Climate Change Joins the Culture Wars

By Keith Kloor | April 11, 2012 10:46 am

Every so often something I write shakes up the climate skeptic hive. They also start buzzing like mad, I have noticed, when you explain to them that their honeypot (the climate science cabal) is not really what excites them.

Oh well, so much for transparency.

In my latest post at the Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media, I lay out my case in detail.

This does not mean I am suggesting that aspects of climate science are not debatable, or that the hyperbolic rhetoric and exaggerated assertions of climate campaigners should not be called out. Indeed, it might be said that those who uncritically parrot these campaigners are merely the flipside of the same coin.

The truth is, neither side is much willing to acknowledge the tribal (and ideological) nature of the climate debate.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    A couple of thoughts.

    First, the tendency of media types to characterize issues in binary terms is unhelpful when it comes to complex subject like climate change.

    Second, the commenter you quote from the Economist is very, very wrong when he says:

    If the Left, from the very beginning, had approached the topic from the point of, “We understand fully the Right’s concerns over economic freedom and the size and scope of government with this issue, but we believe that the threat of climate change is real, so we believe humanity needs to do something about it”¦” well then the Right would likely have been more open.

    But this has never been the case. To this day, the Left continue to spout the nonsense that the Right want to take away people’s clean air, clean water, wreck the environment, and so forth.” 

    What’s particularly egregious about this bit of historical revisionism is that the central climate policies that are (or were) at play in various parts of the developed world are policies that were initially promoted by the free market champions of’the Right’ decades ago. Today, these policies are referred to euphemistically as ‘cap and trade’ or ‘carbon taxes’; and while many people debate the merits of these two approaches, they both are both market-based approaches.

    The concern of the ‘Left’ was that the government was privatizing a public good to the benefit of corporate interests and the detriment of the world’s poor. Some argued that better approach would be to use the more traditional tools of command-and-control regulations and trade sanctions.

    To be clear, I think it’s pretty obvious that effective climate policy requires a mix of tools but it’s galling to see the the ‘right’ criticize the ‘left’ for supporting a policy that it championed not so long ago.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    I’d like to take issue with something you wrote in your Yale piece (but won’t do it there because of the state of comments there–believe it or not, these comments work better!)//You wrote there that the representative voices of skepticism are Morano/Heartland/Delingpole (What! You forgot Monckton?) and compared them to Hansen/Gore/McKibben.//This flatters their ego and fulfills their own wishes–but it’s hardly true, with the exception of Hansen and maybe Heartland (hey, two out of six ain’t bad). Neither in their persons nor their preachings, actually. Morano is an aggregator–he cites others, people don’t cite him. Delingpole is just riding the wave to journalistic glory. Heartland was rescued from obscurity by Peter Gleick. Gore who? And McKibben just took the baton from Joe Romm.//You’re missing the big transition here, Keith. What we are witnessing is the fragmentation of two opposing Grand Alliances that shared many of the same characteristics, chiefly an acknowledgment that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. People are now starting to go their separate ways. I personally think that natural gas was the cause and Gleick the trigger, but others will have their own ideas.//The atomization of climate advocacy on both sides should increase the circulation of actual information, as people delve into their own spheres of interest. Maybe we’ll all reconvene in a couple of years and start over. But anything that results in the drastic reduction of posts on Deltoid can’t be all bad…

  • Jarmo

    Agree with #2.  Those who claim that CO2 has no effect and those who claim climate Armageddon will share the sidelines.The real world (where people care how much energy costs) moves along. Compromises will be the word of the day.

  • Keith Kloor

    @1

    Yes, it’s true about cap & trade. As Gerson wrote in his WaPo column:

    “A few years ago, the intensity of this argument would have been difficult to predict. In 2005, then-Gov. Mitt Romney joined a regional agreement to limit carbon emissions. In 2007, [Newt] Gingrich publicly endorsed a cap-and-trade system for carbon.”

    As for the part about journalists characterizing the debate in binary terms, well, us media types merely report on how that debate plays out in the policy and public arenas. And that debate is shaped by the people I mentioned as representative voices.

    @2

    My list was not meant to suggest they are the only ones. They are merely representative. I also tend to consider those who have the overall largest influence. 

     

  • jeffn

    Hey Keith. Naomi Klein’s column was “much discussed” because she agreed with the Heartland claims about the AGW – socialism. Remember, her writing was found to be… unhelpful to the cause.

    #1- the claim that the “right” championed the “pro-market” policies of cap-n-trade has always been silly.
    Let’s clarify “the right’s” objection:
    1. A 95-0 vote in the U.S. Senate against Kyoto is not “the right” it’s “bi-partisan”. The objection was that the treaty proposal was aimed to accomplish nothing but moving emissions to China and India. You know that, which is why the tribe tries to spin the failure of global treaties as some sort of conservative scalp.
    2. Cap-n-trade was the least worst command and control option, but a command and control approach never-the-less. It was also designed by the concerned to shift emissions overseas (see ETS), not reduce them (see ETS), and at best to prop up the least effective alternatives to coal and oil.
    Nobody has ever needed a global treaty, a carbon tax or a cap-n-trade scheme to build a nuke plant in the US. Ever. If it were necessary (for example to push R&D on real solutions into high gear) then a small carbon tax would be best. Given this, naturally, the “concerned” want a big tax and want to turn the money into welfare for warlords under the entirely pointless banner of “climate justice” (after taking a big portion for their own unsustainable social programs, of course).

  • Nullius in Verba

    For anyone who didn’t get the memo – to get paragraph breaks:

    * Switch to html view (the blue angle brackets button)

    * After every ‘end paragraph’ tag </p> press Enter twice to leave a blank line

    “Every so often something I write shakes up the climate skeptic hive.”

    It’s not really what you’re saying, so much as the emphasis you put on it.

    Both sides say that they believe as they do because of the science while the other side believe as they do because of the politics. Both sides are, in a sense, correct. Because the conclusions for climate accord with their beliefs, the left accept the authority of science, and believe without critical understanding. They seek out those elements of the debate that support their thesis, and find them in peer-reviewed establishment orthodoxy. Because the conclusions conflict with their beliefs, the right examine the science critically, ask questions, consider carefully whether the logic follows through. They seek out flaws, and they find them. The scientific flaws they find are real – and it is in that sense that their scepticism is truly scientific rather than political – but in the main they were only willing to go looking for them so enthusiastically because of the politics.

    Denning’s comment would have been better phrased as “Almost everyone that expresses any opinion on climate change, in either direction, does it for ideological or political reasons, not for scientific reasons.” Most people are not scientists. You are not. Few people can argue partial differential equations or quantum mechanics or thermodynamics. But somehow you all believe anyway, and you trust others to have got the equations right. But trust – and who you trust – is a political concept. As is consensus, and authority. There are an awful lot of sceptics out there too who don’t know the science in detail either, but follow along. (And a fair few people on both sides who are just wrong about the science.) It’s just the way things are. We don’t claim to be infallible. And you’re not as infallible as you think either.

    The problem with your way of observing that belief in climate change is correlated with politics, and that sceptics hold political views about it, is that you try to imply that it only goes one way. Only the right believes because of ideology, not the left. And that the right believe only because of ideology, and that their arguments therefore have no scientific merit.

    But you can’t seem to see that the argument is symmetrical. If politics drives belief, then it is just as true to say that the left believe in the dangers of anthropogenic climate change only because of politics and ideology, and not because of science. Is that something you would want to say? If so, then you need to say it more clearly, and stir up a different hive. If not, then you must see the flaw in the logic.

    And if you see the flaw in the logic reading left to right, but not when reading right to left, then your reasoning must be based on politics and ideology, and not on science.

  • BBD

    NIV

    Because the conclusions conflict with their beliefs, the right examine the science critically, ask questions, consider carefully whether the
    logic follows through. They seek out flaws, and they find them. The scientific flaws they find are real ““ and it is in that sense that their scepticism is truly scientific rather than political

    Is anyone going to question this tendentious nonsense? Or the absurd notion that trusting in the combined expertise of atmospheric physicists the world over is ‘political’?

    This is the problem with ‘sceptics’. They live in a parallel universe.

  • Keith Kloor

     Niv (6),

    I expected you to be lawyerly in a tribal sort of way. :) I did not, however, expect you to read past the last two paragraphs of my post above.

    You also conveniently ignore the fact that I stir up the hive of your counterparts just as often, if not more. Not every post is going to have the requisite mommy qualifier, “but they do it, too!”

    Would be nice if just once a while you could own up to the blind spots of your own team without feeling compelled to point out the blind spots of your opponent. (Point scoring itch always needs to be scratched, I suppose.) 

    But that just reinforces how much of this is political. 

  • Nullius in Verba

    Keith,

    But I did own up to the blind spots. I think it’s odd that you rarely seem to notice. I guess it’s a matter of where you start from…

    I was primarily commenting on your Yale post – where your last two paragraphs here have no obvious counterpart. I acknowledge the point. I hadn’t read the post here carefully enough. You clearly do recognise the symmetry – at least at the political end of the debate. But I stand by my main point – that the reason ‘the sceptical hive’ objects is not that you say the debate is influenced by politics, but the way you say it – as if that was the whole story for the sceptics.

    People like Jeff Condon, who you quote, published papers full of linear algebra to explain why they’re sceptical. But reading your Yale post, would anyone know it?

  • Nullius in Verba

    Incidentally, I don’t expect or require you to agree with me.

    I was just expressing my view, which obviously differs from yours. (Although not by all that much, really. Compared to some.) But that’s fine, and to be expected. What sort of a boring debate would it be if we all of us always agreed? :-)

  • David in Cal

    I’ll make two points briefly.  As commenter Marlowe Johnson said, this issue is hardly binary.  I think people would give many different combinations of answers to the following questions: Is the earth warming?  How much of the warming is due to man’s activity?  How certain are the models?  Among the many warmist models, which ones are the most reliable?  How big is the effect of CO2? Are we near of past a tipping point?  How much would various carbon reduction schemes cost? How much CO2 reduction would they produce?  Would they have a big enough impact to save us from disaster? Second point:  Someone on a discussion board said I was wrong to be a skeptic because some scientifically ignorant conservative politician was an outright denier.  Where’s the logic in that refutation?  IMHO the reason Mr. Kloor thinks skeptics should be responsible for deniers is that, rather than engage skeptics, some warmists use the existence of ignorant deniers to “prove” the skeptics wrong. 

  • http://bigcitylib.blogspot.com bigcitylib

    You write exactly the same post every couple of days.  Its boring.

  • Keith Kloor

    jeffn (5)

    I’m well aware of the irony of Klein’s piece. I wrote it about it here. I don’t think anyone in the green movement with any juice takes her prescription seriously.

    NiV (9)

    Jeff may know his algebra, but it’s crystal clear where he’s coming from

    bigcitylib (12)

    Sorry you feel that way. Yet not boring enough for you to stop being a faithful reader.

  • jeffn

    Keith, I would agree that socialist and deniers are outside of the mainstream of both tribes – just as evolution deniers and pro-smoking Republicans are.
    The problem is you quoted Klein as if she were ridiculing the notion when she was arguing for it.
    That raises two inescapable points:
    - folks like Klein are believers because it fits their worldview and would not if the solutions don’t fit their world view. 20 years into this and we still controversial in the green movement to believe AGW is serious enough to actually be honest about nuclear power.
    - the claim that the cause is not exaggerated for politics would be stronger if the advocates hadnt been caught at it. A track record of enviro’s lying for political reasons, plus evidence that they do it here, is reasonable cause to doubt an extreme position.
    Two decades of facing the greatest challenge ever and we have built not one nuclear plant despite bi-partisan support, despite the fact they are obviously needed. That is evidence of a political movement, not a environmental one.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    my first kingdom for a gif button.  i could really unleash the hounds with that particular feature as visuals often provide a much more compelling and entertaining depiction of my POV.

    my second kingdom (i have many) for a post by our host that considers the mere possibility  that the reflexive tendencies of journalists and the structures within  which they operate can be profoundly unhelpful in fostering a productive public debate on what to do (or not to do) about climate change.

    Without prejudicing potential topics for consideration, let me offer the following:Binary characterizations of issues, extolling the virtue of ignorance under the guise of neutrality,and the obvious attraction (and perils) of sensationalism

  • Keith Kloor

     jeffn (14)

    Perhaps it’s worth me returning in a post to Klein’s thesis–and the similar rhetoric of some greens, if nothing else than to put it on the table, as well. Meanwhile, let me just say that what she proposes is a political nonstarter and what’s more, a perspective not shared by the U.S. Democratic party or the liberal intelligentsia (as best as I can tell). 

      

  • jeffn

    Let’s try moving forward with what we have learned:
    1 cities are the most efficient. We did examine renewble energy and you can’t power new York with windmills and solar.
    2. We did examine overpopulation. The only thing that reduces it is increasing prosperity. Note, yes education but, you can’t go to school if you’re dirt poor.
    3. Conservation has real limits- from rebound to the very regressive nature of forced conservation. Hint, if forced conservation won’t hurt “the 99%” of Occupy fame, tell me how you get emissions reductions by exempting 99% of the population.
    Of which of those lessons are conservatives on the wrong side?

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @17I have several objections to the logic and evidence of your propositions and the manner in which you characterize them. unfortunately i’m busy watching the playoffs so you’ll have to wait for further details.

  • jeffn

    18. Eager to hear them. Start with recap of how the carbon tax is affecting politics up there in Canada.
    The point being that ineffective policies aren’t sustainable. If you believe this is a problem, it’s a big one and will require solutions that are sustainable over long periods.
    I don’t know how serious the problem is, but if the whole movement is wedded to the least effective, most unsustainable, but most tribally pleasing response, the problem couldn’t be very big.
    By the by, love the iPhone, hate autocorrect- pardon the weird typos. And see autcorrectfail.com for a real laugh.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    ok, since we’re waiting for overtime….keith you’re correct that klein’s prescriptions (many of which i disagree with) are not supported by mainstream dem pols. but frankly that is beside the point. klein’s turf has always been left of the orthodox democratic party. if anything, she represents the ‘occupy’ types not the spineless-by-necessity conventional wisdom espoused by the democratic party.

  • jeffn

    Another frustrating sustainability story:

    “In 10 years the hourly cost of a worker has risen 31 per cent in France, compared with just19 per cent in Germany, even though a French worker takes home less pay. Workers at Peugeot’s Slovakia plant cost €10 an hour, compared with €35 in France.”
    The financial times via truth about cars. The story is that Peugeot is closing French factories. Why pay three times as much for workers when the workers don’t get the money anyway? If only France had “spineless” politicians who’d reject Klein-style economics.

    http://tinyurl.com/7ak6dgz

  • Eric Adler

     Keith Kloor wrote:”The truth is, neither side is much willing to acknowledge the tribal (and ideological) nature of the climate debate.”This is nonsense and irrelevant. The idea of AGW originated with scientists.  In the US it was viewed as a threat to the free enterprise system by the right wing think tanks in the ’80s. There is plenty of documentation of that.Outside the US the idea of AGW was not viewed as a political doctrine,  but as science.A revealing look at this can be found on the Climate Crocks web site, where Margaret Thatcher, who was a champion of capitalism and the free enterprise system, can be seen giving a speech at the United Nations in  1989, saying that AGW  is a threat to the planet, and the IPCC should remain in business after it delivers its report to continue the study of climate change. She also endorses action to put a price on CO2 and other GHG emissions etc.. Thatcher was trained as a scientist, and didn’t let her position as a Conservative dissuade her from advocating for what was correct science. She put it to the UN, that corporations need to be allies in the battle to combat climate change, and they have assets. climatecrocks.com/2012/04/11/show-this-to-a-denier-and-stand-back-margaret-thatcher-on-climate-change-will-explode-heads/This story is a huge contrast with what happened in the US, where the right wing opposed the idea of AGW because they feared big government.  The idea that political tribalism on both sides, is at the root of the conflict is dead wrong.

  • harrywr2

    In 2005, then-Gov. Mitt Romney joined
    a regional agreement to limit carbon emissions. In 2007, [Newt]
    Gingrich publicly endorsed a cap-and-trade system for carbon.”

    Georgia and Massachusetts are both ‘high coal cost’ states.What does supporting policies that disadvantage one region at the cost of another region have to do with ‘party affiliation’?

    Here is the 2008 US presidential election maphttp://elections.nytimes.com/2008/results/president/map.html

    All but 2 of the ‘red states’ are either ‘coal states’ or have access to coal at below the ‘national average’ price. Georgia and South Carolina.

    Newt Gingrich is form Georgia and cap and trade would help Georgia. Lindsay Graham is from South Carolina…same thing. Georgia and South Carolina both states have nuclear power plants under construction.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Thatcher, ably advised by a certain Monckton, had certain policy objectives that might have influenced her. She needed to beat the coal miners’ union. She needed to promote nuclear power as an alternative. She did ask Monckton to look into climate change. History doesn’t record his report.//I still think we should blame Billy Elliott…

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    I don’t know which came first during the Climate Cat Fight in the U.S. (and only in the U.S.). Did the Democrats start it by accusing Republicans of being anti-science, or did the Republicans move away from their favorable positions on fighting global warming because they thought they’d get better mileage out of fighting the idea? We could ask Naomi…

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

    As NiV (6) alludes to, the (implications of) scientific insights conflict much more more with certain ideologies than with others. E.g. climate science (and environmentakl science in general) conflicts with anti-regulation/libertarian ideologies. With other issues (e.g. vaccinations), it is more the “everything-gotta-be-natural” ideology that feels conflicted. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with a certain ideology, but they all have their specific blind spots regarding their view on reality:

    Rather than facts driving beliefs, our beliefs can dictate the facts we chose to accept

     

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    A quote from a quote in jeffn’s citation, with our emphasis:

    Beyond the employment costs, we also have a lot of constraints because we don’t make people work under any conditions, unlike some countries.

    Yes, but Freedom. Yes, but Death by Taxes

  • jeffn

    #27, got it, Germany and Slovakia = sweatshop hell without regulation.
    But that said, there are indeed some countries where employers make people work under any conditions. China is in the news for that. Vietnam too. That would be communist China and communist Vietnam.
    So let’s recap our choices- work in communist sweatshops, lose your job in socialist factories, keep your money and be free to switch jobs in capitalist countries. Hard call, ain’t it?

    This may be one of the reasons why anywhere you see the name “People’s Republic of…” you will find the border guard trying to keep people from escaping.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    Talk about a tale of two extremes.  According to Jeffn’s interesting view of the world, I either I get to live in jesusland where taxes are a sin or in a communist sweatshop.Thankfully, the world is full of places that are scattered at various points between these two less-than-wonderful choices.

  • BillC

    This thread should really be married to the last one about Peter Kareiva. Combining the two, you could get to the root of the problem with some environmentalist philosophies – the quasi-religious belief that “wild nature” and “species” have “intrinsic value”.Think I’m nuts? Think it’s unrelated? I’m not even arguing against it – hell it could be right – but I don’t even know what “objective” criteria one could use to evaluate it. Either the human is priority, or not.The fact is that that belief system drives a lot of activism including that on climate change. We may achieve scientific understanding on AGW at some point – for example a climate sensitivity value that warmers and skeptics both accept – but we will never, never, agree on the other.

  • Eric Adler

    Tom Fuller says:”Thatcher, ably advised by a certain Monckton, had certain
    policy objectives that might have influenced her. She needed to beat the
    coal miners’ union. She needed to promote nuclear power as an
    alternative. She did ask Monckton to look into climate change. History
    doesn’t record his report.//I still think we should blame Billy Elliott”¦”Your theory is quite implausible. Thatcher didn’t need to use the issue of  global warming to beat the coal miners union. Listening to the talk, it seems that her belief in the science behind global warming was quite genuine. In addition part of her speech was about CFC’s and the ozone layer. She majored in Chemistry at Oxford, and didn’t need anyone to advise her on the science. Monckton claims to have been Thatcher’s science advisor, but actually seems to have worked on domestic issues such as council housing for the Number 10 group.

  • kdk33

    The left fails to understand how differently the right veiws their leadership. Part of  being left seems to be the notion that smart people are needed to tell us what to think and do; what is right and wrong.  Us, on the right, have no need for such ‘leadership’.So, Keith points to republican politicians who have seemingly changed their stance on climate change regulations as implying a nefarious shift on the part of the right.  That is nonsense.Republican politicans say and do what they want.  We on the right don’t adjust our views because of that.  When we grow weary of them we vote them out.  OTOH, when scientists say X, those on the left tend to fall in line, or be ‘anti-science’, and start smooking.  The left just needs more parenting, I suppose.So, when Keith gets his panties in a twist because Glenn Beck this , or because Rush Limbaugh that, as if that were deep insight into what conservatives think it is actually bemusing to conservatives because we don’t much care what these guys say.Or what Newt once said about CO2.

  • BBD

    Eric Adler

    Yes – it’s OT and only a passing remark – but I’ve noted the perennial claim that Monckton was ‘Thatcher’s science adviser’. 

    According to Bob Ward, writing in the Guardian, it’s rubbish. I’ve warned Tom before about his credulity.

    As we have come to expect, Viscount Monckton’s recollection of events makes for interesting reading.

    He begins with the claim that: “I gave her advice on science as well as other policy from 1982-1986, two years before the IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] was founded”, pointing out that the prime minister’s policy unit at that time had just six members and that he was “the only one who knew any science”. Monckton then goes on to suggest that “it was I who ““ on the prime minister’s behalf ““ kept a weather eye on the official science advisers to the government, from the chief scientific adviser downward”.

    This revelation might be news to Lady Thatcher. On page 640 of her 1993 autobiography Margaret Thatcher: The Downing Street Years, the former prime minister describes how she grappled with the issue of climate change, referring only to “George Guise, who advised me on science in the policy unit”. Indeed, given Monckton’s purportedly crucial role, it seems to be heartless ingratitude from the Iron Lady that she does not find room to mention him anywhere in the 914-page volume on her years as prime minister.

    Viscount Monckton also modestly notes that he was responsible for bringing in “the first computer they had ever seen in Downing Street”, on which he “did the first elementary radiative-transfer calculations that indicated climate scientists were right to say some ‘global warming’ would arise as CO2 concentration continued to climb”.

    It is perhaps surprising that this novel and important innovation by Viscount Monckton was not recognised by the current minister for science and universities, David Willetts, who was also a member of the prime minister’s policy unit between 1984 and 1986. In 1986, “Two Brains” wrote a prize-winning essay on the role of the unit, but mysteriously omitted to mention Monckton’s historic contribution.

    Viscount Monckton also includes an amusing anecdote:

        “In 1988 it was my successor at No. 10, George Guise, who travelled one bitterly cold October weekend down to Chequers, the prime minister’s country house, and sat in front of a roaring fire writing the speech that would announce a government subsidy to the Royal Society to establish what would become the Hadley Centre for Forecasting. George remembers how he and the prime minister chuckled at the irony of writing a speech about ‘global warming’ on an evening so cold that he could hardly hold his pen.”

    But although her autobiography notes that she did indeed spend two weekends with George Guise working on her first speech about climate change and the environment, this was actually delivered to the Royal Society on 27 September 1988. And it was not until a year later, in a speech to the United Nations in November 1989, that she announced the establishment of “a new centre for the prediction of climate change”.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    i can’t think of many credibility killers worse than describing Moncton as ‘ably’ advising anyone on climate change. what the hell were you thinking Tom?

    Now I think you ask an interesting question about when belief in climate change became a litmus test for Republican purity.

    If I had to guess I’d say it started in earnest with Bush/Cheney in 2000. Here you’ve got a self-styled Texun’ who ran as a proud anti-intellectual, and whose running mate was neck deep in the oil and gas business. On other side you’ve got a guy that has been campaigning well ahead of the curve to address climate change (remember Clinton’s failed Btu tax proposal?) and it’s not hard to see how the ball started rolling. If he’s-for-it-i’m-against is probably the most fundamental principle governing politics, both in the u.s. and abroad.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD quite recently informed us that he doesn’t read the Guardian .. several times actually

  • kdk33

    belief in climate change is not now, nor has it ever been a litmus test for Republicans.

    Perhaps you meant to say “supporting government action to limit CO2 emissions”, which would have been reasonable

    “belief in climate change” is a religious tenent only meaningful to by the left.

  • Steven Sullivan

    jefn:”So let’s recap our choices- work in communist sweatshops, lose your job in socialist factories, keep your money and be free to switch jobs in capitalist countries. Hard call, ain’t it? ”How’s that ‘free to switch jobs’ thing (and isn’t it pretty to think that’s what ‘free to be laid off’ means?) working out in this here recession,pardner?kdk:”Part of  being left seems to be the notion that smart people are needed to tell us what to think and do; what is right and wrong.  Us, on the right, have no need for such “˜leadership’. ”…including rules of grammar, apparently.Do you or your ilk ever accept that someone could be smarter or have a better grasp of what is ‘right or wrong’ in a particular situation, than your precious selves? Do you ever defer to someone else’s knowledge?(I kinda think you do, whether you admit it or not.)

  • Steven Sullivan

    kdk@36….”belief in climate change is not now, nor has it ever been a litmus test for Republicans.”……………….It it is now, for Republican presidential candidates. One of several such tests.  

  • BBD

    Jonas, there’s this little-known thing called ‘Google’. Try it. Try entering ‘Margaret Thatcher climate science adviser monckton’ or similar. Just because you are a pathological liar does not mean to say that everyone else is.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD, I wasn’t implying that you are a pathological liar(*), just pointing out that you,  several times and even unprompted, felt it necessary to claim that you don’t read the Guardian. And copied a lengthy swath of Guardian text by Bob Ward, presumably hoping it supports something you wanted to convey …

    And you can probably use Google, to not read the Guardian, if you are so inclined. Peculiar argument though …

    (*) Although I know you are.

  • BBD

    Jonas, you are trolling again…

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @37

    in addition to being a member of the ayn rand freedom fries league, kdk33 also happens to be our resident multi-millionaire (i.e. part of the top 0.1%), so obviously he is wicked smart compared to us ignorant peons.

  • jeffn

    #37 Steven- how’s the freedom to change jobs going here?
    Why pretty good by comparison. It is true that our unemployment rate almost came within range of the EU27 during a very nasty recession. Almost. One day your “ilk” will get us there.

    http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/statistics_explained/index.php/Unemployment_statistics

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD, your command of the English language is seemingly not the best … Either!

  • BBD

    Jonas – content-free, personal, off-topic: trolling. Keep it up.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    BBD .. you don’t need to describe your actions here to me. I already know … 

    Maybe you want to elevate Bob Ward and George Monbiot to your gurus. All while you claim not to read the Guardian. I don’t have a problem with that either. As I said, people’s faith really is their own. 

  • kdk33

    How’s that “˜free to switch jobs’ thingWorking out quite fine in my neck of the woods.
    and isn’t it pretty to think that’s what “˜free to be laid off’ means?
    Yes, a fine incentive to stay out of the bottom 10%, don’t you think?
    Do you or your ilk ever accept that someone could be smarter or have a better grasp of what is “˜right or wrong’ in a particular situation, than your precious selves?
    Sure, but it takes some doing.
    Do you ever defer to someone else’s knowledge?
    Yes. Rarely. When appropriate.

  • Keith Kloor

     kdk33 (32)

    So you speak for all conservatives? I think I’ll go with who’s popular with today’s Republican party and the tea party set. That would be Beck, Limbaugh et al.

    Jonas N & BBD

    Your petty bickering has gone on long enough. You guys don’t seem to tire of the antics, but I have. Consider this a warning.  

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @47

    one wonders how you stay so humble. OTOH the interested reader might observe that you’ve offered nothing — and I do mean nothing — to substantiate your opinions of yourself or other matters.

    bluster you do good. cogent, substantiated and convincing arguments?

    not so much.

    step up your game son. this is boring

  • kdk33

    So you speak for all conservatives? I think I’ll go with who’s popular with today’s Republican party and the tea party set. That would be Beck, Limbaugh et al.

    It is difficult to imagine you could misinterpret my comment that badly. If you are serious, please try again. Otherwise, why bother replying with such silliness.

  • kdk33

    Marlowe,It’s like you were trying to say something, but I don’t know what.  Was there some particular point you disputed?  Did you have a point?  Or just another insult as is so common amongst you and BBD and dear Steven Sullivan. 

    The irony!

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    kdk33, Malreaux likes to play his culturally sensitized drinking games while commenting. Your lack of comprehension is due to the writer, not the reader.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @ our resident billionaireit’s pretty simple really. if you’re going to comment anonymously that’s fine. lots of reasons for doing so.

    BUT if that’s the path one chooses to take, then it requires that one back up one’s arguments with EVIDENCE. get it?

    otherwise whatever one says comes across as unsubstatiated bluster.

    get it?

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @52

    now that i know you’re  paying attention, care to substantiate your characterize your take on Moncton’s advice? 

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Lord spare me the irony deficient. Mallrat, you’ve been chasing me around the intertubes for years. Have I ever said a nice thing about Monckton? What a maroon.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @55

    you?

    are you perhaps you’re referring to the ably advising Moncton?

    consider me and the rest of your fans confused.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Have another drink, Marlboro.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    @57

    props for the mallrats reference. this one’s for you.

  • kdk33

    Marlowe,Are you sane?  What exactly would you like evidence for.  Please be specific.  Otherwise, I must assume you are simply an insulting name-calling ass.  Get it?

  • allen mcmahon

    Refreshing to see a thread where ideology and tribalism are not reflected in the comments.

  • Nullius in Verba

    Scott Denning has made an interesting comment here. It seems similar to my rephrasing in #6, which is a comfort.

  • kdk33

    NiV,You are only considering half of the equation, it seems to me. 

    The “clikmate change problem” is only a problem when it passes the hurdle of “shall we do something about it”.

    What we are arguing, at the end of the day, is that: should we do something about climate change. The issue is a two sided inequality with ‘science’ on the LHS and ‘solutions’ on the RHS. Are the costs/risks of climate change greater or less than the cost risks of decarbonization

    The LHS isn’t nearly as strong a function of ideology as the RHS…

    If you are one who believes in big government and in central control and in regulation and not in the free market and democracy, well the ‘solution’ kind of falls into the category of ‘things you would do anyway’.

    If you are staunchly opposed to these–consider them a threat to freedom and to human prosperity and terribly risky in and of themselves–then the ‘solution’ kind of falls in to the category of ‘things attempted only under extremem duress’.

    The hurdle rate for the former group is much lower than for the latter. The former group likes the precautionary principle: hey this might possibly be a problem, what a great excuse to take control of the economy and our troublesome political enemies. The latter group says: over my dead body, only when this CC business is a clear and present existential threat to humanity.

    The notion that ‘science’ is dismissed because of ideology is, generally speaking, a warmists strawman. An excuse to not engage their opponents or address their criticisms.

    Given the uncertainty (and there is much) in the climate sciences, it is perfectly predictable that the climate change ‘problem’ (which is only relevant in the context of the hurdle rate to ‘do something’), tends to align with ideological. Because of the solution, not the (uncertain) problem.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    Given the uncertainty (and there is much) in the climate sciences, it is perfectly predictable that the climate change “˜problem’ (which is only
    relevant in the context of the hurdle rate to “˜do something’), tends to align with ideological. Because of the solution, not the (uncertain)
    problem.

    Misrepresentation. The uncertainty over climate sensitivity for 2xCO2 is best characterised as ‘very close to 3C’. That’s not what you mean *at all*. And so your ‘uncertainty’ discourse is revealed as politicised, misleading and fundamentally unscientific.

  • kdk33

    BBD,

    Don’t you have some dishes to wash…  Your  childish insults are only topped by your ignorant assertion that climate is a one parameter system.  The uncertatinty in the climate sciences is huge – by any educated persons standard. </P>

    Please do learn to be polite.

  • BBD

    What childish insults?

  • Nullius in Verba

    #62,

    “NiV,You are only considering half of the equation, it seems to me.”

    Considerably less than half, I’d say. But the point Denning was trying to make is orthogonal to that. Yes, there are all sorts of technical issues that people discuss, besides the atmospheric physics. Effects, impacts, economics, energy generation, geology, biology, law, whatever.

    But Denning’s point was that all the people here discussing these issues are only a tiny fraction of the population. Most people are hairdressers and delivery men and shop assistants and bus drivers and so on. They don’t know any science. They don’t know any economics or agricultural biology or how power distribution grids work. A lot of them struggled with maths at school. They believe or disbelieve for reasons entirely unrelated to the technical content of the science, for the simple reason that most of them don’t understand. And this applies to both sides.

    The reason Keith’s citing of Denning’s comment got up sceptics’ noses is that most of us assumed it was referring to us. That it was just yet another shot in the culture wars, a way to say that sceptics are unscientific and scepticism has no scientific justification. But Denning seems now to be saying that he wasn’t even talking about the people in the climate blogosphere, and Keith seems to agree that the situation is less one-sided than his Yale post, and that he only concentrated on the one side because of recent events, not because he thinks it applies to only one side.

    It’s certainly possible to argue with Denning’s point. While a lot of people are sceptical or believers without being experts at the science, there is a broad spectrum of knowledge, and I think many people on it do know bits and pieces of the science, and do partially justify their belief on it. Even the layman sceptics are sceptical for broadly scientific reasons – but the reason they are more likely to know of the scientific reasons for doubt is because of their political beliefs and motivations and information sources.

    People are complicated. Denning has a point, which is not the one everyone assumed it was, but it’s never the whole story.

  • BBD

    But the robust, coherent, referenced scientific case the sceptics advance is… non-existent. Lots of talk, but SFA of any substance in the literature. Nothing overturning the decades of work that has culminated in the present ‘debate’. Rhetoric vs science.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    BBD, once again you seem to forget the philosophical function of skeptics. They are neither requested nor required to build any kind of case, let alone a robus, coherent or referenced one. That’s not their job.//If we paid them, we would be paying them for one thing only–to pick holes in cases presented to the world as robust, coherent and scientifically referenced.

  • Bobito

    @67 BBD:  “But the robust, coherent, referenced scientific case the sceptics advance is”¦ non-existent.”

    Do you consider Judith Curry a skeptic? Because she believes it likely that CO2 will cause exactly as much warming as you do: Judith Curry “I think we can bound this between 1 and 6C at a likely level” – “http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/26/agreeing/

    There are many scientific facts that “skeptics” agree upon, and certainly some room for debate on others. Dismissing the entire skeptic side as cranks is just wrong. There are many different levels.

    Would you like it if I said Al Gore was representative of all people on your side of the debate?

  • BBD

    Tom @ 68

    How – seriously, how – can sceptics ‘pick holes’ in the scientific mainstream if they do not advance a coherent and robust scientific argument? What you say is self-contradictory.

    Bobito @ 69

    Dismissing the entire skeptic side as cranks is just wrong. There are many different levels.

    I didn’t do that. I said that sceptics do not offer a robust, coherent scientific argument in support of their scepticism. Rather, they bring rhetoric – much of which springs from a world-view or explicit political stance.

  • Bobito

    @70 BDDThen please define “their scepticism”… Scepticism of what?

    That the earth is warming at all?

    That the earth is warming but it’s not an emmideate problem?

    That the earth is warming but it will never  be a problem?

    The ability to support an argument is based on the content of the arguement.  If someone is trying to scientifically argue that the earth isn’t warming they will not be able to provide a solid scientific argument.  But if they want to argue how big of a problem it is and how immediate/severe actions to correct should be then there is plenty of scientific evedence to support an arguement…

  • BBD

    Bobito, please see # 63

  • Bobito

    OK, now I have your context thank you.

    I’m aware you have some history with kdk33, so your comment may not have been in the vacuum I perceive, but how would you know by kdk33′s comment that he doesn’t agree with you that there is relative certainty on a 3C rise on doubling of CO2?

    Was that a reply directly to kdk33 and not “skeptics at large”?

    Because, as I demonstrated in my Curry link, many people labeled “Skeptics” believe much of the mainstream science that you do…

  • BBD

    Bobito

    It was a direct reply to kdk33, who has disputed the ~3C figure before.

  • Steven Sullivan

    Jffn:It is true that our unemployment rate almost came within range of the
    EU27 during a very nasty recession. Almost. One day your “ilk” will get
    us there.

    I see what you did there . USA (one nation) versus EU (multiple nations/economies). You don’t wanna be Croatia, but you don’t wanna be Denmark either, hmm?

    And blaming the recession on the ‘ilk’ who accept mainstream climate science, rather than, say, a rapacious and out of control financial sector (who really did claim to ‘know better’), is simply delusional.

  • kdk33

    Do you consider Judith Curry a skeptic? Because she believes it likely that CO2 will cause exactly as much warming as you do: Judith Curry “I think we can bound this between 1 and 6C at a likely level” ““

    You have to keep a close eye on BBD, as he is slippery one. BBD would most definantly (if he has any pretense at consistency) disagree (or worse) with Judith. BBD pegs CS at 3C with great certainty and anyone who disagrees is a liar – hence Judith, who must certainlh know better – is a liar.

    What I have argued to BBD is that CS is not known with the certainty he implies, and it could well be lower (say 1 C, which is within Judith’s range),

    Moreover, Bobito, BBD is avoiding your #71 because he will argues that climate is a one parameter systgem – if CS is 3C, then we are in deep trouble and better get to building nukes.

    I will argue that even if CS is 3C that is far from doom. I argue the impacts of warming are purely speculative and could well be beneficial– particularly given the anticipated warming profile: high latitudes, nighttime, wintertime… Much less in tropics, daytime, summer time.

    You will also notice that BBD insists on ‘references’. If you provide one he will counter with three and since he has more then he must be right and you must be a liar.

    And we haven’t even started on the RHS of the equation which I will summarize thusly: effective decarbonization must be global and must be backed by force. Good luck with that – anytime between now and the next 50 years.

    Our best strategy for now is to wait and see. And not get too worked up over magazine articles.

  • Bobito

    @76 kdk33 That’s a good point.  BBD, you didn’t answer the question I posted in #69:

    Do you think Judith Curry is a skeptic “much of which springs from a world-view or explicit political stance”?

    Or do you think she is a noble climate scientist that provides “robust, coherent scientific argument in support of her skepticism?”

  • Lazar

    Tom #68

    I think you are speaking for others too much here. What ‘skeptics’ are required to do depends upon what each one wants to achieve. By their own words, I know that some would like to convince people that the consensus is considerably incorrect. All science has “holes” in it. Picking holes means diddlysquat in itself. If skeptics want to convince myself and probably others of their case, they need to join up those dots in a way which is “coherent”, “robust” and “referenced”. That is what I “request” and “require”. Which is what scientists do anyway.

  • jeffn

    #75, Really Steven, you think size and population wise the United States is more comparable to Denmark alone than Europe as a whole? Really?

    If you had read the comment you responded to, I was pointing out that your ilk was working hard to get us to higher unemployment levels.

    #66 NiV, yes to a point. Climate science is not so much uninteresting or out of the grasp of the layman as it is that the layman is busy- he says get to the point. This is a problem you want to do… what?
    Science has already provided alternatives to coal that work – nukes, gas. The concerned don’t like them because they allow economic growth- the supposed root of ecological disaster.
    The concerned say this is “urgent” but then decide to wait around til we set policies that limit or halt growth. And blame everyone else for the delay their causing. The layman laughs at the contradiction and says “if you really think this is an issue, act like it.” Then he goes off to do something else.
    I follow it because it’s the best political satire going, even if unintentional.

  • Sashka

    @ 78

    All science has “holes” in it.

    Really? Why don’t you choose a published paper in math or theoretical physics and tell us about holes that you found?

  • BBD

    kdk33

    You have to keep a close eye on BBD, as he is slippery one. BBD would most definantly (if he has any pretense at consistency) disagree (or worse) with Judith.

    But Curry doesn’t explicitly dispute the conclusion in AR4 that:

    Since the TAR, the levels of scientific understanding and confidence in quantitative estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity have increased substantially. Basing our assessment on a combination of several independent lines of evidence, as summarised in Box 10.2 Figures 1 and 2, including observed climate change and the strength of known feedbacks simulated in GCMs, we conclude that the global mean equilibrium warming for doubling CO2, or “˜equilibrium climate sensitivity’, is likely to lie in the range 2°C to 4.5°C, with a most likely value of about 3°C. Equilibrium climate sensitivity is very likely larger than 1.5°C.

    Curry simply states that the likely bounds are between 1C – 6C. Nothing substantive has emerged post-AR4 that questions the ~3C best estimate. It is still the *most likely* value. This does not make Curry ‘a liar’.

    You repeat that ‘climate is not a one parameter system’, which remains puzzling. The calculation of climate sensitivity to 2xCO2 is an estimate of the climate response to a change in one parameter (radiative forcing from CO2). That is not the same as claiming that the climate is a ‘one parameter system’. I’d call that misdirection :-)

    Bobito @ 77

    You ask:

    Or do you think she is a noble climate scientist that provides “robust,
    coherent scientific argument in support of her skepticism?”

    Has Curry has done this?

    Do you think Judith Curry is a skeptic “much of which springs from a world-view or explicit political stance”?

    I don’t know what motivates Curry. Nor is it clear just how ‘sceptical’ she is about the broad scientific consensus on AGW. Do you know?

  • Nullius in Verba

    #78,

    “All science has “holes” in it. Picking holes means diddlysquat in itself.”

    So you would agree there are holes in it? Does the term “coherent and robust” allow for the possibility of holes in the sceptical science, too?

    Note, I’m not picking on the phrase to try to say climate science is entirely wrong. I understand what you mean. Scientific theories are essentially models of the world, and as George Box said, All models are wrong, but some are useful.

    But I want to be clear on what you mean by this. On the one hand, picking holes in hypotheses is what science is about. Holes are holes – you can’t just dismiss them as meaningless. A single inconsistency can destroy a theory. On the other hand, so long as you understand the limitations having holes in a theory implies, that doesn’t always mean you have to throw them away entirely.

    There has been a tendency in climate science to say the errors “don’t matter”; that it doesn’t matter how badly flawed the calculation or logic is so long as the conclusion turns out to be true, and that this is why you don’t need to show your working. I don’t consider that sort of thinking to be acceptable in science. But if you mean something else, it would be good to clarify just what.

  • BBD

    Holes are holes ““ you can’t just dismiss them as meaningless. A single inconsistency can destroy a theory.

    Waiting…
    :-)

  • kdk33

    Ahh BBD, slippery as ever.  Readers will note that you continue to not answer the question. 

    Or perhaps I am wrong and you have recanted and now take climate sensitivity to be between 1 and 6.  In which case there is considerable uncertainty and you will apologize for your earlier comment to me. 

    Or will you continue to argue that there is very little uncertainty and that climate sensitivity is “about 3″, but you lack the courage to take on Judith Curry.

    It must be one or the other, BBD, which is it.

    Also, regarding the one parameter system, are you seriously that confused or are you just being extra slippery today?

  • kdk33

    By the way BBD, would it be possible for you to refrain from copying and pasting such large passages from your various magazine articles.  It adds nothing to your argument and is terribly annoying.

  • kdk33

    NiV,Interesting reply.  I’m not 100% sure you get my point.  People are dismissive of the climate science problem (problem being the noun) because it doesn’t meet the ‘shall we do something about it’ hurdle.  That internal calculation looks at both LHS (CC impacts) and RHS (decarbonization impacts).  That is not the same as dismissing ‘the science’.It is a warmists strawman that those not willing to take action have dismissed the science…
    On your other point. Certaintly the public doesn’t share an equal grounding in science, but they are a lot smarter than you think. I don’t have time for a long post, but there is an interesting contrast between smoking and climate to be had here…

    For those ignorant rednecks in the fly-over states… When they are told climate is dangerously changing, they have real world experience with the weather and don’t see any change (anyone who claims they can detect, with their five senses, a 1F GAT increase is… not telling the truth). It becomes a case of “who are you gonna believe: me or your lying eyes”. Regarding climate they believe the latter.

    Funnily, regarding cigarettes they also believe the latter, which is why smoking is on the decling.

    There are other ways in which those without PhD in physics or engineering evaluate the veracity of climate science claimns. Perhaps more later.

    Last note: When ‘the people’ are in charge, things tend to work out for the best. It is when the elite, the inelligentsia, the ‘smart and educated’ consolidate power that the trouble begins. There is a reson for that.

  • kdk33

    …and BBD, I am still waiting.

  • Lazar

    Sashka #80, math and theoretical physics are also approximations to reality. As to your challenge, it is probably beyond my ability and certainly beyond my interest.

  • Lazar

    Nullius #82,

    “So you would agree there are holes in it?”

    Yes, I just said so! :-)

    “Does the term “coherent and robust” allow for the possibility of holes in the sceptical science, too?”

    Yes.

    “I understand what you mean. Scientific theories are essentially models of the world, and as George Box said, All models are wrong, but some are useful.”

    Yes, I love that quote. Some are more useful than others.

    “Holes are holes ““ you can’t just dismiss them as meaningless.”

    Perhaps I need to be clearer. Identifying holes is one thing — meaningless in itself, almost like a truism. Showing how much they effect results and conclusions is another thing.

    “A single inconsistency can destroy a theory.”

    Yes, but you have to demonstrate that hole, that inconsistency, ‘destroys’ a theory. Demonstrating effect sizes may be trivial or difficult, more difficult for a theory than a paper, more for a large body of science than a theory. Of course, identifying an inconsistency itself rests upon assumptions and prior work. Calculating effect sizes rests upon further work and assumptions. Holes within holes.

    “On the other hand, so long as you understand the limitations having holes in a theory implies, that doesn’t always mean you have to throw them away entirely.”

    Indeed.

    “There has been a tendency in climate science to say the errors “don’t matter”;”

    I haven’t seen any climate scientist claim that without further qualification, errors *per se* “don’t matter”, and they would be wrong.

    “that it doesn’t matter how badly flawed the calculation or logic is so long as the conclusion turns out to be true, and that this is why you don’t need to show your working.”

    This seems to be an interpretation of the idea that comparing results from one study with different lines of evidence can give an estimation of the effect sizes of errors/flaws/approximations. I agree with the idea but not the interpretation; for one, there are many uses for the working.

    Thanks

  • BBD

    kdk33

    Or perhaps I am wrong and you have recanted and now take climate sensitivity to be between 1 and 6.  In which case there is considerable
    uncertainty and you will apologize for your earlier comment to me.

    The *most likely* value for ECS is ~3C. As stated at #81. Curry has published exactly nothing which justifies widening the bounds to 1C – 6C and nothing which challenges the ~3C best estimate. On the other hand, there is a substantial and growing body of work which points to ~3C. Where the ‘slipperiness’ comes from baffles me. I suggest a careful re-read of #81, including my response to Bobito.

    If I have misunderstood your ‘one parameter system’ stuff, then explain what you mean rather than carping. See #81.

    Re #85, first, you do not get to tell me what to post and what not to post. I would be grateful if you would please bear this in mind in future. Second, you rarely if ever reference your arguments. You opine and assert in a vacuum . When appropriate, I like to reference as it allows others to access further relevant information if they wish. It also provides an indication that what I am saying is not merely *my opinion* but something supported by published studies. Those things you refer to as ‘magazine articles’. It’s important for you to remember that others may not share your strong anti-science prejudice. Also that others may find referenced argument more useful and persuasive than loudly-voiced opinion.

  • Sashka

    @ 80

    I didn’t say that physics is not an approximation to reality. Though off-topic, math is not. But you were talking about the holes. If you can’t find the holes in physics (let’s leave math alone for now) how do you know there are any holes?

  • Nullius in Verba

    #91,

    It’s a bit off-topic, but I can talk about the holes in physics if you like. It’s a lot easier to do that talking about science history – Newton’s gravity, Einstein’s views on black holes, renormalisation, luminiferous aether, etc. but we can also talk about quantum gravity, turbulence, and dark matter.

    There are definitely holes – the difference being that physicists rarely assert that the debate is over.

  • BBD

    NIV

    Do climatologists assert that the debate is over? Or is it more accurate to state that nothing has emerged that challenges the current understanding? And that being the case, that confidence in the standard position within atmospheric physics is justifiably high?

  • kdk33

    Yes, BBD, I am aware that you consider science to be “the stuff in magazine articles” and any argument without reference to those is anti-science.  You are free to that opinion. 

    BBD, I cannot stop you from cutting and pasting. But it isn’t helpful, and I find it annoyting. A simple link would suffice.

    Funny that you don’t attack Curry as anti-science for her assertion that there is considerable uncertainty in CS estimate. Perhaps you don’t see the inconsistency. I do. You (above) were quite critical when I suggested there was uncertainty. I think the ‘slipperyness’ is obvious.

    Regarding one parameter system.. Yes CS is, by definition, one parameter: dT/dln(CO2) – more or less. But climate is not a one parameter system in T. It isn’t F(T), but F(T,a,b,c,d,….zzz). You frequently claim that climate sensitivity is “about 3″ therefore there is a problem. It isn’t that simple (and there is still that uncertainty around 3).

  • BBD

    kdk33

    Yes CS is, by definition, one parameter: dT/dln(CO2) ““ more or less.

    Climate sensitivity is not a ‘parameter’. It is an emergent behaviour of the system.

  • kdk33

    BBD, this is a quote from your comment above:  “The calculation of climate sensitivity to 2xCO2 is an estimate of the climate response to a change in one parameter (radiative forcing from CO2)”.  I simply agree with you and you spout off some ridiculous nonsense about “emergent behavior”

    It has been a long weekend and I am quite tired, So, with all due respect, quite acting like an effing idiot.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    What’s the problem? Climate sensitivity is an emergent behaviour, not a parameter. It’s what the system does in *response* to a specific (parametrised) forcing.

    The calculation of climate sensitivity to 2xCO2 is an estimate of the climate response to a change in one parameter (radiative forcing from CO2). An equivalent change in solar forcing (~4W/m^2) would have the same effect.

    That’s because the climate system is only subject to a combination of solar forcing and forcing from the radiating atmosphere. There are no mystery sources of energy. And in the present case, it’s not the sun :-)

  • BBD

    On reflection:

    That’s because the climate system is only subject to a combination of solar forcing and forcing from the radiating atmosphere.

    Should be:

    The climate system is only subject to a combination of solar forcing and forcing from the radiating atmosphere.

  • kdk33

    Whatever

  • Nullius in Verba

    Forcing isn’t a single parameter. It’s a function of both time and location, that some people integrate over various intervals to average as a convenient approximation. But its effect on climate is not a function of its global average.

  • kdk33

    Let’s try this again and let’s not play word games.

    Knowing GAT, or the change in GAT, is insufficient information to know what will happen to climate – climate generally or climate in particular locations. And to know whether we need to ‘do something’ about CO2 requries that we know climate – generally and in particular. GAT is not enough information.

    CS to CO2 is by definition, and according to BBD’s previous “change in GAT to change in CO2)”.

  • kdk33

    Now, I am still waiting for BBD to explain why Curry’s CS between 1 and 6 doesn’t recieve the scorn BBD reserves for others who suggest there might be some uncertainty in our understanding of CS.

    If now explanation is forthcoming, I think it safe to assume that any number between 1 and 6 is reasonable to BBD.

    Actually, it would be most helpful if BBD would tell us his +/- confidence intervals, just to be clear – and avoid word games like “most likely”.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    CO2 is not a source of energy, not even a mystery one ..

    Furhter: ‘Radiative forcing’ is not a measure of (additional) energy, and quite some confusion (and erroneous analogies) arise from it being given in W/m2.

    The idea that various different ‘forcings’ should be additive is a (quite weak) conjecture. Amongst others, because all ‘forcings’ aren’t energy sources

    The ‘emergying behavior’ CS is indeed one (scalar) parameter. Especially since it is used exactly in the way as if ‘forcings’ also where energies and thus could be ‘added’.

    ‘The climate’ is not a scalar (one-parameter) system, nor is it something that is controled by scalar parameters, expecially not if many paramater (scalar or not, or just with scalar descriptions) are varying at the same time

    The idea that a rudimentary description/understanding of a system behaviour, comprised in a scalar parameter (CS) is known with high certainty to be (very) close the mean of a quite wide range of estimates/calculations/models is just laughable. Especially if one wants to argue that the location of the man by pointing out that the uncertainty interval is larger on the high side.

    The idea that the quite substantial GAT variation between roman, mideival, lite ace age and present etc warm/cold periods therefor also must imply that the high CS to CO2-doubling is a misconception. A misconception that once more relies on the erroneous idea of the a linear one-parameter (additive) system.

    Finally, to claim that nothing since the 2007 AR4 has emerged questioning the (then given mean of many models) CS-estimate, is ludicrous. Especially if all predictions from those models (used for these CS estimations) have failed in the on the same side

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    Correction:  Especially if one wants to argue that the location of the mean by pointing out that the uncertainty interval is larger on the high side.

  • Bobito

    @BBD 81 (sorry I didn’t reply more quickly, I picked a bad weekend to start a discussion)

    Bobito:  Or do you think she is a noble climate scientist that provides “robust, coherent scientific argument in support of her skepticism?”BBD:  Has Curry has done this?

    Curry puts her arguments out there for the world to see a couple times a week on Climate Etc.  They need to be robust, coherent, and scientific because Climate Etc is one of the places the scientific minutia gets debated.  Given your want to argue the minutia, I figured you would have a pretty good feel for Curry’s positions given that her site is one of the primary places those things get debated.

    Bobito:  Do you think Judith Curry is a skeptic “much of which springs from a world-view or explicit political stance”?BBD:  I don’t know what motivates Curry. Nor is it clear just how “˜sceptical’ she is about the broad scientific consensus on AGW. Do you know?

    I’m amazed you don’t have an opinion on Curry!  I just asked what you “think”…

    However, to bring this back to the point (and thread topic).  What I was trying to point out is that there are three camps in the climate debate.

    Those that take every piece of information that support CAGW as gospel and label any other information ‘the work of the devil’.Those that take every piece of information that can disprove CAGW 
    as gospel and label any other information ’the work of the devil’.Those who assess every piece of information neutrally and decided it’s validity based on merit.

    Numbers 1 and 2 are the members of the “Culture War” and number 3 are the people that are trying to make rational decision but can’t because numbers 1 and 2 are always crying about the “work of the devil” and vaulting cherry picked pieces of evidence as “gospel”.

    Which one are you BDD?  Are you going about this debate scientifically and fairly, or are you one side of the Climate “Culture War”?  

    Do you realize that you are just as damaging to this debate as those that spout crap they hear from Glenn Beck or promote something they found on WUWT as proof CAGW is not happening?

  • Bobito

    @105  It was probubly a bit a strech to assume the numbering would work given that page breaks don’t…  ;)

    That should be:

    1. Those that take every piece of information that support CAGW as gospel and label any other information “˜the work of the devil’.

    2. Those that take every piece of information that could disprove CAGW as gospel and label any other information “˜the work of the devil’.

    Those that take every piece of information that support CAGW as gospel and label any other information “˜the work of the devil’.
    3. Those who assess every piece of information neutrally and decided it’s validity based on merit.

  • BBD

    Bobito

    How can you ask this:

    Which one are you BDD?  Are you going about this debate scientifically and fairly, or are you one side of the Climate
    “Culture War”? 

    And then say this:

    Do you realize that you are just as damaging to this debate as those that spout crap they hear from Glenn Beck

    Unless you have already made up your mind?

    I think that ‘sceptics’ such as we see here are a sorry lot, forced into nitpicking, irrelevant and usually incorrect argument because they don’t have anything substantive on which to base their scepticism. They are nevertheless vociferous, relentless and frequently aggressive. So why suggest that *I* am ‘damaging’ the debate?

    Do please review this thread as you consider my question.

  • Bobito

    BDD, yes, I already made up my mind. Perhaps adding my opinion made it seem like the question was rhetorical, but I’m genuinely curious where you feel you stand in this debate?

    Unfortunately, when I asked where you stand you just spun the question around and stated what you felt about the “sorry lot” of “skeptics” we see here.  I didn’t need that answer, I have little doubt how you feel about those you debate…

    I agree, their are “deniers” out there that are very damaging to the debate (it’s snowing, AGW is over – warming trend has stopped, nothing to see here - shoddy science at IPCC, it’s all a hoax – Jesus wouldn’t let it happen!).  But I don’t think there are many among the regulars here.  Someone arguing the physics of the greenhouse effect, or there certainly of how much warming will come from 2xCO2 is someone being skeptical because there are  divergent opinions in the scientific community.  (note:  if someone says they disagree that there will be 3C warming they are not a denialist.  That number is not a fact, it’s an educated guess.)

    “So why suggest that *I* am “˜damaging’ the debate? ”

    Technically, I said you were just as damaging as a ‘denier’, if it was just one side doing the damage it would be a lot easier to control. 

    What I am assuming you are asking is “why am I only picking on you and not the deniers?”  That’s easy, tribalism!  

    What motivates you?

  • BBD

    Technically, I said you were just as damaging as a “˜denier’Yes, but *why*? What am I supposed to have done? Be specific, please.

  • Bobito

    How about answering a question from time to time…

  • BBD

    Bobito

    How about answering a question from time to time”¦

    Ah… I see. I want specifics on why I am ‘just as damaging [to this debate] as a denier’ and you won’t say.

    I’ve just checked. I responded to you at I responded to you at # 70, # 72, # 74 and # 81.

  • Bobito

    Nice, cherry pick the answers you did give and ignore the ones you declined to answer. Sounds like the way you, and deniers, go about identifying the AGW “facts” as well.  Do you honestly feel you haven’t been dodging the questions I’ve proposed?I don’t think you are here to learn or engage in real debate, you are here to tell people why you are right and avoid going down any route that raises your cognitive dissonance flags…Thus the dangerous bit.  If everyone were so rigid we wouldn’t get anything accomplished.  You have a need to WIN the fight, not find amicable solutions.Tribalism and cognitive dissonance are very powerful, one needs to actively fight against them to find the real truths…I hope that answers your question.So, what motivates you?

  • Bobito

    Crap, with formatting:

    Nice, cherry pick the answers you did give and ignore the ones you declined to answer. Sounds like the way you, and deniers, go about identifying the AGW “facts” as well.  Do you honestly feel you haven’t been dodging the questions I’ve proposed?

    I don’t think you are here to learn or engage in real debate, you are here to tell people why you are right and avoid going down any route that raises your cognitive dissonance flags”¦

    Thus the dangerous bit.  If everyone were so rigid we wouldn’t get anything accomplished.  You have a need to WIN the fight, not find amicable solutions.

    Tribalism and cognitive dissonance are very powerful, one needs to actively fight against them to find the real truths”¦

    I hope that answers your question.

    So, what motivates you? 

  • BBD

    Bobito

    Curiosity motivates me. Also a certain antipathy to strident misrepresentation. Again, your response is too thin on detail. What questions did you propose that I evaded?

  • Bobito

    OK.  Please, for the sake of time, allow me to re-phrase my compliant:

    You have been evasive  with answering any questions that lead down the road of admitting there is a middle ground.  That someone can have a differing opinion from yours without being a “liar” or “troll” (please don’t ask me to identify where you’ve said that, it’s a common theme on your posts…)

    I started with a question about a response you had kdk33, you were happy to tell me that your problem was with kdk33 so I tried to change the argument to a Climate Scientist that shared kdk33′s view (to make a level playing field since Curry actually NEEDS to stand behind what she says).  I wanted to know if you were willing to use the same words to describe her having an uncertainty about ~3C at 2xCO2.  Or if you would say she is spouting nothing but ideological rhetoric and lies…

    And, with that, I was hoping to point out that you are part of the problem with the “Culture War” that is the AGW debate.  Clinging to a “fact” regardless of  where and how the objection comes to you.  Then using cognitive dissonance to justify it.

    Because, it’s easy to justify an anonymous “troll” having a differing opinion, but when one of the most critically reviewed climate scientists on earth** has another opinion, the cognitive dissonance needs to go into overdrive…

    **I say this due to her blog.

  • Lazar

    Sashka #91,

    A sincere question: what do you believe that math ‘is’?

    If physics is an approximation to reality, it follow that there are ‘holes’. See the quote from George Box provided by Nullius.

  • Lazar

    Nullius #92,

    Renormalisation sounds quirky, would you talk to me about that?

    “There are definitely holes ““ the difference being that physicists rarely assert that the debate is over.”

    I wonder how “rarely” is defined, what is referred to by “the debate”, and who said what where when, but above all I’m not sure what relevance you are claiming for the assertion “the difference being that physicists rarely assert that the debate is over” to this discussion? Instead of “the difference” I would claim “one difference”, which permits us to count other differences… such as in physics the lack of a politically aligned ‘skeptic’ movement of comparable size, funding and media attention casting doubt and all sorts of mud on science and the formation of knowledge.

  • BBD

    Bobito

    You have been evasive  with answering any questions that lead down the road of admitting there is a middle ground.

    The middle ground is about 3C ECS. I’m in the middle of the middle ground :-)

    This isn’t about culture wars. This is about the basics. JC has not published her blog redefinition of the uncertainty bounds for ECS in a reviewed journal. So, no comment. As of now, the best estimate for ECS is ~3C. After decades of work (remember Charney 1979?). That’s where the science is.

    I’m not pretending that I know better. Are you?

  • Bobito

    From what I’ve found, ~3C is reasonable, yes.  And as long as you are giving it the weight that at “best estimate” deserves, there is no problem.

    The problem with estimates is that they are estimates for a reason.  It’s the best the experts could come up with given the information they have.  If I invest in a mutual fund that the experts say has a “best estimate” of returning 10% I have no guaranty that I’ll get it.  I could get 20% or I could get nothing.

    Also, the further out you estimate the less likely you are to get the estimated result…

    So, if someone wants to debate the 3C they are not lying, they are being cautious, one could even say conservative…

  • BBD

    So, if someone wants to debate the 3C they are not lying, they are being cautious, one could even say conservative”¦

    If someone wants to debate the best estimate they need a solid, extensive body of work behind them. In its absence, we are obliged to go with ~3C.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    i’d like to know what the ‘middle’ ground is from someone of the contrarian persuastion and some reflection on it’s relevance to policy decisions.

    in all sincerity.

    usually, the concept of a ‘middle ground’ is used as a rhetorical device in political arguments to paint oneself as the epitome of reasonableness, besieged by misguided ‘extremists’ on both sides.  definitely the place to be if you can manage it (unless your trying to pickup chicks, in which case the rebel/lone wolf/independent thinker/judith curry/ayn rand position is the better bet). ok maybe not the last two, but you get my drift.

    I’m most interested in understanding what the boundaries are — from a contrarian’s POV — that demarcate the ‘middle ground’ from other positions along the spectrum.

  • kdk33

    Ahh, but BBD is (purposefully) missing the point.  Our best estimate may well be centered at 3 C, but what are the bounds,  BBD continues to dodge the absolutely essential uncertainty question.  Is 2.9 withing bounds, 2, 1, 0.5. 

    There is no requirement that the best estimate be a good estimate. Nor is universal adherence to that estimate demanded. We are not obliged to go with 3 so long as it remains… an estimate.

    And this: “they need a solid, extensive body of work behind them” is a weak appeal to authority. With typical BBD weasel words “solid”, “extensive”. In other words: magazine articles.

  • BBD

    There is no requirement that the best estimate be a good estimate.

    One has to smile.

  • BBD

    And since when were ‘solid’ and ‘extensive’ weasel words?
    :-)

  • Bobito

    @BBD 120  ”we are obliged to go with ~3C”

    Obliged to go how far?  I can agree with you that ~3C is a rational place to be right now.  But to what end?  What reaction should that merit?

    Being that it is, well, a “best estimate”…

  • kdk33

    There is no requirement that the best estimate be a good estimate.
    One has to smile.—————————————————————

    Yes, BBD, this is exactly the kind of silliniess that folks around here are fed up with about you.  I assume you understood full well what I wrote and furtheremore you know it to be correct, but just as NiV described, you will pretend confusion and then claim victory with another of your sarcastic little quips that imagine a coup.  So, let me be perfectly clear.

    1.  You continue to NOT ANSWER the question of uncertainty.  I have asked several times.  Everyone sees you waffling.  I will continue to ask until you man up and provide an answer.

    2.  The best estimate could be 3 +/- 6, it could be 3 +/-2, it could be 3 +/- 0.01.  There is no requirement that the ‘best we can do right now’ be very good by an objective measure. Do you seriously find this confusing?

    Solid and extensive are weasel words. You know this. Readers know this. Whey do you play this game?

    Now, how’s about you answer the question. With what NUMERICAL certianty do you know CS to be 3? Is Judith Curry a liar for saying it could be 1?

  • kdk33

    Marlowe,Perhaps you could first describe what you consider to be a contrarian.

  • Marlowe Johnson

    for the sake of simplicity, i’ll suggest that a contrarian in this context is someone who rejects the core conclusions of AR4 IPCC WG I.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    1.  You continue to NOT ANSWER the question of uncertainty.  I have asked several times.  Everyone sees you waffling.  I will continue to ask until you man up and provide an answer.

    Everyone can see you being aggressive and blustering, too :-)

    But since you appear to struggle with the concept of a *most likely* value, instead apparently regarding all values within the bounds of uncertainty as *equally* likely, let’s try and sort out the mess.

    To be absolutely plain – heaven forbid I might seem evasive about a point I have repeated a hundred times here – I am happy to accept the IPCC *most likely* value:

    Since the TAR, the levels of scientific understanding and confidence in quantitative estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity have increased substantially. Basing our assessment on a combination of several independent lines of evidence, as summarised in Box 10.2 Figures 1 and 2, including observed climate change and the strength of known feedbacks simulated in GCMs, we conclude that the global mean equilibrium warming for doubling CO2, or “˜equilibrium climate sensitivity’, is likely to lie in the range 2°C to 4.5°C, with a most likely value of about 3°C. Equilibrium climate sensitivity is very likely larger than 1.5°C.

    Okay, so what does ‘most likely’ mean? IIRC, in WG1 ‘likely’ = >66% and ‘most likely’ = >90%.

    So I accept the estimate of ECS to be between 2C – 4.5C (likely; >66%) with a most likely (>90%) value of ~3C.

    Why don’t you understand that the likelihood of the estimated value being correct is lower at the bounds of the range of uncertainty?

    Solid and extensive are weasel words. You know this. Readers know this. Whey do you play this game?

    No, they are not. They are clear and self-explanatory. You are objecting to this because you know there is no solid and extensive body of work indicating a low CS. If you are going to insist that these are ‘weasel words’ then you need to explain and demonstrate exactly why. Repeating nonsense doesn’t magically turn it into the truth.

  • BBD

    Bobito @ 125

    I believe the generally agreed plan is to reduce CO2 emissions as fast as reasonably possible. I know this has proved… tricky, so far, but it still seems to be the most reasonable response based on the current state of knowledge.

  • Bobito

    @BBD 130:  ”reasonably possible”  That’s the tricky bit, ‘eh?  

    What’s reasonable ties directly to the certainty of the problem.  I’ll try and be careful to not open a can of worms, but going down the lines we have on this thread this really is the core argument…  

    What’s reasonable is based on the level of certainty.  To say we must do what is “reasonably possible” means very little given how difficult (if not impossible) it would be to implement any meaningful solution on a global scale.  

    The level of certainly is certainly in question.  The von Storch survey  shows that the climate scientist themselves are, in most cases, luke warm on the predictions, faith in models, and data availability.

    These questions are weighted 1 (very poor) through 7 (very good), from von Storch link above:16d. How would you rate the ability of global climate models to model temperature values for the next 50 years:  Mean 3.71

    17d. How would you rate the ability of regional climate models to model temperature values for the next 50 years:  Mean 3.35

    How can the IPCC be 90% certain of ~3C when the opinion of climate scientists, as a group, puts their faith in temperature models directly between very good and very poor? 

  • BBD

    How can the IPCC be 90% certain of ~3C when the opinion of climate scientists, as a group, puts their faith in temperature models directly between very good and very poor?

    Because it’s not just about models. See Knutti & Hegerl’s 2008 review paper. The most likely value is supported by multiple lines of investigation.

    I’m not at all trying to be dismissive, but I think we need to do better than a highly partial interpretation of vS&B’s survey. What is required is a substantial and extensive body of work ( :-) ) that points to a different value. It doesn’t exist, and that’s where we are today.

  • kdk33

    So I accept the estimate of ECS to be between 2C ““ 4.5C (likely; >66%) with a most likely (>90%) value of ~3C.

    BBD, you seem to be closing in on sensitivity.  As far as I can tell, (from what I think you might have meant with the quote above) Judith Curry disagress with you.  Is she a liar?

    But, before we go there, I must ask that you clarify the above.  If I take what you have written at face value, then the confidence level increases as the interval decreases.  CS is with 90-% certainty a 3 (which isn’t even an interval), but only 66% likely to lie between 2 and 4.5.  Very strange indeed

  • kdk33

    What is required is a substantial and extensive body of work

    No, BBD, this is at the core of much of what you say.  If you want to count citations and base your scientific understanding on such a vote, you are certainly free to do so.  But it is a naked appeal to authority, a logical fallacy.  Such appeals are not satisfying to many of us.  And we see the pervesions in the climate sciences that make such counting meaningless in the first place.

    As I have told you before.  If you want to argue that more magazine articles say ‘climate doom’ than say otherwise, nobody is going to disagree with you.  If you want to argue that climate sensitivity is therefore known with 90% certainty to be 3, you have a weak argument.  If you want to argue we should therefore do [insert various decarbonization strategies] you have a pitiful argument.

  • BBD

    BBD, you seem to be closing in on sensitivity.  As far as I can tell,
    (from what I think you might have meant with the quote above) Judith Curry disagress with you.  Is she a liar?

    First up, let’s have a link. I’m not going to comment on what JC is supposed to have said until I’ve read it. But I can say this: if she said 1C (low confidence) then fine and dandy. This does not make JC ‘a liar’. I said this at # 81:

    “Curry simply states that the likely bounds are between 1C ““ 6C. Nothing substantive has emerged post-AR4 that questions the ~3C best estimate. It is still the *most likely* value. This does not make Curry “˜a liar’.”

    But it is a naked appeal to authority, a logical fallacy.

    Referenced argument is not a ‘logical fallacy’. This was nonsense last time you wheeled it out. And as I said above, repeating nonsense does not transmute it into truth.

    If you want to argue that more magazine articles say “˜climate doom’ than say otherwise, nobody is going to disagree with you.

    There you go again with your loopy anti-science stuff. Hard to take you seriously when you do this.

  • kdk33

    First off BBD, you did not answer my question in #133.  Why does certainty increase as the interval decreases and what interval around 3 gets to be in the 90%

    Now, since Judith is not a liar, then I take it you agree that it is reasonable to think CS could be as low as 1 and you will refrain from further comments such as your #63. 

    Now, about magazine articles.  Climate science journals are magazines written by, edited by, written for, and paid for by, people who make the living off of climate alarm.  The perversions in research funding, editorial practices, tenure, etc are obvious.  If you want to count citations to determine that more journal articles say X than Y, you are free to do so.  But it is now and will remain a logical fallacy.

    You like to ask for “references” and “a body of work” because this plays to your particular appeal.  People appeal to authority for lots of reasons, and if you need to do so here, then fine.  But don’t label those who want to think differently ”loopy anti-science”.  It’s not polite and it is incorrect. 

  • Bobito

    @BBD 132  “I think we need to do better than a highly partial interpretation of vS&B’s survey”

    How is stating that mean responses of 3.71 and 3.21 are “luke warm”, on a scale weighted 1 thru 7, a “highly partial interpretation”?  I would argue that any other opinion would be partial by definition. My interpretation is accurate.

    Or are you accusing me of cherry picking from the article?  If so, I can pick from many questions on the von Storch survey to show how “luke warm” climate scientists are on their certainly of various predictions.  They are even luke warm about the information on which they base their predictions:

    11a. Data availability for climate change analysis is:  Mean 3.87

  • BBD

    Bobito

    You seem to be missing the point I made at # 132:
    Because it’s not just about models. See Knutti & Hegerl’s 2008 review paper. The most likely value is supported by multiple lines of investigation.

  • BBD

    Eh, missed a bit; sorry. What does this tell us about the general confidence among climate scientists about the ECS estimate?

    22. How convinced are you that climate change poses a very serious and dangerous threat to humanity?

    Mean: 5.57

  • Bobito

    BBD

    I didn’t miss it, I’m happy to concede the point that “The most likely value is supported by multiple lines of investigation.”

    That doesn’t change the fact that their is uncertainty among climate scientist on the accuracy.

    (1 – Very Inadequate   7 – Very Adequate) 

    11c. The state of theoretical understanding of climate change phenomena is: Mean 3.86

    11d. Current theory development for climate change is:  Mean 3.96

  • BBD

    kdk33

    First off BBD, you did not answer my question in #133.  Why does certainty increase as the interval decreases and what interval around 3 gets to be in the 90%

    I don’t follow this, possibly because it is obfuscatory and confused. The AR4 treatment of uncertainty is summarised here:

    Where uncertainty in specific outcomes is assessed using expert judgment [sic] and statistical analysis of a body of evidence (e.g. observations or model results), then the following likelihood ranges are used to express the assessed probability of occurrence: virtually certain >99%; extremely likely >95%; very likely >90%; likely >66%; more likely than not > 50%; about as likely as not 33% to 66%; unlikely <33%; very unlikely <10%; extremely unlikely <5%; exceptionally unlikely <1%.

    You say:

    Now, since Judith is not a liar, then I take it you agree that it is reasonable to think CS could be as low as 1 and you will refrain from
    further comments such as your #63. 

    It is not *likely* that ECS is 1C. Nor do you have any evidence to support a position substantially different from the current estimate of ~3C. We are going round in circles. See # 135:

    But I can say this: if she said 1C (low confidence) then fine and dandy. This does not make JC “˜a liar’. I said this at # 81:

    “Curry simply states that the likely bounds are between 1C ““ 6C. Nothing substantive has emerged post-AR4 that questions the ~3C best
    estimate. It is still the *most likely* value. This does not make Curry “˜a liar’.”

    Now can we have a link to what JC actually said?

  • BBD

    Bobito

    11c is vague. We cannot argue that it is this much or that much weighted by the respondents’ specific views on the accuracy of the ECS estimate:

    11c. The state of theoretical understanding of climate change phenomena is: Mean 3.86

    22 on the other hand is much more explicit:

    22. How convinced are you that climate change poses a very serious and dangerous threat to humanity?

    Mean: 5.57

    I suggest that insight into the scientific confidence on the ECS estimate is better provided by this result. Can’t prove it, mind :-)

  • Bobito

    @BBD 139 “22. How convinced are you that climate change poses a very serious and dangerous threat to humanity?  Mean: 5.57″

    I always find that one interesting when viewing the von Storch poll.  How can all the opinions be in the 3-4 range for available data, model accuracy, ability to predict 50 year out, and theoretical understanding.  But then they get 5.57 on the affects of the data they are uncertain about.

    That value certainly backs up the point of the Knutti & Hegerl’s 2008 paper, in that they can be uncertain about many thing but when everything is put together you can be more certain.  However, it still doesn’t change the uncertainty in the underlying data, methods and understanding that leads to that belief.

    I think we’ve reached the point of splitting hairs here, especially since I don’t have a big problem with the ~3C figure or using that figure as a guideline for action.  But, again, using it because it’s the best estimate not because it necessarily what will happen.  If ~3C is portrayed as “fact”, it’s just a “highly partial interpretation” of the IPCC estimate.

  • Bobito

    BTW, here is the link I got Curry’s 1-6C quote from.

    Unfortunately, it’s just her passing statements not a a full post on why here bounds are set where they are.  I know she has a lot more information posted on CS, but it’s just impossible to find anything she posts because googling Curry and any word associated with climate brings back about half the articles ever written on climate change!  ;)

  • BBD

    Bobito

    If ~3C is portrayed as “fact”, it’s just a “highly partial interpretation” of the IPCC estimate.

    Sure, but we mustn’t fall victim to over-stating the uncertainty either. This exchange has walked the tightrope, IMO ;-) I’m happy to leave it here if you are. And thanks for the civility. It’s welcome and refreshing.

  • Bobito

    @BDD – Agreed, the only thing this conversion has left in it is a tangent down another rat hole!  ;)   

    Happy Blogging!

  • kdk33

    BBD, this is quote from your previous:  “So I accept the estimate of ECS to be between 2C ““ 4.5C (likely; >66%) with a most likely (>90%) value of ~3C. ”

    Now, according to this, you are 90% certain the CS is 3.  This is, on it’s face, meaningless.  The likelihood of CS being exactly 3 is vanishingly small – at least in the general context of the usual statistics.  For this statement to have meaning there should be some interval, ie 90% likely to fall between 2.9 and 3.1.

    Moreover, though you consider CS to be 3 with 90% confidence, when you expane the interval to 2 – 4.5 the confidence drops.  Given any reasonably smooth PDF, the confidence should increase as the interval increase, not the other way round.

    So, I can only conclude that if CS is 66% to fall between 2-4.5, then when you say 90% likely to be 3, what you really mean is withing a range centered on 3 that is larger than 2 – 4.5, possibly about 1-6 as Curry says.

    Otherwise, please explain to me how you can be 90% certain the value is 3, but only 66% certain it is between 2 and 4.5.

  • BBD

    Bobito

    Thanks for hunting down the link. But as you say, it’s not altogether helpful :-) . JC states that ECS is 1C – 6C (likely; >66%) but she is  isolated in this view. So far she has only ventured it on her blog rather than in the PRL. For me at least, this leaves the standard position just where it was.

  • BBD

    Bobito @ 146

    Sorry, we crossed. I’d have left it if I’d read your #146.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    The likelihood of CS being exactly 3 is vanishingly small ““ at least in the general context of the usual statistics.  For this statement to have meaning there should be some interval, ie 90% likely to fall between 2.9 and 3.1.

    Yes, 90% likelihood does imply a range of actual values. Centred on 3C. This is obvious and uncontroversial.

    So, I can only conclude that if CS is 66% to fall between 2-4.5,

    The likelihood of >66% applies to the *boundary values* of 2C and 4.5C, not the central estimate. That means it is *less than* 66% likely that ECS is below 2C or above 4.5C. Within this range, it is >90% likely that ECS is 3C. Give or take a bit. Quite likely take. Just under 3C looks a bit more likely than just over. This should be obvious and uncontroversial too. 

  • kdk33

    Yes, 90% likelihood does imply a range of actual values. Centred on 3C. This is obvious and uncontroversial

    Yes, this is obvious what the statement must mean to have any meaning at all (whether it is factually correct or not is a different matter, but let’s just please try to get to something meaningful).  Now, what is that range?  Bigger or smaller than 2 to 4.5?

    The likelihood of >66% applies to the *boundary values* of 2C and 4.5C, not the central estimate.

    I have no idea what this could possibly mean.  The probability of CS being either exactly 2 or exactly 4.5 is vanishingly small.  The 66% can only apply to the interval – if is to have any meaning, just as pointed out above.

    That means it is *less than* 66% likely that ECS is below 2C or above 4.5C.

    I have no idea what this means.  At face value then, it could be 65% likely to be below 2 and 65% likely to be above 4.5.  And this is non-sense.  Let’s stick to two questions:  what is the likelihood it is between 2 and 4.5?  what is  the likelihood it falls outside this range.

    Within this range, it is >90% likely that ECS is 3C. 

    But this is where we started.  The likelihood that it is 3 is vanishingly small.  There must be an interval (I thought you just agreed to that above).  What is the inteval corresponding to 90% confidence?

    Give or take a bit. Quite likely take. Just under 3C looks a bit more likely than just over.

    I’ve no idea what this has to do with anything we’ve discussed.

    This should be obvious and uncontroversial too. 

    I can’t make heads or tails of your description, so I can’t imagine what it is that you find “obvious and uncontroversial”.  Please clarify?
     

  • BBD

    kdk33

    Misinterpret and obfuscate away to your heart’s content. The most likely value for ECS is not affected. It’s either a bit above, or a bit below 3C.

  • BobN

    BBD @ 107 says :The calculation of climate sensitivity to 2xCO2 is an estimate of the climate response to a change in one parameter (radiative forcing from CO2). Anequivalent change in solar forcing (~4W/m^2) would have the same effect.That’s because the climate system is only subject to a combination of solar forcing and forcing from the radiating atmosphere. There are no mystery sources of energy.BBD, what I think you meant to say was that there can only be a change in the total amount of energy in the ocean/atmospshere system due to either a change in solar forcing, a forcing due to changes in the radiative properties of the atmosphere, or (here’s what you forgot) a change in the earth’s albedo.  Clearly, the climate system is a whole lot more than just the total amount of energy in the system.Secondly, please explain why an equivalent W/m2 change in solar forcing (external and with different effects at different latitudes) should necessarily have the same effect as a change in forcing due to CO2, which is more or less evenly distributed throughout the atmosphere.  This is one of the issues I have with the Hansen and Seto paper you are so fond of.  They rightly note that on a globally averaged basis the total change in W/m2 due to Milankovitch cycles is relatively small but gloss over the fact that at polar latitudes the changes in solar insolation are in the several tens of W/m2, which clearly could have significant impact on climate.

  • kdk33

    BBD,

    Incredible!! 

    I am engaging you in a high school level discussion of probability distributions and confidence intervals.  Not only can you not keep up, you can’t even start.  Your #150 is perfect nonsense.  All you are able to do is parrot that “3 is the most likely value”, but you have, apparently, no idea what most likely might actually mean.

    I’ll give you one more chance to clarify, then I will conclude, as did Jonas, that you are a fake, a poser, a pretender.  And pathetic.

    One last chance to address my #151.

  • kdk33

    Bob,

    They rightly note that on a globally averaged basis the total change in W/m2 due to Milankovitch cycles is relatively small but gloss over the fact that at polar latitudes the changes in solar insolation are in the several tens of W/m2, which clearly could have significant impact on climate.

    We’ve covered this before with BBD.  Don’t hold your breath. 

  • BBD

    kdk33

    I am engaging you in a high school level discussion of probability distributions and confidence intervals.No, you are failing to read/understand the AR4 treatment of uncertainty. And you are blustering again. It’s tedious.

  • BBD

    BobN

    This is one of the issues I have with the Hansen and Seto paper you are so fond of.  They rightly note that on a globally averaged basis the total change in W/m2 due to Milankovitch cycles is relatively small but gloss over the fact that at polar latitudes the changes in solar insolation are in the several tens of W/m2, which clearly could have significant impact on climate.

    First, HS12 explicitly acknowledges the role of ice albedo:

    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.

    Second, its methodology is not in any way affected by the mechanics of ice-sheet breakup under high-latitude insolation changes: (from section 3.1):

    A satisfactory quantitative interpretation of how each orbital parameter alters climate has not yet been achieved. Milankovitch argued that the magnitude of summer insolation at high latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere was the key factor determining when glaciation and deglaciation occurred. Huybers (2006) points out that insolation integrated over the summer is affected only by axial tilt. Hansen et al. (2007a) argue that late spring (mid-May) insolation is the key, because early ‘flip’ of ice sheet albedo to a dark wet condition produces a long summer melt season; they buttress this argument with data for the timing of the last two deglaciations (Termination I 13-14,000 years ago and Termination II about 130,000 years ago).

    Fortunately, it is not necessary to have a detailed quantitative theory of the ice ages in order to extract vitally important information. In the following section we show that Milankovitch climate oscillations provide our most accurate assessment of climate sensitivity.

    HS12 compares global average temperature change between the LGM and the Holocene and the alterations in radiative forcings that caused the temperature change. The sensitivity estimate of ~0.77C per W/m^2 change in RF is derived from the ratio of the temperature change to the total forcing:

    The empirical fast-feedback climate sensitivity that we infer from the LGM-Holocene comparison is thus 5°C/6.5 W/m2 ~ ¾ ± ¼ °C per W/m2 or 3 ± 1°C for doubled CO2.

    The standard calculation of RF from 2xCO2 is 3.7W/m^2. The empirical calculation of CS to 2xCO2 is simply 3.7W/m^2 x 0.77C = 2.8C

    The empirical analysis is completed as follows:

    If Earth were a blackbody without climate feedbacks the equilibrium response to 4 W/m2 forcing would be about 1.2°C (Hansen et al., 1981, 1984; Lacis et al., 2010), implying that the net effect of all fast feedbacks is to amplify the equilibrium climate response by a factor 2.5. GISS climate models suggest that water vapor and sea ice feedbacks together amplify the sensitivity from 1.2°C to 2-2.5°C. The further amplification to 3°C is the net effect of all other processes, with the most important ones probably being aerosols, clouds, and their interactions.

    I’m puzzled as to how you came up with your objection if you had actually read the paper.

  • BobN

    BBD – You have nicely avoided my question which was clearly stated as “please explain  why an equivalent W/m2 change in solar forcing (external and with different effects at different latitudes) should necessarily have the same effect as a change in forcing due to CO2, which is more or less evenly distributed throughout the atmosphere.”  My comment relative to Hansen and Seto was simply an aside to that question.  Further, I never said they didn’t mention that some argue that it is the magnitude of polar insolation changes but rather that they glossed over it and simply went on to use the globally-averaged change in insolation for their calculation.  I maintain that using globally averaged changes in forcing is too simplistic an approach. 

  • BBD

    BobN

    I’m sorry, but I haven’t got time for ‘sceptical’ word-games this afternoon. I have answered you in full. You have misunderstood H&S (which I doubt you have actually read), you have misunderstood the explanation at #157 and you are still talking. Please go back and *read* H&S and *read* my response above. It’s bad enough with kdk33. I am not wasting all bloody day on two of you.

  • kdk33

    At this point, BBD, I will assume that no meaningful reply to my #151 is forthcoming.  Thus I will offer this, my very last response to a BBD post:You have now amply demonstrated that not only do you not understand  the science, you lack the basic tools to even begin evaluating the veracity of climate science claims.   As far as I can tell, you have a web browser, a permenant link to skeptical science and you know how to cut-n-paste.  It doesn’t bother me that you carry on with such authority and seeming high intellect – people posture all the time and there is generally no harm.  And, while your insults are from time to time annoying, insults are part of the blog commenting game.  My objection to you is different…You are advocating for policy that will be destructive to every single economy in the world.  It will bring about human suffering; people will die.  You decry any who disagree with you as liars, obfuscators, smokers, etc.  You are willing to kill millions in the name of a science you can’t even begin to comprehend.It’s sad.  And irresponsible.  And I’ve had enough.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    You still haven’t read/understood the AR4 treatment of uncertainty. If you really think there is a problem with this then off you go and take it up with the IPCC. Which will stare at you in bemusement for a while and then fall about laughing.

    You have now amply demonstrated that not only do you not understand  the science, you lack the basic tools to even begin evaluating the veracity of climate science claims.

    Balls :-)

    Finally, I would be delighted if you ceased responding to my comments. Your signature blend of time-wasting incomprehension and loopy editorialising has lost much of its quirky charm.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Reading neverending blog comments save minutes reading footnotes:

    Though the TAR Technical Summary attached “˜likely’ to the 1.5°C – 4.5°C range, the word “˜likely’ was used there in a general sense rather than in a specific calibrated sense. No calibrated confidence assessment was given in either the Summary for Policymakers or in Chapter 9 of the TAR, and no probabilistic studies on climate sensitivity were cited in Chapter 9 where the range was assessed.

    Source: 10.5 Quantifying the Range of Climate Change Projections

  • BBD

    willard

    Reading neverending blog comments save minutes reading footnotes:

    Indeed, and thanks for the clarification on usage in the TAR. I linked to the relevant footnote dealing with usage in AR4 at # 141.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Another quote from the same resource, connecting with the above footnote:

    A probabilistic interpretation of the results is problematic, because each model is assumed to be equally credible and the results depend upon the assumed shape of the fitted distribution. Although the AOGCMs used in IPCC reports are an “˜ensemble of opportunity’ not designed to sample modelling uncertainties systematically or randomly, the range of sensitivities covered has been rather stable over many years. This occurs in spite of substantial model developments, considerable progress in simulating many aspects of the large-scale climate, and evaluation of those models against observations. Progress has been made since the TAR in diagnosing and understanding inter-model differences in climate feedbacks and equilibrium climate sensitivity.

    One can see lots of words just by reading.

  • kdk33

    Willard throws BBD under the bus.  Wonders never cease.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    How? Perhaps you too should read the words:

    Where uncertainty in specific outcomes is assessed using expert judgment [sic] and statistical analysis of a body of evidence (e.g.
    observations or model results), then the following likelihood ranges are used to express the assessed probability of occurrence: virtually certain >99%; extremely likely >95%; very likely >90%; likely >66%; more likely than not > 50%; about as likely as not 33% to 66%; unlikely <33%; very unlikely <10%; extremely unlikely <5%; exceptionally unlikely <1%.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    BBD,

    I believe this quote is taken from this footnote. Am I correct?

    If that’s the case, notice the first words:

    In this Summary for Policymakers [...]

    There is thus a scope in their quasi-formal interpretation.

    This footnote also refers to some box TS1.

    Also note this instructive strategy. If a commenter does not criticize positions that people believe are expressed by his own side, that commenter is showing tribalism. But if he does, he’s throwing someone under the bus. Procrustes could not have done better, don’t you think?

  • BBD

    willardIt came from here. Note that:

    WG II has used a combination of confidence and likelihood assessments and WG I has predominantly used likelihood assessments.

    This Synthesis Report follows the uncertainty assessment of the underlying WGs.

    I’m not really sure what you mean by ‘scope’. Certainly this is not a matter of some arbitrary fudge of WG1′s handling of uncertainty concocted just for the SPM. Scope for poorly constrained uncertainty? Then how much? My understanding is that WG1 uses the stated treatment of uncertainty for the ECS estimate because the estimate is derived from a variety of methods (as summarised in box 10.2). The same multi-factoral approach to the problem of estimating ECS also provides a framework within which the likelihood of the best estimate being ~3C can be assessed. There is ‘scope’ (if I interpret your meaning correctly) but not as much as some have claimed. 

    As for the other chap – yes. There’s no pleasing some people.

  • kdk33

    A  brief recap for the interested reader:

    In the beginning, I claimed that there was uncertainty in the climate sciences.  BBD chimed in that I was a liar becaue CS was known to be “about 3″.  This is wrong on 2 counts:  CS is not known to be 3 and even if it was there would still be considerable uncertainty in the climate sciences.

    Bobito points out that Judith Curry thinks there is considerable uncertainty in CS and it can only be constrained to between 1 and 6.  BBD is challenged:  is JC also a liar?  After some waffling, BBD concedes that JC is not a liar.  How BBD can square JC not lying about considerable uncertainty in CS and me lying about considerable uncertainty in the climate sciences, is now, and will probably forever be, a mystery.

    But moving on…  BBD is then challenged to reveal with what certainty he imagines CS to be known.  BBD falls back on TAR and quotes (actually cut-n-paste) from there, then offers up his interpretation of what that quote means.  But, his interpretation seems to be gibberish.  Among other things, he appears to be claiming that certainty increases as the interval decreases?!  I ask for clarification.

    BBD’s clarification culminates in #150, which, as any reader can observe, is utter nonsense.  I give BBD one last chance. 

    Later, Willard solves the mystery by pointing out that in the quoted section no confidence limits are actually implied.  Thus Willard underbuses BBD.  And in two ways: first by proving beyond doubt that BBD has no idea what the quoted passage actually meant and, moreover, since no confidence intervals are implied in the quoted passage this directly contradicts BBD’s claim the CS is known with great certianty.

    BBD then thanks Willard for the underbusing.

    Later BBD denies the tracks on his back are Willards.  And to prove this he reverts to the same gibberish that culminated in his #150.

    Days like these are rare indeed.

  • BBD

    A quick bit of due diligence for kdk33:

    - When did I quote TAR?

    - When did I call you a liar?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    BBD,

    Thank you for the link.

    By scope, I meant the pages whereby the interpretation “took effect”. But since you are referring is taken from the Synthesis Report, the scope of the interpretation is more encompassing than in my quote. The IPCC might need a real editor.

    In any case, when clicking on the image, we get box 10.2 and figure 2, under which we can read this legend:

    Box 10.2, Figure 2. Individual cumulative distributions of climate sensitivity from the observed 20th-century warming (red), model climatology (blue) and proxy evidence (cyan), taken from Box 10.2, Figure 1a, c (except LGM studies and Forest et al. (2002), which is superseded by Forest et al. (2006)) and cumulative distributions fitted to the AOGCMs’ climate sensitivities (green) from Box 10.2, Figure 1e. Horizontal lines and arrows mark the edges of the likelihood estimates according to IPCC guidelines.

    Perhaps kdk33 could give us his own interpretation of this figure?

  • kdk33

    Perhaps kdk33 could give us his own interpretation of this figure?

    No.  I don’t claim this as my basis for understanding climate sensitivity.  BBD does.  And he can’t explain it.  Not even close.  He’s confused at a very basic level.  Feel free to argue otherwise; don’t expect me to take you seriously.

    BTW, I’ll offer you my opinion of this graph:  guesses and group-think.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    kdk33,

    If I hear you right, you won’t interpret this graph because it’s not your basis for understanding climate sensitivity. And yet you deem to offer us your opinion of this graph, and evaluation that BBD’s explanation is not even close.

    Very instructive.

    It should be easy for you to interpret this graph: you said this was high school stuff.

    Does anybody know where statistical inference is thaught in high school, by any chance?

    A real warrior.

  • kdk33

    Yes, Willard, I deem BBD’s explanation of the graph to be utter non-sense.  Do you disagree?  Would you care to defend that position?Yes, Willard, I care offer you my opinion of this graph and the IPCC’s take on climate sensitivity in general.No, I will not interpret it for you.  If you don’t know how, perhaps you’re understanding is about on par with BBD.  Here’s an idea:  Hows about you interpret the graph, then we can compare your interpretation to BBD’s.  Whatdayasay?

  • kdk33

    Yes, Willard, I deem BBD’s explanation of the graph to be utter non-sense.  Do you disagree?  Would you care to defend that position?

    Yes, Willard, I care offer you my opinion of this graph and the IPCC’s take on climate sensitivity in general.

    No, I will not interpret it for you.  If you don’t know how, perhaps you’re understanding is about on par with BBD.  Here’s an idea:  Hows about you interpret the graph, then we can compare your interpretation to BBD’s.  Whatdayasay?

    … with formatting.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    kdk33,

    That this graph is not your basis for understanding climate sensitivity is not a valid reason to refuse interpreting this graph.

    But at the very least, it shows that you understand that you must provide reason for this refusal.

    What you claim about BBD’s understanding presupposes that you can interpret this graph.

    What you claim about high school understanding of this graph presupposes this interpretation is easy.

    You should interpret that graph for your own sake, kdk33.

    ***

    Your claims that BBD called you a liar have yet to be backed up. Perhaps are you implying that misrepresenting is lying? That implication would be instructive for the practice of scientific auditing.

    A quote about BBD’s mention of TAR would also be nice.

    ***

    And when this will be reviewed, I believe many other claims you said on this thread alone might deserve due diligence.

    You just run the whole gamut, kdk33, without any real discrimination.

    Best of luck.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    Yes, kdk33, and after you finish interpreting a graph you don’t agree with I await your interpretation of the last of the Dead Sea Scrolls–and I’m sorry, but you can’t use a translation. Or even a magnifying glass. Come on. Clock’s ticking. Interpret, damn you! Interpret!

  • kdk33

    A noble effort Willard.  I certainly hope BBD appreciates you.

    Sadly, the topic at hand is BBD’s inability to provide a coherent explantion of uncertainty.  It was utter nonsense from top to bottom, back to front, culminating in #150.

    As expected, and despite my repeated request that you do so, you have offered nothing to counter this observation. 

    The astute reader will note that, given your need to protect BBD, if you had anything it all you would have at least tried.

    As an aside: your tactic of blowing smoke and changing the subject is probably too well known to be effective with anyone but the new guys.

    Good luck to you too!

  • Sashka

    @ 171

    My interpretation: it’s a pile of crap. For the reasons related to what you mention in 164, as I wrote here and elsewhere on a few occasions.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    kdk33,

    Identifying a topic is not that difficult. It only takes some reading practice and . The topic of this thread has been identified by Keith’s claim:

    Neither side is much willing to acknowledge the tribal (and ideological) nature of the climate debate.

    Sticking to a topic is less easy, but that’s not that much of a problem as long as the discussion remains lively. A more important problem is to keep one’s attitude in check, which is even more crucial that everyone agrees that this is an ideological debate. This is where style matters.

    As far as I can see, the discussion was not going as badly as this claim entails until comment #35. By comment #50, there came the flow of bad hominems, and other kinds of abusive crap. Around that time “the public crave” (to use an auditing metaphor) for style.

    I believe Keith’s claim is being shown wrong by your comment #62, which wins the thread in my opinion. Accepting that we’re having an ideological debate does not mean much. As if people did not know what they were doing, most of the times.

    The problem is not so as to assume one’s tribalism as to plead for “thinking outside of the tribe”. The “tribe” metaphor, with all his ethnocentric connotation, shows an effort to imagine human beings not being human beings. To that effect, the Procrustean game with your bus metaphor shows how tough it seems to be.

    And speaking of smoke, this won is quite nice:

    I will argue that even if CS is 3C that is far from doom.

    I’m sure you will, kdk33, I’m sure you will. And you will do so in no uncertain terms. Let’s hope so, because you don’t seem to tolerate uncertainty quite well.

    PS: Were they teaching conditional probability at your high school?

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    And speaking of smoke, this quote is quite nice, of course.

  • BBD

    Goodness me. What a shockingly uncharacteristic display of evasiveness, mendacity and pugnacious insecurity from kdk33 :-)

  • BBD

    kdk33

    Actually, speaking of abuse and style, as willard does above, reminds me of something. I’ve been puzzling about this ever since # 64:

    Don’t you have some dishes to wash”¦ 

    Can you explain what you meant? I’m particularly interested to unpack the genderist implications… :-)

  • kdk33

    Willard,It is indeed difficult to stay on topic.  The topic of our discussion was BBD’s attempt at interpreting certainty.  Did you forget?

  • BBD

    kdk33

    The misunderstanding here grew from my failure to persuade you that the IPCC approach to quantifying uncertainty is necessarily synthetic/synoptic as it derives from *multiple methodologies*.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    kdk33,

    If we’re to talk about “the” topic, I believe it’s the one identified in my previous comment. As I said earlier, “the” topic stopped from being central to the discussion a bit after your first comment in #32, which was about what the Left fails to understand, and #36, which was about the wisdom of the Republicans and some religious belief from the Left.

    Then we have:

    A miscellanea of YesButFreedom in #47.

    Keith’s silliness in #50.

    Marlowe’s inintelligibility in #51.

    Marlowe’s sanity in #59.

    A return to the topic of the thread in #62.

    BBD’s kitchen chores and politeness in #64, the later an interesting topic coming from you.

    BBD’s slipperiness in #76.

    From there, the topics you decided to talk about fixated on BBD, give or take a few comments like #86 or #127: #84, 85, 87, 94, 96, 101, 102, 103, 104, 122, 126, 127, 133. 134, 136, 147, 151, 154, 155, 160, 165, 174, 175. Perhaps I missed others.

    So when you talk about our discussion, I believe you mean your discussion.

    Speaking of which, if you claim something about BBD’s inability to explain some graph, we should expect from you the ability to explain that graph.

    And this is even truer when we read in #169:

    CS is not known to be 3 and even if it was there would still be considerable uncertainty in the climate sciences.

    At the very least, this shows that you are able to assume counterfactuals for argument’s sake. The counterfactual is quite interesting in its own right: what would it mean for climate science to have an exact knowledge of climate sensitivity? what would this really imply regarding the uncertainties in the science? You have to admit, kdk33, that these questions might be more interesting for the readers than your inquiry into BBD’s understanding.

    Besides, I’m not sure where it was said that the CS was known to be exactly 3. Do you have a quote for that one?

  • kdk33

    Willard,

    I am quite flattered that you are so interested in my blogging comments.  Who knew?

    Sadly, as I said before, you’re tactics are probably too well known to be effective with any but new guys.  but you are free to give it a go.

    I summarized the topic quite nicely in #169.  A post you should review carefully, if you your last quip in #186 is any indication.

    I think it safe to assume you cannot defend BBD’s interpretation of uncertainty that culminated in his #150.  I further assume you cannot interpret “the graph” else you would do so – per your logic in #186.

    In closing, you have touched an a array of topics.  If you’ve a genuine interest in those we could one day soon discuss them, should they become germaine to some future thread.  If you again engage me in your peculiar “refereeing of the comments” mode, I will ignore you.Good Luck

  • BBD

    kdk33

    I think it safe to assume you cannot defend BBD’s interpretation of uncertainty that culminated in his #150.

    I think it’s safe to assume you haven’t really understood any of what this is actually about. Please see # 185.

    You’ve got stuck. You need to dump the misconception that this is about confidence intervals and actually read the links to the AR4 treatment of uncertainty provided by willard and myself. Especially the text of Box 10.2 here. You should pay particular attention to the final paragraphs. You need to ponder what this *means*:

    There is no well-established formal way of estimating a single PDF from the individual results, taking account of the different assumptions in each study. Most studies do not account for structural uncertainty, and thus probably tend to underestimate the uncertainty. On the other hand, since several largely independent lines of evidence indicate similar
    most likely values and ranges, climate sensitivity values are likely to be better constrained than those found by methods based on single data sets (Annan and Hargreaves, 2006; Hegerl et al., 2006).

  • kdk33

    To remind the interested reader:

    The likelihood of >66% applies to the *boundary values* of 2C and 4.5C, not the central estimate. That means it is *less than* 66% likely that ECS is below 2C or above 4.5C. Within this range, it is >90% likely that ECS is 3C. Give or take a bit. Quite likely take. Just under 3C looks a bit more likely than just over. This should be obvious and uncontroversial too. 

  • BBD

    kdk33

    You are reminding the interested reader that you still haven’t understood the AR4 treatment of uncertainty over ECS. This is going nowhere.

  • BBD

    Interested readers might want to consider the idée fixe.

  • kdk33

    BBD,

    It was my mistake to respond to you at all.  A mistake I won’t repeat. 

    The issue, as readers can well see for themselves, is your understanding of the uncertainty implied in the passage you quoted.  The issue is your treatment of uncertainty that you provided in #150 and that I’ve again provided in #189 and that I have repeatedly asked you to clarify.

    We are discussing your #150.  Your understanding of the texts you so love to link to and so love to cut-n-paste from.  We are discussing your technical competence.

    I am claiming that your #150 (repeated in #189), that you have yet to clarify, displays an astounding lack of competence.  Not a simple mistake, but a fundamental inability to understand what you talking about.

    It is perfectly understandable that you would like to change the subject. 

    Defend your #150

  • BBD

    We are discussing your #150.

    No, you are. Without acknowledging the development of the conversation.

    It was my mistake to respond to you at all.  A mistake I won’t repeat. 
    :-)

    Willard unobtrusively used the term ‘conditional probability’ at # 180. Did you notice, and if so, did you think about this?

    Which reminds me. Since you ask (178), yes, I do appreciate willard’s contributions. Very much. Both as an erudite gloss on my own incomplete reasoning and expressive shortcomings, and of course, on those of others.

    I think we are both fortunate that he can be bothered.

  • kdk33

    Defend #150.

  • BBD

    What can I say? I quoted the AR4′s description of how it uses expressions of confidence eg ‘likely’ = >66% and you went into deaf monkey mode. See # 191. I cannot fix this nor can we engage in a developing argument if you refuse to reason.

  • kdk33

    Bullshit.Defend #150.

  • BBD

    Against your refusal to understand the point? I’ve already done that. What else can I say?

  • BBD

    Before we can see the stars in daylight from the bottom of this rabbit hole, we need to review the evidence for a low CS. The evidence that shows the current best estimate to be unreliable. 

    Now would be a good time to produce it.

  • kdk33

    Let us review:The likelihood of >66% applies to the *boundary values* of 2C and 4.5C, not the central estimate. That means it is *less than* 66% likely that ECS is below 2C or above 4.5C. Your first part is utter nonsense.  According to you, it is more likely than not that CS is above 4.5, and it is simultaneously more likely than not that CS is below 2.  This is gibberish.  You have no idea what you are talking about.  And you continue to not recognize how badly you don’t understand.Within this range, it is >90% likely that ECS is 3C. Give or take a bit. Quite likely take. Just under 3C looks a bit more likely than just over. And this just ups the ante.  This statement is completely meaningless without an interval around 3C, which I repeatedly asked you to supply (the likelihood that CS is 3 is vanishingly small).  Moreover, this directly contradicts your claim in the first part.  And even if I try to infer what the IPCC might possibly have meant before you mangled their words I still can’t make sense of increasing confidence around a decreasing interval.BBD, you continue to stand by a statement that does nothing but demonstrate your incompetence.  Eventually, everyone will take you at your word.  I already have.If the IPCC describes CS uncertainty in this way, please do provide the quote as it will assuredly be the end of the IPCC – or anybody else who would spout such nonsense.

  • kdk33

    Let us review:The likelihood of >66% applies to the *boundary values* of 2C and 4.5C, not the central estimate. That means it is *less than* 66% likely that ECS is below 2C or above 4.5C.

    Your first part is utter nonsense.  According to you, it is more likely than not that CS is above 4.5, and it is simultaneously more likely than not that CS is below 2.  This is gibberish.  You have no idea what you are talking about.  And you continue to not recognize how badly you don’t understand.

    Within this range, it is >90% likely that ECS is 3C. Give or take a bit. Quite likely take. Just under 3C looks a bit more likely than just over.

    And this just ups the ante.  This statement is completely meaningless without an interval around 3C, which I repeatedly asked you to supply (the likelihood that CS is 3 is vanishingly small).  Moreover, this directly contradicts your claim in the first part.  And even if I try to infer what the IPCC might possibly have meant before you mangled their words I still can’t make sense of increasing confidence around a decreasing interval.

    BBD, you continue to stand by a statement that does nothing but demonstrate your incompetence.  Eventually, everyone will take you at your word.  I already have.

    If the IPCC describes CS uncertainty in this way, please do provide the quote – and please be ever so kind as to parse that quote in light of your #150 – it will most assuredly be the end of the IPCC ““ or anybody else who would spout such nonsense.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    kdk33,

    Have you ever considered using probabilities instead of insults to prove your point?

    Speaking of which, please define “vanishingly small”.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    I have difficulty associating the message of 201 with its author.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #201,

    “Speaking of which, please define “vanishingly small”.”

    Zero.

    #202,

    I’m not sure what Willard is up to. He was doing much the same on the Mooney’s Brain thread. I think he was trying to make some sort of point about the impossibility of holding a mutually respectful civilised debate if you keep on poking at BBD’s many errors and misunderstandings, and that it is tantamount to ‘bullying the special kid’ (metaphorically speaking) to keep on showing him up that way. Or in other words, don’t feed the troll.

    But I may have misunderstood. Willard chose to express his message via the medium of interpretive dance, which I found a bit surreal. I’m pretty sure I disagreed with it, whatever it was.

  • kdk33

    Hi Tom,

    Willard has a point, I am being quite rude to BBD.  In part to motivate him to actually answer my challenge:  defend his #150.  In part because we have some history.  Neither are very good reasons.  I should apologize to the readership in general.

    OTOH, Willard, Stones, Glass, Houses.

    Have you noticed his peculiar manner of not actually commenting or offering an opinion on the topic at hand – he’s been asked several times to defend BBD’s #150 and won’t – but to comment about the comments.  I suspect that he imagines this tone to paint him in a superior light…  I’m not buying.

    Given his initial question in #201, do you think it possible he read my #200?

    BTW, I see your blog is at the top of JC’s blogroll, which either means she likes it very much or numbers come before letters.  Either way good on you.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    #203,

    Zero.

    Gibberish.

  • kdk33

    Integral calculus hangs in the balance….

  • Nullius in Verba

    #205,

    Don’t be silly, Willard. It’s a continuous distribution and therefore the probability of any individual value turning up is always zero. That’s why people speak of probability density.

    You asked a simple question, you got a perfectly clear and simple answer, and you dismissed it out of hand. What are we supposed to do with that? I have no idea whether you’re complaining that I didn’t explain why, or that you think the answer is wrong. But I’m quite sure you understood what the answer “zero” meant.

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    Raillery is a mode of speaking in favor of one’s wit at the expense of one’s better nature.
    , as Montesquieu might have said.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #208,

    J’ai toujours vu que, pour reussir dans le monde, il fallait avoir l’air
    fou et etre sage.

  • kdk33

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean “” neither more nor less.’
    ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’
    ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master “” that’s all.’

  • BBD

    kdk33

    According to you, it is more likely than not that CS is above 4.5, and it is simultaneously more likely than not that CS is below 2. 

    This is the exact opposite of what was written. The IPCC states that ECS is likely (>66% likelihood) in the range of 2C – 4.5C. So is the probability of ECS being below 2C or above 4.5C below 66%? You didn’t by any chance misread the (>) sign did you? I wrote:

    That means it is *less than* 66% likely that ECS is below 2C or above 4.5C. .

  • BBD

    You have no idea what you are talking about.  And you continue to not recognize how badly you don’t understand

    I’m getting a little tired of your abusive commentary now. Perhaps you should review the thread as by all indications you haven’t actually read any of this exchange properly. Just a gentle warning for now: you are way out on a limb here.

  • kdk33

    Am I way out on a limb BBD?  A gentle warning?  Please. 

    BTW.  love your #211.  Far more effective than anything I could have said – both in its continuing inability to understand and its obvious incompleteness.

  • kdk33

    And, since it is the weekend.  You, BBD, can have the last word.

  • BBD

    kdk33

    No, you must have another go. Please. I need to you respond properly to # 211. You really owe me that. You have stated the exact opposite of what I wrote, and used this as the basis for your critique of my reasoning. I think we need to clear this up.

    The “obvious incompleteness” is deliberate. As you begin your argument with a total misinterpretation of what I actually wrote we need to deal with this first. There may not be any need to continue.

    Over to you.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #215,

    kdk33 already said what I think you meant in #147, and you ‘corrected’ him in #150, with a statement that whichever way you parse it didn’t make any sense. There are at least two or three alternative interpretations as to what it could mean, and kdk33 simply picked the least charitable, albeit the least likely alternative.

    The really funny part is that if you’d got it right, it would have looked better for your argument!

    By the way, do you know what the difference between ‘likelihood’ and ‘probability’ is?

  • kdk33

    OK, BBD, I will put you out of your misery (the fact that Willard left you swinging should inform you about his intentions and about how ‘appreciative’ you should be of his presence – one suspects he could have saved you at any moment).

    Before reading further I would highly encourage you to google “probability distribution function” and then go to the Wiki entry.  It is a decent description, provided you are comfortable with some basic calculus.  (Please be aware that we are talking about a continuous, not discrete, PDF).  There may well be better write-ups, but Wiki seems to be the go-to, so I took a quick look.

    Now, I’ll asume you have taken a moment to understand WIKI (or some other link) and let’s recall what you wrote in #150, I’ll divide it into 2 parts and quote directly.

    Part 1:  The likelihood of >66% applies to the *boundary values* of 2C and 4.5C, not the central estimate. That means it is *less than* 66% likely that ECS is below 2C or above 4.5C.

    There are a couple of things wrong here. 

    First the 66% refers to interval between 2 and 4.5, so it is indeed the central estimate.  It must.  It has no meaning when referred to the boundary values only when referenced to an interval. 

    Secondly, if the probability of CS being inside the interval {2, 4.5} is 66%, then the probability that it is outside the interval is 1 – 66% = 34%.  There is no requirement that the distribution be normal - it might be skewed high or low – but as a first approximation, the likelihood that it is less than 2 is <17%, similarly for greater than 4.5.

    According to you it could have a 65% probability of being above 4.5 (more likely than not since it is >50%) and 65% probability of being below 2 (again more likely than not)(please note 65% is less than 66%).  We’re already above 1 (66%+66%=132%), which is impossible, and that doesn’t leave very much probability for inside the interval… 

    Now let us examine the second part

    Within this range, it is >90% likely that ECS is 3C. Give or take a bit. Quite likely take. Just under 3C looks a bit more likely than just over. This should be obvious and uncontroversial too. 

    You claim it is 90% likely that ECS is 3.  If you have reviewed the Wiki entry you will know that this is impossible.  The likelihood that it is 3 is vanishingly small (actually zero, as NiV says).  You will also have learned that you must provide an interval around 3 for your statement to have any meaning at all. 

    Now, you don’t provide an interval but say some vague things about “a bit”.  These things are really not acceptable, but I interpret them to mean – an interval small relative to {2, 4.5}.  But you assign this interval–small relative to the initial {2,4.5}–a probabilty of 90%?! 

    It is, of course, impossible for the likelihood to increase as the interval decreases.  The likelihood is the PDF integrated from {2, 4.5}, which is 66%. Yet you claim an integral with closer integration limits that fall within {2,4.5} returns 90%, which is somewhat larger than 665, and this cannot be, as I’m sure you learned while reviewing Wiki.

    None of the above, of course, is to imply that I agree that CS follows this PDF. 

  • kdk33

    And do me one really really big favor.  Wait at least 48 hours before responding.  And take enough time to genuinely try to understand PDFs and think about what I just wrote.  If you do this, you will understand that I have been kinder to you than Willard.

    If you fire off some quick quip to spin things or plaster off a bunch of links…  Well, I’ll never have repsect for you, and you won’t be doing yourself any favors.

  • BBD

    According to you it could have a 65% probability of being above 4.5

    Nope. I never said that. That’s *your* persistent misinterpretation of the argument. From your wiki link, a pretty picture that’s worth a thousand words.* This is exactly what I have been trying to convey to you. This is why I cannot understand your resistance to the IPCC synthetic/synoptic treatment of diverse uncertainty in its assessment. It is not perfect, but it is reasonable. See Knutti & Hegerl fig.3.

    You are trying to create an argument out of nothing.

    *From your # 151:

    [BBD:] That means it is *less than* 66% likely that ECS is below 2C or above 4.5C.

    [kdk33:] I have no idea what this means.  At face value then, it could be 65% likely to be below 2 and 65% likely to be above 4.5.  And this is non-sense.  Let’s stick to two questions:  what is the likelihood it is between 2 and 4.5?  what is  the likelihood it falls outside this range.

  • BBD

    NIV

    The really funny part is that if you’d got it right, it would have looked better for your argument!

    The really saddening part is that you are trying to ride on the back of this exchange.

  • kdk33

    Pathetic.

  • kdk33

    NiV,BBD and Willards links are for PDF’s and cumulative probability graphs, respectively.But nice catch.

  • kdk33

    BBD,

    We participate in the blog wars.  But every now and then, like in your #215, there appears to be a plea to treat each other like people, not nameless acronyms.  Not that I don’t enjoy the latter, but I can appreciate a time for the former. 

    You asked me a favor.  And I obliged.  And I asked you favor.  And you… didn’t even hesitate.

    Your defense of your #150 continues to be pathetic.  Moreovery, it seems to me that you get what you deseve. And it will likely continue

  • http://neverendingaudit.tumblr.com willard

    BBD,

    The “very likely” in the above quote does not refer to the quasi-formal interpretation of “more than 90%”. It makes no sense that way.

    I could declare that the IPCC should hire a real editor, but I might be biased.

    ***

    kdk33,

    I thereby acknowledge your #204 and your #223. In the same spirit, I will confide that I find the struggle between for and against the worse disease of the mind. I try to step out of the climate wars. The way you push the limits of justified disingeniousness provides a very good test, and sometimes it’s fun.

    Here is one quote from the last link I provided, with my emphasis:

    The mode of a discrete probability distribution is the value x at which its probability mass function takes its maximum value. In other words, it is the value that is most likely to be sampled.

    Here is another, again with my emphasis:

    For a sample from a continuous distribution[,] the concept is unusable in its raw form , since each value will occur precisely once. The usual practice is to discretize the data [...]

    Treating temperature measurements continuously makes little sense, unless one wants to say that the maximal value of a PDF is unlikely.

    Please stop.

  • kdk33

    Willard,

    A technical argument to which i am inclined to disagree…

    Nevertheless, it is time to stop.

  • Nullius in Verba

    #220,

    Not really. I just found it amusing.

    #222,

    Yes, the IPCC got their definition of ‘likelihood’ wrong. But that wasn’t quite what I meant. The IPCC explain their terminology here: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch1s1-6.html

    Note that they distinguish confidence in the science allowing them to calculate a probability from the probability itself. They can have low confidence that something is very likely. In other words, the likelihood is conditional on the assumptions. And for most of these studies, the assumption is that the climate models are correct.

    That’s why the IPCC puts in the caveat: “Most studies do not account for structural uncertainty, and thus probably tend to underestimate the uncertainty.”

    #217,

    BBD’s basic error was to misinterpret “most likely” (i.e. the mode) as “very likely” (i.e. >90%). In #147 when you pointed out the inconsistency between the 66% and the 90% bounds, he made the second error in #150 which was to apparently ‘correct’ your interpretation of the 66% bound where you were in agreement, not the 90% one where BBD had got it wrong.

    BBD said “The likelihood of >66% applies to the *boundary values* of 2C and 4.5C, not the central estimate. That means it is *less than* 66% likely that ECS is below 2C or above 4.5C.” The first sentence could be interpreted to mean it applied at the boundary values themselves, or to each boundary separately. I don’t see any way to parse it to say what I think BBD really meant, which was that it applied to the region outside the boundaries. The second sentence could be interpreted to mean the 66% applies to the combination of the two regions, or to each individually. If the first sentence had been interpreted as each boundary separately, that might be more likely, but otherwise it’s a bit strained. Either way it’s wrong. As you say, it’s 66% inside and 34% outside.

    I’m not sure, I think he might have been thinking the pdf was showing probabilities, with the peak value being at 90% falling to 66% at the 2/4.5 points. The idea that the probabilities had to add up to 1 not occuring to him. It’s hard to tell, though.

    The distribution is skewed so cannot be Normal, but if we suppose for a moment it is fairly close, then 66% is close to the 1-sigma 68% interval. So if we guess the 2-sigma 95% interval is about twice as far out, we get the 1-6 C range that JC proposed. I think she dropped the confidence even further because of the structural uncertainties, but this is basically the ‘>90%’ interval you were after.

    #223,

    BBD does that sometimes. I recall a time when we had been going at it for days and I was about to give up as I had other things to do. BBD suddenly came out with a pitiful plea for more time to think, followed by what appeared to be a genuinely open-minded request for understanding. I put off what I was going to do to explain more fully. It would have been wrong to throw away the chance to help someone understand. And BBD came back with one of his most insult-laden comments yet – he wasn’t listening at all, he was just playing mind games. I haven’t taken him seriously since.

    #224,

    The mode for a continuous distribution is defined as the maximum probability density, and there is no problem with using sampled data to estimate a best-fit continuous pdf. (You can aply smoothing to the empirical cdf and then differentiate, for example.) But pdf values are not expressed as percentages (they can be >1) and they’re not probabilities.

    I would be happy to play give-and-take with someone who plays the game the same way. But BBD doesn’t, and evidently doesn’t want to, and he seems to enjoy the resulting wrangling. I don’t mind playing his game for entertainment value sometimes, but he’s got a lot of burned bridges to rebuild if he wants us to play nicely.

  • BBD

    So, kdk33 demonstrates that he has no idea by claiming that I said this:

    According to you it could have a 65% probability of being above 4.5

    And kdk33 totally misinterpreted what I wrote and claimed its opposite:

    I have no idea what this means.  At face value then, it could be 65% likely to be below 2 and 65% likely to be above 4.5.  And this is non-sense.  Let’s stick to two questions:  what is the likelihood it is
    between 2 and 4.5?  what is  the likelihood it falls outside this range.

    No apology has been forthcoming.

    Willard and NIV point out that I was incorrect to interpret the IPCC’s ‘most likely’ as 90%.

    Lots of effort for not much gain. We have a range of ECS estimates from 2C – 4.5C with ~3C as the most likely value. If anyone wishes to dispute this, they need something solid. Like an extensive body of work published in mainstream reviewed journals. Since it doesn’t exist, I don’t think there’s much else to say.

    NIV - I don’t take you seriously because you are an ideologue and your perceptions are warped thereby. You misrepresent and distort to suit your ends and you exhibit a politician’s malice in the process. An unpleasant spectacle. 

    In closing, let’s not forget that you have never produced a coherent, robust and referenced scientific argument in support of your ‘scepticism’. Instead, you are and will always be reduced by the reality of the situation to nit-picking and obfuscation.  It’s all you’ve got. You can ponder that for what remains of your weekend. 

  • kdk33

    NiV,

    Good catch, likelihood versus probability.  Even in my day-job I bandy those terms about interchangeably.  I get away with it because I am always talking PDF.  But you’ve highlighted an important distinction I would be wise to remember.  Thanks!!

    Regarding BBD:  never attribute to malice what can be explained by incompetence.  I think that is Willard’s point.  He isn’t toying with us, he just has no idea what we are talking about, and the depth of his incompetence is in such contrast to his tone.  Anyway, once you wrap your mind around it, his behavior starts to make sense.  In the end, I did feel much like a bully.  Though his #219 tends to keep the shame at bay.

    At any rate, I don’t think I’ll fall into this trap agina.

    Don’t know about you, but it’s cold where I live. Think I’ll drive the SUV around a little extra today :-) .

  • BBD

    kdk33

    If you think I have missed the extent of your ignorance on this thread, you are delusional.

    Your misinterpretations of what I wrote are unequivocally diagnostic of the gaps in your understanding.

    If you think you can bully me, you are delusional. 

    Remember, the best estimate for ECS is still ~3C and ‘sceptics’ do not have a coherent scientific argument. This will be true tomorrow and next week.

    If you think you are ‘winning’ or ‘explaining’ anything, you are delusional.

  • http://reclaimreality.blogspot.com Jonas N

    We have yet another instance where the same thing happens:

    Utter incomprehension is revealed simply by asking a few questions about what is meant. A request for clarification shows that not even the absolute basic skills are mastered, and that all the lofty words, the sciency sounding terms (at best) are results of copy-pasting from various sources found through keyword searches in databases, or from activist blogs ‘internet resources’. 

    The 2007 mean value from many (mutually disagreeing) GCM-based simulations and guesses should still be faithfully accepted as also being dead on. Note: The mean among them, not any of the individual attempts! 

    Actual temperatures don’t matter. The poor arguments in support don’t matter. The mutual disagreement probably is not even known, and is anyway way to technical. IPCC graphs simply must convey the truth, well the many ‘truths’ in this case. After all the axes are labelled with terms lika ‘cumulative probability’  and ‘temerature’. Those are all words that have scientific meanings … 

    /sarc

  • http://planet3.org Michael Tobis

    BBD is confused at an elementary level by the IPCC author being a tiny bit too casual, in a way that should be obvious to anyone familiar with statistics. And like many people nowadays, BBD takes a defensive stance when challenged.The extent of debate on this is indicative of how very hard it is to communicate when there is no mutual trust.Jonas N raises good questions at the end of the thread. But he raises them in a belligerent way that makes one disinclined to take them up.The balance of evidence for the Charney sensitivity remains solidly in the 2.5C to 3C range, but the question is of decreasing importance. What we really care about is the damage function, and on recent evidence this is steeper and more adverse than had generally been suspected. It is really past time for the main focus of attention to move beyond WG I questions and tackle the real tradeoffs between adaptation, mitigation, and misfortune, about which physical climatology has little to say.

  • http://3000quads.com/ Tom Fuller

    “What we really care about is the damage function” which is why it is so damaging that people like you invent damages even after the IPCC repeatedly informs the world that extreme weather has not yet been linked to climate change in any way, shape or form.

    That has not stopped you from invoking climate change as a primary contributor to Egyptian revolutions, heat waves in Russia, floods in Pakistan and tornadoes in the U.S. You then call people who disagree with you names. 

    The reason there is no “mutual trust” is that you act in an untrustworthy fashion. You do not merit trust.

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Collide-a-Scape

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

About Keith Kloor

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

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