Guest essay by Larry Hamlin
Alarmist claims: inference from incomplete, inadequate and ambiguous observations
Climate scientist Dr. Judith Curry has recently posted a number of sharply worded essays providing stinging critical rebukes of assertions of climate harm by alarmists derived from biased and highly selective reading of the UN IPCC AR5 reports.
In an April 21 posting she says the following regarding the so called ‘facts’ cited by climate alarmists to try to make a case for man made climate harm:
“With regards to climate science, the biggest concern that I have is the insistence on ‘the facts.’ This came up during my recent ‘debate’ with Kevin Trenberth. I argued that there are very few facts in all this, and that most of what passes for facts in the public debate on climate change is: inference from incomplete, inadequate and ambiguous observations; climate models that have been demonstrated not to be useful for most of the applications that they are used for; and theories and hypotheses that are competing with alternative theories and hypotheses.
I particularly like Dyson’s clarification on facts vs theories:
Facts and theories are born in different ways and are judged by different standards. Facts are supposed to be true or false. They are discovered by observers or experimenters. A scientist who claims to have discovered a fact that turns out to be wrong is judged harshly.
Theories have an entirely different status. Since our understanding is incomplete, theories are provisional. Theories are tools of understanding, and a tool does not need to be precisely true in order to be useful. A scientist who invents a theory that turns out to be wrong is judged leniently. Mistakes are tolerated, so long as the culprit is willing to correct them when nature proves them wrong.
The loose use of ‘the facts’ in the public discussion of climate change (scientists, the media, politicians) is enormously misleading, damaging to science, and misleading to policy deliberations.
I would also like to comment on the ‘good loser’ issue. I wholeheartedly agree with Dyson. In the annals of climate science, how would you characterize Mann’s defense of the hockey stick? Other good or bad losers that you can think of in climate science? The biggest problem is premature declaration of ‘winners’ by consensus to suit political and policy maker objectives.”
Dr. Curry’s entire essay on climate science significant limitations and inadequacies is here:
In an April 19 posting she addresses the increasing trend of climate alarmists and their supporters in the media to try to suffocate and eliminate free speech by attacking those who offer opposing viewpoints, scientific analysis and alternative theories to unproven claims of man made global warming theories. She notes the following regarding this attach by alarmists on free speech:
“I am broadly concerned about the slow death of free speech, but particularly in universities and also with regards to the climate change debate.”
“With regards to climate change, I agree with George Brandis who is shocked by the “authoritarianism” with which some proponents of climate change exclude alternative viewpoints.
While the skeptical climate blogosphere is alive and well in terms of discussing alternative viewpoints, this caters primarily to an older population. I am particularly pleased to see the apparent birth of resistance to climate change authoritarianism by younger people, as reflected by the young Austrian rapper.
Climate change ideology, and attempts to enforce it in the media, by politicians and by the cultural practices of academia, leads us down a slippery slope:
Because the more topics you rule out of discussion — immigration, Islam, ‘gender fluidity’ — the more you delegitimise the political system. . . A culture that can’t bear a dissenting word on race or religion or gender fluidity or carbon offsets is a society that will cease to innovate, and then stagnate, and then decline, very fast. – Mark Steyn”
The complete essay dealing with attacks on free speech by climate alarmists is here: ( http://judithcurry.com/2014/04/19/in-defense-of-free-speech/)
In a January 6 posting Dr. Curry performs an analysis of the UN IPCC AR5 WGI report addressing the hiatus in surface warming and discrepancies that outcome creates with climate models, the WGI evidence of lowering equilibrium sensitivity of climate to doubling CO2 concentrations, lack of WGI evidence for increasing rates of sea level rise, lack of WGI evidence explaining increasing Antarctic sea ice levels and reduced WGI confidence in connections between atmospheric CO2 levels and the occurrence of extreme weather events.
She addresses in detail the failure of the climate models to project the global temperature hiatus of the past 15+ years and the need to instead use “expert judgment” to create an estimate for future temperatures to year 2035 as noted in her essay material below.
Dr. Curry also addresses the WGI reports treatment of equilibrium climate sensitivity which clearly trends toward lowering the expected value of this variable noting as follows:
She summarizes her analysis of the WGI report by noting:
The entire assay addressing the AR5 WGI report analysis can be found here:
In these remarkable essay’s Dr. Curry demonstrates and documents the huge limitations and inadequacies of climate alarm science and the attempts of alarmists, media propagandists and ideologically driven politicians to ignore extensive contrary scientific evidence challenging man made climate harm claims, falsely condemn and demonize qualified and competent scientists peer reviewed work which exposes the huge shortcomings of alarmist climate science claims and alarmists ever increasing efforts to eliminate free speech concerning the climate science debate.