The Radical Climate Scientist

By Keith Kloor | October 14, 2011 4:25 pm

The Judith Curry story fascinates me. She has undergone such a major transformation in recent years that some now find her unrecognizable.  As long-time readers know, I played a bit role in how some of this story played out.

But make no mistake, this is Curry’s story, and she’s still writing it over at Climate Etc, her successful, highly trafficked blog that is just over a year old. Today, riffing off this poignant SciAm post, Curry reflects on her changed status within her profession:

I guess being labeled a “heretic” and “turning on my colleagues” and taking to the blogosphere qualifies me for the title of “radical scholar.”

But is this how one qualifies radical? The Real Climate scientists took to the blogosphere years ago and nobody calls them radical. So is it the heresy part, then? Maybe. But that alone wouldn’t do it. Lots of people publicly take on their tribe and don’t get labeled radical. (In that link, I refer to Christopher Hitchens, David Frum and Christopher Buckley as some examples.) But departing from the mainstream and challenging core assumptions of one’s profession would seem to quality as radical. Is this what Curry means?

Also, taking a radical position tends to marginalize you with the majority group. Yet, Curry in her post writes:

I suspect that my personal impact on the field of climate science has been greater over the past year than the preceding 30 years (although my impact during the past year would be diminished without the previous 30 years).  And even if traditional scholars in the field want to ignore me,  I am happy with “inspiring lay scientists and future academics. That is its own kind of professional impact.”

I’m sure she knows there’s no way to quantify any of this. And even with a highly trafficked blog such as hers, important metrics to consider include who’s linking and tweeting and discussing you–beyond your domain.

Curry’s rumination about her impact on climate science leads me to believe she’s wondering what all her public efforts are amounting to. It’s a good question for discussion. What do you think Curry’s impact has been since she’s become a self-described radical?

CATEGORIZED UNDER: climate science, Judith Curry
  • sharper00

    What do you think Curry’s impact has been since she’s become a self-described radical?

    Having read many of the discussions there the primary impact seems to have been to provide a forum for endless discussion of climategate.

    In terms of the field of climate science I see no impact. She claims to receive lots of private support but obviously I can’t comment on that.

    In the blogosphere her blog has come to occupy a space slightly above Bishop Hill’s but below even the likes of WUWT – there on many stories you can find decent counter arguments since the moderators keep things in check and seem to like to ensure there’s at least token resistance to keep things going.  The lack of moderation on her blog allows the crazies to overwhelm others and drive moderate opinion away, see the recent Andy Lacis post as an example.

    The “heretic” stuff is really old. It really seems like she desperately wants to be one and blows up any criticism of her ideas into persecution of her “heresy”. If I go to a blog to read about science and find its more about the blogger I tend to lose interest. 

  • Tom Fuller

    I think she’s had a huge impact. If you look at what was ‘legitimately’ in the field of play before her blog started and since, you clearly see that even accepted mainstream sources are dealing with the same subject matter she is addressing. They’re just not giving her any credit for driving stuff into the open.

    And it’s not so much her own personal views that have done it–it’s more the papers she highlights and cross links to, followed by her take on it, that have elevated certain subjects to the limelight.

    As someone who has followed the climategate issue rather closely, I confess I cannot agree with sharper00 about it dominating discussion at her blog. I simply don’t see much discussion of it at all. It gets referenced along with other real and perceived shortcomings of the consensus community–but discussed? Nah.

    She has turned Climate Etc. into a top-tier blog, and she’s done it the old-fashioned way. The level of work that goes into her posts is evident and the quality that effort produces is high. 

    But I’m sure that those with opinions similar to sharper00 will be on the warpath shortly. 

  • http://arthur.shumwaysmith.com/life/ Arthur Smith

    What do I think her impact has been? She’s wasted a lot of people’s time. Reading through blog posts with 1000+ comments of the sort she has allowed is mind-numbing at best. But occasionally there have been some good interactions. I had a back and forth with Vaughan Pratt that clarified some things in my mind that I find worthwhile, if I ever have a chance to think about them again – main insight was on the importance of the Green’s function/impulse response idea, and:
    “I believe now the impulse response would be a *curve* r(t) through the multi-dimensional space representing climate, scaled to the size of the forcing impulse. So depending on the time dependence of forcing you could get quite a variety of different paths. Averages like surface temperature should still behave the same way as the one-dimensional problem Hansen and I and others have thought about, but it makes thinking about the state a little complicated.”
    There are probably some other good nuggets in there that have enlightened one or two other people. But it’s been a pretty long slog… surely there’s a better way?…

  • Mary

    As climate is not my field, I can’t speak to the internal issues. But I will muse on this:
    Lots of people publicly take on their tribe and don’t get labeled radical.
    Do you have any female examples of that? Maybe there are, but I couldn’t think of one yet. I don’t think most male scientists of my vintage are actively sexist. But I think some of them may not know what it feels like to be on the other side of what feels like a boys club.


     

  • sharper00

    #2

    Tom,

    “They’re just not giving her any credit for driving stuff into the open.”

    So she’s having a huge impact just that nobody acknowledges it? Can you give examples of what would be clearly Curry inspired but unacknowledged impacts? 

    But I’m sure that those with opinions similar to sharper00 will be on the warpath shortly.”

    Oh goodness yes, to persecute the radical. Because she’s so heretical and what-not.

  • Tom Fuller

    Curry is actually very conventional. You could match her beliefs on climate change with people like Hansen and probably not see much space between them.

    Her ‘heresy’ was to criticize the politicization of the process and the ethical and procedural shortcomings of some scientists.

    That apparently is far worse than anything else a scientist can do. Hence the attempt by some to discredit her. (And please let’s leave it at that–I don’t want to end up in immoderation again.) 

  • http://veteransfreedomfarm.org steven mosher

    keith,

    basics. lets start with the qualifications established by the article. Note, these are a given for the discussion and for Judith’s claim.
    you can argue with the criteria but that argument is with the person who lay down the criteria. Once they described what it meantto be radical, judith just makes the observation.. I gues Im radical

    Criteria #1.  Sticking to your guns, this is the heretic part that she identifies with. She is proud for example of inviting Mcintyre to speak and being told by others not to do it. This is turning against your institution.

    And I do think a lot of the ways we need to be radical involves how we perform our job: we need to set boundaries so that we aren’t always doing the service work no one wants, we need to make our passions our scholarly interests in the face of some who would invalidate it, we need to perform our confidence in front of people who might undermine us. ”

    Criteria #2. having a blog or publishing outside the institutional  structure. This is going beyond your institution. Not merely negative freedom of turning against, but aufgehoben as well.

    Judith lays claim to that mantel. pretty simple. like duh

    I guess being labeled a “heretic” and “turning on my colleagues” and taking to the blogosphere qualifies me for the title of “radical scholar.”   

  • sharper00

    #6

    “Curry is actually very conventional. You could match her beliefs on climate change with people like Hansen and probably not see much space between them.”

    Well this is rather the point isn’t it, there’s nothing radical or heretical at all about her. This label is primarily something of her own invention based almost entirely on a sub-heading in a media article.
    “Her “˜heresy’ was to criticize the politicization of the process and the ethical and procedural shortcomings of some scientists.”

    Was it? You see while it’s claimed she receives lots of negative attention (via the heretical stuff) and lately that she in turn has had lots of influence (via impact on the field in the last year) I see sparse evidence of either outside of posts written by Judith Curry on Judith Curry’s blog. 

    I’m not a scientist. I don’t go to conferences and I tend to only read primary literature when it bubbles up to the level of general awareness. If someone is having an impact I have to rely on either that impact being reported by others or in it showing up in some way I can identify such as references in papers, public statements/comments/blog posts by scientists etc. I see none of this so if someone wants to make the claim and convince me of it they need to provide this.

    I find blog hits extremely unpersuasive. I find number of comments even moreso having read enough discussions there to see a small number of commenters feeling the need to reply to almost every other comment with the same nonsense. 

    On the internet anything can be popular. It’s not a metric of anything except popularity.  

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

    Curry and Pielke Sr. are interesting to the “skeptic” crowd because they have relevant credentials but can be pointed to as “Not IPCC”.

    [They're interesting to some in the press for a related reason- in the same way that Dyson was. Not because their scientific arguments are listened to and evaluated by the writers, but because they provide a welcome respite from the grind of climate "news", a different "voice" to round out a story quoting Kevin Trenberth or Gavin Schmidt.]

    The rest is largely post hoc justification.

    What novel contribution to climate science has Curry produced since her rebranding and unprecedented in 30 years impact? Regurgitating social science ideas in the name of “uncertainty” awareness? She’s only one of many people focused on the issue. Emphasizing an increased role for natural variability? Where’s the there there- she pointed me to research from her university that in no way supported the claim made on its behalf. Exposing problems with CMIP3 era modeling? She makes patently untrue claims that are easily refuted by actual modelers. Etc.

    I’ve said it before, I will say it again, and I will probably get moderated for my trouble-

    People don’t criticize Curry for presenting unconventional or counter-mainstream findings and data. They criticize her for making claims and failing to back them up, passing off nonsense from others as worthy of serious consideration, and so on.

    It would be amazing if she actually turned her blog into something that promoted clarity instead of doubt. She has had and turned down many opportunities to do so. Imagine if instead of credulously giving a platform to crankery that purported to show humans weren’t responsible for the rise in CO2, she actually challenged it!

    But then, as you point out, Keith, what would distinguish her from RealClimate?

    Rather than be a cynic, and claim her rebranding and newfound “impact” are self-reinforcing rather than based on a reevaluation of the science, I will propose the opposite.

    I predict that the next year will bring us a Climate Etc. that doesn’t traffic in nonsense, that rigorously supports its claims, that doesn’t shy away from strongly supporting the mainstream when it’s in agreement with it, and doesn’t care what that does to its blog traffic.

    Now that would be radical indeed.

  • http://rustneversleeps.wordpress.com rustneversleeps

    It’s always so great when she has random guest posts from crazy people so that then there can be 1000 comment+ discussions about crazy stuff. Like the Sky Dragons, and Murray Salby’s “it’s not us wot’s adding the CO2 to the atmosphere!” whiff and various other nonsense she seemingly pointlessly tosses out. This helps move the debate forward because even crazier people come to defend these posts.

    Is there still a debate on whether backradiation violates the laws of thermodynamics? Yes, at Climate Etc. there is! A vigorous and long and ongoing and long and unresolved and long debate! What about whether burning fossil fuels adds to the CO2 in the atmosphere? Yes, they’re having a debate about that at Climate Etc.!

    Everything is so uncertain! Even that statement is kind of iffy, come to think of it. By definition. But wouldn’t that imply that if we are uncertain about the uncertainty, then it might imply certainty? I don’t know but it certainly would be good to discuss it. Where is David Wojick when you need him? 

    It is awesomeness. What an impact.

  • Keith Kloor

    Note to all:

    Obviously Judith Curry is a lightning rod in the climate debate. Many of you will strenuously disagree with one another. Please refrain from personal insults or derogatory language.

    So far, so good. But I just wanted to put this out there. 

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

    @10.

    I’m going to have to dock you points for failing to put that penultimate paragraph into the form of a tri-colored flag of some kind.

  • Keith Kloor

    @10
    Every blog with even moderate traffic (including this one) will attract some loons.

    That said, it does seem that Judith push backs more on pro-agw commenters that challenge her than the crazier climate skeptics who spout some incredible stuff. 

    Every blog not tightly moderated has its share of noise, but I wish she would nip some of the excessive noise over there. It makes it  harder to wade through the lengthy comment threads. 

  • http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/ Bart Verheggen

    Her views of the science used to be mainstream, but at least some of them don’t seem so mainstream anymore.

    Eg on the relative rolse of human and natural causes of recent warming
    (http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/09/20/judith-curry-anthropogenic-versus-natural-causes-of-global-warming/ and her views on the role of unforced natural variability (http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2011/04/12/harry-potter-theory-of-climate-boating/ )

    I was very surprised reading such and similar statements from a respected climate scientist. These and other bold statements are usually offered without any evidence to speak of.

    Not unimportant either in how other scientists see her is her incessant sweeping and unsubstantiated accusations towards  mainstream climate science and its practitioners.  She really went overboard more than a few times.(http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/11/05/judith-curry-building-bridges-burning-bridges/ )

    The quote about her big personal impact the last year may provide a glimpse of her motivation. There may be an addictive element to those spotlights.

    An important reason for those spotlights being on her is that she’s a former mainstream scientst who is vocally critical of the mainstream. That has something very persuasive to it in the context of the public debate. One of the debating tricks often used is: Present yourself as formerly doubting the proposition you’re arguing for. As in “I used to think such and such, but now I now better: …” No wonder she’s got a huge fanclub.

    To her credit, she often discusses very interesting new papers on the interface between physical science and philisophy or communication or sociology. And I agree with part of her message (http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/04/27/judith-curry-on-climate-science-introspection-or-circling-the-wagons/ ). Her message would be much better received amongst non-contrarians however if she toned down her rhetoric and/or provided evidence for her stronger statements (both on the science and on the process). But that would probably decrease her on-line fanclub.

  • Dean

    I think words like radical (and hero) are thrown around way too easily today.

    She had an enormous impact on the politics initially but that has mellowed. I haven’t seen any real impact on the science yet, but it is way too soon to really judge that. My hunch is that in the long run, she will just be a footnote. That hunch comes from the way she runs her blog, where she seems as much interested in encouraging pointless debate as she is in challenging scientific status quo. She does both for sure, but it is hard to do both well. They are both more than full-time tasks. Better to do one thing well than two badly. This is why RC is so silent most of the time. It is a blog run by people for whom running a blog is secondary. Keith (or Romm or so many others) otoh focus on their blog but don’t publish scientific papers. Curry is trying to do both, and from my seat in the bleachers, it shows.

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

    As an aside, and to back off the snark, I think that the recent work people like Mike Lockwood and Sarah Ineson have been doing on solar-climate connections offers an interesting counterpoint.

    Clearly given some of the reactions of late plenty of “skeptics” believe that mainstream climate science denies solar-climate connections. It doesn’t*, but it’s easy to understand how some in an echo chamber would come to believe otherwise.

    Mike Lockwood could easily play up his research as representing something anti-establishment, claim that because the effect of indirect solar isn’t known with extreme precision that it throws the whole emissions stabilization issue into question, and so on. He could create a blog, make assertions and refuse to back them up, get called on it, cry persecution, etc. Instead, he does science.

    * Just like it never denied the role of ocean-atmosphere couplings, potential GCR-aerosol nucleation, etc.

  • http://veteransfreedomfarm.org steven mosher

    Arthur.

      When you go on judiths blog just use the find capabilities of your browser. Find “vaughan”  and the Fred and the few other people you like to read. or learn to speed read, a typical post is 800 words and even 1000 comments takes no more than a few minutes if you know how to do it.

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

    @13

    Keith. It’s not just the “crazy commentors”. It’s her blog posts and comments, too.
    http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycle-questions/

    If she doesn’t actually know better, then she should have done her homework before commenting. If she knew better, grossly irresponsible.

  • Keith Kloor

    TB (18)

    Let’s not turn this into a selective referendum on Judith’s blog posts. I know there’s a lot of Joe Romm fans here and I bet people could play the same game with him.

    Steve Mosher (7)

    If you’re referring to the criteria for “radical” established by the SciAm post, then Judith doesn’t follow that. She makes her own criteria, and I think it’s fine to challenge that, no?  

  • Tom Fuller

    Other than sour grapes, I don’t see any real arguments against what I posted: That she has helped legitimize a wider discussion of topics and that this is despite her conventional point of view about the essential elements of anthropogenic climate change.

    Keith, I think you’re wrong in calling for her to be tougher regarding her commenters. One of the principal complaints from the non-consensus crowd prior to her opening her blog was the sense of being shut out of the discussion–not having a seat at the table. Many from the consensus team (including some familiar names in this thread) would sneer ‘go and publish a paper if you want a seat at the table.’ And notwithstanding the concerted efforts of some idiots on the consensus side to prevent that from happening, most are not in a position to publish in the literature.

    Judith gave them a seat at the table.

    Fifty years from now she will be recognized as having saved Gavin’s British butt–mostly from himself. She has defused a lot of the anger, helped marginalize Morano and Monckton by continually recentering the argument where it should be, without hiding the real uncertainties that plague climate science wrt sensitivity, etc.

    There are some here who think that because she’s cordial and courteous to skeptics that she agrees with them. But Keith told me not to be all derogatory and stuff, so I won’t characterize them.

    But if they don’t even know who their friends or enemies are, why would we believe them on weightier topics? 

  • http://scienceblogs.com/stoat William M. Connolley

    People don’t call her a heretic or a radical, they call her a bozo. As for the rest, tb said it.

  • http://veteransfreedomfarm.org steven mosher

    wrt 13:

    ‘That said, it does seem that Judith push backs more on pro-agw commenters that challenge her than the crazier climate skeptics who spout some incredible stuff.  

    There is a reason for that. Its no fun arguing with a loon. I just wasted 10 minutes over at Goddard’s. Well, its kinda fun. Seriously, the only reason to argue with a loon is either to perfect a winning argument, ( always nice) or to amuse yourself or keep your wit in game condition. I don’t know why people dont get this.

    For years people argue with skeptics and then throw up their hands and stop. Now judith comes on the scene and she just lets the loons prattle on between themselves and you all expect her to repeat the behavior that you have decided was stupid.  You all expect her to argue with the people you believe its impossible to argue with. like duh. 

    This one time, at Lisbon ( kinda like a band camp story)  some loon was prattling on,  man I wanted Judith to shut that idiot up. But no, she just let him blather, he ran out of gas, and we returned to what we wanted to talk about. go figure.   

  • http://veteransfreedomfarm.org steven mosher

     Keith.  WRT  11.

    Sorry I didn’t get the memo.
      

  • Keith Kloor

    WC (21)

    Is it okay now for me to come over to your site and call people names, too?

    You come over and do a drive-by like for what purpose? I wish you practiced what you preached (in terms of manners) or expected of commenters at your site.

  • Tom Fuller

    And a typical belch of Stoat Bloat really shows how idiotic and mean-spirited some of the criticism of Curry is. He would never know how to conduct a real discussion, as he just stays on his lily pad and censors discussion ala RC and Romm. So he doesn’t even know what he’s criticizing. But he manages to offend anyone trying to discuss this seriously.

    You don’t even make it to the level of bozo, Stoat. 

  • sharper00

    #20

    Other than sour grapes, I don’t see any real arguments against what I posted: That she has helped legitimize a wider discussion of topics “

    I’m getting a distinct “Um..all of them” vibe from this line of argument. 

  • Tom Fuller

    sharper00, pity you didn’t read to the end of #20.

  • http://veteransfreedomfarm.org steven mosher

    WRT 19.

     No keith I think she does follow the criteria set out by the article. The author of the article was pretty clear about two key elements

    1. sticking to you guns in the face of adversity ( tenure helps here )
    2. going beyond the institutions methods ( blogging)

    For christs sake Keith its a standard definition of being radical.

    Stage 1. you bite the hand that feeds you and are critical of your institution. You use the freedom youre are granted to attack the institution you are a part of.

    Most “radicals” stop there. That part of the dialectic is called “negative freedom”  to be truly radical you have to go beyond that and start something fresh. So you go back to the roots and plant a new root.  Thats the blogging part, moving beyond academic publishing.

    So as a journalist  you would be radical if you used your column inches to attack  the mast head and whole dead trees contraption and then did the blogging thing.

    You would be really radical if you figured out how to make money doing it.  

  • sharper00

    “sharper00, pity you didn’t read to the end of #20.”

    Oh not true at all Tom, I let the vague claims of her saving Gavin while marginalising Monckton and Morano stand on their own.

    I wonder, did she marginalise Monckton with this?

    “curryja: Monckton has a relevant (and interesting) article over at WUWT
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/24/moncktons-letter-to-the-journal-remote-sensing/#more-48103

    Or perhaps here?

     “John O’Sullivan’s advert for the debate at Climate Etc. (note Monckton and Costella are in  my “corner” in criticizing the book and Johnson’s chapters).”

    Or here?

    “Half of Monckton’s act criticizes the behavior of climate scientists, which is fair game. So pretending that these guys are denying science is just a red herring, they are about politics and money.”

    Yes very marginalised indeed. 

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

    @19 kkloor:
    Let’s not turn this into a selective referendum on Judith’s blog posts.

    In all seriousness, what do you want this thread to be about? You asked us:
    What do you think Curry’s impact has been since she’s become a self-described radical?

    I’m not sure why my comment at 18 and Bart’s at 14 aren’t exactly what you’re asking for.

    I grant that WMC could have used less derogatory language at 21, but he’s giving you his honest answer. He could have disguised it in more socially acceptable language, but that would only make it a less genuine response. I understand that you need to keep things civil in the comments, and I am not saying you shouldn’t, mind you. I just don’t know what you want.

    Her blog’s legacy is a gathering place for the “not IPCC” crowd and is catering heavily to its prejudices. Tom Fuller and Oliver Manuel think that’s great. People like myself and Bart don’t. Make of that what you will, I guess.

    I’d also like to expand on my initial response by piggybacking on what Bart said toward the end of 14:

    Her message would be much better received amongst non-contrarians however if she toned down her rhetoric and/or provided evidence for her stronger statements (both on the science and on the process). But that would probably decrease her on-line fanclub.

    It’s not even that I care if she “tones down her rhetoric”. It’s only that it is so unsubstantiated. If she actually backed it up, I would want her to scream it from the rooftops, not tone it down!

    Where’s the there there, Keith? We’re not supposed to talk about her blog posts it seems. We can’t really talk about scientific contributions that don’t exist. So where does that leave us?

    @4 Mary:
    I can’t speak to what Curry thinks, but her gender certain has been more of an issue at her blog than I ever expected it to be, even (or maybe because) I don’t remember it being an issue back in her early Climate Audit interactions. A lot less white-knighting then, that’s for sure.

  • Tom Fuller

    Great sharper00, you made it to the middle. I suppose that’s some progress.

    But you still don’t understand who your friend or enemies are. Why am I not surprised?

    TB, your ill-wishing for Curry’s legacy will remain in the fantasy realms. Keep pitching, though. Your fellow true believers are rooting for your slime jobs to take root.

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

    “Slime jobs”? “Ill-wishing?” What the hell?

  • Keith Kloor

    Steve Mosher (28)

    You are really reading into that SciAm blog post. The radicalness the author discusses is about the need for new tenure metrics, a greater appreciation of interdisciplinary scholarship, and yes–the one thing that would relate to Judith’s post–an acknowledgement of blogging as a metric for influence and reach.

    By contrast, Judith identifies herself as a radical scholar based on her “heretic” status, “turning on my colleagues” and her blog.

    For some reason, which I cannot fathom, you are being utterly prickly about any challenge here (or over at her site) to the way Judith has suggested that she is a radical scholar. It just doesn’t jive with what the SciAm author has written. For some reason, you’re not seeing that. 

    And again, let me say that I don’t see blogging as particularly radical, not when so many scholars are doing it–some of them very well known–and from all fields. Might it still be frowned upon in the traditional halls of academe? Absolutely. Might it be an impediment to tenure? Absolutely. But this pertains to the academic culture. In fact, in this sense, it would be more radical if Judith didn’t have tenure and wasn’t so well established.

  • intrepid_wanders

    Another fun question is “Andy Revkin a radical journalist (i.e. heretic) or just doing his job as being sensible.

    It seems journalism is in the same boat as climate scientists on both sides. 

  • Ian

    Keith Kloor Says:
    October 14th, 2011 at 9:59 pm 

    …And again, let me say that I don’t see blogging as particularly radical, not when so many scholars are doing it…

      Yes Keith, I would posit that ‘radical’ blogging possibly only takes place in countries such as Burma, Iran, and China et. al. where the price for having given a contrary opinion is far more dire than pot shots from the gallery.

  • Latimer Alder

    Reading these comments, I just get the idea that many of you just aren’t comfortable with the idea of a many <–> many blog at all. I guess some of you occupy relatively senior positions in academia where you are used to being listened to ..and if questioned, only in tones of hushed respect. Or maybe you run your own blogs where you have ultimate sanction of deleting posts that you disagree with…in all of these circumstances, you are in some form of control of the discussion. You decide what gets discussed, and have a very strong influence on where it ends.
    A Climate Etc blog is not really like that. It is a many <–>many discussion with a flat hierarchy where the participants decide how the topic will be addressed. And all participants are welcome irrespective of academic position or formal qualifications. Those who don’t like the style fade away, those who do stay..and that seems to be a growing number.
    Partcipants are, to some extent, anonymous. It is a very democratic place. They do not come with additional extra genuflections for their qualifications or citation list. The concept of ‘Trust Me I’m an Important Scientist’ is pretty foreign there. If you can argue a case you get listened to..if not you don’t. Mere assertion form authority gets the Bronx Cheer
    People participate for all sorts of different reasons. I blog there and sometimes I do so to make a serious point or offer a different perspective, sometimes to make a joke (though it must be said that they are in general a pretty dour lot), sometimes to test another participants argument, sometimes just to take the piss out of an overinflated ego and soemtimes just to have some fun or have a bit of blue skies thinking. I’m sure that everybody else has their own reasons
    So to critcies the blog for being a free-for-all and not a well organised and trictly regulated academic discussion is to miss the point by a mile (1.6 Km for overseas readers). It is not a traditional seminar that happens to be conducted electronically. It is a roller coaster whose course is determined by the participants – with a bit of nudging from our host.
    If you don’t like it or are uncomfortable with the format, that’s fine. You are not obliged to partcipate. But don’t just criticise it for not being something it doesn’t set out to be.


     

  • Latimer Alder

    Re #36

    Or an alternative – and less charitable – explanation is that a whole bunch  of you guys aren’t happy that people are openly expressing views with which you  disagree and you don’t have any sanctions to punish/suppress them. The undercurrent of ‘how can they be allowed to sya such things/’ is pretty strong.
    Better get used to it guys – the internet is not going to go away. Big Al Gore has a lot to answer for….. :-)

  • Nullius in Verba

    I think what both Kate and Judith are talking about is not so much being “radical” as being a non-conformist, true to one’s own beliefs and aspirations. It’s arguably “radical” in the original sense, of going back to the roots of what an academic or scientist is supposed to be about. It’s a complaint about how the academic career structure forces people into doing things they don’t want to do, in ways they don’t want to do them. You have to publish papers in peer reviewed journals, you have to get them cited, you have to apply for and win grants, and along with that you have to fit in, not rock the boat, be conventional, enhance the institution’s reputation as a sound and serious scholar, make friends and influence people.

    Kate’s complaint, I think, is that the effort to be conventional in order to get tenure, especially for women competing in a male-oriented job, stifles the unconventional innovation that really ought to be your fastest route to tenure. Nobody does their best work when they’re unhappy. She’s saying do it anyway, concentrate on doing a good job the way you think it should be done and don’t worry about tenure, and you never know it might come anyway.

    Judith’s radicalism is the same sort of thing – doing things the way she thinks they ought to be done, not the way the Scientific Establishment expects and requires them to be done. She’s agreeing that she probably wouldn’t have dared do what she’s done if she hadn’t already got tenure, a reputation, and been financially independent. It’s still radical, even without the risk.

    Take blogging, for example. RealClimate do it the Establishment way: all comments are peer reviewed, and only those the editor approves are published. You have to agree with the right people and disagree with the right people to get on. You have to present your business as serious and professional, take the high ground. You don’t air your dirty laundry in public. You don’t break another man’s rice bowl, or let others break yours, and you circle the wagons against criticism of the profession/institution, by whatever means are necessary. And only those people and those words that pass peer-review are worth listening to; all others are by definition excluded from the debate.

    Judith has taken to heart the principles that science should be open – open to everyone to participate in, open to alternative views and new ideas, open to scrutiny, open to criticism when it goes wrong. These are the roots of science. She’ll let anyone comment with any view and let the reader decide whether the argument has any merit (which many of course don’t), rather than censoring/suppressing views she doesn’t agree with or think are worthwhile. She’s not defensive about the profession, although she clearly cares passionately for it. And she’s happy to try out speculative and half-formed ideas and have people argue with them, rather than trying to nail down every detail and paper over the weaknesses before letting anyone see.
    She’s trying to practice science the way she thinks it should be practiced. Climate sceptics might not agree with her on the science, but they do often agree with her on the philosophy.

    As for whether she’s a “bozo” and making unsubstantiated statements – so does everyone in this game. To err is human. The argument is not to say that Judith doesn’t make mistakes, the argument is with the claim that the paragons of the RealClimate in-group don’t. They also have made unsupported (and unsupportable) statements; published and given a pass to bad science and other nonsense. That’s OK; mistakes are a part of how science works. But people’s careers in the Scientific Establishment (and more recently their influence over national and international policy) have come to rely on giving the impression that they don’t – that they’re always professional and competent and rarely make unjustified mistakes. That’s where things have gone wrong.

  • Judith Curry

    Thanks NIV, well said, I’ve posted your comment at Climate Etc. also.

  • sharper00

    #38

    making unsubstantiated statements ““ so does everyone in this game. To err is human. The argument is not to say that Judith doesn’t make mistakes”

    I have not seen any indication she considers this a mistake. Requests for explanations or evidence are met with irritability and rejection of her arguments due to lack of explanation or evidence is attributed to the persecution of her heresy. I have not seen any modification of her behaviour towards providing better and more substantiated arguments as I would expect from someone simply making mistakes and working to rectify it.

    The style of argument is exemplified by Tom Fuller in this thread – make grand statements but refuse to be specific or provide any type of evidence. When questioned simple assert the questioner is part of the problem and refuse to acknowledged answers are needed. At no point accept opposing views can be honestly and earnestly held or that opposing views may have better support and evidence, all opposing views are simply part of the problem. Then claim to hold the mantle of honesty, tolerance and openness so that opposition can be presented to being to those principles.

    People can complain all they like about Realclimate but I learn things there. Real things about how the world works. I learn real things about uncertainties in conclusions and the specific things leading to those uncertainties rather than simple slapping “uncertainty” on everything as if it’s a magical qualifier. I don’t need to agree with the moderatorship policy, they don’t need to run the blog the way I might and they don’t need to phrase things the way I would for this to be the case. 

    Regardless of hits and numbers of comments it’s easy to see the impact blogs like Realclimate or even WUWT have. Even when I’m not actively reading either of them they show up elsewhere all the time and in different contexts.

    When I’m not reading “Climate Etc” I forget it exists. It appears to exist within its own bubble for now at least. People go there to discuss whatever but seem to bring little from it elsewhere.  

  • Latimer Alder

    re #40

    You don’t like it. Fine. That’s your prerogative. You can walk on by.

    But you’ve spent an inordiante amount of time and trouble to tell us you don’t like it. Why such concern about something you say you have forgotten exists?

    Seems to me that there is something that Judith is doing that is making some people very very anxious. I wonder why……

  • http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/ Bart Verheggen

    Tom, 

    Curry’s views on “the essential elements of anthropogenic climate change.” are not quite as manistream as you make them out to be. Eg check the first two ref’s I gave in 14. She has repeatedly implied a much larger role for natural variability and natural oscillations in the recent warming than is warranted by the available evidence. She has stated that virtually nothing is known about climate sensitivity (the 0-10 deg/doubling range). Just to provide a few examples.

    And just to be clear: There’s nothing inherently wrong with advancing an argument that runs countre to mainstream knowledge; to the contrary. But if they start to be very numerous, you can’t seriously claim to still be in the mainstream. And if you don’t back those extraordinary claims up with extraoridnary evidence (or any evidence at all), mainstreamers will increasingly take you less seriously.

  • Keith Kloor

    Bart (14)

    Did Judith engage with you after you made those critiques? I remember your posts, but don’t remember if she responded.

    Tom Fuller (20)
    I see no reason why she can’t be tougher with her readers–unless she’s afraid of alienating them. It makes no sense to me. They obviously have a seat her table. She’s not going to take that away. So why not call out some of the BS there and cut back on the noise. Makes no sense to me.

    Stoat has his rude side–esp with respect to Curry, but the thing I like about his comment threads is that he’s willing to be blunt and critical of anyone, no matter what their climate and env politics may be. I can see that he pisses off his own side plenty of times. Not enough bloggers do that. 

    I also fail to see how Judith has marginalized Monckton or Morano.

    TB (30)
    Bart is not selective in his criticism. That’s the difference between you two. He recognizes that Judith has made contributions to the debate, where as you’ll narrowly focus on posts of hers to denigrate.

    That the types of topics she posts on and her style of engagement with commenters “plays to their prejudices” (climate skeptics) I would agree with, though. 

    Latimer (36)

    The look and feel of of a typical Climate Etc blog thread is similar to that of threads at the Hit & Run blog at Reason. (The site is listed on my sidebar). They are free-for-alls, very entertaining, but not the least constructive. Most of the commenters are venting, snarking, often with each other. 

    Also, the make-up of commenters at Climate Etc skews to the climate skeptic side, so there’s not much variety of perspective. I don’t find that useful to the larger dialogue. 

  • kdk33

    Is “mainstream” a proper benchmark for science?

    It is interesting to consider the counter example.  You could build a clubhouse high in the trees with a rope ladder; leave a bell near the ground.  You and your chums can sit in the clubhouse and pull up the ladder.  If someone else wants to come up they have to ring the bell.  If you don’t like them you don’t throw down the ladder.

    Then you and your chums sit around discussing how handsome you are – but miss the prom.

    Judith gets invited to the prom.  That matters.

  • Pascvaks

    Radical? No.
    Heretic? No.
    Unique? Yes. Interesting? Sometimes. Balanced? Usually.  Dedicated? Truly.  A pain in the ass? I think that depends on who you are.

    We all make our way in life one day at a time.  And the old saying, “to thine own self be true”, is still a pretty good roadmap for the journey.
     

  • http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/ Bart Verheggen

    Keith,

    Judith has frequently responded to my comments on her blog, but perhaps more so at the start of her blog (when I was moderately positive about her efforts) than more recently (when I turned more critical of her efforts).

    I certainly won’t complain that she didn’t engage my arguments. Even if she hadn’t, that’s her perogative of course. Her day also only counts 24 hours I’m sure and she doesn’t owe me or other blog commenters anything.

    Also after being sharply critical (eg my building bridges->burning bridges post), I can still see some kernels of truth or insight in what she writes.
    (e.g. http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2010/11/09/science-dissent-polarization-and-ideology/ ). In contrast to perhaps many others who criticize her, I try to not only focus my attention on where she goes off the rails, but also on where she may have a point.
     

  • Tom Fuller

    Bart, the areas where you highlight her venturing outside the mainstream seem a bit forced to me. IIRC, her statement about the bounds of sensitivity was in the context of a larger argument about how it is calculated and the 0-10 range was to show the logical results of an investigative path. I don’t believe (and I don’t think that post posited) that Curry believes that the range is necessarily that wide.

    As for natural variability, I would argue that the natural variability in opinions about natural variability is wider than you perhaps believe. It’s just that you might have excluded some opinions based on source–which makes this topic a microminiature of the whole discussion, doesn’t it?

    Keith, I’m sure she could be tougher on her commenters. But why should she? What is the compelling argument for her to micro-manage the comments section on her blog? You obviously understand the effort that would be required. It should be clear to yu that she is actively seeking to build a Big Tent approach to the discussion. I argue upthread that it provides a vent for many who otherwise feel neglected–that’s my opinion, not Curry’s, obviously–but I see no sign that it harms anything.

    And a feature of threaded comments (which I hated when it appeared) may work in favor of her approach. I have noticed the formation of what I would call breakout rooms in very long threads, where mini-discussions carry on between interested participants while the broader thread of the discussion continues unnoticed downstream. I find this a fascinating evolution of blog commenting, and one that I believe works very much in favor of Curry’s approach. 

  • Eric Adler

    I find myself staying away from her blog. The discussion there is not edifying at all, consisting mainly of posts by denier cranks.
    The clincher for me was the stupid way in which she gave credibility to the idea that humans are not responsible for the increase in CO2.  I don’t find that anything said there is at all enlightening.
    I can only speculate about her motivation, but it seems to me that she panders to the skeptics and deniers, and revels in the notoriety this gets her.  I had never come across her name as a result of her contributions to climate science until she started her blog.
     

  • Tom Fuller

    Mr. Adler, I do not recall Judith Curry ever saying or encouraging the idea that humans are not responsible for the increase of CO2. Perhaps you can enlighten us with a link or quote?

  • harrywr2

    Curry’s place is one of the few places where you can actually witness the full state of the public discourse on Climate change.
    Public polling is all fine and dandy but it doesn’t answer the question as to ‘why’ someone may hold a belief.
    Those who are tasked with ‘shaping public policy’ need to know not only how many people are for or against something, but why they are for or against something. Without the ‘why’ one can not effectively shape public attitudes or policy’s.
    Real Climate and Romm’s place are ‘shaping’ operations. As far as I can see they spend all their time fighting an invisible menace they don’t understand and can not see.
    They both rely on conspiracy theory to explain the enemy.
    It always has been and always will be that the human mind will fill the void of ignorance with a mysterious almost omnipotent force. Some variation of ‘Gods will’ or ‘It’s a conspiracy’. People with Phd’s in physics are just as susceptible as the rest of us.
    Curry’s ‘radicalism is that she has exposed the ‘mysterious omnipotent force’ to be real people with real questions and real concerns.
     

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

    @50

    Couldn’t disagree more. WUWT did what you’re talking about much earlier and better for my money.

    Also, you seem to have a very distorted view of how people react about climate. The kind of people who visit climate blogs- skeptical or otherwise- are an incredibly tiny minority. It may well be true that none of them are personally influenced by the organized denial movement, but that’s not what people have in mind when they talk about. Front group/think tanks (CEI, Heartland, CATO, et al.) ginned up talking points that became part of conservative political platforms. It becomes a partisan issue. Voters who self-identify as conservative take their cues from the conservative political discourse.

    None of this is novel to climate change. The same thing happened with respect to health care. When a comprehensive universal health care package was on the table, the think tanks came up with an alternative that was less hard on industry involving an individual mandate. That eventually became a conservative political position. Fast forward to 2008, and the same groups are faced with it becoming reality, and suddenly it’s socialism. People who self-identify as conservative shape their views accordingly. This is the dynamic that people are referring to when they talk about the organized denial campaign. Not Joe and Jane WUWT Climate Etc. commentor.

    (I’m sure the dynamic exists on the political left as well, lest someone try to derail my point.)

    The fraction of people who actively follow these kinds of issues and examine data and analyses themselves is infinitesimal. 

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

    Moderated? For what? No links. Did I say a word that triggers a sp@m filter?

  • Matt B

    If I remember correctly, it was Curry stating that she read the Hockey Stick Illusion and that the book raised serious points that should be addressed by the climate science community that drew the heavy & frequently mean-spirited criticism that pushed her to start her blog. After going through that  I think she earning the right to run her blog, her way.

     

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

    @53 Matt B:

    You don’t. In typical fashion, Curry was regurgitating completely unsubstantiated claims made in the book, got called on it, hand waveed furiously, then backtracked saying she hadn’t read the book and wasn’t necessarily endorsing its claims, etc. She got called on that as well, got defensive, etc.

    This is why some of us are more frustrated than others. The pattern of behavior isn’t new, and it isn’t evidence of “persecution” or “heresy” or “radicalism”.

    She can present analyses and data all day long that go counter to the mainstream for all I care. Actually I would really love it if she did and actively support her. But that’s not her MO.

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

    My mistake, she didn’t say she hadn’t read it, but rather didn’t have it with her. This seems to be a recap:

    http://demon-hauntedworld.blogspot.com/2010/07/how-mighty-have-fallen.html

  • Tom Fuller

    #55, in #32 you asked ‘what the hell?’ when I talked about you sliming Curry and wishing her ill. Please refer to #54.

  • Eric Adler

    Tom Fuller @49 says,
    “Mr. Adler, I do not recall Judith Curry ever saying or encouraging the idea that humans are not responsible for the increase of CO2. Perhaps you can enlighten us with a link or quote?”
    http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/04/carbon-cycle-questions/
    Curry quotes Andrew Bolt’s take on Salby’s talkL
    “Salby’s argument is that the usual evidence given for the rise in CO2 being man-made is mistaken. It’s usually taken to be the fact that as carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere increase, the 1 per cent of CO2 that’s the heavier carbon isotope ratio c13 declines in proportion. Plants, which produced our coal and oil, prefer the lighter c12 isotope. Hence, it must be our gasses that caused this relative decline.
    But that conclusion holds true only if there are no other sources of c12 increases which are not human caused. Salby says there are ““ the huge increases in carbon dioxide concentrations caused by such things as spells of warming and El Ninos, which cause concentration levels to increase independently of human emissions. He suggests that its warmth which tends to produce more CO2, rather than vice versa ““ which, incidentally is the story of the past recoveries from ice ages.”
    Then she says:
    “If Salby’s analysis holds up, this could revolutionize AGW science.  Salby and I were both at the University of Colorado-Boulder in the 1990″²s, but I don’t know him well personally.  He is the author of a popular introductory graduate text Fundamentals of Atmospheric Physics.  He is an excellent lecturer and teacher, which comes across in his podcast.  He has the reputation of a thorough and careful researcher.  While all this is frustratingly preliminary without publication, slides, etc., it is sufficiently important that we should start talking about these issues.”
     

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

    Again, what the hell are you talking about? How was that wishing anyone anything, let alone wishing Curry “ill”?

    ???

  • kdk33

    Tom,

    Let TB go.  He’s making Harry’s point beautifully without any help.  Why interrupt?

  • huxley

    Among other things, I think Dr. Curry’s blog is an intelligence test for the climate orthodox and mostly they flunk.

    Dr. Curry gives greater latitude to uncertainty than the IPCC, but otherwise her views on climate change are pretty standard. Yet she is publicly reviled, sometimes in quite nasty terms. Her crimes seem to be her willingness to allow skeptic discussion on her blog and her outspokenness against Climategate and similar dysfunctions in the climate change community

    This response strikes me as odd, unfortunate, and part of that general dysfunction.  It seems that the climate orthodox do not notice the unpleasant Stalinist-like chill emanating from their movement. Those who do not adhere to the party line or even question it are treated roughly.

    Dr. Curry’s blog is a warm summer breeze  in that context. If nothing else, she provides an alternate face to climate science that at least some of us find refreshing and are willing to learn from.

    Climate change as a political issue has dropped like a rock in polls since peaking after the Al Gore movie. Thus we constantly hear how climate science needs to “change its messaging.” Leaving aside whether that is the real problem with climate science, Dr. Curry’s blog is indeed a change in the messaging and her blog traffic stats show that she is reaching many people.

    If climate change is the threat we are told, the climate change community ought to welcome diverse approaches to communicating climate change issues. But they don’t and that’s why I say they are flunking the Climate Etc. IQ test.

  • Michael Larkin

    Judith is a bit of a mystery; she’s very much her own person and is following her own furrow – wherever it leads and whyever she wants to do that. She may be a woman, but speaking figuratively, she has more balls than just about any other figure in this whole climate farrago I can think of. She has enormous strength of character and a cheerful indifference to the mustelids of this world – including one particular stoat I can think of.

  • Matt B

    #59 Huxley – Agreed

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

    If anyone would care to elaborate on how it takes “balls” or courage to serially pass on false claims by others and then disavow any responsibility for those claims when called on it, I’d love to hear it. That seems to be the epitome of shirking responsibility, not “radicalism”.

  • sharper00

    In much the same was as Hal Lewis was brave  or Murray Salby is brave

    It’s a cheap way of trying to argue that the reason people don’t say the same things as them isn’t that there’s no evidence but that they’re afraid. Afraid of disagreeing with the mainstream because it will ignore their arguments and punish them for not towing the line. 

    Naturally now that a courageous few have stepped forward it will embolden others. Any…second…now…

  • Sashka

    @ Bart (14)

    So, Serreze repeats once again the mainstream “theory”, Judy calls it what it is – weak arguments – but you disagree with her. That’s your right, of course, but in your “Harry Potter” blog post you are not even making any arguments.

    @ Bart (42)

    “She has repeatedly implied a much larger role for natural variability and natural oscillations in the recent warming than is warranted by the available evidence. ”

    It would be trivial to note that JC is as well familiar with evidence as you are. What evidence specifically do you have in mind? Did you prove her wrong? Can you prove her wrong? Why didn’t you?

    @ WC (21)

    I’d like to know who are the people who call her a bozo. I bet more people would call you a loser.

  • harrywr2

    thingsbreak Says:
    October 15th, 2011 at 12:59 pm @50

    <i>Front group/think tanks (CEI, Heartland, CATO, et al.) ginned up talking points that became part of conservative political platforms.</i>
    So what is ‘The Center for American Progress’?

    <i>Voters who self-identify as conservative take their cues from the conservative political discourse….. None of this is novel to climate change. The same thing happened with respect to health care.</i>
    I took my cue on the ‘Health Care Debate’ from the OMB. It was quite clear that my demographic…self employed making more then twice the poverty line with a catastrophic health insurance plan would bear a disproportionate additional burden. The premise that I would be able to ‘keep my existing plan’ was an out and out bold faced lie.
    If you look at ‘pew center’ polling referenced in this Wiki article-
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_ideologies_in_the_United_States
    1/3rd of ‘the right’ is comprised of a group labeled as ‘enterprisers’, 46% of which are college graduates. We are quite capable of thinking for ourselves.





     

  • Agnostic

    I am surprised at the misinformed views on Judith Curry’s blog in evidence here. Since becoming interested in the issue, her blog has become my favourite, because of the balance, depth and broadness of the topics discussed, and depute the inevitable rabid loonies, it still attracts a large number of very informed, interesting and diverse opinion. It’s not necessary to read every post, and you soon learn whose posts to ignore.

    In many respects, I feel like I belong to the demographic that Judith most wants to reach. I am young, not involved professionally in science, but technically and scientifically literate (in laymans terms). The main thrust of her blog is about communicating science, especially extremely complex and uncertain science that climate science clearly is.

    The whole point of giving a forum to the likes of the dragonslayers, is that she wants to engage skeptics, because ignoring them doesn’t work. Furthermore she has made it abundantly clear that some arguments by skeptics cannot be dismissed so easily and they certainly deserve discussing and exploring. She also believes that there are those whose contributions in the field from non-climate scientists are worthy of acknowledgement and discussion and often have a lot to contribute.

    She is often lambasted for not condemning the IPCC or other climate science shenanigans at least as much as she gets criticism similar to what has been written here. Both sets of criticisms from both sides is unjustified in my opinion. She is simply trying to be open minded, and much more careful about dealing with preconceptions from either side than either side would like.

    It is exactly this no mans land that makes me so interested in her blog. I genuinely want to know whether there really is an issue that requires such massive upheaval of our economy. I initially got involved to counter arguments from a skeptic, and found that the ground got shakier and shakier the more I looked. I would say I am now more skeptical than I am not, but I absolutely am not interested in a blog where I can congratulate myself on knowing “the truth”. I really want to hear the warmist case and you do get it discussed there.

    I want to have balanced discussion (or at least some balance) in the discussion of the issues, and the ONLY place I feel this occurs is at judith’s. A downside of the very limited moderation is that discussions can be derailed.

    One final point. Those trying to claim that she makes unsubstantiated claims are only fooling themselves. She is extremely careful about that, she may host articles that may make dodgy claims, but you can’t blame her for that. Intact often that is the point of the post.

  • http://planet3.org Michael Tobis

    I will take the heat off TB.
    It’s very odd. Sometimes Curry is very interesting and responsible and clever, <em>when it’s on Keith’s turf</em>. The social insights about what makes scientists and their critics tick are bang on. And you feel like jumping on the bandwagon. Yes! This is what the scientists are blind to! This is what the cynics are blind to! All very perceptive.
    But then the closer she gets to science, the more absurd it gets. It’s not that she has unusual theories or interpretations. This isn’t Lindzen or Spencer territory. It’s just that she is plain wrong at an elementary level, with amazing regularity and stunning insouciance.
    She’s a better Pielke Jr. than Roger himself, and then spoils it by being a worse Watts than Watts himself. What are we to make of it?
    Perhaps this is some clever denialist game. By stating the real dimensions of the social circumstance very perceptively, and then wrapping it in substantive nonsense, she forces the scientific community to not take her seriously.
    This feeds neatly into their desire to paint the scientific community as closed-minded, arrogant and insular (which has some truth to it) and nothing more than that (which certainly has no truth to it at all).
    So on that theory, it’s a clever con.
    Unfortunately if she really is as she claims, it’s a problem for the defenders of science. If one can have a successful ladder-climbing career in meteorology with the level of scientific sophistication she demonstrates, that doesn’t speak well for the quality control in meteorology.
    Look, I’m really rusty myself. I’ve spent half my career doing things other than science, and I’ve been stuck in a corner for five years meeting nobody in any capacity except as a blogger, and so though I am familiar with quite a few areas I’m not really ahead of a predoctoral grad student in any of them. But I can hardly read a paragraph from Curry about an actual scientific question without finding gobsmackingly sophomoric mistakes.
    Also, she seems to think of the climate problem as a problem for the integrity of science, remaining absolutely indifferent to the problem for the human species and the future of the world. “Somebody else’s job”, she’ll claim explicitly.
    Her web site keeps the main crackpots busy, even Iron Sun Guy. That at least is a service.
    But I fully accept “agnostic’s” summary as honest. And this is a problem. Curry’s credentials and demeanor make her appear credible to the beginner. And so a skewed picture of the balance of evidence is promoted to the point where an intelligent, inquisitive person can in good faith refer to the scientific mainstream as “warmist”.
     

  • Tom Fuller

    How does one separate grudge from obsession?

    MT 12/6/2010: “That (silly statistics aside) is the main problem with Judith Curry’s efforts. It is one thing to engage, carefully and consciously. It’s another to butter up the lazy denialists and bash the diligent efforts of genuine scientists.”

    MT 11/6/2010: “It’s hard to stop thinking about all the oddities coming from Judith Curry. I think one could easily fill a blog just cataloguing them.”  (Don’t worry, Dr. Tobis. You did.)

    10/31/2010: “Yes. I am afraid you are right. I am sure she is a pleasant person. I hate to do this. But her behavior is so irresponsible that somebody needs to say it. And since I have less to lose than most, it might as well be me.”

    10/26/2010: “OK. I am stretched to the limit. Somebody has to call “horseshit” here, and it might as well be me.
    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? 

    Or alternatively, is the peer review system so shabby that a person of modest intellectual accomplishments, one who, despite years of connection to the scientific community, numerous publications and promotion to a position of responsibility, is capable of such vapid, illogical, pointlessly contentious writing.

    “Did Judith Curry jump the shark (green), or was she born and raised on the far side of the shark in the first place (red)?”
    I think that covers all the possibilities, unfortunately, and it’s either awkward or really really awkward, depending on which way it comes out.”

    “Therefore, for a change Tom Fuller is right. My motivation is indeed political.”

     

  • Lady in Red

    I was rather enjoying this thread, Keith, until I realized you were calling me a loon.  smile…
    (Apparently, you have an entire corral of loons locked away somewhere, according to the comments on Judith’s blog…?  Let them out, Keith!)
    Oh well.  Back down into the teapot.  ….Lady in Red

  • huxley

    Michael Tobis: So how does a person like you and a person like me talk?

    I’m a software engineer. I’ve loved science since I was a kid, my IQ puts me into a pretty high percentile, I read a whole lot and I even assumed initially that the climate orthodox had the real goods until I started looking into matters more deeply. I still think the basic global warming story is a persuasive one.

    But your side has been so arrogant, so dismissive of other viewpoints and so morally flexible (not a compliment) that I have difficulty recognizing your side as true scientists. You seem to offer someone like me no choice but to grovel before your authority. However, from experience, I suspect if your side had a slam dunk on climate, you would not be resorting to name-calling, shutting off debate, and the ends-justify-the-means shortcuts of Climategate.

    I’m sure Dr. Curry is imperfect, but she is an informed person of good conscience, as well as high credentials, who has come to different conclusions than you have. Is debate over? Is she  really that far beyond the pale?

    But let’s say she is. Given that your side is convinced climate change is a serious threat requiring mitigation yesterday, and given that we live in a democracy, you need to persuade people to come to your side. You have noticed polls have tilted against climate change as an issue, have you not? If you can’t persuade me, who are you going to persuade?

    Are you waiting for global warming to kick in so hard that no one can deny it? Or for Western countries to overturn their democracies in favor of rule by Science Council? What is your strategy?

  • Keith Kloor

    huxley (71)

    The ugly truth is there is no strategy. Not at the moment, anyway. This fact is made all the harder with the failure of U.S. cap and trade legislation, the dead-locked COP talks, and the global economic downturn of the last few years.

    Of course, some like McKibben et al seek to build a an actual movement that can exert political pressure. That will take years, though. Others, such as social scientists, argue that better craft of message is necessary. And others surely hold out hope for a global climate agreement and will continue on that path.

    But everybody is spinning their wheels right now and nobody can claim a viable way forward.  

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

    #71, #72, give me credit for trying. http://planet3.org
     

  • Tom Fuller

    Trying to build the same tired edifice on the same appeals to authority with the same tired iron rules of moderation–editing and deleting comments, insulting people who don’t agree with you.

    Highlighting a post that has been published 3 times in praise of Dr. Thomas Malthus?

    Take all the credit you want. 

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

    @67 Agnostic:
    I initially got involved to counter arguments from a skeptic, and found that the ground got shakier and shakier the more I looked. I would say I am now more skeptical than I am not…

    @71 huxley:
    So how does a person like you and a person like me talk?
    I’m a software engineer. I’ve loved science since I was a kid, my IQ puts me into a pretty high percentile, I read a whole lot and I even assumed initially that the climate orthodox had the real goods until I started looking into matters more deeply. I still think the basic global warming story is a persuasive one.
    But your side has been so arrogant, so dismissive of other viewpoints and so morally flexible (not a compliment) that I have difficulty recognizing your side as true scientists. You seem to offer someone like me no choice but to grovel before your authority. However, from experience, I suspect if your side had a slam dunk on climate, you would not be resorting to name-calling, shutting off debate, and the ends-justify-the-means shortcuts of Climategate.

    I would absolutely love to interview you [guys/gals]. I find your perspectives completely fascinating. I know that MT does as well (in the sense that he has an infrequent but mainstay commentor with a similar perspective). I am simply gobsmacked by the faction of people that grow “less convinced” of GHG stabilization on science grounds due to personal exploration of the subject matter.

    To not try to sandbag either of you, I won’t ask questions here. But I would love to be able to talk to either or both. My email is the same as my user name but firstDOTlast@gmailDOTcom

  • Tom Fuller

    Be careful, Agnostic and Huxley.

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

    Yes, be careful! For I might somehow “wish” you “ill” or “slime” you in some Fuller-only definition of those idioms!

    The horror!

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

    Basically all I want out of a Curry or even a Lindzen is a model that does at least as good of a model as our present one, that incorporates or at least offers of a denial to us. They’re just not up to it (e.g. even if one was foolish enough to buy into Lindzen’s arguments for an absurdly low sensitivity.

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

    (e.g. even if one was foolish enough to buy into Lindzen’s arguments for an absurdly low sensitivity based on flawed obs, one still can’t account for paelo).

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

    “MT 11/6/2010: “It’s hard to stop thinking about all the oddities coming from Judith Curry. I think one could easily fill a blog just cataloguing them.”  (Don’t worry, Dr. Tobis. You did.)

    Not me, but somebody did take this suggestion to heart.

    http://curryquotes.wordpress.com/
     

  • Michael Larkin

    Interesting thing about the Sky Dragon thread(s) at Judith’s. I had bought the book and skim read it and didn’t know what to make of it. It was that thread that persuaded me the orthodox view of the role of CO2 in keeping the earth warmer than it would be otherwise be was correct.
    IOW, because JC posted something critical of orthodoxy and let contributors get on with dissecting it, I ended up supporting orthodoxy on basic greenhouse theory. That was something that none of the AGW supporters had managed through their techniques of communication.
    None of this means that I agree anthropogenic CO2 is going to create many problems, because I’m not at all convinced positive feedbacks are going to make things worse.
    But even so, I think if JC is crazy, she’s crazy like a fox. What she can do better than any of those who preach and vilify is to allow communication to take place – and she isn’t afraid that readers and contributors might come to conclusions she herself might disagree with. This is why I think she has the cojones and why she has earnt my respect even though I don’t wholly agree with her.
    The only two pro-AGW blogs I can stomach are hers and Keith’s. I guess hers is more popular because she’s an actual climate scientist, and that attracts people who have quite a lot of technical understanding, whichever side they are on. I lurk for the most part, and it is from responses to her posts that I learn most. As others have said, there are certain well-known trolls, but I know who they are and so, probably like most people, just skip them.
     

  • Agnostic

    @81 – Michael, I agree. I too mostly lurk. I have read nearly every post at judith’s for near a year, and often all of the comments. Very often it is the exploration of an issue, the back and forth that defines the problem and the uncertainties. As far as the dragonslayers are concerned, I fully understand the physics they are trying to debunk and I have no problem with it. That said, some of the things they are pointing too are generally not addressed adequately by those technically minded enough to take them on, leaving me with a feeling that they may be on to something even if it isn’t what they think it is. At any rate, I think for the purposes of the climate debate they are wrong, but they should be listened too from time to time, because science has a venerable history of having it’s most established beliefs overturned.

    “But I can hardly read a paragraph from Curry about an actual scientific question without finding gobsmackingly sophomoric mistakes.”

    This jars somewhat. Please name 3 mistakes. If there is one in every paragraph it should be quite easy.

    Also, don’t take me/us, ie her denizens for complete ignorami. I spent a lot of time trawling peer reviewed papers on various issues to try and establish whether or not the skeptics had a valid argument. I read rebuttals and rebuttals of rebuttals. The same to and fro that occurs in an abbreviated easier to digest form on judith’s site, if you are willing to be patient and examine some of the comments thoroughly.

    If you are trying to discredit Judith you really will need to do better than you have. They merely look to be ad hominem attacks with no substance at all. I should add that some of her denizens are extremely technically well informed and while they sometimes disagree with her, I think they would take great exception to your characterisation of her.

    Just quote us three clear cut substantial “sophomoric” errors that are not generally debated. If you can do this I will be more guarded about accepting her conclusions. Deal?

    The

  • Edim

    Is “mainstream” a proper benchmark for science?

    No, just like top 40 is not a proper benchmark for music, box office for movies, bestseller list for books…

  • Harry

    She has quite successfully demonstrated why peer review was such an important development in the “march of science”.  Her blog is one tortuous mess of ignorance and baseless assertions.  It advances the science not one whit, but does create confusion and reassures the ignorant.  There is something there for everyone in her smorgasboard of opinions.

  • huxley

    Keith Kloor @ 72: Your honesty is refreshing. I don’t demand that you have a strategy. I was just going nuts trying to figure it out.

    I doubt the social science messaging will work any better for climate change than it is working for Democrats. McKibben is allying himself with the Occupy movement, this season’s hippies and SDSers, which I suspect will backfire on McKibben and anyone else hoping to hitch their political agenda to Occupy.

    As things stand, it is likely your side will have to wait for the climate to vindicate AGW.

    thingsbreak @ 75: Your snark-to-signal ratio is too rich for my blood. Thanks, I’ll pass.

    Michaal Larkin @ 81: I agree — JC is crazy like a fox. In her open debate model the extreme skeptics are losing ground, as well as the kneejerk climate orthodox. Moderate skeptics are being squeezed towards the middle. I can’t speak for the other orthodox at her blog, but I’m impressed that they hang in.

    Curry isn’t secretive about this. That is her strategy and I would say it’s working, though it’s a long and winding road.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    For my own edification and those who are not Americans, SDSers refer to this movement:

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

    I believe no one need to know who hippies were.

    In any case, we feel huxley’s affectionate use of these terms. 

    ***

    I’m not sure what “moderate skeptics” is supposed to refer to in that comment from huxley, except for a way to exploit the Overton Window stretched by way of  “extreme skeptics’.  Would this exploit count as being crazy like a fox?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard


    For my own edification and those who are not Americans, SDSers refer to this movement:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Students_for_a_Democratic_Society
    I believe no one needs to know who hippies were.
    In any case, we feel huxley’s affectionate use of these terms.
    I’m not sure what “moderate skeptics” is supposed to refer to in that comment from huxley, but we can surmise it is a mean to exploit the Overton Window stretched by way of “extreme skeptics’.  Would this exploit count as “being crazy like a fox”?
     

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    There is a problem with the editor.  A comment with one link activated the spam detector when formatted by simple copy-paste from somewhere else.  

    When I remove all format with the eraser, or when I edit comments in an external editor, this behavior never happens.

  • harrywr2

    Keith Kloor Says:
    The ugly truth is there is no strategy. Not at the moment, anyway.
    I would disagree with that.
    In the military there is a concept called ‘setting the conditions’ or ‘setting the table’.
    I.E. You can’t do ‘D-Day’ until you’ve put into place a logistics support pipeline, stockpiled equipment and munitions at the head of the pipeline, built the factory to build the boat,planes and guns, trained the trainers that are going to train the troops. It all takes an enormous amount of time.
    Five years ago the total global manufacturing capacity for nuclear pressure vessels was 4 per year. India was on the Nuclear Suppliers Group blacklist..they couldn’t buy fuel for the reactors they had. There were no nuclear plant designs approved for construction in the US.
    Today the global manufacturing capability for large pressure vessels is above 12. India can now buy fuel from everybody except Australia. We have 1 reactor design approved for construction in the US. A new nuclear fuel fabrication facility has been built in New Mexico and another is planned for Idaho. The list of countries that are building the legal and regulatory frameworks for having nuclear power is growing. We have two small modular reactor design firms partnered with deep pocket global construction firms capable of almost unlimited scaling oncee the licensing issues are resolved.
    In the Solar arena the questions as to what the costs would be if ‘scale manufacturing’ occurred have for the most part been answered.
    Windmills have been deployed.
    The Chinese have demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that if the only viable energy option for the developing world is to burn coal then there is no possible way the developed world could cut fast enough or deep enough to offset the increased emissions. The rest of the developing world has to skip coal. That means viable options for the developing world have to be the priority.
    The Cancun declaration talked about ‘technology transfers’…and a big chunk of the developing world went home and started work on setting up their legal and regulatory framework for nuclear power.
    Bangladesh(7th most populous) and Vietnam(14th most populous),  have already placed their orders for nuclear power plants with the Russians. Indonesia(4th most populous) is in the site selection phase of their nuclear power program.
    The ‘Climate Policy Debate’ becomes a moot point if solar,nuclear,wind,geothermal et al end up being ‘cheaper then coal’.
    Everybody likes ‘cheap’.






     

  • Jonathan Gilligan

    Despite Curry’s claim that her blog is very influential and others’ claims that it’s bozos all the way down, it’s far too soon for anyone to judge her impact, whether they like or dislike her. Curry’s been doing her blog for a short time—much less than one funding cycle in research terms—and if she’s successful, both she and the people listening to her will change over time.
    When someone tries something new, they may take big missteps, and we should judge Curry not so much on her mistakes as on how she reacts to them. Perhaps she says some damn fool things sometimes just to try the ideas out and get feedback, and will then use the exchange to develop something interesting. I’m willing to watch where she goes, even if I’m skeptical about the trajectory I’ve seen so far on that latter part.
    Over time, what I would look for in assaying Curry’s impact is whether the signal-to-noise ratio of her blog improves to the point that discussions become largely substantive exchanges; whether we see her blog (either the posts or the comment streams) changing people’s minds instead of only stirring up rehearsals of familiar talking points; and whether we see her developing original ideas that, over time, others take up and extend.
    That said, it doesn’t take nearly so much time to judge whether reading rough drafts of someone’s work in progress is worth the time and effort from day to day. Folks can decide pretty quickly whether they get enough substance from Climate Etc. to justify wading through the crap. But don’t confuse that with knowing what her impact will be over the longer term.

  • Fred

    Having a blog that is open-minded about AGW hosted by a climate scientist may be salutary for society’s regard for science.  It comes at a time when temperatures have not increased for the last 13 years.  Recent news includes ocean levels remaining flat over the last several years, Arctic ice growing at a very fast pace, and ski season in Colorado beginning on October 8.  Lindzen and Spencer are challenging the sensitivity notion that would have to be true for CO2 increases to cause harmful warming.  Findings out of CERN have been supportive of Svensmark’s theory of the solar causation of climate change.  Those who believe solar variations and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation determine climate are opining that temperatures will stay low for the next 25 years.
    See:

    http://iup.physik.uni-bremen.de:8084/amsr/ext_rates_n.png

    http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm/8778/La-Nina-Throws-Cold-Water-on-Global-Warming

    The societal implications of AGW theory have been highly negative.  The US unemployment rate has been pushed to a real unemployment rate of 20% in part by restrictions on energy development fostered by AGW theory.  It provided a rationale for huge premature investments in alternative energy ventures that are now worthless.  AGW theory is likely more to blame for the current economic malaise than are Wall Street bankers.  Children (including mine) have been emotionally burdened by listening to anxiety-inducing environmental scenarios from science teachers who go on to say that to doubt their views is akin to doubting that man landed on the moon.

    Curry is modeling a graceful climb-down from an increasingly untenable AGW theory.  By attenuating the link between science and a one-sided view of AGW theory she may help soften the inevitable backlash against science as it becomes widely recognized that the fears, out-of-pocket expenses, and restrictions on economic development foisted upon society by the supporters of a mistaken AGW theory were pointless and wasteful.

  • huxley

    harrywr2 @ 89: People are working worldwide for cheap energy, whether they support climate change or not. So I don’t quite see that as a climate change strategy.

    But leave that aside. I’m asking about the strategy of the climate change movement in public debate. How do the climate orthodox plan to persuade people to come to their side to affect government policy? For instance, the Waxman-Markey Climate Change Bill failed, ultimately, because of the lack of voter support, even with a popular Democratic President and Democratic control of the House and Senate.

    Until recently the strategy was to win the battle among scientists, then the scientists would advise policy makers, then the policy makers would enact legislation and budgets, and ideally the problem would be solved or improved like pollution or CFCs in previous decades.

    However, that strategy has failed with climate change for various reasons that boil down to voter resistance. We live in a democratic society and voters are not persuaded that the risks of climate change are sufficient to support big ticket climate change efforts. In fact there is such a significant backlash against climate change that President Obama won’t even mention climate any more.

    Now you can argue that it’s different in other countries, you can complain about Fox News, oil companies and the Koch Brothers, and you can dismiss the intelligence of skeptics and Republicans, but if you want to be effective you usually have to have a strategy. Or you can wait for the climate to change or Mr. Fusion to be invented.

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

    @85 huxley:
    Your snark-to-signal ratio is too rich for my blood. Thanks, I’ll pass.

    If that’s the actual reason you wouldn’t do it, what about with someone less “snarky”, like Robert Grumbine or Bart?

  • BBD

    Thingsbreak @ 79


    (e.g. even if one was foolish enough to buy into Lindzen’s arguments for an absurdly low sensitivity based on flawed obs, one still can’t account for paelo).

    Yes. Squaring paleoclimate behaviour with a low CS is tricky, isn’t it?

    harrywr2 @89

    The Cancun declaration talked about “˜technology transfers’”¦and a big chunk of the developing world went home and started work on setting up their legal and regulatory framework for nuclear power.


    It is starting to look like the shape of things to come, isn’t it? Early days though.

  • harrywr2

    huxley Says:
    October 16th, 2011 at 3:25 pm
    <i>People are working worldwide for cheap energy, whether they support climate change or not. So I don’t quite see that as a climate change strategy…..For instance, the Waxman-Markey Climate Change Bill failed, ultimately, because of the lack of voter support</i>
    I  think Waxman-Markey failed because the ‘conditions hadn’t been set’.
    The voters want to know ‘how much will this cost’.
    That was the Montreal Protocol…the alternatives to the banned chemicals existed and their cost was known. The same thing in SO2 regulation…the cost difference between low SO2 coal and how much scrubbers cost was known.
    6 years ago the costs of solar, geothermal, wind, nuclear, biofuels, carbon capture etc were basically unknown and some of them are still unknown. ‘Estimates’ were made but they weren’t much better then WAG’s.
    The ‘evil George Bush’ 2005 and 2007 energy bills set out a framework to push various alternative energy technologies to the ‘commercial deployment state’. Everything from windmills , geothermal, biofuels, energy storage to nuclear power plants. Some of it worked out better then we hoped, some of it worked out worse then we hoped, some of it had ‘unintended consequences’, some of it is ‘too early to tell’.
    In a couple of years the ‘grand experiment’ of tossing money at multitudes of energy technologies will have concluded and the question of ‘How much’ will be known with relative certainty.
    Personally I think the ‘how much?’ will end up being ‘less then we thought’. In which case the ‘precautionary principle’ holds. If it’s only a ‘little bit extra’ to ‘be safe’ then why take a chance.




     

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > Personally I think the “˜how much?’ will end up being “˜less then we thought’. In which case the “˜precautionary principle’ holds. If it’s only a “˜little bit extra’ to “˜be safe’ then why take a chance.

    I’m unsure why now this logically evaluates, whereas in another thread it did not, but this looks quite sound to me and I do hope you’re right.

  • intrepid_wanders

    Between BBD, huxley and harrywr2, you can draw a median that makes sense.  Too bad that can not be the the more realistic Planet 4.0.

    If only CaS could get a little of moderation from Rev’s Times Blog.

    Look, it is simple.  A whole “lotta” of the skeptic-types were interested in the improvement of the current fossil fuel way of things.  Most of us could accept the way of things going with nukes in the 70s.  The carry over of the 60s-70s of the Cold War (and the enrichment that can occur in the Fission power process) caused the backlash that the WWF and Greenpeace have fought three decades to defeat.

    Diplomacy is entirely about compromise.  Show me a compromise that Greenpeace or the WWF has given.  Cap and Trade was nonsense on BOTH sides.

    If there is a need for Anthropology, I suspect we could manage from Guns, Germs and Steel.  Slavery < Energy concept is quite easy to understand.  Somebody has got to be the “Indians”, too many “Chiefs” spoil the soup (oh, did I mix metaphors?). 

  • EdG

    Her impact on the ‘scientific’ community has been substantial, as a role model. She objectively looked at the increasing amount of information available and adapted her thinking accordingly. That is not radical, that is ‘scientific.’

    What is radical is that she had the courage to speak out despite the Consensus Shunning and all that.

    I expect that history will see her as a hero.

  • http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com Bart Verheggen

    Michael Larkin (81),

    I’m curious how it is that you changed your mind about basic greenhouse gas theory from the explanations and discussions at JC’s blog, and not from similar explanations at other (“pro-AGW”) blogs?

    Is it because you distrust the latter blogs and (somewhat) trust hers? That seems the most likely explanation (and most people decide on things that way, via hints as to relative credibility. See e.g. http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/who-to-believe/ ) If there’s another explanation, I’d love to hear it.

  • http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com Bart Verheggen

    Sashka (65),

    “in your “Harry Potter” blog post you are not even making any arguments.”

    Uhm, conservation of energy.
    Or, pointing out the lack of logic when trying to blame something on coincidence, in the presence of a clear mechanistic explanation?
    Sashka: “What evidence specifically do you have in mind?” [re limited role of nat variability and oscillations]

    variability: conservation of energy
    oscillations: lack of a long term trend

  • Sashka

    Bart,

    If conservation of energy alone makes a good argument why are we bothering with GCMs? From the conservation of energy, what’s the explanation for flat temperature record since 1998? We keep adding CO2 so more heat is being trapped. But where did it go? Surely conservation of energy will explain that, right?

    Anyway, may be you could indulge me with a longer explanation on how conservation of energy constrains the role of natural variability? Perhaps you meant something by “lack of a long term trend” but I’m not sure what exactly.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    harrywr2 (95)
    “I  think Waxman-Markey failed because the “˜conditions hadn’t been set’.
    The voters want to know “˜how much will this cost’.That was the Montreal Protocol”¦the alternatives to the banned chemicals existed and their cost was known. The same thing in SO2 regulation”¦the cost difference between low SO2 coal and how much scrubbers cost was known.”

     If you think that voters actually know (or pay attention to) what the costs of regulating CFCs and NOx/SOx are and use that information in to shape their voting intentions…well…

    With all your talk about military analogues, I’d have thought that you’d have a better sense of the politics of power (not the electricity kind btw), and how that informs climate change policy.

    If you want to know why Waxman-Markey failed, you need look no further than here, and the economic carnage that ensued.  Were there other factors involved? Sure.  But I’d say that a sizable block of voters who where educated about projected cost curves for low carbon power sources isn’t one of them…

  • BillC

    Just want to throw in my support of Curry in the vein that Huxley, Agnostic and others have expressed. Having said that, the Spencer/Dessler exchange seems to really have jacked up the level of technical content and argument between various skeptics and each other, as well as more “mainstream” viewpoints on multiple blogs in recent weeks.

  • http://amac1.blogspot.com/ AMac

    Judy Curry has her plusses and minuses as a blogger.  The point in this thread that sticks with me: one thing she’s done is to broaden the conversation. 

    Overall, my sense of comments here is that is generally seen as a Bug by adherents to Mainstream positions, and as a Feature by dissenters of various stripes.

    A few weeks back, Lucia (The Blackboard) claimed that the math in certain high-profile posts by Lord Monckton at WUWT was wrong.  That dispute — which she won ;-) — got her blog noticed by many people of “CO2 can’t cause warming!” beliefs.  Their strident and ill-informed commentary is usually annoying.  At least to me:  I’m interested in becoming more familiar with the math, statistics, and modeling practices that determine the predictive power of GCMs and climatology in general.

    On the other hand, there is utility in following the basic issues; seeing how different people view and discuss competing claims and evidence.  Some “regulars” develop a reputation for integrity and for explanations that check out (e.g. Fred Moolten at Curry’s, in my book).

    Maybe the noise that these open fora develop is an acceptable price to pay.  Along the lines that other commenters in this thread have described, exposure to Stoat and then RealClimate had me thinking that AGW claims must be pretty dodgy:  else, why would knowledgeable people act as those folks do?  It took wider reading and exposure to open discussions to convince me of the validity of the science behind AGW.

    At any rate, Blackboard commenter SteveF just penned a short summary of his views of the subject, at the tail end of one of those low S/N threads.  Here’s the link. I think his views represent a sensible position, and one that is in general not far-removed from Curry’s.  It seems to me that events of the past few years have forced the sclerotic climate Mainstream to grudgingly accept that such perspectives are fit for discussion in polite company.  Given the stakes, that’s important progress.

  • Dean

    My background is much like Agnostic’s – non-scientist with a longtime interest and a decent ability to learn in layman’s terms.

    And yet I ended up in a completely different space. The point is that there is no issue of “how do you talk to people like me” in the sense that you represent people with your kind of background. You don’t speak for people with your type background any more than I do.

    I have become more and more convinced over the years that underlying political values combined with fiscal necessities drives most of these differences and it is the extremely rare person who can truly be unaffected by them when coming to conclusions (I don’t claim to be one of them).

  • Blair


    Having read the entire thread I see one aspect of the Dr. Curry phenomenon that I do not feel have been adequately considered: the quality of her readers or “denizens”.
    Take a read at the list of “denizens” of the Climate Etc. blog. It is a list of Engineers/MDs/PhDs/computer specialists/etc… These are the well-educated professionals who serve as the backbone of science communication in their communities. These are the people who write letters to the editor and get phoned when their local/regional paper wants an informed/educated opinion on a subject. Malcolm Gladwell would call them his mavens but I think of them as micro-communicators. They don’t have a loud voice on national matters but have disproportionately loud voices in their local communities. As such Dr. Curry’s reach cannot be solely judged by her readership numbers, but rather by the reach of that readership.
    Moreover, these denizens include a disproportionate number of policy specialists. In my opinion, one of the real disconnects in the climate change discussion is not in the quality of the science (although I have my personal doubts on the reliability of much of the models) but rather the quality of the policy professionals and the public face of the CAGW clique. Using exceedingly broad strokes the vast majority of the communicators on the CAGW side can be placed in two groups: the RealClimate (RC) types who are highly educated but, to put in bluntly, not personable, and the Desmoggers (DS) who are professional communicators who sometimes appear to have an insufficient depth of knowledge. When reading comments from the RCs one always feels like a student in a bad lecture class. The audience is unconnected to the speaker and at least personally, even on those occasions when I agree with the content I feel the desire to disagree with the message due to the bad nature of the messenger. As for the DSs it can be incredibly grating to be lectured to by political science grads many of whom didn’t even study science in high-school, let alone grad school. Folks who lecture me with authority that is not earned will not influence me to change my mind.  Dr. Curry, if nothing else, is an excellent communicator in this genre (I have not heard her speak so cannot speak to her skills in public) who has the benefit of also being well-verse in the topic. Her influence, once again in my opinion only, is built on this combination of communication skill and hard-earned respect through years of devotion to a topic.  As one of her denizens I will continue to read her blog and give her opinion my ear and while I may not agree with everything she says she has earned the right, in my mind at least, to voice her opinions widely.

  • Michael Larkin

    #99 Bart R
    I’m curious how it is that you changed your mind about basic greenhouse gas theory from the explanations and discussions at JC’s blog, and not from similar explanations at other (“pro-AGW”) blogs?
    Being somewhat challenged in the maths and physics department, inevitably one has to judge as best one can. It’s not so much trust (although that plays a part), as the fact that I saw a genuine consensus (as opposed to a bogus one) between people on both sides, some of whom, certainly, I respected. Also, there were some good, clearly-expressed postings that enabled me to understand the nub of the orthodox argument.

  • Tom Gray

    re 108

    Marlowe Johnson writes

    If you want to know why Waxman-Markey failed, you need look no further than

    here, and the economic carnage that ensued
    ==================
     

    The ‘here’ refers to a set of slides on the the sub-prime mortgage fiasco. This fiasco was the result of the considered policies of high officials in major economic offices and the considered opinion of academic economists. This resulted in legislation to implement these peer-reviewed findings.

    So in this Marlowe Johnson is probably correct; the public has learned how much faith to put in pronouncements that result from academic consensus. This is especially true for an academic and political consensus that proposes radical changes.

    The slides that Johnson references do not go far enough to show the folly that these distinguished leaders went in for. major financial institutions were financing long term mortgages with overnight borrowing. They were hedging these risks by buying insurance (credit swaps) from companies which were using the fees generated from the swaps to invest in collateralized instruments that were based on the mortgages that they were insuring, In effect the collateral for these loans were the loans themselves.

    This was a house of cards based on supposition masquerading as economic knowledge. This was a house of cards that drove economic and political reality in the US. A similar house of cards drove economic policy in Europe. We were all told that new economic knowledge had ended the business cycle and we could look forward to continuing prosperity

    Now the academic and political elites tell us that they have a new set of policies based on sound scientific knowledge. These policies will require a profound change in how the economy works but we should not worry because it is based on an elite consensus.

    These people really do think that they are smarter than everyone else.

  • huxley

    Testing <b>Testing</b> <i>Testing</i> <blockquote>Testing</blockquote> <a href=http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2011/10/14/the-radical-climate-scientist/#comment-81573>Testing</a>

  • Michael Larkin

    Bart Verheggen, sorry for addressing you as “Bart R” in my #107

  • Sashka

    @ AMac (104)

    “It seems to me that events of the past few years have forced the sclerotic climate Mainstream to grudgingly accept that such perspectives are fit for discussion in polite company. ”

    What is the evidence for the stated acceptance?

    Blair: very good post!

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Bart Verheggen is not Bart R is not Bartemis, but Bartemis at Judy’s is Bart at Steve’s.

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

    Keith, I understand that you don’t want us to “selectively” highlight posts where Curry gives a platform to/endorses utter nonsense, but how often does she have to do it before it becomes acceptable to point out?

    If this were a discussion about biology, and someone in evo/devo was credulously promoting ID, there would be zero discussion of whether it was “radical” (in an admirable sense) vs. irresponsibility.

    Have a look at the current post: http://judithcurry.com/2011/10/17/self-organizing-model-of-the-atmosphere/

    In case you’re not seeing the issue, by all means click through to their main page.

    Perhaps in your mind, it’s okay to promote such crankery because she also has guest posts by Lacis or Chris Colose. But I ask you again to translate this to a different field and see whether you still find such a position tenable.

    BTW- I am asking these questions of you not as “snark”, but because I genuinely want to know what you think.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @108
    While I’d agree that the events of the past few years have certainly diminished the public’s confidence in the infallibility of the ruling class, that is not the point I was trying to make.  

    Unsurprisingly, concern/support for environmental issues  closely tracks the business cycle.  When times are bad, people tend to put greater priority on near term pocket book issues (e.g. social safety net) than they do on environmental issues.  This isn’t a particularly controversial observation I would think.  So it’s hardly surprising that political support for ACES by centrist Dems and Republicans wavered in the face the economic meltdown.  It doesn’t take a genius to predict that opposition attacks on the ‘costs’ of ACES would get much more traction in that kind of environment than they would have say in the late 90s when the economy was doing much better….

  • Tom Fuller

    Shorter #113: “I know you don’t want us to selectively highlight posts” but I want to do it so here’s an example of why Curry should be burned at the stake because of what somebody else writes.

  • kdk33

    I think TB is failing the IQ test (see #60).

  • Sashka

    @ TB (113)

    Could you explain why you call it crankery? For some reason I couldn’t find your devastating technical criticism in the comments.

  • Judith Curry

    TB, by all means come over and discuss this post at Climate Etc. Frank Lemke has received an award from SIAM for his knowledge mining work, he has applied this  method to interpreting the last 23 years of climate data.  He has some interesting results that are of relevance to our understanding of feedback.

    You and MT should be less quick to criticize things you know very little about.  If you have serious criticisms or identify a technical error, send me an email or discuss it on my blog. 

  • huxley

    The point is that there is no issue of “how do you talk to people like me” in the sense that you represent people with your kind of background.

    Dean @ 105: I broght up the “how do you talk to people like me.” I was responding to Micheal Tobis who has, with occasional softeners, has trashed Dr. Curry up, down and sideways, including:

    “But I can hardly read a paragraph from Curry about an actual scientific question without finding gobsmackingly sophomoric mistakes.”

    This claim is entirely over the top. I’m sure Dr. Curry makes mistakes, but I have seen none that are gobsmackingly sophomoric about actual science, much less such mistakes in almost every paragraph.

    Agnostic challenged Tobis to name three mistakes, and Tobis has yet to reply — not surprisingly. Tobis is not the only commenter in this thread so vicious and dismissive of Dr. Curry and her blog.

    I’m a regular participant at Climate Etc. I like reading a variety of conversations about climate and engaging at times with the sharp minds there including some on the orthodox side.

    IMO open debate is as essential to democracy as breathing is to the body. However, most orthodox blogs are so controlled that aren’t really open. Skeptic blogs are more open but become echo chambers because the orthodox mostly avoid them. I believe Dr. Curry makes a substantial contribution by providing a space as wide and open as it is, where real debate takes place, and she does from a largely orthodox viewpoint.

    I asked Michale Tobis how he and I could talk because I was baffled. I don’t consider myself stupid or ill-informed, yet I must be if I am taken in by someone as “gobsmackingly sophomoric” as Dr. Curry. Yet I don’t believe she is by my reading of her, her conversations with others, her credentials and her prestige.

    I don’t understand the revulsion and shunning Dr. Curry has aroused in many concerned about climate. Since I consider open debate important, I would like to understand.

  • EdG

    #119 “I asked Michale Tobis how he and I could talk”

    Perhaps this will help:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/04/22/friday-funny-f-word-fusillade-by-michael-tobis/

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

    @118 Judith Curry writes:
    Frank Lemke has received an award from SIAM for his knowledge mining work

    His expertise on data mining is stipulated.

    You and MT should be less quick to criticize things you know very little about.

    [It's interesting that you're quite quick to assume you somehow know what I do and do not know.]

    In any event, I suggest that it’s ridiculous to promote a model that flies against the body of evidence amassed to date about the behavior of the climate system without extraordinary supporting evidence. I suggest that it’s even more absurd to do so when the new “model” has even less explanatory power than the model it’s purporting to displace (e.g. Lean and Rind 2008).

    TB, by all means come over and discuss this post at Climate Etc.

    The last several times I tried to engage you on your blog, I was by turns ignored by you and attacked by your commentors (for being insufficiently deferential, for supposedly trying to boost traffic to my own blog (something you agreed with I should add), etc.).

    It was… less than satisfactory. I have no desire to repeat the experience at this time, and I am far more interested in why people like Keith seem willing to excuse the habitual promulgation of nonsense by you (at your own blog and others’).

    If you’re genuinely interested in a dialog, you can always answer the questions I posed to you re: Salby’s presentation in direct way rather than brushing them aside and accusing me of trying to gin up blog traffic.

  • Tom Fuller

    “Evidence amassed to date…” Hmm.

  • Dean

    “IMO open debate is as essential to democracy as breathing is to the body.”

    Is science a democracy? If Curry was focusing on policy, that would be one thing. But determining the facts of how nature work is not a democratic process in the same way that determining public policy is.

    There still is a need for openness in science, for debate. But in both cases, the quality of that debate is critical to coming up with a correct result (or a functioning policy). I don’t think that skeptic blogs have become what they are because the mainstream avoids them. The mainstream (most of them) avoids them because of what they are.

  • http://www.skepticalscience.com Steven Sullivan

    She’s roused the ‘skeptic’ rabble with her authoritative bafflegab.  That’s all, but that’s enough, because that rabble have a disproportionately large voice now in climate change response policy.  And that’s a tragedy.  And some day she’ll find that part of the responsibility is on her head.

    She hasn’t changed the science at all.

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

    @Dean 122:

    Well said. It’s a bit like herbal remedies. There is a lot of nonsense, mixed in with some useful bits. The useful bits eventually get incorporated into science-based medicine. The fact that some useful bits exist is used by merchants of woo to suggest that the rest of it is useful and/or science-based medicine is wrong.

    People like myself never mocked the idea of doing a massive inventory of surface stations. We mocked people like Watts for only showing warm-biased stations in his posts and claiming/insinuating that the longterm warming was being significantly driven by citing issues without demonstrating it using evidence. That a paper eventually came of it is good! But that hardly excuses the countless “not IPCC”, self-contradictory posts that make up the rest of it.

  • Tom Fuller

    Burn her. She turned Tb into a newt! But he didn’t get better…

  • Sashka

    @ TB

    >I suggest that it’s ridiculous to promote a model that flies against the body of evidence amassed to date about the behavior of the climate system without extraordinary supporting evidence.

    I suggest that you simply want to stifle the dissenting view.
     

  • kdk33

    Suggest? 

    I’m not sure tb could have said it more clearly. 

    OTOH, we shouldn’t interrupt tb while he’s taking the test – i think there’s a time limit.

  • Sashka

    @ Dean 122

    >The mainstream (most of them) avoids them because of what they are.

    I’d say it’s because the mainstream has nothing to win there. In the best case, they can win an argument against “nobody” thus earning no credit. It the worst case, there is a potential for embarrassment.

    It is much easier to look down upon skeptics from their high academic perches while mutually peer-reviewing piles of predominantly meaningless papers.

  • huxley

    Dean @ 122: Dr. Curry’s blog functions at several levels — scientific, social and political. Odds are that JC and her Denizans are not going to determine “the facts of how nature works” any more than Keith Kloor’s  blog or even RealClimate.

    Blogs are not scientific journals. Blog discussions are not mechanisms for “coming up with the correct result.” If that’s what you have in mind, I would say you are looking for a climate catechism class, and you are welcome to it.

    But that’s not what I am looking for. I want to read articles, ask questions, make mistakes, rethink my positions, ask more questions, learn what others think, watch who gives the best answers, rethink my positions again, etc.

    In other words I want to make up my own mind. And that seems to be a very large problem for the climate orthodox unless they can make sure I “come up with the correct result.” I don’t appreciate that approach anymore than I did in my real catechism classes as a child.

    I am talking about democracy. Climate issues are now part of our political campaigns. I am doing my due diligence as a citizen. I am not a supplicant for the approved climate wisdom. I suggest that the climate orthodox make their peace with people like me, especially if they want our votes for their policies.

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

    @127 Sashka:
    I suggest that you simply want to stifle the dissenting view.

    @128 kdk33:
    Suggest? 
    I’m not sure tb could have said it more clearly.

    On the contrary. As long as it’s backed by evidence, I welcome dissenting views. However, the more extraordinary the claim, the greater the supporting evidence.

    Promoting the ludicrous suggestion that humans aren’t responsible for the rise in CO2 because it’s contrarian and the speaker is a former colleague doesn’t exactly amount to extraordinary evidence

  • Sashka

    TB,

    Are we still talking about Lemke or you have changed the subject already? I was asking about why Lemke’s post is “crankery” above.

  • kdk33

    TB#131,

    Perhaps you could clarify what you mean by “promote”.  Is Judith now arguing the humans aren’t responsible for the rise in CO2, or did she give a contrarian an opportunity to speak (for whatever reason).

    Why are you so threatened by communication?  How far are you willing to go to stop contrarians viewpoints from reaching ‘the public’?

    The IQ test I think you are failing (maybe different than #60) is this: “the people – the ignorant huddled masses” evaluate the veracity of your claims on many levels.  When they see you attempting to limit the information they recieve, they don’t trust you, and your done from there. 

    People are smarter than you think.

  • Tom Fuller

    Frank Lemke: “The primary question is not whether CO2 ““ or any other single factor ““ drives global warming, but first of all, whether the modeling approach is adequate to describe the system under research.”

    Thingsbreak: “Promoting the ludicrous suggestion that humans aren’t responsible for the rise in CO2… doesn’t exactly amount to extraordinary evidence.”

     The man is talking about models. You accuse him of promoting an idea that he doesn’t even mention.

    Truly vile. 

  • huxley

    …”the people ““ the ignorant huddled masses” evaluate the veracity of your claims on many levels.  When they see you attempting to limit the information they recieve, they don’t trust you, and your done from there.

    kdk33: Yep. That’s the IQ test.

    It seems to me that climate scientists and their supporters are shooting their toes off with this behavior. I ask “What is your strategy?” to see if they’ve thought it through.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @TF

    “ The man is talking about models. You accuse him of promoting an idea that he doesn’t even mention.”

    And yet if you follow the link that Frank Lemke provides in his post at JC’s you get this:

    “To say it upfront: It is NOT CO2. Not necessarily and not exclusively. Looking at observational data by high-performance self-organizing predictive knowledge mining, it is not confirmed that atmospheric CO2 is the major force of global warming. In fact, no direct influence of CO2 on global temperature has been identified for the best models. This is what the data are seriously telling us. If we believe them, it is the sun, ozone, aerosols, and clouds – and possibly other forces not considered in this model – that drive global temperature in an interdependent and complex way.”

    Help me understand, because I don’t get it. 

  • Tom Fuller

    #136, he is talking about models, not the climate. RTFP.

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

    @134 Tom Fuller:
    The man is talking about models. You accuse him of promoting an idea that he doesn’t even mention.
    Truly vile. 

    You’re conflating (unintentionally, I hope) two complaints.

    A) The non-anthro-CO2-rise garbage that Curry was promoting was Salby.

    B) Lemke is promoting a model of drivers of surface temperature that ostensibly exculpates CO2 (which we know is wrong), and explains the actual temperature record less well than the mainstream (e.g. Lean and Rind 2008).

    Two different complaints. If B at least did as good or a better job of explaining the surface record, I might somewhat understand why Curry would entertain something that goes against everything we know about CO2 and climate.

  • Tom Fuller

    You are incredible, TB. Not just vile. This is Curry’s promoting? “I don’t have time to dig into this issue right now, so I’m throwing the topic open for discussion, hoping for some enlightenment (or at least confusion) from the Denizens” (http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/24/co2-discussion-thread/)

    Lemke is not promoting a model of drivers of surface temperature. He is criticizing the non-utility of current models. I have read that post three times. He does not promote a model anywhere in there.

    So: You don’t tell the truth about Salby. You don’t tell the truth about Lemke. And you use your non-truths as a basis for condemning Curry. Because she gave them space on her blog.

    Why don’t you go over to Stoat and start grumbling about bozos? You’re just making a fool of yourself here–at least there you’ll be in good company.

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

    @139 Tom Fuller:
    This is Curry’s promoting?

    No, this is:
    I just finished listening to Murry Salby’s podcast on Climate Change and Carbon.  Wow.

    If Salby’s analysis holds up, this could revolutionize AGW science.  Salby and I were both at the University of Colorado-Boulder in the 1990″²s, but I don’t know him well personally.  He is the author of a popular introductory graduate text Fundamentals of Atmospheric Physics.  He is an excellent lecturer and teacher, which comes across in his podcast.  He has the reputation of a thorough and careful researcher.  While all this is frustratingly preliminary without publication, slides, etc., it is sufficiently important that we should start talking about these issues.

    Tom Fuller:
    Lemke is not promoting a model of drivers of surface temperature.

    What else would you call something that tries to predict the surface temperature behavior using a limited number of inputs?

    I have read that post three times. He does not promote a model anywhere in there.

    Perhaps you skipped over this part?
    A recent post in our Global Warming Prediction Project discusses the question “What Drives Global Warming?”

    The “What Drives Global Warming?” is the same material referenced @136.

    To say it upfront: It is NOT CO2. Not necessarily and not exclusively. Looking at observational data by high-performance self-organizing predictive knowledge mining, it is not confirmed that atmospheric CO2 is the major force of global warming. In fact, no direct influence of CO2 on global temperature has been identified for the best models. This is what the data are seriously telling us. If we believe them, it is the sun, ozone, aerosols, and clouds – and possibly other forces not considered in this model – that drive global temperature in an interdependent and complex way.

    Tom Fuller:
    So: You don’t tell the truth about Salby. You don’t tell the truth about Lemke.

    Tom, your apparently abysmal reading comprehension != me not telling the truth.

    as a basis for condemning Curry. Because she gave them space on her blog.

    This thread is about Curry’s legacy. People are pointing out why it’s becoming associated with crankery. If she doesn’t want to be associated with crankery, it might be a good idea for her to stop promoting it on her blog. Just a thought!

    You’re just making a fool of yourself here

    Uh huh.

  • Tom Fuller

    You’re the one ‘pointing out’ (whining like a 4-year-old that she actually lets unauthorized commentary) that her website is associated with crankery. Not people. You.

    Do you even read what you have in your ‘comment?’  Lemke is obviously talking about what can be gleaned from the current generation of models. You’re just looking for a club to beat Curry with. You’ve adopted the Fox News technique–doesn’t matter what happens, it can be twisted to beat your enemy.

    As for Salby, if he were right it would be revolutionary. Why wouldn’t Curry give him space? Oh, that’s right–Godhead Gavin didn’t approve in advance.

  • Sashka

    TB,

    It’s who is conflating two issues, clearly intentionally. In 113 you accused JC in “promoting” “crankery” with link to Lemke, not to Salby.

    >which we know is wrong

    When you say “know” you mean based on the models that you like or something else? And you like those models because …?

  • EdG

    Interesting discussion. But TB, I am confused. You seem to be upset that JC’s site promotes or encourages what you just called “crankery” yet I see the same range – if not the same depth – of discussion here.

    So what exactly is the difference? Is is just that JC thinks differently (now) than Keith?

    If so, your point seems pointless.

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

    @141 Tom Fuller:
    Lemke is obviously talking about what can be gleaned from the current generation of models.

    What part of:
    To say it upfront: It is NOT CO2. Not necessarily and not exclusively. Looking at observational data by high-performance self-organizing predictive knowledge mining, it is not confirmed that atmospheric CO2 is the major force of global warming. In fact, no direct influence of CO2 on global temperature has been identified for the best models. This is what the data are seriously telling us. If we believe them, it is the sun, ozone, aerosols, and clouds ““ and possibly other forces not considered in this model ““ that drive global temperature in an interdependent and complex way.

    do you not understand? He’s talking about his own models of drivers of the surface temperature record there. Which, not incidentally, have less explanatory power than the mainstream.

    Tom Fuller:
    As for Salby, if he were right it would be revolutionary. Why wouldn’t Curry give him space?

    If vaccines caused autism, it would be revolutionary. Why shouldn’t pediatricians promote it? If carrot juice enemas cured colo-rectal cancer, it would be revolutionary. Why shouldn’t oncologists promote it? If life was intelligently designed, it would be revolutionary. Why shouldn’t biologists promote it? Etc.

    @142 Sashka:
    When you say “know” you mean based on the models that you like or something else? And you like those models because “¦?

    Radiative transfer, paleoclimatic data, obs+ theoretical calculation, etc. Sure, modern GCMs are an additional line of evidence.

  • Blair

    #124 Steven wrote:”She’s roused the “˜skeptic’ rabble with her authoritative bafflegab. That’s all, but that’s enough, because “that rabble have a disproportionately large voice now in climate change response policy. And that’s a tragedy.”

    Steven do you read what you are writing? Climate change response policy is “bafflegab” for fundamental changes to the international economic system and you are suggesting that it is a tragedy that the “rabble” have a “disproportionate” voice in the suggested changes? I’m guessing that is compared to the voice you feel they deserve? You do understand that we no longer live in an absolute monarchy and that the “rabble” are allowed a say in the manner in which they will be governed?

  • kdk33

    TB,
    You continue bandying about the word “promote”.  What exactly do you mean?

  • huxley

    thingsbreak: The Lancet published a paper that vaccines cause autism and The Lancet is one of the top medical journals in the world. It’s not a blog run freelance by a professor at Georgia Tech, who throws a wide range of topics up for discussion and allows a similar range of responses.

    I’m not happy that The Lancet ran that vaccination paper but what I don’t get is the vein bulging in your forehead about Judith Curry and her blog.

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

    @146 kdk33:
    You continue bandying about the word “promote”.  What exactly do you mean?

    Highlight, present, raise visibility of, focus attention on, etc.

    Although I realize that fixating on word choice in order to derail discussion is a favorite sport at some blogs, I’d rather avoid it. Please feel free to substitute any synonym that you find acceptable as long as my meaning is left intact, so that we keep the forest (vs. any given tree) in sight.

  • BBD

    TB says: don’t muddle; the stakes are high.

    Others say: help, I’m being oppressed.

    TB makes a reasonable point. Others feel that freedom of speech comes in to it somewhere.

    Continual harping on uncertainty is unhelpful. Continued focus on a spread of likely outcomes focusses the mind.

    It’s not what can we talk about, it’s what should we talk about.

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

    @147 huxley:
    I think the analogy with The Lancet would be comporable if Salby’s presentation and Curry’s subsequent highlighting on her blog took place decades ago when Callender and later Keeling were trying to suss out what was going on, rather than in 2011.

    Would you agree that pediatricians, or the CDC, or similar would be doing something incredibly irresponsible by promoting the idea that vaccines cause autism now?

  • kdk33

    TB,

    I’m not the least bit interesting in derailing your commentary.  I find it fascinating and illuminating.

    Generally, when I read “promote”, I’m thinking “try to sell”, which has a different meaning than say “present” or “highlight”.

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

    @149 BBD:

    I think you raise a good point:

    You hear a lot of “skeptics” raise issues of “democracy”, “being heard”, “having a seat at the table”, etc. It’s an understandable desire. It’s not one that the sociology of science handles well, for many good reasons, and a few bad ones. Science is a meritocracy, not a democracy. However, in order for us to avoid the outcome we’re hoping to avoid, we have to somehow translate the non-science but understandable desire to be a part of the process into something positive.

    Climate “skeptics” sites have taken advantage of that desire, in a big way. They are letting Joe and Jane Doe (and admittedly some Joe and Jane Engineers) feel like they have a say in the science, through “auditing”, the surface stations project etc.

    Mainstream science has tried to do that, but with much less success, with distributed computing, citizen science projects about tracking phenology, etc. I think there are pushes to have citizen-science projects digitize historical meteorological data as well.

    I sympathize completely from an emotional standpoint with the people who feel like they’re just becoming aware of the issue, and are being railroaded by groups who have already “decided” things. Likewise, I sympathize with those in relevant fields who have been participating in or learned the history of the long, drawn out process of building evidence that has been going on in some sense since the 1800s and in earnest since the 1970s.

  • BBD

    TB

    Science is a meritocracy, not a democracy.

    There it is. What can sugar this pill?

  • huxley

    thingsbreak: But The Lancet did promote the vaccine-autism link even when there was a substantial, if not majority, medical opinion against that thesis at the time. Yet The Lancet is not a freewheeling blog.

    Climate Etc. is a freewheeling blog with looser standards and no doubt opinions you don’t like. I’m not terribly upset.

    Dr. Curry sometimes presents material that she will turn into papers or presentations, but for the most part the articles are whatever is on her mind — just this week there was a women-in-academia piece written by a man — but it’s not set in stone, it’s not wisdom for the ages or peer review. If that’s not your cup of tea, fine.

    Curry’s long-term strategy is to bring people to a greater knowledge and acceptance of orthodox climate science. One can argue whether that strategy will work or not, but the way so many of the climate orthodox jump on her with hobnailed boots reinforces my impression that they don’t have the facts and reason to make their case and that deep down they are authoritarians.

    That’s a terrible impression to make if you want my vote.

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

    @141 huxley:

    thingsbreak: But The Lancet did promote the vaccine-autism link even when there was a substantial, if not majority, medical opinion against that thesis at the time. Yet The Lancet is not a freewheeling blog.

    Really? I want aware that anyone had really looked at the issue in depth prior to the Lancet paper (which, it should be noted, was based on faked data). Admittedly, I haven’t looked at the literature lately, but my recollection was that the Wakefield paper prompted subsequent reviews, rather than a large body of evidence existing prior.

  • Tom Fuller

    Yeah, TB, you’re better off changing the subject, given your tawdry behavior. But Wakefield had been the subject of numerous articles prior to the Lancet piece.

    So where’s your condemnation of the Lancet? They were clearly promoting anti-vax, anti-science claptrap. I’m sure you’ve got enough firewood for them too. 

  • kdk33

    It’s not what can we talk about, it’s what should we talk about.

    …and that depends, very much, on what you are trying to accomplish, which is something to think about.

    Science is a meritocracy

    Similarly Exxon/Mobil, BP/Amoco, and Enron.  I’m not sure you have a point.

  • huxley

    BBD @ 153: Science is a meritocracy…

    That must be why climate scientists so often base their arguments on consensus.

    That must be why the Climategate scientists were so busy deleting or threatening to delete emails and data, losing data, rigging peer review, censoring, deleting, and banning skeptics in blog discussions, fudging data presentations, running PR campaigns with docile journalists etc.

    That must be why the IPCC contains unchecked claims from the World Wildlife Fund or a politically motivated phone conversation.

    That must be why the previous generation of doom-and-gloom scientists made all sorts of false claims about the imminent demise of the oceans and deaths of billions of people and enjoyed healthy careers at premier universities or even made it to the White House.

    Whatever the case for science may be, the United States is a democracy, or more accurately a constitutional republic. If scientists want their  climate policies carried out, they will have to persuade the citizenry that they are honest and competent and that they’ve got the real goods on climate change.

    So far climate scientists don’t look all that honest or competent, much less meritocratic. Go ahead and blame Judith Curry or the skeptics. That will fix it.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    Science and Exxon/Mobil are seekers after different things.

    This is a good example of the unhelpful confusion that commenters like TB object to.

  • BBD

    huxley

    Imagine the opposite. Imagine that you did bad things for a good reason. It’s not unusual.

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

    @115, 126, 156 Tom Fuller:

    Please knock it off, Tom. Thanks.

  • Tom Fuller

    Thingsbreak, your attacks on Judith Curry are scurrilous. I’m not going to ‘knock off’ pointing out behavior that is in my opinion reprehensible. You want to talk about climate? Talk about climate. You want to discredit someone’s scientific capabilities based on who she allows to contribute to a weblog? Go find out where Tobis is hanging out and have a grumble session with him.

  • harrywr2

    Dean Says:
    <i> But determining the facts of how nature work is not a democratic process in the same way that determining public policy is.</i>
    Apparently she is a tenured Phd which makes her qualified to conduct ‘classroom discussion’ as she see’s fit.
     

  • kdk33

    @BBD:  Science and Exxon/Mobil are seekers after different things.
    So what?  We are talking about meritocracies.  Hw are scientic merits awarded?

  • http://www.skepticalscience.com Steven Sullivan

    kdk makes my day with this gem:

    “Science is a meritocracy

    Similarly Exxon/Mobil, BP/Amoco, and Enron.  I’m not sure you have a point.”
    BWAHAHAHAHAHA!
    Corporate America, a meritocracy on par with science?  If you believe that I have a golden parachute to sell you.


     

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

    @162 Tom Fuller:
    You want to discredit someone’s scientific capabilities based on who she allows to contribute to a weblog?

    The topic isn’t Judith’s “scientific capabilities”.

    Keith asked: “What do you think Curry’s impact has been since she’s become a self-described radical?”

    It’s unfortunate that you think my comments amount to “scurrilous attacks” on Judith. I am expressing my opinion of what a large part of her impact has been- promoting nonsense. It’s unfortunate, and I hope her legacy ends up being something much different.

    I’ll thank you to stop putting words in my mouth, especially those indicating that I want to burn Curry as some sort of heretic/witch, for merely expressing my answer to Keith’s topic.

  • Tom Fuller

    When you stop ascribing motives to Curry and trashing her reputation as much as you possibly can, come back and see me. 

    As for Curry’s impact, nobody’s writing blog posts about you, me or even Keith. 

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

    @154 huxley:
    the way so many of the climate orthodox jump on her with hobnailed boots reinforces my impression that they don’t have the facts and reason to make their case and that deep down they are authoritarians.
    That’s a terrible impression to make if you want my vote.

    Can I ask how someone could discriminate between criticizing someone they see as giving credibility to nonsense (again, compare this to a biologist promoting ID on a personal blog) and a given discipline’s “orthodox jump[ing] on someone with hobnailed boots” in way that “reinforces your impression that they don’t have the facts and reason to make their case and that deep down they are authoritarians”?

  • Tom Fuller

    You’re the only one comparing her to a biologist writing about intelligent design. And that’s because you would do so mo matter what she wrote or who she showcased on her blog.

  • kdk33

    Tom,

    enough already.  and I like you.

  • Tom Fuller

    I like you too. But your words have consequences and live on long past the passions that inspire them. Trust me on that one.

  • kdk33

    TB, BBD,

    You guys need to decide what you are trying to accomplish.  Do you want to be part of cliimate science club? do you want to do science? do you want to promote (in the sell sense) certain energy policy.

    If you want to be part of the club, then you’re on the right track – don’t talk about, or appear to entertain, anything to… well unorthodox.

    If you want to do science, then it should not bother you one wit that wacky, silly ideas are out there.  Debunking them would be good excercise and many would contain a kernal of something interesting. 

    If you want to promote policy, then you’ll need to come to terrms with how badly your current approach does not work – and I think the evidence here is clear.

    it’s up to you.

  • http://rabett.blogspot.com Eli Rabett

    For the Lord’s sake, give Tom his medicines.

  • Tom Fuller

    Whoops! Sorry kdk33, thought that was tb. But I like you too.

  • kdk33

    But your words have consequences and live on long past the passions that inspire them.

    Tom, buddy, we’re commenting on a mildly trafficked blog site about a topic that ain’t really top on peoples list these day.  Don’t take it too seriously. 

    I don’t mind you going after TB, but it’s cluttering up the conversation.  You’re stealing my joy  :-) .

  • Tom Fuller

    Didn’t mean to steal any joy. Carry on!

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

    @172 kdk33:
    don’t talk about, or appear to entertain, anything to”¦ well unorthodox.

    This is silly. Unorthodox ideas, supported by analyses and evidence, are most welcome (the obviously the amount expected scales with the extraordinariness of the claim)!

    The problem isn’t anyone being “unorthodox”. It’s the lack of sufficient evidence to justify promoting it. I asked Curry point blank many times to state simply what scientifically (not “he is a former colleague, not “it’s contrarian”) she found to be worthwhile in Salby’s presentation. She has yet to do so.

    Want to build a data/”Knowledge” mining model that takes various inputs and predicts the surface temperature record? Great! If your model simultaneously finds something nonsensical (i.e. CO2 has no importance) and has less explanatory ability than the mainstream, you better have some mind-blowing justification for why someone should take it seriously.

    There are people making “unorthodox” (in the sense that they’re new or previously unexplored) claims all the time, and backing them with evidence- look at the examples of Lockwood or Ineson I mentioned earlier.

    I love unorthodox ideas posed as thought experiments, or when backed by sufficient evidence, legitimate challenges to the mainstream. The modern conception of climate science itself is, after all, an example of exactly that. I don’t think it’s remotely beneficial to anyone to present nonsense as “potentially revolutionary” or whatever when one cannot even say what scientifically is supposed to be so persuasive about it.

    And when someone does that kind of thing in an area where the consequences are more than academic, I am going to give my honest opinion when asked.

    it should not bother you one wit that wacky, silly ideas are out there.

    Should it bother people that creationism is “out there” in the way that it is (i.e. potentially impacting the general public’s education)? I think it should in that sense. If it was just a silly belief held by a few people here and there with no implications for the rest of us, I don’t think it would be such a big deal.

    If you want to promote policy, then you’ll need to come to terrms with how badly your current approach does not work ““ and I think the evidence here is clear.

    I don’t want to promote any particular policy, but I agree with you. [Although I think that things might very much be different in a different economy, had we not had organized denial campaigns (which, absolutely, are not the same thing as say Lucia or CA) for several decades, or the rejection of any perceived threat to industry become increasingly a part of the political platform of one of the two parties in this country, etc.]
    I do think that it’s inarguable that those in favor of emissions stabilization have also made many serious mistakes. Though I also think the nature of the problem (literally invisible pollution; upfront price to forestall distant, dispersed, unseen damages some won’t even be alive for; etc.) is arguably one of the hardest imaginable to solve.

  • kdk33

    TB,

    I appreciate your response.  What I see JC saying with regards to Lemke is this:

    quote 1:  I think this is a fascinating methodology

    quote 2:  Conclusions regarding AGW and the role of CO2 cannot be drawn from 23 years of data

    She is “promoting” a kernal of something interesting.  She clearly is not ceding any conclusions from this work.  Lemke may be “out there”.  He may get somewhere; maybe not.  Who cares?  It’s science, let him try.

    Regarding the disinformation campaign – and I assume you mean intentional – why do you think otherwise intelligent, succesfull people (big oil, etc) want to intentionally destroy the planet for the grandkids?  I realize you aren’t the only one, but I find the idea bizarre, so I’m genuinely curious to know what you think might motivate these folks.

  • kdk33

    BBD,

    I imagine you are now sleeping.  If you return, I am curious to hear your answer to my question in #164.

    Also, I’ve been working through Archer’s “the global carbon cycle”.  He has some interesting words on milankovitch cycles and glacial/interglacial:  “the wobbles in earth’s orbit don’t change the total amount of sunlight that the earth receives by very much, but they change the distribution of the sunlight…”

    So perhaps I’m closer to answering your question:  how can a small change in insolation cause such large changes in climate (paraphrase).  But I still have much to learn.

  • sharper00

    “I asked Curry point blank many times to state simply what scientifically (not “he is a former colleague, not “it’s contrarian”) she found to be worthwhile in Salby’s presentation. She has yet to do so.”

    I asked the same (specifically how a “revolution” of that type could possibly be integrated with existing knowledge) and she saw fit to delete the comment. Given what she allowed stand on that thread it says a lot. Many claims are made about not having time to moderate properly, which is fair enough, but where moderation does happen it reveals clearly the purpose of the blog.

  • Keith Kloor

    Tom Fuller,

    You have become Judith’s self-appointed protector. But you defend her like a growling pitbull. Rein it in.

    kdk33 (172)

    “If you want to do science, then it should not bother you one wit that wacky, silly ideas are out there.  Debunking them would be good excercise and many would contain a kernal of something interesting.”

    This is a fair point. But it’s also fair of TB and others to ask if it’s constructive for a scientist to lend “wacky, silly ideas” a legitimate air by treating them seriously.
      

  • kdk33

    KK,

    It very much depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

    What harm do you see?

  • BBD

    kdk33

    What relevance does you question @164 have? What is your point? Be clear.

    WRT Milankovitch – absolute insolation doesn’t change very much (said that) but regional does (didn’t emphasis – too much confusion already on that thread). There is no difference – it’s still RF.

    Small changes in RF.

    That terminate a glacial. Not possible with low CS. If you were to stop talking and think about it hard for a minute, it should be obvious.
    Your refusal to accept the obvious is puzzling.

    You mention energy policy above. I have been abundantly clear on this: nuclear to displace coal from baseload, asap.

  • Judith Curry

    Sharper 00, your statement is almost certaintly incorrect, i 99.99% doubt I have deleted any of your comments, the only comments that I delete are comments that are way off topic on a thread that is declared to be a technical thread.

    With regards to TB’s question:  I wrote an entire post on Salby’s presentation, then get asked a question what I think is worthwhile, which begs the issue of the original post.

    I get about 11,000 comments a month at Climate Etc., almost 400 per day.  I personally answer very few of them.  Comments are only deleted on technical threads if they are way of topic.  On occasion, i have deleted duplicative posts (after the same person saying the same thing about 10 times).

  • BBD

    kdk33
    Regarding the disinformation campaign ““ and I assume you mean intentional ““ why do you think otherwise intelligent, succesfull people (big oil, etc) want to intentionally destroy the planet for the grandkids?  I realize you aren’t the only one, but I find the idea bizarre, so I’m genuinely curious to know what you think might motivate these folks.


    You are surely just provoking here? The FF industry exchanges energy sources for money. It doesn’t ‘care’ about anything else. That’s not its function.


    Its ‘aim’ is to self-propagate using the profits from the sale of energy sources.


    That’s what ‘motivates these folks’. Anything that gets in the way is a problem to be solved, one way or another. That’s all.

  • BBD

    I get the impression that you do not have much contact with corporate executives.

  • Tom Fuller

    Keith, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I was on the receiving end of a similar campaign trademarked smear and discredit by the same group of climate dittoheads.

    The garbage had an effect on me. If I can spare Dr. Curry from similar distress, I will go after those who use the same tactics. Whether I  do it here or not is of course entirely up to you.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @184
    IOW no comment on TB’s questions?  

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

    @188 Marlowe Johnson:

    At some point, you would think the constant evasions would become too much for her more rationally-minded defenders to ignore.

  • Sashka

    @ KK  (181)

    If you are looking for pitbulls there are much better candidates here.

  • BBD

    TB @ 177

    Very well put. Eg:

    I love unorthodox ideas posed as thought experiments, or when backed by sufficient evidence, legitimate challenges to the mainstream. The modern conception of climate science itself is, after all, an example of exactly that. I don’t think it’s remotely beneficial to anyone to present nonsense as “potentially revolutionary” or whatever when one cannot even say what scientifically is supposed to be so persuasive about it.



  • kdk33

    BBD

    it’s a fairly simple question.  You say Science is a different meritocracy than the corporate exmples I gave.  I asked, “how are scientific merits awarded”.  This helps me understand why you think it is different.

    I’ll answer your question as follows:  The climate is not reacting to changes in total insolation, it is reacting to the distribution.  Changing distribution allows ice sheets to advance/retreat changing albedo and cooling/warming the planet.   The planets sensitivity to Milankovitch cycles doesn’t speak to climate sensitivity to CO2.

    The ff industry is in reality a collection of people.  Relative to the general population they are intelligent, educated, and technically literate.  They love their children and grand kids; they enjoy the outdoors; many are environmentalists; some are even democrats.  I assure you that they very much “care”.  Your belief that there is an evil ff effort to trick people into destroying the planet, is perhaps one you should re-examine.

  • Keith Kloor

    Tom (187):

    You have a thin skin and maybe that’s why you’re no longer blogging. But the fact is, anyone who writes for a newspaper or any media outlet–be it as a reporter or blogger, or whatever–should be prepared to withstand all manner of rebuke, whether it’s deserved or not. 

    I’m not familiar with the the treatment you received, but it sounds like it was largely confined to comment threads and forums such as this, which is even less cause to get riled up. Why would you allow blog readers/commenters to have that effect on you? 

    So maybe you are projecting a bit with respect to Judith, as I doubt she’s taking it as personally as you seem to. What matters more is what her peers say, not what (mostly) anonymous commenters say.
     

  • BBD

    kdk33

    it’s a fairly simple question.  You say Science is a different meritocracy than the corporate exmples I gave.  I asked, “how are scientific merits awarded”.  This helps me understand why you think it is different.

    This is still unintelligible.


    The planets sensitivity to Milankovitch cycles doesn’t speak to climate sensitivity to CO2.

    Ah. I see. RF from CO2 is special. Different. Except that it isn’t. It’s just RF.

    I have tried to explain this on the other thread and clearly failed. Can someone else attempt to show kdk33 why he has not understood the following:

    Small push = big change = high climate sensitivity.


    Your belief that there is an evil ff effort to trick people into destroying the planet, is perhaps one you should re-examine.

    I think what you should re-examine is my comment. The word ‘evil’ seems to have appeared out of nowhere. I repeat: you don’t understand the corporate mind-set. You don’t appear to be familiar with it. I’d be wary of defending it if I were you. 

    Forget the FF industry for a minute and think generally about the probity and responsibility that characterises so much of corporate activity.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    To help TF moderate his language and have some fun while we’re at it, I propose a new drinking game along the lines of this one.  Drinks are to be consumed whenever the following words are uttered by Tom:

    - vile (2 drinks)
    - scurrilous (1 drink; 2 if used improperly in a sentence)
    - mean-spirited (1 drink)
    - slime (1 drink; 2 if aimed at Tobis)
    - tawdry (1 drink)
    - reprehensible (1 drink)
    - ‘climate dittohead’ (2 drinks)

    Remember, don’t drink and drive!
     

  • BobN

    BBD – At 65N, the summer solstice insolation changes by over seeveral 10s of W/m2 through the Milankovitch cycles.  Seems to me that this could have drastic impact on the ability (or inability) of accumulated snow and ice to melt or vice-versa, leading to albedo feedbacks, as well as potentially altering global atmospheric circulation patterns and cloud formation.  All without much of a change in net radiation.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:InsolationSummerSolstice65N.png

  • sharper00

    #184

    “Sharper 00, your statement is almost certaintly incorrect, i 99.99% doubt I have deleted any of your comments, the only comments that I delete are comments that are way off topic on a thread that is declared to be a technical thread.”

    The uncertainty analysis should probably include a greater than 0.01% chance of a comment being deleted. I also made note of it at the time on TB’s journal and the characterisation I made of it here is similar to what I wrote at the time so I think my memory is working pretty reliably. 

    Of course it’s also possible your finger slipped while deleting something else. A particular deletion or moderation isn’t really notable but the pattern revealed over time is. People will pay attention to which comments you respond to, how you respond to them and draw conclusions from that.

  • Agnostic

    thingsbreak 168:

    “Can I ask how someone could discriminate between criticizing someone they see as giving credibility to nonsense…”

    You make two assumptions, that Dr Curry is ‘giving credibility’ and that the posts she hosts are ‘nonsense’.

    WRT the Lemke thread, if you think it is nonsense, then you should state clearly why. If your case is sound you can extend it further to legitimately opine to Dr Curry that posts like that undermine the credibility of her blog. She may well disagree and argue that in pointing out the flaws many things were learnt or seen in a new light.

    I suggest having another close look at the Lemke post and putting aside your preconceptions for a while. Have a look at some of the more worthy comments and consider them. If you still think it is nonsense, I think there would be a lot of people interested in your reasons why.

    It is to Dr Curry’s credit that she is not so closed minded as to disallow the possibility of ‘black swans’. if you don’t know what it is I mean by this, there is an extremely interesting post and discussion on Judith’s site about it and I highly commend it to you.

    There are some highly knowledgable people who are denizens at Climate Etc who have some pretty interesting questions about the orthodox view of climate science. They are not rabid right-wing polticos (although you will find those as well – on both sides), but genuinely intrigued scientists and engineers who make extremely interesting challenges to the standard view.

    If you are sincere in your search for ‘truth’ or a ‘truer’ understanding of the science those questions need to be addressed – and no they haven’t really been yet – not satisfactorily. But if you think you have the answers we would love to hear them.

  • Tom Fuller

    Keith, imagine what would happen if Curry complained at all about treatment at her site or anybody else’s. The dittoheads would be all over her about being thin-skinned and find a politically oh-so-correct way to wonder if gender was an issue. Can’t stand the heat, Curry? Get outta da kitchen.

    As for what happened to me, the fools on the threads were just one part of it. Lies about my military service, emails to my (now ex) employer, the usual garbage from these enlightened servants of a new generation and a new way of thinking.

    And Keith, you’re not as thick-skinned as all that–so while I certainly don’t object to your reminders to  try and stay within the limits of house rules, let’s just leave it at that.  

  • Marlowe Johnson

    For those keeping track, I’m calling +1 drink for ‘dittoheads’ as he didn’t put ‘climate’ in front ;-)

  • kdk33

    BBD,

    I am disappointed you find my question confusing.  I’ll simply point out that it is impossible to have a meritocracy without a mechanism for awarding merit.

    I think my answer to your question is satisfactory, and I am disappointed you find it not so.  I did rather enjoy tracking down the answer, so I very much appreciate your having asked.

    It simply isn’t credible, to me anyway, that a large group of intelligent, educated, technically literate, successfull people (the FF industry) are conspiring to destroy the planet – and that is what you imply when you say “disinformation campaign”.  I’d also offer that these kinds of claims do little to enhance the credibility of the “climate movement”.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    You are being obtuse.

    From Hansen & Sato (2011) Earth’s energy imbalance and implications:

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/…/20110826_EnergyImbalancePaper.pdf

    Now let us turn to a more general discussion of climate feedbacks, which determine climate sensitivity. Feedbacks do not come into play coincident with a forcing. Instead they occur in response to global temperature change.

    ‘Fast feedbacks’ appear almost immediately in response to global temperature change. For example, as Earth becomes warmer the atmosphere holds more water vapor. Water vapor is an amplifying fast feedback, because water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas. Other fast feedbacks include clouds, natural aerosols, snow cover and sea ice.

    ‘Slow feedbacks’ may lag global temperature change by decades, centuries, millennia, or longer time scales. Principal slow feedbacks are surface albedo and long-lived GHGs. These feedbacks are the reason huge climate oscillations occur on millennial time scales in response to seemingly minor perturbations of Earth’s orbit that alter the geographical and seasonal distribution of sunlight on Earth.

    Surface albedo refers to the reflectivity of continents. Ice sheet area, continental area, and vegetation cover affect surface albedo and temperature, and hydrologic effects associated with vegetation change also contribute to global temperature change. Numerical experiments (Hansen et al., 1984) indicate that ice sheet area is the dominant surface feedback in glacial to interglacial climate change, so ice sheet area is a useful proxy for the entire slow surface feedback in Pleistocene climate variations. Surface albedo is an amplifying feedback, because the amount of solar energy absorbed by Earth increases when ice and snow area decreases.

    GHGs are also an amplifying feedback on millennial time scales, as warming ocean and soils drive more CO2, CH4 and N2O into the air. This amplifying GHG feedback occurs because the atmosphere exchanges carbon and nitrogen with other surface reservoirs (ocean, soil, biosphere).

  • huxley

    Imagine the opposite. Imagine that you did bad things for a good reason. It’s not unusual.

    BBD @ 159: No, it’s not unusual. Half the horrors of world history can be explained that way.

    However, I’m not interested in excuses. Nor do I want to hear any more guff about how scientists are meritocratic and their work is above criticism unless someone can get it past possibly rigged peer review and into the right journals.

    At this point I don’t trust climate scientists and I’ve seen little since Climategate to persuade me that these scientists have stopped doing “bad things for a good reason.” Just yesterday a story broke that an IPCC backchannel had been set up to hide correspondence from FOI requests. We’ll have to wait to see how that story pans out of course,  but this is hardly the only instance I can cite of climate science untrustworthiness.

    If the case for climate science is so strong, we do we keep seeing all this dodgy behavior, as well as hearing these mob-like howls against Dr. Curry?

  • BBD

    kdk33

    Once you’ve had a proper think about that, continue:

    2.1. Fast-feedback climate sensitivity

    Climate sensitivity including all fast-feedback processes is especially important. Climate change on the time scale of a century or less is determined by the fast-feedback sensitivity, with moderate correction for slow feedback effects. A singular merit of the (all) fast-feedback climate sensitivity is that it can be evaluated empirically from paleoclimate data with an accuracy far exceeding the potential accuracy of climate models in any foreseeable time frame.

    Fast-feedback climate sensitivity can be derived from paleoclimate data because averaged over sufficient time Earth must be in quasi-equilibrium with its ‘boundary forcings’. By boundary forcings we mean factors such as solar irradiance, continental locations, ice sheet distribution, and long-lived GHGs such as CO2, CH4 and N2O that affect the planet’s energy balance. By quasi-equilibrium we mean that the planet is in radiation balance with space within a small fraction of 1 W/m2. For example, averaged over several millennia of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM, which peaked about 20,000 years ago) and averaged over the Holocene (prior to the time of large human-made changes) the mean planetary energy imbalance was small. This assertion is proven by considering the contrary: a sustained imbalance of 1 W/m2 would melt all ice on Earth or change ocean temperature a large amount, neither of which occurred.

    Boundary forcings causing the LGM to be colder than the Holocene were larger ice sheet area and lesser amounts of GHGs. Solar irradiance and continental locations differed negligibly between the Holocene and LGM. Earth orbital parameters (2) differed, but the effect of orbital perturbations per se on planetary radiation balance is only of the order of 0.1 W/m2. (Fig. S3 of Hansen et al., 2008). Change of GHG amount and ice sheet size are known with good accuracy.

    Calculation of the climate forcings due to the GHG and ice sheet changes is a radiative calculation; it does not require use of a global climate model. Clouds may differ in the LGM, but those changes are part of the fast-feedback being evaluated. The forcing calculation uses a climatologic distribution of clouds (obtained from observations, but the calculated forcing differs insignificantly if clouds instead are taken from a general circulation model; Hansen et al., 1984).

    Hansen and Sato (2011) discuss the empirically-derived fast-feedback climate sensitivity further. The important point is that the fast-feedback sensitivity requires knowledge of only the global temperature change, GHG change, and surface albedo change. Estimated changes of these three quantities between the Holocene and LGM imply a fast feedback climate sensitivity of about ¾°C per W/m2 or 3°C for doubled CO2.

    ——

    (2) Other planets perturb Earth’s orbit, altering the tilt of Earth’s spin axis relative to Earth’s orbital plane, the eccentricity of the orbit, and the day of year when Earth is closest to the sun. These three orbital parameters vary slowly, the dominant time scales being close to 40,000, 100,000 and 20,000 years, respectively.

    Hansen & Sato (2011) Earth’s energy imbalance and implications:

    http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/…/20110826_EnergyImbalancePaper.pdf

  • hunter

    kdk33,
    Many in the AGW community seem to rely on dehumanizing those who disagree by claiming they are not merely wrong, but evil.
    Many go furhter by making the repeated assertion that an entire industry (which we are all each and every one of us completely dependent on) is evil. It seems those who choose to make this bizarre claim are demonstrating more about a personal problem they have than a comment that has anything to do with reality.
    the reality is there is no such industry as “fossil fuel”. There are several coal industries, there is a petroleum industry, subdivided into several major industries, ditto for the gas liquids industry, natural gas, etc. etc. etc.
    The fact is these AGW extremists who choose to make war on their made up ‘fossil fuel industry’ are waging war on millions of people who actualy work hard, and whose work keeps literally billions of people alive, and do a very good job of it.
    Perhaps it is time to stop permitting the AGW believers to set the agenda and terms of discussion?

  • BBD

    huxley
    If the case for climate science is so strong, we do we keep seeing all this dodgy behavior, as well as hearing these mob-like howls against Dr. Curry?


    I do not think TB’s commentary here was a ‘mob-like howl’. Let’s settle down.

    Too many people seem to think adding to the confusion is a good idea. At the very least, this is mystifying.


    Some commenters are angered by it; some merely baffled.


    How important is Climategate? Did it overturn the work of Ramanathan, or Hansen, or Charney?


    Did any change, however slight, in the hypothesis that RF from CO2 heats the atmosphere happen?


    So why does it remain such a hot topic in the blogosphere?


    I find this puzzling.

  • Tom Fuller

    It’s still a hot topic because it has not been addressed satisfactorily. It should have been a nine-day wonder about the misbehavior of some scientists who were working to protect their reputation and the validity of earlier work.

    The consensus world couldn’t allow that to happen to the rock stars of climate science. They dug in and blew it up to a challenge of not just climate science, but all science.

    They equated anyone who believe it was wrong for Phil Jones to tell his colleagues to delete emails relating to an IPCC report to, as we see above, those who deny evolution, deny the validity of vaccines, and deny that the Holocaust occurred.

    Ooops. 

  • BBD

    hunter

    I really dislike it when this happens:

    See my comment @ 194:

    I think what you should re-examine is my comment. The word “˜evil’ seems to have appeared out of nowhere. I repeat: you don’t understand the corporate mind-set. You don’t appear to be familiar with it. I’d be wary of defending it if I were you.

    You will note that kdk33 introduced the word ‘evil’. In fact he pretty much put it into my mouth and I objected.

    Now, at a remove, you are doing it. Tiresome.

    You sound as unfamiliar with the typical corporate mindset as kdk33 is. Short-term, shareholder-beholden, absolute self-interest and relentless are words that spring to mind.

  • kdk33

    BBD,
    I am not going to read panels of text you’ve cut and pasted from somewhere.
    I’ve enjoyed our conversation and very much enjoyed exploring climate sensitivity to milankovitch cycles, among other things.  But, I think our discussion is over for now.

  • BBD

    Tom

    It’s still a hot topic because the ‘sceptics’ keep it that way.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    Then you forfeit the right to voicing an opinion. But something tells me you will not cease commenting here.

  • Sashka

    @ BBD (204)

    Back to square one.

    “Hansen and Sato (2011) discuss the empirically-derived fast-feedback climate sensitivity further. The important point is that the fast-feedback sensitivity requires knowledge of only the global temperature change, GHG change, and surface albedo change. Estimated changes of these three quantities between the Holocene and LGM imply a fast feedback climate sensitivity of about ¾°C per W/m2 or 3°C for doubled CO2.”

    Empirically-derived: how good is that?
    Estimated changes: how exact?
    What is assumed?

  • http://www.skepticalscience.com Steven Sullivan

    Fullerism:
    “When you stop ascribing motives to Curry and trashing her reputation as much as you possibly can, come back and see me. ”
    Seems to me Dr. Curry is doing that just fine all by herself.  The company she keeps these days helps, too.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @210
    In case you weren’t aware, you may find it interesting that Tom Fuller and Steve Mosher wrote a book about ClimateGate — they literally do profit the longer it remains topical in the blogosphere.  Perhaps this helps to understand your earlier question to Mosher as to why he wants to focus on supposed transgressions by climate scientists rather than the policy implications of the science itself.  Just a thought.

  • BBD

    Marlowe Johnson

    I’ve read it, but thank you for the pointer.

    Unlike some commenters here, I place I high value on reading…

  • BBD

    Sashka

    Why don’t you read the paper?

    Door stays shut. Door opens – it’s up to you.

  • Sashka

    Thanks, I already figured that you have no clue.

  • BBD

    Sashka
    Really? But I’ve read both the H&S11 papers and you have read neither (and refuse to).

    So you must simply be being gratuitously offensive.

  • Tom Fuller

    Hah! Who brought it up?

  • BBD

    TF

    I did. Are you also suggesting that I have not read either of the H&S (2011) papers? Because if you are, then you should be less oblique about it.

  • Tom Fuller

    Sorry, BBD. I’m referring to mentions of Climategate, which you mentioned in #206. Does that mean I owe you a commission?

  • huxley

    I do not think TB’s commentary here was a “˜mob-like howl’. Let’s settle down.

    BBD @ 206: I’m not just talking about TB. How about Tobis’s “But I can hardly read a paragraph from Curry about an actual scientific question without finding gobsmackingly sophomoric mistakes,” or Scientific American callng her a heretic, or any number of vicious orthodox commets on Curry to be found on the web.

    And it’s not just Climategate but the whole rancid history of the Hockey Stick, the constant censoring, deleting and banning of skeptics, and the overall silence or downplaying of these abuses by the orthodox community including yourself.

    I understand that it doesn’t matter much to you. Fine, but it does matter to me, and your telling me that it shouldn’t matter, that we should just ignore it all and get back to your favorite passages from the orthodox literature doesn’t cut it.

    Much of my support for Dr. Curry is because she does stand up against the abuses and she is trying to pry open a more open dialog. She thought other scientists would join her. I would have thought so too, but aside from a few retired physicists, few did.

    So I don’t trust climate scientists. I buy that the planet is warming and that there is something to the CO2 greenhouse effect,  but after that it’s tough to assess how much of an effect, how certain we can be and what we can do about it.

    However, when I listen to climate scientists and their supporters rail against Dr. Curry and against fossil fuel and Fox News conspiracies — those I can assess and I conclude these scientists are sloppy biased thinkers with axes to grind, and I do not trust them.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @222
    IOW you’re relying on emotional rather than dispassionate, logical reasoning to inform your opinion of climate science.  I suggest you check out Bart V’s post here .

  • huxley

    Tom Fuller: I couldn’t find an email address for you, not surprisingly. I thank your for your efforts. I’ve paid prices in my personal life too, which is why I post anonymously. I enjoyed your SF Examiner column and wish you well.

  • BBD

    TF
    On this occasion I will waive my usual fee.

  • Tom Fuller

    224, thanks. 225 ;)

  • huxley

    Marlowe Johnson: IOW you can’t make the case yourself and are going to play a combination of Mr. Spock and psychotherapist with me and admonish me to read your link. How nice.

    I know Bart V from Dr. Curry’s blog and I’ve heard that stuff before and it doesn’t satisfy my concerns.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard


    My tumblog reminded me of this reception of Salby:

    http://theclimatescum.blogspot.com/2011/08/salby-demolishes-agw-theory.

    Wow.

    Wohohow!

    Yippiyayayayay!

    Wobedobedoboo!


     

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard
  • Tom Gray

    The tenor of some of the comments here are indicative of why I do not trust AGW consensus blogs and their regular  commenters. There can be no deviation from orthodoxy. Peer-reviewed is synonomous as being without error. Mathematical blunders and mathematical ignorance do not mattter. Science is different than anything else. it does not need certainty to make certain pronouncements

  • BBD

    Tom Gray

    Or you could say that those who know most, are most concerned.

  • hunter

    Tom,
    Your book and its careful documentation of the climategate e-mails is one of the important works that documents the social madness of AGW.
    That the NYT, WaPo, NPR or any of the other media bothered to even review your work seriously on a timely basis is a self-indictment of their ethics. Instead, they doubled down and let the BBD’s of the world pretend there was nothing there.
    Your blog was fantastic. I also have paid a personal price in the form of lost business when AGW believers decide that their faith is more important than good price and good service. Good riddance to them.

    BBD,
    You could say that the most gullible kid themselves into thinking that they are witnessing a cliamte crisis, and then you would actually be correct.
     

  • Evil Denier

    I’m someone who’s lurked at Judith’s from the beginning.
    A typical (recent) post is almost completely from the (guest) author.  (I think 50:50 believers:non-believers – don’t hassle me – my perception).  She (typically) comments in a paragraph (or two), usually inviting comments.
    Yes – everyone from Dragon-Slayers to Tobis and beyond (WMC & Gavin haven’t the guts!) comment at her gaff – light moderation – so what?
    Most of you complainers have a disclaimer – ‘the views reflected in the comments do not necessarily … ‘.  Get off her back!
    I’ll go with #222 – seasoned with #230.  If the science is so certain – open it up – honestly!  Let’s debate!  Show me your workings, your code (your e-mails?).  You may certainly see mine!
     

  • Evil Denier

    Oh, and let’s have an equitable peer-review process.
    Not re-defined©.

  • Tom Fuller

    hunter #232,

    Thanks for the vote of confidence. I had a look at our book last monthwhile I was reviewing Donna Laframboise’s book on the IPCC. (Her book is good and the IPCC does not come off at all well.)

    There isn’t much in the way of content I would change today, although I would love to have spent more than a month writing it.

    It is funny that we didn’t get reviews–I’ve talked to people in the biz who’ve read it and people in the Obama administration who read it (they were furious, especially when they found out I was an Obama supporter–’How could you?’)

    I’ve been reading your comments longer than I’ve been blogging or commenting. I doubt if we agree on everything, but you’ve been a treat. 

  • Evil Denier

    following on #233 – and my (our) cash-flow/accounts/whatever – dispel the myth!

  • BBD

    Faustian bargains are much on my mind. They are always short-sighted and always end badly. 

    And they involve self-deception:

    [Faustus:]
    Settle thy studies, Faustus, and begin
    To sound the depth of that thou wilt profess;
    Having commenced, be a divine in show,
    Yet level at the end of every art,
    And live and die in Aristotle’s works.
    Sweet Analytics, ’tis thou hast ravished me! [Reads.]
    Bene disserere est finis logices.
    Is, to dispute well, logic’s chiefest end?
    Affords this art no greater miracle?
    Then read no more; thou hast attained that end

    Christopher Marlowe; Dr Faustus

    Is the mangling of logical dispute the chiefest end of the signed up?

  • huxley

    Or you could say that those who know most, are most concerned.

    BBD @ 231: You are the master of the one-line fallacy.

    Those who are most concerned are liberal/green types who have been frightened by Al Gore and climate scientists as in this Gallup poll in which 55% of Democrats worry that because of global warming risks, “Human life will cease to exist on earth.”

    Of course, among scientists there is a range of concerns about global warming, so unless you define “those who know most” as being the same set as “those who are most concerned” your one-liner doesn’t hold up either.

    You don’t seem to be offering reason so much as attitude.

  • Dave H

    @Tom Fuller
    > They dug in and blew it up to a challenge of not just climate science, but all science.

    Incredible. Blame the victim and revisionist history in action.

    Within a couple of days of the hack news networks were reporting such things as:
    “…talking about a trick that another scientist previously used in a peer reviewed journal to apparently hide the decline in temperatures.”

    The headlines were all about “hiding the decline in temperatures”. *THAT* was the story. That was the thing that got the headlines. Months later, even in late 2010 news agencies were still reporting that false claim. And you blame CRU for that? I thought you wrote a book about this stuff?

    Amazing.

    And then, 2 weeks later, at Copenhagen we had things like the Saudi chief negotiator claiming that climategate proved climate change was not caused by humans.

    *This* is the story. You’re applying a completely warped view of events.

  • Tom Fuller

    Dave H, we were among those who explained what Mike’s Nature trick to hide the decline actually meant. I’m sorry it took us a month to get the truth out. Sorrier that the networks didn’t read it. But I published on that subject on Examiner.com within a week of the leak. So I don’t know why you’re blaming me. (Hey–blame Mosher! He’s not here to defend himself…)

    The story of Copenhagen was limos running in the parking lot, private jets, Obama getting dissed, stuff like that. The Saudi nonsense was pretty much a sideshow. 

    We all create our own narrative at the end of the day. I was reading the same stories you were and I came away with the conviction that Climategate didn’t make much of a difference in the media, at Copenhagen, anywhere outside this little corner of the blogosphere.

    But I guess we make handy scapegoats. But it was all MOSHER. It wuz him. He’s the guy! 

  • kdk33

    It was fuller.  IN the kitchen.  With a candlestick.

    Is your tome available for kindle?

  • Tom Fuller

    Yup. Get ye out and acquire ye one. Make haste before the electrons become unstocked.

  • kdk33

    The beauty of the kindle:  I don’t even have to get ye out, just click.

  • hunter

    Tom.
    I am honored that you have read my fevered bytes for a long time, and I hope they have at least entertained some, if not actually given some for for thought. You and Steve being ignored in this by journalists (and I am in touch with some pretty good ones on a first name basis) was a real tell to me that the social mania of AGW had compromised the alleged job of journalists to gather and report facts.
    AGW is such a corruption of legitimate that normal reasonable standards simply do not apply and it pollutes more and more areas.
    As to our disagreements, so what? Look at what the people who work for the guy you support did regarding the book you wrote that is basically a straight up analysis of climategate. My kids went to Ivy League schools and my son lives in your very own SF. When you are a conservative, you learn real tolerance, lol.



     

  • huxley

    Incredible. Blame the victim and revisionist history in action.

    Dave H: Surely you noticed that “hide the decline” was not the only issue in Climategate. No skeptics forced Phil Jones and his climate associates into conversations about deleting email and data. No skeptics forced the incompetent code and data on the hapless progammer of the HARRY_READ_ME.txt file. Neither did the media.

    Moral indignation is not an argument. Nor is your revisionism of Climategate.

  • huxley

    I ask the orthodox here again: What is your strategy?

    If you believe the risks of global warming are so threatening that you unleash the Precautionary Principle on the rest of us, do you apply it to yourselves?

    Are you willing to clean the climate change house, so skeptics can’t keep tagging you on one issue after another? Are you willing to make your data and methods transparent? Are you willing to get rid of the old Climategate faces tainted by corruption? Are you willing to try new approaches — like Dr. Curry has — to reach, teach and persuade ordinary citizens of climate issues?

    Or are you going to continue just as you have, climate business as usual even if it looks corrupt, attacking skeptics and heretics with a vengeance, and hoping that it all comes down to who has the most cites in peer-reviewed journals?

    The latter approaches aren’t working. All political and economic indications are that it will become even harder for you to press your agenda in the future, especially after the 2012 elections.

    What is your strategy?

  • Dave H

    @Tom Fuller

    > So I don’t know why you’re blaming me.

    You rush to play the victim yourself now. What about my comment was blaming you for anything? I simply pointed out you were portraying an entirely revisionist history, one in which CRU’s framing was to blame.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > Lies about my military service [...]
    I’ve heard that before.  But where?
    Ah, not at Keith’s.  At Bart’s:
    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/there-are-at-least-as-many-walks-as-talks/#comment-12660

    In that thread, one can find other trails, e.g. on the March 25, 2011 at 20:01.

  • Tom Fuller

    #248, yes that is where people lied about my military service. Bart removed some of the comments, but thanks for pointing this out, and for making it very clear who you are. Public service on both counts.

  • BBD

    huxley @ 238

    Of course, among scientists there is a range of concerns about global warming, so unless you define “those who know most” as being the same set as “those who are most concerned” your one-liner doesn’t hold up either.


    Waffle.


    Find me anyone apart from Lindzen and Spencer who claim CS is low enough that there’s nothing to worry about. Everyone who understands the implications is concerned.

    And yes, I am saying that you know not whereof you speak.





     

  • huxley

    BBD: By your reasoning, Hansen and Lovelock who paint the most distressing scenarios, must therefore must “know the most.” and anyone, including scientists, who don’t go with the extremes must know less.

    For the record I am concerned about global warming and you barely know me or my positions.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    #250, 

    By reading the thread at Bart’s, people will judge by themselves if these non-identified lies outweight Tom Fuller’s proven habit of derailing threads by portraying himself as a victim.
     

  • Tom Fuller

    I agree, Willard. I do hope people visit there and make up their own mind. The people will understand why I’m a bit short with the likes of you.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    I may perhaps indicate for the benefit of the many readers a thread with more than 250 comments can attract by pointing at this specific comment:

    http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/there-are-at-least-as-many-walks-as-talks/#comment-12604 

    Readers will no doubt see why Tom Fuller comes out a bit short there. 

  • BBD

    huxley

    For the record I am concerned about global warming and you barely know me or my positions.

    Disingenuous.

    I can read. You have explained yourself on this and other threads with sufficient clarity.

    I repeat, those with the deepest knowledge (Hansen is a good example) are most concerned. Your decision to deride this factual statement speaks volumes.

  • BBD

    willard

    I read your links when you posted them upthread. Forgive me if I refrain from comment but, for now, I will just keep reading and let you and TF do the talking.

  • Tom Fuller

    People will certainly make up their own minds about both our characters. I am confident of the results.

    Some might ask why you point to a thread where it is obvious that you and others lie about me. But most of us know the answer. You are telling the world far more about Willard (and Eli Rabett and Steve Bloom) than about myself.

  • Sashka

    @ willard,

    Thanks for posting the link to the fascinating pissing match at Bart’s. I was pretty sure that absolutely nothing that Bloom or Rabett could do would increase my contempt towards them but I was dead wrong. These guys hit the bottom long ago and they are digging hard. I’m not sure why Tom chooses to even acknowledge them, much less respond.

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

    @246 huxley:

    The concerns that you care about and the impediments to implementing a successful mitigation policy are worlds apart. In the US, the economy, the dramatic increase in partisan divisions (on many, many issues, not just climate), and the recent move to require a 60 vote supermajority in the Senate are the problems. None of these will be addressed by dealing with the issues you raise.

    That’s not to say that I don’t think your concerns should be addressed, mind you. It’s just that they aren’t really what’s preventing implementation of any sort of mitigation.

    As Roger Pielke Jr. frequently points out, the argument such as it is has largely been one at the highest levels of government in most if not all of the countries that matter, in terms of the reality and seriousness of anthropogenic climatic change. Threading the needle with a compromise that allows developing nations to pull their citizens out of poverty while bringing down emissions and apportioning responsibility fairly are the main challenges, and they have little to do with climate science, and a lot to do with engineering, geopolitics, economics, diplomacy, etc.

    That being said, let’s look at your concerns:

    Are you willing to clean the climate change house, so skeptics can’t keep tagging you on one issue after another?

    Not sure what this means, or what relationship it is supposed to have to the science of climate change.

    Are you willing to make your data and methods transparent?

    I think this is something that everyone should agree to push for, but in my opinion, it’s a bit of a red herring in the context you’re raising it. What data do you believe are not available to people trying to independently reproduce (note, not run a turnkey copy of someone’s code) a given result?

    Are you willing to try new approaches “” like Dr. Curry has “” to reach, teach and persuade ordinary citizens of climate issues?

    Here, again, Curry is hardly the only person doing this. If you’re asking whether the mainstream community should do what Curry does- make baseless attacks on the mainstream and promote utter nonsense just to get some “cred” with the “skeptic” blogosphere- to try to reach more people, then definitively not.

    Do I think that the mainstream should try to engage “skeptics”? Yes, I do. And there have been many attempts to do so, and there will be more to come.

    climate business as usual even if it looks corrupt

    Not sure what to say to this. I’m sorry that things “look corrupt” to you. I’d suggest enrolling in a relevant program or meeting with an individual actively working in the field and try to get a first (or second) hand look at what actually is going on, rather than a view based on partisan propaganda.

    If you have some sort of specific issue that you think needs to be addressed re: “corruption”, I’d be happy to hear it.

    attacking skeptics and heretics with a vengeance

    Do you want climate scientists to be honest and transparent, or try to win a PR war by lying? It sounds like you want to have it both ways. Many things Anthony Watts writes are phenomenally stupid and wrong. Should the mainstream pretend that isn’t the case, because they want to “win over ‘skeptics’”?

    hoping that it all comes down to who has the most cites in peer-reviewed journals

    In terms of the science, it all comes down to who has a better model of reality, not the most citations. In terms of a mitigation deal, at this point the overriding factor is going to be the economy. In terms of public opinion, until it ceases to be an ideological litmus test to reject climate science, I think we will continue to see a sharp division even if all of your other concerns were implemented in exactly the manner you’d like to see them.

    I think it would be wonderful if we could channel the energy “skeptics” like to put in tearing down the mainstream into developing independent models. Let’s see Steve McIntyre’s best shot at reconstructing the NH record for the past 1-2ka. Let’s see Dick Lindzen and Roy Spencer create a real, physics-based model (not a toy spreadsheet model) that not only behaves in the way they claim the climate does in specific instances (e.g. clouds, low sensitivity), but also produces a reasonable approximation of the Earth’s main climate features and is reasonable in simulating paleo. Etc.

    *Some people like to claim that’s her “long game”, that she’s really trying to win their respect in order to ultimately convince them of the reality of the issue, but if so I’ll just say to date I’m underwhelmed by her “progress”.

  • huxley

    …those who know most, are most concerned.

    BBD: That’s not a factual statement, as you claim,  but a cheap bit of rhetoric fraught with exceptions. I see no point in further interaction with you.

  • BBD

    huxley

    Woo. Then you lose the argument.

    Go on, find me some of the exceptions my statement is fraught with. Or concede the point in an adult manner.

  • John Mashey

    re: 259
    Since  this thread was supposed to be about Dr. Curry, it may be worth revisiting “the beginning” here at Collide-a-scape, and look at a well-bounded issue easy to assess.  See  new comment at old thread:
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2010/04/23/an-inconvenient-provocateur/#comment-81597
     

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    You’re most welcome, Sashka. I’m glad you took the time to express your contempt. I certainly hope it did you good.

    I’m not sure what you are charactarizing as a “pissing match”. Here is an excerpt from that last link:

    On the March 25, 2011, at 02:42, Eli says:

    > No free riders. Which means we either act together [...]

    At 03:00, Tom Fuller:

    > Well rabett, igave up my car in 1990. What have you done?

    At 03:28, Eli explains itself:

    > The key to things like, for example, taxes, is that people will pay their taxes as long as they think that everyone in the community is paying (US until recently).

    At 04:53, Tom Fuller:

    > Rabett, you’re tone deaf apparently. And maybe blind. I gave up my car in 1990. What have you done?

    At 04:57, Tom Fuller:

    > You won’t answer my question, obviously, as you’ve more than likely never done anything except climb the greasy academic pole to the middle, probably on the backs of your TAs and students.

    Would that qualify as a pissing match to you?

    I’m no sure why Tom appeals to “hypocrisy”, as I’m sure readers can recognize that it was clearly fallacious in that pissing match, if you don’t mind me using this expression.

    * * *

    Speaking of bottoms, here is a question that were raised by Bernard J at the end of a related thread:

    > Please, Tom Fuller, I really would like to know if you were the person responsible for the quality of the navy’s ocean temperature measurements.

    http://rabett.blogspot.com/2010/11/infra-digging-michael-tobis.html?showComment=1290090578142#c9187086909492628618

    Also note that in that thread, Paul Middents makes a comment regarding Operation Rolling Thunder that somehow never got directly acknowledged by Tom Fuller, much less responded.

  • NewYorkJ

    Bart (#14): The quote about her big personal impact the last year may provide a glimpse of her motivation. There may be an addictive element to those spotlights.

    Exactly.  Being contrarian is rewarding.  The “radical” and “heretic” labels are part of her own narrative, one that (as Bart notes) critically involves her background as a respected published scientist.  There are extremely few in her position (most contrarians started off that way) so she fulfills a rather unique contrarian niche that she emphasizes every chance she gets, but by doing so, she comes across as insincere and her narrative is perceived as hollow.

  • NewYorkJ

    Another hint at motivation…

    http://curryquotes.wordpress.com/2010/11/20/why-curry-thinks-shes-right/

    Dang.  I guess President Obama really isn’t a U.S. citizen.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Thanks for the link to that post at Eli’s Willard.  It’s a real gem.  Having gone over Tom’s contrabutions there, I’m inclined to add the following to the Tom Fuller Drinking Game &trade; :

    - gutless (1 drink)
    - fool (1 drink)
    - idiot (1 drink)
    - Potemkin (chug)

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Thanks for the link to that post at Eli’s Willard.  It’s a real gem.  Having gone over Tom’s contributions there, I’m inclined to add the following to the Tom Fuller Drinking Game &trade; :

    - gutless (1 drink)
    - fool (1 drink)
    - idiot (1 drink)
    - Potemkin (chug)

  • Sashka

    @ willard

    The short answer is yes, despite the highly selective quoting. I’d be even happier if you didn’t remind me that these people exist. Life is too short to spend time on their kind.

    I have not gone into details of the discussion of the quality of ocean temperature measurements. From what I know, other countries continued using buckets for until 70-s or even longer. The quality of these measurements couldn’t be good even with the best effort. In addition, the military and merchant marine personnel involved in taking the probes couldn’t care less. Sorry if your trust in SST data quality is shaken.

  • Keith Kloor

    Enough already with this trivial, small-minded exchange over Tom Fuller. 

    The incessant jabbering and point-scoring from both sides is so off-putting.

    Can’t you all find something else to vent about? Go read the Lynas interview and sound off on that.

  • NewYorkJ

    A few more for the TF drinking game (assign drinking portions as you see fit)…

    - stupid pills
    - dirty little book
    - fact free fear frenzy
    - skinheads
    - troll
    - STFU

  • BBD

    Come on chaps. You heard the boss (@269).

    And Mark Lynas is nothing if not provocative…
     

  • Tom Fuller

    Good to see the gang’s all here. The fact that you have to resort to this just shows how empty the rest of your arguments are.

    You can’t make sense so you just lie about those who oppose you. No wonder you drink so heavily.

  • huxley

    thingsbreak @ 259: Thanks for a considered response. Though I don’t think my meaning was so hard to divine (what’s so tough about not giving skeptics easy targets through carelessness, corruption, and stonewalling?), you did shed some light.

    I’m sure that the current climate debate will largely be settled within twenty years, possibly less, as more climate/CO2 data is collected and tools are improved. In the meantime, though, the climate change movement desires large-scale mitigation policies ASAP. But those aren’t happening now nor are they likely in the next five years or more, judging by current political realities.

    I think this is in part due to climate science’s loss of credibility. Furthermore I think the climate orthodox could help themselves by shoring up that credibility with more transparency, more openness, and a less combative, doctrinaire tone. I am curious why they are reluctant to do so.

    I recognize that my analysis is arguable, but those are the areas that prevent me personally  from supporting climate change policies. Dr. Curry agrees that climate science needs to restore its credibility, which is why I defend her and her blog.

    For the record, Dr. Curry’s long game is to advance an orthodox view of climate science. She has said so in her blog and other places. Though you can argue with her approach and its effectiveness, her motivation is not controversial.

  • Sashka

    @ huxley (273)

    I’m not sure what you mean by settled. I’ll bet that it won’t be settled in any meaningful sense within 20 years. The uncertainty in CS won’t be reduced and neither side will concede the argument no matter the facts.

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

    @273 huxley:
    I’m sure that the current climate debate will largely be settled within twenty years, possibly less, as more climate/CO2 data is collected and tools are improved.

    I’m not sure what you mean by “debate” in that context. It sounds like you might be talking about better constraining sensitivity. While it would be nice to constrain it something more precise than ~1.5-4.5­°C, I don’t think that will “settle” much. The precautionary case has been basically one at the international level, provided an agreement that is fair to all parties can be worked out.

    I think this is in part due to climate science’s loss of credibility.

    From what I’ve read (though obviously I could be wrong- please correct me if so) I don’t think this is really reflected in much polling data. Economic concerns and the increasingly divisive partisanship satisfactorily explain the US divide, IIRC.

    Sure, you can hear anecdotal stories of people who used to be “convinced by the evidence” that have since “changed their minds” because of some ostensible issue in climate science, but that doesn’t really track with the general public.

    I think the climate orthodox could help themselves by shoring up that credibility with more transparency, more openness, and a less combative, doctrinaire tone. I am curious why they are reluctant to do so.

    You’re begging the question. Is it actually true that climate science is less transparent, less open, and more combative and doctrinaire than it was at some given point in the past?

    The amount of data and code available to the public in most branches of science (including climate) is increasing, not decreasing. There are now fantastic climate-relevant journals with open review and open access (e.g. the EGU’s journals), and many journals are increasing their publication of open access articles.

    “Combative” and “doctrinaire” are something you’d have to define for me to be able to address directly, but from my perspective there has been a tremendous amount of outreach in the last 10 years that has been anything but combative.

  • huxley

    Sashka @ 274: You could be right. I agree that whatever happens there will be holdouts from one side or the other or both.

    But over the next two decades the climate is going to warm, cool or go sideways as humanity emits increasingly large amounts of carbon each year. Climate science will improve its data and sharpen its models. There may even be breakthroughs via new theories or computing techniques.

    Out of all this I believe the current questions will resolve. Climate science will improve its understanding of climate and likely its ability to predict. We will also have a better understanding of our energy possibilities.

  • Sashka

    I don’t see how reality supports your views. For 13 years the climate goes sideways but the alarmists are as loud as ever. I can’t see any reason to believe that it will change. I tried to ask in places like RC: “what should happen so that you admit being wrong?” They wouldn’t even dignify this with an answer. That’s the thing: the dogma is infallible.

    My outlook on model improvement is rather negative. History shows that computer power alone doesn’t really help all that much due to the stubborn nature of the problem. Some new stunning insight is possible but not likely.

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

    @277 Sashka:
    For 13 years the climate goes sideways but the alarmists are as loud as ever.

    You need ~20 years (and preferably more) of data to make meaningful statements about the global mean. This can be shown any number of ways, statistically with synthetic data, with forced GCMs, etc.

    You say, “For 13 years”. Surely you realize that you’re simply cherry picking the 1998 monster El Niño to make that claim. What about the last 14 years? The last 15, or 20? What about the last 12?

    Claims like “For 13 years the climate goes sideways” are completely meaningless. Unfortunately, they’re incredibly persuasive to people who have no fundamental understanding of the systems in question.

    This goes back to the issues of science as a democracy, and “skeptics” getting “a seat at the table”.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    I’m glad you agree that the exchange outlined could very well correspond to a pissing contest.  

    Now, do you agree that there were many appeals to hypocrisy in the echange, and that they were fallacious?

    I also note that you consider the exchange as a product of “very selective” quoting.  It would be interesting to know which quotes you think might have been recalled.

    And speaking of selective bias, could you explain why you seem to pick exactly 13 years in

    > For 13 years the climate goes sideways but the alarmists are as loud as ever.  

    Setting aside for now the evidence you have to claim regarding the alarmists’ pitch voice,  I would really like to know why you keep talking about exactly 13 years.  I believe this is not the first time you pick that number.  I really wonder why.

    Many thanks! 

  • huxley

    Sashka @ 277: It’s going to take more than 13 years of sideways temperatures for the orthodox to change their views. I don’t blame them any more than those who remained skeptical during the temperature run up during the 80s and 90s. CO2 may or may not be the principal control knob of climate, but there are other factors.

    However, we are in the vicinity of some interesting make-or-break points according to Gavin Schmidt:

    Daniel Klein says:
    29 Dec 2007 at 11:40 AM
    OK, simply to clarify what I’ve heard from you.
    (1) If 1998 is not exceeded in all global temperature indices by 2013, you’ll be worried about state of understanding
    (2) In general, any year’s global temperature that is “on trend” should be exceeded within 5 years (when size of trend exceeds “weather noise”)…

    [Response: 1) yes, 2) probably, I'd need to do some checking, ... - gavin.]

    If we get twenty years of sideways or cooling, the orthodox are going to have to do some dancing. If the temperatures take off again like in the 80s and 90s, I’m going to be reassessing.

  • Gator

    Curry’s impact on science?  Nothing from the last year.  She has changed careers, and ceased to be a scientist.

    Curry’s impact on policy?  Could be significant.  She’s picked a great niche — the “radical scholar” that kicks against The Team.  Maybe it’s good publicity for her consulting business.

  • Sashka

    @ TB (278)

    “You need ~20 years (and preferably more) of data to make meaningful statements about the global mean.”

    Is this a commitment to cease and desist in 7 years if a new global high is reached in the meantime?

    “Surely you realize that you’re simply cherry picking the 1998 monster El Niño to make that claim.”

    This is not the first monster El-Nino in history. Yet the temps never stopped setting records for so long. Why? The answer for 12, 13, 14, 15 years is the same: sideways.

    “Claims like “For 13 years the climate goes sideways” are completely meaningless.”

    Is that so? How much of a warming did Hansen have when he started making noise in 1987? Were you among those who told him to wait a few? If claims involving 20 years record are meaningful then 13 years should be at least somewhat meaningful.

     “This goes back to the issues of science as a democracy, and “skeptics” getting “a seat at the table”.”

    No it doesn’t. It goes back to alarmists ignoring the inconvenient facts.

  • Sashka

    @ huxley (280)

    Very interesting. These are the very same questions that I was asking to no avail. So we are 2 years from getting Gavin to worry about his understanding. Something tells me that his views on the matter are going to be adjusted as necessary to maintain the usual attitude. He is already changing his views on attribution of extreme weather events to GW.

  • huxley

    thingsbreak @ 275: Again, I don’t think my communication is that unclear.

    Within twenty years I doubt people will be debating the credibility of climate science as we are today. If temperatures go sideways or cool, current climate science will be discounted. If temperatures start climbing or soaring, current climate science will be validated. Presumably the theory and models will improve to account for whatever is happening.

    Of course, I could be wrong.

    As to polls on the public and global warming, the polls you favor say that the public still believes in climate science and climate scientists. I’m more interested in the pragmatic polls that show that global warming/climate change has drifted to the bottom of people’s concerns, as well as the political results that show that climate change is dead in the water in the US and not doing so well elsewhere.

    As to the anecdotal stories, you may discount them but they include Judith Curry, her Denizens and myself. Climate Etc. is a heavily trafficked site. We are not the only “anecdotes.” Curry is giving congressional testimony. The skeptic viewpoint is now presented somewhat equally alongside the orthodox view, causing the orthodox to complain about false media equivalence. Something has changed in the last few years.

    As to defining “combative” and “doctrinaire” — I feel like you are wtihin an eyelash of saying, “It depends on what the meaning of the words ‘is’ is.” Look at orthodox slams at Dr. Curry and skeptics in this topic. Does anything more need to be said? Yes, I know that skeptics can be a handful too, but you are the ones supposedly carrying the banner of reason and science.

  • huxley

    Keith Kloor: I’ve been censored and deleted on several orthodox sites. I assumed your site would be similar. I was wrong. Thanks for running an even-handed forum.

  • NewYorkJ

    Sashka:  I’ll bet that it won’t be settled in any meaningful sense within 20 years. The uncertainty in CS won’t be reduced and neither side will concede the argument no matter the facts.

    Following from this, we can deduce that if evidence reduces uncertainty in climate sensitivity further (from the 1.5 to 4.5 range), Sashka won’t concede no matter the evidence (although one might suspect “concession” if the long tail on the high end is reduced).
    Sashka: This is not the first monster El-Nino in history. Yet the temps never stopped setting records for so long. Why? The answer for 12, 13, 14, 15 years is the same: sideways.

    Sideways?

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/gistemp/from:1999/trend

    For good measure, check UAH if you’d like.

    As far as records go, 2005, 2007, and 2010 surpassed 1998 in 2 of the 3 surface records, including the one that captures the Arctic region, so careful with that.  All were during much weaker el Ninos.

    Now we could go with HadCrut, where the Arctic region is neglected, and marvel at the lack of a 1998-beating record.  After all, Sashka tells us it’s never happened before – that we’ve gone this long after a huge el Nino without beating a record in all data sets.  Or wait…there was the 1940-1944 period of big el Ninos, which wasn’t really beaten for more than 30 years, although in part thanks to sulfates.

    Now Sashka says Dr. Schmidt is going to be worried about his understanding, seeming to imply some concession to the rabid elements of the denialosphere that tend to focus on (for political/ideological reasons) the impact of CO2 and feedbacks.  But omitted here is his specific comments on the matter:

    The expectation of any particular time period depends on the forcings that are going on.

    1998 will likely be exceeded in all the indices within the next five years – the solar cycle upswing into the next solar max will help, and the next big El Nino will probably put it over the edge.

    “Likely” isn’t a firm prediction, and “big el Nino” might be open to interpretation, but there’s been nothing resembling 1998 by SOI measures.  However, the solar cycle since then was clearly delayed for a few years and will likely hit a much weaker maximum than might have been expected a few years ago.  One should also consider other actual forcings during the recent few years.  How much did Chinese sulfates play a role?

    Now I understand “skeptics”, like lawyers, are eager to prosecute their case, or as Judith Curry likes to say, play “gotcha”, but they might be taken more seriously if they didn’t play so loose with the evidence and quoting.

    Congrats to Dr. Schmidt for winning the AGU Climate Communication Prize this week, an honor most deserving.  Many “skeptics” could learn from his science-minded approach, and careful nuanced discussion.

  • huxley

    NewYorkJ @ 286: Actually it was a communication with Gavin Schmidt in which I was eventually censored and deleted, that tipped me over and persuaded me to put my shoulder to the skeptic wheel. After that interaction I concluded that Gavin Schmidt was no longer a scientist, but a person who will choose advocacy over honesty.

    As far as I’m concerned any awards to Schmidt for communication are political awards, like the Nobels to Al Gore and Barack Obama. They are votes by a committee to press an agenda they favor and little else.

    IMO if the climate change movement were truly serious about the risks of climate change, they would persuade Gavin Schmidt, as well as the rest of the Climategate crew, to step down out of the public eye for tarnishing the scientific reputation of climate orthodoxy.

    FYI: Here’s Judith Curry going toe-to-toe with Schmidt on her blog on an issue of honesty.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    huxley,

    You begin you’re comment in 2009 at Gavin’s with this sentence:

    > For years now I’ve been following the AGW debate from both sides [...]  I buy the basic argument that CO2 is a GHG and increasing CO2 increases the earth’s temperature. But how much of the current warming is anthropogenic, I am not convinced and I remain agnostic.
    Now, you just said this:

     > Actually it was a communication with Gavin Schmidt in which I was eventually censored and deleted, that tipped me over and persuaded me to put my shoulder to the skeptic wheel.

    Since you said you were an agnostic already, I’m not sure how this exchange provides any evidence of a shifting in your own position.

    Perhaps it is better that way, since the basic argument that CO2 is a GHG and increasing CO2 increases the earth’s temperature and how much warming there currently are questions that might be quite remote to Gavin’s editorial practices.

    In any case, it would be interesting to know how these shifts in position fit with the issue of honesty. 

  • huxley

    willard: That’s when I became active on the climate blogs and in my life as a skeptic opposing the climate change agenda. Before that I even defended global warming science to my skeptic friends.

    As I’ve said a number of times in this topic, I am persuaded that CO2 is a greenhouse gas etc.

    That said, I’m also convinced that climate science as currently constituted is corrupt and dysfunctional, its results are skewed to alarmism, and its solutions are biased to the green agenda.

  • huxley

    Put another way, I’d rather take my chances with global warming than with people like Gavin Schmidt.

    Here’s another example, my last comment to ClimateSight, deleted of course, like most of what I had to say in that thread.

    Moderator: I’ll not bother any further here. Only a year ago I was defending global warming scientists to my more conservative friends.  No more. I can’t get straight answers or open debate from global warming advocates.

    Keep in mind that if your side is genuinely concerned about the perils of global warming you need support from laymen such as myself. It’s easy to see why your side has lost this support.

    At this point I’m convinced your side cannot make its case in the open. See you at the ballot box.

  • kdk33

    willard  Perhaps it is better that way, since the basic argument that CO2 is a GHG and increasing CO2 increases the earth’s temperature and how much warming there currently are questions that might be quite remote to Gavin’s editorial practices.

    HUxley, I think willard is also failing the IQ test.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    huxley,

    I am not sure how your lukewarm defense of AGW  constitues evidence that your position changed.  If you admit that, after your layman research, you still believe that CO2 is a GHG and dumping CO2 is not a good idea, et cetera, then wouldn’t you try to argue with your friends that claim otherwise?  I’m not sure your position changed on this matter at all, since you said so.  You must have shifted to a matter unrelated to your lukewarm belief in AGW,  but a position that is not agnostic at all.  

    This endorsement of AGW may be even lukewarmer than what you portrayed at first at Gavin’s since later in the thread you said:

    >  I find skeptics such as Lindzen persuasive as well, so it’s a problem. 

    I’m not sure what problem this is, but there sure is a problem with being persuaded by Lindzen’s argument.  Not that you said you were: you merely stated  that they were persuasive.  You might mean it as an objective assesment: you observe that they are persuasive, without being persuaded by them yourself.

    But then, but then, you also say, again a bit later:

    > A few years ago I listened to Gavin Schmidt and other AGW advocates defend AGW against Lindzen and other AGW skeptics. (http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9082151) The AGW advocates not only lost the debate, they lost when the majority of the audience pre-debate agreed with the AGW position. In other words, the AGW side would have been better off staying at home rather than arguing on their behalf.

    We clearly see that your stand on AGW does seem to have been weakened at the time of this debate.  In fact, we clearly see that your position becomes lukewarmer and lukewarmer as the exchange with Gavin unfolds.  Your choice of themes (red tape, Feynman, Club of Rome, agenda, etc.) makes me doubt that “yes, but RC moderation” made you take this lukewarm position.  It honestly looks as if you were seeking confirmation there.

    By the way, since you’re interested in Lindzen: does he also believe that dumping CO2 is not a good idea?  Doesn’t he believe in AGW?  Sometimes, it does seem that Lindzen was the first to embrace lukewarmism.  I honestly don’t know.

  • huxley

    willard @ 292: Throughout this thread you have contributed almost nothing substantive. You personalize and you snark, as you did with me from the very beginning with a cute comment that I should mention, “hippies and SDSers.”

    Keep in mind that Schmidt partially or fully deleted my comments. That bothered me and his refusal, which I took as dishonesty, to understand that I wanted all the climate data available because that was the right, transparent thing for scientists to do, not because I wanted to see the data myself then and there.

    However, this blog is about climate change and this topic is about Judith Curry. If you don’t believe that I turned hard against the climate orthodoxy at the time of Climategate and in that RC topic, that’s fine. But I’ve interacted enough with you as well and I will not continue.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    I have to take objection in huxley’s claim in #294 to the the effect that I personalize. I believe this is huxley that personalizes the debate when he claims in #286:

    > Actually it was a communication with Gavin Schmidt in which I was eventually censored and deleted, that tipped me over and persuaded me to put my shoulder to the skeptic wheel.

    There is evidence from his exchange with Gavin that huxley was already quite lukewarm about AGW, and that “yes, but RC moderation” only confirmed in his lukewarm position and that huxley’s tipping point is a rhetorical device that deserves due diligence.

    There is also evidence from this exchange with Gavin, and also here, that huxley has been shifting from the AGW question to the agenda question by way of his personal account of “Yes, but RC moderation”.

    All I did for now is to question huxley’s rationalization of the usual “Yes, but RC moderation”. While I don’t necessarily disagree with the fact that moderation sucks, I do doubt that this “tipping point” is nothing more than a personal confirmation, with all the bias this entails.

    This testimony rests on huxley’s a personal experience. Appealing to ad hominem in that case also deserves due diligence. For instance, there is some relationship between this fallacy with the appeals to hypocrisy we explored earlier. That will wait for now, as we will have to wait for Sahska’s answer to the question raised in #280.

    * * *

    We now see the “free the data, free the code, free the debate” mantra, which has incidentally appeared in 1999, in the discussion at RC between Gavin and huxley. Gavin offered two arguments:

    The first one is this:

    > Your point is to insist on some impossible standard so that you can avoid paying any attention to the results. My point is that there are completely open projects that if you were really concerned with evaluating you would do so. That you don’t understand my point, simply underlines the issue.

    The second one is this:

    > [If] nothing short of 100% of everything is sufficient, then you are claiming that the remaining 0.1% of the data is somehow determining the whole answer (even though with even 80% of the data you get pretty much the same thing).

    The answers from huxley deserve due diligence. So much to do, so little time. Interestingly, all this is not unrelated to the discussion between Judith and Gavin that huxley gladly recalled. This also deserves due diligence, and since it’s the topic of this post, it has priority.

  • Sashka

    NYJ,
    you are in my ignore list. I’m not talking to trolls. You don’t need to bother replying to me.

    willard,

    Of course Lindzen is the first lukewarmer (or one of, anyway). There is no question about in my mind.

  • Sashka

    @ willard

    “That will wait for now, as we will have to wait for Sahska’s answer to the question raised in #280.”

    I’m sorry, whats’ the question again? I don’t see any in 280.

  • Tom Fuller

    No willard. You don’t personalize. You lie without regard to race, creed, gender or national origin. You’re an equal opportunity prevaricator.

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

    @huxley

    This isn’t a matter of opinion. If you do not agree that it can be demonstrated (through statistics, or GCMs) that a period of years below a certain threshold can’t tell you anything about the global mean, then you need to provide actual reasons for this.

    Likewise, the multi-model esnemble mean in the IPCC AR4/CMIP3 projections is not meant to simulate the actual variability of the climate, but rather the forced component of climate over time- it’s averaged across models and without a single initialization so that it also in effect is smoothing out natural variability. This is intentional.

    An apples to apples to comparison between the real world temperature and the multi-model ensemble mean would therefore require the kind of compensation for ENSO, volcanics, solar, etc. that Tamino and others have performed. When you do this, 1998 is not the warmest year, and the trends are in decent agreement with scenarios like A2.

    If there’s something in my discussion that you do not agree with, can you please explain why?

    A common problem in trying to bring “skeptics” “to the table” is that from the perspective of someone like myself, things that are completely uncontroversial are rejected without proper justification. It makes a productive dialog difficult to maintain.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Thank you for your answer in #296, Sashka.  

    It would be interesting to know why there is such a lukewarm endorsement of Lindzen’s views among those who would bet below 3.2 degrees Celsius.  In fact, we can even observe reluctance:

    > McIntyre is asked to explain the source of energy that has warmed the planet since 1980. Deftly sidestepped by claiming he’s more interested in ancient proxies and hockysticks and not CRUtem. When pressed further he said he agrees with what Lindzen says.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/07/report_from_the_guardian_debat.php

    It is interesting to note that one needs to be pressed further to acknowledge being a Lindzenian, don’t you think?

    * * *

    Setting that aside for the moment, here are the questions in #280:
    The first one is:

    > Now, do you agree that there were many appeals to hypocrisy in the echange, and that they were fallacious?

    The second one is:
    > I also note that you consider the exchange as a product of “very selective” quoting.  It would be interesting to know which quotes you think might have been recalled.

    The third one is:
    > And speaking of selective bias, could you explain why you seem to pick exactly 13 years [...] I would really like to know why you keep talking about exactly 13 years.  

    Many thanks!
     

  • kdk33

    require the kind of compensation for ENSO, volcanics, solar, etc. that Tamino and others have performed.

    Which implies that all known “natural” varibles have been identified and properly quantified, which begs the question: why aren’t the models better.  If they can’t actually predict the future, why should be trust them to predict the future.

    If the global mean drops 3C next year, would you consider that significant?

  • NewYorkJ

    huxley (#287),

    From reading your interaction with Dr. Schmidt, one can conclude he was way too accomodating.  It’s not only the dozens of pretentious and generally obtuse statements which Gavin patientiently responded to, but when comments like this don’t get snipped

    I feel you are somwhat discredited, and your attempts to validate what are obviously shady, if not wholly conclusive emails, is ridiculous.

    and something far, far more cooperative than the bunker mentality you and your associates displayed in the CRU Hack emails.

    it makes me wonder which ones were, or why Dr. Schmidt was even bothering.  How he deals with people like you, in addition to the manufactured “ClimateGate” nonsense, is one reason Dr. Schmidt is well-deserving of the award this week.  Many of us don’t have such unending patience.

    You also come across as rather insincere, concern trollish, by the way, and such individuals tend to get snipped.  Others get exposed by Willard.

    Sashka (#295),

    If I’m on your ignore list, then why did you read and respond to my post?  But to make things clear, please dispense with your false notion that I care whether or not you read and respond to my posts. 

  • Tom Fuller

    About a year ago, after similar comment kerfuffles about statistically significant time frames for evaluating climate, everybody pretty much settled on 30 years (which actually is a good number for statistical significance in this case). Whether the topic expired because of general exhaustion or the strength of the arguments in its favor, it’s been a while–but the discussions are out there on Bart’s blog and maybe here as well.

    Sashka, you should be aware that time frames below 30 years are not really adequate for good analysis of climate trends. 150 is really much better. And I don’t want to be telling you stuff you already know, but just about everybody thinks of temperature rises as a simple sawtooth waveform on a rising trend–and the down tick of the sawtooth can last a decade or more. Which was my motivation for betting Romm a grand on temperatures in this decade. I believe temperatures are rising and I believe we play a big part in it. But I also can look at a sawtooth waveform and hope that I caught a peak while betting on a dip. 

  • huxley

    This isn’t a matter of opinion. If you do not agree that it can be demonstrated (through statistics, or GCMs) that a period of years below a certain threshold can’t tell you anything about the global mean, then you need to provide actual reasons for this.

    thingsbreak @ 298: What is your question? Am I required to have an answer for everything and explain why to your satisfaction?

    As I have said, I am persuaded that there is some truth to AGW. My main objection is to the process of current climate science, which looks rigged to produce skewed results. Thus we see the overreach with the Hockey Stick, the behind-the-scenes misconduct of Climategate, and the bullying on climate blogs. If climate science were as much of a slam dunk as we are told, it seems to me that its supporters would not have to resort to such antics.

    I am not a climate scientist. I am a citizen deciding what to support with my vote and my effort in a democracy.

  • NewYorkJ

    If the global mean drops 3C next year, would you consider that significant?

    Are you McLean?  He made a prediction equivalent to about 1/4 of that, 

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/mclean-exaggerating-natural-cycles.html

    which doesn’t seem too likely, unless the temperature anomaly drops over 10 C for the remaining 3 months.  But winter is coming.  There’s still hope!

  • Sashka

    @ willard (299)

    Sorry but I have no time or interest in rehashing that debate at Bart’s.

    Third answer is obviously because it’s been 13 years since the global temp record was broken. However I already said above that as far as “sideways” is concerned it doesn’t matter. 12 or 15 will do just fine for this argument.

  • Tom Fuller

    Sashka at 305, 12 or 15 isn’t enough. You really need 30 (well, actually 33) for statistical signficance. 12 or 15 could just be a hiccup.

  • Sashka

    @ Tom (302)

    Sashka, you should be aware that time frames below 30 years are not really adequate for good analysis of climate trends.

    As you see from what was posted above, a certain Gavin Schmidt doesn’t think so and neither do I. It all depends on what exactly you are trying to achieve. In this case we have a theory that in the absence of natural variability the temps would grow every year b/s the CO2 keeps going up. With natural variability it need not happen every year but still must happen every now and then. If you have a good handle on the magnitude of natural variability you can estimate the interval of time when lack of a new record becomes troublesome. That’s how Gavin came up with 15 years. I respect him for having the guts to say it and looking forward for the follow-up.

  • huxley

    NewYorkJ @ 301: You are welcome to your judgment of my interaction with Gavin Schmidt. Obviously I disagree. Obviously I am not alone in my dislike of Schmidt and RC moderation.

    However, returning to my democracy theme… There are quite a lot of skeptics now. The climate orthodoxy has not been overturned by any means, but its agenda has lost traction and is losing ground. The media affords skepticism more space and more serious coverage. President Obama, an advocate of climate change policies, will barely mention climate any more, and bills like cap-and-trade are not going to reach Congress for at least five years.

    The climate change strategies of dismissing skeptics, ridiculing them, refusing to debate them, bullying them, censoring them, complaining about them, attacking them personally, etc. is not working. Perhaps more civil approaches like Dr. Curry’s might.

    However, from what I can see in this topic, the climate orthodox will mostly continue as they have. My prediction is that their results will be the same — further erosion of support and no political success.

    The only hope for the orthodox I can see is the climate turning seriously nasty. Of course, it might be too late to do much by then.

  • Sashka

    @ TB (298)

    Nothing can be demonstrated using the GCM until GCM are demonstrated to adequately reproduce the real world. That didn’t happen.

    Likewise, the multi-model esnemble mean in the IPCC AR4/CMIP3 projections is not meant to simulate the actual variability of the climate, but rather the forced component of climate over time- it’s averaged across models and without a single initialization so that it also in effect is smoothing out natural variability. This is intentional.”

    This is baloney. The reason that neither an ensemble or any individual GCM can’t reproduce natural variability (nor the actual climate, BTW) is that they don’t know how to make it happen. So they claim to be aiming at the forced component only as if it is to any extent believable.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Sashka,

    You do seem lukewarm to comment the appeal to “hypocrisy” I underlined above, which I think was fallacious, after conceding that this was a pissing contest.  

    I’m sorry you won’t support your assertion that I was “very selective” in my quoting.  

    Thank you for your answer regarding your selection of “13 years”: it could have been 12, or it could have been 15.  It just happened you picked up 13.  We can then presume that next time in this year you might very well pick 12, or 15.  I like that.  That makes Girmanian variation more interesting.  

    * * *

    This sentence of your last answer is interesting:

    > Sorry but I have no time or interest in rehashing [this or that].

    It is not unlike this other answer you gave to NewYorkJ in #296:

    > You are in my ignore list. I’m not talking to trolls. You don’t need to bother replying to me.

    This is not unlike the answer huxley provided in #294:

    > But I’ve interacted enough with you as well and I will not continue.

    It would be interesting to analyze the difference between these replies with the more general issue of moderation.  These replies might point toward a way to solve the PR problem AGW is facing.  They might also help articulate the honesty problem we’re having in blogland.

    All this deserves due diligence.  So much to do, so little time.

  • Stu

    Willard @ 299

    “ McIntyre is asked to explain the source of energy that has warmed the planet since 1980. Deftly sidestepped by claiming he’s more interested in ancient proxies and hockysticks and not CRUtem. When pressed further he said he agrees with what Lindzen says.”

    Watch the video broadcast. You may find in McIntryes’s ‘sidestepping’ of this question a refreshing honesty.  

  • PDA

    The only hope for the orthodox I can see is the climate turning seriously nasty. Of course, it might be too late to do much by then.

    I agree with Huxley.

  • Sashka

    @ willard,

    I’m not sure what you found interesting. The whole point of blogging is to talk to someone from whom you can learn, or whom you can teach or with whom you make an intelligent debate. It is clear that NYJ isn’t here for any of that so he’ll be talking to someone else and eventually to himself only.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Stu,

    You have a link? 

  • Stu

    Sorry Willard- I’m unable to locate the full video now. Maybe I’m thinking back to the audio.

    Full audio mp3 is here.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/audio/2010/jul/15/guardian-climategate-hacked-emails-debate?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

     

  • BBD

    Willard @ 310

    kdk33 to me @ 209:

    But, I think our discussion is over for now.

    huxley to me @ 260:

    I see no point in further interaction with you.

  • Tom Fuller

    Sashka at #307, Gavin can be wrong–especially about statistical significance. I think he’s wrong about a lot of things, and especially how he acts at RC. (I also think he’s a good scientist with an impossible job regarding being a public face for a certain viewpoint of climate science.)

    He is wrong if he thinks he can write meaningful things about climate trends using periods shorter than 30 years. 

  • Tom Fuller

    Stu at 311, Don’t you understand? McIntyre can’t do what he wants. He is required to do what the consensus people want him to do. Now. 

  • NewYorkJ

    Some observations on sidestepping, moderation, and hypocrisy.

    In #37 (see link below), Sashka states:

    Not sure who exactly you call deniers but I wonder how many people you know who had their comments deleted on CA (for example) or any other “denier” site of your disliking.

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/2011/09/26/the-climate-ground-war-grinds-on/

    to which I respond with some accounts of hard moderation at CA and WUWT in #40 and #42, to which Sashka responds.

    Nice try at changing the subject, NYJ.

    Hand-waving is a standard response from Sashka.  But as Willlard and BBD point out, it’s common practice.

    But broadly similar to Huxley, I have a deep genuine concern about the reputation that “skeptics” have established.  The “skeptic” strategies of dismissing those who challenge them, ridiculing them, refusing to debate them, bullying them, censoring them, complaining about them, attacking them personally, etc. are not working.

  • Tom Fuller

    Deep, genuine concern. Deep, genuine concern.

    It is said that the priests of the Inquisition prayed with deep and genuine concern for the souls of those they tortured.

  • NewYorkJ

    TF: It is said that the priests of the Inquisition prayed with deep and genuine concern for the souls of those they tortured.

    Oh come on now…although a similar concept, your book and its authors aren’t that bad.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Thank you, Stu, that’s good enough for me.

    Do you have by any chance the minute where the relevant questioning starts?

    If not, I’ll try to find the Round Tuit. 

    ***

    Thank you for all the other examples of conversation closures.  

    We could also collect justfications.  Let’s start with this one:

    > The whole point of blogging is to talk to someone from whom you can learn, or whom you can teach or with whom you make an intelligent debate. It is clear that X* isn’t here for any of that so he’ll be talking to someone else and eventually to himself only. 

    I really like the prediction at the end.  I hope it does not rely on GCMs. 

  • Tom Fuller

    It is also reported that some members of the Inquisition were so excited by what they were doing that they would relieve themselves under their robes.

  • Sashka

    Tom,
    Gavin tends to err on the other side.
    It just occurred to me that J could stand for Jesuit.
     

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Good one Tom, brilliant argument.

  • Tom Fuller

    Hiya Sashka,

    Yeah, and he’s been as tough on me in moderation as with anyone. But you have to salute the guy for what he did right after Climategate. Everybody else was stone cold silent and he saved the day for the Team with what he did. It was over 2,000 comments in a couple of days and he was responding to everyone–he was polite, persistent and he didn’t let go.

     I can get all snarky about Gavin but what he did was special. Think back to Bart’s thread about unit roots. That unfolded over weeks, not hours, and Bart stayed at arm’s length through most of it–and you could still see it was getting to him. Gavin just stayed there and toughed it out. 

    It was actually pretty heroic. 

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    > It just occurred to me that J could stand for Jesuit.

    Touché, the first clever comeback that I’ve spotted.

  • huxley

    It seems that BBD, willard and perhaps others don’t quite get the concept of free consensual online debate among equals.

    With the usual disclaimers about posting threats or spam etc…

    Participants read what they want to read,
    Participants write what they want to write.
    Participants respond to comments and other participants as they choose to.
    Participants are not required to respond to comments and other participants if they choose not to.
    Participants assess the behavior of participants as they will.

    It’s not complicated and, pace willard, posting that you choose not to respond further to another participant is an entirely different dynamic from a moderator censoring your comments, deleting your coments or banning you as a participant altogether. The latter is not a transaction between equals.

    When I say that I will not respond further to another participant, I am registering my strong disagreement with the content or methods of that participant, and saying that I consider further interaction a waste of my time and the group’s as well. Others are free, of course, to make that choice with me if they deem it necessary.

    Life is short. I don’t like to be involved in prolonged unpleasant tit-for-tat interactions. I don’t like to read them either.

  • http://ourchangingclimate.wordpress.com Bart Verheggen

    Tom,

    Well said, and a well deserved honor indeed.

  • doskonaleszare
  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Stu,

    Here’s the 6 minutes video:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2010/jul/15/climategate-guardian-debate 

    I do not know if that’s what you had in mind, but the body language is interesting, e.g. the whole second minute.  

    I’ve listened to the audio last week and took some notes, but had no real time to listen to it again.   

    Would make for a nice play.

    I’ll comment here again, if you’re interested. 

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Stu,

    I just listened to the audio again.  Nice quality sound.  One feels very close to the microphone and we do hear the crowd in the background.

    The “elephant in the room” is at 84:30, starting with a question not by Monbiot, but by a lady.  Perhaps Monbiot’s pressings have been edited.  Paraphrasing, the question was about whether AGW was scientific or political.

    In any case, we do hear some new stuff there.  Steve does seem to ask the same kind of question as Lindzen, to identify the feedback question as an important one, and to abstain from saying if AGW is a threat until we decide this question to know better about the importance of the C in AGW.  (Yes, I note a little shift in topics.)

    But I do not hear anything about Steve taking position on Lindzen’s question.  Nothing of the sort of “I agree with Dick”.

  • BBD

    huxley

    Life is short. I don’t like to be involved in prolonged unpleasant tit-for-tat interactions. I don’t like to read them either.

    Disingenuous.

    What you actually do is run away when you are unable to continue arguing non-tenable positions.

    It’s predictable that instead of keeping schtum and moving on, you felt the need, all this time later, to defend your earlier behaviour.

    When I say that I will not respond further to another participant, I am registering my strong disagreement with the content or methods of that participant, and saying that I consider further interaction a waste of my time and the group’s as well.

    So now it is huxley that decides what other commenters here will regard as a waste of time.

    You are getting above yourself. Careful.

  • Tom Fuller

    Shtum, BBD. Shtum.

  • Tom Fuller

    And, umm, that wasn’t a spelling correction.

  • BBD

    Tom

    Thanks for the spelling correction. I had a feeling I’d got that wrong.

    Why am I not permitted to point out that it is well out of order for huxley to say:

    and saying that I consider further interaction a waste of my time and the group’s as well.

    I am a part of the group in question. And I object.

  • huxley

    BBD: Note that the claim is what I consider. I don’t demand that you agree with my considerations of what wastes the group’s time.

    I’m merely saying that when I post, I consider what might waste the group’s time, especially in a drawn-out thrash.

    You object? Fine. You are entitled to object as you will, per #328.

    I must say that I agree with you about nuclear power though.

  • http://hankroberts.wordpress.com Hank Roberts

    > 33 years
    For which data set?  What’s the source for this number?
    I recommend Grumbine’s discussion:
    “… I’m putting the data and programs on my personal web site and you can run the analysis yourself, and modify the programs to work on different assumptions, methods, data sets.

    Let’s consider the first point — how long it takes to determine a climate trend in global mean temperature….  Rather than declare that ‘this is the right period’, we’ll determine it by looking at the data itself.

    If it is meaningful to talk about climate as opposed to weather, there has to be a time span over which our result for describing climate does not depend much on how long a time span we choose. For average climate temperature, we found 20-30 years as the appropriate time span. I didn’t show the figures then, but it’s in the program and output you can pick up from my web site….”
    http://moregrumbinescience.blogspot.com/2009/01/results-on-deciding-trends.html

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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, a senior editor at Cosmos magazine, and 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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