Morally Irresponsible Science

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen


demographics_420Long ago and far away — that is, in August of last year and in the scientific field called Demography — a great controversy arose and sparked calls for a retraction and accusations of a scholarly paper falling “outside the bounds of scholarly decorum” and labeling its findings as being “morally irresponsible”.

Note:  This essay is not primarily about Climate Science per se but is more about the philosophy of science.  If your only interest is CliSci, you can skip this one.  — kh

While the findings and methods of the paper were subject to varying opinions and valid alternative views, the primary objections to the paper were not that its findings were incorrect — that is, not factual — but rather that they violated the long-standing worldview — the prevailing bias —  of the scientific field called Demography.

Before the necessary discussion on the morality of science findings, let’s look at the story that brought up the controversy above.

In July 2017, a demographer with the U.S. Census Bureau, Daniel Goodkind, writing as an individual (not in his official capacity), published a paper in the journal Demography titled:  The Astonishing Population Averted by China’s Birth Restrictions: Estimates, Nightmares, and Reprogrammed Ambitions.   

China’s no-longer-in-force “One Child Policy” [Bias Warning: the Wiki page linked leans heavily to one side of the issue]  has been considered a coercive and draconian policy at odds with the values of the Western free world.  It was in place in communist China, in various forms, from 1979 until recently lifted in 2015, in an effort to prevent run-away population growth.  The government of China has gone on record claiming that the policy averted 400 million births — and Western (and some Chinese) demographers have consistently attempted to refute and disprove — debunk —  that claim.

Daniel Goodkind, in his paper states: ”Population experts have dismissed official estimates that the program averted 400 million births as greatly exaggerated (Basten and Jiang 2014; Cai 2010; Greenhalgh 2010; Wang et al. 2013; Whyte et al. 2015)”  — and points out that these very same authors are the ones in active advocacy —  acting from “a preoccupation with eliminating one-child restrictions”.

A report in the journal Science relates that  “Hania Zlotnik, former director of the United Nations Population Division in New York City, …. notes that the sheer size of China’s population can compound the effect of shaky statistics for the birth rate and other indicators. She says Goodkind’s paper could appeal to non-China specialists interested in “us[ing] it politically” to demonstrate the impact of quickly reducing the birth rate. That is precisely what Wang and Cai fear. In a 17 August email to Matthews, Wang blasted Goodkind’s paper as “morally irresponsible.” He and Cai called on Demography to withdraw the paper or provide the peer reviewers’ comments. In an email to Science in 2016, Goodkind wrote that an earlier paper had encountered “ferocious resistance” during peer review. Stephen Matthews, a co-editor of Demography and demographer at Pennsylvania State University in State College, noted that Goodkind’s latest paper “went through the standard double-blind peer review process” and underwent revisions before publication.”

Goodkind’s conclusions, in addition to the major finding that “China’s one-child program itself averted a population of 400 million by 2015”, included:

“Conclusion: On Science, Advocacy, and the Post-One-Child Era — In the last dozen years of China’s one-child era, most experts dismissed the government’s view that its birth planning program played a central role in controlling population growth. Greenhalgh (2003:166) went even further, claiming that the very “ideas about China’s population problem . . . were actively fabricated by Chinese population scientists using numbers, numerical pictures (such as tables and graphs), and numerical techniques (such as projections)” and that China’s “virtual ‘population crisis’” was a misconstruction of “scientizing rhetorics” (p. 163), the key objective of the author being “to clear the way for fresh consideration of policy alternatives [to one child restrictions]” (p. 166). Other experts seemed to agree, linking arms to dispute the demographic impact of the one-child program (Basten and Jiang 2014; Cai 2010; Gu and Cai 2011; Morgan et al. 2009; Sen 2015; Wang et al. 2013, 2016; Whyte et al. 2015; Zhang and Zhao 2005; Zhao 2015; Zheng et al. 2009).”


“These questions will be debated for decades to come. Reliable answers must begin with alternate scenarios of China’s population growth. Demographers have the honor of lighting the way forward given their ability to navigate this specialized realm of measurements and relations. With accusations of “bad science” being hurled so often at China’s birth planners in decades past, population experts should be more careful to ensure the soundness of their own science. Perhaps that ambition will be better achieved now that the era of one-child limits in China is officially, finally, behind us.”

Mainstream demographers had been in an advocacy battle with the government of China in an attempt to bring about a change in the One-Child Policy — which they considered morally repugnant.  These policy-advocating demographers had spent years writing papers attacking the official figures issued by the Chinese government with accusations ranging from “actively fabricat[ing]” ideas, numbers and charts to “scientizing rhetorics” then descending to the level of naming them as “deceptive boasts”, “myths” and  “entirely bogus.” — all in the interest of political advocacy for the revocation of the One Child Policy.

When Goodkind validates the Chinese claims on population reduction success of the policy, his findings, even though they had been subjected to standard double-blind peer review and revision process of the leading journal of demographics, are labelled by the very same policy-advocating demographers as “morally irresponsible” and his criticisms of previously biased research as being “outside the bounds of scholarly decorum”.

In this incident, what I see is a field of study that has apparently taken a values-position on a research topic and allowed that values-judgement to bias and taint their work to the point that their findings are knowingly or unknowingly, intentional or unintentionally, skewed to agree with their political advocacy goals and support their value-judgement.  The prevailing bias in the field, in this case demography, thus leads to attacks on any research finding contrary to the bias — on moral grounds.

This situation may remind you of another field of study — Climate Science.

It is unnecessary here to detail the long, nearly endless, list of attacks on any and all that do solid science, find valid and important results, only to find themselves, because their findings or opinions differ from the prevailing view, labelled as immoral, even criminal, anti-science “Climate Deniers” with all the implications of moral bankruptcy associated Holocaust Deniers — those who deny that the Jewish Holocaust ever occurred.

Climate Science as a branch of science has become so closely associated with certain social values, political views and policy solutions that its current consensus view has been granted by its practitioners a [false] mantle of Moral Rectitude — a viewpoint that has become a socially enforced Moral Imperative.  Those who practice Right Thinking, or who at least engage in Virtue Signaling by appearing to agree,  are rewarded with professional acceptance and promotion.  Those who insist on simply following the science where it leads, who insist on questioning dogma and questioning findings of “Accepted Climate Science”, are condemned, vilified and labelled as moral degenerates.

Some skeptical scientists have been the victims of malicious professional character assassination.  Others are relentlessly attacked by those who should be their colleagues with public statements that in other countries would see them in court for libel.

Immoral Science?

Is it possible to perform unethical, immoral science?   Of course it is.  Intentionally harming human test subjects or withholding proven beneficial medical treatments as part of a medical trial have long been held to be unethical and morally wrong.  Universities and other research organizations have established Ethics Review Committees to make these judgements before research can be carried out.   In some segments of society it is considered immoral to experiment on animals without due regard for their suffering — and, again, there are Ethics Committees that try to sort through the values — the harms and benefits — of this difficult question.

Does Science, as an enterprise, have to address the issues raised in the Science report of the demography controversy?

At issue is “how scientists as human beings should ask questions,” Wang [Wang Feng of the University of California, Irvine] says. Goodkind says that demographers routinely attempt to estimate the impact of famines and other events on populations, and that the one-child policy should be no different: “Well-grounded estimates are what they are, and they go where they go.”

Others say that the debate over values sparked by the paper is long overdue. Population research “has political implications,” Riley notes.  [Nancy Riley, a demographer at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine] “Demography has to start owning up to it.” 

Should Climate Science researchers consider social values in “how they should ask questions?”   Are there climate questions that should not be asked? —  Or not asked that way?  — out of sensitivity for social/political/preferred-policy values?

Should the popularity of Environmentalism or Naturalism or Anti-Corporatism or Anti-Fossil-Fuel-ism in Western societies restrict or re-focus research into the causes or effects of the Earth’s climate, static or changing, so as not to arrive at findings that might offend prevailing social or political sensitives?

Should climate research limit its published findings to only those that support or agree with prevailing political viewpoints and policy preferences — in recognition that research “has political implications”?   Must researchers consider the political implications of the their findings before publication or, in the worst case,  alter their findings in light of political implications?

Should scientists such as Goodkind, Tim Ball, Willie Soon, Lennart Bengtsson , Richard Lindzen, Roger Pielke Jr., Susan Crockford or Judith Curry [and far too many others] be ostracized by their colleagues?  —  and be punished for their temerity of publishing honest, scientifically correct findings that “are what they are” and data that “go where they go”? — all on the basis “how the findings might be used politically?”  Some of those named here have been so punished and explicitly for that reason — their findings are “not helpful” to The Cause or might be “used by the deniers” to discredit or weaken The Consensus.

Let’s ask these questions:

Which of the following two characterizes Morally Irresponsible Science?

  1. Science knowingly performed in the service of confirmation of the existing consensus of a science field, just to play it career-safe?


  1. Science performed to discover what is actually going on with the subject and simply and straightforwardly reporting the results?

Which of the two represents Immoral Behavior of Scientists?

  1. Defending a majority view against all criticism, regardless of the scientific soundness of that criticism?
  2. Defending the honor and integrity of Science by insisting on asking good questions and publishing honest, unbiased results, even if they disagree with the majority view?

Which of the two represents the Ethics Expected of a Scientist?

  1. Supporting all good (scientifically correct) science findings, even if they don’t agree with one’s personal opinions or the prevailing bias or consensus in a field?
  2. Attempting to shut down any competing scientific opinion and prevent its publication or discussion in the press? Or if that fails, attacking the competing researcher(s) on a personal level?

The controversy among the demographers raises good questions for all branches of science to consider.  In it, we see the adverse influence of policy-preferences polluting the application of good science and of cadres of experts “linking arms” in the support of a political or social goal resulting in the suppression of valid research results in their field.  Researchers in the field that buck the cadre and publish contrary findings are attacked, ostracized and labelled as being morally irresponsible.

The travesty of such a situation in Science is much more easily seen when looking in at someone else’s field than it is to see when one is surrounded by the same sort of controversy in one’s own field.

Scientific societies, rather than publishing Official Statements on Climate Change, in which they state their allegiance to a set of social/political dogmatic talking points, would be better served by clearly establishing Codes of Ethics for their members in support of strict adherence to the scientific method and the true values of disinterested, unbiased scientific research and to the requirements of collegial conduct that allow science to flourish and advance.

The AGU, which is the primary scientific society for climate researchers,  made a good start in this direction in 2017 with the issuance of a Code of Conduct to apply at its meetings and  with the issuance of an updated Ethics Policy based on these principles.  Judith Curry covered this in part at her blog Climate Etc.   Excerpts of the two policy follow:

Code of Conduct: Expected Behavior (excerpts)

  • All participants, attendees, AGU staff, and vendors are treated with respect and consideration, valuing a diversity of views and opinions.
  • Be considerate, respectful, and collaborative.
  • Communicate openly with respect for others, critiquing ideas rather than individuals.
  • Avoid personal attacks directed toward other attendees, participants, AGU staff, and suppliers/vendors.

AGU Scientific Integrity and Professional Ethics: Principles (exerpts)

  • Excellence, integrity, and honesty in all aspects of research
  • Personal accountability in the conduct of research and the dissemination of the results
  • Professional courtesy, equity, and fairness in working with others
  • Freedom to responsibly pursue science without interference or coercion
  • Unselfish cooperation in research
  • Good stewardship of research and data on behalf of others

Seeming violations of many of these principles are common in Climate Science today.  Many of the Code of Conduct rules are reported to be routinely and gleefully violated at conferences in regards to climate skeptics.   At present, it is unclear whether the AGU Ethics Policy and Code of Conduct will be actually enforced for anything other than blatant scientific misconduct (plagiarism, falsification of results, etc.) or violations of standards affected by diversity issues.

Perhaps we, each of us, can do better — starting with our own conduct, extending our influence to our immediate associates and colleagues and working through our professional societies to encourage first, then enforce if necessary, expected behavior.

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Note:  The author is not a climate scientist — he is a science essayist, a writer, and his field, science journalism, has its own set of standards and codes of conduct.  Some of them are delineated in the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics.

# # # # #


Author’s  Comment Policy:

I try to read all of the comments that follow my essays here and elsewhere.  If you start your comment with “Kip…” I will respond the best I can to your question or concern.

This essay, about professional conduct, may raise some blood pressures and tempt some readers to lash out at those they feel have acted unprofessionally.  Please try to rein in those emotions and remain constructive.

Like many who read here, I have had my share of being mocked and vilified at anti-skeptic websites….I have considered it a Badge of Honor.  Although my  amateur writing career has not been destroyed by The Climate Team and their cabal of character assassins, I do have the experience of losing an executive position and a career — hounded out of an organization for doing the right thing — and having to start over from scratch. I mention this only so that those who have been harmed by climate zealots know that I do understand where they’re coming from.

I’d prefer that the discussion focus on how we can act to reset the moral compass of science in general.

# # # # #

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Joel O’Bryan
February 7, 2018 10:09 pm

You wrote:

“In this incident, what I see is a field of study that has apparently taken a values-position on a research topic ,and allowed that values-judgement to bias and taint their work to the point that their findings are knowingly or unknowingly, intentional or unintentionally, skewed to agree with their political advocacy goals and support their value-judgement. The prevailing bias in the field, in this case demography, thus leads to attacks on any research finding contrary to the bias — on moral grounds.”

Demography is not unique in the research field being attacked for its honest approaches.
I point you to the recent controversy of Dr Jordan Peterson, Clinical Psycholgist at University of Toronto, in his interview/debate with Britain’s Channel 4 Cathy Newman. She is clearly a feminist on new-Marxist views spouting PC feminist talking points. Dr Peterson absolutely and clearly demolishes her and her cognitive dissonance moments where she hallucinates hearing things Dr Peterson didn’t say, only to have Dr Peterson correct her and demolish her arguments. The take-dwon of neoMarxist progressive feminist talking point is epic.

If you are not aware of this Dr. Jordan Peterson interview and the subsequent discussions on Editorial sites, you should become so. The parallels with Climate Science and mainstream CliSci alarmists avoidance of debate are quite similar to what Dr Peterson did to this Lefitist spouting PC-sound bites without any intellectual engagement.
Mainstream CliSci folks like Mann and Gavin Schmidt avoid direct, open-ended debate with informed skeptic scientists precisely because what happened to Cathy Newman vs Dr. Jordan Peterson would happen to them in a debate on climate change issues and facts.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
February 7, 2018 10:31 pm

In other words, Mann, Schmidt ,and many others as recognizable mainstream alarmist climate scientists violate the AGU Code of Ethics in order to avoid a debate in which they would get their butts handed to them.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
February 8, 2018 1:06 am

Well, waddaya know….
I saw the interview, and liked his style. He seems to know what he’s talking about, and I do tend to agree with him.
Then a very few minutes later I read this on an unrelated platform:
All I read in there is that he is dangerous because he subscribes to these conspiracy theories that left-wing PC is taking over our educational systems. Which I also subscribe to. It’s an opinion, dummies (the Guardian).
Talk about ignoring him message because of his political views!

Reply to  Jer0me
February 8, 2018 4:05 am

He isn’t actually right-wing. Or left. He is against compelled speech, identity politics (on both sides of the spectrum), post-modernism and a victim mindset. He is encouraging people to learn, think for themselves, take responsibility for their futures and face suffering and hardship with courage.

Reply to  Jer0me
February 8, 2018 4:54 am

Sounds like my kind of guy. I have tried to instill the exact same ideas into my children. One took it, the other not so well (but there may be time). The one that did is doing famously. He’s a lefty, but I’m sure he’ll grow out of it 😉

Tom Schaefer
Reply to  Jer0me
February 8, 2018 5:45 am

Jer0me: Failure to raise conservative (non-lefty) kids can usually be attributed to a failure to introduce children to the role of international bankers in world events in the early 20th century. Once kids absorb those facts, everything else falls into place for them and you end up with conservative/libertarians that can effectively engage their leftist peers.

Reply to  Jer0me
February 8, 2018 7:20 am

“He is encouraging people to learn, think for themselves, take responsibility for their futures and face suffering and hardship with courage.”
Sorry, Kira, but that is the antithesis of the left today, who demand that one thinks like the group, reward those who are not responsible for their futures and believe that no one should suffer ever (except for their political and philosophical opponents), much less with courage. He may be independent of the right by proclamation, but I am sure he would vote conservative over current liberals every time.

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
February 8, 2018 5:36 am

They are terrified of becoming objects of ridicule like Cathy Newman now rightfully is. Search interwebs for cathy + newman + meme for some funny stuff.comment image

Reply to  Joel O’Bryan
February 8, 2018 6:34 am

Just got tuned into Mr. Peterson. He handles himself with great patience and does not accept straw man arguments or accusations. He does this by restating what he actually stated or believes. Does not respond in kind to a shouting protester.

February 7, 2018 10:11 pm

I’m skeptical that antagonism to a finding of many births averted by China’s one child policy would be because western demographers are supportive of the moral rights of parents to have as many children as they want. As far as I csn tell oretty much the entirety of western academia is strongly against the idea that parents have a moral right to have as many children as they want. Remember Obama science advisor John Holdren? The guy who wanted to forcibly en masse chemically castrate American citizens to control their their reproduction? That is more the norm for western academia.
I’m pretty sure that any western academic hostility to a finding of many Chinese births averted would be to evade the implication that the birth restriction policies most of them favor actually do in-effect abort many lives, since they tend to be fixated on the opposition that their own views face from American anti-abortion activists.
Kip summarizes this debate without citing anyone’s actual position. Is he sure he is getting the story right? Sounds to me like he has it backwards.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Alec Rawls
February 7, 2018 10:21 pm

I had to read Kip’s essay twice (and then some) to get his argument. Obtuse on the first read what he was arguing.
The easiest way to see what he is talking about is to carefully read his “Which of the two questions” framing.

Joel O’Bryan
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 8, 2018 8:04 am

The book, “The Bell Curve” book of the early 1990’s hit the same raw nerves in he US Left. It’s politically incorrect message was rejected as racist.

Nic Harvard
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 12, 2018 1:09 pm

Scientists should be free to to examine any questions in their field.
Otherwise we have Lysenkoism and dodgy state sponsored views to support a particular framework
I have given up on reading conclusions and reverted to simply going “give me your data”
A wonderful example of this is s recent oxford university study into “fake news”
The data is brilliant but when one looks at conclusions they are clearly driving at a preconceived outcome
Bad science

Reply to  Alec Rawls
February 8, 2018 7:55 am

Speaking of moral/political heresy in the world of demographics … I wonder what the “correct” position is for “The Demographer Community” regarding the negative birth rate for whites in Industrialized societies compared to brown peoples much higher birth rates? It appears as though the “browning” of western society is seen as one of the greatest demographic phenomenon in the history of the planet … by those of a particular political persuasion. Would “The Demographer Community” dare allow scientific studies to the contrary? Short answer – no. Our Federal Government refuses to compile crime statistics by skin color, citizenship, or national heritage. There are some racial statistics that demographers just refuse to compile. Some answers and conclusions are just “too dangerous” to consider.
Spare me the insults. I won’t bother explaining how I am NOT a racist, because I’m not. But I AM a “truther” (in the sane, non-conspiratorial sense of the word). A science-based truther who wants ALL the FACTS, before making ill-advised policy (yes, Rosie O’Donnell … facts like steel does melt, and lose strength in the presence of fire). Science which avoids research based on the morality-du-jour is not science at all … but advocacy. But all you WUWTers already know that.

Reg Nelson
Reply to  kenji
February 8, 2018 9:06 am

Statistics on crimes committed by illegal aliens were suppressed under the Obama administration. MSM media would often cite a “study”, undertaken by a think tank, to claim illegal aliens were less likely to commit crimes. Turns out the opposite is actually true.
“On Thursday, the Department of Justice and Homeland Security released long-suppressed data on illegal immigrants and federal crime. Granted, this is only a small part of the overall picture, as both sides admit, but it’s still a telling one. According to the report, “more than one-in-five of all persons in Bureau of Prisons custody were foreign born, and 94 percent of confirmed aliens in custody were unlawfully present.”
Further, when it comes to federal crime convictions, non-citizens were responsible for 22 percent of all murder, 18 percent of fraud, 33 percent of money laundering, 29 percent of drug trafficking, and 72 percent of all drug possession convictions, according to a graphic presented by Fox News host Tucker Carlson on his Thursday evening show.”
Of course, this story was buried by the MSM.

Reply to  Alec Rawls
February 8, 2018 12:31 pm

Alec, being somewhat facetious here, but the current population control freaks on the left only want to reduce western populations, not those wonderful low-resource-utilising developing country populations!
There are multiple streams here and there are also – legitimate – concerns over the quality of Chinese official statistics which is where the “mainstream demographers” are able to cast doubt on the numbers. But to be quite so obvious in stating “some questions should not be asked because we don’t want to give support to people with a different viewpoint” is – sadly – not as shocking or surprising as it should be!

February 7, 2018 10:17 pm

This paper raises good questions. It is a shame that nobody in the climate “science” community is listening.

Extreme Hiatus
February 7, 2018 10:37 pm

This problem prevails in all “mission oriented” post-modern ‘science.’ Another field specifically described as such is “Conservation Biology.” The ‘science’ supporting the ‘endangered species’ industry. I would argue that it is currently worse than climate science because it gets much less scrutiny.
Eisenhower warned about this as he left office and it happened. It is like Lysenkoism on steroids.

Reply to  Extreme Hiatus
February 8, 2018 4:29 am

If anyone has been following the vax debate raging on independent media you would find parallels there as well.

Reply to  Tim
February 8, 2018 8:57 am

Vax debate? Of course, many preferred DG or Cybers of Honeybucket to Vaxen.
Similarly, I was drawn into the population/demographics brawl in an econ class. We had a faction which could never construct an argument (because this and this then that, and then because of that and these other then …). With them it was always “I feeeeel, so the government should force…” (Not certain exactly how many “e”s they used but that it must have been at least 3. Me: “Yes, Phred, but what do you think…and why?” My first big hint that academia had run off the rails was discovering some of them were given straight top scores.
FYI, these folks thought we should have the same strict controls at issue…and that many from their own faction later decided these regulations were politically incorrect. (shaking head)

South River Independent
February 7, 2018 10:42 pm

I thought that the important issue of China’s one-child policy was that it resulted in more males than females in the population because there was a bias for sons and daughters were aborted at a high rate.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  South River Independent
February 8, 2018 1:20 am

Yes, that is part of the problem. Demography management requires that the balance between males and females be slightly less than 50:50 because females bear children which is a life-endangering activity. In early times polygamy was required as a social welfare system so all widows and orphans (war etc) had a home. Proscriptions on polygamy are very recent – Rome being the most influential one – and it had nothing to do with human rights, but the clogging of the courts with the distribution of estates. The first foundational religious Text effectively limiting the number of wives to 1 is the Kitab-i-Aqdas (1873).
Allowing or encouraging policies that permit sex-selection of children in an age where males are still preferred has obvious consequences. Wife kidnapping and human trafficking are clear examples of the downside.
About China: there are very likely a couple of hundred million children who are ‘off the books’ in China, who have been born secretly. One figure I heard was ≈300m. So if the policy claims to have avoided 400m and there are 300m off the official records, it means the net effect was -100m because people did not accept the policy and vote with their feet, so to speak.
All things remaining as they are, if everyone had access to energy, food, shelter and education, the population would slowly decline over generations. There are serious consequences for the economy with a shrinking population. At present societies are not geared for long lifetimes and no population growth. The stock markets and the business cycle are founded on demographic underpinnings. Read and grow fearful.
All that is needed for a dramatic drop in population (if that is somehow desirable) is the return of the Cold.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
February 8, 2018 3:11 am

Crispin wrote:
“All that is needed for a dramatic drop in population (if that is somehow desirable) is the return of the Cold.”
The scientific understanding of the Sun’s role in climate is imperfect. Many respected scientists say the Sun does not vary enough to be a significant driver of global temperatures. I disagree, although my understanding, and that of the science community as a whole, is less than adequate.
I (we) predicted the commencement of global cooling by 2020-2030 in an article published the Calgary Herald in 2002. That prediction is gaining credibility as solar activity has crashed.
Current Solar Cycle 24 (SC24), predicted as recently as 2006 by NASA to be robust, is a dud, with a projected maximum Smoothed Sunspot Number (SSNmax) of ~65. It is still early in the prediction game, but SC25 is also projected to be very weak, so we will probably experience two consecutive very-weak Solar Cycles in SC24 and SC25.
Here is what we may be able to infer at a macro level about the impact of the Sun on global temperatures:
Very-weak solar activity, as estimated by peak Sunspot Numbers, coincided with two very cold periods called the Maunder Minimum (circa 1700) and the Dalton Minimum (circa 1800).
I have no Sunspot Number data before 1700, but the latter part of the Maunder Minimum had 2 consecutive weak Solar Cycles with SSNmax of 58 in 1705 and 63 in 1717 .
The coldest period of the Maunder was ~1670 to ~1700 (8.48dC year average Central England Temperatures) but the coldest year was 1740 (6.84C year avg CET).
The Dalton Minimum had 2 consecutive weak SC’s with SSNmax of 48 in 1804 and 46 in 1816. Tambora erupted in 1815, one of the two largest volcanic eruptions in the past 2000 years.
Two of the coldest years in the Dalton were 1814 (7.75C year avg CET) and 1816 (7.87C year avg CET). Note the slightly-colder of the two was pre-Tambora.
Now Solar Cycle 24 is a dud with SSNmax estimated at ~65, and very early estimates suggest SC25 will be very low as well – so we probably anticipate two more consecutive very-weak SC’s.
Here is my concern:
IF the Sun does indeed drive temperature, as I suspect, then successive governments in Britain and continental Europe have brewed the perfect storm.
They have crippled their energy systems with excessive reliance on ineffective grid-connected wind power schemes.
I suggest that global cooling probably WILL happen within the next decade or sooner, and Europe will get colder, possibly much colder.
I suggest that Winter deaths will increase in the Europe as cooling progresses.
I suggest that Excess Winter Mortality rates will provide an estimate of this unfolding tragedy.
As always in these matters, I hope to be wrong. These are not numbers, they are real people, who “loved and were loved”.
Best regards to all, Allan MacRae
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world…
– Yeats

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
February 8, 2018 3:32 am

“The first foundational religious Text effectively limiting the number of wives to 1 is the Kitab-i-Aqdas (1873).”
You are only off by about 850 years. From Wikipedia:
“Gershom ben Judah, (c. 960 -1040) best known as Rabbeinu Gershom” …”is most famous for the synod he called around 1000 CE, in which he instituted various laws and bans, including prohibiting polygamy, requiring the consent of both parties to a divorce, modifying the rules concerning those who became apostates under compulsion, and prohibiting the opening of correspondence addressed to someone else.”
It is true that Rabbi Gershon’s rulings applied only to European Jews. However, a partial ban, appearing more than 500 years earlier than that applied to all Jews and was fairly strictly enforced among non-European Jews (Sephardi, Mizrachi and Yemenite), The partial ban had been instituted in the time of the Amoraim (about 200-about 500 CE), and is recorded in the Talmud (earlier part, Mishnah, about 200 CE; later part, Gemara, about 500 CE), which is an authoritative compendium of Jewish law.
“Already in amoraic times, however, the practice was frowned upon by the sages, who prescribed that polygamy was permissible only if the husband was capable of properly fulfilling his marital duties toward each of his wives (see *Marriage”). The opinion was also expressed that if a man takes a second wife, he must divorce his first wife, if the latter so demands, and pay her ketubbah (Yev. 65a; Alfasi, Piskei ha-Rosh, and Sh. Ar., EH 1:9). Similarly, according to talmudic law, a man may not take a second wife if he has specifically undertaken to his first wife, e.g., in the ketubbah, not to do so (Sh. Ar., EH 76:8). Taking a second wife is also forbidden wherever *monogamy is the local custom since such custom is deemed an implied condition of the marriage, it being presumed that the wife only wishes to marry in accordance with local custom (Sh. Ar., EH 1:9; Beit Shemu’el, ibid., 20; Helkat Meḥokek, ibid., 15, 76:8). Generally, the husband can only be released from this restriction with his wife’s consent (loc. cit.; Darkhei Moshe, EH 1:1, n. 8; Sh. Ar., EH 76).” (

dodgy geezer
February 7, 2018 11:08 pm

…Is it possible to perform unethical, immoral science? Of course it is. Intentionally harming human test subjects or withholding proven beneficial medical treatments as part of a medical trial have long been held to be unethical…
Ethics, and the existence of ‘acceptable’ social customs, has, of course, nothing to do with science per se. In a society where, for example, one racial group is considered ‘sub-human’, there might be no ethical bar on performing vivisection experiments on members of that group, and good science (in the sense of technically accurate science) might well be done this way. Science is Science – a scientist’s behaviour might be ‘moral’ or ‘unethical’, but that is a social distinction, and NOT a scientific one.
I do not see the current distortion of Climate Science as solely a scientific issue. It is much wider than that. Activists are also pushing for ‘ethical’ investment, and ‘ethical Economics’ – Art has long been ‘ethical’ in this sense. What is happening is that activists with a particular world view are trying to make that world view into an established and unquestioned attitude, across ALL forms of human endeavour. History, as you know, is being re-examined in the light of new world-views – Philosophy has long had conservative views suppressed.
Humans are social animals, and famously operate with a social world-view – Mackay’s book on ‘Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds’ illustrates this very well – and activists in all fields are well aware that if your argument is weak you can bolster it by using ‘social pressure’ to make sure that your opponent’s argument is not heard – politicians do this all the time. We understand that well, and always expect to hear from both sides in a political debate, or in a court of Law (which, incidentally, is also suffering from one-sided activist pressure) It’s just that scientists are unused to being exposed to this kind of debating practice.
The answer is not to somehow protect science from this social trend. The answer is to attack such a social trend face on, and argue for free speech, balance and liberty to say what you think in ALL fields of human discourse…

Reply to  dodgy geezer
February 8, 2018 9:02 am

I served on a university ethics committee for many years. Virtually all discussion/decisions centred on ethics in methods rather than presentation of results. Most of this thread seems to focus on interpretation of results rather than methods of data collection. When a field of study is viewed only through the lens of compatibility with a given meme it entails a whole different meaning of “ethics”. Socio-political interpretations and science are very different things. I don’t recall ever having an “ethics” review after a paper was published.

February 7, 2018 11:33 pm

Perhaps a side-by-side comparison of population growth in the two largest counties, China and India, which have not been greatly influenced by migration, would demonstrate the effect of the one-child-policy. Has this been done?

Reply to  Phillip Bratby
February 8, 2018 3:56 am

Indias population is growing much faster than China’s, it’s population is almost equal to China’s now and will likely surpass it within 5 years. India may have 2 billion citizens within the next 20 years.
Which makes me wonder why we focus our business pursuits so much on China and ignore India. India has a fast growing economy, it is a parliamentary democracy, its citizens enjoy human rights like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, etc. Can’t say the same for China.
China executes more of its citizens every year than the rest of the world combined.
Why do we focus so much on China but ignore India right next door?

Reply to  Klem
February 8, 2018 9:15 am


Roger Knights
Reply to  Klem
February 9, 2018 6:23 am

“Why do we focus so much on China but ignore India right next door?”
It’s hardly next door to the U.S.

Steve Borodin
February 7, 2018 11:36 pm

“The truth shall set you free”. In passing, I not this is the motto of JHU.

Leo Smith
February 7, 2018 11:48 pm

Science is amoral. It seeks better descriptions of the world with the value judgement implied by ‘better’ being ‘more accurate in their predictive power’.
It is nonsense to talk about ‘ethical science’ in isolation. .
the inconvenient truth is that science has nothing to do with morals or ethics.
scientists who upset the prevailing zeitgeist may be judged unethical but their science cannot be.
Nazi experiments on camp victims were judged unethical: the knowledge so gained was not and IIRC was the best data on how far you could push a human body before it died, for many decades.
Science is arriving at a better picture in terms of predictive power, the answers so obtained cannot be unethical. Only the means by which they are arrived at and then only relative to a value judgement that cannot be proven to be anything more than arbitrary.
Should the Chinese have let starvation do the job that birth control law did?
It may be that Truth – or at least a better approximation to it, is not conducive to the survival of a culture. Perhaps we need to believe in lies to get us to contemplate reproduction at all. I rather think that is the Liberal position when all is said and done. That scientists who expose inconvenient truths are immoral and so is that truth..
Inconvenient truth is the label THEY reserve for convenient lies.
In private? ‘pas devant les domestiques?’
What we have here is orthogonal to science: It is more about which of two cultural moralities should prevail, one that assumes people are strong enough and adult enough to face a more accurate truth, no matter how unpalatable, and another which defines hoi polloi as untermenschen, and absolutely considers that the most dangerous thing that they can be given, possibly for their own sakes, is the truth. These two positions roughly correspond to the Conservative and the Liberal positions as they stand today.
Regular audiences to my philosophical drivellings will know that this is a subject that is very much one I have spent serious time considering.
I fear to say that the only answer I have arrived at is equally unpalatable to both camps: I can merely observe from a transcendentally amoral perspective, that ‘whatever gets you through the night’ is likely to become the zeitgeist of the times. During WWII and the Cold War, a hard realism was good for survival. Post the collapse off the USSR and all serious existential threats to the West what has prevailed is marketing led bovine excrement as the elites, no longer fearful of anyone beyond their own populations, have attempted to construct a fluffy bunny morality for nothing more than power and profit.
Truth just rains on their parade.
And frankly, there is nothing wrong with that unless there really IS an existential threat, like climate change, out there.
My position is that there are several threats, but they are all based on one clear problem. The people driving this process, manipulating the zeitgesit via marketing – political and otherwise – are so engrossed in their emotional and moral narrative that the actually physical reality of the world – as contrasted with the Zeitgeist of humanity – has been completely ignored.
Or rather subverted. There are probably no grounds for concern vis a vis climate change, but there are significant grounds for concern vis a vis population growth and energy (and other) resources to maintain civilisation.
But those genuine concerns are taken and perverted into yet another piece of marketing propaganda, rather than addressed, as the Chinese attempted to.
Which culture is more likely to rule the world and which to die of its own stupidity?
Does it matter if the west becomes so decadent it self destructs into an idiocracy?
Perhaps both sides care and think it matters, the difference is in whose approach to the truth is to be chosen, and why.
I will leave it for you to decide. I will merely remark that all ideologies are context dependent. mostly cannibalism is not good for survival but sometimes its is. Mostly stealing next doors tribes women and killing the men is nor good for survival, but sometimes it is. Mostly incest is not conducive to survival, but the Old Testament story of Lot and his daughters implies that it started a whole new tribe.
Perhaps the lies and propaganda of the Semitic religions and the Left is not wrong, just wrong for where we are NOW.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Leo Smith
February 8, 2018 1:33 am

“Science is amoral.”
Science is a toolbox and does not have morals. It doesn’t have to. People are tool users. They can use a tool to save lives or harm them.
The confusion about this simple matter comes when ideologues seek inherent morality in ‘science’ because they have forgotten where morals and moral direction come from. There is only one reason why a person can look at a bag of hammers and find moral direction: it is that they have a higher nature which is not bounded by the physical world.
In short, people believe Man is an animal primarily because he acts like one. Denying the higher nature of Man leads to immoral consequences in which Man acts worse than the animal.
A friend of mine was discussing morality in Medieval times with me. He said, “In those days only the rich could afford to have morals.” While intellectually attractive, it is not really supported by the evidence. The concepts of ‘higher calling’ and ‘right living’ were well known in every society.
The recent call by the AGU to behave in a more professional manner could be used, as the tide turns against CAGW, to kick out the offenders who insist on calling people names as their primary argument against evidence they were wrong about this GHG thing all along. So be it.
Fine words, AGU. Let’s see some actions to back up the call.

Reply to  Leo Smith
February 8, 2018 1:46 am

But starvation was not necessary – that was the false assumption that drove a tyrannical and horrible policy,
Lots of countries did not enact such a policy and fed themselves despite huge population growth. And then as they got wealthier, people stopped having so many children anyway.
China was misguided and caused huge suffering needlessly through adhering to two false “religions” – Communism and Catastrophisim.

Tom Schaefer
Reply to  Leo Smith
February 8, 2018 12:10 pm

“Should the Chinese have let starvation do the job that birth control law did?” That probably should read “Should the Chinese have let free markets obviate the need to choose between starvation and birth control?” The answer is a resounding “Yes!”
I suggest you read up on the international forces that supported socialists in China at the end of WWII.

February 8, 2018 12:06 am

Fascinating and well written.

February 8, 2018 1:16 am

Truth can be viewed as “morally irresponsible” if you believe that ‘truth’ is a social construct. Strangely the sort of people who make these types of claims (and there are now a huge number of them) are happy to type them out using computers that (if truth was a social construct) shouldn’t exist.

Old England
February 8, 2018 1:25 am

Kip, seems to me the beauty of what you have set out is that it is self-evident to anyone that if you restrict parents to having only one child that it will reduce the rate of population growth.
By that I mean that anyone looking at this can immediately relate it to their own first hand knowledge and experience of their own family, neighbours and friends and understand and visualise the effect that would have on numbers if their family and all others had been and were all restricted to one child.
Any member of the public seeing the argument that this policy has not reduced population growth by significant numbers would have neither confidence in, respect for nor belief in that view.
I was going to say “to any sane individual” in the first sentence but felt that keeping it to “anyone” was more diplomatic and I’m not sure that denying truth or deliberately bending facts counts as insanity.
In terms of morality, Truth is neither moral nor immoral, it is what it is. Equally, speaking the truth cannot be immoral – uncomfortable to some on occasion , certainly but cannot be immoral.
Post modern ‘science’ needs to be excised and exposed for the immoral fraud that it is, it has no place in this world. So called ‘Progressive’ policies which are typically highly regressive in terms of democracy, politics and the advancement of mankind need to be outed for what they are – simple unreconstructed neo-marxism. I often describe this as ‘Pregressive, because they are the precursor to regression for mankind.

Old England
Reply to  Old England
February 8, 2018 1:30 am

Mods, while looking at the above – could you have a look at the Tip I left yesterday as I think this book and the interview with the author in the linked article are worthy of being brought to wider attention.

February 8, 2018 1:36 am

Factual correctness and morally right are two different concepts, which means you can be wrong but a nice person or right but a bast**d
In science, the goal should be factual correctness not moral righteousness , that should be left to other area such has religion, politics, sports or climate ‘science’ where reality is considerable less important self-justification and may side right or wrong .

Reply to  knr
February 8, 2018 3:24 am

morality is the science of choice. anything chosen is done on the basis of some standard of values.
for a creature whose means of survival is reason, superstition is immoral because it contradicts his primary virtue.
people who pretend to know things and insist on infecting healthy minds with their diseased memes are also unethical because they do damage to others.
and there are a whole lot of hunchbrains gnawing on brainstems right here right now.
if you can not define morality, you don’t know wtf you are talking about and are a phony.
if you can not define ethics, you don’t know wtf you are talking about and are a phony.
if you can not define the words you use they are not actually words but animal grunts.
howl at will, apes. strut and fret. you signify nothing. you can’t ever get a sapiens badge.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
February 8, 2018 1:40 am

I think Kip has this absolutely right and his “tests” of integrity of scientific attitude should be prefaced in science textbooks. What I fear is that as some of the few contributions already made in this discussion show, it is far from just climate science and demographics where intolerance towards contrary findings is becoming more and more evident.
It seems to me a very large part of this problem lies in the “professionalisation” of science coupled with the increasingly large amounts of funding that now benefit working within the consensus.
Nor should we forget that lucrative and honour laden careers are a powerful motivation to many people. At its simplest if you are tenured at an academic institution you are not going to take kindly to students with ideas if researched and found to be valid which are going to destroy your theory or life’s work.

Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
February 8, 2018 1:52 am

The problem is the lack of competition. Science moves on through competition between scientists, rarely through a scientist recanting and realising they are wrong. If you impose a single view, either through the availability of grants, the social or professional acceptability of disagreeing, or just outright bullying, then there is no competition, and no advancement.
The activists in Climate science know this.

February 8, 2018 1:54 am

A large portion of my family and friends lived in China during the time when the one child policy was in effect. I have three comments:
1 – Some folks, like ethnic minorities and farmers, were allowed to have two children. For various reasons many did not take advantage of that.
2 – Other things were happening that caused people to delay marriage and childbirth.
3 – It is entire plausible that the one child policy by itself prevented hundreds of millions of births even when you take the above two points into account.
This graph is interesting. The biggest decline in the birth rate started a couple of years before the beginning of the cultural revolution. The one child policy came in after the cultural revolution’s most dramatic effects were over. Reading from the graph, the birth rate in 1987 was about twenty three per thousand. It declined to about thirteen per thousand in 2014.
The last thirty years have been a time of increasing prosperity in China. It would be natural for the Chinese to start marrying and having children similar to what happened In America after the dirty thirties and WW2 (ie. the population boom). I think that can be attributed to the one child policy.
In summary: The one child policy had a large effect on the birth rate. Other factors had an even greater effect on the birth rate before the start of the one child policy.

Reply to  commieBob
February 8, 2018 4:10 am

I think that can be attributed to the one child policy.

At the end of WW2, American couples who couldn’t afford to get married because of the war and the preceding great depression, could now do so. The result was the baby boom.
China went through a period of turmoil and poverty during the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. When those were over and China was becoming prosperous, one might have expected a baby boom similar to what happened in America after WW2. The fact that it didn’t happen could be attributed to the one child policy.

Reply to  commieBob
February 8, 2018 5:21 am

“At the end of WW2, American couples who couldn’t afford to get married because of the war and the preceding great depression, could now do so. The result was the baby boom. ”
Just stick to the facts, shall we?
Baby boom started BEFORE the war, ramped up 1940-1949 with a curious 1945 &1946 dent downward. You cannot infer from this graph that something happened in 1929, nor that a WW started 1939 with US involvement starting 1942 up to 1945. You would rather try to find what happened at inflexion points : 1920, 1933, 1940, 1949, 1959, 1974
And wealth is a well known suppressor of fertility, much more so than poverty.
So your explanation do not stand.

Reply to  commieBob
February 8, 2018 6:48 am

paqyfelyc February 8, 2018 at 5:21 am
… Just stick to the facts, shall we?

OK, how do you explain the baby boom?

Reply to  commieBob
February 11, 2018 2:52 pm

Just look at the graph: what should be explained is the baby crash 1919-1933, and since 1960.
That’s the result of contraception.
Contraception is a practice that diffused slowly, and that destroyed itself (early adopter had fewer children, so next generation was mainly made of NOT adept families in the 30s). Hence a rebound, while contraception continued to diffuse with effect showing since 1960.

February 8, 2018 1:54 am

Goodkind work is interesting. It can be found here: The Population Averted By China’s Birth Restrictions, 1971-2060: Estimates, Nightmares, and Reprogrammed Ambitions
It seems clear that China’s 1.5 child policy brought a fertility decline earlier than economic progress would have done. Goodkind’s calculations appear reasonable and agree with China’s population experts.
The effect of China’s policy will move through time like a wave from throwing a stone to a pond. The next coming effect, and probably one of the reasons the policy was lifted, is a serious inversion in China’s population pyramid that is bound to create a serious economic drag.
If Goodkind’s calculations are correct China has reduced its population by a 22%, and the World’s population by a 5%. The benefits are for all. The costs are entirely for China. We should consider that it has done us a favor.

Reply to  Javier
February 8, 2018 5:42 am

which benefits for us? Another human somewhere else in the world cost me nothing. He may be friend, or a scientist that would make some discovery I will benefit, and he may be a foe, too. All considered, a Chinese is no worse and no better than the average human, so there is nothing to rejoice in one human less, unless you think the average human has negative value.
I think he has positive value, and so it is a pity for me that China policed its population to have less children (now, I surely won’t give Chinese lessons about what they should have done or are currently doing among themselves)

Reply to  paqyfelyc
February 8, 2018 6:06 am

which benefits for us?

Lower use of resources, and less pollution.

February 8, 2018 3:46 am

In Australia we are currently seeing a sad, similar event.
People have been reporting their car speedo to be reading wrong, even for new autos. Should read 100 kph, actually reads 93, is common.
On guy said the seller of his Kia told him it is now government policy for auto makers to deliver cars with speedos known to be wrong. Before, an error of +/- 10% was allowed, now they just specify – 10%, so makers deliver at 95 +/- 5 kph.
Now I do not know if this is so, but I am appalled at the subsequent discussion of what specified error is appropriate for the best social outcome. Change the speedo by too much, speeding fines go down, taxes have to go up. And so on.
Lost in all this is the correct scientific approach, which is obviously to make all speedos as accurate as feasible. Which is rather like writing demography papers where the numbers are as accurate as feasible – not for any social purpose, but absolutely. Geoff.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 8, 2018 10:16 am

The company that provided red light cameras in Tampa was caught purposely making the yellow light turn red faster than the legal speed limit should allow resulting in many more infractions then there should have been. Of course, that company took a per ticket admin fee so it was in their best interest to produce more tickets.

Sceptical lefty
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 8, 2018 12:22 pm

“The speedo must always read ‘safe’, meaning the vehicle must not travel faster than the speed indicated by the speedo.”
Exactly! That is the aim of the regulation.
In any case, there are so many distorting variables associated with a drive-dependent speedometer that the only solution (to inaccuracy) is to have some sort of radar device that takes its reference directly from the surface over which the vehicle is driving. However, while achieving accuracy, there are other factors that make this unreliable as well as expensive. The current system is imperfect, but it’s good enough.

Bloke down the pub
February 8, 2018 4:22 am

Strange how the warmist fraternity have promoted Chinese communism as the best way to counter CO₂ and have blamed population growth for much of the increase in emmissions, yet don’t seem to like the one child policy.
One potential way that the policy has further reduced population growth is by the selection of sex of offspring, not always prenatally . With a higher proportion of males in the population, many will have to forego marriage.

February 8, 2018 5:00 am

Science IS morally irresponsible. Literally.
It is not difficult to find all over history example of a fight between scientists ready to do whatever it takes (including wrong doing and law breaking, like: physician defiling corpses to learn before it was allowed), and people arguing science should not be done this way, or not in such subject, or not in public, or not at all.
So, what’s new? nothing.

dodgy geezer
Reply to  paqyfelyc
February 8, 2018 9:27 am

Indeed. Galileo was morally reprehensible – he was arguing directly against the authority of the Church and the Bible, and could reasonably have been excecuted according to the moral code of the time….

February 8, 2018 5:11 am

Deplorable Climate Scientists Have Destroyed Credibility of Science
Science is an unbiased, impartial, objective, blind and unbelievably politically incorrect process. Science is the search for truth, no matter how ugly, racist, sexist, homophobic or politically inconvenient it may be. The facts don’t give a damn if you are black, white, red, yellow, gay, straight, transgender, male or female. The facts don’t give a damn about your feelings, or our political agenda.

michael hart
February 8, 2018 5:25 am

The AGU codes appear to say nothing about funding sources. They, too, also deserve similar respect until proven unworthy of it. We know how it pretty much goes in CliSci: Government funders and those private individuals and co called “charities” that are environmental activists are assumed to be good by default. That from fossil fuel companies and individuals taking the “wrong” political line are assumed to be evil.
Funding can indeed be a corrupting influence in any field, especially if undeclared, but the asymmetry of the common assumptions is nowhere else so striking as in CliSci.

michael hart
Reply to  michael hart
February 8, 2018 5:31 am

I’ll add that even after they have given money to their sworn enemies, funders such as oil/gas corporations and individuals like the Koch brothers are treated with open contempt by many in the field and in the wider media.

Scott Scarborough
February 8, 2018 5:38 am

It seems obvious to me that a one child policy, if it is enforced, would limit population. So would atomic war. What the hell is the big controversy?

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Scott Scarborough
February 8, 2018 12:24 pm

Well in China, after they lifted the one child policy, they found the birthrate still went down. It was already declining when they imposed it. So, you are aware that most Chinese families restricted to one would abort girls to give birth to a boy. This screwed up a basic balance without really having a big effect on numbers.

Bob Burban
Reply to  Scott Scarborough
February 8, 2018 12:50 pm

“Scott Scarborough February 8, 2018 at 5:38 am
It seems obvious to me that a one child policy, if it is enforced, would limit population. So would atomic war. What the hell is the big controversy?”
Post-coital glow vs thermo-nuclear glow.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Bob Burban
February 8, 2018 9:46 pm

*soda through nose*

February 8, 2018 6:25 am

Somewhat off subject, but I remember contemplating the result of a nation that restricted couples to one child and thought that the effects would not be restricted to any population growth issues , but might be far more significant in the fact that you would end up with a nation of only children. A psychologist’s research paradise, you might say, as birth order certainly has a very great, overwhelming effect on personality. Every seeker of romance, for example, limited to a partner who , like themself, was an only child. Yiiiikes!!!!

February 8, 2018 6:37 am

I’ve been to China 30 times. I don’t doubt that the Chinese government published misleading information. Also, under Mao, he encouraged large families. I have met many people in senior positions (age 60 or so) who were one of 8 children. The population problem started there. If you look at the numbers, the birth rate was going down naturally before the 1 child policy was being implemented – in fact very similar to the US. Finally, just to show that the Chinese govt has no clue – they lifted the one-child rule and the birth rate still went down. Expected peak population could be as early as 2022 instead of 2030. My gut is that the retracted author is an unwitting tool of the ChiComs.

February 8, 2018 7:23 am

“Science knowingly performed in the service of confirmation of the existing consensus of a science field, just to play it career-safe?” Here we get into “follow the money”. And the money is very, very difficult to combat, not just in science but in government and the corporate world as well. I have seen this in all three arenas in which I have worked and when career, and all that it means to people from supporting their family to ego and pride issues, is involved you have a mighty big dragon to slay. And remember that consensus might just mean what the department head or CEO wants the results to say.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 8, 2018 8:06 am

Example: I once managed a team which did a facilities analysis which resulted in a recommendation to close certain locations. When I presented the results to the CEO he went off like a rocket and indicated there was no way he would ever close one of those we had recommended to close. At 28 years old I argued heavily with him until my immediate superior, who reported to the CEO, intervened to calm me down and probably keep me from calling him an idiot or something. Turns out the subject facility was a personal project of our CEO. I was also additionally lucky to have the consultant CEO who was part of my team in the meeting. Since his group was hired by our CEO and being paid $250, 000 for their work his support was invaluable. Bottom line though, we did not close the CEO’s pet facility even though it was losing it’s proverbial ass, as he readily admitted to the consultant, whom he was paying a quarter of a million dollars ( big money more than 40 years ago ). You’d think I would have learned to at least be less confrontational in my presentaions from that experience, but noooo.

February 8, 2018 8:10 am

“I’d prefer that the discussion focus on how we can act to reset the moral compass of science in general.”
For myself, my self-imposed rule: “Stick to what you know; listen intently otherwise.”

February 8, 2018 9:10 am

One thing I’ve been noticing lately is that the people who most vehemently complain about the lack of ethics and invest in ad hominem attacks are the ones that are actually doing the things they are attacking others for. Obvious here, in climate “science”, politics, and in the rest of academia

February 8, 2018 10:27 am

If Democrats can play politics with painful racial issues and sexual harassment, they are certainly capable of play politics with science.
Can You Spot the Racist?
Where were the 500 Women “Scientists” when we needed them? The above videos highlight just how dangerous it is to entrust a Nation to Progressives.

Randy Bork
February 8, 2018 10:51 am

Another area where certain findings just won’t get publicity and it seems to be due to the fact that it may undermine certain policy preferences. “No Clear Link Between Passive Smoking and Lung Cancer ”

February 8, 2018 12:54 pm

Kip, this blog and others are full of discussion about the perversion of science, the failures of peer review, and the maltreatment of any scientist, or anyone else for that matter, who fails to toe the line. This is all certainly true and we’ve all read plenty of examples. That climate science has become principally a political movement is beyond doubt.
What concerns me is the lack of any apparent evidence to the contrary – i.e. situations where skeptic scientists are supported by their institutions and where the conduct of science has been as it should be. Surely there are instances where this is the case, but unfortunately our polarized world works in such a way that people of one opinion never talk with people of the other (except in blogs and on twitter where one side feels obligated to to insult and belittle the other).
What I would like to hear about are instances where (1) skeptics/contrarians respect the opinions of knowledgable believers/warmists, and vice versa, and where both sides can and actually do find common ground and learn something from the other; and 2), where in academia and other scientific circles there are skeptics who are actually treated with respect and perhaps even rewarded for their courage.
Am I the only one who is interested in hearing about this? In instances where a skeptic scientist is treated with respect, what is it about his/her personality or modus operandi that leads to this result? Are instances of skeptical failure or maltreatment sometimes not the result of inflexible colleagues who have a different opinion? Is the atmosphere of all academic institutions such that a contrarian can’t get a fair hearing?
I’d like to hear answers to these questions. I get weary of reading every day that our side is always without fault and that the other side is always corrupt and unfair. This is not an accurate reflection of reality and we all should know it, but we don’t act like we know it. To paraphrase Tim Ball, maybe we need to be more skeptical of our skepticism. You don’t learn much when all you hear or read about is one view.

Reply to  scraft1
February 8, 2018 1:27 pm

Nice idea scraft1.
But …
After 22 years of reading 85 to 250 political articles per day (and all of their replies and critiques and “me-too’s) on other sites; and after reviewing over 1.8 million Global Warming replies and stories here at WUWT, I have never heard of ANY case where climastrologists (CAGW warmists in the political, academic OR propaganda (er, news) businesses) have EVER treated a skeptic with the rational, analytical discussion and review you espouse.

Reply to  scraft1
February 8, 2018 1:53 pm

“Is the atmosphere of all academic institutions such that a contrarian can’t get a fair hearing?”
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: You oughta get out more. If you’re cloistered and not interacting with PC-Progressive haters of humanity, then you won’t get to see what’s happening around their campfire.
The haters of humanity are on full-throated attack mode 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All they have is hatred. It is the nature of their belief system.
Visit their websites. Visit their Facebook sites. Go to their rallies. Go to their meetings. Read their magazines.
Visit a university. Attend a Global Warming “science” event.
You can find all of this on the internet. Or you can get out and experience it in person.
They are at war with reality. And it drives them mad.
Good luck with your search!

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 9, 2018 6:36 am

“Is the atmosphere of all academic institutions such that a contrarian can’t get a fair hearing?” YES — I am afraid that is the case”
You’re telling me that there isn’t a single institution that treats skeptics fairly? Yeah, sure. And it’s becoming clear that blog denizens here had rather live in their echo chamber than be perceived as a friend of the enemy.
“If you want both sides of a polarized story — you have to read both sides.” Gee, thanks for the sage advice Kip.
Don’t worry, you’ll always be treated well here.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 9, 2018 3:25 pm

Will be happy to so report. But I thought we were talking about any academic institution, not just “major universities”.

February 8, 2018 1:41 pm

Kip. How to reset the moral compass?Use pride. Before animals could think they only felt. One thing they felt strongly was that their chances of survival were closely linked to their status in the pack. High status meant more and better of the two things that determined whether your line survives or dies, feeding and breeding. The value of pride is almost nothing for an animal that thinks but we still feel it. We feel pride so strongly that we appeal to it when we want soldiers to die in battle or teenagers to drive fast and crash their cars. A rational thinking animal would just laugh at the thought of using a survival emotion to convince a creature to not survive but who among us it truly rational.
Pride is such a strong emotion that the only way to counter act it is with – Pride. We need to make people proud of how humble they are. Weird? Yes! but it works. People need to be proud of their ability to entertain ideas that disagree with their own. They need to be proud of their ability to tell the truth. Those enemies who are trying to kick you out of the herd are obeying instincts that were laid down when we still looked like mice. True humans are everything that animals are not. A true human believes something because it is true not because the herd believes it. A true human says something because its true not because it will elevate his status in the pack. A true human can survive and prosper without doing things that animals do or for the reasons that animals do them, and be proud of the fact.
Of all people scientists should be open to this line of reasoning. Scientist should be more intelligent that the rest of us. Whether they are or not I’m sure that they think that they are. Appeal to this to encourage scientists to see themselves the way, I believe, we really are. We are blind, stupid, irrational apes with a little rational human riding in our forehead trying desperately to control things.
Good Luck

February 8, 2018 3:20 pm

If there is no God(s), who Created the universe, there is no morality in any universal sense, it seems obvious to me. A bacterium that initiates the reader’s death through disease, is not doing anything immoral, it’s “surviving” in the genetic coding sense. The new alpha male lion that dispatches the previous alpha’s cubs is not doing anything immoral, it is enhancing the likelihood that it’s particular genetic coding continues on.
Thing is, when people get hook, line and sinkerish about the grand origins story of just “natural” Evolution, and believe without skepticism that it is true, they don’t (generally) go wild trying to maximally ensure that their genetic coding continues on . . In fact, it seems they often lose interest in having kids at all . . which actually makes sense in a “hereafterless” universe. The existence of one’s genetic inheritors, or not, means nothing more than the existence of that bacterium’s particular coding . .
You can want the people who believe there is no Later to be concerned about what comes later all you like, but there is no logical reason for them to do so, it seems to me. Logically speaking, the only imperative in such a situation is to have as much pleasure and as little pain as possible, before exiting the stage, so to speak.

Kristi Silber
February 8, 2018 6:10 pm

Leo: “…the inconvenient truth is that science has nothing to do with morals or ethics.” Strange comment! The results of research are amoral, and science is not a good tool on its own for determining values.
However, the practice of science has a very strong ethical basis, and ethics in science is an extremely important subject.
From the essay:
“It is unnecessary here to detail the long, nearly endless, list of attacks on any and all that do solid science, find valid and important results, only to find themselves, because their findings or opinions differ from the prevailing view, labelled as immoral, even criminal, anti-science…”
The climate scientist majority is attacked hundreds of times a day on this site, both in the articles and the comments, using exactly these words.
There are explicit and implicit guidelines for the way scientists should conduct themselves for the ongoing good of the profession. They should not publicly castigate scientific institutions, as Dr. Ridd did, without concrete evidence of misconduct. They should not go to the media to air their personal grudges. They should not affiliate themselves or act as spokesmen for policy advocates like Heartland and CEI while working for public institutions. They need to declare funding sources, especially from special interest groups when it creates a conflict of interest. They should not let such groups be part of the research or publication process at any step. Willie Soon broke these protocols and has deservedly lost credibility in the general science community. Even so, his science was still considered.
Apparently many people around here are under the mistaken impression that contrarian science is ignored because it doesn’t support the majority view, which in reality it’s refuted or inapplicable. For instance, there are scads of papers out there about solar variations and their effects on climate change. Obviously this is an essential part of climate and the energy balance on Earth, and of course it’s been considered by the consensus! The mistake is in assuming that it OUGHT to be given greater weight in climate change predictions without knowing the reasons it’s not.
It’s understandable that people have ostracized Curry and Soon and others who publicly malign science. Outsiders don’t realize the gravity of such accusations or the harm that can come of them. Science is worthless without the professional integrity of its practitioners. Science needs a reputation of non-bias to be an effective provider of information, and those who damage it either through misconduct or unsupported, public accusations of it are not tolerated. (I don’t know, but I suspect there are those in the consensus community who don’t think Michael Mann is a good spokesman for AGW.)
The propaganda plans outlined by the American Petroleum Institute talk about recruiting and training a handful of scientists to be spokesmen for skepticism. I wonder who they chose.
This article is designed to convey the message that the consensus lacks the integrity, or “morality” shown by contrarians (“moral” is wrongly used interchangeably with “ethical”). The questions about scientific ethics set up false dichotomies meant to place the consensus in the “immoral” camp, relying on the beliefs of readers to do so. This is symptomatic of the site in general. There is no search for truth. There is no fairness or balance in the essays, there are instead insults, assumptions, assertions, and creative editing to prove a point. And it all works because it’s what the readers want to hear.
How ironic that scientists are (wrongly) accused of ignoring research that doesn’t fit an agenda!
Why should anyone believe such a one-sided presentation? Isn’t it obvious that the story is not so simple? Ah, but it is to those who believe the Other is unquestionably evil and wrong. Instead of skepticism, there is conviction, and essays like this are designed to nurture it.
“Those who insist on simply following the science where it leads, who insist on questioning dogma and questioning findings of ‘Accepted Climate Science’, are condemned, vilified and labelled as moral degenerates.”
Following science where it leads, and insisting on questioning the accepted science, are two very different behaviors (questioning science is good, but only if all science is equally scrutinized). Regardless, I would be very surprised if people who do so are often labeled moral degenerates. This verbal tactic meant to convey the message that are victimized for their scientific integrity, when the reality is much more complicated.
“Unless ‘climate change’ becomes a non-issue, meaning that the Kyoto proposal is defeated and there are no further initialives to thwart the threat of global change, there may be no moment when we can declare victory for our efforts.”
1998 API Global Climate Science Communications Action Plan [i.e., propaganda plan to manipulate public opinion]
“Trust has been eroded to the point where it is an issue for our long-term future.”
– Shell CEO Ben van Beurden

Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 8, 2018 7:09 pm

“There are explicit and implicit guidelines for the way scientists should conduct themselves for the ongoing good of the profession.”
Ya know, I see people speak of the need to keep the publics trust in “science” up, but I truly doubt that the public does not trust careful testing of things, which is what science is, it seems to me . . When what is really meant is “trust in us professionals”, I think the public senses that, and suspects many of the professionals are more concerned for the “good of the profession” (them ; ) than for the good of the testing (or them, the public ; )

Kristi Silber
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 9, 2018 8:06 pm

That’s good that you challenge me on that. It was rather a vague thing to say, yet quite an accusation, and since I’m talking about individuals I deserve to answer for it. Actually, I don’t know about Soon, and was wrong to include him there.
Yes, I think I could come up with something. Thank you for the opportunity. …Boy, I suppose there could be repercussions, though. Have to consider it.

Kristi Silber
February 8, 2018 6:22 pm

I was just reading an interview with Judith Curry. She goes on and on about the uncertainty of our role in climate change and how much the world is likely to warm, how worthless the models are, etc.,…and then she comes out with this: “The one thing we know is that the commitments we’ve made, in Paris, will probably prevent about two-tenths of a degree of warming by the end of the 21st century.” I laughed out loud. How on Earth could we know that if the rest is pure speculation? She would have to believe the models to say something like that.
It’s sheer hypocrisy using the science when it suits the point one wants to make, then trashing it the rest of the time.

Kristi Silber
Reply to  Kip Hansen
February 9, 2018 8:45 pm

Thank you for the link. That is a good example of what I object to. I will write the essay, but give me a few days.
I don’t know if you quite caught my point earlier. To be able to say that even if we did follow through on Paris, we’d only lower the increase in temp by 0.2 C she would have to rely on a model. How can she predict the effects if she doesn’t believe the models?

Reply to  Kristi Silber
February 10, 2018 5:48 am

““The one thing we know is that the commitments we’ve made, in Paris, will probably prevent about two-tenths of a degree of warming by the end of the 21st century.” I laughed out loud. How on Earth could we know that if the rest is pure speculation? She would have to believe the models to say something like that.”
Your point is very clear. But inane.
There’s nothing hypocritical about Curry’s observation.
She’s saying that EVEN IF you take the alarmists’ models seriously, then BY THEIR OWN ESTIMATES AND MODELS, warming will only be “reduced” by 0.2 degree celsius.
Nothing hypocritical there.
What she’s done is called “hoisting alarmists on their own petard.”
She took THEIR OWN MODELS at face value, and analyzed the results of THEIR OWN RECOMMENDED ACTIONS, as mandated by the Paris agreement.
Her point is that Paris, even by the extremist alarmists’ own measures, is a farce.
The hypocrisy is on the other foot–the alarmists’ uselessness is revealed as useless, by their own useless models!
The sublimity is priceless!
And, by the way, what Curry did is called science!

Reply to  Kristi Silber
February 9, 2018 6:47 am

Kristi, you have a point about Curry relying on climate models to argue her case, but I think she has to make some assumptions to make her point. The world she lives in is familiar with climate models and wil understand her point.
And I don’t think she trashes the models. She does recognize their limitations. We all should do that.
Please write that essay.

February 8, 2018 6:48 pm

Everyone: listen up:
“Demography” has LARGELY for the recent SEVERAL decades been dedicated to matters of POPULATION CONTROL.
Go look at their leading journals. Go look at the CVs of those receiving the annual awards. Go look at their funded projects. The field of “demography” is MOSTLY focused on serving Communist-Driven population-control goals.
End of story.
“You cannot manage what you cannot measure.” <–think about it.
It is late, and I am tired, and just browsing a few familiar blogs before retiring for the evening. I will post some stuff later.

Reply to  TheLastDemocrat
February 8, 2018 7:22 pm

Just between you and I, Last Democrat, I have no idea how this thread and this conversation has proceeded without any one ever once using the word genocide.

Reply to  Zeke
February 9, 2018 5:34 am

“I have no idea how this thread and this conversation has proceeded without any one ever once using the word genocide.”
Well, Zeke, it’s not “genocide” that is being practiced.
See an excellent website, created by R.J. Rummel of the U. of Hawaai, Power Kills.
Rummel clearly and exhaustively defines and analyzes democide.
“Democide: The murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder.”
Governments that have absolute power exercise that power. The Chinese communists are at the top of the table for democidal killing. Dead un-born children are not even included in these totals: around 90 million Chinese were killed by the communist party’s actions in the 20th century.

Reply to  Kent Clizbe
February 9, 2018 12:43 pm

Kent Clizbe February 9, 2018 at 5:34 am says,
Well, Zeke, it’s not “genocide” that is being practiced. It is DEMOCIDE.
“Democide: The murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder.”

Alright, I stand corrected per RJ Rummel. As some already know, in Rummel’s book Death by Government, he begins by explaining a problem he found with all history textbooks dealing with casualties figures for WWII. The problem is that all of the textbooks give a total number of casualtie — estimated to be around 60 million — which mixes the people who were murdered by their own governments with the deaths in actual armed conflict. Rummel shows that in fact, 45 million were killed by their own governments, and 15 million were battle dead. He uses the term “democide” to reflect the distinction. His exhaustive tables and research show that one of the most serious threats to human life and limb during the 1900s was authoritarian and totalitarian governments, which first begin to control and slaughter their own citizens, and then attack their neighbors.
And what the Chinese government has practiced during the Great Leap and on through the one-child policy is democide.
However, I think that when foreigners speak approvingly of these Chinese policies, in particular when Baby Boomers do it, it is genocidal. We also saw a similar conversation about the demographic decline in Japan.
Take home: Westerners who are now celebrating the lack of replacement birth rates in China, Japan, and Europe are genocidal because it is approving of the decline of the population of other countries; the Chinese government killing their own population through the destruction of agriculture or through birth control is democidal.

Reply to  Zeke
February 9, 2018 2:13 pm

“However, I think that when foreigners speak approvingly of these Chinese policies, in particular when Baby Boomers do it, it is genocidal.”
Hmmm…not quite sure there’s a distinction worth making there….
Americans approving of Chinese democide is just that…PC-Progs admiring totalitarian power. That is, admiration of democide.
They’re not advocating that we go over and slaughter Chinese. They’re just purring admiringly at the efficiency of the Chinese government’s slaughter of its own citizens.
And slaughtering citizens (“deniers”) is most assuredly the end-game of the CO2-apocalypse-is-coming-do-something-now clique.
They demand actions be taken that can only be taken by totalitarian regimes. Which always ends in death-camps.

February 10, 2018 7:38 am

Kip Hansen:
I thought your “SEA LEVEL / Rise and Fall – Part 3”
was the best article here in 2017.
I hope another one will be the best of 2018.
It won’t be this one!
A good article needs good content, and good writing too.
You’ve got good content, but not a simple, clear writing style
that makes the subject come alive.
Try reading your sentences out loud.
Because good non-fiction writers try to ‘write as they speak’.
Their writing sounds natural when read out loud like a speech.
Your “Author’s Comment Policy” section is easy to read.
It sounds natural when read out loud!
Following are two consecutive, long sentences from this article
— try to read them out loud, Hanson:
“These policy-advocating demographers had spent years writing papers attacking the official figures issued by the Chinese government with accusations ranging from “actively fabricat[ing]” ideas, numbers and charts to “scientizing rhetorics” then descending to the level of naming them as “deceptive boasts”, “myths” and “entirely bogus.” — all in the interest of political advocacy for the revocation of the One Child Policy.”
“When Goodkind validates the Chinese claims on population reduction success of the policy, his findings, even though they had been subjected to standard double-blind peer review and revision process of the leading journal of demographics, are labelled by the very same policy-advocating demographers as “morally irresponsible” and his criticisms of previously biased research as being “outside the bounds of scholarly decorum”.”
If you read those sentences out loud,
and still think your writing is clear and easy to understand,
then please lean real close to your computer
… so I can slap you upside the head.
Richard Greene
Michigan Kip Hansen Fan Club

Daniel Goodkind
February 12, 2018 8:42 pm

Kip – today I stumbled by accident on this blog-site. Thank you for bringing attention to this controversy regarding my article in Demography about the impact of China’s birth policies on its population. It has been six months since leading colleagues in my field demanded its retraction (and followed up with an attack in ‘Science’ magazine). Even although there have been private words of encouragement for me behind the scenes, these are the first public words of support I have heard since then. It meant a lot to me to read them. In the next week or two there will be an exchange published in Demography – three comments on my article (seven authors in all) and my reply. The exchange is quite ugly, but I was heartened to learn from your essay that I am hardly the only one who is being bulldozed for attempting to do basic science.

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