Second BEST

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Professor Muller of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project is always interesting, but he just keeps digging his personal hole deeper. He recently gave an interview titled “Scientists Often Pigeonholed By Political Debates” and answered questions on NPR. To his credit, he is standing up straight and tall for science, for full transparency, for the scientific method. I like that. He is also one of the few mainstream scientists who has publicly said that Climategate showed horrible behavior and scientific malfeasance, and he repeated that on NPR:

CONAN: And that’s, you would say, would be at the heart of the so-called Climategate story, where emails from some scientists seemed to be working to prevent the work of other scientists from appearing in peer-reviewed journals.

Prof. MULLER: That really shook me up when I learned about that. I think that Climategate is a very unfortunate thing that happened, that the scientists who were involved in that, from what I’ve read, didn’t trust the public, didn’t even trust the scientific public. They were not showing the discordant data. That’s something that – as a scientist I was trained you always have to show the negative data, the data that disagrees with you, and then make the case that your case is stronger. And they were hiding the data, and a whole discussion of suppressing publications, I thought, was really unfortunate. It was not at a high point for science.

And I really get even more upset when some other people say, Oh, science is just a human activity. This is the way it happens. You have to recognize, these are people. No, no, no, no. These are not scientific standards. You don’t hide the data. You don’t play with the peer review system.

I wholeheartedly agree. I only fear that Muller doesn’t realize the full extent of the problem. I’m afraid he hasn’t noticed how that whole “we’re on a noble mission to save the world from itself” mentality has deeply infiltrated and corrupted an entire field of scientific inquiry.

I also found his comments on “pigeonholing” quite revealing. In the interview he divides people into “deniers”, “skeptics”, and “exaggerators”, and discusses what he sees as the characteristic claims of his neatly pigeonholed groups … and then he claims he doesn’t like pigeonholing?

Here’s a pro-tip, Dr. Muller.

A man who dislikes pigeonholing doesn’t use the term “denier”. It makes people doubt both your sincerity and your goodwill. You’ve been told many times that I and many other people out here find that term insulting. You continue to use it. Is that stupidity, or do you just not care that you are insulting people, or are you insisting that you have the right to insult people? Whichever way … it’s not good.

Next, he wants to play both sides of the street, viz:

CONAN: How much of that [warming] is attributable to humans? But do you agree that at least – does the data show that at least some part of it is attributable to humans?

Prof. MULLER: Yes, yes. It’s us. People call me a skeptic, because I drew attention to many of the exaggerations that in – is in former Vice President Al Gore’s movie. But I think a scientist has to recognize when there are exaggerations and settle down on what is solidly known.

OK. That’s clear. Regarding the warming, “It’s us.” He’s not a skeptic, he says he’s talking about what is “solidly known”. However, he continues …

Temperature has been rising over the last 100 years. That’s pretty clear. How much is due to varying solar activity and how much due to humans is a scientific issue that we’re trying to address.

Huh? How can he say “It’s us” so confidently, how can it be “solidly known” as he claims, if it is still “a scientific issue that we’re trying to address.” ?? Make up your mind, Dr. Muller, because clearly the Olympic back flip-flop isn’t your best event …

I did greatly enjoy Dr. Muller’s indirect takedown of Jerome Ravetz, however, viz:

CONAN: Well, given the analysis that you reached, aren’t there urgent policy decisions that need to be made?

Prof. MULLER: Oh, that’s the irony. The policy decisions are so urgent that people tend to abandon the scientific method. It’s ironic that when something’s important, they sometimes feel they have to not be so candid and unbiased because it’s urgent. I think just the opposite. When things are urgent, that’s the time the scientist has to settle down and show – do things using the unbiased methods that they’ve been taught.

Thank you, Professor Muller. Jerome Ravetz keeps pushing “Post-Normal Science”, the idea that when the stakes are high and decisions are urgent, we should change the way we do science. I agree with Muller that when things are urgent is the time when we need the full rigor of the tried-and-true scientific method even more than ever.

Next, Muller says:

CONAN: Urgency, though, is the critical word here, is it not?

Prof. MULLER: Well, I think one of the things we’re trying to do at Berkeley Earth is determine how urgent it is. The global warming attributed by the IPCC, the big U.N. Council that makes this consensus report, attributes about half a degree, half a degree Celsius of warming to humans. But is it .4? Is it .3? If so, we have a lot more time. Is it .6 or.7? If so, we’re in a big rush.

I find this curious. Does anyone know where he gets that “half a degree” of anthropogenic warming from the IPCC report? (And I love his description of the IPCC report as a “consensus report”, he must not have twigged that “consensus” is what you get when you squash all opposition. But I digress.)

In any case, I don’t see how his work with BEST relates to any urgency. Does he really believe that BEST finding a difference of 0.1°C or 0.2°C in the observational record will suddenly make the situation “urgent”? As he points out, the issue is not whether the world is warming, it is whether humans are the cause. His work will not elucidate that question in the slightest.

Finally, I emphatically did not like his dig at Anthony Watts.

CONAN: You mentioned Anthony Watts. He runs a website for climate deniers, said he was prepared to accept whatever result your group produced, even if it proves my premise wrong. After your testimony, he said the hearing was post-normal science political theater.

Prof. MULLER: Well, I think Anthony can be forgiven for his ups and downs. I think he has done a great job, a real contribution, and I think his work has proved really essential.

Professor Muller thinks he is entitled to advise us to forgive Anthony for his “ups and downs” because of the great weight of Anthony’s contribution to science? Man, the good Doc’s sense of entitlement knows no bounds, it’s been far too long in the ivory tower for that boy. Having transgressed badly himself, he now wants to lecture us on proper behavior as though we were his college students?

Now, that comes close to undoing all the good Prof. Muller did above with his defense of honest science. Here’s my take-home message for Professor Muller:

Professor Muller, there’s a lot of folks like me out here who are deciding whether or not to forgive you for your un-necessary public attack on Anthony, using data he had given you in confidence. Your arrogant and patronizing attitude in this interview merely helps us make up our minds whether you are worth forgiving or not.

My vote is still yes, Dr. Muller, we should forgive you. But that’s based on your profound but probably curable naiveté about climate science and your general likability, and not based on your contrition or probity, because you seem woefully short on both of the latter. The good news is that at least you stand revealed. From here out any man who tells you anything in confidence is a fool. You have shown us that you won’t shirk to first publicly betray the man’s confidence, and then to top it off you’ll advise us to forgive the man for being so crude as to get upset at your betrayal …

Again, let me say that none of this says anything about whether the BEST results will be good, bad, or meaningless. That is a totally separate question, about which to date we know far too little to comment.

w.

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dp

How can he say “it’s been warming for a hundred years” and leave out it’s been warming since the LIA? If you are going with a statistic, don’t shade with this way. It is a half-truth, everybody knows it, and he’s left looking like a shill. This guy is just not serious, or he’s the wrong front man for the job. I’m from Berkeley – I recognize the institutionalization in his approach and style. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, and worse, he’s the only one who doesn’t know this. That is the definition of clueless, btw. Nice enough guy but needs to avoid the spotlight.

Layne Blanchard

We’re on a mission from God (To stop ManBearPig and his Unicorn Minions)

Graham

“CONAN: You mentioned Anthony Watts. He runs a website for climate deniers”
I just checked “About WUWT” where there is no such statement. In fact, my reading is that credible studies on both sides of the debate are published here. Conan’s statement, therefore, is defamatory.

rberteig

The word “Denier” has to be expunged from their vocabulary before any forgiveness is possible. The word was deliberately chosen to be offensive. It is remotely possible that some who continue its use are doing so without recognition of that choice. That doesn’t matter any more.
Any media person who uses it has instantly lost any claim to impartiality that may be trying to make.
Any scientist using it is abandoning their right to respect.
The climate is changing now. The climate has changed in the past. Naturally, humans do their damnedest to influence the climate around them for comfort, health, and productivity. So does any animal, bird, insect, plant or other living thing that wants an evolutionary advantage, or just a way to survive the winter.

BEST will be limited by the same problems that are present in all the station data, poor and sporadic coverage. Station data simply does not have the resolution needed to accomplish its task.
Muller is an acedemic. Few of them are practical people and those that are have experience outside of university life. At least he holds people accountable for bad behavior.
I no longer care about BEST because the source of the data doesn’t provide enough spatial coverage to matter. If it matches the other station methods then they are off the hook, but it changes nothing.

Paul

I really don’t get the point of this post. I listened to Muller’s interview and I found his point of view worthwhile and refreshing. His comments are all expressed from the point of view of an open mind, someone who is waiting for the data to guide his thoughts.
He was openly critical of the ‘alarmist’ scientists who have allowed their thoughts to be taken in one direction and are fudging the data to fit it. There was a brilliant quote in it where he contrasts the difference between a layman and a scientist. Something like, ‘a layman is someone who can believe foolish things, while a scientist is someone who can believe foolish things but knows it.’
He praised Anthony’s work and called him a ‘real hero’. Anthony’s criticism of Muller’s testimony before Congress was unfortunate, it said more about Anthony than Muller.
I am afraid this post says more of the poster again than of Muller. It demonstrates intolerance to any view that is not his own view. Surely, more than anything else, the WUWT blog stands up for a minority view that was being unjustifiably repressed.
WUWT should welcome a new voice in the debate. Especially a new voice that is different from all other voices!
Paul

Venter

Succint analysis as usual, Willis

Kev-in-Uk

I am undecided about BEST – and only the ‘results’ and the transparent data/method publication will define whether it has been a worthwhile exercise. I strongly suspect that it will be seen to be a further ‘fudging’ of basic raw data.
Mullers claim to be unbiased cannot really be true in the light of his statements, and it strikes me that he has sought nothing but publicity from this venture, though that may just be me being cynical. The point being that he hasn’t been sat in a backroom somewhere quitely reworking the data! – he has been presenting it as some kind of be-all and end-all quest with a public Fanfare to boot! No doubt, he and his team will be right royally ‘courted’ by various others to perhaps alter the tone of any presentations, if not the actual ‘results’ themselves!
As a scientist, I don’t like being cynical of the motives, but the ‘output’ from Muller certainly seems to follow the expected line from mainstream climate ‘science’ – and that is worrying.

John Gorter

Dr Muller is an academic. He relies on government salary and grants. Natuarally he will toe the government sponsored ‘concencus’ line.
John Gorter

John Trigge

Willis,
I would expand on your statement “As he points out, the issue is not whether the world is warming, it is whether humans are the cause. and add ‘and what difference will it make?’.
If one accepts that there has been a rise on global temps since the LIA then, surely, one must also accept that the global climate has improved since then (eg, no more River Thames ice fairs).
Why is it that the climate improvement due to rising temps since the LIA is OK but any further rises, caused by us or not, are going to be disastrous?

Roger Carr

Paul says: (April 14, 2011 at 12:10 am)
        Surely, more than anything else, the WUWT blog stands up for a minority view that was being unjustifiably repressed.
If you check the number of those who have signed some petitions*, Paul, you may consider changing the above sentence to read: “…a majority view that was being unjustifiably repressed.”
*30,000 Scientists Sign Petition on Global Warming

Christopher Hanley

Does anyone know where he gets that “half a degree” of anthropogenic warming from the IPCC report
==========================================================
The IPCC (AR4) guess that most of the warming since 1950 (~ 0.7°C) is most probably due to human GHGs.
I’m guessing that’s where the .3, .4, .6 and .7 come from.
In any case it’s only about 0.5 – 1.1°C/century, hardly enough to run through the streets in a panic about and well below IPCC projections.

Dagfinn

Looks like I’ll have to be alone defending Ravetz again.
Disclaimer: I’m not a fan of post-normal science. But I think much of the criticism of it misses the mark.
First: climate change is not urgent. And I know you agree with that, Willis. Or if we choose alarmist premises: with the kind of uncertainties involved, we’d have no chance of discovering that it was urgent if it were. It’s highly unlikely to be urgent, since the “urgent” window is a short one on the timeline. Before that, it’s not yet urgent, and after that it’s too late. (Of course alarmists never discuss “too late”, except for James Lovelock.)
Second: Correct me if I’m wrong, but Ravetz has not said that climate change is urgent. He has said that urgency is one of the reasons we might need post-normal science. Others have made the connection from that to AGW.
Third: I agree with Ravetz that urgency sometimes requires a different approach. His favorite example is an epidemic. In other words, a situation where urgency may be a real factor rather than a politically motivated mass psychosis. In such a case, there may not be time to conduct the scientific studies we would like, and we may have to decide and respond anyway.
There seems to be a confusion between “urgent” and “important”. Muller uses both as if they were synonyms, but they aren’t. If the issue is importance rather than urgency, then of course I agree with Muller that there is all the more reason to be thorough and careful.

Roger Carr

Paul says: (April 14, 2011 at 12:10 am)
        I am afraid this post says more of the poster again than of Muller. It demonstrates intolerance to any view that is not his own view.
The views of Willis Eschenbach are legion, Paul, and it is that wide, wide spread which attracts some study of what he writes. Of course he has personal views; he must or he would not be worth considering, but I do not believe he trips over his views like two left feet.
    I do believe he uses his personal views as his foundation; but that he then extends them to encompass an argument in a much wider context. Willis is not a loose cannon firing at random as it rumbles across the deck, unchecked; but he does certainly have the philosophy of a freebooter…

Larry in Texas

Willis, I am not as forgiving as you. Prof. Muller is a fellow traveler of the warmist crowd. He may think he is doing good science, but little things like what he said in this NPR interview lead me to believe that he is prepared to cram a whole lot of round conclusions into square pegs, or to use the Procrustean bed to stretch data to fit to his versions of the truth. I hope I am wrong about that, but I am not so forgiving at the moment. I wouldn’t take this if I were you, Anthony.

chris1958

“Well, I think Anthony can be forgiven for his ups and downs. I think he has done a great job, a real contribution, and I think his work has proved really essential.”
All of us have our ups and downs for which we need forgiveness. I thought the good professor was actually being quite gracious all considered.

I think you’re a bit hard on him. I don’t think his comment on Anthony wad insulting.
What I don’t get is his presentation. He seems to imply that if BEST agrees with GISS more than satellites, this somehow suggests GW is all man made and catastrophic.
Whether AGW is .12C per decade and declining, .1C per decade and declining or is .08C and declining, it’s no catastrophe. It’s probably beneficially.

Willis Eschenbach

Christopher Hanley says:
April 14, 2011 at 12:39 am

Does anyone know where he gets that “half a degree” of anthropogenic warming from the IPCC report

The IPCC (AR4) guess that most of the warming since 1950 (~ 0.7°C) is most probably due to human GHGs.
I’m guessing that’s where the .3, .4, .6 and .7 come from

.
Yeah, but … the IPCC says:

Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.

However, according to the trend 1950-1999 in the GISTEMP data, the temperature only rose 0.4°C during that period … so I ask again:

Where is he getting the claim of half a degree of anthropogenic warming?

Because I can’t find that number anywhere in the IPCC report.
w.

Muller also seems to know what audience is important and how to address it. He must pander a bit to keep his audience from getting defensive and writing him off.
Posts like this give “exaggeraters” exactly what they need to pigeonhole non-believers.

willis, in 2007 or I recall you attributed a portion of the warming to humans.
Care to recall for us what % you put us down for?
10%, 30% 60% 90%
Dunno, but I recall that conversation

A bigger problem are things like this:
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-climate-berkeley-20110404,0,772697.story
Where Miller is portrayed as a skeptic converted to alarmist by his research.

John Tofflemire

Willis,
I think you have distorted the sense of Dr. Muller’s comments about Anthony. Dr. Muller is clearly a big supporter of Anthony’s efforts to improve climate data collection in the US. He overlooked Anthony’s criticism of his testimony to Congress and focused on what he felt were the positive aspects of Anthony’s work. Remember that many on the “mainstream” dismissed Anthony’s work as irrelevant, while people like Dr. Muller went out of the mainstream and recognized that his work on site quality was indeed important. If you think that he has attacked Anthony’s work in this regard, then you should be regarded as paranoid. I am confident that Anthony, the quality person that he is, would be pleased of the good word Richard Muller has given him.

Willis Eschenbach

Paul says:
April 14, 2011 at 12:10 am

I really don’t get the point of this post. I listened to Muller’s interview and I found his point of view worthwhile and refreshing. His comments are all expressed from the point of view of an open mind, someone who is waiting for the data to guide his thoughts.

I have lauded Muller for some things that he said, and I disagreed with others. However, “open mind”? A person with an open mind doesn’t call someone who disagrees with them a “denier”. And “waiting for the data”? No, he said “It’s us”, and that’s “settled science”. A person waiting for the data … well, they wait for the data.
And a person with a shred of decency doesn’t continue to call people by a name they find insulting, particularly when asked not to do so.

He was openly critical of the ‘alarmist’ scientists who have allowed their thoughts to be taken in one direction and are fudging the data to fit it. There was a brilliant quote in it where he contrasts the difference between a layman and a scientist. Something like, ‘a layman is someone who can believe foolish things, while a scientist is someone who can believe foolish things but knows it.’

Indeed, he said some interesting and good things. And I praised him for it … so what is your point?

He praised Anthony’s work and called him a ‘real hero’. Anthony’s criticism of Muller’s testimony before Congress was unfortunate, it said more about Anthony than Muller.

He used data which Anthony had given him in confidence to attack Anthony in front of Congress. Perhaps this kind of thing means nothing to you, but some of us actually expect people to act honorably. It is an old-fashioned notion, I admit that, but there are those of us who think keeping a confidence is important. Perhaps you are not one of those that value honor … or perhaps you simply haven’t understood the issues in what Muller did. I’ll vote for “doesn’t understand the issues”, the other option is not pretty.

I am afraid this post says more of the poster again than of Muller. It demonstrates intolerance to any view that is not his own view. Surely, more than anything else, the WUWT blog stands up for a minority view that was being unjustifiably repressed.

Oh, puh-leeze, that’s way over the top. Yes, I know you couldn’t find a single thing not to like about his interview. Me, I praised a number of things he did, I disagreed with others, and I said I’d still forgive him for his stupidity.
What do you want me to do, blow in his ear, decide “it’s us”, and start claiming that’s “settled science”? I liked specific things he has said and done, and I disliked others. So sue me.

WUWT should welcome a new voice in the debate. Especially a new voice that is different from all other voices!
Paul

WUWT is quite unusual in that it welcomes all kinds of voices, Paul. Heck, if you want to write a spirited defense of Muller’s use of his analysis of confidential data to attack the man who gave the data to him in friendship, go right ahead. I’d be fascinated to hear how you explain that one … here’s your chance to be “different from all other voices!”
w.

Willis Eschenbach

steven mosher says:
April 14, 2011 at 1:28 am

willis, in 2007 or I recall you attributed a portion of the warming to humans.
Care to recall for us what % you put us down for?
10%, 30% 60% 90%
Dunno, but I recall that conversation

Can’t recall, but I’d say a small number, and due mostly to black carbon and LU/LC, not CO2. However, that’s not even a SWAG, just a WAG.
w.

Michael in Sydney

Hi
I’m a long term reader of this blog with a confirmed skeptical mindset and I didn’t find his comments about Anthony at all disconcerting.
Regards
Michael

Willis Eschenbach

John Tofflemire says:
April 14, 2011 at 1:30 am

Willis,
I think you have distorted the sense of Dr. Muller’s comments about Anthony. Dr. Muller is clearly a big supporter of Anthony’s efforts to improve climate data collection in the US. He overlooked Anthony’s criticism of his testimony to Congress and focused on what he felt were the positive aspects of Anthony’s work.

Like Paul above, you’re not following the story. Anthony gave Dr. Muller the results from the Surfacestations work of himself and the volunteers, with Muller’s agreement to keep it confidential until Anthony had published his results.
Muller, far from keeping it confidential, announced the results of his analysis of Anthony’s confidential data in front of Congress.
Now, before we go any further, do you approve of Muller doing that? Because I think it sucks, and I don’t care what else Muller said about Anthony, that’s coverup. Yes, Muller said some good things otherwise, and he has the right take on Climategate … so? That doesn’t excuse betraying a confidence.
And when Anthony was upset that his confidence was betrayed, you are 100% correct that Muller “overlooked Anthony’s criticism”. He not only overlooked it, he ignored the issue of his betrayal of Anthony’s confidence entirely, and has continued to pretend that it doesn’t exist, so yes—he overlooked Anthony’s criticism of his testimony to Congress.
You seem to see this as a point in Muller’s favor … you might want to reconsider that interpretation.
w.

John Silver

Even Willis drifted:
“the issue is not whether the world is warming, it is whether humans are the cause.”
No, the issue is Catastrophic Anthropogenic GW not Anthropogenic GW.
Only the Catastrophic part is an issue.
Warming is Good, increased CO2 is Good.

Paul

Willis Eschenbach says:
April 14, 2011 at 2:01 am
Like Paul above, you’re not following the story. Anthony gave Dr. Muller the results from the Surfacestations work of himself and the volunteers, with Muller’s agreement to keep it confidential until Anthony had published his results.
Willis, you are making assumption about me before the data is in 🙂
I have followed the Muller story, I just disagree with your & Anthony’s take on it. Muller did not reveal Anthony’s results to Congress, he made comment on a 2% of the data that he had tested. Steven Mosher, among others, provided a contrasting explanation on the Muller testimony which I agree with. I think it was on Judy’s site.
When I said your post said more about you than Muller, I mean that the surface temperature dataset is something you (like Anthony) feel strongly about. Hence your reaction to the first project that has offered to revise the dataset from scratch.
I am waiting for the BEST project to actually publish results before drawing conclusions. I will be interested in the trend since 1957 & the comparison in the post 1957 trend with previous warming trends of the 20th century. I will be interested in how data contamination is accounted for in these trends. I will also be interested in the comment & criticism the BEST results attract.
I think you learn a lot about the other person when you disagree with them 🙂
Paul

Alan the Brit

Excellent as usual, Willis! I agree with most of what you say. Although I cannot be quite so forgiving, q.v. below,
dp says:
April 13, 2011 at 11:40 pm
This is classic smoke & mirrors stuff. Never tell a complete lie & never tell the whole truth, the conman’s motto. That way everyone is confused & too busy trying to work out what has gone on until it’s too late to realise that it’s happened anyway! IMHO. Prof Muller seems nice enough, but this could be a fron, especially when he says the things he does that conflict & contradict!

Standard operating procedure for the modern left.
“I am above politics and labels. You can’t judge me! You can’t label me! You dirty Bushitler! You Halliburtonist! You nasty Bigoilist! Don’t you dare label me, you unspeakable intolerant Labelist!”

observa

Muller says-
“Temperature has been rising over the last 100 years. That’s pretty clear. How much is due to varying solar activity and how much due to humans is a scientific issue that we’re trying to address.”
So to be fair he could be uncertain about a range of anthroprogenic possibilities such as greenhouse in general (including Gore’s last admissions re soot), UHI and land clearing in general, the latter perhaps exacerbated by rather silly policies to ameliorate AGW via biodiesel and ethanol production. That may well be ‘the scientific issue that we’re [he is] trying to address’. In other words Muller may well take the view that CO2 is a very minor issue in the big scheme of things and we should all be open to the evolving science on that.

Prof. Muller’s “Yes, yes, it’s us” knee-jerk reaction is pure cowardice.
What makes you think that this particular (and typical) representative of the corrupt Academia will stand up for the scientific truth if and when it will put at risk his tenure and comfortable existence?
Please, don’t try to sell to me as a “likable fellow” a person who had no guts to tell the Congress that he cannot make any conclusions before the study is finished.

Stu

Hi Willis.
I didn’t follow the Congress testimony in detail, but my impression was that Muller gave some preliminary results which had not undergone any adjustments for the various station siting biases. In my mind, Anthony’s surface station data would come into use only if these adjustments were applied to the BEST data. This didn’t seem to be the case. Or was it? Had Muller used the results of Anthony’s work to come to these preliminary figures? I would agree with you that if Muller had agreed to confidentiality and confidentiality was broken then I would certainly side with Anthony in this case and would also find the ‘forgiven for his ups and downs’ statement to be a fairly low blow.
Also, could this have been a case of miscommunication or misunderstanding?

wayne Job

Using material given in confidence to assist your research to attack the giver in front of the law makers of your country, makes this man a bounder, regardless of syrupy after thoughts. This BEST program is likely the final assault to convince the peons to blindly follow. Not to be trusted I feel.

Jimbo

CONAN: Urgency, though, is the critical word here, is it not?

This is why you can’t trust James Hansen with the data. He is an activist who has been arrested several times. I assume he feels there is urgency here. How can you trust a man who feels it is urgent and whose scientific reputation depends on continued warming?
http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/hiding-the-la-nina-at-giss/

observa

And just to remind us all of Gore’s latter uncertainty about CO2 induced warming-
http://www.prisonplanet.com/al-gore-admits-co2-does-not-cause-majority-of-global-warming.html
which backs up a reasonable interpretaion of Muller’s stance generally, whereby The Team can’t have it both ways with one of their chief spruikers- ie Gore was right about the certainty of our CO2 hockey stick but, well.. umm.. err.. you know how it is with his sudden enthusiasm about soot folks?

Venter

Paul
You did not get it. Willis’ criticism was not about the 2% data Prof.Muller talked about. Willis’ criticism was about Prof.Muller dissing Anthony’s surfacestations work about station siting, saying that there was no difference observed due to station siting, without explaining how he arrived at that conclusion, what methods he used etc. That was what Willis always has been criticising about Muller’s testimony.
You should read the testimony, read Willis’ comments and get the whole picture.

Venter

And Paul, read this to understand the whole picture and why Anthony was unhappy with Muller’s testimony.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/03/31/clarification-on-best-submitted-to-the-house/

Jimbo

According to polls a significan proportion of the US population are ‘deniers.’ We are not alone.

Beth Cooper

Trust is central to human relationships and nowhere more so than in scientific enquiry, which IS about a search for truth to data, regardless of how tentative must be our conclusions. Professor Muller, all scientists should play fair.

sHx

@Willis
The reaction you and Anthony showed to Berkeley team’s work after Muller’s testimony was over the top. This piece even is so full of indignation. For what, I’m still not certain.
“The lady doth protest too much”, comes to mind. We all have our ups and downs.

Amino Acids in Meteorites

Is their cause real?
19 second video:

There are immense benefits from a few degrees of warming, however I don’t believe it is at present, at least for the last dozen years anyway. Cold is a killer. Well written, Willis and I agree 100%.

Let’s see.
BEST Objectives
“5. To provide an open platform for further analysis by publishing our complete data and software code as well as tools to aid both professional and amateur exploration of the data”
BEST Data Set
“We hope to be able to make the data set publicly available on this site by the first half of 2011.”
BEST Initial Findings
“All of these results are preliminary, and the Berkeley Earth team would be more comfortable sharing them after they had been published in a peer-reviewed journal. However, Dr. Richard Muller was called to testify before congress on 31 March 2011. We did not solicit this presentation, but understand that congress needs our best testimony. For this reason we have shared some preliminary results.”
None of their objectives are met so far, especially the one about going entirely public by providing an open platform. This babble about getting “more comfortable” after stuff being published in a peer-reviewed journal has nothing to do with genuine openness. To learn about that, they should read Larry Sanger’s essay.
How open collaboration works: an introduction for scholars by Lawrence Mark Sanger, founder of Citizendium.
In an open project there are no unpublished preliminary results. They should have started with publishing everything they had immediately with no peer review whatsoever. That comes later.
They should apply Eric Steven Raymond‘s famous maxim “Release Early, Release Often” unconditionally as it is expressed and explained in The Cathedral and the Bazaar (ver. 1.57).
Until it is done, no matter if the Congress of the U.S. of A. needs their best testimony or not, they have simply no testimony of any quality to give. Beyond that there’s nothing to be understood.
Therefore in advance of letting anyone give a testimony, solicited or not, they should install a distributed version control system and put all their stuff under it. Then we can start discussing the issues. That “we” of course includes Congress (as a minor player).

A warmer world could cause less flooding in severe flood prone regions, or more rainfall in severe drought prone regions, less snow in subarctic and mountainous areas and more snow in polar regions, and possibly rainfall in the driest deserts. What’s not to like? The early Greeks, Romans and Vikings liked it by all appearances.

Eyal Porat

I am still waiting for the hard proven facts that will show that ANY of the warming is due to humans.
All I can hear right now is the “it must be us – because there is no other explanation” and “it seems” and “it is plausible”.
for me it deeply saddening seeing scientists regress to religion.
Well. maybe that is because I am a denier – I do read this blog constantly, don’t I?

Theo Goodwin

Good job, Willis! You are doing your best to help Muller recover his honesty and his scientific integrity. At this time, I am beginning to wonder if the old boy is still all there.

Smoking Frog

I don’t think the word “denier” should be used, because the people that use it are referring to legitimately skeptical people, and it connotes “Holocaust denier.” But I do think there are “skeptics” who deserve to be called by some pejorative name. Those are the people who have little or no idea of what they are talking about, but belligerently dismiss the possibility of serious AGW. They deserve it, but, on the other hand, they wouldn’t receive any notice in a sane world, so there ought to be little occasion for speaking of them pejoratively or otherwise. The important problem is that legitimately skeptical people are being called “deniers.”

stephen richards

Paul
His comments are all expressed from the point of view of an open mind, someone who is waiting for the data to guide his thoughts.
I suggest you research the phrase “open mind” and then re-read Willis’ article. Open mind — NO pre-conceived ideas and NO assumptions.

EternalOptimist

I wasn’t too fazed by Muller. It seemed to me he was picking his words to suit the audience, albeit he was a little clumsy.
As Voltaire said on his deathbed, when he was asked to renounce the devil
‘Now, now my good man, this is no time for making enemies’
EO