Ravetz on Lisbon and leading the way

Jerome Ravetz, of Oxford University in the UK.

Guest post by Dr. Jerome Ravetz

While the micro-bureaucracy of the Lisbon workshop bureaucracy grinds its way towards the release of a statement, I realise that the time is long overdue for me to touch base at WUWT.

After all, it was at WUWT (with the help of Rog Tallbloke) that I made my debut on the blogosphere, and enjoyed the reaction of hundreds of readers, be they enthusiastic or vitriolic. Also, it was on WUWT that I had the first experience of seeing non-violent communication in the Climategate debate. The circumstances were surprising, for it involved our very own fire-eating champion Willis.

He was responding to Judith Curry’s posting, where she explained how she had got to where she was then. Of course he loathed her for complicity in the great Warmista fraud, and he despised her for attempting to apologise for her actions rather than crawling to WUWT in full contrition. But he had to admit that he respected and admired her for guts in doing a Daniel act, and facing the lions like himself. At that point, non-violence in the climate debate was born. For Willis had realised that bad people are not necessarily all bad. There might even be some purpose in talking to them! From that point on, WUWT could take the lead in enforcing civility in the debate, and I am very pleased to see how the principle has spread all across the lines.


Reflecting on that incident, I began to shape up ideas for the workshop that eventually took place last month. Of course it was highly imperfect, with many things done and not done in error. But what was remarkable was the universal spirit of accomplishment, even delight, that people were getting on so well and so productively. Of course, this depended to some extent on our choice of invitations; we did get close to the edge of the zone on the spectrum within in which people would be sure to be reasonably civil to each other. On that first meeting, with so much other learning to do, it would not have been productive to have explosions of mutual insults. Another time, we could try to take on that one as well.

I suppose people know that I went to a Quaker college, Swarthmore, and I have spent all the years afterwards making sense of its message of nonviolence. In a course on political science I read ‘The Power of Non-Violence’ by Richard Gregg. It struck me as very sweet but quite unrealistic. Between then and now was Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, and now Tunisia, Egypt and beyond. It seems that a group of non-violent activists in Serbia had used a book by one of Gregg’s followers, Gene Sharp. They had passed the message to a study group in Qatar, and it was picked up by the activists in Tunisia and Egypt to become the basis of their strategy. The rest is history in the making. There is at last some chance that revolutions now will not simply produce new tyrannies. All this gives support to my conviction that we were correct in making the main purpose of the Lisbon workshop to further the development of non-violence in scientific debate.

My principle has always been that you don’t know what the other person is going through, and to return their violence doesn’t help them resolve their conflict of conscience. It’s so easy to condemn the evil ones and try to destroy them; that way we would still have the sectarian killings in Northern Ireland and probably a bloodbath in South Africa. On the personal level, who would have known that the slave-trader John Newton was being prepared for the experience that would eventually lead him to compose ‘Amazing Grace’?

With those words of explanation, I offer my Lisbon public lecture to Anthony Watts for debate on WUWT. This, I believe is the essence of the Lisbon story, rather than who said what about whom. Willis – over to you!

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Non-Violence in Science?

Jerome Ravetz,

Reconciliation in the Climate Change Debate’

Public Meeting at the Gulbenkian Foundation

Lisbon 28 January 2011

People attending this conference might find the whole idea of non-violence in science to be strange. We are familiar, by now, with the use of reconciliation and non-violence to resolve intractable disputes in the political sphere. Indeed, it is now generally accepted that this is the only way to achieve a lasting and just settlement in conflicts between peoples. It worked in South Africa and in Northern Ireland, and noone with standing in the international community argues for a different approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict. But science? What possible relevance could this approach have to science?

Debate, sometimes fierce and impassioned, is the lifeblood of science. The advances of science do not occur smoothly and by consensus. There are always at least two sides to the interpretation of new theories and results. Social researchers have found that each scientific side explains its own attitudes in methodological terms, and explains the attitudes of the opposition in sociological terms. Roughly speaking, “I” am being a scientist, and “They” are being – something else. All this is quite natural and inevitable, and it has been that way from the beginning.

The process does not work perfectly. There is no ‘hidden hand’ that guides scientists quickly and correctly to the right answer. There can be injustices and losses; great innovators can languish in obscurity for a lifetime, because their theories were too discordant with the prevailing paradigm or ‘tacit knowledge’. However, to the best of our knowledge, the correct understanding does eventually emerge, thanks to the normal processes of debate and to the plurality of locations and voices in any field of science.

Why, then, have we organised a scientific conference about reconciliation, where we have actually had instruction in the theory and practice of ‘Non-Violent Communication’? Do we really need to import the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi into the conduct of science? We believe that on this occasion we do. This conference has not been about science in general, or any old field of science. The focus has been on Climate Change, and in particular the rancour that has been released by the ‘Climategate’ emails from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England.

This debate has not just been about the science of climate change It also concerns policy, for reducing the emissions of Carbon Dioxide worldwide. This requires a very large, complex and expensive project. It extends into lifestyles and values, as the transition out of a carbon-based economy will require a change in our ideas of comfort, convenience and the good life. There are urgent issues of equity, both between rich and poor peoples now, and also between ourselves and our descendants. All these profound issues depend for their resolution on an adequate basis in science. Some say, if we are not really sure that bad things are happening, why bother imposing these drastic and costly changes on the world’s people? But others reply, by what right can we use scientific uncertainty as an excuse for failing to protect ourselves and our descendants from irreversible catastrophe?

Both of those positions accept that there is a real debate about the strength of the science, and effectively argue about the proper burden of proof, or degree of precaution that is justified. But there are plenty of voices on the extremes. For quite some time, the official scientific establishments, particularly in the Anglophone world, claimed that ‘the science is settled’, and ‘the debate is over’. At the opposite extreme are those, including some quite reputable scientists, who argue that nothing whatever has been proved about the long-term changes in climate that might be resulting from the current increase in the concentration of Carbon Dioxide. Between these extremes, the explanations of opposing views are not merely sociological. They become political and moral. Each side accuses the other of being corrupt. The ‘skeptics’ or ‘deniers’ are dismissed as either working for outside interests, industrial or ideological, or being grossly incompetent as scientists. In short, as being either prostitutes or cranks. In their turn, the ‘alarmists’ or ‘warmistas’ are accused of feathering their own nests as grant-gaining entrepreneurial scientists, playing along with their own dishonest ideological politicians. In their protestations of scientific objectivity, they are accused of the corruptions of hypocrisy.

In the classic philosophy of science, it was imagined that debates would be settled by a ‘crucial experiment’. The observations made by Eddington in 1919 confirmed Einstein’s general theory of relativity, tout court. Before that, Rutherford showed that the atom is nearly all empty space, with a massive nucleus and planetary electrons circling it. Such crisp, clean experiments are taken as characteristic of natural science, establishing its status as solid knowledge, superior to the mere opinions of the social sciences and humanities. Where such crucial experiments happen not to occur, as in the case of Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection, it is assumed that they would occur if we could devise them. For that is the essence of science.

When we come to the climate, there are indeed two classic, simple experiences that for some are as conclusive as Eddington’s observation of the planet Mercury and of the light from the star in the Hyades cluster. The first of these is the original model of a ‘greenhouse’ earth made by the Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius in 1896. And the second is a remarkable set of readings of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, taken on top of the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa, showing a steady rise from their inception in the 1950’s. Nothing could be more convincing than that combination, except to those who do not wish to be convinced. Suffice to say that the application of the Arrhenius model to the actual conditions on earth, including all the effects that could modify the entry and exit of radiant energy, plus the storage of heat in the oceans, leaves plenty of room for debate for those that want it. And the Mauna Loa data extend only over a half-century; extrapolating that backwards or forward is again not entirely straightforward.

Hence the climate science debate is one where all the features that make natural science different from sociology, or indeed from politics, are weakened or absent. And in the course of that debate we have discovered a serious flaw in the prevailing philosophy of science: there is no explanation of honest error. Students of science never see a failed experiment or a mistaken theory; for them it is success and truth all the way. Only those who have done truly innovative research discover how intimately are success and failure, truth and error, connected. And so when a scientist finds him- or herself convinced of the truth of a particular theory, they have no framework for treating their erring opponent with respect. “I” am right, “you” are wrong, and by persisting in your error you demonstrate that your failings are moral as well as intellectual. In the ordinary course of scientific debate such attitudes are kept under control, but in the total, complex climate science debate they come to dominate.

The debate has passed its peak of intensity, as the failure of Copenhagen has taken the impetus out of the policy drive. But the rancour and bitterness are unresolved. There has been some softening of attitudes about the issue of global warming, but (so far as I can see) little softening of emotions about past adversaries. It is for that reason that my colleagues and I have made this unusual experiment, if you wish bringing Gandhi to science or even science to Gandhi. As we planned it, our hopes were modest indeed. We could not imagine attracting people with very hardened views on the other side. We know that political negotiations begin with intermediaries, then perhaps progress to members in adjacent rooms, eventually have principals all ensconced in a secret location, and only when it is all over do they meet in public. Of course people don’t trust and respect each other at the start; and they themselves are distrusted by their own side even for dealing with the enemy. Only gradually, with many fits and false starts, is trust built up.

So for our first little experiment, we brought together people who would at least talk to those we brought with opposing views. And of course, what is essential in such activities, all who are there agree that this is an important venture. When we saw how some very busy people have enthusiastically agreed to come from very long distances, we felt that this venture is indeed worthwhile. Of course we hope that by its success it will lead to others. We do not at all intend to ‘solve’ the climate science debate, or to reach a consensus on whether we must now mount a global campaign against Carbon Dioxide. That is to be left to other forums, organised from within the appropriate scientific institutions. If we can only get people talking, and eventually framing particular scientific questions on which agreement could in principle be reached, that will have been as great a success as we could hope for.

We would also like such a venture as this to be an example of the power of non-violence, even in science. The great culture heroes of the last half-century have been defined by non-violence: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, and now Aung San Suu Kyi. They all paid a price for their convictions, sometimes a heavy one. We note that none were white men, and none were scientists. This is not to say that non-violence has been totally absent from science. We all know of Einstein and his ambivalent relation to warfare; and there is the late Sir Joseph Rotblat, who gave up a career in science to found the Pugwash movement for East-West dialogue during the cold war. But if we search for scientists who have really lived out their non-violent convictions, we find two nonwhite women: Wangerai Maathai and Vandana Shiva.

That reflection brings me to the state of science itself. Those of an older generation remember a time when the prestige of science was unquestioned. Science would save the world, and scientists would do the saving. It is all different now, and the mutual denunciations of the scientists in the Climategate debate have not helped. One of the most important influences that drove me to a personal involvement in this debate was a report by our distinguished colleague Judith Curry, of a conversation with a student. This student was dismayed by the Climategate story that had just broken, and wondered whether this was the sort of career that she wanted to take up. We all know what happens to institutions when they fail to attract the brightest and the best young people. Slowly, perhaps, but surely, they atrophy and wither.

You see the connection. If ‘science’ comes to be seen by young people as the sort of institution where Climategate happens, and where scientists insult and condemn each other, its future is not bright. Of course, this negative reaction would happen only at the margins; but it is at the margins where we will find the really wonderful young people that we need. I cannot prescribe, indeed I can scarcely imagine, how the spirit of non-violence that has inspired the political world can be imported effectively into science. But I would argue that it is an attempt that is well worth making, even for the future of science itself.

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244 Responses to Ravetz on Lisbon and leading the way

  1. Al Gored says:

    Post-modern science = Lysenkoism.

  2. mkelly says:

    “It’s so easy to condemn the evil ones and try to destroy them; that way we would still have the sectarian killings in Northern Ireland and probably a bloodbath in South Africa.”

    “No try, only do or do not.” Yoda.

    Evil should be destroyed. Not coddled, not tolerated, not allowed for, nothing, only destroyed. To bad Mao or Stalin were not destroyed early on as we might have saved 50 or more million people.

  3. DirkH says:

    The other side offers peace. It shows they are losing. The planet is cooling. Watch the sun. Ignore the verbal trickery of the opponent.

    http://notrickszone.com/2011/02/21/moscow-shivering-in-coldest-winter-in-100-years/

  4. Non-violent protest is very effective against an honorable adversary.

    Non-violent protest against an evil adversary doesn’t work so well. The people protesting the Libyan fighter jets today probably already understand this concept.

  5. Neville says:

    Somebody somewhere (hopefully not me, even indirectly) is presumably paying for the production of this pious drivel. What we are watching is primarily scientists today experimenting to find the degree of cooperation with political corruption that yields their profession the most funding. For a while it seemed as if there was no practical limit, but now at least some of them realize that there is a point beyond which you lose the public’s willingness to pay up. An optimum level will eventually, by trial and error, be found, espoused, rationalized and financed. Pious exhortations are not either necessary or in the end relevant to this process.

  6. cynthialauren says:

    My thanks to both of these Gentlemen Scientists, for their openness and honesty.

    I would include, as a ‘s’cientist and a well-versed Christian, that Science began to fail us horribly when it succumbed to admitting Fabian Socialists and their ilk.

    ‘Know yourself’ before you get into ‘bed’ as it were – with others, is my point.

    You Gentlemen will soon ‘see’ that your integritious foray for The Truth will uncover
    the facts that Science itself is being (or, rather – has been) co-opted by the Fabians and the Gaea Crowd.

    You’ve also ‘allowed’ that your ‘students’ be filled with their indoctrination – well before ‘my time’ with high school textbooks in the 70’s. Science has been co-opted,
    Gentlemen. If you KNOW that Darwin’s grandfather was the originator of his ‘theory’ – then, without unmasking this gross error for what it IS – PURE INDOCTRINATION – will simply be futile. Men and women ‘pretending’ to be Scientists need to be brought to ‘full light’.

    IF you are willing and able to do this – you will succeed. If not – then ‘wear’ the fact that you’ve been complicit in the making of ‘useful idiots’ within your community which exalts – truly ANY KIND of intellect now – over factual observation.

    I applaud you and will pray that you receive every blessing and assistance in that, your effort – in the effort to re-claim true Science. For, the whole of ‘indoctrinated man-kind’ looks furtively toward you, as they always have – when they have no religion, no basis from which to mount a case. I believe most now ‘know’ you Scientist guys aren’t GOD – but, first – Scientists – true rational Scientists – must know that, as individuals – for themselves. My only ‘fear’ is that most of you now, do.

    Cynthia Lauren Thorpe

  7. Barry Woods says:

    It is my view that most CAGW sceptics seek to defend science, from the delusion of a FEW in a small area of climate science and policy makers and lobbyists that belief man made climate change is an issue (many long before the IPCC and any great deal of work in the area, at a time when the consensus was the MWP existed)

    …. those few scientists might include the few dozen that Professor Michael Hulme recognised formed the consenus on attribution, not a mythical 2500.

    Where is the null hypotheis…

    That all observed climate may be down to natural variation, in what is admitted consists of poorly understood areas, clouds, oceanic cycles, solar, etc and no doubt some unknown, unknowns… and that an AGW signal may be insignificant by orders of magnitude, amongst many and varied stronger (positive and negative ) natural still poorly understood climate forcings.

    …and that first we must understand these, before it is even possible to try to identify an AGW signal. Do the scientists in these areas suffer from a dearth in funding, because all monies have been directed to AGW?

    Trenbeth wants to distort science, to make AGW theory the null hypothesis.
    The continued use of ‘deniars’ by many that support this hypothesis, prevents scientific debate, as they believe that only they are doing science.

    Whilst there are many thousands of scientists practising ‘climate science’ how many are at the core of it? If someone is investigating the effects of climate change on, hurricane formation, or the migratory patterns of birds, or many of the thousand of other subject areas like this.. Their science is valid, whatever the cause of climate change… they just have the assumption it is AGW. scracth out AGW and put climate change (natural due to….) and everything they do is still valid..

    Where is the research actually trying to prove, demonstrate the feedback imagined in the computer models, etc.

    So whilst thousands of scintists are working in ‘climate science related areas…
    How many are actually working at actually demonstrating the theory, with observed evidence.. and most importantly the degree per doubling of CO2 (AGW is true, whether in the actual complex mutiple mechanisms in the climate, the answer is 0.1C, 0.5, 1.0C, etc, it is the actual values we are all arguing about, from oh why bother to imagined tipping points and everything in between…

    Where is the work to show this, beyond every more complex computer model scenarios and ‘projections’ and requests for faster computers, because it is all very uncertain.

    For the next IPCC report 600 pages please on attribution, 60 on the rest. WG2 and WK3 are just premature.

    We are still at the stage, of we have a theory, it may have a consequence, yet 20 years of work, still hasn’t begun to find any AGW signature, as far as I can see.

  8. EternalOptimist says:

    Well there are two types of violence.
    There is the intellectual violence, I have been labelled a holocaust denier, a child abuser (for flying across the Atlantic), a dupe, a fool, etc, etc. I have been told that my opinion does not count, because I am not a climate scientist (funny how my taxes DO count), etc etc.
    To be honest, its all water off a ducks back. I can handle the intellectual attacks.

    Then there is the actual violence. Now as far as I am aware, there hasn’t been too much of this so far in the climate debate, but I would like to recount a story.
    This happened recently.

    I post regularly on a professional forum in my country, and the cagw debate is a hot topic, leading to lots of cut and thrust and general interest. One of the warmists is particularly active and seems to have access to some sort of rebuttal resource(he doesnt do a lot of thinking for himself, its all 1 million links). He also seems to be a green zealot

    So I asked him directly ‘would you consider using physical violence to prevent people like us from wrecking the planet, as you believe we are doing?’

    no response.

    I have asked him three times, in slightly different ways. No reponse.
    It is a real worry

    EO

  9. Jimbo says:

    Sorry, I tried posting the following to Tips & Notes but my browser kept crashing.

    A new study finds that

    “….warming oceans expand the range of tropical corals northward along the coast of Japan. At the same time, the corals are remaining stable at the southern end of their ranges.”
    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2011/02/18/coral-reefs-expand-as-the-oceans-warm/
    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2011/2010GL046474.shtml

  10. James Davidson says:

    It takes two to make a quarrel, but so far it seems to me that the violence is all going one way. way.Which side has falsified the historical record? Which side has blocked the publication of scientific papers critical of AGW? Which side can wreck the careers of young scientists inimical to its position?
    Do a Google search on Trofim Lysenko. Lysenkoism is defined as the manipulation or distortion of the scientific process as a way to reach a predetermined conclusion as dictated by by an ideological bias, often related to social or political objectives. Lysenko had his opponents either executed or sent to prison camps, and the AGW group has not done this, ( although in quotations attributed to members of the group, they would like to.) Lysenko’s research and experiments were later declared to be fraudulent. The behaviour of the AGW group appears to me to be fraudulent. Don’t we have a duty to oppose it?

    Jim Davidson

  11. vigilantfish says:

    Easy, Willis, easy….

  12. steven mosher says:

    Thanks Dr. Ravetz,

  13. Joe Lalonde says:

    Dr. Ravetz,

    The current problem in science is that technology changes and in doing so, new measurements and technological advances emerge.
    This then has generated the problem of old theories still being used rather than reviewing the new technology to the old theories.
    This then has generated the problem of home grown scientists are discovering mistakes and traditional scientists are defending old theories.

    Since the science laws were created, gases were compressed and turned into liquids showing that energy can be stored. Centrifugal force was never figured out and deemed pseudo-science, yet it play a very important role in planetary rotation. It can be recreated and understood today but science has locked the laws to disallow any new advances.

  14. Tom Eyre says:

    The IPCC reports were essentially political than scientific ones.As we know so little about most of the science; have such a short time-line of reliable knowledge, only the next 30 years will indicate the likely direction of climate change and man’s role in it. The current main problem is whether man can change impacts on climate or is willing to do it and at what cost.Reconciliation is probably not the correct word, perhaps Professional Moderation would be better. Remember it took the Catholic Church 400 years to acknowledge Galileo was right.

  15. Bob Kutz says:

    mkelly says:
    February 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm
    . . . .Evil should be destroyed. Not coddled, not tolerated, not allowed for, nothing, only destroyed. To bad Mao or Stalin were not destroyed early on as we might have saved 50 or more million people.

    Mkelly,

    Surely you don’t want to go there. Mann, Jones, Gore, etc. etc. are not Stalin, Hitler or Mao.

    They’ve simply been subverted by their desire to see their pet theory prevail. Unfortunately, they have gotten to the point where they would rather destroy their detractors than see their own theory fail.

    Fortunately, science does not work that way. Whatever their theory, it will not change the laws of nature governing our climate. When their models no longer work, when their ‘simple physics’ no longer holds, they will be held to account.

    Not by us, but by nature itself.

    In short; what you want to demand is science; they share their data and methodology and let everyone in the room take a shot at it. If it stands up, it’s science, if it doesn’t we throw it out and label that one as wrong and it’s still science. If they put their data in a black bag and hide behind a curtain; It’s not science, no matter how they wish is were so.

    So far, the only thing standing between the pro-AGW set and victory is the fact that they cannot and will not share their data and methodology. Or at least every single time they do it gets shot full of holes.

    But we don’t call them evil. They are (probably) wrong, they are certainly engaged in malfeasance, but I really don’t think their intent is to take over the world and start death camps. If it is, in the immortal words of Paul McCartney “They ain’t gonna make it with anyone, anyhow.”

    Let’s keep our side on the straight and narrow, because at some point they are going to prove beyond any doubt that CO2 does contribute in some measure to global warming. When they do, we don’t want to be backed into a corner because we labeled them as ‘wrong’ and ‘evil’. The truth lies somewhere between CO2 producing no effect whatsoever and CO2 producing total global annihilation.

    They might have their thumb on the scale, but we can hardly equate that with Mao and Stalin. And if we do, we can hardly blame them for throwing it back at us. And we cannot blame the independent thinkers from rejecting our side of the debate and accepting those from established science. All else being equal, in a mud fight it’s hard to determine who’s right or wrong, but the presumption of guilt will always be on the barbarians at the gate. We cannot win by losing our composure or accusing them of wickedness. ‘Kill’ them with kindness and simply, respectfully and repeatedly ask for the data and methodology.

    Unless they produce it, what they have is not science.

  16. PKthinks says:

    I think most of this is very fine explanation of how we should discuss science.

    Why on earth should would it provoke a hostile response in say the Guardian Enviroment blogs or Real Climate but I cant help feeling it would. An interesting experiment would be to post this article on a mixture of sites and view the responses. Was it offered to any other blogs?

    Most importantly I think the way science is perceived and even valued by society is at stake. Somehow we need to engage in a mature debate about the quality of the science the evidence base for intervention(and yes the cost effectiveness in the presence of many other possible life saving interventions globally on that scale)

    The warmist lobby refuse to allow debate when most sceptics quite obviously want to discuss science not deny it.

    It is obvious scientists are driven by a passion for the subject but climate scientists dont seem to accept we have heard it all before in other fields and its always damaging

    This risks damaging the reputation of the scientific method for decades to come

  17. Scarface says:

    As long as they say that we are looking at 1+1=2 (based on theory) and it’s absolutely obvious that we are looking at 1-1=0 (based on evidence), I don’t think that we can meet halfways.

    And please don’t forget that the warmistas are responsible for the tone of the ‘debate’, since they have burned down other opinions and decided that the ‘debate’ is over.
    So imho the only way to even get it started is to do flying tackles.

    The science of AGW is wrong. There is no common ground. Evidence is everything.

  18. Thank you Dr. Ravetz. You are absolutely correct in saying extremism on any side, of any question, is less then helpful, it is also almost always in error. I can say this as extremes seem to demand absolutes and absolutes in science are essentially non existent. (The only ones I can think of are by definition not measurement.) It is only helpful to the public debate and private ones too, to turn down the rhetoric and turn up respect. It is my experience that if you want respect you have better by offering some in return. You and I may and do disagree about much but we agree about much too. I for one agree with your call for civility and would willingly celebrate the areas of agreement, as the most logical starting point, in any discussion of difference.

    In a number of the essays posted on my blog over the last year, I have examined many of theses same questions. I would like to think I have offered definitive answers. The truth is something less majestic.

    I suspect one fundamental point of agreement that can easily be arrived at is the amorality of science. Since scientific thought has been show to be non priroi and deductive, no discussion of the science can ever have a moral foundation. It can and does have a well defined and articulated ethic. Morals and ethics are not the same.

    Any moral position taken or created from or based on the conclusions of scientific thought are independent of the discipline and hence more political then philosophical.

    We as supposedly rational beings make all kinds of decisions ever hour of every day. Many are anything but logical or rational but many are. As I see it the role of scientific reasoning is to identify exactly whey we are making the decisions or policies. That and offering some hints on how and why things can be done is the best science can contribute to any debate.

  19. Paul Deacon says:

    Dear Dr. Ravetz

    Global Warming/Climate Change is a political movement, not a scientific one. The scientists and other participants in this field will follow political leads and developments, just as they have done to-date.

    Best regards

  20. APACHEWHOKNOWS says:

    Some chance that read above was the longest effort to change the subject I have ever seen or read.

    But you know we Apache, we are so into keeping it simple, “if you want our land and our gold, we will fight you, 350 years if we have to”.
    Now dear sir that was violence.

    What your confronted with is not violence, your only being faced down with facts.

    Your loosing your cool, your not warming.

  21. Claude Harvey says:

    “Blessed are the peacemakers….”

    At the risk of pouring fuel on the fire, I cannot but point out that what should have always been a legitimate scientific disagreement spiraled off into the emotional stratosphere when one side of that disagreement effectively disenfranchised the other side. By deliberately blocking media exposure, funding and professional publishing opportunities from the other side of the debate while holding that side’s legitimate arguments up to public ridicule, wounds were inflicted that will be slow to heal in a real world.

    I must also note that the side of the argument that heretofore had held almost total sway over media access, research funding, world opinion and public policy influence is now losing its exclusive grip on those vital “points of power”. Only now does that side seek “conciliation”.

    I can smile and even “be their pal” in the interest of “getting the civil ship through the night”, but it would be beyond human capacity (and foolish to boot) to forget what they did when they thought they had their opponent down.

  22. Roger Longstaff says:

    I am sorry, but I think that this post is multi-metaphorical mish-mash.

    In my view the whole CAGW fiasco is about the scientific method. Either we follow it like Einstein (explaining the orbit of Mercury and predicting the “bending of starlight”) or we don’t. Everything else is just conversation.

  23. johnb says:

    I guess I haven’t witnessed the violence against climate scientists that this article attempts to correlate with historical non-violence protests. Climate Scientists did not face the daunting challenges of Gandhi, MLK, Nelson Mandela, Einstein, etc… in fighting a power that was willing to and had proven of using force up to and including death.

    How many climate scientists have been physically beaten, lynched, or killed by the likes that opposed MLK, Mandela, Gandhi? Are climate scientists working against a group attempting genocide like Einstein? Are the climate scientists as far out of power as any of the notable names you list or are they running the science arm of the international community?

    I am not sold that an attempt to compare various freedom marches against racist, oppressive regimes is similar to UN climate scientists that may have conspired against FOIA requests, hidden or destroyed data, or actively prevented magazine publications from printing contrarian points of view via the review process. Many of those freedom marches were against armed, well trained opponents whereas that’s not the case with the IPCC.

    If it were me, I’d dump that entire paragraph, 3rd from the bottom, including the line that reads, “We note that none were white men, and none were scientists.” This issue should have less to do with identity politics and more with discovering how scientists can eliminate corruption and cronyism from within their field and return to an open, transparent scientific process. The industry’s worst enemy is not some armed government force, but in fact their inability to police or condemn their own when they cross the line from scientist to activist.

  24. flicka47 says:

    Social “policy” and science should never be mixed.

    Science should be about finding how things work. Social policy is supposed to be what the rest of us do with those facts. Mixing the two only leads to the mis-begotten polices of control of others, not the relevation of truths. The “controllers” are never willing to give up control, no matter how many times their “policies” are shown harmful. If they were then DDT would no longer be banned, nor would an ever growing list of useful products that have enriched the world.

  25. Bernie McCune says:

    It could be useful to have a scientific debate on the fundamentals of atmospheric thermodynamics and principles of CO2 radiation. Most of us who doubt that the world will soon fry look forward to it. But when the warm team refuses to honestly debate and at the same time hides and distorts their data in blind support of what seems to be a political movement that wishes to save the planet from human folly, we wonder how much scientific debate there could really be. And don’t get me wrong, there is plenty of human folly to go around. But, I think we are somewhat reluctant to attempt to engage with zealots. We probably don’t worry so much about the violence as we do the time poorly spent.

    Bernie

  26. JPeden says:

    Well, at least Ravetz’s verbiage hasn’t degenerated further into word salads or talking in tongues, because it seems to be the only tool he’s got.

  27. Onion says:

    . There are always at least two sides to the interpretation of new theories and results.

    No. There is a single theory – that of CAGW

    Hence the climate science debate is one where all the features that make natural science different from sociology, or indeed from politics, are weakened or absent

    Not at all.

    Proponents of CAGW have made specific falsifiable predictions. Hansen predicted that by the year 2000, CO2 would have overwhelmed all other causes of climate variability, with increasing warming effect year on year after that.

    The CAGW fraud will be judged in history the biggest scientific fraud in a century. There is no sense in meeting fraudsters halfway. Anthony’s surfacestations project, the BEST initiative and other scientific attempts to generate reliable transparent observational data – these initiatives are a million times more important than your post-normal attempts to Ghandify warring factions

  28. memory vault says:

    2,599 words to tell us what Dr Ravetz?

    Quote: “This debate has not just been about the science of climate change. It also concerns policy, for reducing the emissions of Carbon Dioxide worldwide. This requires a very large, complex and expensive project. It extends into lifestyles and values, as the transition out of a carbon-based economy will require a change in our ideas of comfort, convenience and the good life.”

    So you are still right and we are still wrong, and we will have a non-“carbon-based economy” with all that entails, based on what was exposed by Climategate as nothing more or less than wholesale fraud, cloaked in the invisibility mantle of “post-modern science” which you once again demonstrate so verbosely?

    Only your side is going to be a bit nicer about how you tell us we are wrong in the future? A bit less name-calling, and a bit more polite discussion over tea and scones?

    Tell it to Professor John Beddington, the UK’s Principal Science Adviser who, only last week equated us climate-change “deniers” with racists and pedophiles.

  29. John from CA says:

    Thanks for the post Dr. Ravetz. Its heart felt and fun related to the pranking with “fire-eating champion” Willis.

    I’ve followed many of the articles on Climate Etc. related to Lisbon and I’m a bit confused.

    I thought very few supporters of the IPCC consensus showed in Lisbon. This lead me to believe that either the supporters are shrinking or they simply don’t wish to engage in a civil scientific debate.

    The purpose of the Lisbon meeting was potentially beneficial. I hope I’m not mis-informed but find it sad the attendance was so lopsided in favor of those who are skeptical of the IPCC consensus.

  30. memory vault says:

    Dr Ravetz,

    I’m not sure why people like you and Dr Judith Curry are still bothering trying to “educate” us “ignorant masses”.

    The nature of weather is cyclical; alternating periods of warming and cooling. Thus it was when I learned of it in high school in the 60’s and thus it remains today. The entire point of the last 20 years of the CAGW “global warming” scam has been to bring us to where are today.

    We now enter a 25 – 30 year cooling period without adequate power generation capacity to stop people freezing; without surplus food capacity to stop people starving, and without surplus investment funds to address these matters in any meaningful way in time to make much difference.

    So millions of people are going to die. Exactly as planned.

    It’s over: your side won. You and Dr Curry and “the Team” should all be off celebrating, not tarrying around here still trying to “educate” us.

  31. cynthialauren says:

    …and as long as we’re talking about engaging in discussion with ‘the other side’, and of COURSE, being ‘non-violent’…

    I pray you guys eventually get this part of the ‘debate’ out into the open.

    But, before you do – we’re gonna need some facts, ’cause you’re Scientists, right?
    We need some ‘statistics’ upon which to rely. So, I’ve gotta ask for some assistance from my ‘brothers of Science’…

    Anybody ‘out there’ a true Scientist Mathematician (methinks Monckton MAY be too busy to indulge me with this one) who will truly DARE to tally the ‘carbon credits’ due America ALONE by the systematic abortion of over 50,000,000 or so, since the year
    1972??? Oh yeah…I understand. To truly get the FACTS, we’d need the price of a unit of CARBON… the cost of the LIFE OF A SOUL. hmmm… methinks my fellow Aussies can get our atheist PM’s ‘team’ to give us the COST in either dollars or rupees, or gold(?) so that we may gather this truthful ‘statistic’ for our global audience..???

    Once ‘the new leader’, Australia (~ or…..Australasia…cute. That’s SO cute! That’s what they’re now calling us) If Australia’s “Greenie”-Bob-‘Brownie’ ~ will give us the ‘cost’ of what a mere ounce of Carbon will cost… just THINK of what the U.S.A. will have ‘due her’…but, we’ll probably have’ta wait till July for that, right? …but, rest assured – they wanna put a ‘price’ on it.

    ~ and of course…’since it follows that we’ve been indoctrinated to believe that it ‘takes a village’ of Hillary’s making…let’s get THAT figure, fellow ‘Scientists’ so that all of us can ‘trade’ America’s TRUE ‘blood diamonds’ for once. Those we’ve ‘traded with’ – those that we’ve ‘culled’ sotospeak – so that we may become border-less in a more ‘expedient’ manner.

    Now, don’t get me wrong on this. ESPECIALLY the ‘Moderator’! (warm smiles)
    I truly believe honest discourse with those being manipulated IS needed. But, we’ve been ‘here’ before with them and ‘we’ Scientists LOST. You guys LOST BIG TIME.

    So, when you go into the debate – make certain EVERYONE gets their ‘facts straight’.

    When you deal with ‘Greenies’ – understand exactly what’s ‘behind them’ – behind their ‘Green Door’, if you will. For, you are truly ‘dancing with the devil, himself’ with that one. But, ‘No biggie’, right? I mean, you’re Scientists, right? But, does that mean that you don’t – or do – believe in him? Are you ‘too much a realist’, to? I hope not.

    For, I have DONE my research, gentlemen. It is he – and he alone – against which we strive. So, I guess fellow scientists/Scientists just need to know on which that they stand and with whom they are asking to thus be engaged.

    Understand that while you ‘engage on these multitudinous fronts’ ~ know that Scientists are the ones that face what’s ‘Behind the Green Door’ and they’ve been there before and LOST big time.

    So, I ask that you do your ‘research’ and ‘google’ that cute little 50’s song (or…do you remember it?) ‘Green Door’. And, then – google over to that ‘oh so cute’ little movie they then made in 1970…JUST in time to get full distribution by the Supreme Court’s ‘landmark decision’ to ‘institute’ the ‘practice’ of ‘reducing Carbon’ within our world.

    Anyone wanna tell me (after your research) what this ‘movement’ we’re up against is REALLY about…? Do you have the guts? I hope so. ‘Cause the Green Movement doesn’t rely on REAL statistics, guys. They do just what I did in 6th grade when I was 6 weeks late with my research paper in ‘Science’ class…

    They MAKE IT ALL UP. They ‘con-coct’ if you will ~ their research. And, as ‘believing ETHICAL Scientists’ you’ve been altogether too naive and have, as a result – been duped – and ALL OF US have suffered.

    Oh……by the way. I got an ‘A’ on my paper – and I was ‘just a kid’, but I learned real quick. All kids do. Manipulation is simple, child’s play – if you will. So… now. Just what ‘grade’ would you give the Greenies thus far…? DO YOUR RESEARCH AND THEN – TELL ‘THE TRUTH’ and we’ll be really getting to the root of all this muck and Science can first apologize and then, regain it’s former stature.

    Sincerely –
    Your (at one time) ‘truly diabolical’ sister in ‘S’cience and in research (of all sorts) of propaganda… Do you say you don’t BELIEVE me? Well, just look at THIS one, guys.

    PRO-PAGAN-DA
    …methinks ‘da’ means ‘yes’ in some languages…? But, me? Me, this ‘scientist’ with a decidedly little ‘s’ thinks of it as “DUH” “NO DUH, HUH?

    PRO-PAGAN-DUH… ’cause I’m jus’ a silly American living on the outback coast…making my fires at night on the beach…’cause I’m still ‘allowed’ to… while methinks you guys need to watch Braveheart again…’cause you’re gonna need one. …nes pa…?

    Cynthia Lauren

  32. Hoi Polloi says:

    Is Prof.Ravetz paid by the word?

  33. Frank Kotler says:

    Dr. Ravetz apparently has a strange definition of “violence”. Even Dr. “Gentle Ben” Santer never actually threatened to beat anybody up. He merely said that he was tempted. No law against being tempted – I do it myself all the time! The nearest we’ve seen to actual violence, as I recall, was the unfortunate, late James Lee – and he didn’t actually hurt anyone (before violence was done to him). Calling people names is not “violence”. Some perspective please, Dr. Ravetz!

    Best,
    Frank

  34. flicka47 says:

    Bob Kutz says:
    February 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm
    in reply to mkelly…

    “But we don’t call them evil. They are (probably) wrong, they are certainly engaged in malfeasance, but I really don’t think their intent is to take over the world and start death camps. If it is, in the immortal words of Paul McCartney “They ain’t gonna make it with anyone, anyhow.””

    Are you so sure of that when it appears the application of their preferred policies would crash the economies of the first world, thereby obliverating the populations of the third? While a lot of the current losses of crops can be blamed on “weather”, these same folks see every raindrop and snowflake as “proving” them right.

    And we just can not wait!! to implement their preferred policies despite the known damages those policies will, not could bring.

    I’m not so sure they don’t qualify as evil.

  35. vigilantfish says:

    Jerome Ravetz says:

    “Also, it was on WUWT that I had the first experience of seeing non-violent communication in the Climategate debate. The circumstances were surprising, for it involved our very own fire-eating champion Willis.

    He was responding to Judith Curry’s posting, where she explained how she had got to where she was then. Of course he loathed her for complicity in the great Warmista fraud, and he despised her for attempting to apologise for her actions rather than crawling to WUWT in full contrition. But he had to admit that he respected and admired her for guts in doing a Daniel act, and facing the lions like himself. At that point, non-violence in the climate debate was born. For Willis had realised that bad people are not necessarily all bad. There might even be some purpose in talking to them! From that point on, WUWT could take the lead in enforcing civility in the debate, and I am very pleased to see how the principle has spread all across the lines.”

    ————–

    Two problems with these paragraphs:

    1) ‘Non-violent communication’ desperately needs to be defined. A few examples of ‘violent’ communication might help. Is vehemence in expression considered violent? Or are you talking about actual threats (or cases) of physical harm or worse?

    2) Sorry, but I find the tone rather condescending – pretty sure that Mr. Eschenbach already knew that ‘bad people are not necessarily all bad’ as his intellectual strength is understanding and getting to the heart of nuance, and exposing the BS. I find the references to ‘our Willis’ also disturbing and condescending – perhaps a fair phrase for Anthony to use, but I would not use it on this website.

    Once you get into the meat of the discussions at the Lisbon conference, the tone improves, but here by stating the entire argument in terms of Arrhenius’s ‘greenhouse gas’ theory and the evidence at Mauna Loa, you ignore decades of subsequent evidence. Skeptical scientists both professional and ‘amateur’ (I include Anthony in this description) have identified the chief problem facing the science as a question of the sensitivity of the earth’s climate to increased CO2 levels, and the many, many avenues of uncertainty. Both sides have used historical trends, but a major point of contention is distrust of how the data is manipulated, both in terms of the historical record and in terms of repeated evidence of statistical naivety on the part of climate scientists, as has been famously exposed by Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick, and just today here at WUWT by Willis Eschenbach.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/20/nature-unleashes-a-flood-of-bad-science/
    (I won’t even comment on the abundant evidence for outright fraud by some practitioners.) It still seems to me that climate scientists need to put their own house in order and actively seek to engage in science with a more neutral stance (asking ‘is there any evidence for this’ rather than stating ‘We know this is happening, and this latest studies supplies the needed evidence’) before any talk of a compromise. It the goal of Lisbon is to open minds on the ‘warmist’ side, then more power to it. Otherwise, the history of scientific ‘mistakes’ pretty much sides with the stance taken by the skeptics as being the right stance.

  36. Well, I can’t forbear to weigh in here, and many readers will know my views from previous comments and my post about Dr Ravetz and his unhelpful influences on science just before Climategate broke:

    http://buythetruth.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/climate-change-and-the-death-of-science/

    There have always been disagreements in science, often quite healthy. The problem with Climategate and the rancour that there is in climate science is to a degree the responsibility of Jerome Ravetz who infused the concept of values into science, and blurred the lines between science and policy.

    Instead of scientists being able to get on with science without taking on social and political stances, we now have advocacy groups lobbying governments which direct massive funding in certain directions, and scientists like the late Stephen Schneider and James Hansen getting involved in social activism. Scientists become celebrities (and very wealthy) for espousing certain social causes, or heretics because the evidence leads them to a different view. The rancour and bitterness, the corruption and tribalism, the lies and distortions and the politics is to a large degree the product of post-normal science, thanks to Dr Ravetz.

    Don’t forget that, to a large extent, Dr Ravetz life work has been the study of the social consequences of scientific knowledge and the influence of social and political factors on the production of scientific knowledge. With his 1971 work ‘Scientific Knowledge and its Social Problems’ Ravetz entangled science with social action, making it a social practice, so that what happens in science depends on political, financial and value-laden activities. Had this been remained a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ anthropological and sociological study I would not have had any beef with it. But, perhaps because of his Communist and neo-Marxist roots, he just couldn’t help himself and got himself knee-deep in the very thing behaviour he was supposed to be studying and became a proponent of post-normal science, which has been swallowed hook line and sinker by the climate science community and the IPCC.

    To give an example from a completely different field: theologians have always had disputes, but when theologians or church ministers start getting involved in social activism and politics, and when money flows to theologians to hatch new brands of theology, such as pro-Marxist Liberation Theology, then theology and the church suffer terribly. It can destroy religion, churches, countries, civilizations and lead to the most bitter family, civil and international wars.

    Jerome Ravetz reminds me of that college prankster, that undergraduate who sees the road being dug up by some young strapping labourers and he tells them that there will be some policemen arriving shortly who are actually students in costume; then he goes to the police station and informs them that there are some students posing as workmen digging up the road in the city centre. He then sits in the cafe with an excellent view watching first the war of words, and then the very bloody punch up.

    Now in his dotage, Jerome Ravetz doesn’t like watching the ugly spectacle any more, but is not prepared to take responsibility for setting up the situation. I hold him heavily responsible, and the kind of drivel in this post by no means gets him off the hook.

  37. RiHo08 says:

    A core group of climate scientists control the foundational data upon which other climate scientists rely. If that foundational data, temperature data, reconstruction of ancient times, is faulty, or worse, it has been actively skewed, then the thinking based on the assumptions of that foundational data are also in question. This is a matter of infidelity in the climate community. Trust is just one part. Incredulity, hurt, self-recriminations (“how could I be so stupid as not to see?”), self-indentity can and probably should be in question. These aftermaths require a “rethink”; where do I go from here. Reconciliation is not that easy, nor maybe even desirable. Disassociation from the group, divorce, may be what is called for. Divorce leaves a bitterness that is long lasting and “moving on” is dependent upon how intense was the initial relationship and how dependent one is after everything is all said and done. I don’t see the affairs of climate science, amongst its practitioners at least, as any different than a failed relationship. I don’t see any resolution, rather, a redefinition of that relationship is needed. The BEST study out of UC Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore Labs as an attempt to establish an alternative foundational data base, which I my estimation, is a good thing. A Quaker viewpoint, spends too much time trying to figure the opponent out in the “non-confrontational motif” to be universally applied. Leaving the perpetrator of bad faith/science by the wayside means initially more work for ones-self, but opens more degrees of freedom in which to operate. Casting a jaundice eye at any attempts at reconciliation is healthy and necessary for self-preservation.

  38. Rainer S says:

    Vandana Shiva?
    The lady with the “interesting” beliefs about GM crops?
    One can be “non-violent” and still cause harm.

  39. Bruce King says:

    I must disagree that their intent is not to take over the world. The entire CO2
    “demonization” was to cause the “industrial society to collapse”This is not an indictment of all AGW believers. Every religion has its fringe extreme cults and
    AGW is no exception. Following the “money trail”is a broad well defined path. We
    have had systematic destruction of our most plentiful energy sources. Seems we have an untrustworthy administration. To weaken this country? Such objectives are unlikely to be easily dropped. As one activist said, “The agenda is not the agenda”

  40. xyzlatin says:

    As a result of the AGW hypothesis and its misuse, I and many others are finding it hard to make ends meet with increasing power costs. Increasing numbers of people in the UK are actually switching off and going back to candles and burning lumps of coal for heating. In Australia, prices are predicted to double in the next few years.
    In view of the hands reaching into my pocket for my money, I retain the right to protest and examine the hypothesis. I do, and I pronounce it wanting and unproven.
    The policies have to be defeated completely. Consensus or agreement means each side gives up half. Sorry, but the battle has begun by the AGW political crowd, and now there is only a winner and a loser.

  41. Prof Michael Hulme, though a nice guy in some ways, is not a scientist but a geographer. He admitted publically in a lecture at Cambridge I attended late last year that he didn’t know if there was any AGW, but then spoiled it all using the precautionary ‘principle’. He spent most of his lecture classifying the audience into types using psychobabble – a technique I gather he used in his book, “Why we disagree about Climate”. So when objectors raised questions later the audience could then put them in the psychological box he had constructed for them. A neat trick.

  42. tallbloke says:

    Tom Eyre says:
    February 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm
    Reconciliation is probably not the correct word, perhaps Professional Moderation would be better.

    That’s pretty much right. And is more or less what we got at Lisbon. As one of the organisers put it:

    “We are not here to force a compromise. We are here to provide a space where the fight can take place in civility.”

  43. Kev-in-Uk says:

    I’m with the various commenters who advise caution and distrust. Whilst I accept that those in Lisbon were perhaps the lesser of the ‘evil’ protagonists of the pro-AGW debate, as has been said, the fact THEY want to be civil is somewhat disconcerting!

    Personally, I think it is the start of a gradual backtracking exercise and diversion of attention by those who actually KNOW the things that have gone on in the climate debate and wish to be more detached.

    However, no amount of kissing and cuddling will make up for the lost time, effort and wasted public money over the last years – and nor will it make up for the genuine and widely felt damage to science in general.

    As has been said, respect to an honourable adversary is fair enough – but the upper echelon of the climate group are not worthy of any respect for the promulgation of the various falsities. They were not just wrong – they were deliberately wrong and intentionally evasive of proper review. Even today – is/are all their methods, data and code available? No? – I didn’t think so.

    The whole thing needs to be turned on its head – with the upper echelon reduced to the ordinary rank and file, preferably demoted to mere Tea-boys/girls until the mess THEY created is sorted out. Maybe when they can write a method statement out for a cup of tea, they could re-learn how to keep proper scientific records! LOL

    Having said all that – I am keen for the dialogue to commence, but only with reasonable people and only on the basis that it isn’t ‘censored’ by the current high priests (be they the Team or the IPCC or whatever)!

    Like the various ‘rebellions’ happening today – with people demanding a fair hearing – this is exactly what is needed in the climate science field.

  44. BenfromMO says:

    I will just say this about reconciliation…

    I have no problems forgiving the “wrecking of science” but that does not mean I think they should still hold onto their jobs. Its one of those, “first time shame on you, second time, shame on me” type of things where yes, you can forgive, move on and be civil, but never again should you be trusted with science of any type.

    Now I do think that it was a valid theory until we got the data from oceans and atmospheric studies which showed the tenants of the theory to be wrong, in which case instead of stone-walling and otherwise being belligerant they should have admitted their theory does not hold water. The debate is indeed over, and has been for roughly 7 years (or more depending on how sure you wanted to be on the data.)

    The number one problem I have is that instead of invalidating the null hypothesis from the start, they instead used models to predict what they thought was the true model of the climate, and have been shown to be wrong.

    So in other words, the issue is really two-fold in that regard..

    Some of the scientists may have just been doing their job, and assumed that other scientists were correct in their science. In that case, I could possibly be happy with them keeping their jobs, but the over-riding concern is that with these scientists still mucking around with bad science, nothing is safe scientifically speaking until they realize the error of their ways and actually change their beliefs as far as science goes.

    Its a two-pronged sword, it might be a little severe, but not once did I mention jail time or anything of that sort. I just think its wrong to assume that the same people could not be victims of this observer bias to such an extent again…so the big pushers so to speak should be sacked and never again hold a position in science.

  45. oakgeo says:

    I don’t think that blogosphere rhetoric and anonymous internet vitriol are what Ghandi, King and Mandela had in mind. I’m pretty sure that they were worried about bombings, murder and genocide, i.e. forms of real violence.

    Non-violence in climate science debate is already normal, so what would post-normal non-violence be? I get the feeling that this is just another attempt to reframe the question, to make CAGW scepticism into more of a sociological phenomenon rather than a scientific perspective. Being given equal billing in a “non-violence in climate science workshop” is not the same as being given equal respect in journals, blogs, the MSM and in political circles.

    So CAGW proponents and sceptics come together in a show of non-violent accord… well, then what? Will there be an embrace of sceptical scientists? Will the peer-review system be fixed? Will the poor predictive capabilities of climate models be addressed, or even acknowledged? Will the suspect surface station data be reviewed? I suspect that the diversion of “non-violence workshops” and their ilk will be touted by CAGW proponents as proof that sceptics are being included, but in reality we will continue to be marginalized or ignored.

    Although I believe that Dr. Ravetz is a sincere man and genuinely engaged in the pursuit of understanding and reconciliation, I also believe that this non-violence in science issue will end up being another post-normal diversion in the guise or progressiveness.

  46. Sam Hall says:

    Bob Kutz

    If the Warmists get their way, millions in the third world are going to die. I call that just as evil as Stalin causing a famine.

  47. johanna says:

    We are familiar, by now, with the use of reconciliation and non-violence to resolve intractable disputes in the political sphere. Indeed, it is now generally accepted that this is the only way to achieve a lasting and just settlement in conflicts between peoples. It worked in South Africa and in Northern Ireland, and noone with standing in the international community argues for a different approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict. But science? What possible relevance could this approach have to science?
    —————————————————————–
    That, Dr Ravetz, is the $64,000 question. And the answer is – none.

    It is the conflation of science and politics/ideology that got us into this mess in the first place.

    WUWT is a living tribute to the notion of polite and respectful debate about science, and of course that is the appropriate way to go about things. But whereas politics is about compromise (in democracies anyway), science is the opposite. Science is not advanced by splitting the difference between competing theories, or having a group hug. It is not about having splendid personal attributes either.

    I am sure that no sensible person objects to depersonalising discussions about science. But, I am very sure that those who have been vilified, misrepresented and had their careers sabotaged for the heinous crime of disagreeing with those who are currently in charge of what is erroneously called ‘the science’ have good reason to be feeling less than conciliatory. Jewish scientists who are called ‘deniers’ have every right to be furious, for example.

    Still, personal feelings do not overshadow the real issue, which is perversion of the scientific method.

  48. wsbriggs says:

    I dislike the term violence used do describe vehement disagreement. This is NewSpeak at it’s best. After all, most of us are totally opposed to the initiation of violence. The very term causes a certain unease. Note that I said initiation of violence, I am not a pacifist, and I will respond to violent acts with appropriate force.

    Continued piecewise destruction of the vocabulary benefits those who can not tolerate clear, non-ambiguous definitions, and identification. The decline in the quality of the social interaction in the world, has followed closely the decline in the quality and clarity of speech.

    I shall continue to believe that Prof. Ravetz is playing a verbal shell game.

  49. Brian H says:

    Barry W;
    I larn yez and and I larn yiz, but yiz never larns: there ain’t no sich werd as “deniars”. It be “deniers”. Honest Injun!

    Hi, Joe! Thread-bombing again, I see.

    Jerome’s path: The UN Board Of Science Quality Adjudication? Thanks, but no thanks.

  50. jack morrow says:

    Ii tried to reply to this post and finally realized my reply to it would be as stupid as the post so this.

  51. Latitude says:

    Dr. Ravetz, with what we know now about the science of climate change..
    …you have left everyone with only two choices.

    You either believe that the are stupid..

    …or you believe they are smart

    If they are stupid, they actually believe that science in spite of the evidence against it.

    If they are smart, they are liars, crooks, and thieves.

    I find it hard to believe they are stupid.

  52. Geoff Sherrington says:

    Dr Ravetz,

    You drop in now with talk of violence. This is a straw man. Think logic, not violence.

    The discussion is about the proper application of science, the procedural stages of which are well known and have been for years.

    I do find abundant illogic among the mainstram climatologists. Their choice of CO2 as a whipping boy on evidence still to be presented will perhaps make the annals of science history, but as example of how to do harm. One of the main departures from acceptability is the presistent, unscientific downplay of accuracy & precision.

  53. Pamela Gray says:

    Talk about being called bad when I think I am pretty nice, I know how that feels. I’m a teacher. Nuf said about that.

    It may not be the people who should be called bad. But certainly the effort to 1) hide raw data and methods, and 2) stifle the debate by gate-keeping journal submissions needs to be called bad, and consequented if necessary.

  54. polistra says:

    [snip] Good to see you again, glad you’re still up to your old wiles and ways.

  55. CRS, Dr.P.H. says:

    Thank you, Dr. Ravetz. You touch upon a very fundamental problem of “climate science,” namely, application of the scientific method to changes as vast as we observe in a planetary system.

    How does one perform a case/control study with an entire planet? Well, you cannot. Therefore, climate science is built upon proxies, models, extrapolations, projections, and other very “soft” sciences, and not on experimentation.

    Post-Climategate, we now know that the models have not properly accounted for the effects of clouds (Dr. Joel Norris’ presentation to Fermilab, “Cloud Feedbacks On Climate: A Challenging Scientific Problem,” 12 May, 2010), IR saturation, heat storage in the oceans, etc.

    The whole effort needs to be scrapped, and if there is interest, re-started to investigate IF the climate is even changing due to man’s influence! I’m not sure how much of the existing database is useful, considering all of the corruption it has undergone. I used to believe in that stuff, before Climategate & some serious reconsideration.

  56. Rob Z says:

    Most would argue the time for reconciliation has passed. That time ended with the proclamation that the science has been settled. The scientific trust of their colleagues has been destroyed. NO scientist would EVER say such a thing in light of the evidence. Perhaps Dr. Ravetz could regale us with the times he routinely talk about his data treatment in terms of “tricks” he used to “hide” the faults. That the leading “warmistas” are morally and scientifically bankrupt in addition to being corrupt is not an accusation but a proven fact. How hard would you fight to cover your errors?? To keep your status?? To keep your funding??? To keep the lie alive???!!!!

    Dr. Ravetz, violent behavior is not limited to your definition. Tell us again that less CO2 is good for the starving poor of the world. A carbon tax is not only a wealth distribution technique (primarily going to governments) but a control mechanism to decide who lives or dies. Cancun, 2010 has shown us it’s all about money and control.

    The “warmistas” greatest fear is that they will be (more like they are) the laughing stocks of the scientific world. Along with this, these “scientists” are so afraid that they won’t be able to get a job doing anything else. Have pity on those poor souls for they do not understand the nature of a scientific degree. This is why Steig is fighting so hard. It’s not for science..it’s for his image. Imagine another framed Nature cover, hanging on the wall outside an office, becoming a plaque of shame. Science has no place for practitioners that cannot admit their errors nor celebrate a colleagues triumph. I will say this: The purveyors of puke have been repeatedly warned. The scientific community is moving along without them. Regardless of who’s right or wrong, the debate with the “warmistas” is over. I have no time for liars, cheats and thieves.

  57. Dan in California says:

    “The first of these is the original model of a ‘greenhouse’ earth made by the Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius in 1896. And the second is a remarkable set of readings of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, taken on top of the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa, showing a steady rise from their inception in the 1950’s. Nothing could be more convincing than that combination, except to those who do not wish to be convinced.”
    ——————————————————————————-
    Arrhenius explained what is known as the “Greenhouse Effect”. This does not automatically mean that the human race is required to not create greenhouse gasses. A thinking person can show that the increasing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has little effect because there is already enough CO2 to absorb all outgoing infrared in that band. More CO2 just lowers the altitude at which that happens.

    It is easy to show the atmospheric concentration during the geologic past, in the Paleozoic era, when 10 times the current CO2 concentration corresponded with an ice age. This, in my opinion, shows just as clearly that: “Nothing could be more convincing than that combination, except to those who do not wish to be convinced.”, to use Dr Ravetz’ words.

    Also, skepticism is not “the other side” of an argument. It seems all science includes skepticism except climate science. The burden of proof before enacting political and financial controls is for climate science to show there is a problem.

  58. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    I’d ask people to go easy on Dr Ravetz.

    In my simplistic view, ‘post normal science’ is part of getting science to climb out of it’s ivory tower and understand the way the world really works. So making the best decisions we can based on uncertainty. The value of PNS is how best to communicate that uncertainty at the policy interface, along with best practice in conflict resolution.

    One thing I think that is sometimes forgotten is that science is adversarial. The best example is probably the viva voce process where PhD candidates are expected to defend their beliefs to a hostile (or sceptical) panel. That’s adversarial and gets candidates to defend their work. If they can’t, then perhaps they have no business being in science, or business. Yet for some reason, climate science seems to have forgotten this process of testing faith, and instead calls for unquestioned belief in ‘peer review’, or opinion from duly appointed or annointed ‘climate scientists’, who may have studied a whole variety of differing disciplines. That isn’t PNS, or science, it’s just PR. Personally I think PNS has value in how to deal with conflict situations where there is conflicting information and opinion, but it absolutely does not and cannot mean climate scientists can ignore the basics of science, or the scientific method. If scientists try that, then they just lose more credibility.

  59. Werner Brozek says:

    “Scarface says:
    February 21, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    The science of AGW is wrong. There is no common ground. Evidence is everything.”

    I agree with the above. However there may be common ground on what to do about it. In our province, there are plans to spend 2 billion dollars on carbon capture over the next few years. I am totally against this and have had several letters to the editor of our paper published over the last 15 months expressing this point of view in one way or another. However easily accessible sources of energy are running low and pollution is associated with tar sands, etc. In my opinion, there are much better and more helpful ways to reduce CO2 emissions into the air than to throw two billion dollars into the ground on carbon capture. Examples would be expanding rapid transit, helping homeowners buy more insulation to reduce heating bills, encouraging flextime so the main streets are not clogged up at 4:30 when everyone seems to be leaving work, etc.
    So while people may totally disagree on AGW, people would likely agree that reducing heating bills or wait times in traffic would benefit all, regardless what your views are on CO2.

  60. Chris D. says:

    Is this our same Willis “Kill the IPCC and go jump in the lake if you don’t like that language” Eschenbach that you’re referring to? Yes, civility in the climate debate.

  61. Coldfinger says:

    The interesting thing about the Mauna Loa record, mentioned by Ravetz as supporting the CAGW case, is that it actually shows CO2 pp variation results from temperature variation, rather than causing it. Don’t take my word for it, go look. See those annual peaks and troughs on the line? Summer and winter.

  62. Mark Twang says:

    I would like to point out that the danger of scientists engaging in violence – aside from certifiable nuts like the Unabomber – is minimal.

    Not minimal is the danger of people taking messages like “we (they) are killing the polar bears” and acting on them.

    When you define human activity in the aggregate as the thing that is endangering life on this planet, it is but a small step to identifying those groups of humans who are at fault and taking violent action against them.

    People like Monbiot who opine that flying across the Atlantic is now the moral equivalent of pedophilia may never do anything about it themselves, except to continue to fly across the Atlantic to promote this view. But it is not difficult to imagine someone a little more crazed and a little less restrained doing something horrible.

    My own skepticism has always been toward the idea that a doomsday scenario about what might happen fifty or a hundred years down the road can motivate people to change what they’re doing today. Given that reality, and the frustration of hard-core environmental doomists at the lack of what they would see as an appropriate response, it is not hard to see how some people might decide that the thing to do is blow up a few airplanes or power plants or corporate offices to drive home the point.

    We’ve already seen this in the case of the Discovery Channel loon, who was perfectly willing to kill people for the sake of “the froggies”. That he didn’t do so before getting killed himself was not down to him.

  63. Theo Goodwin says:

    You can deny each of Ravetz’s sentences and I will affirm that. However, to be of some use to this forum, let me select one of them:

    “And so when a scientist finds him- or herself convinced of the truth of a particular theory, they have no framework for treating their erring opponent with respect.”

    Go to Amazon on the following link:

    Buy the book. If you are interested in scientific method, you will never regret it. However, it is not for the faint of heart. Read the essay that has the same name as the title. You will see that Quine is working on the problem of how to deal with two “total physical theories of everything” that are logically incompatible but empirically equivalent. How could you give more respect to your opponent than to recognize that your conflicting theories of everything are empirically equivalent? Quine first posed this problem in the first or second Chapter of his masterpiece “Word and Object” (1960). In other words, Ravetz is really quite ignorant of the most important studies on scientific method, the studies that have dominated the last 60 years. While Quine was active, at least into the Nineties, he was recognized the world over as the most important philosopher of the second half of the twentieth century.

    As regards scientific method, the problem with the Warmista is that either they are ignorant of scientific method, like Ravetz, or else they understand it but refuse to discuss it because they know that their own so-called science has never existed within the bounds of scientific method. I cannot ascertain that Warmista understand what a physical hypothesis is. They surely do not work with them. (They work with hunches but they are furious if someone says so.) This matter of the need for physical hypotheses that can explain forcings is explained to the satisfaction of everyone, scientist or not, in Roy Spencer’s “The Great Global Warming Blunder.” I would really like to see Ravetz address Spencer’s main thesis. I do not believe that Ravetz has even a basic understanding of what Spencer says. Yet Spencer’s book should be the starting point for all discussions of forcings at this time.

    Once you have read Quine, then you can take up Wolfgang Stegmuller and, much better, Isaac Levi.

    Finally, Ravetz’s description of Willis Eschenbach strikes me as complete and total projection. I am not aware of any hostility shown by Willis to the sainted Judith. He might have said things such as “Would you please address this question about whatever?” But that is as rough as he got.

  64. Ron House says:

    I got a lot of “When did you stop beating your wife?” vibe from this article. Frankly, I think it is a bit rich. To start: What violence? The violence is all advocated from the alarmist side: 10:10 videos, calls for “deniers” and now even “heretics” to be tried for crimes against humanity, and so on. The add actual non-physical violence: sackings, refusal to hire, refusal to fund legitimate research, the assault upon people by confiscating their money (the basis of their life quality) based on a dishonest theory, attempting to reduce CO2 and thereby reduce food supply, using biofuels to send food costs out of reach of the poorest, these things fit my definition of violence: force to cause damage or compel others to cause damage to themselves. Physical violence is when the force is physical: armed power, fists, etc. Nonphysical violence is when the force is verbal threats, intimidation, committee decisions, etc.

    Now can Dr Ravetz define his use of the word “violence”? It seems to amount to little more than hearing words he doesn’t like. Well no amount of mere insults or swearing counts as violence in my book. Nasty behaviour provokes nasty reactions, that’s almost a law of human behaviour. His alarmist cronies have behaved with the utmost nastiness and dishonesty, attempting to wreck lives of those who disagree with them, etc. – i.e. real violence. And now the chickens have come home to roost, they are trying to deflect the righteous anger that now exists towards them by mislabelling it violence. That in itself is defamatory against those they apply it to. In short, as soon as the consequences of their own evil acts become apparent, they bung a tinfoil halo on their heads and tut-tut the bad attitudes of those whom they have attacked. Pure hypocrisy. No amount of contempt for Ravetz can equal what he deserves.

    The there is the fact that we are being hectored here by a scientific ignoramus. He writes:

    When we come to the climate, there are indeed two classic, simple experiences that for some are as conclusive as Eddington’s observation of the planet Mercury and of the light from the star in the Hyades cluster. The first of these is the original model of a ‘greenhouse’ earth made by the Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius in 1896. And the second is a remarkable set of readings of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, taken on top of the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa, showing a steady rise from their inception in the 1950’s. Nothing could be more convincing than that combination, except to those who do not wish to be convinced.

    Well let’s see: The precession of Mercury: The above is historically wrong, the anomalous precession was long-known, probably even before Eddington was a toddler. But that aside, Relativity made a clear, numerical prediction about the rate of precession of the perihelion of Mercury, and the facts fitted. Although people don’t understand this concept since Popper’s erroneous theory of science, that is a confirmation of the theory (

  65. Ron House says:

    OOPS, previous comment posted itself before I finished writing it. Continued:

    the confirmation is not a proof, but it is evidence in favour of the theory.
    So how does that stack up against Ravetz’s examples?

    A model of a greenhouse earth is a theory. That thing to the left of this sentence is a full stop, or “period” for you Americans. We liken that to relativity. But where is the observation that corresponds to the anomalous precession of Mercury’s perihelion? Dr Ravetz? Huh? And the “second”? A series of observations showing CO2 rising. That’s another full stop there. Where is the connection to anything contained in Arrhenius’ theory in that bare observation? Dr Ravetz, you are convinced by that? Go and learn some science. You are too drop-dead ignorant to be wasting our time here.

  66. bob says:

    I don’t see how science or scientific views can be negotiated. As a matter of fact, that cannot happen and science be meaningful .

    Of course, the real solution is for scientists of all stripes to acquire some manners. Yep, it even makes sense to invoke rules in scientific discussions like Robert’s Rules of Order.

    On the other hand, how can you expect manners or observance of rules when some scientists will not show their work or data? I thought that was rule #1.

  67. jmrSudbury says:

    > “The ‘skeptics’ or ‘deniers’ are dismissed as either working for outside interests, industrial or ideological, or being grossly incompetent as scientists. In short, as being either prostitutes or cranks.”

    I think you got that one backwards. It is the alarmists by seeking grants from politicians, who are bolstered by oil companies looking for cap and trade, who are working for outside interests, industrial or ideological, or being grossly incompetent as scientists (poor statistical methods, cherry picking data, hiding the decline).

    > “Nothing could be more convincing than that combination, except to those who do not wish to be convinced.”

    It is the job of the scientist to question everything. It should be in their nature to not wish to be convinced.

    > “Students of science never see a failed experiment or a mistaken theory; for them it is success and truth all the way”

    Then they are not acting like scientists. You, like the alarmists in general, are taking the debate too far. It is science and should not need to get into morals. That is what politics are for. Global warming is not an ordinary debate because some have chosen to follow the political route way too early in the debate. It is these politics that give rise to the bitterness which is a lack of objectivity.

    John M Reynolds

  68. Theo Goodwin says:

    The quality of comments on this forum is amazingly high. The trolls can get no traction at all.

    Kudos to all y’all commentators and even more kudos to Anthony.

  69. Pamela Gray says:

    Atomic Hairdryer, God forbid we ever “return” to post-normal science. There is nothing new under the Sun and this is one of them. Specious cause and effect warnings from “what if” models are the cauldron stew and divinations of Salem Witch trial lore when not tied unmercifully and unemotionally to the gold standard of observations, plausible mechanisms, and mathematical proofs.

  70. Sean Peake says:

    With all due respect and civility, I have neither time nor patience for this post-normal scientist.

  71. Martin457 says:

    I don’t care. When people sink as low as Hansen, I will consider them trash. Although I will probably not be allowed to say what I think of this sub-human anti-humanity person, I’ll still read along.

  72. Pops says:

    Is truth extreme?

  73. old engineer says:

    I must admit, I am astonished at the vehemence and anger directed at someone who is merely suggesting that more could be gained by talking WITH one’s adversaries than AT them.

    He has presented some examples from the political world that have worked. He says he thinks it is worth a try in the science arena as well, particularly with the current arguments about global warming.

    Before criticizing his views, my suggestion is to learn something about non-violent communications. I suggest the book “Nonviolent Communication, A Language of Life” by Marshall B. Rosenberg, Ph.D; ISBN 1-892005-03-4; Pudddle Dancer Press,2003. It certainly changed my ideas about how to communicate with others.

    Thank You Dr. Ravetz for your efforts. As you can see from the comments to your post, convincing people that non-violent communications is the way to move forward, is as hard as convincing the alarmists that there should be discussions about their conclusions.

  74. Doug in Seattle says:

    The debate in my mind is between those who would use science to control and those who see science as a path to truth.

    I did not find this theme is Dr. Ravetz’s experiment. I saw that his experiment was more about dialogue than truth, he having already (it appeared) decided that CO2=Chaos was the truth.

  75. David Davidovics says:

    That was a long read….

    It seems to me that he is almost praying for the salvation of his institution. As some one with a sharp head and lots of life in front of me, I sometimes wonder if a carrier in the sciences would be fulfilling. I might even be able to undo some of the damage done by the the warmists – then reality comes knocking. Frankly, I don’t think I want to be associated with scientists anymore.

    I agree that it was once believed that science could save the world and scientists would do the saving but its not a graceful fall when you realize you cannot walk on water and there is no one to blame but yourself. Non violence and science have their place, but so does humility.

  76. Phil's Dad says:

    “My principle has always been that you don’t know what the other person is going through..” quoth he.

    And yet he seems to know so much of the very thoughts of “our very own fire-eating champion Willis.

    “Of course he loathed her… despised her … . But he had to admit … For Willis had realised… etc etc.”

    Dr. Ravetz has yet to bridge the gulf, it seems, between an achademic understanding of his subject and putting it into practice.

  77. Brian H says:

    #
    BenfromMO says:
    February 21, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    If they benefited from betraying the tenets of science, they deserve to become tenants of the Big House.

    wsbriggs says:
    February 21, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Yes, I’m pushing for PNS to stand for Political Newspeak Science.

    Geoff Sherrington says:
    February 21, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Yes, amusing to hear the projections of the lot who thought 10:10’s “No Pressure” vid would be a hoot. You know, if that video had been produced by a skeptic trying to satirize the intolerance and love of brain-washing of the Believers, it would have served the purpose just fine. Of course, it would have drawn howls of outrage about the calumny of accusing them of wanting to detonate dis-Believing children!
    What a farrago of phantasies and falsehoods they wallow in.

  78. Mark Twang says:

    One of the proposed “solutions” for the proposed “problem” of AGW is the notion that we should all start paying the “true cost” for our stuff. I read somewhere that by one definition of true cost, the price of a new car would rise by an average of $40,000.

    This “idea”, if such it can be called, has now spread around the idiotosphere to the point where even a friend of mine who has otherwise got very little interest in economics or science (except for the belief that if something is called “for the environment”, it must be good) has latched onto it as a way to save the planet.

    Unfortunately he also has very little in the way of income, with two children and a wife to support. When I pointed out to him that any rise in the price of fuel energy inevitably raises the price of everything else, he defaulted to the idea that it would all be run by a wise government that would allow people like him to pay little or nothing more than currently, while socking everybody else for their “fair share”.

    My proposal to all the people who think “true cost” economics is a great idea is simple: You first.

    It should be a trivial matter to set up formulæ for reckoning the “true cost” of your box of Wheaties. And it would be simple to create a website where you could plug in all your purchases and be presented with the “true cost” tab. And of course all those people who want to see the government take over every single aspect of the economy and dictate prices for everything we buy ought to jump at the chance to voluntarily pay the premium, thus setting an example for the rest of us.

    My only question is, how long should I hold my breath?

  79. George Steiner says:

    And Jerome Ravetz can make a living from this?

  80. WillR says:

    tallbloke says:
    February 21, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    Tom Eyre says:
    February 21, 2011 at 1:45 pm
    Reconciliation is probably not the correct word, perhaps Professional Moderation would be better.

    That’s pretty much right. And is more or less what we got at Lisbon. As one of the organisers put it:

    “We are not here to force a compromise. We are here to provide a space where the fight can take place in civility.”

    I can live with that objective. But, kissing Mann and making up is not in the cards. The battles are tiresome and the bad science is tiresome. It’s unfortunate that this will carry on — maybe even for quite some time — there may still be a long road to go before even civility takes hold.

    Carry on then. ;-)

  81. Brian H says:

    Atomic Hairdryer says:
    February 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Going easy would be easier if PNS didn’t come with SO much poli-sci baggage. The bottom line is that if the facts are questionable, and the analysis is dubious, and the data accumulation is a long-term project, then society and politicians are just going to have to deal with it. C’est la vie, as they say. It is not the job of science or scientists to make a WAG cartoon for guidance of the worried and befuddled.

    As for PhD challenges and such, it should be noted that there is no such thing as an academic discipline called climate science. If the claims of certain Jackasses of All Sciences, Masters of None are to be believed, they’ve generated one out of DIY scraps and snippets, meanwhile aggressively excluding real experts in pertinent real sciences and fields, notably statistics and atmospheric thermodynamics, modeling and forecasting. Here’s a/the question: what does/will it take for this potential field to become an actual distinct subject and discipline? A lot more than EAU, CRU, Mann, and Hansen have offered to date, methinks.

  82. Brian H says:

    Bob Kutz says:
    February 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    mkelly says:

    They’ve simply been subverted by their desire to see their pet theory prevail. Unfortunately, they have gotten to the point where they would rather destroy their detractors than see their own theory fail.

    Nope, not so. They’re also intimately involved with an aggressive campaign to push, as Lindzen said, “a roll-back of the industrial age”. Kurzweil’s attempt to apply Moore’s Law and project cheap-enough-to-afford solar power in a decade or two, e.g., doesn’t cut it. The analogy is weak, and in any case the stalling of hydrocarbon energy and the explosion (currently at an all-time peak) of food prices is already mass-murderously criminal in broad swathes of the planet.

    This is not about scientific decorum any more, and probably never was.

  83. Forrest Gump says:

    Non-violent is as non-violent does.

  84. interested non scientist says:

    Without strong persistent intellectual dissent, it would of all been one way traffic for the Government funded warmists in presenting their unfounded conclusions as fact.
    They have had limitless support of Govt’s, and the mainstream media and have attempted to silence opposing voices in the scientific community. Their attempt to pass of their hypothesis as absolute truth has been nothing short of scandalously fraudulent.

    If they really want to reconcile then they should put their propoganda machine on hold for a little bit (1 month max) as they have been blaring their incessant alarmism for at least 15 years now and give proper voice to proper sceptical scientists to air their views before engaging them in debate.

    Also the onus should be on the warmists side to prove their theory…no reversal of the null hypothesis.

    An outline of the economic and social impacts of their Global scheme should also be made available to scrutiny and the implications for national sovereignty and proper democratic representation with regard to their plans global taxes should be publicly exposed.

    http://www.un.org/wcm/content/site/climatechange/pages/financeadvisorygroup/pid/13300

    This could also be debated by political commentators and economists.

    So I guess it comes down to this…Trust the public with the truth and if they are still of the opinion that political solutions need to be implemented then they will trust the politicians with the solution because of their honesty and transparency.

    I’m sure either way that commonsense would prevail in an environment of honesty and openness.

    This should be the basis for any future reconciliation

  85. Dave Worley says:

    Another form of the recent meme of “progressives”, that heated debate is somehow equated to violence.

  86. INGSOC says:

    With all due respect to Dr Ravetz. Thanks you for cc’ing your lecture here. I would love to address your points in detail, but many others here have already touched on most if not all, so I won’t waste anyone’s time repeating them. I will sum up my position by quoting the following which encapsulates my feelings rather succinctly and effectively;

    Claude Harvey says:
    February 21, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    I can smile and even “be their pal” in the interest of “getting the civil ship through the night”, but it would be beyond human capacity (and foolish to boot) to forget what they did when they thought they had their opponent down.

    Again, thank you Dr Ravetz.

  87. Paul Buntin says:

    Anthony:

    Looks like you made the right choice in choosing the Pinewood Derby with your son rather than Lisbon. Here’s hoping that your son stays in the scouts so that you can make many more such decisions in the coming years.

    Add me to the list of those concerned that you could burn out. Please don’t let that happen. We need your blog to help expose the Dr. Ravetz’ of the CAGW conspiracy. In this case your readers have voted. Best I can tell its 62-1 rejecting this attempt to marginalize the fire breathing Willis Eschenbach and the rest of us.

    PB

  88. Warren in Minnesota says:

    Post–normal science is abnormal science or science that comes after normal science. I am waiting for post abnormal science or normal science to reappear.

  89. cirussell says:

    Mixing leftist political mumbo jumbo with science is a very disturbing thought. Mr. Ravetz appears to be a master of this nonsence.

    All of you that are fighting the good fight to discover and reveal the “truth” as it relates to AWG keep doing what you do. Ignore this Ravetz’s political drivel and keep doing the hard work requred to get to the truth!

  90. JDN says:

    @Theo Goodwin
    Quine was a fool. Nothing useful has ever come from Quine or ever will. One example: Quine attacked the idea that propositions exist. Really!! According to him, the basis of language and translation of languages is an unworkable fiction. This topic has been handled in a much more serious way by others who were concerned for the truth and not for building a career out of shocking propositions. Quine’s work is so rife with error and deliberate obscurantism that I doubt that anyone who likes it will ever contribute to science. So, I would advise against wasting one’s time by reading Quine. The spell of Quine is fading and soon Foucalt

    And there you have it. I’ve remarked before that the AGW is an offshoot of misanthropy. Well, so is a great deal of “philosophy” that deliberately tries to waste our time on earth.

    @Ravetz
    We haven’t been attracting the best and brightest to science for quite some time. I suspect that’s how you got in. Your books advocating science without truth (i.e. post-normal) are exactly what’s wrong. I’m not in favor of allowing you to make a peace deal with anti-humanists of the left any more than Judith Curry, who is in possession of all the relevant facts concerning AGW fraud and refuses to denounce it. Remember, Jerome, demagoguery is a weapon against your enemies which you call ‘ethics’ if the population happens to believe in morality. That’s why you love to talk about ethics instead of truth.

    Ravetz is just a softer version of the basic misanthropist which has defined left wing science since the 70s and right wing science since the late 19th century until about 1945. I don’t know why you bother with his kind.

  91. AusieDan says:

    Compromise is at the heart of any well run, civilised society.

    But, when one side is interested in truth, reason and fairness,
    while the other side is only interest in winning,
    compromise becomes impossible.

  92. Steven Hoffer says:

    Why someone would type out these sorts of things, I just don’t understand.

    Comparing the behavior of the opposing sides of the climate debate to the struggles of Gandhi or Martin Luther King insults the memory and accomplishments of those individuals.

    And the comments about white/non-white? what does that have to do with anything?

    Now my real issue. the idea of coming to some sort of warm and fuzzy agreement about the science, between warmists and skeptics. The idea of coming to an agreement about what should be done about the agreement about the science.

    I split a kindergarten class into two groups, and give each group 15 blocks and ask them to count them. Upon counting the blocks, the first group says there are 13 and the second group says there are 15. In a class discussion we agree that there must be 14 blocks.

    Jimmy doesnt agree that there are 14 blocks. Neither group counted 14 blocks. The answer must be that one group counted wrong. Jimmy wants to count again and determine WHICH group is correct and which group is incorrect.

    Jimmy is told that the class is agreeing that there are 14 blocks and that by insisting that there be a recount he’s not playing fair. This is when Jimmy DEMANDS that there be a recount. After all, the number of blocks is not going to change, counting again will show if there are 13, 14, or 15 blocks.

    Jimmy goes to the corner for not playing nice with the class.

    Now here is MY question Mr. Ravetz: Does coming to an agreement about how many blocks there are CHANGE the number of blocks actually sitting in the pile? (a simple yes or no will do)

    My second question: Does an agreement halfway down the line between skeptics and warmists have anything more to do with reality than a group of children deciding there are 14 blocks? (yes or no)

    Last, please explain where exactly any of this fits in the scientific method. hypothesis, method, data, error, conclusion? Its supposed to be repeatable, not agreeable.

  93. Since when highway robbers admonish their victims to be nice and reasonable?

    Give back all the taxpayers’ money you spent on yourselves, your comfy careers and conferences, your bloated reputations, your political agenda, and your carbon indulgences under the aegis of “saving the planet”; apologize publicly to every person you censored, banned, gagged, fired, not hired, peer-reviewed to oblivion and insulted during last two decades of incessant green hoax propaganda.

    After that — only after that — you may have a right to say something about us, honest people, being not very nice to you, con artists.

  94. John Whitman says:

    Jerome Ravetz,

    I appreciate your post. Thank you.

    Despite your lengthy reasoning, I find the actual situation in climate science to be starkly more simple. We currently have a rapidly expanding situation (finally) where open, rigorous, vehement argumentation of free independent thinkers in a non-authoritarian society are successfully achieving uncompromised scientific knowledge on climate. The dialog is freeing itself from a repressive past environment. The actual current situation has no necessary link to any of your (Ravetz) proposed guidance nor to the climate science of the self-named consensus. We have the beginnings of laissez faire in the scientific discourse on climate science without the superstructure of the kind you (Ravetz) has outlined. Viva la renaissance!

    Amongst your lengthy post I discerned two false premises which I think are the essential basis of your conceptions.

    Your first false premise is related to the journey you have taken us into the post-Kantian epistemology of Hegel with his problematic dialectic materialism. You posit two opposites (a la Hegel), violent vs. non-violent, as false alternatives in your Hegelian epistemological processes. Those dialetic terms are irrelevant. NOTE: Didn’t Hegel’s dialectic materialism form the fundamental basis of the falsified Engel & Marx social/ political/ economic ideology?

    Your second false premise is your positing (a priori) of what you treat as an incontrovertible truth; CAGW. The implication you make is science cannot get to a sufficient operating level of objective truth in climate ever so act now; therefore you infer human knowledge must remain essentially subjective on climate. How did you rise above the human subjectivity you implied to posit your truth, Mr Ravetz? I notice we are in a non-logical Alice in Wonderland now with these false premises.

    Judith Curry – if you are monitoring please note I did not use the term PNS, even though I was talking about it.

    John

  95. Cynthia Lauren Thorpe says:

    To EternalOptimist ~

    Thanks for your story regarding the response – or rather, the lack of one – from one of the ‘Greenies’. Here’s a story of my own for you to mull over.

    My Aussie sweetheart and I live 3.5 hours south of Adelaide, on the coast of South Australia. The Coorong is supposedly a ‘wildlife sanctuary’ and it’s directly to our North.
    In the Coorong ~ hunting deer is STRICTLY forbidden, okay? The ‘Greenies’ say that they want to protect the population there. Still okay with that? Cool. So was the guy who runs a little business bringing in hunters from around the world… and so am I.
    TILL – that is, just last year.

    It was just that last year ~ in the beloved sanctuary of the Coorong ~ that the whirring of helicopters was heard and the guardians of the forest ~ the Greenies ~ had equipped these state copters to fly into the area ~ open their doors in flight ~ and began their CRUEL AND INHUMANE SLAUGHTER of those ‘little bambis’ they were protecting.

    THEY WERE ‘CULLED’ ~ Gentlemen. They were shot from outta the sky by young recruits in the Australian army. That’s what was done. I was told that it took a couple of hours to make certain that they had gotten in their ‘practice’ and ‘quota’. Isn’t that JUST like these PEOPLE? (Used for the effect of ‘pee-pole’s)

    None of the deer shot were picked up either. No meat was recovered so that it might have fed those less fortunate in Adelaide…

    I heard the copters from my farm… Not many planes or copters invade this beautifully clear air space… but, I assure you… when I heard the drone of those big birds… I knew that not totally unlike Libya ~ the Green Movement had again ~ had a grotesque ‘field day’ of sorts.

    That’s the kind of TRUTH that needs to be spread so that their ‘dis-ease’ (that’s lack of peace – to you and I) can be eradicated offa this planet for GOOD.

    We all can’t be Glenn Beck (like, who would want to be?!) or Anthony Watts ~ or Christopher Monckton, but ~ Gentlemen. I URGE YOU ~ to ‘be yourself’ and stand and assist in whatever manner you are capable of in this, yes. This fight. Because on many fronts ~ it’s never been a bloodless coup ~ just ask those stupid deer gunned down with M-16’s ~ or ~ the Armenians in my grandfather’s holocaust days ~ or, heck ~ talk to the pastor from Uganda that’s here staying with us…

    It’s NEVER been bloodless, Gentlemen. We’ve only pretended it was so. Shame on us till we stand in strength, in LOVE, and in boldness.

    Cynthia Lauren

  96. Cynthia Lauren Thorpe says:

    Well said, INGSOC. Very.Well. said.

    C.L. Thorpe

  97. April E. Coggins says:

    I will not and cannot have a civil discourse with humans who believe that certain other humans are to blame for the destruction of the earth. It must be my English breeding, but the only way I know is to fight them. Let’s hope it’s only a war of words and scientific papers. Judging from the warmists manipulation of political opinion and the calls for reductions in the human population, I have my doubts.

  98. steven mosher says:

    Theo Goodwin.

    I second your recommendation of quine

  99. Claude Harvey says:

    Somehow, I suspect the good professor grew up in a very sheltered environment if he thinks “talking ugly” is “violence”. I think maybe Jerome spent his playground period in the library. Come to think of it, I believe I may remember old Jerome. He was the kid the teacher kept at her side so the rest of us unwashed hooligans couldn’t get at him.

  100. Jessie says:

    Question of God
    “…From another point of view it is worse than silly, it is vile. When one turns to the magnificent edifice of the physical sciences, and sees how it was reared; … what submission to the icy laws of outer fact are wrought into its very stones and mortar; how absolutely impersonal it stands in its vast augustness — then how besotted and contemptible seems every little sentimentalist who comes blowing his voluntary smoke-wreaths, and pretending to decide things from out of his private dream! Can we wonder if those bred in the rugged and manly school of science should feel like spewing such subjectivism out of their mouths?… It is only natural that those who have caught the scientific fever should pass over to the opposite extreme. … ”
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/questionofgod/voices/james.html

    ‘The Moral Equivalent of War’
    http://www.constitution.org/wj/meow.htm

    Dr Ravetz, thank you for your post and also attending the Lisbon event to share your views.

  101. Mark Twang says:

    One final comment.

    The author says: “If ‘science’ comes to be seen by young people as the sort of institution where Climategate happens, and where scientists insult and condemn each other, its future is not bright.”

    That might be so, if “young people” were all total wusses.

    Some people enjoy a good fight.

  102. Roger Carr says:

    old engineer says: (February 21, 2011 at 6:33 pm)
    Thank You Dr. Ravetz for your efforts. As you can see from the comments to your post, convincing people that non-violent communications is the way to move forward, is as hard as convincing the alarmists that there should be discussions about their conclusions.

    I’ll call you on that, old engineer. No one on this thread has disagreed with that as a concept. It is the presumption that such a call even needs making to us which sticks in the craw.

    And a p.s. to Dr. Jerome Ravetz regarding his words: “including some quite reputable scientists,”
        Do you really believe it is possible to qualify “reputable” with “quite”?
        I found it offensive.

  103. steven mosher says:

    Reading through the comments here only serves to reinforce the feelings and thoughts I had as I headed to Lisbon. Over the course of the past 4 years I’ve said the following in a variety of forms, so if you’ve read it before I apologize.

    It begins with the announcement that “the debate is over.” This was perhaps the most unfortunate piece of rhetoric that those of us who believe in AGW ever spouted. When you announce that “the debate is over” you set in motion an ineluctable sequence of moves. That chain ends in the application of power and even violent force. When you declare the debate over you are signaling people that it is time to stop talking and to take action. Anyone who talks after this pronouncement has to be ostrasized and silenced. At first the attacks amount to a recitation of the debate. “don’t you know, xyz.” Then if people persist, the tactic changes to isolation. “everyone agrees that xyz.” Then if people still persist the attacks become personalized. They will attack your intelligence. Then they will attack your motives, especially if you are intelligent. That is the “moral” turn. Once that signpost is passed, the attacks will escalate. They will ridicule you. Insult you. Then they will suggest that you are criminal. And then they will claim that you are a monster commanding death trains. That pathway from ignorant, to uneducatable, to evil, to criminal to monster is a pathway to justifying violence. The next step down the road is fantasizing violence. We saw this with the 10:10 video.

    When Dr. Ravetz speaks of violence in the climate debate it resonates with me because I see where these words and metaphors lead to. No one would suggest putting a person on trial for simply being wrong about C02. But we’ve seen those words written about those who question climate science. And let’s not pretend that Jones and Mann and Santer have not received hate mail. The debate has gotten “violent”. I’m sure that some who believe in AGW would take issue with me tracing it back to “the debate is over” And predicatably people on both sides will get into a debate of “who threw the first punch.” Those dialogs go nowhere. Those dialogs widen the chasm. Given the current state of the debate it’s clear to me that we’ve reached a state where both sides are ready to apply force or power to settle matters.
    One side wants to take action on the climate now and the other side wants to exert power by defunding science.

    To a certain extent those of us who attended the conference realized that the two sides cannot even speak to each other any more. They talk past each other. There is no debate. Not because the issue isnt debatable, but because the fight has become intensely personal. Look around WUWT. It wasn’t long ago that people from both sides would actually come on and try to have a civilized (sometimes) debate. Now, it reminds me more of RC and preaching to the choir. We invite in Ravetz and almost no one searches for the points of agreement. The comments degenerate into drive by slams, personal attacks, political screeds, one liners. blah blah blah. (And yes in the past I’ve done these things as well.)

    Ravetz’ idea, the idea of the conference, evolved into something very modest. Making a space where a dialog between those willing to talk could happen. So, I met tallbloke and we came to some personal agreements about how to treat each other. Maybe that will spread. There were others there as well committed to finding some kind of common ground. Not agreement on the science, but rather some agreement on how we speak to each other. Now finding common ground is not sexy. Personally I do better at flame throwing than bridge building, but I think its worth trying something different. Simply, I don’t want to trust the outcome of this debate to raw power.

    As an exercise read what ravetz or I have written and try to find the common ground. Anyone can say “no” to my “yes”.

  104. John Whitman says:

    Theo Goodwin says:
    February 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    “Buy the book [Quine's book 'Theories and Things']. If you are interested in scientific method, you will never regret it. However, it is not for the faint of heart. Read the essay that has the same name as the title.”

    – – – – –

    Theo Goodwin,

    If you don’t mind, please advise what tradition, if any, does Quine come from in the philosophy of science and history of science?

    I would like a little more appetizer and aperitif (spelling?) on Quine before buying to his main course.

    John

  105. Ron Cram says:

    Dr. Ravetz,
    Two things. First, I think it would help to define terms. Tallbloke quoted this saying from Lisbon:

    “We are not here to force a compromise. We are here to provide a space where the fight can take place in civility.”

    Can you define civility and its opposite for us? Perhaps give us some examples we should follow and to avoid?

    For example, was it wrong for Douglas Keenan to point out some scientific claims made about data were not true and to press his allegations of academic misconduct against a climate researcher? Or was he right to do what he did? Isn’t the incivility the trampling of the standards of science Keenan was complaining about?

    Another example, when McIntyre learned Michael Mann had run the r2 verification statistic on his temperature reconstruction and then hid that fact it failed, was the civil thing to sweep it under the rug? Or was McIntyre correct to expose Mann’s actions?

    When O’Donnell outed Steig as Reviewer A, was that wrong? Or was it the proper course of action since Steig had acted as he had?

    Does civility and incivility relate to actions or is it limited to the name-calling: denier, alarmist, etc?

    Perhaps you will claim that you cannot get involved in individual cases. But if your approach is going to bear any fruit in the real world, we need some practical advice on what it means to fight in civility. As far as I know, you have never weighed in on any of the major battlefields of academic misconduct and assaults on the standards of science which are part of the climate science debate.

    Second, as you may or may not know, I recently proposed here on WUWT a major assessment report as an alternative and competitor to the IPCC’s upcoming AR5. See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/13/a-modest-proposal-in-lieu-of-disbanding-the-ipcc/

    I have contacted a few climate scientists. Several of them are interested in being a part of this effort. However, some have indicated they think it should be sponsored by some scientific society or organization instead of an ad hoc approach.

    What do you think of the idea? Do you know of any organization that might be willing to compete with the IPCC?

  106. JPeden says:

    He [Willis] was responding to Judith Curry’s posting, where she explained how she had got to where she was then. Of course he loathed her for complicity in the great Warmista fraud, and he despised her for attempting to apologise for her actions rather than crawling to WUWT in full contrition.

    Crawling in full contrition, indeed! Why would the one who has even called himself “Willis The Merciless” be placated by a mere apology? That is, until the glorious arrival on Earth of The Post Normals!

  107. Zeke the Sneak says:

    “This requires a very large, complex and expensive project. It extends into lifestyles and values, as the transition out of a carbon-based economy will require a change in our ideas of comfort, convenience and the good life.”

    A transition out of a carbon-based economy is just a little change in our “ideas of comfort, convenience and the good life”?
    Is that it? Is that non-violent, civil discussion? Did we just “non-violently” describe our own private property, personal transportation, food prices, and electricity rates, and water usage? Is that how we word things to “avoid extremes”?

    I don’t feel very “respected” by that wording at all, by the way. In fact, that’s not very far short of slapping someone in the face.

  108. Baa Humbug says:

    I don’t have the mastery of the English language to elicit the nuances of this posting by Ravetz, numerous posters have already done that.

    But via my laymans language may I just say to Ravetz “mate, you’re up yourself and you obviously don’t understand Willis at all. Have you even tried?”

    Having followed most of Willises postings both here and at C Audit and C Etc, I can say Willis has a lot more respect for Curry than you think. I also suspect he has zero respect for you and your kind, but I’m sure Willis will be along any time now to let you know himself.
    What Willis doesn’t have for you or Curry or the many others in the climate game is TRUST.
    I’m afraid this post by you will have only confirmed that.

    p.s. being an educated man (there is a whole new story there) you surely are aware of the condescending tone of your post. To that this layman says…. “Get stuffed mate.”

  109. John Whitman says:

    steven mosher says:
    February 21, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    ——–

    Steven Mosher,

    I can see the sincerity in your words. Thank you for framing the context in your very experienced view.

    I think the common ground has to be at some fundamental level or it will not hold. I think it only exists in the solemn starkness of what is unemotional rational independent thought. That area were men & women of ruthless logic are “bending over backwards**” to show openly to everyone how they can be wrong about their science. Common ground might exist if that commitment is sworn to.

    I see it as an analogous situation to West Point (US Military Academy), the common ground can only work with a voluntary code of honor existing among gentlemen and gentlewomen. Find such scientists & independent thinkers then a common ground is possible.

    That is a hard hurdle, but such people need to step forward without hindrance of the past.

    ** Feynman

    John

  110. Oliver Ramsay says:

    I don’t know which sports exalt the referees above the players, but this prolix, bombastic and narcissistic self-congratulation appears to me as an attempt to preempt a cause in which the preacher has not taken part.
    You can’t fix the drains without shovelling s.. s… sententious smuggery.
    Apologies for the incivility, it’s not personal.

  111. Steven Mosher:

    No.

    Resounding, unequivocal NO.

    First, the AGW hoaxers must pay back all the money they’ve stolen.
    Second, they must apologize, profusely and publicly, before everyone they persecuted and insulted.
    Third, they must retire en masse, to open their professional field and scientific publications to honest scientists.
    Fourth, the worst hoaxers who caused immeasurable damage to the economy and to the education of children, such as Al Gore, Hansen, and other political activists of the green movement, must stand trial.

    Then, maybe, we could start talking about being civil to them.

  112. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Jerry, you say:

    Also, it was on WUWT that I had the first experience of seeing non-violent communication in the Climategate debate. The circumstances were surprising, for it involved our very own fire-eating champion Willis.

    He was responding to Judith Curry’s posting, where she explained how she had got to where she was then. Of course he loathed her for complicity in the great Warmista fraud, and he despised her for attempting to apologise for her actions rather than crawling to WUWT in full contrition.

    Jerry, I greatly enjoy the fact that in addition to being the developer of PNS, you are now a mind reader. But you are just too good at it, it disturbs me that despite my trying to conceal it, you can discern among my respect for Judith a couple of other things that even I hadn’t noticed, that I loathe and despise her …

    Have you totally lost the plot? I don’t “loathe” Judith for anything, that’s your sick fantasy. Nor do I “despise” her for anything. Are you off of your meds or something? Judith has acted honorably throughout, and I have been very clear in saying that about her. I think she’s wrong about how to cure the loss of trust in climate science, I disagree with her on many issues, but I respect and admire her. She’s got more balls than most of the men in the field, I say, you go, girl!

    I gotta say, Jerry, that you could not have made a worse start as far as I’m concerned. You stand up and accuse me, without a scrap of evidence, without a shred of a quotation or a citation, of loathing and despising a woman I have nothing but respect for, Judith Curry … and then you go on to say:

    But he had to admit that he respected and admired her for guts in doing a Daniel act, and facing the lions like himself. At that point, non-violence in the climate debate was born. For Willis had realised that bad people are not necessarily all bad. There might even be some purpose in talking to them! From that point on, WUWT could take the lead in enforcing civility in the debate, and I am very pleased to see how the principle has spread all across the lines.

    Oh, osculate my fundament, Jerry, that is just pure sleazy nastiness wrapped up in sickly-sweet sugar. You are seriously attempting to patronize me, you tragic victim of cerebral elephantiasis? You try to point out how much I have learned as though you can read my thoughts? No, I didn’t think that she should come “crawling to WUWT in full contrition”, that’s straight out of Kraft-Ebbing, you should get professional help for those kind of projective fantasies. Or perhaps the old-timers were right and your humors must contain an excess of bile if you think those kind of things, but in any case that’s not a thought I’ve ever entertained about anyone. I don’t want to see people crawl, I want to see them fly.

    Nor did I suddenly “realize that bad people are not necessarily all bad”, I’ve known that for years, although I admit your idea of “good” is more harmful than most people’s “bad”. I also did not have a revelation that ” there might be some purpose in talking to them!”, with or without an exclamation mark. You remember all those years when the climate scientists had you totally sucked in, fooled, and bamboozled? I’ve been trying to talk to climate scientists since way back then, I more than most people know that there is a purpose in doing that.

    Jerry, if you truly, really think that Post-Normal Science is a valuable idea, the best thing that you could possibly do is never write another word. You are such an unpleasant cloacal annulus that every time you open your mouth, you set the course of Post-Normal Science back by at least a decade.

    Which is why I welcome your posting here, and am overjoyed to see you again, because when you start out like that, the upside is close to 100% …

    w.

  113. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Chris D. says:
    February 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Is this our same Willis “Kill the IPCC and go jump in the lake if you don’t like that language” Eschenbach that you’re referring to? Yes, civility in the climate debate.

    Yeah, Chris D., I did say kill the IPCC. I also said we should drive an aspen stake through its heart at midnight and stuff its skull with garlic and scatter the remains so it never rises again.

    Now, I understand that it’s not politically correct and more than that, it’s actually dangerous to say that, because someone like Chris might never have heard of “metaphor” and think it was serious, and then they might actually stuff the IPCC’s skull with garlic, and that would be a global tragedy …

    Chris, there’s bigger issues here. You might attend to them with profit.

    w.

  114. Colonial says:

    Atomic Hairdryer says (February 21, 2011 at 5:29 pm): … In my simplistic view, ‘post normal science’ is part of getting science to climb out of it’s [sic] ivory tower and understand the way the world really works. …

    Unfortunately, post-normal science (PNS) achieves precisely the opposite of Atomic Hairdryer’s suggestion. By severing the link between science and evidence, PNS destroys our understanding of “the way the world really works.”

    “Global warming” / “global climate change” / “climate disruption” is a perfect example of how a “science” that refuses to base its decisions on the evidence corrupts the scientific enterprise. The result is confusion and doubt, not expanded knowledge.

    The unraveling of the supposed warming in New Zealand is just one example among many of the deleterious effect PNS has had on our accumulation of knowledge. After a couple of decades of baseless adjustments that created a warming trend out of whole cloth, the house of cards collapsed. There are similar houses of cards found wherever hokey team climatologists hold sway. They, too, are beginning to totter. The net result is that we’ve wasted two decades and more (and tens of billions of taxpayer dollars) chasing will-o’-the-wisps.

    In the end, those who espouse PNS are unlikely to live their lives entirely by its tenets. Consider a commonplace item, the airplane. Suppose a company you’ve never heard of announces that it’s going to build an airplane to compete with Airbus and Boeing. When it’s rolled out for its first passenger-carrying flight, the company proudly announces that this will be its very first flight ever — rather than take it up for test flights, the manufacturer modeled each and every characteristic of the plane and is absolutely certain that the design is perfect.

    Would you be willing to fly on the very first flight of an airplane design that was entirely the result of model calculations, without any real-world testing? I wouldn’t! We don’t know enough about the real world to model it perfectly. The design and the plane itself would have to be tested thoroughly before it could be trusted.

    PNS adherents, on the other hand, should be perfectly willing to take the first flight on a plane whose design is entirely untested. After all, that’s what they’re asking us to do with their nostrums for “saving the planet,” which will have results far more catastrophic than the results of the crash of a single untested airplane.

    Do you note that I’m being consistent? I don’t trust untested theories and I don’t trust untested airplanes. It would be interesting to know if Dr. Ravetz would also be consistent, trusting both untested theories and untested airplanes. (Dollars to doughnuts [nowhere near as good a deal as when I was a boy], Dr. Ravetz will fail the consistency test.)

  115. memory vault says:

    steven mosher says:
    February 21, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    As an apparently bona-fide skeptical, racist, pedophile denier – according to the latest diatribe from your AGW fraudster bed-fellows may I be one of the first to offer a resounding “NO!!” to your “yes” – since you offered.

    You quote a plethora of misdeeds then try to pretend it is behavior both “sides” have indulged in.

    Quote: “It starts with the debate is over”. Maybe – but can you name a skeptic who ever said that?

    Quote: “Then if people persist, the tactic changes to isolation. “everyone agrees that xyz.” Then if people still persist the attacks become personalized. They will attack your intelligence. Then they will attack your motives, especially if you are intelligent. That is the “moral” turn. Once that signpost is passed, the attacks will escalate. They will ridicule you. Insult you. Then they will suggest that you are criminal. And then they will claim that you are a monster commanding death trains. That pathway from ignorant, to uneducatable, to evil, to criminal to monster is a pathway to justifying violence. The next step down the road is fantasizing violence. We saw this with the 10:10 video.”

    True. You want to give us some examples of skeptics indulging in these practices? You want to remind us of the skeptical equivalent of the 10:10 video or anything like it?

    You want to refresh our collective memories of the skeptical equivalent “trapped polar bears”, or the “polar bears dropping from the sky”, or the Greenpeace videos featuring children threatening and beating up “unbeliever” adults?

    Or claims we “unbelieving deniers” are mentally ill and belong in a psychiatric ward? Or that there should be “Nuremberg-style” trials for “deniers”?

    I became involved in this so-called “debate” way back in the mid-Eighties. In the intervening years I have been vilified in the media and in Parliament; been subjected to a concerted campaign by a major church; lost contracts for work; had my business destroyed, and had my family threatened with everything from being beaten to death with iron bars to having our house torched while we slept.

    Prior to going into semi-retirement in the late Nineties I was featured on the cover of “Time” Magazine as the “most dangerous extremist threat Australia had ever seen”; my home was raided and ransacked by police on three occasions; I (successfully) defended myself in court six times against everything from producing kiddie-porn to the late return of a motor vehicle licence plate.

    You want to name just one “warmist” with that kind of vilification record?

    Mr Mosher – there IS no “common ground” between those of us interested in the truth and armed only with the scientific method and observable fact, against those interested only in a political agenda of “what best for the rest of us” and armed with the full weight of the MSM, politicians, the law enforcement agencies, a totally corrupted education system, well-funded advocacy groups, and – to date – some $70 billion in taxpayer’s funds for “research” into predetermined conclusions.

    Besides – as I pointed out to Dr Ravetz earlier – this is all pointless. The battle is over. Your side won. Now millions are going to die and there is nothing anybody can do about it. Precisely as planned.

    You and Ravetz and Curry and the rest should be out partying in the streets.

    Never in the history of human endeavor, have so few been responsible for the ultimate deaths of so many with as little personal effort and sacrifice.

    Not to mention, when the time comes, plausible deniability.

  116. Willis Eschenbach says:

    OK, now that I got that off my chest, let me deal with what Jerry said.

    He said that he is coming here as an advocate of Gandhi and of ahimsa or non-violence, I presume as exemplified by his vicious and unprovoked attack on me in the first paragraph. I mean, there was no reason to mention me at all, this could have been all about Lisbon and non-violence. But in the spirit of communication and non-violence, he decided to take a swipe at me on the way to talking about non-violence.

    Rats, there I go, I’ve digressed from what he said to what he did. I’ll try again when my boiler pressure ceases tickling the safety valve …

    w.

  117. johanna says:

    Dr Ravetz does not seem to understand the difference between conflict and violence. Conflict is where people disagree, sometimes vehemently. Violence is where an assault occurs.

    It is absurd to compare ‘violence’ or ‘non-violence’ in a political context with vigorous, sometimes passionate, debate among scientists. Indeed, it does not even apply to debate in the broader community about a hotly contested issue.

    Violence occurs when participants step over the line of debate and do harm to their opponents because of what they believe.

    Conflict is an inevitable part of scientific progress.

    I am not sure that Dr Ravetz understands the distinction.

  118. don penman says:

    Why should I be convinced that what svante arrhenius said about co2 doubling in the atmosphere is true, as some have noted we are conducting an experiment on the earth regarding increasing co2 on temperature whether we like it or not but the results so far do not support the belief that a doubling of co2 will result in a 3c+ rise in temperature.The theory of natural selection does have an experiment which supports the theory, we have the change in colour of a certain moth during the industrial revolution in order to camouflage itself.The explanation that its changing colour helps it survive is very convincing but in other circumstances non camouflaging behavior is seen as helping survival so that these explanation can contradict.I am not sure who is going to be shown to be right in the end but I am not going to accept that Computer models provide such an accurate picture of the future that we must take action on what is going to happen tomorrow today, I would prefer to wait until I am convinced that something needs to be done about co2 rather than be pushed into unnecessary action by certain activists.My opinions maybe wrong but I am just trying to make sense of the climate change debate.

  119. John Whitman says:

    The legacy that many of the self-appointed consensus climate scientists of the past decade are burdened with limits their viable participation in the renaissance climate science. The skeptics will not have so much burden engaging in the renaissance climate science. The make up of the renaissance scientific community will more skeptical scientists than former consensus members.

    John

  120. Willis Eschenbach says:

    OK, let me try again.

    The difference between how Jerry sees the situation and how I see it is this. We both agree that the public no longer trusts climate scientists.

    I see the problem as being bad science being hyped by climate scientists to push an alarmist agenda. I think that until climate scientists start doing honest, transparent science, with all warts visible and all data and code archived, until then there is no hope of trust in climate science.

    Jerry sees the problem as the two sides in the debate being all hostile with each other, and not communicating with each other, and that the AGW side have a hard time communicating with the public. He thinks that the trust can be restored through mutual respect and communication and non-violence.

    In other words, I see a science problem where Jerry sees a communication problem. Here’s a quotation that exemplifies the difference:

    Those of an older generation remember a time when the prestige of science was unquestioned. Science would save the world, and scientists would do the saving. It is all different now, and the mutual denunciations of the scientists in the Climategate debate have not helped.

    Climategate … A surprisingly large number of rogue climate scientists including some top luminaries in the field go totally off the reservation and engage in a host of egregious and even likely illegal acts. When the emails reveal them for what they are, almost all of the rest of the climate scientists try to excuse their actions. Three whitewash committees pretend to investigate the whole farrago, and all fastidiously avoid looking at anything of interest. Heaps of problems in there, lots of things that deserve condemnation by honest scientists.

    Jerry, on the other hand, thinks the problem worth discussing was the “mutual denunciations” … Jerry, here’s a clue for you. When people pull that kind of unethical and possibly illegal stuff, they will get denounced. The problem wasn’t too much denunciation. It was the lack of denunciation by the rest of the field that turned people’s stomachs.

    That’s the fundamental difference. For me, the “mutual denunciations of the scientists in the Climategate debate” is a huge red herring. Here’s the “mutual denunciations” between two of the scientists in the Climategate debate, me and Phil Jones. Phil Jones says I’m a huge pain in the ass, and I say he’s a crook who advises people to illegally delete emails and an incompetent who can’t keep track of a mere handful of data. I think that both of us are likely right.

    So is that the problem? Is it that “mutual denunciation” by me and Phil Jones which is the problem … or is the problem Phil Jones’ unethical and possibly immoral actions? I say it’s the latter, and that all of the communication and non-violence in the world won’t touch that problem at all.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of both communication and non-violence. I write what I write to encourage communication and discussion. I just don’t think that they will have much impact when the problem is the climate-science-wide acceptance of shabby, third-rate science, combined with the lack of disapproval of those who are caught with their hands in the cookie jar.

    w.

  121. johanna says:

    Those of an older generation remember a time when the prestige of science was unquestioned. Science would save the world, and scientists would do the saving. It is all different now, and the mutual denunciations of the scientists in the Climategate debate have not helped.
    —————————————————————-
    Well, I’m not sure when that golden era was. I suspect that, like most golden eras, it exists only in retrospect. The ‘mad scientist’ archetype exemplified in movies and books from the 1930s onwards almost exactly paralleled the growing influence of science.

    Science has saved hundreds of millions of lives, through vaccination and the work of Norman Borlaug, to name a couple of examples. But, it has never, and will never, ‘save the world’. This is hubris and folly. Something could come whizzing out of space and wipe us out in a few seconds, to take an extreme example.

    I am very uneasy about arguments that go to preserving the reputation of an institution, a discipline, or an individual in the face of unpleasant facts. It is the coverup, not the sin, that tends to cause the most harm.

  122. Mark Twang says:

    I had not been aware of Dr. Ravetz or his work before. Reading his brief biography on Wiki tonight, I find myself wondering whether he might not be a good example of the Watermelon Theory of Environmental Activism. Green on the outside, red on the inside seems to be the plain fact of the matter.

    Please pardon me if this is a violent way of putting things. Or rather, don’t. Those who can’t advocate for social revolution and wealth redistribution on their own merits, but instead try to sneak them in through the back door of green advocacy, deserve, in my view, to be poked with the sharpest of rhetorical sticks, and civility be damned.

  123. Coldish says:

    Dr Ravetz, Thank you for this provocative post! You mention “…our very own fire-eating champion Willis. He was responding to Judith Curry’s posting, where she explained how she had got to where she was then. Of course he loathed her for complicity in the great Warmista fraud, and he despised her for attempting to apologise for her actions rather than crawling to WUWT in full contrition. ” I’d like to read the original exchange. Can you provide the reference?

  124. Dr. Ravetz,

    You started your “peace message” with an absolutely unwarranted and ungracious attack on Mr. Eschenbach, and then made, out of thin air, the most ridiculous comparison between the real violence taking place in Burma, Africa, etc., and the lukewarm verbal exchanges in Lisbon.

    It is obvious that you have never dealt with the real violence, and confuse (as Johanna already mentioned above) a legitimate verbal conflict with a manhandling or something worse.

    Your previous article on PNS impressed me as so much nebulous nonsense. This time, you revealed a typical quality of the modern Academia: insidious malice and thievish servility wearing a wooden mask of peace and fairness.

    I shall never read again anything written by you, Dr. Ravetz.

  125. wayne Job says:

    Dr Ravetz, Sir,
    I have only major concern about scientists coming to terms in peaceful negotiations, and that is that they must all be scientists or followers of the scientific method. Those who do not follow scientific practices and fudge, cheat and hide their methods are not scientists, they are charlatans and pimps for a different cause and outcome. I would rather make a pact with the devil, for at least he is honest in his deceit.

  126. ThomasU says:

    WUWT is truly phantastic! Thanks for this blog!

    I absolutely agree with Willis Eschenbach and all the others who insist on reality checks! I found the example with the kids counting building blocks a good one. And like memory vault (and others) I want to see proof of accusations.

    Mr. Ravez is confusing and mixing things and gets it wrong: Too bad for him. I strongly object his idea that “the skeptics” are to blame for the heated debate. Linking a heated debate to violence is a rhetoric trick which I find unacceptable. Science should not be about rhetorics, and I believe that one of the causes of the present confusion is that too much rhetorics, too much guesswork, too many assumptions took hold. There is a distinct lack of logic, a confusion of quantity with quality, too little effort to “reduce to the max”.

    The AGW battle is not over, and since it is about control – thought control as well as the very real control of everybodys life – it will go on for some time. Those who exercise the power and control our life are at present in favor of AGW. Those who try to control our thoughts are – the very same who claim “the science is settled”.

  127. Mark Twang says:

    I too wish to comment on Dr. Ravetz’s idea that “Those of an older generation remember a time when the prestige of science was unquestioned. Science would save the world, and scientists would do the saving.”

    Though I am a generation younger than the good doctor, I am widely read in both ancient and modern history. Yet I cannot remember ever hearing of such a time. Science in the modern sense has always produced not only humane practitioners but also madmen and frauds, and the public has always been aware of that. Faust and Dr. Frankenstein come to mind. Fictional characters, yes. There were also the eugenicists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and creatures like Dr. Mengele and the authors of the Tuskegee experiment. Real-life monsters with impeccable training and credentials.

    Even if humanity’s only chance of survival were to trust itself to the gods in white lab coats, I for one would not like to live in the sterile, rationalized, planned economy that would result. I suspect most humans who are still in touch with their mammalian natures feel the same way. In any case it is not an option, as nature will always throw out curve balls to wreck the tidy plans of the rationalists.

    For those who can’t handle the “violence” implied in sharp disagreement or the uncertainty that life implies, I suggest you upload yourselves into a computer simulation of life and let the improvisers among us get on with the real world.

  128. Piers de Saurrat says:

    Before lionising Nelson Mandela as “a hero of non-violence” perhaps Dr Ravetz should check out what he was imprisoned for? It was certainly NOT non-violence!

  129. Erik says:

    Post Normal Mind Reading?

    Willis Eschenbach, February 25, 2010:
    “Judith, I love ya, but you’re way wrong …”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/25/judith-i-love-ya-but-youre-way-wrong/

    Jerome Ravetz, February 21, 2011:

    “Of course he loathed her for complicity in the great Warmista fraud, and he despised her for attempting…”

  130. Bob Kutz says:

    In Re:flicka47 says:
    February 21, 2011 at 2:57 pm
    In Re: Bob Kutz

    . . . . And we just can not wait!! to implement their preferred policies despite the known damages those policies will, not could bring.

    I’m not so sure they don’t qualify as evil.

    I am absolutely certain that the members of the scientific community do not get a say in policy. They may have a voice, but democracy still prevails.

    I think those who are trying to implement the policy and have the power to do so may in fact fully understand the ramifications of such. That may or may not make them evil; the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    But don’t cast that pall over these scientists. The powers that be view them as nothing more than useful idiots. The science must be corrected and then the policy wonks and politicians will not have a leg to stand on. It’s as simple as that. Don’t let the pols have the science.

    If you wan’t to get involved in the policy and political debate (and I suggest you do) then it’s probably best to stay away from the scientific debate. A subjective point of view has little value in science.

    But; calling them evil when they are just stupid is indeed wrong!

  131. Oslo says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Johanna. What violence? Now there are all sorts of things wrong with the climate debate, but violence is not one of them.

    Rough language, false accusations, personal attacks and insults, ignorance, stupidity, YES, all of these, but no violence.

    One could possibly define a certain level of vitriol as violence, but to what end? If there is no problem, why go to extreme lengths to fix it?

    The main problem of the climate debate is that is one-sided. There is a side that wants debate and one which does not. Only when it starts burning somewhere does the “establishment” come out for a bit of extinguishing. Science has been attacked, they shout, running around to salvage something from the ruins.

    So the main problem that should be adressed is that there is no debate. And this is the problem that needs to be fixed. And it is only mainstream climate science which has the solution.

    Of course, when a fanatic guerilla group has captured the parliament, the media end the universities, they would suddenly start advocating “non-violence” in an attempt to render their opponents completely castrated.

    This all smacks of the outcome of one of those seminars: “after the attacks on science, how de we regain the public trust?”

    And poiint number one would be to sterilize opponents through appeasement, a half-assed gesture of acceptance and through a non-violent non-debate designed to lead nowhere but away from the view of the public eye.

    Nice try, though.

  132. Dave Springer says:

    I spent 20 years designing IBM PC compatibles (1981-2001) hardware, firmware, and software. Maintaining backwards compatibility is incredibly difficult while at the same time increasing performance by great leaps and introducing major architectural changes such as 8 to 16 to 32 to 64 bits. Some software (and some hardware expansion cards & accessories) are inevitably lost at every step. It’s next to impossible to test everything and even harder to fix it all. Testing of a major new MS O/S goes on for at least a year and sometimes two or three years with every major software and hardware participating – literally tens of thousands of people testing hundreds of thousands of third-party hardware and software.

    Your ire, Anthony, is misplaced. It should be directed at the software vendor for the failed package for not providing a free patch or update in a timely manner or at yourself for buying a 64bit O/S without first checking to see if some obscenely expensive software you owned (which probably costs far more than the whole computer you purchased) was reported to be working properly on it first.

  133. Beth Cooper says:

    Of course courteous debate is preferable to ad hominim attack but, in science I’d say ACTIONS speak louder than words. The scientific method is paramount:
    Archive your date, (Mann, Jones?)
    Show your data, ( Hockey”team”?)
    Honor the peer review process, ( Hockey Team yet again and Steig reviewing O’Donnell?)
    Follow stated policy processes, (IPCC re non use of ‘grey’ literature? O’Donnell review
    re conflict of interest?)
    And Professor Ravetz, with regard to your own discourse here tonight, I find your attributing motives to Willis which he did not profess, somewhat provocative and thereby combative…. P.S. I am also puzzled that you seem to be suggesting, concerning the theory of CAGW, that the science is settled? With respect :-)

  134. Jessie says:

    This is for Mr and Mrs Watts and the amazing challenges they have faced together as the WUWT has invited the international community to their family’s door step.
    Apologies no pets or kids in this one. Plenty of peachey loveliness in place of LEDS.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEwVAV3VPw4&NR=1&feature=fvwp

    before I post next.
    And in Oz we will organise a razor and suit on your next visit Anthony. Mrs Watts will be more organised I expect.

  135. Theo Goodwin says:

    johanna says:
    February 22, 2011 at 1:43 am

    “Science has saved hundreds of millions of lives, through vaccination and the work of Norman Borlaug, to name a couple of examples. But, it has never, and will never, ‘save the world’. This is hubris and folly. Something could come whizzing out of space and wipe us out in a few seconds, to take an extreme example.”

    Well said. Science might reveal to us that, because of a quirk in the human genome, all humans will cease to exist next month. Having revealed the scientific truth about the matter, science will have done its job. Science has never had the job of saving the human race. It is better seen as a hand maiden to farmers, a role that it plays just beautifully and with proper humility. Those who promote science as the savior of the human race are actually promoting themselves.

  136. Martin Lewitt says:

    Dr. Ravetz,

    You were part of the devolution of many parts of academia into activism based upon divisive ad hominem rhetoric and collective identity politics. The “critical theory” that you tried to bring to “critical science” openly engages in advocacy, it demonizes non-coercive relationships as exploitation, it rhetorically creates “victims”, encouraging divisive collective identities and assigns collective guilt to individuals based upon mere subjective categories that aren’t rigorously defensible.

    You come here claiming to be seeking peace and civility, only to insult us:

    “Nothing could be more convincing than that combination, except to those who do not wish to be convinced.”

    So, we don’t wish to be convinced, we are just stubbornly refusing to see the light?

    “Suffice to say that the application of the Arrhenius model to the actual conditions on earth, including all the effects that could modify the entry and exit of radiant energy, plus the storage of heat in the oceans, leaves plenty of room for debate for those that want it.”

    So we just want debate? We can’t possibly be seeking objectivity because you deny that it exists. You don’t have an informed opinion on the science, by inference, because you don’t think being informed matters. The reason Arrhenius and the Hawaii CO2 data don’t “convince” is that they aren’t the issue. The issue is the net feedbacks to CO2 forcing, the credibility of model results published without accounting for their known diagnostic problems, and the lack of any model independent evidence that the net feedbacks are positive rather than negative. Even granting Arrhenius and the Hawaii data, which most here do, there is no reason to think that CO2’s contribution to the recent warming was any more than the 30% or so attributable to its direct effects. If you have better information, and wish to recant and contribute to the search for objectivity, please share it.

  137. Jessie says:

    I reckon UNTIL I read
    #1. What the ‘hypothesis’ is BEFORE the grant is provided and the DATA gathering and the transparency. Then I might want to read the paper. And then the next step in science is;
    #2 paper would be an explanation as to the persuasive reason[s] the hypothesis has been chosen, complete with the literature review;
    #3 the literature review being readily available of course.
    And then not being a scientist, I would then hope the real scientists had picked up on these steps.
    I can of course haz a chance with serendipity. But it would want to be well spelled out…transparently.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/21/ravetz-on-lisbon-and-leading-the-way/#comment-604269
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/21/ravetz-on-lisbon-and-leading-the-way/#comment-604401
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/21/ravetz-on-lisbon-and-leading-the-way/#comment-604510

    Good comments, as most others, thank you.
    Of course I will read his stuff. Or at the very least have access to it. Otherwise I would have been fooled to think such excuses for science existed.

    Dr Ravetz, my grandad was a pacifist too. As were his brothers. He ended up in civilian Changi being fed a scientifically nutritious diet. Neat experiment of the times. It’s a bit more applied than torched earth policy.

    Two generations later, most of my students, maintained as socialist-greenie climate science fodder, were fed via proxy your style of scientific diarrhoea. The most memorable, amongst countless, countless other students, including their children, was found dead, being barbequed when 8 months pregnant. And I live in Australia.
    You should try sometime in PNG, where women are still traded. They remain below the price of pigs (old style trade) and old-growth forest (recent style trade) and now carbon (new style trade). No comment on the children these women birth, either traded through ‘land’ marriages or rape.

    If they and their children are lucky to survive HIV (for eg) in spite of the lack of medical care and infrastructure because it is all been channelled in to trading carbon or trading the HIV-drug aid into that economy, then that would be reported. Like the rest of the Pacific islands. But it isn’t.
    And the cyclones, mud slides, floods and awful infrastructure?

    Because the ‘thin air’ trade didn’t need blood, sweat, tears and smarts – that’s real work. By real men and women.

  138. UK Sceptic says:

    How can you reason with, or make compromises with, the CAGW zealots responsible for this criminal travesty?

  139. Michael Larkin says:

    I’m sorry, Dr. Ravetz, but your prose gives me the heebie-jeebies. Why? Because the universe you live in appears to me to be the artificial, nay phantasmagoric, construct of a confused mind.

    If you want my simile, your relationship with science seems like the relationship of the crusaders with the New Testament. And no, I’m not drawing attention to the violent nature of the crusades, but rather the underlying point that it’s mind-bogglingly incomprehensible how any individual could fail to detect the disconnect between “solutions” and the precepts and principles he supposedly avows. You do avow the precepts and principles of science, don’t you? At least in the form you are pleased to call “normal”?

    No one is pretending that “normal” science is perfect. Indeed, I’d go so far as to say it’s a sick puppy. However, improving it will not, I opine, be achieved by recourse to PNS – any more than the cause of Christianity was furthered by the crusades.

    If a puppy’s sick, what’s needed is a vet: someone thoroughly versed in canine maladies. You aren’t a vet. You’re – heck, what are you? Words fail me.

    I have seen one recent initiative which might conceivably work – that of Richard Muller et. al. at Berkeley. It’s at least grounded in some kind of reality, even though Muller is, at bottom, a warmist. However, he’s as scientific a warmist as I have ever clapped eyes on, and inspires a certain amount of trust even in someone like me, with a tendency to scepticism. This video gives a fair impression of where he’s coming from and what he wants to achieve:

    If he’s sincere, and I believe he might well be, then he could be the vet that climate science so badly needs. I’m certainly not going to dismiss him out of hand because he’s on the other side of the fence. There. Did you see any violence in that pronouncement of mine? or rancour, or any lack of respect?

    IMO, the only reason there’s ever been even the slightest intimation of that is precisely because consensus scientists haven’t in the past been inclined to engage with honest enquiry. As Muller himself admits, he simply accepted the hockey stick because he assumed Mann was as principled a scientist as he himself was. Now he feels differently, he wants to belay the hype and return to responsible science, conveying information in measured terms, making all data and methods freely available as a matter of course. Which is all I, and I daresay many others here, have ever wanted.

  140. David says:

    Moderater, please delete my above post, (David says: Your comment is awaiting moderation. February 22, 2011 at 6:22 am )
    I need to separate some paragraphs for clarity and repost.

    Thanks in advance
    David

  141. David says:

    Mr Ravetz writes,
    “This debate has not just been about the science of climate change It also concerns policy, for reducing the emissions of Carbon Dioxide worldwide. This requires a very large, complex and expensive project.”

    Jeremy, these are two entirely separate issues which MUST be kept separate with one connection. Science, as traditionally defined, must be PROTECTED in the openness (Full release of all data and metadata, no pay walls if publicly funded) and REPEATABILITY and VERFITABILITY of its experiments.

    WISDOM in the policy debate, is impossible if the science is not isolated and PROTECTED from policy. Jeremy, I think you stated, “When facts are uncertain, when values are in conflict, when stakes are high, when decisions seem urgent, the FIRST casualty is “normal” science. “ I would say the first obligation of policy makers, those with integrity to truth, should be to PROTECT and defend “NORMAL” science, and not let it be a casualty.

    It is science, done correctly, that determines if decisions are “URGENT” and to rush prematurely to policy is to CREATE conflict, especially when that POLICY is what places “values in conflict“, demanding trillions in revenue, and world wide social restructure, centralizing power away from the individual, and even democracy, (when have the CAGW proponents ever said “lets vote on this”, and threatens the liberty of billions.

    In the case of CAGW, the field of science is hopelessly inundated with policy. Many advocacy groups have succeeded in influencing the science. (The IPCC reports that include non peer reviewed articles predicting disaster, the obvious advocacy of policy by certain scientist, the attempts to control peer review and the relatively small group of scientist doing pal-review, the open admittance of political agenda by some proponents to redistribute wealth, etc)

    Where there is conflict within the science, debate should be DEMANDED by policy makers. This debate should be done in writing and open to the public in a format that is coldly empirical, like a peer reviewed article but more concisely focused on the critical assertions and areas of conflict.

    Until then, the radical policies of CAGW proponents will be resisted, non-violently by some, but not all.

  142. Ron Cram says:

    Dr. Ravetz,
    I posted the below comment on Climate Etc, where Judith Curry is also discussing this post:

    I am convinced that where the discourse goes off the rails is when scientists quit talking about science and begin talking about policy. Jim Hansen talking about trains carrying coal as “death trains” is not helpful. Show me a scientist who has NEVER talked about policy and I can show you a scientist that may play a role in getting science back to a normal state.

    I think Ravetz is correct that climate science is in a post-normal state right now. But civility alone is not going to redeem climate science. It will only recover when enough scientists focus on the science and ignore those talking about policy.

    For example, when I say unions destroy the economy, some people will think I’m talking about politics. Not true. That is a statement about history and economics. And it is irrefutable. When I say because unions destroy the economy, we need to limit their power – that becomes a political statement.

    The problem right now is the IPCC is making claims about the science which have not been shown. Then they take these unproven statements and make policy statements on them. We need a better assessment of the current state of climate science than the IPCC is providing. The editorial apparatus has been seized by alarmists driven by an agenda. Until we can get a thoroughgoing assessment which is seen as more reliable than the IPCC, we can never get back to normal science.

  143. eadler says:

    I think Dr Ravetz is missing the point here.

    To understand why this argument is so acrimonius, one must understand the history of the idea of GHG driven global warming.

    The science of how CO2 influences the atmosphere dates from 1859, and has had general scientific acceptance. In 1896, Arrhenius made a calculation of how industrial emissions of CO2, which are added on top of the balanced natural cycle of emissions, would cause general warming of the earth. According to his calculations, using his estimate of emissions at the time, it would take thousands of years and doubling of CO2 would result in 6C average temperature change. Arrhenius and others, thought that the warming would benefit mankind, and no thought was given to limitation of emissions.
    In the 1920’s this theory was sidelined, because erroneous measurements, seemed to show that the CO2 effect was already saturated. In the 1950’s this was shown not to be true, as a result of more accurate spectroscopy, and a more accurate numerical calculation showing that due to the temperature gradient with altitude, the effect of CO2 was not saturated.
    Advances in computers and simulation since then continue to show that global temperatures will get warmer as a result of increases in GHG’s and the only uncertainty is how much warmer.

    Two independent polls of active climate science researchers done recently show 97% accept that GHG emissions due to human activity are warming the earth significantly. According to a poll by R. Pielke Sr., about 1/2 of the researchers who filled out questionaires believed the IPCC report got it right, and about 20 percent thought they understated the damage to humanity of climate change, and about 20 percent thought the overstated it. So why is their such opposition to the idea in some quarters?

    The answer to this lies in politics. If there is damage and it should be prevented, it would require cooperative action of the entire world, limitations of certain activities by government, and changes in lifestyle over time. One can expect a lot of opposition and suspicion among people opposed to enlargement of the sphere of government, as a result of this, and the reaction has been to attack the integrity of the scientists who are bringing the problem to the attention of the people. Also, if the danger is in the future, based on theory, and is not related to their own personal experience, people, who are not well versed in the science, will find reasons not to accept it. Some on this web site and others, attack the basic established radiation science as invalid, because of their prejudice against the implications of the idea of AGW related climate change.

    Initially’, in the 1980’s and 1990’s, this attack on the science, was lead by the energy interests in the US, who contributed to think tanks like CATO, Heritage, and Heartland Institute. These think tanks employed some like minded scientists to lead the denial of the science. Other groups opposed to big government have also chimed in. It is pretty clear that among laymen, there is a large correlation between political stance and one’s position on the science of global warming.

    Once an argument has become political ideology, instead of being an intellectual discussion where logic and facts are examined with some objectivity, it becomes a shouting match. Personality clashes, and charges of lying and lack of integrity take over the discussion, and facts, logic and scientific knowledge become irrelevant. That is the polarized situation that we face today. It is not a pretty sight, and no way to properly address a problem of such complexity and importance to the future of the planet.

    I am resigned to the invective that will come my way if this gets posted by the moderator.

  144. bwanajohn says:

    Dr. Ravetz,

    I find you and your PNS quite “special”, bless your heart.
    Those of us from the Deep South will get that…

  145. mkelly says:

    Bob Kutz says:
    February 21, 2011 at 1:47 pm

    “It’s so easy to condemn the evil ones and try to destroy them; that way we would still have the sectarian killings in Northern Ireland and probably a bloodbath in South Africa.”

    Bob, I was responding to Ravetz’s above quote. He brought up “evil ones” not I. And I stand by what I said. I have not said any of the folks you mentioned are evil only that once you identify “evil” it cannot be tolerated in any way. If you think that evil should be tolerated so be it, but not I.

    By the way it has been the CAWG crowd that has called for folks like me to be imprisoned, tried for treason, fired from jobs, etc. So far they may not be evil, but they are wrong.

  146. eadler says:

    Steven Mosher wrote:

    I can see the sincerity in your words. Thank you for framing the context in your very experienced view.

    I think the common ground has to be at some fundamental level or it will not hold. I think it only exists in the solemn starkness of what is unemotional rational independent thought. That area were men & women of ruthless logic are “bending over backwards**” to show openly to everyone how they can be wrong about their science. Common ground might exist if that commitment is sworn to.

    Steve,
    Don’t hold your breath. This has become a political and ideological question. In such cases, civility,logic and rational thought goes out the window. Prejudice and belief reign supreme.

  147. eadler says:

    I think Dr Ravetz is missing the point here.

    To understand why this argument is so acrimonious, one must understand the history of the idea of GHG driven global warming.

    The science of how CO2 influences the atmosphere dates from 1859, and has had general scientific acceptance. In 1896, Arrhenius made a calculation of how industrial emissions of CO2, which are added on top of the balanced natural cycle of emissions, would cause general warming of the earth. According to his calculations, using his estimate of emissions at the time, it would take thousands of years and doubling of CO2 would result in 6C average temperature change. Arrhenius and others, thought that the warming would benefit mankind, and no thought was given to limitation of emissions.
    In the 1920’s this theory was sidelined, because erroneous measurements, seemed to show that the CO2 effect was already saturated. In the 1950’s this was shown not to be true, as a result of more accurate spectroscopy, and a more accurate numerical calculation showing that due to the temperature gradient with altitude, the effect of CO2 was not saturated.
    Advances in computers and simulation since then continue to show that global temperatures will get warmer as a result of increases in GHG’s and the only uncertainty is how much warmer.

    Two independent polls of active climate science researchers done recently show 97% accept that GHG emissions due to human activity are warming the earth significantly. According to a poll by R. Pielke Sr., about 1/2 of the researchers who filled out questionaires believed the IPCC report got it right, and about 20 percent thought they understated the damage to humanity of climate change, and about 20 percent thought the overstated it. So why is their such opposition to the idea in some quarters?

    The answer to this lies in politics. If there is damage and it should be prevented, it would require cooperative action of the entire world, limitations of certain activities by government, and changes in lifestyle over time. One can expect a lot of opposition and suspicion among people opposed to enlargement of the sphere of government, as a result of this, and the reaction has been to attack the integrity of the scientists who are bringing the problem to the attention of the people. Also, if the danger is in the future, based on theory, and is not related to their own personal experience, people, who are not well versed in the science, will find reasons not to accept it. Some on this web site and others, attack the basic established radiation science as invalid, because of their prejudice against the implications of the idea of AGW related climate change.

    Initially’, in the 1980’s and 1990’s, this attack on the science, was lead by the energy interests in the US, who contributed to think tanks like CATO, Heritage, and Heartland Institute. These think tanks employed some like minded scientists to lead the denial of the science. Other groups opposed to big government have also chimed in. It is pretty clear that among laymen, there is a large correlation between political stance and one’s position on the science of global warming.

    Once an argument has become political ideology, instead of being an intellectual discussion where logic and facts are examined with some objectivity, it becomes a shouting match. Personality clashes, and charges of lying and lack of integrity take over the discussion, and facts, logic and scientific knowledge become irrelevant. That is the polarized situation that we face today. It is not a pretty sight, and no way to properly address a problem of such complexity and importance to the future of the planet.

    I am resigned to the invective that will come my way if this gets posted by the moderator.

  148. David says:

    Mr. Ravetz, for a man advocating non violence, uses rather inflammatory language. Speaking of Willis he says… ”Of course he LOATHED HER for complicity in the great Warmista fraud, and he DESPISED HER for attempting to apologize for her actions rather than CRAWLING to WUWT in full contrition.
    But he HAD TO ADMIT that he respected and admired her for guts in doing a Daniel act, and facing the lions like himself
    At that point, non-violence in the climate debate was born. For Willis had realized that BAD people are not necessarily all bad.
    There might even be some purpose in talking to them!”

    Jeremy, why assign to people things you can not know if they did not state it. You have no idea if Willis LOATHED and DESPISED her, or simply did not approve of certain things she previously stated and actions she took. Willis did not HAVE TO ADMIT, anything, he chose, as he usually does, to be honest and up front in his thoughts. I also think that Willis has for a long time had the maturity to understand that “BAD people are not necessarily all bad. There might even be some purpose in talking to them.” I find your entire paragraph here to be presumptive and condescending and overly sarcastic.

  149. David says:

    Ron Cram says:
    February 22, 2011 at 6:31 am

    Ron, see my comment just preceeding yours. We are in agreement and I feel it is a very important point that must be made over and over. Mr Ravetz makes so many, IMV, illogical statements, because he presumes the policy is fine when it is the science, left as science, which must determine how “urgent” the need for action is needed, or not needed. He has the cart before the horse and conflates the two.

  150. eadler says:

    It seems to me that a lot has been written on this thread about Post Normal Science. I think that the idea is well intentioned. In many cases in modern society, because of the pressure of time, decisions involving science have to be made in a state where there is uncertainty. This calls for the use of a process Ravetz has called Post Normal Science.

    The way I look at this, is based on my experience, in the semiconductor industry. Often, a decision becomes necessary when an anomaly is detected in the middle of a production process. It is not precisely known how much product has been spoiled, and what the impact on yield will be. Should the product be scrapped, should a sample be put through to test what the impact will be? Has something like this been experienced before. This is where engineering judgement comes into play, and an assessment of the costs to the company of different courses of action that might be taken. From what I have read, this is the meaning of Post Normal Science .

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-normal_science

    There is nothing sinister about this. It is a perfectly rational way to solve this kind of problem. There are disagreements among engineers about what to do. Because this does not involve ideology and personal beliefs, one doesn’t see the acrominous arguments that take place when such decisions have to be made in the political sector.

  151. Jeremy says:

    Why does this come off as sounding like those who caused our doom while telling us to be quiet are now taking credit for being the peacemakers in the debate they said was over? Sounds highly arrogant there Ravetz, rethink and re-write please.

  152. Martin Lewitt says:

    eadler,

    “Initially’, in the 1980′s and 1990′s, this attack on the science, was lead by the energy interests in the US, who contributed to think tanks like CATO, Heritage, and Heartland Institute. These think tanks employed some like minded scientists to lead the denial of the science.”

    As I recall, rather than attack or denial of the science, there was well founded criticism, that lead to much more sophisticated attempts to account for the urban heat island effect. Just because there is an ideological correlation today, it doesn’t follow that the discourse had to become a shouting match with personal attacks and charges of lying or lack of integrity. Look at the substance of the claims of that the “debate is closed” and charges of “denialism”, you will find that the first is false and the second is mere name calling. Look at the substance of charges of lying and lack of integrity you will find that there was reasonable suspicion based upon evasive or intellectually dishonest IPCC author responses to expert review comments, lack of openness on data and methods, IPCC unjustified claims of confidence and failure to address model diagnostic issues in their summaries or reports of projections, difficulty getting contrary data published, obstruction of FOI requests, even before it was substantiated by the climategate evidence. Unfortunately there is actually lying and lack of integrity and in such circumstances the credibility of the science is best served by addressing it forthrightly. Persons of integrity can be objective regardless of their funding sources, so you are unjustified characterizing their criticisms of the science as “attacks” on that basis alone.

    regards

  153. johanna says:

    Ron Cram said:

    For example, when I say unions destroy the economy, some people will think I’m talking about politics. Not true. That is a statement about history and economics. And it is irrefutable.
    ————————————————————
    Ron, you have shot yourself in the foot. If nothing in science is ‘irrefutable’, how on Earth can a statement founded in your view of history and economics be irrefutable? I’m not going to argue the toss with you (except to note in passing that unions are a feature of rich economies, not poor ones) – but let’s stick to discussing science and science policy here.

    eadler said:

    Initially’, in the 1980′s and 1990′s, this attack on the science, was lead by the energy interests in the US, who contributed to think tanks like CATO, Heritage, and Heartland Institute. These think tanks employed some like minded scientists to lead the denial of the science. Other groups opposed to big government have also chimed in. It is pretty clear that among laymen, there is a large correlation between political stance and one’s position on the science of global warming.
    ———————————————————-
    First of all, could I share with you my irritation with the term ‘the science’, which is about as (no, less!) meaningful than ‘the pink horned unicorn’. The pink horned unicorn might possibly exist. ‘The science’ is an oxymoron. One of the two words has to go, for either to have any meaning.

    While people like Anthony are not living (sorry owning, only dropping in now and then) in $20m mansions on the coast in California, I won’t bother with the nonsense about rivers of gold to those who disagree with the so-called consensus.

    Finally, the correlation between people’s political views and their opinions on CAGW is nowhere as clear cut as you imagine. In the UK, while all major parties subscribe to this nonsense, most voters, across the board, do not. I will not presume to comment on US politics, which is much more complicated than choices between 2 parties – but the punters are not buying it, that much is clear. In Australia, the conservative parties came within a whisker of winning the last election on a skeptical policy platform. The Labor Party is now doing everything in its power to slow down and sideline mad policies which will hit its working class base, while trying not to lose face.

    In Australia, Green voters are mostly affluent inner city dwellers who (a) can afford doubling of power prices and (b) wouldn’t last 5 minutes in the bush.

    It would be taxing WUWT readers (and me) to run through the rest of the errors in your post. But, please do not imagine that silence is assent.

  154. Tom Jones says:

    Ravetz says, “When we come to the climate, there are indeed two classic, simple experiences that for some are as conclusive as Eddington’s observation of the planet Mercury and of the light from the star in the Hyades cluster. The first of these is the original model of a ‘greenhouse’ earth made by the Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius in 1896. And the second is a remarkable set of readings of atmospheric Carbon Dioxide, taken on top of the Hawaiian volcano Mauna Loa, showing a steady rise from their inception in the 1950’s. Nothing could be more convincing than that combination, except to those who do not wish to be convinced.”

    Add to that list, those who absolutely do not believe that correlation and causation are the same thing. Sometimes, correlation points you the way to go. Sometimes, it points to the weeds. That combination means almost nothing, and a great deal of subsequent work has been ambigous. Climategate suggested that some of the previous work had indeed been false, and suggested that some leading players were not to be trusted.

    The way out is not reconciliation. It is for fact-based science to come to indisputable conclusions.

  155. Ron Cram says:

    David, thank you for pointing me to your comment. I agree with it completely.

    Dr. Ravetz,
    I would like to make a number of propositional statements and ask you to kindly respond to each whether you agree or disagree.

    1. It is fine, even helpful, to observe that climate science has entered an abnormal period and calling it post-normal science is an adequate title to describe the current situation.

    2. The goal is to return to a period of normality in climate science, where scientists make argue their positions passionately, but with civility, honesty, openness and good will.

    3. A call to greater civility in the climate debate is welcome if it is accompanied by a call for greater honesty, openness and adherence to the standards of science. There is little point in observing we are in a post-normal situation unless we also call scientists back to normal science.

    4. The reason we have entered this period of post-normal science is because climate scientists have been pushing a policy agenda to lower carbon emissions and that agenda required fudging and cherry-picking data, hiding adverse data, ignoring scientific uncertainty and blocking publication of science papers by skeptics.

    5. The best road forward to reach the goal of normal climate science is to keep separate the discussion of science and policy. Policy should not be discussed until the science is fully and fairly assessed, a task the IPCC has shown itself incapable of completing.

    6. The best way to fully and fairly assess the current state of climate science is to establish an editorial board dedicated to the task of climate science assessment on a scale similar to AR5, but by including all three groups of scientists: proponents, skeptics and lukewarmers.

    Dr. Ravetz, do you agree with these observations, opinions and goals?

  156. Allen says:

    This seemingly reasonable prose is a thin veil for the dirty rhetorical war that continues to be waged. Recently I heard an alarmist shill called Bob McDonald over at the CBC appealing to the authority of the IPCC. A journalist who dogmatically adheres to the CAGW theory and has access to the bully pulpit ought to remind us that the war is not over.

    Dr. Ravetz, there can be no peace when war is all around us.

  157. Ron Cram says:

    Johanna,
    I used unionism as an example that everyone could understand. I was not trying to establish an argument that was still being discussed.

    Unions are found in rich economies and formerly rich economies. In the US, the states which are doing the best are the right-to-work states (mostly in the South). In California, where I live, unions have destroyed the steel industry, the automaking industry and the aerospace industry is on the ropes. Manufacturing is nearly dead, except in instances protected by patents. Unions pretend they have not lost their powerbase, but their jobs are disappearing. Most union workers now work in government or in the service or agricultural industries.

    For more information, see http://nrtw.org/

  158. I think Gerry Ravetz has a fundamental misunderstanding about the “debate”, a misunderstanding that is shared by most of the warmists.

    Many of us, Gerry, started off as warmists, some like myself activist warmists committed to waking other people up because “we have a problem”. We became skeptics when we dug FOR OURSELVES a bit deeper into the science, and into the cost and cost-effectiveness of mitigation. We realized that the Precautionary Principle is exactly stood on its head. The only precaution worth taking is getting the truth, the real science. And that means Openness. Accountability. Auditability. Debate. Availability of Data. Availability of Methods. Let the Evidence Speak. Let Us Speak for Ourselves. Everything we have worked for, non-violently, in all ways we could find, as Gandhi would have done. Everything the AGW team have not done.

    Show what experiments have been done that actually contain evidence that increasing CO2 in the real world has warmed the planet. There is nothing. The correlation between increasing CO2 and rising temperature is appalling on many counts.

    Gerry, there is virtually nobody who has “converted” the opposite direction. Sure, a few, a very few, have converted from ignorant skepticism to AGW belief backed up by the orthodox science. But everyone who looks seriously at the skeptics’ science as well as the orthodox science, converts the other direction. We maintain that it is PRECISELY because of this that warmists wanted to maintain “the debate is over”.

    This is why you come across as patronizing, Gerry.

    Please, study the science. Our science as well as the warmist science. Truth matters. Gandhi said “Be The Change”. In this context, this means Study The Science. Then we would have more respect for you. I’ve written a Primer to help you do that, written for non-scientists as well as scientists. Confessions of an Ex-Warmist. Click my name.

  159. Alexander K says:

    Gerry Ravetz is an arch-dissembler: on one side we have the political clout of many governments in the Western world and on the other we have the seekers of truth who know ‘the science is not settled’. Ravetz is seeking an accomodation where none can exist; only the truth revealed by non-partisan science can be the goal.
    From a historical perspective, non-violent peaceful protest was invented 60 years before Ghandi by two Maori Chiefs in New Zealand, Te Whitu and Tohu, who used the tactic of non-violence to attempt to keep their lands from the incoming British. They failed in the short term. For anyone interested in the the history of that time and place, Dick Scott’s book ‘Ask That Mountain’ is a fascinating place to start.

  160. steven mosher says:

    Examples.

    I will select a few comments and ask you all to consider how they work as pieces of writing. Ask yourself, if I were Ravetz, what would my reaction be? Are these people trying to convince me? reason with me?, insult me? shame me? change the topic? What is the likely reaction after reading the first sentence?

    Also, ask yourself how many of these pieces played to the crowd. I used to see this all the time at RC. Where people would not engage in the questions asked, but rather the would turn to each other and mock or attack the “outsider” who showed up to say something that they didnt agree with 100%.

    #########################
    #

    The other side offers peace. It shows they are losing. The planet is cooling. Watch the sun. Ignore the verbal trickery of the opponent.

    Somebody somewhere (hopefully not me, even indirectly) is presumably paying for the production of this pious drivel.

    I am sorry, but I think that this post is multi-metaphorical mish-mash.

    Somehow, I suspect the good professor grew up in a very sheltered environment if he thinks “talking ugly” is “violence”. I think maybe Jerome spent his playground period in the library.

    I don’t care. When people sink as low as Hansen, I will consider them trash. Although I will probably not be allowed to say what I think of this sub-human anti-humanity person, I’ll still read along.

    I’m sorry, Dr. Ravetz, but your prose gives me the heebie-jeebies. Why? Because the universe you live in appears to me to be the artificial, nay phantasmagoric, construct of a confused mind.

    Dr. Ravetz,

    You were part of the devolution of many parts of academia into activism based upon divisive ad hominem rhetoric and collective identity politics.

    ##########

    a week or so ago we had our annual WUWT dinner in SF. Anthony, Willis, Charles, Smokey, Myself, Tom Fuller. It’s our time to reflect upon the year, and Anthony always asks us what we suggest for improving WUWT. We discussed page formats,
    new departments ( like the reference pages), posts and comments. I’ll just ask folks if they are doing everything in their power to add to the conversation. If they are making WUWT a more thoughtful, more credible, more enjoyable place than it was yesterday. Anthony puts a huge amount of work into this place. So has charles and willis. I think folks owe it to them to pause and think before they rattle off invective.
    But I’ll also note that good nasty street brawls get a lot of attention.

  161. I said, “Truth Matters”…

    … then remembered, this is the most fundamental issue where I feel in violently uncomfortable disagreement with you. Post-Normal-Science replacing “truth” with “value” is unerringly offensive and I will not budge on that even if PNS folk gagged me and trussed me and tortured me.

    I will not budge for the simple reason that I cannot. The universe is built on truth, and it is Truth that heals above all else, as psychology knows well, and has healed me at my own encounters with death and despair.

    What PNS has picked up that is important, is the awareness somewhere that Science cannot totally exclude the Observer of the Experiment – and if Science tries to do this, as it has for 300 years, the Observer will bite back eventually. You cannot leave human values out of Science. But this has been forgotten for so long that it needs to be explored again, openly, in a “brave new world” in Shakespeare’s original sense, where Truth still speaks deeply to the soul and still shines a heavenly light to illumine everything, yea even Post Normal Shibboleths.

    Human values need to be re-incorporated into Scientific Method. Passing “beyond” Truth – never.

  162. steven mosher says:

    eadler:

    ‘Steve,
    Don’t hold your breath. This has become a political and ideological question. In such cases, civility,logic and rational thought goes out the window. Prejudice and belief reign supreme.”

    Thanks. The way I look at it is this. I like Judith because she is willing to engage in debate ( even with people who are obviously wrong) because she believes in rational discourse. So, I continue to look for like minded people. I think you might be one of them. If you dont believe in rational discourse, then you believe in the application of force or power to settle issues.

    many people here who claim to want a return to “normal” science are actually using irrational, illogical, threatening discourse to try “convince” others to return to a rational debate. Ironic. But they started it! That’s a funny thing to think about. If you believe that the discourse has been moved by the other side away from what science really is, what is the best way to return to “normal” rational discourse?

    Here’s a thought. If your theory is that we return to rational discourse by engaging in counter punching, hitting back, invective, insult, motive hunting, ect.. How well is that theory holding up? err not too well.

  163. Ron Cram says:

    Dr. Ravetz,

    I forgot to mention one other extremely important propositional statement:

    7. Post-normal science occurs in cases where “facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high and decisions urgent.” In science, the first of these three apply almost all the time. The claim that decisions are urgent (such as Jim Hansen’s statement to Barack Obama that he only had four years to save the world) has not been shown and has no credibility. Therefore, the goal is to return to a normal science situation as quickly as possible.

  164. Vince Causey says:

    Johanna,

    “It would be taxing WUWT readers (and me) to run through the rest of the errors in your post. But, please do not imagine that silence is assent.”

    Well said Johanna. I did think of replying, but it would be like trying to write down and respond to every propaganda item in a party political pamphlet – a fools errand. I refuse to take the bait.

  165. Martin Lewitt says:

    Steven Mosher,

    “Also, ask yourself how many of these pieces played to the crowd. I used to see this all the time at RC.”

    RC also censored inconvenient substantive posts exploiting their moderation positions to make sure they got the last word, and while feeding strawman “denier” trolls to the mob. Freedom and lack of censorship is messy, the stuff you see “all the time” is a small price to pay. Dr. Ravetz would probably earn the respect of many here if he stuck around and substantively engaged with us on any serious points raised. I see no reason to insult WUWT with such a comparison.

  166. Sam Parsons says:

    Seems to me that you are engaged in third-grade school marming. I have an instinctive repulsion for that kind of behavior. Once upon a time, I believed that I experienced the repulsion because I was male. Then I visited New York City and realized I was a New Yorker. Californians might not get it. Anyway, I believe that everyone should have an instinctive revulsion for third-grade school marming and, yes, sadly, I believe that all third-grade school marms should be shunned or made to teach in the Big Apple.

  167. Ah Mosh I agree with so much of what you write… even though we may differ over the science.

    Could you do a piece for WUWT on “PNS and Blog Behaviour: What Advances Science and What Hinders it” – or the like?

  168. old engineer says:

    Ah, now I understand. It is not the message that people are objecting to, it is the messenger. A case of “who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you are saying.” And certainly Dr. Ravetz remarks about Willis Eschenbach shows he is not a practitioner of non-violent communication. Non-violent communication does not evoke violent response.

    One point needs to be made about the historic “non-violent” movements. When they are referred to, a word is left out- that word is “resistance.” The movements were about non-violent resistance to the status quo. Anyone who lived though those times (or studied them) knows there was plenty of violence. It was a case of: I am willing to die for this cause, but not to kill for it.

    Does anyone doubt that the societal status quo in regard to AGW, is that it is an established fact? We who are skeptical are in the minority. We need to use all the tools of non-violent resistance: the courts, the vote, and non-violent communications.

    But communications with who? Not the Phil Joneses or Jim Hansens. They will not change. The communications needs to be with the people who listen to the Phil Joneses and Jim Hansens and believed them. Get them to listen to us, instead. Then the status quo will change, and Phil Jones and Jim Hansen will be irrelevant.

  169. Mark Twang says:

    In terms of science, the only value I can see to this prissy insistence on “civility” would be if the people who refuse to publish their data sets and other bits and pieces that they want to withhold even in the face of FOIA requests were to cough them up in the interest of full disclosure, in exchange for not being called names anymore.

    Not a likely outcome, I fear.

  170. steven mosher says:

    Lucy Skywalker says:
    February 22, 2011 at 10:42 am

    Ah Mosh I agree with so much of what you write… even though we may differ over the science.

    Could you do a piece for WUWT on “PNS and Blog Behaviour: What Advances Science and What Hinders it” – or the like?

    #######
    I’ve been thinking. i know the minute I try to tell people how to act, that they will be able to find me doing the very thing I am complaining about. There is no getting away from that. When I was asked to attend the conference, I wrote down my position.
    It came to this. I don’t think we are even ready to talk about “reconciliation”. I think the best we can do is outline behaviors which make the conflict worse. I know those behaviors. I’ve engaged in them. Some people might think I’ve perfected some of them. But still, upon reflection, I’m more happy with the friends I’ve made than the enemies. Thanks Lucy. More thinking..

  171. steven mosher says:

    Martin Lewitt says:
    February 22, 2011 at 10:33 am

    Steven Mosher,

    “Also, ask yourself how many of these pieces played to the crowd. I used to see this all the time at RC.”

    RC also censored inconvenient substantive posts exploiting their moderation positions to make sure they got the last word, and while feeding strawman “denier” trolls to the mob. Freedom and lack of censorship is messy, the stuff you see “all the time” is a small price to pay. Dr. Ravetz would probably earn the respect of many here if he stuck around and substantively engaged with us on any serious points raised. I see no reason to insult WUWT with such a comparison.

    ##########
    I’m sorry if you saw it as an insult to WUWT. I will tell you that when I shared this with Anthony at dinner he did not see it as an insult. It’s my perception that the quality of debate has suffered somewhat here. You dont find many informed warmists willing to come here and engage. That might be by Their design. People know that a good debate generates traffic. For example, I bet if Willis and I decided to go at it we could generate a nice long thread. (we joked about this at dinner) The point is I see the behavior of SOME commenters slouching toward the behavior that drove me away from RC. To be sure, the moderation policy there played a huge role.(like C02, hehe) scrolling through a long pile of comments that amount to “they suck” gets a bit tiresome.
    But, on the other hand, sometimes it IS entertaining. Here’s the problem. we want to delight and instruct.

    So, I’ll suggest that folks try some different modes of engaging with others. Just experiment. No hugging or hand holding or singing folk songs required.

  172. Bruce Cobb says:

    eadler says:
    February 22, 2011 at 6:51 am
    “This has become a political and ideological question. In such cases, civility,logic and rational thought goes out the window. Prejudice and belief reign supreme.”

    Yes indeed. The idiotic notion that our C02 is some sort of threat to the planet is both political and ideological, and the irrationality of Warmists is testament to a belief system which is beyond the pale, and itself poses a grave danger to humanity. Fortunately, there are many skeptics/climate realists challenging that belief system, which is now foundering.
    You’re welcome.

  173. Martin Lewitt says:

    Steve Mosher,

    “Here’s a thought. If your theory is that we return to rational discourse by engaging in counter punching, hitting back, invective, insult, motive hunting, ect.. How well is that theory holding up? err not too well.”

    There is plenty of rational discourse here, so it mustn’t be working too well either. What it is probably going to take is for the science to get settled and the hubris, dissemblance and dishonesty of the “debate is over” crowd to be thoroughly discredited. Then maybe it will take a culture that swears to keep the memory alive.

  174. Pooh, Dixie says:

    I am grateful to Dr. Ravetz for referring to his Quaker background. It illuminates his use of the words “violence” and “non-violence”. I had assumed the common usage (physical violence), and was puzzled. The Quaker interpretation of Mt 5:21-22 is both reasonable and honorable. I also appreciate EternalOptimist’s distinguishing between intellectual and physical violence (February 21, 2011 at 1:29 pm).

  175. Pooh, Dixie says:

    As much as I appreciate the viewpoints presented by Dr. Ravetz, I have a few reservations. Among them:

    Dr. Ravetz appeals to the Precautionary Principle, using other words: “by what right can we use scientific uncertainty as an excuse for failing to protect ourselves and our descendants from irreversible catastrophe?” Cass Sunstein, who authored a book on the Precautionary Principle, did not agree that it should be used for climate change. Sunstein also co-authored books / papers on global warming and social justice, and climate change and discounting the future.
    Sunstein, Cass R. 2008. Throwing precaution to the wind: Why the ‘safe’ choice can be dangerous. Opinion. boston.com – The Boston Globe. July 13. http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/07/13/throwing_precaution_to_the_wind
    Sunstein, Cass R. 2005. Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary Principle. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press
    Sunstein, Cass R., and Eric A. Posner. 2008. Global Warming and Social Justice. Regulation (Spring). http://www.cato.org/pubs/regulation/regv31n1/v31n1-3.pdf
    Sunstein, Cass R., and David Weisbach. 2008. Climate Change and Discounting the Future: A Guide for the Perplexed. Working Paper. Reg-Markets Center, AEI Center for Regulatory and Market Studies, August. http://aei-brookings.org/admin/authorpdfs/redirect-safely.php?fname=../pdffiles/phpEK.pdf

    “High Stakes” was a prominent condition for employing Post Normal Science. It is not mentioned here. The possibility of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is a high stakes issue, but the possibly needless destruction of the economies of western civilization by bureaucrats regulating carbon dioxide is also a high stakes issue.

    “Nothing could be more convincing than that combination (Svante Arrhenius and Mauna Loa), except to those who do not wish to be convinced.” I suspect that Dr. Ravetz wishes that he had not written that, given its implication and the context of his lecture.

    “There are urgent issues of equity, both between rich and poor peoples now, and also between ourselves and our descendants.” I do not believe that the issue of equity can be solved by shipping boatloads of money to Mugabe and his ilk. There is a proven solution: recognize Natural Law (“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”) is above legislation and the executive, then “…proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants”, and finally to …”secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, … ordain and establish this Constitution….”

  176. steven mosher says:

    Willis,

    I think you misunderstand Dr. R a bit.

    lets go to the text:

    “Also, it was on WUWT that I had the first experience of seeing non-violent communication in the Climategate debate. The circumstances were surprising, for it involved our very own fire-eating champion Willis.”

    What Ravetz says here is that your communication was his first experience of non violent communication in the climategate debate. not the debates leading up to climategate. Also not the first instance ever. But his first experience. And he calls you a fire eating champion. I pretty much take that as a compliment. Non violent communication is not, we shall see, about speaking meekly. So I agree with this fire eating both in form and content:

    here is you:

    “You want a more effective strategy? Here’s one. Ask every climate scientist to grow a pair and speak out in public about the abysmal practices of far, far too many mainstream climate scientists. “

    Returning to Ravetz:

    “He [Willis] was responding to Judith Curry’s posting, where she explained how she had got to where she was then. Of course he loathed her for complicity in the great Warmista fraud, and he despised her for attempting to apologise for her actions rather than crawling to WUWT in full contrition. ”

    I think Jerry exaggerates a bit ( perhaps for effect) when he says you loathed her.

    Especially when you titled the post ” Judith I love ya but”. So, he notes,
    “willis loathed her, but” I’m surprised more people havent seen how Dr. R
    turned around the but.
    basically Willis you wrote: ‘I love you, I respect you, now listen up you stupid ….” Kinda having it both ways. And within the essay you do attempt to have it both ways. Praise followed by a pistol whipping. Maybe you didnt loath HER, but the behavior did make you sick:””It turned my stomach”. Watching Ravetz turn this around, to “he loathed her, but” was fun for me. But most people didnt get this.

    Still this is NOT violent communication. on either side.

    And you did take her task for failing to have full contrition. I’ve done the same thing.
    We ask the warmista to disown certain people. That’s par for the course in political fights. Break up the tribe. Likewise I’ve been asked to disown Anthony and Steve Mc.
    I find these kind of requests dont really move things forward. Its a game of gotcha.
    choose your friends or the truth, hypocrit.

    Some more examples from you:

    “You want trust? Do good science, and publicly insist that other climate scientists do good science as well. It’s that simple. Do good science, and publicly call out the Manns and the Joneses and the Thompsons and the rest of the charlatans that you are currently protecting.”

    As I’ve said I’ve done the same thing. Admit that Jones was wrong! and I hear back, “admit that Monckton is wrong.” But what does this personal touch add? WHY do we personalize it ( on both sides) basically, we know that people will bend over backward to defend their friends, their partners, their tribe. We dont ask that Mann be denounced because TRUTH will be served. We dont ask that mann be denounced because its the scientific method to denounce a man. We wanna score points. If we wanted a return to normal science, we would just argue for a return to normal science and take the personality out. And as we wanna score points, they wanna score points.
    So, denounce the dragon sky or dragon slayer guys. Denounce the barycentric supporters and iron sun supporters. Off with all their heads. blah blah blah

    To end with a wrap up of how you treated judith lets go to this:

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

    hmm, see we have to make space for making an honest mistake. Good for you in doing this with the edit job.

    So basically I think Jerry has a pretty accurate view of your attitude. Maybe Loathe was too strong a word. maybe it was too sly of a rhetorical device for folks to get.

    Finally, lets get to the meat of the point. What was different about your communication. What was Jerry praising.

    But he had to admit that he respected and admired her for guts in doing a Daniel act, and facing the lions like himself. At that point, non-violence in the climate debate was born. For Willis had realised that bad people are not necessarily all bad. There might even be some purpose in talking to them!

    On this thread folks have asked what non violence is. It really starts with something this simple. You recognized that bad people are not all bad. And there might be a purpose in talking to them. That’s it. very modest start.

    BECAUSE, if you think that the other side is ALL BAD, if you believe there is NO PURPOSE in talking, then the debate IS over, and force will be applied.

    Like I said before this debate has devolved to a point where some see the other side as monsters. sub human. all bad. There is no point in talking to them.

  177. David says:

    Dr. Jerome Ravetz, Tallbloke, Steven Mosher, others. There are many thought out articulate expressions critical of PNS. One theme is most common, and that is the corrupting of science, and the scientific method by integrating it with policy.

    I have heard none of you address these concerns directly.

    If you claim PNS to be simply opening any important scientific concern to different hard sciences, (Biologist, chemist, meteroligist, statisticians, etc) all working together under the scientific method, then this is tautology and needs no new theory, it just needs to be adhered to. If you consider policy makers opening lines of debate to disparate sectors of the society and calm rational debate to be desireable, then this also needs no new theories and is tautology.

    Below is a partial summary of those who in essence see the comingling of policy and science into PNS as counterproductive, consider the policy debate, premature, and feel that the failure to do so has resulted in the IPCC. You will need to address these post directly, not just mu summary, if you wish to sway thoughts, although perhaps in carefully reading them, you may sway your own thoughts.

    Barry Woods says:
    February 21, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    It is my view that most CAGW skeptics seek to defend science Whilst there are many thousands of scientists practicing ‘climate science’ how many are at the core of it? If someone is investigating the effects of climate change on, hurricane formation, or the migratory patterns of birds, or many of the thousand of other subject areas like this
    So whilst thousands of scintists are working in ‘climate science related areas…
    How many are actually working at actually demonstrating the theory, with observed evidence.. and most importantly the degree per doubling of CO2 (AGW is true, whether in the actual complex multiple mechanisms in the climate, the answer is 0.1C, 0.5, 1.0C, etc, it is the actual values we are all arguing about,
    Where is the work to show this, beyond every more complex computer model scenarios and ‘projections’ and requests for faster computers. For the next IPCC report 600 pages please on attribution, 60 on the rest. WG2 and WK3 are just premature.

    flicka47 says:
    February 21, 2011 at 2:32 pm
    Social “policy” and science should never be mixed.
    s with the stance taken by the skeptics as being the right stance.

    ScientistForTruth says:
    February 21, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    There have always been disagreements in science, often quite healthy. The problem with Climategate and the rancour that there is in climate science is to a degree the responsibility of Jerome Ravetz who infused the concept of values into science, and blurred the lines between science and policy.

    johanna says:
    February 21, 2011 at 4:19 pm
    We are familiar…with the use of reconciliation and non-violence to resolve intractable disputes in the political sphere… But science? What possible relevance could this approach have to science?
    —————————————————————–
    That, Dr Ravetz, is the $64,000 question. And the answer is – none.
    It is the conflation of science and politics/ideology that got us into this mess in the first place.

    Geoff Sherrington says:
    February 21, 2011 at 5:06 pm
    Dr Ravetz,
    You drop in now with talk of violence. This is a straw man. Think logic, not violence.
    The discussion is about the proper application of science, the procedural stages of which are well known and have been for years.

    Theo Goodwin says:
    February 21, 2011 at 5:41 pm
    As regards scientific method, the problem with the Warmista is that either they are ignorant of scientific method, like Ravetz, or else they understand it but refuse to discuss it because they know that their own so-called science has never existed within the bounds of scientific method.
    bob says:
    February 21, 2011 at 5:58 pm
    I don’t see how science or scientific views can be negotiated. As a matter of fact, that cannot happen and science be meaningful .

    Brian H says:
    February 21, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    Going easy would be easier if PNS didn’t come with SO much poli-sci baggage. The bottom line is that if the facts are questionable, and the analysis is dubious, and the data accumulation is a long-term project, then society and politicians are just going to have to deal with it.

    cirussell says:
    February 21, 2011 at 8:07 pm
    Mixing leftist political mumbo jumbo with science is a very disturbing thought. Mr. Ravetz appears to be a master of this nonsence.

    Steven Hoffer says:
    February 21, 2011 at 8:25 pm
    ….This is when Jimmy DEMANDS that there be a recount. After all, the number of blocks is not going to change, counting again will show if there are 13, 14, or 15 blocks.
    Jimmy goes to the corner for not playing nice with the class….

    John Whitman says:
    February 21, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    Amongst you lengthy post I discerned two false premises…
    The implication you make is science cannot get to a sufficient operating level of objective truth in climate ever so act now; therefore you infer human knowledge must remain essentially subjective on climate

    THANKS FOR THIS JOHN. It shows the fallacy of post normal science is rooted in destroying the very strength of science (verifiable, repeatable, empirical observations and experiments etc) in the scientific method. It is the attack on the scientific method that is the problem, and there is no common ground in defending this attack.

    memory vault says:
    February 22, 2011 at 12:12 am

    Mr Mosher – there IS no “common ground” between those of us interested in the truth and armed only with the scientific method and observable fact, against those interested only in a political agenda of “what best for the rest of us” and armed with the full weight of the MSM, politicians, the law enforcement agencies, a totally corrupted education system, well-funded advocacy groups, and – to date – some $70 billion in taxpayer’s funds for “research” into predetermined conclusions.

    Ron Cram says:
    February 21, 2011 at 10:19 pm

    For example, was it wrong for Douglas Keenan to point out some scientific claims made about data were not true and to press his allegations of academic misconduct against a climate researcher? Or was he right to do what he did? Isn’t the incivility the trampling of the standards of science Keenan was complaining about?

    Willis Eschenbach says:
    February 22, 2011 at 12:51 am

    I see the problem as being bad science being hyped by climate scientists to push an alarmist agenda. I think that until climate scientists start doing honest, transparent science, with all warts visible and all data and code archived, until then there is no hope of trust in climate science.

    wayne Job says:
    February 22, 2011 at 2:42 am
    Dr Ravetz, Sir,
    I have only major concern about scientists coming to terms in peaceful negotiations, and that is that they must all be scientists or followers of the scientific method. Those who do not follow scientific practices and fudge, cheat and hide their methods are not scientists,

    ThomasU says:
    February 22, 2011 at 3:09 am

    Mr. Ravez is confusing and mixing things and gets it wrong:

    Michael Larkin says:
    February 22, 2011 at 6:20 am

    As Muller himself admits, he simply accepted the hockey stick because he assumed Mann was as principled a scientist as he himself was. Now he feels differently, he wants to belay the hype and return to responsible science, conveying information in measured terms, making all data and methods freely available as a matter of course. Which is all I, and I daresay many others here, have ever wanted.

    David says:
    February 22, 2011 at 6:30 am

    “When facts are uncertain, when values are in conflict, when stakes are high, when decisions seem urgent, the FIRST casualty is “normal” science. “ I would say the first obligation of policy makers, those with integrity to truth, should be to PROTECT and defend “NORMAL” science, and not let it be a casualty.

    It is science, done correctly, that determines if decisions are “URGENT” and to rush prematurely to policy is to CREATE conflict, especially when that POLICY is what places “values in conflict“, demanding trillions in revenue, and world wide social restructure, centralizing power away from the individual, and even democracy, (when have the CAGW proponents ever said “lets vote on this”, and threatens the liberty of billions.

    Ron Cram says:
    February 22, 2011 at 6:31 am

    I am convinced that where the discourse goes off the rails is when scientists quit talking about science and begin talking about policy. It will only recover when enough scientists focus on the science and ignore those talking about policy

  178. vigilantfish says:

    steven mosher says:
    February 22, 2011 at 12:04 pm:

    I’ve been thinking. i know the minute I try to tell people how to act, that they will be able to find me doing the very thing I am complaining about. There is no getting away from that. When I was asked to attend the conference, I wrote down my position.
    It came to this. I don’t think we are even ready to talk about “reconciliation”. I think the best we can do is outline behaviors which make the conflict worse. I know those behaviors. I’ve engaged in them. Some people might think I’ve perfected some of them. But still, upon reflection, I’m more happy with the friends I’ve made than the enemies. Thanks Lucy. More thinking..
    —————-

    Love it! I fully agree, and look forward to your further ruminations. I very much regret a couple of intemperate comments made in the past here at WUWT.

  179. steven mosher says:

    Martin Lewitt says:
    February 22, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Steve Mosher,

    “Here’s a thought. If your theory is that we return to rational discourse by engaging in counter punching, hitting back, invective, insult, motive hunting, ect.. How well is that theory holding up? err not too well.”

    There is plenty of rational discourse here, so it mustn’t be working too well either.

    I say there isnt; you say there is. That’s rational?
    Of course there are some people who engage each other rationally. But I would not say there is plenty of that. I would say, there is little of it. There is a lot of gainsaying.
    I say no, you say yes. crowd cheers you. I am discredited. blah blah blah.

    What it is probably going to take is for the science to get settled and the hubris, dissemblance and dishonesty of the “debate is over” crowd to be thoroughly discredited.

    you say it’s going to take
    A. the science getting “settled”
    B. discrediting the ‘debate is over’ crowd.

    Well, I’d say this. The science is never settled. What actually happens is that over time fewer and fewer scientists see any benefit in questioning the science. It becomes accepted knowledge. Now, to be sure, cranks still waste their time questioning it, but few people pay them any notice. And more importantly they get ignored by engineers who have to make things that work. That’s why, for example, engineers who work on missiles, and radar and cell phones and satellite accept the core physics of radiative Transfer. Not because the science is ‘settled’, like some legal case, but rather because the science works.

    As for discrediting the “crowd” who says the debate is over, Do you really think a conversation flows out of that? “hey look, I know you are completely discredited, would you like to talk?” not likely. What’s better is a recognition that saying “the debate is over” was an mistake. But if you want to make it a moral issue, then I’ll predict that no one will want to confess to making that kind of error.

  180. Michael Larkin says:

    Steven Mosher,

    Mine is one of the quotes you include, viz: “I’m sorry, Dr. Ravetz, but your prose gives me the heebie-jeebies. Why? Because the universe you live in appears to me to be the artificial, nay phantasmagoric, construct of a confused mind.”

    You ask me to consider how Dr. Ravetz would react to this, and how they would play with the crowd.

    Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn how Dr. Ravetz reacts to it, and nor do I give a damn what “the crowd” thinks about it. I’ve said what I think, just as did Ravetz. I don’t believe what he’s ostensibly trying to do will work, and I’m not at all convinced he’s sincere. I wish both you and Ravetz would spare me the moralising and disapproving tone. It becomes neither of you.

  181. David says:

    Dr. Jerome Ravetz

    Do you teach at Oxford? My Daughter Nalini Asha Biggs, is getting her PHD there. She thinks the science is settled and places like WUWT are oil funded right wing propaganda. If you contact her could you giver her a different view?

  182. tallbloke says:

    Judy’s take is this:

    “Ravetz’s take on this is a bit strange. Willis and I have a long blogospheric history, going back to my first posts at climateaudit in 2006 on hurricanes. our exchanges have been cordial. This particular essay of Willis got him some MSM attention, and for a while he seemed to be playing up the attacks on me. But that has settled down. Ravetz seems to like the Curry as heretic narrative.”
    http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/21/lisbon-workshop-on-reconciliation-part-xii-ravetzs-lecture/#comment-45519

  183. daniel says:

    To Dr Ravetz

    I appreciate your comments on WUWT following the climategate, when you were underlining all deficiencies of some UK/US scientists as exposed by the e-mails.

    the referral to Arhenius and CO2 measurements at Mauna Loa do not ‘settle’ the climate issue. These points would IMHO only convince quite naive observers.

    I understand somehow the concept of post normal science in those cases where no actual scientific experiment is doable, such as astrophysics and decade long climate forecast, because any experiment would last decades, or we only have one Earth ; otherwise, the referral to values and high stakes would not make a difference to any other scientific field, ot to normal science.
    The high stake parameter leads to the precautionary principle ; the ‘only’ issue is that remedies may make more pain than good (see Guklani on this) ; this is all about hell being paved by good intentions, or, as Lindzen expresses it, a priority given by affluent populations to ‘feel good’ actions at any price (i e paid by others)
    Environmental advocacy groupes were happy with PNS because that allowed them to get invited to the negocation table ; PNS was so to speak practised by IPCC key leaders who invited many more NGO (and media) representatives to Climate Summits than governmental reprensentatives ; these NGO reprensentatives were probably in a position to exert some physical pressure on government represntatives. Then NGO are unhappy when other non academic come and ask for the same right : to participate to the debate. M&M – and any other – get nicknames ; their intervention is ridiculed because they are no climate academics and do not publish : NGO demonstrate that they only take PNS when it gives them a sort of monopoly. This does not strengthen the concept of PNS which becomes one-sided.

    For climate, it’s striking that :
    – scientists make an horrendous, unwarranted, use of statistical methods : due to values which entitle them to hijack statistics ?
    – model based projections get called experiments ; as Spencer wrote recently, it’s impossible for the time being to have a paper published comparing the IPCC climate projections since 15 years with actual facts
    – actual experiments such as CLOUD @ CERN in Europe receive little attention from so-called top journals such as Science or Nature, or from prominent environmental journalists

    I love the idea of non violent confrontation of ideas ; nevertheless I still dont’ see how to make a sensible use of your concept of PNS, which was recently mainly used to justify unwarranted climatic claims

  184. Martin Lewitt says:

    Steven Mosher,

    Why do you bring up a strawman like “radiative transfer”? That is the part that the models probably do well. A different matter might be whether the models properly couple that to the surface with albedo specific to the wavelengths involved, or to the complex surface of the ocean, but neither is the core scientific issue, which is the net feedback.

    When extreme claims are at issue, sometimes the science is settled in the sense that those making the claims can’t credibly cling to them anymore.

    “As for discrediting the “crowd” who says the debate is over, Do you really think a conversation flows out of that? “hey look, I know you are completely discredited, would you like to talk?” ”

    They would have to be the ones asking to talk, and be willing to accept the increased scrutiny their work will receive, if they want to be accepted as scientists again. Yes, they might have to address the substance for awhile, and respond to criticism openly and on point.

  185. Gary says:

    One might also look to Henry David Thoreau for insight into the nexus of non-violence (e.g., his protest of the Mexican-American War) and natural science (Walden, as a start, of course).

  186. Mister Ed says:

    old engineer says:
    February 22, 2011 at 11:04 am
    Non-violent communication does not evoke violent response.
    – – – – – – – – – –
    Is the science settled on this? {wink} Because I don’t think it holds for everyone who’s capable of violent responses. To construct an example, a sociopath with a hair-trigger temper may become so frustrated by a victim’s failure to rise to his taunting that he might then commit violence.

  187. k winterkorn says:

    Dr Ravetz:

    You could have been more convincing a peacemaker if you had said:

    “In the 1990’s we looked at the Arrhenius model of a greenhouse planet, the Mauna Loa data re CO2, and the warming trend of the last two decades and naturally became concerned that we were headed toward a CO2-forced apocalypse. But then the planet stopped warming, now for 15 years, and we know something more complicated must be going on. We had better slow down our destruction of the carbon-based economy, before we harm the weak and the poor, and get the Science right.”

    Remember the true Precautionary Principle: “Look before you Leap!”. That includes destroying a great and successful wealth-producing carbon-based economy before you have demonstrated the efficacy of the alternative.

  188. Bruce Cobb says:

    “The process does not work perfectly. There is no ‘hidden hand’ that guides scientists quickly and correctly to the right answer. There can be injustices and losses; great innovators can languish in obscurity for a lifetime, because their theories were too discordant with the prevailing paradigm or ‘tacit knowledge’.”

    Straw man alert. No one would claim otherwise. Science is “messy”. Alert the media.

    “However, to the best of our knowledge, the correct understanding does eventually emerge, thanks to the normal processes of debate and to the plurality of locations and voices in any field of science.”

    Normally that would be the way it works. But, in the case of CAGW/CC/etc. the scientific process was subverted. For one thing, CAGW became (and still is) a cash cow. Peer review became pal review. As Alarmist views became more prominent, the herd instinct began to take over, meaning even those with doubts would go along to get along, and so as not to rock the boat. Skepticism, instead of being welcomed meant becoming a pariah, with connections to Big Oil/Coal, and right-wing think tanks.

    The damage to science has been done, and the ramifications will be severe and long-lasting. Talking “nice” won’t change that. Alarmists are going to have a lot to answer for and soul-searching in future years. Some should see stiff penalties, and possibly even jail time.
    As for reconciliation? No way Jose. There is simply no compromising on the truth.

  189. Mark Miller says:

    Dr. Ravetz,

    Your attempt to “get people talking, and eventually framing particular scientific questions on which agreement could in principle be reached” is a worthy goal. During my youth, when I was doing product and process development, I found using a communication style that lead to dialogue vs. debate to be more effective in developing the critical thinking that was needed to come up with the questions.

    I was surprised to see your- “And in the course of that debate we have discovered a serious flaw in the prevailing philosophy of science: there is no explanation of honest error.”- comment. Having made a few honest scientific (and engineering) errors in the past I have personally never had an issue with an explanation of the error. I always thought it was assumed that scientific integrity required me to document the error, recommend actions to correct it and have a design review with the groups that used the information from my model as an input into their models to see if additional actions needed to be taken to address the error.

  190. eadler says:

    k winterkorn says:
    February 22, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Dr Ravetz:

    You could have been more convincing a peacemaker if you had said:

    “In the 1990′s we looked at the Arrhenius model of a greenhouse planet, the Mauna Loa data re CO2, and the warming trend of the last two decades and naturally became concerned that we were headed toward a CO2-forced apocalypse. But then the planet stopped warming, now for 15 years, and we know something more complicated must be going on. We had better slow down our destruction of the carbon-based economy, before we harm the weak and the poor, and get the Science right.”

    Remember the true Precautionary Principle: “Look before you Leap!”. That includes destroying a great and successful wealth-producing carbon-based economy before you have demonstrated the efficacy of the alternative.

    Sorry but your proposal is based on factually incorrect premises.
    The evidence shows that global warming has been continuing for the last 15 years. The temperature trend line does show a nominal positive slope, but the 95% uncertainty bar does just touch zero. If you reduce the required statistical uncertainty to a few percent below 95%, you will conclude that there has been warming. In addition if you take out the natural exogenous factors such as El Nino’s and volcanoes, there has been a consistent and significant warming trend.

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/01/21/phil-jones-was-wrong/

    In addition, the theory of global warming does not rest on the thermometer record. It is based on the physics as represented in the models, and the ice age record which confirms the range of climate sensitivities which scientist have been predicting from their simulations. The models also show that without GHG emissions by humans, the temperature increase of the past 40 years cannot be accounted for. Both Natural and Anthropogenic forcings are needed to explain the global average temperature changes in the last century.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-models-intermediate.htm

  191. eadler says:

    Bruce Cobb says:
    February 22, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    eadler says:
    February 22, 2011 at 6:51 am
    “This has become a political and ideological question. In such cases, civility,logic and rational thought goes out the window. Prejudice and belief reign supreme.”

    Yes indeed. The idiotic notion that our C02 is some sort of threat to the planet is both political and ideological, and the irrationality of Warmists is testament to a belief system which is beyond the pale, and itself poses a grave danger to humanity. Fortunately, there are many skeptics/climate realists challenging that belief system, which is now foundering.
    You’re welcome.

    Bruce,
    The history of the idea of global warming shows that the science is not political. It dates back to England in 1859, when John Tyndall determined that trace gases in the atmosphere are keeping the globe for becoming inhospitable to life, keeping it warm during the night. In 1896, Arrhenius calculated that industrial emissions are going to make the globe 6 degrees warmer if CO2 doubles. He calculated that it would take a few thousand years. In his mind this was a welcome effect. In the 1950’s better spectroscopy and computers which could model the atmosphere in 1 dimension, confirmed these old ideas. In the 1970’s 3d models of the earth provided more confirmation. The scientific basis of these ideas had no politics associated with it. In fact ,according to 2 independent polls, 97% of active climate scientists accept AGW, because the evidence for it is compelling.

    I would argue, that there will always be skeptics, but the 3% are a tiny tail that shouldn’t wag the dog. They do have some worthwhile arguments against some of the scientific results that seem to confirm AGW, but in the main, AGW has stood the test of time in the opinion of the body of climate scientists. Most of the skeptical arguments have actually been knocked down in the peer reviewed literature, but most of the skeptics don’t seem to know this. For this reason, it is important to continue a civil scientific discussion in blogs like this one.

    It is hard for many of the public to swallow the need for changes in lifestyle and increased government action, if it is based on complex physical theory about what will happen in the futrure, and is not strongly by their immediate personal experience. They are given ample justification for this attitude by the small percentage of genuine scientific dissenters, and the larger number of ideological opponents, aided by propaganda manufactured by special interests.

  192. flicka47 says:

    Cynthia Lauren Thorpe

    Add this one to your deer story…USF&G has just decided that in order to protect the Spotted Owl they are going to kill the Barred Owls,which is a neat catch-22,as they’re thought to be two sub-species of the same species.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/260150/killing-owls-save-owls-lou-dolinar

  193. eadler says:

    Ron Cram says:
    February 22, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Dr. Ravetz,

    I forgot to mention one other extremely important propositional statement:

    7. Post-normal science occurs in cases where “facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high and decisions urgent.” In science, the first of these three apply almost all the time. The claim that decisions are urgent (such as Jim Hansen’s statement to Barack Obama that he only had four years to save the world) has not been shown and has no credibility. Therefore, the goal is to return to a normal science situation as quickly as possible.

    Don’t pick on Hansen. He isn’t the only climate scientist who believes that the situation is urgent.

    Roger Pielke polled research climate scientists who published more than 50% of their papers on climate science. He found that a little more than half accepted the IPCC report as accurate, about 20% found it understated the problem and about 20% thought the problem was overstated by the IPCC.

    So it is true that 100% do not believe the problem is as urgent as the IPCC report says it is, but a large majority of them do. If you were running a business would you wait to make a decision until you had 100% agreement among the technical experts you consulted? I certainly wouldn’t. I would swallow hard and do what needed to be done if they said the survival of my business depended on taking their advice.

  194. flicka47 says:

    Bob Kutz

    OK, I’ll go along with calling them just stupid….

    Hey! Wait a minute! I thought the AGW crowd of scientists were calling themselves too smart to be ignored!!

    Seriously though, stupid or evil, the results of the policies they demand be enforced are evil, so they are either too proud to back down from what could quite realistically cause the starvation of millions. Or do not care what their preferred policies will cause.

    So, even if they are just stupid, the results of their stupidity is evil.

    I do not seriously think too many folks are evil with a capital “E”. But the cupidity and hubris is pretty amazing. “Lets talk nicely with one another, and come to a conscensus. But while we’re doing that with you “skeptics”, we’re going to continue to push our preferred policies, because we are right…(and we don’t care how many of you think we cheated to get the answers we did & we’re not going to provide our work either!)”

    So, is there a way around their stupidity? Other than to convince enough folks that what they have planned is not the answer? Because it looks like these folks have too much invested to see the stupidity/evil of their answer to the problem.

  195. The question is actually much simpler than presented above, and does not require any sort of facilitation or refereeing; the ordinary canons of science will suffice.

    Since the most rigorous statements of any scientific theory are mathematical, we can agree that the current generation of IPCC computer models constitute statements of the AGW hypothesis, though they vary in particular parameters. Thus the output of these models constitute testable predictions.

    They have failed, spectacularly, in every respect.

    End of story.

  196. Smokey says:

    The Wall Street Journal has its Barrie Harrop, and WUWT has its eadler.

    If I were scoring, I’d say that Barrie is the less incredible of the two. At least he has an economic self-interest in his alarmism schtick.

    As for Ravitz, all he has to do is to demand, first and foremost, that the scientific method – which has lifted humanity out of the Dark Ages – must be the basic required criteria for science, and superseding all the “postnormal” BS.

    Simples, no?

  197. eadler says:

    johanna says:
    February 22, 2011 at 8:02 am

    eadler said:

    Initially’, in the 1980′s and 1990′s, this attack on the science, was lead by the energy interests in the US, who contributed to think tanks like CATO, Heritage, and Heartland Institute. These think tanks employed some like minded scientists to lead the denial of the science. Other groups opposed to big government have also chimed in. It is pretty clear that among laymen, there is a large correlation between political stance and one’s position on the science of global warming.
    ———————————————————-
    First of all, could I share with you my irritation with the term ‘the science’, which is about as (no, less!) meaningful than ‘the pink horned unicorn’. The pink horned unicorn might possibly exist. ‘The science’ is an oxymoron. One of the two words has to go, for either to have any meaning.

    I am sorry that you are irritated. Climate Science is a recognized branch of Physics. The fact that you are irritated about it, doesn’t matter to the Universities and scientific organizations who recognize it. Clearly from a procedural stand point it has theories that are based on physics, and observations are made that are compared with theoretical calculations.

    While people like Anthony are not living (sorry owning, only dropping in now and then) in $20m mansions on the coast in California, I won’t bother with the nonsense about rivers of gold to those who disagree with the so-called consensus.
    You are replying to an allegation not made – a straw man argument. I never said that everyone who objects to AGW is being paid handsomely by industry. There are people who earn a living from think tanks supported by energy interests, and tobacco companies by objecting to AGW , but I didn’t claim that all do. Some have scientific objections, and others are acting out of political ideology.
    Finally, the correlation between people’s political views and their opinions on CAGW is nowhere as clear cut as you imagine. In the UK, while all major parties subscribe to this nonsense, most voters, across the board, do not. I will not presume to comment on US politics, which is much more complicated than choices between 2 parties – but the punters are not buying it, that much is clear. In Australia, the conservative parties came within a whisker of winning the last election on a skeptical policy platform. The Labor Party is now doing everything in its power to slow down and sideline mad policies which will hit its working class base, while trying not to lose face.

    In Australia, Green voters are mostly affluent inner city dwellers who (a) can afford doubling of power prices and (b) wouldn’t last 5 minutes in the bush.

    Of course the correlation in the US is not perfect, but it is very strong and compelling. Check this Pew Poll out:
    http://pewresearch.org/pubs/1780/poll-global-warming-scientists-energy-policies-offshore-drilling-tea-party
    % %
    Do you believe the earth is warming – Dem Y 75 Rep Y 18
    Because of human activity 53 16

    Do Scientists Agree that the earth 59 30
    warming because of human activity

    I can’t find similar data for the UK Australia or Canada.

    It would be taxing WUWT readers (and me) to run through the rest of the errors in your post. But, please do not imagine that silence is assent.

    Your track record at finding errors in my post is so poor, that you really shouldn’t tax yourself any further.

  198. Ron Cram says:

    eadler,

    One reason why so many climate scientists think the IPCC report is accurate or underestimates the dangers is because they have never seen an unbiased assessment with significant involvement by skeptics and lukewarmers. The large number of skeptical papers published since 2007 ought to make the next assessment much less alarmist. Given the IPCC’s propensity to focus on alarmist papers and to ignore skeptical papers, we cannot trust them to provide an unbiased AR5.

    Please see my proposal here:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/13/a-modest-proposal-in-lieu-of-disbanding-the-ipcc/

  199. steven mosher says:

    #
    #
    David says:
    February 22, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Dr. Jerome Ravetz, Tallbloke, Steven Mosher, others. There are many thought out articulate expressions critical of PNS. One theme is most common, and that is the corrupting of science, and the scientific method by integrating it with policy.

    I have heard none of you address these concerns directly.

    I’ve done this many times on many threads here at WUWT at Judiths at Tamino at Shewonks. Yes the warmists misunderstand PNS as well.

    If you like I will start again from ground zero.

  200. steven mosher says:

    Michael

    Steven Mosher,

    Mine is one of the quotes you include, viz: “I’m sorry, Dr. Ravetz, but your prose gives me the heebie-jeebies. Why? Because the universe you live in appears to me to be the artificial, nay phantasmagoric, construct of a confused mind.”

    You ask me to consider how Dr. Ravetz would react to this, and how they would play with the crowd.

    Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn how Dr. Ravetz reacts to it, and nor do I give a damn what “the crowd” thinks about it. I’ve said what I think, just as did Ravetz. I don’t believe what he’s ostensibly trying to do will work, and I’m not at all convinced he’s sincere. I wish both you and Ravetz would spare me the moralising and disapproving tone. It becomes neither of you.

    Actually, Micheal I asked people to consider your comment as a piece of writing from a rhetorical perspective. That’s not a moral perspective and there is no disapproving of you. What I mean is this. When I ask people to look at the rhetoric I mean they should look at the basic aspects of rhetoric. Who is the speaker and how does he present himself? Who is the intended audience? what is the purpose of the communication? what devices are used? is it EFFECTIVE.

    What you have said is that Ravetz is not your audience. You dont care what he thinks. And the crowd here is not your audience. You “said what you think” just to get it off your chest. You have no intention of convincing anyone or reasoning with anyone or entertaining anyone or any of that. You dont care how your audience reacts. This is NOT what ravetz has done. He has not simply said what he thinks. He is trying to have some effect. on you. on me. Now, you seem to argue that you just wrote to “say what you think” Self expression. Written for yourself to yourself. You don’t care what effect it has on others. Why then do you care that I understood or misunderstood it?
    Quite simply, its very hard to maintain that you just said what you think. Why say it here? You come here for a reason. You write for a reason. I don’t judge those reasons.
    As a piece of writing, however, I’m wondering what effect you expected that piece of writing would have?

    You see the difference between judging your words morally and using them to ask “what was your purpose?”

  201. steven mosher says:

    Mark Miller says:
    February 22, 2011 at 5:31 pm

    Dr. Ravetz,

    I was surprised to see your- “And in the course of that debate we have discovered a serious flaw in the prevailing philosophy of science: there is no explanation of honest error.”- comment

    More precisely what he means to say is that there is no theory of honest error. Of course one can “explain” why particular errors are made. But this is ad hoc and after the fact. he’s also pointing to the phenomena of “personalizing” and politicizing error.
    In short, because we have no theory or explanation of honest error, we tend to fall into explantions that suit our needs. He was a marxist, he was a green, he was getting paid by big Oil. That’s the phenomena Ravetz is interested in.

  202. steven mosher says:

    Martin Lewitt says:
    February 22, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Steven Mosher,

    Why do you bring up a strawman like “radiative transfer”? That is the part that the models probably do well

    I would bring it up because there are still people who deny it. We cannot begin to talk about the real uncertainties ( which you allude to) if we dont have some common agreed upon basis. So, It’s not a strawman. Read Judith Curry’s blog and see how persistent some people are with their refusal to accept science that actually works.
    That’s why folks like me and ryan O and jeff id who are critical of climate science shenanigans, really want people to understand this. C02 causes warming. The issue is HOW MUCH. if skeptics focused on that then a couple things might be possible.

    1. Charges about being anti science would not stick
    2. the real issue would get our full attention
    3. some people might be more receptive to complaints about data sharing etc.

  203. Oliver Ramsay says:

    eadler says

    “Most of the skeptical arguments have actually been knocked down in the peer reviewed literature, but most of the skeptics don’t seem to know this. For this reason, it is important to continue a civil scientific discussion in blogs like this one.”
    ———————————–
    I don’t get why it’s important. Why wouldn’t you leave us alone in our foil hat, flat earth echo chamber? I bet you’re not showing up on all the astrology and conspiracy sites to try and bring them into the fold.

  204. Willis Eschenbach says:

    steven mosher says:
    February 22, 2011 at 1:29 pm

    … So basically I think Jerry has a pretty accurate view of your attitude. Maybe Loathe was too strong a word. maybe it was too sly of a rhetorical device for folks to get.

    I found his (and I guess your) “view of my attitude” to be condescending, crass, stupid, and most importantly, very wrong. If you think his direct nasty frontal assault on me is “sly”, then I feel sorry for your mom, you must have been a real trial for her.

    And if all of his nasty, snarky name-calling was just a “rhetorical device”, then either I don’t understand rhetoric, or you and he don’t. What he put out there was a slimy insult, Mosh, even though you seem to think it was ice cream.

    I found it incredible that after such a low-life attack on me that Jerry had the nerve to even mention “non-violence”, that’s like Ted Nugent claiming to advocate the joys of the Vegan life …

    w.

  205. In addition, the theory of global warming does not rest on the thermometer record. It is based on the physics as represented in the models…

    Bravo, eadler! That’s the very essence of your “science.”

    As Nikola Tesla observed, “Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality.”

  206. don penman says:

    I would be more convinced about AGW if history showed that the science community as a whole decided that co2 greenhouse warming was a big problem and government needed to do something it but history shows that it was governments who decided to fund AGW research to determine that there was a problem.

  207. Jessie says:

    eadler says: February 22, 2011 at 8:44 pm

    How can a sample size of 2,251 adults be representative from a population of US individuals (a rough count of 15yrs+) 245,267,292 be representative?

    That is a phenomenal art of reporting using sampling and weighting.

    Perhaps it is a household survey? In which case it is should be stated as such. I also note they like to weight towards youth?

    ‘This ratio is based on an analysis that attempts to balance cost and fieldwork considerations as well as to improve the overall demographic composition of the sample (in terms of age, race/ethnicity and education). This ratio also ensures a minimum number of cell only respondents in each survey.’
    http://people-press.org/methodology/about/

  208. don penman says:

    I would be more convinced about AGW if history showed that the science community as a whole decided that co2 greenhouse warming was a big problem and government needed to do something about it but history shows that it was governments who decided to fund AGW research to determine that there was a problem.I think that governments need to stop funding the IPCC and AGW alarmists in order to get a clearer picture of what is happening to the climate .

  209. Martin Lewitt says:

    eadler,

    “Most of the skeptical arguments have actually been knocked down in the peer reviewed literature, but most of the skeptics don’t seem to know this.”

    Its the ones that don’t get knocked down that get you.

    “It is based on the physics as represented in the models, and the ice age record which confirms the range of climate sensitivities which scientist have been predicting from their simulations.”

    Climate sensitivities across an ice age/interglacial tipping point are not relevant to the sensitivity to CO2 in today’s climate over the next couple centuries in a warming climate. There is no model independent evidence to support the model sensitivities and net feedbacks to CO2 in this climate. The sensitivities of models that represent less than half the observed increase in precipitation (per Wentz) are just as irrelevant for projecting the current climate as they should be irrelevant for projecting “increased” risk of drought.

    Do you have an informed opinion on the AGW hypothesis, if so, it looks like the AGW community still has not come up with any better evidence?

    “Climate Science is a recognized branch of Physics. ”

    No it isn’t. It is a multidisciplinary field, generally considered an earth science like geology and meteorology. As a result, very few “climate scientists” have an informed opinion on the AGW hypothesis. Glaciologists, paleo-climatologists, various biological temperature proxy specialists, solar activity proxy specialists, cloud physics model specialists, aerosol emission and tracking specialists, radiative transfer specialists, satellite instrument specialists, etc. would have to have gone out of their way to have an informed opinion on the state of the assessment of the net feedback to CO2 forcing in the current climate, and some of them might have done so, but the research is really just in the line of work of a few climate scientists.

  210. Gerry

    I think the least thing you need do is to come to terms with Willis – that also means being willing to listen and learn from him. Willis represents the nub of what makes many/most of us here wild with anger/distress with what CAGW have done to Scientific Method. I still don’t think you understand why we are passionate about Scientific Method.

    I have also given you a way through. I think that PNS is, at its highest, most useful and ethical function, capable of recognizing the human dimension. The human dimension that has been “excluded” from Scientific Method, and has eventually found ways of biting back.

    That human dimension needs to be re-included. But it needs to be re-included via the front door ie a reconsideration of Scientific Method itself, not to dismiss or dilute the search for Truth and the classic experimental methods used in that search, but to deepen its understood and accepted remit.

    At present, PNS is only a back-door approach. It is not the “straight and narrow way”.

  211. Michael Larkin says:

    Steven,

    ‘You “said what you think” just to get it off your chest. You have no intention of convincing anyone or reasoning with anyone or entertaining anyone or any of that. You dont care how your audience reacts. This is NOT what ravetz has done. He has not simply said what he thinks.’

    Saying that I don’t give a damn what anyone thinks about what I said doesn’t mean there was no point posting it. Each reader will take from it whatever s/he wants; I don’t care whether they are approving or not approving, but some might draw something useful or interesting from it.

    And if Ravetz hasn’t simply said what he thinks, has he said what someone else thinks? Or, do you mean that he has not simply got something off his chest, which you telepathically divined was my motive?

    You are speaking soft-seeming words, Steven, but your mind is making a number of assumptions about my motivations and attempting to cast me in the role of villain or simpleton, I’m not sure which. I don’t personally care what you think of my piece, but I do want you to reflect and see how you yourself, and Ravetz, might be coming across despite the superficially saintly tones.

    I don’t want to be effective in the sense you mean. If I want to be effective, it’s only in demonstrating to Ravetz that I think he’s living in a dreamworld, using the climate issue as a trojan horse to promote his ideas about PNS. Of course, he’ll ignore that and carry on regardless, but at least he’ll be aware people aren’t rolling over and accepting what I regard as a faux solution to a problem which can only truly be solved by a return to basic scientific principles and ethics.

    Hence my mention of Muller at Berkeley. Though he’s a warmist and I’m somewhat sceptical, he thinks, as I do, that such a return will work. He seems a man, albeit on the other side of the fence, that one can do business with and have some confidence in. With a man like that, civilised dialogue would come quite naturally, and no need at all for PNS.

  212. steven mosher says:

    Willis Eschenbach.

    I dunno, One way to read “I love you, but” is very simple. You wanted to give yourself
    cover. If you look at the balance of your essay on Judith you spent a bunch of time raking her over the coals and a small bit of time praising her. One way to read that
    is that you really dont have all those nice feelings at all, but you cant bring yourself to hit a girl.

    That’s a way to read it. Now, since I know you, I know the praise is probably real.
    But Jerry doesnt have that benefit. On the other hand, I also know Jerry and we spoke about you at dinner. He has high regard for you. So, one way to read his text is to
    understand that he wanted to draw this stark contrast. Even though Willis loathes Judith for X Y and Z, he does compliment her. Now of course you are free to take a harsher reading of this, but I’m in the unfortunate position of knowing you both and I think the truth is more toward my view of things. But, your free to your interpretation.
    Interpretations are not like science, there is no real falsification of them. The closest you can get to that is the kind of retraction you had to do, where people thought you were calling Judy stupid. Maybe Jerry missed that correction?
    Finally, you miss the key point. The start of non violent communication doesnt mean you drop your angry words. As ravetz says its ENOUGH for you or me or him to acknowledge that we are not completely evil. As for my Mom. You did know that she died in childbirth?

    gotcha.

  213. David says:

    steven mosher says:
    February 22, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    Steve, If you can yes, a brief summary, and a link or two would be appreciatied. As of now I find most of many of the comments I linked well written and convincing.
    My entire post at David says: February 22, 2011 at 6:30 am is a summary of my concernes with PNS. I have heard you talk about how when the need is urgent, then PNS has to be involved, yet as I stated “It is science, done correctly, that determines if decisions are “URGENT” and to rush prematurely to policy is to CREATE conflict, especially when that POLICY is what places “values in conflict“, demanding trillions in revenue, and world wide social restructure, centralizing power away from the individual, and even democracy, (when have the CAGW proponents ever said “lets vote on this”), and threatens the liberty of billions.

  214. David says:

    Steve Mosher says,
    “That’s why folks like me and ryan O and jeff id who are critical of climate science shenanigans, really want people to understand this. C02 causes warming.
    The issue is HOW MUCH. if skeptics focused on that then a couple things might be possible.”

    Steve, this is about the third time you have said this recently and I think clarity is important. I wish this would read, The issue is how much, and how harmful or BENEFICIAL is the additional CO2 induced warmth. It is the C in CAGW that most of us have an issue with.

  215. David says:

    Steven Mosher

    I also found your comments defending what Mr Ravetz wrote in that paragraph about Willis strange, and something that will weaken other things you say, if you wish to influence them. Willis sucessfully came to his own defense. Here was my perspective.

    Mr. Ravetz, for a man advocating non violence, you use rather inflammatory language. Speaking of Willis you say… ”Of course he LOATHED HER for complicity in the great Warmista fraud, and he DESPISED HER for attempting to apologize for her actions rather than CRAWLING to WUWT in full contrition.
    But he HAD TO ADMIT that he respected and admired her for guts in doing a Daniel act, and facing the lions like himself
    At that point, non-violence in the climate debate was born. For Willis had realized that BAD people are not necessarily all bad.
    There might even be some purpose in talking to them!”

    Mr Ravetz, why assign to people things you can not know if they did not state it. You have no idea if Willis LOATHED and DESPISED her, or simply did not approve of certain things she previously stated and actions she took. Willis did not HAVE TO ADMIT, anything, he chose, as he usually does, to be honest and up front in his thoughts. I also think that Willis has for a long time had the maturity to understand that “BAD people are not necessarily all bad. There might even be some purpose in talking to them.” I find your entire paragraph here to be presumptive, condescending and overly sarcastic.

    Mr Mosher, your example to Willis, where he inserted an edit to show that some of his comments were not meant personally to Dr Curry but were directed at the state of climate science in general, missed the mark. Why? Because everything Dr Ravets stated in this paragraph can not be taken in any other way but personally.

  216. Bruce Cobb says:

    eadler says:
    February 22, 2011 at 6:11 pm
    The history of the idea of global warming shows that the science is not political. It dates back to England in 1859, when John Tyndall determined…
    Thanks for the “history” lesson on the birth of the greenhouse effect. But see, where you and all your climate troll buddies go wrong is that no one disputes that there is a greenhouse effect, so it’s a complete straw man on your part. It is interesting and revealing that you feel the need to go back in time over a century and a half to “show” that the modern-day hysteria about “carbon” which only really began about 30 years ago is not political.
    As for your statement that 97% of active climate scientists accept AGW, because the evidence for it is compelling allow me to deconstruct that bit of nonsense for you. First, surely you realize that it is simply a blatant and illogical Appeal to
    Consensus as well as an Appeal to Authority. Secondly, the poll itself is a politically-motivated one, in which 75 of 77 actively publishing climate scietists agreed that “human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures”. Wow, a grand total of 75 “scientists” whose careers are based on pushing the CAGW/CC myth. Amazing. And not even any mention of “carbon” either, just “human activity”.

    Most of the skeptical arguments have actually been knocked down in the peer reviewed literature, but most of the skeptics don’t seem to know this.

    By “peer reviewed”, you mean of course pal reviewed, by “scientists” with a definite stake in keeping the CAGW/CC/etc. myth alive. In any case mostly what they “knock down” are straw men they conveniently erect for that purpose, since they aren’t really interested in either science or truth, but simply furthering their own careers.

    Your condescending and patronizing attitude both towards the lowly public as well as skeptics/climate realists is duly noted. It’s an interesting way upon which to base a “civil” discussion, but different strokes. Have a nice day.

  217. Vince Causey says:

    eadler,

    you say “If you reduce the required statistical uncertainty to a few percent below 95%, you will conclude that there has been warming.”

    Which means, I suppose, that if we are allowed to make a statement not supported by the measurements, there has been warming.

    You then say, “In addition if you take out the natural exogenous factors such as El Nino’s and volcanoes, there has been a consistent and significant warming trend.”

    If I understand you, you are saying if it wasn’t getting cooler it would be getting warmer.

    You then go on to say “The models also show that without GHG emissions by humans, the temperature increase of the past 40 years cannot be accounted for.”

    Yes, models predict . . . we don’t know why . . . can’t account for, etc.

    Sounds like real solid science to me. How could I have ever been sceptical?

  218. Brian H says:

    Vince;
    Please keep in mind, also, that the whole “95%” standard is an outrage. It is a grossly inadequate filter for the problems in maintaining reliability and validity of a complex science. From data snooping to statistical “correlation shopping” to publication bias to …

    Only the mushiest of soft sciences rely on such weak testing. Physics is not one of them.

  219. Martin Lewitt says:

    eadler,

    “The models also show that without GHG emissions by humans, the temperature increase of the past 40 years cannot be accounted for.”

    Did you realize that your reference relied upon the Third Assessment Report? In any case I couldn’t find support for that statement in the ch 12 that they referenced. My recollection of past statements is that they usually bundle the anthropogenic forcings, chiefly CO2 and aerosols. The model diagnostics are much improved in the FAR, and the intermodel comparisons show that nearly all the model differences in climate sensitivity while “matching” the 20th century is due to the leeway allowed by the uncertainty in anthropogenic aerosol forcing. Those models could probably match the temperature increase with aerosols and solar, and probably even with aerosols alone.

  220. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Thanks, mosh, your thoughts are always interesting.

    steven mosher says:
    February 23, 2011 at 3:56 am

    Willis Eschenbach.

    I dunno, One way to read “I love you, but” is very simple. You wanted to give yourself
    cover. If you look at the balance of your essay on Judith you spent a bunch of time raking her over the coals and a small bit of time praising her. One way to read that
    is that you really dont have all those nice feelings at all, but you cant bring yourself to hit a girl.

    That’s a way to read it. Now, since I know you, I know the praise is probably real.
    But Jerry doesnt have that benefit. On the other hand, I also know Jerry and we spoke about you at dinner. He has high regard for you. So, one way to read his text is to understand that he wanted to draw this stark contrast. Even though Willis loathes Judith for X Y and Z, he does compliment her. Now of course you are free to take a harsher reading of this, but I’m in the unfortunate position of knowing you both and I think the truth is more toward my view of things. But, your free to your interpretation.

    So you are saying that all Jerry meant was that ” Even though Willis loathes Judith for X Y and Z, he does compliment her.”

    Y’know, if I had ever loathed or even disliked Judith, I suppose that would make sense. But I don’t. I respect and admire Judith, although I often disagree with her. I interacted with her for quite a while on ClimateAudit before I first wrote for WUWT. My interactions with her have always been positive and cordial. She, alone among climate scientists, invited Steve McIntyre to come and address her class at Georgia. I have lauded her publicly for years for this and for her other actions in support of honest science. She is a beacon in the field.

    So everything that Jerry is going on about how I changed, or how I loathed Judith but still I’m cordial with her, is just Jerry’s fantasies. They have nothing to do with reality.

    For Jerry to publicly promote this twisted and groundless interpretation of me and my motives and my actions is absolutely unacceptable to me. It also exhibits an appalling lack of awareness and very poor character judgement on his part … I’m not exactly known for ignoring egregious misrepresentations of my character, I suppose “prickly on the subject” might be accurate .

    Finally, it was entirely gratuitous, in that the subject of his post was his Lisbon lecture. I had nothing to do with either Lisbon or his lecture. Since his was not a hasty post, doesn’t he even do the simplest cost-benefit analysis of the development of the theme? I cut out entire sections if I think there’s a chance they’ll distract from what I have to say, or are not crucial to my exposition.

    So why would he invite problems by speculating on, of all poor choices available, someone’s motives and judgements? I mean, that’s beyond klutzy, that’s fail-blog social malfunction.

    Interpretations are not like science, there is no real falsification of them. The closest you can get to that is the kind of retraction you had to do, where people thought you were calling Judy stupid. Maybe Jerry missed that correction?

    My words are often misunderstood, despite my earnest efforts towards clarity. I often have to issue clarifications. If Jerry wants to offer one, I’m more than happy to listen. I don’t think he’s a bad guy.

    Finally, you miss the key point. The start of non violent communication doesnt mean you drop your angry words. As ravetz says its ENOUGH for you or me or him to acknowledge that we are not completely evil. As for my Mom. You did know that she died in childbirth?

    “Evil” is a word that I almost never use, unless I’m discussing the use of the word. It is not a useful word to me because it is far too emotionally loaded, and subject to too many widely varying interpretations. For me, if I were forced to define it, I’d say that Genghis Khan was brutal and cruel, and that Dr. Mengele was evil. I would also say it was unlikely Mengele was completely evil. He probably could not conceive of treating puppies like he treated people. But beyond that, further deponent sayeth not …

    So the idea that I need to acknowledge that “we are not completely evil” is laughable. I hold an idea that is at the extreme opposite of the spectrum. I say that evil as I understand it is extremely rare among humans, and that the seven deadly sins and all of their cousins are extremely common, particularly if we include cerebral density on the list.

    In addition, I hold that among the various sins, that “noble cause corruption” and desire for public recognition and laziness and stupidity and willful misunderstanding and the like are far more common than bad intent. I don’t think that Phil Jones is motivated by a desire to twist the climate record, for example. I do think that noble cause corruption has impelled him to avoid unpleasant questions, and that a generally loose attitude towards data integrity pushed him to conceal the poor record-keeping by avoiding my FOI request.

    But in no case do I consider him evil, or even with bad intentions. If he were, this would be much easier. He’s just another fool like me, with good intentions. Unfortunately, his led him seriously astray. By a series of imperceptible steps, none of them visibly wrong, he wandered afar in the fog to a point where he was advising people to destroy evidence that was the subject of an FOI request …

    This is my basic assumption about almost all of the Climategate “un-indicted co-conspirators”, to use the lovely Nixonian phrase. I assume they are all victims of noble cause corruption, where you believe in something so strongly and the aim (saving us from Thermageddon) is so noble that any actions can be justified.

    Michael Mann is a bit different, in that we know he withheld extremely serious adverse results when publishing the “Hockeystick” paper … but again, he was a new PhD who saw a world of fame beckoning if his results didn’t show the Medieval Warm Period. I have much more disdain for his actions once he was caught with his hand in the scientific cookie jar than I do for his scientific malfeasance itself. So I would say again not evil or bad, just a tragic figure seduced by a desire for scientific acclaim and a wish to “save the planet”.

    So I fear that I do “miss the key point” if it involves the idea that “people are not entirely evil”, that concept is imcomprehensible in my world view …

    Thanks,

    w.

  221. eadler says:

    Martin Lewitt says:
    February 23, 2011 at 7:48 am

    eadler,

    “The models also show that without GHG emissions by humans, the temperature increase of the past 40 years cannot be accounted for.”

    Did you realize that your reference relied upon the Third Assessment Report? In any case I couldn’t find support for that statement in the ch 12 that they referenced. My recollection of past statements is that they usually bundle the anthropogenic forcings, chiefly CO2 and aerosols. The model diagnostics are much improved in the FAR, and the intermodel comparisons show that nearly all the model differences in climate sensitivity while “matching” the 20th century is due to the leeway allowed by the uncertainty in anthropogenic aerosol forcing. Those models could probably match the temperature increase with aerosols and solar, and probably even with aerosols alone.

    The link on the Skeptical Science web site is broken. You are correct about the graphs coming from the 3rd IPCC report. Here is a working link.
    http://www.grida.no/publications/other/ipcc_tar/?src=/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/figspm-4.htm

    The attribution part of AR4 is stated in a table, which contains links to detailed analysis and similar diagrams to those in AR3 above, with even more detail including regional breakdowns.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-7.html#table-9-4

    Since the aerosals alone would create a cooling trend, and the anthropogenic emission of GHG’s create the main warming trend, the aerosals couldn’t be responsible for warming, despite the uncertainty in trend that you mention.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-9-9.html

  222. eadler says:

    Bruce Cobb says:
    February 23, 2011 at 5:13 am

    eadler says:
    February 22, 2011 at 6:11 pm
    The history of the idea of global warming shows that the science is not political. It dates back to England in 1859, when John Tyndall determined…
    Thanks for the “history” lesson on the birth of the greenhouse effect. But see, where you and all your climate troll buddies go wrong is that no one disputes that there is a greenhouse effect, so it’s a complete straw man on your part. It is interesting and revealing that you feel the need to go back in time over a century and a half to “show” that the modern-day hysteria about “carbon” which only really began about 30 years ago is not political.

    There are skeptics who deny the existence of the greenhouse effect, even though you may not.
    The point that I made, which was accurate, the idea of global warming was developed by climate scientists based on well established physics, and was not related to politics at all. In fact until the development of computer programs which provided detailed regional climate information some scientists thought that warming due to GHG’s would be beneficial. The political backlash came after publication of the scientific results.

    As for your statement that 97% of active climate scientists accept AGW, because the evidence for it is compelling allow me to deconstruct that bit of nonsense for you. First, surely you realize that it is simply a blatant and illogical Appeal to
    Consensus as well as an Appeal to Authority.

    Appeal to authority is a valid argument, if the authority is based on expertise. It is better than relying on the opinion of the general public. .

    Secondly, the poll itself is a politically-motivated one, in which 75 of 77 actively publishing climate scietists agreed that “human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing mean global temperatures”. Wow, a grand total of 75 “scientists” whose careers are based on pushing the CAGW/CC myth. Amazing. And not even any mention of “carbon” either, just “human activity”.
    Darwin’s theory of evolution is the basis of biology. There may be only one research biologist in the world who doubts it, and he is often quoted by those who believe in some form of Godly intervention. Such people would be well advised to be guided by the consensus of professional research biologists, despite the fact that they earn a living, and their careers are based on the theory of evolution…. or maybe you believe that evolution is a myth that biologists are just cashing in on, and Intelligent Design, or biblical creation are the real means of creation of different life forms.

    There were two polls of research scientists, one by Doran, and one by Pielke and Annan; and both got a result of 97% . The statistical confidence interval is only a few percent around this number.

    eadler says:
    “Most of the skeptical arguments have actually been knocked down in the peer reviewed literature, but most of the skeptics don’t seem to know this.”

    By “peer reviewed”, you mean of course pal reviewed, by “scientists” with a definite stake in keeping the CAGW/CC/etc. myth alive. In any case mostly what they “knock down” are straw men they conveniently erect for that purpose, since they aren’t really interested in either science or truth, but simply furthering their own careers.

    Your condescending and patronizing attitude both towards the lowly public as well as skeptics/climate realists is duly noted. It’s an interesting way upon which to base a “civil” discussion, but different strokes. Have a nice day.

    I am not condescending or patronizing at all. I cite scientific literature and historical facts that you ignore. Your main argument seems to be that the scientists are all liars. That way you can ignore the scientific work that has been done on the subject, and not bother to reply to the historical or scientific arguments.

  223. Roger Carr says:

    eadler says: (February 22, 2011 at 6:38 am)
    I am resigned to the invective that will come my way if this gets posted by the moderator.

    That remark is insulting to the moderators, Anthony, and the readership here, eadler, all of whom welcome balanced opinion — which your post is.

  224. Smokey says:

    eadler,

    You couldn’t get 97% of biologists to agree that bears crap in the woods. Quit trying to peddle that 97% nonsense.

  225. Cynthia Lauren Thorpe says:

    [snip - rambling, off topic, insulting - Anthony]

  226. Roger Carr says:

    eadler: In hindsight I edit my line “That remark is insulting to the moderators, Anthony, and the readership here, eadler, all of whom welcome balanced opinion — which your post is.”

    I replace it with: “That remark is insulting to the moderators, Anthony, and the readership here, eadler, all of whom welcome opinion.”

  227. Pooh, Dixie says:

    Reconciliation? As compromise, no. Can science advance though political compromises about the explanation for observations? The clash of ideas often advances understanding. A better model is the drawn-out dispute between Gamow and Hoyle: Gamow’s neutron fusion failed for mass numbers 5 and 8; Hoyle’s stellar fusion succeeded, but could not explain initiation. Others built upon both theories to produce the current explanation. Nonetheless, “first cause” remains an open issue, among others.

    The “remedy” proposed for CAGW involves major demolition of the basis for current advances in human welfare. Diversion of farmland to produce ethanol is a case in point (food affordability and starvation). Banning DDT in all its forms and applications is another (malaria). Banning CFC has little effect other than price increases and corporate favors; the ozone hole remains constant (D’Aleo).

    The remedy by political elites remind me of a line from Shrek: “Some of you may die, but it’s a sacrifice I am willing to make.” – Farquaad

  228. Roger Carr says:

    Cynthia Lauren Thorpe says: (February 23, 2011 at 8:21 pm)
    They’ve disarmed Australia with the ‘set up’ they staged in Tasmania.

    You crossed the line with that sentence, Cynthia. A lot of people were killed by a crazy gunman that afternoon. I disagree with the severity of the gun laws that sprang from it; but there was no “set up” and you owe a large and humble apology to your new country of choice for even suggesting it.

    Anthony; moderators: Please see “Port Arthur massacre (Australia)” and consider very careful moderation of Cynthia’s comments in future.

  229. Brian H says:

    Cindy;
    Streamofconsciousness chat-chat doesn’t communicate on paper. So solly.
    trivia notes:
    “useful fools” (not “tools”)
    Hawking, Stephen

  230. Brian H says:

    Roger Carr says:
    February 23, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Coincidentally, just now listening the great TV philosopher, Greg Gutfeld (Red Eye), and he noted that in any shooting incident, the arrival of a second person with a gun ends it.

  231. Martin Lewitt says:

    eadler,

    “Since the aerosals alone would create a cooling trend, and the anthropogenic emission of GHG’s create the main warming trend, the aerosals couldn’t be responsible for warming, despite the uncertainty in trend that you mention.”

    Variation in aerosol forcing can create a cooling or warming trend depending on whether they are increasing or decreasing respectively. CO2 forcing which is proportional to the log of its concentration could not have caused the mid-century cooling nor the relatively steep upward temperature trend of the 80s and 90s. The uncertainty in aerosol forcing was particularly helpful to the climate models in “matching” the 20th century climate despite significant disagreement among them on climate sensitivity. But this helpful little buddy, could easily have performed a similar role for solar, and possibly could have handled the task of matching the 20th century warming without any variation in solar or CO2.

    Recall that in the 20th century the proportion of energy from petroleum was increasing, the 50s, 60s, and 70s saw the boom and decline in use of leaded gasoline, and it also saw the peak of acid and then significant reduction of acid raid due to sulfate aerosols. Notice that the IPCC groups aerosols with CO2 in anthropogenic forcings, and discounts natural forcings alone as being able to explain the recent part of the warming. Well if you group things a little differently, the solar grand maximum could explain the 20th century warming, with the same kind of aerosol curve fitting that helped CO2 forcing. The uncertainty in aerosol forcing also served as good cover for the model inability to reproduce the observed multi-decadal climate modes were in phases that help explain both the mid-century cooling and the acceleration of warming in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

    Where does the reality probably lie? Most of the warming since the little ice age is due to solar, which plateaued at a grand maximum for the last 60 years of the 20th century. CO2 probably contributed about 30% of the warming since 1950. Aerosols and climate modes and volcanoes sculptured the details of the temperature curve. Any greater contribution from CO2 requires net positive feedbacks to CO2 forcing that act in decadal time frames without crossing climate tipping points, for which is there is no model independent evidence. We need a longer sample of high quality data, better models subjected to perhaps a couple decades of less accommodating peer review. A really interesting couple solar cycles would help increase our understanding and may be arriving just in time. With these we might reach a scientific consensus rather than an ideologically imposed one.

    Those of us who love science really want to know and understand, we don’t trust those that want to cover up and withhold the evidence rather than follow it, and who want to express confidence where they should acknowledge uncertainty. We don’t trust them because they aren’t like us, they don’t love science, they aren’t sharing our quest to know and understand. The climategate revelations were shocking, cathartic and really, really sad and disappointing. I cried, and still tear up if I think about them very much. Don’t let them tell you that everybody is two faced when they get behind closed doors, because everybody isn’t, but those who tell you that almost certainly are. Climategate is sad, not just because of what those people were doing to the science, but also because of what they are missing. If you have ever been at the whiteboard at M.I.T. or Caltech or our national or corporate laboratories with the very best minds, you know what I mean. It is refreshing, cleansing, challenging and enlightening. Did the authors of the climategate emails sound like they wanted to be challenged and enlightened or did they sound like they had an agenda?

    Know the thirst. Follow the evidence. Let the chips fall where they may. Welcome to the quest!

  232. tallbloke says:

    Well said Martin.

  233. eadler says:

    Martin Lewitt says:
    February 24, 2011 at 3:16 am

    eadler,

    “Since the aerosals alone would create a cooling trend, and the anthropogenic emission of GHG’s create the main warming trend, the aerosals couldn’t be responsible for warming, despite the uncertainty in trend that you mention.”

    Variation in aerosol forcing can create a cooling or warming trend depending on whether they are increasing or decreasing respectively. CO2 forcing which is proportional to the log of its concentration could not have caused the mid-century cooling nor the relatively steep upward temperature trend of the 80s and 90s. The uncertainty in aerosol forcing was particularly helpful to the climate models in “matching” the 20th century climate despite significant disagreement among them on climate sensitivity. But this helpful little buddy, could easily have performed a similar role for solar, and possibly could have handled the task of matching the 20th century warming without any variation in solar or CO2.
    Looking at the attribution graph I referenced from AR4, showing the temperature contributions to the temperature change of between 1900 and 1990. Aerosals and GHG’s dominate with natural factors accounting for very little for all 5 different models, even accounting for uncertainty.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-9-9.html

    Recall that in the 20th century the proportion of energy from petroleum was increasing, the 50s, 60s, and 70s saw the boom and decline in use of leaded gasoline, and it also saw the peak of acid and then significant reduction of acid raid due to sulfate aerosols. Notice that the IPCC groups aerosols with CO2 in anthropogenic forcings, and discounts natural forcings alone as being able to explain the recent part of the warming. Well if you group things a little differently, the solar grand maximum could explain the 20th century warming, with the same kind of aerosol curve fitting that helped CO2 forcing. The uncertainty in aerosol forcing also served as good cover for the model inability to reproduce the observed multi-decadal climate modes were in phases that help explain both the mid-century cooling and the acceleration of warming in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

    This doesn’t appear to be the case looking at the graph of 5 model results that I linked.
    In addition, the results of 58 simulations with 14 different models don’t agree with your statement. Natural forcings can’t account for the warming in the last 40 years and the blue line in the following link, which indicates only natural forcings shows a temperature decline since 1955. This indicates that the known natural factors cannot account for any of the warming since then.

    http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/figure-9-5.html

    In fact, the decline of global sulfate aerosals since the 1970’s has been very small, 0 to 10Tgs, compared to the increase since 1950, about 45Tgs, if you examine the graph shown in fig. 6 of the following link.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/How-much-did-aerosols-contribute-to-mid-20th-century-cooling.html

    Where does the reality probably lie? Most of the warming since the little ice age is due to solar, which plateaued at a grand maximum for the last 60 years of the 20th century. CO2 probably contributed about 30% of the warming since 1950. Aerosols and climate modes and volcanoes sculptured the details of the temperature curve. Any great1er contribution from CO2 requires net positive feedbacks to CO2 forcing that act in decadal time frames without crossing climate tipping points, for which is there is no model independent evidence. We need a longer sample of high quality data, better models subjected to perhaps a couple decades of less accommodating peer review. A really interesting couple solar cycles would help increase our understanding and may be arriving just in time. With these we might reach a scientific consensus rather than an ideologically imposed one.

    There is ample evidence to indicate positive feedback due to albedo and water vapor. There is an evidence of ideologically motivated resistance to the scientific consensus based on the work of the past 40 years.

    Those of us who love science really want to know and understand, we don’t trust those that want to cover up and withhold the evidence rather than follow it, and who want to express confidence where they should acknowledge uncertainty. We don’t trust them because they aren’t like us, they don’t love science, they aren’t sharing our quest to know and understand. The climategate revelations were shocking, cathartic and really, really sad and disappointing. I cried, and still tear up if I think about them very much. Don’t let them tell you that everybody is two faced when they get behind closed doors, because everybody isn’t, but those who tell you that almost certainly are. Climategate is sad, not just because of what those people were doing to the science, but also because of what they are missing. If you have ever been at the whiteboard at M.I.T. or Caltech or our national or corporate laboratories with the very best minds, you know what I mean. It is refreshing, cleansing, challenging and enlightening. Did the authors of the climategate emails sound like they wanted to be challenged and enlightened or did they sound like they had an agenda?

    Know the thirst. Follow the evidence. Let the chips fall where they may. Welcome to the quest!

    I have presented scientific evidence from the literature that shows that your statements about the state of the science are wrong. Declines in aerosol cannot be responsible for warming, over the past 40 years, because there has been no significant decline.

    There is an element of contradiction here. The selected emails of publicized by the so called skeptics would not be used as definitive of the general state of climate science by someone who is interested in scientific method. It would be interesting to get copies of emails sent by Lindzen, Michaels, Soon, Baliunas etc.

    The institutions that investigated the Climategate emails did not charge any scientists with misconduct. If there were transgressions by scientists, they pale in comparison to the misstatements of the state of the science by skeptics such as Monckton, Morano, Lindzen, Michaels and their ilk.

    REPLY: “it would be interesting to get emails….” Well I’d settle for you responding to my request yesterday. You said you wrote a paper. I offered to take a look, unless I’ve somehow missed it I haven’t seen you respond to that. Since you brought it up, yes I’d like to have a look at it. Please provide a link – Anthony

  234. eadler says:

    REPLY: “it would be interesting to get emails….” Well I’d settle for you responding to my request yesterday. You said you wrote a paper. I offered to take a look, unless I’ve somehow missed it I haven’t seen you respond to that. Since you brought it up, yes I’d like to have a look at it. Please provide a link – Anthony

    My memory is imperfect, but I don’t recall saying that I wrote a paper. You must be thinking of someone else. I can’t find anywhere on this thread where I said that. I have never written any published paper on climate. Only comment posts.

  235. Martin Lewitt says:

    eadler,

    If you read your skepticalscience blog citation, you will see them quote the IPCC assessment of uncertainty on aerosol forcing:

    “According to the IPCC, the total (direct + indirect) radiative forcing due to anthropogenic aerosols could range anywhere from -0.4 to -2.7 Watts per square meter (W/m2), although the most likely value is -1.2 W/m2.”

    Recall that even Hansen’s assessment of the energy imbalance of the 90s was 0.85W/m^2. So the aerosol uncertainty is two to three times larger than the phenomenon of interest.

    Global brightening and dimming is still an active area of research, correlated with the mid-century cooling and the recent warming:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2008JD011470.shtml

    It merited a special section in JGR last year:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2009JD012841.shtml

    The significance of aerosol uncertainty should not be underestimated:

    “Studies attributing 20th Century global warming
    to various natural and human-induced forcing
    changes clearly are hindered by these uncertainties
    in radiative forcing, especially in the
    solar and aerosol components….
    The large uncertainties in aerosol forcing
    are a more important reason that the observed
    late 20th Century warming cannot be used to
    provide a sharp constraint on climate sensitivity”
    http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap3-1/final-report/sap3-1-final-ch4.pdf

  236. eadler says:

    Martin Lewitt says:
    February 24, 2011 at 9:59 am

    eadler,

    If you read your skepticalscience blog citation, you will see them quote the IPCC assessment of uncertainty on aerosol forcing:

    “According to the IPCC, the total (direct + indirect) radiative forcing due to anthropogenic aerosols could range anywhere from -0.4 to -2.7 Watts per square meter (W/m2), although the most likely value is -1.2 W/m2.”

    Recall that even Hansen’s assessment of the energy imbalance of the 90s was 0.85W/m^2. So the aerosol uncertainty is two to three times larger than the phenomenon of interest.

    I think what you need to look at is the net anthropogenic forcing including GHG and aerosols. Here is a diagram from skeptical science that shows that aerosal forcing is negative, despite the large uncertainty, and global warming is positive and that the uncertainty is insufficient to make the net anthropogenic warming negative. As has been pointed out, natural forcings are negative, which makes the net forcing of +0.85 less that the most probable value of anthropogenic forcing. There is little doubt that the net Anthropogenic forcing is positive, and driven that way by GHG’s, despite the uncertainty associated with aerosols.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Aerosols-as-fudge-factor-NIPCC-vs-Lindzen.html

  237. johanna says:

    C L Thorpe said:

    Go out into your areas of expertise and become one of the innumerable Bravehearts – whether it be Christ – or, the one of Scottish renown – or, even cute lil’ Mel Gibson, who had the GUTS to star in that film ~ or in that 1/2 face film of his ~ or ~ Conspiracy Theory…or…do you prefer the Patriot……..or…well, you obviously get my drift. I won’t even GO to one of his biggest productions. That man is a HERO, Gentlemen. He used to live across the mountain from where I was in Montana and he’s a HERO. …TILL ~ that is ~ he drinks in Malibu and gets crapped on by everyone in the politically ‘correct’? crowd.
    —————————————————————-
    I agree with Roger Carr’s comment above re the Port Arthur massacre, and add my concern about endorsing Mel Gibson’s anti semitic comments and the rest of his unpleasant behaviour. Quite inappropriate for WUWT.

    Having had the misfortune of meeting Gibson a few times over a long period, I can confirm that he is at best an a**hole of the first water, and certainly no hero.

    REPLY: Cynthia is now in a permanent moderation queue, I’m also growing rather tired of her lengthy off topic missives. If she has something relevant to say it will be passed on. – Anthony

  238. Martin Lewitt says:

    eadler,

    The situation isn’t as simplistic as the aerosol forcing is negative, and global warming is positive. Aerosol forcing becoming less negative, (solar brightening), can explain or help to explain change from mid-century cooling to late century warming, even if the net aerosol forcing remains in the negative range. You are looking at a web site that hasn’t kept up with recent published work. Since the AR4, reassessments have increased the contribution that black carbon apparently made, one of the aerosols that does contribute to warming.

    With an energy imbalance 0.85W/m^2 to be attributed, could the decrease in negative aerosols like SO2, and the increase in black carbon have made the total aerosol contribution say 0.2W/m^2 less negative, since the mid-century cooling? Could the multidecadal climate modes being switching from negative phases to positive warming phases account for another say 0.2W/m^2 effect? Could the remain 0.45 W/m^2 be split between the solar grand maximum and the well mixed greenhouse gasses like CO2?

    The model climate sensitivities were considered poorly constrained by the 20th century data, even at the time of the AR4, and that was with the working group I authors giving unwilling to acknowledge any attribution or projection uncertainty due to the various model diagnostic problems. Since the AR4, appreciation for solar variability and black carbon have increased, the model deficiencies in representing the increase in precipitation have been published and confirmed by latent heat flux figures.

    What the AGW hypothesis is really lacking, is any evidence that the net feedbacks to CO2 are positive, and that is needed to give the model projections any credibility, because if it isn’t positive then ALL of the AR4 models are wrong. That would not be as surprising as it seems. The model errors are highly correlated in many of the diagnostic studies. There has been perhaps too much model intercomparison, and not enough comparison with the observations.

    regards

  239. eadler says:

    MartingMartin Lewitt says:
    February 24, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    eadler,

    The situation isn’t as simplistic as the aerosol forcing is negative, and global warming is positive. Aerosol forcing becoming less negative, (solar brightening), can explain or help to explain change from mid-century cooling to late century warming, even if the net aerosol forcing remains in the negative range. You are looking at a web site that hasn’t kept up with recent published work. Since the AR4, reassessments have increased the contribution that black carbon apparently made, one of the aerosols that does contribute to warming.

    I agree that black carbon is a contributor to global warming. This article describing recent work on this, says that the estimates don’t show that it overshadows GHG’s.

    http://www.yaleclimatemediaforum.org/2009/07/black-carbon-and-global-warming/

    More recent work by Hansen and Ramanathan estimates climate forcing from black carbon to be considerably higher – two to four times higher than IPCC estimates, making it the second largest anthropogenic forcing after CO2. Figure Two shows how estimates of black carbon forcings from Ramanathan and Feng compare to IPCC estimates and anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. The negative forcing resulting from sulphate aerosols (as discussed in a previous Yale Forum article) still considerably outweighs the positive forcing caused by black carbon, and the increases in estimated forcing by Hansen and Ramanathan relative to the numbers used in the IPCC 2007 report do not necessarily require any reassessment of the positive forcing associated with anthropogenic greenhouse gases, given the wide uncertainty range in negative aerosol forcings.

    The recent UN report recommends measures to reduce black carbon, which can reduce temperature increases by 0.5C in the future.

    http://www.unep.org/dewa/Portals/67/pdf/Black_Carbon.pdf

    What the AGW hypothesis is really lacking, is any evidence that the net feedbacks to CO2 are positive, and that is needed to give the model projections any credibility, because if it isn’t positive then ALL of the AR4 models are wrong. That would not be as surprising as it seems. The model errors are highly correlated in many of the diagnostic studies. There has been perhaps too much model intercomparison, and not enough comparison with the observations.
    It is wrong to say there is no evidence of positive feedback .
    You may not agree with these items, but skeptical science has a list of observed positive feedback mechanisms supported by references in the peer reviewed literature.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Empirical-evidence-for-positive-feedback.html
    Water vapor, reduction in ocean absorption of CO2, Arctic Sea Ice melting ….

  240. Brian H says:

    Martin;
    It’s all voting, don’t you see? Models express (“project”) the opinions of their “expert” creators, so it’s about them reaching a computerized consensus. Observations are incidental to this process.
    LOL

  241. Martin Lewitt says:

    eadler,

    The skepticalscience page you cites, does correctly identify positive feedbacks, but as they also admit it is the “net feedback” which matters. The first couple studies report estimates of climate sensitivity across the ice age/interglacial boundary, and aren’t relevant for two reasons, that crosses a tipping point that is not one we would cross in the next couple hundred years, unless the climate was cooling, the second point is that transition is due to solar not CO2. Solar is coupled to the climate quite differently than CO2. I’ve probably read the middle one, but don’t recall it at the moment. The fourth one sounds interesting, but the link is broken. The Tung and Camp article is in the current climate, but once again is a sensitivity to solar based upon the signature of the solar cycle detected in the observations. Lean published a paper disputing the amplitude of the result Tung claimed, detected only about half the response claimed by Tung. The models failed to reproduce either signature.

    I’ll try to track down and review the other two, but keep in mind that the net feedback has been known to be key issue in the science, I think we would have heard more about them if they were relevant or persuasive.

    The site you keep using seems quite out of date, you would think if they were serious they would also discuss the contrary evidence that have been hot topics in recent years.

  242. eadler says:

    Brian H says:
    February 24, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Martin;
    It’s all voting, don’t you see? Models express (“project”) the opinions of their “expert” creators, so it’s about them reaching a computerized consensus. Observations are incidental to this process.
    LOL

    Are you denying that the observations of positive feedback mechanisms listed in the skeptical science link has not been made? If so, you are absolutely wrong. Read the link and look at the references. The observations are the basis for inclusion of these mechanisms in the models.

  243. Martin Lewitt says:

    eadler,

    “Are you denying that the observations of positive feedback mechanisms listed in the skeptical science link has not been made?”

    Didn’t you notice, I agreed with them all:

    “The skepticalscience page you cites, does correctly identify positive feedbacks, but as they also admit it is the “net feedback” which matters.”

    Did you notice that skepticalscience did not list the negative feedbacks? There might be some subtle ones, but most of the major components of the climate system are negative feedbacks, All the mechanisms which help deliver cool the surface and deliver heat to the top of the atmosphere where it can be radiated into space are negative feedbacks, try evaporation, latent heat release at altitude, convection, precipitation, increased albedo from cloud formation (rejected more solar heat), ocean currents and weather systems which transport heat poleward. Most of the heat from the sun is concentrated in the tropics, transporting if poleward, allows more of the earths surface and atmosphere surface area to radiate the heat away. As your site mentions it is the “net feedback” that matters, they just happened to list only the positive feedbacks. The most important positive feedback is acknowledged to be water vapor, but even water vapor is just one component of the water cycle, and the net feedback from the water cycle may actually be negative.

    Even someone less confident than most AGW believers, say just 90% confident like the IPCC authors, should obviously have good model independent evidence for the what the net feedback to CO2 forcing is in the current climate. As noted, model sensitivity is poorly constrained by 20th century data due to uncertainties.

  244. Martin Lewitt says:

    eadler,

    I looked at Gregory 2002a, and it is not model independent, it uses estimates of all forcings not just CO2. It assumes the ocean heat uptake in the 19th century because “there is no observational estimate”. It assumes the forcings can be combined linearly:

    “Making the usual assumption that forcings can be combined linearly”

    And it assumes the climate sensitivity for different forcings is the same:

    “The utility of the climate sensitivity also depends on the response being independent of the nature of the agent causing the radiative forcing.”

    It ignores internal variability:
    “The effect of internal (unforced) variability of the climate system on F0
    and Q0 is also neglected, because estimates based on 1300 years of the HadCM3 control run show these fluctuations to be an order of magnitude smaller than the uncertainties.”

    http://epic.awi.de/Publications/Gre2002a.pdf

    I couldn’t find the full text of the Hoffert (1992) paper, but from the mention in the AR4, it apparently is model based.

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