What is red teaming?

by Judith Curry

Last week, Scott Pruitt, EPA Administrator, stated he intended to form a ‘red team’ to debate climate science.  What exactly is ‘red teaming’, and how can this be implemented in a way that is useful for climate science and for policy makers?

Reactions to proposed climate red team

Some analyses of Pruitt’s proposal from the media:

Arguably the most interesting article on this comes from Joseph Majkut of the Niskanen Center:  Can a Red Team Exorcise the Climate Debate? Excerpts:

On the contrary, both climate scientists and advocates should see opportunity in a red team exercise. A properly-done red team exercise could both elevate the status of climate science in the Trump administration and among Republicans, and reset how we approach climate science as a nation.

Many climate skeptics suspect that the climate science community is caught up in political conformity that leans toward alarmism, and that alternative ideas about the causes and risks of climate change cannot break through peer review. Red teaming is designed to address such a situation. As Micah Zenko writes in his authoritative book Red Team: in institutions that are supposed to police themselves through internal processes, like the scientific community with peer-review, “even longtime analysts are susceptible to adopting the assumptions and biases of the institutions and subjects they are supposed to be objectively studying.” Whether climate science is caught in such a morass or not, many people in power think that it is. We have to find a way to unstick that belief if the climate debate is to move forward. A red team exercise is a fine way to do it. 

The strongest red team exercises have buy-in from all parties and give the red team resources to perform original analysis along a set of critical questions. They also ensure that the team has the right mixture of expertise so that its results will be considered credible to the institution they are looking to influence (in this case, climate science). Lastly, they give the red team sufficient independence to come to original and creative conclusions.

What is red teaming?

There are many pitfalls in  establishing and conducting a successful and useful red team exercise.  To avoid these pitfalls, the relevant policy makers, potential scientist participants, and journalists should have an open discussion on the objectives and guidelines.  And not to mention actually learn something from experts on red teaming.

There is an authoritative book on this topic by Micah Zenko entitled Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy.  I haven’t read it yet, but I just purchased it.

Text from an amazon.com review:  In reading this book an aspect of the subject which really stood out to me was that no matter your position of authority or social status, humility and critical thinking often go hand in hand, and that pride and its companion arrogance are often rewarded by a special kind of blindness.

A very interesting and useful online resource for red teaming is provided by the Red Team Journal. Red Team Journal was founded in 1997 to promote the practice of red teaming, alternative analysis, and wargaming. The site has influenced a generation of red teamers to think systematically and creatively about their assumptions, challenges, adversaries, and competitors.

Excerpts from the Red Team Journal About page:

Defined loosely, red teaming is the practice of viewing a problem from an adversary or competitor’s perspective. The goal of most red teams is to enhance decision making, either by specifying the adversary’s preferences and strategies or by simply acting as a devil’s advocate. 

Alternative analysis is the superclass of techniques of which red teaming may be considered a member. As with red teaming, these techniques are designed to help debias thinking, enhance decision making, and avoid surprise. According to Fishbein and Treverton, “alternative analysis seeks to help analysts and policy-makers stretch their thinking through structured techniques that challenge underlying assumptions and broaden the range of possible outcomes considered.” They further clarify the term by specifying that “Alternative analysis includes techniques to challenge analytic assumptions (e.g. ‘devil’s advocacy’), and those to expand the range of possible outcomes considered (e.g. ‘what-if analysis,’ and ‘alternative scenarios’).”

As one would expect, the quality of the output hinges inter alia on the quality and experience of the team, the team’s approach and toolset, and the overall context of the effort. An overconfident or culturally biased analyst or team will not benefit as much from these approaches as might an analyst or team that employs “actively open-minded thinking.”

Excerpts from Red teaming: a balanced view:

Clearly, not every red team is created equal. Superior red teams, for example, tend to

  • View the problem of interest from a systems perspective;
  • Shed the cultural biases of the decision maker and, as appropriate, adopt the cultural perspective of the adversary or competitor;
  • Employ a multidisciplinary range of skills, talents, and methods;
  • Understand how things work in the real world;
  • Avoid absolute and objective explanations of behaviors, preferences, and events;
  • Question everything (to include both their clients and themselves); and
  • Break the “rules.”

One can argue that the best red teamers are born, not trained. It seems that some people have an instinctive ability to red team, while others—despite extensive training—can never escape the secure but confining pen of convention. In fact, this is perhaps the key characteristic of the inferior red team: an inability or unwillingness to color outside the lines. Inferior red teams also tend to

  • Accept without question the client’s description of the problem;
  • Embrace the biases inherent in their own values and culture;
  • Adopt the first or most easily discerned answer;
  • Defer to reputation and status; and
  • Know it all.

The members of an inferior red team might include deferential technocrats and self-important experts.

Resistance. Not every decision maker wants a red team (or at least a candid red team). A red team can undermine a decision maker’s preferred strategies or call into question his or her choices, policies, and intentions. It takes a decision maker of solid integrity to sponsor, empower, and manage a superior red team. That said, a thoughtful decision maker also balances the costs and benefits of red teaming with the costs and benefits of advocacy, compromise, and consensus building. It is also important to note that not all resistance is harmful; it can represent valid interests, concerns, and risks of which the red team is simply unaware.

To Red Team or Not to Red Team. Nearly everyone can benefit from some form or degree of red teaming. Whether the “red team” is a highly structured, formal unit or a self-appointed devil’s advocate, almost every idea, concept, design, or plan benefits from healthy opposition and testing. Too much red teaming, however, can be as harmful as too little. No one wants a relentless contrarian gumming up every phase of a project. It won’t take long, in fact, for everyone to dismiss the contrarian as an annoyance.

Decision makers must be careful to apply red teaming judiciously. Among other factors, timing is especially important. Establishing a red team too early can lead to aimless dithering; establishing it too late can trigger fierce (and justifiable) resistance. Even so, the adage “better late than never” sometimes applies. (If one adage always applies to red teaming, it is “one size [doesn’t] fit all.”)

It is also important to consider and value the perspective of all client stakeholders. Not every problem has a distinct boundary delineated by a single, unbiased point of view. Often the overriding characteristic of a complex problem is the unclear, contradictory, and confusing tangle of relationships and concerns among the various stakeholders. The broader the problem, the greater the challenge. Indeed, this may explain why national-level initiatives rarely experience honest red teaming. Red teams must avoid serving as a shill for a single stakeholder when red teaming complex problems of this sort.

In short, the decision when and how to red team can be a surprisingly complex one. Dropping a red team into a highly charged political situation can undermine trust and erode hard-won consensus. Similarly, red teaming a decision during implementation can raise more questions than it answers, sabotage morale, and cause a decision maker to second-guess sound choices unnecessarily. On the other hand, aiming a seasoned red team at a problem or system at the right time with the proper mandate can steer a decision maker away from an otherwise pending catastrophe.

From Red teaming laws:

Red teaming is governed by informal and wholly unscientific laws based largely on human nature.   Sample laws selected by JC:

Red Teaming Law #1: The more powerful the stakeholders, the more at stake, the less interest in red teaming. This law trumps all other laws. 

Red Teaming Law #2: Skeptics make the best red teamers, especially when they’re skeptical of red teaming. 

Red Teaming Law #6: You don’t want a red team you can leash.

Red Teaming Law #7: If you’re apprehensive about red teaming, it probably means you need it. 

Red Teaming Law #9: Red teaming is not forecasting; red teaming is the art of challenging assumptions and exploring the possible.

Red Teaming Law #10: The inferior red teamer defers to reputation and status. The superior red teamer pokes arrogance in the eye. 

Red Teaming Law #12: What your customers won’t let you challenge sometimes points directly at their most critical vulnerability.

Red Teaming Law #17: The superior red teamer learns how things work in the real world, not just how they work on a diagram or presentation slide. 

Red Teaming Law #20: If you defeat the red team, you still have to defeat the enemy. 

Red Teaming Law #22: Unexpected surprise is what happens while you’re waiting for the expected surprise. Think tanks and pundits specialize in expected surprise.

Red Teaming Law #24: Tell the red team what you want, and it’ll confirm what you know. Tell the red team what the adversary wants, and it’ll uncover what you don’t want to know (but should). Good red teaming tastes more like medicine than candy. 

Red Teaming Law #25: The goal of a red team usually isn’t to find a needle in the haystack, it’s to help you see the haystack. 

Red Teaming Law #26: Never regard your adversary with contempt. The superiority you feel is not worth the surprise that invariably follows. 

Red Teaming Law #29: Your adversary is never completely wrong, and you are never more than partly right

Red Teaming Law #31: A red team without a blue team is like a blue team without a red. Blue and red represent a reciprocal system of perceptions; one should not be considered without the other. 

Red Teaming Law #34: In many ways, the art of red teaming is actually the art of asking the right questions, from the right perspective, at the right time. 

Red Teaming Law #35: Behind every successful red team stands a leader who will not bend to whim, coercion, or fear. We need this sort of leader as much as we need superior red teamers. 

Red Teaming Law #38: The status quo sticks like glue to assumptions, plans, and strategies. A good red team is a powerful solvent. 

Red Teaming Law #47: The apprentice red teamer asserts knowledge. The journeyman red teamer applies knowledge. The master red teamer asks questions. 

From Red Teaming: Feel the Power:

Perhaps because of this we tend to view red teams as neutral, unbiased, and inherently independent. Seldom is this so. First, no red team is free of its own biases. Second, no red team is ever hired or implemented by a customer who is free of his or her own biases. These biases intermingle to taint the effort. Sometimes the effect is minimal, and sometimes it’s significant; rarely is it acknowledged. Third, red teaming is usually avoided entirely when the “powers that be” don’t want an idea, plan, or system challenged, particularly when it took a tremendous amount of effort to build the coalition that supports the idea. This is the basis of RTJ Red Teaming Law #1 (“Jaunty Man”): “The more powerful the stakeholders, the more at stake, the less interest in red teaming.” 


Steve Koonin’s op-ed proposed that the red team critique the IPCC WG1 report, with a back-and-forth rebuttal with the blue team.  Joseph Majkut criticized this approach:

If the review is simply a back and forth, as has been suggested by Steve Koonin, there is little chance that the process will have the buy-in of the science community and the administration, and it would risk looking like a kangaroo court to the public (or the 21st century version of the Scope’s Monkey Trial).  

While I don’t really agree with Majkut here, I do think the red team needs to go ‘outside the box’ of merely critiquing  the IPCC Report.  The naive view of a consensus based on incontrovertible evidence is . . . naive. As I wrote in a previous post:

The disagreement is not so much about observational evidence, but rather about the epistemic status of climate models, the logics used to link the observational evidence into arguments, the overall framing of the problem and overconfident conclusions in the face of incomplete evidence and understanding.  The ‘multiple lines of evidence’ argument simply doesn’t work for a very complex problem, and there are multiple lines of evidence that lead to alternative conclusions.  

Why do scientists disagree about climate change?

  • Insufficient and inadequate  observational evidence
  • Disagreement about the value of different classes of evidence (e.g. global climate models)
  • Disagreement about the appropriate logical framework for linking and assessing the evidence
  • Assessments of areas of ambiguity & ignorance
  • Belief polarization as a result of politicization of the science

IMO, the greatest rationale for a climate ‘red team’ is to overcome the framing bias on the whole issue of climate change (broadly defined) that was triggered by the UNFCCC treaty to avoid dangerous human caused climate change, which defined the mandate for the IPCC (and hence the rationale and funding for government spending on climate science).  I will have more to say on the ‘framing’ issue in a subsequent post.

What is needed is clarification of objectives and concerns from the Trump administration, the administrative framework for the exercise including selection of team members, and then the red team itself needs to decide how to frame the problem and their approach.

Steve Koonin proposed to look at the fundamental science aspects of climate change (as per IPCC WG1).  I think there is much ‘meat’ in WG1 for debate and a red team approach.  A more fruitful topic for a red team approach might be climate change impacts (the topic of WG2).  The policy responses (climate change, extreme weather, energy, water) might be very good targets for a red team approach, and could provide additional policy options for consideration.

Who’s red and who’s blue?

If this red team exercise had been conducted under the Obama administration, it would be very clear who is ‘red’ and who is ‘blue’.  Obama and his administration slagged off on anyone with a different perspective as a ‘denier,’  hence a red team would have been antithetical to Obama’s strategy on this issue.

Now  the Trump administrate is challenging the established perspective of Obama and the UNFCCC/IPCC. Red is the new blue. The good news is that red teaming on this issue is needed (something that would have been impossible under the Obama administration.)   However, the risk is that the over enthusiasm of the Trump administration for overthrowing pretty much everything from the Obama administration and the UNFCCC/IPCC will bias the proceedings and diminish the legitimacy of the outcome in influencing the national dialogue on this topic.  This means that the blue team needs to serve as a ‘red team’ on the red team.

There are some special challenges for the blue team — arrogance and appeals to authority won’t work here.  See above for characteristics of inferior red teams.

So what’s next?

A number of reporters have asked this, but I have heard nothing from anyone in the Trump administration on this issue.  So I have no inside information on any of this.

It seems that there is a lot of interest in this topic from journalists and in the twitosphere (not to mention apparently growing interest in the Trump administration).

I will be writing a series of blog posts on this issue, that will hopefully stimulate some thinking on how to approach this in a constructive way.  Next up will be a post on framing the red team effort.





330 responses to “What is red teaming?

  1. A Red Team that is free to find a correct result will only find one: it’s worse than they thought. The IPCC is hopelessly conservative, which is why Luckwarmers and other political types love to quote the IPCC.

    • Read laws 26 and 29

      • Curious George

        It is time for someone to find a correct result.

      • russellseitz

        Asking Pruitt to convene a climate change Red Team is no riskiet than asking Stalin to convene one on vernalization during the Great Purge.

      • russellseitz

        The above is , unambiguously, a comparison of risks, not theories or persons.

    • “free to find a correct result”
      Hmm … I think I already see a problem.

      • russellseitz

        Having listened with great respect , but some puzzlement to Professor Richard Lindzen of MIT’s cogent expression of his views on global warming, two public spirited and authentically skeptical graduates of that institution opted a few years ago to fund a Red Team exercise of their own.

        They called on a Berkeley professor as skeptical as themselves as to the global temperture record , and just as astute and scientifically accomplished as Dick Lindzen ( whom I have known ever since my own MIT days ) and asked him to dissect the issue anew. So he and his crew delved into the temperature record , including Watts contention that badly sited thermometer stations underlied the apparent rise, and did a goodly amount of research, and reams of analysis statistical and dimensional. Whereupon Professor Richard Muller anounced that he had changed his mind, and that the meteorological common wisdom was indeed true- there was no decline for erstwhile ‘ Climate Skeptics ‘ to hide behind- temperatures were going up, not down around the world as many still contended at the time.

        As that was good enough for the sponsors of the exercise, the fossil fuel rich and worldy wise MIT educated brothers Koch, why should us taxpayers pay for an instant replay on the say so of some far oilier oil patch folks, the former chief scientist of the Koch’s great competitor, British Petroleum. and a West Wing that hasn’t the slightest interest in listening to anyone more sciency than the former Attorney Generalof Oklahoma pontificating on Breitbart radio?


        Of course some people will always prefer not to think about what reasonably disiterested scientists have to say :


      • David Springer

        Muller was a SINO. There’s no such thing as a climate skeptic at Berkeley.

        Moreover Muller didn’t do the work himself he was a project director. The people doing the work were somewhat less than qualified volunteer luke warmers.

        The instrument temperature record doesn’t go back very far and coverage of southern hemisphere and oceans is almost non-existent.

        The biggest bone of contention isn’t a few tenths of a degree C more or less warming in the northern hemisphere over land in the past 100 years. The big controversy is how much is natural. Humans didn’t cause the rebound from the Little Ice Age. Humans didn’t make Greenland Ice Sheet retreat and evince the name *Green*land before the Little Ice Age. Climate has been cycling between a warmer and cooler for millions of years.

        Consequences of warming regardless of source, except for sea level rise, is gross speculation with the exception of measured/understood beneficial results of longer growing seasons and, regardless of source of CO2, greening of the earth through atmospheric fertilization.

        So there. That’s all the red team needs to lay waste to the blue team’s climate narrative.

      • For someone who is not versed in these specifics – the point counterpoint- your reply adds to the need for red teaming. And for thise in the science community who should the fuller fleshing out. And to resist the temptation of labelling the broader analysis as ‘alternative’ facts.

      • russellseitz

        David , please try to improve your cliche’ to untruth ratio , and stop playing games-

        All three are against the Red Team rules Judith Curry has just expounded.

      • Russ

        You should already know that attribution is the big enchilada. The T issue is at the margin and only small potatoes.

        If this exercise is well publicized, millions in America will be saying to themselves, “WTF, you mean climate scientists have been discussing aspects of prior warm periods? Why hasn’t the press been telling us about that debate?”

        Of course, we know the answer. They spend all their time on Fake News.

      • russellseitz

        No I don’t know that Ckid, because its a Bayseian enchilada stuffed full of parameters that have yet to converge, albeit you can tell from the instrumental record that BEST got the sign right, which is a start.
        Here’s a first hand account:


        Fake facts and fast food science, while abundant in the blogosphere remain a recipe for policy disaster.

      • Russ

        The fact that you don’t know that exposes why you are on the wrong side of the issue and tells us you have not performed due diligence on all the research. Natural variability reigns supreme and surely someday it will become obvious even to you. Hone those critical thinking skills to a finer edge, Russ.

    • Maybe it calls for a White Team on the other side of the Blue Team. They would say that the IPCC is too wishy washy on impacts.

      • russellseitz

        With Pruitt & Perry in the saddle you automatically get a Grey Team raised to regard the law as the queen of the science , with petroleum geology a rather distant second.

    • JCH:
      I like quoting the IPCC. We work with what we have. The IPCC on ECS, I like to say, contains all the uncertianties rolled up into one thing. The ECS is my favorite. Now let’s make policy.

      • Roger Knights

        I like quoting the IPCC. We work with what we have.

        It’s our gilt standard.

    • “The old climate framework failed because it would have imposed substantial costs associated with climate mitigation policies on developed nations today in exchange for climate benefits far off in the future — benefits whose attributes, magnitude, timing, and distribution are not knowable with certainty. Since they risked slowing economic growth in many emerging economies, efforts to extend the Kyoto-style UNFCCC framework to developing
      nations predictably deadlocked as well.” http://thebreakthrough.org/archive/climate_pragmatism_innovation

      A continuation of the narratives of low or high climate impacts is proposed – tainted with the delusion that this can have a precise scientific resolution. There will always be irreducible uncertainty and a continuum of risk from some would say beneficial – I am sure I am not interested in quibbling about minutiae – to catastrophic. All with some undefined probability.

      There are many people who have suggested a broadening of the objectives of policy responses to include societal aspirations and environmental conservation – as a first step.

      “The Paper therefore proposes that the organising principle of our effort should be the raising up of human dignity via three overarching objectives: ensuring energy access for all; ensuring that we develop in a manner that does not undermine the essential functioning of the Earth system; ensuring that our societies are adequately equipped to withstand the risks and dangers that come from all the vagaries of climate, whatever their cause may be.” http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/27939/1/HartwellPaper_English_version.pdf

      There is a methodology that can address the risks of climate change – but it is not red teams and blue teams. Risk in the technical sense is the product of consequences and probability. There is a low probability of high impact events – something that – as a climate catastrophist (in the sense of Rene Thom) with a substantial background in risk assessment – I would define as extreme risk. It does not require an impossible certainty but feasible scenarios and realistic estimates of probabilities.

      But by all means complete a formal process. A risk assessment is a very broad ranging methodology. It might include for instance water stress – with defined consequences such as on biodiversity, fire, food security or civil peace – at either global or regional scales or both. And a defined probability of occurrence. The event is described, consequences determined and probabilities assign. It is avowedly subjective – but that’s part of the charm and the power of the method. You can even crowd source it. It is the opposite of an adversarial process.

      The ultimate policy response is to evaluate and formalise effective strategies on multiple paths to meet the policy objectives.

      • David Springer

        Societal aspirations? Don’t make me laugh. I’m quite certain a majority of the 7 billion souls comprising all societies don’t give a rats ass about so-called carbon emissions. They’re too worried about having enough to eat and a steady supply of clean water.

        Societal aspirations. I’d like to slap any silly spoiled toad that even brings that up.

      • You’re a retard David. Peoples aspiration are the same as anywhere food, shelter, children and smart phones in that order.

      • David Springer

        I’m a CTO at a rapidly growing medical services provider, Robert. Thank you Donald Trump for heating up the US economy so someone whose been retired for 17 years like me can walk back into the workforce at the top of the food chain. But you keep telling yourself I’m retarded if it makes you feel better about yourself. I’m sure you’re feeling pretty worthless these days.

      • I think he meant socialist aspirations, David.

      • Increased agricultural productivity, increased downstream processing and access to markets build local economies and global wealth. Economic growth provides resources for solving problems – conserving and restoring ecosystems, better sanitation and safer water, better health and education, updating the diesel fleet and other productive assets to emit less black carbon, developing better and cheaper ways of producing electricity, replacing cooking with wood and dung with better ways of preparing food thus avoiding respiratory disease and again reducing black carbon emissions.

        I don’t give a flying f,ck who you think you are. You obviously have a reading and comprehension problem. I should have been more politically correct though. Comparing you to the differently abled is maligning them. Really it is just a habit of malicious and indiscriminate vituperation substituting for actual substance. An intellectual laziness and a meanness of spirit I have noted before.

        And I don’t know who Jim2 is and I have obviously not missed much. He could try clicking the link in the name – and he might get a clue. Perhaps that’s just too hard.

      • If you desire environmental conservation, Robert, remember that CO2 lies at the base of the food chain.

  2. Interesting idea. I’d be interested to know how a Red Team’s success or failure is measured. It would be interesting to understand how the concept came into being at all and if it is truly possible. How do they know when their work is finished? Can one intentionally formulate a sincere opposition to an entrenched hierarchy/orthodoxy? What does this do the concept of the dialectic such that synthesis/antithesis tension is intentional? At first blush its hard to imagine how a fair baseline on which to establish eventual synthesis would be reached…because, you know…people.

    It does occur to me that history is very consistent with providing corpses whose last words were, “But I object.” There’s likely a reason for that and it may well be archetypal.

    Still though, it is an intriguing idea.

    • Good point. Red Teaming would be an endless process, and this is the apparent purpose – delay. At the outset, they need to define a closure process, because there won’t be one automatically. If both sides leave and write their own reports being just the same points they went in with, what is accomplished? That’s what happened with Koonin at the APS. No minds were changed. After so many years of this, it is hard to see the viewpoints of the main actors changing because all the evidence is already there.

      • David Wojick

        What is accomplished is that there is an official Red Team report. There is none now, just a lot of alarmist reports.

      • You’ve got NIPCC which is likely written by most of the same people with the exact same ideas and probably passed to the policymakers already. Perhaps they can start by Red Teaming the NIPCC report to see if there is anything that survives.

      • That’s right Jim, all the evidence is in. The science is settled. The debate is over.

        So sayth Al Gore, James Cook and Jim D and the entire consensus. That we are even talking about this is a testament to the propaganda skills of the Koch brothers.

        What these people haven’t yet grasped is that this line of argument – that there is absolutely no doubt what impacts a changing climate will bring and they are all terrible bad impacts – has likely driven the highest number of people questioning the entire field than any other single issue.

      • The Red Team isn’t about impacts, but about how or whether warming relates to emissions, and that part is all over bar the shouting. Once they agree that each 1500 GtCO2 emitted from now on is one degree C of warming, that’s where the impacts of these policies can be weighed up. It’s a two-stage discussion, but the skeptics are still stuck on the first one. The second part is much more interesting to discuss because physics alone can’t predict it.

      • Jim D and impacts – “physics alone can’t predict it”

        If that is the case Jim then why should anyone listen to people like you who predict catastrophic impacts?

      • If you think 700 ppm and rising at 2100 would not be that bad, you need to state on what basis. There are plenty of studies that say it is bad, and none that I know that say it is not. This is where the skeptics have fallen down somewhat. Their ‘no problem’ idea is not backed up by any studies, so it just leaves you lot hanging out to dry.

    • Steven Mosher

      “Interesting idea. I’d be interested to know how a Red Team’s success or failure is measured. It would be interesting to understand how the concept came into being at all and if it is truly possible. How do they know when their work is finished? ”

      Some insight from the last red team I worked on with Judith in fact.


      We Identified the Major Issues, concerns, objections, that had been
      informally posed by outside critics. WRT the temperature record these were the major objections.

      1. Sampling Bias. Skeptics argued that not all the data was being used, and
      suggested that the fall off in stations in GHCNv2 was the actual cause of the warming.
      2. Adjustments: Skeptics argued that the adjustment process was biased
      and perhaps deliberately so.
      3. Methods: Skeptics argued that the methods ( GISS and CRU) were home grown, that standard (krigging) spatial approaches should be used
      and that “real” statisticians should be consulted.
      4. UHI Bias. Related to sampling bias, skeptics argued that there was bias due to UHI.
      5. MicroSite Bias. Skeptics asserted there was a microsite bias and wanted an independent assesment of this.

      We knew our work was finished when we published 4 papers.

      1. One on Methods ( with Judith as co author) that addressed issues 1-3
      2. One on UHI
      3. One on Microsite.
      4. One on AMO (with Judith)
      5. One on Global Land average and Anthro Forcing.

      of course skeptics rejected the findings even though it addressed all the issues they had raised, and even though Judith was involved, and even though two of us ( Zeke and Me) had work showing we could find some UHI in USA records, and even though our microsite result matched the result skeptics had also published. and even though we took money from mostly conservative funding sources.

      In Industry red teams I worked on the red team was done after we
      identified areas or issues that the Blue team missed, or when we suggested additional testing. Blue team then addressed the issues and final reports were issued. Red team was basically a deliberate hostile review aimed at finding the weakest argument or the undeclared assumptions. Also called a Murder board where you present and everyone else in the organization beats you senseless.

      For tactical Red teams, the job was different. Basically in War games there is an “assumed” or standard :red team playbook, and in these cases you got to make up new red team tactics to see if blue was robust with respect to innovation in red team tactics.

      • You really are back Mosher. It’s good to see.

        And not everyone criticized your results.

  3. I am more concerned with the termination of data collection funding than red/blue outcome. The Regional Climate Centers, that supply climate information through the Applied Climate Information System (ACIS), face an 82% budget cut. The federal data collection systems are next. We need to agree that data collection must be funded otherwise how do we measure climate?

    • David Springer

      The US is the only one bailing out of the catastrophic global warming charade. The rest of the world can fund its continuance can’t they?

      Europe: let’s build a climate charade and make America pay for it.

      Yeah well f*ck that. Homey don’t play that game no more.

    • Once again I have to back your point shred. If they slashed all climate science funding by 82%, the 18% remaining should be focused on data collection.

  4. DLyons123@aol.com


  5. I loved #22. The essence of creativity is that it can’t be logically extrapolated, and ditto for surprise.

    The essence of epistemology is that you can’t suck truths out of thin air, as many philosophers think you can. The job of philosophy is not to find answers. Over centuries it has refined a set of ingenious tools to inspect arguments for validity. The red-blue face-off could turn out to be the biggest battlefield on which philosophy has ever been deployed. I’m looking forward to it.

  6. Roger Knights

    Red Teaming Law #7: If you’re apprehensive about red teaming, it probably means you need it.

    Here’s Tom Paine on that matter:

    It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry.

  7. Roger Knights

    If Rud Istvan, RG Brown, Willis Eschenbach, and others like them (including JC) are not on the red team, they ought to have a special status as red-team advisors. I think there’s a risk that teams that are too small (including blue teams) will miss opportunities to make certain points. But if teams allowed everyone to “have their ear,” the input would be low-quality, repetitious, and too voluminous. So the advisory-members feature is needed, IMO.

    • Roger Knights

      PS: And the team-advisory group could in turn appoint a bunch of folks the kibitz IT!

      • Roger Knights

        PPS: The Climate Dialogue site in effect implemented team-advisors (though not the winnowed ones I am proposing) by allowing non-team members to comment “below the line,” where they didn’t disrupt the main discussion between opponents, but where opponents could selectively quote from such advisory comments as they thought relevant.

      • Mike Jonas

        The Climate Dialogue site was a great idea, but it showed how easy it can be for the blue team to deflect and obfuscate.

      • actually, the blue team pretty much didn’t want to participate

      • Roger Knights

        Mike Jonas | July 3, 2017 at 5:24 pm |
        The Climate Dialogue site was a great idea, but it showed how easy it can be for the blue team to deflect and obfuscate.

        The blue team was able to run and get away with it on that obscure site, where the public wasn’t watching, but they won’t be able to hide their evasiveness so easily on a site that is fully illuminated and observed by non-partisans. There such tactics will be less successful. Comments from red team advisory group members “below the line” will expose such mendacity.

      • Steven Mosher

        Its called the science.
        The science has been SUMMARIZED by the IPCC and ‘red teamed’
        ( I did comments, did you folks?) and those comments have been refereed.

        So Now Its the Red teams job. Blue is done with the First part of the job.

        Sadly the Red team will never be able to agree on a process or who should be on the team. If you dont put tony Heller, and Anthony Watts in charge and include sky dragons, the results will always be questioned.

        Red will likely recycle blog posts and out of date science, or will try to give homework to blue.

        It should be fun because when it is done, the Red team will have created the definitive skeptical position. It will be a great historical document.
        If they dont do Red team, then they have accepted blue science.

      • Don Monfort

        The Red Team has the pen and phone. Go team! Trump Rules! Paris drools.

      • David Springer

        Of course they didn’t want to participate, Judith. The math is simple. Don’t fight any battles where there is little to win and lots to lose.

      • Mosher, Anthony Watts and Tony Heller don’t may the long list of possible candidates. They are probably the first to acknowledge that. Based on what is getting some light of day, I would not be surprised to discover a raft of young scientists willing to participate in the red team side

  8. If this Red Team review exposes how many trillions of dollars per 0.1C that abatement will cost, and how many dollars it will cost each US citizen, I will count it a success.

  9. Excellent post. My only comment is that IPCC WG1’s framing is critical and fundamental for the WG2 report. Thus, WG1 needs the Red/Blue Team approach as a prerequisite for a Red/Blue Team for WG2. Roger Sr

    • Steven Mosher

      Since You served on the GWPF red team of temperatures, a red team that never published a report, perhaps you can explain why and how that failed.

      • Don Monfort

        Yes that would be interesting, Dr. P. Were you perhaps aware that you could never get a non-climate team paper published in what the team players call a legitimate peer reviewed journal? Hell, look what happened to BEST. They had to publish in a shady pay-for-play journal-of-last-resort. Just kidding you, Steven.

      • David Springer

  10. Roger Knights

    I suggest that an “agenda” be prepared of a few dozen “contentious issues,” with the most complicated of them in turn broken down into sub-issues, and that theirs be debated separately, in different threads. Otherwise some threads will become rats’ nests. Preparing this agenda could take months. People here could start by collectively drawing up a draft.

  11. Will we get anything else than the subjective judgments of another team?

    One problem with the IPCC report is that it is widely based on subjective judgments and models that are based on a lot of assumptions. The main problem is that IPCC perverted science by even trying to standardize the language used to express subjective judgments. It is difficult to have a scientific discussion about subjective judgments. I think the red team first of all need to establish a scientific standard for their work that is more reliable than the standard IPCC made for their own work.

    The Principles governing IPCC work are more or less free from sound scientific principles – no mentioning of scrutiny or application of a sound scientific method there. Rather than imposing sound scientific principles on IPCC, United Nations allowed IPCC to be governed by:
    – the unscientific principle to: “concentrate its activities on the tasks allotted to it by the relevant WMO Executive Council and UNEP Governing Council resolutions and decisions as well as on actions in support of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change process” (§1)
    – the unscientific principle to: “In taking decisions, and approving, adopting and accepting reports, the Panel, its Working Groups and any Task Forces shall use all best endeavours to reach consensus.”(§10)
    – an approval process and organization principle which must, by its nature, diminish dissenting views.:”differing views shall be explained and, upon request, recorded.” (§10) “Conclusions drawn by IPCC Working Groups and any Task Forces are not official IPCC views until they have been accepted by the Panel in a plenary meeting.” (§11)

    • Steven Mosher

      “One problem with the IPCC report is that it is widely based on subjective judgments and models that are based on a lot of assumptions. ”

      weird the chapters I reviewed had none of this.

      • The Guidance Note for Lead Authors of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties impose upon the lead authors to assign subjective levels of confidence to their findings:
        «The AR5 will rely on two metrics for communicating the degree of certainty in key findings:
        1 Confidence in the validity of a finding, based on the type, amount, quality, and consistency of evidence (e.g., mechanistic understanding, theory, data, models, expert judgment) and the degree of agreement. Confidence is expressed qualitatively.

        A level of confidence is expressed using five qualifiers: “very low,” “low,” “medium,” “high,” and “very high.” It synthesizes the author teams’ judgments about the validity of findings as determined through evaluation of evidence and agreement.»

        Here is an comment to the IPCC practice in the Inter Academy Council review report of IPCC:
        Climate change assessments; Review of the processes and procedures of the IPCC
        «IPCC authors are tasked to review and synthesize available literature rather than to conduct original research. This limits their ability to formally characterize uncertainty in the assessment reports. As a result, IPCC authors must rely on their subjective assessments of the available literature to construct a best estimate and associated confidence levels.»

        Search the IPCC AR5 report for the subjective terms and see how many hits you get.

      • Science or Fiction,
        That was a brilliant response. Will Mosher have a comeback to such an abject beclowning?

  12. Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

  13. All decisions based on reason build sequentially from 4 components:
    1. Data (30)
    2. Fact “The thermometer on my deck shows a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius.”
    3. Meaning. “The air temperature is 30 degrees Celsius.”
    4. Interpretation. “”It’s hot outside.”
    5. Implication. “Shorts and a t-shirt are what I should be wearing.”
    6. Decision. “”I’m going to change my clothes.”
    I am not being pedantic: this is relevant to small to large social as well as technical issues in our lives. As soon as we get beyond “data”, we make reductive choices. “Hot” is not hot to my friend from Dubai. “T-shirt and shorts” is only one implication on clothing. The decision could be to stay inside with the air conditioning on.
    Even the best of scientists fall into a form of what I call the “unique solution syndrome”, something others more erudite than me call the “equifinality problem”. All the way along only one step further is considered, even subconsciously, to be correct. By definition, then, all others are wrong or at most inadequate. Moreover, each is (therefore) part of a logical progression. Decisions are (therefore) unassailable.
    Except for data (5) there is an element of non-rational choice in all the steps. The “fact” may be wrong (thermometer is broken) or meaningless – the radiant heat from the sun is what cooks you, not the air temperature. But the illusion of a reasoned, logical progression creates a confidence in the final action that is seductive – and more so the “smarter” the decision-maker thinks he is.
    Red team/blue team: a tough go when pure technical issues are involved, a very tough one when emotions are predominant (think cute drowning polar bear cubs).
    Work beyond “fact” should come with flack jackets.

  14. “One can argue that the best red teamers are born, not trained.”

    Scientists have a habit of over-reliance on their use of the “scientific method” as a hedge against their own biased thinking, seeking confirmation that their application of such a process was “correct” through peer review. The reliance upon the “process” to catch errors is similar to relying upon published “guidelines” to serve as guide rails, keeping one from going off the cliff.

    None of these “safeguards” work if one’s self established operational framework has devolved into a cult. One slides into such a “cult” mostly by self-deception. Self-deception rules when one requires regular doses of approval, inability to say: “I don’t know”, projecting authority when one feels uncertainty.

    Living most of one’s life accepting uncertainty as a integral part of living, stems from an inborn temperament that has been nourished over one’s lifetime. Irregularity, yet persistent in one endeavor before changing to something else; strong responses to new stimuli; high activity levels. These traits can be found in the cradle and persist through out life.

    Looking for such people as part of one’s Red and/or Blue Team means the interview process is more than “fill-in-the-blank”. The relevant science can be learned, yet the assessment of the climate science in question by the team member, one wants to hear: “That just doesn’t sound quite right.”

    • “One can argue that the best red teamers are born, not trained.”

      This sentence caught my eye too; it’s also been said ones political affiliation is born. Should it be any surprise that the very nature of the IPCC was built on a foundation of politics? Perhaps the red teams first argument ought to be a foundational one, relative to the impetus that created the IPCC’s very existence, it had little to do with the scientific method, but rather democracy in their minds. The IPCC was born ironically by politics.

      The precursor to the IPCC:

      “World War II greatly increased the demand for international cooperation in science and not only toward military ends.

      “Fostering transnational scientific links became an explicit policy for many of the world’s democratic governments, not least the United States. It was not just that gathering knowledge gave a handy excuse for creating international organizations. Beyond that, the ideals and methods of scientists, their open communication, and their reliance on objective facts and consensus rather than command would reinforce the ideals and methods of democracy. As political scientist Clark Miller (2001, 171, passim) has explained, American foreign policy-makers believed the scientific enterprise was “intertwined with the pursuit of a free, stable, and prosperous world order.” Scientists themselves were still more strongly committed to the virtues of cooperation. To many, the free association of colleagues across national boundaries meant yet more: It meant advancing the causes of universal truth and world peace (e.g., Hamblin 2002, 14).”

      “In 1947, a world meteorological convention, arranged in Washington, D.C., explicitly made the meteorological enterprise an “intergovernmental” affair—that is, one to which each nation appointed an official representative. In 1951, the International Meteorological Organization was succeeded by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), an association of national weather services. The WMO soon became an agency of the United Nations. That gave meteorological groups access to important organizational and financial support and brought them a new authority and stature.”

      “All the organizational work for weather prediction did little to connect the scattered specialists in diverse fields who took an interest in climate change. A better chance came in the mid 1950s, when a small band of scientists got together to push international cooperation to a higher level in all areas of geophysics. They aimed to coordinate their data gathering and—no less important—to persuade their governments to spend an extra billion or so dollars on research. The result was the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957–58”

      “IGY with its unprecedented funding was energized by a mixture of altruistic hopes and hard practical goals. Scientists expected in the first place to advance their collective knowledge and their individual careers. The government officials, who supplied the money, while not indifferent to pure scientific discovery, expected the new knowledge would have civilian and military applications. The U.S. and Soviet governments further hoped to win practical advantages in their Cold War competition. It is a moot question whether, in a more tranquil world, governments would have spent so much to learn about seawater and air around the globe. For whatever motives, the result was a coordinated effort involving several thousand scientists from sixty-seven nations (Needell, 2000, ch. 11; Greenaway, 1996, ch. 12).”

      • Mop-Up-Crew

        Thank you, informative.

        I thought as I was reading, the US had the “bomb” which was the single most important opposition to the Red Army completing its Western push as the Allied Armies rapidly disbanded after the European armed conflict ended. Research and science with military applications in particular as a means of global piece, for a brief time, was a reality, until of course the subsequent proxy wars of the “Cold War”.

        As I recall, the Brits were the meteorological experts having digested the air temperature, pressures, and storm systems around their island nation best characterized by correctly calling the window of opportunity for “D-Day”.

        The advent of the computer, room size as it was, was also another practical science application with global implications and the ability to assess and have information rapidly became paramount.

        Finally, the submarine, especially the Rickover nuclear powered submarine provided the science of the oceans, its currents, polar ice caps and mapping the relevant underwater terrain that had the Soviets always chasing the US science EXCEPT for Sputnik and Yuri Gagarian. Eventually Mutual Assured Destruction.

        What is the next science with global implications?

      • “What is the next science with global implications?”

        An interesting question, RiH.

        Who knows, but the answer could be dark depending on the outcome of the hard Lefts battle for global governance.

        Hopefully history doesn’t completely repeat the first half of the 20th century, but humanity is currently mirroring early 20th century Naturschutz, and worse.

        Much of the Lefts globalist fervor is synonymous with 1930s National Socialism. It’s ironic, the fear mongering propaganda surrounding nationalism in the U.S., but those espousing economic nationalism are constitutionalists who believe in separation of powers. Leftist globalists on the other hand aspire to fascism, top down governance, National Socialism pales in comparison to the risks. One world government eliminates all protections that nation state separation of powers provides.

        So, relative to the next science with Volksgemeinschaft implications perhaps it’s more efficient, “scientific” population control; an evolution of eugenics, a cleansing of politically inferior specimens reminiscent of “Der Ewige Jude”. Sound crazy? There’s already scientific papers written that describes how a conservatives brain is inferior to a liberals.

        The late Cambridge scholar, historian, George Watson, wrote, “…But there were still, in Marx’s view, races that would have to be exterminated. That is a view he published in January-February 1849 in an article by Engels called ‘The Hungarian Struggle’ …In the European century that began in the 1840s from Engels’s article of 1849 down to the death of Hitler, everyone who advocated genocide called himself a socialist, and no exception has been found.”

        Whatever the next science is with global implications; under Global governance, perish the thought.

        Here’s what Professor David Shearman, an IPCC assessor for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change third Assessment Report and the Fourth Assessment Report, had to say in his book ‘The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy’:

        “…we argue that authoritarianism is the natural state of humanity’ … the formation of an ‘elite warrior leadership’ to ‘battle for the future of the earth” [p.xvi]…Chapter 9 …“we might begin the process of constructing such real universities to train the ecowarriors to do battle against the enemies of life. We must accomplish this education with the same dedication used to train its warriors. As in Sparta, these natural elites will be especially trained from childhood to meet the challenging problems of our times.” [p. 134]

        He argues that overpopulation and industrialization are causing an ecological disaster and that democracy isn’t up to the challenge, an authoritarian government must be imposed to save us from ourselves. He asks “…are you prepared to change your lifestyle now? Are you prepared to see society and its governance change if this is a necessary solution?” [preface. p. xiv] “It is not impossible that from the green movement and aspects of the new age movement a religious alternative to Christianity and Islam will emerge.”

      • Mop-Up-Crew

        Your remarks concerning the “people’s community”, at least the 1930’s edition; “The Eternal Jew” and the reference back to 19th Century European Socialism with its brand of eugenics suggests to me that you are thinking that the extermination of specific groups of, in the modern context, climate deniers could be the next science of global implication. If so, I hope you are incorrect.

        Maybe, the next science of global significance will reside in the heavens, astronomy, as our ability to peer into our past gives clues to how we came to be and answer some fundamental questions of human origin.

        My Celestron telescope is just a personal beginning.

      • Dr. Curry

        With my comment in moderation I now know the origins of my banishment: replying to a poster.

      • RiH, I would prefer astronomy too.

        But no, I don’t necessarily believe the expansion in the science of eugenics will be the next big scientific endeavor, it merely serves as a conceptual example of what, before mentioned, David Shearman and many other Leftist elites would embrace. One has to put themselves in a world that many on the extreme Left envision. The potential horrors of fascist global governance can’t be adequately dreamed up; regardless, most on the Left are blind to it, they’re followers. I think the majority of people will consider these ideas to be far fetched. However, I also believe what’s happening on college campuses is a harbinger of things to come.

        Do you think these ideas are too provocative, unrealistic?

        Speaking of astronomy, here’s what one of the worlds pre-eminent scientists has been saying in repeated articles the last few weeks:

        “Stephen Hawking says Donald Trump could turn Earth into planet like Venus with 250C and sulphuric acid rain…We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible…I don’t think we will survive another 1,000 years without escaping beyond our natural planet”

        The disturbing thing is that Stephen Hawking didn’t simply say these words, it’s that he’s being relentlessly marketed in a media campaign, he offered himself up as an endorsement.

        The concept behind Nazi Volksgemeinschaft was expansive, but it served to unite. It included much propaganda; nature mysticism was one of the methodologies used to unite Germans. The soul was regarded as related to the land, in the doctrine of “blood and soil”, which partly was used to exploit the belief that the landowner and peasant lived in an organic harmony. Does David Shearman fit this mold?

        While the AGW debate is real, CAGW is a complex shell game; it’s been propagandized as a distraction to unite citizens behind a concept, the goal is political empowerment, ultimately global fascism for many elites on the Left who are yanking the reigns.

      • Mop-Up-Crew

        First let us celebrate the transformation of a collection of ideas into a framework that was one of the first enactments and structure to enact laws that everyone would live by. Happy Fourth of July.

        Now, as for: “Do you think these ideas are too provocative, unrealistic?”

        Students could lead us into Fascism as students have led many social orders into chaos, which precedes a public cry for order and stability at the price of liberty.

        Recently I was in Russia where the public support of Vladimir Putin is high precisely because of the chaos that had resulted from the collapse of the Soviet Empire in December 1991. Fright and homelessness, strife and lawlessness were fertile grounds for the seeds of what I would regard as oligarchy Fascism. Putin survives today because oligarchs who control resources and production, says he can lead as long as he leaves their monopolies alone.

        The peculiar thinking is that Fascism has an exclusive location on the political Right when, as you point out, Fascism of the political Left is just as likely, especially when thinking that various institutions like Universities, silo thinking Governmental agencies, and large political groups acting in concert could or would identify enemies, and, in this case, climate deniers for extermination.

        Hmmm. Who would take the roles of Robespierre? Madame Defarge?

      • The micro chip would be the next in line. Particularly when coupled with wireless technology.

        Next? Springer’s engineered biology? Nanotechnology? I’ll bet on fracking. It currently is a US phenomenon. But it has global implications.

  15. I wonder if the vehemence of the push back regarding skeptics by consensus climatologists stems from their awareness of how uncertain the consensus argument is.

  16. How do you red team settled science that cannot be questioned?

    • If the blue team doesn’t show up, they lose by default. This of course presumes that the Red/Blue event is organized by someone with plenty of authority who may or may not be the US president.

    • Steven Mosher

      Go ahead and question. you can question all you want.

      problem is the answer is that c02 is actually a GHG and GHGs do actually warm the planet.

      The blue team portion of this is already done. Red’s turn to bat

      • Mosher, question isn’t Does human activity impact climate? Question is by how much and does it matter.

      • catweazle666

        “problem is the answer is that c02 is actually a GHG and GHGs do actually warm the planet.”

        Yeah, yeah, yeah… Same old worn-out mantra.

        The problem for you lot is that there is little or no empirical evidence that the anthropogenic component of thatwarming can be observed above the noise, of course.

        In fact, man can no more significantly alter the climate with CO2 emissions than significantly alter the time the Sun rises and sets.

  17. Strikes me as a monumental waste of time only likely to end in acrimony and the conclusion we need to spend more money on studying the “problem”. Just use the right energy in the right place and the climate will be just fine. In other words, use energy wisely and stop worrying about CO2.

    • Further, the objective of blue-team/red-team (in a military sense) is to sharpen skills so the enemy can be more effectively destroyed. Suspect will end up in more-or-less a similar end point.

    • Mike Jonas

      kellermfk – It’s all very well saying “use energy wisely and stop worrying about CO2”, but you can’t get there if the climate regime isn’t challenged. I agree that there will be acrimony, but that is no reason to back off. Appeasement never works.

      Some commenters seem to think that the result of the exercise can be predicted. They surely cannot be right. Law #22: Unexpected surprise is what happens while you’re waiting for the expected surprise.

      Let the games begin. But it is going to matter a lot how they are set up. The red team must have some very clear thinkers, and will surely have to produce their own reports (plural).

      • The drivers are primarily financial and keeping the planet reasonably clean. Climate change is a sideshow that diverts resources from bettering the lot of mankind.

  18. There is much to red team in WG1, WG2, and WG3 including both AR4 and AR5. One target for all three is how AR5 alters AR4, attacking the ‘settled science’ meme in basic ways like sensitivity and predictions.
    WG1: temp record alterations and infilling (a few simple Heller charts) WV feedback. Clouds (AR5 working draft 2 revealing the uncertainty monster). Model tuning attribution problem (my many short comments on same based on the AR4 fig SPM 4 dilemma). Model/observation discrepancy since 2000 (Most recent Christy testimony). Sensitivity (CMIP5 versus Lewis and Curry 2014).
    WG2: SLR (My guest post on SLR and closure). Polar bears (Crockford). Extinctions (Essay No Bodies). Extremes (Srex versus warmunist statements, for example Hayhoe 2011 on Texas permadrought, or essay Credibility Conundrums on the 2014 US National Climate Report chapter 1 examples).
    WG3: Cost of renewables (True Cost of Wind post). Intermittency (SA blackout) . Greening benefits.
    Rather than go after every nit, hit hard at a few big points in each IPCC section, the ones that are foundational to CAGW and the main warmunist marketing media points.

    • The so-called Representative Concentration Pathways RCP selected by IPCC also deserves some scrutiny:
      «Following the decisions made by the Panel during the scoping and outline approval, a set of new scenarios, the Representative Concentration Pathways, are used across all three Working Groups for projections of climate change over the 21st century.» IPCC;WGI;AR5;Preface vii

      «.. Representative Concentration Pathways, are referred to as pathways in order to emphasize that they are not definitive scenarios, but rather internally consistent sets of time-dependent forcing projections that could potentially be realized with more than one underlying socioeconomic scenario… They are representative in that they are one of several different scenarios, sampling the full range of published scenarios (including mitigation scenarios) at the time they were defined, that have similar RF and emissions characteristics.

      The primary objective of these scenarios is to provide all the input variables necessary to run comprehensive climate models in order to reach a target RF (Figure 12.2).» IPCC;WGI;AR5;Page 1045

      By the following paper, the scenarios presented by IPCC seem to be exaggerated https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303621100_The_implications_of_fossil_fuel_supply_constraints_on_climate_change_projetions-A_supply-side_analysis>The implications of fossil fuel supply constraints on climate change projections: A supply-driven analysis (See figure 2 and 4 for a quick overview).

  19. David Wojick

    I expect few surprises in the Red Team report, since the skeptical arguments have already been thoroughly articulated. What will be new is that this synthesis will be official. The alarmists already have a large number of official reports, so it will be important to finally see the opposition views laid out officially. It might also be very useful, including possibly being used to redirect research funding into the skeptical questions that are presently being ignored.

    No doubt the alarmists will say “this is not new, these are well known skeptics, it has already been debunked, etc.” This predictable adversarial reaction is in no way a Red Team failure. What counts is how the Red Team report is used, which might be very surprising.

    The primary issues are procedural; at this point, especially budget and how to start the process?. My biggest concern is that if there is not sufficient back and forth then the issues will not be properly fleshed out. But on the other hand many of the issues are extremely technical. In fact at the technical scientific level even 1000 pages is merely skimming the surface, not nearly enough for a thorough presentation.

    So the real challenge is how to be comprehensive, down to a certain level of technical detail, but no further. It is after all a tree structure — the issue tree. So the number of things to say grows exponentially with level of detail.

    • Roger Knights

      No doubt the alarmists will say “this is not new, these are well known skeptics, it has already been debunked, etc.” This predictable adversarial reaction is in no way a Red Team failure. What counts is how the Red Team report is used, which might be very surprising.

      IMO, what counts is how the blue team responds to the rebuttals of their supposed debunking. Their debunkings are too often taken as the final word, because the debunkers aren’t in a moderated forum where they will have to defend them against ever-deeper and wider probings. They won’t be able to “declare victory” with some impressive-sounding twaddle and have their claque applaud it to the world, as now.

      • As I said, a major design issue is how much back and forth there is. This relates to how technical the debate becomes and how long it drags out. There are big tradeoffs between usefulness and completeness. Hence the SPM.

        But the standard debunking claims will certainly be made by the alarmists in the press and blogosphere. Witness Mosher here as an example. It is almost all he ever says.

    • I would hope they get into the RCP issue (the fact that RCP8.5 has fake fossil fuel resources really needs to be resolved), the carbon cycle, the potential for energy alternatives to replace fossil fuels, their costs, etc. In other words, fields which are barely discussed, aren’t really climatology, but have much more impact.

  20. There is also the broader issue as to whether WG1 really should be the first report. It is more robust and policy effective to start with the assessment of broad risk and then see where climate and changes in climate fit.

    We proposed this inclusive assessment approach in our paper

    Pielke Sr., R.A., R. Wilby, D. Niyogi, F. Hossain, K. Dairaku, J. Adegoke, G. Kallos, T. Seastedt, and K. Suding, 2012: Dealing with complexity and extreme events using a bottom-up, resource-based vulnerability perspective. Extreme Events and Natural Hazards: The Complexity Perspective Geophysical Monograph Series 196 © 2012. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved. 10.1029/2011GM001086. http://pielkeclimatesci.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/r-3651.pdf

    where we wrote in our abstract

    We discuss the adoption of a bottom-up, resource-based vulnerability approach in evaluating the effect of climate and other environmental and societal threats to societally critical resources. This vulnerability concept requires the determination of the major threats to local and regional water, food, energy, human health, and ecosystem function resources from extreme events including those from climate but also from other social and environmental issues. After these threats are identified for each resource, then the relative risks can be compared with other risks in order to adopt optimal preferred mitigation/adaptation strategies. This is a more inclusive way of assessing risks, including from climate variability and climate change, than using the outcome vulnerability approach adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). A contextual vulnerability assessment using the bottom-up, resource-based framework is a more inclusive approach for policy makers to adopt effective mitigation and adaptation methodologies to deal with the complexity of the spectrum of social and environmental extreme events that will occur in the coming decades as the range of threats are assessed, beyond just the focus on CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases as emphasized in the IPCC assessments.

    This should be the focus of a WG1 report.

    Roger Sr.

    • David Wojick

      Pruitt and Perry seem to be talking more about the attribution question and whether or not there is any human caused threat? Surely these are the two fundamental questions.

      • These questions fit within the framing we propose with respect to the bottom-up, resource based view. There is a need first to determine what are the threats. Than prioritize reducing the risk based on their seriousness.

      • I can see why attribution comes first because if the skeptics don’t believe 3-4 C is possible in the first place, they won’t believe threats based on those temperatures matter at all. I suspect they also have not thought about the impacts of those temperatures much because of this disbelief. Progress would be made if the skeptics realized how possible 3-4 C really is under BAU, because then they would have to start to evaluate the threats and already prolific science around it, which they have dismissed so far.

      • David L. Hagen

        Jim D Re: “if skeptics don’t believe 3-4 C is possible”
        What if 3-4 C COOLING is possible AND >3-4C Warming? – from natural causes?
        NOAA observes:

        The end of the Younger Dryas, about 11,500 years ago, was particularly abrupt. In Greenland, temperatures rose 10°C (18°F) in a decade (Alley 2000)).

        Similarly, NOAA shows temperatures cooling by 8 to 10C from interglacial to glacial conditions.
        The NULL Hypothesis: Climate change is due to natural causes

      • No other approach than that of Roger Pielke will serve any feasible purpose.


      • That kind of cooling could occur locally if Hansen’s Greenland meltwater pulse scenario happens. This would affect Europe mostly. I haven’t heard skeptics make the case for that before. It would be an interesting tack. Poking climate with a stick can lead to this kind of reaction.

      • This has been argued for a long time.


        “The climate system has jumped from one mode of operation to another in the past. We are trying to understand how the earth’s climate system is engineered, so we can understand what it takes to trigger mode switches. Until we do, we cannot make good predictions about future climate change… Over the last several hundred thousand years, climate change has come mainly in discrete jumps that appear to be related to changes in the mode of thermohaline circulation. We place strong emphasis on using isotopes as a means to understand physical mixing and chemical cycling in the ocean, and the climate history as recorded in marine sediments.” Wally Broecker –

        The key to these larger scale changes – far from a regional impact – is thermohaline circulation for which there are multiple explanations. Not simply ice lake theory that relates to the Younger Dryas. There are many other abrupt shifts in the paleo records. Jimmy D’s inane commentary notwithstanding.

        People like Jimmy and JCH pay lip service to the views of Wally Broecker – but it is not something they understand and not a core meme for them.

      • The point was, before you have the impacts discussion, you need the discussion about accepting that global warming of 3-4 C and above is possible under BAU. I don’t know if the skeptics have reached that level of realization yet, so it is a critical first step to debate in any exercise for a red team. There will be some skeptics who will never accept this, and they have to figure out how to leave those behind to move on to the impacts part of the debate, otherwise they just deadlock themselves like the Congressional Republicans are on healthcare reform. The range of skepticism is a big potential problem for the red team. Lukewarmers to skydragons. They could be held back by their extremists without a process for cutting them loose. A prerequisite for an effective red team is to remove the loopy ones at the outset.

      • True believers are all loopy.

      • Judith’s term for the loopy subset of deniers is the fringe. She recognizes they exist, but they need to figure out who qualifies for a red team when people like Pruitt and Perry have made fringe statements themselves. They may have no tolerance for lukewarmers if it was up to them. Could be a battle.

      • I think that 0.5K is more likely – given a continuation of last century rates of warming – very unlikely – and all other things being equal. Including technology and land use and forestry practices,

      • We’re already at 1 K with only half a doubling.

      • Don Monfort

        I hope they get Stephen Hawking for the blue team. How can a guy so smart be so dumb.


        “We are close to the tipping point where global warming becomes irreversible. Trump’s action could push the Earth over the brink, to become like Venus, with a temperature of two hundred and fifty degrees, and raining sulfuric acid,” the professor explained. “Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it’s one we can prevent if we act now.”

        The CAGW religion can warp even the greatest of intellects. Look what has happened to Mosher.

      • Well, you can have William “It’s Munich” Happer and Freeman “It’s going green” Dyson. Physicists aren’t always up on the climate science aspects.

      • Judith’s fringe was the 3% who didn’t agree with her that CO2 had any effect. That 3% could be the Red Team. What’s to stop them?

      • I assumed 1 degree warming was all anthropogenic – unlikely. But there it is. You incapable of reading and comprehending simple statements. You are all about projecting back a simple set of memes that are amusingly not even the consensus science. You remain loopy as hell Jimmy. An object lesson in fanaticism.

      • The observational evidence says 1 degree and more in the pipeline. The warming has not caught up with the GHG forcing yet. A qualification for the Red Team should be that they don’t believe in the OHC trend observations showing a positive imbalance driving the warming because that gives >100% attribution. It’s tough not to believe in observations, but there it is, the corner they painted themselves into, and that’s even without models.

      • Don Monfort

        The Red Team is already striking fear in the hearts of the 97% consensus clowns. They remember what happened to them in the last debate in which they foolishly participated:


        Blue was the home team. They couldn’t even hold their own in front of a crowd of little left loon NPR greenies.

        “In this debate, the proposition was: “Global Warming Is Not a Crisis.” In a vote before the debate, about 30 percent of the audience agreed with the motion, while 57 percent were against and 13 percent undecided. The debate seemed to affect a number of people: Afterward, about 46 percent agreed with the motion, roughly 42 percent were opposed and about 12 percent were undecided.”

    • David L. Hagen

      Well put. One of the risks is the political “lemming” factor driven by green activism/fear itself. A major danger is throwing $ trillions at a “chicken little” problem that results in starving the poor and denying scarce resources to the developing world to most effectively grow their economies.

    • Peter Lang


      A contextual vulnerability assessment using the bottom-up, resource-based framework is a more inclusive approach for policy makers to adopt effective mitigation and adaptation methodologies to deal with the complexity of the spectrum of social and environmental extreme events that will occur in the coming decades as the range of threats are assessed, beyond just the focus on CO2 and a few other greenhouse gases as emphasized in the IPCC assessments.

      Using this approach, how would bias be avoided?

      How would those summing the impacts ensure that all impacts, both positive and negative, were fairly represented in the analyses and results?

      How would we ensure that research effort to investigate impact, develop impact/damage functions and IAMs is properly apportioned to the various impact sectors, and to all relevant impacts, both positive and negative impacts?

      • Peter motivated me to read Roger Pielke’s paper – ironic because I doubt that Peter has, It got me immediately with Rial et al 2004.

        “The Earth’s climate system is highly nonlinear: inputs and outputs are
        not proportional, change is often episodic and abrupt, rather than slow
        and gradual, and multiple equilibria are the norm . . . there is a relatively
        poor understanding of the different types of nonlinearities, how
        they manifest under various conditions, and whether they reflect a
        climate system driven by astronomical forcings, by internal feedbacks,
        or by a combination of both . . . [We] suggest a robust alternative to
        prediction that is based on using integrated assessments within the
        framework of vulnerability studies . . . It is imperative that the Earth’s
        climate system research community embraces this nonlinear paradigm
        if we are to move forward in the assessment of the human influence on

        And then continued with Tomas on spatiotemporal chaos from the salad days of CE.

        “Weather and climate are manifestations of spatio temporal chaos of
        staggering complexity because there is not only Navier Stokes equations,
        but there are many more coupled fields. ENSO is an example of a
        quasi standing wave of the system.”

        It implies that great uncertainty is unavoidable – and precision in top down proscriptions unlikely. ENSO – btw – is better defined as a stochastically forced resonant system.

        Risk is the product of consequences and probabilities. There are key questions to be asked – according to the article.

        “1. Why is this resource important? How is it used? To what stakeholders is it valuable?
        2. What are the key environmental and social variables that influence this resource?
        3. What is the sensitivity of this resource to changes in each of these key variables? (This may include, but is not limited to, the sensitivity of the resource to climate variations and change on short (days), medium (seasons), and long (multidecadal) time scales.)
        4. What changes (thresholds) in these key variables would have to occur to result in a negative (or positive) outcome for this resource?
        5. What are the best estimates of the probabilities for these changes to occur? What tools are available to quantify the effect of these changes? Can these estimates be skillfully predicted?
        6. What actions (adaptation/mitigation) can be undertaken in order to minimize or eliminate the negative consequences of these changes (or to optimize a positive response)?
        7. What are specific recommendations for policy makers and other stakeholders?”

        In essence it is quite subjective – where consequences are described and assessments usually supplied within broad limits such as low, medium, high or extreme consequences and quartiles for probability. It is best done in a group setting as an application of the Delphi Method.

      • Bjorn Lomberg has applied this type of approach in his Copenhagen project. It certainly is a less biased approach than currently applied where climate effects from fossil fuel emissions are a priori assumed to be the biggest threat.

      • Peter Lang

        In case there is any confusion about what my questions were asking, they are about the impacts of climate change and the derivation and calibration of damage functions (e.g. sectoral impacts per degree GMST change). They are not about climate change itself. Bottom up approach is great, if it is unbiased. But how can that be assured. How can we ensure the total impact per sector includes all the significant impacts per sector – i.e. all te significant positive and negative impacts.

        Secondary question: Why hasn’t it been done so far (over the past 30 years). Why has there been comparatively little research into the impacts of global warming?.

        Richard Tol (2013) https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10584-012-0613-3#page-1 did an analysis of the sectoral impacts of global warming from 1900-2000 and projected the sectoral impacts from 2000 to 2100 using FUND. This shows that the sum of the impacts all sectors excluding energy would be beneficial to around 4C of warming (from 1900). If the projection of negative impact of energy is wrong and all other sectors are correct, then GW would be overall beneficial to +4C GMST. I suspect the energy projection is substantially incorrect.

        I suggest a great deal of work should be put into checking and calibrating the damage function in FUND. This would be an excellent place to get some rapid early progress.

  21. David L. Hagen

    Rational Dissent, The Tenth Man, or Red Team-Blue Team is essential for the scientific method and prudent public policy. Israel almost lost the Yom Kippur war because of lack of this.

    • David L. Hagen

      How Israeli intelligence failures led to a ‘devil’s advocate’ role

      Israel’s inability to perceive enemies’ plans before 1973 Yom Kippur War led to creation of the Tenth Man, a way to ensure contrary assessments at least get a hearing. . . .
      The Tenth Man is a devil’s advocate. If there are 10 people in a room and nine agree, the role of the tenth is to disagree and point out flaws in whatever decision the group has reached.

      Killing the messenger is self-defeating. AMAN, the Israeli forces’ directorate of military intelligence, had to change the way it did business, and in the aftermath of the Agranat Commission it created two new tools: the position of the Tenth Man, also referred to as the Revision Department, and the option of writing “different opinion” memos.

      “The task was to generate intelligence estimates that ran contrary to Research Department assessments … This approach was important because it allowed for the consideration of a number of possible intentions of the enemy, including those deemed less probable than others.”

      Applying this to climate science is to require a “minority report” on every topic, similar to the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC). See the Climate Change Reconsidered reports

      The Right Climate Stuff team of NASA Apollo scientists and engineers took the NASA mandate that ONLY validated models would be used and applied it to climate policy. They found NO climate models had been validated. So they reviewed papers on both sides. Then they created a relatively simple model and validated it against available evidence. See:
      Bounding GHG Climate Sensitivity for use in Regulatory Decisions February 2014

  22. Who would this be for? If it is for policymakers like Congress or government agencies headed by the likes of Pruitt and Perry, it will fall on deaf ears. The problem is, what does it take to get them to listen? They see science through the tint of their thinktanks and party-funding bosses and act accordingly, and still will after this process. What changes that part? Unless the policymakers can resolve that conflict of interest, it would be pointless.

    • We already live with the current conflict of interest in the consensus community, their promotion of alarmism ensures their research will continue to be funded. Is it beyond your imagination the Pruitt and Perry have genuine concerns about consensus science and would like to use this exercise to give them certainty in the direction they steer their departments?

      • Pruitt and Perry would do well to talk to their counterparts in other countries. Since they don’t trust the scientists at all, the red team exercise would be completely pointless. This is what I mean by a tinted view. They have it because the science is spoonfed to them by filtering intermediaries, and that is the part that won’t change, red team or not. Find a way past that and we make progress.

    • aporiac1960

      Jim D: “If it is for policymakers like Congress or government agencies headed by the likes of Pruitt and Perry, it will fall on deaf ears.”

      Pruitt is the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. Consider all of the difficulties that that must entail, and yet his ears are still less deaf than yours. Everything disadvantages him and advantages you, and yet you are still a dumb f*ck. That may be why he is the administrator of the EPA and you are not. Similar story with Perry.

      “The problem is, what does it take to get them to listen? ”

      What does it take to get you to listen? I would score Pruitt at 100,000 times less difficult to get to listen than you, and Perry at 10,000 times. It must be a very great relief to you that science disputes this interpretation according to your scientific definition of science.

      “They see science through the tint of their thinktanks and party-funding bosses and act accordingly”

      So they have compelling motivating reasons, whereas you have no such excuse. You are right to be angry and to identify them as expensive whores. Such is the eternal outrage of the cheap whore.

      “Unless the policymakers can resolve that conflict of interest, it would be pointless.”

      On this we can agree. When it comes to a profound understanding of pointlessness, I would put your expertise before any living being.

    • Jim D:
      Republicans: Shade science in one general direction.
      Democrats: Shade policy in one general direction.
      So they are both wrong but on different issues.
      Will the Democrats listen about solar and wind turbines? And nuclear. The democrats aren’t giving us much in the way of solutions. However, Obama and Clinton were good enough with fracking. Solutions to date from wind and solar are almost non-existent.
      “Wind and solar in March accounted for 10% of U.S. electricity generation for first time”

      10% of roughly 40% of our total energy consumption. That’s 4%. We are about 15% of the global energy consumption. That’s now 0.6%. And we spent a bunch of money to date. I admit, we did get something for our money. New power lines. Now that we paid for them, we do get some benefits from existing wind and solar.

      • It’s early days to give up. Here’s just one item on going 100% renewable by 2050. One of many pathways. Others might include nuclear.

      • Jim D:
        We can see what our efforts have produced to date. If you don’t like my 0.6%, and it’s very rough, let’s increase it four times to 2.4%. Wind is technology from 300 years ago. Airfoils can only get so much better. We have been refining them for probably 100 years in aviation. We can say they will be able to do something in lower wind speeds. That’s nice, the generation will be minimal lacking the force of higher wind speeds. Transportation and home heating are going to be tough.

      • The growth rates of these industries has been exponential. It is 6% globally already. Think of how much growth there has been in just a decade. It won’t be many decades before we are approaching 50% globally.

      • I am sure that Trump is looking for the best science that money can buy – and that Pruit and Perry have entrenched views as inane as Jimmy D’s.

        The game is duelling experts.

      • “Trump has been consistently pro-nuclear power. Directly after the Fukushima nuclear disaster, he reasserted his confidence in the power source, saying, “I’m in favor of nuclear energy, very strongly in favor of nuclear energy.””
        We need help from the Democrats. Cut the those anti-nuclear people loose. What are they going to do?
        “NuScale’s design does not rely on powered water pumps or circulatory equipment.[1][4] The company claims it can shut down and continue cooling itself indefinitely in the event of a catastrophe.[4][b] The devices are intended to be kept in a below-ground pool, to absorb the shock of earthquakes, with a concrete lid over the pool.[30] In the event that AC power is lost for normal cooling systems, the pool water begins to absorb heat and boil.[4]”
        [4] The NuScale design claims to enable the reactor to safely shut down and self-cool indefinitely, with no operator action, no AC or DC power, and no additional water.
        Instead of building more power lines, thank you Greens, and cut those too you Democrats, drop one of these babies in.

      • David Springer

        Trump looks for the least cost option. He won the white house with half the money Dems spent to lose it.

      • David Springer

        Trump will make a few mean tweets about particular climate scientists that annoy him. Everyone will then forget about science and be consumed by how unbalanced and mentally deficient Trump is to have spent two minutes tweeting those mean spirited comments.

        He must laugh himself into a state of exhaustion trolling hundreds of millions of libturds around the world like that.

      • Trump has a blind spot when it comes to actual costs of essential things to real wage-earning people. He has never had to think in those terms. He is more likely to treat those people as suckers like with Trump University.

      • David Springer

        Trump’s deaf ear to problems facing middle Americans displaced from the workforce by American manufacturing industry leaving the country to chase after unregulated cheap foreign labor is why they fled the Democratic party and put him office?

        Non sequitur.

      • David Springer

        Trump put his name (an little else) on most of the 500 different businesses operating under his brand. He didn’t pay attention to Trump University. He doesn’t have the time. He closed up shop and settled the lawsuit out of petty cash. Get over it.

      • Trump sells people a bill of goods. He’s good at doing that. In the end no one gets what they expected from his sales pitch, and he slinks on to something else, looking for new dupes, when he fails to deliver. In this, the dupes were his voters. He can fool some of the people all of the time, and they are his base.

      • These comments about Trump strike me as the Blue Team talking about climate change. Hysteria at its best.

      • Trump is all hat, no substance.

      • Don Monfort

        Trump wears the Most Powerful Man in the World Hat. And you can’t stand it.

      • Jim D doesn’t understand how you can have high growth “rate”, without it meaning high penetration. If renewables grow from 7% to 10% of US generation capacity, that represents an astounding 70% growth rate. But only 3% actual growth. And that’s before checking to see if the numbers are based on name plate rating or actual generation.

    • Roger Knights

      Who would this be for?

      Pruitt said it is for the American people, or the public.
      He’s right: they have only heard one side of the story.
      And that’s true of most scientists outside the climate specialty, too. They have mostly heard largely strawman versions of the skeptical side.

  23. “This means that the blue team needs to serve as a ‘red team’ on the red team.”

    We call that a short circuit in electronics, it blows fuses.

  24. I hope the red teaming approach comes to fruition at the EPA.

    I would add another Red Team Law for the climate science exercise::

    Mother Nature does not care.

    That is, whether the sky falls or not is not the concern of Mother Nature but only of the Chicken Littles.

    In human terms our values and preferred outcomes about how the various ecosystems ought to be would be best eliminated from the first part of the exercise. There are so many competing priorities as Bjorn Lomborg points out that we forget the complexities of the various competing interests of different countries, economic classes, cultures and the like.

  25. The up-and-down trend of the measured average global temperature trajectory since it has been reasonably accurately measured worldwide is closely calculated using an emergent structures analysis. A simple equation accounting for the net effect of all ocean cycles with an approximation, measured water vapor via TPW data and clouds with a proxy of sunspot number anomaly time-integral produces an accurate match with measured average global temperatures (R2 = 0.98, 1895-2016).

    Human activity is probably causing water vapor to increase. CO2 has no significant influence. http://globalclimatedrivers2.blogspot.com

  26. “There is an authoritative book on this topic by Micah Zenko entitled Red Team: How to Succeed by Thinking Like the Enemy. “
    Who is the enemy here?

    • I guess that would be a consensus of destruction wrought by unmitigated AGW.

      • So is the aim to think like the consensus? Do you really need a red team for that?

      • Anyone’s guess I guess?

      • Geoff Sherrington

        I can show you findings from a paper rejected for publication last week, showing that the temperature observations at Sydney Observatory and a dozen more Australian sites are explainable without any need to invoke global warming in Australia.
        I cannot fault the paper.
        Peer review here needs an examination by a red team.
        It is disturbing that such fundamental issues are dismissed for no more than seeming unfashionable.
        Why are you sceptical of red team?

      • Geoff,
        “Why are you sceptical of red team?”
        Because I can see no good outcome. As Adm Titley (IIRC) said, we already have red teams, in peer review. What is different here? Likely, the red team will be appointed by politicians. And it will be the usual folks who they bring up before congress. So they report on something, what then? It seems like a rerun of the Wegman process. Who tests the quality of the red team? Who adjudicates? Mr Pruitt?

      • Geoff Sherrington

        My worry is more “Who tests the quality of the blue team?”
        How else can we improve the type of example I gave, what could be capture of the topic by a blue team that excludes even looking at alternatives?
        It is not as if the fundamental problems many scientists see with IPCC conclusions have been comprehensively addressed before now. Comprehensively duck-shoved, yes. Explained, no.
        It is not good enough by far for a topic with serious policy implications.
        I do not label it “poor science” lightly. It is not a joke or a debating nicety. The science is, in places, pathetically and demonstrably poor. Just look at the maltreatment of accuracy and precision in too many relevant papers.

      • David Springer

        The difference is peer review seldom contains any skeptics, anyone who dares point out the emperor has no clothes won’t have a career left, and peer reviewers don’t put a lot of effort into it because they’re not paid for it.

      • @Nick Stokes | July 4, 2017 at 2:15 am |:
        «we already have red teams, in peer review»

        You mean peer reviews like this:
        «I do many of my reviews on travel. I have a feel for whether something is wrong – call it intuition. If analyses don’t seem right, look right or feel right, I say so. Some of my reviews for CC [Climatic Change] could be called into question!» UEA’s renowned Director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU), Phil Jones

        (Climatic Change: is An Interdisciplinary, International Journal Devoted to the Description, Causes and Implications of Climatic Change)

        Please, show me the standard followed by peer reviewers that makes it a reliable scrutiny.

      • The whole e-mail from Phil Jones is well worth reading – carefully. I came over the e-mail at Hilary Ostrov´s site. She got an excellent article on that e-mail: Phil Jones keeps peer-review process humming … by using “intuition”

      • From Nick: “As Adm Titley (IIRC) said, we already have red teams, in peer review”

        And we have seen how well that works. And not just in climate science. If you haven’t recognized that the publish and peer review process is in need of a drastic overhaul Nick, then you are part of the problem.

    • I think you can manage to not get hung up on the word enemy.

      Those who hypothesize that fossil fuel use poses risks requiring government intervention are opposed to those who hypothesize fossil fuel use poses no risks requiring government intervention – seems fairly distinct.

      There are many aspects within this statement opposition, broadly categorized:
      1. the effect of fossil fuel use ( RF->AGW->??? )
      2. the assessment of risks, and
      3. the politics of government intervention

      There are many unknowns and much assumed knowledge.

    • For moi,
      the enemy are those that demand adherence to consensus and seek to destroy the reputations of people like Judith Curry with false allegations, threaten her with Congressional authority, and literally propose legal actions against those that disagree about the fracking weather.
      You know this.

      • “the enemy are those that demand adherence to consensus and seek to destroy the reputations of people like Judith Curry with false allegations, threaten her with Congressional authority…”
        So why do you need a red (Republican?) team to learn how to think like them?

        Seems like this is an exercise of political authority in science. Fix those scientists like Trump did with CNN.

      • Nick … what?
        Are you actually criticizing the skeptic side of attempting to “exercise political authority in science?”
        Did we ‘March for Science?’
        It slays me how progressive’s of late construct divisive language and then express dismay when some of us take sides.
        BTW, I think the Red Team thing is redundant.
        I’m a nobody and I’ve followed the Red/Blue debate, including you, for years now and to me Red wins.
        And I arrived at the game wearing a Blue Team shirt.
        The Trump vid is funny.

    • Think more broadly Nick.

      The blue team in this case are the alarmists such as your good self who want to save mankind or the planet or whatever. The enemy are those who say that the alarmism is unjustified and therefore seek to destroy mankind or the planet or whatever.

      The red team is there to assist you in your noble cause by identifying ways in which your team has failed or will fail.

      Try not to be so defensive. Mankind can only gain by exposing your alarmism to scrutiny.

    • David L. Hagen

      Nick Stokes Blue Team = IPCC/Climate Alarmists (aka Climate Scientists) – advocating Catastrophic majority Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW).
      Red Team = NIPCC/Climate Skeptics, holding the Null Hypothesis of Natural Climate Change, with small uncertain anthropogenic contributions.
      An initial Red Team outline can be seen from NOVA’s Interview of Fred Singer

      Climate change is a natural phenomenon. . . .climate changes is not in itself a threat, because, obviously, in the past human beings have adapted to all kinds of climate changes. . . .
      humanity is able to affect climate on a local scale. We all know that cities are warmer than the suburbs or surrounding countryside. . . .
      Whether or not human beings can produce a global climate change is an important question. This question is not at all settled. It can only be settled by actual measurements, data. And the data are ambiguous. For example, the data show that the climate warmed between 1900 and 1940, long before humanity used much energy. But then the climate cooled between 1940 and 1975. Then it warmed again for a very short period of time, for about five years. But since 1979, our best measurements show that the climate has been cooling just slightly. Certainly, it has not been warming. . . .
      But, in fact, the surface record also shows a cooling. So, which part of the surface record are you going to believe? The part before 1940, that shows a warming, or the part after 1940, that shows a cooling? See, that’s the dilemma. . . .
      Can these models be validated by observations? And the models very clearly show that the climate right now should be warming at about the rate of one degree Fahrenheit per decade, in the middle troposphere, that is, above the surface. But that’s not what the observations show. So until the observations and the models agree, or until one or the other is resolved, it’s very difficult for people–and for myself, of course–to believe in the predictive power of the current models. . . .
      what is the effect of this additional water vapor in the atmosphere? Will it enhance the warming, as the models now calculate? Or will it create clouds, which will reflect solar radiation and reduce the warming? Or will it do something else? You see, the clouds are not captured by the models. Models are not good enough to either depict clouds or to even discuss the creation of clouds in a proper way. ., .
      I think the warming will be much less than the current models predict. Much less. And I think it will be barely detectable. Perhaps it will be detectable, perhaps not. . . .
      the accumulation of ice is more important. . . .
      there was a strong warming between 1900 and 1940–during the same time, sea level actually fell. . . .
      you can get forcings that will produce strong warming, and you get forcings that produce strong cooling. . . .
      the feedbacks are the most important part. And these feedbacks are not properly described by models, because we don’t understand how they work. . . .Are they positive feedbacks that enhance the warming, or are they negative feedbacks that diminish the warming? And the evidence, as far as I can tell, seems to be that the negative feedbacks must be important, . . .
      until the models have a good enough resolution to be capable of depicting clouds, it’s very difficult to put much faith in them. . . .
      They’re adjusted, or tweaked, until they produce the present climate and the present short-term variation. . . .
      They fail spectacularly in explaining, for example, why an ice age starts, or why an ice age stops. . . .
      The temperature change came first, followed by the carbon dioxide change about 600 years later. . . .
      What is the climate sensitivity? As I’ve mentioned earlier, it can range from as little as one degree in some models to as much as five degrees Centigrade, which equals eight degrees Fahrenheit, in other models. . . .
      I’m not a great believer in buying insurance if the risks are small and the premiums are high. . . .
      Is the carbon dioxide level in the atmosphere any sort of danger to us? . . .
      We have geologic evidence that carbon dioxide levels were twenty times as large during the fossil record as in the last 600 million years, and have been decreasing steadily. . . .without any apparent ill effects, because life developed quite well. In fact, it blossomed forth at the beginning of the Cambrian period. . . .
      we do have a stake, a vested interest in making sure that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does not fall to low levels . . .
      High levels of carbon dioxide should not concern us. They will make plants grow faster. . . .
      if people could adapt during the Ice Age,. . .-they certainly should be able to adapt to almost any climate change. . .
      During the Little Ice Age, from around 1400 to 1800 or 1850,. . . Harvests failed. Food became scarce. People starved. There was much disease. It was a miserable period.. . .the historic record clearly shows that a warmer period is better for human beings than a colder period. . . .
      we do have historic records again of climate changes that were faster and greater than anything predicted by the UN science group.. . .
      Science is decided by observations that either confirm or deny a theory, a hypothesis. . . .
      I think climate science is on its way to becoming pathological, to becoming abnormal in the sense that it is being guided by the money . . .
      the models do not agree amongst themselves. So I think the first step is to find out why this is so, and work very hard to at least resolve the differences between [models], and then try to resolve differences between models and observations. . . .
      The National Academy of Sciences published a report in 1971, saying, as best as I recall, that a coming ice age was a definite probability within the next hundred years. . . .
      the only conclusion of this 1996 report–that there’s a discernible human influence on climate.. . . Nobody really knows what that means.. . .
      What is the impact on agriculture? The answer is: It’s positive. It’s good. What’s the impact on forests of greater levels of CO2 and greater temperatures? It’s good. What is the impact on water supplies? It’s neutral. What is the impact on sea level? It will produce a reduction in sea-level rise. It will not raise sea levels. What is the impact on recreation? It’s mixed. . . .
      People like warmer climates. . . .

      Dr. Fred Singer

      was among the first and is still the most prominent scientist in the world speaking out against global warming alarmism. He is the author, coauthor, and editor of many books, including Climate Change Reconsidered

    • Nick Stokes: For Scott Pruitt, the enemy should be the group think that infects the EPA, on climate change and other issues. The IPCC was founded by activist scientists and environmentalists to provide governments with information that would encourage them to limit emissions of GHG’s. They and there like minded successors have picked the small group of insiders who control the scientific content of the SPMs. The rule that anonymous national representatives (often non-climate scientists) must agree on every word guarantees that nothing controversial or complicated will ever be mentioned in an SPM.

      In a scientific document, every projection or other conclusion would be prefaced by the phrase: “If our models are correct, then …”. Then the IPCC would need to discuss the problems with climate models and whether they are appropriate tools for concluding …” As Schneider said about ethical science, “all of the ifs, ands, buts, and caveats. However, the SPMs aren’t scientific documents, they are where “we make simplified dramatic statements and hide any doubts we might have”.

      For example, “If our models are correct, we can reject (p less than 5%) the null hypothesis that humans have caused less than 50% of the warming observed since the mid-20th-century. However, unforced variability is another hypothesis that can explain observed warming, and it is widely recognized that most AOGCM produce less unforced variability than we observe. Furthermore statistical analysis of model output is a problematic, because the IPCC’s ensemble of opportunity does not systematically explore parameter space. In addition, climate models on the average produce more warming that we have observed, so models may be running somewhat hot. All three systematic errors increase the likelihood that this attribution statement could be wrong by an amount we can’ properly quantify. Finally, if only 50% of warming were due to human activities, future warming will be about half of the warming projected elsewhere in this report, so attributing more than 50% of warming to humans doesn’t by itself demonstrate a need for emissions reductions.

    • Steven Mosher

      Did the claim that it is an authoritative book get red teamed?

      • Don Monfort

        Somebody needs to make a movie about the heroes of Climategate. Playing the part of Steven Mosher, Climategate era, Steve Bannon. Playing the part of Mosher, post hookup with the consensus goons, Bill Nye or Rowan Atkinson. Just kidding you, Steven.

  27. To Warren Buffett, the red team concept is business as usual.

    “When Warren Buffett is deciding whether to go forward with an acquisition or a merger, he hires two investment banks, rather than just one. One bank gets a bonus if the deal goes through, while the other gets a bonus if it doesn’t go through.

    “And in Orthodox Judaism, the Talmud specifies that when a jury is unanimous in its verdict, with no dissenting votes, the death penalty cannot be carried out. Ancient wisdom recognizes that absolute consensus is a hallmark of poor decision-making, because in real life there are always conflicting facts and mitigating factors.

    “Both Talmudic Law and Buffett’s merger evaluation process are examples of how to set up a good decision-making process, not by striving for consensus, but by probing for conflict and counter-examples. Buffett is ensuring that both sides of an argument are represented by strong advocates, motivated to make the best case for their own side, while the Talmud recognizes that consensus is the enemy of careful deliberation and a hallmark of mob rule.”


  28. It occurs to me that the red team should start by examining the assumptions the IPCC position rests on. Starting with the assumption that all of the recent increase in atmospheric CO2 is from anthropogenic sources, the current CO2 content is unprecedented in many thousands of years, and on to “the sun could not be effecting the GMT” and “models are fit to assess sensitivity and cause of change attribution”. There are many other assumptions that should be reviewed but I personally think the red team approach to the WGll and III findings should not be addressed until we have a better understanding of whether the physics and methodology being used are right. The red team should be given a well defined task not be turned loose to look for anything to find fault with so there is a clear path to completion. The results may lead to further red team work but it can’t be open ended or a new bureaucracy will grow up around the project.

  29. So, Donald Trump is red teaming the mainstream media? Then, it sounds like a good idea! Except that, the mainstream media does not welcome the criticism…

  30. Geoff Sherrington

    So many rules already. Here is one from experience.
    Do not reject a red team exercise because you fear it will show your weaknesses; rather, be pleased that it should make you part of a better group.

    I rather fear for the success of a red team exercise on climate research generally because some potential participants have hubris dominating good science. But, the exercise is not about people, attitudes and emotions so much as finding new and better paths to more ‘correct’ answers in science, however defined.

    • One can hope that the Red Team report helps focus research on important questions that are presently ignored. (NSF says long term climate does not change naturally.) But such a change is a much bigger challenge than a simple red team exercise. The federal program officers who decide what questions get funded are committed AGW alarmists. At NSF most are academic scientists on leave from their universities, so they are almost all Democrats, hence committed to AGW.

  31. The selected red team laws rather remind me of the pithy quotes on desktop calendars. Things like “wherever you go, there you are”. So true but without meaning.

    So there is an exercise proposed between people whose paycheck depends on them not learning from their mistakes, those whose task it is to point out the mistakes and those who control the paychecks of both.

    What could possibly go wrong.

  32. David L. Hagen

    Red Team Feynman
    In Cargo Cult Science, Noble Laureate Richard Feynman challenged us/scientists to effectively be our own “red team”.

    But there is one feature I notice that is generally missing in Cargo Cult Science. That is the idea that we all hope you have learned in studying science in school—we never explicitly say what this is, but just hope that you catch on by all the examples of scientific investigation. It is interesting, therefore, to bring it out now and speak of it explicitly. It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty—a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid—not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked—to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated.

    Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can—if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong—to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.

    In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.

    The UNFCC and climate scientists appear to only have focused on the alarmist positions that enhance their own funding – NOT on Feynman’s admonition to explain everything that could possibly disagree with their theory.

  33. Judith wrote: “Now the Trump [administration] is challenging the established perspective of Obama and the UNFCCC/IPCC. Red is the new blue.

    This appears seriously wrong. The “Trump administration” is probably a handful of political appointees desperately trying to gain control over a runaway locomotive powered by literally thousands of government scientists, administrators, and academics who collaborate closely with them. The goal of a red team would be to find areas of agreement that the Trump administration should recognize (you are all part of the 97% consensus, but avoid admitting so in front of Congress) and areas of disagreement with the fundamentals driving the locomotive. Observations from space show that the feedbacks working during seasonal warming are not consistent with the predictions of AOGCMs.

    Are there areas of research that both teams agree will best address the major areas of disagreement? The Glory satellite for assessing the aerosol indirect effect might answer some key questions. Can we further narrow the range of historic aerosol forcing – which has already lead to the recognition that EBMs and AOGCMs disagree. (Funding studies attributing extreme weather using regional climate models which show no skill at decadal prediction is currently a waste of time.) I could argue that climate sensitivity can’t be much less than 1 K/doubling.

    • Peter Lang

      Are there areas of research that both teams agree will best address the major areas of disagreement?

      The area of research that is missing but much needed is into impacts of global temperature change.

      • On the contrary, supposed impact assessment of large temperature increases is already a major research industry. The recent CE post is an example. Pure waste in my view, since there is no good reason to expect such temperatures.

    • Agreeing on disagreements and how to settle them might indeed be useful, but that requires the teams to work together. It might best be done by a third team, operating on the output of the first two.

  34. David L. Hagen

    Book: Red Teaming: How Your Business Can Conquer the Competition by Challenging Everything– May 16, 2017 by Bryce G. Hoffman (Author)

    Red Teaming is a revolutionary new way to make critical and contrarian thinking part of the planning process of any organization, allowing companies to stress-test their strategies, flush out hidden threats and missed opportunities and avoid being sandbagged by competitors.
    Today, most — if not all — established corporations live with the gnawing fear that there is another Uber out there just waiting to disrupt their industry. Red Teaming is the cure for this anxiety. The term was coined by the U.S. Army, which has developed the most comprehensive and effective approach to Red Teaming in the world today in response to the debacles of its recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the roots of Red Teaming run very deep: to the Roman Catholic Church’s “Office of the Devil’s Advocate,” to the Kriegsspiel of the Prussian General Staff and to the secretive AMAN organization, Israel’s Directorate of Military Intelligence. In this book, author Bryce Hoffman shows business how to use the same techniques to better plan for the uncertainties of today’s rapidly changing economy.

    Red Teaming is both a set of analytical tools and a mindset. It is designed to overcome the mental blind spots and cognitive biases that all of us fall victim to when we try to address complex problems. The same heuristics that allow us to successfully navigate life and business also cause us to miss or ignore important information. It is a simple and provable fact that we do not know what we do not know. The good news is that, through Red Teaming, we can find out.

    In this book, Hoffman shows how the most innovative and disruptive companies, such as Google and Toyota, already employ some of these techniques organically. He also shows how many high-profile business failures, including those that sparked the Great Recession, could easily have been averted by using these approaches. Most importantly, he teaches leaders how to make Red Teaming part of their own planning process, laying the foundation for a movement that will change the way America does business.

    Pruitt Has Found The Solution To The Climate Debate – But Does He Have The Guts To Implement It? Bryce Hoffman Forbes June 10, 2017

    . . .That is something both sides should not only welcome, but aggressively support if they really have the courage of their convictions.. . .
    “What the American people deserve, I think, is a true legitimate, peer reviewed, objective, transparent discussion about CO2.” Pruitt . . .
    Red Team/Blue Team Analysis, or “Us versus Them Analysis” as I call it in my new book Red Teaming, is one of the most powerful techniques in the red teaming toolkit. It is designed to test two competing ideas, positions or proposals and determine which one is the strongest. . . .
    1. Create two teams (Red and Blue), and ask each of them to work independently to make the strongest case possible for their position.

    2. When both sides have completed their analysis, or after they have used up their allotted time to do so, have each team present its findings to an impartial jury.

    3. Allow the jury to question each team’s findings before endorsing the position of the team that presented the most compelling argument supported by the best evidence.

    • How do we get an impartial jury? Suppose they split, does majority rule? This does not work.

      • The National Academy of Sciences should be the jury. The Red Team need to make their case to the NAS, and the NAS can critique their effort. They already have a page about what would be the Blue Team contribution.

      • NAS is hopelessly alarmist.

      • David Springer

        Of course it won’t work to settle any debates. Two competing just-so stories of unfolding future events neither of which can be proven except by waiting for the future to arrive.

        What it will do is raise the prominence, credibility, and awareness of the skeptical side’s view to that of being equal with the academic story tellers. It’ll drive some stakes in the ground for what to expect to see as confirming/refuting evidence in the decades ahead. And it will put any expensive, unproductive policy measures on hold indefinitely until there’s some concrete evidence that policy response is needed.

        Right now climate change alarmism is a global witch hunt designed to end American hegemony by forcing us to keep massive energy reserves in the ground instead of using them to advance American interests. That game has ended. Trump overturned the board and scattered the pieces to the four winds.

      • People worried about the NAS, are you concerned they will ask too many difficult questions for the Red Team? Remember the NAS did have criticisms of Mann’s hockey stick in their 2006 report. I think they would be excellent choice to review what the Red Team does, rather than the Blue Team IPCC authors directly answering the Red Team. The NAS can critique the Blue Team too, and has regularly done so over the years because the Blue Team viewpoints have been laid out in an official form several times already.

      • “In an editorial published in Science magazine on July 3, Marcia McNutt, Editor-in-Chief of the Science Journals, removed all doubt concerning the direction that this once prestigious journal is taking. In “The beyond-two-degree inferno”, she wrote: “The time for debate has ended. Action is urgently needed.” Then, she strongly supports the contrived effort of the European Union to keep “global warming” below 2°C above the preindustrial level – a number for which we have no rigorous measurement or logic.”

        Marcia McNutt is now president of the National Academy of Sciences.

      • So are you afraid that the NAS would give a harsh critique of a Red Team effort? Shouldn’t they want the toughest critique possible rather than softballing? Remember McNutt isn’t the whole NAS. They have a membership with a wide range of expertise and can select from them. If you don’t trust anyone with a science degree, then we have problems. The last thing you want is for the Red Team to select their jury.

      • David L. Hagen

        David Wojick The critical factor is to give BOTH sides of the evidence, and the probabilities that models work/do not, the potential consequences and costs of acting/AND of doing nothing to We the People. We are the ones who have to bear the consequences and pay the bills, and who elect our legislators and executives. The Green lemming herd is funded with $100s millions and the alarms/grants feedback is preventing the non-alarmist evidence and models from being shown.

      • Sorry Jim D; I should have completed the argument:

        Karl Poppers Rule number 1 for science:
        “The game of science is, in principle, without end. He who decides one day that scientific statements do not call for any further test, and that they can be regarded as finally verified, retires from the game …”
        (Logic of Scientific Discovery, p. 53).

        I addition to obviously being unfamiliar with philosophy of science, Marcia McNutt has retired from the game of science and entered fully politics. She is now the president of National Academy of Sciences.

        I can´t think of a more partial referee.

      • What kind of culture would you think is now developing under the leadership of Marcia McNutt?
        <a href=https://wattsupwiththat.com/2017/06/22/what-happened-to-the-traditional-role-of-skepticism-in-climate-science/ What happened to the traditional role of skepticism in climate science?:
        “Traditional science required a skeptical view of one’s own findings until they could be replicated, especially by others. Unfortunately, skepticism has been deleted from the latest edition of “On Being a Scientist,” a widely-read booklet published by the National Academies of Science. When I asked the NAS about this unfortunate deletion, they explained there was insufficient space to include this fundamental aspect of doing science. Yet I counted nearly 10 pages of white space in the new edition.”

      • ” If you don’t trust anyone with a science degree, then we have problems. ”

        First of all it is not a matter of who to trust, it is a matter of what to trust. I may trust verifiable information, information that meet The principles of science (v7.5) .Whatever I choose to verify myself, or require an independent verification of, or a second independent verification of is up to me.

        Second, I think that one of the greatest problem for scientific organizations today is lack of reliable principles. Few are able, fewer has succeeded in establishing a set of reliable principles for their activities.

      • Jim D, I do not mind an alarmist critique. There will be plenty of those. I just don’t want an alarmist jury. The single jury idea simply does not work in this case.

  35. David Springer

    The Red Team needs to be paid and get a fat f*cking bonus for winning. You get what you pay for.

  36. Roger Knights

    Not only the IPCC’s report should be critiqued, but also the IPCC’s procedures and behaviors, along the lines of the two books by Donna Laframboise.

    • This is not what Pruitt and Perry are calling for. They want both sides of the scientific debate presented. Analyzing the international organizational structure of alarmism is a separate issue.

  37. I think it should easy to establish that CO2 causes warming, other things being equal; that man-made CO2 has increased dramatically; and that this has made the world greener.
    It should be possible to establish that no other relevant claims are as solid as those three. None of the best data sets from the past 200 years are exactly shouting “fire” when it comes to temp, sea level or extreme weather events. Decision-makers must weigh costs and benefits from acting now, with dubious methods like windmills, solar panels, and burning palm oil, as opposed to later. If it could be proved that the temp is going up dramatically, this would not necessarily point to any particular course of action. If the problem is so serious, there may be little we can do about it beyond adapting to severe events.
    The best approach to “what is going on” must somehow refer to the entire Holocene. What factors contributed to glaciation and de-glaciation? What was the most likely sequence of events? It certainly wasn’t all CO2 or greenhouse gases, but they may have been a critical tipping point. The authors of the famous hockey stick graphs seem to have had the right idea, but unfortunately they rushed into print, grants and careers and led many others on their path. McIntyre has said for years that there aren’t enough proxy records–the more the better, yet warmists show relatively little interest. Is it true that there are a lot of Lonnie Thompson proxies that haven’t been published?

  38. Candidates for the blue team, anyone.
    Victor Venema has put up his hand but did say he was not qualified enough.
    Mike Mann would love the publicity.
    That old BEST guy
    Gerghis or her boss from Australia,
    Lewindowsky who has all the qualifications
    John Cook, Naomi,
    Four or five others ,
    Cannot think off the top of my head
    Perhaps we can have a vote.

    • Steven Mosher

      Blue has already finished their job.
      It’s reds turn

      • Yes, they should submit the Red Team report to the NAS when they are done with it. How about doing it by Christmas? They’ve had 25 years to think about it, because the basis was published with the first IPCC report in 1990, and has changed little since.

      • David Springer

        Does the blue team get the same resources and length of time to work on it? If so they can turn in their report in 25 years after they’ve spent $100B on earth observation instruments and so forth.

        I’m good with that. You?

      • David Springer

        It’s red’s turn for a long ass time. Debate is in limbo until they finish and/or a liberal patsy is back in the white house. Expect at least 7.5 more years of working on it by the red team. Har har hardy har har.

      • You mean the Red Team are only starting to think from scratch now? What have they been doing all this time? Come back in 25 years when they are ready.

      • Indeed they have Steve. And what a job you guys pulled off.

      • Mossshhher the once Great and Powerful says that blue has already finished its job.

        Good to hear. Does that mean the science is now settled? Never to be advanced?

        BTW your statement confirms that you misunderstand the blue team/red team concept.

      • I think there’s still a few scrappy skeptics chasing the receding tail lights of the science and policy of this issue making a lot of noise, but they have been rather left in the dust.

      • Don Monfort

        When will be seeing your receding tail lights, yimmy? Shouldn’t you be moving on? You have beaten us on the science and the policy. You saved the world. Why are you still haranguing?

      • Steven Mosher

        “Does the blue team get the same resources and length of time to work on it? If so they can turn in their report in 25 years after they’ve spent $100B on earth observation instruments and so forth.

        I’m good with that. You?”


        In my experience doing Red Teams at Northrop.

        A) The design teams worked for about 10 years, the budget was
        a Billion dollars a year, give or take.
        B) The red team.. there was one permanent guy and the rest would
        be assigned to him off and on. The smartest guys and the odd
        balls ( like English majors and rock stars) didnt need that much
        time or money to find the holes and weak spots.
        C) BEST red team, total spent didnt come close to what has probably
        been spent on hadcrut, noaa, giss combined.

        This is not to say that the Pruit should try to kill the Red Team by not giving it adequate funding. However, if you look at the devastating criticism that Spinger has done in his Spare time, its not clear that there is that much more work to do. Heck Give Springer and Heller each 100Million dollar budgets and 2 years to write up the final nail in the coffin. Should be easy right Springer? I mean seriously, If everyone were as smart as you, they would already KNOW the proof you have that AGW is a fraud.. heck just collect all your blog comments.
        Your blog comments alone will go down in history as the definitive debunking of climate science. Red team? We dont need no red team When we have your comments and analysis. tell us why again?
        Why is AGW wrong..You know its wrong. Your convinced its wrong, share that reasoning and we can just submit THAT as Red team.

      • Steven Mosher

        “Good to hear. Does that mean the science is now settled? Never to be advanced?”
        No why would think so?
        We can however assert with high confidence that no red team will
        effectively question or improve the science as it stands.
        This is theatre pure and simple.
        I for one cant wait to see the red team use your arguments and hellers
        and springers.
        I can’t wait to see them cite you.
        oh wait.

      • I agree with Mosher. There is no need for a new blue team report, which would just slow things down. In fact both teams have done their jobs in that the skeptical arguments are well known. They just need to be compiled officially, so the government can act on them.

      • “We can however assert with high confidence that no red team will
        effectively question or improve the science as it stands.
        This is theatre pure and simple.”

        It’s theater because it’s projections, you’re describing the blue team.

  39. In fact people like Judith would be best on the Blue team but I cannot see anyone on the AGW side playing fair to go on the red side

  40. On a humourous and barely related note: I’ve just been reading about investigations into whether Thomas Jefferson was the father of any or all of Sally Hemings’ six children. DNA has been able to establish that the father of the last born was either TJ or one of about five people closely related to him. It was not definitively him, but he is in a small group of men who can’t be excluded. There is no conclusive evidence as to to whether all six children had the same father–they all had white features (Sally was almost certainly half white) and some were able to “pass” for white. Some say TJ is the best candidate, some say his brother. There are obvious biases at play.

  41. Nice post and comments.

    One item that seems missing in the dialoge is the assessment/vetting of the GCM’s. They are what drives policy. I would certainly want to have the legacy coding dissected and thoroughly analyzed. I am sure there is room for improvement in the layed coding approach and subesequent compensating control needs. This would be true even if all the data used was considered acceptable. Just my 2 cents for the tip jar.

    Article1 Para. 2 :.
    “Climate change” means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed
    over comparable time periods.”
    Article 2
    The ultimate objective of this Convention and any related legal instruments that the Conference of the Parties may adopt is to achieve, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.

    From that point of time on, the mandate given to science experts was clear: to prosecute at charge against man-made warming [by greenhouse gases], and not at discharge.
    IPCC has dutifully followed that mandate, and the COPs endorsed those conclusions… that were already expected in the Convention. In their wisdom, our governments agreed on this. Why should we complain?
    A red team exercise would need to go over all work performed by IPCC, an impossible task that even the totipotent current administration of the US of A could not undertake within any reasonable budget and time frame (even if reason is not its preferred weapon these days). Or it would just address too partial aspects to resolve anything.
    However, what is at stake is the work process of the IPCC, in particular how the author teams finalize their reports and the Summary for Policymakers, a rather political haggling.
    It is the responsibility of this [blue?] team to a) put in question the mandate it received from the UNFCCC, and to reject its already framed conclusions, b) to investigate the validity of model-based climate forecasting, c) to size up the dimensions of all unknowns and uncertainties in nature as well in man-made influences, and d) to refrain from offering any forecast and scenario projections (an unscientific endeavour if no validation and/or application boundaries have been trustfully verified).
    This should be the scope for the 6th assessment report, with a totally renewed IPCC setup and mental disposition. Blue, red or whatever colours should be used. The challenge is that the “I” stands for Intergovernmental, and that the word “science” cannot be found in the text of the UNFCCC; this means that its parties (governments) should now agree to ask for scientific uncertainties rather than single-minded prosecution; can we expect politicians to do so?

  43. David Wojick

    I have a new article out about the challenge of teaching the climate debate in secondary schools, where many teachers are alarmist. Not just in science, either. Alarmism is being taught in Civics, English, Art and Math classes, as early as 7th grade. What a mess!
    A red team exercise would certainly help by making the debate official.

    • David Springer

      “making the debate official”

      I agree. The blue team wants it to remain marginalized. They have everything to lose and nothing to gain by participating. So I predict they won’t. I also predict the PR fallout from failing to show up will be successfully framed as a tacit admission that they can’t defend their just-so story.

      There’s a huge market opening up for pre-fab safe spaces in academia.

      • David Wojick

        There may not be a blue team. One way to speed things up is to red team an existing assessment. But if there is a blue team I am sure it will “show up.” The alarmists really believe what they preach.

    • Thank you for posting the link. I’m in the process of reviewing material for my community college class. The textbook includes a final chapter on global issues – one of which is an alarmist presentation of climate change (defined as unilinear global warming).

  44. David Springer

    Meanwhile, in the real world, US gasoline pump prices at 13-year low.


  45. GaryT ✓ᴺᵃᵗᶦᵒᶰᵃˡᶦˢᵗ🇺🇸

    I have yet to see or hear of anybody proving anything. A supposed consensus with “Scientists” agreeing on … what exactly? CO2 has no effect on Earth’s atmospheric temperature. No one can prove it does and no one has. A religion where questioning is blasphemous vis a vis the Catholic Church in medieval England. This has got to stop because the policies designed to fix this non-existent condition are illegal, immoral and will actually cause more people in 3rd world countries to suffer and eventually perish. PROVE something.

    • ” CO2 has no effect on Earth’s atmospheric temperature.” So this is Nationalism? Hmmm… What are some of your other beliefs?

  46. Views such as above and those thinking planets, the sun, GCRs, landuse changes, have had more effect than CO2 in the last century, represent a sizeable fraction, maybe half, of skeptics judging by the views posted here. Do they get a seat on the Red Team? Who decides whether someone who even doubts the greenhouse effect gets a say?

    • David Wojick

      Staffing the Red Team is indeed an interesting issue. (I am available.) It depends on who is running it — the agency(s) and the people. Koonin is an obvious choice, but there are others with experience. Joe Bast is thinking of retiring from running Heartland in January. He has organized 12 skeptical conferences, plus the NIPCC reports, so in that sense he has far more experience than anyone else. I would have at least one sky dragon slayer if the team is large, as it should be.

      • You don’t even mention Cato people. Are they too soiled by their affiliation to be objective?

      • David Wojick

        Cato’s Pat Michaels is certainly qualified to run the Red Team, but he is a lukewarmer so I might like a true skeptic to co-chair. I would like to be a consulting issue analyst.

      • David Wojick

        I would first have a small planning team block out the major issues and arguments, then invite people who had written a lot on each to staff up the team. I would not limit this to scientists, because many engineers and others have done important critical analysis of alarmist arguments. We are doing assessment here, not science.

        If the agency hires team members as Special Government Employees (expert/consultant) then no contracting is required, which saves a huge amount of time. There is however a 9 month limit on such appointments, which is a good time frame for the Red Team assessment.

      • Tony Heller should be the chairman of the red team’

        he is the only one who can force an investigation into all the fraud

        no Luke warmers or anyone who thinks C02 is a GHG should be on the team as THAT is the central tenet that needs to be questioned.

      • Very few skeptics question that CO2 is a GHG. That is not where the primary debate lies. Nor are the fraud allegations relevant to this exercise. As Pruitt and Perry have made clear, the central issues are attribution and amount.

  47. Many of us know Skunk Baxter as guitarist for Steely Dan and the Doobies. He’s also an autodidact in defense and missile policy – chosen to help the Pentagon out BECAUSE nobody knew how to deal with his perspective.

    Here he discusses being part of the red team.

    What Skunk is saying here would not work for science. It works with policy, military, etc. Lawyers use it all the time. When doctors get together to consult or discuss what to do with a difficult patient, they are bringing in different perspectives and knowledge bases to consider all points of view, risks and benefits. Of course, doctors aren’t scientists, per se, but they base their information off literature and objective testing. They red team their decisions so that others can think of something they might have missed.

    So a scientist would be largely skeptical and unfamiliar with this process. Science doesn’t work this way. It can’t work this way. Thank goodness.

    • Sorry, this is the actual video.


    • David Springer

      Medical doctors are a wonderful example of red team blue team. They call it differential diagnosis.

      The earth has a fever. What else beside being infected with anthropogenic CO2 is associated with that symptom? What tests can we administer that will either confirm or rule out the differential diagnoses?

      • Doctors are also great for looking at things and saying, “There really isn’t a need to do anything about it.”

        I can also go to a doctor and say, “I’m just not feeling the same. I’m a bit sorer, and have less endurance.” And the doctor can say, “It’s called aging. I don’t think we can do much.”

        Or a doctor can say, “here are some estrogenic hormones, which can induce vitality and vibrance. Oh, but it does also induce wear and tear at a cellular level.” Then it is up to the patient to red team team the costs/benefits/alternatives.

        So the earth has a fever. It’s running at 98.8. Whether it is something requiring immediate action is where reasonable minds can differ.

      • That says, as in medicine, when we are not sure of the cause we should act on the most likely cause rather than take no action.

      • Roger Knights

        “First, do no harm.”

      • Jim D,

        If that is how your doctor operates, I suggest you search for a new doctor.

        Now a doctor may prescribe something to treat the symptoms the patient is experiencing, but treating what they think is the most likely cause without good evidence might border on malpractice. Like coming in to report a pain in your chest and first being treated for plurasey (sp?) and when that doesn’t work removing a couple of ribs to check for bone cancer. Happened to my Mom. By focusing on what the doctors thought was the cause of the problem, they ignored what my mom was trying to tell them. She bled out in bed from a rupture in her intestine because of that.

      • “Pleurisy” Richard Nixon had it.

  48. Here is what I wrote about the Red Team approach in 2009

    See item #11

    “11. What experts worldwide would you like to ask about their opinions on the global energy game or climate issues towards 2030?

    This is a very good question! My recommendation is that climate scientists who do NOT have a vested interest in the 2007 IPCC report and the USA CCSP reports, [including] those who are labeled as “skeptics”, be commissioned to write a report evaluating the science of those reports (a “red team” exercise). There is one USA NRC report already that did that in 2005

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

    and an international group that did that in 2004

    Kabat, P., Claussen, M., Dirmeyer, P.A., J.H.C. Gash, L. Bravo de Guenni, M. Meybeck, R.A. Pielke Sr., C.J. Vorosmarty, R.W.A. Hutjes, and S. Lutkemeier, Editors, 2004: Vegetation, water, humans and the climate: A new perspective on an interactive system. Springer, Berlin, Global Change – The IGBP Series, 566 pp.

    Both reports were essentially ignored in the completion of the IPCC and CCSP reports.

    We need more such balanced assessments.”

    • You were part of the GWPF red team on temperature.

      Please tell people how that effort went wrong so that they can avoid
      wasting people’s time

  49. Kip Hansen

    Those interested in Red Teams can look to Dick Feynman’s work on the the 1986 space shuttle Challenger disaster. He was a one man Red Team to discover the cause of the explosion.
    Who did they call to this duty? A NASA space flight specialist? A rocket designer? A group of astronauts? No — they simply called a very smart guy with no dog in the fight — with a very good rounded understanding of science and how things work in the real world.
    Who does the EPA (the government) need on a Climate Science Red Team? The best disinterested statisticians in the country, the best practical physics minds, the best engineers in the fields of dynamical systems, mathematicians working on non-linear dynamics problems, solar and planetary specialists,
    computer-geeks to tear apart antiquated code used by existing climate teams (remember ClimateGate), our best and brightest experts in proper scientific study design, and it goes on.
    Who should not be on the Red Team? — climate scientists. They can be called to submit reports, give evidence, answer questions, but should in all cases be excluded from participation in the actual Team exercise.
    Let’s hope that this Reds Team plan goes forward without political interference — as a scientific exercise — and the world gets a proper push of the RESET button on Climate Science as a whole — something must be done to shake the field loose from the Enforced Consensus that is preventing real scientific progress.

    • +100

      I was thinking Feynman would have been great too. Is there a clone out there? I don’t think Koonin has the stature and he is tainted by his former employment by BP, but I could be wrong about that.

      Input from climate scientists needs to be obtained and managed. Letting them run the thing will get it into the weeds quickly.

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Please remove and apologise for your slur about Joining being tainted by his former employment with BP.
        Alternatively, if you wish to argue, do please provide any evidence that you possess that confirms that prior industrial employment is detrimental to good science. We don’t need anti-industry hate speech here.
        (In my days, the best science was done by industry. Academia was occasionally consulted to help with problems).

      • Geoff Sherrington

        Replace Joining with Koonin, my tablet apologises. Geoff

    • Steven Mosher

      that was an accident investigation, not a red team.

      • Mosher ==> Feynman was the one-man Red Team to counter the findings of the NASA team…..

      • Steven Mosher

        wrong again Kip.
        Feynman eventually figured out that NASA or contractors anonymously led him to the evidence. Did you read his book or watch the 1993 NOVA series

  50. There would need to be assembled a white team to judge how well Red and Blue support their arguments.

    • Steven Mosher

      No typically blue teams look at the red team output and address any concerns that they think need addressing.

      Blue team is after all in charge at the end of the day

      • But in this case, the red team ignores the blue team response.

        In support of this, how many different versions of the Christy graph do you think I can post?

      • Steven,
        Isn’t A.I. the ultimate White team?
        Considering the current status of A.I. development we are at the point where the technology is ready to be assembled into a functional system. We spend over 90 billion/yr on our pets so we can afford it.
        If not by the USA then the Europeans or Chinese will. The knowledge and power to use A.I. to exploit the planet’s future will be inevitable and irresistible.

        Do you understand what having a dedicate climate science A.I. system will do for long range forecasting? Anyone associated with such a program will benefit bigly.

        AI effect – as soon as AI successfully solves a problem, the problem is no longer considered by the public to be a part of AI. This phenomenon has occurred in relation to every AI application produced throughout the history of development of AI.

      • No Mosshhher the once Great and Powerful, the blue team is not “in charge”. It is the people they report to who are in charge, and it is the people who are in charge who perceive the need for the red/blue exercise.

        And of course there would be no need for a red/blue exercise had the scientific method prevailed from the beginning.

      • Steven Mosher

        Blue team is in charge after all at the end of the day.
        the blue team does the science.
        the red team throws tomatoes.
        at the end of the day, the blue team is in charge.

        now, you can POLITICIZE and LEGALIZE the process of science by
        appointing red teams and white teams and science juries and by
        holding votes or throwing tomatoes, but at the end of the day the
        science will rule. Maybe not here in the USA for a few years, but other
        folks will just get on with doing science.

        You think a red team will turn C02 into a Non GHG? nope
        You think a red team will discover that Man doesnt emit c02? nope
        You think a red team will show or even cast one ounce of doubt on
        the engineering truth that C02 warms the planet? Nope
        You think a red team will narrow the range of ECS? Nope.
        You think a red team will find a great fraud in any single aspect
        of climate science? Nope.

        You think a red team will change what the Worlds scientists think
        about attribution? Nope. you cant even name a Single scientist
        outside the blue team who is willing and qualified to work on

        Nope. The Blue team is in charge which is why the losers at
        science have to call for a red team. The science world, the blue
        team will only care about what the red team says if the red team
        DOES SCIENCE. Otherwise this is just another necessary evil.

        Once you call for a red team you have already lost at the science.
        You can still win at the policy or in public opinion, but you’ve lost
        the science, AGAIN.

        The good thing is there will be a list of names of clowns who sign on to red team and who go down in history.

      • Steven Mosher

        Isn’t A.I. the ultimate White team?
        Considering the current status of A.I. development we are at the point where the technology is ready to be assembled into a functional system. ”

        Not really. Nature is the White team if science is the issue.

        This red team blue team exercise isnt about science. It’s Theatre.

        The Red team will NEVER be able to muster ONE NEW ARGUMENT
        in this whole process. They Will not study or present ONE BYTE of new data. They Will repeat the same old blog arguments that we have all heard Hundreds of times. Arguments that havent changed for the 10 years I have been doing this. NOT ONE NEW ARGUMENT.
        These arguments have been addressed over and over again.
        The only bright note is that there may be one document that contains the “cream of the crop” in terms of skeptics crack pot ideas.. Oh wait
        skeptical science web page ALREADY HAS the best of the red.

        The skeptical arguments repeat BECAUSE there is no AI that could shut up a dunce. You can always say “what about unicorns, it could be unicorns”. You can always demand more proof.. That’s why people can question the holocaust or doubt 911 or think that trump colluded with Russians.

        In the end, nature bats last. By the time she bats, the mush heads on the red team will be dead and gone and she will have lost the opportunity to smack them upside the head.

        But I say Bring on the red team. Full force Buffoonery. Sign up every internet clown and crack pot to affix their name to the mess.

        That way their grandchildren will have to change their names.

    • Bob, you are quite right. You also highlight an apparent misunderstanding of the context of Blue/Red teaming. That context is that there is an organisation which wants to perform better. For example, the military might want to improve strategy. A company might want to improve sales.

      Too many on these pages miss the context and see the exercise as a way to embarrass the other side of the debate.

      So, who is the organisation? Or in your terms who is the white team?

      • Neither the Red team nor the Blue team in the context of the climate debate belong to any one organization.

        I would hope the result of the Red team Blue team thing would be to get to an agreement on how to proceed with any government policy.

        The white team would need to be mostly outsiders with appropriate qualifications with a few red team blue team members.

      • Bob, I agree about neither team belonging to any one organisation in the climate debate. The closest would be the IPCC but I haven’t heard any suggestion that they are interested.

        The problem then with the white team idea is that either the red team or blue team will disagree with the outcome. Some on this forum have already declared victory one way or another.

        Ultimately while I agree with your white team suggestion, unless the white team are decision makers I believe the red team/blue team idea is not suited to the situation.

      • Forrest and Bob ==> The Red Team should all be outsiders to the organization employing them. It is of little use if the Red Team is already politicized or polarized on the topic to be Red Teamed.

        A Climate Science Red Team needs to be made up of top flight scientists and minds that are not currently involved in the ongoing debate.

        Making up a Red Team of Climate Skeptics is a senseless and self-defeating activity — that just institutionalizes the ongoing deadlocked climate squabble and is not valid Red Teaming.

        The Red Team must not be “opponents” of the current consensus — it must be disinterested in the Climate Wars — only interested in finding the truth as best we can know it at this time — This will require great minds trained in the skills necessary to do a deep review the field of knowledge known as climate science.

        It is on this point that those scoffing at the Red Team idea show their misunderstanding — they think that the Red Team will be made up of Climate Scientists — and it should not, and hopefully, will not be.

      • Ok Kip, if you say so. And who should make up the blue team?

      • If the red team are disinterested and not skeptics, then shouldn’t shouldn’t the blue team be the same – ie. not consensus? Seems like ‘skeptic’ and ‘consensus’ have become perjorative labels. And that there are no ‘disinterested.’

        I’d rather the tesms were chosen like we did for picking stickball teams on the streets of Brooklyn. There’s a captain for each side and then the picks are alternated. Seems better than the institutionalized madness we now have.

      • Kip Hansen

        jnalven ==> ALL scientists should be disinterested (in the results) and unbiased. There is currently the widespread suspicion that Climate Science, as an endeavor, has been subject to a lot of bias and consensus enforcing which has skewed results and publication to specific “required” findings and policy recommendations. The situation has not really improved since the ClimateGate days.
        Red Team/Blue Team exercises are NOT sports games, they are not competitions, not contests and not spectator sports.
        There is nothing especially esoteric about climate science — it is just a blend of Earth sciences, physics, fluid dynamics (particular non-linear dynamics) atmospheric sciences, ocean studies, etc.
        ANYONE trained in “climate science” has probably already been biased beyond recovery — thus a fresh start with the basic sciences is indicated.

      • russellseitz

        “The Red Team should all be outsiders to the organization employing them. It is of little use if the Red Team is already politicized or polarized on the topic to be Red Teamed.”

        With these words Hansen very properly recused himself from further comment

      • Steven Mosher

        “I would hope the result of the Red team Blue team thing would be to get to an agreement on how to proceed with any government policy.”

        That assume policy must deterministically follow science.
        Assume the Best science says ECS is 1.5
        Policy makers can still decide that they think a safety factor is required on any policy. They may decide to take no chances with the output of a red team blue team policy.

        The Issue of governance is this. Governance is not dictated or determined by science. Science can inform the value choices, but in the end the policy makers will apply values and the interests of various constituencies.

      • Oh Mossshhher the once Great and Powerful, you keep using that word science.

        You are yet to show any sign that you know the difference between science and what you do.

        What ever happened to you?

      • Interesting concept, Kip, but I do not see it going that way. I think the point of the red team is to articulate skepticism for federal policy purposes.

      • Making up a Red Team of Climate Skeptics is a senseless and self-defeating activity — that just institutionalizes the ongoing deadlocked climate squabble and is not valid Red Teaming.

        Agreed. And nice to see someone way it in these threads.

  51. Pingback: Red Teaming…. | Friends of Science Calgary

  52. I had a long and very serious and studious comment disappear into the aether. Please rescue it.

    In the meantime – I find the most convincing red science to be mainstream. It is neither loved nor understood by activists or recalcitrants in the blogosphere.


    • Actually – it’s metaphorically batting for the rainbow coloured team.

    • “Mainstream” is a meaningless concept in the climate debate. There is no such thing.

      • Mainstream is not the pseudoscience of the blogosphere – whichever side.

      • David Wojick

        Nor is mainstream the considerable good science discussed on blogs, including here, because mainstream does not exist. It is an empty concept.

      • David Wojick

        “Pseudoscience” also tends to be an empty rhetorical concept in the climate debate. It typically just signals disagreement. Can you point to some genuine climate pseudoscience?

      • All of yours David. You imagine that blog science is an exalted challenge to a corrupted science – it isn’t. The climate blogosphere is entirely climate warriors telling each other stories superficially in the objective idiom of science.

  53. Michael Tobis has a good post at ATTP arguing that consensus scientists should participate in any Red team activities. If you can look past the condescension to “skeptics” and the usual name calling toward our host, there is something worthwhile there.

  54. gallopingcamel

    Pruitt needs stronger medicine than he has announced so far. My recommendation is a “Climate Science Panel” led by you with the mission of selecting climate science papers that meet generally accepted scientific standards. My guess is that less than 1% of papers will make the cut.

    The National Reading Panel (NRP) carried out a comprehensive review of reading research that amounted to 115,000 papers written between 1966 and 2000. A screening was carried out to select only studies that met criteria normally used in medical and behavioral research At the end of the screening, only 428 studies met the panel’s high standards, and in September 2000 the findings were presented to the US Congress.

    Thus the panel found that only 0.37% of the studies met generally accepted standards for scientific research.

    The 14-member reading panel was chaired by Donald N. Langenberg, chancellor of the University System of Maryland. Karin Chenoweth (Washington Post) asked him why he, an experimental physicist by training, was chosen. One of the reasons, he said, was, I know what good research looks like.

    That answer is the key to winnowing the chaff of Climate Science with the aim of extracting the few grains of real science buried within it. Thus I would contend that there is no need to spend another taxpayer dollar on new research studies until we have extracted the few grains of gold buried in the heap of excrement called Climate Science.

    • Peter Lang

      It’s not the climate science that is the main uncertainty. it is the impacts, damage functions and the economics.

  55. “Sensitive dependence and structural instability are humbling twin properties for chaotic dynamical systems, indicating limits about which kinds of questions are theoretically answerable. They echo other famous limitations on scientist’s expectations, namely the undecidability of some propositions within axiomatic mathematical systems (Gödel’s theorem) and the uncomputability of some algorithms due to excessive size of the calculation.” James McWilliams

    i looked at the Michel Tobis comments on the ATTP site. My first thought was who the f… is Michael Tobis – and secondly that they are all completely nuts a ATTP. It is clear that models pretend to a maturity of both hardware and software that is decades away – it is also clear that the yokels buy into the kool-aid. What the red team needs is an explanation in single syllables of what is and is not theoretically answerable using these high level nonlinear models. A sort of climate computing for dummies.

    He referenced Edward Lorenz in support of the (Red?) Queen of computational sciences. The irony of this of escapes all of them of course. I’d like you to contemplate the red and black trajectories below as feasible solutions of a climate model. The divergence there is due to sensitive – and the in the right hand side sketch down to structural instability.



    You could ask James McWilliams what he meant by the quote – given my famous proclivities for selectively cutting and pasting. It took me years to come to terms with this paper – you may need to ask him to dumb it down quite a bit for Michael Tobis.

    I’d ask Anastasios Tsonis to explain why chaos in climate – again in single syllables – has such potential to produce climate surprises well outside the limits of a steadily increasing warming – but I doubt that you will like the explanation.

    There are many scientists capable of making a contribution. I’d focus on impaneling young, attractive, media savvy people with a name to make – rather than trotting out the same tired old drones.

    • That you say who the **** is Michael Tobis speaks volumes.


      I guess ignorance is bliss.

      • The guy seems more a blog warrior than a significant scientific voice. And Bob doesn’t read his own references.

        This little insular world of climate blogs I mostly stay ignorant of – ignorance is bliss.

      • Well he developed a 3D ocean model and built the computer to run the model, so I daresay he knows more about ocean dynamics than the one who keeps misrepresenting the work of Tsonis et al.

      • An ocean model? You know anything about it? Has it revolutionsed the Queen of computing science? For his PhD? What has he done lately? I have run hydrodynamic models for more than 30 years. I know the methods and math. It is all quite obvious – and known in the field since Lorenz.

        Bob is utterly clueless about Tsonis – which I demonstrated conclusively. It’s just more nonsense from a fanatic. Do you really want to have that discussion again Bob?

      • Sure, it’s simple, Tsonis doesn’t say it’s cooling and that the warming in the 20th century was all natural.

        Please provide sites to prove I am wrong.

  56. John Costigane


    The value of a Red Team approach is in countering groupthink. If they cannot be self-critical then others will provide that necessary requirement.

    The approach should challenge the alarmist null hypothesis using the reality, the climate changes by itself. There is no need for alarm, just a resolve to adapt as necessary.

    • Peter Lang

      John Costigane,

      The approach should challenge the alarmist null hypothesis using the reality, the climate changes by itself.

      More important is to challenge “alarmist hypothesis that global warming would be dangerous.

      • Amen to that, Peter.

        Try as I might, I cannot in my wildest fantasise persuade myself that a Global Average Temperature of (say) 289.1K (if such a thing even truly exists) represents our current Paradise and that any move to (say) 290.7K will lead us to death destruction and extinction.

        Here in lil’ ol’ England we don’t get enough warm days and we’d do a lot better with more of them. Bring them on!

        But it is gratifying to note how much greener our already green land has become as CO2 levels have risen. The great physical chemist, Svante Arrhenius was right! Chemists rule OK!

  57. Judith Curry:

    ”I will be writing a series of blog posts on this issue, that will hopefully stimulate some thinking on how to approach this in a constructive way. Next up will be a post on framing the red team effort.”

    I have here earlier written: ‘Judith Curry’s statement ”how much warming is caused by humans is THE key issue of debate” is the most urgent one in the order of priority to be solved. The quicker the better that all the potentially unnecessary funding for man-made warming can be replaced by funding for the research on the main key question: how do we learn to adapt ourselves to natural climate changes and extreme weather events.’

    At first we have only to prove that the warming caused by human issues is too minimal to cause any threat of global or climate warming.

    We have to understand that the CO2 content in atmospfere is controlled by the natural law, according to which CO2 content in atmosphere is determined by striving for dynamic balance between all CO2 emissions from CO2 sources to atmosphere and all CO2 absorptions from atmosphere to CO2 sinks. If the emissions are more than absorptions, the CO2 content in atmosphere is increasing, but if they are less, the CO2 content in atmosphere is decreasing.

    Recently the CO2 content in atmosphere has increased about 2.2 ppm a year. As the total amount of CO2 emissions to atmosphere has then contained only about 4 % CO2 from fossile fuels, in this yearly increase of 2.2 ppm in the atmospheric CO2 content there has been only about 0.088 % CO2 from fossile fuels, at the most; https://judithcurry.com/2017/03/20/discussion-thread-improving-the-interface-between-climate-science-and-policy/#comment-842716 .

    As you see in my link above, even the total increase of CO2 content in atmosphere not been found to control the climate warming:

    ”You see that already influence of the CO2 emissions from fossile fuels on the recent increase of CO2 content in atmosphere is minimal. Even though the total increase of CO2 content in atmosphere would dominate the present climate warming, the share of CO2 content from fossile fuels would there be too minimal in order to cause any threat of climate warming. In addition, according to geological and recent observations, trends of CO2 content in atmosphere follow trends of climate temperature and not vice versa. There are no observations in reality, according to which cutting of anthropogenic CO2 emissions could have prevented or lessened climate warming. As, for instance, CO2 cuttings according to the Kyoto protocol have caused only losses, the same kind of failures can be expected concerning cuttings based on the Paris agreement.”

    The framing of ”the red team effort” may be needed to concern only adaptation to natural warming of climate and extreme weather events.

  58. Pingback: Leading Climate Scientist Says Debating Theories Would Be 'Un-American' - The Right Side of News

  59. Brief references to Feynman and Challenger disaster are interesting. Columbia (2003 explosion on re-entry) may be a better example of group think that might have been corrected with red team/blue team approach. With Challenger it was to some extent senior management and politicians, not engineers, who said the o-ring was “good enough.” With Columbia the NASA engineers assured the outside investigators that pieces of foam broke off with every lift-off, and they were sure this wasn’t a big problem. Lo and behold: re-enactment shows piece of foam damaged Columbia, caused catastrophic failure. So we learn about the NASA engineers: they saw the foam problem many times, yet failed to address it as a problem. No one wanted to be the person at meeting saying: I’m not sure we’re right about this. Other colour of team came in too late. Over beers I might even rant that NASA 1.0 (Apollo) was the best and brightest, but NASA 2.0 is not. My guess is too many years of being too political, and possibly the 1.0 folks had the pure good luck of a wonderful machine, the Saturn rocket.

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  61. A shout out to Dr. Curry today by the Federalist; and a link to this blog as a primer for a red team/blue team debate. https://thefederalist.com/2017/07/06/leading-climate-scientist-science-debate-un-american/

  62. Roger Knights

    Here’s an article by Ronald Bailey on Pruitt’s red team proposal:


    • Roger Knights

      Bailey writes, “If the Trump administration does pursue climate Red Teaming, it should create several individual panels that focus on specific problems.”
      I agree, and have said the same.

      • David Wojick

        That might come after a single Red Team exercise, but it is unlikely to come before.

    • The public would benefit from a score of such articles

  63. Pingback: Leading Climate Scientist Says Debating Scientific Theories Would Be ‘Un-American’ You’d think the 97 percent of scientists who supposedly all agree about climate change would eagerly line up to vanquish climate deniers—but apparently not. By

  64. Pingback: A Red Team to end the climate wars: fun but likely to fail – Fabius Maximus website

  65. Dr. Curry, I thought you served on a kind of Red Team during the debate on renewing the APS statement on Climate Change. The APS charge to the panel struck me as very fair. The transcript seemed to show a respectful discussion that generated a lot more signal than noise about the strengths and weaknesses of the climate models. How did you feel about that experience? Did it make a positive contribution to the debate? Would that be a good model for an EPA Red Team exercise on the topic?

  66. Pingback: What EPA chief's "red teaming" of "climate change" debate really means - The Right Side of News

  67. Pingback: A Red Team to end the climate wars: fun but likely to fail. | Watts Up With That?

  68. Pingback: Framing the challenge for the climate red team | Climate Etc.

  69. Pingback: Framing the challenge for the climate red team – Enjeux énergies et environnement

  70. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #276 | Watts Up With That?

  71. The Red Team approach was conceived as a way of furthering the Blue Team’s agenda. But policy makers faced with technical issues over which expert interpretations and judgments differ would benefit most from an independent unbiased assessment of the relative merits of what the Blue and Red Teams assert.
    An approach to providing such an independent assessment was proposed half a century ago by Arthur Kantrowitz when experts were disagreeing publicly over the potential safety of nuclear power — “Proposal for an Institution for Scientific Judgment”, Science, 156 (1967) 763-4.
    This was much discussed for a time under the rubric of a possible “Science Court”. A few informal trials were made, a symposium was held in the early 1990s, but no such Court was actually established. More recently, some legal scholars have revisited the concept as a way of assisting the legal system as it needs increasingly to deal with cases where intricate technical issues play a central role and are presented in opposing directions by the expert witnesses called by plaintiff and defendant.
    A Science Court would have subpoena powers and the authority to force proponents of the range of interpretations to present their cases and to respond to cross-examination. The purpose of proceedings would not be to assist a Blue or a Red Team to a better winning strategy but that independent judges or assessors would be able to offer the best possible advice to policy makers; that would typically be a statement of the nature and degree of technical uncertainties and the likelihood of benefit or harm from possible actions.
    A just-published discussion of the Science Court concept forms chapter 12 in Science Is Not What You Think (McFarland 2017) http://www.mcfarlandbooks.com/book-2.php?id=978-1-4766-6910-6

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  82. Pingback: An official climate debate could be great

  83. A genuine scientist would welcome his ideas being aggressively stress-tested by someone else, much as the genuine computer programmer welcomes the tester who actively seeks to break his code. For that is device for improvement.

    The widespread and intense resentment and opposition to a climate red team, makes it crystal clear just how far away from being genuine scientists, most climate scientists are. In plain language they are fake scientists.

  84. Pingback: Australia’s Renewable Energy Debacle: Policy Insanity Overtakes ‘Green’ Hypocrisy – STOP THESE THINGS