A key admission regarding climate memes

by Andy West

Lewandowsky and Oreskes raise the prospect that via the agency of memes, the climate Consensus with its high certainty of danger, could be a socially generated artifact and not a scientific fact.

Introduction

At the beginning of May, psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky brought out a new paper continuing his theme of highly eccentric challenges to climate skeptics and skeptical positions. Previous works include ‘Moon hoax’ and the (later withdrawn) ‘Recursive Fury’, dismantled here, here, and here. Naomi Oreskes is one of the co-authors of the new paper (L2015), which focuses upon the social psychology surrounding the concept of ‘The Pause’ in Global Warming. L2015 claims that a ‘seepage’ of contrarian / skeptical / denialist ‘pause’ memes into the scientific process has introduced unwarranted uncertainty, and even that the physical phenomena of the pause does not actually exist.

However despite being highly implausible, L2015 contains a profound admission which is critical to the climate debate. This post explores that admission and also the interesting role of ‘pause’ memes.

The admission

While L2015 is yet another strenuous attempt to attack skepticism by any means to hand, it reveals some knowledge of a key process via which the climate Consensus arose in the first place. Namely, narrative competition. In L2015 Lewandowsky rather surprisingly admits both that this process is in play, and that it can trump science.

As some commenters (e.g. hidethedecline) have pointed out, terms like ‘the pause’ and ‘the hiatus’ are changing the climate conversation, are impacting the perceptions of Consensus scientists. Lewandowsky is right in this regard; he understands enough about narrative competition to recognize this issue and is attempting to fight back in kind. Hence he is seeking to stigmatize ‘pause’ memes, in order to halt or to significantly reduce their advance against orthodox anthropogenic global warming memes.

Yet whether they realize it or not, in opening this front Lewandowsky and Oreskes and their co-authors are taking a huge gamble. L2015 essentially states that the entire mainstream climate science community has been significantly impacted by [arbitrary] memes. And not only that, they have a great case; over the last couple of years ‘pause’ memes have indeed spread through the Consensus and caused many adherents to make an accommodation of some kind. Hence L2015 exposes the fact that climate science is not by any means a purely factual domain, that social factors as expressed by popular memes can change the perceptions of climate scientists, and so can alter the very nature of the consensus they contribute to. In turn this places front and centre the possibility that the original, ‘unsullied’ consensus on CAGW might also be a product of memetic influence, and is not after all an objective and unquestionable truth.

Of course Lewandowsky and Oreskes would argue that CAGW memes conform to reality and ‘pause’ memes do not. But do either fully conform to reality anyhow? And if not, what determines their relative success? I.e. the replication and spread rates of each of the competing memes? (and hence the narrative frameworks in which they are grouped).

A brief look at the admitted process

Generically speaking, arbitrary memes prosper most in scenarios of (genuinely) high uncertainty and high urgency. These conditions stress our thought patterns and so allow memetic word-tricks to much more easily hit their target, which is our psychological ‘hot-buttons’. These are triggers for emotive or other short-cut mental processes that bypass or modify our reason. Hitting the hot-buttons enables replication; if folks feel strongly enough, they will tend to pass on the meme. The overall process is complicated by the fact that once emotive memes get a decent spread across a population (or at least across some key domains, for example climate science and environmentalism), and especially if a bunch are coevolving within an overall narrative structure, they can alter an entire society’s perception of urgency and uncertainty, hence creating conditions that better suit their further penetration.

This simple process is the key factor in the growth of the huge social phenomena of CAGW, which wields a raft of potent emotive memes. Many of these invoke worry or fear and other negative emotions, plus an amplified sense of urgency and certainty. Some invoke positive emotions within people who are already worldview aligned; for instance via hope of a new global order conforming to those worldviews.

It is the strong emotive content which enables high replication and a wide spread. These co-evolving memes are the root cause of huge bias, even within the supposedly objective (climate) scientific community. As Lewandowsky himself says in the executive summary of L2015: “Nonetheless, being human, scientists’ operate with the same cognitive apparatus and limitations as every other person”. Absolutely. The resulting huge emotional bias in the climate Consensus is examined here at Climate Etc. A positive amplification also occurs if memes are repeated more often and from more authoritative sources, which has indeed occurred with CAGW over the years; success breeds more success.

This success of emotive CAGW memes is not primarily dependent on any truth or lack thereof they contain; it is dependent on their ability to hit our hot buttons. As Lewandowsky acknowledges when talking about the spread of emotive misinformation in this paper, emotional response is rewarded more than veracity: “But we have also noted that the likelihood that people will pass on information is based strongly on the likelihood of its eliciting an emotional response in the recipient, rather than its truth value (e.g., K. Peters et al., 2009)”. Plus with thousands of meme variants circulating around millions of people, and undergoing change as they do so, the most successful memes will tend to outcompete lesser forms and so become dominant.

So apparently against a flood of emotive CAGW memes, why have ‘pause’ memes done relatively well? Especially when they do not seem to be particularly emotive themselves. While they have not caused the CAGW social juggernaut to screech to a standstill, they do appear to have caused modest braking and they do appear frequently in the debate.

Pause memes in particular: L2015 fail

Well firstly, let’s look at the reasons that Lewandowsky and Oreskes cite. They emphasizes three bias mechanisms ‘that may facilitate the seepage of contrarian memes into scientific discourse’, which are 1) ‘stereotype threat’, 2) ‘pluralistic ignorance’ and 3) the ‘third-person effect’. While these are all genuine bias mechanisms, they aren’t relevant to the success of ‘pause’ memes or ‘contrarian’ memes in general.

Regarding 1), the executive summary of L2015 says: “Thus, when scientists are stereotyped as ‘alarmists’, a predicted response would be for them to try to avoid seeming alarmist by downplaying the degree of threat.” This will occur, but to a very modest degree. Alarmism is common among Consensus adherents in general, and some climate scientists. Many others turn a blind eye; few openly oppose it. While alarmism may not quite be a badge of honor, there appears to be very little stigma against it, and often some reward (e.g. publication).

Regarding 2), ‘pluralistic ignorance’ can occur when a minority opinion gets a disproportionate public prominence, resulting in a majority of people assuming that their own view must be more marginal than it actually is. But even since ‘the pause’ achieved some level of public consciousness, it is hard to see how the still very modest voice of the skeptics could drive this effect; you’d need a constant and very effective global media presence for the effect to be significant. Prior to pause-acknowledgement, the skeptic voice was much smaller still; and one can’t argue that the effect bootstrapped itself. Wrt IPCC technical papers as a marker, it is unsupported alarm not lack of concern that is overstated in the public domain. L2015’s referenced Vision Prize study likely reveals potent emotional bias as expressed by scientists here, here and here, which even the limited reality of IPCC process cannot underwrite.

Regarding 3), the ‘third person effect’ occurs because people tend to be more affected by persuasive messages than they think. They falsely assume others are affected, but not themselves. However, the effect can only be powerful across a wide swath of society if both the repetitiveness and reach of the persuasive messaging are high. Similarly to the case for 2), this is not generally the case for skeptic memes even now (in scientific literature or the public domain), and certainly not for ‘pause’ memes originally; again the effect cannot start itself up from cold.

Effects 2) and 3) are essentially features of an established culture. They can achieve widespread influence on the back of other major bias effects or platforms (such as state propaganda). Notwithstanding tribalism in the US giving some voice to skeptic memes, these routes are far more likely for the dominant CAGW memes, even more so globally.

So why have ‘pause’ memes achieved relative success?

Pause memes in particular: informational or emotional

One would like to think that this is because pause memes better reflect reality, that their success indicates some resurgence of the scientific method; some ‘waking up’ from emotional influence and a return to greater objectivity plus reliance upon observations. Memes don’t spread exclusively because of emotion; for instance where the scientific method and associated results reporting are not subverted, they can even spread because they usefully reflect reality. Or at least more usefully than before. In this case the memes would not be arbitrary.

Yet hang on, we need to step back a bit. I don’t really trust what I would like to think. Social effects are best looked at with the ‘robot from Mars view’, i.e. with as much objectivity as we can muster…

So, given the many uncertainties in climate science, to start with at least we shouldn’t assume that there is any more reality within pause memes than in any of the others flying around. For instance, if there never was a strong AGW effect in the first place (much lower than natural variability, say) then to declare that GST observations are explained by AGW ‘pausing’, would not be a reflection of reality. Likewise, and notwithstanding the shifting emphasis of what apparently demonstrates warming, if AGW is continuing unabated as Lewandowsky and other Consensus folks assert, then again pause memes would not reflect reality. In both these hypothetical cases and maybe others, the success of pause memes would be just as independent of veracity as is the case for emotive CAGW memes. So with an eye on the fact that no-one can actually ascertain the truth right now, we should ask: why else might they spread? And one potential reason is emotive, very strong, and so may indeed trump whatever reflection of reality that pause memes happen to contain.

Whether or not ‘warming continues unabated’, the once primary icon of the Consensus, a ‘constantly rising GST’ has been contradicted. This creates something of a crisis for dedicated CAGW adherents, because via the penetration of potent memes into the psyche their position is largely underpinned by emotion, whatever reasoning is layered above. And even while new icons are being sought or promoted from a lesser status, adherents will attempt to minimize a negative emotional reaction to this serious demotion of the once revered ‘rising GST’ icon. A superb strategy for doing so (though typically enacted subconsciously) is to adopt the notion of ‘a pause’. While this does accommodate recent GST observations, it does not acknowledge any fundamental flaw in the core narrative (‘a pause’ concedes only some inconsequential minor delay), and also avoids the unthinkable consequence of being cast out of the community for heresy, risking only some criticism by the extreme enforcer fringe as represented by Lewandowsky and Oreskes in L2015. So despite what I’d like to think, this scenario seems much more plausible.

Hence the success of pause memes within the Consensus probably does owe more to emotive issues than to a voluntary return of more objective climate science, e.g. based on acknowledging the model / GST gap. They are being assimilated primarily as defensive memes, to avoid bad feelings and ostracism, and also to protect the core CAGW narrative from much worse damage. While their spread is certainly not unrelated to informational content, it is these powerful, emotive motivators that underwrite success against other candidates, such as the much more frank ‘we don’t know’ memes (unthinkable after the prior story of high certainty), or ‘model fail’ memes (also bad feelings plus highly damaging) or ‘AGW continues unabated’ memes (very risky, yet next best candidate) or ‘AGW has stopped / is not significant’ memes (worse than unthinkable, memeplex death), or others. This effect can also cold start; the resisted divergence of data and expectation for some years prior, effectively primed the community. So in a very real sense ‘pause’ memes are indeed arbitrary, just not in the way that Lewandowsky thinks they are.

Further cultural resistance appears to be the main reaction of CAGW adherents to the brute force of a sluggish GST. Adherents are not bailing out of orthodoxy or acknowledging any serious flaws within the Consensus narrative; for instance that the science has not yet got a good grip on the wicked problem of understanding Earth’s climate system. CAGW cultural orthodoxy is adapting to the new circumstances, via selection assimilating the concept of ‘a pause’, which preserves core narrative with minimal change. The concept is highly selective because in terms of risk and emotive comfort, it’s the least worst option. Orthodox adherents can message that the science still holds; ‘the pause’ must perforce return to warming.

More on what Lewandowsky doesn’t say

Unsurprisingly, Lewandowsky never mentions that memes work for the Consensus too. Nevertheless, he is still walking a dangerous path in highlighting bias mechanisms and the influence of memes. For instance what could be a more striking example of ‘stereotype threat’ than the effect of the highly emotive ‘denier’ meme? To see this we just mirror-image three words (retained as strikethrough) in the above quote from the executive summary of L2015: “Thus, when scientists are stereotyped as ‘alarmists’ ‘deniers’, a predicted response would be for them to try to avoid seeming alarmist anti-science by downplaying the degree of threat uncertainty.” Even the milder stereotyping as an advocate for inaction, works strongly for the Consensus.

Lewandowsky has a series of papers (with associated authors) that warn of powerful bias effects. These include the ‘third party effect’, plus others he does not evoke in L2015 yet most certainly apply in the overall CAGW narrative competition. My series at Watts Up With That here, here and here demonstrates using these papers, plus support from other solidly Consensus sources and quotes (hence entirely without skeptic sympathies), that the climate Consensus itself is pretty much soaked in bias due to these potent effects. Arbitrary CAGW memes overwhelmingly dominate the narrative competition.

The ‘next best candidate’

The NOAA/NCDC Karl et al paper, discussed here at Climate Etc, presents GST analysis that challenges the very notion of ‘a pause’. Both the promotion and objection to Karl et al are dominated by ‘pause obsession’. It appears that the narrative struggle matters much more than the minor trend difference that may or may not truly exist in reality, yet is just enough to cross a line. Whether they know it or not, NOAA / NCDC are engaged in the same battle against ‘pause’ memes as Lewandowsky, and both are backing the ‘warming continues unabated’ candidate to win. As noted above this candidate is risky. In Karl et al significant risk appears because the consequence of demonstrating some upward trend within the hiatus period, is as Mosher points out, a lowering of the overall warming trend, which undermines that other core icon, catastrophe.

Conclusion

Lewandowsky and Oreskes raise the prospect that via the agency of memes, the climate Consensus with its high certainty of danger, could be a socially generated artifact and not a scientific fact. They still have significant influence within orthodox climate circles. Hence this possibility has been placed as a seed concept within many otherwise inaccessible minds, a feat skeptics could never have achieved. This bodes well for the future; the seed may grow into realization that the certainty of CAGW is a social artifact.

Meanwhile notwithstanding a second candidate, ‘warming continues unabated’, and hence tension within the Consensus, ‘pause’ memes prevent fatal damage to the CAGW narrative. They enable a proclamation of ‘nothing has really changed’, which also minimizes the emotional threat for mainstream adherents.

Andy West www.wearenarrative.wordpress.com

JC note:  As with all guest posts, please keep your comments relevant and civil.

421 responses to “A key admission regarding climate memes

  1. Several quick thoughts:

    First, a simplistic reading of Kuhn would suggest that paradigm competition doesn’t actually fall within the bounds of “Science”. Thus, for people with this idea of Kuhn, the “contest of memes” is a valid way to approach paradigm competition.

    But so is the demonization of their enemies, using the double standard you’re pointing out here.

    Another thought: during the longest course of human evolution, memetic interactions would always have involved personal contact. Thus, body language and pheromones would have played a great part in conversion/meme transfer.

    I have a theory that one reason St. Paul was so effective at communicating his ideas was that he totally believed the message he was trying to communicate. Such belief would be most effective during interpersonal contact. While scientific papers are the antithesis of personal contact, I suppose quite a bit of it goes on at conferences, etc.

    • David Wojick

      That simplistic reading of Kun would be incorrect. Paradigm competition is the central feature of scientific revolutions, hence how scientific progress is made. In the climate case the hiatus may be the anomaly that finally unseats the paradigm of dangerous human induced climate change. No psycho-sociological accounts are needed. This is just how science works.

      • Steven Mosher

        The scientific method is insufficient to explain revolutions.

      • David Wojick

        No, Steven, your theory of the scientific method (which I suspect is about 400 years old) is simply insufficient to explain scientific revolutions. We are still discovering how the scientific method works, along with many other important aspects of human reasoning. This is the big lesson from the artificial intelligence community — we do not understand intelligence, but we are making progress.

        Including animal intelligence, so see my http://horsecognition.blogspot.com/, this month featuring the amazing cow circle. If we do not understand how cows do what they do then why should we assume we understand it in scientists? Are scientists simpler than cows?

        As with the cow circle, science is a highly organized social system. Its methods are therefore largely social. But we are talking about group reasoning, not psycho-sociological constructs, just reasoning.

      • That simplistic reading of Kun would be incorrect.

        That’s why I called it “simplistic

        Paradigm competition is the central feature of scientific revolutions, hence how scientific progress is made.

        Have you studied the actual practice of resistance to “Continental Drift”? Not Naomi Oreskes’ pseudo-historical revisionism, but the actual publications against it during the early stages?

        I could add a few others, but you’d probably not be interested. Point is, when the failing, obsolete paradigm is being defended, most of that defense looks more like the sort of behavior being described here than real science.

        In the climate case the hiatus may be the anomaly that finally unseats the paradigm of dangerous human induced climate change.

        A big difference with “global warming”, IMO, is that the “paradigm” was actually constructed using these techniques, rather than real science. The actual Scientific new paradigm for climate analysis is based on complexity theory and non-linear dynamics.

        Such as the efforts to identify important factors encompassed in the “Stadium Wave” theory.

      • Steven Mosher

        david

        “No, Steven, your theory of the scientific method (which I suspect is about 400 years old) is simply insufficient to explain scientific revolutions.”

        Wrong.

        read what I wrote. And then see how you actually supported my argument with what you said.

        Let me say one more time with a twist. The scientific method is necessary but not sufficient to explain revolutions.

    • @Steven Mosher I appreciate your presence on this blog. Unlike some other warmists your rebuttals are to the point and avoid cliches.

      Your own blog, Creative Licence, is a bit too technical for the average reader and is all about implementing the R package. When you appear here, it is our only chance to discover what you really think about climate issues.

      Perhaps you should consider starting another blog in a similar format to Dr. Curry’s where you discuss climate topics in a way more accessible to the layman. Here, even though you perform the vital function of keeping the debate honest, we only see you in your worst light as a somewhat abrasive critic of other people’s ideas. You’re not giving yourself a fair shake.

      I myself majored in humanities (law and English) and I do not find that a disadvantage in following the climate wars. A deep understanding of semantics and the ability to distinguish between reality-based and word-based arguments is vital when dissecting the kernel of any proposition.

      • Steven Mosher

        Ah thanks I think.

        We are staring a blog at Berkeley. Thinking about 1/2 technical and the other half educational.

        if I were commenting at our blog i would have banned me a long time ago.

        so I am think of rules for the blog comments that will outlaw my most outlandish behavior.

        I consider most blogging and comments on blog to be theatre…doing something non theatrical is tough.

      • Re Berkeley blog, be interesting to see if you outsource development of the site or do it in-house. It tends to indicate if the site is meant for you guys or your audience- see realclimate.org. It’s eff usability let them read our posts vs let’s figure out how we can best interact with our visitors. This is all premised that you don’t have the bandwidth (heh) to give it the attention it needs.

        Not always this clean cut obviously but often times true.

    • Who can doubt that in the long run , all temperature is text.

      • Russell

        You undoubtedly have a sense of humour but rarely seem to respond to people querying your message. Did you get round to listing all these ‘thriving Scottish vineyards’ you cited a few days ago, that I requested?

        tonyb

  2. Pingback: A key admission regarding climate memes | We Are Narrative

  3. I discussed the double-edged sword of Lewandowsky & Oreskes deployment of memes on my blog at http://www.climate-resistance.org/2015/05/identifying-lukewarmism.html

    “Once we start to see debates in terms of competing memes, we reduce all notions of truth to merely a dominant ‘meme’. Which is to say ‘truth’ might be nothing more than a meme — an arbitrary judgement which merely reflects dominant beliefs, not necessary truth. If that still sounds too theoretical, consider that it is precisely what Lewandowsky, Oreskes et al have done. They have said that the entire scientific community — individual scientists, scientific institutions, and the IPCC — were vulnerable to the ‘meme’, whereas only the historian of science and the psychologist were immune to its propagation through the very community that both Oreskes and Lewandowsky claim has produced a robust, unimpeachable consensus. Indeed, science itself — as a process — is no longer the best test of theories about the material world. And science — as an institution — is no longer an authority on any matter. All because us crafty deniers, by careful deployment of a simple word — “hiatus” — were able to undermine the consensus on climate change, and to hijack the entire global research enterprise.”

    But a more damaging last word on the theory of memes, comes in the form, not simply because of the bind it puts on L & O, but in the closing edition of the Journal of Memetics:

    “The fact is that the closer work has been to the core of memetics, the less successful it has been. The central core, the meme-gene analogy, has not been a wellspring of models and studies which have provided “explanatory leverage” upon observed phenomena. Rather, it has been a short-lived fad whose effect has been to obscure more than it has been to enlighten. I am afraid that memetics, as an identifiable discipline, will not be widely missed.”
    http://cfpm.org/jom-emit/2005/vol9/edmonds_b.html

    Ten years on, attempts to revive the meme… erm… meme invariably reveal the intellectual poverty that afflicts the climate debate.

    • Ben, see the full reply to your position in the mirror of this post at my blog. There are some extra Appendices bolted onto that version, and the one relating to your post from which the quote above, is Appendix 2.

      https://wearenarrative.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/a-key-admission-regarding-climate-memes/

      • andywest2012: https://wearenarrative.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/a-key-admission-regarding-climate-memes/

        https://wearenarrative.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/a-key-admission-regarding-climate-memes/7/

        Those were good extensions to your essay. Thank you for the links.

        There is not a short list of unambiguous qualities that reliably distinguishes science from other attempts at knowledge. Generally, scientists emphasize:

        1. accurately recorded observations in real time (not memory);
        2. skepticism and disputation of claims;
        3. conformity of theoretical conclusions with data and empirical relationships (“hypothetico-deductive” method and “falsificationsim”; “leaps of faith” not permitted indefinitely);
        4. induction and abduction (Peirce’s word) from numerous examples;
        5. measurements and counting of all attributes and items, with eventual definition interms of measurements;
        6. clear and complete concrete descriptions of how data were obtained, so the process can be independently replicated.

        there are maybe others, such as constant striving to express relationships in mathematics.

        Everyone knows that every particular scientist, like every person, has limits. Now you quote Lewandowsky as admitting that climate scientists who promote what we call “AGW” are susceptible to memes. Part of what allows memes to spread, when spread by people claiming to be scientists, is how well the formulation of the memes incorporated the principles of science. The success of the “pause” meme follows from the recent history, based on real-time data collection, conformity with recent data, surviving severe dispute, and so on. For people claiming to be scientists,unlike perhaps people claiming to be seers, they can not simply avoid rigorous comparisons of theory to evidence, however poorly we understand the relationship of knowledge and belief to data. Of the “pause” meme and the “denial of the pause” meme, the “pause” meme clearly scores higher than the “denial of the pause” meme. That accounts in part for its spread among scientists who initially denied it. Their explanations of the “pause”, supplements to their previous theories, are the best evidence that they think the “pause” is real, and they test those supplements with respect to better fits of models to extant data.

        Exactly what part is played in the social construction of knowledge by evidence, data, logical deduction, and induction, is hard to elucidate, but they can not simply be ignored.

      • Andy. I think there are easier ways of explaining what we observe, which do not require us to imagine things in terms of competition between metaphysical agents, and the concomitant denial of the agency of those engaged in the debate. If, as we both agree, one particular understanding of climate has become dominant (in part) because of the institutional apparatus and resources it has acquired, then this accumulation is the significant ‘substance’, not the ‘meme’. This accumulation can be measured far more easily than ’emotive content’. And on that point, an understanding of the ‘politics of fear’, which seems to be analogous here, requires more than simply identifying that some ideas about risk are wrong. For instance, what looks like an attempt to mobilise public opinion through fear might be merely self-justification — a closing of ranks against the public.

        Understanding these things requires a historical view, which memetics seems to rule out as arbitrary. It can’t explain why, for instance, risk has become a dominant political concept, except by merely suggesting that it was a more prolific ‘meme’ than the ideologies — and the conflict between them — which preceded it. This seems at best prosaic to me, and no more insightful than an understanding that ‘to err is human’, and that ideas are transmitted. At worse, it begs the question.

        I don’t think it is enough to say that the scientific method, ‘strictly adhered to’ is sufficient to transcend the influence of memes (if they exist). On the memetics view, subjective experience of the world is entirely constituted in memes, and may even be an illusion constructed by memes to serve their propagation. If the subject of experience is an illusion, then the objects of that experience can be no less an illusion, no matter how consistent the results of the science appear to us — they always appear *to us*, mediated by the meme, which serves itself. O&A would make the same argument as you — that only science ‘strictly adhered to’ has seen through the meme.

        Worse, I think dividing knowledge into ‘memes’ and ‘science’ risks exacerbating exactly the phenomenon you observe: the increased grounding of political power in scientific authority, to the exclusion of those outside of its institutional apparatus. Memes appear to be an attempt to escape postmodern malaise by precisely reproducing postmodernity: rather than being social scientists (mis)appropriating scientific terminology to explain the cultural sphere, its proponents seem to be scientists doing precisely the same thing. Lytoard’s ‘incredulity towards metanarratives’ just becomes ‘incredulity towards memeplexes’.

      • Ben Pile (@clim8resistance) | July 6, 2015 at 3:46 am

        Hi Ben. So I think your advice to abandon memetics as a useful tool, appears to be based on a raft of misunderstandings of what memetics implies. I detect the following (in no particular order): 1] Memes may not exist. 2] Memetics (seems to) rule out a historical view. 3] Memetics denies the agency of those engaged in a debate. 4] Via an invalid argument on subjective experience, 4a] Memetics would invalidate the scientific method.

        None of these make any sense. I’m not including the post-modern thing in the list as it seems very woolly, but I address this below too.

        1] Memes exist *by definition*. They are merely units of cultural information. They cannot *not* exist unless you are proposing that there is no such thing as cultural information in the first place. I presume you wouldn’t do that.

        2] Memetics is a sub-domain of the discipline of cultural evolution, which has roots going back 150 years, indeed even to Darwin. As its name implies, cultural evolution stresses the evolutionary trajectory of a culture over time, and the time can be as long as millennia, so crossing very many generations of humans. At any particular moment, the reaction of that culture to events will be determined not just by contemporary factors, but largely by the cultural ‘DNA’, which may include a large range of elements, e.g. for Christianity the bible and many other accumulated written works, passed down imitation and teaching, infra-structure, artifacts, etc etc. Hence cultural evolution very strongly emphasizes the historic, without which there is no cultural DNA! Cultural evolution spans a range of weakly Darwinian theories (which would hesitate on some of the implications of the term ‘cultural DNA’) to strongly Darwinian theories. Memetics is at the strong end, but by no means the only candidate there. In essence this strengthens still more its dependency on inherited culture, and therefore history. The situation is made more complex by the fact that (sticking with memetic terminology) memes from previous cultures are often rehashed in different forms in new ones, especially the simpler meme families. Some of these, like ‘we are special’, ‘our times are special’, ‘the past is always better’, and ‘imminent apocalypse’ are recurrent throughout history as welded into different memeplexes, and are millennia old at least, perhaps much older. The very long range historical perspective required by these factors, is a key feature of memetics. The fact that you appear not to know this suggests a very shallow knowledge of memetics indeed.

        3] This one is at least a very common misconception. Memetics in no way denies the agency of individuals in a debate. Said individuals have intelligence, which they deploy, and which is not impacted one iota by the theory of memetics. Said individuals will express themselves in terms of their long-term cultural context, and also the shorter term biases that they are subject to, in addition to any value neutral knowledge they posses (e.g. scientific, direct experience), albeit the latter potentially modified by their biases if there is interpretive room. This is the case without memetics, and would have been stated in similar terms before memetics even came along. It is also exactly the same with memetics, which tells us things about how culture and bias spread and can be maintained throughout society, and how the bias reaches folks in the first place, but does not have any implications of denying agency or altering from the above statement how that agency is expressed.

        So a break from the list and on to the postmodern thing. I’m not too familiar with post modernism. It seems so fluid I’m never quite sure what it means. But that might be my ignorance rather than a flaw in the concept. However, if we stick with your particular example regarding Lyotard I see no reason why incredulity ever need enter the conversation. If by meta-narratives you mean social narratives like religions (e.g based on actual written core narratives such as the bible) or creation myths and such, these are, generically speaking, social phenomena with similar and knowable characteristics that have emerged independently in various geographic locations, and continue to develop. Indeed there are secular social narratives in modern times too. One may choose to rail against them or indeed be incredulous, which may or may not be useful to one’s own social condition, but offers no insight whatsoever into the workings of society. Cultural evolution examines the common mechanisms via which these cultural entities arise and develop, and can to some extent identify typical trajectories and characteristics depending on local conditions. This lends insight. These entities are just as undertstandable (eventually) via the scientific method as any other phenomena, and the effort to do so goes back 150 years, albeit much more progress has been made on cultural evolution in the recent few decades. As noted above, memetics is just a subset of cultural evolution, at the stronger Darwinian end of a whole range of system frameworks within that domain, and its particular framework is a useful tool to see how the cultural entities, in memetic terminology memeplexes, actually work. Whether one uses this terminology or ‘meta-narratives’, any incredulity one might express does not seem to me to be relevant in any way. If Lyotard means (I have no idea whether this is so) that we ought to ditch these things and somehow be free of them, understanding how they work would be a great start. Not to mention that they confer huge advantages as well as disadvantages, which one wouldn’t want to lose. Indeed those advantages have been such that via gene-culture co-evolution, the prevalence of these entities is very deeply rooted within us. So ditching them is not likely an option for many generations even when deploying genetic engineering, and highly dangerous if you haven’t yet learned what it is you are trying to remove.

        In short, I think your introduction of post-modernism here is just a distraction that has no bearing (I don’t mean by this you deliberately meant to distract). And what scientific terminology do you think has been ‘misappropriated’ anyhow, and how is this misappropriation determined? This is just an arbitrary statement. I’m not aware of any such that is justified, although I am aware of further misunderstandings in this area. Though I’m not usually into asking for heavy evidence, given you make a fundamental and exceptional claim aimed at denigrating memetics (and really, by implication at cultural evolution more generally too), then I think presenting at least some evidence is reasonable.

        So back to the list. 4] & 4a]. Memetics makes no particular claim about subjective experience afaik. Your argument says that if everything is an illusion, then we can’t rely upon it: “the objects of that experience can be no less an illusion”. If your ‘objects’ include the output of science, then this would be true *however* our social systems and bias mechanisms and information transfers happened to work. It would make no difference to that situation if a mind receives its information via a weakly Darwinian cultural system in society or a strongly Darwinian system, or not a cultural Darwinian system at all by virtue of direct experience (e.g. a hand in the fire). Or any combination thereof. And likewise, if the output of science *can* be trusted, it will still be trustworthy however these systems happen to work. I think not only does science work and can be trusted, it will also (eventually) tell us how society works, and memetics is a very useful tool indeed along the way to that outcome.

        The way you appear to think about memes has I believe defined your false belief. You said: “On the memetics view, subjective experience of the world is entirely constituted in memes”. Yet your unspoken assumption here is that all the memes are arbitrary, the result *only* of competition. Not so. Memes are just information, and include for instance arbitrary memes which spread because of a hign emotive content that hits our psychological hot-buttons, and memes that are output from the scientific process and hence reflect reality. And indeed many with no high value at all, and some in-between the former two where we suspect the science has erred or is at least speculative, and so on. An individual’s views is composed of the profile of all these. It is the job of scientists to minimize their susceptibility to hot-button memes and maximize their support of memes that reflect reality. Not an easy job when you don’t always know which are which of course. From a social PoV the ones output from science are not very interesting, because their evolution is so constrained. The emotive ones are highly interesting, and the great thing about memetics is that it can tell you what social structures will result when these hot-button types go rampant within a particular social domain. And these very nicely this line up with most of what we see in CAGW. In this case, to a first approximation competition *is* the arbiter. And better still for us, the appearance of these structures will tell you that arbitrary memes *have* gone rampant, when as yet you may still not be sure whether to trust the apparent truths of that domain. Better even still more, you need no domain knowledge to see this, you just have to detect the social effects and structures.

        4a] Science has fought against myths and cultural / emotional bias for its whole existence. It does not always win, at least in the shorter term. To say that the scientific method strictly adhered to constrains the evolution of memes to (mostly) reflect reality, and yet also arbitrary emotive memes can subvert the ‘strictly’, is merely to restate that exact same struggle in terms of the social mechanisms in play. No more, no less. That the myths have turned out to have evolutionary characteristics, and that some forms of cultural / emotive information (which will cause bias) spread better than others, resulting in a natural selection process, does not invalidate the scientific method in any way whatsoever, and I don’t think you have presented any evidence that it might.

        If there are ‘easier’ system(s) for explaining the social phenomenon of CAGW and similar cultural movements on all timescales and all developmental stages, ways which do *not* rely upon any pre-existing political or philosophical positions, but only upon value-neutral social mechanisms, then a summary of such system(s) would be great. If these systems are what informed you regarding the comments on L2015, I think they have not served you well. As noted in my reply to your position referenced above, you appear to have rejected L2015 for entirely the wrong reasons. Memetics complements other systems, for instance the psychology of bias mechanisms, very well, helping to separate cause and effect within a feedback system, because it separately identifies the mechanisms of information transfer and growth within society, for information content that causes the bias.

        Though I’m more than happy to discuss the wider topic of memetics, I don’t think post-modernism or subjective experience for instance, bring anything to the party here at all. Perhaps we can focus on the practical example at hand, L2015 and the Pause memes (or at least the general characteristics of CAGW), which you have not so far made any mention of re my response (via appendix 2) to your original comment above.

      • Andy, ‘memes exist by definition’, only to the extent that malergles ‘exist by definition’. ‘Malergles’ are a word that I’ve just invented, which means ‘poorly formulated idea that travels’, synonymous with ‘memes’, in fact. There *are* ideas. And they *do* travel. Ergo, everything that I claim about malergles is true.

        Ghosts do not exist, but the idea of ghosts exists. Of course, to you the idea that ghosts do not exist makes no sense: you’ve seen a ghost. Which is fine. I believe that you believe that you saw a ghost. I just don’t believe that your experience is useful. You are utterly convinced that you have seen a ghost, and that this has profound consequences. I believe that you probably haven’t, and that the insight you claim is more likely due to the barrel of beer you drank. I won’t insult you by saying that your argument is ‘invalid’, that it is based on a ‘raft of misunderstandings’, or that your ideas seem ‘very woolly’. But that is precisely what I think of your own claims about ghosts, of course…

        To your headline points… 1. You agree that memes do no *exist* as such. Yes, I agree culture exists. And I believe that information exists. But I am not sure I agree that a ‘unit of cultural information’ exists as such, either analogous to a genotype or phenotype, or their mechanics, much beyond the prosaic, which is not captured by the word ‘idea’, and which, as discussed above and below, does not deny subjective agency.

        2. Social Darwinism has been tried in many forms, latterly as a quasi religion for the pathologically anti-religious. It has been put to use in the service of conflicting political ideologies and tyrannies. This should be a lesson about the hasty application of science to culture. There is no such thing as ‘cultural DNA’, except as a problematic metaphor. The point about the anti-historical perspective of memetics is not that one ignores all things in the past. The criticism is that memetics takes very little account of history as such — i.e. the development of culture — “It’s all memes, innit”. It’s as if we could say, ‘there are god memes, king and queen memes, good and evil memes, and the best ones won”. Not only is the claim ahistorical, it’s entirely unscientific, in fact. Take for example:

        “the reaction of culture to events will be determined not just by contemporary factors, but largely by the cultural ‘DNA’”

        How can you know this? How can you test for it? How do you isolate ‘cultural DNA’? How do you detect its expression in culture? How do you separate it from ‘contemporary factors’?

        Of course the past is prologue to any development. But this is, again, a prosaic insight, which memetics fails to … develop from. We don’t dwell on the fact that time organises events in what appears to be one continuous sequence on one direction. So why should we dwell on memes?

        3. “Memetics in no way denies the agency of individuals in a debate”. But you said it yourself: “the reaction of culture to events will be *determined* not just by contemporary factors, but largely by the cultural ‘DNA’”. Biological determinists who have pioneered memes like Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennet would take issue with you. If you want to argue that memetics is compatible with subjective agency, you should argue with them. Dawkins believed that rebelling against the meme is only possible with ‘science’. But he can no more demonstrate it than he can isolate a meme, to observe its mechanics and its expression. Here is Blackmore’s denial:

        “all human actions, whether conscious or not, come from complex interactions between memes, genes, and their products, in complicated environments. The self is not the initiator of actions, it does not ‘have’ consciousness, and it does not ‘do’ the deliberating. … our selves have been created out of the interplay of memes exploiting and redirecting the machinery Mother Nature has given us.”

        You are simply wrong — or perhaps ignorant of the idea you are propagating — to argue that there is no consequences of memetics for subjective agency. It suggests that you haven’t read Dawkins, Dennet, or Blackmore.

        “[Postmodernism] seems so fluid I’m never quite sure what it means. But that might be my ignorance rather than a flaw in the concept.”

        It doesn’t stop you talking about memes.

        “However, if we stick with your particular example regarding Lyotard I see no reason why incredulity ever need enter the conversation.”

        Lytoard’s definition requires it: “incredulity towards metanarratives”. Yes, by implication it means religion. But its main point is the political categories than dominated the first and middle part of the C20th — i.e. the various claims and ambitions of *modernism*. To be clear, I’m pointing out the postmodern character of memetics, not advancing ‘postmodernism’ to counter it. The difference is between description and prescription.

        “Whether one uses this terminology or ‘meta-narratives’, any incredulity one might express does not seem to me to be relevant in any way.”

        Indeed. But postmodernism or ‘incredulity towards metanarratives’ is a *historically* significant development in *culture*, the consequences of which explain much of what happens today. For example, you want to say that memes explains Lewandowsky and Oreskes. But we might observe their scientism as a blunt attempt to assert ‘poltical’ ideas, in the way that is particular to many such debates today. Notice how ‘ideology’ is today a pejorative — something we accuse people of. Both O&A attempt to dig out the past’s toxic legacy: Lew searches for ‘motivated reasoning’, and Oreskes for a conspiracy of free marketeers. They’re looking for the metanarrative — the meme — which prevents objectivity speaking to us through science, just as you are. In the same way, not even those who, a century (or thereabouts) earlier would have asserted the authority of the bible in debates about evolution, today’s creationists concede to science by developing theories about ‘intelligent design’, and ‘irreducible complexity’. Of course, scientists point out the problem, but the form of the arguments is nonetheless ‘scientific’, and the authority is taken from science, rather than the literal word of whatever.

        “I think your introduction of post-modernism here is just a distraction that has no bearing […] And what scientific terminology do you think has been ‘misappropriated’ anyhow, and how is this misappropriation determined? This is just an arbitrary statement.”

        You should read about Sokal and Bricmont and the social text affair, and, since he coined the ‘meme’, Dawkins’ commentry on the same. A starting point is here: http://www.physics.nyu.edu/sokal/dawkins.html The shame is that their insight was lost to the postmodern malaise that they appear to be victims of. Dawkins’ own memetics being a highly relativistic account of culture, and Sokal, unsure of how to protect the Left — not science — from literary criticism — “I didn’t understand how deconstruction was supposed to help the working classes”. But luckily, climate change (and other things define variously as technical challenges) rescues the social sciences, and the authority of the natural sciences, and politics, as well the putatively ‘progressive’ values espoused by the contemporary left. Debates descend to science…

        If I understand you correctly: “memes that are output from the scientific process […] reflect reality”

        There is no way to know this was my point. The ‘hot buttons’ that memes are seemingly evolved to push may be the exact same buttons *in form* as the ‘science’ button. The passion that seemingly anti-scientific arguments often provoke suggests that either i) these buttons are much closer together than you imagine, or ii) something else is going on than ‘memes’.

        “the great thing about memetics is that it can tell you what social structures will result when these hot-button types go rampant within a particular social domain”

        Even postmodernists — Lyotard, at least — anticipated the form of climate politics. If memetics is a predictive science — rather than speculation from prosaic insight (or worse) — put it to the test. There is a meme which says “Hindsight is a wonderful thing”.

        “If these systems are what informed you regarding the comments on L2015, I think they have not served you well. As noted in my reply to your position referenced above, you appear to have rejected L2015 for entirely the wrong reasons. ”

        Well, those insights that I did have were enough for you to take them, to write at least one of them — your central claim in the article above — up as your own idea! QED.

      • Andy, I have left a reply to you here, but it hasn’t shown up. I’ll leave it a while, and try to repost what I had copied if it doesn’t appear.

      • for some reason your original comment landed in moderation; it has now been released

      • Ben Pile (@clim8resistance) | July 7, 2015 at 7:04 am

        Hi Ben. Your intro about malergles and ghosts doesn’t seem to add anything to the discussion, except that ‘ghosts’ are a strong cultural concept that despite no factual backup, persists, which is a strong indicator of arbitrary cultural replication; the action of memes. Yes, memes exist by definition. However, if you are going to cite non-existent objects in support, it is fair I cite real ones. How about chain letters, urban legends, viral tweets and Internet *memes*, yes they even use the name. Some of these run to epidemiology maths. They manifestly exist. Now you may claim these are usually trivial memes and that other cultural information isn’t always as attractive or spreadable as this. Well memetics would absolutely agree. There’s a whole range of characteristics of different memes, and which hot buttons they hit and how hard will affect spread, and consequences for individuals too. Just like for genes in our DNA, the great majority have a selective value that is extremely low or zero. But a gene doesn’t cease to be a gene if it never gets selected and never takes part in our biological function. Likewise for memes.

        2. If you are opposing social darwinism, you appear to be fighting a battle about a hundred years old, which has misuse and misconception in multiple camps, but has nothing to do with modern evolutionary studies, inclusive of cultural evolution with the subset of memetics. The typical main misconception, ‘the survival of the fittest’, was even from the begining unsupported by Darwin’s theories. And even wiki knows that: “the term ‘Social Darwinism’ has rarely been used by advocates of the supposed ideologies or ideas [evolutionary views]; instead it has almost always been used pejoratively by its opponents”. Well if you want to carry on that perjorative tradition and tilt at old windmills, fine. But it has nothing to do with where I’m coming from, and nothing to do with memetics. This assumption is simply your association.

        You say “It’s all memes, innit”, yet you make no real explanation of what you mean by that. *If* you mean that the concept of memes wipes out all other concepts, for instance biological evolution or populational dynamics or group selection, or altruism or population pressure or the impact of diseases, or direct experience or the scientific method, or the fact that most memes have little or no selective value in the same way that most genes in the human genome have no selective value, or that memes expressed in writing conform to the rules of language as genes conform to the rules of carbon chemistry, and and and, then this would be nonsense. Yet why would you think this in the first place? You are forcing me to guess what you mean. And then you attempt some kind of charicature of memetics using king / queen / good / bad memes, but you still do not make clear at all what the point is that you’re attempting to convey here. In our far ancestry ‘big men’, the original meaning of kings, almost certainly did not arise from memetic mechanisms. But in recent millenia the concept of kingship has had increasing cultural reinforcement, which indeed introduces a memetic dimension. Yet once again I’m guessing at what your original objection is anyhow. You also say “entirely unscientific”, but don’t provide any evidence of this. In fact, if my guesses on your behalf are right (maybe not), the only thing unscientific so far are your proposals. So you still haven’t demonstrated what you mean by memetics ‘takes little account of history’. For a start, using memetics alone without any other of the concepts above and many more, including the lessons of history, would be very unwise in any case. Why would anyone do that? This would be like using *only* the concept of natural selection, without geography, geology or chemistry, and expecting it to make a reasonable prediction of not only all the evolutionary mechanisms (not by any means uncovered even now), but indeed a good range of the likely species arrived at after almost 4 billion years. It ain’t all about memes, is it?

        For about 100 years between Darwin’s publication and the discovery of DNA, biological evolutionists had no idea what the heritable / selectable units that natural selection operated with, actually were. The theory had explanatory power and so folks forged ahead, but this was a very long wait indeed for verification, and for much of it various theories proffered were off the mark, and Darwin’s own was completely wrong. Even since the discovery of DNA, and much other advance in biology, ‘what is selected’ in biology is not always so simple as one might think (more below). Though the use of MRI scanners is yeilding fantastic data on the workings of emotive bias (as triggered by memes) and other cognitive functions, via direct(ish) observation, we are a long way from unravelling the deatiled working of the brain. Hence in terms of root mechanisms, memetics occupies a similar domain to the discipline of biological evoution from the 1850s to the 1950s.

        However, the cultural units that are selected, colloquially ‘cultural DNA’, can be isolated by qualitatively similar means as within biology. In biology, selection can occur on several levels at once, genetic, cellular, sub-populational, populational. And further variety for selection is introduced by the fact that even at the genetic level, genes are not in fact particulate.They have all sorts of links and mutual dependancies. They also have context specific start points, and they can be of variable length, nuclear genes can overlap, they can be modulated by methylation, sexual recombination can produce innumerable variants *which do not respect gene boundaries* but cuts genes into bits and reshuffles them, and so on. For this reason some biologists are now moving away from talking about genes, and using instead ‘genetic material’. This material is similar in concept to memetic material. Typically for any biological evolutionary scenario in which one is interested, one particular selection level / area will dominate. If this is not intuitive, one can test to see which it is. Statistics on the coding frequencies in the species or test population can help with this. Then one can proceed further to investigate the selection pressure, for instance.

        With memes, there are simply more levels / options and less restrictions between them, because the rules of biology are more restrictive than the rules of culture. However, the method is the same. Apply statistics to see which cultural level dominates selection for the phenomena you are interested in, yielding your unit for that phenomena. Just as with the biological cases, intuition can help. For instance it is reasonable to assume that the Koran holds relatively invariant core cultural values for Islam. It does evolve, but slowly. In fact it doesn’t stand alone. The Traditions are an outer interpretive layer, produced over centuries, which holds part of the culture too, so even with intuition we need to be careful, and nor would the entire culture be held in these works. At any one moment, the culture is the sum of all works and the content of the minds of all adherents, just as a species is not represented by a single genetic individual, but only the sum of all individuals, which entity will have features like balanced polymorphism and such that cannot be expressed in an individual.

        3. To say that cultures react, the kind of phrase that is a) manifest and b) is in the newspapers every day, does not exclude in any way the fact that within this overall reaction there will be myriad personal interactions, usually spread over a much longer period than the day in which the paper’s report is made. While Dawkin’s has not the influence on the cultural evolutionary sphere that he has had on biology, in the latter ‘the selfish gene’ produced a massive over emphasis that only recently is being rebalanced, and still much inertia remains. While less important, likewise for the cultural sphere. Nor do I agree with Blackmore’s quote, although I think this to some extent is the almost deliberately shocking semantics she so often seems to choose. (Her stuff on gene / culture co-evolution is good though). Nevertheless, these do not deny individual agency, only how that agency is constituted. For instance an individual who is not an individual could not in the first place do science that filters out arbitrary memes, and so Dawkin’s stance per your statement contains an implicit acknowledgement of the personal. It does not take long looking through history to see that both cultural evolution and individual action have a hand at the table; there is nothing in memetics that denies this. Yet to say that an individual could somehow extract themselves from their cultural situation and act as though this hadn’t influenced them, would clearly also be wrong. To that extent, yes. But I have read (some of) Dawkins, Dennet, and Blackmore, and others besides, and I see nothing there for instance that suggests folks aren’t for instance, deploying their intelligence, creating new / morphed ideas out of the range culturally available to them, displaying individual traits (from polymorphism), which among other things will give them different emotional reactions (or lack of) to the same memes, applying reason (notwithstanding within a cultural context), and other such traits that are what we think of as personal. A good position on this that I am good with is ‘the social mind’ by neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga.

        PM part. I think you’re inflating the role of postmodernism somewhat, from what little I know this is rather a bucket term for a whole load of things, but I don’t know so I’ll leave it alone. With respect to L & O, to say that because one person is wrong when they assert claims of an idealogy, is not *automatically* to say that another likwise is. It is fine to question the claim, always. But all ideologies have common characteristics (across ranges of parameters), which characteristics are detectable, even if you don’t buy into memetics from somewhat less formal cultural evolutionary theory. What matters is not the political whose accusing who, and if we accuse them isn’t it the same as them accusing us. It is simply whether the physical characteristics of an ideology exist. In climate skepticism to date, no. In CAGW, yes. You have given no indication that you have looked at L2015 at all, and your reasons for rejection are entirely the wrong ones. Even orthodox Richard Betts recognised that at least one of the mechanisms ‘would work’ much more strongly for the Consensus. In fact they all would, and do. And all the other similar ones not mentioned in L2015, but in Lewandowsky’s other papers, likewise. You can erase all thought of memetics if you like, these are all entirely mainstream psychological bias mechanisms supported by a wealth of literature, very real indeed. L&O’s theory is as sound as a bell, they simply neglect to say that, in part due to stuff you noted yourself such as the huge infra-structure assymetry, these effects would be overwhelmingly stronger in favour of the consensus. I don’t buy into all that political angle. If this is what has blinded you to L2015’s content, then it has served you poorly. What matters here is using the scientific method, and a huge resource of psychology and cultural evolutional science as part of that, to evaluate what is going on. In terms that are politically and philosophically neutral. Somehow, you have allowed yourself to be convinced that any mention of ideology (or cultural bias or memes creating such) is so politically incorrect (or somesuch), that we can’t use it. Nuts to that. Ideologies and the biases that create and maintain them are a) very real and b) can be mechanistically understood, and c) there is not *automatically* symmetry regarding any claims made – of course all claims should be checked by whatever means possible. But heck, you even got right to the point of saying yourself “…wouldn’t climate scientists be equally vulnerable to ‘warmist memes’ and ‘alarmist memes’?” Yes! Do you not think that’s a huge part of the problem here? And yet then you walk right away from it.

        I’ll take a look at Socal and Bricmont from your link, but at a quick glance that does not give any indication whatsoever of memetics ‘misappropriating scientific terminology’, though you have placed it as an answer to this. ‘Find’ says there is no mention of the words meme or memetics on this page. Two mathematicians apparently made up some ridiculous formula. Am I missisng something. What has this got to do with anything under discussion here? Can you provide something more substantive about your claim of misappropriation?

        4A. I don’t understand why you think that the fact that anti-science arguments often provoke passion, suggests something else is going on other than memes? The passion will come if the science challenges an existing cultural position with emotional investment. If the science does not challenge this, there will not be any passion (and in the majority of cases, likely little interest too). With or without memes this is the position. Memes help explian how the cultural bias was arrived at and maintained in the first place. Can you explain more on your point here please?

        I did not start this post from yours. I was already more than halfway through the post as it was then implemented when I came to your site after seeing you linked (here, I think). I’m a slow writer and very busy, had to triple check Lew literature, plus the post was 3 times as big before it was then hugely squashed down again for publication here. Hence weeks passed by. I added the appendix 2 on your position after my visit. The basis of this was from my short comment at your site. Likewise appenidx 1 after visiting ATTP. I think and hope I reflected your position correctly.

      • apologies:

        ‘…you have given no indication that you have looked at *the detailed mechanisms of* L2015 at all…’

      • Andy, you simply write too much — and don’t read enough — to follow in a comment thread. Moreover, you like to claim that my disagreement is my shortcoming too much for me to feel it’s worth the bother.

      • > Andy, you simply write too much — and don’t read enough

        If you’d like to read a bit more, Andy:

        https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2015/03/09/critical-thought/#comment-50299

      • Funny that the Climate Ball (TM) evangelist is as vulnerable to the very thing he claims to have transcended as the climate memetician is vulnerable to memes.

      • Ben Pile (@clim8resistance) | July 7, 2015 at 6:11 pm

        I read everything you wrote in your reply, carefully, though being late at night now only skimmed your link. You claimed I lack knowledge at one point. Fine, it can be a little robust on both sides, but I see nothing heavy. I finish as I also wrote in my original reply (in appendix), that I greatly respect your voice and efforts in the climate domain, even if we disagree in the other domain.

      • Ben Pile (@clim8resistance) | July 7, 2015 at 6:36 pm
        “…the climate memetician is vulnerable to memes.”

        I gotta say, that’s ironic from someone who just said they no more believe in memes than ghosts ;)

      • Aye, but one can still be haunted by ghosts that do not exist. imagination is a powerful thing.

      • > Funny that the Climate Ball (TM) evangelist is as vulnerable to the very thing he claims to have transcended […]

        A quote might be needed here, since I don’t recall ever having said that.

  4. Yikes, a plague of ‘pause memes’ likely to bring on
    St Vitus Dance or some similar recursive frenzy!

    • Beththeserf

      And to think that a frenzy of dance before Emperors had a causative agent? a neurological response to an infection, cured, cured that is the infection, by a 10 day course of penicillin, caught early enough in its course, to obviate all its non-suppurative consequences. The now abhorrent and indiscriminative use of antibiotics to treat “colds” by the largely capricious use of said antibiotics by “uneducated” primary care physicians, seems to have had the un-intended consequence of keeping children safe from Chorea; i.e., St Vitus Dance, Rheumatic Heart Disease, Glomerular nephritis (kidney disease) and others.

      With the more sophisticated and informed use of antibiotics in children by primary care physicians and demanding parents, children who sometimes have fever, sometimes a rash, sometimes a red throat will ultimately yield? an ongoing experiment in consensus medical science. There is an uptick in Rheumatic Heart Disease now. Look to an interesting investigation into the organism and instead of the practice of medicine.

      Lessons of the past are yet to be learned by those who decide in the present.

  5. daveandrews723

    Yeah, if there were a case of “the cart leading the horse” this whole “man-made catastrophic global warming” thing is a prime example. The hysterical narrative employed by the warmists, including many scientists who should know better, has turned the scientific method on its ear. It is long past time for some logic, common sense, perspective, and yes, real science to take over in this debate.

  6. Well…

    It has been obvious for a while that the whole CAGW mythology is like something from Grimm’s fairy tales or another badly made SyFy spocalypse TV movie.

    The period of a 45% increase in emissions only caused a 0.2W/m2 increase over 11 years. The remainder of the century is on track for a less than 1.55 W/m2 increase in forcing.

    This is so much less than the 7.4 W/m2 needed for a 2°C temperature rise one wonders if the CAGW theories have completely run out of fuel.

    The greater problem than the pause/hiatus meme is that we might be near a peak. If global warming theology is severely disrupted by a pause or hiatus, what will a decline due to the theory? What will it say about science when the raw data shows a dramatic decrease but the published “scientific adjusted” reports still show the temperature rising?

  7. “Hence L2015 exposes the fact that climate science is not by any means a purely factual domain..”

    Wow, what a stunning revelation.

    • Danny Thomas

      Michael,
      For me, this comment could use some clarification.

      Are you stunned that it’s revealed that climate science is not “purely factual”? Or, was your intention to be sarcastic?

      • Andy has taken us to the 1960’s with his ‘expose’ from L2015.

      • Michael: Andy has taken us to the 1960’s with his ‘expose’ from L2015.

        L2015 is an admission by an AGW supporter that the limitations of everyone are also limitations shared by AGW supporters. Until that, Lewandowsky claimed that only “deniers” exhibited the limitations common to all scientists. This is not a “revelation” of anything; it is possibly a breakthrough in the development of self-awareness among AGW promoters. Now that they (or at least Lewandowsky) has accepted this limitation, perhaps he can explore how it has affected other beliefs held by and promoted by AGW promoters, or at least by himself. Whence, for example, the meme that warmer temps produce more, more intense, or longer lasting droughts? Or the meme that a 0.9C increase in temp since 1880 has been bad?

      • If it is a limitation, it is a limitation of not just ignoring the skeptical memes.

    • Matthew, I am afraid Lew et al admit nothing of the sort. They accuse others of projections while oblivious to their own.

      • Ron Clutz: Matthew, I am afraid Lew et al admit nothing of the sort.

        They say that “seepage” (as they call it) has occurred and identify (then document for one case) the non-scientific processes that produced it. Then they advocate strategies to prevent more of it from happening. If that is not an “admission” of susceptibility to non-scientific processes, what would you call it? “Victimization”?

        Notice what they did not do, as well as what they did write. They did not present the response to the “pause”, namely debating it and adapting the models in such a way as to improve them and their fit to the data, as “normal science”, as RealClimate and others have done. They present “seepage” of the “pause” meme as an irrational response rather than a scientific response.

        Here is what they wrote: Given that science operates in a societal context, there are strong a priori grounds to assume that relentless denial may find some degree of reflection in the scientific community. We refer to this potential phenomenon as ‘‘seepage’’—defined as the infiltration and influence of what are essentially non-scientific claims into scientific work and discourse.

        What they call “essentially non-scientific claims” was later identified in this specific case as pointing to the disparity between the data and what had been a confident model-based prediction. Their claim is that it was irrational and “non-scientific” to search for explanations of the misfit and to incorporate modifications into the models.

      • “Their claim is that it was irrational and “non-scientific” to search for explanations of the misfit and to incorporate modifications into the models.” That is exactly the kind of lack of self-awareness that typifies their writings.

      • Ron, they do indeed lack awareness of their own bias. Yet the L2015 mechanisms they present are a subset of those which glue together the Consensus itself. And in their strong concern to combat the concept of ‘the pause’, they are explicit to the point of admitting the whole of climate science can be seriously swayed by arbitrary memes. Well yes. This idea has been placed in minds skeptics could never have reached. How long will it be before at least some of those minds, start to question *which* memes have done the influencing, and indeed which memes are the most virile due to their emotive content.

      • Andy, thanks for your work on this. I appreciate the social science expertise you are bringing to this issue. It is a concern that so-called “post-normal” academia seems to sweep away any sense that reality has a objective basis. All is relative, and by extension a matter of opinion.

      • Ron Clutz: “Their claim is that it was irrational and “non-scientific” to search for explanations of the misfit and to incorporate modifications into the models.” That is exactly the kind of lack of self-awareness that typifies their writings.

        I agree with you that they lack self-awareness.

        I don’t see how anyone can grant any credence to their thesis about the “seepage” of the “pause” meme without calling it an admission. Up above I called it a “breakthrough”, mimicking the language of psychotherapy. They have up until now focused entirely on the not-strictly-rational processes involved in the “non-consensus” community; this is a better demonstration of a not-strictly-rational process within the consensus community than their demonstrations of such things among the non-consensus community. We’ll have to see if it leads to more such “breakthroughs”.

        It will also be interesting to see what other memes from the non-consensus community “seep” into the consensus community: projected extra CO2 in the ocean might not cause the problems associated with adding HCl and H2SO4; warming since 1880 has not been demonstrated by evidence to have been “bad”; no danger is posed to the polar bears; the priors on “climate sensitivity” that have been used have put way too much probability in the upper tails of the distributions; changes in surface temperature are limited by the water evaporation feedbacks; effects of changes in solar output have been underestimated; surface and marine vegetation grow better, other things being equal, at higher CO2 concentrations.

  8. Curiosity is not mentioned.

    If curiosity not there and in front, you don’t have science at all.

    What climate science has is a bunch of career con-men and a storefront. Memes are the business model.

    • Well, no.

      “This simple process is the key factor in the growth of the huge social phenomena of CAGW, which wields a raft of potent emotive memes. Many of these invoke worry or fear and other negative emotions, plus an amplified sense of urgency and certainty. Some invoke positive emotions within people who are already worldview aligned; for instance via hope of a new global order conforming to those worldviews.”

      Much like socialism introduced Lysenkoism to agriculture, socialist/Alinskyist thought patterns produced CAGW (the climate science version of Lysenkoism). CAGW and Lysenkoism are equally supported by the facts.

  9. Pingback: A key admission regarding climate memes | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  10. > the main reaction of CAGW adherents

    A powerful meme right there.

    • Danny Thomas

      As is the “meme” that fault is found only on one side of the discussion, and never the other.

      “Memes” all around, eh?

      • > As is the “meme” that fault is found only on one side of the discussion, and never the other.

        That’s too long for that to be a meme, Danny.

        As for your meme all around, you should know by now how good at framing is the conservative meme machine:

        With Republicans controlling the Senate, the House, and the White House and enjoying a large margin of victory for California Governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’s clear that the Democratic Party is in crisis. George Lakoff, a UC Berkeley professor of linguistics and cognitive science, thinks he knows why. Conservatives have spent decades defining their ideas, carefully choosing the language with which to present them, and building an infrastructure to communicate them, says Lakoff.

        http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/10/27_lakoff.shtml

        There’s very little else at stake, and meme machines rejoice in exploiting oblivious ClimateBall players like you.

      • Danny Thomas

        Wow! I’m almost (but not quite) impressed Mr. W!
        Steven suggested just yesterday a more critical (dare I suggested skeptical) consideration of Greg’s commentary might be in order (https://judithcurry.com/2015/07/02/heat-waves-exacerbated-by-global-warming/#comment-714512).
        I point out today of your propensity to find issue with only one side of the discussion. Then you turn around and comment about my playing climateball. That’s weak even on my standards Mr. W, and well below your usual game.

        I’ll say it again. As is the “meme” of finding fault on only one side of the discussion? Huh, guess I was inaccurate that perfection didn’t exist.

        So how was what I said turned in to a discussion about wording in California? Oh, wait! Nevermind. It’s how climate ball is played.

        No score for u!

      • > the “meme” of finding fault on only one side

        You’re just using an equivocation to peddle your own concern, Danny. Peddling is a ClimateBall ™. You’re supposed to be above it.

        While I am thankful for your concerns about me (I also loved the “you’re a […]” the other day), I’d rather stick to memes and frames. Another tidbit from Lackoff:

        Facts never speak for themselves. They take on their meaning by being embedded in frames, themes which organize thoughts, rendering some facts as relevant and significant and others as irrelevant and trivial. Framing matters and the contest is lost at the outset if one allows one’s adversaries to define the terms of the debate. To be selfconscious about framing strategy is not being manipulative. It gives coherent meaning to what is happening in the world. One can either do it unconsciously, or with deliberation and conscious thought.

        http://www.publiceye.org/magazine/v19n2/gamson_elephants.html

        Now, read back Judy’s tweet:

        ***

        If you want to know what I think about Lew’s paper, see here:

        The title is: leachate.

        Just sayin’.

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,

        Exactly what is “my concern” which I’m apparently peddling?

      • I quoted it, Danny. Two times. The very same one I did not pick up earlier, elsewhere.

        It’s false (e.g. see my links against Lew and Greg earlier), fallacious (you’re burdening me with commitments I don’t have), and irrelevant to what I’m saying (e.g. your “as is the eme” peddles your own concern as a meme, whence it’s obviously not).

        However, since you replied with a silly rhetorical question, more Lakoff for you:

        Much political blood was spilt in 2007 and 2008 over whether to describe a $700 billion package to save Wall Street (TARP) as a ‘bail-out’ (BAD) or a ‘rescue’ (less contentious). Recently European Central Bank (ECB) policy on sovereign debt has been re-framed, the term ‘bail-in’ being deployed to describe the removal of Cypriot cash deposits.

        But what gives these metaphors the agency to actually change minds? Lakoff talks of the importance of ‘deep frames’ and the norms and values that underpin the way policies are framed in public discourse.

        For example, the metaphor of ‘bail-out’, appeals to deeply ingrained value content (deep frames) implying the immorality, recklessness or irresponsibility of getting into debt. A ‘bail-in’, by contrast, draws on the same value content, but re-frames it in favour of personal neoliberal values of responsibility.

        http://wonkcomms.net/2013/10/25/the-theory-of-framing-useful-for-think-tanks/

        The “but CAGW” and “but Denier” memes show that contrarians are quite sensitive to issue framing. Your “but Global Cooling” wasn’t bad either.

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        I did a search on this post for the words “global cooling” to see where it was that I used that language and the only time those two specific words came up is in your suggestion to me that I used them.

        In the past, I’ve used them in discussion of science of the 70’s. I’ve used them in a discussion today on a different post with Jim D in discussion of the pause.

        In the context of this post, I have no idea how you’re using this: “Your “but Global Cooling” wasn’t bad either.”

        So I’m still not following what it is that you perceive that I’m peddling. But I’m not the brightest bulb.

      • > I have no idea how you’re using this […]

        Simple: you write “but Global Cooling”. That there are apostrophes doesn’t mean I’m quoting you, Danny. Since you don’t provide any link, here’s mine:

        BLVR: You mentioned Reagan. Who have been some of the other great conservative framers?

        GL: Well, remember [William] Safire was one of their writers.

        BLVR: For Nixon.

        GL: For Nixon, right. And Nixon’s vice president, Spiro Agnew. “;Naddering nabobs of negativism”—right? They had these guys writing back then. And they were starting their big think tanks then. Reagan was doing it when he was governor of California, and by the time he ran for president he had the think tanks behind him and a much more sophisticated language apparatus. Roger Ailes was his man. He runs Fox News now. Ailes was one of the geniuses behind this.

        http://www.believermag.com/exclusives/?read=interview_lakoff

        Again, thank you so much for your concern.

      • Danny Thomas

        So use of the word “your” when speaking with me, wasn’t an indication of quoting me?

        Willard, I don’t think Don Don is gonna give you a score on this one either.

        Guess I’ll move along. Oh, and thank you for your concern also.

      • > So use of the word “your” when speaking with me, wasn’t an indication of quoting me?

        “Your” indicates that something’s yours, Danny. That’s for sure. Your bogus quest was your own idiosyncratic way to rehearse “but Global Cooling.” When I say “but Denier,” do you think I’m quoting anyone?

        ***

        > I don’t think Don Don is gonna give you a score on this one either

        When he’s not bound by his protection services, Danny, Don Don’s playing ClimateBall. Just like you do. ClimateBall players don’t award points. What makes you think there are points anyway?

        As your reward for trying to make it about me while artfully dodging my points, here’s more Lakoff:

        Direct causation comes out of a lot of conservatism. This is spelled out in my book “Whose Freedom?,” where it turns out that conservatives tend to think in terms of, in a strict father situation, the kid does something wrong, immediately their job is to spank them or hit them or do something painful to make him regret it and try to avoid doing that thing—it’s direct causation. Similarly you have Republican policies about immediately sending troops and having shock and awe right away, and so on, in all military situations. That is a case of direct causation, and many other conservative proposals involve direct rather than systemic causation, and require not thinking about what the system really requires. That’s happening right now in the ISIS situation, which we can see.

        http://www.salon.com/2014/11/22/this_is_why_conservatives_win_george_lakoff_explains_the_importance_of_framing_and_what_democrats_need_to_learn/

        Direct causation, Danny. As Big Dave would say, write that down.

      • Danny Thomas

        Yawn~!

      • rogerknights

        “When I say “but Denier,” do you think I’m quoting anyone?”

        The language needs a way to distinguish such virtual or hypothetical (there’s a better word out there that I’ve missed) quotes from real ones. My suggestion is that ^top hats^ (circumflexes) be used, as I just did.

    • Willard: A powerful meme right there.

      Are you disputing its veracity?

  11. David L. Hagen

    The Lemming Factor in the Millennial Panics
    Hysteria over impending doom drives Mass panic. e.g.,
    The Year 1000 A.D. and the Millennial Panic

    the panic over the imminent end of the world at the close of the first millennium A.D.:
    “The year 999 was a boom year for monasteries. Penitents flocked in, hysterically bearing jewels, coins and earthly possessions by the oxcartful, hoping to cadge a little last-minute grace before Judgment Day. The year 1999 may turn out to be a similarly good one for fundamentalist Christian churches.” (Buckley 1966)

    Club of Rome, Global Warming, Climate Change
    The modern “climate change” (aka “global warming”, aka “limits to growth”) mass hysteria appears to be relate to founding of the Club of Rome (1968) and its report “The Limits of Growth”.

    Morphing Growth Limits to Climate Change
    The apocalyptic warnings on limits to growth were then applied to warnings over catastrophic majority anthropogenic global warming. e.g.
    The UNFCCC (1992) politically redefined “climate change” to mean:

    1. “Climate change” means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods

    Apocalyptic warnings to drive action
    Radical environmentalists agenda then leveraged apocalyptic warnings to drive political action, regardless the data or scientific method. e.g., see
    Global Warming Quotes & Climate Change Quotes: Human-Caused Global Warming Advocates/Supporters C3 Headlines. e.g.,

    H.L. Mencken, famous columnist: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and hence clamorous to be led to safety — by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.” And, “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it.”

    Jim Sibbison, environmental journalist, former public relations official for the Environmental Protection Agency: 

    “We routinely wrote scare stories…Our press reports were more or less true…We were out to whip the public into a frenzy about the environment.”

    Emeritus professor Daniel Botkin: “

    The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.”

    Robert Stavins, the head of Harvard’s Environmental Economics program: 

    “It’s unlikely that the U.S. is going to take serious action on climate change until there are observable, dramatic events, almost catastrophic in nature, that drive public opinion and drive the political process in that direction.”

    Al Gore, former U.S. vice president, and large CO2 producer: 

    “I believe it is appropriate to have an over-representation of factual presentations on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience to listen to what the solutions are, and how hopeful it is that we are going to solve this crisis.”

    Stephen Schneider, Stanford Univ., environmentalist:

    “That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.”

    Sir John Houghton, pompous lead editor of first three IPCC reports:

    “If we want a good environmental policy in the future we’ll have to have a disaster.”

    Monika Kopacz, atmospheric scientist:

    “It is no secret that a lot of climate-change research is subject to opinion, that climate models sometimes disagree even on the signs of the future changes (e.g. drier vs. wetter future climate). The problem is, only sensational exaggeration makes the kind of story that will get politicians’ — and readers’ — attention. So, yes, climate scientists might exaggerate, but in today’s world, this is the only way to assure any political action and thus more federal financing to reduce the scientific uncertainty.”

    Steve Sawyer, identified as the “political director” of Greenpeace International:

    “Without urgent measures to rapidly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, the possibility of limiting the temperature rise below a dangerous level will have disappeared within a decade.”

    Chris Folland of UK Meteorological Office:

    “The data don’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations [for reductions in carbon dioxide emissions] upon the data. We’re basing them upon the climate models.”

    David Frame, climate modeler, Oxford University:

    “Rather than seeing models as describing literal truth, we ought to see them as convenient fictions which try to provide something useful.”

    Christine Stewart, former Canadian Environment Minister: “No matter if the science is all phoney, there are collateral environmental benefits…. climate change [provides] the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.”
    Timoth Wirth, U.S./UN functionary, former elected Democrat Senator:

    “We’ve got to ride the global-warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.”

    Richard Benedik, former U.S./UN bureaucrat:

    “A global climate treaty must be implemented even if there is no scientific evidence to back the greenhouse effect.”

    etc.
    So what evidence is there that Lewandowsky is objective rather than just another academic means to further drive this apocalyptic climate environmental policy?

    • Danny Thomas

      David,
      Don’t forget it’s “possible” the oceans might evaporate: http://www.benchmarkreporter.com/global-warming-destroying-the-marine-life-scientists-recommend-instant-control-of-co2-emission/5983/
      according to (no one).

      • Isn’t that a meme mix? If the ocean evaporates as it is rising the sea level is going to rise less.

        The ocean is disappearing into space, free hydrogen escapes from the top of the exosphere (the exosphere is mostly hydrogen).

        At an altitude of 120,000 miles sunlight exerts more pressure than gravity.

      • Danny Thomas

        PA,

        It appears to be a mix big time, and that article has zero citations. It’s about as poorly written, even giving allowances for the kernels of accuracy, as it gets.

      • Isn’t it impossible to have a well cited, well written article about CAGW, given that CAGW as real as Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny?

      • Danny Thomas

        PA,
        Well I can’t say that this particular article is evidence against your argument. It’s awful. Interesting to me that the author didn’t even use a last name. I did in my critique to him, but no response as yet. After all, it’s a holiday weekend here.

      • David L. Hagen

        Danny
        Murry Salby warns of a maximum of 0.3K CO2 driven warming for using ALL fossil fuels.
        This is “especially” frightening when we remember that the Antarctic

        Polar Plateau the weather is determined by a predominant anticyclone air mass regime resulting in clearer days and mostly lighter winds. Temperatures range between -14 and -82 degrees Celsius but even in summer temperatures can drop below -50°C..

        “Consequently” we “must” be “very very worried” about a “runaway greenhouse effect” such as shown by Venus, where the oceans boiled and carbonates calcined to CO2 (~ at 875C)!
        This is especially “worrying” when we realize that:

        Previous estimates had placed sea-level rise at between 1.5 and 1.8 millimeters annually over the 20th century. Hay and Morrow, however, suggest that from 1901 until 1990, the figure was closer to 1.2 millimeters per year.

        Nils Axel Morner finds

        And “Best estimates for future sea level changes up to the year 2100 are in the range of +5 cm ±15 cm.”

        So be “very very concerned” about the oceans rising 6 ft (~180 cm) and inundating New York by 2100.
        Whatever happened to common sense evaluations of objective data, and the pragmatic engineering “smell test”?!

    • memes memes everywhere
      not many stop to think

      • Though some in meme assured are
        of a problem that plagueth us so
        must tell the tale to you and me
        at every opportunity.

      • There are a few things I have decided never to enquire about: eg I don’t care what cholesterol is and I don’t care what the word ‘meme’ means. (I also declared I would never watch or ask about T20 cricket…but I weakened.)

      • mosomoso

        The Ashes starts soon. I will be robustly interpolating, smoothing and homogenising the results of each days play so please ensure you don’t read anyone else’s version because it won’t contain so many irrefutable and settled facts.

        So remember, . if its cricket facts you need-only slightly adjusted-come to me.

        My Models say England will win 5 to nil.

        tonyb

      • I will be getting a play by play description from PJW

      • No chance. Not even on rigged your Pommie pitches with your Irish and Saffie mercenaries. You’re stuck in a Marylebone meme, tonyb, along with Faustino.

        (I don’t know what a meme is, but I get the impression it’s a fashionable way of pathologising the opinions of others. So any of you people who disagree with me about stuff…you are talking pure meme!)

      • tony and moso oh so l-o-l.

      • mosomoso | July 4, 2015 at 4:34 am

        I think the bit in brackets means you weakened on memes as well as T20.

        A meme of itself has no such peculiar connotations. It is merely a unit of cultural information.

        People can use pretty much anything to pathologize others, even the fact that Earth’s climate changes, would you believe. The act of doing so doesn’t necessarily say anything more about memes than it does about the climate.

  12. Narrative competition represents partly a type of vanity. The scientific narrative competition over AGW led to monolithic group think as the narrative meme moved linearly to politics after recognizing it’s persuasive power, and consequently to media; culminating into general public discourse who mostly implicitly trust authority and therefore empower politics. The lock must not be broken because politics has its own narrative competition memes; regardless of science or how it evolves, for now though the science works for the politics.

  13. David L. Hagen

    Uncatastrophic Anthropogenic Warming?
    Murry Salby London 2015 reports on three major lines of evidence showing an UPPER bound on anthropogenic CO2 of about 25%. i.e., most global warming was naturally driven with CO2 LAGGING ocean temperature etc. He “warns” that consuming ALL fossil fuels might achieve a 0.3K global warming!
    Murry Salby awaits restoration of his research materials that were confiscated by MacQuarie University in their breach of contract, so he can formally publish the foundational papers and then these later findings.

    We need to restore “climate science” to the scientific method with objective evaluation and testing of ALL models, especially those used to justify apocalyptic studies.

  14. The best exposé I have ever seen on the use of memes was ‘The Power of Nightmares’ by Adam Curtis. It changed my mind about American politics.
    Highly recommended would be his follow up documentary, ‘The Century of Self’, a revealing look in to the foundations of Behavioral Economics.

    • This explains a lot. The work appears to ignore hundreds of years of history and social philosophy. It certainly comports with an oversimplified world view and falls into the conspiracy theories trap . Come to think of it, there are parallels with Keynesian thought, control knob theory and Bush knew in advance. All very appealing to a certain mentality.

      • Obama saved our economy from people who think like you. You might not like it but you don’t get to write the history books*. People who ridicule Keynesian economics always forget the part where he says you have to raise revenue (taxes) after you end the deficit spending to reverse deflation. Since we didn’t do that whatever you want to call our economic model the last 40 years it’s not Keynesian.
        The Power of Nightmares was so powerful it was banned in the US until after the 2004 elections. Iraq WMD was a conspiracy – tiny grains of truth surrounded by one of the most well organized propaganda campaigns ever conceived. Ron Paul had one of the best ideas with his offer of Letters of Marque and Reprisal – backed by a bounty of billions dollars and we could have saved trillions and Osama bin Laden along with al Qaeda would have been wiped out.

        *I admit Texas did rewrite our school textbook so now our students are taught that slavery was not a key contributor to the Civil War, the 10 commandments are the basis of our constitution and creationism is a valid explanation for the origins of life. The “Truth” is out there…

      • How deep do you want your grave?

  15. Oh it’s a complex
    thing we cobble
    together from
    Old Testament
    original sin ‘n
    guilt, humans
    as filth whereas
    Nature’s pure.
    Change to be
    eschewed,
    climate change
    or any kind
    of innovation,
    back to the
    Golden Age
    being the
    way forward.

    • You got it, CAGWunist dogma is just a mixture of garbled enlightenment quasi-thoughts (Christianity without the deity, the 10 – x commandments, x < 9) and new age enviro-fluff. It might be a kind of semi-nihilism, I dunno about such things.

  16. I think I get it: health and wellbeing is just a pause prior to the inevitable long term process we know as, death.

  17. You can have some fun with this –e.g.,

    “Further cultural resistance appears to be the main reaction of CAGW adherents to the brute force of a sluggish GST. Adherents are not bailing out of orthodoxy or acknowledging any serious flaws within the Consensus narrative; for instance that the science has not yet got a good grip on the wicked problem of understanding Earth’s climate system. CAGW cultural orthodoxy is adapting to the new circumstances, via selection assimilating the concept of ‘a pause’, which preserves core narrative with minimal change.”

    We can look at this in a similar mindset that is perhaps related to global warming in more ways that we can know, as follows:

    Further cultural resistance appears to be the main reaction of pro-Euro Greeks to the brute force of facing the consequences of dwindling reserves to pay government entitlements and European lenders. Adherents to staying in the Euro are not bailing out of orthodoxy or acknowledging any serious flaws within the consensus narrative that cutbacks in government spending are a necessary condition; for instance the Leftist, socialist population has not yet got a good grip on the wicked problem of understanding that raising taxes again and again to cover ever increasing government spending and also raising enough money to pay back European lenders will only served to further wreck their economic system. Pro-Euro cultural orthodoxy is adapting to the new circumstances, via assimilating the concept of ‘a pause’ leading up to the next vote to downsize government spending and entitlements, which preserves core narrative with minimal change, as they gather around ATM terminals for their daily allotment as they steadily draw down the balance of what liquidity remains in the Greek banking system that is teetering on edge of irrelevance and collapse.

  18. Don Monfort

    “Hence L2015 exposes the fact that climate science is not by any means a purely factual domain, that social factors as expressed by popular memes can change the perceptions of climate scientists, and so can alter the very nature of the consensus they contribute to.”

    We knew that without any help from L2015.

    “In turn this places front and centre the possibility that the original, ‘unsullied’ consensus on CAGW might also be a product of memetic influence, and is not after all an objective and unquestionable truth.”

    Front and center on this blog, for a day or so. You won’t read about it in the mass media, or in any science journal. Unless it’s in the pay for play journal of last resort that BEST uses.

    Still, it’s a well written post. It will agitate our little fierce alarmist trolls. So it’s good. Thanks, Andy.

  19. Lewandowsky’s own research showed that those who believe in global warming BS are more gullible than sceptics.

    Or to be less kind … those who believe in global warming are far more likely to change their view of data to make it fit what they believe it “should be”. And Lewandowsky is really the proof of the pudding for that.

    • I believe I pointed out something similar to Daniel Kahneman last year. His increased polarization with increasing knowledge is likely due to reactions to the obvious biases in research. Skeptics see obvious over-reach in conclusion and grandiose statements which ignore obvious constraints and also obvious omissions of other implications, alarmists miss the mistakes, methodological limits of implications, and biases and accepts the ridiculous group-think reinforcement.

  20. Instead of ‘belief’, do analysis. Others with skill can verify that the analysis was done correctly or identify corrections. Once the analysis is accepted as valid, the results are justified as valid. Any assertion that the results are wrong is bogus without valid identification of error in the analysis.

    Engineering science proves CO2 has no significant effect on climate. The proof and identification of the two factors that do cause reported climate change are at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com (now with 5-year running-average smoothing of measured average global temperature (AGT), the near-perfect explanation of AGT, R^2 = 0.97+ since before 1900).

    The ongoing average global temperature trend is down. Monthly reported temperatures are being temporarily propped up by el Nino.

  21. “While alarmism may not quite be a badge of honor, there appears to be very little stigma against it, and often some reward ”

    Our President displays this emblem as a sign he “belongs”, he is “worthy”, he is a “leader”, he deserved such honors in the first place; although, in fairness, he hadn’t had a chance to act yet. He was bestowed a Prize he hadn’t yet earned; a Prize, as sort of a…ah…inducement; yes, that’s it, an inducement to behave in an expected and prescribed way.

    What President in our history has been awarded recognition for work they have not yet done? that is, to articulate in the beginning a legislative agenda when his legislative style history had been one of “wait and see what comes to me”? to shepherd through Congress social class oriented legislation, and if that failed, to enact a social agenda by edit? to make plum appointments? to interceding on behalf of clients? In this case extreme environmentalism; beyond the pale agenda activism.

    Who better than a President of The United States is subject to manipulation, as one would a marionette, via a puppeteer hidden away controlling the strings to advance a global revision of mankind’s behavior?

    ” Some invoke positive emotions within people who are already worldview aligned; for instance via hope of a new global order conforming to those world views.”

    Vladimir Lenin’s designation of such individuals as: “useful idiots” comes to mind.

  22. Judith Curry,

    I am in moderation. You be the judge.

  23. Some biases which have served us well in early evolution just don’t carry over to the novel situations of a modern world.

    I like the Titanic example, had they not tried to turn too late, they would not have exposed enough chambers to the iceberg to sink the ship. In driving, when we encounter the unexpected we tend to react wrong or over-react leading to the vast majority of catastrophic accidents.

  24. Pingback: Is So-Called Climate ‘Consensus’ A Post-Modern Meme Construct? | The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF)

  25. Lots of people have written that Lewandowsky and Oreskes apply their analytical tools only to people or theories with which they disagree. This is the best I have seen so far on how those same analytical tools can be used symmetrically. Thank you Andy West for a good essay.

  26. The concept is highly selective because in terms of risk and emotive comfort, it’s the least worst option.

    Memes yield to evidence, imo, but they give ground slowly once entrenched. Or, memes give ground slowly once they are entrenched, imo, but they do yield to evidence. The best long-term strategy in communicating “the science” is therefore to continue communicating “all of the science” as persistently and accurately as possible.

    • Matthew

      Very perceptive comment. All that most of us want is that ALL of the science is explored in an even handed manner which will lead wherever it may lead.

      There are too many people fighting their narrow scientific corner or, worse, looking at this from a political viewpoint.

      tonyb

  27. “Lewandowsky and Oreskes and their co-authors are taking a huge gamble… (stating) that the entire mainstream climate science community has been significantly impacted by [arbitrary] memes.” Frankly, I find it distracting to get into nonproductive debate about “whose meme is bigger yours or mine” … sounds like middle school kids on the playground. Any movement develops its own living and breathing meme which, in the main, is not based on science but more like the parlor game of passing the concept / idea around a circle of people and see how it morphs and grows until it is almost unrecognizable. If the science was clear and incontrovertible there would be no need for debate and memes. On the left, There clearly is a dedicated, planned, programmed propaganda that has developed on the climate consensus side – that comes down from the political elite such as the UNFCCC/IPCC gang, has co-opted liberal media and flows downward to scientists with involved vested interests, well meaning activists and lots of people that feed on feel good doing the right thing incapable of understanding the science, scientific method, cost – benefit analysis etc. and not even interested in fact based debate and getting to the truth (facts).
    .
    The propaganda machine is clearly evident to the trained eye from the choice of words, tone, cognitive biases and logical fallacies, e.g., excessive use of rhetorical props, appeal to authority, etc. How many times do you hear phrases (especially from the president) like: “It is perfectly clear to any right thinking person that climate change is real, it’s happening, and 97% of all scientists believe we are headed towards the tipping point all caused by manmade CO2 ….” That sentence has at least 5 logical fallacies / cognitive biases). To be clear, “right thinking persons” should be angry and insulted by this kind of such distortion – propaganda. This is straight out of the playbook of Propaganda Reichmeister Herr Doctor Goebbels. The “hiatus” meme is less organized and consists (my opinion) of mainly folks that are at least competent in science, mathematics, statistics… and in some cases such as Curry and Lewis very much so and can contribute to needed progress in understanding. All the finger pointing and wagging can be helpful in moving the discussion in the right direction towards better understanding and scientific conclusions. With the state of knowledge there is a great deal of confusion on what is known (facts, demonstrable conclusions) and hypotheses – premises.

    • There is a branch of social science that can go further in analyzing the themes and memes of climate change. Sadly, it’s similar to the branch practiced by Lewandowsky.

      Identify the memes. (Planet has a fever, worse than we thought, denier, etc.)
      Measure duration. (We don’t hear so much anymore about the planet having a fever.)
      Measure intensity. Frequency of use, adoption by mavens (or VSPs and KOLs) Easier now with social media.
      Measure translation into policy proposals, regulations and legislation.
      Measure spawning and evolution of related memes.
      Identify transition points and drivers.

      People do that for a living. More frequently, grad students do it for professors trying to make a point.

      It can be done well. It rarely is.

  28. Now that I think of it, most of “mainstream” climate science is driven by memes. Arctic sea ice was a prominent one in 2007 and then faded a bit until 2012 and now once again is on the shelf with Antarctic sea ice.

    An oldie but a goodie was resurrected this week by the USGS, the threat of polar bear extinction (done with models of course). I suspect that leading up to the climate talks in Paris we are going to see a meme-fest with some oldies dusted off and re-packaged along with some new ones like shark attacks off the Carolinas.

    Speaking of climate models, is there any climate metric or aspect of nature that a model can’t make look bad? (i.e. With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk?)

  29. This is what Andy West asserts without grounds “While L2015 is yet another strenuous attempt to attack skepticism by any means to hand, it reveals some knowledge of a key process via which the climate Consensus arose in the first place. Namely, narrative competition. In L2015 Lewandowsky rather surprisingly admits both that this process is in play, and that it can trump science.”
    No, narrative competition is not how the science is done. The whole point of L2015 is that these narrative competitions are a distraction carried out on the edges of the science where it intersects policy, and far from “trumping” science they don’t affect the scientific basis itself. The scientists are not swayed by the distractions, but some feel they can’t ignore them and they then enter into the narrative debate. As a solution, L2015 calls for a clear boundary between intra-scientific debates and these extra-scientific ones that he calls boundary work. He says “Many recent “scientific” controversies in which the scientific facts are disputed not by fellow experts, but by lay people, may be understood as a failure of boundary work”.
    They also introduce the concept of seepage, where non-expert poorly founded contrarian talking points have entered into the science by having actual scientists address these in publications which they see as a distortion of the science driven from the outside.

    • Jim D: No, narrative competition is not how the science is done.

      It’s how memes spread or are snuffed out. Lewandowsky have claimed that the process works among skeptics, and now admits that the process has worked among AGW promoters as well. No one has ever explicated how scientists come to hold beliefs and to change them; debates and collections of evidence are part of the process. Narrative competitions have been well documented (e.g. HIV versus HTLVIII, the famous Einstein-Bohr debates; the Eddington explanations, in great detail, of the results of the 1919 expedition; disputes of the Pons-Fleischman claims.)

      • Lewandowksy said that is exactly not the case. Read what he says and don’t take West’s word for it. Science is not narrative competition. It is hypotheses, data and theories. Nothing advances without evidence.

      • Jim D | July 3, 2015 at 3:49 pm

        I encourage everyone to read L2015 as context to this post. And indeed science strictly adhered to constrains the evolution of memes (mostly) to a reflection of reality. This is how we know that a certainty maintained by social consensus has, overall, left the scientific method far behind. As Matthew notes, L2015 admits to the serious impact of arbitrary memes on climate science. And as the links in the post demonstrate, using only Consensus material and various of Lewandowsky’s own papers, the dominant emotive memes within the climate domain and consequent bias, hugely favor the Consensus itself. It is exactly these mechanisms that maintain a social consensus.

        L2015 has pulled a corner of the curtain aside, attempting to show how memetic influencing works as a means to stigmatize pause memes. But behind the rest of the curtain, is how the Consensus position itself is a result of such influencing, and not of science.

      • “Seepage” in L2015 terms is not a serious impact. It is a term for things getting into publications that don’t belong there. They are essentially answers to public misconceptions and not to actual scientific questions.

      • Jim D | July 3, 2015 at 5:18 pm

        Time converts modest ‘seepage’ to serious impact; it’s cumulative and beyond a certain threshold gets amplifying feedback. And the Consensus has had decades ‘for things getting into publications that don’t belong there’, like a deficit of good stats and an excess of certainty.

        Given that pause memes currently protect the Consensus narrative, the attempt by L2015 to stigmatize them could cause a rift.

      • Jim D: Science is not narrative competition.

        How many examples of narrative competition do you have to have in order to understand or accept that it has always been a part of the process by which scientists propose, test, modify, dispute etc theories? No one has said “science is narrative competition”.

      • Matthew M says “No one has said “science is narrative competition”, except maybe Andy West, who I quoted above. Consensus does not come from mere narrative competition. It comes from lines of evidence and theories that work with it. If the theories themselves don’t work, no amount of narrative will rescue them.

      • Jim D: Consensus does not come from mere narrative competition.

        No one else has written “mere narrative competition” either. You are misrepresenting, not quoting.

      • He put it more strongly as “namely narrative competition.”

      • Jim D: He put it more strongly as “namely narrative competition.”

        Andy West, from the Jim D post that started this: “While L2015 is yet another strenuous attempt to attack skepticism by any means to hand, it reveals some knowledge of a key process via which the climate Consensus arose in the first place. Namely, narrative competition. In L2015 Lewandowsky rather surprisingly admits both that this process is in play, and that it can trump science.”

        Andy West called it “a key process”, which is essentially what I wrote in response to you. You invented the claim that you disputed: No, narrative competition is not how the science is done. And Lewandowksy said that is exactly not the case. Read what he says and don’t take West’s word for it. Science is not narrative competition.

        No one has said that “science is narrative competition”.

      • Jim D | July 3, 2015 at 8:13 pm

        A socially enforced consensus is not one that results from science, but from social process; narrative competition and bias. It is defensive and resists challenge.

        A scientific consensus is a loose framework for the current position in an uncertain domain (if the domain were certain, no consensus would be required). It is based on current evidence and theories, and is fluid plus open to challenge.

        You seem to be conflating the two.

        See https://judithcurry.com/2015/06/17/against-consensus-messaging/#comment-711281 and Judith’s No consensus on consensus paper.

      • Terms like “socially enforced consensus” and “narrative competition” to describe the scientific process are inaccurate and accusatory, and not helpful to the scientific discussion. This is just the kind of language that leads the scientists to not listen to the skeptics. If a skeptic can come in with a clean science argument and leave out this anti-science bunkum they will have a chance of being heard.

      • Danny Thomas

        Aha! Now I understand the reason for the term “mainstream” science.

      • Terms like “socially enforced consensus” and “narrative competition” to describe the scientific process are inaccurate and accusatory, and not helpful to the scientific discussion.

        But they’re very helpful to the discussion of whether the IPCC “science” is really Science at all.

      • If you don’t like the IPCC, go to the APS, AMS, AGU, NAS, RS, Google, Exxon, or any other independent groups who have made climate statements. You’re going to say these are all lefty academic types who have something against coal, of course, and that the science can’t be right just because it looks right so far.

      • […] or any other independent groups who have made climate statements.

        What do you mean “independent”? They’re all part of the same society. Much of which has accepted the authority of “scientific bodies” that have been infiltrated and subverted by political operatives who don’t care jack for Science, just for their ideology.

        You’re going to say these are all lefty academic types who have something against coal, of course, […]

        Well, I suppose they do. So do I. But do they allow their “science” to be perverted for the sake of such ideology? I’d say mostly not, although quite a few probably are engaged in a bit of denial.

        But the perps do. Hansen, Trenberth, those types.

      • JimD, you’re trying to talk about science. Mr. West is trying to talk about scientists.

      • AK, one meme assumes that every mainstream climate scientist is motivated to get a particular result either by funding or fear of being fired or ostracized. That meme says that they can’t possibly be doing it based on the ample evidence and the sense that it is just correct science that not only explains the last 60 years of warming, but also the last billion years of paleoclimate, and also why the surface of the earth has 33 C worth of greenhouse effect today. They say it can’t be right, as far as I can tell, only because if it was we would have to act in some way or at least acknowledge how much change is due under different carbon policies. Unprecedented warming rates and glacier melt rates don’t faze them. They have amazing sticktoitiveness in the face of facts. You might think they are just waiting for that one key fact that proves it to them, but I don’t think that will ever happen even long after the pause is gone. Perhaps they will migrate to warmer-is-better-anyway once that happens. There is a trend in this direction already as they see their hiatus ship taking on water.

      • @Jim D…

        AK, one meme assumes that every mainstream climate scientist is motivated to get a particular result either by funding or fear of being fired or ostracized. That meme says […]

        That’s not a meme, it’s a straw man.

        While there may be a few skeptics who think something close to that, most just consider that one of many possible explanations for scientists’ behavior. AFAIK.

        […] they can’t possibly be doing it based on the ample evidence and the sense that it is just correct science that not only explains the last 60 years of warming, but also the last billion years of paleoclimate, and also why the surface of the earth has 33 C worth of greenhouse effect today.

        Another straw man. The reality is that just because some “scientific theory” explains some of the facts, that doesn’t make it Science. To be Science, the theory has to be the best, explaining more than any of the competing theories.

        But such Scientific competition demands research: experiments that test theories, and create conditions where competing theories predict different results. And besides, there are many major holes in the “explanations” the so-called “consensus” paradigm provides. Not to mention abundant circularities.

        They say it can’t be right, as far as I can tell, only because if it was we would have to act in some way or at least acknowledge how much change is due under different carbon policies.

        That’s because you’re possessed by the “m0tivated thinking” meme. You assume that skeptics are all picking their scientific preferences to achieve a desired policy option, then accuse them of precisely the sort of thinking you’re guilty of.

        While there are probably many skeptics who are more open to questioning the “science”: of CAGW because it’s been used to rationalize demands for a political/ideological agenda they don’t like, there’s a big difference between being motivated to question, and being motivated to believe an answer despite evidence.

        The overwhelming evidence is that the scientific establishment for climate research has been badly infested and perverted by ideologues. If you start by assuming that, then everything coming out of institutions like the IPCC must (logically) be deprecated. IPCC “science” then being untrustworthy, they fall back on whatever they know, and come up with alternatives.

        Most of those alternatives are ridiculous, and I’ve called down my share (IMO) of the worst offenders here. But since these skeptics don’t understand the science any more than you do, they’re stuck: they don’t have any standardized “authority” figure to fall back on. So they have to DIY.

        Personally, I do understand the relevant sciences (IMO), especially non-linear dynamics, well enough to see that the IPCC “climate science” is a Frankenstein pseudo-zombie constructed from already obsolete scientific memes. That informs my own opinion, but I make no claim to be any sort of “authority”: other skeptics should study the subject(s) themselves.

        But you’re either pretty ign0rant, or trying to pull a scam, by demanding that “skeptics get together” and sing out of one hymnal. Skepticism is about doubt for doubtful memes, not about uniting behind one doubtful alternative.

      • Yes, I am generalizing mainly from what I see Judith and the denizens here saying. You probably don’t have to read them much to see how much of this just recurs all the time in their language. I called it a meme, but it could be an ideology. As I said, they claim to want a scientific discussion, but don’t put much forwards except for the rapidly fading “pause” in defense of their view. If there is one thing they were united on it was the pause. What will they do next?

      • thomasfuller, L2015 was talking about hard science being invaded at its edges by seepage, and West was subverting that message with his own personal view of what climate science is, which seems to be that it is all just an opinion without much core knowledge that everyone agrees on.

      • [Jim D] [O]ne meme assumes that every mainstream climate scientist is motivated to get a particular result either by funding or fear of being fired or ostracized.

        [AK] That’s not a meme, it’s a straw man. […] The overwhelming evidence is that the scientific establishment for climate research has been badly infested and perverted by ideologues.

      • @willard (@nevaudit)…

        Exactly! A straw man.

        Compare the straw man:

        [Jim D] [O]ne meme assumes that every mainstream climate scientist is motivated to get a particular result [bolding mine]

        …With the position I summarized:

        The overwhelming evidence is that the scientific establishment for climate research has been badly infested and perverted by ideologues.

        (Disclaimer: I’ve described the situation in terms of how it appears to me.) I make no secret that I’m reasonably sure a conspiracy of sorts exists to use “global warming” as a stalking horse for a socialist agenda (of sorts). Same with many other people. But even if we’re right, and quite a bit of evidence has been adduced, that doesn’t mean “every mainstream climate scientist” is in on the conspiracy. Straw man.

        As I mentioned above, there “may be a few skeptics who think something close to that”, but mostly they’re thinking of something a little more limited. AFAIK.

        The whole “Conspiracy nut” meme is a straw man, used by conspirators and “useful idi0ts” to distract attention from (potentially) real conspiracy. Conspiracy comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and intensity, and almost any re-characterization of one person’s theory by another could well be a straw man.

        Personally, I look at the application of “conspiracy” (as a meme) to the CAGW movement with a great deal of uncertainty, sort of like our hostess’ “Italian flag” model: a red end with a huge commie conspiracy called “Global Warming”, a green end with a huge bunch of people sheeple milling around concerned about the environment, and a huge white stripe of uncertainty containing unknown portions of red conspirators, green environmentalists, watermelons, and dupes.

      • AK | July 3, 2015 at 10:53 pm
        Great comment :)

        Jim D | July 3, 2015 at 10:33 pm
        The view is amply supported by the link-outs, which call up much material from purely Consensus sources, several of which are papers by Lewandowsky himself (with other authors). The social processes that can sway society, and sometimes science along with it, are pretty well known. There’s plenty of literature. But by referencing from only Consensus supporters / sources, no-one can say there is skeptic bias in these sources. The *mechanisms* in L2015 are a small subset of the literature, and even this subset works more strongly in favor of the Consensus, as even orthodox folks like Betts realized regarding the third party effect.

        I presume that in principle at least, you would yourself agree that science can be derailed by these social processes, as occurred for Eugenics and Lysenkoism and, in a more bounded way, the theory of plate tectonics, even if you think that this *hasn’t* happened for climate science?

        Given that pause memes have protected the core narrative of CAGW for some years now, to say the least it’s a bold move by Lewandowsky and Oreskes to try and stigmatize them. Unless their ‘warming continues unabated’ candidate triumphs, the move can only cause major damage to the Consensus.

      • I find it ironic that many of the skeptics who denigrate Lewandowsky for saying that they have conspiracy ideation, actually do have conspiracy ideation and some even admit to it or at least imply it in their postings.
        If there was a conspiracy, you should be able to attack the science as being weak in some areas instead of just talking about your pet conspiracy all the time. This discussion would be much better if the focus was just the science, and not all this guff like we see here.

      • “you should be able to attack the science as being weak”
        The science isn’t weak, it’s made up.

      • Jim D | July 4, 2015 at 10:22 am

        Does this refer to me? While the odd conspiracy can bolt onto the side of any major human enterprise, I have made it very clear in my writings on the social phenomenon of climate change, that conspiracy is most certainly NOT a primary driver. So I have no idea where you’re coming from with that. And the mechanisms in L2015, which I and others here point out are more powerful on behalf of the Consensus, are not due to conspiracy either, but are generic social mechanisms enacted subconsciously.

      • I find it ironic that many of the skeptics who denigrate Lewandowsky for saying that they have conspiracy ideation,

        I don’t think much about Lewandowsky – but when I do it is usually to reflect with amusement at the irony of how susceptible he is to the cognitive biases he writes about.

      • Turbulent Eddie | July 4, 2015 at 10:40 am

        Yes, amusing indeed. But an interesting lesson too. Lewandowsky has done good work outside the climate domain.

        These effects are domain orientated. We may be perfectly objective in one cultural domain, and as biased as you like in another. Rather a sobering thought.

      • > Exactly!

        There’s not enough space between “the scientific establishment” and “every mainstream climate scientist” to fit any bit of straw, AK.

        I don’t always bold quantifiers, but when I do I also try to bold its corresponding instantiation.

      • There’s not enough space between “the scientific establishment” and “every mainstream climate scientist” to fit any bit of straw, AK.

        But there’s plenty of space between “every mainstream climate scientist” and “infested and perverted by ideologues.”. Infestation doesn’t take a high percentage: what percent of your body weight is taken up by fleas? (Assuming infestation.)

        Yet another arm-waving straw man: “look! A squirrel! I bet it has fleas too!”

      • While it is not so nutty here, you can go to the leading skeptic site, WUWT, for a set of conspiracies ranging from ‘world government’ to cooking the temperature records. Even better, for entertainment, find any right-wing radio host talking to Monckton or Tim Ball where they trade their own wacky theories with the hosts such as Alex Jones and Greg Hunter. You can’t say this doesn’t go on at the highest skeptical levels, and in this way Lewandowsky is right for pointing it out, even though it is also obvious.

      • Jim D | July 4, 2015 at 12:56 pm

        Qualitatively no different to The Merchants of Doubt and Evil Big Oil etc memes. Quantitatively, these caught on and so have hugely influenced society, and science embedded in society. The skeptic ones didn’t catch on, and so by comparison haven’t been a significant influence.

      • ==> ” Quantitatively, these caught on and so have hugely influenced society, …”

        Where is your “quantitative” evidence to show this “huge” influence.

      • Google the comparative phrases from each side’s claims on these issues. Listen / read a range of mainstream media across the political spectrum. Look at surveys that border this territory. Even ask folks you know who have no strong connection to the climate domain. It’s no contest. But don’t believe me; it’s easy to do for yourself, and I’m sure much more convincing.

      • While it is not so nutty here, you can go to the leading skeptic site, WUWT, for a set of conspiracies ranging from ‘world government’ to cooking the temperature records. Even better, for entertainment, find any right-wing radio host talking to Monckton or Tim Ball where they trade their own wacky theories with the hosts such as Alex Jones and Greg Hunter. You can’t say this doesn’t go on at the highest skeptical levels, and in this way Lewandowsky is right for pointing it out, even though it is also obvious.

        You can’t say this doesn’t go on at the highest skeptical levels, and in this way Lewandowsky is right for pointing it out, even though it is also obvious.

        Speaking of “nutty”, how about describing the likes of “Monckton or Tim Ball”, or “Alex Jones and Greg Hunter” as “the highest skeptical levels”! They may be the loudest, but that’s all.

        You’re still into your “everybody singing out of the same hymnal” meme. Most skeptics are just pursuing their own agenda(s), and while there’s plenty of overlap, there’s plenty of dispute as well.

        But let’s take a look at a couple of those “nutty” conspiracy memes:

        world government” is a socialist sine qua non. As a general rule, polities based on socialist principles can’t effectively compete with those using even the badly contaminated “capitalism” found in the West as it won the “Cold War”. This has been obvious since Marx’s day, to the smarter socialists and everybody else.

        So for many opponents of socialists ideals, the close overlap between socialism and need/advocacy of “world government” raises a justifiable suspicion of socialist conspiracy in any such advocacy.

        Personally, I regard an ever tighter integration of economic, legal, and political control across the world as essentially inevitable, if extremely unfortunate. And I suspect there are many who would agree with me, more or less. But that doesn’t rule out the potential for many different ways in which such tighter integration can take place.

        People who are working for a “world government” based on, say, the EU (or UN) model are working in the direction of something open to infiltration and subversion analogous to Lenin’s subversion of the Kerensky government. This makes them justifiable objects of suspicion.

        As for “cooking the temperature records”, again suspicion is justified. It’s easy for find correlations between “adjustments” and the agenda of “global warming”. (Of course, it’s easy to find anti-correlations as well.) Personally I see no reason why those responsible for the shenanigans exposed in Climategate can be assumed innocent of adjusting the temperature records to support their agenda.

        Of course, since the use of “anomalies” makes it impossible to use any temperature readings in creating “global averages” without incorporating some mean, and assumptions regarding how those temperature measurements can actually be used as proxies for the temperature field, it’s not a matter of “adjusting”, it’s a matter of switching from one “adjustment” to another. But many of those people just don’t understand that whole process.

        While I doubt these theorists have got hold of anything real, I sympathize with their skepticism of the motivations and agendas of the more disreputable (e.g. Mann, Gleick) of the “climate science” establishment.

      • Andy –

        You spoke of a quantitative assessment, and so I asked you for evidence. I should have been more specific; I wasn’t referring to anecdotal evidence.

        Your suggested methodology for doing a quantitative analysis will be subject to all forms of biases.

        ==> ” It’s no contest. ”

        Your original statement, the one that I asked about, was not about the relative numbers.

        Further, you talked of “influence.” What does “influence” mean? You spoke of a “huge influence?” What does a “huge influence” mean?

        Can we measure “a huge” influence by evaluating the adoption of societal policies? Do we see policies being adopted because of the “huge influence” of arguments that big oil funds “skepticism?”

        IMO, in the U.S., “skeptical” memes have a great deal of “influence” Look at the number of influential political leaders who regularly repeat “skeptical” memes.

      • I don’t think you can equate the Ball/Monckton conspiracy thinking with Merchants of Doubt. There are unquestionable oil/coal ties to “skeptical” institutes that send people to local governments in the US and national congressmen to advocate against renewable energy and have to use their own version of science to do that. I doubt that Heartland or Cato for example would deny that this is the reason for their existence. It is James Taylor’s job at Heartland to advocate against states going renewable, and he has said as much in an interview. You can call it open lobbying, but it is not a secret conspiracy.

      • I don’t think you can equate the Ball/Monckton conspiracy thinking with Merchants of Doubt. There are unquestionable oil/coal ties to “skeptical” institutes that send people to local governments in the US and national congressmen to advocate against renewable energy and have to use their own version of science to do that.

        I don’t think you can equate the Ball/Monckton conspiracy thinking with Merchants of Doubt.

        I wasn’t, but since you do…

        There are unquestionable oil/coal ties to “skeptical” institutes […]

        CAGW has Paul Watson, Peter Berle, Judi Bari, David Brower, Helen Caldicott, John Davis, Lester Brown, David Foreman, Christine Stewart, Michael Oppenheimer, etc.. There are unquestionable ideological ties. Which is stronger? Money, or money+ideology?

      • Joshua | July 4, 2015 at 2:51 pm

        Yes, definitely some significant politicians repeating skeptical memes in the US, especially in the last few years. I guess you got that from listening to them. Well, likewise listen to all the presidents and prime ministers and other politicians around the world. Ditto media, NGOs, etc.

      • Andy –

        It would seem to me that you you’re going to assert with complete certainty, as you have done, a quantitatively huge influence of something, you’d need to be able to at least speculate, with at least some supporting evidence of what would have been different absent that influence.

        Of course, proving a counterfactual in such a broad arena as public opinion and public policy is probably impossible – certainly extremely difficult. Proving would would have been different without what you’ve termed hugely influential would be a tall task – but I still find your assertion to lack evidentiary support.

        That a Google search might return many hits on a search string for “big oil and climate change,” that doesn’t mean much, IMO, in real-world terms about influence, let alone huge influence. That politicians of all stripes might speak in memes doesn’t prove meaningful influence, and if you were going to use such a measure to quantify influence, then even then, I doubt that you would find some kind of enormous disparity as you assert, with total confidence (at least in the U.S.)…

        On the other hand, there is much quality, empirical evidence as to what influences public opinions on climate change, and the mechanistic properties of how those influences are manifest..

      • > “look! A squirrel!

        The only squirrel has been introduced that way:

        The overwhelming evidence is that the scientific establishment for climate research has been badly infested and perverted by ideologues.

        This squirrel has been introduced by pushing Jim D’s meme aside as a strawman, which is false. Judy’s “manfactured consensus” is based on that meme. The Auditor’s “fatwa” and “cleansing” are based on that meme. For more on the same:

        http://lmgtfy.com/?q=site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fjudithcurry.com+conform

        First search result: Are climate scientists being forced to toe the line?.

        ***

        This reccuring appeal to conformism can easily turn conspirational if we add to it AK’s infestation and perversion memes. While the infestation may be spread by only a few “bad apples” (another meme), the end result is that mainstream science, as a whole, becomes perverted. Which means that AK’s rationalization is as cheap as his dogwhistled quantification.

        One does not simply accuse mainstream science of being perverted and expect that only a few bad apples are affected by this perversion.

      • One does not simply accuse mainstream science of being perverted and expect that only a few bad apples are affected by this perversion.

        Yet another straw man. “[A]ffected” isn’t what I said. Responsible? Probably (IMO) only a small fraction.

        But many of the main institutions have been perverted, as their “statements” demonstrate. And the IPCC was a vehicle for perversion of Science from the start.

      • AK, that was Andy West doing the equating. I agree with you that they are not equatable. By the way my comments are being delayed probably due to me being too active over the last few days, so you may see some more coming up late on various threads.

      • Joshua | July 4, 2015 at 5:35 pm
        “…what would have been different absent that influence.”
        Presidents and Prime Ministers saying we have x days to save the planet. Climategate. IPCC Group think. Mostly, a high level of certainty of serious danger that has pervaded society, and which isn’t even supported by the orthodox IPCC let alone any Lukewarmer or Skeptical views. These are social effects, which are operating independently of the physical climate system, and whether indeed CO2 turns out to be good, bad or indifferent.

        “On the other hand, there is much quality, empirical evidence …”
        Yes indeed. And as you know I incorporate great data from Kahan and from independent, surveys, for instance here:
        https://judithcurry.com/2015/01/30/climate-psychologys-consensus-bias
        …and there’s also some called up in the link-outs from this post. This data is indeed all great for my case.

      • > “[A]ffected” isn’t what I said.

        I did not claim AK did either. Perhaps infected might have been more accurate:

        The overwhelming evidence is that the scientific establishment for climate research has been badly infested and perverted by ideologues.

        AK’s “only a small fraction” conflates once again the ideologues with their target, which the scientific establishment. It is the latter that is being badly infested and perverted, and there’s no such state as being just a bit badly infested and perverted.

        Talk about straw men.

      • Jim D | July 4, 2015 at 7:08 pm

        Well the details will be different of course, but in terms of social process I think one can indeed broadly equivalence conspiracy propositions from both sides, of which there’s a range weak and strong. The weak ones may represent barely more than the general distrust of politicians that folks often express on any issue anyhow. But I think the point here is that the skeptic ones never engaged the public imagination, never caught on, and the CAGW ones did. Hence the former necessarily have much less influence.

      • > But I think the point here is that the skeptic ones never engaged the public imagination, never caught on, and the CAGW ones did.

        The CAGW meme is the best counterexample to that claim.

      • Andy West, you say the skeptics never caught the public imagination. I would say on the contrary, they play to conspiracy ideation and anti-academic feelings in some sectors of the public very well. Perhaps you don’t listen to right-wing radio or watch their TV. That’s their audience and it includes a lot of politicians too.

      • Willard | July 4, 2015 at 8:09 pm

        I doubt the public recognize this term, although they most certainly recognize the concept of catastrophe from climate change. In various forms this is messaged frequently from authority figures and in the mainstream media. But this is not skeptic messaging, clearly.

      • Come on, Andy. The CAGW meme uses words like “alarmism” and “alarmists” to frame the minds of the public. Denizens uses the codeword “CAGW” for convenience, as if nobody would notice the addition of the C wasn’t their own fabrication. The acronym seems useful, among other things, to convince themselves that it exists as a theorical construct, which is false.

        Contrarians use all sorts of memes. Most if not all their arguments are built around memes. To claim that contrarian memes have not “caught on” rests on the assumption that what Judy, the Lomborg Collective, Matt King Coal, Tony, David “MWD” Rose, and all the other sources of the lukewarm network are spinning daily has no effect on the public.

        This claim is quite frankly preposterous.

      • “This claim is quite frankly preposterous.”
        For instance, my Mom and sisters would know none of them, nor would they know CAGW.
        I think you’re really stretching credibility saying that the skeptical side has the same recognition in the public.

      • Willard | July 5, 2015 at 5:56 am

        Yes there are arbitrary memes in the skeptic movement. I didn’t say otherwise. And some of them make it to the (US) public on the back of republican resistance to climate policy, and other channels exist. But the public domain has been flooded for many years with arbitrary / emotive memes based on the high certainty of various serious dangers from climate change, many of which dangers are unsupported even by the IPCC. On the back of the huge platform of these danger warnings, ‘merchants of doubt’ and other such memes have indeed caught on widely. The emotive stance of the CAGW movement dominates. Folks cannot understand why anyone would oppose catastrophe, on the assumption that catastrophe is essentially certain as their leaders tell them. Hence nefarious motives are the only real choice they have for an explanation, and so this easily takes hold. Yet the certainty is false.

        If you think that the ‘catastrophic’ angle is one implanted by skeptics, as you seem to imply, then this is a truly extraordinary claim. I do not think the statement by (when made) Prime Minister Gordon Brown below, was made on behalf of skepticism. Nor many others in a similar vein made globally by authoritative figures and orgs. The main skeptic platform is to question such certainty of danger as stated below, and this is not of itself arbitrary or emotive.

        Gordon Brown has warned the UK faces a “catastrophe” of floods, droughts and killer heatwaves if world leaders fail to agree a deal on climate change.
        He addressed the Major Economies Forum in London, which brings together 17 of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas-emitting countries where he said there was “no plan B” if agreement was not reached at December’s UN summit in Copenhagen.
        Negotiators have 50 days to save the world from global warming, he added.
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8314044.stm

      • correction:
        ‘Folks cannot understand why anyone would oppose *policies that avoid* catastrophe…’

      • > I think you’re really stretching credibility saying that the [contrarian] side has the same recognition in the public.

        I don’t recall having said that, so a quote might be nice.

        Talk about straw men.

      • > Yes there are arbitrary memes in the skeptic movement. I didn’t say otherwise. And some of them make it to the (US) public on the back of republican resistance to climate policy, and other channels exist.

        This sounds like a key admission against the claim that

        But I think the point here is that the [contrarian] ones never engaged the public imagination, never caught on, and the CAGW ones did.

        is false.

        Is there a special kind of meme that is arbitrary?

        ***

        > But the public domain has been flooded for many years with arbitrary / emotive memes based on the high certainty of various serious dangers from climate change, many of which dangers are unsupported even by the IPCC.

        “But the IPCC”‘s tu quoque reiterates the CAGW meme. This meme is also Andy’s leitmotiv in his editorial. Nothing special there, since it would be hard to find a comment thread where this meme is not rinsed and repeated by Denizens.

        Go team!

        ***

        Besides, notice how Andy joins to the CAGW meme another important contrarian meme: “but uncertainty.” Mr. T’s an active ingredient in dissensus messaging. Judy’s trademark has been borrowed by the political establishment (along with “I’m not a scientist”).

        Add this to “but the pause,” “but denier” and a whole lotta bunch of other buts and you get results like this:

        U.S. public opinion regarding climate change has become increasingly
        polarized in recent years, as partisan think tanks and others worked to recast an originally scientific topic into a political wedge issue. Nominally “scientific” arguments against taking anthropogenic climate change seriously have been publicized to reach informed but ideologically receptive audiences. Reflecting the success of such arguments, polls have noted that concern about climate change increased with education
        among Democrats, but decreased with education among Republicans. These observations lead to the hypothesis that there exist interaction (non-additive) effects between education or knowledge and political orientation, net of other background factors, in predicting public concern about climate change. Two regional telephone surveys, conducted in New Hampshire (n = 541) and Michigan (n = 1, 008) in
        2008, included identical climate-change questions that provide opportunities to test this hypothesis. Multivariate analysis of both surveys finds significant interactions. These empirical results fit with theoretical interpretations and several other recent studies. They suggest that the classically identified social bases of concern about the environment in general, and climate in particular, have shifted in recent years. Narrowcast media, including the many Web sites devoted to discrediting climate change concerns, provide ideal conduits for channeling contrarian arguments to an audience predisposed to believe and electronically spread them further. Active-response Web sites by climate scientists could prove critical to counterbalancing contrarian arguments.

        http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Lawrence_Hamilton/publication/226722589_Education_politics_and_opinions_about_climate_change_evidence_for_interaction_effects/links/00b49516bf5e5109af000000.pdf

        Contrarian memes, contrarian memes everywhere.

      • Willard | July 5, 2015 at 4:49 pm |

        “This sounds like a key admission…”
        No. Emotive CAGW memes dominate.

        “Is there a special kind of meme that is arbitrary?”
        Yes, and they are much the more interesting ones from the PoV of social structures.

        “…it would be hard to find a comment thread where this meme is not rinsed and repeated by Denizens”
        So why no substantive reply? The ‘C’ in CAGW was put there by the Consensus, not by skeptics. Or do you think most of the world leaders (incl quote above) and high profile orgs, are secretly skeptical?

        “Go team!”
        It’s not a team game. It’s about emergent social phenomena.

        Per your survey clip, the increasing polarization of the science (and climate science) aware, is a classic sign of cultural bias, as noted by Kahan for both climate and other domains. The question is, within the climate domain, where is the bias attributable to? And how many cultural players are there? For differing analysis of same by Kahan and me, see:
        https://judithcurry.com/2015/01/30/climate-psychologys-consensus-bias

      • > No. Emotive CAGW memes dominate.

        Thus Andy recurs his CAGW meme instead of addressing the argument.

        Even if the distinction between arbitrary and emotive memes was not spurious, which is a stretch, the claim that “the [contrarian] memes never engaged the public imagination, never caught on”, is false.

        Worse, using “but CAGW memes” is a tu quoque is an invalid response. That other memes dominate is irrelevant to the fact that there are contrarian memes around, and that they “engage” the public imagination, whatever that means.

        This is a no brainer, really:

        http://lmgtfy.com/?q=fox+news+alarmism

        ***

        Besides, since when the CAGW meme is not emotive? There’s no need for contrarians go right up to eleven with “but the poor” or “but jobs” or “but Grrrowth” to play on emotions. That’s the freaking “alarmist!” card, for Svante’s sake!

        Andy’s special pleading (“but arbitrary”) might appeal to the libertarian mould, where it’s all lukewarm and reason reigns. However, he might find “but reason” harder to sell when all he has to show to back up his extraordinary claim is some special pleading and a tu quoque.

      • > The ‘C’ in CAGW was put there by the Consensus, not by [contrarians].

        The IPCC Made Contrarians Do It.

        That’s just great, Andy.

        Is the Consensus writing your comments right now?

      • Willard | July 5, 2015 at 8:04 pm

        The IPCC made the contrarians do what?

        Are you really saying that all the unsupported alarmist press / pronouncements over the years, from many orgs and authority figures, is a feature of skepticism and not of the climate change movement itself? This is a most extraordinary position, yet otherwise your comments don’t make sense to me. Can you be explicit here?

        Granted not all orthodox scientists support those pronouncements, but very few have spoken against them. And it was agreed upthread that we are not talking about conspiracies here, hence not (largely) deliberate action, but emergent social phenomena. These develop from some original impetus, which is then typically amplified in a positive feedback loop. If that original impetus is not climate science, what is it?

        If you are going to divorce the huge weight of alarmism and the concept of catastrophe from a climate movement inspired by climate science, with the consensus on CO2 at its heart, then you have to find an alternate impetus that you can also show is plumbed into the positive feedback loop on a global scale. Among many other orgs and leaderships, I think you may find it damn difficult to characterize Greenpeace, for instance, as a climate skeptically driven organization.

      • rogerknights

        Jim D | July 3, 2015 at 9:07 pm |
        “If you don’t like the IPCC, go to the APS, . . . ”

        As if we could. The APS enforcers shut down the scientific process of crafting a new position paper and plugged in their own pre-conceived opinions instead.

      • > The IPCC made the contrarians do what?

        Use the CAGW, like here:

        The ‘C’ in CAGW was put there by the Consensus, not by [contrarians].

        which is false, since the expression “CAGW” is promoted by the contrarian freedom fighters.

        ***

        Perhaps Andy doesn’t recognize that the “you made me so it” meme is so pervasive it is a game in transactions beyond ClimateBall:

        http://www.ericberne.com/games-people-play/see-what-you-made-me-do/

        One way to use that game would be to say that I say something like “go team Denizens!” because Judy “made me do it because she used it first. That used to be the Auditor’s excuse to refer to the Kyoto Flames that way. Since I own what I say, I won’t hide under that cheap excuse.

      • Willard | July 7, 2015 at 9:54 am

        I’m not saying that the literal term ‘CAGW’ was a product of the Consensus inspired climate movement. Of course not. The concept of catastrophe most certainly is, however. The skeptics merely refer to this concept via the ‘C’ in CAGW to save a lot of typing, in the same way that both sides use AGW to likewise save typing the rest. To imply that the wide spread of the concept of climate catastrophe within society somehow has a skeptic hand behind it, is truly extraordinary, if that is indeed what you are implying. Is it?

      • > The [contrarians] merely refer to this concept via the ‘C’ in CAGW to save a lot of typing, in the same way that both sides use AGW to likewise save typing the rest.

        I disagree on two counts.

        First, AGW refers to a theory, or rather an univocal consequence of a network of theories, while CAGW is the strawman contrarians built for their “alarmist!” meme.

        Second, adding the C saves more than typing, it saves thinking about risks. AGW implies risks, and the CAGW strawman minimize those risks by caricaturing them. It would be really hard to deny that AGW contains risks that need to be dealt with. From the most conservative scientist who would make my fantasy draft:

        1. What are your views about climate change?

        Before we get to my views, let’s start with the facts. First, the climate is always changing. Second, our changing of the composition of the atmosphere is giving the climate system a bigger kick than it’s gotten in a long time. Third, science has been unable to pin down just how big an effect on global temperatures that kick is going to have, to within a factor of two or three. Fourth, apart from sea level rise, other climate change impacts are even less precisely known.

        Now, my view is that climate change is an important issue that requires our attention. We need to confront the risks and make informed decisions about the extent to which we wish to slow down climate change or just deal with its impacts.

        2. What are your key concerns about this issue in Texas with respect to its impacts?

        For ecology, there are multiple threats to coastal ecosystems. Ocean acidification, sea level rise, reduced freshwater inflows, and rising temperatures will combine to lead to major changes. For society, there are lots of little problems. The most costly and pervasive would be reduced water availability, while the most dangerous would be increased chances of urban wildfires.

        […]

        8. For Texas, what’s the most pressing concern of climate change? For example, is it drought or rising sea levels? And do you see these risks as a means of persuading skeptics?

        I discussed the main risks earlier. However, people can’t be persuaded by those risks unless and until they recognize those risks as real. By the time such elevated risks are clearly apparent in the data, it will be too late to do much about it.

        http://blogs.edf.org/texascleanairmatters/2014/06/19/texas-state-climatologist-on-politics-weather-and-setting-the-facts-straight-on-climate-change/

        The two emphases underline the two aspects that the CAGW meme conceals.

        It is not by whining about mediatic hyperboles that we’ll deal with AGW risks.

        And that’s the memo.

      • Danny Thomas

        Once again with a wordy non-science oriented post, Willard proves himself inaccurate (and I quote)””If all countries followed New Zealand’s lead, catastrophic climate change would be the result,” said Green MP Kennedy Graham. (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11477164)

        That is a self label, not at all from the lips/fingers of a “skeptic”.

        Fail!

      • Danny, after being wrong about me, ClimateBall, the concept of meme, and the usages of quotation marks (and that’s just on this thread alone), now quotes an example that contains an “if”, reinforcing my point that CAGW is a strawman and showing he has not read the end of my comment.

        To top this, he uses the “wordy” and “not science” epithets to describe a comment where most of the words contained were not mine, but Texas State meteorologist’s.

        Go Team Denizens!

        ***

        No more Lakoff for Danny. Time for him to own his ClimateBall.

      • Danny Thomas

        Wow Willard. Then set me straight (unless I’m burdening you with a burden you chose not to accept, as usual).
        “What are you VIEWS on climate change” (asked to the Tx Climatologist)

        Your Em-PHA-sys “However, people can’t be persuaded by those risks unless and until they recognize those risks as real. By the time such elevated risks are clearly apparent in the data, it will be too late to do much about it.”

        Appears to be a meme {“an idea, belief or belief system, or pattern of behavior that spreads throughout a culture either vertically by cultural inheritance (as by parents to children) or horizontally by cultural acquisition (as by peers, information media, and entertainment media)}

        The NZ article clearly states by the self labeled individual that “IF” we don’t do what he says (lacks proof entirely) we should do the result WILL be kat-as-tropic!
        (Happy to own that Mr. W. Happy, happy, happy)

      • > The NZ article clearly states by the self labeled individual that “IF” we don’t do what he says .

        Our favorite ClimateBall player now misrepresents self-labeling, and yet again uses it as an excuse to refuse to own his schtick.

        Well played, Denizens!

      • Danny Thomas

        Maybe Willard should broaden his considerations when looking at “state climatologists” instead of cherry picking for “the views” of one which fits his needs: https://news.uns.purdue.edu/images/2014/prokopy-climatetable.pdf

        But then that would be poor Climateball play and no points would be scored.

        Key aspects of Danny’s choice of play design: Peer reviewed. All states covered, not just one. Formal, not informal.

        Fail for Willard. Have a great day!

      • > Maybe Willard should broaden his considerations […]

        Maybe Danny should acknowledge that my argument refuted his “wordy” and “non-science oriented post” were misguided, which was the point of recalling that NG was a state climatologist, instead of playing squirrels with “but other climatologists” with a survey that doesn’t even fit his “play design.”

        Speaking of climatologists:

        Nobody could escape what was going on, including the state climatologist, Nolan Doesken. Every day the phone was ringing in his office, people asking him, is this climate change? Is this what the future is going to look like? And he gave them the answer he always has– variability.

        But the summer changed him. Just a week after we had first spoken, Nolan left for a vacation with his wife to Michigan, and that’s when the biggest of the wildfires broke out, a few miles from his house in Fort Collins.

        […]

        His neighbor’s death was one of the things that made him start to think differently about the data. The important question wasn’t, is this particular drought caused by climate change? Whether it was or wasn’t didn’t matter. Because either way, he realized, if the climate models are right, he was seeing the future. Seeing were Colorado was headed– droughts and dead crops and fires– and it was horrible.

        http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/495/transcript

        Another CAGW alarmist, no doubt.

      • I don’t have any quibble that AGW is an accepted theory or that there are potential risks. The bit I still don’t get in your stance is the bit below in asterisks.

        ‘…while CAGW is the strawman contrarians built for *their* “alarmist!” meme.’

        Notwithstanding that crushing things into an abbreviation and flinging it about will create its own issues, it’s a terminology of the climate domain and I don’t think the public would have a clue what it means. Meanwhile, alarmism is an emergent phenomenon of the climate movement inspired by the consensus on CO2. I also get that some in the Consensus distance from or disown the alarmism, a generic phenomenon doesn’t mean everyone bought in. But no way can the alarm in the wider environmental and public domains, which has then fed back into the science, can be laid at the door of skeptics. This is what I don’t get in your reply. CAGW may be a skeptic term, but the alarm it and you refer to (above) is not ‘theirs’.

        You may be trying to say something perfectly valid, but I don’t know what that is. Saying it the way you do, just seems to pin the blame for generic global climate alarmism on skeptics. That just doesn’t fly.

      • CAGW may be a skeptic term, but the alarm it and you refer to (above) is not ‘theirs’.

        It is when you ignore the conditionals, which is the norm and what you’ve certainly done here.

      • It is when you ignore the conditionals

        What? When I’m bombarded day in and day out by news reports that the world is going to burn up if we don’t change today, there sure aren’t any conditions or disclaimers then!

      • Andy –

        ==> “Meanwhile, alarmism is an emergent phenomenon of the climate movement inspired”

        And there we have, without any apparent sense of irony about the use of a polemic, this term which lacks real definition being used as a core element in your thesis about the impact of memes in the public discussion about climate change.

        Who is an “alamist?” Am I, because I am more concerned about the risks posed by increased ACO2 emissions than you? Is anyone who disagrees with you about the policy implications of the GHE an “alarmist?” Is anyone who thinks that the risks, when considered on a long time horizon, justify shorter-term sacrifice or cost an “alarmist?”

        This is the flip side on anyone on the other side of the climate change identity-protective spectrum who considers everyone who is less concerned about the risks of ACO2 than they to be a “denier.”

        Consider how often we read “skeptics” argue that the ubiquitous use of the term “denier” reflects a “meme” reflects a fundamental distortion of the scientific engagement.

        Consider how this use of “alarmism” inextricably links, in the eyes of “skeptics,” the issue of climate change into a whole political/ideological network of identity-related struggles – linking “CAGW” into the network of “eco-Nazi” and “statist” and “progressive,” and kooky environmentalist tree-hugger, and “warmunism,” etc.

        ==> You may be trying to say something perfectly valid, but I don’t know what that is. ”

        You have to step outside the bubble to see it.

      • > I’m being bombarded

        Nice meme there, Micro.

        It is doubtful you have time for all this ClimateBall to “Surf all the MSM” to get bombarded by anything. A more plausible hypothesis is that you’re tracking your own favorite fears, and dismiss all the other ones: taxes, jobs, one-workd government, black helicopters, etc.

      • Nice meme there, Micro.
        It is doubtful you have time for all this ClimateBall to “Surf all the MSM” to get bombarded by anything. A more plausible hypothesis is that you’re tracking your own favorite fears, and dismiss all the other ones: taxes, jobs, one-workd government, black helicopters, etc.

        I’m not sure what you’re talking about which fears I have, but you’re either being disingenuous, oblivious or you never watch any news or weather, as almost every weather event being reported is linked to Climate Change:
        Hurricane Sandy
        Snowmageddon
        snow storms
        early springs
        late fall
        no snow in the winter
        every time there’s too much rain
        every time there’s a drought
        every heat wave
        every time it’s really cold some place it’s not normally cold
        Shark attacks
        Mud slides (though those fall under too much rain)
        wild fires
        tornado out breaks
        large tornadoes

        And I’m sure I’m missing some.

      • > I don’t have any quibble that AGW is an accepted theory or that there are potential risks.

        Then stop using that CAGW strawman, since “AGW” is contained in “CAGW”.

        The contamination (i.e. the association fallacy) is just too obvious.

        ***

        > [A]larmism is an emergent phenomenon of the climate movement inspired by the consensus on CO2.

        Balderdash. “Alarmism” is the epithet contrarians use to describe that “emergent phenomenon.” Before using words like “emergent”, it might help to master simpler concepts, like the use/mention distinction. Check it out yourself:

        http://lmgtfy.com/?q=site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fjudithcurry.com+alarmism

        There are more than one thousand hits for that search. It is quite clear who use the “alarmism” meme, and it’s not the scientific establishment. In fact, one could go as far as the “alarmism” meme is the main ingredient in the first part of the contrarians’ FUD.

        The two other parts are quite transparent enough. The second goes to Mr. T, with its more than 2k hits:

        http://lmgtfy.com/?q=site%3Ahttp%3A%2F%2Fjudithcurry.com+uncertainty

        The third part is Doubt, e.g.:

        https://judithcurry.com/2010/09/15/doubt/

        Vintage September 2010.

        ***

        Go, Team!

      • > almost every weather event being reported is linked to Climate Change

        The topic was CAGW or alarmism, not attribution. Trying to connect weather with climate is perfectly normal. This journalistic hook is as sound as any other one.

        Talk about disingeniousness.

        ***

        If we accept that AGW contains risks, then theorizing on the emergent properties of memes in the media using code words like “CAGW” conceals those risks.

        If we accept that AGW contains risks, then the very idea of “alarmism” begs the question at hand, i.e. the extent of those risks.

        If you don’t know the extent of those risks, if you are uncertain about these risks, then playing the alarmism card is self-defeating.

        Mr. T’s not memeticians’ friend.

      • Willard,

        The ‘C’ pertains not (necessarily) to the view of any individual consensus supporter, for instance Joshua who asks in relation to his personal views, even when in a direct exchange such as here where the term is used. It pertains to the whole climate movement out there in the big wide world. Notwithstanding Judith’s efforts, a 1000 hits on a Lukewarmer blog?? How does that stack against, for instance, just 1 example below, made by the Prime Minister (at the time) of the world’s 5th biggest economy, and broadcast to his country and internationally. I remember hearing it, and reading it in the papers and seeing it on TV. In this case, the actual word ‘catastrophe’ is used (though of course various other scary phrases are often invoked instead).

        As ATTP very usefully reminds us, the ‘C’ is when one ‘ignores the conditionals’. Damn right. So how would the 60,000,000 folks in the UK know that their prime minister was ignoring the conditionals?

        The leader of the world’s biggest economy is doing likewise. And many other leaders besides, and a whole army of lesser politicians both local and global, government departments and UN / EU and shiploads of university press offices and a string of major NGOs and so on. Micro reminds us of the flavor. Many denizens here would take issue with the IPCC technical papers as the benchmark (claiming their assessment of climate sensitivity is too high etc). But let’s use that as the benchmark anyhow. If all the above mentioned figures and orgs considered the conditionals, and only limited their pronouncements and policies to what the IPCC thinks it knows, not to mention dropping the false ‘x days to save the world from GW’ urgency, then there would at least be some case for withdrawing the ‘C’ in CAGW. Unless and until then, the ‘C’ speaks to the reality of the climate movement as expressed by all those mouthpieces. This is the sense in which that term is deployed here.

        Gordon Brown has warned the UK faces a “catastrophe” of floods, droughts and killer heatwaves if world leaders fail to agree a deal on climate change.
        He addressed the Major Economies Forum in London, which brings together 17 of the world’s biggest greenhouse gas-emitting countries where he said there was “no plan B” if agreement was not reached at December’s UN summit in Copenhagen.
        Negotiators have 50 days to save the world from global warming, he added.
        http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8314044.stm

      • Andy –

        => “It pertains to the whole climate movement out there in the big wide world. ”

        Well, that’s interesting. Because on the one hand you often point to the question of reconciling widespread concern about climate change with the lower-order priority many people who are “concerned” place on climate change-related risks in comparison to issues that have impact on shorter time horizons and in more concrete terms (and by extension, the lack of actual policies complimented developed in response, and the lack of support for such policies).

        But on the other hand you speak of the “huge influence” of widespread “alarmist” memes.

        This could be a self-reinforcing tautology. The “alarmism” is widespread and influential, thus a reconciliation is necessary. But suppose, outside of some vague methodology of Google searches, the “alarmism” isn’t so widespread and influential? Perhaps what is widespread and influential is another form of concern about ACO2 emissions? Then no reconciliation is necessary. Perhaps my views are not the outlier views, but views that are more typical. And perhaps, just perhaps, that your polemic of “alarmist” is just that, a polemic – used in reinforcement of identity-protective mechanisms by someone who is heavily identified with the climate change battlefield. Just as is the polemic of “denier.”

        So what it comes down to is that you might consider the importance, to your arguments, of empirically establishing the phenomenon about which you are so certain, certain enough, apparently, to think that it doesn’t need to be empirically established: That is, the huge influence of “alarmism” (as opposed to concern about the risks of AGW).

      • > The ‘C’ pertains not (necessarily) to the view of any individual consensus supporter, [but] the whole climate movement out there in the big wide world.

        That it applies so generally indicates yet again that it’s a strawman.

        Notice how Andy now detaches the C from “CAGW,” which appeared more than 80 times on this page alone.

        That it applies to a whole climate movement has nothing to do with any of the points I said, but sure, that must feel so great to able to label a whole movement in the big wide word with one meme.

        The meme to rule them all.

        ***

        > dropping the false ‘x days to save the world from GW’ urgency,

        Another misrepresentation:

        In every era there are only one or two moments when nations come together and reach agreements that make history, because they change the course of history. Copenhagen must be such a time. There are now fewer than 50 days to set the course of the next 50 years and more.

        “If we do not reach a deal at this time, let us be in no doubt: once the damage from unchecked emissions growth is done, no retrospective global agreement in some future period can undo that choice. By then it will be irretrievably too late.

        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2009/oct/19/gordon-brown-copenhagen-climate-talks

        It might be harder to argue against Brown’s real claim. In fact, that Copenhagen has failed is not used as an argument by contrarians for yet another paradigm shift:

        http://rabett.blogspot.com/2015/05/die-paradigmgemeinschaft.html

        ***

        Now, compare and contrast with a real leader:

        [A]s the world’s largest producer of coal, I’d like to stand up for coal. […]

        [G]ood economy is good for the environment. […]

        [Coal is] good for humanity.

        http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/nov/16/tony-abbott-g20-leaders-coal-climate-change

        So much positive memes right there, they must be true.

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,

        Not that you’d care nor even desire I’d say so, but this commentary of yours summarizes well (for me) the issues. It doesn’t matter how accurate as long as you ‘stand up’ for your side.

        Props.

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        I’m not intelligent enough to be that sneaky. But I can “call ’em like I see ’em” in Climateball (did I use the quotation marks to your satisfaction?).

        I didn’t ‘put you in a box’, but instead indicated this observers view of the box you put forth surrounding yourself and stated how you act in this public format regarding that box. If the truth hurts (it’s out there) I’m sure you’ll let me know.

        Are we once again back to my “global cooling” when it comes to my fumbles? I still can’t find that reference sourced as being originated with me.

        You’re offering several ‘presumptions’. Yet, how you know how I think and that which I presume is an amazing power you own. (Especially since you’ve never once bothered to ask a specific question).

        Personal attacks? Are you ‘presuming’ the reference w/r/t “It doesn’t matter how accurate as long as you ‘stand up’ for your side.” was directed your way? Remember, as you taught me earlier, when one uses “you” it doesn’t necessarily mean you! (I’m able to learn quickly in this whole climateball game……..self props).
        https://judithcurry.com/2015/07/03/a-key-admission-regarding-climate-memes/#comment-714962 (plus the following few entries).

      • > I didn’t ‘put you in a box’, but instead indicated this observers view of the box you put forth surrounding yourself

        “You made me do it”: just like Andy did with his world-wide ” movement”.

        I don’t recall having put forth that box, so a quote might be nice to check if Danny’s judgment got Inserted into his observation.

        ***

        > Are we once again back to my “global cooling” when it comes to my fumbles?

        Not the first time that Danny sneaks in a squirrel by playing dumb. It takes more intelligence than he’s willing to concede to do so as seemingly as he does.

        ***

        > You’re offering several ‘presumptions’. Yet, how you know how I think and that which I presume is an amazing power you own.

        There’s no need to sneak into Danny’s mind to see what his boxing requires.

        ***

        > Personal attacks? Are you ‘presuming’ the reference w/r/t “It doesn’t matter how accurate as long as you ‘stand up’ for your side.” was directed your way? Remember, as you taught me earlier, when one uses “you” it doesn’t necessarily mean you!

        Danny may have problems interpreting

        this commentary of yours

        as being an impersonal.

        The earlier ClimateBall exchange was about quotation marks, and not the impersonal you.

        ***

        The number of harmless jabs indicates that Danny switched torom boxing to shadowboxing.

      • Danny Thomas

        Or did he, o’ Danny’s shadow?

        ‘You’ doesn’t always mean you, or so I’ve learned w/r/t “this commentary of yours”.

        Always the climateball, but never the inquiry?

      • Danny, Danny’s shadow or anyone else can try to provide a plausible interpretation of “this commentary of yours” as being impersonal. Explaining how this interpretation follows from the many functions of quotation marks might be nice too.

        Danny’s sneaked ClimateBall may not distract from inquiring into the CAGW for long. What is the relationship between the C and the AGW, beyond its juxtaposition in the usual strawman?

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,

        Once again your powers of presumption are impressive. You seem to understand that which I’m “peddling”. When you state ‘you’, your not necessarily referring to me. Yet when I use ‘you’ it’s presumed to be referring to you. And you don’t care to bother to ask. All the while I’m presumed by you to be “putting you in a box”, and tasking you with that which you chose not to be tasked.

        Then somehow, I’m boxing with a shadow of your imagination.

        W, you never cease to amaze. All that knowledge, w/o need for inquiry, withing one skull. Quotation marks aside.

        C to the AGW!

      • > When you state “you”

        Where?

        ***

        > when I use “you”

        Actually, it’s “this commentary of yours”.

        ***

        > I’m presumed by you to be “putting you in a box”

        Not exactly. I claim that when Danny’s “your side” in the sentence following “this commentary of yours” puts me in a box, coincidentally sneaked in a discussion about the CAGW strawman.

      • Danny Thomas

        Exactly! It’s all in “your” presumption. Just as I presumed when you stated ‘you’ to me, you meant me! ” Your “but Global Cooling” wasn’t bad either. (https://judithcurry.com/2015/07/03/a-key-admission-regarding-climate-memes/#comment-714909)
        Interpretation w/o inquiry? Ain’t this entertaining? It is, what it’s not? Or at least so I ‘presume’.

      • You really ought to learn to check back your source before starting this kind of shadowboxing, Danny:

        “Your” indicates that something’s yours, Danny. That’s for sure.

        Just a bit under the commentary you cite.

        Now, please give it a rest.

      • Danny Thomas

        Willard,
        Why give it a rest? From what I’ve learned………the audit never ends! Or so I presume.
        I believe I did check back to this: ” Your “but Global Cooling” wasn’t bad either.” (still can’t find where I originated). But this ‘your’ may indeed not indicate ‘mine’.
        Go Denizens!

      • Search for “guru,” “monkey,” and “70s,” on Judy’s site using the G, Danny. Search for “idio” on this page. Why do you need to turn this into a Black Knight act?

      • Danny Thomas

        Why indeed? I’m sure that my responses are in no way influenced by your chosen method of participation.

        I recall the guru/monkey/70’s conversation well. And of note, will take this opportunity to remind ‘you’ that there is current conversation that ‘global cooling’ may be nearby in the conversation. Solar changes and all. But my expectation is you’ll fulfill your apparent need to impute that statement to ‘me’ as a misread. (There go me legs).

      • Willard,

        On “misrepresentation”. The BBC report says:
        ‘Negotiators have 50 days to save the world from global warming, he added.’
        So this is the BBC’s fault not Gordon Brown’s? Or how about most of the parties in the chains of communication to the public are serially ignoring the conditionals in various ways, which amplifies alarmism?

        The public cannot and do not spend all day trying to nuance the chinese whispers or know how each position in the chain is ignoring the conditionals still further. Far more will hear the summary reports than look at the full speech, which in any case is unsupported by the benchmark per the thread above anyhow. For instance this from Brown’s original:
        ‘We must never lose sight of the catastrophe we face if present warming trends continue. Only last week we saw new evidence of the rapid loss of Arctic sea ice. In just 25 years the glaciers in the Himalayas which provide water for three-quarters of a billion people could disappear entirely.’ The public hear the distillation ‘catastrophe’ and ‘urgent’. The ‘C’ in CAGW represents this.

        The alarmism is *so* bad and presented so often and with such certainty, it triggers in some folks ‘innate skepticism’, an effect that Lewandowsky calls ‘the key to accuracy’. This requires no domain knowledge and is likely triggered by the narrative form. It explains the point that J raises about there still being a significant rump of public disengagement, but not before huge impact on large swathes of society.

        I’m surprised you take the line of attempting to defend this speech as not alarmist, that’s a tough task. So let’s follow where that line leads. Micro reminds us that there are thousands of such pronouncements from authority figures and orgs worldwide, accumulated over many years. Is it your assertion generally that these are *not* alarmist? That they are all justified by the benchmark of the IPCC technical papers? If you think only *some* are alarmist, what criteria do you use to establish the line?

      • Oh consensus
        social enforce
        -meant.’Quis
        cuss-todiet
        cuss-todis?’

      • > On “misrepresentation”. The BBC report says:

        And here’s what you said:

        I do not think the statement by (when made) Prime Minister Gordon Brown below, was made on behalf of skepticism.

        “But the BBC” does not cover up for that misrepresentation.

        ***

        Moreover, here’s why this misrepresentation matters:

        So how would the 60,000,000 folks in the UK know that their prime minister was ignoring the conditionals?

        This claim is more than a misrepresentation.

        That Brown episode is old ClimateBall. Barry Woods tried it at Keith’s. He had to trackback quite a bit. Nowadays, Barry specializes in just a few stories. This reduces the number of backtracking. He still has to backtrack from time to time, e.g. at Dan’s.

        ***

        Andy’s “but the BBC” is an instance of “but the media.” The switch back (from the MSM to politicians to the BBC) should be obvious to anyone. The reason why its form starts with a “but” should be obvious by now: it is a “yes, but” response. More often than not, the “yes” is barely audible.

        Representing the dialectical role of such moves is important to be able to follow ClimateBall players such as Andy. Memes alone don’t suffice to capture the dynamics of Denizens’ daily episodes.

      • Willard | July 9, 2015 at 9:03 am

        Goodness me. Now we’re all wrapped around the axle on Brown and the BBC. He’s just an example. I referred back to the BBC text as you claimed my paraphrase was a misrepresentation, but it’s almost identical to the text of a report publicly transmitted. I have no particular beef with the BBC here, several main outlets had summary reports or comment in a similar vein as far as I recall. They’re reporting a dramatic speech by the UK leader, that’s a thing UK press outlets legitimately should do. The original speech was public too; yes there is more detail in here but nothing that significantly moderates the overall message, very little that conveys any sense of considering the conditionals, as ATTP puts it. The view presented is not supported by the benchmark of the IPCC technical papers, and hence the point here is that this is so for the original and for various mainstream reportage of this speech too. And he’s a national leader, this speech is very unlikely to be a view that would have had no consideration from advisers. Do you really think his public or the world at large will get a balanced view of the science from this messaging?

        It’s not ‘but the media’. It is ‘and the media’.

        Above is just one example of very many pronouncements from authority figures worldwide and many governments plus other orgs and academia, etc. Judith has highlighted Obama pronouncements for instance (sorry I haven’t got links).

        You certainly seem an intelligent dude and are undoubtedly climate aware and proficient regarding a wide range of links / materials. If you are also over 30, then you will be at least passingly aware of a large number of pronouncements and press releases over the last ten years that fall into a similar vein to above. What is you opinion of these?

        If you agree that largely they’ve extended beyond the (IPCC) science, shouldn’t you also be campaigning, like the skeptics, to reign all this in? Skeptics don’t want to keep the ‘C’ in CAGW, they want to lose it. OR… do you think that, largely, these pronouncements DO represent the (IPCC) science?

      • > I referred back to the BBC text as you claimed my paraphrase was a misrepresentation, but it’s almost identical to the text of a report publicly transmitted.

        Minimization #1: “almost identical.” The BBC claim “50 days to save the world”. The transcript says:

        There are now fewer than 50 days to set the course for the next few decades […]

        http://www.sustainableguernsey.info/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/2009-M10-191009-Gordon-Brown-on-Climate-Change.pdf

        This contrarian claptrap is a dud.

        ***

        > yes there is more detail in here but nothing that significantly moderates the overall message, very little that conveys any sense of considering the conditionals […]

        Minimization #2: from “no conditional” we go to “very little.” In a sense it is quite true that if is very little. In another sense, it’s big enough to convey a conditional.

        One does not simply there’s no conditional when there’s one.

        ***

        > The view presented is not supported by the benchmark of the IPCC technical papers […]

        Deflection #1: Browne’s “50 days” remark which was used as an example of a CAGW claim pertains to a political process, i.e. what to do once you accept AGW, not the IPCC report.

        Misrepresentation #2: Browne cited results from the IPCC, among other results he read.

        ***

        > It’s not ‘but the media’. It is ‘and the media’.

        Deflection #2: the “but the media” covers excuses like “I referred back to the BBC text.”

        ***

        > Do you really think his public or the world at large will get a balanced view of the science from this messaging?

        Andy introduces the balance meme, which is related to the CAGW meme. This other meme deserves due diligence. For now, let’s just say it may presume a view from nowhere:

        In pro journalism, American style, the View from Nowhere is a bid for trust that advertises the viewlessness of the news producer. Frequently it places the journalist between polarized extremes, and calls that neither-nor position “impartial.” Second, it’s a means of defense against a style of criticism that is fully anticipated: charges of bias originating in partisan politics and the two-party system. Third: it’s an attempt to secure a kind of universal legitimacy that is implicitly denied to those who stake out positions or betray a point of view. American journalists have almost a lust for the View from Nowhere because they think it has more authority than any other possible stance.

        http://pressthink.org/2010/11/the-view-from-nowhere-questions-and-answers/

        Honest brokers warn that views from nowhere can amount to stealth advocacy.

        ***

        > [Contrarians] don’t want to keep the ‘C’ in CAGW, they want to lose it.

        Acknowledgement #2 (#1 was that AGW implies risks): the CAGW is a contrarian meme.

        Of course contrarians would rather prefer more “balance,” “balance” being what is not “CAGW.” The problem then, considering that AGW implies risks, i.e. RAGW (H/T BartR), is to decide where CAGW ends and RAGW begins. Another problem is to determine how a balanced viewpoint implies RAGW.

        Considering that any quote is good to raise concern about the lack of balance in the media, there’s no reason to believe that contrarians will ever stop using the CAGW meme.

        ***

        Speaking of the CAGW meme, here’s tony using “catastrophists”:

        Is that a “balanced” view?

      • Willard | July 9, 2015 at 10:00 pm
        1] So you think then that press outlets reporting GB’s speech, similar to and inclusive of the BBC one, are inaccurate in an alarmist direction?
        2] You may be right on the ‘little’. Reading it all again, the sense of ‘now or never’ is palpable. May have to revert to ‘no’ conditionals after all.

        Already noted way way up above that indeed it is skeptics who bolt ‘C’ onto AGW, in order to represent the public narrative of the climate movement.

        The view is not from nowhere. Benchmark for this exercise clearly stated as IPCC technical papers. The balance therefore, is relative to that.

        No I don’t think all skeptic voice in the public domain is balanced (wrt above benchmark, or even wrt some less orthodox benchmarks).

        I’m still interested in your opinion: Do you think that, largely, the many pronouncements in this vein by many leaders / orgs, which is inclusive of all reportage such as the example per 1], is extended beyond the (IPCC) science? Or do you think that, largely, these pronouncements DO represent the (IPCC) science?

      • > Reading it all again, the sense of ‘now or never’ is palpable.

        The more AndyW reads, the more it confirms what he knew all along. So let’s read it again, to make sure AndyW becomes even more confirmed:

        If we do not reach a deal at this time, let us be in no doubt: once the damage from unchecked emissions growth is done, no retrospective global agreement in some future period can undo that choice.

        Sometimes, two conditionals just ain’t enough. Contrarians can sense and palp certainty under any word alarmists can say. Why are they called “alarmists” anyway?

        Only Mr. T seems immune.

        ***

        Another video using the CAGW meme:

      • willard (@nevaudit) | July 11, 2015 at 5:28 pm

        Hmmm… that doesn’t seem to match the version I’m looking at, though it’s not substantively different.

        “If we do not reach a deal over the next few months, let us be in no doubt, since once the damage from unchecked emissions growth is done, no retrospective global agreement in some future period can undo that choice. By then it will be irretrievably too late, so we should never allow ourselves to lose sight of the catastrophe we face if present warming trends continue.”

        I think that would pretty clearly message to the climate uninitiated public: we have to reach this deal in a few months or it’ll be a huge problem. Subtle syntax is not the public’s forte, nor will such subtlety survive any press summaries, as indeed the BBC case showed, and indeed will be known by Brown. My point stands.

        I’m still interested in your opinion: Do you think that, largely, the many pronouncements in this vein by many leaders / orgs, which is inclusive of all reportage such as the BBC example in this case, is extended beyond the (IPCC) science? Or do you think that, largely, these pronouncements DO represent the (IPCC) science?

      • > I think that would pretty clearly message to the climate uninitiated public: we have to reach this deal in a few months or it’ll be a huge problem.

        There’s no need to extrapolate that much, since Brown’s point is quite simple: once the damage from unchecked emissions growth is done, no retrospective global agreement in some future period can undo that choice.

        Unless one really really needs to find confirmation for the CAGW meme.

      • There’s no need to extrapolate that much, since Brown’s point is quite simple: once the damage from unchecked emissions growth is done, no retrospective global agreement in some future period can undo that choice.

        Problem is, “Brown’s point” is a lie.

      • Or the droning of a clueless koolaid drinker.

        I avoid proclaiming ill will for what could just be stupidity.

      • Or the droning of a clueless koolaid drinker.

        That doesn’t mean it isn’t a lie, only that the person repeating it isn’t the l1ar.

      • It’s possible, just that the words alone are usually not enough to tell.

      • willard (@nevaudit) | July 11, 2015 at 7:00 pm

        So let me get this clear; you don’t think Brown’s audience will receive a view of great urgency here? An urgency unjustified by (IPCC) science?

        I’m still interested in your opinion: Do you think that, largely, the many pronouncements in this vein by many leaders / orgs, which is inclusive of all reportage such as the BBC example in this case, is extended beyond the (IPCC) science? Or do you think that, largely, these pronouncements DO represent the (IPCC) science?

      • > “Brown’s point” is a lie.

        That statement would make Mr. T would very proud.

        ***

        > I’m still interested in your opinion […]

        You go first.

      • > “Brown’s point” is a lie.

        That statement would make Mr. T would very proud.

        OK, there’s a little uncertainty. But little enough for a positive statement. Whoever came up with “no retrospective global agreement in some future period can undo that choice” was lying. They knew that any “scientific” studies included the caveat, probably unstated, that human technology/economic processes wouldn’t make l1ars of them. Which makes that statement what I called it.

        Human technology is on track to be able to remove quantities of CO2 from the system equivalent to those injected from burning fossil fuels. There are political/policy options that would encourage the growth of such technology to the point that removing it would be easier than injecting it was. Claiming that the injection of fossil carbon is “irreversible” is untrue, and they know it.

      • ” Claiming that the injection of fossil carbon is “irreversible” is untrue, and they know it.”
        Somewhere along the way, sure someone does, l1ers, opportunist, saviors, profiteers some many of them depending on the time of day, I am coming to the conclusion that the data doesn’t show any warming, just it moving around and showing up in the thermometers, I am thinking of my grandkids, I don’t want these jackholes tanking modern society.

      • > Whoever came up with “no retrospective global agreement in some future period can undo that choice” was lying.

        Lots of uncertainty right there, and the first part of that claim is missing.

        Mr. T might not appreciate when we omit preconditions to make a statement more certain than it was.

        Go team!

      • Mr. T might not appreciate when we omit preconditions to make a statement more certain than it was.

        Mr. T might not appreciate” the certainty in “no retrospective global agreement

      • > “Mr. T might not appreciate” the certainty in “no retrospective global agreement”

        Only if Mr. T fails to notice Once the damage from unchecked emissions growth is done.

        Denizens falter on reading a simple conditional statement.

        Go team!

      • Only if Mr. T fails to notice [“]Once the damage from unchecked emissions growth is done.[”]

        What “damage from unchecked emissions growth”? Where is the proof, or even significant likelihood, that any of it is “irreversible”? Anyway, everybody knows what the statement is referring to is increased pCO2. And that most certainly isn’t “irreversible”. It might not happen, but if it doesn’t, it’s because of politics, not technology. The technolgy’s already there.

      • ” Where is the proof”
        There’s warming from a lack of cooling, because the only measurements don’t show any.

      • > that most certainly isn’t “irreversible”.

        Mr. T has found his new favorite Denizen.

        The word use was “damage,” not CO2. Is there a technology to undo the damage too? Some call it Mother Nature:

      • The word use was “damage,” not CO2. Is there a technology to undo the damage too?

        I repeat my question: what “damage from unchecked emissions growth”?

        I am prepared to evolve. Are you?

        Yes! We don’t need to wait for genes. We have brains!

      • And yes, Willard, before you ask, I know exactly what truth about myself I’ve exposed with that statement.

      • > what “damage from unchecked emissions growth”?

        Is this rhetorical question yet another instance of the single proof fallacy, just an impossible demand of futurological evidence, or simply a misreading of “once”?

      • Is this rhetorical question yet another instance of the single proof fallacy, just an impossible demand of futurological evidence, or simply a misreading of “once”?

        None of the above. Rather than make you ask another question, I’ll go on: AFAIK nobody has demonstrated any “damage from unchecked emissions growth”. It’s all vague and tacit: in the cloud. The only real “damage” that anybody has claimed, AFAIK, is increased pCO2. What are you talking about?

      • Crickets.

        So, if anybody’s still interested in this conversation, I’ll be back tomorrow. Better things to do tonight.

      • > I am thinking of my grandkids, I don’t want these jackholes tanking modern society.

        Don’t be such an alarmist, Micro.

      • > Rather than make you ask another question, I’ll go on

        Wise choice.

        ***

        > AFAIK nobody has demonstrated any “damage from unchecked emissions growth”.

        What kind of demonstration would be required? We know what drought spells do to crop, what intense hurricanes to costal shacks, etc.

        Here’s what’s happening right now:

        Approximately 40 per cent of all home insurance claims are the result of
        water damage . . . and the average cost of water damage claims rose 117%, from $7,192 in 2002 to over $15,500 in 2012, a year in which the company paid out over $111 million in property water damage claims.

        http://www.cia-ica.ca/docs/default-source/2014/214020e.pdf

        That report goes on to explain that backward-looking pricing methodologies might be quite suboptimal for things to come.

      • ” That report goes on to explain that backward-looking pricing methodologies might be quite suboptimal for things to come.”

        So?
        The last time the ocean states changed there was about half the current population in the world, I’d expect backwards looking pricing methods would be way wrong, but instead of figuring that out, science and political “leaders” have spent a fortune on snipe hunting.
        Who’s the alarmist now Willard?

      • What kind of demonstration would be required? We know what drought spells do to crop, what intense hurricanes to costal shacks, etc.

        Intense hurricanes are down, attribution of drought spells to CO2 is tenuous at best.

        Here’s what’s happening right now:

        Approximately 40 per cent of all home insurance claims are the result of water damage . . . and the average cost of water damage claims rose 117%, from $7,192 in 2002 to over $15,500 in 2012, a year in which the company paid out over $111 million in property water damage claims.

        http://www.cia-ica.ca/docs/default-source/2014/214020e.pdf

        all of which has been plausibly attributed to increased building in threatened areas. To date, no reliable attribution of water damage to increased pCO2 has been produced.

        That report goes on to explain that backward-looking pricing methodologies might be quite suboptimal for things to come.

        That report lists several causes why “believe that historical claims may no longer be predictive of future claims due to:

        •       Climate change;

        •       Aging and inadequate infrastructure;

        •       Lifestyle changes;

        •       Construction-related issues; and

        •       Human behaviour.

        That report is also from KPMG. ‘Nough said.

      • > So?

        Reinsurers leave style points to freedom fighters.

        What “demonstration” would you require, Micro?

      • Danny Thomas

        How about “global” reinsurers and not just Canada? Almost not tropical activity in Atlantic in a decade so why not show those numbers W?

        After all, the discussion is “global warming” and “global” climate change, not regional.

      • ” What “demonstration” would you require, ”
        Incontrovertible evidence that I have never seen before.
        Most likely another 10 or 20 years of high quality data.

      • > How about “global” reinsurers and not just Canada?

        Good question. Find out and report.

        If you could bring me a cup of coffee, that would be great.

      • Danny Thomas

        No Chance. You task me with a burden I do not accept. (Someone taught me that even after I respond to a reasonable request such as “what demonstration”………..it’s how climateball is done).

        I’ll take my coffee hot and black thank you.

      • > Incontrovertible evidence that I have never seen before.

        Unless you’re Dr. Who, finding evidence of the future might be a bit tough.

      • ” Unless you’re Dr. Who, finding evidence of the future might be a bit tough.”
        Back to the future!
        We’re already riding that time machine into the future, we just have to wait for it.

      • willard (@nevaudit) | July 11, 2015 at 7:39 pm
        “So you go first.”

        I believe I already did. But I think the many pronouncements in this vein have, largely, left the (IPCC) science behind. They promote an urgency and direct linkage that isn’t scientifically justified. So from previous:

        So let me get this clear; you don’t think Brown’s audience will receive a view of great urgency here? An urgency unjustified by (IPCC) science?

        I’m still interested in your opinion: Do you think that, largely, the many pronouncements in this vein by many leaders / orgs, which is inclusive of all reportage such as the BBC example in this case, is extended beyond the (IPCC) science? Or do you think that, largely, these pronouncements DO represent the (IPCC) science?

    • Jim D: He says “Many recent “scientific” controversies in which the scientific facts are disputed not by fellow experts, but by lay people, may be understood as a failure of boundary work”.

      That is irrelevant to the discussion of the “pause” meme.

      • The “pause meme” is an example of it. They take one type of data that supports a pause and don’t look at other more direct measurements that don’t such as a rising ocean heat content and radiative imbalance. They say the models didn’t predict the pause, which is just a misunderstanding of natural variability and models. Yet, the IPCC and other authors like Karl and Marotzke felt they needed to address this stuff. It was a distraction. It may not feel like it on this blog where it is everything, but it has no impact on the scientific mainstream.

      • Danny Thomas

        Jim D,
        I’m sorry, but the very term “mainstream” to describe AGW/CAGW oriented climate science in and of itself is a “meme”.

      • Jimd

        Land measurements have been measured for centuries whereas a global ocean heat content is relatively new, hence why people tend to concentrate on the former.

        Also bear in mind that ocean heat content is far from definitive and the majority of the ocean is unsampled. As Thomas stocker admitted. ‘ we do not have the technology to measure the temperature of the deep oceans.’

        Tonyb

      • Jim D: The “pause meme” is an example of it. They take one type of data that supports a pause and don’t look at other more direct measurements that don’t such as a rising ocean heat content and radiative imbalance.

        The “pause” meme has been highlighted by fellow experts, and is not a failure of “boundary” work. Explanations have been proffered by fellow experts.

      • Jim D: They say the models didn’t predict the pause, which is just a misunderstanding of natural variability and models.

        No. The models did not predict the pause, and the pause shows the models to have been incomplete — hence the extensions to the models in order to explain the pause.

      • Several papers have shown that coupled models can produce natural variability of a similar magnitude to the pause. The phase of natural internal variability is not predictable in models that were started over a hundred years earlier. This was poorly understood by the skeptics who expected, and perhaps still expect, the pause to be in the CMIP5 models as they simulated this period.

      • Jim D: Several papers have shown that coupled models can produce natural variability of a similar magnitude to the pause.

        Yes they can! They did not do so until after the pause had become too well-grounded in observations to be ignored. These are among the adjustments to the consensus view that were adopted in response to clear model inadequacy.

      • Matthew M, I am not sure what you are saying, but coupled models have always had natural internal variability.

      • yes but the nature of the modes, their amplitude, frequency, timings and synchronization are poorly simulated

      • curryja: yes but the nature of the modes, their amplitude, frequency, timings and synchronization are poorly simulated

        As I was about to say, … .

      • But they can represent pauses of 15 years at this rate of CO2 rise, and that is even without knowing about the recent reduction in solar forcing.

      • Jim D: But they can represent pauses of 15 years at this rate of CO2 rise,

        Yes they can! But not a one was brought into the climate forecasts before the pause was well established. First consensus promoters denied the pause, then when it was well along they showed that it had been “predictable” all along, had they only known beforehand how to predict it.

      • Matthew M, that was the distraction brought in by the skeptics. Mostly the science is focused on the long-term trend. It wasn’t about the wiggles, but the trend. The skeptics brought up the subject, so now they have to talk about it. It is part of that seepage that takes the focus off the long-term future.

      • Jim D: Mostly the science is focused on the long-term trend. It wasn’t about the wiggles, but the trend.

        that restates the proposition that the “pause” was unpredicted, unmodeled, and at first not even admitted. Now that recognition of the “pause” is commonplace, the consensus promoters have addressed it in some models. Having clearly encountered a “wiggle” that no one had anticipated, more people are doubting that they even have the long-term trend correct. What you called “distraction”, turned into “seepage”, then became a “meme”, and now has been explained multiple ways, hoping to rescue the theory from the now undeniable pause, and has been acknowledged as a “meme” by Lewandowsky, thus demonstrating that AGW promoters were susceptible to at least one of the cognitive liabilities of which they accused “deniers”. We have essentially come “full circle”.

        Even for me this is a lot of posts. You may now have the last words.

      • The people became interested in wiggles so papers were published on wiggles. This is part of the seepage. The papers were mainly to make the skeptics go away, but unfortunately they did not understand them, so here we are.

      • Jim D | July 3, 2015 at 7:37 pm |
        Several papers have shown that coupled models can produce natural variability of a similar magnitude to the pause. The phase of natural internal variability is not predictable in models that were started over a hundred years earlier. This was poorly understood by the skeptics who expected, and perhaps still expect, the pause to be in the CMIP5 models as they simulated this period.

        Gee… that’s nice.

        When do the models say the pause is going to end?

        If the models have been updated to reflect the pause – they should have modeled when it will end.

        If the models mispredict the end of the pause – we will know that the models are just an exercise in curve fitting and really don’t have predictive value.

      • That was the L2015 title.
        Seepage: Climate change denial and its effect on the scientific community

    • No, narrative competition is not how the science is done.

      Which is why the whole IPCC process through the ’90’s was creating pseudo-science. (Turning off Sabotaging the air-conditioning.)

      The whole point of L2015 is that these narrative competitions are a distraction carried out on the edges of the science where it intersects policy, and far from “trumping” science they don’t affect the scientific basis itself. […] As a solution, L2015 calls for a clear boundary between intra-scientific debates and these extra-scientific ones that he calls boundary work.

      And how does denying funding to any research beyond running GCM’s and talking about “global warming” (mostly) fit into this “clear boundary” meme? The fact is that the artificial “paradigm” of CAGW was created through using “narrative competition” techniques to deliver almost all the funding for science to proponents of the CAGW narrative.

      Techniques such as sabotaging the air-conditioning in a Congressional hearing:

      What we did it was went in the night before and opened all the windows, I will admit, right? So that the air conditioning wasn’t working inside the room and so when the, when the hearing occurred there was not only bliss, which is television cameras in double figures, but it was really hot. […]

      So Hansen’s giving this testimony, you’ve got these television cameras back there heating up the room, and the air conditioning in the room didn’t appear to work. So it was sort of a perfect collection of events that happened that day, with the wonderful Jim Hansen, who was wiping his brow at the witness table and giving this remarkable testimony. […]

      Back to Jim D…

      They also introduce the concept of seepage, […]

      As opposed to the flood represented by IPCC’s intervention in “Climate Science”.

      • AK, you are not separating the actual science from the politics. This is the point that L2015 is making. You are only adding the meme about a global conspiracy to deny anyone in any country funding to do climate science the way you want it done. Sometimes people invoke memes without realizing it. The reason there is no serious competition for AGW is that no one has come up with anything that any two skeptics believe. The skeptics have completely failed, with their blogs being taken over by wacko conspiracy theories instead of any credible science of their own.

      • Jimd

        Unfortunately your final two sentences are virtually right on the money, but can we make it Anything that three sceptics believe rather than just two which is also the ‘number of the Universe ‘ so sounds a bit more credible…

        Tonyb

      • I say they just need to pick one, whether it is integrated sunspots, galactic cosmic rays, planetary motions, urban warming, outgassing, spontaneously warming oceans, underground volcanoes. This is their creme de la creme so far after years of trying. Color me unimpressed.

      • AK, you are not separating the actual science from the politics.

        They aren’t separate. It’s the politics that controls the money.

        The reason there is no serious competition for AGW is that no one has come up with anything that any two skeptics believe.

        There is serious competition for AGW. The science is ongoing. Just not very fast, because all the money is being wasted on GCM runs.

        The skeptics have completely failed, with their blogs being taken over by wacko conspiracy theories instead of any credible science of their own.

        Nothing “wacko” about “Climategate”. There was very definite, documented, perversion of the science, in using bureaucratic hooliganism to keep certain scientific papers from being published.

        And there’s nothing “wacko” about how most of the funding from the big tax-supported government agencies is being routed to GCM runs, not real science.

        Are you calling the discussions here (and at other blogs) of the “Stadium Wave” concept “wacko conspiracy theories”? Or a lot of the other science discussed here?

      • I say they just need to pick one, […]

        Most of them don’t understand the science any better than you do.

      • And there’s nothing “wacko” about how most of the funding from the big tax-supported government agencies is being routed to GCM runs, not real science.

        Where is the evidence that most of the money is being routed to GCM runs?

      • Where is the evidence that most of the money is being routed to GCM runs?

        Well, look at the relative frequency of papers.

        Still, it might make a good research project to actually go through the funding records, and look at how many of the papers resulting from various projects funded by various government agencies included GCM runs in their “methods” section. By both number and monetary amount. Want to set up a pool what the final percentage would be?

        Anybody know if anybody’s already done that?

      • Well, look at the relative frequency of papers.

        So you don’t have any evidence to back up your assertion?

      • So you don’t have any evidence to back up your assertion?

        Feel free to count papers.

        I’ve read or scanned through hundreds of climate papers over the last few years, and the vast majority of them involved GCM run(s) and analyses of same. Some of those were actually investigating issues in what I would consider good investigations of non-linear dynamics, but most of them struck me as busywork. Given how little skill GCM’s actually have.

        But, as I’ve said, it would be nice if there were an actual project, with publicly available data, studying just how much of the government’s “climate research” money goes to project for doing GCM runs.

        Maybe the GAO could be persuaded to do a study.

        Meanwhile, is there anybody really involved with doing climate research who says most of the money isn’t going to GCM runs or projects dependent on such?

      • I’ve read or scanned through hundreds of climate papers over the last few years, and the vast majority of them involved GCM run(s) and analyses of same.

        Who cares? You can’t make a claim like that based anecdotal evidence.

      • You can’t make a claim like that based anecdotal evidence.

        Of course I can. I just did. It’s evidence to me, whatever you think.

        And hundreds of data points aren’t “anecdotal evidence”. As I said, you can take a supposedly random sample and do your own counting.

        And you didn’t actually answer my other question, although I actually seem to have found one. Mostly arm-waving and red herrings.

      • And hundreds of data points aren’t “anecdotal evidence”. As I said, you can take a supposedly random sample and do your own counting.

        Yes, as a matter of fact it is anecdotal evidence and basically meaningless.

      • From Wikipedia:

        In science, definitions of anecdotal evidence include:

        “casual observations or indications rather than rigorous or scientific analysis”[9]

        “information passed along by word-of-mouth but not documented scientifically”[

        I think your claim fits both definitions.

      • Yes, as a matter of fact it is anecdotal evidence and basically meaningless.

        Anecdotal evidence is certainly notbasically meaningless.” From the Wiki article you quoted (but didn’t link to, and I can guess why!):

        The expression anecdotal evidence refers to evidence from anecdotes. In cases where small numbers of anecdotes are presented, there is a larger chance that they may be unreliable due to cherry-picked or otherwise non-representative samples of typical cases.[1][2] Anecdotal evidence is considered dubious support of a generalized claim; it is, however, within the scope of scientific method for claims regarding particular instances. Anecdotal evidence is no more than a type description (i.e., short narrative), and is often confused in discussions with its weight, or other considerations, as to the purpose(s) for which it is used. This is true regardless of the veracity of individual claims.[3][4][5] [bolding mine.]

        I am claiming that I discovered a very high proportion of papers documenting use of GCM’s among climate science papers I downloaded. Granted, my own review was fairly casual, and there may have been selection bias. But the latter was probably biased towards papers that would have used other methods than GCM’s in their methods. And “casual” or not, given my strong opinions of the low utility of GCM’s, I’m confident I always noticed whether or not their use was documented.

        Now, as I mentioned above, a proper scientific survey of “climate” papers really ought to be done, to discover what fraction of tax-supported research is really just running GCM’s. (And associated “administrative overhead”.) But my evidence is sufficient support for my opinion.

        You, of course, are free to discount, deprecate, depreciate, or denigrate my opinion however you like. But, given your obvious ign0rance of science, what it is, and/or how it works, who cares?

      • There are thousands of climate science related papers published every year. A few hundred is insignificant and not representative. Your claim is baseless, period.

      • Joseph, have you read those thousands of papers to know they aren’t all based on models?
        I didnt think so.

      • I am not the one making the claim, micro.

      • Fair enough, how about 97% of the papers sampled base their results on models :)

      • A few hundred is insignificant and not representative.

        According to this calculator a population of 5000 with sample size of 100, a result of 8% (papers not reporting GCM’s in their “methods”) would have a 7% confidence interval at a confidence level of 99%.

        Raising the sample size to 200 reduces the confidence level to 4.85%.

        Another demonstration that you don’t have any idea what you’re talking about.

      • I mean confidence interval.

      • There is nothing random about selecting papers that interest you. What time period did you read these “hundreds of papers.” Why should I even believe you?

      • a proper scientific survey of “climate” papers really ought to be done, to discover what fraction of tax-supported research is really just running GCM’s. (And associated “administrative overhead”.)

        Yes a proper scientific study would need to be done before you can make that claim.

      • @Joseph…

        More arm-waving distraction. I addressed those questions above in my comments.

        There is nothing random about selecting papers that interest you.

        Actually, since most of the papers I download come from chasing ref’s, it is somewhat random. But my primary interest is in science based on other things than GCM’s, so my sample would likely be biased high. And I’m claiming an observation of a disturbingly low number without GCM’s.

        What time period did you read these “hundreds of papers.”

        Last few years, as I said above.

        Why should I even believe you?

        Why should I care whether or not you believe me?

        Yes a proper scientific study would need to be done before you can make that claim.

        No, I’ve already made that claim. A “proper scientific study” would allow me to put more confidence behind that claim.

      • Jim D: I say they just need to pick one,

        No they do not. They can continue to observe and study the science as it is accumulated until some theory, possibly by a current skeptic, clearly demonstrates the best predictive value against out of sample data.

      • If they don’t want to pick one perhaps they can enhance their credibility by declaring some as non-starters because that might make it look like they have a clue.

      • Jim D: declaring some as non-starters

        That has been done, for example in the “dragon-slayer” discussions.

      • AK | July 3, 2015 at 5:15 pm |
        Where is the evidence that most of the money is being routed to GCM runs?

        In the mid 90s we were spending about $41 million a year on modeling.

        http://www.corporateservices.noaa.gov/nbo/fy14_bluebook/FINALnoaaBlueBook_2014_Web_Full.pdf

        NOAA spending $50 million a year on supercomputer facilities.

        DOE is spending some amount in the same range on supercomputer facilities.

        And there is $75+ million identifiable as modeling effort.

        We probably have plowed about $ 3 Billion into climate modeling since the early 90s.

        Of the $ 2.54 billion for annual climate research about $1.5 billion goes to NASA for satellite and sensor programs.

      • @PA | July 3, 2015 at 8:35 pm |

        Apples and oranges, I’d say. I was talking about the proportion of climate spending used on models. AFAICT, the numbers you’re offering include weather modeling, which along with the actual research using it wouldn’t (IMO) count into either side of the fraction.

        I suppose you’re right that the money spent on satellite sensors could be allocated to “climate research”. I wouldn’t count it, but that’s a semantic quibble.

        I was talking (loosely, I’ll admit) about actual research into the climate, its mechanisms and operation. AFAIK virtually all satellite data has other uses, so shouldn’t be included. Paleo research would count, but AFAIK every year the proportionate use of GCM’s and similar models is increasing, relative to actual core-type data.

        And so on…

      • Joseph, “There are thousands of climate science related papers published every year. A few hundred is insignificant and not representative. Your claim is baseless, period. ”

        Considering how many papers are churned out by “mainstream” climate scientists and the somewhat limited access of “skeptics” for a while there, a few hundred could be huge. I believe Wegman attempted a network analysis that might be a better approach than an internet poll or counting M&M preferences.

    • Jim D: No, narrative competition is not how the science is done.

      ideally perhaps, correct.

      but scientists, and even engineers, are human and imperfect.

      • The observations speak for the theory. No narrative needed.

      • Ken W; yes. Jim D; the observations do not speak to certainty.

      • No narrative needed.

        Of course there’s a narrative: If you’ve got A and you’ve got B, the result is A+B.

        Consider the very idea that “Global Temperature” can be represented as natural variation “superposed” over a longer-term trend from AGW. That’s a narrative, and an incorrect one at that.

      • > the observations do not speak to certainty.

        Nice meme.

      • The main skeptic narrative is against the evidence of the observations because by themselves they support 2 C per doubling for example, and that goes with consilient independent evidence from paleoclimate and the Ice Ages, let alone the physics itself.

      • The main skeptic narrative is […]

        The “main skeptic narrative” is a straw man. Or a red herring. Or something. Has no more to do with real science than the IPCC.

        Do you really think adding up blog comments from everybody who questions the IPCC narrative is going to lead you to the real scientific challenges to it? Or are you deliberately trying to mislead?

      • AK, the observations speak for AGW, the skeptics say…?

      • AK, the observations speak for AGW, […]

        They also speak for the “Stadium Wave”. Much more loudly.

        In fact, it takes quite a bit of manipulation to make the “observations speak for AGW”.

      • Like here? What do you think is the most relevant effect in today’s trend? This gradient corresponds to 2.4 C per doubling, so AGW can be supported with just the two most obvious observational series to look at. Skeptics say no, it just looks right for the last 60 years of data, but actually is not for some TBD reason. Information resistance, I call it.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1900/mean:12/plot/esrl-co2/scale:0.01/offset:-3.25

      • Jim D: against the evidence of the observations because by themselves

        No, no, no. to get the conclusion you support requires additional postulates, such as the negligibility of other natural processes and land use changes.

      • JimD, your plot is of temperature versus CO2.

        But, the RF of CO2 is RFco2 = 5.35 * ln( C / C0 )
        natural log of CO2 ratio from some initial value, not the concentration.

        A comparison of 30 yr trends of temperature and RF from all GHGs ( the RCP and the noaa index you can find on line ) looks like:

        It tells us that before 1975, RF had little to do with temperature trends.

        It also tells us that if GHG RF is the dominant cause of temperature change, deceleration of temperature trends would be expected, because the RF trends have decelerated.

        In addition, an untold amount of natural variation has always occurred, and will continue.

      • TE, why don’t you have the zero axes lined up? Surely any positive forcing will result in a warming rate. When you do, you will see that part, maybe half, of the first period of warming and all of the later period can be accounted for by the forcing.

      • Don Monfort

        Don’t let them beat you, yimmy. The survival of the planet is at stake here. As usual you are tirelessly, some would say tediously, fighting the fight for the greenie cause. Willy isn’t helping with his annoying, obscure foolishness. It’s on your shoulders, yimmy. Hang in there, 24 hours a day.

      • It’s tough, Don. People keep replying.

      • Steven Mosher

        Don

        May I suggest Lakoff and Lakoff and Johnson to you.

        Start with Metaphors we live by.

        and understand… all thought is metaphorical.

        That’s my meme and I am sticking to it

      • […] all thought is metaphorical.

        Speaking metaphorically, of course.

      • Don Monfort

        “It’s tough, Don. People keep replying.”

        You are their favorite foil, yimmy. Ask willy to explain that to you. Your pal willy secretly aspires to be the top foil, but he doesn’t have your work ethic and he can’t compete with your mastery of the dogmatic doggerel.

      • When you do, you will see that part, maybe half, of the first period of warming and all of the later period can be accounted for by the forcing.

        I’ll make a scatter plot, but not today.

        The rates of warming and cooling are not at all well correlated with GHG RF before 1975.

        The peak in forcing rates around 1979 had a lot to do with CFCs, of course, but it now appears that CO2 emissions have peaked and CO2 forcing rates will fall faster than CO2 emissions fall.

        People tend to worry about the wrong things and worry about them most at the wrong time.

      • Jim D’s

        “It’s tough, Don. People keep replying.”

        Best line in the thread.

        Judith’s Sandra Bullock coming in second.

  30. Thanks Andy for another excellent post. Your posts are always long, and always worth the time to read and ponder on.

    • Something I agree with. The meme thing is very complex (to me) and I was struggling to comprehend L2015 on which Oreskes is a co- author. Now I sort of get it. Dissecting energy storage technologies or sea level rise or ocean acidification is soo much easier. Just facts. No stuff about how facts echo around inside minds to produce beliefs and actions.
      Oreskes is beyond comprehension. The now Harvard professor of history of science is supposedly smart. Yet she is supporting what increasingly appears to amount to Lysenkoism. I expect to live long enough to write something about that conundrum after the CAGW house of cards crashes down.

      • Rud

        As you will have seen in the debacle over Greece and the Euro, once the powers that be take up a Position it takes a full blown catastrophe for them to admit they were wrong. For that reason I suspect the house of climate cards will remain standing for a long time.

        Tonyb

      • Tonyb,

        Do you get the Netflix series “House of Cards” in the UK? Kevin Spacey is fantastic in this series. Well worth the time to watch.

        I would like to see a climate “House of Cards” produced some day with Al Pacino playing Pachauri, Adam Sandler playing Michael Mann and Sigourney Weaver playing Judith Curry.

        As for Oreskes and Harvard, I feel your pain Rud. I wouldn’t give those mfs another nickel while they employ and promote her and others of her ilk.

      • I thought we decided on Sandra Bullock :)

      • I still vote for the musical version of Climate Change, pirating music from Les Mis. I have the lyrics for Eli Rabett as Master of the House…

        Can Bullock sing?

      • Sandra Bullock has been recorded singing.

        Her rapping seems to be a little better.

        It is what it is.

      • richardswarthout

        Rud

        +1. This thing called the mind, dwelling in the person, is a messy wicked problem.

        Richard

    • Thanks Mark / ristvan, much appreciated.

  31. pottereaton

    I agree with Danley Wolfe above. Getting into a debate over whose memes are more pernicious is, in the case of someone like Lew, like wrestling with pigs. You just get muddy and the pigs enjoy it.

    That said, I think we need go no further than Schneider’s statement, which David Hagen quoted above, to determine, as children who are fighting might say, who “started it.” Here is that quote again:

    And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climatic change. To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have.

    There you have it: a transparent admission that climate science was deeply involved in the meme production business early on.

    Furthermore, Lew’s attribution of memes to skeptics is rather ridiculous when the data clearly show there has been no warming for more than 15 years. I haven’t read his paper, but does he even attempt to deny that is what the data says? If so, how does he square that with statements like Trenberth’s about the “missing heat?”

    • The missing heat is an interesting tell. The GCMs saynit must be there. But the satellite measured pause says it isn’t in the atmosphere. Argo says it isn’t in the upper 2000 ocean meters. Where or where else could it be? Below Argo, says Trenberth.
      Cargo Cult thinking on two gorunds. 1. How could it have gotten there without being noticed above? 2. By the laws of thermodynamics, if itmis there it will never come out. Deep oceans are about 4C bcause that temperature produces maximum density seawater. Heat does not flow from cold to hot.

      • David Springer

        Hey Rud, seawater reaches maximum density at -2C. You’re thinking of the maximum density of fresh water. See my eBook “Those who pretend to know things often don’t” chapter “Istvan blowing hot air”.

        FAIL

    • Steven Mosher

      You realize that “who started it” is a frame or meme.

      • Newton started it. Looking (IMO) for a better way to predict the flight of cannon balls. Because guess what! In a war, the side with better guns and gunnery was highly likely to win.

        Physics and chemistry: the Darwinian evolution of Science in the real post-Medieval world.

      • The side with the better guns and gunnery, ref Patrick
        O’Brian ‘Master and Commander Series,’ Capt Jack
        Aubrey on gunnery practice and guile. The battles
        described are actual battles, carefully researched but
        with fictional characters taking the lead roles. ‘Lucky’
        Jack Aubrey wins most of the battles, even his 14.4
        pounders and less man-power against superior forces,
        because he’s into daily gunnery practice, stop-watch
        in hand and also because of Aubrey’s long hands-on
        experience of sea-battles, weather and sailing.

      • A frame and a meme aren’t the same thing. An individual can frame a particular concept in a particular context. But a meme is a social phenomenon. It has to spread in a social group in order to be considered a meme.

  32. Berényi Péter

    Science is a peculiar form of memetics, targeted on eliminating emotional elements from the debate. This is why it proved to be so successful.

    As for the “pause”, really, it is only seen in satellite datasets (RSS & UAH 6.0 beta), in surface temperatures not so much.

    However, it is time to have a cool look at observations, irrespective of controversial computational climate models.

    That is, I would not talk about either the “pause” or the ever widening gap between model projections and reality.

    I would simply compare 36 years of satellite observations to surface temperature data, because that’s what we actually have.

    What we see is that rate of warming at the surface during this timespan is some 30% faster than that of temperature change in the bulk troposphere, measured by satellites.

    Which is inconsistent with a positive water vapor feedback.

    If relative humidity were indeed constant during warming across the entire troposphere, as computational climate models assume, it would be the other way around, that is, the bulk of troposphere would warm about 20% faster than the surface globally, and 40% faster in the tropics.

    It is obviously not the case.

    The flawed logic of “consensus science” is simple. With increasing surface temperatures evaporation increases. It boosts water vapor content uniformly across the entire tropospheric column. Moist lapse rate (5 K/km) is smaller than dry one (10 K/km), therefore with increasing moisture content average lapse rate should decrease. Which implies a faster tropospheric warming than observed on the surface. It also decreases transparency of the troposphere in water vapor absorption / emission bands, providing a positive feedback to the greenhouse effect of well mixed gases.

    Where is the bug? Can you spot it?

    Well, not “uniformly”.

    Water vapor is not a well mixed gas. Its average atmospheric lifetime (9 days) is far too short for that. There are huge differences in humidity at all spatio-temporal scales, water vapor distribution being fractal-like. Which can’t be resolved by computational climate models, so water vapor effects are not derived from first principles, but inserted into the model artificially by a process called “parametrization”.

    So. The fact is global average lapse rate is not decreasing with increasing surface temperatures, but increasing.

    Why is that?

    As if the troposphere would get drier with increasing surface temperature. However, it is still true, that the warmer the surface is, the rate of evaporation is the higher. Which implies more water in the entire column.

    The resolution, of course, is that distribution of water vapor is uneven. While the lower troposphere is getting more humid indeed, the upper troposphere is not, just the opposite. With increasing surface temperatures precipitation is getting more efficient, producing more dry air high above the surface. Therefore the upper troposphere is getting more transparent in water vapor absorption bands, not less. Which means a negative feedback to the greenhouse effect of well mixed atmospheric gases.

    In a no feedback case CO2 doubling warms the surface by 1 K, with negative feedback it is less than that, a tiny fraction of the value projected by alarmists.

    This conclusion is independent of sophisticated models, it is derived from basic physics and hard facts. One can still deny it on emotional grounds, but that’s just that, a clear case of conversion disorder, not science.

    • I think the land warming twice as fast as the ocean is part of the reason you may be thinking that the troposphere is drying. Currently the land is dominating the change. This is a transient phase where the land warms faster due to its low thermal inertia. At some point the ocean will warm more and the water vapor will increase more along with that.

      • yes, the ocean vs land warming oscillates on decadal time scales. This has been studied very little. Do you know of any publications on this? I know of someone who is working on this.

      • Peter Lang

        Jim D,

        At some point the ocean will warm more and the water vapor will increase more along with that.

        That sounds like excellent news to me.
        More vapour = more food.
        More CO2 = more food.

        Let the good time roll. :)

      • Peter Lang,

        We need to pump a lot more CO2 and H2O into the atmosphere while we’re waiting for the oceans to warm up, obviously.

        The easiest way to do this is by burning all the fossil fuel we can. Even burning junked wind turbine blades will help.

      • Berényi Péter

        What drives you to the misguided belief it is a “transient phase”, Jim?

        I am talking about 36 years and 6 months of data, from December 1978 to May 2015, which is hardly “transient”. It is more than 3 decades, conveniently exceeding the time scale said to have a climatic significance.

        See UAH 6.0 beta.

        It provides data for the entire troposphere, not just the surface.

        Observed rate of warming over land in the bulk troposphere is more than twice as fast (190 mK/decade) than it is over oceans (84 mK/decade), that much is true.

        However, consider surface data, let’s say from NCDC, for land &. ocean.

        From this you can see that surface rate of warming for the same 438 months is 268 mK/decade over land and 106 mK/decade over ocean.

        The take home message is that lapse rate is increasing with time over oceans as well, so the upper troposphere is getting ever drier even there. Which means a negative water vapor feedback.

        If there were a positive feedback, the troposphere over ocean would warm 20% faster than the surface, but it is the other way around. Observed sea surface rate of warming is not 70 mK/decade, but 106 mK/decade, a rate 50% higher than it is supposed to be.

        It’s just the surplus warming is even more over land (69% as opposed to 50%), but the phenomenon is most certainly global.

        Just another footnote for those who happen to get scared of a looming drought. It is the upper troposphere which is getting drier, not the surface, which goes to the opposite direction, so global rate of precipitation is probably increasing.

      • Berenyi, it is unsustainable for the land to keep warming twice as fast as the ocean. Their temperatures would just diverge until the land is mostly desert if that happened. I don’t think it will.

      • Judith, I don’t know of specific work, but it looks obvious to me, so maybe other people have noticed. I have only seen indications of more droughts in some papers as a consequence of this based on AR4 (Dai and Trenberth). The 30-year climates are diverging robustly as this shows. This is almost entirely from northern hemisphere land.
        http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/hadsst3gl/mean:120/mean:240/from:1900/plot/crutem4vgl/mean:120/mean:240/from:1900

      • I have only seen indications of more droughts in some papers as a consequence of this based on AR4 (Dai and Trenberth). The 30-year climates are diverging robustly as this shows. This is almost entirely from northern hemisphere land.

        Of course, the satellite sensed vegetation indices indicate less drought globally, not more.

      • I also saw something (perhaps from BEST) that the diurnal range over land is increasing, which would indicate a drying.

      • “I also saw something (perhaps from BEST) that the diurnal range over land is increasing, which would indicate a drying.”
        What’s because no one looks at it properly, you have to look at it from min temp to the following days min temp.
        Then it shows it cools more than it warms.

      • JimD,

        You mean that lil ol thing? It is interesting but with only a 0.2C change about all you can do is speculate. The ~3C jump in 1988-1990 in parts of northern Europe is another great thing to speculate over. Neither are all that indicative of CO2 related changes.

      • The drying corresponds well to the divergence period. Just pointing that out, and also that there could be a good reason for this which is the divergence in land and ocean temperatures. Also there is a good reason for that divergence to be happening in the first place. It all ties together with the accelerated forcing changes of recent decades.

      • Berényi Péter

        @Jim D

        Of course the land can’t warm faster than the ocean forever. But it has nothing to do with the question at hand, because in fact the upper troposphere is getting drier even above the ocean. As water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, that means a negative feedback. Which rules out scary runaway warming scenarios, and that’s the point.

        Otherwise surface of land masses warming faster than oceans would not turn them into deserts. As long as ocean surface is getting warmer, rate of evaporation increases. That vapor has to go somewhere, it can’t stay in the atmosphere for long. Therefore eventually it comes down as precipitation and the more water evaporates, the more should come down.

        If land warms faster than the ocean, it increases the probability of updrafts over land, sucking in more moist air from the ocean, which, above a certain elevation, gets saturated and precipitates out. So with warming not only global average precipitation increases, but it increases even faster over land. Which is the opposite of desertification.

        That’s how monsoon works.

      • It is not particularly comforting if the ocean is not keeping up, because now there are less clouds over the land and you get that positive cloud feedback instead of the water vapor feedback. Meanwhile the land has been warming at almost 4 C per doubling which is at the high end of even the ECS estimates, so in this transient state, this is fast warming, but only over land where the people live and try to grow food.

  33. ristvan,

    You hit on a very important point when you wrote –

    “Heat does not flow from cold to hot.” This is perfectly true, but it seems that AGW supporters, even physicists with PHDs, appear to confuse heat, energy, and radiation.

    The Warmist will point out that everything above absolute zero radiates energy, or in the Warmist language, “heat”. It therefore follows (to Warmists, anyway), that a cooler body can “heat” a warmer one. Unfortunately for normal people, Warmist also define “warming” as a “reduction in the rate of cooling”, so that an insulator, by reducing the rate at which a body cools, “warms” that body in Warmist terms, even though its temperature is dropping.

    The Antarctic ice contains an extremely large amount of energy. Even at say, 250K, it is radiating vast amounts of “heat”. All true, as any Warmist will point out.

    What they can’t seem to accept that it is impossible to warm even a thimbleful of water using the energy contained in the ice. It doesn’t matter how much “back radiation” the ice is emitting, it won’t warm you at all, or anything warmer than the ice.

    Unfortunately, if Warmists find facts not to their liking, they merely invent new meanings for words, which suit their purposes, so that facts become irrelevant, and propaganda holds sway – for a while, anyway!

    Have fun.

    • David Springer

      Straw men borne of ignorance.

      FAIL

      • David Springer

        Sled dogs bury themselves in snow to stay warm at night.

        FAIL

      • David Springer,

        If you have a fact, you might care to produce it. Otherwise, as you so elegantly put it, FAIL.

        In relation to sled dogs burying themselves in snow to stay warm at night, I believe you may be slightly mistaken. If you have information to show that sled dogs do any more than pack the snow down, using the same motion as any other dog, you might care to produce it.

        Sled dogs curl into a ball, so to speak. They have a top coat and an undercoat, good enough to stop moisture reaching the skin even when swimming. Well insulated. Of course, dogs lack sweat glands over their skin, so retain internally generated body heat far better than humans.

        This is why sled dogs can manage to remain asleep through blizzards, in some cases becoming covered with snow. The dog is smart enough to ensure it can still breathe, of course.

        People can build snow caves to get out of the wind, and sleep nicely in their down filled sleeping bags. Or you can use a tent, unlike most dogs.

        Have you any more irrelevant, misleading and incorrect or incomplete analogies or bon mots to gently toss my way?

        On this occasion, I reluctantly award you a FAIL.

      • David Springer

        An igloo then. They’re warmer inside than out. Ice and snow are good insulators.

      • “Ice and snow are good insulators.”
        And in the winter on a clear night the surface cools below air temp.

      • David a Springer,

        With great respect, your attempt to change the subject from sled dogs burying themselves in snow to igloos, is just another attempt at the Worn out Warmist Wriggle.

        I have to point out that the inside of an igloo is no warmer than the outside, unless there is a heat source within, which, if it is an unclothed human body, will rapidly succumb to hypothermia, and perish.

        Ice has roughly the same insulating value as marble, or some types of granite. If you are in a chamber constructed with marble or granite walls of -15 C, say, you will not feel warm.

        So ice cave, snow, or igloo, once again you FAIL.

        Sorry.

      • David Springer

        But the earth effectively has a heat source “within” because the atmosphere is transparent to solar short wave. That’s how the GH effect works. Differential transmission. Energy enters without resistance and then can’t leave as easily. This is probably beyond your understanding. Your intelligence/beligerence ratio is very low. No brains just bluster.

      • “Energy enters without resistance and then can’t leave as easily. ”
        It looks to be a slight delay, based on nightly cooling in hours, and no more.

      • David Springer,

        You seem to be lurching from crisis to catastrophe quite successfully without my help.

        However, I can assist a bit.

        You wrote – “But the earth effectively has a heat source “within” because the atmosphere is transparent to solar short wave. That’s how the GH effect works. Differential transmission. Energy enters without resistance and then can’t leave as easily. This is probably beyond your understanding. Your intelligence/beligerence ratio is very low. No brains just bluster.”

        A couple of corrections. The Earth has a real internal heat source, and does not require the Warmist “effective” heat source “within”. I assume you are in fact talking about the Sun, turned by the magic of Warmist physics into an “effective” internal heat source, which of course it isn’t.

        In any case, 50% of the Earth’s surface receives no radiation from the Sun, at any given time. This is referred to as “night” by normal people.

        Quite apart from this, more than 50% of the incident radiation from the Sun reaching the Earth’s surface is, in fact, infrared, both short and long wave. And, at night, both LWIR and SWIR demonstrate their ability to flee the surface in their mad race to outer space. This results in “cooling”, which normal people notice.

        “Differential transmission” is used in cars, not quite so much by the atmosphere at night. If more energy leaves a surface than it absorbs, the the surface cools, and vice versa.

        Your support of the GHE is definitely beyond my understanding. It is difficult to understand something which does not appear to exist. I also have difficulty in understanding phlogiston, n Rays, and the indivisible atom. These, I leave to you and your superior intelligence.

        I am obviously dumb, so I must rate you, once again, FAIL.

      • David Springer

        Mike Flynn | July 5, 2015 at 8:48 am |

        “I am obviously dumb”

        Yup. That seems to be the consensus.

  34. Great post! It is good news that at least someone amongst the CAGWunists is considering the possibility that they have influenced by this meme. No one except a few eggheads and blog nerds (me) would care if it weren’t for the severe economic consequences of this apocalyptic meme. Consider this news today about the new electricity rates for Californians:

    http://www.dailynews.com/government-and-politics/20150703/california-regulators-pass-higher-electricity-rates-for-most-residents

    A lot of people are gonna get hurt before this is over.

  35. More insanity from California. The intentions are good, of course – all in the name of reducing CO2 emissions to prevent CAWG. We’re going to replace natural gas (really bad stuff because, you know, fracking) busses with natural natural gas busses. We are going to buy electric buses. We are even going to buy buses that run on methane from poop. We have a lot of poop in California.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/02/us-california-naturalgas-buses-insight-idUSKCN0PC0AV20150702

  36. 36 Nobel prizewinners have just signed a new Mainau Declaration calling for the rapid development of fossil fuel energy to prevent hunger and poverty.
    http //www.lindau-nobel.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Mainau-Declaration-2015-EN.pdf

    • Danny Thomas

      That’s not what it looks like it says from how I read it.

      • It is a good way to get people to read it through.

      • Here’s how Sargent Shriver says we should develop fossil fuels and help the poor buying their A/Cs:

        [B]efore you can do anything about poverty, you’ll have to fumigate the closet in which Americans keep their ideas about the poor. You’ll have to rid America of all its clichés about the poor, clichés like the one which says that only the lazy and worthless are poor, or that the poor are always with us.

        http://www.thenation.com/article/battle-hymn-war-poverty/

        Sargent Shriver does not say what we’ll do with those who don’t have a house to start with.

      • Willard

        Shriver said, not present tense says, which implies he is alive. He died in 2011.

        That quote was made 51 years ago. Would you eat cheese that old? His overly simplified ideas about helping the poor are about as appealing as decades old cheddar. His ideas are the ones out of date. After spending over $50 Trillion on social programs with dubious efficaciousness, we should be catching on rather than glorifying failed ideas.

        Keynesian economics and Shrivers ideas share a common attribute. Simple solutions for simple minds. Increased knowledge in evolutionary psychology will help future generations to address social dysfunctions.

      • > Shriver said, not present tense says, which implies he is alive. He died in 2011.

        That’s an old conception of the present tense, kid:

        In linguistics and rhetoric, the historic present or historical present (also called dramatic present or narrative present) refers to the employment of the present tense when narrating past events. It is widely used in writing about history in Latin and some modern European languages; in English it is used above all in historical chronicles (listing a series of events); it is also used in fiction, for ‘hot news’ (as in headlines), and in everyday conversation (Huddleston & Pullum 2002: 129–131). In conversation, it is particularly common with ‘verbs of communication’ such as tell, write, and say (and in colloquial uses, go) (Leech 2002: 7). Historic present is the form recognised by the Oxford English Dictionary, whereas historical present is the form in Merriam Webster.

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

        Not as old as your ad novitatem.

        ***

        Since you might be as much a cheese lover than a latin lover, here’s for you:

        “It’s good.”

        That’s all Ed Zahn had to say about the taste of his 40-year-old cheddar that was sold like a precious metal yesterday at the Wisconsin Cheese Mart in Milwaukee—the oldest commercially available cheese in the world, while it lasted.

        http://www.chicagoreader.com/Bleader/archives/2012/10/08/the-oldest-edible-cheese-in-the-world/

  37. “But we have also noted that the likelihood that people will pass on information is based strongly on the likelihood of its eliciting an emotional response in the recipient, ”
    How’s righteous indigenous, I think that qualifies.
    “For instance, if there never was a strong AGW effect in the first place (much lower than natural variability, say) then to declare that GST observations are explained by AGW ‘pausing’, would not be a reflection of reality. ”
    I suffer from this,years of looking at the data leaves me wondering if there is any warming, and what we’re seeing is just ocean heat moving around, so I take a pragmatic position, I don’t deny the pause or even an increase in average temp, and keep digging. Hey I have a day job.
    The average day to day change of maximum daily temp is a couple thousandth of a degree random walk around 0.0F, but the distribution of max temp over a full year has changed, if you plot the daily (as opposed to the annual) average day to day change for a year you get a sine wave, the slope from the max positive change to the max negative change has changed over the years, but there looks to be an inflection point in the last handful of years. Also the positive slope(max negative daily change to max positive change) is different from the negative slope(max positive daily change to the max negative change).

    Lots more to learn that just averaging the infilled homogenized mean temp.

    GST is the least insightful view of surface temps possible, and I’m not sure that isn’t intentional, it’s the easiest to spread that meme and by using mean temps, a wide range of distribution can become a warming trend.

  38. Since so much land temp measurement is just a measure of how much heat was let in or let out by cloud on a particular day where there happened to be people and a thermometer; and since a max or min on its own only tells you the story of a peak moment in a day…

    Is the sow’s ear of temp record really worth all this silk purse stitching?

    • “Since so much land temp measurement is just a measure of how much heat was let in or let out by cloud on a particular day where there happened to be people and a thermometer; and since a max or min on its own only tells you the story of a peak moment in a day…

      Is the sow’s ear of temp record really worth all this silk purse stitching?”

      I think there’s still a lot to learn.
      But more to your first point, my computer has been cranking away calculating clear sky solar joules for each station for every day of the year from 1931 to 2015, after a week and a half I have 74 million daily records calculated out of a possible ~130 million samples.
      Once this finishes I can compare the energy to temperature increase, should tell me how cloudy it was on that day, a surface response factor.
      At the current rate it has 3-4 more days of run time.

  39. Who knew. /sarc. Humans have no innate sense of truth. We are superstitious creatures. Meme machines. We float memes in the hope of generating clicks, validation through +1’s, consensus.

    Science, like democracy, does not come naturally to us. It has bloomed only rarely in human history when times were good enough that our superstitions could relax.

    The demon obsessed Lewandowsky and Oreskes simply have no clue that their argument falsifies itself.

    • “The demon obsessed Lewandowsky and Oreskes simply have no clue that their argument falsifies itself.”
      It’s hard to keep all of your facts straight, especially if logic isn’t your strong suit.

    • In the new paper (L2015), they wrote about what questions that skeptics ask and offered some examples, such as these:

      How do we know global warming isn’t caused by the sun?” or “What about volcanoes?” or “What about the ‘pause’ in warming”—that is to say, questions that are honestly motivated, but are already framed in contrarian terms, because that is how people have heard of them. In attempting to answer “honest” questions, climate scientists may inadvertently accept the biasing term

      But they never, never, never, try to answer my question.

      We are told by the consensus alarmist scientists that before one hundred and fifty years ago, before man-made CO2 took over, that climate had natural cycles, but now, the natural cycles, that always cause warming after a cold time, have stopped and we would never have another Roman or Medieval warm period without man-made CO2. They have not explained what it is that stopped causing natural cycles. Until they do explain the natural cycle and explain what in the natural cycle stopped, I say this:

      http://popesclimatetheory.com/page76.html

      • Who said the natural cycles stopped? The sun and volcanoes still cause variations. There have been examples of both in recent decades.

    • David Springer

      “Science, like democracy, does not come naturally to us. It has bloomed only rarely in human history when times were good enough that our superstitions could relax.”

      That depends on how you define “human history”. Democracy is nearly as old as recorded history so by that definition it’s blooming is quite old going back thousands of years. If compared to when humans began using stone tools it’s a recent development. Maybe. Absent recorded history in the stone age man it’s impossible to tell if tribal custom commonly included popular vote. Same goes for the scientific method which seems to come naturally enough to me but it requires recording the results of experiments which requires writing which precludes the stone age.

      • Don’t confuse democracy with freedom. The tribal customs of the few relict “stone age” cultures existing today and recently indicate that the governments were predominantly councils of elders, advised by shamen (consider this a suggestion that this should be the plural).

        There was no need to suffer this government. You were always free to leave. This is exactly what they did. This is why humans spread out of Africa. This is why we crossed the Bearing land bridge to the Americas. It was not merely curiosity. It was because the young men in particular were not going to suffer the DFS’s running the show any longer.

  40. David Springer

    The pause meme is successful because satellite-borne temperature sensors, the only instruments we have that truly global with adequate precision and accuracy, reveal a pause.

    It’s a pause because another advanced earth temperature sensing system, the 4000 strong diving buoy fleet named ARGO, has found heat that might otherwise have raised lower troposphere temperature to be entering the deep ocean instead where it is so much diluted that it becomes insignificant.

    • “the 4000 strong diving buoy fleet named ARGO, ”
      Now you’re just blowing sunshine, the oceans are so under sampled as to basically be next to meaningless. There’s 20 some thousand surface stations for a third of the area of the oceans, and the surface is very undersampled, and that doesn’t even account for ARGO only being online for a fraction of the time needed to actually learn something, and the fact you’re touting this as meaning anything reduces your credibility.

      • David Springer

        Much has been and continues to be learned from ARGO.

      • “Much has been and continues to be learned from ARGO.”
        Sure but the uncertainty has to be high due to poor sampling, consider all of the macro scale features that exists that are invisible to the network, because they exist between buoys, as well as the fact they have an almost useless (for this task) temporal range.

      • At 700 m, ARGO is considered to be sampling at 100%, and has been for 20 years, because its density can resolve the variability.

      • David Springer

        What features would those be exactly?

      • ” What features would those be exactly?”
        Whirls, some currents, and it’s possible some of the larger gyries, go watch that NASA video of the ocean currents.

      • Steven Mosher

        Skeptic logic:

        “Sure but the uncertainty has to be high due to poor sampling, consider all of the macro scale features that exists that are invisible to the network, because they exist between buoys”

        These invisible things….
        you observerd them …. how?

        The same “logic” is at play in criticisms of the surface temps.

        that is the skeptic asserts on no information that what is happening where we dont observe is somehow different than what is happening where we do observe.

      • ” These invisible things….
        you observerd them …. how?”
        “This visualization shows ocean surface currents around the world during the period from June 2005 through December 2007. The visualization does not include a narration or annotations; the goal was to use ocean flow data to create a simple, visceral experience.

        This visualization was produced using model output from the joint MIT/JPL project: Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II or ECCO2. ECCO2 uses the MIT general circulation model (MITgcm) to synthesize satellite and in-situ data of the global ocean and sea-ice at resolutions that begin to resolve ocean eddies and other narrow current systems, which transport heat and carbon in the oceans. ECCO2 provides ocean flows at all depths, but only surface flows are used in this visualization. The dark patterns under the ocean represent the undersea bathymetry. Topographic land exaggeration is 20x and bathymetric exaggeration is 40x.”
        How about NASA said so?
        ” The same “logic” is at play in criticisms of the surface temps.

        that is the skeptic asserts on no information that what is happening where we dont observe is somehow different than what is happening where we do observe.”
        Because I do observe the climate, and I have no confidence your process can replicate them if the weren’t being measured, and since much of the land surface isn’t actually measured I think you’re fooling yourself if you think you’ve accounted for all possibilities.

      • David Springer

        ARGO is sufficient to track ocean currents and gyres. It has not been around long enough to detect decadal changes in same. Try again.

      • ” This visualization shows ocean surface currents around the world during the period from June 2005 through December 2007. The visualization does not include a narration or annotations; the goal was to use ocean flow data to create a simple, visceral experience.

        This visualization was produced using model output from the joint MIT/JPL project: Estimating the Circulation and Climate of the Ocean, Phase II or ECCO2. ECCO2 uses the MIT general circulation model (MITgcm) to synthesize satellite and in-situ data of the global ocean and sea-ice at resolutions that begin to resolve ocean eddies and other narrow current systems, which transport heat and carbon in the oceans. ECCO2 provides ocean flows at all depths, but only surface flows are used in this visualization. The dark patterns under the ocean represent the undersea bathymetry. Topographic land exaggeration is 20x and bathymetric exaggeration is 40x.

      • jimd

        Argo hasn’t been operating for 20 years let alone with an adequate coverage. Its a bit early to be able to state categorically what is or isn’t happening isn’t it?

        tonyb

    • David Springer

      The temporal range is adequate to measure how long it takes solar energy to move from one layer of the ocean to another. It’s not adequate to determine how constant that rate is over long periods of time. Do you have some kind of point you’d like to make or are you just throwing out whatever notions comes into to your head like a Rorschach test?

  41. Meme was a word coined by Richard Dawkins to describe his “selfish gene”. A cultural meme is an urban behavior or style. If the pause is just a stylish behavior it would be reasonable for those that don’t find it stylish to say it ain’t so.That leaves us with the reality that the earth has warmed, just at a lower rate or trend. That’s what I’ve said all along. Neither the meme nor the lower trend suits the consensus message thus denial is the only option. So perhaps the paper by Karl et al kills the pause and introduces a lower trend without reprocussions is a perfect option. So is that paper off message even mentioning the pause and suggesting an alternative perspective? That makes Lewendowsky and Oreskes message so convoluted that the pause is all that’s left standing as Andy West suggests.

    The debate would go: Heh the pause is real! No it isn’t! Yes it is! No it isn’t! … What are we talking about here? The pause! No it isn’t! Can’t we all just get along? No it isn’t! Who wins that debate?

  42. While the “Pause meme” is a threat to the idea that AGW must inevitably be CAGW, it is also the “crack cocaine” that allows many skeptics to ignore reality. Essentially all skeptical scientists believe in the enhanced greenhouse effect, as do many prominent skeptical bloggers such as Watts, Lucia, McIntyre and our host. They accept that the radiative forcing from the increase in aGHGs since the start of the pause (somewhere between 1995 and 2000) has been roughly 0.5 W/m2, mainly due to the rise in CO2 from 360 to 400 ppm. These numbers constitute about 1/3 of the increase in CO2 and 1/4 the increase in radiative forcing since 1750. Some combination of unforced variability and naturally forced variability (solar and volcanic) has suppressed warming since the 1997/8 El Nino and that will inevitably be overwhelmed by a tidal wave of CO2. The high from the Pause that is distorting reality will come to an end.

    WIth 20/20 hindsight, we may realize the end of the Pause began with the 2015 El Nino, or it may last another decade or more. Chaotic systems are unpredictable in the short run. Whether or not Tom Karl et al are proven right or wrong, they have created uncertainty (IMO) as to whether we have experience a real pause in the warming of SSTs. Even if one ignores the illogical data from below 700 m, the ARGO record since 2003 doesn’t show a Pause. Disturbingly, the atmosphere and land – with low heat capacity and therefore probably the highest variability – provide the best evidence for a Pause. They are the easiest places to warm.

    Skeptics claim that climate is always changing (another drug). Why can’t naturally forced and/or unforced variability hold off a putative “tidal wave” of anthropogenic forcing? Another Maunder Minimum would produce a transient forcing of -1 W/m2 at best according to the most optimistic publications. Curve-fitting suggest that the AMO changes GMST by only +/-0.15 degC. Another Tambora would be dissipated within a decade. Another LIA might reduce temperature by 1 degC. Yes, climate is always changing, but these phenomena – IF they develop – would change the big picture only modestly if ECS is around 3 degC or higher. And nobody wants more extreme and unlikely forms of climate change – another Ice Age or a Yellowstone super volcano.

    Skeptics who wish to return to reality can focus on the very real possibility that climate sensitivity is lower than the IPCC projects. Despite the fact that climate models have suppressed warming with high sensitivity to aerosols, climate models have over-projected warming. High sensitivity to aerosols is looking increasingly dubious. These problems with the consensus are not going to disappear with the next El Nino, homogenization of historical data or publication about the AMO, LIA, or Maunder minimum. The discrepancy between observations and projects will certainly persist for decades. The IPCC is projecting only 0.3-0.7 degC of warming for the next and the Pause will make this total warming for the first third of the 21st century. This challenged the meme that AGW must be catastrophic.

    • “Skeptics who wish to return to reality can focus on the very real possibility that climate sensitivity is lower than the IPCC projects. Despite the fact that climate models have suppressed warming with high sensitivity to aerosols, climate models have over-projected warming. High sensitivity to aerosols is looking increasingly dubious. These problems with the consensus are not going to disappear with the next El Nino, homogenization of historical data or publication about the AMO, LIA, or Maunder minimum. The discrepancy between observations and projects will certainly persist for decades. The IPCC is projecting only 0.3-0.7 degC of warming for the next and the Pause will make this total warming for the first third of the 21st century. This challenged the meme that AGW must be catastrophic.”
      Is it not possible that there have been skeptics who have been here for the last 15 years?
      The problem is how do you provide “proof” of this to provide a counter point to the consensus “the science is settled “?

      • David Springer

        Proof of what’s going to happen in the future isn’t possible in this type of problem. Doubt increasing or decreasing about the future is what we’re dealing with a.k.a. uncertainty.

      • ” Proof of what’s going to happen in the future isn’t possible in this type of problem.”
        So you agree GCM predictions of the future temperature are completely useless, glad to see you agree with most skeptics.

      • David Springer

        I find GCMs quite useful in showing that current understanding of things that effect the earth’s climate is so flawed that it cannot be taken seriously in making policy decisions.

      • ” I find GCMs quite useful in showing that current understanding of things that effect the earth’s climate is so flawed that it cannot be taken seriously in making policy decisions.”
        David I agree completely.

      • micro6500 wrote: “Is it not possible that there have been skeptics who have been here for the last 15 years?” where “it” refers to focusing on low climate sensitivity, not the pause.

        Undoubtably, but they are being drowned out (or intimidated) by the high from the Pause. Our host never reminds us that the Pause will end someday. Climate sensitivity has disappeared from WUWT, but every month they an update on the Pause from Lord Monkton and half of the commenters say it proves the enhanced GHE hypothesis has been falsified. The clock is approaching midnight, but the party continues. The growing gap between observations and projections is relevant – the length of the Pause is not.

        Micro6500 wrote: “The problem is how do you provide “proof” of this to provide a counter point to the consensus “the science is settled “?

        I don’t think one can prove to the close-minded that the science is not settled. They aren’t listening. They can be told as a general principle that the science surrounding a complex subject is never settled, and perhaps their minds will open someday. They can be told that the IPCC doesn’t support absurd claims about extreme weather. See Pielke vs Holder. Elsewhere, I think we need to focus on how wrong the models are. Forget about whether ARGO shows warming or cooling. No model projects more warming below 700 m than above. No model projects falling temperature in the top 100 m. When Mosher deigns to speak clearly, he pointed out that Tom Karl lowered total warming and therefore estimates of climate sensitivity. A record with a straighter line and no pause actually provides more confidence of low climate sensitivity. No model predicted the size of sudden drop in Arctic sea ice, so why should one believed it will continue to fall. Sea ice is growing in Antarctica. The models are wrong in both places.

    • Well, the pause began with an 0.3 C positive anomaly known as 1998. At a rise rate of 0.15-0.2 C per decade it takes a while for a mean rise to show up again when you are determined to begin your trend with that year.

      • Jim D: Well, the pause began with an 0.3 C positive anomaly known as 1998.

        The pause began with an interesting temperature swing from above the mean to way below the mean to way above the mean to way below the mean then up to a flat line at a slightly higher mean than the previous mean. It’s the flat line since the 1998 peak that is the pause. But, if you “start” at the most recent global mean temperature and project “backward”, you can see that the flat line extends backward past the 1998 peak.

        You wrote “the pause” without calling it “the pause meme” or the “so-called pause” or the “apparent pause” or some such.

        The pause might be ended by the apparently large upcoming el nino; we’ll have to wait until a few years after to be sure: some el nino’s are followed by step-changes in the mean temp, and some are not. Some of the models have no change in mean for 10 or more years yet — model results.are basically all over the place.

      • A true pause would begin with a gradual slow down. This one began with a sharp step up, making it a faux pause that doesn’t survive statistical significance by depending heavily on the start date.

      • Jim D: A true pause would begin with a gradual slow down.

        You can not know that. It is the sort of statement that results from ignoring what is known about high dimensional nonlinear dynamics.

        The reference date for “the pause” is the most recent date, because of the simulations of Santer et al supporting a duration of 17 years as minimal for identifying a “climate change”. They did the simulations in order to show that the duration of the pause up til then was insufficient to support a claim of “climate change”. The criterion they supported (admittedly, it also has weaknesses) has now been satisfied.

      • It is a little complex to state, but you can’t claim a pause has started when it is still warmer than the extension of a previous trend line before a step, and that is what it was. Something like this.

    • David Springer

      “The high from the Pause that is distorting reality will come to an end.”

      Maybe. What’s not coming to an end is anthropogenic CO2 emission. So we’ll find out one way or another over time.

      • Mat – Energy & Environment v. 21, no. 8, 2010, 999-1004. There was little indication at that time that reported measurements were not a continuation of the uptrend.

        This work was refined to as shown in a peer reviewed paper published in Energy and Environment, vol. 25, No. 8, 1455-1471. The method/equation therein (and with additional findings including a 97+% match to reported measured temperatures since before 1900 and a brief proof that CO2 has no effect on climate at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com) 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 number predictions which are not available past 2020.

        On-going PDO and AMO are in downtrend (they are major players in the “net effect of all ocean cycles”). Reported average global temperatures are being propped up by strong el Nino and also average sunspot number greater than 34. When el Nino changes to la Nina and sunspot numbers become less than 34 (these ALWAYS happen) the planet is in for a comparatively steep temperature downtrend with an as yet unknown bottom.

    • franktoo: WIth 20/20 hindsight, we may realize the end of the Pause began with the 2015 El Nino, or it may last another decade or more.

      Given that the pause was unpredicted and denied by the consensus — is that something that you might have written 15 years ago, or has the pause been forced into your thinking?

      Today’s 18 year-olds have not seen any net global increase in mean temperature, but their parents and grandparents were warned to expect quite a deleterious change by now. Repeatedly warned, I might add. Now evidently the people who made that warning are hinting that the unpredicted pause may last 10 or more years. If that happens, there will be a lot of well-educated 28 year-olds who might wonder: What happened to the warming that was predicted? That is time for two more of the IPCC 5 year reviews, and time for some more memes to “seep” into the consensus community.

      Another LIA might reduce temperature by 1 degC. Yes, climate is always changing, but these phenomena – IF they develop – would change the big picture only modestly if ECS is around 3 degC or higher.

      That would produce at least a 100 year postponement of the estimated time of arrival of the transient climate response, hardly a “modest” change in the big picture. It would also for sure dramatically reduce the probability assigned to ECS values higher than 1.0C.

      • Matthewmarler: I agree with you in part. However, the IPCC is calling for up to 4 degC of warming by 2100. Another 1 degC LIA won’t negate much of that, but it will eliminate the most damaging warming (from +3 to +4 degC). When you get to more realistic estimates of 21st century warming (say TCR = 1.35 degC from LC14), a -1 degC LIA would be awesome, but you still need to worry about the difference between ECS and TCR, whether the real LIA was -0.5 or -1.0 degC, and whether a future LIA will end before atmospheric levels of CO2 drop to a level that is tolerable without it.

      • The pause, or at least the end of the warming, was predicted.

        The on-going downtrend is predicted as a continuation of climate change drivers discovered to match measured average global temperatures since before 1900.

        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

        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.

      • Dan Pangburn: The pause, or at least the end of the warming, was predicted.

        I have not seen a quantitative prediction that was published before the pause had gotten underway. Could you provide a citation?

  43. ” That’s the logic of one anonymous imbecile on a climate blog.”
    Why thank you.

  44. ” That’s the logic of one anonymous imbecile”
    BTW, micro is my name, just not how it’s spelled.

  45. What I am reading from West is that the pause is given most of its weight from consensus scientists. Those doing studies of it are stepping a bit to the middle. We still get gymnastic papers like Karl et al and other stridencies but I see a split developing.

  46. Mat – It looks like my response got posted ABOVE your request.

  47. Pingback: Pinterest Recipes » No Title

  48. Pooh, Dixie

    Thank you all for this. I think that you have shown that “Climate Change” is a meme for CAGW.
    Clever, clever Mad Men.