by Judith Curry
A new book by Oppenheimer, Oreskes et al. entitled ‘Discerning Experts: The Practices of Scientific Assessment for Environmental Policy‘ makes a case against consensus seeking in climate science assessments.
I have long railed against the consensus-seeking process used by the IPCC (see my previous blog posts on this topic). And particularly, my paper:
Oppenheimer has long voiced concerns about consensus (e.g. his 2007 paper). However, Oreskes has been consensus enforcer in chief, originating the 97% thingy.
I haven’t read their new book, but authors Oreskes, Oppenheimer and Jamison have written an essay on their book in Scientific American, entitled Scientists have been underestimating the rate of climate change.
You can see where this is going from the title of this article; most of this is an attempt to justify alarmism. But they make some interesting points. Excerpts:
“In our new book, Discerning Experts, we explored the workings of scientific assessments for policy, with particular attention to their internal dynamics, as we attempted to illuminate how the scientists working in assessments make the judgments they do. Among other things, we wanted to know how scientists respond to the pressures—sometimes subtle, sometimes overt—that arise when they know that their conclusions will be disseminated beyond the research community—in short, when they know that the world is watching. The view that scientific evidence should guide public policy presumes that the evidence is of high quality, and that scientists’ interpretations of it are broadly correct. But, until now, those assumptions have rarely been closely examined.”
“Among the factors that appear to contribute to underestimation is the perceived need for consensus, or what we label univocality: the felt need to speak in a single voice. Many scientists worry that if disagreement is publicly aired, government officials will conflate differences of opinion with ignorance and use this as justification for inaction. Others worry that even if policy makers want to act, they will find it difficult to do so if scientists fail to send an unambiguous message. Therefore, they will actively seek to find their common ground and focus on areas of agreement; in some cases, they will only put forward conclusions on which they can all agree.”
“The push toward agreement may also be driven by a mental model that sees facts as matters about which all reasonable people should be able to agree versus differences of opinion or judgment that are potentially irresolvable. If the conclusions of an assessment report are not univocal, then (it may be thought that) they will be viewed as opinions rather than facts and dismissed not only by hostile critics but even by friendly forces. The drive toward consensus may therefore be an attempt to present the findings of the assessment as matters of fact rather than judgment.”
“The combination of these three factors—the push for univocality, the belief that conservatism is socially and politically protective, and the reluctance to make estimates at all when the available data are contradictory—can lead to “least common denominator” results—minimalist conclusions that are weak or incomplete.”
“Moreover, if consensus is viewed as a requirement, scientists may avoid discussing tricky issues that engender controversy (but might still be important), or exclude certain experts whose opinions are known to be “controversial” (but may nevertheless have pertinent expertise). They may also consciously or unconsciously pull back from reporting on extreme outcomes. (Elsewhere we have labeled this tendency “erring on the side of least drama.”) In short, the push for agreement and caution may undermine other important goals, including inclusivity, accuracy and comprehension.”
“In our book, we make some concrete recommendations. While scientists in assessments generally aim for consensus, we suggest that they should not view consensus as a goal of the assessment. Depending on the state of scientific knowledge, consensus may or may not emerge from an assessment, but it should not be viewed as something that needs to be achieved and certainly not as something to be enforced. Where there are substantive differences of opinion, they should be acknowledged and the reasons for them explained (to the extent that they can be explained). Scientific communities should also be open to experimenting with alternative models for making and expressing group judgments, and to learning more about how policy makers actually interpret the findings that result.”
In seeking to defend “it’s worse than we thought” about climate change, Oppenheimer, Oreskes et al. have opened up a welcome can of worms. Consensus seeking and consensus enforcement have trivialized and politicized climate science for decades.
It has been clear for some time that the conclusions of the IPCC Assessment Reports are too tame for the activist/alarmists. In fact, quoting the IPCC is a favored strategy of the so-called ‘contrarians’ (including myself). It remains to be seen if Oreskes can drop the 97% consensus rhetoric (I doubt it).
In twitter discussion on this article, Gavin hits the nail on the head:
Whenever Michael Mann interacts with me, he comes loaded with this statement “uncertainty is not your friend,” “uncertainty is a two-edged sword.” In the same vein, there are two tails to these distributions. The problem is not only extreme events on the high end, but all the neglected natural processes that have been marginalized (e.g. in attribution analyses) or neglected (e.g. in future projections); these natural processes can contribute to tails on both ends of the distribution.
My solution to the problem identified by Gavin is addressed in my new paper, which will be posted tomorrow. Stay tuned.
Lets stop manufacturing consensus about climate change. Lets open up the scientific debate on climate change and celebrate disagreement and use it to push the knowledge frontier of climate science. The whole consensus thing has done little to reduce global CO2 emissions, which was the point of the whole exercise. It’s time for new approaches to both science and policy.
I find the logic of all this rather hard to take. What exactly does anyone mean, in the realm of science – taken in the broadest sense to include economy and engineering – by consensus anyway when “science” needs to present something that someone in decision making position should act on. “We cannot agree on a statement so there is probably nothing to worry about is disconcerting logic.” We can’t agree on a statement so you better be VERY worried” doesn’t work either. ” We made this statement to the best of our ability and we are handing it over to you with a worried face” is a better starting point. “We had a red team and a blue team dialogue and this is the result” is even better. The elitist position in risk in Sweden is that worst case government scenarios point to mass death should there be a diesel and electricity failure in the middle of winter and that is considered an OK risk to have and not to tell people anyway as they have no way of dealing with it that they can think of. Climate seems to be treated the same way.
“Elsewhere we have labeled this tendency “erring on the side of least drama.”
Yes, saying the oceans will rise by several meters, the world will be uninhabitable in 75 years, thousands of species will go extinct, the corals are disappearing, etc etc is erring on the side of LEAST DRAMA. It seems to me the drama could not be more extreme on the warmist side of the discussion. And yet these authors have the chutzpah to say we need more drama! Un-f-ing-believable.
Readers, the more I read and attend public lectures, I have a growing belief that the anthropogenic climate change issue is the “trojan horse” of a larger topic. Partially obscured is the attempt to use “science” to destroy capitalism and promote one-world governance. Yes, it is Agenda 21 hidden in disdain for fossil fuels. This tracks back to “Silent Spring”. The connection is unmistakable.
As I have written many times on this blog, there are a zillion claims out there as to a consensus on alarmism, or conversely labeling others as deniers. And the biggest problem in all that is that it is never even remotely clear what people in the consensus are agreeing to, nor is it clear what the deniers are denying. For, there isn’t one single set of cardinal beliefs that we can match our views against. Basically there are three realms where we could possibly address this: (1) whether human activity has been the major cause of climate change over the past ~120 years, (2) what will one the climatic effects of any future level of greenhouse gases, and (3) what will be the impacts on humanity? The first one is amenable to a yes/no answer. The other two are infinitely complex. The overwhelming majority of “climate scientists” work in some narrow part of climate science and are no more qualified to comment on the big picture than anyone else. Seeking a consensus among them is a waste of time. Climate fulfills the conclusion I have drawn, which is that the topics we talk most about are the ones we understand the least.
> And the biggest problem in all that is that it is never even remotely clear what people in the consensus are agreeing to, nor is it clear what the deniers are denying.
False, and false:
Au contraire. Assigning people to believer or non-believer categories on the whole is meaningless and does not inform about what a person does or doesn’t believe. Viewing the climate debate or people as a binary is what is ‘false and false’.
> Assigning people to believer or non-believer categories on the whole is meaningless and does not inform about what a person does or doesn’t believe.
You might as well argue that we can’t categories eateable things as fruits because it does not tell us if it’s a banana or not. It’s what contrarians do and say that tell us if they’re contrarians. Assuming we don’t have evidence of what they say and do would be beyond silly.
Try to apply your “but binary” to meaninglessness and “does not inform.” Report.
There are many different views on many different aspects of climate change. People may agree, disagree, or be uncertain or unconvinced on different parts of the subject. It is far too complicated to lump people into just two categories — believer or non-believer. It is unhelpful to scientific discourse as well.
Do you think all people are either republicans or democrats? Do you think all republicans or all democrats have the same point of view on everything? People exposed to the same information do not all come to the same positions or conclusions. Scientists are people. My point is that it’s far too much of a simplification to divide people up into two groups and think that is a good description of what they think or believe about everything.
> My point is that it’s far too much of a simplification
And mine is that you present how classification works backwards. From that there’s no need to delve into your concerns about complexity. By some serendipity, “but complexity” is part of the contrarian bingo.
Everyone categorizes. It allows us to make sense of the world. Not absolutely but to a manageable level. As we can’t ponder if corn is a vegetable or a seed or a grain forever. The correct categorization depends on its usefulness.
I am a denier. Is that useful? If it likewise excludes people like Curry from doing something useful with a wicked problem, maybe not. But if it’s a trace gas argument, denier away. Help us out.
Categorization should serve the goal. Goal driven categorization. Us and them with them against us learned and useful from past history or just wicked underhanded skulduggery from our leaders.
I want to win so I’ll call you names. Funny besides denier, we see a fair amount of that today. From people wanting to get their way.
So we have objective categorization and the skulduggery variety. And we should not pretend the latter is the former.
Humans are probably evolved to be in groups.
Certainly one cannot reproduce alone.
But hunting, gathering, defense, child rearing, comfort, an other
tended to be group things and one could not survive alone.
So it’s no wonder we’re so quick to identify with groups.
Problem is, this is contrary to reason.
As with ad hominem, similarly attacking a group ( but also belonging to group ) is a distraction of what is said by who says it.
> As with ad hominem, similarly attacking a group ( but also belonging to group ) is a distraction of what is said by who says it.
You’re right. The whole climate question is ill-posed.
George Carlin will be rejoicing. Just like the oxymoron “jumbo shrimp” perhaps “scientific consensus” will now receive the “adulation” it deserves.
Judith is absolutely right we need a new approach.
I suggest the new approach should be challenging The IPCC spms and all Studies and actions dependent on the SPMs as
Politicized SCIENCE, and therefore with no scientific value.
Government officials sitting around in closed sessions negotiating what they then decree is science to anybody trained in science and not paid to advocate human caused climate warming has no scientific value at all. That of course is how the IPCC SPMs are written, and by IPCC rules override Anything contrary independent scientists write in drafts of IPCC reports.
Reblogged this on ClimateTheTruth.com.
Decision making with imperfect information has been around for a long time. Perfect information may be common to trivial matters but is rarely available when momentous decisions are needed.
When contrarians stop using diversity of opinion as an excuse to avoid any action (see Chuck Weller’s “no scientific value” post August 21, 2019 10:52 am), claims of “consensus” will die off.
Action is suggested on this blog. Summed up as no-regrets policies and adaptation. Fracking was endorsed at least by me. And that action helps back up wind and solar.
The consensus insists on holding the right to the definition of “action” as well as the projection of warming.
This way “action” is redefined as “avoid any action” and “IPCC” is redefined as “contrarian.”
There is a political benefit (tribal posturing) to claiming no action in the face of action, but there’s no environmental benefit to it.
Poverty is a good example. There are people who will insist the world has taken no action on poverty, because we haven’t done what they, specifically, insist we must do to alleviate poverty. The realists will see we have done quite a lot to alleviate poverty, that the activists’ proposals are ineffective (if not outright counterproductive) and conclude the activists don’t really care about poverty, they just use it to push their political theories and bash realists. “If you don’t go full Venezuela, it’s because you hate poor people!”
Jeff has it back-to-front. It was banging on about an alleged consensus that brought forth mention of diversity of opinion.
First, “thingy” wins the award for best context humor on the internet today. I literally did lol.
The culture of CS has become its own beast. Not being part of that community, I would appreciate a distillation of the information pro and con. As example, a spreadsheet format with external links to both articles and supporting original source data would put competing ideas together in one place. I think the most obvious objections to this approach are along the lines of deciding content, classing the information, concerns about how the information is used, etc.
These objections in turn parallel the conflict intrinsic in the source material. And this in turn points to the reason why, in the current environment, we can’t have nice (i.e. useful for policy) things.
I think what you are looking for already exists and does it very well: skepticalscience.com
It poses the main arguments against AGW and in such a way as to make it accessible and clear to beginners in the subject, intermediate and expert-level scientists. And it refutes all those arguments with citations of the evidence.
What more would you need?
You cited skeptical science – I am presuming you are aware that skeptical science is an activist/advocacy website masquerating as a science websit hat is very active in distorting, mispresenting, exagerating climate science.
Anyone with critical thinking skills would recognize skeptical science as a psuedo science.
An example of skeptical science distortion and mispresentation –
The moderator of comments added a graph of the amazon fires by month / by year – but only going back to 2012 – noticably absent were the20 -30 years which shows the 2019 fire activity to be AVERAGE.
Secondly, the graph was by month with a very large hockey stick for the months of june and july which just happens to be the dry months which is when the farmers and ranchers burn acreage.
Nothing like a litte distortion and mispresentation from a “science based website”
I like Gavin Schmidt’s remark on a lack of imagination. He wrote (I apologize if it was a different Gavin) “If the specific heats of condensate and vapour is assumed to be zero (which is a pretty good assumption given the small ratio of water to air, and one often made in atmospheric models) then the appropriate L is constant (=L0).” That ‘pretty good assumption’ means that models overestimate transfer of energy by water evaporation from tropical seas by as much as 3%. Run such a model for 100 years and you don’t even dare to discuss the accuracy of results (that’s one of many reasons why there are ensembles of models). Is it so difficult to imagine?
Talk about unintended consequences. Or maybe a nicely scored own goal. Could a skeptic have been any more eloquent in challenging consensus?
If the establishment wants to be treated as true scientists then they need to behave appropriately. Scientists from other fields readily admit to gaps in their knowledge. They happily state there is so much more to learn. When someone, including media, goes beyond what the science says, they are called out.
But not in climate science. I see almost daily predictions of catastrophic impacts from global warming in time frames as short as a couple of decades. Millions to be displaced by 2050 from SLR, as an example. Come on. A few inches in the last 20 years and now miraculously the rate of rise by orders of magnitude in the next 20 years?
When scientists publicly challenge the more far fetched claims and predictions of some activist scientists and over zealous media, and attempt to stick to what we know and what we can know, and are courageous enough to say we just don’t know, then they will gain more respect from skeptics. There is no shame with having a consensus that there is no consensus.
“When scientists publicly challenge the more far fetched claims”
Unfortunately, the activists have politicised the field so much that any scientists who spoke out publicly (or even privately) against examples of exaggeration or misrepresentation knows they will be accused of aiding the enemy (i.e. “deniers”), and most are just not prepared to take that heat. All but the bravest are going to keep their eyes closed and their heads down. Academics are not noted for their courage with very rare exceptions (e.g. the host of this blog).
Separately to the output of mainstream science there is an emergent cultural consensus upon a certainty of imminent global catastrophe (absent a near decades shutdown on fossil fuel usage), which has long encompassed both authority echelons (presidents, prime ministers, UN elite, religious leaders, NGOs and many other businesses / orgs / influencers, albeit Trump being an obvious exception), and large swathes of the public (now including child prophets and many millions of child proselytisers). Strong cultures police their consensus narratives (via demonisation, emotive biases etc); the small minority of scientists who are also climate catastrophist adherents are doing just this when they rail at the IPCC / mainstream. Given the pressure of this much more powerful consensus upon the enterprise of science, it seems unlikely that any reassessment of IPCC methodology prompted from this direction would actually produce a freer environment where a wider spectrum of views and positive approaches would prosper. Despite the apparently useful goals, cultures never declare their true goals (this is a subconscious thing, adherents aren’t lying). The opposite may occur, i.e. the far too silent yet not catastrophist majority may be challenged to more openly declare, and if they do not declare for the cultural consensus there will be consequences; so en-mass this could flip either way.
There is incredibly compelling scientific evidence that a global ocean die-off, a huge and catastrophic collapse in the chain of life in the oceans, could easily happen within 45 to 50 years. It’s not only because of global warming, it’s because 100% of the oceans have been affected by human contact and consequent destruction.
And if you want to refute that claim by reputable scientists who have done the research, why don’t you become an oceanographer yourself with a PhD! I challenge this community to refute facts and evidence ONLY with facts and evidence and an equal scientific acumen, education and training and experience.
So when people without climate science degrees, like so many readers here, claim it is “far-fetched” that millions of people could be displaced by sea level rises by 2050, WHAT is your claim based on? Where is the science? Where is the evidence? Where is your rigorous study and where are the pier reviews?
They are making these claims out of a nearly complete lack of information. Feeding from ignorance upon ignorance upon ignorance, juiced with arrogance and containing tiny morsels of verifiable factual information to sauce it up into seeming realistic to those who also feed upon the piles and piles of ignorance. And it’s all grown and fueled by a nearly religious, anti-fact, antiscience contrarian belief system.
The arrogance of many of the writers here is astounding. You believe your “common sense,” based on what you read and What You observe see in your own backyard is far more valid than years and years of scientific education and practice and studies and working with other scientists in the same or similar fields!??
Yet the vast pool of ignorance you are drawing on to make your conclusion is as deep as the oceans you are completely unaware of how, step-by-step, are being destroyed by human activity… Until they reach a catastrophic tipping point.
No one and no group of scientists can’t exactly predict when that is. But it is absolutely certain that you CANNOT reliably predict it WON’T happen.
Wow. Just wow. The utter BS and crazy claims being made here are astonishing.
That’s okay. You all can wallow in your unverifiable, self validating fantasy world of Wishful Thinking, lies, misinformation, disinformation promoted by those paid by the fossil fuel industry …
It doesn’t matter because reality will happen despite your opinions. Your many laughable, highly ignorant and arrogant opinions.
“And if you want to refute that claim by reputable scientists who have done the research”
I’m not refuting any claim by majority orthodox (or minority skeptical) scientists . As my comment started off: *Separately* to the output of mainstream science there is an emergent cultural consensus upon a certainty of imminent global catastrophe. The narrative upon which this is based does not stem from science (of any flavour), but arises in the public domain from emotive selection. The mainstream / orthodox position (per the IPCC AR5 technical chapters) does not support this narrative (neither does skeptical science). If your claim of imminent global catastrophe is one which you deem to mostly result from ACO2 (plus other processes like land use change considered in AR5), and also you are claiming that this is very likely (‘could easily happen’), then it is you who are refuting the 831 scientists who put together the AR5 tech chapters, and the thousands of others whose papers were sucked into the bottom of the process and are largely consistent with its consolidated output. There remains a small group of ‘catastrophist’ scientists who refute the IPCC position, saying it is too conservative. Whether their position owes more via emotive bias to the cultural consensus, or whether their theories are more realistic than the IPCC AR5 (and skeptical scientists and lukewarmer scientists), only future history can tell. But even if, against all the other science camps, they turned out to be right, the last thing we’d want in charge is a culture, such as the current culture of climate catastrophism, because (via emotive selection) cultures work towards ‘solutions’ that *cannot* fix the problem, but instead promote / prolong the culture still more.
What do you believe to be the rate of SLR that warrants your comment that millions of people could be displaced by rising seas by 2050?
“There is incredibly compelling scientific evidence that a global ocean die-off, a huge and catastrophic collapse in the chain of life in the oceans, could easily happen within 45 to 50 years. It’s not only because of global warming, it’s because 100% of the oceans have been affected by human contact and consequent destruction.”
Trying to outdo Paul Erlich?
“So when people without climate science degrees, like so many readers here, claim it is “far-fetched” that millions of people could be displaced by sea level rises by 2050, WHAT is your claim based on? Where is the science? Where is the evidence? Where is your rigorous study and where are the pier reviews?”
Bigger question are
1) how did a SciFi prediction get through peer review
2) what is the probably that the SLR over the next 30 years is going to exceed 3-4 inches – probably close to zero.
> I challenge this community to refute facts and evidence ONLY with facts and evidence and an equal scientific acumen, education and training and experience.
Well, that certainly put me in my place.
I can’t even begin to express how convincing the whole credentialist line of argument is, coming from an anonymous blogweed.
Thank you, masked trimillennial hero, for teaching us humility, which the Romans called verecundia.
“Many scientists worry that if disagreement is publicly aired, government officials will conflate differences of opinion with ignorance and use this as justification for inaction.”
This ignores that there is ignorance of many aspects of some topics. Can’t the ignorance be recognized and used by people as reasons for differences of opinion, rather than requiring a single opinion?
“This ignores that there is ignorance of many aspects of some topics. Can’t the ignorance be recognized and used by people as reasons for differences of opinion, rather than requiring a single opinion?”
Furthermore, people, including government officials, are not stupid and if they begin to suspect that disagreements are being deliberately underplayed or hidden, they are rightly going to conclude they are being stitched-up!
Geomagnetic activity has the greatest impact on pressure distribution in the north.
Circulation in winter over North America will again be consistent with the geomagnetic cutoff.
Changes in the geomagnetic field cause harsh winters in North America.
During the solar minimum, the AO index is negative.
The geomagnetic field is weakening over North America. This causes an increase in galactic radiation in this region. Ionization by GCR is the strongest in high latitudes at an altitude of 10 to 20 km. This causes a rise in temperature in the lower stratosphere and weakens the winter polar vortex.
High pressure in the North Atlantic continues to hamper hurricane formation.
Normalized Geopotential Height anomalies.
La Niña is very likely in November.
I agree with NASA.
(yeah, JCH, what’s with the discrepancy there?)…
God has allowed carbon dioxide to increase for more food production for the population incresae from 7 to 9 billion by 2050 by natural causes.
God is in control of our climate.
If you proposed your theory in the Bible belt, you would get a consensus.
Charlatons are trying to take over using climate. Lining their pockets and control over us..
That’s your theory? Climate scientists are charlatans? And you have a climate science degree yourself– so you have the scientific acumen and knowledge to refute everything they know and work on and take years of training and knowledge to produce??
Sorry dude, I have to point out the fact that you believe in God means that you are gullible and more likely to believe in lies and Wishful Thinking promoted by the fossil fuel industry, which has bought our government, than you are likely to believe in facts which are being published and can be verified or falsified, by doing the science.
Without the long fancy sentence, it’s obvious you believe in Fairytales over reality.
You have a belief that “God,” an unverified, HUMAN-CREATED concept about the nature of reality as posited in 3000 year old books, written and rewritten and edited to suit the many unknown and unstated agendas of those writers and editors, in an age without science, understanding and trust in facts, only relying on authoritative opinions of monarchs posing as “gods”–and that ancient 100% manmade, hearsay-based, unreal, imaginary Sky Fairy is in control the climate. Sounds like a wonderful preschool children’s book!
That is not a fact, it is a personal belief. Therefore it means nothing in the world except to people who decide to listen to you instead of reality. Go get your validation in church.
“The whole consensus thing has done little to reduce global CO2 emissions, which was the point of the whole exercise.”
Very, very little! Warmists should be able to understand this. What do they want? They are either naive or dishonest.
Purpose: To line the pockets of the powerful and elites at expense of poor and middle class. History once again repeating itself.
Not sure if the Western academic establishment will be first or last to admit global warming alarmism is a hoax and a scare tactic but, we will be hearing from a political consensus in the upcoming 2020 elections concerning the urgency of climate change… e.g., ‘How much have the seas risen for you in the last 3 years’?
The conclusion I am drawing here is that scientists, as a group, cannot adequately communicate the thoughts that reside within. My conclusion here is similiar to one that I have long held about philosophers; that the best ones are those that can assemble the best descriptive words.
It’s not that non experts don’t sometimes have a good point. (Triple negative?) It’s not that experts don’t sometimes get it wrong. Evidence leads to consensus, not the other way around. Some scientific hypothesis are very well proven by both theoretical and observational evidence. The problem arises in communicating what is very well proven to a public with limited scientific knowledge. How should journalists obtain the conclusions of well proven science, if not by looking for a consensus among experts?
One semi-scientific hypothesis that is very well proven is that humans are quite capable of changing their environment, not always to the better.
Shouldn’t “journalists” use their brain and knowledge, if any?
The drive for consensus comes from the advocacy problem climate science was born with. Global warming research was compromised by being bundled with poicies to promote renewables and leave fossil fuels in the ground. At the Hartwell papers (2010) stated:
“So, a distinctive characteristic of the climate change debate has been of scientists claiming with the authority of their position that their results dictated particular policies; of policy makers claiming that their preferred choices were dictated by science, and both acting as if ‘science’ and ‘policy’ were simply and rigidly linked as if it were a matter of escaping from the path of an oncoming tornado.”
This feedback loop between the science and crisis advocacy has only intensified since that observation. So now, the narrative is in the driver’s seat, and the facts are selected or discarded according to which story advances the agenda. That has been the pattern ever since Hansen’s 1988 senate testimony followed by Santor’s hijacking of AR2 in 1996.
Some interesting research is revealing how stories affect our ability to evaluate facts. Facts vs Stories is written by Steven Novella at Neurologica.
My synopsis is: https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2019/08/21/which-comes-first-story-or-facts/
Correction:Ben Santer (not Santor) did the hijacking.
Hallelujah, Judith! Why is it so hard for clever minds to agree to think objectively about this question? Hubris and self-preservation seem to be part of it, but truth is a hard target. Science is a remarkable outcome of human experience and this particular problem is complex – to argue that the remarkable transformation in mass human experience from desperate survival to surplus economy has produce imminent extinction requires profound analaysis – and certainly more than politics. Thankfully yours for your diligent application! Love, Mike
I used to think that it was MDs who thought they were gods. Then I heard Michael Mann speak.
Reblogged this on Quaerere Propter Vērum.
Consensus is possible among experts who add together their lots of experience. For example, psychiatrists never decide alone about releasing an internated patient. In such case consensus is required.
But climate experts share one only experience on which they agree or diverge, that of planet Earth’s history.
Climate scientists are no experts; they try to interpret the limited amount of available climate data or they try to model climate pieces in a significant way. Their dispersed results cannot allow for consensus, neither can they be used for statistical comparative analysis.
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Not another “entitled” book pls!
It’s “ titled.”
“Lets stop manufacturing consensus about climate change. Lets open up the scientific debate on climate change and celebrate disagreement and use it to push the knowledge frontier of climate science.”
How on Earth is the climate alarmists’ Nazi propaganda machine going to be overturned. An excellent article linked in a comment by Bevan Dockery in the previous post shows how powerful is this propaganda machine. No wonder so many alarmists are persuaded (i.e. gullible) – some are continuously vitriolic to the point of Nazi-like behaviour.
The article contains excellent information and reveals how powerful and controlling is this propaganda machine – it’s run out of Germany and targets the Anglosphere.
“European climate campaigners seek to level the playing field between their resource-poor homelands and the Anglosphere’s natural energy superpowers. German-led states use Climate Change to enhance renewable energy and electro-mobility exports. Success hinges on controlling cultural assets within the Anglosphere.”
It seems, having failed in WWII, Germany is trying a new way to get control of the world.
Holtzbrinck & Bertelsmann: Agents Of German Climate Imperialism
Hi Peter Lang
You need to, first, factor in the range of psychological profiles of humanity. Few that lead (good, bad, altruistic, self-centred, etc) and the multitude that follow (meek, dumb, brain dead, lazy-brained, etc). What sort that happen to proliferate at any one time. Applies everywhere; religion, politics, academia, social clubs/gangs,–.
One may meet those sample characters in ‘Fraggle Rock’.
Go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fraggle_Rock see ‘setting’.
The Bevan Dockery link to publishing affected me more than most recent reading. How does an insignificant retired scientist like me counter such wealth and influence? Someone has to rectify it. It is unhealthy.
If I find further reading I shall circulate it. The topic is important.
The climate issue stands on a foundation of palaeo climate reconstruction. Mild climate variability in the instrumental record has no meaning except in the context of what has happened before – is any current trend unusual or not?
In this context, recent posts by Steve MacIntyre at climateaudit are among the most important elements in the climate debate. It is a sobering and depressing account of ongoing use of dishonesty and dirty tricks to fabricate alarm out of nothing.
For example, SM has been showing for nearly two decades that the practice of arbitrary “ex post selection” of a subset of proxies from a larger number, creates “hockey sticks” from pure red noise. As a statistical artefact.
Now he finds the practice of ex post selection with no apparent reasoned criteria to be alive and well, and that the palaeo climate community, in particular PAGES2K, have ignored this issue completely.
There are cases of course where explicit quality control criteria are applied to the selection of proxy data. One such example is in the PAGES2K study of Antarctic proxies. The general consensus of Antarctic ice core isotope proxies is one of steady decline in temperature for the last two millennia. Then along comes another proxy, borehole inversion thermometer measurements, which are problematic and fail the PAGES2K quality criteria but which show a hockey stick – a recent upspike contrary to the general proxy consensus. So what happens? The quality criteria are suspended and the borehole inversions become the centrepiece of the PAGES2K story for Antarctica:
Steve MacIntyre revisits other proxy studies such as tree ring reconstructions from both North and South America:
What he finds is basically “Mike’s Nature Trick” to be alive and well and continuing unabated. In South America 63 proxies were whittled down to only 4 that showed a vague hockey stick. In one of these cases – Chepical – the proxy uptick is caused by a dam construction more than a century ago. Chepical exerts the same baleful influence as the infamous Yamal bristlecone in MBH98, yielding a hockey stick from a single tree.
Another major issue compromising all these proxy series is rapid fall-off in number of proxies as one approaches recent times. This causes statistical robustness of the proxy series to decline up to the present making it more likely that spurious fluctuations – in either direction – will influence the final recent part of a proxy reconstruction series.
Overall SM finds that the palaeo climate community have failed to respond in any way to these methodology criticisms over the last two decades and continue with “business as usual” as per MBH98. Therefore the depressing conclusion is that the palaeo foundation of the story of hockey sticks and climate alarm is one of sand and not rock; it is no foundation at all.
Reblogged this on Climate Collections.
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Well they’ve come at this the wrong way round and it will be even more difficult to fight the propaganda machine if the upshot is to give Carte blanche to even more catastrophic and outrageous statements and publications. What they should be doing is better science. Science and advocacy should never be close bedfellows. Wrapping them up was a big mistake.
Love your work.
I really appreciate those like you that have held your integrity in the highest esteem. Without which, we would be screwed.
If your praise is intended for Judy, then allow me to second, third and fourth it.
A consensus is a useful way to describe the level of agreement on matters of opinion but when the subject is the determination of policy in response to scientific studies it has no place. It is being used as a tool for manipulation.
It gives scientifically illiterate politicians the impression that it equates to evidence when it does no such thing. It acts as a threat to undecided scientists when it suggests, “You are either with us or against us”. It is closer to being an admission of Groupthink. For those aware of the origins of the 97% consensus it is simply propaganda nonsense.
Scientific truth, if such a thing can genuinely exist, is arrived at bit by bit as detailed evidence builds up. It seems that in so called climate science, even the most basic facts are in constant dispute. Much of this results from blatant lies put about by the media, activists, politicians and anyone with an opinion. This is what makes the ill-defined claim of consensus such a successful tactic. It is deliberately meaningless.
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A focus on energy security would reduce emissions tremendously. We should be building nuclear for baseload and a highly flexible natural gas system to address variability and heat, and prob 10-20% baseload wind and solar for diversification and R&D purposes.
The extreme winters we’ve recently experienced likely nothing compared to with winters of previous centuries. IIRC, the east coast power system can only handle a 2 week arctic blast; this is not good enough. We need a highly adaptive, variable capacity natural gas system that generally operates at the low end of capacity and has idle production that can be turned on at a moment’s notice.
A focus on energy security would reduce emissions tremendously. We should be building nuclear for baseload and a highly flexible natural gas system to address variability and heat, and prob 10-20% baseload wind and solar for diversification and R&D purposes.
The extreme winters we’ve recently experienced likely nothing compared to with winters of previous centuries. IIRC, the east coast power system can only handle a 2 week arctic blast; this is not good enough. We need a highly adaptive, variable capacity natural gas system that generally operates at the low end of capacity and idle production that can be turned on at a moment’s notice.
This debate has become too complicated and abstruse. It can be simple, if we discuss facts and prefer hard physics to the statistical models of the unprovable pseudo science that is climate science, that is based on modeller’s guesses, not laws, and does not predict the last 40 years change where it is supposed to happen, which is much less. Except for the Russian model. From a country where there is no CO2 justified renewables racket. Follow the money, not the facts or the climate. Facts.
Does academia shy away from KISS? Are simple facts actual not interesting versus debating esoteric fairytale science? Not enough work/grants/papers if its simple and factual, and independently verifiable?
The answer is behind you! We have the facts about the actual greenhouse effect since 1979 in the satellite records of tropospheric temperature from UAH, nothing to see there except the typical change of the interglacial record ups and downs over the whole Holocene.
We also have a very close explanation of the short term cycles in terms of three dominant solar cycles from Lüdecker and Weis (DOI: 10.2174/1874282301711010044) from direct analysis of the historic record using multiple proxies over the last 2,000 and 10,000 years, actual Central European recordings for the last 500 years or so, using very well proven Fourier analysis of the data to determine its frequency power spectrum, back cast to check the results. They even explain the last few decades up to 1997 hokey stick, in terms of two of the cycles reinforcing each other over those decades, before a significant fall, which the same cycles predict about now….
What else does a serious physicist need? Preferring statistical guess work from models of deliberately limited scope and using presumptive forcings, when you have measured facts that can be analysed in this way and are highly correlated with real causal effects, is truly unscientific. Models built on forced correlation and probabilities assigned to presumed causes is not proven science, never can be, its simply what someone guessed but cannot prove. So a lot of people with skin in the game agree it must be true instead to keep the grants coming and the renewable subsidies flowing.
But data analysed this way is as close as you can get. That’s as close to deterministic science as climate can get. Real data, proven analytical method, only one suspect present at the scene. Not quite provable law, but MUCH nearer than any climate model approach.
Also, there are no other effects with the periodicities detected and NO signal corresponding to recent CO2 increase in the Fourier analysis results. There really is nothing else it could be on these frequencies, and nothing is happening CO2 wise, in fact. Except it will probably get colder quite soon, and the whole climate change renewable protection racket and its fraudsters will be exposed, but already rich from the their cut of the subsidy $Billions from the called solutions, that aren’t and can’t do what is claimed for them, replace fossil use – adequately , affordably or sustainably, in hard engineering fact. $Billions wasted channelled to lobbyist cronies by dodgy politicians, justified by the unprovable consensus of the in fact non problem of CO2. The consensual scientists will also be comfortably pensioned off if in academe, so also won’t care.
AS the wsste in the West becomes eye watering andthedevloing world keeps on developing by burning fossil fuel, which is anyway fine, given coal is scrubbed of NOX etc, it must be very close to time for politicians to remove their climate VR goggles connected to the climate models, lose the climate change rosary and face planetary physics reality.
And end the rackets run by insiders that simply damage our energy supply to no real benefit to anyone, particularly not the robust and very large planet and its climate. Also end the real economic damage imposed on the poorest in developed society and the 3rd World, forced to use rationed expensive energy when the opposite is possible to no negative effect, on any measure of the policy claimed to support the so called renewables. Only the energy is renewable. That’s the real physics and economics. But we still have to expose the jet setting climate evangelists, fraudulent academics and politicians we are forced to pay for, for what they are. Simple crooks and liars. Only science and engineering fact can do that.
Absolutely right. This made the comment page on the Nature article:
Carl-Otto Weiss is retired now, giving him time to devote to the spectral analysis of climate data, something he says has not been satisfactorily looked at. With two colleagues, a mathematician/statistician and an astronomer, he published this paper https://benthamopen.com/FULLTEXT/TOASCJ-11-44 “Spectral Analysis Of Climate Data Shows: All Climate Change Is Due To Natural Cycles”.
2013 version https://www.clim-past.net/9/447/2013/cp-9-447-2013.pdf
A video recap of the somewhat demanding paper is here: https://schillerinstitute.com/media/carl-otto-weiss-le-changement-climatique-est-du-a-des-cycles-naturels/
Oh yeah, charts…
(Color online) Upper panel: Global temp record G7 (grey), running 31-year average of G7 (blue), sine representation of G7 with three sine functions of the periods 1003, 463, and 188 years (green), with four sine functions including the period ~60 years (red), continued to AD 2200. The parameters of the sine functions are given in Table 3. The Pearson correlation between the 31 year running average of G7 and the three-sine representation (green) is 0.84, for the four-sine representation (red) 0.85. Lower panel: G7 (grey) together with the sine functions of 1003, 463, and 188 – year periods continued until AD 2200 (equal sine amplitudes for clarity).
Europe and antarctica exhibit the same pattern.
Spectral analysis shows the major components of the cyclic data.
His analysis makes a prediction about the next 50 years (at least)
His prediction is compared to the “mainstream science” predictions. We should know within the next decade.
His conclusions are straightforward.
Brian: Thanks for bringing Lüdecker and Weis (2017). It is a truly horrible paper, but fortunately proves exactly the opposite of what you say it does.
Test 1: If our climate were dominated by cycles of about 1000, 460 and 190 years, then we should be able to find strong signals for such cycles in the period 1-1950, and then use the sum of these three sin curves (9 adjustable parameters) to forecast the rapid rise in temperature observed since 1950. By omitting the period since 1950 from the “training period” we can be sure that the rapid warming attributed to rising anthropogenic forcing (mostly rising CO2) can be fully explained by cycle derived without the period possibly perturbed by CO2.
Test 2: Let’s include the possibility that rising anthropogenic forcing contributes something to the temperature record that can’t be explained by these cycles alone. Let’s do a multiple linear regression of temperature vs these three cycles PLUS forcing and see how much each of them contributes to warming in the instrumental period?
These seem like two reasonable hypotheses that actually TEST the PREDICTIVE VALUE of the hypothesis that these three cycles explain climate. Right?
Now let’s look at Figure 3 to see how well these three cycles predict warming during the instrumental temperature period. Oops! The authors don’t show real instrumental records, just their G7 record composite. And the green line for the sum of three sine curves is totally missing. Only the red curve with an additional 65-year cycle. The spectral analyses in Figure 2 show strong, consistent evidence for a 190-year cycle, but the evidence a 65-year signal is not appreciable stronger in the 2000 year proxy record than any other cycle less than 100-years in length. (The 65-year cycle was added because it is significant in the instrumental period.) For that matter, the statistical significance of the 1000-year (2 cycles) is low and consistent evidence of a 460-year cycle is limited.
Ignoring these severe problems, let’s focus on the red composite of four sine curves in Figure 3. Looking closely, the red curve peaks about 1945 and falls a few tenths of a degC by 2000. in the real world of instrumental temperature (not this g7 composite with a 31-year smooth), we know that temperature rose 0.9 degC between 1970 and present – at a time when the red curve WAS FALLING. In other words, the cycles proposed by L&W17 completely fail to predict the rapid warming of the past half-century. L&W17’s hypothesis fails Test 1 even without excluding the period since 1950 from the “training period”.
Test 2: Since anthropogenic forcing was rising at the same time red curve was badly failing to match observations, any multiple linear regression involving forcing as one of the predictors of temperature will certainly place significant weight on forcing as a contributor to temperature during the instrumental period.
In conclusion, the cycles observed in proxy temperature data (only one of which is unambiguous) don’t predict the warming we have observed during the instrumental period, but forcing from GHGs does. Forcing is the slowing of radiative cooling to space by GHGs predicted by radiative transfer calculations. Such calculations are based on quantum mechanics and the laboratory analysis of the IR spectra of GHGs, and have been thoroughly tested in our atmosphere. A slowing of radiative cooling to space combined with conservation of energy leads to the unavoidable prediction of warming somewhere in our climate system. AOGCMs are used to attempt to determine the amount of warming at equilibrium and rate of warming, things that depend on clouds, precipitation, heat transport into the deep ocean, and convection. These phenomena can’t be calculated by models from first principles and must be represented by parameters that are tuned. If you understood the basics of what AOGCMs actually do, you have every right to be skeptical about some aspects of their output.
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I look forward to your paper, and will withhold further comment until reading it.
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Oreskes’ new tome reveals a desire to get back into the fold of “normal” philosophy of science, abjuring the bogeyman attacks on Big Oil etc. Google gives you a peek into the book, (contents page and index only) revealing that the main subjects covered are acid rain, ozone depletion, and sea level rise. Mann, Jones and Santer get one mention each, all on the same page. That’s less than Feynman and Popper, and a lot less than Roger Revelle.
However, she spoils her argument with this example in the ScAm article:
“Consider a case in which most scientists think that the correct answer to a question is in the range 1–10, but some believe that it could be as high as 100. In such a case, everyone will agree that it is at least 1–10, but not everyone will agree that it could be as high as 100. Therefore, the area of agreement is 1–10, and this is reported as the consensus view. Wherever there is a range of possible outcomes that includes a long, high-end tail of probability, the area of overlap will necessarily lie at or near the low end. Error bars can be (and generally are) used to express the range of possible outcomes, but it may be difficult to achieve consensus on the high end of the error estimate.”
A “consensus” around a difference of one magnitude, with an outlier at a distance of another magnitude, is not science. It’s fumbling in the dark. If that’s where she thinks we are in estimates of future glacier melt (her example) then she should have the courage to say those three little words which climate scientists find so difficult: We don’t know.
My nephew age 40 had this to say in response to my sending home Dr. Curry’s post.
Here is his comment:
“I very much agree that scientists are, sometimes, presenting expert judgments and opinions as facts when presented to the public. Doctors do this so often it has a name “cloak of competence”. I had to study this a bit in as part of my social policy minor in Uni. The basic gist is that scientists must have the trust of their patients, so they all learn to adopt an “air of certainty” when talking to patients and laymen.
The fact that scientists in climate change are adopting a cloak of competence doesn’t surprise me. They face similar challenges to doctors. They must present a consensus view or their conclusions will be easily manipulated by FUD (Fear Uncertainty Doubt) attacks, much as WUWT persistently generates.
The question at hand is, in what way are their conclusions being swayed in order to sound more certain? Are they being swayed to make more liberal or conservative estimations in order to find a consensus that can be defended?
It is notable that Curry would bold certain cherry-picked excerpts from a source that has thoroughly investigated the topic. I’m not really sure why Curry is so interested in disseminating the hard work of others instead of doing similar original work of her own, however I think her choice of cherry picking shows an obvious underlying manipulation. She has bolded all the sections that describe the existence of a cloak of competence but very handily avoided bolding the one section that is most pertinent.
>>They may also consciously or unconsciously pull back from reporting on extreme outcomes. (Elsewhere we have labeled this tendency “erring on the side of least drama.”) In short, the push for agreement and caution may undermine other important goals, including inclusivity, accuracy and comprehension.”
That is a very concerning conclusion. The push for *caution* aka conservative judgments and estimations and “erring on the side of least drama” is the study’s main concern. This flies in the face of what Curry seems to be trying to manipulate it into, or at least how her readers are manipulating it.
In conclusion, the concept of erring on the side of least drama in order to maintain a cloak of competence that will allow science based policy to be effective in the face of unrelenting FUD from those parties who have a vested interest in watering down or opposing strong and effective policies is the bottom line problem we face today. That Curry would engage in the that opportunistic and likely lucrative FUD generation machine is disheartening and perhaps also dangerous. I hope the small reward she has garnered by publishing this FUD is some recompense for the loss of her soul.”
Well, This is an immature response that doesn’t appreciate the nature of science. There is nothing wrong with picking some conclusions of a study that you agree with and ignoring those you disagree with. I believe Curry does say something about the part she disagrees with. It’s certainly not hidden. She could have spent more time on that disagreement perhaps.
> Yes, I suppose some “realists” might say exactly the same thing (though none springs immediately to mind). Others have declared different agendas, like saving the planet, whatever that means. Others still have admitted to being driven by the desire to be right (in their prognostications of doom)—people like the Gaters, whom I quoted in an article you didn’t seem to like very much
No doubt. Many “skeptics” claim many motivations as well – such as to save the enlightenment, or protect us from neo-mccarthyism, or neo-eugenicists, or neo-lysenkism, or the religious dogma of climate change fanatics, or the tyranny of statist one world givenment, or the integrity of “true science,” or the threat of dangerous “activist scientists,” etc. It’s a long list, bro.
> the question then becomes which party actually understands what it’s defending, as opposed to misguidedly defending something very far removed from actual science.
Who decides what “the” question is? I think there’s another question that is if more interest (and relevance): what motivates people to leverage science (particularly in polarized contexts), for the purpose of identity-aggression and identity-defense? What neither side merits some objective reward of the high ground as you theorize must be the caw?
> Happily that would be a question which could be adjudicated without recourse to the psychology literature, simply by determining what the nature of the scientific process actually is.
Well, I have my question about that. But irrespective of whether it could, what we know is that we can easily predict the answer that people will land on by simply determining which group they identify with, an group identification which, in the overwhelming number of cases (if not necessarily all) be associated with a whole set of politically aligned identifications. And this, of course, is easily predicted if you look at the relevant social science literature.
> If it turns out, for example, that one party is defending the privilege of peer review against pesky scrutiny by the unwashed,..
Is this a reference to when “skeptics” selectively highlight peer-reviewed articles that align with their interpretation of the science of climate change?
> while we “skeptics” champion the principle of transparent, replicable, open science, then you have your answer.
Brad, I think there are many cases where we can find “skeptics” champion other principles.
> Both “sides” could claim to be fighting in defense of science til they’re blue in the face, but one side (at least) would obviously NOT be doing so.
Again, your logic is different than mine.anifher obvious possibility is that BOTH sides fail due to a “my-side” bias of categorization, no true Scotsman kind of thinking, a binary mindset/false dichotomy, confirmation bias, etc. All very well-established biases that humans tend towards.
> Someone should tell Peter Gleick this. He seems to think HI insiders speak of themselves as nefarious, anti-scientific agents—giving rise to a certain embarrassingly unrealistic forgery.
Focusing on (potentially biased) choices of examples doesn’t make you case of a widespread, categocisl differentiation.
> Don’t you mean IMIMBO (In My Impure, Motivated, Biased Opinion)?
? I am stating my opinions.
> From your naive perspective, in other words?
? Yes. That’s what IMO means.
> But I’m asking you to reconcile your opinion with the facts. Like the fact that my “skepticism,” as you prefer to punctuate it, predated any disaffection with the Left. I’m glad, by the way, that my accidental capitalization of the definite article came across as so “interesting” to you. It wasn’t meant to.
Let’s day, for the sake of argument, your logic there is perfect and free of the bias of your motivations. It still fails as an argument because pointing to yourself (or even to your opinion about a particular st of outliers) doesn’t serve to speak to the general arguments I’m framing.
I’ll leave this there for now. Given that our exchange is subjected to automatic moderation triggered by my name, this process becomes exponentially more tedious the more detailed it becomes.
Joshua I think your comment appeared in the wrong place. Your argument here seems a false equivalence. The CDC has a vastly bigger obligation to avoid bias than ordinary physicians. Likewise those who publish papers have a higher obligation than other scientists. The real problem here is that institutional and government science has huge bias and replica action issues. Pointing those out has higher value than just rolling over for “authority.”
Thanks David –
Yup. Wrong place.
> what we know is that we can easily predict the answer that people will land on by simply determining which group they identify with
But you can’t. You can’t predict Freeman Dyson’s climate “answer” from his political identity. Nor Steve McIntyre’s. Nor mine.
Well, you COULD, but not correctly.
This failure means your explanatory schema is wrong and uninteresting.
> anifher obvious possibility is that BOTH sides fail
Yes I know this Joshua, which is why I said “one (AT LEAST)” would be wrong.
> pointing to yourself (or even to your opinion about a particular st of outliers) doesn’t serve to speak to the general arguments I’m framing.
Yes it does. It destroys your general theory by providing specific counterexamples.
> But you can’t. You can’t predict Freeman Dyson’s climate “answer” from his political identity. Nor Steve McIntyre’s. Nor mine.
I was imprecise.
Of course you can’t predict with absolute certainty for all people. But you certainly can offer a general pattern that plays out for “skeptics” as well as “realists” – which is why your testimonials about your own integrity (particularly since you offer no control for your own biases), and your testimonials about “skeptics” as a group (again, absent any sort of control relative to the group with which you identify), aren’t very useful.
I’d rather go with what the literature tells us we know about human behavior.
I realize that keep wanting to tell me about what you think about yourself, and to generalize about “skeptics” based on your testimonial, but I’m saying I don’t think such information very useful.
> Of course you can’t predict with absolute certainty for all people.
That’s putting it euphemistically.
Not only do you diametrically mis-predict a number of people’s positions—get them 180 degrees bass-ackwards, in other words—but you can’t say WHEN your theory will go so completely wrong. And when it does, you can’t say WHY it did.
(It’s one thing to have a theory, like the Special Theory of Relativity, that can’t handle every case, as long as it knows its own limits—i.e. as long as it doesn’t pretend to be a General Theory of Relativity. It’s another thing entirely when your theory has no idea, a priori, of where it will or won’t work.)
And contrary to your constant excuse-making, no, it’s NOT just my own example personally that breaks your model—there’s also several public figures that I can name off the top of my head (prominent skeptics who are leftists), and that’s without trying to be exhaustive.
At best. what you’ve noticed is a vague statistical correlation with no causal insight. And you’ve been shopping this model for years now with no apparent improvement or refinement or increase in accuracy. You don’t understand any more about skepticism than you did when I first met you on Kahan’s site.
It doesn’t matter how many more years you waste spruiking this vague “pattern,” you won’t get one millimetre closer to an actual understanding of the process you’re trying to model until you finally figure out what every scientist on the planet knows: it’s the EXCEPTIONS that are the interesting data points. Forget the 60% of cases you just happen to guess right. Ask yourself why you get so many wrong.
Prolly the strongest and most widely accepted is more or less that group identification provides a causal explanation (see Kahan).
I do have a modified view of that for my own brand of causality.
> Of course you can’t predict with absolute certainty for all people.
That’s putting it euphemistically.
> Not only do you diametrically mis-predict a number of people’s positions.—get them 180 degrees bass-ackwards, in other words—but you can’t say WHEN your theory will go so completely wrong. And when it does, you can’t say WHY it did.
Of course a generalized theory will “go wrong” with particular individuals, with outliers. To offer explanations for outliers would be rather beside the point. I know that’s where you want to dwell, but (1) I don’t find it very interesting and (2), you fail to address the potential biases when you outline your sketch of your “mis-predictions.” The point, of course, for me is that the prediction is absolutely correct in the vast majority of cases.
> And contrary to your constant excuse-making, no, it’s NOT just my own example personally that breaks your model—
I didn’t suggest that it is only you that, putatively “breaks” the model.
Even on top with the problematic way that you claim that the model is “broken” (by anecdotal and testimonial claims), again, the fact that there might be outlier contradictions to the model doesn’t “break” the model.
I seem to have made this point multiple times. Hmmm.
> there’s also several public figures that I can name off the top of my head (prominent skeptics who are leftists), and that’s without trying to be exhaustive.
See above. My point, once again, is the relative number of times that there are (putative – based on anecdotes and testimonials) “breaks’ with the number of times that the model applies. And in that, the evidence is overwhelming. Your ‘several public figures” is irrelevant.
? At best. what you’ve noticed is a vague statistical correlation
Vague? No, it isn’t vague. It is rock solid and abundantly obvious.
> with no causal insight.
Sure, the causality issue is difficult. That is the nature of this kind of social phenomenon where you can’t run an RCT. And part of the problem is that people try to wrestle with the causality here through cross-sectional data and don’t take the time to collect longitudinal data.
I do have my own flavor of theory about causality…which is a bit of a modification of the more commonly proposed theories of causality. I tend to go for mediator and moderator relationships of political motivation between the motivation to see the world in ways which affirm sense of identity. Of course, the more commonly accepted theory of causality is more along the lines of Kahan’s view – which essentially boils down to affirmation of group identity. But expecting a rock solid proof of causality is an unrealistic expectation. IMO, it’s banal to have such an expectation.
> And you’ve been shopping this model for years now with no apparent improvement or refinement or increase in accuracy. You don’t understand any more about skepticism than you did when I first met you on Kahan’s site.
Oh, ok. Sorry that I don’t “understand” “skepticism” Maybe if you explain it enough I’ll begin to understand it halfway as well as you do? One can only hope, eh?
> It doesn’t matter how many more years you waste spruiking this vague “pattern,”
It isn’t a vague pattern. It is abundantly apparent, with tons o’ evidence in support – particularly in the US and Australia, (to a lesser degree in Western Europe – and it’s interesting that it’s almost non-existent in Eastern Europe).
> you won’t get one millimetre closer to an actual understanding of the process you’re trying to model until you finally figure out what every scientist on the planet knows: it’s the EXCEPTIONS that are the interesting data points.
I happen to think that (1) your “exceptions” are problematic by virtue of the unscientific way that you identify them and (2) they are far less interesting than the abundantly overwhelming patterns.
> Forget the 60% of cases you just happen to guess right. Ask yourself why you get so many wrong.
It’s not anywhere close to being only “60%.” It’s just silly that you throw that number out there – it suggests that you aren’t even seriously approaching the issue.
Those of us who oppose strong and (in)effective policies are not doing it out of vested interests. This is the false alarmist claim. We are doing it out of strong conviction.
A “strong conviction” is right. But having strong convictions that confirm ideological identification and predisposition is actually a vested (psychological) interest.
Of course, that is no more true for “skeptics” than it is for “realists.” The “motivation” for bias is a baseline human trait. But it is no less true either. As should be obvious to skeptics (without the quotation marks).
my “strong conviction,” and presumably the one that drives other skeptics/”skeptics” like me, is nothing more or less than the conviction that the scientific method must be defended from b@st@rdization and sabotage. If you want to know what motivation gets people like me out of bed and onto the internet at the cost of many wasted hours with zero financial remuneration, read Hal Lewis’ resignation letter from the APS.
(Operative words being “revulsion” at the “tsunami of pseudoscience” that has propelled the climate Kraken shorewards from its dark inception.)
Please explain, if it’s possible to do so, how this apparently pure, dare I say noble?, motivation is at bottom just another tawdry, self-serving psychological drive, preferably one that wears a vest.
Oh, and note that, for me at least, no “libertarian” or “conservative” agenda is being served, since I never subscribed to any such ideology in the first place (although I must admit that the embracing of the most rancid, Oreskean alt-scientific misosophy by The Left certainly acts as a strong consideration in favor of switching allegiances politically).
Hey Brad –
>my “strong conviction,” and presumably the one that drives other skeptics/”skeptics” like me, is nothing more or less than the conviction that the scientific method must be defended from b@st@rdization and sabotage.
“Realists” would say the exact same thing.
>If you want to know what motivation gets people like me out of bed and onto the internet at the cost of many wasted hours with zero financial remuneration,…
I’d rather read the research and literature about how people’s actions are motivated, and in particular the actions of people who are highly motivated to engage in politicized topics, rather obsessively, online. Please note, I don’t think that particularizing the focus to “skeptics” in particular, and even more so if such focus isn’t placed in the larger context, is very informative or instructive. The problem (IMO) with much of how “skeptics” approach this issue (no different from other activists on a whole slew of topics), is that they don’t perform due diligence to interrogate whether their own situation is a unique and bias-free as they’d like to believe.
>Please explain, if it’s possible to do so, how this apparently pure, dare I say noble?, motivation is at bottom just another tawdry, self-serving psychological drive, preferably one that wears a vest.
The literature speaks to this. As I reference above, everyone sees their “motivations” as pure and noble and free from bias. IMO, that is a rather naive perspective.
> Oh, and note that, for me at least, no “libertarian” or “conservative” agenda is being served,
There are many factors, IMO, in terms of what “motivates” agendas. The evidence of associations between views on climate science and ideological orientation is overwhelming, IMO. That doesn’t mean, IMO, that “motivations” in the climate change realm (or any other similarly polarized realm) are explained by particular ideological orientation – as is often assumed. My view on that is a bit complicated, but in short I would simply say that I view particular ideological orientation as a moderator (not even mediator) variable in the relationship between psychological and cognitive proclivities and views and actions on topics such as climate change.
> since I never subscribed to any such ideology in the first place (although I must admit that the embracing of the most rancid, Oreskean alt-scientific misosophy by The Left certainly acts as a strong consideration in favor of switching allegiances politically).
It is certainly rather interesting that you find such characteristics in “The Left” (you even capitalize it!) as independent from a political or ideological influence on your views of climate change. I would suggest to you that “The Left” is a rather imprecise categorization for categorizing a vastly diverse set of people, but even if it weren’t, my own view is that there is little to find in this regard to categorize “The Left” which wouldn’t more or less equally apply to “The Right” (to the extent that such a categorization has much meaningful application).
Yes, I suppose some “realists” might say exactly the same thing (though none springs immediately to mind). Others have declared different agendas, like saving the planet, whatever that means. Others still have admitted to being driven by the desire to be right (in their prognostications of doom)—people like the Gaters, whom I quoted in an article you didn’t seem to like very much (https://cliscep.com/2016/04/28/skuce-cooks-own-goose-in-skuces-gooses-own-juices/).
But if some non-zero number of “realists” claim (and actually believe) they’re doing this on behalf of the integrity of the scientific method, just like I claim, the question then becomes which party actually understands what it’s defending, as opposed to misguidedly defending something very far removed from actual science.
Happily that would be a question which could be adjudicated without recourse to the psychology literature, simply by determining what the nature of the scientific process actually is.
If it turns out, for example, that one party is defending the privilege of peer review against pesky scrutiny by the unwashed, while we “skeptics” champion the principle of transparent, replicable, open science, then you have your answer. Both “sides” could claim to be fighting in defense of science til they’re blue in the face, but one side (at least) would obviously NOT be doing so.
> The literature speaks to this.
I’m asking you to. Can you?
> As I reference above, everyone sees their “motivations” as pure and noble
Someone should tell Peter Gleick this. He seems to think HI insiders speak of themselves as nefarious, anti-scientific agents—giving rise to a certain embarrassingly unrealistic forgery.
> and free from bias.
Whoa—what does this even mean? I don’t claim to be free from bias… certainly not if “pro-scientific bias” is a species thereof.
> IMO, that is a rather naive perspective.
Don’t you mean IMIMBO (In My Impure, Motivated, Biased Opinion)?
From your naive perspective, in other words?
Ho hum. Yes yes.
But I’m asking you to reconcile your opinion with the facts. Like the fact that my “skepticism,” as you prefer to punctuate it, predated any disaffection with the Left. I’m glad, by the way, that my accidental capitalization of the definite article came across as so “interesting” to you. It wasn’t meant to.
a postscript to my reply (still in moderation):
> It is certainly rather interesting that you find such characteristics in “The Left” (you even capitalize it!) as independent from a political or ideological influence on your views of climate change.
It is certainly rather interesting (to me) that it is certainly rather interesting (to you) that I should—gasp!—assume that effects cannot precede their causes. Pretty much every sane person makes this very assumption as a matter of course.
In passing, it is (non-ironically) interesting that you apparently think a view on Oreskes constitutes, entails or implies a view on climate change. Trust me, it’s perfectly possible (logically) to lose sleep every night worrying about global warming, while also deploring the vandalism of the scientific method by a certain Harvard-harbored doctor of deceit. Sure, maybe nobody on Team Alarm has had the integrity to denounce the faux science of consensualism to date—but they could, at any moment, grow the spine to do so.
> I would suggest to you that “The Left” is a rather imprecise categorization for categorizing a vastly diverse set of people, but even if it weren’t, my own view is that there is little to find in this regard to categorize “The Left” which wouldn’t more or less equally apply to “The Right” (to the extent that such a categorization has much meaningful application).
Your suggestion is boring. We all know labels are imprecise. And we all know that, regardless, the Left and the Right are still things. Let’s not play this time-consuming game of pretending they don’t exist, or that the act of naming them is pathognomonic of some cognitive defect.
PPS Judy, is it really necessary to moderate my comments? Have I ever abused the privilege of posting here, or given you cause to regret the (inevitable) approval of my comments after a long and pointless delay?
Brad, this happens automatically. Apologies for being slow to monitor this, hugely busy with Hurricane Dorian
Moderation is automatic and rather haphazard. it is often triggered by long posts (which yours tend to be) if there are lots of links, or if certain names are mentioned of which jo**hu* used to be one.
I enjoy your posts so keep them coming and don’t worry about the moderation, it has happened to all of us
OK thanks guys (Judith and tonyb, and my friendly opponent Yeshua) and please ignore my moderation whinge. God grant me the time to write succinctly!
Your nephew is wise beyond his years.
I too have noticed the fear, uncertainty and doubt promulgated by the self-appointed anti-alarmist brigade. Not only is it fearsome, it sows uncertainty. But, as if FU weren’t bad enough, it *also* sows doubt. That’s right: doubt as well as uncertainty. For shame.
What gives me great HUD, on the other hand, is the eloquent and thoughtful thoughts of such a young university student. It’s encouraging to know that when he graduates, at age 50 or whenever, he will enter the workforce with that imprescindible quality that makes a smart citizen:
healthy distrust of skepticism.
As his uncle or aunt, you must be doing something right.
The uncertainty is real. As for sowing fear, that is precisely what the alarmists are doing. False fear for children.
…the loss of her soul.”
(oh, good grief)…
Boblo, I disagree with your nephew that Curry is cherry-picking. She’s emphasizing points that she doesn’t want overlooked. The points she emphasizes do not contradict anything else in the source. No FUD.
But for something entirely different, there’s good news at least on the home front! The USA, at least, has escaped the dreaded inevitable global warming from 2005-2019! At least, according to NOAA. But it’s only approved land-based stations. And not satellites. Sigh.
[The U.S. Climate Reference Network] includes 114 pristinely maintained temperature stations spaced relatively uniformly across the lower 48 states. NOAA selected locations that were far away from urban and land-development impacts that might artificially taint temperature readings.
Prior to the USCRN going online, alarmists and skeptics sparred over the accuracy of reported temperature data. With most preexisting temperature stations located in or near urban settings that are subject to false temperature signals and create their own microclimates that change over time, government officials performed many often-controversial adjustments to the raw temperature data. Skeptics of an asserted climate crisis pointed out that most of the reported warming in the United States was non-existent in the raw temperature data, but was added to the record by government officials.
The USCRN has eliminated the need to rely on, and adjust the data from, outdated temperature stations.
–Oops. NOAA doesn’t seem to like the USCRN that it reports:
In fact, for the June 2019 State of the Climate Report, NOAA is claiming that the US was 0.2F above average in June, when in fact the US Climate Reference Network reported the June data as below average at -0.14°F
Looks like we don’t know what to believe. Oh, wait… that means we can discard all the data and studies that don’t please us, and believe the ones remaining that confirm our beliefs. Oh goody.
> Who decides what “the” question is?
That’s not the question. The question is, which is to be master—that’s all.
> Is this a reference to when “skeptics” selectively highlight peer-reviewed articles that align with their interpretation of the science of climate change?
No, obviously not. But the behavior you describe is undeniably appalling and I can only apologize on behalf of all “skeptics” that you have been forced to witness such blackguardry.
We’re not all like that, I beg you to believe.
Whenever I cite the literature, I make sure to quote every single climate-science article ever printed. Moreover, I rigorously check to see that none of them aligns with my interpretation of climate change—even going so far as to adopt a new interpretation, when necessary, to ensure it conflicts with the entire published body of evidence.
If only everyone was so scientific.
> That’s not the question. The question is, which is to be master—that’s all.
I don’t understsnd what that means. At any rate, “the” question in interested in is whether “skeptics” are being skeptical when they characterize “skeptics” (and “realists”).
> No, obviously not. But the behavior you describe is undeniably appalling and I can only apologize on behalf of all “skeptics” that you have been forced to witness such blackguardry.
Appalling? I guess I’m not as easily appalled as you. I don’t generally find normal (in fact banal) and understandable behaviors as appalling, as for the apology – since I don’t find it appalling or morally or otherwise reprehensible, I don’t really see the relevance of the apology. I certainly don’t take any offense in any way. My point is, rather, to use tify the commonplace behaviors and whether or not people accurately assess those behaviors and whether they are disproportionately distributed across the great climate divide, or whether (as the literature might lead us to predict) they are actually proportionately distributed even though “motivated” combatants are white convinced of a disproportionality which, not coincidentally, favors the group to which they belong (which, also, might be predicted by the literature).
> We’re not all like that, I beg you to believe.
Of course “you” (assuming you mean “skeptics”) are not all alike. That is actually part of my point. And of course I don’t think that “you” are. And, of course part of my point is that neither are “we.” ex epr, that another part omyf point is that “we” – in the sense of “us humans” share many more behaviors than polarized and activated partisans tend to recognize.
> Whenever I cite the literature, I make sure to quote every single climate-science article ever printed. Moreover, I rigorously check to see that none of them aligns with my interpretation of climate change—even going so far as to adopt a new interpretation, when necessary, to ensure it conflicts with the entire published body of evidence.
My point is that your individual behaviors, even if we were to accept that you are able to characterize them free of “motivated” biases, are not particularly instructive as to the veracity of your characterizations of the different “sides” of the great climate change combatants (or if lefties and eighties, respectively). One problem (imo) that I see frequently is that combatants try to generalize from their (unscientific) self-characterizations, or from characterizations they draw from groups of outliers (which is what all of us climate change combatants are by definition) without even a modicum of science applied to control for well-lm own human biases.
> If only everyone was so scientific.
Hmmmm. How scientific are your characterizations of the different “sides” of the great climate change battlefield?
The claim about the 97% consensus on NASA’s website is being challenged, via a formal request for correction under the Information Quality Act (IQA), 114 Stat. 2763, section 515, as filed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI)….9 July 2019 . . . https://cei.org/content/cei-files-formal-complaint-regarding-nasas-claim-97-climate-scientist-agreement-global . . . and . . . https://cei.org/sites/default/files/IQA_NASA_97_Percent_Final.pdf The CEI request document contains a good list of references for the consensus claim, with summary of weaknesses in the published papers.
My web collection of links to skeptical science videos, which demonstrate the clear lack of consensus, is now up to 350, on the way to 1,000.
Tell the climate research community something they don’t know. They’ve already acknowledged, loud and clear, the existence of significant disagreement. To suggest that the “climate movement” (or whatever rejectors call it) relies on some sort of ‘consensus’ narrative would be a denihilist straw-man.
Actually the supposed consensus is cited everywhere. It should be capitalized because it is actually the name of the movement, not a fact about science.
I do not see the IPCC acknowledging the arguments found in my video collection.
David, I know. I was being ironic (see the link). Your comment is spot on.
Quora digest just asked how could you tell the level of the ocean in old pictures. If you had pictures of a seawall or other shoreline showing the growth line of the shells that would show the change of sea level height if any. I believe there has been no change since the Ice Shelf began breaking off and we reached the point when the melting of the glaciers equaled the ice being dropped at the poles.
There are still no hurricanes in the Atlantic.
Oreskes, Oppenheimer and Jamison in their essay write: –
“if consensus is viewed as a requirement, scientists may avoid discussing tricky issues that engender controversy (but might still be important), or exclude certain experts whose opinions are known to be “controversial” (but may nevertheless have pertinent expertise). They may also consciously or unconsciously pull back from reporting on extreme outcomes.”
They do not seem to even admit the possibility that excluding “controversial” experts could also lead to pulling back on reporting uncertainties or less extreme possible outcomes!
Non-consensus experts who are more alarmists than their colleagues are merely “controversial” and should therefore be considered for inclusion by the IPCC in order that the full range of opinions are represented. Presumably, non–consensus experts who are less alarmists, however, are not “controversial”, but merely deniers.
But a more (literally) laconic demolition of Oreskes et al.’s moronic paragraph comes to us from the Spartan ephors. Quoting WilliamConnollyPedia:
Philip II of Macedon sent a message to Sparta: “If I invade Laconia you will be destroyed, never to rise again.” The Spartan ephors replied with a single word: “If” (αἴκα).
The whole consensus thing has done little to reduce global CO2 emissions, which was the point of the whole exercise.
WHAT? The need to reduce global CO2 emissions had nothing to do with the whole exercise, The point of the whole exercise was to promote fortunes made by promotions of green renewable windmills, solar and bio energy and the killing of fossil and nuclear energy. They really need Co2 emissions to grow to help make them richer.
Everyone reading this blog should read this Wikipedia article in order to better understand scientific consensus, which is linked in the article, the relative weakness of scientific credentials of those opposing the scientific consensus that supports AGW compared with publishing climate scientists, and other pertinent information that both logically and scientifically blows HUGE holes in almost any doubt about the overwhelming evidence of anthroprogenic global warming.
No thanks, we prefer to get our science from—you know—the scientific literature.
But while you’re here, you might actually learn some things from us.
For starters, you’re obviously confused about the difference between overwhelming consensus and overwhelming evidence. Rule One of Science Club states that opinion is NOT evidence. And ‘consensus’ means majority opinion. (See: any English dictionary.)
Substituting, we get: consensus is not evidence.
Repeat as many times as it takes to sink in.
Consensus is not evidence.
There is not an absolutely certain way of disentangling CO2 warming from natural variability. If there was not a single piece of evidence of previous warm periods and not a single piece of evidence of the Little Ice Age, then you might have a point. But there is, so you don’t.
In 2009, the climate activist group 350.org published a comprehensive plan of action for quickly reducing America’s carbon emissions. A decade later, their plan is still out on their web site and applies the Clean Air Act to its maximum possible effectiveness in regulating all sources of our GHG emissions, not just those from coal.
Here are some questions for agwisreal3000:
Assuming you are an American and assuming you are honestly concerned about anthropogeniic global warming, could you give us some insight as to why Barack Obama refused to move forward with the 350.org plan from 2009 — pushing instead the Clean Power Plan, an approach which was focused on coal and which could at best could reduce our carbon emissions by one-third, if even that?
Can you also give us further insight as to why 350.org itself never called President Obama to account for not following their own anti-carbon plan after the US Supreme Court ruled that the EPA’s Endangerment Finding for carbon had been properly researched and published per EPA procedures, thus giving the green light for an exceptionally aggressive and comprehensive approach to regulating all of America’s GHG’s, not just those from coal?
Einstein discussed credentials: “If relativity is proved right, the Germans will call me a German, the Swiss will call me a Swiss, and the French will call me a citizen of the world. If relativity is proved wrong, the French will call me a Swiss, the Swiss will call me a German, and the Germans will call me a Jew.”
Galileo didn’t have a degree. Freeman Dyson doesn’t have a PhD.
A tropical storm is approaching the Caribbean.
Seriously, your belief, and consequent statement without any credible evidence, is “The point of the whole exercise was to promote fortunes made by promotions of green renewable windmills, solar and bio energy and the killing of fossil and nuclear energy. They really need Co2 emissions to grow to help make them richer.”
You need some SERIOUS re-education.
1) Science exists foremost in order to understand the world and the universe and its laws and behavior. Without science, and the related engineering to use it for communication purposes, you would not be able to post such unverifiable drivel to this blog.
2) Therefore, without any sided facts or evidence, you make a claim and seemed to think readers will believe you based on… You claim via your screen name you’re a pope? …of what exactly? You claim you have your own climate science theory? All readers know about you is your screen name. ZERO published studies, NO reliable data referenced, NOTHING useful or remotely scientific at all. Only EMPTY bloviation.
3) Are you completely ignorant of the fact that the quarterly profits of the oil and gas and coal Industries combined, totally dwarf the profits to be made or at least that are being made currently by 100% of the renewable energy industry??
If anyone TRULY wanted to “make a killing” in the energy industry, they could simply buy Exxon Mobil and BP stock! Investing in currently successful businesses is by far an easier and the most logical, fastest route to riches!
If you believe there are so much riches to be made hella why aren’t you investing in businesses in the green energy industry in its infancy??
Maybe because it is now is barely supported by, indeed dying on the vine, due to insipid, Luddite policies trickling piecemeal without any apparent over-reaching plan bye an idiotic conservative corrupt U.S. government? The GOP-run government, the one that uses vote suppression and gerrymandering and is far over-represented by those illegal methods and more, that is funded and supported and corrupted by fossil fuel campaign monies!
It’s certainly incredibly risky and certainly not guaranteed to produce any profit or success in any green or sustainable industry compared to the fossil fuel industry! But you seem to believe every lie I put out by the corrupt GOP or the oil companies or their shells… But you are unwilling to put your money where their mouths are? They’re making so much with climate change research based on science… But you won’t invest in any of it? That makes NO logical sense!
Thus your claim that science exists only to support an industry in which most businesses fail or barely survive, let alone make a killing, is patently totally ridiculous and appears to be fueled by an almost religious, fact-free contrarian belief system. This contrarian and global warming denialist belief system is obviously founded on a nearly total inability to use logic, research facts, and marshall all of the above to make a useful and compelling argument.
Debate OVER. BAM!
Please go back to school and get your PhD in climate science if you want to refute the overwhelming consensus. Because those are the people who made the consensus, those are the people who are working to do the research, those are the people who work 7, 10, 12 years to get the degrees, aka the chops and methods necessary to understand the science.
Rebooting at grade 5 seems about appropriate, seeing that you just might have retained an educational level at least in English up to 5th grade.
Big Oil is Big Energy. Its interest in alarmist climate science is self-explanatory: public fear of global warming has created new markets for these corporations out of thin air while doing little or no damage to their traditional revenue streams.
Demand for hydrocarbon-bond energy is essentially *inelastic,* whereas the demand for neo-Medieval, bird-decimating technology that barely works is an artificial construct.
Wind farms; carbon credits; carbon capture; carbon sequestration—New Energy gets its very *raison d’être* (and best selling-point) from the dangerous-AGW hypothesis.
It’s funny, in an at-you-not-with-you way, that you should mention ExxonMobil. They’re the guys who gave Stanford University a cool $100 million—much more than anyone’s ever given to skeptical climate research—for its Global Climate and Energy Project , which develops “ways to meet growing energy needs without worsening global warming,” and another $600 million for Biofuels Research .
Exxon was late to the party—the other energy giants have been capitalising on the climate-change movement from day one. It’s funny, in an at-you-not-with-you way, that you should mention BP. Or have you forgotten that the carbon-trading clause in Article 16 of the Kyoto Protocol was the creature of BP and Enron, the Smartest Guys in the Room? BP and Enron were also the major lobbyists telling governments around the world (including Australia’s) to ratify it.
BP, or should I say Beyond Petroleum, stands squarely behind mainstream, alarmist climate research. It funds research into “ways of tackling the world’s climate problem” at Princeton University to the tune of $2 million a year for 15 years. It funds an energy research institute involving two other US universities, to a total of $500 million, that aims “to develop new sources of energy and reduce the impact of energy consumption on the environment.” It was a founding member of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, substantially funding the climate-related lobbying efforts of its members, including Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, the Nature Conservancy and the World Resources Institute.
BP even put on the champagne and canapés at the book launch for Rajendra Pachauri’s erotic novel.
Shell International has a huge Clean Development Mechanism [CDM] division. It also has $billions riding on the carbon credit exchange, formerly worth $130 billion per annum. You only need to imagine how much value it’s haemorrhaged from that portfolio since the CCX started tanking to know why Shell has never supported dangerous-AGW skepticism (except in Michael Mann’s mental cinema).
Thanks to a courageous cybercriminal, we know the University of East Anglia CRU (formerly the Tyndall Centre) came to be seen by British fossil-fuel giants as a business partner. Big Energy was worth a lot of funding to these alarmist ‘scientists,’ their alarmist ‘science’ was worth a lot of revenue to Big Energy, and both parties knew it.
The following emails come from *a single year,* the year 2000, which marked the start of a bidding war between Shell, Esso/Exxon-Mobil and BP for the ‘science’ of the CRU.
The scientist Mick Kelly writes to his colleagues Mike Hulme and Tim O’Riordan (Climategate file 0962818260.txt):
> I’m talking to Shell International’s climate change team, but this approach will do equally for the new [Foundation], as it’s only one step or so off Shell’s equivalent of a board level. I do know a little about the Foundation and what kind of projects they are looking for. It could be relevant for the new building, incidentally, though opinions are mixed as to whether it’s within the remit.
Mike Hulme then discusses with O’Riordan the potential benefits for the Tyndall Centre:
> Tim,I am meeting with Mick at 09:15 next Tuesday to talk about his links with Shell—and Tyndall dimension re. studentships, etc. Are you here and can you join us?
The courtship goes well. Later in the year Kelly sends out a progress report:
> Mike and TimNotes from the meeting with Shell International attached…. What ensued was necessarily a rather speculative discussion with the following points emerging.
> 1. Shell International would give serious consideration to what I referred to in the meeting as a ‘strategic partnership’ with the T[yndall] C[entre], broadly equivalent to a ‘flagship alliance’ in the TC proposal.
> A strategic partnership **would involve not only the provision of funding but some (limited but genuine) role in setting the research agenda** etc.
> 2. Shell’s interest is not in basic science. Any work they support must have a clear and immediate relevance to ‘real-world’ activities. They are particularly interested in emissions trading and CDM.
Next, “Esso”—which is UK English for “Exxon-Mobil”—also sees the investment opportunity. Mike Hulme writes (Climategate file 959187643.txt):
> I would think Tyndall should have an open mind about this **and try to find the slants that would appeal to Esso.**
The CRU climatologists grow so accustomed to the attentions of the fossil-fuel giants that by year’s end they’re taking it for granted that Beyond Petroleum will be another suitor. The scientist Simon Shackley writes:
> Subject: BP funding…
> dear TC colleagues, it looks like BP have their cheque books out!
> How can TC **benefit from this largesse?** I wonder who has received this money within Cambridge University? Cheers, Simon
> BP, FORD GIVE $20 MILLION FOR PRINCETON UNIVERSITY EMISSIONS STUDY
This kind of collaboration isn’t just a British phenomenon. Here we can read (thanks to Freedom of Information laws) an interesting email from the University of Arizona climate scientist Dr Jonathan Overpeck.
“Peck” writes to an Exxon-Mobil executive:
> In addition to seeing and catching up w/ you, **I’m also quite intrigued by what Exxon-Mobil and the University of Arizona could do together on the climate change front.** As you’ve probably figured out, we have one of the top universities in this area, and lots of capability, both in understanding climate change at the global scale down to the regional scale, but also in terms of understanding how climate variability and change impacts society…
Overpeck is not a denialist. He’s a believalist.
Why would these corporations barrack for skepticism? They haven’t lost a cent in the AGW panic and it’s unlikely they ever will.
(Do you seriously think anything is going to “emerge” the next time someone throws a Kyoto Protocol reunion at a luxury resort? You know perfectly well the most binding document it’ll “produce” is a large alcohol tab.)
Superstitions about carbon dioxide created the Alternative And Imaginary Energies market from thin air. Congratulations—you just made the rich richer.
If the devil’s best trick was to convince the world he doesn’t exist, then Big Oil’s best trick was to convince you it’s on the devil’s side. Wake up, angels. It’s on your side.
Brad Keyes, exactly!
Edim, thanks for the reply! I’m glad somebody read that (and understood it), even if our pseudonymous “realist” friend never will.
Brad, some stuff did “emerge” from the meetings and it benefits gas and oil companies. Renewables mean a switch from coal (not Exxon) to natural gas (yes, Exxon).
Oil and gas companies will make billions as a result of the decision to move from just handling the smaller part of the load a functional base-load coal or nuclear plant cant provide, to “backing up” a 50% or 100% windmill/solar panel grid.
When Germany shuts down it’s nukes and coal power plants, they will buy a whole lot more natural gas than they ever did before. And the Green Party will be reason. Every solar panel makes a baseload power plant look worse financially and requires a gas turbine standing by somewhere.
Bonus plans if the fools build so much of the Easter Bunny stuff that they have to buy a big chunk of their back up fuel on the spot market. Wasn’t that Enron’s game?
‘incredibly compelling,’ …’huge, catastrophic collapse …”reputable scientists’…’pier review,’ :) … ‘catastrophic tipping points ‘… Alack, agwis(etc), in the Cli-Sci debate, inflated adjectives jest ain’t no replacement for real – world evidence … e – v – i d – e – n – c -e.
Bravo, Brad. Great summary. Reminds us of the post-reformation machinations to convince the world that our version is the correct one. The same kind of devotion, the same determination to bend every fact and non-fact to the necessary, indeed fore-ordained end.
Aqwis is clearly tonsured and sandaled.
He really should slink away after that.
I have nothing against slinkers (I’d probably want to flee too, if the day ever came that I lost an argument), as long as they learn something from their bepwnment. What annoys me is when they make the same silly claims all over again at whatever site they slink to.
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What happened to the IPCC AR1 prediction of +1C planet-wide and extra +20 or 30 cm or whatever it was of water in the ocean by some point X between 2020 and 2030 versus the 1990 figures? 20 cm / 8″ of water should be fairly visible to any deplorable eye and very simply put – it is not there.
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