Reconciling the irreconcilable in Lisbon

Judith Curry

Dr. Judith Curry - Image via Wikipedia

Since I did not attend Lisbon even though invited and initially accepted, (other business and family obligations took precedence) the very least I can do is to help elevate the discussion. Here’s a report from Dr. Judith Curry, and I urge WUWT readers to read it in it’s entirety.  Hopefully Mosh will weigh in here with his report once he’s recovered from the trip. I’m sure Steve McIntyre will be posting on the conference also. Since this is a new topic, and one bound to be widely discussed, I’ve added a “climate reconciliation” category to WUWT. I’ll have some thoughts later. – Anthony

Lisbon Workshop on Reconciliation: Part II

by Judith Curry (excerpts from her blog)

Here are some reactions from the Lisbon Workshop on Reconciliation in the Climate Debate.  These are my personal reflections, and include some of the perspectives and statements made by others (without any attribution of names).

The first issue is what exactly is meant by reconciliation, and who actually wants it?  Reconciliation is defined (wikipedia) as re-establishing normal relations between belligerents: re-establish dialogue, reinstate balance,  restore civility.  It is not clear that there has ever been normal relations between, say, the mainstream IPCC researchers and  the skeptical climate blogosphere. Consensus building was not seen as having any part in a reconciliation.  Rather there was a desire to conduct impassioned debates nonviolently, and to create an arena where we can fight a more honest fight over the science and the policy options.

So who actually wants some sort of reconciliation or an increase in civility?  One perspective was that the alarmists shooting at the deniers, and deniers shooting at the alarmists, with a big group in the middle, with both the deniers and the alarmists ruining the situation for reasoned debate about the science and the policy options.  Another perspective described the fight as entertaining theater.  One perspective was that there is no incentive for conciliation by either side; both sides like the “war.”  In the context of the “war,” the hope was expressed that more moderate voices would emerge in the public debate.

The issue of civility and nonviolence in communication was regarded as an important topic by the Workshop organizers.  They brought in an expert to facilitate nonviolent communication.  This frankly didn’t go over very well with the Workshop participants, for a variety of reasons.  This particular group of participants wasn’t very volatile in terms of emotions running high, use of offensive language, or heated arguments.  The main format of the Workshop was for groups of 7-8 to discuss various controversial topics.  Each group had a different dynamic; the group I was in had some colorful personalities but not terribly impassioned positions on the alarmist-denier spectrum.  One table did encompass the entire spectrum, but the dynamic of that group seemed collegial.  So the issue of getting skeptics to sit down with alarmists (these were the two words that were generally used to describe the two poles of the debate) and talk politely and constructively didn’t turn out to be a problem.  This is partly a function of the individuals invited, who for the most part weren’t too far out there on either extreme and expressed their willingness to communicate by actually agreeing to attend the Workshop.

Towards reconciliation

Some principles/strategies that were discussed to improving the scientific debate:

  • Acknowledge that there are real issues and we don’t agree on how to resolve them
  • Disagreement with mutual respect
  • Find better ways to communicate criticism
  • Find better ways to admit mistakes without damage to reputation
  • Find some common ground, something to work on together
  • Find where interests intersect
  • Importance of transparency
  • Communication engenders trust
  • Search for win-win solutions (i.e. both sides work to increase the funding base to collect more paleoproxies).


I urge readers to read the rest in entirety here: Lisbon Workshop on Reconciliation: Part II


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Jack Maloney

Thanks to Dr. Curry for trying to bridge the gap between ‘alarmists’ and ‘deniers.’ And good luck!
A good first step would be to get away from using an inflammatory term like “violence” to characterize the conflict. Such hyperbole only hardens the barrier to reasoned debate, and feeds the mainstram media hype.

Doug in Seattle

Is there a full list of participants?
My sense is that the gathering was one of those in the middle rather than of the edges. I wouldn’t place McIntyre, McKitrick or Mosher as being too far from Curry have read material from all three.
I doubt very much that the true alarmists , such as the team, would have participated. They have too much pride, too much invested, and still have the ears of those in power.

“They brought in an expert to facilitate nonviolent communication.”!!
That’s an awfully sad commentáry. Some people must be terribly frustrated
things aren’t going their way.

Amino Acids in Meteorites

If should would clarify what a denier is it would help understand what she means in certain areas.
(i.e. both sides work to increase the funding base to collect more paleoproxies).
Also working together to substantially reduce funding for alarmism.


Anthony — I am so happy that you let family obligations take precedence. I think a person’s family is the most important thing in the world.


When they stop trying to pass this science off as facts…
…when they stop pretending to predict the future
and stop lying

Harry Whodidnt

When the shouty protectors of Al Gore accept those points above, there can be reasoned debate.
“Trust of the scientists is especially important, given the role that expert judgment plays in the IPCC assessment.”
When the expert judgement accepted the Himalayan glaciers would melt in 2035, etc. how can they be trusted in anything else they said in 2007?
When the MSM start to question the extreme commentators rather than rushing to press with the wonderful bad news, then we may see some progress towards trust.
Thankyou, Dr Curry, for saying ‘There is no organized “group” of skeptics’
Now tell that to the organised group of alarmists who constantly dismiss their critics with that accusation!

■Find better ways to admit mistakes without damage to reputation
A recent movie depicted an advisor to the U.S. President, in the oval office, stating, “I was wrong.” to which the President comments, “Those words have never been spoken in this office.”
This is the heart of the issue. None will acknowledge error, to which I would add, nor will the true extent of uncertainty or ignorance.
Desire for recognition, esteem, personal gain and influence all flow from this point.


Steven Goddard also went.
I’ll be interested in his take on it also….

I really like this sentence:
“One perspective was that there is no incentive for conciliation by either side; both sides like the “war.””
Well, on the one hand, what am I to do with my favorite hobby “climate-research” if this particular “30 year war” ends.
And on the other hand I, well eh, erh–, the wife will be pleased—?

Grumpy Old Man

@Doug in Seattle 1156. Those whom you have listed are all interested primarily in nailing the truth about the science : politics takes a very distant place from the debate as far as they are concerned. Those who wish to use the science for political ends see the fulfilment of an ideological goal as the primary aim of their studies, and they are on both sides of the debate. The white noise endured by Anthony while Lisbon was happening is an example of the lengths to which the opponents of reasoned discourse will go – as was the scurrilous campaign to disuade Prof. Curry from her course when she first mentioned the idea.

Dr. Dave

I like and respect Judith Curry, but she’s still a bit too dependent on the teat of government grants to be truly objective. In the larger sense this isn’t just a squabble between climate scientists (and journalists). This is, indeed, a war. There is national sovereignty, entire economies and human liberty at stake. There are billions, perhaps trillions of dollars of global wealth at stake. And, as “violent” a term as it may be, we ARE fighting fraud.
I find this “reach across the aisle” posturing objectionable. I don’t want my tax dollars squandered on funding to collect more paleoproxies, but if you’re entrenched in academia this sounds like a grand idea. I don’t want AGW theory taught in public schools as though it is fact. We’re 20 years and $80 billion into this ridiculous scam and to date there exists absolutely no empiric evidence that mankind’s emissions of CO2 have warmed the planet or changed the global climate. Maybe the next conference can concentrate on everything both sides agree we understand too poorly to base anything on (e.g. clouds).
Where was this call for civility and cooperation 5 years ago when skeptics were being savagely silenced and having their careers threatened? One does not win a war by “making nice” with the enemy. Besides…MOST of this battle is political, not scientific. If it were purely scientific the skeptics would clearly have won years ago.

Dr Curry comments:
“So the issue of getting skeptics to sit down with alarmists (these were the two words that were generally used to describe the two poles of the debate)…”
But throughout her article Dr Curry refers to “deniers.” As a first step in reconciliation, I propose using “skeptics” instead of “deniers.”
We all know what some folks are trying to equate deniers to.
And the problem has never been getting skeptics to sit down with alarmists. The problem has always been that the alarmist contingent avoids debate. When has Al Gore ever debated?
Another thought: the media picks so-called skeptics to speak for genuine scientific skeptics. [A prime example is Mr Nurse’s choice of an incompetent NASA employee who stated that human activity emits several times as much CO2 as natural emissions.] Let each side choose their own representatives. I would enjoy watching Prof Richard Lindzen discuss AGW with anyone at all on the alarmist side.


Some principles/strategies that were discussed to improving the scientific debate:
* Acknowledge that there are real issues and we don’t agree on how to resolve them
I think we are at that point already.
* Disagreement with mutual respect
Disagreement is currently highlighted in one direction only (ie warmists disagree with realists) in the MSM. The opposite direction is only covered on the ‘net. This must change.
* Find better ways to communicate criticism
Criticism must be allowed BOTH WAYS and given equal weight.
* Find better ways to admit mistakes without damage to reputation.
It’s largely too late for that – many ‘careers’ are already in tatters as a result of what has happened and will unfold in the months to come. Untarnished contributors will be welcome.
* Find some common ground, something to work on together
Peer review to be carried out by both a warmist and a skeptic. No more Pal Review.
* Find where interests intersect
Not many realists want global governance, communism, more unelected heirarchy (EU etc) or taxes. Intersection probably at energy conservation and adaption levels.
* Importance of transparency
Yes, let’s have some then ! – without having to resort to FOI’s.
* Communication engenders trust
Can’t argue with that, best not to communicate via the foghorn of the MSM or ‘net though as this generates distrust.
* Search for win-win solutions (i.e. both sides work to increase the funding base to collect more paleoproxies).
Funding from UN and other vested NGO interests will need scrutiny in future as this is where we came in…………………….

Philip Thomas

“■Acknowledge that there are real issues and we don’t agree on how to resolve them”
Is the first point suggesting we agree that Climate Change is happening, and is man-made? Is that what ‘real issues’ means?

Gary Pearse

“Journalists struggle……”
You know, they don’t. The preponderance of journalists, like much of non-North American politicians and, of course, academia from all over are “collective” in their philosophies. This has crippled social science irreparably and in the last number of decades has invaded hard sciences. The wisdom of separation of church and state might be a good model to apply to science and society. E=mc^2 doesn’t need an alliance with politics – do the science and let the politicians and society decide how to fit it in. “Interventions” and coming together has its place but not in deciding whether society should accept pV=nRT (ideal gas law – low pressure monatomic gases) or not, or how they could advantageously change it to support policy goals.

David Davidovics

Objectivity – its so nice to see it laid out so flawlessly.

Writes Anthony Watts of how “other business and family obligations took precedence” over attending the conference in Lisbon, without mentioning – of course – his natural reticence to undergo teratogenic doses of radiation and/or Heimatsicherheitsdienst grope-downs at the airport en route thereto.
“Climate reconciliation” is one thing. A blanket pardon for the AGW fraudsters?
Not until they’ve made restitution and we’ve adjudicated the matter of punitive damages.


Dr. Curry,
Who are these deniers you’re refering to, and where do the skeptics fit into this?

Dave Andrews

Having attended a number of these types of meetings, albeit on a much smaller scale, in relation to the debate over nuclear weapons and nuclear power it seems to me that positions become far more polarised on the blogosphere because there is no real human contact.
When you are face to face with people you recognise, basically, that they are human too and generally rarely totally bad no matter how much you may disagree with what they say.
It is easy to be contemptuous and dismissive in words posted on blogs. And such words, unfortunately, tend to feed of each other.

G. Karst

Sorry, but it seems a long, expensive, journey, to practice role playing and “how to discuss” lectures. Results seem to be wishy-washy, at best. IMHO GK

Doug in Seattle

The tide of this “war” between the alarmists and skeptics has turned. That is the only reason the lukewarmers of both sides are sitting down and talking peace.
As with all wars this is prelude to the final capitulation and you will find that the real warriors are still out on the battlefield. I fully expect that the winning side will be taking scalps when the war is over. This is the nature of mankind.

Personally, until the alarmists get to some serious mea culpa, there is little reason to reconcile. I also see little need to help them regain any credibility – their actions have been so abysmal being shunned professionally seems reasonable in light of their acts.
However, if they wish to begin a scientific debate they need to admit:
(1) Their data and conclusions were exaggerated. Get on with producing the error bars on measurements and derived values (e.g., gridded data). Admit today’s temps are statistically the same as the 1930’s (within the error bars).
(2) Admit trees and other organic proxies involve so many other biological factors that local historic temps (let alone global ones) are beyond their capacity. Stick with chemistry (e.g., ice cores and elements) where the reactions and relation to local temp are known to a high confidence.
(3) Admit you cannot smear a thermometer over 1200 km’s and call it warming. Realize that temp readings decay (e.g., the error bars expand) over distance and time.
(4) Admit that the 1880-1960 temp record is spotty and only valid to within +/-3°C (or prove otherwise)
(5) Admit the skeptics were right in many cases, and accept the new scrutiny as the required test for the niche science of global climate to graduate to the level a serious leading science like physics, biology, engineering, etc. Peer review is the process of growing up and growing robust.
If the alarmists would accept these 5 points at a minimum, then maybe there would be a reason to expend some energy salvaging their reputations.
Otherwise there is not reason to lift a finger.


Fine that they’re all getting along. Did they already find a compromise about the worldwide economic domination the alarmists want to achieve (to prevent us all from a terrible catastrophe, of course)? Did they invite Chinese or Indian participants? Russian? Is there even an alarmist in these countries?

Rhoda R

Philip Thomas: Thank you. That was my first impression also. I also disagree with Dr. Curry about the win-win be getting more money from the hard pressed taxpayers. Sorry, but you’ve had 20 years of free wheeling spending on climate, now it’s time to reduce ALL governmental spending and especially in areas where we can’t do much of anything about anyway.

Dr. Curry writes, Confusing the group of scientific skeptics with individuals that are against the policies associated with climate change, and using this as an excuse to ignore scientific skeptics, is to the detriment of actively challenging the science and making scientific progress.
No disagreement there, except the thought does not go far enough. The “policies associated with climate change” are Draconian and rife with financial fraud. Most individuals do not like being robbed blind of their wealth and human rights by kleptocrats, or by anyone else for that matter.
If scientists on either “side” ignore the pain and suffering inflicted by “climate change policies”, then they are fools, intentionally or not.
The point of the conference was to impart “civility” to the “debate”. How civil is one supposed to be when being robbed at the point of a gun? Is civility called for in that case? By whom?
Patrick Henry famously spoke, “Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?”
Now that was certainly an incendiary thing to say. It helped foment a shooting war. That war resulted in a form of government much admired and appreciated today. Would reconciliation have been a better option?

Mutual respect words fine when both sides act respectably..
The relationship between Bernie Madoff and his investors was based on mutual respect.


Grumpy Old Man says: “…Those who wish to use the science for political ends see the fulfilment of an ideological goal as the primary aim of their studies…”
That’s the crux of the issue. The playing field was polluted with politics from Day One.
“…and they are on both sides of the debate….”
Not really. The Skeptic side is largely free of ideological goals, unless not fixing what isn’t broken could be called an ideological goal. Maybe you do. I don’t.
Many here agree with the statement about politics being enmeshed in the Warmist side early on. This is not a scientific debate, for many, possibly most, Warmists. It’s a political battleground. “Play nice, now, kids” conferences will not change that, and it’s naive to assume they will.
That said, it’s always a pleasure to see Judith Curry posting here. I spell courage c u r r y j .

As soon as the immortal words “The science is settled” were uttered, it became a zero sum game, i.e. there can only be winners and losers in this debate. The only way that there can be any return to a “middle ground”, is for all scientists and science organisations of a warmist bent to come out and say, forcefully if necessary, that the science is NOT settled, they do not have all the answers.
The longer warmists duck that, the more people of a skeptical nature will continue to distrust them, their science, and their motives, and by extension, science itself. It is entirely up to them. Skeptics do not have to move an inch to push this debate forward.
If the past is any guide to the future, twenty years from now we will be a full degree from where the bedwetter-in-chief told us we would be in 1988. Where will that leave their “science” then?


“One perspective was that the alarmists shooting at the deniers, and deniers shooting at the alarmists, with a big group in the middle, with both the deniers and the alarmists ruining the situation for reasoned debate about the science and the policy options.”

I have just 1 simple question for Judith Curry. Are you an alarmist, a denier or in the middle?


I’m reading no more from Judith Curry’s report. Sorry, once she used the word denier I had had enough. I would still like to know from her where she thinks her position is: alarmist, denier or in the middle?


Sorry, once she used the words Please remove the “s”
REPLY: please check out our latest post about getting a preview function in your browser.

Frank K.

I really do admire this effort and hope that the work that Dr. Curry and the participants produce from the Lisbon conference can have some impact in the public square.
In my opinion, climate science really went off the tracks when some of its most prominent members decided to step firmly into the political arena. This was amplified in 2007 when Al Gore and the IPCC “gang of over 2000 scientists” collectively won the Nobel peace prize. Suddenly, many climate scientist thought they could become rock stars, and so we saw the emergence of publicity hounds like Jim Hansen, Gavin Schmidt, Ben Santer, Michael Mann, Phil Jones, to name but a few. This cabal fractured when Climategate broke, but the manic effort to paint global warming as the end of civilization continues unabated. Even today, scientific and professional society journal articles are not free of overt political statements that are nauseatingly over the top. And, of course, we get hysterical press release after hysterical press release from the global warming industry, many of which are highlighted here at WUWT.
I think progress can be made in reconciling skeptics and warmers, but only if the political posturing and manic press releases from the climate publicity hounds can be curtailed. Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening any time soon…


All due respect to Dr. Judith, but it’s a scurrilous (and obvious) trick to try to get your enemy to cede ground by offering to “meet in the middle.”
There IS no middle. There is only science and its method. The method is observed or it is suborned. There is no scope in science for partial truth. Dr. Judith’s method reminds me of the adage that if you add a spoonful of wine to a barrel of sewage, you get sewage; and if you add a spoonful of sewage to a barrel of wine, you ALSO get sewage.
Her points are the best illustration of the problem with her arguments:
■Acknowledge that there are real issues and we don’t agree on how to resolve them
– But we DON’T acknowledge that there are “real issues” with climate. The case has not been made (a) that climate is changing abnormally, (b) that the changes are likely to be dangerous, or (c) that man is principally to blame. By this I mean that the AGW thesis has been falsified, not validated, by observed data; and that all of the key indicators cited by the warmists (warming, sea level rise, ice melt, weather catastrophes, etc.) have not come to pass. The only “real issue” that has been observed is continued falsification of data and results by warmists in support of a political agenda.
■Disagreement with mutual respect
– Having been called a denier, a criminal, worse than Hitler, and so forth by the warmists, my response to this plea is “You first”.
■Find better ways to communicate criticism
– How about the warmists find better ways to obey the scientific method, observe the principles of transparency and repeatability, publish their data and code, respond to the legal requirements of FOI requests, and stop claiming that “the debate is over”?
■Find better ways to admit mistakes without damage to reputation
– Nothing will help a scientist’s reputation more than simply admitting that he made a mistake, and publishing everything he knows about the problem. The notion that science must be massaged to protect fragile egos (and the grants that go with them) is nauseating.
■Find some common ground, something to work on together
– We already have something to work on together. And the common ground is the scientific method. If warmists can agree to join skeptics on THAT common ground, where hypotheses are validated or falsified by observed data, then there will be no more problems. Of course, there will ALSO be no more climate crisis, no more billions in global warming research grants, no more solar and wind subsidies, no more carbon credits, no more carbon billionaires like Algore, etc., etc…
■Find where interests intersect
– If they don’t intersect at “sound science” then I say to hell with the warmists. They’ve gotten away with their nonsense for 20 years. We are going to fix the damage they’ve done to science and society by joining them for a wallow in their sty. We don’t need any of their sewage in our wine.
■Importance of transparency
– Couldn’t agree more. Try some.
■Communication engenders trust
– Transparency, honesty, and adherence to the scientific method engender trust.
■Search for win-win solutions (i.e. both sides work to increase the funding base to collect more paleoproxies).
– I’m not going to touch this with a 10-figure government cheque.
The proponents of the AGW thesis have been playing the game their way since before the Wall came down. Now they’re losing, and the result is panic. And instead of trying to clean up their act, they’re trying to get skeptics to join them in their little hog-wallow.
Don’t fall for it, folks. When you’re honest and your opponent isn’t, you don’t meet him in the middle; you call him a liar, and you prove it. This “why can’t we all just get along” stuff won’t accomplish anything except to perpetuate the research grants.
Never compromise with knaves.

Theo Goodwin

Total reconciliation is a total no brainer. Simply get together a panel of AGW scientists and sceptics that is satisfactory to people on the internet, broadcast their meetings live on the internet, and give each panelist a live internet connection. The topic to be debated is the most important in all categories listed. The topic is:
Design a measurement system for temperature and other essential items, such as heat, that will satisfy both sceptics and AGW scientists on the panel and that can be readily understood by the educated citizen. Design a system for management of the measurement system that is transparent to every educated citizen and, thereby, guarantees that measurement reports are not biased. Design a system for implementation of both the measurement and management systems. Until these systems are up and running, redirect all funding for climate research to the creation and implementation of these systems.
This no-brainer proposal is necessary to the stated goals because:
1. Disagreement with mutual respect
There can be no respect until the data are trustworthy and their management transparent.
2. Find better ways to communicate criticism.
Science cannot engage in its own natural process, which is data driven criticism, until there is trustworthy data and transparent systems for data management and reporting.
3. Find better ways to admit mistakes without damage to reputation.
Accept that the data shows that your hypotheses are not confirmed. Such acceptance is part-and-parcel of science and should occasion no harm to reputation.
4. Find some common ground, something to work on together.
Trustworthy data and transparent management of reports on data.
5. Find where interests intersect.
See 4.
6. Importance of transparency
See 5.
7. Communication engenders trust.
Communication about trustworthy data managed in a transparent process not only engenders trust but embodies it.
8. Search for win-win solutions.
The first and only win-win solution that is available is a system of measurement that everyone embraces, a system of management that is transparent to all, and a system of reporting whose transparency renders bias impossible. Until this win-win solution is embraced, there are no other win-win solutions.

Theo Goodwin

paulhan says:
January 30, 2011 at 1:41 pm
“As soon as the immortal words “The science is settled” were uttered, it became a zero sum game, i.e. there can only be winners and losers in this debate. The only way that there can be any return to a “middle ground”, is for all scientists and science organisations of a warmist bent to come out and say, forcefully if necessary, that the science is NOT settled, they do not have all the answers.”
Yes, absolutely, but if the “science is settled people” will accept my proposal to create a data collection and management system, they will not actually have to fess up. The topic will have been changed.

Roger Knights

I propose using “skeptics” instead of “deniers.”

I’ve got it! A term we can all agree on: SCOFFERS!
Skeptic is too mild–we aren’t just “doubters”; Denier is too strong–it implies we’re wrong and pigheaded. “Scoffer” captures our aggressive rejection and disdainful tone (and hints at our non-mainstream status), without going any further than that. It doesn’t imply we’re right or wrong.
There are synonyms for scoffer, but they’re too long, too mild, too narrow, and/or too unusual: contrarian, cynic, deviationist, dissenter, dissident.

Roger Knights

Oops–I meant to turn off the bolding after “SCOFFERS”. (Mods, could you do it?)
REPLY: Done, as we do a hundred times a day. Please read the latest post and consider installing Greasemonkey and CA-assistant to give you an edit preview function and lessen the load on me and the mods for silly errors like this. – Anthony


Eisenhower warned (Farewell speech):
“Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades. In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers. The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present — and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
Yes, this is what we must guard against as we “reconcile”. The elitists with the funding.
A good first step would be to divvy up the grants somehow. Alarmists should volunteer to give up half of their $billions in funding to the skeptic causes. Then, once we have an equal playing field, we could generate useful data to support our hypotheses.
Oh, yeah, I forgot—the burden of proof is always upon the alarmist to prove this theory (hypothesis, really) that was first advanced by the warm-earthers. More is the burden if the solution to the hypothesis involves Draconian means, as is this unique case with AGW.
REPLY: Had to clean up your formatting mess with italics that caused the rest of the thread to go haywire, so all your formatting is now deleted. It was a huge mess. Please see our latest post on getting Greasemonkey/CA Assistant on Firefox to help solve these sorts of trainwrecks, because quite frankly, I’m getting tired of being paged “Cleanup on aisle 5”.
If it keeps up, I may just delete otherwise valid comments rather than spend the effort fixing them and let commenters “do over”. – Anthony


Well, it’s good to see that most comments on this post have paid exactly no attention to cooling down the rhetoric. Hell, half of them want to heat it up!
Those of you who think this is a “war” worth fighting are the problem. Because the “enemy” is not some other nation, but citizens of your own. Some “victories” are not worth winning.
Is the first point suggesting we agree that Climate Change is happening, and is man-made? Is that what ‘real issues’ means?
It would help if the sceptic side didn’t deny the obvious. The earth is warming, and talk of “global cooling” just because the last 10 years or so show no trend is idiocy. Sceptics need to stop denying the obvious and say: “we think the earth is warming for reasons other than GHG”. We need to say: “your evidence that the earth is warming is insufficient to prove AGW, because we see no acceleration, nor any correlation with CO2”. But to say: “it isn’t warming” is stupid, because it is likely to be disproved soon enough.
Likewise it is wiser to say: “The Arctic ice is decreasing at a rate that is consistent with natural trends and, in any case, is not accelerating consistently with the AGW theory” than to say: “The ice has stopped melting”. A short burst of low ice and solid science goes out the window if it is tagged to “no melting”.
Nor are blanket statements about “CO2 is a trace gas, so cannot have an effect” going to have much weight with anyone who actually pays any attention at all.
Not that, judging by the ridiculously combative comments above, most commenters here will pay much attention. Thankfully Anthony is not quite as short-sided as most of his followers.

Graham Green

This whole event looks to me a huge waste of time and money.
The organisers are proponents of post normal science – I do not want to be reconciled with such people.
I am violently opposed to the warmistas, their beliefs and their crusade to tax and control me. Let my language make it plain that I believe that this is a war.
No reconcilliation – no surrender.


Could someone please end bubbagyro’s italics with the correct html tag, so that they don’t run over and me look stupid!
REPLY: Done…would everybody PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE read the latest new post on how to get preview/comment formatting installed in Firefox.
Getting tired of the messes. Delete button for mangled comments now looms LARGE.

Hopefully, When I have some time to reflect I will have a piece that everyone can disagree with. I am struugling mightly between a totally personal take on the events and something philosophical.
One the personal side I got to meet Tallbloke and Nick Stokes, two people who I’ve traded words with in the past. It’s quite a different thing meeting someone IRL and discussing. For example, tallbloke and I quickly moved to a common ground. I also got to spend some time with Hans and it was interesting to have a frank conversation with a fellow warmista ( I’m a luke, he’s not) about the short comings of climate science.
On the philosophical side it was refreshing to talk with others who take the philosophy of science and sociology of science seriously. And I had some wonderful chats with a prof from copenhagen on our book ( which is a sociology of science of sorts )
Wheels are turning


Openness, honesty and reconciliation are very good things, and I congratulate Dr Curry for attempting this, at some cost to herself.
However there is a festering problem. There are too many climate scientists. This is due to the flood of mainly government money over the last few years. Government money is always spent, especially on salaries. It seems very likely that budgets will be reduced in the future. At some stage this will have to be addressed, and when that happens there will be a flood of less well established climate scientists onto the streets.
A practical answer to this would be to acknowledge this coming problem and for universities to quietly put in place training programs. Most climatologists have science training such that they could teach undergraduate science such as biology and chemistry, at least in the most populous first year. It would not take a great deal to gently divert some researchers into these teaching roles as grants start to dry up. But it will take planning and preparation.

Theo Goodwin

Dr. Curry writes:
“Postnormal science. The organizers of the Workshops are proponents of postnormal science. There are many misinterpretations of PNS (many of which are evident on the previous Lisbon thread.) I won’t delve on the topic here, put pull a quote from Funtowicz and Ravetz that I found on van der Sluijs web site:”
“Postnormal Science,” or whatever one wants to call it, is a combination of the mush that came from the writings of Thomas Kuhn in his “Structures of Scientific Revolutions” and a greater mush of Marxist inspired writings. None of it addresses scientific method except that part which directly contradicts scientific method. It is a formula for Marxism whose sole achievement would be creation of a host of government jobs for people who are unemployable in the private sector. The meeting was sponsored by Marxists. No one else would sponsor this “Postnormal” trash.


No more italics for me!
They seem like shouting in this font, anyway.

Steven Hoffer

Why would any skeptic be interested in finding common ground with the warmist position? The REASON skeptics exist is because they DO NOT share common ground with the warmists.
They do not believe in secret data, secret code, science by press release, or destroying the reputation of people that disagree with them. They generally do research on a comparatively shoestring budget and that is also a result of warmist behavior.
Skeptics do not label their critics in the employ of “Big Oil” or “Denier.” Denier is such an awful thing to call a person that if it happened to me I’d probably be helping the individual that did it swallow their teeth.
No. I’m NOT interested in reaching out the the people that spend their time destructively. And if they had ANY credibility at all, those less extreme warmists would be pulling down their so called best and brightest. To remain silent about their behavior is tantamount to endorsing it.

Theo Goodwin says:
January 30, 2011 at 2:04 pm
Yes Theo,
A very practical solution, and one that could suppress a lot of the confrontation that is likely going to continue.
Could I further add that those people who have submitted papers, along with those people submitting papers in the future, be compelled to release their data and methodologies, for proper analysis by interested parties.
This too would limit the arguments to the science, rather than the political leanings and motivations of the submitters. This is what they are supposed to be doing in the first place.

Malaga View

Dr. Dave says: January 30, 2011 at 12:34 pm
One does not win a war by “making nice” with the enemy.

Too true… and for many hard working people this is now a fight for survival as they are being taxed, legislated and demonised into oblivion by Big Government.
It seem like AGW is all about Killing the Goose that laid the Golden Eggs


Mooloo says: “…Those of you who think this is a “war” worth fighting are the problem. Because the “enemy” is not some other nation, but citizens of your own. Some “victories” are not worth winning.
By that logic, no one should have opposed Hitler in the early 30’s. If just a few more had, the Holocaust would not have happened. Sorry, Mooloo, but your comment is shameful.