Institutional decay in climate science

Roger Pielke Jr. describes the decay of climate science

By Larry Kummer. From the Fabius Maximus website

Summary: Science and public policy collide in climate science as they have in few fields. Here Roger Pielke Jr., describes an example of how the resulting stress has begun to corrupt the field.

Pielke on Climate” – Part 1 of 3.

Institutional decay in climate science.

By Roger Pielke Jr., at The Climate Fix.
Posted with his generous permission. Lightly edited.

Welcome to issue #7 of my occasional newsletter on climate and energy issues. As a reminder, my day-to-day research or writing is focused on sports governance and various issues of science policy. But I’ve written a fair bit on the topics of climate and energy over the past 25 years, including two recent books and a boatload of academic papers, and I’m paying attention. So caveat lector {reader beware}! …

Mertonian Norms and Climate Debates.

I have an op-ed in the WSJ on the parallel lawsuits of Mark Jacobson (Stanford) and Michael Mann (Penn State) who are both trying to characterize statements made by people critical of their work as legally actionable. {See the original dispute about Jacobson’s paper and about the lawsuit. See Wikipedia about Mann’s libel lawsuit.}

The two lawsuits are virtually identical in claims, argument and even the venue where their lawsuits were filed. There can be little doubt that Jacobson modeled his lawsuit on Mann’s lawsuit. Importantly, here is how my piece starts…

“I’ve worked alongside climate researchers for decades. Almost all of them are ethical, dedicated to science and not particularly political. But some leading figures and organizations in this community are weakening the norms that make science robust.” (emphasis added)

Mertonian norms are much discussed in studies of science and were first presented by Merton in his 1942 article “A Note on Science and Democracy“. I am not the first to apply these norms to the climate debate, see especially, Grundmann (2012) and Jasanoff (2010).

There are a number of very prominent examples of the flouting of scientific norms within the climate community. It is not the sort of discussion that gets you onto Christmas Card lists, but it is easy to list leaders in the community who’ve decided that expected norms of behavior don’t apply to them: Jacobson, Mann, Gleick, Pachauri, Schmidt, Rahmstorf, Shukla, Jones, Trenberth — Just to start.

Climate insiders will be intimately familiar with these folks and their efforts to quash their enemies (the “deniers”!) by bringing the techniques of power politics into scientific debates. Very recently, Gavin Schmidt, a publicly-funded NASA scientist, decided that the best way to respond to my op-ed would be to go on Twitter to repeat lies about me first made-up by the Center for American Progress. Thank you Gavin for helping to make my point.

The erosion of norms among a few leading climate scientists has been endorsed — often tacitly but sometimes explicitly — by leading scientific organizations. Mann’s lawsuits have been celebrated by leading organizations, some of which have given him awards. The sense of a cause has gripped leaders of the climate community and the causejustifies eschewing norms.

Seeing this, why wouldn’t Jacobson follow Mann down the same legal path? Of course, Jacobson’s lawsuit creates all sorts of unresolvable dissonance. Perhaps this dissonance is why scientific organisations which should be stating loudly and unambiguously that lawsuits are not way to pursue scientific debates.

This behavior will continue until norms are upheld by the community. I have enjoyed hearing Mann’s friends defend his and Jacobson’s lawsuits. This is the normalization of deviance. Perhaps these scientists can now better understand the norm-flouting and defending of President Trump.

The good news is that my op-ed has received wide support from many scientists inside the field of climate and energy, and well beyond. Please have a read. I welcome your comments.

——————- See part two tomorrow. ——————-

About the “normalization of deviance” in climate science.

This deserves much more attention, as it has become a serious problem in the institutions of climate science. To learn more about this phenomenon see its roots in this paper by the great sociologist (and Senator) Daniel Patrick Moynihan: “Defining Deviancy Down” in American Educator, Winter 1993/1994 — “How We’ve Become Accustomed to Alarming Levels Of Crime and Destructive Behavior.”

This was further developed by another American sociologist, Diane Vaughan in her 1996 book The Challenger Launch Decision: Risky Technology, Culture, and Deviance at NASA. It described what she called a “normalization of deviance” within NASA that led to the space shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986.

Some future sociologist will write a book documenting this dynamic at work in today’s climate science institutions, and its horrific effect on the public policy debate about the response to climate change.

The posts in this series

  1. Institutional decay in climate science.
  2. More misreporting of experts’ reports.
  3. The Politics of Inconceivable Scenarios.

About the author

Roger Pielke, Jr. is a Professor of Environmental Studies at the U of CO-Boulder. He was Director of the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research. He is now Director of the Sports Governance Center in the Dept of Athletics. Before joining the faculty of the U of CO, from 1993-2001 he was a Scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

His research focuses on science, innovation and politics. He holds degrees in mathematics, public policy and political science from the University of Colorado. In 2006 he received the Eduard Brückner Prize in Munich for outstanding achievement in interdisciplinary climate research. In 2012 Roger was awarded an honorary doctorate from Linköping University in Sweden and the Public Service Award of the Geological Society of America.

His page at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research has his bio, CV, and links to some of his publications. His website has links to his works, and essays about the many subjects on which he works.

He is also author, co-author or co-editor of seven books, including The Honest Broker: Making Sense of Science in Policy and Politics (2007), The Climate Fix: What Scientists and Politicians Won’t Tell You About Global Warming (2010), The Rightful Place of Science: Disasters and Climate Change (2014), and The Edge: The War against Cheating and Corruption in the Cutthroat World of Elite Sports (2016).

Some of his recent publications.

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65 thoughts on “Institutional decay in climate science

  1. The Mann v. Steyn case is an example of the problems with the US legal system. Mann has fairly consistently balked disclosure, but the court has not sanctioned him. The conduct of the case by the DC courts has been so dilatory that one can only speculate whether it is due to general, impartial incompetence or partisanship.

  2. “Summary: Science and public policy collide in climate science as they have in few fields. Here Roger Pielke Jr., describes an example of how the resulting stress has begun to corrupt the field.”

    Not to be too picky, but
    “has BEGUN to corrupt the field“???

    Global warming alarmism has clearly been an enormous fr@ud for decades, and now totals many trillions of dollars of embezzled funds that should have been dedicated to solving real humanitarian problems, not fictitious ones.

    In dollar terms global warming hysteria is the greatest sc@m in human history.

    • This interview with Dr. William Happer by TheBestSchools.org last December was probably already posted, but for those who may have missed it, (I did) or even those wanting to re-read it, it is well worth it. He lays out the corruption rife in “climate science” for all to see, including the attacks on those daring to question it.

  3. The last couple of weeks has been very active in the media regarding the CAGW hype, particularly because of the climate conference in Bonn. The news papers, radio and TV have had multiple stories every day about CO2 and the demise of the climate imminently about to collapse at some known tipping point which we are very nearly at, or will soon be. Of course, it is just rinse, repeat and recycle the same stories as the last climate conference. I guess the theory is that if people are bombarded with the message long enough, everybody will just accept it. The fact that academia, media and politicians just lap it up as if it were all just gospel is proof how ingrained the mindset is now. The sad thing is that science, while supposedly being open minded towards new evidence while professing skepticism, has ended. That is remarkable all in itself.

    These things have a lot of inertia now, and will take a fair bit of time to wear off. Once the Pause continues for another 2, 3, 5 years, and at some point within the next 10-15 years when a cyclically cooling phase has built in and is entrenched, only then will it be allowed to be questioned. And then the flood gates will open with mass hostility towards those who perpetuated this myth and cost the people of the good Earth trillions of dollars in bad policy. When that day arrives, and it will be a paradigm shift, I fear the results may be similar to the 30 Years War in Europe 400 years ago. Only this time, it will be world wide, and maybe shorter. If I were an Alarmist, I would be hedging my bets, because the odds of cooling after a major warming trend are much higher than the warming trend to continue unabated. Which will crush the hypothesis of any significant CO2 induced AGW.

    • You’re more confident of justice being served on the scammers than I. These people have simply invented their own “truth” and they hold all of government, academia, journals and media. They studied diligently at the Joseph Goebbels Acadamy of Propaganda.

      The BBC routinely now vomit forth streams of flat-out lies which are easily demonstrable as such. They freely talk about human-caused extreme weather, accelerating sea level rise and all the rest as though it were fact when of course there isn’t a single shred of evidence supporting such claims.

      If it starts cooling to a degree which cannot be denied they will call it even more human-caused extreme weather climate change – which was what the consensus had been predicting all along. You know they will do this. The whole establishment cannot afford to be shown up for what they are and lose this.

      Things can only be changed through revolution and war. These people are like the Nazgûl and they will never stop. For me the icon of this hideous scenario is the ghastly evil face of Naomi Oreskes leering over the hellscape like some vision of Baphomet in a Hieronymus Bosch painting.

      Interesting times.

  4. Is Roger trolling them? Begging one of his named climate hucksters to sue him?

    None of this (that science norms in climate science have gone to crapper) should be Breaking News to anyone who has examined the current state of climate science. This is just a sugar-coating to say that science ethics have been shredded by both the actions of a few and the abetting wider silence in climate science today.

  5. Ladies and Gentlemen, and partic’ly Prof. Pielke, if you, Sir, are reading this.
    A good friend of mine, and staunch supporter of GWPF, is writing a paper an extensive paper on this subject for publication and wants me to research for him ….
    At least 10 most egregious, quotable, demonstrable, and hi..profile examples of data..manipulation and biased reportage and contrived analyses. Preferably in a graphical format demonstrating the manipulations, homogenizings, reinterpretations that are going on.
    I don’t know where to start, as I am not sufficiently close to the field, even though I am a dedicated skeptic.
    Would you kind readers please point me in specific directions, especially ones where pre.. and post .. data..manipulations and reinterpretations are readily apparent, as well as contrived statistical analyses of data so as to support the tendentious Alarmist view being projected.
    I don’t think ClimateGate emails in and of themselves are going to satisfy his needs for brevity and punchiness, though they may contail some specific gems whete they are caught absolutely red..handed.
    HELP, please!!

    • Have a look at Tony Heller’s blog.
      He has exactly what you describe.
      But hurry…I hear-tell his book is coming right along.

      • Seems I should have refreshed the page before commenting.
        I posted without seeing any of these other replies Ross,
        Which ought to give you some assed confidence his site is where to go.
        He also has extensive archives at his old site.

    • Richard Lindzen’s paper is a must read on this topic: Climate Science: Is it Currently Designed to Answer Questions?
      http://www.globalresearch.ca/climate-science-is-it-currently-designed-to-answer-questions/16330

      From my overview: https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/climate-science-was-broken/

      Content from Lindzen essay

      How science was perverted from a successful mode of enquiry into a source of authority;

      What are the consequences when fear is perceived to be the basis for scientific support rather than from gratitude and the trust associated with it;

      How incentives are skewed in favor of perpetuating problems rather than solving them;

      Why simulation and large programs replaced theory and observation as the basis of scientific investigation;

      How specific institutions and scientific societies were infiltrated and overtaken by political activists;

      Specific examples where data and analyses have been manipulated to achieve desired conclusions;

      Specific cases of concealing such truths as may call into question gobal warming alarmism;

      Examples of the remarkable process of “discreditation” by which attack papers are quickly solicited and published against an undesirable finding;

      Cases of Global Warming Revisionism, by which skeptical positions of prominent people are altered after they are dead;

      Dangers to societies and populations from governments, NGOs and corporations exploiting climate change.

    • I would nominate Tom Karl’s infamous “kill the hiatus at any cost” junk Science article in 2015 as the best evidence of nefariously (mal)-adjusted data to match theory (the models).

      Tom Karl and his co-conspirators got away with (IMO what was likely collusion with a senior journal editor for a Pal review, likely coordinated by the WH OSTP to support he Parus COP21 push) using the less accurate ship intake data set to “correct” the more accurate buoy temperature data set. The result warmed the buoy data which showed no statistically significant warming when un-adjusted. Then he delivered the coup de gras on this mal-adjustment by using the better quality statistics of the buoy data set on this now adjusted SST data. To show statistical significance. Utter crap. That he was allowed to do that by his anonymous reviewers is strong evidence it was a pal review coordinated by the journal editor.

      Both AW and Bob Tisdale with a Judit Curry comment reviewed Karl’s deception here.
      https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/06/04/noaancdcs-new-pause-buster-paper-a-laughable-attempt-to-create-warming-by-adjusting-past-data/

    • Ross,

      You should divide the task to three areas:

      1. Adjusting data to meet theory.
      – Karl’s Kill the pause paper deception,
      – NASA and NOAA alterations of past temperatures 1930’s warmth).
      – Tony Heller’s graph on (final – raw) versus CO2, with an R^2 > 0.98.

      2. Climate Model junk science
      – subjective tuning, termed an “art”
      – refusal to consider iterative propagation of statistical error (see Pat Frank’s posts here)
      – The CMIP inter-comparison project as a process to enforce GroupThink results.
      – The “aerosol” problem lament by Trenberth.

      3.Suppression tactics used against dissent.
      – Climate Gate emails.
      – Roger Pielke’s experiences.
      – Judith Curry’s experiences.
      – Willie Soon’s experiences.

      That is easily 11. And Many more is the climate gate emails are parsed out.

      Joel O’Bryan

  6. Anything Michael Mann has ever touched, of course.
    99% of everything written on ocean acidification in the last 15 years
    As above with regard to coral bleaching
    Ditto for catastrophic AGW caused sea level rise

    I realize these are generalizations. I think the best impact would come from tackling head on the foundational myths of the consequences of AGW, all of which are actually false or very minor or clearly in evidence in past periods such as the RWP. Humans not involved!!!

  7. Latitude, Maggy and John H.
    Thank you too for very helpful inputs.
    Keep it coming, ladies and g’em!!
    Ross

  8. “The two lawsuits are virtually identical in claims, argument and even the venue where their lawsuits were filed.”
    Not at all. Mann’s was a perfectly normal libel suit. The sort that follows when you start calling people “the Jerry Sandusky of…” and claiming they are frαuds. He is suing members of the media. It is not a scientific issue. Jacobson is suing specifically about a scientific debate. He is going to have a lot more trouble fitting that into the framework of a regular libel suit.

    • NS, do you really want to defend Mann and his attorneys abuse of process in not complying with discovery and generally dragging out the case? Both are cases of lawfare.

      • The main cause of dragging out the case was the decision of defendants to appeal the motion to dismiss. That took years. I’m not aware of any failure of Mann to comply with court orders on discovery.

      • So now appealing the motion to dismiss is an excuse? Which case, Mann’s original suit or the countersuit?

      • The defence moved for Mann’s case to be dismissed. That is normal. The judge denied, so they appealed to the Appeals Court, mid-case. That isn’t normal, and required a whole lot of preliminary argument as to whether they could even do that. Those are the processes that took up so much time. Initiated by the defendants.

      • “Steyn made no motion to dismiss.”
        He did. I linked above the memo supporting the motion by Steyn and other defendants for a protective order for stay of discovery. It begins:

        “On July 24, 2013, Defendants National Review, Inc. (“National Review”) and Mark Steyn and Defendants Competitive Enterprise Institute (“CEI”) and Rand Simberg filed separate special motions to dismiss Plaintiff Michael Mann’s Amended Complaint pursuant to the D.C. Anti-SLAPP Act, D.C. Code § 16-5501 et seq., and D.C. Superior Court Civ. R. 12(b)(6). “

        But anyway, it is irrelevant. The motions were made, lost and appealed. That is what caused a lot of the delay.

      • What year is it now, Nick? Dragging the case out since 2013 is abuse of process, and whether it is the courts or Mann, it does not much matter.

      • ” whether it is the courts or Mann”
        In fact, the cause of delay is the extraordinary manoeuvres of the defence, although the courts aren’t fast. Appealing mid-trial is bound to cause lots of delay; the Appeals Court delivered its decision December 2016, but then the non-Steyn defendants promptly moved for a rehearing en banc. So it is still before the Appeals Court, as forced by the defence.

    • There is so much wrong with your feeble defense of Prof Mann.
      Mark Steyn did not make the comment you noted, Rand Simberg did. What Mark did was quote Rand in a COMMENTARY, both men making a point about the similarity of the absurd judgements of the investigations of Sandusky and Mann by the Penn State Administration (especially by the President, who as a result of the Sandusky investigation went to jail) both ignoring relevant evidence and testimony (e.g. Climategate e-mails and input from Prof Lindzen in Mann’s case). It was hard to escape the conclusion that the verdicts were driven by the amount of money each defendant brought into the University.
      (If I remember correctly Mann’s verdict implied he couldn’t have done those things, otherwise he would have never gotten all those grants.) There was NEVER a reference to a comparison of inappropriate behavior between the two; that was only an opportunistic claim by Mann for the suit (Like his initial argument that his integrity can’t be questioned because he was a Nobel Prize winner. That was demolished by the Nobel Committee.)
      Mark started his column by saying: “In the wake of Louis Freeh’s report on Penn State’s complicity in serial rape, Rand Simberg writes of Unhappy Valley’s other scandal:”

      I’m referring to another cover up and whitewash that occurred there two years ago, before we learned how rotten and corrupt the culture at the university was. But now that we know how bad it was, perhaps it’s time that we revisit the Michael Mann affair, particularly given how much we’ve also learned about his and others’ hockey-stick deceptions since. Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science that could have dire economic consequences for the nation and planet.

      OK Nick, pretend you are Mann’s lawyer, where does that accuse Mann of being a pedofile?

      I’ll stop there so I don’t “miller” this thread (unless you want to continue the discussion?).

      • “Mark Steyn did not make the comment you noted, Rand Simberg did.”
        I didn’t say he did. Simberg was a defendant too. I just point out that in any area of public life, this stuff leads to libel suits.

      • I didn’t say he did. Simberg was a defendant too. I just point out that in any area of public life, this stuff leads to libel suits.

        Nick you avoided the question again. Where in that paragraph, the basis for the libel suit, did EITHER STYNE OR RIMBERG suggest Mann was a pedophile?
        Did you miss this sentence, or do ascribe to Mann’s history of taking words out of context?

        Mann could be said to be the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data in the service of politicized science…

      • “suggest Mann was a pedophile”
        My comment wasn’t seeking to try the case. I simply pointed out that wild language like this in the media was likely to bring on libel suits in any area of public life. It’s not about trying to suppress a scientific debate.

    • Nick I cannot believe that you have followed the case but are somehow unaware that Mann has been avoiding discovery after Steyn complied.
      It is clear to anyone that Mann is using the process as punishment and basically abusing the flaws in the system.
      Manns abuse of others is worse that anything Steyn has dished out, in any case. Pure lawfare and not defensible … unless ‘side’ is more important than ‘principle’.

      • Please produce evidence that Mann failed to comply with a court order on discovery.

        What you are referring to is some grandstanding by Steyn where he volunteered premature discovery, while his co-defendants were off appealing. There was no order; in fact, the defendants had successfully applied to stay discovery. Mann ignored the stunt. He naturally does not want to engage in a bogus process early, and then be required to engage in a real one when the other defendants are ready.

      • @Nick Stokes November 18, 2017 at 7:06 pm
        Please produce evidence that Mann failed to comply with a court order on discovery.

        Please provide any evidence Mann provided any discovery. You don’t don’t need a court order for that. Watch My Cousin Vinny to learn more.LOL

      • Here is the motion from the defendants, well, I’ll quote its title
        “MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANTS MARK STEYN, NATIONAL REVIEW, INC., COMPETITIVE ENTERPRISE INSTITUTE AND RAND SIMBERG’S MOTION FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER ENFORCING STAY OF DISCOVERY PROCEEDINGS “

        They succeeded. So Mann was actually ordered, at the request of defence, not to engage discovery proceedings.

      • Nick is apparently not sure what is going on with Steyn’s case,from JUNE 2015:

        “Right now, the case is stalled while the DC Court of Appeals decides whether their brand new anti-SLAPP law comes with a right of interlocutory appeal. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. But as of now no one knows. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to find that I’m a test case. At any rate, written briefs were filed last September and there was half-an-hour of oral argument in November, but apparently after seven months the judges are still no hurry to issue an opinion.

        When their Lordships – or whatever you call ’em here – have settled that piece of fascinating legalistic folderol, we’ll go back to the trial court to see what the second trial judge (that’s another long story) makes of things. I’m bored with this, and said long ago that my wish is to go to trial as soon as possible, as it’s the fastest way to wrap it all up. That’s why I answered Michael Mann’s discovery requests of me over a year ago, since when he has declined to reciprocate and answer my discovery requests of him. As he put it:

        While Dr. Mann agrees with Mr. Steyn that discovery should move forward on Dr. Mann’s claims, discovery cannot move forward on Mr. Steyn’s counterclaims.

        Ah right. Funny how that works. Judge Weisberg professed to find it all a wee bit ironic:

        Plaintiff opposes the motion to stay discovery and argues that, at a minimum, the court should permit him to proceed with discovery against Defendant Steyn… Beyond that, Plaintiff takes the ironic – albeit legally correct – position that he should be able to proceed with discovery against Steyn, but Steyn should be precluded from taking discovery on his counterclaim because Plaintiff’s anti-SLAPP special motion to dismiss the counterclaim triggers an automatic statutory stay.

        Whatever. There are times when I wish I had the same kind of co-defendants I had in my free-speech wars in Canada: Maclean’s, unlike National Review, is a dentist’s waiting-room mag not an ideological mission, but they and I were as one in our fight not just against the Canadian Islamic Congress but against the now repealed Section 13. By contrast, National Review, for whom I wrote for a decade and a half, are offering the curious and fainthearted defense that they were never my publisher but merely an “interactive computer service provider” to which I had the access code (see page 49 of their most recent brief). They’re a court filing or two from claiming they’re Lufthansa and I’m Andreas Lubitz – just some crazy guy who locked himself in the NR cockpit.”

        https://www.steynonline.com/6910/mann-vs-steyn-the-state-of-play

        This court case is now about SIX years old!

        Meanwhile sometime in 2025 when the lazy,foot dragging Judge finally make an easy decision,Mark will then proceed with his counter suit.

      • The absurdity of the Judge decision to allow the lawsuit to proceed,despite no visible defamation is evident”

        La La La Can’t Hear You

        Jan, 2017

        “Should hockey-stick huckster Michael Mann’s interminable lawsuit against me succeed, it would be the worst setback for the First Amendment in half-a-century. Such unlikely Steyn allies as NBC, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, etc, all agree on that – in their amicus briefs. But actual editorials on this case have been far thinner on the ground. Indeed, the biggest difference between the hockey-stick huckster’s suit and the Canadian Islamic Congress’ attempt to criminalize my writing north of the border is that (by comparison with the CBC, The Globe & Mail et al) mainstream US media editorialists have been entirely silent. So I was pleased to see this piece from the editors of The New York Post, headlined “DC Court of Appeals’ Global Warming Decision Threatens First Amendment”:

        As Americans were preparing to trade Christmas presents last week, the DC Court of Appeals was moving to take a gift away: Americans’ right to free speech.

        The court ruled that Penn State climatologist Michael Mann’s defamation suit against National Review and the Competitive Enterprise Institute can go to trial. That should send shivers down the spines of anyone who cares about open debate and challenges to scientific findings.

        Mann’s suit claims bloggers Mark Steyn, on NR’s site, and Rand Simberg, on CEI’s, defamed him when they slammed his global warming research, particularly his famous hockey stick graph…

        The Post notes that both Mr Simberg and I were making “statements of opinion” and that, “under the First Amendment, Americans can express their opinion”. That’s true – or it was until Judge Vanessa Ruiz and her colleagues came along. Her ladyship’s view that, once an “expert” body has ruled on a subject, freeborn citizens are obliged to accept that ruling and shut the hell up is perverse and repugnant.”

        https://www.steynonline.com/7660/la-la-la-cant-hear-you

        DR. Mann will down in history as one of the WORST scientist who ever lived, as he want to be the first to take the cake and eat it too.

        Why should it take YEARS, for the bad judge to make this simple absurd ruling?

  9. “The erosion of norms among a few leading climate scientists has been endorsed — often tacitly but sometimes explicitly — by leading scientific organizations.”

    Hence, to my mind, this is a problem that extends far beyond just “climate science”.

    And I don’t think the CAGW “campaign” would have been attempted in the steamroller sort of fashion that it was, if it’s principle players were not confident that the “scientific establishment” in general was . . going to “have their backs”, so to speak.

    It’s a “priestly robes” problem at heart, it seems to me, which involves the elevation of Big Science to a form of “Savior” in the minds of the “masses”.

    And I believe that process was initiated and advanced (to a great extent) through the steamrolling of Evolution (big ‘E’, in the grand origins sense, not mere Darwinism, which is little more than an acknowledgment that “natural selection” can do what humans through selective breeding practices, as I see these matters), to the point of forcing people to pay for their own children’s indoctrination into the “Naturalistic” belief system it depends on.

    Back then, when I was a “true believer” in that system, I didn’t see the danger . . I was naïve about the “scientist clan” I had ben taught to admire and trust implicitly. I fell for the hype about “skepticism” being a sort of failsafe, which scientists in general would always be at least tolerant of . . if not outright champions of. Silly me.

  10. I have posted the following at the source:
    The Ritchie and Dowlatabadi paper is indeed important.

    One minor quibble is perhaps the statement that the scenario reflects 1990s assumptions. This very same point was made to me c1994 by David Hughes, Environmental Affairs Manager for the Australian mining company MIM Holdings (now part of Glencore). His point was that the scenarios driving the models used in the IPCC reports assumed consumption of coal over the next century in excess of proven reserves.

    I found the remark fascinating, but I never followed it up (beyond my expertise) and have not – until now – seen it verified in the literature.

    One additional reason why it is an important finding is that (especially when one takes into account the IEA forecasts) not only is coal not yet dead, as many activists are claiming, but its demise is likely to come from resource depletion, not competition from alternatives or policy settings. Rescue scarcity would likely drive up prices, of course, and (relatedly) price and technological innovation in mining and in situ gasification is always likely to alter the balance between resources and reserves.

  11. It’s good to see Roger Pielke Jr. taking the kid-gloves off and naming names, people who have left the path of science in pursuit of politics.

    He tried playing the nice guy to help reform them, and only received abuse, and worse, in return. I still disagree with him about his acceptance of the catastrophic part of AGW, but he is an honourable man.

  12. This behavior will continue until norms are upheld by the community.

    One small problem with that , it is very clear and over many years that in this community Mann’s and other poor scientific practice and bad personal behavior is the ‘norm ‘
    Indeed it not just a norm but rewarded too , so the community is already upholding ‘norms ‘ it is just those norms are awful in the first place .
    It is like asking the MAFIA to take an anti-crime stance , for although not ever one in the area follows the same bath it is not odd one but the majority and those seen as its leaders. The cold reality is that no internal reformation is possible, not just the heart or mind but most of the rotten is rotten to . And sadly far to many in science through fear, personal interest or indifference have played three wise monkeys over this , for which all of science not just climate ‘science’ may end paying the price.

  13. “Perhaps this dissonance is why scientific organisations which should be stating loudly and unambiguously that lawsuits are not way to pursue scientific debates.”
    I think the meaning is clear, but this is not a sentence.

  14. “but it is easy to list leaders in the community who’ve decided that expected norms of behavior don’t apply to them: Jacobson, Mann, Gleick, Pachauri, Schmidt, Rahmstorf, Shukla, Jones, Trenberth — Just to start.”
    Roger, if you are reading, perhaps you should have led with your greatest critic, John Holdren, former Science advisor to Obama. Also, I don’t seem to understand your reflexive need, whether your are writing or speaking, to throw a shot a Trump. For example. you say, ” Perhaps these scientists can now better understand the norm-flouting and defending of President Trump.” By all accounts you seem to be a logical fellow but you consistently fail to understand that Trump was elected precisely because he is a “norm flouter”. The American voter is sick and tired of “normal DC” and Trump was simply the best “norm flouter”

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