Uh, oh. It’s models all the way down

Dr. Judith Curry lets an announcement slip in comments.

My understanding of climate is not helped much by climate models. Stay tuned, our big paper on natural internal climate variability just got accepted by Climate Dynamics

Ask yourself why the common sense stuff that I say is regarded as news.

Source: http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/17/consensus-denialism/#comment-381667

I understand also that there’s a meaty essay coming in a major newspaper by Curry, I know which one it is, but I don’t want to give anti-skeptic zealots a head start into pressuring the editor ahead of time. They’ll just have to ask he be fired afterwards like they usually do.

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106 thoughts on “Uh, oh. It’s models all the way down

  1. And pressuring publishers to fire people who allow criticism of an established theory to appear in print is considered to be pro-science?

    The science channel on cable with its motto “question everything” now has a clearer understanding of science then the actual scientists involved in the research.

    What is the world coming to?

  2. “My understanding of climate is not helped much by climate models.”

    Hmmm. This should be interesting!

    Alas, climate “models” are simply computer codes which presumably solve a set of non-linear, coupled differential equations, and their associated boundary/initial conditions, forcing/source terms, and sub-models, which supposedly faithfully represent the dynamics of the Earth’s climate system. Those who think they contain proper representations of ALL the essential physics so as to achieve accurate predictions are fooling themselves…

  3. Yes, it’s time to jump all over them while they are sinking down. Normally, I would think it reprehensible piling on when an antagonist is down but these guys have nine lives. For example, Ehrlich, the most get-it-wrong Malthusian of them all, is still being feted by a shrewdness (perhaps someone can suggest a better collective noun) of top scientific institutions including the (once) illustrious Royal Society. He was the big push behind the coming ice age in an earlier generation and he simply morphed into an CAGW type – it didn’t take any orientation, it just had to be against humans. He may even start protesting natural variation and blame it on humans, too.

  4. We cannot appropriately odel or predict the pattern when a child puts a drop of food coloring into a glass of water. How in the world could we model the complex interaction between the atmosphere, space, and the mixing in undergoes daily? No chance.

  5. And judging by the failure of the climate modellers to re-assess their models in the face of the significant disparity between their models and reality I think it is fair to also say that;

    The climate modellers understanding of climate isn’t helped much by climate models either.

  6. Judith,
    “Ask yourself why the common sense stuff that I say is regarded as news.”

    Profound statement, well said.
    It seems as though this applies to lots of things that are going on today including global warming, climate change, alternative fuels, and government spending .
    Thanks for speaking out from a community that has gone astray and few are willing to do so.

  7. “a shrewdness ”

    My favourite collective noun is a “bidet”, as in a bidet of non-executive directors.

    So called because they add class but no-one quite knows what they are for!

  8. The extreme AGW paradigm is dying the death of a 1000 cuts.

    Looking forward to the new paper and the Curry’s editorial article.

  9. Chris Marrou says:
    September 19, 2013 at 6:28 am
    “It’s a hell of a world when common sense has to fight to be heard alongside patent lunacy.”

    Spot on. Here in the US our ruling class has bought into Political Correctness lock, stock, and barrel. They look down upon us with considerable anxiety. Not many years ago, I commented at websites dedicated to politics or national issues. No longer. My comments are restricted to websites that discuss science only. The reason is that Political Correctness has not yet become dominant in science, though the IPCC and such folk have tried ever so hard. Scientific Method continues to have traction in science and it does not mix with PC.

  10. Our green friend David Appell had the first comment on Judith’s blog entry, which is entitled “Consensus Denialism.” Here is what he said about Judith:

    “The distressing thing is how some people are all ready to attack models, instead of helping make them better.

    Is your end goal to understand climate, or to get your name in the newspaper?”

    Here is my comment back to David:

    “David, aren’t you the green advocate that claimed, falsely (on Roger Pielke Jr.’s site) that the IPCC doesn’t “make predictions”? Only makes “projections” (a weasel word if there ever was one)? And used a very snide tone to imply the Pielke was knowingly hiding things from readers?

    Within minutes, an expert who relies on the reality of IPCC documents, not “I wish it was like this” fantasies, quoted chapter and verse for you, from an actual IPCC document which said that they were projecting various outcomes.

    But your snide, accusatory tone keeps up here. Kind of like you are denying actual facts, again, no? This time the are facts about actual temperature trends.

    Judith’s goal is not to get her name in the papers. You may have read about all the nastiness that someone who leaves the IPCC island voluntarily will be subject too. Judith would have been much more comfortable NOT doing what she does, NOT getting her name vilified. But thank goodness she has decided that bringing science back to its roots of inquiry was more important to her than the comfort of not being constantly attacked.

    Yes, her goal is very much to understand climate. You do that by examining factual data. You make models better by comparing them with on the ground factual data.

    Judith’s goal is to understand climate, contra your snide comment.

    Your goal, on the other hand, is to attack those who are trying to understand both reality, and the failure, to date, of climate models.

    You owe Judith a public apology. I don’t expect you will give it, but I will think more of you if you do.”

  11. The extreme AGW paradigm is dying the death of a 1000 cuts.

    I am not so optimistic. I think the next year is going to resemble a bad Zombie movie. CAGW is neither alive, nor dead, and will be haunting our daily lives with much ugliness and screaming.

    Get out the pitchforks and don’t worry about “piling on”. Zombies do not play fair.

    If you learn nothing else from “B” movies, don’t turn you back on zombies. In the 2012 Presidential Election Mitt Romney thought the CAGW zombie was dead and ignored it. Now, “It’s Baaaack!” and Romney is a dead man walking.
    /(tongue only partially in cheek)

  12. I’m flipping TV channels for background noise, antenna usually only gets in two digital useable stations. The one side/add-on channel has Godzilla vs. Megaguirus. Science literacy at its best, they have an orbital satellite weapon that shoots miniature black holes.

    Has there ever been any Godzilla movie ever that wasn’t “But the models assured us this would stop him!” After all those many decades, did they learn nothing?

  13. How refreshing to to have a climate scientist bring us back to the scientific process as it was meant to be carried out–without a predetermined outcome!

  14. @Jean Parisot at 7:20 am
    Any one have a short list on the next prominent alarmist who is going to publicly go soft?

    You mean like Richard Muller, who says he was a skeptic when he formed BEST, but has converted [back] into a believer of CAGW after much objective study?

    An alarmist who publicly goes “soft” is not to be trusted. Instead of going “soft” they have to go “FOIA“, go “Snowden”, go “John Dean“. They have to give up the goods on their former bretheren. They have to do real damage to the “Cause.” Short of that, they are likely just going “Peter Gleick”

  15. So David Appell is saying that one should not attack models, but strive to make them better? Yes, that would be nice if the models worked better…He hasn’t seen the paper, only Judith’s comment that models don’t help her understand climate. Her comment seems to me to be a statement saying the models don’t appear to provide valid data and thus are invalid as sources of information or prediction. I’m sure her paper will list the shortcomings of models and possible solutions to aid in improving them – she is a real scientist after all. And that is what real scientists do: point out flaws and provide explanations. Even better, (IMHO), is where they follow the falsifiability process and show how to predict outcomes where predictions work or break down.

    Judith is trying to work out the science of why we should, or should not, follow the outcomes of climate models as if they mean anything more than weather predictions greater than five to seven days or the farmers almanac.

    I consider that to be a valid investigation of what is starting to look like a pseudo-science – climate models…

  16. @kadaka

    “After all those many decades, did they learn nothing?”

    Well, it appears they learned that they are not able to predict global temperature rise based on CO2 and other forcings. That much is clear enough. I guess that is a ‘null result’ and null = nothing.

  17. “I am not so optimistic.”

    Agreed. It is now an ideology, a religion and the Alarmists simply ignore evidence contrary to their position (which is pretty much all of it sans the erroneous models), and chant their mantra ever-louder.

    I’ve noticed when confronted with evidence showing AGW to be baseless people initially respond with a counter-article usually from Skepticalscience because the site name sounds objective and high-brow, or desmogblog, realclimate etc.
    When their article is easily debunked and exposed as baseless smears and often lies, they respond with the I would rather believe 97% of climate scientists than fringe nutters.

    When the 97% figure is torn apart easily, particularly the Cook ‘study’ they resort to the old pseudo-precautionary principle, claiming that even if the science is wrong we’re still doing the right thing for the planet.
    When confronted with the fact that the poor people are going to suffer and in many cases die they simply don’t believe it and claim that the tribal life is romantic, natural and the way we’re meant to live, they say this as they message on their Iphone and drive home to their warm homes.

    Cognitive dissonance and ignorance is hard to fight.

  18. To; Theo Goodwin

    “The reason is that Political Correctness has not yet become dominant in science, though the IPCC and such folk have tried ever so hard. Scientific Method continues to have traction in science and it does not mix with PC.”

    Unfortunately, that is not quite correct in all fields. I invite you to read this post on my blog to see how political correctness tainted paleoanthropology for a long time before new discoveries made things OK.

    http://suspectterrane.blogspot.com/2010/04/neanderthal.html

    In my usual style, this was framed for my students at university, but if you spend the five minutes to read it, you will see what I am talking about.

  19. John Robertson says:
    September 19, 2013 at 7:55 am
    So David Appell is saying that one should not attack models, but strive to make them better? Yes, that would be nice if the models worked better…He hasn’t seen the paper, only Judith’s comment that models don’t help her understand climate. Her comment seems to me to be a statement saying the models don’t appear to provide valid data and thus are invalid as sources of information or prediction. I’m sure her paper will list the shortcomings of models and possible solutions to aid in improving them – she is a real scientist after all. And that is what real scientists do: point out flaws and provide explanations. Even better, (IMHO), is where they follow the falsifiability process and show how to predict outcomes where predictions work or break down.

    Judith is trying to work out the science of why we should, or should not, follow the outcomes of climate models as if they mean anything more than weather predictions greater than five to seven days or the farmers almanac.

    I consider that to be a valid investigation of what is starting to look like a pseudo-science – climate models…

    So according to Appell, if you’re not part of the solution you’re the problem?

    Anyhoo, if the models need to be made better, isn’t that really an admission they don’t work properly and perhaps we should reconsider not changing the course of our civilization based upon the output of said models?

  20. The GCMs obviously need to be improved. Mosher had a good suggestion a while back that we pare back on the models which have proven to be inaccurate and focus on a couple of the better models.

    You could set a baseline for predictive skill – say the Guy Callendar model which Steve McIntyre recently showed to be better than pretty much every GCM the climate science community has been using – and don’t allow the software guys to mess up and go backwards on the key metric (predictive skill) for these one or two ‘good’ GCMs.

    This would be a good Engineering approach. God knows the climate science community should start using it to solve their many problems.

  21. Tom G(ologist) says:
    September 19, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Thanks, Tom. I will have a longer comment a bit later. Yes, some areas of science have suffered more under PC than other areas. Given that “anthropology” is part of “paleoanthropology,” it must take quite some courage for you to set matters straight.

  22. David says at September 19, 2013 at 7:58 am…
    Exactly right for the honest Alarmist – of which there are legion.

    But increasingly there is another step on the end:
    To silence the debate by smear or (if in control of the medum) censorship.

    These other Alarmists don’t care if you can beat them in debate so long as no-one else finds out. They don’t care about the truth.
    They only care about hiding the exposure of the untruth.

  23. Scott Basinger says:
    September 19, 2013 at 8:13 am

    First task: specify the logical relationship between model and world that enables models to substitute for scientific theories. Scientific theories specify their data by implying their data.

    Second task: to the usual standards of Scientific Method, explicate the claim that the models are “based on” the best physics or “contain” the best physics.

    Third task: show us, apart from the models, the “best physics” that is “contained” in the models.

    Fourth task: recognize that no science has ever been based on times series analysis and none ever will.

  24. Scott, The problem with your approach is that there are so many different ways to evaluate models. Look at global mean temperature and you get one result, look at how well they reproduce rainfall, wind patterns, seasonal changes and so on and you may very well get a different winner.

  25. David Appell is to Cognitive Dissonance what peanut butter is to jam.

    You can almost hear the “hummmmmm” coming out from between his ears.

  26. I think “David” sums it up nicely with his comment, as to what people like Judith are up against. I won’t repost his whole comment, but he ends his, “cognitive dissonance and ignorance is (sic) hard to fight.” And it isn’t just the topic of “climate change” where this disorder is manifest. Science has long battled its own internal urge to go religion where pet theories are concerned, organized religion be damned. I know most of those engaged in science recoil from established religion, thus it’s very strange to see academia adopt the same mindset.

  27. Anthony, see Dr. Roy Spencer too.

    17 September 2013
    (We also have our own paper, slated to be published on October 31, which will present new results on climate sensitivity and the role of natural climate variations in recent warming.)http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/09/a-turning-point-for-the-ipcc-and-humanity/

  28. See, that is a nose for news. I read that comment yesterday, and did not think much of it. Anthony did the addition.

    And of course made me even more eager to read her announcement!

  29. William Astley says:
    September 19, 2013 at 7:07 am
    The extreme AGW paradigm is dying the death of a 1000 cuts.

    ARRRRR! I approve of this message! Happy Talk-Like-A-Pirate Day, ya swabs!

    -Cap’n Otis

    p.s. kick ‘em on the way down, they’ve earned it.

  30. Bottom Line: the MODELS spit out exactly what they are told to based on what SCIENTISTS tell them is important or not important. i.e. Water vapour = positive feedback; the sun doesn’t exist, etc.

  31. Not to party-poop, but the SOP of neo-marxists was for decades, at least in the US, to hide & work behind the scenes avoiding exposure (with the collusion of the mass-media). Any exposure now can be met by simply returning to the old operating procedures — stealth, lies, history-revisionism, indoctrination-thru-education, infiltration & eventual usurpation. They are practiced experts at this, and the slithering tentacles of their ideals are everywhere.

  32. Graphicconception
    “Bidet” Wonderful collective nown.

    I also like a “Grasping” of climatologists.
    My favourite phrase is “there in no “F” in CAGW.

  33. Tom G(ologist) says:
    September 19, 2013 at 8:00 am

    Very interesting article, Tom. Yes, it does seem that Scientific Method overcame PC in this particular community of scientists. It is really wonderful to see that you are teaching Scientific Method, with its inherent emphasis on criticism, to students of paleoanthropology.

  34. beng says:
    September 19, 2013 at 9:26 am

    Agreed, but if PC had not gained such huge institutional backing in the media, the universities, the NGOs, and the environmental groups then attempted advances by Marxists would not have met with the success that they have enjoyed for 25 years or so. In the US, even the tiniest little colleges have “Diversity Deans” which represent permanent institutional commitments to PC. “Diversity Deans” can accomplish some good and important things but the office is a platform for PC initiatives.

  35. Congratulations Dr Curry on the acceptance of your paper. I’m sure WUWT readers are looking forward to publication although it does not appear to be well aligned with the MSM meme and will likely not see much attention elsewhere. For that I am very, very sorry.

    Nevertheless, as one of the very few climate scientists that actually practices science versus religion, I wish you well and ask that you keep up the great work.

  36. As the CAGW scare starts to die …. the population explosion scare Part II starts to rise. There will be no respite, another cause will always be found when the current one dies.

  37. According to comments in this post, David Appell has been quoted as saying:

    The distressing thing is how some people are all ready to attack models, instead of helping make them better.”

    My response to Mr. Appell’s comment is: “Who says Dr. Curry’s “attack” won’t improve the models? When you live in an ivory tower, everything looks white. If someone doesn’t come along and explicitly tell the modelers that their models are wrong, why should the modelers change anything?”

    A least Dr. Curry’s remarks might get the modelers thinking–but I quit believing in miracles when I was still a child.

  38. If Mr. Appell needs (but doesn’t wish to be) to be told his precious models are useless for the purpose then he has no hope of improving them, nor would he see a need. Mr. Appell – you should pay attention when people tell you what you later ask them to tell you. The models are crap.

  39. The kind of crap Judith faces from the AGW crowd is exactly the sort of thing an ex-Scientologist faces after leaving the cult. Endless personal attacks, smears, and denunciations based on her lack of allegiance to The Truth. It’s another indication that climatology isn’t a science any more, as much as a religious cult that makes it very hard for its members to leave and strike out on their own.

  40. Eustace Cranch says:
    September 19, 2013 at 8:08 am
    Make the models better? Here’s a suggestion: Dart Board.

    Lots cheaper too.
    …………

    Eustace -have you taken account of the beer required to make darts sociable?
    And, dare I suggest, reasonably accurate in the hands of a skilled practicioner.
    Does that sound like climate astrology?
    I hope not, Sir!

    Auto

  41. “My understanding of climate is not helped much by climate models.”

    Why would it be. Climate models are simply someone else’s understanding of climate, digitized into a computer model. The computer won’t do a damn thing until someone puts their ideas into it. The next step is to run the model and see if it fits reality. We did that. It doesn’t.

    Time to digitize and run a different understanding of climate, preferably one that includes a bit more recognition of the real world and what we know about it.

  42. It was an ideology long before the IPCC was founded and Dr. Curry stuck to the party talking points for a very long time.

    She’s still a statist consensus player and creates a very limited skeptical position. That becomes the object of hate of warmists but at the same time it’s all very much within the AGW meme and the frameworks. “The Pause” being an example, a euphemism for “complete observational AGW hypothesis failure” but skeptics will continue to accept the talking points. By doing so it advances and holds on to warmist gains even as it appears to undermine their argument. It’s a form of minimized concession in a debate, Dr. Curry is an expert at this.

    Dr. Curry has yet to own up and I expect she never will. Any thinking person knew in 1975 or 1980 at the latest where climate science was going and what the politics were that she shared with the consensus drivers. Model opinions are trivia at this stage, skeptics still behave like house slaves. It’s all 25 years too late to earn a pardon.

  43. Paul Westhaver says: September 19, 2013 at 9:31 am “It’s [turtles] all the way down.”

    Bart – thanks for the link, excerpted below for public edification.

    This suggests a new collective noun: “an infinitude of turtles”.

    One could also say “an infinitude of worthless climate models”, programmed by “an infinitude of dyslexic climate modellers”, yielding “an infinitude of exaggerated global warming predictions” (er, sorry, “projections”).

    John said above:
    Our green friend David Appell had the first comment on Judith’s blog entry, which is entitled “Consensus Denialism.” Here is what he said about Judith:
    “The distressing thing is how some people are all ready to attack models, instead of helping make them better.”

    OK David, here are some helpful suggested steps to make the climate models better:
    1. Adjust the Surface Temperature (ST) database downward by about 0.05 to 0.07C per decade, back to about 1940, to correct for a probable strong warming bias in the ST data.
    2. Decrease the ECS (sensitivity) to about 1/10 of its current level, to between 0.0 and 0.5C. If ECS exists, it is much smaller than current estimates.
    3. Eliminate the fabricated aerosol data to enable the false high ECS values used in the climate models. The aerosol data was always provably false (Google “DV Hoyt” ClimateAudit). For example: http://climateaudit.org/2006/07/19/whitfield-subcommittee-witnesses-to-be-questioned/
    4. Include a strong natural cyclical variation based on either the PDO (~60 years) or the Gleissberg Cycle (~90 years) – see which one fits the ST data best.

    Other than that, the models are great! Actually no, not so great – the models have probably “put the cart before the horse” – we know that the only clear signal in the data is that CO2 LAGS temperature (in time) at all measured time scales, from a lag of about 9 months in the modern database to about 800 years in the ice core records – so the concept of “climate sensitivity to CO2” (ECS) may be incorrect, and the reality may be “CO2 sensitivity to temperature”. See work by me and Murry Salby:

    http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/carbon_dioxide_in_not_the_primary_cause_of_global_warming_the_future_can_no/

    BTW, this does not preclude the possibility that increases in atmospheric CO2 over the past ~century are primarily due to human combustion of fossil fuels, but there are other plausible causes – (Google “mass balance argument” Engelbeen Courtney). For example:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/04/19/what-you-mean-we-arent-controlling-the-climate/#comment-961108

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/08/05/the-emily-litella-moment-for-climate-science-and-co2/#comment-712585

    So good luck with those models David =- hope this helps to make them better. :-)

    Regards to all, Allan

    Meanwhile, back at the Turtles, all the way down:

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

    The most widely known version, which obviously is not the source (see below), appears in Stephen Hawking’s 1988 book A Brief History of Time, which starts:

    A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: “What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise.” The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But it’s tortoises all the way down!”
    —Hawking, 1988[1]

    In 1905, Oliver Corwin Sabin, Bishop of the Evangelical Christian Science Church, wrote:

    The old original idea which was enunciated first in India, that the world was flat and stood on the back of an elephant, and the elephant did not have anything to stand on was the world’s thought for centuries. That story is not as good as the Richmond negro preachers who said the world was flat and stood on a turtle. They asked him what the turtle stood on and he said another turtle, and they asked what that turtle stood on and he said another turtle, and finally they got him in a hole and he said. “I tell you there are turtles all the way down.”
    —Sabin, 1905[2]

    Many 20th-century attributions point to William James as the source.[3][4] James referred to the fable of the elephant and tortoise several times, but told the infinite regress story with “rocks all the way down” in his 1882 essay, “Rationality, Activity and Faith”.[5] In the form of “rocks all the way down”, the story predates James to at least 1838.[6]

    In 1854 the story in the current form appears, attributed by bible skeptic Joseph Barker to preacher Joseph Frederick Berg:

    My opponent’s reasoning reminds me of the heathen, who, being asked on what the world stood, replied, “On a tortoise.” But on what does the tortoise stand? “On another tortoise.” With Mr. Barker, too, there are tortoises all the way down.
    —Barker, 1854[7]

    There is an allusion to the story in David Hume’s Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (published in 1779):

    How can we satisfy ourselves without going on in infinitum? And, after all, what satisfaction is there in that infinite progression? Let us remember the story of the Indian philosopher and his elephant. It was never more applicable than to the present subject. If the material world rests upon a similar ideal world, this ideal world must rest upon some other; and so on, without end. It were better, therefore, never to look beyond the present material world.
    —Hume, 1779[8]

  44. Jeremy Poynton says:
    September 19, 2013 at 10:19 am
    As the CAGW scare starts to die …. the population explosion scare Part II starts to rise. There will be no respite, another cause will always be found when the current one dies.

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again….keep your eyes open for new, catastrophic articles discussing ocean acidification. The “lesser known twin” of global warming is soon about to become an only child, and it will want all the attention.

    http://apps.seattletimes.com/reports/sea-change/2013/sep/11/pacific-ocean-perilous-turn-overview/

  45. Rule of climate ‘science’ when the models and reality differ in value its reality that is in error ‘
    so models all the way is no problem , because they can never be ‘wrong ‘ its only peoples perception’s of reality which is getting in the way of their ‘truth’

  46. CRS, DrPH says:
    September 19, 2013 at 12:27 pm
    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again….keep your eyes open for new, catastrophic articles discussing ocean acidification. The “lesser known twin” of global warming is soon about to become an only child, and it will want all the attention.
    Oh yes, they try this all the time.
    However when one looks at the CO2 map of the oceans it is very difficult to explain an “acidification”

    http://sciencenordic.com/co2-map-provides-quality-control-climate-research

    Watch where the CO2 is high in the surface water and how much does it exceed other regions (more then double)

  47. Worth remembering: “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.” — Richard Feynman

    And since people have difficulty with such things these days, there are three variations of interest:

    1. Belief that experts are ignorant.
    2. Lack of belief to the one way or the other.
    3. Belief that experts are not-ignorant.

    If you state that: ‘Consensus of a Subculture’ (Common Wisdom for a Small Common) and ‘Theories/Models Are Empiricism’ are proper science then there is only one of those three choices available. And regardless of whether your choice for ‘science’ is 1 or 3 then the other is ‘anti-science’ or ‘science denialism’ by definition.

    I don’t care which definition anyone picks, nor should you, so long as they abide by all the consequences of that belief. eg. If you pick 1 as science, then an expert must provide *proof* that others can exercise, not a magic show, to demonstrate things. If you pick 3 then, because the Pope, Catholicism is science; and Public Policy should not run contrary to it.

    Standard Red Herring on offer: Feynman is produced as an expert, so agreeing with Feynman proves you pick 3. Nope, it’s a proposition and may be accepted or rejected on other grounds. But Feynman was an ‘expert’ on the philosophy of science. So if 3 is your answer, then he cannot be wrong according to your belief. Which leads to an absurdity. If 1 is your answer, then it hardly matters. Your belief is not contingent on Feynman’s quote.

    In all cases, if 2 is the answer, then the only solution is for scientists to produce their proofs of their claims. Which is the same notion as 1.

  48. We certainly need to continue to kick them while they are down. They must never be allowed to rise again to peddle blatant lies disguised as “science” in the pursuit of hidden political agendas.The Left, who dominate the CAGW agenda will surely rise again to install the ultra green agenda they dare not tell us about. If it were so great, why not tell us all? No, they know the People would not approve, but they do it anyway, because THEY think it is good for us. Yeah, sure. Now is the time to go on the attack and have the warmists fully exposed and their acts of treason adequately punished, and I do not mean the BS of saying “sorry.” “Sorry we lied and subverted science in the quest of destroying society and humanity to install an insane Fabian Utopia with us Lefties as the inheritors of the earth with the rest of you as our slaves.” (sob, sob) Perhaps a vote on the correct punishment as a warning to those that may try this again.I shall start the vote- extreme public torture and stripping of all assets. Big businesses that have been complicit(Bilderburg group, I am writing to you) will have to find new CEOs. Punishment is not so much retribution as a warning to those that may transgress in the future. The issue here is that the crime is the highest category of treason the human race has ever seen thus far.

  49. High Treason says:
    September 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    Thos. Jefferson said ‘…for I have sworn on the altar of g-d eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.’

    I agree with you both.

  50. We should have a model that predicts the accuracy of climate models by factoring funding sources and relationships to governing bodies. I’d be willing to bet some interesting trends would emerge that would have these very same people arguing against the use of models

  51. Tomorrow, Gina McCarthy will announce Co2 limits for new power plant sources. She will say that the science is settled on the matter and that the country needs to control carbon else climate calamities will rage out of control. My point is this….the scientific debate better find leverage on the regulatory calendar and quick…

  52. The “only projections” excuse would work much better if the IPCC and friends did not then go on to treat the average of projections as predictions suitable for guiding, or even dictating, the policy decisions of governments world-wide. They’re projections, so not subject to validation, on the one hand, but “highly likely” predictions on the other.

    One or the other. Not both.

  53. Scott Basinger says:
    September 19, 2013 at 8:13 am
    Mosher had a good suggestion a while back that we pare back on the models which have proven to be inaccurate and focus on a couple of the better models.
    ============
    If 50 people predict the future, 1 will have a better prediction than all the rest, simply by chance.

  54. Fire the editor of a major newspaper? For factual reporting? No, not even the Team can do that…. They should also not bite the hand that feeds them. It is unwise to offend an editor who decides what his newspaper will report… he (she) could be the vengeful type, and instead of fawning adoration, climate alarmism reports could take on a distinctly skeptical edge.

  55. @ferd berple 7:25, @Scott Basinger 8:13.
    You are both right. There is absolutely no reason to trust all 29+ models as equally probable, which is what the ensemble does. This is one area where Bayesian updating can really add value by changing the weights on the candidate model and enrich the weight of the models closer to the observations and deweight those most disconnectd to the observations. This is something that can be iterated as more data and more measures are considered.

    None of the 29+ are the cause of the observations. So there is no cause and effect. So what we are looking for is the probability that each of the 29+ models could have produced the observations. That will be all very low probabilities, but some will be relatively much bigger than others.

    That alone will not be enough. We should also include in some non-GCM “Null Hypothesis” models that can also make projections and we calculate probabilites that each of these Null models can predict the observations. Wouldn’t it be fun if one or more Null models made it into the top five weightings.

  56. Gary Pearse @ 0651
    The collective noun I think you are looking for is an “ignorance” of learned societies.

  57. “They’ll just have to ask he be fired afterwards like they usually do.”

    Its so sad, but true. Its the reason I go by the name ‘Klem’. Where I work, if people knew that I was Klem, I’d be out of a job by noon.

  58. Heh….been following this long enough to remember Judith Curry defending the GW stuff….wonder how far she is on the way to Damascus (poignant…?).

  59. Collective noun:
    “A model of scientists”
    “A consensus of scientists”
    “A conference of scientists”
    “A paper of scientists”

  60. High Treason says on September 19, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    HT The watermelons do not want even a Fabian Utopia; they want serfdom – for us, not them of course. Plato new all about it, read his “Republic” or a synopsis http://www.iep.utm.edu/republic/.
    The watermelons are the guardians.

  61. Just read the comments at Judith Curry’s site

    http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/17/consensus-denialism/

    Some common sense, but also some rather disturbing nonsense from the warmist camp – like watching a slow motion car crash with real-live crash test dummies.

    Some of these people actually claim to believe in the following falsehoods:
    – excessively high ECS (climate sensitivity to CO2) used in climate models;
    – existing climate models accurately hindcast the past;
    – existing climate models can accurately forecast the future.

    They are apparently unaware or ignore the fact that the climate models use fabricated aerosol data to enable their hind-casting, thus enabling the use of high ECS values. Repeating, the aerosol data is fabricated, literally from thin air, to force-fit the models to hindcast. Then the models are claimed to be credible, and are used to forecast catastrophic global warming as atmospheric CO2 increases.

    Problem is, despite increasing atmospheric CO2, Earth has not warmed in about 17 years!

    But don’t worry, they say, the heat is hiding; stuck in the deep oceans (or somewhere else that the Sun don’t shine).

    Jesus wept!

    Regards, Allan

  62. climatereason = tonyb | July 28, 2013 at 12:43 pm |

    curryja | July 20, 2013 at 11:17 pm |

    – –
    Fair Warning

    Observational data strictly (in the sense of mathematical proof) rule out the framing of this natural variability as “internal”. The relentless, aggressive pushing of an “internal” narrative in the face of contrary proof is damning evidence of dark ignorance &/or deception.

    This is a trust issue. It’s very specific. Framing as “internal” is strictly unacceptable (including on ethical grounds).

    Collegiality can be very flexible, but it cannot extend that far. I strongly recommend simply dropping the single egregiously offensive word.

  63. Friends:

    I posted the following on Judith Curry’s blog at

    http://judithcurry.com/2013/09/17/consensus-denialism/#comment-382615

    Richard

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

    By far most cogent – and the best – post in this thread is by Wijnand at September 18, 2013 at 9:32 am.

    The problem is not that the climate models need to be improved. No model is perfect and no model is intended to be perfect.

    The real problem is that the climate models are being misused

    The GCMs and energy balance models are useful heuristic tools. Understandings of climate can be tested by building models from those understandings and then comparing the model outputs to behaviours of the observed climate.

    But using those heuristic tools as indicators of future climate is a hubristic misuse of the models: it assumes the models are built from adequately complete and accurate understandings of climate.

    But the true purpose of the models is to determine if those understandings are – or are not – adequately complete and accurate.

    And the models will be improved by amendment or addition to understandings of climate as they are discovered.

    As Wijnand suggests, people should be sacked if they misuse the models for the casting of runes to predict the future,

    Richard

  64. @Robert of Ottawa 4:54 am
    Collective noun:
    “A model of scientists…..”

    A tribe of scientists.
    A murder of activists.
    A bellowing of alarmists.
    A destruction of NGO’s
    A hastiness of modelers.
    A cackle of skeptics.
    A press of bloggers.

    Ooh! “<a href=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_collective_nounsA wake of buzzards” that’s a good one!

    “A conference of petroleum geologists makes a flock of sheep look like independent thinkers.” – Ed Capen, about 1988.

    [Did not that last reference include an "awake of skeptics"? Mod]

  65. GCMs. As I prepare the traditional (for the Whitman clan) bonfire at sunset on the eve of the Northern Hemisphere Autumnal Equinox, I wonder what tradition for models exists.

    Physical models => When I make a powered smaller scale flying model of a WW2 plane it will not behave like the actual WW2 airplane when it is exactly scaled accurately: it probably won’t fly if accurately scaled down.

    Financial models => The failure of a financial model is easy to see for those who lost invested assets based on the model.

    Professional Role Models => Copying another person, as a model for yourself is of limited benefit, but not entirely lacking benefit.

    Climate Models => Like Einstein had premised in pursuing a unified field theory, modelers premised in pursuit a unified climate theory to base their models on. The premise in both cases was a guess ( à la Feynman) that a unified aspect of nature was there to find in the area of reality they focused on. So far in both cases, the premise has not been justified. The Earth-Atmosphere System (EAS) seems not to have a meaningful model as the IPCC conceived it. Next paradigm please, sans IPCC unfruitful model concepts. N’est ce pas?

    John

  66. ferd berple (September 21, 2013 at 6:55 am) pointed to a paywall:
    “Consensus distorts the climate picture
    Judith Curry”

    It’s summarized here (no paywall).

    She’s getting herself into trouble.

    Specifically:
    dark hypocrisy

    She’s making the case that the IPCC should respect observations. Meanwhile she’s denying the most well-constrained climate observations on record. The “internal” narrative she’s relentlessly pushing (as if it was inflexibly scripted well in advance following some professionally-inspired communications strategy) was stillborn. It’s strictly (in sense of mathematical proof) ruled out by the following:

    http://ftp.aer.com/pub/anon_collaborations/sba/aam.ncep.reanalysis.1948.2009

    ftp://ftp.iers.org/products/eop/long-term/c04_08/iau2000/eopc04_08_IAU2000.62-now

    I try to be collegial, but there are limits.

    Yesterday Curry made this total BS claim in a failed attempt to differentiate herself from the IPCC:
    “my reasoning is weighted heavily in favor of observational evidence”

    As I read those words, the sheer darkness of her ignorance &/or deception sunk in to sobering new depths. That’s the 2nd darkest comment I’ve ever seen written in the solar / climate discussion.

    This is not a person we can trust to exercise sober, sensible judgement. She may have some useful role to play, but she’s not qualified to lead.

    Sincerely,
    Paul L. Vaughan, B.Sc., M.Sc.

  67. Paul Vaughan:

    You end your ad hom. attack on Judith Curry at September 21, 2013 at 12:42 pm saying

    She may have some useful role to play, but she’s not qualified to lead.

    I have not noticed her attempting to “lead”. However, were she trying to do that, and assuming she is not “qualified” to do that, then your comment leads to an obvious question: viz,

    Who do you suggest is “qualified to lead”, you?

    Richard

  68. @Paul Vaughan 1:10 pm
    It was ad homenem for you did not justify it. What is self-evident to you, may be obscure to others.
    I am not about to guess at your justifications by going to two unsummarized links.
    climatereason a 4:07 pm on curry’s site says he followed your links and is still mystified.

    P.S. those two links are some big ftp datasets. What are you going on about?

  69. Stephen Rasey:

    At September 21, 2013 at 2:48 pm you write

    @Paul Vaughan 1:10 pm
    It was ad homenem for you did not justify it. What is self-evident to you, may be obscure to others.

    Quite so.

    And I fail to understand how these are not ad hom.
    “dark hypocrisy”
    “This is not a person we can trust to exercise sober, sensible judgement.”

    As I read the post from Paul Vaughan at September 21, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/19/uh-oh-its-models-all-the-way-down/#comment-1422942

    I fail to see any point except ad hom..

    Richard

  70. THE SAD STORY OF CLIMATE-BASH
    (apologies to Ogden Nash)

    I don’t know very much at all
    ‘bout Judith or her history.

    I’m just so tired of all attacks,
    so utterly devoid of facts,

    except the valid chops and hacks
    at warmists’ dark conspiracy.

    The Climategaters’ criminal acts
    Should cause them all to get the ax,

    They all deserve their forty whacks
    and jail terms to the very max

    For lies and fraud and mystery.

  71. Curry’s narrative implicitly asserts violation of at least 1 of the following laws:
    a) conservation of angular momentum.
    b) large numbers.

    Each individual can take personal responsibility for understanding.

  72. Mikef2 @ Sep 20 3.58 am: I’d say Judith is at least half-poignant. :-)

    Note that the print version of Judith Curry’s “Australian” article includes an IPCC chart of model projections and actuals, which does not appear online.

  73. Paul Vaughan:

    Your post at September 21, 2013 at 10:59 pm consists solely of more ad hom. from you.

    It says in total

    Curry’s narrative implicitly asserts violation of at least 1 of the following laws:
    a) conservation of angular momentum.
    b) large numbers.

    Each individual can take personal responsibility for understanding.

    Really, “Curry’s narrative” does that? How? You don’t say.

    Importantly, your suggestion that she “implicitly asserts” demonstrates that you are asserting your interpretation of what she said is correct.
    And you assert she violates “at least 1 of the following laws”: which is it, one, the other, or both? Why and how? There is no reason for anyone to accept your unexplained assertion of “at least one”.

    You are not complaining at what she EXPLICITLY said, and you are making your unjustified attacks on the basis of YOUR interpretation of what YOU THINK she meant.

    Paul Vaughan, I really understand the despicable nature of your attack of Judith Curry on WUWT because I suffered a similar attack on WUWT. A character kept coming on WUWT falsely claiming I had made a statement which contradicted the 2nd Law of TD. This was before my recent retirement and when I objected he threatened to circulate the slur to my client list. So, I really do understand the egregious nature of such unjustified accusations as you are making.

    You say, “Each individual can take personal responsibility for understanding.” I strongly agree and, therefore, I await your apology on this thread for your unjustified – and your words suggest, unjustifiable – ad hom. attack on Judith Curry.

    Richard

  74. Paul Vaughan says: September 21, 2013 at 10:59 pm
    Curry’s narrative implicitly asserts violation of at least 1 of the following laws:
    a) conservation of angular momentum.
    b) large numbers.
    Each individual can take personal responsibility for understanding.
    __________________

    Paul, perhaps I am shirking your definition of “personal responsibility”, but you are too hostile and too difficult to understand.

    You started by saying: “internal” = Total BS

    The you said (except)
    “This is a trust issue. It’s very specific. Framing as “internal” is strictly unacceptable (including on ethical grounds).
    Collegiality can be very flexible, but it cannot extend that far. I strongly recommend simply dropping the single egregiously offensive word.”

    Then you cite three sets of data tables and say:
    “I try to be collegial, but there are limits.
    Yesterday Curry made this total BS claim in a failed attempt to differentiate herself from the IPCC:
    “my reasoning is weighted heavily in favor of observational evidence”
    As I read those words, the sheer darkness of her ignorance &/or deception sunk in to sobering new depths. That’s the 2nd darkest comment I’ve ever seen written in the solar / climate discussion.”

    So you have a technical disagreement in climate science. Join the club – many of us have differing opinions – some of us may be correct, but many of us will be wrong. However, to condemn Judith in your terms seems excessive and bizarre, especially in the context of the current acrimonious climate debate.

    Viewed in context, your comments defocus the debate, and tend to trivialize the deceitful, disgraceful and even criminal behaviour of the leaders of the warmist camp, and I suggest that Judith is NOT one of them. I suggest that the leaders are well-identified in the Climategate emails, and I previously wrote about them as follows:

    “The response of the global warmist gang was thuggish and imbecilic – they deliberately ignored all criticism, declared “the science is settled”, intimidated the editors of climate journals, and viciously attacked scientists who honestly pointed out the obvious flaws of their catastrophic global warming hypothesis. Global warming acolytes sent death threats to climate skeptics, and some skeptics were victims of actual violence. The global warmist gang is akin to a “cargo cult” religion – they have clearly failed to pursue an honest, objective quest for scientific truth.
    At a minimum, the warmist gang have systematically misled the people and their governments, damaged or destroyed the academic careers of their betters, and squandered over a trillion dollars of scarce global resources.”

    I hope you can see the difference, and will moderate your comments.

    I read some of Judith’s recent stuff and thought it was OK. Did I agree with everything she said? I don’t recall and I don’t care – it was close enough.

    Don’t know much about her history,
    Don’t know ‘bout her climatology,
    But Judy, Judy, Judy, Judy
    You’re OK by me.

  75. Richard, the implicit assumption of spatiotemporal uniformity flat-out FAILS diagnostics. There’s nothing “ad hom.” about that. Now get away from me.

  76. Paul Vaughan:

    Your post at September 22, 2013 at 6:16 am says in total

    Richard, the implicit assumption of spatiotemporal uniformity flat-out FAILS diagnostics. There’s nothing “ad hom.” about that. Now get away from me.

    That is merely another unsubstantiated assertion intended to excuse your disgraceful vilifications of Judith Curry.

    Now apologise for your behaviour especially your unsubstantiated attacks on Dr Curry.

    Richard

  77. Paul Vaughan:

    re your post at September 23, 2013 at 7:40 am

    I have made two posts at your link. One of them copies to there my expectation of your apology for your for your behaviour especially your egregious attacks on Dr Curry both here and there.

    Your apology is still awaited.

    Richard

  78. This analysis does not match the information in the NASA sea temperature anomaly plots which clearly shows highly localised hot spots of over five degrees deviation. This is impossible to be cause by global warming by the first and second laws of thermodynamics. More so as the hot spots then revert to normal behaviour once the arrive at the sub Arctic destination.

  79. Richard sees an assertion that 1+1=2 and then demands an apology for its public expression. We’re dealing with some really high caliber people here.

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