Quote of the Week – UEA/CRU scientist disses Cook’s 97%

qotw_croppedBarry Woods writes via email:

A very interesting article, with Mike Hulme dissing the 97% paper along the way.

But I think perhaps the most interesting part, is it seems to allow sceptics at the policy table.

“What matters is not whether the climate is changing (it is); nor whether human actions are to blame (they are, at the very least partly and, quite likely, largely); nor whether future climate change brings additional risks to human or non-human interests (it does). As climate scientist Professor Myles Allen said in evidence to the committee, even the projections of the IPCC’s more prominent critics overlap with the bottom end of the range of climate changes predicted in the IPCC’s published reports.
The now infamous paper by John Cook and colleagues published in May 2013 claimed that of the 4,000 peer-reviewed papers they surveyed expressing a position on anthropogenic global warming, “97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming”. But merely enumerating the strength of consensus around the fact that humans cause climate change is largely irrelevant to the more important business of deciding what to do about it. By putting climate science in the dock, politicians are missing the point.
In the end, the only question that matters is, what are we going to do about it? Scientific consensus is not much help here. Even if one takes the Cook study at face value, then how does a scientific consensus of 97.1% about a fact make policy-making any easier? As Roger Pielke Jr has often remarked in the context of US climate politics, it’s not for a lack of public consensus on the reality of human-caused climate change that climate policy implementation is difficult in the US.”

Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but if Mike Hulme thinks Cook 97% is nonsense AND pointless, this will be noticed. Source:

https://theconversation.com/science-cant-settle-what-should-be-done-about-climate-change-22727

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With climate skeptics thought of as ‘credible’, the SkS kidz will have an aneurism.

And then there’s this: John Cook is a Filthy Liar

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70 Responses to Quote of the Week – UEA/CRU scientist disses Cook’s 97%

  1. John F. Hultquist says:

    My take-away of M.H.’s remarks is that he thinks “prominent critics” of the IPCC agree with the climate change projections, climate change is bad, governments can alter the future, and should, so let’s get on with it. Business as usual in the CAGW camp.

  2. kenw says:

    This is most telling: “What matters is not whether the climate is changing (it is); nor whether human actions are to blame (they are, at the very least partly and, quite likely, largely); …”

    His mind is made up and the politicians have to tell us what to do about it. If they tell us to do nothing, well, it’s all their fault and we shall all cook like the frog in the slow boil.

    as with most, he incorrectly believes that Mankind is in control of the ‘solution’ to the ‘problem’. If you have such a mindset, it is obviously a political solution since the underlying science is settled and all that remains is to decide what (yes, if anything) to do about it. It’s just more of a throwing up of the hands, fatalistic, we’re doomed point of view.

  3. RichardLH says:

    “As Roger Pielke Jr has often remarked in the context of US climate politics, it’s not for a lack of public consensus on the reality of human-caused climate change that climate policy implementation is difficult in the US.”

    So even the ones who don’t agree with what we have said can be said to agree with our position!

  4. KRJ Pietersen says:

    It’s not the first time that Mike Hulme has turned his guns on Cook et al. There’s this:

    “The “97% consensus” article is poorly conceived, poorly designed and poorly executed. It obscures the complexities of the climate issue and it is a sign of the desperately poor level of public and policy debate in this country that the energy minister should cite it. It offers a similar depiction of the world into categories of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ to that adopted in Anderegg et al.’s 2010 equally poor study in PNAS: dividing publishing climate scientists into ‘believers’ and ‘non-believers’. It seems to me that these people are still living (or wishing to live) in the pre-2009 world of climate change discourse. Haven’t they noticed that public understanding of the climate issue has moved on?”

    http://blogs.nottingham.ac.uk/makingsciencepublic/2013/07/23/whats-behind-the-battle-of-received-wisdoms/#comment-182401

    Prof Hulme obviously has no time for the SkS crowd, although it seems Mann likes them.

  5. Ken Hall says:

    He is not putting doubt on the 97% figure, only the importance of it in furthering the alarmist’s aims. He is suggesting that it is so obviously self evidently true, that it must no longer be questioned, and even if questioned, policy should now urgently be taken upon the assumption of it being true.

    The telling quote for me is the following:

    “By putting climate science in the dock, politicians are missing the point [.…] In the end, the only question that matters is, what are we going to do about it?”

    So it matters not if it is true or not? The alarmist scientists are done with trying to prove it, we must accept it on nothing more than blind faith before the earth cools anymore and further falsifies their CAGW hypothesis, and get on with implementing the alarmist’s cure.

    In other words, sod the science, start the de-industrialisation and the destruction of industrial economies now. Truly, the argument of a human hating zealot.

  6. Jammy Dodger says:

    Yes, you are reading too much into it. He does not say Cook’s 97% is nonsense. Or pointless. A bit of confirmation fantasy there.

  7. DirkH says:

    Hulme doesn’t criticize Cook’s “methodology”. He’s perfectly fine with it. He essentially just says, this propaganda approach is not relevant for The Cause right now; how can we enforce the policies we planned? And he has no answer, that’s the good thing. Another failed NATO strategy.

  8. Michael D says:

    Even if Mike Hulme had grave doubts about AGW, he would have to give lip service to AGW (as he has done) else he would be summarily removed from the debate. The removal of dissenters is necessary to maintain the appearance of consensus.

    So I think Barry Woods and Anthony are onto something worthy of note here.

  9. Jammy Dodger says:

    “Truly, the argument of a human hating zealot.”

    A shame you finished with this silly rant. Up to then your post was quite reasonable.

  10. pokerguy says:

    “Yes, you are reading too much into it. He does not say Cook’s 97% is nonsense. Or pointless. A bit of confirmation fantasy there.”

    I don’t think you’re looking closely enough. He calls the study “infamous,” and then goes on to say *EVEN* if one takes the Cook study at face value…”

    Granted, he doesn’t explicitly call in “nonsense,” but he’s clearly implying something along those lines. Think you might have your own confirmation issues.

  11. gnomish says:

    it’s a bid for position – he wants to be the drum major of the cagw parade – and he’s trashing his rivals.
    this is a catfight.

  12. I’ve written an extensive reply on my blog Scottish Sceptic: A reply to Mike Hulme

    To summarise: thanks for trying to move the debate forward. But, science is more than just academia and whilst it is good that academia is beginning to realise it doesn’t have all the answers, the answer is not to hand over the problem to a group of largely scientifically illiterate politicians. You should realise that science does not stop at the gates of Universities and there are many outside who are very scientifically literate who academics are going to have to learn to trust on this subject.

  13. Andyj says:

    Lets face it. A consensus does not make reality. The “paper” is not about science; it is a jeer with no scientific value whatsoever.

    By their own hand it merely proves Kook & Co have no concept of how science works nor how peer review ought to function. Every “peer reviewer” has a dog in the same fight.

    Gallileo faced a consensus. Guess who was empirically correct.

  14. albertalad says:

    The global warming scam is far to lucrative a business to give up anytime soon. We now have extreme weather where once it was called winter and so on – yet few take on the media scam pushing the idea. Consequently the Obama administration are free to enact global warming junk without any oversight. Just ask Obama and his pen. They believe the consensus.

  15. Ivor Ward says:

    Jammy Dodger says:
    February 4, 2014 at 10:13 am
    Yes, you are reading too much into it. He does not say Cook’s 97% is nonsense. Or pointless. A bit of confirmation fantasy there.
    ———————
    “The now infamous paper by John Cook and colleagues published in May 2013″
    As mr Hulme refers to the paper as “infamous” instead of “famous”, I would think most sensible people would infer from that that he thinks it is nonsense and pointless.

  16. A.D. Everard says:

    I agree with what many are seeing here – Hulme is saying, “Who cares about such detail? Let’s move on and do what we have to do.”

    No change, just another dismissal of skeptical argument.

  17. KRJ Pietersen says:

    He is a thoughtful guy, Hulme. I don’t agree with his views on climate change, but he is well worth listening to. Take this, for example, when discussing the value of consensus (he doesn’t rate it). On the Climategate e-mails, of which more than a few were his, he says:

    “…they showed a scientific culture which was closed to criticism and which was resistant to the opensharing of data. When these practices were publicly exposed, the tenacity of scientists’ defence of in-group/out-group boundaries paradoxically weakened the public authority of climate science rather than strengthened it. The outcome was the exact opposite of what climate scientists in CRU and elsewhere thought they were doing”.

    http://www.academia.edu/3003822/Lessons_from_the_IPCC_do_scientific_assessments_need_to_be_consensual_to_be_authoritative

    The rest of his talk, of which that is an extract, is very interesting. I don’t agree with all of it, but having said that, I think Hulme has got ideas that add to the debate in a proper way, unlike Mann or Jones, who are worthless, in my view.

  18. philjourdan says:

    While he seems to think the study is ridiculous, he does not come out and say the study is junk. He should have, but I guess baby steps.

  19. Jim Butts says:

    I think that most reasonable thinking people would agree that our use of hydrocarbon fuels (fossil and otherwise) is causing CO2 to increase in the atmosphere and that this in turn may have caused a tiny increase (~0.3%) in the global average air temperature over the past 100 years or so, but so what?

    Isn’t increasing CO2 (the life-enabling trace gas) in the atmosphere a good thing? Suppose that CO2 were decreasing; that would be something to be concerned about!

    And, isn’t a little warming a good thing? Suppose the lower atmosphere were cooling; suppose we were headed back into an ice age; that would be something to be concerned about!

  20. Mike Maguire says:

    “By putting climate science in the dock, politicians are missing the point [.…] In the end, the only question that matters is, what are we going to do about it?”

    If the indisputable law of photosynthesis and key role of carbon dioxide, with its incredible benefits to our biosphere and world food production(for all animals). were given proper weight…………give CO2 the Nobel Peace prize!

    Take away the one that climate snake oil salesman Al Gore got and give it to the molecule that’s greatly enriching our planets vegetative health by atmospheric fertilization.

    The warming thus far?

    Also beneficial.

    Future “catastrophic warming? Still just a theory based on global climate model output that has proven to be MUCH too warm.

    Nature has been screaming loudly about what to do(and not do). The problem is that much of the world doesn’t speak that language. They have been indoctrinated into the faith of global warming religion and listen only to the high priests words.

    Hitler would have admired the way that so many humans on our planet were so brainwashed with the idiotic notion that CO2=pollution..

  21. Joey says:

    Don’t think he regards the consensus as “nonsense”, just that it does not matter. On this point, I tend to agree as science does not work as a function of consensus. As Einstein noted with regards to any theory, only take one experiment to prove the theory wrong.

  22. Dire Wolf says:

    I think you are misreading this. He says that the “97%” consensus pales compared to the task of ruining the world economy, impoverishing the poor further and destroying western democracies to prevent the mythical global disaster. The man wants action now.

  23. Jim Clarke says:

    I, too, believe you are reading too much into it. He seems to agree with the 97% figure, but claims that Cook’s study was poorly done, and, more to the point, detracts from the real issue, which he believes is: “In the end, the only question that matters is, what are we going to do about it?”

    Of course, Mike Hulme is absolutely wrong in making that statement. There are several more important questions that need to be answered first. The most important question is: What is the human influence on climate change? Followed by, Is the human influence a good thing or a bad thing? Then comes: Can we realistically and effectively do anything about it? Then: Should we do anything about it? Before we finally get to: What are we going to do about it?

    The whole global warming debate, for the last 25 years, has been about quantifying the human impact on climate. It is the question that skeptics want to talk about and warmists dodge like a bullet. It is the question that must be answered before any of the following questions can be wisely addressed. It would be very unwise to act on the issue when there is such great uncertainty in climate sensitivity to CO2.

    Mike Hulme and all others calling for action are being very foolish.

  24. JimS says:

    That one should say the 97% consensus is irrelevant is one thing, but the real truth is that this 97% consensus is a complete fabrication and that is quite relevant. The trouble with propaganda is that most people accept it as truth.

  25. Clovis Marcus says:

    This is a very modest repositioning. ‘They’ have finally realised that ‘we’ do not dispute the climate changes or that human activity has a part in that change. Which is what is measured in Cook’s.

    There is still the assertion that “climate change brings additional risks to human or non-human interests (it does).” If risks became ‘changes’ it would make me feel like ‘we’ are making headway.

    When a statement like “more important business of deciding what to do about it” has “if anything” appended to it I will feel like ‘we’ are making headway.

    As the catastrophic nature of the changes come more into question either because the rate of change slows or stops or because dire warnings (like the climate refugees or the desertification or SE England or the ice free arctic in 2013 or snow being a thing of the past) don’t come to pass, look for more semantic revisionism. The ultimate position can only be “we gave the facts as we saw them at the time. We didn’t make the policy based on those facts. The fact that your lights are going out if the wind doesn’t blow, or blows too fast, is not our fault. Look to the policy makers”

    Then the post-mortem on how the figures were presented to determine whether there is culpability can be had. A futile exercise because even scientific papers are littered with mights and coulds and within % certainty levels. Weasel words that look like they are designed to avoid litigation.

    In short and in answer to Anthony’s question. I think this weakens the position of an already weak paper but is no cause for celebration yet.

  26. Greg says:

    Mike Hulme: “In the end, the only question that matters is, what are we going to do about it? Scientific consensus is not much help here.”

    Well it does kinda matter agreeing what “IT” is in order do decide what action ( if any ) is needed.

    Hulme seems to be trying say there is some overlap of skeptic and AGW-ist positions and so trys to infer that all agree we need to do something “about IT”.

    This is crude attempt to reframe the debate into “the science is settled” (except for some details about the numbers.

    It is far from settled since what the obervational evidence suggests is a beneficial degree of warming and extra plant production which is the polar opposite of “OMG we must all stop breathing and reduce the humam population of the planet by 80% (for the sake of future generations)”.

    So first we need to agree whether “IT” is no panic or “IT” means PANIC.

    Most on both sides agree about about Cook’s stupid “study” because he (deliberately) asked the wrong question.

  27. Henry Galt. says:

    I watched Hulme at the HOC climate committee meeting. The epitome of a ‘swivel-eyed loon’. A self loathing elitist. Don’t ask me what I really think.

  28. NikFromNYC says:

    We unencumbered outsiders are the scientifically and technically trained proven experts, slowly but successfully exposing not mere mistakes but shear fraud at the very core of climate “science” and yet much faster in fact than such junk science consensus as was embodied in the work of the Michael Mann of his day, Ancel Keys, who created his own single bullet theory that was the dietary fat/cholesterol hypothesis about heart disease that lead to a medical disaster to this date since the real demons were now more popular refined carbohydrates. I see this type of literal negotiating process by climatologists as major damage control and the seeking of a soft landing that they do not deserve, and that not so much the older demographic of skeptics will not well accept but the whole generation of school indocrinates are likely to become a very rebellious youth culture in the extreme, righteously so. The insanity of the whole modern and postmodern liberal arts Acadamy is likely at stake, including upside down toilets and scribble art, and thus inertia may set in a bit longer until the new generation gets up to speed on charlatanisn in their midst.

  29. Dodgy Geezer says:

    But I think perhaps the most interesting part, is it seems to allow sceptics at the policy table.

    No it doesn’t. he is just saying “The science is settled, now what should our response be?”

    unless he explicitly allows for a possible response to be zero, he isn’t allowing sceptics at the table…

  30. Which one of the cowards and liars is somewhat less of a liar and somewhat more of a coward?
    Sorry, I am not fascinated by this question.

  31. Crispin in Waterloo says:

    @Jim Clarke
    “Of course, Mike Hulme is absolutely wrong in making that statement. There are several more important questions that need to be answered first. The most important question is: What is the human influence on climate change?”

    Well, I feel the most important question is, “What will happen vis-à-vis climate and temperature in the immediate future?” Being able to prognosticate accurately is more important than knowing the effect we have on climate to 3 decimal places.

    Clearly the models are incapable of helping us, based as they are on defective and or incomplete understandings. There is little use in knowing that the temperature was 15 in 1970. What will it be in 2030? That is a good question.

    As the academic community has abandoned the public, choosing to build worlds that are ‘models all the way down’ (we haven’t forgotten, Willis) they have pretty much ruled themselves out as contributors to solutions. If I as a consultant insisted on using methods that always give the wrong answers, I am not adding value, am I?

    He wants to know ‘what to do about it’. Well, nothing for a start. You cannot implement any policy based on model predictions that we know, with 100% confidence, are incorrect 95 times out of 100. Even if you salvaged 5% confidence it is worthless as a guide to social and political action.

    Mike H, you gotta wake up the Honourable Members and make it plain that every single claim of something that happened in the past 15 years that was blamed on ‘global warming’ was incorrect. The fact that there are millions of such baseless assertions does not make any of them valid. There has been no warming for years! Blaming hurricane Katrina on warming that occurred between 1977 and 1987 (as an alternative) would be ridiculous.

    There is no evidence showing that a warmer world is a worse world in need of any intervention or repair. The only meaningful action at the moment is to tell farmers to plant earlier, grow longer and harvest earlier while the warmth lasts. Substantial evidence points to a downward turn for the next few decades. We may have to do something about that.

  32. tommoriarty says:

    “Perhaps I’m reading too much into it, but if Mike Hulme thinks Cook 97% is nonsense AND pointless, this will be noticed.”

    Yes, I think you are reading too much into it.

  33. andywest2012 says:

    Mike Hulme is living proof that possessing knowledge of what CAGW really is, i.e. a huge cultural phenomenon, does not neccessarily protect one from being simultaneously immersed in that culture. Check this quote:
    “The function of climate change I suggest, is not as a lower-case environmental phenomenon to be solved…It really is not about stopping climate chaos. Instead, we need to see how we can use the idea of climate change – the matrix of ecological functions, power relationships, cultural discourses and materials flows that climate change reveals – to rethink how we take forward our political, social, economic and personal projects over the decades to come.
    Climate change also teaches us to rethink what we really want for ourselves…mythical ways of thinking about climate change reflect back to us truths about the human condition. . . .
    The idea of climate change should be seen as an intellectual resource around which our collective and personal identifies and projects can form and take shape. We need to ask not what we can do for climate change, but to ask what climate change can do for us…Because the idea of climate change is so plastic, it can be deployed across many of our human projects and can serve many of our psychological, ethical, and spiritual needs.
    …climate change has become an idea that now travels well beyond its origins in the natural sciences…climate change takes on new meanings and serves new purposes…climate change has become “the mother of all issues”, the key narrative within which all environmental politics – from global to local – is now framed…Rather than asking “how do we solve climate change?” we need to turn the question around and ask: “how does the idea of climate change alter the way we arrive at and achieve our personal aspirations…?”

    He’s in love with the ‘big idea’, the ‘new social paradigm’. He now suggests that politics, not science, should take centre stage. But if, as seems increasingly likely, the science tells us that there’s very little problem, or possibly no problem, to which the economists might add that there’s likely net benefit with the first century, how then will we feel about this aggressive cultural entity that is reframing our politics and deploying itself across many of our human projects and feeding us satisfying brain chemicals to serve many of our psychological, ethical, and spiritual needs? Not to mention the vast resources CAGW has already consumed. Even if there is a genuine problem, feeding the social beast trillions before you’ve identified the nature and magnitude of that problem, will only bury whatever truth we wanted to uncover under an explosion of narrative, as indeed has occurred.

    Mike displays all the characteristics of a very dangerous animal; a high priest who understands not only the power of religions, but how they work and how they may best be deployed to move nations. Yet simultaneously he believes utterly in his chosen religion too. His skillful and constant reframing plus nuanced balancing against increasing skepticism, serves only that religion. True skeptics should be cautious of priests, not just the ranting types, but those with kindly smiles and outstretched hands and apparently sage words too.

  34. Ken Gregory says:

    Friends of Science have issued our fourth press release through PRWeb concerning the Cook et al 2013 study.

    http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=207

    This news release (second link) announces our review of the four major “consensus” reports.
    “97% Consensus? NO! Global Warming Math Myths & Social Proofs”

    http://www.friendsofscience.org/index.php?id=744

    America Thinker has an article on our report. It says, “The conclusions of the report are rather shocking, and it deserves close attention. No doubt, the group, which is based in Calgary, will be attacked as an energy industry front, but its examination of the underlying reports on which the alleged consensus is based can be replicated. One way or another, a fraud is being committed – either the debunking is a fraud, or more likely, the consensus claim is fraudulent. Given that trillions of dollars are at stake, this report deserves the closest possible examination.”

    Disclosure: My funding from the “energy industry” is exactly twice the funding that Anthony Watts receives.

  35. Tom O says:

    Scottish Sceptic says:
    February 4, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Haven’t read your post, but the summary makes excellent points. There ARE a lot of us outside of the university walls and the halls of government that actually can add 2 and 2, as well as understand the written word – sometimes I do have to go the dictionary, of course, but I can understand it as well. I don’t like people that have that nasally sound, look down their nose at you, and pretend that what comes out of their mouths are the words of God. I know what programming is, what programming can do, and what it can’t do, and it can’t predict crap if doesn’t have all the necessary elements to form a solution. And I will always agree with Einstein’s statement that a single fact can disprove a theory.

    By the same token, I can understand that if you actually do BELIEVE the material that we consider gibberish, you can get caught up in the “we don’t have time to show you the facts, accept the reality” scenario. There are times that might be true, but in the case of climate change, there IS time to get it right. Their problem is that they see the world as being over crowded with people, and they are trying to create an agenda to get humanity to reduce population – not human hating, just want to reverse the trend of population, and they think that this issue can be used for that purpose. Although reduction in CO2 won’t make it happen, they think that scaring people into the mindset will help control fertility. Their approach is wrong although their motives may be honest. Trouble is, pushing humanity back to the dark ages will only reset the clock, and it will just start all over again.

  36. JJ says:

    Perhaps I’m reading too much into it,…

    This.

    And what you’re missing is what Hulme is actually doing. That is far more interesting than some silly opportunity to thumb nose at Cook the Filthy Liar.

    Hulme and the rest of the climate clowns see the writing on the wall. They have been bluffing on their trumped up, oxymoronic, “scientific consensus”. Their ability to do that is collapsing around them, and they know it. Simply put, the science is going the other way. They know that, too. They have known it longer than the rest of us.

    But the he cat is out of the bag now. Significant swaths of the public are already accepting that the global warming narrative is political hype, and the scientific community – including peripheral climate scientists – is right behind them. The number of people duped by their lies is well past its peak, and drawing attention to the science by continuing to talk about it is only going to accelerate the fall. The only hope for the political dead-enders is to get the fix in before their politically effective minority vanishes.

    Hence Hulme’s blatantly cynical and anti-scientific play – He finally admits that it doesn’t matter to him whether or not the globe is warming. He admits it doesn’t matter to him whether or not human actions are to blame. He admits that it doesn’t matter to him whether or not future global warming brings additional risks to human or non-human interests. The only thing that matters to him and his target audience is the politics.

    Nothing other than the politics has ever mattered to these guys, but admitting to it would have undercut their cover story – the pretense that it was all about the science. Now that Mother Nature has blown their cover, they want the debate about global warming to become “more political and less about the science”. That is their way of “reinvigorating democratic politics”.

  37. M Courtney says:

    By putting climate science in the dock, politicians are missing the point.

    Interesting.
    Question: Who put climate science in the dock, when and charged with what?
    He refers to Myles Allen in evidence to the committee; is that the answer?

    I think so.

    He acknowledges that climate science is being questioned and his response is to declare it not worthy of defence.
    Let’s just act now anyway – the Precautionary Principle rears its ugly head.

    But I think we can agree that climate science is being questioned now.

  38. andywest2012 says:

    JJ says: February 4, 2014 at 1:00 pm
    “And what you’re missing is what Hulme is actually doing. That is far more interesting than some silly opportunity to thumb nose at Cook…”

    Agree.

  39. DirkH says:

    andywest2012 says:
    February 4, 2014 at 12:02 pm
    “Mike Hulme is living proof that possessing knowledge of what CAGW really is, i.e. a huge cultural phenomenon, does not neccessarily protect one from being simultaneously immersed in that culture. Check this quote:
    “The function of climate change I suggest, is not as a lower-case environmental phenomenon to be solved…It really is not about stopping climate chaos. Instead, we need to see how we can use the idea of climate change “”

    Thanks for that quote. I always recognized Hulme as a macchiavellistic deceiver and warmist-sociological functionnaire de luxe; very much like the German Schellnhuber with his technocratic Great Transformation plans. Both of them bosses of the state’s leading propaganda institutes in the respective countries; both of them completely candid maniacs with the backing of their political masters if one cares to actually read their drivel.

    I think the time of these employed Macchiavellis is over now that the EU is up to the eyeballs in debt, and they are already spent forces. They are not useful in the fight for the survival of the EU.

  40. cwon14 says:

    So much science reason was left at the door just over the theories of “if” AGW is this or that. In the same way you might have a science diagnosis regarding a rare disease it wouldn’t indicate you would go to the lab techs who ran the correct blood test and ask them to become surgeons to cure or mitigate your condition.

    It’s very common now for scientists to desire “policy making” roles but there is no logic to it at all. The real issue is the actual underemployment of real scientists and the sort of make work culture that goes with government funding. Something that grew out of Cold War funding and the central planning culture of WW2. The public is willing to support the tangible more than the theoretical and that sets it all on the slippery slope of junk science sausage making and makers. AGW is a textbook example of this culture.

  41. brent says:

    @ Ken Hall says:
    February 4, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Spot on Ken. People should stop crowing about low level twits such as the SkS crowd.
    The real ones to be concerned about are the politically savvy operators such as IMO Hulme, who bear great responsibility over time for the corruption of science that is climate sceance. But who always seem to astutely reposition themselves away from the front of the fan, when you know what is about to hit the fan.
    Hulme seems a master of repositioning in this way, while furthering the agenda exactly as Ken notes.
    Lovelock does the same.
    So BTW does George Monbiot who is very good at what he does. George was given a position at Green College by one of the Godfathers of the CAGW scam, Crispin Tickell.
    But purportedly was shocked, shocked by the revelations of climategate, so threw Phil Jones under the bus.
    How does what Hulme now says in his latest “reframing” square with the Lindzen quotes from Hulme book:
    all the best
    brent

    Lindzen quotes from Mike Hulme’s book “Why We Disagree about Climate Change”

    http://www.viddler.com/v/79d667f3

    As follows:

    “The Idea of Climate Change should be seen as an intellectual resource around which our collective and personal identities and projects can form and take shape. We need to ask not what we can do for climate change but what climate change can do for us”

    “Because the idea of climate change is so plastic, it can be deployed across many of our human projects and can serve many of our psychological, ethical and spiritual needs”

    “we will continue to create and tell new stories about climate change and mobilize them in support of our projects”

    “These myths transcend the scientific categories of true and false”

  42. Gail Combs says:

    “In the end, the only question that matters is, what are we going to do about it? Scientific consensus is not much help here. Even if one takes the Cook study at face value, then how does a scientific consensus of 97.1% about a fact make policy-making any easier? As Roger Pielke Jr has often remarked in the context of US climate politics, it’s not for a lack of public consensus on the reality of human-caused climate change that climate policy implementation is difficult in the US.”
    ………………

    He is saying the same thing the IPCC said at the very start. The IPCC mandate states:

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to assess the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of human induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for mitigation and adaptation.

    http://www.ipcc-wg2.gov/

    All Mike Hulme is doing is repositioning himself to ‘look reasonable’ without changing one little bit. He is still all about ‘assess the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of human induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for mitigation and adaptation.’ which was the goal in the first place.

    Do not take your eye off the pea!

    Shell Oil originally funded CRU along with BP and both are heavily invested in Solar, Wind and Natural Gas. Both want to see their major competitor Coal DEAD. Both wants lots of subsidies from government. Looks like the plan is working out just fine. (The UN and World Bank wanted the worldwide carbon tax.)

    Shell VP Ged Davis, ‘ Vice President, Global Business Environment in Shell International Limited and head of Shell’s Scenarios Team, ‘ showed up in the climategate e-mails with his IPCC/Shell Oil Scenarios. “From 1997 to 2000 he was facilitator and a Lead Author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Emissions scenarios and in 1996/97 was Director of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Global Scenarios.’**

    This is the one called: Sustainable Development later called Agenda 21.

    4. Sustainable Development (B1)

    The central elements of this scenario family include high levels of environmental and social consciousness, successful governance including major social innovation, and reductions in income and social inequality. Successful forms of governance allow many problems which are currently hard or difficult to resolve to fall within the competency of government and other organisations. Solutions reflect a wide stakeholder dialogue leading to consent on international environmental and social agreements. This is coupled with bottom-up solutions to problems, which reflect wide success in getting broad-based support within communities.

    The concerns over global sustainable development, expressed in a myriad of environmental and social issues, results in the eventual successful management of the interaction between human activities and the biosphere. While no explicit climate policy is undertaken, other kinds of initiatives lead to lower energy use, and clean energy systems, which significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Besides cleaning up air quality, there is emphasis on improving the availability and quality of water.

    4.2 Scenarios

    4.21 Energy Resources/Technology
    Energy efficiency innovations, and successful institutional innovations disseminating their use, result in much lower levels of energy use relative to historic patterns. The forward-looking nature of societal planning results in relatively smooth transitions to alternative energy systems as conventional oil and gas resources dwindle in availability. There is major use of unconventional natural gas as fuel supply during the transition, but the major push is towards renewable resources such as solar and wind. The impact of environmental concerns is a significant factor in the planning for new energy systems.

    Two alternative energy systems, leading to two sub-scenarios, are considered to provide this energy:

    1. Widespread expansion of natural gas, with a growing role for renewable energy (scenario B1N). Oil and coal are of lesser importance, especially post-2050. This transition is faster in the developed than in the developing countries.

    2. A more rapid development of renewables, replacing coal and oil; the bulk of the remaining energy coming from natural gas (scenario B1R).

    In other words ‘Sustainable Development’ with natural gas replacing coal is the huge win for Shell Oil and BP. Solar and Wind were window dressing to lure the Luddites. You can expect them to be abandoned in the next 10 – 20 years or less except for niche markets.

    ** http://www.igu.org/html/WGC_pdffiles/CV_SR1_Davis_E.pdf

  43. It's Just Weather says:

    Hulme seems to believe that human beings are the primary cause of climate change. And that the change is significant enough to cause “risk.” I hate to break it to him. 97% of all people do not agree with that.

    The human species has proven to be amazingly adaptive and lives and thrives in a wide variety of climates already. Almost all human beings (97+%) are continuing on with their lives as if they believe they will be able to adapt to the climate change headed our way whatever it might be.

  44. KevinM says:

    99 percent of Christians believe Jesus was god incarnate on earth, and they’ve studied the matter longer and harder than anyone else, often for their entire lives.

  45. KNR says:

    The 97% consensus claim has as much [scientific] and mathematical as the claim 9 out of 10 cats prefer …
    The irony is the first give away that Cook’s work was rubbish is that reproduction of the 97% in the first place , for it could have been a equally rubbish or equally as good a claim to come up with another percentage higher or lower.
    But because 97% had entered AGW dogma , in the same way the worthless hockey stick has, Cook had no choice but come up with the exact same number in his turn.

    Its still amazes me the poor quality in so many ways of the AGW prophets, years from when when ‘the cause’ has fallen people will look back and ask . How did they manage to get so far with such rubbish in the first place ?

  46. andywest2012 says:

    brent says: February 4, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    Heh, beat you to it with the telling Hulme quote, see 12:02pm . But the extra bit on the end of yours, about myths, is a corker too :)

  47. Gunga Din says:

    It would be nice to think that the “Polar Vortex” did what repeated hits in the head with The Hockey Stick could not. Knock some sense into the issue. But I tend to agree with those who have said that he’s not admitting that an actual changing climate is beyond Man’s ability to control but rather let’s try to do something about it anyway. After all, the science is mostly settled.

  48. manicbeancounter says:

    It is worth looking at Mike Hulme’s four points of why politics, not science, must take centre stage. In brief they are:-

    1. How do we value future public goods and natural assets relative to their value today?
    2. Is “commodifying” nature appropriate?
    3. The morality of technologies for mitigation or adaptation. For instance, fracking and GM crops.
    4. The role of national governments against multilateral treaties or international governing bodies. Also the consequent impacts on democracy.

    This is in addition to the economic cas. For instance, here that in the UK we are paying far more to mitigate each tonne of CO2 than the Stern’s estimated social cost of carbon of $85/tCO2 – just about the most extreme estimate available.
    Another level of criticism is that the “science” has been a tad over-Cooked.

  49. Mike Jonas says:

    IMHO everyone here has missed the most importabt point that Mike Hulme made : “As climate scientist Professor Myles Allen said in evidence to the committee, even the projections of the IPCC’s more prominent critics overlap with the bottom end of the range of climate changes predicted in the IPCC’s published reports.“.

    That overlap occurs at an ECS of 1.5. So we could move forward if we all – warmists and sceptics – got together and agreed on what we are going to do based on an ECS of 1.5. If and when there becomes agreement on a higher or lower ECS, we can work on that then. Etc.

    What that would achieve is a common approach based on a common agreement (of ECS ~= 1.5).

    The obvious way to start would be to work out what the risks are, given an ECS of 1.5. For example, if we burned all our reserves of fossil fuel at or a bit above the current rate (or at a different rate if agreed on), thus causing atmospheric CO2 to continue to increase at around the current rate (or at a different rate if agreed on), by how much would the temperature rise. How much of that rise would be beneficial, and after what point would it be harmful.? How harmful would it be, and thus how much is it worth spending to prevent it? Would preventative spending actually be effective? Alternatively, would adaptation be more cost-effective than prevention?

    My guess is that continuing to burn all our fossil fuel reserves would, at an ECS of 1.5, add rather less than 2 deg C to Earth’s temperature, and that anything up to 2 deg C is beneficial. That needs to be worked out properly, by the warmists and sceptics and policymakers all working together from the agreed premises. But if I’m right, then the answer to Mike Hulme’s most pressing question, “In the end, the only question that matters is, what are we going to do about it?” would be easily agreed on by everyone : Nothing.

  50. donaitkin says:

    Why is human activity ‘to blame’ for climate change? In the face of it, increasing temperature, at the level it has been occurring, is a benefit for humanity and virtually all life forms. Dr Hulme still has his AGW assumptions firmly in place, I think.

  51. TimTheToolMan says:

    “In the end, the only question that matters is, what are we going to do about it?”

    By not “doing anything” we are implicitly making the choice to react to any changes as they happen by adaptation. That is a perfectly sensible course of action given the current uncertainties IMO.

  52. Sceptical lefty says:

    JJ (above) is largely correct. Hulme is sensing a decisive change in the wind and is positioning himself accordingly — but not irrevocably. This has nothing to do with scientific ability and integrity, but everything to do with survival. He thinks he has seen which way the crowd is now headed and is trying to get out in front, crying “Follow me!” Smart political operators have always done this.

  53. Pamela Gray says:

    My take:
    He does not like Cook’s work because efforts spent to prove something makes it look like there is still something to prove. Thus detracting from the urgent message, “something must be done”. Mike Hulme is not arguing from reasoned thought about the consensus being real or not. He is arguing from the urgency of a political agenda: Sh** or get off the pot. He believes Cook is not up to speed and wishes him to go away, even though Cook is on his side.

    Your worst enemy is often a friend in political agenda circles.

  54. barrybrill says:

    “As climate scientist Professor Myles Allen said in evidence to the committee, even the projections of the IPCC’s more prominent critics overlap with the bottom end of the range of climate changes predicted in the IPCC’s published reports.”

    While correct, this statement is ass-about-face. The new IPCC published report (WG1) has decreased its projections so that they finally overlap with those which have been continuously advanced by ‘lukewarmers’.

    The bad news is that this progress was achieved only because the Stockholm plenary meeting felt compelled to reject the circulated outputs of the climate models, reducing them by 43% through the next 30 years. The CMIP5 models themselves were not corrected. They keep on spewing out figures that are not even acceptable to the IPCC. All scientific papers published during 2014 will be based on those rejected projections.

  55. cynical1 says:

    I think it’s wishful thinking on your behalf.

    “But merely enumerating the strength of consensus around the fact that humans cause climate change is largely irrelevant to the more important business of deciding what to do about it”.

    The science is settled. Now how do we deal with “Climate change” is Hulme’s message.

    No about turn or concessions there.

  56. ferdberple says:

    Human caused Climate Change is very much like Poverty. The solutions are much the same for both. If you believe that you can solve poverty through taxing the poor and thus encouraging them to become rich, you will believe you can solve Climate Change through taxes and regulation.

    Low cost energy is what makes modern life possible. Take away the low cost energy and you will create poverty. The cure is worse that the disease.

  57. ferdberple says:

    Use your opponents strength against them. It is the secret of martial arts. How to defeat the stronger opponent. It is the basis of Chinese foreign policy.

    The Chinese have made it very plain for anyone paying attention. The problem is that academics politicians in the US and EU are still dreaming up ways to spend money they don’t have, to solve problems 100 years in the future, as an excuse to ignore the problems of today. They ignore Chinese foreign policy, because they don’t understand it.

    Western culture believes you fight strength with strength. Thus we have the war on drugs, the war on poverty, and soon the war on climate change. These wars can never be won, because the economics of the “war” fuels the problem. A Sun Tzu taught 2500 years ago, politics decides the battle, but economics decides the war.

    If Western governments accept as legal fact that humans are causing climate change, and that climate change is harmful, then there is only one conclusion possible. The West owes the rest of the world hundreds of trillions of dollars in reparations for climate damages, caused by western industrialization over the past 150 years.

  58. Jim Clarke says:

    Mike Jonas says:
    February 4, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    “But if I’m right, then the answer to Mike Hulme’s most pressing question, “In the end, the only question that matters is, what are we going to do about it?” would be easily agreed on by everyone : Nothing.”

    Yes…you are exactly right. In a rational world, the obvious choice would be to do nothing about man-made climate change. That is even the logical conclusion of Mr Hulme’s argument. But Mr. Hulme is not really interested in logic or rationality. He is interested in persuasion and social engineering. Or more succinctly…power and control. One does not garner power and control by suggesting that nothing be done.

    To Mr. Hulme, the situation is irrelevant. Whatever it is, he will argue that something needs to be done about it and that he is just the man for the job!

  59. OmegaPaladin says:

    Well, the idea of scientific consensus is quite valid. It’s part of how we handle experimental error. You have to build up a base of evidence if you want to challenge an accepted theory. Theories are entirely built on consensus – do most people in the field view them as adequate explanations of data? Can the theory explain away possible contradictions in the view of most experts in the field? Data is absolute, explanation is relative.

    The issue with global warming consensus is that the theory is not persuading the skeptics. The proponents of the theory are trying to call consent before the debate has finished, hoping to just steamroller their opposition.

  60. dbstealey says:

    Omega Paladin says:

    “Well, the idea of scientific consensus is quite valid… Theories are entirely built on consensus…”

    No, theories are built entirely on being unfalsified, no matter how much scientists try to disprove them. It is the consensus that is destroyed when a theory is falsified.

    But when you write:

    “The issue with global warming consensus is that the theory is not persuading the skeptics. The proponents of the theory are trying to call consent before the debate has finished, hoping to just steamroller their opposition.”

    I agree 100% with that statement.

  61. tim maguire says:

    On one level, he’s right. The climate is changing, will change, and responsible planning will include preparing for it. That’s why it misses the point to talk about consensus, we should be talking about solutions.

    The big problem is, coming at it from his angle, he assumes the climate change will necessarily be hotter. Well, maybe it will and maybe it won’t. If humans are not the primary driver of climate change (and only a fool or a charlatan would say we are), than any plan must account for the fact that the change might as well be colder as warmer.

    If we spend ourselves silly fighting climate change because we thing we ARE the primary driver, or if we spend our money stupidly by preparing for only certain types of change (warmer), then we are leaving ourselves weaker and less able to defend against other kinds of change. It would be the Maginot Line of climate preparedness.

    Smart money will be spent on flexibility.

  62. davidg says:

    Yes, you are reading way too much into it. All that’s there is his recognition that the tactic isn’t working. Duh! Please don’t give him credit for anything else, it isn’t warranted the way I read what he actually says.

  63. davidg says:

    AndyJ Another one who doesn’t realize Galileo was wrong. So your point is pointless.

  64. Steve O says:

    Yes, what we are going to do about it is THE central question. And if the science is settled, then the climatologists can STFU and turn things over to the economists. Yes, that’s a scientific discipline as well.

    But of course, things aren’t “settled” so I guess we’ll keep them around. And of course, the climatologists would like to be the ones driving the bus. They think THEY should dictate policy, but that’s not how it works in the real world.

    I spend many years as a finance exec in the pharmaceutical industry. The scientists can do whatever they want to in the lab. They rule that kingdom. But if they decide they’d like to spend all the money in the checking account, and bet the future of the company on something that “97%” of them think is a sure thing, they have to go to the board for approval. Those who are in charge of the money make the decision on how to spend the money.

    For as much complaining you hear from climatologists about non-experts playing in their sandbox you’d think they would realize when they have wandered into someone else’s.

  65. Bill from Nevada says:

    There’s nothing “credible” about scam science. Period.

    People know what it is, they know other people know what it is,

    and the only people who think they don’t know what it is,

    are the people in politics and media, selling it.

  66. Bill from Nevada says:

    The thing about scam science is it always is perfectly transparent to some, then the more popularity it gets, the less believed in it gets, because so many people, have so many ways, to check so few fundamental laws of science in physical law.

    Gas mechanics are the simplest phase of matter. I don’t care and neither does anyone who understands matter, how many people claim it’s all too complicated to understand.

    Multiple people using multiple methods have discerned the alternating 20/30 year cycle approximation in climate while they have a hard time getting anything said.

    Multiple people told the purveyors of this scam science, using computer modeling to invert the effects of the atmospheric temperature response curves, it wasn’t real, from the very beginning.

    James Hansen back in the earliest days of this was having credible honest people say outright, that he was a snake oil salesman in just about, that many words. He was known for peddling bunkus even back then.

    Mann’s testimony before Congress that yeah, “the world is gonna end and you have to listen to me, but I can’t show my data around because it might have later commercial value”

    is practically a line from a movie about scamming con men.

    The fact politicians and media figures have tried to sell this entire pseudo-scientific scam isn’t a negative reflection on those of us who told everyone from the beginning it would never be as accurate as tossing coins.

    It’s the reflection on those who sold it, who hawked it, who believed in it and mocked everyone to scorn they could.

    People en masse don’t fall for scam science. Government sells it and people have it forced down their throats.

    People simply aren’t as gullible as politicians and media people wish they were and hope they are.

  67. Bill from Nevada says:

    P.r.e.c.i.s.e.l.y.
    ============================
    NikFromNYC says:

    February 4, 2014 at 11:21 am
    We unencumbered outsiders are the scientifically and technically trained proven experts, slowly but successfully exposing not mere mistakes but shear fraud at the very core of climate “science”

  68. D Cage says:

    What matters is not whether the climate is changing (it is);

    But not as even an undergrad engineer could conclusively prove by less than the amount it has varied in much earlier periods well pre industrialisation.

  69. harrywr2 says:

    Very few would care whether or not climate alarmists were right or wrong if the ‘policy solution’ was cheaper then doing nothing…Ohh wait…in the US the price of natural gas is such that many utilities prefer burning gas rather then coal because it’s ‘cheaper’…one of the reasons the US leads the world in emissions reductions.

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