Breakthrough at Scientific American

Vincent Gray advises me via email:

Click for this issue

Click for this issue

Dear Folks

I have been a subscriber to the “Scientific American” for as long as I can remember. I have been bitterly disappointed at there persistent embrace of the climate change fraud and the publicity they have given to its promoters.

I have still kept subscribing for the occasional genuine scientific articles.

I just received the issue for November 2010 and I almost fell off my chair at two of their articles. They now admit for the first time the sceptics might be right and they invite discussion on their website.

The first article, page 8 entitled “Fudge Factor” tells of a scientist who always found the results which fitted theory when they did not, how this sort of thing happens all too frequently and includes a sentence questioning whether proxy temperatures measured from tree rings are not an example..

The second article, page 58 has a full page photograph of Judith Curry, Climate Heretic who has been consorting with the likes of Chris Landsea, Roger Pielke Sr, Steven McIntyre and Pat Michaels, who has doubts about the entire IPCC process. I had noticed her intelligent letters on the various blogs.

There is a diagram showing how ridiculous the Hockey Stick becomes when you put in the uncertainties.

I have only just finished reading this so I have not so far commented, but I thought you should know that when a magazine like the “Scientific American” permits free discussion on climate change it must mean the beginning of the end.

Cheers

Vincent Gray

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

Direct link to Judith Curry’s article:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=climate-heretic&page=1

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140 thoughts on “Breakthrough at Scientific American

  1. “when a magazine like the “Scientific American” permits free discussion on climate change it must mean the beginning of the end.”
    Climategate was “the team’s” Stalingrad
    “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
    Sir Winston Churchill, Speech in November 1942

  2. Is Scientific American in danger of returning to real science? Does this mean there is no longer a consensus? What would Al Gore say?

  3. Vincent Gray,
    Thanks for the tip.
    I am running out now to the local Barnes & Noble to get a copy.
    Note: it may not be the beginning of the end . . . but at least the end of the beginning (thanks Churchill?).
    John

  4. I think, rather than “the beginning of the end”, it is actually the beginning of the beginning–finally, open discussion about SCIENCE! (although I never thought I’d see the day from this namesake magazine.

  5. …I thought you should know that when a magazine like the “Scientific American” permits free discussion on climate change…
    Has anyone actually tried commenting on the web site – with success, I mean? Did your (presumably skeptic) comments actually get posted?

  6. Perhaps, they have just realized, that it is impossible to have an intelligent conversation, without the skeptic participating. There are still lots of climate discussion forums, who believe, the solution to climate debate, is to eliminate any skeptic who dares to post contrarian viewpoint. They, then wonder, why their blogs receive little readership, other than those who enjoy echo chambers. Maybe, SA’s new policy will begin a change throughout the community, but I am not holding my breath! GK

  7. Woohoo
    Unlike new scientist here in the UK I’ve always felt that Scientific American was the heavy weight, so this is great news 🙂
    I can start buying it again 🙂

  8. My relationship with SA has been the same as Vincent Gray’s. When the Heartland Conference was in NYC I wrote and asked them to walk down the street and cover it. A couple of other notes were, likewise, ignored. Since then they have only had alarmist nonsense in the magazine.
    Our location is such that I am possibly the last person in the USA to get my copy – maybe it will arrive today or Monday. This month, at least, there is something to look forward to. Now I’ll have to write and say something nice.

  9. Does Scientific American consider that scientific papers should not be published without the release of supporting data etc?

  10. “…when a magazine like the “Scientific American” PERMITS FREE DISCUSSION on climate change….” I and my children’s children are forever in gratitude. Thank you, thank you boss – sir. Please do the right thing in November America.

  11. Two years ago I bet my professor in grad school that within two years even SA would be forced to admit that the science of AGW is far from settled. I did my semester project on why the science as not settled. He gave me an A on my presentation and research, but he still strongly held to the “all the scientists agree so it must be true” mantra.
    I think I will shoot him an email.

  12. Like many I was a near life long subscriber to SA and NG, the former probably responsible in part for my choice of Physics as a field of Study. About a decade ago I dropped both when they ceased to present balanced views and became presenters of the Gorian view of climate.
    Thankfully the freedom of the Internet provides a march wider view of the world.

  13. Good news. I canceled my subscription years ago when they ran an article claiming that agriculture ended the last ice age. That’s right, bronze age humans committed the first AGW. The author’s own charts and graphs didn’t support the claims being made. It was clear that Scientific American had become a mindless cheerleader for every global warming theory to come down the pike. Since I’m not a scientist and depend on the authors and editors to help me stay informed, SA was useless for its purpose. Maybe, it is safe to resubscribe?

  14. Yes! Another sign that the MSM are entering damage limitation mode in connection to CAGW.
    Climategate was pivotal in bringing about a move back to reality. The last 15y without any statistically significant warming certainly helped too.

  15. Steamboat – I just checked the comments , and they’re currently running slightly in favor of the article . Of course this may change .

  16. SA article on Judith Curry says early on

    Although many of the skeptics recycle critiques that have long since been disproved, others, she believes, bring up valid points—and by lumping the good with the bad, climate researchers not only miss out on a chance to improve their science, they come across to the public as haughty. “Yes, there’s a lot of crankology out there,” Curry says. “But not all of it is…”

    One black mark, one good mark. Then

    The experts broadly agree that it will take massive changes in agriculture, energy production, and more to avert a potential disaster.
    In this context, figuring out how to shape the public debate is a matter of survival. If people and governments are going to take serious action, it pretty much has to be now, because any delay will make efforts to stave off major climate change much more expensive and difficult to achieve.

    More black marks.
    “End of the beginning” at the very most IMHO.

  17. Vincent,
    “… when a magazine like the “Scientific American” permits free discussion on climate change it must mean the beginning of the end.”.
    Oh, I do really hope that you are right, my friend, but there are other, more sinister and esoteric forces at work amongst the nonsense, nay, propaganda of climate change fraudulence.
    Google your excellent weather forecaster ‘John Coleman’.
    Have a dabble (Google) with others, such as Christopher Monckton and Robert Carter, who will both illuminate and illustrate the absurdities that we are having to put up with.
    You may perhaps also like to look at a recent synopsis delivered by the President of the Czech Republic, Viclav Klaus, which can be found on -http://www.spectator.co.uk/australia/6392618/thank-heavens-for-bob-carter.thtml

  18. not much of a capitulation here. Look at the summary from the article:
    In Brief
    * If people and governments are going to take serious action to reduce carbon emissions, the time pretty much has to be now, because any delay will make efforts to stave off major changes more difficult and expensive to achieve.
    * In the wake of “Climategate” and attacks on policy makers, the public is more confused than ever about what to think, particularly when it comes to talk of uncertainty in climate science.
    * Climate policy is stalled.The public needs to understand that scientific uncertainty is not the same thing as ignorance, but rather it is a discipline for quantifying what is unknown.
    * Climate scientists need to do a better job of communicating uncertainty to the public and responding to criticism from outsiders.

  19. Same old SA BS has been for at least 15 years since I quit subscribing. Judith was not presented in the light of truth as I see it, she is just wanting to do good science, but the background data quality is in question, further stymieing real progress in a positive direction. Towards an expansion in the amount of knowledge that can be brought to bear to solve the cyclic nature of climate and weather patterns.

  20. As a very interested layman as far as science is concerned I also used to really look forward to each edition of SA and NS for close on 40 years.
    I cancelled both about a decade ago as they were no longer publishing science as I understood it.
    I won’t be rushing out to buy a copy of either until I am convinced that there has been a major shift within the editorial ranks bringing genuine science back as the core of their publication business.
    And I bet there is a few small wars now going on deep within the editorial enclaves of many science publications on whether there should be a rethink and a recognition that the science publications have made some very bad editorial judgement calls in the way they have turned from publishing genuine science to to advocacy and high profile gatekeeping for some unproven and very suspect science.

  21. Wow! In a world with many good people and arguments on both sides of the debate this makes sense. The same cannot be said of Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jonas Gahr Støre that this month compared climate skeptics with the campaign by tobacco lobbyists.
    http://translate.google.no/translate?hl=en&sl=no&u=http://www.aftenposten.no/fakta/innsikt/article3797321.ece
    He is alarmed at how climate skeptics are using any doubt about the research results, and draw parallels to how the tobacco giants were trying to sow doubt about tobacco carcinogenic properties.

  22. I considered that Climate Change/Disruption’s days were numbered last week when David Cameron (UK Prime Minister) announced during the UK Government Spending Review that the greatest threat to the UK is now…. cyberwarfare. We have a new “State of Fear” subject as Michael Crichton put it.

  23. So these so-called “experts” say they

    … broadly agree that it will take massive changes in agriculture, energy production, and more to avert a potential disaster.

    Yet the cost estimate the world will require to do it is:
    $40 Trillion!
    . And that’s for a $3 Trillion benefit!
    BTW, most estimates of TOTAL WORLD GDP is around $50 Trillion. Anybody here willing to invest nearly a year’s worth of global productivity to “avert disaster”.
    Gosh, I’d wish they’d give us some solid evidence regarding this disaster they’re talking about (operative word here is “SOLID”).

  24. I have no idea why some people on this site like Judith Curry. The Climategate evidence of scientific misconduct speaks for itself. Anyone who can’t see that at this late date doesn’t have the courage necessary to be a scientist. Judith is just such a person, according to this Sci. Am. article.
    She is positioning herself to speak for people who oppose IPCC and the scientific fraud of CAGW. This is very dangerous to allow her to do, as she is very much an establishment figure. Fairly soon, CNN might employ her as the resident climate skeptic, when she is nothing of the sort. It’s an old trick that continues to work. I would like to see her denounced instead of congratulated.

  25. Then comes the backlash from the “climate science” community. By next issue it’ll be business as usual, I’ll bet.
    The Curry piece sure uses enough of the disparaging language to make me doubt there is any real “breakthrough” present:

    Curry has been engaging actively with the climate change skeptic community, largely by participating on outsider blogs such as Climate Audit, the Air Vent and the Black­board.

    Anyone here who doubts the climate changes? These are opposed to “insider blogs” like UnRealClimate and Climate Regress?

    Although many of the skeptics recycle critiques that have long since been disproved…

    At (C)AGW-proponent blogs where the disproving has been debunked at the “outsider blogs”, not that SA can be bothered to keep track of such events.

    “Yes, there’s a lot of crankology out there,” Curry says. “But not all of it is. If only 1 percent of it or 10 percent of what the skeptics say is right, that is time well spent because we have just been too encumbered by groupthink.”

    Offhand I think we skeptics are running far better that 1 or even 10 percent, and getting better all the time.
    The “In Brief” sidebar gives some nice insight:

    If people and governments are going to take serious action to reduce carbon emissions, the time pretty much has to be now, because any delay will make efforts to stave off major changes more difficult and expensive to achieve.

    If they’re going to get that legislation passed now, they need to quiet the skeptics down quickly lest they be heard by too many more and belief in (C)AGW falls unacceptably low. How do you quiet down protesters? You talk to them. Give them a hearing, a meeting, engage them in some dialogue so they think they are being heard and their views considered. That might get the “climate science community” a year of relative peace, during which their louder and more publicized voice can rebuild support, basically calling a truce for talks to get time to resupply and reload. When the skeptics realize there never was any real intention to listen and walk away, the “climate science community” gets to declare they tried dialogue and the science denying skeptics didn’t want it.
    Yup, despite the IPCC reports saying we are “committed” already to centuries of increasing temperatures, any sort of “carbon” limiting having to be done globally, any global “carbon” limiting agreement most certainly having exceptions for “developing” countries, with it clearly being at least a half a century until the “developed” world can limit “carbon” emissions in a practical economical manner with the “developing” countries already ramping up emissions, The time for serious action to reduce carbon emissions is NOW.
    As opposed to ten or even five years from now, when climate science may have actually matured to where they make realistic predictions based on sound and proven theory that might actually pan out. Provided by then we still find there is a reason to be alarmed about small increases in concentration of a certain trace atmospheric gas.

  26. I think they decided not to go down the road of Nature and other media as a tool of crazy environmentalists.

  27. I was reading through the comments on the Judith Curry article and noticed a comment that Anthony may want to respond to:
    10. ThePowerofX
    02:04 PM 10/23/10
    “Also consider the type of ‘skeptic’ blog Judith is venturing out onto. Anthony Watts misrepresents the content of scientific papers on a regular basis, only emphasising uncertainties, while ignoring main body conclusions, often pretending the paper says the opposite of what it actually does. Christopher Monckton is a guest contributor to Watts Up With That (WUWT). This is the chap who thinks NASA sabotaged a Taurus rocket in order to prevent the Orbiting Carbon Observatory from reaching space. Judith is giving oxygen to people who are beyond reason.”
    REPLY: Meh, IMHO, not worth the effort. This is another of the Romm clones. People can come here and see for themselves, and trying to convince Romm followers otherwise is a wasted effort, they are not reachable. – Anthony

  28. nofate says:
    October 23, 2010 at 1:05 pm
    Is Scientific American in danger of returning to real science? Does this mean there is no longer a consensus? What would Al Gore say?

    Scientific American is in no danger by re-engaging in rational scientific reporting.
    Al Gore and his like have never been in touch with rational scientific debate, and I don’t expect he will voluntarily retreat from that limb prior to politically falling out of his tree.

  29. It’s a start, and positive comments to SA may be helpful in the long run to make them see there are other intelligent, informed and scientific individuals and groups that deserve equal time to move our understanding of climate science (is that an oxymoron?) forward.
    However, I would say we all still need to keep our guard up and let them know when they stray in order to keep them honest.
    It’s gonna be a long war…

  30. I get the the feeling that Dr. Curry “plays for both teams” a little, judging by her statements below
    Or could it be she *has* to do this in order to be taken seriously by the MSM?
    I find the below statements quite contradictory:
    “So it is important to emphasize that nothing she encountered led her to question the science; she still has no doubt that the planet is warming, that human-generated greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, are in large part to blame, or that the plausible worst-case scenario could be catastrophic.”
    “Curry asserts that scientists haven’t adequately dealt with the uncertainty in their calculations and don’t even know with precision what’s arguably the most basic number in the field: the climate forcing from CO2—that is, the amount of warming a doubling of CO2 alone would cause without any amplifying or mitigating effects from melting ice, increased water vapor or any of a dozen other factors.”

  31. Guys; before everybody breaks out the champagne please remember:
    If the previous thousand year North Atlantic cycle just repeats itself, with no help from people, then we’re in for another 150 years of global warming! They can continue to tell people who don’t know any better that this warming trend is “unprecedented”. Just try posting a skeptical argument on digg or reddit and see what happens. I very much appreciate the difficult and often tedious work that many of you all have done. I hope you guys are ready for a long battle.
    These people have hijacked the legitimate environmental movement. They have hijacked science and many academics are afraid to speak out. They hijacked wikipedia. I think WUWT just had an article about that. There is more going on here than a few scientists trying to get their names in scientific journals. These AGW people are not going to give up without a fight.

  32. SA, Nature, etc, who cares. They shot themselves in the foot. WUWT is the beacon, nay Lighthouse, of reason in this cloudy discussion. They may try to regain some believability, but they have crushed our hearts and minds with essentially meaningless drivel. I am not sure a very large apology would even have meaning at this point.

  33. Scientific American in the 60’s and 70’s [and before] was an outstanding magazine serving a unique niche.
    Since that time it progressively went downhill as science continued to be replaced by various so-called progressive agendas including the belief in MMGW.

  34. From what I have just read here I hope they are ready for a real hockey stick in their sales! great news, is it sold in Canada?

  35. When SA changes its editor and the editorial board and (leftist) funding that took it over approximately 10 years ago (when AGW went main stream), then we might have a chance for the Scientific American of the preceding 40 years. It was great, and my love of science was nurtured by its articles. I can almost guarantee that the tiny change noted above is because its CIRCULATION IS DECREASING. Too many people know that it has become a phony. The motto must be: prove it, prove it, prove it before re-subscribing.
    The comments above demonstrate that its “empathy” for skepticism is mostly hot air for show. Besides, skepticism is not a position; it is a necessity of the scientific method. The position can only be “the science”; if the proposed science is fraudulent or secretive and policy decisions are proposed from that “science”, then it is politics and power, not science.

  36. I see no cause for rejoicing. Certainly, Judith Curry deserves praise when she acts in a manner consistent with a true scientist. But I agree with JDN. Her statements are still largely consistent with someone who endorses CAGW in all its glory, and so is the SA article. A very small step, admitting that there are still skeptics. Other than that? Not much. I won’t rush out and buy the latest issue.

  37. At last a blow of fresh air in Scientific American’s usual biased position and unscientific attitude on Climate Change matters!
    I hope and wish a more open minded and enrichening debate on these maters will be encouraged here from now on, for the sake of science and all of us, long time readers of SciAm.

  38. The idea that SA might be softening their position a bit might be appealing, but, when I clicked on the direct link to the article, I got a popup that said the following (with boxes to tick where I have placed dashes and a button with the word “VOTE” in it):

    Energy Poll (in association with Shell Oil)
    The International Energy Agency predicts that fossil fuels will continue to meet the bulk of rising energy demand for decades to come, but they are currently responsible for 60% of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions. So, managing CO2 emissions from coal, oil and natural gas is crucial in tackling climate change.
    -Which steps do you think should be prioritized when reducing emissions from fossil fuels? (Check all that apply)
    -Major operators to increase the efficiency of their own operations
    -Establishing a substantial capability in carbon capture and storage (CCS)
    -Continuing to research and develop technologies that increase efficiency and reduce emissions in hydrocarbon production
    -Educating energy consumers about ways to reduce their own emissions
    -Other
    VOTE

    Looks like they are softening about as much as the “rotten” arctic ice.

  39. Am I missing something??
    Anthony says:
    Direct link to Judith Curry’s article:
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=climate-heretic&page=1
    =================
    Said article, infers Judith Curry may be causing more harm than good, by consulting with “skeptics”.
    Said article ends with this:
    …”But the COP15 climate negotiations in Copenhagen last December ended in a watered-down policy document, with no legally binding commitments for countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Following Copenhagen, the U.S. Senate was unable to pass even a modest “cap and trade” bill that would have mandated reductions. And in the wake of Climategate a year ago and widespread attacks on the IPCC and on climate science in general, the public may be more confused than ever about what to think. Is Curry making things worse or better?”
    So, now it is Judith Curry’s fault?
    Just what are the “things”, she may be making worse (or better) ?

  40. I wouldn’t hold my breath on Scientific American easing up from the dogma and allowing any two-sided debates any time soon.
    This article is completely biased: One minute they shake skeptic’s hands, then they slap them upside the head, then they shake skeptic’s hands, then they slap them upside the head, and so on.
    The only thing I see going on here is lip service in preparation for possible future damage control/back-peddling just in case the AGW prosthelytizing worshippers are found out to actually be wrong… because the science really is starting to fall under heavy scrutiny these days and has been found wanting in far too many areas to ignore any more.
    Scientific American is just now catching on to this fact.

  41. Scientific American used to consist of articles written by scientists for the educated public. It was brilliant and a wonderful source of real scientific insight.
    It was bought by a German publisher and the articles came to be written by “science writers” in the manner of New Scientist. The quality went down hill in one precipitous step. I stopped buying it. I have no intention of resubscribing. One swallow does not a summer make (especially when it is only a swallow’s flea).
    For those who don’t know Vincent, he is a PhD (Cantab) chemist who is an IPCC reviewer and was an early critic. His website is well worth visiting (just Google). He is one of the giants of the “denier” community.

  42. Sounds like pretty small beer from the SA, judging from the elucidation in the comments above; nothing to rejoice over.
    How’s Science News doing? I decided not to renew my subscription after they ran an idiotic article by a ‘science reporter’ on sea-level rise in the Maldives, which did nothing but cite CAGW talking points.
    /Mr Lynn

  43. pesadia says:
    October 23, 2010 at 1:48 pm
    It will be interesting to see if these articles affect their sales.

    … and this, I think, is what is going on here. Sceptics among the magazine buying public are outnumbering believers.

  44. I’m not a scientist so it is with a degree of trepidation that I address this learned group.
    I did study history and know that the Medieval Warming Period was real in both Europe and in some Pacific waters. The “Hockey Stick” dissembles and cannot be supported. My state attorney general should pursue his investigation of Michael Mann if only to determine whether he has used his AGW tactics before. I am not impressed by the arguments about AGW since even I know that more than 90% of the atmosphere is water vapor (which makes the Earth habitable) and that C02 (also a gas necessary to life on Earth) is merely a trace gas. My reading (of learned individuals such as those who post in this milieu) tells me the Earth has warmed and cooled on multiple occasions through the ages and that CO2 increases generally follow warming, not the reverse. I believe Al Gore, Mann, Holdren et all, are shameless
    snake oil salesmen.

  45. Hmmm. Maybe they will consider someday that “dark matter” (mentioned on their cover) and “dark energy” are also fudge factors invented to force a broken theory to match observations?

  46. For almost 30 years I subscribed to SciAm, then about 5 years ago I retired. I needed to cut costs and by that time the magazine had been on the climate-warming, disaster bandwagon for sometime. It was a no brainer; I stopped renewing and decided that the public libary would provide me with their publication. For a year or two I took it home to read. Now I don’t.
    I doubt that the editor and the publisher has changed its orientation much.

  47. “To be or not to be” that is the question: It is a matter of choice that the whole media faces: Whether they accept their fate and die because of lack of clients, or….make an urgent recheck of the real world and publish what the real public (CLIENTS) wants. However, chances are, that if ideology is really funded by tax money it can last keeping its head interred in the sand, while you have some money left in your now almost empty wallets.
    But, REJOICE!, here in WUWT, we have been announcing: We are living in really interesting time, just keep along with Don Quixote Watts´, Lord of Wattsupwiththat, knightly fight against the windmills of old. Buy more popcorn!

  48. ……if they were to publish real science, they would have troubles finding it in the same known places…. 🙂
    It would be refreshing for them to buy some WUWT posts.

  49. Glad to hear it. Over the last several years I have begun to feel increasingly like we are living in a surreal world of massive group think like one of the scary science fiction novels of the 60s. However, The British Royal Society, the American Physical Society, and not far behind the American Chemical Society, have recently had major defections in their ranks over the ‘debate is over’ nonsense. One of the more embarassing holdouts, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, just put out a feeler on how scientists could better communicate with the public. Perhaps losing the ridicule and opening serious debate might catch on.

  50. I stopped reading Sci Amer for good when their editor suggested that colleges discriminate against Kansas? high school grads because the State School Board of Kansas voted, for one year I think, to include creationism in the high school curriculum.
    Think about that.
    Of course, Kansas scores higher on the std tests than the more progressive states of NY and California, but, details, details.
    Sci Am was leftist back in the 1960’s. I recall reading a glowing article on how Chile was beating inflation by indexing. Think about that.
    Then, the article by economists saying that the govt should directly create jobs, not the private sector, because govt sector jobs were of higher quality. Think about that.
    Even in 10th grade, I knew that stuff was crap. I was raised on a farm. I understood more about economic reality than those PhD’s writing in Sci Am.
    The proper response to these publications should be to shun them. They have disgraced themselves. Just sold themselves and science out. Let them go out of existence.

  51. Slightly off-topic, but: I more or less stopped reading SciAm in 1998 or 1999, after what I recall as a ridiculous article on Y2K. If I’m remembering correctly, the article laid out worst-case and best-case scenarios, along with a call for funding correction efforts by government and industry in order to stave off disaster. (Sound familiar?) The best-case scenario predicted widespread outages for 2-3 months after 1 Jan 2000.
    I can find no trace of such an article at SciAm’s website, not even a likely title. Am I hallucinating the article, or does anyone else remember such an article?

  52. OT but did anyone notice that the high temperature in the arctic is now hovering over areas of open water. Compare the ice graph and the temperature graph and there is a strong correlation that wasn’t there a while ago but is there now as the “hot” spots shrink.

  53. Good day HollyGlobalWarmingWood,
    Today on “As The World Churns”, we see the return of Professor Courage, starring Global Reality star JVC, as the lone challenger of the vicious IPPC. Courage finally overcomes the evilly distorted Sy Fi editor, Virgin Lips, the editor with a global warming hoax to and for everything almost sensationalist science magazine, “Los Ferocy” .
    Enters the distress massage therapist from a democrat-liberal challenged state on the US west coast. Wearing her new “real” mink coat which Virgin Lips has for every robust massage therapist he can find, she cracks her knukkles and slides up to Virgin Lips and whispers, “Watch the hannnnds”.
    The steps back and says, “You look bad, VIe! What is it Babe?” Asked the Shewolf of the Columbia Gorge.
    AAaaaaaaaah! It’s that dog gone Georgian,” screamed Virgin Lips. She’s back.
    “She is back with revenge. She got to the board, she got to the Marketeers. I’m. I’mm washed up!”. “It’s over, It’s over,” Virgin Lips cried as his head slipped into the hands set on his calorie filled chest.
    “Well, Virgin Lips, I guess that’s that and thanks for the pearls,” as Shewolf walked out the glass, black carbon, double pane, thermal doors.
    As she left, Virgin Lips remembers the old song, “Lucille”. As he steps to his wall mirror, he begins to sing, “why did you leave me,…?
    What was that name he whimpered at the end? Only the fortune teller’s magic mirror can tell.
    We may never know.
    Next week on “As the World Churns”, The Professor takes on her peers at Tallahassee University of Meterological Studies.
    Don’t forget to program your DVDR for that show. Just ask your kid how it works.

  54. Good news! But we’ll obviously have to wait much longer for them to sober up about the equally ridiculous theory of cold dark matter so absurdly proclaimed on their cover.

  55. It is a start but when they have the history of adopting the attitude of a doomsday cult, it will take more than a token gesture. Their credibility has been seriously damaged and I wouldn’t take them seriously unless they start doing articles like how stupid the Hockey Stick was and openly apologized for how they damaged science by supporting pseudoscience.

  56. I would not call this a ‘return to science’ for the Scientific American.
    Look at the lead story… “Hidden Worlds Of Dark Matter”
    Absolute baloney!! ( http://thunderbolts.info/ )
    Give with one hand.. take with the other..

  57. As much as I love Judith Curry, God knows she has a good heart and a good mind, I cannot but give credit to the institution where she teaches, Georgia Tech or Tech. My best hypothesis is that Judith learned scepticism from some hard headed professors at Tech. Professor Curry probably discovered that if she wanted some colleagues to converse with her then she needed to ditch the pro-AGW stance. I do not mean to take away from her intelligence or character; rather, I mean to give credit to a first-rate institution of science and technology. Tech has not yet fallen to postmodern science or postmodern scientific method. Let us honor the institution.

  58. I do not see this a break though is the rigid position against skeptics of AGW by the editors of SA. It seems to me this is an article that attempts to discredit Judith Curry as a scientist for looking for scientific truth in the liar’s camp. They describe her as a doubled-minded scientist willing to converse with non-believers. In any religion, this is heresy

  59. I liked one of the comments that compared how amateurs are viewed in astronomy. If this was an astronomy site Anthony would be commended for his tireless work, would be thanked by the greatest in the field and the surface station anomalies would be known as the Watts effect.

  60. Vincent Gray wrote: “There is a diagram showing how ridiculous the Hockey Stick becomes when you put in the uncertainties.”
    Looking at the online version, I didn’t see that diagram. Can someone provide a link or perhaps the diagram itself? Or, is there another graph somewhere that closely shows the same information, for our review?

  61. JDN [October 23, 2010 at 2:26 pm] says:
    “I have no idea why some people on this site like Judith Curry. The Climategate evidence of scientific misconduct speaks for itself. Anyone who can’t see that at this late date doesn’t have the courage necessary to be a scientist. Judith is just such a person, according to this Sci. Am. article.
    She is positioning herself to speak for people who oppose IPCC and the scientific fraud of CAGW. This is very dangerous to allow her to do, as she is very much an establishment figure. Fairly soon, CNN might employ her as the resident climate skeptic, when she is nothing of the sort. It’s an old trick that continues to work. I would like to see her denounced instead of congratulated.”

    I fully agree with every single word of this. Smart thinking!

  62. “I have only just finished reading this so I have not so far commented, but I thought you should know that when a magazine like the “Scientific American” permits free discussion on climate change it must mean the beginning of the end.”
    Cheers
    Vincent Gray

    The beginning of the end?
    Not likely! More like the beginning of ~yet more~ pervasive propaganda, empirical lies, deceits, half-truths, and a whole slew of fabrications predicated upon pseudo-scientific prognostications.
    The magazine —and the organization once known for its stringent adherence to scientific principle— has sunk so far beneath the surface of the political seas, as to have become subsumed into the domain of the compromised.
    Raising —and re-floating— that grand old lady to her once great stature is seen as a next-to-impossible venture under the current ‘leadership.’

  63. I was an avid reader of Scientific American beginning in 1962. I quit subscribing when the magazine began publishing articles with a political slant rather than scientific. If they are now coming back to publishing hard science, I might re-subscribe.

  64. SA = Still on the [insert 4 letter expletive] list of publications I no longer subscribe to or read.
    Sometimes it pays to remember that “…and one robin doth not a springtime make”

  65. KnockJohn says:
    October 23, 2010 at 2:19 pm
    I considered that Climate Change/Disruption’s days were numbered last week when David Cameron (UK Prime Minister) announced during the UK Government Spending Review that the greatest threat to the UK is now…. cyberwarfare. We have a new “State of Fear” subject as Michael Crichton put it.
    Does Cameron mean cyberwarfare as in the Climategate emails/documents release?

  66. This is just an article saying that Judith Curry sees flaws in the IPCC (as does everyone else) and — having studied the skeptics’ arguments at length — that she still believes the science behind man-made global warming is sound and a serious problem.
    Where is this great breakthrough of which you speak?

  67. Well it is good to see a report from Vincent Gray and learn that they do get SA in Kiwiland;but evidently a different version from the USA print. I just got my issue; a day after I got their letter telling me that my subscription has officially expired. My page 8 does not contain the first paper that Vincent describes; but the issue does have the Curry article, starting at page 78.
    I can’t say I got the same rosy feeling after reading it.
    For example, they mention Dr Curry’s venture out into the skeptic blogs, which we all remember from quite recently. Among the “skeptic blogs” that SA mentions; there’s not a hint that WUWT exists, or that Dr Curry spent a good deal of time in dialog here, and the tout c-r as the premier Climate Science blog under GS’s leadership. Not a mention of their selective censorship policy. Towards the end of the SA article they go into assassination mode. and have a large setion headed:-
    ” Doing Damage “; where Curry is chastised for doing damage to “The concensus”
    The SA article is authored by one Michael D. Lemonick, who was for 21 years a science writer for Time Magazine.
    And the article is titled “Climate Heretic.” a nice scientific phraseology. and a front page footnote basically says that Governments have to act now.
    Well it is the same thing as the fiasco of Obamacare; We have to pass it before they find out what’s in it.
    So before the roof caves in on the IPCC and AGW we have to take expensive and irreversible action. Yeah right. And Dr Curry is reported to ave said that the rise in Temperature from a doubling of CO2 could be one degree or it could be 10 degrees.
    The author of the SA article reports that the late Stephen Schneider claimed that the “Climate Sensitivity” (Climate “science’s” velocity of light (c)) is known accurately to a few percent. “Few” to me, meens 3-5 percent. (the above words re cs and c are MINE, not Scneider’s, he allegedly is the inventor of cs, which Dr Curry says is somewhere in the 1-10 deg C range. Can you believe that this is peddled as science ?
    I can make one recommendation for this Nov issue of SA; the Dec issue will be my last.
    There’s a very nice article about Dark Matetr, and Dark Energy. I think this is the most readable paper on that issue that I have ever read. I’m not a fan of dark matter or dark energy, or multiverses, or string theory. I just cant accept as fundamental, something that wriggles. So if it wriggles what sort of pieces is it made up from ?
    But this paper might get me believing that DM and DE may be real. Don’t have an opinion yet on whether I favor WIMPS or Super WIMPS.

  68. Dr Gray,
    Your post is great news. We are being heard.
    The media, even a scientific magazine, reflects the opinion of the public. Media people: editors, publishers, producers, writers, reporters, anchors, talk show hosts, photographers and their teams are constantly hearing from the public and their work eventually tends to be somewhat reflective what they hear. When all they heard were Al Gore, the IPCC, environmentalists and left leaning political activists they tended to echo those opionions. Thanks to an army of opinion shapers and the constant distribution of their efforts by websites such as this one and the years of constant work by Heartland with their conferences, papers, speakers, emails etc and the work of Steve Milloy and Bob Furguson and others in Washington, Joe D’Aleo and Marc Marono and others in making scientists such as Lindzin, Singer, Soon, Happer, Lewis, the Idsos and so many others heard, opinion has been shifting. It shows in public opinion surveys.
    As public opinion is beginning to turn on Global Warming the media is hearing from those who question the Al Gore/IPCC scare. More balanced articles are appearing. Wikepedia is moving to open the way to a balanced presentaiton.
    Politicians are always trying to reflect the voters opinions. As those have shifted somewhat, more elected officials have moved toward middle ground. This has been particularly true in state legislatures where James Taylor of Heartland has worked so hard and effectively. Now the majority of the new Republican Congresspersons to be elected in two weeks will be skeptics of global warming.
    It is in response to all of this movement, that NOAA and the AMS are now undertaking major global warming “educational” campaigns.
    I think the Scientific American articles are a true sign of progress, but not of victory.
    We must continue to work hard to correct the run-away bad science that has branded carbon dioxide as a pollutant that will distory of our climate and therefore our way of life.
    My contribution will be another long form video presentation, this time in HD, within the month. My last powerpoint presntation was tagged by the Republican National Committee in a national email and was viewed on line by over a million people in a two week period. That demonstrated to me how the new open internet media is a powrful tool. I must note that Watts up with That proves this power every day. Anthony Watts is a hero.

  69. “”” pat says:
    October 23, 2010 at 2:53 pm
    I think they decided not to go down the road of Nature and other media as a tool of crazy environmentalists. “””
    Scientific American is a part of the NATURE publishing group; so they are one and the same.

  70. Vincent, “… when a magazine like the “Scientific American” permits free discussion on climate change it must mean the beginning of the end.”.
    There’s quite a few people seeing “the beginning of the end”, but in my opinion, there is a darker force at work and this force will never, ever, ever give up, they already have the next generation brainwashed. We must remain ever vigilant.

  71. SA has had its moments – perhaps unintentionally.
    Check Gale, N.H and Stos-Gale, Z. (1981) “Lead and silver in the ancient Aegean” Sci. Amer. June 1981 and rate the cleavage photo.

  72. Of course, they now have the biodiversity kick and the IPBES to fall back on! Plan B is about to unfold on an even greater scale than the (failed) Plan A.

  73. Judith Curry reckons that 1% or 10% of what the skeptics say might be valid.
    Me, I think that 90% or 99% of what she says is snake oil marketing, at a price tag of Trillions of dollars.
    Whether she actually believes it or not.

  74. The big question this begs is: “if the ‘elite’ of science can be so easily misled about something as simple as bogus climate models and data being tailored to fit theory”
    … how much of the rest of ‘established’ science is bollocks?

  75. @amino
    You missed showing Bob Watson’s response to the slightly critical BBC film.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11576013
    which was the usual…’we are right, there are just teensy weensy bits that need clarification, you are too stupid to understand’ stuff that he’s been spouting for some time.
    IMHO his explanation is not helped by his sloppy and unkempt appearance on a (relatively) serious show. I initially thought that he may have spent too long in ‘hospitality’ the interview, but seemingly not. He just always looks like that.
    Andrew Neill (presenter of The Daily Politics) is one of the few working for the BBC who has not swallowed the AGW story hook line and sinker. Long may he continue.

  76. JDN says:
    October 23, 2010 at 2:26 pm
    I have no idea why some people on this site like Judith Curry. The Climategate evidence of scientific misconduct speaks for itself. Anyone who can’t see that at this late date doesn’t have the courage necessary to be a scientist. Judith is just such a person, according to this Sci. Am. article.
    She is positioning herself to speak for people who oppose IPCC and the scientific fraud of CAGW. This is very dangerous to allow her to do, as she is very much an establishment figure. Fairly soon, CNN might employ her as the resident climate skeptic, when she is nothing of the sort. It’s an old trick that continues to work. I would like to see her denounced instead of congratulated.
    **************************************************
    JDN – I am inclined to agree with your assessment. Everything that I have read so far from the pen (or mouth) of Judith Curry says that she is an arch-warmist through and through. All she seems to say is: “We need to convince the sceptics of the truth of warmism in a nice way”. I have seen no suggestion from her anywhere that the tenets of warmism are open to challenge. She does not appear to have a sceptic bone in her body.
    All the best.

  77. In the Judith Curry piece, I thought this was a tad rich:
    “The alternative version paints her as a dupe—someone whose well-meaning efforts have only poured fuel on the fire. By this account, engaging with the skeptics is pointless because they cannot be won over. They have gone beyond the pale, taking their arguments to the public and distributing e-mails hacked from personal computer accounts rather than trying to work things out at conferences and in journal papers.”
    A touch rich, given that the Team have a proven track record of deliberately keeping sceptics out of conferences and journals.

  78. P.S. I’m glad I’m not alone in considering Dark Matter to be the fudge factor par excellence. What a load of utter tripe!

  79. I have been bitterly disappointed at there [their] persistent embrace of the climate change fraud and the publicity they have given to its promoters.

  80. There is only one reason and one reason only for “$cientific American” to publish anything and it has nothing to do with science.

  81. I just wanted to add my voice to the many others here who quit “Scientific” American about ten years ago. As a child it was the first magazine that I read regularly. I even dreamed of being an editor. I knew that whatever they published was gospel truth and the magazine sparked my interest in computers early on and helped shape my career. Then, about ten years ago, it fell off a cliff, leaving a great void in the popular scientific literature. Now when I’m at the airport facing a long flight, I’ll pick Car and Driver over SA or any of the other non-science magazines like Discover or New Scientist. Are you listening SA editors? There are lots of us out there that you have lost. It’s instructive that I’m posting this on WUWT and not on the SA blog.

  82. Well, I’ve read the piece on Judith Curry over at scientificamerican.com, and it’s still firmly pushing the same old CAGW agenda, even using the bulls**t phrase “most experts broadly agree that it will take massive changes” “to avert a potential disaster” and such alarmist phrases as “if people and governments are going to take serious action, it pretty much has to be now, because any delay will make efforts to stave off major climate change much more expensive and difficult to achieve.” Or to paraphrase: “The science is settled, we must act now or we’re doomed. DOOMED, I tell ye. (Potentially).”
    Beginning of the end? Not if this article is anything to go by.

  83. For scientific papers like this to present the case they have, they must have changed their staff from open minded scientists to rather less than open minded replacements. If they are prepared to misrepresent this, what else are they prepared to misrepresent? Accepting that the counter case has some validity after a decade, and because it increasingly looks like you will lose your credibility on which you sell your magazine is hardly evidence that the publication has regained its scientific integrity.

  84. garbage, SA has too much invested to make themselves out to be liars.
    They will follow this with more “science is settled”.

  85. I was a subscriber to SA for nearly 30 years but I stopped after they started using staff writers and cut back on the number of articles by genuine scientists.
    There was too much subjectivity from the inhouse journalists. Climate change garbage being just one aspect of this.

  86. I will continue to ignore SA, NS and any of the other MSM ‘puppet’ so called scientific productions – the day the editors act more like they are genuinely interested in science and the scientific method, I will pick one up to read – but until then – No thanks!

  87. ShaneCMuir:

    Absolute baloney!! ( http://thunderbolts.info/ )

    Are you sure? They state in
    http://thunderbolts.info/EU%20Intro%20and%20Chap1.pdf
    at p.20:

    To put the electric force into perspective, it must be compared directly
    to the trivial force of gravity. The electric force is about a thousand
    trillion trillion trillion times more powerful. Another important
    fact to keep in mind is that the electromagnetic force acting between current filaments varies inversely with the distance between them. This is in contrast to gravity, which declines much more rapidly, with the
    square of the distance.

    How is the one dimension of distance cancelled out?

  88. pyromancer76 says:
    October 23, 2010 at 4:04 pm
    I can almost guarantee that the tiny change noted above is because its CIRCULATION IS DECREASING.
    ctober 23, 2010 at 4:29 pm
    The only thing I see going on here is lip service in preparation for possible future damage control/back-peddling just in case the AGW prosthelytizing worshippers are found out to actually be wrong…

    The warm is turning.

  89. To paraphrase the inimitable Fritz Hollings, with regard to rushing back to the SA fold as many posters here seem to contemplate, “Dere’s too much consumin’ goin’ on out dere”. Or, as a former chief of the Fed said (crudely paraphrased) ” there’s an irrational exuberance in the market”. Shortly before the dot com bust.
    Many here, having only recently or reluctantly taken up arms against the monster that is “climate science” are too willing to see the slightest change in the impenetrable wall of media devotion to the religion of AGW as a starting point for negotiation and reconciliation.
    Forget aboudit. Judith Curry has conceded nothing to the skeptics. She only says that the non skeptical should allow the skeptical to have a say in discredited media such as SA. If the reactions here are indicative of the larger skeptic world, SA should reap a nice little profit.
    Google gullible, people.

  90. Mike Haseler says:
    October 24, 2010 at 2:03 am
    The big question this begs is: “if the ‘elite’ of science can be so easily misled about something as simple as bogus climate models and data being tailored to fit theory”
    … how much of the rest of ‘established’ science is bollocks?

    Yeah.
    Advocates of consensus-based scientific groupthink can expect (and deserve) to have “Fool me once …” thrown in their faces for the next century.
    They were wise in their generation; now they’ll learn that popularity wasn’t the best policy,

  91. Here’s how it should have been:

    Mike Haseler says:
    October 24, 2010 at 2:03 am
    The big question this begs is: “if the ‘elite’ of science can be so easily misled about something as simple as bogus climate models and data being tailored to fit theory”
    … how much of the rest of ‘established’ science is bollocks?

    Yeah.
    Advocates of consensus-based scientific groupthink can expect (and deserve) to have “Fool me once …” thrown in their faces for the next century.
    They were wise in their generation; now they’ll learn that popularity wasn’t the best policy,

  92. Larry says:
    October 24, 2010 at 6:44 am
    If they are prepared to misrepresent this, what else are they prepared to misrepresent?

    Yeah (again).

  93. Don’t get too excited, this article is heavily biased in favour of catastrophic AGW and has obviously been written to undermine Judith Curry’s open, outreach approach to the discussion of climate change. The article is too scared even to mention the most successful science blog in the world – What’s Up With That?

  94. I also was considering canceling my subscription because of their dogmatic stance – now I will give SciAm another chance. Reluctantly given their smarmy arrogance and closed-mindedness.

  95. They may not be all that bright but they know how to jump bandwagons when the time comes

  96. I quit reading Scientific American years ago. I recall that my epiphany came when they carried an article on the horrors of assault weapons (???). As I recall, the article came out while the so-called “Assault Weapon Ban” was under discussion. Anyway, they said something like assault weapons were responsible for the deaths of more innocent people than anything else. As though the dreaded Assault Weapons were capable of independent thought and action. As if the people carrying those weapons weren’t organized and directed by someone or some entity.
    The article never mentioned starvation engineered by socialist governments. Some three or four million (Walter Duranty’s estimate at the time was 10 million) were murdered in the Ukraine by Stalin and the method was starvation. It’s cheaper than bullets. Some 39 million were murdered in Communist China just during the Great Leader Mao’s “Great Leap Forward”.
    Most of the famines during the 20th Century were caused either by the deliberate action of socialist governments or by the total incompetence of said governments. (I would appreciate any examples that happened in democratic countries.)
    I would invite attention to:
    The Black Book of Communism
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Book_of_Communism
    The Black Book chronicles the systematic murder of about 100 million people by Communists, Add to that some 25 million murdered by National Socialists and you get a total of about 120 million. However, I would suspect that since the editors and authors of the Black Book were leftists of one sort of another, their estimates were probably “conservative” i.e. low. I have seen other estimates on the order of 170 million.
    The SA would have been more correct in presenting COMMUNISM as the number one killer of innocent people.
    This was one topic that I knew something about. The Scientific American had published an article that was little more than leftist political propaganda. Furthermore, I realized that I could not trust them on subjects that I knew nothing about-like climate science.
    The editors had chosen to make their publication worthless to me.
    I would consider reading the Scientific American again. When the entire Editorial Staff apologies to me for betraying the trust I had placed in them when I purchased their publication.. It would be the honorable thing to do.
    I am not holding my breath, although (in the context of WUWT) hell might very well be freezing over.
    Regards,
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  97. OK. Re the above piece by Steamboat Jack. This for me goes WAY too far over into insane right wing politics. Apparently assault weapons are good, and socialist governments are bad. I realise that many people feel that way, but what has that got to do with climate change? If this place becomes a revolting NeoCon hangout then I’m out of here.

  98. Steamboat Jack – I believe there was a serious famine in Bengal (India) late in WW2, caused largely by incompetent government. Although not a democratic country at the time, India was then part of the British Empire.
    All the best.

  99. Anyone with a smattering of education that hasnt perscieved SA for what they are isnt really smart enough to carry on a conversation with. I dont see where the present article is any different in that it is still an AGW promotion. Lies , Damn lies , and damn liers.

  100. Though having scientific education I always felt common sense is more important. If only because of the many misunderstandings of what science is with the general public. This makes a lot of scientist fall prey to a corruption of their creed, yes they are human first and scientist second. Kuhn’s Structure of Scientific Revolutions shows how the social dynamics may work here. So for many it’s not they are bad, they are “just human”… Part of the problem is, science in itself is overrated. That is, for the general public, in politics, among scientists themselves. There’s a reverence for the word “science” it maybe doesn’t deserve. Yes, there have been many changes because of science, but there is no scientific argument to claim science is good, or bad, for that matter. So to adhere to science itself in the end… is a creed. You cannot substantiate your adherence to this creed with scientific fact. But you don’t have to. You’re entitled to your creed! I am!
    Having given up on mainstream publications like NG and SA a long time ago (“clearly going too commercial”), I love reading WUWT. Yes, there will always be people parading with “science”, but also always people trying as good as they can applying the scientific method. Maybe not use this words “science” or “scientific” as some magic wand you just have to wave to impress others. Just stick to the proven method patiently. The facts will always win in the end.

  101. Oops! I wrote at 1:16 that I’d have to say something nice about SA – based on the posting. Sorry, I take that back. The magazine arrived and the article (re: Judith Curry, plus) is interesting for the comments on folks throwing spit balls at each other. The level of understanding of atmospheric science doesn’t rise above the level of barnyard slop. Warning: Rollup your pants or put on high boots before reading.
    One statement I found unsupported by personal observation is this:
    The public at large wants to know whether or not climate is warming, by how much and when, and they want to know how bad the effects are going to be. (p.81)
    I’m not sure who constitutes “the public at large” but my neighbors, friends, casual meetings, and letters to the local newspaper never mention wanting to know about global warming, climate change, and are not even aware of the term “climate disruption.”

  102. SA must be desperate (or not) they are even sending free issues to old subscribers.
    But to resubscribe two requests:
    1- Editorial apology for insulting our inteligence at least on 20 issues.
    2- 5 year free subscription for everybody.

  103. Money vs. science:
    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/11/lies-damned-lies-and-medical-science/8269/1/

    Medical research is not especially plagued with wrongness. Other meta-research experts have confirmed that similar issues distort research in all fields of science, from physics to economics (where the highly regarded economists J. Bradford DeLong and Kevin Lang once showed how a remarkably consistent paucity of strong evidence in published economics studies made it unlikely that any of them were right). And needless to say, things only get worse when it comes to the pop expertise that endlessly spews at us from diet, relationship, investment, and parenting gurus and pundits. But we expect more of scientists, and especially of medical scientists, given that we believe we are staking our lives on their results. The public hardly recognizes how bad a bet this is. The medical community itself might still be largely oblivious to the scope of the problem, if Ioannidis hadn’t forced a confrontation when he published his studies in 2005.

  104. James Evans says:
    October 24, 2010 at 10:17 am
    Apparently assault weapons are good, and socialist governments are bad.

    It’s all relative. By the numbers, socialist governments are several orders of magnitude worse than assault weapons in civilian hands. And remember, Pol Pot’s fundamental philosophy and rationalization was anti-urban environmentalism. Environmentalist governments are potentially even more murderous than socialist ones.

  105. Espen says:
    October 23, 2010 at 3:02 pm
    Last time I visited SciAm (about a week ago), I was presented with this. Quite annoying.

    The real $10M question is: Why are so many big enterprises lining up behind the pro-AGW side? What’s the payoff?

  106. DitelHead says:
    October 23, 2010 at 3:37 pm
    Guys; before everybody breaks out the champagne please remember:
    If the previous thousand year North Atlantic cycle just repeats itself, with no help from people, then we’re in for another 150 years of global warming! They can continue to tell people who don’t know any better that this warming trend is “unprecedented”. Just try posting a skeptical argument on digg or reddit and see what happens. I very much appreciate the difficult and often tedious work that many of you all have done. I hope you guys are ready for a long battle.
    These people have hijacked the legitimate environmental movement. They have hijacked science and many academics are afraid to speak out. They hijacked wikipedia. I think WUWT just had an article about that. There is more going on here than a few scientists trying to get their names in scientific journals. These AGW people are not going to give up without a fight.

    Oops, looks like they brought a hockeystick to a gunfight.

  107. My own letter to SciAm of a few months ago has been kindly 😎 linked by WordPress as a “possibly related post” to this one…
    I for myself won’t rush re-subscribing to the magazine as yet. Chances are, the Curry article was for purely entertainment purposes (see how much the author is at pains to explain that the “science” hasn’t been undermined in whatsoever any way by a string of scandals). You know, SciAm belongs to Nature, and Nature is no friend to a proper scientific debate.
    ps why don’t we have the option to subscribe to receive e-mails when a new blog appears on this site, as it happens on WordPress.com?

  108. Paul Deacon, Christchurch, New Zealand 10/24 @ 10:27 ,
    Thank you for the information on the famine in Bengal, 1943. According to
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengal_famine_of_1943
    the cause seems to be a combination of bad weather, incompetence, focus on the war (the Japanese were right next door and coming fast), and the increasing price of rice which led to hoarding as investment. While Wikipedia certainly isn’t definitive, it seems that it was finally the importation of rice which caused the price to drop and the hoarded rice to come onto the market.
    “ Quite simply, although Bengal had enough rice and other grains to feed itself, millions of people were suddenly too poor to buy it.”
    James Evans, 10/24 @ 10:17
    My wife says I can be obtuse and people don’t get what I am saying. So, I will give it another try.
    The thesis under consideration is that many publications from the New York Times to Scientific American have been publishing pro-AGW stories. These stories rely on shoddy pseudo-science at best and everything from ad hominem attacks to total fabrications at worst. This particular post advances the possibility that even the Scientific American may be changing for the better.
    My contribution was to show the leftist partisan nature of the editorial staff. I believe that they have a leftest agenda as evidenced by the articles they publish. In the article I refered to, they chose to publish one that was both childish and wrong.
    We adults know that inanimate object are neither “good” nor “bad”. Hence, characterizing so called assault weapons as the number one cause of death implies that they are capable of independent action. That, of course, is childish. And to say that they are the number one cause of deaths is incorrct.
    As far as the varius “isms” go, that issue is no longer in debate. When the Soviet Empire fell, the Hoover Institution of War, Revolution, and Peace accquired copies of millions of files from the former Soviet government. (I believe that Harvard later got another copy) The scope of the files has been described as “everything except the President’s files and the KGB files”. They include the payroll data from the Gulags. They even have a copy of the document that Stalin signed to authorize the slaughter of the Polish POWs, commonly refered to as the Katyn Forest incident.
    Anyway, the totals that I described in my original post have been derived from Communist files that are now open to researchers. Those totals are from Communist records. And the number one weapon that they used was not “assault weapons” but starvation. However, I believe that a more accurate statement of the number one cause of deaths of innocent people is Communism.
    http://www.hoover.org/
    I expect that liberals would never say that all of those deaths were either “good or “bad”. After all, that would be judgemental. In deed, the New York Times likened the systematic murder of millions of people in the Ukrane to the making of an omelet. Me, on the other hand, I find mass murder abhorrent. But that’s just me and my value judgement. You me feel different.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2003/may/04/russia.usa
    http://www.conservapedia.com/Walter_Duranty
    Regards,
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  109. I cancelled my subscriptions to both these ‘science fiction’ magazines Scientific American and New Scientist, long ago. I used to read Nature and Science as well, but I don’t trust them any more.

  110. And I thought this website had a bunch of skeptics! One issue of the new Scientific American claims they want to discuss real science and you guys are falling all over yourselves like a bunch of love sick teenagers!
    It’s a ruse. The old Scientific American that you knew and loved is no longer there. They are just trying to lure you in, to have you stick your neck out so that they can sacrifice you to the global warming mob. The mob will beat you up with bad logic, name calling, fake data and hysteria. Forget it. They are no longer trust worthy.

  111. Curry says:
    “… we have just been too encumbered by groupthink.”
    Roger Knights says:
    October 24, 2010 at 7:55 am
    “Advocates of …. groupthink

    Another name for groupthink is Mass hysteria

  112. Not many warmist comments on that article. I suspect the public component of the movement is fading fast. Soon only those with a siphon into the gravy river will still be motivated to push on?

  113. Brian, interesting that you note that the warmists appear quiet. Roger Pielke Jnr suggests that they haven’t been quiet at all.. it looks like they’ve been quite busy attacking SciAm’s Lemonick behind the scences, directly. So much so that he’s backed down completely on his blog, dropping Judith like a hot cob. What a gutless wonder. That old back-room journal/media bullying’s worked for the warmists in the past and it still works for them now. RPJ’s right, it’s business as usual for the climatology high priests, and they’ve learned absolutely nothing.
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  114. I too have been an avid reader of SA since the early ’70’s. I noticed (with some dismay) that articles were becoming more and more politicized sometime in the mid to late ’90’s. More and more articles about climate change making wild claims with no counter point of any sort were published, and the quality of the articles were declinning to where even when a layman such as myself could easily pick apart their methods and conclusions. In some cases I had to double check what magazine I was reading – had I accidentally picked up Popular Science or something? – Nope, it was SA.
    Recently (the past couple of years I believe) I have been noticing more articles in SA and Science on the “other impacts” of CO2 – I assume because AGW was becomming too difficult to defend. Weedy plants like poison ivy will thrive even as “good” plants are harmed. Acid oceans causing hard shelled creatures losing their shells, or their sharp points so they will be eaten, or dissolve, or whatever…
    Now the Nitrogen Cycle is out of balance (in “Science” I seem to recall). While I agree nitrogen and phosphate runoff needs addressing…the cycle is out of balance? Come on.
    It seems like nothing can just be a normal scientific problem to be studied, debated, and fixed (If necessary) anymore – everything is a global castastrophe requiring international intervention.

  115. Chemical and Engineering News, a publication of the American Chemical Society, has been on the AGW bandwagon for years, in spite of many letters from members telling the Editor to stop their political agenda and stick to science. Every chance he gets, there is a dig at those who dispute the evidence. I have written both to him and to the president of the society, usually with no publication or reply. As far as I know, ACS does not get any direct money from the government which they would be in danger of losing if they don’t toe the party line. I cannot account for such closed minds in a scientific society. For example, they don’t publish what goes on at meetings of the Heartland Institute.

  116. Simon Hopkinson says:
    October 24, 2010 at 7:25 pm
    Brian, interesting that you note that the warmists appear quiet. Roger Pielke Jnr suggests that they haven’t been quiet at all.. it looks like they’ve been quite busy attacking SciAm’s Lemonick behind the scences, directly. So much so that he’s backed down completely on his blog, dropping Judith like a hot cob.

    That is quite astonishing. To see it carried out with silent disregard is sickening. It is the most disgusting quashing of academic freedom and neutrality that I have ever seen.

  117. Interesting to see so many comments from people who USED to subscribe to SA, but don’t any more. I’m another one. A good article, and welcome, but it continues to use the word ‘sceptic’ as a pejorative. Having worked as a scientist and engineer for some decades, I always thought it was a professional obligation to question ANY hypothesis. That’s how we find its weaknesses, and address them. The function of scepticism is to improve the relevance, testability, compatibility, predictive power, and simplicity of scientific hypotheses. It’s not just the quality of climate science which is worrisome (paleoclimatology in particular, it would seem). It’s the new paradigm which equates good scientific scepticism with ‘crackpots’ and ‘deniers’. That sort of argument never was, and never can be, tolerated. Assertions that the global warming hypothesis is merely a scam is extreme, and clearly contrary to the evidence. Assertions that the Medieval Warm Period didn’t exist is also contrary to a good deal of evidence. They’re not the same, though some scientists, and some scientific publications, treat them as such. That’s unscientific, full stop. There can’t be ‘consensus’ until the evidence is broadly accepted, and that hasn’t happened … largely because sceptics have been discouraged, and often prevented, from testing that evidence and criticising the interpretations derived from it. It’s good to see Curry speak out, despite so many qualifications to her criticism. The issue is a long, long way from solution, though, and a great many more scientists and publications will have to recapture an impartial stance before healing can properly begin.

  118. I used to be a big fan of SA especially during the ’60’s. I began my own subscription in the 70’s, and kept it until now. But, as other posters have observed, as time progressed, the quality and reliability of the science clearly declined, as the publication morphed from a science magazine into just another of the many organs of propaganda to promote carbo-phobic pseudo-ecophilia.
    My subscription has finally lapsed. The article on Ms. Curry doesn’t suggest to me that SA is heading back to any focus on science. To the contrary, it appears more likely they are just looking for ways to more completely shut out skeptical inquiry.
    BWD

  119. Being sceptic is allways right in the absence of convincing evidence. It is not about whether antropogenic CO2 emissions are the main driver of an increase in average global temperatures or not, it is about good and bad science valid conclusions and inacceptable political distortion of the scientific process as well as speculative alarming forecasts of potential consequences that are really unpredictable or straigtforward infamous fear spreading. It is about power and ideology not about true or false. This and and only this can be the result of the debate.

  120. The ‘Guardian’ is up to its usual standard:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/oct/24/tea-party-climate-change-deniers
    It says that some of Europe’s biggest polluters are funding the Tea Party in America. It fails to mention that the UEA emails reveal big oil companies funding climate warmists as well as skeptics. It complains of Europeans trying to influence the US electoral process – while doing the same thing itself! John Kerry lost thousands of votes when the ‘Guardian’ supported him. Arrogant limey lefties… I should know.

  121. Steamboat Jack,
    I think I probably overreacted. Feeling a little over-sensitive. As a bit of a lefty myself, I sometimes feel a little uncomfortable that on the issue of CAGW I have opinions that in the US seem to be almost entirely the preserve of conservatives.
    As Shakespeare almost said “CAGW acquaints a man with strange bedfellows.” So to speak.
    Peace and Love,
    James Evans

  122. October 23, 2010 at 8:25 pm
    I would not call this a ‘return to science’ for the Scientific American.
    Look at the lead story… “Hidden Worlds Of Dark Matter”

    Wait for it, because soon enough it will be ‘Anthropogenic Dark Matter causes climate change! We must put a stop to Anthropogenic Dark Matter.’

  123. Rob in Cardiff;
    Well, if you don’t like “scam”, how about “fraud”?
    Iconoclast in the SA comments:

    Oh, beautiful!
    In the Comments on a SciAm article subtly dissing Judith Curry, “Iconoclast” posts the following:

    The proposition that the average temperature of the earth’s surface is warming because of increased emissions of human-produced greenhouse gases cannot be tested by any known scientific procedure

    After twenty years of study, and as expert reviewer to the IPCC from the very beginning , I can only conclude that the whole affair is a gigantic fraud

    RTWT. It’s not long, and is devastating.

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