The latest travesty in ‘consensus enforcement’

Reposted from Dr. Judith Curry’s Climate Etc.

Posted on August 14, 2019 by curryja

The latest travesty in consensus ‘enforcement’, published by Nature.

There is a new paper published in Nature, entitled Discrepancies in scientific authority and media visibility of climate change scientists and contrarians.

Abstract. We juxtapose 386 prominent contrarians with 386 expert scientists by tracking their digital footprints across ∼200,000 research publications and ∼100,000 English-language digital and print media articles on climate change. Projecting these individuals across the same backdrop facilitates quantifying disparities in media visibility and scientific authority, and identifying organization patterns within their association networks. Here we show via direct comparison that contrarians are featured in 49% more media articles than scientists. Yet when comparing visibility in mainstream media sources only, we observe just a 1% excess visibility, which objectively demonstrates the crowding out of professional mainstream sources by the proliferation of new media sources, many of which contribute to the production and consumption of climate change disinformation at scale. These results demonstrate why climate scientists should increasingly exert their authority in scientific and public discourse, and why professional journalists and editors should adjust the disproportionate attention given to contrarians.

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This ranks as the worst paper I have ever seen published in a reputable journal.  The major methodological problems and dubious assumptions:

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  • Category error to sort into contrarians and climate scientists, with contrarians including scientists, journalists and politicians.
  • Apart from the category error, the two groups are incorrectly specified, with some climate scientists incorrectly designated as contrarians.
  • Cherry picking the citation data of top 386 cited scientists to delete Curry, Pielke Jr, Tol, among others (p 12 of Supplemental Information)
  • Acceptance of the partisan, activist, non-scientist group DeSmog as a legitimate basis for categorizing scientists as ‘contrarian’
  • Assumption that scientific expertise on the causes of climate change relates directly to the number of scientific citations.
  • Assumption that it would be beneficial for the public debate on climate change  for the ‘unheard’ but highly cited climate scientists to enter into the media fray.
  • Assumption that scientists have special authority in policy debates on climate change

The real travesty is this press release issued by UC Merced:

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“It’s time to stop giving these people visibility, which can be easily spun into false authority,” Professor Alex Petersen said. “By tracking the digital traces of specific individuals in vast troves of publicly available media data, we developed methods to hold people and media outlets accountable for their roles in the climate-change-denialism movement, which has given rise to climate change misinformation at scale.”

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Etc.

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Here is the list of ‘contrarians’ identified in the paper [link]

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I am included prominently on the list, presumably arising from the DeSmog hit piece on me.

From the press release: “Most of the contrarians are not scientists, and the ones who are have very thin credentials. They are not in the same league with top scientists. They aren’t even in the league of the average career climate scientist.” “giving them legitimacy they haven’t earned.”  Some of the prominent, currently active climate scientists on the list whose work I have learned from:

  • Roy Spencer
  • Richard Lindzen
  • John Christy
  • Roger Pielke Jr
  • Roger Pielke Sr
  • Richard Tol
  • Ross McKitrick
  • Nir Shaviv
  • Garth Paltridge
  • Nicola Scafetta
  • Craig Loehle
  • Scott Denning
  • Nils Axel Morner
  • William Cotton
  • Vincent Courtillot
  • Hendrik Tennekes

Note that this list of climate science ‘contrarians’ is heavily populated by experts in climate dynamics, i.e. how the climate system actually works.

The most comical categorization on this list is arguably Scott Denning, who strongly supports the IPCC Consensus, and gave a talk to this effect at an early Heartland Conference.  Ironically, Scott Denning tweeted this article, apparently before he realized he was on the list of contrarians.

The list also includes others (academic or not) with expertise on at at least one aspect of climate science (broadly defined), from whom I have learned something from either their publications or blog posts or other public presentations:

  • Sebastian Luning
  • Michael Kelly
  • Bjorn Lomborg
  • Christopher Essex
  • Alex Epstein
  • Fritz Vahrenholt
  • Scott Armstrong
  • Willie Soon
  • Steve McIntyre
  • Anthony Watts
  • Patrick Michaels
  • Edward Wegman
  • Matt Ridley
  • Patrick Moore
  • David Legates
  • Craig Idso
  • Chip Knappenberger
  • William Happer
  • Henrik Svensmark
  • Steven Goddard
  • Madhav Kandekhar
  • Jennifer Marohasy
  • William Briggs
  • Hal Doiron
  • Freeman Dyson
  • Iver Giaver
  • JoAnn Nova

I would not seek to defend everything that each of these individuals  has written or spoken on the topic of climate change, but they have added to our knowledge base and provide interesting perspectives.  Why shouldn’t they get media coverage if something that they write about is of general interest and stands up to scrutiny?

The ‘real’ scientists on their list with heaviest media impact include:

  • Donald Wuebbles
  • Ramanathan
  • Stephen Schneider
  • Thomas Stocker
  • Noah Diffenbaugh
  • Miles Allen
  • Kerry Emanuel
  • Phil Jones
  • Chris Jones
  • Stefan Rahmstorf
  • Andrew Weaver
  • Kevin Trenberth
  • Michael Mann

Does anyone think these scientists don’t get enough publicity in the MSM?

Katherine Hayhoe (with HUGE MSM presence) doesn’t make this list; is anyone concerned about her outsized Kardashian Index?

Comparing elephants and peanuts

The most ridiculous thing that this article does is compare the media hits of contrarians that are politicians or journalists with that of ‘consensus scientists’.  In the list of contrarians, the following are politicians and journalists that I regard as being generally knowledgable of climate science:

  • Marc Morano
  • Rex Tillerson
  • David Rose
  • Mark Steyn
  • Matt Ridley
  • Nigel Lawson
  • Christopher Booker
  • Ronald Bailey
  • Andrew Montford
  • Rupert Darwall

Lets face it, these individuals are relatively small potatoes in terms of climate change main stream media. Compare the media impact of the above list with

  • Al Gore
  • Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez
  • Greta Thunberg
  • Etc.

The ignorance of climate change of AOC and Greta is rather shocking.   Why isn’t anyone concerned about this?

JC reflections

Apart from the rank stupidity of this article and the irresponsibility of Nature in publishing this, this paper does substantial harm to climate science.

Climate science is a very broad and diffuse science, encompassing many subfields.  Each of these subfields is associated with substantial uncertainties, and when you integrate all these fields and attempt to project into the future, there are massive uncertainties and unknowns. There are a spectrum of perspectives, especially at the knowledge frontiers.  Trying to silence or delegitimize any of these voices is very bad for science.

Scientists who are effective in the public communication of climate change can speak about topics beyond their own personal expertise.  This requires a different set of skills from basic research: ability to synthesize and assess a broad body of research and communicate effectively.  Scientists on the ‘contrarian’ list bring something further to the table: fact checking alarming statements; concerns about research integrity; thinking outside the box and pushing the knowledge frontier of climate science beyond AGW – issues that are important to the MSM and public communication of climate science.

The harm that this paper does to climate science is an attempt to de-legitimize climate scientists (both academic and non academic), with the ancillary effects of making it more difficult to get their papers published in journals (stay tuned for my latest engagement with the journal peer review process, coming later this month) and the censorship of Nir Shaviv by Forbes (hopefully coming later this week).

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Editor
August 14, 2019 10:12 pm

I made it onto the list of “contrarians”, albeit number 148 out of 386, so I’m in the top half … and as someone on the list, I can only agree with Dr. Judith that this is a venomous attempt to poison the climate discussion and silence those of use who do not toe the PC party line …

I get attacked personally all the time, and every time it happens I think “If you had any confidence in your scientific claims, you wouldn’t bother attacking my education and history” … this kind of nonsense doesn’t happen in any other field of science, which should give you a clue as to the state of climate science.

No bueno.

Regards to all, contrary or not,

w.

Kurt in Switzerland
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 15, 2019 2:18 am

Good points, Willis.

I’ve enjoyed your prose and your dogged pursuit of scientific integrity here on WUWT. Thank you.
I never understood why a paper which tabulates viewpoints of scientists and attempts to categorize ‘right & wrong’ on the basis of ‘expert’ opinions or institutional popularity should have any scientific merit, let alone be afforded ‘value’ in the mainstream media. Yet so it is in our deranged world.

This latest example is a crass demonstration of the depths to which some will stoop to support their pet cause. Reprehensible. This must be opposed loudly and clearly for what it is.

RobR
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 15, 2019 5:40 am

A badge of honor, to be sure.

Richard S Courtney
Reply to  RobR
August 17, 2019 2:08 pm

RobR,

Indeed, it is a “badge of honour”, and I am proud that I have been awarded it because this elevates me to comparability with Bob Carter who has been awarded the same honour.

However, the facts that Bob and I have this honour discredits the paper in Nature as being a valid study of currently active ‘climate contrarians’ .

My poor health has prevented me from providing much opposition to ‘climate alarmism’ for the last five years, and Bob died in January 2016.

Richard

rd50
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 15, 2019 4:30 pm

Greta is leaving for the US on a pretty cool sailboat. Looking for some kind of nonsense? Don’t miss this:

Steven Fraser
Reply to  rd50
August 15, 2019 9:01 pm

Cool, but slow boat so far. Last reported position was 49.19.17.54N, 5.52.34.20W. Speed 1.3 kts.

Reason for the speed? 22kt wind from the SW, which switches around to be from the W tomorrow.
There are no favorable winds for westward travel for the next week.

In addition to the brisk winds, temps in the low 60s.

Plain Jane
Reply to  rd50
August 16, 2019 12:55 am

And there is no plastic or synthetic made from fossil fuels on the boat? And no back up motor with a petrol engine for when she should get into trouble? And there are no synthetics in her clothes and no cotton made with lots of environmental damage and lots of chemicals etc etc etc…..

Kurt in Switzerland
Reply to  rd50
August 16, 2019 2:18 am

I noticed from the Guardian clip that approx. half a dozen press boats were accompanying Greta & co. out of the harbor. Unless my ears were deceiving me, the background sound was created by the dreaded Diesel motor.

Based on all the press coverage and streaming (not to mention the speed), my guess is that Greta’s N Atlantic crossing will consume several times that of a typical airline passenger.

August 14, 2019 10:13 pm

Amazing that the paper got published!

Absolutely amazing!

Fringe benefit? A great list of climate realists was a byproduct!!!

LdB
Reply to  tomwys
August 15, 2019 12:12 am

The funniest part of the whole paper

Ethics declarations
Competing interests
The authors declare no competing interests.

Emmanuel Vincent: Activist & founder of Climate Feedback
Anthony LeRoy Westerling: Activist & Connections to Guardian, Schwarzeneggar Institute and Governor Jerry Brown
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/26/wildfires-climate-change-future-worse

observa
Reply to  LdB
August 15, 2019 7:21 am

Well you gotta admit there’s no competing interests there. All solid A grade watermelon. You just have to contextualise these things comrade.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  tomwys
August 15, 2019 1:31 am

Hi Tomwys,
Can you point to a single factual error that the paper made? The central claims of the
paper are that
1) Climate Scientists are cited significantly more often than climate contrarians.
2) Climate contrarians get 49% more media coverage than climate scientists
3) In the mainstream media climate scientists and climate contrarians get roughly
equal media mentions (a 1% difference).

Points 2 and 3 if accurate should put pay to the myth often stated here that the
media is biased towards the views of mainstream climate science. Rather it is the
sceptical viewpoint that gets the most media attention.

leitmotif
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 3:11 am

Climate “contrarians” are banned from the BBC. Climate “contrarians”never appear on the Sky News channel.

Richard Patton
Reply to  leitmotif
August 15, 2019 3:34 pm

Really? What about this on Sky news https://youtu.be/ViY2J3LPgN4 and this https://youtu.be/BnDgxboOGBc where they even plug this web site.

Solomon Green
Reply to  Richard Patton
August 17, 2019 5:59 am

Contrarians may not be explicitly banned by the BBC. But they are only allowed exposure in order to be rubbished.

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/bbc-freezes-out-climate-sceptics-fqhqmrfs6
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/sep/10/bbc-climate-change-deniers

It goes back a long way. Take the case of the two Davids. Years ago the better qualified and then more popular presenter, Bellamy, was barred because he did not believe that increasing levels of CO2 would lead to disaster. The BBC then turned to a more pliable advocate Attenborough.

Kurt in Switzerland
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 3:29 am

Izaak,

At what point in your life might you begin to consider that “# of citations” (whether in so-called ‘scientific publications’ or in media outlets) does not matter in scientific endeavor?

Do you really, honestly believe that viewpoints skeptical of [impending climate doom unless human society changes its carbon-combusting ways] gets LESS press coverage than the officialdom of the UN IPCC?

Chris Wright
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 3:44 am

Izaak,
That is utter, utter nonsense. I would say the coverage of sceptical opinion in the mainstream media I see or hear (e.g. the BBC) is essentially zero.
Chris

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Chris Wright
August 16, 2019 10:43 am

The same is true for Canada’s CBC. Zero skepticism.

Paramenter
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 3:55 am

2) Climate contrarians get 49% more media coverage than climate scientists
3) In the mainstream media climate scientists and climate contrarians get roughly equal media mentions (a 1% difference).

Excuse my ignorance but what is a difference between media coverage and media mention? Can mention be done without coverage and vice versa?

Points 2 and 3 if accurate should put pay to the myth often stated here that the media is biased towards the views of mainstream climate science. Rather it is the sceptical viewpoint that gets the most media attention.

Maybe there is a good reason for that, namely skeptics may have something sensible to say. Editors and journalists, though not experts in the field, may recognise that.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 4:12 am

When did “climate scientists” and “climate contrarians” become the two opposing ends of the spectrum? This implies that all “climate scientists” believe the supposed consensus and anybody who does not believe it is not a scientist. What a bunch of garbage. There are no real facts in the paper so there cannot be a factual error.

Taylor Pohlman
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 5:02 am

Izaak, you obviously missed the point about ‘misclassification of contrarians”, which invalidate all the data and calculations. Curry is widely quoted, but as a ‘contrarian’ she doesn’t count as a ‘climate scientist’. See the issue? If they had measured ‘AGW climate scientists’ vs. ‘not-so-panicked climate scientists’ they might have had an interesting paper…

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Taylor Pohlman
August 15, 2019 11:41 am

Taylor,
The paper is quite clear: list A (or contrarians) contains people who spoke at Heartland conferences or are listed on desmogblog plus a few others. The authors then compared
people on list A with an indentical number of people taken from a list of highly cited
climate science papers. Thus someone cannot be on both lists and there is no misclassification. People might not like the labels under which they are listed but that is another matter.

If you like you can say that the paper shows that people who speak at Heartlands conferences are on average cited 7 times less than top climate scientists but get 49% more media coverage.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 7:39 pm

An almost perfect comparison of apples and light bulbs.

Taylor Pohlman
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 16, 2019 10:52 pm

Izaak,
Put down the Koolaid and step away from the clearing, you are in danger… Are scientists no allowed to speak at Heartland conferences? Is DeSmogBlog a legitimate news source and scientifically pristine, or a trashy and snide collection of smears against people with which they ideologically disagree?

You have to hold this thought in your head: ‘If I call one group “scientists” and name another, contrasting group with a different name (like, say, contrarians) then the second group can’t have scientists in it. Otherwise the first group name is rendered meaningless. That was the point of my original post. Try doing a Venn diagram on this situation and get back to me…

Greg61
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 5:12 am

Obviously you’re not intelligent enough to understand you are actually making the contrarians point for them – of course they aren’t getting as many citations, because their views are being actively suppressed, as this paper attempts to justify.

Bob Vislocky
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 5:40 am

Izaak, I really can’t believe #2 is actually true. We’re bombarded every day in the news media about the climate crisis rather than contrarian views.

RobR
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 5:41 am

A badge of honor, to be sure.

Jordan
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 6:24 am

Izaak, your whole argument falls down when trying to make a distinction between “scientists” and “contrarians”. Wasn’t it Feynman who said “science is the belief that experts are wrong”.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 7:25 am

There are major news organizations with a stated policy of excluding any skeptics from every and all discussions.
The list of them is long and pretty much comprehensive: It is far easier to name the few that occasionally allow a somewhat skeptical opinion from being heard on their air or in their print.
It is beyond ridiculous to suggest that climate skepticism is in any way overweighted.
There are large groups of people who firmly believe in the completely fake 97% crap.
We speak to and hear from them every single day, on the news, in social media, and in real life.

cohenite
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 16, 2019 3:19 am

The ABC in Australia is one of them. Fairfax press another. This paper is absolutely garbage. Alarmism is being driven by media symbiosis and Gramsci infiltration in the education system and bureaucracy. The suppression of sceptical voices at every level has underpinned the political success of alarmism.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 10:05 am

The “climate scientists” don’t need media coverage or mentions because they have the IPCC, politicians, celebrities, and the media itself to carry that water for them. If you look at actual CAGW/Climate-change/Climate-emergency coverage pro and con, you will find the pro side is massively, overwhelmingly larger.

Jim Whelan
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 10:28 am

“Climate contrarians get 49% more media coverage than climate scientists” does not mean that the media is not biased toward the climate change side. Coverage that says. “esteemed scientist says, … ,” is not the same as, “lunatic denier claims … ,” but both are counted as “coverage”. The “deniers” can get more coverage, but biased coverage.

BTW, your phrasing: “media is biased towards the views of mainstream climate science,” demonstrates your bias.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 1:37 pm

@Izaak
Please re-read the paragraph you’re quoting part of. The paper makes a distinction between mainstream media (i.e., the ones they like) versus new media (like the conservative blogs they don’t like):

Here we show via direct comparison that contrarians are featured in 49% more media articles than scientists. Yet when comparing visibility in mainstream media sources only, we observe just a 1% excess visibility, which objectively demonstrates the crowding out of professional mainstream sources by the proliferation of new media sources, many of which contribute to the production and consumption of climate change disinformation at scale.

Of course, the “disinformation” bit is their calumny toward climate scientists who demonstrate high knowledge and skill in their papers but do not see evidence for panicking in the actual data.

As mentioned in other replies to you, many “mainstream” outlets simply solve their “problem” by disallowing any mention of “contrarian” data. Thus, the percentages are skewed much more than suggested here.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle (@DeHavelle)

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Keith DeHavelle
August 15, 2019 7:58 pm

Actually that is not the case. The list of mainstream media includes
both the Daily Mail and the Guardian. Two papers that are on the opposite ends
of the spectrum when it comes to climate change and most other things.

Alan Grey
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 9:53 pm

Izaak, as any competent researcher would know, the methodological errors already outlined make any pronouncement of fact from this paper impossible. You cannot identify a factual error when the methodology is so corrupted and vague as to be useless.

Richard S Courtney
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 17, 2019 2:22 pm

Izaak Walton,

You ask, “Can you point to a single factual error that the paper made?”

In my above comment I cite two.
The Nature paper claims to be a study of recent activities of named persons. But I have contributed little opposition to ‘climate alarmism’ since my health failed five years ago, and Bob Carter has provided no activity since his death in January 2016.

Bob and I are not the only people named on the ‘contrarian’ list who have not been active for years because of poor health or death.

Richard

Stathis
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 18, 2019 8:41 am

Look Izaak it is simple : on one list you have only scientists, and on the other list you include media personas, like politicians and journalists. It is obvious that this choice boosts the apparent coverage of the second list. If it was scientists vs scientists or personas vs personas, it might have been fairer.

Linda Goodman
Reply to  tomwys
August 15, 2019 3:49 am

“Fringe benefit? A great list of climate realists was a byproduct!!!”

My thought, exactly, to be well utilized! 🙂

Curious George
Reply to  tomwys
August 15, 2019 9:50 am

“Disgusting” might be a better description.

Mike Bromley
August 14, 2019 10:44 pm

Forbes has turned a corner. Around that corner are backward-facing spikes like the entrance to a parking lot.

Alastair Brickell
Reply to  Mike Bromley
August 14, 2019 11:15 pm

Mike Bromley
August 14, 2019 at 10:44 pm

How about Nature? Unbelievable a once respected scientific journal can publish this rubbish.

What was left of their credibility and objectivity is well and truly gone.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Alastair Brickell
August 15, 2019 7:28 am

This has long been true of virtually every scientific publication and professional group.
If it was not the case, the lie could have never reached a point, after 30 years of increasingly shrill nonsense and an unbroken run of falsified predictions, of being more perniciously and firmly rooted than ever.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
August 15, 2019 3:20 pm

@Nicholas – yes. They long ago tipped over into the Pravda zone, where whatever they print, you are safest presuming the exact opposite is reality.

Unfortunately, this carries over into everything they publish, whatever the field. If I don’t trust Acme products to sell me a car, I can’t trust them to sell me a boat, either.

Zig Zag Wanderer
August 14, 2019 10:58 pm

The alarmists are getting increasingly desperate to prevent anyone who does not agree with them to be heard at all. It’s almost as if they are terrified of any discussion or debate about their message….

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
August 15, 2019 12:27 am

When you believe in a religion almost any lengths are justified to maintain your world view. I find the easiest way to explode heads is start with Polar bear numbers ( which are endangered and very small, NOT ) and work up from there.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Zig Zag Wanderer
August 15, 2019 5:28 am

“It’s almost as if they are terrified of any discussion or debate about their message….”

They are terrified because they don’t have any evidence to backup their “message”. They don’t want a debate because this would be exposed and they would lose.

That’s why we don’t see them over here on WUWT arguing the finer points of CAGW on a daily basis. If they had any evidence, you can bet they would be beating us over the head with it every day. There would be hundreds of alarmists over here showing us the errors of our ways. But nothing like that happens. There’s a reason for that.

Richard S Courtney
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 18, 2019 12:52 am

Tom Abbot,

You are right when you say of climate alarmists,
“If they had any evidence, you can bet they would be beating us over the head with it every day. ”

Yes, for example read this report of the debate where Monckton, Morner and I won a debate on climate change at St Andrews university.
http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=2938&linkbox=true&position=18

Richard

Mark H
August 14, 2019 11:02 pm

I do find this section of their paper particularly interesting…..

Ethics declarations
Competing interests
The authors declare no competing interests.

Reply to  Mark H
August 15, 2019 1:43 pm

H
Their competing interests were partially laid out in another reply to Izaak.

But they are missing a previous line:

The authors declare that they have no ethics whatsoever.

===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle (@DeHavelle)

Chris Hanley
August 14, 2019 11:30 pm

“Scientists who are effective in the public communication of climate change can speak about topics beyond their own personal expertise …” etc.
================================================
I think that is eminently true for instance of the erudite Dr Richard Lindzen.
Here he is referring no doubt to some of the ‘real’ scientists listed above:

Rhys Jaggar
Reply to  Chris Hanley
August 15, 2019 10:17 am

As there is not one person on earth who has expertise in all aspects of climate science, it is imperative that people are prepared to talk beyond their personal expertise.

It is actually quite tough to do. As an ex-biologist, 15 years ago I was sent off to interview a bunch of metallurgy Professors in a consultancy exercise for a research funding body. I was a very good listener, but painfully aware that I did not have the expertise to discriminate between conflicting viewpoints in a way that I was entirely comfortable doing in biology. Then I did the same for a bunch of materials chemists, which was easier as the project was a market demand study, not a strategic visioning one.

The key is distilling the right questions to ask the right people.

As for communicating to the general public, there is no a priori correlation between seniority and ability. In the first year of my PhD, my cancer research institute had an open evening for fundraisers and I was shocked at how several team leaders (akin to full Professors in a University) were hiding behind jargon. I observed glazed eyes in the group I was walking around the various stations. Before the last station, I did a more comprehensive intro in non technical language and more senior staff members commented afterwards how surprised they were that I could do it. I was shocked that they could not, but I realised soon that technical experts are often not wordsmiths. And much of undergraduate science was précis writing on reams of academic literature, a good preparation for succinct communication.

The key to communicating publicly is framing the issues, summarising progress and describing the options moving forward. Done properly, this does not betray confidences in competitive research fields as it remains at the level of fields summarised in publicly available grant programmes.

Joel O'Bryan
August 14, 2019 11:32 pm

Predicted 16 years ago.
We all need to be reminded on the prescient words of Dr Michael Crichton (from his Caltech Michelin Lecture January 17, 2003, title: Aliens Cause Global Warming) :

“Further attacks since, have made it clear what is going on. Lomborg is charged with heresy. That’s why none of his critics needs to substantiate their attacks in any detail. That’s why the facts don’t matter. That’s why they can attack him in the most vicious personal terms. He’s a heretic.
Of course, any scientist can be charged as Galileo was charged. I just never thought I’d see the Scientific American in the role of Mother Church.
Is this what science has become? I hope not. But it is what it will become, unless there is a concerted effort by leading scientists to aggressively separate science from policy.
The late Philip Handler, former president of the National Academy of Sciences, said that “Scientists best serve public policy by living within the ethics of science, not those of politics.
If the scientific community will not unfrock the charlatans, the public will not discern the difference—science and the nation will suffer.”
Personally, I don’t worry about the nation. But I do worry about science.

Let’s be clear: This Nature article is about de-legitimizing anyone who is skeptical of climate alarmism.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 15, 2019 5:48 am

Personally, I don’t worry about the nation. But I do worry about science

If the admirable Crichton were with us today, he would be worried about his nation, and he should be worried about the rest of the world too.

Rhys Jaggar
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
August 15, 2019 10:20 am

Why is Nature the sole voice in politics?

I would have thought almost no politicians ever read it, it is a bit like Radio 3 at the BBC….

Izaak Walton
August 14, 2019 11:33 pm

It should be noted that this paper was published in Nature Communications and not Nature.
There is a significant difference in terms of quality and impact. Plus it doesn’t look good if you
want to criticise a paper for sloppy work and cherry picking if you can’t even get the name of the
journal right.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 4:41 am

“Nature” markets a suite of publications.

The focus of Nature Communications is….communicating. The paper claims that the good ol’ boy network of honest climate scientists bringing alarm and tales of future woes to the media are being drowned out, in those same media, by skeptics who poke holes in their silly pronouncements and speculations. Why should incompetence not be voluminously refuted?

Show us the stats. If the refutation of incorrect claims it large, that speaks volumes about the work of those calling themselves “climate scientists”.

The paper is deeply flawed. I happened to be married to someone with a degree in Communications. She would never be able to get such junk published were it not marketing the idea that anyone who is not on board with the climate catastrophe ideology, is not a real scientist.

It is clear to me that Nature Communications has an inadequate peer review system. I can’t say it is corrupt, but it is obviously incompetent. It doesn’t meet the research standards of a high school term paper. What is it doing in a Nature Journal?

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
August 15, 2019 11:50 am

Crispin,
In what way is the paper flawed? Can you point to an error in it? The paper compares two lists
of people — list A speaks at Heartland conferences (plus a few others) and list B is drawn from the scientific literature. The paper then finds that people in list A are cited 7 times less than list B but get 49% more media mentions.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 1:53 pm

What is your definition of “contrarian”?

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Gerald Machnee
August 15, 2019 6:14 pm

Gerald,
my definition is irrelevant. The paper is very clear about how it drew up its list
of scientists that it then labels contrarians:
“To be specific, we combined three overlapping sets of names obtained from publicly available sources. The first source is the list of past keynote speakers at Heartland ICCC conferences from 2008 to present; the second is the list of lead authors of the 2015 Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) report; and the third is the list of individuals profiled by the DeSmog project.”

My question would be how would you draw up a list of prominent people opposed to the
climate consensus?

Richard M
Reply to  Gerald Machnee
August 15, 2019 8:56 pm

Izaak, the only valid comparison is those of a similar scientific background. You would never include lots of politicians in one list but not in the other.

Richard M
Reply to  Gerald Machnee
August 15, 2019 9:19 pm

Izaak, why would the 2nd list be anything but authors of the NIPCC? The answer of course is quite simple. The result would not be anything like what they wanted to say.

Let’s see you justify their selection criteria. It is clearly unscientific and as such should have been laughed at during peer review.

Richard M
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 8:53 pm

Izaak, the two lists are pure nonsense. One contains politicians which will always get more media coverage. The list are apples and oranges which makes any comparison anti-science. If you can’t see that then you are willfully blind.

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 24, 2019 8:16 am

Izaak

The paper’s authors presume that someone presenting at the Heartland conferences holds a certain opinion, without examining those opinions, and then searches for citations and coverage in literature and public media.

The initial presumption invalidates any possible conclusions because they did not ascertain what people think and write before “categorizing” them. Essentially, it is an exercise in “othering” and then turns into an inexplicably poor comparison of column-inches.

It is not clear that when a “Heartland” person is mentioned in the press, it is something positive or negative. The complaint by the authors is that the “Heartland” people get more space, not that they get attacked ten times more in the press. They object to their “visibility”! That makes no sense at all.

So what if one group gets more publicity than the others? Who says it is positive or negative commentary? The paper is conceptually foolish and should never have been printed in a reputable journal. I think Judith Curry’s assessment is spot on.

Marv
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 5:32 am

“It should be noted that this paper was published in Nature Communications and not Nature.”

From Wikipedia …

“Nature Research (formerly known as Nature Publishing Group[1]) is a division of the international scientific publishing company Springer Nature that publishes academic journals, magazines, online databases, and services in science and medicine. Nature Research’s flagship publication is Nature, a weekly multidisciplinary journal first published in 1869. It also publishes the Nature-titled research journals, Nature Reviews journals (since 2000)[2], society-owned academic journals, and a range of open access journals, including Scientific Reports and Nature Communications. Springer Nature also publishes Scientific American in 16 languages, a magazine intended for the general public. In 2013, prior to the merger with Springer and the creation of Springer Nature, Nature Publishing Group’s owner, Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, bought a controlling stake[3][4] in Frontiers.[5]”

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature_Research

Marv
Reply to  Marv
August 15, 2019 6:57 am

FWIW, according to Wikipedia Holtzbrinck Publishing Group owns the following:

In Germany:

S. Fischer Verlag
O.W. Barth
Wolfgang Krüger
Argon Verlag [de]
Scherz Verlag [de]
Fretz & Wasmuth
Rowohlt Verlag
Kiepenheuer & Witsch (85%)
Verlagsgruppe Droemer Knaur (50%)
Die Zeit (50%)
In the United States:
Using the Macmillan name:

Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Faber & Faber (formerly; ended partnership in 2015)
Henry Holt and Company
Holt Paperbacks
Metropolitan Books
Times Books
Owl Books
Palgrave Macmillan
Picador
Roaring Brook Press
Neal Porter Books
First Second Books
St. Martin’s Press
Tom Doherty Associates
Tor Books
Forge Books
Bedford, Freeman and Worth Publishing Group
W.H. Freeman
Bedford-St. Martin’s
Worth Publishers
Macmillan Learning
Hayden-McNeil
Nature Publishing Group
Scientific American
Using the Audio Renaissance name in Southfield, Michigan:

Renaissance Media[5]
In the United Kingdom:

Macmillan Publishers
Palgrave Macmillan
Pan Macmillan
Macmillan
Pan Books
Picador
Macmillan Children’s Books
Campbell Books
Priddy Books
Boxtree
Sidgwick & Jackson
Macmillan Education
Springer Nature (53%)
Digital Science

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holtzbrinck_Publishing_Group

ATheoK
Reply to  Izaak Walton
August 15, 2019 11:40 am

It is not any less despicable or disgusting for having been published in one of Nature’s suite of publications.

As usual izaak, pathetic parody if Izaak Walton, is spouting falsehoods.

Hokey Schtick
August 14, 2019 11:36 pm

Right out of the box the choice of language lays bare the bias. Contrarian. The polite version of denier. Deny what exactly? That climate changes?

Loydo
Reply to  Hokey Schtick
August 15, 2019 1:18 am

That climate changes?

No, of course not, that is just the go to strawman.

That human emissions of CO2, largely from the combustion of fossil fuel, is the main agent of recent abrupt warming.

David Murray
Reply to  Loydo
August 15, 2019 2:44 am

How could that possibly be so ? CO2 is a trace gas not a blanket around the earth. If anything we will soon need more of it.

Loydo
Reply to  David Murray
August 15, 2019 4:50 am

Do you believe CO2 has caused global greening David?

Right. So now your “trace gas” is boosting the world’s forests. Amazing.

Sheri
Reply to  Loydo
August 15, 2019 5:46 am

Not really. Forests could be considered a “trace” element of the earth’s surface. It doesn’t take much CO2 when so much of the planet has no trees.

tty
Reply to  Loydo
August 15, 2019 6:16 am

Trace elements are vital to all organisms. Try to do without e. g. selenium Loydo.

philincalifornia
Reply to  Loydo
August 15, 2019 8:46 am

Loydo, I think this may whoooosh right over you, but CO2 used in the Calvin cycle is roughly proportional to CO2 concentration. See for example:

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/2c6a/3a5955df348def981f300d702988ec258774.pdf

The so-called greenhouse effect is logarithmic.

Accordingly, a 50% increase in CO2 (about where we are now) has the potential to give a 50% increase in greening. If it wasn’t logarithmic with respect to temperature, aside from the fact that we wouldn’t be here, it wouldn’t be the idiots that are your heroes in charge of solving the problem.

You’re welcome

Reply to  Loydo
August 15, 2019 10:20 am

So, Lydo, the process of providing nutrition is equivalent to the process of poisoning — is that what you are implying?

Confuse contexts much?

Biophysics is a different domain than atmospheric physics. To choose a substance from one domain and make it equivalent in both domains is not very bright.

BruceC
Reply to  Loydo
August 15, 2019 3:55 am

Dear Loydo, can you point to us all a period of time that the climate was stable?

Loydo
Reply to  BruceC
August 15, 2019 4:48 am

Go back and carefully re-read my post Bruce/

ATheoK
Reply to  BruceC
August 15, 2019 12:05 pm

Lolly doesn’t believe the climate changes.

“Loydo August 15, 2019 at 1:18 am
That climate changes?
No, of course not, that is just the go to strawman.
That human emissions of CO2, largely from the combustion of fossil fuel, is the main agent of recent abrupt warming.”

1) Climate changes is a strawman, i.e. false.
2) Human emissions of CO₂ is the main agent of recent abrupt warming.

Lolly also ignores the “recent” warming periods of 1930s and 1880s that exactly match the recent rate of warming.
1880s, that would be before the trace gas of 0.00028% increased to a trace gas of 0.0004%.

Plants that were near starvation at 280 ppm are many times benefit the small increase of 1.2 CO₂ atoms per 10,000 molecules of atmosphere..

An amount far too small for humans to detect in temperature, but enough that plants using CO₂ atom by atom aggregate a tremendous increase over the years.

Lolly also ignores the sun, clouds, cyclical weather patterns, and cyclical changes in ocean/atmosphere influences; e.g. El Nino that pumps massive amounts of water vapor into the atmosphere.
Funny that!
Water vapor is many times the abundance of CO₂, even in the dryest environments, and water vapor swamps the majority of infrared frequencies including most of that handful where CO₂ is partially active, most which are also dominated by H₂O.

Partially active squalls lolly! Yes, partially active. Water is an angular molecule where CO₂ is a straight molecule.

Then lolly fails to mention that the entire globe outgasses CO₂ swamping the pitiful amount of CO₂ in man’s emissions.

icisil
Reply to  Loydo
August 15, 2019 4:48 am

Recent abrupt warming doesn’t exist in the temperature records, but it does exist in the tamperature records.

OweninGA
Reply to  icisil
August 15, 2019 5:50 am

Just so! Before they started relentlessly adjusting the past down with every monthly ingest, the earlier (pre-industrial) warming cycles were just as steep as the late 20th century warming. Then miraculously, they discovered all these “errors” in the past to “homogenize” away all the inconvenient earlier warming periods in much the same way as the shaft of a certain hockey stick removed the inconvenient medieval warm period and little ice age.

Reply to  icisil
August 15, 2019 5:05 pm

It is rare that I steal just one word from someone else. This is an exceptional case…

icisil
Reply to  Writing Observer
August 16, 2019 12:54 am

Don’t know who coined it, but it deserves hall of fame status.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Loydo
August 15, 2019 5:39 am

“That human emissions of CO2, largely from the combustion of fossil fuel, is the main agent of recent abrupt warming.”

Well, there’s no evidence for that. You could prove me wrong by supplying some. I predict you won’t, because you dont have any evidence. That’s not a reflection on you personally, because no alarmist climate scientist could satisfy that requirement. Not one of them has any evidence that humans are causing “abrupt” warming of the Earth’s atmosphere, or any other kind of warming.

Like I said, you could prove me wrong by providing some evidence.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 15, 2019 5:07 pm

When you start from false axioms like “abrupt warming,” anything that you construct from those axioms is also going to be false.

philincalifornia
Reply to  Loydo
August 15, 2019 8:06 am

How is it remotely possible that when discussing climate change, saying that the climate changes is a strawman?

(BTW, I do know the answer – the hijacking of the phrase climate change to mean something that it isn’t by leftists, kleptocrats, shit scientists, and their dupes).

philincalifornia
Reply to  Loydo
August 15, 2019 8:23 am

Once again Loydo, I refer you to graph, to which YOU linked, showing a rise in temperature at a rate of 0.73C/century, with no recent abrupt warming other than the last El Nino event. Are you just lying, stupid, or have an attention span of less than 24 hours?

Here’s what you posted:

comment image

Joel Snider
Reply to  Loydo
August 15, 2019 12:17 pm

‘That human emissions of CO2, largely from the combustion of fossil fuel, is the main agent of recent abrupt warming. No, of course not, that is just the go to strawman.’

And there’s your strawman.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Loydo
August 15, 2019 1:52 pm

**That human emissions of CO2, largely from the combustion of fossil fuel, is the main agent of recent abrupt warming.**
False. No more need be said.

Howard Dewhirst
August 14, 2019 11:36 pm

It would be useful to find out who the Peer Reviewers were and even more interesting if they were the luminaries mentioned as ‘real’ climate scientists such as M Mann?

MuskOx12
August 14, 2019 11:43 pm

I send all the very best to Dr. Curry. This Nature article is another journalism piece written by climate change alarmists who now resort to pathetically attacking those who they disagree with. They are panicked as their scientific credibility continually erodes.

LdB
August 14, 2019 11:46 pm

You always have to love junk masquerading as science that first labels one group as contrarians and then talks about levels of authority and media visibility. So all you have to do is repeat junk enough and get it out there in the media and you are a better authority. I know plenty of Ponzi schemes scams that work on the same idea until they collapsed.

Climate pseudoscience garbage from start to end and it should be in one of the womans magazines as a good fiction read.

August 14, 2019 11:52 pm

“Scientific authority” is a moronic phrase. Science doesn’t have any authority, because science doesn’t work on the basis of “authority” or reputation, instead in works on the SOLE basis of evidence … it doesn’t matter 100% of all “scientists” believe something, if the evidence says otherwise, then the evidence is right … because science is a dictatorship of the evidence.

Yes, an English Major, or someone with a degree in Medieval art, would argue on the basis of “authority”, yes, “consensus” or “the majority” have a meaning to these non-scientists because they are whole subjects repeated ad nausea what other people think. But in science, all that matters is the evidence.

If you have the evidence, that gives you authority no matter who you may be, if not SHUT UP!

Chaswarnertoo
Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
August 15, 2019 12:30 am

“Were I wrong, one would be enough” A. Einstein

Kurt
Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
August 15, 2019 12:59 am

“’Scientific authority’ is a moronic phrase.”

And people who cite “consensus” (i.e. opinion) as evidence for the truth of an assertion, while simultaneously claiming to defend “science” against those who question and want to further test the truth of the assertion, are morons.

You’re exactly right. The very people that the paper asserts to be “scientists,” are not. They are just professors or other types of pure academics who pretend to be scientists. Scientists gather or produce objective data with an experiment, and let that data speak for itself. If the data is inconclusive, but a scientist has an opinion as to what conclusions he or she might draw from the data, the scientist will not confuse their own opinions with the scientific method, and will not illogically infer that their opinions are “expert” merely because they are a scientist; after all, the scientific method is just a procedure, and if that procedure is insufficient to demonstrate the truth of something, the scientist has no innate training or expertise to determine a “truth” that the scientific method can’t itself demonstrate.

Rob R
Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
August 15, 2019 1:01 am

But in the short-term, in actual practical terms, science does work on the basis of authority and reputation. Otherwise how did we get to the situation we are in now? The winner in the short term is in charge of scientific publishing, the scientific societies, advocacy groups, the press and the politicians. The actual evidence does not have much to do with the outcome. The outcome is based on a belief system. You can say “shut up” to this self-evident situation as loudly as you like, and it will have no effect at all.

Sheri
Reply to  Rob R
August 15, 2019 5:52 am

It’s also self-evident that human beings like killing each other, but do you tell people who want the situation controlled as much as possible and called morally wrong that to say “shut up” should just let people kill with impunity??? Are you saying that jailing murderers is useless because people still like to kill each other? If it has “no effect”, does one just sigh and let anarchy be the rule?

Why even bother with science? Go back to the witch doctors and shamans. That’s the direction we are heading right now with all the pseudoscience that covers the TV and internet waves. You seem completely comfortable with that idea. Devolution.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Sheri
August 15, 2019 12:23 pm

That all seems to be the case in Portland.

It’s actually almost impossible to make an absurdist point in this city anymore.

OweninGA
Reply to  Rob R
August 15, 2019 6:07 am

“Science advances one funeral at a time” – Max Plank (actually a paraphrase of a much longer quote, but it has been attributed to him in this form for so long it might as well be his.)

The problem of course with this view is it depends on who has the more youthful and vigorous students to take up the old master’s mantle when he/she falls.

The quantum nature of the world probably would have floundered if other scientists and engineers hadn’t discovered that there are clever ways to take advantage of this nature to make all sorts of useful items. Ultimately, scientific theory is only useful once it can be utilized to do something in the real world. Until then it is just a wonderful mental exercise in a similar vein as fantasy literature. I fit the various types of string theory in that category right now. Until it predicts a measurable effect that current theory doesn’t, it is just a mental exercise in trans-dimensional mathematics. I also fit climate modeling in this category because it has parameterised and linearized so many linked, non-linear, real-world variables that there is no way it represents the real world states.

icisil
Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
August 15, 2019 4:28 am

Scientific authority aptly characterized in Around the World in 80 Days:

“This is the Royal Academy of Science! We don’t have to prove anything!”

The other George
Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
August 15, 2019 7:10 am

Last evening I was talking with a friend and mentioned a humorous recent incident. During that recitation I mentioned that I was skeptical about the claims of global warming alarmists. She immediately responded, “How can you disagree with 97% of scientists?” She is pretty close to 100 IQ, not brilliant, not stupid. She has no expertise in science. None. No idea of what the words “scientific method” imply. She thinks that if a scientists does it it is their method. Any talk about the basis for my skepticism led to a blank look. “Who are you to think you’re smarter than 97% of all scientists? You’re just a professor who knows about computers.”

Authority counts. Consensus counts. Peer review counts. To the average person, if you ask a bunch of experts and the vast majority agree, case closed. That is their compelling evidence. How else, they think, is one to know the truth when scientists speak in confusing jargon. Statements by someone who is expert is some other field are to be viewed with deep skepticism. They are trying to speak a language they don’t know.

icisil
Reply to  The other George
August 15, 2019 9:55 am

“How can you disagree with 97% of scientists?”

I would ask how anyone can trust scientists who have gotten so many things wrong. Medical and food sciences are replete with examples. For example, an aspirin a day for heart health is their latest “Ooops we got it wrong!”

Paul Penrose
Reply to  icisil
August 15, 2019 10:36 am

I wouldn’t be so quick with the aspirin a day thing. The jury is still out on that one. These kinds of health claims take a lot of data to tease out the true results. Don’t depend on a single study either way. I would say ulcers is a better (fairly recent) example of a “Doh!”, we got it wrong case, where the data is unambiguous that Medical Science had the causes and cure completely wrong for a long time.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  The other George
August 15, 2019 10:23 am

“Authority counts. Consensus counts. Peer review counts. To the average person, if you ask a bunch of experts and the vast majority agree, case closed. That is their compelling evidence.”

This is a human survival mechanism. It pays off to conform to the majority opinion, especially when you personally are not knowledgeable enough to understand the entire situation, usually because you are young and inexperienced, or untrained, so you listen to your elders who have managed to survive through circumstances unfamiliar to you.

This works out just great as long as you can depend on “your elders” to be correct in their assessment of the situation. If they are correct, then you are correct when you follow their advice, but if they are incorrect then you are probably going to suffer a big fall of one kind or another.

You should probably listen to the village chief’s advice. You should probably take everything you hear from an Alarmist with a grain of salt.

DANNY DAVIS
Reply to  The other George
August 16, 2019 3:40 am

The other George August 15, 2019 at 7:10 am:
Last evening I was talking with a friend and mentioned a humorous recent incident. During that recitation I mentioned that I was skeptical about the claims of global warming alarmists.
She immediately responded, “How can you disagree with 97% of scientists?”

I would ask how she “knows” what “97% of scientists” agree on? What is her basis for her faith in that statement? = “Well “everyone” knows that!
Show her how the meme was created and how it modern media pollute the quest to investigate by “shutting down” those who think, reason and inquire.
Which is the basis of true science.

The other George
Reply to  DANNY DAVIS
August 16, 2019 7:18 am

Yes, indeed, those are good suggestions, Danny. In fact, I already tried, beginning with the origin of the 97% number itself and how that study cherry-picked. Her response was to cite annual reports from some specific aggregation of scientists showing that the number in their society who “believe in” AGW has varied from 95% to 97% in recent years. She segued into the claim that I was cherry-picking from the 3%. “And even if it is not 97% but only 80% that is enough to believe it. That many credentialed experts can’t be wrong.”

philincalifornia
Reply to  Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
August 15, 2019 8:17 am

“it doesn’t matter 100% of all “scientists” believe something, if the evidence says otherwise, then the evidence is right”

Interestingly Mike I remember a situation, probably not unique, where that actually happened and 100% of all scientists including scientists in the field who went on to win Nobel prizes (Hitchings, Elion), and also including myself and my post-doc advisor, believed how something worked at the molecular level. It related to the therapeutic drug methotrexate and the enzyme it inhibits (dihydrofolate reductase). When the data came out, it was 100% opposite to what we all believed. It shows what a mockery the 97% consensus is, even if it wasn’t bogus.

Bengt Abelsson
August 15, 2019 12:01 am

An interesting and illuminating paper,
About Nature, that is.

Phillip Bratby
August 15, 2019 12:13 am

This paper smacks of desperation by the alarmists.

Tractor Gent
August 15, 2019 12:23 am

John Maddox will be turning in his grave!

John Collis
August 15, 2019 12:38 am

In a similar vein, from Greta Thunberg as reported by the BBC ( https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-49330423)
‘The teenager, who refuses to travel by air because of its environmental impact, said of climate sceptics: “There’s always going to be people who don’t understand or accept the united science, and I will just ignore them, as I’m only acting and communicating on the science.”’

Wiliam Haas
August 15, 2019 12:41 am

There is no consensus regarding climate change. It is just speculation. Scientists never registered and voted on the validity of the AGW conjecture. But if they had the results would have been meaningless because science is not a democracy. The laws of science are not some sort of legislation. Scientific theories are not validated by a voting process. Consensus is politics and not science.

Wiliam Haas
August 15, 2019 12:46 am

This abstract uses the term “contrarian” which makes it a religious paper having nothing to do with science. Scientists have no authority in the first place.

leitmotif
Reply to  Wiliam Haas
August 15, 2019 3:33 am

Instances of the word “heretic” were probably replaced by “contrarian” at the last moment.

Rod Evans
August 15, 2019 12:52 am

Here is an admission.
I believe in climate change.
Here is another, I believe Mann Made Climate Change, takes up far too many column inches.
I thank god (I believe nature is god) for the clarity and purity of the scientific method.
Richard Feynman would have all these charlatans posing as climate scientists for breakfast.
“If the observations do not support the hypothesis, the hypothesis is wrong”.
At no time, have the climate models, that are now used to orchestrate climate debate and formulate global policy, been supported by observation.

huls
August 15, 2019 12:53 am

But but the paper is peer reviewed ! .. oh wait

Mike
August 15, 2019 12:56 am

>>>>>>”Here we show via direct comparison that contrarians are featured in 49% more media articles than scientists. Yet when comparing visibility in mainstream media sources only, we observe just a 1% excess visibility, which objectively demonstrates the crowding out of professional mainstream sources”<<<<<

Excellent! I'm so happy! tra la la la….
Meanwhile, at least 2 of our local councils have declared a climate emergency. One of them created a new job…''Climate Emergency Officer'' AND…. is donating $15,000 to a youth group to help them teach more young people to become climate activists. I kid you not!
The disease has taken hold completely down here (Southern Australia). We now are in desperate need of a vaccine……….

Rod Evans
Reply to  Mike
August 15, 2019 1:23 am

Mike,
I was in Melbourne back in March when the Green New Deal (GND) fever was being promoted. Seeing mothers urging their children to chant “Reach Higher! Reach Higher!” as they demonstrated outside the parliament building, sent chills down my spine. The echoes from a previous period, when parents encouraged their children to raise their arms in the air and chant, “Seek Higher” (or similar) was too frightening to ignore.
We must not let this nonsense win.

ozspeaksup
Reply to  Rod Evans
August 15, 2019 5:38 am

our local papers editor in her personal comments column just called Aus a socialist nation TWICE
seriouly going to have to write in this week and have a go at that!

Flavio Capelli
August 15, 2019 1:05 am

Respectfully, I think you are making a mistake here Dr Curry: this paper is not bad or junk science.
Instead, it is a quite well done POLITICAL hit job with a thin veneer of science-y talk on top.

Schitzree
August 15, 2019 1:07 am

Scientific Deplorables! We need a video of Mann screaming “why aren’t I 50 articles ahead in the journals!”

~¿~

knr
August 15, 2019 1:14 am

Nature sold itself out to ‘climate doom ‘ years ago and so it publishing this rubbish is no surprise at all.
In the end this is a classic ‘argument from authority’ claim which is NOT science for reasons Feynman and Einstein outlined.
But when you ‘hero’s ‘ are people like Mann , given his ‘antiscience track record’ you really are not out to support good scientific practice but politicized BS .

August 15, 2019 1:18 am

I would put all these people above the Smarts of the Michael Mann crowd about climate and global warming etc.:
Roy Spencer
John Christy
Nils Axel Morner
Willie Soon
Anthony Watts
Dr Patrick Moore
JoAnn Nova
Marc Morano
Mark Steyn

Rod Evans
Reply to  Jon P Peterson
August 15, 2019 7:45 am

Don’t forget, Tony Heller

Warren
August 15, 2019 1:25 am

Judith likes to stay in a bit with the establishment.
Two words Judith might like to think about every morning:
– appeasement folly –

On the bigger stage, coal, oil/gas, meat and airline industries will increasingly regret their appeasement.
Stand against evil now; time is running out . . .

Eamon Butler
August 15, 2019 1:34 am

Where do they get such nonsense from? This is another ”study” with the conclusion pre established. It was never going to end any other way.
So how come ,Greta is a household name, with much influence on the policy makers? How come, every news bulletin or headline about Climate change, is loaded with scaremongering? For the general public, who do not follow the studies and research, the only information they have is entirely from the alarmist camp. There is never a media report covering what Profs. Lindzen or Curry etc have to say. Several erroneous reports are made with prominent World wide coverage, but never retracted so publicly when they crumble.
Yes, everyone knows Greta, but they don’t know the Lindzens and Currys, who have spent lifetimes of dedicated study and research, only to be classified as ”contrarians” (???) This is not the fault of the Good professors. Just the deliberate work of the various media, to discredit them personally and professionally. It’s the alternative to having to debate the issues instead.

alacran
August 15, 2019 2:22 am

The „contrarians“, a remarkable list of scientists who are not members of the
International Pea-brained Cargocult Club !

Editor
August 15, 2019 2:46 am

I see that the late Stephen Schneider is in the list. Why aren’t people like the late Bob Carter and the late John Daley in the list too?

BruceC
Reply to  Mike Jonas
August 15, 2019 3:59 am

Wasn’t Stephen Schneider also one of the scientists predicting ‘global cooling’ back in the ’70’s?

AGW is not Science
Reply to  BruceC
August 15, 2019 7:59 am

Yup – He’s the real poster boy – Braying about “global cooling” AND “global warming,” and blaming BOTH on human fossil fuel emissions. According to him, whatever happens, it must be “our” fault.

michael hart
Reply to  Mike Jonas
August 15, 2019 5:09 pm

Good point. I was still feeling slightly stunned/gobsmacked that something like this would get published by Nature, even in today’s climate.

But once you realize they are selectively picking, choosing and citing from the opinions of dead people, it suddenly becomes quite funny.

Greg Strebel
Reply to  Mike Jonas
August 17, 2019 12:14 pm

Bob Carter is #17 on the list. John Daley is not on the list.

Alasdair
August 15, 2019 3:09 am

This article in Nature reveals the really DARK SIDE in the climate debate and its manipulation of the media to further its political agenda to bend the minds of those too busy or lazy to delve into the facts. It is akin to the 97% Meme which has been so successful; similarly riddled with deliberate falsity of assumptions and implied conclusions masked by a veneer of purported science and statistical veracity.

Very disappointed I have not been included in the list of Contrarians🤧

Curious George
Reply to  Alasdair
August 15, 2019 9:55 am

While I would prefer “skeptics”, “contrarians” sound better than “deniers”.

Michael in Dublin
August 15, 2019 3:12 am

Judith Curry is to be commended on her use of clear language. As one, whose specialization has been in languages, I am frustrated by the designation “climate science.” This is a discipline unlike botany and biology, geography and oceanography, chemistry and physics, mathematics and statistics which each have a particular area of focus. In one particular paragraph – the best in the article – Curry helps me move towards a clarification and description of what climate science is. I may strictly speaking be a geologist or zoologist but never in a strict sense be an expert in climate science – at best I can be a scientist studying particular aspects of climate and dependent on a variety of other sciences. This subject deserves to be looked at in a detailed essay beginning with the paragraph I want to highlight:

“Climate science is a very broad and diffuse science, encompassing many subfields. Each of these subfields is associated with substantial uncertainties, and when you integrate all these fields and attempt to project into the future, there are massive uncertainties and unknowns. There are a spectrum of perspectives, especially at the knowledge frontiers. Trying to silence or delegitimize any of these voices is very bad for science.”

Stephen Skinner
August 15, 2019 4:01 am

Climate ‘science’ is the study of an average of averages.

John Garrett
August 15, 2019 4:12 am

(Author) Professor LeRoy Westerling

Ph.D. Economics and International Affairs, January 2000
Joint Degree of the Department of Economics and the Graduate School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, University of California, San Diego. Fields: Environmental Economics, Insurance, Applied Econometrics, Comparative Policy Analysis.
B.A. International Economics/Chinese Studies, December 1987
Department of Economics, University of California, Los Angeles. Fields: International Economics, Development Economics, Finance, Chinese Studies.

H.R.
Reply to  John Garrett
August 15, 2019 6:41 am

Hey, don’t knock his creds; not fair. He has a climate observatory like this in his back yard that he’s studied for years, so he’s well-qualified.

http://www.da-woody.com/SA/1219631609gVnWXVg%20(2).jpg

Sean
August 15, 2019 4:30 am

With so many contrarians listed, what do these numbers do to the infamous 97% agreement claim?

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Sean
August 15, 2019 8:04 am

My first thought, lol.

“What tangled webs we weave, when first we practice to deceive.”

Tom Abbott
August 15, 2019 4:46 am

From the article: “Here we show via direct comparison that contrarians are featured in 49% more media articles than scientists. Yet when comparing visibility in mainstream media sources only, we observe just a 1% excess visibility, which objectively demonstrates the crowding out of professional mainstream sources by the proliferation of new media sources, many of which contribute to the production and consumption of climate change disinformation at scale.”

So what they are really describing is that the 49 percent figure refers to internet blogs where climate change is discussed, and skeptics figure prominently on these blogs much more so than alarmist scientists. That would be because alarmist scientists don’t post on skeptic blogs because every time they do their arguments get destroyed so they have learned not to come on skeptic blogs with their BS (bad science) where they will be humiliated.

From the article: “These results demonstrate why climate scientists should increasingly exert their authority in scientific and public discourse, and why professional journalists and editors should adjust the disproportionate attention given to contrarians.”

Well, the alarmist climate scientists are more than welcome to exert their authority on WUWT. But they better come with a good argument. Which they don’t have, so don’t expect any of them to be doing much exerting on WUWT.

Here’s something the alarmist climate scientists could do to change the game: Give us just one piece of evidence supporting the CAGW speculation. Just one. How hard can that be?

But, as you will see, no alarmist will offer even one little bit of evidece because of this challenge. That would be because they don’t have even one little bit of evidence. All they have is speculation and a fraudulent Hockey Stick chart. Watch, and see the truth.

George Daddis
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 15, 2019 6:26 am

It is obvious the intent of the quoted “49% more” figure is to give the impression to readers that “contrarians” have much greater visibility to the general public than “scientists”. (Of course you have to ignore the illogical and confounding overlapping definitions of those two groups.)

This notion is amply reinforced by the last paragraph of the article:

These results demonstrate why climate scientists should increasingly exert their authority in scientific and public discourse, and why professional journalists and editors should adjust the disproportionate attention given to contrarians.

(my emphasis)

Some assertions can’t pass the “lyin’ eyes” test (as in “who do you believe, me or your lyin’ eyes”?). This most certainly is one of those.
As noted, who in that publication’s readership actually believes “contrarians” (scientists or not) get more visibility than their definition of “scientists”?

(Of course, if one includes non scientists on the contrarian side you have to include non scientists on the “consensus” side – Greta, Gore, AOC et al.)

AGW is not Science
Reply to  Tom Abbott
August 15, 2019 8:12 am

“Here we show via direct comparison that real scientists are featured in 49% more media articles than “climate activists” who are “scientists” in name only. Yet when comparing visibility in mainstream media sources only, we observe just a 1% excess visibility, which objectively demonstrates the unbalanced, propaganda pushing bias of professional mainstream sources as compared with the comparatively balanced and level-headed information being made available via the proliferation of new media sources, many of which contribute to the correction of the vast swamp of professional mainstream sourced climate change disinformation.”

There, fixed it for ’em.

Tom Abbott
August 15, 2019 5:13 am

From the article: “From the press release: “Most of the contrarians are not scientists, and the ones who are have very thin credentials. They are not in the same league with top scientists. They aren’t even in the league of the average career climate scientist.” “giving them legitimacy they haven’t earned.”

It doesn’t matter. It doesn’t take an expert in climate science to tell that the arguments for CAGW (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming) have not been established as facts. It doesn’t take an expert to realize the climate alarmists don’t have any evidence to back up their claims.

All one has to do is challenge an alarmist climate scientist to provide evidence to back up their claims. How about it, Alarmists? Can you provide even one piece of evidence backing up your CAGW claims?

The answer will be no/silence. It doesn’t take a climate scientists to understand what this silence means. It means they don’t have an answer to the central question of CAGW. Lots of speculation, no evidence.

Dr Deanster
August 15, 2019 5:35 am

I haven’t read the paper, but I would suspect that the coverage of the “contrarians” in the media was negative whereas coverage of the supporters was positive.. So it doesn’t matter that they were covered 49% more, the coverage was more likely negative.

Bruce Cobb
August 15, 2019 5:46 am

The Climate Liars are losing, and they know it. Consequently, they are becoming more and desperate to climatesplain why they are losing. It is laughably pathetic.

Coeur de Lion
August 15, 2019 6:15 am

Am I right that the authoritative, widely respected Nature, along with Scientific American, were irreparably tarnished back in ‘09 by the Climategate hockey stick fraud? On another tack, Mark Steyn’s book ‘A Disgrace to the Profession’ had 100 prestigious scientists excoriating Mikey Mann. How do those names stack up here, I wonder? Are they all contrarians? Mark records some surprise by people at some of his names who were from the alarmist camp.

August 15, 2019 6:54 am

Who, other than a religious fruitcake, uses the word “contrarian”?

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Ron House
August 15, 2019 10:39 am

They want to portray skeptics as stubborn and unmovable.

Skeptics just want a little evidence for all those claims we keep seeing. If we get some evidence, we will move. Facts are facts. We will move. But you have to give us the facts first. This hasn’t happened yet with respect to CAGW.

Jeff Alberts
August 15, 2019 7:18 am

They should show a direct carbon footprint comparison. Not that I think CF is meaningful (apart from pointint out rank hypocrisy)…

Smart Rock
August 15, 2019 7:18 am

This paper (which I have to confess I only gave a cursory reading) compares “citations” in MSM and non-MSM of “climate scientists” and “contrarians”. Note the implication that if you’re a “contrarian” you can’t be a “scientist”.

What it conspicuously omits to say is that the majority of climate-change articles that I’ve seen in the MSM (a small sample since I don’t watch TV at all, and don’t listen to the radio that much) don’t actually “cite” anyone by name. Once you go to the broader coverage that doesn’t include “citations” then alarmist articles outnumber skeptical articles by a HUGE factor.

Plus, vast numbers of MSM articles that aren’t actually “about” climate change manage to mention it in passing. And it’s always brought in as the demonic force behind anything “bad” and of course “bad” things are what mainstream news media thrive on (as much as they’re thriving in the internet age).

It’s a total red herring.

Robert of Texas
August 15, 2019 7:42 am

Just another example of “I’ll make my opinion look more important and more scientific than your opinion”.

Trouble is, the sheep eat this stuff up incapable of understanding it isn’t real.

HD Hoese
August 15, 2019 7:53 am

“Selection of scientists (CCS)
We ranked individuals’ publication profiles according to the net citations Ci=∑i∈pcp
calculated by summing individual article citation totals (cp) for only the individual articles (indexed by p) included within our WOS CC dataset. In this way, the CCS group is comprised of the 386 most-cited CC scientists, based solely on their CC research.”

Does bad research result in more corrections, therefore more citations?
What can one expect given how most journasl flaunt their “Impact Factors.”
“Because we are comparing the most prominent members from each group,…..”
They need a control group. Go back and do this for “Eugenics.”

Communication is now an essential discipline all scientists must master.
https://www.americanscientist.org/blog/from-the-staff/self-education-in-science-communication

Robert W Turner
August 15, 2019 7:53 am

“we developed methods to hold people and media outlets accountable for their roles”
Not only is this a venomous pseudoscience publication, but they are taking credit for something that fanatics and communists developed long ago.

Tom Abbott
August 15, 2019 8:07 am

One doesn’t have to be a science expert to be able to distinguish evidence/fact from speculation. If you can think logically, you can figure out one from the other.

Speculation is guessing. Evidence/fact is something observed.

Gordon Dressler
August 15, 2019 8:36 am

Instead of “Abstract”, that section should have been labeled “Summary: How to wrap propaganda in the cloak of science and mathematics for the gullible public”

Ian Wright
August 15, 2019 9:05 am

On the downside as a scientist I am actually quite shocked to see this sort of drivel published in a supposedly reputed journal.
On the upside I think it is symptematic of a desperate bunch of alarmists who are trying a last ditch attempt to silence the ‘skeptics’ who seem to be growing in number.
The funny thing is that as this drags out it is actually nature itself who is turning out to be the most vocal critic as many people are now looking at the staggering amount of alarmist headlines and thinking that this is not what they observe.

I am even more motivated to keep pushing the contrarian view.

Mike Maguire
August 15, 2019 9:28 am

Bill Nye the anti science guy is one of the media’s favorite’s………..maybe 2nd after only Gore, who earned his doctorate in charlatanism.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/13/entertainment/bill-nye-global-warming-video/index.html

http://physicsbuzz.physicscentral.com/2015/01/bill-nye-drops-ball-on-deflategate.html

Nye doesn’t even understand the ideal gas law for Pete’s sake………..but is a wonderful interview that makes for great tv drama/sensationalism as an actor that uses basic knowledge about science and notoriety from a kids tv science program to impose his anti science, political agenda on uneducated viewers as he is blatantly misrepresented as a climate expert.

This is one of the many quintessential examples of contradicting this papers assumption that the media attention is weighted towards the know nothing skeptics/contrarians vs keepers of the secret climate science secrets.

How about………….it’s the exact opposite!

Editor
August 15, 2019 9:40 am

Izaak Walton August 15, 2019 at 1:31 am

Hi Tomwys,
Can you point to a single factual error that the paper made? The central claims of the
paper are that
1) Climate Scientists are cited significantly more often than climate contrarians.
2) Climate contrarians get 49% more media coverage than climate scientists
3) In the mainstream media climate scientists and climate contrarians get roughly
equal media mentions (a 1% difference).

The error is not in the facts but in the procedure. What they’ve done is this:

1. They selected a bunch of climate scientists who publish a whole lot in the journals.

2. They selected another group of climate scientists on other grounds, including public appearances.

3. They proudly announced that the first group is cited more frequently in the journals than the second group … well, yeah …

4. They also sadly announced that the first group doesn’t get the media exposure the second group gets.

Well, duh … given those selection criteria, just what did they expect to find? That’s the error, not an error of fact, but an error of ridiculously bad procedures.

In part, this is why I write for WUWT … because my words here get read by thousands and thousands of people, both laymen and scientists, while the pieces I’ve published in the journals get read by a few specialists. And since I’m not interested in my place in scientific history and I am interested in affecting the ongoing climate discussion both among laymen and scientists alike, I publish here.

The ugly part is their conclusion, which is that people who disagree with their revealed wisdom should not get so much media exposure … that’s a blatant attempt at censorship which has no place in science. If they feel that their side needs equal air time, the solution is not to reduce my air time.

The solution is for them to up their game and to increase their own air time.

Next, in this paper they are ignoring the elephant in the room, which are the Al Gores and the Greta Thunbergs and all of the media talking heads and the government publicity organs and the schools and universities which day and night churn out alarmist screeds and hyped claims of impending Thermageddon … in fact, all of the big guns are on their side, and they want to silence what little media exposure that skeptics get? I’m amazed, given that they have the big dollars and the governments and the schools and the media on their side, that they haven’t been able to convert people to their cause.

Which is a measure of just how bad their “science” actually is …

Finally, upon re-reading this, I see that once again they are acting like the real issue is a communications problem. They are claiming that their side is unable to get their message out to the public because we are able to better communicate our claims.

But communication, poor or otherwise, is not the issue.

The real issue is that their science is far too often a joke. Look at the number of peer-reviewed scientific papers that have been taken apart and destroyed here on WUWT. Look at the endless claims that we’ve gotten over the last 30 years that if we don’t act within 10 years we’re doomed. Look at the Malthusian madness that they are propagating. Look at the bogus claims of 50 million climate refugees by 2010. Look at the stupidity of claiming that coral atolls would be drowned by rising seas when Darwin himself showed that they are created by rising seas, and modern measurements show that atolls are either stable or growing in area. Look at the endless predictions of doom that have not come true. Heck, look at this crappy peer-reviewed paper we’re discussing here, for that matter.

THAT is the problem, that their scientific claims and serial doomcasts are way out over their skis and do not stand up to scientific scrutiny … and in response, they think that the media should act to reduce the amount of scrutiny by reducing our airtime. Yeah, that’s totally legit …

Buncha damn cowards, if you ask me. As I said above, if they actually believed what they are selling and had the science to back it up, there would be no need for these endless attempts to shut up their scientific opponents.

Anyhow, Izaak, that’s a short recap of the errors they made.

Regards to all,

w.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
August 15, 2019 10:52 am

“Buncha damn cowards, if you ask me. As I said above, if they actually believed what they are selling and had the science to back it up, there would be no need for these endless attempts to shut up their scientific opponents.”

That’s exactly right! Good post, Willis.

John
August 15, 2019 9:46 am

Maybe a dumb question, because i was too lazy to read the Nature Comm article, but do they distinguish between positive and negative citations in the media? If all of the cites of skeptics are negative and all the cites of “climate scientists” are positive, then why are they griping?

DayHay
August 15, 2019 9:54 am

Doxxing, when you want ignorant folks to do your violence for you. Did you really think any of these whackos were going to back off, especially based on “science”? They are coming to wipe you out, period.

observa
August 15, 2019 10:40 am

“Here we show via direct comparison that contrarians are featured in 49% more media articles than scientists. Yet when comparing visibility in mainstream media sources only, we observe just a 1% excess visibility, which objectively demonstrates the crowding out of professional mainstream sources by the proliferation of new media sources, many of which contribute to the production and consumption of climate change disinformation at scale.”

Pravda and Lysenkoism aint cutting through with the masses and their damn smartphones anymore so we better do something quick before the deplorables start kicking down our Wall.

TEWS_Pilot
August 15, 2019 11:48 am

Take a look at a real outrage regarding rejecting a paper submitted by Edwin X Berry, Ph.D., CCM, Climate Physics LLC, Bigfork, Montana, USA.

PREPRINT: Human CO2 has little effect on atmospheric CO2
https://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/agw-hypothesis/contradictions-to-ipccs-climate-change-theory/
Latest version of this paper
https://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/agw-hypothesis/human-co2-emissions-have-little-effect-on-atmospheric-co2/

Human CO2 Has Little Effect On Atmospheric CO2
Note: Please see my latest version of this paper that will soon be published here:
https://edberry.com/blog/climate-physics/agw-hypothesis/human-co2-emissions-have-little-effect-on-atmospheric-co2/

On April 1, 2019, the American Journal of Climate Change rejected my paper for the following reason:

The conclusion of this paper is completely opposite to the consensus of the academic community. […there you have it, conform to the “consensus” or you don’t get published …can we all say CENSORSHIP?]

Yes, it is. But the journal did not forward any evidence that there is an error in my paper and did not acknowledge that my paper proves the “consensus” is wrong. So, if it is unacceptable to publish a paper that contradicts the “consensus” how can there be progress in science?

Richard Courtney and Hermann Harde have sent emails stating they were reviewers and that they strongly recommended publication.

Edwin X Berry, Ph.D., CCM
Climate Physics LLC, Bigfork, Montana, USA

“The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.” – Albert Einstein

Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
August 16, 2019 1:28 pm

TEWS_Pilot ,

I have discussed Dr. Ed’s work on his own blog, including his latest version, without getting a “consensus” with him. He makes the same errors as too many skeptics before him: ignoring that a small one-way addition of CO2 by humans can overwhelm the earth’s net sink capacity, not seeing the difference between residence time (which is a matter of two-way circulation) and relaxation (which is a matter of one-way removal).

Additional, he uses the residence time in opposite way as intended, here my comment on his blog:

The formula that you use in general is to calculate the residence time:
residence time = mass / throughput (or input or output once in equilibrium).
For the current atmosphere that gives:
410 ppmv / 98 ppmv/year = 4.2 years

For the residence time it doesn’t matter in what direction the flows are going: as long as that is trough the atmosphere that adds to the throughput in the above formula.

You can use the opposite formula if and ONLY IF all flows are unidirectional. The problem is that the main CO2 fluxes are seasonal and for ocean surface and vegetation each other’s opposite. And opposite over the hemispheres.

That means that the the bulk of the outputs are NOT caused by the CO2 pressure in the atmosphere, as that only shows a small change around an average (globally +/- 5 ppmv/season mostly in the NH), but by the huge seasonal temperature changes in both ocean surface and vegetation.

That Richard Courtney and Hermann Harde support the publication is no wonder: they both are skeptics with similar ideas. That the publication is rejected for pulication is no wonder too: on this point (and only this), the “consensus” is right: humans are responsible for the bulk of the 115 ppmv increase of CO2 in the atmosphere since about 1850. Every single observation supports that…

TEWS_Pilot
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
August 16, 2019 2:01 pm

Your argument in favor of denying Dr. Ed Berry the opportunity to publish his theory, as well as the official reason given for rejection of Dr. Ed Berry’s paper, uses circular logic, but at least you showed the courtesy of posting your scientific opinion of what you found to be in error in the paper. Those who rejected it did so only on the basis that it did not support the “consensus,” which is really not a consensus at all as you can see by the growing number of “skeptics.”

He says in his paper that the “consensus” and the “science” on which it is built are wrong. The paper is rejected because it does not support the consensus, and you say that rejection is a proper response and then show how the “consensus” proves his theory is wrong….the very “consensus” belief which his paper tries to prove wrong…that is circular logic. The paper was not rejected because it was sloppy or poorly written, it was rejected simply because it did not support the “consensus” while noting that the paper was trying to DEBUNK the “consensus.”

You also say the two individuals who recommended at least publishing the paper are wrong because THEY don’t accept the consensus. Apparently only those who accept the “consensus” are allowed to publish papers or recommend publishing other papers submitted for peer review. Isn’t that a bit like CENSORSHIP and the very OPPOSITE response that would allow science to be advanced?

Dr. Ed. Berry closed his post with this most fitting quote:

“The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.” – Albert Einstein

TEWS_Pilot
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
August 16, 2019 3:39 pm

My reply to you is still in moderation.

Reply to  TEWS_Pilot
August 17, 2019 12:22 pm

TEWS_Pilot,

If a paper is making errors in rather essential parts of it, it still can be published (as good as the paper in Nature Communications which is the subject here), but it does harm to the publication, as it gets a lot of critique and ultimately should be (or gets) retracted.

While the formulation of the editors is nonsense (not publishing because of not agreeing with the “consensus”), they should have it peer reviewed by someone of the “consensus” and then decide if it is ready for publication or should be rejected.

I don’t like any “consensus”, as that is not science, but I have published here on WUWT several parts of why, in my opinion, humans are responsible for the CO2 increase in the atmosphere (just search for my name). That is reflected in following page on my family pages:
http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/co2_origin.html

As I have had similar discussions with Richard Courtney and saw similar errors in Harde’s work, these two will of course not reject Dr. Berry’s work, but then one makes the same mistake as (too) many within the “consensus”: “peer review” gets “pal review”…

Being skeptic on many points from the “consensus”, doesn’t imply that the majority of the “consensus” is wrong in every point: accepting that humans are responsible for the recent increase of CO2 doesn’t mean one must accept that CO2 has a huge effect on climate, which is where the real debate is…

About Einstein’s quote: in my opinion, Dr. Berry already started with an upside down formulation of the problem, which makes all following reasoning problematic…

TEWS_Pilot
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
August 17, 2019 1:00 pm

Taking your assertion to its logical conclusion, NOTHING should ever be published lest it eventually be retracted. Isn’t that why pencils were made with erasers and keyboards were made with a DELETE function? How does an out-of-the-mainstream idea ever see the light of day? Look at how many accepted laws and principles started off as direct contradictions of the status quo and even opened completely new fields of study. I’m of the opinion that a paper should stand or fall on its MERITS, not on whether it agrees with the “Consensus.” Which is more important to the advancement of science, not publishing what might have been a new “Theory of Relativity” to avoid the UNCERTAIN POSSIBILITY of having to publish an embarrassing retraction someday or taking a chance that even a bad paper can create interest and even spark another new idea?

This image from WUWT pretty well sums up the value of “consensus” as relates to advancing science.

comment image

Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
August 18, 2019 11:12 am

TEWS_Pilot,

If some idea is new, it should be published, no matter the consensus about that subject.
My point is that
1. Dr. Berry’s idea is not new.
2. Makes essential errors even at the start by using an upside down definition of the residence time.
3. Violates several observations, including the conservation of mass.
4. It violates Henry’s law, which implies a level in the atmosphere which is directly in ratio to the level in the oceans and depending of the temperature of the ocean surface. That level is completely independent of the input flows: zero flows for a static sample and in steady state (input = output) once the equilibrium is reached for the global oceans.

If I had been a peer reviewer, I should have recommended rejection of the paper, not because of contrary to the “consensus”, but because of too many essential errors, where the “consensus” in this case (and only this case…) is right…

TEWS_Pilot
Reply to  Ferdinand Engelbeen
August 18, 2019 11:57 am

Everything you said may be true…perhaps Galileo and Copernicus and Einstein and thousands of lesser known pioneers also heard similar reasons for having some of their out-of-the-mainstream ideas rejected. Who knows how many of them were correct after all, we only know about paradigm-changing ideas submitted by the three I mentioned by name.

The consensus says Dr. Berry’s paper is based on all sorts of flawed “science,” but wasn’t that the reason he submitted it. I will leave it at that. I have dragged this sub string off topic too long.

TEWS_Pilot
August 15, 2019 11:49 am

Bonus: Since DeSmogBlog is mentioned, and some readers may not know their credentials, this is who they are:
“DeSmogBlog Project”
https://www.desmogblog.com/about

Credentials

Jim Hoggan — owner of the Vancouver PR firm Hoggan & Associates….PR FIRM!!! HA, HA, REAL CLIMATE SCIENCE SOURCE….NOT!

Brendan — Executive Director and Managing Editor. He is also a FREELANCE WRITER…FREELANCE because NOBODY WILL HIRE HIM!!

These climate science “experts” are the “go-to” source for many CAGW Alarmists to cite to defend “GloBULL Warming” and criticize “skeptics” … a CANADIAN PR Firm whose “expert” is a “freelance writer’ because NOBODY will hire him to write for them.

ATheoK
August 15, 2019 12:56 pm

Willis :
Excellent deconstruction Willis.
I apologise for using a couple of sentences from your post; they are far more succinct than my versions.

“Willis Eschenbach August 15, 2019 at 9:40 am

“Izaak Walton August 15, 2019 at 1:31 am”

Hi Tomwys,
Can you point to a single factual error that the paper made? The central claims of the
paper are that
1) Climate Scientists are cited significantly more often than climate contrarians.
2) Climate contrarians get 49% more media coverage than climate scientists
3) In the mainstream media climate scientists and climate contrarians get roughly
equal media mentions (a 1% difference).

1. They selected a bunch of climate scientists who publish a whole lot in the journals.
2. They selected another group of climate scientists on other grounds, including public appearances.
3. They proudly announced that the first group is cited more frequently in the journals than the second group … well, yeah …
4. They also sadly announced that the first group doesn’t get the media exposure the second group gets.”

I fail to understand how the alleged researchers come up with conclusions 3 & 4.
By any sort of reality surrounding us, all of mainstream media, including journals is chock full of climate propaganda.
Whether the Arctic is melting,
Antarctica is going to flood us,
Glaciers are melting,
Sea level is going to flood us,
Polar bears are dying,
Humans cause climate change, etc.etc. etc.
Seriously, one can not watch or read the vast majority of nature related articles and frequently just in the news without running into the standard climate disaster propaganda.

How in blazes can these researchers claim that 3) Skeptics get more citations or 4) Skeptics and alarmists get equal exposure in mainstream media!?

To me, that’s a big sign of fudging. AKA Researcher introduced factual errors.
Checking the data; i.e. following their access to data clauses:

“Data Availability ”

Doesn’t that sound easy?
Clicked the link. and that took me to:

“All data analyzed here are openly available from Web of Science and the Media Cloud project. Supporting article- and individual-level data are available at the UC DASH data repository”

“Data Availability ”

Doesn’t that sound wonderful?
Again, clicking the link. and that took me to:

“This dataset is private for peer review and will be released on January 1, 2020. Please contact Alexander Petersen with any questions.”

Say what!?
Typical, a dead end.

In any case, their data labels and their methods are selectively chosen, questionably prepared and thoroughly reprehensible.

Methinks they wanted to sell a particular message and selected their data/calculations/comparisons to achieve that message.

Gunga Din
August 15, 2019 2:45 pm

It seems that the whole point that Nature article is to say, regarding valid critiques of the “CAGW” theory, “Nothing to hear there. Move along.”
In other words, a list of enemies of “The Cause” to ignore before you consider what they say.

Greg Strebel
August 15, 2019 3:53 pm

Google is blacklisting websites which raise nonPC questions, including CAGW skeptical:
https://www.facebook.com/BenSwannRealityCheck/videos/2248718018583605/

neil
Reply to  Greg Strebel
August 16, 2019 2:41 am

There does seem to be some truth in this, if you google CAGW most references are to Citizens Against Government Waste

EdeF
August 15, 2019 7:15 pm

The thing that cracked me up was the mention of “UC Merced”.

Nick Werner
August 15, 2019 8:01 pm

“Here we show via direct comparison that contrarians are featured in 49% more media articles than scientists.”

Here I present results of a short experiment to confirm the authors’ finding of media bias in favour of articles featuring climate contrarians:

Google search for Judith Curry: About 8,300,000 results;
Google search for Greta Thurnberg: About 79,600,000 results

Pop Piasa
August 16, 2019 8:17 pm

Scientific authority my A$$!

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