‘Truthiness’ and ‘factiness’ in politicized scientific debates

by Judith Curry

The trappings of science can be decoupled from the actual rigor of science.

The trigger for this post is a recent article in the Atlantic, entitled How Will Trump Use Science to Further His Political Agenda?   The article provides some important insights, that are worth discussing in context of the climate debate and the politicization of climate science.  Excerpts:

Of all the memorable lines from this year’s election, the one I keep returning to months later is from Hillary Clinton’s acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. “And I believe in science,” she said, as she pivoted to climate change. She giggled. The crowd roared.  Isn’t it absurd she had to say she believed in science?  And most smug of all: Hillary, science is not a belief.

Clinton’s appeal to science as a partisan rallying cry . . . was clearly in response to the mockery of Trump and his supporters as “anti-science.” But “anti-science” is a dangerously simplistic label.

The trappings of science can be decoupled from the actual rigor of science. Stephen Colbert, who famously coined “truthiness,” less famously also came up with “factiness.” If “truthiness” is a feeling of truth with a disregard for the facts, then “factiness” is using actual facts to paint a misleading truth. 

Factiness is the taste for the feel and aesthetic of “facts,” often at the expense of missing the truth. From silly self-help-y TED talks to wrapping ourselves in the misleading scientism of Fivethirtyeight statistics, factiness is obsessing over and covering ourselves in fact after fact while still missing bigger truths.

I’ll suggest that factiness doesn’t actually cleave neatly across the left and the right. It’s an outgrowth of our cognitive biases. We often make decisions emotionally, sometimes based on tribal affiliations; then we marshall the facts that prove us right while discarding the ones that prove us wrong. As such, throwing more facts at climate deniers hasn’t convinced them. 

Factiness is why using the veneer of science to rationalize an idea is dangerous, making the idea appear more justified than it really is. It is pro-science in appearance, but anti-science in spirit.

In theory, science provides an objective framework for finding truths about the world. But in practice, science is conducted by humans with biases, often blind to them. To ignore how the practice of science is intertwined with politics is to be blind, in turn, to the coming changes. As a President Trump pulls the discourse in his direction, the ground will shift slowly but surely shift underneath our feet. It’s harder to recognize in the very beginning, when the ground has only shifted ever so slightly.

[read the Atlantic article for a fascinating and disturbing example of how science was used to support the Bush administration’s torture program in the early 2000s.]

JC reflections

I’ve previously used the concept of ‘truthiness’ in discussing why climate modelers believe their climate models [link]. But before delving into truthiness and factiness in the climate debate, a digression is needed to provide a context for understand what science is, and what a ‘fact’ is.

I’ve written many previous posts on Scientific method  and Sociology of science.  Why so many posts on these topics?  Because these are exceedingly complex issues, especially in context of the huge scientific complexity of global climate change.

As per the Wikipedia (which has good summary on this topic):

A fact is something that has really occurred or is actually true. The usual test for a statement of fact is verifiability—that is, whether it can be demonstrated to correspond to experience.

Fact is sometimes used synonymously with truth, as distinct from opinions, falsehoods, or matters of taste. Fact may also indicate findings derived through a process of evaluation, including review of testimony, direct observation, or otherwise; as distinguishable from matters of inference or speculation. Facts may be checked by reason, experiment, personal experience, or may be argued from authority.

In science, a fact is a repeatable careful observation or measurement (by experimentation or other means), also called empirical evidence. Facts are central to building scientific theories. Various forms of observation and measurement lead to fundamental questions about the scientific method, and the scope and validity of scientific reasoning.

In the most basic sense, a scientific fact is an objective and verifiable observation, in contrast with a hypothesis or theory, which is intended to explain or interpret facts.

Scholars and clinical researchers in both the social and natural sciences have written about numerous questions and theories that arise in the attempt to clarify the fundamental nature of scientific fact. Pertinent issues raised by this inquiry include: the process by which “established fact” becomes recognized and accepted as such; whether and to what extent “fact” and “theoretic explanation” can be considered truly independent and separable from one another; to what extent “facts” are influenced by the mere act of observation; and to what extent factual conclusions are influenced by history and consensus, rather than a strictly systematic methodology.

What are the facts in the climate science debate?

  • Average global surface temperatures have overall increased for the past 100+ years
  • Carbon dioxide has an infrared emission spectra
  • Humans have been adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

That is pretty much it, in terms of verifiable, generally agreed upon scientific facts surrounding the major elements of climate change debate.

Human caused global warming is a theory. The assertion that human caused global warming is dangerous is an hypothesis.  The assertion that nearly all or most of the warming since 1950 has been caused by humans is disputed by many scientists, in spite of the highly confident consensus statement by the IPCC. The issue of ‘dangerous’ climate change is wrapped up in values, and science has next to nothing to say about this.

Truthiness and factiness abounds in the climate science debate, and the greatest proponents of truthiness and factiness are the climate ‘alarmed’ – their opponents are mostly calling b.s. on their truthiness and factiness.  In slinging around terms like denier, anti-science etc, the defense of climate alarmism in terms of ‘science’ and ‘facts’ starts to become more anti-science than what they are accusing their opponents of.

From the Rational Wiki:

The term “antiscience” refers to persons or organizations that promote their ideology over scientifically-verified evidence, usually either by denying said evidence and/or creating their own. Antiscience positions are promoted especially when political ideology and/or religious dogma conflict with actual science. 

The most glaring ‘factiness’ and anti-science strategy is the linking of extreme weather events to human caused climate change.  Roger Pielke Jr has an eloquent op-ed in the WSJ (unfortunately behind paywall, which I will have more to say about in another post next week).

So . . . who fits the definition of ‘anti-science’?  Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?  Ignoring science (Trump) does not qualify him for ‘anti-science’.  Science does not prescribe public policy.  The political dogma of Obama, Clinton and Pope Francis surrounding climate change seems like more of a recipe for ‘anti-science.’

 

355 responses to “‘Truthiness’ and ‘factiness’ in politicized scientific debates

  1. Even in the medical science research — which lives by a far higher standard than climatology will ever be held — we have learned that, “most current published research findings are false.” (see—e.g., John P. A. Ioannidis, “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False,” in PLOS Medicine). Climate science has been hysterically false and I don’t see how any credibility can be earned given examples like the 97% consensus.

    • In regards to John Ioannidis’ paper: I find it ironic that you use a paper using models to make a bold statement to bolster your bias against the “truthiness” of models. I’d urge those interested in a more complete view of the issue to read this criticism of Mr. Ioannidis “realitiness.”
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1855693

      • Still, Ioannidis anticipated that the community might shrug off his findings: sure, a lot of dubious research makes it into journals, but we researchers and physicians know to ignore it and focus on the good stuff, so what’s the big deal? The other paper headed off that claim. He zoomed in on 49 of the most highly regarded research findings in medicine over the previous 13 years, as judged by the science community’s two standard measures: the papers had appeared in the journals most widely cited in research articles, and the 49 articles themselves were the most widely cited articles in these journals. These were articles that helped lead to the widespread popularity of treatments such as the use of hormone-replacement therapy for menopausal women, vitamin E to reduce the risk of heart disease, coronary stents to ward off heart attacks, and daily low-dose aspirin to control blood pressure and prevent heart attacks and strokes. Ioannidis was putting his contentions to the test not against run-of-the-mill research, or even merely well-accepted research, but against the absolute tip of the research pyramid. Of the 49 articles, 45 claimed to have uncovered effective interventions. Thirty-four of these claims had been retested, and 14 of these, or 41 percent, had been convincingly shown to be wrong or significantly exaggerated. If between a third and a half of the most acclaimed research in medicine was proving untrustworthy, the scope and impact of the problem were undeniable. That article was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association ~David H. Freedman, The Atlantic blockquote>

      • Sorry, there’s no logic there, let alone irony.Either all models are wrong, in which case Ioannidis is “wrong” only because all the papers using models are wrong, or some models are wrong, in which case you have to work out which ones. Which is what he said. So either he’s right or he’s “super right”.

        Much of what Ioannidis said has been shown to be correct, and various initiatives – like the reproducability one – are providing further evidence.

    • The late Roy Dokka’s definition of a “fact” (personal communication, 2010):

      Currently confirmed by all experiments so far and consistent with the prevailing hypo/model of the world while being constantly subject to wholesale revision as soon as a new experimental result points elsewhere and/or somebody comes up with a new hypo/model fitting all the current data points but better explaining why the trial/test worked out as it did.

  2. “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as much as you wish.” – Mark Twain Never more true than now in politics and science.

  3. Also post-truth is relevant here. From WaPo
    “Oxford Dictionaries has selected “post-truth” as 2016’s international word of the year, after the contentious “Brexit” referendum and an equally divisive U.S. presidential election caused usage of the adjective to skyrocket, according to the Oxford University Press.

    The dictionary defines “post-truth” as “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.”

    • Curious George

      I agree. The very headline “‘Truthiness’ and ‘factiness’ in politicized scientific debates” is an oxymoron. It has everything to do with politics and next to nothing with science.

    • My career objectives led me to work outside, and/or live, outside the USA for decades. This allowed me to see first hand that objective facts are almost never used by the USA (and other) governments to shape public opinion. There’s also a definite tendency, at least in foreign policy, for the media to herd together and play ball with the president.

      This leads me to think that we may see them turn around and start hailing Trump as long as he doesn’t step on certain elites’ toes.

    • Post truth is a myth, a phrase invented by those who lost and who cannot understand why everybody doesn’t bow down before their superior wisdom.

      Ironically, those who use it are being driven entirely by emotion and belief, as the paucity of actual argument in favour of the EU demonstrated – and the almost total ignorance of how things like trade actually work.

      • “Post truth is a myth, a phrase invented by those who lost and who cannot understand why everybody doesn’t bow down before their superior wisdom.”

        And who is the judge of “those who have lost” pray?
        Superior wisdom?
        Well no, training and experience of observation of climate, along with the application of empirical science is what defines “wisdom” in this context.
        Peeps here and elsewhere in the Blogosphere do not qualify as being wiser.
        Sorry.
        That you cannot see that blazingly obvious fact is the reason why “post-thruth” flurrishes.
        Lack of critical thinking drives it.
        Hint:
        Just because you read something on the internet does not make it true.
        And, although not guaranteed, going to the source of the science (indeed, from “wisdom”) is much more likely to be nearer the truth

      • “Lack of critical thinking drives it.”

        I don’t think so. Appeal to emotion drives it. Trumps Tweet on flag burning is an example. Plenty of critical thinking was done over the legality and lawfulness of Trumps suggestions, case law cited, constitutions quoted and experts touted. All of that was done, at least for many, by using critical thought. The Internet ablaze with a burning desire to float their legal theories while Aleppo keeps on burning, Congress keeps burning through cash, the Fed keeps burning the old bills and printing new bills to keep up with their burning desire for quantitative easing and the world keeps turning always burning.

        All over a Tweet that will be forgotten in months if not weeks, because Trump has long forgotten it. He likely never had any intentions to do anything regarding flag burning, but being a news junkie and in the spirit of carpe diem he seized upon a news story and like a magician pointed the audiences attention to where he wanted them to look while he worked his magic trick.

        Abracadabra!

        Post-truth is so post-modern.

  4. tedious minutia upcoming: Carbon dioxide has an infrared emission spectra

    Carbon dioxide has infrared emission and absorption spectra.

    Is it true that Trump ignores science? In his NYTimes interview he expressed awareness of some of the scientific counterclaims to the consensus “alarms” over CO2 and warming. I think it would be fairer to say that he “cherry picks” the facts that EPA chooses to ignore.

  5. It’s very difficult to have facts about the future.

  6. Roger Knights

    OT: On sale on Amazon now for $2 for a short time is a Kindle book of interest: Washed Away: How the Great Flood of 1913, America’s Most Widespread Natural Disaster, Terrorized a Nation and Changed It Forever Kindle Edition. It’s at https://www.amazon.com/Washed-Away-Americas-Widespread-Terrorized-ebook/dp/B00AFB5N1K?_bbid=2519652&tag=bookbubemailc-20

  7. Facts and statements of facts are two very different things, because statements can always be wrong, while facts never are. Statements of facts are opinions as to what the facts are.

    For example I disagree with this supposed statement of fact: “Average global surface temperatures have overall increased for the past 100+ years.” We have no way of knowing what average global surface temperatures have been over the last 100+ years, including today.

    • An interesting point. But the distinction depends on a fact’s specificity. At some high level of precision, there are few true facts, only opinions about them. At low levels of precision, there can be many ‘true enough’ facts (not opinions about them) that are still useful. Winter is colder than summer is a useful (for wardrobe choices and ski vacations) but imprecise fact.
      As for warming over the last 150 years (at least in NH), probably a true fact even though nobody can say exactly how much. Last Thames ice fair was 1810. Alpine glaciers receding. Factually consistent albeit imprecise.

      • The Thames and Alps are both in the same small part of the Earth, an availability sample at best. That the Earth’s total surface average temperature has increased over the last 100 years is at most likely, if that, certainly not known as a fact. Think about what it would take to be sure of this. We are nowhere near that.

        As for “true enough” facts I assume you mean estimates. I think the present estimates of global surface temperature over the last 100+ years are simply too crude to say if it has warmed there or not. The boundary layer is a very active critter.

      • DW, I could have added NA, Japan, and China, which is why I qualified NH. You are correct that my comment was more narrow and subject to regional critique.
        On ‘estimate’, I think the delta verbiage is a distinction with a true difference. Yes, estimates contain more uncertainty. But even ballpark estimates are ‘true enough facts’ if one can demonstrate they are within the ballpark. All ‘facts’ are not created equal is the distinction with a difference. Wrote a whole first chapter just on what ‘truth’ and ‘facts’ conceptually mean in The Arts of Truth. Relied on millennia of philosophers, plus a lot of ‘modern’ legal distinctions to paint a greyscale canvas of ‘facts’ and ‘truth’ from not to dunno to OK that seems applicable to this post. Even used the very long penultimate example chapter on climate change to illustrate all the preceeding chapter points. Had that chapter reviewed by Lindzen hiself. Of course, I would rewrite (somewhat) now what I published in late 2012 at an earlier stage of my climate learning, despite Lindzen’s review.

    • johnvonderlin

      So when all the women in my life assured me I was a handsome young stud, I can keep that in my resume as a fact until my last body part gives up its fight against gravity and time? My point is similar to Ristvan’s, only more limiting. Three dimensional facts may not facts in the fourth dimension; time. A further assault on the existence of facts at all is hinted at in Quantum “dreams” that theorize there may be multiple alternate universes where different “rules” apply. Universes where every coin dropped lands on its edge and stays upright. Facts are very stubborn, but mythical creatures, invented to allow knowledge to have a companion as it limps along its meandering path. I read that on Albert Einstein’s blog..

  8. Further facts.
    – the imbalance is positive
    – the total forcing change in the last century or two is dominated by anthropogenic forcing

    The fact of a positive imbalance means that all the warming we have had has not been enough to keep up with the forcing change. This is often expressed as “warming in the pipeline”. From these two facts, it follows that the anthropogenic contribution to warming is more than 100% of what has occurred so far.

    • “the total forcing change in the last century or two is dominated by anthropogenic forcing”

      The “last century or two“? Really?

      That is NOT a fact. Simply an opinion, and not even an informed one.

      Jimbo, you wouldn’t recognise a fact if it scuttled under your bridge and bit you on the snout.

    • Curious George

      Facts, please. You may believe your facts, but that’s not enough for me.

    • Both of your “facts” are model-derived assertions. The results of a model are not “facts.”

    • Factiness. Care to discuss the uncertainties in the TOA imbalance, the uncertainties in solar forcing (even in the satellite era), uncertainties in volcanic forcing, and huge uncertainties in aerosol forcing?

      • The total forcing change since the pre-industrial era is accepted to be in excess of 2 W/m2, almost entirely manmade including aerosols, most of this being since 1950 alone.
        The decadal rise rate of the OHC is a robust measure of the imbalance.

      • At best, these statements are hypotheses, nothing close to ‘facts’

      • They have error bars that make an opposite conclusion highly unlikely.

      • Curious George

        Jim D, a link, please. You are really good at hand-waving.

      • CG, the IPCC report gives these with error bars. Look for the forcing components and the rise rate of the OHC. We are not talking about exact magnitudes here, just relative statements of yes/no – does A exceed B?

      • Jim D, the error bars themselves are partially based on hypotheses, speculative assumptions, modelling simplifications and subjective Bayesian priors. I don’t think you’re in the realm of facts yet.

      • Which one do you dispute? Do you classify either as very unlikely? Facts can be regarded as things that no one (with any sense) would classify as very unlikely.

      • Give me some credible error bars on these things, then we’ll talk.

      • Do you want the ones from Lewis and Curry?

      • LC cited the IPCC values, which are biased in favor of a particular data set esp for solar and TOA

      • If anyone has any significantly different error bars, I have not seen them published. In fact, it would be a major piece of work to expand either those error bars, and someone would have said something by now.

      • I don’t ‘dispute’ any of them. I am simply agreeing with Judith that the statements you made, including their error bars, are at best hypotheses at this point and not facts.

      • willb, if you don’t dispute either one, you should also not think it is unreasonable to take them both and their logical conclusion that manmade warming exceeds 100% of what we have had.

      • Jim D: “their logical conclusion that manmade warming exceeds 100% of what we have had.”

        So we can clearly add ‘logical conclusions’ to the ever-increasing list of things you don’t even remotely understand.

        Keep it up Jimbo, you’ll get to be even more entertaining than
        Griff at this rate!

      • CG knows what I mean, even if you can’t quite follow.

      • …willb, that is.

      • Jim D, I don’t think it is unreasonable. The result is you now have a hypothesis leading to the conclusion that “manmade warming exceeds 100% of what we have”. A reasonable hypothesis is not a fact. You are still a long way from a fact.

      • willb, there are a lot of other people who think it is reasonable enough to act on it, and just as unreasonable to ignore it. This is where the debate is.

      • Jim D, people want to act on the hypothesis not because it is a fact and not even because it is likely to be true but because they are thinking of Pascal’s Wager: The hypothesis has not been dis-proven, therefore, better to be safe than sorry.

      • The calculus is that downside of not acting is worse than the downside of acting. Neither way has an upside.

      • That is only so if the hypothesis is true. If your hypothesis turns out to be false then there is no downside to not acting.

      • The hypothesis is reasonable, which makes it reasonable to act and unreasonable not to. You might apply a similar reasoning to an asteroid strike and its probabilities.

      • Jim D, climate science is extremely complex, covers many disciplines and suffers from a paucity of reliable measurements. Whether your climate hypothesis is reasonable is a separate issue from whether it is likely to turn out to be true.

        In any case, I have already stated that your two previous statements together with error bars are at least partially based on hypotheses, speculative assumptions, modelling simplifications and subjective Bayesian priors. They are not facts.

      • To challenge fact 1 requires a forcing that is as yet unknown while also explaining how manmade forcing is not what it is estimated to be, and for fact 2, you have to challenge observations of the OHC trend.

      • Jim D, before your hypotheses can become facts they need to be tested. Continually saying “What else could it be?” is not a valid test.

      • willb, the skeptics have two problems, because basic science explains what it could be, so first you have to say why that is not true, and then add something else outside of basic science to explain it.

      • Jim D, climate scientists have postulated a reasonable hypothesis about global warming that is for the most part based on current scientific understanding. If you want to elevate the hypothesis to a fact, you have to subject it to a valid test that will provide a convincing result. The first step is definitely NOT to come up with an alternate hypothesis.

      • willb, predictions based on AGW have panned out since Broecker in 1975 and Hansen in 1981. They validate with today’s temperature warming as much as they would have expected given the CO2 increase, and they made those predictions when the warming rate was much lower, so it was not just an extrapolation. You are saying that just because the warming rate doesn’t surprise anyone doesn’t mean those people are right.

      • Jim D, your description of Broecker’s and Hansen’s predictions having “panned out” is very generous. However, a simple one-way temperature rise correlated with a one-way increase in emissions is not a convincing test result. Broecker’s and Hansen’s predictions might have “panned out” through sheer chance. Since temperature seems to have been increasing since the 1700’s then, through persistence in the climate system, the odds of that chance were probably greater than 50%, even with a false hypothesis.

      • Sure, and Newton’s gravity worked by sheer chance. There is an underpinning of lab experiments going back 150 years too. This is why the warming was so expected. We are doing the experiment and the hypothesis is passing with each warmer decade. It never used to be that every decade was warmer than the previous one, but now we expect it, or maybe you are shocked each time it happens, I don’t know.

      • “Sure, and Newton’s gravity worked by sheer chance.”

        That’s a ridiculous thing to say. There is absolutely no comparison between the two (gravity and AGW) in terms of validation testing and producing accurate predictive results.

        And no, I’m not shocked by the continual warming. I expect changes in climate trends to happen very slowly.

      • willb, if you are not shocked it keeps warming to new record levels, deep down you know why, but you haven’t accepted it yet.

      • Very amusing, Jim. Actually, deep down I’ve come to the realization that you don’t know what an hypothesis is.

      • I think for many skeptics, it is just a front. They know that science can explain the warming with a theory going back a century, so the warming itself is not really a surprise to them, even though it is unprecedented and keeps continuing. The skeptics need to get more in touch with their own feelings on this, and it is not up to us to help you.

      • Ok, now I’m thinking you don’t know the meaning of the word “unprecedented” either.

      • willb, good act.

      • No surprise here either, right? That red line will just keep going as you expect.

      • That’s great, Jim! You’ve got some evidence to support your hypothesis! Now test it.

        Oh, and by the way you probably shouldn’t connect two different temperature-time series together until you’ve calibrated them against each other (including 1st and 2nd derivatives). Otherwise you might create a misleading impression.

      • Ah please, Mr. Jim it’s-a-fact-cause-it-has-error-bars, please keep digging?
        It is so fun to watch…that’s a fact!

        In fact, the fact that you equate Newton’s law of gravity with the AGW hypothesis is my favorite, rrright below “it is a fact because my friends believe it and want to act on it”.

        More please!
        *grabs popcorn*

      • willb, there are a lot of other people who think it is reasonable enough to act on it, and just as unreasonable to ignore it. This is where the debate is.

        We just voted the people out of office that believe it is reasonable enough to act on it and voted the people into office who disagree.
        We just won the debate for now.

      • “accepted to be……” is a statement of a collective opinion.

      • Will, you are wasting your time with Jim.

        He doesn’t understand that hypothesis, no matter how “reasonable”, is not fact.

        As in fact: I have had sex with my girlfriend before.

        Hypothesis: I will have sex with my girlfriend tonight.

        Not a fact until it happens. I could get in an argument – no sex. I could throw my back out working in the yard – no sex. She could run into her old boyfriend who is now a multi millionaire – no sex?

        Here is a real fact for Jim: That my wife would brain me if I really had a girlfriend, sex or no sex.

      • I’m going to take a wild guess that the “reconstruction” Jim D spliced to the thirty-year temperature record doesn’t even attempt to resolve 30-year movements in temperature and averages out all the high-frequency swings. Not a good look to be putting up graphs like that.

    • Forgive me for asking a naive question, but is it considered a fact that the planet has greened by 14% over the last 30 years, being that NASA conducted research on satellite data from day one they were launched and recently published that research?

      Is it also a fact that nothing in the portfolio of science alarm approaches a 14% increase? Sea level rise, global temperatures, hurricanes, tornados, droughts, wildfires etc.

      As a layman, I assume it’s not reported in MSM or acknowledged by alarmist climate scientists because it’s nonsense. In which case, only stuff reported in MSM is worth considering?

      Is that a reasonable proposition?

      Personally, as a layman, I would have thought overwhelming, empirical evidence, over a period of 30 years of computer predictions, which didn’t predict the observed phenomenon, would be a cause for great concern.

      Man, science is strange. No wonder we plebs don’t get it.

      • We can add other facts like rising sea level, loss rates of Greenland mass and Arctic sea ice, etc.

      • Jim D: “We can add other facts”

        In your last few posts you have conclusively demonstrated that your definition of a ‘fact’ is radically different to the generally accepted one.

        Why do you persist in making yourself look so foolish and intransigent?

        It’s a mystery!

      • Yes, sea-level rise, you doubt that too. Of course.

      • “Yes, sea-level rise, you doubt that too. Of course.”

        No, actually.

        Rate of change of sea level has remained effectively constant for some centuries – millennia even – now, so cannot have been influenced by anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

        Here’s NOAA for New York back to 1850.

        https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8518750

      • OK, one down. How about loss of Arctic sea-ice in the satellite era?

      • “How about loss of Arctic sea-ice in the satellite era?”

        A cyclic process cycles…

        Surprise, surprise!

      • Greening was in the satellite era, so this fact is equivalent to that fact, which is the reason I mention it. Plus, individual low years in the 20’s or 30’s do not compare with the obvious trend of the last couple of decades.

      • No idea where my last post went, I’ll try again.

        @Jim D.

        So what’s the big deal about sea levels rising? It’s not like they’re going to wash over us like a Tsunami. Nor have they risen by anything like 14% in the last 30 years. What’s the big deal with sea level rise

        And if Arctic sea ice melts it will make no difference to humanity whatsoever, except scientists will have to stop drilling the stuff. Big deal.

        And Greenland was largely ice-free in the past and the earth didn’t suffer, why should it now?

        I really don’t get what you panic is.

      • You want to add facts like greening. I say OK, but also sea-level rise, Arctic sea-ice loss, etc. You can’t be selective.

      • Ok, sea level decline from 1979 (when we have good observations), but that is not particularly useful in the climate debate owing to large, long time scale natural variability.

        Sea level has been rising for thousands of years; current rate of sea level rise was about the same as in the 1930’s and 1940’s as per a figure in the AR5

        Greening has been documented by satellites for a short period of time.

      • Yes, but when Greenland was largely ice free, sea levels were much higher, lots of humans would have to move, lots of buildings would have to be abandoned.

      • BD, Greenland has not been Ice free for several million years. Last time sae level was appreciably higher than now was the Eemian Highstand, about 2-2.5 meters. Took 3000 years to reach, a rate of about 2.2 mm/year. No modern building lasts 3000 years. Heck, the pyramids almost didn’t make it. And at the Neem ice core site on north central Greenland, at the Eemian highstand the ice was indeed about 150 meters less. It was only 2250 meters thick rather than the 2400 meters now (both figures approximate from memory). In a post on truthiness, it always pays to look up the facts before opining and providing yet another illustration of the main post topic.

      • Greening has indeed only been documented for 30 years by satellite. My point is what, in the same period of time, has also increased by 14%? Sea level rise (no, documented over a far longer period) hurricanes (no) temperature (no, documented over a far longer period) etc.

        Now whilst it might be just a fluke of nature, it seems extraordinarily consistent with the rise of atmospheric CO2 over the last 30 years. Indeed, the scientists documenting it attribute 70% of the greening to increased CO2. And they are dyed in the wool alarmists.

        So whilst the IPCC and others rely on computer modelling to predict what’s going to happen, what’s actually happening is inconsistent with their predictions. So which is right?

        I have no idea, but I’m inclined to celebrate that nature has given climate alarmist’s a massive slap in the face.

        This is not what the public were led to believe, nor is it published anywhere in the MSM.

      • @bobdroege

        So what you’re really objecting to is ‘inconvenient’ sea level rise, not dangerous sea level rise. People have to move from estuaries, coasts and flood plains, inland.

        That’s kind of our fault for making our homes on said estuaries, coasts, and flood plains, you can hardly blame nature or even AGW for that.

        Man has done much the same for thousands of years. In fact, man is quite nomadic so moving isn’t a problem.

        The problem the world has is that it might affect property prices, their personal wealth, if mitigation isn’t enabled rather than adaptation.

        That’s the real problem, all the rest is just smoke and mirrors.

      • @ristvan

        But the Guardian assures me we’re all going to drown next week. They didn’t mention anything about 3,000 years.

        Damn, my great, great, great, great, great, great….(around 120 generations)….will have to live on a hill. Assuming, of course, the climate hasn’t changed in the meantime. They might be fishing through a mile or two of ice for all we know.

      • “Huge trove of dinosaur fossils found in Antarctica: 71 million-year-old bones could reveal new clues on how they went extinct.”

        The point is that fossils found in Antarctica are found quite close to the coast – that is, not far above current sea levels. The thick layer of ice covering most of the continent makes it difficult to even access the surface further inland.

        Evidence of land based flora and found is found not far above present sea levels, proving that the land then was above sea level – supporting land based life.

        However, at that time, there was no ice on Antarctica, as the oldest ice from cores, is less than one million years old.

        This leads to the conclusion that even when there was no ice at all on Antarctica, sea levels were not appreciably higher than today, otherwise land based animals would have been unable to survive on land that is close to current shore lines. So much for catastrophic sea level rises if Antarctica becomes ice free.

        We really have no idea about the past, let alone the future. Antarctica may have been nowhere near its present location, the continent may been much higher in the past, the topography of ocean basins may have been completely different, leading to completely different patterns of sea level around the world.

        All speculation, based on fact, unlike most climatological speculations about the past, present, and future, which seem to based on wishful thinking and fantasy, largely emanating from James Hansen’s demonstrated phobic hatred of coal.

        CO2 in the atmosphere heats the Earth, making us hotter year by year, at a rate which will boil the oceans away in less than 5000 years? I’m expected to go back to the Stone Age based on the fantasies of of a coterie of professed coal haters?

        I’ll just ignore the climatologists until they produce some factual, reproducible, experiments to support their unwritten GHE hypothesis. So far, it’s all speculation, fanciful computer models which are continuously retuned, but can’t even be made to agree with each other, or even reflect recent recorded history.

        Throw in some correlation, a slew of recently coined weasel words, complete misunderstanding of chaos, not to say quantum physics, and you’re looking at US Lysenkoism writ large.

        Factiness or truthiness? It doesn’t really matter, very expensive uselessness is the result.

        Cheers.

      • current rate of sea level rise was about the same as in the 1930’s and 1940’s as per a figure in the AR5 – Professor Curry

        Feynman:

      • Jim D: OK, one down.

        for now. Next month you’ll raise it up again.

        How about you answer Hot Scot’s question: but is it considered a fact that the planet has greened by 14% over the last 30 years, … ?

        I and others have put it to you before.

      • MM, by one down I mean sea-level rise: fact accepted. I would also bring up acceleration, but that is beyond what we are talking about.
        Arctic sea-ice loss over four decades: fact.

      • MM, regarding greening, do you see a reason to doubt that?

      • Ristvan,

        Thing is, sea level rise is faster than 2.2 mm/yr now, and the contribution from Greenland is accelerating, doubling time has been bracketed as between 5 and 20 years.

        And I was referring to HotScot’s point that Greenland was ice free in the past, not the Eemian when it was still largely glaciated.

        Your precious facts are not inconsistent with what I posted.

      • HotScot,

        Can you provide your source for the 14% greening. I have looked at NASA sources and I think you are an order of magnitude off. Overestimating by a factor of 10, but that is my estimate, but I find no source giving even an estimate of any amount of greening, or how it is measured even. Measurements of other things but not measurements of greening.

        Thanks

      • However, at that time, there was no ice on Antarctica, as the oldest ice from cores, is less than one million years old.

        Ice on Antarctica has been increasing for fifty million years. Ice flows, new snowfall and old ice melting and flowing out totally replaces the ice in about a million years. The oldest ice cores are very thin layers compared to more recent layers. Those old layers were thicker when they were newer, before they lost the ice that flowed out.

      • BD, actually it isn’t. There is a huge ‘fact’ problem. There are about 40 PSMSL long record tide gauges with a diff GPS land motion correction within 10 KM. Nils-Axel Moerner (world SLR expert) calculates those gauges show about 2.2mm/yr plus minus 0.1mm/yr. There is no evidence of SLR acceleration, AND the diff GPS corrected tide gauge estimate closes with SLR ~= sum (ice mass loss plus thermosteric rise). Almost exactly, once the new Antarctic estimates (Grace corrected by diff GPF Gis, alternatively Zwally’s IceSat analysis). Commented previously in more detail, or see essay Pseudoprecision. The Sat Alt estimate of ~3.3-3.4mm/yr (improperly including ~0.3mm/yr of modeled GIA) also shows no acceleration over the sat record; there are even papers ‘explaining’ apparent recent deceleration. it is simply higher. Acceleration is manufactured similar to Mike’s nature trick by sticking sat alt onto tide gauge, ignoring tide gauge thereafter.
        We know the sat alt is precise but not accurate from the Jason2 instrument spec. And we know it is high biased by the wave problem, as it is far above closure.
        So as a ground truthed fact, SLR has NOT accelerated. Thatnit has is warmunist/CSIRO propaganda.

      • Ristvan,

        You ignored what I said and went blah, blah, blah about the tide gage records.

        I said the contribution from Greenland is accelerating.

        Tide gages seem to be leading the satellites at the moment.

        There is a simple test for acceleration, take any plot of sea level you want and lay a ruler between the first and last points of the graph, if most of the graph lays below the ruler, you have acceleration. I think that is the case with sea level rise.

      • BD

        You are ignoring the well known decadal and multi-decadal oscillations involved with long term SLR at numerous, if not all, sites. But your idea certainly is in keeping with the approach by many in their overly simplistic treatment of complex issues involved in climate science. What ever floats your boat.

      • So CerescoKid,

        If anyone has put a period and a magnitude on these well known oscillations of decadal and multi-decadal length and has made any predictions based on them, I would like to see them.

        The ones posted in this thread look noisy, not periodic.

        But that’s what boat floaters do, they make noise into periods, and call it multi-decadal whatnots.

      • BD

        My point is that your technique is beyond over simplification. There are numerous studies discussing multi decadal oscillations and they caution against exactly what you have done. Specifically, among others, Chambers et al 2012, stating unless there is data for 2 cycles then any kind of conclusions about acceleration are dubious. That is what you suggest with the elementary school ruler.

        Normally I don’t help the helpless, but with your extenuating circumstances I caved in. Next time do your own leg work.

      • BD

        Just for fun why don’t you take out that wooden ruler and give a go with your technique on this chart from Sydney. I don’t see much difference from 1912. Of course I can go through dozens of other such examples but why waste my time
        https://www.tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_global_station.htm?stnid=680-140

    • the total forcing change in the last century or two is dominated by anthropogenic forcing

      There were no measurements two centuries ago, so this is speculation.

    • “Dominated” is not a fact. It is a value judgment. Go ahead and guess a quantifiable amount if you like but as you have structured the sentence it means as much to say about a fight “he really cleaned his clock”
      Neither statement helps to establish an objective measurement.

      • Manmade forcing is over 2 W/m2, while it is not even clear what the sign of the solar and volcanic changes have been because they are so close to zero net. This is why I say ‘dominated’.

      • large positive feedbacks (water vapor etc) are required, which are highly uncertain but almost certainly too large

      • You need large positive feedbacks to account for a 1 C warming at 400 ppm, and that is even with the water vapor not increasing as fast as expected.

      • Well that is one hypothesis. Another hypothesis is that something else is causing the warming (such as large scale long term redistribution of ocean heat)

      • The rise of total OHC shows it is an effect rather than cause.

      • Jim
        It is the nature of the word “dominated” that is the problem. Like saying a person is big. That is in the eye of the beholder. There is no established fact. Only someone’s judgment.

      • large positive feedbacks (water vapor etc) are required, which are highly uncertain but almost certainly too large

        They are also energetically constrained
        https://arxiv.org/abs/0908.4410

      • cerescokid, the natural forcing change is even slightly negative according to the IPCC, so dominated is an appropriate word for a positive net change.

      • And within the 1500 pages of the IPCC report how many thousands of assumptions(aka estimates) , foundational assumptions and derivative assumptions are relied on to establish any of their “facts”?
        That the IPCC said something is a fact. By them saying it doesn’t make it a fact.

      • cerescokid, so you say that neither the scale of anthropogenic forcing relative to natural forcing nor the sign of the OHC trend are things you would consider factual. I think you would have until I pointed out the corollary, so you are working backwards.

    • You clearly don’t understand what a fact is.

    • In what way is that a fact? What clear, unambiguous and reproducible evidence do you have for that claim?

    • anthropogenic forcing

      I’m going to call foul on this.

      Anthropogenic forcing is not CO2 forcing.

      If you mean CO2 forcing, say CO2 forcing or CO2 GHG forcing and prove it.

      • PA,

        Exactly. Trying to pin a GHE cultist down is about as easy as nailing a cloud to a tree.

        Maybe they do it because they don’t know any better. Michael Mann apparently thought he received a Nobel Prize. Gavin Schmidt believes he’s a climate scientist.

        Even the word “forcing” seems to be GHE cultist jargon.

        Cheers.

      • It is mostly CO2 forcing. What are you talking about?

      • If it is CO2 forcing say CO2 forcing.

        Cutting CO2 only affects CO2 forcing.

        The fact that the phrase “Anthropogenic Forcing”, which is incorrect, is used for CO2 forcing claims, would lead to the conclusion that CO2 forcing is minimal or impossible to attribute which means the CO2 forcing claims are just spitting in the wind.

        When people deliberately and consistently use the wrong terminology the only question is what they are hiding and why.

      • Anthropogenic forcing is the net of CO2, other GHGs, and aerosols. At least 80% of this is CO2.

  9. Curious George

    Some facts frequently support a point of view, while other facts oppose it. A statistical approach to truth is totally dependent on the selection of facts.

    Scientists selecting facts would not want to be paid with money which is good only statistically (h/t Stanislaw Lem).

    • If humanity relied on facts, we would all be scientists and never get anywhere, perpetually frozen in the desire for knowledge, but never doing anything with it.

      The people who make progress are usually those who frequently ignore facts, the businessmen, the entrepreneurs, the adventurers.

      The fact is, facts only occupy a small proportion of man’s daily life. They are overwhelmed by emotions, opinions, momentary convenience, deception, opportunism etc.

      Is this forum a logical, factual necessity? Of course not. Is facebook a logical, factual necessity? Of course not, Twitter, Facetime etc. etc.

      They are sources of uninformed opinions from, usually, unidentifiable individuals expressing opinions, on snippets of facts, from the pantheon of science, all of which can be dissected or distorted to suit one, or other argument. Except in JC’s forums case. But even then I think she would agree she’s not immune to some unfounded opinions or emotions, even if it’s just in her private life.

  10. I noticed the mention of Roger Pilke’s Wall St. Journal piece. What is amazing and to me shows the corruption of Steyer, Soros, and their paid flaks is that no one cares or apologizes for this. You are not seeing any calls for such an apology. It shows how hard it is for decent and honest scientists to work in climate related areas.

    • Curious George

      We should demand much more than an apology from these billionaires. How about a RICO lawsuit?

  11. Nicely explained JC, you have an unusual ability amongst scientists, to actually talk in plain English when it’s necessary.

    And that is the big problem amongst scientists in communicating with ordinary folks; it has also been exacerbated by the internet where most scientific papers can be read and misinterpreted by thicko’s like me; and journalist’s who are usually only marginally less thick than me; and politicians whose thickness, largely, elevates me to academic excellence.

    There is, without a shadow of a doubt, a huge political and financial bias towards climate alarmist’s which distorts the debate, quite alamingly, to the extent that politicians, the media, and scientists can say virtually what they want, with no public dissent, to garner votes, attention, and funds.

    However, the herd principle applies. Once inoculated against climate alarmism, just a wee bit, the dissent spreads, often just through ignoring the ongoing, 50-year ‘scare’ which has amounted to nothing more than business as usual.

    The UK was terrorised a few years ago by being told the Gulf Stream was about to be switched off. All very scientifically explained, but it didn’t happen. And I’ll restrict the many examples to that single one. And whilst the man in the street unconsciously records these events, and can’t recall them until prompted, they still retain that niggling doubt that climate change is a crock.

    The UN did a global survey of some 10M people on their concerns for the future. Out of 16 subjects including education, health and internet access, climate change came a distant 16th place, to internet access.

    But it’s ‘global’ appeal has been used to underpin virtually every political decision, including immigration, with the sweeping statements of ‘you ain’t seen nothin’ yet, just wait til’ the sky falls in’. This idiotic attitude has served to dramatically change the direction of global politics, with Brexit and Trump as the fizzing fuse, Europe as, probably, the most extreme example of a crumbling political edifice.

    Sadly little of this is to do with political or scientific engagement, more a feeling of being somehow persistently cheated. It took two straight-talking politicians like Farage and Trump to recognise this. And when they come along? The very people persistently calling for a revolution, depressed about politicians and their devious ways, cry ‘it’s not fair’ when the change they demanded didn’t go their way.

    I used to think I was a fairly pessimistic person. I have come to realise I am hopelessly optimistic. Nothing on this planet, or the universe for that matter, has happened without change. It might not always be good change, but when we realise it’s going wrong, we usually slam on the brakes, as best we can.

    I think the world’s optimists are slamming on the climate change brakes because they are fed up with being told to be fearful and depressed. If it happens, it happens, we’ll deal with it when it does.

  12. Wrestled with these distinctions for hundreds of pages and examples in The Arts of Truth. Facts do not merely exist. To be understood as a factual approach to ‘truth’ they have to be taken in the context of some theory of understanding. On of my favorite examples in the book involves enhanced aircraft design during WWII. Some planes would make it back all shot up; others didn’t. Bullet and shapnel holes are observable, countable facts. The Army and Navy were accumulating massive fact databases about combat damage in order to improve aircraft design, but used the facts wrong (exactly backwards) up until mid 1943. The contextual truth about combat aircraft survivability was that the least damaged places on returning aircraft needed the most hardening or redundancy. Low damage areas were why those planes made it back while others didn’t. Led among other things to Goodyear’s invention of self sealing fuel tank bladders, a huge deal in the Pacific in 1944-1945.

  13. David L. Hagen

    For historical facts, the standard is at least two independent witnesses.

    • One from the losing side!

    • Excellent.

      But the average aeroplane mechanic could have told the Naval management that in a 5-minute conversation.

      My late father was a ground crew mechanic during WW2 and was often sought out by engineers and designers. He usually sent them away scratching their heads as his advice was “up and down mate”, look at the bits that aren’t shot UP, to understand why planes are shot DOWN. Or in his terms, “the planes came back cos’ the blighters missed all the important bits.”

      His more whimsical solution was to make the planes huge and slow moving, dragging a massive banner saying ‘Pilot Here’ “the idiots always aim for the biggest bit because it makes them feel like heroes”.

  14. Willis Eschenbach

    Anyone who says with a straight face that “throwing more facts at climate deniers hasn’t convinced them” has revealed such a profound ignorance of the field as to render his views useless. What’s next? A claim that throwing more facts at wops and spics hasn’t convinced them?

    For the hundredth time. The term “deniers” was chosen for its ugly overtones of “Holocaust deniers”, meaning people who deny established facts. I and hundreds of others have protested that a) we’re not denying anything, and b) such unpleasant, emotion-laden terms have no place in a scientific discussion. This is not news.

    So for someone to still be using the term “deniers”, it means that either they are clueless that “denier” is the climate equivalent of the “n-word” that would probably get my comment moderated, and that it was chosen for emotive slap, OR they know that and don’t care.

    I don’t know which is worse, but as I say, when people start in with “denier” this and “denier” that, they’ve just cancelled their vote with me on the grounds of cluelessness.

    Hell, MIT just equated climate denial with racism, misogyny, and bigotry, sending out a letter whining that:

    The President-elect has appointed individuals to positions of power who have endorsed racism, misogyny and religious bigotry, and denied the widespread scientific consensus on climate change.

    Gosh … you mean we’re part of a basket of deplorables?

    Can we cut the term “denier” out of the discussion, please? It is insulting, underhanded, crude, and boorish. Consign it to the dustbin of history.

    w.

    • Denier is a term designed to provoke, enrage and upset. I always assume it is therefore somehow scary for ‘acceptors’ to meet someone who is prepared to stand on their own two feet rather than hide in amongst the herd when the debate gets difficult.

      I especially enjoy the ‘racist’ slur, as is frequently bandied about in the Brexit debate. I can string the idiots along until they have exhausted their armoury of expletives about how racist I am. Then I tell them I’m an immigrant Chinaman. You can also see them crumbling over their keyboards.

      The fact I’m a 6’2″ white Scotsman who was born in Hong Kong passes them by because they didn’t establish any facts about me before screaming “racist” because I voted for Brexit.

      Hours of innocent fun can be had….HeHeHeHe.

    • “skeptic” isn’t the right word either. A skeptic would allow for the truth of an IPCC statement that says something is “very likely”. These people think it is almost certainly not true. What do we call them?

      • Roger Knights

        Correct: a more neutral word than “skeptic” (the only one I can think of) is “climate contrarian,” or just “contrarian,” although it’s not 100% perfect. We (i.e., 80% of us) are not merely doubtful, we are contrary; we are disbelievers.

      • Contrarian means they have another idea, but few of these do. They just say no. Another word is dismisser or naysayer.

      • Roger Knights

        The NY Times yesterday used the excellent word-pair, “climate dissenter.”

      • The problem, Jim D, is that their very likely attribution simply isn’t true. Except for the now rapidly cooling 2015-16 ElNino blip, there has been little or no warming this century. The warming from ~1920-1945 is essentially indistinguishable from that ~1975-2000. IPCC AR4 WG1 SPM fig 8.2 says the former period was mostly natural, the later period mostly AGW. Natural variability did not magically cease in 1975. Ergo the IPCC assertion is not true. It isn’t even factiness. It is pure truthiness.

      • “A skeptic would allow for the truth of an IPCC statement that says something is “very likely”. ”

        I think that true skeptics would never buy an argument from authority saying a hypothesis is likely or less likely or whatever. I think true skeptics will say: show me the unadjusted predictions and show me the unadjusted measurements and let us then see how your ideas works out. Karl Popper, has a few takes on the probability of hypothesis:

        “a subjective experience, or a feeling of conviction, can never justify a scientific statement … No matter how intense a feeling of conviction it may be, it can never justify a statement. Thus I may be utterly convinced of the truth of a statement; certain of the evidence of my perceptions; overwhelmed by the intensity of my experience: every doubt may seem to me absurd. But does this afford the slightest reason for science to accept my statement? Can any statement be justified by the fact that Karl Raimund Popper is utterly convinced of its truth? The answer is, ‘No’; and any other answer would be incompatible with the idea of scientific objectivity.”

        80 THE PROBABILITY OF A HYPOTHESIS AND THE PROBABILITY OF EVENTS: CRITICISM OF PROBABILITY LOGIC

        “All this glaringly contradicts the programme of expressing, in terms of a ‘probability of hypotheses’, the degree of reliability which we have to ascribe to a hypothesis in view of supporting or undermining evidence.”
        – Karl Popper The Logic of Scientific Discovery

        The subjective probability levels invented by IPCC must be the greatest joke ever within science: Guidance Note for Lead Authors of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties

        And by the way – if you think Karl Popper was wrong about the probability of a hypothesis – you would do the climate science industry a great favour by proving that he was wrong.

      • You don’t need words to express probabilities when you can show it in a graph, like Gavin does here.

        If the “skeptics” did a graph the peak would be the other side of 50% with almost zero overlap, which is why I don’t call them skeptics. A true skeptic might broaden the IPCC peak or be a subset of it.

      • Figure 10.5 in the IPCC report has the following figure text: “Figure 10.5 | Assessed likely ranges ”

        You are wrong – skeptics would not put up a graph based on “assessed likely ranges”.

        Your response was rather quick, I gather from that that you did not read anything in the links I provided. And I never really expected that. I provided the links for any enquiring minds who might happen to pass by these comments. My prediction is that you never will read anything in those links. Prove me wrong and make me happy.

      • SoF, I assumed you quoted what you thought was relevant from the links. Perhaps you didn’t. I don’t know. If you don’t like uncertainty ranges, provide an alternative way to present estimates.

      • “I assumed you quoted what you thought was relevant from the links”

        Engineers will eventually learn the hard way that assumption is the mother of all mess ups!

        The quotes from Karl Popper contains the conclusion, but not the logic and the argument behind it. I can´t fill up this thread. However, the first 26 pages of the Logic of scientific discovery contains the essence.

        I also recommend reading the few pages of the “Guidance Note for Lead Authors of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties”. Not because I agree with the content – but it is a guiding document for IPCC, and it stands in stark contrast to the Logic of Scientific discovery. Read both of them – It is well worth the time it takes.

        “If you don’t like uncertainty ranges, provide an alternative way to present estimates.”

        There is a freely available international standard for quantification of uncertainty in measurement ( should work for predictions as well – but for predictions, we can not really know if the expression of uncertainty is correct before it is compared with observations):This is how the climate industry should have reported uncertainty

        But there exists no international standard for expression of the probability of a hypothesis being true. And obviously no standard for expression of subjective levels of confidence:IPCC was misled by the InterAcademy Council (IAC) on “Qualitative expression of confidence”

      • I am ok with being called a skeptic. A true scientist must be a skeptic, of their own theory as well as other theory.

        The consensus alarmist people cannot be considered any kind of scientist because they are not skeptic.

      • Can’t this be kept simple? More climate concerned and less climate concerned seems to sum it up and remove (most) antagonism.

    • WE, you are quite correct. I was able to trace the warmunist specifics back to a quite clear article by Ellen Goodman in the Boston Globe on 2/9/07. Deliberate malicious alliteration.
      OTH, I am rather enjoying being among the many millions of Deplorables who just won a presidential election against Billary.

    • Steven Mosher

      we have a new term for folks who cant get with the program

      Alt-Science

      • Curious George

        I love a scientific approach!

      • Mmmm…alt. The program is always wrong. Simply because it is group think rah rah confirmation bias. That’s how humans roll. Except real scientists, who have no buddies by design…

      • Steven Mosher: we have a new term for folks who cant get with the program

        Cant get with the program. That’s a good one. I’ll count myself in, along with calling myself a lukewarmer. “I can’t get with the program because … .”

        You on the other, hand push the program, despite the scientific information that weakens it. You can be a “pusher”.

    • I don’t think you’re necessarily correct about the undertones of Holocaust denial in accusations of climate denial. Certainly I’ve never thought of it as such, and the wikipedia page doesn’t seem to suggest this; supporting my view that it’s about the denial of facts in any given context.

      There certainly are many people who do not accept many of the established facts of climate science (for example that atmospheric CO2 is increasing, or that it acts as a greenhouse gas). This is on a par with other anti-scientific groups that have been labelled as deniers (Aids denial, perhaps some of the GM opposition). Equating it to racial abuse seems a gross overreaction.

      That said, I entirely agree it’s not a term that should be used. Because it silences opposing voices and is a way of shutting our ears. But it’s not the only way; if you’re going round branding those who disagree with you as ‘Alarmists’, you’re doing the same thing.

      Drop the labels. Assume good faith. And listen to opposing views. Such is the only way to keep an open mind. But if people ‘cancelling their vote’ with you for the words they use (another way of shutting your mind to alternatives) then consider how you’re doing the same with the words you use.

      • if you’re going round branding those who disagree with you as ‘Alarmists’, you’re doing the same thing.

        To call the consensus climate people alarmists is just an accurate description of someone who claims the sky is falling without actual data to support it. Model output is not data.

      • Ned Harrison: if you’re going round branding those who disagree with you as ‘Alarmists’, you’re doing the same thing.

        What would you call the people who are sounding the alarm, warning that we need massive amounts of imminent action, warning of catastrophes, and such?

      • “…supporting my view that it’s about the denial of facts in any given context.”

        What are those facts? You begin by offering this:

        “There certainly are many people who do not accept many of the established facts of climate science (for example that atmospheric CO2 is increasing, or that it acts as a greenhouse gas).”

        Even though I except these facts, as a matter of pragmatism, as justified true belief, I have been called a “denier” for suggesting the term “heat-trapping gas” is a political one and not accurate in terms of science. When I suggest it might be more accurate to call it a detour of heat transfer and this invites the “denier” pejorative. Oddly, while I am treated as a fool and assured I have no idea what I’m talking about, no efforts are made to correct the mistakes they claim I making and instead I am advised, at best to back to physics class, at worst to go straight to hell.

        “This is on a par with other anti-scientific groups that have been labelled as deniers (Aids denial…)

        “AIDS denialism” came about through a process of experimentation. Peter Duesberg, who first challenged his mentors (Gallo) claim that HIV = AIDS was immediately branded a heretic, but this term gradually morphed into “AIDS dissident” and finally found its footing with “AIDS deniaist”. Duesberg was, of course, not questioning the existence of AIDS, but was challenging the notion that it was HIV causing AIDS.

        The use of the word “heretic”, I suspect, made the advocates of HIV look like religious dogmatists and they realized this, then they realized that using the word “dissident” made them look like political wonks so they settled upon “denialist”. Even this term, however, only underscored the question begging of “AIDS is caused by HIV because HIV causes AIDS.” A horse is a horse, of course, of course, but it ain’t no definition of a horse.

        The skeptics of HIV = AIDS pointed out that HIV is not necessary to explain AIDS and to make matters worse, the existence of Idiopathic CD4+ lymphocytopenia (ICL). Wikipedia tells us the criteria for diagnosing ICL is as follows:

        Low numbers of CD4+ cells (a count of or less than 300 cells per microliter or that less than 20% of T lymphocytes are CD4+)

        Lack of laboratory evidence of HIV infection

        Lack of any alternative explanation for CD4+ lymphocytopenia

        Oh yeah…Wikipedia also points out, inter alia, that “ICL is sometimes characterized as ‘HIV negative AIDS’ by AIDS denialists.” As best as I can tell this is presented as “fact” without any hint of irony. So, and AIDS denialist is someone who questions that HIV causes AIDS which, of course, makes them AIDS denialists because HIV causes AIDS and makes them denialists when they point to people (as rare as they seem) who track with the surveillance tool of AIDS, but who are HIV negative and makes them denialists because it is not AIDS, but ICL.

        What makes people climate change denialists? One form of climate change denialism is found with people who object to the politicization of the science in order to push through mitigation policies (mitigation being an ironic use of the word when this mitigation is sold as carbon taxation) and are denialists because mitigation of climate change is a political necessity.

        In short, denialists are generally defined as such:

        AIDS denialists deny HIV causes AIDS making them denialists because HIV causes AIDS.

        climate change denialists object to the politicization of climate change which makes them denialists because politicization is necessary to mitigate climate change.

        Horse denialists deny that unicorns exist which makes them a denialist because a horse is a horse, of course, of course.

      • “Even though I except ..”

        Apologies, that should be Even thought I accept…

      • @popesclimatetheory @matthewrmarler yeah – and people who disagree with you think it makes perfect sense to call you deniers, because you deny the mainstream science as represented by every major scientific body in the world.

        That’s why these labels are pointless; they tell us nothing except which ‘side’ the user is on. I wouldn’t use either term. And I certainly wouldn’t take great offence at the use of one while happily deploying the other

      • @JeanPaulZodeaux Well I said I don’t like the term. I only brought the Aids example into it to show that the idea of denial was applied to people who didn’t accept mainstream views across a range of areas rather than having any deliberate holocaust connotations.

    • I completely agree with Willis about the use of the term “denier”; it is the equivalent of the lawyer’s “Do you still beat your wife?” in that it precludes further discussion of a dubious assumption. The entire climate change enterprise is based on a single empirical observation, viz.: that there has been a *significant* increase in global average temperature over the last century and a half. This observation is false and is based on an overly-simplistic interpretation of the data (see http://blackjay.net/?p=386). Given this particular fact, the term “climate change whistle-blower” might be more appropriate.

    • Denier is a useful term, it helps us identify the people who use it as people whose opinions are worse than useless.

      • “Denier is a useful term, it helps us identify the people who use it as people whose opinions are worse than useless.”

        In closed circles among peers have at it; when using the term to debate policy then the term becomes useful to help us identify the political and legal dilettantes.

  15. “Human caused global warming is a theory. The assertion that human caused global warming is dangerous is an hypothesis.”

    And a dogma is born.
    And that dogma ate a lot of homework.

    If it’s human it must be bad.
    Original sin was falling from fashion until 6 August 1945.
    The hope of science to liberate the mind of mankind may be lost.

  16. Roger Knights

    Judith: It’s not clear where your quote from Wikipedia ends. It should be inside quotation marks or blockquote tags.

  17. richardswarthout

    This is, to me, is a very interesting post and I wonder why those on the consensus side ignore historical literature that narrates the medieval warm period. Couldn’t it be said, based on the historical literature/records, that existance of the MWP in England, Europe, and Asia is a fact?

    • Steven Mosher

      “Couldn’t it be said, based on the historical literature/records, that existance of the MWP in England, Europe, and Asia is a fact?”

      Not by Judiths definition.

      In her scheme a fact is a repeatable observation

      key word being repeatable.

      the records of history are just that Records. Its a fact the records exist
      I can look at the book.. I can pass the book to you.. you can look at it.

      the “truth” of the record… its correspondence to reality requires inference.. Like People usually dont lie about the weather they reported,
      therefore I can trust these records.

      • richardswarthout

        So in a court of law I could not state as fact that I did not kill my grandmother because she died before I was born, presenting only her death certificate and my birth certificate?

        Richard

      • richardswarthout

        Steven

        If there were multiple contemporaneous records of temperatures, would that not fit the repeatability requirement?

        Richard

      • richardswarthout: “If there were multiple contemporaneous records of temperatures, would that not fit the repeatability requirement?”

        Not unless they had been correctly Mannipulated using only the very BEST AlGoreithms!

      • If there were multiple contemporaneous records of temperatures, would that not fit the repeatability requirement?

        Actually, there are ice core temperature records, obtained from the NH and SH that show repeatable cycles indicating that both hemispheres have been regulated in the same bounds for ten thousand years while the changing tilt of the earth removed 40 watts per meter squared of solar energy in from the NH above sixty degrees and added the same to the SH below 60 degrees.

        This change was huge compared to any increase from doubling CO2.
        http://popesclimatetheory.com/page85.html

        When oceans warm, sea ice thaws, increases snowfall until it gets cold again. After it gets cold enough, the oceans freeze covering the water, reducing snowfall, and it stays that way while the ice depletes, retreats and allows warming again. This natural cycle works in both hemispheres.

      • A fact is not an observation, although facts can be observed. A fact is how the world is. Humans have nothing to do with it.

      • richardswarthout

        David

        However, an unobserved fact would have no scientific meaning. Therefore scientific facts are inherently observed and, most likely recorded. Is it then necessary to go through the lingual hoops when discussing scientific facts?

        Richard

    • Kerry Emanuel of MIT had a good takedown of Pielke’s 538 article. He likened counting hurricane landfalls to counting bear attacks versus the total number of bears in the woods. This is what did Pielke in, probably. That site pride themselves as statisticians and Pielke had erred.
      http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/mit-climate-scientist-responds-on-disaster-costs-and-climate-change/

      • I don’t regard that as a takedown. Pielke Jr is talking about empirical evidence and observations. Emanuel is talking about unknowns.

      • Jim D, you dont even characterize Pielke’s 538 article correctly. Nor did Kerry Emmanuel, whom you may have mistaken as a ‘fact’from MIT authority when it was a (presumably deliberate since so easy to check) distortion. Pielke himself characterized his article and its single, simole main point in his new WSJ piece. You need to up your game a bit. Don’t trust, verify.

      • The fact is that Pielke was gone soon after that rebuttal, and landfalling statistics are not robust because of how unevenly those events are distributed. Just because there’s less bear attacks, doesn’t mean there’s less bears. This was Emanuel’s point.

      • I think this quote from Emanuel is important.

        “Those who wait for actuarial trends to emerge at the 95 percent confidence level before acting do so at their peril.”

        Just because your statistical analysis does not reach the 95% level, doesn’t mean your hypothesis is wrong.

    • To whatever extent that RPJr. has a legitimate gripe that he’s been treated unfairly (personally, I think that his claims have some merit), he never owns up to how his own behavior has contributed to the problem. He has bated people and been very aggressive, utilizing “plausible deniability” to lay cover for his own over-reach and personalization of science. That isn’t to say that it isn’t his right to act in such a way, it’s just hard to take his woes of victimization too seriously when he isn’t accountable for his own contributions to the problem.

  18. You forget the corollary: The assertion that human-caused global warming is harmless is an hypothesis too. Science cannot verify this despite its best efforts.

    • Roger Knights

      It’s a null hypothesis, no?

    • SH, to an extent I disagree. Of course, it depends on what you mean by verify. We can verify quite precisely from the NVDI that the planet is greening from CO2 fertilization. We can verify reasonably precisely that but for the now rapidly cooling 2015-16 El Nino blip, there has been no meaningful troposphere warming this century. We can verify that the models got that and ECS wrong.
      We cannot verify that the mythical Schellnhuber 2C from preindustrial is a catastrophic tipping point. We can, however search rigorously for such warmunist speculated tipping points. Lets see, SLR–no, see guest post here of same name despite all the SLR factiness. Extinctions–no, see essay No Bodies. Crop yields–no, see my first guest post here 2011, plus essay Carbon Pollution. And so on. The CAGW alarm was sounded in 1988 by Hansen; the FAR was what? 1990. 26 years of ‘official’ CAGW and not a single prediction has proved out. Not even close. On important business stuff sometimes you have to decide on policy absent ‘proof’. My judgement says CAGW is a hysterical crock, and with no viable energy alternatives other than nuclear for electricity. And there, I would rather wait for some Gen 4 solution than build more gen 3 with radwaste issues. See essay Going Nuclear. Meantime, enjoy the ‘warmth’ and greening provided by modern first world science, technology, and industry.

  19. Just one rather insignificant comment to an excellent post. Regarding:
    “Carbon dioxide has an infrared emission spectra”
    Yes it has – but I would rather call it absorption spectra in this debate, as the primary mechanism in the theory is related to absorption of energy by the CO2 molecule.

  20. richardswarthout

    I also question how data relating to the wave-particle phenomena can be used to establish a scientific fact. Didn’t Einstein and others say something about the craziness of quantum theory, about how the math was true, but the concept was irrational?

    Richard

    • Einstein belived in deterministic equations like relativity and E=mc^2, not probabalistic ones like Schroedinger’s wave equation. His statement was, ‘God does not play dice with the universe.’ But every prediction of the quantum math has been born out experimentally. Schroedinger, for example, solves exactly for the ground state of hydrogen. So the math is observationally ‘true’. Weird, but true.

      • Wow! We can’t tell if it’s going to rain tomorrow, or if climate change is a threat, but we can unravel quantum mathematics. Heavy man.

      • richardswarthout

        Rud

        “I cannot seriously believe in [quantum theory] because
        ….physics should represent a reality in time and space, free from spooky action at a distance.” – Albert Einstein

        THE SKELETON IN PHYSICS’ CLOSET

        “Quantum theory is stunningly successful. Not a single one of the theory’s predictions has ever been shown wrong. One-third of our economy depends on products based on it. However, the worldview demanded by quantum theory is not only stranger than we might suppose, it’s stranger than we can suppose.”
        – “Quantum Enigma”. Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner

    • richard,

      stranger than we suppose…

      Swans and certainty …

      ‘Black swan, ebony gleaming,
      gliding artlessly on
      a mirrored lake, unaware
      that you’re an oddity exposed
      by northern ornithologists,
      glossy bird, you’d be surprised
      to learn that you are compared
      to Hume’s thanksgiving turkey,
      symbol of the out-liar event,
      the single observation that exposes
      how fragile is our human knowledge.

      Black swan, you have become
      less and more than
      mere blackbird -you.

      a serf.

      • richardswarthout

        Beth

        You have captured, in a few beautiful words, a thought that evades mere scientists, a thought that exists only at the boundary of knowledge. Thank you.

        Richard

  21. Misnested above (if it ever appears).

    ==> and the greatest proponents of truthiness and factiness are the climate ‘alarmed’ ==>

    Is that a fact? How is your statement verifiable? How have you gone about measuring the relative magnitude of those features on the different sides of the climate divide, respectively? If it isn’t a fact, and only an opinion, then why do you state it as a fact? If it is a fact, then why don’t you present your verification?

    ==> their opponents are mostly calling b.s. on their truthiness and factiness. ==>

    Is that a fact? Where is your evidence of what they are “mostly” doing? In fact, how do you even define “their opponents?” Who is included in that descriptor? Lamar Smith, perhaps?

    ==> In slinging around terms like denier, anti-science etc, the defense of climate alarmism ==>

    “Climate alarmism” So you decry the use of “denier” by “climate alarmists.” In other words, if only those poopyheads would stop calling us poopyheads we could just get to the facts and the non-politicized science?

    ==> …in terms of ‘science’ and ‘facts’ starts to become more anti-science than what they are accusing their opponents of. ==>

    Once again, is that a fact? Or opinion? If opinion, why is it stated as fact? If fact, where is your verification? Where do you show that the impact in terms of “anti-science” is greater on one side than the other?

    • Being that climate ‘deniers’ have had to go out and seek their own evidence to refute outrageous claims by alarmist scientist’s, why don’t you go and find the information to refute the information you question.

      All you’re doing is attacking, try practising what you would like others to practise, a bit of science.

      Or in my world, if you ask me a question, you had damn well better have the solution.

    • It’s her opinion numbnuts, as I’m sure you know. Just another case of Josh twisting something to try and score points against Judith.

      All together now: “You’re sooooo clever Josh!”

  22. “As per the Wikipedia (which has good summary on this topic):

    “Facts may be checked by reason, experiment, personal experience, or may be argued from authority.

    It is an absurd statement in Wikipedia to say that “facts may be argued from authority”. It seems that William Connelly has messed around with this Wikipedia article. I don´t know where to start. Luckily, Richard Feynman has thought this through for us:
    “In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience, compare it directly with observation, to see if it works. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. In that simple statement is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is – if it disagrees with experiment it is wrong. That is all there is to it.”
    – Lecture by Richard Feynman on Scientific Method (1964)

    • SorF, unfortunately, wiki is right. Facts can be argued from authority– and often are. See Jim D above and my counter comment when it comes out of mysterious moderation for an example. That this is illogical and unscientific. But still unfortunately true.

  23. Good point. Roger’s article is depressing in its picture of corruption to the point of evil.

  24. Steven Mosher

    “In science, a fact is a repeatable careful observation or measurement (by experimentation or other means), also called empirical evidence. ”

    1.Average global surface temperatures have overall increased for the past 100+ years
    2.Carbon dioxide has an infrared emission spectra
    3. Humans have been adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.

    hmm. sorry none of those are “facts” by the definition given ( bad definition to begin with )

    Here is a clue. You will not settle the science debate by appealing to the differences between “facts” and “theories”

    • Average global surface temperatures have overall increased for the past 100+ years

      When you get a weather forecast, you don’t look for the GAT. Why?
      Because it doesn’t matter.

      GAT is measurable and increasing.

      But GAT varies more within 6 months than it will for a century.
      Why doesn’t this matter? Because GAT doesn’t matter.

      • Steven Mosher

        When you get a weather forecast, you don’t look for the GAT. Why?
        Because it doesn’t matter.

        I never look at weather forecasts because they dont matter
        I look at GAT monthly because it does matter

        GAT is measurable and increasing.

        GAT can be estimated.
        IF you decide to apply a statistical model to GAT, the trend is positive
        depending on the model you apply.
        a Model is a THEORY about the underlying data generating process.

        But GAT varies more within 6 months than it will for a century.
        Why doesn’t this matter? Because GAT doesn’t matter.

        The temperature varies more within a day than it will for a century
        Therefore weather forecasts dont matter.

        “mattering” is a alt-science way of diverting attention from the concept of usefullness.

        Cogratulations.. Please pick up your Sheet, you are a member of Alt-science

      • I look at GAT monthly because it does matter

        It’s too bad that advocates can’t demonstrate this.

        It leads to a lot of exaggerations and apparent falsehoods to maintain the political agenda.

        In the sense that Global Average Temperature reflects the increase in Oceanic Heat Content, then GAT does reflect the slow increase in sea levels.

        However, GAT is not a term in any of the equations of motion and as such, doesn’t determine weather. Consequently, it’s not surprising that, as RPjr points out, there’s not correlation between GAT and droughts/floods/storms or generally adverse weather.

    • Steven Mosher,

      You can’t say “here’s a clue” truthfully. You haven’t one to give away!

      However, your pointless observation is correct, but meaningless.

      Facts settle science debates. Not appeals, or rhetoric.

      I’m not sure what your 3 points are supposed to indicate. I’m guessing you are implying that humans producing CO2 results in ongoing and increasing planetary energy content, by some unstated and unfalsifiable mechanism.

      Complete nonsense, of course, supported by precisely nothing – except unfalsifiable assertions. A real scientist – regardless of scientific qualifications, or lack thereof, forms a hypothesis in order to explain observations. The hypothesis is checked by reproducible experiment.

      If the hypothesis is not supported by experiment – it’s invalid. Maybe your experiment was poorly thought out, or maybe failed for irrelevant reasons. Tyndall provides graphic evidence of not giving up easily. One hypothesis turned out to be correct, in spite of early experiments showing otherwise.

      It was Joule’s experiments, not his rhetoric, that eventually convinced the brilliant Scots – Irish physicist Thompson (Lord Kelvin) that the then-current caloric theory was wrong.

      I know you dislike me quoting dead scientists, but here’s what Lord Kelvin wrote, over 100 years ago –

      In physical science a first essential step in the direction of learning any subject is to find principles of numerical reckoning and practicable methods for measuring some quality connected with it. I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about and express it in numbers you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind: it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be.

      Climatologists talk about the GHE, TCR, ECS and so on. They can’t quite figure out how to measure them, or what they should be, based on their non-existent hypothesis, but are convinced we’re all in mortal danger nonetheless! Unless we stop burning coal, of course.

      Deny, divert, confuse. Eventually you’ll have to face facts. Good luck.

      Cheers.

    • It is worse than a bad definition, SM. It is absurd. It confuses one way that facts are established with the facts themselves.

      The numerous confusions exhibited above show just how complex and difficult epistemology is. I love it for that.

      Here is a fun one. Saying “It is a fact that X” says no more than merely asserting X. The fact bit’s entirely rhetorical.

  25. ==> …in terms of ‘science’ and ‘facts’ starts to become more anti-science than what they are accusing their opponents of. ==>

    Consider the previous thread at this very website.

    A critique of a scientist’s work that ranges into hundreds of comments filled with assertions not only of flawed conclusions in that work, but absolutely certain accusations of fatal bias in the analysis (in other words, a very specific attribution of the putative flaws), personal attacks and insults, and broad-reaching condemnation of entire fields of scientific endeavor. All without any presentation of evidence to support the conclusions, merely conjecture and arguments by assertion.

    How do you factor such phenomena into your assessment of where the impact of “anti-science” is the greatest?

  26. Completely OT, but has anyone else spotted THIS?

    Contrary to the impression favored by governments, the corner has not been turned toward declining emissions and GHG amounts…. Negative CO2 emissions, i. e., extraction of CO2 from the air, is now required.”

    – James Hansen, “Young People’s Burden.” October 4, 2016.

    “The ponderous response of the climate system also means that we don’t need to instantaneously reduce GHG amounts.”

    – James Hansen, “We Hold Truths to be Self-Evident“ December 2, 2016.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/12/03/shock-the-father-of-global-warming-james-hansen-dials-back-alarm/

    Well, well…

    Talk about U-turns!

    And Trump hasn’t even got into the White House yet!

    • That’s an interesting spin because Hansen says whether the reduction is done tomorrow or in a few decades makes little difference, but it does need to be decades rather than centuries.

      • Curious George

        You don’t listen to the IPCC. Where are the funds?

      • So in another 30 years time, you’ll have to fight your way out your house every morning through the Aspidistra’s because CO2 has risen another 100ppm. There will be more to eat because farmers can barely harvest fast enough to keep up with plant growth.

        In the meantime, we are all plotting ways to starve ourselves by CCS.

        Fantastic science.

      • We can scale back depletables in favor of renewables. This is the future anyway.

      • Jim D: That’s an interesting spin because Hansen says whether the reduction is done tomorrow or in a few decades makes little difference, but it does need to be decades rather than centuries.

        The “spin” is that he no longer worries about his granddaughters, or the flooding of Manhattan. If it really makes little difference, then a policy of avoiding abrupt, imminent, and expensive policy changes is warranted. There are too many unknowns, being actively researched, to justify expensive CO2 reductions. No matter how you spin it, that is new coming from James Hansen. It is a literal “denial” of many other Hansen quotes from the last few decades.

      • If he is saying that, it is more in keeping with IPCC goals that have timespans of decades. I expect he still wants a carbon tax to make it work better.

      • Curious George

        Is there a fact or a truth somewhere?

      • CO2 has already been sequestered.

        Were I a philosopher, I might ask why.

    • Talk about not getting the message

      He is now saying we need to actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

      He is not dialing back.

      • @Jim D

        CO2 was naturally reduced to within around 100ppm of life on earth becoming extinct by sequestration.

        So, is it more important to:

        a) reduce CO2 once again to bare subsistence levels, or

        b) encourage CO2 to increase to levels around 1,000ppm or 2,000ppm in order that we at least have a ‘buffer’ contingency?

        I don’t believe there is a scientist or engineer on the planet who would suggest that mankind is better living on the brink of extinction.

        If, as you arrogantly maintain, we have any say in the matter, I vote, release the naturally sequestered CO2 into the atmosphere and reap the rewards.

      • HotScot,

        I’m with you. It’s insanity to wilfully destroy your food supply.

        Anyone advocating such planetary genocide should be forced to contemplate the consequences of their madness – by going without food involving photosynthesis in the food chain. For 100 days, say. Only if they don’t willingly volunteer to demonstrate the depth of their convictions, of course!

        As the other main component of reinstating naturally sequestered CO2 by burning hydrocarbons is of course H2O, maybe 10 days without water should be concurrently experienced.

        To any person complaining that this could be seen as harsh, reassure them that the sacrifice that they are making by refusing to participate in activities arising from the combustion of fossil fuels, will be appreciated by the sane and hungry – not to say those who appreciate a bit of warmth from time to time in the depths of winter.

        Warmists are free to commit suicide if they wish. Insisting that I participate in their fantasy will meet with a polite “No, thank you.” I hope they will appreciate my preference for a contented life rather than a miserable, slow, painful death.

        Folie à plusieurs – shared psychosis – necessary for “factiness” based Warmism.

        Cheers.

      • There’s a group who consider 350 ppm is the ideal. It is not bare subsistence, but it is not a glacier-melting level either. Those are the ones for you.
        https://350.org/about/science/

      • Jim D,

        You wrote –

        “There’s a group who consider 350 ppm is the ideal.”

        How do you intend to demonstrate they are not deluded Hansenites? Glacier melting properties for CO2? Really? Do glaciers really only start melting when CO2 levels rise?

        Doesn’t seem likely to me, but maybe you could provide some sort of experimental support involving ice melting in the presence of more than 350 ppm CO2, but not melting at all with levels of 350 ppm or less. Given a constant heat source of course, turned off every night.

        Maybe you’ve confused fact with “factiness”?

        Cheers.

      • 350 ppm is comfortable globally, 700 ppm not so much.

      • Curious George

        Jim D – link, please. I don’t accept your “fact”.

      • There was a link, and within that references to papers.

      • Jim D,

        You wrote –

        “350 ppm is comfortable globally, 700 ppm not so much.”

        Really? You know this how? Astrologer, soothsayer, toy computer output?

        Don’t be silly.

        “The benefits of carbon dioxide supplementation on plant growth and production within the greenhouse environment have been well understood for many years,” says the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food.

        “CO2 increases productivity through improved plant growth and vigour. Some ways in which productivity is increased by CO2 include earlier flowering, higher fruit yields, reduced bud abortion in roses, improved stem strength and flower size. Growers should regard CO2 as a nutrient… increasing the CO2 level to 1,000 ppm will increase the photosynthesis by about 50% over ambient CO2 levels.”

        Or maybe you prefer –

        “Elevating Carbon Dioxide in a Commercial Greenhouse Reduced Overall Fuel Carbon Consumption and Production Cost When Used in Combination with Cool Temperatures for Lettuce Production”

        USDA publication. Experimental results included.

        in case you are interested, even the US EPA are unable to find any adverse effects at all on humans (not through want of trying, apparently) of continuous exposure to CO2 levels of 1000 ppm.

        You were saying about 700 ppm being better than 350 ppm?

        Cheers.

      • Curious George

        Jim D as usual. No facts. No links. Thank you cementing my opinion.

      • Not curious enough, George. What does a 700 ppm world look like to you from your reading around?

      • Jim D “What does a 700 ppm world look like to you from your reading around?”

        Little or no increase in temperature (<1 deg C), great increase in vegetation and reduction in deserts leading to the ability to grow more crops to comfortably support an increased population, plus a reduction in the land under cultivation allowing far more to be permitted to revert to its natural state – a boon to biodiversity across the board?

        Of course, a 1,000 ppm world would look better still.

      • Curious George

        Could you please point out a relevant fact in that text?

      • Let’s just do your Google search for you. Read around a bit. Much has been written.
        https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=impact+of+4+degrees+global+warming

      • Curious George

        No fact. I don’t think you are thick, but what are you?

      • Jimd

        But 280 ppm is both a level that has seen glaciers grow and retreat so there is nothing magical about 350 ppm

        Tonyb

  27. Pingback: What are the facts in the climate science debate? | Accountable Chaos

  28. One measure of someone who calls themselves a scientist that I find helpful to evaluate, how well do they live with uncertainty. Does the person calling themselves a scientist live in a world where there are few definitive answers? Do they parse their views as possibly true? possibly false? Or, do they utter declarative statements, self assured in they being right. The former is closer to being a scientist. The latter is untrustworthy, no matter how many merit badges on their lapel.

    Speak to, listen to, watch the body language of a scientist. Everything they say seems to have endless qualifiers and uncertainties. In exasperation one is inclined to shout: “Come on now: does this thing go up or down! Can’t you give me a straight answer?” And in reply: “Well, if you turn this knob this way, it is likely to go up. And, if you turn that knob that way, it is likely to go down.” Its like waiting for the next pitch of a baseball game.

    One of the problems with the so called climate scientists, they believe and state their views definitively: there is only one knob, and that knob is turning inexorably one way and will make the earth hot and uninhabitable.

    These ain’t scientists. That’s all there is to it. I rest my case, sort of.

    • Roger Knights

      Does the person calling themselves a scientist live in a world where there are few definitive answers? Do they parse their views as possibly true? possibly false? Or, do they utter declarative statements, self assured in they being right. The former is closer to being a scientist.

      The first is a “fox”; the latter is a “hedgehog.” See Phillip Tetlock, “Why Foxes Are Better Forecasters Than Hedgehogs,” a famous 2007 article, at:
      http://longnow.org/seminars/02007/jan/26/why-foxes-are-better-forecasters-than-hedgehogs/

      First line, a heading beneath the title, is, “Ignore confident forecasters.”

      • Roger Knights

        From your link:

        Bottom line… The political expert who bores you with an cloud of “howevers” is probably right about what’s going to happen. The charismatic expert who exudes confidence and has a great story to tell is probably wrong.

        And to improve the quality of your own predictions, keep brutally honest score. Enjoy being wrong, admitting to it and learning from it, as much as you enjoy being right.”

        The first requires one’s comfort with living with uncertainty.

        The second requires integrity, a decidedly missing piece in certain well-known climate science talkers.

      • Roger Knights

        I suggest that people be encouraged to use the word “Oops” early and often in online controversy.

    • Steven Mosher

      we know there are many knobs

      In fact all the work on “knobs” EXPLICITLY STATES THAT C02 is

      NOT

      THE

      ONLY

      KNOB

      • Steven Mosher

        “Co2 is NOT THE ONLY KNOB”

        You know that. I know that. And, in the privacy of their boudoir, most climate scientist say that.

        However, we have to look at how these climate scientists BEHAVE. In particular, what do they say to the press? the politicians? to each other when the spotlight at those famous, exotic, getaways. Then the message is: one of dire consequences, of stalling on mitigation but a nanosecond let alone an hour or a day, even that delay is catastrophic. The meme is ALWAYS about CO2.

        You may know, and I do know, there is a lot more to making this new fangled climate science buggy go than the sidewalk gawker catastrophists will or want to acknowledge.

        And, as you are fond of remarking, the most important question is: HOW MUCH? And, since certain climate scientists have grabbed the microphone for now, the only answer has been LOTS.

        I believe these climate scientists are not credible and lack that special sauce ingredient: integrity.

      • Steven Mosher,

        As is usual with Woeful Wandering Wriggly Warmist Warmists, you are attempting to deny, divert, confuse, and generally trying to justify the unjustifiable, it would appear.

        Here is an example of truthiness and factiness –

        “Lacis, A.A, G.A. Schmidt, D. Rind, and R.A. Ruedy, 2010: Atmospheric CO2: Principal control knob governing Earth’s temperature. Science, 330, 356-359, doi:10.1126/science.1190653.”

        The lead author writes on the giss.nasa.gov website, just in case you’re confused, under the headline “CO2: The Thermostat that Controls Earth’s Temperature.”

        “CO2: The Thermostat that Controls Earth’s Temperature . . .

        . . . The bottom line is that atmospheric carbon dioxide acts as a thermostat in regulating the temperature of Earth.”

        You will find mention of other supposed GHGs the in paper – which contains no relevant experimental results, and demonstrates the authors’ complete inability to comprehend the work of Tyndall, let alone to understand basic physics.

        However, the emphasis is on CO2 as the knob or thermostat controlling the Earth’s temperature. Complete nonsense of course. No one has ever managed to demonstrate the ability of CO2 to heat a single thermometer, let alone a planet full.

        Computer aided fantasy (CAF), as is anything which involves a GHE.

        Writing using all upper case, one word per line, might be an effective propaganda device, or not. In any case, it conveys no additional facts.

        Still no GHE. Not even a stated GHE hypothesis involving CO2. Sad fact, but true.

        Cheers.

      • Eili Rabbit

        Thank you for the link to Richard Allay’s talking head video on his view that in the history of climate change, and here Richard Allay alludes to himself as a climate historian, the only story that makes sense to him is that CO2 is the primary change agent to earth’s climate changes. And, with Penn State University as his backdrop, it is not hard for me to imagine the invisible hand of Michael Mann guiding this character’s presentation, much as a puppeteer enacting the story of the Pied Piper of Hamlin for an enraptured children’s audience.

        And, BTW, in this presentation, science is but a passing mention. Advocacy is the mission, expressed as such.

        Again, I find the talking head unencumbered by integrity; ie, leaving out relevant information that would counter his own perspective.

  29. Spot the difference
    Jim D | December 3, 2016 at 6:42 pm |
    “We can scale back depletables in favor of renewables. This is the future anyway.”
    Hilary 11/0802016
    “We can scale back deplorables in favor of renewables. This is the future anyway.”
    Mosher,
    what do we call alt-science that is right?
    Science.
    What are the facts in the climate science debate?
    The fact is no-one has a clue what the ECS is yet it fuels a thousand horror scenarios.

  30. ” the defense of climate alarmism in terms of ‘science’ and ‘facts’ starts to become more anti-science than what they are accusing their opponents of.”
    It “started” a while back. A long while.
    To be a true scientist you must be “alt”.

  31. Many, if not most, twenty first century scientists primarily view science as a business with profit as their primary motive. Many, if not most, scientific organizations are marketing departments representing their member’s financial interests. Fortunately there are significant exceptions such as our hostess Dr. Judith Curry.

  32. Curry, you say:

    What are the facts in the climate science debate?

    Average global surface temperatures have overall increased for the past 100+ years

    I think we can reasonably agree on this. If we go back to the earliest part of the 20th century, say around 1906-1911 (105-110 years ago), most all “lines of evidence” point towards colder times on average then than today. The same, however, goes for the 60s and 70s. Those decades were clearly colder than today also.

    And I don’t think we can find objective agreement on it being a fact that the world as a whole was colder on average around 1910 than it was around 1970. Similarly, we cannot claim it to be a fact that the world was warmer on average in 2001-2010 than it was in 1936-1945. We can say it’s likely the case, but not much more than that …

    We have simply long since adjusted us way out of the possibility to be certain about it.

    You also say:

    Human caused global warming is a theory.

    Really!?

    I would say it’s a conjecture, a speculation, an idea. At best.

    There is not ONE piece of empirical evidence from the real Earth system pointing to “global warming” as being caused by an “enhanced GHE”, in turn being caused by “us”. (At the same time, there is a TON of evidence out there supporting the position that the warming is in fact purely naturally caused: Sun+Ocean.)

    All we have is an assertion based on an assumption. Neither the assumption nor the assertion, however, has ever been verified empirically in the real Earth system. Not even remotely so …

    How can something that’s essentially nothing more than a loose claim constitute a “scientific theory”?

  33. Curry, you say:

    What are the facts in the climate science debate?

    Average global surface temperatures have overall increased for the past 100+ years

    I think we can reasonably agree on this. If we go back to the earliest part of the 20th century, say around 1906-1911 (105-110 years ago), most all “lines of evidence” point towards colder times on average then than today. The same, however, goes for the 60s and 70s. Those decades were clearly colder than today also.

    And I don’t think we can find objective agreement on it being a fact that the world as a whole was colder on average around 1910 than it was around 1970. Similarly, we cannot claim it to be a fact that the world was warmer on average in 2001-2010 than it was in 1936-1945. We can say it’s likely the case, but not much more than that …

    We have simply long since adjusted us way out of the possibility to be certain about it.

    You also say:

    Human caused global warming is a theory.

    Really!?

    I would say it’s a conjecture, a speculation, an idea. At best.

    There is not ONE piece of empirical evidence from the real Earth system pointing to “global warming” as being caused by an “enhanced GHE”, in turn being caused by “us”. (At the same time, there is a TON of evidence out there supporting the position that the warming is in fact purely naturally caused: Sun+Ocean.)

    All we have is an assertion based on an assumption. Neither the assumption nor the assertion, however, has ever been verified empirically in the real Earth system. Not even remotely so …

    How can something that’s essentially nothing more than a loose claim constitute a “scientific theory”?

    • Steven Mosher

      Unadjusted data from the best stations shows the same thing as adjusted data.

      Its warmer now.

      Enough with your alt-science

      • Steven Mosher,

        So what? Even you can think of at least four reasons for hotter thermometers over recent periods.

        You deny any reason not involving GHE as a result of CO2.

        Not a terribly scientific approach. Maybe you could open your mind to other possibilities – not involving magic.

        What do you think?

        Cheers.

      • Steven Mosher: “Its warmer now.”

        No it isn’t.

        Where I am, it’s colder than it was six months ago.

        So you’re making stuff up again.

      • John Carpenter

        “Even you can think of at least four reasons for hotter thermometers over recent periods.”

        Whoops, Flynn forgot the earth has been cooling since it was molten.

      • John Carpenter,

        What part of “recent periods” escapes your comprehension? Do you deny that more fires generates more heat?

        I assume you’re only pretending to be a little dim. Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong,

        Cheers.

      • John Robertson

        “Its warmer now”
        Warmer now than when? How do you explain glaciers in Alaska uncovering forests that existed a thousand or so years ago? How long does it take a forest to grow? One has to assume that it was consistently warmer then – at least long enough to grow substantial trees…
        http://www.livescience.com/39819-ancient-forest-thaws.html

      • John Carpenter

        “Please feel free to correct me if I’m wrong,”

        The idea is yours Flynn….. own it.

      • John Carpenter,

        I assumed you were only pretending to be a little dim. You confirmed the pretence. Why would you want to pretend you’re not terribly bright?

        If you don’t really deny that additional heat causes thermometers to get hotter, why not just admit it, rather than pretending you’re not able to comprehend such a simple concept?

        Oh well, I suppose you’ll pretend that you don’t understand that Antarctica used to be much warmer – no ice even! It’s cooled, obviously, Or that summer being generally warmer than winter does not mean the planet is heating up.

        Maybe you don’t really need to pretend you’re a little slow. If you are a bit slow to comprehend, don’t blame me. It’s your problem, not mine.

        Cheers,

      • John Carpenter

        Flynn,

        I guess I touched a nerve. Sorry you are so sensitive to your own flawed ideas.

        Just trying to help

        Cheers

  34. Trappings of science meant endless data sets and regressions, to me, in the climage science context.

    There’s a huge lab-coat effect.

    Some humor at least might help, say publishing a fit to a 2000-year cycle instead of a straight line for once. The fit is as good.

    The straight line is an input, not an output; who realizes that today.

  35. ECS is not significantly different from zero.

    Mother Nature does not do politics.

    CO2 in the atmosphere only matters to plants.

    Thermalization and the complete dominance of water vapor in reverse-thermalization explain why CO2 has no significant effect on climate. Terrestrial EMR absorbed by CO2 is effectively rerouted to space via water vapor.

    CO2 is not merely harmless, it is profoundly helpful. It is helpful in that it is plant food and reduces plant’s need for water.

    Sunspot number anomaly time-integral plus net of the effect of all ocean cycles plus effect of water vapor increase provides a 98% match to temperature anomaly measurements 1895-2015. Analysis and graphs are at http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com
    Now peer reviewed at http://irjes.com/Papers/vol5-issue11/E5113145.pdf

    A looming issue that humanity should be addressing is the worldwide decline of water tables.

    • And your evidence for worlwide decline in water tables is? Ogallalla, yes. Bangladesh, yes. California with drought, yes. Tuvalu with new tourist hotels, yes. That is hardly worldwide. The three wells on my wisconsin farm, one dug 1916, haven’t varied in the 31 years I have owned it.
      The water chapter of Gaia’s Limits presents the facts and exposes some gross misdefinitions giving rise to false alarm, like available water 70% used for irrigation when 80% of world crops are not irrigated at all, relying solynon effective precipitation. Allowing for virtual water, there is not and never will be a global fresh water shortage. There are localities when population has outstripped local water resources, like the Colorado Compact. That is not a global concern. Its what happens when you stupidly grow Phoenix and Las Vegas in a desert.

      • ris – Are you volunteering to be part of the 10% or so who will starve as food production using pumped irrigation dwindles?

        Phoenix and Las Vegas don’t use pumped irrigation.

      • Dan, I am not sure what you are talking about. Las vegas and Phoenix have (by and large) no ag other than golf courses. And for that they pump from the great Colorado reservoirs Meade and Powell, not groundwater. Your 10% die number presumably based on dry overpopulated places like Syria, Egypt, northern India is just silly since ignores virtual water. Did you read the book chapter I spent 3 years reaearching? Where is your requested ‘fact’ that global water tables are globally receding? I agreed with you that they were under local circumstances. West Kansas will go back to high prairie from corn and soy via center pivot irrigation as Ogallala depletes. Bad for west Kansas, good for corn and and soy prices off my Wisconsin farm. Hint. Research virtual water.
        I am less interested in your opinions than in the facts upon which you base them. Because I have done the research, but might have missed something and can learn. Or could spot what you missed, and teach. But stale name calling based on opinion/belief and genuine query non-response enables neither constructive mode. Not useful.

      • Ris – I was actually trying to find out why water vapor is increasing (graph and links in http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com ) because the rising WV is countering the global temperature decline which would otherwise be occurring. During this research I discovered the huge contribution from irrigation http://www.fao.org/nr/water/aquastat/didyouknow/index3.stm . Only about 2% needs to stay in the air to account for the WV increase. I stumbled over the declining water table concerns which, sooner or later, will become an issue for some because of reduced farm income and the rising price of food but a boon for others for increased farm income.

        By worldwide I meant not in just a few local places but in many places on the planet, not restricted to any specific location or country. You listed most of the places I found but parts of the Middle East, China and India http://www.earth-policy.org/mobile/books/pb/pbch2_ss2 are also at issue. As I see it, it is not a question of if, but of when.

    • You are still spelling it wrong.

    • Dan Pangburn,

      I’m sure you know that burning hydrocarbons produces CO2 and H2O at a minimum.

      The amount of combustion generated H2O is only of the order of gigatonnes, but in the case of CH4, for example, two molecules of O2 produce one molecule of CO2, and two molecules of H2O,

      Possibly irrelevant, but possibly not, of course.

      Just another ever changing variable input to a chaotic non linear system. All very tricky.

      Cheers.

      • Mike – Yes, I am aware of getting more H2O than CO2 from especially burning CH4. I was surprised to discover (in admittedly brief survey) that irrigation accounts for about 100 times as much WV as all fossil fuel use combined. Thermalization and the complete dominance of water vapor in reverse-thermalization explain why CO2 has no significant effect on climate. Terrestrial EMR absorbed by CO2 is effectively rerouted to space via water vapor. As a consequence, going to renewables won’t do diddly.

  36. Thank you hotscot and Mike Flynn. This post and insights following demonstrates the urgent need for the climate science community to collaborate and provide a single quantifiable “ROI” for all of these findings from both “sides.” (Challenging? Sure, but that’s one reason why you chose and specialized in your profession).

    One part of ROI is defined as follows: get past this decades-long politicized argument and provide accurate, meaningful and useful insight for humanity (that is agreed-upon and not quibbled with except to improve on it).

    The “argument” or “debate” is not quantifiable. All it demonstrates (from my perspective) is one of two things:

    1. We don’t know much about what is actually happening (big picture, in one clearly written statement of “x” number of pages, whatever “x” might be).

    2. We do know, but this “bickering” (which useful debate has been reduced to, for various reasons) back and forth is getting in the way of making that one clear statement and moving on to the “climate monitoring” stage. If we can’t move to that monitoring stage yet because of complexity, see #1.

    The words “denier” and”alarmist” are usually thrown around by people who in some fashion are insecure in their own opinions, findings, “facts,” “truths” etc… Name-calling in any fashion does not add credibility to your established findings. In the right context, name-calling actually discredits or obscures those findings (in varying proportions).

    We are all human beings, not alarmists or deniers … period. That is a fact.

  37. Dr. Curry ==》Absolutely Brilliant! Thank you.

  38. richardswarthout

    Truthiness and Factiness have taken over the global warming debate, IMHO, for two reasons:

    Reason 1 is that one side of the debate considers scientific truth and facts to be irrelevant, as illustrated by the following dialogue |

    willb01 | December 3, 2016 at 6:49 pm |
    Jim D, I don’t think it is unreasonable. The result is you now have a hypothesis leading to the conclusion that “manmade warming exceeds 100% of what we have”. A reasonable hypothesis is not a fact. You are still a long way from a fact.

    Jim D | December 3, 2016 at 6:53 pm |
    willb, there are a lot of other people who think it is reasonable enough to act on it, and just as unreasonable to ignore it. This is where the debate is.

    willb01 | December 3, 2016 at 7:12 pm |
    Jim D, people want to act on the hypothesis not because it is a fact and not even because it is likely to be true but because they are thinking of Pascal’s Wager: The hypothesis has not been dis-proven, therefore, better to be safe than sorry.

    * The dialogue continues with Jim D essentially agreeing with willb01.

    Reason 2 is the apparent disinterest of the public and resulting search for better communication regarding AGW. Communication research centers, communication theories and tactics have sprung up, resulting in ever changing headlines. First it was only about the demise of civilization, then the impending health and extreme weather risk, and a link between AGW and terrorism.

    The link between reasons 1&2 has been that better communications is needed to get the public on the side of action, action is needed because it is better to be safe than sorry, and scientific facts tend only to muddle the needed action.

    Richard

  39. I was always told that in science, an hypothesis is the proposition that an experiment is meant to test, to confirm or disconfirm. A theory is a coherent grouping of hypotheses which have withstood significant experimental testing, and that collectively explain a field of observations and accurately predicts new observations.

    So far in climate science, we have a vast number of conjectures that resist experimental design and therefore do not rise to the level of an hypothesis; we have a significant number of hypotheses that have withstood or failed experimental testing or result in highly ambiguous outcomes; we know something about some of the various influences on climate but we have nothing approaching a comprehensive theory of climate that has explanatory or predictive power.

    If climate models are supposed to represent our current state of the art in climate science, then all we can say is that AGW is questionable based on observations, and cAGW is “very unlikely”. More accurately, the climate models represent a false theory of climate: either elements of the true explanation are missing, or else the models include elements that are not real, or else the models mis-state the relative importance of various elements that are in the models.

    At this stage of inquiry, cAGW is still merely conjectural.

    • Hypothesis and theory are often synonymous. Experimental testing is often impossible when complex systems that can only be observed are concerned and many sciences fall into this domain. Astronomy, cosmology, geology and much of biology, plus the social sciences of course. Climate change is primarily environmental impact analysis of a grand scale so it is almost entirely observational.

      I agree with your assessment of the models, but that is largely a paradigm protection problem. The modelers choose not to explore the non-AGW possibilities. Their goal is utilitarian prediction, not scientific exploration. Possibilities get in the way.

    • Steven Mosher

      So you are saying the model prediction’s are disconfirmed by observations.

      Looks like science.

  40. The truth is, it’s snowing in Hawaii…

    Except for the south winds, this sounds like something you’d experience in, say, the Dakotas. ~weather.com

  41. For 20+ years climate science has been corrupted to serve the political ends of the left. With Trump is now threatening to defund this organised deceit of taxpayers at their own expense, the wail now does up that Trump might use use climate science to further political aims.
    Just have to admire the chutzpah. Really.

  42. Off topic her is a link to a paper addressing the problem we see with rcp8.5 being considered business as usual. If this is accepted eventually, there will be a need to redo a lot of work by those who used rcp8.5 for subsequent studies

    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41247-016-0013-9

  43. Climate Science = halt-Science

  44. This is the weekend and, this is my opportunity to connect with my children, far flung as they may be and, with an appreciation for Alexander Graham Bell’s invention currently a model of which is residing in Greenfield Village in Dearborn Michigan I communicated with these folks across a spectrum of interests.

    We discussed amongst other things, the fall-out of the recent November 8th election and through several different lenses, tried to discern the future. Alas, I report, a vision of the future is opaque. Indeed, none of my college educated children could see to January 20, let alone beyond.

    What was remarkable was the unison of a voice of uncertainty, unable to believe the content of the main stream media, nor find information sources one could trust for information.

    One of my children stated that the amazing confluence of the media’s spectacular error in selecting the winner of the election, might be found in the narrowness of ownership of media and the espousing by that ownership of a specific agenda. Not only was Hillary the anointed one by the Democratic party from so many years before, she was also the one selected by media moguls who seem to direct US policy for home and abroad. The “Fourth Estate”, an unelected but carefully followed source of information for many, controlled the narrative and its content.

    I am reminded of the similarities between the command and control of climate science output with the same command and control of candidate selection such that I am wondering, out loud of course: is the social movement towards global control of resources and social welfare are they in the same hands of people who also control the information sources we use daily? In this case, true and falseness are subject to the interpretation by a few who only want the best for all of us, we learn only by inference. I wonder if truth has any currency today? Certainly, as demonstrated by climate science and most recently by main stream media, truth is malleable. Beat it with a hammer hard enough, and lo, we find the shape one is looking for.

    To me at least, the trial of the century is not whether man has evolved from the apes, rather, has humanity descended to the depths of Joseph Goebbels.

    • Great comment. And yes, they are in the same hands. Not all, but one doesn’t need all. Just enough with influence and/ir a perceived gravitas.

      • Eventially the gravitas of the facts will rule the day. (in much the same way that the global cooling scare back in the 70s went away)…

  45. Harry Twinotter

    Dr Curry.

    “The assertion that nearly all or most of the warming since 1950 has been caused by humans is disputed by many scientists, in spite of the highly confident consensus statement by the IPCC.”

    You are doing it again, making extraordinary claims. And your evidence to back up the extraordinary claim is…

    • Harry Twinotter,

      I’d chip in, but I know you have access to the Wide World of the Web.

      What is extraordinary about Dr Curry’s statement? Are you making the extraordinary claim that a statement of easily verifiable fact (assuming that many is a number equivalent to three or more, and that scientist includes the class of people who assert they are scientists, or do not demur if others refer to them as such), is indeed extraordinary?

      How extraordinary!

      I know I’m doing it again, so feel free to take as much offence as you can carry. It’s my pleasure to help out.

      Cheers.

    • “Taken together, these four skeptical groups numerically blow away the 36 percent of scientists who believe global warming is human caused and a serious concern.”
      http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamestaylor/2013/02/13/peer-reviewed-survey-finds-majority-of-scientists-skeptical-of-global-warming-crisis/#240bee8b171b
      I IPCC reached its banner statement on how much human caused using expert assessment.

      “The near consensus of the experts on detection of climate change and attribution to greenhouse gases rests on the evidence of change in global mean surface air temperature.”

      Rests on the evidence of change in global mean surface air temperature.
      What’s your evidence?
      The temperature changed. CO2 is supposed to do that.
      What about the Oceans?
      Noise.
      Clouds?
      CO2 makes clouds warm the earth more.
      That Little Ice Age thing?
      A myth.
      Vikings in Greenland?
      Myth.
      Sum it up.
      The temperature went up. We caused it.

      • Harry Twinotter

        Ragnaar.

        I usually do not bother to respond to Gish Gallops, they are a waste of time. But I will bite this time.

        36 percent of “scientists” hey? Pity you did not actually read the article. It says:

        “Only 36 percent of geoscientists and engineers believe that humans are creating a global warming crisis…”

        I am not aware of anyone credible calling the LIA a myth. The cooling event is visible in temperature reconstructions. Either way, my response is “so what”.

        Vikings in Greenland. Again, I am not aware of anyone credible calling Vikings in Greenland a myth. There were Vikings, and the colony failed. The Inuit natives had lived there for thousands of years.

  46. Harry Twinotter

    “Ignoring science (Trump) does not qualify him for ‘anti-science’.”

    Blimey! Another absolute clanger. “Ignoring” science does not make someone anti-science – really? You are arguing like a Creationist here!

  47. Speaking of “Factiness” & “Truthiness”:

    Facts are to the truth as are toothpicks to a tree. It’s much easier to derive toothpicks from a tree than to derive a tree from toothpicks.

    In one quote, Plato values truth in the highest. The more general the truth, the more he valued it.

    Oscar Wilde counters with “No generalization is worth a damn – including this one!”

    Climatology is stuck in the realm of “factiness” at the moment. It is awash in facts, but nobody has as yet found the key to organizing those facts so as to point to a useful predictive model, beyond a few days (as best I know).

    That “Key”, that “truth”, probably won’t be assembled from the facts – it will be a leap beyond them – an epiphany, going on revelation.

    Out of that will come the simple statements that make it all so clear.

    Till then, expect a crescendo of cacophony, accompanied by the self-seeking opportunistic bureaucrats and their usual bureaucratic mayhem.

  48. Suggesting there’s an element of ‘truthiness’ and ‘factiness’ that we don’t really know what the new administration brings: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/308744-ivanka-trump-to-meet-with-al-gore

  49. JC: “Truthiness and factiness abounds in the climate science debate, and the greatest proponents of truthiness and factiness are the climate ‘alarmed’ – their opponents are mostly calling b.s. on their truthiness and factiness.”

    So true.

    I found a link to an article from the following tweet, I perused the article curious as to why several climate scientists were patting themselves on the back: https://twitter.com/dana1981/status/804802247708344321

    The article:

    “Truth vs post-truth: What’s causing our record-shattering global temperatures?” http://thebulletin.org/truth-vs-post-truth-what’s-causing-our-record-shattering-global-temperatures10241#.WEHp17qOdAU.twitter

    These select paragraphs caught my eye:

    “As any climate scientist will gladly explain, it’s true that El Niño events cause temperatures at the Earth’s surface and especially in its lower atmosphere to warm in the short-term, while La Niña events have a temporary cooling influence. However, it’s folly to blame the past three years of record-shatteringly hot global temperatures exclusively on El Niño, as David Rose and company have done.”

    “It’s quite simple to demonstrate why this is true. While we saw a strong El Niño event in 2015–2016, there was an equally strong event in 1997–1998. The two events had very similar short-term warming influences on global surface temperatures, but according to NASA, 2016 will be about 0.35°C hotter than 1998. That difference is due to the long-term, human-caused global warming trend. Short-term fluctuations are just noise superimposed on that long-term trend. It’s also worth noting that in NASA’s global surface temperature data, there was no precipitous drop in October 2016. That argument only works when cherry picking the most convenient set of data, over just a portion of the Earth, in the atmosphere above its surface. They’ve picked cherries upon cherries upon cherries.”

    So, granted I’m not a climate scientist, but the evidence they were touting appeared to arrive at a preposterous conclusion, so I questioned them in the tweet thread, no reply. My question here would be the same. Does science know everything about the mechanisms behind El Niño’s to conclude that the 97-98 El Niño is “identical” to todays? In other words, just because there’s a 0.35°C higher difference in temperature between the current El Niño and the 97-98, this is supposed to prove AGW? Or, alternatively, is it possible that the 97-98 El Niño simply wasn’t as strong as the current one?

  50. DiCaprio:
    “We must empower leaders who not only believe in climate change but are willing to do something about it,” he said. “The scientific consensus is in, and the argument is now over. If you do not believe in climate change, you do not believe in facts, or in science, or empirical truths, and therefore, in my humble opinion, should not be allowed to hold public office.”

    “When he gave Ivanka Trump a copy of his documentary, DiCaprio also sat down with her to have a private discussion about climate change.”
    Still a political football. He backed the wrong horse. Shows up a month later and makes nice.

  51. A few thoughts on truth and facts. Classically, in philosophy truth is the correspondence between a thought (statement of belief or judgment) and reality independent of the thinker. This presumes one accepts that reality is objective, not merely an extension of one’s consciousness, individual or social. Facts are then portions of reality that correspond to a truth. Conversely, facts can falsify a claim of truth. A fact is therefore something that exists, that can be veirfied and replicated.

    There are those among us who are idealists, or anti-realists, who contend there is no such objective reality, that all is an intellectual construct. For these people, the physical sciences are a form of intellectual invention, the narrative is all, and consensus determines the truth. In their context, facts are simply arguments in support of the narrative.

    Much of the confusion comes from what I call the “Revenge of the Humanities”, those seeking to undermine scientific credibility by denying objective reality and making up things that sound “truthy” or “factual”.

    • Steven Mosher

      That’s right blame the humanities..

      Oh wait here is what philosophy says

      http://www.ditext.com/quine/quine.html

      “Modern empiricism has been conditioned in large part by two dogmas. One is a belief in some fundamental cleavage between truths which are analytic, or grounded in meanings independently of matters of fact and truths which are synthetic, or grounded in fact. The other dogma is reductionism: the belief that each meaningful statement is equivalent to some logical construct upon terms which refer to immediate experience. Both dogmas, I shall argue, are ill founded. One effect of abandoning them is, as we shall see, a blurring of the supposed boundary between speculative metaphysics and natural science. Another effect is a shift toward pragmatism.”

      The totality of our so-called knowledge or beliefs, from the most casual matters of geography and history to the profoundest laws of atomic physics or even of pure mathematics and logic, is a man-made fabric which impinges on experience only along the edges. Or, to change the figure, total science is like a field of force whose boundary conditions are experience. A conflict with experience at the periphery occasions readjustments in the interior of the field. Truth values have to be redistributed over some of our statements. Re-evaluation of some statements entails re-evaluation of others, because of their logical interconnections — the logical laws being in turn simply certain further statements of the system, certain further elements of the field. Having re-evaluated one statement we must re-evaluate some others, whether they be statements logically connected with the first or whether they be the statements of logical connections themselves. But the total field is so undetermined by its boundary conditions, experience, that there is much latitude of choice as to what statements to re-evaluate in the light of any single contrary experience. No particular experiences are linked with any particular statements in the interior of the field, except indirectly through considerations of equilibrium affecting the field as a whole.

      If this view is right, it is misleading to speak of the empirical content of an individual statement — especially if it be a statement at all remote from the experiential periphery of the field. Furthermore it becomes folly to seek a boundary between synthetic statements, which hold contingently on experience, and analytic statements which hold come what may. Any statement can be held true come what may, if we make drastic enough adjustments elsewhere in the system. Even a statement very close to the periphery can be held true in the face of recalcitrant experience by pleading hallucination or by amending certain statements of the kind called logical laws. Conversely, by the same token, no statement is immune to revision. Revision even of the logical law of the excluded middle has been proposed as a means of simplifying quantum mechanics; and what difference is there in principle between such a shift and the shift whereby Kepler superseded Ptolemy, or Einstein Newton, or Darwin Aristotle?

      For vividness I have been speaking in terms of varying distances from a sensory periphery. Let me try now to clarify this notion without metaphor. Certain statements, though about physical objects and not sense experience, seem peculiarly germane to sense experience — and in a selective way: some statements to some experiences, others to others. Such statements, especially germane to particular experiences, I picture as near the periphery. But in this relation of “germaneness” I envisage nothing more than a loose association reflecting the relative likelihood, in practice, of our choosing one statement rather than another for revision in the event of recalcitrant experience. For example, we can imagine recalcitrant experiences to which we would surely be inclined to accommodate our system by re-evaluating just the statement that there are brick houses on Elm Street, together with related statements on the same topic. We can imagine other recalcitrant experiences to which we would be inclined to accommodate our system by re-evaluating just the statement that there are no centaurs, along with kindred statements. A recalcitrant experience can, I have already urged, bc accommodated by any of various alternative re-evaluations in various alternative quarters of the total system; but, in the cases which we are now imagining, our natural tendency to disturb the total system as little as possible would lead us to focus our revisions upon these specific statements concerning brick houses or centaurs. These statements are felt, therefore, to have a sharper empirical reference than highly theoretical statements of physics or logic or ontology. The latter statements may be thought of as relatively centrally located within the total network, meaning merely that little preferential connection with any particular sense data obtrudes itself.

      As an empiricist I continue to think of the conceptual scheme of science as a tool, ultimately, for predicting future experience in the light of past experience. Physical objects are conceptually imported into the situation as convenient intermediaries — not by definition in terms of experience, but simply as irreducible posits18b comparable, epistemologically, to the gods of Homer. Let me interject that for my part I do, qua lay physicist, believe in physical objects and not in Homer’s gods; and I consider it a scientific error to believe otherwise. But in point of epistemological footing the physical objects and the gods differ only in degree and not in kind. Both sorts of entities enter our conception only as cultural posits. The myth of physical objects is epistemologically superior to most in that it has proved more efficacious than other myths as a device for working a manageable structure into the flux of experience.”

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

      • SM, read chapter 1 of The Arts of Truth. A better exegesis than than yours. Plus footnotes. Plus nuances and analogies. You think nobody but you read philosophy plus philosophy of law ( actually a closely related inquiry into the nature of ‘truth’)?

      • Curious George

        Beautiful. There must be people writing this bunk, and there might be people reading it.

      • If you don’t read the bunk (words on a page) how ya gonna know its bunk?

      • JPZ ,you might try reading the book before issuing your judgement.

      • Ris,

        What makes you think I didn’t and what makes you think my judgment was about the book? Read harder.

      • Rud,

        Since you seemingly have no interest in acknowledging you misinterpreted my comment as a justification to get all judgmental, let me clear up the confusion.

        My comment was directed at CG, the judgment I was passing was not so much on CG as it was on his seeming dismissal of what I assumed to be Mosher’s link of Willard Van Orman Quine’s paper; Two Dogmas of Empiricism.

        Of all the assumptions I made in order to justify my own judginess, the one I am most proud of is the judginess on dismissal of words not read. Get it? How richly ironic then your judginess is more of the same only directed at me, the guy who was – in truth encouraging CG to read Two Dogma’s before dismissing it – defending your right to be read before being dismissed as bunk.

        Full disclosure; my question to you asking you what makes you so sure I had not read (the book) should not be inferred to mean I have read your book. I have read Quine’s paper, and in fact was re-reading…well, skimming through it when apparently you were passing your judgement. I am happy to read your book, it looks interesting, but at this point I ain’t gonna shell out money for it. If you want to send me a copy I will happily read it.

    • Tony Banton,

      Most people accept that making accurate predictions is difficult, particularly where the future is concerned.

      What point are you trying to make? Do you not change your opinion when new facts emerge, or just live in denial?

      That doesn’t seem rational to me, but maybe GHE enthusiasts are not the most rational of people.

      If your point is that climate changes, what new information are you trying to impart? Do you deny that climate is the average of weather, and that weather changes from day to day, even moment to moment?

      Oh well, I suppose it suits some people to wallow in fear and self loathing. I don’t need cheering up, but thanks for your attempt anyway.

      Cheers.

  52. Human caused global warming is s theory. Is it? Now human evolution is a theory because it has stood the test of time. All the observationally work has shown it to be true and nothing has proven it false. It has been two centuries of scientific work. Human caused global warming is only 50 years old. Also the observational data going back millions of years in different epochs is fairly weak at this point. How does AGW rank theory while it being dangerous ranks hypothesis? I honestly don’t understand?

    • To be more clear AGW is a relationship between CO2 and temperature. I understand that when you warm it up CO2 is released into the atmosphere is coke in fridge vs out in the sun. My understanding is that CO2 usually lags warm temperature. That’s why I bring up millennial data weakness. Has AGW stood the test of time

      • richardswarthout

        The other millennial weakness is the MWP. Proof that climate does not require the burning of fossil fuels to achieve high surface temperatures.

      • Harry Twinotter

        “My understanding is that CO2 usually lags warm temperature”

        Your understanding is wrong.

    • “The other millennial weakness is the MWP. Proof that climate does not require the burning of fossil fuels to achieve high surface temperatures”.

      I’m sorry but this is yet another example (one other is the hypocrisy in “believing” in the trop temp sat data because the surface data is “adjusted”) of double standards.
      You no doubt dismiss the “Hockey-stick” graph?
      Because the proxies are blah, blah.
      Yet they are OK to convince you the MWP existed.
      It did BTW, but there is no convincing evidence that it did contemporaneously globally.
      There are climate trends such as the NAO that can drive a period of milder weather across the N Atlantic and Europe, that set a FB up with ocean currents/SST’s.
      Never mind.
      It’s something that has a pride of place in the BBCM
      (Big Book of Climate Myths).
      Never to be expunged whatever the observational evidence.

      • richardswarthout

        Tony Banton

        Proxie data is an unreliable record of temperature; relies on full knowledge of all that might have influenced the proxie sample, unknown unknowns. Better than proxies are the historical records; agricultural, navigational, social/cultural. Sufficient records with verification, throughout England, Europe, and Asia. The records leave no doubt of the MWP and LIA.

        Richard

      • richardswarthout

        Tony Banton

        Your perceived ability to know what others think, and why they think it, is terribly flawed. Alas, your double standard prognostication regarding the MWP not only missed the bullseye, it missed the target. It hit corn in the neighbor’s field; called a corny shot by the locals.

        And, I might add, there is also NO double standard regarding SAT v. Thermometer readings. Here is what Roy Spencer has said: “…all measurements systems have errors (especially for climate trends), and researchers differ in their views of what kinds of errors exist, and how they should be corrected. As pointed out by Santer et al., it is with great difficulty that our present weather measurement systems (thermometers, weather balloons, and satellites) are forced to measure miniscule climate trends.”

        Richard

      • “Your perceived ability to know what others think, and why they think it, is terribly flawed. Alas, your double standard prognostication regarding the MWP not only missed the bullseye, it missed the target. It hit corn in the neighbor’s field; called a corny shot by the locals.”

        That appears to be the view of *sceptics* Richard.
        That does not make you correct however, no matter many times you or anyone else on here or in the Blogosphere hand-wave some squirrel or other to keep the tiniest morsel of doubt alive.
        The science says otherwise and as someone trained in it and who was a professional meteorologist, I know where my observation leads.
        Thanks all the same.

        “Better than proxies are the historical records; agricultural, navigational, social/cultural. Sufficient records with verification, throughout England, Europe, and Asia. The records leave no doubt of the MWP and LIA.:

        So you are saying that indigenous peoples and wayfarers over a 1000 years ago, wrote down enough detail of the weather (must include temps?) to scientifically convince?
        Monk’s scribblings?

        Sorry. No.
        I can neither find or know of any written evidence, certainly that would be of sufficient density given the time period to say anything one way or another.
        For the MWP it’s proxies or nothing.
        And I say again, were they at the same time, not shifted a few decades?
        That is what the evidence suggests.

        https://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/070.htm
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_Warm_Period

        The LIA is different.
        Yes the Sun was weak at that time, but, crucially there were many volcanic events that dispersed aerosol into the stratosphere.
        A weak sun favours winter Arctic plunges over Europe and the E US.

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

        During a period of the last ~50 years we have had a steadily weakening TSI.
        During that time we have also had an accelerating OHC.
        Leaving aside ice factors.
        Nothing matches the correlation and causation physics remotely close to that of a GHG driven forcing.

        And if you can take the tropospheric sat data as flawed then fine.
        I was referring to many of the *sceptics* I have encountered not presuming yourself.
        It is actually very flawed.
        Any homogenisation of the the surface record makes not a jot of difference to the global record.
        Look at previous threads regarding the disconnect in 98 when the MSU sensor changed to the AMSU aboard NOAA 15.
        In UAH we are up to V6.0 (beta5).
        In RSS up to V4.0 and onto TTT having ditchd TLT.

        In no way is it the “Gold standard” (our host).

      • richardswarthout

        Tony Banton

        Perhaps, before spouting off about your credentials, you should put forth more effort in reading comprehension.

        “I can neither find or know of any written evidence, certainly that would be of sufficient density given the time period to say anything one way or another.”. Hint: The evidence can’t be found where the sun don’t shine.

        Richard

      • Tony Banton,

        When the Earth was first created, do you assume it was molten throughout, absolute zero throughout, or something else?

        I assume it was molten throughout, surface and all.

        I am prepared to state my assumption, and I believe I can defend that assumption.

        I have an open mind on the subject, however. I am quite willing to consider your assumption.

        Foolish Warmists complain about my assumption, without giving any reason why. I assume you’ll avoid stating your assumption if it’s different from mine, because it will seem pretty delusional when you try to defend it.

        If you accept mine, you know it will inevitably lead to all the Foolish Warmist attempts to deny, divert and obscure being exposed for the faith based unscientific nonsense that they are.

        Just one basic assumption – molten, absolute zero, or some quantifiable measure in between? 255 K, perhaps at the moment of creation?

        Cheers,

  53. We are human beings and (even as scientists) susceptible to all manner of methods of persuasion.

    For very entertaining discussions of persuasion from the point of view of cartoonist and astute observer Scott Adams, see

    http://blog.dilbert.com/post/154082416051/the-non-expert-problem-and-climate-change-science

    This particular blog posts describes his take, as an ordinary citizen, on the climate science questions. It is worth a read.

  54. Marshall Islands climate refugees. Factiness, truthiness, or wishful thinking?

    “Jetnil-Kijiner says it’s presumptuous to assume that the islands are doomed. “It’s frustrating because [journalists] are looking for this sensational story of people fleeing islands that are becoming remote and empty,” she says, adding that not all Marshallese have accepted the role of climate refugees.

    According to Jetnil-Kijiner, Marshallese migration is essentially the same as in other parts of the world – the search for new opportunities, a better way of life or the desire to be near family.”

    Cheers.

  55. Who would know better about ‘truthiness’ and ‘factiness’ than Dr. Curry herself? Btw a ‘theory’ is a well-model with high consilience. I’m glad Dr. Curry acknowledges that AGW has theory status. Too bad her frothing followers here often don’t. Maybe she should educate them better.

    • richardswarthout

      Wikipedia: “in science consilience refers to the principle that evidence from independent unrelated sources can converge to strong conclusions”. The IPCC process is one of powerful lead authors, with conclusions converging on the beliefs of those authors. The IPCC conclusion of AGW cannot claim to be the child consilience. More accurately, it is the result of inbreeding.

      Richard

  56. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #251 | Watts Up With That?

  57. Pingback: Truthiness and factiness | DON AITKIN

  58. It is also worth discussing how different sometimes are the verbatim words used by a politician, and the context those words were placed in; and the usually strident, emotion-raising moral strictures printed/put online by the media and modern bloggers.

    In particular, it is wise to assume until proven otherwise, that any headline is a misrepresentation of the original speaker’s intentions.

    This is particularly true in tribal, bipartisan societies where the ‘right wing’ media will trash anything s left wing politician says and vice verses with left wing media and right wing politician.

    A study of the 2010-2016 UK political scene will see Jeremy Corbyn’s every word trashed, usually using ad hominem personal attacks (including suggesting that Corbyn having had consensual sex in his 20s with another member of the Labour Party was more disgusting than allegations that the former PM David Cameron had had sexual frissons in the mouth of a dead pig) by the dominating right and far right Press; whilst The Guardian, prior to its recent descent into neocon drivel, retaining its firebrand metrosexual left wing liberal stance by pretty much dehumanising anything that any Conservative might say about anything, particularly Michael Gove’s honourable attempts to introduce reform to a union-dominated state education system.

    As a result, I would limit anti-science allegations to instances where you have live, unedited video footage of the speech as well as detailed analysis of the General levels of education of the audience.

    You will not get too far discussing multivariate statistics with blue collar workers, any more than me discussing the precise technical details of how to create biological weapons factories would be with climatologists (at least not without eliminating jargon).

    Where anti science can be discussed profitably: the refusal of GMO companies to allow disinterested parties to design trials (since Monsanto’s goal of trials is always to get product approval, not evaluate dispassionately); the assumption of scientists test drugs have better outcomes than human love/empathy, particularly where anti-depressants are concerned; that climatologists learn to distinguish between the terms ‘in history’ and ‘in the last 400 years’; etc.

    Most of all, all honest people should remember that the only scientists who are truly dispassionate are those whose livelihood is not threatened by geing so. Scientists sing for their supper and many will sing for the audience for a fee.

  59. Pingback: ‘Truthiness’ and ‘factiness’ in politicized scientific debates — Climate Etc. – Vishal Raveesh

  60. “That’s — that’s before God said let there be light. That’s absolute chaos. And that scares me, the idea that facts don’t exist anymore is actually scary to me, whereas if there are no facts anymore, then there is nothing to agree upon and so we can’t agree. You can’t build anything.”

    ~Stephen Colbert on Face the Nation 12-25-2016~

    “So, the wishful thinking component of truthiness might not require that I know that the facts *are* indeed facts yet choose to ignore them anyway. Colbert’s out-of-character addition, then, really boils back down to Stephen’s in-character definition. I choose which facts I want to recognize as facts, based on my own experience and perspective, with the slight addition that I am often guided by what I want to be the case.”

    ~Matthew Pierlott – Truth, Truthiness and Bull**** For the American Voter Chapter 6 of Stephen Colbert: I am Philosophy (and So Can You!) edited by Aaron Allen Schiller

    “Stephen Colbert wrong that Paul Ryan killed the House cameras in response to the Democratic sit-in”

    ~Politifact – 6-27-2016~