Climate Link Makes Landfall Ahead of Irene

By Keith Kloor | August 26, 2011 10:49 am

The climate science community must have let out a collective groan after reading this opening line from Bill McKibben’s Daily Beast column:

Irene’s got a middle name, and it’s Global Warming.

If that sounds familiar, then you’ll remember this from Ross Gelbspan six years ago:

The hurricane that struck Louisiana and Mississippi on Monday was nicknamed Katrina by the National Weather Service. Its real name is global warming.

Boys, there is such a thing as rhetorical overkill. It has a way of undermining the legitimacy of your cause.  Just saying…

UPDATE: Over at Scientific American, John Horgan has a nice piece that references this post and some of the exchanges in the thread.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    But Keith there is a very credible case to be made that Irene wouldn’t be able to move so far north in the absence of unusually warmer waters:

    “Normally, says Jeff Masters of Weather Underground, it’s “difficult for a major Category 3 or stronger hurricane crossing north of North Carolina to maintain that intensity, because wind shear rapidly increases and ocean temperatures plunge below the 26°C (79°F) level that can support a hurricane.”  The high-altitude wind shear may help knock the storm down a little this year, but the ocean temperatures won’t. They’re bizarrely high””only last year did we ever record hotter water.

    “Sea surface temperatures 1° to 3°F warmer than average extend along the East Coast from North Carolina to New York. Waters of at least 26°C extend all the way to southern New Jersey, which will make it easier for Irene to maintain its strength much farther to the north than a hurricane usually can,” says Masters. “These warm ocean temperatures will also make Irene a much wetter hurricane than is typical, since much more water vapor can evaporate into the air from record-warm ocean surfaces. The latest precipitation forecast from NOAA’s Hydrological prediction center shows that Irene could dump over eight inches of rain over coastal New England.”

    Can you elaborate on when it’s OK to talk about climate change connections and when it’s not? 

  • http://www.dropeik.com david ropeik

    it is absolutely stunning, yet totally understandable, that advocates, of all sides, can’t see the damage their passion can do when the issue has been fiercely polarized, and being right is so powerfully tied to self-identity that the argument is no longer about the facts, and trying to ‘win’ only makes the polarization worse…which is contrary to the supposed aims of the advocates. Unless, of course, THEIR passion, and being right, is intimately tied to self-identity too.

  • cagw_skeptic99

    The warmist press undermines the legitimacy of the cause daily with the drumbeat that attributes unusual or changing weather, animal or plant range movements, etc. to the increase in CO2.

    Most amusing recently is the declaration that falling sea levels were caused by more rain.  The warmists have been preaching accelerating sea level rise for a long time.  I wonder how many consecutive months/years of falling sea levels it takes to cause any of the true believers here to question the faith.  Sea level has increased since satellite measurements began, but the last few years were certainly not following an accelerating pattern.

    Surely Michael Tobis or one of the other true believers who frequent this site can elaborate on how sea level rise theories predicted the current actual fall in sea level.  Most likely there were unpublished model results that predicted this fail, just like the lack of snow in England, more and more intense storms, etc.  No matter what changes in the actual physical world, the beat goes on and the warmists say it was already part of the model.

  • grypo

    To answer Marlowe’s question:

    Once enough of a signal is teased out of the Atlantic SST and hurricane PDI index, we won’t know for sure what the effect of atmospheric carbon on Atlantic Ocean hurricane activity.  But Kerry Emanuel, who knows more about this than most, says it will take a couple decades — and by that time, it will be bit late for ‘oopsey’.  Unfortunately, mitigation won’t help us over the next few decades if theory holds true statistically.  We can adapt or move over. 

  • http://www.climatecentral.org Mike Lemonick

    My own first take on Irene and climate is here. More to come later today 

  • Keith Kloor

    Marlowe,

    I remember Gloria well (I was at a Hurricane party). Additionally, as John Fleck points out, there is the relevance of paleoclimate studies. 

  • Roger Pielke Jr.

    There is no trend in US hurricane landfalling numbers or intensities, nor in normalized damage (the normalized damage trends match up perfectly with trends in storm trends at landfall, as you would expect) from Pielke et al. (2008).

    If storms change as projected by the climate science community (i.e., Bender et al. 2010) then we’ll be able to detect that change in ~60 years in the storm characteristics and ~260 years in damage (Crompton et al. 2011) — in other words not soon.

    It is not surprising that McKibben goes well beyond what the science can support, but interesting to see Lemonick do the same. The peer reviewed literature briefly summarized above remains uncontested (except in a hand-waving sort of way by advocates and journalists who find it inconvenient;-)

    More on Irene:
    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2011/08/hurricane-irene-damage-analogues.html

  • http://www.climatecentral.org Mike Lemonick

    The science doesn’t say that sea level has risen? The science doesn’t say that a storm surge of a given amount will be boosted if it starts from a higher sea level? I said nothing about changes in hurricane intensity or strength. 

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @grypo
    I’m less interested in changes in PDO than I am in how SST changes may in turn be changing storm tracks in such a way that areas that previously didn’t get hit very often will become much more susceptible to future storms.

    @roger
    Related to above, do you know of any work that tries to estimate future damages on the basis of changes in storm tracks rather than changes in PDI?  

     

  • Tom Scharf

    The Al Gore effect.

    He put Katrina on the cover of An Inconvenient Truth, and hurricanes activity dived for 5 straight years.  As RPJ has stated over and over, and the SCIENCE and DATA has shown, trying to pull an AGW signal out of hurricane trending is not valid.  

    The data simply doesn’t support this link.  Sorry science lovers.

    This is a perfect example of where AGW activists take a feel good story of the penalties of global warming and attempt to exploit it.   

    It is a great litmus test for how well a science loving activist really understands the science.  Does he truly believe in the science and follows where the data leads, or is he simply exploiting it as a tool to further a personal agenda only when it is convenient?
     

  • 24th Century Time Traveller

    It is imperative that people such as Bill McKibben continue to make such bold assertions, we citizens of the future find them quaint and hilarious.

  • Jarmo

    Apparently McKibben is trying create momentum for the protest against Keystone XL pipeline.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/aug/25/martin-luther-king-washington-tar-sands-protest

    Here he draws parallels to Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement.
     

  • Roger Pielke Jr.

    -8-Mike Lemonick
    1. Yes, sea levels have increased
    2. No, there is no evidence whatsoever that the sea level rise over the past century has led to increasing damage from hurricanes (as you will find explained in the peer reviewed literature).

    -9-MJ
    I am aware of no such studies

  • Keith Kloor

    Mike L:

    I look forward to reading your follow-up in Climate Central today.

    Just to note the obvious: it is McKibben’s column (because of who he is and what he represents, and the outlet) that gets all the play. So he gets to set the terms of the debate on Hurricane Irene and global warming, which Climate Depot and WUWT are only too happy to oblige.

    It would be nice if the conversation could start from your subtler, caveated story, but that would mean that people in the climate community would have to challenge a popular, well-liked spokesman of the climate movement. 

    I don’t see that happening. 

  • BobN

    McKibben’s headline laying the blame on Obama is the most absurd thing I have read in a long time.  Could climate change have impacted the strength and course of Irene?  Possibly, but there is just no good way to tease that out.  However, whether or not  the Obama administration had taken drastic measures regarding McKibben’s climate change agenda over the past 3 years, it would have had absolutely no impact on this storm.  Truly ridiculous.

  • Keith Kloor

    BobN,

    McKibben is not blaming Irene or climate change on the Obama Administration. His column is an unfortunate mishmash of bullet points that don’t cohere in a unified manner. I suspect it was written hastily, as he is normally a lucid writer, whether you agree with him or not.

     

  • Marlowe Johnson

    maybe jail isn’t the quiet place for reflection and contemplation we all thought it was ;-)
     

  • Keith Kloor

    He was arrested last Saturday and spent two nights in jail. The experience sounds positively traumatic:

    McKibben was one of the protesters arrested on Saturday. He was released Monday afternoon.

    “It was grim,” McKibben said,  describing the couple of nights he spent in prison. “The block was hot and a little scary with no beds,  just metal slabs,  to sleep on.”

    McKibben shared a cell with Gus Speth, Vermont Law School professor, and environmental writer Chris Shaw.

    On a more serous note, I’d be curious to know if any of passionate climate commenters (on the pro-AGW side) that come around this blog took part in the protests. 

    I’m not impressed with the size of the protest–and where were all the Gristies? No first person, partcipatory account from Chip Giller or Dave Roberts? Seems like it would have made great fodder for a running series of posts all week. If I was an editor at Grist, I would have sent Roberts there for sure, since he writes often and passionately about climate change.

    Oh well, I guess it’s easier to wonk off from a distance.  

    Check back on Monday for a post on the DC climate protests. 

  • Keith Kloor

    Oh, I forgot mention: McKibben only got one baloney sandwich every 12 hours.

    The good news: no firehoses, no sharing a cell with a 300 pound guy named Bluto, no electric shocks. 

  • BobN

    Keith – I was specifically referring to this part of the headline

    “Hurricane Irene’s dangerous power can be traced to global warming says Bill McKibben””and Obama is at fault for his failed leadership on the environment. ”

    which could easily be read to imply Obama is at fault for Irene.

  • Keith Kloor

    I don’t see it, but then again, I seem to see things quite differently than a lot of people that debate this issue.

    Plus, its just a headline, and even if you wanted to make the interpretation you did, it’s not supported by anything in the text. 

  • Paul Kelly

    Irene has weakened some and is now a cat2, no doubt because of global warming.

  • http://www.climatecentral.org Mike Lemonick

    RPJ (13):

    Since hurricane damage is highly dependent on storm track, and since storm tracks are highly inconsistent, I wouldn’t really expect such studies to exist–especially since 100 years ago, or 80, or 60, sea level rise was pretty small. A study presented at an AMS meeting last winter calculated a significant increase in hurricane damage over the next several due to sea level rise alone, so it’s hardly as though I just came up with some crazy notion out of my own head. 

  • Tom Fuller

    Mr. Lemonick, I’m not sure how closely you’ve followed the ongoing discussions about storm intensity, frequency and damages and any relation to climate change, but Pielke’s eponymous weblog has quite a bit of information that is certainly relevant and might be useful if you haven’t been immersed fully in the topic.

  • http://www.climatecentral.org Mike Lemonick

    Tom Fuller (24): Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll take a look. And please, no “Mr.”  it’s Mike.

  • Tom Fuller

    Sure, Mike–given the combative nature of the comments sections of climate blogs, I’ve gotten pretty conservative about initial contacts. Can’t complain–I’ve been as combative as the rest.

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    Mike L., I don’t see the problem in what you wrote. Roger is admonishing you for writing about oranges when you’ve merely reported the factual existence of apples.

  • hunter

    The storm is not giong north because of warm water.
    It is losing strength more slowly as the steering currents send it north because of warm waters.
    Since this storm is well within the range of strength for Atlantic coast storms it is misleading, at best, to give this storm any middle name other than ‘average’.

  • http://www.climatecentral.org Mike Lemonick

    Here’s the citation on the increased damage projections from sea-level rise: http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2010WCAS1050.1

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @28

    “The storm is not giong north because of warm water.
    It is losing strength more slowly as the steering currents send it north because of warm waters.”

    That’s a distinction without a difference.

    Care to wager on whether or not the damage costs from Irene will be considered ‘average’ relative to other Atlantic storms?

  • Tom Scharf

    I, for one, do not find that sea level rising at a rate of one inch per decade as very threatening at all.  Am I alone in this?

    The satellite data doesn’t support accelerating sea levels as predicted.

    I think the world has bigger fish to fry.

    AGW activists keep throwing up anything they can think of with respect to attribution to see if it will stick, all the while doing irreparable damage to their credibility.

    Most recently we are once again treated to a study “linking”  civil war to global warming.  Click.  Credibility goes one notch lower.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/aug/24/el-nino-cycle-deadly-conflict

    Correlation != causation.  

    This stuff is even worse than the period we went through over the past several decades when everything was linked with cancer.
     

  • kdk33

    Actually, Irene is neither the fault of global warming, atmospheric CO2, or the Obama administration.  It was conjured by the Tea Party as a show of force.

    If we care about the planet and future generations, then we must mitigate the weather by reducing government spending and NOT raising taxes; abolish the department of education and the EPA and the other alphabet beaurocrats strangling small business with self serving over regulation.

    Oh wait, which blog is this….

  • Pingback: On Warming and U.S. Hurricane Strikes - NYTimes.com

  • Tom C

    This is very telling.  McKibben lays out a pronouncement that has no scientific backing whatsoever.  Keith Kloor says “sigh, you are not doing your side [read 'my side'] any good”.  No charges of “anti-science”, no insults about ignorance, etc.  Those are reseved for someone who observes the rather obvious fact that many scientists do similar exaggerating/manipulating in order to further their careers/cause.  Just saying…

  • Jarmo

    Hasn’t there been several hurricanes, equal to Irene, that hit the New York area in the 20th century?  You know, before Obama’s term and AGW?

      

  • grypo

    “there is no evidence whatsoever that the sea level rise over the past century has led to increasing damage from hurricanes (as you will find explained in the peer reviewed literature).”

    But we all know it will.  That’s just careful wording, as usual.  We know if we don’t adapt or get out of the way, every bit extra sea level rise will result in larger storm surge and more water reaching further inland.  Also, we must understand that the warmer atmosphere can hold more water, making the situation worse for inland flooding.  

    The best we can do is frame it as risk.  If people don’t want to listen or continuously tell us it hasn’t happened yet (and therefore we shouldn’t discuss it for whatever bizarre reason), there’s not much we can do about it.  When all is said and done, it won’t be difficult to figure out where the communication problem was.

  • Tom Scharf

    @33

    Yes!  And the Tea party will hold the Democrats hostage by threatening to take really deep breaths and expelling huge amounts of CO2 which will cause monster hurricanes to inundate the liberal infested northeast. 

    Do our bidding our we will continue breathing at a catastrophically large rate.  In 1 2 3….Out 1 2 3…

     

  • BobN

    Jarmo – The short answer to your question is no.  There have been 3 hurricanes that have passed within 75 miles of NYC since 1900 and only 5 total since 1851. http://www.weather.com/weather/hurricanecentral/article/new-york-hurricane-history_2011-08-23

    Except for the 1938 Long Island Express, none were of similar magnitude to Irene in terms of width or likely rainfall amounts

  • Roger Pielke Jr.

    Mike Lemonick (#29), the sensitivity study that you cite looks out to 2030, and it hardly relevant to Irene … also, your update contains a mistake, the Hoffman et al. study does not consider changes to population or building practices, so it is a sensitivity study in which they run a future climate over today’s development (obviously probably if society adapts, see Richard Tol’s work on sea level rise for a model that considers adaptation).
    If exposure increases at 5% per year, then the increase in future damage will be about 265% of today’s.

  • NewYorkJ

    Number of intense (cat. 4 or 5) Atlantic hurricanes:

    1961-1970: 13
    1971-1980:  9
    1981-1990: 11
    1991-2000: 16
    2001-2010: 25

    Most decades prior to the 1960′s have few intense hurricanes recorded (the 1950′s in an exception, having 15), but the observation systems were very inadequate.  Reanalysis of missed storm counts yields mixed results.  All we know with high confidence is that the most intense Atlantic hurricanes in the modern period have occurred over the last decade.  Theory indicates that there will be more intense hurricanes in the Atlantic, and most researchers are converging on that.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitalweathergang/2010/02/new_hurricanes_study_unites_fo.html

    but it’s too soon to make firm conclusions that observations confirm theory or models, as there is plenty of statistical noise in the data and cyclical components.

    Of course, Irene is “only” Category 3, but it’s path is turning out to be highly unusual for a storm that intense.

  • NewYorkJ


    This paper asks how the frequency of the most intense Atlantic hurricanes will change in in the current century due to human-caused climate change. It suggests that we should expect an increase in the frequency of the strongest hurricanes in the Atlantic, roughly by a factor of two by the end of the century, despite a decrease in overall number of hurricanes, but we should not expect this trend to be clearly detectable until we near the end of the century, given a scenario in which CO2 doubles by 2100.

    http://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/21st-century-projections-of-intense-hurricanes

    Would be interesting to see projections of changes in storm tracks, as that could determine how many might make landfall in particular areas.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    most studies that I’ve come across suggest a poleward migration of storm tracks (as we’re seeing with Irene).   See here and here for example.

  • Keith Kloor

    NYJ-

    Irene has currently weakened to Cat two and by the time it gets to me in Brooklyn, Sunday morning, probably will be Cat one.

    It is a very wide storm, though, and who knows what shifts it will take in the next 24-48 hours. Major emergency preparations are underway here in NYC and in tri-state area, as there should be.

  • Tom Scharf

    @40 – Nice cherry picking there.  This was not the prediction by Emmanual, Gore, et al. in 2005 was it?  But let’s just all forget about previous incorrect predictions, they shouldn’t count toward credibility, right?  

    Global cyclone energy is down to historic lows.  Do you find this relevant?

    Disaster losses in Florida were average for the last decade, even after the ever present opportunists declared global warming was the source of all our pain after 4 hurricanes struck FL in 2005.

    Do you have a good explanation for how tiny changes in global temperature only affect cat 4-5 Atlantic hurricanes and seem to diminish all the others?   

    Finding random correlations between AGW and something, which are then shown to be false correlations as new data is examined, and replacing them with yet more spurious correlations is no way to do science.

    Color me unimpressed.

     

  • Bob Koss

    I divided my NHC database in half and retrieved all plots of 34 knots or higher that hit or came within 30 N. miles of the US. It appears the first half of the 20th century was more active for the US than the 2nd half. I don’t see any indication of warmer temperature being a factor in recent years. In fact it appears somewhat the opposite.

    1901-1954 storms=98 plots=739 ACE=313
    1955-2008 storms=80 plots=497 ACE=227

    Due to the gridding method employed a few plots from N. Mexico and N. Bahamas may be included in the figures.

  • Bob Koss

    Keith,
    LOL, You’re moderating me now?

    [No, some comments get randomly caught in the spam filter, or get held up in moderation. Happens to most frequent commenters at one time or another. The reaction from everyone this happens to is similar to yours.//KK]

  • Keith Kloor

    Nice big picture, contextual post from Andy Revkin at Dot Earth, who writes:

    But the important question for society is how much climate events that matter to people are being meaningfully shaped by that rise in greenhouse gases. In the case of American hurricane risk, the science says there’s a negative trend in storm number, while storm energy and rainfall probably are rising.

    So is Irene’s middle name “global warming”?

    I say its middle name is “stay out of my way.”

  • NewYorkJ

    Thanks, Marlowe.

    Tom (#44),

    Gore’s no climate scientist, but his discussion of the topic is considerably more accurate and measured, compared ot the usual “skeptic” spew.

    Gore: a growing number of new scientific studies are confirming that warmer water in the top layer of the ocean can drive more convection energy to fuel more powerful hurricanes.” He added, “There is less agreement among scientists about the relationship between the total number of hurricanes each year and global warming — because a multi-decade natural pattern has a powerful influence on hurricane frequency.

    You also might find the FAQ section in the link in #41 useful for your other concerns.

  • Tom Scharf

    I had Hurricane Erin go right over my head about 15 years ago when I lived on the east coast of FL.  It was “only” a cat 1 at the time.

    It peaked at 2 am and was a bit unnerving to say the least as it was my first hurricane experience.   The power went out at 4 am and was out for the next 4 days.  That wasn’t much fun as the humidity and heat were dreadful.  Electric well pump…no water.

    Depending on where you live, and which power poles are out, you may be the last to be hooked back up.  The power company generally reconnects the largest groups in descending order, and we were just unlucky.

    Wind damage @80 mph was minimal (FL building codes), but the following day we got hit with an unbelievable 6 hour thunderstorm that just went on and on and on…constant lightning and thunder.  9 inches or rain in less than 12 hours.  Major local flooding. 

    Good luck out there. 

  • Tom Scharf

    @47 “the science says there’s a negative trend in storm number, while storm energy and rainfall probably are rising”

    This is correct, but only in the Atlantic basin.  But there is this strange leap of faith that this ALSO means the changes are caused by AGW is where you lose me.  This seems almost an article of faith among the advocates. 

    The trend exists…therefore…AGW, and only AGW, caused it.  Tunnel vision.  No further investigation or questioning necessary.  It is weak science.

    Why aren’t all hurricanes affected by AGW, and now only strong hurricanes?  Why is the global cyclone energy at historic low even while CO2 continues unabated?  These are legitimate unanswered questions.  I can answer them with my “pet theory” – CO2 has minimal, if any, affect on hurricane formation, strength, damage, and tracks.

    You can monitor any 20 or 30 year period over centuries in something like hurricane power and find some form of spurious trends, and that is exactly what they are, spurious.  If would be extremely unusual to find anything else.

  • Gaythia

    I was just in Pittsburgh during its recent flash flood event.  The flooding that led to the deaths happened not so much the surface flooding but because of upwelling from storm sewers at overloaded nodes.  It probably was helpful that our unfamiliarity with the local topography enabled us to see a area of deep water ahead and avoid it.  Those who drove on straight into 5″ of water may have been familiar with the location (in our case half way up the hillside) and “reasonably” not anticipated that this flooding was possible.  Be careful out there.

    Just one example of how it is building patterns that dictate the level of damage.

  • http://thingsbreak.wordpress.com/ thingsbreak

    Irene may already dropping to strong a Cat 1, thanks to wind shear*.

    We may be getting “lucky”.

    *Of course, increased wind shear is expected in an anthropogenically-warmed world (thanks to weakening of the Walker Circulation). Hence the intriguing tension in the “proto-consensus” of stronger, but less frequent Atlantic TCs.

  • http://www.veteransfreedomfarm.org steven mosher

    Yes, Irene’s middle name is global warming. without a doubt. Most certainly. She’s a poster child for AGW
    http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/text/refresh/MIATCPAT4+shtml/221302.shtml
    Does that mean that if the storm turns out to be a dud that global warming is a dud? That’s a risky bet to lay on a hurricane.  Im glad responsible folks like mcKibben get to make those unilateral choices.

    Picking Irene as a ‘spokesmodel” for AGW is like  Florida Citrus growers picking anita bryant.

    Can people stop the iconography in science.


     

  • Tom Fuller

    Steven, you should give that word an Internetty flavor:

    iCon-Ography.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @47
    While there is much to agree with in Andy’s post I would argue that he (and many ohters) are missing the big picture on the issue of hurricanes :)

    Whether or not climate change increases the power and/or frequency of hurricanes in the Atlantic basin is a good question, but it is ultimately secondary to the question of how climate change will affect where hurricanes go. As this current episode shows its the storm track that matters more than the intensity.  

    Roger and others can argue till the cows come home about statistical significance in the damage record and changes in landfall and PDI statistics, but IMO these sorts of aggregation exercises aren’t really relevant from a policy point of view…

  • Tom Gray

    According to reports, Irene’s eye has disintegrated and further strengthening is unlikley. The current forecasts that I have seen predict it hitting land as a Category  1 and hitting New Tork as a tropical storm. Better nes, I suppose

  • Bob Koss

    #55 Marlowe Johnson,
    Look at my comment #45. The earlier part of the 20th century was more active with respect to land falling storms than the last half. If any case can be made at all, it would be that warmer means less land falling storms. But, go ahead and worry if you want.  

  • http://www.veteransfreedomfarm.org steven mosher

    Yup, she’s a poster child for AGW: I suppose if it is a dud and the middle name sticks that McKibben will take full responsibility for the loss of credibility.e has effectively tied the credibility of climate science to the outcome of this storm. A fascinating gamble. Why do those of us who believe in AGW let spokespeople get away with these all in bets..
    Interesting to examine people’s reasoning.Knowing that this is audience you have to convince, did he make a wise bet with our brand equity?
    “It definitely is a concern, but sometimes things are blown out of proportion. Sometimes the people who make the calls just want to save their asses,” said Luzuriaga, who is still debating whether to leave his nearby home.
    Jeffrey Rose, a clinical hypnotist strolling the beach dipping onion rings into guacamole, said he was considering leaving the city on a business trip but was not overly concerned about Irene, which is set to barrel down by Sunday.
    “We’re a very litigious society. The city knows that if something happens, they could get sued. That’s okay; it’s just that people have to cover themselves,” Rose said.
    C.J. Carey, a Rockaway Beach resident who was out swimming, said he may head north Saturday, away from the shore, to the Bronx. But on Friday, he was enjoying the literal calm before the storm.
    “There may be a hurricane, but today is great for the waves,” Carey said.

     

  • Jarmo

    #18

     Check back on Monday for a post on the DC climate protests.

    Keith,  aren’t these more accurately Keystone XL protests?

    McKibben & Co are trying to stop or delay new supply of oil in Canada from being developed in our Peak Oil world. As long as oil demand in the US continues at the present level, this makes no difference. Somebody else will buy that oil and the US will buy their oil from somewhere else (with a higher price?).

    Would be interesting to look at the demand side of the equation more closely. To draw a parallel to US war on drugs, economists explained the failure of US to limit supply of cocaine and marijuana in the following manner: Limited supply raises street prices and increases drug sellers´profits. Increased profits encourage producers to produce more despite higher cost/risk.

    You have the same problem with oil. Oil sands, deep sea drilling, arctic drilling and shale oil are developed in response to higher oil prices.

    I think Obama took a big step in the right direction with new CAFE standards. Fuel economy of cars will double by 2025. Assuming people will not drive more, this translates to cutting consumption by nearly half, close to 4 million barrels a day. Alberta oil sands currently produce 1.5 million barrels a day. 

  • Tom Gray

    People have written here about the dangers of AGW advocates have taken n by attributing Irene’s effects to AGW. They are forgetting that these prophecies of doom are not predictions but statements of belief. If the predicted disaster happens then they were correct. Ff it does not happen then we are all fortunate to have escaped the effects of AGW by only good uck. Teh predctiosn cannot be falsified since they are not predictions but statements of group solidarity. AGW is an overwhelming threat and you and your family can only survive if you adhere to the valid set of beliefs. People who do not believe in them are deniers and are a danger to you and your family. Remember Irene.

    So if disaster happens then it as the result of AGW. If it doesn;t happne then tje worst effects of AGW have been avoided by chance.

    Of course, one could easily take rhetoric from the skeptic side abotu Irene and fit it to this as well. Any disaster will have occurred just by the effects of a random hurricane. Lack of a disaster wlll further discredit the AGW hypothesis.

  • http://www.climatecentral.org Mike Lemonick

    I’m still trying to figure out how RPJ comes up with the following equation:

    Storm surge is x
    Storm surge plus sea-level rise is x+1
    x=x+1 in terms of likely damage
    I would think you’d need a peer-reviewed paper to show that this equation is plausible, not the other way around

  • Jarmo

    Looks like Irene is weakening and Obama has approved Keystone XL. No big surprises.

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    Because my beloved is named Irene I’ve coincidentally been following this storm from its inception. She’s done well for herself as a storm. I’d have to say, though, that the overwrought American response has been far more symptomatic of the dysfunctional nature of American society and particularly its public discourse than of climate change.

    (That said, I think the evacuation of parts of New York City is a difficult call and on balance, I think it is prudent though my guess is that it will fall under the rubric of false positives.)

    I hate to say it but I am with Kloor and Mosher and Pielke on this one. Lemonick is pushing the bounds, and McKibben is being ridiculous.

    Bill McKibben’s heart is in the right place but I don’t accept him as the leader of resistance to anthropogenic forcing of climate change. This particular blurt isn’t his only error or his main one. His main error is his incapacity to provide an optimistic vision of the future.

    PS I’m not taking the bait on #3. I leave it to the reader to discern why the question itself is misleading and tendentious.

  • Keith Kloor

    Politico has a related story.

  • Keith Kloor

    I’ve just become aware that science writer John Horgan has written a piece that references exchanges in this thread.

  • Keith Kloor

    Whoops, here’s the SciAm post by Horgan.

  • Fred

    During the 20th century New York was hit with FIVE category 3 hurricanes, all at times when CO2 was below 350 ppm. See:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/new-york-had-five-major-hurricanes-below-350-ppm/

    So now that New York gets hit with a category 1 storm its all due to “global warming?” 

  • http://www.climatecentral.org Mike Lemonick

    Fred (67): No, it isn’t, and I doubt you’ll find many people who say otherwise.

  • Barry Woods

    68#
    puzzled

     Bill McKibben was saying just that… quite loudly

  • Menth

    @68 This whole thread is in reference to a column by Bill McKibben where he says that Irene’s “middle name” is global warming.

  • http://www.veteransfreedomfarm.org steven mosher

    “They are forgetting that these prophecies of doom are not predictions but statements of belief. If the predicted disaster happens then they were correct. Ff it does not happen then we are all fortunate to have escaped the effects of AGW by only good uck. Teh predctiosn cannot be falsified since they are not predictions but statements of group solidarity.”

    Repent or be damned to hell. Its a statement of belief, not a prediction. If you go to hell, they will be correct. Its a statement of group solidarity.

     

  • http://www.veteransfreedomfarm.org steven mosher

    Nice Mention for you Keith!
     

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    Re #67, Irene is a category 3 on the scale you are referring to, which shows the highest SS scale for the individual storm, not its strength upon hitting “New York”, presumably mostly Long Island.

    We still may have actual sustained hurricane force winds hitting New York City itself this weekend. Is there a precedent for that?

     

  • Tom Gray

    In answer to Michael Tobis’ question. Here is the Wikipedis list of New York City hurricanes

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_New_York_hurricanes

    The 1904 hurricane looks remarkably like Irene to my untrained eye

  • Tom Gray

    http://www.nyc.gov/html/oem/html/hazards/storms_hurricanehistory.shtml

    And here are the NYC hurricanes from the municipal government. Irene does not seem to be extraoridinary let alone historic

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    Tom Gray’s first link refers to New York State. His second refers to only one case where a hurricane was believed to hit within “modern New York City” directly, in 1821.

    NYC is geographically speaking a hard target for a hurricane, though, and from my reading of wunderground.com just now, Irene will likely hit NYC directly but not as a hurricane. 

    As of now, I think the answer remains no, that there is no evidence that the city itself has been struck with a hurricane since at least 1821.

    I do NOT think Irene (the storm) is extraordinary as a meteorological event. She just has good aim.
     

    While I agree with Joe Romm in general that the news media often are negligent about bringing climate change into stories, I don’t think this one in particular should be cast as a climate change story, as I said above.
     

  • Tom C

    This is just fascinating.  Tobis says that McKibben’s “heart is in the right place” whatever the hell that is supposed to mean in regard to making statements with or without scientific backing.  Kloor is busy sighing and groaning and wishing he wouldn’t say things exactly in this way.  I want an answer: is McKibben being “anti-science”?

  • Tom Fuller

    Tom C, the answer is yes. Every time McKibben makes a public utterance, an angel smiles–at the Republicans.

  • grypo

    To all who think this hurricane isn’t a big deal because it isn’t Cat 3:  You are wrong and you must not be watching the same reports that I am. This storm is very large and if you in the path, please pay attention to the local reports.  Here is what you need to worry about.  Are you near the coast?  Is it high tide when the center comes over you?  Are you in the path of the wind wall or the rain wall?  Is your area adapted to 10+ feet surges.  How long will this last?  I’ll repeat, Irene is large and will take a while to leave.  If your soil is already saturated from earlier east coast rain, expect trees and poles to fall easier, especially with the constant wind.  There’s also a moon tide, higher than usual.  There’s a convergence of things going on that aren’t good.  Prepare.  If nothing else, piece of mind is comforting.

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com mt

    +1 grypo

    Meanwhile, those of us not on the east coast can jabber about other things.

    Contrary to Tom Fuller in #78, being politically inept is not the same as being anti-science. Rick Perry is politically adept and anti-science, for instance. McKibben is wrong about this hurricane in my opinion, but that isn’t “anti-science” in any sense that I understand it.
     

  • http://www.veteransfreedomfarm.org steven mosher

    I think its a mistake to focus on the unprecedented. Essentially its abduction ( CS Pierce). I think it’s unwise for several reasons
    1. We know the physics of climate better than we know the past.
    2. Intelligent Design uses abduction which makes me highly suspicious of its reliablity.
    3.  Nobody who believes in AGW science ( the last hundred years of it) was convinced of the power of GHGs by what was happening with the weather. It’s the physics, stupid. we believe because of the physics.

    Of course for those of us who believe, the weather, even crazy weather, always makes “sense”. It has to. That AGW causes the weather we have is trivially true for us. However, its never a good argument to use with someone who doesnt accept the physics. Look at it this way. We were not convinced by ‘the weather’, and nothing that can happen with the weather can make the physics “wrong”. Epistemically for us the weather is a wheel that doesnt turn. So, why do we think it forms the basis of a great argument. It doesnt. The weather didnt convince us and it wont convince the other side.
    And if the other side doesnt understand physics, then they can only believe based on trust. Which entails having trustworhy people speaking for the science. And even there some will never believe.

  • Tom Gray

    grypo writes

    =============
    To all who think this hurricane isn’t a big deal because it isn’t Cat 3:
    =============

    being a big deal and being historic are quite different things. The AGW issue is not helped by hype

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    #81, though cogently argued, goes down in the annals of chutzpahon account of its source.

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    Oops, numbering glitch. I mean #80, Mosher’s.

  • Tom C

    @mt – Oh, I see.  McKibbon makes repeated statements, claims, demands, and tries to influence policies that would affect millions of people, all with no scientific basis.  But, he is just politically inept.  No trace there of someone letting his philosophy distort the science.

    Perry, on the other hand, makes the claim that AGW science has become corrupt.    That some scientists are letting their philosophy and political objectives distort the science.  He is backed up on this point by many famous scientists with relevant experience.

    Sorry, but McKibben is anti-science.  Perry is trying to promote scientific integrity.

  • Fred

    From Mckibbon’s point of view and that of a few here Hurricane Irene can be added to the list of things caused by global warming found at:

    http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/warmlist.htm

  • http://www.veteransfreedomfarm.org steven mosher

    You can steal the argument if you like MT. For me arguments are independent of the source. If you made a good one I’d steal it. Anyway you get my point. You dont believe in climate science because of extreme weather.  So, you must understand that it’s a weak rhetorical approach.

  • Matt B

    MT (80) – Rick Perry is politically adept and anti-science, for instance. McKibben is wrong about this hurricane in my opinion, but that isn’t “anti-science” in any sense that I understand it. 

    I’ll bite – what exactly does one do or say to qualify as being anti-science?

  • Tom Fuller

    Well, #88, you have some history to examine. Al Gore isn’t considered anti-science, despite serial gaffes and mis-statements. Our Attorney General, likewise. Paul Ehrlich, who has an unbroken record of wrongness, the same.

    But Mosher? Despite his belief in the science, despite the help he is currently proffering to other climate scientists who believe in the science–he’s anti-science, not to be trusted by MT. Why? Because he co-wrote a book that criticized a group of scientists. A book MT never bothered to read. A book that doesn’t criticize the science, but says that a small group of scientists acted wrongly.

    Burn him.  

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    Al Gore confused the temperature at the core of the sun with the temperature at the core of the earth. A huge error quantitatively, but not something of much direct impact on the matters of interest to him and surely unintentional. It is nothing to be proud of but it counts as an honest mistake.

    Rick Perry prefers to listen to a handful of politically connected charlatans rather than the scientific community on at least two matters of substantive importance to his current responsibilities where a mature consensus exists. He displays a systematic bias against facts that might upset or inconvenience his constituency. This is irresponsible. Calling it “anti-science” seems fitting. It’s plainly obvious what that means in his case.

    I can’t fathom the comparison.

    As for Mosher, a man who makes a name for himself unjustly undermining trust in science is in no position to advertise in favor of trustworthiness. This has been my point about Mosher ever since he started saying sporadically sensible things amidst the character assassinations, and you may recall I said so rather vehemently.

    I don’t expect Fuller and Mosher to recant or understand the damage they have done to the relevant scientific community and the prospects of the world. Similarly, though, they should not expect great respect from that community for any arguments they may make about trustworthiness.

    Are they “anti-science”? No, not in the same sense that Rick Perry is taking an anti-science position. But it sure isn’t what being pro-science looks like, is it? It’s rather “anti-scientist” that “anti-science”. But both postures are part of the irrational resistance to a vigorous mitigation policy, which is immensely convenient to a certain wealthy oligarchy.

    Mosher is a very smart man and I wish the circumstances existed where we could be friends. But they don’t and we aren’t. The best thing he could do for the world now, short of recanting, is to find another hobby.
     

  • Tom Fuller

    Words fail. You will not rest until you and the rest of those like you destroy any hope that something will ever be done about climate change.

    You defend people who lie about their work and tell others to destroy evidence. You attack people who help expose it.

    And you think you are defending science.

    You’re defending a religion. 

  • Barry Woods

    trust but verify – Michael

  • Barry Woods

    I sent a copy of Climategate – The Crutape Letters Mosher/Fuller
    (it was requested)
    to Richard Betts an IPCC working group 2 lead author

    Richard is also – Head of Climate Impacts at the Met Office, working for the Hadley Centre..

    Richard has read Tom Fullers Book, and recommended that everyone pay particular attention to the last 2 pages…

    How much ‘damage‘ has this book done Michael?

    Serioulsy, I think you need to take a break from your ‘hobby

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/people/richard-betts
    https://twitter.com/#!/richardabetts

  • Lazar

    Of course Perry is anti-science… he opposes science with ignorance and make-belief….
    “we have been experiencing a cooling trend”
    “so-called science”
    “all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight”
    Al Gore has made simple mistakes. He does not insist that he is correct versus the body of science created by earth system and solar scientists. He did not call those sciences a contrived phony mess. The comparison is absurd.

  • Nullius in Verba

    On the “anti-science” question, the disagreement I think is due to conflating “science” with “the scientific establishment”. I think we might be able to agree that Perry is anti-scientific-establishment on AGW.

    Al Gore’s error on the Earth’s core temperature occurred, if I remember correctly, while he was trying to sell his geothermal power scheme on national TV. Whether it was deliberate, I don’t know – I suspect he probably knew that he wasn’t sure – but it’s a happy coincidence that it made it all sound far more credible a power source (to the scientific layman) than saying temperature rose about 25-30 C/km of rock drilled through, and a mean heat flow through the rock of 65 mW/m^2. It’s about 1/10,000 as powerful as solar, on average, and you have to drill through several miles of solid rock to get to it. Sounds good.

    As for Mosher, you should at least recognise his intention is to rescue trust in science by getting the community to recognise and correct the problems that have reduced its credibility. You may not agree with him that there are any such problems, but I would hope you would realise that he (and we) sincerely believe there are.

    Science acquires trust by demonstrating that it is trustworthy, and being seen to act quickly and openly to fix it when it is not. Correctly or not, the information that has come to light casts doubt on that trust, and you either have to show why trust is still justified, or fix the problem. Simply denying that there is a problem without a full explanation of the anomalies won’t work, and makes you look even worse.

    Personally I think it’s too late for that, and you’ve already burned all your bridges after Climategate. You can’t back down now, even slightly, without the whole thing collapsing. Mosher evidently still thinks you’re worth rescuing, but I think it’s a hopeless effort.

  • Tom Gray

    In regard to the word “anti-science”, I would just like to ask Michael Tobis and others, what does one do when the scientists get it wrong?

    As one example, the concept of “supplier induced demand” was adopted by “heath care economists” in Canada. According to this theory, a primary reason for the very high cost of the national medical insurance program as that doctors could maintain their income (pad their bills) by ordering unnecessary tests, treatments etc. So, in the medical system, according to this theory, the suppliers could control the demand for their own service. So, the theory goes, there must be large numbers of unnecessary suppliers and the numbers can be reduced to save money in the national medical insurance systems. So medical school enrollment was capped and reduced.

    The result of all this is a massive shortage of doctors in Canada. This is at a crisis level. There are millions of people who cannot get a general practitioner. One lives in fear that their doctor ill retire since it is impossible to find another one. The governments are pretending to address the situation by increasing enrollment in medical schools and issuing propaganda about how the medical system is improving and is anyway the best in the world etc. etc.

    So these health care economists and their peer reviewed consensus on supplier induced demand were utterly wrong and caused massive damage to the health care system. If one of them told me that water is wet, I would doubt him. I have no confidence in any of their science. The Europeans who brought us the Euro now show us detailed economic reports on the issue of dealing with AGW. Why should be we believe them? Will they spread the Euro debacle to the entire world with their idea on carbon credits?

    So what does one do when the scientists get it wrong?


     

  • Nullius in Verba

    PS.
    Do you think I could get credit for coining the word “antiscientificestablishmentarianism”?

  • Lazar

    Nullius,
    Perry is advocating for replacing results of the scientific process with things which do not… and he is calling the scientific process in this instance “phony”… Even if he genuinely believes that his ignorance and make-believe constitute ‘real science’, and that real scientific process and results are “phony”, he is objectively anti-science. Doubtless he would accept some results of medical science. Perhaps he is anti-science when it suits him? but that speaks less well of his sincerity…
    PS google says yes.

  • Lazar

    Nullius,
    “Science acquires trust by demonstrating that it is trustworthy, and being seen to act quickly and openly to fix it when it is not”
    I realize that you are probably using shorthand… science is not a person. Some individual scientists acted in some ways which some people (myself included) find untrustworthy… science, the process and results, is bigger than those individuals and those actions. Some people (myself included) have no problem continuing to trust the scientific process and results.
    “you either have to show why trust is still justified, or fix the problem”
    I/you/we have to do no such thing. And I/you/we could do 3)… ignore those who are potentially overreacting and/or using events for PR purposes.
    “As for Mosher, you should at least recognise his intention” [...] “Mosher evidently still thinks you’re worth rescuing”.
    I cannot read Mosher’s mind, and I doubt very much that you can.

  • Nullius in Verba

    Science is the process, not the results. If Perry believes the results are wrong because the process has not been properly applied, as opposed to thinking the scientific process doesn’t work, then it might arguably be described as being pro-science. He may well be incorrect about that, (and I’m quite sure he’s wrong about many things – I’m not defending him,) but making scientifically incorrect statements does not, as Al Gore above demonstrated, mean you’ll get classified as anti-science.

    There’s an interesting interview here about whether Perry takes the scientific process seriously:
    http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/22/rick-perrys-scientific-campaign-method/

  • Nullius in Verba

    “Some individual scientists acted in some ways which some people (myself included) find untrustworthy”¦ science, the process and results, is bigger than those individuals and those actions. Some people (myself included) have no problem continuing to trust the scientific process and results.”

    Including the results from those untrustworthy scientists?

  • Lazar

    Nullius,
    “Science is the process, not the results”
    I cannot conceive of a science without results and have no idea what the point of such an exercise would be. I argue that science is both. YMMV.
    “If Perry believes the results are wrong because the process has not been properly applied, as opposed to thinking the scientific process doesn’t work, then it might arguably be described as being pro-science”
    Scientific process and results are objectively defined. The process that led to the conclusion that the world is warming falls in the category of science, regardless of whether Perry believes it or not. The conclusion falls likewise. Replacing a process which is scientific with one which is not, and a conclusion which is scientific with one which is not, and calling a scientific process unscientific, is objectively anti-science however much Perry believes otherwise. At *best*, Perry can be described as subjectively pro science… in his opinion. Some people believe astrology, chi, and aromatherapy, are scientific, and that e.g. medical science is not… they are free to their opinions.
    “Including the results from those untrustworthy scientists?”
    “The results”? Some of them, sure.

  • Lazar

    “an interesting interview”
    He’s a politician… anti science when it suits him.

  • Shub

    Michael Tobis,

    Just so you know, the rules, mechanisms and actions by which you establish trust in the scientific community (and more specifically the climate science community) are exactly the opposite, when the audience is a community of peers and the slightly wider circle of science practitioners – doctors, lawyers, engineers, machinists, meteorologists etc, as opposed to the actions that assist in establish trust with the ‘general public’ at large.

    I agree it is not an easy decision sometimes.

    Do you simply scotch criticism by letting it die down and show that you are utterly unmoved by it? Do you downplay the importance the importance of events assuming the worst of intentions in those who seek to highlight it, in order to shut them down? Or do you respond to them freely and openly, in order to win accolades for transparency, but thereby set off a chain reaction because your move is now being interpreted as an admission of guilt? And with you having given free publicity to the (supposed) non-event in the process?

    Pro-establishment types, and in general, all establishments, prefer the former responses. Stay aloof, shoo away the petty criticism, bury the issues, take it off the headlines, and show one’s might and highlight the difference in power. This may placate the general public. It most likely will not work with the other group, especially if a nucleus has formed, which has more detailed knowledge of the ins-and-outs of the issues, and the weak basis of the position which the establishment tries to defend.

    All of the above: “Staying aloof, shooing away criticism, burying the issues, and showing one’s might, highlighting the difference in power – all of these are pro-science establishment, but anti-science.

    If Mosher were to kiss scientist a**, as you demand that he do, knowing what he knew that he put in his book, he may become what you consider ‘pro-scientist’, but he would definitely be anti-science. 

  • Nullius in Verba

    “The process that led to the conclusion that the world is warming falls in the category of science, regardless of whether Perry believes it or not.”
    He does believe it, and has said so.

    “I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized,” Perry answered. “I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects. I think we’re seeing it almost weekly or even daily, scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change. Yes, our climates change. They’ve been changing ever since the earth was formed.

    There are many different conclusions people have drawn from climate science, ranging from whether there has been a fraction of a degree increase over the 20th century, to whether a man-made runaway greenhouse effect will lead to all the crops dying and the remnants of humanity turning to cannibalism within the next 40 years as our civilisation sinks beneath the oceans like Atlantis. Scepticism about some of it doesn’t imply scepticism about all of it. Accepting some of it doesn’t mean that all the rest of it automatically follows.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Does Perry believes in the process or simply the result of porn?

    Does Perry believe in porn stars, in porn buyers, or in porn?

    All interesting questions, and as relevant here as were the latest ones.

    http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/08/19/rick_perry_porn

  • Lazar

    Nullius,
    “He does believe it, and has said so.”
    1) You can’t read his mind
    2) [edited for clarity -- Lazar] “scientists [...] questioning the [...] idea that man-made global warming [...] is causing the climate to change” does not equal “I accept that the world is warming” does not equal “we have been experiencing a cooling trend”
    “There are many different conclusions people have drawn from climate science [...] Scepticism about some of it doesn’t imply scepticism about all of it”
    That Perry may or may not accept some aspects of climate science when it suits him does not make the linked statements any less anti science…
    “we have been experiencing a cooling trend” [...] “so-called science” [...] “all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight”
    His stunning insight that “Yes, our climates change. They’ve been changing ever since the earth was formed”… isn’t so much pro science as misleadingly selective in support of an unscientific conclusion.

  • Nullius in Verba

    “You can’t read his mind”
    Can you?

    “His stunning insight that “Yes, our climates change. They’ve been changing ever since the earth was formed””¦ isn’t so much pro science as misleadingly selective in support of an unscientific conclusion.”
    Which conclusion? Whether the climate is warming depends on what timescale you measure it over. On some timescales it is warming, on others, it is cooling. To pick out only the intervals that report warming as valid is misleadingly selective – letting the expected/desired conclusions lead the selection of evidence. It’s unscientific.
    To the extent that scientific processes have genuinely led to a conclusion that the world has warmed (i.e. considered over the 20th century) then Perry has stated agreement with that. Climate changes. It’s the extrapolations beyond what the science can properly support that are being disputed.

  • kdk33

    Mosher believes AGW because of the physics (the bible), regardless of the weather (the data, the real world).  MT dislikes Mosher because he criticized certain physicists (priests).  Mosher believes he is trying to fix/improve the scientific community (priesthood) and that layman are not excluded from the scientific process (can read think and decide for themselves)

    I think this makes mosher a protestant and MT catholic.  Hail mary full of grace…

    OTOH, what is it that Mosher actually believes; climate sensitivity for example: 1.5, 3.0 7.0.  Lindzen is a self proclaimed denier (and routinely lampooned by those far less accomplished) because he thinks climate sensitiviey is about 0.6, but hye clearly believes in AGW.

    KK (others) are simply engaging in republican bashing.  I expect it to get worse over the coming 15 months.  That crunching sound in the distance are liberal fantasies shattering on the rocks of reality (The green jobs/economy scam is fairly well pulverized by now; natural gas futures are trading below $4/MMBTU).

    I think it’s tea-time  :-)

  • Lazar

    Nullius,
    “Can you?”
    No.
    “Which conclusion?”
    That GHG emissions are not contributing to climate change, the negative of which immediately precedes Perry’s statement that our climate has always been changing.
    “To the extent that scientific processes have genuinely led to a conclusion that the world has warmed (i.e. considered over the 20th century) then Perry has stated agreement with that”
    1) Where?
    2) “world has warmed” does not equal “world is warming”

    3)we have been experiencing a cooling trend”
    “Whether the climate is warming depends on what timescale you measure it over”
    Mmm, nope… the mean annual temperature is non-stationary in the positive direction… GHGs are warming the atmosphere and oceans at a greater rate than orbital induced cooling… claiming hte conclusion changes depending how far back you lookis like dropping a ball from 100 meters up and measuring altitude every millisecond, the ball hits the ground and rises one meter, and you stop measuring… you draw a negative line through the points and claim that the ball is still falling at the end…

  • Jarmo

    Looks like Irene has been further downgraded:

    Flooding begins as Tropical Storm Irene lashes toward New York City

    By the CNN Wire Staff

    August 28, 2011 — Updated 1312 GMT (2112 HKT)

     

  • Nullius in Verba

    So if you can’t read his mind, why is your statement about what he believes any less unfounded than mine?
    That GHG emissions are not contributing to climate change is not the negative of the idea that man-made global warming is not what is causing the climate to change. There are many things that contribute, of which GHGs are one, but which one of them has led to the observed actual change is not something that correlations can tell you.
    Black tarmac contributes to climate change, by reducing the Earth’s albedo, but it isn’t the cause of climate change.

    “the mean annual temperature is non-stationary in the positive direction”
    That’s not been proven.

    “GHGs are warming the atmosphere and oceans at a greater rate than orbital induced cooling”
    “Orbital” induced cooling?

    “claiming the conclusion changes depending how far back you look”¦ is like…”
    The graph of temperature over time is a fractal. The derivative diverges – the concept of an instantaneous rate of change is nonsensical – and the conclusion does indeed change depending on how far back you look.
    Claiming that the ball is still going down even after it has hit the ground will just get people looking at you oddly. And if it turns out that the ball has been bouncing 100m up and down for a long time previously, picking the last descent is no more justifiable than picking the final ascent.

  • Matt B

    The arguments about who is on the side of science & who is against  reminds me of the scene in My Cousin Vinny when Joe Pesci has to plead his clients guilty/not guilty (here is the dialogue from imdb.com, I couldn’t find a good clip):

    Judge Chamberlain Haller: How do your clients plead?
    Vinny Gambini: My clients were caught completely by surprise. They thought they were getting arrested for shoplifting a can of tuna.
    Judge Chamberlain Haller: Huh? What are you telling me? That they plead not guilty?
    Vinny Gambini: No. I’m just trying to explain…
    Judge Chamberlain Haller: [cutting him off] I don’t want to hear explanations. I don’t know how you practice law in New York, but the state of Alabama has a procedure. And that procedure is to have an arraignment. Are we clear on this?
    Vinny Gambini: Yes, but there seems to be a great deal of confusion here. You see, my clients…
    Judge Chamberlain Haller: Uh, Mr. Gambini?
    [Motions for him to approach the bench]
    Judge Chamberlain Haller: All I ask from you is a very simple answer to a very simple question. There are only two ways to answer it: guilty or not guilty.
    Vinny Gambini: But your honor, my clients didn’t do anything.
    Judge Chamberlain Haller: Once again, the communication process has broken down between us. It appears to me that you want to skip the arraignment process, go directly to trial, skip that, and get a dismissal. Well, I’m not about to revamp the entire judicial process just because you find yourself in the unique position of defending clients who say they didn’t do it.

    I love Judge Haller……

  • Lazar

    Nullius,
    “So if you can’t read his mind, why is your statement about what he believes”
    I have not made a statement about what he believes.
    The rest… we’re going to have to agree to disagree.

  • Tom C

    Tobis wants Mosher to “recant”.  I love it, terminology that would make Torquemada blush. 

  • steven mosher
  • steven mosher

    kdk33:

    “I think this makes mosher a protestant and MT catholic.  Hail mary full of grace”¦ ”

    Intellectually, yes, that is my heritage.  very perceptive. I like that.

    What does Mosher believe?  are best science give a first order estimate of sensitivity around 1 – 1.5. First order.

    Arguments about second order effects both below ( Lindzen) and above ( everybody else ) is the key battleground.  On balance the arguments for higher sensitivities are more substantial than those arguments for lower sensitivities. So, if you ask me my considered judgement, I would accept  1.5C to 6C.  If you asked me to take an over under bet on the IPCC “mean” of 3.2C, I would take the under bet.  In short, the physics that is incontrovertible says to a first order sensitivity is   1ish. arguments for higher sensitivity are more compelling and supported by disparite lines of reasoning. Arguments for less sensitivity are narrowly focused on TCR. 

  • Nullius in Verba

    #116,
    True, but winning the conversation evidently isn’t the aim any more. The argument he makes seems to be directed at his own side, trying to tell them that what they’re doing is important, not to give up, not to let it slide when people start expressing sceptical views in conversation. That holding to your views in the face of everyone around you disagreeing is morally virtuous; the start of an opinion-shifting social movement. It’s interesting as well how in his analogy the believers are positioned as the outsiders trying to overturn the prevailing paradigm by speaking up, rather than the mainstream dismissing an unimportant fringe.

    It says a lot about what they must be hearing from their followers at HQ. Interesting.

  • steven mosher

    Barry,

     Thanks for that.

    Let me quote the last paragraph of the book.

    “Global warming is real and it is a problem, if not the catastrophe they want you to believe. It needs our attention. C02 is a contributor, along with some other factors, some natural and some man made. And yes, we do need to do something about it” 

    Tom and I come from different ends of the political spectrum. And to certain extent we both had to cross the thin green line. For those on the left the green line prevents them from pointing out any flaw in climate science or specific climate scientists behavior. For those on the right, the thin green line prevents them from saying there is a common problem we must do something about.

    I put the question to people. Is there a logical contradiction in the following sentence:

    “AGW science is true AND Jones was wrong to thwart FOIA”

    Years of philosophy classes have not helped me find the logical contradiction here.  Is some law of physics violated by this sentence?
    No luck there as well. I searched hi and low in the annuals of science for some equation that would preclude wrong doing on the part of a scientist from the laws of physics. I found none. So, the sentence is not illogical. It’s not physically impossible. Comes the question, why can so few people admit what is so readily apparent. Why do skeptics deny a science that is used in the everyday devices they own. And why do some people resist admitting what the ICO  clearly found? And what happens to the conversation if we stop looking at it as Al Gore does, as something we “win”? What happens to the conversation if more people cross the thin green lines that Tom and I crossed?  I’ll tell you what did not happen for me or Tom. Neither one of us had to give up our political convictions. We found a common ground on openness, transparency, inclusiveness. 

  • Steve Fitzpatrick

    Humm, seems Bill McKibben has a middle name as well.  I think it starts with an ‘id’ and ends with an ‘ot’, in the middle I think there is an ‘i’.  Talk about self-defeating rants!

  • Nullius in Verba

    “I put the question to people. Is there a logical contradiction in the following sentence”
    No, there isn’t a contradiction, but neither is it a tautology. We want to know if it is true (some of us). We agree that if it is true, then it is important that we know it. But we also think the stakes are inconceivably high, and we want to be very sure about it before we overturn the world trying to deal with it.

    So it is essential that the science leading people to believe it is done with the very highest integrity, the highest care and quality, the greatest openness, transparency, V&V. If this was the proverbial asteroid headed for Earth, I cannot conceive that anyone would be calculating its orbit with kludged code, refusing to show people the data, ignoring or downplaying technical errors and saying they “didn’t matter”. I cannot conceive how anyone who genuinely believed it was about the actual end of the world could play games with it. Or let others get away with playing games with it.

    So I say, first show us how serious you are. Open up all the data, all the code, the entire chain of logic. Get it checked, get it fixed, get every step of it out in the open. Have no tolerance for mistakes of any kind. Stop playing academic politics with armageddon.

    Or if the current climate community won’t do it, then bring in people from outside. Spend a few of those billions doing something useful, for a change.

    When you’ve completed that, then we’ll talk. But until then, Phil’s FOIA games and everybody else’s tolerance for them are a symptom that there’s something here not to be trusted. Is AGW science true? How can we possibly tell, how can we justify having any confidence, if people won’t share the data in case we find something wrong with it?

    And then we’ll go all-out for nuclear power, get everybody out of poverty, and build the flexibility and economic/technological resources we need to adapt to whatever might happen. Just as we wanted to all along.

  • steven mosher

    “As for Mosher, a man who makes a name for himself unjustly undermining trust in science is in no position to advertise in favor of trustworthiness. This has been my point about Mosher ever since he started saying sporadically sensible things amidst the character assassinations, and you may recall I said so rather vehemently”

    Character assassinations?  Let’s see. In the book I focused primarily on the behavior of Jones and to a lessor extent Briffa.
    The first 150 pages of the book is  pure chronology. Chronology, putting together the mails and the web posts. One whole chapter is devoted to untangling  how the mails went public.

    The “case” against individuals is not about their character. What I said about Jones character ( he seemed disorganized) was confirmed by Jones. So much for that. What did I say about Briffa?He seemed to be put under a lot of pressure. Nothing about his character. Here is what we tried to show:

    ‘ We hold that .. the Team were captured by the worldview they thought they were fighting–that to a large extent they adopted a strategy   and tactics that they ascribed to their opponents in this struggle”

    In Short: Jones, following Mann, thought that McIntyre was a stooge of big oil.  That was a mistake. A tactical mistake. Had he merely given the data over, climategate would never have happened.  That is hardly a character assassination. Further, I’ve defended Jones against all sorts of spurious claims. On right wing Blogs ( Big Government) for example.

    What else did we try to show? We tried to show in the last few pages that
    1. The certainty of certain conclusions was oversold.
        a) Rind expressed this worry to Briffa
        b) Briffa expressed this worry to Overpeck
        c) this centers ENTIRELY on chap 6 of ar4
    2. They played games with the publishing process, this is
        primarily centered on the production of Ch 6 Ar4

    3. They played a stupid losing game with the FOIA law to protect research they had done, when they didn’t have to.

    That is not character assassination. Early on the defense was made “boys will be boys.” That gets it wrong because it is a character assassination. I’m not criticising their character. I’m questioning their tactics in handling skeptics. Plain and simple. Plain and simple I argued what the ICO confirmed: CRU brought trouble on themselves. You got a problem with my interpretation, bring it up with the ICO.  In more detail I argued this. Jones in 2002 shared data with McIntyre. Jones argued that the data should be free. Then Mann and McIntyre got into a silly fight and Jones understandably took on certain tactics exhibited by Mann. Those tactics of denying  requests for data backfired. They will continue to backfire. People who defend this behavior will continue to find themselves on the losing end of legal battles and PR battles. People who defend this behavior in any way shape or form do more damage to trust than any book read by, at best, 2000 people.  


     
     And if your majesty wants a simple answer

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5P7QkHCfaI

     

  • steven mosher

    Tom

     Here is what I find Funny. On Judith’s blog when She argues that Climategate destroyed trust she gets pushback because there is no study that actually demonstrates that climategate, much less our book, has any measurable effect on trust. And here of course we are to be burned for destroying trust.  Which, according others, really hasnt happened. Sometimes I think the trust was destroyed before the mails were ever stolen. Perhaps that lost of trust led some misguided idealistic soul to violate the law and steal the mails. You know I said the ‘who dunnit’ was unimportant. maybe I was wrong.  you know he came back to CA the other day and dropped a cryptic comment.
     

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    I am not defending a priesthood. “AGW science is right” is a peculiar formulation anyway, but if it means something it doesn’t in any way contradict an assertion that “Dr X did wrong” for some value of X.

    Specifically Jones erred in his response to the obnoxious FOI barrage. He says as much. He was in violation of law, though arguably not of ethics.

    He wasn’t especially hiding anything, he just was hoping not to engage with people who he believed had no interest other than making his life miserable. This impression was supported by subsequent events.

    You will also notice that his actual scientific results have been replicated by multiple independent groups. So whatever you may say about his response to McIntyre’s tormenting him, his actual publications remain absolutely untarnished.

    All of this comes under public relations, not under science in any case. This is in a field with no established experience in public relations. You have to expect decades of learning before this goes remotely smoothly under the best of circumstances. The explicit hostility and contempt the field faces is hardly the best of circumstances.

    I don’t know every little thing Jones or Mann or etc, did and don’t care to. As Mosher points out above, their specific results are not a major input into rational concerns about AGW.

    My refusal to pile on to personal attacks on them is not intended as blind support of everything they do. It is simply indifference to what they do. Nobody has pointed to any evidence of anything in their behavior that is important enough to worry about. I consider that they have proven themselves as responsible principal investigators and should be given substantial freedom to pursue those investigations. Therefore I have nothing whatever to say about it, beyond what Jones himself has admitted.

    Your saying I am defending a priesthood by saying that you have not made the case that I should stick my nose into the affairs of Mann or Jones is wrong. My position is that their stolen email is none of my business and none of yours. I had barely heard of these guys before you started attacking them. Their interests have little overlap with the branches of science I have studied or practiced, and as yet I have never met them nor seen them present their work.

    I don’t see why it should constitute some sort of test of my bona fides to denounce them. The demand feels sort of Torquemadaesque, speaking of Catholicism and Torquemada. I don’t make a habit of casual denunciations of people I don’t know much about, and I don’t see how such a thing could advance the interests of science or of the public. To the contrary, really.

    Now Mosher is coyly not demanding this. He is simply demanding that I accept that his criticisms of Jones et al do not falsify his positions on the science. Strictly speaking he is logically correct. But Mosher’s efforts mostly have the consequence of aiding and abetting the sort of footdragging that NiV advocates here, and NiV’s demands for a denunciation as a precondition for proceeding.

    Of course, it would be stupid and cowardly to comply with such a demand. Nobody knows who is next. It could be some poor wildlife ecologist with the bad luck to observe a few drowned polar bears. It could be your advisor or your student or your co-I. It could be you. This demand for denunciation is part of a campaign of fear and intimidation. The only dignified and ethical response is to dismiss it.

    And this campaign of intimidation was entirely foreseeable by Fuller and Mosher when they added fuel to the fire. It would be nice to leave it behind. But it rankles when these people talk about trying to establish the trust they have gone so far out of their way to damage.
     

  • Nullius in Verba

    Specifically Jones erred in his response to the obnoxious FOI barrage.
    Barrage? His first comment on FOIA – the one about deleting the data rather than allow it to fall into enemy hands, occured before any FOI requests.
    Where did this idea come from that the resistance was the result of an FOIA “barrage”? And do they have an interest?

    He wasn’t especially hiding anything, he just was hoping not to engage with people who he believed had no interest other than making his life miserable.
    Actually, I’m pretty sure that what he wanted to hide was the fact that his publications were a smooth front for sloppy, careless, and disorganised work. I’m sure he was sincere in his belief in their truth, but knew that they wouldn’t stand up to a hostile examination, quality-wise.
    There’s a gentleman’s agreement between academics that you don’t expose one another’s dirty laundry. He initially shared data with McIntyre, presumably assuming the same arrangement applied, but when McIntyre splashed his errors all over the internet, cooperation stopped.
    It wasn’t conspiracy to deceive motivating him, but embarassment.

    So whatever you may say about his response to McIntyre’s tormenting him, his actual publications remain absolutely untarnished.
    The primary concern with Jones’ work is the Wang/Jones/Keenan affair. The one on which Tom Wigley said that he thought Keenan had a point. That one still hasn’t been cleared up.

    This is in a field with no established experience in public relations.
    There are several documents from PR firms in the release, and it is evident that they could and did employ PR firms as required. RealClimate, for example, was set up with a PR firm’s help, on their servers, and announced by their press releases. Most universities have PR departments, and science-by-press-release has been one of the big criticisms.
    Certainly, they had greater access to professional PR than the average sceptic.

    But Mosher’s efforts mostly have the consequence of aiding and abetting the sort of footdragging that NiV advocates here, and NiV’s demands for a denunciation as a precondition for proceeding.
    I’m not advocating foot-dragging, I’m advocating that you get on with fixing the problems and making your case as fast as possible.
    I don’t even care about denunciations. I don’t care if you don’t mention Jones and Mann and co. ever again. What I expect is a proper effort to treat this like a serious problem. Open up the code and the data, fix the sensor networks, employ professionals in software and statistics to fix the code/data/algorithm problems, get everything audited and verified by people motivated to find and expose any problems, present the results openly. I’m talking about work like the Berkely Earth surface temperature collaboration, only across the whole field. I’m talking about the stuff you should have already done ten years ago. The faster you get on with it, the faster we can all move on to figuring out what to do.

  • http://www.veteransfreedomfarm.org steven mosher

    MT.

    Specifically Jones erred in his response to the obnoxious FOI barrage. He says as much. He was in violation of law, though arguably not of ethics.
    Wrong on the facts.
    1. the ICO found that Jones may have been in violation of the law on Holland’s request.
    2. Holland’s request came BEFORE the barrage.
    3. the barrage was answered in accordance with the law. They consolidated the requests into one request and Jones posted a 1200 word reply. It took him less than 18 hours. That request was answered.
    4. The ICO also took issue with the other responses. But if you cant keep holland straight, I’m at a loss.
    5. Holand’s request was for correspondence WRT chap 6 and briffa contacting wahl.
    6. Jones asked mann to have wahl delete mails
    7. Wahl deleted them by his own admission
    If you took the time to understand the case you would understand how it all converges on chapter 6 of Ar4. You would understand that it all comes down to overpeck asking briffa to come up with something more compelling that the hockey stick. His words, not mine. And you understand that the whole mess is traceable to the creation of icons and the protection of icons. Icons that have precious little to do with our belief in AGW.
    So now you see how my position on icons and the “unprecedented” trope hang together. This is directly traceable to the protection of the HS. But the HS could disappear tommorrow and we would still know that sensitivity lies between 1.5 and 6. All this BS over protecting a bit a science that does nothing to inform our understanding of sensitivity.

  • http://www.veteransfreedomfarm.org steven mosher

    “Now Mosher is coyly not demanding this. He is simply demanding that I accept that his criticisms of Jones et al do not falsify his positions on the science.”
    I never ask anyone to denounce a person. I do not denounce Jones or Mann or anybody. What I am asking is simple. Present the facts of climategate accurately.  confront the mistakes openly, improve the process. You cannot have it both ways: you cannot on one hand argue that the issues are trivial and then carry on stupid defenses of them rather than accepting the trivial facts. For example, you cannot argue that violating FOIA is trivial and then defend it by
     A. get the chronology wrong
     B. getting the players wrong ( holland is the key, not mcintyre)
     C. getting the issue wrong. It’s not manns work or jones work it is
         briffa, wahl, ammann and mcIntyre’s work.
    You could simply agree that one chart, one chart, in Chapter 6 of Ar4 should be ammended to show what the text actually describes. That’s the draconian remedy I’ve proposed. Change one chart in chapter 6. show the decline. the text describes it, just show the damn thing. Its not that big of a deal.
    We agree the scientific issue is trivial. That makes it all the more important to address. because if you cant address the trivial issues and merely clean up a small mess, then that failure says volumes about your trustworthiness.

  • kdk33

    But Mosher’s efforts mostly have the consequence of aiding and abetting the sort of footdragging that NiV advocates here, and NiV’s demands for a denunciation as a precondition for proceeding.

    As my ‘ol Granny used to say (not original to her):  Show up, Pay attention, Do your best, Tell the truth, Don’t worry about the outcome.

    It’s good advice.

  • http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/2011/08/27/is-it-wrong-to-link-hurricane-irene-to-global-warming/#comment-3938 laursaurus

    I spelled my name wrong.
    I give up.
    The link is in the “website” box. Let’s see if that one appears.

    I don’t like how that person smeared RPJr in the comments of the SA article linked above. 

  • http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/2011/08/27/is-it-wrong-to-link-hurricane-irene-to-global-warming/#comment-3938 laursaurus
  • http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/2011/08/27/is-it-wrong-to-link-hurricane-irene-to-global-warming/#comment-3938 laursaurus

    success!
    Just delete the ones in moderation, Keith! Thanks! 

  • http://www.veteransfreedomfarm.org steven mosher
  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    Mosher, I stipulate you know more about the events in question than I do. As I have said many times, I am not interested in those events. You wrote a book about it. I have not read any books about it.

    Nobody has made the case to me that any such book is worth reading. There are lots of other books I want to read, and lots of other projects I want to undertake, too many to cope with.

    As far as I know, investigations of Jones and Mann have taken place under the pressure of people who think otherwise. Accordingly I believe that Mann is completely innocent, and Jones is guilty of underestimating the legal status of what he saw as an unwarranted intrusion in his work. I have not heard of investigations of the other people Mosher mentions, and I have no idea what sorts of accusations have swirled around them.

    I do know that the character assassination and innuendo have been drastically out of proportion to the events in the cases I know about, both in these incidents and several others. To state that this is about a particular figure in a particular report is grossly disingenuous. What happened to Ben Santer, then? What just happened to Charles Monnett? Nobody is going after Schneider any more, but what about that consistently out of context quotation he was tarred with?

    We are in an environment of systematic intimidation, misrepresentation and exaggeration. Perhaps this is no worse than ordinary politics. We see this sort of bending and overinterpretation by political groups about their opponents all the time. Perhaps that is a cost of doing business in the fields of power. But we are scientists. We don’t want power. We just want people in power to grasp the main facts we have and work that into their policies. The fact that we have thus far failed does not change our perceived obligation in any way except to increase its saliency and urgency. And for this we are treated in some circles as if we were “motivated to destroy the American way of life” or some such lunacy.

    It’s not one figure in one document. It’s not one incident.

    Now if your criticism is directed toward the IPCC process, we could have an intelligible discussion that might make progress. What sorts of error should the IPCC explicitly correct? How should the errata be approved and released? How should the corresponding editorial process be improved?

    Those are meaningful questions. So as a peace gesture, I would suggest that rather than talking about individuals we could talk about the institution.

    It is a severe category error to suggest that the scientific community can repudiate some individual’s behavior. There is no such institution. It is conceivable that NSF, or a university, might do so, but malfeasance in such cases must be clear cases of dishonesty, not marginal cases of emphasis, and so far no institution has found any such case. Until they do, there is no reason to be concerned about the events.

    IPCC is another matter. Here is where the rubber meets the road, where the information is supposed to be transferred from the science sector to the policy sector. It’s an amazing institution and not unsuccessful, but given its lack of precedent, unsurprisingly imperfect. If you want to talk about how IPCC is constructed and how it could be improved, we may have some grounds for constructive conversation.
     

  • Tom Fuller

    IOW, I refuse to read about so I can refuse to believe it.

    Amen

  • Tom Fuller

    Oh, and Dr. Tobis: We all have too much on our plate and too many things to read.

    The difference is most of us do not slime people for writing something we haven’t read. You make a habit of it. 

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Once upon a time, Dr. T read stuff over the Internet.  Let’s call that I*.  

    Dr. T saw I* as not very wise.  

    The authors of I* replied that Dr. T has not read the book on which it rest.  Let’s call that book B*.

    Dr. T saw no reason to read B*, considering that I* did not seem very wise to him.

    To claim that Dr. T makes an habit of judging without reading, it’s important to make believe that we’re talking about B*.  Not I*, which Dr. T has read.

    A non-dishonest broker would be more swift in his topic shift.  At the very least, she would try to argue that B* justifies I*, and not simple take that for granted.

  • Nullius in Verba

    Hmm. The case for the prosecution isn’t worth listening to, so I haven’t listened to it. Mann and Jones have been investigated as a result of people thinking they’re guilty, therefore they’re innocent. Some other people have been accused of wrong doing, which I also know nothing about, so it’s probably the same thing going on. We don’t want power, we just want the people in power to incorporate what we say into their policies. We could discuss the IPCC. The scientific community cannot repudiate bad science by an individual because it’s not an institution. Until some university cuts its own throat by openly admitting to scientific fraud, there’s nothing to worry about. We could discuss the IPCC.

    OK, let’s discuss the IPCC. The IAC report on the IPCC criticises them for failure to follow guidance on expressing uncertainty; reporting high confidence in vague statements for which there was little evidence, or support in the literature; making public statements advocating particular policies; having no written criteria for author selection, or information sources; failing to indicate non-peer-reviewed references as required in their procedures; citing many non-peer-reviewed references, especially for WGs II and III; not having sufficient diversity of views on author teams; not giving sufficient weight to critical review comments; review editors not ensuring critical comments were responded to adequately; focussing only on negative impacts; not providing a traceable account of how uncertainty estimates were calculated; being unwilling to share data/databases with critics and enquirers; not putting supporting data into the public domain; and having poor procedures for responding to FOI.
    They also recommended that the IPCC introduce a conflict-of-interest policy for their membership, which commendably they have now done, but I gather they’re not planning to actually apply the policy until after the next report is out.

    I expect you haven’t read the IAC report, either, nobody having persuaded you that there’s anything in it worth reading. Busy, busy. But we do have some common ground: I, too, find the IPCC an amazing institution, and I also am not surprised to discover that it is imperfect. What would you like to talk about first?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    NiV,

    It’s simpler than that.

    Observing self-righteousness behavior is enough.

    No need to listen to ratiocinations.

    If you act like a self-righteous brat, nobody’s making you do it.

    Noble corruption cuts both ways. 

  • Tom Fuller

    willard, I suppose you could make the same logorrheic defense of your doppelganger for the same slime job he pulled on Curry and Pielke. But your B*s and I*s sound remarkably like b# and s#. Dr. Tobis slimed Mosher for being co-author of a book. Tobis thinks the book says one thing. In fact it says something else. Tobis couldn’t be bothered to read it.

    Tobis says that even if Mosher ‘recants’ everything he has written (which Tobis hasn’t read) that Mosher is not fit for society.

    I say that Tobis has a track record of refusing to read awkward material and a track record of whining when it gets into print, as with the ‘false balance’ non-issue. 

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard


    Dr. T writes in #90:

    > I don’t expect Fuller and Mosher to recant or understand the damage they have done to the relevant scientific community and the prospects of the world.

    Tom Fuller reads in #139:

    >  Tobis says that even if Mosher “˜recants’ everything he has written (which Tobis hasn’t read) that Mosher is not fit for society.

    Auditors will notice that “damage done to the scientific community” becomes “everything written”.

    ***

    Auditors will also note that, less than two hours before comment #139, Tom Fuller commented thus:

    > We could be more civil, I suppose. 

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2011/08/29/the-tao-of-climate-communication/comment-page-1/#comment-73933

    Not-dishonest brokers shall consider #139 as a civil tentative at their own peril.

     

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    I am not Willard, though we are virtual friends. I do not always agree with Willard, and his occasional butcheries of the English language are not ones I would come up with if I tried!

    Also I am under no obligation to find any particular book worth reading. Life is short. 

    I do wish some authors of “climategate” books would notice how much damage they have done and actually make some effort at repairing it. I am not holding my breath, though.

    I think Mosher is our best prospect in this regard.

    As for the ad homs about ad homes, hmm, a sticky business. I don’t actually mind Curry’s and Pielke’s posture at the edge of the consensus. I just wish they would do a better job of it. When people publish stuff that makes no sense I may choose to say so. 

    I do not choose to publicly discuss Curry or Pielke or Mann or Mosher or Fuller or anybody else as a person. Or myself for that matter. That’s neither scientific nor policy discourse; it’s gossip. I am interested in what is true, in what is ethical, and in what is pragmatic. I am not interested in who did what to whom when, and I’d like to call the ref in at this point.

     

  • Tom Fuller

    You have chosen on many occasions to discuss each of the persons you now say you do not wish to discuss, using terms like ignorant, dishonest, incompetent, and much, much more. Those are personal terms.

    As for Mosher and my book on Climategate, I’m sure the Catholic hierarchy wishes that those exposing sexual scandal had thought about the damage done to the church before coming forward. But their parochial interests were appropriately outweighed by the damage done by the priests. You can blame those who expose wrongdoing as much as you wish. Or you can (finally) examine the wrongdoing that was exposed.

    Mosher certainly is your best bet. He either doesn’t carry a grudge or has an amazingly short memory, I’m not sure which.

    You have repeatedly shown yourself not to be interested in what is true (eg false balance), what is ethical (eg, shunning Mosher without reading what he has written) or pragmatic (insisting on climate purity at the cost of advancing your cause).

    No wonder you want to call in the ref. You can’t say anything that is accurate–about yourself or anybody else, apparently. 

    As for not reading, nobody has created a reading list for you. But I will repeat that sliming somebody for writing something that you refuse to read does not really give you the moral high ground. Or even the low ground. It’s really kind of subterranean. 

  • Tom C

    ” But I will repeat that sliming somebody for writing something that you refuse to read does not really give you the moral high ground. Or even the low ground. It’s really kind of subterranean. ”

    Well said and nice turn of phrase.

  • Barry Woods

    141# & 142#

    Public information on twitter..

    An IPCC Working Group 1 lead author and contributing author, and IPCC AR5 lead author, Met Office has an open mind to read books recommended to him…

    https://twitter.com/#!/richardabetts/status/94467226316447744

    “Have read Crichton, Paltridge, Lawson, Montford and nearly finished Mosher & Fuller. Any other recommended sceptic / lukewarm authors?”

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/research/people/richard-betts

    How does this make Michael Tobis’ position on Mosher/Fuller look?

  • ivp0

    Yes yes of course.  Calling in the ref is probably necessary at this point.  When a person of some authority in this arena pronounces the players as “completely innocent” without ever actually looking at the evidence, we have a problem.  The exact nature of this problem is what brought about climategate in the first place.  This is not about PR at all but about credibility. 

    If a highly vocal skeptic came up to me and stated: “well I haven’t really looked at any of the evidence regarding global warming but I believe it is all a bunch of nonsense and mankind is completely innocent.”  I would have little regard for his opinion.  No credibility.

    Perhaps each of these otherwise educated and well intentioned people should reserve their judgement and opinion until the evidence has been thoroughly reviewed.

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    If anyone doesn’t understand why I don’t want to get into chapter and verse about the contents of the stolen emails, this conversation shows perfectly why. Even engaging to the extent of saying “I do not want to engage” makes you a punching bag.

    There is no winning in this situation.

    Mike Mann has endured multiple investigations among many other indignities, and no impropriety has been found by the investigators. 

    If you do not want to engage in investigation about AGW itself, more power to you. Nobody can know everything. In that case your best bet is to defer to the independent experts who have studied the matter in detail. 

  • Tom Fuller

    Dr. Tobis, there’s nobody here who would criticize you for wishing to discuss subjects other than Climategate. Many have adopted that tack, and it certainly makes for more diverse reading.

    But dismissing from conversation somebody who once wrote about Climategate while refusing to read what he wrote means that you are making of yourself a punching bag. You do not need outside assistance for the error you are making.

    And as the British say, you have form in this. You have done this with all the people you list above as saying you don’t want to discuss.

    Mann has indeed been the center of several investigations. They have refused to ask the pertinent questions that would have answered the questions raised by Climategate. He hasn’t been exonerated. Nobody accused him of scientific fraud. It was what he did afterwards to protect his pet rock and his reputation that led to all this mess.

  • Keith Kloor

    Charlie Petit at the Science Tracker has a round-up of the commentary/stories related to the Irene and global warming association.

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    “What he did”. “Read the book”. Yadda yadda.

    Apparently “what he did” is too complicated and subtle to state explicitly with less than a book.  

    Look. Every time the opposition to mainstream science thinks it has something, people duly roll up their sleeves and look, and there is nothing. 

    In this case, nobody is able to articulate anything all that serious. Jones has admitted mishandling the FOI stuff. The tree proxies are ugly and may have been a bit overpolished but that’s pretty much right at the margin. 

    Fuller refers vaguely to “the questions raised by Climategate”.

    I do not accept that there was any gate in the first place. I would like to see a list of the questions. I asked for one when the story broke. I still have yet to see one, and until I see something worth worrying about to the extent of derailing the policy process, I will remain convinced that this is a political ploy to derail the policy process. What’s more, it is a ploy that is more than happy to completely fuck up the lives of decent human beings in the service of such delay. Consequently, I remain extremely angry about it, too angry to tolerate reading through the propaganda.

    If someone could say something, anything, that made me suspect that anything worse than a couple of marginally debatable minor decisions had occurred, that would be a different matter. But failing that, no. Forget it. The attention to all of this is grossly disproportionate, and there is, in my estimate, zero prospect that any reading on my part will change that.

    Because if something genuinely concerning had happened, I, not to mention the various investigative teams, would already have heard about it. 

    Feel free to correct me if I am wrong. I promise I will read the responses here. The issue at stake is that Doctor X did Y. Go for it.

  • Tom Fuller

    Oh–yeah. A topic. According to Petit, Romm is learning. He says Romm’s recap is similar to Elizabeth Kolbert. High praise. 

    I’ll read Kolbert… pretty sure it’s at least shorter….

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    Keith, sorry for inadvertently hijacking your thread yet again. And with climateg*te again too. Yawn. But I have to defend myself.

    Nice link in #148. Gillis is excellent as usual. The Kolbert piece is the first climate writing I have seen from her that I think goes too far.
     

  • Tom Fuller

    Oh, now you want to know. I’m sure you’ll get plenty of responses, but mine will have to wait. I’ll give you the 3 conclusions in advance, however:

    Climate science is not overturned.
    Mann did not commit scientific fraud
    What he (and the Team) did was not just wrong, but had the exact effect on the policy debate that you impute to Mosher and myself.

    Now if we had just kept our mouths shut and our pens capped, all would be well and all manner of things would be well. I’ll be back later this evening…

  • Tom Fuller

    Here is the case against Mann et al. It’s from a book that you probably don’t want to read.

    “The scientists known as ‘The Team”˜ hid evidence that their presentation for politicians and policy makers was not as strong as they wanted to make it appear, downplaying the very real uncertainties present in climate reconstruction. The tree ring data discussed below was useful to The Team because it appeared to indicate that the most recent warming we have experienced was unprecedented and dramatic. But it inconveniently declined during the last few decades when they wanted it to increase the fastest; so they replaced the tree ring data with instrument data.

    This happened despite the fact that many scientists they worked with had doubts about the material to be presented. One of the key figures in Climategate, Keith Briffa, goes so far as to say he believes something different than what their figures show.

    The Team actively worked together to avoid compliance with the UK”˜s Freedom of Information Act, alerting each other to possibly incriminating emails that needed to be deleted and advising each other on tactics to frustrate the intent of the FOIA. One scientist threatened to delete data rather than comply with the act, and data has in fact disappeared. At the same time, The Team was violating confidentiality agreements by sending the same data they refused to release to critics to their friends and supporters.”

    This has had real world effects, as politicians have put in place taxes and policies based on what they were told was a rock solid case. 

    “The Team actively worked to keep scientific papers that disagreed with their position out of the peer-reviewed literature. (They would then argue that skeptics should not be listened to because they did not publish papers in peer-reviewed literature.) They organized campaigns to replace editors of scientific journals who did publish skeptical papers, and also organized boycotts of journals that published contrary views. Perhaps most importantly, they violated principles of the peer-review process, which may serve to corrode trust in the methods scientists have used to communicate findings and improve understanding for over a century.”

    The overwhelming evidence that this is so has been available on the internet for free and for fun for a year and a half. Phil Jones worked actively to conceal mistakes made protecting the blade of the Hockey Stick Chart. Michael Mann worked just as diligently at hiding the errors in the shaft.

    Dr. Tobis, you may consider these peccadillos, in which case you can proceed blithely down your chosen path. But don’t label it the path of science… 

  • Tom C

    Thank you for that nice summary Mr. Fuller.  One thing that makes my blood boil is when the Tobis et. al. crowd say (of the E-mails) “Oh these are just tyipical exchanges between scientists”  “What if everyone had their E-mails read?”.

    I have worked for nearly 30 years in environmental engineering, specialty chemicals, and medical devices.  I have read thousands of E-mails between senior and junior employees in industry, regulators, journalists, and academics.  I never read anything remotely like what is in the Climatgate E-mails.  The field is uniquely corrupt.

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    I’m reading and pondering. Anybody else?
     

  • Nullius in Verba

    One of the other examples with Mann is the r-squared cross validation statistics. Because it’s not obvious that the reconstruction method gives temperature, it’s common to keep back part of the instrumental temperature data from use calibrating the method, and then check how well the reconstruction correlates with what it is supposed to be reconstructing. Good correlation gives confidence that the method works, bad correlation indicates the result is spurious. Similarly, the residuals are examined with the Durbin-Watson test to see if they’re white noise like errors, or red noise which indicates you’ve got the statistical model mis-specified.

    In his original paper, Mann said he had calculated r-squared, reported the number for one step, but omitted to give the figures for the remaining steps – especially for the reconstruction of the earlier sections. He didn’t show the residuals either. He gave the strong impression that the unpublished numbers had passed, giving a strong correlation, and confirmed as much in an interview with Marcel Crok. However, when Steve McIntyre recalculated the r-squared correlation, it came out around 0.02, indicating the reconstruction had virtually no relationship to temperature.

    The failure of the r-squared cross-validation was eventually published in the literature as Ammann and Wahl, but not until after a huge fight with McIntyre demanding the statistics and Ammann and Wahl point-blank refusing. Eventually, they got the journal to accept it for publication by the journal without the statistics, so they could submit it to the IPCC to discredit McIntyre’s reconstruction of MBH, but then inserted the statistics afterwards for publication to satisfy McIntyre’s objections.
    It’s what we call “witholding adverse results”. Mann must have known before he published it that the reconstruction was spurious, but he went ahead anyway, and just hid the test results.

    You can see the same thing going on with the red residuals in Mann’s “dirty laundry” email.
    “p.s. I know I probably don’t need to mention this, but just to insure absolutely clarify on this, I’m providing these for your own personal use, since you’re a trusted colleague. So please don’t pass this along to others without checking w/ me first. This is the sort of “dirty laundry” one doesn’t want to fall into the hands of those who might potentially try to distort things…”

  • steven mosher

    MT.

    I will ignore much of what you say that I disagree with to answer your questions.

    “Now if your criticism is directed toward the IPCC process, we could have an intelligible discussion that might make progress. What sorts of error should the IPCC explicitly correct? How should the errata be approved and released? How should the corresponding editorial process be improved?

    Those are meaningful questions. So as a peace gesture, I would suggest that rather than talking about individuals we could talk about the institution. ”

     I will limit my discussion to the two examples and then try to draw some principles from those examples. I mention people not to criticize them but because context is needed. Two commenst we will start with the first:

      In the mails Jones and Trenberth discussed a McKittrick paper and jones made the statement that he would redefine peer reviewed literature to keep the study out of the AR4.  After much tussle the paper was addressed in AR4. Let me quote the relevant paragraph.

    This was a process trick. They engaged in a couple of process tricks here. As lead author of a section presenting his work, Jones was able to keep mcKittricks paper out of the process for the first two drafts. Finally, when it got put in he wrote some things that are not supported by the literature. To be clear I disagree with Ross’s paper. However a proper summary of the science should have documented his position and the status of the science more accurately.  I show you two versions of the paragraph in question:

    As Jones/Trenberth wrote it: (my bold)
    “McKitrick and Michaels (2004) and De Laat and Maurellis (2006) attempted to demonstrate that geographical patterns of warming trends over land are strongly correlated with geographical patterns of industrial and socioeconomic development, implying that urbanisation and related land surface changes have caused much of the observed warming. However, the locations of greatest socioeconomic development are also those that have been most warmed by atmospheric circulation changes (Sections 3.2.2.7 and 3.6.4), which exhibit large-scale coherence. Hence, the correlation of warming with industrial and socioeconomic development ceases to be statistically significant. In addition, observed warming has been, and transient greenhouse-induced warming is expected to be, greater over land than over the oceans (Chapter 10), owing to the smaller thermal capacity of the land.”
    based on a review of all the peer reviewed literature available at the time, this paragraph should be rewritten like so:
    McKitrick and Michaels (2004) and De Laat and Maurellis (2006) demonstrated that geographical patterns of warming trends over land are strongly correlated with geographical patterns of industrial and socioeconomic development, implying that urbanisation and related land surface changes have caused up to 50% of the observed warming over land since 1979. However, the locations of greatest socioeconomic development are also those that have been most warmed by atmospheric circulation changes (Sections 3.2.2.7 and 3.6.4), which exhibit large-scale coherence. Hence, the correlation of warming with industrial and socioeconomic development may not have the level of statistical certainty those papers established . In addition, observed warming has been, and transient greenhouse-induced warming is expected to be, greater over land than over the oceans (Chapter 10), owing to the smaller thermal capacity of the land.”

    The problem with what Jones wrote is that there is no calculation that shows what he claims.    I will add for the record that Ross McKittrick agrees that this change would make him happy and remove his objections. He thinks this fixes the problem of the record. Of course the science goes on and Ross and Gavin have been exchanging papers on this point. I would expect it to get some play in Ar5.  Does this change change the science? no. the change is trivial. All the more reason to make it.  I happen to disagree with Ross’s findings. But the findings are what they are. Jones claimed that the results were not statistically significant. That’s incorrect. So correct it. the science is not changed in any way that undermines AGW.

    principles:

    1.  lead author’s need to avoid clear conflicts of interest. 2.  reviewers and lead authors who are in severe disagreement need some sort of mediation, escalation, omsbudsman, referee, minority report,  mechanism. review editors aint cutting it.

    I hesitate to offer definitive solutions. the point is first to agree that there is a potential issue here and that the current mechanism did not deal with it. 

       

  • steven mosher

    Tom

    “Mosher certainly is your best bet. He either doesn’t carry a grudge or has an amazingly short memory, I’m not sure which.”

    I don’t carry grudges. I really do like MT, he’s a NU grad, he writes software, he has strong convictions. I disagree with him on some things. I don’t take  criticisms personally.  People get to think what they need to think to make themselves happy.   

    The ones who are hardest to love are those who need it the most.

    watch to the end

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB2VI9PXtxY&feature=related

     

  • Tom Gray

    Isn’t there an assumption in this discussion about the functioning of the IPCC that the current mission of the IPCC is a useful one. Why is the IPCC based on the process of issuing a large review document every four years? Why is the document just a review of the current academic literature

    Why is the IPCC passive? Why is it not an organizing group that will direct research to deliver the results that will be of use to policy makers. So, for example, if climate sensitivity is of interest, the IPCC could develop a program of research that was designed to reduce the errors in sensitivity over time, There would be a timeline published for this with research programs being identified so as to achieve it.

    On a more direct theme, if the use statistics in paleoclimate were an issue then specific mathematical research programs could be generated to identity best practices, identify current deficiencies in statistical techniques and enable efforts to resolve those deficiencies. Instead of blog wars, we would have a focused examination of the issue and a program to resolve it.

     

    Why is the IPCC organized as some giant research journal publishing a single large review article every four years? Why is it based on an academic publishing model? Can you imagine NASA sending a man tu the moon based on ten years of academic review articles on the problem ? There are organizational models capable of managing large efforts to tackle complex problems. My own perception is that the IPCC is based on a model that does not belong to that class of models.

  • Tom Gray

    As an example of the lack of organization in the IPCC, I read speculation about what will be in AR5. This should not be a matter of speculation, in my view anyway. AR5 should be organized to answer some specific questions that are identified in a timeline. AR5 should be able to report progress on the generation of the answers to these questions.

    The content of AR5 should be known at its inception. Has the AR5 process succeeded or not in achieving its assigned objectives?

  • kdk33

    Tobis, 

    You claim to not be defending a priesthood.  But I’m not so sure.  I’ve read many of the E-mails and, as Fuller describes, there is a lot in there that ordinary commoners (the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker) recognize as “wrong”, “unethical”, “improper”.  They expect better from scientists in such a position.

    And what might be that position.  The stakes are huge.  These guys are leading the move to decarbonize society – eliminate fossil fuels, which just happen to be the energy provider for every single economy in the world.  The motivation, they tell us, is to save the planet. 

    But, the B, B, & CM also see this:  “the team” & associates are people first, not unmoved by fame, fortune, power, and long-legged women.  These guys are scientific celebrities – the Steven Tylers of earth science.  The list of better known scientists is darn short (Hawkings, maybe).  They travel the world hob-knobbing with other really important celebrity scientists.  They are running a GLOBAL committee to save the world from CO2.  They tell world leaders what to do.  They are saving the planet.  They are scientific super-heroes. 

    They have fame and power beyond imaganing (for an earth scientists), I can’t speak to their personal fortune, but they are in academic research funding heaven, (I’ll let readers infer on long-legged women for themselves).

    So, the B, B, CM sees a group of guys with a lot to lose if this CAGW thing comes unraveled; and every incentive to keep it together – keep the message tight and clear.  The regular guy also knows that it is he (who is nor powerful or famous or trotting the globe to hob knob with other famous butchers and bakers) who foots the bill.  And the bill for decarbonization is gonna be really, really, really big; and mighty risky at a global political/security level.

    Then out pops the emails.  Now, the B, B, CM see for themselves, what they kind suspected all along, these guys are acting like typical humans drunk on success, desperate to keep that success, and perfectly willling the break the rules to do so. 

    Trust evaporates.

    Does hiding adverse data affect the science – damn right.  Does it change the major conclusions regarding (AGW) – maybe, maybe not, we’ll see (one implication of the E-mails is that other side hasn’t been getting a fair shake).  Does it change the way the B,B & CM view AGW science – you bet your hat, ass , and sunglasses it does.

    Lookit.  People are people and the public knows corruption when it sees it.  They see the corruption inherent in the government funding, CAGW-scare feedback loop, just as easily as they see the corruption in the public union, campaign funding feedback feedback loop, just as easily as they see the corruption in the US (sorry excuse for a) tax code.

    Government funded science concludes:  we need more government to fund more science.  Whoda thunkit.

    If you want to be the scientists who lead the movement to have society sacrifice at a global level on a scale heretofore unimagined – voluntarily foregoing our cheapest most readily available form the of the energy that drives our modern society, then you must accept this:  What you are asking is unprecedented; the standard to which you will be held is unprecedented.

    Don’t like the rules; quit the game.

    I think this is maybe the part of the controversy you’re not willing to face.

  • Matt B

    What I see in the Climategate episode is the consensus community acting as prosecutors (advancing the CO2 warming hypothesis), judge (working to keep out conflicting interpretations & testimony), and jury (discounting other interpretations of the testimony on the grounds that they are not qualified to weigh the evidence). I can’t see any other way to view this episode.

    Does this mean the consensus opinion is incorrect? No, the consensus position may well be correct. But, if the verdict of the court is to be accepted, the process must be seen to be reasonably fair and open.

    Are there areas of science that have the same prosecutor/judge/jury issue? Absolutely. The issue with climate science is that it has major public policy ramifications. If public policy was not affected, this area of of science would wind down the road & would eventually self-correct over time. But, if fast action & broad agreement is desired, the judge & jury appearance of conflict of interest has to be resolved. That will be up to the leaders of the climate community to address. If they do not then there is little chance of moving forward the discussion past the “taste great/less filling” level of discourse.  

     

  • Tom Gray

    People tend to act rationally. The behavior evidenced by Cliamtegate Emails was rational and, more importantly, was rational in terms of the current organization of the IPCC and the international response to AGW in general. We are the owners of the IPCC process. If teh IPCC process is creating rational behavior that we feiil is counterproductive to the goals we set for it, then we should act as nay business managers would do and reorganize it.

    What factors in the IPCC organizational behavior are conducive to generating Climategate behavior.. What changes should be made to that organizational system to reduce such behavior.

    I think a discussion such as this would be more useful than trading barbs about Emails

  • jack hughes

    #163

    they could stop telling lies ?

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    Tom Gray, I will take the opportunity to agree with you.

    Still, I would like people to be specific about what sorts of problems they perceive.

    While I think much of this is misperceived, if we could agree that there is a behavior that is motivated and should be avoided, we do not have to agree on the extent to which it actually happened to allow us to design ways to discourage it in future.

    The response I normally get is “it’s obvious”. But it is not obvious at all to some of us. Tom Fuller has had the kindness to provide something of an inventory of his suspicions. It has some overlap with, for example, the early article by Ken Green, but is quite different. So I think different people have different views of these events. It would be good to collect all the accusations in one place.
     

    I think we then should look at, for instance 1) perverse motivations endemic to science 2) perverse motivations endemic to policy-relevant science 3) extraordinary violations of scientific process 4) appearances of impropriety where none exist and 5) blatantly trumped-up accusations, look at how these MIGHT happen, and look at how they could be discouraged, independent of the actual events and how we choose to interpret them.

    But before we do that, we should try to collate what the perceived problems are.

    Because a consensus process is crucial, but widespread trust in that process is crucial too. Perhaps we can do no better than we are already doing. Some people will reject science on emotional grounds no matter what. And sometimes the consensus process will go off the rails and get something wrong – there is no claim to infallibility in science. But like most people with an interest in these things I think it is possible to do better at the twin goals of
    summarizing the balance of evidence and maximizing credibility of that summary.
     

  • Tom Gray

    re 164

    ===============
    163

    they could stop telling lies ?
    ===============

    This is a result of the organizational structure chosen by the IPCC. What changes in the organization structure would eliminate this as a rational choice. My own suggestion would the creation of grand projects with measurable deliverables. Results would be assessed against those deliverables. Grand prophecies of doom would be discouraged. Efforts that do not contribute usefully to those deliverables could be reduced.

    For example, one of the clear resuls from the IPCC effort is that paleoclimate studies offer very little useful information in relation to the determination of climate sensitivity. Thus one clear choice that could be made in any IPCC reorganization would be a significant de-emphasis on support for paleoclimate.

    Deliverables would be set to answer questions that would be of use to policy makers. Any effort not adding to these deliverables would be de-emphasized and possibly eliminated .

  • Marlowe Johnson

    “paleoclimate studies offer very little useful information in relation to the determination of climate sensitivity.”

    Keith is there an emoticon for epic fail?

  • Tom Fuller

    But just as some people will reject science on emotional grounds (although I think it more likely that rejection occurs because of conflicts with perceived interests), it is not only true but observed here and elsewhere that criticism of science is rejected for similar reasons.

    When that criticism is just, science is delayed–if not denied.

    What the Hockey Team did, as well as the ensuing struggle for control of the storyline , has had real world consequences.

    I don’t say this lightly and I have considered the implications.

    There are people who have died from fuel poverty in the UK who would be alive today if the UK had not accepted unquestioningly the Hockey Team version of paleoclimatology and the IPCC’s upper bounds of likely climate change.

    The UK has adopted a dramatic (if not drastic) timetable for converting to environmentally benign energy sources. This has resulted in skyrocketing energy bills. In pockets of England this has resulted in poor, mostly elderly people, being forced to choose between heating and eating. Eating has often won, and people have died, usually of pneumonia or similar maladies associated with cold weather. I know of one such case personally.

    1. The poor quality of housing stock in the UK is a major contributing factor.
    2. Social mechanisms for supporting the poor and elderly are also deficient.
    3. I truly believe the overall goals of UK energy policy are sound. My contention is that telescoping the timeline for achievement has imposed an undue burden on those currently living in the UK.

    It is not their climate policy alone that has resulted in excess mortality since adoption of the 20-20-20 goals. However, the other factors contributing to excess mortality were widely known prior to setting these goals, and it was noted in print that raising energy prices would have a negative effect on the modest gains that had been made in the previous decade.

    So I do not blame all of this on either UK policy makers or the IPCC report that they looked to, nor even the exaggerations pushed into it by the Hockey Team.

    Nor do I hold them blameless. 

  • Marlowe Johnson

    “There are people who have died from fuel poverty in the UK who would be alive today if the UK had not accepted unquestioningly the Hockey Team version of paleoclimatology and the IPCC’s upper bounds of likely climate change.”

    Fuller this one’s for you.

  • Tom Fuller

    Good to see how quickly we define the intellectual level of the opposition.

  • Tom Fuller

    Although I hate to make Keith work, I fear this post is destined for moderation because of links.

    For those who would like to see something besides Star Trek officers, here is a listing of tariff changes for UK energy companies:

    http://www.ukpower.co.uk/home_energy/price_updates 

    “Combined gas and electricity bills were typically around £1,200 in 2009; a 30% real increase in five years. …Higher fuel prices have led to fuel poverty doubling between 2004 and 2007.  Further increases are expected which could mean around one quarter of all households (6 million) in fuel poverty in 2009.”

    “4.0 million households in England were classified as being in fuel poverty in 2009 (18% of all households).  This is three time the number of households that were in fuel poverty at the low point in 2003, and there have been increases in each year since 2003.”

    “The UK has much higher winter deaths rates than other countries with more severe winter climates, implying that it is not outdoor exposure to cold that is the key determinant. Northern Finland, where winter temperatures regularly drop to minus 20°C, has a significantly lower rate of excess winter deaths than the UK.” 

    “Since 2000, excess winter deaths in England and Wales remained generally at around 25,000. For the period of 2007-2008 the number of excess winter deaths was 27,480. The winter of 2008-2009 the coldest in 10 years, and the Office of National Statistics estimated there were a total of 36,700, an increase of 49% over the previous year, which represents a 23.8% rise in deaths during the winter.”

    Maybe they weren’t face palming, Marlowe. Maybe they were holding their heads in their hands in despair. 

  • Jarmo

    Tom, I lived in London in 1994-96 and I remember similar stories of the elderly choosing between eating and heating + the usual wailing about lack of insulation in the winter. Mortality rose also back then.

    The incredible part is that people do nothing to improve things there. 

  • steven mosher

    Marlowe Johnson Says:
    August 30th, 2011 at 1:30 pm
    “paleoclimate studies offer very little useful information in relation to the determination of climate sensitivity.”
    Keith is there an emoticon for epic fail?

    ######

     Perhaps I should be more specific.  1000 to 2000 years reconstructions do not constrain the estimates of sensitivity in any meaningful way.  Studies of longer time spans ( LGM) are of course most important.

    You might want to explain this to Annan (2006) who showed that 20th century observations, reactions to volcanos, and recons of the LGM were sufficient to constrain the estimate.

    So just to be precise. MWP recons dont seem to be necessary at this stage to constraining the estimate.. That doesnt mean they can’t, what it means is that you get roughly the same answer  1.5-4.5C with or without them. Consequently, I see no need to spill blood over the science in them, no need to defend them to the death.

    What will change my opinion?  a MWP recon that narrows the range from 1.5 to 4.5. That would  be helpful. Untill one does they are just icons for something we already know. The planet is warmer and C02 is the cause.

  • Tom Fuller

    173, Yeah, Jarmo, they were actually making progress on this until the latest huge price rises. But it’s certainly not new. It’s just getting worse now, after getting better for a decade.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Steve I didn’t realize you’re a sock puppet for Tom Gray.  Thanks for letting us know!

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    “For example, one of the clear resuls from the IPCC effort is that paleoclimate studies offer very little useful information in relation to the determination of climate sensitivity. Thus one clear choice that could be made in any IPCC reorganization would be a significant de-emphasis on support for paleoclimate.”

    How would you defend such a proposition? Even if you were correct (I strongly doubt it) how would you further defend the proposition that no progress was likely from that quarter? How much certainty would it require to *exclude* a domain of interest? 

    Suppose I made a similar case for solar variability, or Svensmark’s posited cosmic ray phenomenon. How much evidence would I need to propose to suggest that these tracks are guaranteed to be uninformative?

    Remember, we are trying to agree on process here so that our disagreements on substance can be worked out more reliably. Trying to eliminate specific topics is hardly the way to do that.

  • Jarmo

    #174

    What you really need there is some double glazing and insulation. You know, a long-term solution to the problem. I still remember how the window curtains waved in the draft in wintertime there…. 

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    I agree that the millennial time scale contains negligible information about greenhouse sensitivity. At present, it doesn’t constrain background spatial or temporal variability very well either. The latter may or may not change with more information. But the fact is that it was a remarkably uninteresting period insofar as climate is concerned.

    But consider the science-neutral process question. Could one sensibly eliminate traditional climate topics from consideration a priori as Gray suggests? How? Wouldn’t somebody be able to argue a cover-up?

  • steven mosher

    Why is the IPCC organized as some giant research journal publishing a single large review article every four years? Why is it based on an academic publishing model? Can you imagine NASA sending a man tu the moon based on ten years of academic review articles on the problem ? There are organizational models capable of managing large efforts to tackle complex problems. My own perception is that the IPCC is based on a model that does not belong to that class of models.

    ###############

    precisely. A summary of the science  might be better if it was handled as a yearly review. There is no reason to start it from scratch. The mails indicate that briffa was put under time pressure and page count pressure and outside pressure. I felt a great amount of compassion for him. I believe this pressure led to a couple of regretable decisions. I would not like to see this repeated.  What form and rules the writing process take I dont pretend to know. But it seems clear that the deadline pressure, page count pressure and the pressure to get certain papers in and the pressure to counter certain papers led to behaviors that are not “best practices”  

  • Tom Fuller

    177, Jarmo, a lotta elderly people are stuck in substandard housing that the councils won’t maintain–and since they’re eating catfood, they’re not really in a position to invest in double glazed windows…

  • Tom Fuller

    Steve, we know that they’re not taking IAC seriously–why are we talking about them adopting best practices when they don’t even seem to be coming up to an average level? They’re not within shouting distance of best practice. 

    Errata/corrigenda page?
    Term limits for senior staff?
    Separation of authors from review?

    Yeah. Right. It’s a miracle of modern science that AR4 is as good as it is.
     

  • Tom Gray

    Michael Tobis writes

    =======================

    But consider the science-neutral process question. Could one sensibly eliminate traditional climate topics from consideration a priori as Gray suggests? How? Wouldn’t somebody be able to argue a cover-up?

    ==============

    I don’t see tehm as being eliminated. They would just be given a lower priority as not being as pertinent to the current questions of interest as others? What I suppose that I am saying os that there would be a discussion about the areas of study for an AR”X” period or, to put it another way, the contents of the AR”X” report would be decided. These would refer to the current questions that are most determinative of public policy. So if millennial paleoclimate answers are not determinative of public policy questions, then we can put it on the shelf and not waste time arguing about inconsequential issues. AR”X” reports would not be reviews of areas of climate science. They would be focussed answers to specifically posed questions

    So, taking an example, if millennial paleoclimate research has proved not useful to the determinative question of climate sensitivity then it could be eliminated. There should be no claims of cover up because the determinative issues and their supporting research would have been decided.

  • buckmisterfullerene

    The UK has adopted a dramatic (if not drastic) timetable for converting to environmentally benign energy sources.
    Yes: the 2008 Climate Change Act set a goal that the UK carbon account should be at least 80% lower by 2050 than the 1990 baseline.
    Higher fuel prices have led to fuel poverty doubling between 2004 and 2007.
    It’s rather difficult to see what the 2008 law would have to do with that, and the 2001 Climate Change Levy specifically exempts domestic use.
    However, the price of a barrel of crude increased from around $25 in 2003 to $100 in 2008. Maybe, just maybe, that had something to do with the increase in fuel poverty.
    It is not their climate policy alone that has resulted in excess mortality since adoption of the 20-20-20 goals.
    Again, it’s hard to see how climate policy at all has resulted in excess mortality. If you have some specific information of how much UK climate policy contributed to higher energy costs, you’d do well present it.
    Otherwise, this seems to be nothing more than an attempt to wave the bloody shirt of dead Britons in order to win a point… not merely dishonest, but rather callous at that.

     

  • steven mosher

    Marlowe Johnson Says:
    August 30th, 2011 at 2:29 pm
    Steve I didn’t realize you’re a sock puppet for Tom Gray.  Thanks for letting us know!

    ###

     sorry I dont read Tom Gray ( sorry Tom) . I read what gavin had to say about the MWP being scientifically uninteresting. I read Knutti. I read annan and watched his presentations at the Newton Institute. I read Hansens paper and understood how important the LGM is to estimating the ECR. I concluded ( subject to revision of course)  that the MWP and LIA are not where the action is in narrowing climate sensitivity. I listened to ray P at AGU. I came to understand that observations at the TOA are not going to limit high end estimates.  So I like to get to answers. and the millenium scale stuff ( which I stupidly thought was important at first ) turns out to not be that important. Iconically It has served a purpose, but maybe not the one intended. I would not suggest that people stop looking at it or that it be banished from the report. Rather, I agree with what Briffa said.. we havent made much progress since the TAR. that’s ok to say! Rind said ” dont ignore the uncertainty” good advice.  gosh the data is what the data is. Finally, I did see some cool stuff of with GCMs and forward modelling at AGU that was.. promising, bradley seemed keen on the idea and the big brains looked like they were moving in that direction. So, I remain open minded. But, given the data we have and the methods… there aint no action there. technically interesting problems, some nice controversies, opportunity to do good work.. but no golden ticket for the sensitivity question.

  • steven mosher

    Tom I am talking about best practices because the past is over.
    I’m talking about best practices because it gets us out of the discussion where words like fraud are thrown about carelessly and where “commited no crime” is seen as a standard of excellence.  I’m talking about best practices because MT and I might be able to agree on that while we disagree on  other things.  

  • RickA

    Michael @176:

    I agree – we should never eliminate an entire topic.

    Since a theory or hypothesis is never proven, we must always be open to any additional evidence which could show that the hypothesis is actually wrong.

    I like your approach to this as a burden of proof question.

    The burden of proof to ignore additional evidence which may contradict a theory cannot be met – because it violates the very principals of the scientific method.

    We are still doing experiments to verify that the speed of light is constant – or to test if it could have changed very slowly over the last 13.7 billion years!

    When I look at AGW from a burden of proof point of view, I come down on the pro-AGW side having the burden of proof.

    Consider:  both the temperature and the sea level have been rising since the glaciers and ice caps started melting 12,000 or so years ago.

    All this time, except for the last 150 years or so, the CO2 levels were at 280ppm or lower.

    But the continuation of the trend of warming and higher sea levels (which are of course related) over the last 12,000 years is supposed to be vastly different over the last 150 years because of human emitted CO2.

    That is the hypothesis.

    However, because we were warming and seas were rising before humans started emitting CO2 – the burden of proof is on the pro-AGW side to show why the continuation of the warming trend and seas continuing to rise is now due mostly to human CO2 emissions. 

    This may actually be the case – but because all the data is still consistent with natural variability, the pro-AGW side cannot yet meet their burden of proof.

    Hence the crys that we must act now or it will be to late if we wait for the data (i.e. for the pro-AGW side to actually meet their burden or proof).

    Saying the science is settled is simply a way for the pro-AGW side to say “we don’t have to meet our burden of proof!”, which is an admission that they have not yet met their burden of proof.

     

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    ====

    Steve I didn’t realize you’re a sock puppet for Tom Gray.

    ====

    Marlowe,

    This comment of yours in #175 is misinformed.  Peace warriors must go through many hardships, including giving up their identity.

    The path of love is not an easy one.

  • Tom Fuller

    Buckmister, indeed the UK did adopt a climate change/energy policy in 2008. And indeed, fuel poverty has increased since then.

    It replaced the 2006 Energy Review action plan which instituted the Climate Change Levy, which increased fuel poverty.

    The 2006 Energy Review supplemented the 2005 Energy Efficiency Implementation Plan and the DTI Microgeneration Strategy Plan of 2006. Fuel poverty increased.

    These of course were part of the phase in of the implementation of the recommendations in the white paper, “Our Energy Future ““ creating a Low Carbon Economy”. Which is when fuel poverty began to increase.

    And Buckmister–you spelled the name wrong. Everyone knows it’s Buckmeister. 

  • Tom Fuller

    We’ll see, Steve. I do not trust your opposite number to play fairly. We’ll see if he digests what was written about Climategate and comes forward with a substantive response. 

    I ain’t holding my breath. 

  • buckmisterfullerene

    mister fuller, correlation is not causation. One hopes that you’re merely over-excited about your argument and not actually using the lives of real women and men as a way to win an argument on the Internet.

    And one certainly hopes you know how fullerene-60 is spelled.

  • Tom Fuller

    Buckmister, it is fairly clear to anyone reading the thread who’s just trying to win an argument on the internet. 

    Because they would have read upthread how I introduced the other correlative factors that meant this wasn’t the fault of the UK’s climate initiatives alone.

    Because I mentioned I knew a victim of the phenomenon I am describing.

    Because I actually support the initiatives I am being critical of here–I just feel they  are being implemented on too short a time scale.

  • Tom Fuller

    Oh, Buckmister–you asked at #183 how much UK climate policy was costing. More than 18 billion pounds per year. 760 pounds per household. And that’s just direct costs.

  • grypo

    In the UK, the people who are in “fuel poverty” has tripled over the last decade.  This coincides with the decision to stop regulating energy prices, which as Buckmister points out, has risen in accordance.  Somehow a meme perputrated by places like the Daily Mail that climate change legislation has something to do with this has been believed.  Perhaps Britain should care more about making sure it’s citizens can afford their bills if they are going to allow multinational energy companies to set their own prices.  Ogfem finally launched an investigation last year and found that the Big Six raised prices in accordance with costs but didn’t drop them when costs dropped and now are hiring an outside firm to investigate whether they are hiding profits from regulators.  Of course, that hasn’t stopped the increases which are set again for this winter.  Don’t take it from me tho.  It’s all google-able.  Big Six, Ogfem, energy, UK, energy poor, price hikes, any combination will get you the info you need to make a determination as to what is causing the problem.  Rising prices, profits, regulation failure, and energy poor.  Or climate change legislation that isn’t supposed to effect households.

  • grypo

    Ofgem, not Ogfem

  • buckmisterfullerene

    Reference, mister fuller.
    Unless you think asserting a thing is the same as proving a thing.

  • steven mosher

    Tom,

    I look at it this way. I have reduced the case to those elements that are

    1. obvious beyond a shadow of a doubt.
    2. not harmful to the science.

    I have offered a compromise that is very reasonable. change one sentence.

    I used a similar approach with skeptics.

    know what? nobody moves an inch off their convictions. Any movement toward that green line is seen as treason. Heck even in the middle if I say nice things about skeptics or say nice things about .. professor Alley, you can bet that the conversation monitors descend to put me back in my proscribed position. we are not allowed to modify our positions or change our minds. everybody wants to win the conversation, but they dont really want to have one. And so how best to illustrate that? 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKmgPTZOvVo 

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Marlowe,

    Please consider what has been said above on the 2011-08-30, 2011 at 16:03:

    ====

    sorry I dont read Tom Gray ( sorry Tom) . [sic]

    ====

    Now, please consider what has been said on another thread, on the 2011-08-30, at 15:49, in a reaction to a comment by Tom Gray:

    ====

    precisely. [sic]

    ====

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2011/08/26/climate-link-makes-landfall-ahead-of-irene/comment-page-4/#comment-74162

    Love is stronger than logic.

  • Tom Fuller

    Grypo, I have no doubt that energy companies are taking as much profit as possible from the situation as it stands.

    And I have no doubt that climate legislation and regulation is not the only factor involved.

    But, just as Ofgem does regulate utility rates, I know this. Rising energy prices are partially due to efforts to combat climate change, and this has increased levels of fuel poverty and also mortality due to fuel poverty.

    What is hard to understand about this? 

  • buckmisterfullerene

    What is hard to understand about this?

    For one thing, why you think merely asserting something, repeatedly, without evidence, is convincing.

  • Tom Fuller

    I don’t respond well to commands, buckyball. If you don’t believe what I write, use da google. It’s your friend. I’m not.

  • buckmisterfullerene

    So you got caught bullshitting and are choosing to brazen it out. I’d half admire your cheek if what you were on about weren’t so positively ghoulish.
    What a small, sorry man you must be.

  • Tom Fuller

    Pretty pathetic, buckybluster…

    In a BBC televised debate between Labour’s Ed Miliband, the Conservatives’ Greg Clark, the Liberal Democrats’ Simon Hughes, and the Green Party’s Darren Johnson, all four conceded getting the UK onto a low carbon path would cost the UK taxpayer £18 billion a year through increased energy bills and other measures. 

    http://www.greenwisebusiness.co.uk/news/parties-agree-on-18bn-annual-bill-to-tackle-climate-change-1335.aspx

    Ho and hum. 

  • Tom Fuller

    I don’t like links because my comments end up in moderation. Here is the version without the link. when Keith gets around to it, so will the link.

    Pretty pathetic, buckybluster”¦
    In a BBC televised debate between Labour’s Ed Miliband, the Conservatives’ Greg Clark, the Liberal Democrats’ Simon Hughes, and the Green Party’s Darren Johnson, all four conceded getting the UK onto a low carbon path would cost the UK taxpayer £18 billion a year through increased energy bills and other measures.
    Ho and hum.  

  • Tom Fuller

    …and the only thing I’m sorry about is engaging with a little pissant like you in the first place.

  • Tom Fuller

    I’m moved to extend my remarks.

    Buckyboy, when I want to say someone is small, I would try to express it with a certain élan, such as:

    Buckyboy, you’re so all I crap bigger than you.

    Or

    Buckyboy, you’re so small you could sit on a dime and your legs would dangle

    Or

    Buckyboy, you’re so small you could walk under that snake that is your kith and kin wearing a tophat.

    But Buckyboy, the bott lone with bozos like you is that when you hide behind a tag it just shows that what you write is graffiti.

    If you want a fight, give forth your name or slink on off out of here.

  • buckmisterfullerene

    £18 billion a year through increased energy bills and other measures.

    Interesting. Wonder if there’s any way of knowing how much is due to “energy bills” and “other measures?”
    Huh! “Table 1: Estimated impact of energy and climate change policies on average domestic gas and electricity prices and an average domestic energy bill,” or how Tom is Fuller of shite:
    Estimated average energy bill without policies:
    2010: £1,060
    2015: £1,149
    2020: £1,226
    Estimated average energy bill with policies
    2010: £1,103
    2015: £1,150
    2020: £1,239
    Impact of policies on energy bill
    2010: £42 (4%)
    2015: £1 (0%)
    2020: £13 (1%)
    Google “Estimated impacts of energy and climate change policies on energy prices and bills,” first link.
    A whopping £42 per year, declining to £13 by the end of the decade. They’ll be stacking the frozen bodies like cordwood.

  • Tom Fuller

    What’s your name? Who’s your daddy? Is he rich like me? Has he taken any time to show you what it means to live?

  • buckmisterfullerene

    There’s no fight. You lied. You got caught. The evidence is available for anyone who cares.

    Go practice your tough guy lines in the mirror, little man.

  • Tom Fuller

    Tee hee

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Tom your argument would be more convincing if you simply suggested that policies that raise the cost of fossil energy should only proceed if there are programs to insulate low income segments from these increases.

    Oh wait.  They already do that.

    Another day, another epic fail…

     

  • Marlowe Johnson

    bah. i got caught in multiple link moderation hell….DAMN YOU KEITH@$@!! 

    in the meantime let me suggest Tom Fullofit might learn a thing or two if he followed his own advice and googled ‘uk climate policy low income’…

    just a suggestion mind you. 

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Thank you Keith.  I’m off on holidays too (camping).  Apparently Rick Perry’s call for rain got mangled and instead of hitting Texas it will now hit Sandbanks Provincial Park ;-) instead….

    Hope your holidays are less soggy than mine… 

  • Tom Fuller

    Gee, Marlowe shows up just at the moment Buckyboy disappears. Fancy that.

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    Steve, if you will give up flogging climategate in exchange for me supporting the modest change in verbiage in #157, I have no difficulty as I think your wording constitutes an improvement.

    If you want me to try to sell the concept within the community, you overestimate my influence and yours. But you can’t say nobody would budge even that much. I will. Sure, it’s all yours.

    As for the underlying principle, I would say it is highly problematic, perhaps unsolvable.

    Reviewers WILL have to balance their own interests, those of their institution, those of the scientific community, and those of the world. I am confident most of them take these responsibilities seriously and they are rarely in deep conflict. And some few will fail to rise to the occasion.

    There is, however, a counterweighing principle as well. The role of an editor or a curator is primarily of keeping junk out while letting good stuff in. The whole “pal review” question as brought up by Pat Michaels is especially interesting.

    Now I am not asking you to agree with me on any particular individual, but presume that something like this is true of some particular person, Dr. Crapflinger. Like any crackpot, say, an advocate that everything is explained by an iron sun, Dr. C. is offended by his treatment at the hands of a clubbish, arrogant and misinformed elite. But the reviewers are in fact doing their job. By the nature of scientific consensus, most challenges to that consensus are going to be wrong if the consensus is valid.

    We appoint IPCC by choosing the best of the best and hoping enough of them agree to serve. (Hopefully we will not turn around and make their lives especially dreadful afterwards, but so far that hasn’t panned out.) Because they are the best of the best, in fact it matters what is to their taste. It is their scientific good taste for which we presumably appointed them in the first place. 

    So in addition to protecting the rights of gadflies and contrarians, we also have to protect the rights of the reviewers not to be the subject of endless accusations and investigations, and the stakeholders’ right to an accurate assessment of which publications are generally accepted, which are controversial, and which are deemed worthless timewasters. 

    Again the principles are:
    1) Protecting the rights of contrarians to a fair hearing
    2) Protecting the rights of the IPCC appointees to operate in good faith without massive second-guessing by political interests, never mind district attorneys and senators’ offices
    3) Protecting the general interest in having a useful assessment from pollution by pseudoscience

    I am concerned that all the excitement about point 1 and all the habitual nitpicking will cause many critics of the process to forget points 2 and 3. Without point 3, the process is immediately worthless, and without point 2, it is grossly unfair and burdensome to its participants. 

    Note that while most participants would have preferred the participation of Ben Santer, he felt himself unable to participate in AR4 or AR5 given his treatment on being a key party to the most controversial sentence in AR3.

    The personal damage done to Santer and the process damage given his absence are both deeply unfortunate. A process that doesn’t protect people from this sort of personal attack will be a process conducted by politicians and not scientists, which will serve nobody’s interests.

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    Regarding Tom Fuller’s #153, there is nothing in it I had not heard before. The first several paragraphs repeat the old “hide the decline” allegations in rather strong terms. These are exactly the issues that have been investigated by several committees and commissions, and they find that the claims are overstated and overwrought, and that any actual improprieties were rather modest given the confusion and lack of precedent for the FOI inquiries.

    I for one still believe that FOI is not the right mechanism for enforcing scientific openness, and that retroactive demands for better record-keeping are onerous and obnoxious and serve no purpose other than harrassment and/or punishment. However, everyone agrees that things have to change going forward, and this is very much a victory for McKitrick et al.

    These changes just need to be written into the RFPs from the funding agencies. But everyone should also agree that retroactive demands are just vicious and have to stop.

    I also find it deeply disturbing that this victory was achieved in large part by a massive invasion of privacy, and the lack of attention to this issue on all sides is disappointing.


    The second part of Fuller’s summary is much more interesting to me:

     “The Team actively worked to keep scientific papers that disagreed with their position out of the peer-reviewed literature. (They would then argue that skeptics should not be listened to because they did not publish papers in peer-reviewed literature.) They organized campaigns to replace editors of scientific journals who did publish skeptical papers, and also organized boycotts of journals that published contrary views. Perhaps most importantly, they violated principles of the peer-review process, which may serve to corrode trust in the methods scientists have used to communicate findings and improve understanding for over a century.”

    This to me is simply begging the question. Were the excluded papers scientifically serious, or were they part of the great flood of pseudoscientific babble that exists at the fringes of this field.

    As I described in my posting just prior to this one, it is necessarily the job of the reviewers to identify which papers constitute a meaningful part of the dialog among experts and which are simply nuisances or complete nonsense. The problem can only be resolved by choice of reviewers, training of reviewers, and meta-review. In the end, imperfect human beings have to make judgments. It is inevitable that there will be those who dislike the judgments in every chapter. It is not the chapter reviewers’ job to make the various authors in the topic area happy. It is their job to summarize the state of policy-relevant science.

    It is up to the reader of the process to determine whether this was done adequately. But even failure to do so should not be followed by years of journalistic and legal harrassment, never mind gross incidents of invasion of privacy. Judgment calls are hard enough without intimidation.
     

  • kdk33

    “if you want a fight, give forth your name or slink on off out of here”

    Now Tom, while I happen to share your opinion on the little bucker, posting anonymously is perfectly acceptable – and often done for very pragmatic and understandable reasons. 

    Will knowing his name change your opinion of his opinion?
    Are you going to go to his house and poke him in the nose?

    Sincerely (and anonymously),

    kdk33

  • Matt B

    @ 214 MT,

    I agree with your posting. But, I would add that the IPCC needs to do the self-policing that is expected from a scientific (and not a political) effort.

    To that end, the fact that Rajendra Pachauri remains as the Chairman of the IPCC is a black eye for the UN panel. There are no scientific grounds to keep him as the chair and his continued involvement gives ammunition to critics who describe IPCC as more interested in its funding and self- preservation than they are in the science. 

  • Tom Fuller

    Dr. Tobis is still arguing from a position of deliberate ignorance, one who does not want to be exposed to the materials he is commenting on.

    His principal mistake is to assume that the investigations were tasked with investigating this. They in fact were not and in fact did not.

    The ‘hide the decline’ allegations, which Michael Mann swore he had not done, and claimed that no serious scientist would do, are in fact true. The Summary for Policy Makers (as well as other parts of AR4) swapped the temperature data for the last period of tree ring data, smeared the data point to make it impossible to notice, and did not include an explanation. Then Phil Jones learned how to do the same thing. ‘I just learned how to do Mike’s Nature trick to hide the decline…’

    The investigations did not clear him. They were variously concerned about the liability of the organizations commissioning the investigations. Phil Jones was far more at risk than Mann, as the Penn investigation was clearly bounded to look at institutional risk and did not have guidelines or even allegations to investigate.

    As for Tobis’ second point about excusing malfeasance post fact because of some people’s possible opinion about the quality of the scientists and work product that was the target of The Hockey Team’s efforts, that is pernicious and in fact an affirmation of our fears. That the process would be corrupted and this behaviour excused because of somebody’s opinions about the quality (or direction) of the science.

    That way lies Lysenkoism.

    Dr. Tobis can continue making these arms-length criticisms until he’s blue in the face, repeating the same ‘boys will be boys’ and ‘the stuff they were fighting was all crap’ arguments. 

    But it will continue to be obvious that he is arguing from a position of deliberate and defensive ignorance, and that he is arguing past the actual points that need to be addressed. The Team was trying to suppress papers–that they were not reviewing. But Dr. Tobis isn’t even aware of that.

     

  • Tom Fuller

    kdk33, I have no problem with people posting anonymously. I do have a problem with people hiding behind their made-up names to act the way buckyboy does.

  • Quiet Waters

    “Dr. Tobis is still arguing from a position of deliberate ignorance, one who does not want to be exposed to the materials he is commenting on.”
    Sounds like the majority of climate blog commentators.

    Of course it’s easier to cry out for the code behind the materiel – for instance the deliberations that led to what private emails to publish in a book & what to brush under the carpet…

  • Tom Fuller

    Hi Quiet Waters,

    Considering that all of the emails are available for inspection online, I don’t really think that we brushed any under the carpet.

    Feel free to write a competing book focusing on the ones we passed over. I think there’s at least one more book waiting to be written on the subject. 

  • buckmisterfullerene

    One can understand the attempt to shift the spotlight, as lying under one’s own name does not favorably compare to exposing the lie while using a pseudonym.
    If he’ll lie about dead UK ratepayers, what else might he be willing to distort and lie about in order to win an argument?
    Anyone who’s interested can look at the evidence presented and draw their own conclusion.

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    second point about excusing malfeasance post fact because of some people’s possible opinion about the quality of the scientists and work product that was the target of The Hockey Team’s efforts, that is pernicious and in fact an affirmation of our fears. That the process would be corrupted and this behaviour excused because of somebody’s opinions about the quality (or direction) of the science.”

    Normally Fuller writes nonsense at a higher level.

    In this case I cannot make out what he is saying, though I suspect that he (as usual) begins by having misread what I wrote. Fuller should try again. He should calm down enough to use the actual English language, even if he (as usual) cannot bring himself to try to understand what I might be saying if I were trying to be constructive.

  • Tom Fuller

    Dr. Tobis, perhaps your lack of understanding actually relates back to your own muddied writing.

    You wrote,  “This to me is simply begging the question. Were the excluded papers scientifically serious, or were they part of the great flood of pseudoscientific babble that exists at the fringes of this field.”

    I wrote in reply, “that is pernicious and in fact an affirmation of our fears. That the process would be corrupted and this behaviour excused because of somebody’s opinions about the quality (or direction) of the science.” 

    I don’t want you, Phil Jones, or Buckyboy deciding whose papers, character, or qualifications cut the mustard. 

    I do hope that’s clearer. 

  • Tom Fuller

    Buckyboy, you’re back!

    The boogie-woogie- buckyboy of Company B–coming straight from the bar, just has one note and it’s hate in a jar if you listen,

    And the conversation stops when he jumps all over me, it’s the boogie-woogie Buckyboy from Company B.

    Are you Jacob Marlowe’s ghost, or Dr. Tobis’ front man? 

  • buckmisterfullerene

    Anyone who’s interested can look at the evidence presented and draw their own conclusion.

  • Tom Fuller

    See, Buckyboy, we can agree on something! Let peace and comity prevail. 

    Wilt thou join me in a chorus of Kumbaya? 

  • Louise

    I looked at the evidence and drew my own conclusion – Tom Fuller was not correct.

  • Tom Fuller

    Great, Louise. We can agree to disagree.

    Of course, I was living in London at the time being discussed, and the UK Cabinet Office was one of my clients, but what do I know?

    The UK mandated levels of renewable energy be purchased by electricity providers.

    They permitted electricity providers to pass on capital investment costs and higher generation costs to residential consumers in the form of higher electricity rates.

    At this time, excess deaths in winter time began to increase dramatically, after a period of decreases.

    Amazingly, the UK government does not wish to associate their policies with this outcome, and have attempted to obscure the issue.

    But 18 billion pounds a year is what they say their policy costs.  

    Louise, I don’t require you to agree with me. Life will go on for both of us, and I wish you well.

    But I was there. 

  • Louise

    I live in UK now and always have, but hey, what do I know?

  • Tom Fuller

    Perhaps far more than I on many important things. But not, I believe, on this.

  • Barry Woods

    I’ve lived in the UK all my life…

    Bob Ward is apparently taking calls on this…

    I tweeted this earlier:

    Grantham Institute for Climate Change report recommends putting TAXES UP on energy bills, to encourage saving energy ..

    http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Resources/Energy-saving-news/Energy-bills/Report-calls-for-higher-VAT-on-energy-bills/(energysavingtrust)/875287

    commisioned by the Energy saving Trust, in the name of man made climate change

    Link to full report, in the above link

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    “I don’t want you, Phil Jones, or Buckyboy deciding whose papers, character, or qualifications cut the mustard.”

    OK, that’s at least clear. But I am asking who you would propose make those decisions instead. How would you have them be nominated, and how would you protect them from being attacked for good faith decisions they make?

    Because maintaining standards is a key to science, and failing to do so, or relying on people not competent to do so, is the same as throwing science out the window.

    Call me bathwater if you must. I’m not especially important; you think about me too much in my opinion. My question is not about me or about Jones. It is about what process you propose to use to keep the baby, or even to tell which is the baby and which the bathwater!

    If you cannot imagine being a person who can identify obvious nonsense in science, imagine instead being the coach of a major league baseball team. Should you take every applicant for a position? You’ll have an unreasonably large and uncompetitive team. If that’s your strategy you should not be coach. And if you don’t know enough about baseball to tell who is good, likewise.

    This may not be great fun for the folks stuck in the minor leagues. But without a harsh selection process there is no world series. By analogy, without a harsh selection process there is no valid basis for policy decisions.


    It is arguable that Jones was not a good choice for an editor, but I think it’s totally clear that Santer was an excellent one, and he was hounded and demonized too. So how do we set things up so that we stop viciously punishing people for trying? 

    If there’s any progress to be made it is in constructing climate science so that it is invulnerable to attack. Part of it has to be developing defenses, because it’s obvious that malicious attacks will continue no matter what is done.

    But those of you with some claim to be serious critics have to come up with something that would satisfy you. “Not Tobis” is silly. I promise you I am not on anybody’s short list, but it’s not the point. What would the poor sod who next gets saddled with the detection and attribution chapter have to do to avoid you, specifically, piling on with accusations. What specific behaviors are needed from the institution and from the individuals? 

    If the skeptical community fails to answer that, it will be assumed that they will viciously attack anything other than a very high confidence of a very low sensitivity, regardless of the conditions under which the conclusion is reached. 

    Like most members of the community that is my belief, but I am trying in good faith to be open to more reasonable alternatives. I haven’t seen anything in this thread to dissuade me from my prior belief that this will be futile, though.

     

  • Tom Fuller

    Gee, Doctor Tobis, I thought there was already such a system in place. It was the system that the Hockey Team tried to subvert.

    You know, where they had these things called journals, who had people called editors, who persuaded peers to review submissions.

    It kinda worked. And then people like Mann and his buds started leaning on them, threatening to boycott them, insisting that they not publish things. And then they started to put things into IPCC reports after publishing deadlines, inventing new categories for papers like provisionally, temporarily but unquestionably accepted, so they could make it into the report.

    As many people have noted, what skeptics and lukewarmers are not calling for is a new way of doing science. It is a return to accepted practice–practice that was serially and seriously compromised by the Hockey Team. 

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    “Insisting that [journals] not publish things” that aren’t worthy of publication is part of the job description. That’s basically my point. That accusation means nothing unless the “things” were actually valuable, which begs the question.

    The IPCC deadline rush is pervasive and perverse. That is a good point which needs considerable thought.

    The boundary between published and unpublished isn’t really all the precise. So the stuff you already know about can be squeezed in while the stuff you don’t know about is squeezed out. That’s a point worth discussing.

    When you keep coming back to the exact accusations you are flinging, I remain uninterested. I am confident from the demeanor of all concerned and the conclusions of the investigative committees that there really is nothing that needs further investigation by me or anyone else.

    I am not trying to protect this or that climateg*te bete noire, but I won’t cooperate with your trying to drag out the attacks either.

    I am trying to protect whoever is next on the hot seat. How do they establish their credibility?

    Is it even possible that the “skeptics” will back off and not do everything in their power to treat scientists who deliver results they don’t like like criminals.

    We simply are never going to agree about the previous cycle. What can be done to avoid getting into those traps again, without cutting off the existence of a communication channel between science and policy altogether?
     

    I don’t think there is “accepted practice” for IPCC. IPCC is an unprecedented process. And more broadly, conveying important information to the public and to politicians in the face of organized obfuscation and outright lies is also not something that I remember being taught about in grad school.

    The goals of the IPCC process are unprecedented. It is about science but it isn’t really an instance of science. It’s a combination of science and diplomacy, and it has numerous unusual constraints, not least of which is the scientific community being outnumbered by people who think or pretend that they have something to add but actually don’t. But the biggest factor is that Marc Morano and his gang will seek to undermine the conclusion. One proven to do that is by destroying the reputation of some lead authors by expanding on some error or foible, real or trumped-up. It would be amazing if they didn’t.

    The question from our side is whether the process can be changed in any way to reduce the effectiveness of that attack and protect their chosen victim. Specifically for Fuller and Mosher, who both seem to be honestly motivated in what I take to be a massively destructive activity, is why they participated in this vicious attack, and what could be put in place to dissuade them from doing so again.

    Again, I have no intention of further defending the victims of the previous attack. I really doubt that the story is as one-sided as it is portrayed, but even if it were, it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. The practical question which can take us beyond our disagreements is how to prevent such a story, real or trumped-up or in between, from emerging again and distracting everyone from attending to the real balance of evidence.

    I don’t want to say it’s impossible. Do you?

  • Tom Fuller

    Again, Dr. Tobis bases his argument on matters of insubstance, despite the ready availability of the substance itself for examination.

    For people not employed or on the board of a journal to insist that something not be published is not healthy, and not part of anybody’s job description.

    Making judgements based on somebody’s ‘demeanor’ is about as unscientific as reading chicken entrails.

    Your confidence that nothing needs further investigation is dependent on your remaining ignorant of what has come to light. I do not for one second believe that your  refusal to read the emails is either accidental or innocent. You might try washing your hands and asking ‘what is truth?’

    You are certainly correct that we will not agree about what has happened, given that your argument is essentially covering your ears and saying ‘Lah lah lah I’ll keep doing this until you go away.’ But nor will we go away.

    The IPCC has published what it considers to be its practice. The IAC has commented on that practice and made suggestions, almost all of which are being either ignored or paid lip service to.

    As for Marc Morano and his ‘gang’, as long as the IPCC keeps hanging a ‘kick me’ sign on itself, he will continue to kick.

    And as for Mosher and myself, you can continue to label us destructive for as long as it suits you. Nixon blamed the media for Watergate, as well. If we are the new nattering nabobs of negativism, well, I can live with that. I prefer to think of what we are doing is the journalistic goal of applying sunshine as the best disinfectant. It is the Hockey Team that let you down, not Steve or myself.

    As for moving forward, nobody on the Lukewarmer side is against it, and few skeptics that I know either.

    But if you will not look at the evidence–if you will not participate in an informed discussion, we will assume that what you call moving forward is in fact turning in circles. 

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    I asked you what you thought happened that I had missed. You told me the usual stuff yet again. I said that I believe much of what you say is spin, and that what I already know is consistent with it being grossly overwrought, and that the various committees reached that conclusion as well. And I said that even if it happened the way you said it doesn’t matter much. So why should I care about the details?

    I tried to ask the question of how to avoid such incidents in the future. I read your answer as pretty much “you can’t. We know how to make mountains out of molehills, and if you manage not to leave a single molehill we’ll provide one ourselves.” 

    Which is to say, you don’t believe us that this matter is an urgent one for policy, you don’t want to believe it, and you’ll substitute politics of personal destruction for engagement any day of the week.

    Then you have the nerve to suggest that it’s me saying “˜Lah lah lah I’ll keep doing this until you go away’ !


    Amazing. In case as usual you miss my point, it’s that I don’t think it’s us who is trying so hard not to listen.

  • Tom Fuller

    The difference–or one of them–is that I have read what the consensus team has written. You have not read what we have written.

    Why do you think people like Steve or myself continue to engage in this part of the blogosphere if you think we’re not serious about the issue?

    It isn’t for fame or fortune,as should be obvious. It isn’t for the joy of being insulted by yammerheads like Marlowe or Buckyboy. It isn’t for the intellectual stimulation provided by exchanges with such as yourself–that’s non-existent.

    It’s because we take it seriously. Far more seriously than lugubrious moaners who quail at each successive headline without informing yourself about what is actually happening.

  • EdG

    #163 Tom Gray wonders:

    “What factors in the IPCC organizational behavior are conducive to generating Climategate behavior?”

    Same factors that caused the Church to protect pedophile priests.

    Or, on another level, groupthink enforced by shunning and career retardation.

    The IPCC’s mission is to promote a predertermined conclusion by wrapping it in cherry-picked ‘science’ while ignoring all else. What else would one expect from them but “Climategate behavior” – also known as collusion.

    “What changes should be made to that organizational system to reduce such behavior?”

    Dump the entire thing, including ALL the current contributors and functionaries, and start again with an open mind. And remove it from the always corrupt UN.

    In other words, there is no fixing it.

  • http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid Tim Lambert

    Fuller is just recycling Monckton’s arguments on UK energy prices

  • Tom Fuller

    Master of the house, dragging in a mouse, Lambert shows up just to act the louse,

    Obsessing over Master Monckton
    Cuz he was on ABC

    He is just as hopeless
    As the defeated Tobis

    BUt in Oz it looks like victory

  • buckmisterfuller

    one notes, without prejudice, that when confronted with facts, our interlocutor ALWAYS resorts to namecalling, doggerel, and apocrypha about his high level contacts at Number Ten.

    never a fact that can be checked, strangely. never a reference. Tom dislikes links, and Keith for whatever reason only lets Marlowe’s through moderation, never his.

    anyone who’s interested can look at the evidence presented and draw their own conclusion.

  • buckmisterfuller

    one notes, without prejudice, that when confronted with facts, our interlocutor ALWAYS resorts to namecalling, doggerel, and apocrypha about his high level contacts at Number Ten.

    never a fact that can be checked, strangely. never a reference. Tom dislikes links, and Keith for whatever reason only lets Marlowe’s through moderation, never his.

    anyone who’s interested can look at the evidence presented and draw their own conclusion.

  • http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid Tim Lambert

    Mr Fuller, it was you who dragged Monckton’s argument into this discussion. His argument was factually incorrect.  Your repeating of it doesn’t make it any less wrong.  I suspect that you know that you are wrong and are abusing the people who point this out since you have no other defence.

  • Lazar

    Tom Fuller,

    It is any scientists’ right and interest to choose where to submit papers, which effects their reputation and influence of their published work. It is in all honest scientists’ interest and the interest of science that the peer review system is effective at weeding out bad papers. It is also a scientists’ right to voice to journals their concerns and/or reasons for not submitting. It may even be considerably in the journals’ interests to hear those opinions than remain deaf to potential flaws.

    It is in the interests of science to keep bad papers out of circulation… obviously. If peer review does not work as well as it ought, there may be a case for action. At least, a case for action needs to be discussed.

    Your case that scientists pressuring journals is a corruption (?) of the peer review process is significantly strengthened if those papers under scrutiny are not rubbish.

    a) I believe your best case is that by targeting ‘bad’ skeptical papers only, and ignoring ‘bad’ papers of any other mutually exclusive category, a false impression of the balance of evidence is presented. This assumes that there does not exist a glut of bad skeptical papers in the literature above and beyond what should be expected given the true balance of evidence and the average effectiveness of journal peer review… this may occur if there is a political campaign to get skeptical papers published, involving b) a high number of submissions, and/or c) certain editors giving skeptical papers an easy ride. If we’re talking of corruption of the peer review process, then we should at least discuss b) and c) in light of the actions of Mann et al, which necessarily involves discussing the merits of certain papers.

    As a direct example of a), consider that Steven McIntyre audits, and only publishes ‘bad’ results, for papers on the consensus side, and ignores or gives a free pass to ‘bad’ work on the skeptic side. If you advocate that skeptics be heard in the scientific debate, and are concerned about corruption of science, this needs to be discussed also. The discussion *must* run both ways.

    It is strange to not criticize Hans von Storch in the same breath as Mann, which relates directly to the case of Mann et al. …

    “After a conflict with the publisher Otto Kinne of Inter-Research I stepped down on 28. July 2003 as Editor-in-Chief of Climate Research; the reason was that I as newly appointed Editor-in-Chief wanted to make public that the publication of the Soon & Baliunas article was an error, and that the review process at Climate Research would be changed in order to avoid similar failures. The review process had utterly failed; important questions have not been asked, as was documented by a comment in EOS by Mann and several coauthors. (The problem is not whether the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than the 20th century, or if Mann’s hockey stick is realistic; the problem is that the methodological basis for such a conclusion was simply not given.) It was not the first time that the process had failed, but it was the most severe case. However, my authority as Editor-in-Chief did obviously not cover the publication of an editorial spelling out the problem. The publisher declined the publication, and I cancelled my task as Editor-in-Chief immediately on 28 July 2003.”

    And the response of Otto Kinne…

    http://www.int-res.com/articles/misc/CREditorial.pdf

    “CR should have requested appropriate revisions of the manuscript prior to publication.”

    If we consider Mann’s actions in pressuring a journal as corrupting the peer review process, we should conclude similar for Hans von Storch, and at least three others…

    “Three more editors withdrew namely Clare Goodess, Mitsuru Ando and Shardul Argawala. In mid September 2003 Andrew Comrie resigned as well.”

    We should at least discuss those actions.

    But maybe you do so in your book (which I haven’t read, which is not a slight… I have no time to do so.)

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    +1 Lazar

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    Breaking news, perhaps relevant to Lazar’s point and mine:

    Editor Apologizes for Spencer Paper, Resigns 

  • grypo

    So basically the same thing that happened 8 years ago, happens again with different players.  The interesting thing to watch is how skeptics react.  As Lazar points out last time, the situation was re-framed using climate emails to assist the “pal review” meme that is so crucial to places like Climate Audit – a phrase even the “middle” ground Keith Kloor has used.  Instead of “getting it right” the “team” are “Gatekeepers”.  Watch the slight of hand.  Marketing 101.  First impressions are important.  

    Remember.  It’s only important they get it right when it’s not your team.  Otherwise, frame it as:
    Trenberth: “Unbelievable” Breakdown in Defensive Zone Coverage

    Sooner or later, everyone will catch on to what’s going on here.

    Meanwhile, the world waits.

  • Tom Fuller

    Timmykins, I’m glad Monckton has adopted my thinking. It does not mean he is responsible for everything I think or write. And just because I am correct on this, leading to his being correct, it does not mean that he is correct on other things. I’m sure you’re relieved to hear it.

    Lazar, it is indeed every scientist’s–and every citizen’s–right to voice their opinion to publications regarding quality and even tone. That does not mean it is right to orchestrate campaigns to get editors fired or start a boycott without notifying the editor or board of a publication. It’s not illegal, obviously. That doesn’t make it right.

    Indeed there are bad skeptical papers, just as there are bad consensus papers. One would expect a skewed distribution, with more bad papers coming from skeptics, as the operational sphere for exploration narrows towards that which is accepted. But for every flawed Baliunas/Soon paper, we can point to an Anderegg, Prall et al. That gets us nowhere. The Western ideal is to have all opinions on the table for evaluation, which should take place after publication, not instead of publication. Or are we trying to rewrite what science is?

    I do not blame you for not reading our book. You have been critical of what I write in comments sections of weblogs, and sometimes correctly so. I don’t think reading our book is a pre-condition for discussing Climategate or anything else.

    But your case is completely different from Dr. Tobis, who seeks to criminalize, classify as mentally ill, or label us as either evil or completely ignorant of science because we wrote the book, and yet he refuses to read it.

    It’s clinical.

    Tobis absolutely needs to preserve the thin reed of plausible deniability afforded him by his choosing to remain in blissful ignorance.

    He’s done the same to Judith Curry, so I don’t feel slighted. Nor do I take his ad hominems seriously any longer. But I’m not going to shut up when he shovels out his tripe, either. 

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    I’ve done WHAT to Dr. Curry? That’s just weird.

    As for “criminalize, classify as mentally ill, or label us as either evil or completely ignorant of science because we wrote the book”, just the evil one. I think the summary in #153 suffices to justify my opinion that it is a waste of time.

    However, if someone has a copy to lend me, I will grit my teeth through it as best I can, even though it’s clearly a waste of time, just to deprive Tom Fuller of this argument. But I won’t buy a copy of the damned thing. (I have a secondhand copy of Dianetics for the same reason.)

    Drop me a tweet @mtobis if you have a review copy for me.
     

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    For reference, and to prove that providing one link does not end in moderation, here is some background on the Italian Red Flag affair:

    http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/10/willard-on-curry.html 

  • Tom Fuller

    Dr. Tobis needs to be reminded of what he said about Dr. Curry without reading her published work. I will offer only one of many possible examples in the interest of saving space:

    Oct. 26, 2010: “We have reached a point where it is impossible to judge that Curry is in touch with the science that she is supposed to be a prominent participant in. So has she lost touch, or has she never had much scientific insight to begin with?” 

    And you had never read any of her papers.

    As for trying to classify Mosher and myself without attempting to read our work, I offer the following:

    “And if we narrowly fucking miss pulling this out, it may well end up being your, your own fucking personal individual fucking self-satisfied mischief and disrespect for authority that tips the balance.”

    I don’t have the stomach to page through your site for the many posts where you have likened me to a criminal, used your wife’s profession to call me and those like me crazy, etc. Or the many times you have accused me of not understanding the science without even providing any details, despite my repeated requests.

    Check your inbox for a review copy.

     

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > Check your inbox for a review copy.

    Free the data, free the code, free the debate. 

  • Tom Fuller

    All he had to do is ask.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Can I too have a copy, pretty please with sugar on it?

  • http://initforthegold.blogspot.com Michael Tobis

    received, thanks.
     

  • Tom Fuller

    256, you’re welcome. 255, no, as you are anonymous I don’t feel comfortable in giving you a copy. It is available on both Amazon and Kindle.

    However, if you can persuade my co-author, I will follow his guidance on this. 

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    The link above had a trailing blank:

    http://initforthegold.blogspot.com/2010/10/willard-on-curry.html

    See how easy it is to provide a link without being moderated!

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    257, Dr. Tobis knows my identity, if that makes you feel better.

  • Tom Fuller

    259, talk to my co-author. If he says it’s okay, it’s okay with me.

  • Tom Fuller

    Do you have his blog or email address?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Love goes beyond contact details.

  • http://rustneversleeps.wordpress.com rustneversleeps

    Good old “new” Steve Mosher, enigmatic lukewarmer and putative diplomat between skeptics and alarmist… leading by example on the lastest kerfuffle – working hard to restore trust and a cooperative focus on solutions:
    “I’ll suspect the editor of lying…”
    This is simple; ask Christy, Lindzen, and ?? if they were reviewers.
    If they were not, then I’ll suspect the editor of lying about whether the reviwers were skeptical or not.

    And, also suspect “the team” of duplicity as well:

    “… it is entirely plausible and quite reasonable to expect that the team have learned from climategate that they can act with impunity. They can threaten boycotts and offer an editor the way out…  “Professor Wagner you have to understand that real scientists wont want to publish in that journal until something is done. This isn’t a threat, just some facts. You might consider the path that Hans Von Storch took…”"
    “You forget the climategate mails… In one episode the scientists suggested that they “˜boycott” the journal. That is, they stop sending good science to it.

    Given the strategies that we see suggested in the climategate mails for handling these types of situations it is entirely plausible and quite reasonable to expect that the team have learned from climategate that they can act with impunity. They can threaten boycotts and offer an editor the way out. Just do what Hans Von Storch did when the Soon paper got published. That killed the paper and preserved his career… “Professor Wagner you have to understand that real scientists wont want to publish in that journal until something is done. This isn’t a threat, just some facts. You might consider the path that Hans Von Storch took with regards to the Soon paper. That turned out better than any rebuttal both for science and form him.”

    Isn’t there a song lyric along the lines of “Meet the new Mosh. Same as the old Mosh.” Oh yeah, it was “Won’t Get Fooled Again”.

  • Tom Fuller

    Steve has always been consistent, Rustneversleeps. He has great respect for science. For certain scientists, not so much. 

    The point he is making is entirely consistent with what we know of human behaviour:

    Threats worked well for The Team in the past. We see it in the Climategate emails, which hopefully Tobis can testify to in the near future.  Is it absurd to think that threats won’t be tried again? 

    It’s not the first explanation that jumps to my mind, but I don’t consider it outlandish at all. 

  • Tom Gray

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8741032/Environment-policy-reforms-to-add-300-to-energy-bills.html 

    This may be pertinent to the issue of green policies and fuel povery

  • Tom Gray

     From the story referenced above

    ================

    The six-page document, dated July 29, says: “DECC’s [Department of Energy and Climate Change] mid-case gas price scenario sees policies adding 30 per cent to consumer energy bills by 2020.”
    The report then identifies four policies that it says will increase bills, including the Government’s demand for energy to come from more renewable sources and the plan to guarantee power companies a fixed price for electricity if they use low carbon methods to generate it.
    ================

    ============
    Mr Cameron has vowed to bring down energy prices by giving the regulator Ofgem tougher powers, but this year he has had to watch as energy companies increase their prices.
    The disclosure that Mr Cameron’s own policies are likely to add “significantly” to the burden on householders will anger voters. Just two months ago, Mr Huhne described calculations by researchers at Cambridge University that the Coalition’s reforms would increase bills by 32 per cent as “rubbish”.
    ================

    Cameron is the Prime Minister of the UK. Huhne is the minister reponsible for these green policies

    This is pertinent to any discussion of fuelpovery and green policies

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Seems that the points and the counter points of #168 and #193 are getting rehearsed elsewhere:

    http://planet3.org/2012/03/13/uncertainty-is-not-your-friend/#comment-5096

    Vide passim.

     

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Collide-a-Scape

Collide-a-Scape is a wide-ranging blog forum that explores issues at the nexus of science, culture and society.

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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