Judith, I love ya, but you’re way wrong …

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Judith Curry posted here on WUWT regarding rebuilding the lost trust we used to have in climate science and climate scientists. This is my response to her post, an expansion and revision of what I wrote in the comments on that thread.

First, be clear that I admire Judith Curry greatly. She is one of the very, very few mainstream climate scientists brave enough to enter into a public dialogue about these issues. I salute her for her willingness to put her views on public display, and for tackling this difficult issue.

As is often my wont in trying to understand a long and complex dissertation, I first made my own digest of what Judith said. To do so, I condensed each of her paragraphs into one or a few sentences. Here is that digest:

Digest of Judith Curry’s Post: On the Credibility of Climate Research, Part II: Towards Rebuilding Trust

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 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 condense it into an “elevator speech”. This is a very short statement of the essential principles. My elevator speech of Judith’s post is 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 Judith’s picture?

Can The Trust Be Rebuilt?

First, let me say that the problem is much bigger than Judith seems to think. Wiser men than I have weighed in on this question. In a speech at Clinton, Illinois, September 8, 1854, Abraham Lincoln said:

If you once forfeit the confidence of your fellow citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem. You may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.

So it will not be easy. The confidence is forfeit, that ship has sailed.

The biggest problem with Judith’s proposal is her claim that the issue 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. It is not a communication problem.

The problem is that 71.3% of what passes as peer reviewed climate science is simply junk science, as false as the percentage cited in this sentence. The lack of trust is not a problem of perception or communication. 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 climate science papers. Codes are routinely concealed, data is not archived. 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 and an embarrassment 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 at that time, bloviating about how it was such a terrible thing to do to poor Mikey. Now Mann has been “exonerated” by one of the most bogus whitewashes in academic history, and where is your outrage, Judith? Where are the climate scientists trying to clean up your messes?

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 there was deafening. Now there is another whitewash investigation, and the silence only deepens.

And you wonder why we don’t trust you? Here’s a clue. Because a whole bunch of you are guilty of egregious and repeated scientific malfeasance, and the rest of you are complicit in the crime by your silence. Your response is to stick your fingers in your ears and cover your eyes.

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 think people made the FOI (Freedom of Information) requests because they were concerned that the people who made the datasets were the same 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 the response of mainstream climate scientists to Phil Jone’s reply to Warwick Hughes. When Warwick made a simple scientific 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. But in addition to being astounded, I was naive. Looking back, I was incredibly naive. I was so naive that I actually thought, “Well, Phil’s gonna get his hand slapped hard by real scientists for that kind of anti-scientific statements”. Foolish me, I thought you guys were honest scientists who would be outraged by that.

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 one of you good folks going to take a principled stand?

But nobody wants to do that. Instead, you want to complain and explain how trust has been broken, and you want to 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 and speak out 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, sitting quietly in your taxpayer funded offices and saying nothing, not a word, schtumm … and you wonder why we don’t trust you?

A perfect example is you saying in your post:

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 outrage at realclimate’s ruthless censorship of every opposing scientific 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 contemptuous flouting of scientific norms. When you stay silent about blatant censorship like that, Judith, people will not trust you, nor should they. You have shown by your actions that you are perfectly OK with realclimate censoring opposing scientific views. What kind of message does that send?

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 freewheeling scientific discussion and honest reporting of results.

And until mainstream climate science follows his lead, I’ll let you in on a very dark, ugly 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 inspire trust by camouflaging 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 actually  is  healed. I don’t want you to learn 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 of complicity by silence with that malfeasance. 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 cubbyholes with your heads down and never, never, never say a bad word about some other climate 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. Call out the journals that don’t follow their own policies on data archiving. Speak up for honest science. Archive your data. Insist on transparency. Publish your codes.

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 a rara avis, and I respect you greatly for it.

w.

PS – In your post you talk about a “monolithic climate denial machine”?? Puhleease, Judith, you’re talking to us individual folks who were there on the ground individually fighting the battle. Save that conspiracy theory for people who weren’t there, those who don’t know how it went down.

This is another huge problem for mainstream climate scientists and mainstream media alike. You still think the problem is that we opposed your ideas and exposed your errors. You still see the climate scientists as the victims, even now in 2010 when the CRU emails have shown that’s nonsense. Every time one of your self-appointed spokes-fools says something like “Oh, boo hoo, the poor CRU folks were forced to circle their wagons by the eeevil climate auditors”, you just get laughed at harder and harder. The CRU emails showed they were circling the FOI wagons two years before the first FOI request, so why haven’t you noticed?

The first step out of this is to stop trying to blame Steve and Anthony and me and all the rest of us for your stupidity and your dishonesty and your scientific malfeasance. [Edited by public demand to clarify that the "your stupidity" etc. refers to mainstream climate scientists as a group and not to Judith individually.] You will never recover a scrap of trust until you admit that you are the source of your problems, all we did was point them out. You individually, and you as a group, created this mess. The first step to redemption is to take responsibility. You’ve been suckered by people like Stephen Schneider, who said:

To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have. Each of us has to decide the right balance between being effective, and being honest. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.

That worked fine for a while, but as Lincoln pointed out, it caught up with you. You want trust? Disavow Schneider, and STOP WITH THE SCARY SCENARIOS. At this point, you have blamed everything from acne to world bankruptcy on eeevil global warming. And you have blamed everything from auditors to the claimed stupidity of the common man for your own failures. STOP IT! We don’t care about your pathetic justifications, all you are doing is becoming the butt of jokes around the planet. You seem to have forgotten the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf. Read it. Think about it. Nobody cares about your hysteria any more. You are in a pit of your own making, and you are refusing to stop digging … take responsibility.

Because we don’t want scientists who are advocates. We’re not interested in scientists who don’t mention their doubts. We’re sick of your inane “simplified dramatic statements”. We laugh when you cry wolf with your scary scenarios. Call us crazy, but we want scientists who are honest, not scientists who balance honesty and effectiveness. You want trust? Get honest, kick out the scoundrels, and for goodness sakes, get a clue about humility.

Because the truth is, climate science is one of the newest sciences. The truth is, we know little about the climate, we’ve only been studying it intensely for a couple decades. The truth is, we can’t project the climate of the next decade, much less that of the next century.  The truth is, we have no general theory of climate. The truth is, we don’t know if an average temperature rise of a couple degrees will be a net benefit or a net loss. The truth is, all of us are human, and our knowledge of the climate is in its infancy. And I don’t appreciate being lectured by infants. I don’t appreciate being told that I should be put in the dock in a Nuremberg style trial for disagreeing with infants. You want to restore trust? Come down off your pedestals, forsake your ivory towers, and admit your limitations.

And through all of this, be aware that you have a long, long, long climb back up to where we will trust you. As Lincoln warned, you have forfeited the confidence of your fellow citizens, and you will be damn lucky if you ever get it back.

[Update: please see Dr. Curry's gracious response below, at Judith Curry (04:34:45)]

[Update 2: Dr. Curry's second response is here, and my reply is here]

[Update 3: Dr. Curry steps up and delivers the goods. My reply.]


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789 Responses to Judith, I love ya, but you’re way wrong …

  1. John Van Krimpen. says:

    Me and Capn Jack,

    say Tick.

  2. kadaka says:

    Editing Note:

    “So it will not be easy. The confidence is is forfeit, that ship has sailed.”

    Extra “is” detected.

    [Thanks, fixed - w.]

  3. twawki says:

    Great post, well done!

  4. Ronaldo says:

    Once again Willis Eschenbach hits the nail squarely on the head.
    Thankyou, Sir, for a characteristically clear exposition of the problem and an equally clear statement of the solution – honesty, clarity and humility allied with good, careful science.

  5. Phillip Bratby says:

    Thanks Willis for an excellent summary post. I’m waiting for the first “climate scientist” to come out and name another “climate scientist” for malfeisance. How long will I have to wait before anyone of them condemns Mann?

  6. Josh says:

    Brilliant – I feel inspired. There will be a cartoon shortly, hope it makes it to Bishop Hill.

  7. Sera says:

    I happily agree with everything said, and I am glad to be as angry as Willis seems to be. Sociologists can stick their noses into science, but scientists should not be sticking their noses into sociology. Same with politics. Same with economics. Show your work, let the chips fall.

  8. Mike G says:

    Superb. You speak for me, and many others I think

  9. Steve Schapel says:

    Willis,

    All I can say is thank you, very much indeed, for that extraordinary work. A totally brilliant expression of what many of us feel but would be hard-pressed to put into words at all, let alone so purely. I really hope Judith Curry, and perhaps others who think like her, can allow themselves to open themselves up to the ideas you have presented here.

  10. Andy Scrase says:

    “get a clue about humility”

    Let’s give Judith Curry some slack here. She has stepped off the pedestal a bit and shown *some* humility I believe.

    A lot more than most?

  11. Invariant says:

    >but we want scientists who are honest

    Exactly! John Christy is a good example. Honest, humble scientists doing transparent science is what we need.

  12. Ziiex Zeburz says:

    Willis,
    you have said (and much, much more) the bases of the real problem , I thank you, (and Anthony for once again making the right decision ) for bring together all that I am sure many of us have wanted to say,
    again I Thank You.

    Ziiex Zeburz

  13. David Davidovics says:

    Thats a hell of a read. Well written and well said.
    He is absolutely right to point out just how wide the divide is between alarmists and us “uneducated” folk.

    At this point, its so ingrained that I doubt any of the leading figures will ever admit wrong doing even if the world froze over. The pride runs very deep.

  14. Stephan says:

    Willis unfortunately I think you are correct. The data was c### and that IS THE PROBLEMA!

  15. Peter Pond says:

    Thanks Willis, a strongly worded observation.

    I recently commented on “the Air Vent”

    “Jeff

    When Climategate first broke, I wrote in a couple of blogs that SCIENCE would be the loser (because the trust of the people in Science would stop). For the past couple of years I have followed the AGW saga and I feel that I have got to know many of the blog owners quite well (from their writings).

    One of the reasons that I like your blog, despite my having what I think would be quite different political views from you, is that I consider you to be WYSIWYG (another way of saying that you are open). There are a few others like you whose opinions I value, and whose approach to the science is what I would have expected from all scientists (and I particularly like Lucia, misspellings included).

    We need to go forward, but realistically this will not happen until enough AGW-supporting “scientists” state publicly that the science is not settled and more work is needed.

    Here in Australia, the recent words of Prof Jones, admitting that recent temp increases are not unique, have not hit the MSM at all. Rather, the AGW crowd is ploughing along in a “business as usual” fashion, with the MSM acting like an echo chamber.

    As a layman bystander, I just want science that I CAN trust – regardless of what conclusions it comes to.

    Thanks for your work towards that end.”

    The comments about respect for the work of Jeff and Lucia goes for that of many of the posters here on WUWT and, of course, Steve McI.

    Admission of error and uncertainty is a basic prerequisite for trust and respect.

  16. Peter Whale says:

    Absolutely perfectly encapsulates my understanding of this moment now.

    This can be the only way forward for science to again gain respect for the folly of the advocacy climate science has taken. All scientists of all persuasions must come forth and state the principles of science and condemn the practices of these so called climate scientists. All future scientists who are in education of any kind should look at the ethics and see where they stand.

    My hope is that the outcome of this period could send a message to politicians and advocacy groups that science cannot be bought for a result.

  17. stumpy says:

    Couldnt have said it better myself!

  18. SamG says:

    Yeahhhh !

  19. PaulM says:

    Although I agree with a lot of Willis’s sentiments I think he has overstepped the mark in a few places here. Although he is right that mainstream climate scientists should have spoken out against the distortion of science, remarks such as “the rest of you are complicit in the crime by your silence” and “your stupidity and your dishonesty and your scientific malfeasance” are over the top and not fair.

  20. NickB. says:

    Just a random thought here, but when I first read Dr. Curry’s post I assumed good faith. After learning a little more about her and reading prior statements at WaPo, etc (oh and the “robust” hurricane correlation), I think Willis’ post sums up my feelings quite nicely.

    Why no mention of the unfair denigration of “skeptical” scientists like Lindzen, Christy, Spencer – among many others? Why the reference to some imaginary machine on the skeptical side but no reference to the very real machine on the Pro-AGW side?

    I guess I’m still a little puzzled by the “truth as presented by the IPCC” statement, does she really think that document expresses truth or is it some Post-Modern there-is-no-such-thing-as-real-truth kinda thing?

    Anyway, as strange as it is to quote Joe Romm… I’m not quite sure I see the point here. We don’t need better error bars on the IPCC reports – we need good science. In its current state climate science is no better at understanding and forecasting climate than economics is for the economy. I’d say that from what I’ve seen a far measure worse.

    Stop pretending, or letting other people pretend for you, that all the uncertainty is managed and therfore a non-issue. The real question now is if climate science will ever become a real science (which, IMO, an equivalence somewhere around Economics is probably what could be shot for – if you think it could be a true hard science like chemistry you’re mistaken)… or if climate science will fade away as the phrenology of our generation

  21. Patrick Hignett says:

    Anthony,
    Regarding the FOI request to CRU. The imformation commissioner has said that CRU broke the law on this but could not be prosecuted as more than six months has passed since the offence.
    I believe that this is an error in that the limit should be measured from the time the commisioner became aware of the offence not from the time of the original request. Maybe you should ask the commissioner for clarification on this.

    Regards

  22. Val Majkus says:

    Willis congratulations for saying it so succinctly – and you are certainly one of the people who has every right to say what you have said

  23. Bravo, Mr. Eschenbach!

    “How can we restore a mutual trust?” – asks a mugger after robbing you.

    “Give my money back, and go to prison. When you come out of prison and start earning your living like an honest human being, maybe I will trust you again.”

  24. RL says:

    Fantastic response ,beautifully stated from the centre of the universe,from the place where truth resides.
    Congratulations

  25. Dominic says:

    Great post. It is clear that Judith, despite her willingness to engage still does not get it. In most fields of science the actions of jones and Mann would have made them pariahs. Why is climate science so different? Because these guys are actually second-rate scientists and so use bluff and arrogance to hide the fact. The climate is such a complex system that only the smartest minds together with great experimenters can tease out the important drivers and tell us something The problems is that these guys are not so smart and have no scientific imagination.

  26. Gillian Lord says:

    So say all of us.

  27. Kilted Mushroom says:

    Very ,very well said. The synopsis is perfect and needs answering by Judith. The rest is “piling on” a term I have learnt from Climate Audit.

  28. John A says:

    ***Thunderous applause***

  29. Scott says:

    Brilliant, Anthony absolutly brilliant.

    Jo Nova and Andrew Bolt this is worth re-publishing in its entirety.

    Scott

  30. Ruhroh says:

    Thanks,
    I couldn’t make it past her deployment that damnable ‘denial’ .

    In normal circumstances I might suggest that the repetition would be insulting.
    But in light of the demonstrated ‘tone-deafness’, the anti-repetition rule goes out the window…

    One of the first rules in marriage counselling is to stop blaming one’s spouse, and learn to speak even-handedly, where the first topic is exploration of one’s own role in the dance before even mentioning the partner’s countersteps.

    In the flouting of Rule #1, Curry is apparently more worried about persuading her fellow ‘team’ members, within the tight GroupThink constraints they’ve established. Those climascientology mindguards can be very rough on their own team members who stray too far from the ‘overwhelming consensus’…

    And what is her message to the team? Does it address the roots of the alienation of affection? Or is she suggesting a better brand of band-aid?

    RR

  31. Dave Williams says:

    NPR has an interesting article about the Psychology behind peoples’ unwillingness to listen to the other side’s views/facts/science even if the evidence seems solid.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=124008307&ft=1&f=1007&sc=YahooNews

    At the end of the day, I ‘believe’ (how’s that for science) that global warming will be shown to be a combination of natural causes and human activities. It seems like many want it to be completely one cause or the other.

  32. B. Smith says:

    Both barrels to the chest, at point blank range. WE, your PS was a brutal bludgeoning of the good professor’s take and shoddy science in general, with a generous Brooklyn Stomping of those blogs who perpetuate the sin of scientific censorship by not allowing a forum for opposing viewpoints.

    Most unfortunately, sometimes brutality is what’s needed to wake people out of their stupor or jolt them back into the real world.

    I just want to see conclusions (whatever they may be) that result from solid, empirical science done by scientists following the Scientific Method, their work unsullied by politics or personal biases.

    Nice job, WE.

  33. Eddie Hallahan says:

    very well said

  34. Eschenbach, your speech is worthy of Churchill. Judith, I know I won’t be the only one to have that thought here.

    There are three groups today who call themselves scientists. Real scientists, whose passion is Truth. “Normal scientists” (95% of all scientists), who follow in the footsteps of the real scientists, do all the right procedures and keep business going with a lot of useful work, but lack that passion for Truth which prompts the BS detectors and fires people to speak out. Finally, there are the “Post-normal scientists” who have arrived via a Trojan Horse, well described by Lindzen. These are not scientists at all but have usurped the name as a platform for what is at best unbalanced, and at worst is hysterical, fraudulent, and even psychotic advocacy. Go check.

    It is no accident that the brilliant self-taught mathematician and climate skeptic Christopher Monckton, who asks people NOT to believe him but to check his statements, quotes Jesus’ words when Jesus was between a rock and a hard place. He said his work was to “bear witness to truth”. He did not talk about Love regarding the core of his own work, at the crunch point. Go check.

  35. Stefan says:

    Wow, I’m quite surprised at how passionate this post is, but yeah, start with the core problem.

    Does this mean it really all comes down to checks and balances? If science wants to matter socially, then the social checks and balances will matter — become essential.

    For whatever reason, any group could get it wrong — there’s a collaborative aspect where the group gets more done, but there’s the bias aspect where the paradigm is self reinforcing even if wrong.

    So we need multiple independent groups and social rules enforced to keep those groups separate.

    Nobody should get to have a monopoly on writing truth.

  36. Mike McMillan says:

    A little strong, a lot on target.

    I had to look up “passim” in McIntyre’s post on the Mann whitewash. It means “here and there.”

  37. Luboš Motl says:

    Good idea. This wise text shouldn’t have been just a comment.

  38. Javelin says:

    Unfortunatlely for science you’re spot on.

  39. Glenn Haldane says:

    Perhaps a trifle over the top with the invective, Willis, but certainly a very accurate account of how I feel about climate science too.

  40. Paul Boyce says:

    Phew! Nothing like calling a spade a spade, is there?

    But having said that, I agree with every word of what Willis has written above.

    The AGW movement probably reached a pinnacle of widespread public support in 2006, with the release of “An Inconvenient Truth”. Since then support has been in decline – at least if the opinion polls are to be believed.

    This decline has speeded up with Climategate, with Copenhagen, with the questions about the accuracy of AR4, and with the revelations about Dr. Pachauri’s vested interests and his suitability as chairman of the IPCC.

    There is no indication that the decline is going to come to a halt in the near future, let alone be reversed.

    Is there anything that can be done about the decline? Would things really be any different if climate science were really to embrace the suggestions outlined by Dr. Curry?

    The trouble is the AGW community has always relied so heavily on spin. Which is fine, and quite understandable in the circumstances. Except if you do rely on spin and you lose your credibility then you are done for. It’s easy to lose your reputation, but difficult – if not impossible – to regain it. And massive loss of credibility is what the AGW movement is experiencing at the moment.

    Increasingly, the answer to the question “Where now for the AGW movement” is likely to be answered by another (rhetorical) question, viz: “Who cares?”

  41. HEAR HEAR HEAR!!! A great rebuttal to scuttle the “good ship Clueless & Unapologetic”. My mind is still reeling from when Dr. Judith Curry praised RealClimate.org for its open-mindedness, arguably the MOST close-minded and censored blog EVER…

    When she reaches out to pacifists, does she punch them in the face? ;)

  42. Richard S Courtney says:

    Willis wrote.

    I read it and said, “Amen”.

    Richard

  43. AndyS says:

    Wow! Thank you Willis. I think you just about nailed it.

  44. Josh says:

    I put the cartoon here – top of the page

    http://www.cartoonsbyjosh.com

  45. James Allison says:

    Tick

  46. I’ll take a different tack.

    I think the first bridge building attempts are the most important ones, regardless of the flaws we might find in them. They are the bravest steps. So Judith Curry should be commended.

    It’s true, some areas of climate science have become very politicized – and most of what gets the “press” is the hard sell “it’s settled” and “doom is all around us”.

    But that isn’t 98% of climate science.

    But 98% of climate science is what most people don’t see even though it’s there in papers full of:
    maybes” and
    it might be this or it might be that” and
    we can’t explain this at this time“, even
    this is the Achilles heel for climate models

    .. and, amazingly, all these papers got published.

    In Nature, in Science, in GRL..

    Climate science is uncertain in many areas, but strangely finding out the uncertainties might begin to increase confidence that we aren’t being sold a used car. Hopefully, some followups to Predictability? With a pinch of salt please.. will demonstrate the unseen openness of much of climate science..

  47. Ruhroh says:

    When I mentioned repetition, I was referring to Willis’ taking Curry to task in a fulsome, non-terse way; i.e., beating her over the head and ears.

    Just as statistics has long experience that is relevant in climascientology, so too can the field of mediation be brought to bear on the problems.
    It starts with acknowledgment and candid expression of each party’s “Issues”.

    Curry seems to have staked out a rather narrow position somewhere between the combatants; it seems unlikely that either party will be persuaded to join her there.
    Semi~Mathematically, Curry may have identified the median position of the identified parties.
    However, this approach lacks merit in the present situation of a strongly bimodal distribution.
    RR

  48. Alan the Brit says:

    Wow! Blew a few cobwebs away this morning. Excellent post from the heart it would seem, & unfortunately for some, a few very well honed, aimed, & fired, home truths about the establishment scientists. That’s what happens when one politicises science, with a hidden agenda (Socialist Gobal Utopia), & plenty of (taxpayers’) money delivered to achieve that agenda! Have we learnt absolutely nothing from the likes of Stalin & Hitler & the power of propaganda? If not, what a dreadfull waste of human life!

  49. Jay Currie says:

    Dead Right Willis.

    Much as I admire Dr, Curry’s demi mea culpa…I do marketing and spin for a living.

    Her article was mainly spin. Not awful, not evil; just spin.

    The fact is that the Team and their cheerleaders have been pumping the Big Oil/tobacco conspiracy meme for all it is worth for years.

    Is Steve McIntyre at the Big Oil trough? Or is our host? Or Lucia? Or Icecap?

    Nope. The fact is that the slimeballs in the AGW camp – of which Dr. Curry is certainly not one but occasionally adopts the arguments – are out of good arguments and are now just making stuff up.

    The Met Office is right: it is time to audit the data. Time to come up with a transparent, publicly accessible, raw data base. And time to disclose how the data is homogenized and gridded and adjusted.

    It is also time to look very, very carefully at the current state of the science and how it got that way. It is time to examine and cross examine the people who thing nothing of grafting one set of measurements onto another, unrelated, set of measurements to “hide the decline”. Time to consider what sort of people would do such a thing and prosecute any criminals who come out of such consideration.

    Sorry, Judith, I have admired your posts here and at Climate Audit; but the fact is you are pretending that there is no problem – just a perception. The fact is that there is a problem and that problem is that climate science is not grounded in fact.

    Fact that can be tested experimentally. Fact which does not rely upon ginning up the data.

    Otherwise it is just spin and, frankly, badly executed spin.

  50. Heber Rizzo says:

    It’s simply right
    What else to say?

  51. What I love about these leftie-liberals is the self image they have of themselves. They believe that they are game, independent, rebellious voices of truth speaking out against “vast right wing conspiracies” and “monolithic climate denial machine”. They do not want to accept that they are now the establishment, that they are now the reactionary old fools, that they are the ones repressing freedom and liberty. Gotta love them.

  52. louis hissink says:

    Willis,

    Putting on my best Bullwinkle J Moose voice,

    “Oooh”

  53. I am surprised by the comments accusing Mr. Eschenbach of being “over the top.” In my view, he is being much too polite.

    Climate alarmists not only insult and persecute rationally thinking people at every opportunity but embezzle public funds to provide themselves with a very comfortable living.

    Interrogation in the court of law is the only kind of debate they deserve.

  54. Mike Bryant says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with each and every conclusion. I learned a long time ago about playing responsibly “above the line”. Below the line are excuses, the “poor little ole me” syndrome and “blaming others” for our own shortcomings. It’s too bad that climate scientists think they can elevate themselves by these so typical “loser” mentalities. Top performers in every field understand this very simple concept of taking responsibility. Too bad the climate culture is absolutely awash in self-pity, blaming others and making excuses. I’ve seen enough. There is nothing salvageable in their approach. It’s time to set the barn on fire; there are too many snakes and too many rats. We need a barnraising with new players. Judith, it’s time to come up over the line to responsibility.

  55. Josh says:

    I put the cartoon here

    http://www.cartoonsbyjosh.com

    top of the page.

  56. Nick Moon says:

    Think you’ve got this about right. One of the problems with Judith’s position is that it allows the following interpretation. We have to rebuild trust in science – so we can go on telling the same lies.

    But apparently the quote ain’t from Lincoln it’s from P.T. Barnum. I have been thinking tho’ for the last fee weeks that it does express the atitude of the team. They have been fooling some of the people for decades. And I have no doubt that those true beleivieners will go on believing for ever – however much snow falls. They have also managed to fool nearly all the people for a short time.

    Maybe it’s time the circus moved on.

  57. Binny says:

    In a lot of ways I’m reminded of the Church trying to deal with paedophile priests. They convinced themselves that protecting the reputation of the Church was more important than the sins of individual. In the long run all they did was destroy the very reputation they were trying to protect.

  58. The fundamental fault of “post-normal science” – Higher risks and bigger uncertainties require MORE science, MORE checks with the basic truths, MORE open sharing of data etc before leaping into action – not LESS.

    Oh crikey, another religious parallel, but it fits. It’s like being able to read the Bible in your native language, rather than it being behind a paywall in Latin.

  59. ML says:

    @Javelin (01:26:01) :

    Unfortunatlely for science you’re spot on.

    I think that if we remove the first two letters (UN) from this sentence the fufture of the science will look little bit brighter

  60. C Shannon says:

    Every point on the substance of the issues covered here is absolutely dead on.

    With that said, I think your accusatory use of the word “you” in reference to the actions of climate scientists generally is incongruous with your professed respect and admiration for Curry.

    That’s really the only issue I saw with the entire reply which, considering it appears to have been written rather hastily, is rather impressive. And it’s a minor gripe at best as it really doesn’t change any of your substantive points.

  61. Ian E says:

    A very good reply to Judith’s post – which, I have to say, had me fuming with her pretended ‘neutral’ attempt at refereeing the current debacle. Did she fool herself in this or did she hope to fool all of the rest of us, I wonder?

    As a retired scientist (physical chemistry/computer modelling – not of climate) my main comment is, how did it come about that this post has been necessary: the debasement of climate ‘science’ standards has been truly appalling to observe.

  62. Peter of Sydney says:

    It’s too little too late. So called climate scientists who advocate the AGW myth are still well regarded by most of the media and politicians. These so called climate scientists need more than just a critique of how naughty they have been by more traditional scientists. They need to be charged with fraud and hopefully put behind bars. Otherwise, they will continue the hoax for as long as they like ignoring comments by anyone else as they are very thick skinned.

  63. David Bailey says:

    Andrew,

    I can see why you wanted to get that off your chest (and yes, I agree with it), but I wouldn’t make a habit of it.

    It has been the relentless drip drip of facts from this and other sites that has made a difference. Rants are infinitely less effective.

    Remember, most people are hardly even aware of climategate, the message is only gradually leaking out, so do please keep on with the “auditing”, which is making such a difference

  64. beardsandbellies says:

    “The problem is that 71.3% of what passes as peer reviewed climate science is simply junk science, as false as the percentage cited in this sentence.”
    Is this admitting no relevant basis for your claims, or an ad hominem attacks lacking any basis for the facts. A lot of conjecture, fear, and no facts. And name dropping Lincoln. What is the relevance?

  65. Peter Stroud says:

    Thanks Willis for an excellent post.

    I find incredible the common sense scepticism now being shown by a majority of ordinary laypersons since Climategate and the plethora of IPCCgates. Though a lot was around before these events. But when will the politicians wake up to this?

    In the UK our Conservative Opposition, hopefully soon to be in power, is determined to out green the socialists regardless of the damage to business and the taxpayer. Cameron and his potential energy and climate change secretary still insist that it is because of the view of the majority of climate scientists that they support Labour’s climate Bill. In other words the consensus still reigns supreme.

    Pass along please, nothing has really happened at CRU or with the IPCC.

  66. ML says:

    Excellent post Willis. In essence you’ve listed all the reason why my BS meter goes out of range every time “climate scientist” and/or “climate journalist” open his/her mouth. I’m not a scientist, so for me the only question is. Do I have to buy BS meter with bigger range ?

  67. JDS says:

    Simply stated ‘science is about reproducibility’.

    There is nothing about the Hockey Team’s science that is reproducible. The Western science institutions have produced a great many university education folks that do not work in labs. For us to see how the shoddy climate science is run, is embarrassing and fraudulent – after all, we pay for it and we will be paying for the consequence of policies derived from it.

    The addition of Al Gore and Pachauri to this brew is more than embarrassing. It is wrong.

    It is not clear to me how this will be fixed. Politicians are largely influenced by financial groups and the investment houses will make Trillions from this project. And the scientists well they will become compromised and go along for the ride – unable to get off.

    W’s review of Dr. Curry’s article was to the point.

    Excellent.

  68. Gerry B says:

    As a physicist and a geologist, may I heave a huge sigh of relief that this article has been published – and hopefully re-published elsewhere in the blogosphere.

    As well as summarising the facts about the abuse of scientific method, and the vain merger of science with advocacy, it expresses how I feel about the abuse of science and parallels my own deep feelings on the matter .

    All fair-minded auditors, scientists, engineers etc. who understand these arguments should read and share this posting with others.

  69. Mari Warcwm says:

    Wow. Now there is a clever fellow, Dr Curry. You had better listen and learn

    It has been well known in academic circles for years that if you want to get research money for any project, just put ‘global warming’ in the title. Otherwise you and your family starved.

    Climte science has never attracted the brightest brains in the academic world. The University of East Anglia is a third rate establishment. To call what they have been up to ‘science’ is to insult the great science departments of our great universities, both here in the UK and in America.

    What makes us sceptics out here so angry, Dr Curry, is our very clear understanding that we are paying for a massive scam. The idea that those responsible for perpetrating this scam should now have the audacity to try another tack in pulling the wool over our eyes makes me furious. And I am just an old granny. You wait until Mr Joe Public Taxpayer really gets his head round all this. Perhaps he already has.

  70. Cold Englishman says:

    Ouch!

  71. Ed Murphy says:

    Bernie Sanders compares climate skeptics to Nazi deniers 

    23 Feb 10 – (Excerpts) – “Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is comparing climate change skeptics to those who disregarded the Nazi threat to America in the 1930s, adding a strident rhetorical shot to the already volatile debate over climate change,” says this article on politico.com. 

    “It reminds me in some ways of the debate taking place in this country and around the world in the late 1930s,” said Sanders, perhaps the most liberal member of the Senate, during a Senate hearing Tuesday. “During that period of Nazism and fascism’s growth – a real danger to the United States and democratic countries around the world – there were people in this country and in the British parliament who said ‘don’t worry! Hitler’s not real! It’ll disappear!”

    “Earlier in the hearing, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) had chided Sanders: “I know the senator from Vermont wants so badly to believe that the science on climate change is settled but it’s not.”          

    I was born and raised in Vermont. I am saddened that Vermonters have elected and re-elected such a despicable man.

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0210/33371.html
    Thanks to Marc Morano for this link

    I would encourage all people to listen and call in to the Thom Hartmann radio show every Friday at noon EST. The first hour that day of the week is called ‘Lunch with Bernie’ and they take your calls if you’d like to talk with Sen. Bernie Sanders over this issue or any other.

  72. Andrew says:

    “Trust” is for politicians and priests. Scientists have facts and testable models. Something is wrong when “trust” is debated. I don’t need to trust any scientist, I just need to see the data and the methodology, I can make up my own mind.

  73. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Andy Scrase (00:54:07) : edit

    “get a clue about humility”

    Let’s give Judith Curry some slack here. She has stepped off the pedestal a bit and shown *some* humility I believe.

    A lot more than most?

    I agree, and my apologies to Judith. This was aimed at those who claim to be the Nostradamus of climate science, able to predict the future a century out in a single bound.

  74. David L says:

    Willis: couldn’t agree more! I’m a Phys Chem PhD ’95 scientist, and since graduate school my job is essentially doing chemical research with massive time constraints and then communicating the results and convincing nonscientists to accept my research for “publication”. To this end, I see the bloggsphere as an excellent opportunity for science to be strengthened. It’s not a problem that nonscientists ask me tough questions about my research; many times they make me think of angles that I never would have. To have the bloggosphere (general public) understand and accept the science is further proof that the science is legitimite, correct, and understandable.. When a special exclusive club is formed and we are suppossed to trust them solely on their credentials is when bad things happen.

    If your theory can’t stand up to laypeople, then that theory is bogus. People may not be educated in a particular field, but they aren’t stupid by any means. The problem the climategaters are in is due to things like we see from Al Gore “massive snow because of global warming”. That sounds like doublespeak to a lot of people. It may be true, but you have to convince them that it’s true. When I tell people that a feather and a bowling ball will fall at the same rate due to gravity, some don’t beleive it. But you can do the experiment in vacuum to prove it. This doesn’t happen at the CRU. They simply say “trust my expertise” or “you’re too stupid to understand” or “you’re asking because your’re a shill for big oil”….I could go on. When in reality, to be an effective scientist, you have to prove your theories, not hide and make up excuses.

  75. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Invariant (00:54:18) : edit

    >but we want scientists who are honest

    Exactly! John Christy is a good example. Honest, humble scientists doing transparent science is what we need.

    Couldn’t agree more. There are a few excellent honest scientists in the mix. Too few, unfortunately …

  76. Varco says:

    I greatly appreciate the effort that Dr Curry has continued to put into these articles, it is a commendable exercise. However I would like to make the following observations:

    I also find the term ‘denier’ unnecessary and insulting by association. It’s continued use only weakens the argument of the user and I found the presence of it peculiar in her article.

    I submitted an FOIA request but can assure Dr Curry this was not for the reasons she proposes. My concern was the reluctance of the institution to provide the data that would permit independent verification of the work undertaken, there was no pre-supposition of the results that verification would establish.

    Climate science is clearly a broad church, with many interested parties. We regularly observe every discipline from pure political spin to environmental pressure groups and ivory tower academia falling over them selves to tell everyone else what they should think. The presence of political spin is an unfortunate fact of life on pretty much every subject now days, but far more worrying is the association of scientists with this practice. It is essential that scientists keep the ‘clear blue water’ of objectivity and verifiable fact between themselves and the fetid aspects of political spin and obscure environmentalist agendas if they are to receive trust from the public.

    Unfortunately the recent events have, again, illustrated the inability of climate scientists to either recognize their professional responsibilities or act to police their own colleagues actions. I fear that if their actions are indistinguishable from those of the political spin doctor they will be ‘tarred with the same brush’ and at best can expect public disinterest in their opinions.

    Of far greater concern than the professional standing of a few climate scientists should be the damage that is being done to science as a whole. Guilt by association should be a real concern to academia and I sincerely hope practical steps are taken quickly before this perception takes root with the public. Those with a real interest in ensuring the longevity and standing of the scientific profession would be, in my opinion, well advised to embrace the openness and transparency espoused in the more progressive areas of the blogosphere – yesterday’s announcement by the Met office seeming to be a step in the right direction. However, it is a truism that for most people ‘perception is reality’ and the perception of many with regard to the current ‘Climategate’ related investigations is ‘whitewash’ – the Abraham Lincoln quote should be heeded.

  77. Phillip Bratby says:

    Josh (00:49:46) :

    “Brilliant – I feel inspired. There will be a cartoon shortly, hope it makes it to Bishop Hill.”

    Yes it has – brilliant cartoon! Keep them coming.

  78. Steve says:

    That is a excellent response. Approx 15 years ago there was a article in the Australian Paper that said Co2 will be traded on the stock market. At that stage I could not believe it. Gas that is found on the periodic table to be traded. I kept thinking what next oxygen??
    I hope that your statement hits home. I for one will never believe in the current crop of climate scientists even if they said that the sun was going to come up tomorrow I would instantly be a sceptic.
    When the new crop of climate scientists stop being funded by the government and the words change from climate change to global warming then I might put a ear out to see if there results are not fabricated.

  79. David L says:

    Paul Boyce 1:29

    …”There is no indication that the decline is going to come to a halt in the near future, let alone be reversed.”…

    Can they hide their own decline?

  80. Woodsy42 says:

    Superbly said! And I’m delighted to see such clear emotion. I know that as reasonable adults we should sit and debate politely but in some cases, and this is one, I believe we should be very angry.
    Not just because the essay reeks of the underlying arrogance that the science is settled and it’s all a problem of communication. Nor just because some climatologists have demeaned and debased science.
    No, it goes beyond that. This perversion of science into alarmist advocacy, in which many climatologists have been fully complicit, is not just causing a few scared kids and forcing a bit of a change of tax policy. This unproven theory is already killing people through starvation by diverting their food supply into biofuels. It will impoverish the underdeveloped world, causing untold deaths and hardships, by witholding access to exactly the cheap carbon based energy that brought us ‘westerners’ our current living standards. Anger is fully justified.

  81. Willis Eschenbach says:

    PaulM (01:04:37)

    Although I agree with a lot of Willis’s sentiments I think he has overstepped the mark in a few places here. Although he is right that mainstream climate scientists should have spoken out against the distortion of science, remarks such as “the rest of you are complicit in the crime by your silence” and “your stupidity and your dishonesty and your scientific malfeasance” are over the top and not fair.

    Paul, my point is that there is no “science police” out there to stop scientific malfeasance. There is only the community of climate scientists themselves. Unless climate scientists break the “White Coat Line” and speak out against people in their discipline, climate science will continue to be a cesspit.

    Regarding “your stupidity and your dishonesty and your scientific malfeasance”, that was not aimed at Judith, but at the field in general. Read the CRU emails for an abundance of examples of the above.

    Thanks for your comments,

    w.

  82. OYD says:

    Well trust is earned can’t be bought and can’t be extracted by shouting the loudest. Judith should just do a Mea culpa and begin to treat all of us who hang out here and on other blogs as potential allies not enemies.
    Willis you said it all. I hope they would listen

  83. John of Upton says:

    wow that must hurt. I can feel the heat from you from here :-) (UK)

  84. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Glenn Haldane (01:26:56)

    Perhaps a trifle over the top with the invective, Willis, but certainly a very accurate account of how I feel about climate science too.

    Yeah, you’re probably right about OTT, but I’ve been down so long it looks like up to me. There is a certain schadenfreude in it for me, plus a long history of enduring people calling me names and blowing me off because I’m not part of the establishment and nasty vicious ad hominem attacks and FOI evasions and all of the ugliness that anyone could throw at me. So I am over the top, mea culpa, I’m working on it. As I have said before, I’m a reformed cowboy, I go to the meetings and work on the 12 steps, but sometimes the ranch kid breaks through …

  85. Pogo says:

    Willis… Why don’t you get off the fence and say what you really mean! :-)

    Excellent exposition, if a tad “robust”. Couldn’t have said it better myself (claim made to a CI of >99.9%).

  86. Arijigoku says:

    Amen

  87. Viv Evans says:

    Thank you Willis – you said what many of us think but wouldn’t be able to say so well and concise.

    This paragraph, at the bottom of your post, is very important:
    ‘Because the truth is, climate science is one of the newest sciences. The truth is, we know little about the climate, we’ve only been studying it intensely for a couple decades. The truth is, we can’t project the climate of the next decade, much less that of the next century. The truth is, we have no general theory of climate. The truth is, we don’t know if an average temperature rise of a couple degrees will be a net benefit or a net loss.’

    To which I’d like to add that the very sad truth is that millions of taxpayers’ money from many countries, have been wasted, and decades have been wasted in pursuing a preconceived goal (AGW) rather than the truth.

    It is similar to the police deciding beforehand who is the murderer and not looking for any evidence which points to a different culprit.
    That is called a stitch-up.

    It grieves me that science has become a tool for activists, that scientists have become activists themselves, pushing agendas rather than the truth – and that other scientists, such as Dr Curry, have been complicit and kept quiet while this was going on.
    Lets not forget that we’re not talking about the last couple of years – this has been happening over a couple of decades.
    And lets not forget how the careers and lives of those scientists have been ruined who tried to stand up and speak out against AGW.

    Saying ‘sorry’ and hoping to ‘communicate better’ is no longer sufficient.
    Follow Willis’ advice – that is the only way for forward.

  88. BcuBed says:

    There are some excellent points in this post and a few pointers for the future as well. I like the concept of assessing the net benefit vs net loss. This appears to have been lost on people, primarily due to be being buried under the doom and gloom and the need to make everyone feel guilty. The infancy of the science is a very good point and the politicians have ruined the scientific process once again.

  89. Luis Dias says:

    This is how you people want things to change?

    This ridiculous autistic rage will get you folks nowhere but inside the fringe lunatic conspiracy theory land.

    Congratulations, you just slapped Currith and gave RealClimate folks a huge laugh out of you. Now all the people can point to this post to show how crazy you bunch really are.

    For —– sake, you really don’t have a clue, do you?

    [Sorry, pottymouth may be standard operating practice at RC, but it isn't here... clean it up... -The Night Watch]

  90. bobdenton says:

    Will, you appear to be an irreconcilable.

    Your precondition for the restoration of trust invokes scenarios not very different from the public humiliation of professors by the Red Guards during China’s Cultural Revolution – a notice listing their crimes hung round their neck, head pushed down into a microphone, mumbling a forced confession to a baying crowd. It didn’t work in China and the culture of the revolutionaries was more loathed by the common man than the culture which went before. Your appeal for such an approach is unlikely to find fertile soil in the populations of Europe or the United States, though it may find a sympathetic ear in some corners of the blogosphere.

    In our culture, when there’s a form of delinquency that has no sanction, and spinning, over-claiming and sleight of hand in the presentation of science is one such area, then a process of truth and reconciliation is invoked, the faults are acknowledged, a promise made to do better in future, and the delinquents and aggrieved are reconciled. It may leave a bad taste in the mouth, but it is functional, it brings closure and enables all involved to move on.

    At some point this will happen between climate science and the general public, the debate will then move on leaving behind the irreconcilables who want to fight old wars to the death.

    I’m open to any reasonable proposal for truth and reconciliation.

  91. Dave Wendt says:

    Your citing of the story of the boy who cried wolf is interesting, because I’ve always felt that in emphasizing the bad effect of telling lies, what is usually overlooked is the equally bad effects of being lied to. The boy in the story suffers negative consequences for his repeated lies, but his community suffers also, because his lies have harmed their ability to respond appropriately to a real emergency. In the real world those community consequences are even greater because the resulting lack of trust is never limited to the original liar. Every time we are deceived by someone we thought trustworthy, it becomes more difficult to really trust anyone again, even those who might still be deserving of that trust.
    Unfortunately, deception and betrayal has become so pervasive and accepted in all areas of modern life, that placing trust in anyone or anything has become such an insane leap of faith, that fewer and fewer people are willing to make it.
    The trouble is when everybody reaches the point that they move through their days with the view that each person they encounter is just another used car salesman trying to rip them off, the thin veneer of civilization disintegrates and we descend into a dog eat dog state of nature. Without the implicit perception, even if unfounded, that most people are trustworthy until proven otherwise modern life becomes untenable.
    For all the talk of catastrophic “tipping points” we’ve been exposed to in this sham, this is one I fear we may have already passed.

  92. John Hooper says:

    Yes.

    Willis, may I suggest you write an open letter to George Monbiot at the Guardian slamming him for his obstruction and smearing?

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/feb/22/you-tell-us

  93. Zorro says:

    This is a superb and comprehensive refutation. I never became interested in climate science until AGW was used as an excuse to surround some land I once owned by a huge wind farm. I have since sold ( more like gave away ) the land and moved from NZ to Australia as the cost of fighting this became too great. Ironically it now looks like the wind farm will either be dramatically scaled back or cancelled altogether. The affected community has for over 4 years suffered greatly and I am still involved helping out close friends who will be ruined if this travesty goes ahead. However, the victims are conflicted as some are still believers , or at least until climategate, in AGW. Once I did my research on this matter 5 years ago I became a confirmed skeptic and endured a considerable amount of abuse for my position. How things have changed!! Not that it stopped one warmist cretin who emailed me the other day offering to beat me with sticks. Visit this website which I run and you will see why,
    http://www.palmerston-north.info

    (smirk)

    My final submission to the Board of Enquiry into this wind farm, which reconvenes in two weeks, takes apart Salinger, expert witness to the enquiry and manipulator of the NZ temperature record to show a distinct warming bias.

  94. Roger Carr says:

    Thank you, Willis — and thank you Anthony or Mods for recognising a brilliant comment and taking it mainline.

    (And thank you, Judith Curry, for the setup which inspired this brilliant piece…)

  95. Patrick G says:

    Quote:

    “and for goodness sakes, get a clue about humility.”

    Very true. It’s a lesson that many smart people in the climate science field (or any field) would do well to ponder.

    Yes, you may be very intelligent.

    You’ll be more right, more often about more things than most other people put together.

    We respect you for that.

    But you are NOT infallible. When an error is pointed out to you, have the good grace to stand corrected.

  96. Clare says:

    What a brilliant dissection and analysis, and articulation of true scientific principles in the process.

    Bravo.

  97. 4 billion says:

    “The problem is that 71.3% of what passes as peer reviewed climate science is simply junk science, as false as the percentage cited in this sentence.”

    So peer review is false, seems rather extreme.

  98. Capn Jack. says:

    Luis Diaz

    The PHd’s name is Judith Curry

    and autism is not a curse or an insult.

    But trollism is the mark of an infantile mind that never left kindergarten bullying.

    Anyone can shit in Library but why?

  99. Gerard says:

    I think Willis is over shouting himself. I do understand the sentiment and he is perfectly right in a lot of points. (Realclimate is censored for instance, I experienced that myself) but I think he should catch the reaching hand. Judith is a perfectly reasonable person in search of truth and we need those on both sides of the debate. I think there is particularly something worthwhile in the suggestion of the blogosphere debate. At the same time we don’t have the correct tools and rules for that at this moment. I agree with Willis however on the communication part. Climate science at this point has more then a communicational problem.

  100. Alex Cull says:

    A good post. Judith Curry is not the only one who has got the wrong end of the stick over what needs to be done. Here in the UK, the Met Office’s Vicky Pope is another who is saying, in effect, not “Is there the possibility that we’re wrong on catastrophic climate change?” but “How are we failing to communicate the seriousness of catastrophic climate change?” The core problem is being framed as a failure to communicate rather than a need to question assumptions and a challenge to the way climate science has been conducted. This is echoed by government ministers here such as Ed Miliband, who have no doubts about catastrophic climate change and have been spending huge sums of money in a vain (and very expensive) attempt to win over a growing sceptical majority of the public.

  101. Vincent says:

    I just finished posting on the Judith article and said Willis should have his own reply posted as an article – oops, I should have checked first.

    Willis, your reply is right on the button, and in no way OTT as some have suggested. Your writing has a power that comes from the heart. It is full of passion and outrage and pain, and rightly so. It is your passion for science and devotion to the scientific method that stands out most and stands as the most powerful rebutal against Judith’s PR.

    You are rightly indignant over the silence of Judith and others who allowed the abuse of science. Where was Judith when Mann and Briffa made fraudulent hockey sticks? Where was Judith when Jones and Wangs produced a fraudulent UHI study? Where was Judith when RealClimate humiliated and attacked sceptical scientists?

    Where is Judith now? Can you hear the silence?

  102. Allan M says:

    Well said, Sir. And, please, keep on saying it.

    NickB. (01:07:35) :

    I guess I’m still a little puzzled by the “truth as presented by the IPCC” statement, does she really think that document expresses truth or is it some Post-Modern there-is-no-such-thing-as-real-truth kinda thing?

    Either way they expect the right to tell us what to believe. After all, they imagine that we pay them to control us.

    ———-
    Andy Scrase (00:54:07) : edit

    “get a clue about humility”

    Let’s give Judith Curry some slack here. She has stepped off the pedestal a bit and shown *some* humility I believe.

    Let’s hope she hasn’t been sent out here by the propaganda machine. (Unlike the ‘denial machine,’ it is necessary to have a ‘machine’ to do propaganda.)

  103. John says:

    Willis, that was an oustanding post, many thanks for putting into words what so many of us feel….

  104. Vincent says:

    Luis Dias (02:34:33) :

    “This is how you people want things to change?

    This ridiculous autistic rage will get you folks nowhere but inside the fringe lunatic conspiracy theory land”

    Well lets count the votes shall we? 83 for 1 against. Quick sample shows 99.8% agree with Willis and 1.2% disagree.

    Yep, I think “we people” can live with that. How many supporters have you alarmists got?

  105. meemoe_uk says:

    I think you’ve given her too much attention Anthony. She’s a shill for the IPCC and the powerful money men behind the IPCC. Seem’s like she’s won your respect and friendship with her contrived PR skills, which she learnt in her psy-ops training!
    The IPCC is in damage repair mode, so we can expect them to send round a few calm freindly fellows, while at the same time they restock their fanatic base with fiercer people. Like the new CRU guy.

  106. Thomas says:

    Great article. For anyone whose interested the Catlan Group (insurance) have funded another arctic expidition. This time it will meaure ocean acidification. The first comment on the guardian article insults Watts and McIntyre. They are obviously seen as a great thret. My first comment was deleted but I put another one on there. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/feb/25/catlin-arctic-survey-ocean-acidification?showallcomments=true#end-of-comments

  107. Robert Christopher says:

    A tough but correct assessment.

    “… the problem is much bigger than Judith seems to think.”
    I agree, and the upper boundary is harder to determine. Hopefully, the ramifications will be visible, so we will be able to see how far this cleansing process is progressing and that better methods and standards will be generated. The more that is initiated from within, and in an open manner, the quicker and cleaner should be the process.

    So, Judith, thank you for, again, making the effort and taking a risk from being criticized from both sides. I fear it may require several iterations, (not necessarily from you :) ).
    Remembering that email you received and quoted, asking why anyone would what to start a career in climatology, always helps me focus why this is such an important a task.

  108. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Woodsy42 (02:22:19)

    This unproven theory is already killing people through starvation by diverting their food supply into biofuels. It will impoverish the underdeveloped world, causing untold deaths and hardships, by witholding access to exactly the cheap carbon based energy that brought us ‘westerners’ our current living standards. Anger is fully justified.

    I’m angry that the poor are used to justify the carbon scam. I spent a good chunk of my life working on village level development, those are my friends they are talking about. I’ve seen poverty and sickness and despair that no man should ever have to witness, and I was just the witness. I didn’t have to live it.

    The change in the apparent temperature is mostly concentrated in the extratropics, at night, in the winter. In the UAH and RSS MSU data, there is no statistically significant change in the tropics.

    Despite this, the AGW mantra is that “climate change will hit the poor the hardest”, meaning the poor in the tropics. So they can justify slowing development and driving up energy costs by saying they are helping the poor … as if slowing development and making energy expensive could ever help the poor.

    Meanwhile, the thing that insulates and protects the extratropical world from the vagaries of climate is money. Money that comes from development. Development that comes from inexpensive energy. In fact, the threats from climate are much greater in the extratropics – every winter there is cold enough to kill everyone that can’t afford warm clothes and a heated house. But in the developed world we can afford those.

    So yes, your energy is justified. They are cynically exploiting peoples’ desire to assist the poor in order to, inter alia, justify making millions off of trading carbon. Despicable.

  109. Sam the Skeptic says:

    I especially liked the idea of climate science being still in its infancy.
    A correspondent to last week’s Spectator replying to a letter that referred to the “centuries-old science” of the greenhouse effect pointed out that in the first place “science” in the sense the letter writer meant it is not much more than 100 years old. The concept, Bacon’s Novum Organum is less than 400 years old, and — perhaps most critically of all — the thermometer is only about 300 years old.
    He adds that the “greenhouse” effect really only entered scientific debate in the 70s at which time there was more fear about cooling than about warming!
    It surely takes a great leap, either of faith or of arrogance, to start studying something as complex as the climate and within 30 years be so definite about what the cause of the most recent trend is and that this trend will continue indefintely unless mankind (who for the last several million years has just got on with life without worrying about such things) does something about it.
    Yes, well done, Judith, for being prepared to come into this particular lions’ den. But you misunderstand what we are about here. Surely as a member of the human race you understand why “trust me; I’m a scientist” doesn’t work, especially when trusting you is going to cost me a lot of money and grief. It’s the refusal to treat intelligent adults like …. well, intelligent adults, that gets up our noses.

  110. Stefan says:

    David L (02:18:49) : “If your theory can’t stand up to laypeople, then that theory is bogus.”

    Jay Currie (01:40:34) : “Her article was mainly spin. Not awful, not evil; just spin.”

    Indeed. The article was too long, too many nuances, and just a long story that avoided the main issue. On the plus side, there was an invitation to talk.

    Eschenbach’s piece was a bit ranty, but those who would dismiss it for its tone were dismissing it anyway. How long to people have to keep repeating the same things before frustration sets in?

    You know why I’m on this forum? Because one day someone said to me:

    “and that makes you a DENIER buddy”

    Scary stuff.

  111. Alex Heyworth says:

    The latest ridiculous example of climate science gone mad -

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/methane-levels-may-see-runaway-rise-scientists-warn-1906484.html

    Yes, and they may not. When will they ever learn?

  112. Neven says:

    I wonder, what was the role of WUWT in the public losing its trust in climate science and scientists?

    I saw Anthony Watts mentioning responsibility. I hope this means he understands what his role has been if AGW turns out to be problematic after all. With the traffic comes accountability.

  113. Capn Jack. says:

    The first Law of Mathematics.

    There is no truth only approximations to it.

    The first law and only one is called the axiomatic statement.

  114. Michael Larkin says:

    One small point: “the truth as presented by the IPCC” can be read more than one way. It could imply that “the IPCC presents the truth”, or it could imply “the truth (as the IPCC sees it)”.

    Also, the fact that warmists are having paroxysms over Dr. Curry’s essay does tend to suggest that she isn’t playing deceitful games. It probably took a lot of guts to post it. Okay, so maybe she “sinned” in the past, but I don’t see an awful lot of AGW scientists making ANY concessions. We all know how difficult it can be to begin to admit even the faintest possibility of error; but gradually, bit by bit, we may be able to see its full extent.

    So give it time…

  115. rbateman says:

    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

    Nobody influenced me, no big oil check hit my mailbox, not a single penny from either side.
    Three things caught my eye as Al Gore and AGW loudspeakers were blaring in the dizzying heights of their ascendancy:
    1.) Melting Arctic – I distinctly remembered seeing a surfaced submarine in open waters at the North Pole in Time Magazine,1959…in 1959.
    2.) Rising Sea Levels – I cannot for the life of me tell that the sea has risen in the course of 50 years….despite many trips to many places on the Calif. coast.
    3.) Unprecedented Warming – I remember the warm years prior to the 70′s, the cooling of the 70′s, and the warming afterwards. It is now cooling once again. I remember the damaged crops of the 60′s and 70′s. That has returned once again.

    So, my take on this is that the theory (CAGW) has no basis in reality that I can directly observe. Being nothing more than observant, millions of others just like me must also have a like experience.
    As long as CAGW referenced places I cannot get to, there was skepticism.
    Now that CAGW has come home to proclaim unheard of conditions and cite data that I know is false where I live, there is no more doubt.

    If climate science wants to regain trust, it will have to include independent verification, and it will have to cease & desist from grabbing the loudspeaker every time there is a weather event on Planet Earth. No more one-sided specials on the growing menace of AGW 24/7.

  116. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Luis Dias (02:34:33)

    This is how you people want things to change?

    This ridiculous autistic rage will get you folks nowhere but inside the fringe lunatic conspiracy theory land.

    Congratulations, you just slapped Currith and gave RealClimate folks a huge laugh out of you. Now all the people can point to this post to show how crazy you bunch really are.

    For —– sake, you really don’t have a clue, do you?

    First, it’s “Curry”, not Currith, you should pay more attention. My remarks were only directed to her in part. Am I upset by some of the things she has done or said? Yes. Do I think she is a bad person? No, I have great respect for her. I think she is trying her best to do her best. Like my title alluded to, not evil, just wrong.

    Next, I doubt very much if anyone at realclimate is laughing over what has happened since the CRU emails, this post included. They are running scared, and it shows. Gavin just keeps getting more strident … sounds a lot like you, now that I think about it. Touched a nerve, did I?

    The part you seem to be missing is that we tried being nice. Warwick asked Phil Jones nicely, and was slapped in the face. I tried asking Phil nicely and got ignored. I filed a very polite and limited FOI request, and got blown off. We’ve tried being nice over and over again, Luis, and it didn’t work.

    So I’m sorry if you don’t like that I’m angry. The number of people that believe in your AGW fairy tale is at an all time low. Why do you think that is? Because people have seen through your scam.

    And guess what, Luis? When you lie to people and blow them off and sell them bogus science and cry wolf over and over and try to bring in huge new regulations and laws to cover every aspect of their lives, people get pissed off. Surprising, huh? Nobody likes to be conned.

    So you best get used to it, bro’, because I assure you, I’m not the only one who is mad as hell and who is not going to take it any more. You are the ones who sowed the wind, so don’t come bitching to me when you reap the whirlwind …

  117. Green Sand says:

    Well, there you go Mr Eschenbach, sitting on the fence again!:-)

    Take a bow; take a bow, thank you very, very much. I have a growing feeling that we are going to owe you, Steve, Anthony et al a great debt for your sterling work. I wish I could contribute more than by just posting support, I must try harder!

    “If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts he shall end in certainties.”

    Sir Francis Bacon
    (1561 – 1626)

  118. Neil Craig says:

    Time after time we have had alarmists saying that the sceptical community is, or in Judith’s case used to be, very heavily funded by “Big Oil”. Obviously no alarmist who was not hopelessly corrupt could make, or stand by without disputing this libel, unless they had evidence.

    The fact is that the billions put into alarmist “research” by governments in Europe & the US is 10,000 times greater than the couple of hundred thousand Exxon once put up.

    If Judith wishes to be treated as honest she should either put up evidence for her slander or withdraw it. As, obviously, should every other alarmist. Note that the emails show Professor Jones as well as getting £13.6 million from the state had a close relationship with BP to which no alarmist objects.

  119. Dave Williams says:

    Wow, I put my first posting on this site and now I’m ready to leave forever.

    Name-calling, insults, pottymouth and everything that I’m NOT looking for in a site that I thought was about science is missing here… at least on this particular topic.

    Seriously, couldn’t it be that there is some credibility to the AGW theory as well as the “it is all natural” camp? Humans are modifying the face of the earth, pumping enormous amounts of various chemicals (some more harmful than others) and many seem not willing to accept any responsibility whatsoever for the impact that humans are probably having on the earth.

    I can only say how unimpressed I am by the closemindedness exhibited thus far. It’s like listening to Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory… geez.

    [Sorry, what pottymouth? We dont allow that here.. or did you come here looking for pottymouth, thinking we'd be just like RC? - The Night Watch]

  120. Rick Bradford says:

    The tragedy is that Curry is still trying to argue that it should be business as usual for the AGW crowd. Her and her ilk are utterly unable to put themselves in other people’s shoes and see the visceral distrust now felt by scientists, the general public, and even some journalists.

    They suffer from a form of delusional narcissism which underpins their unquestionable dogma, sacred science, and infallible ideology.

  121. View from the Solent says:

    Willis, thank you. I spent a couple of hours yesterday trying to boil Judith’s meandering post down to it’s essence. And didn’t get even half-way towards your succint analysis.
    I can only add to the applause.

  122. Roy says:

    I have nothing to add to what Willis has written, and nothing to take away. The closing paragraph has crystalized a feeling a was only dimly aware of in myself. This blog won’t change my life, but it has neatly swept away a lot of thick fog for me.

  123. Zoltan Beldi says:

    Willis, An oratory right up there with Marc Anthony’s speech in “Julias Caesar”

    I would hope that the condescension in Ms Curry’s article is seen for what it was.

    Congratulations…I will read it over and over.

  124. JimR says:

    Willis,

    Hear Hear,

    Further point would be as another poster put it, what about the Careers etc of those
    who were hounded out for standing up against this crock.

    Luis Dias (02:34:33) :
    Noticed your comment at the end, surprised you think we’d give a stuff regarding
    what the gulliblists at RC think.

    Jim

  125. melk says:

    Those who have a problem with Mr Eschenbach’s strong talk need to step back and reflect about the sneering and condescension that has been the stock in trade of the pro-AGW camp. This has included an analogy to Holocaust denial(Ellen Goodman), treason against the planet (Paul Krugman), clueless old farts(George Monbiot) and the onerous requirement of having had to listen to Al Gore for so long. And isn’t it a surprise that the most lunatic opinions in favor of AGW overhype seem to be associated within a certain political spectrum?
    Is that predictable or merely inevitable?

    Bravo to Mr Eschenbach.

  126. b_C says:

    Anthony “Luther” Watt

    This post should be nailed – nay, encased in plastic and screwed, riveted and bolted – to every scientist, educator and politician’s front and office door!

    And c.c.’d to the Library of Congress for preservation.

  127. b_C says:

    WattS! (First coffee not quite finished.)

  128. b_C says:

    And then I should have a second cup, and attribute the post – properly – to Willis “Luther” Eschenbach.
    Apologies

  129. R Grey says:

    I think this whole posts could have been shortened to a paragraph or two, with no loss of the message, you kept repeating yourself a tad to much.

    Quality not quantity.

  130. Dr T G Watkins says:

    Well written, brilliant.
    Some credit to Judith Curry though, she has at least taken the first steps along the long road to credibIlity.
    Where oh where are the UK MSM.

  131. ROM says:

    Willis Eschenbach has encapsulated the whole range of the carefully controlled anger that was so obvious in nearly every single poster’s comment in Judith Curry’s Rebuilding Trust post.

    Anger that was directed at the sheer bloody minded hypocrisy that is such a hall mark of the warmista science’s willfully obscurantist troglodytes.

    Anger at the hypocrisy that now calls for a rebuilding of trust when luke warmers and non believers are still openly and derisively called “skeptics” and “deniers”.

    Anger that nowhere was there a demand that in turn the whole of the warmista science should come completely clean and place EVERY single bit of data, algorithms and calculations on the table for a full and open examination by anybody and everybody.

    Anger that all the honeyed words meant exactly nothing when the speaker of those words has utterly failed in the past and in the present in every way to stand up and demand that those warmista scientists and advocates who have now been proven by their own words and actions to be manipulators, corrupters and destroyers of the climate data and at the nastiest level, bullies and deliberate obstructors of those who might not toe their line of BS climate science, should be permanently thrown out of every science institution and denied any funding ever again.
    They should be forever treated as pariahs but not a honeyed word on this ever passed Curry’s lips.

    There is an anger out there which sees Judith Curry and her ilk just too wrapped up in their own self importance and self satisfaction and indulging in a gross condescension to those who are considered inferior, so much so that they may never be capable of seeing that their own hubris and arrogance will one day destroy them.

    Willis has superbly encapsulated that anger and Curry and her ilk, if they were ever capable of exhibiting any humbleness and self introspection would be now be cowering and whimpering in the corner at the thought of what is still about to come.

  132. Jay says:

    I think a few things. If you’re actually genuinely interested in furthering understanding of science, climate and it’s implications then working with science rather than against it is essential. To this end Dr Curry’s gesture would seem opportune. If you want to remain on the fringe and exist only to fog the debate and hinder science and understanding then carry on throwing stones from the sidelines.

  133. RichieP says:

    Hear bloody hear, Willis. A stunning and necessarily hard-hitting article that gets to the heart of the issue. Now come about and give ‘em the other broadside!

  134. POUNCER says:

    ” I admire Judith Curry greatly. She is one of the very, very few mainstream climate scientists brave enough to enter into a public dialogue about these issues. I salute her for her willingness to put her views on public display, and for tackling this difficult issue.”

    Amen.

    But there are no canals on Mars. Stomach ulcers are not caused by str ess. There is no subluminiferous ether standing as the medium in which light waves propigate.

  135. RichieP says:

    @Willis
    “I’m not the only one who is mad as hell and who is not going to take it any more.”

    Too right. The window’s open and we’re yelling.

    I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more.

  136. 1DandyTroll says:

    @Luis Dias ‘Now all the people can point to this post to show how crazy you bunch really are.’

    normal rational people always looks crazy to the ones in dire need of a padded cell.

    Ever wondered why you see conspiracy peeps everywhere? Do you still think you’re sane?

  137. thethinkingman says:

    Well, that was an object lesson in analysis and response I must say.

    Good stuff to be had on this here blog, and it all helps me live a better life.

    Cheers.

  138. Neo says:

    Did Lincoln really make that statemnet ?
    I have always held it was made by P.T.Barnum .. or at least the last half anyway.

  139. JerryB says:

    Willis,

    Hans von Storch did express dismay at Phil Jones’ response
    to Warwick Hughes’ request. I am not aware of any other
    professioinal climate researcher who did so.

  140. John Murphy says:

    Val Majkus

    Val. Look up my number on my professioanl association website and ring me.

  141. John Murphy says:

    Willis

    I wish I’d said that.

  142. Beano says:

    Joe public sees these climate scientist academics as beards, bicycles and anoraks.
    Not living in the real world or within mainstream commercial reality. When they are interviewed on the TV they are not seen carefully groomed or in a good fitting suit with a tie. ( I betcha Anthony wore a suit, tie and was carefully groomed for his weather report – adds that credibility factor)

    Once they have blown their scientific credibility with Joe public and are pushing advocacy, that’s it – there’s no getting it back.

    On the other hand I’ve seen that Bill Nye science guy on youtube – he’s right out of central casting – right?

    It would be worse for them if the MSM was doing more coverage of what’s is discussed here on WUWT

  143. Syl says:

    Gold, Willis. Pure Gold.

    thank you for being so direct and so darned honest!

  144. Bob Roberts says:

    Bob Roberts

    Great comments on what is wrong with the “Establishment Science” and what they need to do to re-establish the trust of the general populace.
    However I don’t think “Leopards” will change their spots while the money keeps flowing.
    What needs to happen is for the World’s Governments in all their forms (local as well as National ) to cut out grants to the AGW scientists until they become transparent with their research and accept proper standards of review.
    Only political pressure on our politicians will achieve this end. They need our votes.
    We need to let our pollies know we don’t appreciate our taxes spent on bad science.

  145. Mike Ramsey says:

    Brilliant and spot on.

    All through the last few years I have been asking, “Where are the real scientists?” I thought that there must be a vast silent group who were just waiting for an opening to speak truth to power.

    What are they waiting for now?

    Maybe the problem is that the field of climate science is filled not with scientist but with true believers. I sure hope that this isn’t true.

    Mike Ramsey

  146. Expat in France says:

    Let’s hope Judith finds the time and the inclination to read this, and the comments, and takes it all on board. How will we know? Will she come back and comment herself? It’s not a bad idea…

  147. John Murphy says:

    They are still at it.

    A few weeks ago, I asked the CRU by email for the purpose of the famous “fudge factor” program.

    I received an email from a Lisa Horton at UEA Press Office telling me that it had nothing to do with fudging temperature sequences but was designed to “evaluate the effect of climate variables … on crop yields.”

    When I asked 2 or 3 weeks ago by email who had told her that lie, she didn’t reply.

    Not an hour ago (about 11 am Thursday GMT), I had her on the phone, asked her again and she told me that they were investigating the answer to my question and had asked “the CRU.” (Her term. Sound it out. To me it’s the name of a south LA street gang for 6 year-olds).

    Naturally, she must know who gave her the lie to pass on to me, but she’s not saying. You’d think they would have woken up by now. Is it congenital dishonesty or congenital stupidity? Or both?

  148. Capn Jack. says:

    Jay (03:41:58) :

    No one is working against science, it’s not a football match.

    Obviously you do not understand the rules.

    My team and Your team do not matter.

    The rule is one. You dont need consensus, just gotta be right.

    Gotta make a case in opposition. It’s called science. One hypothesis in a thousand makes a cut, not a person the ideas.

    But if you need a website topless cheer leaders and football teams you are on the wrong blog site.

  149. AGW101 says:

    What a great article. I found myself reading sections out to everyone else in the room. Yes, why were they so silent for so long about clear scientific malpractice and; until they acknowledge that; why should we believe a word that they say.

  150. Neo says:

    Your response is to stick your fingers in your ears and cover your eyes.

    In deference to the “Three Wise Monkeys”, you left out (of this sentence anyway) that they covered their mouths as well.

  151. IsoTherm says:

    “Because the truth is, climate science is one of the newest sciences. … we’ve only been studying it intensely for a couple decades. … we can’t project the climate of the next decade, much less that of the next century. … forsake your ivory towers, and admit your limitations.”

    And please will they stop telling us utter crap like it is currently warming when even the discredit CRU stats tell us it is cooling this century

    That cooling doesn’t undermine the scientific case for manmade warming, but it totally absolutely, completely, unquestionably destroys the integrity of those who deny it!

    And wil they stop all this utter crap media PR that they can predict the climate, followed by a deafening silence about whether any prediction was accurate.

    This is utter Bull, spades loads of it when you put out the predictions, and then spades loads of it to hide the actual global temperature when it doesn’t EVER fit the predictions.

    And sooner or later, by pure statistical fluke, they’ll finally get a forecast that is something near to what happens, and then we all know their bull PR machine will go into overdrive filling the media with the brown stuff about how good their forecast has been.

  152. steven says:

    Judith Curry obviously is on the other side of the scientific debate. She made a great number of conciliatory not condescending points in my opinion. My recommendation is that you retract what appears to be a post written from a frustrated emotional perspective and replace it with a more objective one. Just my opinion.

  153. R. de Haan says:

    That was a great response. Great experiment. Thanks

    About humility,
    I don’t expect any scientist or politician for that matter to show humility.
    But I hate it when when they get in a “We know what’s good for for the planet” mode.
    As stated before, I would love to hear a response from Dr. Judith Curry!

    However, I am not very optimistic that this “experiment” will make any difference.
    We have too many “Gore, Mann and Schneider ideologues” who have infiltrated the system and who’s presence is not only limited to our scientific institutions but also our Government, Government Institutions, Financial Institutions our media, and environmental organizations like Green Peace and WWF and all share the same bed.
    Besides that, there is too much money going around than is good for preserving the ethics.

    I agree the scientists have a responsibility to control their colleagues but I would like to see this responsibility extended to the organizations they are working for.

    The scandalous propaganda campaign of the World Meteorological Organization currently aired by CNN for example would not have been possible if the scientists working for this organization and the member organizations (National meteorological Institutes) would be more critical.

  154. Alexander says:

    Willis, absolutely excellent post, demonstrating an almost-unique command of the English language. Every paragraph resonated with me, as I saw Dr Curry as nothing much more than an apologist for the entire coterie of AGW mythmakers.
    You are entitled to your anger and I feel you did not overstate anything.
    When I first began work, I was taught by those older and wiser than me that the first rule in any cooperative enterprise is “don’t foul the nest”, which the IPCC and it’s sycophantic adherents have done very comprehensively.

  155. Neo says:

    On the political front, imagine if a comprehensive treaty had been signed at Copenhagen and then the CRU files had been dumped.

    There is a good chance that Mann and Hansen would now be before a Congressional committee looking like Toyota, leaving “climate science” forever tainted in the eyes of the “political class”. NOT.

    Of course that would never happen because the “political class” is even more asute at covering up embarrassments. They would press ahead know that they are “j.rking off” the public because it’s really about being in on the “ground floor” of a new venture that will channel trilions of dollars, euros, yen of which even a tiny percentage is enough to live the good life (i.e. the gravy train).

    When “climate scientist laid down with these dogs, they got up with the fleas that infest the “body politic.”

  156. IsoTherm says:

    POUNCER: “There is no subluminiferous ether standing as the medium in which light waves propigate.” Actually, the first two you mention are causal, links which are good examples, whilst the ether was a conceptual model rather than something that could be “disproven”. There were political reasons at the turn of the century, similar to this climate nonsense, which required a few scapegoats, and personally I think the concept of ether was one of them.

    If you were simply to replace the word “ether” by “space” or even “space-time” I think, if I understand the use of the word at the time (with was rather nebulous), it would be possible to say that we still have a concept of the ether, in the same way as we still have the same concept of gravitation, as they did then, although it has been signifantly modified.

  157. Ron House says:

    Willis, brilliant! Absolutely, stunningly brilliant. Not a word in your post can be denied. (But expect it anyway – “Such hostility to an overture for reconciliation” – that sort of bulldust. But evildoers who insist on keeping on doing their evil simply cannot expect reconciliation; they should expect to be fought until they start behaving decently.)

    Cheers Willis – magnificent!

  158. Darren says:

    Well said we just want substance. For the last 6-7 years I have taken and interest in AGW and the constant media baraging using words such as disasterous,crisis and catastophic. Etc Act now. !!! When you look under the covers you find exaggerations, half truths and red herrings. Let’s not exaggerate but point truths and facts out. And the right direction for goverments and mankind will become clear.

  159. HotRod says:

    A marvellous polemic. Of course it’s OTT, it’s a polemic. Of course Judith won’t be upset about it, it’s not personal. I love polemics – from either side, really. it’s the weaselling that is far more annoying, the Gavin Schmidt technique of finding one thing he can pick on in Judy’s article for example, and using that to undermine the rest, as he’s done on RC – I posted up the Judy link, and it’s driven them nuts over there. It’s like he never reads anything for what it’s trying to say.

  160. KimW says:

    An ‘on point’ and an excellent summming up worthy of Winston Churchill. The perversion of the basic principles of science by “The ends justify the means” climate scientists is neatly summarised.

    Yes, realclimate smugly censors all opposing views – that is not science, that is Faith. Well done Willis.

  161. Foz says:

    Let’s break this down – first the premise as presented by Judith and condensed by Willis, then an ad hoc elevator rebuttal.

    =======

    “Climategate has destroyed the public trust in climate science.”

    No the field of climate science has beclowned itself by failing to practice science and instead attempted to take on the task of making public policy.

    “Initially skepticism was funded by big oil. Then a climate auditing movement sprang up.”

    No, skepticism is a fundamental element of science – the presumption that expression of doubt as to the extraordinary conclusions advanced by AGW theorist is somehow a regrettable response is the core fallacy of Judith’s position.

    “They ["deniers"] were able to bring the climate establishment to its knees because people trusted them.”

    No, The term for those who seek truth through experiment aimed at falsification is “scientist”, not “deniers”. Scientist have peeled an onion to illustrate how paltry and unreliable the data sets behind AGW theory are, and that there are enormous flaws in the process of manipulating same used to reach the conclusions AGW theorist advance. Scientist have also raised valid questions about the assumptions used in AGW theory which ignore vast and know influences other than CO2 [the Sun for example] and scientist have taken note of the utter failure of AGW theory to accurately predict actual ongoing behavior of the climate. This is not bad form – it is good science.

    “Public and policy makers don’t understand the truth as presented by the IPCC.”

    No one understands the “truth of the IPCC” for the simple reason that, the UN’s IPCC reports are not true – grasp that fact and the knots unwind. The UN reports have been revealed to be composed of little actual scientific work which has proved its mettle by surviving trial of falsification [the core of the scientific method]. Instead the conclusions of the UN’s work is based primarily on strained manipulations of mined data, anecdotal accounts, opinion pieces, pure supposition and outright misstatements. In short the UN’s IPCC reports, taken on the whole, are by no means valid in the context of science. This fact is evidenced by the almost daily growing list of retractions and corrections of these reports undergo [glacier regression rates, hurricane frequency, sea level rise - and on and on and on].

    More importantly, actual and real scientific consideration of the matters considered by the UN’s work has been actively suppressed by the AGW clique whilst at the same time the data and methods used to reach AGW theory conclusions has been sequestered from review. This is the scandal behind Climategate that gives rise the great stench. Judith’s blithe failure to address this element of the crisis in credibility faced by the climate science community shows that she is not yet ready to honestly grapple with this problem.

    “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.”

    The blogosphere aint the solution. Willis said it best…. the climate science community needs to do science. Your profession is collectively supping on bitch-slap-soup right now because as a community you have failed in that chore.

    ========

    Judith seems a reasonable person, but in my view her position is inherently unprofessional and irresponsible. Break the context and the flaws of her position become stark – remove her comments from the context of climate science and consider them instead in the context electronic engineering, or acoustics or medicine. If you consider the abovelisted side by side “elevator” reductions and modify each in your mind as you read so the passages are couched as if they addressed optimized amplifier design, or a noise control problem, or the risks and benefits of prenatal vitamin supplements for pregnant women, Judith’s position is risible.

  162. R. de Haan says:

    Prof Philip Stott comes with this publications that perfectly fits the current “experiment”, a must read if you ask me:
    Quote, Unquote:
    http://web.me.com/sinfonia1/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Clamour_Of_The_Times/Entries/2010/2/16_Quote_Unquote.html

  163. Mike Riordan says:

    Extraordinarily good post. I thought of replying to the Judith Curry post, but there is no way I can say it better than this.

  164. J. D. Lindskog says:

    My response to Dr. Curry

    Dr. Curry,
    Thank you for your thoughtful exploration of the effects of trust as it pertains to the present conflicts within the climate change debate.
    The scientific community lives within the bounds of the quest for knowledge and understanding. The political/economic world lives in the environment of competitive advantage. Their quest is quest simply the search for opportunity. The bridge is of course funding. The social contract between these two worlds can result in beneficial or non-beneficial cooperation or co-option. These transaction out-comes are subject to any and all of the human vanities and as such, trust is best subordinated to verification and documentation. When public policy is to be effected the records must appear in the public domain. If it isn’t documented, it didn’t happen, zero trust.

    The climate is changing. It is always changing. The climate research community has now experienced the process of co-option by the political community with regard to alleged warming.
    If the climate is indeed cooling as some predict, my unsolicited advice to the climate research community is, prepare for the attempt of co-option by the political/economic world. Your defense is quite strait forward; produce credible, documented, openly published data.

    Trust is a byproduct born of verifiably successful labor.

  165. IsoTherm says:

    Jay: “If you want to remain on the fringe and exist only to fog the debate and hinder science and understanding then carry on throwing stones from the sidelines.”

    Jay: Thankyou for posting, because we need more people with contrary views because it is easy to become convinced that we are right just because we all agree with each other. But you fundamentally misunderstand us. We are not would be actors, we are critics. We don’t want to “strut and fret our hour upon the stage”, we just want to watch a good play (i.e. good science).

    The reason the “scientists” getting booed off, isn’t because we want to get on the stage, but because we paid good money to get decent science and it is not being delivered.

  166. Judith Curry says:

    Willis, thanks for your very thoughtful post. I would also like to thank all the people that sent very thoughtful essays to me by email. I am listening. I would first try to clarify a few misinterpretations of the words i used.

    First, i did not use or intend to use the “d” word in a pejorative way; my main motive in using the word at all was to differentiate what was going on in the technical blogs from what is very commonly referred to as the “d” machine. I would have thought the community here would have appreciated that point; i guess not

    A second point, re the communication paragraph, it should have said the “truth” as IPCC sees it.

    A third point, in my reference to realclimate, i was referring to scientists putting themselves out there in the blogosphere. And I then stated that they should participate in open debate. I haven’t tried to post anything at realclimate in several years, but my name has not been mentioned over there since climategate broke, they are reading what i write in the blogosphere but wish i would stop. I am not going out of my way to say anything nice about realclimate.

    With regards to “trust”, I am not talking about smooth talking snake oil “trust”, but the real thing based on the scientific method, transparency etc etc I have written other essays on this. But no one person can sort through everything, so we have to trust the process and institutions of science to support the scientific progress. When these are no longer working, we are all in trouble. I am angry as a scientist, since I may have been using unnecessarily inaccurate surface temperature data in my research. Ecologists, chemical engineers, etc. who have made career decisions in directing their research toward climate change impacts or mitigation have been trusting the system to work. Etc.

    So by staking this middle position, i pretty much am getting tomatoes thrown at me from both sides, but I am hoping to provoke both sides to think about productive ways of moving forward in getting climate science back on track.

    Thoughtful responses such as Willis’ are much more helpful in this regard than focusing on the “d” word

  167. supercritical says:

    Dave Williams,

    you say :

    Seriously, couldn’t it be that there is some credibility to the AGW theory as well as the “it is all natural” camp? Humans are modifying the face of the earth, pumping enormous amounts of various chemicals (some more harmful than others) and many seem not willing to accept any responsibility whatsoever for the impact that humans are probably having on the earth.

    Worried about where all that naturally occuring CO2 is going? Here is someone who was obviously responsible enough to do some serious scientific work on it;

    http://folk.uio.no/tomvs/esef/esef0.htm

    I can see the South Downs from here. Guess how they were made?

    (PS; Willis, an excellent example of how to do a précis. Brilliant! Essential reading for any English Teachers reading this thread)

  168. BarryW says:

    Bravo!

    I hope Dr. Curry takes your comments in the constructive manner in which they are meant. She is more open minded than most of her compatriots, but is still trapped in their paradigm. Maybe we should start calling it Climate Lysenkoism.

  169. John Rutter says:

    Thanks, great article.

    I am a PSU graduate, and am ashamed Dean Spanier is more interested in the continuing funding of Climate Science than a real investigation.

  170. Veronica says:

    Thank you Willis. In summary, the pro AGW climate scientists’ mistake was not that they could not get their message across. Their mistake is that most of their messaging consisted of simplification, exaggeration, unsupported assumptions, unwarranted extrapolation and downright obfuscation of the data.

    Let the science speak for itself. If it is uncertain or equivocal, then don’t patronise the public by calling it settled. If the data doesn’t support the political actions, then the political actions including the proposed cap and trade, should stop.

    A bunch of obscure geography academics were in the limelight for a while and got off on that. Fickle celebrity! Their famous 15 minutes is now over.

  171. Harry G says:

    Willis

    I wish I had your text in front of me this morning when I had a consultant company in front of me telling me they could sell me services to “help me with my climate change issues”. I exploded and demanded some justification using science. All I got back was some blustering about third world living conditions, changing social order and the Science is agreed.

    Don’t these people realise that the answers proposed for this non issue are a threat to our very economic well being?

    Willis I am learning the words – It could become our very own Gettysburg Address.

    regards.

  172. Annebelle says:

    Great post, but I agree with PaulM that you a bit too harsh in places (not all climate scientists are as bad as Mann and Jones). Judith has taken a step in the right direction – let’s not make her regret it.

  173. Simon H says:

    Willis:- “Dear Judith; please find, enclosed, your butt. Kindest regards..”

    I have to say that Willis has encapsulated my feelings absolutely.

    If the folks over at realclimate are laughing, it’ll be one of those classic Hammer House of Horrors, mad scientist laughs.. “huhua ha ha.. MUHUHUAHAHAHA…”

  174. Carbon Dioxide says:

    Dang, I wish I had been reading these blogs two+ years ago.

    I now know exactly how to enforce FOIA compliance through the UK courts.

    You can do it through the Small Claims court in front of your local District Judge, for a fee of £35, which is then claimed back as damages.

  175. OceanTwo says:

    PaulM (01:04:37) :

    Although I agree with a lot of Willis’s sentiments I think he has overstepped the mark in a few places here. Although he is right that mainstream climate scientists should have spoken out against the distortion of science, remarks such as “the rest of you are complicit in the crime by your silence” and “your stupidity and your dishonesty and your scientific malfeasance” are over the top and not fair.

    While true, this is a harsh accusation (as many, many others have done), the interesting thing is that none of those accused will or would step forwards to defend such an accusation.

    Combined with Judith Curry’s essay, it demonstrates (to me, anyway) that the majority of these scientists feel they are the only ones who can see above the ignorant masses; that our accusations are baseless and not worth the effort. This may not be directly true, but that is the appearance.

    Summarily, we are seen as the populace with pitchforks and burning brands swooping on these scientists to burn them at the stake as witches.

  176. Viktor says:

    I’m re-posting this comment from Judith’s post. It shouldn’t be glossed over. It’s proof that some of the outrage directed specifically at Judith is warranted.

    ————————
    DJ Meredith (18:50:31) :

    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 http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1839281,00.html#ixzz0gURMei3j

    “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

    ————————

    Let’s not feel too bad for Judith merely because Willis had some pointed words for her. She has had plenty of chances, both here and over at Climate Audit, to realize the failings of climate science, her science, and how we arrived at this point. Still, we are told, by her and others in the mainstream of climate science, that this whole problem is a “lack of effective communication” on the part of the climate science establishment.

    We, the uninitiated, simply aren’t getting the message they say. The science is sound, they say. We’re just clouded by our own ignorance and, perhaps, undue influence from nefarious, yet nebulous, entities like “Big Oil”.

    As for Willis, I greatly appreciate his mentioning of climate science being in its infancy. This point hasn’t been made often, nor loud, enough.

  177. John Hewitt says:

    Judith Curry is wrong to think that communication is the problem. Those of us who know AGW is at best a gross exaggeration also know that the “science” is flawed and that several of the leading practitioners are at best dishonest.

    Some of you have had a lot of abuse and false accusations made about you. However if you want to persuade the large groups of “dont knows” and “concerned but not sure” the last thing you do is put up a “rant” such that by Mr Eschenbach.

    If I want to read a “rant” I can go to Realclimate – you sadly [sadly because you are right about the "science" of GW] lower yourself to their level. Can you imagine Steve McIntyre writing a “rant” such as the above.

    My first and last visit to this site.

  178. Kum Dollison says:

    Willis, I haven’t gone through your whole article, yet, but this sentence needs to be changed.

    When is one of you mainstream climate scientist going to speak out against this kind of malfeasance?

    to “when ARE”

    The next sentence has the same problem.

    Oh, Great Job.

  179. AJStrata says:

    Willis,

    You nailed it. These people still fail to understand they have no proven foundation to stand upon (won’t repeat my comments from last thread). However, there is a thread here to pull on, and that is Dr Curry’s repeated comment on uncertainty. I think she understands there is no mathematical or scientific confidence in the numbers – or there may not be when scrutinized.

    Invite her to prove the certainty (or at least define the uncertainty)? One way to understand is by doing.

  180. Peter Plail says:

    Thank you Willis for articulating so well many of the reservations I had with Dr Curry’s piece. I feel she is in denial about so many of the issues highlighted here (and I hope I can use the phrase “in denial” without offending anybody) and her contribution only serves to focus attention on them.

    On a side issue regarding Real Climate, it appears that the king of ad hominem remarks is easily offended. He objects strongly to being referred to as “you people” (comment on “The Guardian Disappoints”), so I hope no-one is ever tempted to use this outrageous phrase when trying to comment on his blog.

  181. roger says:

    Did anyone else catch a pronouncement from the UEA on the BBC this morning to the effect that nothing wrong had been done by their scientists and that people had misunderstood the climategate emails because they lack the ability to understand difficult science. I did not make this up – I caught it about 3 hours ago just as I was on my way out. Sorry I am unable to post a link.

  182. John Murphy says:

    Nick Moon

    PT Barnum said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” That’s what the warmists have been banking on for years.

    Lincoln said teh bit about fooling all the people all the time etc. The warmists have been hoping they could.

  183. John in Michigan, USA says:

    I very much agree with the gist of Willis Eschenbach’s post, but I must point out that, at times, the rhetoric goes way over the top. The tone should have been firm but cordial. Instead, the tone at times comes off as unnecessarily defensive. Given that skeptics have enjoyed a string of recent successes, and some degree of long-overdue MSM attention, this is the time for skeptics to be confident and assertive, not sullen or defensive.

    Eschenbach wrote,

    “When I heard that, I was astounded. But in addition to being astounded, I was naive. Looking back, I was incredibly naive.”

    I can relate! Clearly, we are all less naive now, but based on the tone of your piece, I fear you remain a bit naive. Science has, since the beginning, been done by flawed human beings, not supermen. Pride, overconfidence, herd mentality, ad hominem, etc. and even corruption has always been a problem in all human endeavors, and science is no exception. These flaws must be exposed, but it must be done in a way that make it possible for your colleagues to make amends. Some of them are demagogic hacks, but bear in mind, some of them are real scientists whose main flaw is that they are (in their own way) as naive as you once were.

    I think you get this, based on your comment @ 02:16:59, but based on some of the other comments here, the point bears repeating.

  184. Jim M. says:

    Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations.  1989.
      
    NUMBER: 609

    AUTHOR: Abraham Lincoln (1809–65)

    QUOTATION: You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all the time.

    ATTRIBUTION: Attributed to ABRAHAM

    LINCOLN.—Alexander K. McClure, “Abe” Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories, p. 184 (1904).

      Many quotation books have also attributed this to Lincoln, and the sources given have varied. According to Roy P. Basler, ed., The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 3, p. 81 (1953), “Tradition has come to attribute to the Clinton [Illinois] speeches [September 2, 1858] one of Lincoln’s most famous utterances—‘You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.’” But he goes on to say that the epigram and any references to it have not been located in surviving Lincoln documents.

      This remark has also been attributed to P. T. Barnum.

    http://www.bartleby.com/73/609.html

    From:

    Respectfully Quoted
     
    A Dictionary of Quotations Requested from the Congressional Research Service
     
    Edited by Suzy Platt
     
    The 2,100 entries in this eminently researched collection form the constellation of collected wisdom in American political debate. In fulfilling decades of requests from Members of Congress for citation of quotations, the Library of Congress compiled the most frequently asked questions of the legislature for the edification of every citizen.

    http://www.bartleby.com/73/

  185. Willis Eschenbach may be preaching to the choir here, but he has lost me as a reader for exactly the reasons that he seems to ignore anyone who fits into his ‘evil scientist’ category.
    It is not reasonable to confuse groupthink with evil intent – doing so will only make it easier for those holding the middle ground to dismiss you as a fool who is making wild and unsupportable claims to justify your own personal agenda.

  186. AJStrata says:

    I guess I have to add “gee Willis, why not tell us what you really think!”.

    I detect years of a hard fought battle, one the rest of us sadly had no idea was waging.

  187. Kay says:

    Willis, that was wonderful. You hit the nail right on the head, and expressed all the anger, disappointment, and mistrust that so many are feeling right now. Ms. Curry is still trying to spin the alarmist machine, no matter what pretty words she speaks, and you called her on it.

    Well done.

  188. Allan M says:

    Willis Eschenbach (03:01:08) :

    Despite this, the AGW mantra is that “climate change will hit the poor the hardest”, meaning the poor in the tropics. So they can justify slowing development and driving up energy costs by saying they are helping the poor … as if slowing development and making energy expensive could ever help the poor.

    I always find it useful to start by postulating the exact opposite of what they say. A bit Hegelian, I know, but then most of them are into that sort of thing anyway. Strangely, the antithesis often yields the truth and the synthesis is not necessary. Maybe Schopenhauer was right about Hegel. Besides, they can come up with “the common enemy of mankind is man.” Perhaps they need a ‘common enema.’

  189. Charlie says:

    Well said – this is a *brilliant* summation of the whole debate.

  190. geronimo says:

    Willis I don’t do anger (publicly) and nor should you, it may draw those who agree with you to salute you but those who don’t will see you, whether true of false, as unreasonable.

    What this looks like, and will be taken as, is an attack on Dr. Judy Curry, most of what she said yesterday I don’t agree with especially the now constant meme of “big oil” being behind the sceptics. She admitted she was a sceptic until AR4 came along, but you and I know there is no room for sceptics in the climate science community unless they are already distinguished scientists.

    I don’t recollect Lindzen, Pielke(s), Christy et al raging at Mann’s chicanery, so it’s a little disingenuous of us to call Curry, a junior climatologist for not doing so, if she had she wouldn’t be here now talking to us.

    You should also give her credit for bringing Steve Mc to her undergrads, she’s as brave as anyone could be in the circumstances.

    You may be angry, but you have made some telling points in your article above that will be lost to the neutrals because of the strident tone.

    Remember I’m on your side, I’m a sceptic, and want the science to convince me one way or the other, and I want the more erudite people, like yourself to put the case for me. It is only in films that lawyers lose their temper in the courtroom, in real life they take a cold stiletto to the arguments put before them and dispassionately dismember them. You can do that, and I promise you it will be much more effective.

  191. JMANON says:

    The story of The Boy who cried Wolf is most usually interpreted to mean: No one believes a liar even when he is telling the truth.
    However, it should be remembered that it is a boy who has been sent out to look after his sheep near a forest where there are wolves.
    His safety depends on the villages coming to his aid and to protect the flock should a wolf appear.
    The villagers are adults and the owners of the flock. They are also responsible for the boy. They have warned him of the wolf and no may even have exagerated “for effect”.
    The boy has a right to expect that the adults will protect him.
    His false alarms are not unusual in children.
    The real moral is that those weho have a duty of care have a responsibility to respond each and every time as if the alarm is real no matter how many false alarms there are.

    If they are concerned that this boy raises the alarm too often or for frivolous reasosn then he should not be entrusted with the care of the flock.

    The real moral is one that every emergency services worker would identify with.
    If the story were really to illustrate the moral that liars are never eblieved even when telling the truth, then doubtless it would not be a boy telling lies but someone who would normally be expected to be responsible and truthful.
    I don’t think this is as good a tale for the climate debate as one would like.
    The alarmists would argue from it for the precautionary principle.
    Always dangeorus to rely on such stories.

  192. bananab says:

    Fantastic post Willis, wish I could write like that.

  193. jamesafalk says:

    Can’t do anything other than offer thanks, and support, and link to this article wherever I can. And, of course, send it to every decent but misled and overly credulous enviro-scientist on the planet.

    One of those posts that makes you say to yourself: “Bugger, I wish I wrote that!”

  194. JP says:

    Dr Curry lost me when she mentioned a “vast climate denial machine” funded by Big Oil. Using the language of groups she is attempting to “reform” indicated where her true beliefs lay. And to say that the Alarmists need to better communicate is patent nonsense. They waged one of the biggest public campaigns ever to get thier point of view across. They hired some of the slickest PR firms, not to mention some of Hollywoods biggest guns to “communicate thier poiint of view. From The Day After Tommorow to the Discovery Channel, to the New York Times, mags such as Nature and Scientific American, the Alarmists pretty much had the entire MSM and blogesphere to themselves.

    Could it be the disingenuous nature of the entire Climate Alarmists industry in general that has so soured the average voter? It’s not the means of communication that is wrong, but the content.

  195. Mark Weston says:

    Ranting might feel good, but it really doesn’t achieve much.

    Willis seems to be proposing a doctrine of collective responsibility and guilt-by-association for all climate scientists. He implies a standard of expected behaviour that we don’t apply to any other group or profession. Who would expect a doctor in Georgia to be personally responsible for the mistakes or malfeasance of a doctor in Norfolk? Or an architect, or an engineer, or even a politician?

    Mann’s, Jones’ et al’s colleagues and peers should have been examining and criticising their work and their behaviour more closely. And hopefully attitudes will begin to change now. But it’s unrealistic and unreasonable to expect other scientists to stage some kind of public denunciation, or to hold them as culpable for not doing so. When science has corrected itself in the past it generally hasn’t been with any kind of cathartic denunciation of the guilty. And when careers and livelihoods are at stake even the guilty are entitled to something more than mob (or blog) justice.

    It may be a political reality that the majority of people don’t have the time or the qualifications to understand the science, so they use trust as a proxy for deciding what to believe. But it’s a deeply unscientific way to behave. For someone like Willis who invokes Science two or three times per every paragraph to claim that all climate science is tainted based on this guilt-by-association strikes me as hypocrisy. Every building-block in the AGW edifice stands on its own scientific merits. The only scientific way to win the argument is to take each one and examine its flaws and demonstrate why it’s unusable. Anything else is political posturing.

  196. BB says:

    Brilliant rebuttal. It is exactly this silence regarding good scientific practices that everyone should be ashamed of.

    As for why the silence, even if we assume that many of the climate scientists would like to speak out, the “old boys club” which can ruin your career by making you unpublishable would go a long way toward coercing their fellows. And this is why there needs to be an overhaul of the publishing system, especially when there is a very small group of “peers” that are allowed to review and spike articles.

    As for the UN, they should just cut it out and let science work.

  197. Basil says:

    Not a lot to add, either to what Willis wrote, or to the comments. Except perhaps to draw attention to this line:

    “Advocacy is a common thread in climate science papers. ”

    No kidding. I’ve read countless “peer reviewed” (or were they “pal reviewed”?) papers which contain obligatory and often dissonant references to AGW, when the results of the papers themselves are either ambiguous, or simply irrelevant to the issue of AGW. It is as if you do not get published unless you either advocate for AGW, or at least put a caveat in your paper so that it cannot be used by someone who might be advocating against AGW.

    It has become all about “the narrative,” truth be damned.

  198. Keith Davies says:

    Judith Curry is everything a true scientist should not be.
    A true scientist is in awe of the data gathered when it disproves their theory.
    A true scientist does not conspire with others to alter the data to fit their theory.
    A true scientist is not afflicted by the sin of extreme personal pride and the resultant worship of the material resources they can accumulate.
    In short I am dismayed that one of the band of quasiscientists who supported everything that went before Climategate now suggests that it was only their presentation that was wrong and is only sorry that a better house of cards was not presented.
    Keith Davies

  199. Kevin Kilty says:

    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.

    Oh, my. Point our finger at a popular scapegoat. We can now feel better about ourselves, eh?

  200. RockyRoad says:

    Dave Williams (03:20:26) :

    Wow, I put my first posting on this site and now I’m ready to leave forever.

    Name-calling, insults, pottymouth and everything that I’m NOT looking for in a site that I thought was about science is missing here… at least on this particular topic.

    Seriously, couldn’t it be that there is some credibility to the AGW theory as well as the “it is all natural” camp? Humans are modifying the face of the earth, pumping enormous amounts of various chemicals (some more harmful than others) and many seem not willing to accept any responsibility whatsoever for the impact that humans are probably having on the earth.

    I can only say how unimpressed I am by the closemindedness exhibited thus far. It’s like listening to Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory… geez.
    ——————-
    Reply:
    This thread wasn’t about the particulars of climate science (there are ample threads prior to this one that takes it apart and examines it in detail–even man’s realistic impact). No, this thread was a response to Judith Curry’s request that we need to turn the blogosphere into a tool to restore the IPCC to it’s rightful place of authority. However, I see precious little of her post that discusses of the one thing that would TRULY rebuild trust in the IPCC, and that would be to adhere to the scientific method, not the post-normal scientific approach climateology has become.

    You may think that a lot of folks here have a lot to scream about, and you’d be right. For many of us, our commone belief is that climate scientists have been anything but scientists–they’ve been politicized advocates instead. I could add a list of grievances here but to me one of the most telling aspects of their obfuscation is the denial of FOI requests. That would be a start; FOI denials are both illegal and counterproductive.

    So stick around, Dave; I can guarantee this issue isn’t going away. And now that the public has pretty much seen how egregious and shoddy the IPCC’s “science” really is with “gate de jour”, the perpetrators will not go quietly in the night nor will the public take all the deceptions lightly. Indeed, it promises to get even uglier.

    But resolving the problem will not happen by avoiding it.

  201. Brian Williams says:

    I agree with everything that Alan says, BUT:

    No UK scientist, unless retired, will dare to go against the orthodoxy, which is cleverly set by the funding model. See: http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2010/02/money-talking.html

    We don’t have private universities with oodles of money nor (many) tenured positions (any more). We used to have employment protection, but it’s a bit of a joke now.

    It would be a very brave scientist who spoke up in the UK. Would you risk your career and family because you discover too late that the subject that you chose to specialise in is only funded to find the right answer? Some of these people with have young families. The honest ones will be scared but keeping their fingers crossed that the auditors win the day.

    Look what happens to people who challenge Darwin (I don’t). But what would happen to an honest scientist who unearthed something that challenged Darwinism? It would instantly be assumed to be fraud, I’m guessing.

    The politicians see AGW as a money train and a way to global socialism. They have tried as hard as they can to elevate it to the status of Darwinism. They have invested billions if not trillions in this grand project, and will not treat honest scientists kindly.

    I don’t expect to hear from them until the house of cards finally tumbles.

    Roger Harrabin of the BBC probably knows this, which would explain why he is searching for sceptical climate scientists. They keep their heads down and he can honestly report that most of the scepticism comes from non-scientists.

  202. oliver says:

    With respect to the issue of trust, it is important that climate scientists trust policymakers to make sensible decisions given the bare-bones scientific results (including uncertainties and flat-out knowledge gaps). This trust does not exist today, leading to calls for improved ‘communication’ by scientists. That’s a slippery slope, as one can tell from Scheider’s ‘double ethical bind’ comment.

    For big science with big policy implications, it seems clear that there should be more well-defined boundaries between the scientific and policymaking communities. The addition of a scientifically-savvy cross-domain advisory/review board layer between scientists and high-level policymakers (senate/congress-level) would insulate scientists from having to mince and dumb-down their words, and the policymakers would hopefully receive advice that incorporates a broader view than any one narrow scientific community would provide.

    Such a framework should include rules, along the lines of conflict of interest rules in other disciplines, that explicitly disallow policy-focused advocacy statements by government funded scientists. That is not what they are being paid to do.

  203. Vincent says:

    Dave Williams,

    “Name-calling, insults, pottymouth and everything that I’m NOT looking for in a site that I thought was about science is missing here… at least on this particular topic.”

    Name-calling? I thought the whole thread has been passionate but polite. The only name calling so far has come from an alarmist troll who referred to Willis as “an autistic lunatic.”

    You also miss the point about Willis article. The article is a passionate plea for the restoration of the scientific method. Willis is a traditionalist and insists that science should be based on the solid foundation handed down to us from our illustrious forefathers. That is, falsifiability, empiricism, transparency and measurement of uncertainty.

    Willis is not the only one who has shown that climate science has abandoned this framework. You should read the previous article of Professor Ravetz, who explains the failings very well. He writes without much passion and in a very academic way as befits a professor of philosophy of science, so you should feel right at home.

    “Seriously, couldn’t it be that there is some credibility to the AGW theory as well as the “it is all natural” camp? Humans are modifying the face of the earth, pumping enormous amounts of various chemicals (some more harmful than others) and many seem not willing to accept any responsibility whatsoever for the impact that humans are probably having on the earth.”

    Nobody here does not feel a responsibility towards the earth. I used to be a Greenpeace member in the eighties when it was about saving the rainforests. Now I won’t go near them. Why? Because they have conflated the CO2 scare to the point that it has eclipsed every important environmental issue.

    What are the environmental issues? IMO these are rainforest destruction, environmental degradation by over foraging among the worlds poorest, overfishing, poaching, eutrophication due to fertilizer runoff as well as sulphurous emissions. These used to be headline issues. Not anymore. We are seeing an acceleration of rainforest destruction due to planting palm oil crops to feed the biofuel industry. Madness.

    “I can only say how unimpressed I am by the closemindedness exhibited thus far. It’s like listening to Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory… geez.”

    I think you came here with a closed mind looking only for a reason to attack this blog. You couldn’t find anything specific so you flail all around you hoping to hit a target. You’ve said nothing that’s of any relevance and your characterisation of everyone being somehow “against the planet,” is just way off the mark.

    I suggest you stick around for a while with an open mind, and engage in polite discussion of a few ideas before making such sweeping generalizations. If you show an open mind then I promise people will warm to you, but if you come here to shout everyone down, then I’m afraid they won’t.

  204. latitude says:

    Thank you Willis, again

  205. Theo Goodwin says:

    To date, this article is the very best criticism of climate science. Thank you so very much. The author and this website have done and are doing a most important service on the behalf of science and of everyone.

  206. two moon says:

    Count me with those who believe that Dr. Curry should be applauded and encouraged. Hers is a first step and the journey is long. I believe that most readers of this blog want her to take another step, and they want others to join her. I remember something about flies, honey and vinegar that I think is good advice in this instance.

  207. Capn Jack. says:

    Dave Williams (03:20:26

    Make your case or ask your questions, some of the best minds in Climate science may indulge you.

    But Princess smelly bums, will be attacked by the Lady Pamela Gray.

    She dont take kindly to princesses with attitude.

    She can and will teach you PDO . If we can awaken her from drunken stupor.

  208. Tom FP says:

    I read this splendid piece of spleen AFTER I had read Dr Curry’s piece, and sent her an extended comment, which I append below. She responded in terms which I will treat in confidence, save to say that they were warmly receptive.

    “Dear Dr Curry,
    I read your essay with interest. I am not a scientist, but one of the lay “public” whose trust you wish to regain, so my own Climategate story may be of some interest.
    I believe I have a grasp of the Scientific Method which is both adequate for lay purposes and attainable by any reasonably well-educated person, whatever their actual state of scientific knowledge. Until Climategate my view of scientific controversy was coloured by the (naive) assumption that while scientists might succumb to the temptations of confirmatory bias, the peer-review system, which I understood entailed reproduction of results as an axiom, would take care of correcting their errors. If asked whether scientists should strive obsessively to dispel such bias, I would on reflection, reply no, we probably need scientists to have bees in their bonnets, get things wrong, learn from their errors, move on, etc – PROVIDED the peer-review system is healthy, it will sieve out the dross, and save the paydirt. I was aware that organisations like CERN post their work contemporaneously in reproducible form, and I casually assumed the climate alarmists were doing likewise, but didn’t bother to look. I am naturally given to scepticism, and have some understanding of the difficulties of modelling complex, nonlinear, chaotic systems (although not a clue as to go about attempting it myself), so I realised that any attempt to do so would involve a little bit of fairly well-established and uncontroversial physics (“settled” if you like), and a huge dose of statistics. Merely having a good grasp of the physics wouldn’t get you to first base, and the real ground would be broken in the statistical analysis of the observed data. Again, I assumed that “climate scientists” did not merely have a firm grasp of climatology, but in addition an especially good one of statistics, and that, again, the peer-review system was operating properly to ensure that this was the case. And when the talk was of “computer models” predicting catastrophe, once again I assumed (tell me why I should not have) that these models were routines that ran, unaided, on a computer. I rather vaguely followed the debunking of the hockey stick, but again I perversely took it to be evidence of the health of the peer-review system, and though I personally doubted AGW, I remained confident that good science would drive out bad in the long run, instead of the other way round. Again I assumed that the peer review process would stand in for my want of science – as I continue to believe it should have. And I assumed, based again on my misplaced faith in the peer review process, that the very first requirement of such a model as a driver of public policy – that it have skill in hindcasting – was being demonstrated in repeatable form, somewhere, to someone who could understand it.. As you can see, I was complacent, but so I ought to have been able to be! The increasing fervour of the climate change church began to pique my interest around Christmas 08, when I asked by brother-in-law, a medical scientist, if he could point me to the sites where the guys making these intuitively improbable claims posted their work. He couldn’t and from then on I started to look more closely at the whole AGW racket. For that is what I, a relative stranger to the blogosphere, found.

    No, the models were not freely available. And no, it turns out that they weren’t “computer models” in the ordinary sense, but “computer-plus-man-with-keyboard-and-an-outcome-in-mind” models. Not only that, but those proclaiming their skill were actively obstructing their release. It still amazes me that comment about the FOI requests, your own included, does not begin with the obvious observation that people resorting to FOI to obtain data must have received an earlier rebuff to a simple request – the mere existence of a single FOI implies improper withholding of information. Had they gone so far as to post their work a la CERN, no requests of any kind (except those we may reasonably suppose they were trying to avoid, like “why doesn’t this work the way you said it did?”) would have interfered with their work, as they complain. Not only that, but the policy-makers and press influenced by their work seemed indifferent to this defect, whereas I saw it as a flouting of the scientific method so flagrant that it could not be innocent, and must invite the adverse inference that they were being secretive because they lacked faith in their own work.

    Even so, when Climategate broke, I was shocked at what I learned. The emails, which I have read, reek of the correspondents’ clear understanding of their wrong-doing, of their doubts about their work. Reading the emails disabuses the layman of another cherished AGW shibboleth – that it is the shared conclusion of a variety of independent researchers – clearly the CRU “Tree Ring Circus” were orchestrating a “Bombers-over-Red –Square” parade of scientific opinion, safe in the knowledge that intruders who could see the bombers turning to make another pass could be excluded or bullied into silence. They reveal a collusive environment in which Phil Jones could tell his circle to delete sensitive emails and dodgy data without either expecting or getting a single cry of “foul” in response (whether or not the request was complied with is to some extent a red herring).
    Climategate, and the comments it provoked from statisticians and FORTRAN wonks, revealed that for from being good at the physics but excellent at the statistics, as I had assumed, they were hopeless at computerised statistical analysis. And yes, although I know no statistics or FORTRAN, I give the critics credence, because they are alleging wrongdoing in people I already know to be wrong-doers. Logic, innit?

    I cannot avoid the adverse inference, which a stream of subsequent revelations or “errors” (deceit, to the ordinary folk like me whose trust you want to recover), all of which lean towards, and none away, from catastrophe, merely reinforces – that AGW is probably a crock, and that we have nothing more to worry about from climate change or CO2’s part in it, than we do, say from the problem of hip dysplasia in overbred spaniels. Whether you agree with that view, I think that you must agree that for practical purposes it is the view with which climate science must henceforth expect to contend, and that the sooner it is reconciled to this unpalatable truth, the more likely it is to save the planet, if indeed it requires its assistance.

    With all that in mind, I have the following comments on your essay:
    You write:

    “Credibility is a combination of expertise and trust.” Maybe, but a scientist must devote him/herself entirely to the former, trusting that the latter will follow. Cruel, I know, but giving priority to the cultivation of trust in “outsiders”, over cultivating expertise in their field, was in a very real sense what got these guys into trouble. It’s no good advocating a return to genuine peer review if the principle objective is the “restoration of trust” – you’ve got to do it for its own sake and for the benefit of the science, and hope that the trust will ensue, as it surely will. Much good science has survived temporary public disfavour.

    “Climate research and its institutions have not yet adapted to its high policy relevance.” With respect, that is precisely what the Hockey Team have done far too well, although the adaptations are not to your taste or their credit. If they had done less “adapting” and more sticking to time-honoured scientific method, they wouldn’t be in disgrace today. The first such adaptation was to call themselves “climate scientists”. When I was taught science in the 60′s there were meteorologists and there were climatologists. Now we have “climate scientists”. Isn’t “Climate Science” just a field invented by and for AGW believers who either choose not to call themselves meteor-/climatologists, because that’s not where the grant money is, or who in addition may not do so because they are in fact neither? If so it should neither have surprised nor greatly impressed us if they “overwhelmingly” endorse AGW. It’s just what “climate scientists” do. If it is to enjoy trust in future, it must convince us that it has shed its predisposition to alarm. If not, it will wither on the vine as scientists migrate back, if they may, to their fields of true expertise, and that still carry weight and trust.

    “…blamed on difficulties of communicating such a complex topic…” – this is a recurring theme amongst CRU apologists – the suggestion being that had the Jones’ and others’ refusal to share their work been handled by a PR organisation trained to dissemble, rather than by scientists with no such training, and having to pick it up as they went along, all would have been well. I understand that is not your intent, but you risk association with a reprehensible argument. And there are several objections to your own:
    1. Trying to communicate the complexity of climate science to lay-folk like me is futile and unnecessary. We laiety, and that includes most of the political establishment, will always have to rely on “proxy data” (if you will forgive the allusion) to assess competing hypotheses, and chief among these is our ability to see that the readily-grasped precepts of the scientific method, including its ineluctible extension, peer-review, are being adhered to.

    2. The trouble seems to me that since I was taught science in the 60s, ordinary people no longer understand the Scientific Method in the way that used to be instinctive to anyone with a good high-school education. Worse still, many scientists, sometimes in the name of “post-normal” science, seem shockingly innocent of basic tenets of science. Everywhere in the climate debate (now that we are finally having one) the mistake is made by so many climate alarmists (and too many sceptics) that it is the job of sceptics to present counter-theories to their own. It is not. What matters is whether AGW theory survives proper scrutiny, not whether those scrutinising it can do any better. It is up to the proponents of AGW to present their theories in the form of falsifiable argument. The Climategate emails and code reveal the excruciating efforts of the high priesthood of AGW to do just that, their continuing failure, and the lengths to which they did or were prepared to go to conceal their work, with all its inadequacies, from proper peer review.

    I hope this helps you appreciate the lay person’s view, and wish you well in your efforts to rehabilitate science. However I think you’re going to have to be willing to spill more blood than you imagine, or will find agreeable. The Emperor is naked, and the answer is not to try to reclothe him, but to banish him for the conceited ass he is now seen to be. Efforts such as your own, to resolve the issue through reform, with a token smattering of contrition, will undoubtedly earn the appearance of success – the MSM is consumed with a desire to stop the agonising process of retrospectively reporting its own recent gullibility. Politicians share that desire, mutatis mutandis. Their complaisance will be easy to get. But a public conspiracy of silence is not the same thing as a renewal of public trust in science, although they may seem very similar. And AGW will be allowed to die a quiet death, leaving billions misspent, and pointless, growth-inhibiting legislation on statute books the world over, where it will be obeyed in the Anglosphere and northern Europe, and elsewhere ignored.

    But the conspiracy of silence won’t hold out here in the blogosphere, and you surely know it. If you really love science, and want to restore it’s dignity, I’m afraid you need to get a bit nastier*. And if you don’t, the job you find repugnant will be done by others who will relish it, which would be a shame, because I think you could do it infinitely better, if you could only grasp the sceptical nettle.

    *I might have added “repentant”

  209. Richard A. says:

    “I think a few things. If you’re actually genuinely interested in furthering understanding of science, climate and it’s implications then working with science rather than against it is essential. To this end Dr Curry’s gesture would seem opportune. If you want to remain on the fringe and exist only to fog the debate and hinder science and understanding then carry on throwing stones from the sidelines.” – Jay

    Quite frankly Jay, the opportune bit here is the public debate, not Judith herself. If she is gullible enough to think there is a ‘climate denial machine’ then she herself is a lost cause, and Willis is more than right to take the opportune moment not really to address her personally, but to publish a direct smack to the face of all the BS artists who have been doing business in this field for far too long. The scenario is that the world’s petroleum companies got together and pooled their trillions in profits and executed their master plan for world domination and eventual destruction by greenhouse gas emissions – putting aside for the moment that they are as likely to have kids and be as concerned about this planet as the next person – by funnelling those trillions to… a retired Canadian statistician, a few retired weathermen, and some random limey’s to run blogs and file FOI requests? This is The Master Plan, the Monolithic Climate Denial Machine? To be blunt, anyone stupid enough to believe such a ridiculous load of crap doesn’t deserve respect. Willis’ post is spot on. Perhaps it might be hard for a bunch of nits who have made careers sucking off the government teet and never having to actually do anything productive in their lives to understand this point, but when something’s screwed up in your life or career the rest of us know that more often than not the man in the mirror is to blame. A lesson maybe at least a few climate ‘scientists’ will take to heart instead of bitching and moaning about their screw ups as if they were someone else’s fault. Like Willis said, grow a pair. After decades of BS and marginalized skeptics it turns out the skeptics were right about a lot of things regarding The Science™ and The Consensus™. Credibility starts with the truth, not better packaging for the same old crap.

  210. Ed Lambert says:

    Yes

    Thank you

  211. A. Ford says:

    As usual, Willis does an excellent job. Couldn’t agree more.

    BTW, is Willis a scientist? If not, what is his profession?

  212. Dave L says:

    >Because the truth is, climate science is one of the newest sciences. The truth is, we know little about the climate, we’ve only been studying it intensely for a couple decades.<

    Isn't it remarkable that mankind often responds more vociferously to the issues with the least known factual content? Isn't the major issue between the two AGW camps one of BELIEFS …. and not facts? Anyone who does not see religious dogma in these arguments is naive. I think historians will look back at this period of time and refer to it as "The Climateblog Crusades".

    Well done Willis. At the same time I do not think anything Willis has said should be taken "personally" by Dr. Curry. What Dr. Curry accomplished with her post was to provide an excellent summary of the general perspective of the AGW-science proponents in academia and related institutions. Willis responded with a rebuttal representing the opponents to AGW science. Can we anticipate a second round?

  213. Steve in SC says:

    Willis,
    Perhaps you were a little harsh to Judy.
    Now, being a southerner, what you have to do is say “bless your heart”. Then, you can proceed to insult the other party as much as you want and it will be all right.
    Now, for Judy’s part, “bless her heart” she must be a yankee. I don’t think any self respecting southerner would hold such views about global warming. As a matter of fact, I don’t believe that there is one southerner in the entire climate science community. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

    Kindest Regards.

  214. JER0ME says:

    Wow!

    I started reading , and a cringed after the first bit, because it was quite vitriolic in its attack. But then I realised that I fully agree with just about every single point.

    Yes it is harsh, but very, very true. I fully admire and respect Judith for reaching out to the plebs with an invitation to start a frank discussion. This is exceedingly frank, but I do implore Judith not to be turned off by it. Let it harden your resolve, let’s come back to the table and figure out where to go from here.

    We need to heal the rift. It has been oh-so-long in the making, and it is a deep one. Nonetheless, it can be healed, I believe.

  215. Sean Peake says:

    Phew! Good rant. I enjoyed that.

    Dr. Curry takes a good lick here but it’s mild in comparison to the bitter personal attacks her camp has doled out over the years. I imagine she knew she would get mauled when she entered this arena, but I wonder if she expected it from her own people, too? Romm et al have thrown her into a lifeboat and cast her adrift. But that’s not a bad thing. The ship they tossed her from is worm-eaten but it’s crew still believe it seaworthy. However, as W.E. succinctly points out, if her professional reputation is ever to make landfall, she must stop acting like a CRU member and start thinking like a captain… in a Shackelton-esque sort of way.

  216. Gary says:

    Just an observation about the performance enhancing substances scandal in baseball: It has parallels here. Those athletes who admitted their abuse of these drugs in public (Andy Pettit, for example) have fared much better than those who have continually denied or obfuscated (Roger Clemens and Mark Maguire). People are willing to forgive past sins if a realistic attempt is made to recognize and admit the offense and a promise made to do better in the future.

  217. Larry says:

    The case for action was pretty strained before the inaccuracies in the UN and temperature record were highlighted. Perhaps the AGW crowd could gain some credibility and trust by indicating what they believe are the current implications of their hypothesis. The implications of hurricanes and water shortages in particular are the main catalysts for giving governments cover for expensive action. Stating their position on ’50 days to save the world’ and the real implications could go a long way to removing heat out of this debate. There is an urgency to this while governments race ahead with action, and urgency spawns brutality.

  218. Hawkwood says:

    Well put Mr. Eschenbach. The other problem are the political classes both elected and unelected. The elected we can ultimately deal with democratically, but the insidious bureaucrats and chairs of intergovernment organizations that infest our western democracies are far more difficult to deal with. They control the purse strings that feed the bad science. In the UK and in Canada we see government funded broadcasters spewing out AGW propaganda like candy on Halloween while suppressing the voice of we skeptics.
    The war of words thanks to the Blogosphere is alive and well. Thank goodness.

  219. Charles Battig says:

    The February 19, 2010 Wall Street Journal printed an edited version of my letter-to-the-editor, in reference to Prof. S. Schneider and “post normal science.” The original is pasted here:
    To the Editor:
    The WSJ February 16, 2010 editorial “The Continuing Climate Meltdown” ends with “the lesson of climategate is that the claims of the global warming lobby need far more rigorous scrutiny.” I suggest that years of such scrutiny have existed as evidenced by the many editorials and letters published on the pages of the WSJ and elsewhere. The several international climate conferences organized by the Heartland Institute; such publications as the “Climate Change Reconsidered-The Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change”; independent scientific web sites such as those of ICECAP, Climate Depot, Anthony Watts, and Steve McIntyre have been tirelessly providing the scrutiny missing in the general media. There are many others.
    There are several other lessons of climategate. Traditional, objective, evidence-based science has morphed into a new “post-normal science,” only too ready to allow malleable interpretations of inconclusive or incomplete scientific understanding… interpretations chosen to support an ideological agenda. We were warned of such philosophical mindsets in the widely quoted statement by climatologist Stephen Schneider (in part): “to capture the public’s imagination…to get loads of media coverage…to offer up scary scenarios…make little mention of the doubts we have…to decide what is the right balance between being effective and being honest.” The IPCC and climategate cabal seem to have made liberal use of such scientific flexibility in their “the-end-justifies-the-means” approach.
    Another lesson would be that tens of billions of federal funding will likely get you the results you prefer. If the politically correct zeitgeist is accommodated, there seems to be no end of funding for research grants, favored corporate entities, and activist groups…it pays to be green.
    One other lesson is that objective science cannot compete with dogma. Those who believe in climate change will likely never be won over by scientific argument. For them “the science is settled”, has been, and will remain so.
    Charles G. Battig, M.S., M.D
    Charlottesville, VA 22906

  220. Ric says:

    It is an amazing thing to watch a renowned scientist say that they must restore trust. That sounds so…….fake. Restore trust? Now the Met Office is going to restore trust by going over data? What data? The Met will probably come up with #’s that are similar and gloss over any problems they had in the past…and say something like…” okay it’s what we thought it was so let’s just move on”. Willis is right…and very right for getting steamed. People do not trust a liar just because the liar admits he must restore your trust….but continues to do the same things.

  221. Steveta_uk says:

    It’s truly astonishing to see how Judith Curry can provoke such anger as this article displays (which I very largely agree with, BTW) and at the same time, provoke an almost completely opposite view from the hyper-warmist community.

    http://climateprogress.org/2010/02/24/my-response-to-dr-judith-currys-unconstructive-essay/

    It does make you wonder how Joe Public is to judge the issue without years of research.

  222. JER0ME says:

    Dave Williams (03:20:26) :

    Wow, I put my first posting on this site and now I’m ready to leave forever.

    Having spent fruiltless hours being soundly abused on warmist blogs for expressing doubt, and being just plain deleted on MSM and CA comment threads (with absolutely no insults or ‘potty language’ from me, merely polite dissent), I can tell you that you are priveleged to be heard here.

    Use that privilege and challenge the wrongs that you see need to be righted. Don’t run away just because people have strong opinions, and sometime use strong language.

  223. vjones says:

    Willis – brilliant!
    “Scientific papers” are larded with “may” and “might” and “could possibly”.

    Climate Science has gone too far – so far it has blurred the lines between science and fiction (and to quote Mark Twain – “Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities. Truth isn’t.”). Perhaps ‘Climate Fiction’ is a better term.

    Consider for a moment one of the final lines of the Hippocratic Oath (modern version): “May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling…”. Not that there’s a scientific equivalent. As a scientist I am angry that this field has been allowed to cloud the integrity of my profession.

    In sport, there are consequences for “bringing the game into disrepute”. If climate scientists feel like victims, perhaps they should show some contrition for their behaviour in allowing the propaganda machine to develop.

  224. MattN says:

    My favorite line: “stop trying to pass off garbage as science.”

    That, in a nutshell, is all we’re saying….

  225. PaulH says:

    The major problem, in my opinion, is that climate scientists actually seem to believe that they have the ability to build machines that can predict the future.

  226. Henry chance says:

    Judith and big OIL

    Judith runs a side business (remember Pachauri does sex novels and consulting )

    It is CFAN at Georgia Tech.

    http://cfan.eas.gatech.edu/cfansolutions.html

    Hurricane forecasts for the petroleum industry CFAN responded to the need of a client in the petroleum industry for hurricane forecasts in the Gulf of Mexico that provided greater accuracy and longer lead times than those currently available in the market. CFAN’s extended hurricane forecasts are being used by the client to anticipate disruptions to energy supply and their impact on energy markets, and to anticipate disruptions to drilling, refining, and transport activities. A sophisticated web based decision support system for the client was developed that serves the needs of both the staff meteorologists and broader user group, which required translating the forecasts into meaningful outputs and language to meet a range of specific decision needs. CFAN’s hurricane forecasting method has consistently predicted the hurricane formation in the North Atlantic 3-7 days in advance, with tracks accurate (within 100 miles) out to 7 days. During the 2008 season, with Hurricanes Ike and Gustav having major impacts on the production region in the Gulf of Mexico, CFAN’s forecasts were also used for operations and emergency management.

    So we have uncovered another eco poser.
    So she hustles oil companies that want to be prepared for Gulf coast storms. I posted on oil companies gathering weather data yesterday.

    Greed and pride. I guess you have to follow the money Judith.

    Paul Brassey (21:15:12) h/t

    They will do anything for a buck and put on a front.

    Judith, what say you? You should be ashamed for husstling Big Oil dollars.

  227. hunter says:

    Not to take away from Dr. Curry;s important efforts, but this analysis and annotation of her essay is excellent.
    I distinguish AGW from climate science, and name the scientists and opinion leaders who push the AGW agenda as ‘promoters’.
    AGW is to climate science what eugenics was to evolutionary biology: bad and wrong.

  228. R. de Haan says:

    Same subject, valuable contribution from Dr Timothy Ball

    Confused Public
    Climatology: A Generalist Study In a Specialized World
    http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/20374

  229. coniston says:

    David Williams – I hope you might think again about your post. Consider the point that you have read very little of the background to this letter – a history that goes back years. And before you comment you might want to read some more of the more ‘basic’ posts on both this site and Climate Audit. You say pottymouths where there are none – except for the RC drop-in – and talk about chemicals being spewed in the air when this is completely irrelevant. CO2 is a gas and not a pollutant. And indeed humans HAVE been taking care of the environment as they move beyond survival to development thanks to cheap and efficient energy. In the first world, our air and water are cleaner, our forests growing in size, animals better protected etc etc.

    In addition, I have found that skeptics live much ‘greener’ lives than those in the AGW camp, but are sympathetic to the developing nations – i.e. India and China – because though on the short term they will be using less efficient technology due to cost, their only other option is to have their countrymen wallow in dire poverty and live shorter, more barren lives.

    So perhaps you might wish to read up and reconsider. And come back.

  230. George Tetley says:

    Willis,
    It would be wonderful if we could get, just one politician that can read, unfortunately it is forbidden, from the very top down.
    I thank you, you must be a very special person.

  231. Richard M says:

    Josh (01:34:55) :

    http://www.cartoonsbyjosh.com

    Thanks, I got a good laugh. Keep up the good work.

    ——————-

    Willis, absolutely fantastic!

    As for the last two days, we all need to understand that Judith Curry’s essay was aimed at BOTH sides of the aisle. She tried to achieve a middle ground. As a result she got lambasted by BOTH sides. I believe that puts the issues in perspective.

    There is no middle ground. One side is right and other side is wrong. Not necessarily in the final answer because no one knows enough about climate to know what is happening. The one side is right because their position is based on science. The other side’s position is based on getting more grants. That is not science.

    I hope Judith learns something here. It’s fine to want to clean up the mess, but that will never happen until you admit there is a mess in the first place and while there’s a bunch still messing away.

  232. Jeff says:

    @ Jay (03:41:58):

    Are you saying that Dr. Curry is “Science?” Please do define Science for us and exactly how one “works with it.”

  233. Wade says:

    (Stands and applauds) Bravo Willis, bravo.

    Dr. Judith Curry is to be commended for having the courage to do what Al Gore, Phil Jones, and Michael Mann will not, and that is to talk to people who disagree with them. Be that as it may, making an argument does not mean you are right. I don’t trust climate scientists because they are power hungry and greedy.

    The one thing that turned me from a man made global warming believer to disbeliever was when I saw these advocates for it act like a religion and not like a science. Then when I started to investigate, I saw just how crooked these people are. There is an apt proverb from the Bible: “That which is crooked cannot be made straight.” (Ecclesiastes 1:15 if you care to look it up) And another: “Can a leopard change its spots?” (Jeremiah 13:23) These people are crooked to the core, it is how they are. You cannot fix that. It would be as futile as trying to straighten up a crooked old tree and trying to make a leopard change its spots. You have to cut down the crooked tree and start with a new one.

    And that is the hard part. These scientists have a sweet deal, they are not going to go down quietly in the night. They are going to fight to the last breath. If they went away, they would have to *gasp* work for a living. Who wants to do that? But a crooked tree can be cut down. We need to start over because reformation has long since passed.

  234. jack morrow says:

    WOW! I wish I had said that.

  235. Malaga View says:

    ML (02:07:26) :
    Do I have to buy BS meter with bigger range ?

    Unfortunately I think the answer to your question is: YES
    Instead of cleaning up their act they are looking for new ways to present, persuade and propagandise… ways that are more difficult to audit… techniques that are more complex to unravel… So please upgrade your BS meter.

    Willis
    Thank you for articulating my thoughts, frustrations, disbelief, anger and sadness… I become inarticulate when trying to respond to propaganda dressed up as science… words usually fail me… my BS meter goes off the chart… and I vent my frustration with a string of expletives….

    I do not know how to respond to scientists that believe there are fairies living at the bottom of my garden… they are trying to live in a parallel universe and escape hard truths and reality… how do you reason with an infant? how can you argue with a madman?

    The problems run so deep… the blogsphere has long demonstrated that the settled science is bogus… surfacestations.org has long proved that their scientific data is corrupt… ClimateGate has proved that their scientific methods are corrupt… and yet they still will not come clean!

  236. Ron Cram says:

    Willis,
    I am not saying you are wrong in your assessment, but I think Dr. Curry has taken some important steps toward the light and this should be encouraged. Compare her latest essay with one she wrote soon after Climategate.

    See http://camirror.wordpress.com/2009/11/22/curry-on-the-credibility-of-climate-research/

    In the older essay, her main goal was to reaffirm the credibility of the climate consensus to reinforce the idea the science is trustworthy mostly settled. Her mindset has changed quite a bit now. Now she wants to work toward rebuilding trust and near the end of her essay, Curry writes:

    “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.”

    While Curry made some mistakes in her essay, she has come a long way. This is an important break with her former worldview and will cause her some pain from colleagues who are not ready to follow her yet.

  237. lichanos says:

    Regarding:

    … 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…

    I was at a meeting in the NYC offices of GISS where they were summarizing their views on climate change and consequences for NYC. Afterwards, I spoke with an academic from another local institution and expressed my doubts about the high confidence the GISS folks had in their long-term projections. He said that he had spoken with them and voiced his astonishment about some of the things they had said ["I told her, you just can't say that!"], and he suspected that they would not be doing work with GISS in the future.

    So, I suspect that there are lots of scientists out there like that, but they have their own work to do, and it’s not for them to go publicly into battle in this way. I really can understand their predicament. Still, they have avenues to pursue, and I won’t be surprised if that slowy begins to build over the next few years.

  238. Bill S says:

    Great post, Willis, yet again. Having worked down in the trenches for years, as you put it, your ire is justified and appropriate, as it would be for Anthony or Steve or any of the other skeptics at the forefront of this. The main premise of her article was misguided and not far enough across the bridge. It wasn’t an olive branch, but it was something, and that something still needs to be encouraged. It is clear from what you have written that you believe that, too, but I just wanted to re-iterate the point. We need to befriend people on the inside on their side if we’re ever going to get anywhere. The upshot of this exchange will be obvious on RC, most of the climate community, and in the Left Stream Media: they will say, “See! We tried reaching out to them and we got slapped for it!”

    Dr. Curry, all props to you for posting and thank you, but I think you will have to agree that it is a sad referendum on the state of science today that trying to understand the other guy’s position needs to be labeled as a “brave thing to do”. It should always be job #1, and never an afterthought.

  239. JLKrueger says:

    Ok, so anyone thinking that Willis was OTT with Judith, you need to take a gander at the vitriol spewed by ole Joe Romm!

    And then the master of proxies Ben Santer weighs in too.

    After reading that rant, one can understand that what Judy did was actually a courageous act. Can’t wait to hear what Mickey and Gavin have to say.

  240. davidmhoffer says:

    I can do little more than admire what Willis wrote, for there is little that he failed to address and even less that could be improved upon. The wheels have come off the AGW bus and it has crashed. Dr. Curry would have us believe that it can be fixed and be made safe to ride on once more. Willis just crushed it with a steam roller.

    It is unfortunate however, that there are so many people who will read neither Dr. Curry’s article, nor Willis’ crushing response. To that end, I will be posting links to both articles on my blog, which will increase readership by about…. 12. But should many others do the same with a handfull of readers each…. well that would be the power of the blogosphere. I commend Dr. Curry for initiating this experiment. The results of many experiments are not what the scientist expected. I think this may be one of them. And I hope it is.

  241. David L. Hagen says:

    The depth of the disconnect is reflected in:
    EXCLUSIVE: U.N. Climate Panel to Announce Significant Changes

    By Ed Barnes, FOXNews.com

    In the wake of its swift and devastating fall from grace, the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) says it will announce “within the next few days” plans to make significant changes in how it does business.
    Just one year ago a pronouncement from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) was all that was needed to move nations and change environmental policies around the world. But today, the panel’s creditability and even its very existence are in question.

    In the wake of its swift and devastating fall from grace, the panel says it will announce “within the next few days” that it plans to make significant though as yet unexplained changes in how it does business. . . .

  242. Jack says:

    Like the editors of the “The New Republic” of Stephen Glass fame, scientists are realizing that what the climate scientists have done is indefensible.

    It is indefensible. There is no possible excuse.

  243. Rebivore says:

    Hooray!! Hooray!! Hooray!!

    This is the first bit of opinioneering that I trust!

  244. Jaye says:

    Great post Willis. Finally, somebody is willing to publicly call out Curry for her disingenuous “out reach” posts.

  245. David L. Hagen says:

    Climate science advocates are telling us we MUST impose a tyrannical world government to avoid global catastrophy – when we don’t even reliably know the temperature trends or what cause them. See:

    Before we embark on drastic plans to combat climate change, we must be sure of the facts Roddy Campbell 24th February 2010

    But the evidence is not yet clear; there were, for example, periods of warming in the 19th century almost identical to the modest warming we seem to have experienced since 1975. We cannot rely on highly imperfect climate models as a basis for policy initiatives that cost billions and change how we live. An accurate and unbiased temperature record is critical.

  246. TonyB says:

    Willis

    A really excellent piece, thank you.

    I think two early comments encapsulated my position;

    “Andy Scrase (00:54:07) :

    “get a clue about humility”

    Let’s give Judith Curry some slack here. She has stepped off the pedestal a bit and shown *some* humility I believe. A lot more than most?”

    Yes agreed, give her some space. I think Judith is the science equivalent of the rabbit caught in headlights. She hadn’t really realised what was happening until climategate alerted her that not everything in the garden was as fragrant as she believed. What she said was brave, if a little short of humility, and she deserves the time and space in order to realise that whilst she was looking the other way the tide has come in and is sweeping her old certainties away.

    Dave McK (00:53:53) : said

    “Joe Romm et all have ripped Judith to shreds over her essay. Going off message infuriates. She is compared to Neville Chamberlain. Godwin’s Law is in effect. Now would be a great time for her to make friends with facts. They are more faithful than consensus.”

    Can Judith really stand back and look at the actucal facts and not what was always presented as such? She has surely made a start-faltering as that is. Facts are probably not as exciting or as profitable as theories-especially when computer generated- but it would help her to be a bit more sceptical when she is next presented with things presented as incontrovertible facts, which might be anything but.

    Once again Willis, thanks for a great post and it is very encouraging to see so many perceptive comments-many from people I hadn’t seen here before-who made useful remarks on both this piece and Judith’s original paper.

    Tonyb

  247. Jerry says:

    When I went to College the Professors were more interested in you showing your work in solving a problem than whether you got the right answer.

    This showed your thinking orocess and methodology for solviny the problem. The scientists(???) in ths case seem to come up with the answers prior to developing the methodology and tried to conceal the details of their work thus leaving no trail to proving their results.

  248. IsoTherm says:

    Before I get totally brainwashed by the overwhelming dismissal of the theory of manmade global warming, can I remind everyone that there is good scientific evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It is therefore logical to expect that an increase in CO2 should lead to an increase in global temperature, and therefore as burning fossil fuel does produce CO2 to go into the atmosphere, and the increase in CO2 appears to have occured in correlation with an increase in global temperature, there is strong circumstantial evidence of a link.

    Now can anyone tell me where this argument is wrong?

  249. GregO says:

    Willis, you rock – thanks for the incredible mind injection of pure truth and thanks as well to Dr. Curry for encapsulating current climate science’s mind-set in detailed and sensitive prose.

    I am not a climate scientist or any kind of scientist, just a humble mechanical engineer; and didn’t pay much attention to Al Gore and his silly little movie or anything else in climate science until Climategate, and then wow! I am on my fifth book on climate stuff.

    Being new to all of this I am shocked at the rottenness of establishment climate science; it’s shoddy and fake and that I can see that plainly with my limited technical education. It’s not hard to figure out that if thermometer data was manipulated or “lost” all following conclusions must be questioned and more than likely rejected – on that count alone.

    There is no excuse, rationalization, or explanation that will rejuvenate this fraudulent bastardization of science which done exclusively in the interest of money and career advancement. Mann, Jones, et al are going down in history. No excuses.

    Thanks again, and though American MSM won’t touch this (in my opinion the biggest story of fraud and misuse of science in history) I am reading every word of it I have time for and I sincerely appreciate your excellent response.

  250. DR says:

    I recall Judith Curry being quite condescending (including the “deniers are shills for Big oil” paradigm) at CA in her earlier posts. On the other hand she had some not-so-kind things to say about RC, yet now appears to be implying something different. Apparently Judith has forgotten or is unaware of RC’s character assassination and ad hominem attacks of qualified scientists such as Roy Spencer, Nir Shaviv, Roger Pielke and many others. When RC makes blatant gaffs and false statements, do they admit it? Generally not, they just let it……fade away.

    RealClimate’s censoring goes way back to the early days of the hockey stick, which is precisely why Steve M started his own blog as I recall it. The emails reveal RC’s MO, and to this day still censors qualified posts. RealClimate has earned their reputation as a dogmatic dishonest motley crew and deservedly so. I stopped posting there over a year ago.

  251. geo says:

    Willis, I love ya, but. . .

    As I said on the other thread, I’m struck by the similiarity here in methodology to GHCN. 1st generation raw data, second generation reduced and value added data, third generation further reduced data –then react based on that. You get points, however, for being much more transparent in the process.

    How, in both second and third generation data, did you find Dr. Curry’s call for leveraging the open source distributed computing model unworthy of mention, let alone failing to recognize its potential to be transformative? Your progressive levels of summarization either miss that entirely, or severely mischaracterize it as only “better communicate their ideas” as if it was just more talk-talk. It’s not –It’s what Steve and Anthony and others (including you) have been fighting for for years. How can you zip right by it without even a tip of the cap, let alone a hearty yippee!?

  252. CarsonH says:

    Absolutely brilliant essay.

    It’s unfortunate that Willis’ prescription for climate science is so similar to what I preach to my kids: if you want to be taken seriously, show some principles, take responsibility and stop whining! LOL

  253. Jeff says:

    @ Judith Curry (04:34:45):

    Thanks for the clarification. That certainly clears up some of the confusion I had regarding your essay.

  254. TinyCo2 says:

    Dave Williams (03:20:26)

    If you joined a family at their table during a particularly intense moment and spouted a load of stuff unrelated to the issue at hand. Would you expect them to say ‘OMG, you’re right. Let us kiss and be friends forever’?

    Your first post was about people’s unwillingness to listen. I’d ask you how much listening you’ve done? If you had, you’d know that most people here think that Global Warming is ‘a combination of natural causes and human activities’ and ‘there is some credibility to the AGW theory as well as the “it is all natural” camp’. These very clever people have moved on from that and realise that the true question is ‘by what proportion’? Without high quality science, there will be no answer forthcoming. Seems the scientists were so keen to get their message across they forgot about quality control, honesty and accountability. Scientists are failing both believers and sceptics by being unwilling to clean up climate science.

  255. DennisA says:

    I think you got that off everybody’s chest. I feel better already.

  256. Steve M. from TN says:

    I’m guessing this is the most popular blog that posted Dr. Curry’s letter. Yesterday’s post (as of now) is closing in on 600 responses, plus another 300 responses on WE’s reply. I didn’t see a single response from Dr. Curry. Is this her idea of communication?

  257. Harold Vance says:

    Great essay, Willis.

  258. JohnWho says:

    Excellent “reply” article, Willis.

    Willis Eschenbach (03:14:11) Feb 25 said:

    “So you best get used to it, bro’, because I assure you, I’m not the only one who is mad as hell and who is not going to take it any more.”

    Add me to that “mad as hell” group.

  259. Joe says:

    If you are truly ready to pull the bull by the horns in this debate of trust, you must be impartial to both sides with no favoritism to both sides until the science is totally clear. Having tainted theories and covering mistakes or making the mistakes look good is not good for trust.
    We all understand that this is some scientists “bread and butter” but disciple or fire the offenders would make up for the coverups.
    Massive changes to this system also needs to be in order so that any new science that doesn’t conform to the current “old boys club” can have a chance to be explored and reviewed by impartial individuals who have half a brain that if they do not know what they are looking at can ask questions and seek advice from more knowledgable individuals.

  260. TinyCo2 says:

    IsoTherm (06:50:50) :

    Nothing wrong with ‘good scientific evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas’. This is not at question. What is an issue, is climate feedback. Positive or negative? The Earth’s climate is more than the sum of it’s parts, it doesn’t operate like a lab experiment. The Devil, as they say, is in the detail

    You can’t get to that detail unless the science is exemplary and maybe not even then.

  261. Richard M says:

    I think there’s a great analogy between climate science and a giant porcelain fixture. We’ve all seen the turds floating on the surface. The works of Mann, Steig, Briffa and the IPCC AR4 are good examples. I liken climategate to a trip of the flush lever. What we are seeing now is the giant swirling effect. In the not too distant future we get to see these stinkos disappear into the sewer of bad science forever. (Josh feel free to use this analogy)

    Where will folks Like Luis Diaz be? Still denying? Only time will tell.

  262. Another Brit says:

    Well said Willis.

    I am angry too, very angry.

    This government in the UK has left my children with a huge debt that will take most of their lives to repay. As I help them through University I struggle to find the money, and I worry for their future. Meanwhile, my government and others propose to spend billions of pounds on what is clearly unproven science. Until it is proven beyond all reasonable doubt, I would like to hear Dr Curry and the rest say this to our politicians-

    “STOP!! we are uncertain of the science, and there are many opposing views and theories. Until we have certainty, it is folly to spend these huge sums that may be better used elsewhere.”

    But they will not have the courage to do this. As I struggle to raise my family, and am nearing the end of my working life, I see them living high on the hog on my (taxpayers money), and allowing governments everywhere to waste it on unproven science.

    I am angry, very angry that people such as Gore should use such scaremongering to line their own pockets. It is not just immoral, it is obscene.

    And I am angry, very angry that people such as Curry, Mann, Jones etc do not have the moral courage to stand up and say that theirs is an uncertain science, and that governments should hold their horses until we know more.

    They have sown the wind, through a lack of morality, courage and honesty. As I, and many others struggle to meet our obligations to our families, I await the whirlwind.

    You are right Willis, not just from the scientific viewpoint, but from that of the man in the street. We are angry, and as more of us understand what has been going on, that anger will rise.

  263. Doug in Seattle says:

    Willis, great retort. I’m wowed and humbled by your ability to get to the core of Curry’s fantasy and to show exactly where she has erred.

    As I read Curry’s outreach I just got angry and mumbled to myself at how wrong she was. Thanks for putting into words what is likely the best response to her post I will likely see.

  264. Brian G Valentine says:

    Look at “climatology” historically – what is it?

    It is the observation and interpretation of climate, by the measurement of temperature, pressure, precipitation, … differences between reference points on the Earth, which are used to discern periodic climate phenomena such as decadal cycles; the “science” behind it attempting to explain the origins of these observations.

    Since the advent of the application of “systems and control” methodology to “climatology” to “modernize” this field of study, what actual advances in the field have been produced?

    Have subcycles of the larger cycles been discerned? Have their origins been explained? Can anyone explain the origins of the El Nino?

    Nada. Instead, this junk has been applied to find an artificial decomposition of “forcing” and “feedback” of things like CO2 and water vapor – for the express purpose of telling us we’re all going to die by burning fuel, the whole lot of it complete junk from the get go; the worst trash to come along in a hundred years or more.

    Why?

    That’s the real question to be answered right now, I think, then we can begin to set the record straight

    /end rant

  265. Norman says:

    In my opinion, modern “scientists” no longer understand the principles of science, and have transformed themselves from scientists to soothsayers and oracles. They no longer present ideas and theories that are expected to be tested, they now make pronouncements that they expect or hope will catch the ear of politicians and will result in research grants.

    When an individual raises an objection to a pronouncement, they do not consider the weight of the objection, they attack the objector: he or she lacks educational credentials; they do not understand the finer nuances of the theory; and, they are motivated by opponents to their fine idea.

    I can understand how this happens, our modern educational and entertainment systems have actually encouraged. We have groups that attach the word “scientist” to their organization as if merely being called one will make you one. Many members of the Union of Concerned Scientists are no more scientists than members of the religious organization that uses the same word.

    But it is not their lack of education that prevents them from being scientists, it is their inherent inability to apply critical thinking to their individual belief sets. They make a statement and seem to believe that this is enough to make their statement true.

  266. Henry Pool says:

    Hear! hear! I like Willis. I have tried for 4 months trying to find the results of testing that would prove to me that the odd 70 ppm’s of CO2 that were added to the atmosphere since 1960 are significant, i.e. that it causes global warming. Could not find it. I tried everywhere including the IPCC, Al Gore, Hansen, Joe Romm, Spencer Weart, Prof Ahlers,etc.. Did not get any answers from them. But they are the “experts” who claimed to have this evidence. They say this research has been “done”. Why and where did they hide it so good that I cannot find it?
    The only “test” I could find was done with 100% CO2. Rediculous!!
    Like Willis’ experience with RealClimate, I also experienced being censored on certain sites, e.g. Sceptical Science. I even found that a definition on Wikipedia about the greenhouse effect had been altered after I had used it in an hefty argument. I found these experiences incredible and most amazing. Big Brother watching me. A lot has happened since Nov. 2009 but I doubt if things have changed that much on these sites, even after climategate and all those revelations that there really has not been any significant warming in the past 15 years.
    I am glad I found WUWT….

  267. keith in hastings UK says:

    Applause! Dr Curry seems to not understand the huge ANGER that the exaggerations and blatant advocacy has caused, not because of poor communication but because the consequences of the POLICIES, for which the so called SCIENCE is the launch pad, are likely to be truely awful!
    Maybe we should put up with it IF the WG2 catastrophies were true, but they aren’t! And even the WG1 science is suspect. (OK, I’m no scientist, apart from a good first degree in Natural Sciences from Cambridge, England, but I can still smell a rat, and saw business “modelling” lead companies into ruin)
    * key countries won’t sign on (China, India)
    * others will say they will, but won’t implement much
    *unintended consequences will hit those who do cap n trade, etc (eg UK has lost its last bulk steel factory, and some 8000 linked jobs, because Corus, a subsid of Tata, can then sell its EU carbon credits, Tata plans to rebuild the capacity in India & get UN CDM money, and there will be zero impact on CO2)
    * other pressing enviro. & poverty problems will be ignored due vast resource diversion.
    OK, policies may seem OT, but it is because the actions flowing from the science are so dire that we are all so worked up to be sure the science is right! Its not “communication” Its that wherever one probes, the science seems dodgy, or just plain wrong. GRRR. Rant over.
    Kudos to Dr Curry for opening dialogue, but it should be “how do we clean up the science”, not “how do we better communicate what we think we know”

  268. Pete Ballard says:

    Sorry folks, but I find Curry’s letter reasonable and Eschenbach’s response unfair. What more do you want? She rips Phil/Jones and CRU…

    “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 she calls for the “auditors” to be part of the scientific process to do, well, auditing of the quality of science and an “open source” approach.

    “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.”

    I understand there is ample justification for cynicism based on history, but this kind of statement and the recent Met Office proposal should be treated as great opportunities to engage and move forward. A win is a win.

  269. jothi85 says:

    Anthony,
    Very eloquantly put. I am mailing this to all my scientist friends ( lots of them are professors ). Particularly about the need for humility.

    If you can summarize in a 10 or less video, with your own voice and emotuions, this will be like the “rant heard around the world” by Rick Santelli that started the tea-party movement… this will start a climate-party movement

  270. latitude says:

    Judith Curry (04:34:45) :
    “So by staking this middle position, i pretty much am getting tomatoes thrown at me from both sides”

    Don’t we know it.
    Judith, thanks for taking the tomatoes for your side. Everyone really does appreciate it and appreciate you for doing that.

    Don’t overlook the fact that it was your side that started it, kept it up, and got caught doing it.

  271. jothi85 says:

    spelling and content correction:
    Anthony,
    Very eloquantly put. I am mailing this to all my scientist friends ( lots of them are professors ). Particularly about the need for humility.

    If you can summarize in a 10 min or less video, with your own voice and emotions, this will be like the “rant heard around the world” by Rick Santelli that started the tea-party movement… It will do a lot of good, and might even start a climate-party movement

  272. J.M. VanWinkle says:

    The only reality going forward is not more talk about healing, but what will Judith and the so called “mainstream” climate science community do. After Willis’ clear and accurate analysis, everyone here will know the true colors of climate scientists by what they do going forward.

    There is great personal, financial (funding), and career risk in changing course for most. Skeptical scientists have dealt with it for a long time (hence the anger). Hopefully, it won’t be like in “Ghostbuster”s where the new team member says, “I’ll believe anything if there is a steady pay check in it.” Getting off the safe AGW bandwagon will take courage and will cost folks a lot of money. I know I’ll be watching.

  273. John K. Sutherland says:

    Kum Dollison, You are not correct!

    Kum Dollison (04:58:51) :

    Willis, I haven’t gone through your whole article, yet, but this sentence needs to be changed.

    When is one of you mainstream climate scientist going to speak out against this kind of malfeasance?

    to “when ARE.

    Don’t change it!
    ‘When is one of you…… going to speak out…’ is correct.

  274. paulID says:

    All I can say is WOW you nailed it Willis there isn’t a word I would change. I believe the phrase speak truth to power just got a polish and now shines brightly for all to see its definition. Keep this up and never let up, They need to see the anger that they have engendered with the lies and the quiet acceptance of those lies.

  275. RWS says:

    The science is NOT settled. It’s as simple as that, Curry acknowledges it, but even though she suggests than no-one believes it, obviously many very influential people do, scientists and policy-makers alike. Those people need to learn to be skeptical and understand scientific processes better.
    There is still a problem with truth; “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” and the egregious use of the word truth in the title of Al Gore’s movie indicate warmist’s belief that they have discovered the truth, and need to proselytize it. Both the report and the movie are replete with what Huck Finn called stretchers, neither forgivably, Al Gore has made a lot of money from the panic, and the IPCC report is supposed to be SCIENCE based, so no wonder trust has evaporated.
    Curry’s analysis and excuses of stress and apprehension of a monolithic opposition causing the wrong-headed approach of the climate establishment to stifle opposing views and denigrate critics indicates she still has a long way to go to be fair-minded about the situation and the history. The science magazines Nature and Science have been essentially one-sided as well, and Cicerone worries about trust?
    As Eschenbach demands: do good science, be transparent, welcome criticism, follow the scientific method. The science magazines should encourage debate.
    The mainstream media has it’s own issues which include overt attempts to influence opinion (and Gore’s movie is part of it, rather than part of the scientific sphere, of course), The Guardian website has a blog: “Do climate change sceptics give scepticism a bad name?”, where it continues to stress that although embarrassing mistakes have been made, the climate is still changing, and that human activity is responsible. They are likely the most influential climate change advocates, and I noticed there were a few articles critical of the climategate shenanigans, but they are unlikely to change their basic stance without a sweeping groundswell. They presume the truth of a hypothesis, and support the agenda.

    I hope that there can be at least a review of methods and data quality that WUWT, Climate Audit, and the other blogs have been asking for, otherwise, no trust.

  276. JackStraw says:

    Nicely said Willis. Captures my feelings and frustrations on this issue perfectly.

  277. Jean Parisot says:

    IsoTherm, let me fix that for you:

    … can I remind everyone that there is ____ scientific evidence that CO2 is a MINOR greenhouse gas. It is therefore logical to expect that an increase in CO2 should lead to an MARGINAL increase in GREENHOUSE EFFECTS _________, and therefore as burning fossil fuel does produce AN MINOR AMOUNT OF CO2 to go into the atmosphere, and the increase in CO2 appears to have occured in correlation with an CYCLICAL AND EXPECTED increase in SOME MEASUREMENTS OF ______ temperature, there is ___________ circumstantial evidence of a link, BUT WE MUST REMEMBER THAT CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION.

    BOLD = adds, _________ = deletions

  278. Ivan says:

    Iso Term: “Before I get totally brainwashed by the overwhelming dismissal of the theory of manmade global warming, can I remind everyone that there is good scientific evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It is therefore logical to expect that an increase in CO2 should lead to an increase in global temperature, and therefore as burning fosil fuel does produce CO2 to go into the atmosphere, and the increase in CO2 appears to have occured in correlation with an increase in global temperature, there is strong circumstantial evidence of a link.”

    This “argument” is not an argument but red herring. Nobody denies that CO2 is a GHG, nor that increase in CO2 would cause SOME warming. But, the problem is how much, and whether the doubling of CO2 would mean a “crisis” and “catastrophe” or not? There is a very significant difference between 1 degree K warming and 4 degrees K warming per doubling of CO2. IPCC favors the latter without any evidence and contrary to most of what we know about the past climate and about the physical processes in the atmosphere.

    Further,as for the statistical correlations, Sun’s activity correlates MUCH better with the global temperature. (And the number of Republican senators in the last 30 years appears to correlate even better).

  279. Janice says:

    I liked Dr. Curry’s posting, and I like this posting. Both are looking at the same problem from different angles. For years I have been asking any of the AGW crowd this question: What could happen, in the next 5 or 10 years, that would negate the premise of AGW? I’ve never ever gotten an answer to that.

    However, perhaps the root-cause-analysis of this mess comes down to a more basic problem. Why are scientists doing science? It is always assumed that they are doing it for the advancement of knowledge. That is horse-pucky. They are doing it to earn a living. In the old days of science, scientists were independently wealthy, or being supported through religious work, or simply doing science in their backyard after working at a paying job. Currently science is something that people use as a career.

    Now, how do people decide what they are going to do as a scientist? Generally, they are told what to do, what to study, what to test. The use of public money to fund science was probably one of the worst ways to do it. If we look back in history, much of our scientific and engineering knowledge came because people were trying to enhance how they did some job or task. Our knowledge of vapor pressures and steam tables came about partly because the whiskey industry required it. Our knowledge of metal fatigue came about partly because of boilers on the Mississippi steamships exploding, and Liberty Ships breaking in half in the North Atlantic. If a scientist gets the attention of a politician through some study that they do, it is because the politician sees some political value in it.

    The real problem with science, transcending the current problems with climate studies, and involving all science, is that science is now being done for political gain rather than scientific gain. Science being done in and for industry is probably the least corrupted, because it will be immediately evaluated for whether it actually works or not, whether it is valid, or whether it makes any sense.

    Public grants of money are nearly always (probably 99% of the time) expecting certain results. If you find those certain results, then you get more grant money. The people granting the money are not really looking at whether your science was done well, as much as they look at whether you kept all the receipts, and your work was done neatly and within the time limits. This has reduced science to little more than grade-school activities. Stay quiet, don’t make a mess, and you get a gold star on your forehead.

    The universities bear some of the blame for this situation. They give full professors a light teaching load, but then expect them to publish several papers every year. These professors originally had to get funding for their projects from private companies, but as public money became easier to get, they found they could publish more papers every year, with less effort. Thus the universities attracted and kept people who were not really contributing to scientific knowledge, as much as they were contributing to political power (both of politicians and their particular university).

    Is there any way out of this morass? We focus on climate studies, and pour out anger on them, but isn’t this simply the tip of the iceberg, as far as all science is concerned?

  280. Scepticism about anthropogenic global warming isn’t monolithic, it’s organised, and reflects in that the AGW conspirators, in the same way that the only way New Labour could beat the Conservatives in Great Britain was to base itself on its opponents organisation.

  281. Lindsy says:

    Very well said, too bad they won’t heed your advice.

  282. Jack says:

    I’ve read in some of the comments that Prof Curry is getting lambasted by the warmist side as well.

    Prof. Curry, I want to caution you that this is not necessarily a sign that you have hit the mark. What you must remember is that the warmist orthodoxy does not tolerate dissent in any form. The warmists will attack you for leaving the orthodoxy, and we are attacking you for still being obtuse, though less so.

    As to the idea that the warmists just haven’t been good at communicating, well lets examine that:
    -Kyoto treaty
    -Billions of dollars spent
    -UN IPCC for the past 10 years? More billions spent.
    -Vast amounts of legislation world wide to reduce carbon emissions.
    -No extraction of US natural resources in the US, so we pay more billions to the middle east. More billions spent, and supporting terrorists besides. And it also means higher prices.
    -Vast amounts of money wasted on wind farms. Billions more spent, millions of birds killed.
    -Copenhagen climate summit. Hundreds of millions spent.
    -Small flourescent bulbs, filled with mercury and an environmental hazard down the road.
    -Biofuels, ethanol, which results in diverting food production to fuel production, causing a world wide increase in food prices and the resulting impact on the worlds very poor. All 2 billion of them.
    -US supreme court say CO2 a pollutant.
    -US EPA to regulate emissions of carbon. End US economy as we know it.
    -Carbon trading, carbon offset schemes. More billions spent, on a fictional product. Widespread corruption.
    -Time. The one thing we can’t get back is time. We could have been building reactors and refineries.

    And you think that the climate scientists haven’t been good at communicating? Look around you. You literally, and the warmists as well, have the deaths of thousands on your hands. Perhaps millions, for we have spent years and incredible amounts of resources on what is a monstrous fraud. We could have spent these vast amounts on something that would have bettered humanity, and not just a small group of climate science rent seekers.

    When in five years the world is noticeably colder, which really isn’t a
    bad bet considering the world’s climate history, the warmists will deserve having all of their funding cut, their tenured positions eliminated, and spending the rest of their lives in civil and criminal court. Ever heard of CYA? You better start documenting your ‘climate science’ now because karma really is, and I hope that you will pardon the profanity, a m***** f*****, not to mention the discovery process. Count on your science being audited, and if a court order is necessary, so be it.

    If I had the money, I’d be suing all of you now. Better hope that I don’t win the lotto.

  283. charlie98 says:

    I find nothing OTT about this. It’s time someone stated the obvious, well done. Sometimes the truth hurts. Too bad.

  284. Neo says:

    The cover up is always worse than the crime.

    ClimateGate was about disclosing the cover up.

  285. John Hewitt says:

    OK I broke my rule and came back – but really the 95% who like the rant are doing “non AGW believers” no good at all. Reasoned argument will win the day because you have to win over a majority in the middle who are not sure.

    If they see “rants” like Willis’s and then look at RC they will not know what to believe. I understand the frustrations, but guys you have to turn the other cheek. Prof. Curry is wrong to put the emphasis on communication but at least engage in a civil dialogue with her. A lot of AGW believers are looking to bail out with minimum loss of face and 95% of you are making it a lot more difficult.

    Enjoy your rants – but it wont advance the downfall of Mann one bit.

  286. Richard Wakefield says:

    Well done, great post and direct to the point. Gloves off.

    The ball is now in the climate scientists’ court to make the next move. How long do we wait Judy?

  287. John Hewitt says:

    PS definitely not coming back!

  288. BROOSE says:

    Willis,

    Excellent write for skeptic side, but am I wrong pointing out that many years back in the ‘darkness’ of climate science didn’t Dr. Curry and another researcher in Georgia first ‘open the door a crack’ to let McIntyre speak at their university….that took real guts at the time in my opinion.

    Also she would lose all support from her ‘peers’ if she grabbed the other end of the stick and would be no use to this skeptical side. Let her keep just opening the door a crack with ‘common sense’ to her RC friends because smashing the door in their face will just get her trashed.

    Spencer and Christy can’t do that kind of work because unfortunately they are ‘skeptical’ outsiders. Just maybe in her ‘quiet’ way she can possibly be trying to convince from within….and that is where the truth will have to emerge.

    I also believe that it is much less a factor of scientists being the problem as opposed to ‘social’ scientists’ – media, journalists, politicians, enviormentalists that our just activists, those in charge of journals and science organizations that cling to management more than being a skeptical physical scientists. You have to agree these people will listen to Judith’s slow conversion process over you ‘hit with a stick approach’, but please continue with well thought out ‘outsider’ perspectives.

    If this is the person who let McIntyre speak years ago, she is light years ahead of the RC crowd.

  289. geronimo says:

    Isotherm:”Before I get totally brainwashed by the overwhelming dismissal of the theory of manmade global warming, can I remind everyone that there is good scientific evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It is therefore logical to expect that an increase in CO2 should lead to an increase in global temperature, and therefore as burning fossil fuel does produce CO2 to go into the atmosphere, and the increase in CO2 appears to have occured in correlation with an increase in global temperature, there is strong circumstantial evidence of a link.”

    It is logical to expect a rise in temperatures as CO2 rises, and the rise in temperatures with the rise in CO2 would be a good place to start, especially as they can only find 50% of the warming through other causes. Trouble is they stopped there. Increases in CO2 should raise the temperature, all other things being equal, so in the absence of any mathematical relationship the best place to look is in the past, just like we do for the Theory of Evolution. However, when you look in the past you find that there is no relationship between CO2 and temperature, there is, however, a relationship between Temperature and CO2, CO2 rises around 1000 years after a rise in temperature.

    OK, let’s look at the present and try to form a relationship based on our observations. Pretty clear correlation between about 1980 and 2000, but, inexcplicably the temperature as near as damn it stops rising while the CO2 goes on rising. Clearly there are forces at work the climatologists don’t understand, instead of admitting to that the persist with the mantra “of the last ten years have been the hottest on record”, yes they have, but by hundredths of a degree.

    In short, unlike the Theory of Evolution, there is nothing in the historical records, and there is nothing in recent observations that would pin the blame for GW on the increase in CO2. Doesn’t say it’s not the cause but it’s really bad science to be definitive that it is the cause.

  290. DBates says:

    Re: “Scientific papers” are larded with “may” and “might” and “could possibly”.

    Yes, yes, and yes!!!! Sites like WUWT have made me aware of that phenomenon in climate change reporting. Nowhere else in the news do we accept a constant stream of uncertainty, even in other sciences like medicine or technology. But in climate science reporting it’s the norm and readers don’t question it. Dig into the IPCC reports and those same phrases are present there as well. That’s shocking to me.

  291. LevelGaze says:

    Some posts have been overly generous to Curry. This is a mistake. She is simply a frightened rat realising the ship is sinking fast, and eyeing a lifeboat for herself.

    Let’s nail ALL of the bas###ds and show no mercy. They plotted to throw us and our grandchildren back to the Dark Ages, and I for one will never forgive them.

  292. Jasper Gee says:

    @IsoTherm (06:50:50)

    Possibly feedback from the resultant changing mix of clouds and water vapour. (Possibly not).

  293. Simon H says:

    Before forgiveness must come repentance.

    What Curry is attempting to communicate is not that climate scientists regret their complicity in breaches of scientific processes, they just regret having been caught.

    If climate scientists were bank robbers, then Curry’s post would be tantamount to a proposal to better case the joint first, wear thicker stockings on their heads and disable the CCTV cameras next time.

    What would have been better received, here, would have been a proposal to move into more legitimate lines of work, to go straight and contribute honestly to society. This sadly is not Curry’s proposal.

  294. Myron Mesecke says:

    This is an important read. Not just for climate scientists but for mankind. Everyone at one time or another embellish their stories or facts to try to impress or bend others to their will. To get that they want. Enlarging a fish story and talking of the one that got away usually does no real harm. No money is involved. No economic changes are made. No government mandates created.

    But science has to peel away this human weakness. Cast off the good story telling. The language of computers are ones and zeros, on or off. Scientists have to be as clear as this. No gray areas, no fudging.

    There are times for tall tales, like around a camp fire. Science is not the time or place. Scientists must not only be honest in the work they do and the papers and statements they make they must also keep a close eye and ear on how their work is used by others. If a reporter or politician misquotes them or stretches the facts then the scientists must loudly speak up and demand a correction.

    Only then will they be trusted.

  295. philincalifornia says:

    Jaye (06:43:49) :
    Great post Willis. Finally, somebody is willing to publicly call out Curry for her disingenuous “out reach” posts.

    Exactly, and why would anyone want to “build a bridge” to these charlatans ?? Replacing them with principled scientists will be far more efficient – and that day is coming.

  296. IsoTherm says:

    TinyCo2 (07:05:06) : IsoTherm (06:50:50) : Nothing wrong with ‘good scientific evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas’. This is not at question. What is an issue, is climate feedback. Positive or negative?

    But, we know that the cyclic changes in the earth’s orbit aren’t sufficient to explain the occurence of the iceages. This suggests that whatever the actual cause, the underlying feedback mechanism tends to exaggerate changes in climate forcing due to changes in solar intensity. By inference this would tend to suggest that any impacts of CO2 would amplified by the climate and result in larger temperature changes than you would expect from the direct influence.

    We did see a sharp rise in temperature in the 1970-2000 period which is coincidental with rises in CO2, and which would suggest that the amplification factor is positive.

  297. Stan says:

    Wow! A very passionate and hard hitting response their, sir – one which I wholeheartedly agree with.

    Except …. it’s not just climate science that will lose public trust, it is science in general. The problem for science in general is that the AGW theory has, by invention, been made very public and the rest of science will be tarred with the same brush.

    The implications for science are enormous and set back the cause for 200 years – or more. Forget “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” or “Chicken Little” – the fairy tale they need to take heed of is “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.

    AGW will not be laid bare by sceptics or proven by models – but by facts, observations and time. So far it’s not looking good.

  298. Brian G Valentine says:

    “Now can anyone tell me where this argument is wrong?”

    Why, sure, Isotherm, glad to oblige, you see, that by looking deeper than the surface of it, there is no physical basis for the correlation between CO2 level and temperature, moreover additional consequences of the possible correlation between the two are neither discussed nor observed, furthermore there are explanations for troposphere temperature variations that do in fact explain the observations, and there is about a billion years of geologic history of the Earth that can be accurately discerned that shows that such a correlation never occurred in the history of the Earth and lack of an explanation of why such a correlation should be observed now.

    Looking deeper than the surface is needed, rather than the psychological tendency to stop looking or bother to look farther when an emotionally satisfying explanation has been reached.

    That’s why, Iso, and I can’t give you a better answer than that. And if you want a better answer, then all I can say is, you probably have ulterior motives for wanting it

  299. aMINO aCIDS iN mETEORITES says:

    Lucy Skywalker (01:23:37) :

    Finally, there are the “Post-normal scientists” who have arrived via a Trojan Horse,

    That sound like a description of Gavin Schmidt.

  300. Mitsouko says:

    My first post here, and thank you to Judith Curry for this (buried amidst the rest of the comments) when she replies

    “I am angry as a scientist, since I may have been using unnecessarily inaccurate surface temperature data in my research. Ecologists, chemical engineers, etc. who have made career decisions in directing their research toward climate change impacts or mitigation have been trusting the system to work. Etc.”

    You should be angry! More of this, please.

    -Mitsouko

  301. MattN says:

    “PS definitely not coming back!”

    Don’t let the door knob hit ya…..

  302. oakgeo says:

    This response by Willis Eschenbach is very forceful and unequivocal, and does a great service by correctly rejecting and then reframing the context that Dr. Curry had presumed in her experimental essay. The climate science pig does not need lipstick, it needs major surgery.

    I only hope that Dr. Curry does not feel burned by his response, or by the vitriol of Romm et.al., and continues her experiment. Because no matter the weakness of her context, the dialogue has taken a step forward merely by her continued willingness to engage skeptics.

  303. davidmhoffer says:

    As an aside, there will likely be many honest researchers and scientists who will be uncomfortable with what I am about to say, but I believe it is accurate.

    History is repleat with examples of powerful institutions funding, twisting and suppressing science for political purposes. The current AGW debate is but the current example. History being something that we are supposed to learn from rather than be condemned to repeat it, what is the lesson that we can take from both history and the matter at hand?

    Theoretical research can only be funded by the public sector. The private sector has no interest in anything that cannot produce an ROI in a respectable period of time. It is vital that we fund theoretical research however, because it is the foundation for revolutionary new practical applications of science. When it comes to the production of practical products however, governments have repeatedly proven themselves to be abysmal failures. Even if one were to accept Al Gore’s argument that he invented the internet, it was the likes of Xerox, 3Com, Digital Equipment, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo, Google, Netscape and many many others that made what we call the internet today, practical.

    The attempt to produce climate models that are of practical use with public funding has resulted in a repitition of history. The funding, twisting, and suppression by political interests is in full flight. The theoretical research must continue. The production of practical products from which results may be drawn belong in the private sector where all the severe penalties for producing faulty or dishonestly represented products are swiftly, and viscously, applied.

  304. Ted Clayton says:

    Hello Dr. Judith Curry,

    He gets a little steamed under the collar about it, and getting steamed can & does lead to general steaminess, which can (dis)serve to obscure, distract, and divert from the intended goal of our efforts.

    But the blunt truth is, Willis Eschenbach’s effort is superior to the effort you made. You made an effort that certainly took bravery – and I see around the blogosphere that you are taking flack from all quarters – but your presentation clearly needed a lot of red-pencil mark-up, and extensive marginal annotation. Escherbach does a pretty thorough job with the red pencil.

    I agree that it really is now out of Science’s hands, how to go forward. Science blew it, and both the power & the authority to call the shots going forward, belongs to constituencies outside the institution. Science can probably be profitably consulted, but they are the ones ‘in violation’, and as such, this is no longer a ‘science problem’, but a societal problem. Science will now answer the questions, “Yes, ma’am; no sir”, provide additional information about the incident, as requested, provide expertise as they are able – but science is really no longer “in charge”. They blew it.

    Science drove their vehicle into the ditch. As a police officer pulls up to the scene, the science-driver hurries to the officer, gesturing and talking rapidly … intent upon relating what has happened, describing what will now be done about it. However, actually, it is the police officer who is now in charge, not the driver.

    Taking the driver gently by the elbow, the officer points to a location on the other side of the ditch, up underneath an interchange street-light: “I want you to get away from the highway, go up there and stand where I can see you clearly, and stay there. You will have an opportunity to make a statement for the report. But right now, you need to get off the road, and stay out of the way. We’re in charge, now. Thank you.”

    The officer then calls into headquarters, making a quick voice-report. HQ then calls for a tow-truck, using their own ‘formula’: the driver generally does not have the opportunity to decide which tow-truck will come for the vehicle, how the cable will be attached to it, or the route the tow-truck will use to return to the tow-yard.

    For the driver to insistently try to “define the situation” for the officer, is inappropriate. The officer can see quite well enough, what has happened, and knows what needs to happen to move forward. For the driver to hurry to the officer, saying; “I’m so glad you’re here! … There was a bee flying around in my car! It might have cause me to collide with other traffic on the road! I barely managed to avoid something much worse …”, may or may not be interest to the judge (or the history books), but certainly, none of that kind of stuff has any bearing on the responsibilities & duties of the attending police officer.

    Science drove into the ditch. The institution is no longer in charge of their oiwn situation. It is now, in all & every pragmatic reality, “the public” who is charge, going forward.

    Ted Clayton

    P.S. Judith, I shouldn’t “have to”, but there are recurring signs that we do have to remind, that neither our nation nor our culture is a “Scientocracy”. It does not matter, that individual science professionals and institutional science bodies possess superior understanding on specific topics: nonetheless, they are not in charge. Whatever the issue of interest, it is not science’s role, to make the decisions respecting it. We are not a scientocracy, never have been, and I think it is safe to assert, never will be. This is an important ‘point of order’ that may slip from view, for some folks, in some situations.

  305. Corey Trench says:

    Great read. Thanks Willis!

    True passion brings out some penetrating analysis and terrific writing.

  306. Mark Sawusch says:

    Willis Eschenbach for President 2012!

  307. Henry Pool says:

    Ok, let us leave politics out of this guys. I am sure your president is a clever guy who will figure this still out. We were all victims of the brainwashing that was going on, myself included. Before I decided to make sure for myself, I was convinced CO2 was a problem. At this stage I even doubt that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Nobody has been able to show me a balance sheet, i.e. how much cooling is caused by CO2 (due to reflection of sunshine resulting from the absorptions in the range 0-5um,) and how much warming is caused by CO2 (due to the reflection of earthshine in the 14-15 um range)

  308. IsoTherm says:

    Brian G Valentine, the greenhouse effect of CO2 is real and compelling. So too are the other factors you refer to. I’m not sure about your comments on the troposphere, but I assume you refer to the natural variation in the climate and the CO2 lag with temperature in the ice cores. That is quite a difficult point.

    However, on the “normal” temperature variation, how do we know what it is? The best proxy we have is from tree rings, and whilst a range of reconstructions have been produced, they typically do suggest that the change in the 20th century was unprecendented.

    An unprecendented change in temperature at the same time as an unprecedented (post ice-age … I may be wrong) change in CO2, would be strong circumstantial evidence of a link.

  309. Sean Peake says:

    Judith Curry (04:34:45) :
    “So by staking this middle position, i pretty much am getting tomatoes thrown at me from both sides”

    Be thankful that watermelons are out of season (h/t to Groucho) because RC would be launching them at you with catapults. Here, our arms tire easily.

  310. Brian G Valentine says:

    What evidence is there to support AGW?

    Plenty of pictures of apparently sorrowful Polar Bears, and, and, … ,

    … and, lots of stuff, it doesn’t come to mind right now what it is, but there’s lots more, lots of it.

  311. davidmhoffer says:

    Brian G Valentine to Isotherm;
    That’s why, Iso, and I can’t give you a better answer than that. And if you want a better answer, then all I can say is, you probably have ulterior motives for wanting it>>

    I shall give Isotherm the benifit of the doubtm because the simple explanation of CO2 as a greenhouse gas by sources such as Wikipedia are not incorrect, so they make sense. The problem Isotherm, is that these explanations are incomplete.

    As Wikipedia claims, CO2 absorbs longwave radiation and re-emitts it. True. But when ANYTHING absorbs energy and becomes warmer than the things around it, it causes energy to be moved around, not just by radiance, but by conductance, convection, evaporation and so on. The spectrum that re-emmission occurs at is different from the spectrum that the earth emitts. and so on. The explanation isn’t wrong, its incomplete. Models based on the incomplete explanation produce results that are wrong, and the more data we get the more wrong they are.

  312. Imran says:

    …….. AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE !

  313. Jack Hughes says:

    Way to go, Willis.

    Don’t pull your punches.

  314. Doug S says:

    Well done Willis, the ring of truth in your post is unmistakable. In fact, what you have done here with the help of modern communications (Internet) is to confirm that freedom is alive and well despite the best efforts of fascism to enslave the entire world. This whole AGW debate is not about science at all in my opinion. It is about political power and an effort by progressive socialists, green party devotees, decedents of the flower power generation and common run of the mill snake oil salesmen to selfishly get their fantasies fulfilled.

    My prediction is a tsunami of public outrage is coming and will bring a major political defeat to the perpetrators of this AGW crime against the people of this world. We’re in the stage of the tsunami now where the water has receded from the beach and things appear to be relatively calm. Time to head to higher ground.

  315. Richard says:

    Lets cut to the chase. How can you rebuild trust?

    You could –

    If you frankly admitted that Mann and the team are fraudsters. The very antithesis of what science and the scientific method stands for.

    If you admitted that Briffa’s papers, and all such papers published post facto, to prop up the unscientific and fraudulent hockey stick abomination, are a load of junk.

    If you didnt try and run down people who discovered and exposed flaws in scientific papers as mere “auditors”, far below the self-proclaimed high priests of science – the climate “scientists”.

    If you recognised that an argument rests on its own merits and not on the qualifications or profession of its propounder.

    If you confessed, like scientists and other people even wiser than yourself, that you do not know much about how our climate works, and in fact that you do not even know, what you do not know.

    If you could do that, yours would be the respect of the scientific community and the greater glory in posterity, and what is more, you would be a man, (or woman in this case), my friend.

  316. Mari Warcwm says:

    IsoTherm (06.50.50)

    Try C02 Science, which explains how C02 works. I have done a lot of reading on the subject of how C02 interacts with infra red rays caused by the sun warming the Earth’s surface. Put very simply, it seems that CO2 has a very limited ability to create warming

    The first 20 parts per million (we are currently at 388 parts per million by volume of C02 in the atmosphere) – the first 20ppmv of CO2 takes up most of the narrow bands of infra red rays available.There is no more warming to be had, even if you doubled C02, took it to 1,000ppmv. It would simply make plants grow like topsy.

    You should also know that water vapour is a much more important greenhouse gas by far, accounting for (depending on who you read) between 80 and 95% of the warming of greenhouse gases. C02 is only 0.038% of the atmosphere. It is a trace gas.

    C02 has been much higher in the past. Did you ever wonder why dinasaurs got to be so big and those huge ferns they lived on so vast? There were huge amounts of C02. There was no dangerous runaway global warming. Life thrived.

    I hope that this reassures you, and I think I’ve got it right. There are some damned clever chaps on this site who I’m sure could explain it more clearly, but they may be too busy to answer you.

    Something like that.

  317. Richard says:

    Could you recover my post please

  318. NickB. says:

    IsoTherm (07:34:15)
    We did see a sharp rise in temperature in the 1970-2000 period which is coincidental with rises in CO2, and which would suggest that the amplification factor is positive.

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but as far as I’m concerned that is an argumentum ad ignorantiam

    Take a look at the NOAA temperature record – http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov/2009/articles/climate-change-global-temperature

    1910-1945… now *that* was just natural variability, but 1970-2000… *that* is AGW.

    I think there is an argument to be made for CO2 having some effect on temperature but it has never been demonstrated in real world climate observations except through various argumentum ad ignorantiam (i.e. there is no other way to explain X without AGW, so therefore AGW is proven unless someone can prove something else explains it)

    That’s the real logical trap here, one which Economists are always at risk of catching themselves in… what you can demonstrate in a micro/lab/closed environment is often just noise on the macro/wild/open environment. When you hear an Economist or a Climatologist start an explanation of a causal relationship with predictive value with “it’s simple…”, more often than naught they are about to blow smoke in your face. Simplicity in complex systems is never quite so simple

  319. JonesII says:

    Magnificent post Willis. We adhere totally to it. No more words needed.

  320. Robert says:

    I applaud you.
    These are my thoughts exactly too!

  321. Jeremy says:

    Judith’s arm-plus-cane-length attempts at extending out a “handshake” to the skeptic community have always bothered me, and Willis does a great job of explaining why. Her attempts, while commendable, only reveal that her understanding of the real situation is limited by her own unwillingness to accept any responsibility (not that she specifically should be blamed).

    It’s so frustrating to accept any sort of apology from someone in this fashion. It’s not unlike a situation where an acquaintance of yours humiliates you in front of peers when you show up for your first day at a new school, and then in trying to mend things says, “ah, I’m sorry you don’t trust me.” It completely misses the point and avoids responsibility for what was done.

    It may be that Climate Science, as a community, is so far off course in terms of scientific conduct that they are unable to even recognize the direction they should be heading in. If Dr Curry, after numerous attempts to “build a bridge” still can’t see what the core problems are what hope do any of the more renowned warmist climate scientists have? Willis wasn’t kidding when he said there’s a long road to be traveled in fixing this.

  322. Robinson says:

    But no one person can sort through everything, so we have to trust the process and institutions of science to support the scientific progress. When these are no longer working, we are all in trouble.

    This doesn’t make any sense to me at all. The institutions exist to study the very problem they promote. No problem, no money, no institution. How can you reform an institution in such a way that it eventually gets rid of its very reason for existing? You can’t! No amount of arm waving by Dr Curry can change that fact.

  323. JMANON says:

    I must add that I agree thoroughly with what Willis has said.
    I cannot agree that Judith should be given some slack or credit for having stepped off her pedestal.
    This article was not an act of contrition nor an admission of wrong doing or false science.
    As Willis pointed out, it isn’t about how to package the AGW myth but about presenting the truth.
    It is evident that she believes (belief beingthe operative word) in AGW.
    This is, in her words an experiment, an attempt to try and tackle the problem of non-blief through the blogs.
    In other wordss, she is trying to make a start on deconstucting the sceptics.
    She desreves no credit for that at all.
    This is a typical reaction we can see elsewhere… they don’t believe us, lets see if we can find a way to make them believe or to take out the leading non-belivers.
    With some it is an attamep to recover some credibility without actually crossing over the fence.
    Some points already made by others is that wwhile the medical profession has a oath and an ethics committee (for what good it does), general science has niether.
    I believe scientists should never be advocates and should always try to report in objective and non-emotive manner.
    It is not the business of scientists to be advocates.
    In policy making scenarios, they must more than ever be seeen as impartial unemotional accurate honest and trustworthy.
    Policy is decided by politicians who are informed by scientists.
    Whether the science is right or wrong, as a scientist, they should allow the politicians to make policy. Politicinas are, in theory, accountable to an electorate which niether the scientists nor the IPCC is.
    When they take on an advocay role they usurp the democtartic process.
    If they say “these are the facts and the world will end tommorow.” the people have the right to say “Bring it on.” It is not for the scientists to say “No, you must do this.” no matter how much, as indivisuals and not scientists, they may wish to say so.
    Informing policy makers they should be saying:
    “These are the observations.”
    “This is what we think they mean.”
    “These are the possible consequences.”
    “Here are allof the things you can do and what might happen if you do it.”

  324. Indiana Bones says:

    Again for the Record:

    “I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of the Monolithic Climate Denial Machine.”

    However, should I choose to be, where does one sign up?

  325. hippie longstocking says:

    Said with Kelso-like fervor: “BURNED!!!”

    This was as well written a response as anyone could have done. Willis, you have once again cut through the garbage and broke the entire issue down to how the majority of us in the skeptic camp feel. We don’t know much about the climate’s drivers and forcings, so everyone should just take a deep breath, collect as much (and as reliable) data as possible (without the current automatic introduction of bias) and follow the scientific method to make sense of the collected empirical data. Abandon the models that are inevitably bound by GIGO and have been PROVEN wrong already. Be transparent. Share source data, methods and results with all for confirmation, rebuttal or invalidation.
    Unless and until all of those things are done, we will never have any reasonable idea of what is happening, what has happened on and what MAY happen in the future. And you know what? If the answer to what may happen in the future is honestly “We may never know” than I am OK with that, too.

  326. JMANON says:

    I must add that I agree thoroughly with what Willis has said.
    I cannot agree that Judith should be given some slack or credit for having stepped off her pedestal.
    This article was not an act of contrition nor an admission of wrong doing or false science.
    As Willis pointed out, it isn’t about how to package the AGW myth but about presenting the truth.
    It is evident that she believes (belief beingthe operative word) in AGW.
    This is, in her words an experiment, an attempt to try and tackle the problem of non-blief through the blogs.
    In other wordss, she is trying to make a start on deconstucting the sceptics.
    She desreves no credit for that at all.
    This is a typical reaction we can see elsewhere… they don’t believe us, lets see if we can find a way to make them believe or to take out the leading non-belivers.
    With some it is an attamep to recover some credibility without actually crossing over the fence.
    Some points already made by others is that wwhile the medical profession has a oath and an ethics committee (for what good it does), general science has niether.
    I believe scientists should never be advocates and should always try to report in objective and non-emotive manner.
    It is not the business of scientists to be advocates.
    In policy making scenarios, they must more than ever be seeen as impartial unemotional accurate honest and trustworthy.
    Policy is decided by politicians who are informed by scientists.
    Whether the science is right or wrong, as a scientist, they should allow the politicians to make policy. Politicinas are, in theory, accountable to an electorate which niether the scientists nor the IPCC is.
    When they take on an advocay role they usurp the democtartic process.
    If they say “these are the facts and the world will end tommorow.” the people have the right to say “Bring it on.” It is not for the scientists to say “No, you must do this.” no matter how much, as indivisuals and not scientists, they may wish to say so.
    Informing policy makers they should be saying:
    “These are the observations.”
    “This is what we think they mean.”
    “These are all the possible consequences we have been able to identify.”
    “Here are all of the things you can do and what might happen if you do it.”
    Then the politicians can make policy.
    Doctoring the data, using emotive language (Obama’s advisor wants to rename “Climate Change” as “Climate disruption” because he doesn’t think the current name emotive enough) isn’t acceptable. It means that a small elite group of people think their knowledge gives them the right to dictate the lives of millions. Their role is to inform thosee millions and accept their c ollective will.

  327. Murray says:

    Willis, you could be so much more effective if you could just learn to express yourself. (<:

  328. kadaka says:

    A rather balanced piece on Reuters AlertNet, far different from what we’ve come to expect:

    ANALYSIS-Scientists examine causes for lull in warming

    Not perfect, but better than MSM normal, and coming from AlertNet to boot. Is this progress?

    Interesting highlights. Note the nuances, and the absolute clunkers:

    (…)
    “There is a lack of consensus,” said Kevin Trenberth, head of the Climate Analysis Section at the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research, on why global temperatures have not matched a peak set in 1998, or in 2005 according to one U.S. analysis.
    (…)
    The decade 2000-2009 was the hottest since 1850 as a result of warming through the 1980s and 1990s which has since peaked, says the World Meteorological Organisation.

    British Hadley Centre scientists said last year that there was no warming from 1999-2008, after allowing for extreme, natural weather patterns. Temperatures should have risen by a widely estimated 0.2 degrees Centigrade, given a build up of manmade greenhouse gases.

    “Solar might be one part of it,” said the Hadley’s Jeff Knight, adding that changes in the way data was gathered could be a factor, as well as shifts in the heat stored by oceans.
    (…)
    Melting Arctic ice was evidence for continuing change, regardless of observed temperatures, said Stein Sandven, head of the Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center in Norway.

    “The long-term change for the Arctic sea ice has been very consistent. It shows a decline over these (past) three decades especially in the summer. In the past 3-4 years Arctic sea ice has been below the average for the last 30 years.”

    Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the IPCC, told Reuters that the IPCC stood by its 2007 findings that it is more than 90 percent certain that human activities are the main cause of global warming in the past 50 years.

    “I think the findings are overall very robust. We’ve made one stupid error on the Himalayan glaciers. I think that there is otherwise so much solid science.” The IPCC wrongly predicted that Himalayan glaciers could vanish by 2035.
    (…)
    Pachauri said that scientists had to unpick manmade global warming from natural influences — such as the sun and cyclical weather patterns — also dubbed “natural variability”.

    I love the last one. Unpick? Does that mean un-isolate the “anthropogenic” part of global warming, if they can legitimately find it, so they can ignore it and just have their global carbon schemes to control ALL warming?

  329. IsoTherm says:

    (Sorry if anyone can’t guess I’m a sceptic playing trying to put the global warming case, because only by open debate can we ensure our arguments are valid)

    DavidMHoffer: “True. But when ANYTHING absorbs energy and becomes warmer than the things around it, it causes energy to be moved around, not just by radiance, but by conductance, convection, evaporation and so on. The spectrum that re-emmission occurs at is different from the spectrum that the earth emitts. and so on. The explanation isn’t wrong, its incomplete.”

    David: superb response and it’s checkmate a lot quicker than I thought. OK, I’m a little rusty with the arguments of a global warmer – but well done!

    From memory if you hadn’t played such a clincher the normal next move is the “it’s been warmer in the last decade than its ever been before”.

    To which I normal play: “but it’s currently cooling”.

    The response is then “but the trend this century is up” … the ice sheets are melting, the glaciers disappearing, sea level rising.

    To which I play: “you always get to the top of the hill before it goes down”. There’s also the Antartic icesheet response, and questionning how the sea levels are measured.

    Then at some point as they realise they have lost, they call to the precautionary principle. To which there is the Lord Monckton response of DDT and being a scientist means being precautionary.

  330. Brian G Valentine says:

    “The best proxy we have is from tree rings, and whilst a range of reconstructions have been produced, they typically do suggest that the change in the 20th century was unprecendented.”

    Isotherm that is crazy, that is as silly as saying that the best proxy we have for rainfall over the past 100 years is tree rings, the tree rings are dependent on every variable thing of the tree’s environment that influenced tree’s growth, the true interpretation of the tree rings demonstrates that there is as much variability of the tree rings as variability of the weather, in other words chaotic, there is [by definition] no means of extracting unique dependency of single variable influence from data demonstrated to be chaotic

    Isotherm you must know by now that anyone can trash your suggestions in ten seconds or less, why are you trolling?

    If your real question is, “why not be a watermelon, I think its a good idea?” then no one here or anywhere else can answer that for you, the answer has to come from you not us

  331. Kum Dollison says:

    John Sutherland –

    When Are you going to

    When Is you going to

    You figure it out.

    Maybe it should just be, “When will you”

  332. Jeff B. says:

    Bingo. Climate science, like academia and public sector work, had suddenly become lucrative and respected, but without objective value or merit.

    It is our duty to call out a lack of value when we see it, to bring truth and rationality back to science and debate. To bring fiscal restraint back to an out of control, entitlement mindset. To stop hysteria. To shut up Al Gore, who even despite all that has transpired, was just this week out lying and blabbering and setting Judith and any purportedly real scientists back another light year.

    Willis is right. Judith Curry has no idea how long the road ahead lies.

  333. Marx Hugoson says:

    Willis Eschenbach
    Willis, I have a prima facia evidence of the “decline” in “true science”, which ANyONE can do in minutes. Simply go to the American Meteorological Society website. Put in Atmospheric Radiation in the search engine. You will find papers dating back to the ’30′s.

    I have about 100 of them downloaded.

    Look at the “tone”, the conclusions, the motivations, and it is painfully “transparent” the shift that occurs from about the mid ’80′s onward.

    Just about the time that the 60′s “radicals” came of age to start publishing. Objectivity starts being thrown to the side. The language in the technical papers becomes LOADED. Continuous reference to “Greenhouse gasses” (a complete Oxy Moron, and pointed out in many ’50′s,’ 60′s, up to ’70′s Meteorology texts as being untrue..unconnected and not a sensible term, AKA Dr. Robert Wood’s 1909 experiment with two solar collector boxes…one covered with glass, one with rock salt…they equilibrate to the same temperatures in the same solar exposure. Proper term to use – Atmospheric effect), continuous BOWING to “Global Warming” (I.e., a study of the connection of ??? to XXXX which in turn contributes to AGW..)

    It is very obvious there is a “paradigm” which is controlling the so called “scientists”, and it isn’t objective science. It is advocacy.

    I reminded of the “speed of the deer fly” problem. Someone made a mistake of putting into the Encyclopedia Britanica years ago, that it was one of the fastest moving insects, at about 150 feet per SECOND. It was supposed to be per MINUTE. That error propagated and was cited for YEARS blindly until finally someone stood up and said, “That’s almost 120 Miles Per Hour, and that is patent nonsense, this is a mistake.” (There are some articles on this available.) It is an excellent example of what happens when “science” is discarded and “belief” sets in.

    I go to my Church to practice my “beliefs”. (Faith, hope, love…against which there is no law…) However, when I read my technical papers, I practice having my “brain on”, and everything is viewed through a “critical” lens.

    Max

  334. Jryan says:

    Judith Curry – “So by staking this middle position, i pretty much am getting tomatoes thrown at me from both sides, but I am hoping to provoke both sides to think about productive ways of moving forward in getting climate science back on track.”

    Here is the problem, as I see it, Judith.. take it as you will.

    Climate Audit, and WUWT ARE the middle ground. McIntyre, Watts, and many others have always declared themselves “Agnostics” on this subject. All they have cared about was the science. It doesn’t get more middle ground than that.

    Taking a middle ground between Climateaudit and Realclimate still puts you on the wrong side of the line. Come join us at the middle ground and accept that the crux of our argument — that the study of climate science has long since been subjugated to the advocacy of climate policy — has been correct all along.

    Old habits die hard, but there are a few climate scientists that have been on the wrong side that I still think can be productive in the process of rebuilding the discipline. Mann, Jones, Hanson and Schmidt are too far gone to be salvageable at this point. But there has always been a good deal of respect for you on this side of the debate because you do step up and tell it like you see it.. and the CRU emails do show a precious few who, if not open about it, did try to steer the lunacy back toward sanity.. albeit unsuccessfully.

    Everything must start from scratch. All assumptions must be reset. Unfortunately the advocacy-as-science movement has catastrophically poisoned the well, and there are too many citizens paying millions in carbon credits, and news agencies like the BBC now heavily invested in a green movement built on a house of cards that you will find great resistance once you are here in the middle ground.

    But you know what? Welcome to our world, Judith. Welcome to our world.

  335. Dorian Sabaz says:

    Bravo! Bravo! Bravo!

    [snip]

  336. Luis, (02:34:33)

    When I read contributions like yours (and there are others that are roughly related to it in various threads) my immediate reaction is to suggest that you sit in front of your computer, download some climate time series from a source that you regard as being reliable, and analyse them very carefully for yourself. You may find this difficult if you have never previously used statistical methods to examine real world data. I have no idea at all of your scientific background. However, it is useful to consider working in an industrial context, where the penalties (or if you like, “comeuppance”) for making mistakes of commission or omission are financially costly /at a personal level/.

    If your prior experience of crucial data analysis is in academia you may have been isolated from pressures of this sort, but let me assure you that they are very real to people (such as Steve McIntyre) whose position depends or depended on getting things right. If you read Climate Audit you will see what diligent analysis is all about.

    Scientific work that “informs” political agendas on a global scale must surely be subject to the greatest possible scrutiny, including provisions for such things as strict liability for proven errors. The latter may sound harsh and indeed it is not intended as more than a suggestion, but one must keep in mind the consequences of self-centred analyses on global affairs. Intended publications that are less than transparently honest should, I think, be eschewed by editors, whatever the opinions of reviewers, who may well be closely associated with the authors’ viewpoint. We have recently learned that the term “independent reviewer” may be an oxymoron in the context of climate science.

    I have yet to learn of a case of authors of a discredited or erroneous paper in an academic journal who have incurred this sort of discipline. Correct me if I’m wrong about this. I would be interested in specific examples if you have any.

    Robin.

  337. Steve Keohane says:

    Thanks Willis, for a great articulation. This gives voice to so much, reiterated above and in Dr. Curry’s post. I would like to believe she has integrity and honest skepticism. If she does, then she has a wealth of input. Only the future will reveal where she really stands by what she does. Talk or communication is not the issue. The CAWG camp has had all the funding and ‘peer review’ bent to their favor, and the deeper one looks, the closer its basis approaches zero. The only one now on the verge of taking the only appropriate action is Mr. Watts. The basis of all the hysteria is the temperature records, and the mangling that data set has been through. This data set has to be rectified or lacking that ability, tossed out, and begun anew from 1979. There exists no basis for throwing the wrench of CAGW into the global economy with the tenuous data that we have.

  338. intrepid_wanders says:

    Judith Curry (04:34:45) :
    First, i did not use or intend to use the “d” word in a pejorative way; my main motive in using the word at all was to differentiate what was going on in the technical blogs from what is very commonly referred to as the “d” machine. I would have thought the community here would have appreciated that point; i guess not.

    Dr. Curry, “technical blogs”? Is the “”d” word” technical terminology?

    I suggest if you are serious about restoring the science, you are going to have to take a leadership role and lead by the example for science you wish to be ambassador of. Stumbling over words such as this is not going to doing anything except incite further “discussions”.

    A third point, in my reference to realclimate, i was referring to scientists putting themselves out there in the blogosphere. And I then stated that they should participate in open debate. I haven’t tried to post anything at realclimate in several years, but my name has not been mentioned over there since climategate broke, they are reading what i write in the blogosphere but wish i would stop. I am not going out of my way to say anything nice about realclimate.

    I may have my issues with RC, but in the essay II you mention climateprogress, which I have serious issues with (as you may feel similar since they do not find your advocacy to be true to “the faith”).

    Again, feel free to set the records straight, speak out against these things you find detestable as a scientist, maybe then others will listen.

  339. JLKrueger says:

    Methinks this comment by Judith should get elevated to the top of the heap so that the trolls see how she viewed Willis’ post and that the skeptics see that she is indeed “listening.”

    Judith Curry (04:34:45) :
    Willis, thanks for your very thoughtful post. I would also like to thank all the people that sent very thoughtful essays to me by email. I am listening. I would first try to clarify a few misinterpretations of the words i used.

    First, i did not use or intend to use the “d” word in a pejorative way; my main motive in using the word at all was to differentiate what was going on in the technical blogs from what is very commonly referred to as the “d” machine. I would have thought the community here would have appreciated that point; i guess not

    A second point, re the communication paragraph, it should have said the “truth” as IPCC sees it.

    A third point, in my reference to realclimate, i was referring to scientists putting themselves out there in the blogosphere. And I then stated that they should participate in open debate. I haven’t tried to post anything at realclimate in several years, but my name has not been mentioned over there since climategate broke, they are reading what i write in the blogosphere but wish i would stop. I am not going out of my way to say anything nice about realclimate.

    With regards to “trust”, I am not talking about smooth talking snake oil “trust”, but the real thing based on the scientific method, transparency etc etc I have written other essays on this. But no one person can sort through everything, so we have to trust the process and institutions of science to support the scientific progress. When these are no longer working, we are all in trouble. I am angry as a scientist, since I may have been using unnecessarily inaccurate surface temperature data in my research. Ecologists, chemical engineers, etc. who have made career decisions in directing their research toward climate change impacts or mitigation have been trusting the system to work. Etc.

    So by staking this middle position, i pretty much am getting tomatoes thrown at me from both sides, but I am hoping to provoke both sides to think about productive ways of moving forward in getting climate science back on track.

    Thoughtful responses such as Willis’ are much more helpful in this regard than focusing on the “d” word.

  340. IsoTherm says:

    Robinson. “This doesn’t make any sense to me at all. The institutions exist to study the very problem they promote. No problem, no money, no institution.”

    I think that Dr Curry was trying to suggest that we should support those who endevour to investigate the subject because they are for the most part conviction (no pun) scientists and they are trying their best. You could argue that all institutions are in it for the money, and should they ever solve the problem they are tasked with then they would not exist. That would be true of the police as much as climate “scientists”.

    From her perspective, knowing these people she sees people are not motivated by money but by their love of the subject and such accusations as “they are in it for the money” won’t gell with the reality of her own experience of people she thinks could get a lot more money in other areas (I think that’s true in the US — certainly UK scientists aren’t well paid)

  341. Pascvaks says:

    Ref – Judith Curry (04:34:45) :

    “Willis, thanks… I am listening… a few misinterpretations of the words i used… First, i did not use or intend to use the “d” word in a pejorative way… I would have thought the community here would have appreciated that point; i guess not… second… re the communication paragraph, it should have said the “truth” as IPCC sees it… third… realclimate, i… stated that they should participate in open debate… name has not been mentioned over there since climategate broke, they are reading what i write in the blogosphere but wish i would stop… With regards to “trust”… the real thing based on the scientific method, transparency etc… I am angry as a scientist, since I may have been using unnecessarily inaccurate surface temperature data in my research… i’m pretty much am getting tomatoes thrown at me from both sides… I am hoping to provoke both sides to think about productive ways of moving forward in getting climate science back on track…”
    _______________________

    Doctor Curry – you are on the right track. I’m sure that you have gained (and regained) many admirers and supporters as a result of putting yourself out in harm’s way like this. I aplaud your courage and determination. If you were not already aware of it, comments here often contain a bit of adrenolin. For my money, you came, you saw, you conquered; please return often.

  342. Thanks, Willis. From this day forward, I’m going to carry a copy of your excellent dissertation with me wherever I go! Best Wishes, Bob.

  343. BarryW says:

    IsoTherm (06:50:50) :

    Let me give you an analogy. Your core body temp is about 98.6degF. Put on thermal underwear (analogous to added CO2 “heat trapping”). Does you body temp go up? No, other processes cause your body temp to stay stable. Is the same true of the earth’s body temp? No one knows but the converse is also true the more likely situation is that the feedbacks will cause the climate to remain stable.

  344. JLKrueger says:

    IsoTherm (08:19:39) :

    (Sorry if anyone can’t guess I’m a sceptic playing trying to put the global warming case, because only by open debate can we ensure our arguments are valid)

    Perhaps you should have mde this disclaimer sooner. We’ve suddenly got a lot of newcommers here who perhaps haven’t seen some of your other posts.

  345. red432 says:

    “Science” itself will suffer, and maybe it should.

    In “Computer Science” I’ve seen a lot of careful hard working researchers either quit or be ejected from the world of academia, and a lot of smoke and mirror magicians climb on up the ladder. I remember one really good guy who was about to lose a tenure battle explain to me “you see, you can’t do really original research and produce more than one or two papers a year — the only alternative is to fake it and I don’t want to do that.” The system is inherently corrupt. The people who make the wildest claims will get the funding and the people who grant the funding will declare the results “successful” because if they didn’t they would look stupid.

    In “climate science” there are a whole caste of people who will have to find other jobs with some embarassing entries on there resumes if it turns out carbon emissions don’t actually need to be mitigated. Don’t expect them to be friendly and rational towards “deniers.”

    The question is: how do you reform the system to prevent corruption?

    btw: a quiet joke among “computer scientists” is: anything that has to call itself a “science” isn’t one. Political science, climate science, behavioral science, computer science…

  346. Vincent says:

    John Hewit,

    “If they see “rants” like Willis’s and then look at RC they will not know what to believe”

    The problem is, the rant is in the eye of the beholder. I mean, one mans rant is another mans passionate plea.

    To me, Willis has written one of the most convincing and passionate essays I have read in recent years. Why? Because it is driven by deeply held sincere beliefs, and from the righteous indignation over the abuse of a cherished principal. It sweeps aside lofty rhetoric and high philosophical discourse in favour of simple yet graphic language.

    Look at some of the greatest speeches in history, and they all have these elements – simple prose, graphic representation and passionate delivery. When we read such speeches people say things like “the writer has found his voice.” And so it is here. If it was edited down it could stand as one of the grreatest speeches so far in this, admittedly short, century.

    Willis has found his voice.

  347. Nick Harding says:

    “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?”
    ~Phil Jones to Warwick Hughes.

    Put me on notice that the “consensus” on man made climate change was so much compost. That statement converted me from believer to skeptic.

    As a new skeptic I had to read what was available and be convinced. As a skeptic who tries environmental cases for a living which require the review of technical matters, the examination of the engineering or scientific literature the task did not appear daunting. I have come to understand “experts” and their “opinions” and how to review them with a skeptical eye.

    Review of the science made me a denier as to man made.

    Thank you M&M, Anthony Watts, Richard Lindzen, John Christy, Steve Mosher, Lord Monckton, Ian Plimer, et al., for your help.

    Thank you Michael Mann et al, Phil Jones et al, IPCC and the rest of the hockey team for your help. I read your stuff as well.

    Thank you Vaclav Klaus, Michael Crichton, Bjorn Lomborg, Willis Eschenbach, and to all that have contributed to this website and climateaudit.org, et al for your help.

    If you don’t share your computer code, or your unadjusted raw data, or split samples of cores you are running a con, not doing science. If your friends don’t share computer code, or unadjusted raw data, or split samples of cores they are running a con and not doing science and you should call them on it.

    Bernie Madoff ran a con; he did not share his computer code, or participate in or allow due diligence by his investors. If investors asked for due diligence it was denied. Skeptical investors then refused to invest. Those who trusted invested. Madoff sold on the “trust me I know what I’m doing” platform. Some will always buy from the “trust me” sellers. Did McIntyre say: if global warming were a security you would not buy it for lack of disclosure? Or was that Phil Jones?

    If man made climate change science needs a “trust me” platform, it is not science. Each scientist should be able to follow Lord Monkton’s lead and provide proof to all. Ian Plimer does that very well in his book.

    Thank you to whoever released those e-mails and computer code.

    Thank you to the parties that have filed petitions for rehearing on the EPA’s endangerment finding, and thank you in advance for carrying on that fight to the court of appeals as I suspect the EPA will deny rehearing.

  348. son of mulder says:

    Brilliant post. The sceptic manifesto.

  349. Terry says:

    Excellent comments

    What we are up against In relation to “To Big to Fail” and getting the truth into MSM.

    1) Wall St. is a signifigant contributor to the campagn funds of the candidates and members of both parties in the congress and the senate. (not to mention the President)

    2} What is the exposure of Goldman Sachs to the immediate failure of the Carbon Trading Market not to mention the possible future $Trillions?? loss of future profits. (or the losses of politions, public figures, private investors, pension funds etc. already invested in the market)

  350. OceanTwo says:

    Dave Williams (03:20:26) :

    Wow, I put my first posting on this site and now I’m ready to leave forever.

    Name-calling, insults, pottymouth and everything that I’m NOT looking for in a site that I thought was about science is missing here… at least on this particular topic.

    Seriously, couldn’t it be that there is some credibility to the AGW theory as well as the “it is all natural” camp? Humans are modifying the face of the earth, pumping enormous amounts of various chemicals (some more harmful than others) and many seem not willing to accept any responsibility whatsoever for the impact that humans are probably having on the earth.

    I can only say how unimpressed I am by the closemindedness exhibited thus far. It’s like listening to Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory… geez.

    You have missed the point. I don’t see a lot of name calling outside the fact that we are talking about credibility – again, the point of the commentary.

    But also we aren’t talking about ‘toxins’ when we are debating global warming, specifically CO2 driven. This specific commentary is on credibility and the scientific principle which have been abused by those pushing global warming. The mechanics of AGW are discussed in many places on this site, this is part of the socio-political argument which AGW has become, and is raised every time any AGW advocate states that anyone against AGW is a ‘denier’ and in the pay of ‘big oil’.

    No-one denies that humans are consumers, but far too much energy (sic) and money is expended in trying to prove AGW that the real addressable problems are being ignored.

  351. hotrod ( Larry L ) says:

    Thanks! Willis well said.
    I would happily sign that as an open letter to the climate research community.

    Larry

  352. BL says:

    Great piece and spot on!!

    Looks like China sees the picture better than the West:
    http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=42301

    When cold weather starts taking out all the crops in the NH corridor, looks like they will be well prepared to take over.

  353. Joe says:

    Governments embrace the IPCC reports only for the fact that the true science would wreck economies far worse than right now.

    Our society has developed a word for people who have pure physical evidence to the alternative “crack-pot” when they even hint at the word “Ice Age”.

  354. Smokey says:

    IsoTherm (06:50:50),

    Yes, CO2 is a so-called “greenhouse gas” that raises the temperature. The question is: how much does it raise the temperature? The alarmists claim the rise in temperature will cause climate catastrophe. But the planet’s response to CO2 shows that any rise in temps is insignificant.

    The IPCC says the planet will warm at up to 4.5°C per doubling of CO2, or even more [they have to give a preposterously high number, because otherwise there is no cause for alarm].

    But CO2′s effect is logarithmic. Almost all of the warming produced by CO2 occurs within the first 20 ppm: click

    Warming is also a function of the persistence of a newly emitted CO2 molecule into the atmosphere, before it is re-absorbed.

    If the residence time of a CO2 molecule is a century or more [as is baselessly claimed by the IPCC], CO2 would have a much greater effect than if the same molecule were re-absorbed within only ten years: click

    The CO2 residence time is related to the climate sensitivity number: the increase in temperature resulting from a doubling of CO2 from pre-industrial levels [a number with very large error bars] is a function of the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    The CO2 residence time is short. This was empirically demonstrated by physically monitoring the cloud of carbon isotopes resulting from the South Pacific atomic bomb tests, which showed the residence time for CO2 is well under 10 years.

    The physics of CO2 causing global warming is sound, as far as it goes. But its effect is wildly exaggerated. There is much we don’t know about the climate, and much that is not taken into consideration: what is the effect of cloud cover? And since CO2 is plant food, what is the effect of the additional uptake by plants? click. We already know that the U.S. is a net CO2 sink due to the rapid increase in forest cover over the past century. And why does longwave radiation, presumably emitted due to CO2, have apparently no correlation to global temperature? click

    The climate alarmists make the claim that the recent increase in CO2 is entirely the result of human activity. But only a very tiny amount of the planet’s total CO2 emission results from human activity: click. Over 96% of the recent rapid rise in CO2 is the result of natural factors, such as out-gassing from CO2 stored in the deep ocean during the MWP.

    The assumptions that go into the models are wildly exaggerated. The IPCC’s political appointees claim a sensitivity of 4.5C, while Prof Richard Lindzen and many others show the sensitivity to be around 0.5. Anything at or below 1.0 is insignificant, and can be disregarded.

    If the climate’s sensitivity to CO2 was anywhere near as high as the alarmists want us to think it is, then the rapid rise in CO2 would be easily detectable as a measurable rise in temperature. But over most of the past decade the planet has not warmed at all: click

    CO2 has risen by about one-third over the past century, but global temperatures are not much different than they were thirty years ago. Something is wrong with the CO2=CAGW hypothesis. It’s too bad Dr Curry can’t bring herself to admit that the assumptions used by climate alarmists are consistently wrong for a self-serving reason: they want to scare the public into shoveling more money their way.

  355. davidmhoffer says:

    Isotherm,
    I regret getting to checkmate so fast, because I had a couple of ripostes of my own ready to go:

    Every day after a snowstorm, there are many cars in the ditch beside the highway. There is clearly a problem with the ditch. Something about the snowstorm causes the ditch to undulate, snatching cars of the highway and retaining them in the ditch. This happens EVERY snowstorm, and the number of cars correlates to the length and severity of the snowstorm. The ditchs will have to be replaced. I recommend DDDS (Dave’s Ditch Digging Service).

    On another thread there was an excellent comment about baseball teams. If you plot the total number of wins by team A and team B, they will both rise over the course of the season, leading to the conclusions that wins by one cause wins by the other. This is of course just a coincidence. The only time the two teams affect each other is when they play each other, in which case a win by one can only result in a loss by the other.

  356. Craig Moore says:

    Judith Curry (04:34:45)-

    Please stop using the “d” word and you will receive many more thoughtful responses.

  357. Willis Eschenbach says:

    bobdenton (02:38:52) : edit

    Will, you appear to be an irreconcilable.

    Your precondition for the restoration of trust invokes scenarios not very different from the public humiliation of professors by the Red Guards during China’s Cultural Revolution – a notice listing their crimes hung round their neck, head pushed down into a microphone, mumbling a forced confession to a baying crowd. It didn’t work in China and the culture of the revolutionaries was more loathed by the common man than the culture which went before. Your appeal for such an approach is unlikely to find fertile soil in the populations of Europe or the United States, though it may find a sympathetic ear in some corners of the blogosphere.

    [snip] I asked for no such thing, that’s your fantasy. Read what I wrote. I asked for two simple things — for honest science, and for climate scientists to police their own back yard. All that stuff about red chinese confessions is your own fevered imagination.

    Is my writing really that hard to understand?

  358. data grub says:

    Raht-on, raht-on, raht-on!

  359. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Dave Wendt (02:39:32) : edit

    Your citing of the story of the boy who cried wolf is interesting, because I’ve always felt that in emphasizing the bad effect of telling lies, what is usually overlooked is the equally bad effects of being lied to. The boy in the story suffers negative consequences for his repeated lies, but his community suffers also, because his lies have harmed their ability to respond appropriately to a real emergency.

    Fascinating insight, Dave, I’d never considered that.

  360. David Carpenter says:

    Another excellent post Willis, well done

  361. Dillon Allen says:

    Willis,
    As I commentd to Anthony on the Dr. Curry Part II post, I know that you’ve been fighting this fight a lot longer than me. So I know you’re close to this and have a lot of emotion tied to it. I was in grade school when CFCs and the ozone hole were all the rage, so I haven’t been in the fight as long. In fact, until the last couple of years, I was not truly being skeptical and asking my own questions.

    HOWEVER, give her some slack, at least drop the attacks like “your stupidity… dishonesty… malfeascence” et cetera. “Your” may have been directed at the “climate science establishment” but it certainly read to me as if it were directed directly at Dr. Curry. Either way, here’s why I say cut her some slack:
    - I too am enraged that we have all been lied to. I have lost trust in the “experts” and they will have to do a lot to win it back, including going to the axeman’s block with their future work and letting people that I am growing to trust (and me) take a swing at it and see if it holds up.
    - My background is nuclear power… talk about an issue that has its advocates on both sides. I know what it’s like to try and make a reasonable argument to two emotional sides of an issue and get tomatoed from both sides. Issues that evoke emotion like nukes and the climate are hard to communicate to lay people and even harder to communicate to advocates. Not that the people are stupid, just that they have short attention spans and don’t typically like to listen to a detailed explanation of the science. In my personal quest to explain nuclear power, I have distilled Three Mile Island (TMI) and Chernobyl to an analogy with cars – TMI was like a Volvo that was telling the operator there was a problem with its operation, kept being driven regardless of the warning, got in a crash, the air bag went off, and nothing except the car was hurt; Chernobyl was like a vehicle of a completely different design that was being tested with many safety features disabled, the brakes weren’t designed to work the same way as the Volvo (reduced steam power, the brakes, actually increased, or sped up, the nuclear reaction in Chernobyl- EEK!!), and very bad things happened during the test. Should we not drive Volvos because someone had a catastrophe in a completely different type of vehicle whose breaks don’t even work like the Volvo and was being pushed to its limits? Methinks we should still try to drive safely. That explanation is relatively simple, but takes about 2-3 minutes to explain. That’s more time than many people/media outlets are willing to give to an explanation. Scientists MUST understand how to communicate to the target audience. That is not to say they should not be completely honest, but the ability to communicate well is NOT part of the science curriculum. That’s why most of us come off as nerds to the general public but brilliant leaders in the field to our colleagues. Similar to nuclear engineers, people who count tree rings and use isotopic ratios to do their job have a tough time getting through to people who barely understand many basic concepts of physics and chemistry, much less isotopes. Dr. Curry is absolutely correct that scientists in this field must be able to communicate better and that they probably need a little help learning how to do so. YOU are also correct that the message MUST be honest. Say what you know and why, say what you think and why, and say what you know that you don’t know.
    - Dr. Curry is suffering from the same problem that most of us in technical fields suffer: She’s trying to communicate to everyone and having a tough time doing it. The advocates on both sides don’t want to hear ANY excuses for why it is OK to be an advocate on the other side. It is no different for us to shoot her down with name calling than it is for Joe Romm to shoot her down when she makes a salient point. I, for one, am no Joe Romm and I’m proud of that. So while I agree that some of her points could have been written more clearly (some that you disagree with above but I’m giving her the benefit of the poor-communications-gap doubt) and I don’t fully agree with all of her points that I think I clearly understood, we MUST be polite and keep this a DEBATE instead of a mudslinging screaming match or we will be right back where we started sooner than we want and maybe before we make any progress.

    Keep up the fight. Your work is very appreciated. Please keep it clean and let’s try not to resort to things that sound just like the worst of the advocates.

  362. Andrew_KY says:

    “But no one person can sort through everything, so we have to trust the process and institutions of science to support the scientific progress”

    This statement provides just another reason to not take Judith Curry seriously.

    Science occurs WHEN ONE PERSON SORTS THOUGH EVERYTHING AND CAN SHOW WHAT THEY DID TO ANYONE WHO WANTS TO SEE.

    We *have* to trust? What a joke.

    Andrew

  363. Willis is one of my personal heroes, but I disagree almost 100% with what he’s saying here (and no, this doesn’t mean he’s lost my trust 8-) ).

    Now is the time to start with a clean slate. Who cares what Dr Curry thought and did and why. The climate debate has been given powerful “electroshocks” and the last thing we need is to recover the ugly memories.

    The fact that Romm had little good to say about Dr Curry’s essay should make people think hard about what it actually means.

    http://omniclimate.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/support-judith-curry-as-head-of-reformed-ipcc/

  364. Henry chance says:

    Judith:
    “monolithic climate denial machine”

    That makes us crave to respect ya.

    Judith:
    “So by staking this middle position, i pretty much am getting tomatoes thrown at me from both sides”

    Thank God we can get juicy tomatoes in the winter. Too much frost and snow lately

    Co2 Meter
    There are several meters available for controlling the Co2 levels in the greenhouse. The stand alone meter can be installed directly in the greenhouse to control Co2 gas burners or liquid Co2 valves. A second meter is available for remote sensing of Co2 in different greenhouse compartments.

    http://climatecontrol.com/greenhousesupply.html#CO2

    We buy CO2 generators from a supply house. Arm chair science overlooks some basic best practices real farmers use to raise good food.

  365. Robert M says:

    Awsome job, well written!

    One thing. The only problem I had with it, is that if I had input, I would have requested that you put some f-bombs on target, I don’t think the whole industry needs to be carpet bombed, but Mann, Hansen, Briffa, and Jones to name a few need their day in court. From everything that I have seen this group appears to have comitted fraud, government fraud (has a category all its own) conspiracy, and when the authorities get busy, obstruction will probably need to be added to the list. If she want our trust, she had better do more then wring her hands and talk. I want some lab coats in front of a jury!

  366. Eric Gisin says:

    The Denial Machine conspiracy theory comes from the radical left, which is seriously lacking in critical thinking.

    Jim Hoggan (?) wrote Climate Coverup last year, check out the 1* reviews at http://www.amazon.com/Climate-Cover-Up-Crusade-Global-Warming/dp/1553654854/

    Before that, CBC produced the “documentary” The Denial Machine with Hoggan and others. Check out the review at http://www.canada.com/nationalpost/financialpost/story.html?id=2c07121b-85c2-4799-9aaf-0c2688bf5ca1&p=3

    Climate Science cannot become credible unless it cuts all ties to radical left and green organizations.

  367. mitcheltj says:

    Very well said. The problem is not poor communication, it is poor substance. Most of the breast beating you see from AGW supporting scientists focuses on the former. Until they accept it is the latter, progress will not be made. There’s a long way to go.

  368. latitude says:

    Dave Williams (03:20:26) :
    “Wow, I put my first posting on this site and now I’m ready to leave forever.
    I can only say how unimpressed I am by the closemindedness exhibited thus far”

    We’re all going to die, and take you with us.

    Feel better now?

  369. Indiana Bones says:

    Yes Willis! In the inimitable words of Paddy Chayevsky:

    [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMBZDwf9dok ]

  370. Richard M says:

    When Romm and his supporters continue to claim there is some denialist machine it is proof positive that they don’t have a clue. It shows clearly they have no critical thinking abilities whatsoever. They are simply mired in their own belief system. It also means they never will understand what is happening around them.

  371. Vincent says:

    Maurizio,
    “Now is the time to start with a clean slate. Who cares what Dr Curry thought and did and why.”

    That’s exactly the point. Where are we going? From Judith’s essay, it sounds suspiciously like business as usual, with a few carrots such as more openess, tossed in to placate the sceptics.

    Part of reconcilliation is about coming to terms with the past, and owning up to damages inflicted. She has not yet done that.

  372. Willis Eschenbach says:

    4 billion (02:45:22)

    “The problem is that 71.3% of what passes as peer reviewed climate science is simply junk science, as false as the percentage cited in this sentence.”

    So peer review is false, seems rather extreme.

    It seems extreme, but sadly, that’s the case. In climate science, all too often peer review is so trivial as to be meaningless for studies which agree with the “consensus”, and impossibly hard for those which don’t. In addition, as the CRU emails showed, sometimes it is simply corrupt.

    There are dozens of examples of this, with the type specimen being the Hockeystick and the host of Hockeystickalikes. Michael Mann used the Tiljander proxies upside down, and the reviewers didn’t catch it. Understandably, although not desirable. Then Steve McIntyre pointed it out to him, and what happened. Mann wrote another paper and used it upside down once again, and it sailed right through peer review again. Fool me once, my fault, …

    However, that’s only part of the problem. There’s a couple other issues with peer review.

    1. People don’t understand that peer review doesn’t mean a paper is right. The best case is that it simply means the paper is not egregiously wrong, which is a very different thing. Saying “how can you doubt my science, it’s peer reviewed” is akin to saying “how can you doubt my kid, he graduated from third grade.” The CRU emails clearly show that the intense focus on peer review was a deliberate and cynical ploy by Phil Jones and the unindicted co-conspirators to discredit people who doubted the party line.

    2. Peer review suffers from the same problem as the internet, that of anonymity. If I ran the zoo, at the end of the anonymous review process, the reviewers would have to sign their reviews, and the reviews would be published along with the paper. If you agree with the paper and pass it through, you should have the courage to then identify yourself and publish your comments.

    3. Peer review should be double blind, that is to say, during the process both the reviewers and the author should be anonymous. As it stands, the reviewers often know the identity of the author, which can turn the process into a personal vendetta.

    Me, I’d like to see the process made quasi public (by invitation) and conducted (anonymously) on the internet … but I’m not holding my breath.

  373. Sean Peake says:

    Judith Curry (04:34:45) :
    “I am angry as a scientist, since I may have been using unnecessarily inaccurate surface temperature data in my research. Ecologists, chemical engineers, etc. who have made career decisions in directing their research toward climate change impacts or mitigation have been trusting the system to work. Etc.”

    Her post has been stuck in my head for a while (I’m sorry Dr. but you’ll have to leave now) especially because of the above quote. It’s remarkable that apparently a handful of “trustworthy” scientists can corrupt a whole field of science by deliberately poisoning the well from which all others draw. If true, it narrows down the search for who initiated the process, how many are involved, and identifying their true motives. Sinister indeed.

  374. EdB says:

    Excellent post Willis, well done. Now we need to downsize Climate science by about 80%, immediately! Start by dumping the corrupt IPCC. Then go on to contract all temperature aggregation, data bases and averaging out to private industry. Government employess like Hansen cannot be trusted. Then ask all universities to review why Climate Science is one sided. If they cannot fund both sides evenly, cut them off. Biased science is useless. PhDs must be granted for proving the NEGATIVE as well. Falsification of bad science should be rewarded.

  375. Vincent says:

    Willis,

    “3. Peer review should be double blind.”

    Trouble is, researchers tend to recognise each others papers. Eg, a skeptical paper about radiation budgets would have Lindzen’s fingerprints, and another, Douglass’s.

  376. Willis Eschenbach says:

    meemoe_uk (02:54:51)

    I think you’ve given her too much attention Anthony. She’s a shill for the IPCC and the powerful money men behind the IPCC. Seem’s like she’s won your respect and friendship with her contrived PR skills, which she learnt in her psy-ops training!
    The IPCC is in damage repair mode, so we can expect them to send round a few calm freindly fellows, while at the same time they restock their fanatic base with fiercer people. Like the new CRU guy.

    meemoe_uk, I strongly disagree. I don’t know Judith personally, but I have interacted with her on the web. My take is that she’s not much different from me or most of us, just another fool whose intentions are good. I don’t think she’s been “sent round” by anyone, she’s her own woman. She’s had the nerve to post her ideas, and to interact with us on other skeptical sites, and that is worthy of respect.

  377. bob paglee says:

    Thanks for the excellent exposee, Willis!

    I think a big part of the problem is that “climate science” is focused on predicting the future. Before agnosticism (if not atheism) gained wide acceptance, only religious prophets were acknowledged to be capable of wielding such unworldly prowess, including their predictions for the end of the world. Now that power has been assigned to carbon by certain modern prophecy charlatans.

    Apart from God and religion, nobody is competent to predict the future, and that includes climate “scientists”. The big problem is they refuse to believe that, having devised some divine theories about the hellish evils of Beelzebub’s carbon dioxide.

    When will those “scientists” stop acting like religious fanatics bent on penalizing carbon-agnostics (like lots of us) with unnecessary, job-killing, economy-debilitating, artificially-high energy prices through stupid taxation? Do they expect to impose their fallacious religious convictions on worldwide humanity without a rebellion?

    Papal abuse spawned the protestant reformation movement, and Holy AGW is headed for the same fate. Will the radical enviropriestess now dictating EPA policy invoke much damage by a decree of marriage between her church and our state before the exorcism that will follow with the next election?

  378. Pascvaks says:

    Ref – Judith Curry (04:34:45) :
    “..I am hoping to provoke both sides to think about productive ways of moving forward in getting climate science back on track…”
    ___________________________

    Footnote:
    Regarding your comment, above, I believe that you can do much in this regard. However, as you well know, there are more than two sides involved in the issue of Climate Change (be it AGW or natural). With regard to these “other” sides, I wouldn’t bother wasting time or effort. Your work may be able to influence these indirectly.

    Among the “other” sides there are the local, state, regional, national, continental, and global political, economic, and (sorry to say) ‘cultural and religious and individual’ sides. These are, at this stage of history in our overall progress and development, beyond our ability to “get back on track” because there are no tracks; there never ever was.

    While humans love to dream of accomplishing great and glorious achievements, the “reality” of our development at this time in history precludes global success, and will likely only permit continental success in Australia, Europe, North America, and Antarctica. In each case the “success” will be tailored to the continent. In the case of Asia, Africa, and South America, national successes are the best we can hope for in this century in these areas of the world. Regarding “Law of the Sea” treaties, here the inept and incompetent U.N. might serve as an effective location to secure something “reasonable”, but I wouldn’t bet on it one way or the other.

  379. Willis Eschenbach says:

    JerryB (03:54:43)

    Willis,

    Hans von Storch did express dismay at Phil Jones’ response
    to Warwick Hughes’ request. I am not aware of any other
    professioinal climate researcher who did so.

    JerryB, I was unaware of that, and if so, my congratulations to Hans. Now we just need a couple dozen more like him.

  380. Jeremy says:

    @Smokey (09:00:38) :
    “… such as out-gassing from CO2 stored in the deep ocean during the MWP.”

    I presume you mean LIA.

  381. Dan in California says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with Mr Eschenbach’s observations, except for one possibly fatal difference. He says: “Nobody cares about your hysteria any more. ”

    Unfortunately, the legislative and executive branches of the US Government are intent on following the hysteria. The EPA’s budget has increased this year to fund more papers proving the “consensus” and starting the process of taxing coal burning electrical power producers (the largest fraction of US electricity comes from coal and gas burning with nuke and hydro following). Sen Inhofe is fighting valiantly against this, but I fear he may not prevail in the long run.

    I’m sure readers from other parts of the world have similar stories.

  382. davidmhoffer says:

    Judith Curry (04:34:45) :
    So by staking this middle position, i pretty much am getting tomatoes thrown at me from both sides, but I am hoping to provoke both sides to think about productive ways of moving forward in getting climate science back on track.>>

    The reason for the vitriole Judith, is the suspiscion that the “boy who cried wolf” has been put aside for a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”. Are you crossing the floor, tomatoes being flung from both sides, because you have changed your mind? Or because the side your on is no longer winning? I admire your courage either way. But your peace mission is, I think, doomed to failure.

    You settle border disputes at the negotiating table.
    Terrorists you don’t negotiate with at all.
    Wars predicated on the total dominance of one political position over another can end in negotiation (1917) only to be fought again (1939) and finished by no less than unconditional surrender (1945).

    The sceptics have not tried to put themselves in charge of the planet. The side you are now distancing yourself from did. and will again. A negotiated truce is not acceptable.

  383. Willis Eschenbach says:

    steven (04:18:28)

    Judith Curry obviously is on the other side of the scientific debate. She made a great number of conciliatory not condescending points in my opinion.

    As I said in the title, I think her points were conciliatory but wrong. My polemic is not aimed at Judith per se, she is a bright spot in a bleak landscape. However, when she conveniently overlooks censorship at realclimate, I’m gonna talk about that.

    My recommendation is that you retract what appears to be a post written from a frustrated emotional perspective and replace it with a more objective one. Just my opinion.

    As was my post, just my opinion. I’d dearly love to be all calm and philosophical about being lied to and abused, but I’m not. And I have to write from where I am, not where I’d like to be. For everyone who thinks my writing is too strong, please see my comment at Willis Eschenbach (02:31:22).

    And “retract” it? Sorry, but the train has left the station, it would be dishonest to retract it now. I said what I said and I have to live with it for good or bad …

  384. JDN says:

    hear! hear!

  385. Rhoda R says:

    WONDERFUL response!

  386. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Judith Curry (04:34:45), thank you for your reply. You say:

    Willis, thanks for your very thoughtful post. I would also like to thank all the people that sent very thoughtful essays to me by email. I am listening. I would first try to clarify a few misinterpretations of the words i used.

    First, i did not use or intend to use the “d” word in a pejorative way; my main motive in using the word at all was to differentiate what was going on in the technical blogs from what is very commonly referred to as the “d” machine. I would have thought the community here would have appreciated that point; i guess not

    A second point, re the communication paragraph, it should have said the “truth” as IPCC sees it.

    A third point, in my reference to realclimate, i was referring to scientists putting themselves out there in the blogosphere. And I then stated that they should participate in open debate. I haven’t tried to post anything at realclimate in several years, but my name has not been mentioned over there since climategate broke, they are reading what i write in the blogosphere but wish i would stop. I am not going out of my way to say anything nice about realclimate.

    With regards to “trust”, I am not talking about smooth talking snake oil “trust”, but the real thing based on the scientific method, transparency etc etc I have written other essays on this. But no one person can sort through everything, so we have to trust the process and institutions of science to support the scientific progress. When these are no longer working, we are all in trouble. I am angry as a scientist, since I may have been using unnecessarily inaccurate surface temperature data in my research. Ecologists, chemical engineers, etc. who have made career decisions in directing their research toward climate change impacts or mitigation have been trusting the system to work. Etc.

    So by staking this middle position, i pretty much am getting tomatoes thrown at me from both sides, but I am hoping to provoke both sides to think about productive ways of moving forward in getting climate science back on track.

    Thoughtful responses such as Willis’ are much more helpful in this regard than focusing on the “d” word

    Not much I can add to that, except to say that I hope people see that Judith is being abused by the other side of the discussion by having the unbridled temerity to actually enter into a discussion about these issues … tells us something about the people we disagree with, huh?

    Mostly I just wanted to re-post Judith’s comment for anyone who might have missed it upstream.

    My thanks to you, Judith, you have advanced the dialog greatly.

    w.

  387. R. Craigen says:

    Dr Currie, I give you full credit for being able to separate Willis’ pointed tone from the point he’s made, in his hard-hitting style. It is to your credit that you listen to the content without confusing it with an abrasive manner, and that you caught the underlying tone of respect (which a few commenters here apparently missed).

    In a few places Willis wrote “you” in a way that made me cringe, because the article was addressed directed to you personally, when it was occasionally used a collective pronoun for the mainstream climate science community, and a few times used contemptuously. He did not always clearly distinguish to whom each “you” was directed, and to have done so would have made his essay unbearably tiresome. It would have been easy for someone in your position to decide you were in the crosshairs and to react defensively. Bravo, in a way your very presence here is an act of heroism.

    That said, I am glad Willis was so direct. I think he’s spot on in his analysis. I would have covered much more ground than him, but then I’m a chronic over-writer. You still appear to believe, for example, in this notion that AGW “denial” or skepticism is fueled by big oil (pun intended). Have you every seen any compelling evidence for this particular piece of slander? I mean besides “so-and-so once received a $10,000 grant from Exxon to produce a report on X”. Where is this machine the alarmists speak of? The giant consipiracy? The monolithic engine of denial? You appear to think that this is how skepticism began though it has evolved into something less sinister in the form of Watts, McIntyre et al. Why do you not realise that it has been audit-driven from the start, and that we unfunded skeptics are merely becoming better informed and more articulate as information on this subject becomes more widely available?

    Until you give up on the bogey-man approach to dealing with skepticism, you don’t have my trust, even though many things you have said inspire respect, as I indicate in my first paragraph.

    You want respect? Stop talking about it. Do the thing that inspires respect. More handwringing won’t.

    Instead, talk about the actual relevant issues, in a forum where you can engage reasonable skeptics. I hope you believe that WUWT and Cimate Audit fall into this category.

    A lot of us here are fellow research scientists. I have a PhD in mathematics, I have many publications in my field and continue to do so actively. I understand what peer review is; I am constantly on both the giving and receiving end of the process. I have noted many dozens of other PhDs and members of the scientific community who comment here. We’re not dummies or scientific illiterates, and we care as passionately about the integrity of science as you do. But most of us don’t believe that what is needed to inspire public trust is a better PR campaign — what is needed is openness and science that proves itself trustworthy under scrutiny.

    None of us believe that science, or even climate science, is under threat by skeptics. In general, skeptics care passionately about science, and the activity of skeptics can only strengthen science. All true scientists are skeptics at heart.

    So, Judith, I invite you to engage us on the Climate Science, and forget about the image issue … that’s a done deal. Engage the science and, if integrity prevails, respect will follow.

    Two suggestions about where to start.

    First, apparently you have said something publicly on the issue of hurricane frequency and the threat of extreme weather. Would you be open to dialogue here about the empirical and historical basis for the IPCC claims on this matter?

    Second, an issue I’ve longed for a “mainstream climate scientist” to engage the skeptical public on: the scrubbing of the well-established historical and scientific records for the MWP and LIA. Tell us honestly what you think about this. I’m sorry if it’s out of your specific field of expertise, but I’ve reviewed both the IPCC take on it and much of the actual data, and although it is way outside my official field of expertise I think I’m ready to stake my reputation by declaring what I believe the facts of the matter are. This issue is not all that complicated, and the main prerequisite is basic scientific literacy, not any particular degree.

  388. Jeremy says:

    Willis Eschenbach (09:37:11) :

    4 billion (02:45:22)

    So peer review is false, seems rather extreme.

    It seems extreme, but sadly, that’s the case. In climate science, all too often peer review is so trivial as to be meaningless for studies which agree with the “consensus”, and impossibly hard for those which don’t. In addition, as the CRU emails showed, sometimes it is simply corrupt.

    Not just climate science. It is *people* who maintain order in all the other sciences, the process of peer-review is basically just due-diligence prior to publishing, it doesn’t guarantee *ANYTHING* about the content. This was the first big eye-opener when I started my physics degree(s). Before entering the university, I just naively assumed there was some enlightened process by which published science papers are determined to be accurate. Then you find yourself a lab group to work with and the reality about the less-than-rock-solid trustworthiness of much of what is written in published papers becomes all too obvious. This is not to say that Scientists publish known lies, but they just like anyone else can get ahead of themselves. It is the people who are supposed to be vigilant and catch mistakes when they see them, regardless of where they find them. A slowdown in truth coming out of a field of science is a result of the people in that field allowing it to happen. Yes, your peers are supposed to catch your mistakes, that’s the theory. In practice there are countless ways they could miss them, and it happens every day.

    Climate science is just one field that happens to have gone off the deep end for a long time due to a lack of the people within it correcting mistakes when they saw them, and then pointing to the system of peer-review as some kind of notarized seal of truth.

  389. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Sean Houlihane (05:06:11)

    Willis Eschenbach may be preaching to the choir here, but he has lost me as a reader for exactly the reasons that he seems to ignore anyone who fits into his ‘evil scientist’ category.

    It is not reasonable to confuse groupthink with evil intent – doing so will only make it easier for those holding the middle ground to dismiss you as a fool who is making wild and unsupportable claims to justify your own personal agenda.

    As far as I know, I haven’t accused anyone of evil intent, or with being evil scientists. I do not throw the word “evil” around lightly, it is one of the strongest and most misunderstood words in the lexicon.

    Next, I don’t think I made a single “unsupportable claim” in the whole thing, although I certainly might be wrong about that.

    So I’m not clear who you are talking about, but it ain’t me, babe …

  390. The abuse that is being dished out in these comments is hardly likely to encourage climate scientists out of the bunker mentality that some are in.

    You may not agree with Dr Curry’s take in detail but I recommend that all “skeptics” accept her initiative as a genuine attempt at dialogue and comment constructively, free from abuse.

    IF WUWT is going complain about “ad hominem” attacks in real climate and elswhere then we should avoid them here.

    All that said I agree that Dr Curry’s understates both the trust problem and the bias and poor quality data issues.

    The met office initiative to create a new properly audited raw temperature data set is gaining momentum; the UK government is now supporting it.

    The first step on the road to trust is to create trusted raw data and I urge Dr Curry to use her influence to encourage this initiative in a way which will be trusted by skeptics, luke warmers, fanatics and deniers alike. The last two may be a big ask but I suspect that even Mssrs Jones and McIntyre could agree on how raw data should be assembled, formatted and indexed and they might even agree on rules for many of the normalisation processes.

    Perhaps we should ask them plus a few others to do just that

  391. NickB. says:

    davidmhoffer (09:01:57) :
    On another thread there was an excellent comment about baseball teams. If you plot the total number of wins by team A and team B, they will both rise over the course of the season, leading to the conclusions that wins by one cause wins by the other. This is of course just a coincidence. The only time the two teams affect each other is when they play each other, in which case a win by one can only result in a loss by the other.

    Ref Dave Tufte (15:50:00) here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/14/new-paper-on/

    Great comment BTW, and great post and resulting conversation!

  392. rewritten

    4.4 The team climate researchers did not like the auditors. Steve McIntyre is their arch-nemesis, so they tried to prevent auditors publishing, because they stand to loose
    100s of millions of dollars if Steve is right, as well as time in jail for fraud.

  393. Willis Eschenbach says:

    geronimo (05:11:34)

    Willis I don’t do anger (publicly) and nor should you, it may draw those who agree with you to salute you but those who don’t will see you, whether true of false, as unreasonable.

    What this looks like, and will be taken as, is an attack on Dr. Judy Curry …

    You may mistake this as an attack on Dr. Curry. It is not, and she did not take it that way. See her comment at Judith Curry (04:34:45), which starts with:

    Willis, thanks for your very thoughtful post. …

  394. Bret says:

    The gist of this post is simply incorrect.

    I’m as skeptical as they come and also annoyed at the IPCC, etc.

    But, any time you have a mix of big-government, big-advocacy, government funded science, and the possibility of scaremongering, ClimateGate is exactly what you’ll get.

    Every time.

    It’s not the fault of anybody or even any group. It’s inherent in the system.

    We cannot trust climate scientists ever because they are not part of a trustworthy system. There is no way to make a system with the components named above trustworthy.

    Where there is money and power, there is corruption.

    Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. (Lord Acton).

  395. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Mark Weston (05:14:36)

    Ranting might feel good, but it really doesn’t achieve much.

    And you know this how?

    Willis seems to be proposing a doctrine of collective responsibility and guilt-by-association for all climate scientists. He implies a standard of expected behaviour that we don’t apply to any other group or profession. Who would expect a doctor in Georgia to be personally responsible for the mistakes or malfeasance of a doctor in Norfolk? Or an architect, or an engineer, or even a politician?

    If an architect is designing buildings that might fall and kill people, and other architects knew it, I would absolutely expect other architects to speak out about that.

    However, you miss a crucial difference. We have state boards that do nothing but regulate and police and certify and oversee the people you mention, architects, and engineers, and doctors.

    But in science, there is no “State Board of Climate Science”. There are no climate science cops. There is nobody to police climate science except the scientists themselves.

    And excuuuuse me for ranting about it, but they are doing a lousy job of keeping their own backyard clean.

  396. Phil A says:

    My first thought was that you were perhaps a *tad* harsh on Judith. I read the article earlier and was pretty much thinking to myself “it’s about time somebody in the climate establishment said these things”. Or at least I was right up to the comment about realclimate being a pioneer of using blogs to open up debate. Which said, given how closely it was followed by the comment about some (unnamed) blogs unfortunately censoring debate, my suspicion is that there was more than touch of irony about the first comment i.e. “I want to take a swipe at realclimate but still have plausible deniability when I next bump into Gavin”.

    That aside, time and again this article of Willis’s hits the nail on the head. Judith’s article is the best I’ve seen from anyone “on that side of the fence”. But it wasn’t what she was writing 3 months ago, before it became clear that the old “line” was no longer going to hold.

  397. MinB says:

    Dr. Curry,

    If you truly wanted to tap into the blogosphere to create ideas on how to restore confidence in the climate community, why didn’t you just ask that question?

    You would have had an avalanche of productive comments if you had simply posted a short message along these lines: What are the top 5 things you feel need to be done to improve the quality of climate science and confidence in it?

    Choosing to get up on your soapbox rather than just listen to us was a very poor choice.

  398. Willis Eschenbach says:

    A. Ford (05:45:49)

    As usual, Willis does an excellent job. Couldn’t agree more.

    BTW, is Willis a scientist? If not, what is his profession?

    I am a self-taught amateur scientist. I do not have a profession. At the moment, following my lifelong mantra of “Retire early … and often”, I am retired. However, I could be lured out of retirement at any moment by a great offer involving adventure and big money. Or by hunger.

    I have made my living variously as a commercial fisherman (the Bering Sea is as cold as it looks on TV), as a musician, as a psychotherapist, as an accountant, as a carpenter, as a consultant in village level development in the Third World, as a marine refrigeration technician, as a cowboy, as a sport salmon fishing guide on the Kenai River in Alaska, as a construction manager for high-end resorts, and as a computer programmer. And a bunch more.

    So I’d have to say I’m a generalist.

  399. Dillon Allen says:

    Someone else made a comment earlier that Dr. Curry’s response (04:34:45) should be tagged up higher. Can one of the admins copy/paste her response “update-style” into the main post?

    My original comment just a bit earlier still stands that we need to tone down name calling even if (and ESPECIALLY when) we are angry. But I think seeing both the Eschenbach post and the person named in the title’s response side-by-side would be most helpful.

  400. IsoTherm says:

    Smokey (09:00:38) : “Yes, CO2 is a so-called “greenhouse gas”… they want to scare the public into shoveling more money their way.”

    Superb post – I am going to copy it for reference!

    But just have a look at this – isn’t it going up and doesn’t that mean “something” must be causing it:

    Precautionary principle, guilt strings, the watchmaker argument for god, QED we must believe manmade global warming.

  401. Bill says:

    Clap, clap, clap…oh and I’m standing while doing it!

  402. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Jaye (06:43:49)

    Great post Willis. Finally, somebody is willing to publicly call out Curry for her disingenuous “out reach” posts.

    Thank you for the compliment, but I have to say no, no, no to the rest. Judith is doing her honest best to restore some kind of integrity to her chosen profession, which is not disingenuous at all.

  403. Rob from BC says:

    Wow! Great post by Willis. Unfortunately, I think climate science have been so corrupted by the money trail created by alarmism, they simply can’t help themselves. Add in government support for continued alarmism and we have a recipe for disastrous and continued corruption of science.
    Willis is right. We need scientists to actually stand up and admit their doubts and show a bit of humility.

  404. Tim says:

    bobdenton says,

    Your precondition for the restoration of trust invokes scenarios not very different from the public humiliation of professors by the Red Guards during China’s Cultural Revolution

    Don’t be rediculous. All we need are mainstream climate scientists to stand up and acknowledge that some of the CAGW science being done is garbage and that they were wrong to defend it for so many years. It would be better if authors of the junk would admit it themselves but that is not required – all we need is evidence that the wider community recognizes junk scientces and is willing to call it out even if ruffles the feathers of collegues.

  405. Willis Eschenbach says:

    IsoTherm (06:50:50)

    Before I get totally brainwashed by the overwhelming dismissal of the theory of manmade global warming, can I remind everyone that there is good scientific evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It is therefore logical to expect that an increase in CO2 should lead to an increase in global temperature, and therefore as burning fossil fuel does produce CO2 to go into the atmosphere, and the increase in CO2 appears to have occured in correlation with an increase in global temperature, there is strong circumstantial evidence of a link.

    Now can anyone tell me where this argument is wrong?

    Sure, no problem, if nothing else we are a full service web site. See my essays here and here.

  406. James Chamberlain says:

    I see that Judith and all of the other climate scientists have 2 options:

    1- They can get real, insist on transparency, call out corrupt colleagues. This will lose them their job in the short run, but keep them their job in the long run.

    2- They can keep down the path that they are currently on. This will keep them their job in the short run, but lose them their job in the long run.

    They should all think of which they prefer.

  407. NickB. says:

    Bret (10:18:14) :
    The gist of this post is simply incorrect… But, any time you have a mix of big-government, big-advocacy, government funded science, and the possibility of scaremongering, ClimateGate is exactly what you’ll get.

    I tried to make a similar (same?) point in response to Dr. Curry’s original post. Her post only looked at advocacy on one side of the fence. We’ve seen it with environmental issue after environmental issue – the non-alarmist/not-soooo-alarmist scientists, are automatically categorized as peddlers of junk science, shills for industry/conservatives/insert-pariah-of-choice-here. Lets have a quick thought experiment…

    Say Dr. Curry, for some unknown reason, posts research indicating that there are preferable alternatives to lab testing on animals. Now lets say this research is picked up and promoted by sketchy activist groups (some might say borderline eco-terrorist groups) like ALF, Sea Shepherds, PETA, etc – does that make her a terrorist?

    If the “denier” rules applied to scientists skeptical on climate (not “auditors” as she distinguished it) were to be applied to that hypothetical scenario, I think it would be fair (not in my opinion of fairness, but per the rules that seem to be in play for climate discussions) and in opposition to her “shilling” for such nefarious types there would be license granted to 1.) ignore any/all research and 2.) say just about anything about her without reproach.

    The point here is that science has to learn how to deal with both sides. There will always be moneyed interests trying to highlight “their side” of any significant issue… and it is fundamentally unscientific and patently political for the “scientific community” (or a majority, or a consensus thereof) to make judgments as to which side is acceptable and which side is unacceptable. Let the science speak, and let those chips fall where they may.

  408. Chrisz says:

    Sean Houlihane wrote (05:06:11) :

    “It is not reasonable to confuse groupthink with evil intent”

    The idea that you can “confuse” the two is in itself confusion: Groupthink IS evil, and a crutch for the intellectually challenged, like all forms of collectivism. Just look through the scientific literature (or if you prefer, at literature, music, or art) – the really great achievements are never the work of a collective but always of one exceptionally capable individual. Can you imagine Edison, Einstein, or Beethoven working as member of a committee?! This obvious fact alone makes me suspicious of organizations like IPCC or CRU, not to mention all those cute little papers with a dozen “co-authors” (which only show that none of them was capable to do the research properly, or he would have done it without assistance of other half-wits).

  409. Pascvaks says:

    Ref – Bret (10:18:14) :
    “The gist of this post is simply incorrect… any time you have a mix of big-government, big-advocacy, government funded science, and the possibility of scaremongering, ClimateGate is exactly what you’ll get… We cannot trust climate scientists ever because they are not part of a trustworthy system. There is no way to make a system with the components named above trustworthy…”
    _______________________

    Beg to differ. “Climate Scientists” are, today, a group of people in a legitimate “Science” who have allowed others to do their thinking and talking. There are other specialties that fit the same mold but who are not nearly as “infamous” at the moment.

    The specialty in question, at this moment, is very capable of getting out of this despicable situation. But do they really desire the anonymity and mundane nature of their life in days past, or are they fatally infected with the fading glory and stardom that they currently enjoy — though it be at the great expense of their personal and professional integrity and, likely, their financial future when the public turns on them without mercy?

    As a “Science”, as a “Profession”, as a paying “Job, their days are numbered. It will be interesting to see what happens.

    (I doubt the local TV weather folks have much to fear unless they’ve been parroting the talking points Soros & Co. have been passing out the past few years:-)

  410. IsoTherm (06:50:50) : …can I remind everyone that there is good scientific evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It is therefore logical to expect that an increase in CO2 should lead to an increase in global temperature, and therefore as burning fossil fuel does produce CO2 to go into the atmosphere, and the increase in CO2 appears to have occured in correlation with an increase in global temperature, there is strong circumstantial evidence of a link.

    Now can anyone tell me where this argument is wrong?

    Yes. Click my name. There is no other way than to understand a bit more of the details of the science, to get beyond the misleading half-truths about CO2. Please take time and popcorn.

    Hey, I’d like to recommend Judith herself to click my name. Willis’ firstrate science posts are scattered through WUWT but I’ve tried to collect all the fundamental issues together in readable form, both the “hard” science and the “soft” soul issues.

  411. Old PI says:

    Willis Eschenbach,

    I thank you for your explicitly detailed takedown of the “climate science” quiet supporters or those too fearful to criticize. However, I think you may have misjudged Dr Curry a bit. On several things, you should have been even more harsh.

    This statement, “2.1 Climategate has broadened to become a crisis of trust in climate science in general.”, shows how afraid climate scientists are of Climagegate. Climategate doesn’t create a “cricis of trust in climate science in general”, but illustrates how little real SCIENCE is in “climate science” as it’s currently practiced. It also illustrates how little these people have learned about how the public views them.

    There has been a pattern of lying about climate science since its inception. I have no degree, but I can tell BS when I experience it. The most cynical thing any “scientist” can say about his work is that “the science is settled”. That wrapped the needle of my BS needle against the peg four or five times. NO science is settled: ask Gallileo or Einstein, whose works have seen constant evaluations, and when errors were discovered, or new knowledge gained, changes to their works have been made. That is how science works, and is supposed to work.

    Climate scientists, including Dr. Curry, are still whipping that dead horse of “denialists”. While there have always been a few “denialists” of every scientific discovery, the majority of the people who have questioned climate science have done so because THEIR BS meters were tripped. Those involved with the science, and especially those involved with the IPCC, brought skepticism upon themselves by NOT being transparent in their science (we now know, for good reason – it was BS, not science).

    Finally, let go of the hoary old hobgoblin, “big oil”. I’ve been a skeptic from the late 1990′s, and I’ve not received a dime from anyone about it. This is a distraction, and another reason why no one trusts you. Most of us, both in the blogosphere and in “real life”, are skeptical of your “science” because we can see that it’s all built on a pack of lies and half-truths.

    Thank YOU, Anthony, for allowing this conversation to appear on your weblog, and for facilitating this well-needed discussion.

  412. Willis Eschenbach says:

    geo (06:52:57)

    Willis, I love ya, but. . .

    Ah, very good, touché …

    As I said on the other thread, I’m struck by the similiarity here in methodology to GHCN. 1st generation raw data, second generation reduced and value added data, third generation further reduced data –then react based on that. You get points, however, for being much more transparent in the process.

    You mistake me. I digested the data so that I could understand it. Judith’s original document is always at hand.

    How, in both second and third generation data, did you find Dr. Curry’s call for leveraging the open source distributed computing model unworthy of mention, let alone failing to recognize its potential to be transformative? Your progressive levels of summarization either miss that entirely, or severely mischaracterize it as only “better communicate their ideas” as if it was just more talk-talk. It’s not –It’s what Steve and Anthony and others (including you) have been fighting for for years. How can you zip right by it without even a tip of the cap, let alone a hearty yippee!?

    Not sure what “open source computing model” you are talking about here. The nearest I can find to that is this quote from Judith:

    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.

    I don’t want the open source movements to be put to “productive use” spreading hysteria about imaginary catastrophes. And I said that. How was I ignoring that?

  413. Bob H. says:

    Whether they realize it yet or not, the individuals involved in the ClimateGate emails have forever destroyed their credibility and any hope of restoring trust in what they say or publish. It is going to be up to people like Ms. Curry to step forward for climate science have any real hope of restoring credibility and public trust. This is a process that will take many years, and even the people who have not been sullied by the current scandal will be scrutinized closely. It’s only when their results can be replicated, and neither their methods or their data is suspect, will trust begin to be restored.

  414. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Steve M. from TN (06:59:33)

    I’m guessing this is the most popular blog that posted Dr. Curry’s letter. Yesterday’s post (as of now) is closing in on 600 responses, plus another 300 responses on WE’s reply. I didn’t see a single response from Dr. Curry. Is this her idea of communication?

    Dr. Curry replied above, and likely more graciously than I deserved, at Judith Curry (04:34:45).

  415. Philip T. Downman says:

    This discussion is really interresting and important. Could we please just leave out the invectives, namecallings and ad hominem arguments? Everyone would gain, I think.

  416. Willis Eschenbach says:

    BROOSE (07:30:47)

    Willis,

    Excellent write for skeptic side, but am I wrong pointing out that many years back in the ‘darkness’ of climate science didn’t Dr. Curry and another researcher in Georgia first ‘open the door a crack’ to let McIntyre speak at their university….that took real guts at the time in my opinion.

    You are quite correct, and I agree completely.

    Also she would lose all support from her ‘peers’ if she grabbed the other end of the stick and would be no use to this skeptical side. Let her keep just opening the door a crack with ‘common sense’ to her RC friends because smashing the door in their face will just get her trashed.

    I fail to see how losing the support of Jones and Schneider and Mann would be a bad thing, but then I’m an amateur scientist. The word “amateur” comes from the Latin word meaning “love”, I do it for the love of science. This gives me a huge advantage, in that I don’t have to be beholden to either funding agencies, employers, or the approval of my peers … whereas Judith does in some regard. At some point I’d think they would say “hey, this is a bridge too far, this is not science”, but then they have to feed their kids. I don’t envy Judith her position.

  417. Willis Eschenbach says:

    LevelGaze (07:33:02)

    Some posts have been overly generous to Curry. This is a mistake. She is simply a frightened rat realising the ship is sinking fast, and eyeing a lifeboat for herself.

    No, no, no. Judith Curry is an honest and courageous scientist. She has been one of the few establishment scientists to try to reach across the divide, and she has been doing so for years. Please stop the personal attacks on Judith. She may be wrong (but then so might I be), she may have taken more extreme and now unsupportable stances in the past (but then so have I), but she is working to heal the rift and fix the science, and I commend and admire her for that.

  418. Neil Craig says:

    Time after time we have had alarmists saying that the sceptical community is, or in Judith’s case used to be, very heavily funded by “Big Oil”. Obviously no alarmist who was not hopelessly corrupt could make, or associate themselves withj this libel, unless they had evidence.

    I trust Judith will now produce evidence.

    The fact is that the billions put into alarmist “research” by governments in Europe & the US is 10,000 times greater than the couple of hundred thousand Exxon once put up.

  419. Theo Goodwin says:

    Viktor writes:

    “Let’s not feel too bad for Judith merely because Willis had some pointed words for her. She has had plenty of chances, both here and over at Climate Audit, to realize the failings of climate science, her science, and how we arrived at this point.”

    No one should feel bad because Judith is reading what Willis wrote. Willis should be showing Judith a stone wall for her own good. If she is a talented person, she will shake the dust of Climategate off her sandals. She will beomce a most ferocious critic of climate alarmism and the institutions that enabled it. Otherwise, If there is no employment for climate scientists in academia but outside the field of climate alarmism, Judith can find a new career. All climate scientists who have been working as climate alarmists must hit the wall and make a clean break of it. The pain cannot be avoided.

  420. Sharon says:

    I commend Dr. Curry’s willingness to present her own views of the current state of climate science, come what may, rotten tomatoes and all. Willis Eschenbach and others are to be congratulated as well for their incisive, and mostly respectful, analyses of Dr. Curry’s post.

    Dr. Curry, at the very least I hope you can rejoice in the fact that critical thinking is alive and well in the blogosphere. I look forward to your continued input at WUWT and elsewhere online, but I also hope that you will seek to establish better communication with politicians and advocacy groups who remain under the mass delusion that “the science is settled”. And the sooner the better.

  421. Dr. Curry,

    When the US Constitution was written, the whole point was to disregard and disrespect trust.

    It was understood that severe checks and balances and limitations on power would have to be wrapped around the new federal government, to keep it from becoming an all-too familiar monopoly of force and influence.

    The practice of good science, likewise, has relied on checks and balances. Peer review and wide replication (or refutation) of results through independent work were the cornerstones. Trust was no part of the formula.

    Why and how have these cornerstones been shattered? I strongly advise you to focus on this question and answer it forthrightly. The answer is there, and it is to be found in your camp.

    Better dialogue, more trust, more openness–these are, in fact, distractions from the principal issues. Whether through design or error, you are wandering from the analysis you should be doing and every legitimate scientist should be doing.

    Peer review has failed. Replication is rare. The checks and balances have been destroyed. On top of that endemic scandal, asking us to participate in a more enlightened form of dialogue is whistling in the dark.

    If, magically, both sides in this battle were to come together, on what, precisely, would we be agreeing? To conceal the corruption?

    At a high level of idealism, it’s true that, if I could get the used-car salesman to be entirely honest about the car he’s trying to push off on me, it would make the whole outcome happier—but until that day comes, I need to inspect the car from top to bottom before I lay out my cash.

    AGW is a lemon.

    Unchecked, it’s going to be a lemon for the whole planet.

    Why on earth should we feel we need to be nicer, more polite, more accommodating, more understanding, more gracious?

    Are we doormen at a luxury hotel?

    If so, I didn’t get the memo until many of the massive AGW lies were already out of the barn. And I would call that a clue.

    Real science isn’t based on trust in people; it’s based on verifying data and methods.

    It has nothing to do with sides “coming together.”

    Where did you get such an idea?

  422. latitude says:

    “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.”

    This has to have been, and is, the most ridiculous argument I have ever heard.

    Do people really believe that oil companies are just going to close up and not sell alternate energy?

    Oil companies are going to be on the cutting edge of any and all alternative energy source, and they are going to sell it to you just exactly like they are doing now.

  423. RedS10 says:

    This Curry entreatment is slightly better than Ravetz’s… but that’s only because I couldn’t understand the latter. Unfortunately, I got an inkling of the “excuses” of the former.

    Ms Curry, as an proud skeptic/denier, let me explain why I have no trust in AGW climatology now:
    1. Weather forecasts are regularly wrong within just 10 days.
    2. AGW “models” forecast higher temperatures 100 years in the future!
    3. The AGW-UN solution: Raise taxes, reparations, etc, IMMEDIATELY.

    The AGW thesis is losing trust because an “interesting science discussion” has morphed into a money swapping scheme. It’s not distrust in science, it’s distrust in AGW science!

  424. Philip says:

    Willis, Judith.

    Thank you both so much for your honesty and bravery in these postings, I’ve learned so much about this issue by reading them and the comments – and the exchanges with Jerome Ravetz have been wonderfully informative as well. I hope and believe there is a growing willingness from people like Judith to start to put things right again. But it’s bound to take time to get people’s years worth of anger and frustration out. And Willis is surely right to be angry. The malfeasants need to stop their scaremongering, and all reasonable people need to speak up against them.

  425. geo says:

    @Willis Eschenbach (10:55:07)

    There are generally two trust models in the world. One is a top-down appeal to authority model that the IPCC has been trying to shove down our throats. Trust is delivered on a platter at the end and is expected to just be accepted. Expert-Priests have been ordained and don’t like to be questioned –they see it as impertinence, annoyance, distraction from their real mission. After about two rounds of “explaining” they get pissed off and start thinking internally about what is happening in conspiracy terms.

    But the open source model is a bottom-up trust model. Trust isn’t delivered at the end to be consumed or rejected –it is built every step of the way, “baked in” to the results, *whatever those results are*. Experts are much more used to seeing themselves as just one cog interacting with the other cogs to get to the right place for the whole thing. They are much more used to the kind of interactive give and take over tiny details without getting massively annoyed and conspiracy-minded about “what is really happening here?”. And all the cogs build up their own levels of trust in the resulting product both by gaining a greater understanding of the details themselves by participating, and also in those interactions with those in the community who have more knowledge than they do on this point or that.

    That’s why I said it has the potential (and it does) to be transformative here that Curry is calling for “put them to productive use” in climate science.

    When you go off on peer reviewed junk science, you need to recognize a way is required to. . uhh. . . “supplement”. . .that process with a different process with fewer gatekeepers and broader review. Open Source Science is that way.

    How that fits together with the other structure would certainly be a “work in progress”. One could see it as a front-end in a perfect world, but probably not universally over fears of being “preempted”.

  426. MattN says:

    This is, BTW, possibly the best post ever on this site. It covers everything. Thanks Willis.

  427. Henry chance says:

    James Chamberlain (10:49:00) :

    I see that Judith and all of the other climate scientists have 2 options:

    1- They can get real, insist on transparency, call out corrupt colleagues. This will lose them their job in the short run, but keep them their job in the long run.

    2- They can keep down the path that they are currently on. This will keep them their job in the short run, but lose them their job in the long run.

    They should all think of which they prefer.

    3 One option in the e-mail was to punch Patrick Michaels in the face at a convention for heresey.

  428. CodeTech says:

    Judith Curry (04:34:45) :

    I am angry as a scientist, since I may have been using unnecessarily inaccurate surface temperature data in my research. Ecologists, chemical engineers, etc. who have made career decisions in directing their research toward climate change impacts or mitigation have been trusting the system to work. Etc.

    Bingo!

    I’ve repeatedly tried to get people to understand this. The cAGW crowd are claiming that “the underlying science is still valid”, but IT IS NOT! The vast majority of the budding field of “Climatology” is DEPENDANT upon data that is not only suspect, but in some cases proven faulty. Whether it was errors or deliberate fudging no longer matters.

    Is there even a parallel to this in history? I mean, I was a pretty good phrenologist, but that wasn’t nearly as lucrative as my years studying Piltdown Man. And I’m expecting my heavy investments in the buggy whip sector to help me through the recession.

    Meanwhile, I very much appreciate your post, Willis, it very neatly encapsulated most of what I was thinking, too.

  429. Tenuc says:

    Thanks for a great post, delivered straight from the shoulder.

    No respect, trust or reconciliation is possible between the true believers in the false god of climate pseudo-science will come from me or, I suspect, many other CAGW agnostics, until they start doing honest science, and are transparent about their work.

    Cargo-cult science has no place in the 21st century.

  430. Ron Dean says:

    Wow – I wish I had written this. What an outstanding piece of editorial journalism on the state of the skeptic vs. “Climate Scientists”.

    Well done. My hat is off to you.

  431. bob paglee says:

    Dr. Curry says:

    First, i did not use or intend to use the “d” word in a pejorative way; my main motive in using the word at all was to differentiate what was going on in the technical blogs from what is very commonly referred to as the “d” machine. I would have thought the community here would have appreciated that point; i guess not

    <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    The “d” machine and “deniers” are code words you should be capable of understanding, and you guessed right — in my individual “community”, they are not appreciated. “Big oil” is another similar code word. Are you perhaps part of “Big Academia” or “Big-whatever”? Perhaps in future, you could refer to AGW non-believers as “AGWNB’s”? Or better yet, not try to categorize us at all?

  432. Henry chance says:

    I don’t trust Judith

    Now we have young minds attend schools. When they come out or while they are in they find the fraternal order of higher learnin’ has been fudgin data, cherry pickin research and manipulating math computer programs. Now grads don’t trust professors.

    I have no reason to believe Judith would give a good grade to a tuition paying stakeholder that said they do not buy into warmist dogma.

    Big Oil. Could a kid whose family was in Big Oil get a degree?

  433. Steve Goddard says:

    A good way to evaluate changes in the climate, is to look out the window regularly. For as long as I can remember, it has been cold and snowy in the winter, and the grass has been green in the summer.

    Obama says that he has “only a few years to save the planet” but personally I think the planet is completely oblivious to his existence.

  434. kwik says:

    The Gloves where off after that Grauniad article.

    The AGW’ers will keep pressing on. I see ridicilous articles in Norwegian papers every day. TV is 100% silent on Climategate scandal. Politicians keep on as before.

    They still think they are right, because they dont know what proper science is;

    They have feelings.Emotions. Facts dont count.

    The cash-flow to the Carbon Cult must be choked.
    The voters must stop voting on the Cult-members.

  435. Wilbur says:

    When your enemy is surrounded make sure you leave them an escape route….lest they resolve to fight to the death.

  436. Antonio San says:

    Good response from Dr Curry. It echoed my comment about receiving tomatoes from both sides. The arrogance of anglophone centered science here is mind boggling and the yet the ignorance of basic concepts of meteorology and climatology is abundantly clear in many of the posts even by regular contributors of articles.
    Once the satisfying of egos will be finally over with this pseudo philosophy, perhaps we’ll return to facts, and those who gathered them and understand them.

  437. wakeupmaggy says:

    “STOP IT! We don’t care about your pathetic justifications, all you are doing is becoming the butt of jokes around the planet. You seem to have forgotten the story of the Boy Who Cried Wolf. Read it. Think about it. Nobody cares about your hysteria any more. You are in a pit of your own making, and you are refusing to stop digging … take responsibility.”

    Somehow these folks missed a lot of childrens fairy tales, Chicken Little, The Emperors New Clothes, The Blind Men and the Elephant, Aesop’s Dog and Bone, …didn’t any of them have parents or did academia kick all common sense out of them??

    Laughing no kidding…just a few lines from “The Hippie and the Goracle” (Lewis Carroll twisted):

    “Hockey sticks and subterfuge
    Are what we chiefly need.
    Disable all reality,
    This hoax we have to feed!
    Some geeks are adding all this up,
    Prohibit all that screed!”

    “But don’t tax US”, the public said,
    “We have to think this through!
    Our math, so bad, but we can add,
    Our earnings go to you!”
    “The ice is gone!”, Jim Hansen screamed,
    “Next summer, we’ll be through!

    Real Climate thanked the acolytes
    and silenced all the rest.
    For what use are the numbers,
    when Gaia serves you best?
    It failed to pay upon the day
    the mole had fouled the nest!

    “It’s such a thrill”, the bloggers said,
    “To catch them in their lies,
    Of sneaky math and media
    That screamed the earth would fry..
    We will not stop until their ilk
    choke on their crow pie!

    “We laugh at you”, the people said,
    “We do not sympathize!
    Unearthing all your twisted truth
    Has opened up our eyes.
    The blogosphere is EVERYONE
    you need a good disguise!”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    `I see!’ said the Queen. `Off with their heads!’

  438. Jim Clarke says:

    Not sure if this has been said above, but here is the thing…

    Judith Curry doesn’t understand the argument. She doesn’t understand who is making the argument or why. She doesn’t recognize her responsibility as a scientist to safe guard science. Based on her hurricane papers, she doesn’t understand science. She believes that computers models (the IPCC argument) speak truth! She apparently believes in science by authority and/or majority, and not by reason or logic!

    And Judith Curry is the the most open and understanding member of mainstream climate science!

    Does the ‘best’ person in hell deserve praise for being good? (metaphorical question)

  439. Mike says:

    Willis,

    Brilliant! As always, brilliant.

    The trust that is broken is…

    The picture of the “scientist”, the gray haired man (no accusations of sexism please) carefully encouraging and helping the young child student so that he/she may come to understand a new concept, law or principle that he/she is unfamiliar, uncomfortable with or even totally confused about. The scientist will exercise great deportment and style, his careful inquiry of the child, to ascertain the extent of his/her current knowledge, then to provide facts backed up by examples, analogies, pictures and models, then carefully explains the principles and goes the extra mile, takes the extra time, shows the placid patience so that both the scientist and the student have trod a path together that enriches and enlightens them both.

    Does this sound like Michael Mann or Phil Jones to any of us? Would I want my son in lectures with either of those two? Judith, would you want YOUR children being taught by those “scientists”?

  440. Jan Curtis says:

    Willis Eschenbach (09:37:11) :

    …3. Peer review should be double blind, that is to say, during the process both the reviewers and the author should be anonymous. As it stands, the reviewers often know the identity of the author, which can turn the process into a personal vendetta….

    Willis: Many of us do not have the time to review Journal Papers although this is an important function as a scientist and researcher. However, if you ever what to stop being asked, just reject a few papers. It’s sad but true.

  441. kwik says:

    Another funny thing is that leftist’s dont understand what a shareholder is, and how the private sector works. They are afraid of it, and hide in some government institution.

    They dont understand that if “Big Oil” business goes into a decline, the shareholders, the investors just move their investments over to another sector.

    Therefore there is no Big Oil behind a “denier machine”.
    Its not needed in a free marked system.
    A “big machine” is only needed in a socialistic society.
    With an Authority on top. (Read; IPCC)
    And a settled policy. (read ; The Science is settled)

    So, when Curry imagine such a denier machine, its just because
    she has a model of such a macine as a neccessity inside her own head. But her model is wrong. Again.

  442. Max says:

    Curry’s logic reminds me of Obama & His Technicolor Health Care Reform. “It’s not a bogus stinkburger! Forget what your nose is telling you and trust me! It was just ‘a failure to communicate’ (to the ignorant unwashed) our unquestionable wisdom and omniscience.”

  443. Reed Coray says:

    From what I can discern, the CAGW community is not applauding Dr. Curry’s position. Quite the contrary, it is raking her over the coals. In my opinion, their treatment of her is the primary reason most AGW scientists remain silent. Willis Eschenbach is right on. You aren’t going to win my trust by “better communications.” You want my trust, exhibit trustworthy behavior–condemn the charlatans in your house, and open your books to inspection.

  444. Calvin Ball says:

    [snip - false email address abc@def.com is a contrived email address, see policy page. A valid email address is required to post here]

  445. Grant says:

    Willis, thank you.
    Dr. Curry’s community needed to hear that message– no changes, no apologies, no retraction. You used the right piece of oak for the task at hand.

    I do have some difficulty sensing a true conciliatory hand in Dr. Curry’s post. Perhaps the years of enduring an arrogant and condescending juggernaught has curled my antennae; I do hope it is at least a start towards proper science.
    I think R. Craigen (10:07:21)above, has some excellent comments and provides Dr. Curry some interesting suggestions.

  446. glacierman says:

    Thank you for that Willis. It is what I have been thinking for a long time but could not possibly have said it better.

  447. Doug in Dunedin says:

    Willis
    By god Willis, I like your style. right between the eyes. Judith was the personification of the so called ‘climate scientists’ so she had to wear the shot for putting her hear above the parapet. But the real issue is corruption right through our society. We naively thought that science was not corruptible – well it is.

    With people like you Willis who are unafraid to seek the truth and call a spade a spade there is hope.

    Thank you.
    Doug

  448. JonesII says:

    The climate dominican friars will gather in a conclave at the Major Temple of NASA to deeply ponder how to deal with this misscarried lamb. They will surely issue an ex-cathedra pronouncement directed to all church believers as to fully endorse their incontrovertible creed so as not to express any doubt whatsoever about all the announced calamities to befall on the infidels´countries due to their sinful behaviour making the planet to unceassingly warm up by the unconscious and irresponsible emission of the most malevolent and pernicious gases, and also to anatemize and excomulgate this and any other member of the sacred church of climate change who dare to speak to the damned and condemned by our most Holy Prophet, our beloved “Al Baby”, most hateful deniers .

  449. Jeremy says:

    @Jim Clarke (11:50:42) :

    “…She believes that computers models (the IPCC argument) speak truth! She apparently believes in science by authority and/or majority, and not by reason or logic!”

    While your post was overly harsh imho, I do agree with that quote right there. It seems that a big disconnect, even with Judith’s essays, is that science-by-authority-or-citation somehow goes without saying. It seems to be not just an accepted way of doing things in that field, but the default! It is like Climate Science as a field has never had a reality check with data until the past few months, which amazingly might not be too far from the truth.

  450. rcrejects says:

    Willis,

    In your comment at 9.42:33 you said: ” My take is that she’s not much different from me or most of us, just another fool whose intentions are good.”

    This tells me quite a lot about you. You were probably at university in 1965 when the Animals released ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood”, which means that you are probably in your early 60s now. Further, it tells me that you are a bit of a music buff.

    Wikipedia: “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” is a song written by Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell and Sol Marcus for the singer/pianist Nina Simone, who first recorded it in 1964. “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” has been recorded or performed by many artists, and is widely known by the 1965 blues rock hit recording from The Animals.

  451. Kay says:

    @ IsoTherm (07:49:32) : An unprecendented change in temperature at the same time as an unprecedented (post ice-age … I may be wrong) change in CO2, would be strong circumstantial evidence of a link.”

    Logical fallacy–appeal to ignorance. It’s also a cum hoc ergo propter hoc, Ignoring Common Cause (A and B regularly occur together, but no common cause is looked for; therefore, A causes B) AND a Post Hoc.

    I guess you could say that the whole AGW scam is built on a bunch of fallacies. From start to finish, it’s bad reasoning. Appeal to Emotion? It’s in there. Appeal to Negative Consequences? It’s in there. Appeal to Fear? Ditto. Personal Attack? Got that too, and lots of it. Appeals to Authority? Yep. And the big one…Appeal to Popularity. “There’s a scientific consensus; therefore it’s true.” Um, no.

    Or how about Circumstantial ad hominem, like claiming that because Fred Singer used to work in the tobacco industry, that makes him unfit to comment on AGW…or that because Big Oil funds the skeptics, their arguments are automatically suspect. Well, following that line of reasoning, the warmers are ALSO funded by Big Oil, so their arguments are suspect as well. While a person’s interests will provide them with motives to support certain claims, the claims stand or fall on their own. However, the mere fact that the person has a motivation to make the claim does not make it false–and that goes for both sides.

    MIsleading vividness? “Hurricane Katrina was caused by AGW; therefore, we can expect these events to occur more often in the future”…despite statistical evidence to the contrary.

    I could keep going, but I think you get the picture. This is what happens when you bring AGW out of the realm of science (if indeed it was ever IN the realm of science) and into the realm of the religious.

  452. IsoTherm says:

    Lucy Skywalker (10:50:31) :

    IsoTherm (06:50:50) : …can I remind everyone that there is good scientific evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. … Now can anyone tell me where this argument is wrong?

    Yes. Click my name

    Lucy a good webpage and well worth a read, but you haven’t covered the essential question in climate science: “is the recent perturbation consistent with natural variation”. This is a very simple test that anyone familiar with signal processing would understand: how unlikely given the normal variation, would it be to get the signal under consideration. If it isn’t unusual then we cannot say the warming was caused by anything except natural variation – which is an engineers cop out for “we haven’t a clue what caused it but it certainly isn’t unusual”.

    But to understand what is “abnormal” you must first determine what is normal, and it turns out that the normal climatic variation has a strong frequency variation with dramatically higher long term components. What this means is that the variation tends to see natural long-term swings, which people who don’t understand can easily misconstrue as some kind of “external” forcing on the system. Think of it as smaller waves, on top of the natural tide (plus a long in between). You see the smaller waves, and then you watch and it appears as if the sea level is rising, as if it would continue to rise forever. In the climate the frequency components are much closer together, more like a small wave on a larger wave – but the effect is the same, the climate “scientists” see the small variations, and don’t realise that these are sitting on much bigger and longer natural variations, so when they see a trend they think it is “something” happennig and don’t recognise it as normal larger-scale noise within this type of system.

    I would personally suggest that the failure of climate “science” to understand the basics of noise, is the reason why they have deluded themselves that there is a signal when what we see is entirely consistent with natural variation.

    One of the characteristics of the natural noise pattern which it seems to me (and to the IPCC by their report) is dominant in the climatic signal, is that you can often find small sections of the graph that appear remarkably similar to the overall graph, and just to take an example the 1945-60 section has this property. It is a shorter and smaller amplitude section, but when you expand the (time) and amplitude of the shorter section it appears like the whole 150 years.

    So if you want to “predict” the future turn it around, and look at the section after the 1945-60 mini-temperature record and what follows is one possible scenario for climate after 2000.

    And for those who didn’t follow: go to this link (http://www.tursiops.cc/fm/) scan down to look at the graph “Pinknoise” (below whitenoise) and see if you think the first quarter has a remarkable resemblence to the global temperature graphs?

  453. Eric Rasmusen says:

    Great post! I link it at http://rasmusen.dreamhosters.com/b/2010/02/991/

    One comment in case you rewrite this: explain more what you mean about RealClimate. I think you mean that they edit the comments section to keep out persuasive arguments against their position, and don’t link to opposing websites like this one (as I recall, they have a blogroll with conspicuous absences, which is the most irrefutable evidence of an attempt to avoid good opposing arguments). But say that in your post. Newcomers won’t know what you’re talkinga bout otherwise.

  454. Bruce says:

    I applaud Dr. Judith Curry for making the effort to open this discussion. It has been posted on many skeptic blogs, but on the other side, I could only find it on Joe Romm’s blog. Real Climate, DeSmog, Rabbet Run, and Dot Earth did not have it. But unfortunately, I don’t know all of the other blogs so I don’t know where else it might have been.

    I hope the Dr. Curry found the response enlightening. I would like to add that I think that there is a big difference in culture between the scietific establishment and the skeptics. As an engineer, I think I can relate to this. In my early years, the process was to create a design, have a design review with our peers, and throw it over the wall and hope there was no feedback. This I think is similar to the scientific process. They get through their peer review, get their work published and that is the end of the process. In the late 1980′s, because of primairly Japanese influence, there was an effort to change the culture. People from manufacturing, quality, customers and customer support became part of our design team. It was amazing the valuable input that we got and what a tremendous resource these additional people were.

    When this process was first introduced, we would allow for a period of venting. This is exactly what Dr. Curry got when she opened this discussion. I do hope that she finds this discussion helpful. I think that the skeptic community can add a great deal to the advancement of science. The areas that come to mind are managing and archiving data, configuration management and statistics.

  455. old construction worker says:

    Smokey (09:00:38) :

    IsoTherm (06:50:50),

    ‘CO2 has risen by about one-third over the past century, but global temperatures are not much different than they were thirty years ago. Something is wrong with the CO2=CAGW hypothesis. It’s too bad Dr Curry can’t bring herself to admit that the assumptions used by climate alarmists are consistently wrong for a self-serving reason: they want to scare the public into shoveling more money their way.’

    The “End justifies the Means” The “End” = Close down all fossil fuel production by CO2 regulations. The “Means” = bend and/or break Scientific rules. Why? Big Money and Cronyism Politics and the belief in “We have the high moral ground on this issue”.
    I wish I had a dollar (due to inflation) for ever time I have heard, “It’s the right thing to do”.

  456. UzUrBrn says:

    Perhaps the AGW cult could get Michael Crichton to write their next treatise, er, IPCC report. One of the reasons his novels are so popular is that they usually contain 95-99% verifiable facts, even though the story line may(?) not be true. That would make a report that many more people believed and the skeptics had a harder time disproving. But, I believe he is also a skeptic.

  457. Phillep Harding says:

    McIntyre is trusted because he is open with what he does, true.

    And, if he is proven to be wrong, I fully expect him to say so —

    And he will still be trusted.

    Jones, Hansen, etc?

    They will never be trusted by the public. Never again. Not so long as the internet is able to freely remind people of who and what they are.

  458. _Jim says:


    IsoTherm (06:50:50) :
    Before I get totally brainwashed by the overwhelming dismissal of the theory of manmade global warming, can I remind everyone that there is good scientific evidence that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. It is therefore logical to expect that an increase in CO2 should lead to an increase in global temperature, and therefore as burning fossil fuel does produce CO2 to go into the atmosphere, and the increase in CO2 appears to have occured in correlation with an increase in global temperature, there is strong circumstantial evidence of a link.

    Now can anyone tell me where this argument is wrong?

    Yes; 1) Atmospheric window at 10 um corresponding to 2) peak in the Planck curve for warmer earth temperatures.

    At best, CO2 effects are marginal owing to bracketing on either side by water vapor …

    For a ‘warmer’ earth, you are fighting radiative power with an exponent to the 4th power with Planck’s curve (LWIR radiation) in conjunction with the path to space through the atmospheric window as well. I would say there is good reason why earth’s surface temperature is in and about the 10 um atmospheric window in relation to the peak occurring in Planck’s curve; the system’s temperature having reached a state of relative equilibrium over the eons …
    .
    .

  459. DirkH says:

    “kwik (11:55:53) :

    Another funny thing is that leftist’s dont understand what a shareholder is, and how the private sector works. They are afraid of it, and hide in some government institution.”

    Spot on, kwik. My christian socialist landlord (not kidding!) told me he would like to see the stock market and shares abolished because shareholders suck the lifeblood out of society… they’ll believe anything Der Spiegel writes i think and misunderstand it along the way.

    Funnily, i had no problems convincing him that AGW ain’t real. Go figure…

  460. IsoTherm says:

    Sorry to go on, but I’ve just worked out how to explain this to people without signal processing backgrounds. There is an argument for the existence of god that there must be a supreme being being the universe exhibits such a find mechanism that just as the existence of a watch shows that there must have been a watchmaker even though we have never seen them.

    The counter-argument to the watchmaker is that systems can exhibit complex patterns without there being a need for a “watchmaker” aka god. A classic example is evolution, whereby entirely random events are built up and collected into the natural characteristics of species.

    Just as pre-Darwin, people believed that the variation of species must indicate some “external” force which they attributed to god, so the climate-scientists look at the natural patterns in the climate, and can’t conceive that the short-term variation could possibly explain the long term variation they see, so seeing unexplained trends, they looked for a “watchmaker” and found CO2.

    QED. The the climate god called “CO2″ must exist, we must sacrifice to the climate god and unless we do so we shall all go to global warming hell. (Except those who buy Al Gores Carbon Credit indulgences which exempt these righteous people from global warming hell)

  461. DirkH says:

    “UzUrBrn (12:53:59) :

    Perhaps the AGW cult could get Michael Crichton to write their next treatise, er, IPCC report. ”

    Unfortunately, Michael Crichton ain’t available anymore… he passed away a few years ago.

  462. Mike Borgelt says:

    [ snip - call to action you mentioned was just a bit OTT and can be misconstrued]

    Dr Curry has been quite happy to be part of the climate “science” gravy train until now, taking money from hard pressed taxpayers.
    Her posts are just CYA as she sees which way the wind is blowing. “Denier” and “Big Oil conspiracy” indeed. RealClimate a useful blog? Get real. It is a mouthpiece for extremist fanatics funded by deep green propaganda organisations.

    The current crop of climate researchers involved in the AGW fraud need to stand up publicly, declare that their research is untrustworthy at best, fraud at worst and warn politicians and policy makers that no action should be taken as a result of it. Then retire, be investigated and some face appropriate criminal charges. Reduction of sentences for those who admit the error of their ways

    This is a fight for the existence of technological civilization. There’s no room for compromise or mercy. Those who were on the other side must have their reputations utterly destroyed.

  463. Paul Vaughan says:

    This is a complex issue that can’t be solved with (often goofy) hyperpartisan oversimplification.

    One problem is constriction of flow of ideas, so further tightening of an already narrowly-focused review process is the opposite of what is needed in many cases. Strategic liberalization might help ensure alternative ideas are not so easy to choke.

    The main thing is that whatever gets published needs to sensibly qualify conclusions. For example, “If assumptions A, B, & C hold, then …”, etc.

    It has become mainstream convention in disciplines like biology, economics, & climate science to apply untenable assumptions (in calculating p-values for example) without even being explicit. Since most people, including the majority of academics, lack the deep foundations necessary to realize this, nonsensical notions about statistics & their interpretation have (dangerously) become mainstream convention.

    Perhaps sometimes the answer is to (rather than block a paper) require that words like “proves” be toned down to something a whole lot more sober.

    So in a nutshell: Liberalization with appropriate qualifiers coupled with statistical miseducation reduction (the latter of which will require decades or more).

  464. RedS10 says:

    Willis,

    Your essay, in the guise of this retort, was brilliant. Well done, indeed!

    I sincerely hope that you, Anthony & Steve can truly appreciate the impact you have had on all of mankind’s trajectory toward good health & welfare.

    Thank you, thank you very much. btc

  465. p.g.sharrow "PG" says:

    Willis Eschenbach : great posting, although a mite long, and it’s taken me 4hours to read all the comments. Glad I did!: Willis Eschenbach (10:36:22) no wonder you think like a real person, I’ve walked many of the same paths to enlightenment.
    Dr Curry complains about tomatoes from both sides. :-) better then the brickbats and stones that have come our way. The new”peer” review is, publish here, and get a real examination by your peers, the auditors of the world, WUWT.

  466. Pascvaks says:

    Willis, I get the impression that there’s a few realclimate folks in here trying to burn the Doc with their sarcasm and venom and poison any future communication by her with WUWT. The lady has, very apparently, made an honest attempt toward “rebuilding the lost trust we used to have in climate science and climate scientists” –as you said. Time to call for a separate peace with anyone coming to the door who genuinely wants to work toward common ground; especially someone with Doctor Curry’s qualifications. In future, might be prudent to use less hot curry powder in any rebuttal to a guest’s blog entry.

  467. Sharon says:

    UzUrBrn (12:53:59) :

    Perhaps the AGW cult could get Michael Crichton to write their next treatise, er, IPCC report . . . I believe he is also a skeptic.

    **************************************

    Aside from the fact that he’s dead, this is an excellent idea.

  468. kwik says:

    UzUrBrn (12:53:59) :

    UzUrBrn, Michael Crichton died in 2008, I’m sad to say.

    If you look at his site on AGW, you will see that he was on our side. He was firmly footed in the world of facts.

    And, scroll down to the bottom; IPCC itself debunked models already in 2001!!!

    So how the Carbon Cult can use model-outputs from models as scientific proofs, in papers used by the IPCC….is beyond me.

    Here;

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

  469. Jordan says:

    @ Judith Curry (04:34:45):

    This fair minded community welcomes your participation. Not because you are brave. We welcome the interaction with practitioners, including Drs Christie and Spencer, and nobody congratulates them for being brave.

    You are entitled to expect respect when your articles have earned the right to be respected. But your thesis is infuriating and I totally support Willis in his forthright rebuttal.

    I will not dwell on the “Big Baccy” (or whatever) and “Well Funded Denial” (or whatever) nonsense. I’d just like to advise you to leave that kind of lazy, empty-headed conjecture out of your future attempts to make friends and influence.

    You have sought to open a discussion on the grounds that winning over the public is only a matter of better presentation. Bad move!

    As another poster has already said – how much “presentation” does your argument really need? Surely that alone should have told you something.

    But that’s not what reall bothers me about your argument. I reserve the most criticism for the arrogant assumption that the public is gullible and ignorant enough to buy the same dead arguments, if they were better presented. That’s well below the standard of thinking that we should expect from you.

    You have still not come to terms with havng lost control and the initiative to the bloggers. Somebody mentioned number of psychological stages for change (Denial, Anger, Depression and Acceptance) and you appear to be struggling to dig yourself out of denial.

    It must be tough for institutional academia to suffer the indignity of losing the agenda to “outsiders”. People who lack the luxuries of reputation and funding enjoyed by academia.

    But that’s what has happened, and it happened for one simple reason. Think of it as a measure of the quality of the science as practised in academia versus the standards of science being promoted by McIntyre, Watts and many others.

    They may be “outsiders”, but you make a mistake when you assume that people outside academia are stupid. There are plenty of people out there who are just as well qualified, clever and experienced as you’ll find in academia.

    That should warn you to forget about trying to put old wine in new bottles in a new campaign of persuasion.

    The only way to get back the initiative is to beat the “outsiders” at their own game. Do better science and do it according to the well tried and tested priciciples of the scientific method.

    Come back and talk on those terms, and perhaps people around here will not be so harsh and critical.

    But right now Judith, you are hoping to persuade the public that they won’t get their fingers dirty if they pick up a turd by the clean end.

  470. John from MN says:

    Willis,
    A homerun IMHO, yes a Homerun. I think you verbalized what so many people that follow this debate FEEL. I also want to thank Judith for offering up the Talking points. As well thanks to Anthony and his hard working crew. Also a hand can be given to all the people who visit here and post here. It shows how important this debate is to so many that have it rammed down their throat from the one-sided, one sighted, Blind Alarmists……Like the worst of the worst Joe Romm…….Sincere Thanks to You, John T.

  471. Jryan says:

    UzUrBrn (12:53:59) :

    Perhaps the AGW cult could get Michael Crichton to write their next treatise, er, IPCC report. One of the reasons his novels are so popular is that they usually contain 95-99% verifiable facts, even though the story line may(?) not be true. That would make a report that many more people believed and the skeptics had a harder time disproving. But, I believe he is also a skeptic.

    —————————————————————-

    Except that Crichton died on November 4, 2008.

  472. Pacer says:

    There is little that I disagree with in Willis’s post. I too am angry, livid angry, and deeply regret not delving into the debates when I first read of M & M’s critique of the “hockey stick”. I am late to the party but thankfully not too late.

    Every poster here should at least recognize Dr. Curry’s attempt at dialogue as more then reasonably brave . Dr. Curry had to know that she was putting herself squarely in the middle when her post was published. If she didn’t she does now. I trust that those who post disagreement with her article and her past assertions re: climate will remain respectful in their comments regarding Dr. Curry.

    Dr. Curry holds a view on climate change that most on this blog do not. But the last 2 days of dialogue involving Dr. Curry’s post have been stimulating and informative. How much more productive the debate would be if more scientist and advocates of “warming” had a least 1/10 the courage and grace that Dr. Curry does.

  473. Rob H says:

    Why would you respect this woman? She is certainly no scientist worthy of the name based on her arguments that, summed up, still blame the “deniers” for the increasing public doubt about her “scientists”.

  474. Daniel says:

    Judith here comes your friends “to persuade an increasingly sceptical public”

    “Climate scientists must do more to work out how exceptionally cold winters or a dip in world temperatures fit their theories of global warming, if they are to persuade an increasingly sceptical public. ”

    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/et-cetera/Scientists-examine-causes-for-lull-in-warming/articleshow/5616841.cms

  475. Rob H says:

    “Climate science” is a contrived fraud to get funding. There is no evidence of an urgent need to spend hundreds of millions studying a problem that exists only in the minds of people like James Hansen, head of “climate change” at NASA, who declared in 1981 for god’s sake that climate warming was a crisis. The fact is that “proxy data” like ice cores, tree rings and ocean bottom sediments and inadequate error filled historic thermometer temperatures cannot prove any global warming over a period that could be said to have any meaning. The contrived unproven “forcings” and “tipping points” are not science they are made up reasons for more funding. Given the major problems facing the world the money being spent on “climate science” and the AGW conjecture is immoral.

  476. two moon says:

    UzUrBrn: Regret to advise that Crichton is unavailable. He is deceased.

  477. RockyRoad says:

    OT but interesting confrontation between Inhoff and Lisa Jackson:

    “At a hearing Tuesday by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget, ranking Republican James Inhofe told EPA head Lisa Jackson that man-induced climate change was a “hoax” concocted by ideologically motivated researchers who “cooked the science.”

    http://www.investors.com/NewsAndAnalysis/Article.aspx?id=522120

    Looks like they’re going to be calling Al Gore back to confront him, too. Wow, that should be interesting.

    I wonder if Dr. Curry would like to participate, perhaps as an expert witness?

  478. jlc says:

    Thanks to both Willis and Judith.

    Willis, you have articulated what I would have liked to have said. I am a civil engineer with far too many yeaars of experience in hydroelectric project development, so I live and die by climate.

    I have worked with many of the best geologists in the world. I have to say that I don’t know any working geologist who affords any credibility to CAGW.

    Judith, did you really think that your use of the “d” word would not arouse anger, resentment or hostility?

    If this is what you thought, you are far stupider than I took you for.

    Jack

  479. JonesII says:

    old construction worker (12:49:59) “We have the high moral ground on this issue”
    That is precisly the point. The people behind this ideology or whatsoever you may call it, think that they are doing it for the sake of humanity, they think that through these means they have already achieved a more equalized society, since they began their revolution, back in the days of the french revolution which achieved their main goal of wiping out monarchies and turning to secular forms of state/governments, and science to the agnostic “illustrated” level. Now, using the service of the same institutions they used in the past, promote the new socialist revolution, now intended to rule over the whole world. Cheers with Kool-Aid!

  480. Indiana Bones says:

    Sean Peake (09:41:05) :

    It’s remarkable that apparently a handful of “trustworthy” scientists can corrupt a whole field of science by deliberately poisoning the well from which all others draw.

    Indeed. What does this tell us about the analytical powers of thousands of “climate scientists??” Did these people really want to know the truth, or were they taking a free ride on a gravy train?

    Artifice in = Artifice out.

    We are probably reaching a point at which warmists fully acknowledge their part in the marked failing of the last twenty years. From there we can move to amends. I think from the tone following Willis, real, sincere, material amends would be welcome here. But it’s going to cost something.

  481. bobdenton says:

    Willis Eschenbach (09:19:11) : wrote:

    “Read what I wrote. I asked for two simple things — for honest science, and for climate scientists to police their own back yard. All that stuff about red chinese confessions is your own fevered imagination.
    Is my writing really that hard to understand?”

    No.

    These are the passages that caught my eye:

    “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 one of you good folks going to take a principled stand?
    ——
    Here’s one. Ask every climate scientist to grow a pair and speak out in public about the abysmal practices of far, far too many mainstream climate scientists.
    ——
    For you to say this without also expressing outrage at realclimate’s ruthless censorship of every opposing scientific view is more of the same conspiracy of silence.
    ———-
    y’all cower in your cubbyholes with your heads down and never, never, never say a bad word about some other climate scientist’s bogus claims and wrong actions.
    ———–
    publicly call out the Manns and the Joneses and the Thompsons and the rest of the charlatans that you are currently protecting. Call out the journals that don’t follow their own policies on data archiving
    ——-
    You will never recover a scrap of trust until you admit that you are the source of your problems, all we did was point them out. You individually, and you as a group, created this mess. The first step to redemption is to take responsibility.”

    To me, this sounds like a call for ritual self-humiliation, though the tone of your piece is of barely contained anger and that mayn’t have been your intent.

    The bottom line is that there’s a reality with which everyone outraged by the way climate science has been hijacked by the mentality of a shyster advocate will have to come to terms, the expiation which many feel is due will not happen. There will be no trials, no scientist will be cross-examined into a cocked hat and break down admitting his crime and no scientist will be led away from court in chains.

    Probably the best that can happen is that the majority of climate scientist can be drawn into process where they acknowledge departures from best practice in the past, red flag a few papers, agree best scientific practice for the future and cooperate in representing the science in an, objectively agreed, fair manner.

    Achieving a fair and accurate portrayal of the science is of primary importance for me and I would consider that a satisfactory result.

    The alternative, if no opportunity for a dignified novation is offered, is that they brazen it out, Michael Mann style, and stick two fingers up at the lot of us and laugh with glee as the less temperate burn up in their own indignation.

    Anger is cathartic, but it’s not constructive.

  482. NickB. says:

    DirkH (13:04:52)

    I think we could have a very interesting conversation about this sometime. As someone who works for a very large publicly traded multinational (not oil or coal TYVM) I have very some very strong opinions about the effect of shareholders and boards on organizations.

    Personally I think it really boils down to failure of leadership (Executives and Boards in particular), and TBH I don’t believe there’s any better way to go about it, but let me just say that the decisions made by boards and execs at the behest of stock market analysts are not always in the best interests of the shareholders.

  483. Phillep Harding says:

    ISO Therm,

    Why rely on reasoning to predict behavior when we can use data to show if the premise is worth exploring?

    IOW, show that past increases in CO2 lead temperature increases.

  484. Captain Chris says:

    “A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them. ” — John C. Maxwell

    Regrettably, based on Dr. Curry’s post, one must conclude that the AGW community is none of the above.

    Bravo, Willis.

  485. Willis:

    “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.”

    I think you are imprecise here willis. Dr. Curry was not silent back in 2007 and supported our cause for free access to data and code. She did so on a thread at RC.. the 1934 thread see the comments. we need to be as accurate in our characterizations of peoples behavior as we expect them to be in their characterizations of the science.

  486. Speechless in Seattle says:

    Digest, condense:
    Dr Curry is nice, but wrong.
    Mr Eschenbach is not nice, but right.
    ____________________________________
    On the politicization of science:
    A steadily increasing share [of research] is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government. … [T]he free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.
    [Eisenhower’s 1961 Farewell Address.]
    [A pity it was not his inaugural address.]
    ——————————–
    On the scientification of politics:
    Politician (to the audience): “You may fool all of the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time”
    (Aside, to an aide:) “That is why we have democracy. You only need to fool a small majority of those you permit to vote once every four years.”
    (The aide, chuckling:) “I get it. Then we call it the consensus of the nation and declare the issue is settled.”
    ____________________________________
    If
    Science = scientia = knowledge
    Knowledge implies truth
    Then
    How much knowledge / truth is there in ClimateScience (TM) ?
    ———————————
    Remember Socrates?
    “I know how little I know.”

  487. Jeff Id says:

    Very nice post Willis. This is about the fourth in a row that has really blown me away. I might have to blog on it later. THX!

  488. dkjones says:

    Dr. Curry,

    From your earlier essay, I got from your tone that you STILL have an almost dogmatic belief that “your” side is correct. Even in the face of, in my opinion, well reasoned arguments and actual measurements.

    The AGW crowd has this belief that those on the side of “mostly natural climate change” are some stereotypical bumpkin without any real scientific training and therefore feel justified in dismissing our comments and arguments.

  489. Willis Eschenbach says:

    bobdenton (14:00:07)

    … Anger is cathartic, but it’s not constructive.

    People keep telling me this, but I see no evidence of this in the real world. The American colonists got angry, righteously pissed off, about the way the King was treating them … not constructive?

    I wish more climate scientists would get angry about how their field has been compromised, and as a result would stand up and say something about it. I would see that as very constructive.

    In my view anger, like anything else, can be both constructive and destructive. However, what is rarely constructive in my experience is for me to pretend to be something that I’m not. Fact is, I’m angry. For me to pretend not to be angry would not only not be constructive, it would be deceptive.

  490. DirkH says:

    “NickB. (14:07:46) :
    [...]
    Personally I think it really boils down to failure of leadership (Executives and Boards in particular), and TBH I don’t believe there’s any better way to go about it, but let me just say that the decisions made by boards and execs at the behest of stock market analysts are not always in the best interests of the shareholders.”

    So you’re already differentiating there… I don’t think we’re that much apart. Yes, short term decisions to pump up a shares’s price are often harmful to business. While i like a quick buck just as much as the next person i sleep much better when i know that i own a sound business.

    “Judith Curry (04:34:45) :
    [...]
    I am angry as a scientist, since I may have been using unnecessarily inaccurate surface temperature data in my research. Ecologists, chemical engineers, etc. who have made career decisions in directing their research toward climate change impacts or mitigation have been trusting the system to work.”

    Now that really explains something. All these researchers trusting their input data, happily sitting in their ivory towers, proving that earth is in for a hard time from 9 to 5, feeling satisfied that they help to avert desaster. Suddenly finding out that the input data was garbage. All those merry proofs for nought.

    Here’s a hint from a programmer: Never trust data that comes from outside your system. The assumption that it’s correct benign data might hold, or it might not. Run integrity checks. Get a second source. Be cautious. Ever wondered why GISTEMP changes the past with each release? Smells foul, doesn’t it? Keep copies of each version if that’s your input.

    Especially, it might have helped if all you scientists had watched out for contrarian papers.

    Failed to do all that? Too bad, so sad.

  491. intrepid_wanders says:

    Willis Eschenbach (10:36:22) : I have made my living variously as a commercial fisherman (the Bering Sea is as cold as it looks on TV), as a musician, as a psychotherapist, as an accountant, as a carpenter, as a consultant in village level development in the Third World, as a marine refrigeration technician, as a cowboy, as a sport salmon fishing guide on the Kenai River in Alaska, as a construction manager for high-end resorts, and as a computer programmer. And a bunch more.

    So I’d have to say I’m a generalist.

    Ah, I so like Heilein,

    Specialization is for Insects.

  492. Jordan says:

    Pacer (13:29:54) : “Every poster here should at least recognize Dr. Curry’s attempt at dialogue as more then reasonably brave.”

    I’d rather not go down that line Pacer. What does it tell tell us about the condition of institutionalised climatology? What does it say about the ability to look objectively at the issues and evidence?

    There are other practitioners who post here, and we don’t recognise their bravery for engaging with this community.

    “I trust that those who post disagreement with her article and her past assertions re: climate will remain respectful in their comments regarding Dr. Curry.”

    I believe the posts here have been respectful to Dr Curry. I’m confident that she’ll be capable of separating personal attack from harsh criticism of lack of standards in climatology research, and criticism of her views.

    Anyway, we can leave it to Judith to judge the extent to which such criticisms may or may not apply to her professional conduct. Willis and others do a perfectly good job of leaving Judith and other practitioners in no doubt about their views on what is expected of professional conduct, and what has been evident for many years now.

    I see no grounds for mitigation on fear/bravery. Such excuses are not generally available to other professions where there are significant public interest concerns.

    And a final thought for you Pacer. Judith does not come here for dialogue about the evidence of AGW catastrophe. She is trying to get back some respectability back for the AGW orthodoxy, and to get some of this back into academia. Her time would be better spent quietly doing some proper research.

  493. Willis Eschenbach says:

    ISO Therm, while your questions and the ensuing discussion are interesting, this is not the thread for them. I directed you to two other threads here and here that address these issues directly, there are hundreds more on the web.

    So I’d request that you take your questions to a thread which is relevant to your subject.

    w.

  494. Sgt Relic says:

    Well stated, Willis! Judith Curry has made a half-step on the road to recovery by acknowledging that she has a problem. The first full step won’t be complete until she correctly identifies what that problem is.

    We can help her out but we can’t do it for her. Here’s a start. The failure to create a message sufficiently folksy to fool the “uneducated” masses is NOT the problem.

    We spend billions of dollars every year on researches and yet not one red cent is going to find a cure for smug.

  495. John Murphy says:

    OceanTwo

    Although I agree with a lot of Willis’s sentiments I think he has overstepped the mark in a few places here. Although he is right that mainstream climate scientists should have spoken out against the distortion of science, remarks such as “the rest of you are complicit in the crime by your silence” and “your stupidity and your dishonesty and your scientific malfeasance” are over the top and not fair.

    To be a professional does not only mean you are skilled at something, which is the everyday use of the word. It also means that you have accepted the ethical obligation of placing the truth and the welfare of those affected by your work ahead of your own interests – income, prestige, ego etc.

    Most, but not all, professions are self-regulating through personal interaction and through the peak organisations of the profession – think the General medical Council in the UK.

    Particularly in those professionas that do not have peak organisations it is incumbent on each member to control the others – because in becoming a member of the profession you accepted the obligation I mentioned.

    It doesn’t matter if most people would find to difficult or distressing to criticise (or out) a fellow member. If difficulty or distress prevents you, then you have not complied with your obligation and should leave the profession.

    Only when the public knows that a profession genuinely self-disciplines will it trust the professsion.

    Peer-review of publications is a formal part of that system. The warmists have corrupted it. Not only do they corrupt it, they then point to the results of their own corrupt practices as evidence that the profession is engaged in its proper self-disciplinary processes.

  496. Ron Furner says:

    re: TomFP
    An uttery superb, insightful expression, almost word for word, of the reasons why reasonably educated non-scientists like myself are skeptical regarding AGW Bravo!
    Thank you Tom

    Ron Furner

  497. John from CA says:

    I made the mistake of reading your post 1st but then read Dr. Curry’s

    Here’s what I posted for her yet I sincerely feel relates to you rebuttal.

    Thanks for posting Dr. Curry,
    I’m about as close to “John Q. Public” as you’re likely to find and the issue[s] for me are fairly obvious.

    You are not taking your audience seriously when we seek information related to climate models and are instructed that its simply too complicated to explain and to present online.

    We seek hard facts to support the wild claims of the IPCC reports and find an unending stream of internet posts from Scientists pointing out the obvious flaws in the logic.

    As we search, we encounter contradictory studies from the UN’s own research groups saying the opposite of the IPCC conclusions.

    And, we are constantly bombarded with comments from lame duck politicians and unqualified business characters claiming we should shell out to stave off or hide from a pending worldwide disaster.

    The reports, the facts, and the exaggerated claims do nothing but support a complete lack of credibility for Climate Science and convince us that you have been “bought”.

    Can Trust Be Rebuilt?
    I really hope so, these wild claims are influencing our children and encouraging them to dismiss Scientific pursuits and amazing Institutions like NASA and NOAA.

    If the claims have any validity, why didn’t you approach the definition and resolution of the situation in an open worldwide way?

    Why is the data locked up when it should have been evaluated in the most efficient way via nearly every University in the world and tested under a shared model?

    Willis, for what its worth, I think your comments are insightful but there was nothing in them that resolves the situation and in this regard Good for Dr. Curry to at least propose the idea.

    Without resolution is there a Science we can trust?

  498. Anticlimactic says:

    One can see how this mess might have happened : my interpretation is :

    It was unfortunate that the heads of CRU, NOAA and GISS were committed believers in AGW rather than people who simply wanted to measure temperatures as accurately as possible.

    To begin with there was no problem – temperatures were increasing. Then things started going wrong. As they were ‘right’ about AGW there was no harm in fudging the data a little bit to keep up the momentum and not allow any doubts to arise, after all it would only be temporary and the figures would come right again.

    They didn’t! It was necessary to massage the data more and more to keep the idea of AGW alive. They became increasingly paranoid about being found out, and aggressive to anyone who wanted to check the data or publish papers not supporting AGW. They wanted to keep AGW going until the ‘anomalies’ went away.

    They found they could get away with it. The media became their perfect mouth piece, politicians believed their every word, critics were like ants to be crushed at will – they were unassailable, god-like. Their arrogance grew. Science was no longer necessary, opinion could replace science as long as it was called science.

    Then Climategate happened, and suddenly to some of the public they started to look like small, naked false gods. People started listening to the critics, and thinking for themselves. The media started looking at the science, and found it wasn’t science at all.

    Although it may take a while to die, AGW is effectively dead. If so much effort and research could not produce a robust science, then more of the same is unlikely to. Also, reality is catching up with it, and the solar driven climate model seems to be the best fit to the real world. [not that that is much consolation if we are heading for a Dalton minimum]

  499. rbateman says:

    So by staking this middle position, i pretty much am getting tomatoes thrown at me from both sides, but I am hoping to provoke both sides to think about productive ways of moving forward in getting climate science back on track.

    I prefer to throw tomatoes at bad ideas, Dr. Curry., rather than at the people who throw the bad ideas at me. Except for the few who have engaged in yelling Fire of a crowded planet, most positions are amenable once everyone can calm down. The 1st step, it seems to me, is a do-over as regards to raw data. That should be the common ground.
    There has to be an effort to diffuse the sense of catastrophic emergency that has fallen into the hands of some politicians eager to wield new power.
    Those types will misuse both sides of the debate, and once having spoiled it, will throw rotten tomatoes at the well-being of both science and the populace.

  500. magicjava says:

    [quote Judith Curry (04:34:45) :]
    But no one person can sort through everything, so we have to trust the process and institutions of science to support the scientific progress.
    [/quote]

    The point is, Dr. Curry, that under the current system no 100,000 people can sort through _anything_. Data and code are hidden away under lock and key.

    This is what needs to change.

    And we skeptics will change it. Through careful collection of the data that is available, through collaboration via blogs, and through court order.

    What you currently considered to be “science” is going to end and is going to be replaced by an open system that anyone can take part in. You’re not going to stop it. RealClimate isn’t going to stop it. Obama isn’t going to stop it.

    Mainstream scientists can help us end it or you can try to stand in our way and get taken down.

    The choice is yours.

  501. vjones says:

    Willis Eschenbach (14:36:35) :

    Anger [without action] is a wasted emotion. Yours is clearly not wasted.

  502. It was Openheimer who quoted “I have become death”… and his science was sound. But the scientists could not just walk away from the consequences.
    How do the AGW scientists now feel? Their ‘science’ was wrong and yet they have unleashed a global disaster: from pensioners dragging recycling bins through their front rooms to the street to third world countries trading their ability to develop for iniquitous carbon credits and their own people dying for want of basic amenities fossil fuels could have provided.
    Partial repentance by Judith Curry and others is a start and to be accepted, but I doubt they have yet grasped the full enormity of the ‘monster’ they helped to create.
    They really do need to step aside or they are likely to make a whole lot of new mistakes.

  503. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    “The public, it turns out, has a much better bullsh*t detector than the mainstream climate scientists do”

    Amen, Wills.

  504. hmccard says:

    Willis,

    Thank you so much for eloquently articulating the feelings of many of us ‘lurkers’ in the “silent majority” who do not comment on this and other skeptical blogs.

    Hank McCard

  505. Lance says:

    Josh says @1:34 am
    I put the cartoon here – top of the page

    http://www.cartoonsbyjosh.com

    mega kudos on the cartoon, Josh!
    And respect to mr Eschenbach, u managed to capture my anger and frustration in words perfectly. Combined with the awesome cartoons of Josh (all three I’ve seen) it fills me with relief knowing that I’m not some conspiracy theorist. That there really is something very wrong going on here. Sometimes I get that feeling, when I carefully -probingly- (is that a word?) try to discuss this in public. A lot of people I greatly respect on a professional level are so into the AGW dogma (so many people…) that sometimes I get the feeling that I am a crazy conspiracy nut! Thank Mother Earth for all you peeps here, oh and for climate…

  506. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    “Stephen Schneider, who said:

    To capture the public imagination, we have to offer up some scary scenarios, make simplified dramatic statements and little mention of any doubts one might have”

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    Scheider only does this because he isn’t smart enough to know how to accomplish things without doing it.

  507. Theo Goodwin says:

    Paul Vaughn writes:

    “The main thing is that whatever gets published needs to sensibly qualify conclusions. For example, “If assumptions A, B, & C hold, then …”, etc.”

    Last time I looked, this was a core value of scientific method. Science, at least since Galileo, is first and foremost a critical enterprise. A scientist has a duty to publish not only the results of experiments, but data, methods, and hypotheses with all assumptions explicit. Then other scientists can replicate the work. Climategaters have violated scientific method from day one and have moved into advocacy. Look on any Climategater website and you will not find one word about scientific method. There is not one of them who will address the topic.

  508. jorgekafkazar says:

    bobdenton says, “Your precondition for the restoration of trust invokes scenarios not very different from the public humiliation of professors by the Red Guards during China’s Cultural Revolution”

    Not at all. In this present case, the Red Guards are beginning to lose. Had they won, the result would have been, as you say, “not very different.” We may have been saved from the “Cultural Revolution” planned for us by Gore, Soros, Hansen, Pachauri, and the other “Red Guards.”

  509. Milwaukee Bob says:

    Willis, Absolutely cognizant and analytical response to Dr. Curry, and responses to follow-on posts here. Makes an old logicians heart warm here on a cold evening in Florida. You have also managed to capture and express (as evidenced by the great majority of responses here) what we feel has been AND continues to be done to the reputation of the scientific process in general and specifically in the climate science area.

    Dr. Curry, thank you for your equally mindful response. I truly think the two of you could be co-leaders in fight to put science back in science and the start of something great and beneficial to the whole scientific community AND the rest of us. Lead the way together! I know most of us will follow the TRUTH no matter where it takes us.

    Steve Goddard (11:38:27) :
    “ Obama says that he has “only a few years to save the planet” but personally I think the planet is completely oblivious to his existence.”

    Damn shame the humans that live on the plant CAN’T be oblivious to his existence!

  510. Malcolm Miller says:

    I am amazed by the number of people appearing here who do not seem to have read what came before, in this same thread. Why, I wonder, are there people who still don’t know that carbon dioxide is a minor greenhous gas, because increasing its quantity over a certian amount cannot possibly make it absorb more energy from the Sun. This has been explained twice here today. The physics is undeniable.

  511. Theo Goodwin says:

    Steven Mosher writes:

    “I think you are imprecise here willis. Dr. Curry was not silent back in 2007 and supported our cause for free access to data and code. She did so on a thread at RC.. the 1934 thread see the comments.”

    Excuse me. The woman is just as tongue tied about scientific method as any other Climategater. If any one of them took scientific method seriously, as the duty it is for scientists, not one of them could look herself in the mirror. If you want to speculate on what caused her to be deficient in scientific method, go right ahead but it is irrelevant to everything in this Climategate affair.

  512. jorgekafkazar says:

    On rereading this post, I’m not thrilled with the title. In context, it sounds somewhat sexist and condescending.

    I also agree with Dr. Curry that her use of the d-word was clearly not intended to offend, as used in her original post. Unfortunately, it’s become a “loaded word” (ala Hayakawa), best eschewed in all contexts, similar to another infamous word.

    I hope that these comments and emails will assist Dr. Curry in further understanding the nature and magnitude of the problem.

  513. It's always Marcia, Marcia says:

    Lucy Skywalker (01:55:40) :

    Oh crikey, another religious parallel, but it fits. It’s like being able to read the Bible in your native language, rather than it being behind a paywall in Latin.

    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

    Which translation of your language is important too. There’s that translation problem of “day” in the creation account for starters.

  514. geo says:

    Oh, the planet will be fine. Some days I like George Carlin’s idea that it spawned us because it wanted styrofoam.

  515. rbateman says:

    Philip Foster (15:34:52) :

    Yes, I agree, a Monster has been unleashed and handed over to those who have no business messing with things way beyond thier understanding.
    As the mayor of Moscow found out to his horror, messing with controlling the weather is dangerous business and full of unintended consequence.

    As for the rest of them out there contemplating forcing the climate/weather…
    -what else can it be? – leads straight to – what could go wrong?

  516. davidmhoffer says:

    Science, Politics and the Chernobyl Disaster

    Communist Russia was not a good place to speak Truth to Power. The story goes that Stalin asked his generals how many soldiers it would take to stop the Nazi advance. Upon being told 1 million, he ordered 1 million soldiers to the front. The top general advised that they didn’t HAVE 1 million soldiers. Stalin pulled out a gun and shot him dead. He turned to the next general and ordered 1 million soldiers to the front. He was promptly told that his orders would be carried out, and no doubt supplied with paperwork to show that they had. I don’t know if the story is true. But that was the climate of fear that prevented Truth from being spoken to Power.

    Fast forward to Chernobyl. America was way ahead in building nuclear reactors. The communist government demanded of their scientists that they start building reactors. The scientists didn’t have the know how, but there was no way they were going to say so. What they did have was stolen copies of plans for a nuclear reactor. They were under orders to build a better one.

    They didn’t have the know how to build a better one, so instead they built the same one, but made it look different. The American reactor looked like a teepee. The fuel rods met at the top. As the rods were pushed upward, their tips neared each other, causing fission that could be ramped up or down by adjusting the height of the rods. The Russian design looked like an inverted teepee which the Russiann scientists claimed had all sorts of advantages. It had no advantages, and it had a serious design flaw.

    In the American design, if anything really bad happened, the electromagnets that pushed the rods upward would fail, and the rods would slide downward, stopping the fission process. In the Russian design, any loss of power resulted in the electromagnets releasing the fuel rods, and gravity slid them right to maximum fission. When some genius decided to run an experiment that exceeded the safety limits of the reactor, the safety systems shut it down safely. Determined to run his experiment, he disabled the safety systems. The rest is history.

    I’ve read many versions of this story too, and I don’t know how accurate it is, but there is a gigantic kernel of truth that has everything to do with the climate debate. The generals and scientists in communist Russia who feared to speak Truth to Power had their lives on the line. The scientists who have aided and abetted politicians with asperations of power have no such excuse. They gave the answers that Power asked for like they were speaking to Stalin or Kruschev. I have every right to be angry.

  517. Gary Hladik says:

    Willis, let me be the (apparently) 500th-and-change to congratulate you on your excellent essay. Where some see a rant, I see a passionate and eloquent point-by-point rebuttal of Dr. Curry’s article (and a lot of work for the moderators, bless ‘em).

    The only fault I can find is that it apparently omits the “digest” version requested yesterday by Dr. Svalgaard. If I may presume:

    “If you want me to ‘trust’ climate ‘science’, this is where to start!”

  518. John Whitman says:

    Willis,

    To some extemt your emotion is shared by me.

    You have previously led with numerous cool and reasoned posts. They set up your ability to be justifiably angry at this point.

    A scientist’s tool is exactly the same as a non-scientist’s tool. Mind. We can understand the same things equally. A scientist should know this and be humble.

    John

  519. Christoph Horst says:

    Dear Mr Eschenbach,

    thanks a lot for this. It was a pleasure to read – well roared, lion.

    Like you, I think the problem with established climate science is they don’t follow the scientific method. Which is: you can never prove a theory; science progresses by getting rid of falsified theories.

    I somehow like Phil Jones’ answer to Warwick Hughes for its unmasking naivety. Compare this to what Sir Karl Popper had to say about the method of science, it being

    “the method of proposing bold hypotheses, and exposing them to the severest criticism, in order to detect where we have erred.”
    (Unended Quest, London 1992, p. 86)

    Keep up the good work!

  520. latitude says:

    Judith Curry
    ” I am angry as a scientist, since I may have been using unnecessarily inaccurate surface temperature data in my research. Ecologists, chemical engineers, etc. who have made career decisions in directing their research toward climate change impacts or mitigation have been trusting the system to work”

    You would think, since the question about surface data had been going on for a long time, since so many people depend on it, since it is the basis and so important, that one of you guys might have checked.

    If it hadn’t been “outed”, would you still be going on your merry way producing bad science?

    Judith, I don’t mean for that to sound unduly harsh, because I really do appreciate you and what you are doing.
    I know, in my field, I trust nothing. Before I would waste my time or put my name on something, I’m going to check my own data. If a source has been questioned, I’m going to use a completely different source and triple check it to death.

  521. Judith Curry says:

    Science is science, we all value science and need to preserve its integrity. But we are all human, and trust and irrationality play a role in our thinking and discourse. Does this help scientific progress? No. But but we need to recognize their importance in human interactions. Two examples here: allegedly “rational” skeptics here go ballistic over the “d” word and reject all of my arguments because of the “d” word. Look in the mirror, I have certainly forced myself to confront my own biases and prejudice in not rejecting others arguments, otherwise i wouldn’t spend any time here at all.

    With regards to trust. Many of you have stated in your comments that you don’t trust me. Trust is obviously not irrelevant here. Trust is part of the reason that Willis and I can carry on a relatively civil conversation about this topic. I first encountered Willis over at climateaudit in Aug 2006 when my “mixing politics and science” paper (on the subject of hurricanes) was being discussed. Two people that I particularly remember from that encounter were Willis and Bender. The “warmer” blogs thought it hysterically funny that I suggested to Bender that we write a paper together, and Bender squirmed. Willis impressed me as a sincere and respectful person, who was prepared to do some work and dig into the data. Whenever I subsequently checked in at climateaudit, willis would always say hello and drop a kind word, even if he wasn’t particularly interested in the topic at hand. Several times I noticed a comment of Willis over at a warmer blog, and he was immediately slagged as climatefrauditor, or whatever. I recall defending him and vouching for his sincerity in two different instances. So in this weird blogospheric environment, Willis and I have developed some sort of trust.

    Most of you don’t know much about me, perhaps a few words on this would help you better focus your comments and questions. Yes I my undergraduate degree is in geography, but I also minored in math, physics, and chemistry. My Ph.D. is in geophyhsical sciences from the University of Chicago, which is an extremely rigorous and challenging program. So I have a good education, and a good foundation for understanding physical processes in the climate system. My particular expertises include the climate dynamics of hurricanes, arctic sea ice, and water vapor and cloud feedbacks (I know very little about MWP and LIA).

    I am NOT one of the real big shots in the climate field, but neither am I a small fry (i’m sort of a medium fry I guess). I do have a “seat at the table” in the sense that I am asked to serve on some of the influential national level committees (e.g. national research council, noaa, nasa). I had zero involvement in the IPCC 4th assessment report, but i was a contributing author (on sea ice) in the 3rd assessment report and also a reviewer on the aerosol indirect effect.

    Why am i doing what i am doing in the context of climategate? my main motivation is clearly described in my “open letter to graduate students” post. I am not running scared, or worried about research funding, or trying to cover anything up. I am concerned about the integrity and credibility of climate research.

    While I discuss topics related to the politics of science, my involvement in the actual policy process is pretty minimal. I have been asked to testify to congress several times and I have participated in several congressional and state legislative briefings, mostly discussing the hurricane issue. In my public statements, I believe I have been pretty scrupulous in avoiding advocating for specific policies (recently over at climateaudit I did state my opposition to carbon cap and trade.

    So I would like to ask all of you to stop second guessing my motives, and discuss my arguments. And irrational responses to my statements do not help further the discussion. Yes we disagree about many things, but perhaps we can find some common ground and maybe some of us will even change our minds based on the arguments, which is the sign of an honest skeptic

  522. Dan in California says:

    Willis Eschenbach (14:44:45) :

    ISO Therm, while your questions and the ensuing discussion are interesting, this is not the thread for them.

    Willis, I disagree. You and Lucy and others do an excellent job of explaining this to the few who have the motivation and ability to follow your essays. There are a LOT of people who want to see the forest without looking at each tree. Please allow me to summarize the mechanism behind whole AGW thing. I realize it’s an extreme simplification, but I think it sufficiently accurate and not hard to understand.

    The Sun heats the Earth in the daytime with lots of radiant energy, mostly in the visible and near infrared wavelengths. At night, the Earth radiates to space in mostly far infrared wavelengths because it’s a cooler body than the sun. Earth reaches an equilibrium.

    However #1: Unlike the major constituent gasses (N2, O2, Ar), CO2 absorbs far infrared energy. This traps heat and the result is a hotter planetary equilibrium. This is the basis of the greenhouse effect. CO2 quantity is going up, therefore the planet is getting hotter. AGW in a nutshell.

    However #2: The narrow band of wavelengths that is absorbed by CO2 is already completely absorbed by CO2. Adding more mostly just changes the altitude at which this occurs.

    So the whole tempest is about the absorbtion and reradiation and how much it matters, if at all.

  523. UzUrBrn says:

    @ kwik (13:20:09) :
    I was not aware of his passing. The world will be less without him. I read Andromeda Strain before it was popular, and even though (maybe because) I was in the military at the time I was convinced it was true, not a conspiracy theory, but a factual exposé.

  524. Fitzy says:

    Dear Willis, Antony, et al,

    Thanks again, for tirelessly championing transparency and the genuine scientific method.

    Willis had me wincing, but I agree with many others here, it was well deserved. I stand by my earlier statement, Judith, whether she knows it or not, is probably a Trojan horse exercise, whose sole purpose is to draw the WUWT bloggers into a circular dialogue with select AGW supporters.

    A bait and chase exercise that ties up resources but achieves nothing for the sceptic side of the debate, the smart action is always, make them engage you on neutral ground, if possible. Agree to mutual terms of constructive dialogue, and proceed tentatively from there, and watch for dust on the horizon, …might be weather, could climate, or it could be bushwackers warming up to side swipe you.

    Well done Willis, and thanks again for your courage, you speak for all of us.

  525. GregO says:

    I have been reading this blog all day and I wonder if anyone in American MSM is keeping up?

    Newsweek – specifically Sharon Begley their so-called science writer continues to toe the AGW party line like a propaganda organ for some totalitarian government. Gore was recently on the cover of Newsweek. They recently gave space to Hansen and he called on college students to take to the streets to save us from Climate Catastrophe!

    Scientific American continues to spew lies. Ditto many major MSM newspapers.

    Cap and Trade is not dead in Congress – just in deep hibernation.

    Dr Curry, I realize your essay is directed to the somewhat specialized climate blogosphere, but are you comfortable with the endless MSM one-sided and generally ignorant portrayal of CAGW? Are you comfortable with the extreme policy recommendations resulting from CAGW proponents? It is more than an academic debate. Horrific consequences are in store if CAGW is true. Is it true? Are you sure it’s true? How sure? It is very important we know the truth; no matter what that is. So I agree with you Dr Curry, let’s keep talking. Let’ get the discussion out into the public and out in open. How sure are you, how sure is anyone, that man-made CO2 is destroying the planet?

    Let’s make everything, I mean everything public on climate science and policy. All temperature readings need to be public. All computer codes need to be public. It is just unimaginable to me that Dr Jones lost his temperature data. What! That’s the very definition of shoddiness. Every single paper and piece of climate science based on “lost data” needs to be thrown out. Thrown out right now! There needs to be some house-cleaning in so-called climate science. I suggest we start with the temperature data.

    I own an engineering company and we make sensors. I have every single test report we have ever made and track every single product cradle to grave. From what I have been reading on these temperature blogs, the apparent carelessness in the temperature readings alone nullify every CAWG hypotheses. If I ran such a pathetic, shoddy operation I’d be out of business or in jail for fraud.

    The head of the UN IPCC writes pornography in his spare time and has amassed a fortune in operations thriving from CAWG belief. There’s an example we can hope our children follow – not! CAWG scientific work has been done with public funds. This is all such and incredible shame.

    It’s not Dr Curry’s fault that MSM does a horrific job of educating the debate; and it’s not her fault that equally horrific policies are being pursued. It’s not her fault that hucksters, liers, and grifters are making hay with this. But it is her responsibility as a climate scientist, by my reckoning, that climate scientists of all stripes stand up and put an end to pseudo-science and at least write an informed letter to the editor once in a while attempting to set the record straight about our certainty concerning CAGW.

    Let’s get all this out in the open. This entire blog and every comment should be read by every newspaper and magazine editor in the country. The only way to stop the nonsense and get the truth out is to discuss this topic from every angle and leave no stone unturned.

    Thanks to Dr Curry and Willis for stirring up such a stimulating discussion. Let’s keep it going.

  526. Willis Eschenbach says:

    steven mosher (14:26:04)

    Willis:

    “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.”

    I think you are imprecise here willis. Dr. Curry was not silent back in 2007 and supported our cause for free access to data and code. She did so on a thread at RC.. the 1934 thread see the comments. we need to be as accurate in our characterizations of peoples behavior as we expect them to be in their characterizations of the science.

    Excellent find, Mosh. Doesn’t show her standing up for scientific integrity regarding Mann and the congressional committee, but it was indeed a loud and clear call for transparency. Her words are well worth quoting:

    As a climate researcher, I wholeheartedly support the above principles. In my opinion research scientists (and particularly government research scientists) should not be given any “choice” in this matter if they wish to receive government research funding, publish their research in the peer reviewed journals of the major professional societies, and have their data used in assessment reports.

    Yes all this adds to the cost of doing research, and even the COMPETE bill is apparently an unfunded mandate. But it’s a cost we need to accommodate in some way. I have seen too many examples in the climate field where scientists do not want to make their data and metadata available to skeptics such as Steve McIntyre since they don’t want to see their research attacked (and this has even been condoned by a funding agency). Well, in the world of science, if you want your hypotheses and theories to be accepted, they must be able to survive attacks by skeptics. Because of its policy importance, climate research at times seems like “blood sport.” But in the long run, the credibility of climate research will suffer if climate researchers don’t “take the high ground” in engaging skeptics.

    With regards to Steve McIntyre and climateaudit. In the early days of McIntyre’s attacks on the “hockey stick”, it was relatively easy to dismiss him as an industry “stooge.” Well, given his lengthy track record in actually doing work to audit climate data, it is absolutely inappropriate in my opinion to dismiss him. Climateaudit has attracted a dedicated community of climateauditors, a few of whom are knowledgeable about statistics and are interesting thinkers (the site also attracts “denialists”). For all the auditing activity at climateaudit, they have found relatively little in the way of bonafide issues that actually change something, but this is not to say that they have found nothing. So taking the high ground, lets thank Steve and climateauditors if they actually find something useful, assess it and assimilate it, and move on. Such actions by climate researchers would provide less fodder for the denialists, in my opinion.

    What my mom used to call “praising with a faint damn”. The best part is where she says that if you want your science to be accepted, you have to provide your data and methods to everyone, not just your friends. This is a very clear and powerful statement of a fundamental scientific principle that unfortunately is all too often ignored in climate science, and I applaud and acknowledge Judith for that.

    On the other hand, she says it was easy to dismiss Steve McIntyre as an “industry stooge” … say what? Steve is as far from anyone’s stooge as you can be, particularly industry. This is the “blame the victim” mentality that turns my stomach. And Judith says McIntyre found “relatively little in the way of bonafide issues”, which is what we used to call “whistling past a graveyard. Finally, she doesn’t thank Steve and us climateauditors, but she says that she will “if [we] actually find something useful” …

    That’s great, Judith. Gosh, if you actually find something useful, we’ll thank you too … do you see how condescending and unpleasant that sounds from the other side of the fence?

    But to be fair, her comments are head and shoulders more than most mainstream climate scientists ever said. And because she has a name, realclimate published it, where if you or I had tried to post it, it would have disappeared in the black hole of RC censorship. So bonus points for her getting it into print in a place where the most rabid of AGW fanatics would see it.

    As I have said from the beginning, Judith is among the best of the mainstream in this regard … which is also praising with a faint damn.

    But the Mann congressional contremps with the Barton Committe was the point I was was addressing. While it is great for her to say “Hooray for transparency”, that’s the easy part. What was needed was for someone to stand up and say “No, it is not wrong for Mann to be hauled up before Congress, he brought it on himself by not being transparent.” I didn’t hear anything remotely like that from climate scientists. From a contemporaneous report, I find Ralph Cicerone, who recently had the insufferable arrogance to chair an AAAS forum on transparency, described like this:

    And in June, when Rep. Joe Barton demanded an investigation to discredit three scientists whose data confirmed global warming, Cicerone denounced the move as “intimidating” and demanded that it be halted.

    Cicerone’s letter is here.

    According to Science Mag, “Other critics of Barton’s queries include House Science Committee chair Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), who calls it “misguided and illegitimate”; AAAS, which publishes Science; and 20 prominent U.S. climate scientists who wrote to support Mann’s conclusions this week.”

    Where was Judith or any mainstream climate scientist then? Mann’s pals all stood up to be counted, where were the calls for honesty and transparency? They might have been there, but I sure didn’t hear them. And she still quotes Cicerone approvingly in her post here on WUWT …

    Finally, she claims that all this archiving of data adds to the “cost of doing research” … yeah, archiving your data on the web is oh-so-expensive. Do they really think that they are fooling anyone with that excuse?

    But in short, Mosh, you are right, Judith did stand up to be counted, and I wronged her in that regard. My bad, good call on your part, my apologies to Judith.

  527. Willis Eschenbach says:

    jorgekafkazar (16:17:08)

    On rereading this post, I’m not thrilled with the title. In context, it sounds somewhat sexist and condescending.

    I regret that the title sounds that way to you, as it was not meant to be either sexist or condescending. Judith has been much more courageous than her male counterparts.

  528. Joe says:

    If Global Warming scientists are trying to call a truce, then they know the ship is sinking. The gravy train is starting to pull away from the station.

    Whooo…Whooooo I’ll think a scam, I’ll think a scam….

  529. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Christoph Horst (17:12:58)

    I somehow like Phil Jones’ answer to Warwick Hughes for its unmasking naivety. Compare this to what Sir Karl Popper had to say about the method of science, it being

    “the method of proposing bold hypotheses, and exposing them to the severest criticism, in order to detect where we have erred.”
    (Unended Quest, London 1992, p. 86)

    I have long held that scientists should give their data and computer codes and methods to their worst enemies first. If their enemies can’t find a flaw in it, they can feel safe.

    Contrast this to Mann and Jones and their ilk, who only reveal those state secrets to their friends …

  530. Paul Vaughan says:

    Re: Theo Goodwin (15:57:25)

    Some will want to oversimplify the narrative, but certainly a good number of us here are not political hacks playing chimpanzee politics.

    Beware the double-edged sword of rabid idealism. Romantic notions about science can be tempered with realistic awareness that academic culture is tribal by structural design (including funding structures).

    If you demand “tougher policing”, you create a convenient opportunity for clever academic poker players to “crack down” on natural climate variation research (instead of cracking down on fairy tale computer fantasy modeling based on untenable assumptions, which is the real problem).

  531. J.Hansford says:

    Well said Willis…. Mirrors my thoughts and posts.

    I note your passion and outrage, which for people who hold the integrity of the scientific method to high regard, is indeed a cause worthy of passion when its values are trodden underfoot by the villainous and ignorant.

  532. Philemon says:

    Real science should be fun, and janitorial:

    http://www.ecoenquirer.com/ancient-hurricane.htm

    Of course, I still remember the old joke about the weather always being bad in Soviet countries. So… I’m a fossil?

  533. Pete H says:

    Willis,
    Thank you so much. I am sure we all feel the same anger you displayed in your post after the insults we have borne over the last few years. Chill pill in the post ;-)

  534. Philemon says:

    Willis: “As I have said from the beginning, Judith is among the best of the mainstream in this regard … which is also praising with a faint damn.”

    No, that’s damning with faint praise.

    Praising with too faint condemnation is what Judith Curry does with Real Climate.

  535. Old PI says:

    Henry chance (11:33:33) : I don’t trust Judith

    Trust, or Lack of trust in an individual is irrelevant. What I don’t trust is the “science” these people spew out like pontifications of a prophet, while withholding the data upon which those pontifications are supposedly based. Let me SEE the raw data, let me read the lab notes, let me see the computer programming (and the documentation! That’s equally as important as the code), let me see how your models respond to data. Unless I have that, unless I can replicate (or at least understand) what you did, I cannot accept your words. If you hide it from me, my BS meter triggers, and I start looking for holes in your science. I’ve found enough holes in the so-called “settled science” of anthropogenic global warming that, if AGW was a ship, it would have sunk years ago.

  536. J.Hansford says:

    bobdenton (02:38:52) :
    Will, you appear to be an irreconcilable.
    Your precondition for the restoration of trust invokes scenarios not very different from the public humiliation of professors by the Red Guards during China’s Cultural Revolution – ….
    ——————————————————–
    What rot bob. What utter misrepresentation. What a perfect example of the kind of mindset and attitude that those skeptical to the catastrophic exaggerations of AGW climate “science”, have had to put up with.

    ….I’ll also attach a video for context of the Climate terrorism that thrives in the advocacy of Climate “science”.

    I am going to give it to you bluntly bob…. The skeptics stand on the side of the scientific method. No further. No less. Dr Curry and all her Climate “science” ilk are going to have to come ALL the way over to this side. There is no compromising science to “build trust in climate science”…. Because the fact is, there is no Science in the elitist clique that now purports to be “Climate Science”.

    Do you get it now?….. Don’t you ever compare skeptics to the Red Guard again matey.

  537. vigilantfish says:

    Murray Carpenter (08:24:46) :

    More snow, more ice….end of

    http://igloo.atmos.uiuc.edu/cgi-bin/test/print.sh?fm=02&fd=24&fy=2006&sm=02&sd=24&sy=2010
    ———————

    But as the warmists have told us more heat results in more snow, so more heat must also mean more polar ice ;-)

  538. Tim Davis says:

    Outstanding – you are absolutely right – all they have to do to regain trust is to clean up their own nest and practice good science again – pretty simple really but I won’t hold my breath waiting….

  539. Sam Grove says:

    Remember how the “science community” dumped on Bjørn Lomborg after he published “The Skeptical Environmentalist”.

  540. LearDog says:

    Willis –

    Well done, GREAT post.

    I ducked over to Realclimate and read a bit on taminos latest post – and what struck me was that for ALL of the IQ over there, there seems to be a deficiency of EQ. These guys do NOT ‘get it’ – they still think its about being proven ‘right’ and not being proven ‘wrong’.

    It seems that climate scientists are quite ok to suspend their morality, ethics and (some) even break the law(!) to defend their multi-billion dollar gravy train, but admit that there is a problem? And that they are the cause? I’m not holding my breath.

    Climate Scintists victimhood is in full bloom and the whitewashes are the order of the day. But only a rare jewell like Dr Curry has the strength of character and both the intellectual and emotional quotients to recognize and discuss.

    Dr Curry – God Bless You. A scientist with ethics and character.

  541. Theo Goodwin says:

    Paul Vaughan writes:

    “If you demand “tougher policing”, you create a convenient opportunity for clever academic poker players to “crack down” on natural climate variation research (instead of cracking down on fairy tale computer fantasy modeling based on untenable assumptions, which is the real problem).”

    Your point is well taken. However, if I take the position that the moral force of scientific method no longer exists in academia then I have made the choice just to defend myself and my family against all comers as best as I can. I have given that choice a lot of thought. I have been looking for remote acreage with a water source. Perhaps the government could drive me off a subsistence farm by raising taxes, but then they would have to pay welfare. Why would they do that? My own humble belief is that the only enforcers of scientific method are the individual scientists. Once that moral core is eroded, and it dominated just fifty years ago, science will become just another tool in the hands of the unscrupulous.

  542. Ken Smith says:

    Willis,

    I think I understand why you wrote as you did.

    However I can’t help remembering the advice of Charles Houston, the mentor of a passionate and feisty student named Thurgood Marshall:

    “Lose your temper, lose your case.”

    As lifelong opponents of a plainly unjust regime of discrimination, Houston and Marshall had arguable more justification for losing their temper. And they both did–but fortunately not before the court that mattered.

    “Lose your temper, lose your case.”

    Ken in North Dakota

  543. Lance says:

    Willis,

    A -FRICKING-MEN!

    Judith is a brave and admirable woman for posting her thoughts here and at ClimateAudit.

    That doesn’t let her off the hook for looking the other way when her colleagues piss all over science.

    When I pointed out that the abominable behavior of Phil Jones, and others, wouldn’t be tolerated in a freshman physics lab course, I was ridiculed by several anonymous warmist trolls that “real science” didn’t play by the same rules and that the FOI requests for data were really just attempts to “harass” these poor hard working and noble scientists.

    These despicable apologists were relentless and impervious to any and all facts. When you are basking in the warmth of self righteous certitude you can brook no dissent nor yield to any argument.

    I share your outrage Willis. I hope these people NEVER regain the public’s trust.

    If Judith wishes to lay down with dogs she will have to bear the fleas.

  544. J.Hansford says:

    To Judith Curry.

    I read your responses and I am heartened by most of what I read.

    If you are committed to the scientific method, to reproducibility of results, of transparency and access to data and methodology, to criticism of wrongdoing within your field of science……. Then indeed, we all stand to proceed towards a much brighter tomorrow….. Or at least a more knowledgeable tomorrow;-)

    The emphasis should not be on “Trust”…. but instead clearly and exactingly, on the science.

    Thank you for all your responses Judith.

    (PS.. as a scientist of integrity, It must truely disturb you to see the damage that people like Micheal Mann, James Hanson, Phil Jones, the CRU team, Pachauri and the IPCC, etc have done to your field of science… Please remember Judith, skeptics are not the enemy, but rather are an ally for those interested in understanding the universe around us.)

  545. Theo Goodwin says:

    Willis Eschenbach quotes Judith Curry:

    ‘Well, in the world of science, if you want your hypotheses and theories to be accepted, they must be able to survive attacks by skeptics. Because of its policy importance, climate research at times seems like “blood sport.”’

    Please notice that this statement says everything about where she “lives” or was “living” at the time that she made it. In claiming that theories and hypotheses must be able to survive attacks by sceptics, she is not referring to a settled condition of the scientific enterprise. The next sentence makes clear what is important to her at that moment. She is saying that she just had her nose bloodied. Would she be paying respect to sceptics if her nose had not been bloodied. The important point that all of us must keep in mind day and night is that we got lucky. Yes, I know that McIntyre and McKittrick are heroes. But the fact that we have them has nothing to do with our scientific or government institutions. It was not because the “system worked” that McIntyre or McKittrick got the attention of Judith Curry. It was luck or divine providence. We must not permit our seeming success to allow us to believe that the system will right itself or that our small success will continue beyond this moment.

  546. Denny says:

    Willis,

    Phenonmenal job! Excellent article…I’ve couldn’t have stated it better. I commend you, for your insight is sharp, reasoning inpecable, and conclusions are “hitting the Nail on the Head”.

    Regards,
    Denny

  547. Thanks, Willis, for your excellent summary of the problem.

    Lights will be burning late tonight in the offices of those who designed and funded the CO2-induced global warming scare.

    They were probably hoping that Dr. Curry might negotiate appeasement now, before any more filth is uncovered.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver K. Manuel

  548. John Whitman says:

    “”””””Judith Curry (17:24:13) :
    So I would like to ask all of you to stop second guessing my motives, and discuss my arguments. And irrational responses to my statements do not help further the discussion. Yes we disagree about many things, but perhaps we can find some common ground and maybe some of us will even change our minds based on the arguments, which is the sign of an honest skeptic……

    Dr Curry,

    In all due respect, it was you who opened the door to guessing motives when in your 24 Feb post at WUWT entitled “On the Credibility of Climate Research, Part II: Towards Rebuilding Trust” you referred to Big Oil and skeptics. You questioned the motives of skeptics.

    You cannot close the door of guessing motives unless you withdraw the implication in your WUWT post.

    Will you withdraw the door that you yourself openned? Please do.

    John

  549. Tsk Tsk says:

    Kum Dollison (08:20:34) :

    John Sutherland –

    When Are you going to

    When Is you going to

    You figure it out.

    Maybe it should just be, “When will you”

    When will (brits would use shall) one of you… feels more natural, but Willis and John are both right. When IS one of you… IS correct. The verb is acting on “one” not “you.” Try this:

    When is one going to…

    -OR-

    When are one going to…

    Oh, and maybe a little on the foaming at the mouth side, understandably so, but all in all a very satisfying post by Willis. Nicely done.

  550. Tom FP says:

    I didn’t post this earlier, as it was a reply to a cordial response I got from Judith to my private email to her commenting on her piece. Since she has touched in this blog on most of what it contains, I hope she will not object to my posting it now:

    As a newcomer to all this, I can only say that your name seems to carry weight in both camps, and that is a rare thing. But I do think [if you want to restore trust] you and any collaborators you can recruit, have to:

    Be prepared to risk alienating your peers by applying the adverse inference systematically,

    1. Identifying what you now believe was improperly withheld, getting hold of it if you can, drawing appropriate inferences in the event that you can’t, and appraising what you see with a duly sceptical eye. Then publish. You may lose affection, but not respect.

    2. Look for and reappraise work you now know to have been perversely reviewed, or kept from publication. Publish your findings.

    3. Forget notions, if you entertain them, of science getting better by scientists being nicer to one another, or more objective, or any of the other things the emails say this lot aren’t. I’m sure you’re one of the few in whom scholarly and personal excellence are happily and abundantly combined, but plenty of good science has been produced by insufferable braggarts, Asperger’s sufferers (Turing was one), infrequent bathers and people with strange and offensive political views. Their very personal shortcomings in some cases allowed them to see problems unconventionally, and science benefited. But in the absence of proper peer review, with its power to see that good science drives out bad, chaos would have ensued, as it clearly has in climate science.

    4. Correspond with social historians and psychologists who can shed light on the collective negligence and appetite for catastrophe that seems periodically to hi-jack science, and to convince a certain portion of every generation that it is to be the last to walk the earth. In this regard, can I urge you to read Kesten Green’s structured analysis of (I paraphrase) Big Scary Predictions That Have Yet To Come True? http://kestencgreen.com/green%26armstrong-agw-analogies.pdf
    He studies unfulfilled scares like Eugenics, Y2K, DDT (shown to be far less toxic than claimed, and certainly not such as to justify the immense loss of African life that its forced withdrawal – by Al Gore among others – entailed) and a delightfully quaint mid 19th century alarm that the world was running out of shipping timbers. All were perverse extensions of “settled” science. All turn out, on examination, to rest on unfalsifiable argument. All were attended by strident appeals to the Precautionary Principle. More importantly for any scientist with ambitions to influence public policy, Green systematically charts the results of legislative efforts to forfend the calamity. It’s not encouraging. As I wrote earlier, the result tends to be that worthless and costly legislation festers on the statute books, because although nobody believes the scare any more, so many did during its currency that it can’t be openly disavowed. This, I’m afraid, is why so many of us want to see Jones et al pilloried – it’s not mere schadenfreude, but also the sense that if the rod is spared the child will be spoiled.

    5. Again, remember, there is a lot of us out here who have endured decades of ridicule or enforced silence – if you scientists don’t start calling a spade a spade, there are plenty ready to call it a bloody shovel, and they are in the ascendant.

  551. Noodlehead says:

    I wish to express my thanks to everyone in this thread, most notably to Anthony for having this site, to Judith for taking a big step with this endeavor to attempt some type of reconciliation between what should really be considered colleagues in GW science, to Willis for expressing the skeptics side so clearly and passionately, and a nod also to Tom FP, I really appreciated you detailing your personal trek in climate science.

    Judith, I am not a scientist and truth be told I feel wholly unqualified to post here at all. In reading your posts I do not think you are here seeking some inroads for executing some nefarious scheme to destroy the credibility of the skeptics.
    In fact I am of the opinion that the skeptics have the much to gain from any actual improvement in the relationship between the “official” or main stream climate scientists and the “amateur” climate scientists (both actual and self actuated) and that the “official” climate scientist skeptics like Lidzen, Christy and Spencer, et al would also stand to gain credibility with the public at large due to increased exposure and decreased smears from the less ethical scientists out there.

    I am completely willing to take you at your word concerning your reasons for taking the actions you have in the blogesphere, Judith, but for the very suspicious among us would you flatly state that you are not cooperating in a deliberate plan to undermine the excellent work being done by the skeptic bloggers?

    And again thank you for entering into this and for your willingness to take all the flak that will be coming at you.

    Would the mods please delete my previous partial post at (19:52:50)? Thank you.

  552. Gaz says:

    Judith Curry: “I am angry as a scientist, since I may have been using unnecessarily inaccurate surface temperature data in my research.”

    Well I bet you can’t wait to Mr Watts and his friends publish the results of their re-analysis of all that raw temperature data.

    I understand 95% of the data used by the CRU is publicly available already, so they should be off to a flying start and they’ll be ready to finish it off quickly once the CRU gets permsission to release the remainder.

  553. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Theo Goodwin (19:49:11) : edit

    Willis Eschenbach quotes Judith Curry:

    ‘Well, in the world of science, if you want your hypotheses and theories to be accepted, they must be able to survive attacks by skeptics. Because of its policy importance, climate research at times seems like “blood sport.”’

    …The next sentence makes clear what is important to her at that moment. She is saying that she just had her nose bloodied. Would she be paying respect to sceptics if her nose had not been bloodied.

    Judith is using a phrase that I have often used, that science is a blood sport. By this I mean (and I think she means as well) that science is not about playing nice. It is about demolishing the ideas and arguments that you think are scientifically incorrect. This is often not pretty, it is a clash of ideas and wounded egos, in other words, a “blood sport”. I greatly doubt that she meant that her nose had been bloodied.

  554. Pops says:

    Some observe that Willis’ response to Dr. Curry is not proportional to her post. However, neither is it proportional to the broad spectrum of damage resulting from climate alarmism – it’s far too subtle and reserved.

    We’ve now learned how the system can be gamed for funding and political clout: find some hypothesis with plausible comfirmability (a close relative of plausible deniability), attach it to some perceived disaster, hide the data, attack the detractors, contain the peer review. One of the reasons it works so well is because there is an inherent assumption that the motives of scientists are pure. I can’t pretend to know the hearts of the Stephen Schneiders or Michael Manns or Phil Joneses, yet from the perspective of an outsider what has happened is indistinguishable from politically-motivated subversion. The ultimate target may not be science or funding; it appears to be one prong of a comprehensive attack on freedom.

  555. Roger Knights says:

    Lucy Skywalker (10:50:31) :
    Now can anyone tell me where this argument is wrong?

    Yes. Click my name. There is no other way than to understand a bit more of the details of the science, to get beyond the misleading half-truths about CO2. Please take time and popcorn.

    Hey, I’d like to recommend Judith herself to click my name. Willis’ firstrate science posts are scattered through WUWT but I’ve tried to collect all the fundamental issues together in readable form, both the “hard” science and the “soft” soul issues.

    What you’re doing is one of the most valuable efforts in this battle: to counter-point the warmist talking points. The fact that this is being done by one person and at such a late date is an indirect indication of how uncoordinated and unfunded our side is.

    (I don’t know if it’s technically possible, but the value of this side as a persuasive tool would be greatly enhanced if persons like Lucy were given editorial powers to go through WUWT’s archives and “highlight,” or at least flag, the best paragraphs and sentences, so media people and other visitors could skim intelligently.)

    latitude (11:23:28) :

    “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.”

    This has to have been, and is, the most ridiculous argument I have ever heard.

    Do people really believe that oil companies are just going to close up and not sell alternate energy?

    About 10-25 years ago, before the Internet really got going, Mobil and other oil companies often ran ads opposing it, funded studies by skeptical scientists, and donated money to libertarian think tanks who opposed regulatory solutions on principle. This is what she’s referring to.

  556. J.Peden says:

    Judith Curry:

    Two people that I particularly remember from that encounter were Willis and Bender.

    Judith, perhaps you should abandon the Model which states that everyone is nothing but an Infant?

  557. AusieDan says:

    SamG – you said

    QUOTE
    Although I agree with a lot of Willis’s sentiments I think he has overstepped the mark in a few places here. Although he is right that mainstream climate scientists should have spoken out against the distortion of science, remarks such as “the rest of you are complicit in the crime by your silence” and “your stupidity and your dishonesty and your scientific malfeasance” are over the top and not fair.
    UNQUOTE

    I agree that what Will said is very hard, but I ask you, exactly where was he unfair?

    Whenever I look at the data (temperature, Sydnery Harbour tide levels etc) it does not look at all like the alarmists say.

    Unfortunately too many scientists are alarmists and not just climatologists.
    Far too many in various, often only vauguely connected diciplines, have jumped off onto the band waggon.

  558. paul james says:

    Pops (20:49:29)

    Dear Pops

    I believe that you have nailed it.

  559. AusieDan says:

    Someone commented that the Australian media have not noticed that the alarmist bandwaggon is collapsing worldwide.

    Just this week, I notice a change could be coming.
    Did anyone else notice that Malcom Frazer (former conservative prime minister) was given two consecutive fifteen minute sessions with previously attack dog Kerry O’brian, and was treated very well?
    And both the SMH (alarmist newspaper) and the ABC (government run TV network) are now going hammer and tongs at the RUDD Labor Government on meny fronts, and are no longer merely mouthpieces for them.

    Now AWG gets only mentioned at the very edges, but Its there too.
    There are cracks in the wall, even in Australia.
    Even if they are only hair cracks in the dam at present.

  560. Alan Sutherland says:

    What a wonderful summary of what is wrong with Climate Science!!

    But even Willis does not go far enough in exposing the lies and manipulations of scientists involved with the IPCC. In lockstep with temperature, IPCC scientists needed to show a monotonic increase in CO2 such that the corelation with temperature was apparent at least since 1950/1960.

    So CO2 records have also been manipulated. One manipulation was the arbitrary changing of the age of the gas trapped in the upper part of an ice core, where the pressure changes were less drastic than in the deeper
    parts. In the upper part of the core, taken from Siple, Antarctica,
    the ice was deposited in the year 1890, and the CO2 concentration
    in it was 328 ppmv (Friedli et al. 1986, Neftel et al.
    1985), and not the 290 ppmv needed to prove the man-made
    warming hypothesis. The same CO2 concentration of 328
    ppmv was measured in the air collected directly from the
    atmosphere at the Mauna Loa volcano, Hawaii, 83 years later
    in 1973 (Boden et al. 1990). So, it was shockingly clear that
    the pre-industrial level of CO2 was the same as in the second
    half of the 20th Century.
    To solve this “problem,” these researchers simply made an
    ad hoc assumption: The age of the gas recovered from 1 to 10
    grams of ice was arbitrarily decreed to be exactly 83 years
    younger than the ice in which it was trapped! This was not
    supported by any experimental evidence, but only by assumptions
    which were in conflict with the facts (Jaworowski 1994a,
    Jaworowski et al. 1992b). The “corrected” proxy ice data were
    then smoothly aligned with the direct atmospheric measurements
    from Mauna Loa. The age of the gas recovered from 1 to 10
    grams of ice was arbitrarily decreed to be exactly 83 years
    younger than the ice in which it was trapped! And so we got corelation! Check out this site

    http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/Articles%202007/20_1-2_CO2_Scandal.pdf

    To support the AGW hypothesis, IPCC scientists also dismissed all chemical measures of CO2 which were accurate within 3% and this you can see at the above site. There is more that I can say, but unlike Willis who appears to maintain his story line well, I function better with smaller bites.

    Alan

  561. AusieDan says:

    But as for Judith Curry.
    She deserves our praise.
    She has only gone a short distance into the light.
    But she is moving in the right direction.

    Praise rather than punishemnt is much more powerful in the long run.

    And she does deserve praise.
    It takes great courage to defy your own community.
    I know that well.
    It can be very painful.

  562. John Whitman says:

    Dr Curry,

    In my ‘John Whitman (20:10:42)’ comment to you above I requested you to consider closing the door to questioning motives by withdrawing your reference to a link between Big Oil and skeptics in your 24 Feb WUWT post.

    Here are your words from that post,

    ””””Here is my take on how global warming skepticism has evolved over the past several decades.

    . . . . 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. . . . .”””””’

    It appears you were providing your analysis in the above passage, not discussing someone else’s analysis.

    If you were just quoting someone else, and not you yourself implying any connection between Big Oil and skeptics then please let us know.

    John

  563. Paul says:

    I wish to thank Willis and everyone else here for all that has been said. I can certainly understand, appreciate and respect the manner in which he is carrying on his dialogue with Dr. Curry.

    However I am among those that find her original and follow up posts are aimed more at dissembling than furthering dialogue. A quick Google search also leads me to a number of results which lead me to take considerable exception to her statement: “So I would like to ask all of you to stop second guessing my motives, and discuss my arguments.”

    I have found, in her own words, many more arguments promoting advocacy and policy based on AGW than any actual science related to it, leading me to feel perfectly justified in second guessing her motives. To wit:

    The second slide of her 2008 presentation for the Georgia Climate Summit paid homage to Al Gore’a Nobel Prize for ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ and the IPCC 4th assessment report, so while she states above ‘I had zero involvement in the IPCC 4th assessment report’. The very next slide quotes the IPCC:

    “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, as is
    now evident from observations of increases in global
    average air and ocean temperatures, widespread
    melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea
    level.”

    “Most of the observed increase in globally averaged
    temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely
    due to the observed increase in anthropogenic
    greenhouse gas concentrations.”

    She gets no pass on trying to distance herself from it here, as far as I am concerned. In fact this is all the ‘scientific’ proof on offer as the remainder of the presentation is nothing but advocacy based on the famines, droughts, etc., all the alarmist worst case scenarios.

    http://climatesummit.gatech.edu/presentations/curry.pdf

    I follow the money for a living. There’s lots of money in climate change, and always demands for more. Dr. Curry is no exception:

    “Curry said some Georgia scientists are applying for grant funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to do a detailed analysis of global warming impacts in the Southeast. That could be used to create a climate action plan.

    Georgia remains one of only about 10 states with no climate action plan, Curry said. “Georgia is going to start losing out in terms of economic development without that,” she said. “Companies already want to know what the plan is for sustainability.” ”

    I guess according to Dr. Curry when industry funds research, it’s dirty money: “skeptical research published by academics provided fodder for the think tanks and advocacy groups, which were fed by money provided by the oil industry”, but when it comes to tithing industry for a climate action plan, the money’s all good.

    http://www.macon.com/2009/07/12/775423/report-predicts-even-hotter-southeast.html

    And as to the ridiculous notion of hers that “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.”

    Yes, poor fellows, it’s not like Rockefeller money went to any summits on how “the second largest producer and distributor of public radio programming and the largest owner and operator of public radio stations in the nation” could examine “the organization’s sustainability coverage”, including “examination of the sustainability of the modern consumer economy. They looked at what worked editorially and organizationally and what didn’t. In addition, they gathered to map out the next three years of APM’s sustainability coverage, deciding that a new position would be created to coordinate coverage across APM programs. It was also decided that APM’s coverage would focus on what actions, large and small, individuals and institutions were taking to reduce green-house gas emissions.” Or that Dr. Curry was a panelist there.

    http://www.rbf.org/info/info_show.htm?doc_id=649324

    It’s late, I’m tired, this took all of an hour to find and write up. Gee, colour me sceptical, ’cause if these were on the first page of my Google results, I’m thinking tip meet iceberg.

  564. Eamon says:

    “Scientific papers” are larded with “may” and “might” and “could possibly”.

    Yes, I found a good example:

    “The particle problem in the general theory of relativity” by Albert Einstein and Nathan Rosen, Physical Review, Volume 48, July 1st 1935.

    “…Nevertheless one should not exclude a priori the possibility that the theory may contain them.
    Thus it might turn out that only such regular many-bridge solutions can exist for…”

  565. Paul says:

    I told you I was tired. Upon re-reading my post, the sentence “so while she states above ‘I had zero involvement in the IPCC 4th assessment report’ ” should follow the IPCC quotes and precede my sentence: “She gets no pass ..:

    And APM stands for American Public Media, the description of which I quoted from their website.

    http://www.americanpublicmedia.org/

  566. sartec says:

    John Hewitt (07:30:34) :

    PS definitely not coming back!

    Oh…I’m so devastated by this news…NOT!

    ROCK ON, WILLIS! Well done!

  567. Roger Carr says:

    Foz (04:30:08) : Judith’s position is risible.

    And WUWT presented Judith, and Judith brought forth Willis, and Willis brought forth Foz…
    I rather doubt Judith meant to unleash the whirlwind, but I’ll thank her for doing so, anyway.

  568. David A says:

    Sometimes it is good to be clear, even catharic. This part I would have changed a little.
    “The truth is, we don’t know if an average temperature rise of a couple degrees will be a net benefit or a net loss”

    Change to;… we do not know if the KNOWN benefits of 2 X CO2 will outweigh the UNKNOWN loss.”
    The loss is almost all a maybe-if, the known benefits of CO2 are, well, known.

  569. Tim Ball says:

    Willis you have hit the nail on the head. Ms Curry clearly doesn’t understand and while one can admire the claimed objective and courage it shows a naivete and ignorance with an underlying arrogance toward the skeptics and their evidence that is frightening.

    Many of the comments are a giveaway. For example, the claim that it was initially a minor war funded by the oil industry is an outrage. I was waging this battle in the early 1990′s evidenced by my peer-reviewed article in Canadian Dimension, April/May 1990 titled “Global Warming; Fact or Misinformation” or Volume 12 of Bio-Joule, also in 1990 titled “Global Warming the Need for Objectivity” or “An Iconoclasts View of Climatic Change” in the Canadian Water Resources Journal of 1992. I never received a nickel from any oil or any other energy company. Even the spurious claim I was somehow involved with oil by helping form the Friends of Science doesn’t apply because they didn’t even register as an organization in Alberta until May 2002, a full ten years after those articles. Ms Curry’s comments are a disgrace and show the beliefs underlying the fatuous rhetoric.

    Beyond my other analysis of the behaviour I can only add Tostoi’s comment: “I know that most men (women), 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 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.”

  570. Larry says:

    Anything of intellect with consequences on policy matters is going to be “blood sport,” not just science. Let the blood sport begin in earnest among the real scientists! All posers begone. . .

    In the meantime, I will hover in the background and keep a careful eye on you all so that you don’t go astray. That includes you, too, Dr. Curry. Keep in mind that science and politics, although both are blood sports, become a nasty mix in the hands of amateurs. I would suggest climate scientists not go too far in the policy-making direction. Climate science is still a nascent enterprise. This is the time for further study, not policy-making. And it may take another hundred years or so before it is all said and done.

  571. Dan says:

    Mr. Watts-

    Would you agree to do a live debate on climate science?

    I fully recognize some of your concerns about scientific practice and observational data and agree that they should be addressed. But you use some awfully harsh words to trash climate science in a broad-brush manner, as if errors in one area automatically nullifies any gains in understanding across the science as a whole.
    To make claims of such veracity, though, implies that you have a thorough understanding of the science of Earth’s climate (beyond the observational data), which I’m not convinced you do. Given that I am a climate scientist, and given your prominence in the public forum on this issue, this troubles me.

    Thus I ask: would you be willing to have an open, public scientific discussion over the science of the Earth’s climate with an expert in the field? This is a serious question, as I’d be happy to explore the options for setting up such a forum.

    Thanks,
    Dan

    REPLY: Two things, I’m significantly hearing impaired, and this makes live interaction very difficult for me, so no. See my about page. Second, since you posted in this thread, I think perhaps you thought I wrote this essay, when it is Willis Eschenbach who did so. I can’t speak for him, but you are certainly welcome to ask the question of him. – Anthony

  572. John Whitman says:

    ”””’sartec (22:12:58) :

    ”””John Hewitt (07:30:34) : PS definitely not coming back!”””’

    Oh…I’m so devastated by this news…NOT!”””

    Sartec,

    Is JH’s behaviour the blog equivalent of “I taking my toys and going home”?

    John

  573. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Paul (21:52:15)

    I wish to thank Willis and everyone else here for all that has been said. I can certainly understand, appreciate and respect the manner in which he is carrying on his dialogue with Dr. Curry.

    However I am among those that find her original and follow up posts are aimed more at dissembling than furthering dialogue. A quick Google search also leads me to a number of results which lead me to take considerable exception to her statement: “So I would like to ask all of you to stop second guessing my motives, and discuss my arguments.”

    I have found, in her own words, many more arguments promoting advocacy and policy based on AGW than any actual science related to it, leading me to feel perfectly justified in second guessing her motives. …

    Having had my motives questioned more times than I could possibly count, I’m with Judith on this one. There are several problems with discussing motives:

    1. I’m not even sure what my own motives are for e.g. writing my response to Judith. Anger? Desire to explain? Desire for notoriety? Scientific curiosity? Respect for Judith? Craving for revenge? Scientific ambition? Scientific verity?

    So how could I possibly claim to know Judith’s motives?

    2. It doesn’t matter in the slightest. It is an “ad hominem” argument. If someone comes in tomorrow who claims she can disprove the Stefan-Boltzmann Law, what do her motives have to do with it? Either she can disprove the law or not, the rest is meaningless.

    3. It just pisses people off for no reason, particularly if you are wrong. For example, I do not believe that Judith is a “stalking horse” for anyone, that’s not my take on her at all. Assuming she is not, accusing her of that is an insulting thing to do. And at the end of the day, so what?

    So let’s take her advice, and leaves the motives aside and discuss her arguments. It’s the same with me. Yeah, I’m angry about a lost decade and countless insults and all the rest, but so what? Either what I have said is honest and true, or it is not. And that is the issue, not my mental state or what impels me to sit here at 11:22 discussing these matters.

    Finally, in my interactions with her I have always found Judith Curry to be honest. I think she has been way wrong, as my title said, but I also think she is way honest. I act on the assumption that she believes what she is saying and that she has no hidden agenda, and I invite everyone to assume the same.

  574. Christoph says:

    “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.”

    Do you think part of the problem is (this not being physics or mathematics, it being something else entirely quite different) many climate scientists simply aren’t smart enough to be understanding what they claim to be understanding?

    Because I do.

  575. UK Sceptic says:

    Wonderful! Does anyone want to mail a copy of this to Gordon Brown and David Cameron?

  576. sartec says:

    John,

    I believe you’re spot on! Indeed, I sincerely appreciate passive-aggressives who take themselves off the playing field–probably their most responsible act (albeit unwittingly) ever ! ;-)

  577. Henry Pool says:

    this is for Judith.

    I must say here, if it was not for WUWT, I would never have found out about the whole carbon dioxide scare scam and the fact that there has been little or no warming during the past 15 years. In fact, it was here that I learned why global warming is not even possible or probable. Here were my final conclusions on my own investigations (since Nov. 2009):

    FOR MY CHILDREN, & FAMILY AND FRIENDS LIVING IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE

    You may not know this. For a hobby I did an investigation to determine whether or not your carbon footprint, i.e. carbon dioxide (CO2), is really to blame for global warming, as claimed by the UN, IPCC and many media networks. I guess I felt a bit guilty after watching “An inconvenient truth” by Al Gore, so I had to make sure for myself about the science of it all. If you scroll down to my earlier e-mails you will note that I determined that, as a chemist, I could not find any convincing evidence from tests proving to me that CO2 is indeed a major cause for global warming. As my investigations continued, I have now come to a point where I doubt that global warming is at all possible…. Namely, common sense tells me that as the sun heats the water of the oceans and the temperatures rise, there must be some sort of a mechanism that switches the water-cooling system of earth on, if it gets too hot. Follow my thinking on these easy steps:

    1) the higher the temp. of the oceans, the more water vapor rises to the atmosphere,
    2) the more water vapor rises from the oceans, the more difference in air pressure, the more wind starts blowing
    3) the more wind & warmth, the more evaporation of water (evaporation increasing by many times due to the wind factor),
    4) the more evaporation of water the more humidity in the air (atmosphere)
    5) the higher the humidity in the air the more clouds can be formed
    6) Svensmark’s theory: the more galactic cosmic rays (GCR), the more clouds are formed (if the humidity is available)
    7) the more clouds appear, the more rain and snow and cooler weather,
    8) the more clouds and overcast conditions, the more radiation from the sun is deflected from the earth,
    9) The more radiation is deflected from earth, the cooler it gets.
    10) This cooling puts a brake on the amount water vapor being produced. So now it is back to 1) and waiting for heat to start same cycle again…

    Now when I first considered this, I stood in amazement again. I remember thinking of the words in Isaiah 40:12-26.
    I have been in many factories that have big (water) cooling plants, but I realised that earth itself is a water cooling plant on a scale that you just cannot imagine. I also thought that my idea of seeing earth as a giant (water) cooling plant with a built-in thermostat must be pretty original….
    But it was only soon after that I stumbled on a paper from someone on WUWT who had already been there, done that …. well, God bless him for that!
    i.e. if you want to prove a point, you always do need at least two witnesses!
    Look here (if you have the time):

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/14/the-thermostat-hypothesis/

    But note my step 6. The Svensmark theory holds that galactic cosmic rays (GCR) initiate cloud formation. I have not seen this, but apparently this has been proven in laboratory conditions. So the only real variability in global temperature is most likely to be caused by the amount of GCR reaching earth. In turn, this depends on the activity of the sun, i.e. the extent of the solar magnetic field exerted by the sun on the planetary system. We are now coming out of a period where this field was bigger and more GCR was bent away from earth (this is what we, skeptics, say really caused “global warming”, mostly).
    But apparently now the solar geomagnetic field is heading for an all time low.
    Look here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/07/suns-magnetic-index-reaches-unprecedent-low-only-zero-could-be-lower-in-a-month-when-sunspots-became-more-active/

    Note that in the first graph, if you look at the smoothed monthly values, there was a tipping point in 2003 (light blue line). I cannot ignore the significance of this. I noted similar tipping points elsewhere round about that same time, (e.g. in earth’s albedo, going up). From 2003 the solar magnetic field has been going down. To me it seems for sure that we are now heading for a period of more cloudiness and hence a period of global cooling. If you look at the 3rd graph, it is likely that there wil be no sun spots visible by 2015. This is confirmed by the paper on global cooling by Easterbrook:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/29/don-easterbrooks-agu-paper-on-potential-global-cooling/

    In the 2nd graph of his presentation, Easterbrook projects global cooling into the future. These are the three lines that follow from the last warm period. If the cooling follows the top line we don’t have much to worry about and the weather will be similar to what we had in the previous (warm) period. However, indications are already that we have started following the trend of the 2nd line, i.e. cooling based on the 1880-1915 cooling. In that case it will be the coldest from 2015 to 2020 and the climate will be comparable to what it was in the fifties and sixties. I survived that time, so I guess we all will be fine, if this is the right trendline.
    Note that with the third line, the projection stops somewhere after 2020. So if things go that way, we don’t know where it will end. Unfortunately, earth does not have a heater with a thermostat that switches on if it gets too cold. Too much ice and snow causes more sunlight to be reflected from earth. Hence, the trap is set. This is known as the ice age trap. This is why the natural state of earth is that of being covered with snow and ice. This paper was a real eye opener for me:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/12/09/hockey-stick-observed-in-noaa-ice-core-data

    However, man is resourceful and may find ways around this problem if we do start falling into a little ice age again. As long as we are not ignorant and listen to the so-called climate scientists whose agenda’s depend on money. A green agenda is still useless if it has the wrong items on…
    Obviously: As Easterbrook notes, global cooling is much more disastrous for humans than global warming.

    Note that in Easterbrook’s projection graph, the line showing the increase and decrease in global temperatures of the northern latitude is dashed. It looks like the northern hemisphere is always getting the brunt of the extreme weather.

    So if you get tired of all that ice and snow, you may know that you are always most welcome to come and stay with us here, in the southern hemisphere!

    Blessings from your child, brother, dad, friend,
    date: 24 Jan. 2010

  578. Michael Larkin says:

    Dear Dr. Curry,

    “So I would like to ask all of you to stop second guessing my motives, and discuss my arguments.”

    Just for the record, I have no idea what your motives are now, or have been in the past. I for one am glad to see you here, and as I’ve already intimated in a previous posting, I think you are showing considerable courage. FWIW, I think your motives are honourable.

    You say you want us to discuss your arguments. But I’m not quite sure what arguments those might be, in the sense of what it is you are arguing for in the science. What do you believe to be true based on your own research, for example? Has that changed in a “post-climategate” world? Are you now any more sceptical than previously about AGW? I ask that because you say: “I am angry as a scientist, since I may have been using unnecessarily inaccurate surface temperature data in my research”.

    I mean, if that is the case, then presumably, there’s a chance that some of the conclusions you have come to in your own past work could, through no fault of your own, be undermined. And, I suppose, since many other honest scientists may have relied on this data, they could be feeling the same anger as you, but, not possessing your courage, not be poking their heads above the parapet.

    I’m not interested in venting my anger on you, which, I have to be honest, I think some here have been doing (albeit that I understand that after the years of abuse they might have suffered from other scientists). I’m much more interested in what you can do for the cause – not “pro-“ or “anti-“, but simply for the cause of truth, whatever that might be. I personally don’t give a damn what that truth is. If the world is warming, if that is due to anthropogenic CO2 production, and if it could prove catastrophic, then so be it.

    It’s just that so far I have seen nothing to convince me that is the case. I’ve never even seen an explanation of how the necessary positive feedbacks might work, or any experiments proposed that might be able to test that. It seems very unlikely to me that for ages the world has been only a hairsbreadth away from runaway warming, just waiting for a comparatively small amount of anthropogenic CO2 to come along and bring Armageddon.

    And why would runaway warming stop once it started? The maximum claims for temperature increase seem to lie around 6 degrees centigrade. So evidently, there seems to be an idea that eventually, the positive feedbacks would be countered by negative ones. Well, if that’s the case, then the possibility of negative feedback seems implied – so might it not kick in earlier, after, say, a 2 degree rise? Might it not, indeed, have already kicked in?

    I have a science degree, albeit not in a very numerate discipline (zoology), and even did a few years postgraduate research, so maybe I’m a tad more able to grasp the science than the average Joe Sixpack, but I don’t actually think you need a science degree to start wondering about AGW theory, and certainly not to doubt its credibility in light of climategate, revelations about the IPCC process, explanations on blogs like this of how temperature data is collected and manipulated, the potential influences of UHI and the dropping of rural station data, and so on.

    It all sounds very fishy, and it doesn’t help when a few influential scientists have been shown to be less than highly principled, nor when politico-economic interest groups have been buzzing around this issue for years like flies on dung.

    If you want to rescue the credibility of your field, Dr. Curry, then you just need to work towards the discovery of the truth, whatever it might be. And that could include the possibility that AGW is an incorrect theory. If you are seen to be doing that, then you will be demonstrating your own credibility. Dr. Spencer, who posts here occasionally, has demonstrated his, and been well-received even when he recently posted satellite data suggesting that January global average temperature was high despite all the NH snow. By and large, he was warmly received, and his results accepted. There appears to be a great deal of respect for him here.

    Just be like Dr. Spencer. No necessity for any kind of conscious PR exercise. Your best “PR exercise”, and the most use you can be to the cause of disinterested scientific research as it relates to the blogosphere, is the display of disinterested science. And the more scientists that come to sceptical blogs and do the same thing, the more trust will be instilled, providing that everything is seen to be open and above board.

    If critiques are made, and errors pointed out by the many very smart people with much better understanding than I, then take them on board. Don’t talk about how to set up the dialogue, simply have the dialogue. Also, don’t have a preconceived notion of what the “satisfactory” outcome might be. I don’t think you’re ever going to be able to simply use rhetoric to persuade people that the science ought to be trusted. Whether one is insulting (as are so many AGW supporters), or nice (as you are), is irrelevant. All that matters is the case and whether the evidence is convincing.

    If any scientist thinks that we are just too dim and that it’s all too complex for us, and doesn’t engage at a sufficiently deep cognitive level, then no attempt to build bridges is going to work. Well, okay, I might be too dim, but like I said, there are many who are much brighter than I, and, who knows, than you too. I learn a great deal from them, and so might even you. I teach adults for a living, and many of them, in some areas, know a great deal more than I do. I don’t get defensive about that; I just learn from it and use it to enhance my own expertise. They are my amongst my best allies in my ongoing teacher training.

  579. wakeupmaggy says:

    Judith Curry (17:24:13) :
    “Yes we disagree about many things, but perhaps we can find some common ground and maybe some of us will even change our minds based on the arguments, which is the sign of an honest skeptic”

    Judy, Judy, Judy, how I hate to get personal in the ARPA NET.
    But what a weird statement.
    You go first. Be the honest skeptic yourself. You can do it, we can help!

    Why don’t we change our minds not on argument but on reality, if it is even perceivable or measurable, go ahead and try that first. Do some measurements yourself, make sure they are accurate, then start wondering about what it all could mean. But keep your mouth shut on what you think it mightoughta couldoughta shouldoughta mean!

    Ambiguity and complete uncertainty is just so scary, the possibility of which none of you employed climate scientists seem able to ponder.

    I don’t change my mind based on anyone’s argument. Some of the most powerful arguers I know are nothing but starving snake oil salesmen. Some are in jail, or soon will be. Some committed suicide, some died of cancer and car wrecks. Some are narcissistic spouse batterers. Shrug. Que Sera.

    I don’t “trust” anyone, especially arguers. Everyone has a price, and everyone has an absolutely secret life.

    Why don’t we just not make up our minds at all if we are scientists?

    Aren’t the scientists supposed to be the skeptics first and last?

    You apparently have no idea of the fury and destruction all of you AGW scientists have caused already through the hysterical tabloid media. To hear a presidential candidate passionately tell the world he is going to lower the sea levels, doesn’t that make you lose sleep too????? Or laugh hysterically?????

    I’m glad you have a personal relationship with Willis, I’m glad you posted your attempts at reconciliation, I’m glad the average Joe engineer/scientist/mathematician is expressing himself on the blogs.
    Remember, the majority are now older and wiser, not 20somethings you can seduce with a groupie chat at Starbucks, a pizza evening around the ski lodge, or on Realclimate..

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    “I see!’ said the Queen. `Off with their heads!’

  580. sartec says:

    “Yeah, I’m angry about a lost decade and countless insults and all the rest, but so what?”

    Yeah…I’m angry too, but it’s not like there are evil folks who are using junk science to scam the clueless masses out of trillions and who are plotting to take over the world…oh wait…it’s exactly like that.

    KBO!

  581. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Dan (23:07:06)

    Mr. Watts-

    Would you agree to do a live debate on climate science?

    I fully recognize some of your concerns about scientific practice and observational data and agree that they should be addressed. But you use some awfully harsh words to trash climate science in a broad-brush manner, as if errors in one area automatically nullifies any gains in understanding across the science as a whole.

    To make claims of such veracity, though, implies that you have a thorough understanding of the science of Earth’s climate (beyond the observational data), which I’m not convinced you do. Given that I am a climate scientist, and given your prominence in the public forum on this issue, this troubles me.

    Thus I ask: would you be willing to have an open, public scientific discussion over the science of the Earth’s climate with an expert in the field? This is a serious question, as I’d be happy to explore the options for setting up such a forum.

    Thanks,
    Dan

    REPLY: Two things, I’m significantly hearing impaired, and this makes live interaction very difficult for me, so no. See my about page. Second, since you posted in this thread, I think perhaps you thought I wrote this essay, when it is Willis Eschenbach who did so. I can’t speak for him, but you are certainly welcome to ask the question of him. – Anthony

    Dan, I am happy to discuss these matters with anyone and answer questions, anytime. Look into a forum. I’m on the West Coast of the US. My email is willis [at) surfacetemps.org

    Before we get that far, however, let me ask you a couple questions. First, you say:

    But you use some awfully harsh words to trash climate science in a broad-brush manner, as if errors in one area automatically nullifies any gains in understanding across the science as a whole.

    Please point to where I said that “errors in one area automatically nullifies any gains in understanding across the science as a whole.” I do not recall ever making that claim either directly or indirectly.

    Next, you say:

    To make claims of such veracity, though, implies that you have a thorough understanding of the science of Earth’s climate (beyond the observational data), which I’m not convinced you do. Given that I am a climate scientist, and given your prominence in the public forum on this issue, this troubles me.

    Same problem. If you think I don’t understand something, what is it that I don’t understand? This kind of vague accusation is unsettling, and unanswerable.

    I also am put off by the ‘Don’t mess with me, I’m a climate scientist’ attitude. Either you know what you are talking about or you don’t, and these days if someone is a climate scientist it inclines me to believe the latter …

    Before going further, it might be valuable for you to read some of my other writings on climate science. These include:

    The Thermostat Hypothesis

    The People vs. The CRU

    The Unbearable Complexity of Climate

    Where Are The Corpses?

    When Results Go Bad

    Can’t See The Signal For The Trees

    Tropical Tropospheric Amplification

    Problems With Publishing Scientific Information On The Web: How Unusual Were Temperatures In Svalbard, Norway?

    Sinking In Tuvalu

    Climate change effect on Lake Tanganyika?

    Problems with the Juckes Proxies

    A Closer Look At Smoothing Potentially Non-Stationary Time Series

    The Steel Greenhouse

    A Discussion of Santer Et At. 2006

    An Analysis of the TOPEX Sea Level Record

    Congenital Climate Abnormalities

    Fudged Fevers in the Frozen North

    Alaskan Warming Threnody

    Forensic Climatology and the CET

    But wait! There’s more! If you order in the next fifteen minutes, you can also download, absolutely free, my 12-cartoon magnum opus, Interview With The Prophet. Act now, this is a one-time offer and supplies are limited!

    All the best,

    w.

  582. xyzlatin says:

    Judith Curry, I do not see any way that there will be a meeting in the middle between AGW proponents and people who dispute this. It won’t happen between scientists on either side either.
    The reason is that AGW has been used as a Trojan horse into civil societies all over the world to force major changes in lifestyle, including more taxes. In England, for instance, there is now talk of people not being able to afford electricity charges and going off the grid, back to burning coal to keep warm, candles for lighting, and so on. It will get worse when older coal fired stations are closed instead of renewed, which has been ordered by the EU beaurocrats.
    AGW is used to curtail our freedom politically, and to push for a world government (as was exposed by Lord Monkton in examining the first draft of the treaty). It is intruding regulations into our lives in every area.
    There is no way that there can be anything but a complete routing of the politics, and the scientists who propose this. Your scientific stance is the foundation of this. When you hear and read of elderly people unable to keep themselves warm, do you not feel some responsibility?
    By the way, there was a report released the other day which completely debunks your own position on hurricanes. As your whole career seems to be about promoting the idea that there are going to be more fierce storms and hurricanes and wild weather in the future, where does this study leave you?

    Prof Curry, my reading of your essay suggests to me that you have spent too many years with your students, pontificating, and not enough time with adults in industry. Your essay reeks of complacent superiority with a sop to us ignorant masses.
    People whose lives are made more difficult by you have a right to be angry and to forcefully speak and write to reject your theories.
    I repeat, there is no middle ground. This false hypothesis needs to be defeated and eliminated.
    Now the blowtorch is being put to the whole of your scientific discipline that you have been happily working in for years, with no thought to the many bad things that are happening from this AGW theory and the political repercussions to real people.
    I guess if I were a well paid Prof in a academic well paid job I wouldn’t be worrying either. You say yourself that you have no worries about position or funding.
    Therefore, you probably have not experienced having to keep a room unlit because that week you could not afford the new lighbulbs mandated by the Government on your AGW theory, which cost 100 times more than ordinary incandescent bulbs.
    However I have, and I have had enough of this nonsense, so now I am pushing back. Take responsibility Judith Curry for the damage you have done to ordinary people with your selected theory based on dodgy statistics and temperature readings as now acknowledged by yourself.
    Oh, and that in itself shows what sort of a scientist you are. Didn’t you check the basis of your studies yourself? Didn’t you take responsibility for all your research? How come it was left to Steve McIntyre to check the figures?

  583. Stefan says:

    About motivations and why they are relevant and why they are not:

    All science is done by people following methods to arrive at objective facts about the real world. Although the goal is always to reveal an objective fact, the practice of these methods is always performed by people, who are subjective — and in groups, people who teach other people how to perform these methods and which methods matter and which don’t. So whist there is a real world, our approach to it is always partially subjective.

    Be careful not to confuse this with an extreme-postmodernist notion that no real knowledge is possible. Rather, it is merely acknowledging that everything we know is partly subjective.

    How does this relate to motivations? Motivations are subjective, but they are not the only thing that’s subjective. Even one’s own personality can exert a subjective influence. If all the researchers in a field are shy introverted geeks who like sitting in a comfy office chair and eating pizza, you’ll probably find that they, as a group, favour “computer modelling” methods. If on the other hand your group is mostly composed of adventurous tough guys who love nothing more than attacking an obstacle course before lunch, then you’ll probably find that this group favours collecting data on remote field trips in dangerous terrain. Subjective preferences influence the chosen methods of research, and therefore which data they reveal.

    So, motivations are just one part of subjective bias. It may seem like stating the obvious, but I wonder that everyone has overlooked this (apologies to those who haven’t). Everything that is said is said by someone. So we always have to try to take the subjective component into account — it cannot be removed entirely. Every scientist and every scientific group will suffer and always suffers from subjective bias. It is a fact of life. We are all individuals and we are all members of cultures.

    The cardinal sin committed by the climate scientists, IMHO, was that they worried far too much about other peoples’ subjective bias — “you’re funded by oil companies” — but they failed to take into account their own personal biases. That’s what’s so grating about the “we’re experts in the field” story. Yes you’re experts in the field, but you are first and foremost human beings and always have been and always will be, and whilst you can wax lyrical about everyone else’s bias, the first place to look for bias is within yourselves.

    So yes, motivations count, because we have to try to get past them to the truth. But the motives neither prove nor disprove that truth. Even if oil companies were trying to prove the science wrong — let them!!! — let them try to prove the science wrong. If the data they produce can be verified independently, then they are advancing science!

    And if the data from climatologists can’t be independently checked, then they are not advancing science because independent verification is the only way we have for adjusting for the inherent bias that every human being suffers.

    If you want objectivity, start by dealing with the subjectivity. Climate scientists got this wrong. They thought the way to deal with subjectivity was to ignore the objectivity of any subject who’s personal beliefs they didn’t personally agree with. That’s a subtle but f****** awful confusion. No, the way to deal with it is to receive the findings of others, and then duplicate them — if you can and their subjective and your subjective parts are wholly incompatible — you hate each other’s guts — but you can nevertheless replicate the same results by employing the same methods, then THAT is OBJECTIVE.

  584. I agree with the gist of Judith Curry’s letter (calling for openess, transparency, building bridges), but think that her view of the “skeptical” blogosphere is naive. Making unsubstantiated accusations that are demonstrably false is not constructive, yet this is commonly done here on e.g. this blog. See eg http://tamino.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/shame/

    See also Anne van der Bom’s reaction on RC:
    http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=2808#comment-162787 and
    http://www.realclimate.org/?comments_popup=2808#comment-162908

    Not that I want to focus on the d-discussion, but she offers some salient points about choice of words:
    “The terms ‘alarmism’ and ‘denialism’ are opposite sides of the same coin. The first implies making up a problem that doesn’t exist, while the latter means pretending that a real problem does not exist. She should therefore treat the terms equally.”

  585. Michael Larkin says:

    xyzlatin (00:22:32) :

    I could be writing this to others as well, but consider a possibility. Suppose that in the past Dr. Curry genuinely believed that some of the vital data she used in her work was accurate. No: better – suppose you were in her position and believed that all that temperature data was accurate.

    So there you are, you accept this data, can’t imagine why your peers, many of whom you might know personally, would have messed it up. You are carrying out your own work honestly, and everyone around you is accepting the data, too. You have academic credentials, you are a professor at a bone-fide institution, your work is getting funded and published, and all appears to be fine.

    As for all those critics out there, well, how could they possibly be right? Surely it’s impossible for there to be some vast conspiracy? If you believe the data is right, and you believe in your work, then you are going to interpret it in line with the accepted narrative. You aren’t being evil, and you aren’t trying to foist junk science on anyone; in your own heart and mind, you sincerely believe you are doing the right thing.

    Then along comes climategate, and you see that a few key individuals who have a big influence on the data, and the IPCC process, look to have been involved in dubious practices. You are a reflective person, and you can see how this might look to sceptics and the general public. Your reflex action is to reach out, to defend your field, to reassure. It isn’t so much a case of conscious arrogance, but you are unconsciously going along with another narrative – that you know more, are better qualified than any sceptic ever could be. Everything seems to be reinforcing that.

    I believe Dr. Curry is a sincere person. I believe she wants to be helpful. I believe her actions in the past have had good intent. But I also wonder whether she hasn’t underestimated the collective brainpower of the blogs. There are people who also have PhDs, who are also working scientists, and they come from many different fields – maths, stats, chemistry, physics, geology, economics, and so on. Who knows, some of them may be more distinguished in their fields than she in her own. They could be much more than talented amateurs to be given grudging respect.

    Acknowledging that could be extremely difficult. Being able to do so might take quite some time. There doesn’t have to be any ill-will or culpability. And if Dr. Curry has swallowed a few myths about a monolithic denial machine in the early days, well, there are not a few sceptics who are also wedded to conspiracy theories.

    The whole thing could have an innocent explanation. One doesn’t have to call into question Dr. Curry’s integrity. There could be an opportunity here. Let’s not dismiss it rather curmudgeonly. Let’s have a little charity and understanding, and maybe a little humility ourselves. If we present a wall of hostility, what chance is there that any other scientist will feel encouraged to reach out? There’s a chance that such behaviour would come back at some stage and bite the sceptical movement in the posterior.

    There are many, many times in my life where I have regretted my lack of generosity; far fewer when I’ve exhibited it, however difficult that was at the time. Think to your own experience. Ask yourself whether it isn’t the same for you.

  586. BMF says:

    It should be noted that the evil skeptics are not the ones having to retract their claims of climate doom and gloom, apologizing for their errors, working behind closed doors, admitting that they didn’t read the IPCC reports, substituting World Wildlife Fund eco-propaganda for scientific studies, losing their original data, manipulating data to fit their political agendas, or preventing other scientists from reviewing the results of their audits. That would be the global warming alarmists.

  587. MrTouchdown says:

    I think my ignorance of the subject makes for a good filter and I don’t want a Climate Scientist that can “talk better”. I use my ignorance for reading through 10K reports for companies I think I’d like to invest in. My portfolio has continued to grow in a down economy. Here’s how it works:

    Did the data come from something objective, a computer program, or an ‘expert’?
    - If program or expert, then mental masterbation
    Was the data produced in-house or 3rd party?
    - In house is suspect, 3rd party less-so. Blind preferred
    Can I see the data?
    - If no, then it’s a lie
    Are the conclusions based on hard numbers or a strong feeling?
    - If a feeling, then a lie, but exploitable
    Is the legitimacy of the conclusions based on other people’s strong feelings?
    - If yes, then a lie and rather exploitable

    If Ms. Curry thinks that a smooth talking Climate Scientist is going to slip by business people, then she needs to realize that the moment that decision is made these scientists graduate from academia and enter the business world where they are NOT the experts and are vulnerable to BS meters that are honed sharper daily. Just check out Conico and BP and how they rode the greenies for profit until this whole thing fell through.

    Climate Scientists would do better to feed data to the auditors in any and every way they can where it can be chomped on and spit out where the rest of us can evaluate it for ourselves. Observations are nice, but not so nice as tangibles.

  588. Philip says:

    Just got round to reading the article http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/climate-change-and-the-death-of-science/, recommended by Jerome Ravetz. There’s another piece I wish I’d known about before! My God, what have these people been thinking? I just hope that this nonsense really can be assigned to the dustbin of history, and that people will start to get back to doing science the old fashioned way, as I think Willis would like.

  589. Andrew Duffina says:

    “Initially skepticism was funded by big oil.”

    Does anyone – apart from Guardian readers – actually believe this?

    Is there any evidence for it whatsoever?

  590. pyromancer76 says:

    Willis Eschenbach, I did not have time to comment when your post was fresh, but I see you have engaged 592 comments. I am here to make it 593, depending on what is in moderation. Magnificent response to Judith Curry. Just what don’t these people get about transparency and accountability of their science as required by the scientific method? If it doesn’t have these fundamentals, it cannot be said to have any relevance, period. Discussion over.

  591. John Whitman says:

    Michael Larkin (02:33:16) :

    Michael,

    Well articulated comment. I can see your logic and your tone is sincere.

    In the middle of your third paragraph I could not accept these two sentences, ””” . . .If you believe the data is right, and you believe in your work, then you are going to interpret it in line with the accepted narrative. You aren’t being evil, and you aren’t trying to foist junk science on anyone; in your own heart and mind, you sincerely believe you are doing the right thing.””””

    Michael, for a professional to interpret in line with accepted narrative? Then consequently for a professional to sincerely believe he/she is doing the right thing? What about the professional repect of (in this case) independent scientific method?

    That sequence opens the path to a fundamental professional tragedy.

    If one compromises one’s professional behavior for accepted narrative, then one has weakened the profession that they have sworn(or committed) to devote their life to.

    A professional in the above situation needs to recomit to professional scientific behavior and admit past professional errors openly.

    John

  592. Chrisz says:

    Michael Larkin wrote (02:33:16) :

    “consider a possibility. Suppose that in the past Dr. Curry genuinely believed that some of the vital data she used in her work was accurate. No: better – suppose you were in her position and believed that all that temperature data was accurate.”

    If she did that, she’d have forfeited her right to call herself a scientist by doing so. At the very bottom of scientific research is the assumption that anything one has to “believe” in (as opposed to things that I verify myself to be accurate) is WRONG – basically the opposite of the legal rule “in dubio pro reo”. After all, if what’s available is to be believed, one wouldn’t need to do further research on the subject.

    Believing (or “having faith”) in third-party data or results will lead your own research swiftly into the GIGO trap. Only after one doesn’t have to “believe” or to “convince oneself” any more that third-party-generated data is correct, but has checked thoroughly that this data both is internally consistent AND agrees with observable reality, one can even START building theories and assumptions on that data. “Data” that does not directly relate to reality (e.g. model outputs, interpolations, etc.) by that very definition is NEVER fit to be input data for further studies, unless you are studying the behavior of such models or the methods of your colleagues (like SteveMcI does in his “audit” efforts).

    If nothing else, certain climatologists have been proven poor scientists by working with datasets that they neither produced themselves by taking the actual measurements, nor checked thoroughly (that is by old-fashioned reading, manually comparing to the sources or other versions, and at the very least MENTALLY checking every line and every figure for its plausibility). All those little blog entries about this or that station, bringing to light omnipresent differences between the data as recorded originally and the “data” used as source material in the meta-studies, show that even the interested layperson can do this work, so it is nothing short of despicable those who call themselves “experts” and “scientists” are too lazy to do it.

    As for the open archiving of data rightly so much advocated here, I don’t think there is great value in publishing, or even keeping, the various “massaged” or “value-added” datasets that have been compiled in places other than the weather stations themselves. It is the original raw data that ought to be collected and made available in whatever form it was produced at the time – from facsimile scans of handwritten observation sheets to the current form of digital readouts, each in its native format, and wherever possible with metadata concisely describing that format. Whoever needs some of the data to do further research on could, and should, then transcribe it directly from these originals HIMSELF into whatever format he needs, rather than relying on earlier transcriptions that might well be (and usually are) compromised by multiple stages of re-formatting, coarsened by rounding and averaging errors, not to mention purely subjective omissions and interpolations.

    As an analogy, this is not much different from properly archiving movie films or sound recordings: The original carrier, even if outdated or damaged, is never discarded; any digital dataset derived from it is treated as what it is: a useful, but non-original and temporary (i.e., after some time becoming obsolete because of technical advances that necessitate going back to the original), working or “safety” copy. Re-issuing a 1930s movie today, no restoration engineer worth his salt would willingly use a 16mm or Betamax copy made for TV in the 1970s, even if the engineer “back then” did his best to optimize the picture quality, but he would always try to get back to the original camera negative, or if that’s lost, to an undoctored “first-generation” copy.

  593. Pops says:

    RE: Michael Larkin’s response to xyzlatin

    The gap between Michael Larkin and xyzlatin is this: if you’re a scientist promoting a position that results in actual harm to real human beings, you had d**n well better make sure you’re working from honest science. Good faith doesn’t cut it when you’re killing people and destroying freedom.

  594. Henry Pool says:

    Henry@ Andrew
    When I was looking for answers on my questions on carbon dioxide I had some discussions with spokespeople from Shell. I was informed that Shell had decided that the “science was settled”. When I asked for the proof of the testing I got some rubbish formula’s from Svante’s time 100 years back that was supposed to prove to me it was all established theory. I also got some more historical graphs and stories but no results of testing. I subsequently found out that Svante Arrhenius’ formula did not work at all and I came back with more questions to Shell. To this date I still have not obtained any answers on my questions. I was puzzled myself about this. If Shell could really be a cause of global warming, would they not want to spend money to research this aspect of the aftereffect of their product?? Then I wondered: why did nobody ever sue Shell or an oil company for causing global warming (like we did with the tobacco companies?
    Questions, questions, ….

  595. magicjava says:

    [quote Judith Curry (17:24:13) : ]
    With regards to trust. Many of you have stated in your comments that you don’t trust me.
    [/quote]

    Dr. Curry, this has nothing to do with you and nothing to do with trust.

    It has to do with verifiability.

    I could be your biggest fan and trust you with my life, but if I cannot access the data and source code used by you to make some scientific claim, I cannot verify that claim.

    More importantly, _no one_ can verify that claim.

    And no matter how you want to try to spin it, a collection of unverifiable claims is not science. It’s the opposite of science.

  596. Pops says:

    My apologies for very sloppy wording. What I should have said is this: if a position you accept and or promote as a scientist is being used as justification for the implementation of policies that result in actual harm to real human beings, you had d**n well better make sure you’re working from honest science. Good faith doesn’t cut it when the ultimate result is human suffering and the destruction of freedom.

  597. Brett says:

    If scientists and other scientists want the people’s trust, they should 1} stop seeking to enshrine their prejudices, which are not universal moral absolutes into law and 2) stop defending the band characters–a high percentage–in their social class. This is what we get from forced subsidy of their livelihoods by government force–corruption. The academy will improve when they must compete for freely given funds.

  598. vigilantfish says:

    Willis Eschenbach (10:36:22) : I have made my living variously as a commercial fisherman (the Bering Sea is as cold as it looks on TV), as a musician, as a psychotherapist, as an accountant, as a carpenter, as a consultant in village level development in the Third World, as a marine refrigeration technician, as a cowboy, as a sport salmon fishing guide on the Kenai River in Alaska, as a construction manager for high-end resorts, and as a computer programmer. And a bunch more.

    So I’d have to say I’m a generalist.

    ———————–

    A man for all seasons.

  599. Jean Demesure says:

    Well said Willis.
    I don’t want to trust climate scientists. I don’t want them to “better communicate” their junk science considering they’ve had more than two decades, a servile media and billion$ dollar$ to do it. Enough is enough.

  600. Tim Clark says:

    5.3 The public and policy makers don’t understand the truth as presented by the IPCC.

    1. The policy makers accept the dogma in the IPCC as truth, but most of the public apparently understand the truth as evidenced by declining AGW poll numbers.

    2. Elitist, smug, liberal, condescending “intellectuals” always resort to this thinly veiled ad hominen. For example, I’m told by Reid and Pelosi etc. that I’m against the health care bill because, “I don’t understand” or “we haven’t explained it well enough”. Well, get this. I understand both AGW and the health bill completely and still don’t want either”. Why? This is the biggest quackery since LBJ’s Great Society. How’d that work out? Do we still have poverty after trillion$ spent. We’ll still have a warming climate if we spend trillions to “fix” CO2, just like the trend for the last 10,000 yrs. If you want someone to let that sentence slide, go to RC.

  601. davidmhoffer says:

    Mrtouchdown;
    If Ms. Curry thinks that a smooth talking Climate Scientist is going to slip by business people>>

    Thank you for that. My first incling that things didn’t add up was NOT from looking at the science, but the explanations. Anyone who has read or written a lot of business cases knows an attempt to manage perception in one area while distracting attention from another, most often for no good purpose. My “BS” meter was in the read zone before I got to the science. When I did that, the needle fired itself right through the side of the meter.

  602. Tim Clark says:

    homine”m”

  603. Michael Larkin says:

    John Whitman (04:49:12) :
    Chrisz (04:53:07) :

    I understand where you are both coming from, chaps, and please don’t forget I myself am a sceptic.

    We all accept narratives, scientists not excepted. For a long time, narratives excluding plate tectonics and a bacterial cause for stomach ulcers were accepted. Scientists in large fields of study can’t do much else but trust the word of others who are specialists. I feel it is unfair to blame all scientists if others, whose data they are accepting, may be up to no good.

    I accept that Fermat’s last theorem has been proved: but for me, that is only a narrative because I haven’t read the proof and in any case would probably get lost on the first page: heck, I’ll bet it’s even, effectively, a narrative for some PhD mathematicians. And it doesn’t matter if data comes from a relatively not-too-complex area – could even be a simple one, but taken care of by those who are dedicated to, and may jealously guard, its collection and manipulation. It’s impossible not to have to simply trust all sorts of data originating from others. Chemists, engineers, physicists, and so on, probably do that all the time.

    Be realistic, guys. Nobody knows everything. Everybody accepts certain things on trust, and couldn’t possibly check everything out. All scientific disciplines have narratives, and some of those are conceivably poppycock. I could quote some I suspect of being so, but then I’d probably get up someone’s nose who thought differently.

    But more to the point, I’ll bet you yourselves have ideas about false narratives in fields other than climate science. You may even be blissfully unaware of dodgy narratives in your own field that you are accepting without questioning and investigating. If so, how would you feel if someone came along and accused you of culpable negligence?

    I’m sticking with my point: it is conceivable that Dr. Curry is both sincere and competent, and in my current opinion, that is most probably the case. So I’d like to see her being given the benefit of the doubt. Looks like I’m in the minority, unfortunately, but what the heck, I still respect those who beg to differ, so let’s not fall out about it.

  604. Brian G Valentine says:

    Judith Curry (17:24:13) : With regards to trust. Many of you have stated in your comments that you don’t trust me.

    I empathize completely with the feelings you must have because of this, Madam.

    If it’s any consolation, and speaking from personal experience only – you’ll get over it

  605. Milwaukee Bob says:

    Wait! Stop the press! I may revise my thinking that Dr. Curry was honestly trying to take the middle high ground with her original post and subsequent comments. Why? In light of the article in todays Wall St. Jr. which can be found here -
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704188104575083681319834978.html#articleTabs%3Darticle

    It essentially asserts the same mistaken view point that the whole problem is poor communications and oversimplification at the IPCC, obfuscating the real issues of malfeasances and outright fraud.

    Please tell us all, Dr. Curry, your not a part of some coordinated attempt to misdirect the rank-and-file of the world and put-out-of-sight/mind the manipulated junk science, lack of robust data and abject failure of the GW models involved in this whole mess. Please?

    One more article – anywhere – along the same lines of its all about the IPCC’s “image” or it’s just “communication failure” and the not so faint scent of rats will permeate the air.

    Oh, and BTW, it doesn’t take a scientist to know a dead rat stinks.

  606. Theo Goodwin says:

    Why do I endorse Willis Eschenbach’s viewpoint on Climategate. Because everything he says or writes is informed by a powerful understanding of scientific method and because he is a natural, to use a sports metaphor. His understanding of scientific method grows from his work and is not overlaid.

    Why is Willis Eschenbach so important to climate sceptics at this time? Because he understands that the heart of the Climategate scandal is a matter of scientific method not a matter of science. Phil Jones and similar people have violated scientific method and must be taken to task for that. If they are permitted to claim that it is the science that matters in this debate, not scientific method, then they are off the hook. Of course, the reasons they are off the hook is that they have much of the science locked away and they are not candid in presenting their theories. Climate sceptics’ must stand on scientific method or they are not even full participants in the debate that is taking place.

  607. RichieRich says:

    Willis writes

    Results are routinely exaggerated. “Scientific papers” are larded with “may” and “might” and “could possibly”. Advocacy is a common thread in climate science papers. Codes are routinely concealed, data is not archived. A concerted effort is made to marginalize and censor opposing views.

    This is a rather disparate list of grievances. Some brief comments below.

    1. Results are routinely exaggerated
    Willis provides no evidence of “routine” exaggeration.

    “Scientific papers” are larded with “may” and “might” and “could possibly”
    Why is this a problem if one is dealing with uncertainty?

    Advocacy is a common thread in climate science papers
    What evidence do you have that is is common? If the science is sound, is advocacy, if clearly demarcated from the science, necessarily a problem? If a scientific investigation concludes that unless we do X, then it is very likely the world will explode in 2014, it is unreasonable for the investigators to suggest we might want to consider doing X?

    Codes are routinely concealed, data is not archived
    This certainly happens. I’m quite prepared to believe it happens “routinely”. This is not good.

    A concerted effort is made to marginalize and censor opposing views
    This certainly seems true with regard to MM and will regard to censorship at RC. This is not good. Is a concerted effort made by the majority who hold that AGW is happening and problematic?

  608. Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen says:

    I can only add my congratulations to Willis Eschenbach’s essay and invite that he publishes in the correct form in ‘Energy&Environment’!

    I trust and value both contributions but have several comments to make that go beyond his and Judy Curry’s contributions but are still a direct response to them. I see both as defensive of ‘pure’ science, with one seeing the IPCC ‘problem’ as communication failure and the other as the careless pursuit of the wrong ‘paradigm’. Willis looks at ‘climate science’ from a more independent, less embedded outsider perspective, Judith has worked within and for the ‘science consenus’. However, there is a broader perspective.

    Both contributions remain outside a broader science policy framework, a framework I ould like to briefly add on the basis of my own research into the IPCC and climate scepticism. I will do so with particular interest in the politics of science funding and its links to energy research. I have written a lot about this in the latter half of the 1990s. I want to point out that the political economy context of the IPCC and argue that the role played by government-research science nexus has been ignored.

    No mention has been made of the simple fact that international research lobbies (and their supporters in governments, NGOs and at the UN) have become a powerful political actors in the ‘climate game’. Individuals like Judith are bit a small part in a large machine they may not even see. Environmental, energy and climate research lobbies (and their funders the regulators) have come to increasingly rely on environmental threats to attract attention and money.

    Also often forgotten is that such threats appeal most o governments when linked to profitable ‘solutions’. This is indeed the case for the IPCC.

    The solutions were worked out by its working group 3 (WG III) predate the work of IPCC working group 1 on science and climate modelling. The offerred solutions, or responses as they are offically called, range from ‘clean’ technology and the resurrected nuclear power, to environmental taxation and emission standard setting and ‘carbon’ trading. The same solutions were offered, initally, in the 1970s. All these solution relate to the decarbonisation of energy supply. The required investments are huge. They were and still are sought globally with the support of the IPCC? Why?

    During the mid-1990 when I studied the politics of the IPCC and especially its science advisory role under a three year ESRC grant , the advocacy role of the IPCC for these ‘solutions’ became apparent. This role resulted from three factors that are not usually taken into account by ‘pure’ scientists.

    First, the mentioned role of WG 3 on ‘responses’ is usually not included in the discussion of the IPCC. Howevr, it was WG 3 which from the very start supplied the science people with extremely ample emission scenarios. E&E has revealed the errors in these scenarios; here is it sufficent to point out that it is they produce the most scary ‘predictions’ of future warming and hence the justification for interventions into energy markets. WG3 consists of government people, energy technology specialists, emission modellers and environmental economists and was probably the real driving force in the IPCC process.

    In contrast, the task of WG 1, was largely supportive: to demonstrate a threat large enough to justify major regulatory and technological efforts related to the low carbon economy so fervently desired by so many. This was an ambition that first arose during the limits to growth scare, was supported by the ‘oil crises’ of the 1970s and became a financial necessity when oil prices fell sharply in the late 1980s, just when the IPCC was set up. The rejection of nuclear power by so many also encouraged the search for a problem that would ‘green’ this low carbon source.

    Second, scientists tend to ignore the links between the IPCC and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992) and its Kyoto Protocol 1987), for these legal promises go a long way towards explaining the pressures on science to ‘deliver’ the policy justification for the desired solutions.This treaty already states in international law, that global warming is man-made and dangerous. Climate remains undefined. The IPCC as advisory body was expected by its Bureau and supportive governments and NGOs, to ‘underpin’ the convention. The Climate treaty remains primarily an attack on carbon fuels.

    The interests supporting the decarbonisation agenda have grown much stronger since and have accept ‘alarmist’ predictions of dnagerous ,man-made warming on trust. By now they are, probaly, quite capable of keeping the show on the road, largely at the tax payer expense. Just listen to people like Siemens, the windfarm lobby, WWF, investment banks and many others,

    Worries about unintended consequences of this global effort, including the Copenhagen debacle, show that the world recession may not be strong enough to prevent futher attemps at implementing this alleged third industrial revolution. Science and engineering lobbies, as well as regulators, have much to gain. If climate change fails as justification, other threats may have to be used. Ocean acidification and peak oil spring to mind.

    Third, and as already hinted at, any analysis of the ‘pure’ science debate neglects important links between the IPCC advisory role and energy sector interests and ambitions. When the oil prices collapsed in the late 1980s, there were many vested interests and even more R&D ambitions that supported state intervention in favour of renewables, nuclear power, energy efficiency, and natural gas. Worries about unintended consequences and the world recession may now threaten this agenda.

    To explain my analysis a little more and oint nout its relevance here:

    I studied the IPCC as a senior research fellow from inside the energy policy research community at the Science and Technology Policy Unit (SPRU), University of Sussex.

    In my analysis the climate treaty and subsequent negotiations were not primarily science based (though much good science was funded on the way), but involved major efforts to develop and promote low carbon fuels. The motives for this effort can be debated. Many people believed and still believe that ‘saving the planet’ from dangerous warming is the primary objective.

    Such a threat is indeed needed as long as hydrocarbons and coal remain very competitive and supportive of rapid economic growth. While regulation and ‘stimulation’ can ensure that carbon has a high enough price to encourage ‘decarbonisation’, the question now is, can we still afford it? The UN and UK governments seem to think so. Were they to change their mind, science may again be needed, but this time to test the veracity of the warming threat.

    Having followed the science debates since the late 1980s and would agree with John Christy (made recently in ‘Nature’) that ‘scientists’ ignorance of the climate system is enormous’ and with Willis Eschenbach that well-meaning and thoughful people like Judity Curry should stop ‘trying to pass off garbage as science’ [ though I would not put it as strongly: they shoud examine their paradigm more closely and check the reasons for being so well funded to provide needed answers.]

    I am not sure whether his solution, for climate scientists to police their own back yard, is realistic. I would go for demanding a different public funding system for science and a dissociation of policy-making from science still in the basic research phase, that is attemting to prevent the misuse of science by policy-makers so called. This would include much weaker links between government bodies, for example energy, environment and foreign ministries, and basic climate research bodies like CRU or even the UK Royal Society.

    Dr. Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen
    Editor, Energy&Environment
    Hull University, Departmetn of Geography
    sonja.b-c@hull.ac.uk

  609. hunter says:

    Dr. Curry,
    Thank you for having the toughness to stand in the middle. It is indeed a hazardous position to be in.
    My hope is that what I call ‘AGW’, the theory that CO2 is going to cause a climate catastrophe, will be seen for what it is- another in a long series of apocalyptic predictions that will never actually happen.
    The problem is that the claims of AGW resonate deeply within many people, and so an AGW social movement has formed, that is as powerful as it is reactionary in its defense of the ‘truth’ of AGW theory. This social movement is deeply intertwined with the science, unfortunately.
    There is a logical step that skeptics have taken: junk claims and bad behavior are a result of junk evidence.
    In other words, the reason the AGW community is so angry and unable to discuss problems of data quality, failures of normal scientific method, the extreme nature of AGW predictions about climate, is that to do so would force those who have invested a great deal of emotional and social capital in AGW to lose the only valuable aspect of the theory: its predictions of CO2 caused apocalypse.
    No apocalypse means no need for crisis management- no great world treaties, no sweeping AGW social moveement policies, no need for imposed technology changes, etc. Not to mention the money those who have promoted various aspects of AGW have at stake.
    Your efforts are an important step by someone deeply involved in the science to unwind some of this, and I encourage you to stand firm, and to continue to keep an open and critical view.
    And consider the logical steps before you.

  610. PaulH from Scotland says:

    @xyzlatin (00:22:32)

    ‘Therefore, you probably have not experienced having to keep a room unlit because that week you could not afford the new lighbulbs mandated by the Government on your AGW theory…’

    Careful not to provide too much credit there xyz.

    AGW hasn’t reached the dizzying academic heights of a ‘theory’.

    Based upon my understanding of the scientific method, Anthropogenic Global Warming remains, as it always has been, an ‘unsubstantiated hypothesis’.

  611. Robinson says:

    I think that Dr Curry was trying to suggest that we should support those who endevour to investigate the subject because they are for the most part conviction (no pun) scientists and they are trying their best.

    My point is that the field is much larger than it would be if it were just scientific curiosity driving it forward. To use someone else’s phrase, it’s a snowball, sucking up vast amounts of cash which could otherwise be spent more usefully elsewhere. Of course, I’m making the assumption here that a lot of this money is wasted. Anyone who’s read Watts for long enough will surely agree with me that it is!

  612. Steve J says:

    I wanted to comment on an aspect of all of this that doesn’t seem to be emphasized in these two essays and the responses: the issues of verifiability and scientific ethics that are so disturbing in climate science are really part of a broader social problem, especially in hierarchical structures such as academic science and academe in general, but also in government and corporate life, as the essay comparing climategate to the fall of Enron suggests. We live in an era that has been characterized as “post-modern,” which seems to mean that we can all adopt whatever worldview works for us: in particular, it’s easy to see in many areas of human endeavor that what used to be called ethical behavior has become optional. Corporations, politicians, academics all espouse the highest ethics in public but “everybody” knows they would be fools to actually conduct their lives in this way. This is exactly the dichotomy you see in the climategate emails – public rectitude and private corruption. Postmodernism is the new flavor, but it’s as old as the hills. I’m an academic, and you can see the same problems in most academic departments: circling the wagons, cleaving to a politically favored point of view despite the evidence – and as economic factors increase competition for academic and scientific positions, the result under the current system is not greater quality, but more academics and scientists who are willing to shade the result – to advocate – to cheat in one way or another. When the time comes for an investigation, the university or other academic authority acts to favor it’s own best interest – that’s how administrators stay in power. Medical science is so completely infiltrated by the pharmaceuticals that a former editor of the New England Journal of Medicine recently wrote a book about the fact the most medical research, as well as the conclusions of many authorities in medical science, cannot be trusted. In short, we have a serious problem – in our gradual move toward openness and pluralism over the last century, we are in the process of throwing the baby out with the bathwater; pluralism and the rejection of other “isms” such as racism, sexism, and so on, have been a tremendous benefit to society, but the adoption of “situational morality” as a broadly accepted standard is very dangerous. I remember the comment about the Watergate conspirators that the scandal was ultimately quite profitable for many of them because they became widely sought after speakers – nobody seemed too concerned about how they acquired their notoriety. Dishonesty and professional malfeasance have always been with us, but they were once publicly condemned: we had better understand the road we are following – if unethical behavior becomes an acceptable choice in polite society, our civilization will be greatly weakened, and not just by unnecessary economic restrictions.

  613. anna v says:

    Re: Michael Larkin (Feb 26 07:02),

    But more to the point, I’ll bet you yourselves have ideas about false narratives in fields other than climate science. You may even be blissfully unaware of dodgy narratives in your own field that you are accepting without questioning and investigating. If so, how would you feel if someone came along and accused you of culpable negligence?

    I’m sticking with my point: it is conceivable that Dr. Curry is both sincere and competent, and in my current opinion, that is most probably the case. So I’d like to see her being given the benefit of the doubt. Looks like I’m in the minority, unfortunately, but what the heck, I still respect those who beg to differ, so let’s not fall out about it.

    I agree with you about narratives in science, theories in all disciplines go off and after a while, sometimes a long while, a correction sets in. If there were not so much politics going on based on the climate narrative, one could have the forbearance to give benefits of doubt.

    Even while the climate projections are more and more proven false there does not seem to be a budge in the politics that are pushing western societies to commit economic immolation, will impoverish and destroy millions of third world people, and enrich an elite. There is no budge just because most mainstream climate scientists like Dr Curry support the narrative in some way.

    Scientists have to speak up loud and clear that the science is not settled, the time table for the fall of the sky, if it is falling because of CO2, can be pushed off to next century, and there is no need for rushing drastic cap and trade pyramid schemes.

    Unfortunately the inertia seems to be very great and it seems that only nature will be able to stop the AGW bus with a few more north hemisphere cold winters.

  614. Dan says:

    Ah sorry I didn’t realize this was Willis, my bad.

  615. Steve Keohane says:

    Judith Curry (17:24:13) : As has been said above, it is not you who is not trusted, it is the field of climate science. It is not internally audited, or the amateur auditors would not find the errors that they do. Moreover, it is not a simple error here and there, errors are pervasive, and always bias in only one direction. That last in itself is grounds for a serious lack of trust. Then when one looks at the manipulation of data worldwide, the same mismanagement of data occurs in New Zealand as in the US, ie. circa 1965 becomes a hinge point, temps prior are lowered, and thereafter raised. Who could not imagine a global conspiracy for these manipulations. The other choice is the original/raw data is mangled. Pick one.

  616. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Bart Verheggen (02:16:53)

    … “The terms ‘alarmism’ and ‘denialism’ are opposite sides of the same coin. The first implies making up a problem that doesn’t exist, while the latter means pretending that a real problem does not exist. She should therefore treat the terms equally.”

    I can see you don’t get out much …

    The term “denier” was chosen by the AGW supporters specifically because of its association with Holocaust Deniers. This was made explicit most recently by the comments of Congressman Bernie Saunders. It is an emotionally loaded word. Its use has been protested over and over by people to whom it is applied. It is in no means the opposite of the term alarmist, which has no such negative historical associations.

    Its use should be avoided for a couple of reasons.

    First, we’ve said over and over that it is a nasty term, so it should be avoided simply as a matter of common politeness. Calling a group of people by a name that they have said they object strongly to is not a good thing, no matter why they object.

    Second, if you use it, you’ll get your vote cancelled by the people you are describing. Look at what happened to Judith, who only tried to use it to make a distinction between deniers and sceptics. People fastened on that and threw out the rest of her reasonable and reasoned points.

  617. Willis Eschenbach says:

    RichieRich (07:36:44)

    Willis writes

    Results are routinely exaggerated. “Scientific papers” are larded with “may” and “might” and “could possibly”. Advocacy is a common thread in climate science papers. Codes are routinely concealed, data is not archived. A concerted effort is made to marginalize and censor opposing views.

    This is a rather disparate list of grievances. Some brief comments below.

    1. Results are routinely exaggerated
    Willis provides no evidence of “routine” exaggeration. …

    Richie, if at this point in the history of climate science you need evidence for routine exaggeration of results, I fear that either you need far more help than I can give you, or you are a troll.

    In either case I will leave you to slumber, secure and undisturbed in your prejudices.

  618. Pascvaks says:

    Ref – Judith Curry (17:24:13) :
    “Science is science, we all value science and need to preserve its integrity. But we are all human, and trust and irrationality play a role in our thinking and discourse. Does this help scientific progress? No. But but we need to recognize their importance in human interactions. Two examples here: allegedly “rational” skeptics here go ballistic over the “d” word and reject all of my arguments because of the “d” word. Look in the mirror, I have certainly forced myself to confront my own biases and prejudice in not rejecting others arguments, otherwise i wouldn’t spend any time here at all.
    “With regards to trust. Many of you have stated in your comments that you don’t trust me. Trust is obviously not irrelevant here. Trust is part of the reason that Willis and I can carry on a relatively civil conversation about this topic.”…
    _________________________
    Think of a blog as an open air market. Some are very small and only open infrequently. Some like WUWT are capable of getting quite a crowd at any time of day and on any day of the week. There’s a lot of noise and commotion.

    Most are there for a genuine purpose but not beyond having a little fun at any vendor’s expense. Some are there to just have fun, they don’t have any money and it’s just the fun they’re after. They tend to strike up a discussion with their own kind and chat about anything but the subject at hand. Some are hecklers and trouble makers. Some are just passing through and rarely say anything to anyone. Some come looking for new views and ideas. Some don’t like anything new, and only want the same day in and day out.

    The ones that address the issue head on. That take what you say and think about it. That ask penetrating questions or clarification on a point or two. That compliment you –sometimes; or tell you you you’re wrong but don’t cut you to pieces — usually; are the ones that you should be responding to.

    The noise of the “mob” is not indicative of anything except the size of the blog and it’s popularity. As you have in this case: listen to all, ignore the noise and provocations, focus on the reasonable and those who are listening.

    Well done Doctor! Hope to e-see and e-hear you again at WUWT.

  619. A C Osborn says:

    John Hewitt (07:30:34) :

    PS definitely not coming back!

    Your Loss.

  620. Willis Eschenbach says:

    RichieRich (07:36:44) : edit

    Willis writes

    Results are routinely exaggerated. “Scientific papers” are larded with “may” and “might” and “could possibly”. Advocacy is a common thread in climate science papers. Codes are routinely concealed, data is not archived. A concerted effort is made to marginalize and censor opposing views.

    “Scientific papers” are larded with “may” and “might” and “could possibly”
    Why is this a problem if one is dealing with uncertainty?

    Here’s a typical example of what I’m talking about, from “Earth’s Energy Imbalance: Confirmation and Implications”, James Hansen et al., Science Ragazine.

    Implications. The thermal inertia of the ocean, with resulting unrealized warming “in the pipeline”, combines with ice sheet inertia and multiple positive feedbacks during ice sheet disintegration to create the possibility that the climate system could reach a point where large sea level change is practically impossible to avoid.

    Sure, there is a possibility that we could get to a point where large sea level change is practically impossible to avoid. And there is the possibility that I could be practically certain to win the lottery. But by the time we have stacked up all those qualifiers, we’re way out into the realm of speculation and not science.

    This is not a way to deal with uncertainty as you suggest. It is a way to camouflage alarmism as science.

  621. Old PI says:

    I’ve read the above article, Judith Curry’s earlier post, and ALL of the comments. There’s something I think anyone working with or relying on climate research data should remember, the immortal words of Ronald Reagan: “Trust, but verify”. There’s been too much trust, and too little verification, of climate “science”. The CRU hasn’t helped by withholding their data (as have others).

  622. gbaikie says:

    [snip - As I asked before, please take general climate science discussions elsewhere. Thanks. - w.]

  623. T.Nessus says:

    @Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen (07:48:15)
    Thank you for that dissertation and for trying to pull it into
    a broader perspective (WG3 “responses” and policies based on it).

    Anthony and/or Willis, just curious,
    do you have any comments on her text?

  624. Gary Hladik says:

    Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen (07:48:15), thanks for the bigger picture. The older I get, the less I know, and strangely enough, the less everyone else knows, too. While some may think that “bigger” government has the power to do more “good”, all I see is the power to screw up even worse than before–consistently.

  625. Gary Hladik says:

    Willis Eschenbach (10:38:34), thanks once again for sticking around for the comment period.

  626. A C Osborn says:

    Dr. Judith Curry, thank you for your original post and for responding to Willis on here.
    Since I have been visiting WUWT these 2 posts are the most visited and responded to posts that I have seen, so that should show you how much they mean to those on here.
    It is nice for us to be able to respond to an actual Scientist involved in the AGW debate, so thanks for giving us the chance to express our concerns, both for the perceived lack of good Science used by the IPCC and also the extensive Costs to the world. The cost is not only in the $s being used to fund, justify and promote AGW, but also in Carbon Trading which is costing jobs in the US and Europe, add to that the cost in human suffering caused by diverting those said $s away from the many poor people in need and perhaps you can see why we are so passionate and incensed.
    Please find the time to come back and talk to us and maybe have some input in to other posts on here, we may not agree with you but we want to hear reasoned arguement from both sides as it helps us make decisions about the science and the Scientists.
    As it is we get quite a few “Trolls” on here who just spout the IPCC lines even though they have been shown to be wrong.

  627. Allan M says:

    Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen (07:48:15) :

    T hank you for this contribution.

    “This treaty already states in international law, that global warming is man-made and dangerous.”

    Well, we do seem to have politicians dumb enough to negotiate a different freezing point for water; and those many dumb in enough to believe they can solve any problem by passing a law.

    “If climate change fails as justification, other threats may have to be used. Ocean acidification and peak oil spring to mind.”

    And politicians who are dumb enough to believe that we are endlessly gullible.

  628. Sean Peake says:

    Allan M, don’t forget about carbon-storing whales.

  629. Today’s news that IPCC’s Dr. Rajendra Pachauri is under investigation, reconciliatory messages of Professors Judith Curry and Jerome Ravetz on WUWT, and NASA’s new attitude of humility in its 5 Feb 2010 news release on the Solar Dynamics Observatory:

    http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2010/05feb_sdo.htm

    - “We only want to work together with you now to find the truth about global warming and the role of the variable Sun in it” . . .

    . . . are, in my opinion, well coordinated acts of appeasement.

    The Climategate scandal has exposed the dark, shadowy outline of an international alliance of politicians [US's Al Gore, UN's Rajendra Pachauri, UK's Tony Blair, France's Nicolas Sarkozy, Germany's Angela Merkel, etc.], news media [BBC, PBS, CBS, CNN, Washington Post, New York Times, LA Times], public research agencies [NAS, NASA, EPA, DOE, etc], and research journals [Nature, Science, etc.] that seek to use science and scientists as a propaganda tool to save the world, after first getting in a position of control.

    I do not doubt that their goals were initially noble – to eliminate national boarders and thus save the world from mutual nuclear destruction – as were the goals of other self-appointed world rulers.

    Their immediate, short-term goal is preservation of their position of power. That will probably require them to appease climate critics ASAP, before the critics discover and insist on dismantling the research agencies that have manipulated data, public funds, and publications to hide these empirical facts:

    01. The Sun exploded as a supernova 5 G yr (5 x 10^9 yr) ago and ejected all of the material that now orbits the Sun.

    http://www.omatumr.com/Origin.htm

    02. Neutron repulsion – not Hydrogen fusion – powers the Sun and the cosmos. Nuclear rest mass data, when plotted against charge density, Z/A, reveals neutron repulsion in every nucleus. Neutron-emission from the solar core, followed by neutron-decay and partial fusion of the neutron decay product generates solar luminosity, solar neutrinos, and solar wind H in the proportions observed. H pouring from the surface of the Sun and other stars fills interstellar space with this waste product.

    03. The top of the solar atmosphere is 91% Hydrogen (H) and 9% Helium (He) because H is the lightest element (element #1) and He is the next lightest one (element #2). 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.

    04. The Sun discards 50,000 billion metric ton of H each year in the solar wind. If the Standard Solar Model (SSM) of a H-filled Sun were correct then the Sun is discarding its own fuel!

    05. Nuclear manner is mostly dissociating, rather than fusing together, in the Sun and in the cosmos. Gravity is a nuclear force, because almost all of the mass of each atom is in its nucleus. Dynamic competition between the long-range force of gravity and the short-range force of neutron repulsion powers the Sun and the universe.

    06. Anthropologic CO2 is no more dangerous than water. CO2 did not cause global warming. Earth’s heat source is the Sun – a variable star.

    With kind regards,
    Oliver

  630. Jordan says:

    Willis Eschenbach (10:38:34) : “Results are routinely exaggerated. “Scientific papers” are larded with “may” and “might” and “could possibly”.”

    Please allow me to add to your example using Caillon et al (2003) “Timing of Atmospheric CO2 and Antarctic Temperature Changes Across Termination III”.

    This is a much-quoted-from paper which estimated the 800 year lag from temperature change to CO2 change.

    The substance of Caillon’s paper is quite an interesting analysis of proxy data series. The authors are quite open and frank about some of the weaknesses in the analysis. For example: “The following conclusions are based on the assumption that there is no lag of 40Ar behind temperature (27) and so they must be considered tentative”.

    Fair enough – we can go with that. So using these proxy series, we can see how the analysis tentatively indicates the 800 year lag (+/- 200 years) around that period.

    The paper could just stop there. But it doesn’t. It goes into a reasonably lengthy discussion which does nothing more than add opinion. It should be noted that the following comments from the paper do not (cannot!) follow from the analysis:

    “This confirms that CO2 is not the forcing that initially drives the climatic system during a deglaciation. Rather, deglaciation is probably initiated by some insolation forcing (1, 31, 32), which influences first the temperature change in Antarctica (and possibly in part of the Southern Hemisphere) and then the CO2. This sequence of events is still in full agreement with the idea that CO2 plays, through its greenhouse effect, a key role in amplifying the initial orbital forcing.”

    “Finally,