Climate Rationalization, Beliefs and Denialism

The integrity of our most important tool for understanding is being destroyed and it’s time to recognize and address it.

Guest essay by Walter Starck

integrity[1]
We humans have a remarkable ability to rationalize whatever benefits us personally or that we find satisfying emotionally. Climate change has found strong resonance with different interests for different reasons. For researcher it offers generous funding, recognition and personal importance. For the media it is dramatic stories. For politicians it’s green votes and popularity. For the financial sector it promises huge profits. For businesses there is the prospect of getting in early on booming growth plus the added bonus of attractive subsidies. For activists it affords attention and donations. For bureaucrats it’s authority and budgets. For everyone it also promises a hard to resist sense of importance and moral righteousness.

Of all the areas of human endeavor science has been uniquely successful in establishing the preeminence of empirical evidence and logical consistency to limit our tendency to self-serving rationalization and our capacity to believe six impossible things before breakfast. The greatest danger of Climate Change is not the threat of climate itself or the socioeconomic consequences of our delusions. These risks are limited compared to the damage being done to the integrity of the most effective tool we have to better understand our world and to continue to improve our lives.

The now endemic corruption of science that has been engendered under the banner of climate change could be easily and effectively addressed by the establishment of a science court resourced to investigate and make determinations on prima facie instances of scientific misconduct. The most appropriate penalty might also be to simply disqualify offenders from any further public funding. This would largely avoid the risk of witch hunts or whitewashes and only a few convictions could effect a miracle cure on the malaise now epidemic in environmental research.

Some argue that true believers will only take the same points and argue they apply to skeptics – i.e. it is skeptics who are the ones rationalizing irrational disbelief and using false evidence to justify an emotional attachment to a contrary belief.

In response I argue that no amount of reason or evidence will convince a true believer to change their mind. Fortunately they are a minority and a majority of the public are unconvinced and receptive to counter arguments. Committed alarmists will of course try to use the “you too” tactic but this is generally recognized as a weak response only resorted to when sound opposing argument is lacking.  That there is abundant evidence for skepticism while that for DAGW is far less and more uncertain is a verifiable fact which deserves more emphasis.  Despite their huge advantage in funding, media support and political influence, opinion polls clearly indicate alarmists have already lost the public majority and the trend is ongoing.  They can say what they want but it is obvious neither the public nor climate itself is being convinced.

In terms of scientific rationale and supporting evidence, climate alarmism  involves far more denial than does skepticism. The only way one could honestly conclude differently would be to be blissfully unaware of the hundreds of robust peer reviewed studies which refute or bring into serious doubt virtually every important claim by the proponents of DAGW. In this regard it might be more accurate to discard the deliberately pejorative label of climate change denial and call it the Natural Climate Variability hypothesis. If those who introduced the use of denialism in this matter wish to continue with it they might more honestly apply it to their own position as deniers of Natural Climate Variability.

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197 thoughts on “Climate Rationalization, Beliefs and Denialism

  1. What ever happened to catastrophic? By accepting their name changes we are playing their game by their rules.

    • Yes, the alarmists have already gotten away with changing it from “global warming” to “climate change.” And now we see that any unusual weather event or pattern is being blamed on “climate change.”
      The latest example was hurricane Patricia. One media outlet after another couldn’t resist statements like…. “this could be the new normal for hurricanes as global temperatures rise.” It was delicious irony, however, when Patricia fell apart. The alarmists are still shaking their heads over that one.
      Any storm, drought, or flood is now “evidence” of the growing threat of a supposed “man-made climate disaster” bearing down on us. A whole generation of children has been subjugated by this way of thinking now.
      It will be hard to overcome that.

      • Every event is reducible to being caused by climate change or at least that is the way I read some of the alarmist press. I tend to call the DAGW folks the pro global warming folks.

    • “What ever happened to catastrophic?”

      The ‘C’ and ‘A’ are both gone. It’s now assumed that any warming, or any change for that matter, is caused exclusively by Man. You have to give them props for their marketing prowess.

      • No, they’re not gone, nor will they disappear, because a group of skeptics here has been onto to the name-changing, goal-post-moving tactics and antics of the PR dept. of the Green Blob from day one.

    • Yes. That point has been made here at WUWT many times. At times, some skeptics seem willing to help the alarmists move the goalposts.

    • “What on Earth is happening that it has come to this?”

      Lying, cheating stealing, manipulating, etc. etc. Why anyone would think such things have passed away is beyond me. Lumping such things in with “bias” is itself a symptom of blossoming psychopathy (which is my short answerr to your question).

    • Or perhaps it’s just a letter thing… They got tired of creating real names so now we have CAGW, DAGW, EAGW… Wake me when we get to ZAGW.

      • OT, but you made me think of it. There used to be a computer language called BCPL. Then one day someone made a better language called B. Shortly after, the defects of B became apparent so they introduced C. Then folk wondered “Are they going through the alphabet letter-by-letter, or are they spelling out the letters of BCPL – so will the next language be D or P?”
        But it turned out to be C++. Oh well!

    • Yeah? Catastrophic AGW always worked for me. D=?
      Drastic
      Damaging
      Despicable
      Dreaded
      Detestable
      Diabolical
      Demonic
      Disagreeable
      Disastrous

    • The author offers no explanation that I could find for his DAGW acronym, which he introduces with this sentence:

      “That there is abundant evidence for skepticism while that for DAGW is far less and more uncertain is a verifiable fact which deserves more emphasis.”

      Hmmm…I think he may be on to something, if only we knew what DAGW stands for.

    • DAGW? What does it stand for? Along with all the other bewildered commenters, I wonder, too. At first I thought it was a typo–a mere finger slip to the upper left of “C” on the qwerty keyboard. But, then Starck repeats the acronym. So that explanation gets tossed.

      All of which leads to the bigger question and comment. One of the personally infuriating practices of WUWT is allowing articles to be published with undefined acronyms. Otherwise interesting articles, suddenly start to make no sense, and the puzzled reader is left standing in the dust unable to follow what the author is trying to say. Over time, I eventually found the “glossary” which helped a lot.

      I still think it would be courteous and a lot more user-friendly to require authors to define acronyms when they first appear in the text. Yes, I concede, maybe a few acronyms are “so well known” that they can be given a pass. But really, how many acronyms are there in any given article that would make this courtesy onerous? WUWT has an extensive readership with a wide range of familiarity with the jargon.

      Also, consider that articles in WUWT are often linked to by other sites and anything that would make an article more accessible would go a long way in promoting the skeptical message. I suspect less knowledgeable readers will not have the persistence to try to figure out the message and they are likely to become turned-off andthrow up their hands in disgust. Furthermore, it gives ammunition to critics to dismiss the message and the site quality.

      As to DAGW, I’m not sure how it got past the site editior(s) without question. I know it isn’t true, but In this case,It almost seems as if the article hadn’t been read.

  2. Reblogged this on Centinel2012 and commented:
    A good summary of where we are but we are way to late to stop this match to the cliff the damage is now done as this December at COP21 a new climate treaty will be proposed, a draft version is available http://paristext2015.com/, and it will be sent to the UN and will be approved as has the support of the Pope and Obama.

    In my opinion, the best we can hope for now is as the pause should continue until 2035, by my calculations, that we might me able to blame this travesty on the politicians more then the scientists.

    • Gaining the support of the Pope was a most important element in the climate change affair. Very many well-meaning people will accept the word of the Pope over scientific information.

      It’s easier to sell sustainability than to sell global warming to the public.

  3. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

    The problem with creating a science court is you create a concentration of authority, the inevitable corruption of which will do enormous damage to the integrity you are trying to protect.

    In computer science this is a familiar scenario – the effort to corrupt a source of authority is proportional to the importance of that authority. We’ve learned through bitter experience not to put all the eggs in one basket.

    • Exactly right. What’s required is a wider jury.

      It requires science to be broadcast to the general (interested) public. Enough curious eyes will soon discern the difference between the possible, improbable and downright silly.

      The internet will save us from the narrow-mindedness of arts graduate journalists.

    • Absolutely correct the problem now is that public financing of universities has made them political tools, we don’t need more government oversight we need less government involvement in the universities, they need to exist in the real world of competition and accountability not in the world of unlimited resources provided by the government and the total lack of accountability that comes with it.

    • Anyone righteous and impartial enough to make a good impartial judge on such a court would never be able to get to the position. Even the US Supreme Court only works due to deliberately opposing views created by a fierce approval process and alternating administrations appointing justices.

      Trying to make a giant court with that kind of authority will be making an inquisition.

      I’d rather have monsters like Wakefield running loose than risk having unpopular science be banned

      • . . . “monsters like Wakefield” . . ???

        Please explain, I know of nothing at all monstrous about the man . . I hear him spoken of that way by people who seem to believe that as long as you put a label that says ‘vaccine’ on a vile, it’s magically made safe to inject into everyone . . some sort of cult of incantation or something, as far as I can tell.

    • Courts will never prevail in the war of ideas. They will simply become irrelevant. Starck’s notion has the all to familiar ring of UN efforts to codify and judge all kinds of nonsense. No… Science will just have to reclaim the lost ground, the public will have to become more informed, and here’s the thing: they have to do it voluntarily which is why WUWT is so valuable.

    • I agree. A science court would be anti-science, allowing for appeal to authority. A “method review board” might be okay if it limited it’s investigations to whether proper scientific method was applied. But even that is dangerous since many of the papers that “support” CAGW use language like, “might be,” or “could be.” I think a concerted effort to make the major journals reject highly speculative papers might be a better approach. They, like the mainstream media, also profit from alarmism.

    • Eric, what also would be a problem is when they have their ‘Kangaroo Justice Department’ to cover for them, and it never gets to the Court. Kinda like this story.

      The Justice Department declined to file charges against IRS enforcer Lois Lerner, who singled out Tea Party groups for scrutiny on political grounds. With no accountability, it’s now open season on dissidents.

      Is there anyone out there subject to an Internal Revenue Service audit or a multiyear delay in approval for tax-exempt status who won’t be concerned that the process is politically rigged against them?

      That’s the message the Justice Department sent when, in a classic Friday night news dump, it decided to not file charges against IRS tax-exempt groups chief Lois Lerner. In a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, Justice said that while it found “mismanagement, poor judgment and inertia,” there was no case for a criminal prosecution.

      This is absurd. Lerner was caught red-handed targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups, wrote partisan emails to prove it, then engaged in a massive cover-up effort — with a suspiciously crashed server, an oddly missing BlackBerry and plenty of excuses.

      Read More At Investor’s Business Daily: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/102315-777241-irs-lois-lerner-skates-but-an-ugly-precedent-is-set.htm#ixzz3pgOJPzti

  4. This observation also applies to the social sciences, including economics. It’s fed by stupid phrases like “the party of science.” In reality the Dems are not even close to being the party of science, science is apolitical. The Dems are the party of technology and technocrats. They grab on to technologies and pass them off as science to non-critical thinkers. At the same time much of academia has simply immersed itself in technology-related-to-social-cause rather than scientific thinking.

    There are some pretty good books on this, including the Flight from Science and Reason, edited by Gross, Levitt and Lewis. It’s not a leisurely read, but it’s very worthwhile.

    And thanks Dr. Starck and the Heartland Institute for this arcticle

    • Agreed, I’m seeing many people who don’t seem to know the difference between engineering and science.

      • There is no such thing as “Science.” There are only individual fields of study, some of which deserve being called sciences, and others arguably not. They don’t truly fit into one overarching category because the methodologies and criteria for what count as valid findings vary so greatly among them. (A cynic might suggest that people who do research in physics versus those in psychology may not even be from the same planet.)

        The panorama can be taxonomized as follows. First divide the fields of study into: A-the natural or physical sciences; and B-the social sciences. Then divide the natural sciences to separate: A1-those concerned with homogeneous entities and deterministic (at least in the aggregate) relationships; from A2-the ones that deal with chaotic processes (like climatology).

        Most of the progress in knowledge and technology comes from the A1 category. Although researchers in the other categories would like you to think they are making comparable contributions to society, they are not.

        But you can take this even further. Throughout history much of the progress initially came from the tinkerers, inventors and engineers. The relevant sciences were discovered or substantially elaborated after the fact to understand why the things they created actually worked. The Romans built great aqueducts 2000 years ago and the church produced grand cathedrals in the Middle Ages before materials science was developed. “The era of the steam engine … was well into its second century before a fully formed science of thermodynamics had been developed.” http://spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/tech-careers/engineering-is-not-science

        And unlike science, replication is not an issue in engineering. You may be able to get away with “scientific findings” that can’t be reproduced, but not with a product that fails.

  5. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Climate Change – ‘Don’t leave home without it’…

    “For researcher it offers generous funding, recognition and personal importance. For the media it is dramatic stories. For politicians it’s green votes and popularity. For the financial sector it promises huge profits….”

  6. “Some argue that true believers will only take the same points and argue they apply to skeptics – i.e. it is skeptics who are the ones rationalizing irrational disbelief and using false evidence to justify an emotional attachment to a contrary belief.”

    Ok, good point. That had occured to me. What is the answer?
    “In response I argue that no amount of reason or evidence will convince a true believer to change their mind…”
    Er, that does not address the question of how we know it is the alarmists, not the skeptics, that are rationalising disbelief. It could apply to either.

    “…Fortunately they are a minority and a majority of the public are unconvinced and receptive to counter arguments.”
    Er, that is the fallacy of appeal to popularity. Most people think X, therefore X is true.

    “Committed alarmists will of course try to use the “you too” tactic but this is generally recognized as a weak response only resorted to when sound opposing argument is lacking.” I don’t know what this means. but it does not address the point. Could be a straw man – i.e. proposing a weak argument as the one the alarmists would propose, then knocking it down. I think committed alarmists would point to the evidence rather than use the “you too” tactic.

    “That there is abundant evidence for skepticism while that for DAGW is far less and more uncertain is a verifiable fact which deserves more emphasis.” Begging the question. This assumes the conclusion is right in order to make the conclusion that the alarmists are wrong. It is also factually wrong, as there is a vastly more abundant literature that supports AGW than refutes it.

    “The only way one could honestly conclude differently would be to be blissfully unaware of the hundreds of robust peer reviewed studies which refute or bring into serious doubt virtually every important claim by the proponents of DAGW.”
    A there are many thousands of robust peer reviewed papers saying the opposite, simply being aware of the hundreds that argue against AGW is not enough to be convincing on its own. This is begging the question again. The conclusion must be right for the argument to work.

    This does not address that important question at all. I am not saying here that AGW is wrong or right, just that this article does not further the argument that it is wrong.

    • WE don’t have to prove it wrong; empirical data, not computer models, can prove it right, or wrong.
      Published studies prove nothing.

    • In the end facts trump belief.

      The problem is that we have used science and real dedication to real facts to construct a society in which the vast majority of people survive (and via socialism, prosper) to breeding age (Darwin’s Criterion) without ever needing to encounter reality or a fact.

      Imagine if the requirement to own an I-thing were to pass a basic examination in quantum physics, material science, electronic construction and software engineering…

      • Imagine if the requirement to vote was to pass a basic examination in Civics and Government.
        CAGW is no more and no less a creature of government funding. If you would clean up the mess, you must first fix the source of the mess.

      • “In the end facts trump belief.”

        But … “For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don’t believe, no proof is possible.” ― Stuart Chase

      • “In the end facts trump belief.”

        Unfortunately, in investigations of complex phenomena, there are always facts that appear to support any given hypothesis, while there are others which contradict most of them, and you get cafeteria-style science, where dishonest or inept researchers pick and choose which facts to focus on, and which to ignore.

        Without a firm commitment to fundamental integrity, science is rendered arbitrary. What we need isn’t a Court, per se, but a Constitution. Fundamental principles for accepting or rejecting a given hypothesis need to be codified.

        The entire AGW scam is almost entirely built upon a foundation of well cataloged logical fallacies, ad verecundiam, ad populum, ad ignorantiam – you name it. The proponents have left no logical fallacy behind. Said Constitution would provide prohibit these fallacies from being considered in evidence.

      • “In the end facts trump belief.”

        That’s an irrational statement to me. What one can rightly call facts, make belief, it seems blatantly obvious to me. Isn’t that what they do in you?

        But it seems to me a great many who fancy themselves scientific minded, are not, because they have abandoned basic reasoning in favor of authority worship, what to me is “man worship”. And some men have declared that belief is wrong/dopey, and a great many extremely gullible people have accepted this (to me) utterly insane gibberish.

        What good would facts even be, if they did not result in belief?

    • True, my friend. I agree, we must always be aware that the principles of self-deception run both ways and that we are not immune to such biases.

      However, I think that you are asking too much of a single article. There are many arguments against catastrophe and panic on this site, and many more elsewhere. A single page to state a point cannot and should not try to make the entire case by itself.

      • Bart

        “Without a firm commitment to fundamental integrity, science is rendered arbitrary. What we need isn’t a Court, per se, but a Constitution. Fundamental principles for accepting or rejecting a given hypothesis need to be codified.”

        The Supreme Court uses Daubert to weigh the validity of a scientific opinion. It’s not perfect, but is a good point of departure. They did weigh in on CO2 and revisiting this decision is critical.

        Plenty of cites to dive into if you want to read what they wrote. Folks here probably already know it.

        Perhaps it’s time to improve on Daubert?

    • Seaice said, “It is also factually wrong, as there is a vastly more abundant literature that supports AGW than refutes it.” You moved the goal post.

      Few informed skeptics deny Anthropogenic Global Warming, they, like me, only doubt that it will be bad or dangerous. There are only two lines of evidence supporting dangerous warming, a rapid rise in global temperature in the 1980’s and 1990’s, which is as likely to be natural as not, particularly given the facts that the warming stopped after about 1998 and, if we look at the satellite record all the warming actually occurred in the great El Niño of 1998. An El Niño does not add heat to the system, it just releases to the atmosphere heat that was stored in the ocean.

      The other line of evidence is the climate models but they don’t constitute scientific evidence unless they show predictive skill, and the only models with predictive skill are those that show very little warming. So little that it could not possibly have a negative effect on the biosphere that we are a part of. Sea levels are rising and glaciers are melting but they have been doing that for hundreds of years and there is no evidence of any acceleration.

    • Seaice….you keep talking about AGW….please be more specific. There are twice as many humans occupying earth than 50 years ago, each person putting out more heat and running more engines, motors, etc. Is that the AGW you are talking about?

      Do you mean nominal AGW?
      Do you mean meaningful AGW?
      Do you mean catastrophic AGW?
      Do you mean ‘fossil fuel’ warming only?
      Do you mean CO2 caused warming only?
      Do you mean Carbon caused warming only?

      What is AGW for you?

      Please more specific than just AGW.

    • seaice. It only takes one verifiable, observed fact to kill a thousand peer reviewed papers. The amount vs. the amount is not relevant.

    • Seaice said, “I….. there is a vastly more abundant literature that supports AGW than refutes it.”

      Follow the money.

    • “It is also factually wrong, as there is a vastly more abundant literature that supports AGW than refutes it. ”

      Since most of the rest of your arguments about logic are pretty good, I suggest for consideration that AGW is not confirmed merely by the amount of literature that has been purchased to support it.

      “I am not saying here that AGW is wrong or right”

      It looked to me like you are doing exactly that. But I’ll grant that perhaps you, like me, would like an answer and would like it to be convincing and uncontaminated by politics or even the confirmation bias of well-funded global warming research that found exactly what it was looking for.

      • Agree. My reading suggests that 700 years ago there was ‘vastly more abundant literature that supports a flat earth than refutes it.”

  7. While I like the idea of an unbiased court of scientific objectivity, I am concerned that there could
    be a litmus test for appointment which actually could be used to further slow the publics understanding of the facts. A robust open forum is the best tool.

  8. The now endemic corruption of science that has been engendered under the banner of climate change could be easily and effectively addressed by the establishment of a science court resourced to investigate and make determinations on prima facie instances of scientific misconduct. . . . [O]nly a few convictions could effect a miracle cure on the malaise now epidemic in environmental research.

    Wouldn’t it be great to live in the parallel universe where solving the problem is that easy?

  9. Excellent essay, especially the opening paragraph in which you point out the attraction of AGW for so many groups. You could add professional doom-mongers to that list.

    • Exactly. I was writing a more deep essay – never completed – tilted ‘Convenient Lies’

      AGW has been a hugely convenient lie for so many people…

  10. As a Chemistry professor I an continually amazed how students and who know nothing of science come into class actually telling me that I am stupid because they know more about global warming and, of course, anthropogenic global warming is a certifiable fact. I have argued with huge numbers of people in person and on the internet about global warming. In virtually every case, these are people with little to no education past the 12th grade, could not tell the difference between empirical evidence and hand waving, logic vs. wishful thinking, causal vs, casual evidence, and/or opinion vs. ignorance. The truly horrifying part of all of this is that they believe they are completely correct, that anyone who disagrees is an idiot, and no contrary opinion should ever be allowed. How has this country become so arrogant while being so stupid?

    • You’re seeing the power the “argument from authority” has over people’s minds, Cleetus.

      With such, I usually start the erosion by asking the same question one asks a science seminar speaker: ‘How do you know?‘ Make them defend their opinion. Just keep asking.

      Eventually, unless they walk away, such people will discover for themselves that they don’t know what they’re talking about.

      Self-discovery of ignorance is a far more powerful inducer of introspection than an external disproof.

      By the way, one of my brothers is associated with a California State University. Fully 50% of the entering students are not up to educational speed and require remedial work before they can enter college-level courses. The wages of social promotion. The stupidity and arrogance you notice are symptomatic of the socially cultivated ignorance now rampant in primary and secondary education.

      • Bravo

        “Self-discovery of ignorance is a far more powerful inducer of introspection than an external disproof.”

        Some call it the flashlight technique. It’s a gee whiz sort of thing. All humans are biased. ALL. Is there any one of us who are so evolved that we didn’t have to learn some very important things the so called “hard way” ?

        Critical thinking is a tool. Self awareness to your own pattern of bias is the journey. You can’t see others if you don’t see yours. If your lucky, you learn a few things and then you die.

    • “How has this country become so arrogant while being so stupid?”

      Which country do you mean by “this country”? The Internet is an international forum, so unless you specify the country you mean, “this country” tells us nothing.

  11. “The integrity of our most important tool for understanding is being destroyed and it’s time to recognize and address it.”

    That is a statement that is very true and applies to much more than just the debate over the “evil CO2”. From our personal lives to our work lives, we must be honest. Humanity is not blessed with physical attributes for survival like most of the animal kingdom. We don’t even have fur to keep us warm. We live by our brains and we have civilization to store knowledge for the next generation. We must be able to trust the knowledge that we are given. Each individual can not start at zero and personally prove every fact of life. We must be able to trust some people.

    For a while there, we could trust the scientific method since the idea was to try our best to disprove any hypothesis. We would run experiments set up to disprove our own ideas. We worked hard not to fool ourselves or anyone else. That seems to be gone now. Long gone.

    • I think you are looking back with rose-tinted glasses on a past that never existed. It was always like this, with many competing interests all looking to make a quick buck or name for themselves, rushing from one popular thing to the next.

      Remember Freudian psychology and the nightmare of “repressed memories”, where psychologists concocted fictional abuse through abuse of their psyche? Then got people sent to prison over it?
      Routine lobotomies of troublesome children?
      Cold fusion?

      The world isn’t going to heck in a handbasket. It’s always been troubled, and pretending that we are universally worse in scientific integrity is just as bad as pretending that we’ve never had a drought or storm before.

      • Right you are. Do you recall the incident in Washington State a few years ago in which a number of people were sent to prison based on the testimony of children who were prepped by the social services folks? I couldn’t believe that any rational person, not to mention Attorneys General, would believe such nonsense as (for example) cannibalism. Geeze. Where do we get these idiots. Oh, yes, now I recall. Public education from grade one through law school.

        JImInHouston

    • “We must be able to trust the knowledge that we are given.”

      I disagree. We should never trust and should subject everything to, at least, a simple smell test. I would never take a prescribed medicine, or make a recommend investment, without spending at least an hour or two researching both sides of the issue.

    • I used to believe that all universities educated their students within history of science, logic and scientific methods. Now – I get this creeping feeling that it is possible, at many universities, to achieve a university degree and even become a professor without such education.

      Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.
      – Edmund Burke

  12. I saw an interesting lecture recently in which it was stated that peer review used to happen AFTER papers were published, and the current system was promoted by the federal government around 1950 so government could steer researchers in the direction they wanted things to go.

    Currently, authors have to get their papers past a group of colleagues, any of whom may have personal reasons for stopping their publication. In addition to discriminating against ideas and conclusions (instead of scrutinizing data and methods), this has led to the belief that papers that get published must be “true” because they have been expertly approved. It’s also led to the deception that popularly published theories become facts by the weight of their supporting paperwork.

    Of course, that’s absurd. Richard Feynman lectured that scientist just guess and test, and that the validity of their theories had nothing to do with their fame, titles, institutions or numbers. And Karl Popper said that false theories were the most valuable BECAUSE of the vast amount of data and research that was generated by people trying in vain to validate them.

    In order to restore science, journals need to remove the ideological firewalls and return to the days when editors simply tried to ascertain whether basic standards and methodologies were followed, and then publish the damn papers and let the worldwide scientific community peer review the research.

    • Your comment prompted me to have a look, and it is likely that peer review became much me widespread after the invention of the photocopier in 1959! Before this it was just too difficult to distribute copies to several people. Peer review certainly existed before then, going back at least to 1750’s in some form, but mostly editors rather than reviewers made the choice about publication.

      By the 1960’s the number of papers and the number of specialisms had grown to such an extent that editors could not possibly make informed choices about publications, so expert reviewers were used, the photocopier making it possible. This became the peer review process we are familiar with today.

      There are problems with the process today. I personally think that the author as well as the reviewer should be anonymous. That way the referee has to look at the quality of the work, not just put it through (or reject it) based on reputation. However it is not possible to go back to editor based choices as there are just too many and too diverse papers.

      Open access publications could publish everything submitted, and we could use citations as a system of review. Papers that did not get cited would simply disappear.

      • seaice,

        There is no doubt that the velocity of information increased with the invention of the photocopier, but the same thing happened with the invention of computers and then the Internet. And that’s all part of an evolution that started when chisels gave way to quills, which gave way to printing presses.

        But if peer reviewer’s stop ideas they dislike from ever being published in the first place, the velocity of whatever the current technology is irrelevant.

      • seaice,

        Speaking of the velocity of information, wasn’t it Confucius who said:

        “Ideas that don’t get published get nowhere fast.”

      • Good thing I’m sitting down, because I agree with seaice:

        I personally think that the author as well as the reviewer should be anonymous.

        But try convincing Michalel Mann et al. They’ve bragged that they control the climate peer review journal/system.

        Larry Fine is correct, too. By censoring scientific views they want silenced, the climate journals have become mere mouthpieces for the ‘dangerous man-made global warming’ narrative.

        That’s not science, that is advocacy; it’s anti-science.

    • @ LarryFine October 26, 2015 at 5:36 am, “I saw an interesting lecture recently in which it was stated that peer review used to happen AFTER papers were published.”

      I like the idea except that we then leave all the decisions about what to publish or not publish up to the editor. Actually, it’s pretty much in the hands of the editor anyway because they pick the reviewers, and I’m sure they know which reviewers to pick to make the point they personally want made. Otherwise much of the trash that fills the journals would never have passed.

      The genesis of the problem really lies with government funding. The decision of central planning bureaucrats to fund climate science, or any science, is sure to lead to mountains of junk research. I say cut the government funding. This will decentralize funding decisions. Activists organizations on both sides of an issue can fund what they want and businesses can fund what they want. If the government is to be involved at all it could be to do thorough reviews and opine as to whether or not a particular claim is supported by the underlying research. That’s a policing function and governments make the least worse police.

      • Thomas,

        You’re correct that government funding is what is largely responsible for the corruption of science. President Eisenhower warned about that in his farewell speech, and he blamed the rise of the military-industrial complex on this very thing.

        But thanks to this system of limiting the peers who review research to just a few select people, now even scientists who can still get private funding are often locked out of contributing to their field when their conclusions don’t advance the underlying political agenda.

        The bias has gotten so bad that researchers whose conclusions are “correct” by government standards don’t even have to show their peer review buddies the data to get published.

      • Remember this famous quote?

        “Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to find something wrong with it?”

      • LarryFine,

        Phil Jones will never live that down. It is so anti-science that Zombie Richard Feynman must be spinning out of his grave (that’s OK, it’s almost Halloween). ☻

        If stand-up comedians ever appear at conventions of science PhD’s, they could get a really big larf just by quoting him:

        We have 25 or so years invested in the work. Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it?

        “Haw, haw haw!! Try the veal!”

      • I always love when someone says the ClimateGate emails are taken out of context. When read IN context they are even MORE damning. You just can’t make this stuff up. 8^D

  13. As long as we are on the topic of restoring integrity and prosecuting wrongdoers in science…
    Any update on the felony forgery prosecution of Peter Gleick in the Heartland case? It seems the US Govt. is now incapable of prosecuting any of “it’s own” in any area, as the Lois Lerner case dramatically shows.
    Make no mistake, CAGW alarmists at NCDC, NSIDC, GISS, at NASA, NOAA, and a slew of alphabet soup agencies are the “Govt’s own”.

  14. A ‘science court’ is a terrible idea. The establishment True Believers will run it, and it will become a science Inquisition.

    We’re not far from that already, with academic scientists afraid to voice a hint of skepticism (lest they lose their grants and jobs), with science organizations proclaiming their unanalyzed adherence to the Alarmist party line, and with congressmen calling for prosecution of ‘d*niers’.

    The only hope is for real scientists, i.e. the ones still devoted to the Scientific Method no matter where it leads, to rebel against the theocratic scientistic orthodoxy that now controls the money and the power.

    Maybe organizations like CFact and Heartland could create a foundation to financially support scientists who are willing to stand up against the establishment. “Can’t get tenure? Can’t find a post-doc job? We will support you and your family until we have turned the tide and re-established the rule of reason and the scientific method.”

    /Mr Lynn

      • Are there no wealthy skeptics? Once established, perhaps with seed money from organizations like Heartland, it should be possible for such a foundation to to attract donors. And after all, since skeptical scientists are routinely accused of receiving endless largess from coal and oil interests, not to mention the Koch Brothers, why should skeptics not seek to attract at least some of the alleged bounty in reality?

        To mount a rebellion against entrenched money and power requires not just zeal, but resources. So instead of endlessly lamenting how impotent we are, we need to discover how to put lead in our pencils.

        /Mr Lynn

      • p.g.sharrow: The admirable EM Smith is looking for funding that will enable him to continue his data-collection/research work rather than getting a day job that will probably make that impossible. There are suggestions on the thread you linked for ‘crowd-funding’, which seems a promising direction.

        I have suggested something much larger: a Foundation that will help to fund the necessary revolution against the Eco-fascist establishment that is pushing climate alarmism at the highest levels. Funding people and projects like EM Smith’s would be an important part of the Foundation’s activities, as would creating a financial safety net for scientists and others who are subject to reprisals from the establishment if they speak out against the Alarmist Liturgy.

        It will take resources, large ones. Alas, I am not wealthy, nor are most here. But there are people who are, and who might be convinced to underwrite such a Foundation, that could serve as the core of a rebellion and ultimately a revolution. I’d certainly be willing to roll up my sleeves, pitch in, and help. But we need leadership, people with impeccable credentials, high prestige, and influence, willing to put their names on the line. Perhaps the GWPF in the UK could help with organizational expertise and contacts. Do we have anything comparable in the USA?

        /Mr Lynn

      • A.D. Everard October 26, 2015 at 9:40 pm
        Mr Lynn, this would make an excellent article and would lift this idea out of comments and into the spotlight. I do think this idea is hugely important.

        I will work on it, though there are doubtless many more qualified than I to elevate this proposal, and to lay out a roadmap for proceeding. Feel free to chime in. Perhaps we can get something going.

        /Mr Lynn

      • Mr Lynn, I agree that there are those able to make such a proposal work. What if you took your comments here, laying out your ideas, and posted them under “submit a story” or in “tips and notes” if you prefer. As a plan of action it is excellent, and as an article it would reach the right audience and generate a strong discussion as to how it might come together.

        Anthony Watts might have an idea of how it might be proposed – or someone like Christopher Monckton – both so very busy, I know, but there are other movers and shakers out there who might know the way forward.

        It’s certainly time the pendulum swung back the other way.

        Cheers!

    • History is running backwards. Both Democrat and Republican politicians are now lamenting the free flow of ideas (because their own ideas cannot stand up to scrutiny), and they have schemes to isolate everyone from infirmation.

      Watch the cases the Supreme Court picks up in 2016.

  15. On my part, I always try to find what is the most important aspect of an issue. People with agendas find that shiny objects off to the side can be lined up to distract the observer and bend their proposed solutions to further the agenda of the moment..

    What is the end goal to be sought? I would think that the most existential issue, that is to survival of humanity itself is to make sure we have a healthy biosphere. Otherwise we cannot grow food in the quantities we need.

    So, the first concern about our climate and the potential impact of human activity upon the climate must be: what is the optimum climate for the existing biosphere and what is the trend?

    But all I see with so-called climate research is an effort to prove the assumption that humans are harming the climate. And all I see are demands that have the effect of increasing statism, that is to increase the size and power of government, to reduce personal liberty and certainly to reduce the production of the energy we need to heat and cool our homes, the energy we need for transportation and the energy we use to make our lives possible. And these people will not take no for an answer. That tells me all I need to know about this gigantic fraud.

  16. A science court is a dangerous idea. I was talking to a retired Internal Affairs Police Officer over the weekend. His take is that even in the police force, the facts take a distant second to politics.

    • I have to agree.
      While the idea that some ruling body of impartial know-it-all’s could settle all of science’s disagreements is tempting to contemplate, the reality is that it would have the net affect of concentrating power in the hands of a few, rather than the many. The opinions of a few people would hold sway over all matters scientific.
      Then, once corrupted, all reason is lost, and science and politics are forever melded.
      Besides, who would these all knowing deciders be?
      Science is bigger and wider than law, and far from certain in the best of cases. The Supreme Court only rules on laws made by men.
      IMO, no one is qualified to be a final arbiter of all truth.

  17. establishment of a science court resourced to investigate and make determinations on prima facie instances of scientific misconduct.
    …………………………………………….
    Your science court will inevitably devolve into a star chamber run by believers to crush dissent.

  18. There ALREADY IS a ‘science court’.

    If anyone is committing fraud, the law courts are completely open to being used to adjudicate on such an accusation. That’s what they are there for.

    If such an adjudication is not going on now, it will not go on if a ‘science court’ is created. Conversely, if the powers that be decide that such adjudication is needed, they don’t need to invent anything new…

  19. Any science court would quickly be populated with greenies who would dispatch anti-green science with prejudice. To see this in action watch the SCOTUS at work.

  20. The greatest danger of Climate Change is not the threat of climate itself or the socioeconomic consequences of our delusions. These risks are limited compared to the damage being done to the integrity of the most effective tool we have to better understand our world and to continue to improve our lives.

    Pseudo science and the coopting of science for other purposes does not seem to me to be anything new. I am sure we can all make a list of issues that were mired in faulty science like DDT or that were entirely devoid of science like eugenics but were championed by scientist. There was never a golden age of science and I would argue that people practicing science proper have always been the exception and not the rule. Nonetheless, science has and will continue to improve our ability to deal with the world in which we live. And, while I don’t believe AGW constitutes a new change (perhaps a peak or trough) in the quality of science, it is nice to see more people standing against bad science today than I can remember in my short life time.

  21. What would it take to convince you you are wrong?
    Answer that question first. Critical thinking begins at home. Most of us don’t have time to become climatologists, on either side. So we have to choose who to trust. I choose to trust climatologists. I look at claims that climate change isn’t happening, or that it isn’t being caused by human behavior. I am open to being convinced. You’re not convincing. Your models aren’t convincing. Your political arguments are just that, political, opinions not based in fact. As others have noted, you can turn around nearly every statement in this article. My physics degree from MIT and decades of experience as a science tutor do not make me a climatologist. I can however, trivially punch holes in the methodology of papers arguing against the existence and cause of climate change. I try to punch holes in the supporting claims too, and I can’t find nearly as many problems there. I am an equal opportunity debunker. Climate change is at this point a simple fact. I could be convinced I was wrong, if presented with a model that explains the facts better than the current one, with actual numbers and arguments that don’t violate freshman chemistry or physics. So I have to wonder: what, if anything, could ever convince you? If the answer is “nothing”, then you’re not being rational. If your answer is “when X says so,” then please choose your value of X with care. You’re trusting them with your brain, and that’s valuable real estate, no matter who you are.

    • My view as a complete layman, is that there is no evidence of anything unprecedented occurring now that hasn’t occurred multiple times in this interglacial. We can’t compare proxies with instrument measurements, because they aren’t the same thing. And there are no consistent proxies available that I’ve ever seen.

      And of course the averaging chimera gives a false view of both past and present.

    • No one is arguing that climate change is not happening. Where did you get such a strawman idea? Certainly from someplace called NOT HERE. It is the Anthropogenic component which is hotly contested. The proposed actions and their ludicrous returns are also refuted. Most here have learned to love CO2 for it’s life expanding properties.

      You have much to learn… stick around… read and ponder. GK

      • I will keep reading. So far I am completely unimpressed, but I will keep reading. There’s a lot more politics than reason going on in these posts and comments. As for the “straw man”–Republicans were insisting loudly for decades that climate change wasn’t happening at all while they looked more and more foolish, and then retreated to the second line of defense, “okay, but human beings aren’t the cause”, and make no mistake, lots and LOTS of politicians and pundits and other people are still arguing that climate change isn’t real whenever they think they can get away with it, pushing the propaganda war, forcing other people to have that argument again and win it again, over and over and over. So yes, now I have to fight every single time just to maintain that basic concession to reality, because if I don’t others will try to muddy the waters again, and I can’t tell you apart from them.

        And all this time I’m waiting for SOMEONE on the other side to concede the basic science and START to have an intelligent conversation about what to DO about the problem that isn’t an echo chamber. Are there smart alternatives to just “stop burning fossil fuels”? Is there a way to make most people on both sides happy or at least content? Can we shift oil usage entirely over to plastic and chemistry uses without messing the industry up too much? We’ll never know until multiple viewpoints that are agreed on basic reality sit down and argue and brainstorm. None of that is happening because one side is so utterly vested in pretending the problem isn’t real.

        I repeat: tell me what it would take to convince you that you’re wrong, that climate change is caused by human beings and is a big problem. Do that, and I’ll go through the bother of analyzing one of the “refutations” you think is most solid and spell out where it goes off the rails–or I’ll get a big surprise and be unable to, and I’ll thank you for it. But if you’re impossible to convince I should stop wasting my effort and try with other people.

    • Robert C.
      “I choose to trust climatologists.”
      Which ones?
      “Climate change is at this point a simple fact.”
      No, you believe it to be a fact. Its your belief.. based on something you read from some climatologists you don’t know and can’t even name.
      “I could be convinced I was wrong, if ….”
      I doubt it.
      “You’re trusting them with your brain, and that’s valuable real estate”
      Real Estate? I give up.

      • I said criteria that would convince me. You have failed to do the same. You’re the one who is incapable of changing their mind. Don’t like it? Then prove me wrong: tell me what. it. would. take. to. convince. you. Or I’m the one wasting my time with someone who refuses to think.

    • Robert C,

      ” Most of us don’t have time to become climatologists, on either side. So we have to choose who to trust.”

      No “we” don’t.

      ” You’re trusting them with your brain, and that’s valuable real estate, no matter who you are.”

      Then why are you declaring we have to chose who to trust?

      • You seem to be suffering from the “democratic fallacy”–“my opinion is just as good as anyone else’s even if they’ve studied the subject for years and I don’t know anything about it.” Tell me–WHY do you think climate change isn’t caused by human CO2 emissions? Where did you get that idea in the first place? Who first told you about it? Some politician, I’m betting–not a scientist. Why did you believe them? Because their politics align with yours? That’s not a basis for viewing reality. I don’t see what’s so confusing about my basic statement. Either you are working it out for yourself or you are believing it without working it out–you’re trusting that something somebody told you is true. If you think you’ve worked it all out without becoming a climatologist then you’re in the democratic fallacy. So yes, either you believe what you believe for logical reasons, or you believe it for faith, or you haven’t made up your mind yet. Has that not covered all the bases?

      • Robert C says:

        Tell me–WHY do you think climate change isn’t caused by human CO2 emissions?

        Robert, you have it exactly backward. “Climate change” (by which I suppose you mean ‘dangerous man-made global warming’, or DAGW) is merely a conjecture. It is a belief, put forth by a certain sub-group of the population, for what they presume is a hypothesis. With me so far?

        OK then, their conjecture/hypothesis states that human CO2 emissions are the primary cause of global warming (what you have been taught to call “climate change”).

        Per the scientific method, the party that puts forth a hypothesis has the onus of producing convincing evidence that their hypothesis is correct. Still with me?

        Every hypothesis or conjecture (and for that matter, every theory) has one thing in common: it must be capable of producing repeated, accurate predictions. Just saying “climate change” is meaningless. You have the onus of producing convincing scientific evidence showing that your conjecture, hypothesis, or whatever, is able to correctly predict. So, can the ‘DAGW’ conjecture make repeated, accurate predictions? The answer is clearly ‘No’.

        Not one climate alarmist — scientist or not — was able to predict the current stasis in global temperatures (T). No one predicted that global T would stop rising. But it has been many years since there was any global warming. Thus, they were wrong. All of them.

        Planet Earth has falsified your ‘DAGW’ conjecture. Honest scientists admit it. The dishonest ones do what they can to bend whatever factoids they can find to fit their lucrative “climate change” narrative.

        You don’t have to be a scientist to understand that. It’s pretty simple, really. The endless predictions of runaway global warming (or of any global warming for that matter), were flat wrong.

        Thus, ‘climate change’ (ie: global warming) is not caused by human emissions. QED

      • DB

        Powerfully done.

        Clear, concise and zeros in on the singular point of departure. It is the BURDEN of the one who proposes the theory to prove it.

        Key missing elements :

        1. Replicable data that supports the theory
        2. Known rate of uncertainty (error)
        3. Experimental design to test the causal relationship.

        Am I missing a key element?

      • Robert C,

        “You seem to be suffering from the “democratic fallacy”–“my opinion is just as good as anyone else’s even if they’ve studied the subject for years and I don’t know anything about it.” ”

        You seem to me to be suffering from an over-active imagination. I said nothing at all about my opinion being as good as anyones, I said (by direct implication) we don’t have to choose who to trust.

        “Tell me–WHY do you think climate change isn’t caused by human CO2 emissions?”

        I studied the matter at some length, and concluded that CATASTROPHIC climate change is unlikely to be caused by human emissions.

        ” Where did you get that idea in the first place?”

        From the proposition that CATASTROPHIC climate change is caused by human CO2 emissions. It came right along with that proposition, as generally occurs when I hear propositions . . BECAUSE I don’t trust people I don’t even know.

        And that certainly includes scientists, who either praise those who don’t impulsively trust them, or they are demoted to non-scientists, in my estimation, immediately. Science, to me, is about testing things through careful experiment. It is not about trusting people’s opinions, even my own.

        ” If you think you’ve worked it all out without becoming a climatologist then you’re in the democratic fallacy”

        Human authority worship to me . . Kid stuff.

  22. Be very careful of what you wish for.
    The “Science Court” will be run by judges who are already corrupted by the disease that made the current situation possible.

  23. I too doubt another institution will solve the malaise.
    CAGW is a product of committees.
    Created, promoted and coddled by our bureaucrats.
    A science court?
    What as a branch of the “International Court”? UN?
    Thank you no.
    Our Justice system is already a Just-Us system.
    I would prefer those claiming the mantle of scientist ,court the scientific method instead.
    The absolute corruption that is the United Nations is there for all to see.
    Agency after hidden agency all interlocked and all actively seeking complete immunity from criminal investigation.See Donna Laframboise’s latest .
    A nice cliche of entitled and unaccountable Paris-Ites.

    Funny how all those statists tell us we have nothing to fear from greater government oversight, unless we are doing something criminal, yet here we have evidence in their own words, that the UN know what they do is criminal.(Using their logic, what do they fear?)
    CAGW has lost its usefulness as a power grabbing tool.
    The next target may well be this means of communication.

    How dare you non experts exchange unauthorized ideas.?

  24. Question for Walter Starck ==> Is it at all possible that you are setting up two straw-men to battle one another when you say: “…to discard the deliberately pejorative label of climate change denial and call it the Natural Climate Variability hypothesis. If those who introduced the use of denialism in this matter wish to continue with it they might more honestly apply it to their own position as deniers of Natural Climate Variability.”

    To my knowledge, the Consensus Climate Team does not deny Natural Variability and the Climate Skeptics do not deny Anthropogenic Influences on Earth’s climate.

    Two straw-men?

    • To my knowledge, the Consensus Climate Team does not deny Natural Variability

      Mann’s original HS and its “independent” derivatives sure tried to deny it.

    • Reply to Jeff Alberts ==> There is a real world outside of the Climate Wars.

      In that real world, I know of no climate scientist that declares that the Earth’s Climate System is not affected by Natural Variability (NV). In fact, I believe the IPCC puts NV at about 50% of the cause of 1880-2015 warming.

      Likewise, as our host repeats as often as allowed, Climate Skeptic scientists (but not the malicious clueless teenage-trolls so often seen here in comments) happily acknowledge human influence on climate.

      Read steadily over at Climate Etc, Dr. Judith Curry’s blog. You’ll catch on.

      • Kip Hansen, this human influence on climate, other than micro-climate effects, are there actual measured effects?
        Or are these extrapolated effects, as in once this was forest now it is grain field?

      • Reply to John Robertson ==> Human influences are known to include land use changes, urbanization and the discharge of GHGs into the atmosphere. Pielke Sr’s group would be a good starting point to look into this.

      • John Robertson, to get to where Kip is talking about, you just have to jump over a shark, and an elephant in a room, and you’re there.

  25. IMHO just looking at climate science is just looking at the tip of the iceberg.
    The old communists/socialists of Eastern Europe and the former USSR, co-opted the environmental movement with the express purpose of bringing down western capitalism.
    Though they lost the cold war they won the peace.
    They identified the educational system as a key institution to be taken over. They realized that this would take time. It would need for the old teachers to retire and be replaced by new teachers that had been though the system themselves. There is an old adage – you can’t teach someone else what you don’t know yourself.
    All of this has consequences. In response to a question by TIm Yeo, Richard Lindzen made the statement that the best students are no longer going into physics, but rather medicine or finance. He also recommends that his students not go into Climate Science.
    There are always unintended consequences when dogma takes over from science. The old USSR did not believe in the theory of evolution, since it was at odds with the Marxist theory of history. One result of this was that they did not develop the same high yielding crops that were developed in the west.

  26. Dear Walter Starck,

    I’m afraid that I DISAGREE with 97% of your article.

    We have paid a heavy price for this CO2 fairytale:-

    taxes,
    more taxes,
    closures of industries especially in North America,
    pollution of our children’s education,
    massive spending and controls,
    shameful efforts to silence and slander anyone who dares to raise a question
    billions of dollars in research and renewable energy grants
    attacking the very idea of free speech and open debate
    fraudulent alarmist pseudo-science

    … and that is just the short-list !

    Your USE OF WORDS PHRASES also seem to “let them off the hook”:-

    “Climate Change”
    – when you SHOULD have used “climate” or “Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming”.

    “DAGW”
    – (as above)

    “science court”
    – a romantic notion which would open the gates of hell.

    “robust” (adj.)
    – this word is always used by government-induced climaphobians.

    “Natural Climate Variability hypothesis”
    – NO, NO, NO, – the word you’re looking for is simply “Climate”.
    We know that it changes so there is no point in saying FOUR words when ONE will do !

    You will find that there is no escape here: we are polite and considerate (most of us) but there comes a time when you have to REMEMBER all the damage that has been done.

    The big con-job is based ENTIRELY upon a corrupted belief that carbon-dioxide is somehow a pollutant. It clearly is not.

    If you have any way of getting our money back then I’m with you all the way but until then,
    I respectfully suggest that you now pick up the telephone and speak to Mr. Paul Driessen and ask for his opinion of your article. I’m fairly confident that he will be able to give you a hefty volume of sobering facts that will cause you to reach for the bottle.

    Courteous Regards,
    WL

  27. By the time the next Little Ice Age has arrived and several billion people have starved to death, it will all be blamed on witches, wizards, bad spirits, djinns and angry gods. Then, a few hundred years later someone will reinvent rationality.

  28. CAGW is what you get when you mix politicians, money, and science. Look at the damage done to worldwide nutrition when the vegetable oil industry corrupted only a couple of scientists and politicians. The parallels to gw are stunning, including the harassment of “deniers” like Dr. Atkins, who the dragged before congress. The problem is that, just like the saturated fat conspiracy, CAGW is accepted as fact by a lazy populace with no will to change.
    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/magazine/januaryfebruary_2015/on_political_books/meat_puppets053480.php?page=all

  29. It’s not just science, it’s the universities and the UN. The WHO is almost as bad as the IPCC, they just claimed red meat is as dangerous as asbestos. Similarly second-hand smoke and various epidemics

    The universities have to be purged of anti-intellectuals first. Gender studies and alternative medicine are very anti-science. Plenty of other departments are just so far from reality they would qualify as clinically mass delusions.

  30. I’ll try again.

    Dear Walter Starck,

    NO, NO, NO !

    (I just posted a reply which has either disappeared into gremlin heaven, or, it was censored by “mod” or I pressed a wrong button.)

    Anyway, I assure you that you are simply ON THE WRONG TRACK.

    Let me put it to you this way …

    If you would please take the trouble to read just two articles, firstly, Viscount Monckton’s most recent article here, then read the CFACT article by Paul Driessen entitled “Climate statism: Science, poverty, free speech at Issue” then I hope you will change your way of thinking.

    If you would be so kind, I should be obliged to have your reply.

    Courteous Regards,
    WL

  31. The now endemic corruption of science that has been engendered under the banner of climate change could be easily and effectively addressed by the establishment of a science court resourced to investigate and make determinations on prima facie instances of scientific misconduct. The most appropriate penalty might also be to simply disqualify offenders from any further public funding.

    The science court idea, as originally proposed decades ago, did not focus on punishing misconduct, and was not an arm of government. It concentrated on weighing opposing scientific claims. At a minimum, it would provide the public with thorough presentations of each side’s case, including rebuttal papers and cross-examination of witnesses. Nothing like this exists now. There has never been a formal, all-encompassing, multi-week debate before a panel of scientists, with transcripts available online. There are maybe 100 contentious issues in the GW debate. A court, or several courts, could rate the strength of each individual argument, or argument cluster, separately, and issue a finding that condemning those that are outrageously bad.

    It wouldn’t matter if the judges decided wrongly, because any egregiously bad decision could be mocked sharply, and because the judges could be asked to justify their arguments against their critics by an oversight committee. Only nonpartisans would be allowed as judges. They should also be persons of high achievement (like Koonin) and character. An arrangement can be found that prevents stacking the deck with partisans, etc. The transcripts of Koonin’s APS inquiry are the best summary to claims and counterclaims in existence, according to J. Curry.

    A British court ruled against the claims in Gore’s movie. A science court would have been even more severe. The IAC severely criticized IGPOCC. Given independent appointment of judges, it’s likely that similarly good results can be achieved. There’s still plenty of integrity among scientists as a whole.

    Whatever flaws a science court might have, it would have vastly cut down on bad arguments in the debate, and clarified the issues. It would meet every five years, say, maybe after every IGPOCC Report, to thrash over the arguments again, so the court’s findings wouldn’t be cast in stone. (These sequels would give it an opportunity to hold alarmists’ feet to the fire regarding their failed predictions.)

    Here are extracts from an article and comments on Curry’s site:

    http://judithcurry.com/2014/08/19/institutionalizing-dissent/
    [need to counteract consensus]

    Institutionalizing Dissent: A Proposal for an Adversarial System of Pharmaceutical Research
    Justin Biddle
    Abstract. There are serious problems with the way in which pharmaceutical research is currently practiced, many of which can be traced to the influence of commercial interests on research. One of the most significant is inadequate dissent, or organized skepticism. In order to ameliorate this problem, I develop a proposal that I call the “Adversarial Proceedings for the Evaluation of Pharmaceuticals,” to be instituted within a regulatory agency such as the Food and Drug Administration for the evaluation of controversial new drugs and controversial drugs already in the market. This proposal is an organizational one based upon the “science court” proposal by Arthur Kantrowitz in the 1960s and 1970s. The primary benefit of this system is its ability to institutionalize dissent, thereby ensuring that one set of interests does not dominate all others.

    In 1967, Arthur Kantrowitz published an article in the journal Science entitled “Proposal for an Institution of Scientific Judgment,” in which he argued for the establishment of a “science court” where scientific questions that are relevant to public policy debates would be adjudicated. Emphasizing the growing entanglement of science and politics, Kantrowitz argued that we are increasingly forced to make consequential “mixed decisions,” or decisions that have both a scientific and a moral/political component. Whether it is the decision to build an atomic bomb or to enact policies to curb ozone depletion, we are increasingly confronted with science-based public policy decisions that have wide-ranging effects on the social and political landscape.

    In a number of essays beginning in 1967, Kantrowitz argued that we do not have the appropriate organizational structures for making mixed decisions effectively. The primary reason for this, he argued, is that individual scientists engaged in cutting-edge research are almost always affected by various biases. For example, scientists who become involved in the policy-making process almost inevitably allow their moral and political beliefs to influence their appraisal of scientific hypotheses. Similarly, scientists who are immersed in researching a particular question for an extended period of time almost always develop cognitive prejudices, including preconceptions about the results of future experiments . In addition, the fact that mixed decisions must be made quickly, typically before a consensus is formed within the scientific community, makes it even more likely that such biases will affect individual scientists.

    As argued, privatization is impeding the ability of communities to instantiate the norm of organized skepticism. Yet, as should be clear from the discussion of Kantrowitz’s proposal, one of the primary epistemic benefits of an adversarial system is the way in which it institutionalizes dissent. Given this, it is plausible to think that an adversarial system could help to alleviate some of the problems that privatization is causing. In particular, an adversarial system could help to expose the kinds of bias that are so often found in current pharmaceutical research, such as bias in the choice of hypotheses, bias in the interpretation of results, and bias in experimental design.

    The adversarial system of pharmaceutical research that I will outline – Adversarial Proceedings for the Evaluation of Pharmaceuticals (APEP) – retains several of the features of Kantrowitz’s original science court proposal. Two groups of advocates would present arguments for a specific position, and a panel of judges would adjudicate between these two groups. The issues to be discussed should be issues that are controversial; in certain circumstances, there will be previously-existing evidence that is sufficient to close the controversy, but in general, the central questions will be underdetermined. The conclusions arrived at by the panel of judges should not be considered definitively true, but should rather be viewed as provisional and subject to change with the acquisition of further information.

    Conclusions

    I have argued that there are serious problems with the way in which pharmaceutical research is currently done – epistemic, moral, and socio-economic problems – and that an important cause of these problems is inadequate dissent. As a means of improving this situation, I have proposed that an adversarial system of pharmaceutical research, APEP, be instituted within a regulatory agency such as the FDA. The adversarial nature of APEP represents an acknowledgment that pharmaceutical companies, and the scientists that they sponsor, should not be viewed as disinterested arbiters of research but, rather, as advocates for particular hypotheses. APEP, in other words, is an institution that acknowledges that interests play an inevitable role in the evaluation of pharmaceutical research, and it ensures that the interests of pharmaceutical companies are not allowed free-reign but rather are checked by interests that are diametrically opposed to them. In this way, it enforces organized skepticism.

    JC reflections

    The analogy with climate science is that the dominant moral and political beliefs of climate scientists are introducing problems and biases into climate research. To use just one example, consider climate models and the bias in experimental design. Until very recently, driven by the UNFCCC/IPCC mandate, climate models have focused on the time series of temperature anomalies (not on getting the absolute temperatures correct), on anthropogenic forcing (with little attention paid to solar forcing and indirect effects), and on global average surface temperatures (not on regional variations or the disposition of heat in the ocean). Preference bias is evidenced in how climate information is displayed graphically – alternative graphical representations would send a different message.

    One of the norms of science is organized skepticism. Those working at the climate science – policy interface (including the IPCC) have worked hard to kill organized skepticism by manufacturing a consensus on climate change. The idea of a climate red team has been put forward by John Christy. Kantrowitz and Biddle have thought through how institutionalizing dissent might actually work. Particularly for climate science, implementing something like this wouldn’t be simple, and actually achieving the desired objectives would be quite difficult.

    But not impossible. The closest I’ve seen was the APS Workshop to consider its climate change statement. A committee of eminent physicists, each with no particular expertise in climate science or an apparent dog in the public debate, selected 6 scientists (Held, Santer, Collins, Curry, Lindzen, Christy) to address specific questions prepared by the committee. The committee has not completed its deliberations (I’m not expecting to hear anything from the committee before the end of the year) so the end of this story has not yet been written. But this is the kind of thing that is more likely than a manufactured consensus seeking process to move the science forward while at the same time providing decision makers with a better sense of the uncertainties and areas of disagreement and ignorance.
    [JC commented:]
    An intriguing aspect of the Science Court is that it makes the debate about advocacy and sources of funding as a pernicious influence essentially moot. It takes away the responsibility from individuals in these matters by institutionalizing dissent.

    I’m certainly in favor of this general idea, but I can easily see this falling into the usual rathole for climate science if groups like the NAS are put in charge. Your thoughts on this?

    David L. Hagen | August 19, 2014 at 1:05 pm | Reply
    Formalize Red Team Funding to support the Science Court

    Verification and validation are essential to science. For highly important public issues we need a science policy that further formally allocates a substantial portion of funding to “Red teams” to test hypotheses and generate the evidence, and analyses which such a tentative science court could weigh. Current grant making groups are too easily swayed by political correctness and the “lemming factor”.

    e.g. Where is the research examining the timing probabilities of global cooling into the next glacial period and the effort needed to prevent that?
    That has far greater threat to civilization than the IPCC’s warmist alarms.

    Hank Zentgraf | August 19, 2014 at 1:54 pm | Reply
    To institutionalize dissent you must start with the money for grants. All federal grants would require on-line publishing of results (no paywall) including all code, data, and math. Grants would be available to other scientists who wish to dissent either against a specific research publication or in response to position statements made by Federal agencies (NOAA, NAS, EPA, etc. ). These dissent papers would also be published on-line. A separate function would be formed under NSF to assure the quality of the process and report on its efficacy. The funding would come from the existing $7.0 B NSF budget.
This is just one idea. I am sure this blog can come up with something better.

    rhhardin | August 19, 2014 at 2:00 pm | Reply
    Hostile skeptics are the ones you can trust. They’ll explore corners without sweeping anything under the rug.

    Institutionalized skeptics will be co-opted like the rest of the consensus.

    Nobody’s shouting that climate science isn’t a science in the first place, for instance. It gets assumed that it is, and the presence of certain science procedures is enough to guarantee it, a sort of science cargo cult.

    I’d recommend instead a climate curiosity group. They could point out weird stuff and perhaps analyze this or that somehow. But not put it together into a picture it doesn’t support.

    Matthew R Marler | August 19, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Reply
    These problems include the suppression of undesirable results, bias in the design of studies and in the interpretation of results. These problems can be traced to the influence of commercial interests on research.

    Ioanides and colleagues have documented that 40% of the results published in medical journals and physiological research are non-reproducible, and hence most likely are false positives. In light of that, I don’t think it can be established that the problems in pharmaceutical research are worse than the problems in academic research, or that they are traceable to the influence of commercial interests. They are “traceable” to a common underestimation of the prevalence and magnitude of random variation, and the desire of investigators to be associated with “discoveries” instead of null results.

    One recent innovation is that FDA requires all clinical trials of a drug to be registered in advance, in a publicly searchable registry. A clinical trial that has not been so registered can not be counted in support of marketing a drug in case the results turn out favorable to the drug. This ought to cut down on the suppression of undesirable results.

    Faustino | August 12, 2014 at 1:16 am | Reply
    Hal, you conclude: “Our TRCS research team experience with the Shuttle Challenger and Columbia accident investigation boards, as well as numerous independent and non-advocacy review boards regularly conducted on NASA manned and unmanned programs, leads us to believe that a similar independent review activity for the SCC calculation methodology is required. Following the template for successful independent review familiar to us, we recommend that in addition to climate science experts, numerous review board members selected from a broad array of technical fields that utilize the same basic technical disciplines, but are not directly involved in climate science research, are needed to achieve an adequate independent and objective review. Review board members should be vetted for identification and resolution of any possible conflicts of interest.” I’ve been advocating something similar for many years as necessary before engaging in expensive programs of dubious merit. No joy, though, your group has more clout, good luck.

  32. None of this would be possible if scientists really know how the climate works. The facts win in the end as as they. I fear climate facts are hard to come by.

  33. “I argue that no amount of reason or evidence will convince a true believer to change their mind. Fortunately they are a minority and a majority of the public are unconvinced and receptive to counter arguments.”

    My experience and public polls show that the majority believes the propaganda without question. At parties when someone parrots the dangerous meme and I provide empirical facts, the reaction is generally shock and disbelief. The evidence is so far outside of what they have accepted as truth that their minds shut down. They don’t want to hear the truth. I hear these same people spouting the same nonsense at future parties even though they have been exposed to Ir-refutable facts. I wouldn’t put them in the category of the true believers I encounter in comment sections and blogs. The propaganda is so pervasive that it is almost impossible for people lacking scientific critical thinking skills to believe anything else is possible.

    The mind control techniques being used are powerful and effective. They rely on the fact that you can fool most of the people most of the time. I do have a lot of success with the agnostic’s that don’t care about the issue. They tend to have such a small grasp of the actual issues that new information has a void to fill.

  34. “The now endemic corruption of science that has been engendered under the banner of climate change could be easily and effectively addressed by the establishment of a science court resourced to investigate and make determinations on prima facie instances of scientific misconduct.”

    So how to proceed on this? What do you do, take the authors of every paper you disagree with to “science court”. Do you sue Marcott because you dislike him finding a similar result to Mann, or Karl because he found bias that ended up in the adjustment of the temperature record? Do you sue the scientists that compile the surface temperature record because of “endemic corruption”, oh, and they find the surface temp keeps going up?

    I am just curious how this witch hunt would work.

    • traffy,

      We proceed by thoroughly debunking the climate alarmist clique, right here on WUWT.

      It’s effective, too. I recall Michael Mann squealing with anger over the voice skeptics have.

      • What exactly do you mean by “thoroughly”?

        All your targets are standing fine in the annuals of the journals, because apparently they don’t have an internet connection (even the online ones, who would think!) and, more important, no one has debunked them in the literature. Mann ’98 has over 1000 citations, and still gets lots of citations/year, including 25 already this year.

    • traffy sez:

      What exactly do you mean by “thoroughly”?

      I mean the climate alarmist clique has been thoroughly debunked from top to bottom, inside out, left to right, and backward and forward. But not by commenters here; all we do is report the facts.

      Such as: Planet Earth has not warmed for almost twenty years. The Polar ice caps are still there, and global ice is as high as ever. The Polar bears are multiplying, not subtracting. Hurricanes are not increasing in either intensity or number. I could go own and own… but you get the picture, don’t you?

      And:

      All your targets are standing fine in the annuals of the journals…

      The journals are more perennials than annuals…

      And:

      …no one has debunked them in the literature. Mann ’98 has over 1000 citations…&etc.

      I’m sure astrologers have thousands of citations from other astrologers, too. And how many Bible citations are there? Millions?

      FYI, McIntyre & McKittrick have so thoroughly debunked MBH98/99 that Mann’s original and scary runaway global warming chart can no longer be published by the IPCC. And the IPCC LOVED Mann’s chart. It was visually arresting, very alarming, easy to understand… but it was thoroughly debunked by the real world. Because it was bogus.

      See? I used ‘thoroughly’ again. Correctly. Just like you used ‘annuals’. Incorrectly.

      Yes, that’s just a quibble. But a fun quibble! ☺

    • I think something simpler like requiring journals to adhere to their own rules for ALL submissions, not just the ones they like. And perhaps to prevent rejection of a paper based on unsubstantive reviews. In other words, prevent endemic bias by journal editors.

    • Nobody would sue anyone. It would not be affiliated with the judicial system. It would be a private body associated with some universities and/or scientific societies. It would have no power to punish. See my long comment a few page-ups upthread.

      • RK

        I could work as a gold standard type review.

        Review for classical fallacies.
        Replicable data.
        Known rate of error.
        Design review of experiment to prove the theory.

        Pro bono work.
        Thorough disclosure of potential conflicts.

        There us a market for such a thing.

      • DB

        Touche’.
        I’m neither referee nor peer reviewer.
        I do see the effects WUWT has outside of its internal forum and I’m sure you do as well.

  35. https://www.mailman.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/Gift of God Rosner Markowitz.pdf

    I read through this yesterday, and the parallels to today are striking. On one hand, we have science and business pushing progress. On the other hand you have chicken-littles who are absolutely determined that there is a threat.

    They demand a conference, a conference is held, they declare victory, then months later complain that they were duped. They demand research, the business community does research, they reject the research because the businesses did it. They demand that the taxpayers should not have to pay for new research, so the government steps up and plans a research study and the business community pays for it. Then after the results come back that there is no serious threat they dismiss the findings because the businesses funded the study. They also complain that the study design couldn’t detect long-term, low-level impacts on the entire population and environment, and therefore the results are inadequate.

    They always come up with a non-scientific reason to reject the science.

  36. The first two paragraphs of this essay are among the best I have ever read. They sum up the danger to science that I see today and are profoundly true.

  37. Excellent. Good basis to form an agreement to action on. Climate will rise toward front of mind in the coming months. Who knows of a cogent campaign to get this side in.

  38. Not to worry.

    All that is necessary is to make payment dependent upon actual results, not modeled silliness.

    There is always the possibility that the elitists driving the antiscience movement towards forming a new socialist world order will actually achieve their dastardly ends. Again, not a problem; Socialistic coups almost always involve denouncing and executing all of the intelligentsia, so science will get a new chance to start. Eventually.

  39. The only reason so many scientists jump onto the alarmist bandwagon is because that’s where the money is !!! If we had a system that provided money EQUALLY to both sides, most scientists would be on the side of ” unadjusted” science !!! IMHO

  40. Unfortunately, due to events of recent times, I have had to relegate “Science” into the same bucket as “Religion” – far too much use of the phrase “scientists say…” and “the science is….”

    Due to the low fat diet fiasco and the ongoing current climate change super-fiasco (starting with the ice-age predictions of the 1970’s and then swinging to the burn in hell predictions of the 1990’s), I switch off as soon as someone mentions scientists.

    So for all the good and true scientists out there – sorry, but you are a tainted brand (tainted by morons and politicians).

    Good luck trying to fix it.

  41. Walter Starck wrote (in his WUWT lead post entitled ‘Climate Rationalization, Beliefs and Denialism’ on October 26, 2015),

    “The now endemic corruption of science that has been engendered under the banner of climate change could be easily and effectively addressed by the establishment of a science court resourced to investigate and make determinations on prima facie instances of scientific misconduct. The most appropriate penalty might also be to simply disqualify offenders from any further public funding. This would largely avoid the risk of witch hunts or whitewashes and only a few convictions could effect a miracle cure on the malaise now epidemic in environmental research.”

    The Walter Starck’s concept of a science court to mitigate against corruption is necessarily just a further corruption of objective science possesses.

    I think the corruption Walter Starck speaks of has only one cure. The only cure is no more lack of openness in publically funded research. No more lack of openness in publically funded research means: 1) no more anonymous reviewers in peer review processes so reviewers names should be published immediately when the papers they reviewed are either accepted or rejected or withdraw from review; 2) all peer review related communications of comments and replies by reviewers, editors and authors must be published with an accepted research paper and in the event of rejection of a paper the same info should be made available to the public on request ; 3) all research info (code, data, methodology, sources and conflict of interests) must be published with the research paper and made available for 25 years; 4) Funding body decisions to fund or not to fund research proposals must be made available to the public for 25 years where the info includes names, meeting records and all communications (both of funding body members and the applicant(s) for funds).

    With that kind of environment of openness then objective scientific self-correction cannot be stopped by: scientists in cliques; government influences; biased journal boards/editors; NGOs. Corruption, if attempted in that level of openness, must have an extremely short shelf life.

    John

  42. Here are links to the basic papers on the science court idea:

    1. Science Courts… and Mixed Science-Policy Decisions
    http://ipmall.info/risk/vol4/spring/taskfor.htm
    The Science Court Experiment: An Interim Report*:
    (* Reprinted with permission from 193 Science 654 (1976))
    Task Force of the Presidential Advisory Group on Anticipated Advances in Science and Technology**
    (** The task force is composed of three members of the presidential advisory group — Dr. Arthur Kantrowitz (chairman), Dr. Donald Kennedy and Dr. Fred Seitz – and [16 others])

    2. The Science Court is Dead; Long Live the Science Court!
    http://ipmall.info/risk/vol4/spring/field.htm

    3, Symposium Index – The Science Court – Pierce Law Center IP Mall
    http://ipmall.info/hosted_resources/RISK_Symposium_ScienceCourt.asp

    4. The Science Court: A Bibliography. Jon R. Cavicchi*.
    http://ipmall.info/risk/vol4/spring/bibliography.htm

    Those who decry the idea of a relatively objective and courageous science court as naïve (and thus implicitly consider establishment science as irredeemably corrupt and/or compromised) would likewise have dismissed the idea that the IAC could have delivered an unbiased evaluation of the IPCC. They were wrong there, so their assertions have been falsified.

    Here’s a breakthrough idea. Let there be two, three, many science courts! I.e., dozens. Universities and/or scientific societies and/or a collaboration of them would sponsor independent science courts. Most of these courts would specialize on a single topic or group of related topics. A university’s professors would hear cases over the summer vacation. Science courts specializing in the same topic could collaborate (i.e., supply judges for the same case). Everything, or almost everything, could be done over the Internet, using sophisticated software, and archived there. These hearings could be broadcast on the Internet. Science fans could get hooked on watching them, while consuming beer and pizzas, like the rest of society. (These hearings needn’t be about socially important and hotly contested matters. Those would be conversational and low-key.)

    • I maybe wrong but we already are there.
      Science Blogs, each with different approaches and visitors.
      I admit when discussing CAGW, science takes a back seat, but that is inherent in the team UN IPCC ™ bureaucratic push for policy based evidence manufacturing.
      I am starting to wonder if it is not time to agree on defined terms.
      What are we discussing?
      What have we measured?
      What can we say for sure?
      What can we rationally infer?
      What is now certainly wrong?
      Climate Change is a deliberately vague term, it is impossible to have a rational discussion when there is no agreed base.
      The CAGW/CCC Cartel of Concerned Parties has never shown any interest in using the scientific method or in engaging in a rational discussion.About says it all as to their motivation.

      • JR

        Perhaps a giant step in the right direction.
        At some point WUWT or some other venue needs to be referred to in some decision making court (re Supreme Court) in order to have meaningful impact beyond its current mass communications impact.

        Thinking out loud and obviously not sure of the next step but what WUWT has done is a very big step.

        Think tanks such as Heartland refer to WUWT as do many competing NGOs. Investigative committees also plow through here as it comes up on Google searches often.

  43. A few comments on the comments:

    It has been observed that in the establishment of ideas they are first ridiculed, then they are viciously attacked and finally they are accepted as self-evident. Researchers are now freely engaging in misconduct which violates various laws against fraud, deception, false advertising and various other crimes and torts. This would bring certain prosecution in any other activity and is resulting in very real damage, both social and economic as well as to science itself. To argue against any attempt at legal redress is to effectively maintain that academics are, and should be, above the law. Disqualifying such miscreants from all public funding would be very strong deterrent as it would mean they would face the horror of having to earn an honest living. Surely this would be much more humane, cheaper, effective and productive than jail.

    Rather than knee jerk disagreement to consideration of trying anything new, it would be a lot more productive to think about how it (or something even better) might best be implemented.

    Some comment was made to the effect that climate alarmists do not deny natural variability. This may be true in principle but in practice they either dismiss abundant evidence of it or make far fetched claims it is somehow caused by AGW.

    DAGW is the acronym for Dangerous Anthropogenic Global Warming. I presumed it would be familiar to those interested in climate matters. My apologies.

    As for the balance of evidence for and against dangerous man made climate change, it is important to recognize that the alarmist position is highly speculative and thus far is still supported by very limited and uncertain evidence. This includes the computer modelling which continues to diverge from the actual temperature record even with its many adjustments. It is also important to recognize that in contrast to the alarmist claims of high level certainty despite the meager data, the skeptical position is simply one of doubt based on voluminous evidence which conflicts with the alarmist claims of certainty.

    If any who are unaware of, or doubt the validity of, the opposing evidence would like to see for themselves, there is now a very extensive list of links which make such information easily accessible:
    1350+ Peer-Reviewed Papers Supporting Skeptic Arguments Against ACC/AGW Alarmism
    http://www.populartechnology.net/2009/10/peer-reviewed-papers-supporting.html

    Even if one is a committed warmist they might want to have a serious look, if for nothing more than to see what they are up against.

    • Just one small detail.
      Government Researchers are engaged in advocacy, not science.
      With the full support,encouragement and protection of the bureaucracies who employ them.
      The institutions have been subverted.
      Another institution run by the same bureaus will redress what?
      The sad tale of the Emperors New Clothes AKA CAGW(Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) is the failure of our watchdog organizations.
      The very agencies brought into being following the last outbreaks of mass hysteria, to ensure better government through science based policy making, are now orchestrating this mass hysteria.
      Good enough for government Eh?

      The UN IPCC is a class wet dream of bureaucrats , near total power and accountable to no taxpayer body on earth.
      The only punishment any of these fools and bandits are ever likely to see, will be accidental defunding when our economy finally collapses under their help.

    • A comment on your “comments”.

      Re: DAWG (Dangerous Anthropogenic Global Warming).

      This is bullshit. Such stupid nonsense panders to the bedwetters’ aims.

      The expression you need to use is “CLIMATE”.

      It is NOT dangerous; it is not man-made; it is not global and it is NOT warming.

    • Reply to Walter Starck ==> There are (at least) two different simultaneous things going on in the world surrounding Climate.

      One is the political/social battle being fought in the media, board room, national legislatures and international bureaucracies known as the Climate Wars. In this arena, there are literally no rules at all — anyone can say and do nearly anything. No matter what is done by anyone in the field, there is someone who perceives that anyone as The Enemy and instantly attacks both the idea presented and the person himself. Ad Hom is the norm. Real Honest Science is the extremely rare exception. Propaganda is the only type of communication issued. This is true for BOTH sides of the conflict. Both sides play by the same rules.

      The other is the Climate Science War, which is one of the legitimate Science Wars being fought in journals and professional bodies. There are a lot more than most people realize. Some examples are: The Obesity Wars, The Sugar Wars, the Salt Wars, The Great Barrier Reef Wars, The Polar Bear Wars, The Vaccines Wars, …. I could go on for some time. In a Science War, both sides think that their overall hypothesis is better or truer than the other side’s (eg: Salt is bad and must be reduced for everyone vs. Salt is an important, vital element of mammalian and human diet and forcing population-wide sharp reductions is a dangerous experiment). Each side in a Science War does the best science they can but often their bias prejudices experimental design and interpretations of results. Competing, contradictory papers are fired off like salvos of artillery. Slowly, sometimes ever so slowly, the real world actuality (the “truth”) appears through the smoke and a new “current understanding” has been established. [Often, radical combatants continue to fight after the issue has been generally settled, on the fringes of science.]

      So, in the field of Climate we have The Climate Wars — which you appear to be engaged in — and the Climate Science Wars which is being fought in journals.

      The two wars do get co-mingled — especially in the Climate field — as some players are fighting both wars at the same time — Gavin A. Schmidt at GISS is an example of this. There are players on the skeptic side you fight both wars as well.

      For those of us interested in the Science side, it is particularly important to keep the political/social Climate Wars from muddling our thinking about the Science.

      Some people think fighting the Climate Wars is terrifically important. Me? Not so much, but I have an appreciation for those those carry on the battle.

      • KH

        Unfortunately, sometimes the good work of an honest scientist has to fight through a plethora of out of context use. To be skilled in both good science and quashing misuse elevates the good purely scientific work. You did a fine job in describing the misuse and twisting in a recent essay and while you may not like being dragged into the battle, your good at it.

        “Today’s discussion is one way of looking at the current trend in Science in which attempts are made to reduce very complicated dynamic systems to a single number which can then be graphed against time, usually in attempts to do one or more of the following:

        to cast blame for the increasing or decreasing number on a substance or action or group, usually incorrectly using two such graphs of single numbers to correlate some single number with some other single number to sell a desired story, usually to cast blame or give credit, usually incorrectly to bring attention to [read this as: to cause public concern or worry about] some rising or falling single number in hopes of generating gain [in research funds, fame, public sympathy, public or political support], usually unwarranted.

        These single numbers, meant to somehow illuminate some feature of the real world, are often, maybe almost always, not real numbers representing real things, but imaginary numbers representing concepts that exist, on a pragmatic practical level, only in our imaginations, which may lack meaningfulness and usefulness, or both. In this special sense, we can rightly refer to them as imaginary numbers. And because they are almost never acknowledged as imaginary numbers which require special care in application, each of the three uses above is followed by “usually incorrectly” or “usually unwarranted”.

      • Reply to Knute ==> Thank you, sir. Most of my stuff is about poor science journalism or the misuse of science — I find the whole Science Wars thing sociologically fascinating — all of them, not just the Climate Science War.

      • Scientists are rarely taught that in order for humans to hear the facts, you, the deliver of those facts have to understand their bias.

        You do a good job of in your essay by pointing out a typical sequence of fallacies.

        1. taking measurements out of context
        2. ascribing a degree of certainty that wasn’t meant to be
        3. pointing out the overreach to causation.

        Humans do that to get some missing need filled. Perfection, approval, apppreciation, “their way” are 4 of the basic behavorial needs that typically come up. Directors of media/movies/etc do the same thing but they use those 4 types to weave imbalanced characters and then take them on the writers journey.

        By showing the 1 thru 3 above you gradually plant a seed in the reader and builds him to an awareness he might not have had before or perhaps cracks the door open in a bias he’s maintained.

        You perhaps do it unintentionally so I thought I’d point out that you are good at it. Reminds me a little bit of John Stossels (US) approach.

        I agree that it’s a whole sociological puzzle much in the way risk that we personally assume is much greater than the risk others do to us. It’s that whole volition/free will streak in humans yet we willing allow ourselves to be led by half truths and pseudoscience and magical fantasies of Xenu. We able little messes that will always have some bias.

        I encourage you to dig into the fray some more. The less words the better and the more subtle steering to a revelation even better. The intriguing thing about all humans is that many of these biases are subconscious patterns developed in youth to function in an adult world. Adults hang on to those patterns usually unknowingly.

        You’d be doing science and the reader a great favor if you gave us some more gems.

  44. Engaging commentary by all!

    From my perspective, the combat between competing representations of the truth needs to have ‘skin in the game’ at the scientist and journal level. Right now, there is no obvious financial or career downside for publishing bulls@t, for the investigator, the journal, or the reviewer. That could be changed if everyone goes ‘at risk’ at some point in the process.

    At the peer-reviewer level, you get cred for defensible ( and actually defended) reviewed papers. You get a ding if one of your papers gets refuted, or (gasp) retracted.

    Same scores accrue at the journal level, and for the individual scientist, and for the organization for which they work.

    On the other side… You get cred when you debunk, refute,..again, you are at risk too, and so are your publishers.

    Why not also, while at it, have actual conferences structured as debates, with an equal number of presenters, on a Lincoln- Douglas-style format…

    Resolved: the North American temperature history, as recorded by surface temperature stations, is not a reliable input on which to base climate trends or policy.

    …could be fun.

  45. “The now endemic corruption of science that has been engendered under the banner of climate change could be easily and effectively addressed by the establishment of a science court resourced to investigate and make determinations on prima facie instances of scientific misconduct.” ~Dr. Walter Starck

    It is an interesting thought. All of us would have legal standing in “climate science” misconduct. It would be hard to find someone who did not…

  46. I got this from a friend. His view is that back radiation is a complete fraud. In SIMPLE terms how can I reply?

    Back Radiation. Real or Pseudo Science?

    Shown below is the back radiation “science” that AGW is based on.

    For backradiation to be true two established scientific proven rules (facts / laws) must be broken

    2nd law of thermodynamics. This means that hot radiation or energy from a cold object can not warm a warmer object
    So if 1 million suns were close to and surrounding our sun. It would have no warming impact on our sun
    But if one sun was hotter and close enough it might do.

    This is a proven, testable, established, scientific fact. What it means is back radiation from the freezing cold atmosphere can not warm earth. Real scientists who point this out are demonized by the fraudster “scientists”.

    1st law of thermodynamics.But this is even worse. Look at the flow diagram below. I will convert %’s to unit’s
    So assume 100 units of energy comes in FROM THE SUN (an energy source like a heater but not CO2) as strongly vibrating, high potency, radiation (radiation varies by vibrational strength depending on the heat of the sources it comes from).

    The diagram below shows (converted % to units of energy)
    48 units absorbed by surface
    29 units reflected by surface or in atmosphere
    23 units absorbed by clouds
    100 units in total

    Now only the 48 units is our focus
    The diagram shows
    5 units leave as convention
    25 units leave as steam
    17 units leave as radiation
    47 units in total

    Lets ignore two facts here

    1. a “scientific” paper can not even get the in and out figures to agree
    2. the radiation % is likely miles too high

    My bigger concern is the 100 extra units of back radiation energy. Where does this magically come from?

    Radiation leave earth at the speed of light. Most just escapes directly to space. Less than 1 unit of 17 would return to earth after colluding with CO2
    So this 1 unit leaves earth and return around 1 or 2 seconds later with a lower energy charge and somehow magically multiplies to 100 units of high potency sun strength back radiation that further warms the earth. (Contravening the 2nd law). Prays the lord. Free energy from CO2. It’s either a miracle without which the earth would be an ice block. Or fraudulent science. Take your pick.

    It mean more warming is produced by back radiation from CO2 etc (that in any other circumstances produce no energy) than powerful, super charged radiation energy from the sun.

    global_energy_budget_components.png

    • Your friend is mistaken, badly. He’s what we call a “skydragon slayer” after the title of the ridiculous book on the subject. Without getting into details, let me just say that this is off-topic dreck about that by policy we don’t discuss here anymore, so please don’ continue or we’ll have to put it into the bit bucket.

      • Indeed. What your friend needs to realize is it is completely wrong to deny the greenhouse effect… in that particular way. This site forbids discussion of that theory, but it actively promotes other theories which deny the greenhouse effect which are apparently better because… reasons.

        Apparently it’s wrong to say back radiation contravenes the second law of thermodynamics, but it is okay to say the greenhouse effect is “contrary to basic physics.” And it’s okay to say it’s been proved carbon dioxide is not causing global warming. Don’t ask me where the line is drawn. I haven’t the slightest clue myself.

      • Brandon Shollenberger on October 27, 2015 at 3:10 am ,

        — – – – – – –

        Brandon Shollenberger,

        A couple of points.

        First, the inanely named ‘greenhouse effect’ (no wonder the public is in a non-trust mode about climate science when the science community picked an un-scientific and misleading name like that) is the infrared radiation absorption and subsequent energy transfer by atmospheric CO2. Who is rejecting such an infrared radiation absorption and subsequent energy transfer involving CO2?

        Second, as to ‘Sky-dragons’ & the book they support ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon’, remember the result of the very generous effort by Judith Curry at her blog to allow an extensive long duration thread on ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon’ related topics. She eventually shut it down for various reasons; one of which was that a Sky-Dragon was threatening her with some kind of legal action and was obnoxious to her about it. Merely that experience by Judith Curry at her blog would be sufficient reason for Anthony’s policy against ‘Sky-dragon’ discussion at WUWT. Don’t you think?

        John

      • John Whitman:

        First, the inanely named ‘greenhouse effect’ (no wonder the public is in a non-trust mode about climate science when the science community picked an un-scientific and misleading name like that) is the infrared radiation absorption and subsequent energy transfer by atmospheric CO2. Who is rejecting such an infrared radiation absorption and subsequent energy transfer involving CO2?

        People writing posts at this site, as the post I linked to points out. When this site runs posts which explicitly deny the greenhouse effect is real, it’s funny the host then turns around and insults sky dragons for rejecting the greenhouse effect. The message is apparently rejecting the greenhouse effect is okay, but only if you do it in certain ways. You can say emitting carbon dioxide will not cause the planet’s temperatures to rise, but you can’t say… whatever it is the sky dragons say.

        Merely that experience by Judith Curry at her blog would be sufficient reason for Anthony’s policy against ‘Sky-dragon’ discussion at WUWT. Don’t you think?

        It’s fine to ban discussion of their views here. I just think it’d help if there was some clear delineation between their views which are verboten and the views Anthony helps promote here which seem to effectively be the same thing. I have no idea what makes the sky dragon views worse than views which are promoted here which say increasing carbon dioxide levels won’t cause warming.

  47. This article looks like carefully contrived propaganda, to me. An attempt to generate support for authoritarian Siants, in the name of combating authoritarian Siants . . and I don’t doubt one little bit that the people behind the CAWG vehicle for authoritarian control of humanity, would love little more than the establishment of a “Science Court”, with the power to shut out non-conformist views in science.

    • Reply to JohnKnight ==> This is yet another salvo in the Climate Wars.

      You can see the same tactics here that you see at RealClimate or SKS and other Climate Alarmist advocates — Ad Hom attacks, misrepresenting the position of opponents (here, he actually misrepresent BOTH sides) by setting up strawmen (again, one straw man for each side), calling for Legal Courts to decide Science issues.

      This is why I say above that both sides in the Climate Wars use the same [unethical] tactics. I find it personally quite distasteful.

      • Kip,

        I certainly agree that those who reject/doubt the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming hypothesis would do well to avoid giving in to the temptation to engage in similar discussion/debate tactics as I see used by many proponents, (particularly those in positions of “authority”).

        And I believe much of what we see along those lines by proponents, is intentionally done (or incited) specifically to encourage a “mud slinging” sort of environment, within which those in positions of authority using such tactics will not stand out as unethical bullies.

        As for “sides” . . I don’t believe more than a relatively small number of ostensible proponents within “climate science” actually believe the CAWG hypothesis is truly plausible, while I do believe many on the other “side” really do see it as truly implausible. I just don’t see many attempts to present the hypothesis in clear logical language . . which is exactly what I would expect to see from real believers in the plausibility of such a grave threat.

        That lack, along with mantras like “the debate is over” and the use of bizzaro derisive terms like “climate denier” and so forth, cause me to suspect there simply is no good case to be explained.

      • Reply to JohnKnight ==> There are people and blogs that focus on the science and avoid engaging in the social/political Climate Wars. Of course, no one interested or active in Climate can avoid commenting on the Climate Wars occasionally, but that’s different than engaging in it as a combatant.

        Judith Curry makes a very good effort. Pielke Jr (recently retired from the field altogether because of attacks from the Climate Alarmist Forces) made a brave effort to do just the Science. There are many others.

        Not surprisingly (to me at least) is the fact that there are all the elements of any other political battle — spies, double agents, turncoats, assassinations (of character and career, so far), very sophisticated coordinated propaganda campaigns, false flag gambits (BEST Project, for example)….very entertaining. As I have already said, both sides use the same techniques….(though I think my side is not as guilty :-)

      • Kip,

        There is a very important difference in the “sides” of what you call the “Climate Wars”, I feel. One side is (effectually) advocating for forcing everyone on the planet to go along with their “side’s” political proponents (who just so happen to command a great many enforcers), and the other “side” is not advocating such things. That alone absolves your side of many heat-of-battle sorts of sins, as I see my reality-land ; )

        I ought to have had a ‘now’ in my comment on plausibility rates . . It’s a time sensitive rating system employed by most scientists, I reckon ; )

    • John,

      I quite agree.

      The whole article is backdoor bullshit.

      The VERY FIRST TWO WORDS in its’ headline are STUPID.
      There can be no such thing as “climate rationalization” ! It is misleading and nonsensical.

      Secondly; the “offenders” (the EPA, UNIPCC et al) constantly fan the flames of confusion by their use of the term CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) which is intentionally misleading and also unproven.

      They must NOT be given an inch.

      To simply introduce the word “dangerous” is extremely dangerous in itself and adds high-octane, eco-tard language to the fire-scare they have already created.

      To suggest a “court” is naive.

      Walter Starck; my question to you is …
      “WHAT EXACTLY DO YOU MEAN BY DANGEROUS ?”

      Your early reply to my question is expected.

      • DAGW is synonymous with CAGW. Both are frequently used acronyms referring to the idea of a serious effect of anthropogenic CO2 emissions on the global climate. In common usage they are also synonymous with GW, AGW and Climate Change. “Dangerous” or “Catastrophic” seems to have been added to make a clear distinction from natural climate variability and to emphasize the degree of threat being claimed by the proponents of the alarm. My use of DAGW is not an endorsement of either the term or the idea, only a reference to it.

        As to the pros and cons of a special court to deal with scientific malpractice, there seems to be several options. One is to do as we have been and that is to effectively exempt academics from laws against, fraud, perjury, false advertising and sundry other crimes to which everyone else is subject. Alternatively the relevant laws could just be enforced through the regular courts. However, the lack of scientific background of judges, lawyers and jury’s would appear to be a significant problem. The suggestion of a special, properly qualified court, is not solely my own idea but has been mooted from time to time.

        One would not envisage such a system to deal with other than matters of major importance where prima facie evidence of malpractice is evident. If others have a better idea, please suggest it; and, if you are simply opposed to doing anything, don’t complain if you have to live with the results.

      • WS

        If I may assume to understand some of the umbrance, it appears the concept of a tribunal to penalize corrupt scientists is what got a few folks going. Admittedly, that is a scary concept if it ever took hold. Not saying it ever will but it is a scary concept. The NIH has something similar thru the Inspector General but I don’t think that’s nessarily what u meant.

        Allow me to assume.

        There is an awful lot of doubt in the judicial ystem lately concerning the independent nature of peer review. It’s confusing the courts and so there is a market for a top tier peer review team that has the credentials and proven integrity to make it easier for the courts. Help them sift thru nonsense.

        Perhaps a pro bono group picks a particular item in the warming slugfest and zeros in on it. Similar to rising sea levels that Kip did.

        It won’t happen overnight, but will happen gradually if the group is referenced as a top notch reviewer or new and old experiments.
        The first court reference is the hardest and then it will slowly grow in importance.

        Food for thought.

  48. “DAGW is synonymous with CAGW.”

    Not to me, sir.

    “Both are frequently used acronyms referring to the idea of a serious effect of anthropogenic CO2 emissions on the global climate”

    It is blatantly obvious to me that this is not true, so . . why on earth ought I take anything you say at face value? (I don’t by the way).

  49. The reason they call it climate change is because many of us remember being told we were headed for the next ice age in the 70s. We were also told we would all die in ten years twenty years ago. Just because the majority of people know this to be group thinking the policy makers are the ones in control. In Ohio, we waste over $35 million on e-check. It’s time to bring this scam to the forefront and the best way to do this is for someone persecuted by the scam like VW with the emissions “scandal.” This is an opportunity for them to follow the money and expose these witch hunts and the same supersitions that burned witches for changing the weather 800 years ago have found it more lucrative to tax the witches. Same superstition, more lucrative results.
    So if they refer to us as Flat Earthers (I think of the famous picture of Mathers (?) accusing witches and replace him with Gore’s face), I refer to them as witch burners (taxers).

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