Willis makes the NYT, Gavin to stop "persuading the public"

The WUWT rebuttal piece “Judith I love ya but you’re way wrong” written by Willis Eschenbach has made it all the way to the NYT. There’s also an interesting quote from Gavin Schmidt.

“Climate scientists are paid to do climate science,” said Gavin A. Schmidt, a senior climatologist with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies. “Their job is not persuading the public.”

From the RealClimate About page, first sentence:

“RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists.”

Note to Gavin: We’ll all be missing your daily work on RealClimate now. What’s the end date? 😉

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

Excerpts of: Scientists Taking Steps to Defend Work on Climate

By JOHN M. BRODER

WASHINGTON — For months, climate scientists have taken a vicious beating in the media and on the Internet, accused of hiding data, covering up errors and suppressing alternate views. Their response until now has been largely to assert the legitimacy of the vast body of climate science and to mock their critics as cranks and know-nothings.

But the volume of criticism and the depth of doubt have only grown, and many scientists now realize they are facing a crisis of public confidence and have to fight back. Tentatively and grudgingly, they are beginning to engage their critics, admit mistakes, open up their data and reshape the way they conduct their work.

The unauthorized release last fall of hundreds of e-mail messages from a major climate research center in England, and more recent revelations of a handful of errors in a supposedly authoritative United Nations report on climate change, have created what a number of top scientists say is a major breach of faith in their research. They say the uproar threatens to undermine decades of work and has badly damaged public trust in the scientific enterprise.

The e-mail episode, called “climategate” by critics, revealed arrogance and what one top climate researcher called “tribalism” among some scientists. The correspondence appears to show efforts to limit publication of contrary opinion and to evade Freedom of Information Act requests. The content of the messages opened some well-known scientists to charges of concealing temperature data from rival researchers and manipulating results to conform to precooked conclusions.

“I have obviously written some very awful e-mails,” Phil Jones, the British climate scientist at the center of the controversy, confessed to a special committee of Parliament on Monday.

Climate scientists have been shaken by the criticism and are beginning to look for ways to recover their reputation. They are learning a little humility and trying to make sure they avoid crossing a line into policy advocacy.

“It’s clear that the climate science community was just not prepared for the scale and ferocity of the attacks and they simply have not responded swiftly and appropriately,” said Peter C. Frumhoff, an ecologist and chief scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “We need to acknowledge the errors and help turn attention from what’s happening in the blogosphere to what’s happening in the atmosphere.”

A number of institutions are beginning efforts to improve the quality of their science and to make their work more transparent. The official British climate agency is undertaking a complete review of its temperature data and will make its records and analysis fully public for the first time, allowing outside scrutiny of methods and conclusions. The United Nations panel on climate change will accept external oversight of its research practices, also for the first time.

Two universities are investigating the work of top climate scientists to determine whether they have violated academic standards and undermined faith in science. The National Academy of Sciences is preparing to publish a nontechnical paper outlining what is known — and not known — about changes to the global climate. And a vigorous debate is under way among climate scientists on how to make their work more transparent and regain public confidence.

Some critics think these are merely cosmetic efforts that do not address the real problem, however.

“I’ll let you in on a very dark, ugly secret — I don’t want trust in climate science to be restored,” Willis Eschenbach, an engineer and climate contrarian who posts frequently on climate skeptic blogs, wrote in response to one climate scientist’s proposal to share more research. “I don’t want you learning better ways to propagandize for shoddy science. I don’t want you to figure out how to inspire trust by camouflaging your unethical practices in new and innovative ways.”

“The solution,” he concluded, “is for you to stop trying to pass off garbage as science.”

…….

read the rest at Scientists Taking Steps to Defend Work on Climate in the New York Times

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Thomas Hobbes

This NYT story is a very biased white wash…
For example…
Some of the most serious allegations against Dr. Jones, director of the climate research unit at the University of East Anglia, and other researchers have been debunked,
Have been following this very closely and am not aware that the ‘serious’ allegations have been debunked..rather the statute of limitations has expired.. very different POV

Steve Oregon

Indeed Willis,
We must bring back the idea of actual “consequences” for malfeasence.
Not simply the tired status quo of blaming the system while the offenders skate and continue their work.
In the arena of AGW, many individuals, whole departments and enitre institutions must face disqualification from any additional contributions.

Chad Woodburn

The NYT author referred to, “…recent revelations of a handful of errors in…” the IPCC report. A handful of errors? A HANDFUL of errors? (More like dozens of handfuls of errors.)
He also characterized those errors as “several relatively minor errors”. Minor errors? MINOR errors? (More like large enough to call the entire report into question.)
It is clear that the warmists still don’t get it. They still aren’t listening. They are still in denial. (Interesting that the AGW alarmists are the real deniers.)

Herman L

Note to Gavin: We’ll all be missing your daily work on RealClimate now. What’s the end date?
Is your point that a scientist should not do both scientific research and run a commentary website? Do you consider that a conflict of interest of some sort?
Like a lot terms that get thrown around these days — denier, alarmist, warmist, skeptic — your post here can mean whatever different people want it to mean. I’d like to see this in more scientific terms and urge you to remove the ambiguity here.

PJP

“Some of the most serious allegations against Dr. Jones, director of the climate research unit at the University of East Anglia, and other researchers have been debunked, while several investigations are still under way to determine whether others hold up. ”
… and what charges are these? the debunked ones???

Jack

When you read the NYT, you not only finish the article less informed than when you started you also leave with less IQ.

Herman L

It’s too bad the Broder piece was cut off just before Ralph Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences is quoted, then followed by this:
The battle is asymmetric, in the sense that scientists feel compelled to support their findings with careful observation and replicable analysis, while their critics are free to make sweeping statements condemning their work as fraudulent.

OT:
Wasn’t Monckton and Lambert supposed to have a debate sometime soon?

Codeblue

I took the quote from the article to mean that scientists shouldn’t over-extend themselves in trying to persuade staunchly opposed people; ‘“Good science,” he said, “is the best revenge.” ‘
It sounds like he’s taking more of a “let the science speak for itself” approach. I don’t see that as opposed to explaining the science on a blog. If you present the newest scientific findings or respond to some misconception, that’s one thing. If you propagandize and over-inflate it while explaining it to the public, it’s going to come back and bite you. I think that’s what he’s cautioning against.

JonesII

The Grand Logia of The Most Respectful and Holy Progressive BInternational Brotherhood and its International Agenda it is just trying to fix things up a bit so as to make it more swallable for what they disrespectfully consider the idiotic and dumbed general public like us.

Hoi Polloi

I see nutter Schmidt is trying hard to win hearts and minds….

robert

typical new york times garbage. The science is still settled according to them and non biased Gavin schmidt.
Interesting to see how independant this independant panel will be. Lets’ see; the independant panel cannot refute previous studies and will be selected by people like pachuiri. I can’t see anything going wrong with this.

Stacey

“The solution,” he concluded, “is for you to stop trying to pass off garbage as science.”
Willis, Harsh but Fair

JDN

John Broder’s career appears to be tied in w/ AGW. His article is utter slander against everyone who’s exposed the AGW fraud, and, he needs to be fired.

Hal

Gavin , the climate scientist, not “trying to persuade the public”:
“…It’s a perfect storm that has allowed the nutters to control the agenda.”
The answer is simple, he said.
“Good science,” he said, “is the best revenge.”
………………………………………………………………………….
His last sentence will hopefully come true, but not in the way he wishes.

Chuck

I get concerned when I see an article quoting the Union of Concerned Scientists which leans more towards advocacy than they do science.

Sorry, Anthony, but RealClimateAlarmism, the commentary site on climate alarmism by working climate alarmists, is not going to disappear soon.
REPLY: Oh I know that. Perhaps the sarcasm wasn’t clear enough. I’ll add a winky. – Anthony

Ian

The NYT continues with its traditional tilt – though I guess it’s a “sea-change” for them to admit the problems exist. The question of causality, however, raises its head. The reason the scientists have had to respond is posited thus:
“It’s clear that the climate science community was just not prepared for the scale and ferocity of the attacks and they simply have not responded swiftly and appropriately.”
This comment fails to acknowledge that the scientists brought the problem on themselves. It was very much an “own goal”. Had they approached their science appropriately, with the caveats that it deserved, from the outset, rather than as a game of advocacy, where bad results are to be concealed, “bodged” or overlooked, the tenor and direction of the debate would have been very much different.
Worryingly, it suggests that MORE time should be spent by climate scientists on blogs such as Real Climate, rather than addressing the genuine problems that exist in how they’ve approached their work and the dissemination of their results.
I think Willis is correct here: the issue is not simply a matter of more effective presentation of the existing “Team” line – it’s an overhaul of how they approach their work, a separation of advocacy from science and a PUBLIC recognition of how material are the caveats, qualifiers and uncertainties in all that they do.

Gerald Machnee

Well, Willis wrote one of the best pieces ever on the so-called science and it was only a matter of time before the media noticed. It is thoughtful and to the point.

Paul Daniel Ash

Gavin’s comment seems to be that it is not the job of all climate scientists – contra Dr. Curry’s statement – to “respond to any critique of data or methodology that emerges from analysis by other scientists.”
Do you see some contradiction in the fact that he and other scientists choose to “do so in a personal capacity during their spare time” (also from the About page)?

Jean Demesure

Gavin Schmidt’s duplicity is hopeless. What always amazes me is he still find ears to listen to his double talk.

Alan F

Thomas,
The questioning itself has been pathetic at best. All that’s been missing is ending each question with “while hopping on one foot?”. Providing that all too clever for the befuddled masses “While hopping on one foot… no.” way out.

Jeff Kooistra

Willis speaks for me!

Dusty

“For months, climate scientists have taken a vicious beating in the media”
LOL. It’s good to see people like Broder coming to the conclusion that most US news organizations, and the NYT, in particular, is not to be considered part of the media.

MartinGAtkins

The National Academy of Sciences is preparing to publish a nontechnical paper outlining what is known — and not known — about changes to the global climate.
Let me save them the trouble.
The climate has been warming since the little ice age.

AnonyMoose

If only “some of the most serious allegations” have been debunked, then, NYT, shouldn’t you at least report on the “serious allegations” which have not been debunked? After all, even the NYT says they’re “serious”.

John in L du B

That’s for sure Thomas.
As for Ralph Cicerone, his job is to insure the integrety of the science not “…trying to be heard over the loudest voices on cable news, talk radio and the Internet.” The minute he said that he crossed over into advocacy.
The facts sir. Just the facts.

Jeff Kooistra

Oh, and the piece seriously underestimates the delusion many climate scientists have that current methodology can yield such “precise” assertions about what is going to happen. If anything, they need to focus on ways to reliably distinguish a signal in the noise, presupposing there is one.

As a climate scientist, I couldn’t disagree with any statement more so than I do with Willis Eschenbach’s “I’ll let you in on a very dark, ugly secret — I don’t want trust in climate science to be restored…”
Of course I want it restored, otherwise I am out a job. Public trust needs to be won back through good scientific practices.
This is why I couldn’t receive any statement more openly than I do Gavin Schmidt’s that ended the Broder piece: ““Good science,” he said, “is the best revenge.”
To Gavin, I say, let the revenge begin.
Just my two-cents’ worth.
-Chip Knappenberger
PS. And as far as Willis Eschenbach’s statement that “The solution is for you to stop trying to pass off garbage as science.” He seems to be directing this at climate scientists, but hopefully he means that it should include arm chair climate scientists as well–on both sides of the issue.

Note the following excerpt from the NYT article:
“The battle is asymmetric, in the sense that scientists feel compelled to support their findings with careful observation and replicable analysis, while their critics are free to make sweeping statements condemning their work as fraudulent.”
If it were only true that Jones, Mann et. al. felt compelled to provide replicable analysis.
In this sense, the article has perhaps done us a service. Let’s turn the sentence around and argue that one who has, or feels, no obligation to support his/her findings with replicable analysis is not a scientist, regardless of prestige, degree or title.
And if making sweeping statements condemning competing viewpoints and analyses (that could be you, Gavin Schmidt) makes someone less of a scientist, there should be many warmists in the dock.

John Diffenthal

Gavin has identified the roots of the current problem. “What is new is this paranoia combined with a spell of cold weather in the United States and the ‘climategate’ release. It’s a perfect storm that has allowed the nutters to control the agenda.”
Err, no Gavin. The nutters wouldn’t have got close to the Agenda had the numbers stood up to any level of scrutiny. What must be continuously embarassing for Climate Science professionals, as distinct from the nutters like you and me, is that often the data squeeks as soon as it is put under a magnifying glass. What would be the result of using a microscope?

Bruce Cobb

“Climate scientists have been shaken by the criticism and are beginning to look for ways to recover their reputation. They are learning a little humility and trying to make sure they avoid crossing a line into policy advocacy.”
So, in other words now that they’ve been outed, we’re supposed to believe they are going to act like actual scientists. Mistakes were made. Oops. We can do better, we promise. Trust us. Would we lie?
The saying “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me” comes to mind.
We need to start seeing some heads on pikes. Maybe then we start beginning to trust them once more.

kwik

Gavin says;
“There have always been people accusing us of being fraudulent criminals, of the I.P.C.C. being corrupt,” Dr. Schmidt said. “What is new is this paranoia combined with a spell of cold weather in the United States and the ‘climategate’ release. It’s a perfect storm that has allowed the nutters to control the agenda.”
The answer is simple, he said.
“Good science,” he said, “is the best revenge.”
Okay then. Whats Gavin response to this;

Global warming, or not global warming?

Squidly

Some of the most serious allegations against Dr. Jones, director of the climate research unit at the University of East Anglia, and other researchers have been debunked

Debunked? What is debunked? This I am not aware. I would suggest to the contrary. If anything, these allegations have been confirmed. What utter BS….

Doubting Thomas

Meanwhile the entrenched civil service carries on – when asked about Phil Jones statement of 15 years of no significant warming –
“National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Administrator Jane Lubchenco would only say “that it is inappropriate to look at any particular short period of time to discern the long-term trend.””
http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/61525

Mike J

“We have to do a better job of explaining that there is always more to learn, always uncertainties to be addressed,” said John P. Holdren, an environmental scientist and the White House science adviser. “But we also need to remind people that the occasions where a large consensus is overturned by a scientific heretic are very, very rare.”
To paraphrase: “The science is 99% settled, with a 50% certainty, so we need more funding”. Typical hubris and spin.
btw – grats on the NYT quote Willis. Well said.

starzmom

This article only hits the half that has to do with public trust. In that, I agree, the mainstream climate scientists have failed miserably. But the NYT does not discuss the real nub of how they failed–by passing off shoddy science as legitimate and careful.

kwik

Alright then. Whats Gavins response to this then;
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/26/a-new-paper-comparing-ncdc-rural-and-urban-us-surface-temperature-data/#more-16726
And this;

Has there been “global warming” in the US, or not?
I think not.
I bet he will say the US isnt “Global”.
But how can global warming “Avoid” the US ?

Wondering Aloud

Apparently Gavin has a misquote at the end of the article. The controversy has for once prevented “the nutters from controlling the agenda”. In his role as deputy chief nutter I can only assume he accidently left out the word prevented.
The popular fabrication “debunked” regarding messy things like observational data that is impossible to debunk continues, so they haven’t learned much yet.

PJB

“There have always been people accusing us of being fraudulent criminals, of the I.P.C.C. being corrupt,” Dr. Schmidt said. “What is new is this paranoia combined with a spell of cold weather in the United States and the ‘climategate’ release. It’s a perfect storm that has allowed the nutters to control the agenda.”
Quite the quote! Note the agenda…
Diminish the importance of the accusations.
Deflect the issues. Blame the problem on the weather!!!
(Weather is NOT climate, remember?!)
Relegate the proof of malfeasance to one among many specious propositions.
Reconfirm the unusual nature of the accusations
(perfect storm…AGAIN with the weather!!)
Finally, discredit the accusers by comparing them to LHO, CT.
This man may well be a CIA spook in his spare time. Certainly understandable why he got the nod as the PR guy….although BS guy might be more appropriate.
Polarizing and marginalizing is a tactic and not a solution.
A sad, sad day for science of any kind.

G.L. Alston

Broder is using opinion from advocacy groups (e.g. Union of Concerned Scientists) to bolster the position (his sole point, actually) that it’s not advocacy. If sanity prevailed, this would be ironic. Instead, it’s par for the course.

WasteYourOwnMoney

My favorite part of that column. (A finer parody could not be written if you tried)
In the middle of the article:
“The battle is asymmetric, in the sense that scientists feel compelled to support their findings with careful observation and replicable analysis, while their critics are free to make sweeping statements condemning their work as fraudulent”
At the end:
Dr. Schmidt said. “It’s a perfect storm that has allowed the nutters to control the agenda.”
Certainly no sweeping statements of condemnation there!

rbateman

What Jones gives for an excuse to not release the USHCN data he uses turns out to be trashed versions as found on
http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/climate/research/ushcn/
The reality is that many stations were rejected in the CRU set…they have many yearly means zeroed out over missing data that turns out to actually exist.
So, Dr. Jones is not telling the truth, and nobody can replicate thier work because the raw data that is assembled by hand is far more complete than the ncdc version. There is no way to know what Jones used, but it is very clear that he used a set of the real data that was artificially gutted.

42125

Which definition of “heretic” do you suppose Holdren had in mind?

mojo

Gosh, gonna open up their work and share data, are they? Mighty white of ’em…

AnneM

“…have created what a number of top scientists say is a major breach of faith in their research. ”
I was always under the impression that good scientific research required no faith whatsoever.

Richard M

Yeah right, the climate scientists are surprised. They’ve known which side the bread was buttered for a long time. While many were necessarily complicit to maintain their jobs, there was no surprise whatsoever. That is just more cover-up.

At least they picked a good quote from Willis – the rest of the piece is garbage, but I do find it interesting that the NAS and UCS essentially say “scientists should learn how to be better advocates” while Gavin, he must have been LOL’ing when he wrote it, says they need to stick to the science. Call my cynical but I don’t think there’s really a split there, just Gavin trying to act all holier than thou when in truth he probably spends more time on RC, IPCC, and Hockey Team politicking than he does on “science”

The NYT, as a part of the global Old Boys Network, is unafraid of telling untruths, obviously, as no ‘serious allegations were debunked in the UK parliamentary hearing to my knowledge. In fact Jones’ admissions were self-incriminating from an ethical and traditional view of what science is.
And, way to go, Willis!

And in regards to “Good science,” he said, “is the best revenge.”
Lets see his climate models and theory actually make a falsifiable prediction. Their GCMs are only one step removed from divination by chicken bones… everything is predicted by it, it is never wrong