Judith Curry Q&A: RealClimate has "damaged their brand"

Graphic: The Fusion Effect Blog -click

Dr. Curry is a lightning rod, but she does have the courage to speak her mind: Via Tom Nelson

[Q] Yes, you’ve certainly been raked over pretty good by certain sites like Real Climate and Climate Progress.

[Curry] Oh yes. Those guys are directly involved in Climategate so that’s not a huge surprise. (note: Joe Romm, of Climate Progress, was not directly involved in Climategate as his private e-mails were not published. Gavin Schmidt, of RealClimate, points out that he was the victim of a crime and not guilty of anything.)

[Q] Do you think those kinds of sites are helpful in trying to build public confidence in climate scientists?

[A] That’s a tough one. Real Climate, I think they’ve damaged their brand. They started out doing something that people liked, but they’ve been too partisan in a scientific way. Their moderation hasn’t been good. There was a lot of rudeness toward me on one thread that was actually encouraged by the moderators. I don’t think that has served them well.

[Curry] We really don’t understand the potential or impact the blogosphere is having. I think it’s big and growing. The sites that are growing in popularity are Watts Up With That, which really have huge traffic. I think there’s a real interest in the subject…With the IPCC, and the expectation that scientists hew to the party line, it was getting pretty evangelical. When I speak up about maybe there’s more uncertainty, some people regard that as heresy. That’s not a good thing for either science or policy. We’ve got to lose that.

From: Judith Curry: On Antarctic sea ice, Climategate and skeptics | SciGuy | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

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Speaking of RealClimate, I note there is still no response at RC to the McShane and Wyler paper which I find odd, since RC for was setup for the express purpose of defending the hockey stick in the first place.

UPDATE: After a week of being “preoccupied” Real Climate finally breaks radio silence here. It appears to be a prelude to a dismissal with a “wave of the hand”.

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89 thoughts on “Judith Curry Q&A: RealClimate has "damaged their brand"

  1. I think Judith’s right on this. I think she has the measure of RC. Many of us have first-hand experience of RC that has led us to the same conclusion. It’s perhaps a little satisfying to have our suspicions confirmed by a bona fide scientist. 😉

  2. Regarding the M&W paper, there is a lot of bluster around-about, but it’s mostly just arm-flailing.
    Zorita’s complaint is that the statisticians should have asked to work with the climatologists before attempting to interpret the data, which is a bit of a laugh after Steve McIntyre was told by climatologist Ammann that working on a paper with him would be “bad for his career”. Climatologists have an established pattern of disregarding the contributions of statisticians when it comes to performing complex statistical analysis. Straaaaange, but trooooo.
    Bottom line is that M&W used the latest data that Mann promoted as the best of the best for analysis. I’m still at a loss to figure what useful contribution a climatologist thinks he can make in helping a statistician perform statistical analysis.

  3. What I don’t understand is why she comes across as so rational in the interview and then has her name on that unbelievable study on the Southern Ocean SST warming. It is obvious if you look at the data that the only warming going on is in their overheated fantasies. Everything else shows no warming or a slight cooling trend.

  4. “There was a lot of rudeness toward me on one thread that was actually encouraged by the moderators. I don’t think that has served them well.”
    And the more they do it, the less effect they are going to have. In general, people find that type of behavior off-putting…

  5. Dr. Judith Curry deserves recognition for her honesty, her integrity and for her willingness to “stick her head above the parapet”.
    She’s taken shots from both sides of the AGW equation and come out still fighting for what she believes is the right way to “do Science”.
    If only all involved in this rather messy and antagonistic debate were as straight-up as Dr. Curry.
    I applaud her and wish that there were a lot more like her. On both sides of the debate.

  6. This all is getting more & more confused… We know that the ‘AGW-religion’ is a big con, probably the worst ever in the scientific history, and yet… sic… there seem to be some ‘scientists’ , i.e. Dr. Curry, who do not know/or show/ in which tub of ‘truth’ to put their/her/ foot into.
    And all of this is due to a superbly easy query: Is CO2 [‘man-made’] causing/influencing the ‘climate’. Not!
    Brdgs from Sweden!
    //TJ

  7. Not sure who’s saying what in the above; but I would agree with Dr Curry on RC.
    Having never been to CP I have no idea what Joe the plumber is up to.
    While we do sling around a lot of sarcasm at WUWT (and I do my fair share) it does relate to breaking the ice; and I never do it with personalities in view. (well I hope not)
    Once Dr Curry gave us access to the C&L paper so we didn’t have to laugh at the Georgia Tech cartoon page; then we could look seriously at the message behind their paper.
    I still haven’t fully read the actual paper; so I haven’t really commented on the “science” of it either; which is why I stored it in my preferred materials folder for further study.
    I need to get some sort of understanding of just how EOFs are used; and how specifically they were used by C&L.
    Certainly in the blogosphere, we can shovel away a lot of B&S in a hurry; to get to the meat.
    And I for one am glad that C&L decided to hang in here despite being the center of an Italian firing squad.

  8. I don’t envy Dr. Curry one bit.
    One the one hand, she has to make money. I know, she’s paid by the university, but her students and the university both have to be paid too.
    One the other hand, she’s caught between a rock and a hard place trying to be honest and open, and then dictated to by the university and grants.
    I think the world of her, and admire her, she’s someone worthy of that.

  9. She actually spoke out against real-slime:ate? Absolutely brilliant! Climate Shield Maiden then like Jo the super nova.

  10. After reading the entire interview, two refreshing things that were stated:
    “The other thing I’m seeing is that two of the professional societies, the American Meteorological Association and the American Geophysical Union, are talking about ensuring that skeptical papers get through if they’re of the right quality. Some people were getting their papers rejected because they disagreed with the IPCC. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work. Papers were getting rejected for the wrong reason. It’s good that professional societies are taking this seriously. Those are some good things that have happened in the science community.”
    and
    “One of the other positives that I think has come out of Climategate is a realization of what other bloggers like (Steve) McIntyre (of Climate Audit) are actually up to. This isn’t a Merchants of Doubt, oil-company-funded effort. It’s a grassroots effort. These are people who are interested, they want to see accountability. They have a certain amount of expertise and they want to play around with climate data. There’s no particularly evil motives behind all this.”

  11. I sympathize with the Realclimate core group. When they started their blog they believed based on what was known at the time, in the extreme global warming paradigm, which was fed and supported by the incorrect GCMs. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the scientific and political positions to change.
    As it appears the facts and analysis no longer supports that paradigm, they need to start looking for a way out.
    1) Observed warming is less than 40% of what is predicted by the general climate models.
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2009JCLI3461.1
    2) Feedbacks are negative rather than positive
    http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009GL039628-pip.pdf
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/Spencer-Forcing-Feedback-AGU-09-San-Francisco-final.pdf
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/Spencer-and-Braswell-08.pdf
    Point 2 explains observation 1.
    3) Climate in the recent past were warmer than current. Climate in the recent past varied cyclically. The current warming is not unusual.
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/08/17/breaking-new-paper-makes-a-hockey-sticky-wicket-of-mann-et-al-99/

  12. Bill Tuttle says:
    August 20, 2010 at 1:49 pm
    RC’s been quiet for a week. My guess is PTSD.
    ========================================
    Bill, ditto, you know they read here. So my guess is that the longer Anthony leaves it at the top, the longer they will be quiet. Plus, Anthony’s site is the most read.
    Kudos to Dr. Curry again!

  13. RC has damaged their brand? I beg to differ. The RC brand today is exactly what it was intended to be; an AGW PR site. The heavy handed moderation and censorship at RC didn’t suddenly pop up out of nowhere and slowly grow over time. It has always been that way , and on purpose.
    RC exists for the sole purpose of promoting the existence of AGW, just like climateprogress, (but with less spittle).

  14. Integrity
    Now that’s a word I don’t normally associate with climate scientists (or is that scientist/activists?). But it is an attribute I think describes Dr. Curry. That and a certain fearless openness in daring to write in to CA & WUWT. The full interview from the Houston Chronicle made for an interesting read; she came across as quite articulate in discussing the Antarctic study in terms the average layman could comprehend. You don’t have to agree with her to admire and respect her.

  15. The warmists have been getting on Curry’s case. I found some pretty disparaging stuff that you’ll see if you search on “Currygate” http://www.google.com/search?q=Currygate. Among other things, she supposedly made “unbearably lame comments” at RealClimate, and spread “disinformation” in Brazil. “Disinformation” means deliberate misinformation. And, in a further Currygate scandal, at RealClimate in a comment on “The Montford Delusion” post of July 22, 2010, she classified RealClimate and ClimateProgress in terms C. S. Peirce’s four methods of inquiry (which she summarized well from the Wikipedia summary in “Scientific method” and only one of which is the scientific method). “Currygate” seems to be a pun not only Watergate etc. but also on the word “Currygate” floating around, e.g., an Indian takeout store and an incident in Yorkshire involving the attempted consumption of curry by town councillors in a chauffeured car.
    If I ever meet Ms. Curry (I won’t), I think I’ll avoid the subject of climate altogether and treat her to the local Thai curry. Their orange-red penang curry beats all!

  16. Bill Tuttle says:
    August 20, 2010 at 1:49 pm
    RC’s been quiet for a week. My guess is PTSD.
    If you look on the sidebar Anthony has 15 posts listed going back 3-4 days. If you go to RC and scroll back 15 posts you end up back in the middle of June on a post about the Sunday Times retraction of its “Amazongate” story. They’ve been pretty quiet for quite some time. Given the lame quality of the 15 posts they have made, they’re probably better off that way. As in the old saying “Better to keep quiet and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and prove it”

  17. Nice interview. Did she ever comment on Liu and Curry 2010? I sure wish she’d explain a bit more on that. The study seemed like it had a few holes.

  18. Here is my take. RC is an involved party, due to the presence of Mann in the cadre. Mann is most likely under embargo to not make comments on the M&W article because his comments will be included with the publication of the MW article. This is not too dissimilar to McIntyre not being able to defend himself with his comment to Nature a few years back. He could not say anything publicly for fear of losing his ability to have a published rebuttal to MBH in Nature. Of course, as things played out Nature punted, but Steve M. lost almost a year in defending his analysis. IMO the tables have turned.
    As far as Dr. Curry.. I think she is trying to play both sides against the middle here. She obviously has the integrity to see that there are valid points being raised on the skeptical side of the aisle, but she is also maintaining her ‘street cred’ with the establishment with articles like the recent one. I can’t blame her for trying to cover her bases while appealing to all parties for some sanity. After reading many commentaries and statements from her I believe she truly is attempting to be an ‘honest broker’ in the climate debate.

  19. Dave Wendt says: As in the old saying “Better to keep quiet and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and prove it”
    I would say this is probably the reason for the sound of crickets at RC. However given that RC is funded by Soros through Fenton communications for the express purpose of spreading climate propaganda, the saying, “Sometimes silence is not golden – sometimes it is just yellow.” is also applicable.
    OT – Those in Australia should remember to vote for the Climate Sceptics on the senate paper today. I know this means numbering over 80 boxes, but WUWT readers are good with lots of numbers. Or visit http://www.belowtheline.org.au to organize your own senate crib sheet before you go to the booth.

  20. Robert M says: “What I don’t understand is why [Judith Curry] comes across as so rational in the interview and then has her name on that unbelievable study on the Southern Ocean SST warming. It is obvious if you look at the data that the only warming going on is in their overheated fantasies. Everything else shows no warming or a slight cooling trend.”
    I took the trouble of reading much of “Accelerated Warming.” It would seem that many people here misinterpreted the intended scope of the paper. Unless I’ve misread it, it is an attempt to rationalize model behaviour with warming of the Southern Ocean [only] and simultaneous increase in the Antarctic ice mass. The title seems to blame for the rather overblown expectations of observers here and could have been better phrased. Considering the inherent limitations of models and adding the necessity of working with very sparse data, the scope of the paper becomes fairly narrow, realistically so, in my opinion. Apologies to JC if my curbstone opinion is off the mark.

  21. Brego says: “RC has damaged their brand? I beg to differ. The RC brand today is exactly what it was intended to be; an AGW PR site. The heavy handed moderation and censorship at RC didn’t suddenly pop up out of nowhere and slowly grow over time. It has always been that way , and on purpose. RC exists for the sole purpose of promoting the existence of AGW, just like climateprogress, (but with less spittle).”
    Well put. I think you’re 100% correct. The snark is deliberate. I always raise my spittle shields before visiting any AGW propaganda sites.

  22. This statement from the original article puzzles me:
    Since that time progressive climate sites have begun to increasingly attack Curry
    Why on earth are these sites called “progressive”?
    Can anyone explain to me the meaning of the word in American english — as it doesn’t make sense in that sentence in New Zealand english..
    Thanks. Margaret

  23. Robert M says @ August 20, 2010 at 1:11 pm
    What I don’t understand is why she comes across as so rational in the interview and then has her name on that unbelievable study on the Southern Ocean SST warming.
    I agree totally. I can only assume that it’s departmental policy to put her name on anything her department produces; and, she IS paid to support the department’s work. She’s not going to say at a press conference “This is just junk. We have to produce so many reports per year and there isn’t always anything worthwhile to say; and, besides, our paymaster wants evidence for AGW. Do you want me to lose my job?”
    If I could make an honest woman of her 😉 I’d get her another job.

  24. I’ve made this point before to Leif, who has a Paypal account. The interweb could enable scientists to fund their research outside the politicizing corruption of government funding. If Judith opened a Paypal account, we could all donate $10 and she could become independant of her Federal paymasters.
    BTW you can also drop a few bucks on Anthony’s and Leif’s donate button.

  25. William @ August 20, 2010 at 1:59 pm
    You’re being a bit naive, or mis-informed, I’m afraid to say. Realclimate was set up for propaganda purposes by Environmental Media Services

  26. Typo last sentence guys, as bolded below:
    … RC for was setup for the express purpose of defending the hockey stick int he first place.

  27. In her interview Dr. Curry says this:
    “Sea ice can melt from both above and below, either heating from the ocean below or the atmosphere above. In the case of the Arctic most of the melting is driven from the warmer atmosphere above. In the Antarctic most of the melting has been driven from the ocean below. ”
    In fact in the Arctic most of the sea ice melting would be due to warmer water below as it drifts from the Gulf Stream past Spitzbergen and then circulates around the Arctic Ocean under the ice.
    In the Antarctic the sea ice is probably mostly nibbled away at around the periphery by winds from the more northerly regions surrounding it.
    In both cases there is obviously a mix but I really think she has it the wrong way round.
    Then there is that issue of precipitation. She seems to separate that from evaporation and in my opinion goes to an incorrect assumption as a result. Evaporation is a cooling process as well, more so than falling precipitation but she ignores it as an inevitable feature of a faster hydrological cycle.
    Puzzling from someone so experienced and increasingly open minded.

  28. (Regarding Margaret says:
    August 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm)
    “Progressive” is just another euphemism for the political left. As a political label it’s been lurking around for a while, but seems more popular lately.

  29. Yeah, some (hasten to add blah blah blah) complain constantly about how no one in the whole world can be a good broker, when Dr Curry was being one, right under our noses.

  30. Margaret – I’m an aussie, living in canada, so I have some understanding of the confusion you might be experiencing.
    The word “progressive” here means “communist, socialist, totalitarian, thought control, behaviour control, etc.”
    Of course, I wouldn’t presume to be judgemental here. After all, what’s wrong with self-appointed arbiters of right and wrong telling us what to think.

  31. George E. Smith says:
    August 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm
    “… Having never been to CP I have no idea what Joe the plumber is up to.”
    Don’t bother. I make it a ritual every day possible to visit WUWT and CP. The latter has become the consummate echo chamber in which any questioning of their version of climate orthodoxy is greeted with venom and, usually, deletion. The ad hominem flows freely for the likes of Monckton, Inhofe, Lindzen and, yes, Watts among others. Of course, their reverence for Al Gore continues albeit somewhat subdued lately.
    CP is the creation of George Soros and John Podesta and their Center for American Progress (CAP), which is lovingly described in Wikipedia at http://tinyurl.com/2vdu7lu
    It’s safe to say that Joe Romm’s writeup within that Wiki piece is autobiographical. Obviously a talented scientist, it is rather sad to see him so consumed by this purely political endeavor.

  32. Kudos again to Dr Curry. Now it is important to ensure we do not damage the WUWT brand when someone/anyone engages us skeptics on this, or any other, forum.

  33. Judith Curry strikes me as a real scientists. She’s more interested in the truth, than proving that she is right. She also realizes that science is not always cut and dry, and that uncertainty exists, and that uncertainty should not just be swept under the rug.
    Good on you Judith .. from a fellow Scientists, though, in the biological field.

  34. Robert M says @ August 20, 2010 at 1:11 pm
    “What I don’t understand is why she comes across as so rational in the interview and then has her name on that unbelievable study on the Southern Ocean SST warming.”
    The study isn’t about southern SST warming, she was less then clear on that.
    The study is about how precipitation works in the Southern Ocean and Antarctica.

  35. Judith Curry is correct that realclimate has damaged its brand. Originally it was actually fairly balanced, though with a clear bent toward supporting the “consensus.” Reviews of papers from skeptics were civil and reasonably coherent. However, it has now become a shrill and strident mouthpiece of no value to the debate, indeed an embarassment to serious scientists such as Dr. Curry. Perhaps this is the result of cognitive dissonance arising from the spate of developments disfavoring the “consensus.”
    As for Dr. Curry, there is a need for voices of reason and moderation with a focus on the science, whether it favors the consensus or the skeptical view. She is to be commended for taking this path, for it is not easy.

  36. I sympathize with the Realclimate core group. When they started their blog they believed based on what was known at the time, in the extreme global warming paradigm, which was fed and supported by the incorrect GCMs.

    Sorry, but that’s rubbish. This was secret science from the start.

  37. George E. Smith says:
    August 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm
    “I need to get some sort of understanding of just how EOFs are used;”
    I’m not sure how you mean this but an explanation (somewhat related) is shown here:
    http://www.ess.uci.edu/~yu/class/ess210b/lecture.5.EOF.all.pdf
    Some understanding of matrix algebra and correlation is needed.
    There may be a less algebraic explanation available that some would enjoy reading. Suggestions, anyone?

  38. What is the brand of realclimate.org? If you look at the whois record for the domain name, you’ll see the domain name is leased by Environmental Media Services, ems.org, and is based in Washington DC. So following the trail, a quick Google search reveals that EMS was founded by someone who was a part of the Environmental Defense Fund. EMS is also closely aligned with Fenton Communications, so close they share an office space and personal And what does David Fenton stand for? The link below explains that.
    http://activistcash.com/biography.cfm/b/2807-david-fenton
    In short, realclimate.org is thick as thieves with the rich left-wing activists. They are not short on cash. Dr. Curry needs to be aware that realclimate.org is not about the issues, it is about propaganda. There is nothing to damage because it is already broken and has been broken for a long long time.
    The beauty of the internet is that, to quote one of my favorite movies Serenity, “you can’t stop the signal”. Look at all the connections realclimate.org has, and yet sites like this and climateaudit.org that are devoid of rich lobbyist funding are stronger than they are. You can’t censor the internet. You can try, but you will fail. Sites like this take on MSNBC, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, the BBC, the Weather Channel, realclimate.org, Climate Progress, the UN IPCC, the WWF, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, EDF, just to name a few and it comes out victorious. Dr. Curry, the conglomerate of Big Environment and its allies have been damaged and corrupt for a long time. That which is crooked cannot be made straight (The Bible says that at Eccl 1:15 and is one of my favorite sayings); like a tree, Big Environment started off fine, but now that is has gotten bigger it is crooked. You can’t fix a crooked tree and you can’t fix a crooked organization unless you cut down the tree.
    (P.S. Make sure your whois record isn’t telling the world more than you want it to know.)

  39. I’ll add my voice to others: Dr. Curry, please visit us here often. We may not agree with you on everything, but we admire and respect you, and welcome your posts and comments anytime.
    ———-
    latitude says:
    August 20, 2010 at 1:37 pm
    “On the one hand”
    “On the other hand”
    Hah! “On the Gripping Hand!” Always nice to see a Larry and Jerry fan!
    ——-
    Wade says:
    August 20, 2010 at 6:58 pm
    Thanks. That’s a puzzle piece I’ve been waiting to see. I’ve seen the spot where it fits in the puzzle for some time now. Now if we could just find a few more of these puzzle pieces.

  40. Reading posts on this issue I came across the abbreviation CP; lo and behold when I tried to complete the words to the capitals and thought of ‘climate’ and ‘progress’ I found:
    http://climateprogress.org/
    (Honestly I did not know. Also, as a European, I thought Obama would be an improvement after Bush)
    There I found this statement:
    “Last week, the anti-science crowd were touting …”
    This really struck me. All my life I have been trying to put myself under the rigours of scientific thinking; to put aside prejudice and to give up previous convictions.
    But here we are, I and you; ‘we’. The anti-science crowd. Our world of wonder and doubt apparently has been hijacked by those who pretend to know.
    Perhaps we should claim another term to describe what we are really up to: scierandus, wannaknow, seer is believer: maybe a seeliever, maybe a knowerandus. Bachelor and certainly Master of Science sound suspicious to me, way over the top; I wouldn’t want to be called either one of them, although I am.
    Almost as long as I can remember I have been able to take apart a motorcycle and put it back together so it would run again. I even got my head around relativity and quantum physics. I’ve also known that science has it’s limitations when it comes to bigger things, and I know the extent of these limitations will haunt us for a long long time.
    But where did they find the impudence to call us the anti-science crowd?
    Bah!
    To put it into perspective, Roger Waters sang:
    Us and them
    And after all we’re only ordinary men

  41. This really struck me. All my life I have been trying to put myself under the rigours of scientific thinking; to put aside prejudice and to give up previous convictions.
    But here we are, I and you; ‘we’. The anti-science crowd.

    Yes, it’s very odd. We’re called “anti-science” because we ask questions, because we want to see the data when none is forthcoming, we want to see the methods and are told we’re not qualified, we ask about uncertainty and are told it doesn’t matter.
    Which sounds more anti-science to you?

  42. Dr. Curry writes:
    “When I speak up about maybe there’s more uncertainty, some people regard that as heresy. That’s not a good thing for either science or policy. We’ve got to lose that.”
    The lady is a master of understatement.

  43. latitude writes:
    “One the other hand, she’s caught between a rock and a hard place trying to be honest and open, and then dictated to by the university and grants.”
    She’s at Georgia Tech. Or, as the locals and the alums call it, Tech. It is not like UEA. Tech will not take dollars for the sake of dollars. It has no need to take dollars for the sake of dollars. Dr. Curry is not under pressure from Tech to get grants for climate research or for anything else.

  44. Theo Goodwin says:
    August 20, 2010 at 8:14 pm
    How do you know Curry isn’t under pressure to bring in grant dollars. Here’s the list of endowments for U.S. universities: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_colleges_and_universities_in_the_United_States_by_endowment
    I don’t see GT on there anywhere. So, if they’re under pressure at Princeton, Harvard & Yale to get grants, I think it will be more so at GT.
    What grants does she currently have? I think I asked this previously and nobody knew.

  45. Agree with her or not, Dr. Curry has my respect and that of many others. She receives that respect because she has earned it and just continues to do so. What the earth sciences in general and climate related sciences specifically need most, are more like her.

  46. Yup Anti-science. Political science and the other sciency nonsense. OT does anyone personally know a political scientist? Just to get this straight, if we do not accept appeals to authority, with no supporting evidence, data or blindly accept the new religion, we are the anti-science guys? Fair enough, in Canada we have Bill Nye the science guy on CBC, an english major with a long record of mangling science for the masses and the public school system does not teach the basic scientific method anymore. Our politicians proclaim the evils of CO2 and our subsidised media missunderstand scientific matters in a manner resembling deliberate lying. Yes if that is science, then I must be anti that. Never did like incompetent fools, lying weasels or propaganda in any form. Anti science. Knuckleheads are desparate. JRR

  47. I think it is important to note that on the recent paper written by Dr. Curry (others have touched on this), that she does say specifically she wanted to test a period in which the southern oceans warmed…and in order to do that you have to cherry-pick the data in order to study a warming period. It would make no sense to write a paper about warming oceans over a period where the oceans did not warm.
    Maybe I am misunderstanding the paper, but that is my take on the situation. And no, I did not read the paper, just the abstract. I just suggest everyone make sure to look at both sides of the issue before issueing judgement.
    I prefer to leave the judgement calls and ad-hom attacks to the folks at RC.

  48. “Yes, you’ve certainly been raked over pretty good by certain sites like Real Climate and Climate Progress.
    Oh yes. Those guys are directly involved in Climategate so that’s not a huge surprise. (note: Joe Romm, of Climate Progress, was not directly involved in Climategate as his private e-mails were not published. Gavin Schmidt, of RealClimate, points out that he was the victim of a crime and not guilty of anything.)”
    Well mercy me. Poor little Gavin. The victim of a crime. BooooooHoooooo.
    And not guilty of anything.
    Really?
    Not hubris? Not incompetence? Not arrogance? Not hypocrisy? Not taking taxpayers’ money to peddle snake oil? Not dashing the hope of the world’s poor?
    Yeah. Really not guilty. Just like he’s not responsible nor accountable.
    But one day he will be.

  49. Re Real Climate silence, DSOTM etc
    ‘Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way
    The time is gone, the song is over,
    Thought I’d something more to say’
    I note that Gavin Schmidt at RC was born and educated in England. Pink Floyd got it right nearly forty years ago.
    (To my shame, both GS and John Houghton are Old Members of my Oxford College..sorry guys)

  50. I gave up trying to get a comment through moderation at realclimate back in 2008. Got knocked back every time. The fact that realclimate is run more like a gulag than an open rational inquiry revealing. In fact, realclimate is probably the third worst PR disaster for the CAGW meme right behind Climategate and Mann’s fake hockey stick.
    The Team is not only opaquely authoritarian and collectivist, they are also utterly incompetent. Oh, and they also have no sense of humor.

  51. I think Judith is right to describe it as damaging a brand.
    I went straight to RC when I first started to make a positive effort to find out more about this particular catastrophe theory.
    I got fed up with the rhetoric an started to look more at CA and then later WUWT. If I could be quite honest about it, I was extremely suspicious of CA and WUWT at first – almost like a feeling of disloyalty to what I then believed to be the more credible science at RC.
    Now I only very occasionally go to the acrimonious echo chamber at RC. If I do visit, I cannot stay too long before it just gets on my nerves.
    I am a regular visitor to WUWT, CA and the bishop because I like the mix of views and the discussion keeps to better standards of behaviour. I have learned a lot. I don’t think for one minute that all of the arguments are correct amongst posts and posters and I don’t feel put off if I feel the urge to chip-in if I feel I can contribute from my own background (engineering, control, and signal processing).
    Similarly, I like the fact that Judith and other well known names visit this site and are prepared to discuss their ideas.

  52. Ben U. : August 20, 2010 at 4:11 pm
    “Progressive” is just another euphemism for the political left. As a political label it’s been lurking around for a while, but seems more popular lately.
    Yup. It was wandering around in the darkness, cold, lonely, and afraid, until Georgy Malenkov started using it to describe Stalin’s attributes during a lull between purges — and suddenly, it was cool to be a “progressive.”
    Sheer coincidence, no doubt…

  53. “Progressive” politics was started during Teddy Roosevelt’s Republican administration. The term was later hijacked by the ultra-liberal far Left, who liked the term.
    I think of modern day “progressives” as old-timey political regressives, interested in fascist-style control of media outlets to control the masses.
    For them, the internet sucks.

  54. RC’s brand is damaged. The reason RC was originally set up is meaningless. For a long time, RC was considered by many to be a good source for getting facts about climate science, with real climate scientists explaining those facts. But as climategate evolved and the hockey stick fractured, RC was more and more forced to sensor comments, limit discussion, and generally show itself to not be a good source for getting unbiased facts about climate science.
    Plus, there is one thing that almost all internet users can agree upon, censorship is bad. But one-sided censorship? A huge, HUGE no-no. Its indefensible. So the idea that RC was a good source for getting climates facts is over. And that is how there brand is damaged.
    When I first started reading about climate a couple years ago, I thought it must be telling that no one seemed to be able to rebut, in anyway, the explanations provided at RC. The authors would write an entry, and any negative comments were shown to be either irresponsible or based upon some misunderstanding of the basic science. It wasn’t until started looking at some other sites that I realized the degree to which RC was being moderated. And for me, like most people, 1) that was a real turn-off, and 2) it made me wonder what it was RC was afraid of?
    One last comment about RC. It appears that RC is open about its connections to the Environmental Defense Fund and Fenton Communications. RC provides that info right on their site. So its not like pointing this info out is uncovering a secret they were trying to keep hidden. I don’t know when that info was put up, as I only now checked their site. But at least as of recently, RC is not trying to hide its roots.

  55. On the subject of Real Climhate, I would like to point out that public relations and truth rarely mix. I am not suggesting that they necessarily lie, but there are many techniques to change the focus of an argument, question the credentials of participants etc.
    A recent example is the emphasis Obama placed on “British” part of “British Petroleum”, despite the fact that this is no longer their name, to shift any blame offshore and away from the US, notwithstanding US participation in both BP and the local operating company, and presumably US regulation covering operations in the Gulf.
    There is generally an incestuous relationship between PR companies and the press (although, sadly for the PR companies, the press cannot be relied upon for consistency). The Gulf spill is relevant here too, as some commentators have claimed that press reporting was responsible for more damage to the local economy, through scaremongering, than the spill itself.
    For clarity, my background is in technical marketing not climate science.
    Finally, can I add my thanks to Dr Curry for entering a dialogue with those showing healthy scepticism – the agnostics rather than the atheists. I hope I speak for many here in saying that all we are asking for is clarity in scientific pronouncements so that the layman and scientist alike can make informed judgements rather than taking things on faith.
    REPLY: Thanks Peter, for visiting and weighing it with a quality comment. – Anthony

  56. Judith Curry – respect!
    The science will die if ‘one side’ fails to enter into dialogue about it’s work and possible consequences. This will mean adjusting models to fit new findings.
    It is of concern to see how some blogs have responded to your comments; this only adds weight to the notion that they have gone ‘beyond’ science. The everyday world now has realised something is very badly wrong in the world of ‘climate science’ and with the IPCC. (Certainly amongst the people I know and work with in England, many of them previously being uncritically accepting of the IPCC position, now feel that they’ve been fooled and are increasingly dismissing the issue all together.)
    Trust will only be rebuilt slowly but dialogue may permit a move on all sides to begin to find some common and agreed ground.
    Usually black and white polarised issues turn into some shade of grey in the end.
    You appear like an ambassador and could begin to occupy that middle position. ….what about starting a blog of your own?

  57. RC/Gavin’s take on Curry, tagged as : • climate tripe • generic stupidity
    Balls in Curry ? – Yes
    Balls in Gavin ? – No

  58. It would be more appropriate to label it:
    ” RC has damaged their [& others] brain(s)”.
    Brgds from Sweden
    //ThomasJ

  59. Jo Abbess writes in a post today in reference to Judith that:
    “I reckon, though, people should give her a break for a while to let her compose herself, and get over the shock of the Anthony Watts “tribe” eating her heart out with steak knives after she published a proper piece of Science.”
    http://www.joabbess.com/2010/08/21/lets-read-the-ipcc-1/
    Funny, because while Jo is hand waving about eating hearts out, WUWT has progressed to extending Judith an invitation for Thai Curry and thanking her for her thoughts, determination and engagement. While only Judith knows how she feels about her experiences at WUWT, I suspect that she will be back for many more, and we will do everything we can to make sure she feels welcome.

  60. Dan Murphy says:
    August 20, 2010 at 7:17 pm
    I’ll add my voice to others: Dr. Curry, please visit us here often. We may not agree with you on everything, but we admire and respect you, and welcome your posts and comments anytime
    Dennis Nikols says:
    August 20, 2010 at 9:10 pm
    Agree with her or not, Dr. Curry has my respect and that of many others. She receives that respect because she has earned it and just continues to do so. What the earth sciences in general and climate related sciences specifically need most, are more like her.

    I happily pile on to comments by Dan Murphy, Dennis Nikols and others about Judith Curry.
    Lest we forget, however, she is standing on the shoulders of those scientists (studying climate science) before her who were bloodied when going into the open blogosphere venues. Let’s take a moment to remember them.
    John

  61. Aaron Stonebeat says:
    August 20, 2010 at 7:28 pm
    “… There [CP] I found this statement:
“Last week, the anti-science crowd were touting …”
    “… This really struck me. All my life I have been trying to put myself under the rigours of scientific thinking; to put aside prejudice and to give up previous convictions. …
    
”… But here we are, I and you; ‘we’. The anti-science crowd. Our world of wonder and doubt apparently has been hijacked by those who pretend to know.”

    Well stated. You must remember who CP is. As “progressives,” they are advised by the likes of Saul Alinsky in “Rules for Radicals”: Ridicule your enemies, it throws them off-balance. I prefer the message of a sign I saw the other day: “Forgive your enemies. It messes with their minds.”

  62. I admire Judith Curry. It’s really easy sitting here making comments about climate scientists – even if I wanted to, I’m never going to meet them. But to be an academic in a field pretty much sewn up by the climategate gang and then to speak openly in criticism of the (once) major players … that takes guts.
    But that is what makes great leaders … they don’t follow the crowd down some blind alley way, they speak out and by doing so convince the crowd to follow them!

  63. http://www.leary.ru/download/leary/Timothy%20Leary%20-%20Start%20Your%20Own%20Religion.pdf
    people who thought he was a guru believed him so he pimped them – but he had plenty of friends who were not so silly and they played the game with him. if they’d tried, they could have expressed themselves with a trilogy that we’d listen to on audio book, but they were performance artists primarily.
    he had the police of texas in terror of him
    it was a joke to do that, too- he would laugh about how with a few words he could yank the right chain to motivate them to terror
    all he had to do was write a paragraph in (the same book) about how to mix lsd with dmso so you could spray it on…lol
    it was half deliberate and half opportunistic – it was for the performance, like madonna, or carl sagan or al gore or lady gaga or the pope or the politician
    [b]it is perhaps worth understanding that the baby boomers grew up in a generation when it was a hobby everybody practiced – to make up your own religion.
    thus, those in the whitehouse now- they not only know what they are doing and how to do it but they have rehearsed it all their lives.[/b]
    they eat, sleep and breath ‘performance art’ and use it to mask colossal theft.
    to motivate incredible stupidity and separate the fools from their money
    they had the same ‘revelations’ about historical conspiracies and religions that you have had- when they were your age. they chose a career in it.
    they compete for popular fear franchises – whoever is clever enough to think up a good one is admired and they jump on the bandwagon
    yah. they saw thru it all too. they just learned to use the tricks to BE it rather than get rid of it.
    they became ‘the system’ they hated and saw thru.
    they prey on their own species. it’s self evidently a path to extinction. just might take more than one generation.

  64. Jordan: August 21, 2010 at 1:50 am
    Similarly, I like the fact that Judith and other well known names visit this site and are prepared to discuss their ideas.
    RC is a lecture hall — WUWT is a town hall.

  65. Judith is introducing an improvisational element to a long running play.
    The other actors are confused, but she hopes it will be justified by drawing in additional viewers. Publicity is all good and the act was getting stale.
    As she has only begun to develop the character, its function in service of the plot is yet unclear.
    To the others on stage, it appears as ‘stage hogging’.
    The crowd finds it interesting, though.

  66. Bill Tuttle says:
    August 21, 2010 at 10:12 am
    Jordan: August 21, 2010 at 1:50 am
    Similarly, I like the fact that Judith and other well known names visit this site and are prepared to discuss their ideas.
    RC is a lecture hall — WUWT is a town hall.

    A lecture hall for theology and the number of angels on a pin head.

  67. Margaret says:
    August 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm
    This statement from the original article puzzles me: Since that time progressive climate sites have begun to increasingly attack Curry. Why on earth are these sites called “progressive”? Can anyone explain to me the meaning of the word in American english — as it doesn’t make sense in that sentence in New Zealand english..
    In the U.S. we have been saddled with New Speak. The term “progressive” is used to denote someone (or some group) who want to regress to failed leftist programs. In some cases it is used for garden variety socialism, while in extreme examples it refers to an attempt to return to the failed tenets of Marx-Engels communism. The good thing about New Speak is you can almost always determine the meaning by simply substituting the opposite. Therefore “progressive” becomes “regressive”.

  68. John Whitman says: August 21, 2010 at 9:10 am
    …I happily pile on to comments by Dan Murphy, Dennis Nikols and others about Judith Curry.
    Lest we forget, however, she is standing on the shoulders of those scientists (studying climate science) before her who were bloodied when going into the open blogosphere venues. Let’s take a moment to remember them.

    Yes please, and I’d like to remember those who were perhaps so bloodied that they still stay away from WUWT, but might have important material that WUWT might like to promote. I’m thinking of Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas; Tom Segalstad; Tim Ball; Zbigniew Jaworowski; there’s got to be many more.
    Unfortunately, mud sticks, and I believe the alarmism has, even in honest scientists like Judith Curry, created an impression of AGW that is erroneous. I see an unbelievable and shameful failure of Academia here, in allowing the practice of Scientific Method, and the quality of science practiced, to degrade so much in the realm of Climate Science.

  69. Lucy Skywalker says:
    August 21, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    John Whitman says: August 21, 2010 at 9:10 am
    …I happily pile on to comments by Dan Murphy, Dennis Nikols and others about Judith Curry.
    Lest we forget, however, she is standing on the shoulders of those scientists (studying climate science) before her who were bloodied when going into the open blogosphere venues. Let’s take a moment to remember them.

    . . . . . Yes please, and I’d like to remember those who were perhaps so bloodied that they still stay away from WUWT, but might have important material that WUWT might like to promote. I’m thinking of Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas; Tom Segalstad; Tim Ball; Zbigniew Jaworowski; there’s got to be many more.

    Lucy Skywalker,
    One can learn from the past, to correct the future. I think that is happening in the blog venues.
    Smile Lucy. : ) I have just started my Saturday night chill out. Take care.
    John

  70. I believe Dr. Curry sees WUWT as the largest possible world stage to argue her point of view. Real science will stand up to any examination. And she has gained a great deal of stature because of it. Who knows, maybe others of her field will join us here. We all may learn more then we expect. pg

  71. Ben U. says:
    August 20, 2010 at 4:11 pm
    (Regarding Margaret says:
    August 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm)
    “Progressive” is just another euphemism for the political left. As a political label it’s been lurking around for a while, but seems more popular lately.
    As, esp in USA, is the term “liberal.” They almost NEVER are!

  72. Aaron Stonebeat says:
    August 20, 2010 at 7:28 pm
    http://climateprogress.org/
    (Honestly I did not know. Also, as a European, I thought Obama would be an improvement after Bush)
    Yup, he and $700million (where did that come from?) fooled a lot of people, not only in Europe but in US as well (and perhaps they should have known better) so don’t be too hard on yourself.

  73. David Jones says:
    August 22, 2010 at 1:48 am
    ‘Ben U. says:
    August 20, 2010 at 4:11 pm
    (Regarding Margaret says:
    August 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm)
    “Progressive” is just another euphemism for the political left. As a political label it’s been lurking around for a while, but seems more popular lately.
    As, esp in USA, is the term “liberal.” They almost NEVER are!’
    In the USA, the term “liberal” means liberal with other people’s money as in “distribute the wealth”.

  74. Margaret says:
    August 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm
    “Why on earth are these sites called “progressive”?
    Can anyone explain to me the meaning of the word in American english — as it doesn’t make sense in that sentence in New Zealand english..”
    This comes from the way American political factions have evolved away from their old roots in the British parliamentary scrum of a few centuries ago. In some cases, due to blatant party hijacking by radical left agendas.
    The Progressive Party in the US originated as an offshoot of the 19th century Republican party under Teddy Roosevelt (his “Bull Moose Party”) that sought to reform industry with the FDA, and other federal regulatory agencies covering labor, public sanitation, etc. which merged with the Protestant centered nationalist/socialist movement that arose in the late 19th century out of the works of the Bellamys as well as the temperance and eugenics movements.
    In New York State, due to its odd election laws that allowed candidates to be endorsed by multiple parties, the Democrat and Republican parties had some curious monkeys on their backs in the form of the Liberal and Conservative Parties (actual parties in their own right like they are in Britain) which acted to steer the politics of each party in their own respective directions by being big enough that major party candidates sought their nominations as well in order to establish their bona fides as true major party loyalists and not just allies of convenience (for instance, nobody really believes that Michael Bloomberg, republican mayor of New York City, is actually a republican, he changed parties before the election so he could buy the inheritance of Giuliani).
    Despite Progressivism originating with the Republican Party, it is today positioned distinctly to the left of Democrats on both social and economic issues, it is essentially a trojan horse for hardcore socialists who want to avoid the Scarlet Letter of actual Socialist Party membership (just as Congressman Bernie Sanders is a “Democrat” he originally was elected Mayor of Burlington, VT on the Socialist ticket), seeking to attract moderate to liberal Republicans of middle class rural origins with populist and Rockwellian New Deal rhetoric (backing “Growth Control” measures to deal with limiting sprawl, for instance, as well as being heavily anti-nuke, pro-organic anything) that harken to a mythos of getting back to the land, living a simpler life in that mythical never-was small town/rural utopian dream.
    Simply put, their idea of “progress” doesn’t involve advancing technology, expanding economic growth, rising standards of living, or increasing consumption by making resources cost less and more available. To you and me, that seems like “regress”, but while these folks roots are commonly held to be in the humanist movement of the 19th century, in fact, they abandoned humanism for gaiaism and today generally advocate policies that require vast reductions in the human population of the planet, if not it’s outright extinction for crimes against nature.

  75. mikelorrey says:
    August 22, 2010 at 12:20 pm
    Some quick corrections: Bloomberg first switched from Democrat to Republican mainly because of the now-traditional unwinnability of the Democratic mayoral primary by any but half-competent party hacks politically dependent sometimes on extreme elements. Later Bloomberg, while mayor, quit the Republicans and became an independent. Bernie Sanders ran as an independent, not as a Democrat, and won a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives and then likewise in the U.S. Senate. He openly describes himself as a “socialist” and a “democratic socialist.” He’s not formally a member of a political party. He caucuses with the Democrats.

  76. “”” John F. Hultquist says:
    August 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm
    George E. Smith says:
    August 20, 2010 at 1:28 pm
    “I need to get some sort of understanding of just how EOFs are used;”
    I’m not sure how you mean this but an explanation (somewhat related) is shown here:
    http://www.ess.uci.edu/~yu/class/ess210b/lecture.5.EOF.all.pdf
    Some understanding of matrix algebra and correlation is needed.
    There may be a less algebraic explanation available that some would enjoy reading. Suggestions, anyone? “””
    John,
    Thanks for that link. At a quick glance, all of the elements of the process were at one time within my grasp; but it has been 50 years since I touched much of that in daily use; so I am rusty as all getout.
    So it would take me some heavy book slogging to get back up to speed to where I understood that.
    I’m quite comfortable with the synthesis of “fields” from common defined mathematical functions; although in my real world experience; all the specific functions I have used in such analysis or synthesis could be counted on the fingers of my two hands.
    But if I understand this EOF concept; it sounds like the functions used to construct some arbitrary field are themselves quite arbitrary; well in the sense of being empirical, rather than having formal mathematical expressions for them.
    As to the accuracy of such representations as far as conserving the information content, such as is of interest in sampled data systems; it is not clear to me that one can defeat the requirements of sampled data theory, and get by with less information, without losing accuracy or fidelity to the original continuous function.
    But thanks for the link; it gives me something to start with.

  77. mikelorrey says:
    August 22, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    To give a full account of it, you really have to bring in Wilson, Hegel, Bismarkian welfare state and the German School of Education.

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