Climate Craziness of the Week: Peer reviewed paper says it’s OK to manipulate data, exaggerate climate claims

Noble cause corruption gone wild. People tend to think of scientists as being unbiased, in climate science, apparently if you aren’t biased, you aren’t doing useful work.

From CFACT: A new peer-reviewed paper published in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, titled “Information Manipulation and Climate Agreements”, is openly advocating that global warming proponents engage in mendacious claims in order to further their cause.

The paper appears to openly advocate “information manipulation” to further the cause of man-made global warming and “enhance global welfare.”

The authors, Assistant Professors of Economics Fuhai Hong and Xiaojian Zhao, note how the media and environmental groups “exaggerate” global warming and then offer their paper to “provide a rationale for this tendency” to exaggerate for the good of the cause.

The paper was published on February 24, 2014.

The author’s boldly note in the abstract of the study that the “news media and some pro-environmental have the tendency to accentuate or even exaggerate the damage caused by climate change. This article provides a rationale for this tendency.”

“We find that the information manipulation has an instrumental value, as it ex post induces more countries to participate in an IEA (International Environmental Agreement) which will eventually enhance global welfare.”

The authors of the paper, Fuhai Hong is an assistant professor in the Division of Economics, Nanyang Technological University. Xiaojian Zhao is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

The complete Abstract of the paper is reproduced below:

###

The paper:

Information Manipulation and Climate Agreements

  1. Fuhai Hong and Xiaojian Zhao

+ Author Affiliations


  1. Fuhai Hong is an assistant professor in the Division of Economics, Nanyang Technological University. Xiaojian Zhao is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
  1. Correspondence may be sent to: fhhong@ntu.edu.sg.
  1. The authors thank Larry Karp, Madhu Khanna, Jinhua Zhao, two anonymous referees, and participants in the Conference on Global Environmental Challenges: the Role of China for their helpful comments.

Abstract

It appears that news media and some pro-environmental organizations have the tendency to accentuate or even exaggerate the damage caused by climate change. This article provides a rationale for this tendency by using a modified International Environmental Agreement (IEA) model with asymmetric information. We find that the information manipulation has an instrumental value, as it ex post induces more countries to participate in an IEA, which will eventually enhance global welfare. From the ex ante perspective, however, the impact that manipulating information has on the level of participation in an IEA and on welfare is ambiguous.

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124 Responses to Climate Craziness of the Week: Peer reviewed paper says it’s OK to manipulate data, exaggerate climate claims

  1. leon0112 says:

    Wow. Next time someone throws the phrase “peer reviewed literature” at me, I will point to this one.

  2. John says:

    Whatever happened to personal integrity?

  3. Eustace Cranch says:

    Uh, missing an apostrophe in the headline…

  4. Bloke down the pub says:

    Are they advocating it or just saying ‘hey man, sh*t happens’

  5. Curious George says:

    China will now dramatically reduce its CO2 emissions.

  6. Dire Wolf says:

    Let’s parse this. A paper from China (which will never, ever restrict its CO2 output) says that it is good to manipulate the media (that is the media outside of China) to “[induce] more countries to participate in an IEA” which will cripple the industries of those countries leaving China untouched and unrivaled. So, how much is the chinese equivalent of the KGB paying them?

  7. Mike Bromley the Kurd says:

    Another making of a silk purse into a sow’s ear…no…wait….

  8. jauntycyclist says:

    manipulation is so common , entrenched, accepted and expected in climate science it has its own study? maybe it should become a subject with its own faculty that rates climate papers on a beerosphere-o-meter?

  9. Eustace Cranch says:

    Fixed! Thank you.

  10. Peter Hanely says:

    “Its ok to lie to people for their own good.” Typical left wingnut rationalization.

  11. cnxtim says:

    These CAGW devotees have made criminal behavior a science

  12. rabbit says:

    One of the best ways for a science to lose public credibility is to make a lot of wild predictions which then don’t bear out. This is what is happening with climatology.

    And their solution? Even more apocalyptic predictions.

    Drinking for sobriety, I call it.

  13. jauntycyclist says:

    lets face it no western university would have funded this kind of ‘shoot yourself in the head’ research. This paper could have been written 10 years ago

  14. Doug Proctor says:

    Chinese: possible live grenade for the warmist camp disguised as support. A “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him” , but in reverse.

  15. wws says:

    DELETED – Like so forget it, man. ~ Evan

  16. Carl F says:

    At what point does exaggeration become lying?
    Liberals have long held that a lie told to further their cause is justified. The surprise is that anyone would actually come out an say it so clearly.
    Sadly, I stopped trusting “scientists” a long time ago. They are just politicians in white lab coats. Trust no long has any place in our polarized society. Reagan said “trust but verify”. Now it is more appropriate to doubt everything until you have verified it yourself.

  17. son of mulder says:

    I’d love to see their references.

  18. JimS says:

    Such stupidity – the first principle of propaganda is never admit that it is propaganda.

  19. Peter Miller says:

    The end justifies the means.

    It is all right to lie and exaggerate to achieve your goal.

    Well, such is climate science, which practices the same methodology as all the -ism leaders of the last century. In other words, it’s OK for the black hatted guys to do stuff, which is definitely not allowed for the good guys.

  20. more soylent green! says:

    Politics has always involved using extremes to motivate people. Emphasize the worst case scenario for a problem (real or imagined), play-up the best case scenario for your solution and downplay the criticism of detractors.

    This paper further reinforces the observation that climate change activists aren’t scientists.

  21. michael hart says:

    Following the link, I also get a CFACT survey on global warming. Despite only five questions and three answer options per question it seems quite good.

  22. mpainter says:

    It is well that such a paper publicly says what many privately believe.Such extremism will be the undoing of the movement. Staggering that it was published in such a journal. What rot.

  23. AnonyMoose says:

    They’re saying that exaggeration happens, and they’re not judging whether it is wrong, but the distorted information can increase participation in environmental agreements, and that end result is always good. They seem to be assuming that environmental agreements always have good results for the general welfare, and anything which enhances the general welfare is good. (Are “general welfare” and “enhance” defined?)

  24. Barry Cullen says:

    This from the little despots in training in leadership positions descended from despot Mao and friends. Not surprising. Anything to gain and maintain control over a populace is acceptable.
    The “peer” reviewers must, by definition, share similar political views.

  25. Col Mosby says:

    Thru this published paper, we have acheved total corruption of a scientific discipline. I wonder if these two brainless authors realize the contradiction implicit in their argument : Claim that something not dangerous is dangerous, to induce folks to take actions to prevent this (non-dangerous) something.

  26. Sweet Old Bob says:

    @ Dire Wolf at 8:30 am
    EXACTLY! And some will be stupid enough to comply…

  27. markstoval says:

    “Peer reviewed paper says it’s OK to manipulate data, exaggerate climate claims”

    It is good to see the climate “scientists” admit they have been doing this since they have been doing it for at least 30 years. It is good for them to tell us that their “science” is all fiction. We knew it all along, but it is damn nice to get peer-reviewed conformation on that issue.

    Modern “climate science” is pure baloney.

  28. chinook says:

    They’re just following the now fashionable Post Modern Scientific Method that’s become pervasive, esp in America. In order for the ersatz religion of ‘environmentalism’ and climatchondria to spread far and wide like the plagues of mentally impaired rationalizing that they are, anything goes. Possibly, real scientists who believe in the scientific method, the honest ones who leave advocacy, politics and dogma out of their work will slowly turn the tide back.

  29. Mark 543 says:

    You have misread the paper, or have not read it. By “rationale” they mean a rational explanation for the observed phenomena, not a moral justification for the behavior. The paper goes on to say “However, because people update their beliefs using the Bayesian rule, such information manipulation has a negative externality on the other state when climate damage is really huge, in which case the aforementioned information provider will not be sufficiently trusted even if it indicates the true state.” In other words, crying wolf leads to greater skepticism.

    The paper also makes serious claims about errors in Al Gore’s film and an earlier IPCC report.

  30. a jones says:

    Houses built on sand.

    I have seen this parasitic mendacity grow and flourish on the wealth created by our ancestors in my lifetime but doubt it will last: it is simply the fashion of the times.

    Who said ‘two vast and trunkless legs of stone..’

    It is sad to live out my remaining days in such a gloomy fin de siecle air amongst the politicos, the literatie, the commentariat and all the rest. Who do not understand how bright the future is.

    And that they will be swept away by the advance of technology., even China could not stop that despite all its attempts to do so,

    The age of the mandarins is almost over for all that they do not understand it.

    It will be a brave new world. Of that I am certain.

    Kindest Regards

  31. jauntycyclist says:

    “A type I error, also known as an error of the first kind, occurs when the null hypothesis (H0) is true, but is rejected. It is asserting something that is absent, a false hit. A type I error may be compared with a so-called false positive (a result that indicates that a given condition is present when it actually is not present) in tests where a single condition is tested for. Type I errors are philosophically a focus of skepticism and Occam’s razor. A Type I error occurs when we believe a falsehood.[4] In terms of folk tales, an investigator may be “crying wolf” without a wolf in sight (raising a false alarm) (H0: no wolf).”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_positive#Type_I_error

  32. Kind of reminds of this:

    “To do that we need to get some broadbased support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, entails getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This ‘double ethical bind’ we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.” – Stephen Schneider

    In both cases, it is concluded that being effective can only be achieved by being dishonest. Of course, us “regular” folks at whom all these messages are being directed are obviously misinterpreting these people.

  33. Resourceguy says:

    This is yet another test of the true believers. Anyone that so much as flinches in the face of the absurdity tests is not a true believer, right Richard Tol? I’m sure Pol Pot had his tests also.

  34. Pieter F. says:

    Harkens back to [Maurice] Strong’s intent for the IPCC and the plan set out in “The First Global Revolution,” in which global warming was seen as “a new enemy to unite nations” whether it be “real or imagined,” it is “suitable for the purpose.” It only underscores the Progressive Collectivism foundation of the movement and its adoption of the Alinsky tactics of “the end justifies the means.”
    The authors reside in the PRC,correct? So does Strong.

  35. Damian says:

    If by global welfare you mean a poverty stricken globe addicted to dependency programs doled out by an unaccountable polical/wealthy elite, then yes this crap will promote global welfare.

  36. Brian says:

    Economists are not scientists…

  37. ConfusedPhoton says:

    I always thought that data manipulation and exaggeration were central to climate “science”.
    It uses blind faith and zealotry, just like other religions.

  38. pochas says:

    “openly advocating that global warming proponents engage in mendacious claims in order to further their cause.”

    We’ve become a nation of sharks, just swimming around looking for a chance to take a bite out of the next guy.

  39. hunter says:

    Every embezzler, con-artist, and ponzi scheme promoter rationalizes their crimes the in a similar way.
    Peter Gleick did it, and has been widely praised by true believers.
    AGW social dysfunction is truly corrosive on morals, ethics, character and honesty.

  40. pottereaton says:

    “We find that the information manipulation has an instrumental value, as it ex post induces more countries to participate in an IEA (International Environmental Agreement) which will eventually enhance global welfare.”

    Yes, but what if the Agreement then is based on “information manipulation,” i.e. disinformation or manipulated science?

    Forgive me for stating the obvious: if it’s propaganda, it’s not science.

    What are these guys? Maoists?

  41. Aphan says:

    Hang on a moment, I hate it when the AGW crowd says something about a paper that the paper itself doesnt actually say. We also wouldn’t to be guilty of “exaggerating” the claims in this paper would we?

    The “article” (as opposed to a study) as represented above does NOT say anything about scientists manipulating data or using corrupt methods in scientific studies. It speaks to how the MEDIA and environmental groups manipulate and exaggerate “the damage done by climate change” to further their agendas.

    Those are two very different things and I think we on the sceptical side of things need to be just as careful with how accurately we reflect the conclusions of papers we dont agree with as we are the ones we do.

  42. crabalocker says:

    “The more things change, the more they remain… insane.”-Michael Fry and T. Lewis

  43. Ralph Kramden says:

    Alarmists have been doing this for some time. That’s why they have no credibility.

  44. tgasloli says:

    What would you expect from Chinese Communists? This is why the “greens” should be considered “watermelons”.

  45. Louis says:

    Would it be okay for skeptics to exaggerate the negative effects of reducing CO2 in the atmosphere? Or does it only go one way?

  46. urederra says:

    son of mulder says:
    April 4, 2014 at 8:41 am

    I’d love to see their references.

    LOL, me too.

    We can play the guess game… Which papers do you thick they use as reference?

    The hockey stick one can be one, the Steig Arctantica temps reconstruction another one…

  47. CaligulaJones says:

    So, from peer review of replicable results, we go to grey and bleeding edge literature, to making !#$% up, all in one generation.

    Seems it was just yesterday when warmists tried to walk back and parse Stephen Schneider’s statement about manipulating data.

    One way of measuring how biased you are is to ask yourself: what if the other side did this, would I accept it?

    Would a warmist allow an Exxon executive with an MBA author a climate study? Would a warmist allow a Koch to make stuff up to downplay warming?

    Indeed…

  48. jauntycyclist says:

    ‘In politics, a noble lie is a myth or untruth, often, but not invariably, of a religious nature, knowingly told by an elite to maintain social harmony or to advance an agenda.’

    “In The Power of Nightmares, documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis opines that “Strauss believed it was for politicians to assert powerful and inspiring myths that everyone could believe in. They might not be true, but they were necessary illusions.”

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

    ie participating in ‘necessary illusions’ is a noble duty

  49. urederra says:

    Louis says:
    April 4, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Would it be okay for skeptics to exaggerate the negative effects of reducing CO2 in the atmosphere? Or does it only go one way?

    Or we can exaggerate the positive effects of increasing CO2. E.g. If CO2 levels are doubled, crops will grow 25% more.

    … oh, wait, that actually happens.

  50. Pete says:

    Re …
    ” jauntycyclist says:
    “April 4, 2014 at 8:34 am

    “manipulation is so common , entrenched, accepted and expected in climate science it has its own study?”
    ____________
    Manipulation starts at the top … political leadership, regardless of national boundaries.

    The political class are masters at manipulating the public. Is it any wonder many in the so-called “climate science” community have adopted political manipulative processes?

    Face it … it works, up to a point, as we’ve seen. In this case, well beyond the usual point because many politicians jumped on board since it serves their selfish purposes.

    But with facts and truth, transparency such as that offered by WUWT and others should eventually carry the day with the message that science is, after all, a search for truth, not a power grab or personal big $ gain.

  51. Crispin in Waterloo but really in Johannesburg says:

    @Peter Hanely

    One thing leads to another.

    It’s not OK to lie.
    It’s OK to lie to people for their own good.
    It’s OK to lie to people for my own good because I am going to help them.
    It’s OK to lie to people for my own good.

  52. Kevin Hilde says:

    Anthony, have you read the paper itself or only the abstract?

    There may be some confusion on the use of the word “rationale.”
    It seems all together too common for folks to confuse “explaining behavior” with “attempting to justify behavior.” They are NOT the same.

    “Enhance global welfare” may refer to the motivations of the exaggerators as opposed to the beliefs of the study authors.

    Without having read the paper itself, it seems far more likely to me that by highlighting the behavior, explaining its purpose and pointing out its practitioners, these authors’ intention is actually to expose the corruption for all to see.

    IOW, they’re likely the good guys.

  53. jauntycyclist says:

    one warmer is discounting this study because they say the authors are not ‘climate scientists’ and in their view the news reports err on the side of caution lol

    which kinda makes sense if you think its already ‘too late’ and only massive extermination of humans will reduce co2.

  54. Berényi Péter says:

    “We find that the information manipulation has an instrumental value, as it ex post induces more countries to participate in an IEA (International Environmental Agreement) which will eventually enhance global welfare.”

    The notion truth has an intrinsic value and it is not a “social construct”, but something given is deeply entrenched in western tradition. So much so, that as soon as “information manipulation” (i.e. lying) is detected, all “instrumental value” is lost in a whiff. I do not know much about other ethical &. epistemic traditions, but this tenacious western attitude led to tremendous success, which surely could not go unnoticed by others.

  55. ossqss says:

    Try that method of operation with the IRS.

    This is the poster child for the climate alarm handbook.

  56. Tim Walker says:

    The names of the authors of this paper and their location in China make me think of how western civilization will fall. The Chinese will encourage all the world through various means to madly purse the religion of AGW. Meanwhile politicians will madly inflate the need to do something about AGW, Which will mean more money for their green supporters and more taxes to turn around and spend on the burgeoning poor. There will be more poor to vote for their corrupt politicians and eventually China will rule the world.

    I hope this is just a bad joke.

  57. littlepeaks says:

    April Fool’s? Oh, wait. It’s April 4.

  58. ossqss says:

    Sorry, ……..

  59. Mike Maguire says:

    They start out with the assumption that catastrophic anthropogenic global warming is real.

    Would this be the same position if CO2 was not seen as pollution and was seen as contributing to trillions in agricultural benefits as well as mostly beneficial warming so far?

    This means that CAGW does not have to be proven with science, all that is needed is for enough people with influence to believe it and join forces to impose their beliefs using whatever means is necessary.

    Didn’t Nazi Germany have the same sort of mindset?????

  60. Theo Goodwin says:

    Alarmist Climate Science holds the belief that if some method, usually statistical or simulation, can establish some connection between manmade CO2 and rising temperature or extreme weather then it is both successful and valid as science. Never mind how unusual or poorly understood the method is. They are totally averse to critical examination of their work. This paper simply endorses standard operating procedure among Alarmists.

  61. Katou says:

    I watched this presentation by Patrick Wood and found that it answered my question of just who is behind this AGW crap ..Well Mr. Wood lays it out nicely and you can even check the members list to this organization to find the culprit or institution near you ..Oh it’s the Trilateral Commission .. http://www.augustforecast.com/ If a mod could embed this vid it would be nice ….peace

  62. Kevin Hilde says:

    To further my comment which is stuck in moderation …

    A dispassionate third party may well clinically observe that Fred’s decision to hire a hit man to kill his wife after discovering his possession of the winning lottery ticket “has an instrumental value.”

    Such dispassionate observation would not have been offered as a “defense” of the action.

    Again, there may well be a confusion on the use of the word “rationale,” and I repeat that “explanation” and “justification” are two very different things.

  63. philjourdan says:

    How can you peer review an opinion? That is not a scientific paper, it is a manifesto for deception.

  64. Ralph Kramden says:
    April 4, 2014 at 9:17 am
    Alarmists have been doing this for some time.
    ————
    I agree with Mr Kramden! The warmunist apparatchiks have been doing this from the jump; they need no such exhortation.

    To the moon CFACT!

  65. Mike M says:

    “We find that the information manipulation has an instrumental value, as it ex post induces more countries to participate in an IEA, which will eventually enhance global welfare. ”

    Draft prior to publication –
    “We find that the information manipulation has an instrumental value, as it ex post induces more countries to participate in an IEA, which will eventually enhance China’s economy.

  66. Jimbo says:

    The instructions for exaggeration, manipulation and downright lies was given at earlier times. But first this:

    “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”
    H. L. Mencken

    On the one hand, as scientists we are ethically bound to the scientific method, in effect promising to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but – which means that we must include all doubts, the caveats, the ifs, ands and buts. On the other hand, we are not just scientists but human beings as well. And like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.
    – Prof. Stephen Schneider

    http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Mediarology/Mediarology.html

    —————————————————–
    “I believe it is appropriate to have an ‘over-representation’ of the facts on how dangerous it is, as a predicate for opening up the audience.”
    – Al Gore
    —————————————————–
    “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.”
    – Timothy Wirth,
    President of the UN Foundation
    —————————————————–
    “The data doesn’t matter. We’re not basing our recommendations on the data. We’re basing them on the climate models.”
    – Prof. Chris Folland,
    Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research
    —————————————————–
    “The models are convenient fictions that provide something very useful.”
    – Dr David Frame,
    climate modeler, Oxford University
    —————————————————–
    “It doesn’t matter what is true, it only matters what people believe is true.”
    – Paul Watson,
    co-founder of Greenpeace
    —————————————————–
    “The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.”
    – emeritus professor Daniel Botkin
    —————————————————–
    “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis…”
    – David Rockefeller,
    Club of Rome executive member

    http://green-agenda.com/

    But how could they get away with this flexible settled science? Here is one way.
    Abstract
    Between these conflicting tendencies, 12 projections show drier annual conditions by the 2060s and 13 show wetter. These results are obtained from sixteen global general circulation models downscaled with different combinations of dynamical methods……

    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/JCLI-D-12-00766.1

    Take your pick, publish a paper, trumpet the headlines, ask for more money. What a load of garbage Climastrology is.

  67. fretslider says:

    That is

    Manntastic – Adjective; Imaginative or fanciful; remote from reality:

  68. Frank K. says:

    mpainter says:
    April 4, 2014 at 8:48 am

    “It is well that such a paper publicly says what many privately believe.Such extremism will be the undoing of the movement. Staggering that it was published in such a journal. What rot.”

    I used to believe that left wing extremism would be obvious to normal folks, and would make people wake up and do something. But I’m less optimistic than ever…look what is happening around us. CEOs being forced to resign for their beliefs on marriage?!! How long, then, will it be before a business leader is forced to resign because he/she doesn’t tow the line on Global Warming fear mongering??? Left wing zealots are now calling for people to be jailed because of their beliefs on Global Warming…

  69. Jimbo says:

    On Stephen Schneider

    So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.”
    – Prof. Stephen Schneider

    http://stephenschneider.stanford.edu/Mediarology/Mediarology.html

    What I want to ask Warmists s is what do you do if you can’t be effective by being honest? I think we see the results today. Schneider’s “double ethical bind” is no longer a bind, Warmists have chosen to be dishonest when they can’t do both. This is the sad reality of where we are today with CAGW.

  70. I think it has been obvious to everyone on WUWT, that this has been going on for years. The Earth turning into Venus, Aliens invading us because we have neglected the planet, extinct bees etc etc.What is particularly galling is that:
    a) They call it science.
    b) They treat the general public as fools who deserve to be patronised.
    c) They actually now boast about being liars and cheats

    My guess is that other branches of “science” will do and have done exactly the same thing. My suspicions are on the Health Police first, with their finger wagging, nanny knows what is best for us attitude. The fact that a recent study totally contradicts that belief that saturated fat causes heart disease and strokes supports my view.

    Common sense as always, triumphs!

  71. kenw says:

    Mark 543 says:
    April 4, 2014 at 8:57 am
    and Aphan said a bit later…..

    I tend to agree. It isn’t what we (most) assume it to be. Some of the abstract appears to suffer from ESL errors and that only adds to the confusion. In all seriousness, I believe they are on ‘our’ side here. Altho I could be wrong. It happens…..

  72. elmer says:

    This shows that the Warmists ultimate goal is a World Communistic style Government. They tried in 2009 in Copenhagen but luckily Cimategate derailed their efforts. They hope to sign a treaty in France next year so that is why they are beating the global warming drums with ever increasing intensity this year to scare the world into singing on, regardless of what the weather is doing.

  73. Taphonomic says:

    For the good of the cause…

  74. Gerry says:

    Um … you realize I linked to this – in comments here – weeks ago?

  75. Bruce Cobb says:

    Lying works. Yeah, we knew that. That’s why they do it. Sooner or later though, the lies catch up to them.

  76. Magma says:

    I thought you guys patented that tactic years ago?

    Anyway, as already noted by Mark543, Aphan and Kevin Hilde, most commenters here have misunderstood the technical language of the abstract.

  77. Frank K. says:

    Kevin Hilde says:
    April 4, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Your point is well taken. In fact, lying for the cause of global warming is nothing new. Left wing extremists in the environmental movement have been doing it for years…

  78. Steve C says:

    Ah, I think I understand.

    “Fuhai Hong is an assistant professor in the Division of Economics, Nanyang Technological University. Xiaojian Zhao is an assistant professor in the Department of Economics, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.”

    A couple of economics types, eh? So remind me, someone, please, how has the world economy been faring, oh, let’s say for the last six or seven years, just as a quick check on the soundness of the thought processes displayed by typical economists?

    Mmm. Thought so.

  79. NikFromNYC says:

    It’s O.K. to lie and cheat in order to invoke worldwide artificial energy rationing that amounts to genocide. Yes, if you are a psychopathic cult!

  80. benofhouston says:

    As several people have stated, it appears that something was lost in translation, or moreover, something quite sinister was gained in the translation of the abstract. The tone of the paper appears to be analytical of the philosophy and the effect of exaggerations, while the abstract is overtly neutral but due to the undertones of a single word (rationale, which has the implicit meaning of support or justification rather than “thought process”, which is it’s dictionary definition), supports the use of deception in science.

  81. ratfart6 says:

    What they are really saying, is what liberals believe:
    THE ENDS JUSTIFIES THE MEANS.
    This obviates the need for honesty and legalizes lying, in the liberal mind.

  82. u.k.(us) says:

    Talk about air brakes.

    Cool pic at the link.

    Found here:

    http://www.theospark.net/

  83. Rob says:

    Well, not sure about the paper, but it seems as though the authors are reporting on the effect of exaggeration/lying, not endorsing it. This is backed up by comments from some people who have read the paper as well.

    It looks like these people are applying something referred to in economics as “principal agent theory” where an agent uses asymmetric information to convince a principal into a position for the benefit of the agent. This is something economists have theorized about, but don’t often have real world data. Applying this to climate science through the signing of an international environmental agreement, is something they can measure directly, although even in the abstract they make the point that signing up is one thing – actually implementing it is something else.

    I don’t read this as supporting the activities when they say that the IEA’s are a good thing, only that they consider the agent sees the IEA as a good thing and therefore is using the asymmetric information (in this case lying about impacts).

  84. Bruce Cobb says:

    Magma says:
    Wrong. The truth just happens to be on our side, so lies are not needed. The Warmist ideology is based on a giant lie, and they have to keep lying in a desperate effort to prop it up. Sadly for them, it’s not working.

  85. Bruce Cobb says:

    Stephen Schneider gave climate scientists the go-ahead to lie way back in 1988:
    like most people we’d like to see the world a better place, which in this context translates into our working to reduce the risk of potentially disastrous climate change. To do that we need to get some broad based support, to capture the public’s imagination. That, of course, means getting loads of media coverage. So we have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of any doubts we might have. This “double ethical bind” we frequently find ourselves in cannot be solved by any formula. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest. I hope that means being both.
    True, he hoped they wouldn’t have to lie.

  86. John Boles says:

    But still, most people embrace the notion that “you will have to pry my nice/improving lifestyle from my cold dead hands” and most people in the world know about media sensationalism, so they do not worry about AGW or even climate change.

  87. Gunga Din says:

    The end justifies the means has just been justified by whatever means necessary.

  88. peterg says:

    The paper appears to openly advocates …

    I don’t think that is proper grammar. Its OK to split the infinitive, but “advocates”?

  89. Marlo Lewis says:

    Mark, I just read the paper — or the non-mathematical portions of it. You are correct, the authors acknowledge that “information manipulation” can boomerang and discredit the exaggerator. But their argument on that point is weird. Translating: If you get caught exaggerating how bad climate change is, then people won’t trust you when climate change turns out to be as bad as you said. That makes little sense.

    Gore warns that “If Greenland melted or broke up and slipped into the sea — or if half of Greenland and half of Antarctica melted or broke up and slipped into the sea, sea levels worldwide would increase by between 18 and 20 feet,” the “maps of the world would have to be redrawn,” and hundreds of millions of people living in the world’s great coastal cities “would have to be evacuated,” “would be forced to move,” and “would be displaced.” Obviously, if any of that actually came to pass, Gore’s status as a visionary, world leader, and spokesman for “The Science” would go way up.

    What makes this study deeply silly is all the formal mathematics deployed to package “information manipulation” as some great discovery, when we all know, as Jimbo points out, quoting Mencken, that fear-mongering and deception are staples of the political art.

    Maybe the most important thing the study reveals is that in the People’s Republic, scholars must go through periphrastic contortions if they wish to discuss the uses and limitations of propaganda.

  90. Apoxonbothyourhouses says:

    Think about it; not different from what Prof. Johnson of UWA is doing. Manipulating data and preventing investigation of data that may have been manipulated are much the same.

  91. Chuck Nolan says:

    Talk about a confusing abstract!
    “We find that the information manipulation has an instrumental value, as it ex post induces more countries to participate in an IEA, which will eventually enhance global welfare.”
    Translate: Lying will eventually help the cause. Very progressive/socialist indeed!

    Then they continue:
    “From the ex ante perspective, however, the impact that manipulating information has on the level of participation in an IEA and on welfare is ambiguous.”

    If we reorder the statements to a before and after:
    We find that from the ex ante perspective the impact that manipulating information has on the level of participation in an IEA and on welfare is ambiguous.
    However, the information manipulation has an instrumental value, as it ex post induces more countries to participate in an IEA, which will eventually enhance global welfare.

    How does this work? Is ex ante before they print a lying article in the LA Times or NY Times and ex post the enhanced global welfare after it’s printed?

    Are they telling the press that because it’s ambiguous, you may not be able to identify how it will help before you lie but, go ahead and lie because it will eventually help “The Cause”?

    WUWT?
    My understanding must be wrong.
    cn

  92. Gunga Din says:

    Honesty. I once heard someone say something to the effect that the problem with lying is that you have to remember what you said. These guys seem to have forgotten what they had said or hope that the people have forgotten.
    We need to keep reminding people what the liars had said.

  93. Duster says:

    pottereaton says:
    April 4, 2014 at 9:14 am
    ***
    What are these guys? Maoists?

    Fair warning. This comment is likely to be regarded as very un-PC. China has a lo-o-o-ng and dubious history of “editing” history dynastically. Each time a dynasty lost the “mandate of heaven” the succeeding dynasty tended seriously prune the surviving history to limit or modify views of the past. They are far from unique in this way, but probably have the best documented history of rewriting history to meet whatever current critical view of the past was dominant. The Egyptian civilization also was extremely thorough at excising past embarrassing or “inappropriate” episodes. Even at present, the only truly viable definition of “history” is: fiction with foot notes.

  94. sonofametman says:

    Peter Hanley: you suggest that the notion that “Its ok to lie to people for their own good.” is a ‘Typical left wingnut rationalization’.
    I disagree.
    Such a phenomenon is much older, and it isn’t left or any wing political. It’s thousands of years old, and it’s called religion.
    Somehow we don’t seem to have grown out of it.

  95. C.M. Carmichael says:

    “asymmetric information” is that what bullsh#t is called now?

  96. David of the Norh says:

    @Mark 543 et al: I’m with you. The abstract has been misunderstood. Here is my take on the abstract as written:

    My translation is that “the tendency to accentuate or even exaggerate the damage caused by climate change” is ONLY effective if that accentuation or exaggeration comes to pass (ex post). True with every exaggeration…. “see, I told you so”.

    If on the other hand, the accentuation or exaggeration DOES NOT comes to pass (ex ante) then the effect is rather ambiguous.

    They obviously know their stuff. Most people who are not involved in following the AGW saga don’t remember the details of the BS being put out. Rather they just remember that they heard someplace it was bad but “nothing seems to have happened yet” so they just go on with their lives but feeling a little uneasy about it all…… “ambiguous”.

    Others do remember the exaggerations however. And when they don’t come to pass, “The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf” is the model for those who do……. “you exaggerated or lied many times before, why should I believe you now”.

    Why can’t these people use plain english. I consider myself to have a good comprehension of written English but to me the abstract is very difficult to interpret.

  97. 1957chev says:

    The problem with lying, is that once you’ve been exposed for lying, most people will not trust your word in the future. Liars suffer from the boy who cried wolf syndrome…LOL! When the alarmists start their fear mongering, people yawn, and say, ya, whatever. You have to win back people’s trust, and that won’t be easy.

  98. Hoser says:

    Perhaps now publishing a research paper should also require a notarized signature indicating truthful reporting under penalty of perjury? Or perhaps if you publish deliberate misrepresentations of facts and information gathered using public funds, you should be charged either with fraud, or misuse of government funds.

    When we tolerate scientists like the miscreant subject of this post, the public then lose trust in all scientists.

  99. Chad Wozniak says:

    We’ve always known these people were mendacious and fundamentally amoral – no surprise here. The whole leftist/environmentalist meme always has been.

    This is far from the first time the corruption of global warming alarmism has been so baldly exposed – inter alia, the several Climategates have already done a pretty good job of that, as have the Senate hearings where the alarmist witnesses so transparently lied their heads off.

  100. I haven’t read the full paper, but the abstract does not say that one should engage in such data manipulation. It says that ex post it can have a good result, ex ante the results are ambiguous.

    Given the assumption—that policy to prevent warming is a good thing—that sounds like a pretty straightforward argument. Lying to people for their own good may be morally wrong, but it isn’t obvious that it never works.

  101. DirkH says:

    Aphan says:
    April 4, 2014 at 9:16 am
    “Hang on a moment, I hate it when the AGW crowd says something about a paper that the paper itself doesnt actually say. We also wouldn’t to be guilty of “exaggerating” the claims in this paper would we?

    The “article” (as opposed to a study) as represented above does NOT say anything about scientists manipulating data or using corrupt methods in scientific studies.”

    Yes, but they don’t need to. We have already caught them. Enter the USA’s finest (history rewriters); NASA:

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/hansen-changed-the-world-in-2000/

  102. drumphil says:

    “Even at present, the only truly viable definition of “history” is: fiction with foot notes.”

    So why do you refer to history at all if it really is just fiction with foot notes?

    Not all history is fiction. Not all history is accurate.

  103. DirkH says:

    Doug Proctor says:
    April 4, 2014 at 8:39 am
    “Chinese: possible live grenade for the warmist camp disguised as support. A “I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him” , but in reverse.”

    Good idea. Much Sun Tsu.

  104. Alan Robertson says:

    I expected to see The Pacific Institute referenced in the paper’s abstract, because this has the look of Peter Gleick’s fine body of work.

  105. matayaya says:

    The comments to this post are a little like folks interpreting an abstract painting in a museum, everyone has an individual take. The abstract may have been ambiguous but the headline introducing the post was a mischaracterization. This was an opinion piece, not a peer reviewed paper. Take it all with a grain of salt.

  106. Dudley Horscroft says:

    Don’t know about you, but to me the following suggests it was ‘peer reviewed’. Elsewise what were the referees doing?

    “The authors thank Larry Karp, Madhu Khanna, Jinhua Zhao, two anonymous referees, and participants in the Conference on Global Environmental Challenges: the Role of China for their helpful comments.”

  107. Alec Rawls says:

    Well, many Chinese are still communist and commies are people of the left. This is the way their minds work. They think backwards. Instead of following reason and evidence they start with the conclusion they think must be right and find excuses to ignore contrary reason and evidence while exaggerating supporting reason and evidence.

    They certainly can be effective propagandists, but as soon as a person abandons reason in support of what he believes to be right, it is guaranteed that his presumptions about what is right are going to be wrong. Reality does not care what anybody thinks. It goes its own way, and the only way to discern it is by following reason and evidence. Anyone who isn’t doing that will make fifty wrong turns in the first mile. It is simply not possible to IMAGINE where reality is going to go. You have to follow it.

    Yet these “economists” are presuming that people who ignore sound reasoning in order to support pre-formed conclusions will nevertheless be putting forward policies that “enhance global welfare.” IMPOSSIBLE. Backwards thinkers ideas about what is right will be systematically wrong. That is the nature of the left and why it is always such a disaster. Think Obamacare, or working for four years to install the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of al Qaeda, into power in Egypt. Thank God that one blew up in Obama’s face, like an explosion in a terrorist bomb factory, eeehaw.

    The most destructive thing going on now is the war on CO2, eating out the remaining prosperity of the modern west with oceans of green energy corruption. These advocates of green propaganda are not economists, meaning they are not doing proper economics. They are ecommunists.

  108. policycritic says:

    Mark 543 says:
    April 4, 2014 at 8:57 am
    You have misread the paper, or have not read it.

    I haven’t read it yet either, but I did find this email exchange between the authors and a fellow agriculture economist, Jayson Lusk. It is from Lusk’s blog.

    I raised some questions about the ultimate desirability of information manipulation, and Fuhai and Xiaojian responded with a thoughtful email. They agreed to let me share part of it here:

    1. Our paper consists of two parts of messages, one positive (why there is media bias), while the other normative (what is the outcome of media bias). For the first part, media bias emerges as the unique perfect Bayesian equilibrium in our model. This provides an explanation on the phenomenon we observe from reality. Our abstract thus states that “This article provides a rationale for this tendency by using a modified International Environmental Agreement model with asymmetric information.” By the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, rationale means “the reasons and principles on which a decision, plan, belief etc is based.” Our “rationale” is essentially an explanation on why the media has incentives to accentuate or even exaggerate climate damage. It belongs to the approach of positive economics and is value neutral, up to this point.

    2. Then we do have a “normative” analysis on the media bias. The main difficulty of the climate problem is that it is a global public problem and we lack an international government to regulate it; the strong free riding incentives lead to a serious under-participation in an IEA. We show that the media bias may have an ex post instrumental value as the over-pessimism from media bias may alleviate the under-participation problem to some extent. (In this sense, we are close to Dessi’s (2008, AER) theory of cultural transmission and collective memory.) Meanwhile, we also address the issue of trust/credibility as people have Bayesian updating of beliefs in our perfect Bayesian equilibrium. We show that, ex ante (when there is uncertainty on the state of nature), the media bias could be beneficial or detrimental, due to the issue of credibility; as a result, the welfare implication is ambiguous.

  109. joeljarrard says:

    Really smart strategy, warmistas. /sarc. The whole reason I became a skeptic in the first place — back in the mid-aughts — was because of obviously grossly exaggerated claims that a warming world would cause one to get bad acne, cause more earthquakes, make one’s manhood shrivel into oblivion, etc.

    Well now that they have declared an official position of exaggeration for effect, and have even published a peer-reviewed study we can all cite in response to these exaggerations, I expect skeptics to increase their numbers with free-thinkers who become suspicious at their lies. The more outlandish the exaggeration, the better for skeptics.

  110. ferdberple says:

    which will eventually enhance global welfare.
    ================
    which will eventually enhance global warfare.

  111. ferdberple says:

    The problem with Nobel cause corruption is that it establishes that FALSE = TRUE. From this many other harmful effects will now appear beneficial as the faulty logic spreads through the system. Until eventually the Nobel cause devours the host and from the ashes the survivors start again. We had to kill them to save them from themselves.

  112. PiperPaul says:

    I warned you…

  113. Jeff Alberts says:

    rabbit says:
    April 4, 2014 at 8:37 am

    One of the best ways for a science to lose public credibility is to make a lot of wild predictions which then don’t bear out. This is what is happening with climatology.

    Hasn’t harmed any of the major religions, what makes you think it will make a difference to “climate science”?

  114. Nik says:

    A “green” tactic since the inception of the enviro movement. No surprise here.

  115. uu12 says:

    Umm… it is time to be more clear about what happened. Do take a look at this:

    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/2014/04/ignoble-cause-anthony-watts-tells-lie.html

  116. Gregg says:

    Sorry to be pedantic Anthony, but your quote from the abstract omits the word “organization”.

  117. Gregg says:

    Sorry, “”organizations”.
    [FEELS FLUSH OF EMBARRASSMENT]

  118. Trevor says:

    The assumption in this paper is that an International Environmental Agreement “will eventually enhance global welfare”. That’s an unproven assumption, even if it is known what is meant by “global welfare”, which it is not. To me, FREEDOM is an important part of my own personal welfare, and any IEA will probably lessen my own personal freedom. But even if you discard freedom from the “welfare function”, numerous things that could be said to contribute to “global welfare” will be worsened by an IEA, or at least one that has any hope of stopping climate change. For example, the cost of goods will increase dramatically as the energy required to transport them is artificially limited, and/or the price of said energy increases. Also, money that COULD be spent to feed the hungry, or eradicate malaria, or other things that will enhance global welfare, will instead be MISspent to “stop global warming”.

  119. matayaya says:

    If the climate scientist are right, your freedom and cost of goods and services will be even more severely hampered down the road much more than the cost of cautionary steps now. Actually, becoming more energy efficient very possibly would save us money, even if global weirding didn’t exist.

  120. Dire Wolf says:

    Matayaya, let me see if I understand you correctly. In your mind, massively increasing costs now will save money later because of the costs of “global weirding” would cost.

    First, I say “massively” because energy efficiency will not be enough to eliminate CO2 output from the world economy. It will mean embracing provably insufficient, inefficient and inconsistent energy sources (unless we go all nuclear electric generation).

    Second, your statement that this “would save us money, even if global weirding didn’t exist” is totally false since it costs massively more to live on “renewable energy” and without the offsetting costs of “global weirding” it will still cost us more in the foreseeable future.

    Finally, you say that “global weirding” exists. I refer you to some simple facts that are provable with actual data (not models):

    1. Hurricanes around the world are not up, but down in frequency and total energy
    2. Tornadoes around the world are not up, but down in frequency and total energy
    3. There has been no discernable change in the frequency or duration of droughts and floods
    4. The calculated average temperature of the earth has not increased in over a decade and a half by all databases available.
    5. The UN IPCC says that no effect of CO2 contributed by industrialization can be detected prior to 1950. However, the increase in temperature between 1900 and 1950 is indistinguishable from the increase in temperature between 1950 and 2000 (and on to the present).

    From this I ask, on what do you base “global weirding”? The only known basis for this is climate models whose predictions are falsified by the facts given above.

    Therefore, increasing the costs by using inefficient, unreliable, insufficient and inconsistent energy sources cannot be justified… especially when we have hundreds of millions of people around the world in real poverty caused by energy poverty.

  121. Gail Combs says:

    JimS says: @ April 4, 2014 at 8:42 am

    Such stupidity – the first principle of propaganda is never admit that it is propaganda.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    Or it is another effort to sabotage the climate/environmental talks coming up soon. Remember at this point China is SELLING her goods to westerners esp. those in the USA.

    How do I know China wrecked the Copenhagen deal? I was in the room

  122. Steve Meikle says:

    They have ceased to be scientists and become propagandists. Lysenko would be proud. Of course they don’t care that science will suffer as a result of this

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