Commentary: A ‘Red Team/Blue Team’ Exercise Would Strengthen Climate Science

Put the ‘consensus’ to a test, and improve public understanding, through an open, adversarial process.

By Steven Koonin (originally published in the Wall Street Journal, sent to WUWT by the author)

Tomorrow’s March for Science will draw many thousands in support of evidence-based policy making and against the politicization of science. A concrete step toward those worthy goals would be to convene a “Red Team/Blue Team” process for climate science, one of the most important and contentious issues of our age.

The national-security community pioneered the “Red Team” methodology to test assumptions and analyses, identify risks, and reduce—or at least understand— uncertainties. The process is now considered a best practice in high-consequence situations such as intelligence assessments, spacecraft design and major industrial operations. It is very different and more rigorous than traditional peer review, which is usually confidential and always adjudicated, rather than public and moderated.

The public is largely unaware of the intense debates within climate science. At a recent national laboratory meeting, I observed more than 100 active government and university researchers challenge one another as they strove to separate human impacts from the climate’s natural variability. At issue were not nuances but fundamental aspects of our understanding, such as the apparent—and unexpected—slowing of global sea level rise over the past two decades.

Summaries of scientific assessments meant to inform decision makers, such as the United Nations’ Summary for Policy Makers, largely fail to capture this vibrant and developing science. Consensus statements necessarily conceal judgment calls and debates and so feed the “settled,” “hoax” and “don’t know” memes that plague the political dialogue around climate change. We scientists must better portray not only our certainties but also our uncertainties, and even things we may never know. Not doing so is an advisory malpractice that usurps society’s right to make choices fully informed by

risk, economics and values.i Moving from oracular consensus statements to an open adversarial process would shine much-needed light on the scientific debates.

Given the importance of climate projections to policy, it is remarkable that they have not been subject to a Red Team exercise. Here’s how it might work: The focus would be a published scientific report meant to inform policy such as the U.N.’s Summary for Policymakers or the U.S. Government’s National Climate Assessment. A Red Team of scientists would write a critique of that document and a Blue Team would rebut that critique. Further exchanges of documents would ensue to the point of diminishing returns. A commission would coordinate and moderate the process and then hold hearings to highlight points of agreement and disagreement, as well as steps that might resolve the latter. The process would unfold in full public view: the initial report, the exchanged documents and the hearings.

A Red/Blue exercise would have many benefits. It would produce a traceable public record that would allow the public and decision makers a better understanding of certainties and uncertainties. It would more firmly establish points of agreement and identify urgent research needs. Most important, it would put science front and center in policy discussions, while publicly demonstrating scientific reasoning and argument.

The inherent tensionofaprofessional adversarial processwould enhance public interest, offering manyopportunitiesto show laymen how science actually works. (In 2014 Iconducted aworkshop along these lines for the American Physical Society.)

Congress or the executive branch should convene a climate science Red/Blue exercise as a step toward resolving, or at least illuminating, differing perceptions of climate science. While the Red and Blue Teams should be knowledgeable and avowedly opinionated scientists, the commission should have a balanced membership of prominent individuals with technical credentials, led by co-chairmen who are forceful, knowledgeable and independent of the climate-science community. The Rogers Commission for the Challenger disaster in 1986, the Energy Department’s Huizenga/Ramsey Review of Cold Fusion in 1989, and the National Bioethics Advisory Commission of the late 1990s are models for the kind of fact-based rigor and transparency needed.

The outcome of a Red/Blue exercise for climate science is not preordained, which makes such a process all the more valuable. It could reveal the current consensus as weaker than claimed. Alternatively,the consensus could emerge strengthened if Red Team criticisms were countered effectively. But whatever the outcome, wescientistswould have better fulfilled our responsibilities to society, and climate policy discussions would be better informed. For those reasons, all who march to advocate policy making based upon transparent apolitical science should support a climate science Red Team exercise.


Mr. Koonin, a theoretical physicist, is director of the Center for Urban Science and Progress at New York University. He served as undersecretary of energy for science during President Obama’s first term.


As just one example, Key Message 8 on pg. 41 of the 2014 National Climate Assessment is

The intensity, frequency, and duration of North Atlantic hurricanes, as well as the frequency of the strongest (Category 4 and 5) hurricanes, have all increased since the early 1980s. The relative contributions of human and natural causes to these increases are still uncertain. Hurricane-associated storm intensity and rainfall rates are projected to increase as the climate continues to warm.

The first ominous sentence is literally correct but misleads by not mentioning comparable decreases in the decades prior to 1980, as discussed in one of the NCA’s principal references (Knutson et al., 2010: Tropical cyclones and climate change. Nature Geoscience, 3, 157-163, doi:10.1038/ngeo779). Somehow this survived the NCA’s extensive pre- publication reviews, but would have been flagged by a red team. [Curiously, an online version of this Key Message omits the second sentence about uncertainties.]

The first summary point of the most recent NOAA review of hurricane changes provides reinforcement:

It is premature to conclude that human activities–and particularly greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming–have already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity. That said, human activities may have already caused changes that are not yet detectable due to the small magnitude of the changes or observational limitations, or are not yet confidently modeled (e.g., aerosol effects on regional climate).

However, it seems inappropriately wistful for an objective scientific statement. Something like “There has been no detectable human influence on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity over the past 70 years” would have been more neutral.

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167 thoughts on “Commentary: A ‘Red Team/Blue Team’ Exercise Would Strengthen Climate Science

  1. Well here is a blue team comment so ;let#’s hear from the red team:

    I learned my climate science in the 1950s and 1960s, the politically uncorrupted days of Hubert Lamb and the basic thermodynamic knowledge that the surface temperature of planets with atmospheres was a product not only of insolation from the nearby star but also of the mass of an atmosphere engaged in the thermodynamic processes of conduction and convection.

    Then, in 1968, I decided to earn a living from the evidence based practice of Law rather than the maths based and largely theoretically based science of meteorology but nonetheless I maintained an intense interest in ongoing climate changes because I could see that such changes were obviously happening albeit (I could see from reading historical material) on a natural rather than anthropogenically induced basis.

    Around 2000 I noticed that the warming changes of the previous couple of decades (since the mid- 70s climate shift) had gone into reverse and that such reversal was the opposite of the then fashionable AGW scenario. Basically, I noticed that the poleward, zonal drift of the jet stream tracks had gone into reverse despite AGW claims that humans had induced that poleward, zonal shift.

    By 2007, having got past the distractions of career progression and childcare I renewed my interest in climatology and found utter insanity.

    All the earlier scientific progress had been abandoned and any reference to it was considered sacrilege. The proponents of AGW were themselves in denial of all earlier knowledge.

    The entire climate debate had become centred on radiative physics alone with the thermodynamics of mass working with conduction and convection utterly ignored, indeed relegated to an unwelcome irrelevance.

    So, in the face of that, I started burrowing down into the basic principles of climate, thermodynamics and radiative physics in order to completely reconstruct my climate knowledge. In the process I found that the AGW proponents were the true denialists and that the earlier, discarded knowledge provided a sound basis upon which to build.

    The outcome is a series of articles now spread across the blogosphere and collated here:

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/

    I know from real world observations that I have it right.

    How long before the rest of you, catch up?

    • Steve wrote: ” I know from real world observations that I have it right.”

      In the adversarial system practiced by attorneys and politicians, one always must feel and act as if they got it right. If you don’t act like you believe in your position, the judge or jury won’t agree with you. If you don’t act like you believe in your client’s position, he won’t hire you or keep paying. As a politician, if you don’t support your party’s positions, you won’t receive any campaign funds. I’ve “caught up” to why you must be right. Unfortunately, there are too many people on the other side who “must be right” too.

      This is exactly why a red team-blue team approach would have some value. We could get away from echo chambers of people who can’t afford to confront evidence that suggests they might be wrong. Science is the process of rigorously trying to prove that your hypotheses are wrong. We never prove that a theory is right, merely that it is consistent with all observations.

      Anyone who is confident in the outcome of a debate between a blue and red team is a policy advocate, not a scientist. Will any from the blue team participate?

      • Tomorrow’s March for Science will draw many thousands in support of evidence-based policy making and against the politicization of science.

        I know from real world observations that he could not be more WRONG about that. Not a good start to his article.

      • The first ominous sentence is literally correct but misleads by not mentioning comparable decreases in the decades prior to 1980, as discussed in one of the NCA’s principal references (Knutson et al., 2010: Tropical cyclones and climate change. Nature Geoscience, 3, 157-163,

        It also misleads by omitting to mention the drastic drop in cyclone activity since 2005 , during the allegedly “hottest decade EVAH”.

      • Greg,

        This statement struck me as odd too;

        “Summaries of scientific assessments meant to inform decision makers, such as the United Nations’ Summary for Policy Makers, largely fail to capture this vibrant and developing science. Consensus statements necessarily conceal judgment calls and debates and so feed the “settled,” “hoax” and “don’t know” memes that plague the political dialogue around climate change.”

        Why would one say “meant to inform decision makers”, if it conceals judgment calls and debates? Meant to influence decision makers kinda makes sense, but the very pretense of an attempt to inform them with such a thing renders; meant to fool them, the more appropriate term, to my mind ; )

    • The Red Team refuses to engage with or give any credence to any ‘arguments’ put by Blue Team Deniers.

      We will march, march, march, troll, troll, troll and tweet, tweet, tweet to spread the word of Gaia in our own way until total victory is ours.

      yours in submissive faith

      Einzatsgruppenfuhrer Red 54
      Seig Heil !

      /sarc

  2. The author’s laudable goal is impossible. That he does not realize this is obvious from this enormous factual error:

    thousands in support of evidence-based policy making

    .

    AGWers want science to be politicized. They have no evidence. Politics is all they’ve got.

    • Ya beat me to it.

      Anything but a simple consistent message will ‘confuse’ the public and make it less likely that they will be willing to drink the Kool-Aid.

      The alarmists won’t do anything that looks like a debate.

      • It’s something that we need to do. Bit by bit the public will come to realize which side wants to debate and which side is committed to shutting down debate.
        Regardless, I can already hear the responses. The same ones we’ve been hearing for years.
        The science is settled.
        It’s time to stop talking and start doing.
        etc

      • On a slight tangent but nonetheless applicable, in Australia recently the documentary “The Red Pill” has recently attracted the sort of ‘denier’ attention typically vented on the skeptical side of the AGW debate. Happy to report that a number of female journalists and not just the ‘usual suspects’ have called out the Grrrly Gestapo for their antics, it being pretty clear that they have gone way too far in their usual ‘shut it down’ campaign.

        Green shoots of post PC democracy emerging?

        In Oz our flora renew their greenery and their seeds germinate not after the freeze of winter but after the passage of fire. Just a metaphor but apt I think.

    • Disagree. See over at Climate Etc for some examples. Red teaming AR5 WG1 or NCA2014 would expose the shoddy science, the vast uncertainties, and the projections based on failed models. The core idea is twofold: public exposure (removing pal review and MSM and ‘consensus’ and ‘science is setttled’ biases; sunshine as disinfectant,
      Warmunists will hate it. Which is strong evidence that it is a powerful and usefull tool for bringing honesty into what has been a dishonest debate.

      • You disagree with what I never said. I did NOT say that debate was not a good thing. I said that author’s assumption that the AGWers care about evidence is mistaken. They WON’T debate.

        Debate is a good thing.
        Debate would prove AGW is wrong.

        You, in short, misread me.
        (not you cBob — but, I think you meant “more likely” to drink the Kool-aid….?)

        Since at least 3 others also did, it must have been my poor writing.

        Arrrrrrgh!!

      • Janice Moore April 21, 2017 at 7:00 pm

        Arrrrrrgh!!

        Me too. You are right about the Kool-Aid. The people won’t drink it if the people are confused by thinking that the are two valid sides to the debate. The alarmists don’t want that.

    • @ Janice

      I don’t want to be rude, but you just don’t get it.

      For the last 40 years the sceptical community has endorsed Einstein’s definition of insanity; and repeated the solution of scientific integrity Ad nauseam, and lost.

      Trump happens along, and he’s the global saviour from climate alarmism, until he changes his mind or gets booted out.

      Then we are back to square one.

      How about we match the opposition and politicise our side of the argument instead of arguing from the depths of unintelligible science?

      Science is the art of enlightenment, politics is the science of communication.

      Unless we sceptics grasp the political opportunity available to us now, its likely gone forever.

      • How about, Mr. or Ms. Scot, if you read what I wrote and attack THAT, instead of what you imagine me to think.

        Also, if you are not new to WUWT, to write as you did, apparently to inform me of what I have repeatedly said myself in other ways for YEARS, shows that you either are either drunk or that you did read my comments with meaningful comprehension.

      • I’m glad to know that Koonin is not pro-CAGW. He writes under a HUGE misimpression about the AGWers, nevertheless. They do not WANT debate.

        And, again, for all the OTHERS who must have misunderstood my APPARENTLY VERY POOR WRITING (arrgh): debate is a good thing and would only prove AGW is the junk science that it is).

        This has been a good day for me. I was reminded, once again, that:

        1. I do not write as well as I thought I did.

        2. I am seen as such an intellectual lightweight, that my comments do not get a careful reading — they are easily misread, for they are not read as “likely to have something accurate and important to say.”

        Thank you! (seriously, though, with toothpicks holding up my grin, at the moment, heh)

      • Your doing a great job, Janice. Don’t get more humble than you already are! I had no trouble understanding writing.

      • Janice,
        The important thing is, you think right; Fair, logical, factual.
        Everyone here appreciates that.
        Especially “busy at work”, drop ins like me, who never say much, but want to keep learning.
        Best,
        RR

      • Janice Moore April 21, 2017 at 7:09 pm

        2. I am seen as such an intellectual lightweight, that my comments do not get a careful reading — they are easily misread, for they are not read as “likely to have something accurate and important to say.”

        Oh, stop that thought right now. You have much better use of that imagination than even succumbing to believing that for one moment. Don’t let that rent any space in your head.
        Sorry Janice, but you are wrong this time.
        Your skills used in communications via the internet are just fine. Way better than 97% !!
        I don’t seem to have any problem understanding you, even ‘inbetween the lines’ when it reads : )

      • Mods:
        Please check the spam file. I posted a reply to Janice twice yesterday (April 21st) and once today (April 22nd)

        If you can find the most recent post, that would be all that needs to be posted.

        Thank You!

      • Fifth attempt to post this comment over four days!
        Two posts disappeared 4/21
        One post disappeared 4/22
        Another post attempt apparently disappeared 4/25

        This time, I am splitting the comment in half!

        Stop with the extreme self deprecation and over the top remorse, Janice!
        Straighten your back!
        Buck up those shoulders!

        Take out those toothpicks.
        Go eat your fill of chocolate!.
        Put a smile on the freckled face!

        The world is your oyster, lobster, or geoduck (Panopea generosa) if you prefer.

        There is nothing wrong with your writing, perhaps your writing has a smidgeon of presumption.

        Koonan’s writing and interview is as you stated, Janice. Koonan has known and still know that government’s alleged science departments are politicized; i.e. strongly spinning advocacy and rearranging data. There is not any expression for personnel departures or chastisement.

      • Sixth attempt to post this comment over four days!
        Two posts disappeared 4/21
        One post disappeared 4/22
        Another post attempt apparently disappeared 4/25
        An attempt to post the second half failed 4/25 1:40AM EST

        Now, I am splitting the comment in thirds since posting the second half failed.!
        The first half posted correctly 4/25 1:39AP EST.
        Now for the second half.
        Posting the second third.

        Actually, Koonan’s statements are carefully controlled to agitate the CAGW avengers. If the usual racketeers take personal offense, it is without cause; i.e., except for Gavin Schmidt. Koonan explicitly mentions that he asked Gavin, about damage cause to users research relying on NOAA data and the loss of trust in government science.

        You, Janice, are seen as somewhat mutable in expression.
        many days, your wit brings us pleasure and amusement; i.e. videos.
        Some days, you hammer home critical corrections to scientific misstatements; excellent reading.
        Other days, you have a touch of mood. Not a problem, that too does pass.

      • Eighth attempt to post this comment over four days!
        Two posts disappeared 4/21
        One post disappeared 4/22
        Another post attempt apparently disappeared 4/25
        An attempt to post the second half failed 4/25 1:40AM EST
        The attempt to post the final third failed 4/25 1:53 AMEST

        Now, I’ll split the final third!
        The first half posted correctly 4/25 1:39AP EST.
        Posting a split final third

        Anyone who treats you, Janice, as a lightweight is an utter fool.
        You are not alone, those scraped from dog-kennel workers shoe fools, have the bad habit of not reading anyone’s comment and often not the article. Utter fools described as flyspecks with delusions of grandeur.

        Just be Janice and let us enjoy your sharp incisive wit!

      • Yes, Koonan bent over backwards to stay “in the middle” in this suggestion so partisans could not easily dismiss him as biased (and dismiss the idea of a debate). I think he would actually agree very much with Janice.

      • “Ken Hanson April 28, 2017 at 12:36 am
        Oops. It’s Koonin, not Koonan.”

        You are correct Ken!

        Double Oops!

        PS Just in case the mods wonder what WordPress was trashing my posts over. I mentioned the name of an actress. That last part that I successfully posted only had her name and her co-star.
        Wordpress is fickle!

        Thanks for your tolerating my persistence.

      • Argh!

        Where I mistyped: “That last part that I successfully posted only had her name and her co-star.”

        Should read: “That last part that I successfully posted, withheld only her name and her co-star.”

    • And you can add this other major error too!

      ‘The focus would be a published scientific report meant to inform policy such as the U.N.’s Summary for Policymakers or the U.S. Government’s National Climate Assessment.’

      The Summary for Policymakers is not a scientific report as it is written by the politicians and does not summarise the report – it makes politically inspired statements that then change the report.

  3. Perhaps make it a Congressionallly sponsored investigation, with compulsory process for gathering disclosure from both sides. Requiring people like Mann to produce his files to back his claims under threat (a real threat this time) of jail time for hiding evidence would help a great deal.

  4. Too late for the read team to do much, the AGW propaganda has scored a notable victory.
    Industrial revolution was imitated in the UK some two hundred years ago, it was based on use of coal as main source of energy. In 1882 the world’s first coal-fired public power station, the Edison Electric Light Station, was built in London.
    Today, after 135 years of using coal to generate electricity, for the first time none of the UK electricity was generated by burning coal.
    Look at the third dial in this link http://gridwatch.templar.co.uk/ it shows zero.
    Good or bad it is a date worthy of a note.

    • Yep, now they prefer to cut down centennial oak forests in the US, waste energy drying and shipping it burn it in the UK’s ( ex coal fired ) Drax power station. Same thing happening in France and Germany.

      In my day the green movement was all about saving trees, now they destroy ancient forest instead.

      That’s the sort of thing which happens when you use a false reason for attaining a political goal.

      • Greg – your point about forests can be made even more telling by this, which introduces a rather attractive trans-atlantic symmetry to the absurdity of it all. A former coal-burning power station in Thunder Bay, Ontario, has been converted to burning something called “advanced biomass” and that requires wood pellets to be imported from Norway.

        http://www.opg.com/generating-power/thermal/stations/thunder-bay-station/Documents/ThunderBayPanels.pdf

        (it’s quite a way down, if you can handle the emetic self-adulation and dubious “carbon accounting”)

        You can also talk to Germans who love their historic forests about how much has been cut down to provide roads and pads for bird-and-bat-killing windmills.

  5. The March for Science Apr 22 2017. Is it real Science or “Politically Correct Science?”

    We’ re marching for Science, Yippee!
    Obama is gone. We are free
    to explore what is true.
    No more models will do.
    The Climate has changed, totally!

    The Climate doomsayers are out in force are out in force again.

    What stands out is the claim “The “Debate” is over”

    So, let’s see what facts are in.

    CO2 is a strong greenhouse gas, second only to water vapor in affecting the climate on earth. If CO2 were to double from pre-industrial times, which it will have done in 50 years or so, global temperatures on earth will increase about 0.9 degree Celsius from pre-industrial times, if that was the only factor affecting the greenhouse effect. This corresponds to a radiative forcing of 4.9 W/m2. But water vapor is a stronger greenhouse gas than CO2, and, this is important, they are not orthogonal as defined by chemometrics, that means, the responses from water vapor and CO2 are not independent, and they are only partly additive. Check this figure: The bottom line is the absorption of water vapor, the green line is for CO2. The area of interest is between 8 and 20 microns, where CO2 absorbs more than H20 and is at the maximum of outgoing black body emission at 0F. The CO2 concentration is on the order of 400 ppm, the average global H2O concentration at surface level is around 12,500 ppm. Since both H2O and CO2 absorb in the same area, if water vapor concentration is more than 30 times higher, the CO2 con- centration doesn’t matter, it is all absorbed by H2O, and this is the reason there is no hotspot in the equatorial troposphere. All climate models predict there must be one, so there must be something seriously wrong with all climate models.

    What does IPCC do with this evidence?

    IPCC ignores it, and claim the models are still correct.

    This is not science, but politically correct science denial.

    We are now in a nineteen year Climate “pause”, where increasing cloud cover with its strong negative feedback cancels out the potential temperature rise of rising CO2.

    We are in the bog-building phase of the inter-glacial period, and the long term temperature trend is down, rising CO2 will delay the onset of the next ice age by maybe 2000 years.

    The real debate has just started, and this time, let us talk real science, verified by observations, not fear-mongering political statements.
    https://lenbilen.com/2017/04/21/the-march-for-science-apr-22-2017-is-it-real-science-or-politically-correct-science/

    • There is a mechanism whereby water vapour deals with the potential warming effect of CO2 and other non condensing GHGs.
      Non condensing GHGs distort the lapse rate slope to the warm side so that convection slows down. Slower convection over a water planet allows more humidity to built up above the surface. Higher humidity allows water vapour to condense out to clouds at a lower, warmer height. Clouds at a lower warmer height radiate mpore to space and thus offset the effect of the non condensing GHGs.

      • Speak English, not science.

        There are a few million scientists out there who might understand you. There are a few billion non scientists that don’t.

        Try to appeal to the people who might influence political movement. That’s democracy.

      • Non condensing GHGs distort the lapse rate slope to the warm side so that convection slows down.
        ============
        don’t agree. as the lapse rate increases, so does convection. the upper limit on the lapse rate is 9.8 C/km. This is the conversion between KE and PE due to gravity. Nothing to do with GHG. Air molecules can only fall so fast, and this is determined by gravity.

        condensing GHG (water) changes the lapse rate from 9.8 C/km to 6.5 C/km, which reduces the convection rate. the more water condensing in the atmosphere, tg lower the lapse rate, the slower convection lifts water vapor up into the atmosphere to condense, which limits the amount that water vapor can reduce the lapse rate.

        Adding CO2 CANNOT increase the lapse rate above 9.8 C/km, no matter if the atmosphere is 100% CO2. Adding CO2 might increase the lapse rate above 6.5 C by reducing the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere due to partial pressure law, but this would increase convection. However the climate models all predict that adding CO2 will increase the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere

        Basically the lapse rate has almost nothing.to do with CO2. It is entirely accounted for by convection and gravity converting between KE and PE (only KE affects temperature) and the condensation of water.

    • “CO2 is a strong greenhouse gas, second only to water vapor in affecting the climate on earth.” In making this statement you are assuming that a radiant grreenhouse effect exists yet such has not been observed anywhere in the solar system. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific rational to support the idea that the climate sensivity of CO2 is really zero.

      • In reply to Stephen Wilde:
        Your “no radiation any gas” graph is wrong. With no radiation from the atmosphere, the lapse rate would be effectively zero. See

        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/24/refutation-of-stable-thermal-equilibrium-lapse-rates/

        Of course earth’s SURFACE would still be radiating heat to space, there would continue to be a temperature drop from surface to poles, so we would still have atmospheric circulation with air rising at the equator and sinking at the poles, but would that circulation drop drastically with only the air in immediate contact with the ground cooling/warming, and air higher in the atmosphere cooling/warming at a much slower rate?

      • Alan,

        There would still be a lapse rate slope even for a completely non radiative atmosphere.

        The reason being that KE at the base would still be converted to PE with height which would manifest as cooling because PE does not register as heat.

        Therefore, my diagram is correct.

      • Furthermore, the error that Robert G Brown makes is in assuming that an atmosphere that is convectively overturning can ever be in thermodynamic equilibrium such as to become isothermal.
        In reality ALL cooling during uplift is matched by warming in descent so that thermodynamic equilibrium can never be achieved.
        There will always be a lapse rate even without radiative gases.

      • Maybe net zero. Those stubby little “wings”, the transitions magnitudes weaker than the fundamental bend, are not yet saturated. CO2 is not without effect. The effects are small and offsetting. We can not yet even be sure of the net sign.

      • With NO greenhouse gases, the atmosphere would quickly reach equilibrium, atmospheric pressure would drop off exponentially with height, but there would ultimately be no temperature change with height.

      • As pressure drops with height the molecules move apart and KE converts to PE in order to satisfy the Gas Laws. Temperature will drop with no radiative loss required.

  6. We say, YES, let’s hold this public exercise. The other side, I imagine they see it as a dare.

  7. Tomorrow’s March for Science will draw many thousands in support of evidence-based policy making and against the politicization of science……..

      • No kidding. So low they approach us male ego jerks.

        No one really knows anything about God, or even worse, does not care one way or the other.

        I, myself, think global warming is a giant diversion that makes some political bodies look more concerned about the common good than they really are. Like Obama told Leonardo de Caprio that global warming was a major contributor to the Syrian civil war. Oh for crying out loud, how obvious of a phony can this man be? We have real crises to save that could use all your precious funds to save the human race right now.

    • II think that true, but the organizers and perhaps most supporters of the march appear to support politically correct policy and speech, where science anecdotes and perversions are simply used as advertising support.

  8. This proposal completely ignores the on going political fighting where both sides will do anything or say anything, whether truthful or not, to push their agenda. With the prevailing attitude that it is OK to engage in fake news to discredit the other side there is no trust in anything put forward. Because this distrust runs deep, and rightly so, open discussion will never accomplish anything other than brewing more distrust. The solution? At my age I really don’t care as long as it doesn’t cost me any money.

      • Yes, there are unbending people on both sides. Exaggerations, slanted articles, cherry picking and one sided views abound.

      • Tom, you need to ask yourself which side produces coherent discussions of actual data with graphs and assertions based on those graphs.. and which side almost never does that. The advantage of Koonan’s suggestion is that it would lead to writings aimed at the general public that would put both sides on the record as to what they have claimed, and can or cannot reasonably defend.

  9. The main issue with this article is that it makes the assumption that the CAGW industry seeks to scientifially enlighten the public and the scientific community, rather than to create confusion for its own self interest.

  10. Judith Curry’s recent article on the benefits and limitations of climate models would be a great place to start. I’d love to see a sensible, reasoned, focussed response to it, but all we ever seem to get is wailing and gnashing of teeth, or fingers in ears (or both). I remain willing to be persuaded that mankind’s CO2 emissions could be harmful but all I see is speculative argument from authority in popular science reporting and misrepresentation of uncertainty and statements of faith that don’t belong in serious research.

    • Dug into this extensively for portions of two ebooks published 2012 and 2014. CO2 is a greenhouse gas. But net effect is less than models state for several reasons: overstated feedbacks, tuned in natural variation, bad effects papers, many comprising academic misconduct…
      Lots of examples in the 2014 ebook.

  11. A Red team.

    Oh goody, another committee, to design a horse.

    I’m sorry, but with the best will in the world, layering technicality upon technicality achieves nothing.

    Dismantle the dysfunctional operation rather than appeasing it by adding yet more complexity.

    Then start a new team, not a red team.

  12. What this article describes is politics and not science. The bottom line here is that the AGW conjecture depends upon the existant of a radiant greenhouse effect caused by the LWIR absorption properties of a few trace gases in the Earth;s atmosphere. Such a radiant greenhouse effect has yet to be observed anywere in the solar system. The lack of existance of a radiant greenhouse effect renders the AGW conjecture as science fiction.

  13. We already have this competition going on. Natural Climate Change Denier Books and Websites against the CAGW Denier Books and Websites. The Natural Climate Change Deniers have lost. They’re just too dumb to notice.

  14. An impractical idea, as illustrated by the examples given. Are we to have a red team/blue team discussion/interaction on frequency of hurricanes in the Atlantic basin, then another on average intensity, then another on intensity of the strongest storms,, then another on frequency of cyclones globally, then another on intensity of cyclones globally, then another on intensity of strongest cyclones globally, before moving on to red team/blue team arguments over average precipitaion in California, USA, world, then intensity of precipitation etc, etc, etc?

    The idea behind this is OK, but is actually happens already. Areas that are disputed scientifically have competing papers about them. The frequency of hurrricanes is a good example, and there has been much competition scientifically about this with different scientists publishing opposing views.

    What the author seems to be suggesting is a way for minority positions to appear to be the same as majority positions. So you get the HIV causes aids medics as red team and AIDS is caused by environment represented by the blue team medic. You let the vaccines cause autism medic as red team debate the there is no evidence that vaccines cause autism medics as blue team. You have the young Earth creationist scientist as red team debate the evolutionist scientist as red team. You have the flat earther blue teamdebate the sane red team. To the observer it looks like an argument of equals, but it is not.

    No, to be fair, the red tam and the blue team should be representative. Take an issue, count the experts on one side (red) and the other (blue) and represent them by numbers of people on their team.

    So we get vaccines cause autism represented by Andrew Wakefield, and the rest represented by 1000 other doctors. They each get to present their case. If the dissenting case is strong enough it could still win the day.

    So, in principle I am in favor of the red team/blue team approach, but it has to adjusted appropriately or it is simply a way to distort the weight of the evidence.

    • The idea is that the third party observer is supposed to consider the evidence and only the evidence so that numbers on either side are irrelevant.
      Ideally the evidence against Andrew Wakefield’s position should be enough to discredit his position without 1000 other doctors saying anything at all.
      If you need to call in the other 1000 doctors then that can only be because the evidence is not clear either way and you are relying on emotional pressure rather than the raw evidence.

      • The winner should depend on:

        1. Who the mainstream media agrees with
        2. Whoever yells the loudest
        3. Whoever has the largest stack of “research” papers

      • Stephen.
        “The idea is that the third party observer is supposed to consider the evidence and only the evidence so that numbers on either side are irrelevant.
        Ideally the evidence against Andrew Wakefield’s position should be enough to discredit his position without 1000 other doctors saying anything at all.”

        So you are suggesting that policy should be decided by Wakefield going one-on -one with another doctor in front of the policy makers, and the person that is most convincing on the day gets to dictate the policy?

      • seaice1: “So you are suggesting that policy should be decided by Wakefield going one-on -one with another doctor in front of the policy makers, and the person that is most convincing on the day gets to dictate the policy?”

        The danger of a fluke “win” should be avoided. The climate debate (and other debates) should be conducted online at first, for between six months and a year, between teams, on over 40 “fronts” (such as sea level, glaciers, sea ice, arctic methane, temperature sensitivity, the hot spot, the hockey stick, etc.). Only after such an airing should there be televised debates of all 3 hours each—and there should be at least a dozen such debates, on the various “fronts” in conflict.

    • seaice1: Why must each issue have a separate discussion? Scientists should be able to multitask and consider more than one subject at a time. It’s not that difficult.

      You really don’t understand science at all, do you? You want this to be a VOTE using “representative” samples. That’s not science. You are deliberately destroying the science aspect with numbers. Can’t let go of the VOTE, can you?

      There’s nothing wrong with letting in those of the minority opinion, unless you are asserting that people are too stupid to understand science. I’m not sure that’s a good thing to assert. Or, as Stephen Wilde noted, is the evidence so weak for one position that you need 1000 people representing that side? Seems like that’s an admission of very flimsy evidence.

      • Sheri, we are not talking about science- that is taken care of in the scientific literature. We are tlking about policy and how policy descisions are made.

        I find it irritating that you accuse me of not understanding science when we are not discussing science, but policy.

        It is absolutely fine for people to disagree wiith me, but it is galling when people fail to understand the very basics of the argument and then accuse me of lack of understanding.

        Please, if you don’t think what I have said is correct, don’t simply assume I am an idiot with no understanding. It may be you who has misunderstood, as was the case here. So please, ask for clarification or point out the error.

    • Seaice,

      Numbers and consensus don’t count. Just the facts.

      In 1517, the numbers would have been 1000 to one against the earth moving.

      In 1617, the numbers would have been 1000 to one in favor of a 5621 year-old earth.

      In 1717, the numbers would have been 1000 to one in favor of phlogiston.

      In 1817, the numbers would have been 1000 to one in favor of the immutability of species.

      In 1917, the numbers would have been 1000 to one in favor or immobile continents.

      • Chimp (relying to seaice1)

        Until 1909, the world’s physics consensus held that every atomic was monolithic and solid. Rutherford showed the consensus was wrong.
        Until the early 1910’s, the physics consensus held that light traveled through a physical aether between planets and stars. Took a loooong while to establish the consensus was wrong.
        Until 1896, the world’s physics consensus held that atomic nuclei were stable, that all elements and chemicals were made of inconvertible, simple atoms. Bequerrel showed the consensus was wrong, radiation was continually occuring – and the world’s “physics” was ignorant and dead wrong.
        Until the 1960’s the world’s geologists and physics violently rejected any proposal that the continents moved. They were wrong, and the one “NON-Expert” who proposed a competing theory was right ever since 1924.
        Until 1932, the world’s consensus held that atoms were made of protons and neutrons. Took a scientist rejected by the “consensus” of her peers to show that they were wrong.
        Until the 1960’s, the world’s consensus held that moon was cratered by volcanoes. Took some exploration to show it was cratered by impacts. Took more exploration to show that the same craters were caused by impacts on earth.

        Care to continue trying to defend “consensus” peer-reviewed science – when that consensus has never yet been right on any major, minor, or indfferent matter in the physical sciences? When that consensus is bought by the bureaucrats who fund the consensus, who benefit by the consensus, and who reject proposals that contradict their consensus?
        Until 1932, the world’s physics consensus allowed only electrons and protons.

      • Your comment is not relavent to the discussion. We are talking about policy. In 1517, which policy was concerned ith the Earth moving? In 1617 which policy was concerned with the age of the Earth? In 1717 which policy as concrned with phlogiston? In 1817 which policy was concerned with immutability of species? In 1917 which policy was concerned with mobile continents?

        You see, scientfic discussion goes on continually. That is not what the red team/blue team thing is about. It is about someone making a decision on policy.

        So when it came to a policy choice on going to the moon, the red team/blue team had already reported. The Earth went round the sun. NASA did not get a red team to propose that he Earth went round the sun and blue team from 1700 to argue that the sun went round the Earth, then decide how to go about the moonshot.

      • Seaice,

        How could the comment not be relevant? It shows that most of the time the consensus is what exists to be shown false, as CAGW surely is.

        Past false scientific consensuses have indeed had dire policy consequences. Witness eugenics, which was the CAGW of the first half of the 20th century, and led to N@zi atrocities.

        Some of those prior consensuses that I mentioned also had policy consequences. Just ask Bruno, burned alive, or Galileo, confined for the last eight years of his life.

        Do you seriously imagine that the consensuses on the miasma or humor theories of disease had no consequences? Those who advocated the germ theory of disease, like Semmelweis, were hounded to their deaths. The scientific establishment fought Snow tooth and nail, until finally one of his opponents came around to recognizing that cholera was a waterborne disease.

        You are on the wrong side of history, reality, truth, justice and the way forward for the world.

      • RACookPE1978
        “when that consensus has never yet been right on any major, minor, or indfferent matter in the physical sciences?”

        i really have to take issue with you here. There is wrong and ther is just not even wrong.

        Some matters in the physical sciences where the consensus apppears to be right include:
        Earth goes round the sun
        Moon goes round the Earth
        Sun is center of the solar system
        Solar system is in a Galaxy
        Galaxy is one of many in the universe
        Matter is made from atoms
        Elements are defined by the number of protons in the nucleus
        Genes are the basic elements of heredetry
        Presssure and temperature of an ideal gas are related by the formula PV=nRT
        Every reaction has an equal and oppsit reaction
        Matter and energy cannot be created or destroyed
        Species evolved….

        I mean, I could go on forever, but it seems pointless. The question “what consensus has ever been right in the physial sciences” is just so extensive that it is absurd to try to complete the list.

        The implication that there are few things in the physical sciences that are both right and generally agreed is on its face such a stupid thing to say that I cannot understand anyone making such a claim.

        But then I remebered where I was.

      • Seaice:

        The correct “consensuses” that you cite replaced prior consensuses that were wrong.

        Yes, science is self-correcting, such that what were once hypothetical or theoretical insights by lone individuals crying in the wilderness came to recognized generations or centuries later as objectively true observations.

        Before the correct but heretical theory that the earth goes around the sun while turning on its axis was the over two millennial long consensus that the sun goes around (or over) an immobile earth. Same goes for almost any now accepted theory or hypothesis that you can name.

        CAGW is just as wrong as was the miasma theory of disease.

      • Chimp ” It shows that most of the time the consensus is what exists to be shown false,” What an absurd statement. The consensus now is that the Sun is the center of the solar system, energy is conserved, F=MA, gravity attracts, heat flows from hot to cold, etc etc etc. Are you really trying to sat that because these things are generally agreed they are probably wrong? Because that is what you said. I cannot think you really meant to say that.

      • RACook, what you are seeing in seaice is a fear of this scientific debate (public policy with which he conflates it is what is mulled over after the debate is over). He knows as we all do that the CAGW team has had their noses bloodied in every debate and they won’t go for this idea at all.

        What the debates showed before the Warm folks gave debating up is that their warming is greatly exaggerated and uncertainties make it impossible to detect a signal of human based or any based CO2/temperature relation (a modest amount in the laboratory but negative feedbacks keep the range of T stable over millions if years.) Natural variations create swings on a variety of scales from bleak glacial to brief interglacials and lesser undulating T over shorter periods.

        Worse for the end of world folks is the incontrovertible benefits of CO2 that have come to be noticed. Doubling of aggie output per acre. Greening of arid areas, enhanced forest growth and habitat in the natural world….

        The debate would show that mitigation is the answer for the modest sealevel rise and sensible civil defence for disasters that we have endured for centuries.

        Fossil fuels are cheap and we will run them down long before the end of this century. They logically WILL be replaced by reliable new generation nuclear and, ultimately perhaps we will discover another form of cheap energy. Cheap is the operative word for survival itself. Why, for the first time in history should we be casting back to archaic technologies we had to abandon?

        I’m all for the red team blue team approach because we will learn much about this whole affair when this logical idea is loudly rejected, cursed, vilified and the promoters of it subjected to hatred, charges of racism…….. Let’s have this all in public, too.

      • Unfortunately, many advocates of man-made global warming lack the restraint of the Roman Inquisition. Rather than merely forcing skeptics to abjure their heresy and endure house arrest for life, they want to kill their pro-science opponents.

        Nevertheless, the earth is not warming. But it still moves.

    • seaice1: “The idea behind this is OK, but is actually happens already. Areas that are disputed scientifically have competing papers about them.”

      Yes, it happened already in nutrition science, and the dissenting and correct position was unable to get traction. Therefore, what’s happening already is inadequate. the structure of a formal debate is needed to overcome ingrained prejudice, obsolete paradigms, pal review, intimidated editors, funding disparities, etc.

      • seaice1 April 21, 2017 at 5:17 pm
        So what is your solution?

        My solution is the establishment of some sort of formal debate structure for contested parts of science, employing red / blue teams and neutral (mostly) moderators. The Climate Dialogue site was a good start. It isn’t all that important for a winner to be declared, although moderators can frown on certain arguments and “findings.” The more important benefits are what Koonin was talking about, such as getting the whole dispute, including all its points and counterpoints, written by the most knowledgeable advocates on both side, on the record in one place for all to review, to understand not only what is most likely true, but what the dependencies are, what the amount of uncertainty is, what the unknowns are, what areas are most in need of research and funding, etc., etc.

      • Roger, all areas are contested. Your suggestion is absurd. I can understand it makes some sort of sense for policy choice but it makes no sense at all for establishing the science. That must be done by publishing research.

      • Yeah. seaice just wants everyone to acknowledge that the science is settled so we can MoveOn to deciding how many trillions of taxpayer dollars will go to cronies.

      • seaice1: “it makes no sense at all for establishing the science. That must be done by publishing research.”

        Publishing papers didn’t work in nutrition. In part that was because gatekeepers of the consensus didn’t want such papers published and didn’t fund contrarian research, and also because they (led by Keyes) viciously mocked the polite British contrarian advocate (who blamed obesity on sugar, not fat) to the point where people were afraid to lift their heads above the parapet on his behalf. (Sound familiar?) Only a formal debate would have leveled the playing field and clarified matters.

  15. Quote: Tomorrow’s March for Science will draw many thousands in support of evidence-based policy making and against the politicization of science.

    Oh really? My observations to date say that “Tomorrow’s March for Science will draw many thousands in opposition to evidence-based policy making and for the politicization of science”

    Time will tell!

    • Oh, and red team/blue team. Forget it. Just turn off the funding to the blue team.

      To date funding for the blue team has been in the billions. The unpaid, informal red team has already done its job by pointing out the unscience.

      • That’s not very scientific. Yes, the one side has had billions, but funding only the other side now reeks of politics or revenge, rather than fairness. Fund research that is empirically based and adheres to the rules of science. (If that cuts out the blue side, then so be it. It’s about science that way.)

    • Tomorrow’s March for “Science” will see sales for white lab coat rental companies hit an all time high.

  16. The time for debate is long over. The Blue Team aka the Climate Liars lost, badly, which is why they refused to debate afterwards. Besides, they had the MSM, the IPCC, most so-called “scientific” organizations, world governments, and NGO’s in their back pockets, so why bother?

  17. Better yet… Turn it into The Climate Apprentice. Televise it and have President Donald J. Trump adjudicate the two teams with his own team of climate advisors and scientists assisting him in scoring the two teams. Set it up on a national scale with grade schools, high schools, colleges and universities having their own teams participate at their level, and have recognition and prizes for the winners of every debate. Make rules so that one side or the other can’t hog the debate by shouting them down with slogans, and the science that is presented is real science with no mud slinging. Have it ongoing for at least several months perhaps once a week on prime time television. Make it fun, smart and appealing to everyone to participate and support their side.

    The Donald could do great justice to such a subject that he and his cabinet are about to adjudicate in the political sphere over the next several months (or sooner). Perhaps this could assist the federal and state governments in coming up with policies that assist in putting this matter closer to ‘settled’. And the whole world would get an eye opening education. Plus it would be fun…

    The Climate Apprentice. Remember, you heard it here first at WUWT!

    • All that’s needed for this debate to happen is for Trump to say he wants to see it occur before he makes a decision on whether to pull out of the Paris accord and to challenge the Social Cost of Carbon finding.

  18. Ok, I have a way to make this work fairly.
    It is about policy so the Govt. announces the policy question and invites any person that considers themselves qualified to contribute to enter their name.

    All the names are the vetted by a group of disinterested people, but able to judge the ability of the people to contribute. So if the policy was a medical issue, the vetters could be made up of physicists, geologists, engineers etc. If the policy was about engineering we could ask doctors, biologists, clerics.

    The vetters get to vote on all the people who put their name forward, so all those deemed qualified go into the pool. Say 10,000 put their names forward, the vetters tought 2000 were actually qualified to contribute. For the red team/blue tem debate, say 20 are picked at random from the independently selected pool. Each person gets to choose whether they are on the blue or red team, then let the debate begin!

    I think that could work.

    The biggest problem is getting agreement on who you get to be the vetters.

  19. It’s almost the second anniversary of a Red team exercise sponsored by GWPF, as proclaimed here at WUWT, and also bannered at the Telegraph. Senior scientists, an open process with submissions invited, terms of reference etc. On integrity of temperature data. So what happened? Nothing.

    Why? Well, they didn’t report, so can’t be sure. But one can only assume that the Red Team couldn’t find anything to say. That is going to be the problem. Red teams in practice are never going to satisfy folk here. They will be using “corrupted, Karlized data”. They will probably quote “failed GCMs”. They may be grant-seekers.

    • They say “The deadline for submitting evidence is 30 June 2015.” Click on Submissions and it is empty. Did these people do anything? They do say there is no deadine for reporting, but I think they have had enough time to put something out.

      • seaice,
        ” I think they have had enough time to put something out”
        They do have a news page here. Three weeks after that deadline, they announced that they had decided tnot to report. There was another news report in Sept 2015, saying not much. Nothing since. The page where they said they would publish the submissions remains blank.

    • Nick Stokes and seaice1:

      I know it is a big ask but please try to not be silly.

      The ‘Red Team’ reports exist as the series of NIPCC Reports. The most recent NIPCC Report can be read from here where it says

      Why Scientists Disagree is the eighth publication produced by NIPCC, an international panel of nongovernment scientists and scholars who have come together to present a comprehensive, authoritative, and realistic assessment of the science and economics of global warming.

      Whereas the reports of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warn of a dangerous human effect on climate, NIPCC concludes the human effect is likely to be small relative to natural variability, and whatever small warming is likely to occur will produce benefits as well as costs. NIPCC is sponsored by three nonprofit organizations: the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), and The Heartland Institute.

      Clearly, any additional Red Team report is superfluous. But you knew that.

      Richard

      • Richard C,
        “The ‘Red Team’ reports exist as the series of NIPCC Reports. “
        That makes my point. Whose red team is it? I searched WUWT for mentions of NIPCC in articles. For the 2015 edition that you link, there was a straight reprinting of the Heartland Press Release without comment, and soon after a reprint of a Heartland letter complaining about Physics Today. It hasn’t been mentioned since. There was similar perfunctory treatment of the 2013 version.

      • Ok Richard, it seems we have had a red team report after all. It seems red team lost and sank without trace. Thank you for clarifying that. I guess we can pack up and go home.

      • “It hasn’t been mentioned since.”
        Not exactly true. I thought the WUWT search listing was in date order, but it seems to be by relevance. There have been many mentions in the SEPP news reprints, and there have been occasional mentions in other articles, but nothing substantial that I could find. Excluding SEPP reports, Google says NIPCC has been mentioned 7 times in the last year, including in comments.

      • Nick Stokes:

        As usual, you claim that popularity contests indicate scientific value. They don’t.

        Your “point is” – as usual – anti-scientific.

        Richard

      • ” popularity contests indicate scientific value”
        The topic here is organisational. Would setting up Red Teams help? And my point is that it won’t if people don’t even look at the reports they have

      • Nick Stokes:

        I never cease to be amazed at how you manage to get so much wrong.

        In this thread you claimed there is no ‘Red Team’ providing an alternative and scientific assessment of climate change to the political reports published by the IPCC.
        I pointed out that the NIPCC Reports are the pertinent ‘Red Team’ provision.

        Then you claimed nobody had noticed the NIPCC reports. But you soon recognised that was risible so you admitted you were wrong, and instead you claimed,

        Excluding SEPP reports, Google says NIPCC has been mentioned 7 times in the last year, including in comments.

        I ignored the stupidity of “Excluding SEPP reports” and pointed out that

        As usual, you claim that popularity contests indicate scientific value. They don’t.

        Your “point is” – as usual – anti-scientific.

        You were not content with having asked for that to be pointed out because you are irrepressible in proclaiming untruths, so you replied with this inanity

        The topic here is organisational. Would setting up Red Teams help? And my point is that it won’t if people don’t even look at the reports they have

        There is no independent organisation to look at ‘Red Team’ reports and to compare them to existing reports. And other people cannot “look at the reports they have” if dissemination of those reports is suppressed.

        For example, IPCC Reports are commonly taught in US schools as being scientific appraisals of climate change while there are campaigns to prevent the contents of NIPCC Reports being taught in US schools. This is one example of such a campaign and it says it exists because

        The story was already picked up by Frontline and the Washington Post.

        I wonder if your Google search mentioned Frontline and the Washington Post.

        Nick, you get an A+ for comedy and an F for everything else.

        Richard

  20. On a pedantic point, Seaice consistently faults him/her/self with his/her grammar & spelling. If (s)he wishes to opine in these august annals, his/her comments stand to be adjudgedf by his/her lack of basic writing skills, which raises the question as to their basic educational level and capacity to so opine.

    • Ross, I am sorry if I disappoint. I don’t usually remark on other people’s typos, but were I to do so I would make sure I had not miss-spelled adjudged as adjudedf, otherwise people might think of pots and kettles.

      • Dammit! I put a typo in my typo. Kinda ruined the moment there. Should read adjudgedf. You get the point.

    • On a pedantic point, Seaice consistently faults him/her/self with his/her grammar & spelling. If (s)he wishes to opine in these august annals, his/her comments stand to be adjudged by his/her lack of basic writing skills, which raises the question as to their basic educational level and capacity to so opine.

      Fixed adjudgedf for you, loved the irony.

  21. Great idea. FORCE a debate that has been denied. Refusal would be admitting defeat. The one thing that would need to be stressed is balanced reporting of the debate which I don’t know how that could be achieved given the current state of affairs with the MSM.

    • If the debates were set up that school kids and college/university students were doing the debating, it would instantly neuter the propaganda that is being taught to our kids in the present education system. Which would enlighten the rest of society watching a spirited but polite and disciplined debate. This could be what changes public opinion on the whole climate change/AGW subject, and MSM would be forced to report the news. The whole CAGW meme could be shattered with one blow. I suggest we ask President Trump if he would moderate such a debate?

    • markl,

      I agree it’s a good idea, but it seems to me more of rematch than a debate denied.The skeptic side won, as I see it, particularly given the circumstance the “winners” were forced to overcome . . And I believe the “losers” are at this point without rational hope of maintaining their limited early “prizes”, without some kind of serious shift in momentum.

      Thing is, when your goal is to incite public alarm, and your cause consistently polls at or near the bottom of long lists of concerns; Houston, you got a problem ; )

      That said, a second go might awaken what to my mind is a suitable degree of alarm about the potential Big Brother problem the first go portends . .

  22. An example of the AGW idiocy. Hat tip to Steven Hayward of Power Line
    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2017/04/green-weenie-of-the-week-the-nations-gasbags.php
    Juan Cole over at The Nation claims carbon dioxide is deadlier than sarin. Really.
    “. . . Yet the president and most of his party are committed to increasing the daily release of hundreds of thousands of tons of a far more deadly gas—carbon dioxide. Climate scientist James Hansen has described our current emissions as like setting off 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs each day, every day of the year. . .”

    Far more deadly, you use that word, Juan, but I don’t think you understand what it means.
    Let’s check the documented Lethal Concentration (LCt50) which has a 50% mortality rate.
    Sarin – 35 milligrams per cubic meter for two minutes
    Hydrogen Cyanide – 2,860 milligrams per cubic meter
    Carbon Dioxide – 1,194 grams per cubit meter

    • Bill Maher at HBO’s Real Time just made a few similar statements on tonights show. Bill claims that the root cause of the Syrian civil war is climate change, forcing all the Syrian farmers off their land and had to move to the city. Not sure how that started the civil war. Then he says the Sarin gassings is nothing compared to the ‘gassing’ we are doing with CO2.

      Maybe Marijuana does rot the brain…

  23. “A ‘Red Team/Blue Team’ Exercise Would Strengthen Climate Science”

    It ought to, but it won’t. The issue is too thoroughly politicised and the stakes are too high. I would not be surprised to learn that the article was written by a person experienced in courtroom advocacy. Certainly, the adversarial approach will naturally lead to a win-at-all-costs attitude from both sides.

    For the Warmists, when you’re trying to SAVE THE PLANET you are practically obliged to do whatever it takes to ensure victory over the scum who would thoughtlessly (or maliciously) condemn us all to Thermageddon.

    For the Sceptics, if you cannot match the single-minded ruthlessness of your opponents you will end up crushed.

    You may consider an inquisitorial approach. This won’t matter. The ‘good guys’ HAVE to win.

    I believe that the best approach is to keep the issue alive. Keep sniping away at the serious credibility problems of Established Science and await the final verdict of the climate, itself. Even then — assuming that there is a general cooling — it will turn out that humanity would have destroyed the planet, but was saved by a totally-unable-to-be-anticipated outside force. True science vindicated again!

    On the other hand, if warming resumes then the Sceptics will be defeated. The actual science is practically immaterial. The ONLY question that matters to Average Person is: “Are my genitals at a comfortable temperature?” All evidence will be either interpreted through the filter of the answer to this question or else swept aside.

  24. Climate is a wicked problem. Probably with many overdetermined influences. Alarmists pretend that it’s all very simple – carbon dioxide is a ‘pollutant’, altering the climate disastrously.

    The tragic thing is: this idea of overdetermination is found in Marxism, so you’d think a bunch of Marxists would understand it. Right? Wrong. Their arguments “the debate is over“, “the 97% consensus is with us“, “you are a denier / shill“: are designed to avoid a discussion of the wicked climate reality. They want a simple message to railroad politicians with. I don’t think we can have a red vs. blue team exercise when we can’t agree upon what the data is, nor what data is important. They think the debate is over. I think it never took place, or if it happened, the two sides must’ve been using different data sets and different methods. Having said that, I’d be thrilled to see a proper red/blue debate.

  25. While misguided are marching for ‘science’, the ‘power of citizen scientists’ discovers a new ‘sun – earth electromagnetic relationship’ that even our resident Stanford Solar Scientist may have not known about

    Thanks to scientists, citizen scientists, ground-based imagers and ESA’s magnetic field Swarm mission, this purple streak of light in the night sky has been discovered. Originally thought to be a ‘proton arc’, this strange feature has been called Steve. While there is still a lot to learn about Steve, the electric field instrument carried on the Swarm mission has measured it. Flying through Steve, the temperature 300 km above Earth’s surface jumped by 3000°C and the data revealed a 25 km-wide ribbon of gas flowing westward at about 6 km/s compared to a speed of about 10 m/s either side of the ribbon. Credit: Dave Markel Photography
    more here

  26. Blue – Red will not work for climate matters as currently setup.

    In an earlier career I was part of Blue – Red teams whilst working for a defence equipment company. Any sizable project has to go through the bidding process, then the Red team, people who did not have exposure to the bidding process would try and spot errors in the proposed bid. We all worked for the same company. It was in ours and the companies benefit if we found errors in our technical spec, costings, ideas etc etc.

    It worked very well, but we were all on the same side and shared the same goal.

    The people proposing climate related policies, using (in many cases creating) the science we read about day after day, have no shared interest in reaching the ‘truth’ or the ‘best outcome’.

    In business all participants are on the same side and benefit from a correct outcome.

    Perhaps there needs to be a thinning of the swamp of climate academia?

    Perhaps University departments should be rated on the number of errors in papers (not due to updates in later knowledge, but Gergis type errors).

    Perhaps the number of uncorrected errors could be a good metric?

    I am sure that if sufficient thought was expended, that climate academia could be cleaned up with the ‘physics style’ of doing things could come to pass. Where experiments are repeatable, observations public, where levels of proof are very high prior to publication.

    Can you imagine a climate team doing what the physicists did when going public with what they though was an increase in the speed of light? By asking for a 1000 set of eyes, the issue was resolved satisfactorily.

    Climate teams have the opposite approach, publish any wide @ssed guess and be done with it.

  27. The climate consensus is too corrupt to willingly tolerate an open and honest skeptical challenge. Under the status quo their idea of skeptical challenge would be to use Pascal wager type arguments, lie about the real questions and use blue smoke red herrings and straw men. Sort of like what is now done. And of course not permit skeptics to speak. Just like now.

  28. The red team – blue team approach makes excellent sense, but the problem is that this project itself would inevitably become intensely politicized. Even if the pro-AGW people agreed to it, as soon as the project begins the roster of who is on which team would become heavily criticized for “lack of diversity” or “secret agendas” on one side or the other, the anti-AGW side would be accused of being a front for Big Oil, etc. The project would never get the support and respect it should.

  29. As others have noted, this will not work. The alarmists would refuse to participate in any fair debate and use the MSM to claim it was one-sided.

    Our only real path is to get the data back under control. NOAA needs to be audited and the data adjustments removed. Once you take away the fake data the alarmists have nothing. Oh they will scream, but this doesn’t need to be highly advertised. Just make sure the audit team has good credentials. I would suggest removing all adjustments to all climate data and replacing them with increases in the error bars.

  30. NOBODY is out there trying to find out the truth, or even a better approximation.

    Climate science is the basis for a trillion dollar global scam.

    No one wants to know the truth.

    Just what you can be induced to believe

  31. I believe only a few commenters saw the real genius of this red:blue idea. Precisely because the AGW folks will NOT debate because they don’t have evidence of a crisis in the making, the red blue findings would be that so far we have only a theory with no results that can be teased out of empirical data. Their projections have been triple observations and natural variations still dwarf the forced warming. So what are the policy implications of this as perceived by neutral mods?

  32. I like the idea of red team blue team, but it can only work with regards to subtopics. You cant have a debate on Climate Change, as such a debate can never seem to omit a proposed solution. Thus you could have red team blue team debates on…

    What is the true change in temperature … thus addressing adjustments to surface based temp metrics and the differences in surface based and satellite records.

    What is driving the change, contributions from highs and lows.

    What significance is global vs regional temp changes (I personally think the term global warming is not relevant)

    Etc. ………

    In such an approach, the political aspect of “the solution” is omitted from all categories. Including the solution in the mix is what derails the process, as the solution is purely political, and the advocates skip the debate and fast forward to proclamation that we need to do X.

    • Dr. D, this would not be that kind of debate. One side would have to SHOW empirical evidence that something worrisome is happening. All they have is a theory, their efforts to try to tease an unequivocal signal out of noise in uncertain data and projections that are triple what observations turned to be. On top of that, they are faced with unexpected (to them) benefits of higher CO2in aggie it out, greening of arid areas and increased production of forests, improved habitat, etc.

      Remember, the mods are neutral folks who will be presenting .

  33. I certainly endorse the Red Team approach. However, a monster Issue Tree diagram would be even better. The big shortcoming of the Red Team method is that each line of argument is scattered among numerous documents. The starter document makes a given claim or argument. Then the first Red Team document probably makes several responses to that argument. The next Blue Team document offers several responses to each of the Red Team responses, and so it goes, document after document.

    Note that this is a tree structure (the issue tree) because often one response elicits multiple responses, level after level. (We see this issue tree structure in the comments here as well, because it is universal.) One can only see these response-response-response, etc. paths by going from document to document to document, etc., which is very difficult to track given the branching structure of the arguments. The Issue Tree diagram displays all of this in one easy to see place. One document. Mind you the diagram will be very large, because that is the nature of the climate debate.

    See my crude little free textbook on this at http://www.stemed.info/reports/Wojick_Issue_Analysis_txt.pdf

    I have been trying to get someone to fund a climate debate issue tree project for many years. But it seems no one wants to show the other side’s arguments. Maybe now that will change.

  34. Assume the red/blue debate is over. Assume the skeptic side has prevailed despite yuge disadvantages. Assume CAGW is exposed as an unscientific sham. We won as we knew we must. But wait, the very next day we read in the papers…

    “Scientist Announce Global Crisis!” It has been discovered that human activity is slowing the rotation of the Earth. The building of ever more and ever taller buildings, plus the cutting down of forests and the planting of much lighter crops for human consumption, and ever more and larger ocean going vessels all contribute to this effect. Scientist estimate that by the end of this century the Earth will be a non-rotating body, with 95% certainty. All life on Earth will cease to exist. The debate is over. World leaders will meet this week in Paris to establish a governing counsel of experts with summary powers to guide the planet through this crisis. All national sovereignty will be suspended until further notice. May God help us.

    • This just in…

      The Rotation Counsel has prohibited the use of all parking structures and sky scrapers above the first floor. All are advised to remain supine or prone as much as possible. If upright, walk, jog or run toward the east to help speed up the Earth’s rotation in this time of crisis. Some are comparing this to Climate Change Alarmism. They will be dealt with in due course. This is real: now 97% certainty. Further, the data cannot be released since deniers would only use it to confuse the issue.

  35. Steven Koonin:

    You suggest in your above article

    Given the importance of climate projections to policy, it is remarkable that they have not been subject to a Red Team exercise. Here’s how it might work: The focus would be a published scientific report meant to inform policy such as the U.N.’s Summary for Policymakers or the U.S. Government’s National Climate Assessment. A Red Team of scientists would write a critique of that document and a Blue Team would rebut that critique. Further exchanges of documents would ensue to the point of diminishing returns. A commission would coordinate and moderate the process and then hold hearings to highlight points of agreement and disagreement, as well as steps that might resolve the latter. The process would unfold in full public view: the initial report, the exchanged documents and the hearings.

    Sorry, but that is not possible because the cited documents are not scientific documents: they are political documents that present selected scientific information intended to justify political policies.

    In the case of the “U.N.’s Summary for Policymakers” there is specific and repeatedly UN approved definition of its political purpose and nature.

    The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) only exists to produce documents intended to provide information selected, adapted and presented to justify political actions. The facts are as follows.

    It is the custom and practice of the IPCC for all of its Reports to be amended to agree with its political summaries. And this is proper because all IPCC Reports are political documents although some are presented as so-called ‘Scientific Reports’.

    Each IPCC Summary for Policymakers (SPM) is agreed “line by line” by politicians and/or representatives of politicians, and it is then published. After that the so-called ‘scientific’ Reports are amended to agree with the SPM. This became IPCC custom and practice when prior to the IPCC‘s Second Report the then IPCC Chairman, John Houghton, decreed,

    We can rely on the Authors to ensure the Report agrees with the Summary.

    This was done and has been the normal IPCC procedure since then.

    This custom and practice enabled the infamous ‘Chapter 8′ scandal so perhaps it should – at long last – be changed. However, it has been adopted as official IPCC procedure for all subsequent IPCC Reports.

    Appendix A of the most recent IPCC Report (the AR5) states this where it says.

    4.6 Reports Approved and Adopted by the Panel

    Reports approved and adopted by the Panel will be the Synthesis Report of the Assessment Reports and other Reports as decided by the Panel whereby Section 4.4 applies mutatis mutandis .

    This is completely in accord with the official purpose of the IPCC.

    The IPCC does NOT exist to summarise climate science and it does not.

    The IPCC is only permitted to say AGW is a significant problem because they are tasked to accept that there is a “risk of human-induced climate change” which requires “options for adaptation and mitigation” that can be selected as political polices and the IPCC is tasked to provide those “options”.

    This is clearly stated in the “Principles” which govern the work of the IPCC.
    These are stated at
    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/ipcc-principles/ipcc-principles.pdf

    Near its beginning that document says

    ROLE

    2. The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy, although they may need to deal objectively with scientific, technical and socio-economic factors relevant to the application of particular policies.

    This says the IPCC exists to provide
    (a) “information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change”
    and
    (b) “options for adaptation and mitigation” which pertain to “the application of particular policies”.

    Hence, its “Role” demands that the IPCC accepts as a given that there is a “risk of human-induced climate change” which requires “options for adaptation and mitigation” which pertain to “the application of particular policies”. Any ‘science’ which fails to support that political purpose is ‘amended’ in furtherance of the IPCC’s Role.

    The UN IPCC achieves its “Role” by
    1
    amendment of its so-called ‘scientific’ Reports to fulfil the IPCC’s political purpose
    2
    by politicians approving the SPM
    3
    then the IPCC lead Authors amending the so-called ‘scientific’ Reports to agree with the SPM.

    All UN IPCC Reports are pure pseudoscience intended to provide information to justify political actions; i.e.Lysenkoism. The US National Climate Assessment is similar as is demonstrated by its failure to refute blatant errors in IPCC reports..

    Richard

    • Richard: You should write that up in form and submit it to the Wall Street Journal as a response to Steven Koonin’s Saturday Essay titled ‘Climate Science is Not Settled’. Most people, including most scientists, assume that the IPCC reports are unbiased summaries of the current state of knowledge on the global warming portion of climate science. They have no idea of the restrictions imposed on it by the ‘Principles Governing IPCC Work’ document.

      • Joe Crawford:

        You say to me

        Richard: You should write that up in form and submit it to the Wall Street Journal as a response to Steven Koonin’s Saturday Essay titled ‘Climate Science is Not Settled’.

        OK. Tell me how to submit it and I will. But I lack confidence that the WSJ will publish it.

        Richard

    • Richard,
      “Hence, its “Role” demands that the IPCC accepts as a given that there is a “risk of human-induced climate change” which requires “options for adaptation and mitigation””

      It could find the risk was minimal. I assess risks all the time and find them insignificant. Often the option for mitigation to take no special action. There is nothing in the role of the IPCC that demands any particular conclusion.

      • IPCC’s gnomes are unlikely to find conclusions which cause the end of the sc@m from which they profit.

        As Mencken said:

        “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his income depends on his not understanding it.”

        “The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it.”

        “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed — and Hence Clamorous To Be Led To Safety by an endless series of hobgoblins.”

      • Chimp, whether or not you are right does not affect my argument. There is nothing in the defined role of the IPCC that requires it to conclude a significant risk nor any mitigation requiements.

      • Seaice,

        The IPCC was set up at the request of member governments, dedicated to the task of providing the world with an objective, scientific (supposedly) view of climate change and its political and economic impacts. Thus, it assumed what it should have been tasked with demonstrating, ie that humans have any affect whatsoever on global climate change. It can’t because we don’t.

      • seaice1:

        You yet again demonstrate your inability to understand written words when you write

        “Hence, its “Role” demands that the IPCC accepts as a given that there is a “risk of human-induced climate change” which requires “options for adaptation and mitigation””

        It could find the risk was minimal. I assess risks all the time and find them insignificant. Often the option for mitigation to take no special action. There is nothing in the role of the IPCC that demands any particular conclusion.

        Bollocks!
        Politicians don’t establish and task organisations to provide “scientific, technical and socio-economic factors relevant to the application of particular policies” unless they want “application of particular policies”.

        Please, please, please do try to read words before pretending they don’t say what they do.

        Richard

      • Richard “Politicians don’t establish and task organisations to provide “scientific, technical and socio-economic factors relevant to the application of particular policies” unless they want “application of particular policies”.

        Whether or not that is true of the politicians, it does not mean that the organization’s role is to give it to them.

        Chimp ” dedicated to the task of providing the world with an objective, scientific (supposedly) view of climate change and its political and economic impacts.”

        Chimp demonstrates thus admirably. The specific purpose is to provide and objectiveview of climate change.

        You may think the IPCC is corrupt and not objective but that is different from saying that it is inherently set up to be that way.

      • “Whether or not that is true of the politicians, it does not mean that the organization’s role is to give it to them.”

        Sure… Effectively they are saying in para. 2 of ‘ROLE’ that: “We’re yarding up a multi-year gravy train and looking for someone to help get it going down the track.” Now please tell me which academic, who’s job, similar to that of most politicians, depends on bring home the bacon, is going to tell them that man has no or negligible effect when they are obviously asking you to find one.

      • seaice1:

        Laughably, you assert:

        Richard “Politicians don’t establish and task organisations to provide “scientific, technical and socio-economic factors relevant to the application of particular policies” unless they want “application of particular policies”.

        Whether or not that is true of the politicians, it does not mean that the organization’s role is to give it to them.

        .It does when the politicians
        established the organisation,
        provided the remit of the organisation,
        revue the organisation and its operation,
        pay all the funds of the organisation, and
        amend then approve every statement of the organisation

        You are again being deliberately stupid. Stop it.

        Richard

  36. “A Red Team of scientists would write a critique of that document and a Blue Team would rebut that critique.” Compare that scenario with the one we have now: Where data is ‘adjusted’, peer-review is corrupted, sceptical scientists attacked in social media, their reputations trashed etc etc – where did Climate Science go so wrong?

  37. The underlying horror of this article is that it advocates for more back and forth committee decision government that runs up our debt while bringing everything to a inert standstill. A committee of judges that adjudicates the written/oral jousting matches between believers and skeptics? Really? I’ll give you 10.0 for that 8.5 performance and the Russian judge will file a protest.

    Future generations won’t have to worry about Global Warming because they will choke to death on a 20 Trillion Dollar debt that grows, year to year, like the Alien plant in the “Little Shop of Horrors” story. “Feed me, FEED me, FEED ME!”

    By all means, let’s not solve real problems, let’s make up hypothetical ones that we can pretend to solve by throwing money at debating ad nauseum. I am reminded of the old quote, largely attributed to Mark Twain, “God made an idiot for practice and then created the Committee.” Government has grown to large to control and it’s slowly crushing everything in it’s path most certainly truth, competence, efficiency and our children’s future.

    • There has been no “debating ad nauseum [sic]”–what a strawman. There has been hardly any formal debating at all–maybe a few hours per year in a small private venue.

      “it advocates for more back and forth committee decision government that runs up our debt while bringing everything to a inert standstill.”

      There has been very little “back and forth” in government decision-making on this topic so far, and a one-year standstill is exactly what the runaway green bandwagon needs.

      Any attempt to stop the green machine and stop “fighting climate change” will be very unpopular (75% of the public favors such fighting) unless it is preceded by a public airing of the issues. Otherwise it will look like an act of ignorance or self-interest.

      • If Roger Knight’s view is true, why do WUWT , Breitbart and their ilk confirm Dr. Kooning’s charge of widespread “advisory malpractice” by so odiously banning and censoring so many climate scientists?

        A peacetime Red Team paid to stay home and recite press releases on behalf of one side of K- Street should not be confused with gentlemen who go abroad to provide a bodyguard of lies for incovenient truths in time of wa.

        Neither side in this conflict can serve national policy well by eliding sciiece and advertising.

      • russellseitz April 22, 2017 at 2:44 pm
        If Roger Knight’s view is true, why do WUWT , Breitbart and their ilk confirm Dr. Kooning’s charge of widespread “advisory malpractice” by so odiously banning and censoring so many climate scientists?

        AFAIK, WUWT doesn’t ban many climate scientists. Not any notable ones, anyway. It generally bans (usually just suspends) only in cases of of strong provocation. A few warmist posters are suspected of deliberately being provocative so they could claim elsewhere that they had been banned just for arguing for warmism.

        A peacetime Red Team paid to stay home and recite press releases on behalf of one side of K- Street should not be confused with gentlemen who go abroad to provide a bodyguard of lies for incovenient truths in time of wa.

        Eh?

        Neither side in this conflict can serve national policy well by eliding sciiece and advertising.

        Huh?

  38. Tomorrow’s March for Science will draw many thousands in support of evidence-based policy making and against the politicization of science. A concrete step toward those worthy goals would be to convene a “Red Team/Blue Team” process for climate science, one of the most important and contentious issues of our age.

    The national-security community pioneered the “Red Team” methodology to test assumptions and analyses, identify risks, and reduce—or at least understand— uncertainties. The process is now considered a best practice in high-consequence situations such as intelligence assessments, spacecraft design and major industrial operations. It is very different and more rigorous than traditional peer review, which is usually confidential and always adjudicated, rather than public and moderated.

    When I first ““Red Team/Blue Team”” I thought something along the lines that “there’s already to much politics in climate science”. (“Red states/Blue states” in US politics) Then I began to read the post and realized it is method to avoid “group think”. It’s just unfortunate that the method used colors that has political connotations in US politics.

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