Reconciling the irreconcilable in Lisbon

Judith Curry

Dr. Judith Curry - Image via Wikipedia

Since I did not attend Lisbon even though invited and initially accepted, (other business and family obligations took precedence) the very least I can do is to help elevate the discussion. Here’s a report from Dr. Judith Curry, and I urge WUWT readers to read it in it’s entirety.  Hopefully Mosh will weigh in here with his report once he’s recovered from the trip. I’m sure Steve McIntyre will be posting on the conference also. Since this is a new topic, and one bound to be widely discussed, I’ve added a “climate reconciliation” category to WUWT. I’ll have some thoughts later. – Anthony

Lisbon Workshop on Reconciliation: Part II

by Judith Curry (excerpts from her blog)

Here are some reactions from the Lisbon Workshop on Reconciliation in the Climate Debate.  These are my personal reflections, and include some of the perspectives and statements made by others (without any attribution of names).

The first issue is what exactly is meant by reconciliation, and who actually wants it?  Reconciliation is defined (wikipedia) as re-establishing normal relations between belligerents: re-establish dialogue, reinstate balance,  restore civility.  It is not clear that there has ever been normal relations between, say, the mainstream IPCC researchers and  the skeptical climate blogosphere. Consensus building was not seen as having any part in a reconciliation.  Rather there was a desire to conduct impassioned debates nonviolently, and to create an arena where we can fight a more honest fight over the science and the policy options.

So who actually wants some sort of reconciliation or an increase in civility?  One perspective was that the alarmists shooting at the deniers, and deniers shooting at the alarmists, with a big group in the middle, with both the deniers and the alarmists ruining the situation for reasoned debate about the science and the policy options.  Another perspective described the fight as entertaining theater.  One perspective was that there is no incentive for conciliation by either side; both sides like the “war.”  In the context of the “war,” the hope was expressed that more moderate voices would emerge in the public debate.

The issue of civility and nonviolence in communication was regarded as an important topic by the Workshop organizers.  They brought in an expert to facilitate nonviolent communication.  This frankly didn’t go over very well with the Workshop participants, for a variety of reasons.  This particular group of participants wasn’t very volatile in terms of emotions running high, use of offensive language, or heated arguments.  The main format of the Workshop was for groups of 7-8 to discuss various controversial topics.  Each group had a different dynamic; the group I was in had some colorful personalities but not terribly impassioned positions on the alarmist-denier spectrum.  One table did encompass the entire spectrum, but the dynamic of that group seemed collegial.  So the issue of getting skeptics to sit down with alarmists (these were the two words that were generally used to describe the two poles of the debate) and talk politely and constructively didn’t turn out to be a problem.  This is partly a function of the individuals invited, who for the most part weren’t too far out there on either extreme and expressed their willingness to communicate by actually agreeing to attend the Workshop.

Towards reconciliation

Some principles/strategies that were discussed to improving the scientific debate:

  • Acknowledge that there are real issues and we don’t agree on how to resolve them
  • Disagreement with mutual respect
  • Find better ways to communicate criticism
  • Find better ways to admit mistakes without damage to reputation
  • Find some common ground, something to work on together
  • Find where interests intersect
  • Importance of transparency
  • Communication engenders trust
  • Search for win-win solutions (i.e. both sides work to increase the funding base to collect more paleoproxies).

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

I urge readers to read the rest in entirety here: Lisbon Workshop on Reconciliation: Part II

About these ads

197 thoughts on “Reconciling the irreconcilable in Lisbon

  1. Thanks to Dr. Curry for trying to bridge the gap between ‘alarmists’ and ‘deniers.’ And good luck!

    A good first step would be to get away from using an inflammatory term like “violence” to characterize the conflict. Such hyperbole only hardens the barrier to reasoned debate, and feeds the mainstram media hype.

  2. Is there a full list of participants?

    My sense is that the gathering was one of those in the middle rather than of the edges. I wouldn’t place McIntyre, McKitrick or Mosher as being too far from Curry have read material from all three.

    I doubt very much that the true alarmists , such as the team, would have participated. They have too much pride, too much invested, and still have the ears of those in power.

  3. “They brought in an expert to facilitate nonviolent communication.”!!
    That’s an awfully sad commentáry. Some people must be terribly frustrated
    things aren’t going their way.

  4. If should would clarify what a denier is it would help understand what she means in certain areas.

    (i.e. both sides work to increase the funding base to collect more paleoproxies).

    Also working together to substantially reduce funding for alarmism.

  5. Anthony — I am so happy that you let family obligations take precedence. I think a person’s family is the most important thing in the world.

  6. When they stop trying to pass this science off as facts…
    …when they stop pretending to predict the future
    and stop lying

  7. When the shouty protectors of Al Gore accept those points above, there can be reasoned debate.

    “Trust of the scientists is especially important, given the role that expert judgment plays in the IPCC assessment.”

    When the expert judgement accepted the Himalayan glaciers would melt in 2035, etc. how can they be trusted in anything else they said in 2007?

    When the MSM start to question the extreme commentators rather than rushing to press with the wonderful bad news, then we may see some progress towards trust.

    Thankyou, Dr Curry, for saying ‘There is no organized “group” of skeptics’
    Now tell that to the organised group of alarmists who constantly dismiss their critics with that accusation!

  8. ■Find better ways to admit mistakes without damage to reputation

    A recent movie depicted an advisor to the U.S. President, in the oval office, stating, “I was wrong.” to which the President comments, “Those words have never been spoken in this office.”

    This is the heart of the issue. None will acknowledge error, to which I would add, nor will the true extent of uncertainty or ignorance.

    Desire for recognition, esteem, personal gain and influence all flow from this point.

  9. I really like this sentence:
    “One perspective was that there is no incentive for conciliation by either side; both sides like the “war.””

    Well, on the one hand, what am I to do with my favorite hobby “climate-research” if this particular “30 year war” ends.

    And on the other hand I, well eh, erh–, the wife will be pleased—?

  10. @Doug in Seattle 1156. Those whom you have listed are all interested primarily in nailing the truth about the science : politics takes a very distant place from the debate as far as they are concerned. Those who wish to use the science for political ends see the fulfilment of an ideological goal as the primary aim of their studies, and they are on both sides of the debate. The white noise endured by Anthony while Lisbon was happening is an example of the lengths to which the opponents of reasoned discourse will go – as was the scurrilous campaign to disuade Prof. Curry from her course when she first mentioned the idea.

  11. I like and respect Judith Curry, but she’s still a bit too dependent on the teat of government grants to be truly objective. In the larger sense this isn’t just a squabble between climate scientists (and journalists). This is, indeed, a war. There is national sovereignty, entire economies and human liberty at stake. There are billions, perhaps trillions of dollars of global wealth at stake. And, as “violent” a term as it may be, we ARE fighting fraud.

    I find this “reach across the aisle” posturing objectionable. I don’t want my tax dollars squandered on funding to collect more paleoproxies, but if you’re entrenched in academia this sounds like a grand idea. I don’t want AGW theory taught in public schools as though it is fact. We’re 20 years and $80 billion into this ridiculous scam and to date there exists absolutely no empiric evidence that mankind’s emissions of CO2 have warmed the planet or changed the global climate. Maybe the next conference can concentrate on everything both sides agree we understand too poorly to base anything on (e.g. clouds).

    Where was this call for civility and cooperation 5 years ago when skeptics were being savagely silenced and having their careers threatened? One does not win a war by “making nice” with the enemy. Besides…MOST of this battle is political, not scientific. If it were purely scientific the skeptics would clearly have won years ago.

  12. Dr Curry comments:

    “So the issue of getting skeptics to sit down with alarmists (these were the two words that were generally used to describe the two poles of the debate)…”

    But throughout her article Dr Curry refers to “deniers.” As a first step in reconciliation, I propose using “skeptics” instead of “deniers.”

    We all know what some folks are trying to equate deniers to.

    And the problem has never been getting skeptics to sit down with alarmists. The problem has always been that the alarmist contingent avoids debate. When has Al Gore ever debated?

    Another thought: the media picks so-called skeptics to speak for genuine scientific skeptics. [A prime example is Mr Nurse's choice of an incompetent NASA employee who stated that human activity emits several times as much CO2 as natural emissions.] Let each side choose their own representatives. I would enjoy watching Prof Richard Lindzen discuss AGW with anyone at all on the alarmist side.

  13. Some principles/strategies that were discussed to improving the scientific debate:

    * Acknowledge that there are real issues and we don’t agree on how to resolve them
    I think we are at that point already.

    * Disagreement with mutual respect
    Disagreement is currently highlighted in one direction only (ie warmists disagree with realists) in the MSM. The opposite direction is only covered on the ‘net. This must change.

    * Find better ways to communicate criticism
    Criticism must be allowed BOTH WAYS and given equal weight.

    * Find better ways to admit mistakes without damage to reputation.
    It’s largely too late for that – many ‘careers’ are already in tatters as a result of what has happened and will unfold in the months to come. Untarnished contributors will be welcome.

    * Find some common ground, something to work on together
    Peer review to be carried out by both a warmist and a skeptic. No more Pal Review.

    * Find where interests intersect
    Not many realists want global governance, communism, more unelected heirarchy (EU etc) or taxes. Intersection probably at energy conservation and adaption levels.

    * Importance of transparency
    Yes, let’s have some then ! – without having to resort to FOI’s.

    * Communication engenders trust
    Can’t argue with that, best not to communicate via the foghorn of the MSM or ‘net though as this generates distrust.

    * Search for win-win solutions (i.e. both sides work to increase the funding base to collect more paleoproxies).
    Funding from UN and other vested NGO interests will need scrutiny in future as this is where we came in…………………….

  14. “■Acknowledge that there are real issues and we don’t agree on how to resolve them”

    Is the first point suggesting we agree that Climate Change is happening, and is man-made? Is that what ‘real issues’ means?

  15. “Journalists struggle……”
    You know, they don’t. The preponderance of journalists, like much of non-North American politicians and, of course, academia from all over are “collective” in their philosophies. This has crippled social science irreparably and in the last number of decades has invaded hard sciences. The wisdom of separation of church and state might be a good model to apply to science and society. E=mc^2 doesn’t need an alliance with politics – do the science and let the politicians and society decide how to fit it in. “Interventions” and coming together has its place but not in deciding whether society should accept pV=nRT (ideal gas law – low pressure monatomic gases) or not, or how they could advantageously change it to support policy goals.

  16. Writes Anthony Watts of how “other business and family obligations took precedence” over attending the conference in Lisbon, without mentioning – of course – his natural reticence to undergo teratogenic doses of radiation and/or Heimatsicherheitsdienst grope-downs at the airport en route thereto.

    “Climate reconciliation” is one thing. A blanket pardon for the AGW fraudsters?

    Not until they’ve made restitution and we’ve adjudicated the matter of punitive damages.

  17. Dr. Curry,

    Who are these deniers you’re refering to, and where do the skeptics fit into this?

    Thanks,

    MikeEE

  18. Having attended a number of these types of meetings, albeit on a much smaller scale, in relation to the debate over nuclear weapons and nuclear power it seems to me that positions become far more polarised on the blogosphere because there is no real human contact.

    When you are face to face with people you recognise, basically, that they are human too and generally rarely totally bad no matter how much you may disagree with what they say.

    It is easy to be contemptuous and dismissive in words posted on blogs. And such words, unfortunately, tend to feed of each other.

  19. Sorry, but it seems a long, expensive, journey, to practice role playing and “how to discuss” lectures. Results seem to be wishy-washy, at best. IMHO GK

  20. The tide of this “war” between the alarmists and skeptics has turned. That is the only reason the lukewarmers of both sides are sitting down and talking peace.

    As with all wars this is prelude to the final capitulation and you will find that the real warriors are still out on the battlefield. I fully expect that the winning side will be taking scalps when the war is over. This is the nature of mankind.

  21. Personally, until the alarmists get to some serious mea culpa, there is little reason to reconcile. I also see little need to help them regain any credibility – their actions have been so abysmal being shunned professionally seems reasonable in light of their acts.

    However, if they wish to begin a scientific debate they need to admit:

    (1) Their data and conclusions were exaggerated. Get on with producing the error bars on measurements and derived values (e.g., gridded data). Admit today’s temps are statistically the same as the 1930’s (within the error bars).
    (2) Admit trees and other organic proxies involve so many other biological factors that local historic temps (let alone global ones) are beyond their capacity. Stick with chemistry (e.g., ice cores and elements) where the reactions and relation to local temp are known to a high confidence.
    (3) Admit you cannot smear a thermometer over 1200 km’s and call it warming. Realize that temp readings decay (e.g., the error bars expand) over distance and time.
    (4) Admit that the 1880-1960 temp record is spotty and only valid to within +/-3°C (or prove otherwise)
    (5) Admit the skeptics were right in many cases, and accept the new scrutiny as the required test for the niche science of global climate to graduate to the level a serious leading science like physics, biology, engineering, etc. Peer review is the process of growing up and growing robust.

    If the alarmists would accept these 5 points at a minimum, then maybe there would be a reason to expend some energy salvaging their reputations.

    Otherwise there is not reason to lift a finger.

  22. Fine that they’re all getting along. Did they already find a compromise about the worldwide economic domination the alarmists want to achieve (to prevent us all from a terrible catastrophe, of course)? Did they invite Chinese or Indian participants? Russian? Is there even an alarmist in these countries?

  23. Philip Thomas: Thank you. That was my first impression also. I also disagree with Dr. Curry about the win-win be getting more money from the hard pressed taxpayers. Sorry, but you’ve had 20 years of free wheeling spending on climate, now it’s time to reduce ALL governmental spending and especially in areas where we can’t do much of anything about anyway.

  24. Dr. Curry writes, Confusing the group of scientific skeptics with individuals that are against the policies associated with climate change, and using this as an excuse to ignore scientific skeptics, is to the detriment of actively challenging the science and making scientific progress.

    No disagreement there, except the thought does not go far enough. The “policies associated with climate change” are Draconian and rife with financial fraud. Most individuals do not like being robbed blind of their wealth and human rights by kleptocrats, or by anyone else for that matter.

    If scientists on either “side” ignore the pain and suffering inflicted by “climate change policies”, then they are fools, intentionally or not.

    The point of the conference was to impart “civility” to the “debate”. How civil is one supposed to be when being robbed at the point of a gun? Is civility called for in that case? By whom?

    Patrick Henry famously spoke, “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?”

    Now that was certainly an incendiary thing to say. It helped foment a shooting war. That war resulted in a form of government much admired and appreciated today. Would reconciliation have been a better option?

  25. Grumpy Old Man says: “…Those who wish to use the science for political ends see the fulfilment of an ideological goal as the primary aim of their studies…”

    That’s the crux of the issue. The playing field was polluted with politics from Day One.

    “…and they are on both sides of the debate….”

    Not really. The Skeptic side is largely free of ideological goals, unless not fixing what isn’t broken could be called an ideological goal. Maybe you do. I don’t.

    Many here agree with the statement about politics being enmeshed in the Warmist side early on. This is not a scientific debate, for many, possibly most, Warmists. It’s a political battleground. “Play nice, now, kids” conferences will not change that, and it’s naive to assume they will.

    That said, it’s always a pleasure to see Judith Curry posting here. I spell courage c u r r y j .

  26. As soon as the immortal words “The science is settled” were uttered, it became a zero sum game, i.e. there can only be winners and losers in this debate. The only way that there can be any return to a “middle ground”, is for all scientists and science organisations of a warmist bent to come out and say, forcefully if necessary, that the science is NOT settled, they do not have all the answers.

    The longer warmists duck that, the more people of a skeptical nature will continue to distrust them, their science, and their motives, and by extension, science itself. It is entirely up to them. Skeptics do not have to move an inch to push this debate forward.

    If the past is any guide to the future, twenty years from now we will be a full degree from where the bedwetter-in-chief told us we would be in 1988. Where will that leave their “science” then?

  27. “One perspective was that the alarmists shooting at the deniers, and deniers shooting at the alarmists, with a big group in the middle, with both the deniers and the alarmists ruining the situation for reasoned debate about the science and the policy options.”

    I have just 1 simple question for Judith Curry. Are you an alarmist, a denier or in the middle?

  28. I’m reading no more from Judith Curry’s report. Sorry, once she used the word denier I had had enough. I would still like to know from her where she thinks her position is: alarmist, denier or in the middle?

  29. Moderator:
    Sorry, once she used the words Please remove the “s”

    REPLY: please check out our latest post about getting a preview function in your browser.

  30. I really do admire this effort and hope that the work that Dr. Curry and the participants produce from the Lisbon conference can have some impact in the public square.

    In my opinion, climate science really went off the tracks when some of its most prominent members decided to step firmly into the political arena. This was amplified in 2007 when Al Gore and the IPCC “gang of over 2000 scientists” collectively won the Nobel peace prize. Suddenly, many climate scientist thought they could become rock stars, and so we saw the emergence of publicity hounds like Jim Hansen, Gavin Schmidt, Ben Santer, Michael Mann, Phil Jones, to name but a few. This cabal fractured when Climategate broke, but the manic effort to paint global warming as the end of civilization continues unabated. Even today, scientific and professional society journal articles are not free of overt political statements that are nauseatingly over the top. And, of course, we get hysterical press release after hysterical press release from the global warming industry, many of which are highlighted here at WUWT.

    I think progress can be made in reconciling skeptics and warmers, but only if the political posturing and manic press releases from the climate publicity hounds can be curtailed. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening any time soon…

  31. All due respect to Dr. Judith, but it’s a scurrilous (and obvious) trick to try to get your enemy to cede ground by offering to “meet in the middle.”

    There IS no middle. There is only science and its method. The method is observed or it is suborned. There is no scope in science for partial truth. Dr. Judith’s method reminds me of the adage that if you add a spoonful of wine to a barrel of sewage, you get sewage; and if you add a spoonful of sewage to a barrel of wine, you ALSO get sewage.

    Her points are the best illustration of the problem with her arguments:

    ■Acknowledge that there are real issues and we don’t agree on how to resolve them
    – But we DON’T acknowledge that there are “real issues” with climate. The case has not been made (a) that climate is changing abnormally, (b) that the changes are likely to be dangerous, or (c) that man is principally to blame. By this I mean that the AGW thesis has been falsified, not validated, by observed data; and that all of the key indicators cited by the warmists (warming, sea level rise, ice melt, weather catastrophes, etc.) have not come to pass. The only “real issue” that has been observed is continued falsification of data and results by warmists in support of a political agenda.

    ■Disagreement with mutual respect
    – Having been called a denier, a criminal, worse than Hitler, and so forth by the warmists, my response to this plea is “You first”.

    ■Find better ways to communicate criticism
    – How about the warmists find better ways to obey the scientific method, observe the principles of transparency and repeatability, publish their data and code, respond to the legal requirements of FOI requests, and stop claiming that “the debate is over”?

    ■Find better ways to admit mistakes without damage to reputation
    – Nothing will help a scientist’s reputation more than simply admitting that he made a mistake, and publishing everything he knows about the problem. The notion that science must be massaged to protect fragile egos (and the grants that go with them) is nauseating.

    ■Find some common ground, something to work on together
    – We already have something to work on together. And the common ground is the scientific method. If warmists can agree to join skeptics on THAT common ground, where hypotheses are validated or falsified by observed data, then there will be no more problems. Of course, there will ALSO be no more climate crisis, no more billions in global warming research grants, no more solar and wind subsidies, no more carbon credits, no more carbon billionaires like Algore, etc., etc…

    ■Find where interests intersect
    – If they don’t intersect at “sound science” then I say to hell with the warmists. They’ve gotten away with their nonsense for 20 years. We are going to fix the damage they’ve done to science and society by joining them for a wallow in their sty. We don’t need any of their sewage in our wine.

    ■Importance of transparency
    – Couldn’t agree more. Try some.

    ■Communication engenders trust
    – Transparency, honesty, and adherence to the scientific method engender trust.

    ■Search for win-win solutions (i.e. both sides work to increase the funding base to collect more paleoproxies).
    – I’m not going to touch this with a 10-figure government cheque.

    The proponents of the AGW thesis have been playing the game their way since before the Wall came down. Now they’re losing, and the result is panic. And instead of trying to clean up their act, they’re trying to get skeptics to join them in their little hog-wallow.

    Don’t fall for it, folks. When you’re honest and your opponent isn’t, you don’t meet him in the middle; you call him a liar, and you prove it. This “why can’t we all just get along” stuff won’t accomplish anything except to perpetuate the research grants.

    Never compromise with knaves.

  32. Total reconciliation is a total no brainer. Simply get together a panel of AGW scientists and sceptics that is satisfactory to people on the internet, broadcast their meetings live on the internet, and give each panelist a live internet connection. The topic to be debated is the most important in all categories listed. The topic is:

    Design a measurement system for temperature and other essential items, such as heat, that will satisfy both sceptics and AGW scientists on the panel and that can be readily understood by the educated citizen. Design a system for management of the measurement system that is transparent to every educated citizen and, thereby, guarantees that measurement reports are not biased. Design a system for implementation of both the measurement and management systems. Until these systems are up and running, redirect all funding for climate research to the creation and implementation of these systems.

    This no-brainer proposal is necessary to the stated goals because:

    1. Disagreement with mutual respect
    There can be no respect until the data are trustworthy and their management transparent.

    2. Find better ways to communicate criticism.
    Science cannot engage in its own natural process, which is data driven criticism, until there is trustworthy data and transparent systems for data management and reporting.

    3. Find better ways to admit mistakes without damage to reputation.
    Accept that the data shows that your hypotheses are not confirmed. Such acceptance is part-and-parcel of science and should occasion no harm to reputation.

    4. Find some common ground, something to work on together.
    Trustworthy data and transparent management of reports on data.

    5. Find where interests intersect.
    See 4.

    6. Importance of transparency
    See 5.

    7. Communication engenders trust.
    Communication about trustworthy data managed in a transparent process not only engenders trust but embodies it.

    8. Search for win-win solutions.
    The first and only win-win solution that is available is a system of measurement that everyone embraces, a system of management that is transparent to all, and a system of reporting whose transparency renders bias impossible. Until this win-win solution is embraced, there are no other win-win solutions.

  33. paulhan says:
    January 30, 2011 at 1:41 pm
    “As soon as the immortal words “The science is settled” were uttered, it became a zero sum game, i.e. there can only be winners and losers in this debate. The only way that there can be any return to a “middle ground”, is for all scientists and science organisations of a warmist bent to come out and say, forcefully if necessary, that the science is NOT settled, they do not have all the answers.”

    Yes, absolutely, but if the “science is settled people” will accept my proposal to create a data collection and management system, they will not actually have to fess up. The topic will have been changed.

  34. I propose using “skeptics” instead of “deniers.”

    I’ve got it! A term we can all agree on: SCOFFERS!

    Skeptic is too mild–we aren’t just “doubters”; Denier is too strong–it implies we’re wrong and pigheaded. “Scoffer” captures our aggressive rejection and disdainful tone (and hints at our non-mainstream status), without going any further than that. It doesn’t imply we’re right or wrong.

    There are synonyms for scoffer, but they’re too long, too mild, too narrow, and/or too unusual: contrarian, cynic, deviationist, dissenter, dissident.

  35. Oops–I meant to turn off the bolding after “SCOFFERS”. (Mods, could you do it?)

    REPLY: Done, as we do a hundred times a day. Please read the latest post and consider installing Greasemonkey and CA-assistant to give you an edit preview function and lessen the load on me and the mods for silly errors like this. – Anthony

  36. Eisenhower warned (Farewell speech):

    “Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

    Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the 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. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.

    Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”

    Yes, this is what we must guard against as we “reconcile”. The elitists with the funding.

    A good first step would be to divvy up the grants somehow. Alarmists should volunteer to give up half of their $billions in funding to the skeptic causes. Then, once we have an equal playing field, we could generate useful data to support our hypotheses.

    Oh, yeah, I forgot—the burden of proof is always upon the alarmist to prove this theory (hypothesis, really) that was first advanced by the warm-earthers. More is the burden if the solution to the hypothesis involves Draconian means, as is this unique case with AGW.

    REPLY: Had to clean up your formatting mess with italics that caused the rest of the thread to go haywire, so all your formatting is now deleted. It was a huge mess. Please see our latest post on getting Greasemonkey/CA Assistant on Firefox to help solve these sorts of trainwrecks, because quite frankly, I’m getting tired of being paged “Cleanup on aisle 5″.

    If it keeps up, I may just delete otherwise valid comments rather than spend the effort fixing them and let commenters “do over”. – Anthony

  37. Well, it’s good to see that most comments on this post have paid exactly no attention to cooling down the rhetoric. Hell, half of them want to heat it up!

    Those of you who think this is a “war” worth fighting are the problem. Because the “enemy” is not some other nation, but citizens of your own. Some “victories” are not worth winning.

    Is the first point suggesting we agree that Climate Change is happening, and is man-made? Is that what ‘real issues’ means?

    It would help if the sceptic side didn’t deny the obvious. The earth is warming, and talk of “global cooling” just because the last 10 years or so show no trend is idiocy. Sceptics need to stop denying the obvious and say: “we think the earth is warming for reasons other than GHG”. We need to say: “your evidence that the earth is warming is insufficient to prove AGW, because we see no acceleration, nor any correlation with CO2″. But to say: “it isn’t warming” is stupid, because it is likely to be disproved soon enough.

    Likewise it is wiser to say: “The Arctic ice is decreasing at a rate that is consistent with natural trends and, in any case, is not accelerating consistently with the AGW theory” than to say: “The ice has stopped melting”. A short burst of low ice and solid science goes out the window if it is tagged to “no melting”.

    Nor are blanket statements about “CO2 is a trace gas, so cannot have an effect” going to have much weight with anyone who actually pays any attention at all.

    Not that, judging by the ridiculously combative comments above, most commenters here will pay much attention. Thankfully Anthony is not quite as short-sided as most of his followers.

  38. This whole event looks to me a huge waste of time and money.

    The organisers are proponents of post normal science – I do not want to be reconciled with such people.

    I am violently opposed to the warmistas, their beliefs and their crusade to tax and control me. Let my language make it plain that I believe that this is a war.

    No reconcilliation – no surrender.

  39. Hopefully, When I have some time to reflect I will have a piece that everyone can disagree with. I am struugling mightly between a totally personal take on the events and something philosophical.

    One the personal side I got to meet Tallbloke and Nick Stokes, two people who I’ve traded words with in the past. It’s quite a different thing meeting someone IRL and discussing. For example, tallbloke and I quickly moved to a common ground. I also got to spend some time with Hans and it was interesting to have a frank conversation with a fellow warmista ( I’m a luke, he’s not) about the short comings of climate science.

    On the philosophical side it was refreshing to talk with others who take the philosophy of science and sociology of science seriously. And I had some wonderful chats with a prof from copenhagen on our book ( which is a sociology of science of sorts )

    Wheels are turning

  40. Openness, honesty and reconciliation are very good things, and I congratulate Dr Curry for attempting this, at some cost to herself.

    However there is a festering problem. There are too many climate scientists. This is due to the flood of mainly government money over the last few years. Government money is always spent, especially on salaries. It seems very likely that budgets will be reduced in the future. At some stage this will have to be addressed, and when that happens there will be a flood of less well established climate scientists onto the streets.

    A practical answer to this would be to acknowledge this coming problem and for universities to quietly put in place training programs. Most climatologists have science training such that they could teach undergraduate science such as biology and chemistry, at least in the most populous first year. It would not take a great deal to gently divert some researchers into these teaching roles as grants start to dry up. But it will take planning and preparation.

  41. Dr. Curry writes:

    “Postnormal science. The organizers of the Workshops are proponents of postnormal science. There are many misinterpretations of PNS (many of which are evident on the previous Lisbon thread.) I won’t delve on the topic here, put pull a quote from Funtowicz and Ravetz that I found on van der Sluijs web site:”

    “Postnormal Science,” or whatever one wants to call it, is a combination of the mush that came from the writings of Thomas Kuhn in his “Structures of Scientific Revolutions” and a greater mush of Marxist inspired writings. None of it addresses scientific method except that part which directly contradicts scientific method. It is a formula for Marxism whose sole achievement would be creation of a host of government jobs for people who are unemployable in the private sector. The meeting was sponsored by Marxists. No one else would sponsor this “Postnormal” trash.

  42. Why would any skeptic be interested in finding common ground with the warmist position? The REASON skeptics exist is because they DO NOT share common ground with the warmists.

    They do not believe in secret data, secret code, science by press release, or destroying the reputation of people that disagree with them. They generally do research on a comparatively shoestring budget and that is also a result of warmist behavior.

    Skeptics do not label their critics in the employ of “Big Oil” or “Denier.” Denier is such an awful thing to call a person that if it happened to me I’d probably be helping the individual that did it swallow their teeth.

    No. I’m NOT interested in reaching out the the people that spend their time destructively. And if they had ANY credibility at all, those less extreme warmists would be pulling down their so called best and brightest. To remain silent about their behavior is tantamount to endorsing it.

  43. Theo Goodwin says:
    January 30, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    Yes Theo,

    A very practical solution, and one that could suppress a lot of the confrontation that is likely going to continue.

    Could I further add that those people who have submitted papers, along with those people submitting papers in the future, be compelled to release their data and methodologies, for proper analysis by interested parties.

    This too would limit the arguments to the science, rather than the political leanings and motivations of the submitters. This is what they are supposed to be doing in the first place.

  44. Dr. Dave says: January 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm
    One does not win a war by “making nice” with the enemy.

    Too true… and for many hard working people this is now a fight for survival as they are being taxed, legislated and demonised into oblivion by Big Government.
    It seem like AGW is all about Killing the Goose that laid the Golden Eggs

  45. Mooloo says: “…Those of you who think this is a “war” worth fighting are the problem. Because the “enemy” is not some other nation, but citizens of your own. Some “victories” are not worth winning.

    By that logic, no one should have opposed Hitler in the early 30’s. If just a few more had, the Holocaust would not have happened. Sorry, Mooloo, but your comment is shameful.

  46. “One perspective was that there is no incentive for conciliation by either side; both sides like the “war.””

    Actually, I don’t like having social war rained down upon our livelihoods.
    It gets personal when agenda goes beyond mere science into policy that punishes those unable to defend themselves or to prepare for even natural climate change.
    I do agree that civility as a political solution to the hostilities is in order.

  47. If you want reconciliation then I humbly suggest start by doing SCIENCE and following the SCIENTIFIC METHOD adamantly!

    There is always a place for the stuff you mention but it has to come AFTER a recognition that the scientific method must be followed. That is item # 1 and everything else after would be nice to see (less name calling (ie deniers), respectful disagreement etc).

    Cheers

  48. I don’t think Judith Curry has a clue. Her view is far too naive.

    There are a lot of agendas out there and and the “skeptic” term does not encompass all if them.
    Achieving reconciliation is only possible if there is a well defined basis of disagreement.

  49. Very disappointed to see Judith Curry’s continued defense of post-normal science. Even the supposedly defensible excerpt she includes is risible and clearly displays Ravetz’s attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the lay public. Yes, human values do accompany science, and should never be set aside entirely: but they should not be within the very matter of science itself. Moral and ethical concerns properly set boundaries to what scientists should or should not do eg ideally to prevent experimentation on prisoners or creating cloned humans as organ farms. Human values should not dictate the meaning of the science itself – and when moral judgments or human values have been intrinsic to the science, things like Lysenkoism or eugenics result. Human values in these cases = ideology. I cannot see much room for reconciliation so long as the two sides don’t even share a common definition of science itself.

  50. If legitimate discourse pro and con becomes the norm, CAGW is dead. It cannot survive the light of day.

  51. Mooloo:
    [Sorry about the italics]

    You are doing what you are arguing to stop. Proffering opinions as facts.

    “The earth is warming”
    Blanket statement. Is it? Where? What interval? By whose metric? I agree that the world has been warming over time the last 10,000 years or so, since we had glaciation. Since then it appears to have been cyclical, with ups and downs, and we are now probably facing 30 years of drastic cooling, although this is not 100% certain.

    “CO2 is a trace gas with no effect”
    This appears to be a straw man—I have not heard anyone with serious scientific credibility say this. As a physical scientist myself, I know one single molecule has an “effect”, though not measurable by anyone. I doubt that the science shows that man produces enough to outcompete the natural sources, from the physical Laws that govern radiation, known since Newton. I am convinced that CO2 releases from oceans follows warming events, based on my knowledge of physical laws. I am convinced that 0.4 parts per thousand of CO2 vs. 0.3 parts per thousand in the atmosphere will not cause a human measurable change in global temperature (even if we all agree on what global temperature is). I am almost convinced that we should be at 1 part per thousand CO2 for the world to be as productive as it can get, but there is nothing man can do to get it to that level.

    “The ice is melting”
    When? Recently? Has the area, thickness, or extent changed? Is this melting or compaction by local winds? I am convinced that there is a cyclical polar see-saw, as Antarctica has been increasing during times of Arctic decrease and conversely. It appears that Mars has a polar see-saw as well.

    This debate is really silly. Maybe even unscientific. Maybe it should be carried out at a social sciences symposium. “Can’t we all just get along?”

  52. Steven Mosher says: January 30, 2011 at 2:26 pm
    Wheels are turning

    In which direction… backwards or forwards… and for what purpose?

  53. There is a common ground already. It has been there all along.

    It is called The Scientific Method. Follow it, and we are on common ground.

    -Don’t delete or hide data or methods.
    -Don’t use fudge factors.
    -Follow the law.
    -Stop the propaganda.
    -Disband the IPCC.
    -Don’t do press releases based on models as if it was the truth.
    -Restore the Peer Review process.
    -Stop controlling Journals.

  54. Mooloo says:
    January 30, 2011 at 2:20 pm
    It would help if the sceptic side didn’t deny the obvious
    ================================================
    The obvious, is that no one, not one single scientist, not one single person, on the face of this earth, has even shown that it’s not natural.

    If it’s obvious, why so many lies? and coverups?

    They’ve had over 30 years to prove the “obvious”, if it’s so “obvious” what’s the problem?

    Here’s a brain massage for you MooLoo:

    Why are CO2 levels so low, and what makes them drop so dangerously low?

  55. “Confusing the group of scientific skeptics with individuals that are against the policies associated with climate change, and using this as an excuse to ignore scientific skeptics, is to the detriment of actively challenging the science and making scientific progress.”
    Curry sets up a false dichotomy here, implying that skeptics are composed of two groups: those who are skeptical of the science, and those who simply oppose the policies. This completely ignores the fact that many skeptics actually originally came from the Warmist side, becoming skeptics only after examining the science. The policies make sense only if you believe Warmist science, therefor once the science is found lacking, the policies are seen to be not only useless, but actually harmful in many ways.
    I can see how some Warmists might be interested in reconciliation. I personally think their unconditional surrender would be far preferable.

  56. Bruckner8 says: January 30, 2011 at 2:39 pm
    I guess I’m the only one who thinks absolutely nothing was accomplished by this.

    Sucker punches sometimes accomplish a result…

  57. The government teat is going to go dry.
    If it doesn’t then we will be looking for some new representatives.

  58. If anything derails this proposed ‘reconciliation,’ it will be the lack of transparency.

    Catastrophic AGW proponents still refuse to ‘open the books’ on all their data, methodologies and metadata. Until there is complete transparency, such as requiring on-line posting of all methods and data, the alarmist crowd will keep the public alarmed.

    There’s a reason they don’t follow the scientific method: money. With transparency, cAGW is falsified, and the money goes away.

  59. I totally agree with DN. This seems like a lot of pointless activity. Probably a good jolly though as I enjoyed my time in Lisbon when I was there.

  60. paulhan says:
    January 30, 2011 at 1:41 pm
    “As soon as the immortal words “The science is settled” were uttered, it became a zero sum game, i.e. there can only be winners and losers in this debate. The only way that there can be any return to a “middle ground”, is for all scientists and science organisations of a warmist bent to come out and say, forcefully if necessary, that the science is NOT settled, they do not have all the answers.”

    Paulhan has driven the ultimate nail in the debate between sceptics and the AGW crowd. The AGW crowd is the source of the conflict. They introduced “The science is settled” doctrine and proceeded immediately to bludgeon all critics. As everyone knows, the idea that “the science is settled” trashes all that science has stood for, all that it has achieved, and all that it might achieve in the future. There can be reconciliation if the AGW crowd will return to the practice of science. At present, the AGW crowd is a political organization using Alinskyite tactics to push a political agenda. And that political agenda will not only hurt the pocket books of all Americans, it will hurt America’s national interests.

    In my earlier post, I had not given Paulhan the credit he deserves.

  61. WUWT has attracted a lot of professionals with very keen minds and keen analytical skills.

    I suspect most of them have worked in the private sector where their livelihood depended on ‘getting it right’, as I have. That is a powerful incentive for ‘getting it right’.

    For example, if any scientists or engineers tried to get away with using much of the biased junk science or junk methods used to ‘prove’ AGW, while working for Toyota designing and building cars, they would quickly be shown the door.

    I simply don’t see how something like that can be explained to those who have never really been held accountable for their work, academics, govt researchers, and so on. They don’t have the discipline of caution, to make absolutely sure they are right. Especially before recommending billions of dollars of someone else’s money be spent.

    That discipline can only be earned.

    And it cannot be ‘faked’ by those who have not earned it.

    It is so easily ‘visible’ to those who have earned it, and so ‘invisible’ to those that have NOT earned it.

    That’s the real issue here.

    How can you ‘reconcile’ that?

  62. The event was organised by advocates of post-normal science. In relation to this, Stephen Mosher just wrote the following

    Simply, what happens when ‘normal science’ is a casuality. what happens when values and interests and time constraints disrupt, prevent, subvert, ‘normal science’. What happens? we all know what happens.
    1. some people try to replace science with “consensus”
    2. Some people try to pretend that interests are not driving decisions.
    3. Some people clamor for a return of ‘normal science’

    A PNS practioner recognizes that
    1. Replaces science with politics
    2. is bad faith.
    3. is false hope.

    Since most people here think that #3 is the option.. ‘just return to normal science’ you have to ask yourselves ‘how’s that working?
    You dont control the budgets. You argue that NASA should just return to doing normal science and they say ‘but we are doing normal science?’
    and you say, no you aren’t. and they say, ‘yes we are’. And they just keep on doing what they are doing. As I said before, ONCE the line gets crossed, you have no effective apolitical means of just going back. And even if you apply political force, you have no simple path back to normal science, principly because ‘normal science’ is an ideal which really isnt practiced.

    So basically when facts are uncertain, when values are in conflict, when stakes are high and when decisions appear urgent, you enter ( like it or not) a post ‘normal science’ situation. That’s just an observational fact. do you want to call that a ‘corruption’ of normal science? thats fine. Climate Science is no longer innocent. re virginizing it aint gunna happen. So PNS is a recognition of that and a decision to work deliberatively rather than unreflectively.

    How does one work deliberatively rather than unreflectively? How does post-normal science change the day-to-day work of a scientist?

    I worry that the concession a situation may be ‘post-normal’ allows policy makers to influence scientific outcomes. I can’t see what the benefits for science are

  63. A lot of folks here have been throwing rocks at the tent where others were meeting while others were content to ridicule and belittle the good faith efforts of others. Is it my imagination or is intelligent commentary becoming rarer in WUWT comment threads?

  64. Mike D: That war resulted in a form of government much admired and appreciated today. Would reconciliation have been a better option?

    That was indeed a result of the war. Another result was the extension of American slavery another three generations, long after it was abolished in the British Empire. Followed by the bloodiest of uncivil wars, one which almost destroyed that last best hope of mankind.

    Yes, there is something to be said for reconciliation.

  65. Mooloo you say its obvious it has been warming.But the climate has’nt warmed at any noticeable rate in the last 10 years, its no warmer than it was in 1998,or 2005.And also from 1915-1945 it warmed o.7c or as much as it has from 1978 to present.Also i heard though i dont know if this is true that from 1700-1800 it warmed as much as it has in the last 100 years.So if this is true whats so bad about the present warming.

  66. huh? someone else with the username ‘onion’ posted a few minutes before me? The odds of that????? changing my username to onion2….

    just to note the last onion and the previous onion commenter are different people!

    [Reply: No, they're not. The comments came from the same computer. ~dbs, mod.]

  67. The rhetoric will NEVER be turned off – rhetoric is the primary means of silencing critics and is very useful to gather an endless avalanche of government funds…

    The very use of the word, “denier” is an example of creating a common enemy that government funds can help “defeat” – “Look! A denier-dragon! Oh, if only Obama could supply me with funds to slay it, why think of the maidens we will save!”

  68. Re latitude
    January 30, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    There are people who argue the greenhouse effect doesn’t exist or that CO2 rise is probably not human caused. In those cases it’s 100% clear to me that the problem is 100% them – scientists have conveyed these ideas across as well as can be expected but some people just don’t get it.

    So I don’t think the fact that people exist who are unconvinced of an idea is evidence that scientists have failed to convey that idea sufficiently and therefore the idea must be shaky and so the people are justified in not believing it.

  69. “They brought in an expert to facilitate nonviolent communication.”

    LMAO!

    They should have excluded the skeptics and brought in a grief counselor.

  70. One of the sources of confusion is the word “science.” Many speakers naturally presume this word means only hard science like physics, where hypotheses can be answered yes or no, and isolated experiments settle it all. Other speakers have a completely different concept. They are talking about a different animal, softer science, more like economics, where the systems are far more complex, the experiments are in real life with all its complexity, and there are many ideas about which factors were the most important. There may even be arguments about what constitutes a desirable outcome in the first place.

    For one side, clear results that we can use are the point. For another side, endless funded-and-interesting investigations managed by my department are the point.

    For one side, the proper way to settle the answers is obviously acceptance by the broad community of practical people who get things done. For another side, the proper way to settle the answers has always been the closed-door decisions of the collegial insiders.

    And both sides say, “Be reasonable. Do it my way.”

    I don’t personally see the sides getting together until after they have first settled what they are talking about. In practice there is more dividing the sides than the stuff we usually talk about. A lot more assumptions are tossing up dust.

  71. Smokey says:
    January 30, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    “If anything derails this proposed ‘reconciliation,’ it will be the lack of transparency.”

    I think transparency in climate science is actually a lot better than other scientific fields. I mean look at all the temperature station and record data that’s available online.

  72. “[Reply: No, they're not. The comments came from the same computer. ~dbs, mod.]”

    sorry my fault, by “last onion” I meant the one at January 30, 2011 at 3:46 pm rather than my own post.

  73. Moderate positions don’t sell copy.

    Only when climate science drops off the political agendas of the major nations of the world will moderate discussions rule the science again. The political infection needs to be excised from the scientific debate.

    This won’t happen anytime soon.

  74. Onion quotes Mosher as follows:
    “So basically when facts are uncertain, when values are in conflict, when stakes are high and when decisions appear urgent, you enter ( like it or not) a post ‘normal science’ situation. That’s just an observational fact.”

    Sir, have you lost your grip? As adults, we should know that we are always in what you describe as a post “normal science” situation. If we listen to the Warmista, we are always in a crisis that can be solved only by giving them more of our money. My God, Sir, can you not recognize a con man for what he is? Of course, by definition, in PNS there are no con men, right? The observational fact is that you are being conned.

  75. There will be some on both sides who don’t want reconciliation. The trick is to stop these people from controlling the terms of the discussion.

  76. Theo Goodwin says:
    January 30, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Gosh Theo, thank you.

    That said, Hell will freeze over before my “solution” is adopted. Your much more practical proposal has legs in that the warmists don’t have to lose face by just doing what scientists are supposed to do in the first place.

  77. I was at the door of the Gulbenkian Foundation this Friday, for the open session. Since I was hungry and, as it came to be, I was sure that the mountain would gave birth to a mousse, I gave up…
    Pachauri was there twice sponsored by a bank (B.E.S.) with a great interest in renewables (like the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation) and, knowing what it’s made there, I tought that it was a waste of time.
    In Portugal there is an overcost of 2500 milion Euros with the renewables in 2010. 250€ for each person while the public workers lost 5% of their salary. since I cannot fight the big war, I’ll spend my time fighting this small battles.

  78. onion2 says:
    January 30, 2011 at 4:12 pm
    =====================
    Nice strawman onion, did you have fun knocking your own strawman down?

    This meeting was nothing more than trying to get the “de-warmers” to come over to their side.

    How about the “warmers” move to the middle first, they are the ones that pushed the point spread in the first place.

  79. Ian H says:
    January 30, 2011 at 4:23 pm
    There will be some on both sides who don’t want reconciliation. The trick is to stop these people from controlling the terms of the discussion.
    =======================================================
    Ian, I don’t agree at all.

    What kind of reconciliation would you suggest?

    I believe the science is fatally flawed, this science establishment is fatally flawed,
    and the people involved in it are criminals.

    This is like the person that committed the crime, now wants reconciliation.
    Wouldn’t that be nice.
    We should all be able to commit these sort of crimes, and then have reconciliation.

  80. If you call a conference that purports to end a “war” then the only attendees will be those who want to attend, or those who have no intention of ending the war but would lose political face by not attending.

    Why no Hansen? Why no Jones, Mann, Briffa, Wahl, Amman, Santer, Schmidt, Hughes, Bradley, Joe Romm? Well I’ll hazard a guess, they are the ones waging the war, and have been totally successful until around 2005 with only minor opposition easily mopped up, and their opponents frozen out of the debate by the MSM.

    The moment was ripe for complete victory, everything was set for politicians to destroy our democracies and hand over power to the masters of the list of, “useful idiots” above. And it didn’t happen, and is failing to happen. So they are left wondering why it’s not happening, why control of our economies hasn’t been handed to the environmentalists through draconian laws, why flying for all but the privileged few isn’t banned etc. etc.

    At first it was assumed that they weren’t communicating properly, that somehow or other their prognostications of catastrophe had been missed by the politicians and that if they could re-phrase and re-position their arguments the politicians would fall into line and destroy the western economies by decarbonising.

    So they re-phrased and re-positioned, but still no response from the politicians. And then the penny dropped. Democracy. The politicians in the western world are put in place by the people, and though an incredible victory for alarmism had been achieved by convincing all but a small number of politicians that Armaggedon was on its way, the people, outside of the true believers in the environmental movements, would not put up with the proposed solutions, the reduction in their standard of living, the loss of opportunity for their children as we close down industries and reduce economic growth and the other obvious deleterious results of turning green (with enforced vegetariansim and other tenets of the environmental faith looming in the wings).

    So what do begin to hear from the extremes of the movement? Remove the people, let’s have Chinese style government etc. That was, of course, always the plan, but the “useful idiots” didn’t know.

  81. Here’s the nub. A caterwaul was raised by political types like Al Gore claiming the End of the World is nigh. They used very speculative science to raise the specter of oceans rising 50 feet and drowning cities like Manhattan in a few short years, and afterwards the seas boiling into outer space and killing All Life As We Know It.

    As a corollary finding, the caterwaulers insisted that all fossil fuel use be constrained by jacking up prices through aggressive taxation or Thermageddon would destroy the Planet.

    The science is settled, they caterwauled, the debate is over, and all scientists of any merit join in consensus with their dire report. Those who disagree are flat earthers, anti-science, and denialists.

    Now, after 5 years or more of such hysteria, and the growing realization that none of those things are going to happen, except the jacking up of taxes, some Alarmists are seeking some sort of compromise position. To that end they accuse the skeptics of unseemly and uncivil rhetoric while toning down their own alarmism to lukewarm levels.

    The diehard followers of the Thermageddon line are being thrown under the bus. All that loyalty and faith is being rewarded by tire tread marks.

    There is consternation in the Alarmist camp. The fabric of their argument/consensus/coalition is unravelling. So now, instead of crying wolf, they cry foul.

    It’s pathetic, really. They dug their own graves. They lept in with both feet. Now they want someone else to hoist them back out.

  82. As far as I am concerned, it is about the science, not the “feelings”…. There is no need for reconciliation. That is a Political process, not a Scientific methodology.

    Just a few past examples of scientific corruption….. Eugenics used “science” to validate the political ideology. Marxism tried to call itself a “political science”. Lysenkoism used “science” to justify Socialist agricultural policy. Piltdown man was a scientific fraud not publicly acknowledged until long after Dawson died, etc….. and AGW is no different. It has been politicized and publicly funded way beyond what would seem scientifically prudent. The evidence that CO2 is the main driver of global climate changes, is just not there.

    So if there is “reconciliation” to be had…. then that would be a Political discussion and not a scientific one….. and if it is to be a Political discussion, then it needs to be framed in that context and the history of the misuse of science and politics presented.

    Also…… When people realize that a huge “scientific” fraud has been perpetrated by corrupt scientist taking public funds in return for “scientific” validation of Political agendas….. There ‘ain’t gonna be no steenking reconciliation anyway.

  83. Reconciliation is for politics not science.
    Never reconcile one’s self to the perversion of the scientific method.
    They have lost?

  84. Dr. Dave says:
    January 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    “the teat of government grants”
    Who should fund science? If you expect the free market to do it you are living in a fantasy world. Look at how big Pharma now does things with regard to biologics. Universities do the basic research and drug discovery, set up spinoff small biotech’s to further develop these products, then big Pharma come along and snap the better one’s up to turn them into marketable products. This ignore’s all the ‘blue sky’ research that is the foundation for all this. Even the capitalists devoted to drug discovery are pulling back from the science.

    There is no profit in fundemental scientific research so the market won’t do it.

    What options are we left with? 18th or 19th century-style hobbyist science by those rich enough to indulge their passion? Charity-based science? I’d prefer my science funded on a much stronger societal basis even if that means it’s paid for by your taxes.

  85. I don’t think Judith Curry is to be trusted. This conference is just an attempt to make the “deniers” look unreasonable and appears to be a giant WOFTAM.

    If Curry apologises for the use of the term denier we may have start but personally on this issue I’d trust her as far as I could throw her.

    No surrender, no retreat. Declare peace after these crooks are in jail.

    [I'm sure you appreciate my fixing your typo, where you typed a y instead of a u in 'trust'. ~dbs☺]

  86. I am sure that Dr Curry is a nice person, but not surprisingly, like many scientists, she is naive about politics and power. Reconciliation requires both (or all) parties to admit their mistakes. It is not about splitting the difference and somehow ‘meeting in the middle’. It is about starting afresh. The South African Truth and Reconciliation process is a good example – and it didn’t come from agreeing to only partially abolish apartheid.

    As PPs have pointed out, what is required is a re-commitment to the scientific method, especially in terms of transparency. I fail to see how this attacks anyone personally, except those who prefer not to engage with the fundamental principles of honest scholarship. Like those who continued to support apartheid, there is simply no way of reconciling with these people.

    As for trust – science is not about trust, in fact it is the opposite. If everything is on the table for examination, the issue of trust does not arise. I do not care how trustworthy or untrustworthy a scientist is, but I do care about whether his/her work is available for independent verification.

    While there is certainly merit in people getting together face to face, as a way of un-demonising them as individuals, in the end this has nothing to do with science, which is not about social skills.

    I sincerely hope that nice people like Dr Curry do not fall for this rather lame bit of sophistry.

  87. Well said Stacey….. I said much the same thing, but longer and more stridently…. Too strident I think. The spam filter ate it…..:-(

  88. Re Mike D.
    January 30, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    This was an issue long before Al Gore. AIG was 2006, 5 years after the IPCC *third* assessment report.

    If anything scientists in general have been amazingly silent on the potential threat of what is happening to the climate.

  89. onion2 says:
    January 30, 2011 at 5:51 pm
    If anything scientists in general have been amazingly silent on the potential threat of what is happening to the climate.
    ================================================
    Othen than the Nobel, is there any other award for this……………..

  90. In the context of the “war,” the hope was expressed that more moderate voices would emerge in the public debate.

    It’s this logic that created “cap and trade.” It was seen as the “moderate” solution.

  91. mixing vanilla ice cream with dog droppings will never make the dog droppings taste good and will ruin the ice cream in the process …
    If you are trying to reconcile with liars and cheats you lose your honor and reputation in the process …

  92. The current issue of Smithsonian features an article on the endangered lynx of the mountains of Montana. In general, it’s a well-written piece but contains the following (emphasis mine):

    …. The lynx’s future depends in part on the climate. A recent analysis of 100 years of data showed that Montana now has fewer frigid days and three times as many scorching ones, and the cold weather ends weeks earlier, while the hot weather begins sooner. The trend is likely the result of human-induced climate change and the mountains are expected to continue heating up as more greenhouse gasses accumulate in the atmosphere. ….

    If the author were to be asked about the source of these prognostications, the answer would most probably contain the words “consensus of scientists.” If you pointed out that consensus has no place in science, she would suddenly find she had something something urgent to do.

    Any hour of any day one can find examples of the AGW message comfortably ensconced in every-day writing, masquerading as confirmed truth. If Curry’s and the others’ efforts to repair the communications have success, all would benefit greatly. Good luck!

  93. Smokey says:
    January 30, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I would enjoy watching Prof Richard Lindzen discuss AGW with anyone at all on the alarmist side.
    —-
    I’ll second the motion!

  94. I haven’t read all the comments, but until Curry ceases calling me a ‘denier’, I will continue to refrain from reading any of her posts. Reconciliation? The arrogance of these people.

    I have spent the last decade studying ‘climate science’. And the politics of this science is more interesting to me, as the natural physics of the atmosphere is still in its infancy, despite what Curry thinks.

    She wants to play in the political spectrum of this issue with political rhetoric.

    So be it. I am just following her lead. Shall I refer to her as an eco-religious zealot? How about a fraud, ‘… the fraudsters’?

    I think I like Gestapo Judy. It fits.

  95. This looks like that famous socialist egalitarian pastime.

    “lets have an Olympics where everybody wins”
    Let everybody get a medal for participation – not for being the best and fairest.

  96. I would like to ask a question of everyone. I asked it of Mosher on Curry’s site, but got no response. The question presents the problem of Jones’ “trick” to “hide the decline.” I contend that PNS (post normal science) has nothing to say about the matter, except maybe to exonerate Jones. If PNS has nothing to say about the matter then that is a reductio ad absurdum proving that PNS cannot serve as a guide to scientific method. Here is my post:

    Steven Mosher writes:
    “And even if you apply political force, you have no simple path back to normal science, principly because ‘normal science’ is an ideal which really isnt practiced.”

    It does not have to be practiced. It does have to be understood. It is there all the time whether you have turned your back on it or not. It can be used to explain to others that, for example, Phil Jones’ “trick” to “hide the decline” is a case of hiding 55 years of data which showed that tree rings are not a good proxy for temperatures. Hiding data that tends to discredit one’s so-called theory is a violation of scientific method and it requires deception to achieve. So, Mr. Mosher, now that you are out there, beyond mere “normal science,” how do you like it? Do you prefer lies to the truth? Or have you simply forgotten the difference?

  97. Dr. Dave says:
    January 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    I like and respect Judith Curry, but she’s still a bit too dependent on the teat of government grants to be truly objective. In the larger sense this isn’t just a squabble between climate scientists (and journalists). This is, indeed, a war. There is national sovereignty, entire economies and human liberty at stake. There are billions, perhaps trillions of dollars of global wealth at stake. And, as “violent” a term as it may be, we ARE fighting fraud.
    —————————————
    One more thing at stake: If they take us back 1860’s level CO2 emission, which is their stated goal, the resulting ecomonic collapse will kill billions. That’s with a “b”.

  98. Acknowledge that there are real issues and we don’t agree on how to resolve them.

    What a mindless opening “principle.” The way to resolve disagreements in science is by the scientific method.

    Anyone who disagrees with that is, by definition, a sophist.

  99. The most significant thing I found in Dr. Curry’s summary:

    “Apart from competing knowledge claims, there are areas of ignorance that are not explicitly recognized.”

    Unfortunately, Climate Etc. gets bogged down in incredibly dull climate politics and only very rarely goes anywhere interesting, like natural climate variations, which are absolutely fascinating. (In fairness, maybe things will change for the better moving forward.)

  100. I feel, Dr. Curry, that the hill in front of you is very steep. A simple visit over to the comments on various articles in the U.K. MSN shows the concerted effort being carried out by the warmers at the moment, to muddy the waters.

    Sorry Judith but when I see the letters PNS associated with a subject, I turn away.

  101. To paraphrase Robert Frost – to practice Post Normal Science is like playing tennis with the net down. Once you have eliminated compelling peer pressure to exhaust the resources every problem will come to be seen through the lens of PNS. I’m reminded of something one of my staff quipped some years ago: “This is hard – let’s do it wrong!”.

    It tries to make climate science out to be the Norwegian Blue of Science (It’s not dead – it’s restin’!). Did they have to give it a cool name like Post Normal Science so people won’t think PNS practitioners are a bunch of slackers?

    Lovely plumage.

    I’ll offer a slogan: “Post Normal Science – It’s an unfinished work”

  102. There are two major things wrong with the AGW program:

    1) The process is wrong
    2) The application of scientific method is wrong

    So it is a flawed process, both procedurally and operationally.

    The “Powers that Be” know this. The scientists & policy makers know this and are paid to give the message, since literally $trillions are in the kitty.

    One tip-off to the grand scam is the hiring of public relations agencies and psychologists to see what spins well. Dupes and stooges from Hollywood stand in the gaps. The “team” thus comes up with really clever diversions, like first “the Precautionary Principle”, now this “Reconciliation” process.

    It is kind of interesting that this reconciliation trial balloon is flying from the warm-earth cultists, at the same time the Democrats in Washington are pretending to make nice with the Republicans. Why? Dems lost the last elections. Similar reasoning here? I wonder?

    Sorry if I sound paranoid and seem to be saying this is a grand conspiracy.

    Because… it kind of is…if we catch a band of safecrackers in the act of robbing a bank, are we conspiracy theorists if we say they were in cahoots to rob the bank? When they were found with the cash (Grant money) and the safecracking tools (Models), and the plan (Climategate)? Or were they, like Curly Howard used to say, “victims a’ Soycumstance.”

  103. Mary Graber is a conservative professor and so is well positioned to translate for us what is meant in the Academic world by the push for “civility” and “non-voilent” debate.

    ‘They [students] are now judged not on their abilities to use logic and evidence to make a cogent argument but on the attitudes they hold. Socratic dialogues and Aristotelian rhetorical strategies are rarely mentioned in the classroom. On an education program recently, I heard a teacher assigning a five-paragraph essay exploring “inside feelings.”

    The new argumentative strategies have evolved into their own disciplines. Now entire classes and programs of study are available in “conflict resolution” and “peace studies.” As I discovered by spending two days in workshops at a conflict resolution education conference, discourse that deviates from the peace and one-world government orthodoxy is silenced. It is silenced, not by words or logic, but by social ostracism. In one workshop on discussing certain preselected “upstanders” who worked on behalf of social justice, I found my tentative suggestion of a free market alternative to a social problem met with the benevolent looks usually directed at people who rant about fluoride in the water. Participants simply repeated “Be the change.” To engage me in debate, in their opinion, would mean engaging in rhetoric that is less than “peaceful.”’

    Her column here.

  104. Schadow:
    You bring up a good example of the way the scientific method has been compromised with the Lynx study. There are so many like this.

    They implied that human induced climate change(?) (or disruption? I forget what the PC word is anymore) was causing the decrease in the Lynx population.

    Okay, then Prove It! Prove it unequivocally, and then I’ll believe it. I won’t have to believe or not believe it, actually, the facts will be the final arbiter.

    If a scientist cannot prove some off the wall statement like this, then he should shut up. Very unprofessional and unscientific. If I were to have made such unsubstantiated statement like this in the papers I have written in the past, it would not have even made it to the peers for review. Angewandte Chemie, or Experientia or other journals where I had published would not have wasted peers’ time. Of course, that was way back in the 80s and 90s. Prepostmodern?

  105. Dr Curry is doing some good work but this meeting seems a waste to me. As previous posters have said what is there to reconcile?Science or rather quality science speaks for itself. I consider this PNS a con, nothing more, philosphy of science? Try the scientific method first and just a grain of uncommon sense,CAWG or AWG has failed as a concept and without the claimed data and methodology ever being published in their entirety, it was never acceptable as a hypothesis or theory.
    What I see and sense from the alarmists is panic, time is running out and they left few ways to climb down from the caterwaulling of doom. The upcoming congressional hearings will be the official start of the political end, and I beg all American scientists who can, to assist the Republicans to ask the right questions this time. Do not miss this opertunity to nail the lid down on the team ,as they have shown that they will attempt to manipulate the politicians and public opinion any way they can and asking only the wrong/non questions is a great way to avoid transparency. Inquiries of the British standard would give the team cover to escape justice and that would be a travesty. Now I can understand scientists being reluctant to engage in the political mess but if this climatology scandal drags on all scientist will be tarred with the same brush and face a far more savage reduction of funding not too far down the road. Lying to the people paying your bills is a very short term science plan. I am hoping 2011 will be a very good year for truth and science.

  106. Our own very civil tallbloke reports from Lisbon:

    “There was a great diversity of backgrounds and approaches to the issues, including research on the history of attempts and ideas for geo-engineering, analysis of decision making in the face of conflicting evidence, historical comparisons with previous scientific conflicts, my own missive on the need for parallel development of alternative hypotheses and possible cross fertilisation of results and ideas, setting the climate change question in context with other pressing human issues, and many more.”

    The only “common ground” that’s necessary in “climate” “science” is competing alternative hypothesis! :-D

  107. Isn’t this current notion of reconciliation really all about saving climate careers.
    The AGW motives seemed once aimed at the expansion of careers and the research arena. It slowly moved into various attack the messenger, cover up and bunker efforts and now appears to be about the preservation of existing activities and careers with growing signs of avoiding lawsuits, prosecution and jail.

    The idea of reconciliation is almost funny coming from warmers after they threw everything nasty they could at skeptics.
    Reminds me of the common criminal who only after being caught, again, is crying about finding the path to righteousness.

    Particularuly offensive to me has been the warmers disdain for the public at large.

    This local example of county commissioners who were caught rigging board votes on public policy showed such disdain by labeling the public comment time at their earings as “Sound and Fury time”.

    Communication with commissioners:

    “I am working on talking points for those who want a few bullet points on specific items. I will share those with you. “On the rumor front, the room will most likely be packed tonight with angry voices – – as I keep reminding Rob- – this is sound and fury time! And then it will be over. Thanks Phyllis”

    It’s hard to say if the reference was from Macbeth’s soliloquy or the Faulkner novel:

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

    But this is explanation of the novel’s title “Sound and Fury”
    The title of the novel is taken from Macbeth’s soliloquy in act 5, scene 5 of William Shakespeare’s Macbeth:
    “Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
    To the last syllable of recorded time,
    And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
    The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
    Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
    That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
    And then is heard no more: it is a tale
    Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
    Signifying nothing.”

  108. Dr Curry:
    =========
    Search for win-win solutions (i.e. both sides work to increase the funding base to collect more paleoproxies).
    =========

    Modern climatology has given us nothing. It has not improved our lives, our understanding of the world, or our ability to predict it. It has been used only as a vehicle to kill hope, promoting irrational fear and contempt for humanity.

    Given the return on our investment to date, I see no rational argument for increased funding.

    When one makes a hopeless investment, one sometimes reasons: I can’t stop now, otherwise what I’ve invested so far will be lost. This is true, of course, but irrelevant to whether one should continue to invest in the project. Everything one has invested is lost regardless. If there is no hope for success in the future from the investment, then the fact that one has already lost a bundle should lead one to the conclusion that the rational thing to do is to withdraw from the project.
    Investment Fallacy, Skeptic’s Dictionary

  109. “when stakes are high and when decisions appear urgent”

    There’s the PNS lie.

    We’re adding CO2 to the air. What’s the problem?
    It’s plant food, and plants are animal food and fungus food, etc., so we’re feeding the world.
    It warms the world (they say), which helps the plants use the CO2 plant food to grow.
    It increases the water cycle (perhaps) to water the plants and help them grow.

    So we’re in danger of having big healthy plants feeding lots of animals, are we?
    And that’s a bad thing how?

  110. Reconciliation in the Climate Change Debate

    Reconciliation can only be achieved if policy is based on verified science.

    Verification of the science can be achieved as follows:

    Here is IPCC’s projections on global temperature trends:

    For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected.

    http://bit.ly/caEC9b

    Here is my suggestion on how reconciliation in the debate can be achieved

    a) For the period from 2000 to 2030, if the global warming rate is 0.2 deg C per decade, the AGW theory is proved and policy follows.

    b) For the period from 2000 to 2030, if the global warming rate is less than 0.1 deg C per decade, the AGW theory is disproved and it is rejected.

    Proponents and opponents of AGW, don’t you agree with my suggestion for reconciliation?

  111. Zeke the Sneak says:
    January 30, 2011 at 7:56 pm

    The only “common ground” that’s necessary in “climate” “science” is competing alternative hypothesis! :-D

    ——–

    Agreed!

  112. The “Delphi Method” is a meeting format or protocol for achieving consensus on contentious issues that was originally developed by the Rand Corporation but has now become (in)famously developed as an unethical method of neutralizing opponents in staged meeting(s).

    http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/1998/nov98/focus.html

    The method includes dividing meetings into small groups and through the provision of facilitators and unacknowledged supporters. Don’t know if this is what Steven Mosher and the others were subjected to, but from his and Judith Curry’s comments I am suspicious. If the AGW crowd felt they were on the ropes, a big win for them would be to neutralize the voice of prominent “deniers”.

    I have seen this be used to advance other leftist projects and had it used on me too. Not pleasant.

  113. Whether AGW is true or not still does not justify any change in policy as there has yet to be any demonstrable net negative and and of the so-called solutions are known to be overwhelmingly disastrous.

    Mark

  114. Steve Oregon says:
    January 30, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    Remember that deniers are just astro-turfers paid off by big oil? Remember how Hansen went before Congress and claimed that Bush “agents” were suppressing his ideas when it was the other way around? Remember how countless scientists within state and federal administrations lost their jobs because they expressed dissent at one little brick in the “settled science” pyramid of shame? I could go on all day. There is a principle in Christianity that you forgive others for wronging you, but that they should ask for forgiveness first, else they will be further harmed by such “easy forgiveness” in the long run. Sort of like tough love.

    So, I suggest these cAGW perps go through the ten step process first. When they get to step 9 or so, admission of wrongdoing, then they will be almost cleaned up. Step ten, they should resign, and design shoes or computer games or something. If they agree to such a self-help strategy, then we can seriously talk and reconcile.

  115. bubbagyro says: January 30, 2011 at 7:33 pm – about the population change of the lynx population:
    The lynx interaction with the hare has been the subject of development of predator-prey mathematics using data from the 1850s from the Hudson’s Bay Trading Company. The following short piece – there are many – shows how lynx numbers varied enormously and the obstacles presented when asserting that global warming is affecting the lynx population.

    https://www.math.duke.edu/education/ccp/materials/diffcalc/predprey/pred1.html

  116. HR says:
    January 30, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    “Who should fund science?”

    “There is no profit in fundamental scientific research so the market won’t do it.”
    ____________________________________________________________
    Your assumptions are incorrect. Virtually all drugs were developed by the private sector and are still today. Information technology was developed by the private sector. In the early part of the 20th century astronomy (where’s the money in that?) research was funded by private grants and foundations.

    Turns out I know a thing or two about drug development. Universities do scant little actual development. That’s the purview of the “big boys” with the big labs, lots o’ money and top dollar talent. Universities usually get involved at the time of pre-clinical and clinical testing. Please let me know which universities actually developed some of these new, fancy monoclonal antibody agents.

    In a perfect world we would study everything in the quest for knowledge. Sadly, studying anything is expensive and as a society we need to weigh the relative benefit of such knowledge. Some things might be fascinating to researchers but don’t do a damn thing for the taxpaying citizen. MOST of our modern innovations were developed without taxpayer money.

  117. I find it strange that Dr. Curry would be advocating reconciliation. Reconciliation is for politics and science is not politics. Science is about the search for truth, which is about as far from politics as you can get. Anyone who read Thomas Kuhn’s book “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” will know that irrespective of how long it takes to resolve the matter of AGW, in the end, one side will be wrong and the other will be right. The interim will be bloody (hopefully only in the figurative sense), as revolutions usually are. Warmist climate scientists are so entrenched in their position that they will never accept being wrong. The entire generation of them will have to die off before the science of climate is unshackled.

  118. Judith, I think this fundamentally fails because it assumes the problem is lack of communication. Communication is a problem, but the biggest problem is that the climate “scientists” aren’t behaving like scientists. If you want to know when I will trust these “scientists” it will be:

    1. When they stop editing Wikipedia and removing all references to e.g. the 21st century pause. An undeniable fact, and one whose absence is symbolic of the lies being spread by the climate “scientists”.

    2. When people like Mann and his cohorts, cease running attack blogs like real climate. They have to make a choice: either they behave like scientists and keep to a strict code of scientific integrity being neutral observers and interpreters of the science OR they leave their government paid jobs and enjoy the luxury of being able to be partial.

    3. That they never again mention “consensus”. Consensus is not part of science and any subject that has to refer to a consensus rather than the facts, is not a science.

    4. That they open up to public inspection all data regarding the climate. And e.g. they comply with all FOI requests.

    5. That we get an independent scientific inquiry into science of climategate and those who have failed to maintain due impartiality and broken the law regarding FOI are sacked to show that this is not acceptable behaviour.

    NB. The point about theatre, is not that this is some spectacle. The point is that there are professional “players” and that there is an amateur audience. The audience are not trying to become “players” … indeed we don’t want to become “players”, we just want the players to do their job properly.

    Let’s put it this way. How would you feel if you found out your doctor was not only a high profile advocate for viagra, but they were even responsible for masses and masses of spam email promoting viagra … and wouldn’t you be a just a bit suspicious if you then found that this clearly highly partial doctor … then proscribed viagra?

    The problem is not the patient that suspects the doctor of being biased … it is the doctor that has behaved totally unprofessionally who is at fault

  119. PNS is not science! it is buzzwords for con game. Any one that buys into it is a fool or a lazy thinker.

    HR says;
    “I’d prefer my science funded on a much stronger societal basis even if that means it’s paid for by your taxes.”

    You pay for that science if you want. I pay for my own scientific research and earn a living. Maybe it is time to shut down the government gravy train. At least it will be more honest. pg

  120. Dr. Dave says: January 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm

    “Besides…MOST of this battle is political, not scientific. If it were purely scientific the skeptics would clearly have won years ago.”

    Science is inherently sceptical. That’s the real irony of this whole thing. It is the climate “scientists” who should be the sceptics. As for this “improved communication”.

    I once likened these events to an audience (skeptics) viewing the players (“scientists”). The audience, initially sat passively listening politely to this set of arrogant actors whose self-belief was only outdone by unbelieavability of their performance. Eventually politeness gave way to the odd murmur of discontent and soon grew to become a howl of protest from the audience.

    At which point Dr Curry comes to the front of the stage and asks: “what do you want from us?” Why don’t you come onto the stage and become a player? … for free!

    We may not be able to do the science ourselves (not least because we don’t get paid to devote the time to it), but we can see when other people haven’t done the work themselves to make their performance professional. (aka haven’t bothered to do the basic science!)

    Worse … it’s really obvious when someone is trying to hide the fact that they haven’t bothered to do the basic work to enable them to do their job professionally. Worse still when the leading ladies (Mann, Trenberth, Jones), have no talent, haven’t put in anything like the effort to improve their performance, spend all their time trying to get publicity … and then their pathetic performances full of basic mistakes … is defended to the hilt by the rest of the cast.

    BOOOOOOoooooooOOOOOOHHHHH!

  121. Mooloo says: January 30, 2011 at 2:20 pm

    “It would help if the sceptic side didn’t deny the obvious. The earth is warming, “

    Mooloo, It is not a fact the earth is warming. At best you could say that the best estimate of surface temperature shows a rise in temperature in the 20th century. But it is patently wrong to say “it is warming” as the instrument record shows cooling in the last 10 years. It also not warming if you take longer time periods.

    I find it difficult to express what I think. Your comment is ridiculous in the extreme. It is not a scientific fact, it is part of the media PR and/or religious cult of global warming. It makes no allowance for the effect of Urban heating, for the transition from manual to automatic temperature measurement (which involved large numbers being moved closer to power sources i.e. hot buildings).

    Having reviewed the evidence, I personally came up with a potential range of temperature change in the 20th century of something like -0.2 to 1C. There is a chance the world cooled in the 20th century, but there is also a change that the world warmed more than the IPCC stated.

  122. Roberto says: January 30, 2011 at 4:14 pm

    “One of the sources of confusion is the word “science.” Many speakers naturally presume this word means only hard science like physics, where hypotheses can be answered yes or no, and isolated experiments settle it all. Other speakers have a completely different concept. They are talking about a different animal, softer science, more like economics”

    Roberto, there is only one form of science and that is those subjects that use the scientific method. Some subjects use the scientific method in the vast majority of their work, and other subjects like economics use the scientific method in a small amount of their work.

    Whether or not a subject is a “science” may be a nebulous term, because there is a range of subjects from the hard sciences to the soft where there is more and more of the subject which is not open to exploration using the scientific method.

    But even if “science” includes soft-science, that doesn’t change the nature of science and it does not allow someone (like Trenberth) try to pretend to be a “scientist” whilst advocating the denial of the basic scientific methology like the Null Hypothesis.

  123. Curious isn’t it that its taking one person (in a world of umpteen billion) to try and actually make a difference.

    I’m reminded of others who have had huge influence (Ghandi springs to mind). The road is difficult, full of people who want to derail / blow things up… and there’s no thanks to be had. But somebody needs to do it.

  124. MikeD;
    Further to your quote and thought, does Dr. Curry thus identify herself with those who support the policies associated with climate change? You can’t really fence-sit on this one.

  125. The Wrexham & Shropshire axe should be applied to modern climatology.

    Press Release. 26 January 2011

    After just 33 months of operation, the Wrexham & Shropshire railway company is to close, with just two days notice.

    Local train company Wrexham & Shropshire today announced that, following an investigation into all possible alternatives, the company will cease operations on Friday 28th January 2011.

    The organisation cited the unprecedented economic environment as a contributing factor and although the company has strived to increase passenger numbers, it has been determined that the business has no prospect of reaching profitability. Wrexham & Shropshire is not insolvent nor is it being placed in administration and all outstanding financial commitments will be met. Alternative employment opportunities within the railway industry are being sought for the 55 employees, and all staff wages and full redundancy entitlements will be paid.

    The company has undertaken a series of activities in an attempt to move the business into profit. In 2009 the original service of five trains per day was reduced to four. This was followed in December 2010 when two lightly used services were combined to reduce the service to three trains per day. In addition, an agreement was reached with sister company Chiltern Railways to assist with their capacity and the company investigated opportunities for operational and management synergy between Wrexham & Shropshire and Arriva Trains Wales, also owned by DB. The opportunity to generate income by serving Wolverhampton, after April 2012 when contractual restrictions are expected to be removed, was also considered.

    £13 million invested at start up. 65% loadings & £2.8 million lost in 2010. It was still a far better proposal, than the ridiculous claim that CO2 is a pollutant. That falsehood has wasted billions and condemned the third world to many more years of lost opportunity.

    http://www.wrexhamandshropshire.co.uk/

    ………………………………

    As Khwarizmi wrote, when it doesn’t work, cut the losses & close down.

    “When one makes a hopeless investment, one sometimes reasons: I can’t stop now, otherwise what I’ve invested so far will be lost. This is true, of course, but irrelevant to whether one should continue to invest in the project. Everything one has invested is lost regardless. If there is no hope for success in the future from the investment, then the fact that one has already lost a bundle should lead one to the conclusion that the rational thing to do is to withdraw from the project.”

    Investment Fallacy, Skeptic’s Dictionary

  126. Two comments worth repeating (amongst very many), and one cleverly amusing Moderator’s quip:

    Dr. Dave says: (January 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm)
    There is national sovereignty, entire economies and human liberty at stake. There are billions, perhaps trillions of dollars of global wealth at stake. And, as “violent” a term as it may be, we ARE fighting fraud.

    DN says: (January 30, 2011 at 2:03 pm)
    When you’re honest and your opponent isn’t, you don’t meet him in the middle; you call him a liar, and you prove it.

    dbs (January 30, 2011 at 5:39 pm)
    [I'm sure you appreciate my fixing your typo, where you typed a y instead of a u in 'trust'. ~dbs☺]

    And, yes, as it was when first mooted my opinion of Lisbon: Unnecessary and potentially damaging to both truth and reason.

  127. I wonder if Curry will come back from Lisbon, with a piece of paper which she waves, and tells us we have scientific peace in our time?

  128. joe kafkazar;
    Hear, hear!
    “The Skeptic side is largely free of ideological goals, unless not fixing what isn’t broken could be called an ideological goal. Maybe you do. I don’t.”

    Lindzen: “Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age”.

  129. There is one sure way to achieve “reconciliation”. There needs to be an agreed approach on measuring “climate change” if it is happening. Both sides need to find a means to agree on how to measure the temperature of planet earth over a sufficiently long period that any climate change, if it is happening, can be detected and at what rate. It is clear that using paleo records will not ever result in reconciliation since all of the records have been dismissed by the sceptic community. Only proper accurate measurement using equipement ideally sited can resolve this argument and reconcile the two sides, and I would prefer to see tax $ spent on this process than for far more to be wasted on accomodating a science that is merely assumed to be valid.

  130. My understanding is, at least as far as authorities in the UK were concerned, that they had taken professional marketing advice which was to proceed as if the argument/debate had been won and thus to speak as if global warming/climate change was an established matter of fact – in the same was as it is taken as a matter of fact the Earth is round.

    Thus a deliberate policy of non-engagement of those who challenge this position was recommended. Dissenters had to be branded as “flat-earthers”, cranks who need not and should not be taken seriously to make sure neither they nor their arguments gained any degree of respectability in order to move the popular perception beyond any idea of uncertainty.

    This is the evident strategy of the global warmists.

    Global warming/climate change has the characteristics of a religion, matter of belief, an article of Faith. In such circumstances it is impossible to have a sensible, logical and productive dialogue with someone who believes there can exist no proof to the contrary of their belief, and that any evidence offered is either faked or can be turned to support the belief – for example, cold or hot = evidence of global warming.

  131. Put the bleme on Meme, boys,
    Put the bleme on Meme.
    I’m with Popper, not a consensus science that has become the captive of a scientific, technical or political elite. While we can never be certain a preferred theory is ‘true,’ we may have decisive grounds for provisionally preferring one theory to another, based on evidence and tests. If we hope to make progress in knowledge, we need to engage robustly in rational criticism of our own and each others theories based the evidence presented. Civility, yes, but don’t silence ‘the heretic’.

  132. Girma says:
    January 30, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    Only if the data is trustworthy. We must begin there. See my other posts.

  133. Mike Haseler says:
    January 31, 2011 at 12:33 am

    My hat is off to you, Sir, for your several posts.

  134. Tom Kennedy says:
    January 30, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    The “Delphi Method”

    Is what I thought when I read the group was divided in three with some people rotating. Needless to say, not having been there we haven’t much to go on. Only the participants could say, if they were even able to recognize the system.

  135. Here’s a report from Libon by Werner Krauss.

    Excerpt:

    I was also impressed by the stunning individualism of some of the participants. “Skeptics” are not a homogeneous group; quite the contrary, some even insist on representing an individual standpoint and not being a part of a group. Considering the fact that some have highly influential blogs with many commentators and followers, the image of rather loosely organized tribes came to my mind.

  136. Stephen Mosher is quoted as saying:

    “You dont control the budgets. You argue that NASA should just return to doing normal science and they say ‘but we are doing normal science?’
    and you say, no you aren’t. and they say, ‘yes we are’. And they just keep on doing what they are doing.”

    Actually, we do control the budgets. We expect Republican Congressmen Issa and Sensenbrenner and others to blow the AGW propaganda arm of NASA out of the water. If that is not accomplished before 2012, it will most certainly be accomplished in 2012. We expect a lot more, including live testimony from James Hansen, Michael Mann, and others under oath.

    Are you unaware of these matters? Are you an American? Wake up, Sir. I might be one of those congressmen in 2013.

  137. DN says:
    January 30, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I couldn’t agree more.

    The Rodney King school of Social Science (cain’t we all just get along) holds no answers for the alarmist/denier contretemps. The alarmists don’t want communion with deniers, they want complicity.

  138. Werner Krauss is quoted as saying:

    “Considering the fact that some have highly influential blogs with many commentators and followers, the image of rather loosely organized tribes came to my mind.”

    LOL! No, sir, you had that image before you saw them.

  139. The transparency issue will never be cleared up. In the old days, a theory or work would be slapped down on the table, notes, data, warts and all – alongside an appropriate presentation lecture, published in peer review journals and thrashed about and worked through by diligent peers intentionally (that’s the key word) looking for errors.
    In climate science, this just never ‘seems’ to happen within the upper echelon ‘peer’ group – commonly called the ‘team’ – mostly accepting work without serious ripping apart, although I suspect that they make comments about wording to ensure it tows the party line!
    The big issue is to re-educate those so called ‘top’ scientists back to proper scientific method and a realisation that defending their work is an absolute pre-requirement. Moreover, such defence is not a personal issue – but a science one.

    Ashas been said a hundred times before – if anyone had a drug cure for cancer and slapped down their work on the table as described above, the work would come under the most intense scrutiny. Why should climate science, where the whole world is makinf massive eco-political decisions based on ‘climate science’ be any different. The important point being that detailed scrutiny cannot be undertaken without total disclosure.

  140. Kev;
    Clearly!

    But a grammarnasty comment: it’s “toes the party line”, not “tows”. Think soldiers, not oxen. (Actually, the origins are probably naval, shipboard, the “Captain’s line”, but that’s too long to go into.)

  141. Brian H says:
    January 31, 2011 at 5:50 am
    thanks – I had indeed already spotted it – a mental abberation on my part. I really should proof read carefully before pressing post comment!

  142. It is easy to admit you were wrong about something when you’re looking at yourself over a sink in your own bathroom. It get’s very ‘post normal’ and more difficult if –
    a. You’re a newlywed and saying it over the kitchen table to the one you love.
    b. You’re a squeeky clean and wet behind the ears post grad at your first real job.
    c. You’ve moved up the ladder, and writen a few articles in professional journals, and/or books, on something you’re supposed to know something about.
    d. You’ve past 40 and become an AGW Superstar and everybody, just everybody who counts that is, thinks you can walk on water and chew bubblegum at the same time.
    Given time and circumstances, there’s just a whole lot of things real successful people can’t do. Really!

  143. I strongly dislike the labels of Normal and Post Normal Science – though I agree with Steve Mosher’s description of the current situation with regards to climate science and climate scientists. The labels suppose generalizations that obscure the facts of the situation under review. Many of the issues that I and many others find disturbing are failures to meet basic conditions of scientific research (not to mention civility). That these failures are compounded by advocacy does not alter the fact that non-transparency and resistance to replication are at the root of much of this so-called “failure to communicate”.
    I see no merit and very little basis for attributing crass, unsavory or machiavellian motives to Judith Curry or anyone else involved in the recent Lisbon discussion.

    IMO, climate science is plagued by weak science, under-developed scientific tools and measures, poor scientific practices, unrealistic solution sets and politics driven by extremists. If you want to term the latter set of conditions PNS, then so be it but recognize that you are in some regards risking the legitimation of unscientific behavior and bad public policies which are derived from this behavior.

  144. From Curry’s summary:

    Postnormal science. The organizers of the Workshops are proponents of postnormal science. There are many misinterpretations of PNS (many of which are evident on the previous Lisbon thread.) I won’t delve on the topic here, put pull a quote from Funtowicz and Ravetz that I found on van der Sluijs web site:

    The Post-Normal Science approach needs not be interpreted as an attack on the accredited experts, but rather as assistance. The world of “normal science” in which they were trained has its place in any scientific study of the environment, but it needs to be supplemented by awareness of the “post-normal” nature of the problems we now confront. The management of complex natural systems as if they were simple scientific exercises has brought us to our present mixture of triumph and peril. We are now witnessing the emergence of a new approach to problem-solving strategies in which the role of science, still essential, is now appreciated in its full context of the uncertainties of natural systems and the relevance of human values.

    What the $%&!? What on earth is that trying to say? That sounds like the most ridiculous nonsense I’ve ever seen a trained scientist use for a definition.

    So PNS is not an attack, it is an assistance to normal science And PNS’ best use is on managing complex systems? How is this in any way science? It isn’t. Science has a term for unknown or unknowable variables…, they’re called unknowns. There is no reason to fear the unknown. There is no reason to behave as experts on the unknown, speaking to likelihoods we cannot possibly grasp the real chances for. As a scientist part of your job is telling the public what the limits of human understanding are and making people comfortable with the unknown. Experts have a way of making people afraid of the dark. Scientists should be making people excited about finding the light switch.

    I was enjoying Curry’s summary until that paragraph, then my interest disintegrated in a most violent fashion.

  145. It would help if Dr. Hansen would moderate his rhetoric, a lot. If I bet he was not at the Workshop, would I win? Is anyone from the workshop prepared to rebuke Dr. Hansen for his inflammatory speech?

  146. The whole concept of “reconciliation” is non sequitur. There is nothing to reconcile when just one party to the conflict is the only combatant. Besides, Dr Curry’s continued and frequent use of a known, vile epithet to describe those with whom she disagrees is reprehensible. This is not the language of someone who seeks to reconcile. Also, I would caution against the increasing acquiescence to the use of such violent language as it establishes a subtle but important bit of misinformation–namely that skeptics deny that climate changes. This is perhaps the single most egregious fallacy that continues to be perpetrated–one of many which makes any concept for reconciliation absurd. I don’t think we have yet seen just how deep the deception went, let alone publicly identified all those involved in it. One must first identify the spread of the infection before beginning treatment.

  147. “Search for win-win solutions (i.e. both sides work to increase the funding base to collect more paleoproxies).”

    WHAT?

    Exaclty how is that a ‘win-win’ solution? The problem we have had with paleoproxies is that

    A) they were put together by people who did not have the slightest idea what they were doing WRT the statistical methods they were jiggering up from whole cloth, or

    B) they were put together by sleazy actors who were advancing personal and political agendas through spin, deceit, and outright lies, or

    C) both A & B.

    We dont need to give those alimentary orifices any more of our money to fund further shoddy, politicized ‘science’. We have paid for too many lies as is. Absent some reform of the system to ensure ethical behaviour on the part of the recipients, there should be no more funding of paleoproxies.

    To the contrary, what we need is increased funding for audits of the existing science, to find out where the problems in methodology lie, and to methodically find the lies. It is unconsionable that such audits are largely ad-hoc, individual efforts with zero funding given that the stakes are so high.

    Figure out a way to fund competitive science that doesnt succumb to political activism and group think and that is effective at ferreting out the truth rather than conspiring to conceal adverse results and disregard gross uncertainties. There’s your win-win.

    Till then, instead of the current 4 billion in funding, not one more dime should be spent on this crap. You want to fund more paleoproxies? Sue the ‘hide the decline’ clan to recover the millions that were spent on the current, inadequate paleoproxies.

    At a time when the people who were taxed to pay for the lies of the Team are experiencing tremendous economic hardship, those clowns are continuing to hide adverse results while living VERY cushy lifestyles on the public dime. Increase that? Please.

  148. Jeremy says: January 31, 2011 at 7:00 am

    “Postnormal science … What the $%&!? What on earth is that trying to say? That sounds like the most ridiculous nonsense I’ve ever seen a trained scientist use for a definition. “

    Postnormal science = science lite … a bit like those school competitions where everyone wins, science lite doesn’t distinguish between truth and falsehood, because truth is subjective, so it would be unfair to reject assertions because you might be selecting assertions based on latent racism, homophobia, sexism or even (horror of horror) a bias against assertions just because those assertions are “scientifically impaired” (i.e. lack of any evidence to support them).

  149. I would remind readers – and the leaders of this “reconciliation” effort of the “Gray Whitewash” Problem.

    In a problem of absolutes – and not all problems are black and white! – today’s mass population is being taught that they should “See both sides” and “Understand both sides” and “Listen to your own inner wisdom” as if the truth were somewhere between the two sides, rather than a specific choice between black and white.

    Between true and false. Between lies (exaggerations based on feelings about desired outcomes and extrapolations) and impartial scientific analysis of real data.

    But, because the public has been led to believe that “The truth is somewhere in the middle” when two sides disagree – rather than “One version of the argument is based on propaganda to be used as propaganda for funding and political control.” they see only shades of gray everywhere.

    Not the truth.

    (Now, note that NOT all arguments/disagreements are “Black and white” – I could claim that 95% of the observed warming is a combination of natural long-term 450 year climate cycles plus short-term 66 year climate cycles plus observation biases, and only 5% is from AGW CO2 changes. You could claim 95% is from CAGW CO2 “forcings” and we would not have a black and white issue.

    But the propaganda being spewed by CAGW activists IS a “black and white” issue.

    The resulting CAGW desired policies of early death to millions and economic disaster for billions IS a matter of black and white arguments!

  150. Here’s some middle ground;

    When scientists become policy advocates they are no longer scientists and must be fired from any position that receives public funding!

    Next; If you want to publish in a peer reviewed journal you should submit your data and code. This should be available on the journal’s website in perpetuity. If you cannot produce your data and code; IT ISN’T SCIENCE. The prominent journals ought to retract quite a few climate related articles on that basis alone.

    This isn’t about black and white. The truth obviously lies somewhere in the middle; CO2 must have or have had some effect on the climate, humans release more than is natural . . . draw your own conclusion. But if you want it to be science, you must propose a falsifiable hypothesis, devise an experiment to test the hypothesis, record your data, draw a conclusion and share everything. So far the purported “science” falls far short of that standard.

    Now, on to the real problem; the mote that’s been created between science and policy and the defense of the citadel of AGW by certain bad actors;
    When people are suggesting we damage our economies wholesale and commit our children and grandchildren to an impoverished future and people in lesser developed nations to starvation and permanent economic impairment we must have certainty as to the science. When our leaders and scientists act as the current crop has (by which I refer to Mann, Jones, Trenberth, Hansen, Schmidt, Gore, Pachauri, et. al.) and claim that they have certainty and that the science is settled, nay more than that attempt to quash any reasoned debate on the topic while holding their data, methodology and the very bastions of knowledge and halls of academia captive like so many conquered slaves; the skeptics be damned to hell if they accept such treatment and go along with the program!

    It is only through the recent vitriol toward and sabotage of the esteemed body politic of academia that the debate has (to some extent) been re-opened. AND STILL THE ESTABLISHMENT INSISTS THAT THERE IS NO ROOM FOR DEBATE! (Insisting that the world is still warming when it clearly hasn’t in the last 10 years, and then telling the world your detractors are wrong when they claim the world is cooling is just plain fraud; use the straw man argument enough times and you are actually engaged in deliberate deception.) Further; refusing to acknowledge that your models cannot explain known climatic phenomena (PDO for example) or even current climate conditions is the moral equivalent of the Wizard of Oz. You can almost hear their admonition to “ignore that man behind the curtain over there”. Yet they insist they are correct and must be listened to. That isn’t science; it’s religion.

    In the simplest terms possible; if it’s not openly shared and reproducible it’s not science, peer reviewed or otherwise! If scientists cross the line and become advocates their science is no longer to be trusted and they should no longer hold academic standing of any kind.

    If the alarmist establishment wishes to continue to insist that they hold the keys to wisdom and denigrate those who carry on the hollowed tradition of skeptical science as “deniers”, then these “scientists” and the academic system they control must be attacked less it become a weapon for tyrants to use against their people.

    We aren’t talking about CAFE standards here, we are talking about controlling the entire population of the world through ‘Cap and Trade’, carbon credit exchanges, regulation of industry and impeding the progress of nations in the name of what is, to this point, little more than voodoo science. The GCM’s are clearly not correctly modeling the climate of earth with any meaninful predictive capacity and have major known faults. For any scientist to accept the goings on of the IPCC , to give tacit approval to the AGU, the Royal Society and many other organizations in their support of this charade and not raise a strong public objection is truly pathetic.

    To suggest that the group in Lisbon was good because it lacked passion does not speak well of those involved. You may be a believer, you may be a luke warmer, a skeptic or even a full blown denier, but to sit idly by while science at large and academia in particular are hijacked for political ends is truly reprehensible.

    In short; there is debate, the certainty is vastly overstated by politicians and scientific leaders alike and they are using a bully pulpit to advance their agenda and careers. It is time for the scientific establishment to delver a body blow to these charlatans and take the science back!

    If you want reasoned debate then encourage an end to ad-hominem attacks on those who raise legitimate concern, challenge those who present theory as fact while hiding behind laws and the establishment to prevent disclosing their data and methodology, put a stop to those gaming the peer review system like a game of bridge and get your collegues to share their data and methodology on every single paper they’ve published and continue to use as a reference in future papers. Otherwise it’s a house of cards.

    Best of luck on all of that!

  151. All this cr*p about PNS is giving me PMS – and I’m a bloke! LOL

    PNS is just an excuse for doing it a ‘different way’ – and, in my opinion, there is really only one way, and it’s the same way thats been used for centuries. Yes, PNS may be a valid argument for interventionist type strategy where something HAS to be done in the immediate short term, but even in the precautionary principle approach to so called AGW (or even CAGW), the lives of very many depend on these findings – and that is just too serious to take a ‘punt’ on.
    Even if AGW is considered really ‘real’ and serious (?) – surely, the policymakers would be bending over backwards to curb emissions and ordering hundreds of nuclear power stations and electric cars/trucks by the million? – why is that not happening? Instead, here in the UK, I ask , where has all the money from the last decade of additional green taxes gone? Do we have better public transport? New nuclear power stations?, 50% renewable energy generation? etc, etc. Hmm, why, it’s a resounding NO, says I, but we have a massive budget deficit, thousands more beaurocrats and ‘staff’, and many more folk on benefits, (Nu-labour carefully re-jigged the unemployment counting methods!) etc. I really don’t care about the AGW argument being used for green taxes when the taxes raised are NOT used to help the issue for which they were supposedly raised! Its a con, a scam and a sham of the first order.
    As an example, How many folk ever read the small print on charitable organisations blurb? there are charities over here, where less than 10% of donations ever make to to the intended recipients!! But said charities still employ directors and staff on incredible wages!! The green/environmental tax system (here in the UK) is exactly the same in my opinion. PNS is supposed to be some justification! Hurrumph…..

  152. Jeremy quotes Curry quoting Ravetz:
    January 31, 2011 at 7:00 am
    From Curry’s summary:

    “Postnormal science. The organizers of the Workshops are proponents of postnormal science. There are many misinterpretations of PNS (many of which are evident on the previous Lisbon thread.) I won’t delve on the topic here, put pull a quote from Funtowicz and Ravetz that I found on van der Sluijs web site:”

    “The Post-Normal Science approach needs not be interpreted as an attack on the accredited experts, but rather as assistance. The world of “normal science” in which they were trained has its place in any scientific study of the environment, but it needs to be supplemented by awareness of the “post-normal” nature of the problems we now confront. The management of complex natural systems as if they were simple scientific exercises has brought us to our present mixture of triumph and peril. We are now witnessing the emergence of a new approach to problem-solving strategies in which the role of science, still essential, is now appreciated in its full context of the uncertainties of natural systems and the relevance of human values.”

    The hubris in these quotes staggers the imagination. According to these people, climate science has evolved beyond scientific method because of the uncertainties of natural systems. Who do these people think they are? Is there one among them who can stand with the principal scientists working at CERN? There is not. Physics was more complicated than climate science in the 19th Century. Yet the scientists at CERN are using the scientific method. They built the particle accelerator because they had identified some obsevations that could be made using the accelerator. In other words, traditional use of the scientific method.

    The business about human values has always been Marxist and remains Marxist. These Marxists insist on their view that decisions must be made before the science is complete. Yet they do not reflect on the fact that it is their shoddy science that tells us that disaster looms and decisions must be made. Their argument is one tight circle.

  153. racookpe1978: good point. This is part of the activist agenda in reality. They pick an extreme knowing that the masses will ultimately settle on a compromise. Then pick another extreme and get everyone on board for the next compromise. Eventually, after several iterations, their first extreme, or maybe more, is what gets realized. This is purely a political game: the scientific “truth” may not even exist, or perhaps, it may not even reside with the space described by the opposing sides, i.e., everybody may be wrong. It does not matter to the activist, his desire is to implement his agenda, regardless of the cost.

    I have always argued that compromise is a terrible solution. In the short term, neither “side” gets what they want. In the long-term, the most extreme ideas wind up getting implemented, in the very long-term, everybody just gets screwed.

    Mark

  154. Sam Parsons says:
    January 31, 2011 at 10:21 am

    … relevance of human values.

    Yes, human values as defined by the very same people that are chucking the scientific method in the first place. This is why we have cultural references and examples in algebra textbooks in schools now, rather than equations, variables, and numbers.

    Mark

  155. Theo Goodwin says:
    January 31, 2011 at 4:29 am (Edit)

    Stephen Mosher is quoted as saying:

    “You dont control the budgets. You argue that NASA should just return to doing normal science and they say ‘but we are doing normal science?’
    and you say, no you aren’t. and they say, ‘yes we are’. And they just keep on doing what they are doing.”

    Actually, we do control the budgets. We expect Republican Congressmen Issa and Sensenbrenner and others to blow the AGW propaganda arm of NASA out of the water. If that is not accomplished before 2012, it will most certainly be accomplished in 2012. We expect a lot more, including live testimony from James Hansen, Michael Mann, and others under oath.

    Are you unaware of these matters? Are you an American? Wake up, Sir. I might be one of those congressmen in 2013.

    #########
    I am aware that the republicans will back down from a investigation of climate science via committee. That’s a good thing because it would backfire horribly.
    Mann has testified before. On some accounts he “lied” and well you can see that the field has turned about face since his testimony. Investigations won’t change what people look at, how they look at it, and what gets published.

    And yes I’m aware that NASA and NOAA budgets will be targeted for reductions.
    That too will not change what get’s looked at and who looks at it. You simply fail to understand how institutions operate and how they survive in times of budget cuts.
    For example, if you cut NASAs budget, how do you think this will change the direction of research to promote a skeptical view? If you cut the NSF budget do you think they will fund studies to look at Lindzen’s ideas? nope.

    So even if you control the purse strings thats a blunt instrument. You have to control the line items. Which means you have to legislate science. See any problems with that?

  156. Post normal science = Perfectly normal politics, masquerading as science.

    It is an attack on science, and needs to be treated as such.

    It is just that simple.

  157. Steven Mosher,

    I read your comments with interest. It appears you are saying that nothing can be done. No investigations, no budget cutting, no line item vetoes. None of it will change things.

    What do we do? Continue business as usual?

  158. Steven Mosher says:
    January 31, 2011 at 11:03 am
    Which means you have to legislate science. See any problems with that?

    With that line, I must note that you have crossed the line into an acute cognitive dissonance resulting in climatic dysfunction…not that there is anything wrong with that….

  159. <blockquoteSam Parsons says:
    January 31, 2011 at 10:21 am

    The hubris in these quotes staggers the imagination.

    Yes. I wasn’t even thinking along that line, but you are correct to say so.

    In fact, that is another troubling aspect to this PNS nonsense that should be mentioned more. The true arrogance of these people to presume/believe that because these “new problems” we face are “complicated” that we need anything other than “normal science” to deal with them are ridiculous. Woe to us if Newton decided that rather than invent calculus, he would deal with solving for motion and complex volumes in some post-normal way. What kind of self-centered notion is it to assume that the complexities of investigating the universe that you face are in some way greater than those faced by your predecessors and that the rules for investigation must therefore change? These people sound like high schoolers complaining that advanced algebra is too hard, so please make the final into a qualitative rather than quantitative exam.

    Quite simply… NO. Instead go do your homework and come up with a good question.

    From the man himself:

    …The management of complex natural systems as if they were simple scientific exercises has brought us to our present mixture of triumph and peril…

    So, what am I supposed to take from that phrase? The management of complex natural systems? What management does science provide? Science is supposed to be investigating these complex systems, not managing them. That sounds fairly non-sequitur for the discussion, honestly. But he continues with “as if they were simple scientific excercises.” So nature is complicated, and all our investigation is simple. Ok, so what? That’s why we thoroughly caveat our results with the limits of our experimentation. Or at least… we’re supposed to. Some of us (*cough*climatescientists*cough*) seem to be “above” this practice. But then the finish is… has brought us to a mix of triumph and peril. Oh there we go. I see, our simple experimentation methods when applied to the complexities of nature have brought us success and failure. Any rational person might read that and say “so what?”, buying a lottery ticket will bring you that mix and it costs $1. In this case this sentence is used as some justification. Apparently the scientific method brings us failure because we are using tools that are too simple to be applied to complex systems.

    GOOD. In science, failure is GOOD. When your properly-asked-question turned into a properly-set-up-experiment fails spectacularly…. LISTEN… you’re about to learn something. That is normal science and it is well-tested by history. Those PNS advocates might do well to embrace uncertainty and failure, or soon they may be more familiar with it than they would like to be.

  160. Steven Mosher says:
    January 31, 2011 at 11:03 am
    Theo Goodwin says:
    January 31, 2011 at 4:29 am (Edit)
    “So even if you control the purse strings thats a blunt instrument. You have to control the line items. Which means you have to legislate science. See any problems with that?”

    You are the one who brought up budgets, not me. My proposals are along the lines of abolish NASA.

  161. Brian H says January 31, 2011 at 1:20 am: Mike D, Further to your quote and thought, does Dr. Curry thus identify herself with those who support the policies associated with climate change? You can’t really fence-sit on this one.

    Dear Brian, Dr. Curry attended the event and reported on it. She did not organize it. If you read her report, she is very careful not to reveal her “position”. It would be fair to infer that she supports reconciliation of two polarized groups. She is also a climate scientist at a public institution (Georgia Tech).

    She does say, “Rather there was a desire [at the conference] … to create an arena where we can fight a more honest fight over the science and the policy options.

    And prior to the conference she wrote, “What has impressed me about [the conference organizers'] writings is that they recognize that climate change is not only a scientific subject, but also a political, economical, and ethical subject.”

    The conference description put out by the organizers states, “The international endeavour to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions has had severe setbacks. … We believe that the possibility of harmful climate change is real, and that the resolution of the science (even recognition of its inherent uncertainties) is urgent.”

    It is clear that both Dr. Curry and the conference organizers acknowledge that the issues under discussion involve policies, not just science. It is clear that the organizers believe (their word) that policies such as CO2 emission reduction are urgently needed.

    Whether Dr. Curry “identifies” herself with such policies is something you should ask her, but the indications seem to be that she supports such policies.

    Personally, I don’t. Can we reconcile? Maybe, if those who support such policies abandon their position. I’m not going to abandon mine. CO2 is an essential nutrient of life. Warmer is Better. I see no reason to reduce CO2 emissions, whether it is a significant greenhouse gas or not. I perceive many hardships and suffering from the policies designed to reduce CO2 emissions. They are a part and parcel of a monstrous scam, and a profoundly hurtful one at that.

  162. Search for win-win solutions (i.e. both sides work to increase the funding base to collect more paleoproxies).

    We don’t need more stinkin’ proxies reconciling the past with pre-ordained conjecture about the future obscured in pretend Bayesian confidence tricks and all the rest. Deliver actual science, full circle, or get off the teat. Who do you suppose is paying for all this pot smoking on the holodeck accompanied by soothing PNS background muzak?

    As for communicating “to” the public, who the hell do you think you are? It is not for scientists to prescribe, justify, present or even allude to policy in public. That is the remit of politicians and ultimately the electorate, or at least that’s how democracy is supposed to work.

    Unfortunately direction of science funding has been lost to bureaucracy, various sociopathic power brokers and base scam artists simultaneously gaming the system at every level, particularly in Europe. We’ve allowed our education system to be slowly but brazenly subverted, fostering the generation of sycophantic water melons we now see foaming at the mouth on Guardian blogs and at the BBC every day. Science is steadily being co-opted by extension.

    All this is overtly political and fixing it subject to the passage of time. It has little to do with and is far wider in scope than mere science. You have been and continue to be played. Apart from the vegetables, you seem to have enjoyed this latest schmoozing but when are the scales going to fall from your provincial American eyes? Did you not detect that subtle whiff of carbolic masking the rotting garlic?

    Sadly, the manic collective tendency (rampant in the EU for the past decade) must soon be put back in its straight jacket before its schizophrenia turns ugly, swinging from libertarian to authoritarian, for yet another round of barbarity. One can only hope that won’t eventually lead to another mega-war to overcome an outbreak of genocide somewhere; the signs of late are good (and old Sol seems to be lending a hand with a wake-up call a mite earlier this time). But as history tells us time and again, appeasement is never a solution to limiting the cyclic depravity of groupings of depressive utopian dreamers with inflated egos. Perhaps that’s how evolution works at the top of the food chain and why violence is such an ugly emotive word. Have a nice day!

  163. Theo.

    “You are the one who brought up budgets, not me. My proposals are along the lines of abolish NASA.”

    unfortunately that will also not work to change climate science. You also have to change NOAA and university and research centers all around the world.

    Effectively your solution for better science is to stop NASA. Good plan, too bad it does nothing to solve the problem. Looks like you have the sense to qualify for a run for congress

  164. Theo Goodwin says:
    January 31, 2011 at 4:29 am
    Stephen Mosher is quoted as saying:

    “You dont control the budgets. You argue that NASA should just return to doing normal science and they say ‘but we are doing normal science?’
    and you say, no you aren’t. and they say, ‘yes we are’. And they just keep on doing what they are doing.”

    Stephen Mosher says:
    “So even if you control the purse strings thats a blunt instrument. You have to control the line items. Which means you have to legislate science. See any problems with that?”

    Well, which is it? First you bring up control of budgets and then you deny that control of budgets matters. Which is it?

    The goal would be to replace Hansen and his crew at NASA with genuine scientists. Are you saying that that cannot be done by a new administration in Washington and control of both houses of Congress?

  165. Steven Mosher says:
    January 31, 2011 at 12:40 pm
    Theo.
    “Looks like you have the sense to qualify for a run for congress.”

    Responding in kind, you seem to be a presumptuous gas bag all too eager to be fitted for a little Stalin uniform. The totalitarianism that climate science and environmentalism have become will not be tolerated in the USA.

  166. Mosher writes:

    “Mann has testified before. On some accounts he “lied” and well you can see that the field has turned about face since his testimony. Investigations won’t change what people look at, how they look at it, and what gets published.”

    You have not responded to my criticism of Phil Jones. Would you please do so? You say that investigations won’t do anything? Seems to me that you are saying that so-called climate scientists cannot be refused grants and fired for failing to do what they contracted to do, namely, science. Is that right?

    Please understand that it is beyond dispute that neither Hansen nor any among his followers has actually advanced science in any way whatsoever. Are you saying that we must live with that?

  167. No need to abolish NASA. Just send a message in the form of firing Hansen. And keep sending messages until it is obvious that they have been received.

  168. Steven Mosher,

    You’re being very critical of suggestions without offering any solutions of your own.

    What would you do to correct the ongoing AGW waste, fraud and abuse?

    My suggestion would be for the House to pass a bill requiring that any scientist, organization or university that receives any government financial assistance [or a tax free ride in the case of NGOs] must post all of their data, methodologies and metadata on a publicly accessible site in real time.

    If they don’t want to disclose trade secrets, the answer is simple: don’t accept taxpayer funds.

    It would be an interesting Congressional debate, no?

  169. I think Mosh is making the point that science IS a funded operation, whichever way you look at it – academics research relies on grants, government departments on tax handouts, and companies on inward investment for R&D – it’s all based on funding.
    The days of solitary hermit type philanthropists/naturalist types sitting in their castles ‘inventing’ stuff and solving deep science questions are long gone.
    But the flip side of the coin is that a large majority of funding is directly or indirectly from the public purse and this by its very nature may well be politicised. i.e. defence development or suchlike.
    Personally, although I am not very happy with the Royal Society and others of a similar ilk – (let’s pretend they are not political for a minute) – they could feasibly be given a ‘budget’ to disperse into research into relevent science of the day. For example, the billions spent into climate science could, under the correct direction of an appropriate body (a bit like a Professor helping to direct his PhD students) into the pressing questions of the time, have produced far better results that the wildly disseminated efforts of the last 10 or 20 years!
    In any event, any solution to budgetary control has to be apolitical – and as we have clearly seen in the AGW ‘science’ that is highly unlikely to be possible.

  170. I’m not a scientist, but I’ve spent most of my life working with multiple sciences, from the “soft” sciences of anthropology, sociology, geography, and “political science” to the “hard” sciences of physics, chemistry, biology, geology, etc. I’ve had it drilled into my head since I was in high school (a long, long time ago) that for something to be scientifically viable, it must be reproducible by others. This lack of reproducibility was what killed the “cold fusion” fad a few years ago. So far as I’ve been able to determine, from reading this blog, that of Steve McIntire and a dozen others, and whatever scientific papers I’ve been able to read and understand, the one truly outstanding problem with “catastrophic anthropogenic global whatever” is that the results from Mann et al are not reproducible, either because they won’t release the basic data, they won’t release their methodologies, they aren’t “transparent” about what they’ve done to whatever data they have, and they’re not willing to release their code. If the results aren’t reproducible, it’s not science.

  171. You heard it first here. The old meme:
    THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED.

    The new meme:
    THE FUNDING IS SETTLED.

    Other forms of the new meme:
    THE SHIP OF CLIMATE SCIENCE CANNOT BE TURNED.
    (They won’t use this one because it has the word ‘science’ in it. They don’t compute that word.) Try the following:
    THE GOOD SHIP LOLLYPNS CANNOT BE TURNED.
    And so on.

    Submemes implied by the main new meme:
    NASA’s funding is in the pipeline. Hansen is in his heaven. Schmidt is in Real Climate. Their minions are funded and assigned.

    In the universities, funding is in the pipeline. Mann is in his heaven. His minions are funded and assigned. Graduate students have been funded and assigned. Many of them are real cute. And so on.

    In the National Science Foundation, there is a main pipeline. It is pumping hard. It cannot be turned off, at least not for climate studies (again, they cannot use the word ‘science’.) The graduate students are funded and assigned. And many are really cute.

    And so on.

    Yet the truth of the matter is that Hansen can be fired at NASA for the simple reason that he has contributed a lot to propaganda for AGW but maybe nothing to science since being hired there. In addition, he can be fired for misuse of his office in propaganda missions, failure to show up at the office, and many related matters. Schmidt is in a worse situation. His career has been Real Climate, not his actual job. The minions can go too. The ship that is NASA can be turned and real scientists hired to do real science. How about we give NASA a mission having to do with exploration of space? If not, why not close it? Those nice weather reports can be privatized (really privatized). And so on.

    In summary, the old Bum’s Rush was Al Gore’s the science is settled. The new Bum’s Rush is that everything is a foregone conclusion, all is decided, nothing to be done, move along, pay your ridiculously increased taxes. The boys with the power (funding) will tell you what to do, if there is any need for you. There is no place for your here. There is no discussion of science. There is only discussion of funding and peer review. And so on./sarc off

    Anthony, these people want to put you out of business. Or turn your site into the internet equivalent of an old fogies home for those who want to dream about science.

    I recommend that everyone fire up your printer and print a banner about three inches high that says “I won’t pay!” Attach the banner to the rear bumper of your car.

  172. AJB says:

    WOW! A lot. Extremely well said, Sir, a tip of the hat to you. The most important line is:

    “You have been and continue to be played.”

    Right on the money. And PNS is nothing but a smoke screen for folks gaming the system.

  173. Can anyone tell us whether officials of the USA (any capacity) attended this meeting? If so, who were they?

  174. MU! (The question is ill formed…)

    There can not be “reconciliation” between “belligerents” when one side is tossing insults and handgrenades at the other and claiming that the other side ought to shutup and ‘get it’. One can have “cessation of hostilities” instead.

    Look, ALL I care about (and all I cared about going into this oh so many years ago) was “What is the truth?”. There is NO compromise on that. NO “middle ground”. NO “cessation of truth seeking”. NO “reconciliation” with non-truth.

    I originally entered this no-mans-land as a mild little sheep just wondering “How does this global warming stuff work?”. I got vilified in short order (shortly after a rash of insults) on various (infamous?) “warmer” blogs. Why? Because I asked questions. I didn’t just shut up, open mouth, and swallow large buckets of nonsense.

    There is NOTHING that I can do to change that. I must have “things that fit” and I must have “explanations that hang together”. And I expect a certain quantity of civility. What I got from “The Team and Them” was anything but. “More holes than bucket” and delivered with a load of insult and invective.

    So no, sorry, no can do. There is nothing that a non-beligerent can do to stop the beligerence. And there is nothing that makes sense about wandering into no-mans-land when the other guy is still lobbing grenades.

    Anybody wants to look at where the “warmers” science is just loaded with errors, I’m ready to discuss it, and politely. Folks want me to shut up so they can peddal errors and, frankly, a load of propaganda unopposed? That’s not “reconciliation”, that’s capitulation.

    This, btw, is the classic trap of the bully. “I’ll stop beating you up if you don’t tell mom”. Haven’t been interested in that one for a bit over a half century…

    “Reality just is. -E.M.Smith” and, I would add, it is non-negotiable and not subject to “reconciliation”.

    So the folks who wanted to declare the science is settled and the rest of us can just shut up and take it; well, they can just decide that the science is not settled and come take a look at where they have a load of loose ends. It’s all up to them.

    I suggest starting with:

    1) Temperature is not heat flow. It isn’t even a good proxy for it.
    2) There IS NO Global Average Temperature. (Fractal surfaces and 4th power of radiation see to that as one makes gigantic ranges of temps in a few feet and the other causes the IR photon count to be dominated by just a few of those spots. The former confounds surface measurment and the later confounds sattelite measure – or, more simply: You can count the photons, but that’s not the temp, or you can measure the air, but that’s not the surface temp.)
    3) 30 Years Average of Weather is not climate. It’s just a long average of weather.
    4) Putting your comparision as being between a low point of a 60 year cycle and a high point is a lousy way to find a ‘trend’. You have not found one, you’ve found that cycles give any trends you want depending on start, end, and cycle duration.
    5) IFF The Arctic ever froze over completely and stayed that way for a couple of decades, that’s the start of the next Ice Age Glacial. That’s a Very Bad Thing, not a goal state.
    6) Constantly changing your thermometers in a calorimetery experiment is guaranteed to foul up the results. You’ve done nothing but change the termometers. You have no suitable data for your stated task.

    That’s the first 1/2 dozen of about 100+ obvious things done very wrongly. As soon as “the other side” is prepared to face up to them, then they can make progress. Me? I don’t see any reason to take any of them off the list, nor are any of them “negotiable” as they are part of reality and reality is not of my choosing.

  175. I am a peaceful man. I would never turn down a genuine attempt at reconciliation. However, nothing in Dr. Judith Curry’s account of the Lisbon conference strikes me as sincere.

    She obfuscates the very clear situation, and pretends not to notice the forest behind the trees: that on one side there’s a very active, well-connected and lavishly financed social machine armed with laws, power, money, institutions, censorship (aka “peer review”), and all of the mainstream media; on the other side there is a small minority of honest and serious people, few and far between, whose only hope is what remains yet of the freedom of speech and press, mostly on the Web.

    Moreover, Dr. Curry demonstrates an enthusiastic attitude toward the discussion of the totalitarian notion of “post-normal science” (translation: ideologically driven funding resulting in manipulation of data according to the current political situation).

    There cannot be an equal, fair, polite discussion between the robber and the robbed, between the conman and the seeker of the truth, between an apparatchik of the corrupt Academia and an honest dissident scientist.

    Everyone has to decide for himself or herself, on which side of this fence he or she is most comfortable to be — but one thing in certain: sitting on this electrified fence is not going to be comfortable, Dr. Curry.

  176. P.S. Russian literary critic who lived in the first half of 19th century, Vissarion Belinsky, once famously formulated the following moral axiom:

    A scoundrel always has an advantage over an honest man, for the simplest of reasons: a scoundrel always treats an honest man as if an honest man were a scoundrel, while an honest man is obliged to treat a scoundrel as if a scoundrel were an honest man.

  177. GISS, CRU, etc… “scientists” keep adjusting the data, and crying about doom.

    Reminds me of my fathers old axe he gave me. I was using it one day, and the handle broke. So I got a new handle. Then, about a month later when I was using it, the head broke, so I replaced that.

    Now when I use it, I have to ask myself, is it still my fathers axe?

    And the same can be said of data of the past. Is it still data of the past, or is it something new we created?

  178. Warning. “Normal” doesn’t mean (in this context) usual, acceptable, standard.

    You need to know sociological and post-modernist vocabulary to understand the phrase properly. In those contexts, “norm” and “normal” refer to the cultural standards and prejudices and shared illusions within closed groups. Only those enlightened by proper post-modernist, and thus “post-normal” viewpoints and eddycation, are qualified to assess theories and sciences and opinions freed from the shackles of mere normative thinking.

    Now re-read the summary of Ravetz’ position above.

  179. Picked up on Bishop Hill:

    Climate War Continues Despite Reconciliation Meeting

    There was some perplexity on the third and final day of the conference. Ravetz had wished to formulate a final statement: “Climate science would benefit if it adopted procedures for the collection of new records that are validated according to agreed standards.”

    But in the end the plenum could not agree on this which was partly due to substantial differences between the positions even among the sceptics camp. There was also resistance from moderate researchers who did not want to see their names listed under a joint statement that would worsen their position in disputes with colleagues.

  180. Theo Goodwin says:
    January 30, 2011 at 3:28 pm
    And that political agenda will not only hurt the pocket books of all Americans, it will hurt America’s national interests.

    Greetings on behalf of the remainder of the planet.

  181. Many, many fine posts on this article. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but mine would be DN’s comment on January 30, 2011 at 2:03 pm.

Comments are closed.