AGU, Exxon and the corporate funding dilemma

by Judith Curry

. . . to assess whether our partner/sponsor statements are in conflict with our position statements and accepted scientific consensus. – Margaret Leinen, AGU President

Scientists to AGU: Drop Exxon sponsorship

The relevant information is compiled [here].  Excerpts:

Today more than 100 geoscientists sent the following letter to the President of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) – the world’s largest association of Earth scientists – urging the association to end its sponsorship deal with ExxonMobil. The oil giant is currently under investigation by the New York and California Attorneys General for its long history of climate denial campaigns.

Many notable scientists have signed on, including the former director of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies James E. Hansen, the former President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and Harvard Professor James J. McCarthy, Harvard Professor and author of Merchants of Doubt Naomi Oreskes, and Michael Mann– Director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University.

The letter is the most recent example of a growing trend of scientists stepping out of their traditional roles to urge science institutions to cut ties to fossil fuel companies.

Excerpts from the actual letter:

We, the undersigned members of AGU (and other concerned geoscientists), write to ask you to please reconsider ExxonMobil’s sponsorship of the AGU Fall Meetings.

As Earth scientists, we are deeply troubled by the well-documented complicity of ExxonMobil in climate denial and misinformation. For example, recent investigative journalism has shed light on the fact that Exxon, informed by their in-house scientists, has known about the devastating global warming effects of fossil fuel burning since the late 1970s, but spent the next decades funding misinformation campaigns to confuse the public, slander scientists, and sabotage science – the very science conducted by thousands of AGU members. Even today, Exxon continues to fund the American Legislative Exchange Council, a lobbying group that routinely misrepresents climate science to US state legislators and attempts to block pro-renewable energy policies. Just last year, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson downplayed the validity of climate models and the value of renewable energy policies.

The impacts of Exxon’s tactics have been devastating. Thanks in part to Exxon, the American public remains confused and polarized about climate change. And thanks in part to Exxon, climate science-denying members of Congress and lobby groups operating at the state level remain a major obstacle to US efforts to mitigate climate change.

But by allowing Exxon to appropriate AGU’s institutional social license to help legitimize the company’s climate misinformation, AGU is undermining its stated values as well as the work of many of its own members. 

While we recognize that some of AGU’s scientific disciplines are deeply tied to the fossil fuel industry, we are also increasingly aware of the tension within our community regarding how we should respond to the urgency of climate change as individual scientists and as institutions. It is time to bring this tension into the light and determine how an organization such as AGU should approach the major challenges of today to ensure that we truly are working for the benefit of humanity. In particular, as the world’s largest organization of Earth scientists, if we do not take an active stand against climate misinformation now, when will we?

Further details from ClimateWire (as quoted by Marlo Lewis):

AGU’s meeting is the largest earth science conference in the world. It attracts tens of thousands of scientists and requires a conference space so large that it is used by Apple Inc. and Google Inc. for their yearly developer meetings. There are hundreds of sessions on the science of climate change. Exxon Mobil is a prominent sponsor and recruiter at the meeting and paid AGU $35,000 last year.

According to Climatewire, one of the signers–Peter Frumhoff of the Union of Concerned Scientists–stressed that petitioners are not asking AGU to cancel the sponsorships of all oil and gas companies, just Exxon.

“AGU has set an unequivocal policy that restricts accepting funding from organizations that support or engage in misinformation on science,” he said. “That’s as it should be for any scientific society. We are just calling for AGU to implement the policy we already have.”

AGU responds

AGU President Margaret Leinen responds.  Excerpts:

In the summer of 2015, AGU released its new organizational support policy. This policy was designed to help ensure that AGU’s relationships with the corporate sector are in keeping with our values of unselfish collaboration in research and the highest standards of scientific integrity. One of the core principles of that policy is that it mandates that any potential partner not be engaged in the public promotion of misinformation about science. Prior to approving a new partner, AGU checks publicly available sources of information, such as websites and corporate media releases and public statements, to assess whether our partner/sponsor statements are in conflict with our position statements and accepted scientific consensus.

Because we take such concerns seriously, the Board conducted its own research and discussed the issue at great length during the September 2015 meeting. At that time, we decided that ExxonMobil’s current public statements and activities were not inconsistent with AGU’s positions and the scientific consensus.

It cannot be said that Exxon’s past positions and actions regarding climate change were in keeping with our policy or with the company’s current public positions, and we will be monitoring the results of the investigations by the Attorneys General of New York and California into those past actions. Yet our research did not find any information that demonstrates that they are currently involved in such activities.

We recognize that companies can, and often do, modify their positions and actions on various issues over time. This can come about for a variety of reasons, and is something that should be encouraged. But, if a company is excluded from the community based on its past actions, in spite of corrections or improvements that have been made over time, what are the implications? Does the rejection – or the inclusion – of such a company in our scientific community best serve the continuation of the progress we seek? We believe that inclusion is the best option.

As the leaders of AGU, we welcome questions and requests from our members and others in the scientific community, and we assure you that if verifiable information becomes available that proves ExxonMobil is currently engaging in the promotion of misinformation about science or adopting positions that are in conflict with AGU’s own, or supporting groups that do, we will end the relationship, as dictated by our policy – at least until the company is able to demonstrate that such actions have ceased. We encourage our members to share with us any information about current activities that may contradict ExxonMobil’s public statements about their position and actions.

Margaret Leinen is to be congratulated for not capitulating to demands to sever ties with Exxon, and for stating:

Does the rejection – or the inclusion – of such a company in our scientific community best serve the continuation of the progress we seek? We believe that inclusion is the best option.

Unfortunately, however, she falls into the ‘consensus trap’, the trap of mistaking scientific debate and uncertainty for ‘misinformation’, and for thinking that the AGU’s policy statement on climate change is the last word (i.e. ‘settled’) on the subject of climate change.

The perils of position statements

Marlo Lewis has an article Exxon Bashing, the AGU, and the Folly of Position Papers. Excerpts:

Indeed, Leinem and the Exxon bashers tacitly agree that AGU’s role is not to facilitate debate of competing scientific viewpoints but to define and enforce a party line.

When scientists behave like partisan hacks in the name of science, they degrade both science and politics. 

This phony brouhaha over Exxon’s alleged deviation from the AGU’s position statement should–but won’t–induce the AGU’s Board to question whether scientific associations have any business issuing consensus statements on matters of public controversy.

Economist Ross McKitrick nailed it years ago. Official statements by scientific societies “celebrate groupthink and conformity,” foster “partisanship” by demanding allegiance to a “party line,” and “legitimate the appeal to authority as a form of argumentation.” In other words, official statements breed habits of thought and action detrimental to scientific integrity and progress. The AGU sowed the seeds of the Exxon bashers’ intolerant quackery when it decided to behave like a political organization instead of a scientific association.

I have written several previous posts on the AGU Statement on Climate Change that was titled Human induced climate change requires urgent action:

Roger Pielke Sr, an AGU Fellow and member of the panel that prepared the AGU statement, penned a dissenting statement: Humanity Has A Significant Effect on Climate – The AGU Community Has The Responsibility To Accurately Communicate The Current Understanding Of What is Certain And What Remains Uncertain

My comments on the AGU statement were harshly critical:

Of the two statements, I vastly prefer Roger Pielke Sr’s statement, since he discusses the complexity of the issue and the uncertainties.

That said, I will once again question why AGU or any other professional society is issuing statements on this topic. IMO, AGU’s statement is one of the worst I’ve seen from a professional society on this topic, in particular its title ‘Human-induced climate change requires urgent action.’ This is an explicit statement of advocacy, that goes well beyond what the IPCC has said.

What really irks me about this statement is that I am a member of the AGU, and therefore this statement is implicitly speaking for me. It is clear that not even the 15 AGU members set to write this statement agreed, since one of their members (Pielke) has written a dissenting statement. The words ‘uncertainty’ or ‘debate’ are not used in the statement, leaving no wiggle room for them to pretend that this statement accounts for the range of perspectives in the AGU (or even within the writing committee), or the uncertainties.

If the AGU wants to maintain credibility as a scientific organization, it should do some serious self reflection.

The irresponsibility with which the AGU is proceeding with its advocacy has the potential to seriously harm not only AGU’s image and credibility, but also the science itself.

So, we have two AGU Fellows (myself and Pielke) strongly objecting to the AGU Statement on Climate Change.  I know of a number of AGU Fellows that also object to the AGU statement on climate change.

I was originally worried about the position paper being used as a green light for AGU editors and reviewers to reject papers that challenge the ‘consensus’.  I continue to worry about that.  But now I see an unanticipated application of the AGU position statement: a litmus test for accepting or declining corporate sponsorship.

Exxon

The ‘charges’ against Exxon are fairly ludicrous, as summarized by Marlo Lewis:

There is no way Exxon could have known about global warming’s ‘devastating’ effects in the late 1970s, because such effects are not evident even today.

Even more fundamentally, Exxon could not have known in the “late 1970s” that global warming was a crisis because the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) did not know even in the early ’90s that anthropogenic global warming was occurring.

The IPCC’s First Assessment Report (FAR), published in 1990, did not declare anthropogenic global warming to be a fact. Although the size of recent warming was “broadly consistent with predictions of climate models,” it was “also of the same magnitude as natural variability” (p. 6). Hence, “The unequivocal detection of the enhanced greenhouse effect is not likely for a decade or more.”

Similarly, the IPCC’s Second Assessment Report (SAR), published in 1995, famously concluded the “balance of evidence . . .suggests a discernible human influence on global climate” (p. 22). That too is not an assertion of what is demonstrably true, only what the “balance of evidence” “suggests.”

There is genuine scientific disagreement about the relative importance of human caused climate change (versus natural variability) and the magnitude of climate sensitivity, not to mention how the 21st century climate will evolve (even if we know what the carbon emissions are).  There is even greater disagreement over the following issues, for which science has little to contribute:

  • whether human caused climate change is on net ‘dangerous’
  • whether the near-term mitigation ‘cure’ is worse than the climate ‘disease’ in terms of damaging economies and increasing vulnerabilities, and unintended social and environmental consequences

The letter writers are upset because the Exxon CEO downplayed the validity of climate models and the value of renewable energy policies.  Well get over it – the Exxon CEO makes very valid points.  The climate models have genuine validity problems, and current renewable energy policies are actually hampering things by diverting resources away from energy innovation.

JC reflections

It is worth revisiting my previous post Misinformation, disinformation and conflict.  Excerpt:

In terms of actual scientific facts in climate science, we have the infrared emission spectra of CO2. The rest of what passes for ‘information’ in the climate debate is really hypotheses or theories.

Disagreement with someone’s hypothesis or theory, or not being convinced, does not make them a misinformer, disinformer or denier.

People discussing misinformation and disinformation in the context of a scientific debate are commonly doing so in context of frustrations and failures in their own propaganda to stimulate a policy response based on their view of what ‘science says’.

It is sad (well much worse than sad) to see the AGU Executive falling for the ‘misinformation’ vs ‘consensus’ framing of climate science, without accounting for the massive uncertainties and the genuine disagreement.

But that said, it is refreshing to see AGU engaging with industry (including oil companies) in a productive way.  Would the climate science ‘enterprise’ be at the current impasse if they had engaged the energy companies from day one (back in the 1980’s):  collaborating to develop emissions scenarios that make sense, and developing strategies to minimize the environmental impacts of fossil fuel use.  Engagement with oil companies can also help support needed intellectual diversity in climate science to avoid the massive groupthink we now see.

Instead, the fossil fuel companies were immediately positioned as ‘villains’, which exacerbated the traditional antagonism between green advocacy groups and the libertarian think tanks/advocacy groups and their lobbying efforts.  Back in the mid noughties, oil companies (especially Exxon) did fund contrarian science.

I recall seeing publicized an offer from Exxon for $10,000 to scientists who would poke holes in the IPCC AR4.  At the time, I thought this was ‘evil’, since other ‘important’ climate scientists were making such statements in the media.  Now I know better.  SOMEONE should have been funding scientists to take an independent and critical look at the IPCC consensus and challenge it. Heck, the National Science Foundation should have been funding this.  If the consensus is defensible, then skeptical challenges will only strengthen it.  In areas where it is not defensible, skeptical challenges serve to move the science forward.

Isn’t that our job description as scientists, and shouldn’t professional societies be promoting such activities?  Hah!  The climate scientists who think they are ‘masters of the universe’ are busy with their naive advocacy/activism; when this is amplified by the professional societies in the form of position papers etc., this advocacy/activism becomes irresponsible and detrimental to science.

Back to AGU.  So it is relief to see the AGU executive not immediately capitulating to the demands of the activists, and seriously considering its relationships with corporate sponsors.  But I am afraid that the whole activist mentality has become so entrenched at AGU (at the great expense of the science), that the Executive doesn’t even realize the broader problems here.  For additional context on funding and bias, see these previous posts:

The utter naivete of the scientist/activists/advocates never fails to astonish me, and the sheer irresponsibility of their advocacy never fails to concern me.

One last comment.  In looking at all the signatories to the letter (including the added ones), I was quite disturbed to see a number of young scientists signing, that were from the same institutions of the signatories of the ‘prime movers’ on this.  If a senior faculty member came along (one who has a vote on your tenure case) and tries to convince you to sign this, I imagine many would think twice before saying ‘no.’  A very clear, but unfortunate, lesson to young climate scientists in how supporting the consensus can help you advance your career.

 

 

 

 

236 responses to “AGU, Exxon and the corporate funding dilemma

  1. Bravo Judith! I don’t think you have missed a single point on this topic and why it is so important.

    • Well, excellent post but maybe Judy missed one:

      We, the undersigned members of AGU (and other concerned geoscientists),

      So they could not even scape together 100 genuine AGU members, out of how many thousands ?

      Quite why they consider non AGU members should be petitioning AGW exec is quietly avoided.

      How many of the “other concerned geoscientists” are in fact students?

  2. Shooting oneself in the foot suggests the AGW debate a re-enactment of the classical battle between selfish rulers of Earth and the selfless Creator and Sustainer of every atom, life and planet in the solar system, . . .

    indelibly recorded in exact rest masses of the 3,000 types of atoms compromising all matter

  3. Today more than 100 geoscientists sent the following letter …

    Pretty small potatoes.

    The American Geophysical Union (AGU) is a nonprofit organization of geophysicists, consisting of over 62,000 members …
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Geophysical_Union

    • I wonder how many of the 62,000 support the position versus those who decided to not get involved because they don’t want to be called deniers and attacked for dissenting?

    • Former Washington Post editor Barry Sussman famously wrote that politicans regard mass opinion as “the great gorilla in the political jungle, a beast that must be kept calm.”

      The Ministry of Truth may succeed in waking the gorilla. The problem is, however, that the gorilla, once aroused, tends to have a mind of its own.

  4. I don’t recall ever paying any attention any organization’s policy positions.

    If you run your organization by meetings, it gets taken over by people who like meetings.

  5. The big question that none of those pushing this stupid attack on Exxon can answer is “why on earth wouldn’t an oil company want a rise in energy prices as it that price boosts their profit margin”.

    And if you look at the real facts, I don’t know of any sceptics funded by oil companies, but many academics and many lobby organisations (like the UK wind lobbyists) get masses of money from oil companies.

  6. The following is missing from the discussion:
    ExxonMobil, and other oil companies, employ large numbers of geoscientists. Good professors have good relations with prospective employers of their students.

    • Not only that, oil & gas, coal, mining, etc often support geology departments via equipment, scholarships and expenses for field trips that has directly benefited the environmental remediation industry that has cleaned up the ground pollution from gas stations, refineries, mines, etc..

      However, one must remember, there are no real geologists among the top echelon of the AGW elite. This is why they get so obsessed over noise in field data and consensus messaging.

  7. Why can’t these activist/scientists see they are sowing the wind? It’s like the ‘no platform’ brigade who themselves end up being no-platformed, because they fail to keep up with the levels of radicalism among their own followers.

  8. Exxon Predicted Today’s Cheap Solar Boom Back in the 1980s

    Peter Eisenberger, now an environmental science professor at Columbia’s Earth Institute, co-authored an internal report for Exxon projecting that solar wouldn’t become viable until 2012 or 2013. The report, written before he left the company in 1989, suggested that Exxon would do best to sell its solar assets; not surprisingly, the company did just that. What is surprising is that Exxon’s 25-year-old solar projections nailed the timing for the arrival of affordable solar power.

    • And Exxon predicts falling global CO2 emissions within 15 years:

      • This suggests ExxonMobil, unlike some climate contrarians, doesn’t believe a continued rise in CO2 would be a good thing.

      • It means nothing of the sort max. But not surprising that you would come to such a conclusion.

      • Hi tmig56,

        I know vocabulary is not your forte, so I’m not surprised you think “suggests” and “means” have the same meaning.

        I suggest you visit the Exxonmobil web site. You may find the firm isn’t keen on increasing atmospheric CO2.

      • This suggests ExxonMobil, unlike some climate contrarians, doesn’t believe a continued rise in CO2 would be a good thing.

        Business people tend to make money by accurately predicting what will be not what they want to be, though as always, there could be spin in this.

        And I think their population numbers are high.

        The median UN fertility rates indicate continued population growth, but the more rapid fall in the CIA estimated rates indicates a peak as soon as 2035. We’ll see.

        Further, since CO2 emissions already seem to have stalled since 2013, it’s possible emissions have already peaked. If so, I declare the panic over ( and people are usually most panicked just as the non-problem becomes obvious ).

      • max10k: This suggests ExxonMobil, unlike some climate contrarians, doesn’t believe a continued rise in CO2 would be a good thing.

        That’s you.

        To me it “suggests” that ExxonMobil is predicting that GDP will have a higher rate of growth than fossil fuel consumption.

      • That too, matthew, which is consistent with ExxonMobil having no objection to a carbon tax.

    • And even that may be with overestimating population.

  9. Excellent analysis and statement of principal Judith.

    Unfortunately the AGU and other professional societies have become little more than trade guilds controlled by scientist-politicians in order to perpetuate their fiefdoms.

  10. Excellent post, thank you. I worked for Exxon Production Research (EPR) during the time in question and on the project that caused them to investigate the climate impacts of CO2. This was from 1980-1983, a long time ago and I don’t have any records from the period, just my memory. The project was the development of a large gas field in Indonesia named Natuna D-Alpha. It was (and is) 70% CO2. The question was, if we vent this CO2 to the atmosphere or to the oceans what would the impact be? I worked on another team, but heard about their deliberations second hand. EPR is an excellent organization and has some of the best scientists and engineers in the world. They debated this issue for years. At the end of the day (as of the mid 80’s), they thought the release would impact climate to some extent, but the impact would be small due to the ameliorating effects of the ocean. Pretty much what many people believe today, not an unreasonable position. To claim that an honest scientific inquiry with a reasonable result is criminal, is absurd. BTW, the field is still not developed. I doubt it will be now.

  11. The Enronization of climate science — promoting a shared narrative where dissenters ‘don’t get it’ (a Jeff Skilling term).

  12. A nice summary of an interesting wrinkle. Presumably Exxon employs many AGU members or their students. The relationship with AGU makes imminent sense. The letter doesn’t.

  13. While many studies are often financed by interested industries, Western government funds global warming alarmism studies. Politics and science have become intertwined and a lot more tribal!

  14. With respect to my proposed alternative AGU Statement – EOS would not let me publish it in EOS, even in their Forum section (just the url for it in https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/r-376.pdf)

    The statement can be found here

    Pielke Sr., R.A. 2013: Humanity Has A Significant Effect on Climate – The AGU Community Has The Responsibility To Accurately Communicate The Current Understanding Of What is Certain And What Remains Uncertain [May 10 2013]. Minority Statement in response to AGU Position Statement on Climate Change entitled: “Human-induced Climate Change Requires Urgent Action” released on 8/5/13. https://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2013/08/rpt-851.pdf

    Roger A. Pielke Sr

    • Roger: I agree 100%. The fixation on CO2 will lead us down a path of high cost and small effect. This seems obvious since the no-regrets policy of traditional air pollution reductions and landuse modifications are all achievable using existing off the shelf technology and also carry other environmental, human health and environmental justice benefits.

      While SOx is airborne, I understand it’s reflectivity temporarily and locally increasing albedo. However, when it falls from the sky and accumulates among all of the precipitated aerosols, doesn’t it have a negative effect on Albedo? I remember Ramanathan’s team of collegues published a paper that sulfur had an amplifying effect on BC. I also remember reading (can’t find the paper) that the combination of sulfur, nitrogen and carbon aerosol precipitation on ice and snow feeds biological metabolism which increases melting beyond the albedo effects. It seems to follow that once glacial ice melts, the formerly buried aerosols of the past are uncovered and concentrate at the surface increasing all negative feedback functions.

      • Hi Horst – For an informative summary of the different human climate forcings, see

        National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties. Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp. http://www.nap.edu/openbook/0309095069/html/

        Roger Sr.

    • Pielke, Jr. said:

      ….deciding a course of action and then finding information to support it is common across the political spectrum….

      Not just the “political” spectrum, but apparently across the human spectrum.

      [A]utomatic and unconscious processes can and probably do cause the majority of our behaviors, even morally loaded actions…that we thought we were controlling consciously.

      Furthermore, Damasio and Bargh both found, as Michael Gazzaniga had years before, that people couldn’t stop themselves from making up post-hoc explanations for whatever it was they had just done for unconscious reasons….

      Studies of everyday reasoning show that we usually use reason to search for evidence to support our initial judgment, which was made in milliseconds. But I do agree with Josh Greene that sometimes we can use controlled processes such as reasoning to override our initial intuitions. I just think this happens rarely….

      The basic idea is that we did not evolve language and reasoning because they helped us to find truth; we evolved these skills because they were useful to their bearers, and among their greatest benefits were reputation management and manipulation.

      — JONATHAN HAIDT, Moral Psychology and the Misunderstanding of Religion

      http://edge.org/conversation/moral-psychology-and-the-misunderstanding-of-religion

  15. There is no way Exxon could have known about global warming’s ‘devastating’ effects in the late 1970s, because such effects are not evident even today.

    There has been a 60% increase in plant growth since 1900. The word “devastating” is misapplied when used to describe CO2. The correct word is “blessing”.

    The lack of evidence that they are correct normally informs people they are wrong. Global warmers simply adjust the data or claim to have proven future harm that er.. just isn’t evident today for some reason.

    • I doubt ExxMob would hire you. They want to survive and thrive. In my experience, they hire really good people.

      People hate ExxMob… mostly because of the Valdez. The irony, to me anyway, is after that accident Exxon strove to do a whole bunch better. My experience is with 5 majors, all post Valdez. In terms of worker safety and trying to be environmentally responsible, given the business they are in, I think they are without peer. There are far worse actors out there.

      • Yeah, AGU’s rep isn’t so good either.

        Seems like they make a lot off of the cause
        Good move to avoid the hypocrisy eye test.
        But they have to get rid of Chevron, BP, Amazon and the others also.

        And something’s wrong with my irony meter.
        Exxon funding AGU? Isn’t that misinformation also?

  16. While environmentalism is in some instances what it sounds like it should be — “working for the benefit of humanity” — it has nevertheless become a code word for a political ambition, a yearning for more power.

    The environmentalist ministry, made up of people who, like Robespierre, are convinced that they are waging the good fight on behalf of virtue, is an instrument of Jacobinical environmentalism whose effectiveness lies precisely in its ability to appear to be the opposite of what it actually is.

    It is an ardently advocated, veritably messianic political program, and, like most political programs that have succembed to the utopina temptation, it does not take kindly to true difference.

    The search for sin is on.

    The thought police have let fly another one of those charges of sinfulness.

    • Stick to oil field’s Glenn. You are venturing deep into Rud Istvan delusions.

      • Horst Graben,

        Well I don’t know, I believe the historical comparison is quite fitting.

        There is a school of French historians that uses the word dérapage to describe the fateful moment when the Great Revolution of 1789 skidded from the enlightened universalism of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen into the rule of the Committee of Public Safety and the Terror.

        Dérapage, which literally means a “skid” or a “slide,” refers to the way fanatacism and dogmatism swept the great upheaval from constitutionalism to dictatorship, from eighteenth-century rationalism, inspired by the thinkers of the Enlightenment, to a dramatic foreshadowing of twentieth-century totalitarianism, urged on by grim, prim Robespierrean despots with a gift for demagogy who believed they were serving the cause of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity.

        Robespierre was an elegant maker of speeches, an aristocrat of words. In 1794 he told the Jacobin assembly, justifying the ferreting out of enemies real and imagined, that “Terror is naught but prompt, severe, inflexible justice; it is therefore an emanation of virtue.”

        I don’t want to be melodramatic here. We are not reexperiencing the French Revolution, and we are not in danger of the gullotine or rule by a national-level Committee of Public Safety (though I think there is evidence that rather smaller versions of that committee exist).

        But we are threatened by a narrow orthodoxy imposed, or committed, in the name of the very values that are supposed to define a pluralist society.

        That is why the word dérapage has stuck in my mind as I have observed a movement gathering force in the United States that has somehow slipped from its moorings and turned into a new petrified opinion of the sort it was supposed to transcend.

        Jospeh Conrad wrote in Under Western Eyes that

        in a real revolution the best characters do not come to the front… The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane and devoted natures, the unselfish and the intellignet may begin a movement — but it passes away from them.

        This, I believe, is true of environmentalism, a humane and humanizing idea that has, somehow, gone wrong. It is nobility perverted. And those who are perverting it, not the scrupulous and the just, but the zealots and the tyrants, belong to a burgeoning bureaucracy that, like all bureaucracies, finds ways to perpetuate and aggrandize itself.

        The members of the bureaucracy may not deliver on their promise to society. They will, nonetheless, not lose their jobs.

      • Horst,

        And by the way, speaking of “venturing deep into Rud Istvan delusions,” can you show me a single instance where I have stated a highly speculative prediction of mine as if it were a sure thing, the way some of those around here do. To wit:

        Horst Graben (@Graben_Horst) | February 27, 2016 at 11:09 am | Reply

        I’m with Donnie, Trump is the man to beat. In the general, he takes out Hillary.

        https://judithcurry.com/2016/02/27/u-s-presidential-politics-discussion-thread/#comment-767937

        and

        Horst Graben (@Graben_Horst) | February 27, 2016 at 11:29 am | Reply

        What is disconcerting is that the democratic party uses establishment insider super-delegates bought and paid for by wall street to anoint Hillary against the will of the people.

        https://judithcurry.com/2016/02/27/u-s-presidential-politics-discussion-thread/#comment-767945

        and

        Horst Graben (@Graben_Horst) | February 27, 2016 at 1:27 pm |

        Hillary is already toast in the general.

        https://judithcurry.com/2016/02/27/u-s-presidential-politics-discussion-thread/#comment-768029

        The reality, of course, is that the Rubinite wing of the Democratic Party may not even need to play the super-delegate card, and in a Trump vs. Clinton contest a Trump victory is hardly a sure thing.

      • I was talking about science when I compared your meta psycho-social theory drivel to ristvan. It smacks of voyeurism.

        Of course my political opinions are daft, just like everyone else.

      • Horst Graben said:

        I was talking about science…

        Science?

        And you know something about science?

        Apparently you believe science is something special which can be walled off from other realms of human endeavor, like politics, and practiced in some pure, unsullied way.

        Good luck with that one.

      • Horst Graben,

        Both you and Istvan have this habit of making wild-assed predictions regarding enormously complex phenomena, such as the global oil production system or national presidential politics.

        And then, when your predictions don’t work out, you hunker down into denial, either by downplaying the importance of your errant prediction by trivializing it or by denying the existence and importance of new evidence altogether.

        CNN/ORC just released a new poll.

        http://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/01/politics/donald-trump-hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-poll/index.html

        Many things can still happen in the race for president, but one thing seems apparent, and that is that Hillary is not “already toast in the general.”

      • Glenn: that’s where we part ways. Science is different from politics is different from economics is different from rooting for sports teams. Just like your enlightening posts regarding fracking are quite different from your quotations of philosophy and other meta drivel. Hypersensitivity and OCD level of cut and paste posting are other indications that contributions here could use some editing. Just a little friendly advise because some of your stuff is quite good.

        FYI, if you don’t understand what Capt is discussing over at aTTP , which is very basic stuff for someone of your technical background, you should take the advise of Steven Mosher: read more, post less.

        The basics are conveniently located at the science of doom (SOD) blog. Start at the beginning, then work your way through it to the present. You can do it in about 6-months. Along the way, do google searches and download actual papers and read them for comprehension. I believe you will find a lot of overlap between your experience in oil fields and paleoclimatology. SOD is kryptonite to deniers and alarmists alike, which for most bloggers, unfortunately, is a bug, not a feature.

        http://scienceofdoom.com/2009/11/

      • Horst,

        Still searching for that apodictic science, are we?

        Well keep searching.

        The quest began 400 years ago, and we’re no closer to achieving it now than we were then.

        When I run across persons of your particular faith, I wonder if they are even aware of the long intellectual and philosophical tradition they operate in?

        Are they aware that other intellectual and philosophical traditions exist, equally as old and time-honored as their own?

        Are they aware of the myriad assumptions which underpin their belief system, without which it would cease to exist?

        It’s as if Hume and the Counter Enlightenment never even happened.

        One thing’s for sure, though, and that is that the controversy over AGW has as much, or more, to do with competing philosophies of science as it does anything.

      • You couldn’t have possibly made my point any better, QED

      • Horst,

        I really don’t understand your anti-intellecualism.

        Are you so insecure in your beliefs that any sort of self-examination is out of the question?

  17. Well said. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. I could have guessed about 60% of the signees. It would be interesting to have a plebiscite from all 62,000 members. I would guess that geologists and related earth scientists outnumber the “climate” scientists, and would be far more cautious about certainty. I would like to see how many of those who signed the Oregon document are/were members of the AGU. There is no compelling reason for any major academic organization to produce position papers on political matters.

  18. Pay no need to these establishment denialists funded by Big Oil. I fund my own denialism. I slice up warmies for fun, not profit.

    And if the Kochs were to come around and open their wallets to me I’d tell Charles and David to keep their money. Well, most of it.

  19. and the libertarian think tanks/advocacy groups and their lobbying efforts. Back in the mid noughties, oil companies (especially Exxon) did fund contrarian science.

    Fossil fuel companies continue to fund think tanks that promote climate change “skepticism.”

    • That is true. However their funding of science supportive of AGW means they are risking to be hoist on their own petard. When people like the petition signers exhibit this sort of bunker mentality, it makes one suspicious of the strength of their case against their fetish over a singular control knob CO2. If it turns out black carbon NOx, SOx Ozone VOC’s, albedo and landuse are the best solution in the short-term, this myopic cabal will be relegated to the back of the bus.

      This smells of protecting their turf, not the planet.

      • When people like the petition signers exhibit this sort of bunker mentality, it makes one suspicious of the strength of their case against their fetish over a singular control knob CO2.

        I think they believe that Exxon is a bad actor and that funding misinformation through tanks and other means warrants exclusion. I don’t happen to agree with them on this unless they do find that Exxon broke the law. But I do agree with the misinformation part.

      • I also think the funding of Republicans in Congress is important and I doubt they are going to do anything but lobby against any action to reduce CO2 emissions.

      • Thanks Joseph. Where we depart ways is that IMO, CO2 is getting all the attention and science funding. Again, IMO, this has skewed research by the folks who are taking the easy route to publishing about this miracle control knob when the problem is much more complex and multi-factorial. The CO2 myopia is the technical crack that exposes the AGW community to skepticism and doubt. I’m not saying that much of the skeptic and doubter communities are right. On the contrary, the deniers are disgusting greedy glutenous narcissists.

        That said, the defensiveness of the CO2 control knob crowd is a strong tell that they have an irrational need to push the politics because science and engineering does not support their singular cause and effect theory.

      • I think they believe that Exxon is a bad actor and that funding misinformation through tanks and other means warrants exclusion. I don’t happen to agree with them on this unless they do find that Exxon broke the law. But I do agree with the misinformation part.

        So, not as a challenge but to get to specifics, can you cite specific examples of misinformation from Exxon?

        And is it false? or just emphasizes truths that should be included in the big picture?

        The IPCC, after all, exaggerates the extent of global warming, minimizes the uncertainty, and dedicates only a few paragraphs to benefits.

        Shouldn’t we ban the IPCC from the AGU?

      • We continue to hear the oil companies heartfelt pleas, “What ever you do, please-oh-please, don’t regulate away our competition!”

      • It’s those evil oil companies, they also did away with Enron.

      • Horst Graben on February 29, 2016 at 12:26 pm

        That is true. However their funding of science supportive of AGW means they are risking to be hoist on their own petard.

        Why?
        They are risking nothing of the sort imo. They realize just like any rational person that the oil is not staying in the ground. We need it too much. And we will continue to need it for a long time.
        Their is no rational reason why the oil companies should not fund scientific research into atmospheric sciences or any other sciences.

        This “booo oil companies!” is really starting to bug me.
        Stop buying their products èn masse and stop raking full your national treasures by taxing their products, or STFU!

    • So, not as a challenge but to get to specifics, can you cite specific examples of misinformation from Exxon?

      Well they fund ideological think tanks that I think promote misinformation. Ideological think tanks exist to promote an agenda not an accurate and objective view of the science. So when you have groups like CEI, Heartland, etc giving a one sided view of the science that completely ignores the mainstream view I think you are being misinformed.

      The IPCC, after all, exaggerates the extent of global warming, minimizes the uncertainty, and dedicates only a few paragraphs to benefits.

      I don’t think you are in position to make that judgement since you would need to review and understand all of the papers that were looked at by the IPCC members. If you could point me to a better summary I would be glad to take a look.

      • Given that I sometimes work for these think tanks, I find your statement incredibly stupid.

      • I am sure you think that due their ideological nature they should be considered paragons of objectivity and balance.

      • Joseph demonstrates he is not going to give up his title of king of ridiculous comments to max without a fight.

      • Well they fund ideological think tanks that I think promote misinformation. Ideological think tanks exist to promote an agenda not an accurate and objective view of the science

        Greenpeace exists to promote an agenda and does not give an accurate and objective view of the science. Governments and do-good-billionaires fund them and nobody says sh*t.

        So when you have groups like CEI, Heartland, etc giving a one sided view of the science that completely ignores the mainstream view I think you are being misinformed.

        So much wrong with this sentence. Since when is ignoring the main stream view something despicable? Since when is ignoring the main stream view “misinformation”?
        Unbelievable.

      • So that is how science should work? You cherry pick the evidence or interpret the evidence in way that only supports your side and then ignore the rest?

      • RE: Joseph | March 1, 2016 at 3:39 pm |
        “So that is how science should work? You cherry pick the evidence or interpret the evidence in way that only supports your side and then ignore the rest?”

        Well it works for you, doesn’t it?

      • Well…

        The basic problem is that until the estimates are bounded to about 5%-10% there can’t be a coherent discussion.

        For whatever reason the estimates vary by a factor of 3.

        If you don’t understand what is going on now, and understand less about past, it is a forlorn hope that you can predict the future.

      • wijnand2015 | March 1, 2016 at 3:27 pm:
        “Greenpeace exists to promote an agenda and does not give an accurate and objective view of the science. Governments and do-good-billionaires fund them and nobody says sh*t.”
        ______________

        You don’t have to be a billionaire to be a do-gooder. I’m not a billionaire yet, but I contribute to Greenpeace. I’m glad to know
        our government contributes too.

        Are you sure the U.S. government sends money to Greenpeace? I hope so.

      • Danny Thomas

        Joseph,

        I’m late to catching up on this but: “Well they fund ideological think tanks that I think promote misinformation.”

        What else do they fund? Does ‘ideological think tanks’ include universities?

        Seriously?

      • Does ‘ideological think tanks’ include universities?

        No.

    • Fossil fuel companies continue to fund think tanks that promote climate change “skepticism.”

      These labels need work.

      The skeptics aren’t really skeptics. They should be labelled “Sane and Rational”. Most skeptics think that CO2 warms the planet a little.

      The CAGW crowd believes anyone who isn’t convinced, that a little more CO2 will make the earth go “Aldebaran”, is a skeptic.

      Funding objective and honest studies isn’t funding skepticism. It is funding objective and honest studies.

  20. I don’t get it. There is a tremendous opportunity here for members of the AGU and other scientific organizations to open the funding gates and create careers and futures for themselves and those following them.

    Money in the form of grants and research project funding melt away when there is “consensus”. It is theoretical conflict and uncertainty that creates opportunity. It is like having one lawyer in a town. Business doesn’t boom until the second lawyer shoes up. The AGU should push for both sides to be funded if they truly want to serve their members. If you think the other guy is wrong, prove it (and get someone else to pay for it)!

    • No sign of melting. Research focused on two areas: explaining away the hiatus and regional climate forecasting. Neither threatens the consensus.

    • ‘Money in the form of grants and research project funding melt away when there is “consensus”. It is theoretical conflict and uncertainty that creates opportunity.’
      ______

      Climate denial and skepticism drives funding of climate scientists? I never thought of it that way. Those who despise Michael Mann are actually his enablers.

  21. Oh yeah,

    Watts shared this poster a while back:

    The irony being that the little green flower of BP( the same BP of the poor safety rep and Gulf spill ) is OK but not Exxon.

    • It’s pretty obvious that BP has friends in high places:

      How the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) does science is a key to the integrity of climate science. Even more important, perhaps, is how NOAA reacts to White House pressure on the interpretation of its science, and how it commmunicates the science it does.

      That’s why a NOAA-related science communication fiasco over the amount and fate of oil spilled into the Gulf of Mexico by the BP Deepwater Horizon blowout was so important….

      In an August 4 news blitz, coming on the heels of a successful “static kill” of the blown out and runaway Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf, the Obama administration gathered its collective credibility, pushed NOAA front and center, and declared 3/4 of the oil in the Gulf “gone.”….

      From the start, estimates of how much oil was spewing from the broken well nearly a mile below the surface were dubious….

      BP, of course, had a business interest in minimizing the estimates of how much oil was spilling into the Gulf, since they would pay damages proportionate to that number….

      [The] original 1,000 barrel figure, according to the Oil Spill Commission, apparently originated from BP without any supporting data or documentation, and was accepted and publicized by the Coast Guard.

      NOAA gets some credit, according to the Oil Spill Commission, for raising the estimate to 5,000 barrels/day a week later. But that was still a drastic underestimate of the actual flow. Soon NOAA was requesting permission to release a much higher “worst case” figure of 64,000-110,000 barrels/day. But the White House Office of Management and Budget, the Oil Spill Commission was told, denied the request.

      By that time, if the reports are true, NOAA was transformed into an Obama administration team player, whose scientific judgment was being filtered through the quasi-military Unified Command and the politically controlled Office of Management and Budget….

      Then on August 19, at a hearing of a House Energy subcommittee, Bill Lehr, one of the top NOAA scientists who was supposed to have been responsible for the report, repudiated in a low-key scientific way, the conclusions (“3/4 gone”) forced on the report by the White House….

      One of the most amazing revelations at the August 19 hearing was that the federal government — and that meant in large part NOAA — was refusing to release to the public the formulas, models, scientific citations, and data on which its eagerly trumpeted conclusions were based….

      So after having declared its confidence in the August 4 conclusions because — it claimed, falsely, as it later turned out — they had been peer-reviewed, NOAA was now refusing to allow independent review of the basis for its conclusions on the grounds that that basis had NOT been peer reviewed. It was a scientific Catch-22 — one for the Journal of Irreproducible Results.

      What was most amazing is that NOAA — whether represented by Lehr or by Lubchenco herself — acted as if it were not embarassed by its profound and self-contradictory hypocrisy about peer review.

      http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/2010/10/27/noaa-on-the-bp-oil-blowout-is-this-any-way-to-communicate-science/

  22. David L. Hagen

    Climate Alarmism vs Lysenkoism?
    Can today’s “green” climate alarmism (aka politically correct “Climate Science”) be logically distinguished from Lysenkoism under Stalin?
    The tactics of today’s climate alarmists appear very similar!
    1) Denigrate climate skeptics as (political) climate “deniers”.
    2) Defund climate skeptics.
    3) Imprison climate skeptics.
    4) Execute climate skeptics.
    QED
    Contrast the Scientific Method taught by Nobel Laureate Richard Feinmann, and his 1974 Cornell Commencement Address Cargo Cult Science

    • Lol! I guess maybe you forgot about that whole Gulag thingy, eh?

      • David L. Hagen

        Joshua
        Do you mean the 100 million killed by their own governments under communism? Vis Courtois et al. 1997 The Black Book of Communism ISBN 9780674076082
        As detailed by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn?

      • You know, whenever I think that “skeptics” make some good arguments, I read this kind of laughable rhetoric like in all seriousness comparing the science wars in modern day America with Lysenko and Soviet Russia and just shake my head.

        Talk about “alarmism.” Sheece.

      • J**a grabs her quotation marks again to show how to pile millions of sceptical people into one big pile of “sceptics” who ALL are to be held in lower regard because of some laughable rhetoric by someone somewhere.

  23. David L. Hagen

    Should we test natural law?
    Climate Alarmism (aka “science”) appeals to “consensus” to dismiss all challenges.
    However, under the scientific method, shouldn’t we continue to “test all things”? The Royal Society’s motto “nullius in verba” means “take no one’s word for it.”

    It is an expression of the determination of Fellows to withstand the domination of authority and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment.

    Physicists continue to Test Gravity! Including testing both Newton’s law of gravity, and Einstein’s theory of relativity.
    By advocating that “Climate science” has reached “consensus” and is immune from skeptical testing is to remove it from the realm of science! That anti-scientific “consensus” is detrimental to the public good and should be defunded.
    Will Climate Science turn back to wisdom?
    Or be rejected as wicked?

    Whoever corrects a scoffer gets himself abuse,
    and he who reproves a wicked man incurs injury.
    Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you;
    reprove a wise man, and he will love you.
    Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser;
    teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.

    Proverbs 9:7-9 ESV

    • David, being jailed for your views on climate change would make you famous. I think you should go for it.

      • David L. Hagen

        max10k John Bunyan wrote his wildly successful Pilgrim’s Progress in jail for preaching without permission.
        It might concentrate the mind as critically important per Deep Work. I still have 192 patents to go!

      • Fewer distractions, plus free room, board, and health care. But try to get into a prison for white-collar crime.

      • David L. Hagen

        max10k “Free”??? US prisons cost us taxpayers $74 billion/year!

        Some states, like Indiana have managed to keep prices low at around $14,000 per inmate. While states like New York pay around $60,000 to keep its citizens behind bars. The costs of running the American prison system is expensive and has become increasingly so despite public opposition.

        The Economics of the American Prison System
        This reflects the high costs of rejecting God’s laws and refusing to teach them in school!

      • Not free to those on the outside, but free to the inmates.

  24. The evil oil company myth again…Oil companies just
    try to supply the demand of their customers. Analogous
    to Medieval woodchoppers supplying a fiefdom’s demand
    for firewood. But the fiefdom seemingly cannot
    psychologically accept that the cutting of the forest,
    smoky air, and ash piles are not the woodchoppers fault,
    instead is the result of the population’s willingness to
    pay for firewood for their personal comfort.

    • Imagine what the reaction would be if the oil companies started rationing gasoline in the name of climate stabilization.

      • Now you’re thinking. Charge more, pump less, and make as much profit or more while conserving stock.

        To do it well, you need a world monopoly or collusion among players, and you need helpful governments.

      • I think you have missed the point. People would not stand for it.

      • Don’t be so sure. The public accepted rationing during WWII. Higher prices are in effect rationing. A revenue-neutral carbon tax like the one in British Columbia raises prices. Maybe that’s why Exxonmobil favors a revenue-neutral carbon tax.

      • Don’t know Dave, looking at my facebook feed, millenials seem to be begging for it.

  25. “As Earth scientists, we are deeply troubled by the well-documented complicity of ExxonMobil in climate denial and misinformation.”

    “…the well-documented complicity of ExxonMobil…”

    This is where the former scientists go off the rails; i.e., at the beginning. I expected at least a listing, or a series of references, or other evidence that the there was a “well-documented” case to be made for their manufactured pique and authoritative assertions.

    You see, Dr. Curry says that the AGU is a collection of Earth Scientists. What is evident by the letter, these are not scientists but…manufacturers; manufacturers peddling their wares. I say manufactures, like Mann manufactured his hockey stick (one can not go out into the forest and cut down a hockey stick; rather, it must be manufactured merging two dissimilar pieces together), or Karl manufacturing facts to disappear the “hiatus”.

    It seems to me that the AGU is a collage of interests loosely labeled Earth Science. Oil companies are as much a part of this piece of art form as any other piece. When passing by this wall-hanging and giving it a glimpse, one particular piece does not grab one’s attention, rather, it is the whole expression: “I like it, or, I don’t like it” and move on.

    Some people, the press and our President are but some others who view such utterances from ardent letter writers and dower responses like that of Margaret Leinen as, important. My experience has been that strident calls to action by such organizations within a contentious field, leads to a progressive loss of listeners, which in turn leads to a progressive loss of membership as the relevance of the organization becomes less and less meaningful to fewer and fewer working Earth scientists.

    Another instance of a familiar theme: “Too Big To Fail.” Such behavior can be harmful to be sure; but, the organization’s demise of relevance waits in the wings until the virtuoso exits stage left, and, relevance takes its place center stage. If not, the curtain drops. End of theatrics.

  26. So, we have two AGU Fellows (myself and Pielke) strongly objecting to the AGU Statement on Climate Change. I know of a number of AGU Fellows that also object to the AGU statement on climate change.

    There are apparently 1747 AGU Fellows. You suggest some number object. That some object is not a great surprise, given the number of Fellows. What would be more interesting is how many actually object.

      • “Human-induced climate change requires urgent action.
        Humanity is the major influence on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years. Rapid societal responses can significantly lessen negative outcomes.”

        Lots of undefined terms and implicit assumptions. Urgent is a subjective appeal to emotion. Negative outcomes undefined ( as is the lessening ).

        “Human activities are changing Earth’s climate. At the global level, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases have increased sharply since the Industrial Revolution. Fossil fuel burning dominates this increase. Human-caused increases in greenhouse gases are responsible for most of the observed global average surface warming of roughly 0.8°C (1.5°F) over the past 140 years.
        Temperatures have risen and in a way consistent with radiative forcing. But models indicate natural variability is +/- 0.5C, so probably still wrong to claim majority.

        “Because natural processes cannot quickly remove some of these gases (notably carbon dioxide) from the atmosphere, our past, present, and future emissions will influence the climate system for millennia.”
        Egregiously misleading. The biosphere/hydrosphere has absorbed 72ppm CO2 in the last 55 years alone. Such a rate will quickly return CO2 concentration toward pre-industrial levels. Even if the return is asymptotic about pre-industrial, and thus slightly above PI levels, the difference from today’s levels will be cooling ( reduced radiative forcing ).
        I declare shenanigans on AGU
        :

        “Climate models predict that global temperatures will continue to rise, with the amount of warming primarily determined by the level of emissions. Higher emissions of greenhouse gases will lead to larger warming, and greater risks to society and ecosystems. Some additional warming is unavoidable due to past emissions.”
        “risks to society and ecosystems” are claimed, but not substantiated or even identified! Summer temperatures were higher ( and temperature ranges more extreme ) during the Holocene Climatic Optimum. Such a period coincided not with human decline but the rise of the ‘cradle of civilization’. Further, more humans die (from all causes) during winter and fewer die during summer. This may be due to human genetics which respond to seasonal respiratory viruses. It’s possible that sunlight or temperature are the factors, but the possibility remains that rather than causing risk, warming reduces human risk of mortality.

        “Climate change is not expected to be uniform over space or time. Deforestation, urbanization, and particulate pollution can have complex geographical, seasonal, and longer-term effects on temperature, precipitation, and cloud properties. In addition, human-induced climate change may alter atmospheric circulation, dislocating historical patterns of natural variability and storminess.
        AGU says: “human-induced climate change may alter atmospheric circulation”. but they don’t know because there’s not a particularly good reason to believe that it will. This is a reflection of general ignorance of atmospheric dynamics. In the broadest sense, the pole-to-equator temperature gradient, induced by the pole-to-equator gradient in net radiance is responsible to the barocline that determines circulation. Compared to the seasonal change ( winter to summer ), and the glacial change ( Last Glacial Maximum to Holocene Climatic Optimum ), the change in RF induced by GHGs is very small and quite uniform. Seasonal variation undergoes large polar radiative deficit during winter and small polar radiative deficit during summer. Glacial variation undergoes relative large glacial deficit year round because of ice mass, albedo changes due to ice as well as albedo changes due to less sea surface and greater land surface.

        In the current climate, weather experienced at a given location or region varies from year to year; in a changing climate, both the nature of that variability and the basic patterns of weather experienced can change, sometimes in counterintuitive ways — some areas may experience cooling, for instance.

        some areas may experience cooling, for instance.
        Is somebody just making this up? Most GCM runs I’m familiar with don’t indicate areas of cooling
        :

        Impacts harmful to society, including increased extremes of heat,
        Except when there are fewer, not more extremely hot days

        The AGU statement appears to reflect high susceptibility to group think and affirmation of the hypothesis than any serious scientific though.
        I think Exxon should cease funding because they don’t want to be associated with the AGU.

    • Perhaps AGU should have polled them.

    • Or, maybe, Judith could give some indication of how many she knows object to this statement?

    • How would her anecdotal number help?

    • It would help in understanding if there was some relevance to Judith pointing out that she apparently knows a number of other AGU Fellows who object.

      • How would it do that?

      • Because if it’s ~5 people it wouldn’t seem worth mentioning.

      • Because if it’s ~5 people it wouldn’t seem worth mentioning.
        Because things are correct if everyone agrees?

      • Suppose 5 is half the number she spoke to about it? That is 50%.

      • I doubt that 10 would be regarded as a statistically representative sample.

      • “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” ― Neil deGrasse Tyson

        Also,

        “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not anyone believes in it.”

        And,

        “The bad thing about believing is that sometimes humans disregard scientific truth to follow what’s popular.”

      • I doubt that 10 would be regarded as a statistically representative sample.

        Put Lewandowsky in charge. He knows how to make the numbers come out right.

      • Jim D –

        Who decides who the small set of “experts” are? It is a recipe for abuse.

        A poll of AGU members is a more inclusive representation of actual professional community’s views. Coupled with public online comments and responses from the committee who prepares the draft statement, a following poll (vote) by members is needed if the society is to be viewed as an honest broker of an issue, and not an advocate for a particular viewpoint.

        Roger A. Pielke Sr

    • Hi Ken – AGU Fellows should be asked.. I invited a number of AGU Fellows (18 in addition to me accepted) to write an article for EOS:

      Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell, W. Rossow, J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian, and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union.
      http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/files/2009/12/r-354.pdf

      We concluded the narrow IPCC approach of emphasizing added CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases, is too narrow.

      We wrote in our text

      “The evidence predominantly suggests that humans are significantly altering the global environment, and thus climate, in a variety of diverse ways beyond the effects of human emissions of greenhouse gases, including CO2. Unfortunately, the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment did not sufficiently acknowledge the importance of these other human climate forcings in altering regional and global climate and their effects on predictability at the regional scale. It also placed too much emphasis on average global forcing from a limited set of human climate forcings. Further, it devised a mitigation strategy based on global model predictions…”

      So we have 18 more Fellows (plus Judy and I) that disagree with the IPCC focus (at least enough to join as co-authors).

      I have a suggestion. Why don’t you and I design a poll for AGU Fellows, and see if we can obtain responses? We can use the three hypotheses that are in the EOS paper.

      Roger Sr.

      • Roger,
        My AGU membership has lapsed, so I suspect I have no influence :-) I’m not familiar with the AGU processes, but it seems that position statements are published for review before being accepted. What was the outcome of this statement’s review? Also, has the AGU been approached with the idea of polling the Fellows?

        That there are some dissenting voices is not really a surprise. It would seem impossible to develop something that is accepted by all.

      • I’ll take bets on whether or not Ken Rice takes you up on the offer Dr Pielke. My money is on no.

      • Ken,

        Where does “influence” come into the picture. Roger asked if you were willing to help design a poll. No influence needed.

        This is why you are just another clown doing a drive by in the clown car.

      • Why limit the polling to AGU Fellows, since the letter was not so limited? Why not poll all 60k members?

        For example, Naomi Oreskes is an AGU member but I don’t believe she is a Fellow. And this whole campaign is her idea.

      • Hi Ken – You wrote if

        1. “position statements are published for review before being accepted. What was the outcome of this statement’s review?”

        I was on the Committee and saw the comments that were submitted. It was on a teleconference. It took only about an hour to dismiss or decide on any edits. There were no notes, no public report. My minority statement was never discussed.

        On an AMS committee I am on, I have requested, and it has been forwarded, that all comments on draft statements be placed online. This recommendation was made several months ago. So far – no action on this by the AMS leadership.

        2. “Also, has the AGU been approached with the idea of polling the Fellows?”

        Yes. This recommendation was ignored.

        Roger Sr.

      • Danny Thomas

        Dr. Pielke,

        Is it just me, or do numbers (volume) matter? Should it be one, and that one be correct vs. all the others which voice matters?

    • A poll is different from the purpose of a statement. You don’t get a statement by polling the full membership or even all the Fellows. To get a statement they go to their experts on the topic of the statement. Whether the general membership agrees with the expert statement is not of much interest. So first you have to decide whether your statement is an informed expert opinion or an opinion poll of members. Both have their place, but they are separate things.

    • What would be more interesting is how many actually object.

      So you’ve changed your mind and science is once again about voting?

      It would be difficult to keep up with your position changes except for the interesting fact that your position always seems to be the one that favors your personal view.

      FWIW, that’s not how good science is done. Real, actual scientists don’t move the goalposts when they don’t like the results.

      Read up on it. You might learn something.

      • So you’ve changed your mind and science is once again about voting?

        Umm, no.

        It would be difficult to keep up with your position changes except for the interesting fact that your position always seems to be the one that favors your personal view.

        I’ve some advice for you. Stop making up other people’s views. That will probably help.

        Read up on it. You might learn something.

        Thanks for the advice. Very kind of you.

  27. Reblogged this on Peddling and Scaling God and Darwin and commented:
    A controversial one!! Some won’t like me re-blogging this and may suggest I am in bed with Exxon. However Oil Companies have funded science for years. The old geology buiding at Oxord was the Shell building but that never affected what the dept produced. Now there is a Shell professor – isn’t that terrible? Not.

  28. The following statement is from ExxonMobil’s perspectives on climate change at the company’s web site

    “We are committed to positive action on climate change and dedicated to reducing the risk of climate change in the most efficient way for society.”

    http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/current-issues/climate-policy/climate-perspectives

    I thought it was interesting ExxonMobile didn’t say action is unwarranted because of uncertainty.

  29. Funding skepticism is never a crime, but what’s required by robust scientific inquiry. We trust a scientific hypothesis only after it has been thoroughly scrutinized from many perspectives. All entities that fund scientific research seek to support their needs or beliefs. Governments are not immune and can detrimentally dominate funding and thus skew “scientific” opinion” just as easily, if not more, than corporations. Good science must examine all alternative explanations. Having a variety of funding sources is critical to promoting alternative explanations and avoiding suffocating group think.

    Michael Mann and his ilk have tried to demonize skeptics and portray anyone who criticizes the weaknesses in the global warming theory as deniers engaging in a “Serengeti tactic” of isolating and attacking the weak. But trustworthy scientific requires that very natural selection process during which weak and false claims are culled from the herd, such that what remains is stronger and fitter.

    The more pressing danger is alarmists like Mann or Trenberth are trying to shut down all alternative views and build a cult of authority where they are the only authority. To quote Trenberth when he beseeched colleagues not to debate ‘deniers’, “a debate actually gives alternative views credibility”.

    To alarmists it may appear incongruent, but corporate funding might be the best thing to ensure that the very foundations of scientific inquiry are not derailed by those who trying to consolidate their academic power.

  30. Why professional scientific societies believe they have to delve into policy issues is a disturbing trend which represents a major departure from the “honest broker” role they are supposed to practice and is embodied in their by-laws. Somehow the normal questions of ‘is it significant’ and ‘is it appropriate’ get lost in today’s assumption that everything is worth an immediate emotional response.

    For the record, I dropped my, membership in AGU years ago as they got more and more into policy statements and related agendas.

    PS. You all may not know, but Margaret Leinen published her first paper with me in 1972. She has had quite a career.

    George Devries Klein, PhD, PG, FGSA

  31. Jim Steele

    Funding skepticism is never a crime, but what’s required by robust scientific inquiry …
    ________________

    Jim, I’m not sure what you mean. I can see funding science, but I can’t see funding just skepticism alone. Skepticism is already a part of science.
    ___________

  32. The insignificant effect of CO2 on climate is quantified at http://globalclimatedrivers.blogspot.com with a near-perfect explanation of annual average global temperatures since before 1900; R^2 = 0.97+. The two factors that have caused climate change for 300+ years are also identified.

  33. max1OK. Perhaps I should have written “science based skepticism”. Of course funding skepticism that is not supported by evidence or logic simply to attack a paper or an idea is unacceptable.

    Funding skeptical ideas that offer reasonable alternative explanations, can set the stage for honest and sincere debate.

  34. More than 100 Liars and frauds identify themselves in letter to AGU.

    • Note the methodology here. Prod a politician to initiate a political witch hunt. Cite the witch hunt as if it is proof of a fair and balanced view of the evidence.
      This is really sick, nasty, vile stuff.

  35. I certainly hope that these noble and brave climate-citizens don’t stop their efforts with funding for AGU events. That evil Exxon money spigot should be shut completely. After all, our superior moral sense demands it.

    In 2014, together with its employees and retirees, Exxon Mobil Corporation, its divisions and affiliates, and the ExxonMobil Foundation provided $279 million in contributions worldwide, of which almost $100 million was dedicated to education.

  36. It may not matter what Exxon does or says:

    China expects to lay off 1.8 mln workers in coal, steel sectors

    China’s hard landing and attempt to convert to service sector means falling CO2 emissions.

    • TE
      The agreement was to keep increasing CO2 emissions until 2030 and then reduce as the economic impact to the one child policy reduces work force availability. You see an early reduction based on economic contraction due to market forces. They will try to manipulate energy and currency values to continue the upward trend. Has worked for almost 30 years. It will be interesting if the mixed capital and command economy crashes due to market forces. Good article but lots of time to go before 2030.
      Scott

  37. Perhaps someone needs to point out that the biggest beneficiary of the AGU climate hysteria are companies like Exxon-Mobil as they benefit tremendously from the conversion of coal based power generation to natural gas.

    • But they don’t benefit from nuclear power and wind and solar power. Is there a net benefit? I don’t know.

    • Cap and trade would also be a boon. Big incumbent corporations get dibs on production rights, supply is constrained driving up prices and profits, when productivity falls off their unneeded production rights give them a stake in the ventures of would be competitors.

      • Ideally, cap and trade would be combined with a revenue-neutral carbon tax for a hybrid scheme. It would benefit me because I have a relatively small carbon foot print, but a relatively large tax bill.

  38. The biggest contributor to climate skepticism in the general public is the continuous parade of ludicrous alarming headlines cranked out on a predictable basis by the alarmists.

    The most sinister thing Exxon could do is let NY present the case and loose.

    Devious, those evil corporate Earth haters.

  39. David L. Hagen

    Climate Science Inquisition
    The AGU’s inquisition is furthering the descent of science. Curry further exposed it in AGU: Enforcing the consensus

    I have decided to reject the submission based on the significant scientific consensus regarding the question of human-induced climate change. – Eos editor

  40. Is it the fate of institutions
    to be captured by activist unions
    of the ‘noble, or ‘self’-cause-ambitious
    who wish to create a conn-sensus
    whence none are permitted to egress?

  41. Exxon’s current position on climate is very much in line with the AGU. Check it out here.
    http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/current-issues/climate-policy/climate-perspectives
    Generally supportive of Paris, assuming emissions will peak in 2030, taking reductions as a given necessity. Skeptics wanting no action are left in the lurch by a progressively thinking Exxon too. Who do they have left to cling to now?

    • Obsolete ideologies (anarchism and laissez-faire capitalism), conspiracy theories, and ?

    • Exxon, Chevron opt out of European Big Oil’s climate huddle

      Exxon Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson was more blunt in remarks to reporters after his company’s annual meeting in Dallas on Wednesday. A shareholder who’d praised the European companies for at least paying “lip service” to environmental concerns drew this response:
      “No, thank you, that would not be us,” Tillerson said. “We’re not going to be disingenuous about it. We’re not going to fake it. We’re going to express a view that we have been very thoughtful about. We’re going to express solutions and policy ideas that we think have merit.
      “Speaking out to be speaking out about it doesn’t seem particularly helpful to me,” he said.
      Snip
      Tillerson reiterated Exxon’s position is to support a carbon tax if a consensus emerges in the U.S. for climate action and warned that hurriedly adopting carbon limits based on current modeling technology could have costly long-term consequences for shareholders.
      A University of Texas-trained engineer who’s spent his 40-year career at Exxon, the CEO said technology will provide solutions to any impacts that result from climate change, such as higher sea levels.

      Climate models that seek to predict the outcome of rising temperatures “just aren’t that good,” Tillerson said, reiterating a position he has publicly advocated at least since his promotion to CEO in 2006. The company is wary of making efforts to reduce emissions that may not work or that will be deemed unnecessary if the modeling is flawed, Tillerson said.

      “Mankind has this enormous capacity to deal with adversity. Those solutions will present themselves as the realities become clear,” he said. “I know that is a very unsatisfying answer for a lot of people, but it’s an answer that a scientist and an engineer would give you.’’
      http://www.seattletimes.com/business/exxon-chevron-opt-out-of-european-big-oils-climate-huddle/

      • °°°°°Rex Tillerson said:

        Exxon’s position is to support a carbon tax if a consensus emerges in the U.S. for climate action….

        That’s a pretty easy position to take when one knows that the public’s appetite for a carbon tax is almost zero.

        As Samuel J. Best and Benjamin F. Radcliff note in Polling America, WTP (willingness to pay) studies over the last 40 year have consistently shown that 90% or more of Americans are unwilling to pay even a small amount ($5 per month or less) for climate action.

        So in reality, if anybody is guilty of paying “lip service” to environmental concerns, it’s the American public.

        And you can damned well be assured that Exxon has its finger on the pulse of the American public.

        °°°°°Rex Tillerson said:

        Mankind has this enormous capacity to deal with adversity. Those solutions will present themselves as the realities become clear.

        I know that is a very unsatisfying answer for a lot of people, but it’s an answer that a scientist and an engineer would give you.’

        He’s got that right.

        Tillerson’s answer is certainly “unsatisfying” for the adherents of apocalyptic stealth religions like environmentalism and peak oil. In fact, it is heresy.

      • Corporation is just another word for things we do together.

    • Jim D said:

      Skeptics wanting no action are left in the lurch by a progressively thinking Exxon too. Who do they have left to cling to now?

      So, Jim D, let me get this straight. We now have Saint Exxon, who the “skeptics” mistakenly believed had come to lead them to the promised land, to the kingdom of the Reign of Carbon.

      I’ve got to give it to you, Jim D, that’s almost as great a departure from reality as the notion of the devil Exxon, come to lead the world to perdition.

      But I suppose in the Manichean construct of the Ministry of Truth, those are the only two notions of truth that are possible.

      • No, the point was that we have an Exxon statement that is no better from the skeptic perspective than either AGU or APS, and I will bet that the skeptics will not go after them for it like they do for AGU and APS. Exxon don’t even have to say that the science is settled, but they go straight into assuming that cutting GHG emissions is happening at a significant rate by 2030 and welcoming it, so actually it is a step further. So if you want AGU to soften their statement, check what Exxon is saying first. I just thought I would help by pointing to it for some relevant context that had been missed in this thread.

      • Jim D said:

        ….we have an Exxon statement that is no better from the skeptic perspective than either AGU or APS….

        Hum.

        If you believe that the Exxon statement is “no better from the skeptic perspective” than the fear-mongering AGU statement, which procalims any number of wild-assed CAGW theories and predictions as if they were sure truth, then I’d say you suffer from a rather severe reading comprehension problem.

        There is not a scintilla of uncertainty, or even the slightest hint of modesty or fallibility, manifest in the AGU position. This prompts one to ask; Is there no limit to the hubris of these AGU scientist kings?

        So let’s take a look at the Exxon and AGU position statements and compare.

        Here’s the Exxon position statement in its entirety:

        Our position on climate change

        With a commitment to helping address this important societal challenge, ExxonMobil has continuously, publicly and openly researched and discussed the risks of climate change, carbon life cycle analysis and emissions reductions.

        And here are excerpts from the AGU position statement:

        Human-induced climate change requires urgent action.

        [First come the proclamations of sure truth]

        • Humanity is the major influence on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years….

        • Human-caused increases in greenhouse gases are responsible for most of the observed global average surface warming of roughly 0.8°C (1.5°F) over the past 140 years…..

        • Extensive, independent observations…show large-scale increases in air and sea temperatures, sea level, and atmospheric water vapor; they document decreases in the extent of mountain glaciers, snow cover, permafrost, and Arctic sea ice.

        • These changes are broadly consistent with long-understood physics and predictions of how the climate system is expected to respond to human-caused increases in greenhouse gases.

        • The changes are inconsistent with explanations of climate change that rely on known natural influences.

        • Climate models predict that global temperatures will continue to rise, with the amount of warming primarily determined by the level of emissions.

        • Higher emissions of greenhouse gases will lead to larger warming, and greater risks to society and ecosystems.

        • Impacts harmful to society, including increased extremes of heat, precipitation, and coastal high water are currently being experienced, and are projected to increase.

        • Other projected outcomes involve threats to public health, water availability, agricultural productivity (particularly in low-latitude developing countries), and coastal infrastructure, though some benefits may be seen at some times and places. Biodiversity loss is expected to accelerate due to both climate change and acidification of the oceans, which is a direct result of increasing carbon dioxide levels.

        • While important scientific uncertainties remain as to which particular impacts will be experienced where, no uncertainties are known that could make the impacts of climate change inconsequential.

        • Furthermore, surprise outcomes, such as the unexpectedly rapid loss of Arctic summer sea ice, may entail even more dramatic changes than anticipated.

        [And then the proclamations of sure truth are followed up by a call for advocacy]

        • Actions that could diminish the threats posed by climate change to society and ecosystems include substantial emissions cuts to reduce the magnitude of climate change.

        • The community of scientists has responsibilities to improve overall understanding of climate change and its impacts.

        • Improvements will come from…working with stakeholders to identify relevant information, and conveying understanding clearly and accurately, both to decision makers and to the general public.

        So what we see in the AGU statement are Naomi Oreskes’ perverse notions of science writ large. The propaganda campaign is on.

  42. I had to address similar, though less formally stated, objections to ExxonMobil’s sponsorship of Geological Society of America meetings and programs when I was President of GSA (“Industry is not the enemy”, GSA Today, v. 19, issue 7, 2009). Good for Margaret Leinen and good for Judith Curry. Excellent analysis.

  43. From the Harvard Health Publications web site, OT but about science an very interesting:

    Can vitamin D also improve physical function?

    “To explore the possibility that vitamin D might provide yet another health benefit, researchers recently published a study to determine whether taking a high dose vitamin D supplement might help stave off a decline in physical function in older adults. Researchers enrolled 200 people who were at least age 70 and who had reported a fall in the past. Some were given a low dose of vitamin D, while others received higher doses. After a year, the researchers assessed the participants’ physical function (by measures of walking speed, ability to stand up repeatedly from a sitting position, and balance). The results were no better in those treated with higher doses of vitamin D than in those on lower doses. In addition, those receiving the higher doses reported significantly more falls. There was no clear explanation for this unexpected finding.”

    • The clear explanation is Vitamin D improves memory.

      • Really ? I didn’t know that. Would large doses of vitamin D improve my memory more than small doses in addition to causing me to fall down more?

      • http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-vitamin-d-memory-decline-20140927-story.html
        Yup.

        I looked up the study and couldn’t find a full copy immediately, so can only speculate on what is going on. But Amgen found these sorts of studies are only right 11% of the time. Randomized clinical trials give you randomized study results.

      • PA, thanks for the info and link.

      • johnvonderlin

        Knowing that I once tripped over my TV remote’s wire (during that thankfully short period between having to get up to change the channel and today’s wireless remotes) I wonder if incidents of falls are correlated to the number of times one needs to leave the safe harbor on the living room sofa, whatever the reason? If so the following may be the reason for increased falls, irrespective if we remember them or not.
        “Unusually high vitamin D levels in the body following treatment with vitamin D supplements may cause increased thirst. You may notice that your mouth or throat feels dry or irritated or that you drink larger amounts of fluid more frequently than usual. Increased fluid consumption can also cause increased urination, which you may find bothersome.” Perhaps, it is time for chamber pots to make a comeback, especially in drought-stricken California.

      • John, you may have the reason. Large doses of Vitamin D cause thirst, which increases water intake, which increase trips to the restroom, which increases the risk of falls, especially trips from bed in the dark. I wonder if the researchers thought of that?

      • “You may notice that your mouth or throat feels dry or irritated or that you drink larger amounts of fluid more frequently than usual

        But if your mouth or throat is normally dry or irritated and you drink large amounts of water you won’t notice a difference.

        which increase trips to the restroom
        http://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/depression/
        Fatigue and weakness is a symptom of vitamin D deficiency and low vitamin D has been linked with depression.

        So if you have low vitamin D you are more likely to be a living room vegetable, which lowers your chances of getting up and falling.

        Another possibility if there is an actual increase, is it may be a drug interaction. Many 70 year olds swallow enough pharmaceuticals to choke a horse. Vitamin D in large single doses may interact particularly when taken with a handful of other pills..

  44. Judith, why not promote a strong position paper authored by AGU members who disagree with the position taken by the “100 geoscientists”. It would be a thoughtful science based report full of citations, including the IPCC. The information already exists, but needs to be collected and edited. Perhaps it would be a nice project for a few GT graduate students. We could edit it here on the blog before it is sent to the AGU.

  45. I wrote about Exxon and polar bear research two years ago:

    “Oil money helped fund the Ph.D. research of polar bear biologist and Polar Bears International spokesperson Steven Amstrup, and made possible a number of other critical research projects in the early days of polar bear research that might not have been possible otherwise.

    Yesterday, several media reports announced that ExxonMobil had advertised for a job counting polar bears in the Kara Sea (where very little research has been done), but a Greenpeace spokesperson called this an “obvious greenwash.”

    More here: http://polarbearscience.com/2014/03/27/oil-money-provided-the-foundation-of-polar-bear-research-now-its-greenwash/

    One of the biggest problems with polar bear conservation is that even after more than 40 years of research, we don’t really have a good idea of how many bears there are – yet Greenpeace wanted to stand in the way of helping to resolve that problem because Exxon money was involved.

    Susan

    • At your web site it says “As well as counting bears, the person who wins the post will also be expected to place electronic monitoring collars on up to 20 adult females.”
      ______

      How would you know you hadn’t counted the same polar bear twice or even more times? One bear looks pretty much the same as the next. And how would you know for sure the counter wouldn’t get confused or lazy and just make up the numbers?

      The collaring of 20 female polar bears sounds exciting. I would like to try it.
      Why not collar some males too?

      _____________

      • Probably has something to do with migration behavior differences in the sexes. Also, females are more important to population growth patterns.

    • Greenpeace also tears up research crop fields, fights against nuclear research, and opposes medical research.
      Because they are pro-science, unlike those folks they like to call “anti-science.”

  46. > It is worth revisiting my previous post Misinformation, disinformation and conflict. Excerpt: […]

    Another one:

      • Willard: Just because Dr. Curry is female gendered doesn’t mean that you and aTTP need to fight like girls. Man-up and tell us how you really feel.

      • Thank you for the sexist concerns, O esteemed geologist.

        Judy’s blog self-citations are only overshadowed by Senior’s.

      • Willard: You and your posse are the sexists by numbing down your level of argumentation to petty gossip here at Dr. Curry’s blog. It’s quite obvious that is one of your passive-aggressive tactics in an attempt to get under her skin.

        You throw rocks and hide the hand. Are you and the aTTP peabrained gallery still selling that the MadMax CAGW linkage as a denier meme?

        Let’s hear you bring it, word-boy.

      • Last times we met here, dear Horst, you took your marbles home, pouting. I do like your style and it would not take much to convince myself to dance again with you. However, since this thread is a rerun of something Judy already said many times over nothing of substance except good ol’ identity politics, would there be an overarching point?

        I’d rather watch in loop John Oliver trying to get Drumpf back again:

        That said, do continue your mind probing.

      • Willard: I disappear into the field to save mother earth from the desecration of our modern life quite frequently, so I don’t know what you are hinting at that I ran from. I don’t use any rss feed alerts or crap like that: bit of a Luddite in that respect. Perhaps I got bored or your coup de twat boomeranged and was accidental seppuku in accordance with your bulshito code and further comment would constitute piling on. Also, as I have told you several times, I generally don’t read the comments except for a quick scan for a clever drive-by, so it’s likely I never read your “devestating” comment.

        You are like Glenn character. He’s one of your wordanista opposite numbers on the denier side. I don’t read his drivel either. A quick skim reveals the keywords of a loon and it’s time for the mocking bird to sing. Don’t be shy, I’m sure he is aching for a long tongue-wag with you right now. He’s waiting for you in the Gents.

      • I have no idea what you are talking about.

      • I just want to say one word to you, Geo. Just one word. Are you listening?

        “Cornwall.”

      • I’m drawing a blank. What is with you poms and code words? Is it a throwback to the club tie? In any event whatever it was, it did boost your self esteem, so I’m grateful for that. Can you post a link to my great fall? I am sure it was quite a blunder and look forward to eating crow for your benefit.

        Don’t fret if I don’t respond right away as I am off again into the breach on my never-ending odyssey to save the planet while you nonces talk about it. Cheers.

      • > it’s likely I never read your “devestating” comment.

        Don’t worry, lukewarm knight. It was only a flesh wound. At least that’s what you told me at the time, using other bons mots because, well, because.

        Your motherload of excuses are duly noted and, once again, thank you for your everlasting concerns about my person.

  47. This is not science.

    Michael Mann re-tweets huffington-po:

    Huffpo: ‘Mad Max’ Is A Lot Scarier When You Realize That’s Where We Could Be Headed

    “Specifically, some scientists say it could be possible for the Earth to one day resemble the arid wasteland depicted in “Mad Max: Fury Road” if we don’t take steps to curb climate change.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/mad-max-fury-road-climate-change_us_56d4669de4b0871f60ec0926?c=&section=australia

    An Australian morning tv interview with George Miller and all the oscar winners tells the truth.

    https://www.9now.com.au/today/2016/clip-cil8k3pkj00i3rkp33mqps9uw/b892791e-c82c-42ec-91f0-8b7bdf11e0d6

    The movie Mad Max Thunder Road was shot in Namibia because Silverton, the original town Mad Max 1 was shot 37 years ago , and was chosen for this movie – was now green with chest high flowers of all colours!

    Australia has drought breaking rains and floods.
    And that is the truth.

    • Core of my heart, my country!
      Her pitiless blue sky,
      When sick at heart, around us,
      We see the cattle die –
      But then the grey clouds gather,
      And we can bless again
      The drumming of an army,
      The steady, soaking rain…

      Written in London by a homesick Australian girl over a century ago. It was no different then than now…except that the Federation Drought which peaked in 1902 is still probably our worst. (We had managed the world’s biggest known inferno in 1851, followed in 1852 by the mother of all floods of the Murrumbidgee River.)

      We were ever thus, young Silbert. An opal-hearted country, a wilful, lavish land, as the girl goes on to call us.

      Common matters of history and geography, known and accepted universally – except by the likes of Mad Mike and the mad HuffPo.

    • Mann is completely incorrect. That is not where I am headed.

      There is zero chance I am going to Australia.

    • Silverton “now green with chest high flowers of all colors!”
      _____

      I never been there, but from youtube videos
      it looks like scrub country to me. Here’s one if it works.

      BTW, we can’t stream Australian TV programs in the U.S. I wish we could.

      • I read 2013 on that video. The point being made is that the Outback undergoes sudden changes. You go from baked hard to flooding with chest high flowers in a season. That’s Australia. And it’s not just the Outback.

        So…2013 when video was made…as opposed to whenever the last Mad Max sequel was made. And it’s probably different again right now.

        Stuff CHANGES. Got it?

      • Just because I’m such a passionate believer in climate change…

        This is how Australia was looking in the lead-up to the first Mad Max movie, as we began to dry out after the wet and stormy 1970s:

        This is how our rainfall map looked around the time that production of the last Mad Max movie was being delayed by climatic conditions:

        In June 2012 they just gave up and moved the production to Namibia, though that very same area of Australia has since experienced parched conditions again.

        This is why so many hardcore skeps around here are farmers, fishermen and foresters of a certain age. They’re not skeptical of climate change. They’re skeptical of those who think climate change is in any way new.

  48. verytallguy

    Judith,

    ATTP has a post on this which led me here.

    A request: You previously compiled the views of APS members dissenting to their position statement which were hugely informative, and extremely entertaining too.

    Doing likewise for the AGU position statement you criticise again here would be excellent. Could you consider that?

    https://judithcurry.com/2015/04/20/aps-members-comment-on-climate-change-statement/

    • Another “4 out of 5 Dentists recommend sugarless gum for their patients who chew gum” style AGW ad campaign. “could you consider that” passive aggressive request from the guy who needs everyone to think he is not short.

      Since you are selling so hard (hard like Drumpf, yeah!), what are you hiding?

    • verytallguy,

      That sounds like a very good idea.

      I’d like to see what arguments others bring to the table too.

    • Quoted here is the American Physical Society national policy statement on climate action, adopted on Nov. 14, 2015.

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

      For all APS policy statements on changing climate, see

      https://www.aps.org/policy/statements/15_3.cfm

      A small number of APS members, skeptical of climate science, objected to previous APS policy statements on changing climate. What effect, if any, did they have on the revision in 2015 ?

  49. Today’s NYTimes reports three indicted for negligence over Fukushima meltdowns. Excerpts from the report follow:

    TOKYO — Japanese prosecutors indicted three former executives of the Tokyo Electric Power Company, the owner of the ruined Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, on Monday, charging them with criminal negligence for their role in reactor meltdowns after an earthquake and tsunami five years ago.

    The indictments were the first stemming from the 2011 nuclear disaster, which spread radiation across a wide area in northeastern Japan and led to evacuations that left more than 100,000 homeless.

    “This is a relief for the tens of thousands of victims who are still dealing with hardships and anguish,” said Ruiko Muto, an opponent of nuclear power who leads a citizens’ group that has been pursuing charges against Tokyo Electric and against government officials. “It’s wrong that no one has taken responsibility.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/01/world/asia/japan-indicts-3-former-executives-over-fukushima-nuclear-disaster.html?ref=todayspaper

  50. This is one of the most entertaining posts wrt comments ever :)

    • Once a year I think everyone should visit and then there is BS

    • Well you don’t do such a bad job of entertaining either over on the current comment thread of the “And Then There’s Physics” blog.

      https://andthentheresphysics.wordpress.com/2016/03/01/agu-position-statement/

      I lack the technical knowledge to commend or challenge your assertions.

      But no one else on the thread seems to be able to muster

      • (continued)

        But no one else on the thread seems to know a great deal more about what you’re talking about than I do, No one marshalls arguments that zero in on the technical specifics of your claims and rebuts them.

        There’s a difference between the ATTP commetariat and myself, however, and that is that I make no claims to be an expert on climate science. Nor do I edit a blog on the subject of climate science.

        The rebuttals to your assertions pretty much consist of ad hoc rescue, links to references but without explaining how and why they relate to your claims, and this:

      • Lets look at JCH’s graph a second..

        Gee. The trend is down. Oh, 1998 was warmer. That odd, this is supposed to be the first “1998” class El Nino since 1998.

        Let’s do some math, the post 1998 forcing is supposed to be about 0.3 W/m2 or about 0.1°C using the empirically measured forcing value. And the 1998 RSS maximum was 0.857 so the peak should be at least 0.957 (IPCC forcing would predict a higher value).

        So if the current warming doesn’t hit the top of the chart (or real close) – we are really cooling. But since RSS temperatures haven’t’ come close to 1998 since 1998 we will settle for a tie.

        We only have about 1 more month for RSS to set a new record. The 1998 El Nino ONI index had peaked about 3 months before the RSS maximum. So next month is the last gasp for an El Nino that is 0.1 larger (from an ONI standpoint) to beat the reining champion.

        Place your bets people. Will 2016 beat 1998?

      • At what altitude?

        Lol.

      • PA,

        Thanks for the info.

        Following your lead, I did a search and came up with this article in Forbes:

        “2015 Was Not Even Close To Hottest Year On Record”

        http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2016/01/14/2015-was-not-even-close-to-hottest-year-on-record/#2628831623c6

        It does an excellent job of explaining the same thing you do, and bringing it down to the level of the layman.

        Theorizing and shop talk are all fine and good, but in the end what trumps is empirical evidence. And the activist scientists don’t look to be holding too many trump cards right now.

        One can see why Naomi Oreskes and the rest of the commissariat are running around with their hair on fire. The shrillness and stridency will only increase if we don’t see some serious warming soon.

        The author also provides a primer of some of the dirty tricks the Ministry of Truth uses to manipulate the empirical data.

      • Double-down lol.

      • RSS:

        We choose a method based on an optimized second harmonic adjustment to produce a new version of the RSS dataset, Version 4.0. The new dataset shows substantially increased global-scale warming relative to the previous version of the dataset, particularly after 1998. The new dataset shows more warming than most other middle tropospheric data records constructed from the same set of satellites. We also show that the new dataset is consistent with long-term changes in total column water vapor over the tropical oceans, lending support to its long-term accuracy.

        What the satellites series were saying about the GMST was complete garbage.


      • I don’t always pontificate on the science of climate change, but when I do, I get my talking points from Forbes Magazine.

      • JCH | March 2, 2016 at 8:15 pm |
        RSS error fixed

        There seems to be some dispute about that.

        1. This is mid-troposphere not lower troposphere.

        2. The paper the adjustment was described in was rejected by the Journal of Geophysical Research. They tweaked the paper and submitted it to Journal of Climate.

        3. There apparently is a problem with the data merge of NOAA-14 (MSU) and NOAA-15 (AMSU) with the suspicion that they did not correct for spurious MSU warming.

        RSS is a 10 person company including developers, a CEO, and a financial officer.

        I’d say it is a little early in the day to crow on this one. Some dust has to settle.

      • Caw caw caw. You take defeat hard. That’s good.

      • Lordy! Lordy!

        What do we have here? Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum?

        Horst, for his part, can’t attack the message, so he does the next best thing and attacks the messenger.

        And JCH, for his part, cites yet one more stellar example of activist science. The authors use “several alternative methods” to “construct a number of candidate climate data records” such that “The new dataset shows more warming than most other middle tropospheric data records constructed from the same set of satellites.”

        Oh well, if you don’t like the data you have, then feel free to “construct” whatever “data” you need. Political expediency is the order of the day in any case.

        I mean really, you couldn’t make this shit up!

        Is there any wonder that the American people have tuned this clown show out?

      • Too much stock is being placed on short term data. I think that I may have said this before but I am not sure. Less sure though than some people on this blog!

      • Of course the UAH TLT is now off the charts and the probability is that it will get higher still at least in the next couple of months. Plus which the embarrassment of Roy and John having snuggled closer to RSS in their v 6.0 (still not public), RSS now goes and says, oops.

      • Peter M. Davies,

        Not only short-term data, but conflicting data too.

        There are multiple groups that create satellite temperature records. For instance, NOAA, Remote Sensing Systems (RSS), and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH).

        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2015/mar/25/one-satellite-data-set-is-underestimating-global-warming

        Then there are studies where climate scientists have “reconstructed” the raw data to come up with “data” more to their liking, like the paper JCH cites above.

        None of this, of course, is very convincing, nor does it instill much confidence.

        So the long-awaited apodictic science remains elusive, and exists only in the minds of the green commissariat. The reality looks a lot more like the Tower of Babel than anything Descartes, Fichte, Schelling or Hegel had imagined.

        Meanwhile, the public has all but tuned the green commissariat out, the Sanders revolution is floundering, and Horst, JCH and fellow travelers continue to run around with their hair on fire.

      • Peter M. Davies,

        I would also add that even if the green commissariat can demonstrate warming, it must also demonstrate that more harm is caused by that warming than the benefits created by the burning of fossil fuels.

        And that is a very tall order indeed.

        So I suspect that the green commissariat will be running around with its hair on fire for a long time.

      • Peter M. Davies,

        The fact that government bureaucracies like NOAA have been caught red handed manipulating evidence doesn’t help the cause of the green commissariat either.

        https://judithcurry.com/2016/02/29/agu-exxon-and-the-corporate-funding-dilemma/#comment-768585

        There exists a crisis of confidence, a crisis of legitimacy when it comes to our government. The green commissariat believes that by ignoring all this, or denying it, it will all somehow magically go away.

        Dr. Curry articulated it well above:

        The utter naivete of the scientist/activists/advocates never fails to astonish me, and the sheer irresponsibility of their advocacy never fails to concern me.

      • True Glen. The data problem in climate science is not getting much better. The prime reason for this is not measurement but more about unrealised expectations of the groups that have been producing them and those who are using them to promote their POV about global climate trends.

        People like Mike Grant and Matthew Marler have the statistical nouce and have been expressing the same concerns that I have and this position has been expressed by our hostess Judith as well.

      • You’re right, way too much stress was put on the the short-term pause. The people who invested in it have lost everything.

        I tried to tell them the pause was going paws up. I tried to tell them the satellites were garbage when it comes to two meters above the surface of the land and the oceans.

      • Peter –

        ==> I have and this position has been expressed by our hostess Judith as well.

        How do you figure that?

        In Judith’s testimony before Congress she focused heavily on a hiatus in “global warming” – which isolates a short term slowdown in the rise of SATS from the long term trend of rise, without providing a mechanistic/physical explanation for why that short-term trend should be isolated.

        Not to mention that her focus on a “hiatus in global warming” conflates that one short-term trend in only one metric with a multi-factorial phenomenon that can only validly be evaluated through an assortment of metrics (such as OHC).

      • Yes, El Ninos are very interesting, and it’s easy to get excited, but they are quite different from global warming.

        Global warming is slow and relatively uniform ( Arctic latent heat shift notwithstanding ) while El Nino warming is rapid and distinctly regional.

        El Ninos are an example of climate changing temperature.
        Some imagine global warming as: temperature changing the climate.

        There is evidence of climate ( circulation ) changing the temperature.
        There is not much physical basis for temperature ( in the global mean, anyway ) changing the climate.

  51. How intriguing, the link about Yale’s climate change institute shutting down:

    After a University decision to cut all its funding, Yale’s Climate & Energy Institute will close by the end of June.

    The loss of the institute, which for the last eight years has conducted research related to issues of climate change, leaves a hole in climate and energy studies at Yale.

    There are more important things than churning out endless filing cabinets full of global warming junk science. Looks like someone at Yale gets it.

  52. Double bad news for pause lovers. First, a warmer RSS trend, as noted above. Next, the Feb. 2016 UAH turns out to be the warmest month since satellite monitoring began in 1978.

    • The warmest month since 1978. So? You are talking about a series that has not been measured for millions of years to one tenth of a degree celsius precision. Paleo evidence abounds, however, that the north and south poles have been ice free for about 75 % of the time that the globe has formed to something of semlance to what it is today.

      • …. “something of semblance to,” is way beyond the significance of what global warming alarmists now label, “likely.”

      • Peter, of course Feb. 2016 may not have been the warmest month in earth’s history, but civilization as we know it today has existed for only a very brief time in that history.

    • I had never thought of that. You know, in NE New Mexico there is a road that runs through a whole nest of extinct volcanoes. Why I bet that New Mexicans back then used their instruments to measure far higher temperatures when the land was molten rock.

    • As I noted elsewhere the methodology was laid out in an article that was rejected by JGR and shopped to the Journal of Climate with the proviso that the UAH staff not be on peer review.

      The dust hasn’t settled on this yet.

      There is apparently also some issues in the NOAA-15 (1998) from NOAA-14 hand-off.

      From 2006 to the present during the AMSU period RSS 4.0 and UAH are pretty much the same trendwise. The only aberration is the last month.

      I’ll let the dust settle.

  53. Exxon is in trouble because they do not go along with the alarmism. Good for them, even Michael Mann has switched sides. To go along with junk science that cannot produce a model the actually models earth temperature would be really, really, stupid.

  54. Sorry to be off topic but does Judith know that her
    “best data that we have”
    Just got changed again?
    RSS v4.0 TMT
    TLT to follow.

    • The raw UAH version 1.0000 is the new gold standard. Never touched by human hands. Don’t believe it, just read the code. 100% robot generated. Pure.

  55. Reblogged this on I Didn't Ask To Be a Blog and commented:
    “Engagement with oil companies can also help support needed intellectual diversity in climate science to avoid the massive groupthink we now see.”

  56. Predictably overlooked is that the state sponsors climate science to the tune of perhaps five orders or magnitude more money, and has a monumental vested interest in fomenting credulous acceptance of climate alarm.

    The above long list of protesters are of course all paid stooges of the state, scientivists masquerading as scientists.

  57. Pingback: The Climate Inquisition: Attorney Generals Go Rogue | Big Picture News, Informed Analysis