The hope of Lisbon

Padrão dos Descobrimentos. The Monument to the...
The Padrão dos Descobrimentos in Lisbon is a monument that celebrates the Portuguese who took part in the Age of Discovery, or the Age of Exploration, of the 15th and 16th centuries. It is located on the estuary of the Tagus river in the Belém parish of Lisbon, Portugal, where ships departed to their often unknown destinations. Image via Wikipedia

Dr. Judith Curry writes over at Climate Etc about the upcoming Lisbon conference on

“Workshop on Reconciliation in the Climate Change Debate.”

I thought it would be good to touch on this. I was originally scheduled to attend, having been invited early on. I truly would like to be there to represent the readers of WUWT, but unfortunately, my reality is much like that of Jeff Id’s at the Air Vent. I’m a small businessman with a young family, and I simply can’t take a week long leave right now. The economy is hitting us hard.

Dr. Curry writes:

This week, I will be in Lisbon attending a Workshop on Reconciliation in the Climate Change Debate.  The Workshop was conceptualized by Jerome Ravetz,Silvio FuntowiczJames Risbey, and Jeroen van der Sluijs.

While I (relatively) rarely travel overseas for meetings, I jumped at this invitation.  The topic is certainly intriguing and an issue that I have spent a great deal of time pondering over the last year.  Further, I really want to meet Ravetz, Funtowicz, Risbey, and van der Sluijs, whose papers I have been avidly reading over the past year, including citing them on a number of Climate Etc threads:

What has impressed me about their writings is that they recognize that climate change is not only a scientific subject, but also a political, economical, and ethical subject.

She adds:

I am hoping that there is some sort of path for reconciliation in this debate for the benefit of both scientific progress and social consideration of the issues surrounding climate variability and change.  I don’t know what this should look like, other than:

  • transparency and traceability in the science
  • loyalty to truth and the scientific method
  • understanding and acknowledgement of uncertainty and the possibility of error
  • win-win situations such as no regrets policy.

I know what it DOESN’T look like, and that is reflected by Kevin Trenberth’s essay, where the blame is put on the deniers, the media, etc. (everybody but the IPCC scientists and their supporters).  The domination approach only “works” if you can actually pull it off; climate scientists are babes in the woods when it comes to this kind of politics.  A partnership  approach makes much more sense and might actually produce a good outcome.

The people that really need to be there are from NOAA and NASA. Perhaps they will attend next year if the conference makes some progress that gets noticed this year.

While I regret that I am not going, on the plus side, I have delegated Steven Mosher to go in my place, and he’s all set. I look forward to his reports here.

You can read about the conference here in this summary that was sent to all participants:

reconciliation-rationale-WS2011 (PDF 57k)

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January 25, 2011 11:27 am

That’s all I have. I just wish a snide warmist close relative were also going. It might open up his receptivity that critiques of climate science is not a bad thing, and can actually help the field progress and morph into something more respectable.
On second thought. No. If he went, he would probably just disrupt the conference, blurt out various invectives and label everybody there “deniers”.

January 25, 2011 11:36 am

I’m sorry but how do you find a reconcilliation between people who lie, hide data, delete data and fudge results with people who don’t ?
Mix vanilla ice cream with dog droppings and guess what … you still don’t have edible ice cream …
anyone who doesn’t completely disaasociate themsleves with CRU and Mann now and forever is just as corrupt … those who claim that some of the work is legitimate are only self identifying as charlatons for the rest of the world to see and should be ignored forever as true scientists …
REPLY: The people of Northern Ireland did it, and that involved bombings, killings, and retributions. All we have is angry rhetoric. It would seem less of a challenge. – Anthony

Ted Swart
January 25, 2011 11:43 am

Sounds like a very high minded and cautious conference. We must surely wish them well. I note that Judith Curry very properly says that. although she does not know what the path forward looks like, she is sure that it does not look like Kevin Trenberth’s latest essay. Reconciliation , if it is to happen at all, involves two way traffic.

Robert M
January 25, 2011 11:44 am

But, But, what about that big oil paycheck Anthony?!? Isn’t Exxon going to charter you a carbon spewing jet? /sarc
On the bright side, Obama is getting ready to focus on jobs, so very soon we will all be rolling in the green stuff. (cash not nature) I wish that was sarcasm and not the message from the MSM carrying the Bamster’s water for him.
And as far as the Hope of Lisbon is concerned, I’m not holding my breath. Personally I think it is an attempt by warmies to try and regain some traction.
Anyway you have an Awesome board here, keep up the good work, and I hope the economy eases up on you…

Billy Liar
January 25, 2011 11:44 am

Take post modernism out of science!

Jaye Bass
January 25, 2011 11:46 am

This is the sort of compromise I see coming:
Person X claims 1+1=2 while Person Y claims 1+1=11. X protests, Y offers a compromise…1+1=7. X still complains, Y offers 1+1=4…etc.

D Caldwell
January 25, 2011 11:47 am

Unfortunately, the people who most need to be there probably won’t be interested.

Frank K.
January 25, 2011 11:50 am

“The people that really need to be there are from NOAA and NASA. Perhaps they will attend next year if the conference makes some progress that gets noticed this year.”
They will only go if it’s in Bali, Cancun, Hawaii, or some other vacation destination suitable for partying…

Ben G
January 25, 2011 11:57 am

Sounds like another great excuse for all these climapate scientists to rack up their Carbon Footprint. Seriously I suspect it’s a political trap – refluse to play along and you’re unreasonable, play along and there’s really no disagreement afterall – the debate is over.

Gary Hladik
January 25, 2011 11:59 am

Anthony writes: “REPLY: The people of Northern Ireland did it, and that involved bombings, killings, and retributions. All we have is angry rhetoric. It would seem less of a challenge. – Anthony”
You have it backwards, Anthony. Northern Ireland “did it” because there were bombings and killings, i.e. both sides were really getting hurt. In the CAGW debate, where the only pain is rhetorical, and one side has everything to gain and nothing to lose by maintaining the status quo, the incentive to make concessions is much less.
REPLY: I hear you, but I was pointing to the fact that the level of hate and distrust was far greater to overcome. – Anthony

Brandon Caswell
January 25, 2011 11:59 am

I give people like Judith credit for trying to build bridges.
But I do tend to worry when we need hold workshops to try and convince scientists to abandon politics for the scientific method. Science didn’t change and create this problem, scientists did.

January 25, 2011 12:02 pm

Reconciliation in the Climate Change Debate
Reconciliation can be achieved if policy is based on verified science.
Verification of the science can be achieved as follows:
Here is IPCC’s projections on global temperature trends:

For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. Even if the concentrations of all greenhouse gases and aerosols had been kept constant at year 2000 levels, a further warming of about 0.1°C per decade would be expected.
Here is my suggestion on how reconciliation in the debate can be achieved
a) For the period from 2000 to 2030, if the global warming rate is 0.2 deg C per decade, the AGW theory is proved and policy follows.
b) For the period from 2000 to 2030, if the global warming rate is less than 0.1 deg C per decade, the AGW theory is disproved and it is rejected.

Bill in Vigo
January 25, 2011 12:02 pm

This is one of those wait and pray situations. For us here in the deep south with our lack of preparations for snow and ice and extended below freezing temps, these last couple of winters the global climate disruption is about to freeze us out.
Bill Derryberry

January 25, 2011 12:04 pm

As I posted overthere:
Reconciliation as in conflict resolution.
To achieve what, a new consensus?
Bad for the science.
Facts and data should be a battleground field for the conflicting views and ideas.

January 25, 2011 12:07 pm

I suppose it depends on what kind of reconciliation we are talking about?
I agree with Jeff – you cannot reconcile with cheats and liars.
It is crazy to think that the likes of the major Team members will be concilliatory for any reason other than their own self benefit based on what we know of their pasts.
Yes, the science is strongly polarized – a good part of that polarization is because the data ‘haves’ have avoided giving the data and methods to the data ‘have nots’.
Also, no matter how ‘nice’ you want to be about it – the main climate science players have been seriously unscientific in terms of their methods – this simply cannot be swept under the carpet with a load of back slapping.
Until there is some serious backtracking by the team and their cohorts I will view any type of supposed ‘reconciliation’ with deep suspicion much like pretty much any of the so called peer reviewed AGW papers of the past couple of decades!
The only way to sort it out – IMHO – is to start from scratch with a fresh lead ‘team’ and total transparency and availablity of data/methods etc for scrutiny by all interested parties. i don’t doubt that SOME of the pro-AGW stuff is valid, but as we see all too often, a lot is not and skeptics have been totally downtrodden and despised as basic ‘heretics’! That is not the science method in anyones textbook but the current ‘Teams’!
Proferring the olive branch is a decent thing to do – but given the history, I would always be looking past the hand thats holding the branch!

January 25, 2011 12:12 pm

Ben G says:
January 25, 2011 at 11:57 am
totally agree!

January 25, 2011 12:17 pm

I think it is a net plus. If more true scientists focus attention on defending not “TEAMS” but the scientific method, it has to have a positive effect in the debate. Dr. Curry and others like her can bring a lot of cred to the issue. We will see how the conference plays out, but I don’t think it is beneficial to disparage it in advance.

January 25, 2011 12:24 pm

If they are talking reconciliation the first thing they have to do is to mend relations with Bjørn Lomborg He is a warmist but a rational one who does not draw apocalyptic conclusions from the mere existence of warming. The existence or otherwise of warming is a separate scientific issue and must be settled on its merits, not by consensus that they are looking for.

January 25, 2011 12:35 pm

Am I being too cynical in wondering whether the point of conferences like this is to try to “co-opt” the climate skeptics? Will the AGW people, at some point, start offering to support NSF grants for the climate-skeptic representatives in return for … ? Actually, in the “wink and a nod” culture of government-funded science, nothing need ever explicitly be said about what the people giving the grants will be getting in return.

Gary Pearse
January 25, 2011 12:37 pm

With how this whole thing has been conducted over the past decades, whose desire is it to come together? Who are we trying to rehabilitate? The scientific sceptics have only being doing the job of science. Naturally there are those adherents on both sides who aren’t scientists and putting them together wouldn’t make sense. Why can’t the main offenders in the ‘debate’ just give up political science and re-adopt the scientific method? I think some have had a major education over the past 10 years both by compelling arguments of sceptics and by the behaviour of nature herself. Hey, just come on in.

James Sexton
January 25, 2011 12:37 pm

Ahh, hope springs eternal. I’m not near the optimist. In my view, the only way for this to occur is to remove the ideology from science. For many of us, it is quite clear it is ideology driving the alarmism. Once the ideology and advocacy is removed, science can once again move forward.
Interesting, Mosh, Curry and Goddard are going to be there.

January 25, 2011 12:40 pm

Jeff says: January 25, 2011 at 11:36 am

I’m sorry but how do you find a reconcilliation between people who lie, hide data, delete data and fudge results with people who don’t ?

We will get nowhere in the future unless we bring Scientific Method into our psyche as not just a practice for science labs but as an attitude of mind. This blog is one that stands at the frontier of these important developments. Curiously, those best able to cope and survive in the Nazi camps were those who could forgive their persecutors. I live in a world where nothing (including my recent renaissance of passion for Science) happens by accident, everything can be handled positively (but not without looking the worst in the face), and miracles happen, as in scientifically verifiable. Future Science will not progress without underpinning by attitudes like these. Warfare is less and less of an option, and we need truly new energy alternatives like LENR to survive. But most of all we need truth without judgement, and ways to help people know it’s ok to say “I was wrong”. IMHO.
BTW, since I too was invited but unable to go in the end, I would like to think that participants there will read our contributions to their conference here. And maybe add some questions.

January 25, 2011 12:40 pm

It’s a pity I cannot attend, due (also) to professional matters… But we’ll all try to pass on what’s happening.
If anyone needs some translation, I might also help.

January 25, 2011 12:48 pm

The warmists are as bent on increasing the prize of energy, prohibiting exploitation of fossil fuel resources (Tyndall centre), and keeping their funding as ever. As usual, they argue with a total impending desaster if their requirements are not fulfilled real soon now. While their institutes are even farther in post-normal hand-waving mode than ever, see the PIK’s latest utterances. (Cold winter caused by Climate Change etc…) And they flat out deny they would ever try to influence policy (as usual. We are just innocent scientists.). Trust me, i had the displeasure of talking to some.
How can a compromise with somebody who wants EVERYTHING be possible? First of all, they must stop all activist activity and kick every activist out of their institutes (yes, i mean you, Hansen and Rahmstorff). Second, they must accept peer review of their papers by non-warmists. Only after that could warmist climate science regain respectability.
Oh, and they should define clear criteria for falsifiability in their “theory”.
Ah well, it won’t happen, it will stay political post-normal agitation…

January 25, 2011 12:52 pm

Happy to be proved wrong but I somehow don’t think that the usual suspects will have any change of heart on “the science is settled” while the gravy train still rolls…
Your personal comments were of concern – for once they seemed a little downbeat. You provide a fantastic forum here for debate at all levels on natural phenomena and AGW issues: the range of topics is breathtaking. You must have friends and admirers the world over. I hope that progress continues smoothly on medical issues – subject of course to that, I am sure we all hope that you feel able to keep up the excellent work!

Jason Joice M.D.
January 25, 2011 12:58 pm

Is it too late to start an “Anthony to Lisbon” fund? I’ve got the first $100 right here.
REPLY: Thanks for the kind offer, but the flight at this point would be outrageously expensive. Mostly it is about my business and employees, who need me to pull for them right now, as does my family. I’d have to miss my son’s Cub Scout Pinewood Derby this Saturday, and these personal things need to take priority. As somebody pointed out the other day “on your deathbed, you won’t be saying “I wish I spent more time on WUWT” -Anthony

January 25, 2011 12:58 pm

The problem is, that there is no common ground in the climate debate.
Either CO2 is the problem, or it isn’t.
Either the sea level is rising unusually or it in’t.
Either climate change is an anthrophogenic issue or it isn’t.
Where is the common ground?

January 25, 2011 1:02 pm

The official program is here:
Gulbenkian’s conferences are usually transmitted live through the Internet. At least that occurred when Pachauri was there. I could not find the link though.
BTW, Gulbenkian is a foundation that was built over the oil business:
Be aware of Viriato Soromenho-Marques: he is one of the worst alarmists in Portugal!

January 25, 2011 1:09 pm

Glad to hear that you were invited Anthony. Your responses citing Northern Ireland are spot on. The main point being that many of us in the UK mainland had got used to the idea that no settlement was ever going to be possible. Whatever view one takes of Tony Blair in other areas (insight on global warming isn’t his strong point, nor are JP Morgan likely to make it one) he had the guts to go for it, against the odds. Paisley, McGuiness, Adams did the utterly impossible a few months before. But, as always, there were heroes of the process who were much more hidden – like Brendan Duddy. It’s a wonderful story.
That’s what I take from the analogy. Sure, the vested interests crowd this area by now but some scientists have to be fed up of the corruption of a field they genuinely love. Judith stands tall as an example. I wish everyone involved (the really interesting question being the ‘dark matter’ in the 28 whose names we are not being given in Judy’s post) all the very best.

January 25, 2011 1:13 pm

Kev-in-Uk says: January 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm
“Yes, the science is strongly polarized – a good part of that polarization is because the data ‘haves’ have avoided giving the data and methods to the data ‘have nots’.”
Hi Kev. Contrary to the impression many at WUWT seem to have, there is a vast mass of climate data and open source freely available for anyone that cares to access it. I suggest the following repository:

January 25, 2011 1:18 pm

Good luck to Watts the younger in the Pinewood Derby, Anthony! You have your priorities straight…

January 25, 2011 1:19 pm

Reply to Girma January 25, 2011 at 12:02 pm:
Even if the world does warm up by 0.2 deg/decade, it is NOT a proof of AGW. It can happen for other reason.
Besides, warmists will fine a reason if the warming doesn’t happen. Look at the recent flooding here in Australia. After years of telling us that Australia will have permanent drought and other such predictions, we had terrible floods. They haven’t waited for the water to recede before coming out saying: ‘Actually this is what we meant… climate extremes.’ They of course have warned us about just about anything from asteroid strikes to bad beer (, so they will always say ‘See? this is the proof of AGW!”

January 25, 2011 1:20 pm

Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.

January 25, 2011 1:24 pm

“For the period from 2000 to 2030, if the global warming rate is 0.2 deg C per decade, the AGW theory is proved and policy follows.”
It is impossible to measure a 0.2ºC drop or increase temperature in the whole World.

January 25, 2011 1:32 pm

This may seem harsh, but:
No taxation without representation.
No reconciliation without compensation.

Grumpy Old Man
January 25, 2011 1:57 pm

I have followed Prof. Curry’s campaign to initiate civilised disagreement between sceptics and warmists fairly closely and with interest. It is worth noting that when she first mooted the idea, her treatment from some of the more prominent warmist bloggers was nothing short of scurilous, especially when she posted on sceptic blogs.
90% of the time, I think that she is genuinely interested in getting the two sides to contribute to seeking the truth about our constantly changing climate. then she posts, or supports a post, which jars with that feeling, and I wonder if she’s decided to kill the sceptic cat by choking it with cream.
Whatever, if sceptics turn up praising Science and keeping their powder dry, to paraphrase the English Civil War General Monk, Little harm will come of it and much might be gained in making Climate Scienceonce more a reputable area of study in the eyes of the general public.

George E. Smith
January 25, 2011 1:57 pm

Well ‘Senator’ John McCain plans to cross the aisle and sit with the Democratic Party for the Bamashow tonight; so called State of the Union speech.
The “Union” is a Union of “States”, not of the representatives of the People; who sent their reps to the Congress to get something done, to get the gummint off the backs of the people, so we can actually accomplish something.
You cannot get anything done to further the interests of your constituents, if you start the ball rolling by sleeping with the enemy. Just look at Arnuld Schwarzenegger for a start; he’s married to the enemy; and chose Robert F Kennedy Jr, to be his environmental advisor. So we know who wears the pants in that girlie man family. He took in Grey Davis’s Democrat team, and kept them in place so he could turn them over to Jerry Brown for his illegal third term as Governor; he even advertises that it is his third term; and presumably he will want an also illegal fourth term.
I don’t have a problem with the pro AGW folks going to Lisbon, to figure out how to get their act together so they don’t look like a bunch of crooked boobs; but don’t see any reason for the realists to go. In war, the winners write the history, and they make the rules. The last time we won a war, and made the rules and wrote the history, it meant something; and we haven’t had to face the same sort of problem again.

January 25, 2011 2:01 pm

Note to Judith Curry.
Ravetz: “But from my earliest years I combined my concerns for science with an awareness and commitment to politics, which on various occasions was realised as activism, but for most of the time in reflection.”
“Post-Normal Science is a concept developed by Silvio Funtowicz and Jerome Ravetz, attempting to characterise a methodology of inquiry that is appropriate for cases where “facts are uncertain, values in dispute, stakes high and decisions urgent”

January 25, 2011 2:10 pm

It is a trap by the thermists. Judith Curry is not to be trusted.
No good will come of this as there’s no point in any “reconciliation” , just science.
Any result will be a public perception that the realists have given ground to the thermists.

January 25, 2011 2:12 pm

Ammonite says:
January 25, 2011 at 1:13 pm
I am aware of the current (which is fairly recent, to be fair) availability of data. However, perhaps you might like to explain how it takes months, nay years, to deconstruct say, Manns Hockey stick and where we might be able to find the published method and code used actually by Mann? Or for that matter many other pro-AGW ‘demonstrating research’ papers ?
Or perhaps you might like to point me to the site that describes all the CRU/Hadcrut dataset adjustments over the last 20+ years? (Clue – if Jones says he doesn’t know what they are – I am pretty sure you and I can’t find out! – HARRYREADME anyone?) You see – it is all very well having a ‘dataset’ – and let’s just assume its valid for the moment – but how the feck do you or I know what they did with the data to get their ‘conclusions’ ! Methodology is required, and detailed methodology at that!
And computer models – WTF? How many models have their code as open source? granted, I believe some have been made public but perhaps that is only because now they have ‘sorted’ the data they can release it! LOL
The AGW theme has been built on initial fantastical theory and layered and layered by composite errors (lies if you like?) on top, with data altered to suit, code ‘fixed’ to suit, etc, etc. And like all complex lies, the Team simply cannot back down because they simply don’t remember what all the falsehoods (adjustments?) are!
I really don’t give a monkeys toss about how much data there is – it is most likely to be tainted at best (and completely fudged at worst) – and unless the various proponents of such data as ‘good’ can produce all the genuine real McCoy raw data, the subsequent adjustments and reasons, etc, all in original written ‘notebook’ form (you know, kind of like scientists normally keep!), with copies of the backup stages of each data change, etc, etc – we are, to all intents and purposes, p*ssing against the wind!
The ‘Team’ guard this kind of stuff with their lives ! – why? – this is supposed to be the proof of thermogeddon and will save us all from eternal hell fire and damnation! Funny that it has still not been demonstrated from start to finish with full and detailed workings – or have I missed Al Gores sequel??
I suppose the analogy is like fixing a blown car engine – you can dismantle it and rebuild it – but unless you know that both the brand new and original parts are fully compatible, you may as well not bother because the reliability in the finished engine will simply not be there, if it works at all!

January 25, 2011 2:13 pm

Regarding live transmissions, Gulbenkian normally transmits at:
I cannot guarantee it will transmit at this location, but I have seen past transmissions there.

January 25, 2011 2:13 pm

The “bad guys” often call for peace when they’re about to lose the battle. It’s merely a tactic in their arsenal. The question is: are the organizers peacemakers or merely peace-lovers (when it suits them)? The conference will fail unless true concessions are made concerning egregious behavior and disdain for the other side. Call me skeptical that it will succeed until I see the evidence. OTOH, true reconciliation is always a good thing.

Ron Cram
January 25, 2011 2:16 pm

I’m sorry you are not able to attend. I think the conference is a great idea. Hopefully it will add some civility to the debate. But the debate should go on. I would be very unhappy if this turned out to be some kind of forced consensus.
As I posted on Judith Curry’s blog, the best way to go forward is to pressure the IPCC to publish two reports, a Majority Report and a Minority Report. It is the only way I know of to air all of the scientific evidence, otherwise someone is going to be complaining their perspective was not considered.
My idea is to have one report lead by Jim Hansen or Gavin Schmidt. The other to be led by Roger Pielke Sr or Judith Curry. You have 4,000 qualified climate scientists invited to take part in the writing and review process. If you are part of the process, then you get to vote on which report best represents the science. After the two reports come out, you might be surprised which report wins the vote to become the Majority Report.
Of course, voting doesn’t determine truth. Truth would still be open to debate. The vote would only determine which report was called the Majority Report.

January 25, 2011 2:24 pm

Would this be a Truth and Reconcilliation!!
In any reconcilliation, facts play a big part and i’d bet the facts have hit these clowns hard over the last couple of winters and with global temps plummeting it feels a tad
contrite for these offerings,still at least they will have a nice jollie…..again,
Never heard of video conference’s

Layne Blanchard
January 25, 2011 2:29 pm

Reconciliation is fine, so long as the end product arrived at reality. I don’t think that’s possible for warmers. Their entire universe exists in an alternate reality.
Judith is right and wrong at the same time to state that this is a political and ethical issue also. It IS only because warmers are using this scientific issue as a vehicle for Malthusian or Marxist religious ideologies, but it ISN’T and SHOULDN’T BE because those motives are contortions of dispassionate, brutally objective observation- the very foundation of science.

January 25, 2011 2:35 pm

As for citing Northern Ireland reconciliation, did that not allow for murderers and bombers to be released from prison for the crimes they committed to be simply wiped off the books as a part of the reconcilliation (Good Friday Agreement). Do we sceptics have to allow these B****** to get away scott free with the biggest lie/con in human history??

Layne Blanchard
January 25, 2011 2:40 pm

Stated another way: If objective science had arrived at a legitimate conclusion of AGW, Judith’s assertion about politics and ethics as part of the discussion might have merit.
But this is another leftie bean swap beneath the teacups. Political and ideological notions have been the very driver behind the pseudoscience of AGW, not the resultant impacts of its objective conclusions.
For the left, down is up, wrong is right, and anything can be true if they merely wish it so.
Saying ethics and politics are relevant is allowing the tail to wag the dog.

January 25, 2011 3:04 pm

@-Girma says:
“Here is my suggestion on how reconciliation in the debate can be achieved
a) For the period from 2000 to 2030, if the global warming rate is 0.2 deg C per decade, the AGW theory is proved and policy follows.
b) For the period from 2000 to 2030, if the global warming rate is less than 0.1 deg C per decade, the AGW theory is disproved and it is rejected.”
Well it seems that your suggestion has already been rejected by some ‘skeptics’, who noticeably fail to provide alternative criteria…
And on the ‘warmist’ side the objection might be – ‘what about if there is a major explosive volcanic event….’
But ignoring the shallow polarized binary dichotomy…-grin-
I’m with you on this.
Nature gets the first, final and only vote, (anyone know the source of that quote?) the political froth of AGW alarmism fails if it cools.
What happens if the rate is 1.5degC/decade?, wait another 30 years for another half a degree….
I like the trend/flat comparison used here :-
It can be summarized by stating that if any year after 2021 is colder than 1998/2010 then there is no trend and anyone holding AGW theory to be accurate needs to reconsider.
If all years after 2021 are warmer than now then anyone still skeptical of AGW had better have a very good counter hypothesis…!
But I am open to other suggestion for criteria of falsification of BOTH possibilities of AGW or unforced variation.

Jon Salmi
January 25, 2011 3:09 pm

While climate science has political, economic and ethical overtones the science of AGW must be studied (from all points of view) and measured further until we have a more complete picture of it. We especially cannot make rational political and economic policy until we know more. In the mean time the world should be hard at work adapting to whatever climate changes comes along (a warmer world or an ice age), by providing everyone the means to confront it: clean water, reticulated electricity, education, access to medical care, etc.

January 25, 2011 3:10 pm

Don’t spare the graphite on the axles.

January 25, 2011 3:10 pm

Oh dear, I cannot believe you would consider attending Anthony, as the blurb, the pre-text, of this workshop is not only insulting to your postion but it also serves to promote the further corruption of science (and science method) by political modes.

We believe that the possibility of harmful climate change is real, and that the resolution of the science (even recognition of its inherent uncertainties) is urgent. It makes only the minimal assumption that everyone agrees that there is a problem to be solved, which will not go away or be achieved by the surrender of one side.

This tells me that the premise of this debate is exclusive of those who are normally regarded as sceptics. So what conflict are they looking at resolving?
The blurb also points to one of the standard contradictions of the Post-Normal Science position of the organisers. Namely, that, in the very suggestion of the possibility of something happening, under condition of uncertainty, we have implied an urgency for action. It includes the usually missleading discussion of the problem of ‘uncertainty’ (medieval astrological predictions were also uncertain) the best panacea — for the alarm so generated is Lomborg’s Sceptical Environmentalist.
The last paragraph is the most telling. It starts:

The organisers are aware that many participants had been looking forward to a debate on the scientific questions.We have come to believe that at this time that would be premature.

Debate on the scientific question is premature…? I thought the resolution of the science was urgent? Post-normal science (PNS) does not make sense until you realise that its proponents want to eschew the science for a debate about the politics of implementing policy determined by their position.
The way it does this is to say that the science is actually entirely of the political form, and then to silence any debate on normal scientific grounds (eg, evidence-based).
So, in this blurb we have firstly one side of the debate excluded — those sceptical about the science of AGW — and then the debate over the science is postphone for a discussion of the politics. What is actually urgent? It is suggested that it is the political success of one side of the debate (in the absence of the science) that is the thing that is urgent. (Mike Hulme’s Why we disagree about climate change makes the same move.)
This blurb fits with what ‘Scientist for Truth’ and myself have explained on this site and elsewhere, namely that Post-Normal Science serves to subvert scientific debate over climate change by an abuse of social science methodology.
So what is Science for these folks? Here is a hint:

If the term ‘science’ presupposes consensual public knowledge, then (unless we obliterate one side of the dispute) this is just what we don’t have.

The meaning of the term science is quite simple. It comes from the Latin ‘scientia’, meaning ‘knowledge’. Now, there are various ways of obtaining knowledge. These days ‘science’ usually referes to ‘modern science’ and more specifically ‘modern natural science’ (as per the Royal Society 350 years ago etc) and its conventions of methodolgy. ‘Theoretical,’ ’empirical’ etc are qualifiers that suggest certain specific methods for obtaining and varifying knowledge. In all this there is no presupposition of ‘public’ and ‘consensus ‘ whatsoever. Where does this come from. Remember that this blurb is written by those describing themselves as philosophers of science!
My view is that Post Normal Science does not help our cause, and that we should not be promoting any of its initiatives unless they can be shown to be promoting science rather than subverting it.

Roger Tolson
January 25, 2011 3:24 pm

I thought “Extended Beer Community” was part of the programme,then I looked again………. Must get my glasses checked.

George E. Smith
January 25, 2011 3:39 pm

“”””” Ron Cram says:
January 25, 2011 at 2:16 pm
I’m sorry you are not able to attend. I think the conference is a great idea. Hopefully it will add some civility to the debate. But the debate should go on. I would be very unhappy if this turned out to be some kind of forced consensus.
As I posted on Judith Curry’s blog, the best way to go forward is to pressure the IPCC to publish two reports, a Majority Report and a Minority Report. It is the only way I know of to air all of the scientific evidence, otherwise someone is going to be complaining their perspective was not considered. “””””
Well first off you could try getting the National Academy of Sciences to routinely issue Minority Reports, like every time they issue a Majority Report; which currently I believe is all that they issue.
When you have an organisation that self selects its membership; as in there are no standard credentials one must achieve to become a member; well other than to become buddies with some folks who are already members; then you have the necesary organisation for misdeeds.
They exist purportedly to advise the Congress, and the President as to prudent Science policies. I’m all for that; greatly in favor of that. Much prefer that they give the gummint all the relevent information they have; pro or con.
As for their membership. They are high on my list of organisations I would not become a member of; or most other organisations who would have me as a member.
It would be nice if IPCC had a Minority Report; that way the AGW addicts, would always be able to count on getting their voices heard.

George Steiner
January 25, 2011 3:41 pm

Mr. Watts you should re-evaluate your example of Northern Ireland. The reconciliation didn’t happen. But was spun as such for the naive.
Also the conference was not “conceptualized” but “conceived”.
Mr. Watts are you sure that all there is is angry rhetoric? Why don’t you just all sing Kumbaya and hold hands.

January 25, 2011 4:00 pm

DirkH says:
January 25, 2011 at 12:48 pm
How can a compromise with somebody who wants EVERYTHING be possible?
Oh, and they should define clear criteria for falsifiability in their “theory”.
Ah well, it won’t happen, it will stay political post-normal agitation…
I agree with DirkH here. It is wishful thinking to enter discussions about compromise. What compromise? With whom? On what matter?
But already this whole thing has gone too far into the political, infrastructural and economical arenas where the real damage has been done already and can only get worse. The whole thing has got far too much momentum to stop and it’s well and truly out of the ‘scientists’ hands. The Europeans are building windmills that are totally uneconomic. To get to the stage that the energy to sustain a nation is dependant upon a solution only dreamed in a Don Quixote nightmare would be laughable if it wasn’t so tragic. The outcome in only a short time for the UK is a diminished supply at a cost that is unaffordable for the population.
In New Zealand (where I live) I saw windmills marching across (and defiling) the Lammermoor Range west of Dunedin only yesterday. New Zealand depends upon its landscape as a basis for its tourist industry which is its largest single foreign exchange earner. So we defile our landscape, mothball our coal burning power stations and export our coal to India. Seems like a ‘no brainer’ to me. Who are you to reason with?

Bruce Cobb
January 25, 2011 4:50 pm

JC says “there is a problem to be solved”. True, only it has nothing to do with climate.
Warmism is the problem. Truth is the solution, and right now, truth is winning.

Anything is possible
January 25, 2011 5:00 pm

While I applaud Dr. Curry’s efforts to get a civilised conversation going, I fear that it is doomed to failure for the reasons outlined by Doug – the whole thing is, as he put it : “Well and truly out of the scientists hands.”
If you go back and re-read the IPCC reports from 1992-3, or any literature on climate change from that time, the language is very cautious, and great care is taken to emphasise the large range of uncertainties, due to the lack of understanding of the natural processes which drive the climate cycles alongside any effect that anthropogenic CO2 may have.
Somewhere in the last 20 years, all these doubts and uncertainties have been swept aside, while the advances in understanding required to justify that have been conspicuous by their absence.
This kind of puts the pro-AGW climate scientists in an invidious position. Do they row back on their position, and tell politicians they are actually far less certain about AGW than they’ve been making out for the last 15-20 years, or do they “keep the faith” hoping against hope that future events will prove them correct?
I think we all know the answer to that one………..

Keith G
January 25, 2011 5:00 pm

Various references to Northern Ireland reconciliation have been made. If the proposed reconciliation is between ‘warmists’ and ‘skeptics’ – or at least between those who hold opposing ideological positions – a process of political reconciliation makes sense. But a ‘reconciliation’ between ‘truth’ and ‘politics’ is without merit. Truth, or at least the pursuit of it, is not an ideological doctrine. Rather, it is a process whereby all ideological doctrines come under the searing gaze of critical reason and are, progressively, undermined. It acknowledges no final resting place, no firm ground upon which to stand. At heart, it is a corrosive activity. But one that allows people to free themselves from the shackles of dogma should they choose to apply it. Politics, on the other hand, is much more focussed on generating collective endeavour by building upon a set of agreed, and fixed, founding ‘truths’. A marriage of politics and science, the latter being a truth-seeking endeavour, does not bode well for one or the other and, if history is a guide, where attempts have made to graft politics onto science, it is science that tends to suffer, far more so than politics. In this respect, Post-Normal Science is not likely to fare any better.

Brian H
January 25, 2011 5:02 pm

izen says:
January 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm
@-Girma says:
“Here is my suggestion on how reconciliation in the debate can be achieved
a) For the period from 2000 to 2030, if the global warming rate is 0.2 deg C per decade, the AGW theory is proved and policy follows.
b) For the period from 2000 to 2030, if the global warming rate is less than 0.1 deg C per decade, the AGW theory is disproved and it is rejected.”

What happens if the rate is 1.5degC/decade?, wait another 30 years for another half a degree….

Uh, sorry. Either you’ve been fatally brainwashed, or your bias is showing, or you have no idea of the magnitudes and quantities involved.
That’s a range of 0.1 to 0.2°C/decade, not 1.0 to 2.0°C>. So if the rate is 1.5°C/decade that’s over 7X the upper limit. No waiting necessary!

Joe Lalonde
January 25, 2011 5:27 pm

It will be an extremely difficult task to change the minds of politicians that have been hammered for years with propaganda.
Here is what I get trying to bring science forward on AGW theory being incorrect.
Dear Joe Lalonde:
On behalf of Michael Ignatieff, I would like to thank you for your email regarding your concerns about our environment. As you may be aware, Mr. Ignatieff has presented the Liberal plan for the environment, climate change and clean energy jobs.
Under this plan, a Liberal government would restore Canada’s climate change leadership with a firm commitment to keep global warming within two degrees Celsius and create the clean jobs of tomorrow through a historic investment in clean energy and energy efficiency.
A Liberal government would create a binding and verifiable cap-and-trade system – with hard caps leading to absolute reductions – that is fair to all regions and industries, and compatible with other systems for international carbon trading.
At the heart of everything affecting climate change is the question of energy: the energy we produce, the energy we save, and the energy we’ll need. That’s why a Liberal government would set an ambitious target of quadrupling Canada’s production of renewable energy by Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017, and promote energy efficiency through new transit systems, high-speed rail, and ”smart” electrical grids.
Mr. Ignatieff has also proposed a single Clean Energy Act that would adopt the toughest vehicle emissions standards in North America and has outlined strategies to protect our air, water, forests and Arctic.
We need a Government that looks forward, not backwards. It’s time to set ourselves a new national project – one that brings together our economy, our environment and our best ideas to create the jobs and prosperity tomorrow.
You may find a copy of the highlights of our plan here:
Yours sincerely,
​The Office of Michael Ignatieff
Leader of the Opposition

Le cabinet de Michael Ignatieff
Chef de l’Opposition

January 25, 2011 5:27 pm

I’d like to say my invitation was deleted, but maybe they just couldn’t reach me by email.

January 25, 2011 5:33 pm

Excuse me, but my BS detector is sounding the alarm.
We believe that the possibility of harmful climate change is real, and that the
resolution of the science (even recognition of its inherent uncertainties) is urgent.

I don’t believe what they believe. Warmer is better. No urgency felt here. That’s perhaps why I wasn’t invited. One of the reasons anyway. Not in that movie.
There is already a precedent: Judith Curry and her colleagues agreed to debate in a nonviolent way…
Who is engaged in violent debate on global warming? One side refuses to debate at all, and the other side engages in blogging. The only violence I know of, associated with the Global Warming Hoax, is Hansen’s psycho calls for “civil disobedience”. That and outrageous Enron-type money pits and usurious taxes, if you want to call those violent.
…it could serve as model for the adoption of the nonviolent approach to conflict resolution in similar disputes in science…
As opposed to what? Knife fights in the laboratory? Nobel Laureate cage match duels to the death? Since when have scientific disputes been violent?
Just another excuse for public employees to go on vacation junkets on the taxpayers dime. I don’t blame Portugal for dreaming up this conference. They are in a world of hurt financially, teetering on the edge. But the premises are faulty. In more ways than one.

January 25, 2011 5:55 pm

I don’t understand, I’m so confused. Aren’t we supposed to be big-oil-funded deniers with lots of cash to spew our invective hatred of science? Why can’t we afford jaunts to exotic locales to spew our patented nonsense? What happened to us? Did we spend all of our lobbyist loot on hordes of previously unemployed and now on-the-take internet message board posters intent on seeding counter-consensus thought into a free society? Did we not properly save our dirty oil money for the inevitable special occasions where the “good guys” invite us to present our evil thoughts?
I’m just so confused, I thought I was on the well-funded evil side….

John F. Hultquist
January 25, 2011 6:13 pm

AGW theory will not be proved if the temperature rises. Approximately 25,000 years ago Earth was experiencing a glacial event, then some 17,000 years ago (plus or minus) that event ended. Earth warmed. Ice melted. Seas rose. How does one use that information to prove AGW?

Brian H
January 25, 2011 6:19 pm

Good catch. Jigger the terms of reference, and make sure the Fix is In.
I’ve direct linked to your comment in several places.

Baa Humbug
January 25, 2011 6:34 pm

I’m with Piers Corbyn on this in that we don’t need pseudo reconciliation, we need more polarization.
However I will accept one compromise position, that is..
* All laws, rules regulations, taxation, trading schemes etc are VOLUNTARY.
* Anyone concerned about AGW can pay-up to their hearts content.
* Any company, corporation, business small and large who add AGW costs to their prices must make these charges VOLUNTARY. You believe? You pay.
* All politicians, public servants of all levels get the ‘ell out of my face and my pocket regards Climate Change (gawd I despise that term)
If the majority of people believe in AGW (as we are told they do) then there will be no problem raising the funds to buy the global temperature down by 2DegC. Enjoy your purchase.
There, I’ve reconciled, everybody is happy.

Pamela Gray
January 25, 2011 6:55 pm

Take “no regrets” out of policy decisions. It’s too expensive. I’m sorry, but some things just can’t be bought because no one can afford it. Hell, I would look fabulous in a mink coat (sheared close, deep delicious chocolate brown, and below the knee, just in case) but my old wool coat will have to do. “No regrets” policy decisions are mink coats. In this economy, we need to be tightening our belts and getting back to work. Can’t see us doing that if we are trying to decide how to buy mink coats.

January 25, 2011 7:47 pm

Kev-in-Uk says: January 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm
… but how the feck do you or I know what they did with the data to get their ‘conclusions’ !
By reading… By downloading GCMs and running them… The endless cycle of accusation about secret data and secret code wears then when the link provided details an enormous amount of freely available data (raw and processed) and code (GCMs and paleoclimate reconstructions).
Specifically, the link provides:
•Climate data (raw)
•Climate data (processed)
•Paleo Reconstructions (including code)
•Large-scale model (Reanalysis) output
•Large-scale model (GCM) output
•Model codes (GCMs)
•Model codes (other)
•Data Visualisation and Analysis
•Master Repositories of climate and other Earth Science data

January 25, 2011 7:52 pm

” What has impressed me about their writings is that they recognize that climate change is not only a scientific subject, but also a political, economical, and ethical subject. ”
With all the education these people have had, I’m perplexed that she’s impressed with that? Really?
Call me picky but it’s the “reconciliation” title that sets the tone that I also find disingenuous; because to have a reconciliation then that means that they started from a common ground or the same ‘true’ place and I just don’t see it that way.
Science is science.
These *scientists* that went to ‘work’ for global warming wound up being politicians without elections, receiving more money, benefits of untold limits, instant international prestige and the best…power for as long as they keep saying what the bosses are paying them to say.
Taxpayers not only get another tab to pay from the greenies *science* but as others above point out, makes the poli-sci’s only look better on real scientists reputations; They’ll have some street cred then when the babble on about what a great endeavor they’ve undertaken with the great consensus they’ve reached with denialist, er skeptics.
Doesn’t pass the smell test to me. Liars lie.

D Caldwell
January 25, 2011 7:56 pm

Lisbon indeed.
I will have a bit more confidence in the sincerity of the climate science community when they book their next meeting at the Best Western in Cleveland in February.

P.G. Sharrow
January 25, 2011 8:01 pm

I fail to see the need for this conference. Why do the AGCC proponents need a compromise?
The list of attendees is on “Tallbloke’s Talkshop” site as he is there now. pg

Pete H
January 25, 2011 8:15 pm

Seeing as PNS Ravetz is involved I would not hold out any hope for this jolly meeting.
Reconciliation? With Hansen…Mann? Tell them to get on their knees to S.M. etc and grovel! How can you reconcile religious belief?

January 25, 2011 9:47 pm

1. It is a warmist conference to promote AGW and any programme items on reconciliation with sceptics is part of the PR to make them look like reasonable people and good guys. Just as James Delingpole realised too late recently by his deliberate humiliation by Paul Nurse on BBC, any reaching out by the AGW community to any skeptic is a ploy to get the skeptic in a position to humiliate him/her. You have been accidentally saved from this Anthony by your situation. Do you really think that they are feeling nice to you when your blog is showing them up for the nasties they are?
2. You cannot reconcile religious beliefs. AGW is a nasty religious belief which has to be defeated completely. It is costing people money and their lives.
3. Sorry to those fans of hers here, but Judith Curry gives herself away by using the term “ethics”. This is code word by leftists/socialists used for putting pressure on anyone who argues with them. Another much used work is “morality”. I am inclined to think that Judith is part of the problem, being an AGW scientist, not the solution. Nice people can support programmes that are tremendously harmful.
4. Ireland is a red herring and a distraction and totally uncomparable with the corrupt science of AGW. Compares with all the mentioning of cigarette smoking and sceptics.

Roger Carr
January 25, 2011 9:49 pm

Lucy Skywalker says: (January 25, 2011 at 12:40 pm)
…and miracles happen, as in scientifically verifiable.

January 25, 2011 9:50 pm

Why have I had my comment not posted? (and another one on another post last week). I have been posting here for years. Is there anything that I am doing that is breaking some rule or other? I would appreciate any feedback.
[it was in the spam bin and needed rescuing]

Neil Jones
January 25, 2011 10:01 pm

January 25, 2011 at 11:36 am
Anthony says “REPLY: The people of Northern Ireland did it, and that involved bombings, killings, and retributions. All we have is angry rhetoric. It would seem less of a challenge. – Anthony”
True, but they had stopped the bombings, killings, and retributions first.

January 25, 2011 10:23 pm

Ammonite says: January 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm
Kev-in-Uk says: January 25, 2011 at 2:12 pm
… but how the feck do you or I know what they did with the data to get their ‘conclusions’ !
Fair enough Ammonite, are there links to published (or not) papers on the proposed methodology and method which were submitted to journals prior to results being published? And papers on the outcome of the choice of these methodologies and methods? Prior again to results being accepted (or not) for publishing?
Notebooks and diaries are always useful as Kev-in-UK suggests.
In regard to Irish discussion (and not mentioned the EU or Lisbon Treaty)
Rebels with a Cause

DonS says: January 25, 2011 at 1:20 pm
Lie down with dogs, get up with fleas.
…………… Which is why email and then skype was invented- to view one’s friends, colleagues (or opponents). Much cheaper and no carbon offsets. If one wants to smell, well then use post or visit (t/you ldd says: January 25, 2011 at 7:52 pm).
Piffle, like the politicians paying back travel rorts the ‘scientists’ are reconciling for the new wave of grant handouts, seeming to reconcile and say “well…. well….umm…. well yes…..we were sort of 20% wrong… maybe even 21% in error …..but… we tried….. and hey……… there’s improved instrumentation (and access) to this now. …….and we can publish our ‘raw’ data on-line….science will be exonerated.” Fingers crossed?
This discussion on ‘new science’ has been had in a previous WUWT post. I think psychology and climate change or such.
This Side Idolatry (fwd in Feynman RP, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out)

Roger Carr
January 25, 2011 10:26 pm

“Workshop on Reconciliation in the Climate Change Debate.”
    Reconcile what?
    Or do they really mean a plea bargain? (To make an agreement in which a defendant agrees to plead guilty to a lesser charge instead of not guilty to a greater one.)
    I think I’ll stick with Keith, here:
Keith G says: (January 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm)
But a ‘reconciliation’ between ‘truth’ and ‘politics’ is without merit.

January 25, 2011 10:32 pm

xyzlatin says:
January 25, 2011 at 9:50 pm
Did you feel rescued?
You must be a very, very naughty boy. Or girl.
Good post, which I have just read. Except for No.4.

Ben U.
January 25, 2011 11:03 pm

I have to admit that berniel on January 25, 2011 at 3:10 pm raises some pretty disturbing points about the organizers’ ideas – the idea of “minimal assumption” that “everyone agrees” that there is a problem to be solved, the idea that it would be “premature” to debate the scientific questions, and the idea that science “presupposes” a public consensus about what is true (“public consensual knowledge”). If Judith Curry sticks to what’s she’s saying, she will be accused of trying to take the conference off course, and any skeptics will be accused of trying to hijack it altogether.
And to top it off, as Mike D. on January 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm pointed out, there is an effort in the organizers’ language to misrepresent the skeptics as “violent”. That’s straight out of the US Dems’ current playbook, their recent instinctive leap to exploit Jared Loughner’s violence, their seeking since 2009 to pin some sort of violence on conservatives (while ignoring violence by Casey Brezik, SEIU, etc.).
Not promising at all. Sooner than getting railroaded, skeptics attending the conference might be best off openly announcing their effort to take the conference off its planned rails.

John Marshall
January 26, 2011 1:55 am

The economy is not hitting these climate lunes much. Pity.
Oh! I just realized that we pay for their trips through taxation.

January 26, 2011 1:58 am

Ammonite says:
January 25, 2011 at 7:47 pm
Unfortunately, it is not realistic to trust virtually any data produced by the ‘team’ in my opinion. The recent post on here…
demonstrates quite clearly that data ‘transferred’ or ‘imported’ into another dataset can easily be erroneous.
But working with the data isn’t the main concern. We are fully aware that Mann/Jones/Schmidt and Hansen have all sent each other ‘data’ – then compared and adjusted to match the findings of the ‘other’ group. In effect, the learning process of how to use the data, e.g. for UHI adjustment or historical errors, smoothing, etc has been corrupted by data being sent back and forth.
As for the term ‘raw’ data, yes, it is a bit strong – but I have yet to see an original dataset that contains warts and all. Obviously, any dataset begins and is updated and modified to correct errors – that’s a given – but what is not a given is to continually ‘adjust’ or massage data – which, as far as I can ascertain, is exactly what has been done over the years. Even the original CET has been revisited and ‘adjusted’ and the original is supposedly now unavailable!
My scientific objection is simple – I’ll bet you cannot take any long term temp station dataset (pick anyone of the main ones you like) and produce an historical amendment list !
So, for example, find the GHCN base data (v 1.0?) – in essence, I mean the original data as entered (with perhaps some data entry errors?) and plot it out.
then find the documented changes and reasons for the changes to each piece of the data (you know, stuff like, Note: Station X was missing Feb 1963 – so we inserted an average value based on the nearest three stations, etc, etc). Then plot each subsequent ‘version’ of the dataset.
The man hours that have gone into these original datasets is possibly huge – but since original ‘manual’ conception and data entry into a computer database – many later adjustments have presumably been done by computer and coded processing? Where is the method/documentation for that?, More importantly, where and what are the error check and validation methods for the subsequent changes (obviously not very good as link above demonstrates).
So my query/point still stands – can you or anyone else – provide a known genuine base dataset, and a scientific, fully documented list of amendments leading the the ‘current’ dataset in use?
The day someone (anyone?) can do this fully and transparently within the public domain, I (and many others) will start to look more closely at it.
Don’t get me wrong – the data we have is the data we have (warts and all) – I accept that – but without clear evidence of all the processing and methodology it is unrealistic to hold this up as ‘definitive’. Such data is even harder to defend given the known ‘faults’ as demonstrated with the climategate emails.

January 26, 2011 3:17 am

Kev-in-UK says: January 26, 2011 at 1:58 am
Unfortunately, it is not realistic to trust virtually any data produced by the ‘team’ in my opinion. The recent post on here…
demonstrates quite clearly that data ‘transferred’ or ‘imported’ into another dataset can easily be erroneous.
Kev, did you read the responses to that post? The only import error came from Ed Thurstan, the poster himself! I suggest being as skeptical of the “nothing can be trusted” meme as the “everything can be trusted” one.
From Graeme W: November 10, 2010 at 8:42 pm
“I believe that the most likely reason for the errors is simply transcription. The BOM website doesn’t provide a contiguous table from 2010, but has heading breaks after 1972 and 1997. I suspect that Ed copied the tables into a spreadsheet, and had a copy error and shifted the later data by two years. He was thus comparing the 2005 GHCN data with the 2007 BOM data… which, not surprisingly, didn’t agree.
The problem is not an average calculation problem. The problem is that he’s accidentally compared the wrong years.”

January 26, 2011 4:12 am

The conference is irrelevent political froth. The chances of it having any scientific validity are nil with people like Ravitz peddalling the ‘post-modern’ rubbish of sciological determination of scientific truth.
Its an exercise in promoting the politicization of science via the sociological nonsense of culturally determined ‘truth’ that is of no value to anyone with an interest in scientific accuracy or finding out what NATURE will do.
I can see its attraction for those that are more interested in the political implications of the science than the accuracy of the science however.
Has anyone any more suggestions for criteria of rejection of AGW/unforced variation?

January 26, 2011 5:52 am

Apologies if posted twice:-
xyzlatin says:
January 25, 2011 at 9:50 pm
If I may, I would like to add further to my comment of your post. Include:-
No. 3 …Nice people can support programmes that are tremendously harmful.’
Pointman | January 25, 2011 at 9:47 am | Reply
In Australia today (26/1/2011), our Australia Day, it is a national holiday of celebration of our great nation and peoples.
Yet we have Noel Pearson, Cape York, Queensland speaking out that in his view, a consensus of Aboriginal people is apparent, that our Constitution does not work for the 3% of indigenous Australians. He states this prior to the proposed national referendum, put to 100% of the voting (free) population, of proposed change to our Constitution.
Noel states 3% of his people. Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) state 2.3% of the population identify as indigenous. The ABS counts 517, 714 (4713.0.55.001 – Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, Australia, 2006) cf Table 1 30 June 2006). Yet ABS Quickstats writes 455,031 and total Australian population 19,855,288.
But ‘his’ (that’s Noel) people are also an astonishing bulge in a population pyramid; infants and young people.
“The number of people identified as being of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander origin in the 2006 Census was 455,028 representing 2.3% of the total Australian population, as counted in the Census. This is an increase of 11% since the 2001 Census, compared with an increase of 3.8% in the non-Indigenous population over the same period.” Ref 4713.0 – Population Characteristics, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2006
And for decades, these young indigenous folk have had no choice. No education, no private property, no house, no choice of marriage partner and no jobs. No freedom. No nothing. Just stuck in the ghettos perpetuated by Noel and the earlier proclivity for the Greens (Mother Earth) abetted by the anthropologists, as it suited their data. That’s three generations of data. And people manacled to broad distribution of ghettos.
And Noel is so wrong, ALL women had the vote within the states, apart from Western Australia and Queensland, before the Constitution was set in place in 1901.
So Australia, having learned from her imperial sisters and brothers, eschewed both slavery and the servitude of women. One has to wonder what Noel Pearson and his ‘colleagues’ are really on about.
Ah, the monarchy.
Not the rape, abuse and murder operating under a customary ‘sharia’ law in Australia, not the complete absence of education or the reporting of such absence or eons of fraudulent results, not the total acquiesce of one’s sale of their human rights under the ‘elders’ and their regime, not the horror of being racially conscripted to a cause, ….it is the monarchy that Noel is interested in. But then Noel and his colleagues would be able to know this, they had the luxury of an education, in the cities, unlike the 99% that did not even have an education.
“Over the past 20 years, the Census count of Indigenous people has doubled from 227,593 in 1986. Much of the growth in the Indigenous population can be explained by natural increase (births minus deaths). Other non-demographic factors, such as improvements in Census collection methods and people identified as being of Indigenous origin for the first time in the Census, also contribute to the growth.” (ABS 4713.0) note graph
Australians had maturity years ago, despite what Noel states. Here in Australia; Science of the Enlightenment, human freedom and Christian belief, in the face of human fallibility, was established and recognised. This is what shaped our nation as it is today, these, and COURAGE. As so amply demonstrated, by Australian men and women who served and serve: in Afghanistan and the other terrible wars; the fires of Victoria; the floods of Queensland, the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea and the intervention in Northern Territory.

January 26, 2011 6:44 am

Ammonite says:
January 26, 2011 at 3:17 am
Yes, I was aware of the error and well, that is/was kinda the point – data was used and abused and errors were introduced and promulgated further. In short, with datasets being bandied around errors get introduced – it doesn’t matter from where, or how – what matters is, ‘are they spotted?’ – is data checked and validated, etc, etc.
It is easy to see how simple transpositional errors and suchlike can be introduced and then NEVER corrected unless full data integrity and checks are made in full transparent glory by unconnected data reviewers.
I reiterate my request (it’s unreasonable in the climate science context, I know that full well) for someone to furnish a start to finish dataset with accompanying detailed documentation of amendments.
As a scientist and an engineer myself, when I first started to look into the AGW issue (having been a lukewarmer before) the first question I asked was where is the basic data and how valid is it. I was stumped at the start!
The skeptic movement seemed very brash at the time, very confrontational, and very anti the ‘established’ science, and I couldn’t understand why. Yes, I could see the various holes in the AGW ‘proof’ but it was only when I myself wanted to look at the basic data that I realised it simply wasn’t available.
It subsequently seemed to me that the main AGW scientists were proclaiming instead of demonstrating their theory as valid.
So, in a nutshell, I don’t care much for the current findings based on ‘so and so’ (2004), or ‘x and Y, et al.’ (1986), etc, etc – because without knowing (and checking) that such starting ‘work and data’ is valid, how can the subsequent work be shown to be valid?
It’s not really paranoia on my part, or total distrust. Perhaps it’s more that if you want someone to believe that you are showing something that is supposedly fully validated, one would normally expect to see the FULL documented history of ‘construction’ of the validation so presented.
Do not the vast majority of all AGW related papers correlate back to surface station data at some stage? Yes? So, surely, you would think that the surface station data had been fully and completely validated beyond any question of doubt, and that this would have been specifically and most dilligently recorded?
In physics, they use various constants as references (e.g. plancks constant, the speed of light, etc, LOL) , which, to be fair, haven’t changed much over the years. In climate science, it seems the limited ‘references’ necessarily include the surface station data – and these appear to have been changed significantly over the years, but nobody seems to know what/why/how!
I don’t want to labour a point that has been discussed too much already – but if I have a metre long stick in my hand and I publish that I measured it, and it’s correct! And then you ask for my calibration certificate, and I say I haven’t got one, but I know a guy who has a metre stick, and I had checked it with his one (but the end was a bit chewed by his dog and so we guessed a bit), and he checked it with another guy a couple of years ago, etc..and so on and so on… How much credibility are you going to give my measured ‘metre’ as valid data?
Perhaps a poor analogy, I know ! – but in the real world, is the current surface station data really much better? and far more importantly, can anyone demonstrate it to be so?

stephen richards
January 26, 2011 6:52 am

REPLY: The people of Northern Ireland did it, and that involved bombings, killings, and retributions. All we have is angry rhetoric. It would seem less of a challenge. – Anthony
That is a very poor example. The NI agreement came about because of a deep loss support both in NI and in the USA. They were effectively beaten into reality although the war still continues.

stephen richards
January 26, 2011 7:03 am

What has impressed me about their writings is that they recognize that climate change is not only a scientific subject, but also a political, economical, and ethical subject. ”
This concept is utter rubbish. Science is science. You can turn it to political advantage you can turn it economical advantage but that doesn’t change the fact that science is science and when performed through the scientific method it remains scientific, reproduceable, verifiable and testable. Anything else is just nonsense.

John Brookes
January 26, 2011 7:06 am

I’m guessing that the idea of the conference is that some of the leaders of the skeptics get to meet some of the climate scientists, and explore each others positions. What would the current views of each camp be?
Well, the climate scientists view of skeptics would be that they are opposed to the science for ideological reasons, but don’t properly understand it. They would see the skeptics as stooping to underhand tactics to create doubt where there is none. For example, getting people all excited by telling them that the 2nd law of thermodynamics proves that the greenhouse effect doesn’t work – when that is such a silly idea that a good university physics student could demolish it in minutes.
The skeptics view of climate scientists is well documented here. Climate scientists are ideologically committed to government control, and have falsified the science to achieve their goals. The fudge data and try to stifle dissent. They are addicted to grants, and have to continue to produce alarmist papers if they don’t want their funding to dry up.
Now I have trouble believing that many of the prominent skeptics are as unreasonable as climate scientists see them to be. Sure some will publish any idea, however stupid, but overall, I’m sure a commitment to find out what is really happening drives most skeptical bloggers, just as it does most scientists.
I also have trouble believing that climate scientists are as bad as all that. To the extent that some might be a bit rude about skeptics, that is entirely understandable given that some skeptics are disingenuous, and do try and make life miserable for climate scientists.
Of course a rather rare person is someone like Roy Spencer, who is both a climate scientist and an AGW skeptic. From what I’ve seen discussions between the pro AGW climate scientists and Dr Spencer are fairly civil. The reason for this, I think, is that Dr Spencer is actually trying to find out what is happening, just like other climate scientists, and he doesn’t try and justify ridiculous positions with weak arguments.
So in terms of reconciliation, it would be nice if skeptical bloggers started by not allowing posts/comments which rehash tired discredited ideas. Imagine trying to have a discussion of mathematical proof, and constantly having people saying, “Look, here is a short proof that 1 = 2, and that can’t be true, so its all rubbish”. Of course the proof that 1 = 2 is in error, and anyone who falls for that error is not capable of sensibly contributing to the debate – and they should realise that!
For their part, climate scientists should realise that if AGW is real, and a big problem, then we will need to make big changes to the way we live. Therefore they carry a heavy responsibility to get it right, and to communicate their work in a way that allows others who are qualified to do so to check it.

stephen richards
January 26, 2011 7:09 am

You were right not to waste your time over there, Anthony. This is a ‘Trenberth’ moment. An attempt to give AGW a reality it doesn’t deserve. It is a political move to ‘drag in’ skeptics to an agreement which says that they confirm the AGW science is valid and correct.

January 26, 2011 9:12 am

“Ravetz: “But from my earliest years I combined my concerns for science with an awareness and commitment to politics, which on various occasions was realised as activism, but for most of the time in reflection.”
He was a communist.

January 26, 2011 11:30 am

Baa Humbug says:
January 25, 2011 at 6:34 pm
I’m with Piers Corbyn on this in that we don’t need pseudo reconciliation, we need more polarization.
However I will accept one compromise position, that is..
* All laws, rules regulations, taxation, trading schemes etc are VOLUNTARY.
I use UPS shipping where I work. They have added the capability when shipping to check that you want it to be a green shipment. UPS will increase the cost and use the extra funds to grow a tree or something. I never use the option.

January 26, 2011 12:36 pm

Dr. Curry’s bulleted list is certainly a laudable set of goals and I wish her well in achieving it. I do not, however, think that climate science is an important science that deserves even a small fraction of the money it now receives. I also think it is up to the main players in climate science to get on board with the scientific method that they have forgotten and to open their data, methods, and software. I have not seen any skeptics hiding any of those items and it is not the skeptics who need to prove anything. (See the scientific method and how it works.)
Enjoy the pinewood derby Anthony. You won’t regret it.

Stephen Brown
January 26, 2011 12:44 pm

The term ‘reconciliation’ immediately brought to my mind the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. This Commission forced all concerned to face what they did during the apartheid era in that country, including those who had political power and those who were seeking political power. This forum is not the place to discuss the events brought before the Commission but I thought that the methodology and the underlying tenets of that Commission might have a degree of applicability with regard to the Lisbon Forum.
I have read and re-read the terms of the Commission and I have studied some of the events brought before it. My original thoughts that such a Commission could work in the context of the Lisbon Forum were dashed very early on by one single word, Truth.
For something like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to function in the context of climate change and the science involved, the truth would be required from all participants.
From I quote the following, “Justice is achieved not by retribution, but by the restoration of community. Healing communities requires truth-telling, forgiveness, acceptance and trust.” Such ‘truth-telling’ is, I regret to say, apparently anathema to one side of the non-debate insofar as ‘climate change’ is concerned.
I can foresee nothing of any value emerging from Lisbon; the foremost prerequisite for any form of ‘reconciliation’ is a full and frank admission of previous wrong-doings. That is not going to happen in Lisbon or anywhere else. The conflict will continue.

January 26, 2011 6:41 pm

This quote would seem applicable, though I suspect each tribe will think it predominately applies to the other….
“The worst offense that can be committed by a polemic is to stigmatize those who hold a contrary opinion as bad and immoral men.” [John Stuart Mill, 1806-73]

Roger Carr
January 26, 2011 6:51 pm

Good to see that comment, Jessie (January 26, 2011 at 5:52 am).

January 26, 2011 6:55 pm

The hell with reconciliation. Who cares? What is needed is a commitment to honesty and an end to lying in all its forms. That means an end to the defamation, i.e. the baseless smears against people whose views differ. That means an end to the baseless predictions of gloom and doom in order to provoke the public. That means honesty in peer review, etc. It means a return to the scientific method.
I don’t care if people ever like each other. I don’t care if they ever agree on a damn thing. I just want all of them to be honest and fully transparent so that real science emerges.

CRS, Dr.P.H.
January 26, 2011 10:16 pm

Thanks for the kind offer, but the flight at this point would be outrageously expensive. Mostly it is about my business and employees, who need me to pull for them right now, as does my family. I’d have to miss my son’s Cub Scout Pinewood Derby this Saturday, and these personal things need to take priority. As somebody pointed out the other day “on your deathbed, you won’t be saying “I wish I spent more time on WUWT” -Anthony
Anthony, as a small business owner and former Assistant Cubmaster of Cub Pack 13 in St. Cloud, MN, I applaud you for knowing what is truly important.
You have many friendly eyes & ears in the world, we’ll watch this opening dialogue with curiosity and interest.
Cheers, man, and best wishes to your son’s competition! The Pinewood Derby is a lifetime remembrance, as all former Cubs know.

January 27, 2011 1:25 am

mkelly says:
January 26, 2011 at 11:30 am
Is that because trees don’t grow so well in the sea and you prefer to spend your $ more rationally.
Roger Carr says: January 26, 2011 at 6:51 pm
Thank you.
Cape York recently advertised for a position to evaluate their extraordinary ‘non-violent’ intervention that was instituted around 1999. An intervention which repositioned the strength of the very peope that did LITTLE for decades except promulgate hatred for missionaries, re-developed communal lands based on spurious anthropological data in some instances, hatred of the English (by proxy Cpt Cook) and any institution developed by the British.
It is quite incredulous that a 10 year post hoc evaluation of 3000+ people in an area (dated map) of the most horrific violence and personal poverty can be conducted for these reasons:
1. There has been no rule of law for ALL
2. That all the education, health and reported welfare (exclude all blackmarket trades and double counting of individuals) over the past 30-40 years can be transparently presented;
3. That the millions upon millions invested, including costing volunteer labour can be accounted for;
4. That freedom can not be measured, as it is truly lacking, as all Cape York young people and children on these communities, as they are in all other gated remote communities of remote Australia, are enslaved by arranged marriages, lack individual rights, are watched when they vote and spend the pittance $ they are allowed, and doubly so with the new ‘family commissions’ aiding and abetting the ‘elders’;
5. That the Peter Sutton’s book reviewing his career of some thirty years in Cape York titled ‘Politics of Suffering’ should be re-written and titled the ‘Science of Suffering’.
The Gulags (acronym for Chief Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and Labor Settlements) of Australia.
Many of us wonder, and in horror, we of many races and ethnicities, how this has been allowed to continue here in Australia. Yet, it is only those that are alive and allowed to live, that continue, from Cape York and elsewhere, to tell the story to the Australian public. So the education push + INDIVIDUAL RIGHTS may be worthwhile if that is the grander scheme.
Perhaps the privatisation that Noel Pearson seeks, and the estrangement of the State’ interference he cites will deliver a better life to all those of the Cape and other communities.
I imagine he is saying ‘local government’ with its exemption from the Trade Practice Act is a better alternative. Local government ruled by elders , represented at federal level. Local government which crosses State boundaries, as deemed and so well published, by the ancient marriage lineages and trading routes.
I’d lay my bets that Noel’s children will be educated, personally safe and can choose to marry (or not) whomever they wish.
Stephen Brown says: January 26, 2011 at 12:44 pm
Didn’t do much for Timor
Kev-in-UK says: January 26, 2011 at 6:44 am
Good on you. If the ‘raw’ data was available, along with the notations, as every proper scientsit maintains, even when an anomaly occurs (aka Fleming, Florey et al for example), then all interested professionals and peoples would have a level playing field. The AGW and such has to be applied science and NOT science?
The only types that I understood to profess non-violence were the medical professionals that developed the anti-nuclear front, cf Helen Caldicott and Australian doctor. I am not clear that the art of psychology is non-violent.

January 27, 2011 2:46 am

At the end of the day, neither side is going to give up a war they think they can win, and for all the right reasons.
This may not be resolved either way in our lifetimes.

January 27, 2011 9:06 am

jason says:
“This may not be resolved either way in our lifetimes.”
If this decade is as cool as the 1980s, or is warmer than the last it will tilt the balance one way of the other.

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