On Dentists, Cardiologists, Climatologists and Evidence-Based Remedies

 

Guest post by Indur M. Goklany

Over at the Wall Street Journal a group of pedigreed individuals headed by Dr. Kevin Trenberth argue:

Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work. If you need surgery, you want a highly experienced expert in the field who has done a large number of the proposed operations.

Wrong answer!!

If you need surgery you DON’T want “a highly experienced expert in the field who has done a large number of the proposed operations.” What you want is “a highly experienced expert in the field who has CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT HIS OR HER OPERATIONS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL!”

And if before I go to a dentist, I would like evidence that the dentist does not pull the wrong teeth (even on occasion).

Unfortunately, there is no convincing evidence that climate models can successfully predict future climate — and I mean “climate” not just “temperature.” [The latter is just one aspect of the climate and for many impacts it may not even be the most relevant.]

Climate models, which are the source of the apocalyptic vision of global warming, have not been validated using data that were not used in their development. Even the US Climate Change Science Program (CCSP) and the IPCC acknowledge as much. Specifically, the IPCC does not say that “all” features of current climate or past climate changes can be reproduced, as a reliable model of climate change ought to be able to do endogenously. In fact, it notes:

“… models still show significant errors. Although these are generally greater at smaller scales, important large scale problems also remain. For example, deficiencies remain in the simulation of tropical precipitation, the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and the Madden-Julian Oscillation (an observed variation in tropical winds and rainfall with a time scale of 30 to 90 days).” (AR4WG1, p. 601).

And the CCSP has this to say in its 2008 publication, Climate Models: An Assessment of Strengths and Limitations. A Report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research:

“Climate model simulation of precipitation has improved over time but is still problematic. Correlation between models and observations is 50 to 60% for seasonal means on scales of a few hundred kilometers.” (CCSP 2008:3).

“In summary, modern AOGCMs generally simulate continental and larger-scale mean surface temperature and precipitation with considerable accuracy, but the models often are not reliable for smaller regions, particularly for precipitation.” (CCSP 2008: 52).

So before one pulls society’s economic teeth, validate the models or else you could end up pulling society’s economic teeth in error.

In the medical profession this would be known as “evidence-based medicine.” Exactly the same principle should apply to climate change remedies. We should insist on nothing less.

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149 thoughts on “On Dentists, Cardiologists, Climatologists and Evidence-Based Remedies

  1. Interestingly, I just read of a link between oral hygiene and heart disease today. It stated that poor oral hygiene can lead to chronic, low-grade bacterial infection of the heart – which is not good for it.

    So – yes – you could go to the dentist for your heart condition!

  2. Another way of thinking of this, is when you buy shoe-laces, do you really care that much about reputation? Not likely. The cost of a bad shoelace isn’t worth the effort.

    When one is looking for a dentist, is selecting the right dentist as important as selecting the right Cardiac Surgeon? Probably not, though it can be painful to get the wrong one.

    When looking to the prosperity, ability to advance technology, further our society, and have the resources to provide for the defense of the nation, we should be thinking that is far more important than a bad cardiologist or two.

    Somehow, though, people love the fun of riding on the new fad of doomsday global warming, and all the fun feelings that engenders, so ironically.

  3. I just read the letter by Trenberth and a long list of others living on the coattails of CAGW.

    That letter is pathetic. Every one of those folks should be ashamed to have their name associated with it. WUWT gets better arguments from its trolls.

  4. Former Massachusetts dentist Dr. Michael Clair was sentenced to one year in jail yesterday for substituting paper clips for stainless steel posts in root canals.

    Besides the misuse of office supplies, Clair pleaded guilty to charges of assault and battery, illegally prescribing medication, witness intimidation and defrauding Medicare of $130,000.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/290625/20120131/paper-clip-dentist-dr-michael-clair-sentenced.htm

    My guess is he is going into climatology after he gets out.

  5. And poor economic policies based on global-warming hysteria
    can lead to chronic low-grade poverty and
    infection of the heart of capitalism (individual initiative)
    with runaway taxes, regulations, and predatory litigation,
    leading inexorably to ultimate economic collapse,
    the true goal of environmentalism.

  6. This is a perfect textbook example of a logical fallacy.

    http://psychology.wikia.com/wiki/Logical_fallacy

    “Recognizing fallacies in everyday arguments may be difficult since arguments are often embedded in rhetorical patterns that obscure the logical connections between statements. Informal fallacies may also exploit the emotions or intellectual or psychological weaknesses of the audience. Having the capability to recognize fallacies in arguments will hopefully reduce the likelihood of such an occurrence. ” (bingo!)

    Have some of the people pushing the ’cause’ just shown clear evidence of Derailment (thought disorder)?:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Derailment_(thought_disorder)

  7. I’m betting Trenberth has been watching those silly commercials on TV that show some professional working as a laborer then wondering why the job wasn’t done properly. Then he transferred that situation to his failed profession–that of the “climsci”–part climate (but not the whole story), and part scientist (but not an ethical one).

    I suppose watching television is better therapy for Trenberth than wondering where all the missing heat is hidden.

  8. This one of my ‘favourite’ analogies.
    No one here (other than the odd heart surgeon) would presume to tell a heart surgeon how to do his job.
    Yet if you are laid out on the table and see your heart surgeon reaching into the garbage bin for a scalpel I think that most people WOULD register some kind of complaint.

  9. “Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work. If you need surgery, you want a highly experienced expert in the field who has done a large number of the proposed operations.”

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

    An appeal of authority?

    I believe that I want an opinion of a general practitioner with an overall knowledge and no preconceived notions.

    First thing that would need to be done is to determine if there is a heart condition or perhaps some other underlying cause, Clogged arties, diet, etc. If an expert at heart surgery would only look at the heart then all problems could only be solved with heart surgery. Lobotomy comes to mind.

    If one only knows how to use a hammer and is not aware of, or willing to consider, other tools or alternative measures, then hammer and nails will be the only option.

  10. In dental school, they teach you not to say “oops!”

    I wonder what they teach you in climate school.

  11. The day I read that these leading lights apologize for misleading the public on climate science and also for the poor ethical behaviour of some of their number, will be the day that I count as their road to rehabilitation. While they defend that miserable lot they haven’t even earned the right to have my consideration or respect, let alone my confidence.
    Claimed eminence doesn’t cut the mustard!

  12. “Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused.”

    Just like whack-a-mole, that infamous 97% just keeps popping up.

  13. With a father who is a cardiovascular surgeon, a brother who was a OB/GYN and a brother who is a DDS, I may be in an unique position of perspective here. I can truthfully say that both of my brothers took the same Anatomy & Physiology courses. Both could give the same level of expertise outside their specialty with regard to heart conditions, and discuss said subject intelligently with my father. Any medical professional who has received a doctoral level degree has a working knowledge of general medical conditions, including the heart. A dentist would certainly have the knowledge to hear a list of symptoms, and be able to suggest that you follow up with a specialist, and would also probably know at least a few reputable people to refer you to see.

  14. When people use the doctor analogy I usually mention Merck/Vioxx:

    Merck had:
    Years of research.
    Peer reviewed papers.
    Medical studies.
    Multi-year field trials.
    Patient testimonials.
    Favorable publication in scientific magazines.
    Thousands of doctors believing them.
    Millions of people believing them on multiple continents.

    And the courts discovered that Merck, their researchers, the reviewers and the scientific publications had been lying and/or being deceptive the whole time, and that Merck had paid scientific publications to print lies and the scientific publications knew it.

    People died.

    Science won, Merck lost.

    Perhaps we need something like the Merck/Vioxx trial to bring out the fraud in this whole AGW thing.

  15. From the start of the WSJ column:
    “Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work”

    From the end of the WSJ column:

    ” In addition, there is very clear evidence that investing in the transition to a low-carbon economy will not only allow the world to avoid the worst risks of climate change, but could also drive decades of economic growth. Just what the doctor ordered.”

    Wait, what?

    I suppose according to Trenberth it’s important to remember that climatologists are also qualified experts in related subject matters such as (though not limited to)
    -Economics
    -Public Policy
    -Civil Engineering
    -Morality
    -Anthropology
    -Demographics
    -Social Psychology
    -Biology

    Thus it is fair for them to comment on these things while flaunting their credentials.

  16. The article by Trenberth had the following sentences:

    Climate experts know that the long-term warming trend has not abated in the past decade. In fact, it was the warmest decade on record.

    The trend for the last decade using the average of the four main data sets is negative as shown below. Is this not an abatement of the warming? As for the second sentence regarding the warmest decade on record. That is true, but that does not mean the warming is continuing during the decade. Let me illustrate it this way: I can turn a stove on and while it is increasing in temperature from 72 F to 82 F, it is WARMING, but still relatively COLD. On the other hand, if I turn the stove off at 350 F and it cools from 350 F to 340 F, it is COOLING, even though it is WARM.

    WoodForTrees Temperature Index
    #Mean of HADCRUT3VGL, GISTEMP, UAH and RSS,

    #Time series (wti) from 1979 to 2012
    #Selected data from 2002
    #Least squares trend line; slope = -0.00343579 per year

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:2002/plot/wti/from:2002/trend

  17. [snip I'm sorry Dr. Seitz, you've been banned for abuse of WUWT policy long ago (like shape shifting with multiple email addresses) and you know it, and for continuing to plaster your "weapons grade vitriol" about everything and anyone who happens to post or comment here. If you don't like Mr. Rutan, please do take it up with him, perhaps you and he can argue about whether aliens wear bow ties.

    In the meantime, please do be as upset as you wish. I'm done with you and your prickly condescending attitude towards people you disagree with.

    Such a fine example for Harvard you set, sir. - Anthony Watts]

  18. I couldn’t agree more. I refuse to consult anyone but my phrenologist when contemplating my head bumps.

    It’s an elaborate argument from authority, and it rather deceptively equates the present state of climatology to that of cardiology. On a scale of phrenology at one end and neuroscience at the other, dendroclimatology is where, exactly?

  19. Oh well said well said. Better yet, You want a surgeon who is skeptical of his own outcomes and sufficiently astute to persuade you that you may not need the surgery in the first place.

    I know such men.Not just having performed many procedures, and not just having done so successfully, but the first person to talk you out of it if the outcome isn’t worth the procedure.

    I would like to see such a climate scientists. Ones who are competent and suffers healthy doses of doubt.

  20. They raise some terrible analogies to smear skeptics. I just watched that show “Science Under Attack” where Nurse puts a cancer hypothetical to Dellingpole: if he had cancer would he trust the consensus of the medical establishment or go with a new age therapy?

    Well the medical establishment has treated and learnt from 100′s of millions of cancer patients. They give lab rats cancer and determine what works via trial and error. They treat humans as lab rats, they’ve got nothing to lose! With that background the consensus today is highly reliable.

    There’s exactly one earth-like climate system from which scientists can glean their understanding. We haven’t once observed such a system under the influence of anthropogenic CO2 levels such as those supposed to cause CAGW. So we’re comparing 100′s of millions of real observed cases with 0.

    I’d like to ask Nurse if he’d trust a cancer treatment which had only been tested on computer models of the human organism.

  21. Hi RobertL, yes there is a link between heart disease, poor oral hygiene and periodontal disease (I am a dentist by the way!). Like so many other things in science though, is the link causal?
    In other words do the bacteria in the mouth contribute directly to disease of the heart, or because a person’s oral hygiene is poor, does that mean that they do not look after themselves in other ways and as a result have lifestyle diseases? Smoking is strongly linked with periodontal disease, it is also strongly linked with emphysema, so does periodontal disease cause emphysema or are the causative factors of both down to self neglect and over indulgence in a dangerous habit? To complicate this equation you have bigoted scientists who base all their “research” on the evils of smoking.
    In my view the same thing has happened in climate science. The planet has warmed as CO2 concentration has increased in the atmosphere, therefore CO2 is responsible for climate change. The fact that there has been no warming for 15 years while CO2 has still been increasing is irrelevant to the argument but not to the science.
    I suppose we should thank our lucky stars that there isn’t a warmist,anti-smoking,dentist who has managed to suggest that smoking, climate change and poor oral hygiene are all linked!

  22. The warmists are trying to keep the AGW scam going at LEAST until the election. If BO gets re-elected as president, then the EPA will finish it’s job over the next four years of completely transforming our fossil fuel economy into a high priced, inefficient “green” economy . Economical coal fired power plants are being taken off-line in increasing numbers due to the new mercury, MACT rules, and particulates. If the Repubs take over the senate and the presidency….. CAGW is gone for good and so is Lisa Jackson and the job killing and middle-class destroying policies of the EPA. Also gone will be the funding for the UN climate scientists as well as most of the AGW funding train.

  23. I have just seen a quote which goes ” seek not authority to determine the truth but rather seek the truth to determine authority”. The second part sounds like science, the first part sounds like Trenberth and the AGW mob.

  24. These guys (scientists?) are just trying their hardest to at least keep the AGW scam going until the upcoming elections. If BO can get re-elected then the EPA and Lisa Jackson get to finish their job of transforming our economy by continuing to shut down economical coal fired power plants using their new, ridiculous mercury standards, MACT rules, and particulates. Their efforts to drastically increase the cost of energy is destroying the middle class and jobs. If the Repubs take over the Senate and the presidency, then Lisa Jackson is gone; AGW is finished and funding will be severely curtailed; the UN climate team will lose all US funding; XL Pipeline will be built; oil and gas drilling will rapidly accelerate leading to cheaper energy and more prosperity for all.

  25. these are Australians’ retirement funds! and Aussies need to contact their Funds and object in the strongest manner possible:

    1 Feb: Ninemsn: AAP: Super funds push for sustainability
    Australian superannuation funds could shift their investments away from carbon-intensive industries under a push towards more socially responsible investment.
    Under new guidelines released on Wednesday by the industry, fund managers in the $1.3 trillion sector will be expected to consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles when designing their investment strategy.
    The guidelines are based on the United Nations Principles for Responsible Investment.
    Chief executive of VicSuper Michael Dundon, who has been instrumental in designing the local guidelines, told AAP that his $8.5 billion fund would focus on investing in the renewable energy sector.
    “We are avoiding funds or stocks where substantial exposure to carbon,” he said…
    “We see opportunities in wind and solar and other forms of technology that will deliver long-term returns.”
    Fund managers have become increasingly focused on ensuring their money is put to a responsible use since the global financial crisis.
    Australian super funds lost more than 20 per cent of their value during the course of 2008 and have been scrambling to claw back returns since, according to data from professional services firm Towers Watson.
    “It makes long-term commercial good sense to do it as we’re offering and creating an investment strategy that gives good long-term returns,” Mr Dundon said…

    http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8412285

  26. Sorry for the “double” post. First post seemed to have disappeared without the “awaiting moderation” thingy, so after about 5 mins I decided I needed to rewrite it… but now both show up :-)

  27. Werner Brozek says:
    January 31, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    The trend for the last decade using the average of the four main data sets is negative as shown below. Is this not an abatement of the warming?

    More a warming plateau, wait 10 more years.

  28. Yeah Trenberth is about smart enough to have taken his own advice and gone to the first doctor for a series of bleeding sessions.

    The rest of us will settle for treating ourselves until such time the profession isn’t completely populated with that kind of idiot.

  29. Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work.

    Well, when I am shopping for a scientist, I want one with enough grasp of the epistimological underpinnings of his profession to understand the fallacy ad verecundiam, and sufficient honesty to not try to use it.

    Climate experts know that the long-term warming trend has not abated in the past decade. In fact, it was the warmest decade on record.

    And when I am specifically looking for a “climate scientist”, I want one that, at minimum, understands the difference between the concepts “warm” and “warming”.

    And when people like Kevin Trenberth, who clearly posesses neither of these fundamental qualities, rise to dominate a particular field, then I know that field is corrupt and not to be trusted. For anything. I wouldn’t let those dishonest, egomaniacal pseudo-scientists pick my socks, let alone direct the global economy.

    Freaking witch doctors fancying that a medical analogy is appropriate… sheesh.

  30. Dennis Kuzara says:
    January 31, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    “Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused.”

    Just like whack-a-mole, that infamous 97% just keeps popping up.
    ___________________________________________________________________

    Yes 75 scientists out of 77 agree (i.e 97%). Doesn’t really wash does it.! More than 30,000 don’t.

  31. “John F. Hultquist says:
    January 31, 2012 at 9:46 pm
    I just read the letter by Trenberth and a long list of others living on the coattails of CAGW.

    That letter is pathetic. Every one of those folks should be ashamed to have their name associated with it. WUWT gets better arguments from its trolls.”

    As a NZer. I’m ashamed Trenberth is a NZer!

    The fraud he’s done borders on corruption. And NZ supposedly is rated for a low level of corruption compared to the International standing. Unfortunately NZ has a numberof Climate Scientists, etc sucking the teat of CO2 AGW/CC and are also key lead authors for the IPCC!

  32. Appeal to authority is a classic logical fallacy, and Trenberth and his ilk can’t help but continually use it. The problem with logical fallacies is that people who are unaware of them can be persuaded by arguments that have no logical basis or truth to them. If their science can’t stand on it’s own merits. Their argument that skeptics are all taking money from Big Oil is equally fallacious – basically a reverse appeal to authority.

    “Just because a man has much to gain in terms of peace and quiet from telling his wife that he loves her, it does not prevent it from being true.” – try as I might to find the original quote I am stealing this from I can’t. :(

  33. The article is a repetition the same tired old arguments like placing CAGW skepticism in odious company ( tobacco smoking ≠ disease, HIV ≠ AIDS ).
    The past decade is the warmest in the entire 150 year record — so what? The warming has stopped long enough to at least raise serious doubts that human CO2 has been the overwhelming climate driver for the past 60 years.
    How can Trenberth claim that “the long term [~250 year] warming has not abated”, is he is also clairvoyant?
    Of course not, his models tell him that the warming, like the Creature from the Black Lagoon, is lurking “elsewhere in the climate system” waiting to rear up sometime in the future.

    Investing in alternative energy sources will only come about when the market dictates, not by artificially inflating the price of carbon-based fuels command economy style, which will only stifle economic growth and impoverish people — there is plenty of historical evidence of that.

  34. Dennis Kuzara says:
    January 31, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    “Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused.”

    Just like whack-a-mole, that infamous 97% just keeps popping up.

    It wasn’t even research, as in scientific research, it was just a poll.

  35. Well now that you mention it, my wife just had to have an absist tooth taken out, and yes the dentist took out the wrong one!! And to make matters worse, we found out latter when my wife had to go back to have the correct tooth taken out that the dentist office did not even have equipment cleaning equipment on site.

    Considering how sick it made my wife (almost 2 months) we don’t have high regards for some dentists (climate scientists).

  36. A more accurate comparison to climate ‘scientists’ would be to ask: “If you need surgery, would you go to someone who has only ever done simulated surgery on computer games, and has never even touched a real patient?”

  37. Wrong answer indeed.

    If a surgeon tells you you need surgery you are advised to get a second opinion from a different doctor who isn’t necessarily a surgeon.

  38. Yes the most ridiculous bit is the antiscientific mention of the 97% figure..plus of course appealing to authority with the likes of Gleick as signatories.

    And even if the doctor analogy were appropriate…who would go to doctors whose expertise is doubted by the nurses around them?

    Analogously why believe in Trenberth & co. when a majority of meteorologist don’t?

  39. DavidA points out the Catch22 problem with such medical analogies-

    “They raise some terrible analogies to smear skeptics. I just watched that show “Science Under Attack” where Nurse puts a cancer hypothetical to Dellingpole: if he had cancer would he trust the consensus of the medical establishment or go with a new age therapy?”

    Unfortunately our universities are full of the quacks and their quack medicine-

    http://www.news-medical.net/news/20120130/End-alternative-medicine-degrees-say-scientists.aspx

  40. Steve says:
    February 1, 2012 at 12:08 am
    A more accurate comparison to climate ‘scientists’ would be to ask: “If you need surgery, would you go to someone who has only ever done simulated surgery on computer games, and has never even touched a real patient?”

    ————
    I like that – but think it could be improved by adding something about diagnosis ability, accuracy or the ‘probability’ of success or error bars e.g…

    ‘A more accurate comparison to climate ‘scientists’ would be to ask: “Do you need desperate life saving surgery? Who says so? Are you sure? Which surgeon are you planning to use for the unique treatment never before attempted? Have you obtained a second opinion? Are there oother options? Are you prepared to go to someone who has only ever done simulated surgery on computer games, based on pixelated photos of a human body taken from the moon and has never even touched a real patient?”

  41. Following up on Menth above:
    “I suppose according to Trenberth it’s important to remember that climatologists are also qualified experts in related subject matters such as (though not limited to) -Economics -Public Policy -Civil Engineering -Morality -Anthropology -Demographics -Social Psychology -Biology … “.
    Yep. Watch your back – they might be coming after a profession near you …
    I note with dismay that they are now after “sustainability” as an “easier sell” (eg they are in it for the money). Dammit. I have been doing sustainability (in building design, energy usage) for years. Now they are going to muck it up.
    As Bob Carter observes, “Climate” embraces perhaps 100 or so scientific and technical disciplines and professions. No one person would have expertise in more than 3 or 4 of these. “Climate Scientist” is a contradiction in terms.

  42. Someone needs to do a poll of parapsychologists to see how many feel that the science is settled on ESP. For myself, I’ll continue to trust an amazing guy who doesn’t even have a college degree.

  43. There is a consensus that peptic ulcers are mostly caused by stress / food / lifestyle.
    I laugh at quasicrystals as they are impossible.

    The Nobel prize for chemistry has gone to a single researcher for his discovery of the structure of quasicrystals.

    The new structural form was previously thought to be impossible and provoked controversy.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15181187

    Peptic ulcers are not caused by stress or eating spicy food,…..

    http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hpylori/

    In science it just takes ONE PERSON to be right and everything else goes into the trash can.

  44. It’s simply amazing that based on what Dr Trenberth is reported as having said, only a handful of “Scientists” are qualified in his view to give expert opinion on climate science.
    How many “scientists” from the American Geophysical Association/union/society/whatever was it that said they agreed with the official position on climate that body took.
    How many so-called climate scientists are simply statisticians, and not really competent to give expert opinion in Trenberth’s view.
    How many are just computer programmers, who know how to write code for terraflop computers.
    I suppose the vast majority of “climate scientists” aren’t really qualified to give expert opinions on climate, in Trenberth’s view. Some of them are just dendrochronologists, who think they know how to measure Temperature accurately with a tree.
    Is Dr Trenberth qualified to assert just who is qualified to give expert opinion on climate.

  45. Trenberth does raise a good point actually. Specialisation within a scientific field leads to a level of unearned trust. The scientific method is supposed to ensure that standards are adhered to which guarantee that published works are of a quality and rigour which is trustworthy. This is why so many scietific bodies support the AGW and cAGW scenarios without independently checking the science for themselves. They trust in the scientific method and naturally defer to the specialists of the field. This is how Mann, Trenberth et al get away with the whole cAGW scare without strict adherence to the scientific method.

    As the text of this article posits, one would not blindly trust a person claiming to be a heart specialist, one would want a heart specialist with a good record of success.

    This is why, when I want to learn about the climate and the climate change scare, I listen to those who specialise in climatology AND who have a proven record of accuracy, sticking to the scientific method and who base their findings on actual empirical evidence, and not just invalidated computer models.

    Given a choice, would you have heart surgery by someone who has spent 30 years research in the field, and bases his technique on a computer model of the heart, but who has never performed a successful surgery? Or would you choose the surgeon who has performed hundreds of operations with a 90% success rate?

  46. pat says:
    January 31, 2012 at 10:53 pm
    these are Australians’ retirement funds! and Aussies need to contact their Funds and object in the strongest manner possible:

    1 Feb: Ninemsn: AAP: Super funds push for sustainability [ ... ]
    ====================

    My instructions to my superannuation fund is that I do not want any exposure to ‘renewable energy resource’ stocks … the investment managers have lost enough of my retirement funds already!

    I feel sorry for the Victoria State public employees in the VicSuper fund … ah! hang on, they probably have guaranteed growth subsidised by the taxpayer in that State. I feel sorry for the State of Victoria’s taxpayers>

  47. @RobertL says:
    January 31, 2012 at 9:37 pm
    Interestingly, I just read of a link between oral hygiene and heart disease today. It stated that poor oral hygiene can lead to chronic, low-grade bacterial infection of the heart – which is not good for it.

    So – yes – you could go to the dentist for your heart condition!
    ————————————————————————————————————————–

    While I was in hospital a few years ago in the bed next to me was a 30 soemthing that had just had major heart surgury to save his life and the reason he had heart problems was because he was a drug addict for years and this had rotted his teeth and the bacteria had travelled down his circulation to his heart.

  48. So our beloved Trenberth has gone from “Scientist” to “Senior Scientist”, now on to “Distinguished Senior Scientist”. He even talks about himself in the third person in a letter he has himself signed. I think his delusions of grandeur are rather getting out of control. Perhaps he was miffed that he was not invited onto the NEW AGE ARK heading for the South Pole with the beloved leader and the Archangel Branson, he could have stood at Lord Gores left hand with the apostle Hansen. Yeah verily I say unto you, the 97% shall ascend unto the kingdom of Gore and ye doubters shall burn in the hellfire of Arizona…or Florida if you can afford the real estate.

  49. My father, who was a retired surgeon, would sometimes mutter this grim, surgeon’s joke while watching the news on T.V:

    “The operation was a success, however the patient died.”

    Climate Scientists don’t get the joke.

  50. @Lew Skannen says:

    “No one here (other than the odd heart surgeon) would presume to tell a heart surgeon how to do his job….”

    Umm.. I might go to a heart surgeon if I thought I had a problem with my heart. I would expect him to listen to my symptoms, then decide what he thought was wrong with me, and EXPLAIN that to me in words I could understand. And if I agreed with him, then I might go forward for an operation. After all, it’s MY body.

    If I went to him and he told me that my problem was because of a hitherto minor and insubstantial issue like a stubbed toe, and was unwilling to explain precisely how this toe could cause my heart problem, preferring to say things like ‘that medical connection is settled’, I would be rather suspicious. And if he then proposed taking my heart out (which I depend upon to power a lot of the processes in me, and replacing it with a lot of chicken’s hearts spread all over my body, because they were ‘greener and more sustainable’, I would be out of there sharpish!

    That seems to be a better analogy to what the climate scientists are doing to our society at the moment….

  51. According to the CCSP, above, climate models are accurate with temperature.

    No they are not. Models predict rising temperature with rising atmospheric CO2 but the truth is that currently temperatures are falling with rising CO2 levels.

  52. Most other well established disciplines have a professional body that provides accreditation.

    What single body accredits someone as a “Climate Scientist”?

    It *looks* largely like a synthesis of other disciplines which have a longer track record and more stringent requirements for membership. Nothing wrong with that of course, every discipline has to start somewhere.

    But it’s surely an important fact to consider that when a “Climate Scientist” discusses statistical matters, he’s standing on the shoulders of, say, research done by members of the ASA, and that if a “Climate Scientist” is criticised for misapplication of a technique in a field where they are by necessity a relative dilettante, they should STFU and listen.

  53. The medical analogy is totally inappropriate. An ethical doctor will practice according to the principle of “first do no harm”. That means, in many situations, that an ethical physician will not prescribe any treatment but rather observe the patient and see what happens. Iatrogenic medical conditions are a significant risk and the art of medicine is to know where one simply uses reassurance in treating a patient or where one actively intervenes. The adherents of CAGW are using the appeal to authority to push an agenda which causes significant economic harm.

    An interesting discussion I had with a number of colleagues was on the subject of “what is the evidence for evidence based medicine”? The consensus was that “evidence based medicine”, at least in the context that the socialized medical system of Canada presents it, totally ignores individual physiologic variability and denigrates clinical experience. The mass media message of “avoid salt”, when followed by individuals who have a genetic requirement for a higher salt intake than average results in iatrogenic hypotension and physician visits where the primary treatment is to increase salt intake. I agree with those individuals who propose that the current CAGW recommendations are the equivalent of a physician having experience only with computer simulations of patients then attempting to transfer skills thus obtained to live patients. A significant minority of patients have physiology which refuses to fit into textbook models. Thus, I would give greater credence to those weather forecasters whose income depended on them being right significantly more often than wrong than to those weather forecasters whose conclusions were based on numeric models.

  54. If I had proof that my dentist or cardiologist had been as scientifically pusillanimous as these crooked climatologist clowns, they would be toast.

  55. Any medic will say that to put all your faith in just one speciality is hardly a good idea!

    What these agenda driven climate alarmists are doing is to advocate a “tourniquet round the neck for a nosebleed”

    Not my words – but a fantastic description of the mindset of the Alarmists.

  56. The Iconoclast says:
    January 31, 2012 at 10:30 pm
    I couldn’t agree more. I refuse to consult anyone but my phrenologist when contemplating my head bumps.

    I`ve often been tempted to explore the possibilties of applied retrophrenology in regard to the treatment of extremely gullible environuts :o)

    ( I fear that the cost of replacement wooden mallets would make it an uneconomic proposition )

    .

  57. Just a thought has anyone ever created a model that uses evidence from the past millions of years to spectulate on what might happen in the future and would that be any better, I think not but I think it would be an interesting experiment. Personally I think all of this navel gazing is gibberish we have no ability to control what happens to this planet the only things we do have control over is population growth and how fast we deplete our natural resources and greed and hand wringing liberals together with resolve those issues, live whilst you can before politicians make the present so unbearable that we will al want to commit mass suicide!

  58. I used to drive to work every morning past a farm, and every morning a sheep dog would race out and attack my wheels til I was 50 yards up the road, then stand staring after me as I drove on.
    One day, I stopped…I got out… looked at the dog and said, “There. you’ve caught it! Now what are you going to do with It?” The dog gave me a downcast look, turned and sloped off back into the farmyard gate.

    The Point?

    Activists, including “scientists” like Trenberth and Hansen need the car to keep going. Without it they have nothing. They will have to practice what they preach. Stop driving SUV’s, stop flying to conferences on “Climate/change/disruption/warming/whatever”, stop living in big houses, stop collecting the Government buck, sell the beachfront property and live like Jesus for the good of mankind.

    The Problem?
    The Chinese won’t change. The Indians won’t change, The Philipinos won’t change. etc. So a win for the Warmista would change NOTHING in this world.

    The Conclusion?
    The Warmista need us more than we need them. Without an opposition the paucity of the activist cause would be exposed by the ability and hence the obligation to act on their own agenda. From that point on they have no purpose in life as they become the “New Establishment”.

    Our Actions?

    Stop pointing out the fallacies in their argument and retire to The Med, (I hear there is cheap Real Estate in Greece) But…where would the fun be in doing that?

  59. I believe the “97%” of scientists said humans were “a significant contributing factor” NOT the CAUSE. 75 doesn’t even come close to the over 1000 that have identified with the skeptic side at the GWPF.

  60. I would add that even when I go to a cardiologist, I would expect him to explain to me the scientific basis for his diagnosis and proposed course of treatment in a way that I could understand. If I found his explanations unconvincing I would seek out other opinions. I would ultimately choose the cardiologist who provided the diagnosis and proposed course of treatment that was, in my opinion, aligned with the best evidence. I would give the majority view some weight, but it would not determine my decision.

    I would further note that in the field of medicine, many of the proposed treatments are supported by double-blind clinical trials. If my cardiologist presented me with positive results from such clinical trials, I would have little reason to question his opinion. On the other hand, if he proposed an experimental course of treatment that was supported merely by clinical report or untested computer models, I would scrutinize his proposal much more carefully.

  61. The analogy is completely wrong. Neither dentists nor surgeons create theories.

    Both are experimentalists, using their own experience and intuition, with plenty of feedback.

    When you correctly apply the dentist/surgeon metaphor to climate, you don’t get climatologist vs skeptic; you get something like geologist vs meteorologist. Both understand the world in an experiential way. One is experienced in measuring rocks and soils, the other is experienced in measuring atmospheric qualities. Would I trust EITHER ONE to tell me something about climate? Hell yes. Based on actual output, both geologists and meteorologists do a pretty good job of estimating future climate.

    I wouldn’t trust any sort of theorist to predict anything at all, because all theorists in all fields are wrong. A total waste of human brainpower.

  62. Trenberth implies that you should consult experts in their field and that’s true. He fails to point out that there are quacks in every field as well. It’s also common to get a second opinion when one doctor gives you serious news.

  63. As a surgeon and expert in my field, I have never used an appeal to authority to convince my patients that they need or don’t need surgery (you’d be surprised by how many people come in thinking they need an operation but they actually don’t). Nor am I ever threatened by a patient who has a bit of knowledge who asks questions or questions my rational and decision making. If I was afraid of defending my positions against someone who had done a few google searches, well, I might as well retire. I suppose Trenberth would expect me just to tell my patients, “Look, I’m the expert here. Just shut up and sign this consent form”. I’m sure he would really appreciate an appeal to authority from his surgeon if he ever needed surgery.

  64. I educate my patients. I tell them about success rates. The only guarantee is there are *NO GUARANTEES* and that I provide a treatment; not a cure. In medicine, one must do the procedure and then follow up to determine if the treatment was successful or if further treatment is required. In other words, the evidence is observed and then compared to the model. Very simple, actually.

  65. If your dentist was employed by the government and was paid more money for extractions than for examinations, do you think you might have unnecessary operations?
    Is it safe?

  66. Jason Joice M.D. says:
    February 1, 2012 at 4:10 am
    “Look, I’m the expert here. Just shut up and sign this consent form”.
    ====================================================
    At least you try to get a consent form signed, “The Team” is just shoving the medication down our throats without even asking if we want/need it.

  67. If Trenberth has a headache does he go to a Neurosurgeon for surgery or to a Proctologist to have his head removed from his ass?

  68. Kevin Trenberth sez:

    “In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work.

    This puts the Climategate e-mails into perspective. The CAGW climate scientists like Mann, Trenberth, and Santer clearly did EVERYTHING they could to keep skeptic papers out of peer-reviewed journals, because they knew that publishing in the journals would severely undercut their authority. Just shameful!!

    Time to zero-fund these people…in November.

  69. I don’t think I would be going to a doctor who laments missing stuff while practicing medicine. Just sayin.

  70. Funny thing about surgeons. While drugs are subject to endless tests before approval, surgical procedures are not. There is a procedure where a surgeon opens up your knee and removes rubbish, trims your cartilage and such like. One day, some bright spark got the idea of actually doing a trial on this procedure. So when people came in for it, they all got the anaesthetic and the cut, but only half got the rest of the procedure. When they were followed up some time later, there was no difference in knee function between the two groups.

    You can read about it at http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/healthreport/arthroscopic-surgery-for-osteoarthritis-of-the-knee/3184850.

    But as for climate models and predictions, they do a lot better than the “skeptics” predictions, so they must be doing something right. Of course “skeptics” are unfairly disadvantaged when it comes to making predictions, because they can’t predict rising temperatures or falling arctic sea ice (not without getting kicked out the “skeptics” club anyway).

  71. John Brookes says:

    “But as for climate models and predictions, they do a lot better than the “skeptics” predictions…”

    John Brookes doesn’t understand. Individuals might make predictions. But scientific skepticism doesn’t make predictions, it only questions conjectures and hypotheses. Skeptics have turned up so many failed alarmist predictions that in any other branch of the hard sciences, the purveyors of the CO2=CAGW nonsense would be the laughingstock of their peers.

  72. “In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work.”

    Even if we have to redefine peer-reviewed.

    Don’t make me laugh.

  73. Since few if any of the people behind the CAGW scare have degrees in “climatology”, this argument can be used against them as well as against the skeptics.

    Isn’t Hansen an astronomer? Isn’t Pachuri a railway engineer?
    Much of the support for CAGW comes from statistics, yet none of the team has ANY training in statistics.

  74. Smokey says:
    February 1, 2012 at 5:54 am

    John Brookes doesn’t understand that one does not do an invasive procedure just as a placebo. In my mind, such an act is criminal.

  75. If Tren[snip . . c'mon] is so expert in his field, why can’t he account for all the missing heat? If only he’d ask I could tell him where it is. Its all at the end of my garden keeping my Fairies warm :-)

  76. It’s clear that these guys (the so-called REAL “scientists”) are truly freaking out. I suppose I might be too, if I was in the precarious position of seeing my career be laid to rest because the data just won’t comply with the models and dire forecasts. And this is why I got out of (health sciences / epidemiological) research 20 years ago, as my superiors – the grant/funding rainmakers, tried steering me towards finding results that just weren’t in the data, instead of allowing me to let the data to speak for itself. Funding is gained by presenting a very strong hypothesis. If the data don’t end up supporting that hypothesis, that should be a significant result in itself. But not in the eyes of those whose careers depend on finding results that support a given hypothesis. Sad to say, but funding entities seem to only be interested in funding those who have a track record of presenting interesting hypotheses and consequently finding interesting results.

    In the case of AGW, the next 10 years of global temperature data will determine whether this matter will continue to be the contentious battle that it is now. If the temperatures do not rise, and actually begin to fall, well, I just hope all these fervent advocates and enablers are around to face the music.

  77. Appeals to authority are always to be viewed with suspicion, but especially in cases where the “true” answer is not available. While the number of surgeries performed doesn’t necessarily correlate with a surgeon’s skill, there is at least a mechanism (knowledge of poor outcomes becoming public in the surgeon’s lifetime) that can help identify who the true experts are.

    Not so much for climate scientists. A better analogy here would be to the arson investigators of a few decades ago who condescendingly touted their many arson investigations as evidence of their expert abilities. Google “crazed glass” to see how that worked for them.

    Another commenter also pointed out that claiming expertise in which actions should be taken to address whatever climate change is actually ongoing is certainly not within the expertise of these folks, and it it hubris at its worst that they do not realize this.

    Even if someone were a fine neurological diagnostician that would not make them a fine brain surgeon.

  78. The last thing you want to do is go to an expert alone for his advice. His bias is to promote what he knows best. It’s the “if all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail” situation. Get a second opinion. And a third. From intelligent people, but who are uninvested in the outcome. From many counselors comes wisdom.

  79. Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work.

    The trouble with climate science is that it attempts to be a jack-of-all-trades and proves itself a master of none. In a certain sense, there is no such thing as climate science. There is only physics, chemistry, biology, statistics, etc. And the practioners of climate sciences seem to have notable weaknesses in these areas, with statistics being an especially glaring one. When I first found out that they essentially practice do-it-yourself statistics, and don’t have, as a matter of course, a trained statistician working intimately with their teams, in many cases, I was flabbergasted. All the work by Steve McIntyre should have been done before those papers had ever seen publication. It is, to quote Trenberth, a true “travesty”. And we’re supposed to upend the world economy and spend trillions of dollars based on people who can’t even get the fundamentals right and whose idea of scientific rigor seems to be back-of-the-envelope calculations based on incomplete and poorly gathered data (I’m thinking Yamal)? Heck, they can’t even understand Excel, and yet they claim to be masters of the universe.

    In fact, the point made in the quote above is 180 degrees wrong. “Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition?” What they’re asking us to do is consult a climate scientist about physics. And consult a climate scientist about chemistry. And consult a climate scientist about meteorology. And consult a climate scientist about statistics. And, most laughably, consult a climate scientist about engineering, power generation, and economics. The truth is, climate scientists are the equivalent of the GP, the jack-of-all-trades. If I have a problem with my heart, though, I want my GP to send me to a heart specialist – not the other way around. The same is true with climate scientists. They’re not the cardiologists, they’re the GPs. But unfortunately they don’t recognize the limits of their expertise and knowledge. They’re too arrogant for that. So is it any wonder people are averse to letting them do heart surgery?

    As to peer review, that pretty much says it all. If your peers are arrogant, under-educated, and lacking in self-awareness and got their job because they think just like you do (and you freeze them out if they don’t) then it’s no wonder you’re the experts in the field, as judged by your peers. You haven’t actually been tested against a rigorous standard. What should happen is every climate science paper should get non-peer reviewed – by a chemist, a physicist, a statistician and anyone else in a rigorous hard science that could bring relevant expertise to bear. Then we would maybe have confidence in the results. But this wishy-washy, manipulative, closed club of “climate scientists” will never inspire confidence.

  80. So, essentially, since the peer review system for the climatology has become an instant-self-publication-mill we’re to trust them as “experts”.

    Sorry, but I’d listen to real doctors and only if they have proof, otherwise I get a second opinion.

  81. “Correlation between models and observations is 50 to 60% for seasonal means on scales of a few hundred kilometers.”
    So they can’t predict the rain for the season any better than they can predict the rain from an oncoming storm.
    But I can reliably predict continued denial and mendacity from the climatological-bureaucratic complex.

  82. Let me get this right. Trenberth says,

    And computer models have recently shown that during periods when there is a smaller increase of surface temperatures, warming is occurring elsewhere in the climate system, typically in the deep ocean.

    I’m quite sure that this is true, computer models do predict warming in the deep oceans.

    But in private, Trenberth says,

    The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t.

    Trenberth’s use of the word “account” has, admittedly, created confusion. But he has clarified this confusion in this editorial, writing,

    Mr. Trenberth was lamenting the inadequacy of observing systems to fully monitor warming trends in the deep ocean.

    So Trenberth believes that the reason we can’t find the deep ocean heat predicted by the computer models is because the sensor network is inadequate.

    There is great irony in the fact that the same people who argue that a handful of tree rings extracted from one set of isolated trees growing on the Yamal peninsula are perfectly adequate to project global surface temperature back 1000 years, now argue that we don’t have adequate sensor coverage to measure ocean heat content, despite having nearly complete surface coverage by sophisticated, highly calibrated satellites, We now find ourselves in Alice’s wonderland where tree rings are held up as precision scientific instruments and satellites are dismissed as inadequate and untrustworthy — this can only happen in climate science.

  83. How long must we be abused by the False Analogy between climate scientists and physicians? Kevin Trenberth states his version of the fallacious argument as follows:

    “Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work. If you need surgery, you want a highly experienced expert in the field who has done a large number of the proposed operations.”

    Physicians practice healing of patients. Scientists create understanding of the universe. The two fields do not have the same goals and cannot be measured by the same standards. Does anyone believe that the surgeon who decided to cut a hole in his patient’s leg so that he could access an artery and thread a tube into the patient’s heart so that he could inflate a balloon on the end of the tube was practicing science? Of course not. Does anyone believe that the surgeon was justified in his novel actions because he had presented evidence of its likely success? Of course not. Does anyone believe that the surgeon was justified because he had done a large number of this kind of operation? Of course not. The surgeon was justified because all known means of treating the patient’s condition had failed and the surgeon’s unproven technique offered the only hope of relieving the patient’s suffering.

    No doubt the reason that people like Trenberth continue to compare themselves to physicians is that they believe that they deserve the respect that physicians receive from patients. But the comparison is made in vain because the respect that physicians receive is based on a record of success in relieving the suffering of patients. By that standard, climate scientists deserve no respect whatsoever. They have failed completely in their efforts to produce scientific theories which explain the behavior of our climate, which rest on empirical evidence, and which can be understood by the highly educated among the masses of humanity. They have failed just as completely in their efforts to offer reasonable paths to healing for what they see as the planet’s sickness.

    Some have suggested that Trenberth and friends are wedded to the fallacious comparison because they view themselves as physicians to the planet and to humanity. If there is any truth to this suggestion then Trenberth and friends are truly dangerous.

    The goal of scientists and the chief duty of scientists is to produce understanding of their piece of the universe. Climate scientists have failed to offer something beyond unvalidated computer simulations and nonempirical claims about proxies such as tree rings. On all the standard measures of scientific success, they have failed. The most telling failure is in their inability to present well confirmed physical hypotheses which explain the connections between rising concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere and the so-called “feedbacks” such as cloud behavior. Even Arrhenius knew that the effect of CO2 on Earth’s temperature could not be determined without the knowledge provided by such well confirmed physical hypotheses.

    Finally, climate scientists commit the fallacy of False Analogy because they want the trust that patients have for physicians who have a record of healing people like them. They do not want to be held to a standard of clarity and evidence. They do not want to explain their own science in a way that the prospective “patients,” consumers of science, can understand. To that attitude, I say “Scientist, explicate yourself.”

  84. Welcome to this week’s exciting episode of Dr. Trenbeth, DDS.

    [as we open our scene, Dr. Trenbeth is in his exam room preparing to perform a root canal on a patient who's already sitting in the chair, wearing bib and dental dam]
    Dr. Trenbeth: Ok, let’s get this nasty infected root drilled out, shall we.
    Patient (nodding): UGH UGH
    [Dr. Trenbeth starts drilling and we see the patient wince]
    Patient: gop! gop!
    Dr. Trenbeth: Yes, my wife and kids are fine. Thanks for asking.
    [the patient starts to thrash and wave his arms]
    Patient: go! go! gong gooth! GONG GOOTH!
    Dr. Trenbeth: No, we’ve decided to go to Italy for our vacation this year.
    [finally, the patient rips off the dental dam]
    Patient: Dr. Trenbeth, you’re drilling out the wrong tooth.
    Dr. Trenbeth: No, that’s impossible. I’m a very careful professional. I’m a DDS!
    Patient: But my bad tooth is on an upper, and you’re drilling on a lower…
    Dr. Trenbeth: Oh no, you’re wrong. The bad tooth is definitely on the lower jaw.
    Patient: But my upper tooth is the one that’s impacted! It hurts! Your assistant, Miss Joshina Willis took the X-Rays herself with that fancy new ARGO machine over there!
    Dr. Trenbeth: Oh that. Oh, I see what’s happened. The ARGO X-Ray machine can be useful for some limited things, and yes, it did show a large infected abscess on your upper tooth. But I’ve run some powerful computer models that show your abscess is really on the lower tooth. This is where they almost always happen. All the other DDS’s agree with me completely. When you have a DDS behind your name, that MEANS I understand teeth. So you just relax, lie back and let me put this dental dam back on.
    Patient: goh gay
    [drilling starts again, then fades out] ….

    THE END

  85. In the 4th paragraph of his joint-letter Kevin Trenberth mentions: “Mr. Trenberth was lamenting the inadequacy of observing systems to fully monitor warming trends in the deep ocean”. Then how do climatologists know if some of the warming in the late 20th century was not due to a heat transfer from the deep oceans ?

  86. Looking for logical fallacies to comment on this group think letter, I came upon this one which is especially appropriate:
    Chairman of the Board: “All those opposed to my arguments for the opening of a new department, signify by saying, ‘I resign.’”

  87. In medicine evidence based research is based on opinions, not fact or scientific analysis, and so it is misleading and worthless. Breathing causes cancer is a prime example.

  88. I have never understood this argument, because the range of factors that affect climate go far beyond what any individual or relatively small clique can master. If expert physicists and expert statisticians say your physics and statistical methods are wrong, why should anyone care that they’re not expert climatologists? A climatologist is the family doctor, and should refer you to a cardiologist if he suspects a heart condition.

  89. “Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused”

    And that’s one of the reasons we don’t believe you Kevin
    97% of 77 climate scientists from a survey 90% from the U.S., not really a world class survey
    and all they believe is that “human activity is a significant contributing factor in changing
    mean global temperatures”

    “It would be an act of recklessness for any political leader to disregard the weight of evidence and ignore the enormous risks that climate change clearly poses”

    Ok Kevin , show us a consensus on the enourmous risks, specifically from AGW.

  90. It’s a mistake to make a comparison to surgeons, dentists or psychiatrists as these are very specific sub-specialties of medicine as a whole (dentists are essentially surgeons). I would be hesitant to use cardiologists or gastroenterologists because although they are primarily diagnosticians, they also perform procedures (e.g. angioplasty, stents, endoscopies, etc.). A better example is to use physicians who get paid “for knowin’ stuff” like internists, FPs, radiologists, etc. Even still, the comparison would be invalid. Consider these differences:

    - Physicians may have different majors in their undergraduate studies (usually biology or chemistry but I once knew one who was an EE), but they ALL go through med school. Some physicians here may beg to differ with me, but for the most part the curricula doesn’t vary much from Harvard and state universities. All physicians are taught the same basic stuff (and all studied the same excellent Frank Netter illustrations to get through gross anatomy). Upon graduation from med school they’re all physicians – not butterfly scientists, astrophysicists, ecologists, geologists, etc.

    - At the end of med school they must pass the medical boards and license as physicians. We don’t require a license to practice “climate science”. We don’t even regulate the practice of “climate science”.

    - Then they must secure a match for a residency which can last for 3 to 5 years. After residency training they must pass their specialty board certification. Many take fellowships after residency (necessary for stuff like cardiovascular surgery, neurosurgery, cardiology, infectious disease, rheumatology, etc.). Compare these rigors to the “environmental studies” graduates on Trenberth’s list.

    - When physicians make mistakes patient morbidity or mortality can result. When a climate scientist utterly fails in one of their insipid “I can predict the future” predictions they don’t even lose their funding. The physician gets sued.

    - If you read much medical literature (which, in my opinion is MUCH easier to understand than the deliberately cryptic “climate science” literature), you’ll note that most of the time at the end of the paper there is an acknowledgement to the dispassionate statistician who assisted them in their experimental design and data analysis. As per evidenced by the Wegman incident, climate scientists have utter contempt for independent statisticians.

    - The practice of medicine is largely derived from empirical data, not computer models. Most medical research (and certainly pharmaceutical research) is readily reproducible. Medicine rapidly responds to new information. “Climate science” seems to fight it tooth and nail. A little over 15 years ago physicians were using sublingual nifedipine for the management of acute angina. What’s more they had a very sound theoretical basis for this therapeutic intervention. After the publication of ONE retrospective study that showed that using nifedipine in this manner actually increased mortality the practice was abandoned overnight. I have bored WUWT readers with several other fine examples but the bottom line is that medicine responds to new information. The climate zealots cling to their largely disproven central belief.

    - The “consensus science” in medicine is essentially “evidence based medicine” but it’s very different from the “consensus science” in climate science. I follow the latest clinical guidelines for community acquired pneumonia. These change slightly every year or two. The general guidelines are developed by pulmonologists and infectious disease experts who review all the data “from the peer reviewed literature”. They publish what they consider to be the best diagnostic and therapeutic advice. But there’s nothing else in it for them. Their mission is to treat patients and earn a living. Their livelihood is not dependent on government grants.

    So in my opinion climate scientists are not only not in the same league as physicians…they’re not even in the same parking lot. If Trenberth, et al want to equate themselves with physicians they should be willing to assume the same degree of legal liability, have a standard of training to define their profession and be licensed to practice (by examination) just like professional lawyers, physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, engineers, etc.

  91. gofer says:
    February 1, 2012 at 3:32 am
    I believe the “97%” of scientists said humans were “a significant contributing factor” NOT the CAUSE. 75 doesn’t even come close to the over 1000 that have identified with the skeptic side at the GWPF.

    Part of that contribution would be from land-surface changes, irrigation, etc., not CO2.

    More importantly, the poll only asked if humans were contributing to warming,, not to catastrophic warming.

  92. Dennis Kuzara says:
    January 31, 2012 at 10:17 pm

    “Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused.”
    ————————————————————————
    Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that the editors that allowed the other 3% to be published should be fired and blackballed from the climate publishing industry.

    Research shows that more than 97% of astrologers actively publishing in their field agree that astrology is real and humans better heed their warnings.

    Research shows that more than 97% of guests on the George Noory/Art Bell show agree that UFOs are real but not human caused.

  93. Climate scientists such as Trenberth and climate science camp followers such as Gleick continually ask sceptics: “Why will you not accept our authority on matters of climate?”

    Sceptics continually answer: “Because you are not honest about your science. You know, as Arrhenius did, that nothing can be inferred about Earth’s temperature from the fact of rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere until someone creates and confirms some set of physical hypotheses which explain the effect of rising CO2 concentrations on the so-called “feedbacks” such as cloud behavior.”

    Who must make the next move in this discussion?

  94. Dennis Kuzara says:
    “Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused.”

    Just like whack-a-mole, that infamous 97% just keeps popping up.

    And there was a post here that went through that so-called “study” and deconstructed it step by step – but I can’t seem to find it anymore. Anyone have that link?

  95. Dennis & Frank,

    Re:

    FrankK says:
    January 31, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Dennis Kuzara says:
    January 31, 2012 at 10:17 pm
    “Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused.”
    Just like whack-a-mole, that infamous 97% just keeps popping up.
    ___________________________________________________________

    Yes 75 scientists out of 77 agree (i.e 97%). Doesn’t really wash does it.! More than 30,000 don’t.

    You guys just don’t get it. The press release for the pitiful study that spawned the
    97 % Kevin Trenberth quote is just as reliable as most of the
    other climate related statistics he passes around.

    Indeed, for Trenberth, Mann, Hansen, Bradley, et al., the reliability of this statistic
    exemplifies what has become the industry standard for their Team of
    climate experts.

  96. Dr. Dave says:
    February 1, 2012 at 11:17 am

    I am one of those LICENSED people you wrote about and I will second Theo Goodwin’s excellent post. Thanks!

  97. If a sugeon cuts my nose open instead of my heart, I will notice. I don’t need to be a doctor to notice.
    I don’t need to be a climatologist to notice that CAGW is an imaginary problem used as a weapon in the battle for control over energy resources.

    As a side note, we’re having the third really cold winter in a row here in Sweden right now. Gimme some heat! :)

  98. Trenberths’ got a point.

    I’ll choose my Climatologist based on their ability to get it right.

    By the Kev, “You’re fired”.

  99. It was parochially comforting for this old country boy to learn that Virginia has enjoyed maybe its warmest January ever. Of course, we must add, “on record.” Weather calculations were most likely not recorded on a monthly basis back in the old days when the Brits ruled here, and everyone attending Aquia Church had to pay up something each Sunday to the Crown. Or even before, when Indians quarreled over things locally, like the fate of Pocahontas.

    Even so, one would think, based on historical measurements of the weather, that some kind of agreement could be reached about our world and its climate—other than “things change.” They do indeed. Things have tended to stay awfully cold and then quite warm for extended periods.

    Some folks claim that today’s warm periods here on earth have lasted a long time and threaten to get even hotter unless we do something.They argue we should stop breathing out CO2. I exaggerate, but in essence the CO2 increase in the world is claimed to be making us too warm for our own good.

    I don’t know about that. Fact is, when it’s been warm our world has seemed to prosper more than when it’s been cold. History books tell us that warmer temperatures have correlated with greater human prosperty and bountiful harvests.

    During today’s long warm spell, we see crop yields per acre reaching new highs never before hardly even contemplated. Is that cause and effect? Maybe not totally, for science has produced yield-enhancing technology apart from the prevailing climate from season to season. But could crop production have been nearly so abundant if the weather had stayed cold as all get-out?
    I would guess not. Cold climates, not warm, correlate with harm to mankind.

  100. RaymondT says:
    February 1, 2012 at 8:50 am
    Then how do climatologists know if some of the warming in the late 20th century was not due to a heat transfer from the deep oceans?

    The deep oceans are at about 3 C, and heat does not travel from cold to hot. So it stands to reason that IF Trenberth is correct that some heat went into the deep ocean, then it would never come out until the whole deep ocean is warmer than the surface layers. I have the feeling that Hansen’s grandchildren have nothing to worry about!

  101. Trenberth said “If you need surgery, you want a highly experienced expert in the field who has done a large number of the proposed operations.”

    And if you do statistical work in climate science you should interact with statisticians and not try to make up by yourself.

  102. “If you need surgery, you want a highly experienced expert in the field who has done a large number of the proposed operations.”

    For a start seems Dr. Kevin Trenberth don’t understand the difference between a Theory and a Scientific Law.
    When Dr. Kevin Trenberth have ever made an “operation”?

  103. @nobody in particular (naively) says-

    “I have never understood this argument, because the range of factors that affect climate go far beyond what any individual or relatively small clique can master. If expert physicists and expert statisticians say your physics and statistical methods are wrong, why should anyone care that they’re not expert climatologists?”

    It’s like we Humanologists who sit above biology, medicine, physiology, psychiatry, psychology, physiotherapy,chiropracty,homeopathy,reflexology, iridology, etc, etc

    What! You mean you haven’t heard of us? You just have you ignorant layman!

  104. I can’t believe that Trenbeth even trotted out, “Research shows that more than 97% of scientists actively publishing in the field agree that climate change is real and human caused. ”

    From the WUWT archive: The number stems from a 2009 online survey of 10,257 earth scientists, conducted by two researchers at the University of Illinois. The survey results must have deeply disappointed the researchers – in the end, they chose to highlight the views of a subgroup of just 77 scientists, 75 of whom thought humans contributed to climate change. The ratio 75/77 produces the 97% figure that pundits now tout.”
    GMU on climate scientists: we are the 97%
    Posted on November 21, 2011 by Anthony Watts

  105. Indur,

    Good post. As long as climate models fail in the respect of being utterly worthless in skillfully predicting future climate data, and do no better than simple persistence with historical data there is no rationale for taking concrete action.

    Forecasts of catastrophe based on incomplete and inaccurate atmospheric models reduce to groundless assertion.

    For example, is there a single climate model that in 1998 predicted, forecast, or even came close to modeling the current decade of non-warming? Shouldn’t we be see more heating by now? More sea-level rise? Something?

    Science that fails to predict is failed science.

    Good blog post here: http://motls.blogspot.com/2012/02/wsj-publishes-collective-letter.html

  106. “most of these authors have no expertise in climate science. The few authors who have such expertise are known to have extreme views that are out of step with nearly every other climate expert.”
    ===================================================
    …..James Hansen

  107. What you want is “a highly experienced expert in the field who has CONVINCING EVIDENCE THAT HIS OR HER OPERATIONS HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL!”

    Excellent.

  108. Keith Minto says:
    January 31, 2012 at 10:59 pm
    >Werner Brozek says:
    >January 31, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    >>The trend for the last decade using the average of the four main data sets is negative as >>shown below. Is this not an abatement of the warming?

    >More a warming plateau, wait 10 more years.

    I think the plateau will last another 15-20 years. There is a noticeable periodic component in the three major surface temperature trend indices, especially HadCRUT3. About 40% of the warming from the early-mid 1970′s to the middle of the past decade appears to be from a periodic cycle having a period around 60-65 years. This percentage is even higher, maybe 45-50%, if the cycle is not sinusoidal but somewhere between sine and triangle (which I suspect is the case).

    Another roughly 8-10 percent of the warming appears to me caused by increase of greenhouse gases other than CO2, which largely stopped increasing in the mid 1990′s.

    Watch for global temperature to shoot up around 3/4 of a degree C in a 30-40 year period starting around 2030-2035. And for that 3-4 decades to have a majority of the warming this whole century.

    – Don Klipstein

  109. Sorry, it is YOUR job to prove that what you are doing is safe. Your reversal of the usual rules of law and logic makes a mockery of your mockery.

    Consider that the last time this planet had CO2 at these levels the temperature was stable at +4 degrees of warming. It was the Pliocene, more than 3 MILLION years ago. It took that long for the natural processes of the planet to sequester the carbon that got us down to the pre-industrial level of 150 years go, and we put all of it back in 150 years…. 20 thousand times faster. The planet is still warming and will continue to warm until it gets back to +4 degrees… but the effect of having it happen 20000 times faster is not easily understood from paleoclimatology. Nothing like it we can closely identify. It is still going on, this experiment of yours with the only planet we have. Still pumping the CO2 into the air… so we COULD get to +6 degrees, which means no ice at either pole and a real possibility of shutting off the deep ocean turnover, turning the ocean anoxic and arranging something very like the Permian die-off.

    The point of course, is that YOU cannot prove that that won’t happen. YOU can’t prove that the temperature won’t rise the way it did last time, there is no evidence whatsoever that you can point to in support of that hypothesis.

    YOU can’t prove that you won’t kill every living thing on the planet by continuing business as usual, fracking the planet and dumping the waste in the atmosphere we all use for breathing.

    The benefits of BAU go to the 1%, not to the poor, NEVER to the poor. So it is very clear why the WSJ has an editorial policy that favors denialism. It is clear why the wealthiest people back organizations like CEI. It is clear why they buy ever larger shares of media ownership. This is tobacco all over again… except the stakes are a lot higher.

    Which is really the point here. Rich folks want YOU to demand proof, which isn’t what science EVER provides, that THEIR business as usual is damaging the climate… but it is THEIR obligation to provide proof that BAU is not damaging, because THEY are the ones who are causing the change and benefiting from it. They simply are better at reframing arguments and making propaganda than scientists are. So they have you all braying about the science… when the real problem is THEIR lack of proof.

    You are being lied to comprehensively, but not by scientists.

    You have absolutely no evidence whatsoever that what you are being led to support won’t kill every living thing on the planet.

    The lowest solar output in a century, multiple la nina events and the best argument you can manage is brief “plateau” ?

    A trend over 150 years and you try to pick another trend out of a space of time a tenth that duration? What good is that really? At 15 years any trend is unlikely to even be discernible from the noise.

    This is, without a doubt, the most worthless bag of hammers I have ever had the misfortune to run across. I won’t be back. You can rubbish whatever you like of YOURS, but get your stinking paws off OUR planet.

  110. Mister_C says: February 1, 2012 at 10:59 pm

    Which planet exactly are you referring to, it is obviously not Earth….

  111. It took that long for the natural processes of the planet to sequester the carbon that got us down to the pre-industrial level of 150 years go,

    You act like that is a goal in and of itself. Like that is some natural state of things. Why do you think that? What is special about the pre-industrial level of 150 years ago?

  112. ” climate change is real and human caused ”
    So now we are actually the cause of climate change ?

    What a deceitful statement…

    Did those scientists actually read what they signed ?

  113. Mr_C
    “Sorry, it is YOUR job to prove that what you are doing is safe. Your reversal of the usual rules of law and logic makes a mockery of your mockery “
    I think reversing the null hypothesis has been dealt with.
    The onus is on the asserter to prove your assertion
    I cannot prove God doesn’t exist, does that prove he does?
    The failure of the 97% of scientists in the mythical consensus to reverse the null hypothesis makes a mockery of the consensus.
    You have 97%, what’s stopping you?

  114. Q. What do surgeons and civil engineers have in common?
    A. They both bury their mistakes.

    Q. What do climate scientists have in common with these two groups.
    A. Nothing. Climate scientists don’t make mistakes

  115. tolo4zero says:
    February 2, 2012 at 8:33 am

    ” climate change is real and human caused ”
    So now we are actually the cause of climate change ?

    Were he/she/it to ever return one might ask how the climate changed before humans walked the earth. Bawhahahaha!!!

  116. Mister_C says:
    February 1, 2012 at 10:59 pm

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

    Are YOU an ordained preacher in the Church of Global Warming preaching Fire and Brimstone?

    If I offer tithe of 10% of my income will you save me from the warmth provided by nature and send me to the holy land of the cold? Sorry to inform YOU but my income is negative the past couple of years. Please send rebate.

  117. The problem with Trenberth and, by extension, his “ilk”, is that they are not climate scientists themselves. From their group-written conclusion:

    …there is very clear evidence that investing in the transition to a low-carbon economy will … drive decades of economic growth. Just what the doctor ordered.

    They are clearly economists – and / or medical doctors.

  118. So, in their rebuttal, Trenberth et. al. did not refute one claim of the original WSJ editorial. They merely use appeal to authority to claim that the original editiorial is written by people without the proper expertise, or by people with extreme views. Then Trenberth et. al. point out that etremists don’t believe HIV causes AIDS. However, it is just as easy to cite examples where scientists with opinions contrdicting the established ideas turned out to be right, if we’re citing anecdotal evidence.

  119. “individuals headed by Dr. Kevin Trenberth argue:
    Do you consult your dentist about your heart condition? In science, as in any area, reputations are based on knowledge and expertise in a field and on published, peer-reviewed work. If you need surgery, you want a highly experienced expert in the field who has done a large number of the proposed operations”

    Not a good analogy, an own goal there Kev!
    12. 180,000 Patients Die Annually from Treatment in Hospitals

    http://www.projectcensored.org/top-stories/articles/12-180000-patients-die-annually-fron-treatment-in-hospitals/

  120. @Bill Parsons says on February 2, 2012 at 9:52 am

    They are not economists, and while I favor my doctor, I doubt I will be recommending anyone to them for any medical issues.

  121. I thought some of you might appreciate reading a comment I received on the Scoundrels and Rogues board. I had opined that Climate Science did not seem to be falsifiable, and was therefore not a real science. In return, I got this:

    RW

    “…Climate science, like all science, is of course falsifiable. And like all science, aspects of it are exceedingly complex and not easy to explain to a layman. And no-one has ever managed to explain anything to a layman who isn’t listening.

    Your insincerity is obvious but just so that you can’t say someone didn’t try, here’s a very very very simple explanation of what we know.

    1. Global surface temperatures are rising
    2. Greenhouse gas concentrations are rising
    3. The greenhouse gases come from fossil fuels
    4. The amount of energy leaving the Earth is measured to be decreasing
    5. The amount of energy radiated downwards by the atmosphere is measured to be increasing

    Therefore, the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations is causing the surface warming….”

    A knock-down argument, I think you’ll agree! And a complete refutation of all sceptical positions (not). Why do we need the IPCC when we have this simple and unanswerable proof? It is (or rather, it was) getting warmer and greenhouse gases come from fossil fuels! What more do we need to know?

  122. That was pretty stupid thing to say.

    Look at Dermatologists… they have been screaming at us to avoid the sun for the past 30 years to prevent skin cancer. As it turns out, they know absolutely nothing about vitamin D that we get from the sun. As it turns out, it does so much for you – http://www.biochemj.org/bj/441/0061/bj4410061.htm. Oops. This supposedly costs us 4 trillion dollars in healthcare/medical expense per decade. Oops. Gov’t sponsored “experts” got together to determine how much vitamin D we need and they relied on badly flawed studies so we ended up with very low recommended amount (used to be 200 IU at first then 400 IU and now 600 IU which is still far too low. Compare that to the amount of vitamin D we get from the sun… for Caucasians, 20,000 IU after 30 minutes (assuming the air is clean since air pollution can block UVB to a degree). Oops. Guess who brought up the attention of widespread vitamin D deficiency? A psychiatrist at state hospital (mental hospital?) for prisoners where he happened to notice that his floor where he took care of his patients who were taking 2000 IU of vitamin D3 a day did not catch flu while other floors, they got flu back in 2002 or 2003. I don’t recall what exactly got him to look into vitamin D but eventually he pieced everything together from reading many papers off pubmed. Turns out he was right. Vitamin D is basically your flu (cold and others) vaccine! Then it dawned on me… is that why we have so many vaccines caused by widespread vitamin D deficiency? Cancer too.. Asthma… even possibly autism. They are doing some studies but it may take a while to see if it actually prevent autism or not but the vitamin D treatment is very promisinghttp://www.vitamindcouncil.org/health-conditions/.

    Don’t get me started with saturated fat and cholesterol consumption causing heart disease. The “experts” have no clue. Thankfully, there are many studies on the PubMed that pretty much proved them wrong but the gov’t isn’t doing much. Typical.

    Then there’s archaeologists… Apparently, they have no idea just how hard granite stone is and what we use to produce sculptures with such precise these days. Check out Chris Dunn’s work. Baffling. Do they really think that we were that primitive with primitive tools to produce that kind of precise like Ramses statues in Egypt and also Pyramids? Look at those massive granite objects weighing 50-200 tons! I wondered how old they could really be then I came across this – http://www.robertschoch.com/sphinxcontent.html. Then this 10,000-12,000 years old civilization in Turkey – http://www.robertschoch.com/sphinxcontent.html

    It made me wonder about human evolution because like AGW, leftists defend Darwin’s evolution like Gollum wants his precious ring back . For the fun of it, I searched on the internet to see what other theories are and this got me intrigued… Intervention Theory by Lloyd Pye which is based on genetic manipulation by another race. I read everything on his website and he sure has done a serious research into that stuff. Not sure if I buy ET story but look at the granite objects, I;m willing to conclude that we may have had very advanced civilization maybe 10,000-15,000 years ago. (Atlantis)? I suppose the timing of Ice Age ending around that time could have done serious damage to them (Noah’s flooding?).

    http://www.leedskalnin.com/ – Maybe Edward Leedskalnin was right about education…

  123. I think a better analogy would be if, if you want to find out about timeshares, talk to timeshare salesmen.

  124. Yes it is true. Oral hygiene does effect the over all health condition of our bodies.Year’s ago, gum disease was treated as a localized disease. Today we know that the destructive bacteria which causes gum disease, travels through the bloodstream and enters various organs in our body and can make pre – existing health conditions worse. As with other health issues, gum disease can be hereditary. If this insidious disease exists somewhere within the family tree, it would be wise to maintain a good prevention program.

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