Pielke Sr. defends Judith Curry in SA "heretic" characterization

Misleading Text In A Scientific American Article That Judy Curry Is A “Climate Heretic”

I was very disappointed to read erroneous information, in an otherwise very informative article, in the Scientific American by Michael D. Lemonick titled

Climate Heretic: Judith Curry Turns on Her Colleagues

which seeks to isolate Judy Curry as being an outlier from her climate science colleagues [the article, of course, is useful in that it does expose the attempt by some to marginalize anyone who differs from the IPCC viewpoint, and Michael Lemonick is commended for doing that].

The text in his article, however, includes the header of one of its sections which implies she is gone

Over to the Dark Side“.

An excerpt from the article includes the text (referring to one of the IPCC reports)

“Apparently few others felt the same way [as Judy]; of the many hundreds of scientists involved in that report, which came out in 2001, only a handful have claimed their views were ignored—although the Third Assessment Report could not possibly reflect any one scientist’s perspective perfectly.”

This science reporter is incorrect in this view.

Judy Curry is hardly a “climate heretic” but rather, as an internationally well-respected climate scientist, is providing a much needed healthy, independent examination of the IPCC assessment and finding it has significant shortcomings. Judy’s scientific credentials are outstanding; e.g. see her google scholar citations http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=40000&q=judy+curry.

I agree with her in this conclusion and have documented evidence for this, for example, in

Pielke, R.A. Sr., 2008: A Broader View of the Role of Humans in the Climate System is Required In the Assessment of Costs and Benefits of Effective Climate Policy. Written Testimony for the Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality of the Committee on Energy and Commerce Hearing “Climate Change: Costs of Inaction” – Honorable Rick Boucher, Chairman. June 26, 2008, Washington, DC., 52 pp

She and I are not alone in these findings

As just a few examples, I list below multi-authored peer reviewed papers and one NRC assessment that present views that materially differs from that presented in the 2007 IPCC assessment. Some of the co-authors are contributors to the 2007 IPCC report, but in the articles presented below and  in the 2005 NRC assessment report, they agreed with the conclusions that were reached in these papers. These conclusions  document the need for a broader perspective to the role of human and natural climate forcings and feedbacks than just a CO2-centric view.

Examples of Papers With Evidence of Viewpoints on Climate Science Ignored or Underreported in the 2007 IPCC reports.   [bold face added in the text below]

Pielke Sr., R., K. Beven, G. Brasseur, J. Calvert, M. Chahine, R. Dickerson, D. Entekhabi, E. Foufoula-Georgiou, H. Gupta, V. Gupta, W. Krajewski, E. Philip Krider, W. K.M. Lau, J. McDonnell,  W. Rossow,  J. Schaake, J. Smith, S. Sorooshian,  and E. Wood, 2009: Climate change: The need to consider human forcings besides greenhouse gases. Eos, Vol. 90, No. 45, 10 November 2009, 413. Copyright (2009) American Geophysical Union. {Note that each author is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union]

with the conclusions including that

The evidence predominantly suggests that humans are significantly altering the global environment, and thus climate, in a variety of diverse ways beyond the effects of human emissions of greenhouse gases, including CO2. Unfortunately, the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment did not sufficiently acknowledge the importance of these other human climate forcings in altering regional and global climate and their effects on predictability at the regional scale. It also placed too much emphasis on average global forcing from a limited set of human climate forcings. Further, it devised a mitigation strategy based on global model predictions. For example, although aerosols were considered as a global average forcing, their local effects were neglected (e.g., biomass burning, dust from land use/land cover management and change, soot from inefficient combustion).”

McAlpine, C.A., W.F. Laurance, J.G. Ryan, L. Seabrook, J.I. Syktus, A.E. Etter, P.M. Fearnside, P. Dargusch, and R.A. Pielke Sr. 2010: More than CO2: A broader picture for managing climate change and variability to avoid ecosystem collapse. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, in press

with the abstract

“Climate change policies currently focus on reducing the concentration of industrial atmospheric greenhouse gases due to burning fossil fuels and deforestation, but pay limited attention to feedbacks between the land surface and the climate system. In tropical and subtropical regions, forests and woodlands play an important role in the climate system by buffering climate extremes, maintaining the hydrological cycle and sequestering carbon. Despite the obvious significance of these feedbacks to the functioning of the climate system, deforestation continues apace. It is critical, therefore, that a broader focus be developed that includes the restoration of feedbacks between vegetation and climate. In this paper, we present a synthesis of the best available, policy-relevant science on the feedbacks between the land surface and the climate system, with a focus on tropical and sub-tropical regions. Based on this science, we argue for a stronger integration of land-use and climate-change policies. These policies need to include a virtual halt to all deforestation and an acceleration of investment in strategic reforestation, supported by a comprehensive global forest monitoring program. Without these actions, the degradation of the Earth’s ecosystems will become exacerbated as their resilience is eroded by accelerated changes in temperature, precipitation and extreme weather events.”

Rial, J., R.A. Pielke Sr., M. Beniston, M. Claussen, J. Canadell, P. Cox, H. Held, N. de Noblet-Ducoudre, R. Prinn, J. Reynolds, and J.D. Salas, 2004: Nonlinearities, feedbacks and critical thresholds within the Earth’s climate system. Climatic Change, 65, 11-38.

with the abstract

“The Earth’s climate system is highly nonlinear: inputs and outputs are not proportional, change is often episodic and abrupt, rather than slow and gradual, and multiple equilibria are the norm. While this is widely accepted, there is a relatively poor understanding of the different types of nonlinearities, how they manifest under various conditions, and whether they reflect a climate system driven by astronomical forcings, by internal feedbacks, or by a combination of both. In this paper, after a brief tutorial on the basics of climate nonlinearity, we provide a number of illustrative examples and highlight key mechanisms that give rise to nonlinear behavior, address scale and methodological issues, suggest a robust alternative to prediction that is based on using integrated assessments within the framework of vulnerability studies and, lastly, recommend a number of research priorities and the establishment of education programs in Earth Systems Science. It is imperative that the Earth’s climate system research community embraces this nonlinear paradigm if we are to move forward in the assessment of the human influence on climate.”

Pielke Sr., R.A., G. Marland, R.A. Betts, T.N. Chase, J.L. Eastman, J.O. Niles, D. Niyogi, and S. Running, 2002: The influence of land-use change and landscape dynamics on the climate system- relevance to climate change policy beyond the radiative effect of greenhouse gases. Phil. Trans. A. Special Theme Issue, 360, 1705-1719

with the abstract

“Our paper documents that land-use change impacts regional and global climate through the surface-energy budget, as well as through the carbon cycle. The surface energy budget effects may be more important than the carbon-cycle effects. However, land-use impacts on climate cannot be adequately quanti­ ed with the usual metric of `global warming potential’. A new metric is needed to quantify the human disturbance of the Earth’s surface energy budget. This `regional climate change potential’ could offer a new metric for developing a more inclusive climate protocol. This concept would also implicitly provide a mechanism to monitor potential local-scale environmental changes that could infuence biodiversity.”

Marland, G., R.A. Pielke, Sr., M. Apps, R. Avissar, R.A. Betts, K.J. Davis, P.C. Frumhoff, S.T. Jackson, L. Joyce, P. Kauppi, J. Katzenberger, K.G. MacDicken, R. Neilson, J.O. Niles, D. dutta S. Niyogi, R.J. Norby, N. Pena, N. Sampson, and Y. Xue, 2003: The climatic impacts of land surface change and carbon management, and the implications for climate-change mitigation policy. Climate Policy, 3, 149-157

with the abstract

“Strategies to mitigate anthropogenic climate change recognize that carbon sequestration in the terrestrial biosphere can reduce the build-up of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. However, climate mitigation policies do not generally incorporate the effects of these changes in the land surface on the surface albedo, the fluxes of sensible and latent heat to the atmosphere, and the distribution of energy within the climate system. Changes in these components of the surface energy budget can affect the local, regional, and global climate. Given the goal of mitigating climate change, it is important to consider all of the effects of changes in terrestrial vegetation and to work toward a better understanding of the full climate system. Acknowledging the importance of land surface change as a component of climate change makes it more challenging to create a system of credits and debits wherein emission or sequestration of carbon in the biosphere is equated with emission of carbon from fossil fuels. Recognition of the complexity of human-caused changes in climate does not, however, weaken the importance of actions that would seek to minimize our disturbance of the Earth’s environmental system and that would reduce societal and ecological vulnerability to environmental change and variability.”

National Research Council, 2005: Radiative forcing of climate change: Expanding the concept and addressing uncertainties. Committee on Radiative Forcing Effects on Climate Change, Climate Research Committee, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, Division on Earth and Life Studies, The National Academies Press, Washington, D.C., 208 pp

which includes the finding that

“Despite all these advantages, the traditional global mean TOA radiative forcing concept has some important limitations, which have come increasingly to light over the past decade. The concept is inadequate for some forcing agents, such as absorbing aerosols and land-use changes, that may have regional climate impacts much greater than would be predicted from TOA radiative forcing. Also, it diagnoses only one measure of climate change—global mean surface temperature response—while offering little information on regional climate change or precipitation. These limitations can be addressed by expanding the radiative forcing concept and through the introduction of additional forcing metrics. In particular, the concept needs to be extended to account for (1) the vertical structure of radiative forcing, (2) regional variability in radiative forcing, and (3) nonradiative forcing. A new metric to account for the vertical structure of radiative forcing is recommended below. Understanding of regional and nonradiative forcings is too premature to recommend specific metrics at this time. Instead, the committee identifies specific research needs to improve quantification and understanding of these forcings.”

In response to the Scientific American article, as my son has posted on in;

What Little Has Been Learned

“Almost a year has passed since the release of the East Anglia emails.  And despite all that has happened, there are some repeated indications that the climate science community just doesn’t get it.”

Reporters of climate science and a subset of climate scientists (who are often in leadership roles) continue to ignore and belittle those who disagree with them.

Advertisements

46 thoughts on “Pielke Sr. defends Judith Curry in SA "heretic" characterization

  1. Frankly, I doubt that a defense will take, this is another Juan Williams moment where the bizarre leftists think that by making an example, the issue can be controlled. Like the PBS case, it is all about grants and money and no deviation from company policy.
    I doubt any real scientists outside of a University can understand that science is entirely a political animals being trained for leftist causes. I think poor Judith thinks that that ‘truth’ matters.
    She might as well be a Nazi ‘scientist’ studying the bumps on a Jew’
    s head and coming to the conclusion that the entire excersize was based on idiocy. These people could not care about measurement, mass, etc. The AGWs are fixated on deconstructing the world.

  2. There is a reason why I canceled my subscription to Sci Am, and while this article is similar to a car slowing down before it plunges off the cliff, it certainly isn’t a reversal of their previous direction. Parroting the CAGW alarmists isn’t and never will be science.

  3. The scientific community and their Trades Unions (the Royal Society, the APS and the rest) had better wake up, smell the coffee and do something about the Big Snake Oil salesmen in their midst (Hansen, Mann, Schmidt, Briffa, Jones and the rest).
    Until then they had better get used to the idea that their credibility has been very seriously jeapordised in the eyes of a substantial (and rapidly growing) group of the public at large.
    It won’t be long before one of them glances away from their computer screens, looks out of the window of their academic ivory tower and notices the assembled army of peasants outside, with pitchforks and flaming torches.
    Meanwhile, whilst Judith Curry may only be 90% (or is it 99%?) a propagandist for Big Snake Oil, she is likely to be tarred with the same brush as all the others.

  4. Science is empirical. Knowing the answer means nothing. Testing your knowledge means everything.” – Lawrence Krauss, PhD., Mathematician, Physicst, Rationalist, Professor of Physics, Professor of Astromomy, as of 2008 the Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Department of Physics at the Arizona State University. “Krauss is one of the few living scientists that Scientific American has referred to as a ‘public intellectual’, and is the only physicist ever to have been awarded the highest awards of all three major US Physics Societies: the American Physical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the American Institute of Physics. Krauss is also a critic of string theory, which he takes on in his 2005 book, Hiding in the Mirror.”
    “Nullis in verba. Take no one’s word for it.” – Motto of the Royal Society
    “I’m trying to find out NOT how Nature could be, but how Nature IS.” – Richard Feynman
    “The improver of natural knowledge absolutely refuses to acknowledge authority, as such. For him, scepticism is the highest of duties; blind faith the one unpardonable sin.” – Thomas Henry Huxley
    “Skepticism is the agent of reason against organized irrationalism – and is therefore one of the keys to human social and civic decency.” – Stephen Jay Gould
    “Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable.” – H. L. Mencken
    I would add irrational and highly delusional to the mix when faith requires one to accept magical violations of the well known, well tested or easily demonstrated laws of Nature. – PWL
    “Science is Progress and the Future. Faith is regression to the Dark Ages.” – PWL
    “It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out.” – Carl Sagan
    “It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” – Carl Sagan
    “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” – Carl Sagan
    It sounds like many scientists need a lesson or twenty in the philosophy of science and a refresher in the methods of science including the core scientific method and the role of skepticism and the validity of asking for hard verifiable evidence for their claims.
    http://PathsToKnowledge.NET

  5. Examples of Papers With Evidence of Viewpoints on Climate Science Ignored or Underreported in the 2007 IPCC reports.

    It appears the 1st two papers you cite were published in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
    Why should we be surprised they were ignored or under-reported in 2007 ?

  6. “Reporters of climate science and a subset of climate scientists (who are often in leadership roles) continue to ignore and belittle those who disagree with them. ”
    **********************************************************************
    That’s what I might do if I were them, since they don’t have a leg to stand on (and they know it).
    As for Judith Curry, she may well be well intentioned, and I wish her well, but she comes across as a warmist that didn’t get the memo.
    All the best.

  7. Having been a follower of Judith Curry’s site since it opened a few weeks ago I was delighted to see a genuine and open discussion of the many issues that impact upon the global climate. In addition there has been a very good debate at many levels on the methodology of science and the problem of uncertainty.
    The problem is that many contributors and commentators on both sides of this debate do not know how to behave. The blogosphere is a wonderful means of enabling discussion and debate. In permitting anonymity its downside is that it allows those with little to give but their invective to vent their spleens and poison the atmosphere. Judith Curry represents the best of science: she focuses on the issue and not the person. She does not impute evil intention or motive to those who challenge her or disagree with her position. She is a high class and very genuine scientist and for those who think she has moved to the dark side remember this: science has no sides, it stands or it falls by how well it advances human knowledge and the human condition. If there is a force, I hope it is with her.

  8. As a heretic is “a dissenter from established religious dogma” it seems to sum up the other sides position quite well.

  9. This is beginning to sound just like a bunch of economists talking about the “double dip recession” or the “end to boom or bust” or the “endogenous growth theory”, the simple fact is that they haven’t a clue what they are talking about, they are just jumping on the latest fashion in their subject and 10:1 when what is the “truth” today gets shown to be a load of codswallop, there’ll be not the slightest inkling of an apology.
    And, you know the worst thing about it: none of us could do any better! All we know is that the latest “experts” and their latest fad “group think” are no more able to divine the future than all the previous experts/priests/economists, climate “scientists”.

  10. I thought science was about challenging the theories to get at the truth.
    Back in the 50’s and early 60’s, which few will remember, there was similar controversy about plate tectonics and similar name calling between sides. Well, plate tectonics won because there was overwhelming evidence showing that it happens.
    I think that the climate argument about AGW will go the same way and we can return to evidence based science and let the climate get on with it.

  11. I would certainly be in agreement that things like land use changes have a big effect on the planet, more overall than CO2, however I don’t believe that all the changes have necessarily been negative.
    For instance, when one sees things like vegetation advancing at 4.5 kilometres a year into the south-western Sahara (Sahel), and when one hears that it is largely attributed to the extra CO2 in the atmosphere, one wonders if the extra CO2 emitted by humans is not actually a gift to Nature rather than a burden.
    We have not been perfect husbanders, but by and large, once we know that something we are doing is having a definite negative impact, we work to try and stop it. We also coalesce around cities which reduces our impact overall.
    For people who genuinely care for the environment, Dr Pielke’s, and latterly Dr Curry’s, work have been groundbreaking in sounding an early warning about where we are creating potential problems.
    Sadly, for them and for true environmentalists, it’s very hard to tax people into compliance, so governments are not as interested in seeking “solutions”, and it doesn’t throw up enough disaster headlines for the media to keep it front page.
    It also highlights the hypocrisy of the likes of SCiAm, when they accuse Dr Curry of going “over to the dark side”, when all she has done is placed less emphasis on CO2, stopped calling the rest of us “De***rs”, and tried to broaden the debate into other areas. I think it is shameful too, that more emphasis has not been placed on the work of Dr Pielke by the likes of the IPCC.
    I do hope it will not deter them from the road they have chosen to travel.

  12. I find Judith’s blog very informative and balanced. The discussion of uncertainty and on the circularity involved in using models to attribute climate change events are both very sensible. The more strident posters on here need to remember that (at least most) climate scientists are trying to do the best they can with incomplete or inadequate data and while under significant pressure. Yes, JC undoubtedly thinks that, all else being equal, adding CO2 to the atmosphere will most likely cause some increase in temperature, however she seems very interested in both what ‘all else being equal’ means, and how much confidence we should have in the quantification of the temperature increase.
    I do wonder if the reason for JCs more open take on the discussions is because she has come from a background in hurricaine research, where there were several competing theories a few years ago, and where the observational data over the last 5 years or so has significantly undermined some of the old ‘certainties’ (i.e. more warming = more and more intense hurricaines). As such, this was a branch of climate science (to a broad definition) where models and theories really could be verified by observation within a reasonably sensible time scale

  13. DavidK says:
    October 25, 2010 at 12:12 am
    Examples of Papers With Evidence of Viewpoints on Climate Science Ignored or Underreported in the 2007 IPCC reports.
    It appears the 1st two papers you cite were published in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
    Why should we be surprised they were ignored or under-reported in 2007 ?

    You are clearly not a follower of Climate Science. There is no question that a paper finally published in 2009 could have gone into a 2007 report. The mechanism is well understood.
    http://bishophill.squarespace.com/blog/2008/8/11/caspar-and-the-jesus-paper.html
    Caspar and the Jesus Paper is well know story in the field.

  14. DavidK – Thank you for your comment on my post. To clarify, the “viewpoints” presented in the papers I listed were known to the IPCC authors prior to the completion of the 2007 IPCC report. Their lack of inclusion of these issues is documented in those papers published after 2007.

  15. pwl says:
    October 24, 2010 at 11:58 pm
    “Science is empirical. Knowing the answer means nothing. Testing your knowledge means everything.” – Lawrence Krauss, PhD.,
    Wow! Thanks so much, pwl. Truer and better tested words were never said. Let’s call this the mantra of science.

  16. I find Dr. Curry’s site to be well balanced and intelligent. She doesn’t throw out the theories of others but provides a platform for calm discussion. S.A. needs to read her work before throwing out spurious labels; she’s trying to work through the uncertainities in a systematic manner, whether she’s pro, anti or luke warm. Excellent articles and papers by an outstanding SCIENTIST.

  17. Recently, there was a report in wuwt that said 65% of the warming is not from CO2. About a year ago, there was an article that mentioned Al Gore saying that scientists now say CO2 only produces around 40% of the actual warming.
    I know that Pielke Sr. believes humans are playing a significant role in the recent warming.
    Has his view been modified since it’s now being said that the warming power of CO2 has been reduced by about 2/3rds?

  18. Dr Pielke Sr,
    The high road is the best. The approach in your article is a high road.
    A further thought is how a scientist chooses to simply follow an IPCC bias? Is it simply intellectual inertia of a significant portion of the scientific community?
    John

  19. The only purpose of labeling Judith Curry as a “heretic” is to narrow the range of possible positions one can take in the climate change debate. I remember Judith Curry’s contributions over at Climate Audit concerning Climategate. I would say that most of us, readers, were annoyed by her very transparent attempts at damage control and minimizing the proportions of what their buddies have done. If you define the range of possible positions from Hansen and Mann to Pielke and Curry, then anyone who thinks that there is no even a prima facie good theoretical case for AGW (eg. Lindzen, Spencer, Winsent Gray, etc) must sound as a lunatic. And tat’s exactly what NAture wants you to do – to defend Curry as a heretic. She is everything but a heretic, most likely an opportunist who saw the tide is changing and concluded that their buddies were doomed, so better to jump from the sinking ship.

  20. The only purpose of labeling Judith Curry as a “heretic” is to narrow the range of possible positions one can take in the climate change debate. I remember Judith Curry’s contributions over at Climate Audit concerning Climategate. I would say that most of us, readers, were annoyed by her very transparent attempts at damage control and minimizing the proportions of what their buddies have done. If you define the range of possible positions from Hansen and Mann to Pielke and Curry, then anyone who thinks that there is no even a prima facie good theoretical case for AGW (eg. Lindzen, Spencer, Winsent Gray, etc) must sound as a lunatic. And tat’s exactly what NAture wants you to do – to defend Curry as a heretic. She is everything but a heretic, most likely an opportunist who saw the tide is changing and concluded that her buddies were doomed, so better to jump from the sinking ship.

  21. Sounds like the Warmistas are in full flail mode, lashing out at everyone publicly with no regard for who they hit or how awful it makes them look.

  22. Reply to – rpielke
    Thanks for a thought provoking post which starts to get to the core of the poor ‘science’ from the IPCC climatology group. These people seem to prefer advocacy to real science and alarmism to rational debate. In pursuance of their premise that man-made CO2 (along with water vapour and other positive feedbacks) will cause a disastrous and permanent global warming they have forgotten that non-man-made climate change – the null hypothesis – has not been falsified.
    I found this paper, which has many inconvenient truths, particularly revealing:-
    Nonlinearities, feedbacks and critical thresholds within the Earth’s climate system – 2004.
    “The Earth’s climate system is highly nonlinear: inputs and outputs are not proportional, change is often episodic and abrupt, rather than slow and gradual, and multiple equilibria are the norm. While this is widely accepted, there is a relatively poor understanding of the different types of nonlinearities, how they manifest under various conditions, and whether they reflect a climate system driven by astronomical forcings, by internal feedbacks, or by a combination of both.
    In this paper, after a brief tutorial on the basics of climate nonlinearity, we provide a number of illustrative examples and highlight key mechanisms that give rise to nonlinear behavior, address scale and methodological issues, suggest a robust alternative to prediction that is based on using integrated assessments within the framework of vulnerability studies and, lastly, recommend a number of research priorities and the establishment of education programs in Earth Systems Science.
    It is imperative that the Earth’s climate system research community embraces this nonlinear paradigm if we are to move forward in the assessment of the human influence on climate.”

  23. Ian Blanchard says:
    October 25, 2010 at 3:58 am
    The more strident posters on here need to remember that (at least most) climate scientists are trying to do the best they can with incomplete or inadequate data and while under significant pressure.
    Those are two fixed conditions which should certainly not be instrumental in producing these alleged scientists’ “results” in the first place; because reliable results under these conditions are therefore simply not possible, and a real scientist should know that!
    And a real scientist should not then proceed to fabricate and manipulate data, ignore valid data, and in general not practice according to the Scientific Method. But a real scientist should raise Holy Hell when s/he sees the above malpractices, and certainly should have already checked on the scientific credibility of their own freaking field.
    In other words the “stridency” of my and the vast majority of objections to Climate Science relates directly to the fact that such rules even have to be reasserted as indicating the basic faults in the “method” of Climate Science, which is simply not real Science, and that the “most” of Climate Sciences should have already put a stop to Climate Science’s “method”, but they didn’t!

  24. paulhan says:
    October 25, 2010 at 3:47 am
    …For instance, when one sees things like vegetation advancing at 4.5 kilometres a year into the south-western Sahara (Sahel), and when one hears that it is largely attributed to the extra CO2 in the atmosphere, one wonders if the extra CO2 emitted by humans is not actually a gift to Nature rather than a burden.
    +++++++++++++++
    One would have to first subtract the effect of the natural swing of the desert edge north and south before invoking anything to do with CO2. Remember the ‘deserts are expanding’ scare of a few decades ago? That was hokum and traced to someone flying NW from Kenya twice in 10 years and noting in a letter to a friend in the UK that the desert seemed to have advanced. That single note was turned into an entire enrivonmental movement, trumped in the end by the desert returning to green (how ironic).
    The Sahel has a marginal climate and dries in a cycle. When a group of villagers who move every 40 years (each time they move they create a new forest for their own needs – fuel, food, shelter) were found to be creating permanent tree cover (western Sahel) they were pilloried by the environmentalists for destroying the grazing by deliberately creating permanent forest cover. Breathtaking gall.
    CO2? Nothing to see in the Sahel. Move along, methinks.
    Oh – now they are taking on the planters of neem trees (Melia Azederacta) for fuel, shade, charcoal, building, anti-malarial and natural insecticide. Neem = bad! Bad people!! Foreign trees…all bad! Buy insecticides from W.R. Grace! Live in grass houses! Eat locusts!

  25. The very simple fact that the iron death grip on insisting that CO2, and man’s involvement in the carbon cycle, is THE bogeyman in the closet exists for no scientific reason whatsoever. It’s political. Because out of all the theories and hypothesis on the subject of planetary climate variabiity, it is the only one that is ‘controllable’ by mankind, or through the control of mankind and mankind’s actions. Which makes it ‘politically correct’. Plain and simple. This is the motive behind the unfailing political support for the hypothesis, including the steadfast devotion to the ‘geeks’ that are relied upon to supply the ‘technobabble’ defending it, even when they are caught red-handed lying their butts off, or rigging the game.
    The actors which have actively promoted this charade will most likely go down in history as some of the most dastardly figures in recent human memory, if they are not simply given a pass and written off as buffoons – after all, who can remember the names of any of the ‘learned experts’ cheerleading the Catholic Church in the persecution of Galileo?
    The damage they have wrought upon the perceived integrity and process of science is most heinous, and arguably more damaging than the craven and greedy motivations of their enablers and pitchmen, such as Mr. Gore.

  26. Dr Curry — the choice missing on the survey is “Scientist.” With the sad erosion of the dogmatic CAGW camp into pseudo-science, they seem to have forgotten what one looks like.
    I greatly appreciate the discussion of uncertainty and reliably of the models. Model validation is critical and in a global, non-linear, and incompletely measured realtime system, darn near impossible. Yet many of those in the “catastrophic” camp would risk the economic future (and real lives at the margins, i.e. compare the costs of carbon reduction to providing clean water, or ending human slavery), ignoring the realities of the uncertainty (or worse hiding and/or mischaracterizing them).
    Working in CFD for aircraft large commercial aircraft design, the solvers we wrote had to be validated by experimental data (both wind tunnel and flight test) before any passengers lives were going rest on their reliability.
    How could we be less “skeptical” for issues that impact the world.

  27. That’s a typically leading survey. Where’s the “Judith Curry is a scientist” option!?
    It’s easy to test how poor it is.. go through the survey thinking as a climate sceptic and note how difficult it is to respond accordingly. Then go through it pretending to be an environmental activist of the most odious kind you’ve experienced. See how easy the survey got all of a sudden?

  28. That is why I believe that AGW is bunk. That and they said PBS was a serious forum. You automatically lose any debate when you say that. You cannot trust anything SA or any other “science” publication says because they are just being used as platforms for activism. Sad days for science and scientists that care about science and not money/politics.

  29. because they are just being used as platforms for activism

    Personally I haven’t bought a copy of NS (or SA) for years, mostly because they seem to be full of complete tripe. This was reinforced recently when I read an alarming article suggesting that mountains are going to collapse due to Global Warming – and of course that many cities will be utterly destroyed.
    I sent the author (Kate Ravilious) a polite email thanking her for brightening up my day by writing perhaps the most stupefyingly idiotic article I think I’ve ever read. So far I have received no response, which I have to say is somewhat disappointing!


  30. The first Q from the SF survey is:

    1. Climate of Change?
    1. Should climate scientists discuss scientific uncertainty in mainstream forums?

    I stopped the survey right there.
    I think the first question should have been, “Since it is illegal for climate scientists or the IPCC to withhold any data methodology, code or uncertainties for research paid for by public money, do you think that if science is unable to police itself to enforce full disclosure then enforcement should be by legal action?”
    The three choices for the response should have been: a) yes, b) no, c) undecided.
    John

  31. Excellent post. I am a regular visitor to RP Sen, RP Jnr and JC’s blogs. All three are interesting and informative. To use emotive terms like ‘heretic’ in relationship to science sums up the attitude of so many climate alarmists.
    Of course none of this would matter as in 10-20 years it will be clear one way or another which view is correct.
    Unfortunately,by then the energy policies advocated by our politicians based on faulty science and GCMs will have destroyed the economies of the Western world.

  32. “””” Al says:
    October 25, 2010 at 1:02 am
    As a heretic is “a dissenter from established religious dogma” it seems to sum up the other sides position quite well. “”””
    Al, I have barely finished my first cup of Monday Morning coffee; and YOU have already made my week a success. That certainly is THE thought for the week.
    George

  33. Robinson says:October 25, 2010 at 10:14 am
    Personally I haven’t bought a copy of NS (or SA) for years, mostly because they seem to be full of complete tripe. This was reinforced recently when I read an alarming article suggesting that mountains are going to collapse due to Global Warming – and of course that many cities will be utterly destroyed.

    I read that link. The study focused on two rockslides, one in New Zealand that occurred right after a 3.5 earthquake epicentered near the slide zone. I didn’t look for the other. Why bother?
    What rubbish.

  34. Distinguished scientist Freeman Dyson is another heretic according to New York Times:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/29/magazine/29Dyson-t.html
    “The costs of what Gore tells us to do would be extremely large,” Dyson said. “By restricting CO2 you make life more expensive and hurt the poor. I’m concerned about the Chinese.”
    Surely the Chinese that regards seniors a gold mine of wisdom cannot be impressed by the way we treat experienced scientists like Freeman Dyson and Harold Lewis here in the West.

  35. “The first Q from the SF survey is:
    1. Climate of Change?
    1. Should climate scientists discuss scientific uncertainty in mainstream forums?”
    Is it just me or is the entire premise of this question non-scientific? Given that we know that the answers in climate science are unlikely ever to be knwon with 100% certainty, it is surely absolutely vital for both practicing researchers and those with a vested interest (both politicians and the general public) to discuss and understand the scientific basis and level of certainty/uncertainty in any conclusion (especially when these ‘scientific’ conclusions are then to be applied to real world decision making).
    The problem for climate science is that even the ‘known knowns’ (e.g. the IR absorption spectrum of CO2 in the real atmosphere, the directly determined temperature records) are only known with a fairly wide range of uncertainty.
    You then have to consider the ‘known unknowns’, where data is either absent or so sketchy as to be of no significant use (cloud formation, aerosols, relative effects of convection, turbulence and wind to heat transfer). All of these are plugged into the big sausage making machine of the GCMs anyway, some knobs are tweaked and eventually an output bearing some superficial resemblance to the recent past temperature is produced.
    Of course, there are also the possibility of the ‘unknown unknowns’ – climate science is still a relatively young field and there is a reasonable possibility that the entire enterprise is missing some vital factor (as others have said, Svensmark’s cloud effect could be one such feature, and the discussion in the last couple of days at Climate etc regarding the possible relationship between condensation of water vapour and pressure decrease and generation of stronger wind speeds highlights another area that certainly merits investigation).

  36. @curryja says:
    October 25, 2010 at 8:35 am

    This is just amazing. Scientific American is now taking an online survey as to whether I am a dupe or a peacemaker.
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=taking-the-temperature-climate-chan-2010-10-25

    If they had any cajones*, they would organize a sit-in, complete with drums and banging of pots and pans, at the University of Georgia to protest her heresy. If they did that, I would take the time to attend personally, especially if there was a big banner in 2-foot tall letters saying: “sponsored by Scientific American” and its band of scientific fact checkers.
    Keep your chin up!
    George
    *spanish for “drawers”.

  37. This so hits close to home.
    So basically, these Earth Muffins are saying: “If your Willamette Valley rye grass field burning practice (to rid the field of weeds that you would otherwise chemically destroy) ends up with ash in my solar-heated California inspired swimming pool, you’re bad and I’m an innocent victim of local climate change.”
    Next case: “Your Willamette Valley legume field practice of pollination with bees ends up stinging my privileged white a** while bathing nude in my backyard. So you’re bad and I’m an innocent white a**ed victim of local climate change.”
    Meanwhile, your “green industry loving” self can get a medial card to sooth your whatever pain (or in a particular case, sooth your significant health problems because you ate the wrong mushrooms) by growing weed in a climate controlled setup, regardless of how how your neighbors feel about it.
    Call 1-800- waaaaaa.
    Laugh it up liberal thinker. I didn’t make this up. It actually has happened.

  38. WillR
    Thank you not for your snide remark (you don’t know me, btw).
    It needed clarification, simple as. Roger kindly responded.

Comments are closed.