On the Credibility of Climate Research, Part II: Towards Rebuilding Trust

Foreword - Below is  a guest post (by request) from Dr. Judith Curry on the issues we deal with every day here. While I and other like minded bloggers were given the opportunity to have some early input into this, little of it was accepted. This I think puts it off to a bad start in light of the title. One of my issues was that it wasn’t necessary to use the word “deniers”, which I think removal of is central to any discourse that includes a goal of “rebuilding trust”. There’s also other more technical issues related to current investigations that are not addressed here.

I had made my concerns known to Dr. Curry before in this post: The Curry letter: a word about “deniers”… which is worth re-reading again.

To be frank, given that she’s still using the term even when pointed out, and had deferred other valid suggestions from other skeptics, I’d given serious consideration to not carrying this at all. But I had carried Dr. Curry’s original post (at my request) on 11/27/09, just seven days after the Climategate story broke here at WUWT on 11/20/09:

An open letter from Dr. Judith Curry on climate science

Since I had carried that one at my request to Dr. Curry, I decided it only fair that I’d carry this one she offered, but with the above caveat. Further, as Andrew Revkin pointed out yesterday, WUWT is now by far the most trafficked climate blog in the world. With that comes a level of responsibility to broadly report the issues. Readers should give their opinion here, pulling no punches, but with one caveat: make the discourse respectful and without labels or inflammatory comments. – Anthony


Judith  Curry

Guest post by Judith Curry, Georgia Institute of Technology

I am trying something new, a blogospheric experiment, if you will.  I have been a fairly active participant in the blogosphere since 2006, and recently posted two essays on climategate, one at climateaudit.org and the other at climateprogress.org.  Both essays were subsequently picked up by other blogs, and the diversity of opinions expressed at the different blogs was quite interesting.  Hence I am distributing this essay to a number of different blogs simultaneously with the hope of demonstrating the collective power of the blogosphere to generate ideas and debate them.  I look forward to a stimulating discussion on this important topic.

Losing the Public’s Trust

Climategate has now become broadened in scope to extend beyond the CRU emails to include glaciergate and a host of other issues associated with the IPCC. In responding to climategate, the climate research establishment has appealed to its own authority and failed to understand that climategate is primarily a crisis of trust.  Finally, we have an editorial published in Science on February 10 from Ralph Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Science, that begins to articulate the trust issue: “This view reflects the fragile nature of trust between science and society, demonstrating that the perceived misbehavior of even a few scientists can diminish the credibility of science as a whole. What needs to be done? Two aspects need urgent attention: the general practice of science and the personal behaviors of scientists.”  While I applaud loudly Dr. Cicerone’s statement, I wish it had been made earlier and had not been isolated from the public by publishing the statement behind paywall at Science. Unfortunately, the void of substantive statements from our institutions has been filled in ways that have made the situation much worse.

Credibility is a combination of expertise and trust.  While scientists persist in thinking that they should be trusted because of their expertise, climategate has made it clear that expertise itself is not a sufficient basis for public trust.  The fallout from climategate is much broader than the allegations of misconduct by scientists at two universities.   Of greatest importance is the reduced credibility of the IPCC assessment reports, which are providing the scientific basis for international policies on climate change.  Recent disclosures about the IPCC have brought up a host of concerns about the IPCC that had been festering in the background: involvement of IPCC scientists in explicit climate policy advocacy; tribalism that excluded skeptics; hubris of scientists with regards to a noble (Nobel) cause; alarmism; and inadequate attention to the statistics of uncertainty and the complexity of alternative interpretations.

The scientists involved in the CRU emails and the IPCC have been defended as scientists with the best of intentions trying to do their work in a very difficult environment.  They blame the alleged hacking incident on the “climate denial machine.”  They are described as fighting a valiant war to keep misinformation from the public that is being pushed by skeptics with links to the oil industry. They are focused on moving the science forward, rather than the janitorial work of record keeping, data archival, etc. They have had to adopt unconventional strategies to fight off what they thought was malicious interference. They defend their science based upon their years of experience and their expertise.

Scientists are claiming that the scientific content of the IPCC reports is not compromised by climategate.  The jury is still out on the specific fallout from climategate in terms of the historical and paleo temperature records.   There are larger concerns (raised by glaciergate, etc.) particularly with regards to the IPCC Assessment Report on Impacts (Working Group II):  has a combination of groupthink, political advocacy and a noble cause syndrome stifled scientific debate, slowed down scientific progress and corrupted the assessment process?  If institutions are doing their jobs, then misconduct by a few individual scientists should be quickly identified, and the impacts of the misconduct should be confined and quickly rectified.  Institutions need to look in the mirror and ask the question as to how they enabled this situation and what opportunities they missed to forestall such substantial loss of public trust in climate research and the major assessment reports.

In their misguided war against the skeptics, the CRU emails reveal that core research values became compromised.   Much has been said about the role of the highly politicized environment in providing an extremely difficult environment in which to conduct science that produces a lot of stress for the scientists.  There is no question that this environment is not conducive to science and scientists need more support from their institutions in dealing with it.  However, there is nothing in this crazy environment that is worth sacrificing your personal or professional integrity.  And when your science receives this kind of attention, it means that the science is really important to the public.  Therefore scientists need to do everything possible to make sure that they effectively communicate uncertainty, risk, probability and complexity, and provide a context that includes alternative and competing scientific viewpoints.  This is an important responsibility that individual scientists and particularly the institutions need to take very seriously.

Both individual scientists and the institutions need to look in the mirror and really understand how this happened.  Climategate isn’t going to go away until these issues are resolved.   Science is ultimately a self-correcting process, but with a major international treaty and far-reaching domestic legislation on the table, the stakes couldn’t be higher.

The Changing Nature of Skepticism about Global Warming

Over the last few months, I have been trying to understand how this insane environment for climate research developed.  In my informal investigations, I have been listening to the perspectives of a broad range of people that have been labeled as “skeptics” or even “deniers”.  I have come to understand that global warming skepticism is very different now than it was five years ago.  Here is my take on how global warming skepticism has evolved over the past several decades.

In the 1980’s, James Hansen and Steven Schneider led the charge in informing the public of the risks of potential anthropogenic climate change.  Sir John Houghton and Bert Bolin played similar roles in Europe.  This charge was embraced by the environmental advocacy groups, and global warming alarmism was born.  During this period I would say that many if not most researchers, including myself, were skeptical that global warming was detectable in the temperature record and that it would have dire consequences.  The traditional foes of the environmental movement worked to counter the alarmism of the environmental movement, but this was mostly a war between advocacy groups and not an issue that had taken hold in the mainstream media and the public consciousness.  In the first few years of the 21st century, the stakes became higher and we saw the birth of what some have called a “monolithic climate denial machine”.  Skeptical research published by academics provided fodder for the think tanks and advocacy groups, which were fed by money provided by the oil industry. This was all amplified by talk radio and cable news.

In 2006 and 2007, things changed as a result of Al Gore’s movie “An Inconvenient Truth” plus the IPCC 4th Assessment Report, and global warming became a seemingly unstoppable juggernaut.  The reason that the IPCC 4th Assessment Report was so influential is that people trusted the process the IPCC described:  participation of a thousand scientists from 100 different countries, who worked for several years to produce 3000 pages with thousands of peer reviewed scientific references, with extensive peer review.  Further, the process was undertaken with the participation of policy makers under the watchful eyes of advocacy groups with a broad range of conflicting interests.   As a result of the IPCC influence, scientific skepticism by academic researchers became vastly diminished and it became easier to embellish the IPCC findings rather than to buck the juggernaut.  Big oil funding for contrary views mostly dried up and the mainstream media supported the IPCC consensus. But there was a new movement in the blogosphere, which I refer to as the “climate auditors”, started by Steve McIntyre.  The climate change establishment failed to understand this changing dynamic, and continued to blame skepticism on the denial machine funded by big oil.

Climate Auditors and the Blogosphere

Steve McIntyre started the blog climateaudit.org so that he could defend himself against claims being made at the blog realclimate.org with regards to his critique of the “hockey stick” since he was unable to post his comments there.  Climateaudit has focused on auditing topics related to the paleoclimate reconstructions over the past millennia (in particular the so called “hockey stick”) and also the software being used by climate researchers to fix data problems due to poor quality surface weather stations in the historical climate data record. McIntyre’s “auditing” became very popular not only with the skeptics, but also with the progressive “open source” community, and there are now a number of such blogs.  The blog with the largest public audience is wattsupwiththat.com, led by weatherman Anthony Watts, with over 2 million unique visitors each month.

So who are the climate auditors?  They are technically educated people, mostly outside of academia.  Several individuals have developed substantial expertise in aspects of climate science, although they mainly audit rather than produce original scientific research. They tend to be watchdogs rather than deniers; many of them classify themselves as “lukewarmers”. They are independent of oil industry influence.  They have found a collective voice in the blogosphere and their posts are often picked up by the mainstream media. They are demanding greater accountability and transparency of climate research and assessment reports.

So what motivated their FOIA requests of the CRU at the University of East Anglia?  Last weekend, I was part of a discussion on this issue at the Blackboard.  Among the participants in this discussion was Steven Mosher, who broke the climategate story and has already written a book on it here. They are concerned about inadvertent introduction of bias into the CRU temperature data by having the same people who create the dataset use the dataset in research and in verifying climate models; this concern applies to both NASA GISS and the connection between CRU and the Hadley Centre. This concern is exacerbated by the choice of James Hansen at NASA GISS to become a policy advocate, and his forecasts of forthcoming “warmest years.”  Medical research has long been concerned with the introduction of such bias, which is why they conduct double blind studies when testing the efficacy of a medical treatment. Any such bias could be checked by independent analyses of the data; however, people outside the inner circle were unable to obtain access to the information required to link the raw data to the final analyzed product.  Further, creation of the surface data sets was treated like a research project, with no emphasis on data quality analysis, and there was no independent oversight.  Given the importance of these data sets both to scientific research and public policy, they feel that greater public accountability is required.
So why do the mainstream climate researchers have such a problem with the climate auditors? The scientists involved in the CRU emails seem to regard Steve McIntyre as their arch-nemesis (Roger Pielke Jr’s term). Steve McIntyre’s early critiques of the hockey stick were dismissed and he was characterized as a shill for the oil industry.   Academic/blogospheric guerilla warfare ensued, as the academic researchers tried to prevent access of the climate auditors to publishing in scientific journals and presenting their work at professional conferences, and tried to deny them access to published research data and computer programs. The bloggers countered with highly critical posts in the blogosphere and FOIA requests.  And climategate was the result.

So how did this group of bloggers succeed in bringing the climate establishment to its knees (whether or not the climate establishment realizes yet that this has happened)?  Again, trust plays a big role; it was pretty easy to follow the money trail associated with the “denial machine”.  On the other hand, the climate auditors have no apparent political agenda,
are doing this work for free, and have been playing a watchdog role, which has engendered the trust of a large segment of the population.

Towards Rebuilding Trust

Rebuilding trust with the public on the subject of climate research starts with Ralph Cicerone’s statement “Two aspects need urgent attention: the general practice of science and the personal behaviors of scientists.”   Much has been written about the need for greater transparency, reforms to peer review, etc. and I am hopeful that the relevant institutions will respond appropriately.  Investigations of misconduct are being conducted at the University of East Anglia and at Penn State.  Here I would like to bring up some broader issues that will require substantial reflection by the institutions and also by individual scientists.

Climate research and its institutions have not yet adapted to its high policy relevance.  How scientists can most effectively and appropriately engage with the policy process is a topic that has not been adequately discussed (e.g. the “honest broker” challenge discussed by Roger Pielke Jr), and climate researchers are poorly informed in this regard.  The result has been reflexive support for the UNFCCC policy agenda (e.g. carbon cap and trade) by many climate researchers that are involved in the public debate (particularly those involved in the IPCC), which they believe follows logically from the findings of the (allegedly policy neutral) IPCC. The often misinformed policy advocacy by this group of climate scientists has played a role in the political polarization of this issue.. The interface between science and policy is a muddy issue, but it is very important that scientists have guidance in navigating the potential pitfalls.  Improving this situation could help defuse the hostile environment that scientists involved in the public debate have to deal with, and would also help restore the public trust of climate scientists.

The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public that is referred to as “unscientific America” by Chris Mooney.  Efforts are made to “dumb down” the message and to frame the message to respond to issues that are salient to the audience.   People have heard the alarm, but they remain unconvinced because of a perceived political agenda and lack of trust of the message and the messengers. At the same time, there is a large group of educated and evidence driven people (e.g. the libertarians, people that read the technical skeptic blogs, not to mention policy makers) who want to understand the risk and uncertainties associated with climate change, without being told what kinds of policies they should be supporting. More effective communication strategies can be devised by recognizing that there are two groups with different levels of base knowledge about the topic.  But building trust through public communication on this topic requires that uncertainty be acknowledged.  My own experience in making public presentations about climate change has found that discussing the uncertainties increases the public trust in what scientists are trying to convey and doesn’t detract from the receptivity to understanding climate change risks (they distrust alarmism). Trust can also be rebuilt by  discussing broad choices rather than focusing on specific policies.

And finally, the blogosphere can be a very powerful tool for increasing the credibility of climate research.  “Dueling blogs”  (e.g. climateprogress.org versus wattsupwiththat.com and realclimate.org versus climateaudit.org) can actually enhance public trust in the science as they see both sides of the arguments being discussed.  Debating science with skeptics should be the spice of academic life, but many climate researchers lost this somehow by mistakenly thinking that skeptical arguments would diminish the public trust in the message coming from the climate research establishment.   Such debate is alive and well in the blogosphere, but few mainstream climate researchers participate in the blogospheric debate.  The climate researchers at realclimate.org were the pioneers in this, and other academic climate researchers hosting blogs include Roy Spencer, Roger Pielke Sr and Jr, Richard Rood, and Andrew Dessler. The blogs that are most effective are those that allow comments from both sides of the debate (many blogs are heavily moderated).  While the blogosphere has a “wild west” aspect to it, I have certainly learned a lot by participating in the blogospheric debate including how to sharpen my thinking and improve the rhetoric of my arguments. Additional scientific voices entering the public debate particularly in the blogosphere would help in the broader communication efforts and in rebuilding trust. And we need to acknowledge the emerging auditing and open source movements in the in the internet-enabled world, and put them to productive use.  The openness and democratization of knowledge enabled by the internet can be a tremendous tool for building public understanding of climate science and also trust in climate research.

No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.”  Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda.  There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.

And finally, I hope that this blogospheric experiment will demonstrate how the diversity of the different blogs can be used collectively to generate ideas and debate them, towards bringing some sanity to this whole situation surrounding the politicization of climate science and rebuilding trust with the public.

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617 Responses to On the Credibility of Climate Research, Part II: Towards Rebuilding Trust

  1. Plato Says says:

    [OT, yes, but this is why we have a tips and notes section]

  2. John S says:

    Bravo, Anthony, for presenting all sides. This isn’t “deniers” vs. “warmers,” this is about destroying our planet (if AGW is correct,) or destroying our civilization’s economy unnecessarily (if AGW isn’t correct.)

    Were the hockey stick graph about the mating habits of fruit flies, nobody would have cared. When it’s about Cap and Trade, and shedding jobs in an already precarious world economy, everybody cares.

  3. Jryan says:

    So it took Judith Curry a mere 7 years to come to the exact same conclusions that Michael Crichton had, and was universally excoriated for by the scientific community.

  4. copner says:

    [snip sorry, not the place for the UK advertising discussion]

  5. HotRod says:

    “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda.”

    That’s pretty unequivocal. I was talking yesterday to an old friend, Conservative MP and Chair of the cross-party environment group in the UK Houses of Parliament. He said The Science is IN.

  6. Jryan says:

    Speaking of which, I think it is high time that WUWT produce some kind of homage to Michael Crichton. While he was by no mean the driving force behind the “Better Science” movement (instead of “skeptic”) his appendices in “State of Fear” , 7 years later, are prophetic and meticulously spells out the true path to redemption of climate science a full 6 years before climate science could bare to admit there was a problem.

  7. copner says:

    My ASA comment was about the OFCOM story – http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/feb/24/ofcom-climate-change-bedtime-stories

    REPLY: And still waaaayyyyyy off topic for this thread.

  8. Jryan says:

    That should be “7 years after having been written”, but the book was published 6 years ago.

  9. Steve Keohane says:

    Ms. Curry, I have been reading about climate reconstructions since 1960. There is nothing unusual about modern day climate. Even with fallacious data massaging we are talking about a fraction of a degree change, and no measurable warming for 15 years per Phil Jones of CRU. If you want to gain any trust in climate “science”, which never existed, start over with real science instead of political ideologies. By the way, I am retired from an engineering career specializing in temperature measurement, analysis and control where 3-sigma was <0.1°F, 25 years ago. The data used for global temperature determination is a joke, look at surfacestations.org, and that is about as good as it gets for the planet. It doesn't matter what you do to bad data, it's bad data.

  10. MattN says:

    ‘No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” ‘

    Then you need to make a call to Al Gore, please, and tell him to shut the hell up…

  11. Imran says:

    Scenario 1 : AGW is a real problem and this long winded ‘essay’ is basically a piece of self-flagelatory hand wringing as to why the public has lost trust is something why shouldn’t have.

    Scenario 2 : AGW is not a serious problem and she has completely missed the point as to why the public has lost trust.

    Given that she states that she doesn’t believe the ‘science is settled’ or the ‘debate is over’ but yet never considers scenario 2 in any part of her diatribe, clearly she is telling a bit of a porky … at least about herself.

  12. MattN says:

    And, if it *really* isn’t settled, then why are we forging ahead on CO2 limits to fix something that may not do anything??

  13. Stephan says:

    Wonder If Prof Jones was the leak?
    http://www.heartland.org/full/27124/EPA_Chief_More_Alarmist_than_Disgraced_Climategate_Scientists.html
    Just joking. At least this is more in line with what people here think.. just skeptical is a very healthy scientific approach. Thank you Prof Jones…Obviously the spokeperson for the EPA is NOT a scientist but a politico Hahaha.

  14. MattN says:

    Basically, I’m not buying Judith. Sorry. The debate is really over for those making decisions…

  15. Howarth says:

    The bias in AGW science isn’t just advocacy. Its often times ridiculous, patently absurd, flies in the face of reason and down right criminal. If it walks like a duck, call it a duck. To call it bias or leaning toward advocacy betrays science for the merit of giving the AGW’s the benefit of the doubt(of actually being scientists). Don’t soft peddle this. Don’t “trust” anyone who does.

  16. michel says:

    Dr Curry should know better. The term ‘denier’, as presently used, is to imply that those who do not accept Global Warming are ‘in denial’, that is, they know that the evidence is fully convincing, but persuade themselves to the contrary for illegitimate reasons, emotional or self interest. Or they are ‘deniers’, that is, they deny what is known, obvious and indubitable.

    You cannot have a dialog with people who refuse to accept that your intellectual positions are based on the merits of the case. That reasonable, well informed and disinterested doubt is possible. If they insist on treating your skepticism as pathological, no conversation is either possible or appropriate.

    One would say to Dr Curry with Oliver Cromwell: ‘I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, consider that you may be mistaken’.

  17. hunter says:

    The prejudice she brings to this is frankly amazing:
    ‘deniers’. A definition of trust that does not refer to ‘accuracy of results’ except inreference to how AGW promoters feel about their own work. Dr. Curry’s immaculate conception explanation of climategate “and climatgate was the result”.
    I think she should be credited, however, with being probably the first AGW promoter to admit that skeptics are not schills of big oil.
    Dr. Curry is making progress, which is more than can be said for RC, GISS, Gore, etc. etc.
    I do ask her to reconsider her conclusion- that ‘no one believes the science is settled’.
    One only needs to read RC, Gore’s work as referenced below, Joe Romm, etc. etc. etc. to properly see that Dr. Curry is, on the AGW believer side, in a distinct minority.
    In fact, the chances that Dr. Curry will be vilified by AGW promters is quite high.

  18. Dave Waterman says:

    I can only applaud Dr Curry’s contribution.

    It is an excellent, well thought out piece that highlights some real issues rather than “denying” the existence of the issues.

    Whilst I disagree with Dr Curry’s prsonal conclusions regarding AGW, I think that I agree with what she wrote with respect to the process nd how things need to change.

    In the end, progress can/will only be made when people talk – rather then insult or attack each other.

    It should be recognised that she is a brave lady too. We know how difficult it is for scientists to break from the “all deniers are loonies” stance and the subsequent potential risk to their career and professional standing.

    A new dawn breaks!

  19. François GM says:

    I enjoyed reading Mrs Curry’s article.

    She hits the nail on the head when she says that many climate researchers mistakenly thought ” that skeptical arguments would diminish the public trust in the message coming from the climate research establishment.”

    Speaking for myself, it is the SCIENCE IS SETTLED argument that got me interested in Climate Science. I couldn’t believe that scientists would utter such nonsense. I quickly became skeptical upon reading parts of AR4 for the lack of arguments in favor of CAGW.

    In my field, Neurology, patients are much more likely to become active participants in their own care if they are informed of the uncertainties and limitations of available treatments. It’s a question of trust.

    Trust does not exist in Climate Science.

  20. vigilantfish says:

    Dr. Judith Curry:

    Strongly recommend that you read Jerome Ravetz’s post from yesterday at WUWT and read and digest all of the responses. It might help you understand your own discipline better. See:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/22/jerry-ravetz-part-2-answer-and-explanation-to-my-critics/

  21. Andrew_KY says:

    There is a principle that any good coach of any athletic team knows, and that principle is: When your guys are ahead, you don’t let the other team back in the game by playing soft… you step it up a notch and bury your opponent.

    Thanks Judith Curry, but No Thanks.

    Andrew

  22. G.L. Alston says:

    I’m sorry, but this sounds like lipstick on a pig, and I think you (Dr Curry) are missing the only relevant point: science isn’t a club, and the problem isn’t in how to get the kids to trust the club members. You speak as if “transparency” is an image problem best solved as a marketing issue.

    Science as I was taught is a method in which you do an experiment and the expectation is that any interested party ought to be able to reproduce the experiment. Repeatability of results can’t happen when a scientist doesn’t release data. There should never be the need for FOI requests. If whatever you did can’t be replicated and/or examined openly, it ain’t science.

    Your essay reads as if you assume that the underlying problem is that FOI requests need to be handled more cleanly.

    RUBBISH.

    The underlying problem is that climate people have to be threatened with FOI action in the first place, and to rub salt in it, these people are employed out of MY wallet. When public funding is used, this is MY data. I paid for it. I don’t need no stinking FOI request.

    You want to fix this problem? All data is open and online to any citizen who wants to download it. Period.

  23. Gordon Ford says:

    Rr Curry writes from the perspective of (directly or indirectly) government funded academia. Having worked for government I understand the the “liberal” pressures imposed by government bureaucracies. Unfortunately she focused on “big oil” and did not comment on the need for academia to toe the “big government” party line.

  24. PJP says:

    Dr. Curry is correct in her assessment that the core issue is one of trust. Unfortunately, many of the primary players on the AGW side have compromised that trust to the point where it is extremely unlikely that those particular players can ever regain it.

    Its not just a matter of them being very poor at communicating their expertise, the fact is, they have compromised the very idea of their own expertise by using inappropriate statistical analyses, obviously compromised data, incredibly amateur programming, and various “tricks” which could be grounds for instant rejection of any PhD thesis.

    To compound this, the display of arrogance when called on these facts was simply stunning, basically amounting to “I am the expert, I have the title “professor” before my name and PhD after it, my opinion is all that counts, yours is worthless and I refuse to even consider it”. That arrogance is what finally put the final nail in the coffin.

    In addition, we see a complete lack of scientific method. From the incestuous and tightly controlled peer review system exposed in the CRU emails, to the refusal to share data and methods to enable others to verify their results to the jump to the conclusion that temperature rises are solely caused by anthropogenic CO2, even if that requires the modern equivalent of “the ether”, a magical component necessary to make their models work, namely “forcing” which appears to be a purely mythical dimensionless quantity which can be applied as a multiplier wherever and whenever required to the fact that looking at historical projections from these people and these models shows a large divergence, and a refusal to acknowledge that they were wrong then, and are likely to be wrong now.

    We see cherry picking of data to get the desired result. We see these same results disagreeing with current reality. Even though unable to explain why the divergence with current measurements, the “experts” absolutely insist that although they are completely ignorant of why the divergence, that that are completely justified in ignoring this discrepancy between theory and practice for current data, but absolutely insist on its integrity for 1,000+ years prior.

    This is ether supreme stupidity or supreme arrogance. In either case, it is undeserving of trust.

    The MET Office seem to have understood the issue (somewhat), as does Dr Curry.
    However, the answer is not rehabilitation of the current crop of “experts” and data, it is starting from scratch, with people of integrity and an open process to ensure that integrity is not compromised by the numerous interested parties on both sides.

  25. Hunt Johnsen says:

    Not bad for a mild mea culpa, but she totally whitewashes the viciousness of the alarmist camp toward the skeptics, and certain influential persons like the President certainly do think the “science is settled and the debate is over”. The lack of “climategate” coverage in the American media would indicate that the “warmists” haven’t come clean yet and certainly haven’t given up on their plans.

  26. tarpon says:

    Open science is the only science that survives politics. And that means everything is open for anyone who wants to participate, of course there should be gatekeepers, but they should operate publicly, not behind closed doors, and not from on high.

    I think the ‘crowd’ on WUWT has developed the best set of science available on climate earth, it’s not biased, it’s truth. What science should be. There is an old theory “the wisdom of the crowds”, the many is smarter than a few, which makes clear the best outcome is the one developed with willing knowledgeable people contributing openly.

    Somehow, we need to drop the political agenda(s) and start fresh … Seek the truth.

  27. kim says:

    Why is the response ‘Call off the dogs’, instead of ‘Let’s sniff out the truth’?
    ========================================

  28. Thomas Hobbes says:

    Kudos JC and AW.. nice to see balance and a call for an open and transparent re-assesment of the ‘science’.

    Hot Rod, Did not understand your point…’the science is IN’

  29. John C says:

    This is a well written discussion of the topic, but leaves out an important point, that being the research money clearly favors the point of view of AGW by billions of dollars. If one is going to discuss historical support of anti AGW Big Oil financing, to be consistent, one must discuss the money from government to fund AGW research. Do you really believe that if a research project requested funding that if the thesis was proven would tend to disprove AGW, that it could obtain funding.

    Finally, there is one question I would love to see an answer from an AGW proponent: What, if anything, would disprove that AGW is real.

  30. Xavier says:

    “The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public…”

    Yep. Excellent scientific method there. Good people skills too.

  31. JoeRight says:

    Judith’s Walloftext hits you for 15,000. Sheesh.


    ‘No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” ‘

    Then you need to make a call to Al Gore, please, and tell him to shut the hell up…

    ^^ this.

  32. Dana H. says:

    From the perspective of scientific truth, it is irrelevant where a researcher’s funding comes from — whether from Big Oil or Big Government or Big NGOs. The only relevant question is: Are the researcher’s data and arguments valid? If this cannot be determined because the researcher does not share the data, does not share the analysis code, or does not answer reasonable criticism, then the reasearcher’s claims have no scientific standing and deserve to be dismissed.

  33. Stephan says:

    Judith, I completely agree except I beg to differ that most of the skeptics are NOT qualified. I can start a very long list of highly qualified scientist… Lindzen, Singer, Pielke apparently 40% meteorologists etc. My deceased father put most of the weather stations up in Bolivia and Paraguay for the WMO and even 10 years ago he thought it was just a tax grab. He would be shocked to find out that Giss is extrapolating Bolivias temps to one location close to Lima Peru. What a farce. BTW I have published myself 27 refereed articles using complex statistics in biology I am not convinced at all. According to my Dada Climate statistics were evn much less significant. However I am open to being convinced. In my view the data which is the most important part does not support. The additional climategate and NCDC, NOAA stuiff really makes it an impossibility. You are a fresh open minded person with which both sides could communicate through.

  34. danimals says:

    If … IF … this author does not believe that the scientests at the heart of the “crisis of trust” are not held accountable and strongly reprimanded, including job termination and stripping of funding where appropriate, THEN there is no meaning to this essay. I’m all for open debate, but lets clean house first.

    The field of science has to be held a higher standard. Not just a higher standard in the nature of discourse or allowance for personality conflicts, but FIRSTLY in not purposely misleading colleagues, peer reviewers, those of different political persuasion, or the public.

    As a professor once told my class, “There is no dearth of very intelligent people.” The apologists for the researchers at scrutiny will be that they should be allowed some forgiveness for their lifetime of work, etc. I say no. That is political. Do you think if a skeptic was found to purposely mislead, obstruct, and lead a behind-the-scenes marginalization of those with legitamate data, there would be an leniancy???

    So, thanks Judith Curry for gracing the blogosphere, and although it still has the air of superiority and not the appropriate distaste for the recent events at hand, it must be some great thing for you to do.

    The crisis in trust of scientists is NOT what is at hand. The PROPER OUTRAGE at behavior and lies of SOME SCIENTISTS is what is at hand. The beginning of the rejection of the argument of catastrophic AGW is what is at hand, and while that may be a crisis for some, it is not for me.

    Dan
    New Jersey, USA.

  35. vigilantfish says:

    Judith Curry asks: So why do the mainstream climate researchers have such a problem with the climate auditors? She answers: that the earliest critics were paid by the oil indistry and that Steve McIntyre and was characterized as a shill for the oil industry. This apparently justified preventing critics from publishing in scientific journals and blocking them from presenting at conferences. This raises the question: does one’s affiliations justify scientific malfeasance? Even if they were paid for by the oil industry (bad) does this justify a different treatment from other money-making sectors such as the environmental movement? Imagine if such tactics were used (and I am not sure that they are not) based on one’s political affiliations? Science should be blind to such identities. Even if Steve McIntyre were affiliated with the oil industry, his science should be allowed to enter the dialogue (not that there has been a dialogue – it has been one sided shouting until the last three months) and the science taken on its own merits. Furthermore, why do global warmist scientists still continue to accuse skeptics of being paid by the oil industry? I’ve been a skeptic since the mid-1990s, at least, and I am a history professor; most skeptics are independent thinkers with no overarching links to any industry aside from whatever job they happen to hold.

    There won’t be any trust in climate scientists until the participating scientists display more regard for that old-fashioned standard in science – ‘truth’ – and stop smearing skeptics with lies and falsehoods about being funded by oil. This smear has occurred in several major news outlets in the past week alone.

  36. zt says:

    The holocaust-denier connotation of ‘denier’ seems, to me, an extremely good indication that anyone that persists in slinging that particular insult is both desperate and in the wrong.

  37. davidmhoffer says:

    For a while there I thought I was reading another explanation of PNS….
    Well meaning, urgent action, stakes high, outcomes uncertain…..

    That said, I think it worth noting that AGW didn’t lose credibility with me because I read studies by sceptical scientists. It lost credibility with me because I read studies by PRO AGW scientists. The more I read, the more holes, misrpresentations and outright lies I found.

    The article seems to suggest that everyone is well meaning we just have to understand each other better, communicate better, understand different points of view of different groups discussed at their specific technical levels. Oh wait, we ARE talking PNS again.

    When I see a sceptic make a mistake, the heat from other sceptics is often worse than from the warmists. When a warmist makes a mistake the sceptics are barred from being critical on the warmist blog, and the other warmists leap to join the cover up.

    Restore public trust? Are you kidding me? Someone short changes me on a $10 transaction at the till three times in a row, and wants to explain it was an accident and discuss it, I might sit down and listen. Someone says they didn’t steal my car (but it turns out they did) says they don’t know what happened to it (but it turns out they sold it) that they lost the money (but it turns out they spent on themselves), that they’ve never stolen a car before (but it turns out they have), that they haven’t stolen another car since (but it turns out they have), that they sent instructions to their friends on how to steal cars, that they and their friends formed a group to convince the police that no cars in the area had been stolen at all so no need to investigate stolen car reports, and that they showed up as a gang in front of the house of the guy who was trying to publish a stolen car report with actual facts and threatened to beat him to death and at the same time informing all his neighbours that he is a homicidal maniac who supports mass murder….and you want me to sit down with that someone and discuss it? Oh, and he needs a lift to the meeting, could he please borrow the keys to one of my cars?

    PUHLEASE. The only thing that will restore my trust is the complete and total trashing of the UN IPCC followed by new (and public) data from new (and public) analysis by researchers with no past or present association with the current ring of thieves, bullies and miscreants. To ensure a repeat doesn’t happen, life sentences for those car thieves would be a deterent I could put some faith in.

    But none of that will happen, so I’ll count my change at the till more carefully, but engage in trust building with the car thieves? LOL.

  38. jeff says:

    Clearly Dr. Curry is part of the solution and not part of the problem. For a respected climate scientist to openly state:

    “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda. There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.”

    …is a huge sign that there is room for science in this debate. I consider myself a skeptic (all scientists should), and I appreciate what “the auditors” (foremost Steve McIntyre) are doing and have done to check the runaway pseudoscience which has come to dominate this field.

    I also recognize that there are advocates against AGW who aren’t viewing the issue in an unbiased way, but are simply pushing in the opposite direction as the pro-AGW advocates, regardless of any evidence. As slimy as the label “denier” is (someone please come up with a better term), Dr. Curry’s attempt at drawing a clear distinction between “auditors” and “deniers” is laudable.

    Also, please take the paragraph quoted above and send it far and wide. The best way to frame this debate (if you are interested in seeing pure science prevail) is this: Don’t trust anyone who tells you the science is settled. It isn’t, and if they tell you that they are trying to push policy on you.

  39. Peter Miller says:

    She seems obsessed with i) the term ‘deniers’, and ii) that sceptics are backed/funded by the oil industry.

    No mention of: i) the many ‘facts’ that were taken as being gospel by the climate warmers a few months ago, which have now been shown to be a messy mix of untruths and half truths, and ii) that warmists/alarmists are almost all funded by government agencies, which need the continual generation of scare stories to preserve their funding and comfortable life styles.

    The problem she faces is the fact that sceptics are now delving ever more deeply into climate science, daily uncovering more of the morass of untruths and half truths on which much of the warmist/alarmist climate industry is built. This is obviously uncomfortable and she shows it. She seems to find it abhorrent that sceptics dare use real science to prove their side of the argument.

    Perhaps most important of all is that she clearly believes we should ‘invest’ trillions in battling a non-problem, which if successful, would: i) beggar the western world economies, and ii) have little or no effect on global temperatures.

    She does however seem to reluctantly acknowledge that the warmist/alarmist concept of ‘climate science’ has now become a political agenda for many, without realising the enormous danger this poses.

    She is certainly right about the importance of credibility, which the warmist/alarmist cause has been increasingly losing, especially in the last few months.

  40. Jeff says:

    “Efforts are made to “dumb down” the message and to frame the message to respond to issues that are salient to the audience. People have heard the alarm, but they remain unconvinced because of a perceived political agenda and lack of trust of the message and the messengers.”

    At what point could the average American, in this internet age, “drill down” to the data, though? If scientists want more public trust, stop treating us like we’re dumb and easily alarmed by dumb information. I think there would be more trust, deserved or not, if people knew they could access all the data and all the models and analyze it for themselves…and I mean ALL the data. The internet is a wonderful delivery system. It’s low cost, even free, for many. There’s no excuse for a U.N. organization (the IPCC) to make all these “alarming” statements, call it science, and then NOT make available ALL the data. Instead we hear, “these are very complex models, you wouldn’t understand. Just trust us.” Yeah. Right.

  41. Eric says:

    Anthony,

    I am not sure what your issue is with this post. It appears to me as a real breakthrough of honest & clear-eyed communication. I am impressed and pleased with this development.

    She uses the term “deniers” but she implicitly sets it apart from “skeptics” which she defines in the following, surprisingly flattering lights:

    “At the same time, there is a large group of educated and evidence driven people (e.g. the libertarians, people that read the technical skeptic blogs, not to mention policy makers) who want to understand the risk and uncertainties associated with climate change, without being told what kinds of policies they should be supporting.”

    Lets face it, there are those out there who “deny” out of pure political blood-lust and pandering: Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin are the most public of these. These people are not helping anybody and, as far as I am concerned, should rightfully be called deniers to remove any taint of association from the more science focused skeptics.

    Dr. Curry concludes:
    No one really believes that “the science is settled” or “the debate is over”.

    This appears to me to be another very courageous and laudable entry in the debate from Dr. Curry. The only issue I see with it is that she compares WattsUpWithThat to ClimateProgress.

    In my mind Watts stands apart and Climate Progess is more correctly balanced by Climate Depot. In light of the exceptional content of her post this is minor point to me, but perhaps a more personal point to you. I know I’d hate to be compared with Joe Romm.

    REPLY: My opinion was formed in behind the scenes emails with Dr. Curry. Hopefully her next piece will get to the issues which most concern skeptics today. – A

  42. J Solters says:

    Dr. Curry’s analysis is comprised mostly of ‘why can’t we all just get along’ platitudes; but is a useful starting point to build a real structure designed to force integrity and trustworthyness upon all individual scientists and researchers using any public funding on a particular study. This process cannot be voluntary. Very strict procedures need to be developed (and policed) regarding the public availability of every raw data item, and all changes made, including production of all programs and codes applicable thereto. This shouldn’t require an FOIA request. These data should be available when any public funding is expended. This may appear cumbersome to many researshers; the choice is ‘don’t use public funds’. Additionally, each research study should show the name and source of every dollar of funding.

  43. 1DandyTroll says:

    Feels odd to read an essay like this that doesn’t fire off from start that it’s all about big-oil-conspiracy and pr-war and what not.

    However, the one sided stance on the big-oil conspiracy is disheartening. Most of the so called dirty energy companies was brought to heels by the greenies and is now funneling money towards renewable energy, which is quite logic since everyone follows the money to make money. So that’s that. But what about the other end? What makes it ok to include the greenies and their billions upon billions of dollars in a scientific process that otherwise should be neutral and objective? That the green fanatics thinks it’s ok is all but obvious, what with they being irrational people to boot.

    What would the greenies do to the IPCC if the IPCC had included a non peer reviewed article in some big-oil mag as a reference about something as apparent wrong as the glacier debacle?

    The whole IPCC process and the IPCC version of climate science falls because it’s neither neutral nor objective. It’s riddled with one sided fanatic activism, and guilt by association.

  44. IsoTherm says:

    Why are people sceptical? You take a bunch of scientists, and given them a subject which is really nothing more than deciding how much the temperature changes in each ten year period and trying to explain what happened, their scientific colleagues allow them to speculate ad nosium on the causes, and then you allow the environmentalists to use this speculation to create propaganda wars, encourage the renewables industry and carbon traders to jump on the bandwagon and try to steamroller policy through to line their purses.

    And then you allow these allow these “scientists” to believe they have some god given gift to predict the future … and their scientific colleagues can’t even be bothered to check whether they actually do any real science, like making predictions and testing those predictions against what really happens.

    And then you allow the computer geeks, to use fear of global warming to fund their latest high-tech super-computer at the Met Office, whilst there remain weather stations on heated roofs, and in airplane exhausts. Basically massive massive funding where it isn’t needed and bugger all on the ground where it is.

    And then you get a scientists flogging every bit of enviornmental research which shows any kind of population change and allow them to speculate as to how that change WAS CAUSED by global warming.

    Then you add onto that third world countries who see global warming guilt in the west as a nice money spinner.

    Well sooner or later the public get fed up of being treated like gullible idiots and being spoonfed “Weather of Mass Destruction” stories, and they remember the last few mass hysteria evenst: WMD, Birdflu, swineflu, MMR, Millennium bug. And they figure …. it’s snowing today, it sure don’t feel like teh world is burning up, so I guess this is just more hysteria by the press.

    Oh … and add to that a fossil fuel industy worried about government intervention on depleting reserves who are all too keen for the environmentalists to be telling everyone: “there is so much oil and gas in the world that it’s actually a problem that there is too much oil and gas … and when we continue burning it will give us some nice warm weather”.

    Then add to that lovely mix, the hatred of the left-leaning environmentalists by the SUV loving right and allow real science to be sidelined in the bun fight that follows.

    And then create an internet which green groups work out they can manipulate through media like Wikipedia to say anything they want to say and call it science .

    And a PC culture in schools and Universtities, and civil service, which allow eco-fascist PC wardens, to force their eco-fascist ideas onto teachers and civil servants in the name of “saving the planet” and make it so they dare not ask simple questions like: “where’t the evidence”.

    But if I thought about it, I’m sure I could come up with a longer answer!

  45. Dave Eaton says:

    Very good and thoughtful article.

    To orient myself to the group: I am a professional scientist, in industry, PhD chemistry. Libertarian bent, skeptical (of sketchy science, and also of public policy, since rational policy based on sound science can still end in tragedy), but interested in the details, and willing to be swayed by them. I’m more in sync with Bjorn Lomberg than James Inhofe, I guess, though I neither support nor discount their arguments, because I don’t know them well enough. I believe the details are important, and find Chris Mooney and anyone who wants to ‘frame’ or ‘dumb down’ science sort of tacky and suspect. The details may need to be explained, and some steps presented schematically, but the public that wants to know, scientific or not, should be addressed as adults.

    I have been watching the debate for several years, at RealClimate, ClimateAudit, and here, mainly, with stops all over. The level of discourse is low much of the time, but to the credit of those on the auditing side, the moderators/owners of the blogs seem to be even handed, even when a bit cranky. I cannot say the same for RCs moderators, who are censorious and testy beyond what is necessary to preserve the integrity of their presentation. Nevertheless, I find most of the best on both sides very useful.

    This is not my field. I follow the arguments as best I can, and learn the math and look at the data. It takes up a good deal of my time just seeing that what people claim to measure or calculate is in the revealed data, and can be calculated by the stated methods. I am not in the business of trying to provide alternative models- I can’t do it. But with enough data, R, Maple, a couple of stats books, and time, I can generally suss out what is being done. So I look at the details when possible. I think the details matter, and cannot be trusted to anyone in isolation.

    Two observations: To the statement by Dr. Curry:”While scientists persist in thinking that they should be trusted because of their expertise, climategate has made it clear that expertise itself is not a sufficient basis for public trust.” Nor should it be- who has not seen dueling experts in court? Scientific scandals that make headlines are rare, but they do make headlines, so why should merely being part of the guild be reason for trust? This sounds both arrogant and naive, but I suppose it might be part of academic science. In my work, if I want someone to do something based on my data, I not only have to present the data, and show my calculations, I generally have to explain it to people who are ignorant of chemistry and hostile to it because it is not their field. If it is true that scientist persist in thinking their expertise alone makes them worthy of trust, why is that? It sounds kooky to me.

    Second: “No one believes the debate is over or the science is settled”? This is startling to hear. I have heard this repeated by scientific colleagues from assistant professors to NAS members, and that audits were a sideshow, probably malevolent, at best. My basic counter is that no one who wants to convince someone else to do or think something hides good data or obfuscates good methods, so if there were no chicanery, there would be no fear of an audit. I apparently am not convincing.

    Thanks so much to Dr. Curry for neither treating people asking legitimate skeptical questions as trolls, nor fearing to tread into potentially hostile waters defending her own position without sugar-coating. I wish more academics were so inclined.

  46. thethinkingman says:

    That was a very reasoned and reasonable essay and I don’t think anyone, other than the extremists on either side could take exception to any of the points made by Dr. Curry. What I particularly appreciated was her understanding that this branch of science has been seized upon by those with political intentions that will affect every single person on earth and so it needs to be as right as possible and for that to happen bright , inquisitive , people will need to be convinced.

    It has been a long, frightening, journey for people like me who have long thought we were alone in our skepticism of CAGW but that journey has been made much more positive and rewarding thanks to blogs like this one. That has been possible thanks to the internet but here in Africa only a small proportion of the population has access to this great democratizer.

    If the world really wants to help the developing world overcome threats like deforestation then providing money for electrification will be far better spent than lots of little “green” projects. Likewise the hooking up to the web of the population will result in advancing democracy and the ability of the world to tap into the knowledge of our environment here in Zimbabwe and throughout Africa.

    The discourse and exchange of ideas, knowledge and opinions that Dr Curry is promoting will ensure that our planet can be a better place for all of us while ensuring economic and political development also happen equitably. Access to opinions and hence options is essential if people are to arrive at outcomes that suit them best.

    Openness , accountability and skepticism will be the real salvation of this planet, not group think and a top down philosophy of big brother knows best.

    Well spotted Anthony, kudos for carrying all of the points of view that you do.

  47. gcb says:

    By my count (i.e. by doing a search for the word using my browser’s built-in search facility), the word “deniers” is used twice in the letter – once in quotes, and once in saying “auditors not deniers”. As such, I’m not entirely sure that the criticisms levied against her for using the word “denier” are entirely warranted. The use of quotes in the first instance, by convention, indicates she’s using someone else’s words, and the second instance says that the people she’s talking about are not deniers.

    Just my $0.02, but if we want the “forces of warming” to be precise, then we need to be precise as well.

  48. Dr. Curry,

    Excellent post.

    Anthony,

    I don’t think the use of the word deniers is so offensive here since she is trying to create a distinction between people with open minds, and people who won’t listen to evidence no matter what.

    REPLY: I agree that she doesn’t use it offensively, my point is that she didn’t need to use it at all. -A

  49. Andrew Parker says:

    I see it more as an argument between alarmists and skeptics. AGW could be valid and still not be a threat to destroy the planet.

    The tipping point was my tipping point into skepticism.

  50. Henry chance says:

    Judith. It is kinda late to have “scientists” put on an objective face and act like they are reaching out.

    I do not trust you Judith. If you have at any time signed into participating as one of the “all scientists have accepted the fact that global warming and climate change is manmade” nothing has changed.

    Today this. I will use an off topic analogy and ask how was Tiger woods coached to beg forgiveness for people he betrayed.

    Judith, tell me if I am unfair when I associate you with folks that daily name skeptics as:

    Anti Science
    Deniers
    polluters
    dis-informers.
    bought out by big oil
    flat earthers

    I have practiced in the field of psychology for a few decades and can see thru the message in your posting.

    The tone of your little letter seems to be one of superiority. As if you know more than skeptics that Don’t believe you have proven your hypothesis.

    Why were you not honest enough to condem the hindrances to FOIA requests? Where are your messages speaking against ethics violations?

    How do you react, Judith when extremists in the CAGW field make simple blunt and absolutely false forcasts and claim their models predict the same? Example is Je Romm working with NOAA and claiming the drought, dustbowl effect in the southwest is permanent.

  51. Gene Zeien says:

    The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC

    TRUTH?!? I can think of several more appropriate words: story, case, hypothesis, theory.

  52. Eric says:

    Reading the comments here I think people are missing the fact the Dr. Curry is trying to play a bridging/mitigating role. She cannot be too hard on either side or it will just be more business as usual us vs them-ism.

    I see this entry from Dr. Curry and Revkin’s most recent efforts at Dot Earth to find common ground as very positive steps toward more productive future debate.

  53. JDN says:

    Everyone knows that sociopaths exist and that they sometimes rise to the top. The folks that caused this scandal appear to act like sociopaths (i.e. they have no concern for others, outcomes, or the truth) as well as their weak-minded dupes. There’s no trusting these people. Rebuilding trust among the sheep and the wolves is a bad idea. I’m not normally one for ad hominem attacks, but, sometimes they are necessary.

  54. kcom says:

    “This isn’t “deniers” vs. “warmers,” this is about destroying our planet (if AGW is correct,) or destroying our civilization’s economy unnecessarily (if AGW isn’t correct.)”

    And it’s not even about that. Or, at least, it’s not a binary situation. I laughed yesterday when I read someone saying that the split regarding AGW among scientists was 90%/10%. In other words, 90% of scientists were full-on AGW believers and 10% were full-on AGW deniers. In the commenter’s mind, that proved there was a consensus and proved AGW was true.

    First, I have no idea where he got the 90% number. I think AGW proponents want it to be true and throw that number around like it is true. But more importantly, this radical division into two diametrically opposed camps is meaningless and counterproductive. I’ve read enough comments from enough scientists to know that there is a whole range of opinion out there on this topic, as is to be expected on something so complex and ephemeral. Some are less convinced of one aspect or another than they are of others, while, even if two scientists agree on one aspect, they might differ as to the explanation of its cause. So there are probably as many opinions about this as there are scientists. Even within the CRU emailer group, there were differences of opinion and ranges of extremism.

    So, in regards to public trust, Judith Curry is right. Trying to shove everyone into one of two groups is ridiculous and engenders distrust. I know it causes distrust in me when I hear Al Gore trying to shut down debate by doing that. If the people pushing the idea that AGW is a serious issue don’t acknowledge the wide range of legitimately held opinions out there about the meaning of all this, then they have only themselves to blame when millions of people don’t take them seriously.

  55. Robert Wille says:

    Dr. Curry repeatedly refers to the part that big oil has played, but never once mentions the role that big government has played. Big government has funded the pro-AGW camp far more than big oil has ever funded the skeptics, probably to the tune of a thousand times more. Enough money has been spent in the name of saving the planet from AGW that we could have fed the entire world for generations.

  56. Jan Curtis says:

    Scientists should never enter into politics due to the inherent conflict of interest associated with government funding of research. Additionally, there is a misrepresentation by the press and supporters of the IPCC concerning the number of educated people who while actually believe in recent global warming don’t necessarily believe in a mostly human cause (e.g. they question correlation vs. causality). The bottom line is simply that climate change is being used as the poster child for changing the world’s attitude towards the consumption of fossil fuel in an every increasing population. It is easier for governments to invoke changes in behavior for materialism than sexual reproduction.

  57. David Bailey says:

    Andrew,

    I would not go on too much about the “Denier” badge – just wear it with pride!

    She seems to want to bring people like you in from the cold (so to speak!) and I think any attempt to engage ‘deniers’ in debate will create further doubts in the believers. Some of those guys have been steeped in one way of thinking for so many years, it may take time for them to come around.

  58. John B. says:

    Judith — A great essay over all. A couple of points:

    I am less concerned with the continued use of the term “deniers” than I am with the failure to acknowledge the huge disparity of funding between “alarmists” and “denialists”, with “big government” funding the “alarmists” at a level several orders of magnitude greater than “oil industry” has provided for the “denialists”. (http://www.transworldnews.com/NewsStory.aspx?id=104031&cat=12) It is most naive to believe that 79 billion in US government funding since 1989 has not produced at least some confirmation bias in studies funded to examine the problem of global warming. No problem? No funding!

    The statement “They have had to adopt unconventional strategies to fight off what they thought was malicious interference.” would seem defend the bunker mentality revealed in the climategate emails. No “had to” about it. A neutral, objective statement would be that “They adopted unconventional strategies…”

    Your essay forthrightly acknowledges a number of problems that the community of climate scientists needs to work on, and I really appreciate the effort to initiate open dialogue.

    John B.

  59. RockyRoad says:

    May our “crowd” be called “Climate Realists”. We’re not “deniers” since the opposition have surreptitiously taken the mantra “Climate Change” and everybody knows that’s what has happened/is happening/will happen, so they’re hijacked the status quo to their own benefit. And everybody that ever though of calling themselves a scientist or even just a thinking man/woman should be “skeptical”, so that term is simply redundant.

    Climate Realists demand the real (raw) data; climate realists demand to see what fudges… er…. adjustments are made to this data. Climate realists demand to have an accounting, both legal and scientific, on the $65 billion that’s been spent so far. And climate realists demand to have sober, logical, honest, open, and non-political scientists investigating the climate and weather.

    (This climate realist personally believes the coming Ice Age is a much bigger threat than anything their “global warming” hysteria predicts.)

    I submit it is the majority of the citizenry of the UK, Europe, Canada, the US, and other interested and industrialized nations that would consider themselves “Climate Realists”. AGWers and their ilk are now in the minority and shrinking fast.

    It is the taxpayer’s money that’s being spent; it is their money that’s projected to pay for whatever policies are put in place, and it is their money that will be missing if this current chicanery continues. Payment connotes ownership. (Got that?)

    We’re not mere spectators; we’re concerned citizens that have witnessed a science wreck. So please, by all means drop the “denier” and call us “realists”.

  60. UpNorthOutWest says:

    This really isn’t all that complicated.

    If you’re going to “make science” and zealously push policy positions based on that science (which strikes me as something scientists shouldn’t be doing, but maybe I’m naive), you need to make all of your evidence available to anybody who wants it. The raw data; not the “tricked-out” data run through your mystery rubrics.

    Going back to my naivete, I thought scientists were simply supposed to follow the science wherever it led, and not work to suppress anything that doesn’t jibe with a desired conclusion. Why do you have “desired conclusions” in the first place?

    When we see the amount of money that could change hands over these issues, the way the policies could transform society, and then the scandals of Climategate and in the IPCC AR4, our B.S. detectors go off.

    Bottom line: It’s all hot air from “the other side” until I see them cooperating with the likes of McIntyre, sharing data and methods and HOPING he can pick their work apart.

  61. wakeupmaggy says:

    MattN (07:24:57) :

    ‘No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” ‘
    Then you need to make a call to Al Gore, please, and tell him to shut the hell up…

    Our naive, inexperienced and credulous president believes this fairy tale, as do all of his ridiculous czars and most of congress. Not to mention all of the 20-something Starbucks crowd fresh from liberal academia.

    Do something about that, Ms. Curry, before pontificating any further.

    ‘No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” ‘
    That is a flat out LIE!

  62. Richard M says:

    Judith, you need to have this discussion with the President, his advisers and the EPA. Until that time you won’t get much support from skeptics. While I agree with much of your analysis, the next step is all that counts.

    In addition, I’ll be looking for many peer reviewed papers to be pulled because they do NOT:

    … do everything possible to make sure that they effectively communicate uncertainty, risk, probability and complexity, and provide a context that includes alternative and competing scientific viewpoints. This is an important responsibility that individual scientists and particularly the institutions need to take very seriously.

    This will be a basic requirement if you want to regain trust.

    Good luck in your efforts because I’d really, really like to see this happen.

  63. Stephan says:

    Something very basic: If Co2 caused global warming life on earth would have disappeared a long long time ago

  64. Dave L says:

    “They are focused on moving the science forward, rather than the janitorial work of record keeping, data archival, etc.”

    I work in Big Pharma…..If we want our products approved for the market we have to follow strict GMP rules: we have to pay very close attention to the “janitorial work” as described above, to the satisfaction of any auditor or agency that wants to look at ANYTHING. They can ask to see specific notebook pages, and those pages better have all the proper entries and signatures, and proper protocols are followed or there can be big trouble. And this is a good thing and is designed to protect the patients. We don’t see it as a problem…it’s an important part of our job that helps ensure quality and safety for patients.

    But lets get real for a second: the IPCC is trying to change the world’s economy in a major way by reducing CO2….why should they be forced to do “janitorial work” when there’s so much frontier science that needs to be done?????? Give me a break. The more I read from the AGW lunatics the less credibility they have in my eyes. Actually, they have zero credibility now. I’m curious to see if it’s possible to have negative credibility.

  65. Layne Blanchard says:

    This article tried to walk a tightrope of observation, fairly neutral in perspective. But stating that the issue is a matter of trust belies the notion that this pseudoscience is factually accurate and scientists merely need to restore that trust. The article states:

    “Debating science with skeptics should be the spice of academic life, but many climate researchers lost this somehow by mistakenly thinking that skeptical arguments would diminish the public trust in the message coming from the climate research establishment.”

    A more frank observation of the above would be that warming scientists lost sight of science itself. On the forefront of discovery, there is no road map to keep anyone on track. If a scientist loses impartiality, that which appears to be mere adjustments or “corrections” of theory may in fact be the delusions of self projection.

    AGW theory went off the rails long ago, near the time of its inception. As scientific observation failed to confirm it, AGW marched on, sinking from speculation into fantasy, and then deception to cover its failings. There is little truth in which to restore trust.

    A few folks mentioned Michael Chrichton. I read this recently regarding him and a speech in 2003:

    “Today, one of the most powerful religions in the Western World is environmentalism. En-vironmentalism seems to be the religion of choice for urban atheists. Why do I say it’s a re-ligion? Well, just look at the beliefs. If you look carefully, you see that environmentalism is in fact a perfect 21st century remapping of traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs and myths.
    There’s an initial Eden, a paradise, a state of grace and unity with nature, there’s a fall from grace into a state of pollution as a result of eating from the tree of knowledge, and as a re-sult of our actions there is a judgment day coming for us all. We are all energy sinners, doomed to die, unless we seek salvation, which is now called sustainability. Sustainability is salvation in the church of the environment.”

    AGW theory has become part and parcel of this growing Pantheist ideology.

  66. Luboš Motl says:

    Dear Dr Curry,

    I am afraid I disagree with most of the key conclusions and recommendations of your text.

    Trust is not something that can be repainted, damaged or cleaned, whenever necessary. For rational people, their trust in others is a result of the evaluation of their experience with these others – with their honesty, passion for the truth, ability to resist corruption, will to sacrifice themselves for others, and so on.

    The ClimateGate material contains objective information showing that it is unreasonable if not foolish to trust the people from the CRU and several other institutions. Because of pre-existing similarities between the CRU folks and other groups pushing the climate panic, including GISS, Met Office, Hadley etc., it is also reasonable to make a preliminary guess that the key people in most or all these institutions and others lack the scientific integrity – and sometimes basic human decency, too.

    You may claim that it hasn’t been proven that other climate scientists have done similar things. And I would agree. In fact, it is likely that many of them have not. But it is pretty unlikely that it is just CRU that is a bad exception. The dishonest behavior is clearly a part of the system. It would be completely foolish to deny the evidence for this proposition that the “Gates” have given us. So as long as people – including yourself – are forming their expectations rationally, they should conclude that it is likely that this kind of behavior has been universal in the field of “climate change”.

    I am totally puzzled by your assertions about a “monolithic climate denial machine”. Clearly, this term is meant to invoke negative emotions by 3/4 of its words (monolithic, denial, machine), and the remaining 1/4 (climate) arguably brings negative emotions, too. ;-) However, if you try to think what this term actually means, it means the same thing that there is a pretty much “consensus” among the sane people – I mean climate skeptics – about most of the key questions. It’s not perfect, but it’s analogous to the consensus among the “panic oriented” climate scientists.

    If your alarmed colleagues were talking about the alarmists themselves, they would surely talk about the “consensus”. When they talk about the same characteristic of the skeptics, they talk about the “monoliths” and “machines”. This is clearly an irrational propaganda meant to distort the opinions of listeners who are not able or willing to think about these things independently and neutrally. It has worked for years. But don’t expect it will work too well after November 2009.

    I find your statement that the people “trusted the 4th IPCC report” very bizarre, too. I have never trusted it and 99% of the people whose methods and knowledge about the topic I respect didn’t trust the IPCC process, either. The IPCC process has always been corrupt, unscientific, ideological, and most of us on WUWT – or at least those who have studied it for many years – have known it for years if not decades. The ClimateGate and other revelations just confirmed what was generally known to everyone who was not hiding his or her head in the sand. It’s great that many other people realized this fact, too. But they surely didn’t discover something that was completely new to everyone.

    You overestimate the role of someone’s being unpaid or outside of the Academia etc. It really doesn’t matter. These are technical details. What matters is the method, scientific ethics, and the agreement of the statements with the empirical data. Ross McKitrick is arguably a part of the Academia, after all. And so are many others. And there are a few others who are doing a similar work and who are being paid by various pro-market organizations. They are often not as skillful as the “spontaneously” chosen auditors that do the technical (e.g. statistical) work, but they usually have compatible opinions about the broader picture, and their work is being followed by many people.

    If you think that e.g. Marc Morano is still generally dismissed as an oil puppet or whatever by nearly everyone, you’re completely wrong. He actually has lots of visitors – ClimateDepot is a kind of DrudgeReport of the climate. The climate alarm industry has become a big animal and it does require a lot of work – and even some funding – to peacefully liberate the world from this monster. So far, this funding is an extremely good investment. Marc Morano does much more work in making the people aware about the climate issues than hundreds of people paid on the side of the “alarm”, so he surely deserves some salary.

    You wrote: “The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on…”

    Well, there is a simple fact that can be blamed for the “failure of public (and less so, policy makers – they usually jumped on the bandwagon) to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC”. Who should be blamed for the failure? Simply the fact that the IPCC reports are not the truth. More precisely, there are lots of “small truths” and “approximate truths” that no one would care about and that wouldn’t make the climate science relevant for the policymaking (and most people didn’t bother to read them because they don’t matter). And then there are the “big and catchy” statements that bring all the funding to the IPCC and climate science.

    But these big ones are not the truth. It’s that simple. Whatever example you choose, you will see that I am right. Melting glaciers for India China, sinking Netherlands, dying African agriculture, rainforests destroyed by the warmth, and so on, and so on – the regions mentioned in these scandals cover the whole world. Virtually all of the IPCC “big statements” are actually lies, and I am almost convinced that you must know that.

    You may put a more human face, such as yours, instead of Michael Mann’s unhuman face as the face of the climate science. But you won’t rebuild the trust in the IPCC if your predetermined plan is to keep all these lies as parts of the IPCC conclusions. One simply can’t trust in the people who end up with conclusions such as “Himalayan glaciers are going to melt soon” because these things are not true. Whoever has followed these “Gates” more properly has not only learned that big mistakes (and misinformation) have been done, but he also learned the right answers which can be obtained from the accessible evidence and that are vastly different than the IPCC report says. Many people have been fooled by this organized misinformation process but I don’t think that there will be too many people who will be fooled twice.

    Your plans for “dueling blogs” and “restoration of the trust” are apparently designed to keep the climate science important, and so on. But in that you case, you want to mask the main lesson of all these “Gates”, and the lesson is that if the data are evaluated and communicated honestly, it turns out that there is nothing too interesting happening about the climate, and the science is simply not that interesting. It is one of hundreds of scientific disciplines that are only important to an isolated ring of specialists. It should peacefully scale back from those $2 billion a year to those $200 million a year (in the U.S., to pick a major example) that we knew a decade ago. Anything else is just wrong – or unethical.

    In some sense, I find your attitude similar to the 1989 fall-of-communism opinions of the Czechoslovak reformed communists from 1968. Your proposals really don’t solve the “essence” of the problems with the IPCC and the dominant form of the climate science as we’ve known it in the most recent decade. The lack of integrity and the things that destroyed the trust after November 2009 are the same thing that you want people to trust again. It simply can’t work. Climate science has to return where it belongs, among legitimate scientific disciplines without distortions and irrational hype, and when it does so, it will inevitably look similar to what it used to be 20 or more years ago. It will be much more modest, too. It *is* modest and all the propositions that the climate science is more than modest were based on fraud and its political motivation. You can’t preserve these things while solving the “confidence crisis”.

    Best wishes
    Lubos

  67. James Chamberlain says:

    I feel bad that I have become quite polarized as well. Whenever someone is whole-heartedly sold on AGW and the like, I automatically assume that they have not looked at the data, are emotional, or part of the neo-religious I-want-to-save-the-world movement. I am a scientist and understand most of the points, but I am no longer as open as I used to be (I used to be a believer 2 decades ago when the movement started). Now, after decades of analysis and introspection and general BS detecting, etc., I, now, automatically think “what is wrong with them?” when someone is a believer.

    I’m not dumb, I’m not extremely conservative, I have no money to make off of the situation. I’m just saying, both sides getting more polarized takes us know where.

  68. tarpon says:

    John wrote: one must discuss the money from government to fund AGW research.,/em>

    The root of the problem. It seems that governments are all trying to prove what will allow them to tax, and give their support to those that provide the best path to levying more taxes.

    Agenda research — Naked bias … hypothesis is not truth, it’s only conjecture.

  69. stephen richards says:

    I can’t think of a more disgusting way to make me turn away than to call me a denier. Not only does it offend in its origins but it also offends in its inference that a scientist would deny anything. That is to say that as a scientist I am a total failure. THAT DISGUSTS ME.

  70. Dr. Robert says:

    All we need now is Gavin Schmidt making a YouTube video crying, admitting that he’s a fraud too.

  71. Don Keiller says:

    It’s even easier to follow the big money trail to climate “believers” and also to the very top of the IPCC.

  72. Jaye says:

    “Big Oil Funding” ??????

    Its been shown that funding for the pro-AGW research is several orders of magnitude larger than that of all other funding sources worldwide for skeptical research. I suspect it was also true 5 years ago also. As Mosher said in the CRUTape Letters (I am paraphrasing here…btw) Big Oil can change course and follow the lead horse no matter what that horse represents. So throwing around “Big Oil” as some sort of boogie man to justify pro-AGW misdeeds is misleading imo. Especially, when one accounts for the ultimate funding source behind RC.

    This is a typical Curry “overture” with an embedded red herring…just another TITPB, imo. Maybe she thinks she is being objective.

  73. regeya says:

    I’m at work so I merely skimmed through it during some downtime, but I’m amazed; what I see is a calm, rational argument, made by someone who knows a lot more on the subject than I do, that echoes my own (admittedly uneducated) skepticism.

  74. Steve Schaper says:

    I think she should be praised for this. It is a good start. Not perfect – the analysis of the situation prior to 2005 is, I think, incorrect, and the AGW crew (or CRU) are hardly as innocent and well-intentioned as suggested. But it is a good start.

    Of course, her article and stance could be a judo move. Praise but verify.

  75. JJ says:

    I find this post disturbing, for reasons exemplefied by the following statementss:

    “Credibility is a combination of expertise and trust.”

    “Therefore scientists need to do everything possible to make sure that they effectively communicate uncertainty, risk, probability and complexity, and provide a context that includes alternative and competing scientific viewpoints.”

    “On the other hand, the climate auditors have no apparent political agenda,
    are doing this work for free, and have been playing a watchdog role, which has engendered the trust of a large segment of the population.”

    ” Such debate is alive and well in the blogosphere, but few mainstream climate researchers participate in the blogospheric debate. The climate researchers at realclimate.org were the pioneers in this, …”

    “And we need to acknowledge the emerging auditing and open source movements in the in the internet-enabled world, and put them to productive use. The openness and democratization of knowledge enabled by the internet can be a tremendous tool for building public understanding of climate science and also trust in climate research.”

    “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda. There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.”

    They serve to frame the problem as being one of presentation, not substance. Of faulty communication, not faulty science. It reads more like a primer on getting your way, rather than on evaluating the correctness of that way.

    Credibility is not merely a matter of expertise and trust. It is a matter of having demonstrated that your assertions are well supported and reliable in both their retrospective analysis and their predictions.

    Scientists cannot effectively communicate uncertainty, risk, probability and complexity until they have addressed, quantified, and incorporated same in their work – by some method far more rigorous than the IPCC’s completely subjective five step “we’re pretty sure” to “we’re completely sure” drill.

    Noting that ‘climate auditors have no apparent political agenda’ and thus engender trust is true enough as a statement of ‘what is’, but becomes an exercise in cynicism when coupled with statements like ‘no one believes the science is settled’ and ‘for gods sake dont say that or the public wont believe you.’

    Some scientists do believe the science is settled and that the debate is over. The problem is not that they say that, but that they believe it without adequate substantiation, and that they act on that belief in ways that corrupt the process to hide that lack of substantiation from themselves and others. Treating this as a commincation problem is suborning propaganda, not improving science.

    Finally, ‘putting the open source audit movement to productive use’ is again defined strictly in terms of ‘improving communication and trust’. Missing is the fundamental productive use of any auditing movement – as an audit. Not as another media outlet for your predetermined message, but as an independant check of the truth content of that message. What is described is not the usefulness of a ‘Climate Audit’ for finding error and exposing bias, but rather a ‘RealClimate’ for communicating the ‘propriety’ of hiding the decline.

    The fundamental issue here is not that certain scientists dont have the public’s trust, it is that they do not deserve it. And though they might regain that trust through improved ‘communication’, it should be acknowledged that using communication to achieve undeserved trust is illegitimate …

    JJ

  76. Pizote Sonrisa says:

    Credibility and Trust!!

    What part of the scientific method are these terms?

    Science doesn’t rely on these concepts. Sounds like an effort to get back into the emotion-lotion-feel-good wagon driver’s seat.

  77. Henry chance says:

    This post is from

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/28/the-curry-letter-a-word-about-deniers/

    When those who support the AGW position fail to categorically reject the “Al Gores” as spokespersons, fail to categorically reject activist scams, fail to categorically reject the use of unacceptable smears ….then, and only then, will you be able to hope for a restoration of confidence in what you do. You have a long road ahead.

    You may know a lot about science. You understand precious little about public perception

    It was posted on November 28, 2009 a few days after climategate erupted.

    In psychology when behavioral patterns get off track, there are some times call “for an intervention” An Intervention is a strong jolt and eye opener.

    Anthony posted the above note from “Kate”

    Silence speaks loudly when folks do not speak against error and wrong doing.

  78. DBates says:

    Wonderful. I really enjoyed this “olive branch.” Seems like one to me at least.

    My only criticism is that by mentioning the money of Big Oil and not the billions of dollars by governments and the UN (which has dwarfed corporate spending on this issue), we are left with the implication that skeptics, prior to the blogosphere at least, were bought and paid for, while those at the university level were noble and upright. I’m not naive enough to believe that all those funded by big oil and energy are above reproach, but I’m not naive enough to believe that researchers cannot be swayed by large research grants either. Enough skeptical scientists have come forward, at the peril of their careers, to tell the world that the pressure to support AGW and it’s conclusions within academia and the grant system was appalling. If the trail of corporate money is of relevance, so to is the trail of government money, particularly if it’s so heavily channeled to one side of the debate.

  79. Kay says:

    @ Jeff (07:51:33) :

    “Efforts are made to “dumb down” the message and to frame the message to respond to issues that are salient to the audience. People have heard the alarm, but they remain unconvinced because of a perceived political agenda and lack of trust of the message and the messengers.”

    At what point could the average American, in this internet age, “drill down” to the data, though? If scientists want more public trust, stop treating us like we’re dumb and easily alarmed by dumb information. I think there would be more trust, deserved or not, if people knew they could access all the data and all the models and analyze it for themselves…and I mean ALL the data. The internet is a wonderful delivery system. It’s low cost, even free, for many. There’s no excuse for a U.N. organization (the IPCC) to make all these “alarming” statements, call it science, and then NOT make available ALL the data. Instead we hear, “these are very complex models, you wouldn’t understand. Just trust us.” Yeah. Right.”

    I agree, Jeff. I for one am so sick and tired of hearing, “You don’t have a PhD; you wouldn’t understand, so I’m not going to bother explaining.” We are not dumb, so please stop treating us as such! The elitism and the disdain for the average citizen is sickening. If that’s what the ivory towers turns you into, I don’t want to be one. I hope I never underestimate the intelligence of someone less educated than myself. Postnomials do not equal common sense, intelligence, and a willingness to learn and self-educate.

    Have they ever stopped to think that, if given the chance to understand, most people with any intellectual curiosity would educate themselves? Maybe that’s what they’re afraid of. As people educate themselves, they become more and more skeptical of AGW. And they know it.

  80. IsoTherm says:

    Having reread my post above, can I just say, that for properly scientifically sceptical person to be called a denier is akin to a jew being called a jid (I hope you know what I mean) – and I wrote it in a very angry mood without bothering to check it.

    Whilst I can accept such stupid comments from the idiots one meets on blogs (I am afterall one of them) who say such things to wind people up, for someone to knowingly say this in an essay in which they suggest they want meaningful responses is blatant arrogance – and to be honest, I didn’t think it deserved the courtesy of even the quick glance I gave to her long tomb.

  81. kadaka says:

    Okay, I made it this far (emphasis added):

    Of greatest importance is the reduced credibility of the IPCC assessment reports, which are providing the scientific basis for international policies on climate change.

    At this point I note the Assessment Reports are compilation pieces that pull together and summarize the scientific research, said research being what is actually the underlying scientific basis. The IPCC does no research on its own, and provides no scientific basis on its own, it merely repackages and presents what originates elsewhere.

    And I note the scientific research the IPCC recognizes includes WWF and Greenpeace press releases and boot cleaning manuals.

    At this point I shall resume my own research here in central Pennsylvania. Mainly investigating how cold and wet the melting global warming has left the ground I have to deal with now as I do needed work underneath my old 4×4 truck. I am also noting how the trunks of the bare trees at the expanding forest edge must be receiving considerable daytime warming as the melting has proceeded considerably further than just across the lane where there is a bare mowed tree-free field.

    And that would be a better use of my time than continuing to read this.

  82. Alexander says:

    Judith… nice try, no cigar!
    If you stop using the ‘denier’ label I may give what you say some credence, and stopping the nonsense that us ‘deniers’ are funded hugely would also help.
    My peer group – early 70s, professional qualifications, on second or third career, no intention of stopping work ever, interested in what goes on in the world and old/smart/experienced enough to discern b***sh*t from usable garden soil, are ALL deniers to some extent. We find the term a form of abuse used by the AGW proponents whose ever-dwindling grounds for their beliefs are making them increasingly strident in their ad hominem arguments.
    And the IPCC have manifestly failed to use truths given to them by scientists but betrayed universal trust by using incredibly untruthful advocacy and scare tactics instead.

  83. Dr. Judith Curry:

    I thank you for your guest post.

    You are right, “Climategate is primarily a crisis of trust.”

    Climategate has exposed decades of deceit and data manipulation in our most trusted research institutions and science journals.

    Deceit that flowed “top-down” with research funds and ultimately destroyed the very foundations of astronomy, astrophysics, climatology, cosmology, nuclear, particle and solar physics by ignoring unpopular experimental data:

    01. The lightest element is Hydrogen (H), element #1. Helium (He) is the next lightest one, element #2. The top of the solar atmosphere is 91% H and 9% He. These same lightweight elements cover the surfaces of most stars. Solar mass fractionation is experimentally observed across isotopes (3 to 136 atomic mass units) in the solar wind and across s-products (25 to 207 amu) in the photosphere.

    02. The Sun discards 50,000 billion metric ton of H each year in the solar wind. If the Standard Solar Model (SSM) correctly described Earth’s heat source, then the Sun discards its own fuel!

    03. Gravity is a nuclear force; Atomic mass is mostly in the nucleus.

    04. Neutron repulsion is indicated in every nucleus at Z/A = 0 from nuclear rest mass data plotted against charge density, Z/A. Neutron-emission from the solar core, followed by neutron-decay, is almost certainly the source of solar luminosity and solar-wind H that pours from the surface of the Sun and other stars to fill interstellar space.

    Instead of addressing these basic problems, NAS has apparently directed NASA to use public funds to deceive the public with this brand new, slick, and persuasive propaganda sheet:

    “New NASA Web Page Sheds Light on Science of Warming World” at:

    http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2010-062&cid=release_2010-062

    These are a few of the issues that must be addressed if trust is to be restored in our government and our research institutions.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel
    Emeritus Professor
    Nuclear & Space Science
    Former NASA PI for Apollo

  84. mbabbitt says:

    The term “denier” is a blanket, mind-deadening label whose only application is to slander those not caught up in a global panic over rising temperatures. I don’t deny that some warming has occured since the 1800’s. I do deny that given the present state of climate science (infancy) that the conclusion or certainty that a disaster is likely to occur is close to being credible. I do deny that the rate of warming we have been experiencing in the past 30 years is unprecedented in the last 1000 years. I do deny that only the interests of science is behind the CAGW scare (other: monetary, government power, eco-religion). I do deny that the positive effects of a warming world have been objectively compared to the positive effects of no temp change or to a cooling world — and this can be applied to the negative effects as well. I do deny that the panic that some genuinely feel about the planet’s destiny is based purely upon science and not on faddish, groupthink, blind emotionalism. I do deny that the stance of skeptics is mostly based upon some connection to Big Oil or Big Energy. I do deny that applying the Precautionary Principle is useful in this situation considering the vast damage to humanity (loss of life, loss of health) that wasting trillions of dollars to try to stop the warming would cause – versus targeting specific areas of concern as if the warming was significant but natural. I deny that most politicians and policy makes have a clue as to what they are talking about concerning climate science — and this includes Al Gore. And finally I deny that my list of denials is complete.

  85. “…we saw the birth of what some have called a “monolithic climate denial machine”. Skeptical research published by academics provided fodder for the think tanks and advocacy groups, which were fed by money provided by the oil industry. This was all amplified by talk radio and cable news…”

    Dear Dr. Curry,

    I had to stop reading at the above comment, and reply to your obvious and intentional misdirection of your readers. If you have actually read the CRU letters, you would be aware that “Big Energy” has invested its money, buying and specifically supporting the research conducted by the global warming advocates like yourself.

    In fact, this claim of yours above is designed to try and make climate change skeptics into some kind of paid advocacy for big oil when in fact it was the very scientist at CRU and other campus’s who sold their research for salaries.

    I quote the CRU website that is posted today.

    “Since its inception in 1972 until 1994, the only scientist who had a guaranteed salary from ENV/UEA funding was the Director. Every other research scientist relied on ‘soft money’ – grants and contracts – to continue his or her work. Since 1994, the situation has improved and now three of the senior staff are fully funded by ENV/UEA and two others have part of their salaries paid. The fact that CRU has and has had a number of long-standing research staff is testimony to the quality and relevance of our work. Such longevity in a research centre, dependent principally on soft money, in the UK university system is probably unprecedented. The number of CRU research staff as of the end of July 2007 is 15 (including those fully funded by ENV/UEA).”

    If you were to go to the CRU website, and look at who helped fund it and support it, you would find the following oil companies. British Petroleum, Shell, Sultan of Oman, to name a few.

    http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/about/history/

    I submit to you, ma’am, that the Climate researchers who were supported by big oil were in fact the scientists who needed donations for their own salaries. It was the climate change researchers who needed Big Oil money to fund their research labs (CRU, Tyndall Centre).

    In the CRU letters released, there is example after example, of Big Oil working with or even directing the expected research comments. I give you this example for context. A Shell representative, requesting research be presented in a specific format.

    Date: 08 May 1998 10:50:50 +0100

    Find below guidelines on how to present the IS99 storylines and scenarios. Could you the nominated authors send me your first drafts as soon as possible.
    In writing up your contribution could you cover the following areas, ideally structured as follows:

    1. Scenario family narrative to discuss main themes, dynamics and a diagram showing ‘grand logic’

    2. Key Scenario Family Drivers and their Relationships
    Topics you should cover include the following:
    * population
    * technology developments
    * governance and geopolitics
    * economic development
    * equity
    * communication and settlement patterns
    * environmental concerns/ecological resilience

    3. Scenarios, include reasons for branches: this section should state clearly the reasons behind selection of scenarios and review the key highlights of the scenario quantification
    * energy resources/technology, include resource availability
    * land use and agriculture
    * scenario quantification, include snowflake
    * CO2 emissions

    There may be other factors you wish to add to the paper.

    Regards,
    Ged Davis SI-PXG Tel: 0171-934 3226 Fax: 0171-934 7406
    Shell International Limited, London
    Scenario Processes and Applications

    or this example, http://eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=156&filename=947541692.txt

    From: Mike Hulme
    To: Simon.Shackley@xxxxxxxxx.xxx
    Subject: Re: industrial and commercial contacts
    Date: Mon Jan 10 17:01:32 2000

    Simon,

    I have talked with Tim O’Riordan and others here today and Tim has a wealth of contacts he is prepared to help with. Four specific ones from Tim are:

    – Charlotte Grezo, BP Fuel Options (possibly on the Assessment Panel. She is also on the ESRC Research Priorities Board), but someone Tim can easily talk with. There are others in BP Tim knows too.
    – Richard Sykes, Head of Environment Division at Shell International
    – Chris Laing, Managing Director, Laing Construction (also maybe someone at Bovis)
    – ??, someone high-up in Unilever whose name escapes me.

    And then Simon Gerrard here in our Risk Unit suggested the following personal contacts:

    – ??, someone senior at AMEC Engineering in Yarmouth (involved with North Sea industry and wind energy)
    – Richard Powell, Director of the East of England Development Board

    You can add these to your list and I can ensure that Tim and Simon feed the right material through once finalised.

    I will phone tomorrow re. the texts.

    Cheers,

    Mike

    At 20:30 07/01/00 BST, you wrote:
    >dear colleagues
    >
    >re: List of Industrial and Commercial Contacts to Elicit Support
    >from for the Tyndall Centre
    >
    >This is the list so far. Our contact person is given in brackets
    >afterwards. There is some discussion on whether we
    >should restict ourselves to board level contacts – hence Dlugolecki
    >is not board level but highly knowledgeable about climate change.
    >I think people such as that, who are well known for their climate
    >change interests, are worth writing to for support. There may be
    >less value in writing to lesser known personnel at a non-board level.
    >
    >SPRU has offered to elicit support from their energy programme
    >sponsors which will help beef things up. (Frans: is the Alsthom
    >contact the same as Nick Jenkin’s below? Also, do you have a BP
    >Amoco contact? The name I’ve come up with is Paul Rutter, chief
    >engineer, but he is not a personal contact]
    >
    >We could probably do with some more names from the financial sector.
    >Does anyone know any investment bankers?
    >
    >Please send additional names as quickly as possible so we can
    >finalise the list.
    >
    >I am sending a draft of the generic version of the letter eliciting
    >support and the 2 page summary to Mike to look over. Then this can be
    >used as a basis for letter writing by the Tyndall contact (the person
    >in brackets).
    >
    >Mr Alan Wood CEO Siemens plc [Nick Jenkins]
    >Mr Mike Hughes CE Midlands Electricity (Visiting Prof at UMIST) [Nick
    >Jenkins]
    >Mr Keith Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Esso UK (John
    >Shepherd]
    >Mr Brian Duckworth, Managing Director, Severn-Trent Water
    >[Mike Hulme]
    >Dr Jeremy Leggett, Director, Solar Century [Mike Hulme]
    >Mr Brian Ford, Director of Quality, United Utilities plc [Simon
    >Shackley]
    >Dr Andrew Dlugolecki, CGU [Jean Palutikof]
    >Dr Ted Ellis, VP Building Products, Pilkington plc [Simon Shackley]
    >Mr Mervyn Pedalty, CEO, Cooperative Bank plc [Simon Shackley]
    >
    >
    >Possibles:
    >Mr John Loughhead, Technology Director ALSTOM [Nick Jenkins]
    >Mr Edward Hyams, Managing Director Eastern Generation [Nick
    >Jenkins]
    >Dr David Parry, Director Power Technology Centre, Powergen
    >[Nick Jenkins]
    >Mike Townsend, Director, The Woodland Trust [Melvin
    >Cannell]
    >Mr Paul Rutter, BP Amoco [via Terry Lazenby, UMIST]
    >
    >With kind regards
    >
    >Simon Shackley

    To summarize, I submit, that it was the seeking of “soft money” on behalf of scientists at the CRU and other locations, specifically scientists who stayed in academy and sold their research for salaries via soft money, that has destroyed societies trust in scientist like yourself.

    I await your reply,

    Jack H Barnes Jr.

  86. Steve Schaper says:

    Eric,
    Condemning the hidden thoughts of people you don’t happen to like such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin is just as bad as what the people over at Climateprogress and realclimate do.

    In general, please understand that if Dr. Curry is being honest, rather than tactical, this is a HUGE effort and change on her part, psychologically. By no means is it easy. Give her slack, ok? IF it turns out to be an Alinskayan move, THEN she deserves criticism. But all we know at present is that she has taken a tremendous risk to her reputation and career just to say what she has. That takes tremendous psychological courage.

  87. Stacey says:

    Dear Dr Curry

    There is a major problem with the idea of rebuilding trust, it is not as if there has been some terrible misunderstanding on both sides. The reality is that is was the self named climate scientists that broke the trust.

    Some quotes from the emails ” you guys are doing great things for the cause” “Don’t worry if its 600 scientists if its 1500 or 2000 the press aren’t going to check.”

    In order to rebuild trust the party that breaks the trust must accept their wrong and then the other party may be willing to rebuild the trust.

    I think the problem is that the behaviour both scientific, campaigning and other shenanigans make the position of the self named climate scientists untenable.

    If we take an example, a professional who acts unprofessionally sometimes, subject to how serious the misdemeanor may be allowed to continue practicing, the Client he has failed however will not trust him again.

    Finally if CRU want to rebuild trust then all they have to do is ask all the countries who provided the original unadjusted temperature data to resend it and also initiate a fully independant inquiry?

  88. izoega says:

    I wonder if she submitted this to realclimate. I’m sure they would be more than happy to publish it.

    REPLY: Gavin was on the distribution list, we’ll see what he does with it. – Anthony

  89. nc says:

    I could be wrong but Dr. Currie seems to imply that there are no scientists, PHD’s, academia, who are “deniers and sceptics”, that they wouldn’t lower themselves.

    Like I have read elsewhere, who is the “denier” now.

  90. sartec says:

    Here’s Curry on a public affairs program, May 6, 2007:

    http://www.gpb.org/georgiaweekly/2007/05/06

    My first impression of her blog entry here (as a lowly resident and tax payer of Georgia who pays her salary): CYA…unclean hands…rebuilding trust? Are you effing kidding me???

  91. Mr Lynn says:

    In the thread discussing the quickie ‘debate’ between Joe Bastardi and Bill Nye on O’Reilly’s TV show, a commenter called Pouncer draws an apt comparison between the widespread idea, among the astronomical community in the late 19th century, that Mars had canals (perhaps built by an extraterrestrial civilization), and the current obsession with ‘climate change’ (née anthropogenic ‘global warming’):

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/22/bill-oreilly-hosts-bill-nye-the-science-guy-and-accu-weathers-joe-bastardi-in-fox-news-debate/
    Pouncer (15:50:18) :

    The history of science is full of such erroneous ideas (one hesitates to call them ‘illusions’, or worse, ‘delusions’), but it is in the nature of the scientific enterprise that they are eventually undermined by the continuing quest for new facts and better theories.

    The difference is that no one in positions of power back then thought twice about turning the world’s resources to voyaging to Mars to forestall a possible threat to human civilization from the canal-building denizens of the Red Planet (not even after the later [1938] radio adaptation by Orson Welles of “The War of the Worlds,” which led to a brief but considerable panic amongst those who heard it).

    Today, however, we have a worldwide movement of erstwhile scientists, politicians, environmental ‘activists’, academics, and financial wheeler-dealers who are determined to exploit apocalyptic fears of entirely hypothetical (and not even remotely plausible) man-made ‘global warming’, who want to devote a huge portion of the world’s resources toward stopping this shibboleth. Of course all of the leaders and fellow travelers in this movement (which displays all the characteristics of Pacific Island ‘cargo cults’) have ulterior motives which reinforce their zeal, ranging from convictions they are ‘saving the planet’ to simple avarice (the lure of ‘carbon trading’) to job security (the academics, particularly), to Marxist millenarianism.

    The rise of the skeptical blogs is a direct and welcome response of the growing power and influence of this movement, and an essential corrective to its manifest excesses, and the great danger it poses to human civilization and progress. These issues go way beyond ‘Climategate’ and the integrity (or lack of it) of the scientists who have promulgated the ‘global warming’ mythos. As has been often pointed out, if the topic were fruit-fly research, the dispute would have been relegated to obscure corners of science journals and unknown blogs.

    Why is “the credibility of climate research” important? Because, incredibly, it has been used as an excuse to turn the history of the world in a strange and suicidal direction, at the behest of ideologues and fanatics. And the climate researchers have become its most fervent cheerleaders. This is no innocent speculation about Martian canals; it is at bottom a betrayal of all that science stands for, and it ought not to be tolerated, not even for a minute.

    /Mr Lynn

  92. IrishMo48 says:

    I do so wish that Judith had also mentioned the incredibly suspicious problem of NASA/GISS slashing the number of actual reporting thermometers that they are using for their official dataset from over 6,000 to under 1500, (and lower). The scientific inanity of minimizing data input is almost beyond belief.

    And Judith could also have touched on how NASA/GISS maximizes the totally artificial machinations, that they call homogenization, of those carefully cherry-picked datasets to fill in the voids left by the elimination of the vast majority of the reporting thermometer stations with far warmer guesstimates of what their temperatures actually are. Notably these voids fall in very cold places like the Yukon and the North-West Territories and the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and the entire high altitude country of Bolivia.

    Judith could also have reported on some of the individual adjustments being made, (supposedly to correct for station movement and UHI), such as those incredibly biased and now blogosphere-famous places in rural New Zealand, in Darwin Australia and in Alaska near Anchorage, with their carefully timed step-decreases and step-increases to the raw data that maximize the site’s heating signatures.

    Judith could also have mentioned the wealth of available data from the ARGO buoys that the AGW alarmists have been zealously avoiding or when being used it’s carefully “correlated” and “calibrated” to the already suspect datasets.

    Until all of the cherry-picking ends, and until all of the pertinent and available data is being used, divergent or not, and until artificially machinated built-in biases are totally eliminated from the datasets, trust will be absolutely impossible to come by.

  93. nick myerscough says:

    Anthony. hats off to you for allowing this essay on your site
    I guess there are many of us who can follow the logic of CO2 driven warming but are uncertain of the severity or consequences. I don’t believe the climate scientists know either and a more honest discussion of the risks and benefits is welcome.

  94. tmtisfree says:

    These kind of pseudo-repentance articles are boring. They are written from second-hand people obviously trying to limit damages, but carry not surprisingly the same disgusting message coming from the usual AGW crowd defending its meat. One cannot wait for such persons to question their beliefs. It is despicable behavior from so-called scientist.

  95. PJB says:

    There have been past instances of confrontation between “believers” and “scientists”……

    Faith (in AGW) if backed by open and reproducible results and analysis would no longer be faith, it would be science and the two sides would automatically become one.

    It is about time that the null hypothesis “CO2 causes the major portion of climate change” was tested and then verified, scientifically, to at least 90% confidence limits (where the AGW position would start to look valid).

    Without a real scientific approach, this whole mess is just modelling exercises that generate suppositions and alterations to an agenda-driven ideal.

    As a professional chemist, I am disappointed by the intransigence of the AGW proponents as much as for the lack of tangible and meaningful results to debate and discuss. Science is about knowing and not about believing. For that we need facts and forecasts and not innuendo and invective.

  96. Anna says:

    Reacting with distrust when a lot of lies and exaggerations are revealed isn’t strange, and it isn’t a communication problem either. It is simply the most reasonable way to react. (I enjoyed the “car thief story” above!)

    As a scientist, I am amazed by the complete slaughter of the scientific method by some of the “top” climate researchers, and by their extremely unscientific behaviour.

    Trusting this kind of people is madness.

    I do appreciate Dr. Curry’s essay though, and think it shows braveness and a willingness to try to set the science straight again. You are absolutely right that it is important to “communicate uncertainty, risk, probability and complexity”. The “science is settled” claim ought to make everybody who has a bit of scientific training suspicious!

  97. Gilbert says:

    Kudos to the lady for trying, but she has a long way to go yet. I don’t think she realizes just how hardcore the CAGW bunch really is.

  98. danbo says:

    The reality is we had individuals called scientist manipulating data, using tricks, manipulating the peer review process, planning how to circumvent the FOIA, refusing to release data for independent confirmation, talking of destroying data, attempting to ignore then deamonize all who disagree.

    But what is worse it was helped by those in academia and the professional journals who sat by silently. Or worse, tried to minimize this unscientific behavior and tried to prop up fraud.

    For now I appreciate Dr Curry acknowledging the science isn’t over. And will hope her intentions are honest. But after reading her letter. For me. It’s hard to take her serious.

  99. Stephen Parrish says:

    I have little patience for a Professor with lips clamped to the state teet speaking of “oil influence” and deniers.

  100. JimBrock says:

    A coupla comments. First, we are in an interglacial period and we should expect the globe to be warming. Second, if we are to believe historical records it has been much warmer in the fairly recent past..vide the Viking settlements in Greenland and on the North American coast. Third, the distinction between “warming” per se and AGW seems to have been lost. The UEA explanation that AGW is what is left over after the “warming” they can otherwise account for is sloppy science. And fourth, any time government gets involved in policy-making science, policy governs and science is a bastard child…vide the instructions that the IPCC group give a push to policy.

    Dr. Curry tries to assess the problem from an inside perspective. To me, the problem is more basic: the science is pretty thin, the policy is vigorous.

  101. Tim says:

    There still seems to be a belief here that the core reason for existence of AGW skepticism was driven by a “monolithic climate denial machine”. I don’t doubt that there is some influence there, but in all my years of following this, I’ve only seen referenced some $19 million or something paid by Exxon to dispute AGW.

    Meanwhile, the “monolithic climate ALARMIST machine” has been funded by endless billions upon billions of taxpayer dollars, hundreds of environmental advocacy groups, both global and local in scale, an unquestioning media, several major Hollywood movies (including Gore’s), and on and on.

    And yet somehow, the corrupt, poorly executed science has been exposed. Congrats to you Anthony for helping to expose it.

    With all due respect Ms. Curry – I’m sure you are a good and decent person – but shame on you for continuing to perpetrate the myth that climate skepticism has its roots in the deep pockets of Exxon-Mobil. Instead, the skepticism is largely a grassroots rejection of: the long suspected (and now verified) perversion of the scientific method; demonstrably unscrupulous research journals; speculative and scientifically unsound climate models; and suppression of honest science by those who make their living by promoting inflated claims of pending disaster and scientific certainty.

    Scientific method is evidence-based. Your evidence for the supposed roots of this movement are thin, and the now exposed evidence of instead – a monolithic climate alarmist machine – are simply undeniable.

    Regardless, you are to be commended for attempting to further the dialog on the subject on forums like WUWT. The scientific community has a long way to go in regaining the trust of the public on this subject, and you are at least attempting to take some steps in the right direction.

  102. davidmhoffer says:

    The first sign that the terrorists have run out of ammunition is their sudden offer of a cease fire and to negotiate. The second sign is their insistance on a mediator with a known bias to their position. The third is bringing to the table a list of issues predicated on the assumption that they have done nothing wrong and are the agrieved party.

    The first sign that they have new ammunition is the sudden end of negotiations.

    How many rounds must we go before someone shouts Hey! Its a trick!

    And lest someone be critical of me for using terrorists in the way others use denier…global warming catastrophe, mass starvation, entire countries drowning, storms that will kill millions, and all the fault of people who work hard and who must now fix it by giving all their money to those who don’t. This isn’t terrorism? This isn’t extortion?

    I don’t “negotiate” and “understanding” with the likes of these while behind the scenes they are just collecting more ammunition.

    OK, temper settling down again…starting to breath again…

  103. harrywr2 says:

    Dr Curry,

    “They are described as fighting a valiant war to keep misinformation from the public that is being pushed by skeptics with links to the oil industry.”

    There is no current cost effective alternative to Oil as a transportation fuel.
    Exxon Mobil still makes it’s 10 cents a gallon at the pump whether they are selling ethanol or gasoline.

    So whenever I hear someone talking about some conspiracy involving oil companies I just automatically dismiss them as crackpots.

    Big Coal does have a lot to lose in the Climate Debates as Does Big Steel.

    Of course being against coal miners and steel workers is politically difficult, so the ‘Evil’ Oil companies get propped up by the crackpot scientists as the ‘villain’.

  104. Chrisz says:

    Is there any evidence that “big oil” has EVER funded anything that was/is not solid science leading to workable results? I mean, these people are successful businessmen (too successful apparently for some to swallow), and they would need good research and engineering to keep this up for many decades, wouldn’t they?
    To me, whining about “big oil” is the same kind of argument you hear from esoteric “alternative medicine” exponents to explain away the fact that their useless therapies are not preferred to established medical practice by the general public.

  105. Tim says:

    Sincere apologies – I should have used Dr. Curry in my response, not Ms. Curry.

  106. hotrod ( Larry L ) says:

    I applaud the effort Dr Curry has made here to open the door a crack.

    I think she is correct in some issues, although underestimates how in a minority she is with regard to the perception of there being “settled science”. I imagine that there are a few who fit her description in climate science of :

    No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda. There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.

    Those who actually feel that way have a very small window of time to make that clear to the public at large and to take a stand. Those who try to dance around this issue will be assumed to fall into the “no debate needed” category and will shoulder that burden through out the rest of their professional life.

    Unfortunately just a brief reading of some of the major pro-AGW blogs makes it very clear, that there is a very large block of the public and many well educated people that should know better, fully and absolutely without qualification believe the debate is over. The believe this as certainly as some believe the 10 commandments and other primary religious texts are the definitive word of a supreme being.

    For that cadre of the public, body politic, and scientific – educated there is in fact no debate possible. Their minds are totally closed to the possibility that they are wrong, misinterpreting facts as they know them, or that some are intentionally manipulating the data, “science” (and I use that term in its most casual sense), for cynical and ulterior motives.

    Many of us who post to this blog have personally faced people who were so sure of that assertion, that they were red faced screaming at the top of their lungs lunatics ready to commit physical violence to defend that position.

    That is not a figure of speech but a very real state of mind for a good number of the public. It is literally bordering on the sort of physical intimidation that could easily transition into physical violence. It is truly scary to experience.

    This is the sort of mind set that burned witches at the stake for conjuring up weather during the little ice age, and drove the inquisition to commit horrifying acts of officially sanctioned violence.

    All because a few academics would not speak the truth and intentionally manipulated data.

    There is a very large number of people in this country who have been so thoroughly influenced (some would say brain washed), by media coverage such as Al Gores movie An Inconvenient Truth that they are simply beyond communication. They will not even tolerate open discussion of the possibility that the sea will not rise and flood major cities in their life time.
    As many others on this board have related I have lost friends due to simply trying to discuss the topic.

    I do think you have hit on a very important issue, that there are multiple classes of people who oppose or question AGW. Each with different drives and motivations.

    Certainly there are some who are driven by profit motive and personal self interest. That is part of the human condition. Any time you have any event that drives major change and flow of large amounts of money some will take advantage of that situation and try to skim the cream off for themselves or cynically try to manipulate the game for their self interest and profit.

    There are however a good number of people who you identify as the climate auditor class, who’s driving motivation is truth and quality of the science. They do not much care what the answer is they just want a trust worthy answer that will stand up to in depth analysis and audit of process and methods that arrived at the conclusion.

    I like your turn of phrase when you mention the “climate auditors”, although since the debate here properly includes other issues besides just the area of climate science but also the broader world of public policy, perhaps we should define a term for all the groups in the the blogosphere that act as fact checkers and auditors for all sorts of public policy, be they tax plans, fiscal policy, climate science and policy, etc. etc.

    I believe you are correct that the blogosphere has enabled and allowed the development of a whole cadre of open source audit and fact checking of all areas of public debate. Like you say people in public positions of trust ignore this new feature of a wired world at considerable peril to their professional reputation.

    Unfortunately I think some in the public debate of AGW have tarnished the image and professional status of some so severely that they will forever carry a “scarlet letter” branding them as abusers of the public trust, and in the mind of many they will always be considered charlatans and snake oil salesmen and will never be trusted again in any substantive issue or debate.

    Thank you for pushing the door open a bit!

    Larry

  107. JonesII says:

    vigilantfish (07:35:04) :

    Dr. Judith Curry:

    Strongly recommend that you read Jerome Ravetz’s post from yesterday at WUWT and read and digest all of the responses. It might help you understand your own discipline better.
    Do that, Dr.Judith Curry, it’s really a good advice. We are not gods of any kind who could carelessly play with the lives of people or irresponsably think we can even alter nature, that’s presumptuous and utterly silly, however we will harm ourselves, our neighbours, our children and future generations if we allucinate we are such gods or goddesses, while we will be instead fulfilling the wishes, desires and dreams of people we do not know, who are always behind the scenes and who will be the only beneficiaries of such eventual decisions.

  108. REPLY: I agree that she doesn’t use it offensively, my point is that she didn’t need to use it at all. -A

    But as gcb at 7:55:43 pointed out, she used the term exactly twice: once in quotes to refer to what someone else says, and once to distinguish “auditors” from deniers. She uses the term specifically to show how it is misused.

    As is clear from the comments of michel 07:31:14, stephen richards at 8:17:35, IsoTherm at 8:22:39, andAlexander 8:23:03, your comments before Dr. Curry’s post left the impression that she’s calling climate skeptics “deniers,” which, again she is not doing.

    I wish you’d consider rewriting the Foreword.

    REPLY: I wish she’d consider saying “the term deniers is distasteful and counterproductive, we need to drop it from the discussion” Then I wouldn’t need a foreword to address my issue with it. Bear in mind, she sent out a copy for review in days prior. – A

  109. starzmom says:

    Sorry, Ms. Curry, you have completely missed the points that motivate and form the beliefs of most sceptics I know. We are not ill-informed, uneducated people. We may not be climate scientists–I suspect the number of people who fit into that category is pretty small anyway–but we are intelligent people who have science and technical backgrounds and can understand the finer points of less settled science.

    We are smart enough to know that measurements come with error ranges, that temperature measuring sites have moved, that land use changes have happened, etc. etc. etc. and all these things affect the temperature databases. We are smart enough to understand how and why data sets might be manipulated and adjusted. We are smart enough to know that comparing historical data sets to current data sets is not done smoothly and easily. We are smart enough to know that reliable data over a broad part of the earth is only a luxury of the late 20th century. In other words, we are smart enough to know that the data cannot support the absolute certainty we have been fed.

    When you are ready to call the New York Times and tell them that the science is not settled and no reputable scientist would say it is, let me know.

  110. Thomas says:

    Dr. Curry makes some excellent points, but mostly within the context of how it academic community feels about the recent increase outside scrutiny. Nobody likes being audited, but if you are advocating policies that would essentially tax breathing, you should expect us to want to take a look at your books — especially since, in most cases, we paid for this research with our tax dollars.

    But her analysis is heavy on feelings and light on data. It would be helpful to compare the amount of money spent on studying global warming with the amount spent by the oil companies funding direct research into anti-AGW theories. Also, how does the AGW paradigm affect the funding of science? If one’s livelihood depends on AGW existing, then evidence to the contrary would tend to become the real inconvenient truth.

    It would also be helpful to begin the story years earlier and see how many of the same institutions (and people!) had been on the “new ice age” bandwagon back in 70s, before making an abrupt switch in the 80s.

    However, it does show hope for a civilized discussion of how best determine possible future climate based on open sources, transparency and rigorous data archiving standards — as least as soon as they stop using the term “deniers” in all of its various iterations. Unless those who support the concept of AGW want to be referred to as “Inconvenient Truthers”…

  111. TonyB says:

    Dr Curry

    A nicely written and interesting piece and you are to be congratulated for coming into the ‘enemy’ camp. Sorry to use that word, but that is how we are seen. It really would help your cause a great deal if you dropped this ‘denier’ tag, it simply doesn’t fit and many of us find it offensive because of the obvious connotations.

    Early on in your post you said;

    “Several individuals have developed substantial expertise in aspects of climate science, although they mainly audit rather than produce original scientific research.”

    I have written a number of original articles (as have others here), to do proper justice to them-I write about climate history-it really would be nice to spend three months on each one in order to carry out the original research and cross referencing that is needed.

    Time equals money (and many papers are behind paywalls) so there is only a certain amount I can do with my limited resources. Alas! Big Oil has yet to make me an offer of funding. Let’s be realistic and admit it would be simply impossible for me to find conventional sources of funding because I am disproving the notion of ‘unprecedented’ climate change, not supporting it.

    If you believe in a level playing field how about pointing sceptics in the direction of funding for original research, then we wouldn’t need to audit what has gone before would we?

    Once again thank you for your contribution and do please drop this silly ‘deniers’ tag.

    Tonyb

  112. Interesting post, I am unsure if the post was intended as a mea culpa for the climate change industry , a request to sit down and talk or a backhanded slap on the why do you not understand what we are doing variety .

    The issue is entirly of trust, do we trust the scientists ,politician and activists involved in the climate chjange industry, and yes it as much an industry as Exon or PetroCanada is.

    The original issue is ,Are the temperature changes / climate changes we have experianced over the last century and a half or so caused by human actions?

    First the climate constantly changes weather and climate have been around since atmosphere, any record of climate change that we ( humans) can develope will be an inconsequentially small part of the total record. As such it is very dangerous to be formulating a thesis that predicts future actions of a multi billion year subject based on a record of less than 2 millenia.

    Second we don’t know all the factors that affect the climate. Any description of climate change and future prognostications without knowing what actually causes the changes is iffy at best.

    Now to the science , the temperature records based on tree rings, soil cores corral are an impressive achievement on their own , if they are correct, and there in lies the rub. Because the original data and the methods of correcting it for use are seriously obscured by the actions of the scientists concerned we just don’t know if it or by extension the scientists themselves can be trusted.

    The tree ring work if correct is awesom work, if it had been me who produced it I would have published everything found myself the biggest mountain top I could find stood on top and declared

    This Is What I Have Done.

    Here is how I did it prove me wrong.

    Unfortunatley the people concerned laid a political/personal agenda on top of everything . As a result we don’t know what we we don’t know that is a bad starting point to destroy the North American economy.

    The science is complicated the computer models are intricate and yes most people don’t know how to determine the worth of either. This is the point where the scientist should be able to step up and say, I have looked at these things and yes they do actually make sense.

    That ability has been lost for the present, there needs to be a totally open reconstruction of all the data , methods, computer codes and models that were developed . By totally open I do mean totally open the internet would be a good place to start, start putting the raw data and the conversion methods on line let everybody have a whack at them and post the results. Have somebody who is totally above reproach from either side and a small staff referee , again totally open .

    Once the results are available and justified by people who can be trusted the trust for the scientific community will start to rebuild. I am however affraid that the days of just following the scientists word is over.

  113. jim says:

    “The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public…”
    Right, we non scientists are too stupid to read a temperature gauge or understand manipulation of data, smoothing, cherry picking, foregone conclusions in search of a data set, data sets gone missing, false proxies, ect…
    The IPCC did not present truth, it presented advocacy masquerading as science. Post normal science. The 4 assessment is so riddled with inaccuracies as to be useless. The high priestess is looking down her nose at the plebeians.

  114. Bernie says:

    Dr. Curry:
    Many thanks for your thoughtful history of the climate debate. I am less inclined to believe that the key scientific actors who behaved inappropriately did so because of their naivete or some lack of institutional support or guidance. The list of scientists who actively supported destructive ideologies is shamefully long.
    I think another way to think about this is to use Ronad Reagan’s notion of “Trust but Verify.” When one side fails to cooperate with the idea of verification or verification suggests that things are not what they should be, the primary consequencs has to be a profound loss of trust.

    Regardless, yours is still a very valuable contribution to the ongoing discussion.

  115. erik sloneker says:

    Judith…if you want to rebuild trust, transparency is the answer. All of the raw surface temperature data and related adjustments collected and performed by each of the governmental data gatekeepers must be made available to the statisticians and scientists of the world. So long as the raw data is withheld or destroyed rather than shared, AGW will rightly be labelled a religion rather than a science.

    If the homogenized and adjusted temperature data shows no warming since 1995 (ref. Phil Jones), what would the raw data show? If the temperature data records are in such a state of disorder that there is substantial uncertainty that the station location data is correct (again, Phil Jones), how can there be any arguement supporting the validity of the AGW thesis?

    Trust and credibility are gone because people recognize specious science when they see it. That, and the abscence of warming for the past 15 years, have created tremendous momentum in the skeptical camp.

    Erik Sloneker

  116. kim says:

    eric @ 7:58:52. I agree that Andy Revkin’s latest DotEarth blog post is a positive step. He admits doubt about the relative value of the natural cycles and the role of man. He’s being nicely debated by wmar.
    ===================================

  117. Tim says:

    More damage control attempts. That is all she is doing. She has zero credibility as long as she uses the term deniers! When she says “They tend to be watchdogs rather than deniers” exactly what is she saying? It is okay to be a watchdog for the AGW science but you cannot deny AGW?

    Yes we can and yes we will. What exactly is she talking about with her term “deniers”? The fact that people deny global warming or the fact that people deny humans are the cause? If anyone is stuck in denial it is her and all those that engaged in unscientific, unethical and possibly illegal activity to promote the idea that humans are causing global warming.

    Dr. Curry you are a serial denier. Admitting your problem is the first step to recovery. I suggest you take it ASAP.

  118. kwik says:

    Agree, Kudos for trying. But she miss the point.

    -Religion needs to be Separate from the State.
    -Industry needs to be Separate from the State.
    -…..
    -…..

    And
    -Research needs to be Separate from the State.

    No regulations, no “New Deal”, nothing can save you from the agenda of those with Power, if you make a deal with the devil.

    Hasnt the Soviet Union teached you anything?

  119. badmedicine says:

    Dr. Curry, I fear that you believe you can restore trust with the very people whose objective is to destroy trust.

  120. pat says:

    How about just giving the public real temperatures, preferably in rural stations without the arbitrary, and frankly disturbing, alterations.

  121. David Bailey says:

    Dr. Curry, I do appreciate your essay, and the amount of understanding that it contains. However you did say:

    No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.”

    Well they do – or did – a lot of non-science people I know think just that! Exaggerations like that soon lose their context, and are simply passed about as ‘facts’.

    In some ways I feel sorry for Prof Jones, because I think well meaning people can get sucked into folly increment by increment, but I do think it is important to realise that these people covered up with deliberate lies.

    The idea that FOI requests were being used as a tool to prevent them having time to work, was an obvious lie. Prof Jones has now admitted the true reason for not releasing the data, and it was obvious anyway that publishing the data was the solution to the FOI problem!

    Likewise the IPCC clearly lied in describing the glacier goof as a mistake! Obviously scientists make mistakes, but how can you review the evidence for a claim like that, and not notice that there wasn’t any!

  122. Claude Harvey says:

    While the good professor finds “oil money” to have been a corrupting influence, she appears blind to the corrupting influence of government money. Something on the order of 85% of all research funding comes from governments. It got to the point where a reputable scientist couldn’t get a grant to study squirrels in the park unless he or she somehow tied it to AGW; now THAT is a seriously corrupting influence.

  123. starzmom says:

    P.S. I am not willing to publish my full name like Charles the Moderator, but I will back up my post with my credentials. I have a B.S. in Biology and an M.S. in Environmental Engineering, both from major U.S. universities.

  124. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    I wonder if the good Dr. would be upset when I refer to her as a Warmonger.

    Because Dr. Curry is a Warmonger as long as she slurs climate realists with the highly pejorative term “Denier”

    So Dr. Curry, how does it feel to a Warmonger?

    [snip OTT]

  125. [snip sorry, I asked that you not apply labels, while I don't agree with Dr.s Mann and Hansen, I don't want further such labeling]

  126. Dave L says:

    Dr. Curry,

    1) Politics has corrupted the field of climatology. It is impossible for someone embedded in the field to honestly look at themselves in the mirror. Yes, the word is “corruption” and until the house is cleaned of evil, it cannot heal itself. Sorry, but when all of the scientists circling the wagons to defend the integrity of climatology are feeding at troughs overflowing with government and institutional research grants, the status quo is not going to change. I highly suspect their concern over integrity is not real; rather it is concern over potentially losing research grants.
    (Does the saying: “You get what you pay for” not have relevance in this discourse?)

    2) Climatology has discarded the scientific method in favor of the unverified computer prediction model. If the theories are not comprehensive and sound, and if the data is not accurate and is not quality controlled, then prediction models are totally worthless. Yet it seems that most climatologists rely heavily upon such flawed prediction models and seem incapable of addressing true scientific investigations and experiments. Computer prediction models are not scientific proofs.

    3) The third issue is statistical expertise, or lack thereof, in the field of climatology. How many climatology scientists also possess an advanced degree (MS or PhD) in statistics? Or are capable of writing their own statistical software programs? (I personally know only one such person.) Yet the basis for the prediction models promoted by climatologists is one of advanced statistical analysis + complex software programming … but the statistics and software programming are left to “associates”. Sorry, but it is extremely simple to manipulate statistical methodologies and data to obtain a desired result, and clearly the “hiding” evident in Climategate bears this out. Yes, the issue of “transparency” has surfaced, but I have not seen “statistical expertise” mentioned. Why do you think there has been rampant fear of Climate Audit? (And there are other climate blogs such as The Air Vent and E.M. Smith that are examining statistical programs and data sets.)

    I am embarrassed to refer to myself as a scientist because of what I have seen unfold in Climategate. It will prove detrimental to all of science in the long run.
    Heal thyself, and stop looking for answers elsewhere.

  127. NucEngineer says:

    As I see it, a great step would be taken if taxpayer funded research data, results, and papers were not shielded behind paywalls. FOI would never have been an issue and therefore climategate would never have happened if the data and processes were open to all.
    I am not saying that all the data needs to be published with the paper, just a link to the RAW data would be enough.
    What is the reason for such resistance to openness? The truth will set you free (to do your science unfettered).

  128. Invariant says:

    G.L. Alston (07:37:12) :

    This is the best comment here! Please read it again, I sincerely subscribe to this point of view!

    Kind Regards,

    Invariant

  129. Rhys Jaggar says:

    I once read a book by Banesh Hoffman about the physics of the 20th century, from Einstein to The Bomb. It told a story of a smug, self-satisfied community being ripped asunder and experiencing the gales of radical insight and hypotheses under the aegises of quantum mechanics and space-time.

    One quote I remember from it: ‘scientists possessed the unusual capability to draw correct conclusions from what later turned out to be faulty premises’.

    So I say to all skeptics at this point: stay focussed on the data, the science and the arguments, because, although it might not seem like it at this time, the case for AGW remains merely unmade, it is not certifiably untrue. My strong, strong hunch and gut feel is that it IS untrue, but that’s an opinion, not science. And I certainly wouldn’t be wanting any more long-term funding doled out for more seeohtwo scaremongering…..any more than I think that seeohtwo being ‘a threat to human health’ should be allowed to remain an EPA ruling………

    I am of the strong opinion that the key parameters to understand are:

    1. What are the key frequencies of input radiation from the sun and solar system which affect our climate?
    2. What are the key solar and solar-system parameters which affect the intensities of such key frequencies entering the earth’s climate system?
    3. What are the key parameters in the atmosphere, the oceans and the land masses which affect absorption, reflection and escape of that radiation energy in our climate system?
    4. What actions, if any, of humans affect those?
    5. How do such parameters cross-correlate in terms of outcomes in the near-, medium- and long-term?
    6. How, if at all, can we influence them in a safe manner?
    7. If the answer to 6 is not ‘in no way’, would we want to do so??

    Those 7 areas should be what is tackled in proper research.

    There are totally different questions as concerning policy.

    I think, right now, it might be good for scientists to be like bankers and to keep ‘proprietary trading’ aka research distinct from ‘commercial banking’ aka policy formation. There’s a case for it being done by law. But it would be more sensible and respectful for a ‘profession’ to be self-regulating.

    Are they capable of that??

  130. Tom David says:

    As a person not trained in science, but whose career is in public policy and law, this article strikes me as missing 2 key points.

    1. The public distrusts your hubris. Thankfully, when you admit that the science is not settled, you start to make up for it.

    2. In regard to the oil industry’s alleged bias, why not also admit the bias of the United Nations, namely that of some blocs of nations against others? Cannot one clearly discern a benefit to be derived if massive transfers of wealth can be justified using climate science as a rationale?

    Final comment: scientists need to spend more time trying to understand the process by which their analyses become implementable policies. My guess is that you would be shocked by the bastardization of your work.

  131. Duke C. says:

    “Part II: Towards Rebuilding Trust”

    One gets the feeling that what Dr. Curry means by “Rebuilding Trust” is that the interpretation of results from increasingly complicated climate models based on questionable raw data should be kept within the domain of the scientists who developed the models.
    That is no longer possible. Pandora’s box is wide open. It would be refreshing if she becomes an advocate for the “open source community” she mentioned.

  132. Ric says:

    IMHO, When the science became political it was no longer science. Each side had way too large a stake in the outcome of the information. The warmers needed warming. Otherwise there was no boogeyman for cap and trade. The skeptics are in a tough spot because the agenda of the warmers had actually nothing to do with the planets temperature. They wanted a way to tax. If they were actually serious about stopping AGW then why could you buy carbon credits to keep ” polluting:”? So now the argument is that we need to buy an insurance policy because we cannot afford to be wrong. This is all childish. Maybe the warmers could provide an alternative to taxation and maybe we all would give them a listen again.

  133. Jack says:

    I’ve been a used car salesman, and a con man. I don’t know a lot about science, but I do know, by the tenor of a sales pitch if I’m being lied to. How can you tell?

    -They portray their side as absolutely right. Argue by appeals to authority.
    -Insist that time is of the essence – you have to decide now.
    -Restrict the information that you give out.
    -Appeal to emotions.
    -Appeal to a persons better nature. (Your saving the planet, helping the environment, the children, etc.)
    -Appeal to a person’s worst nature, such as greed, ambition, peer pressure, laziness, the need to fit in. All of which would explain the CRU and other scientists actions.
    -Avoid talking about actual facts, ie: data.
    -Make ad hominem attacks. (Let me tell you about that other salesman, Joe, who has his own agenda.)
    -frighten your mark. A frightened person usually makes bad decisions.

    So, please tell me how the warmist agenda is different from a con game?

    You can tell by first principles (of a con) that AGW is a scam.

  134. Mark Nodine says:

    Thank you, Anthony, for allowing Dr. Curry’s guest contribution. It is probably more important than ever to keep conversation open between different sides, provided that the discussion is well-reasoned and respectful.

    And I want to compliment you, Dr. Curry, on taking so much time to slog through the blogosphere to investigate for yourself the state of climate science both before and after climategate. I feel that you have made a substantial contribution in recognizing the general shift of the skeptical community in the last five years or so. Being a scientist personally, for me the main thing has always been about the science. Reality is what it is, and our best strategy to understand it is to approach it without preconception as much as possible. My greatest concern was that in climate science, the self-correcting mechanisms were largely disabled in favor of pursuing an agenda, both in the scientific literature and on the blogosphere, where dissenting opinions were not tolerated.

    Having said that, there are many who oppose the conclusions of climate science for more ideological or political reasons. I assume it is those people to whom you refer as the “denial machine”. While I appreciate that not everyone has the ability or interest to make a thorough study of the science, and while I support everyone’s right to express their viewpoint, I do not feel that their diatribes do much to advance our understanding of climate in a way that will enable us ultimately to make good policy decisions.

  135. Dr. Curry’s article states: “Of greatest importance is the reduced credibility of the IPCC assessment reports, which are providing the scientific basis for international policies on climate change.” I’d like to challenge her presumption that the IPCC reports provide a “scientific basis” for these policies.

    Four months ago, I began an investigation of the scientific basis. A fast way to assess the status of a science is to examine the data from tests of this science’s model or models so I googled on “IPCC models” and “validation.” This produced nothing in the way of citations to actual tests of the IPCC models. It did produce a citation to a Web page written by a reviewer of each successive IPCC assessment report, the physical chemist and climatologist Dr. Vincent Gray. Gray explained he had discovered that the IPCC models were not statistically validated and had raised the issue of how they could be validated with the IPCC’s leadership. The leadership had blown him off on the issue of how they could be validated and displayed no interest in the topic. However, it had responded to his critique by a change to terminology that did not imply the models were or could be validated. In the new terminology, the models were not said to make “predictions.” Instead, they were said to make “projections.”

    The difference between “predictions” and “projections” is lost on most people, particularly including usually scientifically naive policy makers, but it nonetheless determines whether the models are “scientific” models. Models that make “projections” are not “scientific.” Models that make “predictions” are “scientific.” The IPCC models are not scientific, thus the IPCC models do NOT provide a scientific basis for policy making, contrary to Dr. Curry’s presumption.

    What is the crucial difference between “predictions” and “projections”? Predictions form the collection of independent statistical events that is called a “statistical population.” In the validation of a model, one samples this population, observes the actual outcomes of events in the sample and compares the predicted to the actual outcomes. If the model is deterministic, then it is falsified if at least one of the predicted outcomes fails to match the actual outcome. If the model is probabilistic, then it is falsified if the predicted probabilities of the various outcomes fail to match the relative frequencies of these outcomes in the test data. Projections are simply the outputs from computer codes. Using a projection, one can compare the projected to the measured average global temperature. However, one cannot falsify the model. Falsifiability is the mark of a model that is “scientific” and this is not a property of the IPCC’s models.

    That the IPCC’s models are not scientific models yet the IPCC makes a pretense of basing its assessments for policy makers upon scientific findings provides the public with solid grounds for mistrust of the IPCC and its process. A basis for trust in the IPCC’s findings was never present and does not exist today. People continue to be hoodwinked by the understandable mistake of thinking that the work product of people who hold PhD degrees, who hold positions in prestigious universities or laboratories and who publish their findings in prestigious peer reviewed journals is “scientific” when it is not scientific at all.

  136. Gad Levin says:

    Dr. Curry is better than most of the “so called” Scientists (as opposed to skeptics, or deniers), but she plays a two step clever game in her posting:

    1. She takes the Rodney King attitude of “why can’t we all get along” and talks about civility while for many years there is none on the consensus side.
    2. She dismisses the skeptics (or deniers in her words), as technical auditors, but conveniently forgets to mention thousands of first class Climate Scientists who disagree with the IPCC. Dr Singer, Dr. Lindzen, Dr. Christy, Dr. Spencer, and all the others are neither technicians, nor paid agents of the oil companies. And if she wants to talk about who is financing the debate – Governments and special interests who are about to gain from the Carbon Scam are spending 100 times more than any productive sector like oil companies.

    Dr. Curry is studying Hurricanes and their connection to AGW. I don’t know what her findings are, but in no way is she researching the basic question if warming is man made.
    So she is indirectly benefitting from all the hype about AGW, while not contributing to the solution of the real question – if there is warming (now it is a big if) is man responsible for it, not due to urbanization but do to economical development!

  137. Rob from BC says:

    Great post. I admire Dr. Curry’s continued presence in the blogosphere. I hope she reads the comments, since there are some great observations.
    Funny how record keeping and data quality is regarded as the janitorial level of climate science. I have news for climate scientists- it’s all about the data and it’s all about the details!
    Seems the crux of the matter is that climate science put an agenda ahead of the science. Thought they could fool us since we were regarded as scientifically illiterate….

  138. geronimo says:

    Dr. Curry good essay, can’t say I agree with all of it but it’s a dialogue opening up. My question is this, why do you think that there are only one or two climate scientists, including yourself, that will engage on this topic, with the bloggers or indeed with other sceptical climate scientists?

    I’m sceptical because the CO2 connection boils down to the climate scientists looking at the possible causes for the recent, trivial, increase in global temperatures and can find only half can be explained by natural causes. They note that CO2 has arisen over the same timeframe and from that infer that the extra rise in temperature must be caused by increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. They could be right, but they could also be wrong, it’s just a guess, an educated guess but a guess nontheless.

    They seem entirely unaware of the consequences of their scientific advocacy, socially and economically, they go around the world leaving elephant size footprints and at the same time tell governments that unless we reduce CO2 output, at any cost, we will all be doomed.

    I have a question for you. You bravely brought Steve McIntyre to your university to talk to your undergrads about his views on climate science. Is it true that you were reprimanded by the NAS for doing so?

  139. Dave D says:

    I know so many of you are “hung up” with the term Denier. Personally, as a religious tolerant, historically minded person who could never seriously question the Holocaust and the horror of Nazi, Germany, I still do not get offended by this term AS APPLIED to AGW. I post comments frequently as Dave the denier, believe me it gets read, then they understand the context! IBeyonf this, the healthy position of the skeptic has largely hardened into denial of their conclusions, their methods, and their integrity. If you doubt this, the posts on this story confirm this, you (most of you) are not skeptical of the chicaneries, you DISBELIEVE them.

    Furthermore, Alarmists have lost touch with the public, lost the trust of the public and no longer are being supported by many governments or their programs (ie reverses in France,Australia, UK, Japan, China, India and USA). This leads to the inescapable conclusion that the Alarmist, the Warmists, the AGW Elite, the Climate Changers are, in fact, the Deniers. Denying their hoax has largely been exposed, it’s teeth removed and has little to no chance of being acted upon.

    Current US Politics are a prime example. The Administration and their pet bulldog the EPA will continue to push for legislation or work around with pollution regulations, all the while denying that thier premise is false, CO2 is not the driver and taxes are not warranted. As is always the case, once the word has been spread, which has been wonderfully, people will not support this and THEY (AGWers) are in fact denying reality.

  140. IsoTherm says:

    davidmhoffer (07:50:31) : “When I see a sceptic make a mistake, the heat from other sceptics is often worse than from the warmists. ”

    David that is absolute rubbish and you know it. I’ve been on boards with people talking complete nonsense and not a word was said against them so long as they were cheering the right team.

  141. REPLY: I wish she’d consider saying “the term deniers is distasteful and counterproductive, we need to drop it from the discussion” – A

    So the fact that she uses this at all – once as a quote of how others view skeptics, and once as a description of what she thinks skeptics are not is reason enough for you to allow your Foreword to prejudice your readers against this whole essay?

    Look at the comment below mine, at 8:50:07. Your Foreword clearly gave this reader the impression that Dr. Curry thinks climate skeptics are ” ill-informed, uneducated people,” when what she said in her essay was that they are “technically educated people” with “substantial expertise in aspects of climate science” who are “independent of oil industry influence” and “are demanding greater accountability and transparency of climate research.”

    She is clearly distancing herself with the term, but your Foreword gives the exact opposite impression. Why do you want to let that stand?

    REPLY: Because I asked her to remove or denounce the usage and she declined to do so. – If that upsets you that I comment on the word usage where it is not called for, I’m sorry. My point stands, the word “denier” poisons the debate and does not need to be included, anymore than the “n word” needs to be included in racial discussions. As proof that it poisons the debate, here we are arguing about it right now. She could have accomplished the same essay by leaving out the word, or by clearly delineating that she does not favor its use. Right now I don’t know what her position is on it for certain.

    If Dr. Curry and others truly want to extend an olive branch, I’m open to accepting one and offering one in return. But if she and others continue to use the word they may as well be offering leafless sticks, IMHO. We have to start somewhere, this seems to me to be a good place to start, by denouncing use of one offensive word. – Anthony

  142. kwik says:

    Aha, Dr. Curry is an associated member of the HockeyTeam;

    http://www.gpb.org/georgiaweekly/2007/05/06

  143. obruinsma says:

    Lots of words surrounding Dr. Curry’s position. The main point is very basic and hence very simple: who is paying the naive scientists; and what does the paymaster wants to hear!! So, do not follow the science, follow the money. This is a disaster, not for the paymasters ( the politicians) they will still be there, but for the scientists who lost the only thing they have, which is credibility.

  144. wws says:

    I’m grateful you put this on the site, and I think it is a good essay and a very good effort by Dr. Curry. Yes, she has a ways to go, but this will be an eye opener for people just starting to wake up from the warmist style of thinking.

    The science isn’t settled – just accepting that does away with most of the really big problems, like pumping billions of dollars into some half brained new tax scheme.

  145. Joseph says:

    I don’t want to be redundant, but the tone of Dr. Curry’s piece struck me as elitist. If only the “rubes” were intelligent enough to understand the science, then everything would have turned out fine. We(the warmists) have the best of intentions, so why should you “deniers” have the audacity to question our motives? But since you have, and you’re not, maybe not, in the pay of Big Oil, then we will get together with you and tell you how things really are. At least those of you who are “true sceptics” as opposed to those of you who are deniers.

    This may all be semantics, anyway. The huge deficits now being racked up by governments, along with high unemployment, are going to make the changes proposed by the global warming cult impossible to implement. Perhaps Dr. Curry’s “olive leaf” should be viewed in that light, as she is attempting to gain support for more work for the bureaucrats.

    As for the science not being settled, she had better inform President Obama and the EPA, as they are of the opinion that it is, and are acting accordingly, albeit with less certainty than before November.

  146. David44 says:

    I agree with jeff (07:50:34).
    I don’t have a problem with the way Curry uses the d-word, primarily in quotes in an historical context, although I detest it almost as much as the n-word. Clearly, she believes that climate science is largely correct, but that is her experience and her perception (and her bias). The fact that she states rather emphatically that the science isn’t settled shows that at least she is willing to consider evidence to the contrary. While I don’t share her confidence in the correctness of the science or the benign motives of her climate colleagues, I commend her for her openness, her efforts at dialogue, and her attempt to begin to repair the damage that has been done to (all) science by their infusion of ideology and prejudice into what is supposed to be a truth-seeking endeavor.

  147. Henry chance says:

    A little feedback for Judith.

    Judith says:

    In the 1980’s, James Hansen and Steven Schneider led the charge in informing the public of the risks of potential anthropogenic climate change.

    I see you left something out. James hansen in concert with ENRON cooked up cox, sox, nox and methane as 4 “greenhouse gasses” to be hindered and dealt with via cap and trade. Brush up on your history. BIG Oil.

    Now GE owns Enron wind and Warren buffet owns a lot of the pipeline group from ENRON.

    I may post a few more comments on the pet references you make about big oil. I suspect you drive a car and trust big oil to sell you the exact gallons that are stated on the meter when you replace petrol uused in driving.

    Skeptical research published by academics provided fodder for the think tanks and advocacy groups, which were fed by money provided by the oil industry.

    It is popular to repeat claims about big oil but seemingly they may be urban legends. Exxon for example has used weather information longer than you have been around. They forcast weather and adjust refining for sales of fuel, heating oil and even weather conditions that impact safety in the North Sea for example on drilling platforms.

    Back to the point, it is convenient to castigate Big Oil and castigate “deniers” and skeptics because it is popular for people that are political enthusiasts with a global warming message and agenda. If you are a strong scientist, you would have a very ambivalent tone toward people and big oil.
    At this time, there is no way we can go anywhere with no consumption of fossil fuels. It is mind boggling for example how much fossil fuel is consumed to build and erect a single wind turbine.

  148. Viv Evans says:

    I applaud Dr Curry’s second letter, trying to build bridges. It is indeed courageous.
    However, there are a few points which she missed – perhaps Dr Curry can address these in a further letter.

    Why is it, if ‘nobody thinks the science is settled’, that we can count on the fingers of one hand the climate scientists actually coming out into the open, saying so?
    Can we assume there are pressures, not just from those inside the climate scientific community, but from those who found the research?
    If so – should that not be of greater concern than for climate scientist to work on ‘regaining trust’?

    Why is it that even now climate scientists still fail to understand that it is the hijacking of their work by advocacy groups and politicians which is doing so much damage?
    Why is it that not one of these scientists take issue with, for example, the piece of work rightfully criticised by Anthony:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/22/the-most-slimy-essay-ever-from-the-guardian-and-columbia-university/

    There are two places where public trust in climate science has been lost: one is the truly abominable science perpetrated by certain ‘scientists’, which the ‘auditors’ have been addressing for some time – the other is the way that these selfsame ‘scientists’ have become the promoters of a political ideology.

    Finally – good scientists don’t need to address the public as if they are too stupid to understand the issues. A good scientist does not speak from up high to the peasants below. As this blog shows, it is a great mistake to assume that participants here have no scientific knowledge.

  149. Doctor_D says:

    I give her credit for acknowledging that Watts, McIntyre, et al are winning the “Credibility” war and that the climate scientists and their institutions have a serious trust deficit. She doesn’t acknowledge, however, that the climate scientists and their institutions, are currently (no analogy intended to the US Govt debt) deepening this trust deficit with their “denial” of the problem and their whitewash investigations and inquiries.

  150. Some Guy says:

    My experience has been that when policy makers become secretive or obfuscatory, they have an agenda which not only will not be supported by the outer circle, but which they know themselves to be the wrong course of action.

    As details of their plans inexorably percolate to those affected, feedback from some among the latter group is ignored, then rebuffed. Others from the latter group hitch their wagon to the policy makers’ star, so to speak, seeking political survival in the shape of things to come, and unfortunately lending credibility to plans that would otherwise have failed a cursory analysis.

    Inevitably, opposition mounts as it becomes more and more obvious that the scheme is unworkable. So there is a final push to ram through the agenda, where the policy makers dare to hide information or even lie to those to whom they are accountable. They know they can get away with this, because to punish them, their superiors would have to admit to being gullible or incompetent.

    It’s about this time that the policy makers jump ship, and find another policy making position, often lower down in the hierarchy of a different organization. Other people are left to explain what went wrong and clean up the mess, or sweep it under the rug.

    Rinse and repeat.

    I don’t think it has anything to do with science, specifically, but instead with the culture of non-accountability that has infected our society.

  151. François GM says:

    Dr Curry,

    You write that Climate Science is not settled. I couldn’t agree more.

    Could you please tell us what you think is settled and NOT settled in Climate Science ?

    And would you call the MSM and let them know ?

  152. James Sexton says:

    Thank you Dr. Curry for your essay. It is illuminating.

    “Credibility is a combination of expertise and trust. While scientists persist in thinking that they should be trusted because of their expertise, climategate has made it clear that expertise itself is not a sufficient basis for public trust.”

    “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda. There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.”

    Those two small paragraphs say a lot. I’m not sure I can articulate it better than what’s already here, but ….. The first paragraph I’ve referenced assumes the scientists(climatologists) have developed an expertise. I disagree. For years they’ve attempted to draw a linear relationship with heat and CO2 when one obviously doesn’t exist. And speaking of heat, the temp stations that are mysteriously disappearing from the data set seems to infer that we are declaring temps in an area because of the proximity to another temp recording station irrespective of elevation Well, at least they’ve conquered the 2 dimensional aspect. So, if we are to believe these are well intentioned scientists, then one has to conclude multi-dimensional relationships are beyond them. The “relatively uneducated public” would expect more from an expert that states with “95% confidence…..” There is many more examples of the lack of ability to apply complex thoughts to their area of science. They own some form of expertise other than how to dodge FOI requests? That’s news to me.

    The second paragraph “No one really believes…..” Then why, pray tell, the absolute silence when a colleague(Gavin), psuedo-scientist(Bill Nye), or a politician(take your pick), assert that it is settled either explicitly or through inference? I don’t recall any press releases from any science organization correcting the assertions stated.

    Our friends at the IPCC apparently think they need to asses the manner in which they conduct business also.

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/02/24/exclusive-climate-panel-announce-significant-changes/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%253A+foxnews%252Fscitech+%2528Text+-+SciTech%2529

  153. davidmhoffer says:

    Dr Curry,
    This from the current post on RC:

    Over the last few weeks or so the UK Guardian (who occasionally reprint our posts) has published a 12-part series about the stolen CRU emails by Fred Pearce that are well below the normal Guardian standards of reporting. We delineate some of the errors and misrepresentations below. While this has to be seen on a backdrop of an almost complete collapse in reporting standards across the UK media on the issue of climate change, it can’t be excused on the basis that the Mail or the Times is just as bad. As a long-time Guardian reader and avid Guardian crossword puzzle solver, I’m extremely unhappy writing this post, but the pathologies of media reporting on this issue have become too big to ignore.

    We highlight issues with three of the articles below, which revisit a number of zombie arguments that have been doing the rounds of the sceptic blogs for years
    ————————-

    So you want sceptics and warmists to negotiate and understand? We should “negotiate” to “restore trust” with someone who calls negative press “a complete collapse in reporting standards”, calls it a “pathology” and refers to sceptics legitimate concerns as “zombie arguments”. This is someone who was just well intentioned but misunderstood?

    Sorry, but I see nothing there to restore trust with and I would be a fool if I did.

  154. Bill Murray says:

    One of the most brutally honest Progressive Democrats, Dennis Kucinich, has publicly come forward to publicly admit that Cap and Trade was written by the Coal and Oil industries.

    Kucinich: “There’s nothing liberal about letting coal and oil write climate change legislation,” he added. “Are you kidding me?”

    http://rawstory.com/2010/01/exclusive-kucinich-shreds-democrats/

  155. Frank K. says:

    Overall, a thoughtful view from a climate research insider. Here is one of the important nuggets of the essay:

    “The often misinformed policy advocacy by this group of climate scientists has played a role in the political polarization of this issue. The interface between science and policy is a muddy issue, but it is very important that scientists have guidance in navigating the potential pitfalls. Improving this situation could help defuse the hostile environment that scientists involved in the public debate have to deal with, and would also help restore the public trust of climate scientists.”

    It is my belief that the BIGGEST mistake the climate science community has made with regard to gaining public trust is their FAILURE to denounce crass political statements made by their “leaders”. For example:

    “James Hansen, one of the world’s leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer.”

    Where WAS the climate science community when this kind of insane rhetoric was being delivered by one their leading lights? The same goes for Al Gore and “An Inconvenient Truth”. I do note that Dr. Curry did speak out…against Bjorn Lomborg.
    And as for Al Gore…

    “You cannot blame any single storm or even a single season on global warming. … Gore’s statement in the movie is that we can expect more storms like Katrina in a greenhouse-warmed world. I would agree with this,” said Judith Curry. She is chairwoman of Georgia Tech’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and is co-author, with Mr. Webster, Mr. Holland and H.R. Chang, of a paper titled “Changes in Tropical Cyclones,” in the Sept. 16 issue of Science, a weekly publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  156. C. Quesenberry says:

    Dr. Curry,

    Please don’t take this criticism personally, but your timing is absolutely horrible. The fact that the radical and wholly unfounded claims of a twenty foot rise in seas, killer hurricanes, devastating droughts, catastrophic floods, imminent death, etc.. would eventually be found false and destroy the credibility of scientists was entirely predictable. Surely you saw it coming. How could you not?

    The time to worry about the toothpaste is before it is out of the tube. It is too late to worry about it after it is all over the bottom of the bathroom sink.

    A small group (20-30?) of scientists and a few politicians successfully hijacked climate science. They shouted down dissent. They intimidated their fellow scientists into silence. And you and thousands of other scientists allowed them to do it.

    And noooooooooooooooow you worry about how to rebuild the reputation of science/scientists and once again gain the trust of the public???? The time to have worried about the obvious outcome of this fraud has passed. You and your fellow scientists should not have allowed yourselves to be intimidated into silence. You should have spoken up loud and often starting back in the early 1990’s.

    Your best chance at limiting the damage (I say limiting because I seriously doubt it can be repaired in my lifetime) is to demand a full accounting of all the inaccuracies. Demand a full and open audit of ALL of the science. Demand that ALL scientific papers used in climate change make their raw data and source code freely available on public servers. Demand that any paper which fails to meet that standard is discarded and not permitted to be used/referenced in any form for the science of climate change. Demand that teachers immediately stop brainwashing/scaring children with tales of imminent doom.

    I hope you can convince your colleagues to adopt those measures and I sincerely wish you the best of luck in limiting the damage done to the good name and reputation of science.

    Sincerely,
    C. Quesenberry

  157. vince says:

    I am glad you decided to post this open letter, its a step in the right direction.
    I believe Dr Curry may have taken note of your concern regarding the use of the word ‘Deniers’.
    My reading of her use of the term, in this letter, is one of disapproval.
    More like this, please.

  158. Jeff says:

    @ Eric (07:58:52):
    “Reading the comments here I think people are missing the fact the Dr. Curry is trying to play a bridging/mitigating role…”

    Eric, I agree the bridging role is important, but, Dr. Curry is then beginning in the middle. In order to properly bridge, the terms of the debate must be agreed upon; terms like credibility, science, alarmist, denier, skeptic, policy, expertise, etc. Dr. Curry states that “scientists persist in thinking that they should be trusted because of their expertise.” I would argue, that based on my understanding of science, trust should never even enter the equation. If a scientist truly believed it did, is that person really a scientist? Perhaps we can trust results, but not some vague posturing of “expertise.” In fact, the whole point of science is to NOT trust someone else’s results, but to see if those results can be repeated. Dr. Curry needs to start by defining the terms of the debate especially since she believes it’s not settled. What is science? What is a scientist?

  159. wakeupmaggy says:

    “Debating science with skeptics should be the spice of academic life, but many climate researchers lost this somehow by mistakenly thinking that skeptical arguments would diminish the public trust in the message coming from the climate research establishment.”

    Sorry, but the scientists should BE the skeptics, first and last.

    Leave the messages to “the public” from the “climate research establishment” out. The researchers “lost this” not “somehow” but by massive political TAXPAYER funding. That data, these “facts” belong to US!

    B.S. alarm wailing: Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus

  160. Bridget H-S says:

    “HotRod (07:20:13) :

    “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda.”

    That’s pretty unequivocal. I was talking yesterday to an old friend, Conservative MP and Chair of the cross-party environment group in the UK Houses of Parliament. He said The Science is IN.”

    If that was Tim Yeo, then I’m sorry he is an old friend of yours! This is the Chair of the Environmental Audit Committee which has recently reported on the EUs emissions trading scheme. The committee reckon that the trading scheme isn’t working because emissions allowances are too cheap (but surely that is bacause of the recession which has caused a down-turn in emissions (along with everything else) produced and therefore a downturn in demand in trading. This numpty then wants to see the price of emissions pushed up from 15Euros/tonne to 100 or even 200Euros/tonne to make people/businesses/public bodies work more effectively in reducing emissions.

    I am a local councillor. According to our officers our council will have to fork out £600,000 for the 50,000 tonnes of CO2 produced. If the price is increased that would be about £4m per annum. Granted that councils receive most of that back if they are good boys and take steps to reduce their carbon footprint but it is going to cost us £400k to set up a team of officers to do this. But the penalties get bigger and bigger each sucessive year if the tonnes of CO2 aren’t reduced.

    This is one council. Multiply that by however many councils there are..

    And Tim Yeo is also Chairman of AFC Energy, receiving £45,000 for the privilege and a director of Waste”Tricity and ITI Energy. He was advocating in his parliamentary capacity that the price of emissions should go up to encourage polluters to earn offset allowances by investing in clean technology – clean technology such as the alkaline fuel cells for use in clean energy production and as produced by AFC Energy. So, no conflict of interest there, then.

    So, to revert back to the matter in hand, I appreciate Judith Curry’s concern that the trust in scientists must be restored and that this must be dealt with by allowing all scientific reports to be properly reviewed by anyone who wants to, sceptics included, the data and methodology must be freely available. But how are the far-reaching effects of the past attempts to block that free discussion to be resolved especially now that the knock-on effects have assumed a runaway motion of their own? How are the brakes to be applied to the silliness of our politicians and every opportunist free-marketeer who has jumped on the bandwagon, or in the case of Mr Yeo who straddles both camps (as does Mr Gore).

    I am not sure the science can be rectified as easily as I first thought reading the article as most of the research monies come from governments and the EU (see EUReferendum for the sort of funding which would make your hair curl) and they are driving the AGW agenda now. It has been said many times before that unless you come up with the “right” answers to the questions asked by those that are funding the research, then you don’t get the funding. So, a massive shake up of the way research is funded is also required but how that is done I do not know. It is no longer independent nor are funds granted to test that research. And how will those pro-AGW scientists, who for a very long time have taken the moral high ground, going to react to having to share their research with potential denigrators of that research?

    I could go on, but the more I think about it, the more I wonder how on earth things can change and the more depressed I get about it. As it’s 5.30pm in the UK I think I shall hit the gin bottle early, i.e. now!

  161. James Chamberlain says:

    PJB (08:40:19)

    Coming from another professional chemist, this NAILS the situation on the head. And, I don’t think it can every be tested to 90% confidence limits, so AGW will always remain a faith.

  162. Jean Parisot says:

    The concept of having to “dumb down” the math for policy makers is wrong. Politicians have an absolutely feral sense of statistics. It is their livelyhood.

    You may need to strip out the jargon and obscure academic references, but they will grasp it quickly.

  163. View from the Solent says:

    “The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public that is referred to as “unscientific America” by Chris Mooney.”

    So despite all the weasel words which surround it, that is the problem as she sees it. Not ‘what are the facts?’ but ‘we haven’t got *our* beliefs across yet’

  164. John in L du B says:

    Well Judith as our greatly beloved Michael Mann said to Steve McIntyre just before he stomped out of the room, “I hardly know where to begin”.

    Neverthless, thank you for the outreach and the somewhat revisionist history of climate science in the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

    I paid little attention to climatologist’s (does anyone call themselves that anymore?) claims of AGW, simply assuming that it was true, until about 1995. I was satisfied with this prospect since, after all, I’m from Manitoba where any moderation of the continental air mass in late January is always welcome. Then in a hotel room in New Jersey of all places I had an epiphany.

    I flipped to Public Television on a day that ended earlier than usual and there was someone from the Natural Resources Defense Fund screaming insults at Eric Lindzen, saying that he didn’t know what he was talking about and that the NRDF ran cutting edge models and Lindzen didn’t. Lindzen calmly replied that he didn’t run models at all. He was just stating what the temperature data was saying. The NRDF guy wouldn’t address the data. It was all yelling and name calling. I was stunned. How could anyone argue that the models trumped the data?

    I wasn’t aware of who Lindzen was at the time, but it was pretty clear to me he was a talented MIT scientist. It didn’t take long for me to hear the smear and inuendo though, about “shill for big oil” and the namecalling that is the narcotic of choice for intervenor groups like NRDF who gain power and advocacy by shouting down and bullying. I knew right there and then that the science wasn’t settled. I knew from my experience with intervenors in the nuclear industry that if there’s namecalling going on there is something to hide, and that they are making things up.

    So I ask you Judith, if it was so obvious to me then that advocacy was biasing the science, why wasn’t it obvious to you?

    Surely it would have been obvious once carbon trading was proposed that there was a conflict of interest between the advancement of the science and the advocacy groups that could only bend the science in a damaging way. Look at the list of donors to advocacy groups like the WWF, the NWF, Greenpeace etc. Big bank charitable trust funds, clean energy companies, yes even “big oil”. I don’t think the latter is such a recent addition to the donor list either. Even Enron, who traded mainly in fossil fuels was eager to participate. Banks and securities companies, deperate to trade in carbon are the biggest cheerleaders and supporters of the so-called green charites who are equally desperate for political power.

    So now I ask you Judith, If it was so easy for you to “follow the money” for sceptics back then, why was it so hard to follow the money for the supporters of AGW?

    As for the pubic policy debate, everyone in the scientific climate community should have realized that peer review wouldn’t cut it once it was clear that radical economic and societal change cards were on the table. It isn’t enough for the FDA, it isn’t enough for the FAA or Health Canada or Transport Canada or the EU or any other jurisdiction tasked with protecting the public good. So now we have a spectacle of Phil Jones admitting that one of the reasons he didn’t want to give up his data was because it wasn’t very well organized. The documentation wasn’t good. In fact, it’s pretty clear it is a mess.

    Unfortunately it appears like it’s going to be good enough for Lisa Jackson and the EPA.

    Why weren’t you pulling out your ISO standards and certifying your labs when it became obvious that the science would be so important to public poilicy decisions and every piece of data would be seriously scrutinized? With all those millions in climate science funding was it just cheaper and easier to let McIntyre do it?

    If I’m seeming harsh here Judith, I’m sorry, but I’m not quite ready to let it go.

    Snip me if you must Anthony but keep up the good work.

    Regards

    John

  165. IsoTherm says:

    1DandyTroll (07:52:38) : “However, the one sided stance on the big-oil conspiracy is disheartening.”

    Of course it is. This is the lie used by “greenspin” to discredit proper scientific scepticism by trying to attribute it to paid lobbying. In my experience on both sides of the fence, there was far far more money available from the oil lobby to “greenspin” than there is this side of the fence.

    Come on, I’ve often thought of doing this for a profession, but where’s the money? Even if I could stomach their politics the Heartland institute can’t dole out money to every would-be sceptic. Trump is another potential source – but that is really scraping the barrell.

    Compare that to the hugely well financed renewable lobby in the UK. The BWEA are rolling in money from oil companies trying to look green – sorry, that’s wrong, the oil companies who have seen the billions of pounds available from renewables: a highly lucrative income stream.

    As for higher taxation of fossil fuels – it just shows the lack of any economic nouse by those who suggest it. The oil companies LOVE higher taxation, because it allows them to substantially raise prices, and so long as they all get taxed the same, there is no competitive advantage, and there is a huge benefit as prices are raised allowing greater profits per unit sold.

    So, basically, the oil companies just fein their opposition to this global warming hysteria, because at the end of the day it just lines their pockets!

    That may be slightly at odds with my comments above regarding the global warming message: “there’s so much oil and gas that having too much is a problem … we can keep consuming till it runs dry and it can’t be a problem” – that I see as a way to ensure there isn’t a move to legislative action to control the oil market as a limited reserve.

    But all in all, I’ve seen orders of magnitude more people making money from oil who are on the global warming bandwagon than I know people making money from oil who are sceptics.

  166. MinB says:

    Dr. Curry has taken the role of mediator with carefully crafted, diplomatic statements that end up saying very little other than let’s play nice together. Sometimes I just want to say, “Let ‘er rip! What do you really think?”

    IMHO, Curry is a bit player who’s trying to fashion herself a larger role.

    She’s echoing the current AGW meme that this is a crisis of trust, not the science. On principle, we should never trust scientists (or politicians, statisticians, physicians, et al). They can earn our respect, though, through competency and professionalism. Of all the things that are worrisome is the sheer sloppiness of the climatology work. Details count.

    Is it me, or does it seem that Curry positions herself neutrally in blogs but is always careful to come down on the side of the AGW crowd when talking with the media?

  167. Logan says:

    Well, Dr. Curry, in order to understand the political aspects of AGW, one can read the quotation list at
    http://www.green-agenda.com
    which is now up. It is often down due to the zero funding of the skeptic side.

    If you scroll down about 40% into the list, you can learn that AGW did not become an important movement for abstract reasons. It is a modern version of Lysenkoism — the use of distorted science in support of the extreme left. In the real world, AGW is part of the “long march through the institutions” that has captured the academic and media cultures.

  168. JackStraw says:

    I’m sure there were many good points in this essay but to be honest it took way too many words to identify a basic problem. The IPCC and related scientists acted with arrogance, hubris, condescension and in a climate of secrecy. None of these traits are admirable but they are down right toxic for those who are basically public employees advocating taking more of our money and freedom.

    The attitude taken by most when they were questioned about their methods or results is that “you are too stupid to understand, just trust me and do as I say” and if that doesn’t work the insults and accussations fly. Yea, I can’t see why that wouldn’t work. The vast majority of the public which now doubts the “settled science” are not climate scientists but they are not stupid either. Somehow, they seem to make good livings in other fields, enough to fund not only their own needs but to fund climate scientists as well. I’m pretty sure most climate scientists couldn’t describe every aspect of my chosen field but they would have a pretty good idea when I wasn’t telling the truth and would be pretty skeptical of taking my word when the consequences of my actions, which had already been questioned, had huge impilcations for them.

    Suppose Michael Mann took his car into the shop. The mechanic told him it was dangerously broken and he needed to fork over a significant sum of money and drive in a completely different way or the car would have a catastrophic breakdown but the mechanic wouldn’t tell Mann how he came to that conclusion, wouldn’t show any evidence and told him that even if he did he wasn’t smart enough to understand the problem. Anyone think Mann would throw his wallet at him?

    Me neither.

  169. Hmmm says:

    I like the essay, but unfortunately this view is not predominant among government funded scientists, let alone left-wing advocates or politicians. Many countries are already waist-deep in climate policy and are screaming at us to join them. Our House of Reps already has a cap & trade bill passed. Our neck is sticking out for climate science already.

    What the public sees in climate science is:
    -a complete lack of humility
    -lack of honesty regarding uncertainty & assumptions
    -poor archiving techniques reducing ability to review/replicate
    -purposeful concealing of methods, full datasets, methodology & programming
    -inability to concede/repair elementary problems and inability to understand that many errors that are insignificant alone can be significant as a whole
    -condenscending attitude to outright obstruction to those who attempt to independently review who have another point of view

    I think I could go on writing all day but you get the point.

    I hate when people claim that science in general is now being questioned. That is a back-handed and baseless way of claiming that climate skeptics are anti-science flat earthers. When in fact most skeptics are generally claiming that the scientific process has not been properly applied, and have an open mind on future results.

  170. danbo says:

    sartec (08:32:45) :

    Here’s Curry on a public affairs program, May 6, 2007:

    http://www.gpb.org/georgiaweekly/2007/05/06

    Thanks for the link.

    Very interesting.

  171. Barry R says:

    I see two issues in terms of the credibility of climate science. I’ll put them in separate messages so this doesn’t get too long.

    First, just reading between the lines, it looks to me as though when the Global Warming debate got going, the various governments asked scientists in the field if they could confirm or deny the AGW hypothesis. The really high-quality ones shook their heads and said, “Maybe in 30 years with a lot of basic research and a lot of cash.” Unfortunately, there were plenty of hungry and politically savvy scientists of lesser quality who were willing to claim, and maybe even believe that they could nail down proof of AGW quickly and relatively easily. Guess who got the funding, and with it political power within the scientific community?

    The wrong people were getting the funding, and they were asking the wrong question. They were asking, “How can we prove AGW?” when they should have been asking, “How does the world’s climate work, and how is it likely to change in the foreseeable future?

    If sea levels go up to the level they were in the last interglacial, or if we get a “year without a summer” like the one in 1816, we have serious problems whether or not the temperature change is man-made.

    When politically powerful but not particularly high quality science got challenged, the scientists involved tried to win the debate by attacking the people who challenged them, rather answering the challenges. Website “supporting” those scientists made matter worse. I can’t imagine any reasonably intelligent person visiting Climate Progress and to a lesser extent RealClimate and NOT coming away more skeptical than they started. At the very least most people are going to come away hoping AGW gets disproved just to take the arrogant expletives down a peg, if for no other reason.

    Fortunately, Climategate has cut the political power of the Manns and Jones, and I’ve seen more high-quality science in climatology in the months since that story broke than I’ve seen in the last five year before that.

    Bottom line: Do science. Be skeptical. Go where the data leads. Stay out of politics. Understand that whether AGW turns out to be true or not, scientists will at some point need to tell the public vital and unpleasant things. Science needs the credibility that Mann, Jones, and company were so careless with. The only way it can get it back is to do good, high-quality science in a transparent manner, whether that proves you right or wrong.

  172. Mike Ewing says:

    An interesting read…

    A lil analogy, if a man comes to your house, and says it will burn down if you dont give him the contents of your wallet… you will be suspicious, if the man is fingering a pack o matches.. most o us joe six packs will be reaching for the shot gun, not the wallet. Now if the man has a gang of known arsonists with him to boot(extreme environmentalists) It will not take much for us to start shooting.

    This area of science is effecting our lives, it has become a political tool. It needs to be totally transparent.. We will not forgive a politician for a fault we will forgive a friend for. And the same goes for climate scientists. This whole climate gate thing has exposed, at least to our perceptions that this area of science is being corrupted by politics. And a conformation bias seems evident to what we see in our own weather(this its much worse than we thought… and we look around, and think, yah know, if no one had told me about this, i wouldnt have noticed climate change… and this is unprecedented?

    I personally dont doubt that adding co2 to the atmosphere will lead to warming.. the catastrophic predictions however? And watching what seems to be carpet baggers setting up carbon trading etc… all it takes is for us to see a pack o matches.

  173. RWS says:

    I keep shaking my head about the connection of “deniers” with big oil.
    I am a skeptic because I have a scientific background. However, I work in the oil industry, though hardly for “big oil” which is merely a conspiracy-laden epithet. This made me reluctant to enter the debate until the pre-Copenhagen hype about AGW made it seem imperative to do so before a great policy mistake was made. The CRU leak was a fortunate coincidence(?) allowing the wedge of other opinion to slip further into the shell of “THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED” dogma.
    CO2 driven AGW theory has not any more proof than the correlation of rising atmospheric CO2 concentration (still less than during much of the geologic past) and apparent global temperature increase through the last 150 years or so (which appears to have been inflated by biased data collection and analysis).
    The proponents of the AGW theory seem to have behaved as advocates or aides to advocates, and not considered that any other position had any merit.

    The difference in acceptance of two recent significant scientific controversies; the theory of evolution and the theory of plate tectonics, both of which are generally accepted by most educated people, show how beliefs can overwhelm evidence. In 2010, there is not much opposition to the concept of plate tectonics, but there is still serious opposition to evolution because of religious fundamentalism (notably Muslim as well as Christian), with a well-funded lobby that maintains websites and tries to influence education. The AGW theory has aspects of belief (generally political or eco-activist) that make it difficult for proponents and deniers to give credence to arguments from the other side (here I allow there are people who will use all kinds of argument and rhetoric – mostly in political or commentary positions). On the other hand, skeptics, who mostly are scientists or technical people, (including the bloggers Curry mentions and most of the comment posters on those blogs) can consider and weigh the validity of more of the evidence from either side. Dialog in scientific journals and transparency of process are necessary for resolution of the question “Is higher concentration of atmospheric CO2 resulting from fossil-fuel use significant in changing global temperatures and climate?”. After that, what to do about it may be pertinent (though debate and planning should probably continue, with the understanding that AGW is not necessarily a fact).

    Science has to be skeptical, and skeptics should not be called deniers.

    (Apologies for all the parentheses, it’s hard to include all the ideas and caveats that come to mind without writing an essay)

  174. David Smith says:

    I was a regular commenter at Steve McIntyre’s climateaudit in the pre-climate days, including more than a few back-and-forth exchanges with Judith on hurricanes. So, I’ve “butted heads” with Judith in the blogosphere and I have no qualms about (politely) butting heads again.

    But, I also have no qualms about noting where she and I agree. So, I’ll note here that I find her article to be a pretty good description of things. I think she has hits the main points well. That doesn’t mean that I totally agree with the details but the gist of the article is about right. It’s a good piece of work.

    One important point which I did not notice in the article (maybe I missed it) is that too many people in climate science have been making extraordinary claims for years. Those who make extraordinary claims are obliged, if they are to be believed, to provide extraordinary evidence. That is one of life’s rules which is widely held by we hoi polloi.

    Climate science has failed, in my opinion, to provide the required extraordinary evidence to match the extraordinary claims. To move forward, climate science must tone down the claims (including press releases) until they align with the evidence. Otherwise, the profession’s ox cart will remain in the ditch.

  175. PMM says:

    Thank you, Dr. Curry, for your thoughtful remarks.

    I fear, however, that you miss a big piece of what the uproar is about, when you say that ” No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.””

    Unfortunately, perhaps, that is exactly the problem for that precise phrase is indeed invoked by very influential speakers in the policy debates, including by current as well as former government officials; and the basic thought runs through a great deal more of the policy-related materials. See e.g. former VP Gore at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9047642 (“The science is settled, Gore told the lawmakers.”) (March 2007); and EPA, “Statement on Litigation on EPA Endangerment Finding” (posted February 22, 2010) (http://blog.epa.gov/administrator/) (“The question of the science is settled.”).

    This is why Dr. Jones’ recent statement to the BBC to the effect that he didn’t share that view is likely to echo so loudly in legal and policy circles in coming months. . . . . He may have thought his statement unexceptional, but in the policy world it is jarring, to say the least, because it is so directly inconsistent with the underlying positions cited above.

    There may well be a political basis for an eventual political consensus that emitting less CO2 is better than emitting more. But such a political (not “scientific”) consensus will require restoration of trust, as you rightly point out. For me, this recalls some of the debates of the early 1970s over whether or not there was a real or contrived natural gas “shortage”. There was a huge trust gap where the only good data came from the various participants in the energy industry and the trade associations (e.g. the American Gas Association, the API, etc.) and many involved in the natural gas policy debates did not trust those data. One of the first steps for rationalizing energy policy was to create a neutral and independent data source that was not part of anyone’s particular policy agenda. This is what became the Energy Information Administration in 1977 (as part of the DOE Organization Act). The EIA provides data that are used by all participants in various energy policy debates arguing for various — and often diametrically opposed — policy outcomes. Significant debates about the integrity of the underlying energy data disappeared decades ago.

    The creation of the EIA went a long, long way to allowing for analytic arguments to replace ad hominem arguments (though the ad hominen attack will remain as long as we have hominems I fear . . . . :)). Similarly, the old Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) was broken up in significant part to separate out the nuclear power support efforts (R&D, etc.) — the promotion or “advocacy” function — from the safety regulation function. Hence we got ERDA (subsequently folded into the DOE in 1977) and the intendment Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which remains outside of DOE. There are surely countless other examples within government.

    The underlying problem revealed by the Climategate materials was the extent to which the data gatherers served also as policy advocates. No one should expect that researchers don’t have their own views on a host of policy issues, of course. They would be less than human if they didn’t have their own views and beliefs. But from a governmental standpoint, it was a terrible error to allow a system to evolve in which the researchers were in effective control of significant aspects of the policy development and policy recommendation apparatus, but without the kinds of public oversight and public accountability that normally go with the exercise of that kind of responsibility and power. The extent to which these factors taint the basic conclusions of the IPCC reports and the extent to which EPA acted appropriately or inappropriately in relying on the IPCC (and others) in exercising its own governmental powers are issues likely to be decided by the courts over the next year or two.

    Ah, me! I think of Darwin sitting on that mountain peak, thousands of feet above the Pacific staring at the fossilized fishes in the rock outcropping, confronted by the raw facts before him and trying to fit the data to the prior paradigm and coming up short until he had to go back and start over on a new approach. But I also think of the researchers who tried to use Copernicus’ theory to account for the perceived data and coming up short because Copernicus was wrong — conceiving that the earth revolved around the sun in a perfect circle. Copernicus was trying to cram elliptical orbits into round holes as it were, when Kepler was not yet born to tell him what the problem was.

    Those initial post-Copernican researchers may have been tempted by the simplicity and elegance of the heliocentric view, but if they wanted to be accurate the old Ptolemaic system was still more accurate — according to Kuhn at least — even though based on a completely incorrect theory. Copernicus was only approximately right, while the Ptolemaic researchers were more accurately wrong. . . It took nearly a century to sort things out.

    Facts, analysis, theory; theory, analysis facts: Critical, skeptical thinking, revisiting the received wisdom — these should be the hallmarks of science. How the terms “skeptic” or “critic” (not to mention “denier”) ever became derogatory is a source of wonderment for me. Einstein denied the universal applicability (or “truth”, if you will) of Newton’s laws; Darwin denied a literal reading of Genesis; Lavoisier denied phlogiston, etc. etc. etc. All of which was made possible by observing and developing relevant facts, by thought and hard work — and by Edison’s one percent of inspiration or imagination that breathes new life and new insights into stale piles of data.

    But a prerequisite for that is freedom. The free inquiry of free minds; free from the fear of losing the next grant because of a lack of perceived support for today’s conventional wisdom; free to disagree and dispute, to strive and to fail. “La pensee unique” is one French term for “political correctness” that captures nicely the view that only a only a single way of thinking is acceptable — the anathema of science.

    If there a silk purse can sill be made of the sow’s ear of Climategate, let it be a return to the shared values of free thought by free minds, made possible by free speech and the free press of the blogosphere and beyond!

    Thank you again for your essay. (And thanks to Anthony for what your site has become!)

  176. Douglas Cohen says:

    Dr. Curry is right about climategate having ramifications beyond the immediate issue of AGW. I wrote an article about this (short, I swear) at
    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=5221

  177. biddyb says:

    I have just been to Real Climate to see if this essay is posted there. Perhaps it is and I didn’t look hard enough but judging by the comments on a post about some articles in The Guardian I don’t think they are going to change their stance anytime soon.

    “We highlight issues with three of the articles below, which revisit a number of zombie arguments that have been doing the rounds of the sceptic blogs for years.”

    The spirit of reconciliation, eh?

  178. Veronica says:

    Thank you Dr Curry. It is a pity that relatively lay people have had to become climate auditors because they could not trust research scientists in the key instutions to do their work objectively. Perhaps a guest post from a psychologist might be appropriate next, to review the origins of groupthink and the beliefs that have become like a religion to the proponents of AGW – believe, believe, despite the evidence, and if that doesn’t work, adjust reality or deny it, until it fits your world view.

    The reason for this is money and status; as good primates, we care what the troupe thinks of us, and we try to please the alpha males. I see it in corporate life all the time. The connection between climate scientists and grant money, tenure and speaker opportunities at prestigious conferences, the attention paid to them by government – and in some cases Royalty – have overwhelmed their objectivity.

    We just want our truth back. Tell us what is really happening to the planet, and help us respond accordingly. The incredible gross exaggeration of Hensen et al have made the whole AGW thing look like the Emperor’s new clothes. Anthony and other “climate auditors” have pointed out that the king hasn’t got anything on. It’s a pity this has been needed but it turns out to be a service to humanity.

    Dr Curry, retain your scientific integrity and tell the truth about the data.

    Incidentally, as oil companies turn themseelves into energy companies, we will see them play both sides of this game, its no surprise that they can back the IPCC, fund “denier” websites, drill oil wells and build wind turbines, all at the same time. It’s called hedging your bets, and it’s all the rage.

  179. Richard M says:

    Now that many of us have posted some form of polite comment, let’s get back to reality.

    Exactly when do you expect the likes of Obama, Gore, Brown, Schmidt, Mann, Karl, Serreze, Chu, Holdren, Romm, Foster (tamino), etc., etc to come forward and state that they were wrong or the that claims have been exaggerated?

    I won’t be holding my breath.

  180. debreuil says:

    Is it just me, or does that read like someone thinking they are addressing the UN? Long, self important, long, repetitious, long, meatless, and long.

    “Hence I am distributing this essay to a number of different blogs simultaneously with the hope of demonstrating the collective power of the blogosphere to generate ideas and debate them.”

    Umm, that isn’t how it works. You post stuff, if others find it interesting they link or repost. That is the filter, that is the ‘peer review’ if you like. Attempting to short circuiting this process only demonstrates hubris. Setting up an experiment to see if blogs can be used to “generate ideas and debate them” demonstrates you may be a bit out of touch with the animal you are trying to tame.

  181. George Ellis says:

    Dr. Curry,

    Thanks. But you still have the same problem that got this whole mess started. You are still in the Us vs Them club. As pointed out above, you still have the club mentality and are addressing the folks in the bunker. In tone, you imply that only those in acedemia have anything to contribute and all others, at best, can be auditors. Remember that it was a monk that was the father of modern genetics. A layman. OMG.

    I am not a ‘skeptic’ or a ‘denier’. My focus before I left grad school for a once in a life time job opportunity was econometrics. I thought there was something to this whole thing until I saw McIntyre’s analysis of the MM hockey stick. I know a null hypothesis when I see one.

    Maybe that is what the club has forgotten in their models. The statistics students can tell you this (if anyone bothered to ask). “Will I fail this class because I incorrectly think a variable is a valid part of this model?” “Have I identified the real knowns?” “What can I possibly have not accounted for?” Some folks are too sure of themselves, and it shows. Others clearly and demonstratively have an agenda to promote CO2 as the source of climate change. Failure to assume you are wrong and work from there is the problem. You must try harder to refute your own assertion. I sure don’t see any of that going on over in the bunker.

  182. Laws of Nature says:

    Dear Judith,

    how nice of you to see both sides of the story and realize that the skeptics aka deniers aka liberians aka technical people outside academics aka . .
    might have a point.

    Whereas “The climate researchers at realclimate.org were the pioneers in this..”
    (there are more hymns about the greatness of the average climate researcher in the text) “have been defended as scientists with the best of intentions”.

    Do you really believe to present both sides in a fair manner?
    RC was created with one reason only: Trying to shut up Steve McI.
    “Some blogs are heavily moderated”, well which one could you possibly mean by that? Heavy moderation is evil and every blog, which is driven by an agenda should be labbeled clearly, we need an open debatte!

    PJP (07:37:47) wrote:
    “[..]We see cherry picking of data to get the desired result. We see these same results disagreeing with current reality. Even though unable to explain why the divergence with current measurements, the “experts” absolutely insist that although they are completely ignorant of why the divergence, that that are completely justified in ignoring this discrepancy between theory and practice for current data, but absolutely insist on its integrity for 1,000+ years prior [..]”

    You should take a stand, if some one pulishes wrong results knowing better or obstructs a FOI request because the archive is desolate should his head roll or not? Should institutions which fail to succeed in their mission be cut in founding or not?
    I hear a loud silence and see many words not written in your statement.

    Ask the question for all to see, why the people which found the errors and made the FOI requests are not represented in the so called independent reviewing.
    Your letter is a nice read without any consquences and not a single fact or statement relevant for an improvement of the situation in it.

    All the best,
    LoN

  183. Adrian Ashfied says:

    Anthony,
    Dr. Curry did not use the word denier to describe us, but “denier” to describe what the AGWers call us. I thought she wrote a good essay for those that had not been following the debate. Probably could not write it as we would and still get it published or read in AGW circles.

    What could have been covered better was the disparity in funding between the researchers and the skeptics. Big oil money was always propaganda (wish I could get some.) The politics of the gatekeepers, who grant the research funds, has not been discussed. This is the key issue.

    I talk to & email my local legislative person frequently. He refuses to look at the data, saying he is non technical and that he has to rely on the expert advice he is given about climate warming. I don’t know where Dr. Curry gets her information, but he is still being told that the science is settled.

    The world has been warming about half a degree per century since the mid 1800s. Well described by Dr. Akasofu. That needs to be subtracted from the dodgy current temperature record before claiming anything new.

    The missing information is how the AGW crowd come up with the CO2 forcing number used in the models. The range is enough to make one suspicious that no one really knows. I won’t hold my breath waiting for an answer.

    REPLY: My point is that she could have simply left it out or made a stronger statement against its use. – A

  184. proxima says:

    The public will now not make any difference between skeptiks and AGW alarmists, climatologists and rocket scientists.
    It is Science as a whole that has failed by entering the political circus, playing the role of the king’s astrologer. In this arena, there is no pardon, no trust to be restored, just blood waiting to be spilled in the yard so that anger be quenched.

    I do not see any issue to this crisis other than quick and massive self-amputations for the sake of the whole body… because you can be sure someone will come that you do not like to cut into this roting corpse.

  185. Bruce says:

    The most awsome statement is, “Science is ultimately a self-correcting process…” This might explain why a handful of honest people, including, but not limited to, Steve McIntyre, Anthony Watts, Jeff ID, E.M.Smith, Bishop Hill, Joe D’Aleo, Steve Mosher and Tom Fuller, can halt and reverse the “unstoppable juggernaut” of global warming alarmism. The “scientific” research was funded by tens of billions of dollars of public and private funds. Al Gore bragged that he had raised $300 million to fund advocacy. The politicians (except for a few), media and Hollywood were all in support of the cause. Yet this was reversed. Yes, here science has shown to be a self correcting process. The truth is winning out in the end. Judith Curry’s biggest misconception is she thinks that it is a public relations issue.

  186. Henry Pool says:

    I have yet to see anye real scientific evidence from testing that show CO2 is a cause of warming. So indeed we can say that the science is not settled”. I see that advert of the church of scientology is back here again. I hope that WUWT has nothing to do with this church?

  187. jorgekafkazar says:

    Well, this is a good start, and I must give Dr. Curry a certain amount of credit for embracing this standpoint. But the post still contains (unconsciously, perhaps) remnants of the thinking that got us here.

    Just one example: ecopolitical scientists have used the “big oil” boogey man to draw attention away from their own billion dollar politicised research budgets. This ad hominem argument was not only fallacious from the outset, but has been the epitome of hypocrisy for decades.

    Dr. Curry doesn’t seem to have absorbed the full import of the Climategate papers, NOR the fact that those emails are just the tip of a very deep and very evil iceberg, one whose existence was foreseen almost fifty years ago:

    “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
    –Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961

  188. Chris says:

    I totally agree with Francois GM. I know nothing of the actual science regarding climate, but I did science at school, a long time ago and I can remember being told that nothing in science is settled . When I read, about five years ago that ‘the science is settled’ and a ‘consensus of scientists’ agreed that global warming was man made, I knew it had to be nonsense. It was this insistence that got my interest and put me on the path of a skeptic. At times I despaired that the mould of AGW could ever be broken but, thanks to the unknown hero who leaked the emails, it happened, and now its all downhill. More and more scientists have taken courage and started publishing anti AGW papers. Its just a matter of time.

  189. dcardno says:

    People have heard the alarm, but they remain unconvinced because of a perceived political agenda and lack of trust of the message and the messengers. (my emphasis)

    With all due respect to Dr Curry, the political agenda of the “alarmists” is not a question of perception my perception of their activities – it is a matter of fact, evidenced by their participation in the explicitly political activity of recommending and setting public policy. This activity is not an inevitable outcome of scientific research – it was a deliberate choice by those such as Hansen or Schmidt to become advocates. Through the article Dr Curry expresses concern with the politicization of science, and warns that climate scientists are not well prepared for “political” conflict. I find that more than a little disingenuous, when it was the alarmist camp that made the science political, and used the most primitive ‘political’ tools (clubbiness, withholding data, subtle and not-subtle loyalty tests) to prevent open examination of their work.

  190. Mark T says:

    Lubos wins.

    Mark

  191. c james says:

    Anthony

    I completely agree with post above by Paul Daniel Ash. Dr. Curry used the term denier “specifically to show how it is misused.” It doesn’t matter to those of us reading this blog what she may have emailed to you in private, that is not the information we see. If you got her to modify her use of the word “denier” then more power to you but you don’t need to bring your personal communication with her to light. I find that less than honest and if I was her I would be hesitant to continue private conversation with you for fear it would become public.

    I have been a skeptic since I first became acquainted with this issue and as a television meteorologist, I wrote a blog on global warming for several years but I have become somewhat embarrassed by what, at least I perceive, as an increasingly defensive tone on your part. An example would be your responses to Herman L. in your post about the Slimy Essay from the Guardian and Columbia University. Had I responded to someone on that level, my blog would have been shut down.

    You have been blessed with one of the most popular sites on the web. Please do not tarnish it with comments I feel I would more likely find on RealClimate. What Judith Curry has done here took great courage on the part of an academic. We may not agree with everything she says but she will indeed take flak from the other side for saying it. Applauding her efforts may encourage others to start a dialogue. Becoming prickly over her use of a word in private correspondence in not helpful to dialogue in any way.

    Just my opinion. In general this is a great blog. Maybe you just need a vacation.

  192. Dr. Curry:

    Do you have a reputable (preferably peer-reviewed) source that describes how energy companies have supported climate skeptics over the years? The only stuff that I can find is from left-wing political sources like Mother Jones.

  193. Derek H says:

    Bravo to Anthony for posting this and bravo to Dr. Curry for writing it. By and large, I think her essay is pretty objective and a forthright analysis of the situation. I particularly applaud her recognition that many of us who peruse Climate Audit and Watt’s Up With That are in fact technically trained, not anti-science nor funded by any particular industry as is so often charged by AGW proponents.

    I take two exceptions. First and most important is this idea of dueling blogs. I’m not sure the public is interested enough to bounce back and forth between blogs — especially when some of the ones she cites (RealClimate for example) are the worst at editing out dissenting opinion. I stopped visiting RealClimate when it became apparent that it was more interested in agit-prop than discussion. I have seen no similar suppression of opinions at Climate Audit or Watt’s Up With That. If you want to build trust in these so-called climate science institutions, you first have to start with them earning that trust by allowing reasonable debate and getting rid of the shrill emotional tone.

    My second exception is in her characterization of the “climate establishment”. She seems (understandably) to still have a very favorable opinion of the self-appointed climate establishment but this colors her perception or characterization of their actions. She talks about a “misguided war against the skeptics” and “misinformed policy advocacy” as if the climate establishment were poor naive scientists caught up in a political and media firestorm they were ill-prepared to deal with. On the contrary, it has become quite apparent that the war by Mann/Jones/et al was not misguided but deliberately deceitful and malicious. Hansen and Mann were anything but naive — they appear to have in fact approached the whole affair for years with deliberation and quite intentionally manipulated the political processes, including Hansen’s phony claims of being muzzled.

    I don’t even want to get into the follow-the-money arguments other than to say they are truly comical when you actually look at the numbers on both sides.

    If other climate researchers want to rebuild trust, they need to start by recognizing the large number of scientifically and technically trained people who want the same kind of discussion that we’d have over a new cancer treatment, new aircraft design, dinosaur evolution theory, cold fusion, etc. That includes full and open disclosure of data and methods, acknowledgment of uncertainties and separation of advocates/advocacy from research and development. I’ll believe the climate establishment is really concerned about rebuilding trust when RealClimate, ClimateProgress and Tamiko admit the science isn’t settled, outline the uncertainties and engage in real dialog to understand and analyze the data instead of acting like the Wizard of Oz and telling us to pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

  194. JunK says:

    I truly think Al Gore’s exaggeration of the findings made it easier for people to doubt the science. When two third is covered by water on earth, and the a fraction of the third melts completely, it’s really hard to imagine 20ft rise. Then IPCC claims more modest 2ft and it seems believable, but that change happens everyday in some places just with high tide and low tide. So it becomes insignificant. Doubt then becomes skeptic. This is without any knowledge of science. But these nonscientist are performing observation, a legitimate first step of scientific method. And some with curiousity will do some research making their own case. For those who invesitigated on their own builds confidence in their knowledge than what’s been feeded. It is therefore harder to change their mind.

    Something off topic. You know how the temp drops in 1940, but never hear why it dropped. Could it be due to nuclear testing? First test was in 1945 and the last atmospheric test was performed in 1976 and temp goes back up in 1980. Could it cause a drop and contribute to the rise?

  195. Mark Young says:

    While I find it interesting and potentially helpful to read Dr. Curry’s perspective and thoughts, such is not what strikes me.

    What strikes me is the sheer volume of thoughtful and eloquent comments above. It’s a testament to the quality of this site, its admin and moderators, and the character and quality of this community.

    I just felt compelled to express my appreciation.

    Wow.

    Mark

  196. Robert Burns says:

    1. Curry wrote “The climate researchers at realclimate.org were the pioneers in this [the blogospheric debate]…”

    Nonsense, Realclimate is a one sided debate which is heavily moderated to show only one side of the story.

    2. Curry wrote “So why do the mainstream climate researchers have such a problem with the climate auditors? The scientists involved in the CRU emails seem to regard Steve McIntyre as their arch-nemesis…” Perhaps the answer is that “The scientists involved in the CRU emails” know that their science is so weak that it will not stand up to objective inquiry. That may also be why there is no public debate. If the science is strong, then the data and the code would speak for itself.

    3. Compare and contrast Feynman’s “Cargo Cult Science” ( http://www.lhup.edu/~DSIMANEK/cargocul.htm ) with modern climate science and then ask why the climate scientists are not trusted. Feynman wrote

    “We’ve learned from experience that the truth will come out. Other
    experimenters will repeat your experiment and find out whether you
    were wrong or right. Nature’s phenomena will agree or they’ll
    disagree with your theory. And, although you may gain some
    temporary fame and excitement, you will not gain a good reputation
    as a scientist if you haven’t tried to be very careful in this kind
    of work. And it’s this type of integrity, this kind of care not to
    fool yourself, that is missing to a large extent in much of the
    research in cargo cult science.” and I would add IPCC climate science.

  197. Daniel says:

    Sorry but i see this your way of “hide the decline”.

  198. esin says:

    Expertise and trust, “the general practice of science and the personal behaviors of scientists”, are as church and state or as apples and oranges.

    We can start with a bit less window dressing; ” The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public “.

    We can start with; ” greater transparency, reforms to peer review ” and provide a context that includes alternative and competing scientific viewpoints…

    Ever realizing that Science by way of political proxy (i.e. prefaced financial support) took time to foment and will not go away quickly nor easily~

  199. INGSOC says:

    It is clear that we would not be reading anything from Dr Curry had “Climategate” not occurred. Interesting how its all about calming things down now that their pants are down.

  200. MinB says:

    On reflection, I think Anthony’s initial reaction to deny Curry’s post was correct. First, it’s just self aggrandizing blah, blah, blah. Secondly, I think the AGW crowd has woken up to the tremendous power of the blogosphere and is now trying to catch up and grab its share. Let Curry run her own blog.

    On a completely different note (snip if appropriate), a commenter (I think this blog) recommended some kind of remembrance/memorial for Michael Crichton. Great idea, IMO. Like many, it was reading State of Fear that got me first interested in this topic.

  201. Because I asked her to remove or denounce the usage and she declined to do so

    She did denounce the usage.She was distinguishing how she saw skeptics as having integrity from others who labeled them as deniers. How on earth could she do that without using the word? If she had made the same points but avoided use of the actual term (say, if she had said “D-word” instead), would that have been acceptable?

    REPLY: Look, we can go round and round on this, she missed a golden opportunity here. I see it differently than you do. Leave it at that. I’m not going to change my foreword because I believe that if there really is desire to extend an olive branch, it would be easy to denounce using the word in unambiguous terms. – Anthony

  202. Sean says:

    There are several things that came to mind after reading this essay. The first regards how climate science got into the predicament it is in. My impression of the science that I’ve followed for the last few years is that it started with a conclusion (anthroprogenic global warming) and then sought support for that conclusion. ( IPCC’s charter seems to be written this way.) When science looks for support rather than enlightenment, trouble usually follows. You now couple this with the variable nature of weather and climate. In the 20th century there was warming of 0.7C/century. This very weak trend is being pulled out of a very noisy data set that can see “global average temperature” vary by 0.7C in just 12 months. Attributing these weak trends in noisy data to anthroprogenic sources when its known there there is some natural background variability and probably measurement biases and you have a situation where anyone can probably pull any trend they want out of the data. People working in this area should be extremely cautious and conservative about drawing conclusions. Unfortunately that’s generally not the case.

    A second thought that came to mind about the close scrutiny of climate science it reminded me of something Arnold Palmer said to Tiger Woods when he burst on the scene. Tiger was complaining that he could not get a moment of privacy and lead a normal everday life. Arnold told him, no problem, give back the $50 million from the endorsement deals, stop playing golf and go back to being just like everyone else. Climate scientists have enjoyed phenomenal prestige, significant increases in funding and with it has come scrutiny and notoriety. It comes with the territory.

  203. Craig Loehle says:

    Many people do still believe the science is settled, though what science is settled they will never say. If it is some big picture thing (“CO2 causes warming”) this is not very informative about the fate of the future climate. If it is that the models which forecast doom are made out of gossamer thread spun by angels, I wonder how they got that idea?
    I still find it curious that Curry uses “denial machine” to slander certain people, if not Watts and McIntyre anymore. If you take as actual fact the forecasts in the IPCC reports, it is quite reasonable to “deny” that this level of impacts is worthy of derailing our economy and giving up hard-won freedoms–this is a political POV question, not a “reality” question, just as some people view these forecasts with alarm for reasons having to do with perceptions of risk. Remember that many environmentalists were proclaiming the end of the world long before the global warming crisis.

  204. Jryan says:

    On my previous point on Crichton, I would like everyone to revisit Crichton’s now infamous speech in January 2003 titled “Aliens Cause Global Warming” –

    http://www.michaelcrichton.net/speech-alienscauseglobalwarming.html

    His comments on the EPA and their methods are especially prescient:

    — “In 1993, the EPA announced that second-hand smoke was “responsible for approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths each year in nonsmoking adults,” and that it ” impairs the respiratory health of hundreds of thousands of people.” In a 1994 pamphlet the EPA said that the eleven studies it based its decision on were not by themselves conclusive, and that they collectively assigned second-hand smoke a risk factor of 1.19. (For reference, a risk factor below 3.0 is too small for action by the EPA. or for publication in the New England Journal of Medicine, for example.) Furthermore, since there was no statistical association at the 95% confidence limits, the EPA lowered the limit to 90%. They then classified second hand smoke as a Group A Carcinogen.” —

    That sounds eerily familiar… except today the EPA has the IPCC to launder the statistics for them.

  205. plazaeme says:

    I do appreciate Dr. Curry’s open attitude. But since she thinks

    no one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.<"

    , I don’t understand why she doesn’t use also the term deniers -which she likes, to those who deny the existence of a valid scientific debate.

  206. R. de Haan says:

    We are not deniers.
    We all agree that our planet has been warming (and cooling) since we came out of the Little Ice Age. We all agree climate change is real and a constant process.
    We simply don’t agree with the AGW theory that makes human kind responsible for warming that simply is not there. So how can you be called a denier if the very thing we are supposed to deny isn’t there?
    The true denier here is Dr. Judith Curry.

    Dr judith Curry is administering CPR on a dead horse and she doesn’t know it!
    It’s amazing.
    First point: The temperature data sets presented in the UN IPCC AR-4 report are crooked and they know it.
    That’s why Met Office takes on the tremendous task to produce a totally new temperature data set.

    Second Point: The only presented proof for the role of CO2 causing warming is in crooked climate models.
    The models stated that the atmosphere would be warming with rising amounts of CO2.
    The reality is that the atmosphere is cooling despite a rise in CO2.
    The bottom line that the UN IPCC AR-4 does not contain a shred of evidence linking CO2 with Global Warming, let alone there is evidence for Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    The horse is dead as dead as a dead horse can be!

    But how did this horse die? How did this snow blind and frozen horse die?
    I don’t know, but I do know it died, despite a budged of almost 67 billion dollars spend on climate research where scientists have been fudging the data and an immense propaganda campaign to brainwash and lie to the electorates of the West.

    And while frantic attempts are made to breathe life in this dead frozen snow blind horse, and create the illusion of a discussion about the science, Governments are introducing regulations, spending billions, even trillions on coastal defense projects to prevent an ocean level rise that will never happen in our times (The Dutch alone have allocated a budget of 50 billion Euro to protect their coast against the “expected” sea level rise until 2050) and 1.2 billion people are currently feeding on a daily food rationing under 1.700 calories per day because of the brilliant idea to process food stocks into bio fuels, allowing the West to go “carbon neutral”!
    The financing of coal power plants via the World bank in development countries is blocked by the UN and Obama, depriving the people in the third world from their only chance to escape poverty and despair, just to mention a few examples which without any exception represent billions of wasted dollars and threaten human lives.

    As I said, I don’t know what killed the horse but if I can make a guess I would say it died by natural causes.

    There is nothing exceptional going on with our climate today and there is no indication whatsoever there is going to be something wrong with our climate in the future.

    But there is everything wrong with the Climate Change doctrine and the political agenda that hijacked the science for policy purposes resulting in fraud, treason and murder (or is it genocide?)

    We will get the science restored and we will bring the perpetrators of this incredible scam to justice. And that is not a threat but a promise.

    But we can’t bring the dead horse back alive!
    And you know what Dr Judith Curry, neither can you.

  207. Steve M. from TN says:

    The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC

    No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.”

    If the IPCC has the “truth” then the debate must be over, and the science settled. Funny thing about truth: it’s either true, or not. If no one (a hasty generalization) really believes that the “science is settled”, then the IPCC does not have the “truth.”

  208. Sean Peake says:

    “So how did this group of bloggers succeed in bringing the climate establishment to its knees (whether or not the climate establishment realizes yet that this has happened)?”

    -actually it’s been cut off at the knees (and I’m not prepared to call it a draw)

    “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.”

    -Brave to say, Dr. Curry, but I guess you won’t be receiving invitations to faculty parties any more.

    Let’s see what AGW blogs spin this.

  209. David L. Hagen says:

    Dr. Curry
    See the excellent post by LuciaOn the Credibility of Climate Research: The Blackboard Responds.
    She provides detailed measures needed to restore integrity to climate science as exposed by ClimatGate.

  210. Sean Peake says:

    “So how did this group of bloggers succeed in bringing the climate establishment to its knees (whether or not the climate establishment realizes yet that this has happened)?”

    -actually it’s been cut off at the knees (and I’m not prepared to call it a draw)

    “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.”

    -Brave to say, Dr. Curry, but I guess you won’t be receiving invitations to faculty parties any more.

    Let’s see how AGW blogs spin this.

  211. crosspatch says:

    Dr. Curry should be commended for acknowledging the public’s lack of trust in the current process and addressing it.

    Personally, I don’t know if there is any warming or not due to human caused emissions because the data we have available to us can’t be trusted. The station deletions are suspicious and the “adjustments” to the remaining stations are suspicious as is the process used to “fill in” areas where there are no current readings in the data.

    So we don’t know what global temperature is really doing from surface measurements though we do have satellite measurements that I tend to place more trust in. The reason I trust the satellite-based measurements is that we have two sets of them. They use different platforms to perform their measurements and they use different processing of the raw data to reach their conclusions and while the two do differ slightly, they are in close agreement with each other. They show a pattern that is diverging from the surface measurements.

    The second issue is the the way the data are used to influence public policy. I was watching the Science Channel last night and could not go more than 30 minutes without being told how AGW was going to destroy us all and how this company or that company was “fighting” global warming or how we will not have any more ice ages due to AGW. In other words, people watching media like that are being indoctrinated with AGW as a “truth” that has not been shown to be real. Once indoctrinated with this “truth” they are likely to be receptive to huge amounts of government spending on projects that are billed as “green” but may have no real impact. The amount of change these projects produce are swamped by increases elsewhere in a matter of weeks. Many times these projects are used by political entities to further their agenda that have more impact in socio-economic areas than in reducing the impact of AGW on world climate.

    If we are going to spend billions of dollars of our children’s and grandchildren’s money (what we are doing is spending their tax dollars now, before they are even in the labor force), we have an obligation to them to ensure that it is A: needed and B: effective in its use. It isn’t about current politics for me so much as I see it as a responsibility to those who currently have no voice in government. I feel a personal obligation to ensure that we don’t waste their money now on something that might not be happening or might not be harmful. They are going to be on the hook to repay that money. It is our duty to be responsible in the spending of it.

    I have no confidence that the current model projections are accurate. I have no confidence that the current surface record is accurate. I must do what I can to block spending of huge amounts of money until we know that there really is a problem and that what we are doing will make any difference. We don’t have accurate data even from satellites for long enough to know what is and what is not global climate change when the changes we have seen to date can be explained in both magnitude and rate by natrual cyclical processes. The natural variability introduces more “noise” than any apparent baseline change.

    The challenge now becomes to produce a data set of good enough quality that decisions may be based upon it. We must rely less on model projections that diverge from the observations and place more weight on what is actually observed once we get an observational data set that can be trusted as the projections have to date been shown to be unreliable.

    That is a lot of work and will likely take a long time to accomplish. In the meantime, we should tone down the AGW rhetoric until we know better what we are talking about.

  212. richcar 1225 says:

    I do not believe that we can settle the debate scientifically. No matter how many manatees die this winter, weather is not climate. Even if we all agree that that Arctic sea ice will recover and the globe will not warm the next thirty years based on emerging ocean circulation patterns, AGW supporters will claim this is just a short term trend but in the long term AGW will return. We can not test this hypothesis because we will not live that long.
    The only way to ‘win the debate’ is through the ballot box. The AGW propagandists are attempting to use the EPA through their ‘co2 endangerment finding’ to go around congress and provide cover for the politicians that support greenhouse regulation. They have even told coal state democrats that they will not begin to regulate co2 until 2011 after the mid term elections. Regulation will result in raising the cost of electricity, heating and cooling, food and transportation costs. The little guy, not big oil will be crushed. Alternative energy will benefit but wind and solar will never contribute more than 1% of the energy consumed by this nation.
    The mainstream media is proving cover for the the AGW supporters. Luckily we now have the alternative media (internet blogs) like WUWT to fight back.
    Please vote.

  213. Jan Wedekind says:

    I think the concept of trust is overrated. What we need is a good dose of scepticism, independent thinking, and fact-checking. If scientists and advocates would have to defend their notions, it never would have gone that far.

  214. Gene Zeien says:

    James Chamberlain (08:16:55) :

    I feel bad that I have become quite polarized … I’m just saying, both sides getting more polarized takes us nowhere.

    A bandit with a gun reaching for your wallet is “polarizing”.
    When “they” quit reaching for my wallet, I’ll become less polarized.

    Shortly after the climategate story broke, I found a pile of raw data at GHCN and worked it up. Simple, straight-forward, no significant warming. See source-code & results on my blog.

  215. PaulM says:

    It is encouraging that at least one climate scientist is beginning to get the message and beginning to understand the skeptical viewpoint.
    It is very interesting to see her acknowledge that Steve Mc and AW have “brought the climate establishment to its knees”.

    She is still wrong on a few points:
    (a) the suggestion that the biased groupthink is limited to IPCC WGII – in fact WG1 is almost as bad.
    (b) “As a result of the IPCC influence, scientific skepticism by academic researchers became vastly diminished”. It was reading AR4 that convinced me that AGW exaggeration was not just in the media, but was endemic in the climate science community.

    The really difficult question is how trust can be rebuilt. I really cannot see any answer to this.

  216. Josh says:

    Despite your reservations I think it was right to publish here.

    Although some scientists have undoubtedly been like ‘car thieves’ as David Hoffer said above most try to do the best job they can. There is no doubt that the science itself has been cherry picked by policy makers in order to gain control, and make money.

    Also Roger Pielke Sr’s view on this article is a useful read.

  217. two moon says:

    The term “deniers” does indeed grate, but in fairness she also uses the terms “skeptics” and “lukewarmers.” It’s a start. It would be a true sign of progress if this essay (or one like it) were to be invited at realclimate.org. We shall see.

  218. IsoTherm says:

    James Sexton (09:20:56) :

    “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda. There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.”

    I think it is illuminating to contrast this algore “the science is settled” with how the public would react if we interchanged politics and science. We would in science have two opposing views, able to debate in public and each and every assertion subject to huge scrutiny – and in politics:

    We would have some dictator telling us what the politics is. No opposition party – certainly no funding for anyone except the government, all government statistics would be completely controlled by the one party state and the public would be subject to a mass media campaign to tell them the government is right.

    Few of us our experts in government, and none of us in all areas, but we trust the system of democracy because the policies are subject to open and intense scrutiny and because we know that the opposition is good, we know even the best scrutiny hasn’t found enough fault to undermine the government’s case.

    In contrast, the opposition to Global has been systematically rooted out and funding removed. There is almost no one able to advocate the opposition to global warming, – the result is a loss of confidence in the case for global warming (I suggest for good scientific reasons) -which means the public are now extremely sceptical of the global warming “scientists” ability to make its case in the face of real opposition.

    In summary: Global warming “science” is the scientific equivalent of a bankrupt one-party banana republic (with apologies to banana producing countries for the obvious slur)

  219. Paul Hildebrandt says:

    She had me going until I reached this point, “The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public that is referred to as “unscientific America” by Chris Mooney.”

    As a few have said above, it appears that in her mind, the problem isn’t so much that the science isn’t settled as it is a problem with communicating the “truth” to a generally “uneducated” public.

  220. Henry chance says:

    May 6, 2007
    From Georgia Public Broadcasting:

    Related educational material:

    Press Play to start the video.
    Climate Change – How will global warming affect Georgia? Judith Curry, Chairwoman of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech, is a member of the prestigious Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which recently released a new report. She joins us to share the findings.

    So how is the eval for Pachauri going today at the IPCC?

    By Geoffrey Lean, in Bali
    Published: 3:52PM GMT 24 Feb 2010

    He will try to save his job and shore up support for the IPCC in the wake of the discovery of errors in its latest report.

    He is attending a special closed meeting of environment and climate ministers in the fringes of the annual assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Governing Council, the biggest such event since Copenhagen climate summit that ended in confusion and recriminations last December.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7308210/Rajendra-Pachauri-to-defend-handling-of-IPCC-after-climate-change-science-row.html

  221. DocBrown says:

    Dr. Curry Wrote

    “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.”

    A great many people believe this. She is clearly in denial. Does that make her a ‘denier’?

  222. johnnythelowery says:

    Michel…you posted this: michel (07:31:14) : Dr Curry should know better. The term ‘denier’, as presently used, is to imply that those who do not accept Global Warming are ‘in denial’, that is, they know that the evidence is fully convincing, but persuade themselves to the contrary for illegitimate reasons, emotional or self interest. Or they are ‘deniers’, that is, they deny what is known, obvious and indubitable.

    You cannot have a dialog with people who refuse to accept that your intellectual positions are based on the merits of the case. That reasonable, well informed and disinterested doubt is possible. If they insist on treating your skepticism as pathological, no conversation is either possible or appropriate. One would say to Dr Curry with Oliver Cromwell: ‘I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, consider that you may be mistaken’

    First of all-lets leave Christ’s bowels out of this. A Camilla Wobley Bowles too for that matter!!! I think the AGW DIASPORA’s use of the term ‘Deniers’ is borrowed from the insult ‘Holocaust Deniers’. We are FLAT EARTH (HOLOCAUST) DENIERS. I believe I am correct in this.

  223. TA says:

    If the term “deniers” is used for those who deny global warming, it should also be used for warmists who deny uncertainty and fallibility. Otherwise your bias is showing, Judith.

  224. TA says:

    It seems Judith is mainly concerned about restoring credibility to climate science.

    What about restoring science to climate science?

  225. Ted Clayton says:

    Hello Dr. Judith Curry,

    In the mid-1960s I surreptitiously read an unassigned article in a left-wing journal, during a boring English Lit class. The author was personal friends with the head of a leading seminary which trained prospective Catholic priests, and the essay was based on their relationship.

    In the course of exploring the role of adversity in character formation, etc, the seminary leader volunteered to his friend; ‘Yeah, ya know, I interview all the new incoming guys, and about 70% of them admit to having some homosexual contact before arriving’.

    Neither the credentialed author nor the accomplished Jesuit intellectual made any connection between the painful revelations that had already been making the news, of Catholic priests and the Church hierarchy in sexual (and other) abuse of their charges. I was dumbfounded. “Don’t you guys see – don’t any of you involved people & institutions see? – that you are recruiting individuals who are not motivated firstly to serve God, Church & Community? These recruits are showing up at seminary, to seek a refuge from society, or from themselves, or for other purposes … because their motivations are not aligned with your goals, they are fundamentally immune to the indoctrination that you assume will guide them during their service.”

    Even as I had long known that I myself was immune to the intended indoctrination of public schooling … all the years sitting in ranks & files in classrooms, were just ‘so much water off a duck’s back’. [Wut? 10-20% of us otherwise intellectually/scientifically suitable types, in the 'immune' boat?]

    I had an epiphany, sitting there in my formica chair-desk, simulating interest in the institutional pablum dutifully delivered by an instructor impotent to do anything else, that I was looking at a major disease-syndrome, in one of the dominant institutions of our time, and modern history. Indeed, over the intervening 45 years, I am reminded at all-too frequent intervals, just how grave the issues with Catholicism really are … and how impotent they are – from top to bottom – to do anything about it. Even though the root mechanisms of their failure to uphold trust have been glaringly visible to all intimate participants for decades … in fact, for centuries.

    It is my understanding that the modern education system, and academia, derive closely & directly from the education & training structures of the Catholic Church, of the late Middle Ages. That those derived in turn from the Monastic tradition that carried the flickering candle of enlightenment through the Dark Ages and Feudalism. I see these points periodically reiterated, e.g., in the ongoing efforts of females to gain a more appropriate role in academia.

    There was a crisis that arose for Science, following World War II. We rarely see mention of it any more. During the 1950s, and going into the ’60s, there was widespread concern over a public perception of “Scientific Elitism”. The general population was beginning to fear science & scientists, to resent them. Trust was failing.

    No more did self-appointed earnest efforts to address this growing problem begin to bear fruit, appear to get a professional formulation of the issues articulated, and a potential way forward charted, than they were overwhelmed and rendered irrelevant, by the Hippie juggernaut.

    Individual scientists began couching their activities in terms that appealed to the Hippies, and their Liberal and Environmental allies. They & their work was embraced, on the popular level, and they were forgiven for the fact that they were still officially scientists.

    Following the (dramatically) successful Military and Federal science-management & Project-examples of WWII, government continued to move further into scientific & academic institutional & social structures. [In the USA ... and elsewhere.]

    Part of what we are seeing now, in & around the Climatology field, culminating in the Climate Research Unit scandal, etc, stems from a desire – and need – of science to be seen as relevant and in-step with ‘secular’ society. Another important element is the opportunity that government has assiduously cultivated, to co-opt & ‘manage’ science, in a variety of sometimes-complementary/helpful, but sometimes-conflicting/damaging motivations (from the point of view of science proper).

    Science is an institution in crisis. It has a disease; maybe several. For the uber-example of how serious these diseases of institutions can be, I recommend a careful look at how badly the Catholic Church has fared, trying to address a package of issues that bid fair to materially reduce their future prospects.

    It’s not just CRU, or ‘climate change’. The public sees a social & political alignment, in climatology. Can the professionals get themselves back to science, and leave the activism to others? The answer is by no means clear or convincing.

    Ted Clayton

  226. bwanajohn says:

    First off, I would like to thank Dr. Curry for at least the effort to understand the whole of the climate change situation. There are several points she makes in her essay that I agree with but I think on the whole, she has missed the point.

    It begins with James Hansen and his testimony before Congress. The whole situation was contrived from the beginning. Hansen admits that he conspired with Al Gore to turn off the air conditioners on a particularly hot and humid day in DC to artificially make their point. This is not science but circus. The continual willingness to stretch the truth to drive agenda is one of the biggest reason this has gotten to this point. Several of the IPCC authors have admitted that they exaggerated their issues for the greater political good – the end justifies the means. Again, this is not science, this is scandal.

    Not wanting to miss out on a good catastrophe, the mainstream media (MSM) seized upon the impending doom and ran with it unlike what is claimed in the essay. A simple search of the literature will show the overwhelming bias of the media to alarmism and is well documented in this and other blogs. For years, all the public was told was that we were killing the earth and that all the scientists agreed. And scientists like James Hansen were suddenly media darlings with pictures, editorials and the works. It had to be a huge ego boost to go from lowly scientist in some dark lab somewhere to media superstar influencing government policy. But all of that is gone if they are wrong.

    So now governments are starting to pour ever increasing sums of money into finding out how bad it is and how we can avoid it. A few voices start to decry the exaggerations but cannot find traction as the money was in alarmism and they were the ones getting the press. In a relatively short amount of time, an empire of academics and government research facilities was formed that controlled most of the research monies and by now data flow and scientific publications. By 1997 when Kyoto hit, even the ‘big oil denial machine” as she put it figured out there were huge sums of money to be made by cap and trade schemes. Witness Enron, Duke Engergy, GE and so forth. Then came 1998, the big El Nino year, and it was evident we were creating Hell on earth and the juggernaut seemed invincible.

    I have been following this developing for years and was undecided until a couple of years ago. This is how I understand the events unfolded from there. In 1998, Michael Mann et al published there no infamous “hockey stick graph” that was seized upon as irrefutable proof that mankind was driving this warming and it was disastrous. Up until that point the skeptical voices has been pretty much isolated but growing in numbers. Then McIntyre managed to publish a debunking of the hockey stick graph (in a non-scientific journal, I might add) and was immediately crucified for his efforts. The ad-homenims were intense so as a defense to these attacks and as a way to disseminate information to the broader public, he created ClimateAudit.com. Gavin Schmidt et al immediately set up Realclimate as a way to counter ClimateAudit. And the blogosphere war was on.

    As the internet was pretty much the only place to get published, the skeptical community had an idea that there were some shenanigans happening to delay, deny and otherwise discredit them so they begin to put out FOI requests. As it turns out, they were right as witnessed by the climategate exposure. I liken this to turning on a light at night and seeing the roaches scurry. For every one you see, there are probably 20 you do not so the published emails are most likely only the tip of the iceberg so to speak. But that is enough.

    What I find most disheartening is that what should be reputable scientists have abdicated their roles as seekers and jumped to advocates. Instead of acknowledging that there are alternative explanations for the recent warming, they refused to even acknowledge what they did not know. To me, this is the unforgiveable. Science is only as good as our current understanding and if we get to the point we think we know it all, we are doomed. Science is advanced when we acknowledge, examine and test theories that have the potential to add to the overall body of knowledge even when it is at odds with the established current understanding. Sometimes those theories come from unconventional sources. We must be open.

    I have an MS in materials science from Rice University (94) and throughout my educational experience, I have noticed more and more the tendency to indoctrinate rather than to teach critical thinking. It is my belief that these are fruits of that system bearing out today.

    One last point I noticed was missing from Dr. Curry’s essay. While I want to believe that most scientist out there are altruistic and pure in their approach to science, I know for a fact that bureaucrats are not. The IPCC is governmental agency and is therefore by nature policy driven which means money, power and control. One need only look to Al Gore as proof. If he really believed we were burning up the earth, would he really travel the globe in an over-the-top energy hog private jet and an entourage of limosines?

  227. Calvin Ball says:

    I’ve read several essays by Dr. Curry, and I always come away with the same bemusement. She seems to start out saying that the process of science should be open, yadda, yadda, but then goes on to say that of course there’s a Great Pumpkin, and if you deny it, you must be on Big Oil’s payroll.

    She continues to baffle. I don’t get it.

  228. Look, we can go round and round on this

    I’m trying to have a substantive discussion about how you chose to frame this letter, not “go round and round.” Other readers have made similar points, not just me, but you obviously don’t want to address the point. I am going to “leave it at that:” it’s your site and you get to do with it what you wish.

    You could ask yourself why you’re so fixated on this, to the point of torpedoing Dr. Curry’s whole attempt at dialogue, and why you’re withholding our whole interaction from the comments thread, but that’s really on you.

    REPLY: “withholding our whole interaction from the comments thread” heh, right. Look at how many comments there have been and the variety of opinions expressed. We have differing opinions, mine has been stated, yours has been stated, and hundreds of others have been stated. We disagree. I’m leaving it at that. -A

  229. George E. Smith says:

    Well that “scandal” that goes by the name “Climategate” can be judged to some extent by the manner in which it is reported to various groups of the public, by different spokespersosn; one of whom Dr Curry evidently chooses to be (which is ok with me).

    At one extreme, you have Madam Senator Mrs Barbara Boxer, chairman of the US Senate Committe on Energy and Public Works; who chooses to call it “theftgate” or some synonym for that term. The most important aspect of the event to Mrs Boxer is that e-mails were stolen; or at least so she asserts by virtue of her chosen characterization.
    So we have a theft; but with no known theif; something which is anathema to the American Idea of innocent until PROVEN guilty.

    No one has even shown any credible evidence of a theft having occurred; let alone any clue to a possible perpetrator.

    Well in the field of energy and science, the Chairman of that US Senate committee, is arguably dumber than a box of rocks; and her science tutors don’t show any greater skills.

    The UEA CRU e-mails, are simply a distraction from the real event; which was the disclosure of sections of computer code, and line by line comments by the very people who wrote that code; of the very mechanisms that were, or at least were capable of being used to misrepresent the scientific meaning of the raw data processed by that code. Now the apparent loss of the actual raw data, which has variously been confirmed, and denied by responsible parties at the CRU, would if true render it impossible to retrace events, and show which sections of the commented out code, would actually create the “homogenized” output derived from the now missing (purportedly) raw data.

    So Dr Curry, also seems oblivious to this aspect of “Climategate”. The very existence at that institution of computer code, commented out or not; that is capable (as asserted by several computer code experts), of carrying out such nefarious manipulations on what is palmed off to the public, and the science community, as a true account of scientific results. That is the seat of the mistrust response.

    The distrust, Dr Curry, is not some stream of e-mails showing “boys will be boys” naughtiness in action; but the inclusion of fudge making machinery, and also the inexcusable; and quite inexplicable occurrence of the loss of valuable historic climate data; and the lame excuse that it was filed in the circular file for lack of storage space.

    Other recognized Climate Scientists, with impeccable credentials, have asserted that the entire packet of any and all climate data ever recorded anywhere here on planet earth, can be stored quite comfortably on a couple of spools of open reel tape, and stored in the average desk drawer.

    As messy, as my office desk is; I still have available space to store all that climate data for Dr Phil Jones.

    Back in the cold war days when U2 pilot Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union; resulting in the capture of sensitive intelligence data; many questioned why it was, that Powers failed to obey orders to hit the delayed self destruct button, as he exited the plane, and parachuted to his capture.

    Powers would be floating to earth, and then the plane would destroy itself after a certain delay time.

    Apparently (it is reported) that the self destruct delay time was a classified piece of information; access denied even to the pilots who flew the plane.

    Powers evidently was the first pilot who was smart enough to figure out that the only possible reason for classifying that delay time information, was because the delay was zero. It has also been reported by engineers, and technicians, who claimed to have built those self destruct devices for the U2; that they were unaware, of any delay circuitry built into the device.

    So the UEA CRU climate data processing code included commented out sections of code, that were capable, if used, of creating mayhem unknown to the unsuspecting users of the output from that code; and the (possibly) convenient loss of the raw input data (as in the dog ate it), sounds like the self destruct delay circuitry in the U2 cockpit.

    Perhaps it was never intended, that anyone would be able to retrace the tracks that could have been travelled by Dr Phil Jones, and his fellow “miscreants” ; bearing in mind, that they haven’t been proven guilty of anything; well except perhaps, being apparently dumber than a box of rocks, like Senator Mrs Boxer.

    Dr Curry; the e-mails are more of a distraction than a revelation; it is the hard core data, and computer code, that engenders distrust of the integrity of at least this bunch of “Climate Experts.”

    And please don’t fall into that trap beloved by lawyers; that we; the “skeptics” et al are not competent to judge the merits of these arguments; and therefore should be ignored.

    Only some of us are really skeptics; some such as me (or myself if you like longer words), are quite convinced beyond any doubt, that the “established science” of man made climate change global warming AGW is in fact quite wrong.

    No we don’t deny that CO2 is a greenhouse gas; somewhat akin to H2O the primary greenhouse gas. No we don’t deny that greenhouse gases can and do, capture some of the surface emitted LWIR, and delay the surface cooling.
    No we don’t deny that this energy capture by GHGs in the atmosphere results in warming the atmosphere;as does some incoming solar radiation.
    No we don’t deny that since at least 1958 (The IGY) CO2 monitoring at Mauna Loa has indicated a steady increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. No we don’t deny that the CO2 level is now about 39% higher than what is assumed from proxies to have been extant around 1850 when CRU started gathering climate data.
    No we also don’t deny that over the recent centuries, the earth has enjoyed the lowest levels of CO2 that it has seen ove the last 600 million years (based on proxies), and has steadily dropped (in geologic time terms) from levels about 25 times recent historical (proxy) levels, or 18 times current levels; and that life has prospered over that entire time frame; with notable extinction interruptions due to reasonably well understood unpredicted catastrophic incidents.

    Some of us don’t deny any of that Dr Curry; we simply don’t believe that those mechanisms are in control of earth’s climate; nor do we believe the silly predictions, projections, extrapolations of computer models that the IPCC champions as a foretaste of the planet’s future.

    We have already enjoyed at least 20 years of actual climate experience since the dire protestations of the diciples of those computer models; and so far none of their projected events has actually materialized.

    Something else is in control of the climate Dr Curry; and robustly so; and no I can’t prove what it is; but I have a pretty good idea; at least I have a prime candidate. “IT’S THE WATER; INCLUDING THE WATER VAPOR; THE WATER LIQUID; AND THE WATER SOLID PHASE; aka “CLOUDS”. ”

    Oddly it seems the most likely (in my view) candidate for climate control on earth; is somehow poorly represented in those vaunted computer climate “simulations”.

    The most powerful, fastest, expensive computer, can only do what its programmers instruct it to do. I they give it garbage input; as in aliassed undersampled climate “data”; they will surely get the garbage out that they so far proclaim.

  230. Gwhiz says:

    Accurate account but is still condescending. She admits that the notion of oil company funding all but dries up but still contends it’s easy to follow “the money trail” of the “deniers”.

    More telling though is this question/comment. “Over the last few months, I have been trying to understand how this insane environment for climate research developed.” Are you freakin’ kidding me! Could it have been the money trail, no, money FLOOD of gov’t grants and funding to these people that corrupted their objectiveness?! Nah, couldn’t be. They are academics… Look in the mirror Ms. Curry.

  231. John A says:

    Dr Curry’s interest in understanding and empathy from both sides seems to have developed since the AGW opponents arguments gained sufficient traction to force a scientific debate. It appears that the debate is now equally joined and the AGW “believers” are losing scientific ,and more importantly, political credibility.
    My advice to Dr Curry is sit down and pass the Popcorn as the real scientific debate commences. If some scientist’s reputations are destroyed, if some scientists are fired, jailed etc because they were in the business of political science, Tough.

  232. mick says:

    Climate Science has linked itself inextricably with a convergence of self-interested idiocies ranging through political, green theocracy, authoritarianism, state & big corporate interests, carpet baggers, eco-hustlers, investors… you name it. This amorphous blob has done some very, very bad things. It’s still doing them now.

    So far, with dirty tricks, vitriol, projection, censorship, shunning & quashing debate this loose entity has managed to get a scam rolling into which trillions (I think) have been poured. At its most basic, it’s the old one using an eclipse to convince the natives they’ll all die if they don’t ‘trust’ the juju man to bring it back.

    I would suggest it’s much too late for science to hop down from the cab of this jolly green juggernaut & simply ask us all to lie back down in front of it again & trust them to move on. Climate science is only a small part of the whole, even if it is held out as some sort of infallible totem. In that respect, it’s probably out of climate science’s hands now; the thing has grown too big. At the risk of mixing metaphors, climate science has nailed its colours to the mast & is now standing on the burning deck wondering if it’s not too late to shut the gate after the milk’s been well & truly spilled.

  233. George E. Smith says:

    Well I see that the climate gizmo up there has now discovered some more CO2, and it is now 388.33 ppm up from just 388.09 a year ago, or whenever the gizmo achieved self determination.

    I thought it was supposed to be going up 2 ppm per year I calculate the increase as being just 43.8 days worth of the annual growth rate.

    Either the gizmo, or ML is off track somehow.

  234. Chris S says:

    Dr Curry’s essay is a “higher level” attempt to put the cat back in the bag. A few minor changes, and things can get back to where they were before Climategate, Glaciergate etc.
    She barely acknowledges the Agenda that’s being forced on the public, and her faith in Realclimate is breathtaking.

    A Climate Trojan Horse methinks.

  235. Bill Parsons says:

    Hurricane activity down. Time to energize the base.

    I find it bizarre that in the present time of recession, as bank lending rates bounce along at lows not seen since 1945, that tuition and fees at public and private universities only go up, and that these institutions actually protest their lot in the media. In another year, when my own kid goes off to college, I’ll get to send some of my own dollars toward this needy cause.

    Here are average tution rates compared to medical costs and cost of living over the last 30 years.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/01/InflationTuitionMedicalGeneral1978to2008.png

    Not to put too gross a point on this: Two characteristics make a metastatic cancer so scary: first, it has the ability to steal the blood supply from healthy tissues, thus usurping otherwise healthy bodily functions to support its own growth; and secondly it seems to morph as it spreads. A new tumor appears in public institutions of higher ed every decade or so, trivially changing from one environmental aspect to another. The variant this decade is an outgrowth of an old fear of catastrophe, this time from man-made global warming. And no surprise, it’s proponents have shut down healthy debate and usurped all funds which fail to support its genotype: (C)AGW.

    If any of Ms. Curry’s former students are reading here, perhaps they can tell us if any of the trillions in Obama stimulus funds (billions to NSF) have been coming their way. But if climate science has followed the same path as NIH grants, money has been harder for young scientists to come by than for older ones who seem to be so busy protecting the status quo, according to a recent article by Jonah Lehrer in the Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703444804575071573334216604.html

    In 1980, the largest share of grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) went to scientists in their late 30s. By 2006 the curve had been shifted sharply to the right, with the highest proportion of grants going to scientists in their late 40s. This shift came largely at the expense of America’s youngest scientists. In 1980, researchers between the ages of 31 and 33 received nearly 10% of all grants; by 2006 they accounted for approximately 1%. And the trend shows no signs of abating: In 2007, the most recent year available, there were more grants to 70-year-old researchers than there were to researchers under the age of 30.

    Ironically, research by younger scientists is often more creative and insightful than that of their teachers and mentors. Archimedes, Einstein, Galileo and Curie all made significant discoveries in their early 20’s, and their contributions to science soon thereafter began to wane, according to the article.

    Funded or not, the challenge in this science is still “out there”: to find reliable sources of paleo data, gather incontrovertible evidence, do honest and unbiased analysis recording clear lines of reasoning, and present solid proofs with replicability… then let the chips fall where they may. My guess is that your universities, departments, and the science of climate change will be invigorated by your actions.

  236. BC Bill says:

    What hubris for Dr. Curry to think that she is initiating a blogosphere experiment. This experiment was initiated by Watts and McIntyre and RealClimate and she is a very late comer. Science has been in trouble for a long time- most of what passes for science is gizmo-ology, publish or perishology and drug marketingology. Science should be a philosophical pursuit of truth and as far as I am concerned the best scientific values are reprented on the blogoshere by the “sceptics”- regardless of the credentials of the participants- though Dr. Curry would do well to note that many of the blogosphere participants are highly credentialled. I appreciate her overture or admission of failure, or whatever it is, but it is way too late. The genie is out of the bottle. Most human social constructs are subject to paratism by the human genotype that seems evolved to thrive by creating niches for managers, high priests and royalty. When these people get hold, the end of the useful life of the social construct is usually imminent. I feel mainstream science is so driven by political interference, the need to exaggerate to get funding, and parasites masquerading as scientists so they don’t have to really work, that a major loss in credibility was inevitable. It will be interesting to see if the blogosphere is wild enough and so far reaching that it can sustain a reviatalization of the search for truth- or will it develop its own cadre of high priests, senior researchers and royality who create the little pockets of pus where they can thrive. I would like to see the blogosphere tackle world hunger. Why are children starving around the world while countries limit food production? Why are the oceans in a catastrophic state of decline with seemingly no end in sight? What are the limits to growth- in an economist’s wet dream, just how many people do they see on this earth? How can we reign in the quack pharmaceutical industry- why are millions spent on over the counter medications that have been proven to be useless or worse, when will the medical community start rotating antibiotics to prevent resistance from building up- an idea that was first put forward in the early sixties, but which has been steadfastly ignored by drug companies? etc. I hope that the blogosphere is just getting started on junk science and social injustice (the much bigger issue). Go blogosphere go!

  237. mikef2 says:

    Welll….the ‘science isn’t settled’ quote was interesting, but I’m reading it as ‘you are wrong and we just need to convince you’ rather than an admission that she might actually be wrong.
    My gut reaction to this and similar ‘outreaches’ is that I recognise a Hudna when I see one.
    Sorry Dr Curry but there are a couple of things that are totally fundemental to our side of the arguement that you need to address before i consider peace negotiations.
    The Hockey Stick. You need to admit in a public forum such as this that the attempt by Michael Mann (and the Team) to re-invent climate history so as to try and discredit skeptics was wrong.
    Tell me that the hockey stick is wrong.
    Tell me that Al Gore is a carpet bagger and does nothing for the integrity of climate science.
    Then…I’ll think you are genuine. Until then, I see this as just a hudna.

    Tell me that you believe in AGW, but admit that the observational evidence so far does not back it up…I’ll help you look for it. Tell me you are unsure, but believe, and thats fine, lets look at the evidence in a cold objective way together. I may be wrong, you may be right.

    But don’t come to me with fraudulent statistics and scare stories such as you and your colleagues have allowed the media and governments to beat us over the heads with. Clean out your house and we can talk.

  238. Green Sand says:

    A start for engendered trust would be for Dr Curry to point the following in the direction of politicians: –

    “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda. There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.”

  239. CodeTech says:

    I’m fascinated by the long, detailed posts here by names I don’t recall ever seeing post at WUWT.

    Anyway, here’s mine:

    The traditional foes of the environmental movement worked to counter the alarmism of the environmental movement, but this was mostly a war between advocacy groups and not an issue that had taken hold in the mainstream media and the public consciousness. In the first few years of the 21st century, the stakes became higher and we saw the birth of what some have called a “monolithic climate denial machine”. Skeptical research published by academics provided fodder for the think tanks and advocacy groups, which were fed by money provided by the oil industry. This was all amplified by talk radio and cable news.

    I’m sorry, but here’s a major disconnect from reality. Who are these alleged “traditional foes of the environmental movement”? Real people with real lives? Those who are more realistic about what is and is not harmful to “the environment”? Those who already have a religion and don’t want to add Mother Earth? It’s not “big oil”, they’re firmly in the “environmentalism” pocket.

    Exactly what sane individual could possibly look at the skeptic community and see some sort of monolithic machine? Try using a mirror: the AGW machine is the giant, monolithic, exorbitantly funded juggernaut that has rolled over many extremely capable people, crushing their careers and credibility for a political position. SHAME on you if you think it is otherwise. SHAME on AGW proponents for their repeated and current arrogance and uncaring destructive actions against anyone who disagrees. SHAME on the AGW machine for indoctrinating children with what is more political spin than scientific certainty, giving them nightmares and making their hopes for the future even more bleak than those of us who were children during the Cold War.

    The stakes are not “higher” from the perspective of the planet. They are higher from the perspective of people who have invested their careers and finances into this ridiculous and highly UNscientific AGW meme, where tipping points and inane hyperbole are the scare-tools for extracting raw cash from the pockets of the populace. It is not Earth or our or our childrens’ future that is at stake, no matter how much you want to frame it that way.

    —-

    No, as others have said, I’m not buying. Dr. Curry is speaking from a position that is deluded. I realize that this is a decent start toward understanding something, but that something won’t be understood until all of her preconceived notions about what has happened since 1988 can be thrown away.

    What she apparently does not understand is that the AGW “side” has not just low credibility, but NO credibility. None. The tricks, hiding, fumbling, old-boys networking, denial of FOI requests, concealing of methods and data, alarmism, media proclamations, personal smears and the rest are not simply anecdotal, they demonstrate clearly that not ONE SINGLE WORD of what any of these people or their supporters say should be taken seriously.

    It’s not the communication that is the problem, Dr. Curry, it is the message.

  240. RockyRoad says:

    Just a hypothetical:

    I go down to my local car dealer and buy a used sports car. They have lots of ballons floating around and free rootbeer and hotdogs. I buy the car because I trust the salesman, figuring they have the expertise their business requires, and drive the car home.

    The next weekend I take this sports car on a lengthy road trip. Problem is, the car grinds to a halt far from home so after some difficulty, I find a mechanic to inspect it. He tells me someone has put sawdust in the manual tranmission, apparently hoping I’d take it to some mechanic that would never tell me what the real problem was just so he could sell me a new transmission.

    I should have looked past the numerous balloons and free hotdogs and been really skeptical when I bought it, but they wouldn’t let me take it to another mechanic for a second opinion.

    Now, would any of you ever go back to the car dealer that sold me the car? Would these folks have any further credibility in your estimation? Could any of you defend this dealer as having the best of intentions and pass it off as trying to do their work in a very difficult environment?

    I think not.

    And would any of you want a refund?

    Absolutely.

    Applying a legal remedy wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

  241. Grant says:

    “Credibility is a combination of expertise and trust”. Expertise? Really?

    How would you define “credibility gap”?

  242. johnnythelowery says:

    FOLLOW THE CASH

    Taken from Richard’s post @ EU Referendum web site:
    ‘………………Since taking the chair of the IPCC in 2002, Rajendra Pachauri’s own personal research institute, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), has enjoyed a multi-million-euro bonanza from EU-funded research projects. Having led the institute from 1982, in the 20 years before he assumed the IPCC chair, only four EU projects had been awarded. Since then, the institute in seven years has shared in 17 projects worth over €56 million. For many of them, TERI had no obvious expertise or physical presence.

    COASTIN……………..on “Measuring, monitoring and managing sustainability – the coastal dimension”. Another tranche of EU money was awarded to his institute
    PRO-CET……………..a grant of €125,000 towards the €786,830 needed to host an “OPET-Associate” for the Indian sub-continent and the ASEAN region.

    OPET Network………Organisations for the Promotion of Energy Technologies (OPET) – for which the commission had ambitions of turning into a world-wide network. The funding was only for a year.

    ASIA-URBS……………conveniently centred on the TERI Retreat which now boasts a nine-hole golf course, cricket grounds and a badminton green. The project was part of the EU’s long-running ASIA-URBS programme, taking the institute’s involvement through to May 2004. It was aimed at “improving urban environment through the introduction of sustainability measures in building design”, TERI sharing €127,332.50 with its local government partner. INTEREST, this was worth €650.000 split between six partners, starting on 1 February 2002 and lasting until 31 January 2005 The objective was to “generate tools to support improved ecosystem management for sustainability.”

    PERIURBAN……………study of, “Sustainable settlements in peri-urban areas: with special reference to impacts of transport and energy on natural resources management”. With €687,998 shared between six partners, this was the largest yet.

    OPET project………….EU paid €893,374 of its €1,636,910 costs, shared between its 18 – mostly European – member organisations.

    ED-WAVE………………June 2003, TERI shared with five other partners a €480,155 project called ED-WAVE, developing “a sustainable framework for training in technologies for conservation, reclamation and reuse of natural resources”, with special reference to improving water efficiency.

    NEU-CO2……………..TERI was nominated as a partner in stage three of an ongoing research project called NEU-CO2. Starting in September 2004 and lasting for two years, TERI’s task was to assist in setting up the systems to monitor the manufacture of synthetic materials and chemical products, e.g. plastics, paints, solvents, lubricants and bitumen, as these were considered to contribute substantially to CO2 emissions. For this endeavour, Pachauri’s institute shared in the fairly modest €289,656 pot paid-for by the EU. But greater riches were to come. The next project for TERI started in March 2005. Called

    TBT IMPACTS……………and lasting until February 2009, it was co-ordinated by TERI under the leadership of Dr Sangeeta Sonak, with a budget of €799,841. The task, from the offices in land-locked New Delhi, included an assessment of current policy concerns and developments with regards to the ban on using organotin compounds in antifouling paints and an assessment of their environmental impacts. The project was also to develop a simple biomonitoring system to regulate TBT impacts and help implementation of legislation. End of January 2006, TERI was again a project leader, this time under the direction of Ms Ritu Mathur,

    GAINS-ASIA…………….. This brought together “state-of-the-art disciplinary models on air pollution and climate change to assess technical and market based policies that maximize synergies and benefits between these policy areas.” The pot here was a much improved €1,161,102 – the first million-plus project in which TERI has been involved – of which the EU paid €695,000. As project leader, TERI’s percentage would have been significant.

    ADAM…………………..Now the big money beckoned. Although a curiously specific European affair, TERI was invited to take part in ADAM a huge project on “Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies: supporting European climate policy.” Starting in March 2006 and running to the end of July 2009, working alongside multiple partners including the University of East Anglia – led by Mike Hulme – TERI took a part-share in the €18,197,000 pot. The EU paid €12,905,000.

    By now, the EU was taking a keen interest in Dr Pachauri, part-sponsoring (alongside the UK’s DFID) a conference in Delhi on “Adaptation to climate variability and change”, organised by TERI. Ms. Soledad Blanco, Director International Affairs, European Commission (Directorate General for Environment), gave the “welcome address”.

    COMPETE………………Then, when the EU commission wanted work carried out in Africa, TERI was chosen, despite having no presence on the continent. This was COMPETE, a “Competence Platform on Energy Crop and Agroforestry Systems for Arid and Semi-arid Ecosystems – Africa”. The project started in January 2007 and finished at the end of December last year. Its objective was “to stimulate bioenergy implementation in arid and semi-arid regions in Africa.” TERI took a share of the €1,497,000 paid by the EU.

    EUCAARI……………….Such was the flow of work that, for the first time, Pachuari’s institute was in that January starting another EU project simultaneously. This was EUCAARI, due for completion in December this year, at an overall cost of €15,025,634 – for which the EU has budgeted €9,999,627. Entitled “a European integrated project on aerosol cloud, climate and air quality interactions” this was also – at first sight – a European affair. But it included “key players” from third countries, of which TERI was fortunate to be regarded as one, enabling it to work alongside the University of East Anglia, School of Environmental Sciences, under the leadership of professor Simon Clegg.

    Meanwhile, on the 8th and 9th February 2007, as a sign of the closer relationship, the EU commission launched its “1st EU-India Strategic Science and Technology Workshop,” on the theme: “Climate change research needs”. Conveniently, the event, co-organised by DG-Research, was held at the TERI office location and inaugurated by the Commissioner for Research, Janez Potočnik.

    Now fully engaged on the launch of his IPCC report, and then attending to collect the Nobel prize on behalf of the IPCC, Pachauri had less time to devote to EU affairs. Nevertheless, the relationship had become extremely lucrative.

    The projects roll in

    SAFERWIND……………..In September 2008, TERI started another project, one called SAFEWIND. A highly technical project ending on 31 August 2012, this involves: “Multi-scale data assimilation, advanced wind modelling and forecasting with emphasis on extreme weather situations for a secure large-scale wind power integration.” TERI is not known for its prowess in “advanced wind modelling” – especially in European scenarios where the project is centred. But that has not stopped it becoming a partner, sharing in the French co-ordinated work which will yield €5,581,859, of which €3,992,400 will be donated by the EU.

    Only months later, on 1 January 2009, another major project started, in which TERI was a partner.
    CLIMATECOST……….This was CLIMATECOST ending in August 2011 at a cost of €4.61 million of which the EU was paying €3.5 million. Led by the Oxford Office of the Stockholm Environment Institute, TERI was to contribute to determining the “full costs of climate change”.

    ISSOWAMA…………….That coincided with the start of ISSOWAMA – “Integrated Sustainable Solid Waste Management in Asia”. Requiring, “Networking and preparatory action in view of developing cost-effective, environmentally-safe waste treatment technologies and services adapted to the needs of developing countries, within a targeted life cycle approach”, TERI was to share €1,278,698, the EU providing €989,523 for the 30 month duration of the project.

    RESPONSES……………….The University of East Anglia cropped up in yet another EU-funded project in which TERI also partnered. That one was called RESPONSES, dealing with: “European responses to climate change: deep emissions reductions and mainstreaming of mitigation and adaptation.” Again a largely European affair funded from the main research budget, it started on an unspecified date in 2009 with TERI sharing a pot of €3,149,708.

    HIGHNOON……………………Also starting in 2009, officially on 1 May, was the now notorious HIGHNOON. It had been set up to study “adaptation to changing water resources availability in northern India with Himalayan glacier retreat and changing monsoon pattern”. TERI gets a share of €4.28 million, of which €3.31 million is to be paid by the EU.

    SETATWORK………………….Then, in September 2009 and ending this coming August, TERI commenced work on SETATWORK, a €1.27 million project with €999,972 of EU funding, aimed at the “thematic promotion of energy efficiency and energy saving technologies in the carbon markets”.

    RISKCYCLE…………………..,Also in September 2009, TERI started its involvement in RISKCYCLE, a project charged with defining future R&D requirements “in the field of risk-based management of chemicals and products,” with a view to using alternative testing strategies to minimise animal tests. Again, this was not an obvious area of TERI expertise but it nevertheless shares in the three-year project worth €1,206,063 – of which the EU is paying €996,324.

    Other Europeans pitich in

    Furthermore, support from European countries did not come only via the EU. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland has been funding TERI to carry out projects on Pollution in India, a project that aims to address some of the questions posed by the “brown cloud” phenomenon. Phased payments for 2004-2006 were € 302,000, phase two from 2007-2009 was € 220,000 and phase three from 2010-2012 is planned to spend € 480,000 – amounting to nearly €1 million.

    Additionally, the British government in September last year pledged £10 million to TERI – having already funded the institute to the tune of hundreds of thousands of pounds, while the Norwegian government on 13 November last year signed a 60 million Norwegian Kroners (about €7.5 million) contract with TERI.

    For R K Pachauri, whether man-made global warming exists or not, it has proved very profitable indeed for his institute, not least through the “generosity” of the Europeans who seem only too keen to encourage his ambitions……………………………………………’ Richard @ EU Referendum

    ———————I think I feel sick———————–

  243. Jack says:

    The problem with what the CRU scientists (ok, most of the ‘climate’ scientists) have done is that it is indefensible.

    Dr. Curry, Dr. Ravitz and Mead are all taking the “prodigal son” approach: forgive these errant people, just because.

    Nope, can’t do it. First and foremost, all of these people should have their govt funding cut to zero. Second, if they have tenure, they should be fired. If they don’t have tenure, they should be fired. And then let the criminal prosecutions, RICO prosecutions and civil suits follow.

    They have yelled ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. Lives have been lost, billions wasted, for a fraud. Make them pay, like they’ve been making us pay for the last 20 years to fund their bogus conclusions and research.

  244. vigilantfish says:

    A further comment. You will observe, Dr. Curry, that I use a tag rather than give my real name. Why is this? It is because the scientific establishment that created the “science is settled” argument manufactured a toxic environment in which it became dangerous to one’s career to admit to being skeptical about global warming alarmist claims. Scientists – let alone politicians – cast ‘flat earther’ and ‘creationist’, and ‘conspiracy theorist’ and other aspersions upon skeptics regardless of their credentials or education or the scientific stengths of their objections to the more questionable science being done by AGW activists and scientists.

    I happen to slightly know one of the players who is currently involved in defending the alarmist science, and am firmly of the opinion that this individual would lose respect for me if s/he became aware of my views. Because of third party links this individual and I have, I need to hide my name. Note please that I continue to have a high level of respect, even admiration, for this individual because of other academic work s/he has done. A debate over the scientific issues should not cost one the regard of one’s peers, and in normal circumstances would not. This debate is not normal: it has been pathologized by the political-scientific-environmentalist moralism and extremism of AGW defenders.

  245. Thomas Hobbes says:

    The question that has not been addressed thus far is whether we are interested in intellectual debate or effecting change.

    If the latter is the case, then we need to embrace and encourage suggestions (if they are credible and well intentioned) on how to ‘rebuild the trust’.

    Is that not what we are all asking for? A ‘bi-partisan’, transparent, balanced ‘do-over’ of everything from surface temperature analysis, to climate models, proxy reconstructions etc.

    My 5 cents (inflation), would be that our number one agenda is to push for a ‘fair and balanced’ re-assesment of the science. I inferred or read the same from JC.

    In order for this to happen, parties from both sides need to come together and suggest a ‘framework’ proposal for the son-of-IPCC. To do this we need to find partners within the Pro-AGW camp who have the common goal of finding the best and most reasonable assessments of the science.

    No doubt that we can quibble and debate the tone, word-choices and biases of JC’s letter but it might be more productive to follow up on the suggestion for the path forward which restores ‘trust’.

  246. George Ellis says:

    Wow, the timing is good. Steve just posted another entry at Climate Audit with the title of “Rob Bradley: Climategate from an Enron Perspective”. The analogy really hits key parts of how trust failed. … Even if analogies are not a good thing.

  247. bob paglee says:

    Why call anyone a “denier”? Is use of that nasty word intended as a play on a denial of those nasty Nazi gas chambers by some history recalcitrants, or is it intended to suggest that anthropogenic carbon dioxide is as deadly as the Nazis’ gas? In any case, why tar me as a “denier” of AGW? Just call me an AGWNB, the acronym for AnthropogenicGlobalWarmingNonBeliever.

  248. I have had many jobs over the past 45 years, most recently as a tool and die machinist for the past 9 years. Drama and politics are not my game, detail and precision, the fit and inter working of processes, is my normal concern and focus. In my spare time over the past 35 years I have been studying the weather, I have read more research than text books, and usually find more problems in the text books.

    What climatologists suggest to be the main driving forces of the climate, ie long term weather patterns, are second and third derivatives of the real driving forces that move the global circulation around. The global warming hypothesis has focused on one tiny insignificant factor, the CO2 content.

    Much more important are the Planetary interaction of the solar system with the Barycenter of the solar system’s effects on the sun’s solar cycles and the secondary influences of the outer planets on the resultant tidal interactions of the Earth / moon system that drives the decade period ocean, and atmospheric oscillations.

    Until these main drivers can be understood, and their main patterns of natural variations accounted for, and incorporated into the models, the process of the cyclic patterns of meridional flow surges created and maintained by the Lunar declinational tides, that control the Earth’s radiative energy balance, via driving the patterns of the Rossby wave generation, and jet stream movement, will not be understood well enough to separate out the resultant long term compound signal from the weather records. This has to be done before the left over signal from the solar variability, can be seen easily enough to remove, to see if there are any residual effects due to the CO2 component.

    I am not a skeptic, I am just a critical thinker, and there needs to be a process in place where by the dross is removed, before the refining of the ore can proceed. The whole problem has been that the CO2 signal is so small, that it is undetectable in the background.

    The spending of huge sums of research on a CO2 agenda focused outcome, has wasted resources that could have been much better utilized in producing basic knowledge about the secondary effects such as El /La nino, PDO, AO NAO periodicity, that are derived from long term solar and lunar declinational tidal components.

    The changes in the 18.6 Mn lunar declinational patterns of atmospheric tides as a cyclic pattern alone, can forecast 87% of the daily weather pattern progression. When adjustment for the influences of the outer planets on the remaining surges in global circulation, that produce most of the severe weather outbreaks of global scale, good forecast could be produced for the main killers of peoples in low lying areas.

    Your focus on the concern for the lack of public trust, in a failed hypothesis that has the wrong focus, just because it has the economic mismanagement potential, of focusing the movement of massive funds, to those in control of the “global warming mitigation process” is a travesty.

    Not all of the intelligent people of the world are driven by greed. Some of us are humble enough to see the whole world as it is, and realize we can only watch and learn. Control over the solar system that is driving the weather and climate through the interactions of the planetary bodies of this solar system and it’s interactions with the greater galactic fields, is beyond our abilities.

    The best we as humans can do is to engender a better understanding of how the whole process is interconnected, and assist in the enhancement of the the photosynthetic capture ratio of the sun light available by the plant population of the biosphere to best support the greatest diversity of life possible. While maintaining the best water quality we can, still providing the infrastructure to support the food and energy needs of all of the non plants.

    This whole quibbling over the political aspirations of a few, at the expense of everything else, in the name of environmental salvation is shameful.

  249. 1DandyTroll says:

    Pew! A hundred comments later, but now I think I understand why the article felt like an odd read — it’s like a batch of cough syrup to try and mitigate the symptoms…. the “deniers” are preconceived to suffer from.

    Luv@internetANDall

  250. mikef2 says:

    Ref johnnythelowerly..

    Me too. And its this that I just don’t get about the ‘left of centre’ media…don’t they see what a scam this whole thing is. Its worse than any capitalist sweat shop story.
    The creaming off money for quangos when a fraction of that could be spent doing real good such as fresh water, vaccines, anti malarials…..I want to puke.
    Don’t these guys understand they have been had.
    Good intentions I’m sure, but the sharks swam in and took it over as a money making exercise. What was it Lenin said about useful idiots?

  251. Ron Cram says:

    Dr. Curry,
    First, thank you for this essay. It is helpful to see acclaimed scientist like you write:

    “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda. There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.”

    If rebuilding trust is really the goal, then real steps have to be taken – not just well-written essays by important scientists. Here are two ideas:

    1. The journals, especially Nature and Science, will have to take a pro-active approach to publishing work by climate skeptics. Pielke Sr., Christy, Spencer, McIntyre and others have complained that certain of their papers have not been published purely because the conclusions were not politically acceptable. This is a wrong which must be righted. Will you join with others calling for the journals to publish science which draws skeptical conclusions?

    2. Scientific conferences need to invite more skeptical scientists to speak. You have already taken a lead in this by inviting McIntyre to speak at Georgia Tech and you caught lots of flak because of it. More of this needs to happen. When skeptics are shut out of the conversation, it damages people’s confidence in the science. Why not invite Spencer to speak at Georgia Tech about the negative feedback he observed over the tropics? Or about his theory regarding how the PDO affects cloud cover? Why not invited Christy to speak about his research in California that has been shut out by the journals? Why not invite Anthony Watts to speak on surfacestations.org and the recent Henne paper? Why not put James Hansen and EM Smith on a panel to debate the surface temp record?

    I do want to thank you again for this essay. I believe I have seen real growth in your perspective regarding climate skepticism. Although I am disappointed you are still using the term “deniers.” This term is incredibly offensive and damages any call to rebuild trust.

    Also, I would like to point out that your section on the changing nature of skepticism is not quite accurate. While it is true the war between advocacy groups has gotten the headlines, the real skeptics – working scientists and very intelligent newcomers like McIntyre – have never been funded by Big Oil. Nothing has changed about the way they have gone about their approach. These people were wrongly proclaimed to be funded by Big Oil and nefarious organizations. Some are still saying this. All of these ad hom attacks need to stop.

  252. Mike says:

    Dr Curry makes some great points. Her reference to the medical sciences and double blind studies is particularly prescient. The global warming scientists have had two decades of hiding in their labs, going to great confabs where they get to nod in agreement with each other, they publish in journals that they like, and diss the ones they that don’t. All the while making unsubstantiated claims to the outside world with a bunch of political advocates shilling for them. Now the cold light of day is shining into their cozy publicly funded worlds and they obviously don’t like the scrutiny they now find themselves under. Their reaction is not unexpected but must be curtailed.

    But then Dr. says this “The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public that is referred to as “unscientific America” by Chris Mooney.”

    And there people, is the crux of the entire “professional” problem with the global warming science. The assumption is and always has been that the wizardry of climate change can only be understand by the boffins. Meanwhile, global warming auditors of the auditors (people like me) have Math degrees, have published their own papers (in other fields) and simply don’t fall under the rubric of the “relatively uneducated public”. Thus, we’ve spent our own two decades understanding cosmic ray theory, urban heat island effect, the PDO, sublimation etc while we carried on in our own professional capacities earning a buck for our families. But, the global warming scientists, Mr Mann, Dr Jones et al, simply do not understand that the average person that takes an interest validation of the truth of AGW theory is far better able to apprehend the concepts, the science and the pursuit of determining the truth than they imagine. That is why, they should be releasing ALL of their data and results for analysis so that we, as intelligent lifeforms, are able to see with our own eyes and with our faculties, the truth or the falsehood of their strident claims of doom and gloom.

    One day, I might get to release my own analysis of the temperature record of Lord Howe Island. But until I can be certain of my results, I will hold off publishing for now.

    Mike.

  253. Nigel Brereton says:

    c james (09:59:20) :

    I tend to agree with you although I think that for more open debate to be generated there has to be some recognition of the current state of the situation from much higher powers. There are elections due this year in both the UK and US, which I feel will be greatly effected by the current controversy. Take the politics out of science and take the science out of politics. IPCC take note your mistaken policy is going to push two of the major western governments further to the right than you can handle.

  254. Tony B (another one) says:

    No, sorry. Not buying this, Dr Curry, when you state:
    *******************************************************************************
    Steve McIntyre’s early critiques of the hockey stick were dismissed and he was characterized as a shill for the oil industry.
    *******************************************************************************
    Without bothering to finish the point – the point being that Steve M’s critique was accurate. Damned with faint praise or what?

    I am afraid that the overwhelming message that came across from this article, was that Climategate (and all the other recent revelations) has been PR disaster. So, you have to get the PR better next time. Well, excuse me, but I think you should be addressing the science, not the PR disaster.

    And this is the killer regarding your credibility, as far as I am concerned:

    ******************************************************************************
    The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public that is referred to as “unscientific America”
    ******************************************************************************

    The “truth”? Give me a break.

    And as for the stunningly patronising second half to that sentence – well, you are definitely still, firmly in the same place as all the other warmists who believe that they know so much better than everyone else.

    Forget the PR – only one thing matters – truth. And there can be no accurate assessment until all data is released, together with every single reason (or excuse) for adjustment of numbers, or elimination of records. And include all the models in that release too. I have a feeling that some of these models will be the subject of intense embarrassment for their creators, when they have been examined by some real world scientists.

    I can think of no branch of legitimate science or engineering (note I did not use the word “other” before “branch”) where such a scandalous situation would have been allowed to persist for so long, with so much riding on the outcome.

    Reality check time – go back to the beginning, chop out the canker, start again.

    Nothing else will be acceptable.

  255. JayWiz says:

    TO Judith
    With all the name calling that has in the past been bantered back and forth, how about we just cease and desist. In true fashion you should replace every use of warmers, skeptics, deniers, and other less polite terms with the simple terms scientist or researcher.If “no one truly believes the science is settled” then don’t use these terms again.

    Benjamin Franklin was considered a “scientist” but I would think we would all agree he had no fornal degree or position. A “scientist” is not a title but rather a description of the heart of the person. Some of us are highly technically trained and know which end of a spreadsheet or themometer to read.

    Don’t discount citizen scientists.

    Jay

  256. TinyCo2 says:

    Thank you for reaching out to both sides of the climate debate but I think it’s too late to rebuild trust in climate science and what is needed is a reconstruction of climate science itself.

    A good start is admitting that there are big problems but I’m not sure that many AGW scientists are ready to do that yet. Policy makers don’t even understand that there could be problems and the CAGW cheerleaders wouldn’t admit to one, even under torture.

    AGW dogma started life in that 1988 senate hearing with James Hansen and it started with spin, with showmanship, with an attempt to influence with something more than the facts. Things have got worse. Even now, many AGW supporters are thinking in terms of what public relations techniques can be adopted to sway the public. Wrong!

    For once in the history of the planet, the only thing that will do is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. It’s an alien concept to many of the players in this whole sorry mess. Of course, it may be the case that the truth (as we can currently can prove it) is not sufficient to mobilise the world to act on CO2, in which case, too bad. Does that sound harsh? Probably, but lies are always found out and they undermine the rest of the evidence.

    Even as a sceptic I never doubted that the temperature record was faulty and then I read about the surface stations project, the arbitrary adjustments and then the loss of raw data. Now I’m wondering if any of the science can be relied upon. If they can’t get the foundations right, I’m not even going to examine the rest.

    Every time we hear ‘it’s worse than we thought’ another thread of credibility breaks. Every silly research project that squeezes climate change into it’s title makes me cynical of the management of funds and the motives of the guardians of science. Climate scientists are treating their field as a joke, why am I not laughing?

    If AGWers are right, CO2 would be the most dangerous thing on the planet. Compare it to nuclear energy. Would you let the likes of Phil Jones and Michael Mann build you a reactor? It’s time to treat climate science as a life and death issue.

    Climate science needs the kinds of gruelling control systems that big business has to face. When climate scientists have to deal with the types of red tape that most of us take for granted, they may look back fondly on the days they only had to worry about a few FOI requests. When people like Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts no longer feel the need to audit climate science, there won’t be a need to build trust in climate science, it will already deserve it.

  257. R. Craigen says:

    Hi Dr. Curry. Seems everyone denies something in this matter. It’s not a question of who is a denier but what one denies. The whole IPCC machinery, since its first report, which affirmed the existence of the MWP and LIA, has denied these historical events, the scientific basis basis for which is overwhelming and the historical record of which is solid and has been accepted as a “closed question” for at least a century, opened only when it became evident that the MWP and LIA were the real inconvenient truths.

    Let us agree term “denier”, if it is to be considered an apt description of some single of individuals, ought to be used only for those who deny the MWP and LIA.

    While it is odious to compare such “deniers” to those whose denial pertains to genuine crimes against humanity like the Holocaust, Holodomor or Armenian genocide, I have to say that when it comes to LIA denial such comparisons may be apt in a way, considering the immense human cost of that period of cooling in terms of human life, next to which even the holocaust pales. Like holocaust deniers, those who by their denial would deflect attention or pooh-pooh what is the most likely direction from which worldwide climate-induced disaster may arrive, do great harm to humanity in the long run, should they succeed. For the next ice age, whether full or “little”, is sure to come and, by all indications, is not far off. Not anthropogenic, and unlikely to be staved off by expensive geoengineering at the hands of some other UN body, but something for which we can, and should, be fully prepared to cope!

  258. rbateman says:

    How about backing off the precipice of proposed massive climate intervention programs in favor of the noise vs signal?
    I can pull data sets all day long from the thousands of stations where swings from year-to-year of 10 degrees mean temp swamp the supposed global warming signal of a single degree F.
    I do not see sufficient proof of AGW’s overheating the planet to justify the risk of the remeidies proposed, either ensured environmental destruction or economic destruction.
    By the same token, I don’t think steering an asteroid towards Earth impact to ascertain the demise of the dinosaurs is a good idea, either.

    What else can it be is an exceptionally weak rationale for initiating climactic armageddon measures in the name of saving the planet. This is the issue that made me dig into climate, and made me profoundly distrust climate research.

    As long as those measures are ‘on the table’, there will not be, nor should there be, any trust.

  259. mhmm_right says:

    “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda. There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.”

    Tell that to Babs Boxer and Mrs. Jackson…

  260. Henry chance says:

    Joe Romm has just posted the letter and rips her appart. If Judith can’t cuss and smear Romm’s enemies, he has no use for her.

    Course he ran a nasty piece on Gov Palin weekly for a while. Maybe he hates women that are professional.

    Back to this post. We wouldn’t have this post had it not been for climategate.

    I admire Judith for her courage.

    REPLY: Here’s the ClimateProgress post:

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/24/my-response-to-dr-judith-currys-unconstructive-essay/

    Gee all I did was ask her to stop using or denounce the use of the d-word. – Anthony

  261. groweg says:

    Behaviors such as distorting and hiding data, corrupting the peer review process, behaving condescendingly towards those on the other side as not worthy of participating in a real debate have all deservedly failed to earn most climate scientists any trust.

    The superficialities advocated by Dr. Curry (i.e. “discussing broad choices…”) do not even begin to address the distrust of most climate scientists that is warranted given their behavior. Dr. Curry seems not to realize that trust must be earned, it cannot be given.

  262. davidmhoffer says:

    Josh (10:20:35) :
    Although some scientists have undoubtedly been like ‘car thieves’ as David Hoffer said above most try to do the best job they can>>

    Some? The IPCC says they have THOUSANDS. Who referenced other studies by TENS of thousands. Who formed gangs to eliminate the ones who were ACTUALLY doing their best. Add to that the blogs by “scientists” and the iPhone apps by “scientists” and the movies by “scientists” all to support a new taxation system that will take money from the have’s (who worked for it) and give it to the have not’s (or more correctly their corrupt governments who will squirrel it away in their own bank accounts).

    Look at the mediator they just sent in to fool you some more. She claims that part of the problem is that they were just trying to explain things to an un-educated public. ing bull . Their misrepresentations and outright lies were a stratefy PREDICATED on the public being un-educated. Thank Gore for the internet or it would have worked!

    They stole your car and now this nice lady wants you to calm down and understand that the thief wasn’t really meaning to steal your car now that he’s been arrested and maybe we could have an out of court settlement so you understand he’s not that bad a person and he doesn’t have to go to jail, and if enough people like you agree then the charges against all his friends will get dropped too, and we’ll forget that whole intimidation of people who knew about the car theft ring but were afraid to say so.

    She’s negotiating, and you’re letting her.

  263. Smokey says:

    Dr Curry,

    Neither the IPCC, nor CRU, nor MBH, nor anyone else promoting the catastrophic AGW hypothesis [CAGW] follows the scientific method. Not one of them.

    Prof Richard Feynman explains the scientific method’s requirement for complete openness, transparency and cooperation:

    It’s a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty – a kind of leaning over backwards. For example, if you’re doing an experiment, you should report everything that you think might make it invalid–not only what you think is right about it: other causes that could possibly explain your results; and things you thought of that you’ve eliminated by some other experiment, and how they worked – to make sure the other fellow can tell they have been eliminated. Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them. You must do the best you can – if you know anything at all wrong, or possibly wrong – to explain it. If you make a theory, for example, and advertise it, or put it out, then you must also put down all the facts that disagree with it, as well as those that agree with it. There is also a more subtle problem. When you have put a lot of ideas together to make an elaborate theory, you want to make sure, when explaining what it fits, that those things it fits are not just the things that gave you the idea for the theory; but that the finished theory makes something else come out right, in addition.
    In summary, the idea is to try to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgment in one particular direction or another.

    Dr Feynman is certainly not describing the methods or ethics of those promoting the AGW scare.

    The purveyors of the CAGW hypothesis stonewall requests for information, and deliberately corrupt the local FOIA officers, and threaten and conspire against journals and their editorial boards for publishing anything remotely skeptical of AGW, and generally act as if they just came down from the mountain with AGW tablets. Where is the scientific method? It has morphed into a fraudulent claim of “consensus,” and “the science is settled.”

    The purveyors of CAGW have been caught red-handed in the CRU emails and the Harry-Read_Me.txt files, which show scientists deliberately fabricating entire temperature data sets when the original data could not be found.

    This is no longer a debate regarding the validity of a proposed new hypothesis. What we see instead is a concerted effort to control the climate “pal review” process, from submission to publication, in order to protect a lucrative grant gravy train. The scientific method has been defenestrated in the process by scientists who have lost their moral compass, and who have traded their professional ethics for money and status.

    Their protective employers are closing ranks behind those being investigated, and the result will be a minor *tsk, tsk* for some inconsequential infractions – while the central problem of scientific misconduct and corruption is ignored.

    Further, these money- and status-hungry scientists willingly serve two [or more] masters: the hard-bitten taxpayers who pay their salaries and benefits, and expect unbiased research in return are at the bottom of the list in importance, trumped by the institutions the the scientists work for, which are as ravenous for grants, from any source, as the scientists themselves. And as everyone knows, he who pays the piper calls the tune.

    And so the public gets cheated, because a large number of those grant sources consist of NGOs pushing a heavy pro-CAGW agenda, such as the Heinz Foundation, the many tentacles of George Soros, the Grantham Foundation, SCORCHIO, to name but a few.

    It is simply psychological projection to claim that a handful of the thousands of grants of all kinds made by large energy companies [to numerous and varied recipients, not just to AGW-skeptical scientists], which went to investigate the other side of the AGW question, have resulted in corrupting the recipients – when at the same time literally $millions are paid to universities by governments and government entities like CRU, to quangos, and to blogs like Joe Romm’s Soros-funded climateprogress, and Fenton Communication’s free services given to the private blog RealClimate [which operates throughout every work day by Gavin Schmidt and other NASA employees when they are ostensibly being paid by the public to do unbiased work].

    The discredited promoters of the highly questionable CAGW hypothesis can only begin to regain some semblance of respect when they fully, transparently, and cooperatively answer skeptics’ questions. That is how the scientific method is intended to work.

    But as of now, we don’t see the necessary change in attitude: data, methodologies, code, notes, and anything else bearing on the AGW hypothesis must be made publicly available. That has not happened; the holders of that information continue to stonewall such requests [except for their friends, who are given exceptional access].

    You need to decide how important professional integrity and the scientific method are to you, Dr Curry. Keep in mind that Dr Phil Jones isn’t out of a job because he has a strong moral compass.

    Finally, enough with the “denier” labeling, in any form. It is grossly insulting; everyone knows it is a reference to the Holocaust deniers, several of whom have been convicted. Kindly stop using any word with “deny” as its root when labeling skeptics.

    No other scientific discipline uses “denialist” as a pejorative; you don’t see astronomers questioning the Big Bang, or physicists questioning string theory being called “deniers.” Ignaz Semmelweis wasn’t labeled a “denier” for advocating hand washing. No, only believers in CAGW label questioning skeptics “denialists.” It is deliberatley insulting, so please stop doing it, even in quotes.

    Skeptics aren’t looking for a fight, and skeptics have nothing to prove; skeptics have no hypothesis to defend. They simply say, “Show us your data and your methods, and the chain of custody tracing your adjusted data and the adjustment algorithms back to the original raw data.”

    But your side refuses. Why? No doubt because they know their CAGW hypothesis would be promptly and decisively falsified – and the rent-seeking scientists acting as the gate-keepers might begin to lose their lucrative grants.

  264. AJStrata says:

    Well, I hope she reads this comment from a person who reviews a lot of NASA programs and scientific approaches to determine feasibility and quality.

    The problem with the current AGW theories is their lack of scientific and mathematical rigor. As someone who deals with the complex and demanding arena of space, I can say without hesitation the quality levels surrounding AGW theories and conclusions is rock bottom.

    For example, it is not fully acknowledged that the derivation of a global temp index from the 130 temperature record used by GISS, NCDC and CRU is unproven. Temperature measurements decay with distance and time – rapidly. That means the uncertainty in estimating temperatures in 500×500 km grids carry with them huge error bars even in modern times (last 30 years). To create an ‘average’ from temperature predictions which are based on scattered measurements has to show a realistic uncertainty.

    I did one back of the envelope check on temperatures in a 160 km range around DC and discovered on any given day the std deviation was +/- 2°F.

    http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/12246

    That means a single measurement only has low probability of reflecting the temperature in that range. It is trivial to perform a rigorous check of how well a gridded prediction can represent a large (and in this case geographically homogenous) area. This has never been done.

    When we then delete measurement records in places like Bolivia and smear a measurement form 1000’s of km away in completely different geographic locations we should see error bars expanding to complete uselessness.

    I noted in the CRU data dump included an interesting detail on the estimated uncertainty in the 1960 global index which clearly shows there is no way to detect a sub degree change in temperature even halfway back through the baseline record.

    http://strata-sphere.com/blog/index.php/archives/11824

    CRU admits they cannot accurately reconstruct regional temperatures from grids in 190 below a degree, and sometimes at much higher uncertainties. This error budget is required of any mathematical model trying to create a historic record of global temp indexes. Where is it? Why avoid the unpleasant truth that the quality of data in time and distance just degrades to the point of huge uncertainties when we go back to 1960 or 1880?

    Those of us deal with estimates and decay of estimates know the limitations. We cannot predict a satellite’s orbit over 10 days with confidence, even though this is one of the simplest of physical models out there (gravity). Why should we be applauding science that pretends to create accuracy and precision where clearly none exists?

    When professionals challenge the math and science we are executing the scientific process. When so called scientist respond to valid challenges with the term ‘denier’ we can rightly assume the scientists are likely in over their head.

    If AGW theory was before me as a NASA proposal for a science program asking for 100’s of millions of dollars to fly it would fail the test. The foundation and confidence has not been demonstrated. This is even before we get to the amateur code and data quality that is evident in the CRU files, and other instances of found and corrected errors.

    My proposal is start from scratch and derive the uncertainty/error in the way a global temp index is computed form sparse measurements. If the AGW supporters can prove their indexes have the accuracy to detect a sub degree change in the baseline 130 year record, then we can move on.

    But until then you can have all the expertise in the world and still output shoddy results. We see this in the space arena all the time. Want credibility restored? Do a credible job and deal with the challenges.

  265. chip says:

    Dr. Curry,

    Thank you for taking the time to lay out your thoughts in such detail. I have a few comments:

    1. I think there is a fundamental disconnect between science and policy that cannot be bridged – that policy makers demand certainty that honest scientists cannot provide. I think you are on the money with your belief that providing the uncertainties does not diminish the argument, but I fear this goes against the grain of politicians. The recent closed door creation of health policy comes immediately to mind.
    2. I think the entire AGW argument has been tainted, perhaps forever, by the idea that scientists must ensure their results are suitably alarming to provoke public action. Dubious comparisons of Earth to Venus and recent warnings that there may be no fish in the ocean in fifty years come to mind. I cannot read any press confirming the need for action on AGW without this coloring my perception of it. I do not just doubt agw science now – I doubt all science. And that is the most serious impact of this situation for me.
    3. The emphasis on models is maddening, especially in the face of what I perceive to be a near total disregard for observation. I have watched now for years as station after station shows up improperly sited. I am curious about these things, so I had my middle school math kids take temperature readings at various points in their environment (I am blessed to teach in a rural school where I have real open space) and I saw the reality of UHI myself. I personally could not believe the impact of asphalt and buildings on nearby temperatures (several degrees in some instances). Now when I look at these officlal stations my BS meter pegs. I do not care how the data is massaged – garbage in, garbage out. What happened to scientists getting out and doing the work themselves?
    4. I think the imprimatur of science is now too often used to sell things, and I believe I am being sold on this issue.
    5. I firmly believe in Arthur C. Clarke’s 2nd law – that any sufficiently advanced technology will appear to be magic. In an environment of public trust, where many people are not educated enough in these areas to evaluate the science for themselves, many will follow on faith. But in an environment of public doubt, which I think has now been established, less and less will follow as they begin to peek behind the curtain for themselves.
    6. I cannot get around the hypocrisy (my perception) of agw proponents, especially those in high places. Carbon offsets or no, if I truly believed my actions were destroying the world I would stop. Vast fleets of airborn diplomats jetting about the planet to dine on lobster bisque and toast points does nothing for my ability to accept what they are saying and, more importantly, to give a fig about how they think I should live.

    Thank you again for sending us your thoughts on the issue. I appreciate having the opportunity to communicate with you. I fear that this sort of openness can be hair raising in a forum such as this since it requires a very thick skin, and I appreciate your courage the more for doing so.

  266. Indiana Bones says:

    Dr. Curry has done a reasonable job of intellectualizing a debate that is rather simple. People don’t trust climate science, government, mainstream press, and academics who all somehow think they know better than the people they purportedly serve.

    An effective example of why this is, and a discussion Dr. Curry avoids, is demonstrated by the mainstream media as waterboy for government. When Dr. Jones admitted in the Feb 13th BBC interview that there had been no statistically significant global warming from 1995 to present – the U.S. media took a powder. All newswires, networks, papers and public broadcast (PBS) refused to report the event. This is a major “confession” from a major, if not THE major player in climate science! Unless and until someone somewhere steps forward to explain this ludicrous, ham-fisted act of blatant censorship in a land supposedly governed by the First Amendment – Dr. Curry’s olive branch will wither.

    And Dr. Curry dares not address an even more troubling issue. Where the money leads. When we get finished tracking the hundreds of millions of dollars that have passed into the hands of climate “researchers” – the trail of corruption appears staggering. It cannot be swept under the rug. We cannot declare a “new dawn of trust” without accountability from those who misdirected public funds and betrayed public trust.

    Perhaps Dr. Curry would like to speak for those who have misrepresented the science and funding for a noble cause. They deserve a fair defense. But they have done a grave harm to our nation and must not be allowed to duck responsibility for their actions. Actions DO have consequences.

  267. J.Peden says:

    If Dr. Curry wants to be taken seriously as any kind of “expert” Climate Science spokesperson, facilitator, or mediator in regard to the question of what Climate Science has done to its own credibility and to the credibility of real Science, she has some explaining to do, starting with her own role in creating the problem – which is precisely her apparent lack of “expertise” as a Scientist, which in turn has produced the “lack of trust” she claims to address.

    Dr. Curry’s kind of thinking itself is characterized precisely by a critical lack of scientific and rational scepticism, and thus destroys any “expertise” she alleges to seperate out from the issue of “trust”. Again, this lack of sceptical expertise is in fact an exact cause of the distrust Dr. Curry is trying to address. Climate Science has simply not been doing real Science in this regard, too, apart from its other manifest failings concerning its affrontery of the dictates of the Scientific Method.

    For example, where was Dr. Curry’s own scientific scepticism when it was alleged that one can derive a temperature signal from wild trees and that this signal manages to teleconnect with something called a Global Mean Temperature over hundreds of years, a “logic” which then finally even manages to do things like erase the MWP?

    How is it possible that Dr. Curry as an “expert” Climate Scientist did not want to personally verify these manifestly absurd-until-proven-otherwise scientific ideas herself, or at least advocate for a complete disclosure of the “materials and methods, including code” which are the “science” which underlies the claims, so that they could be subjected to the process of real Science’s scepticism, as a proxy for her own otherwise necessary scepticism as an “expert”?

    Or where was Dr. Curry’s scepticism when it was alleged by the ipcc “Climate Science” process that Global Warming itself had been proven to be a net Disease and also even a massive threat to Humanity? Where was her scepticism especially given the fact that Dr. Curry herself has been a Policy Advocate lobbyist based exactly upon this “disease entity” claim and its alleged CO2 AGW cause and cure!

    Therefore, where was Dr. Curry’s scientific scepticism also in the face of the implied claim that the “Climate Science” process has proven that the ipcc’s alleged cure to its alleged AGW disease, draconian decreases in the World’s use of fossil fuel, would not itself produce a disease itself, and indeed one worse than the alleged AGW disease which its “cure” claims to “treat”?

    Again, Dr. Curry herself has been a Policy Advocate based upon this claim as to the alleged cure for the alleged AGW disease, but one which if instituted instead looks to be not only inappropriate and not scientifically warranted, but also grossly dangerous in itself to the wellbeing of Humanity.

    Or where were Dr. Curry’s sceptical antennae in the case of viewing the actions and pronouncements of our own top U.S. Climate Scientist, James Hansen, which seem to strongly suggest that the man has a gross Missionary Complex and cannot be trusted in any significant way?

    Dr. Curry especially needs to explain her lack of scepticism to herself. Because that’s where a significant part of this AGW Climate Science problem is coming from: people not being hard nosed about doing their jobs responsibly, thus not having the requisite “expertise” to begin with, which then is the direct cause of other people’s valid distrust.

    It’s really not all that difficult to analyze the problems presented by Climate Science. But Dr. Curry is not yet the one to do it.

  268. tom says:

    Eric,
    Your political bias is showing. You say that Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are ” deniers” and others – presumably – Watts, McIntire and other scientists like Lindzen, Spencer, Christie are skeptics.Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck are not scientists and never claimed to be. They are media figures who support conservative views. Since the liberal press is totally committed to the AGW view, they provide an alternative -and scrupulously documented – information for the general public like timely information about Climategate, which was ignored for weeks by the MSM. Sarah Palin is a politician, who – as an elected official – set up a commission to study the impact of Global Warming on Alaska, hardly an act of a ” denialist” as you call her. She also sued the Federal Government for putting the Polar Bear on the list of endangered species, an act that subsequent events and information proved that was fully justified. You probably obtained your information about her being a “denialist” from attacks by her political opponents who said that “She is so stupid that does not even believe in Global Warming”

  269. R. Gates says:

    Indeed, the dabate is certianly not settled, but has certainly entered into a new and divisive phase. The main battle is, and apparently always has really been, for the hearts and minds of both the public and policymakers, whereas the battle should have from the beginning to find the truth behind the data. This is not to slight those many dedicated scientists who are doing real science in this field, it simply is to point out that ultimately this data has been used by the leading voices in unscrupulous ways beyond the control of the scientists who may have gathered that data. But regardless of what anyone thinks that data is saying or not saying, out there somewhere is the truth…that is, either there is significant human caused climate change occuring, beyond any natural cycles, or human activity has no significant effect beyond natural cycles.

    There are members of both sides of the debate who really and truly believe that they know what the data is saying or isn’t saying– they are “true believers” to their cause. It is natural in such heated debate to distrust the other side and the minimize and ridicule their positions. This is a natural– but not a productive reaction. Such emotionalism leads away from the goal of actually looking at the data through a true objective lens, for an individual’s interpretation of the data will be then colored by their emotional attachment to trying to read something in the data that may or may not be there. As we have seen then, the presentation of the “data” then becomes selective and even highly edited– and both sides are guilty of this.

    While a return to as object and open process as possible– that is back to fundamental open peer-reviewed scientific research– is the best way out of this situation, but unfortunately I don’t think that will completely occur, and there are two possible outcomes going forward, based on what the actual physical truth of the science is. Here’s what I see as the two most likely outcomes:

    1) If human caused global climate change is a real physical phenomenon, then though the debate will continue to rage on for some time, and data will be twisted, rejected, excluded, and generally “manipulated” by both sides, eventually the real-world effects of physical phenomenon happening with more and more frequency will so overwhelm the debate, that the obviousness of the situation will make the debate simply fade away as humans get down to the busines of trying to do something about it, or simply trying to survive a rapidly changing climate.

    2) If human caused global climate change is not a real physical phenomenon, then though the debate will continue to rage on for some time, eventually the voices of those proponents of AGW will slowly be diminished by the fact that nothing out of the ordinary seems to be happening that hasn’t happened either in recent human history, or even more distant human history, such as during the MWP.

    In either of these two scenarios, we see the rule of human nature take hold which I call human inertia. Human emotional utlimately rules and they will not change, either in behavior or beliefs until some external physical force makes them change. If scenario #1 above comes about, then the law of human emotional inertia will prove to be disasterous, if scenario #2 comes about, then the law of human emotional inertia will once more prove to be a useful evolutionary tool that will prevent the needless spending of trillions of dollars to prevent something that is nothing more than a fantasy.

  270. Doug says:

    From the title of this post: “…Rebuilding Trust”: How can you re-build something that didn’t exist to begin with? Try “…Starting to Build Trust” instead.

  271. Bruce Cobb says:

    Kudos to Luboš Motl (08:16:29) for his excellent and concise criticism of Dr. Curry’s post, with which I wholeheartedly agree. The very basis for trust has been destroyed. This is all very “too little, and too late”, and frankly the timing of it is suspiciously convenient.
    The white flag is rejected.

  272. Peter J. Morgan says:

    “The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public that is referred to as “unscientific America” by Chris Mooney.”
    Judith, I am appalled at your arrogance in making the above statement. Please change the words “the truth as presented by the IPCC” to “the pronouncements of the IPCC”, to reflect the fact that many of these pronouncements are merely creative reporting by arrogant people, the acronym for which I’m sure you can figure out.

  273. Mike says:

    AJ, could I be so bold as to sum up your great post in this way.

    I always thought it particularly foolhardy and prone to enormous error as to try to predict the outcome of such a grand chaotic system as our Earth’s climate.

  274. Juraj V. says:

    I have no trust whatsoever in any of “climate scientists” except those, who were able to speak openly against the AGW on scientific basis in the past years, before Climategate.

  275. CO2 Realist says:

    First, thanks to Dr. Curry for the essay and to Anthony for publishing it. An open dialog would be a good thing at this point.

    You say one of the problems is “communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public”.

    As I’m sure you’ll see from the comments here, many of the “realists” as I like to call them, come from educated backgrounds. In my own case, I’m no scientist, I just have a BS in Business/Computer Information Systems and spent 20+ years in the field. I’m certainly no expert in climate science, but then again, I’m not stupid.

    Some of the most important work in science is what you refer to (condescendingly?) as the “janitorial work”. Let’s focus on this, as it is probably the most important aspect of science, albeit not as much fun or thought provoking as the analysis and investing.

    It appears that much of the measurement data is suspect at best (see surfacestations.org). Then we see this sloppy data handled even more carelessly by undocumented computer code performing undocumented “corrections” to the sloppy data. Top that off with ignoring most if not all standard software development practices and poor record keeping. I don’t even have to begin to understand the climate science when what we have is garbage in/garbage out.

    You also write that “The climate researchers at realclimate.org were the pioneers”. I’ll give that one to you. Gavin Schmidt and friends at Realclimate.org are responsible for moving me off the fence onto the realist side of the debate. Let’s hear what Gavin has to say in comment 89 in the post titled “On Replication” here:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/02/on-replication/

    “My working directories are always a mess – full of dead ends, things that turned out to be irrelevant or that never made it into the paper, or are part of further ongoing projects. Some elements (such a one line unix processing) aren’t written down anywhere. Extracting exactly the part that corresponds to a single paper and documenting it so that it is clear what your conventions are (often unstated) is non-trivial. – gavin]”

    How on earth is anyone, including Gavin, supposed to replicate the work that ended up in a paper? We should just do this based on trust?

    On your comment: “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Why aren’t all the climate scientist controlling the dialog? Here’s what Obama said recently:

    “I want to just be clear that the science of climate change doesn’t mean that every place is getting warmer…But…Vancouver, which is supposed to be getting snow during the Olympics, suddenly is at 55 degrees…”

    And here’s the video of Obama:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JPwHnU5ObPY&feature=player_embedded

    I assume Holdren, Chu, Jackson and others are keeping him straight on the science, right?

    As to all the IPCC “gates”, these were not mere typos or citation errors. They were “sexed” up alarmists claims that have been repeated over and over again.

    And lastly, there is no “monolithic climate denial machine”. The realists are mostly individuals participating in a grassroots effort in an attempt to bring some sanity to the situation, and remove politics from the science.

    Best regards.

  276. NickB. says:

    Anthony,
    Thank you for posting this! In the spirit of open debate, just a thought here, what any chance we might be able to post Lacis’ most recent comments on Revkin’s blog, in his 4 (or was it 5 part) clarification on his IPCC SPM review statements? This last one has really nothing to do with his review statements anymore, but outlines what he considers “fact” regarding the underlying physics of AGW: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/17/lacis-at-nasa-on-role-of-co2-in-warming/

    Dr. Curry,
    I applaud you for your efforts here – I believe this is *THE* most even handed and informed overview of the issues in play that I have seen yet, quite possibly from either side of the debate.

    One thing I’d like to say here: I believe there is a fundamental miss (and associated opportunity for discussion) around the “denial machine” and associated money trail areas of your write-up. For both sides of this issue, and IMO any issue with political consequence, there will always be moneyed interests trying to interject themselves into the conversation and to lend support, with or without the consent of the scientists involved, to the side of the issue that is in their interests.

    There was a post here quite recently where Anthony’s “ties” to the Heartland Institute (he attended a skeptics conference they sponsored I believe, nothing more – nothing less) were discussed, as well as Dr. Singer’s “ties” to “Big Tobacco”. There seems to be a quite common mindset, which I believe is an unscientific political judgement, that all you have to do is play connect the dots (no matter how poor the case may be) to any number of “unsavory” types (Big Oil, Corporations, Conservatives, etc) and once you make a connection… anything is fair fame for the scientists in question.

    On one hand, it seems that WWF, Greenpeace, and any number of pro-AGW interests are allowed free reign to directly fund research and “cheer-lead” specific pieces of research without reproach… they are even allowed to have their research included in the IPCC reports. On the other hand not only is, for example, the Cato Institute all but blacklisted from the IPCC conversations – anyone who has any contact with them is automatically listed as a shill.

    There seems to have been a very fundamental value judgement made before you sat down to write this as to which scientists and advocacy groups are acceptable, and which ones are not. So as great an attempt as was made here, to be honest in dealing with all the issues in play, both sides of the advocacy issue need to be examined and not glossed over.

    Until the scientific community confronts the issue of how to deal with both sides in politically sensitive areas of research and scientific debate, I believe we will see things like this happen again. In short, the treatment of Lindzen, Christy and Spencer – among others – needs to be addressed.

    Regards

  277. AJStrata says:

    I would like to add that the crucible of high profile, costly and potentially life altering science is why there are standards on the scientific process. The ‘heat of the kitchen’ is no excuse for the mess the AGW folks put THEMSELVES into. No one demanded they sacrifice the scientific method, nor did anyone demand they corrupt the peer review process. They did this because, deep down, they knew they did not have the data and theories to hold up to scrutiny.

    When they realized they erred, they tried to hide it under hyperbole and misleading graphs. That is one thing everyone on the AGW needs to face, and that is not something the ‘skeptics’ caused by challenging the science and math.

  278. Philip says:

    Luboš Motl (08:16:29)

    I came to this issue almost by accident last year, being made wary by the “science is settled” and then by the obvious propaganda at sites run by Royal Society, UK Met Office and other similar institutions. As a newcomer when you first realize there is a problem, and you look around for facts, it is quickly obvious that something very weird has been happening, and you want to understand it. But trying to dig deeper, you begin to understand that you are at the tip of an iceberg that must have taken 30 years and billions of pounds to build. For people like you (and may of the other contributors here) who have fought against this scandal for many years, it may be difficult to appreciate just how shocking and confusing it is for new people. Anyway, from this perspective, I just wanted to thank you for your lengthy comment that I found extremely useful in filling in some of the blanks for me. It clearly needs a lot more than words to put this one right, and to re-establish the proper place of science within society.

  279. BarryW says:

    “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.”

    I’m sorry Dr. Curry, but that is wrong on your part or wishful thinking. Many believe the science is settled, or at least profess that in public. That includes many in the scientific community who should know better.

  280. PJB says:

    Kudos to Dr. Curry for having the … err..guts to make the effort, it is appreciated and of value.

    The whole bag of #$%! can be summarized by:

    A model must provide accurate (statistically significant) predictions based upon it’s foundation premises. If it cannot, it must not be used to provide guidance or information.

    Data and it’s accumulation must be clearly obtained and unequivocally pristine in all aspects of it’s manipulation and presentation. It must also be available, WITHOUT ALTERATION, for any and all that wish to peruse and use it for whatever purpose.

    A policy must be based upon sound information (that can only come from reliable data) and ellicit results that are both cost effective and effectual in their required execution.

    Just science, at it’s best, is all we need and exactly what we demand.

  281. Stefan says:

    It seems a sensitive and considered piece looking at how things developed and the complex issues involved.

    “and that makes you a DENIER buddy” — I stll remember the first time someone called me that.

    It is too late for “trust”. Climate science has burnt that bridge. Perhaps the academics are not interested. They get to carry on with their jobs. And I don’t know whom was responsible for instgating and leafing the spread if the “denier” accusatory tactic. Perhaps some fancy PR firm?

    Bias is always possible. The only “trust” can come from checks and balances. The “pure” academic is a myth. We don’t implicitely trust the police. Procedures, councils, and independent bodies are not just preferable, they are ESSENTIAL.

    Credibility means someone believes you, and for that, we need reasons to believe you. Expertise is just one reason. It is not sufficient. We need social systems and councils and bodies to check and verify. That is really what it comes down to.

    Scientists need not worry about this. It is a matter for oversight bodies to arrange multiple independent teams of scientists to pursue different lines of research.

    As it has been said, these poor scientists found it stressful dealling with the problems of public relations and political advocacy and public education. It is simply a matter of REMOVING those things from their job function. Let the independent system of checks deal with the final conclusions and political implications. Get the scientists back to the lab and please keep them there.

  282. rickM says:

    I read this “experiment” with as open mind as possible, but came away feeling very let down.

    I would like to know in what terms this missive is termed an “experiment”, without the appearance of being patronized please.

    What I also read :

    1. The methods of delivering the message on AGW was and remains flawed, Disheartening

    2. The process of “auditing” is still treated as a separate and distinct function carried out only by “the opposition.” I will shy away from one of the two words that needs to be completely removed from anyone’s vocabulary who is involved in the science (the use of the word “skeptic” has no place in this dialog as well, and I will not debase myself by using the other).

    The process of discovery and comprehension is partly based on “audit” and is entirely missing from the methodology and process of climate science today. Audit is part and parcel and should have been welcomed all along.

    3. Hubris. Accept the concept that climate scientists really don’t understand all of the systems that affect our climate, and you should state that emphatically.

    My advice: Do better

  283. Dan says:

    I hope Ms Curry’s idea of the masses being “uneducated” is dispelled by now.
    Arrogance and ignorance has never been a good combination. Even if you are an IPCC member.

  284. EW says:

    I wish Dr Curry would stop talking about that “big oil” nonsense. Energy providers greedily jumped on the AGW bandwagon, because the money offered by various states in the form of “green” incentives – that’s the reason for financial resources for sceptics drying out. And these state incentives are as immoral as any of the “big oil’ actions of the past.
    In my country, the electricity produced from photovoltaics MUST be mandatorily accepted at all times and that for the price 14x higher than 1 kWh from the “non-renewable” sources. And the price is given by the law and there’s no possibility of lowering it now.

  285. dp says:

    Let me share another vulgarity that is completely unnecessary (in the manner of alarmist or denier labels) and which you provide in your post: “Big oil funding for contrary views”.

    Logically and practically, this is no different than targeted funding from agenda-driven government agencies, or “Big Government funding for compliant views”. We all know that funding is needed for all investigation and advocacy – this smearing by association is unsophisticated and plebian, and almost demands an in-kind response. And it presupposes that energy producers have no legitimate place in the debate. That is simply elitist thinking.

    Can we please make a point to avoid these pointless and flame-feeding biases creeping into the science literature?

  286. davidmhoffer says:

    IsoTherm (09:12:26) :
    davidmhoffer (07:50:31) : “When I see a sceptic make a mistake, the heat from other sceptics is often worse than from the warmists. ”
    David that is absolute rubbish and you know it. I’ve been on boards with people talking complete nonsense and not a word was said against them so long as they were cheering the right team>>

    A board that has no dissenting opinion on it is just a cheerleading section not a discussion forum. Choose boards where debate is permitted and happens, and my assertion is true. Throwing data points into the discussion that are not representative of the issue being discussed does not invalidate the original data set or the conclusions drawn from it.

  287. Mike D. says:

    Dear Judith,

    Nice effort but you miss the key points almost entirely. The issue is not credibility at all, it is in fact expertise, and the bought and paid for government scientist community lacks it.

    What you call “auditors” are actually BETTER scientists. That is why the “debate” was declared over, by your side, years ago. Your side could not win the global warming debate with outsiders, because the outsiders had (and continue to have) superior scientific expertise, in statistics and modeling, in computer science, in meteorology, and in every environmental sub-discipline.

    That’s a bitter pill to swallow, I know. It requires some humility and frank self-appraisal on the part of government scientists (including Academe). But it is the truth nonetheless.

    The politics cannot be ignored, either. It is disingenuous to refer to free-minded, free-living people as “libertarians”. The struggle is not between political factions; it is between tyranny and freedom. It’s an old struggle but still fundamental to human society and civilization today. The statist classes are enemies of fundamental human rights. If you don’t get that, you don’t understand the big picture at all.

  288. Pamela Gray says:

    I appreciated the content and tone of her post. It seemed a very reasonable, well-thought out review of the path she assumed started with industry-backed denialism which turned into healthy skepticism.

    Which leads me to my one criticism. Her initial assumption as to how it all started may be clouded by the historically more obvious monied “deniers” having access to media, while several a-political skeptical and educated people who publicly questioned anthropogenic climate change from the outset were just not noticeable, or worse, not invited to the opening round. They were around, but no one was paying attention. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

    And that is where the discussion of how to do this debate should begin. Why were skeptical opinions tossed out so readily in the beginning? Dare I say, there was heavy political agenda already bedded down in the laboratory on the AGW side way before the “denier machine” was accused of political agenda.

  289. AJStrata says:

    OK, now that I got my pet peeves out, I do applaud Dr Curry’s recognition of what has happened, and the role of educated watchdogs. I especially like her summation – the science is anything but settled. At least she has outlined a path to help it become settled through the public debate which is a unique treasure of the internet and blogs.

    Cheers, AJStrata

  290. Jeff L says:

    Way to many comments to read them all, so I hope these points are repetitive.

    Dr. Curry, please consider the following points:

    1) To regain trust, the public has to believe there is no political agenda behind the science. This will not happen until climate science disintangles itself from left wing politics. Similarly, skeptical side wont be fully credible until it can disintangle itself from right wing politics. Unfortunately, in both cases, the political types can attach themselves to whatever issue they want, so it is somewhat out of the control of those doing the research. That being said, all efforts should be made to create a wall between politics & research.

    2) To be a scientist is to be skeptical. All advancement of science is formed by questioning – ie being skeptical. To advance climate research, both sides of the argument need to be skeptical. This means both sides need to acknowledge that the other side has valid points to make & neither side has a lock on the answers.

    3) The public needs to be told the true uncertainties & our limitation of knowledge – by both sides of the debate. People are not that stupid. When they are told there is no doubt that we can forecast the climate in 100 years but local weatherpeople cant get the forecast right 7 days out, the public feels like there is a hidden agenda & there is inherently a lack of trust that develops out of that.

    4) There needs to be recognition in academia that the world is not the same place it was 25 years ago. The old model of peer reviewed science in professional journals needs to be updated. There has to be a recognition of the web, blogging and the fact that there are many qualified “peers” outside the traditional editiors of technical journals that have smart, well thoughtout ideas to contribute to the advancement of science. I don’t have an answer for what the right modern model is, but there needs to be a component of fully transparent, web based information, including raw data and methods so that others can independently test hypotheses. This would go a huge distance is creating trust among the blogosphere, which would then be transferred on to the general public

    5) The public must believe that scientist are only motivated by the pursuit of truth, regardless of what the answer may be. Because of many factors, including IPCC, the CRU, NASA GISS, RealClimate, Al Gore, etc, the public believes the answers are determined before the research starts. That fundamentally destroys trust. All these institutions need to be dismantled to start the process of building trust again.

    6) The alarmist / disaster / end of life as we know it scenarios have to be removed from the dialog. Scare tactics may work on the most ignorant in society, but the rest of us know those are P1 scenarios at best – the odd of them occurring are next to none. Again, people arent stupid. When they here these ridiculous predictions, the natural reaction is to think – I’m being conned – which is true. Again, this fundamentally reduces trust

    I know that these suggestions would be unpopular with both sides of the political spectrum, but that’s the point – science should have nothing to do with politics.

    Dr. Curry, I hope you find these comments useful and can be used both to create public trust and advance the study of climate science for the benefit of all.

    I look forward to hearing your response to these suggestions, as well as many others left on this blog.

  291. Allen C says:

    “The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public that is referred to as “unscientific America” by Chris Mooney.”

    So the problem isn’t that the IPCC is wrong. The problem is that the message isn’t being conveyed in a proper way or that the messengers are the wrong messengers.

    How is Dr. Curry’s diatribe anything more than a recommendation on how the “truth as presented by the IPCC” could be more effectively communicated??

    I see no value in what Dr. Curry has written here.

    She needs to write to each of leaders of the U.N. member nations telling them that the science ISN’T settled on AGW.

  292. Sven-Ove Johansson says:

    The brand ”IPCC” cannot be restored to its former value. You can only lose your virginity once. You can always stitch it up and spread your legs for the world to see and hope for resurrection. But public relations doesn’t work quite like that as far as IPCC is concerned.
    What is important is the degree of ”innocence” involved for the persons having the trust.
    Mercedes Benz launched an ”environmentally friendly” model which happened to tip over if you were not careful at the steering wheel. Pictures of the tipping car were broadcast worldwide. Still not much damage was done to the ”Mercedes Benz” brand. An important reason was that persons interested in cars had a lot of experience of cars in general, many millions were or had been owners of Mercedes cars etc.
    Comparatively few have any substantial experience of science. Practically no one has experience of climatology which includes scientists in general. So the trust from the general public is pretty much mythical/childish in character and if lost not much can be done to restore this kind of trust.

  293. Alexej Buergin says:

    Dr Curry reminds me of a school teacher who has to fill the full 50 minutes. It would be better to write like a school teacher who has to explain something during the 10 minutes break.

  294. david_in_ct says:

    Dear Dr. Curry,
    Last summer when you posted your paper on ClimateAudit on the likelihood of an above average hurricane season for the US based on certain el nino conditions I tried to engage you in a discussion of probabilities for your forecast. You declined the invitation.

    My thoughts on the matter of predictions and markets are that if there is a real market in something then there is little public outcry or need for massive public expenditure to take action as a functioning market will discover a price whereby private action can be taken.

    Imagine for a moment that your paper of last summer had the full backing of the IPCC, NOAA, al gore, jim hansen etc. Perhaps the political response would have been to evacuate gulf coast communities, activate the national guard, build emergency levies etc. Of course if the forecast did not materialize then all of this would be a gigantic waste of resources. If there was a good market for hurricane landings then your skillful or not forecast need not be transmitted as a paper but merely acted upon by yourself or your backers. This would be reflected in the market and would become a signal or not for others.

    I submit that the most effective way to ‘solve’ the climate ‘problem’ is simply to create a forward market in temps or sea levels or both. In this way if you think the earth is going to heat up drastically or drown you can protect yourself by purchasing climate insurance. If you think that all of the science is faulty you will happily take the other side of the bet. In this way we would quickly get a good read on where the forecast science really was cause at the end of the day no one is going to plunk down hard earned cash on what they believe is a losing proposition.

    Do you think it is a coincidence that I can not find a single person to take the other side of a .2 degree C per decade wager even when the central IPCC forecast is well north of this? Why is it that no climate scientists with great forecasting abilities wants to bet real dollars against a complete amatuer on something they claim should be a bet very much in their favor?

  295. Alexej Buergin says:

    Please do not use french abbreviations like “No. One believes the science is settled”. In english it is “Nr. one ….” or currently just “The Won knows the science is settled”.

  296. Gerald Machnee says:

    Dr. Curry could improve her next essay by not wasting time either mentioning or posting on Climateprogress.

  297. Kirls says:

    The big names currently involved in climate research are compromised by their lies and deception. These people will not be trusted again easily. I will always have my doubts about them.

    The others, the not so big names, who went along with the lies and deception and who accepted them with little or no question are also compromised. i will will not trust them again either.

    When you are compromised, you must redeem yourself. It is possible that they can do this. but they have to try first.

  298. TA says:

    It is disturbing that, although Judith Curry seems to “get it” more than most climate scientists, she seems to be more in the mode of improving the image of climate science rather than improving the substance. They just have a communication problem, in her view. No problem with the science. This may not be a fair characterization of her views, but that is the impression this article leaves.

  299. Joseph says:

    “Credibility is a combination of expertise and trust”

    No, credibility is a combination of evidence and verifiability. Trust has no place in science.

    If a researcher has published a paper and failed to publicly archive their methods, data, code and the rest, and then refuses to do so when asked, their research is rendered unverifiable and valueless to all. “Trusting” their results is not how science works.

    The real problem in climate science today is that it has gotten sloppy and allowed the breakdown of the system of checks and balances that is intended to maintain the availability and verifiability of the evidence supporting the claims. Most journals have policies requiring the archival of data, code etc., but few, if any, enforce them. This is the sloppiness that has allowed the publishing of valueless research. This is the problem that must be corrected if climate science is ever going to regain any credibility.

    If climate scientists believe that anyone is going to simply trust their claims, they are not truly scientists. Scientists produce verifiable results.

  300. Jimbo says:

    Dr. Judith Curry

    “…it was pretty easy to follow the money trail associated with the “denial machine.”

    You asked for it good Doctor Judith:

    CRU Funding
    British Petroleum (Oil, LNG)
    Central Electricity Generating Board
    Eastern Electricity
    KFA Germany (Nuclear)
    Irish Electricity Supply Board (LNG, Nuclear)
    National Power
    Nuclear Installations Inspectorate (Nuclear)
    Shell (Oil, LNG)
    Sultanate of Oman (LNG)
    UK Nirex Ltd. (Nuclear)
    Source: http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/about/history/

    ————

    In 2005, Pachauri helped set up set up GloriOil, a Texas firm specialising in technology which allows the last remaining reserves to be extracted from oilfields otherwise at the end of their useful life.

    “He is an internationally recognized figure in energy and sustainable development, having served on numerous boards and committees including Director of the Oil and Natural Gas Company of India; Director of the Indian Oil Corporation Limited;…
    Source: http://www.glorioil.com/advisors.htm

    “Our chemical lab in Houston is state of the art, custom built for purpose with one goal in mind – to supply the US oil industry with world class biotechnology to increase oil recovery from mature fields.”
    Source: http://www.glorioil.com/technology.htm

    “Our research facility in India focuses primarily on long term R&D projects such as heavy oil degradation, methane biogeneration from coal beds, and other initiatives.”
    Source: http://www.glorioil.com/company.htm

    ———-

    CRU seeks big oil and big business cash
    Source:
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=171&filename=962818260.txt
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=156&filename=947541692.txt
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=332&filename=1056478635.txt
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=270&filename=1019513684.txt
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=1041&filename=1254832684.txt
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=204&filename=973374325.txt
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=185&filename=968691929.txt
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=159&filename=951431850.txt
    http://www.eastangliaemails.com/emails.php?eid=362&filename=1065125462.txt

    And not to mention Al Gore and Pachauri’s financial interest in the carbon credit markets which is making both men quite rich. As you said it is “pretty easy to follow the money trail..” Now what did you say?

  301. Micky C says:

    Dr Curry

    I commented on your part one I think it was on Joe Romm’s blog. My view has not changed on the whole climate science debacle.
    I agree with some of what you said however not once did I hear what is the correct scientific method: 1) You come up with an idea 2) You test it 3) You get all your mates and then others to test it 4) When you run out of ideas and things to test, then you might be onto something.
    CO2 forcing has NEVER been tested in laboratory conditions. If you don’t believe me go and do a literary search (like on scopus). I have and have consistently failed to come across empirical measurements of CO2 forcing. On that basis it has never been characterised. What we have here is a case of the theorists running amok; the age old battle between empiricists and theorists that I have observed throughout my career with not one person saying look we have to measure this because the people involved just don’t do that.
    Saying that forcing measurements can’t be done in a lab or it’s too expensive is a bad argument. Look at the LHC.
    Theory can be more attractive, purer and elegant; measurement can be ugly and raise more questions than it answers. But we don’t get to choose what scientific method we want to use. We have to back everything up.
    To make my point explicitly clear: CO2 absorbs and re-emits radiation in the IR spectrum. Adding CO2 to air containing water vapour and ozone is meant to raise the emitting surface of the atmosphere higher, which with the lapse rate variation restricitions, causes the surface temperature to increase. There is also believed to be a positive feedback with water vapour further enhancing the surface temperature. Now a recent theory suggests the atmosphere is in saturation and CO2 increases are accompanied by a humidity decrease. Increased CO2 has a minor role it any. These are interesting theories.
    However they have no substance unless the mechanism of increased re-emitted radiation by increasing Co2, which either causes a surface to reach higher temperature or not, is shown to be consistent in large scale laboratory conditions. I have heard ad finitum about ‘basic physics’ of CO2. Well those physics have been extrapolated without empirical evidence to back it up. Additionally I have heard about the wings of the emission curves. Well test that theory. In stellar physics the wings are normally used to infer temperatures inside stars as the photosphere emission is saturated. The wings are of the order of 10000 times less intensity than the peak. So even though the star may be 1000 K hotter internally not a lot more light is getting out.
    What I hoped you would address it there is a hole right at the heart of ‘climate science’ namely lack of basic empirical characterisation of the principal mechanism of AGW, which means that it is not science at all…simply a healthy thought experiment.

    Now please deny that.

    Dr Michael H Corbett

  302. P Walker says:

    I second Paul Hildebrandt ‘s post (10:28:03) . Someone above called Dr. Curry’s essay an olive branch , but I suspect it might be a Trojan Horse .

  303. IrishMo48 says:

    Dear Dr. Curry:

    I just finished watching you on Georgia television, taped in 2007, discussing rising air temps and rising surface temps and more severe droughts and more hurricanes and more severe, (cat 4), hurricanes and temperature increases of 7F-8F-9F degrees, and melting polar ice caps and 18′ sea level rise within a century or two and resulting devastation of all the major cities on the Eastern Seaboard — and I just finished reading your 2007 statement saying .. if the world is getting warmer, (It is) … If mankind is contributing to global warming, (it is) … (All of which, though pre-Climategate dated, sounds suspiciously like “settled science” and extreme alarmism) …

    In light of the fact that the rate of global warming from 1975-1998 was statistically identical to the rate of global warming from 1910 to 1940, and that same rate of statistically significant warming was also virtually identical to the rate of global warming found from 1860-1880 …

    And in light of the fact that there has been no significant warming for the past 15 years …

    And in light of the fact that there has been no significant sea-level rise in the past 5 or 6 years …

    And in light of the on-going ever-increasing CO2 levels …

    Do you stand by your pre-Climategate, 2007 pronouncements and 2007 beliefs?

  304. Pieter F says:

    I wonder if/how Dr. Curry’s opinions might change should she have the history of the matter in proper order. Sure, Hansen and Schneider “led the charge” in the 1980s, but climate alarmism did not begin with them. It was already a decade old by that point. Leaving out that previous period—and especially Maurice Strong’s evangelism—leaves a void in truly understanding the origins of AGW alarmism. By the 1980s, several disciplines (especially the work of Fairbridge and colleagues) had a good handle on the ancient climate and, in particular, our Holocene Interglacial. In the 80s, the work of Haq and many others put detail on the paleoclimate. In that environment, Strong came right out and stated that he needed find a way to put a rational, science-based explanation on AGW in order to forward his “social and environmental justice” agenda. Hansen’s financial support from the Heinz Foundation got the ball rolling in a big way and before Congress despite Roger Revelle’s later cautions.

    Dr. Curry also failed to notice that climateaudit.org preceded realclimate.org, or that realclimate was underwritten by the Tides Foundation, an organization well known for it’s links to leftist causes including “social justice.”

    Perhaps one of the most telling moments of the climategate scandal is when it was revealed that in 1995 the CRU players recognized that the Medieval Warm Period was going to be a problem for their cause. The existence of the MWP, supported by deep data from multiple disciplines including entomology and cultural literature (the Sagas) as well as eustatic sea level studies and geology, was a fundamental criticism of the IPCC’s results in the early 90s. It is now not surprising why Briffa’s first paper saying the coldest year of the past millenium appeared, followed by MBH88, MBH99, and then the spate of circular papers that supported MBH99. All this until the door was opened to the bad behavior in 2009 thanks to the data archiving policy of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society which gave McIntyre an opportunity to discover what was really going on.

    Any discussion about the topic now is not complete in the absence of at least mentioning Strong’s championing the IPCC since the 1970s and the Progressive Collectivists agenda behind it. It must also include the Copenhagen draft treaty and it’s core elements of environmental justice and remunerating Third World countries for their “loss of dignity” and “environmental justice” which have nothing to do with climate change.

  305. twawki says:

    When will the eco elite see that the public has a brain. The elitism of science is its downfall where they have no moral compass about labeling people deniers then lecturing them on how things should be. Open discourse embracing all opinion is what debate is really about, not trying to sideline your critics by ad hominen attacks.

  306. Pamela Gray says:

    One more thought and to place this in context, Dr. Curry, we are debating the science that is promoting world-wide controls be placed on anthropogenic CO2 and other human-sourced greenhouse gasses, gasses that make up a tiny, tiny fraction of natural greenhouse gas affects. We are, in essence, arguing over the science behind the study of the size of the anal orifice of a gnat’s ass. See the last graph:

    http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html

  307. berniel says:

    Do we notice a new development here in the call for democratisation of science?

    This is called for both to solve the problem of ‘trust’ and to address the demands of the public in the age of blogs. Well, we all want that dont we? Hulme and Ravetz make the same point. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8388485.stm the public want to get involved, so we will have a ‘citizens council’.

    Let me point out that before there was the internet there were free public libraries, and there were university libraries with all their print scientific journals open to all, so that anyone could walk in read an editorical in Science. There was also anonomyous peer review, so that an article a McIntyre could be judge on its merits…and the principle of repeatability required access to the primary data of all research. etc. I am not saying the systems of scientific process always worked, but they were in place. I am not saying there are no criminals, but when you catch one there are laws to deal with them. Perhaps what the blog public is asking is: where the hell are the policemen?

    There are reasons why the public want to get involved that are to do with corruption of the scientific process. And because this corruption impacts on society. I dont want to be involved in medicine, but if malpractice is causing me to get sick then I take an interest. I dont want to be a climatologist, but if there is with malpractice at such a monumental scale behind monumental social policy, well I kinda take an interest.

    When science is corrupted by politics then more politics is not the remedy.

  308. JackStraw says:

    I’m happy to see Joe Romm’s response to Dr. Curry’s letter on Climate Progress right after the post welcoming Van Jones back into the fold (that ought to speak volumes to anyone who still harbors the quaint idea that this was ever about science and not politics). His response is nasty and juvenile.

    Perhaps now Dr. Curry will realize what debate means to those on her former side of the aisle and why any progress in this debate needs to come first and foremost from the AGW crowd.

    I won’t be holding my breath.

  309. A Lovell says:

    I’m afraid I find I cannot trust Dr Curry.

    There are supposedly five stages of grief. They are applying quite well to the unravelling of the AGW ‘science’.

    1 Denial
    2 Anger
    3 Bargaining
    4 Depression
    5 Acceptance

    We’ve had the denial – The Science is still robust, snow = global warming etc.

    We’ve had the anger – Many unforgiveably vicious articles such as the one by Jeffrey Sachs.

    Now, we come to the bargaining. Dr Curry is willing to enter into a civilised discourse with ‘auditors’, but not the rest of the rabble. It seems like a ploy to make us sceptics let our guard down.

    Please don’t give an inch.

    Roll on Depression and Acceptance I say!

  310. Rhoda R says:

    I agree with Anthony – the term “denier” should be deep-sixed. Some people have posited the use of “skeptic” in its place but I disagree – “skeptic” implies potential disagreement with a scientific hypothesis and the AGW assurtions so far have failed to meet the definitions of science. I suggest instead that we refer to ourselves as “heretics” thus placing AGW (Al Gore Warming) into its proper context.

  311. c james says:

    Henry chance (11:18:56) :

    “Joe Romm has just posted the letter and rips her appart. If Judith can’t cuss and smear Romm’s enemies, he has no use for her.”

    Sadly….I think that if Dr. Curry cannot cuss and smear the true AGW believers, many posters on this blog have no use for her either.

    When was the last time you had a discussion with someone who said “Eureka! I now see your point and everything I have believed until now was wrong and you are right”?

    When someone like Dr. Curry makes a step in the right direction, wouldn’t it be better to extend a helpful hand than to insult her effort?

  312. Ray Hudson says:

    When Ralph Cicerone says the following:

    “This view reflects the fragile nature of trust between science and society, demonstrating that the perceived misbehavior of even a few scientists can diminish the credibility of science as a whole.”

    He, and Dr. Curry miss an important point. Up until the advent of AGW, and then Climategate, the public’s trust of science was not all that “fragile.” Rather, the fragility has always been the public’s trust of politics, in general, and politicians, to be specific. And by the way, that trust should always be fragile, because politics is about coersion at is most basic level. To those of us who are always skeptical of politicians, red lights began to flash and red flags were waving just as soon as Al Gore became the spokesmodel for AGW. That signified a political intent to compromise the open nature of science, and co-opt it for political purposes. And those scientists who are beholden to receiving government grants were only to happy to follow a politician’s lead right into the next big political scandal. And science, because it is not anthropomorphic, it has no personality and cannot “cheat,” was merely part of the collateral damage in this political fiasco. People performed “bad science” and violated the principles of “good science” all in the name of politics.

    This is a political issue first and foremost, and again I point to the activities of Al Gore as the single best piece of evidence to prove that claim.

  313. “The climate researchers at realclimate.org were the pioneers in this, and other academic climate researchers hosting blogs include Roy Spencer, Roger Pielke Sr and Jr, Richard Rood, and Andrew Dessler. The blogs that are most effective are those that allow comments from both sides of the debate (many blogs are heavily moderated).”

    Ironic indeed that realclimate.org is by far the MOST heavily moderated blog that I am aware of. Does she mean that she thinks RealClimate.org is the LEAST effective? I doubt it.

    Doubly ironic to think that Dr. Judith Curry, who says she knows the science isn’t “settled”, can sing the praises of RC, a website that clearly advocates the ‘settled’ concept and constantly and consistently removes most contrarian and skeptic concepts from their site. Maintaining a false illusion is the OPPOSITE of scientific discourse which means realclimate is based less on science and more on politics and advocacy. Add that to the fact that ClimateGate participant Gavin Schmidt basically runs RC and you can see why skeptics raise their collective voices in frustration at so many Foxes in so many Henhouses, it’s a very sad state of affairs…

  314. bob paglee says:

    Dr. Curry, I have another problem with your long essay beyond the implications that color the use of the word “denier”, an issue on which I have already commented.

    I also noted several of your references to “big oil”. Is there perhaps an implication of unfairness if “big oil” questions the unproven theory underlying the concept of AGW? Presuming that these references relate to scientific research conducted by “big oil” (e.g., oil companies), is their’s somehow less worthy than research funded by grants from “big government”?

    Considering that combustion (i.e., oxidation) of coal provides perhaps half of our electric power (even a much higher proportion in developing nations), and this is a much more aggressive contributor of CO2 for a given amount of energy, is it fair to cite “big oil” (a frequent victim of attacks by AGW proponents), but not “big coal” as well? Is there an intentional lack of balance in mentioning “big oil” as a pejorative without also mentioning “big coal” or “big government”?

  315. David L. Hagen says:

    The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority. Ralph W. Sockman

    Will advocates of anthropogenic global warming (“climate science”) have the tolerance to take each and every challenge and thoroughly test their models to find bedrock solid science? Or continue to try to ignore, hide or bury the “skeptics” or “climate realists”, regardless of the science?

  316. Allan M says:

    Viv Evans (09:17:19) :

    I applaud Dr Curry’s second letter, trying to build bridges. It is indeed courageous.

    But after the bit about rebuilding trust, it seems to me she might be building a bridge for us to cross. After the decaces of lies, damn lies and manipulations of the green lobby, when finally they have been caught out in the big one, it may be a bit fanciful.

  317. Lexical Tom says:

    Michel 07:31

    Cromwell was even more reasonable than your report , and it is something one ought to repeat to those who are so convinced that they cannot posibly be wrong as to engage with some respect for those with whom they do not agree.

    Cromwell said

    “I beseech you in the bowels of Christ THINK IT POSSIBLE that you may be mistaken”

    (words in CAPS omiytted by Michel)

  318. David L. Hagen says:

    Dr. Curry
    Your post has the beginnings of addressing the problem, but still avoids the serious issues. Steve McIntyre has a very thought provoking post on:
    Rob Bradley: Climategate from an Enron Perspective Feb 24, 2010 – 11:35 AM.

    I strongly recommend you review and assimilate those foundational issues where climate science has acted like Enron.

  319. RockyRoad says:

    At least Ms. Curry seems to be more open-minded than EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, who disbelieves what Phil Jones had to say recently about the science being settled.

    http://www.heartland.org/full/27124/EPA_Chief_More_Alarmist_than_Disgraced_Climategate_Scientists.html

  320. Bill D says:

    A few things that stuck out to me.
    Everything is dumbed down for little ole us?
    An Inconvenient Truth changed things? In her mind the subject should be… How skeptics have “evolved”?
    How she described the environment as Highly politicized, Extremely difficult, Crazy, Insane…if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. How she can “Easily follow the money” of skeptics but never crosses her mind to “follow the money” to the researchers.
    Skeptic quotes are “picked up by the MSM” news to me. Last but not least, Climategate is ALL the Bloggers fault for asking for information!

  321. fabius says:

    Dr Curry has to take into account that policy based on science has implications for the poorest people in society. She can advocate based on her beliefs all she wants but if the science is against her she will look increasingly stupid.

    When my elderly neighbour can no longer afford to buy food or heat their home I will tell her it is all right as she is helping to save the planet.

  322. Antonio San says:

    Hilarious!
    Joe Romm and his goons are not happy at all and the response here is also unhappiness! So many people unhappy… like hormone pumped pimpled teenagers!

  323. Person of Choler says:

    Could somebody tell me why I should trust a “scientist” any more than I should trust a “used car salesman”, “lawyer”, “chiropractor”, “stock broker…”?

    What does a vocational label have to do with trust?

  324. No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda. There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.

    Unfortunately, this claim of “settled science” is being repeated again and again from very public sources. This includes the former Norwegian Prime Minister, now United Nations’ Special Envoy on Climate Change, Mrs. Gro Harlem Brundtland:

    “It is irresponsible, reckless and deeply immoral to question the seriousness of the situation. The time for diagnosis is over.”

    The above is a quote from the official Norwegian government website (‘regjering’=government) with Mrs. Brundtland’s March 17, 2009 speech at the UN Commission on Sustainable Development
    http://www.regjeringen.no/en/dep/ud/selected-topics/un/Brundtland_speech_CSD.html?id=465906

    Which particular agenda is it that you think Mrs. Brundtland is advancing?

  325. M. Simon says:

    The only thing that will save Climate Science from itself is a full on FAA/FDA audit of data and procedures. I can tell you for true that the kind of mistakes made in the whole field of Climate Science would never be tolerated in aerospace engineering. And still mistakes in aerospace engineering are made from time to time.

    But think of it: how often do you hear of a major airplane crash? Do you feel safe getting on a plane? That my dear is predictive ability.

    Now how about going at it in the same spirit with climate science. You start with an objective. You determine a plan to reach it. Then you implement the plan auditing along the way. And the most critical job re: climate science? A keeper of the error bars. I’d get the best industrial SPC guys you can find and put them on the job. They are bulldogs.

    ====

    And I know this is not your field of expertise but why do we have to go to Brit papers for news of the biggest scientific scandal of our time? Wouldn’t you say that the dysfunction was not only scientific. The scientists got cover from their media friends.

    So would I say that scientists have an image problem? Yes. But it is one they created.

  326. Rob H says:

    Dr Curry continues to be an apologist for bad science and the corrupt actions of global warming scientists while still accusing critics of being deniers. It is not up to critics to prove global warming isn’t happening, it is up to those who claim it is to produce the evidence. They haven’t shown significant warming, they haven’t subjected their work to proper peer review and they have allowed hysterical exaggerations of the impact of climate change to be made without censure. It is the global warming scientists who have brought science into disrepute with the public not their critics. This is the admission people like Curry refuse to deal with as well as admit that to date their science does not stand up.

  327. JonesII says:

    It’s too late now for repentance, as innocent CO2, the gas we exhale and green plants breath and enjoy, has been already declared as POISONOUS by EPA.

    Any way, here is a guide:
    Six Steps of Repentance:

    -Feel Godly Sorrow
    -Confess to God
    -Ask for Forgiveness
    -Rectify Problems Caused by the Sin(s)
    -Forsake Sin
    -Receive Forgiveness

    Sorry…Too late!

  328. Some Guy says:

    This is one of my pet peeves: “Those who make extraordinary claims are obliged, if they are to be believed, to provide extraordinary evidence.”

    No, they don’t. Extraordinary claims can be proved by perfectly mundane evidence. History is replete with examples of seemingly intractable problems that, once solved, had a solution that seemed simple and self-evident.

    When you remove the hyperbole, what’s left is “Claims require evidence.” Hardly profound.

    This is just father-knows-best mumbo-jumbo intended to browbeat people into doubting themselves.

  329. DirkH says:

    It is no more of relevance what Dr. Curry writes. Even the wildest AGW scare stories are no more of relevance. Only a few people take AGW seriously, probably even among the Hockey Team. Make peace with her, it doesn’t matter. Tell her everything’s OK.

    The next scare is still the economy. The AGW narrative can’t compete anymore even when they double their efforts in creative writing.

    And BTW, the science is bogus anyway, it just doesn’t matter. If she still cares, tell her to tell the other Hockey Team members to try to disprove Miskolczi and when they’re done i’m interested but i don’t think they’ll pull that off, how could they…

  330. Pamela Gray says:

    Did my link to Monte Hieb send it to the junk bin? His calculations are worth looking at, regardless of the fact that he is an engineer…in mining.

    But let’s be democratic about this. Pachy is a…train engineer…and everyone hangs (oops, pun alert) on his graphs as gospel truth, to be trusted, because he is a…train engineer…and he has settled the science because he studied…trains.

    Monte rules on his open and clear explanation and calculations of anthropogenic CO2/water vapor coupling forcing. He goes off the deep end on the Sun but that is not included in his CO2 calculations.

  331. johnnythelowery says:

    ….Step out with trust by all means but expect to be savaged by the truth. Why would you want it any other way?

    Don’t answer that.

  332. ML says:

    After reading the article my BS meter went out of range.
    Dr Curry, before trying to clean the “atmosphere” around AGW please try to clean the “house” of AGW.

  333. Mark Three says:

    “Credibility is a combination of expertise and trust.”

    There could not be a more perfect statement to reveal, inadvertently, the writer’s acceptance that politics is at the heart of climate science.

    Scientists should not concern themselves with their credibility – or believability. Their work stands or falls on evidence and reasoning. Their expertise arise from experience at doing science correctly, which assumes correcting errors, which assumes permitting errors to be noticed by others. At no time does a scientist – or his work – become “credible” based merely on prior work. “Believe me on this one, friends, as I have been right before,” or, even worse, “Believe me on this one, as I have been paid to do this job for 20 years,” are appeals to credibility. The content of each piece of new work must be evaluated for its scientific soundness.

    Expertise is the very aspect of science that must never be trusted, but is always on trial. It is not even a question of “trust, but verify” – but “always verify.”

    Credibility – “trust me, I’m an expert” – is a term used by propagandists and politicians. Why else do the alarmists argue so determinedly to authority or impugn the expertise, motives and interests of skeptics ? So-and-so is not an expert climate scientist; the publication that presented his work is not a serious climate science publication:; he is associated with Big Baccy…

    When scientists believe that they have not communicated their ideas well enough, they are speaking like politicians. Well enough for what? When alarmists talk about the truth of climate science, they are admitting that AGW is social and political science, born of environmentalism out of social advocacy. No surprise that they should be seeking magic slogans to persuade the public. No surprise that they see themselves as visionaries, data-collectors and verifiers as janitors, the public as the root cause of impending doomsday, and governments as the coercive force to stop the public from ending it all.

    When science rests on credibility it is no longer science.

  334. lws says:

    I have to respond to the “science is settled” assertion. [The author is not my target.]

    It made me skeptical when I first saw it and it made me angry as I read more and more about the debate, particularly about positive feedback,

    The climate alarmist fringe created more skeptics with that one simple easily disproved lie than they can imagine. Keep up the good work climate alarmists you will convert everyone soon.

  335. Lonnie King says:

    Aloha:

    What academia, and especially the Climate academia, is discovering is what Medicine (I am an Otolaryngologist) has discovered over the last decade or two. One simply cannot make any statement of authority based on one’s presumed position (as a Doctor) of authority.

    As Dr. R. Feynman stated on a guest lecture some time back, if your data do not support your theory, YOUR THEORY IS WRONG. It is simply that simple!

    To have obfuscated your data, or limit attempts by others – ANY OTHERS – to replicate your work or to evaluate your data, by any means what so ever, is ethically indefensible.

    THIS is the lesson that is coming due for academia.

  336. RickA says:

    Dr. Curry:

    Very nice post.

    Thank you for writing and posting this essay.

    After the foreward, I carefully read through your essay looking for an instance where you called someone a denier. You did not do that.

    I also dislike this term – but do not think you used it to actively label someone with it.

    I understand Anthony doesn’t think the term should have been used at all – but in describing how other people have applied labels – it is not hard to understand why the term needs to be used in that context.

    I do agree with Anthony that going forward – I would like to see the term denier dropped as a label – and even see scientists decry its usage.

    I hope you report back on the results of your “experiment”.

  337. Thank you, Dr. Curry, for sharing your open letter to graduate students and young scientists in fields related to climate research.

    In return, below is an open letter that I shared with Dr. Ralph Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Sciences, and with members of the Space Studies Board on Thursday, 26 June 2008 at the National Academy of Sciences Building to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of NASA [Space and Earth Science - 50 Years and Counting]:

    “Question for the Space Science Board

    Can the Space Science Board help NASA move away from the untruths that are wrecking our economy?

    * Earth is bathed in a steady flow of heat from Hydrogen-fusion in the Hydrogen-filled Sun.

    * Solar neutrinos from Hydrogen-fusion melt (oscillate) away before reaching detectors.

    * Earth’s climate is immune from cycles of solar activity (sunspots, flares and eruptions).

    * Therefore CO2 from our economic engines caused global warming.

    Oliver K. Manuel
    Emeritus Professor and Former
    NASA PI for Apollo Lunar Studies”

    PS – I am not saying that Western economies were purposely wrecked by the climate scare, but there were obviously reasons to be concerned.

  338. R.S.Brown says:

    In my opinion, Dr. Curry’s academic and professional
    credentials are unassailable.

    However her ability to conduct an impartial and
    objective socio-political analysis of those folks around her
    is diminished by sharing a vested interest with them in
    returning their research methods, interperative dialogues,
    status and prestige back to normal.

    These potential biases represent a wagon full of baggage
    that pollute her message.

    If “climate science” and it’s observers (like us) weren’t on the
    cusp of three or more investigations with the whitewashes
    being dealt from stacked decks, Dr. Curry’s message would
    be profound.

    Her current essay seems aimed to placate rather than move
    the many layered problem toward conclusion.

    Would that it was otherwise.

  339. Neo says:

    I keeping getting stuck on the whole FOIA request thing.

    On almost the same day that FOIA2009.zip appeared, the CRU had turned down a FOIA request by Steve McIntyre. If FOIA2009.zip represents the information requested by Mr. McIntyre, exactly what was CRU protecting (other than their good name).

    There is nothing that could be raised to the level of dire consequence to life or limb on a short or near term basis in any of these documents or emails.

    There was some story about that the FOIA request was going to be fullfilled until Phil Jones (or somebody else) prevailed on the authorities of the College of East Anglia to block the release. On what basis ? Embarrassment ?

    And didn’t the legal authorities of the college reviewing these e-mails and documents for release find this material disturbing ? Or is illegality and unethical behaviour the currency of the realm ?

  340. kwik says:

    G.L. Alston (07:37:12)

    Ah, yes, there you have it!

    And no BIG STATE research organisations trying to decode the data for some political agenda. Its pathetic.

    Oh, and I have a degree too.

  341. JonesII says:

    As far as culpability, Al Baby would be a person unfit to plead as he is not educated in science and he has been deeply and passionately involved so as to provoke the impairment of his thinking (if something left) capacity.

  342. Don Shaw says:

    I wonder if Judith Curry still believes what she said about Hurricanes as quoted in the time article.
    From a Nature paper
    “There is a robust signal behind the shift to more intense hurricanes,” says Judith Curry, chair of the school of earth and atmospheric sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1839281,00.html#ixzz0gURMei3j

    What about separating Weather from Climate

  343. RockyRoad says:

    Rhoda R (12:33:27) :

    I agree with Anthony – the term “denier” should be deep-sixed. Some people have posited the use of “skeptic” in its place but I disagree – “skeptic” implies potential disagreement with a scientific hypothesis and the AGW assurtions so far have failed to meet the definitions of science. I suggest instead that we refer to ourselves as “heretics” thus placing AGW (Al Gore Warming) into its proper context.
    ————-
    Reply: “Dissident” is another applicable term I like. But “denialist”? No… we don’t deny “climate change”. We look at it realistically.

  344. Fred says:

    This lady needs an editor. Also, when one side refused to allow the public to see its data and refuses to allow its critics to be heard and refuse to let their theories raise or fall on the results of independent examinations and demands that trillions of dollars be spent re-modeling civilization on their authority alone, there is only one position a real scientist can take, no matter how many letters come after their name. And that is the critic’s side.

  345. RockyRoad says:

    Even Denver’s mayor has become a “realist”:
    http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_14457009

  346. Holger Danske says:

    My Father (amongst many others) risked his life during WW2 bringing Jews to safety in Sweden. They would, otherwise, have ended up in Auswisch.
    I, therefore, take strong offence against the word ‘denier’, unless used in its proper context to describe the scumbags who insists Holocaust never happened.

  347. Jryan says:

    The notion of “expertise” is something worth considering, but the problem is — and has been for a long time — that climate scientists have made the absurd assumption that statistical discipline is different for climate science than it is for anyone else. I have seen these same scientists pull the “expertise” card on professors with PhDs in statistics! At that point it is clear that climate science has lost all tethers to reality.

    I think step 1 on the road to recovery is that every climate scientist must make the following pledge:

    “I (Name) do solemnly admit that I am a climate scientist, and as such I am a jack of all trades and master of none. I will henceforth differ to biologists on biology, statisticians on statistics, oceanographers on the oceans, physicists on physics, and only when I have the blessing of the true experts shall I publish.”

  348. Jeremy says:

    JC:
    —> “…I have come to understand that global warming skepticism is very different now than it was five years ago…”

    Really? How so? It seems to me that the only thing that has changed is the messenger, rather than the message.

    —> “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda. There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.”

    If that’s so, why were valid arguments so universally publicly trashed and ignored for years, (yes, YEARS) with this same phrase over and over and over with no tolerance from the scientists who are supposed to keep an open mind?

    Suppose I am a prospective science student looking to choose a university and I ask a professor at a university a question. If the response I get is one of complete dismissal of my perspective on a topic, you can be darn well guaranteed I’m going to go somewhere else and try harder to explain my perspective to myself. If instead of dismissal I get a professor who engages my line of thinking (even for humors sake), you can be damned well sure I’m going to want to go to that university and become part of what they do.

    My point? The rift in the climate science vs skeptics wasn’t created by the skeptics. It was created by those who repeatedly publicly rebuked those with valid questions. Your attempts to say, “oh, we didn’t realize there were valid arguments in the skeptics camp, and oh, btw, none of us really believe the science is settled.” are waay too little, too late.

  349. Dr A Burns says:

    Judith,

    You state “Credibility is a combination of expertise and trust. ” This is the basis for the alarmist AGW movement. It is a totally incorrect statement.

    The masses have assumed that because heads of government departments and government groups, politicians and ex politicians make statements about science, these statements are credible. Senior people are assumed to have expertise and the masses trust them. Senior politicians and government heads make political statements, not good scientific statements.

    Credibility must include EVIDENCE !

    The CRU, IPCC, Al Gore and the rest of the alarmist community has failed to provide a single piece of actual evidence that man’s CO2 is causing global warming.

    There may be global warming or there may not. The data is in such a shambles, no one can say. We do know the earth has warmed since the LIA. Even Phil Jones admits there’s been no warming for 15 years, but that’s about it. There is nothing to suggest that man’s CO2 has any any effect whatsover.

    So please Judith, correct your statement to read:

    “Credibility is a combination of expertise, trust and EVIDENCE. “

  350. Slabadang says:

    Al Gore killed his own cause!

    He killed trust in the climate science as soon he used the “denier” retoric.
    Then we all realized that the books were cooked.You dont have to use retorics like that if your in a strong position.People dont accept to be intellectually abused and for no reason.

    Are you a deniar Yes or No? is just like the question…. Have you stopped beating your wife Yes or no? Cheap retorical trick that has had an undeserved success and impact.
    Do we have trust in the temperatur history?? NO
    Do we think that the effects of co2 is drawn out of proportion? Yes!!
    Do we trust Al Gore or the core scientists of IPCC? No why in h..ll should we?: They done nothing to deserve it!

  351. jaypan says:

    Important contribution. Not a bad start.

    What worries me more than the primitive “denier” term is to see warmists always considered s “scientists” as if others were not.

    And, to see how wrong a theory may be is not need rocket science at all. Common sense does it.

  352. Paul Brassey says:

    “Debating science with skeptics should be the spice of academic life, but many climate researchers lost this somehow by mistakenly thinking that skeptical arguments would diminish the public trust in the message coming from the climate research establishment.”

    Throughout the article the author differentiates between scientists and skeptics, as though none of those skeptical of the IPCC conclusions are scientists. Indeed, Anthony Watts is merely a “weatherman.” She adds here a bit of unintentional insight into the establishment mindset: if you agree with us, you are truly a scientist. If not, we must educate or reeducate you; this is apparently what she means by the term “debating” above.

  353. Toto says:

    A: While I and other like minded bloggers were given the opportunity to have some early input into this, little of it was accepted.

    J: Hence I am distributing this essay to a number of different blogs simultaneously with the hope of demonstrating the collective power of the blogosphere to generate ideas and debate them. I look forward to a stimulating discussion on this important topic.

    Usually public debate is done with the hope of changing opinions. What’s the point if the other side is closed-minded?

    Credibility is a combination of expertise and trust. While scientists persist in thinking that they should be trusted because of their expertise, climategate has made it clear that expertise itself is not a sufficient basis for public trust.

    In this case, the team does not have the scientific expertise they claim and they certainly do not have the personal skills which would justify trusting them.

    I have come to understand that global warming skepticism is very different now than it was five years ago.

    I will put it more succinctly and bluntly — before, the opposition was mostly political; now it is shifting to being scientific. It was easier to brush of skeptics before as being right-wing.

    fed by money provided by the oil industry
    Big oil funding for contrary views mostly dried up
    They are independent of oil industry influence.
    he was characterized as a shill for the oil industry.
    t was pretty easy to follow the money trail associated with the “denial machine”.

    I never understood this obsession with big oil, except that the claimers obviously hate big business. Judith must really believe this stuff.

    Steve McIntyre started the blog climateaudit.org so that he could defend himself against claims being made at the blog realclimate.org with regards to his critique of the “hockey stick” since he was unable to post his comments there.

    That is a bit of understatement. The pro-AGW blogs (both “scientific” and media) and Wikipedia are brutal for censorship and hiding that fact, not to mention Nature and Science.

    The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on[...]

    There’s that “truth” word again. The opposite of “skeptic” is “gullible”.

    No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda. There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.

    Where are the scientists who publicize Al Gore’s mistakes? Where are the scientists who condemn the anti-scientific behavior of the team? Where are the scientists who point out that the IPCC work is only one side of the story. Where are the scientists who tell the politicians and media to slow down and stop the alarmism?

    No trust can be rebuilt until the guilty show remorse, say they are sorry, and say they were wrong. Judith, would you like to start?

    So far, it just looks like Judith is playing good cop to Gavin’s bad cop.

  354. LevelLoad says:

    People who claim to be scientists but refuse to release their data and/or their methodology are not scientists, do not practice science and all claims and results made by these people should be totally rejected by everyone. Especially the Dr. Curry’s of the world.

    And if the Dr. Curry’s of this world continue the silent policy to aide an abet the non-scientists, putting peer solidarity and pleasant relations with “colleagues” ahead of good scientific method, when they refuse to loudly call “Bullshit” when non-science is foisted on the public and $Trillions of dollars in public policy are in the line, then they can’t complain when they and their credibility will go down with the AGW Ponzi scheme fraud ship.

    Do the right thing Dr. Curry . . . . time to call out the fraudsters who don’t practice science. Silence is collusion.

    Your reputation is on the line. Their is zero room for “trust” in science.

  355. AndrewG says:

    “Debating science with skeptics should be the spice of academic life, but many climate researchers lost this somehow by mistakenly thinking that skeptical arguments would diminish the public trust in the message coming from the climate research establishment.”

    I think this whole sentence sums up whats wrong. It’s written as if the skeptics are non-scientific, its also completely Ass-backwards. A scientist shouldn’t debate science with sceptics, a scientist should be defending a scientific theory or position to logically test its applicability or premises.

    For example, as has been pointed out so many times..the raw data is crap, Scientists should be publishing the raw data and their conversion algorithms and effectively be saying “if anyones got a better way of fitting this we’d like to hear it”, not “We took some data you can’t see, applied magic to it and hey presto it supports our position”

  356. Willis Eschenbach says:

    First, I have to say that I admire Judith Curry greatly. She is one of the very, very few mainstream climate scientists to enter into a public dialogue about these issues. I salute her for it.

    Next, as is often my wont in trying to understand a long and complex discussion, I made my own digest of what Judith is saying. To do so, I condense each paragraph into one or a few sentences. Here is that digest:

    1 I am trying an experiment by posting on various blogs

    2 Losing the Public’s Trust

    2.1 Climategate has broadened to become a crisis of trust in climate science in general.

    2.2 Credibility is a combination of expertise and trust. Trust in the IPCC is faltering.

    2.3 The scientists in the CRU emails blame their actions on “malicious interference”.

    2.4 Institutions like the IPCC need to ask how they enabled this situation.

    2.5 Core research values have been compromised by warring against the skeptics.

    2.6 Climategate won’t go away until all this is resolved.

    3 The Changing Nature of Skepticism about Global Warming

    3.1 Skepticism has changed over time.

    3.2 First it was a minor war between advocacy groups. Then, a “monolithic climate denial machine” was born. This was funded by the oil industry.

    3.3 Because of the IPCC reports, funding for contrary views died up. It was replaced by climate auditors. The “climate change establishment” didn’t understand this and kept blaming the “denial machine”.

    4 Climate Auditors and the Blogosphere.

    4.1 Steve McIntyre’s auditing became popular and led to blogs like WUWT.

    4.2 Auditors are independent, technically educated people mostly outside of academia. They mostly audit rather than write scientific papers.

    4.3 The FOIA requests were motivated by people concerned about having the same people who created the dataset using the dataset in their models.

    4.4 The mainstream climate researchers don’t like the auditors because Steve McIntyre is their arch-nemesis, so they tried to prevent auditors publishing in the journals. [gotta confess I couldn't follow the logic in this paragraph]

    4.5 The auditors succeeded in bringing the climate establishment to its knees because people trusted the auditors.

    5 Towards Rebuilding Trust

    5.1 Ralph Cicerone’s says that two aspects need attention, the general practice of science and the personal behaviours of scientists. Investigations are being conducted.

    5.2 Climate science has not adapted to being high profile. How scientists engage with the public is inadequately discussed. The result is reflexive support for IPCC and its related policies.

    5.3 The public and policy makers don’t understand the truth as presented by the IPCC. More efficient strategies can be devised by recognizing that we are dealing with two groups: educated people, and the general public. To rebuild trust scientists need to discuss uncertainty. ["truth as presented by the IPCC? say what?]

    5.4 The blogosphere can be a powerful tool for increasing credibility of climate research. The climate researchers at realclimate were the pioneers in this. More scientists should participate in these debates.

    5.5 No one believes that the science is settled. Scientists and others say that the science is settled. This is detrimental to public trust.

    5.6 I hope this experiment will demonstrate how the blogosphere can rebuild trust.

    Having made such a digest, my next step is to try to condense it into an “elevator speech”. This is a very short statement of the essential principles of an idea. My elevator speech of Judith’s post would be this.

    Climategate has destroyed the public trust in climate science. Initially skepticism was funded by big oil. Then a climate auditing movement sprang up. They were able to bring the climate establishment to its knees because people trusted them. Public and policy makers don’t understand the truth as presented by the IPCC. To rebuild trust, climate scientists need to better communicate their ideas to the public, particularly regarding uncertainty. The blogosphere can be valuable in this regard.

    OK, now what’s wrong with this picture?

    The biggest problem is in one of the core ideas. This is the claim that the problem is that climate scientists have not understood how to present their ideas to the public. Judith, I respect you greatly, but you have grabbed the wrong end of the stick. The problem is not how climate scientists have publicly presented their scientific results.

    The problem is that 71.3% of what passes as peer reviewed science is simply junk science, as false as the percentage cited in this statement. In other words, the lack of trust is not a problem of perception. It is a problem of lack of substance. Results are routinely exaggerated. “Scientific papers” are larded with “may” and “might” and “could possibly”. Advocacy is a common thread in scientific papers. Codes and data are routinely concealed. A concerted effort is made to marginalize and censor opposing views.

    And most disturbing, for years you and the other climate scientists have not said a word about this disgraceful situation. When Michael Mann had to be hauled in front of a congressional committee to force him to follow the simplest of scientific requirements, transparency, you guys were all wailing about how this was a huge insult to him. An insult to Mann? Get real. Mann is an insult to climate science, and you, Judith, didn’t say one word in public about that. Not that I’m singling you out. No one else stood up for climate science either. It turned my stomach to see the craven cowering of mainstream climate scientists.

    The solution to that is not, as you suggest, to give scientists a wider voice or educate them in how to present their garbage to a wider audience.

    The solution is for you to stop trying to pass off garbage as science. The solution is for you establishment climate scientists to police your own back yard. When Climategate broke, there was widespread outrage … well, widespread everywhere except in the climate science establishment. Other than a few lone voices, the silence was deafening. And you wonder why we don’t trust you? Because a whole bunch of you are guilty of scientific malfeasance, and the rest of you are complicit in the guilt by your silence.

    And you still don’t seem to get it. You approvingly quote Ralph Cicerone about the importance of transparency … Cicerone?? That’s a sick joke.

    You don’t get it. You think people made the FOI requests because we were concerned that the people who made the datasets were the people using them in the models. As the person who made the first FOI request to CRU, I assure you that is not true. I made the request to CRU because I was disgusted with Phil Jone’s reply to Warwick Hughes request for data. Jones famously said:

    Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?

    When I heard that, I was astounded. I thought, “Well, he’s gonna get his hand slapped hard by real scientists for that kind of anti-scientific statements”. So I waited for some mainstream climate scientist to speak out against that kind of scientific malfeasance … and waited … and waited. In fact, I’m still waiting. I registered my protest against this bastardisation of science by filing an FOI. When is one of you mainstream climate scientist going to speak out against this kind of malfeasance? It’s not too late to condemn what Jones said, he’s still in the news and pretending to be a scientist, when is someone going to take a principled stand?

    But nobody wants to do that. Instead, you want to explain how trust has been broken, and figure out more effective communication strategies to repair the trust. You want a more effective strategy? Here’s one. Ask every climate scientist to grow a pair of huevos and get outraged in public about the abysmal practices of far, far too many mainstream climate scientists. Because the public is assuredly outraged, and you are all assuredly silent … and that is extremely damaging to you.

    A perfect example is you saying above:

    Such debate is alive and well in the blogosphere, but few mainstream climate researchers participate in the blogospheric debate. The climate researchers at realclimate.org were the pioneers in this …

    For you to say this without also expressing grave concern about realclimate’s ruthless censorship of every opposing view is more of the same conspiracy of silence. Debate is not “alive and well” at realclimate as you say, that’s a crock. Realclimate continues to have an undeserved reputation that it is a scientific blog because you and other mainstream climate scientists are unwilling to bust them for their egregious flouting of scientific norms. When you stay silent about censorship like that, Judith, people will not trust you, nor should they. You have shown by your actions that you are perfectly OK with censoring opposing scientific views.

    The key to restoring trust has nothing to do with communication. Steve McIntyre doesn’t inspire trust because he is a good communicator. He inspires trust because he follows the age-old practices of science — transparency and openness and honest reporting of results.

    And until mainstream climate science follows his lead, I’ll let you in on a secret — I don’t want trust in climate science to be restored. I don’t want you learning better ways to propagandize for shoddy science. I don’t want you to figure out how to better inspire trust by hiding your unethical practices in new and innovative ways. I don’t want scientists learning to use clever words and communication tricks to get people to think that the wound is healed until it is actually healed. I don’t want you to use the blogosphere to spread your pernicious unsupported unscientific alarmism.

    You think this is a problem of image, that climate science has a bad image. It is nothing of the sort. It is a problem of scientific malfeasance and complicity by silence. The public, it turns out, has a much better bullsh*t detector than the mainstream climate scientists do … or at least we’re willing to say so in public, while y’all cower in your holes with your heads down and never, never, never say a bad word about some other scientist’s bogus claims and wrong actions.

    You want trust? Do good science, and publicly insist that other climate scientists do good science as well. It’s that simple. Do good science, and publicly call out the Manns and the Joneses and the Thompsons and the rest of the charlatans that you are currently protecting.

    Once that is done, the rest will fall in line. And until then, I’m overjoyed that people don’t trust you. I see the lack of trust in mainstream climate science as a huge triumph for real science. Fix it by doing good science and by cleaning up your own backyard. Anything else is a coverup.

    Judith, again, my congratulations on being willing to post your ideas in public. You are rara avis, and I respect you greatly for it.

    w.

    PS – a “monolithic climate denial machine”?? Puhleease, Judith, you’re talking to us folks who were there on the ground fighting the battle. Save that farrago for people who weren’t there, those who don’t know how it went down.

  357. GAZ from Sydney says:

    She keep metioning how the ‘oil money’ funded the skeptics (and hints that it may still do).
    No mention however of the gravy train that the warmists are on.

  358. Phil Jourdan says:

    I will say she has started a process to heal the rift between skeptics and AGWers, so I give her kudos for that.

    But I think she is still missing a big piece of the puzzle. The enemies of the AGW crowd is not the skeptics, it is their own myopia. They are ignoring the paradigm shift, and as we have seen, are losing the battle. Until they quit trying to control the uncontrollable, they will always lose. Truth is harder to supress these days.

  359. mikelorrey says:

    I want to salute Dr. Curry for this essay. I do not think she used the term “denier” improperly in any location, she only used it to describe the opinions of the alarmists toward skeptics, she did use “skeptic” in the narrative portions.

    I am very happy to she she has embraced the blogosphere as a legitimate forum for scientific debate and progress, as another place where on-the-fly peer-review can happen, and acknowledged that the science is most definitely not settled, properly labelling those who claim such as ‘advocates’.

  360. Pascvaks says:

    Yes? (is that all?)

    Felt that I helped write this and had to sit through a rehersal before she went off on a road trip to deliver it to the various “Professional Associations” and College/University Departments involved in the debacle.

    OK Professor, time to take it on the road.

    ______________________

    Distrust of Science? No. Distrust of Scientists? No.
    Distrust of “science” and “scientists” out to feather their own nests? Yes.
    Distrust of politicians and investors out to feather their own nests? Yes.
    Distrust of Senators, and Representatives, and Presidents who aren’t smart enough to get people back to work, but who want to fix the world’s climate instead? You bet!
    Joe the Plumber may be a little stupid sometimes, but he ain’t dumb!

  361. Steve says:

    When the words global warming were replaced with the words climate change
    I think that there is still a long way to go on this debate.
    Of course the climate changes all the time I don’t think anyone will argue. But man made global warming come on.
    It is like the politicians want a massive tax on a non problem. Why. As my father in law said ‘Follow the money’ the money generated will be in the trillions. That is why they want this.
    Ask Al Gore really does he believe in global warming and his response will be that he believes in the money generated he is now a billionaire because of his scare campaign.
    If he and the warmists truly believed in global warming they don’t need government legislation to act.
    Start taking action.
    1. Stop using electricity
    2. Dont buy any exports
    If the warmist people really believe in there convictions they would at least do these actions. ACTION SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
    The RUDD population boom could be another problem as people exhale 4-5percent of Co2. So direct action would be do not allow any immigrants into Australia.
    The Gorgan project could be another problem as we are going to sell gas to China. Direct action would be to stop all energy exports.
    Tourism could be another problem. Direct action would be to stop of tourism.
    So start to do your little bit you can take direct action.
    STOP USING ELECTRICITY.
    If warmists do not take personal action then they really dont believe in global warming at all.

  362. Liz says:

    I agree with Dave L. (8:16) concerning the comment on the “janitorial work” of record keeping. Keeping accurate records is essential for any work to be accepted, whether it is climate studies, drug studies or accounting, which is my line of work.

    I was also dismayed reading reports of the sloppy writing and documentation of the computer programs that were used to analyze the data.

    GIGO – garbage in, garbage out.

  363. Judith Curry isn’t even past first base. Science (and certainly disciplines involved in climate science) is largely paid for by governments. In Europe particularly, academia has become fully integrated into the policy development process. The flow of funds is almost entirely dependent on researchers taking political directions and then responding to politically motivated policy requirements.

    As such, academia has become part of the political establishment, with more influence on policy (and the shape of legislation) than our own legislators. Researchers cannot, therefore, expect to stay above the fray and not be treated as the political players that they have become. See:

    http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/02/working-for-enemy.html

  364. Tenuc says:

    Good. This letter is yet another indication that we, the ‘DENIERS’ that CAGW is happening, are winning not just the battle, but the war! We must continue using the same strategy to ensure that the swing in public opinion against CAGW continues.

    After I read the twisted view of reality which Dr. Judith Curry indicates by her letter, it saddened me that Universities seem no longer capable of producing scientists with a thirst for truth and the ability to view with scepticism the dogma of their chosen speciality and question it’s factual basis.

    Science isn’t about trust in authority, the consensus approach, force-fitting observation to reality (this is the area of belief and religion and cow-towing to the words of it’s prophets). So I have no wish to enter into a debate with these believers in what has become the pseudo-science Cargo Cult of CAGW. It is a fruitless exercise as anyone unfortunate enough to have opened up their front door to a couple of well intentioned Jehovah’s Witnesses, and spent the next couple of hours trying to teach them critical thinking, can well understand!

    Science is about hard facts, data with error bars and theories that can accurately predict future events. Current climatology has failed to do this on all counts and will return to the backwaters from whence it emerged in the 60’s.

    Weather/climate are the result of a large, highly complex set of interlinked systems which are driven by quasi-cyclic deterministic chaos. Until the proper tools are developed to understand such systems climatology will not make any progress and accurate forecasting of future climate outcomes will remain in the realms of astrology.

    I have also lost trust in the objectives of the UN, Politicians, the MSM, the World Bank and many other large institutions. All of which seem to have forgotten that the freedom of the individual is of paramount importance and, instead, want to persuade us that an elitist world government is the only way to save mankind.

    Many thanks for posting this Anthony, it’s cheered me up no end :-)

  365. davidmhoffer says:

    P Walker (12:20:55) :
    I second Paul Hildebrandt ’s post (10:28:03) . Someone above called Dr. Curry’s essay an olive branch , but I suspect it might be a Trojan Horse>>

    The enemy is surrounded, and they have run out of ammunition. They have sent out a very nice lady with a white flag. She is charming and eloquent. She says they never meant to start a war, it was all a misunderstanding because we are un-educated. But they agree to stop shooting at us if we will just let them go home now, taking their weapons with them, and they’d like a small loan for more ammunition as part of the cease fire.

    Trojan Horse indeed.

  366. Ron Dean says:

    I take issue early in this essay – Dr. Curry, in multiple places, talks about the science being done, and that those doing this “science” were excluding skeptics. However, by definition then, no science was actually being done.

    True science, at a fundamental level, requires falsifiability, and the ability for critics to replicate the work. Since Dr. Curry admits that this was not being done, the term “science” cannot be applied to what was taking place at UEA, the IPCC, Penn State, and other institutions.

    If Dr. Curry continues to use the word “denier”, then she should be equally as open to a new semantic defining what these nominal “scientists” actually are: “advocacy hacks”.

  367. David Jones says:

    Having been brought up in a strongly pro-trades union, left-wing, family I learned many years ago that the appropriate default position, when faced by the usual “liberal” mantra of “we know best and it’s for your own good,” is to distrust both the messenger and the message. That is a position I have held almost all of my 70 years and I have had no cause, ever, to reconsider that approach.

    This Dr Curry seems to be just another part of the self-styled “liberal elite” and as such both she and her message are distrusted.

  368. Software Audit required says:

    I happy to be called a climate change cynic now…

    Sceptic I could live with..

    Deniar was appalling, and ultimately did the MOST harm to the AGW advocates..

    It fired me up, that and
    Gordon Brown’s ‘Flat earther’
    and particulary
    Ed Millibands ‘ climate sabatouer’ (very scary terrorist insinuations)

    It got to the point that it was so counter productive for them , but they had the arrogance, and had such an easy ride by the media, they thought they could get away with it forever…
    Ultimate turning point for me, was the copenhagen opening video that made my 5 year old cry.
    Shown repeatedly, and UNCRITICALLY, by the BBC and all the other tv media…

    The bit where the tidal wave engulfs the land, and a small child..

    By daughter STILL worries about that child..

    I have a friend that worked for the IPCC, and last week she said it is still only 59 cm by 2100.

    At the time I worked out the rate of that tidal wave.

    0.000000007 km/h

    PROPOGANDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My friend was an editor on the IPCC synthesis reports, and contributed to working group 1. She is a genuine, caring trust worthy person.

    Knows the people involved well, and is very much still involved in the business/pr of ‘climate change’

    She has a huge disconnect with the politics.
    I think the scientists involved have a DUTY to stand up and say that the propaganda like the above is WRONG.

    When climategate first happened, I asked if it had been a busy week, said things look a bit bad.. She directed me to Real climate.
    I haven’t discussed the issue for the last 3 months.

    She has her OWN climategate emails, signed kyoto consensus, the one Tom wigley condemmed as reprehensible, signed the met office round robin.
    Job is partly to advice big business on ‘climate change’

    But this is where the disconnect is..
    She has NOT even LOOKED at ANY of foia2009.zip.
    genuine surprise at having a climategate email. Has NOT seen, looked at Harry_read_me.txt, life with colleagues has just carried on, in their world it has all blown over.

    Despite, allegations of total fraud, so convinced of the science’ has not looked at climategate leak….

    HUGE disconnect from the many scientists involved (not the Mann’s, Jones of the situation) but the vast numbers of phd’s etc, working in AGW. Looking at their own miniscule bit of research, agw effect on climate and wheather in north wales, or the effect on breeding birds migrations patterns in latvia, etc,etc,etc

    That is where a big problem is:

    So much research depends on the assumption of AGW as a basis for everything else. It has just turned into a colossal groupthink..

    No Scam, NO con, no conspiracy here..
    Just a mass delusion (try reading the madness of crowds)

    If you ever wondered why people inthe historic past were so stupid, or that we are somehow superior to those people that got caught up in the ‘Tulip Craze’ or the ‘South Sea Bubble’.

    Well think again, in hundred years or 2, people will look back and wonder at how the AGW delusion happened.

  369. Ken Stewart says:

    Dr Curry, an enjoyable read. One thing you do need to understand about the blogosphere- the old children’s rhyme applies- “Sticks and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me.”
    Whether I’m called a denier, a sceptic, an auditor- whatever- it doesn’t worry me at all- I will keep checking the data myself, and keep reading what others have dug up. Because I’ve found you most certainly can not trust the “experts”. In the words of the late Don Chipp when he set up the now defunct Australian Democrats, we’re here to “keep the bastards honest.”

  370. Adam Gallon says:

    I’ve not read all 334 (at the time of posting) responses.
    But here’s my view.
    “demonstrating that the perceived misbehavior of even a few scientists can diminish the credibility of science as a whole.”
    Perceived misbehaviour?
    Shouldn’t that read “Demonstrable misrepresentation & perversion of science, organised “hate campaigns” and inciting the perversion of justice” ?
    “However, there is nothing in this crazy environment that is worth sacrificing your personal or professional integrity”
    Insert “apart from money to fund departments and trips to nice, warm places and being able to strut your stuff amongst the World’s political elite” some where in this sentance?
    “Dueling blogs” (e.g. climateprogress.org versus wattsupwiththat.com and realclimate.org versus climateaudit.org) can actually enhance public trust in the science as they see both sides of the arguments being discussed”
    I don’t see much evidence of both sides being discussed over at Surreal Climate, it’s their side and most comments to the contrary get snipped or culled (I did see that the blue pencil wasn’t in such use immediately after Climategate blew up, but it does seem to have been taken out of the pencil case again lately)
    RC’s presentation of the science isn’t anywhere near as comprehensive as CA’s and Romm’s loathsome ways means I’ve looked at his site a few times and moved rapidly on (Ditto Grant Foster’s echo-chamber of a blog)
    “People have heard the alarm, but they remain unconvinced because of a perceived political agenda ”
    Perceived again! Is this like I only perceive to see the blobs of grey caused by those clever optical illusions, they aren’t really there and I’m just “seeing things”?
    Let’s test my perception.
    “CO2 is causing run away global warming, so to ration its use, we’re going to heavily tax anything you do that releases it”
    “but few mainstream climate researchers participate in the blogospheric debate. The climate researchers at realclimate.org were the pioneers in this,”
    Which is why they censor Steve McIntyre’s name, let alone any comment he makes, never participate in any discussions on his blog and claim that anyone opposing their views is being paid by some slush fund fed by Exxon?
    “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda. There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.”
    Perhaps she’d like to get Al Gore’s, James Hansen’s and the main UK political parties’ comments on this?

  371. Anthony

    As one who is encouraged by the growing number of people who distrust Climate Change science, I am stunned by the number of this posting’s responses that take this lady seriously. However, a few of them see and quote the real point of her guest post:

    “The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public that is referred to as “unscientific America” by Chris Mooney.”

    Says it all, really. She is saying that the truth of the IPCC’s conclusions is not even in question! We, poor dumb-arsed people simply don’t understand it because the IPCC lack communication skills! So she appeals to skeptics for more understanding to bridge the gap.

    The IPCC’s conclusions are not truths or even approximations. The best of them are wild exaggerations. The worst are are simply false. And AGW, the major position of the IPCC, is utterly unproven. When pressed for the evidence, all we get is argument from ignorance. “We can’t explain it if we discount man-made CO2 from our models, so therefore that’s the cause”.

    Climate research can only earn credibility by being scientific. If that happens, then trust will follow. Any attempt to build trust in Climate Research while it remains fundamentally untrustworthy is despicable.

  372. In spite of all those excellent comments, I think there is still something to contribute. That is, when you argue with someone, do not assume that their position is set in stone. As I showed in my second posting on WUWT, I have made some pretty big mistakes in my opinions on things, and at any moment I am trying to sort them out, seeing where I went wrong, to some extent trying to defend my integrity, and trying to see how I can move safely to a better position. I believe that some of the things that Judith Curry said can be understood in terms of such an internal dialogue. A very practical reason for a respectful dialogue is that while it is going on people can work things out privately and do not feel attacked if they don’t change or derided if they do. This has nothing to do with pretending that there are no real criticisms or differences. Of course if the other person ‘disses’ you consistently, then you may decide that a polite withdrawal is the best way. That is how non-violence has worked in politics, when it has been given a chance; and we could use Climategate for bringing it to science.

  373. François GM says:

    re: Willis Eschenbach (13:50:31)

    Willis,

    Masterful. Longwinded, but masterful. As a scientist, academic and citizen, I agree entirely with the content and tone of your discourse.

    Cheers.

  374. Henry chance says:

    Romm claims humans cause 80 – 120% of the warming.
    How do we make it 20% warmer than it is?

    http://climateprogress.org/2009/12/02/realclimate-gavin-schmidit-what-fraction-of-global-warming-is-due-to-human-causes-vs-natural-causes/

    Robust eh?

    Micky C (12:20:53) :

    Dr Curry
    3) You get all your mates and then others to test it 4) When you run out of ideas and things to test, then you might be onto something.
    CO2 forcing has NEVER been tested in laboratory conditions. If you don’t believe me go and do a literary search (like on scopus).

    Too much science. In a real lab with a real scientist, the other variables would have to be controlled. They assume H2O is constant.

    From a Nature paper
    “There is a robust signal behind the shift to more intense hurricanes,” says Judith Curry, chair of the school of earth and atmospheric sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology

    More robust tornadoes also? Like the GreeNsburg kansas tornado Obama claimed killed 10,000? (actual deaths were 12)
    Do human activities cause 120% of the increase in tornados?
    How can skeptics like myself accept hurricanes are stronger when they didn’t come around?

    Where are the Hurricanes recently? This thread is eye opening.

  375. Henry chance says:

    Liz (13:59:35) :

    I agree with Dave L. (8:16) concerning the comment on the “janitorial work” of record keeping. Keeping accurate records is essential for any work to be accepted, whether it is climate studies, drug studies or accounting, which is my line of work.

    And if you are an accountant, CPA’s perform independent audits. They have internal control questionaires. Judith doesn’t understand the violation of FOIA requests done to a CPA would have caused them to fire the client.

    If the standards in accounting were sloppy, they go to jail. There is an ethics exam for accountants. It explicitely lists what constitutes ethical business practices.

    The cheating with the data was written into the Fortran computer program models.

    and Jones “lost some of the old data”

    I actually read hundreds of pages of litigation for the enron fiasco in court. This climate gate fiasco copied how Enron operated in more ways than most of us know.

  376. Mike Borgelt says:

    A lot of fairly long winded comments on Dr Curry’s letter:

    How about: BS and CYA.

    Just where do you get off Dr Curry, calling people “deniers” ?

  377. TinyCo2 says:

    Oh wow. When you read all these fantastic, unique replies, how can anyone think that sceptics are anything but honestly, passionately motivated people?

    There are many highlights but Luboš Motl (08:16:29) and Willis Eschenbach (13:50:31) are particularly stirring replies.

  378. Bill says:

    In some ways this is an interesting article. But, strangely, while it is littered with references to ‘big oil’ it nowhere mentions ‘big environmentalism’ or the big businesses that are making a killing out of pushing the AGW scam.

  379. Eve says:

    Dr. Curry: The problem is the idea of climate change. I am not a climate scientist; I am one of the masses, a worker and a taxpayer. But I did go to school including university and I have a science background. I know there was a Medieval Warm Period and I know there was a Little Ice Age as well as the Roman Warm Period and the Dark Ages. I know that this planet has been without ice at either pole and I know the planet is on its 3rd atmosphere. I know this planet’s climate changes, sometimes drastically.
    When the IPCC displayed the hockey stick with no Medieval Warm Period and no LIA, they showed they and the scientists behind it, could not be trusted. When Al Gore started jetting around the globe with his Inconvenient Truth show, he showed he could not be trusted. Every newspaper and TV station that talks about “climate change” shows that they also cannot be trusted. Every politician who supports cap and trade or a carbon tax shows that they too cannot be trusted.
    What this has done is to destroy the public’s trust in science and the IPCC, as well as in our politicians and mainstream media.
    It was not the bloggers who did this; it was the IPCC and climate scientists, claiming junk science as truth.

  380. jaypan says:

    @Willis Eschenbach (13:50:31) :

    Well done. Thank you.

  381. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    “….the perceived misbehavior of even a few scientists….”

    ………………………………………………………………………………………..

    It is not perceived. It is real. It is incorrect to use the word perceived. This word leaves the wrong impression of what is really happening in global warming ‘science’.

    Science does not allow this sort of misinterpretation. Science is supposed to unforgivingly adhere to accuracy.

    Real not perceived.

  382. AlexB says:

    I thought it was a very good letter and I congratulate Dr Curry on taking what seems to me about as balanced an approach as one can be expected to take given the circumstances. I would like to hear a lot more scientists on the other side talk like that however I’m sure that goes both ways.

    At the risk of adding something to the discussion I will give my basic premise of why I, a PhD student studying both the philosophy of the scientific method (as mainly outlined by Hume and Popper) and Materials Science is not happy with the science as presented in Journal papers by Hansen and the like.

    Now there are such things as facts. What I mean by fact here is that you can say at place P and time t the measuring device M was reading between the gradations of X1 and X2. That is a fact i.e. something we can say is absolutely true because it is a singular statement which has been observed to have happened. Lets say that place P is the centre of Melbourne, time t is some time in the 1880’s and M is a thermometer and X1 is 15.4 and X2 is 15.6. Now it is not strictly factual to say that the temperature is 15.5degC in universal terms because that is not known to you to be true, by the definition of 15.5degC the thermometer could be out. Depending on the measuring case this can either be a significant problem or not and can be a significant problem in some situations of temperature measurement but lets just be reasonable and assume that this is checked properly at temperature stations. Now you want to chart this temperature over the course of 100 years in order to say that the earth has warmed and that the warming is due to CO2 by looking at N numbers of M at different Ps. Now over the course of 100 years N changes significantly, the environment around many of the P’s changes significantly, P itself changes significantly, M changes to different kinds of devices and the t of the day changes significantly. So as someone who use to work as a process control engineer let me tell you that it is not easy to sift through all that raw data and correct for everything that changed. Once the correction has been changed you end up a lot further from the facts than when you started out with that first measurement. So you have to do a lot of leg work to test the quality of your data and see how the assumptions you are making might affect your conclusions. Now there was an assumption that the top scientists at NASA had done this correctly so everyone accepted the record. Then along comes a meteorologist called Anthony Watts who starts to point out that some of these M’s which are supposed to be measuring the change in global temperature are actually measuring the change in how high the air conditioning is turned up, how big the director’s car engine is or documenting a cities sewerage production. Now just when I’m recovering from the shock that this hasn’t been checked (which to me was bigger than any gate du jour) I find the response to this is to show two corrected datasets side by side. Not to try and do this from a closely factual basis but to correct it and then try and palm it off as insignificant. Anyone who thinks that performing your correction on two different data sets and them being much the same demonstrates that there is no problem with the data sets should never have got a doctorate. It’s just insulting that they would do that. If anything it suggest a problem with the correction method.

    Then it just started getting worse and worse from there and the lengths to which the science had been stuffed up on such an important issue were unimaginable and then it became quite clear that there was a lot of advocacy going on and it was too hard to separate the good science from the bad science and political advocacy to justify burning witches.

    Regards,
    Alex Buddery

  383. Britannic no-see-um says:

    I found the essay did acknowledge a certain degree of the frustration we have suffered for years, although I still sense condescension, as if forced by circumstance rather than free, much as is apparent in some previously staunchly arrogant media columnists.

    The allusions to ‘big oil’ and ‘denial’ is fiction. I have had a full career within the industry, in both technical (geological) and managerial positions, and in countless meetings climate change or global warming never entered the radar. Environmental factors were, of course, but not on that topic.

    Let us not forget the army of past students who have benefitted from oil company bursaries and grants, for nothing in return, encouraged further staff training and publication of new research, and also the huge philanthropic heritage from oil weathy families which originally founded and benefacted various US academic research institutes, libraries etc.

    Prior to the AGW political promotion, how many people could expect employment in climate science, if indeed it is a science rather than a blend of the more traditional disciplines? And to what extent, if any, were they attracted by preconceived environmental evangelism and the cateract of generous political funding, promotion, fast track papers etc? Its not dubious intent funding by ‘big oil’, its dubious intent funding by ‘big politics’, and how that funding was construed down the supervisory chain.

  384. geo says:

    Anthony–

    I generally don’t have a problem with the way she used “deniers” here, which was –mostly– a historic discussion about *before* the emergence of you and Steve (and others, of course) on the scene. Early uses she even is explictly putting emotional distance from herself in the usage –she’s saying other people used that term, not necessarily herself.

    Later uses however she does sort of take ownership of it herself, but looking backwards to the “old days” when (apparently she believes) there were no “real” skeptics, just Big Earl funding biased research. Those later uses are a little troubling to me (I’ll get to that), but being backwards looking are not so troubling to me here to toss out the baby with the bathwater over it.

    On the whole, I find this to be a call for toleration to the scientist community and urging them to work harder to recognize that even if Big Earl had some shills “back in the day”, that’s NOT primarily what they are dealing with today in the here and now with people like you and Steve (etc), and they need to recognize it and act like it.

    Now, having said all of that. . . I have not done nearly enough research on Big Earl funded research “back in the day” to feel comfortable even now that every one of those scientists was “in the tank” and did no work worth having. I’m not.

    But I also recognize the line that Dr. Curry is trying to walk here, and why. When you’re trying to close a civil war, you have to come up with some creative tightrope walking to do it. You have to give both sides a little something to hold onto to show that neither was *entirely wrong* even if neither was *entirely right* either.

    I am reminded of a resolution that the Enlgish came up with to close the War of the Roses. The English have really been quite good at coming up with creative solutions to this things to paper over the past and find a way to move forward.

    In that case, what they did was decide that any man who had followed “a crowned king” could not be guilty of Treason, and just let it go at that.

    In my view, Dr. Curry is doing something similar here, and if I don’t entirely agree with it, I think I perceive its necessity and so am willing to let it go with a little grumble. Basically she’s saying “Oh, sure, there *were* ‘deniers’, but that’s not what we’re looking at now to any significant degree, so let’s just move on and leave the ‘denier’ stuff in the past and learn to relate to the genuine, and technically informed and talented skeptics in front of us *now*”.

    I hope Dr. Curry sees my analysis and gives me at least a little wink of acknowledgement for recognizing her own attempt at a rhetorical “trick”. ;)

  385. Robert E. Phelan says:

    Dr. Curry needs to step back a little further and do some epistemological reflection. Calling for changes in peer-review or transparency in data and methods are merely cosmetics that will ultimately have no effect. There are several metastasizing cancers at the core of all science today, not just climate science, that are perverting its nature.

    Facts, even true facts, never speak for themselves. Creative minds assemble those facts into explanatory structures that we call theories, but the theories do not stand in some splendid isolation: they are part and parcel of the world view of the theorist. The same facts could be used to support an entirely different theory integrated into an entirely different world view.

    Dr. Curry seems to feel that the funding of Big Oil was corrupting and that science needs to fight subversion by greedy commercial interests. Yet the vast bulk of funding comes from a single source: Government. When governments discovered that science could be used to further their interests (e.g. the Manhattan Project) they embraced it whole-heartedly and demanded it produce practical results. Science has not only been bought and paid for, its practitioners have whole-heartedly adopted the world-view of their paymasters and come to believe that they, too, were in the vanguard of a progressive elite. Ptolemaic Astronomy had predictive power and supported a particular world view. What makes today’s scientific paradigm any different?

  386. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    ” Of greatest importance is the reduced credibility of the IPCC assessment reports…..”

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    It will fall farther. It has not hit its real level yet. Its credibility has always been inflated to unreal proportions.

  387. stun says:

    This is what I want to send to my son’s school:

    <>

    Any editing anyone could suggest>

  388. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    “They have had to adopt unconventional strategies to fight off what they thought was malicious interference. They defend their science based upon their years of experience and their expertise.”

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    This is naive. There is no mention of fighting because of the money involved.

  389. I would add an ‘Amen’ to Jryan’s request re Michael Crichton.

  390. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    “Much has been said about the role of the highly politicized environment in providing an extremely difficult environment in which to conduct science that produces a lot of stress for the scientists.”

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Right is might. They were not right so they did not have might.

  391. davidmhoffer says:

    Jerome Ravetz4
    when you argue with someone, do not assume that their position is set in stone. As I showed in my second posting on WUWT, I have made some pretty big mistakes in my opinions on things, and at any moment I am trying to sort them out, seeing where I went wrong, to some extent trying to defend my integrity, and trying to see how I can move safely to a better position.>>

    And there you have it. The whole misleading mess summed up in a misleading statement. Sir, your writing is eloquent, persuasive and thought provoking. But your statement above is misleading because:

    1) There is a vast gulf between arguing with someone who believes in their position and arguing with someone who doesn’t believe in their position but defends it and promotes it due to ulterior motives.
    2) Trying to defend you integrity and move to a safer position due to errors is again, the other side of a vast gulf from defending and promoting a position due to lies born of ulterior motives.

    You presume the former in both cases. I presume the latter. Moving to a safer position is no more than deception. I will grant you the former in this case, but for the AGW proponents, the evidence suggests the latter.

  392. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    “And when your science receives this kind of attention, it means that the science is really important to the public.”

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    The importantce of global warming is artificial. It is a bubble like the dot-com bubble and the housing bubble. It is not real importance.

    The bubble of importance was inflated by politicians, environmentalists and a few scientists.

    Most scientists saw through what was going on. You can see some of these scientists in posts and columns here on WUWT, and in op-ed articles, peer reviewed papers, and documentaries.

    The truth is there for everyone to see in broad daylight. The issue is: do you want to see it?

  393. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    “Over the last few months, I have been trying to understand how this insane environment for climate research developed”

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Watch the documentary, “The Great Global Warming Swindle”. That case is laid out in a simple to understand way in it.

  394. Fitzy says:

    Dr Curry’s words seem self motivated, but coached , I fear she is being set up as a ‘Useful Idiot’, an olive branch to distract effort from the real task.

    That task being the continued scrutiny of DATA, persistent analysis of the Policy makers/AGW supporters behaviour vs. statements, and the continued exposure of AGW duplicity and corruption.

    Sceptics have never needed PR coaching to promote the key tenet of TRANSPARENCY in science, something the AGW supporters seem reluctant to engage in, with sceptics.

    AGW offering someone up, to say what sceptics have been saying all along, is not a get out of jail free card, sceptics are not that gullible.

    If there is to be bridge building, build it between those prepared to debate openly, no amount of structural fiddling behind the scenes, will undo the harm done by career AGW scientists..

    They poisoned the well we all drink from, they set up the straw man argument that – ‘the public is TOO dumb’ to get it, to justify not being transparent.

    We’re done with them, they are redeemable by voluntarily retiring, why continue any dialogue with evidentially corrupt and dishonest people?

    Like any genuine ground swell, sceptics are connecting with people, who smell a rat but currently lack all the pieces of the puzzle. Pulling that enthusiasm for the truth back into the AGW mill, won’t remedy the corruption, it’ll corrupt the sceptical inquiry.

    Beware being tied up in circular debates, that expend effort, that seek to stall real discussion, in favour of a tit for tat game of ‘they said/we said.’

    Let AGW supporters come to the table one at a time, and at their own pace, if they remain unconvinced, good luck to them.

    Dr Curry probably means well, and kudos to her for being open, but I remain, as always, sceptical.

  395. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    “Skeptical research published by academics provided fodder for the think tanks and advocacy groups, which were fed by money provided by the oil industry.”

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Huh, really. It is unfair to make a blanket statement like this. It leaves the impression that you are playing the ‘big oil card’.

  396. “The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC…”

    So this is the latest strategy? Bang on at extreme length about all kinds of motherhood stuff, say next to nothing, and bury your AGW message amongst the wordy dross in hope that the people will keep absorbing it?

  397. Dean says:

    The core of the problem is found in the second to last paragraph; ‘No one really believes that “the science is settled” or that “the debat is over”‘. This is exactly what ‘deniers’ have been told for the last decade and it did not just ‘seem’ that those who said this were advocating rather than doing science, they were advocating. Then the advocates compounded the insult by insisting that the only ‘scientific’ response was some really injurious political action, ignoring the advice of people like Bjorn Lumborg that the advocated cure was worse then the disiese, even if one accepted the worst case predictions. Since the predictive modles have so far been shown not to predict anything which actually happens, I believe ‘deniers’ are justified in suspecting that the advocated policy is the true point, not simply a passionate disagreement about the science.

  398. DirkH says:

    “Tony B (another one) (11:10:03) :
    [...]
    “The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public that is referred to as “unscientific America””

    The “truth”? Give me a break.”

    Very good. You recognized the neurolinguistic programming tactics. Dr. Curry, send your ghostwriter to the re-education camp another time…

  399. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    “…..climate auditors……many of them classify themselves as “lukewarmers”….”

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Some would have been a better word than many.

  400. Veronica says:

    Science really is ultimately a self-correcting process, but how long that process sometimes takes when there are strong lobbly groups trying to maintain the dominant position!

    And whoever first said “the Science is settled” is a dipstick. It is the nature of science that it is NEVER settled. On the contrary, it can, unfortunately for the warmistas, become UNsettled at any time, depending on the data that comes in.

  401. David Ball says:

    -Ms. Curry, was just wondering if you could help me find my families share of the oil money. I, apparently, am having difficulty following it. You said it was easy. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~-The proponents of AGW have claimed there will be runaway warming for at least 25 years now. When was this going to happen again? The delusion that the public has lost faith in science is certainly not our fault, but lies in the fact that CAGW is not happening. The problem lies with promoters of the diaphonous theory screaming at the top of their lungs: WOLF, WOLF!!!!

  402. Jimi Bostock says:

    I think that this post is a wonderful evolution in the discussions. Congrats must go to both Judith and Anthony.

    I do not share Anthony’s concerns about the use of the “denier” term. Judith is clearly using it for historical perspective. More so, I say we embrace the term and add to it that we are deniers that the science is settled.

    Here in Australia we have several cases where derogatory words have been claimed by the very people it was used against. “Wog” is a great example. It was used by racists to denegrate people from Italy, Greece, etc. Now these people openly use it and it is also acceptable, if you are their freind, to call them a wog, in typical Australian jest.

    So, I suggest that the denier slur be worn as a badge. After all, denying that the science is settled is probably one of the smartest things one can do.

    I can only hope that Judith’s thoughtful words are heeded by the climate science community. That will go a long way to getting the whole thing back on a good footing and progress be made.

    After all, from my view, we may well be facing AGW. It is only that there are so many problems with the science that we can not really say. Over the next few years we need to get the mess sorted out.

    Judith’s input would be invaluable in that process.

  403. hmccard says:

    Dr. Curry,

    I’m sure that you realize that only a small fraction of the visitors to this blog leave comments. Some refer to them as “lurkers” but I consider them to be the “silent majority.” Why do you suppose they choose to visit WUWT? I suppose that they find the posts and related comments interesting. I also believe this situation exists at other blogs. If this is true, the number of visitors to the lukewarmer and skeptical blogs listed in Anthony’s blogroll is very large and may be increasing exponentially. I have no sense of what is happening at the Pro AGW blogs but it would be interesting to know if they are also experiencing significant growth.

    My commednts above are meant to suggest to you that the climate science skeptical group has always been large; perhaps much larger than you thought. In the last few years the blogosphere, through the effort of Steve McIntyre, Anthony and others, a “movement” of skeptics has evolved.

    Perhaps you understand the scope of this skeptical movement but I see no sign that others in your field understand it. If they did and recognized that it is world-wide, I think they might appreciate the extent and nature of the trust issue that you have raised.

    Regards

    Hank McCard

  404. Viktor says:

    How many chances are the likes of CA and WUWT going to give Judith Curry to unleash these attempts to numb sceptical individuals to the perils of practicing bad science? She has been given several chances, especially over at Climate Audit, to grasp exactly what it is we are saying and how we have arrived at this very point.

    Still, she resorts to these falsehoods about “Big Oil” funding the sceptical movement at every turn, while ignoring that “Big Government” and “Big Energy” have poured exponentially more (to put it mildly) into the coffers of alarmists’ machine. We’re labeled “deniers”, still, invoking the most horrific of atrocities as an equivocation for our position. There are no signs that this person is working towards any coherent understanding of the sceptical position, as she continues to assert that the alarmists are merely suffering from an image problem due to a lack of effective communication.

    To put it plainly: It is bad science, and even worse policy, that has ignited the sceptical spark in so many today.

    I ask again, how many more chances will she be given to misrepresent the facts, in very public forums, while extending her hand in an effort to repackage the image of failed science? Dr. Curry is Ravetz-lite – dangerous, too, without the ambitiousness.

  405. Paul Vaughan says:

    I applaud Dr. Judith Curry’s distinction between “denier” & “auditor”. I encourage further distinction between “skeptic” & “nonalarmist”. The term “skeptic” is misapplied far more often than the term “denier”.

    When someone calls me a denier, I laugh – and the laughter is genuine. I am simply interested in understanding nature.

    While neither denier nor skeptic, the label “nonalarmist auditor” is not incorrect, even if it misses the point about simply wanting to understand nature.

    The endless objections to use of the term “denier” appear frivolous. I encourage WUWT to review the policy of discouraging use of the term.

    Thanks to Dr. Judith Curry & WUWT for a great article.

  406. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    …..James Hansen at NASA GISS…..raw data to the final analyzed product. Further, creation of the surface data sets was treated like a research project, with no emphasis on data quality analysis, and there was no independent oversight.

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    There is no mention here of the 1000’s of dropped temperature stations by GISS. The dropped stations are those most likely to be unaffected by UHI, i.e., Urban Heat Island. This means the GISS set has been made as biased toward warming as possible.

    This point is crucial.

  407. david elder says:

    As a ‘lukewarmer’ and a retired biologist with a longstanding interest in the environment, plus a willingness to do precautionary emission cuts if done sensibly by nuclear power, the sole proven solution at present: I welcome Judith Curry’s contribution and Anthony’s characteristic good editorial policy in running her piece.

    Why do many like me feel more or less sceptical about AGW and climate science?

    1. The environmental movement has a long history of alarmism, including a 1970s alarm over global cooling.
    2. The IPCC is run by the United Nations. I and many others do not trust this institution, not for any wild ideological reason, but because we have seen it fail so many times.
    3. When the AGW movement labels its opponents as ‘deniers’, with its overtones of pathological mental states shading off into holocaust denial, it is an infuriating tactic. Moreover, many sceptics do not deny all AGW, they just question how serious it will be.
    4. Continual McCarthy-style smears about links to Big Oil are par for the course with AGW proponents. I have never gotten a cent from that source. And the climate change community has a prima facie interest in perpetuating AGW theory to attract funding. So warmer lectures about vested interests are simultaneously rash generalisations and acts of hypocrisy.
    5. I do not distrust science but I do distrust the climate science community for the reasons given by Wegman and colleagues in his 2006 report. This community is inbred, incestuously promoting each other’s work, and savaging pack-style anyone like McIntyre who dared to question their conclusions (as is normal in science).
    6. The hockey stick team showed massive obstinacy in making their full data and working generally available. This hindered independent checking. That is simply not science. And an innocent person has nothing to hide; so evasive behaviour begets distrust.
    7. The hockey stick team also engaged in flagrantly unacceptable attempts to hide troublesome aspects of their proxy temperature reconstructions – hide-the-decline was done by two different methods (splicing in the instrumental record, and truncating the proxy record in a place where the truncation is hard to notice in a tangle of spaghetti graphs: McIntyre).
    8. As former IPCC head Watson noted, IPCC errors tended to consistently favour the alarmist side, not the random spread expected for honest errors (I admit to having made plenty of them).
    9. The IPCC/green/media complex inundated us with propaganda about AGW, often on the flimsiest of pretexts. For example, there is endless panic about the Antarctic, yet most of the continent has not warmed since the early 1970s, and the one warming part, the Antarctic Peninsula, may be doing so by contacting a warm current. I want science, not an outdoor freak show.
    10. We were endlessly bombarded with the message that the science is settled, at the very time when the global temperature was not rising for a decade or more. And at the time that evidence was increasing for natural warming factors like solar cycles and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.
    11. We were continually pressured to adopt preconceived policy solutions. In my country, cap and trade was treated as if it had been handed down by Moses from on high. Yet my understanding is that Crocker one of its inventors doesn’t think it will work on a global scale (as opposed to the more restricted use of it in the US against acid rain).
    12. In short, I and others like me feel we are being railroaded by AGW true believers into swallowing ‘settled’ science which is clearly not settled, and into rigid policy solutions to the alleged problems. We fear that a lot of ordinary people could lose their jobs from panicky policies that have been distorted by alarmism and groupthink.

  408. joshua corning says:

    Again, trust plays a big role; it was pretty easy to follow the money trail associated with the “denial machine”. On the other hand, the climate auditors have no apparent political agenda,
    are doing this work for free, and have been playing a watchdog role, which has engendered the trust of a large segment of the population.

    Curry has no clean hands on this issue. She rejected the work done on the Soon paper because she did not like some of the sources of its funding.

    Science is not about who pays for it. Until Curry goes back and reexamines the Soon paper and reviews it on its scientific merits she is just as culpable as those involved in the CRU emails.

    Exxon funded research which lead to the development of lithium Ion batteries. Obviously the research was scientifically valid. Are we to suppose that simply because Exxon funded a science paper on climate that it is automatically invalid?

    Trust does play a big role and Curry is neck deep in this scandal if she is going to reject science for unscientific reasons.

  409. Jordan says:

    Willis Eschenbach (13:50:31): a frank destruction of Judith’s “essay”. This thoroughly deserves a place at the top of the thread – the place of a direct response to Judith’s (ahem) “essay”.

    Willis could not make the point better: public trust is the product of good science.

    Judith wishes to make larded-up junk more palatable to the public. A thesis which rests four-square on the assumption that failure to accept junk must be some kind of measure of public stupidity.

    But there is some utility in her words. We can use this as a measure of how long it can take the purveyors and defenders of junk to appreciate who is the most deserving of wearing the stupidity label.

  410. ROM says:

    Judith Curry’s first article on WUWT was touted by many as a new way forward but to me it was merely another lame dressing up of a strongly held anti skeptic, non tolerant and anti alternative view which it seemed Curry could not divorce herself from.
    When she used the term “deniers” as a descriptive term in that first article, that was enough for me.
    She was merely trying to dress up her fixed, non negotiable climate warming advocacy position.

    Her spots have not significantly changed as even in this article there are no open signs of regret that the strident and very nasty climate warming advocacy which brooked no opposition to it’s policies was wrong.
    There are no admissions that the climate warming science and scientist advocates have received truly immense amounts of funds to continue their warmista advocacy.
    Instead Curry refers only to the insignificant sums in the overall funding of the climate debate from an oil company that supposedly underpinned the Skeptics campaign, financial support which dried up many years ago nor does she even hint at the immensely larger sums that flowed from the same Big Oil to the warmista groups such as CRU and etc let alone the immense sums from environmental advocacy groups and the tax payer’s pockets without those same tax payer’s consent to those same alarmist climate science advocacy organisations.
    Nor does she directly admit nor does it appear that she can bring herself to admit that most of the claims of the global warmists and climate changers were wrong, corrupted, hyped up and deliberately alarmist.

    Curry has moved somewhat in that she now seems more ready to admit that perhaps the science was not open but nowhere does she definitively call for the full and total release of all the data, algorithms and computations both past and into the future so that everything can be checked and thoroughly examined.
    She skirts around this subject with weasel words without being direct and open as to what society requires of it’s climate scientists and it’s scientists of every discipline.
    Steve McIntyre, Anthony Watts and others get credit for unveiling the corruption in climate science but nowhere does Curry say that their work should have been totally unnecessary if honesty and ethics had a place in climate science.

    From this layman’s point of view, one of billions whose entire life was to be deeply affected and changed and life style comforts possibly severely reduced if those same climate scientists that Judith Curry represents and is excusing had got their way, something I will take a long time to forgive or forget, then if Judith Curry still represents the attitudes and thinking of that same climate science today where the appearances and outcomes are more important than the actual science, we indeed still have a very long way to go before climate science is an open, fully accountable and ultimately respected discipline if ever in the next couple of generations.

  411. Rob M says:

    “Gene Zeien (07:57:36) :

    The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC

    TRUTH?!? I can think of several more appropriate words: story, case, hypothesis, theory.”

    try ‘fairy story’

  412. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    “….it was pretty easy to follow the money trail associated with the “denial machine”.”

    ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    Huh, really.

    Are you refering to the Newsweek article?

    If you are, even a longtime writer for Newsweek said that article was a dirty attack.

  413. Stephen Brown says:

    Welcome, Dr. Curry to the real world.
    A sampling of the comments above shows some are disparaging, some encouraging; some commentators welcome your presence here (as I do) whilst others are more wary. That is the way of the world.
    You talk of trust. Trust has to be earned, it is not simply given. The IPCC has earned our collective rejection of its shrill, hysterical rants of impending doom because it has been shown, in many parts, to be completely wrong. I repeat a phrase written earlier; “Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.” False in one part, false in all. That is how the majority of people today view the IPCC’s comments, recommendations and policies.
    The IPCC is now so deeply discredited that it should be disbanded entirely. The trust which it garnered in its early days of existence has been squandered by those pursuing a political rather than a truly scientific agenda. Politics and Government money have corrupted the IPCC beyond redemption.
    How should the “New Start” begin? Let’s start with the concept of truly “open notebook” science where everything or rather EVERYTHING is available for review by anyone. The internet makes this a very cheap and easy way of presenting the entirety of any and every scientific endeavour.
    As you may now have noticed, although few here can claim to be ‘climatologists’, most here are well educated and are well able to detect what is best described as B*** S*** very quickly. A complete revelation of everything involved in every prediction or prognostication claiming to have a basis in ‘science’ is the only way forward.
    We, the sceptics, are not your enemies. We are, in fact, your best friends. It is we who are insisting that ‘science’ is performed scientifically. Debate and contrary opinions are part and parcel of such a process, ad hominem attacks should be forbidden. It is only the data, the methods of the collection of that data and the conclusions drawn from the study of that data which should form the basis for discussion. It is only when these conditions are met that any re-building of trust can even start.
    How the financing of these new and open scientific endeavours should be approached is another minefield. How many Governments and businesses would pay into a blind fund, where the contributors did not know what they were funding and could in no way affect the outcome of the experiments so funded? How would scientists react when told, “Here’s some money. Here’s a problem. Investigate.” without knowing from whence their funding came? Would the TRUTH be the result?

  414. Veronica says:

    Rocky Road

    Perhaps we should call ourselves “climate insurgents”?

    LOL

  415. RockyRoad says:

    Forgive the levity, but I saw this posted by “Havewit” on another blog:

    It should be a federal crime to yell “GLOBAL WARMING!” on a crowded planet.

    Snip if necessary… lol. But I really think that’s a Quote of the Week contender.

  416. RockyRoad says:

    Veronica (15:22:46) :

    Rocky Road

    Perhaps we should call ourselves “climate insurgents”?

    LOL
    ———-
    Even that’s preferable to “denier”. :)

  417. Anticlimactic says:

    The issue for me about the term ‘deniers’ is that it is purely negative. Even ‘skeptics’ is not much better.

    The skeptics viewpoint is mostly that climate is driven by the sun, leading to roughly 30 year cycles of warming and cooling, moderated by a slight overall increase as we are still emerging from the ‘Little Ice Age’. The current view is that 1998 was the warmest year, and global cooling started in 2005. As the sun was unusually quiet for the past 3 years it is possible that the next 20 years of global cooling could be severe.

    This is hardly radical, just an alternative viewpoint, with a scientific basis and increasing evidence.

    What is needed is a more positive label, all I can think of is ‘solarists’, but that isn’t really snappy enough – suggestions anyone?

  418. Allen63 says:

    Well written, thoughtful. I don’t have any issue with the verbiage.

    I hope “climategate” does result in a new objectivity and openness at “the highest levels” on such an “expensive” topic. However, politicians, scientists, mainstream media, and investors have “hitched their wagon” to AGW. Bad things may still happen because the snowball is large and rolling down a steep incline.

  419. Stephen Brown says:

    Here’s the Grauniad’s response to Dr, Curry’s advances to the “deniers”.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/feb/24/climate-change-debate

  420. NickB. says:

    Software Audit required (14:11:27)

    Propaganda aimed at scaring children is reprehensible – NOTHING pisses me off more – but to your last point, that is part of the reason why I posted a link to Lacis’ last on Revkin’s blog. I really do believe that the real underlying issue is that they (or Lacis at least) really do think “it’s a simple physics problem”.

    After way too much time pouring through Lacis’ comments and subsequent responses the logic finally dawned on me… CO2’s greenhouse affect is a “fact”, the only real challenge and hence the only point to the IPCC is attribution of observations to said fact.

    It’s all built on circular logic and effectively, IMO, a tautology. AGW has to be there – it’s physically impossible that it’s not.

    Forget that by NOAA’s own data the temperature trend from 1911-1945 was probably more sever than 1950-current (which is when all 120% of AGW occurred). Forget that a relationship in a lab environment doesn’t always play out to expectation in an open environment the way you expect it (my background is Economics, and woah sally what is Micro is rarely discernible from the noise in Macro).

    That mindset is the core of the GCM’s too – the only real variable they build them around is CO2… and why not? After all:

    CO2 is absolutely, positively, and without question, the single most important greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. It acts very much like a control knob that determines the overall strength of the Earth’s greenhouse effect. Failure to control atmospheric CO2 is a bad way to run a business, and a surefire ticket to climatic disaster
    http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/02/17/lacis-at-nasa-on-role-of-co2-in-warming/

    I don’t think that even if it could be demonstrated that the climate does, in fact, do strange and wonderful things in response to CO2 that were never built into the GCMs… or that its underlying dynamic nature is so powerful that whatever CO2 response is there is just drowned out in the noise, or not the apocalypse they think it will be… I don’t think they will ever accept it.

    IMO when a scientist refuses to admit that it is even possible that they could be wrong, it’s not really science anymore is it?

    Is that too harsh of a judgment to levy on Lacis’ statements?

  421. berniel says:

    Restoring trust and the limits of Toleration
    In the Middle Ages across europe there was a broad movement against a corrupt church establishment and towards voluntary religion based on personal enlightenment. Some of these folks thought is was a good idea to baptise after a ‘born again’ enlightenment, just as the apostles in the Bible had done.

    The Church was sporatically intolerant to this movement in which Erasmus was educated, and which he promoted. The intolerance fed the Reformation begun by Luther. When the Lutherans broke away they introduced many changes that appeased the Church critics. However, compulsory infant baptism was the foundation of spiritual authority of the state. Luther and his princely supporters were not going to give up what was a powerful mechanism of control for it kept everyone in the same church. Nor were the Calvinists. Luther and Calvin co-operated with the Catholics to persecute the ‘ana-Baptists,’ to slaughter them into oblivion.

    Since climategate, there has been a Reformist push that is calling for some concessions to the critics of the Climate Change doctrine that is a universal dogma of the science establishment. This dogma, euphemistically called ‘Climate Change’ states that isthe overwhelming scientific grounds for the claim that CO2 emissions causing catastrophic global warming.

    If this dogma is brought into question, then it threatens the foundation of the authority of the institutions of Climate Change. Think: Mike Hulme is professor of Climate Change and director of the Tindall Centre for Climate Change. And it threatens the entire establishment that has adoped this doctrine.

    Their is good reason to protect this dogma and we need to be very clear that the reformer continue to protect it – for they, like Luther, also need to serve princes. We notice that at the same time as calling for openness and toleration for sceptics, there is an implicit or explicit intolerance to any questioning of the fundimental doctrine of Climate Change. Sceptics can operate at a higher and political level but not at the level of the fundimental question. This is in Curry above, and also in Hulme. And The Guardian’s response to Curry makes it very clear the limits of permissible toleration and reform:

    “Some sceptics such as Bjørn Lomborgand Nigel Lawson have made a very conscious shift in their stance in recent years away from one that questioned the science to one that now largely focuses on questioning the policy responses to climate change. If we are to have a fierce, politicised debate let it lie here, surely. But let’s keep the politics out of both the climate science and those that choose to try and audit it via their blogs.”

  422. hunter says:

    the bottom line irt Dr. Curry’s essay, for me, is that she is making efforts to admit there is an important problem. Although she is still not willing, yet, to admit that the problems are more than perception, she is preserving her integrity. she is willing to cknowledge something that nearly no other AGW community leader is yet willing to do: give respect to skeptics, however carefully parsed, and grant them good faith and integrity.
    That she is willing to do this speaks volumes of her personal integrity.
    That so few of her peers are willing to do the same, speaks volumes about their lack of same.

  423. Ed Murphy says:

    “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” – Carl Sagan.

    In my opinion we have the extraordinary claims and not even close to acceptable standards of evidence from this CAGW distraction.

    Science funded by the public or that which public policy is based upon should have always been ‘open source’ science. If they wanted public funding monies or to have public policy set by their alleged scientific conclusions they should have been showing all their work for encouraged debate.

    I think there is a large tab for these failures, in the many multiples of billions of dollars, that needs to be gathered up as much as possible and paid back. Given back to the people to be used to help build the employment, energy, housing and agriculture infrastructure necessary for all our planet’s people to be given the best chances of survival from the natural climate extremes that we know are returning in our future.

    No more of our money needs to go down the drain of belief driven and personal agenda religions that are not and will never be the science that was asked for.

  424. D. King says:

    As a denier, I have had an epiphany! I now know where the problem
    is. Well, this U.S. educated geographer and future climate scientist
    explains it best.

    [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj3iNxZ8Dww ]

  425. NickB. says:

    Anticlimactic (15:27:28)

    Neo-Copernicans?

    Naaah… Neo has a bad connotation now after Neo-Cons, but still thought it might be worth a chuckle. A few others that came to mind:

    Scientific-Methodists

    Falsificationists

    Yes-I-could-be-wrong-but-so-could-you-ists

    Climate Agnostic

  426. Jimbo says:

    Dr. Judith makes the mistake of pointing to some of the sceptics’ funding, lack of being qualified etc. I can only point out that her eyes have been closed for so long and the replies on this page might just open them. I am not a climate scientist but I am a member of the public who is very important as I am part of the 99%+ of the public who are not climate scientists and whom she has to persuade. Alas she is failing. Why?

    By the way Dr. Judith, who has been funding you over the past 15 years? Do you feel that you can’t contradict AGW? If not why?

    Next time be careful about talking about the money trail, I have already dealt with a very small part of it in my earlier post and you know by now posters on WUWT can get you lots more.

  427. DirkH says:

    Dr.Curry:
    “So how did this group of bloggers succeed in bringing the climate establishment to its knees (whether or not the climate establishment realizes yet that this has happened)? Again, trust plays a big role; it was pretty easy to follow the money trail associated with the “denial machine”. ”

    I wondered what this entire paragraph actually does in her reasoning. It doesn’t add anything on the surface and it looks broken after the question mark. I think the function of this paragraph is to convey the “money trail” and the “denial machine” terms. It’s a very flimsy surface on a subtext that needs to be conveyed. The entire text is built around a certain vocabulary; it is a trial at landscaping a certain Hyronimous-Bosch-style painting of the netherworld of the “denialosphere” ((c) Schmidt).

    I would love to see the editing history. How did the text look like before it was salted with “denial machine” here and “big oil” there? There must have been a PR agency at work. Fenton?

  428. r says:

    To win my trust as a scientist you need to do two things:

    1 Show me the data.
    2 Show me how you measured the data.

  429. L Gardy LaRoche says:

    Re: Willis Eschenbach (Feb 24 13:50),

    My sentiments exactly, Willis Eschenbach.
    WELL SAID!

  430. Ray says:

    I would certainly be interested in seeing the proposals and list of grants Dr. Curry has managed to secure over the years. Let us then be the judges of what she is trying to undo.

  431. r says:

    On another note,
    After going through dealing with my mother’s estate, I have learned to distrust all “professionals,” particularly lawyers and accountants.

    Here is what I learned:

    Professionals are not there to make decisions for you. They do not have your best interest in mind. They are strongly interested in their fee. I don’t care how honorable they claim to be, they are human. If you loose money because of their advice, it doesn’t really affect them.

    What a professional can do for you is teach you what you need to know so that you can make a better decision. It is also useful to hear more than one opinion.

  432. Jimbo says:

    Dr. Judith Curry, having said all that I have said challenging you, I do congratulate you on being prepared to engage with sceptics. I just feel that your problem is that you know you are right.

    Read these quotes from people upon whose shoulders you stand or not:

    “Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.”

    “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

    “To defeat relativity one did not need the word of 100 scientists, just one fact.”

    Einstein

    “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.”
    Oliver Cromwel

    “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives”.
    Leo Tolstoy

  433. Pragmatic says:

    It is plain to see from the volume and content of the comments here that the climate gate remains wide open. What I take from the general tenor of the comments is that people are angry. Damned angry. Not at Dr. Curry per se, but at the idea that this is all a “misunderstanding.” And that in the tradition of dispute resolution we should agree mistakes were made and get on with the fuzzy healing.

    Unfortunately most people here properly think there will be no healing until we know our wounds. And if you read Christopher Booker’s Feb. 20th article outlining the carbon credit scheme that is fleecing 60M pounds from the British taxpayer – you will understand that those wounds have only started to come to light.

    http://xrl.in/4mba

    I expect at some point an international criminal tribunal will be in order. There has been grave financial misrepresentation and it has cost the common man dearly.

  434. IsoTherm says:

    Willis Eschenbach, “Here is that digest:” … thanks.

    Ron “True science, at a fundamental level, requires falsifiability, and the ability for critics to replicate the work. Since Dr. Curry admits that this was not being done, the term “science” cannot be applied to what was taking place at UEA, the IPCC, Penn State, and other institutions. ”

    Just as I would like to have put it!

    As for Dr Curry, why do I get the feeling that her intervention is just getting in the way of me knowing what is happening to global temperature. I don’t want engagement with the climate community, I just want them to do their job and produce reliable temperature statistics and measure their worth not by the column inches they get in the press, but by the accuracy of their predictions.

    Is that too much to ask? Do they have to call us deniers because we expect them to do their job and act like real scientists?

  435. geo says:

    I think it would be a mistake to think this article was primarily aimed at the skeptics. There is a minor chord there, and that minor chord is “oops, sorry, we mistook you for someone else –now that we’re seeing a little more clearly, can we start over again on the personal relationships?”

    In my view the major chord is aimed at trying to get the science community to recognize what she has recognized on the “mistaken identification” front, and act like it.

  436. Patrick M. says:

    Wow what a long winded article. Is being a scientist THAT hard, (my father spent close to 40 years as a true “scientist”)? I suggest that if you want to be called a scientist, discuss science in good faith with those that question your work. Leif Svalgaard comes to mind as a good example of how a scientist should act.

  437. Willis Eschenbach (13:50:31) :
    To do so, I condense each paragraph into one or a few sentences. Here is that digest:
    Willis, how about a digest of your post? :-)

  438. r says:

    Furthermore,

    Think about all the previous wrong claims that were supported by facts and measurements:

    Your intelligence is determined by the bumps on your head, or the distance between your eyes.

    Doctors used to x-ray a baby’s enlarged thymus gland to shrink it because it was bigger than “average.”

    The price of houses will go up forever, because I drew a trend line on a graph that goes up forever.

    Measurements and facts can mislead if you do not look at the bigger picture with a lick of wisdom and sense.

  439. Anticlimactic says:

    If, after an estimated $50 billion spent on research, AGW can be brought to its knees by a few bloggers [funded or not!], it shows how little substance it has.

    It is not helped by the fact that so much has been shown to be propaganda, and not based on any kind of science.

    I do not think that ‘trust’ can ever be rebuilt, nor should ‘trust’ be required – there should have been some solid science in place.

    AGW could only survive in the complete absence of critical analysis by the mainstream media, which is no longer the case.

  440. Gary Hladik says:

    Willis Eschenbach (13:50:31), wow! You took the words right out of my mouth (prudently discarding the unprintable ones).

    At least one commenter has suggested this be placed as a rebuttal just behind Dr. Curry’s article. I suggest instead that Willis submit an expanded version to WUWT as a “regular” article.

    REPLY: Works for me, up to you Willis. -A

  441. NickB. says:

    D. King (15:49:52)

    Hey, buddy!

    That’s “U.S. American” educated

    And don’t you forget it!

    /sarcoff – lol

  442. Pamela Gray says:

    Anticlimatic, please. YOUR viewpoint is that it is mostly the Sun. That certainly is not mine and I am a skeptic.

  443. Konrad says:

    Dr. Curry’s letter made for interesting reading, and her understanding of the recent success of the skeptics in the blogsphere seems sound. However claims that the foundation for skeptics movement was a massive denial machine funded by big oil seems more like wishful thinking. I feel that Dr. Curry should consider that the skeptics are a grass roots movement that represents freedom of speech and democracy in action. It has been the large corporations, the MSM, venal politicians and unaccountable NGOs that promoted the AGW scare.

    Dr. Curry indicates that better communication and openness is needed to rebuild trust in climate science. Her essays on blog sites have been generally well received because of such comments. However I believe Dr. Curry has a fundamental misunderstanding in this area, and that is that trust in climate science may never be regained. The very term “Climate Science” seems to have come into vogue with AGW movement and will be forever tainted with the venality, corruption and malfeasance that has characterized this hoax. Greater openness and better communication will only expose the fact that the foundation for CAGW is political advocacy not empirical evidence. The skeptics know there is no evidence for the water feedback fudge factor in GCMs, greater openness will simply spread the word. If those that call themselves “Climate Scientists” seek to communicate the complexities and uncertainties of climate modeling now there will be stiff resistance from the environmental NGOs, tax hungry governments and carbon traders.

    As to rebuilding trust in science in general, we skeptics seem to be doing a fair job of it. The collapse of the AGW hoax should help defend science and society in general from future highjacking attempts by any of the fellow travelers involved in this scam. Little Brother has been watching and recording. A great number of journalists, activists, politicians and scientists are about to find out that they cannot change the record of their advocacy.

  444. Robert of Ottawa says:

    Judith, I appreciate your efforts to reach out to people, but, unfortunately, you are one of the corrupted, and your attempts are contaminated by your previous positions, of which I see no evidence of change.

    Crimatologists cannot rebuild trust. The emperor’s taylors are to be laughed out of town.

  445. Wind Rider says:

    No sale doc –

    As other commenters have hinted at, this isn’t so much a science problem as a political problem – which is the perception I’ve come to have of the entire debaucle. It is only a ‘science’ problem insofar as people in positions of esteem were willing to prostitute their credibility and reputations in the service of a politically motivated agenda.

    IPCC AR4, it should be pointed out, is erroneously referred to as a ‘scientific document’ – it is not. It is a political document, assembled using apparently scientific information. And I say apparently scientific information, with this being the most heinous effect of the shennanigans of the past 30 odd years, as the revelations of the willingness to torture data until it screams the politically correct answer have inflicted perhaps an incalculable damage to the overall credibility of ALL types of science, probably on a generational scale. And I say generational scale, following the observation of Lenin – give me the child for five years, and he will be a Bolshevik forever. Which is exactly what has been done to grade school children with regard to ‘Global Warming’ (or whatever convenient label the AGW myth is being peddled with today).

    The actions of the courtesans masquerading as scientists, in order to better please their masters and facilitators in exchange for prestige, grant money, recognition – they have poisoned the well.

    Some here have expressed the concern (naive, imho) that the policy makers don’t understand this or that technical point, or this or that scientific premise.

    Such concerns are irrelevant – the politicians, courtesy of the tainted work of agenda driven individuals at prestigious institutions using superficially scientific forms and reportage – they have all they need to “know”. For them, there is only one “truth” about AGW – that it has become a very, very convenient and useful tool for the achievement of political ends. If there are any doubts about that, I’d fully recommend a trip to the C-SPAN website, to view the proceedings of the US Senate Committee hearing on the proposed EPA budget, held yesterday.

    So, “can’t we all just get along and have a rational discussion”?

    We could have. In maybe 1978 or so. At this point, it’s a little beyond that. The monster got out of the lab, doc, and the village is about to be burnt to the ground, thank you very much.

    Thanks to Anthony for hosting your little ‘blogosphere experiment’. Hope the feedback has been useful, at least in providing irrefutable evidence that for some of us out here, your credibility had the same quality as your virginity, in that once it’s gone. . .say sayonara to that, it ain’t coming back.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, this unscientific American is going to return to the task of trying to clean up the mess you, and your professional colleagues, have barfed up onto the national carpet.

    Thanks ever so much.

  446. George E. Smith says:

    The good Dr Curry talks about getting the trust back.

    She also talks about the “big Oil” connection to the “deniers”; well to the skeptics community anyway.

    Dr Curry, don’t you understand that when you throw around such statements, as linking skeptics to “big oil”, and present no evidentiary data for that claim; we quite naturally assume that you use the same care in your treatment and acceptance of scientific data?

    That doesn’t seem like a recipe for re-establishing trust.

    If you believe for instance; that MY utterances, are fuelled or funded by “big oil” or even “little oil” or ANY other identifiable special interest group; then simply show us your data on that.

    I have NO interest whatsoever in this issue; except that of getting the science correct; no matter where the chips fall.

    Stop presenting unfounded inuendo as proven fact; if you want US to believe your don’t do your science by the same standards of proof.

  447. IsoTherm says:

    geo (16:04:48) : “I think it would be a mistake to think this article was primarily aimed at the skeptics.”

    If I were running the climategaters PR campaign, I would be suggesting she was seen to “reach out to the sceptic community”.

    And it is interesting that she intentionally used the term “denier” in the article knowing it was likely to annoy us. Was this intended to provoke a response which the PR would then use against the “nasty sceptics who rejected their reach out to the community”?

    Remember this is no longer just another oddball blog. This is the heart of international politics with billions of dollars of carbon credit trading being thwarted by a movement with no recognisable focus except a few blog websites like this.

    Think about it. Obama will have come back from Copenhagen steaming with fury with those scientists who had linked him so closely with the climategate scandal. This was a major PR goof for him and likewise Brown who also looked a berk. Of course there have been high level meetings, spin doctors have been engaged, PR campaigns devised, academics have had their arms twisted to engage the enemy here.

    If I’m not mistaken the next phase in this “war” is going to be endless engagement asking us to contribute to this and that and that and this and this and that consultation, hoping that eventually by the shere exhaustion of being listened to so much that we will give up.

    Bring it on!

  448. HB says:

    Dr Curry,

    As a recent climate-realist (I much prefer that term), can I suggest that you seem to have opened the window and realised there are others out there. Now is your opportunity to actually walk to the door and step outside, if only for a moment. It’s worth the effort. Have a go at checking out the “facts” for yourself. It’s not presentation that counts, its science.

  449. geo says:

    @Willis–

    Nice speech, tho for some reason I feel the need to point out that you’re going off on 3rd-generation “value added” data (the “elevator speech”) that’s been reduced significantly in sample size from the original raw data, and some might think parts of what you “threw away” had some important relevance too.

    Yes, I’m giggling a little. . .

  450. Jean Parisot says:

    Can someone scan in one of their “big oil” checks, I haven’t gotten mine and would like to show the kids.

  451. geo says:

    @Willis–

    Oh, tho re my previous, the comparison to GHCN does come to a screeching halt in your favor re transparency in the process, at least!

  452. Henry chance says:

    Some poster on the Guardian did a little summary.

    Climate scientists have to expect some reaction from the general public when:

    1. They promote the Hockey Stick (revealed as a fabrication by bloggers)
    2. Adjust the temperature record in an unjustified fashion (caught by bloggers)
    3. Publish tree ring chronologies based on a tiny fraction of available trees to produce the desired effect (Yamal – discovered by bloggers)
    4. Use Tiljander series upside-down so that the present looks warmer (caught by bloggers)
    5. Make unsubstantiated claims regarding Himalayan glaciers (revealed by bloggers?)
    6. Fabricate disaster loss data (caught by scientist who also blogs)
    7. The CRU dog-ate-the-data affair
    8. Climategate
    9….

    My response, Yes we have been given rational reasons to distrust the Warming apologists.

    Judith does a soft sell warmist agenda. Joe Romm does a loud more threatening style of trying to scare us into becoming believers.
    I can see thru both tactics.
    Judith is on the IPCC review and seemingly endorsed the WWF style stories about poor indians losing a drink of water as soon as the glaciers are dried up. It is the fault of conservatives driving pick up trucks and eating beefsteaks for dinner.

  453. PhilJourdan says:

    IsoTherm

    If I’m not mistaken the next phase in this “war” is going to be endless engagement asking us to contribute to this and that and that and this and this and that consultation, hoping that eventually by the shere exhaustion of being listened to so much that we will give up.

    Close – but the purpose is to say they tried, and skeptics rejected them. They will ask and ask and ask, and then reject and reject and reject. Obama is playing that game now on other issues, and I see no reason for the rest of the group to think they can win with it too.

  454. John Van Krimpen. says:

    Hi Judith.

    My previous trade, was bank manager. My degree is Maths Stats and Computing a long time back. Hardly used it, a bit of systems design but mostly I worked in SME business finance.

    I am at loss to understand your explanation as to loss of integrity. Your guild highest to lowest in the least committed the sin of ommission, you stood by and watched if not actually inciting intolerance and hatred, against people asking legitmate questions about their lives.

    You spoke down to equals, you silenced equals

    It was all OK business as usual, they don’t matter, smear away, until the train left the rails. So now you come saying Trust and trust and trust, and blah and blah trust.

    There is nothing wrong with science. The science method did not fail. The science principles did not fail. Over paid arrogant Public servants with science degrees did not do the basic job of peer review, did not apply the critical thinking skills necessary in charge of extrmely expensive science departments and most of all were not honest to the public. Did not have the courage to say to policy makers and advocates with cheque books, hang on, we are just hypothesising at this stage. Scientists said they had a proof and they didn’t so they tried to silence legitmate science debate.

    We can all scream about the political and financial carpet baggers and the advocates in their zealotry and should.

    But the link was broken by people like you. The way forward is to do what this blog does. Inform release data and method.

    And most of all, never utilise or support intolerance. Science in it’s essence is free thinking.

    With those letters behind your name on your letter head comes responsibility. Speak to the truth, try it, it might work.

    The way forward is open source, science especially public service science thrives best in open source.

    You could try apologising to the M&Ms and a thousand others slimed, but I dont think they care. I dont think apologies matter I think actions matter more than a mere mea culpae.

    Nice first step. Still got a mile to go.

  455. latitude says:

    Good Lord Judith, with all due respect, the “scientists” are not the victims here.

  456. Jerry Haney says:

    If the CRU and Mann did not know that their science was either puposely wrong or just plain wrong, they would have made their data and code available to anyone who asked. They tried to cover up what they knew was a sham.

  457. geo says:

    @PhilJourdan (17:01:42) :

    Surely it is as much of a counterproductive mistake for us to think of a monolithic “they” as it for them to think of us as a monolithic “they”?

  458. Jim says:

    “In the 1980’s, James Hansen and Steven Schneider led the charge in informing the public of the risks of potential anthropogenic climate change. Sir John Houghton and Bert Bolin played similar roles in Europe”

    Starting with this quote is problematic. Dr Bolin took a hand in getting
    Dr Henk Tennekes dismissed as research director of the Royal Dutch Meteorological Society for not following the AGW party line.

    Part of the tone of the article that was problenmatic was the implied characterisation as ALL scientists are AGW believers, while only
    bloggers are skeptics. There are many scientists, who have doubts
    about the technical correctness of many works on AGW warming.
    There are in fact many scientists who have severe reservations about
    the departure from accepted scientific norms about conduct and
    data access that are all to common in clmate science.
    So far there are 256 names on the petition at the APS requesting that
    the APS council shift their stance of climate change to a position
    other than blind acceptance of the APS.
    (APS = American Physical Society).

    One interesting question that would be interesting to answer,
    exactly how many data requests had Jones received before he first
    mentions that he will be seeking to evade any FOI requests in the
    climategate emails? The climate science community, through its
    organs of Science and Nature, has painted a picture of scientists
    besieged by FOI requests and therefore being provoked into
    unethical conduct. I suspect that a forensic examination of the
    Jones emails might reveal that it was unethical conduct that provoked
    a deluge of FOI requests, not the other way around.

    Trust in climate science needs to begin with unimpeachable ethical
    conduct by climate scientists themselves. That means expunging
    the phrase “big oil denial machine” from the debate as an excuse
    for what is unacceptable behaviour.

  459. Jim says:

    Re: I meant
    “blind acceptance of the IPCC” in the comment above.

  460. Richard Sharpe says:

    If Denying for Dollars is so lucrative, how do I sign up?

  461. rc says:

    “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.” Scientists and others that say this seem to want to advance a particular agenda. There is nothing more detrimental to public trust than such statements.”

    No one? Really? So, are you going to have a talk with Al Gore, Obama, the Democrat Party in the US and every other person who as demagogued the world public with this line?

  462. Memory Vault says:

    All this from someone who, only a few months ago summed up the entire “skeptic” movement as, quote:

    “That political noise machine out there somewhere”.

    Nuff said.

  463. Alan F says:

    Was I supposed to laugh out loud at the “The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public that is referred to as “unscientific America” by Chris Mooney.” line? Truth as presented or fiction at its finest?

  464. lcs says:

    I’d like to see an argument succeed or fail because of its validity rather than the affiliation of the person making it. The day that happens is the day I’ll start trusting scientists like Dr. Curry and Mr Mann.

  465. Alex Heyworth says:

    Fair enough article. What I think has been missed is that the decline in trust of climate science in the public mind is in part due to the boy having cried wolf too often. Stephen Schneider was wrong. If you keep offering up scary scenarios, sure you get attention initially, but when the scary scenarios fail to materialize the public soon switch off. If you then keep on offering the scare stories, the reaction becomes negative.

    IMHO, climate scientists would have been better served keeping their heads down and getting on with the real work, even refusing to talk to reporters. (Of course, some of the more sensible have indeed done this.)

    The IPCC lead authors carry a lot of the blame. They have been far to sure of themselves, whether from hubris, selection bias, groupthink or whatever. They should have been much firmer in resisting political pressure. Instead they gave in and exerted their own pressure on other (more doubting) climate scientists, leading to a number of outstanding scientists withdrawing from the IPCC process (eg Landsea, Lindzen, Pierrehumbert).

  466. Willis Eschenbach says:

    One person sez …

    Willis Eschenbach, “Here is that digest:” … thanks.

    and Leif Svalgaard says …

    Willis, how about a digest of your post? :-)

    Cracked me up.

    Finally, from Gary Hladik

    At least one commenter has suggested this be placed as a rebuttal just behind Dr. Curry’s article. I suggest instead that Willis submit an expanded version to WUWT as a “regular” article.

    REPLY: Works for me, up to you Willis. -A

    Sounds good, give me a day or two. It’s an important issue.

  467. r says:

    I didn’t get my “big oil” check either.

    Nor did I get a “big government” check,
    Nor a “big green energy” check,
    Nor a “big university” check,

    (…But what I really want is tenure.)

  468. woodNfish says:

    I suppose this essay is somewhat of a start considering it was Dr. Curry who said not too long ago that any climate scientist or meteorologist who didn’t toe the AGW party line should be fired.

    However I will not be ready to even consider trusting ANY climate science or climate scientist until the housecleaning is complete. And it has not yet begun. All the regular suspects are still in their positions except for Jones and his removal is only temporary. I want some legal prosecutions for fraud with prison time, and I won’t be satisfied with anything less.

  469. Claude Harvey says:

    Well, Judith’s effort certainly generated lots of comments. I think I’d discount the lot if I were her (my previous contribution included) and focus on the following:

    Re: latitude (17:10:19) :

    “Good Lord Judith, with all due respect, the “scientists” are not the victims here.”

  470. Allan M says:

    Dr. Curry;

    “Monolithic denial machine?” In the words of an American sportsman: “You can’t be serious.”

    I hope you will wade through all the comments and understand just what a ludicrous idea this is. What I see is a spontaneous upwelling of anger and frustration driving an enormous amount of study by a great number of real people.

    As always, the method is to blame the opposition for exactly one’s own traits. As soon as the politicos decide that everyone on their side has to sing from the same hymn sheet then ordinary people with no more than common sense know they are being manipulated. They are not stupid enough, not nearly as much as academics and politicians, to trust them again. And they won’t forget.

    ———–
    Jerome Ravetz (14:17:16) :

    And the hidden agenda is to let people who talk rubbish, dissemble and manipulate get away with it.
    ————
    Antonio San (12:51:52) :

    Hilarious!
    Joe Romm and his goons are not happy at all and the response here is also unhappiness! So many people unhappy… like hormone pumped pimpled teenagers!

    If only!

    Perhaps next time I could make a better job of it.

    ———
    IsoTherm (16:42:26) :

    Brown who also looked a berk.

    He doesn’t have to work at it.

  471. Willis Eschenbach (18:06:56) :
    Sounds good, give me a day or two. It’s an important issue./i>
    don’t forget the digest.

  472. Steve says:

    When the words global warming were replaced with the words climate change
    I think that is when I started to take a interest
    Of course the climate changes all the time I don’t think anyone will argue.
    But man made global warming, after looking at both sides of the argument it was easy to say the alarmists were just peddling crap science for money.
    You just had to put global warming on your grant application and you got money thrown at you.
    Ask Al Gore really does he believe in global warming and his response will be that he believes in the money generated he is now a billionaire because of his scare campaign. He needs lawyers to look at him for scamming.
    If he and the warmists truly believed in global warming they don’t need government legislation to act.
    Start taking action.
    1. Stop using electricity
    2. Dont buy any exports
    If the warmist people really believe in there convictions they would at least do these actions. ACTION SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
    The RUDD population boom could be another problem as people exhale 4-5percent of Co2. So direct action would be do not allow any immigrants into Australia.
    The Gorgan project could be another problem as we are going to sell gas to China. Direct action would be to stop all energy exports.
    Tourism could be another problem. Direct action would be to stop of tourism.
    So warmists do your little bit, you can take direct action.
    STOP USING ELECTRICITY.
    If warmists do not take personal action, then they really dont believe in global warming at all.

  473. Another Brit says:

    So, we, the public, are too stupid to understand!!!

    I notice that many of the scientists who are proponents of GW, or members of the Climate Science Community, are also lecturers at Universities. Yet they are unable to communicate the complexities of the science in an understandable way to the man on the Clapham Omnibus.

    Just a simple question. Why are they lecturers if they cannot communicate? I am sorry Dr Curry, “communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public” does not wash with me, that is what these people are paid to do. If I am relatively uneducated in your terms, then educate me!

    As part of my work I lecture on some complex subjects, often to people with no prior knowledge and without the technical background I would prefer. No problem, I find a way of putting the information across. That is what I am paid to do.

    Why is the Blogosphere so influential? Well Dr Curry, it is because I am many other people can come here and get the education that we are denied by your kind.

  474. Paul R says:

    I deny the narrative Dr. Curry has tried to construct about the evolution of denialism from illegitimate to legitimate.

    There are only competent and incompetent critiques. ANY reference to the man making the argument or his funding is the logical fallacy known as ad hominem.

    Furthermore, the ideological bias in those who have most eagerly seized upon the AGW theory to enact a specific policy agenda is legitimately the target of ideological critique. Stop telling your opponents to “shut up!”

  475. Doug S says:

    Dr. Curry, I think you did a good job in reconstructing the time line of political and scientific consensus coming together to ignite the warming craze. I believe the nut jobs in the progressive political movement latched onto the CO2 warming theory, recognizing that it could be used to further their goals and the climate scientists unwittingly, in some cases, took them on as allies. Once this partnership became apparent to all of us “stupid ordinary taxpaying citizens, the dummies that pay for the data collection” it was only a matter of time before popular opinion turned against the elite scientists and progressives. I don’t think enough credit is given to the average potato farmer with a solid eight grade education; he may not be college educated but he can recognize a con game when he see one.

  476. aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES says:

    Willis Eschenbach (18:06:56) :

    Sounds good, give me a day or two. It’s an important issue.

    Take your time. As Miracle Max in The Princess Bride said: “Don’t rush me, sonny. You rush a miracle man, you get rotten miracles.”

  477. Allan M says:

    I wonder if there is anyone there really listening to us?

  478. DJ Meredith says:

    From a Nature paper
    “There is a robust signal behind the shift to more intense hurricanes,” says Judith Curry, chair of the school of earth and atmospheric sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology

    “There is no conclusive evidence that any observed changes in tropical cyclone genesis, tracks, duration and surge flooding exceed the variability expected from natural causes.” says a team of researchers under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization has published a new review paper in Nature Geoscience (PDF) updating consensus perspectives published in 1998 and 2006. The author team includes prominent scientists from either side of the “hurricane wars” of 2005-2006: Thomas R. Knutson, John L. McBride, Johnny Chan, Kerry Emanuel, Greg Holland, Chris Landsea, Isaac Held, James P. Kossin, A. K. Srivastava and Masato Sugi.

    “……Over the last few months, I have been trying to understand how this insane environment for climate research developed….”
    –Judith Curry

    Well, Dr. Judith, I think you’ve answered your own question, haven’t you? And you call me a denier??

    Contradictory science results in skepticism.

  479. George Turner says:

    It strikes me that she perceives the problem of regaining credibility, as if the mob at the gate has grown distrustful of the leisured and honorable gentlemen who dabble in science and who wouldn’t dare question one another’s integrity.

    In the harsher world of modern (19th century and later) technical reality, if you’re getting on a Boeing and the flight crew reek of whisky, they don’t get a do-over. They don’t get to work to regain your trust. They’re given an opportunity to seek employment in a non-aviation area of endeavour.

    The public really doesn’t have the time or inclination to indulge the Victorian fantasies of meganomaniacal louts who can’t manage to read a thermometer correctly.

  480. davidmhoffer says:

    You want public trust? I can tell you how to get it. Put this mess back into the private sector.

    1) G8 puts up a $10 Billion prize for the best climate model.
    2) G8 makes all data collected by publicly funded institutions public by law with criminal penalties for withholding
    3) Deadline for submissions is 18 months from now
    4) Contest is open to anyone, but all submissions become public domain
    5) Prize money is awarded ONLY on accuracy of results, NO other criteria
    6) $2.5 Billion awarded after 5 years split between the top 5 models
    7) $2.5 Billion awarded every two years after that to the top 5 models
    8) New models can be submitted at anytime, but cannot earn prize money until they have forecasted a minimum of 5 years.
    9) Anyone can propose an enhancement to an existing model. If, after 5 years of forecasting, the enhancement proves to provide increased accuracy, 5% share of that model’s prize. Limit to one enhancement per model.

    You know what you would get for your $10 Billion? In 6.5 years you would have about 15 seriously good models and one or two smokin’ models. Companies would invest 10 times that trying to be in the top 5. Las Vegas would set up a betting pool. EVERYONE would trust the models because the ONLY measurement is ACCURACY and the ONLY pay off is MONEY. Not power, not prestige, not vested interests, just MONEY. And EVERYONE will own it.

    I will make two predictions if the G8 comes to their senses and goes the private enterprise route:

    1) It will NOT be a major corporation that wins. It will be a bunch of really bright people who formed a team bereft of corporate or political baggage and beauracracy.
    2) The winning team will have several sceptics from WUWT on it.

    Can’t help it… I just gott throw in one more:

    3) No one from the current Alarmware, PNS, or AGW crowd will be on any of the top 15 teams. They might not even get jobs. Private companies don’t pay for alarmware, just results.

  481. Henry chance says:

    I do not trust Judith.

    Steve McIntyre functions as an auditor. an inspector. We have food sagety inspections. We have cars and planes inspected. Is it shocking when some one has fear of an audit? Fear of having math formulas and data reviewed?
    Today we have bank inspectors. state bank boards, comptrollers of
    currencies and CPA’s audit our banks. we still have bank failures. You plan on getting fired on the spot if you don’t release records to a bank auditor. I can name a person that embezzled enough from a bank to get the bank closed.
    We have hospital inspectors. They audit records, look for prescription discrepancies and all kinds of issues from record keeping to housekeeping.

    I suspect a Prof that is working for the people and paid by taxpayers is dangerous if they claim to be above scrutiny. When an internal control questionaire is filled out, an auditor can determione what types of fraud to look for.
    McIntyre was dreaded for a reason. He wanted info that raised a red flag. The refusal to cooperate with the FOIA request was a massive red flag. There have been many whistle blowers that have released secrets because insiders knew misconduct was taking place. Records were hidden and review was interfered with.
    I don’t trust Judith.

    she claims to be a reveiwer for the IPCC and has never externally raised questions and concerns about many of the shady reports in AR4.

    Yes is is sleazy to accuse people you do not like to be connected with and interdependent with big oil. It doesn’t bother me. Big Oil takes big risks. They have done their own weather reports before you came along Judith. Before you finished school. They had to develop storm reports off shore gulf, shut down equipment which takes many hours, lock things up and evacuate hundreds of men facing a dangerous hurricane. Pumps shut down. Valves closed and equipment stopped. When the hurricane comes, the helicopters evacuate. Judith you have no clue. It takes scores of millions to decide, shut down and reactivate dozens of offshiore rigs.
    \
    I don’t trust a prof that sits in an armchair oblivious to the real world and writes scary stories about climate alarmism. Enginners spend millions making equipment durable to survive tidal waves, hurricanes and not blow up in fire.

    I am sure glad big oil companies do not need to trust and rely on climate pretend “scientists” in the city with an agenda.

    I can picture mann, Judith, Romm and other hostile folks applaud when a rig catastrophe takes place.

    http://home.versatel.nl/the_sims/rig/o-ranger.htm

    84 dead on this Odeco rig. I met with Mobil before the Incident and met the safety engineer that wrote safety requirements for this rig a couple years after the event.

    Oil companies are not stupid. They are aware of weather, wave and wind action and have a lot of research of their own to forecast and protect people and assets.

    It may pay for a few of these arm chair climate advocates to check to see what oil companies have done for decades internally with weather science.

    I do not trust Judith. Broad brush generalizations regarding Oil or Big Oil show a shallow mind. I remeber when Amoco for example in one of their research units developed artificial intelligence software. They have massive research budgets. They spend millions on reasearch of offshore acreage before they bid billions of dollars. all in the name of minimizing risks.
    A lot of patents, discoveries and inventions come from Big earl.

    I ove auditors. whether is is Federal or public auditors that review the retirement pension funds for my employees or audit various companiews i have owned over the years for financial statements. I pick the brains of auditors to discover improvements for best business practices.
    I know why people with discrepencies wanted to have McIntyre go away.

  482. Pete H says:

    “The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic”.

    Judith, I was interested in your essay until I hit that line! It is not complex and we “the public” are not as stupid, as is arrogantly pointed out, in the above statement. As for the “Policy Makers”, well, we all have the same low opinion of those that seek to tax us for no good reason!

    The crux has always been the involvement of Co2 as a driving GHG. No sensible poster on here or other sceptic blog has denied climate change.
    “The Public” has also seen the use of the environmentalist movement by he IPCC and vice versa. No trust there for sure

    As for “Building Trust”? A wholesale clear-out of ALL involved in the emails would be a start but certainly not the Met Office’s recently announced “Do Over” whilst still headed by the Ex WWF Chairman (UK) !

  483. E O'Connor says:

    Thank you Willis for doing your williwaw thing.

  484. R. de Haan says:

    Fifteen years without Global Warming does not mean there is no Global Warming!
    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/61804

    What’s the use of any debate if our officials consequently navigate around the facts and stick to their agenda?

    I repeat my former conclusion: The horse called AGW is dead!

    Stop the CPR and bury it.

  485. RockyRoad says:

    Willis Eschenbach (13:50:31) :
    (…)
    Once that is done, the rest will fall in line. And until then, I’m overjoyed that people don’t trust you. I see the lack of trust in mainstream climate science as a huge triumph for real science. Fix it by doing good science and by cleaning up your own backyard. Anything else is a coverup.
    ———————–
    Reply:

    Excellent expose`, Willis. But after reading about every comment posted and giving this some serious thought, I’ve come to the unrelenting conclusion that they cannot simply “Fix it by doing good science” as you suggest. The reason is that they’ve known for a long, long time their theory was broken. And that leaves them all culpable. Culpable and liable for law suit after law suit after law suit.

    The horrors these politicized climate scientists and climatized politicians have promised for everybody else will be their own fate. I can’t imagine what some of them must be thinking right now with the inescapable prospects of broken careers, broken families, and broken lives.

  486. Contrarian says:

    Anthony,

    Dr Curry is not *using* the term “deniers;” she is only mentioning it, as a term used by others, and usually places it in quotes. Her comments show that she considers it an inaccurate and unhelpful term.

  487. Why on earth is it a good thing to restore trust in untrustworthy people and organisations? I’m not buying into any plans to restore trust in Enron or Lehman Brothers, nor am I interested in Judith Curry’s empty and lengthy account of how she and her AGW cronies are right even when they’re wrong.

    “Climate research and its institutions have not yet adapted to its high policy relevance. How scientists can most effectively and appropriately engage with the policy process is a topic that has not been adequately discussed…”

    For all its conciliatory tone, her matronising essay is nothing more than a plea for better spin – written in fluent Spinish.

  488. jcspe says:

    Dr. Curry, your delusions about “big oil” and “the climate denial machine” taint the rest of what you write. It makes people like me speculate: 1) that you are psychologically projecting your own willingness to lie or exaggerate if needed to get money, or 2) that you personally are paranoid about “big oil,” or you believe a large portion of your intended audience is paranoid about “big oil,” or 3) that you are throwing in those off-the-point comments because you actually intend to insult a certain group of people that probably includes me.

    So, please drop the “big oil” bilge. It truly adds nothing to your discussion.

  489. sky says:

    What Judith Curry repeatedly fails to get with her condescending sociological analyses is that science is not a social activity, in which only academics are fit to participate. It is a quest to comprehend the workings of nature in a disciplined framework. What mature, field-going scientists principally object to is the lack of customary scientific rigor and philosophical circumspection in the work of the melange of academics who call themselves “climate scientists.” If scientific discipline had not been sacrificed to sophomoric, publicity-conscious hubris and the requisite hard evidence had been actually produced, instead of prematurely claimed, there would be no intelligent “denialists.” Science–not sociology–is the real issue!

  490. Retired BChE says:

    Jeff (07:28:30) Brought up an important issue in this debate about Dr. Curry’s intentions: the definitions of the terms we use. This is to a considerable extent a question of semantics. I recommend the commenters look into it. Long ago I became aware of this subject by reading a book called “The Tyranny of Words”. It concerns the various ideas about the meaning of a given word, depending on the background of the author, and the problematic use of abstract terms that have no basis in physical reality. We have above much discussion of the word “denier” for example. I think many don’t like it because we think it puts us in the same class kooks as the President of Iran, who denies that the Holocaust ever occurred. But as far as I am concerned, I am proud to describe myself as a denier of AGW . I refuse to be intimidated by a mere word (unless it is “STOP” , screamed by my passenger as I am about to enter a busy intersection.)

  491. David says:

    I appreciate Prof. Curry’s effort, but I think the damage done to the warmist agenda is permanent. I’m not referring to the sloppy science and dishonest behavior, of which there has been plenty, but to the nature of the whole enterprise. The conclusion that I’ve reached, which I think is shared by a lot of other technically educated people, is that climatology is a lot like macroeconomics – too many interacting variables, too much emergent behavior, too many difficulties in measurement to make precise predictions about much of anything. From this point on I will regard the opinions of climatologists as simply that, opinions, just like those of economists. Interesting, and something to consider, but nothing that can be relied upon.

  492. Ron House says:

    In the first few years of the 21st century, the stakes became higher and we saw the birth of what some have called a “monolithic climate denial machine”. Skeptical research published by academics provided fodder for the think tanks and advocacy groups, which were fed by money provided by the oil industry.

    How much? I have identified a self-proclaimed billion dollars from Australian mining alone going to further the AGW hoax; see http://peacelegacy.org/articles/climate-change-follow-money-trail

  493. hotrod ( Larry L ) says:

    Interesting 483 responses so far, in 12 hours. It took me several hours to read through the posts to this point.

    I think by now it is obvious that many here who advocate for quality science, were first tipped off that something wrong by a gut sensation that a con job was in progress. Like the used car salesman that says you must sign now, or the “limited time offer” on a late night TV show, we all have developed a good 6th sense that when someone is pushing too hard for you to act a certain way, something is wrong.

    Upon examination, of the evidence we discovered not one error or slight exaggeration but a continuing pattern of behavior that repeated over and over and over again. Like the kid you knew in school that was incapable of telling the truth, you begin to see simple tell tails like overly precise qualification of arguments and began to pay attention not so much to what was said but to what was not said. Then following that hint turned over a few rocks and invariably there was some foul smelling sludge carefully hidden away in the hopes it would not be noticed.

    After steady pattern of this you reach a point where the hard core AGW advocate is viewed with the same wariness as the street tough leaning against the building. You know from experience he mugs people, and you give him a wide birth, and never take your eye off him.

    This loss of trust is a self inflicted wound.

    H.L. Mencken
    “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”

    Samuel Adams
    “..it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds…”

    Abraham Lincoln:

    If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. It is true that you may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all of the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

    The problem is not that we do not understand what you are selling!
    It is that we have learned that you are selling spoiled goods, and know it.

    Larry

  494. J.Peden says:

    MinB (10:05:57) :

    On reflection, I think Anthony’s initial reaction to deny Curry’s post was correct.

    I have to disagree, because 1] Dr. Curry seems to have been chosen as a spokesperson by the AGW Climate Science “tribe”, and apparently in particular to try to deflect or spin the scientific/rational onslaught concerning the tribe’s idea of what “science” is; and 2] I am very much interested to see what her actual tactical moves are to this end in order to see what we’ll be up against in terms of AGW propaganda, of course as opposed to simply conceding the case against AGW Climate Science, which is what Dr. Curry, et al., should do and what I keep hoping she and they will do.

    In other words, “Know thy Enemy” and give them a very fair chance to surrender by trying to convince them of their errors and that a real Scientific and rational examination of the issues is the best way to both serve Humanity and lead one’s own life, if those things are indeed what they really want to do with their respective existences.

  495. Ron House says:

    Sorry Judith Curry, but the message between the lines that came across to me was “These naive and starry-eyed climate researchers just weren’t prepared for all the real-world rough and tumble that happened when the impact of their message became public.” Sorry, I don’t buy it. They started with a political agenda and an ideology in which man=bad, nature=good, and in which, logically, indictments against man had to be found come what may. They started with a program to suppress divergent views and stifle debate. They claimed, not their critics, that “The debate is over” – and yet the critics have by far the preponderance of evidence that their understanding is much closer to the truth. And you are assuming the truth of the alarmist claims and yet offering not one scintilla of real evidence – for the simple reason, of course, that it doesn’t exist. On the other hand, proof that the climate models don’t work is dead simple. And you say realclimate participated – even led – the “DEBATE”??!! Try posting skeptical material there; you yourself admit Steve McIntyre couldn’t do so. So stop granting credibility to an advocacy site. Sorry, you need to do a whole lot more in changing your own thinking if you want to be part of any kind of reconciliation.

  496. geo says:

    @J.Peden (19:44:46) :

    I’m convinced you’re wrong on “chosen spokesperson”, and on multiple levels.

    Michael Mann, when he reads Dr. Curry’s post, is going to grind his teeth. Ben Santer may threaten in “private” email to do violence to her.

    Get off the “monolthic” meme, people (those of you who are on it, as clearly you aren’t all). It’s right there with the “Truthers” and those who think Bush, Jr. was behind 9/11.

    Dr. Curry may be wrong in points, maybe even seriously. . .but to think “the cabal” sent her out to do it is just nutty. This is the Internet after all (vive la Internet!), so I suppose some of that cannot be avoided from a vox populi pov, but you do not do “our” pov any good with it.

  497. paullm says:

    Amazing. I am continually shocked (which has become numbing) by the seeming naivete of supposedly educated individuals such as Dr. Curry and others of the AGW ilk. Has she even been awake over the last few decades? Climategate has been building for that long and there has been no secret about it – only that those enlightened to the extreme positions of the “environmentalist” kidnapping world-controller adherents were bullied out of being able to publicly criticize the exploitations except for the feisty likes of Marc Morano or a few position secured academic and/or professional experts.

    The climate debate has never been limited to science but is a derivative of socio-political engineering (power and money- Gore is only the obvious). Were the climate debate only about science! In fact, if it were only about science more of the greatly de-emphsized climate debate probably would have taken place in the journals, etc.

    All Curry was missing were the cuddly polar bear cubs on icebergs and Bill Nye’s CO2 dirty colored columns. Honest debates? Please. There’s no denying it. This recently acknowledged climate debate is only a proxy stage for the real high stakes showdown between dueling socio-economic philosophies.

    Does Curry simply not understand this, is she faking it or is she ignoring the climate/political connection? In any case she has contributed little to any resolution, or even enlightenment of the climate change matter as she doesn’t address the context of it.

    “Pure” science has no chance to achieve clean hands here even after any possible Climategate purgings. There will continue to be great opportunities long term for blog debating about climate change and other substitute arenas for the war between variations of individualism and collectivism. Keep those engines running the road will be long!

  498. TerryMN says:

    Excellent response, Willis, thank you.

  499. Joe says:

    Dr. Curry,

    Climate science has not investigated deep enough into how this planet actually works. Just to say that a few gases can heat our planet like a greenhouse is absurd in the premise that a greenhouse does not move or generate weather events.
    Theories abound with little proof. Religion has created many blockages of knowledge as they are terrified that faith may found to be mistaken.
    One thing about understanding the mechanics of this planet is it does generate factual proof that anyone can reproduce.
    Some actual physical changes that our planet has gone through in the last 50 years cannot be reproduced but the results of the effects are measurable.

    The peer review system is hord at best and should be totally revised with different areas of qualified knowlable people in different fields. As scientists are not mechanics and most not mathematisions to peer review an item outside their fields of expertise.

  500. Hu McCulloch says:

    One of my issues was that it wasn’t necessary to use the word “deniers”, which I think removal of is central to any discourse that includes a goal of “rebuilding trust”.

    Anthony — I think you’re overly sensitive here. Dr. Curry is not branding all AGW skeptics as “deniers”, but only those who uncritically deny every aspect of the argument. Even “denialist” would not necessarily connote a Holocaust denier, depending on how it is used, and Dr. Curry does not use this word at all.

    That said, Willis’s 13:50:31 excellent comment definitely deserves a post of its own. You’ve already agreed (reply to Gary Hladik 16:14:59, Willis 18:06:56) to let him revise it, but personally I like it just as is!

  501. Duncan says:

    Dr. Curry, your repeated misuse of the word “that” is irritating and distracting.

  502. Henry chance says:

    500 posts.
    This is really a bait thread by Judith

    Here is a bait thread by Joe Romm. He tells us Tol and Pielke Jr are not scientists. Smears them, allows toll a few responses and then blocks his posts.

    I say that to demonstrate Anthony runs a clean and fair operation.

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/04/science-magazine-is-confused-who-is-a-prominent-climate-scientist/

    Romm gets the last word by saying “I can’t continue letting you post falsehoods”

    I wonder if Judith can step up and respond.

  503. Allen says:

    For those who are concerned that the politicians are not listening, you should review political decisions regarding action on alleged CAGW since the leak of the emails. This sample comes off the top of my head, so I welcome corrections and additions:

    – Australian Senate defeats ETS bill.
    – Copenhagen fails to produce a treaty with all countries as signatories, much less a treaty with binding emissions targets. China and India have no obligations to reduce emissions.
    – The U.S. government’s Cap and Trade bill is stalled; an industry lobby group has fallen apart with the withdrawal of major corporate backers

    Notice that the politicians from the countries that matter in this war continue to be reticent about the screams for action from the CAGW lobby. These politicians are not ignoring the growing constituency that does not buy into the fraud that is based on corrupted research processes that do not deserve the name of Climate Science.

    As the CAGW lobby unravels we must continue the fight in the blogosphere. It is here and in other websites that they saw the beginning of the end, and the increasing shrillness of the ad hominem attacks from the likes of Dr. Curry against the critics is like blood in the water.

  504. HankHenry says:

    I’m not sure how big a part trust is supposed to play in science. Trust is something I reserve for professionals. Since when am I expected to place trust in a scientist? What the global warming/climate change thesis first needs to be is plausible. When I read as an interested layperson I don’t do it because I’m looking for someone I can place my trust in. Foremost, I am looking for writers who teach me something or who can convey some insight.
    Honest data is so fundamental that I just consider it a given. Forget the explanations and excuses when it’s demonstrated not to be honest. Your wasting my time. Your wasting your time. If you want my attention show me you have something interesting to teach me. The idea that science has a firm grip on an understanding of the intricacies of climate has always been a large claim. Now it’s become a laughable claim foisted off by a defensive and unimaginative group with nothing deeper or more interesting to say than “the sky is falling.”

  505. R. de Haan says:

    johnnythelowery (10:53:11) :

    FOLLOW THE CASH

    Thanks for posting this.

    You sure have all the reasons in the world to feel sick and so should Dr Judith Curry.

    I wonder if the excellent postings here have any influence on her point of view and the statements she has made in her publication here.

    I am looking forward to hear her personal experience of this “experiment”.

    Watts up with that?

  506. M. Simon says:

    Doug S (18:35:46) :

    Dr. Curry, I think you did a good job in reconstructing the time line of political and scientific consensus coming together to ignite the warming craze. I believe the nut jobs in the progressive political movement latched onto the CO2 warming theory, recognizing that it could be used to further their goals and the climate scientists unwittingly, in some cases, took them on as allies. Once this partnership became apparent to all of us “stupid ordinary taxpaying citizens, the dummies that pay for the data collection” it was only a matter of time before popular opinion turned against the elite scientists and progressives. I don’t think enough credit is given to the average potato farmer with a solid eight grade education; he may not be college educated but he can recognize a con game when he see one.

    Which brought to mind this cartoon.

    The key line is about 2:45 in, “You can’t fool me because I’m too stupid.” Or as Orwell preferred: “Some things are so stupid, only an intellectual could believe them.”

  507. Spector says:

    I believe the best way to repair the lack of confidence is to do a thorough re-study of the real effect that carbon dioxide has on radiative transmission through the atmosphere as a whole and also that critical region in the stratosphere where all significant thermal transmission must be radiative.

    To be effective, I believe any such study must be based on standard accepted physical principles and well documented properties of the atmosphere. It should be fully accessible for external review, study and comment.

  508. TA says:

    I also would like to see the comment from Willis Eschenbach (13:50:31) become a full post on WUWT. It says it all.

    The climatologists do not have an image problem or a communication problem. They have a substance problem and a science problem. The first step is to admit the problem. They still have not done the first step.

  509. John Andrews says:

    Dr Curry omits the other side of the money issue. She claims that Big Oil is the money source for “Deniers” but does not discuss the effect of grants from governments that require evidence of global warming. From what I have read, the amount of money in global warming grants is vastly more that that of the skeptics or deniers.

    One of the key issues that is so far unresolved is the 1998 book, “The Chilling Stars” by Henrik Svensmark and Nigel Calder. For me that is the turning point in the climate issue and I became a skeptic of the CO2 theory.

    Otherwise, Dr. Curry, you are doing a great job of bring the discussion to the table of many more people who want intelligent discussion in depth of the issues. Thanks.

    John Andrews, Knoxville, Tennessee

  510. PhilBest says:

    The problem is not so much that “….this tabloid decimation of science comes at a time when we have a major national issue in terms of the number of people taking science at university….”; (as someone in “The Australian” argued on much the same basis as Judith Curry) it is that science is now being selected as a career by starry-eyed youngsters motivated not by scientific curiosity but by Utopian “change the world” ideals for which the vehicle of science has been politically hijacked.

    John Jewkes’ book “The Sources of Invention”, describes how almost all of the most significant scientific breakthroughs have been made by independent geniuses who remained outside the establishment and indeed, had to overcome numerous obstacles presented by the establishment. Government funding of science, at considerable cost to taxpayers, has very little to show by comparison, and has led down a slippery slope to political agendas governing science, just as it did for decades in the former USSR.

    The questions we should be asking now, are firstly, just how many Albert Einsteins have we been deprived of as a result of science being turned into a bureaucratic monolith by government funding; and how much more damage to humanity is politicized science going to do if we do not halt the bandwagon at this point, knowing what we now do about the predetermined political agenda and the money-go-round of global warming science?

  511. Paul Brassey says:

    Not climate skeptics (I know there is a climate) but truth-seekers. The debate is not between scientists and skeptics, but between propagandists and truth-seekers.

  512. Jeff L says:

    This has been one of the most interesting blog posts to read on WUWT – good work by all who have posted.

    As of this posting – 504 posts on the blog; Compare that to 44 on Joe Romm’s response at climateprogress at the same time.

    Link to the counter point

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/24/my-response-to-dr-judith-currys-unconstructive-essay/#more-19878

    ….dont read it unless you want to raise your blood pressure significantly – evidently everyone who posts here are all a bunch of unscientific right wing crazies – and of course, the climateprogress folks deem that they are scientific & have no political bias (although they all take great pride in blasting any politics right of center & praise any politics left of center. hmmm…. sounds like they may be left of center ???). This goes back to my original post – Dr Curry, until you can dislodge climate science (both sides) from affiliation with politics (alarmism with the left, skeptics with the right), you have no chance of regaining trust in the science as both political sides inherently do not trust the other side.

    In reality, it is a lost cause as it is too deeply rooted in politics already. In reality, the hope for true progress in climate science is dim. Probably time for a career move as it is only getting more political with time. Unfortunately, it is easy to see how this has come to be – with predominantly liberal academics allowing their personal politics filter into their research. At the end of the day, the academics collectively have ruined their own science, in this case, possibly irrevocably. They are reaping what they have sewed.

    Back to the blogs, it seems at this point that the skeptics are out-posting the alarmists by over 10 to 1 on this issue. I am guessing this also is representative of what the general public thinks about climate alarmism.

    It is interesting that neither side is too fond of Dr Curry’s posting. Again showing that this is purely about politics not science.

  513. J.Hansford says:

    I feel Dr Curry still doesn’t “get it”….

    AGW has been constructed and is a Political position in which the “science” has been purchased by environmental advocacy groups and Politicians to justify environmental policy… This is bourne out by “Climategate” and the IPCC’s various “Scandalgates”…. Not to mention the billions of miss-used taxpayer funds.

    This process has been blatant and deliberate on part of the environmental groups and their Political supporters. The “climate skeptic” meme and the “Monolithic climate denial machine” are constructs by the AGW proponents, designed to present a victim/aggressor scenario to the unsuspecting population. The population are then subjected to the scare tactics of being destroyed by climate catastrophe while being victimized by “big oil” or “big business”(class enemies) who lie to people by using their sinister “skeptical movement”.

    ……. All Eco fascism. All lies. All catastrophic exaggerations designed for political effect and only for political effect… Propaganda terrorism if you like.(we’ve all seen the ads aimed at children. Animals commiting suicide, floods, drowning polar bears, etc. It is designed to terrorize children and the vulnerable).

    Dr Curry also lets James Hansen off an activist hook with this statement. “In the 1980’s, James Hansen and Steven Schneider led the charge in informing the public of the risks of potential anthropogenic climate change.”….

    What she failed to mention was that James Hansen contrived and exaggerated that AGW hypothesis right from the start… Hansen even admitted to turning the air conditioners off when making the case to politicians in 1988!

    Dr Curry’s attitude seems to also make her a part of this. She seems not so much concerned about her scientific methodology, but only how it affects policy or public perception. “Trust” as she puts it. This would make her an advocate of Climate science, like Hansen… Not an advocate of the Scientific Method…. She seeks to maintain the credibility of “climate science” instead of the Scientific Method.

    That is my main point and criticism of Dr Curry and those like her…. Indeed the whole AGW mess.

    (PS… Dr Curry repeatedly suggests a conspiracy of “Big Oil”… She says, “Big oil funding for contrary views mostly dried up and the mainstream media supported the IPCC consensus.”… Yet she presents no evidence of this funding….. Indeed we know most of the so called “money trail” are simply ad hominem attacks on any scientist who had ever worked for an oil or cigarette company, or simply done some research for them.)

  514. Tom Jones says:

    Willis Eschenbach (13:50:31) :

    Boy, I wish I had said that. Willis, your comment was right on the money.

  515. bootstrapguy says:

    Dr. Curry has an interesting take on this scandal – that of a dispassionate mediator who can see both sides of the issue and sees merit in both sides. Her concerns about the damage that the scandal has done to “science” is laudable. What’s completely absent from her discussion, however, is the personal dimension of this scandal. One group of climate scientists (who are her peers and colleagues) was maliciously attacking the integrity and credibility of another group of climate scientists (who are her peers and colleagues) with the deliberate intent of damaging them personally and professionally. Why has she ignored this component of the scandal? Where is her outrage; her indignation; her disgust with those who would engage in this type of behavior?

    Her overarching question – “How can we restore trust in science?” – needs to acknowledge that at the heart of the problem are the scientists who lied, cheated, maliciously attacked peers, manipulated analysis, and hid/destroyed/faked data. That they’ve committed these offenses against “science” and their peers is patently obvious to anyone willing to make an objective examination of evidence and yet, to this day, they (and many others in the sciences and press) steadfastly deny these offenses.

    Trust will be almost impossible to restore unless these denials are replaced by admissions of wrongdoing. What these scientists (and their supporters) need to do is to build and execute a model; a model of the the theological theory of redemption:

    Confession + Repentance + Atonement + Consequences = Forgiveness

    Where:

    Confession = the admission by the perpetrators that they’ve done something wrong
    Repentence = the expression of remorse and sorrow that they done this wrong
    Atonement = the ongoing (and possibly never-ending) attempt to make amends or reparation for this wrong
    Consequences = the willing acceptance of the (likely negative to them) results

    Will we ever see an attempt at redemption by the perpetrators of Climategate. I’m not holding my breath. As long as scientists or journalists posing as dispassionate third party observers continue to see merit in both sides there will not be much incentive for confession, repentance, or atonement. As long as there are no consequences to the perpetrators; scientific censure, loss of jobs or tenure, or criminal or civil prosecutions it’s unlikely that we can deter similar behavior in the future.

    Can we ever fully “restore trust” in science? Even if this model of redemption is perfectly constructed and executed by the perpetrators, most people will never be able to fully trust in science again. Mrs. Tiger may be able to forgive Mr. Tiger, but she’d be a fool to ever fully trust him again!

    One final note: I was trying to give Dr. Curry the benefit of the doubt in taking the role of neutral mediator in her examination and explanation of this issue until I got to this statement:

    “The failure of the public and policy makers to understand the truth as presented by the IPCC is often blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic to a relatively uneducated public…”

    “…the truth as presented by the IPCC…” – reminds me of excrement from the male of a bovine species.

  516. chili palmer says:

    Saudi Arabia lobbied intensely for the election of Pachauri to the top UN climate post, Climategate email 4/19/2002 from Tom Wigley to Phil Jones and others. Constantly claiming ‘oil companies’ are the big enemy just isn’t correct for this and other reasons. Trillions in carbon trading drives this issue. One Soros fund alone, INCR, has $8 trillion in assets. Do you think Soros is going to ‘call off the dogs’? No, he has endless groups pressuring legislation at all levels of government while innocent US taxpayers toil away. The industry has been described as well set up for crime, which has already occurred and hurt many. We have come to this economic standoff, all the money in the world, names like Soros, Goldman Sachs, many more in gleaming towers around the globe, the very existence of the city of London riding on the success of carbon trading (per Gordon Brown), focusing like a laser beam on what they view as the last remaining impediment to world domination: WUWT.

  517. Paul Brassey says:

    Jimbo (15:51:18):

    “By the way Dr. Judith, who has been funding you over the past 15 years? Do you feel that you can’t contradict AGW? If not why?”

    Dr. Curry’s page at GA Tech contains this link:
    http://cfan.eas.gatech.edu/

    A consulting firm that assesses climate risk for commercial organizations. No financial interest there!

  518. Marvin says:

    I realise this is OT but it seems really important to answer..

    http://skepticalscience.com/On-the-reliability-of-the-US-Surface-Temperature-Record.html

    Anthony Watts the microsites show a cooling trend not warming? And why have I not seen this reported on? Can you clearly respond to this article?

    REPLY: Not right now. we have paper in the works. Bear in mind this article is based on pilfered data from early in the study at 43% surveyed. We are now over 87% and have finished our analysis, which looks a lot different than this pot shot – A

  519. pft says:

    “Scientists are claiming that the scientific content of the IPCC reports is not compromised by climategate”

    Thats says it all. Good grief. What “scientists” specifically?

    It seems fairly obvious the alarmists will attempt to woo the skeptic blogs over in some fashion. AGW is an important tool for some very powerful folks. It is a major tool in the planned paradigm shift which I won’t go into here, but it is related to globalization.

    I suspect that the CRU team and the IPCC head were simply human sacrifices so the AGW movement could recalibrate and take a different tactic with some fresh faces with less baggage in the hope we get some warming down the road or some natural weather disaster and get folks to tune into their hype. The hope is the public will be duped into believing the bad apples are gone and all is well again with science. Trust us and believe in our high priests (where you hiding James Hansen).

    We saw a bit of human (and corporate) sacrifice in the economic crisis, but the big boys came out bigger and richer than ever (sorry Bernie-he was all PR and Lehman Bros-the sacrifice that triggered the panic, but Goldman Sachs says yay).

    As for climate, with some new faces in place, it may be possible to end the rift with the skeptical blogosphere, or at least mute the criticism. I am sure this site and Climate Audit will be immune to this, but it will be interesting to see how it develops.

  520. gt says:

    Wow, so many great comments, and quite a few of them as worthy to read as Dr. Curry’s letter. I only have one minor point to add:

    The fact that she didn’t mention, let alone condemn, all the smears, slanders, insults, and overall very hostile treatment handed out by those AGW advocates and their minnows to whoever dares to question the Consensus discloses her bias, and that doesn’t put her in a good light.

  521. Tom Jones (21:00:09) :
    Willis Eschenbach (13:50:31) :

    “Boy, I wish I had said that. Willis, your comment was right on the money.”
    – – – – –
    I agree, Willis, you said it very well.

    Dr. Ralph Cicerone and his associates in the NAS [National Academy of Sciences] are probably staying up nights trying to find a way to stop the discussion of the climate scandal before more filth [See Oliver K. Manuel (08:25:21)] is exposed in federal research agencies whose budgets are subject to NAS review.

    What a sad day for science,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  522. B. Smith says:

    “No one really believes that the “science is settled” or that “the debate is over.”
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    If that is true Dr. Curry, then you have just implicated all of your brethren who have steadfastly stated otherwise of committing mass scientific fraud, at the very least.

    Not exactly a “robust” foundation for building trust, is it?

  523. leftymartin says:

    Willis – bluntly stated, but very well stated, and I look forward to your full blown post. You raised a critically important point that is lost on too many – the failure of the climate scientist community to call out, isolate and jettison miscreants such as Jones and Mann, the failure of the national science academies to do likewise, the failure to resist the IPCC politicization of climate science (in fact, that was largely and eagerly embraced), and on and on. No matter how well Dr. Curry may express contrition, and no matter how diplomatic she may think she is being in “reaching out” to the skeptical community – the undeniable fact of the matter is that such reaching out is happening only because the nonsense has been exposed, and thanks to the tireless, and pro bono, efforts of the likes of Steve McIntyre, Anthony Watts, Lucia, Jeff Id, and so on, the public has come to realize what has been afoot and the warmists are running scared.

    Too little, too late. As Willis points out, we want good, honest, and replicable science, devoid of politicization, exaggeration, pre-conceived agendas, and NGOs. Climate science needs to hit the reset button, Dr. Curry, but sorry, I don’t believe the skeptic community trust even you in that regard. I don’t know what the way forward is out of this mess, but one thing is for sure – it will not be warmists who lead the way.

  524. mandolinjon says:

    When I started to read the comments there were more than 400. I found them interesting and many were filled with emotional reactions to Dr. Curry’s essay. I disagreed with of the theme of this essay that turns the blog sites into auditors and debaters with dissenting blog sites and now we will all get along. At the present time, that is impossible when one side of the debate relies on name calling. It seems to me that much of the discussion that has occurred on this web site has been about skepticism of each others ideas, \consideration of all the data and correctness in our assessment of the issues. Climategate and the IPCC AR4 Report fallacies reveal that the real failure that occurred is that the climate science was not carefully reviewed before it was published. The reviewers were pseudo-believers not scientific skeptics.
    Most of us who have spent hours reviewing the scientific literature have found examples poor science. Usually, as science moves forward to push back the frontiers of knowledge these papers are ignored and eventually are forgotten. Papers that represent diligent careful science end up be cited over and over even when there is no consensus about a given paper’s correctness. Dr. Curry made one salient point that I like and which I did not see a comment about;“Medical research has long been concerned with the introduction of such bias, which is why they conduct double blind studies when testing the efficacy of a medical treatment”. Dr. Curry missed this point, viz., the scientific community in the physical sciences does not use a double blind system, they use peer review. What the blogs have known all along is that the peer review system is broken and was being manipulated for a variety of reasons. The only reason the Hockey stick was accepted for publication is that the review was not careful enough to find the errors in the statistical methodology. No one checked! Who would doubt the author?
    Normally bad science is lost in the in the voluminous literature of science. However, when the climate research provided some uncorroborated evidence that the average global temperature was increasing and this may be due to CO2, the environmental political action committees jumped on this idea as a possibility of gaining political advance, At this point in time climate science became a tool to achieve political power and scientists became power brokers. Many competent scientists were used up by the culture power through global warming. The environmental political action groups saw this opportunity early in the late 70’s and spawned the cry that CO2 will produce a major catastrophe because the globe will get warmer and warmer. These PACs’ influenced the politicians to put more money into global warming research while ignoring other possible sources of warming. In addition, the environmental movement is world wide with its agenda. This led to the creation of IPCC. As result honest science was held hostage. In this cultural climate, only certain research was funded and certain people became prominent leaders in the field controlling the outcome of the research. If science was free from this sort of bias created to fulfill a political agenda, the peer review process would have created sufficient doubt that the wheels would have come off the wagon before it started downhill.
    If you look back to examples where politics has influenced science, a number of examples will come to mind. Have we yet come to realize that we are being used to achieve a political and economic agendas rather than advance science for its own sake? Maybe AGW is dead. However, if the scientific community doesn’t fix the review process to be more honest and free from political bias, some other unfortunate scientist’s work will be misused to gain political advantage for some other PAC.
    Jon Shively

  525. JLKrueger says:

    I’ve had the pleasure, and I mean that sincerely, of arguing/debating with Judy over at CA a few times. She comes across far more willing to hear out opposing views than most AGW proponent climate scientists. I found it difficult to be my normal snarky self with her, because she’s not condescending in any way.

    That said, when she leaves the actual science and starts down the path of funding, politics, advocacy argument, she gets herself into the usual AGW proponent self-inflicted wounds. Though her tone was non confrontational in her essay, her belief in the “Big Oil” conspiracy funding right-wing think tanks in “phase I” hurts her case.

    Dr. Curry says it’s easy to track down the fact that “Big Oil” has contributed to the “denier camp.” Well, the same can be said of the climate scientists. For example, take a look at the sources of income acknowledged by CRU which includes some government and international agency and advocacy groups that do not provide money to the “denier camp.”

    British Petroleum
    Greenpeace International
    Reinsurance Underwriters and Syndicates
    Shell
    Sultanate of Oman
    United Nations Environment Plan (UNEP)
    United States Department of Energy
    United States Environmental Protection Agency
    World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF)
    .

    The complete list can be found at the CRU website (http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/about/history/). Reinsurance Underwriters and Syndicates includes the Catlin Group, which funded the polar publicity stunt (Catlin Expedition) last year and which is deep into carbon credits and “climate change insurance.” Several of these entities have a clear vested interest in the alarmism perpetrated by the IPCC and some of the big players among climate science.

    If you dig, you will find “Big Oil” contributing to many bastions of the AGW camp. Does that then invalidate the AGW research? No. Nor does the funding source invalidate skeptic research.

    Personally, I don’t care where a scientist, school, or research institute gets their money. As long as that scientist, school or institute makes their research totally transparent and makes the data, methodology and code available without all the nonsense that we’ve seen from the likes of Mann, Schmidt, Hansen, Jones, Wigley, Trenbreth, Santer, Steig, et al, there wouldn’t be the trust issues that Judy points out.

    It doesn’t matter how much money you spend on a flawed study or who funds it. Flawed studies readily available for “audit,” as Judy calls it, will be quickly debunked. And that’s how it should work.

    One of the first things I learned as a cadet at West Point was that the mere appearance of impropriety is often worse than the impropriety itself. The actions of the scientists named above, some of their institutions, their blogs like RC, their own words in the “Climategate” emails would lead any rational observer to conclude that there is at least an appearance of impropriety. To date, their reaction to getting called out only confirms that appearance, but also seems to indicate actual impropriety.

  526. Colonial says:

    Dr. Curry,

    One theme that runs through your post is that of the “oil industry” as evil ogre. I recognize that you are, at least in part, quoting others’ charges, but at no point do you take issue with this characterization, other than to note that recent skeptics aren’t actually funded by the evil ogre, despite pro-AGW claims that they are.

    Who conferred upon pro-AGW mouthpieces the right to determine who are “legitimate” opponents and who is to be ignored? The energy companies have enormous responsibilities to their customers and their shareholders, and would be remiss if they didn’t make an attempt to influence a debate that will radically change the market they are competing in. The pro-AGW crowd brought significant economic and political pressure upon the energy companies to neutralize their influence. Any process by which dissenting voices are driven from the debate by force is the antithesis of science.

    The skeptical bloggers succeeded precisely where the energy companies failed, because the bloggers can’t be neutralized by economic or political pressure. As has been noted elsewhere, many are retired. Others work full-time, and do their research and blogging in their spare time. We’re exceedingly fortunate that this is the case, because otherwise we would already have been overwhelmed by green fanatics pushing supra-national governance and draconian controls that would have made the living conditions described in George Orwell’s _1984_ eerily prescient.

    The AGW saga is a catalog of scientific misfeasance and malfeasance, but beyond that is the purposeful suppression of debate by pro-AGW apparatchiks. Until that is rectified, all attempts to find a meeting of the minds will be fruitless.

    [By the bye, while my car uses both gasoline and oil, I don't work for an oil company, nor have I ever done so. I didn't even have a job in a gas station in high school or college. I'm an electrical engineer who designed electronic measurement instruments for a leading test equipment manufacturer for 24 years and am now writing software for pacemakers.]

  527. J.Hansford says:

    Reading through the posts it is pretty obvious most of us skeptics are on to Dr Curry and can see that she is only interested in building trust in “Climate Science politics” rather than building trust in the Scientific Method…. Her summery condemns her.

    Dr Curry finishes…. “And finally, I hope that this blogospheric experiment will demonstrate how the diversity of the different blogs can be used collectively to generate ideas and debate them, towards bringing some sanity to this whole situation surrounding the politicization of climate science and rebuilding trust with the public.”

    It’s a telling difference. She speaks only of Climate Science…. She doesn’t even mention the Scientific Method…. we are awake to her attempt to muddy the waters… This CRU, IPCC mess and AGW exaggeration, wouldn’t have occurred if “climate scientists” had adhered to sound Scientific principles.

    …. Maybe she is unaware that she is defending an elitist construct when she says “climate science”, for this field falls far short of using the principles that define the scientific method…..?

  528. Luboš Motl says:

    Willis Eschenbach (13:50:31), I greatly enjoyed your comment.

    Note how accurately our comments agreed about a basic proposition, namely that Judith Curry, despite her friendly face and vague memories of some good old positive values in science, something that both of us appreciate, focuses too much on the changes of the image without appreciating the actual substance (or the lack of) that drove the changes. It’s about the makeup that got damaged a little bit, and it must be repainted, and Anthony Watts could help to repaint the makeup and everything will return to the good old IPCC tracks. Now, don’t call me “sexist” because of the makeup: a sexist is the person who thinks that makeup must be connected with women; I haven’t suggested anything of the sort. :-)

    It really seems that e.g. the “open source community” played an important role in her analysis. Why? Because her story is all about image. The old deniers could be more easily connected to “Big Oil”, so they had a bad image and could be ignored. But the new skeptics are closer to the “open source community” which is heroically fighting the “evil empire of the commercial software industry”. The commercial software industry is similar to Big Oil (except that Bill Gates just gave a crazy TED talk about zero emissions in 2050), so it’s a real problem if the warriors against Big Oil lose the support of the open source community. So this support has to be restored by newly engineered changes of the image. That seems to be Judith’s message.

    In reality, these political things about software don’t have anything important to do with the essence of the ClimateGate(s). And they shouldn’t have. People use free software to analyze the data because they don’t have to pay for it. Some of them think that the importance of open software goes beyond it, but they know it’s an independent question from the integrity of the climate research. The latter should exist both in the free/voluntary researchers as well as the professional ones – and probably *especially* the professional ones. It shouldn’t be a political question. The open source folks got upset by their findings about the methods of the current climate science despite their being naturally “more left-wing” because politics doesn’t matter, or shouldn’t matter here. After all, the “mainstream climate science” has grown to an evil big capitalist that exploits everyone else, so it’s natural for the open source community to add some negative emotions to their really damning findings.

    To summarize, Judith Curry seems to assume that there can’t possibly exist a rational reason why the “image” has deteriorated. But there exist very serious reasons.

    Dear Bruce Kobb, TinyCO2, and Philip,

    thanks for your endorsement! ;-) And Philip: although it has been a couple of years, I still remember the same feelings you had to have somewhat more recently. Until 2002 or so, I also thought there were no reason to think that the climate change wasn’t a lethal threat. It was written everywhere in the media and they quoted scientists from another standard scientific discipline, so why should they say incorrect things?

    I thought: Can’t they simply measure the temperature change, and extrapolate it (and at that moment, I surely did think that the temperature graphs are linear increasing functions – as the media had done nothing to disprove this blatantly false expectation of mine and others).

    In fact, one could even say that I started to look into the “climate change science” with the same motivation and attitude as I have before I look into statements about extraterrestrial aliens or poltergeist. I just like to check things – and especially far-reaching claims. And ET’s would be funny, so although these statements sounded crazy – contradicting findings about the climate that were really everywhere – I just looked into it.

    Of course, my conclusion happened to be the opposite one than the conclusion of any research of mine dedicated to poltergeists or UFOs. ;-) Well, I shouldn’t exaggerate this point. When McIntyre and McKitrick, and Willie and Soon, were first comprehensibly heard, my guesses about the odds for the validity of the two “philosophies” were already at least 50:50 in their favor. But before I encountered the first serious people of this kind, I also had an inclination to think that a climate skeptic would probably be similar to an UFO abductee. :-)

    Cheers, Lubos