Early reports from the Lisbon conference

Dr. Judith Curry added a couple of comments on her blog while attending the Lisbon Workshop on Reconciliation in the Climate Change Debate. For those wondering why I’m not there even though invited, and to see a rationale for the report, please see my previous post: The hope of Lisbon

I’m sure there will be more coming. I’m looking forward to hearing from Steven Mosher on the event. Dr. Curry’s comments follow.

Had an interesting dinner with Tallbloke, McIntyre, McKitrick, Webster, Mosher, Stokes. If anyone is concerned by an insufficient diversity of perspectives, well I don’t think you need to be too concerned.

The morning session is in progress, with each participant making a 5 minute statement. There are genuinely a diversity of perspectives here, about a third of the participants are physical scientists with some knowledge of climate science, whereas the majority are social scientists (with a few journalists).

The meeting is being run under Chatham House rules. A few points that have caught my interest so far:

• dealing with complex problems using complex tools, ideas

• the idea of reconciliation in scientific debates is to try different approaches in an experimental meeting for attempting nonviolent communication in impassioned debates where there is disagreement

• reconciliation is not about consensus, but rather creating an arena where we can have honest disagreement

• violence in this debate derives from the potential impacts of climate change and the policy options, and differing political and cultural notions of risk and responsibility.

• disagreement in climate science is more violent than other fields where there is much disagreement and high societal stakes (e.g. economics). One person attributed the violence of the disagreement in climate science to the propensity of scientific societies to publish position statements, and the IPCC itself; these create animosity and hostility through the exercise of power without sufficient accountability.

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99 thoughts on “Early reports from the Lisbon conference

  1. The violence in the debate comes from the presumed moral super-high-ground that the believers think they occupy. They are wholly convinced that their point of view will save the world if enough people agree with them. This situation with climate science is nearly identical to a religion in this regard. Some people have placed too much importance on their own view of the universe and they regard those who disagree as heathens, and those who “spread disagreement” as the devil himself.

  2. The only “reconciliation” I want to see is when the warmists have to “reconcile” themselves to seeing all their funding cut off and knowing that their movement has become a laughingstock for the next several generations.
    there is no such thing as “honest disagreement” with those who are not honest.

  3. The meeting is being run under Chatham House rules
    I admit I had to Google that one. Apparently, there is only one Chatham House Rule, and it is:
    When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed.

  4. Power without accountability is only one of the problems, but a big one that will not be solved in a short time.

  5. I herby propose reconciliation resolution item #1: Close down the IPCC.
    The IPCC is the embodyment of post-normal science.

  6. Chatham House Rule?
    “The Chatham House Rule is a principle that governs the confidentiality of the source of information received at a meeting. Since its refinement in 2002, the rule states:[1]
    “ When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed. ”
    Well, that, combined with the preponderance of social scientists and journalists, makes me think that choosing your son’s Scout event over attending this anonymous talkfest was a good call, Anthony.

  7. ” . . . attributed the violence of the disagreement in climate science to the propensity of scientific societies to publish position statements, and the IPCC itself; these create animosity and hostility through the exercise of power without sufficient accountability . . ”
    Ya think? The IPCC the ‘team’, and others pushing the C02 agenda for whatever reason (power/control/re-distribution of wealth, making money on cap and trade before it collapsed a la Al Gore, and so on . . . ), pushing models tuned to respond to CO2 as ‘evidence’, ignoring real world evidence of the recent and longer pasts of natural cycles. And claiming that those who aren’t knowledgable as them don’t understand and therefore are wrong . . .
    I thought it would change a lot after Climategate last year – it has some, but not as much as I would have expected. Not sure it will change – unless the latest lull in solar activity remains and temperature really do drop in the next few years . . .

  8. whereas the majority are social scientists (with a few journalist
    ==============================================
    good Lord

  9. “One person attributed the violence of the disagreement in climate science to the propensity of scientific societies to publish position statements, and the IPCC itself; these create animosity and hostility through the exercise of power without sufficient accountability.”
    !!!
    Very perceptive, that person. And one wonders what is possessing those scientific societies that has made them forget basic principles of science. Those principles by implication exclude any position statements other than assertion of the basic principles, surely?

  10. “• violence in this debate derives from the potential impacts of climate change and the policy options, and differing political and cultural notions of risk and responsibility.
    • disagreement in climate science is more violent than other fields ”
    I think the word violence is being mis-used. A vigorous and even rancorous debate is not violent.
    Also, I don’t think much can be accomplished if the majority of the attendees are social scientists.

  11. these create animosity and hostility through the exercise of power without sufficient accountability.

    And that is the general problem with bureaucratic organizations: lack of accountability. When an organization’s members don’t have consequences to their actions they will become corrupt. Even if they are “accountable”. When the IPCC makes pronouncements that are proven false what happens? They continue on to make new ones. Fortune tellers have more accountability than our officials do.

  12. How are they defining “violence”? It sounds more like they’re talking about vehemence or something like that.

  13. I am surprised at the focus on “violence.” In watching the development of the climate debate for nearly 25 years now, I recall the violent rhetoric and action stemmed pretty much exclusively from promoters/believers of AGW, culminating in the 10-10 video ads. I never heard Sen. Inhofe speak of violence, but we got a lot of it from Gore. Never heard violent speech from McIntyre or McKitrick, but did from Hansen and Holdren.
    Perhaps the social scientists that are the majority at this conference could have spread their feelings more widely with the AGW camp before now.

  14. Chatham house rules. Politicians use this a lot in meetings.
    That means we will know what was said but not who said what. It means participants will speak freely.

  15. “About a third of the participants are physical scientists with some knowledge of climate science, whereas the majority are social scientists (with a few journalists).”
    This is about the scariest thing I have ever read.

  16. Saving the planet is serious business (whether it needs saving or not). In fact, there can be no higher calling (or delusion). With such delusional stakes involved, there is little wonder fanaticism and violence will manifest. GK

  17. Climate science doesn’t look anything like a normal science – agenda driven as it is by politicians, environmentalists and a weird UN bureaucracy. It has a long road back to science normality.

  18. I have not heard anything about Bjørn Lomborg. Before you can have reconciliation you have to apologize to him for the rotten treatment he has had. He was hauled in front of Danish committee on scientific dishonesty, a Web site was established to attack his ideas, and a book was written to prove that his two books were all wrong. The man is not even a denier and believes that global warming exists. As long as his ideas are denied and attacked by the warmist establishment there is no hope for that reconciliation that they are paying lip service to.

  19. How did the flat earthers get reconciled with the deniers, who believed the earth was round, during the Middle Ages?
    I guess the two ideas must have become reconciled somehow because we don’t hear any hostile debate about it anymore…
    The Flatheads (an unnecessary pejorative term, I admit), through their holds on the governmental purse strings, just would not allow the financing of any trading ships that would not promise to not get too close to the edge. They would also probably have called for huge taxes to put bell buoys all around the earth, near the edge. Poor countries would have the buoys subsidized by the taxes of the trading world, of course.
    The Flatties won the textbook debate back then, as we know, and children were properly and summarily educated.

  20. “dealing with complex problems using complex tools, ideas”
    I have an idea – lets simplfy the metrics. Let us all agree that if we can not find heat acculumulating in the oceans AGW is not occuring. Let us agree that to hide below 700 meters we need to observe it passing through the upper 700 meters of the ocean. Secondly if we are acculmulating heat then we should see it with sea level rise acceleration as the steric (thermal component) increases. Forget the ice caps or atmospheric data. We have the tools (ARGO) to make a monthly report to the public that shows how many joules acculmulated the previous month vs what is predicted by the IPCC.
    Meanwhile UAH ch 5 should put January’s anomaly at about -.1 degrees C. below the thirty year trend.

  21. By the way, only the Flatheads knew where the edge was. It was just over the horizon, as defined by the furthest advance of any ship.
    Just over the horizon…yet where exactly, these Middle Ages social scientists somehow knew!

  22. richcar 1225 says:
    January 26, 2011 at 8:26 am
    Good idea. Problem is: they would do their measurements near undersea vents and volcanoes. We have an analogous precedent for that sort of chicanery.

  23. Just to get some context into this.
    Viriato Soromenho-Marques is the organizer on Gulbenkian’s side. Everyone can see his CV here which includes:
    “Viriato Soromenho-Marques (1957) teaches Political Philosophy, Philosophy of Nature, and European Ideas in the Departments of Philosophy and European Studies of the University of Lisbon, where he is Full Professor. Since 1978 he has been engaged in the civic environmental movement in Portugal and Europe. He was Chairman of Quercus (1992-1995).”
    Please remember that Quercus became famous for this highly disgusting video, shown before at WUWT: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/02/23/climate-craziness-of-the-week/
    Ecotretas

  24. This vocal gnashing of teeth by way of current CO2 cultish hostility toward others who disagree with their money motivated agenda will continue their habitualized behavior to their end. No amount of logic will change the behavior.
    End the money train, end the media bias, and watch the frinzied hatred toward anyone in their way.

  25. John Phillips says:
    January 26, 2011 at 7:26 am
    “• violence in this debate derives from the potential impacts of climate change and the policy options, and differing political and cultural notions of risk and responsibility.
    • disagreement in climate science is more violent than other fields ”
    I think the word violence is being mis-used. A vigorous and even rancorous debate is not violent.
    Also, I don’t think much can be accomplished if the majority of the attendees are social scientists.
    =======================================================
    I agree, although I suppose one could stretch the use with the definition such as , fervor: intensity of feeling or expression “the violence of her response to our suggestion”
    But it causes me to pause at the use of the word. Is “vigorous” disagreement being equated with “violence”? If it is, I would suggest that all participants remove themselves from the meeting. It would be an insidious perversion of word usage with legal implications. I would never consider entering a discussion with a person that would seek limit expressiveness under the pain of being called violent.

  26. “violence in this debate derives from the potential impacts of climate change and the policy options, and differing political and cultural notions of risk and responsibility.”
    I respectfully disagree. The climate debate is, at its heart, all about violence. The climate debate is a proxy war in the age old struggle between the power of Government and the natural rights of the individual. Governments rule by coercion, which is to say by the threat of violence. A threat of violence is violence. Armed robbery is classified as a violent crime, even if the gun used is unloaded. The climate debate will determine whether there is justification for governments to expropriate a portion of the decision making authority now held by free individuals, thus making them less free. History is replete with examples of people who have surrendered freedom in exchange for perceived security, and later had reason to regret that transaction. Benjamin Franklin commented on this.
    “Those who exchange security for freedom deserve neither”
    We are being asked to give up some of our freedom, thus increasing the proportion of decisions we make under a threat of violence. In exchange we are promised an amount of”climate security”, the value of which is claimed to exceed the value of the freedom we are to give up for it. Skeptics want to know if the exchange is worth it. History tells us that we will not receive a refund of our freedom if it turns out that AGW is a myth, or that the programs to alleviate it fail to deliver as promised.

  27. again how do you “reconcile” with a group that is willing to lie, hide date and make up data ? this is a case where perfect is not the enemy of good … the CRU may do some good work … I don’t care … they are not scientists …

  28. The social sciences have been totally corrupted – I guess they are experts for this kind of thing. This is the stupidest conference I have heard about. Don’t we already know what McIntyre, the journalists, the agw scientists think? Are we going to try to change this? I think attendance at this thing gives unwarranted legitimacy to the manipulators.

  29. One does not need attend high-minded conferences to get at the source of the vehemence; simply follow the history of money and fame lavished on the one side and derision heaped upon the other. Now that Mother Nature has begun to show her hand, the new losers, dressed in all their finery, seek “reconciliation” while the winners dance a jig in their bare feet and raise their tattered sleeves in victory.
    After years of suffering abuse and public ridicule, I doubt that “the tattered ones” will be magnanimous in victory. Judith was very astute to begin hedging her bets some time ago. In so doing, she demonstrated a certain rationality sorely missing in many of her academic peers who, to date, show every intention of “going down with the ship”.

  30. Chris Riley says:
    January 26, 2011 at 8:46 am
    Concur.
    Elected officials cannot solve the everyday problems of life even with all the laws on the books now. But they cannot admit that, so they move on to problems that are larger, more complex (we don’t understand), and potentially life on earth-ending. Thus they are needed and important in their own mind. Being elevated in status by the ability to save the world is heady stuff.

  31. Obviously some commenters have not read the title of the conference. It is not about climate change, but about reconciliation of the debate on Climate Change. It seems to me that the inability of the scientists to carry on a civil and productive debate about such issues demonstrates a remarkable ignorance of the processes involved in productive intercourse. This willful blindness leads to the failure of science itself to take a balanced and productive place in the public conversation. So it is exactly appropriate that the majority of participants should be social scientists. In fact it could be argued that the dismissal by so many of these social scientists suggest exactly why their is such self satisfied ignorance in this area. And no I am not suggesting that scientists need to take PR lessons. They need to turn to those scientists who are expert in the realm of social organization to understand what are productive forms of social organization and discourse so that they might formulate procedures and safeguards that keep the process open and civil.

  32. Lets just ask why such a ‘meeting’ requires such a rule?
    The skeptics and lukewarmers are unlikely to require identity protection, are they? So presumably, it is to protect the warmists?, especially if they have to ‘fess up’ to anything – questions like, is this paper realistic? or did you know this was wrong? etc etc….

  33. Claude Harvey says:
    January 26, 2011 at 9:20 am
    “Judith was very astute to begin hedging her bets some time ago. In so doing, she demonstrated a certain rationality sorely missing in many of her academic peers who, to date, show every intention of “going down with the ship”.”
    They won’t go down. All they have to do is find a flaw in their models, make them predict differently, publish it in a pal-reviewed journal, cash in a few Nobels and tell the world they always had their doubts about catastrophic warming. After all, they used the words “could” and “might” a lot, didn’t they? They have left all possibilities for themselves open.

  34. Anthony,
    Climate Science scientists need an “OUT”. Room that they can change their finding without being ripped apart for their stance.
    If not careers and reputations are at stake. And they will fight too and nail no matter how much the science is not on their side.

  35. I simply don’t know social scientists are interested in this matter. (And yes I have a degree in social science). Unless they are called to speculate on what happens if Armaggeddon arrives. But first, they have to swallow the warmist prediction and right now in England, it’s cold and getting colder. Bring on global warming, the sooner the better and then see what social scientists have to say about it. (Ignoring agriculturist specialists of course).

  36. Claude:
    Cool imagery.
    Judith is a sly one, indeed. If she were to admit in toto what her logic educated her to see, she would have faced the full wrath of the Inquisition, like Bjørn Lomborg has.

  37. It’s too bad that history does not record how ignominiously (or not) the terracentrists or flat earthers of ages past receded from the scene. I’m sure it took a long while, and they did not go “gently into that good night”. More like kicking and screaming with malice and violence.
    In this information age, though, I’m sure they can bolster the next hoax, like habitat destruction or seas acidifying. Whichever it is has to tie in with killing off redundant people to be compatible with their world view. Maybe they will wait a year or so, and then condemn the poisonous squiggly light bulbs, relying on the public’s amnesia. I wonder when the lawsuits over CFLs will begin?

  38. “Chatham House Rules” so nobody can be held accountable for what he said.
    Imagine scientific papers without the names of their authors…
    This meeting deserves to be treated with utter contempt, as if nothing was said at all.

  39. Chris Riley says:
    January 26, 2011 at 8:46 am
    The climate debate is, at its heart, all about violence. The climate debate is a proxy war in the age old struggle between the power of Government and the natural rights of the individual.
    Benjamin Franklin commented on this.
    “Those who exchange security for freedom deserve neither”
    We are being asked to give up some of our freedom, thus increasing the proportion of decisions we make under a threat of violence. In exchange we are promised an amount of”climate security”, the value of which is claimed to exceed the value of the freedom we are to give up for it.
    Skeptics want to know if the exchange is worth it. History tells us that we will not receive a refund of our freedom if it turns out that AGW is a myth, or that the programs to alleviate it fail to deliver as promised.
    —————————————————————————–
    Chris Riley sums this up accurately in my opinion. This talkfest is a waste of time. The horse has long bolted. Already the governments of the world are taxing their citizens to death (because they will not be able to pay for the energy they need to keep warm) to replace cheap energy sources with expensive and inefficient alternatives – all on the basis of an unproven belief that co2 is going to cause catastrophic global warming unless it is reduced.
    Taxing people to death – That is violence.
    And President Obama intones in his State of the Union address ‘We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology – an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people’
    Business as usual ‘clean energy technology’ = Windmills. Countless new jobs = building windmills. Protect our planet. Utter hubris. I know he is the president of the US – but – those words are the words of God! The horse has truly bolted. And Obama is a babe compared to the Euro demigods.
    If he is going to protect the planet we have to acquiesce – game set and match.
    And these people are indulging themselves in a talkfest about violent argument?
    Douglas

  40. My advice for reconciliation in Lisbon would be to hold a side meeting at the Solar do Vinho do Porto. After sampling the port, the fine food and the comfy furniture I suspect the debate would be civilised.

  41. To: CM who says . . . to understand what are productive forms of social organization and discourse so that . . . .
    Well that would have to change the entire subject to taxation policies and spending habits. . . True it is about climate, but that would be a different kind.

  42. I like Floor Anthoni’s idea of all scientific papers published woithout any named authors. Then each would stand on its merits rather than being supported or denounced by partisan reviewers/readers.

  43. bubbagyro says: “How did the flat earthers get reconciled with the deniers, who believed the earth was round, during the Middle Ages?”
    Oh, yeah, right. The deniers tell you about the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, the ones that made it home. But they DON’T tell you about the San Gorgonio, Columbus’s fourth ship. The history books have completely covered up the fact that one of the ships fell off the edge! Talk about cherry picking…
    /sarc² off
    The shape of the Earth was well known to people of the Middle Ages. It’s been known, in fact, since the ancient Greeks.
    http://indianapublicmedia.org/amomentofscience/greeks-knew-earth-copernicus/

  44. To: Floor Anthoni
    “Chatham House Rules” also means that anyone can take credit later . . . “Like taking candy from the baby . . . “

  45. cms says:
    January 26, 2011 at 9:46 am
    “…productive intercourse. ”
    I knew some would bring that up. 🙂

  46. Re: bubbagyro says:
    January 26, 2011 at 10:16 am
    “It’s too bad that history does not record how ignominiously (or not) the terracentrists or flat earthers of ages past…”
    Actually, we don’t need to go back more than 10 years in history to see what will most likely happen. “Everyone knew” that Y2K would be catastrophic unless we spent hundreds of $ billions on “Y2K” compliance measures. While a fundamental fix of the obvious computerized date problem would have been relatively straightforward, we were led to demand that all sectors “prove a negative” and the cost of that exercise was horrendous.
    A number of countries did virtually nothing to prepare for Y2K and the news media eagerly awaited their collapse. Those countries took the position that, “We’ll just get up on the morning of January 1, 2000 and fix whatever no longer works. The Armageddon date came and went with nothing really newsworthy happening anywhere in the world. Then humanity merely shrugged and moved on to “the next big thing”; no investigations, no outrage; not even a simple acknowledgment that a monumental boo-boo had occurred.

  47. cms says:
    January 26, 2011 at 9:46 am
    “demonstrates a remarkable ignorance of the processes involved in productive intercourse.”
    Funny I thought that was completely natural, doesn’t everybody know how to do it?

  48. “• violence in this debate derives from the potential impacts of climate change and the policy options, and differing political and cultural notions of risk and responsibility.”
    This sounds to me like just an excuse for all the violent rhetoric coming from the fanatics. Usually, the side spouting off with so much vitriol will then raise a fuss that the debate needs to be more civilized, which just means that if the parties that disagree would just change their mind or shut up the violence could stop. This pattern is obviously repeated all over the place, as with recent events.

  49. There are now three things you don’t talk about with friends at the dinner table:
    Sex, Religion and Climate change.

  50. Reconcilliation has nothing to do with science and everything to do with politics.
    1927 Heisenberg publishes on the uncertainty principle.
    Albert Einstein vigourously disagrees with him.
    1928 Einstein nominates Heisenberg for the Nobel Prize
    1932 Heisenberg awarded the Nobel Prize.
    That’s in my view is how scientists should behave.

  51. Violence due to power without accountability.
    I would have suggested that the violence is due to frustration, and much of the frustration is due to many insiders’ continued insistence that anybody who isn’t a climate science insider has no legitimate place making any comments about anything. Any such comments deserve nothing but being ignored or attacked.
    That will never fly. Stakeholders in other areas will make sure of it.

  52. This fad that has come about in the past couple weeks as a result of the AZ shooting, that seeks to equate any disagreement or name calling to violence, is ridiculous. It’s like calling everything a “first priority” – something which certain unnamed politicians are adept at.
    I and other current and former members of the armed forces, police forces, gang members, and so on, of any country, can attest to the difference between real violence, and mere name calling and other forms of verbal communication.
    Sticks and stones and all that. People in this debate and other contentious areas need to grow up, and quit whining like 4 year olds pleading for intervention by parents; “Mommy, he’s making faces at me”!

  53. FrankK says: January 26, 2011 at 11:26 am
    There are now three things you don’t talk about with friends at the dinner table:
    Sex, Religion and Climate change.
    —————————————————————————
    Ayoop Frank. Nah – just 2 – Climate change talk IS religion and ephemeral. Sex is forevah!
    Douglas

  54. Some dialogue is better than none at all. Some debate is better than none at all. Some exchange of ideas is better than complete rejectionism. The meeting is a baby step in the right direction. Whether that first small step will lead to others remains to be seen.

  55. • the idea of reconciliation in scientific debates is to try different approaches in an experimental meeting for attempting nonviolent communication in impassioned debates where there is disagreement
    • reconciliation is not about consensus, but rather creating an arena where we can have honest disagreement

    I’m afraid this is only more postmodern multi-cultural, probably even “sociologically-approved”, manipulative p.c. nonsense. Why devise a different system or approach, “an arena where we can have honest disagreement” via “nonviolent communication”, when all that has to be done is for people wanting to do real science to obey the rules of the Scientific Method and its principles?
    And who in the first place wants to include people such as the ipcc Climate Scientists in a scientific debate when they are not doing real science? Conference over, problem solved!

  56. I venture that the view that the villification or vituperation of the vagaries and verbiage of one’s adversaries is violence, rather than vehemence, is vested with a vague verisimilitude but is not validated when one views veritable violent villains.
    That is to say that if you start with the hyperbole ” taxing me to death” it’s not hard to get entrenched in exaggeration. A positive feedback, maybe.

  57. Cross-posted from the original Lisbon article, sorry but I put it in the wrong place!
    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 http://www.beyondintractability.org/articlesummary/10240/ 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.

  58. After all the nastiness and all the lies and deceit coming from the Alarmists, the continued use of the “denier” label, a deliberate, and reprehensible reference to holocaust deniers, sickening videos like “No Pressure” showing kids being blown to smithereens, and the list could go on ad infinitum, now – NOW they want to play nice?
    Yeah, right. The jig is up, they know it, and there will be consequences.

  59. Oliver Ramsay says: January 26, 2011 at 12:41 pm
    I venture that the view that the villification or vituperation of the vagaries and verbiage of one’s adversaries is violence, rather than vehemence, is vested with a vague verisimilitude but is not validated when one views veritable violent villains.
    ——————————————————————
    Oliver – Verily, very funny – and ‘taxing to death’ undoubtedly hyperbolic but none the less the runaway taxation of energy is having a measurably deleterious effect upon the masses in most western countries smart retorts not withstanding and whether you like it or not.
    Douglas

  60. Variations of the word violence are used four times in J. Curry’s note. This cannot be coincidence. This is supporting and setting up another strawman, that of the skeptic who is threatening violence to the poor downtrodden and misunderstood AGW scientist, another well known meme in AGW folklore. Again, it has been another successful diversion, as can be seen by the number of people on this blog now discussing violence with regard to the global warming debate.
    I just cannot understand how people are hoodwinked by this AGW scientist who is intent on neutering critics of AGW and cleverly putting herself above the fray while all the while pushing the AGW agenda.
    I also cannot understand why any skeptic has agreed to go to this meeting, probably many at their own expense, while its a fair bet that all the AGW people are paid for by their Universities or grant monies.
    Are they (the skeptics) so insecure that they actually want the approval of the AGW crowd? This is bizarre. Hey we love you guys, you don’t need to run to “them” for a little love and approval. And there are more and more of “us” supporting you. You are no longer alone.
    I read a lot of blogs on the skeptic side, and I have never seen anyone advocating or threatening violence. By the way, I agree with those above objecting to the term violence used to describe disagreement. Violence is a physical act actually done to a person, not a verbal argument.

  61. At least Mosher and Stokes know enough math to buy a plane ticket. Maybe the price wasn’t a lower high amount so not to make it so confusing for them. If weighting had been added to the price they wouldn’t have made it.
    (this is a reference to their poor work on weighting of station locations)

  62. I think that Richard North, at his EU Referendum blog, has a priceless comment which I think applies to this conference and the attendance of skeptics.
    His comment is about the BBC documentary which set up James Delingpole to be humiliated, and I quote “Delingpole’s mistake was in trying to play a bent game straight.”

  63. “disagreement in climate science is more violent than other fields where there is much disagreement and high societal stakes (e.g. economics). One person attributed the violence of the disagreement in climate science to the propensity of scientific societies to publish position statements, and the IPCC itself; these create animosity and hostility through the exercise of power without sufficient accountability.”
    Great deal of truth in that. If there was a “world-wide official truth giver” organization for “truth” in economics, you bet there’d be hell to pay on how rude the disagreements would get.
    But that’s not all of it. Economics is a soft science that has been inching its way for centuries towards a legitimate status as a hard science (and still it isn’t there). It knows this about itself. Climate science is a relatively new science, that has not come to terms with how much of a “soft” science it still is. It *thinks* it is a very hard science, with immutable truths, and this leads to intolerance when those “truths” are challenged.

  64. John Phillips says:
    January 26, 2011 at 7:26 am
    ‘I think the word violence is being mis-used. A vigorous and even rancorous debate is not violent.’
    Including a debate that includes this?

  65. This one expression eloquently sums up the position of the high priests of the AGW cult, such as Hansen, Jones and Mann.
    “power without sufficient accountability”

  66. Civility and being civil is much in the news lately, especially after the shootings in Arizona. The President had as a theme, “civility” in his State of the Union Address. I have read this thread and Judith Curry’s Climate Etc. blog and I decided to copy what I had written there, here:
    Civility can not be imposed. Civility is also defenseless in the face of violence. Civility and non-violent actions occur in an community which values civility and shames violence and violent behavior. Therefore it is altogether fitting and proper that a meeting, whose objective is reconciliation, is predominately attended by the social and political scientists who embrace civility, and will carry that conciliatory mind-set back to their community. A community is larger than the perpretators of violent speach and violent actions. So, reconciliation will blossom in a community where violence is shamed; and the violent perpretator is left unheard no matter how clairvoyant their message, and relegated to the dustbin of history. Climate science is no more or less vulnerable to such community influences or potential outcomes. The arguement for the righteousness of a radiative transfer model cannot nor will not be sustained by an angry or violent delivery.
    It really doesn’t matter what the “Truth” is in Reconciliation at least at this point as there is no way to know for certain what the truth looks like. What matters is having a dialogue, in this case a civil dialogue. If the community shames those who speak violently or act violently, the eventual truth will become known. Let the data catch up with the rhetoric, and, as my mother said “..keep a civil tongue in your head!”

  67. RichieP says:
    January 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm
    Re the video. This is a poorly executed ratbag film made by warmists depicting fake not actual violence. It is a lefty come warmy fantasy, right? When I first saw it I thought it was a spoof by skeptics and was astounded to find it was actually seriously made by warmists!
    What has this got to do with the allegations AGW climate scientists that they have received real violence and are under threat of real violence (ie actual physical assault, not movie depictions of fantasy) by skeptics? The topic was put on the agenda by warmists remember, in particular AGW scientist J Curry.
    See my comments above, re this being a straw man set up and it is working. Everyone is now discussing the supposed violence, instead of the science. ie, skeptics skilfully diverted off topic by AGW scientist Judith Curry and are now discussing the fantasies of warmists.
    People, one thing the warmists have consistently shown, is that they are great at PR and promoting themselves and their ideas. They know what the skeptics are only now waking up to. This is a huge PR exercise and has been for 20 years.
    So any conference put on by warmists to supposedly confer with skeptics, is another PR exercise to promote themselves.
    They regard us as the enemy. They have not apologised. They have not retracted. They are continuing rorting the system. They are continuing their PR with governments. They are continuing scare campaigns in the media.
    The war is ongoing from them towards us.

  68. I agree with Chris Riley. We are surrounded by people who want us to do what they ‘know’ is best for us, and it’s all just power-seeking over others.

  69. “One person attributed the violence of the disagreement in climate science to the propensity of scientific societies to publish position statements, and the IPCC itself; these create animosity and hostility through the exercise of power without sufficient accountability.”
    Incisive indeed. And the societies had better start/continue moving away from their positions for damage control.

  70. The lead in post quotes Judith Curry,

    ” The meeting is being run under Chatham House rules. A few points that have caught my interest so far:
    • dealing with complex problems using complex tools, ideas
    • the idea of reconciliation in scientific debates is to try different approaches in an experimental meeting for attempting nonviolent communication in impassioned debates where there is disagreement
    • Reconciliation is not about consensus, but rather creating an arena where we can have honest disagreement
    • violence in this debate derives from the potential impacts of climate change and the policy options, and differing political and cultural notions of risk and responsibility.
    • disagreement in climate science is more violent than other fields where there is much disagreement and high societal stakes (e.g. economics). One person attributed the violence of the disagreement in climate science to the propensity of scientific societies to publish position statements, and the IPCC itself; these create animosity and hostility through the exercise of power without sufficient accountability.”

    =================
    More simply to the point, perhaps just a simple reference to a rational standard for intellectual discourse would have been more meaningful and concise. That standard is simply intellectual integrity.
    Having the climate science discourse termed ‘violent’ seems to be some indirect pejorative insinuation. Why waste precious mental energy on trivial sideshows like that?
    Reconciliation? I take the intended meaning to be ‘ the reestablishing of cordial relations’ [ http://www.thefreedictionary.com/reconciliation ]. This is simple and means no name calling or ad hominem; it means addressing each other directly in civil discourse. It does not mean changing ones ideas just because there is energetic debate in an open venue. See intellectual integrity suggestion above.
    John

  71. Ben U. says:
    January 26, 2011 at 7:34 am
    How are they defining “violence”?
    I once got stuck on a train journey beside a couple of young sociology students. Once we got going the opening gambit of one to the other was: “Well, define conflict.”
    It was a very long journey…

  72. geo says:
    January 26, 2011 at 2:26 pm
    “But that’s not all of it. Economics is a soft science that has been inching its way for centuries towards a legitimate status as a hard science (and still it isn’t there). It knows this about itself. Climate science is a relatively new science, that has not come to terms with how much of a “soft” science it still is. It *thinks* it is a very hard science, with immutable truths, and this leads to intolerance when those “truths” are challenged.”
    Well put. Moreover, its a “science” that has grown up with a dependency on the computer, and almost infantile belief in the power of that computer to provide highly accurate results modeling complex systems. Warming science believes that because it operates the computers, it is modeling reality. Maintaining this belief requires a cultivated ignorance of the real world which can only be induced in people who have gone through the ritual of a PhD dissertation (that’s not a knock at PhDs- I happen to have one). Its a “social science” observation about the ritual dimension of higher education.

  73. Claude Harvey says:
    January 26, 2011 at 9:20 am
          “Judith was very astute to begin hedging her bets some time ago. …
    A cynical comment I wholly endorse, Claude.

  74. As scientists they should agree to simply state their findings, leave it to others to prove or disprove their thesis but above all…Stop telling us how to lead our lives!

  75. The reference to “violence” may be a trivial sideshow and maybe the conference will make some progress, but, given the US left’s ongoing and intensified effort to pin some violence on the right (despite leftist intimidation and violence by Casey Brezik, SEIU, etc.), I’d keep my guard up.
    And suddenly, this, which I just read in the last half hour: “Shout at your spouse and risk losing your home: It’s just the same as domestic violence, warns woman judge” – the Mail Online (UK), January 27, 2011. The judge argued that the meaning of the word “violence” has changed since the relevant law was enacted, so it’s up to the courts alone to decide (and decide that the new meaning shall govern), and so on. Now, I dislike folks who shout and berate, but vehemence is not violence; their being equated seems a leftist rhetorical imperative rippling through everything at the moment.

  76. tonyb says:

    …I emailed Dr Trenberth to complain about the use of the word ‘Deniers’… I had a reasonably civil reply back from him… However, it was obvious that he had been innundated with numerous abusive emails which I think had only served to harden his position.

    I am aware of the existence of brownshirts (pretending to be?) ON BOTH SIDES whose main activity seems to be to send threats direct to people without posting on blogs to say what they are doing; so blogs are not aware and don’t feel the need to take any responsibility for policing or at least clearly disown such people. I believe this includes death threats to people on both sides. This simply cements divisions into place and makes dialogue harder if not impossible.
    We don’t know the content of what was emailed to Trenberth, and I doubt if he will tell. But I think it might help a lot, to have some kind of public disclaimer sent to any appropriate people on occasions like this, disowning any abusive language or threats. I hope this message reaches Lisbon.
    It might also help if the skeptics’ community could agree key issues where there is genuine concern and evidence against the “consensus” orthodoxy, and have statements up that not just Smokey but everyone here can point to. A set of counter-statements to those of John Cook – and with the science backup.
    It would be a creative alternative to saying lots here, which can become little more than an echo-chamber if good statements are not distilled out. Graham Stringer’s statement is classic in this sense.

  77. Roger Carr says: January 26, 2011 at 6:55 pm
    et al
    Hypatia and her dismissal of empiricism did not do too well.

  78. Kev-in-Uk says:
    January 26, 2011 at 9:50 am (Edit)
    Lets just ask why such a ‘meeting’ requires such a rule?
    The skeptics and lukewarmers are unlikely to require identity protection, are they? So presumably, it is to protect the warmists?, especially if they have to ‘fess up’ to anything – questions like, is this paper realistic? or did you know this was wrong? etc etc….
    ######
    I believe it was adopted for the benefit of journalists.

  79. It’s always Marcia, Marcia says:
    January 26, 2011 at 2:01 pm (Edit)
    At least Mosher and Stokes know enough math to buy a plane ticket. Maybe the price wasn’t a lower high amount so not to make it so confusing for them. If weighting had been added to the price they wouldn’t have made it.
    (this is a reference to their poor work on weighting of station locations)
    ########
    Thanks for clarifying which mistake you are making about our work.

  80. Jessie
    “Hypatia and her dismissal of empiricism did not do too well.”
    Didn’t work out well for Socrates, Galileo, Copernicus and many others . . . . It’s almost as if it is a crime to think rationally.

  81. Every relevant scientific field to be there except those whose expertise relates to the POINT of the whole debate: agriculturalists and biologists.
    Not that they would do much good if they remain as easily bamboozled as much of what I have seen in peer-reviewed print recently. Wild speculation as to how something might be harmed by global warming, with 5 to 10% of the material being derived from actual scientific collection and evaluation of evidence.

  82. psi talks about “the infantile belief in the power of that computer”. The New God.
    Our son is completing a mechanical engineering course at a good school where the professors still refer to each other as “instructors”. “When you are in the field, a pencil and a piece of paper may help you to solve a problem faster and easer than any fancy computing device”, has been heard more than once in the classroom.

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