
        A growing body of evidence suggests that the climate is less sensitive to increases in carbon-dioxide emissions than policy makers generally assume—and that the need for reductions in such emissions is less urgent.

        I would argue that you were explcitly arguing against urgent emissions reduction and, hence, that you were essentially advocating.

        I found this statement very indicative of an attitude shared by many (most?) alarmists who argue here.

        Somebody recently linked to Bernie Lewin’s 2010 post on Revolutionary Science: Post-Normal Climate Science and neo-Marxism, which, in a discussion of “a newspaper review by Mike Hulme of Singer and Avery’s Unstoppable Global Warming” makes some cogent and here relevant remarks:

        Whenever Post-Normal Science model is applied to Climate Change Science the underlying fact of the urgency to respond to immanent catastrophe is placed beyond dispute, for this high-stakes urgency is the very raison d’etre of both Climate Change Science and Post-Normal Science. Thus, any challenge to this very ground of the post-normal science of Climate Change is taken merely as an operation of the value-driven activities of this science that is already in the post-normal condition.

        […]

        Hulme even goes as far as to say that the very basis of climate change alarmism is not (was not) settled in ‘normal’ science: ‘self-evidently dangerous climate change will not emerge from a normal scientific process of truth seeking.’ This is in agreement with Ravetz when he says that Climate Change science was never really a normal science. We can only conclude – and it appears that this is what they are actually saying – that this science emerged from a politicised discourse detached from normal scientific validation. They might find some agreement with the sceptics there (!), and also when Hulme advises that ‘in order to make progress about how we manage climate change we have to take science off centre stage.’

        This explanation, then, lets us see exactly what commenters here are up to: for them, the entirety of Science, in its modern definition (since, e.g. Bacon) doesn’t exist. “Science” becomes nothing but the wielding of “scientific authority” for the purpose of “advocacy”, and any argument of a “scientific” position becomes nothing but “advocacy” of whatever policy options its implications strengthen.

        Backing up, Lewin discusses the “burgeoning cabal of Marxists in the social sciences during the 1970s”:

        They saw their scholarship as revolutionary ‘praxis,’ believing that the underlying validation of their theorising and research was the extent to which it advanced the revolutionary cause. To them, the praxis of science, like everything else, reduced to the political – which is the politics of historical materialism, the mechanism of the class struggle that determines the course of history.

        […]

        It is important to recognise just how radical was this Marxist approach to research. We can do this by comparison with the approach taken by their left-leaning liberal colleagues. Be they chemists or social researchers, academics have long been openly and vocationally committed to their scientific practice so as to advance a social or political cause. They may hope that the effects of their research – whether these be in developing new fertilizers, or exposing domestic violence – will make the world a better place. And, indeed, we may find that their beliefs and motivations bias their conclusions towards what they see as the virtuous policy implications. But they would not avow[…] a licence to do so, and they would defer to no other validation other than the scientific evidence. In other words, liberalism had no extra justification for breaking with normal scientific validation.

        Not so Marxism. In fact, Marxists would often criticise the research and policy advice of liberal academics as only softening the political situation instead of what is needed, namely, to escalate the social contradiction to crisis.

        And this is what we see in the quote above: Any effort to question the “urgency” on genuine scientific grounds is reduced to “softening the political situation instead of what is needed, namely, to escalate the social contradiction to crisis.” As such, it becomes “advocacy”, “an operation of the value-driven activities of this science that is already in the post-normal condition.

      • Ken,
        Neither of those is really related to my point. Judith claims not to be advocating on the basis of not pushing for any specific policy option. However, a post about (Ir)responsible advocacy rates the AGU statement very poorly despite the statement itself not promoting any specific policy option. My issue is related to consistency, not to whether something actually can be defined as advocacy, or not.

      • > The problem with this comment is our hostess devotes half a dozen paragraphs to explaining what she means by “advocacy.”

        The problem with this comment is that this explanation is ad hoc and relies on an idiosyncratic conception of advocacy, which itself relies on an Humpty Dumpty definition of “specific” because she can’t pretend not being an activist anymore:

        Yes, I have stepped up my ‘activism’ regarding advocacy for integrity in climate research. The world needs a heavy dose of this as we prepare to receive the IPCC’s report.

        https://judithcurry.com/2013/09/20/the-ipccs-inconvenient-truth/#comment-383527

        The evolution of Judy’s pleading can be all be traced here, at Judy’s.

        We’ve been there so many times already.

        The audit never ends.

      • Anders, In your opinion, what is the intended purpose of the AGU statement?

      • Anders, In your opinion, what is the intended purpose of the AGU statement?

        What’s the point of your question? I’m not sure what you’re getting at.

      • ATTP: “What’s the point of your question? I’m not sure what you’re getting at.”

        Ooooh. A Really Smart Warmer is playing dumb. This is always fun.

        Andrew

      • Anders, okay I’ll try againb because i’m not sure what you’re getting at. Do you consider JC’s criticism of the AGU statement to be political advocacy?

      • Above on June 23, 2015 at 7:13 am ATTP wrote

        I’d be quite interested in why, in this post on (Ir)resposible advocacy, Judith rated the AGU statement as very poor, despite it saying nothing about any specific policy options.

        In https://judithcurry.com/2013/08/06/irresponsible-advocacy-by-scientists/ Judith wrote:

        Let’s evaluate the statements on climate change made by the RS, AGU and AMS, based on Steneck’s criteria [preceding bold-mwg]

        In the post Dr. Curry then goes through a list item by item with her explanation on each. Where’s the problem? She lists the criteria she used and her evaluation of the statement in terms of each. That seems to offer the opportunity for point be point rebuttal in event of specific disagreements on the itemized evaluation per a given measure. Try harder?

      • Do you consider JC’s criticism of the AGU statement to be political advocacy?

        No.

      • The point of this question is to make it about you, AT.

        There’s little left to say, really:

        [AT] I’d be quite interested in why, in this post on (Ir)resposible advocacy, Judith rated the AGU statement as very poor, despite it saying nothing about any specific policy options.

        [curryja] The “requires urgent action” in the AGU title is a very clear statement of advocacy. In the text, both mitigation and adaptation strategies are mentioned.

        [AT] Oh, I see. You’re judging the entire statement on the basis of the title of the press release? However, the statement itself says nothing specific about policy.

        [curryja] Yes it does mention policy, read the last paragraph of the statement. The title is the headline summary, what got quoted in the media.

        [AT] The final paragpraph of the version to which you linked says [nothing with any “oughts” or “shoulds”]

        [curryja] In the title ‘requires’ is a clear statement of ought, should, even stronger, really. The urgent action that is required is rather non specific, but ‘requires urgent action’ is a clear statement of advocacy

        ***

        At that point, either you:

        (1) reroute to “You’re judging the entire statement on the basis of the title of the press release?”

        (2) return to Judy’s notion of advocacy, which included something rather specific;

        (3) bite at KenW’s bait.

        Knowing you, I predict (3).

      • > In https://judithcurry.com/2013/08/06/irresponsible-advocacy-by-scientists/ Judith wrote:

        True Scotsmen still recall the good ol’ days when, faced with the fact that she did advocate for some things, created a wedge between her advocacy and the advocacy of her targets, which she called irresponsible.

        Andrew Adams won that thread with his “will-you-condemn-o-thons”.

        We return to KenW’s questioning.

      • No she didn’t. The only mention of “True Scotsmen” is yours.

        Auditor: audit thyself!

      • Willard wrote:

        The audit never ends.

        Like a CIRCLE™? :O)

      • > No she didn’t.

        No she did not what?

        Denizens really ought to beware their wishes.

      • No she did not what?

        Write what you said she did. Oh, I see: you didn’t actually quote anything, just put your own comment in a place where it would be taken as a quote.

      • Anders, (okay maybe we can work this out in just a couple more sentences.)

        And the AGU statement is not political because they do not advocate any specific policy?

      • FWIW, I think that the examples brought here of Dr. Curry’s statements are clearly advocacy.

        Personally (new topic) I don’t see so much wrong in that… I have a much bigger problem with scientists advocating based on incomplete or misleading information, like hiding uncertainty when it is there, or in advocating as if they are experts in area where they are not.

      • Anders –

        Ask Judith what she thinks of Freeman Dyson’s positions on the policy implications of climate change…..as someone who claims no expertise in the area.

      • > Write what you said she did […]

        I said created, not wrote.

        ***

        On the one hand, there’s Judy:

        I don’t regard what I am doing as advocacy – I’m not advocating for any particular policies.

        On the second, there’s Judy against her target:

        The urgent action that is required is rather non specific, but ‘requires urgent action’ is a clear statement of advocacy.

        On the third, Judy, to Very Tall:

        Where is the advocacy here? Where is the “should” or “ought”? Where is there an explicit statement of a preference overall for mitigation over adaptation? Even if stated, how would my personal preference by inferred to be advocacy in terms of forceful persuasion?

        If you don’t advocate for any particular policy and don’t include “ought” or “should” in your statements, you’re not advocating.

        If you advocate for something non-specific but with the words “requires urgent action” in a press release’s title, you’re doing advocacy.

        Even if you advocated for something that is only your personal preference, you’re not advocating unless you do it forcefully and presuasively.

        If that’s not special pleading, then I am Very Tall while he’s being the King of Denmark.

        ***

        Here would be a descriptive statement:

        [curryja] Regions that find solutions to [X] are likely to be well prepared to cope with [Y]

        Here would be another one:

        [Surgeon’s General Warning] Smoking kills.

        Since both are simply descriptive, they don’t carry prescription, right?

        ***

        Oh, and I found the sounds of “smoking kills” on this lovely site:

        Tobacco smoking has been fingered (e.g., U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare [U.S. DHEW], 1964) as a major cause of mortality and morbidity, responsible for an estimated 434,000 deaths per year in the United States (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 1991a).

        But, did you know that the so much publicized 400,000+ “smoking-related’ deaths in the US simply does not exist?

        That number is a guess… a heavily slanted, politically manipulated estimate using a computer model programmed with the assumptions of causality in synergy with the current political agenda against tobacco.

        http://www.smokingaloud.com/death.html

        The author’s emphasis.

        Teh modulz are stoopid everywhere, it thus seems.

      • Ken,

        And the AGU statement is not political because they do not advocate any specific policy?

        This isn’t really relevant to make point. My initial point was that virtually any form of public communication that links to policy is inherently a form of advocacy (unless it is extremely careful, almost to the point of being uselss). Judith’s claim is that she doesn’t advocate because she doesn’t state what specific policy we “should” or “ought” do. My suggestion is that, by that standard, neither does the AGU statement which she seemed to rate as a form of (Ir)respsonsible advocacy.

        I would argue that the AGU statement is a form of advocacy as it expressly highlights risks associated with climate change and is essentially arguing for urgent action (without saying specifically what that should be). Judith highlighting recent research suggesting that climate sensitivity is possibly on the low side and, therefore, that the need for emissions reductions is less urgent is also – IMO – a form of advocacy. I’m not making some kind of value judgement about either of these situations; simply suggesting that either they’re both a form of advocacy, or neither is a form of advocacy. I’m suggesting that we should, at least, be consistent.

      • > Write what you said she did […]

        I said created, not wrote.

        ***

        On the one hand, there’s Judy:

        I don’t regard what I am doing as advocacy – I’m not advocating for any particular policies.

        On the second, there’s Judy against her target:

        The urgent action that is required is rather non specific, but ‘requires urgent action’ is a clear statement of advocacy.

        On the third, Judy, to Very Tall:

        Where is the advocacy here? Where is the “should” or “ought”? Where is there an explicit statement of a preference overall for mitigation over adaptation? Even if stated, how would my personal preference by inferred to be advocacy in terms of forceful persuasion?

        If you don’t advocate for any particular policy and don’t include “ought” or “should” in your statements, you’re not advocating.

        If you advocate for something non-specific but with the words “requires urgent action” in a press release’s title, you’re doing advocacy.

        Even if you advocated for something that is only your personal preference, you’re not advocating unless you do it forcefully and presuasively.

        If that’s not special pleading, then I am Very Tall while he’s being the King of Denmark.

      • I said created, not wrote.

        Alright, looking very closely, you were apparently quoting mwgrant. I suppose it was only inadvertently deceptive because you never actually included the quote you were responding to.

        If that’s not special pleading, then I am Very Tall while he’s being the King of Denmark.

        I suspect it’s a semantic issue. She’s defining “advocacy” in terms of urging policy action. Pointing out that the science doesn’t support the demand for limiting policy action to the category of “urgent” isn’t actually advocating against urgent action. It’s just a statement of scientific opinion.

        Of course, the implication is obvious: if no urgent action is needed, then let’s not take it. But that’s not the point. Those urging urgent (heh!) action appear to be claiming justification on scientific grounds. Those grounds are open to questions, which don’t constitute “advocacy”.

      • MikeR –

        ==> “FWIW, I think that the examples brought here of Dr. Curry’s statements are clearly advocacy.

        Once again, I don’t want to let a clear indication of consistent logic go unacknowledged.

        BTW – it was interesting to read our exchange here from back in the dark ages:

        https://judithcurry.com/2013/08/06/irresponsible-advocacy-by-scientists/#comment-360860

        But it’s interesting to see how some things never change:

        First it’s OK for Dyson to advocate in areas where he has no expertise, then scientists shouldn’t advocate in areas where they have no expertise, then it’s OK as long as they claim expertise.

      • Judith testifies before Congress on the topic of the policy implications of climate change at the behest of Republicans because she is avoiding advocacy because she thinks that scientists acting as advocates undermines public trust in science.

      • AK wrote

        Alright, looking very closely, you were apparently quoting mwgrant.

        Not that I can tell.

      • Anders, Thank you for your patience, I now at least understand your argument. You cast a very wide net however. By your definition, any inference or suggestion regarding the implications of any finding or paper almost automatically falls into the realm of political advocacy – at least as far as the subject of climate is concerned. OTOH, maybe you’re right.

      • Willard,

        special pleading?

        Judith on this blog prior to writing the WSJ Op-ed

        curryja | August 4, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
        I was invited to write a muller/best related op-ed, not by NYT but one of approx the same impact factor. I decided not to, writing an op-ed is a political act and I don’t really want to go there, particularly over this issue.

        and

        here is a reminder of guidelines for responsible advocacy from the AAAS:

        ■Point out the weakness and limitations of your argument, including data that conflict with your recommendations;
        ■Present all relevant scientific data, not just that which supports a particular policy outcome;
        ■Be aware of the impact your advocacy can have on science…

        Compare and contrast to the writing of the WSJ editorial – no longer a “political act”.

        Consider the claim in that piece that we have “the period since 1998 during which global average surface temperatures have not increased” – vs earlier demand to “Present all relevant scientific data…”. This might also be usefully contrasted to Judith’s fear today that scientists advocacy “is not responsible in context of the norms of science.”, norms presumably like highlighting the “weakness and limitations” of a claim that temperatures have not increased since 1998.

        One wonders whether such these actions might constitute ”extremely irresponsible public behavior by [a] climate scientist”, and whether one should bemoan the fact that “there are absolutely no professional repercussions.”(!)

        Advocacy, irresponsibility and integrity are very much in the eye of the beholder, it seems.

        Judith – I’m sure this isn’t easy to get right, but perhaps just using your best endeavours to conduct your own advocacy in line with your own guidance rather than criticizing the right of others to advocate might be best?

      • From Judy’s about page:

        Recent op-eds

        WSJ: Global warming statistical meltdown
        Financial Post: An unsettled climate
        Financial Post: Kill the IPCC

        https://judithcurry.com/about/

        From the Kill the IPCC op-ed:

        The diagnosis of paradigm paralysis seems fatal in the case of the IPCC, given the widespread nature of the infection and intrinsic motivated reasoning. 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.

        http://business.financialpost.com/fp-comment/ipcc-climate-global-warming

        If my memory serves me right, ca 2010-2011, the target was activism, ca 2012-2013, it was advocacy. Then it became responsible advocacy, which connects with Judy’s expertise hierarchy: expert expertise, natural expertise, auditing expertise, synthetic expertise, interpretative expertise, etc.

        Today, advocacy’s making a comeback. Since we’ve already covered that advocacy was OK, all we need is to get back to responsible advocacy to return to Judy’s program.

        For of course it’s quite responsible of Judy to say in an op-ed that “it’s time to put down the IPCC as soon as possible”. There’s no “ought” or “should” in there, and Judy’s obviously and expert in expert expertise.

      • Still think this failure to understand what Judith is doing is really denial that climate science has serious problems. Those who are confused are mostly apologists for the current science establishment.

      • And then there’s physics: I may be wrong, but I suspect Dr Curry wrote the piece in the WSJ for people who read it. The choice of words is very appropriate for that audience. You don’t expect her to write like Sou or Naomi, right?

      • @FL: I suspect Dr Curry wrote the piece in the WSJ for people who read it. The choice of words is very appropriate for that audience.

        Surely that would depend on whether Judy sees herself as preaching to the choir on WSJ.

        I sure as hell don’t see what I write on Judy’s blog that way. And I would hope the same of her when she contributes to the WSJ.

  9. My sense is that Judith advocates for properly following the rigors of capital S Science untouched by bias, propaganda and groupthink, recognizing uncertainties in the Science, while encouraging respectful criticism and debate. It is an advocacy of proper process rather than desired outcome.

    • Yes I advocate for integrity of the research process. The concern that I have is with issue advocacy related to public policy in the area of your expertise. My statements related to public policy are also about process, in the context of decision making under deep uncertainty

    • Would it be fair to say that Judy advocates for skepticism of the so-called consensus on global warming?

      • Well, I try to defend the norms of science (which includes skepticism), and speak up where i think skepticism is being squashed. My ‘forceful’ arguments are about the process of science and policy making. I do not advocate for any particular scientific or policy outcome.

      • No, because by definition she is part of the consensus.

      • @ordvic: No, because by definition she is part of the consensus.

        Apologies for my fading memory. Mind reminding us of the definition?

      • The consensus is a belief in AGW man made global warming.

      • @ordvic: The consensus is a belief in AGW man made global warming.

        But how would Judy’s belief in AGW be inconsistent with her advocating skepticism of that belief, or for that matter skepticism of the stronger belief that AGW is harmful?

        I advocate such skepticism myself. As a professional logician I am just as opposed to “squashing” it as Judy is. But I also advocate logical reasoning, and am strongly opposed to fallacies, as I would hope Judy is.

        The latter happens on both sides of the debate. For example I’m very skeptical of the recent argument that “the apparent hiatus was not an actual climate trend. Instead, it was an artifact of incomplete and biased data.”

        The argument is based on the difference between the new (blue) and old (red) analyses in this plot of global surface temperature since 1880.

        Over the 20 years 1995-2014 the difference is way less than the noise in that signal, so I don’t see how it can turn a hiatus into a non-hiatus in any physically meaningful way. The argument is statistically fallacious.

        That the difference lies in creating the blue curve for 1995-2014 by pushing the red curve very slightly down for 1995-2004 and equally slightly up for 2005-2014 raises the obvious question, which curve is the more biased, red or blue?

        The only people who are likely to find that reasoning plausible are those who find the hiatus such an embarrassment that they would love to see it squashed (or straightened out), however dubious the means.

        Yet my skepticism notwithstanding, I still expect that the hiatus will soon be shown to have ended in 2010, namely by global surface temperature spiking up by between 0.3 and 0.5 °C during 2011-2021.

        Yet I can also readily accept it if it stays flat. It’s only an expectation, not a belief, just as I can readily accept snake eyes (two ones in craps) even though I don’t expect it.

        Beliefs are longer term than expectations. If you rely on beliefs about your fellow poker players’ hands you will not do well in the long run, but belief in the laws of probability will serve you well.

        My expectations about the future are based on my beliefs about physics, which have served me well in the past and therefore I have no reason to doubt them, at least thus far.

        But physics isn’t mathematics or logic, which over the centuries have proved more robust than physics and in which I therefore believe even more strongly. Aristotle’s syllogisms have stood the test of time much better than Ptolemy’s epicycles, despite both logic and physics having made great strides during the past two millennia.

    • Danley Wolfe,

      +10

      Excellent comment. Unfortunately the responses demonstrate that for some loony Left ideologues, dogma trumps Science.

      • @PL: Danley Wolfe, +10. Excellent comment. Unfortunately the responses demonstrate that for some loony Left ideologues, dogma trumps Science.

        In the 1950’s US Senator Joseph McCarthy was possessed by a curious ailment of vision that allowed him to see communists in nearly every branch of the US government.

        Today Peter Lang sees “loony Left ideologues” in every comment made by anyone who’s ever taken him to task over what one could fairly call his “loony Right rants”, even when that comment happens to support rather than oppose Peter’s views.

        As it turned out, McCarthy wasn’t curable, and he died not long after in 1957.

        Whether Peter is curable remains to be seen..

    • Danley Wolfe,

      That is also how i see it.
      For some however, open scientific debate undermines their political advocacy. This is perhaps the reason they confuse Dr. Curry’s advocacy for “integrity of the research process” with political meddling.

      • yes, opening up the debate is regarded by real advocates as my ‘advocating for inaction’

      • Well, some groups apply a win at all costs approach to politics and tend to try to apply it science.

        A win at all costs approach to science tends to first sacrifice facts and the objective truth and that would seem to be too high a price to pay.

    • Danley has hit the target precisely. Judith’s concerns have been so clear for so long I’m bewildered why anyone would be confused about any of this.

      • They are not confused. They are here yammering about Judith advocating to discredit her, period. Oh, she’s a hypocrite. Don’t listen to that woman.

        Go over to Dr. Prof. Kenny Rice’s blog, where these clowns hang out grinding their axes, and see how much criticism that crowd of consensus dogma hyenas will take.

  10. Pingback: Science, Uncertainty And Advocacy | Transterrestrial Musings

  11. Very good introduction Judith. I think it both accurately and concisely states the position you from which your have worked in the area and reasonably reflects the lay of the land from what I see.

    In particular, the last paragraph gets to the correct place:

    In conclusion, my concern is that the scientific community is extremely confused about the policy process and too many climate scientists are irresponsibly shooting from the hip as issue advocates. Apart from the damage that this is doing at the interface between science and policy, the neglect and perversion of uncertainty is doing irreparable balance to the science and to the public trust of scientists.

    Pushing certainty is pure politics; recognizing and accounting for uncertainties is honest policy-making.

  12. Another example of advocacy gone mad that I saw in my university. A women in one department did a broad survey on violence in personal relationships. She sent out her survey gender blind purely by accident. The results were astonishing. While the rate of female injury requiring a trip to the hospital was much higher than male, partner violence was equally likely to be initiated by females as by males.

    When the PhD student was about to give her seminar, a group of students from another department arrived, with their professor, carrying placards and shouting and chanting. They prevented the seminar from happening. They literally screamed and blew on whistles and marched about the room accusing the woman of being a betrayer and a disgrace to her gender and even if her results were valid, which they couldn’t possibly be, she should have kept quiet about them because her results would be used by patriarchy to further oppress women. She also received numerous emails (not all anonymous) threatening her with acts of violence and she was told male student were being invite to come and rape her since she loved patriarchy so much.

    There was an attempt to block her thesis approval but an independent external review by three experts (not the usual one but three) on stats and survey methodology found nothing wrong with the data. When she tried to publish, it was suggested she simply drop the male violence victims which both she and her professor refused to do. They had to shop around to find a journal that would actually publish what she found. When it was time for her to have her PhD thesis defence, it was held at the medical campus, instead of the main campus and it was not announced university wide, but instead was by select invitation only because of fears of violence and intimidation.

    As far as I know, there were no official consequences for the disgraceful behaviour and the suggestion to hold the thesis defence on another campus without advertising it, was from the administration. On graduation, she was ostracized by the academic community unable to ever get a job in a university and she now works in private practice as family therapist. Another case of advocacy and intimidation over facts. In this situation, the administration was prepared to do almost anything to avoid a confrontation. When you prevent another person from speaking, try to block their ability to publish their work, try to silence them, and prevent them from being hired because you don’t like their views even though those views are validated, then you have crossed the line from legitimate discussion to advocacy.

    That is, in my opinion, what Judith is talking about and I applaud her for it.

    • Very sad.

    • I think you’d love this. A Danish ‘whistleactivist’ is interviewed about her group’s shut-up, drown-out tactics. She goes to respond…

      • I can’t believe someone would actually record themselves publicly advocating this kind of treatment of a fellow human being.

      • Hmmm, that could turn some folks into whistle-cramming activists.

      • I think maybe you misunderstood the clip, fulltime. Which is easy to do without the context. If I remember correctly. the woman being whistled at was a user and advocate of the whistle blowing tactic to drown out others’ speech. She came to the studio to crow about her success with it (at some recent protest, I think). The interviewer turned the tables on her to show her the ugliness of what she was doing. You can see her sort of laughing at the beginning before she realizes that the interviewer is serious about giving her the same treatment she was advocating and using on others. Was the interviewer being ugly? Perhaps. But now you can decide whether she had justification or not. You can also wonder whether the interviewee learned something from the experience.

      • So many ways to engage in Kristallnacht behavior.

      • Just to clarify, the woman in the white top was a leader of the whistleactivists. I think their most successful stunt had been drowning out a Mayday speech by Helle Thorning-Schmidt , the Danish PM. The interviewer was turning the tables on the activist – who ended up having to do just what the activists had made the PM (also a woman) do.

    • Incredible story.

      The #1 rule of modern society is to NEVER violate the victim hierarchy.

      These things are all related. Environmentalists have a nice seat in the hierarchy.

      • Also that criticism is only allowed to flow one way within the VH.

      • I got involved because I was the departmental student representative and the defence ended p being held in a room near me. They needed a student rep, anyone official, present and I guess they figured I was safe and would not resort to that kind of behaviour. The poor woman had a good cry talking with me about what she had gone through, but to her credit she stuck to her data and the truth and did not cave and to her supervisor’s even greater credit, she was well supported by him in the face of horrific pressure. There are some good people in academia.

      • Yes, good on both of them for not caving!

      • And yet, she was still drummed out of “polite society”, as it were. They won.

    • A taste of her own medicine? That was such a violation of the norms of discourse that it was difficult to watch.

  13. David Wojick

    The analysis is excellent, but it does not lead to the strong accusatory conclusions. Nor do I know what “irreparable balance” means. Is this perhaps a typo?

  14. Traditional science:
    There are uncertainties. These are measured and framed as probabilistic statements.

    Consensus science:
    There are uncertainties. Of course there are, science and objectivity are male heroism. We can know nothing due to the social and historical alignment of our senses. Lets all vote!!!

  15. David L. Hagen

    Judith Compliments on advocating for the Scientific Method and highlighting the numerous uncertainties that few understand or document.

    Unreferenced GUM
    The international standards community achieved a major development of uncertainty methodology:
    GUM: Guide to the Expression of Uncertainty in Measurement by BIMP.
    Evaluation of measurement data – Guide to the expression of uncertainty in measurement JCGM 100 2008.
    However, the IPCC scientists and bureaucrats appear ignorant of these developments. e.g. the IPCC NEVER references BIMP or JCGM in its Assessment Reports.

    Type B Errors
    IPCC’s first major fallacy appears to be Type B errors – especially focusing on warming amplification, and the harms that might cause, while failing to address natural variations and the benefits of higher CO2.
    Such systemic bias shows up with the climate models running 200% of actual temperature increase since 1979 with ~95% of models/runs predicting hotter than the actual temperature rise.

    Mitigation vs Adaptation
    The second major fallacy is over advocating policies for mitigation while effectively ignoring adaptation. Such policies would result in massive overspending compared to sensible adaptation with prudent engineering.
    This is compounded by implying that those (unknowingly ?) making these errors have the higher ethical ground and denigrate all others using pejoratives such as “climate deniers” etc.

    • khal spencer

      Good point on GUM, which I use routinely in order to make sure our measurement uncertainties, when compared to those at other laboratories, are on a common and understandable footing. I would like to see a detailed description of GUM as applied to GCMs (has someone done that?).

      What I occasionally find is that even with GUM, one is sometimes moving into uncharted territory, i.e., “we have never made a measurement in this region of measurement space, and we don’t have standards with which to compare. How do we estimate uncertainty?” Of course by saying so and putting in estimates, one is on the record and that can be challenged, or research done to validate or disprove the assumptions.

      • David L. Hagen

        kahl spencer
        Compliments on your uncertainty evaluations. Re GUM for GCM’s, I have not seen a good one. IPCC has some ranges, but model performance indicates major understatements of the errors, especially Type B.
        Nic Lewis and
        Lewis & Curry have reanalyzed equilibrium/effective climate sensitivity (ECS) and transient climate response (TCR). Then have achieved a major reduction in uncertainty in the climate models. See Implications of Lower Aerosol Forcing for Climate Sensitivity at Climate Etc. Note especially Table 1.

        Compared with using the AR5 aerosol forcing estimates, the preferred ECS best estimate using an 1859–1882 base period reduces by 0.2°C to 1.45°C, with the TCR best estimate falling by 0.1°C to 1.21°C. More importantly, the upper 83% ECS bound comes down to 1.8°C and the 95% bound reduces dramatically – from 4.05°C to 2.2°C, below the ECS of all CMIP5 climate models except GISS-E2-R and inmcm4. Similarly, the upper 83% TCR bound falls to 1.45°C and the 95% bound is cut from 2.5°C to 1.65°C. Only a handful of CMIP5 models have TCRs below 1.65°C.

        See also: Nic Lewis’
        posts at ClimateAudit.org
        Pitfalls in climate sensitivity estimation: Part 1 etc.

      • David L. Hagen

        Joseph
        The AR4 documents used Mitigation 1380 times and adaptation 1130 times. The AR5 Summary redressed that to mention mitigation/mitigate 134 times and adaptation 180 times. So what?
        All the consequent political focus is on mitigation to prevent the 2C rise. Mentioning is different from advocating. Note: “The second major fallacy is over advocating policies for mitigation while effectively ignoring adaptation.” e.g., the UNFCCC declares the 2C goal will be achieved:
        Pope Francis releases encyclical on climate and environment

        The (Pope’s) letter comes ahead of the next UN climate change conference in Paris, in December, where governments will reach a <b?universal climate change agreement that must keep the average global temperature from rising beyond 2C degrees and secure the ability of all countries to adapt to the climate change that is already in the global system.

      • David

        The scientific case that a 2C rise in temps will lead to disaster is so solidly based on good science.

      • David L. Hagen

        Rob Starkey
        What Disaster? There is no question that converting forests to fields or to asphalt affects climate.
        The $64 trillion question is HOW MUCH?! Thus the controlling issue of identifying and quantifying the very major uncertainties involved. Especially the Unknown Unknowns!
        The IPCC’s “extremely likely” (>95% confidence) of >50% anthroprogenic warming since 1950 plain doesn’t hold water because models are predicting temperatures > 200% of reality during the satellite era since 1979.
        What disasters? What science?
        Scientific evidence is that temperatures were warmer in the Medieval warm period, the Roman warm period, and the Minoan warm period – all of which were more prosperous and productive than the Little Ice age etc.
        So alarmists try to persuade us that warming is bad.
        Yet more people move to Florida from New York than vice versa!
        The major scientific evidence is that we have insufficient scientific evidence on natural variations to quantify and distinguish anthropogenic impacts – especially water vapor amplification.
        So what quantitative scientific evidence of “disaster”?
        Read the other side of the story. See ClimateChangeReconsidered.com and TheRightClimateStuff.com
        Show your evidence. To date, what I have seen is scientifically unconvincing and lacking adequate uncertainty.

      • We are measuring down dwelling radiation.

        It is about 0.2 W/m2 for 22 PPM.

        The rate of CO2 rise is 2.2 PPM per year and probably falling.

        We should wait until 2020 before putting any money on mitigation.

        If the CO2 level in 2020 is under 410 PPM and the forcing change is less than 0.4 W/m2 there doesn’t seem to be a case for mitigation. 0.4 W/m2 for 20 years is 2 W/m2 for 100 years.

        A less than 1°C forcing change, 2 W/m2 by 2100 or 0.5°C, doesn’t need mitigation.

        From the available facts it seems we do have plenty fossil fuel, But where the fuel is and who is using it, is going to make any increase in emissions over 10 GT/Y unlikely (at least due to coal).

        So it is worth waiting to see who is right on atmospheric lifetime and forcing. If the atmospheric lifetime is short or environmental absorption is high the rise in the CO2 level is going to attenuate. If the warmers are right the CO2 increase in PPM/Y should rise to over 3 PPM by 2020.

        Right now everything looks to be on the cool side of lukewarm.

      • David L. Hagen

        Thanks PA. Interesting evidence.
        Is that CO2 specific radiation only? Or is all downwelling radiation being measured?
        What does the theory include?
        Any references to the details being measured?
        What causes the spikes?

      • Different surface locations would have different effects. That is about the expected effect for that location. In the tropics you would see much less because of the H2O dominance at the surface. The often quoted numbers are just global averages, not a value to be expected at every point on the earth’s surface, but they are also more often given at the top of the troposphere where water vapor above plays less of a role in local variability.

      • David L. Hagen | June 22, 2015 at 9:32 pm |
        Thanks PA. Interesting evidence.
        Is that CO2 specific radiation only? Or is all downwelling radiation being measured?
        What does the theory include?
        Any references to the details being measured?
        What causes the spikes?

        http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v519/n7543/full/nature14240.html

        The link was discussed in February when the study came out.

        1. CO2 or all radiation?
        Down dwelling IR – so it is all GHG.

        2. What does the theory include?
        The theoretical red curve is a plot of the Fco2 = 5.35.ln (C/C0) CO2 running solo with no wet forcing. Or 3.7083 W/m2 for doubled CO2 (1°C). The IPCC TSR which the blue curve should exceed (since it includes other forcing) is 2x Fco2 or twice the red curve.

        3. Any references to the details being measured? See link above or the Berkley Lab press release:
        https://newscenter.lbl.gov/2015/02/25/co2-greenhouse-effect-increase/

        They measured in Oklahoma and Barrow Alaska (basically the south/north ends of the temperate zone).

        4. What causes the spikes? CO2 varies with time of year and is lower in the summer. It would appear the forcing follows the CO2 level. They plotted CO2 in PPM and down dwelling IR in W/m2 together for both locations.

      • Scientific evidence is that temperatures were warmer in the Medieval warm period, the Roman warm period, and the Minoan warm period – all of which were more prosperous and productive than the Little Ice age etc.

        The scientists in question being McIntyre and McKitrick?

      • I don’t think we have fossil fuels to go above 630 ppm. The prices we require as the resource becomes depleted will likely cause replacement or demand destruction.

        I realize oil prices dropped in the recent past, but that’s just a temporary overhang. I just saw the latest production charts and it sure looks like USA production is dropping. I don’t think most new developments are viable when prices are lower than $80 per barrel, and quite a few require $100 plus. Eventually, as we run out of the better prospects we will just require much higher prices. I think by 2035 we should see a major breakdown unless we find a suitable energy source to start replacing fossil fuels.

      • David L. Hagen

        Thanks PA.
        Vaughan Pratt Numerous ref. Don Easterbrook reviews. e.g., Geological Evidence of Recurring Climatic Cycles
        5.1.1.6. The Medieval Warm Period (900 A.D. to 1300 A.D.)

        Grapes are presently grown in Germany up to elevations of about 560 m, but from about 1100 A.D. to 1300 A.D., vineyards extended up to 780 m, implying temperatures warmer by about 1.0e1.4 C (Oliver, 1973). Wheat and oats were grown around Trondheim, Norway, suggesting climates about 1 C warmer than present (Fagan, 2000).

        5.1.1.3. The Roman Warm Period (200 B.C. to 600 A.D.)

        After 100 B.C., Romans wrote of grapes and olives growing farther north in Italy that had been previously possible and of little snow or ice (Singer and Avery, 2007).

        Easterbrook, D.J., ed., 2011, Evidence-based climate science: Data opposing CO2 emissions as the primary source of global warming: Elsevier Inc., 416 p.

      • David L. Hagen

        Expensive Replacement Fuels
        Fernando Leanme – I agree. e.g., Goldman Sachs Top 400 analysis found that most new oil projects were NOT profitable at $70/bbl. See:
        $1 Trillion of Zombie Investments Stranded in the Oil Fields

      • David L. Hagen

        Vaughan Pratt
        The Laurentide ice sheet melted! Doesn’t that indicate temperatures warmer than present during the Holocene Optimum?

      • @DH: The Laurentide ice sheet melted! Doesn’t that indicate temperatures warmer than present during the Holocene Optimum?

        I’m not following your logic there, David. The Laurentide ice sheet is a recurring phenomenon during Quarternary glacial epochs, and melts after each deglaciation. If temperatures higher than present-day temperatures are a prerequisite for melting it then there would have been not just one but several periods hotter than today every 100,000 years. Why limit your argument to just one of them?

        However I don’t see why today’s temperatures would be such a prerequisite. Furthermore it seems very unlikely given that CO2 dropped to below 200 ppmv during glaciations, rising to at most around 300 ppmv during deglaciations that were sufficient to melt the Laurentide ice sheet. Given that CO2 and temperature move together in a mutually supporting feedback, one would expect the CO2 to have been much higher during deglaciations if modern temperatures were needed for them.

        Another point is that today’s temperatures are rapidly melting Arctic sea ice. Had the temperatures that melted the Laurentide ice sheet been hotter than today they would have also melted the Arctic sea ice every 100,000 years. Has there been any evidence of such a periodic deglaciation of the Arctic Ocean?

      • Good point about Don Easterbrook though, David. I should have included him on that list.

      • David Springer

        Using vp’s relative logic we can then conclude that low CO2 causes ice to melt because the beginning of every quaternary deglaciation occurs at the low point of atmospheric CO2.

        Relative logic doesn’t seem to perform well or consistently. I take it the advantage is the flexibility to argue otherwise untenable positions?

      • David Haguen:

        What that article fails to say is that oil prices will climb relentlessly to enable those oil projects. Eventually prices have to increase so much renewables are enabled as well.

      • Using vp’s relative logic we can then conclude that low CO2 causes ice to melt

        You appear to be assuming that the only way to melt ice is with CO2. I suggest we run your assumption by a few six year olds and see what they make of it.

      • David L. Hagen

        Vaughan Pratt
        How does CO2 cause the warming and melt the glaciers when ice cores show it lags temperature by up to 8000 years?

        In their seminal paper on the Vostok Ice Core, Petit et al (1999) [1] note that CO2 lags temperature during the onset of glaciations by several thousand years . . .There is a persistent tendency for CO2 to lag temperature throughout and this time lag is most pronounced at the onset of each glacial cycle “where CO2 lags temperature by several thousand years” [1] (Figure 4).

        See graph. That sounds more like warming oceans rapidly drive out CO2, while cooling oceans take longer to absorb CO2.

      • @DH: How does CO2 cause the warming and melt the glaciers when ice cores show it lags temperature by up to 8000 years?

        David, I seriously doubt that David Springer would be willing to subject himself to an examination by a few reasonably competent six-year-olds of his apparent belief that CO2 is the only way to melt ice.

        But in the extremely unlikely event that he is, would you be willing to join him in that inquisition by the next generation?

      • David Springer

        Common practice at Stanford is evidently to run hypotheses by a panel of six year olds. That sure explains a lot.

        How’s that effort of yours at trying to duplicate the Woods experiment using cardboard boxes, Scotch Tape, and Saran Wrap doing, Vaughn? Did you run it by a panel of six year olds or actually conscript a few of them into its construction?

        I’ll understand if you choose to not to answer.

      • David Springer

        Read harder, Vaughn.

        The question isn’t “Is CO2 the only way to melt ice?” it’s “Is CO2 one way to melt ice?:”

      • David Springer

        Stanford’s best and brightest six year-olds do science:

      • A superpower I’ve just realized I’ve had all along: I can get David Springer to attempt to defend eminent Princeton professor Robert Wood’s preposterous 1.5 page paper in a 1909 issue of a philosophical magazine simply by raising my pinky and pressing it on the appropriate keys so as to write about anything but that.

        To those who have protested that I must surely have set him up, I have only this to say: bwahaha.

        Now to explore more such superpowers. Bwahahahaha.

      • @DS: The question isn’t “Is CO2 the only way to melt ice?” it’s “Is CO2 one way to melt ice?:”

        What a pleasant surprise. When was the last thread DS had any question this insightful?

        (I’m being a little unkind here, he’s actually made one or two technically sound remarks during the past six months. i should have made a note of them. Maybe he remembers them)

      • David Springer

        R.W.Woods “preposterous”.

        Jealousy doesn’t become you, Vaughn. Unlike you Woods was an accomplished American experimental physicist specializing in optics.
        Multiple degrees from Harvard, MIT, and University of Chicago he spent most of his life a professor of experimental physics at Johns Hopkins.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_W._Wood

        XXIV. Note on the Theory of the Greenhouse

        By Professor R. W. Wood (Communicated by the Author)

        THERE appears to be a widespread belief that the comparatively high temperature produced within a closed space covered with glass, and exposed to solar radiation,
        results from a transformation of wave-length, that is, that the heat waves from the sun, which are able to penetrate the glass, fall upon the walls of the enclosure and raise its temperature: the heat energy is re-emitted by the walls in the form of much longer waves, which are unable to penetrate the glass, the greenhouse acting as a radiation trap.

        I have always felt some doubt as to whether this action played any very large part in the elevation of temperature. It appeared much more probable that the part played by the glass was the prevention of the escape of the warm air heated by the ground within the enclosure. If we open the doors of a greenhouse on a cold and windy day, the trapping of radiation appears to lose much of its efficacy. As a matter of fact I am of the opinion that a greenhouse made of a glass transparent to waves of every possible length would show a temperature nearly, if not quite, as high as that observed in a glass house. The transparent screen allows the solar radiation to warm the ground, and the ground in turn warms the air, but only the limited amount within the enclosure. In the “open,” the ground is continually brought into contact with cold air by convection currents.

        To test the matter I constructed two enclosures of dead black cardboard, one covered with a glass plate, the other with a plate of rock-salt of equal thickness. The bulb of a themometer was inserted in each enclosure and the whole packed in cotton, with the exception of the transparent plates which were exposed. When exposed to sunlight the temperature rose gradually to 65 oC., the enclosure covered with the salt plate keeping a little ahead of the other, owing to the fact that it transmitted the longer waves from the sun, which were stopped by the glass. In order to eliminate this action the sunlight was first passed through a glass plate.

        There was now scarcely a difference of one degree between the temperatures of the two enclosures. The maximum temperature reached was about 55 oC. From what we know about the distribution of energy in the spectrum of the radiation emitted by a body at 55 o, it is clear that the rock-salt plate is capable of transmitting practically all of it, while the glass plate stops it entirely. This shows us that the loss of temperature of the ground by radiation is very small in comparison to the loss by convection, in other words that we gain very little from the circumstance that the radiation is trapped.

        Is it therefore necessary to pay attention to trapped radiation in deducing the temperature of a planet as affected by its atmosphere? The solar rays penetrate the atmosphere, warm the ground which in turn warms the atmosphere by contact and by convection currents. The heat received is thus stored up in the atmosphere, remaining there on account of the very low radiating power of a gas. It seems to me very doubtful if the atmosphere is warmed to any great extent by absorbing the radiation from the ground, even under the most favourable conditions.

        I do not pretend to have gone very deeply into the matter, and publish this note merely to draw attention to the fact that trapped radiation appears to play but a very small part in the actual cases with which we are familiar.

      • If someone were to post a six-paragraph comment on Climate Etc. claiming to be a completely self-contained peer-reviewed paper published in a philosophical magazine describing an important physics experiment, yet containing no number whatsoever except 55 (appearing twice), and containing not even one single bibliographic reference, or anything about the experiment that would permit someone else to repeat it (was the box a cubic inch, a cubic foot, a cubic meter?), what are the odds of anyone except the poster himself taking it seriously?

        Even if it had been written by Albert Einstein himself it would be taken seriously only for the fame of its author, not for its content, or in this case lack thereof.

        Judged by any reasonable standard of experimental science, Wood’s paper is sheer nonsense. In a response in the same journal five months later the director of the Smithsonian Observatory Charles Abbot said as much, albeit more politely as befits scientific publication. Had Wood not been the famous professor you point out he was, Abbot would have seen no point in dignifying such an evidently ridiculous paper with a response.

    • while effectively ignoring adaptation

      This is the title IPCC’s WGII:

      Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

  16. Bravo Dr. Curry. I hope that your viewpoint will influence the debate.

  17. I have one final example from my personal experience of advocacy over ethics. When it was announced that the USA was going into Iraq, an antiwar group went to a meeting of the faculty association for my university. The members (eight of them) voted there and then on a resolution condemning the war on behalf of all the faculty they represented. This anti war group then went out and got many more unions and groups to join on the basis that all the _University Professors_ were against the war. The public and other groups perceived that since _University Professors_ were all against the war, they should be too. There was a huge demonstration with the Faculty Association front and centre of the parade.

    Many of the professors were very upset that their faculty association had taken a political position on their behalf without consulting them first. This included many professors who were actually in favour of staying out of the war. The position of medical faculty representative was empty and had been for three years prior due to lack of anyone being willing to take the position. My husband volunteered by walking around and getting enough faculty members to sign saying they accepted him as representative.

    At his first FA meeting he brought up the issue. He was absolutely astonished when one women said to him in all seriousness, “but being against the war is the morally right thing to do and we know it”. He asked for permission to use the Faculty Association email list to survey members about how many actually supported the official Faculty Association position on the Iraq war. He was outvoted and the faculty were never consulted.

    In the meetings he subsequently attended, requests for support for various causes came up quite often. He always stated he felt it was wrong for the faculty association to take positions on political matters without appropriate consultation with members and perhaps some form of survey should be done before official statements of advocacy were released on behalf of all professors. Many requests for various causes died because of his questioning but he was not exactly well liked for it. Nor was there every any agreement on instituting a policy that the faculty association should not be taking positions on political issues on behalf of faculty without prior consultation with faculty. He has been retired for a few years now and so far there have been no further advocacy statements from the faculty association. Since there is no policy, that may well change.

    Again, many professors think they are somehow above all ordinary human frailties and biases and that they have some sort of semi-divine right to decide that which is morally proper and to advocate freely and forcefully on any cause whatsoever even if it is outside of their area of expertise, simply because they have reached the exalted position of _University Professor_. This is why official policies and ethical guidelines to protect professors from themselves should exist. Unfortunately, as Judith points out, they generally don’t.

    • Because one’s mission is to seek knowledge doesn’t mean one necessarily finds it ex cathedra. Also I think such expectations are a trait shared in wider circles than academia.

      • Okay I had to look up what ex cathedra was but it exactly describes the problem. The issue may well be shared in wider circles, but university professors have still managed to hold onto the perception of their superior intellectual abilities in spite of all the attempts they make to ruin it. Therefore, since they are held to a higher standard they should accept a higher standard for themselves and make specific policies about such things instead of thinking they are so superior they don’t even need them.

      • tumbleweed…

        I certainly agree with you regarding the ‘higher standard’, well maybe except for the idea that they are in fact held to it. ‘Wink-wink’ is the nature of humans and their institutions.

      • richardswarthout

        Tumbleweed

        Outside of the universities people in a work environment often have no idea of their coworkers’ education level. However individuals can still be elevated to a high (pope-like) level of respect for their expertise, based solely on conversations and writings.

        Richard

    • richardswarthout

      Tumbleweed

      Your experiences at your university and on the farm are very enlightening. They are experiences very different than mine and reinforce what I should already know; I am but a dot in the world.

      Richard

      • No probably I am just a lot older and have been around a lot longer than you. I could wax eloquently for hours on all the great experiences I had in Academia.

      • richardswarthout

        Tumbleweed

        I am 74 years old and my children call me ancient. Actually used a slide rule in college. But I learn new things all the time. Before retirement the most persevering question was related to why people so often think and act illogically. Still have not found the answer but still looking.

      • richardswarthout

        Before retirement the most persevering question was related to why people so often think and act illogically. Still have not found the answer but still looking.

        Stopped looking and have accepted. We are what we are.

      • Don Monfort

        We are animals. We do better than most.

      • David Wojick

        You folks have a mistaken view of logic. Just because someone thinks differently from you does not make them illogical. It may make them wrong but that is very different from illogical. Keep in mind that the weight of evidence is relative to the observer.

      • Don Monfort

        I am with David, on this one. If someone jumps off the top of a tall building that ain’t on fire and splatters on the street, that ain’t necessarily illogical.

      • David Wojick

        You folks have a mistaken view of logic. Just because someone thinks differently from you does not make them illogical. It may make them wrong but that is very different from illogical. Keep in mind that the weight of evidence is relative to the observer.

        Who said anything about people are illogical because they think differently? We are hard-wired. We all are hard-wired. You are barking up the wrong tree at least as far as I am concerned.

        The weight of evidence is relative to the observer? We are over here observing human nature, nothing more. Come out of the weeds and have a beer. Fuhgeddaboudit. :O)

      • Don Monfort,

        We do better than most.

        By what standard?

      • Don Monfort: We are animals. We do better than most.

        blatant animaliacentrism !!

      • Don Monfort

        Mw, how many non-human animals get to drink scotch and smoke cigars?

      • Well you made me feel young. I didn’t do the straight and narrow road. I left school young, I married a farmer and had kids, divorced, went back to school, remarried a professor. I have had a rather eclectic collection of jobs and experiences over the years from farmwife and truck stop waitress to scientific research to publishing science fiction. My most recent job since retiring would seem to be curmudgeon but in reality I simply stopped keeping my mouth shut now that no one can hurt me. (Checks quick for slander law suite.)

      • Don,

        Some chimps are lucky enough to do it.

      • richardswarthout

        David

        If you witnessed a discussion during which a teacher employed the socratic method and a student was trying to defend an idea, and the student was caught in a contradiction of answers would you not say that the student’s idea was illogical?

        Richard

      • Who controls Congress in the US, Don? All the power, eh?

      • and the student was caught in a contradiction of answers would you not say that the student’s idea was illogical?

        Not necessarily. Your demonstration of the student’s illogicality might depend on rules of logic you favor but which the student rejects. This would make you the illogical one, not the student.

      • David Springer

        Relative logic. That’s a new concept for me. But it certainly explains a lot about you.

    • Smart people, being skilled at creating and maintaining clever narratives, are even more vulnerable to bias than the average schmo. I just love your posts – they are so interesting and different.

      • Btw, my message was intended for tumbleweed…

      • … but equally applicable to others. ;)

        I’m embarrassed today by some of the reasoning I came up with in my teens and early twenties, which I found universally compelling at the time but overly narrow in perspective today.

      • David Springer

        If you live long enough and have some shame you’ll certainly be embarrassed by what you write today. I’m embarrassed for you even now.

  18. richardswarthout

    Dr Curry

    Your opening remarks explain the problems well and should be, in my opinion, heard by influential people.

    Richard

  19. While lawyers do not have an ethical obligation to disclose unfavorable evidence in court, the rules of discovery in civil cases do require them to turn over pretty much all relevant evidence that is within the control of the client, including unfavorable evidence. That is why some people are looking forward to the discovery phase of the Michael Mann libel trial.

  20. Steven Mosher

    Judith

    ‘“But when one side has systematically worked to discredit and marginalize their opposition, then we have a problem.”

    I think this is over certain. It’s pretty clear that that certain individuals ( take Lomborg as an early example ) who oppose aspects of the dominant view have been subject to personal attacks. It’s also clear to me that other individuals ( Take Mann as an early example and Karl as the latest ) have also been subject to personal attacks.

    1. we could argue who fired first, but this would not change that fact that both sides do it.
    2. we could argue about who deserved to be attacked, and this too would not change the facts that both sides do it.
    3. We could quibble about who does it more, or which side is more organized, or which side has more power. none of those would change the fact that both sides engage in this.

    we have a problem. period.

    • Mosh

      Do you have a suggestion to resolve the problem or do you think it can’t be resolved or perhaps shouldn’t be resolved?

      tonyb

      • Steven Mosher

        I have no advice.
        I know that 97% of the stuff I write on the internet I would never say in person. I blame Gore for inventing the internet

      • Steven Mosher.

        “I know that 97% of the stuff I write on the internet I would never say in person.”

        Really? Why is that? Is that the consensus definition of an internet troll?

    • Don Monfort

      What about the asymmetry, Steven? Any of the consensus goons lost their chairs?

      • Steven Mosher

        You are welcomed to re write Judith’s statement so that it doesnt over state the certainty about this being a one sided affair.

      • Don Monfort

        I don’t see any reason to modify Judith’s statement. It contains the modifier “systematically”, which only applies to the consensus side. Understand?

      • Steven Mosher

        I don’t think she established that it was systematic. Or that systematic is even important to her analysis. That is, if one side unsystematically attack the other and the other was innocent, her argument would still hold.
        And if one side did it systematically and the other did it unsystematically the argument would not hold: that would undermine her legal analogy and amount to saying that both did it but one side was better.

        In any case if she believed that one side did it systematically and the other rhapsodically, then a complete treatment of all the evidence would have pointed this out.

        your defense confirms my point.

      • Don Monfort

        “I don’t think she established that it was systematic.”

        She doesn’t have to. We know it is.

      • Steven Mosher

        Let’s Grant that we know that one side is systematic. ( we dont but lets grant it )

        She still has the reponsibility to point out that ALL the evidence shows that the other side is unsystematic and to argue that this difference is dispositive. That would be a full treatment of the evidence and uncertainty.

      • Steven Mosher

        Here is a hint Don:

        requiring people to explain all the evidence and all the uncertainties is a ploy. Cause nobody can do that.

        in other words its uncertain how much uncertainty one has to discuss.

        the debate on that is not settled

      • Don Monfort

        She doesn’t have to. We know it is. You got a bad case of Stockholm syndrome.

      • Don Monfort

        “You got a bad case of Stockholm syndrome.”

        Don, so I take it you will not ante up for the ransom?

      • Don Monfort

        Sure I will. Mosher is worth saving.

      • “requiring people to explain all the evidence and all the uncertainties is a ploy. Cause nobody can do that.

        in other words its uncertain how much uncertainty one has to discuss.”

        The exact point of my previous post.

        It can be done.

        Its just that we learn we have to quit making so many conclusions.

      • I argue for drawing the line on ‘science’ way further back.

        Build whatever frameworks for decision making you want on the little morsels of science we can provide. But don’t even think of putting the name science in them. And house them in political science departments, not science.

      • I give up. Bureaucrats will rule till the revolution. Then who knows.

      • “She doesn’t have to. We know it is. You got a bad case of Stockholm syndrome.”

        Don, when I was critical of folks over climategate and hiding data….
        Guess what?

        The worst thing that happened to me was Tobis said some mean things.

        Jones didnt attack me, Mann didnt, briffa didnt.

        Now….. when I say ‘hey NOAA are not frauds’ look at the crap
        folks throw… like stockholm syndrome crap.

        Pretty funny.. you just undid Judith’s case

    • richardswarthout

      Mosher

      I don’t think her statement is limited to personal attacks. To give more examples consider the effort to redefine global warming as equivalent to anthropogenic global warming, and put out the message that all legitimate scientists agree that immediate action is necessary, etc.

      Richard

      • richardswarthout

        Mosher

        Also, consider the entire subject of “Climate Science Communications”. Entire new university departments concerned that the message isn’t working and what to do about it; should they or shouldn’t they try to put more scare out there? One of the new messages “Global Warming is Harming Us Now!”. Even the Pope states that global warming is causing an increase in the number and severity of extreme weather events; he says this despite the lack of evidence.

        Richard

      • Steven Mosher

        You TOO are invited to clarify and expand and refine her statement to reflect the full uncertainty of the situation.

        Hint: Its fricking HARD to explain all the uncertainty.

        Its easy to make generalized statements.

      • Steven Mosher

        Richard:

        “Also, consider the entire subject of “Climate Science Communications”. Entire new university departments concerned that the message isn’t working and what to do about it; should they or shouldn’t they try to put more scare out there? One of the new messages “Global Warming is Harming Us Now!”. Even the Pope states that global warming is causing an increase in the number and severity of extreme weather events; he says this despite the lack of evidence.”

        UNfortunately, this is not the case that Judith was making:

        Judith was saying that the attacks were one sided, without qualification and without evidence. IF she had made your argument, then we would have other things to discuss. But the text in question Didnt make your argument.
        Did it? The fact that you defned the argument by switching topics is itself evidence that the text was incomplete. See how your defense confirms my point?

      • richardswarthout

        Mosher

        Pleae allow me one rebuttal.

        “‘But when one side has systematically worked to discredit and marginalize their opposition, then we have a problem.”

        Can you not agree that “systematically worked” does not fit your arguement that she is addressing personal attacks? Yale, etc have created new departments called (roughly) The Center for Climate Science Communication, and the purposes of the centers are to convince the public that man-made global warming is a real and dangerous threat needing immediate action. Can this not be called a systematic effort? And, don’t for sure, but don’t some of the major science organizations such as the NSA fund Climate Science Communications?

        Thank you for your time.

        Richard

      • Don Monfort

        Richard, Mosher is expecting us to believe there is some sort of equivalence between the scattered powerless skeptics taking potshots at certain nefarious scientists and overbearing institutions, while a virtually monolithic CAGW consensus phalanx of governments, scientific societies, mass media, politically powerful greenie NGOs, universities, scientific journals et al. are making it clear that they are out to crush dissenters. Their strategy is just as Judith described. Case closed.

      • > Case closed.

        Except for the fact that the MSMs, the industrialists who control them, think tanks selling ideologies based on Grrrowth and invisible hands, and an army of freedom fighters (which will sooner or later be automated like we already can see in Russia) hammering the CAGW strawman, you got everything right, Don Don.

        Please, do continue.

      • Don Monfort

        That’s incoherent, willy. Get yourself checked out.

      • Here, Don Don:

        http://www.thegwpf.org/

        Do you want me to read you the About page of that website?

        Just look who made the front page of that energy think tank that Junior presents as practicing stealth advocacy!

      • Don Monfort

        That is a very startling revelation, willy. Get yourself checked out.

      • Which startling revelation, Don Don, that your “scattered powerless” theory of the contrarian network is the most colossal minimization ever seen on Judy’s?

        You own your Senate right now. Come on.

      • Don Monfort

        WTF is GWPF? You really need to get yourself checked out, willee?

      • > WTF is GWPF?

        FYEO:

        http://www.thegwpf.org/who-we-are/

        ***

        How about Tony “Climate Change is crap” Abott, Don Don?

      • Willard

        The gwpf are a tiny organisation of little importance in the great climate science scheme of things. I think you believe they are of more importance than they are. They think they are of more Importance than they are. They are Francis Bacons fly…

        The fly sat upon the axle wheel of the chariot and said ‘what a dust I do raise!’

        http://www.authorama.com/essays-of-francis-bacon-54.html

        Tonyb

      • > The gwpf are a tiny organisation of little importance in the great climate science scheme of things.

        The GWPF’s size suffices to refute Don Don’s fistful of freedom fighters theory, tonyb. It still is the main goto source for the Torygraph. It still is backed up by a ringmarole of peerage. It even get some air time on the BBC. There are other little organizations like that around the world that sell reactionary claptraps.

        Minimization might not be advised here. Judy’s victim playing is not worth it.

      • Don

        “Richard, Mosher is expecting us to believe there is some sort of equivalence between the scattered powerless skeptics taking potshots at certain nefarious scientists and overbearing institutions, while a virtually monolithic CAGW consensus phalanx of governments, scientific societies, mass media, politically powerful greenie NGOs, universities, scientific journals et al. are making it clear that they are out to crush dissenters. Their strategy is just as Judith described. Case closed.”

        FALSE.

        Judith is arguing that it is important for scientists to make statements with the appropriate recognition of uncertainty.

        She made a statement that ONE side does the attacking.
        That very well may be the case, however, she needed to take recognition of the fact that it happens on BOTH sides.

        You may want to further qualify and weasel and make exceptions and blah blah blah… BUT what you are SHOWING when you do this is that Judith did not follow her own dictum.

        There’s nothing special about this flaw.. But when you step back and realize how damn hard it is to make a specific case and cite all the uncertainty, then you might be a bit more forgiving

      • Tonyb,

        You say: “The gwpf are a tiny organisation of little importance in the great climate science scheme of things.”

        I’m not sure how you measure importance and what you call tiny. I follow GWPF every day and I find Nigel Lawson and Benny Peiser to be first rate. Lawson’s book, “An Appeal to Reason” is probably the most cogent discussion on the bizarre world of CAGW and Green Mafiaism I have read.

        The GWPF does a great service by posting skeptic views.

      • Don Monfort

        Sorry Steven, but just like the rest of them when you be wrong I got to ding ya.

        “She made a statement that ONE side does the attacking.”

        Oh NO she didn’t. You are implying that she said ONLY ONE side does ALL the ATTACKING. That’s NOT what she said. That is a very uncharitable reading. And you know better.

        You are free to point out the other side does some minor crap. So what? IT IS NOT THE SAME!

        We all know that she is correctly calling out the side that has all the power, along with the responsibility to do the freaking science professionally and not to get mad and to libel colleagues by calling them serial disinformers and to take people’s chairs out from under them. The “attacks” from the little downtrodden, marginalized, demonized scattered skeptics are a nit. BB guns against full body armor. Who have they hurt? Mikey Mann?

        “That very well may be the case, however, she needed to take recognition of the fact that it happens on BOTH sides.”

        WRONG “it” doesn’t happen on BOTH sides. FALSE equivalence. You know better.

        Do you think if Judith sued Mikey Mann for libel that she could get funding from the defense of science clowns who are lavishly bankrolling Mann’s legal shenanigans? Do you think that the ditzy left-loon judges in the D.C. courts would bend over backwards to misinterpret the law to favor the hapless skeptic’s favor?

        GET REAL, STEVEN!

      • Mark

        Whether or not you and many other sceptics enjoy gwpf material the fact remains that they are the flea on the chariot wheel.

        Set Besides the state funded organisations such as the Met office, UEA, NASA etc etc and thousands of similar organisations they are barely registering. It is these scientific organisations and govts they need to convert and there is no sign of them doing that.

        With their limited resources, how gwpf will make an impact on the wider world is open to question.

        Tonyb

      • > We all know that she is correctly calling out the side that has all the power,

        In other news:

        A Guardian investigation of three specific projects, run by Shell, ExxonMobil and Marathon Petroleum, has revealed that the subsidises were all granted by politicians who received significant campaign contributions from the fossil fuel industry.

        The Guardian has found that:

        A proposed Shell petrochemical refinery in Pennsylvania is in line for $1.6bn (£1bn) in state subsidy, according to a deal struck in 2012 when the company made an annual profit of $26.8bn.

        ExxonMobil’s upgrades to its Baton Rouge refinery in Louisiana are benefitting from $119m of state subsidy, with the support starting in 2011, when the company made a $41bn profit.

        A jobs subsidy scheme worth $78m to Marathon Petroleum in Ohio began in 2011, when the company made $2.4bn in profit.

        “At a time when scientists tell us we need to reduce carbon pollution to prevent catastrophic climate change, it is absurd to provide massive taxpayer subsidies that pad fossil-fuel companies’ already enormous profits,” said senator Bernie Sanders, who announced on 30 April he is running for president.

        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/12/us-taxpayers-subsidising-worlds-biggest-fossil-fuel-companies

        But yeah, the AGW consensus has all the power.

      • Don Monfort

        Well, there you go willy-nilly. With the testimony of the Guardian and Bernie Sanders they will all get locked up by the AGW justice system. Is the GWPF in on it? Must be. Steyn and Judith too. They are all going down. Don’t forget Anthony and McIntyre. Mother Earth is saved!

        Now you can relax and get yourself checked out, willy. Is yimmy OK? Not like him to be absent for more than a few minutes.

      • You sure you want to continue to hold that “one side has the power,” Don Don?

        Subsidies are just killing your troglodyte cause:

        Fossil fuel companies are benefitting from global subsidies of $5.3tn (£3.4tn) a year, equivalent to $10m a minute every day, according to a startling new estimate by the International Monetary Fund.

        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/may/18/fossil-fuel-companies-getting-10m-a-minute-in-subsidies-says-imf

        If you can find a science that is funded ,$10m a minute every day, please let me know.

      • Don Monfort

        Poor willy. The alleged subsidies, which are basically imputed/wildly guesstimated costs of pollution, are going to the consumers of fossil fuels. The consumers are the varmints causing the alleged pollution, which causes the alleged monetary damages. Stop those evil consumers from using fossil fuels and the evil fossil fuel companies will go away. But you are going to have be way more effective than you have been.

        You like links, willy:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_oil_and_gas_companies_by_revenue

        Do you know how many of those are state owned, willy?

      • Don Monfort

        Check this out, willy:

        http://247wallst.com/special-report/2014/01/08/companies-paying-the-most-taxes/

        Exxon is our biggest tax payer and the effective tax rate is 44% of net income. And when the profit gets distributed to shareholders in the form of dividends and capital gains, it get’s taxed again. The money the shareholders invested was taxed when they earned it. When they spend the money they made from their investment, it will be taxed again. What do you jokers want, blood?

      • Tonyb, I hear you. Maybe I am guilty of wishful thinking. However, put Nigel Lawson together with Judith Curry and Matt Ridley and who knows what miracles can develop.

        Apparently they did have cocktails together last week in London.

        GWPF have Lindzen, Dyson, McKitrick, Tol, Ian Plimer, Happer, Bob Carter and Golkany (amongst others) on their Scientific Advisory Council. Pretty high powered expertise for an inconsequential little think tank.

      • Willard:
        Your 3 examples look like state subsidies. We get that all the time. A company negotiates an expansion or new buildings with government. Economic arguments are made for why this makes sense but it doesn’t make sense to me. I suppose they can play one state against others.
        “Consider the Times’ example of the largest corporate subsidy in Minnesota — nearly $60 million to Best Buy, which built a sprawling headquarters in Richfield. The aim was to accommodate thousands more employees in the years to come. Instead, Best Buy has been shedding workers and the retailer’s future remains in doubt.” http://www.startribune.com/the-subsidy-bonanza-sunk-costs/189452331/
        Best Buy sells electronics in their stores. The clowns in Saint Paul never saw that internet thing changing things. We might say the Oil companies just took all the government subsidies they could. Maybe it’s a little bit the politicians fault. Make that the voters fault.

      • I like your argument, Don Don. You may then approve of this platform:

        Ah, the good old days when Rinos knew that taxation was OK because it returned to the consumers. There’s a bleeding heart beating in every troglodytes, after all.

        ***

        We were talking about power, Don Don. Do you still stand by your fistful of powerless freedom fighters, or you want me to continue to show how suboptimal it is?

        Another link:

        Right-wing media’s big con: Why privileged, powerful conservatives pretend they’re underdog insurgents

        http://www.salon.com/2015/05/05/right_wing_medias_big_con_why_privileged_powerful_conservatives_pretend_they’re_underdog_insurgents/

        Wait, Don Don. Aren’t you trying the very same stunt?

      • Right wing media? That’s a good one, willy. How does the media fly with the left wing outweighing the right, by about 9 to 1. The answer is: in a continuous left turning downward spiral.

        That’s all the time I have for your foolishness today, willy. You really should get yourself checked out. Does kenny know you are over here?

      • The poster comes from that site, Don Don. The link points to thei it SDN. You should read that page.

        As for who controls the media:

        http://www.freepress.net/ownership/chart

        You don’t represent a fistful of freedom fighters, Don Don. You could own your schtick and become a Big Dog, I mean the new “sheriff in town”. No, you prefer these ridiculous spats of a mediocre troglodyte.

        You can do better than that.

      • Steven Mosher

        Don we don’t have all the power.
        If we did watts Lewis McIntyre Monkton would never get published.

        I’m confident that we have more power
        Not all
        More

      • Willard – that isn’t a fair representation of the Republican platform:
        http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=25838

        “The Republican Party has as a primary concern the continued advancement of the well-being of the individual. This can be attained only in an economy that, as today, is sound, free and creative, ever building new wealth and new jobs for all the people.

        We believe in good business for all business—small, medium and large. We believe that competition in a free economy opens unrivaled opportunity and brings the greatest good to the greatest number.

        The sound economic policies of the Eisenhower Administration have created an atmosphere of confidence in which good businesses flourish and can plan for growth to create new job opportunities for our expanding population.”

      • OK Steven, you finally gave in and put up a half-way substantive response to the question I asked way up the line:

        “What about the asymmetry, Steven?”

        I drew you out with a little hyperbole-“all the power”. Of course, the consensus goons don’t have ALL the power. If they did they would be getting what they want.

        Judith must be busy visiting pubs, but my guess is she would readily admit that skeptics take feeble shots at the establishment cast of characters. Mann is the most “victimized”, but to what effect? The little jet-setting shameless putz is rolling in the high clover.

        So some skeptics get a handful of UNFUNDED papers published in journals that are not completely intimidated by the consensus goons. That’s your evidence for some kind of freaking equivalence? What about the BEST experience with the Climatariat? You really happy with landing in that pay for play journal of last resort? You can’t kid me, Steven. Don’t become a cartoon character like willy and yimmy.

        Stockholm syndrome:”Don we don’t have all the power.”

      • Is it true that both the editor and his boss got sacked for publishing Monckton’s paper?

        His paper Climate Sensitivity Reconsidered, published in Physics and Society in July 2008, demonstrates that a doubling of CO2 concentration, expected by 2100, will be harmless, causing less than 1 Cº of warming. The commissioning editor who asked for the paper and the review editor – an eminent Physics professor – who reviewed it were both dismissed for publishing it. However, recent results by leading climatologists support Lord Monckton’s estimate.

        Does that not impact the landscape for editors considering papers by those like Lewis or Curry? Steven, you should be speaking out about this. This falls in your lap. If you do not see the problem you might trust a few of us that you have known for a while and ask about it.

      • You got it, PA. That is a cartoon representation promoted by a cartoon character. These clowns think they are saving the planet? OMG! If their dubious CAGW theory is correct, we are doomed by their incompetence.

      • > that isn’t a fair representation of the Republican platform:

        This is not what Don Don’s source says, PA. The bottom line is that Eisenhower was not as extreme as Republicans today. Chtuluh would have to withdraw from the actual GOP race because there are better candidates for the slogan “why settle for a lesser evil?”

        Case closed.

        ***

        We were talking about power. Don Don is still trying to sell his myth that the contrarian network is a fistful of freedom fighters. The energy market is big, very big:

        Growing consumer demand and world class innovation – combined with a competitive workforce and supply chain capable of building, installing, and servicing all energy technologies – make the United States the world’s most attractive market in the $6 trillion global energy market.

        http://selectusa.commerce.gov/industry-snapshots/energy-industry-united-states

        That contrarians have little scientific power does not entail they have little power. Even troglodytes like Don Don should be able to acknowledge that.

      • Don Monfort

        willy, willy

        From the Democratic platform that lost the election in 1956:

        “Our Democratic 84th Congress made one of the greatest legislative records in the history of our country. It enacted an active program of progressive, humane legislation, which has repudiated the efforts of reactionary Republicanism to stall America’s progress. When we return to the halls of Congress next January, and with a Democratic President in the White House, it will be the plan and purpose of our Party to complete restoration and rehabilitation of American leadership in world affairs. We pledge return of our National Government to its rightful owners, the people of the United States.”

        Wow, what were they smoking? That doesn’t jibe with your cartoon representation of the Republican platform, willy. Is that why the Dems lost? Lying, as usual?

        Hey willy, weren’t about half of the Dems of that day racist segregationists?

      • Willard | June 23, 2015 at 12:52 am |
        > that isn’t a fair representation of the Republican platform:

        This is not what Don Don’s source says, PA. The bottom line is that Eisenhower was not as extreme as Republicans today. Chtuluh would have to withdraw from the actual GOP race because there are better candidates for the slogan “why settle for a lesser evil?”

        Case closed.

        The actual Republican party has.somewhat different views than the Progressive caricature of the Republican party.

      • Don Monfort

        This is an interesting law passed in 1956 by the Democrat controlled 84th Congress:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_God_we_trust

      • > The actual Republican party has.somewhat different views

        Which part of “mostly true” you do not get, PA?

        Go argue with the historians who have been consulted by the Tampa Bay tabloid, cited by Don Don.

        Don Don linking to something. Must be important.

      • Mark

        I don’t think I ever used the word ‘inconsequential’. My original post said this to Willard;

        —— ——-

        The gwpf are a tiny organisation of little importance in the great climate science scheme of things. I think you believe they are of more importance than they are. They think they are of more Importance than they are. They are Francis Bacons fly…

        The fly sat upon the axle wheel of the chariot and said ‘what a dust I do raise!’

        http://www.authorama.com/essays-of-francis-bacon-54.html
        —– —— —-
        in the great scheme of things they have little influence no matter how much dust they think they make. Who is listening to them that is not ALRREADY a sceptic?

        Projecting themselves into the wider scientific or policy makers community where ideas are fashioned and policies forged is the place they need to occupy. Not preaching to the existing choir, no matter how talented their rota of choir masters might be.

        When you see the Govt, The Met Office or scientific papers reference them approvingly on a regular basis then they will start to exert influence.

        tonyb

      • Tonyb,

        Well it seems that Amber Rudd wants to hear what Lawson has to say. That counts for something. As I understand it, she is a Minister in your new government who has some remit for energy/environment. This counts as influence in my book.

        I don’t see Obama or our Gina McCarthy (EPA administrator) seeking out Heartland or Cato for a chat.

        BTW, thanks for keeping this discussion civil as opposed to some of the others in this post.

      • Mark

        I don’t know if you read Bishop hill?

        http://www.bishop-hill.net/blog/2015/6/8/rudd-to-meet-climate-untouchables.html

        As you can see amber RuDd expects to convert Lawson and not the other way round.

        Lawson is a well regarded ex chancellor of a previous Tory government. As such he would be accorded a polite hearing by current ministers on any topic

        Successive govts have spent a fortune on carbon mitigation and I think there is a ground swell of dissent by Tory MP’s whose constituents are fed up with the costs of energy and it’s uncertainty, as few new grown up power stations have been built over the last 20 years and there is very little in the way of reserves. Also constituents can see mostly useless Wind and solar farms destroying the countryside.

        Bearing in mind the uk govt was the first in the world to pass a climate change bill with only four or five dissenting MP’s out of some 650 , there is undoubtedly more sceptics, than there was a decade ago. I met my mp some months ago to talk about the subject and received a sympathetic hearing.

        So there is a lot going on behind the scenes which collectively I would suspect is having more influence than the gwpf. Having said that there is undoubtedly more interest in the sceptical viewpoint than a decade ago so the gwpf may have more impact in the future than they have had in the past

        Tonyb

      • Mark

        I had previouslhet thought you British due to your knowledge of the gwpf. I now realise you aren’t so it is worth mentioning that influence is exerted in many different ways in Britain through interconnected families, those you meet in business, university, politics, the media etc.

        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/?title=Nigella_Lawson

        As an example of that lawson is influential but not necessarily the lawson you know about. Nigel lawson has a daughter nigella, a celebrated cook who often appears on tv and at the best functions. He has a son Dominic who was an editor of the Sunday telegraph and is now a columnist at the Sunday times. I have exchanged information with him.

        More intriguingly, there is a family connection with George monbiot, who is a cousin. Monbiot is of course the celebrated green campaigner on the guardian newspaper which is highly influential with the BBC who nigella makes tv programmes with….

        Heartland does not speak for me, they appear rather right wing so are out of sync with Obama who I perceive to be rather left Wing.

        Tonyb

      • Thanks for admitting Judith’s error Don.

      • Don…I think he meant “Tack så mycket”

      • Don Monfort

        You are carrying joshie’s water on this one, Steven. Leave the nitpicking to lesser human beings. You got more important things to do.

      • Steven Mosher

        Don.

        You are getting closer——-

        I would say that Judith has better things to do than nit-picking over

        1. Adequate statements of uncertainty
        2. practicing “approved” forms of advocacy.

        That is what started this. The notion that you can establish a code of conduct for people that will let them know when they have addressed all the evidence and all the uncertainty and all the nits, or a code of conduct that will let people know when they are “forcefully” advocating and when they are not.

        Like I said. This starts when folks try to regulate behavior. In some areas it works ok. thou shalt not kill. In other areas,,,, I’m not too keen on the idea.

      • Don, who controls both the House and the Senate in the US?

      • > Who is listening to them that is not ALRREADY a sceptic?

        Not sure how this question is relevant to dispute that the contrarian network is a bit more powerful than Don Don’s fistful of freedom fighers, but Judy comes to mind.

      • Don Monfort

        Did you just arrive from another planet, joey? Lacking a veto proof majority, the control is not sufficient to stop the Climate Alarmist in Chief and his little greenie EPA minions from making mischief.

      • Don Monfort

        Steven, can you show me where Judith said she wants to establish some code of conduct? She can’t do that. They won’t let her.

        That lady has really strayed far from the reservation. That’s why they are here, Steven. Just to annoy and discredit Judith. Look at willy, yimmy, joshie, et al. You want to be like them?

      • > Lacking a veto proof majority […]

        Until the Tea Party has a veto proof majority, the contrarian network is just a fistful of powerless freedom fighters, right, Don Don?

        I hope you do realize that you’re defending a bunch of tools that is now more retrograde than the Pope.

      • Tonyb,

        You are correct, I am not British………a Yank born and raised. I have spent considerable time in the UK, Europe and SE Asia (years at a time) and like to think that I have a better than average international perspective for a 68 year old American.

        Thanks for the background.

        I discovered GWPF a year or so ago and have made a modest monetary contribution (actually not easy to do if one is not from the UK) to support their efforts.

        I have seen http://www.thegwpf.com/a-very-pc-prayer-for-our-times/ by Dominic Lawson. I am also aware that Amber Rudd seeks to convert Nigel to the “cause”. Good luck! Nigel is a bit of a throw back but I (and my wife as well) find him extremely cogent and on the mark. Did you see his talk at Ideacity in Toronto recently.

        As for our American politics, I am embarrassed by our current President and by the serious decline in the integrity of the Science Establishment in America, which is driven by progressive green faci..sm. Thank Judith for advocating for the integrity of Science.

        I admire the historical climatology work that you do. I have a meteorology and oceanography background/degrees dating to the mid to late 60’s. The current blind focus on computer models is maddening.

        As for Heartland, I dismissed them at first as “over the top” but have come to appreciate their efforts to fight climate extremism. I can understand that you (as a Brit, I assume) could see them as a bit crass.

        Anyway, thanks for the curious dialogue.

      • Right Willard, they are toothless cardboard cutouts. No influence on constituents, news outlets, legislation, no power whatsoever, no nothing (or is that know nothing). How dare I suggest it. I do apologize, Don.

    • I like the analogy that Judith Curry uses for the climate policy debate with an adversarial legal system. I have used that analogy myself in referencing the published reviews of the IPCC whereby that organization is a good reference for facts and evidence, but that has obviously limited much of its content and output to one side of the subject and making its case thereupon- much as a good and honest adversarial lawyer would do. We simply do not hear much from the IPCC from the other sides of this issue, and as Judith notes, particularly when it comes to addressing uncertainties of claims presented.

      With the IPCC and its publication being the most important interface between climate science and policy makers it is much more influential than let us say the less and ill informed rabble rousers on all sides of the climate change debate. I cannot read Steve Mosher’s mind and whether when he says both sides do it he is referencing the louder and less informed crowd, but when it comes IPCC there is no contest.

      IPCC can be useful and inform even policy if we are allowed to use the adversarial analogy for its practices.

      • ‘I cannot read Steve Mosher’s mind and whether when he says both sides do it he is referencing the louder and less informed crowd, but when it comes IPCC there is no contest.”

        that is not my point at all.

        Judith said one side.

        I’m pointing out the uncertainty in that statement.

        I thought we were supposed to shine a light on uncertainties.

    • Don Monfort

      OK, I will modify Judith’s statement:

      “But when the side with all the power has systematically worked to discredit, marginalize, demonize and punish their opposition, then we have a problem.”

      • “But when the side with all the power has systematically worked to discredit, marginalize, demonize and punish their opposition, then we have a problem.”

        “But when the side that apparently has more power has systematically worked to discredit, marginalize, demonize and punish their opposition, then we have a problem, despite the fact that the other side responds in kind”

        To finish the legal analogy.. The prosecution is well funded and harvurd educated, and the poor defendant either represents himself or has some public defender

      • Don Monfort

        Hmm.

        “…despite the fact that the other side responds in kind”

        Not in kind. FALSE equivalency, again.

      • > Not in kind.

        Indeed:

      • Don Monfort

        They were intimidated into taking that down pretty quick, weren’t they willy? Show us the one with schoolchildren getting exploded for not being proper little greenies?

      • Here you go, Don Don:

        I’m now going to start calling these people “global warming Nazis”.

        http://www.drroyspencer.com/2014/02/time-to-push-back-against-the-global-warming-nazis/

        Freedom-loving people say the darnedest things.

    • Didn’t one side (successfully) change the discussion from one of how much warming would occur how quickly to one where any adverse weather is now assumed to be caused by the change in CO2 caused by humans?

      The debate/discussion has gone from semi-scientific to propaganda like.

      • didnt one side change the discussion to emails?

      • Steve

        Imo the e-mails were/are relevant only in that they give an indication of whether Mann and company were intentionally being misleading in regards to the temperature record. There were a part of determining the validity of the science.

        Changing the discussion from one where people were addressing the potential rate of temperature change and whether this will lead to net harms to one where it is somehow assumed that all adverse weather/climate is “most likely” due to human released CO2 is an example of spreading propaganda imo. There is unreasonable fear being spread about potential climate change and that reducing CO2 emissions will make it go away.

        Realism is that CO2 levels will continue to rise

      • Steven Mosher

        Rob the mails had nothing to do with science

    • Steven Mosher — The solution is pretty simple, really. People should stop making the AGW debate (and everything that goes with it) — binary.

    • And you know Don, I too have wondered why the problem of global warming has been basically accepted by almost all governments (even conservative ones), the media, the scientific literature, and likely a significant majority of the world population at least in the developed world. And I think the simplest answer to why this is the case is most likely the right one. And I find the conspiracy,: corrupted scientists, or mass psychology related answers to be seriously lacking credibility.

      • The problem caused by global warming should be accepted by governments. However, the question is what priority should it have, whether something should be done to reduce uncertainty in the possible outcomes, and what should be done to try to control the climate.

        I don’t support measures being proposed because they are poorly thought out, exclude other possible options, and appear to be based on fear mongering.

        And I’m opposed to the marriage between environmental measures and extreme left fixations I know will lead to a disaster or a life in a communist regime I wouldn’t wish on anybody. As long as you marry left wing ideas to climate change you will find me on a tree tossing branches, fruit, and an occasional rock.

  21. It was a very interesting discussion session.
    Conrad Brunk said that science is increasingly being used for advocacy purposes, and that scientists tend to downplay uncertainty when speaking to the public, which makes them vulnerable to criticism.
    Andrew Peters talked about the difficult issues of beef hormones and TB vaccines, and on the slow progress on issues that mix science and policy.
    Dan Sarewitz said that uncertainty was easy to define when you have a big sample of statistical data, but harder for ‘wicked problems’ such as GM and climate. He suggested that rather than speaking of uncertainty in such cases, we should perhaps just say ‘disagreement’. He went as far as saying that statements along the lines of “10% chance of 6C warming” were scientifically meaningless, though Peter Webster took issue with that.

    • > Peter Webster took issue with that.

      What was the basis of Peter’s “disagreement”?

      • I think PW meant that in the context of weather forecasts for example you can do lots of runs with different initial conditions, and so get a pdf.

    • ” issues that mix science and policy.”

      What issues are those anyway?

      Is that just another way of saying “There are big financial interests involved.” ? Or is there more to it than that?

      • Lots of issues where economic, social and political factors need to be taken into account alongside the science. This is one of the themes of the conference.
        For example, should drugs be legalised?

  22. Pingback: Science, uncertainty and advocacy | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  23. > [T]he scientific community is extremely confused about the policy process and too many climate scientists are irresponsibly shooting from the hip as issue advocates.

    We still love you, Judy.

  24. The possibility that it’s not science in the first place ought to be considered.

    There are trappings, but no way that things go together, and no way to figure out how to put things together.

    Unless some accident happens and some important variable is discovered, the pieces are unrelated except through funding.

    I’d say go back to curiosity-driven pieces and don’t be a science of overall stuff, or pretend to be.

    That’s where the “uncertainty” comes from.

  25. In order to advocate for the integrity of “the” science, one needs to assess the integrity of the individuals involved. There just isn’t a way to have people produce believable science when they themselves demonstrate a lack of integrity. One can not trust that the science investigation, starting with the question to be asked was done with honesty.

    If the scientist lies by commission or omission, whether or not their outcome makes sense or not, you just can’t believe what has been done and said about the research. The scientist not considering the uncertainty of the data/analysis/discussion makes for a very difficult read, and, ultimately for me, dismissing the research AND the researcher. I have better things to do than trying to parse out the minutia of detail that ultimately identifies what has transpired with regards to the research process. My hat is off to Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick for bringing to light the sleight-of-hand that some of the climate scientists have used. Maybe their drive is from personal scorn heaped unjustly upon themselves. Whatever the motives of these two for slogging through the numbers and assessing whether or not the conclusion is justified, what they have to say ultimately I listen to. For me they have believability, my watchword for the day.

  26. Huffington/Puffington Post has become the “Völkischer Beobacher” in the climatology debate.

  27. “too many climate scientists are irresponsibly shooting from the hip as issue advocates. ”

    Beside the problem of “irresponsible advocacy” – we have a much worse problem: bad science. Biased science. Advocacy driven science. Pseudo science.
    This is much worse than “irresponsible advocacy”

    And still worse is the lack of peer policing of bad science, a breakdown of the institutional processes of assuring (or trying to assure) adherence to the scientific method.

  28. The Land Grant System in the USA established that scientists should be honest brokers in public affairs. Ditto for US land grant universities. If there are biases or related problems, conflicts of interest should be disclosed.

    This concept was extended universally in the USA when NSF, and NIH were established after world War II.

    George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

  29. The phenomenon of scientists trying to advance their personal policy preferences by trading off the public’s respect for science is not new. I recall when I was in undergraduate school “Star Wars” was a hot political issue, and the Union of Concerned Scientists was arguing against it, on the grounds (inter alia) that the proposed x-ray lasers would be unable to take down ICBMs because the Soviets would just spin them, dissipating the energy around the circumference. Now, it might have made sense to complain that collimation would be inadequate to keep that energy focused at the kinds of ranges we’re talking about, but it was patently obvious that dividing the intensity by 2 was not going to make any difference. My sophomore year I took a modern physics class, in which one of the very first homework assignments was to calculate the intensity of an x-ray laser. In order to give us a sense of scale, we were to normalize the result in terms of the intensity of sunlight at the Earth’s surface. The result was something on the order of 9*10^9, IIRC.

    I’m pretty sure that what was obvious to a sophomore was perfectly obvious to all of the Ph.D.s who were trying to sell the story.

  30. Outstanding Judith.

    Now we can wait to hear the whining from those poor dears whose nose you tweaked.

  31. “that is not my point at all.

    Judith said one side.

    I’m pointing out the uncertainty in that statement.

    I thought we were supposed to shine a light on uncertainties.”

    Sorry, Stephen Mosher, I was merely using your remark as a sounding board for my broader assessment of the issue of the all important connection between science and policy with regards to the IPCC.

    I’ll be the first to admit that I do not pay sufficient attention to your quiptic remarks to elucidate the deeper meanings. I do not even know what your point is here with regards to the broader issue I raised. My bad.

  32. Atmospheric CO2 has been identified as a possible climate change forcing. Forcings, according to the ‘consensus’ and the IPCC, have units of J s-1 m-2. Energy, in units J m-2, divided by the effective thermal capacitance (J K-1 m-2) equals average global temperature (AGT) change (K). Thus (in consistent units) the time-integral of the atmospheric CO2 level (or some function thereof) times a scale factor equals the AGT change. When this is applied to multiple corroborated paleo estimates of CO2 and average global temperature, the only thing that consistently works is if the effect of CO2 is negligible and something else is causing the temperature change.

    The cause of climate change since 1610 (R^2=0.97+ since before 1900) and proof that CO2 has no significant effect on climate are at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com

    • Dan Pangburn | June 22, 2015 at 8:36 pm | Reply

      The cause of climate change since 1610 (R^2=0.97+ since before 1900) and proof that CO2 has no significant effect on climate are at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com

      I would love to be in the “no warming” camp… but the following graph seems to need some explanation:

      Now, as I read it the forcing is about 2/3 the 5.35 ln (C/C0) no water assist IPCC forcing level (or 1/3 of TSR). So the warmers have overshot by a factor of 3.

      But it isn’t zero either.

      • Is there no data for this graph after 2011?

      • The data is from a 2000-2011 study.

        If the government was smart they funded a continuing study or the two sites already collect this data as part of ongoing operations.

        Perhaps someone more active in the climate community knows if the monitoring was continued. To me funding this as a permanent study effort seems to be a no-brainer.

        The fact that someone is actually studying GHG forcing at point-blank range improved my opinion of climate scientists.

        I don’t know the answer to your question, hopefully some wiser better informed person does.

    • Dan,

      It would be nice if anybody could even measure the energy content of the Earth system at a given point in time. Given present technology though, this is completely impossible.

      Anyone who claims to be able to do so is either a fool or a fraud.

      Even the surface temperature of the Earth eludes us. Measuring the supposed air temperature at a point above the surface is an exercise in futility, if the idea is to use that temperature as a proxy for the Earth’s heat content. It is just as bizarre as using the surface temperature of a column of water 10 km deep as a similar proxy, and the majority of the Earth’s surface is overlain by water of varying depths.

      Satellite remote sensing is better, but it only reads the emitted radiation from what overlays the surface. Forest canopy temperature may tell you nothing about the surface temperature of the solid crust, some distance below.

      To compound the farcical nature of so called global average temperature measurements, the effects of sunlight, clouds, aerosols, precipitation, CO2, H2O, the erratically rotating Earth, atmospheric perturbations (including wind), mean that the instantaneous temperature of the crustal overlay surface vary from moment to moment.

      No amount of averaging or estimating will enable the calculation of the Earth’s heat content, which is necessary to establish energy difference between two points in time.

      What has this to do with advocacy? Everybody wants to get their own way. If you can convince taxpayers to spend billions of dollars in accordance with your wishes, then good luck to you. More fool them, if it turns out your advocacy was based on complete and utter nonsense.

      Let everybody advocate themselves to exhaustion! When the money runs out, or society changes, reality may prevail for a while. History is littered with the disastrous results of strident advocacy, supposedly based on expertise, science or both.

      I don’t expect the future to change much in this regard, but who knows? I live in hope.

      • Well, I’ve advocated driving temperature sensors about 10 feet deep and tracking whether the globe is actually getting warmer… but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of interest in honestly measuring global warming.

        I don’t believe it is lack of technology, it is lack of interest.

      • This deduction employs existing data and the computational mandate that temperature change is in response to the time-integral of the net forcing; not proportionately to the instantaneous value of the net forcing itself. Thus exact determination of temperatures and CO2 level are not needed. It is not necessary to know the “energy content of the Earth system”. Rough assessments of average global temperature and atmospheric CO2 level, irrespective of how determined, are all that are needed and there are plenty of them in the literature. It might all be in understanding the ‘computational mandate’.

      • Well…

        You might be right that CO2 doesn’t have any effect on climate but it does make it a little warmer at ground level.

      • Dan,

        You wrote –

        “Thus exact determination of temperatures and CO2 level are not needed. It is not necessary to know the “energy content of the Earth system”. Rough assessments of average global temperature and atmospheric CO2 level, irrespective of how determined, are all that are needed and there are plenty of them in the literature. It might all be in understanding the ‘computational mandate’.”

        I’m a bit of a fan of theory backed up by experiment.

        The fact that there are plenty of “rough assessments” in the “literature” leaves me less than convinced that the alleged “climate scientists” are any other than fools or frauds.

        You may be right. Maybe it all comes down to the ‘computational mandate’, which sounds about as useful and well defined as the Warmist’s “global average surface temperature”, capable of measurement to 0.01 C, as I understand it.

        I’m guessing you can’t define the ‘computational mandate’. It sounds like a wondrous Warmist device to avoid inconvenient facts, or even a lack thereof!

      • Mike Flynn | June 22, 2015 at 11:03 pm |

        I’m a bit of a fan of theory backed up by experiment.

        The fact that there are plenty of “rough assessments” in the “literature” leaves me less than convinced that the alleged “climate scientists” are any other than fools or frauds.

        Yup.

        I’m a fan of more precision and smoother assessments.

    • Yes, but in the past we didn’t have paleo coal miners and paleo oil drillers trying to satisfy the energy needs of 8 billion paleo Homo sapiens. The sudden release of a few zillion tons of CO2, burned by a hairless ape to support an industrial society, is a once-in-a-planet’s-life event.

      Once we have burned fossil fuels and cherry picked mineral deposits we had better have something else to lean on, or the planet will be known for its quaint singing apes and its rings of ancient satellite debris.

  33. By the time it gets to these congressional panels, everyone knows what their invited scientist is going to say, which the politicians can then use for rubber-stamping their own advocacy. Judith is going to say everything is uncertain and that no policy has any effect on temperature anyway. She is not going to say that the IPCC is possibly right about 4 C warming by 2100, so they are safe with that choice. Most other scientists would reflect an IPCC view that is more in the middle and give credence to some large temperature rises and the consequent effectiveness of mitigation. It’s not so much advocacy as being used for a purpose and not doing anything to disappoint the hosts, Some scientists are reliably not going to go off message even if pushed by cross-questioning. That is why they are invited. It is a predetermined outcome that the politicians are comfortable with, because they already know which way they are voting on policies due to their own funding sources and just need someone to come along with a rubber-stamp statement to quote. Bonus points if they can also put it in a WSJ op-ed. That is the way it works in the US, and the panels are just for show.

    • Don Monfort

      “Judith is going to say everything is uncertain and that no policy has any effect on temperature anyway.”

      You know that’s a lie, yimmy. She never said that and she has given zero indication that she will say it in the future. You really need to apologize, yimmy. Or she should kick you butt out of her house.

      • She can put all the qualifiers she wants on it, but that is the message the politicians take away from it. They are simple/single-minded folk, and they get what they need out of these. Then the go off to vote against the EPA or against the idea the recent climate change is human-caused, which they would have done anyway.

      • Don Monfort

        That is very dishonest, yimmy. You are not doing the cause any good with your bitter BS. You must be very unhappy.

      • I am unhappy with the paid-for politicians. This is all just procedures. Don’t expect a debate in congress.

      • So that’s your excuse for lying about Judith. Pretty sad.

      • Don, you picked out a statement I made and said it was wrong with no evidence why you thought that and I still don’t know.

      • I said it’s a lie, yimmy. Judith didn’t say that and you have no basis to claim she will say it. You made it up. It’s a lie. Case closed.

      • “Judith is going to say everything is uncertain and that no policy has any effect on temperature anyway.”

        Jim D, I think I will defend your statement in one regard; Congress, WWF or Heartland have some idea of what the speakers’ positions and credentials are before they are invited. And, it is true converting one’s political position is unlikely from one hearing panel. But to conclude that there is no point to the debate or evolution of it is nonsense. Debates about what to do about a seeming heavy handed British rule of the American colony lasted for several years before a consensus formed to support revolt. What to do about poverty, federal spending, health care and other issues go on continuously for decades and will continue. There is nobody saying the case is settled. The debate is over. The other side is in denial.

        Jim D, I agree with you on a lot of points of energy policy and ultimate goals. Where we disagree is how to get there. BTW, procedure does matter. Preserving life, liberty and lawful conduct does matter. Everything is a trade-off. But if one side then exaggerates their facts to create higher urgency to put their hand on the political balance they risk discrediting their cause. My problem is when people trade off the name of my family, trade or country to take this wager they are gambling what does not rightfully belong to them to tarnish.

        ATTP, deletes comments from his site when he deems them to question the integrity of the IPCC and lead actors. Dr. Curry, on the contrary, has defended Jim D countless times despite lack of appreciation. This illustration itself should speak to the nature of the sides and their tactics (integrity). ATTP, BTW, is only following the poor example of his side’s models, Real Climate and Skeptical Science.
        Jim D, Steven Mosher, others,did you ever notice that CE has warmist sites in its blog roll even though they do not reciprocate? Can you really not tell the difference between integrity and lack of it?

      • Ron Graf, CE has neither Real Climate nor Skeptical Science in the blog roll as far as I can tell. These are strange omissions to me.
        On the debate, Congress will not have a genuine debate. It is not a coincidence that nearly every Republican in Congress has an identical anti-IPCC position on the science. They did not come to these opinions without regard for their sponsors. It is a sad state, but there it is. Hearings seem to be, to an onlooker, just an elaborate kabuki theater with no apparent consequence except for occasional gotchas or poorly informed attempts in the questioning on either side. I am not saying they aren’t entertaining, but that is as far as it goes.

      • Jim D: “CE has neither Real Climate nor Skeptical Science in the blog roll as far as I can tell. These are strange omissions to me.”

        How about is we agree to settle the equity issue right here by sampling integrity in blog rolls? What if we gave one point for having a blog link of an opposing viewpoint and minus one point for lack of a reciprocation?

        Does this sound like a fair unbiased scientific experiment?

        Are you game?

      • I don’t go to Real Climate for the discussions. I go for the articles. The people writing the articles are well informed and if the commenters don’t respect the level of discussion, they deserve what they get. Their discussions are aimed to be more educational about aspects of the articles that were not understood which they will explain.

      • Don Monfort

        You won’t get an honest discussion with that character, Ron. He’ll just try to talk you to death.

      • Ron Graf, CE has neither Real Climate nor Skeptical Science in the blog roll as far as I can tell. These are strange omissions to me.

        Well, you can put whatever you choose on a blog and you can certainly put them on your blog roll.

        But I find ‘rc’ and ‘ss’ to be ideological sites that routinely ignore, block or ban posts or posters that contradict the preconceptions of the sites. Throw in the inaptly named ‘open mind’ as well. I would post data or points which contradict the thesis at ‘om’ and have them ignore. Then post a ‘suck up’ post using a different name and have it posted. ‘Open mind’ – hah!

        CE, by contrast, seems to engage exchanges of all relevant ideas including a range of perspectives by occasional ‘subject matter experts’ which drop by.

        I will give due credit to ATTP which also entertains exchanges and doesn’t arbitrarily censor civil postings.

      • I put blogs on my blogroll that I find interesting and refer to. RC used to be there, I dropped it when it went into a deep snooze. I find no particular reason to add it back on.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Jim D, Steven Mosher, others,did you ever notice that CE has warmist sites in its blog roll even though they do not reciprocate? Can you really not tell the difference between integrity and lack of it?”

        It’s not an integrity issue. its a intelligence issue.
        I’m on record saying RC is stooopid in the way it handles blog roll.
        what is your point?

        here we are talking about Judiths ability to do these two things:

        1. Follow her own guidelines WRT statements of uncertainty.
        2. carve out an exception for her brand of advocacy.

        Please NOTE: these problems ONLY arise because one human
        is telling other humans how they should regulate their behavior.

        Also note: everybody has this problem

        these problems dont go away. EVER.

        and note I’m not telling you what you should do about it.

        I’m just noting.

      • JimD, “I go to realclimate for the articles”

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2004/12/why-does-the-stratosphere-cool-when-the-troposphere-warms/

        I do too, some are hysterical.

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/03/significant-warming-of-the-antarctic-winter-troposphere/

        That is another good one.

        http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/02/antarctic-warming-is-robust/

        I nearly peed myself with that one :)

        btw, stratospheric cooling while the troposphere warms is a dynamic thing more related to models than reality. The troposphere and stratosphere are going to recover to maintain that Ein=Eout so abrupt volcanic forcing has a greater impact on the dynamics than CO2 and its gradual forcing. Even minor solar variation has a greater impact because it is more abrupt than CO2. Realclimate’s confusion is a pretty good example of model inadequacy.

      • > ATTP, deletes comments from his site when he deems them to question the integrity of the IPCC and lead actors.

        In other news:

        We just need to keep talking and less attacking and assuming the worst of people’s intentions, motives and integrity.

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/03/20/aerosol-forcing/#comment-51388

      • “ATTP, deletes comments from his site when he deems them to question the integrity of the IPCC and lead actors. Dr. Curry, on the contrary, has defended Jim D countless times despite lack of appreciation. ”

        That is a rather odd Contrary

        “ATTP, deletes comments from his site when he deems them to question the integrity of the IPCC and lead actors. Dr. Curry, on the contrary, allows people to question the integrity of the IPCC”

        That is a good contrary.. although you get to be as confusing as you want to be.

        ATTP owns a blog. It is his house. His cocktail party. If you come to his house with a cold it’s reasonable that he asks you to leave. If you
        come with a gun, he can ask you to leave. If you call his kids brats, he can ask you to leave. If you show up naked, if you talk about religion, if you
        cross dress, if you fart, if you didnt take a shower. He actually gets to decide what behavior he finds acceptable. The beautiful thing is that Judith gets to do the same thing.

      • Jim D | June 23, 2015 at 12:13 am |
        Ron Graf, CE has neither Real Climate nor Skeptical Science in the blog roll as far as I can tell. These are strange omissions to me.

        Perhaps those sites’s strange view of the facts is why…

    • …the IPCC is possibly right about 4 C warming by 2100…

      The peak century rate of warming has been 1.9C per century.

      This rate has been falling for the past decade.

      One is wandering away from reality to consider anything greater than 1.6C per century, particularly since forcing rates have declined.

  34. Judith,

    Your comments are well considered and very even keeled. However, I believe you know that an improved code of behavior will not appreciably change or alter the actions of university scientists. It seems an universally human concept that a new rule is the obvious solution to correct a systematic problem, the problem being of course created by old rules. How will a code of ethics or behavior apply when the true problem we face is one of the foxes protecting the hen house?..

    I understand the political and personal advantages that come with declaring uncertainty to be THE main issue, however, uncertainty is not the issue with climate science, nor is communication of uncertainty, nor is it the lack of understanding of climate scientists as to the role they should hold. Uncertainty as an end-game argument, while it may press a few into line, is a scientifically untenable position. The problem we all face is a purely unscientific politically based bias. Bias in the science towards falsely alarming answers, bias in the solutions toward false hopes, and bias in the presentation societal effects of these falsehoods.

    While the statement that scientists are ‘shooting from the hip’ is disarming of their arguments, too many government paid advocates have spent their entire lives aimed at exactly that left-side target, for such a statement to hold true.

    Still your softened argument may be the most effective approach. Good luck at your meeting, I truly hope they will consider you carefully.

    • Jeff Id

      “How will a code of ethics or behavior apply when the true problem we face is one of the foxes protecting the hen house?..”

      I too share your skepticism. We end up with Max Plank: “science advances one funeral at a time.”

      There may be a confluences of changes in leadership in USA via elections in 2016; a continued rear guard engagement by some in Congress; a stymied in the world temperature records no matter how manipulated; but, most importantly, visibility to the nation’s public, of elitism and dishonesty in the name of a greater good: noble cause corruption. The Fourth Estate has abrogated their role. Who will take up the mantle? The blogosphere has already shown its power to leak information through the cracks in Climate Alarmism solidarity.

      In general, people do not like to finally be made aware, they have been lie to. The current disregard for climate alarmism in public polls is the bellwether to observe and acknowledge. Not many in the climate alarmism establishment, no matter how supported by a lame duck President, will win at election time, and slowly, such an impact will be felt, as it should be, in EPA, NOAA, NASA, and the old NCDC establishments. They will fall as the rain when accusations of bad behavior become the norm, instead of being concealed as is now the case. Tom Karl will stand in the docket for adding, blending, and speaking his multitude of sins

      .Time is the great leveler, not science itself.

      • When the fraud is realized by enough citizens, the money spigot will be turned way down and there will be many “climate scientists” looking for work.

  35. Since Post Normal Apostle, Mike (Aesop) Hulme is one of the keynote speakers, It would be well to keep in mind Mike’s views, ably deconstructed by andywest:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/02/04/quote-of-the-week-cru-scientist-disses-cooks-97/#comment-1558534

    • Hulme reminds us what the capitalist attitude should be to climate change. There are opportunities to make money from change. Buy that future arable land that does not look so good now. Get into the business of urban drainage systems or coastal flood protection. Many opportunities for those who think ahead a bit. Fossil fuels, not so much.

      • David L. Hagen

        Jim D. The climate change market is created by politics plus high scientific uncertainty.
        Far greater probability of oil fields production declining and needing to be replenished plus to meet global economic growth. Far greater need to keep our economies afloat.

      • Jim D wrote “Hulme reminds us what the capitalist attitude should be to climate change.” I don’t think that there is a monolithic “capitalist attitude,” and I don’t believe in “should.” Capitalists are people who seek gainful opportunities, by investing in ventures which they perceive are likely to bring the best (risk-adjusted) rate of return. I’m not a capitalist, but I expect that if I were, I would look for opportunities within my field of expertise and financial capacity. My views might or might not be influenced by the extent of media reports about “climate change,” however defined, and the fact that many governments, sensibly or not, have adopted related policies and regulations which might make certain activities more or less profitable; as they do in many fields. And if I were looking in climate-affected areas of investment, I’d probably be wary that the bubble will burst, or that those economies which pursue extensive policies to reduce warming will grow much more slowly than those which don’t. Outside of people who are attracted to post on Climate Etc and related outlets, I don’t think that CAGW/climate change plays a great part in most people’s thinking or business assessments. We are all outliers here.

        Faustino

    • Lindzen quoted from Mike Hulme’s book “Why We Disagree about Climate Change”
      As follows:
      “The Idea of Climate Change should be seen as an intellectual resource around which our collective and personal identities and projects can form and take shape. We need to ask not what we can do for climate change but what climate change can do for us”

      “Because the idea of climate change is so plastic, it can be deployed across many of our human projects and can serve many of our psychological, ethical and spiritual needs”

      “we will continue to create and tell new stories about climate change and mobilize them in support of our projects”

      “These myths transcend the scientific categories of true and false”

    • Love the jesuitical appeal to a cartoon notion of ‘capitalists’.
      It’s like the invitation to conservatives to join Big Green because there’s a sort of conserving involved in all that sustainability and stuff…er, y’ know, sort of, when you think about it, y’know…

      And though it really is too late to save Florida there could be some very tasty beachside condominium projects in the Arctic if you greedy neo-skeps will just get with the program!

  36. PA 8:36 PM – I wonder if you grasped the first paragraph. The deduction employs existing data and the computational mandate that temperature change is in response to the time-integral of the net forcing; not proportionately to the instantaneous value of the net forcing itself. Application of this analysis methodology to CO2 levels for the entire Phanerozoic eon (about 542 million years) (Berner, 2001, shown with AGT at http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/Carboniferous_climate.html ) proves that CO2 levels up to at least 6 times the present will have no significant effect on average global temperature. There are other refs which agree close enough.

    • Dan Pangburn | June 22, 2015 at 10:08 pm | Reply
      PA 8:36 PM – I wonder if you grasped the first paragraph. The deduction employs existing data and the computational mandate that temperature change is in response to the time-integral of the net forcing; not proportionately to the instantaneous value of the net forcing itself.

      Well….

      The surfaces are going to exhibit integral response.

      There is a measurable surface effect that is greenhouse like. That doesn’t address what the system level effect is.

      The PETM started about 5K years before the CO2 level went up. So there is some unknown mechanism that can drive a reasonably rapid rise in temperature. That is in your favor.

      There is only about 12 years of good data which would make the CO2 contribution hard to quantify.

      Does your theory make a testable prediction about future temperature? I could be persuaded… but I tend to think the CO2 contribution is non-trivial.

      • The method/equation predicts average global temperatures to 2020 and, depending on what the sun does, to 2037. The prediction was made in 2012 and is obviously testable. It is documented in hard copy at Energy and Environment, vol. 25, No. 8, 1455-1471. Reported measurements remain within the historical uncertainty range in spite of NOAA tinkering with their data.

        The method/equation allows prediction of temperature trends using data up to any date. The predicted temperature anomaly trend in 2020 calculated using data to 1990, actual sunspot numbers through 2012, and predicted sunspot numbers 2013-2020 is within 0.011 K of the trend calculated using data through 2012. The predictions after 2020 depend on sunspot predictions which are not available past 2020.

  37. ATTP: I’m pretty sure that chaining yourself to the WH fence in protest of fossil fuels as Dr. Hansen, father of Global Warming Alarmism, did…might be considered “advocating” for a position.

  38. IMHO, what our esteemed (if not beloved) hostess is forcefully advocating here and every week in this blog is not a position warm or skeptic but for a better process of conducting research on climate science and for setting a truly informed policy. Perhaps others have made the same or similar point.

  39. Here would be a descriptive statement:

    [curryja] Regions that find solutions to [X] are likely to be well prepared to cope with [Y]

    Here would be another one:

    [Surgeon’s General Warning] Smoking kills.

    Since both are simply descriptive, they don’t carry prescription, right?

    ***

    Oh, and I found the sounds of “smoking kills” on this lovely site:

    Tobacco smoking has been fingered (e.g., U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare [U.S. DHEW], 1964) as a major cause of mortality and morbidity, responsible for an estimated 434,000 deaths per year in the United States (Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 1991a).

    But, did you know that the so much publicized 400,000+ “smoking-related’ deaths in the US simply does not exist?

    That number is a guess… a heavily slanted, politically manipulated estimate using a computer model programmed with the assumptions of causality in synergy with the current political agenda against tobacco.

    http://www.smokingaloud.com/death.html

    The author’s emphasis.

    Teh modulz are stoopid everywhere, it thus seems.

  40. David L. Hagen

    The Gas of Life
    Willie Soon GAS OF LIFE: POPE ENCYCLICAL ON CLIMATE CHANGE IGNORES SCIENCE ON CARBON DIOXIDE

    The verdict is clear: Any attempt to stop the use of available fossil fuels for life and all human activities will cause far more harm and lead to more deaths than the theological belief in future catastrophic disasters endorsed by the encyclical. Even worse, the church knows that many of the predicted catastrophic disasters from the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide are highly exaggerated if not outright fraudulent. Yet Laudato Si’ gives credence and praise to these predictions by relying on climate models scenarios that have been proven to be false. . . .

    The world’s weather and climate will not be adversely affected by the prudent and appropriate use of fossil fuels to enhancing everyone’s lives. The release of the carbon dioxide gas to the atmosphere is a necessary result of life on Earth – carbon dioxide is a gas of life. Additional carbon dioxide in the air will enhance all forms of biological activity and life overall. The relative greening of the Earth for the past several decades is one positive example.

    Galileo

    . . .it is impossible for a conclusion to be declared heretical while we remain in doubt as to its truth

  41. David Wojick

    EPA’s new climate change action benefits assessment:
    http://www2.epa.gov/cira also http://planetark.org/wen/73339
    Unsupported speculation presented as facts. Pure advocacy.

  42. One could rightfully substitute “environmental journalist” for scientific community in to the following:

    “…. my concern is that the environmental journalist [scientific] community is extremely confused about the policy process and too many environmental journalists [climate scientists] are irresponsibly shooting from the hip as issue advocates. Apart from the damage that this is doing at the interface between journalism [science] and policy, the neglect and perversion of uncertainty is doing irreparable damage to journalism [the science] and to the public trust of journalists [scientists]. …”

    Journalists are perhaps equally at fault — it is their job to question and poke and prod and uncover inconsistencies in scientific statements and opinions. Environmental journalists have become themselves almost to a person, simply more powerful advocates — advocates with bully pulpits.

  43. This is a crucial element in the climate change non-debate debate. Attacks from the skeptic side on questioning positions taken by prominent skeptics are also common. The most minor complaint is a “plague on both houses”, saying in effect that we must choose sides, that to object to the behaviour of one’s “team” is equal to supporting the others.

    Egos as well as money, position and power are firmly entrenched in the climate change argument. The public still doesn’t understand this, and probably never will. The MSM doesn’t talk about it – in part because they are part of the us-vs-them problem (better drama when there are only angels or demons).

    • The climate blog wars are one of the most entertaining things on the web right now (thank you Prof. Curry). It would be so boring if we had to do this in person. I never find people willing to call me a [insert derogatory label] face to face when the subject of climate change comes up. But on the web insulting people has become an art form.

  44. Pingback: Circling the Square | The IPCC Report

  45. daveandrews723

    Science has been turned on its head in this “man-made global warming/climate change” matter. It is a very dark period in science. I think I would be shocked and stunned to observe what impressionable college students are being taught nowadays on this subject. It seems as though the “warmists” have taken over academia and the political debate and are spreading unsubstantiated hypothoses as indisputable facts. Very sad. Very sad.

  46. Pooh, Dixie

    Just for fun:
    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – – that’s all.”
    (Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 6)

  47. Prof. Curry writes: For scientists, particularly scientists in universities, there is no code of conduct for how to communicate with the public and to engage with the policy process.

    To the contrary we have:
    Each physicist is a citizen of the community of science. Each shares responsibility for the welfare of this community. Science is best advanced when there is mutual trust, based upon honest behavior, throughout the community. Acts of deception, or any other acts that deliberately compromise the advancement of science, are unacceptable. Honesty must be regarded as the cornerstone of ethics in science. Professional integrity in the formulation, conduct, and reporting of physics activities reflects not only on the reputations of individual physicists and their organizations, but also on the image and credibility of the physics profession as perceived by scientific colleagues, government and the public. It is important that the tradition of ethical behavior be carefully maintained and transmitted with enthusiasm to future generations.
    and more from the APS at http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/02_2.cfm

    The Institute of Physics has a code for members at http://www.iop.org/about/royal_charter/file_38393.pdf . That code says, in part, Members shall strive to be objective, unbiased and truthful in all aspects of their work.

    While some university scientists may not be covered by their membership in a professional society, it would be a failure of university leadership not to have a code for employees — doesn’t Tech have one?

  48. Danny Thomas

    TonyB and others to whom this applies. Ya’ll might wanna burn a few more cords of wood: http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/586404/Britain-freezing-winters-slump-solar-activity

  49. David L. Hagen

    Cooling ahead?
    Has the Met Office recanted?
    Britain faces FREEZING winters as slump in solar activity threatens ‘little Ice Age’

    BRITAIN could face colder than average winters with a plunge in solar activity threatening a new “little ice age” in the next few decades.
    Climate experts warn the amount of light and warmth released by the sun is nosediving to levels “not seen for centuries”.
    They fear a repeat of the so-called ‘Maunder Minimum’ which triggered Arctic winter whiteouts and led to the River Thames freezing 300 years ago.
    The Met Office-led study warns although the effect will be offset by recent global warming, Britain faces years of unusually cold winters.
    A spokesman said: “A return to low solar activity not seen for centuries could increase the chances of cold winters in Europe and eastern parts of the United States but wouldn’t halt global warming. . . .
    Met Office scientist and lead author Sarah Ineson, said: “This research shows that the regional impacts of a grand solar minimum are likely to be larger than the global effect.
    “This study shows that the sun isn’t going to save us from global warming, but it could have impacts at a regional level that should be factored in to decisions about adapting to climate change for the decades to come.”

    Regional climate impacts of a possible future grand solar minimum
    Sarah Ineson et al. Nature Communications 6, Article number: 7535 doi:10.1038/ncomms8535

    Any reduction in global mean near-surface temperature due to a future decline in solar activity is likely to be a small fraction of projected anthropogenic warming. However, variability in ultraviolet solar irradiance is linked to modulation of the Arctic and North Atlantic Oscillations, suggesting the potential for larger regional surface climate effects. Here, we explore possible impacts through two experiments designed to bracket uncertainty in ultraviolet irradince in a scenario in which future solar activity decreases to Maunder Minimum-like conditions by 2050. Both experiments show regional structure in the wintertime response, resembling the North Atlantic Oscillation, with enhanced relative cooling over northern Eurasia and the eastern United States. For a high-end decline in solar ultraviolet irradiance, the impact on winter northern European surface temperatures over the late twenty-first century could be a significant fraction of the difference in climate change between plausible AR5 scenarios of greenhouse gas concentrations.

    • Oh noes, natural variations in climate all over again!

      ‘Met Office long-range expert professor Adam Scaife said solar activity has already started to decline over the past few years.

      He said: “Although the effect on global temperatures is very small, the local effect is big enough to make a difference and we need to include that in our future climate projections.”

      He said if “factors come together”, severe winters like the 2009/10 chiller which crippled Britain could become more frequent.

      He warned early signals point towards a period of minimum solar activity by the middle of this century.

      “There is a high chance that solar activity of the sun will decrease over the next few years,” he said.’

    • We are doomed. What could be worse than having 100 m of glacial material covering your house and then being forced to listen to warmists telling us how lucky we are since without AGW it would have been 200 m. The human race will never settle this debate regardless of how cold it gets. My descendants will get no rest.

    • David L. Hagen

      Still required to bow to AGW:

      any change in global mean temperature due to a future prolonged solar minimum would do little to substantially offset or delay the warming due to projected increases in long-lived greenhouse gases.

      • “This research shows that the regional impacts of a grand solar minimum are likely to be larger than the global effect.”

        So, GHG’s have global effect, but a solar minimum will have mainly regional impacts. (i guess that’s what the models say)

        Their logic is somehow……… obvious.

    • David

      No they haven’t recanted-officially. I met Adam Scaife a couple of years ago. The Met Office now believe in strong natural variability again. Naming no names, they can’t even be certain that todays climate is unusual-plenty of evidence on Dartmoor-15 miles from their offices that it isn’t.

      During my meetings there I have offered to conduct a Magical mystery tour of Dartmoor with a mini coach load of their scientists to show them the past evidence. The Beatles filmed part of Magical Mystery tour there.

      The Met Offices stance on historic climate sometimes makes no more sense than the words of I am a walrus -recorded for Magical Mystery tour. In fact, some of the words make MORE sense

      Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun.
      If the sun don’t come, you get a tan
      From standing in the English rain.
      I am the egg man, they are the egg men.
      I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob g’goo goo g’joob

      tonyb

      • climatereason,

        I see that Adam Scaife is apparently a “long range” expert. Does the Met Office also have “short range” and “mid range” experts?

        I was wondering about the promotion ladder. Presumably one could start off with long range, move to mid range, and, just before retirement, obtain a short range expert position.

        In this way, one would ensure that one’s predictions could never be validated before retirement.

        Sir Nigel would no doubt approve. Civil Service perfection in practice!

      • Mike

        Well yes they do. The short term ones are of course weather forecasters. We live some 15 miles from the Met Office and sometimes their forecasts bear no relation to reality-to the irritation of the local tourist trade.

        They have an app that we use on our smartphone. We joke that their forecast is always right because they make so many forecasts (they seem to change hourly) that one of them must be right.
        tonyb

      • </Sitting in an English garden waiting for the sun.
        If the sun don’t come, you get a tan
        From standing in the English rain.
        I am the egg man, they are the egg men.
        I am the walrus, goo goo g’joob g’goo goo g’joob

        tonyb

        Time for Tony to pass the baton to the next generation, wouldn’t you say?

      • Vaughan

        As our good friend Mosher would say ‘read harder’.

        I actually said makes NO more sense than the words of the song. Its relevance being Magical mystery tour, Dartmoor and the Met Office.

        tonyb

      • I actually said makes NO more sense than the words of the song.

        No, you said that some of the words of the song made more sense. I saw no sense at all in them, hence my comment.

        But it was after midnight when I wrote that and my snark arrestor had already gone to bed. Had the hour been earlier I would have let your comparison of it to the Met Office’s stance on historic climate pass without comment. Unfortunate timing, sorry about that.

  50. A Great Evil this way comes. The Universe has slipped its Cosmic Cog. We are NEAR THE END OF TIMES! We approach the EDGE of the KNOWN UNIVERSE, moving more and more rapidly over the EDGE and into the DARK DEPTHS of the UNKNOWN – SPACE SERPENTS!!! If you have the CENTS God gave a GOLDEN GOOSE, my Brothers and Sisters, you won’t be far behind as I HEAD FOR THE HILLS!!!!!
    ********************************************************************
    Britain faces FREEZING winters as slump in solar activity threatens ‘little Ice Age’

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/nature/586404/Britain-freezing-winters-slump-solar-activity
    **********************************************************************

    (Yes, Brothers and Sisters, I’m Sarctical.)

  51. I have a solution. Stop funding the loony pseudo scientists. The Earth will stop warming, and the weather will resume its erratic and unpredictable course. Deaths will doubtless ensue, as usual.

    Sad for some, but true, I think.

    • @MF: Stop funding the loony pseudo scientists.

      Ok, Mike, but then how would you distribute the funding? Equally between the scientists, the loony scientists, and the pseudo scientists?

      Judging by your logic I have a feeling you’d favour the loony scientists over the pseudo scientists.

    • Vaughan Pratt,

      What funding? Scientists discovered lots of things without Government grants. Do you really think that anyone can come up with some previously undreamed of idea to order? Really? You might also believe that paying people higher salaries, or giving them larger grants, makes them smarter.

      In any case, start with stopping funding for anything that mentions the word “climate”. It’s totally loony pseudo science. Nobody can even define “a climate”, or point to any use for such a creature. What does it do, this “climate” thing? Any twelve year old with a slate and a stick of chalk can work out arithmetical averages.

      Surely “climate” is more than this? Alas, it’s not. Show me one benefit to humanity of the billions of dollars spent in relation to “climate”, backed up by “peer reviewed papers” authored by “climate scientists” and I might be persuaded to contribute some of my own money to these sub standard pedestrian plodders.

      Just one. How hard can it be?

  52. Pingback: Von Storch: el público se está haciendo “resistente” al catastrofismo | PlazaMoyua.com

  53. Vaughan Pratt,

    Sorry, but the threading is getting hard to follow.

    You are correct that weather and climate are different. One is merely the long term average of the other, and as such, completely useless for man or beast.

    Beloved of Warmists, averages are completely senseless in this respect. Just for fun, in arid deserts, temperatures can vary in one day by 50 C. Now the average of 45 C and -5 C is 20 C. Believe it or not, the UK MoD chappies outfitted some SAS soldiers on the basis of the “average”. The mission was a disaster, several soldiers died of hypothermia.

    Likewise, 5 years of flooding, followed by 25 years of drought, may average out to a useful annual rainfall for certain types of farming. Ask a farmer how good that average is!

    Your beloved averages are not only pointless, but can mislead people into losing livelihoods and lives, by assuming these blithering pencil pushing averages actually know what they are talking about. Nobody has ever found a practical use for “climate”, and it is unlikely that anyone ever will. People of limited mental capacity, with nothing better to do, can play with historical numbers, either real or imagined, in any number of bizarre ways. The weather changes no one whit!

    Recording history is fine. Particularly for historians. It shows what has happened in the past, and serves as a warning of what certain courses of action may lead to.

    History does not predict the future. The trend may end, and usually does. The consequences may be totally unexpected and completely disastrous. I’m sure some other commenters have tales to tell about trends which didn’t continue, in spite of expectations to the contrary.

    • A more reasonable comment than your usual, Mike. Apportioning credit for it may keep our alien observers busy for several minutes.

    • Vaughan Pratt,

      All my comments are eminently reasonable, in my view.

      They are based on facts, or reasonable assumptions. I find the assumption that the Earth was created in a molten state, a reasonable assumption. I find the assertion that CO2 can warm things, a bizarre and unreasonable assumption. You may disagree. You can’t support your assumption with science, no matter how hard you try.

      I can support all my assumptions, as far as I know. If someone shows me I am wrong, I change my mind. What do you do?

      • I find the assertion that CO2 can warm things, a bizarre and unreasonable assumption.

        Is it any more bizarre or unreasonable than the assumption that a blanket can keep your skin warmer?

      • David Springer

        Yes, far more bizarre.

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        Indeed it is. Quite apart from the fact that the supposed back radiation from the wondrous CO2 blanket will not stop you you from freezing to death in the desert when temperatures drop below freezing, the analogy to a blanket is bizarre.

        A blanket does not increase the temperature of a corpse, or a block of stone, or a mountain stream. It doesn’t even warm the human body. If your skin temperature rises too far, you will die. Blankets merely assist in reducing the rate at which energy in the form of heat leaves the body.

        You are confusing a reduction in the rate of cooling, with an increase in temperature. The Earth has been blanketed by ever decreasing amounts of CO2 for four and a half billion years or so, and has continued to cool.

        Some people believe that the Earth as a whole started to warm (ie to increase its temperature), at the end of the Younger Dryas event. If it did, it is obvious that anthropogenic influences caused neither the precipitous drop in temperatures prior to the event, nor the sudden rise afterwards.

        Not only that, but even the finest squiggly line artists find themselves unable to draw squiggly lines associating CO2 levels with the temperature fluctuations during the period involved.

        There is increasing evidence for the YD event being the result of a meteoric impact. This hypothesis is being increasingly supported by physical evidence, not imaginary squiggly lines based on fantasy.

        You blanket analogy is both silly and irrelevant. If you have a fact, or reasonable facsimile, to present, you might do better. Keeping on with progressively more complicated assemblies of epicycles, so to speak, is leading you further and further up the creek.

      • @MF: There is increasing evidence for the YD event being the result of a meteoric impact. This hypothesis is being increasingly supported by physical evidence, not imaginary squiggly lines based on fantasy.

        Excellent point, Mike. Just point to the meteor that cause the rise between 1970 and now and we’ll know it’s that and not CO2.

        Absent any meteor, what’s your plan B for the cause of the recent rise?

      • @MF: Blankets merely assist in reducing the rate at which energy in the form of heat leaves the body.

        Yesss! That’s how blankets warm the surface of the skin. Without a blanket your skin would get colder.

        So evidently you understand how CO2 warms the surface of the Earth. It reduces the rate at which energy in the form of heat leaves the surface.

        I don’t understand your difficulty here.

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        I’m not sure what you are referring to, but I assume you want to know the reason for the apparent rise in global land based thermometer increases from 1970 to the present.

        I haven’t suggested a meteoric origin of the increase in heat which the thermometers apparently measured. I’m surprised you would think that I would, to be honest.

        But in any case, if you believe that the thermometer readings on which you depend were unable to detect the increased heat generated in 2014 compared with 1970, then it is pointless for me to point out the blindingly obvious.

        Man creates a lot of heat. This amount of heat at least doubled between 1970 and 2014. At night, it is the major variable source of heat available. I appreciate you will add more epicycles to deny that additional man made heat creates higher temperatures.

        Others can choose to believe, as they wish.

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        You wrote –

        “@MF: Blankets merely assist in reducing the rate at which energy in the form of heat leaves the body.

        Yesss! That’s how blankets warm the surface of the skin. Without a blanket your skin would get colder.

        So evidently you understand how CO2 warms the surface of the Earth. It reduces the rate at which energy in the form of heat leaves the surface.

        I don’t understand your difficulty here.”

        I don’t have any difficulty. You may have overlooked the fact, as most Warmists do, that the Earth has cooled, in spite of the composition of the atmosphere. Cooled. Not warmed. CO2 in any concentration is unable to increase the temperature of anything at all. Try as you may, you can’t achieve this miracle. Nor can anyone else.

        Add another epicycle. Preferably one which performs a miracle of warming a concrete block by wrapping it in a CO2 blanket – the see if you can convince anybody to believe it. I certainly don’t, but I’m dumb.

      • You may have overlooked the fact, as most Warmists do, that the Earth has cooled, in spite of the composition of the atmosphere.

        What do you mean by “the Earth has cooled”? Do you mean the climate system (oceans/polar ice/atmosphere/land surface), or do you mean the interior of the planet?

      • ATTP,

        You wrote –

        “What do you mean by “the Earth has cooled”? Do you mean the climate system (oceans/polar ice/atmosphere/land surface), or do you mean the interior of the planet?”

        I meant exactly what I wrote. What part of “the Earth has cooled” do you not understand?

        You pretend to an understanding of physics, but apparently do not understand the physics of a body cooling from an initial temperature to a cooler one, if it is hotter than its surroundings. You may be unfamiliar with Newton’s Law of Cooling, but it should help you understand the basics.

        What is the purpose of your question? What is it that you do not understand?

      • Mike,

        I meant exactly what I wrote. What part of “the Earth has cooled” do you not understand?

        I don’t understand what you mean by “the Earth”. The “whole Earth”, or the part of it that we regard as the climate system?

        What is the purpose of your question? What is it that you do not understand?

        I’m trying to understand what you’re claiming. Since you seem unwilling to actually explain it, I’ll try to work it out myself. If you mean the part we regard as our climate (oceans/atmosphere/land surface/polar ice) and if you mean over the last 50 – 60 years, then a claim that we’ve cooled is wrong. If you mean the entire Earth (interior plus climate), then I think you’re also wrong. The geothermal flux is around 0.1W/m^2. We’re accruing energy at a rate about 5 times faster than this. So, overall, the Earth is warming. If, you simply mean the interior of the planet, then yes, this is cooling. But, so what? That has very little to do with our climate. (yes, it’s relevant for the Earth’s magnetic field and geothermal activity, but that’s not likely to change significantly on the scale of centuries).

      • ATTP,

        I use the same definition as used in Advances in Geophysics, Vol. 26. If you read this, page 2 should point you in the right direction. It contains a list of peer reviewed papers you may wish to read.

        Obviously, you prefer to accept the climatological nonsense, rather than actual science done by real scientists. I don’t.

        Further research after 1984 has refined the rate of cooling somewhat.

        There are differences of opinion as to the current rate of cooling, but geophysicists agree that uncertainties in accurate measurements are reasonably large.

        As you believe the total surface, at least, is warming, (which is of course is impossible, apart from the ephemeral effect of anthropogenic localised heat production), then you obviously reject geophysics as a worthwhile branch of science.

        Obviously, I believe scientists such as geophysicists as having superior knowledge about the Earth, rather than a hodge-podge collection of self appointed “climate scientists”.

        We will have to agree to disagree.

      • Mike,
        Okay, so you really are talking about the cooling of the interior of the planet. Sorry, but that is just bizarre. I was going to ask you to try and justify why that is relevant, but I won’t bother.

      • Mike,
        The other day I brought up the subject of smart meters and you said you didn’t have one. I took it mean that you refused to have one based on some set of facts and/or logic. Could you tell me what led you to this decision?
        Thanks.

      • ATTP,

        If I had meant to refer to the interior of the planet, surrounded by a perfect insulator, to prevent a temperature gradient occurring from the hottest part of the core to the roughly 4K of space surrounding the Earth, I would have said so.

        Nice try, attempting to put words in my mouth. It didn’t work.

        You may perform the Warmist Wriggle, the Wiggle, the Weasel, or even the Warmist Denial of Reality ™, but it still won’t make the nonsensical “greenhouse effect” true.

        PS If you can ever figure out a way to warm something using CO2, you’ll make a fortune – or maybe the Pope will sanctify you for performing miracles, because that’s what you’ll need. A miracle.

      • Mike,
        Okay, fair point. I shouldn’t have put words in your mouth, especially as I have no idea what you’re actually talking about. I still don’t, but feel free to not try and rectify that. I’m quite happy remaining unclear as to what you’re suggesting.

      • ATTP: I’m quite happy remaining unclear as to what you’re suggesting.

        I’ve been wondering which of CE or WUWT is the better place for Mike to play his cute little game of rejecting elementary physics by pretending that some higher physics overrides it, which he seems to really enjoy. Watts might be concerned that it would make WUWT look ridiculous and kick him off, and McIntyre certainly would on CA.

        Either Judith is too busy with other things to worry about CE looking ridiculous, or she actually agrees with him about his physics. In either case CE may well be the optimal venue for his game.

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        The Warmists cannot provide a single experiment to back up their ludicrous claims.

        You will no doubt complain that Newtons Law of Cooling is nonsense because Newton believed in alchemy. I’m sure that you will dismiss Professor John Tyndall’s experiments as detailed in his book Heat as Motion, as ridiculous. He believed in the existence of the ether, and the indivisibility of the atom.

        What about Feynman? Not worth considering because he couldn’t get ants to walk in a circle following an endless pheromone trail?

        As a matter of interest, the Team at RealClimate are quite polite, and don’t consign me to the BoreHole. Maybe because I back up my opinions with quotes from Nature, and similar publications. Likewise, WUWT, Dr Roy Spencer, and others that catch my attention from time to time, allow my comments to appear.

        If you have some facts to present, go ahead. Unfounded assertions, irrelevant analogies, or claims about the future don’t count as facts with me.

        The simple fact is that no one has ever managed to increase the temperature of an externally heated body by surrounding it with CO2. Even if the “surface” temperature increases for other reasons, I agree with Svante Arrhenius that this would be a “good thing”.

        Increased CO2 and H2O, resulting from burning fossil fuels, appear to have no injurious effects on humanity. Experimental evidence, backed up by satellite imagery, show that the benefits of increased levels of both might be resulting in the observed “greening” of the Earth.

        You may be annoyed that predictions of doom and disaster have not come to pass. Not me.

  54. Someone said:
    “I’m a bit of a fan of theory backed up by experiment”

    The function of an experiment is to produce data. In the case of the influence of CO2 on climate, the data already exists. The experiment has been run for the entire Phanerozoic eon. Several examples of estimates of CO2 level and average global temperature exist. They all show that average global temperature did NOT respond as a transient to the forcing of CO2 level. In fact, the temperature did not respond to the forcing of CO2 level at all.

    • Looks like to me the experiment isn’t over till we run out of stuff to burn. Even then there are a few hundred thousand other chemical compounds we are pumping into the biosphere so CO2 is probably just a secondary derivative. In geological time scales it’s just a blip.

    • @DP: Several examples of estimates of CO2 level and average global temperature exist. They all show that average global temperature did NOT respond as a transient to the forcing of CO2 level. In fact, the temperature did not respond to the forcing of CO2 level at all.

      Any of them done by professional geologists?

      In geology “several” is a tiny noise blip in a vast body of data and literature that has come to the exact opposite conclusion:

      You’re in the same boat as the medium who forecasts your future based on the arrow pointing to the beetle in

      (It’s pink circle number five counting from the top.)

      • David Springer

        Maybe the professional geologists should try the beetle technique. It can’t be much worse than how they’re doing it now and might be an improvement.

      • @DS: Maybe the professional geologists should try the beetle technique. It can’t be much worse than how they’re doing it now and might be an improvement.

        Either DS typed that in his sleep or he’s used deep learning to train his keyboard to type vacuities learned from climate blogs around the world.

        Score: IQ 40 for DS’s remarks, 20 for mine (his keyboard must be better trained).

      • VP – None show CO2 affected temperature.

      • So who should people believe? Dan Pangburn, who claims one thing but has cited not even one paper to prove it, let alone ever published one, has no scientific track record that we know of, and is not even a big name in skeptic circles? Or the famous Richard Alley who claims the exact opposite, publishes extensively, is held in great respect by the 35,000 members of the American Geophysical Union, and receives more invitations to speak than he can handle?

        That CO2 traps heat was established by careful scientific experiment in the middle of the 19th century. Denying it today is like people denying the world is round a century after Columbus sailed to America.

        Which some did, and that’s what we have here.

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        Dan Pangburn, obviously. Your appeal to authority is flawed. Is this the same Richard Alley about whom Penn State writes –

        “DR. RICHARD ALLEY, received the Nobel Peace Prize for work on climate change . . . ” Maybe he doesn’t realise that he won the Nobel Prize, or maybe no one told him that Penn State claims he did. Is he in the same intellectual class as Jim Hansen, or possibly Gavin Schmidt? What about Michael Mann?

        You went on to say –

        “That CO2 traps heat was established by careful scientific experiment in the middle of the 19th century.” Were you talking about Professor John Tyndall? If you are, maybe you need to re read his book. The 1905 edition is the latest I know of, but you may have access to a more recent one.

        Your quote is more or less correct, but you “forgot” to quote what subsequently occurs. Maybe you should add in the bit you “forgot” to mention.

        If you wish to quote Tyndall, the edition, publisher, page number, and an exact quote would assist.

        Of course, I might be wrong, and you may be referring to another ” . . . careful scientific experiment in the middle of the 19th century.”

        Please accept my apology if I am wrong. It definitely helps to avoid confusion if you can be a little more specific.

        Thanks.

      • David Springer

        pratt writes: “CO2 traps heat”

        Lately, not so much in the troposphere.

        CERES and ARGO together show only 0.5W/m2 energy imbalance at top of atmosphere. Enough to heat the ocean by 0.2C per century. Big deal.

      • @DS: CERES and ARGO together show only 0.5W/m2 energy imbalance at top of atmosphere. Enough to heat the ocean by 0.2C per century. Big deal.

        DS is quite right, this figure of 0.5 W/m2 for imbalance was arrived at by Loeb et al, Nature 2012.

        But it’s worth checking DS’s math here, since if he’s slipped a decimal point somewhere we’d be looking at 2 °C, and two decimal points would be ten times as bad.

        That imbalance over the Earth’s surface of 5.1E14 m2 comes to 2.55E14 watts (joules per second). A century is 86400*365.24*100 = 3.16E9 seconds, hence an accumulation of 8.05E23 joules, let’s say 8E23 for simplicity.

        This thermal energy heats mainly the oceanic mixed layer, which is thermally insulated from the deep ocean by the main thermocline. The monthly mean tables for mixed layer depth (MLD) by Monterey and Levitus make it easy to estimate the volume of the mixed layer by summing, over each half-degree grid cell and each month, the product of the MLD and the cell area, and then taking 1/12 of that to average out months. This comes to roughly 2E16 m3. A cubic meter of water weighs a tonne or 1000 kg, so the mixed layer has a mass of about 2E19 kg.

        (As a sanity check, a short cut that avoids the tedium of the tables is simply to use 50m as the mean depth of the mixed layer and multiply it by the ocean’s surface of 3.6E14 m2 to give 1.8E16 m3, close enough to 2E16 m3 for government work.)

        The heat capacity of 1 kg of water is roughly 4000 J/kg/K. Hence to heat the mixed layer 1 °C requires 2E19 * 4000 = 8E22 J.

        But since the century has accumulated 8E23 J, that will heat the mixed layer 10 °C, not 0.2 °C.

        To arrive at DS’s figure of a heating of only 0.2 °C of the mixed layer over the century would require 98% of the mixed layer’s heat to pass through the thermocline into the deep ocean. But that would only be possible if there were no thermocline to begin with. The thermocline exists because below 50m (on average) the ocean is so still that heat can only diffuse downwards, with no convection, or at best a small amount due to the slow Meridional Overturning Current..

        What this shows is that the amount of heat that leaks down through the thermocline plays a huge role in governing surface temperature. Negligible leakage means a 10 °C rise, 50% leakage a 5 °C rise, 80% 2 °C, and 90% 1 °C.

        One should therefore hope very strongly that this leakage is at least 50%. (I don’t know what it actually is, I’m still trying to learn this stuff. Does anyone?) Much less than 50% is a very scary prospect, at least for those who believe much more than 5 °C of global warming is detrimental to the biosphere.

        HadCRUT4 has been rising at 5.7 °C/century since 2011, consistent with a leakage of 43%. The period 2011-2021 should give a more accurate estimate.

      • Vaughan Pratt,

        You might be sprouting nonsense, or you might not.

        I am happy to let everybody to decide for themselves, so I will make some observations.

        1. You talk about an energy imbalance over the Earth’s surface, and state that the Earth receives more energy from the Sun than it emits. This is patent nonsense. Over the life of the Earth, the crust has demonstrably cooled. This shows that in the longest term, the energy balance has been negative. The total energy received from the Sun has been unable to prevent the Earth cooling. No positive energy balance there.

        2. On a shorter basis, say 24 hours, the portion of the surface exposed to the Sun will heat for around 6 hours, and then cool for around 18. When the surface is heating, it is receiving more energy than it emits. When cooling, after solar noon, and through the night, it emits more energy than it receives. No energy balance at any time,the surface is either cooling or heating, due to the rotating Earth.

        3. Clouds, aerosols, suspended particulate matter of all sorts interfere with energy transmission in both directions. This may reduce the rate of heating during the day, and the rate of cooling during the night. No energy balance at any time.

        4. There is no known method of measuring total energy absorbed by the Earth – TOA, surface or anything else. In the absence of a material that absorbs all EMR, at every wavelength, and sufficiently precise measuring equipment to calculate the energy absorbed, one has to resort to models, approximations, and “near enough is good enough” assumptions.
        5. Instantaneous energy emissions from the surface of the Earth are likewise a hopeful guess at best.

        6. You say that heat diffuses downward into the ocean. Unfortunately, water is a liquid. Water when heated, becomes less dense. It “floats” to the top, so to speak. It is replaced by denser water, which, if of the same composition, is colder. But quite apart from that, at night, the surface cools. Because it is comprised of warmer water overlaying cooler, denser, water, the radiation it emits goes to the cold sink of outer space, and the now colder water sinks, displacing warmer water to the surface. This is how one produces ice in the Libyan desert, or the deserts of Northern India, at night, under suitable conditions.

        7. Heat does not “leak” down into the thermocline, any more than it “creeps” into the Earths core from the surface, creating Al Gore’s “millions of degrees”. The laws of thermodynamics still operate, regardless of Warmist wishes.

        8. You also refer to the stillness of the ocean below 50 m., on average. Oceanographers will no doubt be surprised that you have singlehandedly banished the complicated multi layered ocean currents with a few taps of your keyboard!

        You might call me a fool. I don’t mind. Mosher thinks I’m too dumb to understand Warmist physics. If I have erred in fact, please correct me. Assertions or appeals to authority won’t do. Facts will.

      • @MF: 1. You talk about an energy imbalance over the Earth’s surface, and state that the Earth receives more energy from the Sun than it emits. (Bold face mine.)

        Not me, that’s David Springer, bring that up with him. I merely took him at his word on that (while providing him with supporting references) and inferred some consequences.

        2. On a shorter basis, say 24 hours, the portion of the surface exposed to the Sun will heat for around 6 hours, and then cool for around 18. When the surface is heating, it is receiving more energy than it emits. When cooling, after solar noon, and through the night, it emits more energy than it receives. No energy balance at any time,the surface is either cooling or heating, due to the rotating Earth.

        3. Clouds, aerosols, suspended particulate matter of all sorts interfere with energy transmission in both directions. This may reduce the rate of heating during the day, and the rate of cooling during the night. No energy balance at any time.

        These are both excellent points, Mike. Good to see some serious science here on CE.

        4. There is no known method of measuring total energy absorbed by the Earth – TOA, surface or anything else

        Again, bring that up with David Springer, not me. He seems to think the 0.5 C figure is real.

        6. You say that heat diffuses downward into the ocean. Unfortunately, water is a liquid. Water when heated, becomes less dense. It “floats” to the top, so to speak. It is replaced by denser water, which, if of the same composition, is colder.

        Starting with a pitcher of cold water, if you heat the top half and then leave it for a few days, will the top half remain hot and bottom cold? Check one box, then explain.

        [ ] Yes

        [ ] No.

        7. Heat does not “leak” down into the thermocline … The laws of thermodynamics still operate, regardless of Warmist wishes.

        If you say so.

        But in that case, assuming David Springer is right about 0.5 °C/m2 for TOA imbalance, then 0% leakage from the mixed layer into the deep ocean implies a 10 °C rise after 100 years.

        If you think he’s wrong bring it up with him, not me.

        8. You also refer to the stillness of the ocean below 50 m., on average. Oceanographers will no doubt be surprised that you have singlehandedly banished the complicated multi layered ocean currents with a few taps of your keyboard!

        On the contrary, I referred to “a small amount due to the slow Meridional Overturning Current”. If you have any specific research showing that the “complicated multi layered ocean currents” below 50m are large relative to the currents responsible for mixing the mixed layer, I would be very interested in seeing it.

        You might call me a fool.

        Others can judge you if they wish. I don’t see the point.

      • David Springer

        First of all Vaughn it’s 0.5W/m2 not 0.5C/m2. That’s enough to warm the entire ocean basin by 0.2C in 100 years. That’s the equilibrium response and is inevitable. Nothing stops vertical conductive heat transport. What you are struggling to write in a concise manner is called the transient response.

        How long it takes energy entering at the surface to be evenly distributed is the $64,000 question. ARGO is able to determine that down to 2000 meters which represents half the volume of the global ocean. It’s happening faster than anyone had anticipated hence the hiatus. This article discusses a model-theoretic means to explain the unexpected rapidity of vertical heat transport in the global ocean.

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2015GL064156/full

        Changes in ocean vertical heat transport with global warming

        Jan D. Zika, Frédéric Laliberté, Lawrence R. Mudryk, Willem P. Sijp,
        A. J. George Nurser

        Heat transport between the surface and deep-ocean strongly influences transient climate change. Mechanisms setting this transport are investigated using coupled climate models and by projecting ocean circulation into the temperature-depth diagram. In this diagram, a ‘cold cell’ cools the deep ocean through the downwelling of Antarctic waters and upwelling of warmer waters and is balanced by warming due to a ‘warm cell’, coincident with the inter-hemispheric overturning and previously linked to wind and haline forcing. With anthropogenic warming, the cold cell collapses while the warm cell continues to warm the deep ocean. Simulations with increasingly strong warm cells, set by their mean Southern Hemisphere winds, exhibit increasing deep-ocean warming in response to the same anthropogenic forcing. It is argued that the partition between components of the circulation which cool and warm the deep ocean in the pre-industrial climate is a key determinant of ocean vertical heat transport with global warming.

        Maybe you can do some experimental testing of this with repurposed cardboard, Scotch tape, and Saran Wrap from your failed attempt to reproduce the R.W. Wood experiment.

        Just as a helpful hint should you want to try again on the Wood experiment… R.W. Wood used totally black interior on his cardboard boxes, filtered the sunlight for both boxes with a pane of glass to exclude solar longwave, then a primary covering pane of glass for one box and rock salt for the other. He placed both boxes in cotton packing with only the windows exposed.

        You on the other hand used Saran wrap not glass or rock salt, did not filter incoming solar, did not pack in cotton, and did not use a black cardboard. How one might expect to duplicate Wood’s experiment with such marked departures is beyond belief. Predictably it failed miserably. What were you thinking?

      • @DS: How one might expect to duplicate Wood’s experiment with such marked departures is beyond belief. Predictably it failed miserably.

        Your prodigious powers of prediction are peerless, David. The best I can do to try to match them is to predict that you will continue for the foreseeable future to misrepresent anything that disagrees with you in the expectation that no one will complain.

        Which typically works because (a) CE denizens have grown accustomed to your style and see no point in harping on it (except maybe Don Monfort who sees the occasional need to point it out), and (b) the oxen you like to gore (no relation) typically don’t hang around CE.

        But since you’re you, and since it’s my ox you’re goring (again no relation), I can’t resist pointing to the little 2×3 table of temperatures at the foot of the web page you’re referring to,

        http://clim.stanford.edu/WoodExpt/

        Once you’re wrapped your prodigiously powerful processor around that teeny tiny table, you might (or might not) realize that the entire basis of Wood’s little experiment was his assumption that there is a such a thing as “the temperature inside the box”.

        It should be obvious from that table that this about as accurate as the assumption that all the world is on the same page about AGW. Wood’s unexpected initial result that the salt-windowed box got hotter than the glass one is easily explained by an inadvertent placement of the thermometer lower in the former than in the latter. And his attempt at fixing it by placing a glass window over the experiment instead of diagnosing the problem is essentially equivalent to replacing the salt window with a glass one, thereby completely nullifying any difference.

        Your failure to realize that my experiment completely discredits Wood’s is not entirely your fault: I should long ago have rewritten that page to make all this much clearer than I did back in 2010. I did list the take-away points at the bottom, but perhaps I should reword them with your needs in mind.

        Some time later I added a note at the foot of that page to the effect that “I plan to find time to rebuild this setup, hopefully in the next few months if possible since people have been bugging me about this lately.”

        Evidently I didn’t find time, but not entirely for reasons of busy-ness.

        Some time later I was rereading Craig Bohren’s whimsically titled “Clouds in a Glass of Beer”, which I’d bought on Amazon a while earlier for $1.77 plus shipping and handling of $3.99, and ran across the section that you can find for an even smaller outlay by googling for a couple of words from that title along with the words, delicate shade of purple. I had the sudden epiphany that this question of whether the glass in greenhouses traps infrared had been beaten to death in several papers and letters written in the 1970s. I concluded that it was perhaps better to let sleeping dogs lie, along with DS.

        But if one or two of them are going to keep waking up periodically to bark frenziedly, perhaps it would make sense to write a short note that goes into more detail about my little experiment of 2010 and what it implies about the meaning of Wood’s experiment.

        Given that the subject had for all practical purposes died decades ago, such a note would seem just as publishable as a CE post as it would be unpublishable in a peer-reviewed journal like Philosophical Magazine, which published two articles by Wood in 1909 along with two reviews in the same year each pointing out a fatal error in each, but whose threshold of publishability has surely risen over the intervening century. As an indication of that threshold back then, neither article nor their reviews were heard of again until the 1980s, and only one of them at that, namely when attention to CO2 began increasing.

        And given that Phil. Mag., unlike CE, has been bought by Francis and Taylor and hidden behind their paywall in order to keep us cheapskates in a state of ignorance, perhaps CE would be the more effective venue.

        Would this make sense, Judy?

      • Hi Vaughan, go for it, I’m game.

      • > it would be unpublishable in a peer-reviewed journal like Philosophical Magazine […]

        It might be in something like Synthese, if you could write something like a philosophical conclusion:

        http://link.springer.com/journal/11229

        However, I don’t think lichurchur is worth the effort anymore.

        I might be biased.

      • Willard, Synthese divides its interests into the following four categories.

        * Epistemology, methodology, and philosophy of science.

        * Foundations of logic and mathematics (broadly understood).

        * Formal methods in philosophy, including methods connecting philosophy to other academic fields.

        * Ethics and the history and sociology of logic, mathematics, and science.

        There is no planet in any galaxy within a billion light years of ours that would recognize the central problem with Wood’s experiment as being remotely related to any of these areas of interest to Synthese readers.

        Woods’ central problem was his assumption that each of his two boxes had the same temperature throughout. This is an incredibly elementary mistake having no conceivable interest to philosophers.

        It was like assuming with no evidence whatsoever that Americans have one religion and Europeans another. Or that fermions are heavy and bosons are light. Or that some goats are homosexual but sheep never are.

        Evidence however strong for any of these would never pass Synthese review, because they would not be of the slightest interest to the typical Synthese reader.

        Likewise for the evidence supporting Wood’s thesis.

        Wood’s paper is so devoid of experimental detail, numerical precision, logic, paragraphs, or references that I’m embarrassed to have to find it necessary to point this out. Even epicycles, phlogiston theory, the miasma theory of disease, vitalism, the hollow Earth theory, Skinner’s behaviorism, etc. had far more written about them, and far more to recommend them, in their respective heydays.

      • @DS: [0.5W/m2] is enough to warm the entire ocean basin by 0.2C in 100 years.

        Typical Springer. If you told him you’d replaced your old Ford with a new Mercedes he’d ask why are you continuing to drive that old Ford.

        Likewise if you point out to him that much of the heat that goes into the mixed layer can’t reach the deep ocean on account of the main thermocline he seems not to hear it.

        Whether it’s a genuine comprehension problem due to advancing years or TWD (Typing While Drinking), or he’s just pretending, isn’t clear to me. What do you think, Don M.?

      • > There is no planet in any galaxy within a billion light years of ours that would recognize the central problem with Wood’s experiment as being remotely related to any of these areas of interest to Synthese readers.

        The experiment, perhaps it’s a bit too crude. The impact of Wood’s experiment in the literature and on the Internet? You bet it would interest Synthese! There’s even epistemological and methodological points that would be worth being published. It wouldn’t be more trivial than any of the articles in that special issue Is Science Inconsistent?:

        http://link.springer.com/journal/11229/191/13/page/1

        Enough of argument against my own interest for now. Submit here. It’s more expeditive, serious enough, and easier to read.

  55. VP – Everyone knowledgeable Is aware that CO2 absorbs 15 micron radiation out of the full spectrum (mostly 5-100 micron) terrestrial radiation. Useful research would be to discover why CO2 has no effect on average global temperature as all historical data demonstrate. It is easy to show that, if you understand the relation between math and the physical world. A brief discussion is in the paper at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com.

    A probable contributor is the equal number of added TOA emitters. Quantum mechanics and thermalization may also figure in but I am not competent in those fields.

    I have been unable to find anything credible on the average elapsed time between a CO2 molecule absorbing a photon and then emitting one.

    • DP: Useful research would be to discover why CO2 has no effect on average global temperature

      Since David Springer is closer to you ideologically than I am, you should find it easier to persuade him of this than me. Report back if you succeed.

    • @DP: I have been unable to find anything credible on the average elapsed time between a CO2 molecule absorbing a photon and then emitting one.

      Global warming takes place over a period of decades. It cannot be observed by looking at the global temperature record for a year, or even five years.

      Hence whether CO2 emits a photon one nanosecond or one month after absorbing a photon is immaterial.

      It could make a difference in terms of how much heat is stored in atmospheric CO2 were the heat capacity of atmospheric CO2 significant. However it’s more than three orders of magnitude less that of the atmosphere, and more than six orders of magnitude less than that of the ocean. So the length of time heat is stored in CO2 molecules makes no appreciable difference to anything.

      If you have some reason for suspecting that such a delay makes a difference of some kind, it would be interesting to understanding why.

      • David Springer

        The delay may be very important. The ostensible mechanism for CO2 warming is that it absorbs upwelling LWIR and emits LWIR in all directions where approximately half is downwelling LWIR. If the time from absorption to emission is short enough instead of warming the surface through re-emission it instead thermalizes surrounding molecules through collisions. Because the kinetically heated molecules are largely N2, which is a very poor emitter, the energy instead goes into thermal updrafts which don’t have any surface warming effect.

      • David Springer

        The delay may be very important. The ostensible mechanism for CO2 warming is that it absorbs upwelling LWIR and re-emits LWIR in all directions where approximately half is downwelling LWIR. If the time from absorption to emission is short long enough instead of warming the surface through re-emission it instead thermalizes surrounding molecules through collisions. Because the kinetically heated molecules are largely N2, which is a very poor emitter, the energy instead goes into thermal updrafts which don’t have any surface warming effect.

      • AFAIK the time to “re-emission” is very long compared to the time to the next collision. And the higher-energy vibrational state is well able to transfer its energy to the molecule collided with. And vice versa.

        That’s not how it works. Absorption of IR goes to heat the general atmosphere (in the vicinity of the absorbing CO2 molecule). And the heat of that general atmosphere tends to keep the CO2 molecule in a higher-energy vibrational state part of the time, which occasionally decays through IR radiation.

        Thus, under atmospheric conditions, absorption of IR by CO2 depends on partial pressure only, not temperature. While emission of IR by CO2 depends on both partial pressure (number of molecules present) and temperature. Higher temperatures tend to keep the CO2 molecules in higher-energy vibrational states a larger fraction of the time, so they tend to emit more IR/molecule.

      • VP – Residence time has to do with thermalization. Time between molecule contacts (which accounts for thermal conduction in gases as well as other properties and pressure) is about 0.0001 microsecond at sea level. There are differing assessments of what happens if contact occurs during residence time as it undoubtedly must at least part of the time.

        IMO the lapse rate mandates that thermalization and reverse-thermalization must exist.

      • DP: Residence time has to do with thermalization,

        Very interesting suggestion. Forgive me if I ask the standard questions. When did you come up with it, who have you run it by, and who’s bought it?

      • DP: Time between molecule contacts (which accounts for thermal conduction in gases as well as other properties and pressure) is about 0.0001 microsecond at sea level

        I calculated 0.0007 microseconds (70 picoseconds) based on RMS velocity and mean free path of air molecules at STP, but I could well be off by a bit.

      • I calculated 0.0007 microseconds (70 picoseconds)

        Sorry, can’t count zeros. 70 ps is what I meant and that’s 0.00007 microseconds, close enough to your figure of 0.0001 us = 100 ps.

    • @DP: It is easy to show that [CO2 has no effect on average global temperature], if you understand the relation between math and the physical world. A brief discussion is in the paper at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com.

      I read your (not-so-brief) discussion. Of the parts that were concise enough to follow, some were correct and some supported your thesis that CO2 has no effect on average global temperature. I felt that the discussion would benefit from a part supporting your thesis that was both concise and correct.

      • Sorry about that. Most (about 92%) of that not-so-brief paper is identifying the two factors that do cause climate change (97% match with measured average global temperatures). The brief proof that CO2 has no effect on climate is a section headed “Proof that CO2 has no significant effect on AGT” and is slightly more than a page (about 8% of the paper).

  56. VP: I don’t remember when I first encountered the concept. I discuss it in http://consensusmistakes.blogspot.com and much earlier (2010) at http://climaterealists.com/attachments/ftp/Mistakes%20made%20by%20the%20Consensus.pdf. The idea is if a photon is absorbed by a molecule and then the molecule loses energy by bumping in to another molecule before it has time to emit a photon, its energy might drop to where the probability of emitting a photon is low, maybe zero, and the energy of the photon has been thermalized.

    I haven’t found much on the web. Some of what I have seen looks wrong to me and I have found nothing that I would hang my hat on or that disagrees (credibly) with my assessment. IMO there might even be quantum mechanical weirdness involved. You are the first to comment to me about thermalization.

    I used the calculator at http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/kinetic/frecol.html with typical sea level conditions to get the time between collisions and probably rounded the number.

    • Taking P = 100 kPa, T = 0 °C, d = 0.3 nm, and M = 28.97 amu, the calculator you used returns a mean time between collisions of 211 ps. My recollection of 70 ps was from a calculation I did years ago by hand without benefit of any formula. I guess I must have taken d = 0.5 nm for the typical diameter of an air molecule, for which the calculator gives 76 ps. Using d = 0.3 nm makes quite a difference, and with d = 0.2 it jumps to 475 ps.

      Without more precision for d perhaps it’s best just to say the mean time between collisions is “less than a nanosecond”.

    • @DP: IMO there might even be quantum mechanical weirdness involved.

      No “might” about it:: the spectral lines of greenhouse gases are intrinsically quantum mechanical.

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