The APS Topical Group on the Physics of Climate: reply to Roger Cohen

American Physical Society

American Physical Society (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Guest post by  Warren S. Warren

A reply to Roger Cohen from a fellow Executive Committee member

In a recent posting on your web site, Roger Cohen, who was on the Organizing Committee for the APS Topical Group on the Physics of Climate and just resigned from the Executive Committee, posted his resignation letter with an expanded “explanation”.  As a member of both committees, I consider his letter to be a direct attack on my integrity, and I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

Since I have been involved in organizing the Topical Group from the beginning, my views on climate change are relevant.  I have never published in that field (my background is chemical physics, and research focus is on medical imaging) and I am not an advocate for either “side” in this discussion.  But I could make the same statement about virtually everyone else involved on those committees.  I don’t buy the arguments that only “experts on climate change” can understand the data and draw conclusions-any more than I would accept the same argument about astrology or homeopathic medicine.  I can say that I am appalled by the highly unscientific and highly unprofessional way I see many prominent individuals, on both sides of this discussion, behave in public.  For example, every tiny bit of new noisy data seems to get blown up into “conclusive evidence” one way or the other-ignoring what Judith Curry is fond of calling the uncertainty monster that clearly has not been tamed.  I also feel that the APS statement on climate change (with the word “incontrovertible”) was very ill-advised, but the controversy focused on one badly-chosen word has harmed science by discouraging other scientific organizations from helping to sort wheat from chaff in this field.  Finally, I think formation of the Topical Group on the Physics of Climate is a very positive step, and has the potential to dramatically improve the scientific discourse in this field.

In Roger’s post on this website, he presented himself as the voice of sanity in a biased group.  That is certainly not the way I remember our interactions on that committee.  But I will not try to tell stories; instead, I will let him speak for himself.  Start with his consulting work on carbon remediation:
http://globalthermostat.com/team/roger-cohen

(and just in case he gets that taken down, here is a copy: https://www.dropbox.com/s/nu1o1ksyhc5u891/roger-cohen.htm)
and then reconcile this viewpoint with what he expressed in the Wall Street Journal:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577171531838421366.html

Many other people have trouble speaking out of both sides of their mouth at the same time.   I will not miss him on the Executive Committee.

Much more importantly, the GPC Executive Committee and Program Committee has put together an extremely balanced set of speakers for the March 2013 meeting, including several Roger suggested.  As I am not the chair, I do not feel it is my place to reveal the program, but I think nobody will look at the set of speakers at the March meeting and find them unbalanced.  In addition, absolutely any APS member can submit an abstract, which by APS bylaws will be accepted for presentation.

Bottom line:  if you are interested in climate science, as divorced from climate policy, and an American Physical Society member, GPC is a natural home for you and your input is welcome.

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

NOTE: I agree with his views on uncertainty and the elevation of weather noise to “conclusive evidence” but I don’t agree with Mr. Warren’s characterizations of Mr. Cohen. But, in the interest of fairness I have allowed this rebuttal, even though he has used a personal cheap shot about “speaking out of both sides of their mouth”. We’ll hold judgement on the speakers list for March 2013 until we see it. At that time it can be determined how balanced it is.  – Anthony

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

UPDATE:  a comment from APS see below.

Submitted on 2012/10/25 at 8:05 am

Dear Mr. Watts,
The trademarked APS logo must be removed from this site because the American Physical Society did not give permission for its use. Furthermore, the headline, “The APS Topical Group on the Physics of Climate, reply to:” should be removed because it is misleading. It wrongly implies an official APS endorsement of the reply to Mr. Cohen’s resignation.
Sincerely,
Tawanda W. Johnson
Press Secretary
American Physical Society

REPLY: Dear Ms. Johnson. The logo is from Wikipedia, and it is used here (like many other content items from Wikipedia) under the exception for fair use. Under fair use, I do not require permission from APS to use the logo that is at Wikipedia. They state:

Use of the logo in the article complies with Wikipedia non-free content policy, logo guidelines, and fair use under United States copyright law as described above.

If you wish to take the issue up with them, and if you are successful in having them remove it from Wikipedia I will follow suit. Bear also in mind that this logo comes up in WordPress automatically in the Zemanta free “cleared” content available to thousands of WordPress users. So you’ll also have to take the issue up with WordPress.com to get the hundreds and perhaps thousands of other uses of the logo also removed.

Until such time, for my part to ensure no unsuspecting reader might be influenced by the logo as you suggest, I’ll put the comment and my response in the main body of the article. – Anthony

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102 Responses to The APS Topical Group on the Physics of Climate: reply to Roger Cohen

  1. Keith AB says:

    Why did he fold in homeopathy and astrology?

  2. Poor Yorek says:

    I wonder why this site refers almost invariably to “Dr. Svalgaard,” but to “Mr. Warren” or “Mr. Cohen” in the post above when, presumably, all three hold the Ph.D. degree? I’ve noted at other sites a tendency to refer to those with whom we agree “Dr.” – if appropriate – and those with whom we do not “Mr.” but I would have hoped for better from WUWT whose efforts I have much appreciated.

  3. BioBob says:

    ” I don’t buy the arguments that only “experts on climate change” can understand the data and draw conclusions”

    excellent point and one that I entirely agree with.

    And since the uncertainty is infinite with so many sample sizes equal to ONE, this point is also important. So little reliable data, just so MANY statistically invalid conclusions….

  4. Gary says:

    Equating climate change science, homeopathy, and astrology? Do I smell a Mike Mann lawsuit threat?

  5. terrybixler says:

    16 years and no hockey stick in sight. OHC declining and no hockey stick in sight. “incontrovertible” still in the mission statement and hockey sticks only visible either on the hockey rink or in government supported Climate literature. Lets have an unbiased equal footing discussion about climate change (AGW). Follow the money it is all in the grants not the science.

  6. I would appreciate Dr. Warren’s stating why the APS refuses even to remove the objectionable, anti-scientific word “incontrovertible” from its statement and whether it was indeed written in as cavalier a manner as Dr. Cohen describes? Thanks.

  7. Duster says:

    Keith AB says:
    October 24, 2012 at 10:06 am

    Why did he fold in homeopathy and astrology?

    Actually, it could be a positive sign. The implication was that it does not take an expert to understand current climate science, any more than it takes an expert to understand what homeopaths and astrologers say. The “team’s” repeated defense has been that somehow their understanding of climate and the effects of CO2 were more esoterically informed and thus more valid than say Steve McIntyre’s. That Steve never made an actual argument about how climate works – that I have ever read any – and criticises their statistical methods, implies that somehow “climate” mathematics operates differently than mathematics in other disciplines. That would be the sole defense for not having their mathematics and statistical methods subjected to an outside review – only climate scientists can understand climate statistics and physics. That approach is pure esotericism.

  8. As a member of both committees, I consider his letter to be a direct attack on my integrity, and I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

    I also feel that the APS statement on climate change (with the word “incontrovertible”) was very ill-advised,

    If he had integrity wouldn’t he resign over the use of the word “incontrovertible”?

  9. Juan Slayton says:

    Dr. Warren: I have consulted your links and I don’t see the problem. Perhaps you could spell out what you consider inconsistent….

  10. JJ says:

    But I will not try to tell stories; instead, I will let him speak for himself. Start with his consulting work on carbon remediation (link) and then reconcile this viewpoint with what he expressed in the Wall Street Journal(link).

    Many other people have trouble speaking out of both sides of their mouth at the same time.

    How do those links demonstrate that Cohen is “talking out of both sides of his Mouth?” Only one of them quotes Roger Cohen saying anything. The Globalthermostat link doesn’t point to anything Cohen said. Ginning up a contradiction from that requires a lot of assumptions and other acts of imagination.

    And if you do that, what are you left with? The letter in the WSJ to which he added his endorsement is a statement against interest. That adds credibility. Contrast this with the people stumping for CAGW, while personally benefitting from the scare they are helping to perpetuate.

    If you are going to bark up that tree, you need to do a better job of it.

  11. nvw says:

    Dr. Warren,
    I read your reply. I had hoped for something better to support your statement that Dr. Cohen speaks out of both sides of his mouth. Your citation to globalthermometer.com shows a corporate website with Cohen’s bio. So he is being paid based on his experience as a corporate industrial scientist – that’s a crime now? You could argue that Cohen’s position is in fact more sincere – by publicly stating he doesn’t believe the anthropogenic CO2 caused warming yet pocketing the lucre seems more sincere than say, Al Gore’s faux concern about sea level rise coupled with his lavish lifestyle and personal wealth gain. Our webhost, Anthony Watts, claims to drive a hybrid car with good gas mileage – are you going to accuse him of being a hypocrite too for not owning a gas-guzzler?

  12. Max Hugoson says:

    Arguments among hoity toit academics are akin to playing “catch as catch can” with bacon producing entities in a hole filled with oil well drilling fluid.

  13. Lance Wallace says:

    Warren S. Warren says:
    “I also feel that the APS statement on climate change (with the word “incontrovertible”) was very ill-advised, but the controversy focused on one badly-chosen word has harmed science by discouraging other scientific organizations from helping to sort wheat from chaff in this field.”

    What in the world does this mean? I would love to know what “scientific organizations” were discouraged from issuing yet another useless “policy statement” designed to assure the Federal government that they are on the right side of the funding issue.

  14. Joe Born says:

    Did I get the right hyperlinks in Dr.Warren’s post?

    If so, his evidence that Dr, Cohen cannot be a “voice of sanity” and that he was “speaking out of both sides of [his] mouth” is a pair of links to documents that establish nothing more than that Dr. Cohen is a skeptic. If Dr. Warren thinks merely being a skeptic disqualifies one as a voice of sanity and proves that one speaks out of both sides of his mouth, then it’s quite likely that his APS committee is indeed, as Dr. Cohen’s post contended, using a person’s skepticism as a reason for excluding that person’s input.

  15. Peter Miller says:

    The point I like here is Anthony allows rebuttals. Can you imagine that ever happening at Real Climate or Skeptical Science, where only the repetitious chants from the CAGW bible are allowed.

  16. Alec Rawls says:

    Warren isn’t lumping climate skepticism together with homeopathy and astrology. It is the climate science consensus that he is lumping together with these more questionable practices.

    The consensus claims that the only one’s who should be listened two are those who have the credentials that the consensus doles out, and that the only papers that should be looked at are in the peer reviewed journals that the consensus controls. That is like saying no one can judge astrology but an astrologer, credentialed by high society of credentialed astrologers. Warren hits the nail on the head.

  17. Tim Walker says:

    I looked at the two sites that Dr. Warren provided. In the first there is a statement of the organization about Dr. Cohen, one of either their consultants or technology advisors. Dr. Warren should’ve realized we look closely at evidence. There is no where in this statement that says anything of what Dr. Cohen’s opinions are. Kudos to this organization for having someone helping with an open mind. No kudos to Dr. Warren, he has failed to provide any proof of as he so crudely puts it, ‘speaking out of both sides of their mouth at the same time.’.

    This leads me to believe that this might be a situation of a guilty conscience lashing out at the one making him uncomfortable. I do not believe that Dr. Warren has helped his case. Instead it appears that he is stooping to the lowest of political tools; trying to smear the reputation of one bringing light to a situation.

    Kudos to Mr Watts for allowing both sides to present their case.

  18. Snotrocket says:

    I notice that the Global Thermostat was formed in 2006 and seems most concerned with CCS. That might be something, from a project planning point of view that Dr Cohen could get involved in, given his CV.
    .
    But then, I notice that the letter to the WSJ was dated 24th Oct 2012.

    Is it at all possible that in the intervening six years Dr Cohen has seen the light and changed his mind about AGW ‘science’ and the kinds of people/organisations who support the AGW brief; especially those who – purporting to represent physics and science – come up with a statement that says ‘the’ Science is ‘incontrovertible’, when science is no such thing. And then being so pusillanimous as to say the statement cannot be changed.

  19. Neil says:

    Why does Roger Cohen’s bio say that he was a lead author on many IPCC chapters? Is there even one?

  20. An Opinion says:

    Dr. Warren doesn’t seem to understand the phrase “Many other people have trouble speaking out of both sides of their mouth at the same time.” The arguement that APS should not make a promouncement that any scientific theory is incontrovertible, which is what he is telling APS, and that APS should focus on science, and not policy, is not at odds with statements he makes to other audiences.

  21. TomRude says:

    Interesting: having worked for Exxon should invalidate Cohen’s opinion. I suppose that opinions’ of anyone with an energy portfolio in his 401(k) are therefore tainted… It’s “tell me who you work for and I’ll tell you your opinion doesn’t count”, hardly a great line of defence.

  22. Honza says:

    This guy sounds like extraterrestrial. There were billions of $ wasted already on fighting “incontrovertible” AGW. So it is not just a gentlemanly discussion on “ill-advised statement on climate change” any more. He is 20 years too late. ;-)

  23. John West says:

    Warren S. Warren
    Try to understand that government regulations can create a NEED for something that isn’t really NEEDED. If the EPA, for example, were to require carbon capture then it’s not duplicitous to design, build, and sell carbon capture equipment to those subject to such regulations even if you don’t believe it’s necessary to “combat” Anthropogenic Global Warming.

  24. JohnWho says:

    “I also feel that the APS statement on climate change (with the word “incontrovertible”) was very ill-advised, but the controversy focused on one badly-chosen word has harmed science …”<

    No.

    The controversy over the word has not harmed science,

    the use of the word has.

    Take responsibility for the mistake, correct it, and move on. Blaming someone else for your “very ill-advised” statement won’t fly here.

  25. Betapug says:

    No need for apologies about the inconvenient “incontrovertible”.
    I will let Robert L. Byer, the President of the APS deny it:
    “The statement does not declare, as the authors of the op-ed suggest, that the human contribution to climate change is incontrovertible.” http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203711104577199330965279516.html

  26. Robert Austin says:

    It appears that Dr. Warren is much to sensitive and full of himself to enter the CAGW fray. The APS had the opportunity to remove the word “incontrovertible” but chose not to, thus displaying their true biased nature. Indeed, why do these alleged “scientific” organizations feel compelled to issue statements of opinion in fields of nascent science. As a rebuttal to Dr. Cohen’s resignation letter, Dr. Warren’s is risibly pathetic. There is a war going on over CAGW and if Dr. Warren wishes to join the fight, he should grow some stones and a hard shell.

  27. Rik says:

    Why does he feel it is necessary for scientific organisations to sort out the wheat from the chaff? Why not allow an open debate among scientists, engineers and others who are able and provide a forum where such a discussion can take place? Why indeed, is a bureaucracy needed to define the thruth?

    This assumption of his doesn’t square with my understanding of “integrity”.

  28. TinyCO2 says:

    I don’t know much about scientific societies and even less about APS but can I ask if you have a society position on all the important issues? Do you have a position on female circumcision? Does the APS have a stance on capitalism? Do you alert the World to how you feel about the atrocities in Syria? Or, if you only take a stand on scientific issues, can I ask what the APS advises on H5N1, the cut off date for abortion, the safety of the Large Hadron Collider or the lack of funding to look for NEOs? No? If so why does the APS air its views on CAGW?

    Could it be you feel the other issues are under the aegis of respectable bodies and only climate science needs the helping hand of its more senior fellows to give it credibility?

  29. Manfred says:

    He did not address Cohen’s points. He came up with something else.
    This is not a rebuttal.

  30. Snotrocket says:

    The more I think about it, Dr Warren, the more I come to the conclusion that you are a rather snide piece of work. Evidence not only your rather puerile comment about Dr Cohen speaking out of both sides of his mouth, but your rather slimy little dig with your link to The Global Thermostat: ‘…(and just in case he gets that taken down, here is a copy…’. As if Dr Cohen had any kind of control over a web site he did not own. In any case, what was there to be so ashamed of in his CV that he would not like to see it in the public domain. (It raises the question: What have you got to be so proud of in your life’s work? Certainly, not this rebuttal post.)

  31. ckb says:

    Mr Warren,

    You are going to have to spell out what you are getting at with whatever problems you are seeing with the two links you provided. I am missing it. Do you see some sort of conflict of interest? What is it?

  32. Michael J says:

    I *think* that Dr Warren’s argument about “both sides of the mouth” is this:
    Since Dr Cohen has associated himself with the WSJ article saying “there is no need to panic”, it might be inconsistent to then be associated with the carbon capture product from Global Thermostat.

    I’m not sure that I can agree with Dr Warren, but that is what I believe he means.

  33. JJ says:

    I also feel that the APS statement on climate change (with the word “incontrovertible”) was very ill-advised,…

    Was? It is still in there, Warren.

    … but the controversy focused on one badly-chosen word has harmed science by discouraging other scientific organizations from helping to sort wheat from chaff in this field.

    One badly chosen word? Try 157. And all of them, including the one that you admit was “ill advised” are still in there. And all of them, including the one that you admit was “ill advised”, are supported by the 2010 “Commentary”, which is the sort of unquantified, unscientific, ad hoc, ad verecundium, politicized pablum that one certainly does not expect to see coming from physicists. If other scientific organizations have been dissauded from following you down that decidedly unscientific path, then that has helped science. We don’t need any more content free “me too” position statements.

    Maybe you should stop making fallacious (and false) ad hom attacks against Cohen, and start listening to him. Until you do, stop whining about attacks on the “integrity” that you are not demonstrating.

  34. davidmhoffer says:

    Dr Warren;
    I also feel that the APS statement on climate change (with the word “incontrovertible”) was very ill-advised, but the controversy focused on one badly-chosen word has harmed science by discouraging other scientific organizations from helping to sort wheat from chaff in this field.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    This is hardly “one badly-chosen word”. That single word is central to the entire APS statement!

    But thankyou for admitting that it is a badly chosen word, that it is in fact “very ill-advised”, my questions to you are:

    What are you going to do about it?

    What word or words would you support instead?

    Do you agree with Peter Gleick’s statement on this site that “settled” is also inapprorpiate?

    How do you reconcile the APS statement with the IPCC AR4 WG1 2.9.1 “Uncertainties in Radiative Forcing” which classifies the level of scientific understanding of no less than 9 of 14 categories as either “low” or “very low”? Does this not seem to you an expression of far less certainty than the APS statement which purports to be supportive the science as represented by the IPCC?

    The range of aerosol forcing values used in the various IPCC climate models is much broader than their output results, which in turn have a range from low to high of more than double the expected warming, and which in turn have proven to all over estimate warming by a considerable margin when compared to observations. How do you reconcile these things with a statement that suggests climate science is credible at all, let alone “settled” or “incontrovertible”.

    I’d also like to add my voice to the list of commenters asking how the links you posted equate to showing that Dr Cohen is talking out of both sides of his mouth.

  35. Graphite says:

    Entirely off-topic (appropriate, as you seem to have received a deserved kicking over the on-topic stuff), how do you discern if someone is being friendly or rude when they call out, “Hey, Warren”?

  36. thisisnotgoodtogo says:

    OK, I “get” this guy!
    The controversy harmed Science – and *not* the unscientific and ill-advised propagandist use of the word.
    And doing nothing to reprove it, that is what shows the real integrity.

    Got it!

  37. stephen richards says:

    “Is it at all possible that in the intervening six years Dr Cohen has seen the light and changed his mind about AGW ‘science’ and the kinds of people/organisations who support the AGW brief; especially those who – purporting to represent physics and science – come up with a statement that says ‘the’ Science is ‘incontrovertible’, when science is no such thing”

    This is to the point I think. Warren warren (rabbit?) has totally missed the point as many supporters of the incontrevertable science seem to. Cohen was, in my opinion absolutely correct and did what I would do (I am no longer a MInstPhys but was). Perhap Mr Warren Warren might consider doing the same thing as his group has singularly failed to get the most unscientific statement to be made by a scientific organistion modified or rescinded.

    “Is it at all possible that in the intervening six years Dr Cohen has seen the light and changed his mind about AGW ‘science’

    If he has then good for him for that is what a good scientist does. Weighs the evidence over time, does a bit of research and comes to a conclusion.

  38. stephen richards says:

    Warren Warren should have thought more carefully about his reply here that he apparently did about the APS statement. He only made himself look petty and ill informed.

  39. Dave N says:

    Neil:

    “Why does Roger Cohen’s bio say that he was a lead author on many IPCC chapters? Is there even one?”

    Without verifying the case for Cohen, it’s been a practice of the IPCC to retain author’s names in their reports, even if all of the contributions of those authors were edited out, or the authors had them removed. Professor Reiter (an expert in Malaria) had to threaten legal action to have his name removed.

  40. stephen richards says:

    A Physicist ashamed !!!

  41. Jeremy says:

    Cohen’s offense is “not towing the party line”. Only political egotistical people are deeply offended by those who openly disagree with them. This response says more about the kind of political animal that is Warren S. Warren than anything else…

  42. thisisnotgoodtogo says:

    THE APS-foisted meme was and is still damaging to APS not only because it stinks, but because so many alarmists added it to their repertoire
    Here is ThinkProgress using it right now.
    http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/10/22/1057251/will-this-be-the-first-time-the-debates-are-silent-on-climate-since-1984/

    “Today, the science of climate change is incontrovertible. The past 17 years have been hotter than 1988″

  43. suyts says:

    Warren S. Warren said,

    As a member of both committees, I consider his letter to be a direct attack on my integrity, and I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

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

    This confused me for a minute, because I had read Cohen’s post. Given the large number of committee members, I see no way that you could possibly imagine Cohen’s as an attack on your integrity, unless there was something inferred which only members of the committees would understand. Interested readers should refresh their memories by going here….. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/22/more-turmoil-at-the-american-physical-society-over-global-warming-issue/
    This only brings me to the conclusion that Cohen didn’t share all that he was frustrated about, and Warren didn’t bother to bring it up, either. But, did take the time to express his indignation. I think the links provided tell some of the untold story.

    Cohen mentioned no one by name, except for Dr. James G. Brasseur, to whom his resignation letter was addressed. Warren S. Warren stooped to personal attacks. Enough said.

  44. kuhnkat says:

    “In Roger’s post on this website, he presented himself as the voice of sanity in a biased group. That is certainly not the way I remember our interactions on that committee. But I will not try to tell stories; instead, I will let him speak for himself. Start with his consulting work on carbon remediation:
    http://globalthermostat.com/team/roger-cohen

    Well. if I am an animal control expert and someone comes along who believe black cats are bad luck and wants to pay me to round up all the black cats on his plantation, do I try to convince him he is deluded or make the money??

    Sorry, not a viable argument.

  45. kuhnkat says:

    And if I KNOW that there are many rich people who are afraid of black cats I might just start a consulting business to take advantage of their beliefs!!

  46. agwnot says:

    Dr. Warren, if you feel the term “incontrovertible” was very ill-advised, then logically, you MUST also feel this portion of the APS statement, i.e., “If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now”, is problematic as well.

    The obvious weakness of your argument is your focus on the word “incontrovertible”. Anyone with a high school education can see the majority of the APS statement reads like the empassioned plea of an advocacy/lobbying group, not of a scientific organization. The “…mitigating actions…” and “…must reduce greenhouse gases…” portions of the statement are only logical & reasonable responses if you believe in the term “incontrovertible”.

    Eliminating or changing the term “incontrovertible” changes very little. So, is it really just your strawman-like argument of a single word that you have trouble with, or is it the subject of english?

  47. davidmhoffer says:

    kuhnkat;
    Well. if I am an animal control expert and someone comes along who believe black cats are bad luck and wants to pay me to round up all the black cats on his plantation, do I try to convince him he is deluded or make the money??
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Yeah, when the Y2K scare came along, I patiently explained to a lot of people, even wrote some articles, that the scare was far over blown. When tenders were issued for Y2K audits, I bid on them and won a number of them. That’s not talking out of both sides of my mouth. That’s being honest about the issues, and if someone wants to spend money to obtain my skills regardless, then that’s their choice. There’s nothing two faced about it, and my clients got the services they insisted upon. Had I not taken those contracts, someone else would have, the money was going to be spent either way.

  48. Frank says:

    Dr. Warren: A significant number of members of APS have challenged the scientific validity of the APS’s statement concerning climate change. Why is your committee unwilling to hear from the presumably well-qualified speakers this group recommends? Are you afraid that skepticism about climate change might be infectious or that your reputation might be damaged by listening to these dissenters? If those speakers can create some doubt in members minds – which should be unlikely if the consensus opinion is scientifically robust – there will be plenty of time for the consensus to respond. For any science to progress, scientists must be exposed to new observations that challenge existing theories and alternative theories that explain existing observations. In climate science, however, the need to promote legislation that will save the planet appears to be suppressing all doubt about the consensus. It’s time for scientists to regain control of their profession from those on both sides who wish to use science for political purposes.

  49. rgbatduke says:

    As an ex-APS member myself, I was personally offended by the original statement. I cannot think of one single positive thing to be gained from this sort of statement on the part of what should be the world’s most objective, skeptical, and open minded organization (all at the same time!). Where but in physics would we openly tolerate the “discovery” of neutrinos that go faster than light in spite of our strong opinion that no, they probably don’t? The evidence for the speed of light being the upper limit of speeds of things in our Universe is overwhelming, the theoretical support for this is equally if not more so, it would require the literal rewriting of all of our understanding of nature if it were so, and yet did the APS issue a statement condemning the result as wrong because of the “incontroverible” evidence against it?

    Of course not, because it is not true. The history of physics is full of “incontrovertible” results that were, in fact, controverted (is that even a word?) starting with its first modern era discoveries. Doubters should begin with “Saint” Bellarmine’s letter to Galileo, and take the occasional turn through the discovery of relativity and quantum mechanics as well as the contemporaneous idiocy of those physicists or public figures who rejected them as “obviously wrong” because they considered the alternative hypotheses incontrovertible. Of all of the scientific groups in the world, the APS should know better. I’m not alone here — I know a number of other members or ex-members of the APS who feel the exact same way. It was a shameful day for the entire organization no matter how the issue turns out!

    The simple fact of the matter is that the issue is not only controvertible, the scientific hypothesis of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming — where every one of these terms has to be true to make the issue “newsworthy” and warrant any sort of statement at all — is supported by the shakiest of arguments. For one thing, climate science is an extension of hydrodynamics, and the Navier-Stokes equations on a good day are the most fiendishly difficult equations in all of physics (in my opinion, anyway). The particular set of them that describe the coupled equations for atmosphere and ocean, rife with state changes, in a thermodynamically open system, with nonlinear drivers, unmeasured parameters, unproven processes, and initialized and parameterized on the basis of quantities (like “global temperature” and “insolation”) known in even the recent historical past only with enormous uncertainties and by means of noisy and questionable proxies on top of these uncertainties before that have to be the most controvertible science on Earth — a place where even a few moderate mistakes well within the limits of reasonable uncertainty would nullify, or significantly weaken, the entire CAGW argument.

    That doesn’t make the CAGW false, any more than the arguments and evidence in favor of it make it true. It makes investigating it as a hypothesis science, where good science never fully accepts or rejects any hypothesis, certainly not in an obviously political statement by an organization that remains officially open minded about things with far stronger evidence against them, and hypotheses with far greater support for them than CAGW. Personally, as a professional physicist, ex-member of the APS only out of laziness, not because I don’t qualify and could not rejoin, referee and author of many papers in not only physics but other fields as well, I find the evidence in favor of some measure of GW over the last 150 years “incontrovertible” but irrelevant to both the C and the A, and the A plausible, to some degree, the C highly implausible, and hence reject CAGW as implausible, AGW (to some extent) probable, and am open minded about the degree to which humans and CO_2 have affected it because a) the evidence is rather ambiguous and inconsistent; b) the evidence in favor of it has been both manifestly cherrypicked and in many cases has been supported by the highly dubious use of poor statistical methodology (something I am something of an expert in, and hence am reasonably qualified to judge); and c) the entire discussion has become horribly politicized. It is no longer science, it is religion! On both sides, sadly.

    Such as Mann: Trying to have a journal editor fired for publishing an article that you disagree with? Puh-leeeze. That’s why God invented “letters to the editor” or “comments” sections of journals. Fight it out on paper, in public, honestly.

    How dare the APS speak for me, speak for all of my other colleagues who have never even considered the question, put the honor and integrity of all physicists for the rest of time on the line on this issue when you couldn’t get a roomful of physicists to completely agree on anything, even things in the textbooks! Because you can bet your sweet ass that if CAGW turns out to be false, if AGW turns out to be false (and it could, even now, be not just irrelevantly true — too weak to matter — but actually false), if global temperatures have the temerity to actually descend with the solar cycle over the next twenty or thirty years, then every member of the APS will be viewed as gullible fools. Science itself will suffer as the integrity and objectivity of even physicists, the one group that should know far better than to endorse anything as certain knowledge, will forever be shown to be corrupt.

    If you want me to take you, or your committee in the APS, seriously, Dr. Warren, I would strongly suggest that you do so by publicly rescinding the original statement, in its entirety, and replace it with a public statement to the effect that the science is in fact open like all science and that the APS like all scientists should weigh the evidence and arguments one at a time, on their own merits, and not make public statements on behalf of the imagined beliefs of its members.

    If you want something humorous, look at the George Mason survey of members of climate scientists — actual members of the AGU, for example. 15% of them (IIRC) do not accept even AGW as proven fact. Over 2/3 of them do not accept CAGW as proven fact. CAGW isn’t even the opinion of the simple majority of climate scientists, when they are anonymously surveyed, and this is actually reflected in the working groups in the IPCC.

    So Dr. Warren, please speak out for the physicists who do not agree with the APS statement — who do not believe that right or wrong it should have been made in the first place, let alone the many APS members whose personal opinion is that it is wrong. Right or wrong, it is political and a horrible risk, horrible because the fair odds that it is wrong aren’t small, things one might consider to be “incontrovertible” odds, one in a thousand (what are the odds that neutrinos go faster than light? you’d need a log scale in decibels to describe them, for most physicists, yet we were respectful when they were experimentally reported and didn’t publish press releases denying the result). Not even one in a hundred. Even climate scientists only support a one in three chance that they are right, and a somewhat greater chance that humans are responsible for some (but who knows how much!) of the warming post Little Ice Age when it was so cold there wasn’t any way to go but up, except of course for further down.

    rgb

  50. JJ says:

    rgbatduke says:
    October 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    ^^^^ Guest Post Material.

  51. Otter says:

    That was quite the tantrum.

  52. Robert M says:

    Sir,
    When you said:

    “As a member of both committees, I consider his letter to be a direct attack on my integrity.”

    You were right. It is. Furthermore, your integrity suffered additional injury by self inflicted wound when you wrote:

    ” I also feel that the APS statement on climate change (with the word “incontrovertible”) was very ill-advised, but the controversy focused on one badly-chosen word has harmed science”

    The fact that you feel that science was harmed, and not your professional reputation demonstrates that you and your integrity have not spoken in a while. You have chained your professional self to a rusting, rat infested ship. You seem to be unaware that your ship is leaking at several key points, and in the very near future, one of those leaks is likely to become a fatal flood. After the good ship incontrovertible hits the proverbial iceberg, and goes down with all hands, I wonder what kind of carcass your integrity will leave behind?

    Are you a rat? Aware that you have no integrity, but feasting a the trough until it goes under? Are you a useful idiot? Unaware of the fraud on the good ship AGW? But joining in? Or, are you a true believer? Believing in spite of the accumulation of evidence that every single TESTABLE prediction made by AGW alarmists has failed?

    No matter. Your integrity will have succumbed. That is incontrovertible.

  53. thisisnotgoodtogo says:

    Should the APS logo be attached to this piece?

  54. davidmhoffer says:

    Dr Warren,
    I have one additional request of you.

    Show up.

    Of what value are your (supposedly civil) committee meetings which arrive, behind closed doors, at statements of fact which you now admit are “ill advised” yet you refuse to retract them? If the issue of CAGW is of such a concern to your committee, of such importance to the human race, then why aren’t you and your members showing up to discuss and debate the science? Dr. Robert Brown (rgbatduke) has just weighed in on this thread, and he’s been active on this site debunking skeptics with rotten science as much as he has, perhaps more, than alarmists with rotten science.

    If you really give a d*mn about the science and humanity, then where the h*ll have you been hiding? And why? Scan the threads on WUWT and you’ll find a remarkable number of PhD’s in everything from physics to the humanities plus a boat load of people who may have no credentials but have proven over the years that they bring valuable knowledge to the table. They’re here debating, educating, questioning, learning, sharing knowledge. They’re at tallbloke’s and lucia’s and curry’s and jo nova’s and on and on and on. They’re discussing the issues, large and small, that between them add up to the big picture, in excrutiating detail.

    Where are you?

    Where are your colleagues on your prescious committee?

    Of what value are your efforts to meet behind closed doors, occasionaly issue an “ill advised” statement, and then refuse to retract it? The science is being scrutinized in depth all over the internet by some incredibly well informed people. Are you part of that discussion? Or just content organizing a committee that defends the indefensible?

    Show up.

    Or STFU

  55. William McClenney says:

    Warren S. Warren:

    I am pleased that Anthony provided you the opportunity for rebuttal. I suppose in these matters, one should anticipate the exposure of personal feelings, so I do not begrudge you that. I understand why Dr. Cohen resigned. I do not understand the clinging to beliefs that the quality, varying quantities (where did all the high latitude and high altitude stations go after 1990?) or even the integrity of the data (disposal of raw data [UEA-CRU], opacity of “adjustments”) in any way lends credibility to our very short instrumental record. The use of anything greater than 3.5% attribution CO2 in GCMs coupled with specious understanding of clouds, aerosols etc. and when we live (probably at an end extreme interglacial) does not convey skill in my opinion. I have written tons of geophysical modeling code, and testified often on their quality and use. Nothing I have yet seen in the climate modeling world suggests more than the vaguest of skill. In my opinion, even considering discussing anything approaching public policy from such sordid data and things built on that data, might be grounds for dismissal from a scientific society. I cannot even fathom how such a thing might elevate to anything remotely akin to an “incontrovertible” professional scientific society’s “position”. The use of that word is horrifying to what I learned and practice as science. Even considering removing it cannot repair base credibility. Going there at all conveys bias, a thing which Climategate confirmed.

    I do not expect you to agree with those opinions.

    And it is not necessary. The matter can be approached decisively without regard to consensus, strong opinion or very much data, for that matter.

    Take the highest credible or even incredible estimate of CO2′s total collective impact on climate and certify it as true. Pass that, and the half-precessional cycle old Holocene through the eye of the Precautionary Principle. Now explain why you would remove such a vaunted security blanket from the late Holocene atmosphere with the sun gone all quiet on us, and the PDO switched negative for 4 years now.

    The true and correct environmental signature is actually this. If you are a dedicated environmentalist, steward of the earth sort, wouldn’t removing the security blanket actually be the correct thing to do? Wouldn’t it be respectful of the earth’s natural cycles to let it decide for itself if it’s time for the next ice age? The whole argument becomes much more interesting if you comprehend when we live, doesn’t it?

    As I watch these spats play out I am constantly reminded of how vital, how necessary, abrupt, catastrophic climate change is to humanity:

    “An examination of the fossil record indicates that the key junctures in hominin evolution reported nowadays at 2.6, 1.8 and 1 Ma coincide with 400 kyr eccentricity maxima, which suggests that periods with enhanced speciation and extinction events coincided with periods of maximum climate variability on high moisture levels.”

    state Trauth, et al (2009) in Quaternary Science Reviews. There is just nothing quite like having such a natural fly land in your climate change soup. As it turns out, periods of wet maximum climate variability (in modern lingo, global warming correctly re-branded as climate change), cook up the larger braincases. We went from 500-550cc braincases 2.8 mya to the average of about 1,500cc today in the most rapid encephalization of any mammal in the fossil record.

    If we take CO2 out of the late Holocene atmosphere, we might just unfetter a normal, natural tipping point. Which would rather neatly get us back on the track of survival of the fittest……..

  56. temp says:

    Lot of good responses here covering a lot of stuff. I find that while
    rgbatduke says: October 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm post great it is by far way to civil and nice about this issue.

    Warren s. warren’s piece is nothing but propaganda junk from start to finish.

    [i] “As a member of both committees, I consider his letter to be a direct attack on my integrity”[/i]

    Really? You think?

    [i]Since I have been involved in organizing the Topical Group from the beginning, my views on climate change are relevant.[/i]

    Few things with this statement…
    First you clearly imply that some how “other/s” views are not relevant. Can we please get the list of “irrelevant”/”relevant” people?
    Second since you admit to managing this ship up on the rocks, its nice that you well admit that much of the blame is your fault.

    [i]But I could make the same statement about virtually everyone else involved on those committees.[/i]
    Really? Thats a pretty bold statement. We’ll cover this a bit more in detail later.

    [i] I don’t buy the arguments that only “experts on climate change” can understand the data and draw conclusions-any more than I would accept the same argument about astrology or homeopathic medicine. [/i] Congrats for having a basic understanding of how science works… I’m sure most decent middle school to high school level students would also have this basic education… funny enough it seems to be lacking from many of the members in your “group”.

    [i]I can say that I am appalled by the highly unscientific and highly unprofessional way I see many prominent individuals, on both sides of this discussion, behave in public. For example, every tiny bit of new noisy data seems to get blown up into “conclusive evidence” one way or the other-ignoring what Judith Curry is fond of calling the uncertainty monster that clearly has not been tamed.[/i]

    Really could we get some details on the anti-doomsday cult side acting like this? As far as I know its very very rare. Now on the other hand if you mean to include where the anti-doomsday crowd points when the pro-doomsday crowd does it and then mocks them for it… thats a bit of a stretch for “highly unprofessional”. Unprofessional maybe, “ill-advised” maybe. It is clearly though not “highly unscientific”. So please I would love to see some evidence of this.

    [i]I also feel that the APS statement on climate change (with the word “incontrovertible”) was very ill-advised[/i]

    Really? “ill-advised” huh? Kind of like o I don’t know when Walter Duranty used to say when stalin murdered millions that to quote Mr Durantly a well respected “expert” of the New York Times when referencing this mass murder, ” you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.”. Surely Mr Durantly statement was equally “ill-advised” in the same definition of the verbiage you are using.

    On the other hand those of us who are sane would at the very least label the statement “anti-science” at a minimum. Retarded, propaganda, bigoted and i’m sure a host of other words could be added to add “flavor” and focus to the problem of the verbiage chosen. The fact that you not only choose attempt to minimize the truly outrageous statement but refuse to even retract the statement… well as they say that’s “incontrovertible” proof of just how bias you really are. Really it sounds more like its not so much the statement that was “ill-advised” but how you handled the propaganda and the controversy that resulted from it. It would seem that your more interested in how to control the controversy then why it started. You also seem very interested in defending the statement that caused the controversy vs admitting any fault or for that matter correcting the statement.

    [i]but the controversy focused on one badly-chosen word has harmed science[/i]

    This is an interesting statement in first it wasn’t just the one word… nor can one say that this one word was badly chosen. The one word in question was specifically chosen for its meaning. Unless your trying to claim that the group that released this statement did a very poor job and rushed the issue and were RETARDED. I fail to see exactly what your claim is… your statement seems to want to imply that they did something wrong without really saying they did. Could you please narrow this statement into “Yes this group chose wrongly this word and the statement and group were wrong and will be held accountable”? If not then clearly your statement is merely a poor attempt at damage control.

    As to “harming science” you seem to imply that “the controversy” has harmed science instead of the APS statement. You would do well in the future to be more exact in stating that it was the APS statement and the choosing of this word that caused harm.

    [i]by discouraging other scientific organizations from helping to sort wheat from chaff in this field.[/i] Wow… where to start with this one.

    First the APS is pretty clear that the APS has already “sorted the wheat from the chaff in this field”. Wasn’t that the whole point of the statement? Also once again in this statement you seem to argue that “the controversy” is the issue not the statement. The statement is the cause of whatever this “discouraging” effect maybe. “The controversy” is overall meaningless in that matter.

    [i]Finally, I think formation of the Topical Group on the Physics of Climate is a very positive step, and has the potential to dramatically improve the scientific discourse in this field.[/i]

    Really? Hmm that doesn’t make much sense since first only a complete retard thinks that “forming a committee” is somehow a meaningful step in anything. Second the APS has clearly stated in its statement that the debate is over and their is no need for “improved scientific discourse in the field”. In fact by the APS statement their is no NEED or WANT for ANY discourse of any kind in the field.

    [/i]In Roger’s post on this website, he presented himself as the voice of sanity in a biased group.[/i] Truthfully one would find it hard to be opposed to the APS statement and not be on the side of sanity. So I think most people taking a look at this issue are just going to automatically assume Roger’s sanity based on I don’t know..? Using the scientific method perhaps? Just saying…. Even assuming Roger’s insane… even a broken correct is right at least once a day. Sometimes even more.

    [i]That is certainly not the way I remember our interactions on that committee. But I will not try to tell stories;[/i] O yes the “I would release the hidden transcripts from our closed door meetings”. Clearly science behind closed doors formed by “committee” is the “best” science.

    [i]Many other people have trouble speaking out of both sides of their mouth at the same time.[/i] Really you mean like you in this very letter? I would also be-careful…what with all the libel suits going around. One could argue that someone your claiming that Roger defrauded, failed to complete contracts or stole from these people. This statement and the above links could be considered “ill-advised”.

    [i] I will not miss him on the Executive Committee.[/i] Not surprising to anyone I’m sure. I also sure you don’t miss any of the other countless people that resigned. After all science is about having the elite make consensus and when your not part of the consensus your thus not part of the elite… and thus no room for you at APS.

    [i]As I am not the chair, I do not feel it is my place to reveal the program, but I think nobody will look at the set of speakers at the March meeting and find them unbalanced.[/i]Really now? I like the fact you couldn’t be bothered to get permission to release the names… but make the clearly joke of a claim that “nobody will look and find them “unbalanced””. Of course you may choose to hide the list preventing anyone from looking at all. That would be pretty standard.

    To simply sum it up your argument is a joke from start to finish. You are at best trying to run damage control at worse trying to justify clearly anti-scientific statements made by the APS.

    Your letter is for propaganda purposes and you will not debate any of the facts that you claim or that have been shown wrong. You write this letter simply to “settle” the issue and that much like the APS statement this letter talks about this as simply the “final word” and all that matters. The elites have spoken and the peons should obey. If you expect anyone to take you the least bit seriously you’ll have to do a lot more then this pathetic letter and have a real debate.

  57. Zeke says:

    William McClenney says:
    October 24, 2012 at 6:14 pm
    “We went from 500-550cc braincases 2.8 mya to the average of about 1,500cc today in the most rapid encephalization of any mammal in the fossil record.”

    Some attribute this rapid development of the frontal lobes to increased cultivation of cereals, wheat, and other dietary considerations. True, our modern brains do use almost a third (not quite) of our body’s energy budget.

    So, take home point is: those who wish to reverse and restrict progress in agriculture, along with the environmentalist’s hostility towards cattle and milch cows, apparently are the true anti-evolutionists.

    Now what is that frontal lobe for/from…

  58. Reblogged this on sainsfilteknologi and commented:
    Physics of Climate

  59. Keith G says:

    As I understand it, the situation is as follows:

    In 2007, the APS issues a statement on climate change which included the unfortunate phrase: “The science is incontrovertible”. In response to this and the APS’s unwillingness to moderate its climate change statement some APS members – notably Nobel Laureate Ivar Giaever – resigned or let their membership lapse. Dr Cohen, who claims also to have objected to the unscientific nature of the APS’s statement, elected to work within the APS to refocus debate within the APS on the science itself by organising a new “topical group” on climate science. Notwithstanding his best efforts, he claims that he discovered that those scientists that did not support the contentions of the APS statement on climate change – and in particular, the “incontrovertible” nature of the science – were excluded from debate within the Topical Group. In consequence, and by way of a open letter, Dr Cohen resigned from the topical group’s Executive Committee.

    Dr Warren, a fellow topical group Executive Committee member, has provided a response to Dr Cohen’s open letter in which, in large measure, he claims that Dr Cohen actions are two-faced: on the one-hand, he argues, in his open letter, Dr Cohen presented himself as the voice of sanity, while on the other hand in interactions on the Executive Committee, Dr Cohen behaved very differently. Dr Warren also claims that APS’s statement on climate change was “ill-advised” but does not believe that use of the word “incontrovertible” has harmed science.

    On the basis of the information to hand, it is not possible to test the veracity of Dr Warren’s claim that Dr Cohen has presented different public and private personas. Perhaps he has, and perhaps this is material, but unless and until Dr Warren brings forth something more robust with which to substantiate this claim, this suggestion should be regarded as spurious and Dr Cohen should be judged upon his public words and deeds alone.

    I do note, however, that if one believes that use of the word is “incontrovertible” in the APS’s statement on climate change is a direct attack on the integrity of science and in the face of an unwillingness of the APS to modify this assertion then, really, there is only one valid courses of action: to resign and place distance between oneself and the APS. This is the route taken by Ivar Giaever and a number of other APS members and they are to be commended for it.

    Attempting to bring about remedial action from within an organisation rarely succeeds and places one firmly on the path to hypocrisy – a condition in which one is not only forced to lie to others, but (far worse) one is forced to lie to oneself as well.

  60. William McClenney says:

    Zeke says:
    October 24, 2012 at 6:45 pm,

    Well, the braincase jumps began about the same time as the onset of the northern hemisphere glaciations. So about 2 million years of obliquity paced 41kyr glacial/interglacial cycles and something like a million years of 100kyr, eccentricity paced cycles, which we appear to still be in. H.Sapiens came along about 200kyrs ago during MIS-7.

    If memory serves me correctly agriculture began during this interglacial, the Holocene, in the range of 10kyrs ago. As the eccentricity minima are ~400kyr apart, “Some attribute this rapid development of the frontal lobes to increased cultivation of cereals, wheat, and other dietary considerations.” is precluded. Agriculture would have to be several eccentricity maxima, and braincase-capacity jumps old to have attribution. At 10kyrs in an eccentricity minimum extreme interglacial (like MIS-11, 400kyrs ago), agriculture just does not figure in to the braincase jumps on 400kyr periodicity. The last eccentricity maxima being 200kyrs ago, MIS-7, when we got on-stage.

  61. lurker passing through, laughing says:

    AGW promoters make homeopaths look almost reasonable.

  62. William McClenney says:

    Keith G says:
    October 24, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Well said.

  63. F. Ross says:

    @rgbatduke says:
    October 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Gonna have to nickname you “the Hammer.” You always seem to find the nail and hit it squarely on the head.

  64. eyesonu says:

    Mr. Warren,

    WUWT has a very wide audience and Mr. Watts has given you access to that. I have carefully read Dr. Cohen’s letter as well as yours. The responses via comments are most insightful and it gives a peek into the “upper” levels of the inside workings of the APS and/or at least the committees that you are involved in. There are surely many APS members who are also following this closely. For the sake of the APS, perhaps a letter to the entire membership should be sent referencing these two letters, from yourself as well as Dr. Cohen, published here on WUWT to inform them of the present controversies within the APS and provide the members a venue to express their own views. To provide their input without concern for censorship they could continue the established threads. That would be a true objective action on your part and possibly save some credibility on behalf of the APS. Your call.

  65. atheok says:

    “Guest post by Warren S. Warren A reply to Roger Cohen from a fellow Executive Committee member

    In a recent posting on your web site, Roger Cohen, who was on the Organizing Committee for the APS Topical Group on the Physics of Climate and just resigned from the Executive Committee, posted his resignation letter with an expanded “explanation”. As a member of both committees, I consider his letter to be a direct attack on my integrity, and I appreciate the opportunity to respond.

    Since I have been involved in organizing the Topical Group from the beginning, my views on climate change are relevant. I have never published in that field (my background is chemical physics, and research focus is on medical imaging) and I am not an advocate for either “side” in this discussion. But I could make the same statement about virtually everyone else involved on those committees. I don’t buy the arguments that only “experts on climate change” can understand the data and draw conclusions-any more than I would accept the same argument about astrology or homeopathic medicine. I can say that I am appalled by the highly unscientific and highly unprofessional way I see many prominent individuals, on both sides of this discussion, behave in public. For example, every tiny bit of new noisy data seems to get blown up into “conclusive evidence” one way or the other-ignoring what Judith Curry is fond of calling the uncertainty monster that clearly has not been tamed…”

    My bolding of certain words.

    Doctor Warren:
    A) This is rather public. Are you behaving in a scientific and professional manner here? Not to my understanding are you professional and as far as scientific, definitely not.

    B) Your views on climate change are relevant. Agreed. Is this a specific item of contention? From this perspective (mine), you specifically identify your view as relevant. Then add in your considering Doctor Cohen’s resignation and explanation as an attack on your integrity makes me wonder if there is a connection?

    Let’s break this down a little. Where does your relevant view connect with Doctor Cohen’s disgust ans resignation? Perhaps you feel you were identified specifically in his letter? Something that only committee insiders would possibly know? Like perhaps being a part of a “…dominant influence which saw no reason to be inclusive…”? Or are there other terrors that Doctor Cohen’s resignation letter bring out?

    C) You mention an example where scientists behave badly; “…For example, every tiny bit of new noisy data seems to get blown up into “conclusive evidence”…”. I found this statement somewhat odd. I can recall quite a few papers and announcements where noisy data gets blown up into “conclusive evidence”, but virtually all of them are from those immensely well funded CAGWers. I have trouble remembering any papers or announcements that would be called sceptical AGWers that try to do the same. From an observers position I see the same rough ratio regarding their behaviors.

    Did sceptics whine about “death threats” that turned out to be fabrications? Do sceptics impersonate board members of private organizations, dupe secretarys into sending them personal information, fabricate documents and then release both to the public with fraudulent claims? Do sceptics abuse pseudo science collecting data from CAGW shills and then publishing their personal viewpoints as ‘scientific research”? Do sceptics discuss retaliation efforts against editors and periodicals because they didn’t like what was printed? Do sceptics refuse to share data, methods, code and whatever else is necessary for independent research?

    I am curious what it is that you think scientists on the sceptical side, (which I always understood to be the basic scientific method), do when they behave badly? Resign? Refuse to believe? Ask for all views to be heard equally and given a chance?

    D) You make a claim that “…GPC Executive Committee and Program Committee has put together an extremely balanced set of speakers for the March 2013 meeting…”.
    March 2013? Is that the first meeting? Are there any meetings planned after? Does EVERYONE agree that the speakers represent “balance”? It is pretty obvious that you do not intend to allow us to judge how balanced the set of speakers are. Telling everyone that they have to wait till formal announcement means that the program for March will be set in stone AND so will all sessions following March.

    E) Many others here have expressed very well their view of your indignation and the target of your rebuttal. The rebuttal was not against advocacy, nor was it against APS’s statement on climate change. Your rebuttal is a personal attack on Doctor Cohen. You may not miss him on the committee, but I suspect based on your rather virulent yet clumsy attempt here, that many other members of the committees would probably prefer that you were the one to resign.

  66. davidmhoffer says:

    Given the well articulated rebukes and criticisms raised in response to Dr Warren’s letter of rebuttal, it strikes me that he could not have done more harm to his personal reputation as a scientist, and that of the APS as a whole, had he set out to deliberately do so.

    Your letter as written was “ill advised” Dr Warren, as is your continued silence.

  67. Keith AB says:

    +1

    RGB has laid it out succinctly.

  68. steveta_uk says:

    Anthony, could you perhaps lean on Dr Warren to respond to the many reasonable questions put to him above?

    In particular, he needs to explain the nature of the conflict that he alone apparently sees as bad enough to resort to insulting Dr Cohen, whereas most commenters are having trouble working out what on earth he is moaning about.

    Could you also institute a new rule, that guest posts will not be allowed on WUWT unless the author is prepared to read and respond to any follow up points. Simply allowing gratuitous insults to stand with no responses isn’t being fair minded, it’s being used.

  69. Brian H says:

    The rebuttal is written by an ex-scientist bureaucrat. The verbiage and composition style are characteristic and unmistakable.

  70. temp says:

    steveta_uk says:
    October 25, 2012 at 1:14 am

    “Anthony, could you perhaps lean on Dr Warren to respond to the many reasonable questions put to him above?”

    Agreed try to get some to put up some fight… instead of cowering and making pronouncements from his ivory tower.

    “Could you also institute a new rule, that guest posts will not be allowed on WUWT unless the author is prepared to read and respond to any follow up points. Simply allowing gratuitous insults to stand with no responses isn’t being fair minded, it’s being used.”

    Don’t really agree with this… never have any guest posts from the doomsday cultists if this rule was put in. Its good to watch them flop around trying to come up with something rational and logic to say as a rebuttal…just makes them look worse in the end.

  71. KnR says:

    Like the rest of APS statement the word “incontrovertible” was selected with an eye on the politics not the actual science, at the time ‘the cause ‘ was unquestionable god and a very rich resource of possible research funding , as it still is .
    One you consider the purposes of this statement, to outline the APS ‘political ‘ position on AGW, the unscientific language it contains starts to make sense. While Warren words tell us that from day one they knew this statement was not scientifically valid even if it was ‘political wise ‘ at the time.

  72. stephen richards says:

    as I have said many many times, when Richard Feynman died we lost the last great physicist, the last great scientist with integrity and the last truly sceptical great scientist. The Institute of Physics, of which I was a member, and I suspect the APS have degraded into political, money oriented activist organisations. They dislike intensely any form of criticism, scepticism or scientific discussion.

    Warren warren by this letter you have shown yourself and your Societé in the dimmest, dirtiest of light.

    RGB always a good read and an intelligent, thoughtful response. Well done as always Doc.

  73. RichieP says:

    I just read it as a not very clever piece of snide ad hom argument, very typical of the type one encounters in university committees and common rooms all too frequently. Shame Warren hasn’t had, so far, the courage to respond to the many very valid criticisms of his piece made here. But that’s no surprise.

  74. Dear Mr. Watts,
    The trademarked APS logo must be removed from this post because the American Physical Society has not given permission for its use. Furthermore, the headline, “The APS Topical Group on the Physics of Climate: reply to:” is misleading because it implies an official endorsement by the APS.

  75. Tawanda says:

    Dear Mr. Watts,
    The trademarked APS logo must be removed from this site because the American Physical Society did not give permission for its use. Furthermore, the headline, “The APS Topical Group on the Physics of Climate, reply to:” should be removed because it is misleading. It wrongly implies an official APS endorsement of the reply to Mr. Cohen’s resignation.
    Sincerely,
    Tawanda W. Johnson
    Press Secretary
    American Physical Society

    REPLY: Dear Ms. Johnson. The logo is from Wikipedia, and it is used here (like many other content items from Wikipedia) under the exception for fair use. Under fair use, I do not require permission from APS to use the logo that is at Wikipedia. They state:

    Use of the logo in the article complies with Wikipedia non-free content policy, logo guidelines, and fair use under United States copyright law as described above.

    If you wish to take the issue up with them, and if you are successful in having them remove it from Wikipedia I will follow suit. Bear also in mind that this logo comes up in WordPress automatically in the Zemanta free “cleared” content available to thousands of WordPress users. So you’ll also have to take the issue up with WordPress.com to get the hundreds and perhaps thousands of other uses of the logo also removed.

    Until such time, for my part to ensure no unsuspecting reader might be influenced by the logo as you suggest, I’ll put the comment and my response in the main body of the article. – Anthony

  76. Mr Lynn says:

    Robert Austin asks (October 24, 2012 at 12:08 pm),
    “. . . why do these alleged “scientific” organizations feel compelled to issue statements of opinion in fields of nascent science?”

    Rhetorical question, I presume, but the answer is that these “statements of opinion” (cloaked as statements of fact) are really political statements, meant to affirm the organization’s support for an ideological agenda. They are normative, not empirical statements. Anthropogenic ‘global warming’ is ‘incontrovertible’ because it ought to be, as all True Believers will agree.

    /Mr Lynn

  77. Warren S. Warren says:

    Again, thanks to Anthony for his willingness to accept a post from me. I fully expected a hostile reception-I believe the posters on this web site, for the most part, have “made up their minds” that AGW is a hoax, and as I said at the beginning I do not agree. Then Roger Cohen comes on, presenting himself as a seeker of truth with the same views as these posters, and a victim of political correctness run amok. Of course he is well received-even if that depiction disagrees drastically with what I know has happened over the course of the last several years with the APS Topical Group on the Physics of Climate.
    I posted because I did not think his narrative should go unchallenged. Actually, I thought I was being polite in merely posting Roger’s own links-and not dragging out a long history. Perhaps one of you will find some evidence as to how Cohen could claim to be “the lead author for key chapters on major IPCC reports”; a few of you saw the conflict between consulting for a company with decarbonization technology as its only product, and writing an editorial claiming there is no compelling argument for decarbonization. Global Thermostat is an ongoing company, and I doubt anyone on this web site shares their perspective.
    I will not reply in detail to posts (and I very likely will not post again on this thread) but I will make some general replies. Those posts that were not simply anonymous invective (didn’t you read the policy statement on the web site?) expressed a wide range of opinions. First of all, I did not write the APS statement, was never asked to vote on it, and could not change it if I wished. Two members of the GPC Executive Committee were on the APS Council when it approved the statement-one voted in favor, the other against. I have no firsthand knowledge of the process by which the statement was written (neither does Cohen) and I choose not to spread rumors. My point was that if you want to contest the APS statement (which some people certainly do), debate the scientific content (at http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm), not just one word, which we agree was a poor choice-and if you read the statement above, you will see the APS agrees as well.
    Second, the point of creating the GPC was to try to divorce climate science from climate policy. For the March meeting, here are the invited speakers who have accepted:
    William (Bill) Collins (Professor, University of California, Berkeley), Peter Huybers (Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University), Sasha Madronich (Senior Scientist, Atmospheric Chemistry Division, NCAR), Claire Parkinson (Aqua Project Scientist, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA), and Nir Shaviv (Professor, Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem).
    In addition, Richard Lindzen (MIT) will be speaking at the March meeting, having earlier accepted an invitation to speak in a different session.
    I think that group is diverse, but overall pretty balanced, and Roger played an active role in suggesting names. Finally, as noted earlier, any APS member who has something to say on this topic and submits an abstract will have it accepted, as per APS policy.

  78. davidmhoffer says:

    Warren S. Warren;
    I will not reply in detail to posts (and I very likely will not post again on this thread)
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    What a cop out.

  79. davidmhoffer says:

    Warren S Warren;
    I believe the posters on this web site, for the most part, have “made up their minds” that AGW is a hoax, and as I said at the beginning I do not agree.
    >>>>>>>>>

    I sense that the value of meaningful debate is lost on Dr. Warren, but this comment is so egregious that I feel it deserves response regardless.

    For starters Dr. Warren, as a long time commenter on this site, I’m advising you that you speak from ignorance. Yes, there are a number of commenters who, without critical examination, endorse every snippet of information that seems to confirm the skeptic case. But if you believe that these are representative over all of the opinion of the average commenter on this site, then I can suggest that you are not only ignorant of the facts, but insulting both the intelligence and integrity of many of us.

    Which is why I suggested upthread that you show up.

    I repeat my suggestion now.

    Show up. Engage. Participate.

    Or quit the field and STFU.

    We’ll draw our conclusions accordingly. So far, you’ve done your cause more harm than good. Quitting now won’t change that.

  80. DirkH says:

    Warren S. Warren says:
    October 25, 2012 at 8:49 am
    “Again, thanks to Anthony for his willingness to accept a post from me. I fully expected a hostile reception-I believe the posters on this web site, for the most part, have “made up their minds” that AGW is a hoax, and as I said at the beginning I do not agree. ”

    Dear Mr. Warren, if you have proof of the predictive skill of GCM’s please post the link. Until then, I go with “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” – as it is in my view a technological and mathematical impossibility to successfully simulate a chaotic system and claim any skill up to the year 2100 (with current computing technology).

    Even links to a successful validation that is worth its name are highly appreciated.

  81. Zeke says:

    William McClenney says:
    October 24, 2012 at 7:14 pm “agriculture just does not figure in to the braincase jumps on 400kyr periodicity.”

    Even if we do accept that dietary considerations do not drive the development of the human neocortex, we still must acknowledge that the outcome is still the same:

    “Human brain’s metabolic budget significantly different from apes. ..anthropoid primates use ~8% of resting metabolism for the brain, other mammals (excluding humans) use 3-4%, but humans use an impressive 25% of resting metabolism for the brain. This indicates that the human “energy budget” is substantially different from all other animals, even our closest primate relatives–the anthropoid apes.”

    This expensive organ not only uses more of the daily food intake for its maintenance, it requires a considerable amount of energy during the lifespan to develop, resulting in the late maturation age for humans. What drove this brain size is an open question, and at the least, no one should be fooled by bureacratic greens who try to use evolutionary science to argue that we are “naked apes,” and can do well on a foraging diet. Our dietary needs are fantastic, and it is because of our magnificent frontal lobes. The “naked ape” argument for stripping the human diet is a piece of scientistic abuse.

    ref: http://www.beyondveg.com/billings-t/comp-anat/comp-anat-4a.shtml

  82. Zeke says:

    In the reference I gave, the diet required for the rapid development of the human brain is said to be provided by high protein sources of meat.

    This does not explain why no other carnivores developed the encephalization quotient of humans.
    If encephalization was the result of high social interactions, this does not explain why herding animals did not develop in the same manner.

  83. eyesonu says:

    Mr. Warren,

    I followed your link as noted in your comment October 25, 2012 at 8:49 am: http://www.aps.org/policy/statements/07_1.cfm) and find it hard to believe that it could have been written by anyone wishing to actually communicate in any form of reasonable discourse. To paraphrase in not necessarily exact phraseology, “in the first sentence in the second paragraph and the third sentence of the forth paragraph, etc., etc.”. Are the committees of the APS intellectually bankrupt?

    I’m going to step down to the level this APS “Commentary” was written and say that it is a bunch of horseshit written on the same intellectual level as my comment that it is such horseshit. Notwithstanding the lack of scientific integrity in the “commentary’s” scientific standing.

    I don’t know whether you are simply carrying the fool’s banner or a fool carrying the fool’s banner, but we have been enlightened. Much has been gained from this thread and for that I offer my sincere appreciation.

  84. Robert M says:

    Mr. Warren.

    I am aware that you disagree. My seven year old often has the same problem. Yet when asked, my seven year old often presents a better argument than you have. So far you have performed like a two year old having a tantrum, rather then a credentialed scientist. Why on earth would you start a dialog here, and then just… quit? WUWT has challenged your position on CAGW. You have spectacularly failed to respond. Are you a scientist or a shill?

    Sir. Look in the mirror. What do you see? I seriously doubt what you see in the mirror has any relation to the ugly reality. Much the same as your position on Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming.

    Take up the gauntlet, support your position, get specific. We WILL listen. Convince us. If you stand by what you have written, if the science is incontrovertible, then all you have to do is show your proof.

    Or, take your sheepskin, and all the sacrifices you made to receive it and do something useful with it. Birdcage liner comes to mind.

  85. Mr Lynn says:

    Completely off-topic, but regarding Zeke’s comments about brain development, it has been argued that the invention of cooking made the large brain possible, by shrinking the requirements for the large teeth and jaws, and the musculature to support them, of our primate ancestors. As, one might speculate, did the invention of fermentation, i.e. beer.

    /Mr Lynn

  86. temp says:

    Tawanda W. Johnson says:
    October 25, 2012 at 7:58 am

    Should have told it to sue you to remove it. Far too nice when playing with them Anthony.

    Warren S. Warren says:
    October 25, 2012 at 8:49 am

    ” I fully expected a hostile reception-I believe the posters on this web site, for the most part, have “made up their minds” that AGW is a hoax, and as I said at the beginning I do not agree.”

    Interesting comment. First this is a science based web site… thus most opinion would be “hostile” to the religious faith of anti-science that you present and peddle under the blanket of “science”. So I think most people in the science field would be supportive of this “hostile” view.

    Its nice of you to admit in the second part your bias in support of “the cause”. In your post you tried to pretend that somehow you were undecided however it was clear you were just a closet warmmonger. Feels good to admit the truth doesn’t it?

    ” Of course he is well received-even if that depiction disagrees drastically with what I know has happened over the course of the last several years with the APS Topical Group on the Physics of Climate.”

    Then you’ll release proof of this right? Like video and transcripts… you know PROOF!!! I won’t hold my breath.

    “I posted because I did not think his narrative should go unchallenged.”

    Well interesting thing is, it still remains unchallenged… maybe you should try again. O wait hmmm your second post in fact seems to show that Cohen was correct and lends a great deal of evidence in support of his position… maybe you should quit while you can still see the stars from that hole your digging.

    “Actually, I thought I was being polite in merely posting Roger’s own links-and not dragging out a long history.”

    Hmmm sounds an awful lot like you have no proof.

    “Perhaps one of you will find some evidence as to how Cohen could claim to be “the lead author for key chapters on major IPCC reports””

    If Mann can claim to be a nobel prize winner and your cool with that… Cohen claim is meaningless. Get back to this topic when you’ve issued a statement saying Mann needs to STFU up winning a nobel prize….

    “I will not reply in detail to posts (and I very likely will not post again on this thread)”

    No surprise there….the statement was always meant to be an ivory tower edict to the peons and rabble. Such a glorious ivory tower citizen as yourself have no need to explain, debate or offer even the most minimum of proof to backup the claims you make. The mere fact you make those claim should be enough for the lowly pond scum that dwell behind you. Any other edicts you want to pronounce while here? Maybe throw out some “blacks aren’t human, jews belong in ovens” “science” while your still around…? I hear those edicts were all the rage back in the golden age of the ivory tower… you know before the pond scum revolted and such.

    “First of all, I did not write the APS statement, was never asked to vote on it, and could not change it if I wished.”

    You however have never stated that you wish to change it in fact you’ve spent a good bit of time defending it… so this is a bit of a meaningless statement.

    “I have no firsthand knowledge of the process by which the statement was written (neither does Cohen) and I choose not to spread rumors.”

    So basically they had a closed door meeting and you decide to follow orders… Cohen refuses.
    Since it being closed doors… and the best “science” is ALWAYS done behind closed doors were never going to see anything about the process…

    “which we agree was a poor choice-and if you read the statement above, you will see the APS agrees as well.”

    However no retraction… clearly not an important issue then. After all if you just claim that it was poorly chosen and “move on” people will somehow forget about it. Thus you never have to admit your mistake.

    “Second, the point of creating the GPC was to try to divorce climate science from climate policy.”

    Not doing so great there tough guy….

  87. “In Roger’s post on this website, he presented himself as the voice of sanity in a biased group.”

    Hmmm. Does Warren come across as the “voice of sanity?”

  88. rgbatduke says:

    “which we agree was a poor choice-and if you read the statement above, you will see the APS agrees as well.”

    However no retraction… clearly not an important issue then. After all if you just claim that it was poorly chosen and “move on” people will somehow forget about it. Thus you never have to admit your mistake.

    Sadly, I have to agree with this one point although I also agree with Warren that there is far, far too much ad hominem in the comments made in response to the top post. This, I seriously feel, a sad aspect of WUWT as it seriously diminishes the quality of scientific discussion when you accuse those you disagree with of bad faith from the beginning. I see no particular reason to think that Dr. Warren spoke in bad faith up above, and while I’m not sure that I agree with his apparent conclusion, that Cohen is some sort of scoundrel, I’m not sure that I think that Warren is a scoundrel either. For one thing, a number of the names he posted as presenting (Lindzen, for example) are serious scientists and will make a serious case for the skeptical side of things, one that cannot be easily dismissed as crank science. For another, no matter what his seat is, and will continue to be, a hot one. No matter what his personal beliefs on the matter of CAGW, AGW, GW, or a naturally variable climate where we aren’t really all that important and continued warming is not guaranteed, the nature of this committee is that it has to welcome debate on the issue.

    If anything, this is far less welcome to (for example) the Hockey Team, who were willing to go to great lengths to have a journal referee fired for the temerity of actually accepting a paper that contradicted their stance. As long as Dr. Warren is willing to ensure that that sort of crap never happens again, I could care less what his personal conclusions on a complex question are. In the meantime, think of how annoyed Mann must be now that the gatekeeping that has sadly dominated climate science is finally breaking down.

    I’d be happy to hold an actual debate with Warren on the politicization of the APS (which is the real beef — it has now and had then absolutely no business issuing a political statement that made a collective pronouncement on science on behalf of all of its members. It is indeed grounds for resigning. To be honest, I’m not certain how one can defend the ethics of remaining in an organization that has permitted engagement in a purely political debate to happen in the first place. Next they’ll be endorsing a candidate for president, weighing in on the issue of religion versus science, or otherwise making assertions on all members’ behalf that those members might not individually agree with.

    How dare they?

    It makes me sad. Watching coverage of the debates and comparing the treatment of the candidates, as presented by different television stations to those that might have been made thirty or forty years ago did too. When did the news get to be so political that it doesn’t even pretend to be objective?

    rgb

  89. temp says:

    rgbatduke says:
    October 25, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    I find this statement a bit odd.

    “This, I seriously feel, a sad aspect of WUWT as it seriously diminishes the quality of scientific discussion when you accuse those you disagree with of bad faith from the beginning. I see no particular reason to think that Dr. Warren spoke in bad faith up above,”

    Warren clearly in his second post admits he spoke in bad faith.

    “I fully expected a hostile reception-I believe the posters on this web site, for the most part, have “made up their minds” that AGW is a hoax, and as I said at the beginning I do not agree.”

    Its true we gave him what he wanted… which is what his first post requested we give him. He also notes in this post that he lied in the first post as he clearly states at the end, that indeed he has made up his mind on the issue as well. Counter to his claim in the first post. Not only that but both the first and second post clearly display a complete unwillingness to debate, argue or have any interaction on the topic. He has issued an edict from his ivory tower and that is the end of the story. warren at anytime can decide to debate, engage or do a host of other things to challenge this now well established fact he’s a *****bag. Many people have asked him to show proof and debate his argument. He like the tool he is and clearly seen to be from his first post refuses. It is clear his complete and only plan was to abuse the people of this site with with the logical fallacy of his authoritarian attitude problem. Why should we be “respectful” to someone who is so blatantly disrespectful from the start. More so when that disrespect comes from one of the worst of the logical fallacy known.

    Much like 97% of climate “scientists” belief in global warming is real and man made… whenever you remove enough of everyone views you can always find “consensus”. warren never bothers to wonder why this and a handful of other websites happen to be filled with evil deniers… Clearly doesn’t put two and two together that when people resign from groups, leave and that groups of people are censored from areas that they tend not to hang out in those areas. Clearly numerous scientists agree that the APS is not a free and open society in which they can debate global warming… WHICH IS WHY THEY RESIGNED. You would think in warren’s position he would at least take a humble approach to this issue… you know since he “supposedly” “admits” that he/APS is/was “in the wrong”. Nope… not him or APS, ivory tower authoritarian attitude problem all the way.

    “As long as Dr. Warren is willing to ensure that that sort of crap never happens again, I could care less what his personal conclusions on a complex question are.”

    Isn’t that exactly what warren is however allowing? Cohen has clearly stated that was pretty much his problem with warren in the first place. While its true that Cohen hardly produced transcripts and video on this issue, he has two fundamental facts going for him on that. One we know its happened before… many times in fact. Two Cohen is not likely legally allowed to release the info. Being warren has admitted to the fact that APS loves its “closed door science”.

  90. Brian H says:

    Slightly OT — Zeke;
    I think you’ll find that “25% of the energy budget” used by the brain is a bit of an urban legend. Came, it seems, from a wartime military study of polar equipment and clothing efficiency. When fully covered, except for the head, it was found that 25% of the heat loss of the subjects’ bodies was from the (bare) heads. Someone (not the investigators) leapt to the conclusion from that that the head was producing 25% of the heat, and was hence burning 25% of the body’s fuel. I wonder what the % would have been if just the buttocks had been exposed to the freezing winds! ;)

  91. Panama says:

    Dear Curt: When I first joined the American Physical Society sixty-seven years ago it was much smaller, much gentler, and as yet uncorrupted by the money flood (a threat against which Dwight Eisenhower warned a half-century ago). Indeed, the choice of physics as a profession was then a guarantor of a life of poverty and abstinence—it was World War II that changed all that. The prospect of worldly gain drove few physicists. As recently as thirty-five years ago, when I chaired the first APS study of a contentious social/scientific issue, The Reactor Safety Study, though there were zealots aplenty on the outside there was no hint of inordinate pressure on us as physicists. We were therefore able to produce what I believe was and is an honest appraisal of the situation at that time. We were further enabled by the presence of an oversight committee consisting of Pief Panofsky, Vicki Weisskopf, and Hans Bethe, all towering physicists beyond reproach. I was proud of what we did in a charged atmosphere. In the end the oversight committee, in its report to the APS President, noted the complete independence in which we did the job, and predicted that the report would be attacked from both sides. What greater tribute could there be?

  92. Zeke says:

    No BrianH, it is based on comparative anatomy with the following method of calculation:

    “The encephalization quotient is important because it allows the quantitative study and comparison of brain sizes between different species by automatically adjusting for body size. For example, elephants, which are folivores, and certain carnivorous marine mammals have larger brains (actual physical mass) than humans. However, after adjusting for body size, humans have much “larger” brains than elephants or marine mammals. Additionally, the complexity of the brain is significant as well (and, of course, encephalization does not directly measure complexity–it only measures size).

    Kleiber’s Law. Kleiber’s Law expresses the relationship between body size–specifically body mass–and body metabolic energy requirements, i.e., RMR (resting metabolic energy requirements), also known as BMR (basal metabolic energy requirements). The form of the equation is:

    RMR = 70 * (W0.75)

    where RMR is measured in kcal/day, and W = weight in kg. (The above is adapted from Leonard and Robertson [1994].) An understanding of Kleiber’s Law is important to several of the discussions in this paper.”

    Our brains, though just 3% of our body weight, require 25% of our energy and we need a concentrated diet – probably helped along quite a bit by cooking and fermentation as Mr. Lynn 1:01pm pointed out. (;

  93. Brian H says:

    Empirical measurement required; I believe “debunking” heat loss measurements, without the rest of the body swaddled, and with less drastic temperature gradient. show something on the order of 10%. Still disproportionate, but …

  94. AlecM says:

    The APS’ official description of the principles of climate modelling show it breaches the first axiom of any mathematical modelling process of a physical process, establishing an energy balance: http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200807/hafemeister.cfm

    in Eq. 14, the authors calculate the lower atmosphere emissivity needed to remove the ~80 W/m^2 created from nothing by the use of incorrect boundary conditions. OK, one solution is a new emissivity of 0.76 instead of the false assumption of unity. However, you could equally well reduce the emissivity of the Earth’s surface.

    There is, as a result, an infinite number of solutions. The reality is the climate models are total bunkum as the APS, or at least these two authors, well know.

    WSW is defending the indefensible.

  95. JJ says:

    Warren S. Warren says:

    Again, thanks to Anthony for his willingness to accept a post from me. I fully expected a hostile reception-I believe the posters on this web site, for the most part, have “made up their minds” that AGW is a hoax, and as I said at the beginning I do not agree.

    What an ass. Hey Warren, do you think that the ‘hostile reception’ had any little tiny bit to do with the fact that your post was a content free ad hom response to Cohen? Or perhaps the contempt you demonstrate of us here by making that self serving post – and now this comment?

    I for one do not believe that CAGW is a hoax. I belive that it is a politically convenient conjecture, advanced by people who refuse to back up their assertion by exposing it to the light of dissenting inquiry. They run away, as you do here. Faced with inconvenient questions, you hop into a handy dodge and speed away … as you look down your nose at the swine whom you tell yourself are undeserving of your pearls.

    I posted because I did not think his narrative should go unchallenged.

    Funny thing to say, given that is precisely what you did. The body of your post was 433 words. You spent 238 of those talking about yourself, another 111 making snarky personal attacks on Cohen, and 84 on bald assertion that your program is “balanced”. Your priorities are clearly enumerated, and Cohen’s narrative walks away reinforced.

    You missed your calling. Surely, you should be the chair of the Committee for Informing the Public.

  96. Jean Parisot says:

    Given that the time available for commenting or submitting material to the March 2013 conference is getting short, will the APS Chair responsible please consider releasing the conference agenda and speaker line up. We are all interested in ensuring the issues are addressed in suitable depth and breadth.

  97. rgbatduke says:

    He has issued an edict from his ivory tower and that is the end of the story. warren at anytime can decide to debate, engage or do a host of other things to challenge this now well established fact he’s a *****bag. Many people have asked him to show proof and debate his argument.

    Argument? Argument? Was there an argument in there somewhere? Let’s see:

    Since I have been involved in organizing the Topical Group from the beginning, my views on climate change are relevant. I have never published in that field (my background is chemical physics, and research focus is on medical imaging) and I am not an advocate for either “side” in this discussion. But I could make the same statement about virtually everyone else involved on those committees. I don’t buy the arguments that only “experts on climate change” can understand the data and draw conclusions-any more than I would accept the same argument about astrology or homeopathic medicine. I can say that I am appalled by the highly unscientific and highly unprofessional way I see many prominent individuals, on both sides of this discussion, behave in public. For example, every tiny bit of new noisy data seems to get blown up into “conclusive evidence” one way or the other-ignoring what Judith Curry is fond of calling the uncertainty monster that clearly has not been tamed. I also feel that the APS statement on climate change (with the word “incontrovertible”) was very ill-advised, but the controversy focused on one badly-chosen word has harmed science by discouraging other scientific organizations from helping to sort wheat from chaff in this field. Finally, I think formation of the Topical Group on the Physics of Climate is a very positive step, and has the potential to dramatically improve the scientific discourse in this field.

    Personally, I think that this is amazingly, enormously, totally rational. I rather believe that he is not an advocate of either side in the discussion. I do think he missed the point (in this comment, at least) concerning the APS statement — it wasn’t inappropriate only because only because of the word “incontrovertible”, however absurd such a word is in scientific debate in a field with an absolute mountain of weak hypotheses and questionable data supporting its main conclusions, it was inappropriate because it claimed to speak for the APS membership as a whole on a political issue.

    As I said above, if the APS is going to start doing that, let’s do it where it counts — stating that the incontrovertible cosmological evidence concerning the age and natural history of the visible Universe is incompatible with the Book of Genesis and hence all derived religious beliefs — that would be the entire spectrum of Abrahamic faiths — must be incorrect. After all, 46% of U.S. citizens still believe in Genesis and the Flood, which surely is a crisis of the highest proportions as those poor saps vote and their vote counts as much as mine! The APS can publicly weigh in on the evolution question at the same time, since the validity of radiometric dating is a major factor in that argument and incontrovertible radiometric dating is pure physics.

    Next, since the APS will at that point have appointed itself as an ethical guardian of the human race on matters associated with “physics” concepts, it might as well issue a statement about the ethics of energy generation and consumption, stating that it is the position of the rank and file membership of the APS that every possible step should be taken to ensure equal access to inexpensive energy for every citizen of the world, because it is surely unethical for me to sit here in my prolifically wired home, burning electrical lights while typing on my laptop in climate-controlled comfort and drinking hot coffee prepared without any sort of sooty and dangerous fire, while in India and Africa families are living in rude, dark huts without any light at all after dark and cooking their food within the huts themselves on smoldering fires burning dried animal dung. They might as well comment on the subversion of physics into building vast stores of weapons capable of ending human civilization by accident or on a whim, on the further subversion of physics into building invisible and nearly invulnerable planes, ships and tanks that can be remotely manned so that we can destroy any number of human lives and any amount of human property without even the tiny modicum of restraint brought about by a shared risk while doing so. Indeed, there is no limit as to the statements the APS could issue on behalf of its members. Listen up, world, the APS has determined that there is incontrovertible evidence that large asteroids fall on the planet every few hundred million years and one of at least moderate size could fall tomorrow and pushes politically for an orbital platform capable of doing something about this threat as well as colonies in space, on the moon, on Mars so that the human species has a small chance of being preserved in the event that somebody unleashes an Armageddon bug, an asteroid hits, or we have the long delayed civilization-ending nuclear war I lived in fear of throughout most of my life.

    After all, the APS has assumed the right to speak on behalf of all of its members on highly controversial issues and to actively abuse the terminology and philosophy of science as it does so. Why should it stop with global warming? There are far more pressing concerns. Let’s start endorsing presidential candidates. Let’s get an APS spokesperson on CNN after the debates analyzing candidates from the point of view of what they are going to do for physicists (not just climate scientists). I want my piece of the pie.

    And they might as well go ahead and officially endorse or reject all of the other equally “incontrovertible” hypotheses physicists study while they are at it. Why stop with climate science? As of now, the speed limit of the Universe is c, the speed of light, and no further research into transluminal physics will be permitted, funded, encouraged, and papers submitted on the subject will be instantly rejected without being read by journal editors who will be fired if they dare do anything but comply. They might as well make a pronouncement about the Higgs Boson and Standard Model while they are at it and save the world a ton of money — why bother actually doing research on it when the evidence is already incontrovertible? Lessee, what else can the APS poke its nose into, what controversies can it end with its vox dei speaking from on high? I’m sure the membership won’t mind.

    Faugh. This is the problem, and I don’t think that the APS leadership has the faintest clue about the world of trouble they created for physicists in general with this statement. A public retraction and apology accompanied by an official retreat to neutral ground is the only thing that can possibly salvage the objective credibility of the entire organization. And as I said, I’m hardly alone in my being rather incensed at the statement made on behalf of “all physicists” that has no purpose whatsoever save to provide political ammunition to those seeking to impose an enormous cost on all of human civilization to address the certain conclusions of the incontrovertible evidence provided by numerical models of awesome complexity and lousy skill together with a mere thirty to fifty year baseline of halfway good instrumental evidence that is supposed to allow us to make predictions a hundred or more years into the future and explain all of the past, quantitatively.

    But Warren clearly states that he personally agrees with this — he doesn’t express it quite so effectively, perhaps, but then he has to get along with people, even people he privately considers to be fools, where I don’t. If I read his words correctly, he has no chance, politically, to get the APS to retract the statement, which everybody is indeed hoping will just fade away instead of coming back to haunt the entire organization as it will if temperatures have the temerity to drop or remain stubbornly level instead of rise over the next decade. If anything, his personal stance appears to be one of general agreement with Judith Curry — the science is far from settled, catastrophic warming seems unlikely, but there is lots of science left to do and that science should be done without gatekeeping, without over bias, and above all, without any sort of political agenda supported or endorsed by the APS.

    Which is my stance as well, so how can I argue with it? I stubbornly refuse to accept or reject the various grades of hypotheses in the range from C to A to GW — I assign them degrees of (Bayesian) plausibility, based on my own personal assessment of the quality of the data and probable truth of the underlying hypotheses. At the moment this makes my personal assessment read C very unlikely, A almost certainly true to some degree (but that degree is highly uncertain, uncertain even in its sign, GW absolutely on average from the LIA to the present, allowing for the double dip of the Dalton minimum and Tambora etc. Dr. Warren’s assessment might be similar, or he might weight things warmer than I do. That is not grounds for questioning his objectivity or accusing him of all sorts of things. Scientists can actually honestly disagree, and indeed should honestly and openly disagree as the resolution of the disagreements in a respectful and systematic manner is how our knowledge progresses.

    This is why I strenuously object to you, and a number of others, on the list calling Dr. Warren all sorts of horrible names, impugning his character and motives, and generally abusing him with a rain of invective and ad hominem. Is this a good way to actually encourage him to participate in any sort of discussion? If I went into a room to present a point of view or debate an issue in good faith and was immediately pelted with rotten tomatoes and jeered, my inclination would be to back slowly out of the room. Well, to be honest, back slowly out of the room and toss a stinkbomb in behind me as I exited, but that’s just me and my vindictive nature.

    Name calling smacks not of reason, but religious zealotry. It is quite possible to be respectful and still forceful as all hell in advancing logical arguments and presenting evidence to attack or defend any hypothesis or point of view. Attack the proposition, not the proposer. This isn’t a kindergarten playground.

    Now, to address the actual nominal topic of the top article, which isn’t global warming it is irritation with a colleague, Dr. Cohen, over his “dramatic” resignation from the topical committee. Public resignation from committees and organizations is a time-honored way of drawing attention to a point of view. It is often done to support a claim of a lack of objectivity or fair play. However, it is also done for many other reasons — a failure to convince committee members that you are right and they are wrong, a failure to have your own way. Or because of personality conflicts, time conflicts, interest conflicts.

    The APS topical group on climate change was doomed from the beginning to be a hotbed of controversy and acrimony. I was approached concerning the possibility of joining it myself but a) wasn’t a member of the APS anymore and would have to rejoin to join, so to speak; b) was still pissed off at the APS statement; c) am not a climate scientist — this is a hobby, not a profession; d) I’m enormously busy already; and e) it would be a thankless job, one requiring a very thick skin and the patience of Job. Warren appears to have the latter, which is good. Perhaps Cohen does not, or perhaps his allegations of ill-use and a continuing lack of objectivity have some merit. Either way, one can be absolutely certain that certain members of the group are effectively religious extremists on both sides of the controversy, and because of the nature of religious belief that those members are without a doubt a cosmic pain in the ass to everybody else that still maintains some semblance of an open mind and scientific objectivity.

    I do not envy Dr. Warren his position, in other words.

    I still urge him to consider re-addressing not the objectivity of the science, but the APS statement itself. I refuse to accept the statement that nothing can be done about this. One thing that can be done about it, for example, is for the topical group itself to issue an equally public statement that effectively rescinds it, openly acknowledging the unsettled nature of the science, the large uncertainties, and establishing as a principle that the topical group itself will remain aloof to both the political and scientific controversy and never, ever, make a claim that the issue is settled or make a recommendation to the public endorsing or rejecting some political or economic course of action.

    That should never, ever, be necessary anyway. Well-done, convincing science speaks for itself. By its nature it is what reasonable people will agree on, given the bulk of the evidence, if they have no vested interest or personal agenda. I don’t make a dime from supporting “global warming”. I don’t make a nickel “opposing” it. My primary interest in the entire controversy is that we as a civilization do not make enormously expensive bets on highly uncertain grounds when those bets are proposed by bookies certain to profit from them no matter how they come out. That’s not science, that’s common sense, but the science has been twisted and co-opted by the bookies and that offends me. Almost as much as the APS helping the damn bookies sell a gullible public a most unbalanced portrayal of the odds.

    rgb

  98. temp says:

    rgbatduke says:
    October 26, 2012 at 7:01 am

    “I do think he missed the point (in this comment, at least) concerning the APS statement”

    This is what everyone is pointing out however… his comment is meaningless and that he is trying to imply something that he offers nothing to back up. The section that you label “Personally, I think that this is amazingly, enormously, totally rational.” is overall meaningless fluff designed to make the other parts look better.

    Lets take a statement such as “A ball thrown in the air falls down due to gravity.”. This I would think would fall under the “amazingly, enormously, totally rational” grouping. However next the state is that the reason is because the aliens zap it with ray guns and blah blah blah and Cohen is wrong that its not the aliens with ray guns blah blah blah.

    warren makes claims of which he offers nothing to back up said claims. Just because the first part and even in fact some of the claims maybe “amazingly, enormously, totally rational” has and should have no effect on the evidence presented. Science is not about how “amazingly, enormously, totally rational” fluff before an argument is presented its about facts, logic, reasoning. Just because someone appears “sane” when making an argue should not improve the chance this argument is accepted nor should one who appears “insane” have his argument discounted simply because of appearance.

    “it wasn’t inappropriate only because only because of the word “incontrovertible”, however absurd such a word is in scientific debate in a field with an absolute mountain of weak hypotheses and questionable data supporting its main conclusions, it was inappropriate because it claimed to speak for the APS membership as a whole on a political issue.”

    I think this is an important point of the two parallel arguments going on. While I agree that the statement was/is political, I find debating that topic a bit meaningless. I think most people in here are debating the topic along the lines this is a “statement of science” not a “political statement”. I think on a personal level that debating this issue primary as a “political statement” is an extreme and egregious mishandling of the issue. By trying to narrow this statements as “purely political” you are greatly minimizing just how bad this statement was and should be viewed.

    Lets break down in some detail the “statement of science” that was issued by APS.
    Lets ask some simple questions…
    1. What was the goal of this statement issued by the APS.
    2. When we view the statement how did APS want the statement viewed(political vs science)?

    I think these questions are similar and thus should be handled together. When we look at how the APS statement was formed we can note that it was done behind closed doors. This is never a good start for a “statement of science”. Will APS release the transcripts for this meeting… doubtful. So we can only judge the statement by the statement and how the statement was presented.

    First when we view the statement we can denote that it comes from a science group(APS) and that APS is not known for releasing political statements of any kind. +1 toward its a “statement of science”.

    When the statement was released it was very “sciencey” and at no time did the APS make any attempt as far as I know to state this was a political statement. In fact they seemed to do everything possible to make this statement look as a “statement of science”. Now lets make a clearly absurd statement and say that “APS simply could not have known that this statement would be taken as a “statement of science””. Lets make this clearly absurd claim.
    Now as f***ing retarded as I personally believe APS to be I find that even I can’t believe that are that f***ing retarded. However once again lets assume for the sake of argument they are indeed that f***ing retarded.

    When the statement was released a number of people inside the APS took issue with the statement. At that point what happened? Well these people threaten to resign unless the statement was changed. What did APS do? APS had alot of options on how to handle the issue. The options they choose tell a great amount about what they wanted the statement to mean.

    APS could have simply come out and stated this was purely a political statement. Even though some people probably still would have resigned I would wager the number would have greatly been reduced.

    APS could have retracted the statement. This would likely have prevent pretty much everyone from resigning.

    APS chose a third option of adding more “science” to the statement.

    This tells us clearly that APS wanted this statement to be viewed as a “statement of science”. I do not want to put words in the mouths of the people who resigned however I would wager the view they had of the statement was that APS put this statement out as a “statement of science” and thus they resigned because they did not want they’re personal scientific reputations to be added to this “statement of science”. Clearly in every actions that APS took they took to do everything possible to prevent this statement from being labelled a “political statement” and did everything possible to ensure it would be viewed as a “statement of science”. Sure I have not followed every grueling detail on this issue but that in fact makes the assesment all the better since the statement is for “the public” and the general public would be even less knowledgeable about the debate over the statement.

    APS view of the statement is an important factor when debating the statement. Clearly and without doubt the evidence points to the fact that APS wanted this statement to be viewed as a “statement of science”.

    So now lets look at bit at how WUWT responded over this time period. When the first statement was released many people were “aghast” by it. Much debate was held on the SCIENTIFIC MERITS of the statement. I think pretty much everyone agreed this statement was in its most basic form is… F***ing retarded and clearly anti-science on its face. Much debate, much howling, blah blah blah.

    When APS updated the statement thing got even more enjoyable and I think everyone could agree that the APS should be recruiting out of porta potties for new members now that they have updated the statement. Much howling, calling them F***ing retarded and etc, etc, etc. Then we moved on.

    People resigned and fled the APS some coming to this place to call home. Some however like Cohen decided to stay and “work within the system for change”. I think most people would say his dream was just that, a pure fantasy of a dream. Nothing against Cohen for that… after all the bigger the fight the more glorious the victory party if you win. Cohen posted a post here mostly likely because the APS would probably/did refuse to post it.

    So then we come to warren. warren comes here to “challenge” Cohen account. As you say “amazingly, enormously, totally rational” the problem I think many people have with this is that it was just fluff… meaningless filler. Anyone given enough time can make any argument seem “amazingly, enormously, totally rational”. warren clearly spent time carefully choosing his words and how he intended to make a statement here. In itself this is neither good nor bad however when a statement is prepared and not “off the cuff” one should be more demanding of what it “means”. warren’s post in the comment section was much much more honest and doesn’t appear to have been heavily prepare… which is probably why its much more honest.

    I think I speak for many of the people(both people who comment and have not in this thread) on WUWT when I say that we still view the APS statement as they intended it to be viewed… aka that it is a “statement of science” and we counter warren on this argument. We focus on the science… or really the fact that the statement is pure anti-science.

    When you write a prepared piece generally you choose your words carefully… unlike say this comment i’m writing where I’m playing 3 kongregate games, had 6 shots of 94 proof booze(and counting) and am reading Mises Socialism An Economic and Sociological Analysis… all while typing this comment(yes I rock the ADHD hard). When we break down warren statement really we only have a few meaningful points.

    His view on the APS statement. Lets start here. warren makes once again, like the APS, any attempt to change the intended view of the APS statement… aka that it is indeed a “statement of science”. Many comments including mine call him out as such. He in his second and much more honest post is pretty clear that he intends to defend the intent of the APS statement but tries poorly to hint that “maybe” he doesn’t agree with it(classic propaganda trick btw). warren also states that his goal is to “challenge” Cohen but really that “challenge” isn’t meant for Cohen but for all of WUWT and “evil deniers” in general as referenced from 2nd post.

    When I read warrens post in reference to this clearly some simple things come through clear as day. warren is perfectly happy to carry the “party” line of the “statement of science”. When warren comes here saying this, it can ONLY be viewed as a bold in my(everyone’s) face lie. Not just bold in face lie but spitting in face when stating this lie. Me and I think other comments here would agree that this is a big personal insult. Not only that but one has to question what warren thinks of “us” when he can so boldly lie straight to our face. The APS statement is clearly anti-science. Anyone who has had basic high school science and in many cases middle science science class should be able to say that clearly this statement is anti-science. So not only is warren coming and lying with a straight face he likely believe that readers of WUWT has below high school/middle school levels of education. I take great personal offense to this and I’m sure other people this in thread do so as well. True we can prance around with verbiage all day but when one boils the argument down using science, logic, rational thought process this is the argument that warren is making. He was once again asked repeatedly to explain his view on the APS and he kept to the “party” line. If he has no interest in doing anything other then repeating his propaganda then I has no interest in doing anything other then insulting him(since realistically I really can’t do anything else since he has zero arguments, facts, logic, reasoning to counter).

    I agree with pretty much all of this “As I said above,[...]hundred or more years into the future and explain all of the past, quantitatively.”

    I don’t agree with things like this

    “But Warren clearly states that he personally agrees with this — he doesn’t express it quite so effectively,”

    As above to my view warren not only has not personally disavowed the APS statement but has come out in support of the APS statement as viewed as a “statement of science”. I don’t understand why if warren holds the view you supposedly ascribe to him that he doesn’t simply make one of 2 statements.
    1. The APS statement is clearly an anti-science statement.
    2. The APS is purely a political statement.

    Fairly simple and easy statements to make. I and I think many would be happy if he chose either statement. However I wouldn’t be placing bets on him making either statement. Now at best he will do another wishy-washy statement that can be interpreted 18 different ways. I could be wrong… warren could suddenly post in here choosing one of those statements…bahahaha yeah right who the **** are we kidding here. The low life ****** in a bag isn’t going to do that because it would greatly upset the “party”. warren can make obscure “nuanced” statements all day long and he can explain that away to the “party”. However he can’t make a simple statement that can only be interpreted one way. This is the point of the propaganda run that he is doing. He is suckering you into believing what “you” personally want to believe about his position instead of what his position really is. You are being played as a chump. You are also letting your personal feeling get in the way of science, rational and logic thought. If you so strongly believe that he doesn’t support the APS support then ask him to choose one of the statements above. He won’t. The statements are to simple and straight forward. You see the vast majority of the people who believe that the APS statement fit into either of those 2 listed statements have resigned. Those that remind like Cohen are fighting the good fight but are losing. I will be perfectly happy to engage warren in a debate about science, facts, logic if he wants to debate. Clearly he has zero interest in that… nor doesn’t he have any interest being “more exact” on his views of the APS statement.

    “but then he has to get along with people, even people he privately considers to be fools, where I don’t.”

    Why? What you seem to be claiming is that warren is a spineless, honorless coward. Even I haven’t gone that far. Many people has already resigned… he could have gone with them if he needed some sort of “herd” support. Hell he could go with Cohen. You seem to be insulting him far worse then I am…Add in he would see no reason or need to poke the hornets nest of the “evil deniers”. In fact if he held such views mostly likely he would directly avoid putting himself in the “evil deniers” cross hairs. Unless your somehow claiming this is just some plan that by poking the hornets nest our reaction will result in a change of the APS statement. Somehow I doubt warren is that complex, able or deep thinking to plan such an event or to make use of said reaction. I could be wrong I admit I don’t know much about him but it seem improbable at best.

    “One thing that can be done about it, for example,[...]public endorsing or rejecting some political or economic course of action.”

    Coulda, woulda, shoulda. I won’t hold my breath for this.

    “That should never, ever, be necessary anyway. Well-done, convincing science speaks for itself. By its nature it is what reasonable people will agree on, given the bulk of the evidence,”

    I agree… the APS clearly in its global warming statement does not share this view however.

    You’ll will forgive any spelling mistakes didn’t my best on them but am fairly drunk at the moment any confusion on statements please feel free to ask for more exact statement should the drunk babble not make sense.

  99. eyesonu says:

    Warren opened a dialog here. He may or may not be happy for doing so. I will withhold my judgement as far as if the seeming intent was as hoped for.

    Either way, the APS needs to get their act together. Credibility lost is seldom recovered. Sad.

  100. Brian H says:

    Well, rgb, you inspired me to reread Dr. Warren’s response. And I must say that all the reasonable motives and positions you attribute to him seem to be pretty much pure quill projection. You seem to suffer from the common illusion-assumption that “Most people are pretty much just like me, with a few minor tweaks.”

    Not so. In this case, pretty clearly not so.

  101. Brian H says:

    temp;
    Ya, lotsa drunk repetitiveness there, but the core points come thru. Let me ask you: above, I called Warren an ex-scientist bureaucrat, evidenced by his vocabulary and thought processes. How say you?

  102. temp says:

    Brian H says:
    October 27, 2012 at 12:45 am

    In the opening post the bureaucratic… stench is fairly heavy but not overpowering. Its hard to get a judge from just one doc(more so when its a “prepared” document). Little doubt in the thought process of “presented evidence”(aka none) was very bureaucratic. Almost his whole argument is one based on his position/authority not in any evidence presented. In itself thats not completely horrible but we all knew from reading it that he had no intend to debate or explain.

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