Climatologist Judith Curry levels both barrels against alarmist climate science

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:

( http://judithcurry.com/2014/04/21/the-case-for-blunders/)

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.

 

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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:

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She summarizes her analysis of the WGI report by noting:

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The entire assay addressing the AR5 WGI report analysis can be found here:

( http://judithcurry.com/2014/01/06/ipcc-ar5-weakens-the-case-for-agw/)

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.

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I read them all on her blog. I sense a lot of frustration on her part. She sees her chosen profession being destroyed in the name of expediency. And even then, the alarmists are trying to parrot Mann and tar [her] for the simple reason she is for good science. She remains a warmist. But more than that, she is an ethical scientist, and that goes against the grain of “the team”.

Louis Hooffstetter

Thank you Dr. Curry. You are casting pearls before swine, but we are pulling for you none the less.

Judith Curry’s “This came up during my recent ‘debate’ with Kevin Trenberth. I argued that there are very few facts in all this” caught my eye at Climate Etc. I commented there; let me rephrase my comment slightly more succinctly as a simple question here.
Of the thousands of department chairmen in the US, which of them have expressed an even lower opinion of their colleagues’ understanding of their field?

asybot

Thank Dr Curry. The more I read and learn about this ( and others) whole debate and the larger picture of what is happening on our planet the more and more I see history repeating itself . From the Sumerian / Egyptian / Greek / Roman and ALL following Empires all across this planet The rise and fall cycles are apparent.
Sadly, I think our decline maybe the fastest and most spectacular and devastating ever if not the end of us for generations (as we know it today) to come. I sincerely hope reason will prevail.

Niff

..and we sceptics are accused of denying the science…? What Dr Curry demonstrates is that the alarmists not only deny the science, they obfuscate it, muzzle alternative perspectives and castigate those who would speak out. Utterly despicable.

Louis

I don’t know how many years it will take, but some day we will look back at this time when major news outlets willingly aligned with politicians, universities, and pseudo scientists to censor opposing viewpoints and wage inquisition against dissent and skepticism as the dark ages of modern science.

A scientist is suppose to be interested in Truth, not in “making policy.”
Hansen’s talk of “death trains” seems to focus more on policy than on facts. Once a person starts to feel policy is more important, then “adjustments” become more allowable. They are not. I personally feel “adjustments” are tantamount to the falsification of public documents. Even when “adjustments” are in some way helpful, the fact they are adjustments should be stressed. Raw data should rule.
The attempt of some Alarmists to ostracize and marginalize differing opinions is especially ironic, when you consider how many who assert such demands also make a show of respecting “diversity.”
In actual fact it is not so much that some Climate Scientists live in an Ivory Tower divorced from reality, as it is they are attempting to create a new Apartheid.

Great Post- Thanks.

tancred

The term “scientific consensus” should be anathema to anyone with an appreciation of the methods of science — and aware of the long history of wise certainties widely agreed among the learned which eventually were debunked as complete nonsense.

By the way, I second the motion of thanks to Dr. Curry.

thallstd

Louis says:
April 22, 2014 at 5:41 pm
“I don’t know how many years it will take, but some day we will look back at this …”
Louis, perhaps you’ve been looking in the wrong place. “Some day” for me happened years ago.

Don Gleason

Brilliant

Steve in SC

Judy is smarter than the average bear.

bushbunny

Judith has struck at the AGW’s soft underbelly, Well done Dr Curry.

TImothy Sorenson

I seem to remember about two Reports back, it was pretty clear that solar and volcanoes had no impact in their=”warmists” work. But I just noticed in Judith Curry’s summary she quoted the IPCC that “The decline in the rate of increase in ERF is primarily attributed to natural (solar and volcanic) forcing…” So does anyone know what peer review lit they cited to support that? I’d like to see what/how they quantified their ‘new’ ideas on solar and volcanics.

pat

give thanx for judith curry.
22 April: WSJ: California’s Carbon Spending Rush
Sacramento proves that cap and trade is about income redistribution
The Senate leader last week proposed a “long-term investment strategy” to divvy up the revenues from California’s cap-and-trade program…
So far the auctions have generated $1.5 billion, but cash will start to pour in next year when the cap is applied to fuel suppliers, which account for nearly 40% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Revenues will balloon as the California Air Resources Board reduces both the cap and the free allowances. The state legislative analyst predicts that cap and trade will raise between $12 billion and $45 billion in toto by 2020.
While state law requires that these cap-and-trade “fees” fund programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Governor Jerry Brown last year seized, er, “borrowed” nearly all of the auction proceeds for general-fund expenses…
http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303626804579507840884336078
judith, please help save us from these daily pronouncements:
22 April: Phys.org: In Mediterranean marble, secrets of the global carbon cycle
Scientists at Yale University have clarified how carbon dioxide escapes minerals deep inside Earth and seeps into the planet’s atmosphere, a significant step in the planet’s natural carbon cycle. Deeper insight into the cycle helps scientists more accurately assess how humans are altering carbon’s movement and affecting the planet’s climate…
In new research published in the May 2014 issue of Nature Geoscience, the Yale team presents evidence that the mineral aragonite, which is composed of calcium carbonate, can dissolve to release carbon dioxide in water-based fluid. This reaction occurs in high-pressure subduction zones, places where one slab of Earth’s outer rocky shell slides beneath another…
http://phys.org/news/2014-04-mediterranean-marble-secrets-global-carbon.html

Arno Arrak

I still regard her as a reformer, a Martin Luther rather than Charles Darwin, of the warmist tribe. She has exquisite logic in pointing out numerous technical errors of the warmists but what she does not do is attack their basic doctrine, their raison d’etre that started with the Hansen theatrical in 1988. If you missed it or have forgotten it, Hansen’s senate hearing was deliberately scheduled for June 23rd, the warmest day in Wahington D.C. Not only that, but Senator Wirth, the chairman, went out at night before the hearing, opened all the windows in the hearing room, and disabled the air conditioner too. Next day everyone at the hearing, including Hansen himself, sweated profusely. But what was his argument that the greenhouse effect has been detected? He showed a rising temperature curve that went from 1880 to 1988, then pointed to its peak in 1988 and stated that this was the warmest day within the last 100 years. There was only a 1 percent chance that this could happen by chance alone, he said. And since chance had to be ruled out as a cause of this warming, it proved that “…global warming is now large enough that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship to the greenhouse effect.” This is it, and it is still statistical, not absolute proof. But this is not the worst of it. If you examine the temperature curve he submitted to the Senate you find that his “100 year warming” includes the early century warming that started in 1910, raised global temperature by half a degree, and then stopped on 1940. Not even IPCC has the nerve to use any warming before 1950 as greenhouse warming because of signal to noise problems. But the 1910 to 1940 warming is provably not greenhouse warming because of radiation laws of physics. You cannot start any enhanced greenhouse warming without simultaneously increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. And this did not happen in 1910. Likewise, you cannot stop it without removing the gas from the atmosphere, something we can be sure of did not happen in 1940. Because of these physical requirements we have to lop off the last sixty years before 1940 from Hanson’s 100 year warming curve. What is left of it after surgery is a temperature segment consisting of 25 years of cooling followed by 23 years of warming. No way can this be called proof of the existence of the greenhouse effect. Hansen just screwed up and thought he had discovered the greenhouse effect when actually he didn’t. No one else has discovered it either. It follows that the entire global warming establishment built upon Hansen’s great discovery has been venerating the emperor’s new clothes. It should take just a little child to point it out to them. Or a person not hypnotized by the one billion dollars a day this scam generates for THE CAUSE worldwide. I will deal with further consequences of this in a paper I am working on.

Jeff Alberts

“Facts are supposed to be true or false.”
Umm. if it’s false, how can it be a fact?

Paul Westhaver

There is Science and then there is politics.
Judith is a scientist trapped [in] a non-science world.
What a living hell.
Her good science and tempered approach is the right one, except the world is just politics and ego.
Keep saying the right thing Judith! The rest of us will roll in the muck with the lying jerks and keep them occupied with our rhetoric. I will never quit!

The only kind of “death train” that I know of is one without air-conditioning.
“Umm. if it’s false, how can it be a fact?”
There are such things as ‘false’ or negative facts. E.g. you cannot divide by zero.
There are also unknown facts (for lack of a better term). E.g. you cannot define the square root of -2.

Ben U.

Jeff Alberts says: April 22, 2014 at 7:21 pm

“Facts are supposed to be true or false.”
Umm. if it’s false, how can it be a fact?

Jeff, she means assertion of fact, give her a break.
Meanwhile, I renew my offer to her of penang curry, or any darned curry she likes – massaman, jungle, red, yellow, or even green.

PhilMcC

queue mosh drive-by…

John Slayton

In the 1990’s an educational movement known as “Whole Language” swept across the country. Claiming to be based on the latest science, it became mandated curriculum in California. Massachusetts was heading in the same direction, until some 40 Massachusetts professors of linguistics wrote to the state Commissioner of Education challenging the claims to scientific support. Their letter read, in part (my bold):
The authors of the draft Content Chapter claim that research on language supports their views of reading…These supposed developments in linguistic research are used as arguments for a
comparable view of reading. We are entirely unaware of any such shift in research.
We want to alert the educational authorities of Massachusetts to the fact that the view of language research presented in this document is inaccurate, and that the claimed consequences for reading instruction should therefore be subjected to serious re-examination.

Their letter and followup correspondence with the state agencies are online at:
http://listserv.aera.net/scripts/wa.exe?A2=ind9608E&L=aera-c&F=&S=&P=684
The result of the conversation was a modified proposal for the state framework, that, IMHO, may have kept Massachusetts from going off the deep end.
The climate ruckus might be deja vu all over again, but for one thing. The leaders in Massachusetts were willing to listen to scientific dissent. The leaders in Washington, not so much.

Bart

A Welch moment? We can only hope.

I do not read Luke warmer websites.

Thanks LH & Dr. Curry.
No issue more clearly demonstrates the absolute ideological manipulation of “news” by the legacy media.

TonG(ologist)

It does not matter whether Dr. A curry is a “warmist”. She is one of the handful of scientists in that discipline with enough integrity to call out her colleagues (and I use the term in n academic sense only). What she points out is that there is a large and growing credibility issue with science in general as a result of this entire debacle and it is larger and more far-reaching than even many scientists realize. Let me outline two problems I see.
First is this issue of fact and theory. The fact bit is OK as far as it goes. More specifically, a fact in science is an observable and reproducible condition which occurs in the natural world. All three components are necessary: the phenomenon can be observed/measured, and it can be reproduced by others, and it occurs in nature.
The issue of theory is a bit stickier. In science a theory is an overarching explanation of some component of the natural world which encompasses all facts (observations, measurements,etc). Theories are NOT hypotheses, or ideas, or estimates, or educated guesses. A theory is the highest form of organized thought and explanation for the various systems of the natural world. Gravity is a theory, in which the explanation we have is consistent with all of the facts. The Big Bang explanation is a theory which is also consistent with all observations. Evolution is a theory which explains all observations pertaining to biology. And so on… If in any of the disciplines mentioned above, and all others, an observation is made which is not consistent with the theory, it is the theory which is discarded and the observation (reproduced of course) remains.
We need to be clear about that distinction of theory vs hypothesis, idea, conceptual model… That is because science is under attack over ths very distinction in the evolution wars. Opponents of the teaching of evolution have the rallying cry of “only a theory” as if it is only a guess. The life scientists of the world are at constant warfare to avoid any hint that evolution is somehow a suspect idea. Their opponents are in the halls of Congress daily trying to convince legislators that the scientists are shoving an unproved guess down our children’s maws and undermining our societal values with godless science. So far, science has prevailed but only because of the establishment clause of the first amendment to the Constitution.
My amalgamated concern is that, once the emperor is revealed as having no clothes the anti-evolution crows is going to say: 1) “you see, scientists are really partisan advocates to their own narrow way of life, and 2) “you see, climate scientists use the word theory to mean an idea, an educated guess, so the narrow definition that evolutionists have been forcing on us over the years is false. Evolution really is ” just a theory.” Now we want if removed from school science curricula because it is not factual.
You might think me over reacting, but I have been involved in both battles in my time and have seen the lengths to which people who are truly anti scienc will go. What I find ironic is that evolutionary theorists such as blogger PZ Myers are adamant on the whole theory vs hypothesis idea AND they are also big catastrophic global warming supporters, but they don’t recognize that the entire CAGW concept is only a hypothesis and does not even approach theory. Yet they trumpet against climate skeptics in a clarion voice which will inevitably come back and bite them on the ass pretty damned hard.
Anyway, thank you Dr. Curry. Don’t let trivia statements here at WUWT about how you are ok but really just a warmist get to you. Rational, balanced thought with a consideration of all hypotheses and the dismissal of none without evidential elimination, is the only means to overcome the inertia of the hysterical, group think, juggernaut of CAGW. For those who state that Dr. Curry is still a warmist at heart, all I have to say is “stop being dogmatic and allow honest consideration of all hypotheses.” If you don’t, you are no better than our CAGW dogmatist adversaries.

Jeff Alberts

Karim D. Ghantous says:
April 22, 2014 at 7:37 pm
The only kind of “death train” that I know of is one without air-conditioning.
“Umm. if it’s false, how can it be a fact?”
There are such things as ‘false’ or negative facts. E.g. you cannot divide by zero.
There are also unknown facts (for lack of a better term). E.g. you cannot define the square root of -2.

Sorry, no. “You cannot divide by zero” is not false, it’s a true statement.
Maybe something else was meant by “Fact are supposed to be true or false”, if so, it’s a very sloppy statement.

rk

Prof. Curry is obviously one brave scientist that can weather the scorn of the alarmist crowd. The heart of the issue really is summarized by her ‘debate’ with Kevin Trenberth. She posted the slides from both her and Trenberth. Look at his. Just boilerplate Gore-ism, we’re gonna die, the Republicans did it. This is science? He even had the petulance to question her if she were a Denier. The stupid, it burns.
http://judithcurry.com/2014/04/11/curry-versus-trenberth/
But she has put on her armor and fights the good fight….no doubt exploding heads by favoring Steyn and others. I see now she’s RT’d Charles Murray. So she is playing the renegade. She’s got tenure and is going to use it.
Good job, Professor

pat

WOW! this is the most amazing CAGW sceptic interview ABC Australia has ever aired. read/watch it all.
VIDEO: 22 April: ABC Lateline: No evidence that man has caused warming
Maurice Newman, the chairman of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council (& former Chairman of both the Stock Exchange and the ABC) discusses climate change and says that there is little correlation between carbon dioxide and the warming of the planet.
TRANSCRIPT:
ABC’S EMMA ALBERICI: It’s no secret that you don’t agree that man-made CO2 is causing global warming. Given there is now consensus among 97 per cent or so of climate scientists across the world that the view – around the view that human activity is responsible for climate change, what would it take to convince you?
MAURICE NEWMAN: We know first of all that the survey which came out with the 97 per cent number was flawed in the first place. So we don’t pay any attention to that. What we do look at…
EMMA ALBERICI: There have been roughly three that have come up with that.
MAURICE NEWMAN: They all come up with flawed methodologies. So we don’t pay any attention to that. We know that there are a whole host of scientists out there who have a different point of view, who are highly respected, reputable scientists. So the 97 per cent doesn’t mean anything in any event because science is not a consensus issue…
MAURICE NEWMAN: What do we make about the pause?
EMMA ALBERICI: That it’s a pause. I guess that’s what scientists say. It’s a pause. They look back 800,000 years as I understand it, so 17 years in the scheme of things isn’t an enormous amount of time…
EMMA ALBERICI: So what if those 97 per cent of climate scientists and all business people across the world, like the likes of Bill Gates and Richard Branson and the miners here in Australia, what if they’re right and you and the scientists you quote are not right. Doesn’t it make sense to have a policy that at least transitions Australia to cleaner fuel sources?
MAURICE NEWMAN: Emma, let’s not confuse the issues. Cleaning the atmosphere, which is what carbon pollution is about, not CO2, CO2 is not a pollutant. But cleaning the atmosphere, being more efficient, all of that makes sense. That’s got nothing to do with climate. That’s to do with economics and being efficient…
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2014/s3990190.htm

David Ball

Dr. Curry, glad you have acknowledged the limitations in the science. One question; what the hell took you so long?

Larry Hamlin

Dr. Curry’s rational and comprehensive assessment of the flawed and distorted climate alarmist positions addressed in her essay’s is an extraordinary example of leadership and openness to objective scientific analysis free from the the political ideology which drives much of the alarmist agenda. Those who chose to try and divert her powerful message with misleading and trivial comments that completely fail to comprehend the major emphasis of her posts appear to be merely attempts at creating unwarranted distractions from her primary and completely justified message.

Richad Hill

has Kevin Trenberth made any comment about the debate?

TonG(ologist) says:
…I have been involved in both battles in my time and have seen the lengths to which people who are truly anti scienc will go. What I find ironic is that evolutionary theorists such as blogger PZ Myers are adamant on the whole theory vs hypothesis idea AND they are also big catastrophic global warming supporters, but they don’t recognize that the entire CAGW concept is only a hypothesis and does not even approach theory.
Excellent comment (among many others here). I would go farther, and point out that their belief is not even a hypothesis. It is only a conjecture — the first step in the hierarchy: Conjecture, Hypothesis, Theory, Law.
A conjecture is an opinion. It should be testable, but ‘catastrophic AGW’ is not testable. In fact, every CAGW prediction has turned out to be wrong.
When one side’s predictions are 100% wrong, then it is time to re-assess. We should not take the opinions of those who are always wrong, as fact. Prof Curry should defend the Scientific Method, at least to that extent.

William McClenney

Cross-posted from JC’s site:
William McClenney | April 22, 2014 at 11:45 pm | Reply
@JC: “This came up during my recent ‘debate’ with Kevin Trenberth. I argued that there are very few facts in all this”
Well, somewhere in all of that feldercarb is the fact that at the end of the last extreme interglacial, sea level, the ultimate arbiter of climate change, went somewhere between 1 to almost 2 orders of magnitude higher than the IPCC SRES A1F1 “worst case, business as usual” scenario of +0.59M above present-day MSL for the end of the last half-precession cycle old extreme interglacial.
http://www.350.me.uk/TR/Hansen/GlobalSeauow045009.pdf
http://lin.irk.ru/pdf/6696.pdf
If we are to separate the anthropogenic climate “signal” from the most recent end extreme interglacial (the Holocene?) climate “noise” then we are going to simply have to get our climate “signal” up an order of magnitude (or two), just to register as normal end extreme interglacial climate “noise”.
It would be good, of course, if we could ratchet the anthropogenic climate signal more than 2 orders of magnitude, just in case…… But we must also consider the last time we were at an eccentricity minimal; MIS-11, like we are now, at the half-precession old Holocene.
Of course, all that gets you is this:
http://www.researchgate.net/publication/240752030_A_sustained_21_m_highstand_during_MIS_11_(400_ka)_direct_fossil_and_sedimentary_evidence_from_Bermuda._Quaternary_Science_Reviews_28_271-285/file/9c96051c7177e8b1b2.pdf
The most recent major climate oscillation occurred at the mid-Brunhes, about ~400kya, when last we were at an eccentricity minima. For the past 4 or so eccentricity cycles we have experienced deeper lows and higher highs. Going back 2 ~400kyr cycles buys you the half-precession or so old interglacial known as MIS-19, during the mid Pleistocene Transition.
We will either “go long” like MIS-11 did, or we won’t, like MIS-19 didn’t.
The only climate mitigant proposed to date that might impede or delay onset of the next glacial is CO2. The proposal is before us to remove that speedbump to glacial inception.
Your considered opinions please.

Patrick

“pat says:
April 22, 2014 at 8:36 pm”
Interesting. I don’t usually watch any ABC programs here in Australia regarding climate change because they are almost always clearly biased in support of CAGW and “carbon pollution”. Far too many people here have been duped into believing CO2 is C (Carbon) the analogy used is that coal is carbon and coal is black and dirty therefore “carbon pollution” (CO2) is also black and dirty. We even had ads on TV with black coloured balloons popping out of the front panels of appliances and floating up into the sky, laughable!
Newman, Abbott and the LNP are constantly and publically ridiculed here too for their stance on CO2, climate change and any form of tax or ETS.
Great message from Dr. Curry. Is this the start of a landslide in similar statements from other climatologists, the beginning of the end of CAGW alarmism?

I am not a drone.

Doug

My only question is why there are not more of her type? A scientist needs to place the scientific method above all. I am more liberal than 97% of the fans of this board, but the scientist in me forces me to agree with most posts and be at odds with 97% of my friends on the topic of AWG.

noaaprogrammer

Jeff Alberts says:
“Sorry, no. ‘You cannot divide by zero’ is not false, it’s a true statement.”
Sorry Jeff, but the programming language C++ allows the following:
const float x = 1./0; // effectively assigns inf (infinity) to x
This allows the handy upper bound of infinity against which any (including the largest) real floating point representation on a machine can be compared for a running minimum as needed in various algorithms – for example Dijkstra’s Algorithm for computing minimum routes between a given node and all other nodes in a weighted graph.
(However C++ does not allow integer division by zero.)

The reason for all the hysterics and desire to use violence to “shut up” the “deniers” is that they are not making enough headway against fossil fuels to solve the “problem” they see as drastic. And of course, the real problem: all this was supposed to enrich government coffers with a big new tax. Instead, the Guv is going broke. They think that is because we have shaken people’s faith, but really it is because anti-energy greenies have crashed the American and EU economies so money for more taxes simply does not exist, no matter what people believe.

Dr. Curry observes that climate change skeptics skew old. She is correct. We oldsters who have obtained financial stability and whose professional careers have peaked, can consider the issues and data about climate and reach scientific conclusions without fear of negative impact on our financial and professional standing.
Younger scientists entire careers and their financial status hang in the balance. One skeptical statement can cost them everything.
The politicians who control the research funding are in total control. And the liberal biased, crisis loving media keeps the climate alarmist politicians in total control of all levels of government.
I, like Dr. Curry, cheer when a significant young person publicly questions the climate change crisis. However, the most common position of younger, non-scientist activists is based on reasoning that even if our use of fossil fuels and the resulting increase in CO2 in the atmosphere is not causing a climate crisis, the alternate green energy movement and the limitations in atmospheric and ocean pollution that result form a reduction in oil and coal production, processing the energy production is environmentally responsible. Therefore they lend their support to the climate change alarmists agenda. Correcting the bad science of CO2 pollution is not a significant issue with them.
What an awful state of affairs.
Dr. Curry please continue to try to reach out to the younger generation. You are on my list of heroes.

Judith Curry is not so much criticising “climate science” as “consensus science” – this is science by committee, science whose only standard is “buddy review”. She is criticising the idea that has grown amongst many academics that peer review is the be-all and end-all of “science” and that if these omnipotent academics proclaim that “we should all recycle” … then this is “science”.
This is in sharp contrast to what I term “skeptic science”, the kind of science most skeptics were taught at school and university. This is science based on the “skeptic method” (formerly known as scientific method – but now little used in many areas of science).
Judith very clearly articulates this difference where she criticised climate/consensus science for : “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 have described Skeptic science as a “tyranny of the facts”. Perhaps more accurately it is a “tyranny of observation”. Because a skeptic scientist would never consider a model at all validated unless & until it is able to predict the facts & observation. Moreover, a skeptic scientist could never assert as “science” anything that is not thoroughly backed by careful observation and tested hypothesis.
But lastly – before anyone replies as they might that “science is skeptic science”, unfortunately, science is just a word, and society has chosen to apply it to a social group largely of academics who have chosen to use that word to apply to their work irrespective of whether it uses the skeptic method.
These academics are the “guardians of science”. We skeptics might not like their standards and might want them to be higher, but when society is asked to chose between the definition of “consensus science” that is now prevalent or that of “skeptic science” which we would like, unfortunately I cannot see our view prevailing.

I have watched Dr. Curry’s evolution from a scientifically rigorous bemusement with the difficulties and uncertainties in climate science to a scientifically rigorous outrage at the clown show being staged by “the team”. It is not any particular distortion, nor any specific tantrum on the part of little Mikey and his pals; rather it has been the recognition that The Team” is uninterested in science as an honourable, honest practice.
Were I in Mann’s slippers or if I brought politics to the science table I would be very, very afraid of Dr. Curry’s intelligence; but I would be downright terrified of her clear eyed integrity in defence of the science she has devoted her life to.

Paul Westhaver says:
There is Science and then there is politics.
Science is simply a brand name like “Heinz” or “Coca Cola” or “Penn State University”. Such brand names are endowed with a public perception from years of vigorous PR. Like many brands, “Science” has been portrayed as some kind of statement of honesty and integrity. But like any brand, when the PR doesn’t match the produce being delivered the brand looses credibility.
We skeptics clearly want “science” to be a very robust standard; one which is far higher than many of those working under the brand name “science”.
Unfortunately, we have no control over the standards within “science” because it is effectively a club – one into which you are admitted by being assessed by a committee of members in what they call “peer review”. This is the rules of their club. This club sets the standards of “science”, we skeptic do not.
However, there are many scientists who still want to adhere to the standards of skeptic science. I think we should concentrate far less on trying to change what we clearly cannot: so no longer should we say “science isn’t … science”, and instead should start saying we want government advisors to work to the stand of “skeptic science” and not the present [consensus] science.
So I would prefer we see a spectrum of certainty.
Politics – assertions are true if they cannot be proven false and some agree.
Pseudo science (like economics) – careful observation and a lot of speculation and peer review gives more credibility but often not.
[consensus] science – assertions that may or may not be backed by evidence and test, but which a “consensus” of scientists agree to.
Skeptic science – assertions have to be backed by evidence and hypothesis testing and in which consensus (democracy( plays no part because it is an anti-democratic “tyranny of the facts”.

NikFromNYC

Comic relief: remember just before Climategate, Mann’s Atlantic hurricane hockey stick in Nature that referenced the medieval warm period for support and included not even a list of what sea surface temperature proxies were used, but did reference an unpublished paper by one M. Mann, and this paper was followed by an Al Gore effect of a record lull in hurricane activity continuing to the present.

Rhys Jaggar

Climate Science is about to undergo the modern equivalent of ‘The Reformation’ and Judith Curry is one of the more outspoken dissenters aka the Methodists, Baptists, Lutherans, Quakers etc etc etc.
There will be victims and sacrificial lambs – there always are in these kind of situations.
There may also be geographies which revert to power-based faith rather than data-driven science, just as the Reformation left certain catholic countries relatively or completely untouched.
The real question is whether it will take a break-up of the United Nations to stop this runaway train of climate alarmism and, if so, which nations of sufficient clout will cecede to trigger the reforms necessary?

the person who stays with the facts wherever they lead is the scientist.
A scientist is not afraid of divergences but interested in them.
The main divergence right now is between what academia claims its does [science] and what it really does [politics].

In-depth studies, carried out over the last 45 seconds, confirm there is a direct link between the climate and politics.
Both climate and politics change over time !! A fact confirmed in the afore mentioned in-depth study.
“Man” is the main cause of all political change, therefore “Man” is the main cause of climate change.
The climate is seen as a problem if a particular political party is in power, whereas there is no problem at all to be see with the climate if the opposite party is at the helm.
So, the simplest way to solve any climate problems is to keep that party “who see no problems”, in power.
Not only will this save the Earth from certain destruction, it will save a lot of money in the national budget as there’ll be no need for climate science committees, reports, analysis, action etc.
Prior to the 45 second in-depth study, a cartoon was created, which may, or may not, conflict with the theme of the above summary.
That climate change cartoon is here . . . . . . . .
http://cartoonmick.wordpress.com/editorial-political/#jp-carousel-775
Cheers
Mick

Rhys Jaggar says: Climate Science is about to undergo the modern equivalent of ‘The Reformation’
I’ve said before that the internet is about to do to “science” and academia in general what printing did to the catholic church.
For years, the almost unquestioned right to say what “knowledge” is has been retained by academia. It has jealously guarded this right and by monarchical and then government patronage, it has maintained a special position as omnipotent “expert”.
Printing dramatically reduced the cost of conveying information. The result was that no longer were the costs so prohibitive that only one institution (the catholic church) could afford the costs of collecting and conveying information. Printing so reduced the costs that all kinds of institutions and many of the richer members of society could now afford to have their own libraries and even to regularly publish material in “newspapers”.
However, whilst the costs of printing have slowly reduced, the conveyance of information was still largely retained by the big institutions: Universities, News Papers, Government, Big corporate book sellers.
Then along came the internet …
Suddenly, someone like me can sit down with a cup of coffee and someone like you can read what I say. It costs be little more than my time, and it cost you little more either.
Now the costs of conveying information have been revolutionised, and that now means that individuals like you and me are on an equal footing to even the most grandiose academic.
…. And do they hate it!!
Because for years, what counts for “knowledge” by these academics has been a lopsided, highly politicalised view in which e.g. “carbon credits” were advocated in the same way the old catholic church advocated “indulgences”.
For years, academics have been able to portray themselves as “the highest of standards” and “the best experts” … because no INSTITUTIONAL newspaper was going to criticise another INSTITUTIONAL university based on the say so of some individuals like us skeptics.
However, now their dirty laundry can be openly discussed by us here … and no journalist, no university and certainly no government can stop us revealing the appalling standards which are endemic in some areas of academia.
But just as the catholic church was certainly not all bad – nor do I believe all academics are bad – but will that save them if they don’t reform?

Niff says: “..and we sceptics are accused of denying the science…?
Back in the 1980s I worked in a heavily unionised company which was full of demarcation disputes. One day we in R&D were given a new office. We duly packed up everything … and then sat and sat and sat. Eventually after several hours waiting, we commandeered a trolley and took the key boxes and a coat stand … along past the production floor … to the the new office.
Well, obviously all hell broke loose. We weren’t in the right union for pulling boxes! So very quickly the “trolley pulling” union demanded a senior level management meeting with the main trade unions it was agreed that we would take them back.
So we put the coat stand and an empty box on the trolley and took them back (leaving the boxes we needed for our work).
We skeptics are not “denying science”, instead “science” is a social construct, or in this terms a “social boundary” demarcating an area of work “belonging” to a certain social group. So, what we are actually being accused of is “treading over the boundary” in that we are saying things which academics believed was their “job”.
So, given that this is a boundary dispute between academics and “outsiders”, just like that union dispute in the company, it isn’t very surprising that recently some climate scientists threatened to “go on strike”.
And so we should see the use of “the denier”” term as much a reference to “denying Christ twice”, in that skeptics are denying the divine omnipotence of climate scientists.
And this I believe is why the vitriol has been so free flowing from academia toward us skeptics. Because for us to assert our right to free speech and say anything about the climate, is deemed by those in academia who used to be omnipotent as a denial of their authority particularly because we are all so well educated and reasonable in what we say. That is undermining their legitimacy as the unquestioned authority on this subject.
And of course they’ve done the equivalent of “go and speak to the management to insist we take our coat stand back from whence it came” … but neither the “management” nor academia nor any of their friends have the power of legitimacy to stop us.