Raise Your Hand

If you are one of “a great many people” who

were once believers in catastrophic GW [global warming] and are now skeptical.

I keep reading variations of this line expressed by readers on various blogs, and it’s purely anecdotal. Also, a “great many” people who converted from believers to skeptics because of why?

I’ve also heard such an anecdotal assertion expressed this way: that a great many people who believed in AGW are now skeptics.

Is it both? Some clarification please, and how about some hard numbers?

230 Responses to “Raise Your Hand”

  1. grypo says:

    You will find this argument expressed something like below on many skeptical sites.   “I was once a believer, but then…”
     
    “…I looked into the science and saw how flimsy the “so-called” evidence was”
     
    “…Climategate happened, and now I can’t trust the science who espouse CAGW as science”
     
    “…someone said, ‘the science is settled’.  SCIENCE IS NEVER SETTLED!”
     
    “…I saw how Mann refused to give McIntyre his raw data.  Free the code!  Open the archives!”
     
    “…I posted at Real Climate and Gavin was mean to me.”  There are several variations on that one.
     
    “…I read the IPCC and it said (fill_in_the_blank).  There is no way (fill_in_the_blank) is true!”
     
    My opinion is that people don’t really look into the matter because they don’t realize that fixing it will take major change.  And once they do, the narrative changes.  As much as I hate to bring up Gore, the title of his movie was very appropriate.

  2. HugeDifference says:

    Can’t give you any hard numbers, except one, me.
     
    Everything about me shouts out, this would be a global warming believer.  I was born in the early 60s, big big NASA proponent, Democrat, Jewish, science all the way in school, science awards, science scholarships, undergraduate degrees in mathematics and physics, graduate degree in computer *science*, had my life saved several times from modern medicine, science/tech/aerospace/NASA related career, ….  I’m a big proponent of funding science in general.
     
    Anyway, since Gavin comes by from time to time, I have to thank him, it was mostly his own outrageous attitude and behavior, statements and arguments at RC that have convinced me to be skeptical.  He and his buds are a great example of “you’re doing it wrong.” The compleat hubris of RC and the warmists.
     
    There are many reasons, and grypo (mockingly?) lists several of them.  Right now, I have a hard time not believing what NASA, my favorite organization of all time, is saying.  So I basically figure that AGW is real, though I am with the group that says that cap and trade, that disrupting our economy, that the anticipated expense is probably too high for too small a change. That behind any actual climate scientists pure intentions are some very ugly political agendas.
     
    To answer grypo, I have not looked in a detailed way at much of the science.  In this regime, I am a poor layman, more interested in my own field, and keeping my job.  (But I have some questions on the science itself I would love to see answered but that I believe are probably answered very nicely.)  I won’t read and can’t read paper after paper.  I would listen to a Carl Sagan like PBS short series or seminar.  But to answer grypo, the scientific and non-scientific portions I have looked into, always do seem to sway against the AGW arguments.  One example that Gavin really should take to heart: the WUWT, et. al., claims that the “climate gate investigations and exonerations” were poorly done whitewashes that seem to miss the issues and intentionally so, seem very persuasive.  Much more so than the constant, seemingly intentionally misleading or ignorant claims that the investigations prove climate scientists were exonerated.  (And that the climate scientists and Democrats continually make this claim seems to be a complete failure of Keith’s favorite profession.)
     
    So Phil Jones behavior should have gotten him shit canned. End of story. No defense from Gav et. al., If a US Republican had intentionally thwarted FOIA, we would have been screaming, and rightfully so, for his head. For refusing FOI, for suggesting email deletion, but also for his incredibly horrible scientific data keeping.
     
    The behavior of the skeptics (With the exception of Morano’s printing of email addrs) is just way better, way classier, way more most likely to be true at first glance than Gav’s behavior.  This is not to say that Gav and Romm are wrong, it’s that they act guilty, they look guilty, and if there has been a public backlash against science, then Gav should walk the streets with his head down, he is personally responsible for a great deal of it.
     
    I actually probably agree with Hansen (IIunderstandC) that cap and dividend is a good mechanism to implement, or even a straight carbon tax.  But Gavin and his buds and way too many incredibly in-credible highly placed Democratic pundits, movers, shakers, and **Goldman Sachs** have insisted that cap and trade is the only way to go and the basic reason FOR cap and trade that I’ve been given is that a TAX is political death, but if we call it cap and trade and let Goldman et. al., get rich, we can probably FOOL the taxpayer and the Republicans into passing it.  Yikes.  I’m a lifetime Democrat and Paul Krugman is a hero, and I’m not buying into the need to intentionally lie to the citizen to pass our much vaunted policies.
     
    And I can’t tell if Gavin and the warmists are just out an out liars or just incredible fools to keep on claiming that scientists are somehow superhuman pope like infallible creatures that cannot be swayed by funding sources, by wanting to be published, by requirements that they be published, by career desires to get hired, get tenured, become a PI, become department head, get promoted, get a raise, compete with friends and others, get a grant, get a renewal, take a trip, go to a conference, by a bigger house, by a bigger bigger house, and so intentionally or unintentionally sway their papers, tie their research subjects and results misleadingly to global warming.
     
    Scientists invented double blind studies because actual scientists realized how they could unintentionally sway results and why.  Then there are climate scientists that don’t need double blind studies because they assure time after time after time how pure they are.
     
    Anyway, TMI, I could go on and on.  There is so much more.  That other NASA scientists disagree, that denier is so casually thrown around, that climate scientists who disagree are badly treated, that physicists and engineers who disagree are badly treated, but that non-expert yahoos non climate scientists that do agree are one of the gang.
     
    What a huge disaster.  Instead of scientists taking the high road, we have scientists taking every low road they can.  As we used to say about another group, they never miss a chance to miss a chance. Thanks Gav! You’re a mensch!  We deserve better than you.
     
    Anyway, AGW better be real, if it’s not the damage to actual science if going to be just huge.
     
    Oy is this post huge.

  3. Sashka says:

    I don’t believe in mass conversions of both kinds. I’ve been blogging about climate fora long time. Over the years I’ve met maybe five people who changed their minds.

  4. Keith Kloor says:

    Do I think Gavin can be a wee bit prickly and over-sensitive to criticism? Yeah. And a good argument (hint: years of attacks on integrity and characters of climate scientists–predating climategate) can be made for why that is.

    But I don’t get why anyone would let personalities be the primary reason for skepticism of climate change–esp when there are well established, multiple lines of evidence, based on the work of hundreds or thousands of other scientists.

    So I don’t buy this “It’s Gavin’s and RC’s fault.” It’s akin to a Republican or Democrat saying I have no trust in government because of Tom Delay’s or Charlie Rangel’s behavior and conduct. It’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater,( to use that tired old phrase).

    I don’t get it.

    If you have such a deep background in science, focus on the science, not an individual scientist or a handful of them.

     

  5. thingsbreak says:

    Identity politics, an aversion to central planning, belief in unrestricted markets, etc. There has been a great deal of research on this issue, Keith. It’s not coincidental that it tracks closely with ideological background.
     
    People will rationalize their rejection or distrust of mainstream science however they can. Some will cling to uncertainty, equivocating on its lay vs. scientific meaning. Some will justify themselves based on the behavior of “AGW scientists” (whatever that’s supposed to mean!), as though personalities and actions of a handful of people matter in the broad scheme of things* or that the “case” for mitigating climate change rests on individual papers or researchers. Some will invoke secret agendas behind the issue (wealth redistribution, UN one-world government, communism, socialism, totalitarian environmentalism, etc.).
     
    When an ideological position is threatened by scientific evidence, it will be rejected and/or attacked by those of that ideological persuasion until it becomes mainstreamed within that ideology or an individual leaves it.
     
    If the solution to climate change didn’t imply a disruption of industrial capitalism, does anyone here honestly believe that it would have been “controversial”? If tomorrow a virtually no-cost CO2 air capture and drawdown solution was invented that would bring atmospheric concentrations back to and stabilize them at 350 ppm, does anyone think that it would be seriously opposed?
     
    *I think it’s instructive to take this line of argument and apply it to theoretical physics from the late 1920s through the 50s.
     
    Can you imagine what kind of a ridiculous view of the physics world people would have if a “Physics Audit” movement was fixated on, say, Oppenheimer? His math was notoriously hasty and often incorrect (even though his insights were brilliant), his personal politics were “radical”, he allegedly tried to poison one of his tutors, he was obsessed with Hindu mysticism, etc.

  6. thingsbreak says:

    I’m being moderated again?
     
    I don’t remember criticizing Judith Curry recently. What gives? 😉

  7. Keith Kloor says:

    Oh, please, if I see one more complaint at this site (or Lucia’s) about why I’m being moderated,” I’m going to throw my laptop out the window.

    I have no clue why some comments end up in the moderation que or in the spam filter, but they do–usually a few few times a day.

    And for the record, you were put on moderation at that time not for criticism of Curry but for the nastiness behind it. You’re not on moderation now, so just deal with it when your comments get accidentally caught in moderation.

  8. Barry Woods says:

    Eric Steig’s repsonse to me why they did not have Climate Audit, Pielke Junior or Lucia’s Blackboard on their blogroll, was an example. They linked to the wildest AGW lobby group advocates, that included Halls of Shame. I suggested it might reflect well on RC if they did this, and be a bit of bridge building and good faith.

    Jeff Id blogged about it.

    Lucia’s and Pielke’s response was interesting on their own blogs, i might have missed Steve M’s

    That put me forever of RC.. That and they kept delering my responses, as off topic, but kept letting the regulars having a pop (also off topic) did not help..

    Again, the political climate IS very different in the USA vs the UK.
    In the UK I’m not aware of what climate escientists have been receiving in the USA from the public or critics, I don’t dount your observations, I am aware that it was not one way..

    ie BBC’s Roger Harabin made to feel like a climate sceptic traitor, by a certain Al Gore (and roger is an out an out warmist)

    No one had ever heard of Phil Jones, etc in the UK.

    Ie ALL political parties for a decade or more have been AGW cheerleaders, thus the sceptics in the UK are puzzled by USA blogs revolving around, to some extent the politics.

    Would I have ever started blogging myself, or written guest posts for Watts Up and Bishop Hill if I had been met with a non, only deniars ask questions of ‘climate scientists’ attitude, at the majority of warmist locations, particulalry Monbiot and the Guardian. I very much doubt it.

  9. Barry Woods says:

    To summarise, personalities do come into it, if people perceeve that they are not acting in good faith, but are controlling a message..

    Rightly or wrongly, this is the perception that many have of some high profile individuals and organisations 

  10. thingsbreak says:

    Easy, Keith!

    I wasn’t complaining so much as letting you know my comment was stuck. Hence the smiley. I know how finicky the system can be.

  11. Sashka says:

    Thanks for a good rant, HD. In my book, you are not a true convert, though. It sounds like you became skeptical as soon as you started thinking about it as opposed to eating from their hands like most people do. I believe you’d find many people with similar backgrounds on the Air Vent. It’s true though that most people lack wherewithal to understand the science so the sides based on political allegiances. I wish more laymen would think the way you do. I hope you’ll apply your method to Krugman next 🙂

    Keith, I don’t think it’s so hard to understand. The guys self-appoint to act as a collective mouth-piece of the shrine of holy science and (ostensibly) to carry the word of one only true science to the masses. One expects that such a noble mission could be carried out using highest standards of personal and scientific integrity – after all they are the ones holding all the aces, right? Yet they choose to act as a bunch of jerks (with Mike and Gavin being the worst and Ray the best). I think ascribing this pattern to personal traits of the individual players would be too simplistic. A sensible person should smell a rat.

  12. Zajko says:

    These types of statements are ways of gaining credibility by showing the person wasn’t predisposed/biased towards being skeptical from the outset, but became rationally convinced. While this may be why such things are said, that doesn’t mean there isn’t some truth to them. Certainly there’s a lot of information (good and bad) out there that can change someone’s mind on the topic, and I think a lot of people have taken the road from buying into the AGW message toward skepticism in recent years. I’m curious about the reverse – have any skeptics changed sides?
    As for myself, I’ve certainly become more skeptical in a number of ways as I’ve gained a deeper understanding of the issue, but that doesn’t mean I no longer worry about climate change.

  13. Keith, you’re misunderstanding the “It’s Gavin’s fault” phrase – which I could repeat for myself.
     
    You’re searching. You draw back a curtain and find a brick wall behind it. Do you just stand and face the wall, waiting patiently for urban decay to kick in, or do you look for an alternative route?
     
    Climategate happened. It didn’t offer any answers, it only raised questions. I went searching. I found RealClimate – hoping for some comfort – but I had these questions that I needed answering. In no time flat, my questions were moderated out, I was labelled a shill for big oil and I was banned. But my search did not end there.
     
    It’s not a personality thing at all with Gavin. I’ve barely interacted with him. Not at all, actually – his choice, not mine. I was going to find the answers somewhere, but what I wanted was something more reasonable than my first experience. I found it. A lot of it.

  14. Keith Kloor says:

    Sashka (11)

    So for those put off by RC, why not listen to Bart Verheheggen? Is he part of the evil climate cabal, too? He’s among the most mild-mannered climate scientists I know of. Almost always unfailingly civil and willing to engage in good faith with skeptics.

    People have a choice about who they want to make symbols of.

    Barry (8) writes:

    “Eric Steig’s repsonse to me why they did not have Climate Audit, Pielke Junior or Lucia’s Blackboard on their blogroll, was an example. They linked to the wildest AGW lobby group advocates, that included Halls of Shame.”

    Again, big deal. I’m not on their blogroll either. Or Revkin’s at Dot Earth. Or a bunch of other blogs that cover science and climate change. Big deal. Should I ignore them or smite them because they don’t think I’m worthy of being on their blog roll? It’s a personal choice of individual bloggers. I don’t take it personally. One day, like King Julian says on the Penguins of Madagascar cartoon that my six year old and I love watching together, “they’ll realize my awesomeness.” 🙂

    Seriously, we need to stop letting all these petty grievances gunk up the dialogue.

  15. thingsbreak says:

    Do the people who find RealClimate and its authors so unsatisfactory realize that they are but a handful of researchers in a global interdisciplinary field, that you can educate yourself on the basics of climate dynamics without ever visiting their blog, that the case for curbing GHG emissions does not rest on them or their publications, etc.?
     
    It’s a big world out there. If you can’t bear to learn about/accept the science because of the personalities behind a single blog, learn about it from some other mainstream scientific outlet.*
     
    You can try:
     
    Goosse H., P.Y. Barriat, W. Lefebvre, M.F. Loutre and V. Zunz. Introduction to climate dynamics and climate modeling. Online textbook available at http://www.climate.be/textbook
     
    MIT OpenCourseWare. Past and Present Climate. http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/earth-atmospheric-and-planetary-sciences/12-842-past-and-present-climate-fall-2008/lecture-notes/
     
    Etc.
     
    *Here’s a simple rule of thumb: if someone mocks the existence of teleconnections in the climate system, they’re not a credible source.

  16. Keith Kloor says:

    Simon (13)

    I think I’m just gong to bang my head on a brick wall and see if that helps.

    Zajko (12) writes: “I’m curious about the reverse ““ have any skeptics changed sides?” I don’t know exactly how skeptical Kerry Emanual was, but he seems like a pretty prominent example–and a rare one at that.

  17. Francis says:

    Keith:  look just a few posts down.  Petty grievances are the dialog.
     
    I’m a lawyer with a computer science degree who’s worked with engineers and scientists his entire (20 year) career.  I can understand the basic principles but anything remotely quantitative is over my head.  I have to trust someone on the math.  But who?  How can I determine who to trust?  I have my own set of tools, but other people have their own.  And feeling disrespected is a classic way of losing trust.  (Lawyers have to get over it; we get disrespected every day.)
     
    But highly-qualified scientists tend to be arrogant and prickly.  They’ve made great sacrifices to get where they are, and they tend not to be amused by people who accuse them time and again of missing some terribly obvious feature of the environment.  So it is easy for them to show disrespect to arguments that appear to show that the questioner has not made a sufficient effort to show the complexities of the issue.
     
    It’s thus very easy to create a dynamic where a substantial group of people build up a series of petty (or not so petty) grievances, start talking amongst themselves, and start perpetuating a self-reinforcing theme that the scientists are insular, immature, contemptuous and therefore making serious mistakes.  And so we get two worlds, and very little useful communication between them.

  18. Marlowe Johnson says:

    “we need to stop letting all these petty grievances gunk up the dialogue”
     
    But that’s all they’ve got Keith.  As non-experts, they obviously can’t comment on the actual scientific arguments or the impacts of various policy responses.
     
     
    Far easier to simply focus on a few perceived bad apples and claim that doubt is therefore reasonable.  The alternative is to admit to:
     
    a) paranoid delusions about conspiracies among scientists/kleptocrats etc.
     
    or
     
    b) the foundations of modern society (i.e. fossil fuels) are unsustainable and are creating very large and potentially catastrophic risks for future generations.  Further, the unwillingness to make small to moderate sacrifices to mitigate these risks reveals a selfishness that most people would rather not have to think about.
     
    IMO Grypo and TB have nailed it perfectly.  Most skeptics of climate change are using doubt about the science as an avoidance mechanism because they don’t like the implications of the problem or the solutions…

  19. thingsbreak says:

    @kkloor adn Zajko:
     
    In a sense, basically the entirety of the atmospheric, oceanic, etc. science communities with a handful of exceptions were skeptical that anthropogenic warming was happening/on the brink of happening. It was a hard fought battle that was only “won” when the balance of evidence became so overwhelming.
     
    People seem to forget that the rebels who dared to challenge the preconceptions of the field were those that asserted we were capable of perturbing the climate system through emissions on such brief timescales.
     
    See Spencer Weart’s “The Discovery of Global Warming – A History”.

  20. Marlowe Johnson says:

    @16 Ron Bailey from Reason would be another convert…

  21. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    Raises hand
    Initially rather ambivalent to AGW during the late ’90s. It seemed plausible, it didn’t seem very dramatic so not worth worrying about. I rembered the fears of nuclear winters and impending ice ages so figured this was just the latest fad. Then being an SF/technothriller fan I read Crichton’s State of Fear, which struck a few chords and raised a few doubts, but again no big deal.
     
    Then along came Al with his Inconvenient Truths and the marketing campaign behind movie. Suddenly ‘global warming’ seemed to be everywhere, and people started saying we must do something, often involving enormous amounts of money being diverted by rent-seeking.
     
    My father was a historian and got me interested in history and archaelogy. I grew up reading Roman histories, the Norse sagas and tales from the Dark Ages, which involved (or documented) climate changes. But Al’s AIT seemed to show a remarkably constant climate history, which contradicted what I thought I knew, and was based on this thing called the ‘Hockey Stick’.
     
    So I started to read into that, and discovered the science wasn’t as settled as I thought. I’d also been heavily involved in the dot.com boom and bust, and saw the same overselling, often from the same familiar names, so got the feeling this was the next bubble. I found RC, and became dubious about the style and tone of the debate there compared to the more reasoned dialogue at CA. Comparing the two styles did much to ‘turn’ me. Gavin may be a good scientist, but he’s a lousy science communicator, and their rather ‘robust’ house style did much damage I think. From CA, I found my way to other sceptical or luke warmer blogs where debate seemed more civilised and educational, and there I remain.

  22. Stu says:

    What started tipping things for me was the AGW sides reaction to Anthony Watt’s surface stations project. Here was a very simple test, clearly defined, which asked a simple question… ‘how reliable was the US surface temperature record?’
     
    As someone who was just becoming interested in the deeper issues surrounding GW I thought this question was a good one. As a non scientist, I naively imagined that others would also feel the same way. I mean, when you’re talking about 10ths of a degree of warming you need to know that your data is reliable. But this was a question which apparently really scared the AGW people. They saw Anthony’s work as a threat. People lashed out. It was a very curious thing, since I saw this as a legitimate scientific question which wasn’t being addressed by the very people tasked with finding these things out, but the sceptics were taking this issue on. It was then that I realised that the sceptics were just as capable of doing AGW science as the scientists themselves- and in fact there was a valuable contribution there which wasn’t being recognised by the mainstream, at all. Instead, there was only hostility, name calling, and rude dismissal. Unfortunately it’s a pattern I’ve seen repeated again and again.
     
     
     

  23. Sashka says:

    Keith, IMO “petty grievances” is what you have with Romm. As far as climate science is concerned he is nobody but a loud mouth with zero contribution to science. A paid shill for the industry of scaremongering. I don’t even know why anybody would pay any attention to him. RC is different. These people are, in a sense, a real deal, to various extents. I’ve read their papers way earlier than they started the blog. To me, RC is the legitimate face of thier profession, therefore their style is not at all irrelevant. I was very interested in the direct dialog with the principals. But they weren’t and not just with me. Every “skeptic” gets the same treatment. It is very important that these people chose to set up their business as a propaganda outlet. People who feel that the truth is on their side don’t behave like that.

    Bart may be a very nice guy but I don’t know him. No offense, but he doesn’t carry the same weight as RC collectively does. I am very happy to talk to him (or any other qualified scientist) whenever I have a chance. But I have no particular reason to choose him as a primary source.
     
     

  24. thingsbreak says:

    @22 Stu
     
    I am not aware of anyone saying that we shouldn’t investigate potential biases in the surface instrumental record. The objections I witnessed were with the cherry-picking, the overblown claims of significance, etc. We know that the instrumental record is not pristine. But that doesn’t mean that the planet isn’t warming rapidly in a geologic context or that we don’t have a decent handle on the trend. It was the way that the “surface stations ‘project'” was being used to attack this reality that a great many people, myself included, objected to.
     
    When you add in the self-contradictory- throw everything at the wall and hope it sticks- claims about what’s “really” driving the warming (or cooling, depending on what day of the week it was), people grew increasingly dismissive. That’s not even going into the quality of AW’s personal “analyses”, e.g. on solar trends, station drop out, etc…
     
    If I’m not mistaken, one of the WUWT true believers tried to determine the impact of the “project”‘s findings on the instrumental record and found it to be trivial. John somebody, I think?

  25. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    Re Marlow Johnson
    You can use the same nail in a different way though by rephrasing your comment slightly to-
    “Most believers of climate change are using belief in the science as an accceptance mechanism because they don’t like the implications of the problem and accept the solutions”¦”
     
    wrt to billions being spent on windmills. Science says we need to reduce CO2 emissions. Society and industry say we need energy. So we get sold wind generation as a low CO2 solution, which is expensive, inefficient and unreliable and result in increased energy poverty, reduced economic competitveness, job losses and the destruction of our natural environment. It’s a solution that’s not fit for purpose but has been sold to us thanks to copious amounts of greenwash. Some ‘greens’ are now starting to realise they don’t work and nuclear would be a better way to decarbonise, especially if we adopt the German policy and collect a modest levy to put into more pragmatic energy research. People really should be more sceptical about many policies that have become coupled to and sold based on climate science.
     

  26. thingsbreak says:

    @25 Atomic Hairdryer:
     
    Discussing the “expense” of different energy sources without consideration for subsidies and negative externalities is beyond meaningless, it’s actively misleading.
     
    Coal is only “cheap” because the full cost of burning it is not included in its market price. This goes far beyond climatic consequences.
     
    People such as myself who wish to see the climate issue addressed simply would like to see a price on GHG emissions to allow the market to most efficiently determine the “winners” on the energy technology front.
     
    It’s a completely market-based, capitalistic solution. For this we are derided as crypto-communists, greens, totalitarians, etc., while ostensibly pro-capitalist ideologues seem determined to continue to socialize the consequences of emissions. Odd, isn’t it?

  27. Brandon Shollenberger says:

    I will never understand the constant attempt to trivialize criticisms of global warming.  For example, when Barry Woods discussed the issue of RealClimate’s blogroll, Keith Kloor said:
     
    <i>Again, big deal. I’m not on their blogroll either. Or Revkin’s at Dot Earth. Or a bunch of other blogs that cover science and climate change. Big deal. Should I ignore them or smite them because they don’t think I’m worthy of being on their blog roll? It’s a personal choice of individual bloggers. I don’t take it personally.</i>
     
    This is disingenuous.  There is an obvious difference between this blog and ClimateAudit.  RealClimate was made in order to attack a paper written by McIntyre and McKitrick, before it was even published.  ClimateAudit was made in response to these attacks.  RealClimate has repeatedly made posts responding to things on ClimateAudit.  Equating the absence of this blog on RealClimate’s blogroll to the absence of ClimateAudit is ridiculous.  On another note:
     
    <i>So for those put off by RC, why not listen to Bart Verheheggen? Is he part of the evil climate cabal, too? He’s among the most mild-mannered climate scientists I know of. Almost always unfailingly civil and willing to engage in good faith with skeptics.</i>
     
    On the front page of his Bart Verheheggen, you can currently find this sentence:
     
    <i>Visit climatesight for a good and readable summary of “climategate”.</i>
     
    Of course, Climatesight’s “summary of climategate” is ridiculously inaccurate.  Being polite is nice, but it doesn’t make up for spreading misinformation.
     
    Incidentally, the problem with Gavin and RealClimate isn’t their lack of politeness.  It’s their censorship is used to avoid answering people’s concerns.

  28. Jarmo says:

    I became aware of the whole controversy just 3 years ago. Up to then I read about AGW on mainstream media and was convinced that something ought to be done.

    It was not a single thing but many that raised my doubts: attempts to rewrite archaelogical and paleo history (this is the warmest era in the Holocene etc.), ludicruous claims that warming will cause multitude of catastrophies (anything from earthquakes to shark attacks), claims that anybody raising any doubts was in the pocket of oil industry, linking every warm spell with global warming… not very scientific.

    It’s kind of pathetic that scientists are unable to forecast with reasonable precision what will happen with climate in the near future. It seems any weather we get will be a sign of accelerating global warming.

    However, I have come to believe that this whole controversy is just noise or entertainment. Climategate, warmest years etc. don’t really matter, RC versus CA doesn’t matter. International treaties full of loopholes (the only kind we get) don’t matter. Economics and infrastructure matter. China will burn its coal and meanwhile build nuclear power to replace it.

  29. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    @thingsbreak
     
    Roger Pielke Jr made a comment in a debate recently that coal was subsidised to the tune of $3.8bn per 1% of energy demand vs $8.4bn for renewables, so renewables are vastly more subisidised, and I think that was without the cost of stand-by generation to deal with intermittency, or grid upgrades. In a completely market based system, windmills would never be built other than for off-grid applications.
     
    But this is where science and business really collides, ie trying to put a price on CO2 or other externalities and game the system to attract the greatest subsidy and profit. In the UK, there is no competitive or free market because the whole market is rigged by policy, either nationally or at the EU level mandating targets that have no real scientific basis, just gesture politics.

  30. Marlowe: “Most skeptics of climate change are using doubt about the science as an avoidance mechanism because they don’t like the implications of the problem or the solutions”¦”
     
    Oh quick, there’s a problem, and we must do ANYTHING about it! Let’s.. err.. lets… build wind turbines! LOTS of them! And some kind of biofuels thing. How about corn ethanol? That sounds GREEN! Green is GOOD! Let’s do those QUICK, too! Because we’ve got this really big problem and we MUST do ANYTHING about it! NOW!
     
    Smart.
     

  31. Marlowe Johnson says:

    @atomic Hairdryer
     
    Here’s a thought experiment. What do you suppose the market capitalization ratio is of fossil vs. non-fossil energy companies? Here’s a hint: it’s more than 1,000,000 to 1.  If we do indeed live in a world where money is power, then doesn’t it follow that the powerful stand more to lose if AGW is true and serious steps are taken to reduce emissions?
     
    we get sold wind generation as a low CO2 solution, which is expensive, inefficient and unreliable and result in increased energy poverty, reduced economic competitveness, job losses and the destruction of our natural environment.”
     
    B.S.  I’m happy to discuss the levelized cost of wind power compared to other sources but I suspect that’s not what you have in mind.
     
    It’s a solution that’s not fit for purpose but has been sold to us thanks to copious amounts of greenwash.
     
    Evidence?  Care to compare funding for ‘greenwash’ with astroturf?
     
     
    “Some “˜greens’ are now starting to realise they don’t work and nuclear would be a better way to decarbonise, especially if we adopt the German policy and collect a modest levy to put into more pragmatic energy research.”
     
    Who are these ‘greens’ exactly?  Please be specific and provide some context.  Is it 0.00001% of ‘green’s, 10%, or is it just some guy you read about in a paper?
     
     
    Frankly, you’re proving my point for me.  It is precisely because you perceive the solutions to be more expensive which you use to justify your skepticism in the science.  REMEMBER, 1000s of RESEARCHERS, DECADES of SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY, AND MULTIPLE LINES OF EVIDENCE ALL POINT TO S= 1.5 to 4.5 = BIG PROBLEM IN THE FUTURE UNLESS…

  32. thingsbreak says:

    @27 Brandon Shollenberger:
     
    I’ll just repeat this: “if someone mocks the existence of teleconnections in the climate system, they’re not a credible source.”
     
    In the field of climate dynamics, ClimateAudit is the functional equivalent of a grammar nazi. It’s not about advancing understanding (or even bothering to understand in the first place!), it’s about trying to catch a relatively small number of researchers out in mistakes, with a whole lot of ignorant innuendo thrown on top.
     
    Again, consider a “Physics Audit” of Oppenheimer. Quantum mechanics and the Manhattan Project are no less deserving of legitimacy and respect because of the flaws of individual researchers, within and outside of the actual science.
     
    And it’s hard not to notice, for all of the whinging about how Mann et al.’s reconstructions were so bad, subsequent independent reconstructions show basically the same thing. In a war to destroy Mann’s credibility, this might not mean much. To people interested in the climate system, it certainly does.

  33. HugeDifference says:

    “So I don’t buy this “It’s Gavin’s and RC’s fault.” It’s akin to a Republican or Democrat saying I have no trust in government because of Tom Delay’s or Charlie Rangel’s behavior and conduct. It’s throwing the baby out with the bathwater,( to use that tired old phrase).

    I don’t get it.
    If you have such a deep background in science, focus on the science, not an individual scientist or a handful of them.”
     
    What if that was Paul Krugman or Glenn Greenwald saying why they dislike Obama’s policies?
     
    Gavin, (which is short for Gavin and Phil and Michael and Joe….), in how they communicate how they do science does just about everything wrong as near as I can tell.  They communicate poorly, and their scientific methodologies are terrible and instead of being open about it they are close mouthed and defensive and they deny so much crap that I was taught was key to doing good science as to make them wholely unbelievable.
     
    And that has very little to do with Morano. What it has to do with is Feynman and many other scientists who taught us about integrity and openness and bias and double blind studies and peer review problems.
     
    But anyway Keith, you asked, and now you dislike the responses. You’re the journalist, maybe you should consider why so many people give you the same response and if you dislike that response, who actually has the problem?
     
    However, there is a question that I think journalists could easily answer, and should, and largely haven’t beyond mainly reprinting some press releases.
     
    Gavin, et. al., claim the many investigations have exonerated them.  Watts, et. al., say an actual reading of what each investigation was asked, and what each investigation did, and what each investigation concluded shoes that the investigations largely failed, or were misdirected, or did not exonerate the climate scientists.
     
    These competing claims would seem relatively simple to investigate, and could be very enlightening for everyone as to which side has been more accurate and where any further inquiries should go.
     
    In my reading, Watts’ claims re: these investigations hold up much more soundly than Gavin’s, and that’s a real problem I have with the warmist camp. If I want partisan, legalistic advocacy, I’ll get a lawyer/press spokesman, I’d prefer the scientists stick to the truth, especially when looking at easily observable facts.

  34. Dean says:

    I think that the power of rationalization is huge and people often don’t give the real reason that they do or don’t believe in something. Not intentional lying, just a part of the rationalization process.
     
    So I do believe that many skeptics or deniers deny the science because they don’t like the proposed solutions. And many supporters do so because they like governmental solutions. Or the desire for people to change lifestyles. Neither of which hinges in the strength of the science, or lack thereof. Of course this doesn’t apply to everybody, but watching how so many people separate into familiar groups on so many issues reinforces it for me. And it leaves the minority who can be convinced by the science (or the broader facts on other issues) in a frustrating position.
     
    I think that the political debate in the US over health insurance is another example of how this works.

  35. Stu says:

    Hi TB @24
     
    Probably the best people to bring into this discussion would be Steven Mosher and E.M. Smith. They both really know their stuff but I’m aware that each of them have different takes on the significance of the various distortions in the records.
     
    When you say that no-one objected to searching for biases in the record, well just when were people planning on getting on to that? They’ve had a lot of time. In every case, it’s been the sceptics who have uncovered these weaknesses. Just look at what’s happening (even if you discount Anthony’s findings on the shocking quality of site placement in the USHCN)… Jones ‘losing’ data and the MET having to redo their record from scratch. New Zealand disowning theirs… the inexistance of any kind of quality control in the Canadian data… Ken Stewart’s detection of a warm bias of 40% in the Austrlalian temperature record, and 70% for urban stations… the extremely sparse coverage of arctic station data and resultant ‘smearing’ in the GÄ°SS record. On and on and on it goes…
     
    I’m sure you can thank the sceptics for bringing these issues to the attention of the world and policy makers. Because no-one else was going to do it. I’m pretty sure.
     
     

  36. thingsbreak says:

    @ Stu:
    “when were people planning on getting on to that? They’ve had a lot of time. In every case, it’s been the sceptics who have uncovered these weaknesses”
     
    I’m afraid that’s simply not true. Analyses of bias in the surface instrumental record predate AW and will continue long after he’s gone. You’re falling victim to the availability fallacy. The only “weaknesses” you’re being told about are the ones claimed to be ignored.
     
    Jones “˜losing’ data
     
    I’m sure you know that those data are the responsibility of the relevant national meteorological/weather services, and that Jones could no more “lose” the originals than he could the GHCN data.
     
    the MET having to redo their record from scratch
     
    What on Earth does that have to do with the “surface stations ‘project'”?
     
    New Zealand disowning theirs
     
    This utter bullsh*t. Denialist propaganda through and through.
     
    This is why people don’t take “skeptics” very seriously. They’re not “skeptical”. They incredibly, unbelievable credulous about complete rubbish.

  37. Brandon Shollenberger says:

    #32 thingsbreak, your criticisms are bunk.  Your representation of ClimateAudit is nonsensical.  I don’t even know how to respond to you other than to say you are full of it.  I mean, how else can I respond when you say things like:
     
    <i>I’ll just repeat this: “if someone mocks the existence of teleconnections in the climate system, they’re not a credible source.”</i>
     
    Steve McIntyre has never disputed the existence of teleconnections.  In fact, he has agreed they exist.  His mockery of teleconnections has never been about the concept.  It has always been with how they are applied.
     
    With a misrepresentation this blatant, how can I even begin to have a discussion with you?

  38. Brandon Shollenberger says:

    Er, sorry for the formatting issue there.  I forgot HTML doesn’t work here.

  39. laursaurus says:

    grypo: Despite your condescending tone, your first example is the only accurate reason as to why someone would change their position on climate change.

    Keith is attempting to get a sense of how many individuals went from believing that
    1. Global temperatures are rising abnormally
    2. This correlates with increasing level of atmospheric                               CO2 concentrations
    3. CO2 emissions from humans burning fossil fuel is causing this increase.
    4. The increasing temperature will cause global climate change/disruption
    5.  Climate change will be catastrophic.
    6. The data has been properly analyzed
    7. Near 100% of the world’s scientists (consensus) endorse these conclusions as robust.
    8. We must drastically reduce all co2 emitting activity by any means necessary for the sake of the planet and mankind.
    If you are skeptical about just one of the first 7 beliefs, then it raises legitimate doubts on the conclusion in #8.

    Climategate revealed problems with everything from confirmation bias, group-think, manipulation of peer-review process, refusing access to the data including outright deletion, rejection of common-sense and general knowledge about UHI, mean-spirited bunker mentality, etc.

    The IPCC report included erroneous literature in it’s reports while swearing to rely solely on peer-reviewed sources.

    RealClimate’s poorly executed PR practices and Al Gore’s politically motivated exaggerations certainly aroused initial doubts. But these are red herrings.

  40. Tom Fuller says:

    I went the other way. I was a skeptic (in what I hope was an honorable sense of the word) based on exposure to the worst the warmists had to offer. When I started blogging I used the title liberal skeptic. Then I started to do the math on my own (well, with help from an old Navy buddy I went to crypto school with), and the numbers added up to a Lukewarmer view of climate. Of course, being a lukewarmer still means being a denier to the same people that caused me to be a skeptic initially, but them’s the breaks, I guess.

  41. kdk33 says:

    Reasons to be skeptical:

    1) government funded science concludes:  we need more government to fund more science.  And, oh by the way, a few billions for my rent seeking buddies.

    2) Al Gore lied.  Argue if you must.

    3) None of the alternatives, except maybe nuclear, will work

    4) Nuclear, which might actually work, is eschewed

    5) Big-Oil-Funded disinformation campaign.  Not trusting my economic future to folks who peddle this drivel.

    6) Odds, for now, of implementing/enforcing an effective global CO2 reduction program:  0%.

    7) Odds that any seemingly global CO2 reduction program is actually a brazen third world money grab:  100%

    8)  RC, CP, and the “scientific” echo chambers.

    9)  Odds that global decarbonization will significantly restrict freedoms:  100%

    10)  Good things that flow from restricted freedom:  none

    11)  Bad things that flow from restricted freedom:  lots and lots.

    12) Odds of enormous unintended consequences flowing from aforementioned CO2 reduction program:  100%

    13) Scientists behaving badly, then pretending not to have behaved badly, then pretending that it doesn’t matter because… well we’re scientists.

    14) Other scientists tolerating/excusing scientists who behave badly.

    14) Scientists pretending to understand the consequences of warming.  They don’t.  And benefits are categorically ignored.

    15)  Odds that Dr. Murphy will reveal a new, different, and certain planetary crises the minute humanity sinks its disposable resources in a decarbonization program to forestall the maybe, might-be problem of global warming:  I’d rather not find out.

    It’s a cost benefit analysis and you have to weigh both -or, more accurately, all – sides.  Of course, world view (politics) affects percieved costs.  Of course, percieved trust in the messenger affects the percieved benefit.  Ever was it thus.

    Our best course of action, for now, is to do, basically, nothing.  Over time, uncertainties in climate sciences will resolve, energy technology will improve, wealth will accrue.  Acting now would be premature and too risky.

  42. Tom C says:

    Mr. Kloor –

    This list is huge and includes heavies such as Reid Bryson, Freeman Dyson, Will Happer, etc.  Hard to believe you can’t think of anyone.

  43. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    @marlow
     
    You’re helping demonstrate why I became sceptical. You’re conflating two issues, energy policy and climate science. One is used to sell the other. My belief, based on the evidence I’ve seen is that CO2 is not a great problem. Yours is no doubt different. By placing a higher risk premium on CO2 than I do, you give it a greater cost/value than I would. By placing a higher cost on CO2 you can create a higher cost for coal or gas vs ‘renewables’. you can attempt to justify their high cost. What I have in mind, being a simple engineer is answering simple questions, like
     
    Why is it when the fuel is free, the energy is so expensive?
    Will my light come on when I press my switch when the wind isn’t blowing?
    Can I afford to switch my light on?
    Should I locate my supercomputer or cloud computer in the UK to help power our knowledge economy, or should I put it somewhere where my energy bills will be lower and I don’t have to spend as much on redundancy?
    You appeal to authority and emotion by saying
    “REMEMBER, 1000s of RESEARCHERS, DECADES of SCIENTIFIC INQUIRY, AND MULTIPLE LINES OF EVIDENCE ALL POINT TO S= 1.5 to 4.5 = BIG PROBLEM IN THE FUTURE UNLESS”¦”
    they’re wrong? And I don’t see S=1.5 being a ‘big problem’ if the climate has been warmer than that before. Especially if current decadal trends are running at less than half IPCC projections. That suggests both the projections are wrong, and there’s less of a rush than we’ve been lead to believe. But then not giving your mark time to think is standard practice in high pressure sales.
     
    Your appeals to authority are a nice demonstration of why I became sceptical though, so hopefully not too o/t. Those kinds of sales tactics don’t work on me because I’ve seen them all before.

  44. Keith Kloor says:

    If it’s that huge (including those with prominent names), I expect this thread to fill up with many dozens if not hundreds of testimonials.

    Climate skeptics should spread the word (I’ve already asked Bishop Hill’s readers), that I’m looking to hear from converts (AGW believer to skeptic) what did it for them.

  45. Tom C says:

    Mr. Kloor –

    With due respect, by framing the issue as “believer to skeptic” you are mis-representing the crucial question right off the bat.  As Freeman Dyson says, the issue is whether or not the threat has been grossly exaggerated.  He answers in the affirmative and so do I and most other “skeptics”.  So, the correct conversion is from expecting imminent disaster to thinkg that the problem has been distorted and exaggerated.

  46. thingsbreak says:

    @42 Tom C:
     
    I don’t know that Reid Bryson fits kkloor’s criteria. Bryson more or less continuously believed in the dominance of aerosol loading (vs. GHGs), didn’t he?

  47. thingsbreak says:

    And has Happer displayed anything like a conversion from one position to another?
     
    He’s been pretty a contrarian for a long time.

  48. Keith Kloor says:

    Tom C (45):

    I asked several questions in my post, and differentiated between 1) those went from AGW believer to skeptic and 2) those who went from CAGW believer to skeptic

    I did that because skeptics seem to put themselves into these two classes.

    I also asked, in each case, for the converts to describe what led to a change in their position.

  49. Brandon Shollenberger says:

    I suppose I might as well discuss how I came to believe what I believe.  I am not a “convert.”  I have always been skeptical.  I’m skeptical not just of global warming, but of everything.  People who wish to convince me to support something have an obligation to provide sufficient support for their claims to justify me supporting their cause.  Mind you, it is quite possible to have sufficient support for a cause, but fail to present it.  That I am unconvinced of something in no way means I claim it is wrong.

    Now then, I seem to be younger than most people I see discussing global warming on blogs.  I was a teenager when the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report came out.  Because of this, when I first decided to look into what I was hearing about global warming, the obvious place to start was with the hockeystick.  I kept seeing it used as a symbol of global warming so I tried to learn more about it.  This eventually led me to RealClimate and Steve McIntyre’s website (the one he had before he started his blog).

    Here I was, a teenager who loved math and wanted to learn.  I saw two competing sites, only one of which could be right.  It took only a couple hours to see RealClimate was wrong.  The things being said to defend the hockeystick weren’t just wrong.  They were obviously wrong.  Can you imagine the shock of being a high school student and realizing you could do a better job than these guys with PhDs?

    The more I delved into issues surrounding the hockeystick, the more ridiculous things became.  One day I would hear a teacher stress the importance of keeping good records so people could verify your work, then I’d see a guy with multiple degrees refuse to share his data.  Eventually I found out about the SurfaceStation project (this was well before WUWT existed).  All it was was pictures of stations showing siting issues with some temperature monoitors.  I was surprised at the shoddiness these pictures showed, but I was shocked when the response wasn’t something like, “That’s a good issue to look into.  Thanks for bringing it to our attention.  We’ll try to work on fixing that and figuring out what influence it has had on our data.”

    I could go on.  There are dozens of examples of this sort of stuff.  Dishonesty and incompetence were constantly displayed from those telling me what to believe about global warming.  Obviously, I wasn’t convinced.  Here we are now, almost a decade later, and rather than fix anything, these people have just made things worse.  Not only have those who screwed up not fixed things, nobody in climate science has stood up and protested against their behavior.

    The biggest PR piece by climate science was basically a lie.  Worse yet, the only reason I found this out was one guy happened to be curious.  If not for that, would I have ever known about the problem?  I don’t like knowing the only reason I wasn’t deceived is one guy just happened to look into an issue.  And if there is such an obvious problem with the most publicized part of climate science, how can I know other parts of climate science are sound?  If nobody is willing to admit obvious mistakes, how can I trust them to fix problems I don’t know about?

    With that said, I have been convinced of a number of things. Work like that of Science of Doom is pretty convincing.  Thanks in part to Leif Svalgaard, I’m convinced the sun isn’t causing everything (though I now question what things in the past people attribute to the sun).  In both cases, the politeness and clarity of the people explaining things was enough to overcome my skepticism.

  50. Fellwalker says:

    Short bio:  Chemistry graduate (Imperial London) an 20years in science industry specialising in data acquisition and analysis.  Up to the release of AR4 never really thought much about it; assumed the general issue was there, and we’d modify over time to greater nuclear and less fossils.
    When the big hype over AR4 hit, it seemed to me the hoohah was more than a little overdone, so I downloaded the summary and looked at the charts. The data just looked wierd to me. I’ve seen lots of artifacts in data over the years, and the’hockey stick’ just didn’t ring true for me. I left it at that, though. About two years ago I was researching a climate project with my kid at school, and really couldn’t believe the poor quality of information out there. Searching about I came accross CA and at last a decent in depth discussion of the issues that I could relate to.  From there to RC (unbelievable, just soooo bad) Lucia, Pielkes Sr and Jr, and also to the basic data sites (wood for trees, GISS, Hadley, Proudman etc etc.  The more I looked at original work, the more I realised the quality of what Steve McIntyre had done.  I’m probably now a cool-to-luke-warmer, but I get most angry about the politcal picture and the way the people are being robbed on the basis of political ideology and poor science.
     
    Short Version: -Over hyping of poor data. Most people can sense when they’re being ‘sold’ a pig in a poke.

  51. Barry Woods says:

    how about a position, that I imagine most members of the public still have.  I was never remotely interested, and just went along with it like most member of the General public.  I moaned a bit when my (Co2 based) car tax went up again. PR the energy buills went higher, because of the Green requirments imposed onthe UK Energy providers. Didn’t really by the extreme doom stuff. 

    But just got on with my day to day life.. Generally thinking ‘well it is a greenhouse gas’, it is probably doing something.

    I stumbled across a comment on a car forum 20th November (been their 10 years) that linked to Watts Up, climate cat out of the bag.
    Asked a friend that is an IPCC editor and working group 1 scientist, whats going on..

    They directed me to RealClimate…..

    Which advertises it self as ‘Climate Science for Climate Scientists’…

    But won’t even link to Climate Audit, Pielke’s or even Judith Curry now..

    Of course it is their blog, they can do whatever they like…

    But that tiny action, to show the smallest bit of good faith is beyond them..

    Then they link to all sorts of advocay sites, with the halls of Shame, and big oil comnspiracy theories…

    We all know why CA and RC came about, it clearly demonstrates RC is nothing but a ‘team’ pr site, NOT all of ‘climate science opinion’

    Eriks comments about ileke and Mcintyre and Rays reposnse, and the censorshop, made me a sceptic…

    And motivated enough to react to them…

    I started my own blog…(for a few pounds)

    My friend just got a million dollars of the Rothschild Foundation, to fund climate change research in Africa.  8 jobs going for researchs (in Africa) if anybody is interested.

    Yet still I hear PR about Koch/Exxon and tiny (relative amounts) funding sceptics. and that is all I hear.

    I was not pro or against before Climategate, just I imagine like the vast majority of the general public, totally oblivious to it all, just dimly aware of taxes, and a bit of hype before any climate conference.

    Behaviour builds or destroys trust. 

  52. HugeDifference says:

    “Oh, please, if I see one more complaint at this site (or Lucia’s) about why I’m being moderated,” I’m going to throw my laptop out the window.”

    Kewl. So,  hey, um, I notice I’m still being moderated.

  53. thingsbreak says:

    @49 Brandon Shollenberger:
    when I first decided to look into what I was hearing about global warming, the obvious place to start was with the hockeystick.
     
    Why would it be “obvious” to start with something that has very little to do with attribution, or projections of future change, which was a relatively recent contribution to the field, etc.?
     
    Why wasn’t it “obvious” to look at issues explicitly dealing with attribution? Or general planetary energy balance? Or sensitivity? If paeloclimate was something of a passion of yours, why not look at the LGM?
     
    I’m not saying I don’t believe you. I’m just puzzled as to how someone who didn’t start with a POV about anything would latch on to something like multi-centennial NH multiproxy paleo recons.

  54. Barry Woods says:

    Perhaps because that was the obvious place to start, given it’s iconic PR status…

    Hockey sticks are still used to ‘sell’ the unprecedented message’
    I’ve see Houghton use one last year.
    and Professor Arnell, Reading (Key team member of AVOID – Hadley Centre, Tyndall, Grantham, Walker Institute) display one a few months ago. They Advice the DECC – UK Government, Department of Energy And Climate Change
    http://www.walker-institute.ac.uk/publications/factsheets/AVOID.pdf

    Slide here: (slide 4)
    http://www.walker-institute.ac.uk/news/Arnell_public_lecture_2010-v4.pdf

    Thus, it is obvious, beacuse this was the icon used to sell it

  55. thingsbreak says:

    @ Barry Woods:
     
    Yet still I hear PR about Koch/Exxon and tiny (relative amounts) funding sceptics. and that is all I hear.
     
    That’s interesting. I don’t hear about that sort of thing very often at all any more. Much more during the late 90s and early to mid-00s.
     
    The idea that we think the vast majority of “skeptics” are on the dole from Big Oil is a convenient strawman for people to knock down. The analogy I draw is this: I’m not aware of anyone who thinks that the majority of creationists/IDers are being paid by religious organizations or front groups like the Discovery Institute to post in internet forums and blogs. No doubt the overwhelming majority of these people are writing exactly what they believe and aren’t getting a cent to do so. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t perpetuating disinformation that was originated in said organizations or groups, or that there hasn’t been a deliberate effort by those organizations and groups to attack the scientific consensus.
     
    The average denizen of WUWT isn’t in the pay of coal companies. But when they spout “CO2 is plant food/life/etc.” they’re just parroting talking points by organizations that were funded to deliberately muddy the public perception of the issue.
     
    It’s pretty easy to tell the “skeptics” from the skeptics. The former repeat long-debunked talking points that are either outright false or have little to no bearing on the issue, while the latter have at least a sufficient understanding to know where the real points of significant uncertainty and lack of knowledge are. And that’s a Venn diagram with very little overlap in my experience.

  56. Brandon Shollenberger says:

    #52 thingsbreak, are you kidding me?  You cut off the beginning of the sentence you quoted which included the word “because,” then asked why I did something.  Here’s the relevant part of my post:
     
    <i>I was a teenager when the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report came out.  Because of this, when I first decided to look into what I was hearing about global warming, the obvious place to start was with the hockeystick.  I kept seeing it used as a symbol of global warming so I tried to learn more about it.</i>
     
    In other words, after the Third Assessment Report came out, the hockeystick was being used extensively in order to promote global warming concerns.  With it being the most prominent aspect of the global warming campaign, it was the most obvious place to start.
     
    Just what about my comment was confusing?  Did you have trouble reading an entire sentence at a time, or was there actually something unclear about what I said?
     
    Also, would you please retract your ridiculous comments about Steve McIntyre which I highlighted above?

  57. Brandon Shollenberger says:

    Okay, a preview or edit feature would be really helpful.  I keep forgetting HTML doesn’t work here, as it is the only blog I post on where it doesn’t.

  58. thingsbreak says:

    @54 Brandon Shollenberger:
     
    There was no intent on my part to cut anything off. You still haven’t really answered my basic question though. The “hockey stick” has basically nothing to do with either future projections of climate change or attribution. It doesn’t seem an “obvious” place to start investigating climate change. You seem to be saying that its inclusion in the TAR makes it so, but I don’t see the justification in the language used in the TAR. I understand that it’s a mantra among some “skeptic” circles that the “hockey stick” was offered as “proof” of anthropogenic warming, but that’s not my recollection of events (granted, I don’t pay a great deal of attention to press interpretations of science).
     
    Are you saying that the “hockey stick” was claimed to be central to the case for anthropogenic warming by the IPCC? That’s why it was “obvious” to start with it rather than something that actually has significant bearing on attribution or future projections, etc.?

  59. Stu says:

    TB @34.
     
    The issue with the original NIWA 7 Station Series record (if I’m wrong, feel free to correct me) was that the 34 adjustments done by Salinger were unable to be replicated (the data were ‘lost’). As I understand, the new 7 seven station series record applies different adjustments to the original ones done by Salinger, the difference being that the explanations for these new adjustments are now available.
     
    So the main issue here was not whether temperatures were rising or falling, but about replicability of results (again). People pushed for the reasoning behind the adjustments in the original 7 SS record, and were met largely with silence (there was an explanation given for the Hokitica station).
     
    Here is NIWA’s statement of defence, drawn up before the completion of the newer 7 station series record. (Paragraph 7)

     
    (a) There is no “žofficial”Ÿ  or formal  New Zealand
    Temperature Record;
    (b) The  Defendant”Ÿs website contains a page titled
    New Zealand  temperature  record (“NZTR”), being
    an informal description for a collection of different
    streams of climate information…
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

  60. Barry Woods says:

    55  Briliant, we can agree on that one, you don’t believe koch/exxon anymore either..

     But I imagine you don’t read the Guadian or the Independent newspaper (or their comments in the UK then…! which is full of it.

    Or any pro Advocacy blog, etc.. (ref Koch/exxon) 

    Do you have any thoughts of ‘hockey sticks’ as a promo tool for ‘unprecedented temps’..

    Any thoughts on the hockey sticks.

    Are you saying that CO2 is not a plant food!

    I’m about to write a blog post about one group that has graphics of  plants withering and dying at 380 -389 ppm CO2 (they have bought into the 350 ppm concept)

    IE the  ~389 CO2 ppm levels that exist now…
    This is Propaganda that  blatantly false, but they will go into schools with it.

    Sir John Houghton endorces that group… and appears in the same video. WHY?

    Maybe, I would listen if they had 1200 ppm or more, but that is just the levels of industrial greenhouses for plant growth.!

  61. Barry Woods says:

    the Hockey Sticks are sales tools…..

    slide 4 entitled

    It is now the warmest for at least a thousand years
    http://www.walker-institute.ac.uk/news/Arnell_public_lecture_2010-v4.pdf

    These guys advice the UK government, the professor is a lead author of the IPCC, including the nest one, and contributed to the Stern report.
    http://www.walker-institute.ac.uk/people/index.htm

  62. thingsbreak says:

    would you please retract your ridiculous comments about Steve McIntyre which I highlighted above?
     
    That he mocked the existence of teleconnections? I can’t retract that in good conscience. I wouldn’t be being honest if I did so.
     
    Perhaps he’s gone back and cleaned up the more egregious times he did it. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time. In the Joe Barton vs. Stephen Chu incident he falsely put words into both Barton and Chu’s mouths which neither said in order to make Barton’s points seem more coherent than they were, and subsequently edited his post on the sly to fix this when he was called out on it. There is no mention of the edits in the post. Something those less than enthralled by McIntyre noticed was a bit of a running theme in the earlier days.

  63. Brandon Shollenberger says:

    #58 thingsbreak, you say:
     
    Are you saying that the “hockey stick” was claimed to be central to the case for anthropogenic warming by the IPCC? That’s why it was “obvious” to start with it rather than something that actually has significant bearing on attribution or future projections, etc.?
     
    No I am not.  As I said:
     
    I kept seeing it used as a symbol of global warming so I tried to learn more about it.
     
    Imagine if somebody tries to convince you of something by constantly going up to you and saying, “Look at this!” while holding a picture of a graph.  That’s basically what was happening here.  One particular graph was being displayed more prominently than anything else I saw in regards to global warming so I looked into that graph.
     
    Can you fault a person who knows next-to-nothing about a position for starting with the thing supporters of the position display most prominently?  To a person who knows little of global warming, it would seem obvious the most prominently displayed figure is fairly important.
     
    I mean, how could I have possibly known I should have started somewhere else?

  64. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    #52 thingsbreak
    For the Koch meme, do a google search for something like ‘koch sceptic funding’ and I got 291k hits in the last month with democraticunderground and the International Socialists in the top 5, so its a meme that’s out there. Strangely, it also gave a CoD4 discussion board but I’m not going to do an Anderegg and attempt to determine if there’s any sceptical trends amongst FPS gamers. Or compare it to Gore’s alleged $300m, money from Soros, the Rockefeller Bros Trust etc.
     
    “It’s pretty easy to tell the “skeptics” from the skeptics. The former repeat long-debunked talking points that are either outright false or have little to no bearing on the issue,”
    The same is also true for our political opposition, except I don’t think anyones come up with a polite or acceptable lable for them. Many only repeat statements provided by handy sites like “scepticalscience” and often can’t expand beyond that. I find the more sceptical sites encourage people to learn and understand than the more CAGW-focused sites that seem to demand acceptance. Like Brandon, I’d also like to thank Leif Svalgaard for his patience and recommending further reading, and helping me understand my namesake better.

  65. thingsbreak says:

    @62 Brandon Shollenberger:
    As I said:
    I kept seeing it used as a symbol of global warming so I tried to learn more about it.
     
    In the course of your attempt “to learn more about it”, you presumably actually read the relevant parts of the IPCC and saw that it had no bearing on projections of future climatic changes and little to do with the attribution of current warming to human activities then, correct?
     
    I still don’t see why you didn’t immediately move on to something with more relevance if you weren’t coming at the issue from a particular POV one way or the other.
     
    I have nothing invested in the idea that present temps are warmer in the NH than they were in the past several hundred or thousand years. I view Mann et al.’s initial work as relatively groundbreaking, advancing the science, and being less than ideal in some of its statistical choices. From the papers published in the last twelve years or so, I would imagine that anyone attempting to do such an analysis from scratch would come up with something relatively similar (e.g. Ljungqvist  2010).
     
    It seems a curious issue to judge the field on. People complaining that Mann et al. were dismissive of criticisms and stubbornly defensive of their work sound like they’re either unacquainted with a large number of scientists or incredibly lucky in knowing the unrepresentative sample that they do. 😉
     
    I’ll repeat once more, theoretical physics in the early to mid 20th century is instructive here. Oppenheimer made plenty of mistakes, his personality and personal life were suspect to many, and so forth. That doesn’t make his work on astrophysics, quantum mechanics, the Manhattan project invalid, nor does it call into question any of those fields.

  66. Steve Mennie says:

    This is only vaguely interesting but nevertheless..
     
    Isn’t it the case that the hockey stick graph has been reproduced by other researchers using different proxies or metrics?
     
    Isn’t it the case that the Urban Heat Islands theory put forward by WUWT has been shown to be bogus?
    Isn’t it the case that we are losing Arctic Sea Ice at a truly astonishing rate?
    What are skeptics skeptical about really?
    And kdk33..are you seriously presenting that list of gibberish as reasons to be skeptical?

  67. HugeDifference says:

    Keith, I’m going to post this again in response to Steve @66 — the site gave me an odd and unusual response — and I don’t see it posted — I apologize if it’s a dupe:
     
    What are skeptics skeptical about really?

    Steve, I copied evernoted this from /.

    It really does weaken the position of those who support the AGW theory. Why? Because it is name calling and over simplification. Pretending that everyone who doesn’t agree with you is simply in denial of what is happening and then making up a cute little label is not the sort of thing that speaks to a rational debate. It is the kind of thing a con man would do, and thus makes people wonder, why would you use those tactics?
    So as a start, you have to understand that there are some major differences in terms of what people believe who are skeptical of the AGW thing. These are just some examples:
    1) There are people who believe the whole thing is a crock, there is no warming, it is all made up, etc, etc. These are the only people who could be called in denial, by any stretch of the imagination.
    2) There are people who believe that there has been a warming trend recently, however the trend is entirely natural. It is right in line with the kind of trends seen historically, and thus there is no cause to believe this is anything but a natural occurrence. They are skeptical that humans are contributing in any significant fashion.
    3) There are people who believe that there is warming, and indeed man is contributing to it, but that the result will not be problematic, and perhaps beneficial. They do not accept the conclusion that the warming will lead to catastrophe, even though they do accept that humans are at least partly causing it. They are skeptical that a warmer Earth will be bad for humans.
    4) There are people who believe that people are causing the warming, and that it will lead to worse conditions, but that it would be even worse to attempt to stop it. They believe that the money spent on trying to stop such a thing could be better spent on other things to improve human life. The sort of thing that while warming might cause X additional deaths per year, spending money on that instead of other things would lead to 5X additional deaths per year. They are skeptical that the proposed solutions are the best.
    5) There are people who believe that people are causing the arming and that it needs to be stopped, but that reducing output won’t do that. We need a different solution like geoengineering or something. Reducing CO2 output wouldn’t help, at least not enough to matter, so we’ve got to find another solution. They are skeptical that the proposed solutions would do anything.
    6) There are people who believe that people are causing the warming, and that it will be bad, but there is fuck-all we can do about it. We are too far along, shit is going to happen anyhow, so we might as well apply our energies and money to surviving the change, not to trying to prevent it, since that it impossible. They are skeptical anything can be done at all, other than to try and survive the change.
    So a big part of the problem with trying to frame everyone as a “denialist” is the simplification of the argument, to try and say “Oh they all just ignore everything that is said.” No, in fact, many don’t. They simply come to a different conclusion. Also they may well find enough evidence to sustain part of the argument, but not all of it. You find people who say “Sure, I’ll buy the world is getting warmer. We’ve got pretty good instrumental data on that. However I’m not so sure about CO2 being the cause. The data on that is more shaky. Either way I’m really skeptical that a warmer Earth will be a bad thing, there’s essentially no data to support that.” They aren’t just saying “La la la, I can’t hear you!” They are just not convinced by all the arguments.
    Well, when you simply dismiss them as a “denialist” and act as though they are a moron, that does nothing to convert them. In fact, it may do the opposite. They say “Hmmm, this is the kind of thing con men do. When someone questions them, they just attack and shout down their questioner. They are afraid of scrutiny. They want you to accept what they say, unquestioningly. Why are AGW proponents acting like this? Could they be con men?”
    So seriously, knock it off with the label. You are doing nothing to help.

  68. Brandon Shollenberger says:

    #65 thingsbreak, I’m getting very tired of your comments like:
     
    I still don’t see why you didn’t immediately move on to something with more relevance if you weren’t coming at the issue from a particular POV one way or the other.


    Earlier you made baseless accusations against Steve McIntyre then refused to address the issue when you were called out.  Now you make comments like this which imply I am biased, whether or not that is your intention.  When you combine these things with you forcing me to make a simple point over and over, you make talking to you a real chore.
     
    But I’ll go ahead and answer your non-question.  The IPCC chose to make the hockeystick a symbol of global warming.  It became widely adopted as such.  Given the amount of promotion it received, it was reasonable to expect the hockeystick would be indicative of the quality of work the IPCC was doing.  If a group heavily promotes irrelevant and shoddy work, that calls the group’s work as a whole into question.
     
    Beyond that, I was a high school student looking into these things as a matter of curiosity.  When I saw a debate I could follow, of course I was interested (especially since I was learning things).  Besides, it seemed to make more sense to try to focus on one issue at a time.  I assumed I would be able to watch science at work.  After a little while, the issue would be resolved, and I would be able to move on to other topics.  Of course, I was wrong.
     
    Finally, the biggest reason I did not “immediately move on” was it didn’t make sense to.  If the only reason I found out the most publicized piece of the report was wrong is some guy happened to get curious, how was I supposed to judge anything else the report said?  I had neither the knowledge nor the training necessary to look for problems in the report.  What was I supposed to do?  Assume they made stuff up only about the thing they showed most prominently?  Besides, it took me quite a while to realize the hockeystick “doesn’t matter.”  It was hard to reconcile that with all the publicity it got.
     
    I view Mann et al.’s initial work as relatively groundbreaking, advancing the science, and being less than ideal in some of its statistical choices.
     
    This comment brings me to my final point.  I have found very few people who believe in global warming who could tell me what was wrong with the hockeystick.  If the hockeystick doesn’t matter, there is no reason to not admit its failings.  Despite this, it seems nobody is willing to do so.  If climate science isn’t correcting the mistakes I know, how can I trust it?

  69. thingsbreak says:

    @66 Steve Mennie:
     
    – yes.
    – I wouldn’t say “bogus”. It’s a real effect. The claim that the observed warming in the instrumental record is largely due to UHI is certainly “bogus”.
    – yes.
    – They don’t like the idea of government regulation/pricing of GHG emissions. It’s a broad spectrum ranging from those who simply doubt that governmental regulation can be effective to those who view attempts to reign in emissions as secret totalitarian plotting to create a one world government.
    I think the most reasonable would say that they’re “skeptical” that anthropogenic emissions of GHGs can have a significantly detrimental effect on the global economy to justify anything more than a token carbon price (if that).
     
    That no one seems to be interested in “auditing” the econ models like DICE is an interesting question that leads in a different direction altogether…

  70. Brandon Shollenberger says:

    #66 Steve Mennie, you ask in part:
     
    Isn’t it the case that the hockey stick graph has been reproduced by other researchers using different proxies or metrics?
     
    I’ll discuss one example of a hockeystick which was produced after the original, namely, Mann08.  About ten years after his original hockeystick, Michael Mann released a new reconstruction.  It was supposed to be a huge improvement over the original.  One of the biggest selling points to the paper was it was supposed to be immune to the criticisms people raised about his original paper.
     
    Specifically, people (correctly) claimed Mann’s original hockeystick depended entirely upon a small set of tree ring data (bristlecones).  Mann08 claimed to be able to get a hockeystick without tree ring data (EIV reconstruction only).  This turned out to be true only if you included the Tiljander series.  The Tiljander series were known to be corrupted by human influence, and their contribution to the hockeystick came from that.  If you removed the corrupted Tiljander series, Mann08’s hockeystick relies entirely upon tree ring data, just like the original hockeystick.
     
    That other reconstructions got the same results doesn’t mean much if those reconstructions are as flawed as the original.
     
    Isn’t it the case that the Urban Heat Islands theory put forward by WUWT has been shown to be bogus?
     
    Not at all.  First, UHI was not initially proposed by any blog.  I don’t know why you attribute it to WUWT.  Second, while some people have claimed UHI has no impact, there is no indication such is true.

  71. JD Ohio says:

    #66 Menne
    “Isn’t it the case that the hockey stick graph has been reproduced by other researchers using different proxies or metrics?

    Isn’t it the case that the Urban Heat Islands theory put forward by WUWT has been shown to be bogus?
    Isn’t it the case that we are losing Arctic Sea Ice at a truly astonishing rate?
    What are skeptics skeptical about really?”
    Menne let’s assume the warmist arguments about substantial  temperature rise in next 100 years are true.  We know that one large volcanic eruption can cause global cooling.  With the exponential growth in science that is bound to occur in the next 100 years, it is virtually certain that we will be able to geoengineer the problem away 100 years from now.  (See Simon, Ultimate Resource)  2.  The world will change so much in the next 100 years, that it is virtually impossible to take actions now that will have the intended effect 100 years from now.  3.  1 & 2 assume that we are receiving objective science, which is highly debatable.  See Hansen & others slurring by innuendo those who disagree with them by calling them deniers, trying to underhandedly and falsely associate skeptics with Holocaust deniers.  Why is an intolerant bully like Hansen the head of a federal agency (Goddard) that has data collection responsibilities?
     
    JD

  72. thingsbreak says:

    @67 Brandon Shollenberger:
     
    Earlier you made baseless accusations against Steve McIntyre then refused to address the issue when you were called out.
     
    I addressed “the issue” @62. I’m not interested in trawling the back archives of his blog to see whether or not an of that garbage is still around or whether it’s been scrubbed. I was following along when it was done.
     
    Now you make comments like this which imply I am biased, whether or not that is your intention.
     
    No, I am not implying that. You’re inferring it, and it’s decidedly not my intention. I’m simply trying to understand the mindset. That’s all. I understand why people who came at the issue from one side or another reacted to it in the way that they did. I understand why the people I know who first encountered the “hockey stick” in a way that was neither a priori “pro” or “con” view it the way we do.
     
    I don’t understand how someone who was interested in climate dynamics, attribution issues, or potential future changes could become so fixated on such a minor piece of the climate science puzzle. I have no recollection of the “hockey stick” being touted as something other than what it is clearly stated to be in the TAR or Mann et al.’s papers from the late 90s (but again, I confess to ignoring the popular press’s spin on science generally).
     
    I am trying to figure out how you came to believe that “it became widely adopted as a symbol of” *anthropogenic* warming specifically. I don’t remember that being the case. A cursory Google News search doesn’t really support or reject that interpretation. I’m just trying to figure out why the “hockey stick” seems to have been so much more important to current self-proclaimed skeptics *before they became skeptical* than it seems to have been for other people, be they indifferent or accepting of the reality of anthropogenic warming. I fully stipulate that as attacks on it were mounted it became increasingly symbolic with climate more generally.
     
    After a little while, the issue would be resolved, and I would be able to move on to other topics.  Of course, I was wrong.

     
    Were you? From my perspective, it has been. The initial work has been largely supported by subsequent studies. The shape of recent recons falls largely within the confidence intervals of the older papers. Things continue to look more or less “hockey stick” shaped.
     
    the biggest reason I did not “immediately move on” was it didn’t make sense to.
     
    It didn’t make sense for you to look at questions more pertinent to attribution or future outcomes? I mean, I get fascination with paleoclimate. Consider me equally enamored. However, in terms of assessing the questions of “are we driving current warming” and “will it be bad if we don’t reduce emissions” there is really not much that this particular aspect of the field can offer.
     
    If the only reason I found out the most publicized piece of the report was wrong is some guy happened to get curious, how was I supposed to judge anything else the report said?  I had neither the knowledge nor the training necessary to look for problems in the report.
     
    It didn’t strike you that maybe there lots of people looking to poke holes in the IPCC reports? And that if this was the best they could do (casting doubt on statistical choices but not conclusions of relatively unimportant aspects policy-wise) that was a pretty good indication that there wasn’t going to be much more to find fault with?
     
    It was hard to reconcile that with all the publicity it got.
     
    Again, I’ll stipulate the publicity in the contentious fighting afterwords, but I don’t really remember there being a enormous amount of publicity prior. But I suppose that’s just my anecdote vs. yours.

  73. thingsbreak says:

    If the hockeystick doesn’t matter, there is no reason to not admit its failings.  Despite this, it seems nobody is willing to do so.

     
    I think you’re probably running into people like myself who are more concerned about whether or not the conclusions have been vindicated than they are in “admitting” each and every criticism of it. Some of the initial complaints by McIntyre were valid. Some weren’t. An enormous amount of the innuendo and vitriol that passed for “content” on his blog was certainly not.
     
    Later analyses of the same and similar data have more or less borne the initial conclusions out. A lot of groundbreaking work can be and often is subsequently shown to have problems. That doesn’t mean the work isn’t valuable or that it’s flatly, unquestionably “wrong”. That simply isn’t how the physical sciences work (perhaps it’s different in “econometrics”, I don’t know).
     
    If McIntyre were to perform his own multiproxy reconstruction with input from physical climatologists, it would be hockey-stick shaped. He knows this, his more clued-in hangers on like Steve Mosher know this. That’s why McIntyre won’t do it. The protestation that he doesn’t deign to jump through the hoops of review is demonstrably false by his own actions of late on other topics.
     
    Is the “hockey stick” wrong? No. The best information we have about multi-century NH multiproxy reconstructions remains basically “hockey-stick” shaped. Did Mann et al. make some mistakes in their work on the subject? Sure. Are those two ideas mutually exclusive? Not to me. What about you?

  74. Jack Hughes says:

    Hand up.
     
    The global warming theory seemed plausible and fitted in with my background of doing lots of practical conservation work and also having a strong sense of doing the right thing for mankind in general.
     
    This was my turning point: we were looking at buying a property about 2 metres above sea level and I wondered whether this was a good idea and I also wondered why people were still building properties in low-lying areas and why the govt was allowing this.
    This got me thinking and I also wondered why the “solutions” seemed so feeble: the climate going down the gurgler and the answer was new light bulbs. Purrrr-lease.
     
    I did my own due diligence and found it was all a crock of shit. I went to RC expecting some real science and found a bunch of nasty attack dogs snarling and baring their teeth. With fanbois.
     
    The icing on the cake was Al Gore’s claims of pacific islanders being evacuated to NZ. I was living there at the time and wondered why haven’t I seen this on TV? The reason was that it never happened: he invented the whole story.

  75. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    #66 Steve Mennie
    “Isn’t it the case that the Urban Heat Islands theory put forward by WUWT has been shown to be bogus?”
     
    Debateable given Watts et al is still going through the peer review process. There was an attempted rebuttal paper a while back but UHI effects are one of those micro/macro effects that get lost in the noise sometimes. UHI effects are real and an issue for urban planners. If cities continue to expand and population/energy densities increase, they’ll get warmer, especially if that means building high rises that disrupt air flows or building over green spaces that helped cool. Any global warming may just make the problem worse, but doesn’t make the problem vanish. UHI may or may not be contaminating the global averages but it’s still a recognised phenomena that cities will have to deal with. If the problem isn’t correctly scoped, the solutions won’t work. Here in the UK, we’ve been focusing on building higher density ‘affordable housing’ when if we want to combat UHI, we perhaps should be doing the opposite. Same could be said for other global warming inititiatives. We promote better insulation, which is a sensible energy efficiency measure, but if the predictions are for warming, then perhaps we should be looking at better ventilation and cooling.
     
    “Isn’t it the case that we are losing Arctic Sea Ice at a truly astonishing rate?”
     
    Depends what you find astonishing. If you’re just looking at the short satellite record, then perhaps it is. If you’re looking at longer historical records and quotes like this-
     
    “It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated”¦.

    but that was from 1817 when people were again wondering if the Arctic was melting at ‘unprecedented’ rates, and asking for money to go investigate.

  76. Stu says:

    Apparently Jo Nova, an Australian sceptic, used to be in the Green party and pretty AGW.
    Can’t remember now but was it Lucia who used to/(still?) have that page up about her conversion to a more nuanced view on AGW? With lots of stuff on there about Al Gore’s film, etc?
    I can’t see Anthony Watts ever being pro-AGW, but he’s certainly done his bit in terms of supporting various energy efficiency/alternatives, especially around his home. A typically ‘green’ pursuit. Various links there in his ‘about’ page.
    And some WUWT nostalgia (only 6 comments!)
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/06/14/my-solar-anniversary/

  77. Stu says:

    “but that was from 1817 when people were again wondering if the Arctic was melting at “˜unprecedented’ rates, and asking for money to go investigate.”

    Here’s one from 1922…
     
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcHtaX87BTI&feature=related

  78. Gavin says:

    Does the fact that my name is now apparently a collective noun (#33) mean that I am secret communist?
    😉
     
     

  79. HugeDifference says:

    No Gavin, though upon reading how many people you personally have converted into skeptics, I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that your site is the only site that Big Oil is funding.
     
    Seriously dude, all over the intarweb people tell similar stories about RC and what happened to them wrt climate change skepticism.  RC’s actual effect on people seems 180 degrees from what you probably want it to be.  That that doesn’t seem to give you pause is remarkable.

  80. Steve Mennie says:

    further to the UHI debate…Aren’t the measurements of temperature relative to a baseline so that even if there were UHI effects the overall trend would show an increase in temperature even if the singular temperature readings for any given day were affected by UHI?
    Don’t know if I’ve put that correctly but there you have it.

  81. Keith Kloor says:

    “how many people you personally have converted into skeptics…”

    One person is responsible for converting so many skeptics? That doesn’t strike you as a bit weak?

  82. Steve Mennie, I’ve delved very little into this particular aspect of the debate, but my understanding (and I very well may be wrong) is that there is concern about the process of urbanisation and there is concern about the process of station selection.
     
    As an area urbanises, and UHI (if it is real) takes effect, an upward trend is introduced into the record, even if the station taking the measurements remains static. If the station’s environment changes – a nearby building has an air conditioner installed, perhaps, then a potentially undocumented influence on the station can potentially introduce a warming trend because of its proximity to the un-noted heat exchanger. As the number of surface stations is reduced, and the proportion of those stations changes (I hear claims that this is to less rural stations and to more urban station locations), so an upward trend in surface stations is introduced, particularly if the existence of a UHI effect is dismissed as either not existing or not impacting the collected data.
     
    I’m sure someone can feed in much more information than that. I don’t know the nuances, but your question stands unanswered so here’s my contribution in the interim – until someone more knowledgeable turns up.

  83. HugeDifference says:

    I’m sure it’s weak Keith.  I already acknowledged I can’t give you numbers.
     
    But are you telling me you don’t read post after post at all sorts of climate science discussion websites where commentators say that RC is the reason they became skeptics?  And the accounts are remarkably similar all around. Gavin/RC’s bad faith behavior at his blog gives them pause, it certainly makes them look guilty.
     
    Anyway, Gavin would have you believe that my (33) claim is probably coming from some right wing nutbag, that’s why he asks if I think he is a secret communist.
     
    Heh, I’ve already, much to everyone’s tears given a pretty good rundown of my background and how I still think, despite Gavin’s ineptness that AGW is probably true.
     
    So the answer is no, I don’t think he’s a secret communist, but I do think Occam’s razor suggests his incompetence, his effect on people can easily be explained by his being paid off by Big Oil.
     
    A lot of women I’ve gone to bed with have thanked me for our sexual encounters, telling me I have helped them realize they are lesbians.

  84. Keith, in what way is what weak?
     
    Gavin isn’t responsible for my conversion. Gavin might, for all I know, have been on his jollies while I was trying to bleed the RC stone for frank and honest answers. Gavin, the collective noun for RC moderators and policies, is only responsible for steering the direction of my adventure.
     
    You cannot diminish to nought the notable fact that there are so many people who state such similar experiences. My first question was “is this stuff I’m hearing at all true?” I have no doubt that I was one among thousands with the same first question. If their RC experience was like mine – and I have never been given reason to suspect that my experience was in any way unique – why would not thousands or more people follow the same path as I did to discovery? This being the internet, a million people can follow the same path and each be lonely on their journey.

  85. HugeDifference says:

    Keith, I don’t always agree with Jeff Jarvis (I think he’s kind of a one trick pony actually), and I don’t know where you are going with this post, and I have no idea what Jarvis thinks of global climate change.
     
    However, his message over the years is how websites and the media should form all these wonderful conversations with people.  Anyway, he and you might find it fun/interesting to write about how RC is apparently a counter example to everything Jarvis says, or perhaps RC is this weird example of how not to have these conversations.
     
    Why do so many people cite RC as a reason why they became global climate change skeptics, and similarly related, why do so many newspapers have comment sections that are nothing more that demonstrations of greater internet f-wad theory? (I think it’s related — bogus conversations and d-baggery from the sites)

  86. Keith Kloor says:

    #83/#84:

    If RC didn’t exist, we’d still be where we are today. That’s my contention.

    This fixation on a handful of climate scientists–regardless of their perceived standing as gatekeepers–baffles me. There’s a robust science that exists independent of RC

  87. thingsbreak says:

    Can anyone who is blaming Gavin for their “skepticism” explain in detail exactly what was said that caused them to reject what aspects of climate dynamics or the underlying reasoning for reigning in GHG emissions?
     
    I’m wracking my brain trying to think of what he could have possibly said on a blog that was so odious or fraudulent that it would cause me to doubt decades of international, interdisciplinary research. So far, I’m coming up empty, and I have a vivid imagination.
     
    Thanks in advance.

  88. thingsbreak says:

    @86 kkloor:
     
    This fixation on a handful of climate scientists”“regardless of their perceived standing as gatekeepers”“baffles me. There’s a robust science that exists independent of RC
     
    No kidding. Notice my @15 comments and links seem to be completely ignored by the “So-and-so hurt my fee-fees” crowd. Almost as if they’re not actually interested in looking at the issue independently of their grievances with various blogs. Hmmm….

  89. Robust science of what, Keith?

  90. Keith Kloor says:

    Simon, people can carp all they want about how mean Gavin is and how unfair the moderation policy is at RC. It doesn’t negate the multiple lines of evidence built up over years by many, many scientists.

  91. JimR says:

    Keith #86, sure we would probably still be where we are today. But let’s not diminish the influence of RC. We are talking about a blog on climate by climate scientists and whatever their intent they have left a negative impression with many people.

  92. Brandon Shollenberger says:

    #72, thingsbreak:


    I addressed “the issue” @62. I’m not interested in trawling the back archives of his blog to see whether or not an of that garbage is still around or whether it’s been scrubbed. I was following along when it was done.

    My apologies.  You split your response to my comment into two posts, and I didn’t see the second post you made.  This probably happened because I responded to your first response within a minute of your second response.  With that said, I don’t believe you.  I think your claim is as baseless now as it was before.  I think you’ve made severe criticisms without the slightest shred of evidence.  The blog post you linked to claims, also without evidence, Steve McIntyre added the words “in effect” to a blog post.  That is the sum of your evidence McIntyre has used dishonest editing, another baseless claim. 

    Given your willingness to smear someone without a shred of actual evidence, I can’t find any motivation to continue responding to you.  I think I’ve answered your questions regarding my motivations and thought processes as a teenager enough already, and I don’t think Keith Kloor wants this topic to go off on a tangent of how wrong the hockeystick is (or your dishonest accusations regarding why McIntyre hasn’t made his own reconstruction).  If somebody wants to continue discussing that topic, I’ll be glad to discuss it somewhere appropriate. 

    Otherwise, I think I’ll leave this with one final thought.  You’ve made baseless and ridiculous accusations without the slightest shred of justification.  You’ve then told people what is and is not correct about (some of) the science.  This sort of behavior has been a staple of the defenders of climate science.  It really doesn’t help convince people to believe in global warming.

  93. thingsbreak says:

    @74 Jack Hughes:
     
    This was my turning point: we were looking at buying a property about 2 metres above sea level and I wondered whether this was a good idea and I also wondered why people were still building properties in low-lying areas and why the govt was allowing this.
     
    Because the age of people who can build and buy houses and life expectancy in the US means they probably don’t have to worry about 2m SLR before they die? Because policy hasn’t kept pace with the science on SLR? Isn’t that rather like dismissing the idea of smoking causing cancer because the government wasn’t forbidding people from buying cigarettes?
     
    I also wondered why the “solutions” seemed so feeble
     
    Probably because you were confusing the kind of “feel-good”, buy-in type suggestions that people were offering for the sort of comprehensive top down solutions that policy makers actual grapple with, e.g. the stabilization wedge conceptual framework and its examples.
     
    the climate going down the gurgler and the answer was new light bulbs. Purrrr-lease.
     
    I agree! That sounds terrifically stupid. Can you point to someone involved in climate research or policy that claimed *the* answer was “new light bulbs”?
     
    I did my own due diligence and found it was all a crock of shit.
     
    No kidding? I daresay that if you’re willing to publish your findings, you’ll be an incredibly famous man.
     
    I went to RC expecting some real science and found a bunch of nasty attack dogs snarling and baring their teeth. With fanbois.

     
    You didn’t by chance spout off rude and ignorant nonsense like the above, did you?
     
    The icing on the cake was Al Gore’s claims of pacific islanders being evacuated to NZ. I was living there at the time and wondered why haven’t I seen this on TV? The reason was that it never happened: he invented the whole story.
     
    I think it was a case of poor wording, as some Tuvalu residents had evacuated voluntarily to New Zealand under a 2001 agreement and in the film it made it sound as though the island as a whole was doing so. More to the point, however, since when does Al Gore have anything to do climate science proper?

  94. Gavin says:

    #83  having to explain the collective/collectivism pun kinda takes the fun out of making lame jokes on blogs.Oh well.
     
    The really funny thing about this conversation is the fact that I have no idea who any of these commentators are. I don’t recall ever interacting with them at all, let alone being so obnoxious I have apparently sullied the good name of scientists across the world. (Wow, that would be bad, and kind of in direct opposition to the huge amounts of positive feedback we get).
     
    But frankly, I call BS on this whole line of argument. People don’t dismiss gravity because Newton was an ass (and he was). Neither is QED is maligned because Feynman didn’t have great interpersonal skills. The idea that I, or even a whole blog (!!), so offended someone that they would discount the National Academies of Science is just a fiction.
     
    I fully admit that dealing with standard contrarian arguments bores me and when bored I occasionally have some fun with people who think that parroting Marc Morano counts as intelligent debate, but the evidence that I abuse genuine seekers-after-knowledge, or that I accuse people of being deniers whenever someone asks a question is sorely lacking.
     
    So, if people want this to be taken seriously, they need to go back to the archives and point to the conversation or conversations where I abused them and they were turned forever onto the path of climate ‘skepticism’. Because I, for one, am a little sceptical.

  95. thingsbreak says:

    @92 Brandon Shollenberger:
    With that said, I don’t believe you.  I think your claim is as baseless now as it was before.
     
    I’m sure you do. I couldn’t care less.
     
    claims, also without evidence, Steve McIntyre added the words “in effect” to a blog post
     
    His original post was quoted. The post was edited the same day. I don’t know if anyone had the foresight to screencap the original or archive it, but those were the words written. The post has been changed, without any reference to the edits.
     
    the sum of your evidence McIntyre has used dishonest editing, another baseless claim
     
    Um, you might dismiss the evidence. Again, I don’t care. But you’re discussing it. By definition the claim isn’t baseless. You simply have chosen to disbelieve something that doesn’t conform to your worldview. Which, given the context of the conversation we’re having, is hardly surprising.
     
    I can’t find any motivation to continue responding to you.

    Again, hardly surprising.
     
    It really doesn’t help convince people to believe in global warming.
     
    Listen, Brandon: If someone bases their disbelief of climate dynamics based on a one-sided account of disagreements associated with something that has basically nothing to do with the central questions facing us in terms of policy, I somehow doubt it’s the “attitude” of people in blog threads that is driving that mindset.
     
    Dislike me and my attitude all you want- but don’t pretend that you’re an actual skeptic if you’re not actually attempting to educate yourself about the main issues in lieu of some sort blog tribalism. As I and Keith have both pointed out, the science extends far beyond the purveyors of a few blogs.
     
    See @16 for a start. Buy a used atmospheric physics or Earth systems textbook. Ask yourself what in terms of emissions trajectories, climate sensitivity, past instances of large perturbations of the carbon cycle resulting dramatic climatic (and biosphere) changes is somehow in doubt because of perceived problems with Michael Mann, RealClimate, the CRU email hack, etc.
     
    Or, you know, don’t. Up to you.

  96. JimR says:

    The point that seems to be missed (rather obtusely) is that we are talking about the impact of public outreach. Gavin observes “People don’t dismiss gravity because Newton was an ass (and he was).” But what if the circumstances were different? Suppose people weren’t convinced and Newton created a public outreach of some sort. And as an ass he alienated many people while enjoying a strong core of support, the choir. It doesn’t make gravity wrong but the poor public skills of Newton the ass wouldn’t be very effective in convincing people. Newton is an ass to what he perceives as the clowns who asking non-believer questions, the choir cheers, and people looking for answers think ‘I thought this was the guy with the answers????’
     
    Pretty much the same goes for Al Gore per the comment “More to the point, however, since when does Al Gore have anything to do climate science proper?” I think it’s rather obvious that Gore isn’t a scientist but he did make a famous documentary on the subject that won an Academy Award and a Nobel Prize. This is very visible to the public. Above someone living in NZ spotted a falsehood which made them skeptical. Gore’s super-consumer lifestyle doesn’t help either. It certainly doesn’t make the science wrong… but in terms of public perception on the credibility of the subject it doesn’t help.

  97. Keith: “Simon, people can carp all they want about how mean Gavin is and how unfair the moderation policy is at RC. It doesn’t negate the multiple lines of evidence built up over years by many, many scientists.”
     
    I tried to make clear, up-thread, that this is not a personality thing. I don’t dislike or have any animosity towards either Gavin the person, or Gavin the website. I don’t know Gavin the person but, climate science aside, he strikes me as an amenable chap. The website is run the way the website is run..
     
    I’ve run websites of my own that resembled war zones and I know the many pitfalls of moderation, having had to climb out of them all myself. This is not an attack on either Gavin, it’s an anecdote, with no more value or weight than that.
     
    There’s no reason to presume that I would not have become sceptical even if there were no moderation at RC, if I’d found the case for fearmongered CAGW to be less than convincing. It doesn’t really matter if my gravitation towards sceptical commentary was reactive or proactive, that’s where I’ve ended up. Pure anecdote, Keith.
     
    Now.. what kind of compelling line of evidence are we talking, Keith? A case for AGW, or a case for CAGW? (or C3AGW – cause for concern of catastrophic AGW)

  98. #17, Francis, well said.

  99. ivp0 says:

    I for one have never been abused by Gavin or anyone from RC or SkeSci but I have observed the extraordinary effort to control the message through bully pulpit, appeal to authority and heavy handed moderation tactics.  All of these undermine credibility over time.
    Why have I gone over to the dark (skeptic) side?  Vast uncertainties in sensitivity, attribution, and natural variability of the sun and the oceans.  I do understand RT and I am certain that it must cause warming at some level.  Lots of things cause warming/ice melting.  NH glaciers began rapidly melting off circa 1800, not 1900 or 1950 when AGW is reported to have become a problem. Why were they melting then? When asking a climate scientist directly the subject is immediately changed or dropped. No one seems willing or able to address the question.  Until we can clearly differentiate natural variability from AGW we cannot predict our future warming with any precision worthy of massive policy changes.

  100. thingsbreak says:

    @96 JimR:
     
    I hear you, but what you’re describing is generally people looking for reasons to justify their disbelief. Who, as a sane, rational human being, understands climate science reasonably well and then chooses to throw it all out because celebrities don’t always practice what they preach, or they aren’t treated with kid gloves every second on blog sites? I think we’d both agree that’s not the case.
     
    Put the mindset under discussion in a different context. Suppose the kind of people that we used to regularly see pop up on RealClimate mouthing Marc Morano or WUWT garbage did the same thing about cars to a room full of mechanics. Or someone who has zero understanding of firearms or tactics tried to pull that on a military discussion board. In my experience people don’t generally blame experts for the uneducated outbursts of the visitors, and snark is considered to be taking it too easy on them.
     
    For some reason, it all changes when we start talking about climate science. Then the experts are supposed to bow and scrape and say thanks when people with a head-full of talking points take a rhetorical dump on their carpets? That doesn’t sound right, does it?
     
    If these people are asking reasonable, politely worded questions and receiving nothing in return but abuse from Gavin et al., let’s see the evidence for it.

  101. thingsbreak says:

    @99 ivpo:
    I have observed the extraordinary effort to control the message through bully pulpit, appeal to authority.
     
    Can you cite an example of a fallacious appeal to authority made by RC? Or explain what an outreach blog is if not a bully pulpit? Are you sure you’re using that phrase correctly (rather than mistakenly as a pejorative term connoting authoritarianism)?

  102. thingsbreak says:

    Can one of you who keeps saying “CAGW” explain to the rest of us what that’s supposed to mean?
     
    The justification for curbing emissions does not have to be the destruction of life on Earth. It merely has to be a threshold beyond which the costs of unchecked emissions exceed their benefit.
     
    This threshold has at various times been proposed to be +2°C in the shorter term, with increasing evidence that a longer term target should probably be lower.
     
    This isn’t to say that there are not some pretty disturbing scenarios for the future, mind you. Nor that low probability extreme impact outcomes shouldn’t factor into cost benefit analyses.
     
    I’m just wondering what the “C” you guys keep tossing around is supposed to entail.

  103. ivp0 says:

    (101)
    As a NASA funded site run by NASA employees on NASA payroll I think it meets the Roosevelt definition of Bully Pulpit.  I tend to avoid that site as a climate science reference due to the general “we are the experts, trust us” tone so I am fresh out of quotes for you.  I am sure it wouldn’t take long for you to fish out plenty of appeals to authority if this is important to you.  RC is irrelevant to my position on climate science.

  104. ivp0 says:

    (102)
    The “C” stands for catastrophic anthropogenic global warming CAGW.
    This is the extreme alarmist view.  That we are approaching the tipping point now and meteorologic chaos is certain along with extreme sea level rise over a short period killing or displacing millions.  That CO2 emissions must be brought to zero and soon. This is the view expressed by Michael Tobin, James Hansen and other extreme alarmists.  I do not subscribe to this view.

  105. JimR says:

    “I hear you, but what you’re describing is generally people looking for reasons to justify their disbelief.”
     
    Wow! All I can say I Wow.

  106. David44 says:

    I don’t know if Paul Reiter, professor of entomology at Pasteur Institute, is skeptical of climate change physics, but he is about claims published by the IPCC regarding his own specialty of malaria.  He underwent a conversion from IPCC contributor to severe critic:
    “A galling aspect of the debate is that this spurious ‘science’ is endorsed in the public forum by influential panels of ‘experts.’ I refer particularly to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Every five years, this UN-based organization publishes a ‘consensus of the world’s top scientists’ on all aspects of climate change. Quite apart from the dubious process by which these scientists are selected, such consensus is the stuff of politics, not of science. Science proceeds by observation, hypothesis and experiment. The complexity of this process, and the uncertainties involved, are a major obstacle to a meaningful understanding of scientific issues by non-scientists. In reality, a genuine concern for mankind and the environment demands the inquiry, accuracy and scepticism that are intrinsic to authentic science. A public that is unaware of this is vulnerable to abuse.”
     
    Hurricane Researcher, Chris Landsea, is another scientist who withdrew from IPCC authorship over science issues:
    “I am withdrawing because I have come to view the part of the IPCC to which my expertise is relevant as having become politicized. In addition, when I have raised my concerns to the IPCC leadership, their response was simply to dismiss my concerns.”
     
    Lindzen (not sure if he actually resigned or wasn’t chosen for AR4) and Pielke, Sr., of course.

  107. HugeDifference says:

    @gavin,
     
    ” Neither is QED is maligned because Feynman didn’t have great interpersonal skills.”

    You’re probably not the person to be holding up Feynman.  What Feynman did do was take every question asked of him by a layman seriously, and strive to do his best to answer them in language and tech appropriate to the layman.

    I don’t recall too many times Feynman played the “deniers who are out to get me” card.

    And I will take you at your word that Feynman was a jerk — my understanding, my experience was that people loved him, students in particular, and that he always dealt with the public with great respect.  But now I am enlightened by your experiences with Feynman.

    The issue with the way you run RC, and how it affects people becoming skeptics is that a) there is not just one, but dozens if not hundreds of comments on the net about how this has occurred. That’s no longer anecdote, that’s approaching data, and b) your explicit reason for starting RC has been outreach to the public, which is why your trainwreck is so notable in terms of Internet/Communications/PR Theory of the twenty first century.

    The issue with the way you defend Phil Jones and Michael Mann is how it alienates the average citizen, and apparently has alienated many very highly educated physicists and engineers.  (To the extent that now I read at various blogs how climate scientists can’t really trust physicists and engineers are the explicit enemy!)  I take offense at what you’ve done in the name of science.

    Look, I can’t begin to understand except at the highest levels the research.  But yet, I do think I have the necessary degrees and education to understand the scientific method.  My own very reasonable questions have been met with banning, and with labels of denier.  (Pretty offensive too since I am Jewish, lost relatives in the Holocaust, and had close family members fighting in WWII).

    If you walk like a duck, and act like a duck, maybe you are a duck.

    It’s 2010, not 1687, the techniques of communicating with the public, the duty of scientist to the public, the role of the public funding the scientist has changed somewhat.  You may wish to learn about how this new Intarweb thingy might best be used to perform your outreach.

    RC actively alienates people.  Your denier sites seem to welcome them and treat them with respect.  Your colleagues seek to deny FOI requests and hide data and possibly change data and keep dissent hidden and unpublished.  Your denier sites seem to seek openness and discussions and publication.  Your colleagues seem to prefer non-democratic top-down costly policies and do not seem to seek public input or public discussion on them.  Your denier sites seem to champion openness and democratic processes.

    I don’t believe this is a winning strategy for climate science, or democracy, or the planet, but I do understand that it seems to work well for you.

    I will recommend you reread your well worn copy of “Cargo Cult Science”.

  108. lucia says:

    “Oh, please, if I see one more complaint at this site (or Lucia’s) about why I’m being moderated,” I’m going to throw my laptop out the window.”
    Kewl. So,  hey, um, I notice I’m still being moderated.
    Keith and my blogs both seem to be sharing the same over-sensitive moderation simultaneously.
    For the past week, my moderation plugin has been touchy. I suspect AKISMET, a popular filter for wordpress shared by many has developed some sort of paranoia. My theory could be wrong– but it’s my best guess.
    Using Akismet involves sending comments to a central service which diagnoses them. So, it’s at least hypothetically possible that over sensitive moderation will happen across many blogs simultaneously. The blogger can’t know quite what triggers it.  The only thing we can do is fish your comments out of moderation.

  109. DeNihilist says:

    First time went to RC and asked the obvious newbie question, was politely referred to their Start Here section.

    Have had some comments moderated, have had some questions very well responded to.

    Hey Dr. Schmidt, ifn you’re still reading this, ask Jim when he’s going to post a follow up to his excellent article on the Pine Beetle will you?! Still my favourite post of all!

  110. HugeDifference says:

    @thingsbreak:
     
    “Or explain what an outreach blog is if not a bully pulpit?”

    Nature on RC: “The researchers involved will, for example, have to work to ensure that they do not oversell their own opinions when commenting on research issues that divide scientists. Their goal is to provide solid scientific comment to journalists and other interested parties”

    There are needs for outreach and needs for a bully pulpit, and RC should be more for outreach (education) than for a bully pulpit (a platform used to advance an agenda.)

    CP would be a reasonable location for a blog more intended to be a bully pulpit.  Or even Whitehouse.gov.

    But I don’t think it should be nasa.gov or perhaps not even any group of actively doing research researchers.

  111. thingsbreak says:

    @106 David44:
    He underwent a conversion from IPCC contributor to severe critic:
     
    I wonder what specific aspect he had a problem with. The IPCC is a synthesis of existing research. In that sense, it’s not “new” science, but then again neither is any Review article. What to include and exclude, and what governmental representatives sign off on is admittedly somewhat political in nature. However, I don’t know what aspect of malaria he believes was politicized specifically in the TAR (or writing the AR4 perhaps?), and his statement (the entire thing) offers no indication.
     
    The last time claims were made that the IPCC “oversold” the climate-malaria connection, I simply looked at what it actually said and found the claims pretty much baseless.

    Specificity helps. Not sure what role as a “contributor” Reiter played, not sure what explicitly the problem was.
     
    Chris Landsea’s “rift” with the mainstream climate community seems to have been largely mended by all appearances.
     
    Dick Lindzen is an extreme outlier. His work later in life is everything that “skeptics” purport Mann’s to be- fixated, unresponsive to and unbowed by criticism, etc. Of the people actively working on the issue of constraining climate sensitivity, how someone could reject the mountain of evidence for a Charney-like value in favor of Lindzen’s work (which gets debunked by skeptic blogs and mainstream researchers alike) is a little puzzling to me.
     
    Roger Pielke Sr. is a more interesting case. I think the overwhelming majority of the “conflict” between his views and the mainstream have to do with miscommunication and the obvious conceptual biases of meteorologists vs. researchers who deal with climate on longer timescales. The roles of non-CO2 anthropogenic forcings and natural variability are of course very significant. But I’m not really sure who is supposed to be denying that. However their relatively great importance on shorter timescales does not preclude CO2 from dominating boundary value questions on multidecadal to centennial timescales. The latter simply doesn’t follow from the former, though it’s easy to understand why someone might assume it if their life’s focus has been predominantly on the former.
    By his son’s protestations, Pielke Sr. is not a “skeptic” or denialist. By Pielke Sr.’s writings, I think it’s impossible to argue that he does not reject the IPCC framing of the issue.
     
    I’m not sure that any of these people qualify as having been previously convinced of the dangers posed by anthropogenic warming but are now skeptics. But it’s certainly moving the discussion forward, and thanks for that! 🙂

  112. Reid Bryson started off a strong believer in catastrophic anthropogenic cooling; really the clearest case of a climatologist with that opinion. He never really backed down; he disbelieved in global warming from the start.
    Reid was a very nice man and erudite, but not much of a phsyicist. He was also unfailingly polite, though a bit uncofrtable late in life with the increasing accolades from extreme conservatives.
    Anyway Bryson as an example won’t fly.

  113. cagw_skeptic99 says:

    Apparently those of you who are believers in the AGW/CAGW predictions are incapable of receiving the message from those of us who are skeptics without being climate scientists.  As a (once) teenager wrote above, honest people who have truth behind their message have no need to use propaganda, phony investigation, hidden or lost data, etc., etc., etc.  to convey their truth.
     
    These tactics are common to religious believers and charlatans.  If it acts like a duck, walks like a duck, talks like a duck, and is legal to shoot during hunting season, it probably is a duck.  My guess is that Keith is a fairly young journalist and has not seen very many scams unfold.  Most of the country was astounded when Nixon resigned, because the allegations of criminal conduct and cover up ‘just could not be true’.  It has happened before and is probably happening again.
     
    To convince me that the ‘science’ is sound, those whose unethical activities were exposed in climate gate should be censored by their peers and should remove themselves from the public face of CAGW.  Lie to me once, and you have a very long road to travel before I will ever trust you again.  Defend liars to the nth degree, as Gavin and others have, and you joined that group.
     
    CAGW may or may not have valid science behind it, but the current crowd of spokespeople have no credibility and I cannot think of a path by which they could gain it back.

  114. Trenberth: “Landsea … called a press conference and resigned from IPCC but he was not even part of IPCC. He had been asked by me to write something as a contributing author.” (to me in email; reported with his permission at http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/01/forbes-rich-list-of-nonsense/ )
     
    So, Landsea, I think not. Correct me if I’m wrong but as I understand it, there’s no sign he ever supported the consensus.
     

  115. There is no clear definition of CAGW that I know of.
     
    I think most informed people believe that if all the fossil fuel carbon is burned and no CO2 is sequestered, there will be very dramatic and devastating changes. If believing this is CAGW, then CAGW is the consensus.
     
    But we never see a clear definition. I never heard the expression outside the circles of people who disdain it. So they should define it.
     
    I resent being called an extreme alarmist by ivp0. I find myself reining people in all the time.
     
     

  116. ivp0 says:

    @112
    I am sorry Michael.  It was not my intent to insult or offend you with the term extreme alarmist.  You have my apology.  After our discussion the other night I could not find words to accurately describe your position on manmade CO2.  How did you put it?
    “The job is not done until the general public understands the risk and finds a way to reduce net global carbon emissions to a safe level, i.e., approximately zero.”
    I simply found this to be a pretty extreme position considering what we actually know about climate sensitivity.   I’ll make you a good old fashion Texas horse trade… I’ll stop using the term “extreme alarmist” if you stop using the term “denier”.  Fair enough?
    While the term doesn’t really apply to me, I am certain that someone somewhere has been offended by your continued use don’t you think?

  117. Keith (4) sais it well: “I don’t get why anyone would let personalities be the primary reason for skepticism of climate change”“esp when there are well established, multiple lines of evidence, based on the work of hundreds or thousands of other scientists.”
     
    Regardless of this (personalities) being used as a fig-leaf excuse for die-hard skeptics, the defensive attitude of scientists and their supporters, though understandable, is counterproductive to raising the scientific literacy of the open minded lay public. Trust is precarious thing, and a person’s attitude is an important contributor (or not) to that trust.

  118. Stu says:

    I’m having another flashback.
     
    It was 2007- I was living in Turkey with my girlfriend and some news came on the TV about the record Arctic melt. It was all in Turkish so I didn’t understand anything, but what I saw were images (computer graphics) of an enormous tsunami crashing into a coastal city. A dramatic soundtrack overplayed (this was the news!). I remember my girlfriends reaction- terror, and my own… alarm mixed with disbelief. It was that moment that I actually started to find out more about GW.
     
    So I went to a few sites. More news of the record melt in the Arctic. It was looking serious. But there was something else- not reported at all amongst the mainstream news outlets and climate blogs that I came across at the time. The Antarctic was undergoing a record extent. Where was I finding this news, which seemed to me just as significant as the record melt in the Arctic?
    Skeptical sites.

  119. Stu says:

    PS.. I suggest let’s (as Steve Mc says at his blog) try to not prove or disprove global warming in a couple of paragraphs, but keep the discussion about what has been drawing people to skepticism, or what has caused former sceptics to swing around to confidence in the science.
     
     
     
     

  120. Michael Larkin says:

    Keith,
     
    Check out the “denizen” thread on Judith Curry’s blog – also the “reader background” thread at the air vent. They’re both permanent threads and may give you some additional insight on this question.
     
    I don’t know whether and to what extent AGW is true, but I lean towards scepticism. I suppose like many, I just accepted it uncritically for a long time. The seminal event was climategate, which prompted deeper enquiry. My subjective opinion is that probably as many people have cited climategate as a watershed for them as anything else.Like many, amongst the first sites I discovered was RC, but also CA and WUWT.
     
    For me, RC was too one-sided, and CA a bit too heavyweight, so I suppose for quite a while I concentrated on WUWT. The nice thing about it was that, though clearly sceptical, one did also get exposure to contrary views. It was easier to come to an understanding at my own particular level of scientific awareness. I began to understand more what all the fuss was about.
     
    As a pedagogical resource, WUWT is IMO quite effective in this respect. I realise one gets a fair few articles there which are just opportunities for people to pile on, but I tend not to take them seriously. And it does actually publish some articles from the orthodox side. Moreover, not all articles from the contrarian side are met with uncritical approval – sometimes they can get a severe drubbing.
     
    RC isn’t into pedagogy; it doesn’t seek to engage and educate those who might have doubts. It’s a frosty place to be if you don’t know much about the issues and haven’t already made up your mind that AGW is a done deal. Maybe it does what Gavin wants it to do from his perspective, but for me, I’ve never found it a comfortable place to be.
     
    You say that if RC didn’t exist, nothing would be different. Maybe so, but if RC existed as a different kind of blog than it is, I suspect things could be very different. If it were congenial to newbies with genuinely open minds, or maybe a modicum of doubt, maybe they’d hang around more.
     
    As things stand, who knows how many it has diverted to other sites that subsequently won them over to some degree of scepticism? Even if that’s only to the extent of being prepared to accept it’s not as cut-and-dried as some proponents believe?
     
    As has been pointed out cogently earlier in this thread, there is in fact a wide spread of opinion on the part of those with doubts. You get exposure to people like Steve Mosher (a lukewarmer), at WUWT, and he isn’t censored ““ is in fact a well-respected commenter who has been instrumental in constantly reminding me of my duty to remain true to my underlying agnosticism.
     
    Judith Curry’s place has received more of my attention recently, and I’ve been more exposed to orthodox views there, but my conclusion so far is that there’s considerable uncertainty on some of the basic physics.
     
    I won’t go deeply into the political aspects of it all, but it has not helped the orthodox claims that there has been a good amount of scandal and sloppy practice. That doesn’t mean AGW is necessarily wrong, but as someone else has intimated, it don’t help a damn lot, and I can see why some who might be less forgiving than I have by now rejected the whole thing as rubbish.

  121. @111 Michael Tobis:

    “Trenberth: “Landsea “¦ called a press conference and resigned from IPCC but he was not even part of IPCC. He had been asked by me to write something as a contributing author.” (to me in email; reported with his permission…”

    I’ve no way of knowing what questions you might have asked Trenberth that might have precipitated such a response, but perhaps they weren’t the right questions. 

    I’d sure like to see some evidence that “Landsea … called a press conference”.  He did write “An open letter to the community”, dated Jan. 17/05 which begins as follows (emphasis added -hro):

    “Dear colleagues,
    “After some prolonged deliberation, I have decided to withdraw from participating in the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). I am withdrawing because I have come to view the part of the IPCC to which my expertise is relevant as having become politicized. In addition, when I have raised my concerns to the IPCC leadership, their response was simply to dismiss my concerns.
    “With this open letter to the community, I wish to explain the basis for my decision and bring awareness to what I view as a problem in the IPCC process. […]”

    http://www.climatechangefacts.info/ClimateChangeDocuments/LandseaResignationLetterFromIPCC.htm

    Notwithstanding Trenberth’s assertions, it is quite obvious that Landsea had never claimed to be “part of the IPCC” – or that he was “resigning”.

    Perhaps Trenberth was misled by the choice of URL text (and parenthetical explanation in the title on the page).

    However, it does beg the question, if a “Contributing Author” is not “part of the IPCC”, at what level of authorship does one acquire such lofty status?

    But that aside, while it looks as though Bell may not have done all his homework, in this instance, mt, it looks as though you didn’t do yours either.

  122. charles says:

    I raise my hand. I was a believer in AGW, but not C.  I was converted  by the exaggeration, distortion, manipulation of data, deletion of adverse comments and aggressive attacks on anyone who disagrees, as exemplified by realclimate. See comments 2 8 21 23 50 51 74 113….
    As Michael Larkin says this has been discussed before at Jeff Id’s Reader Background and Judith Curry’s Denizen’s.  Please go and read those.  You have the answer to your question so there is little point in going into great detail about it, or trying to argue about it.
    Regarding ‘hard numbers’, just google opinion poll global warming and you get “Americans’ Global Warming Concerns Continue to Drop”,  “BBC News – Climate scepticism ‘on the rise’, BBC poll shows”, from reliable organisations like Gallup and the BBC.

  123. HugeDifference says:

    Keith, you keep asking, apart from RC’s abrasive personality, stick to the science.  But that wasn’t your original question:
     
    “were once believers in catastrophic GW [global warming] and are now skeptical.”

    As my response from /. in #67 shows, a lot of skepticism has nothing to do with the science, but is skeptical about policy.

    Skeptics can accept the science, and still disagree with the policies which are based on science, economics, democratic principles, and even psychology and communications.

    People can easily believe that Gavin is probably correct on the science, but that RC’s behavior, Phil Jones behavior, etc., make these guys the last people anyone should listen to regarding the policies.

    And that does hinge on all sorts of non-scientific political arguments — RC and friends stifle debate, RC and friends show great disrespect to the layman, RC and friends urge a technocracy, RC and friends do appear to seek to dismantle democratic protections, RC and friends don’t seem to understand global climate change is but one problem of many and perhaps not the best way to spend the money. None of which, by the way, are your often repeated strawman, Gavin was mean to me.  All of those are legitimate arguments as to why Gavin has no credibility in the policy arena.

    This has nothing to do with Gavin’s insistence that Isaac Newton and Richard Feynman were jerks and RC and friends are just standing on the shoulders of giants.  It has much more to do with Gavin’s behavior making it easy to imagine RC and friends’ boots stamping on a human face – forever.

  124. JD Ohio says:

    #115 & 116 Tobis & ivpO  Definition of CAGW
     
    In reference to the terminology that one uses to describe those on the opposite side of the debate, I thought I would mention that Lee Schipper at Dotearth complained of the use of the term “warmist” even though he uses the term “denier” to describe those who disagree with him.  To me it is funny how people favoring CO2 restrictions think they are the victims when realists are called “deniers” and “traitors” (See Krugman).  See link http://community.nytimes.com/comments/dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/05/climate-news-snooze/?sort=newest
    I do want to make clear that this is not a personal slam of Tobis.  Although he and I come from very different places, he has at least tried to address my arguments when I have made them  — that is all I ask.  I do think he should rethink the term “denier”, but my experience is that very few of the people who use it can give it up even though there are many other terms that could be used.
     
    JD

  125. Tom Fuller says:

    Michael Tobis, if you resent being called an extreme alarmist, you might lead by example and quite using and overusing the word denier.

  126. GIRMA says:

    HOW I BECAME A SKEPTIC
     
    I plotted the 30-years global mean temperature trends as shown below:
     
    http://bit.ly/bUZsBe
     
    I concluded that global warming is cyclic with an overall warming of only about 0.6 deg C per century.
     
    Also, based on the global mean temperature pattern, I expect global cooling until about 2030.
     
    I became a skeptic.

  127. Sashka says:

    @ TB (100)

    You want people to produce the comments that were moderated away by “Gavin”? Really? And how does one prove that such a question was actually posted?

  128. Sashka says:

    @ Bart (117)

    I disagree with “understandable” but no matter: I am happy that between you, Keith and Gavin at least one gets the importance of trust.

  129. Sashka says:

    @ Tobis (115)
    I think most informed people believe that if all the fossil fuel carbon is burned and no CO2 is sequestered, there will be very dramatic and devastating changes.
    I think this statement has a vanishingly small information content.

  130. thingsbreak says:

    @127 Sashka:
     
    You want people to produce the comments that were moderated away by “Gavin”? Really? And how does one prove that such a question was actually posted?
     
    What I actually said:
    If these people are asking reasonable, politely worded questions and receiving nothing in return but abuse from Gavin et al., let’s see the evidence for it.
     
    These people aren’t claiming that their comments simply never showed up. They’re claiming positive (in terms of proactive obvs) actions on his part beyond moderating out comments, e.g. “outrageous attitude and behavior, statements and arguments at RC”; “act[ing] as a bunch of jerks (with Mike and Gavin being the worst”; etc.
     
    Surely people have evidence for these claims. You’re one of the ones making them. So where’s the beef?

  131. thingsbreak says:

    @126 GIRMA:
    HOW I BECAME A SKEPTIC

    I plotted the 30-years global mean temperature trends as shown below:
     
    This is a great example of potential “teachable moment”. Do you agree that the climate system is responsive to external forcings and nonlinear response to internal variability? That is to say, do you agree that the climate system doesn’t just heat up and cool down without cause?
     
    If we agree on that, do you also agree that it’s possible to look at what the various drivers of climatic variability over the periods in question were, and form a coherent explanation of the observed behavior of the system?
     
    based on the global mean temperature pattern, I expect global cooling until about 2030.
     
    Given what we just discussed about drivers of climate, what is the basis for this expectation?

  132. HugeDifference says:

    @tb. you may wish to visit: http://aicomment.blogspot.com/ which started off as a place to post comments claimed to be rejected from rc but over time turned into a comment spam fest.
     
    but I don’t think you or anyone can be satisfied by that, because it will all be pretty much self-claimed evidence.
     
    Gavin has dozens if not hundreds of commenters out there at all sorts of websites complaining about RC comment moderation.  It’s pretty easy to find them.  The stories are remarkably similar. Maybe they’ve all been faked.
     
    aicomment itself is not important, what is important is that way back in 2009, someone thought the problem at rc important enough that they started aicomment.  But perhaps aicomment was started just to smear Gavin and rc.

  133. Michael Larkin says:

    Thingsbreak:
     
    Maybe someone will come up with the evidence you want (or not, as the case may be), but it’s a not infrequent occurrence for people to post messages at other blogs that they’ve also submitted to RC, noting later that the messages were censored. Maybe they’re all making it up, but I note that on a few occasions they’ve subsequently confirmed that RC did in fact, contrary to expectations, post the message.
     
    It’s rare that messages are censored on sceptical blogs. When it happens at WUWT, usually part or all of the message is designated as being snipped, often with a reason given for why.
     
    I doubt that I could formulate something I could 100% guarantee would get posted at RC. So why bother? There are umpteen other blogs I could post it at with no fear of censorship. And at some blogs, like Judith Curry’s, I can get responses from both sides of the aisle. That’s the truly great thing about her blog. There is in fact a degree of civil dialogue between people holding different views.
     

  134. charles says:

    There is also a blog called rc rejects
    Also at CA there is a long thread dating from 2005 including lots of examples, including the following test done by Jonathan:
    “As a little experiment I tried posting on RealClimate (on the Mountains and Molehills thread), pointing out that I was a highly experienced and well qualified scientist who was less than entirely convinced by the AGW orthodoxy. Unsurprisingly I got somewhat flamed. So I posted a polite and fairly detailed reply, which simply disappeared into Gavin’s erratic censorship device. No explanation why, and it was far more on topic than most of the thread.
    Continuing my experiment I used another account (FredB) to post a snide personal attack on myself. This was swiftly approved, despite contravening RealClimate’s stated policies. No surprise there then.
    I sent in a third post pointing out this out. Deathly silence.
    Any lingering doubts I had about RealClimate’s honesty have been completely dispelled.”
     

  135. The web has no guarantee of service; it is quite possible that missing posts simply got lost in the ether.
     
    Anyway, RC is now collecting all but the most crudely offensive rejects in its “Bore Hole” and so far the selection seems appropriate.
     
    As for me, I once had a post not appear on RC, but it was one that I regretted the instant I pushed the “send” button and I’m glad it didn’t appear! I am grateful the “Bore Hole” wasn’t around at the time!
     

  136. thingsbreak says:

    @132, 133, 134
     
    I’m not disputing the fact that some comments don’t make it past moderation. To repeat myself:
     
    If these people are asking reasonable, politely worded questions and receiving nothing in return but abuse from Gavin et al., let’s see the evidence for it.

    These people aren’t claiming that their comments simply never showed up. They’re claiming positive (in terms of proactive obvs) actions on his part beyond moderating out comments, e.g. “outrageous attitude and behavior, statements and arguments at RC”; “act[ing] as a bunch of jerks (with Mike and Gavin being the worst”; etc.

    Surely people have evidence for these claims. You’re one of the ones making them. So where’s the beef?

  137. Sashka says:

    @ TB (130)

    HD already answered but I’ll add: they do both: (1) reject the comments outright (yes they do, many people say it, read carefully) or, (2) they would allow a comment only to let the bunch of local faithful to attack ad hominem (the rules get suspended for such occasion). When the “skeptic” is trying to push pack all his rebuttals are rejected so the rest of the readers have the impression that he is beaten up and has nothing else to say.

    Are you saying you have not seen skeptics beaten up on RC? If you did, how do you know you saw everything they had to say? What exactly do you want a proof of?

  138. Sashka says:

    These people aren’t claiming that their comments simply never showed up.
     
    Yes they are. Get it?

  139. thingsbreak says:

    @137 Sashka:
    What exactly do you want a proof of?
     
    Concrete examples of Gavin’s
    “outrageous attitude and behavior, statements and arguments at RC”; “act[ing] as a bunch of jerks (with Mike and Gavin being the worst”; etc.
     
    I’m sure you can understand how it’s a little difficult for people like myself to take it on faith that this is occurring. I don’t get nearly the traffic that RC does and the signal to noise ratio from “skeptic” commentors is vanishingly small. I look forward to well-thought out questions from skeptics that force me to think. It helps shore up weak spots in my own knowledge. Hearing “CO2 lags temperature!” or “the Hockey Stick is a fraud!” for the seven thousandth time doesn’t.
     
    I have no doubt that “skeptic questions” like the latter didn’t make it past moderation.
    I am asking what Gavin’s proactive actions were that people claim were so bad as to cause them to reject the mainstream scientific position (e.g. joint national Academies statement) on climate and the need to stabilize emissions.

  140. thingsbreak says:

    @138 Sashka:
    Yes they are. Get it?
     
    So it’s your contention that “outrageous attitude and behavior, statements and arguments at RC”; “act[ing] as a bunch of jerks (with Mike and Gavin being the worst”; etc. means only that comments didn’t make it out of moderation?
     
    Does everyone else agree with this?

  141. JD Ohio says:

    Gavin  (condescension)
     
    One simple example of Gavin’s imperious behavior is his comment on the Love Bunny thread that:   “One expects misstatements from the more partisan bloggers, but not so much from people who can actually read.”
     
    He was the one who was unaware of what he was talking about because both my post (#7) and that of KK showed statements by Hansen that he had  favored Chinese methods over current American democracy. (which was the focus of Gavin’s derisive comment.)
     
    JD

  142. ivp0 says:

    @131 Thingsbreak says:
    “Given what we just discussed about drivers of climate, what is the basis for this expectation?”
    Yes this may very well be a teachable moment.  Allow me to answer that:
    After a 100 year solar maxima, several solar physicists are now predicting a period of low solar activity similar to the Dalton Minimum.   In the early 1800s this period resulted in a drop in temps of approximately 2C in Europe.  If we see a similar prolonged period of low/no sunspots  I expect a similar period of falling temps as the oceans release their accumulated heat over time.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalton_Minimum

  143. Sashka says:

    @ TB (140)

    Are you able to comprehend what I said in 137?
     

  144. HugeDifference says:

    “The web has no guarantee of service; it is quite possible that missing posts simply got lost in the ether.”

    Michaeal, that’s as disingenuous as Palin claiming those were never gunsights, they were surveyor’s marks.  Yes, that’s possible, but the continual pattern suggests otherwise.

    Defend RC as being the moderator’s and how it’s their blog and how they might be focusing/enhancing the conversation (that’s Brad DeLong’s common excuse) or all sorts of reasons that means its okay for them to censor comments that make their tummies hurt, but don’t claim it’s just EPIPEs and CRC errors.

    But don’t piss on our backs and tell us it’s raining (although I understand that CAGW does let you piss on our back and claim it’s global climate change)

  145. thingsbreak says:

    @141 JD Ohio:
    One simple example of Gavin’s imperious behavior is his comment on the Love Bunny thread that:   “One expects misstatements from the more partisan bloggers, but not so much from people who can actually read.”
     
    Imperious? I read the thread in question. The three of you seem to be talking past each other. Hansen certainly is disgusted with the way that special interests and lobbying have co-opted the American legislative process. I don’t see anyone arguing that is the case.
     
    Gavin’s position is that Hansen’s comments were not a general endorsement of China’s system of government, but rather positive/complimentary only insofar as the Chinese might be able to more easily avoid those pitfalls of the present state of American politics on this narrow issue.
     
    And that reading seems inline with the full context of the writing’s of Hansen’s that I’ve read.
     
    Gavin’s acerbic tone seems to be based on his impression that Keith was endorsing the quote he prominently featured in the post, something that Keith himself was quick to acknowledge was an understandable though incorrect interpretation.
     
    So, again, huh? Gavin’s tone was rough. You disagree with his interpretation of something. Okay. I’m still not seeing the “outrageous attitude and behavior, statements and arguments at RC”; “act[ing] as a bunch of jerks (with Mike and Gavin being the worst”; etc.
     
    Is the idea that Gavin should be unfailingly polite no matter how much he disagrees with someone, because the “skeptic” ego is so fragile that bruised feelings will result in a rejection of mainstream positions on climate and energy?

  146. @111 Michael Tobis … further to my earlier post regarding Trenberth’s assertions re Landsea …

    I took a look at the article you linked to.  And I have some bad news for you … it appears that you and your co-author(s) may well have been misled by Trenberth’s false memory syndrome.

  147. thingsbreak says:

    @142 ivp0:
    After a 100 year solar maxima, several solar physicists are now predicting a period of low solar activity similar to the Dalton Minimum.   In the early 1800s this period resulted in a drop in temps of approximately 2C in Europe.  If we see a similar prolonged period of low/no sunspots  I expect a similar period of falling temps as the oceans release their accumulated heat over time.
     
    Thanks for responding!
     
    What is your understanding of the magnitude of such a decrease in radiative forcing due to solar activity vs. the increase in radiative forcing from continued growth of GHG emissions? You don’t have to give specific values in terms of W/m^2. Just relative to each other.

  148. JD Ohio says:

    #145 Thingsbreak  Gavin’s tone
     
    I agree with a good portion of what you said.  However, Gavin and others wonder why many people flee from his site.  His tone and somewhat arrogant attitude drives people away.  Both my opinion and that of KK were entirely reasonable.  With the groupthink and intimidation tactics that were revealed by Climategate, people truly looking for answers are not going to accept Gavin’s quick dismissals of their opinions.  It his choice as to how persuasive he wishes to be.  But right now all he is doing is preaching to the choir.
     
    JD
     

  149. HugeDifference says:

    @TB: “I am asking what Gavin’s proactive actions were that people claim were so bad as to cause them to reject the mainstream scientific position (e.g. joint national Academies statement) on climate and the need to stabilize emissions.”

    I had a nice comment but my browser went beep beep beep…. I’m blaming it on Michael Tobis’ router. It went a little something like this:

    Can you believe that for some people:
    1) RC’s behavior was bad enough to get them to reject RC? Y/N
    2) Phil Jones’ behavior was bad enough to get them to reject Phil Jones? Y/N
    3) Joe Romm’s behavior was bad enough to get them to reject Joe Romm? Y/N
    4) Rajendra Pachauri’s behavior was bad enough to get them to reject Rajendra Pachauri? Y/N
    5) The IPCC’s behavior was bad enough to get them to reject the IPCC? Y/N
    6) The Copenhagen parade of private jets was bad enough to get them to reject Copenhagen? Y/N
    That for some subset of these people, the totality of this and many other issues is a rejection of the national academies statement?

    For me, I am disgusted by what the climate scientists have done to science.  They better be right, because if they turn out to be wrong, their behavior will have done immense damage to science and society.

  150. ivp0 says:

    @142 Thingsbreak says:
    “What is your understanding of the magnitude of such a decrease in radiative forcing due to solar activity vs. the increase in radiative forcing from continued growth of GHG emissions? You don’t have to give specific values in terms of W/m^2. Just relative to each other.”
    According to IPCC AR4 WG1 the mechanisms are still poorly understood.  What we do have is multiple lines of evidence through ice core analysis, glacier advances, dendrochronology studies, temp records, and historical accounts that during prolonged periods of low/no sunspots, it got a lot colder.

  151. Steven Sullivan says:

    TL:DR most of this thread, but isn’t the topic question too broad?  I thought ‘skepticism’ actually came in a number of flavors, e.g.
     
    1) AGW isn’t happening
     
    2) OK it’s happening, but it’s not a big deal
     
    3) OK, it’s happening, it’s a big deal, but attempts to mitigate it are socialist, therefore BAD.  We’ll either learn to live with it, or something new will come up to solve it without diluting our precious entrepreneurial American bodily fluids.
     
     
     
     

  152. thingsbreak says:

    @149 ivp0:
     
    I’m not talking about the mechanisms by which the change in radiative forcing from decreased solar irradiance were amplified/manifested throughout the climate system.
     
    I’m simply talking about the reduction in solar activity, in terms of a reduction in radiative forcing. We have a fairly decent handle on solar irradiance throughout the Holocene.
     
    Do you think that it was a big drop in radiative forcing during the Dalton minimum? How big of a drop do you think it was vs. the increase in radiative forcing from continued accelerating emissions growth? Bigger, similar, smaller?

  153. Steven Sullivan says:

    148: “However, Gavin and others wonder why many people flee from his site”
     
    Gavin wonders no such thing, in my experience of RC. I doubt he cares if ‘skeptics’ or those offended by ‘tone’ (who overwhelmingly appear to be ‘skeptics’, isn’t that funny?) tend to ‘flee’.
     
    120 Michael Larkin
    “RC isn’t into pedagogy; it doesn’t seek to engage and educate those who might have doubts. ”
    Gee, is *that* the definition of pedagogy now?
    Back in the real world, RC of course provides numerous articles written by experts,  explaining climate science and its ephemera.  If that ain’t ‘pedagogy’ then I don’t know what is.
     
     

  154. thingsbreak says:

    @148 JD Ohio:
    right now all he is doing is preaching to the choir.
     
    Perhaps.
     
    But the question that I (and presumably Keith) am trying to answer is whether the relationship between skeptics’ disbelief and Gavin’s attitude is causal or merely self-fulfilling.
     
    I’m looking for evidence for the proposition that Gavin’s attitude, behavior, etc. was/is so bad that it would force someone relatively familiar with and convinced of the basics of climate dynamics and/or the relevance to policymakers to throw that out and become “skeptics”. So far I haven’t seen anything close.
     
    A more parsimonious explanation is that “skeptics” interact with Gavin in a way that reinforces their own preconceptions. This is a common dynamic among people across the board about virtually any issue. When evidence is presented to contradict a belief people generally try to minimize the cognitive dissonance by ignoring that evidence and/or seeking reaffirming alternatives.
     
    Keith is probably too polite to “call bullsh*t” on claims that Gavin is creating “skeptics”. I’m not.
     
    Unless there is concrete evidence otherwise, the more likely explanation is that this is little more than a convenient narrative, albeit one that might be genuinely internalized among some of its proponents.
     
    As I’ve said several times, the science is independent of Gavin, Mike Mann, RC’s personalities and behavior. There are plenty of freely available resources for understanding climate dynamics that have nothing to do with any of the persons under discussion. Someone who chooses to ignore these in favor of harboring hostility to a branch of science due to alleged mistreatment at the hands of a blog are probably not all that interested in learning.

  155. ivp0 says:

    @152 Thingsbreak
    According to IPCC AR4 we don’t really know.  We know that changes in solar activity affect changes in solar wind, magnetic fields, cloud formation, ocean currents, ENSO, in ways that are still poorly understood.  Attributing solar variability strictly to TSI is a gross oversimplification and often traps students of climate science.  We know that changes in TSI (via the 11 year cycle) alone do not correlate well to temp change.  Prolonged periods of low solar activity however do correlate well with periods of falling temps.  This tells us that we still need additional study in regards to solar variability and it’s effect on climate.

  156. Shub says:

    thingsbreak

    You do not need to get any more parsimonious than Realclimate’s own words – “be a guest” and “no megaphone for skeptics”.

    “Be a guest” in Realclimate’s terms means say things we can tolerate or put up with but no more, or else we’ll simply delete your comments.

    “No megaphone for skeptics” means they will take critical comments and responses and pretend to provide rebuttals and ‘eviscerations’ and that is the end of discussion.

    You can spin this till the end of time but it won’t change anything. Gavin Schmidt and Realclimate create far more skeptics online than anyone else. I avoided Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth because I knew it was a problematic film but I did not want to hold that against Gore since I felt he had been wrong by the Bushies in the presidential election. But RC effortlessly, pushes by the dozen, into instant skepticism with their smug condescension and censorship.

  157. Michael Larkin says:

    #153 Steven Sullivan says:

    “Gee, is *that* the definition of pedagogy now?
    Back in the real world, RC of course provides numerous articles written by experts,  explaining climate science and its ephemera.  If that ain’t “˜pedagogy’ then I don’t know what is.”

    Speaking as an educationalist (qualified HE/FE teacher plus a masters in education), teaching is about more than presenting articles by experts. Real learning comes about through dialogue. Of the free and unrestricted kind, with respect paid to learner questions.

    Learners aren’t empty vessels into which one can pour information that will be uncritically soaked up. Or if they are, then they are robots rather than learners.

  158. Francis says:

    In the spirit of reducing unnecessary aggravation, I propose replacing the word “denier” with the word “Skeptic”, capitalized as to distinguish ordinary skepticism (eg, what is the expected short-term response to a doubling of CO2) from the kind of Skepticism demonstrated here (eg, Girma’s expectation of 30 years of cooling; ivp0’s statement that the future is much less certain than claimed by the IPCC).
     
    It would be really nice if the Skeptics started their own Skeptical Science website, in parallel and opposition to the existing Skeptical Science website.  (Skeptical squared?)  It seems to me that the best opportunity for a useful discussion is for the Skeptics to start making positive claims, like “The Sun is insufficiently well understood”, or “Cloud formation may drive the sensitivity of the atmosphere’s response to the low end”, or “The urban heat island effect has not been sufficiently addressed.”

  159. Gavin says:

    #99 The answer to your question is not very difficult, and I am puzzled that you think scientists are ignoring it. There are clear signals in the record of natural variability (this is not a secret), and similarly some aspects of that variability are very likely to have been driven by natural forcings such as the sun, volcanes or the orbit. The maximum extent of most northern hemisphere mountain glaciers was in the early-to-mid-19th Century (it varies depending on the individual glacier and the region in question). These maxima in many instances were the largest ice extents since the end of the the Younger Dryas advance some 11,000 years ago. So there are at least three things that some into your observation – one is the long term NH cooling since the Early Holocene (mostly orbitally forced), two are the events that cause multidecadal fluctuations (for the 1600-1850 period that would be solar decreases and enhanced volcanism), and third is the later anthropogenic contribution to warming. In the absence of the the third element we would not now be seeing accelerated glacier loss, but we would still have seen a retreat from the LIA maxima.
     
    #123 People can easily believe that Gavin is probably correct on the science, but that RC’s behavior, Phil Jones behavior, etc., make these guys the last people anyone should listen to regarding the policies.
    Now that is amusing. RC (which is not a nasa or government site by the way) generally only posts on scientific topics – we don’t post on cap-and-trade, or renewable energy mandates, or carbon taxes or emissions targets. So the idea that we are correct about the science (interpreting ‘Gavin’ as the collective Gavin), but that our not talking about policies in an offensive manner is the reason why we are causing everyone to be sceptical about policies, is priceless. Please sort this out for me.
     
    #145 Exactly. Keith’s post was entitled “Love-bunny of the Greens” and he quoted Hansen in support of his thesis. I do not think that China is Hansen’s “Love bunny” nor do I think that anyone who tries to engage with the Chinese in order to deal with their appalling environmental record is thereby advocating authoritarianism. Like it or not, China is a growing part of the problem, and needs to be part of any solution as well.
     
    Various: RC moderates to improve signal/noise ratios in comment threads. This is not a perfect endeavour. But the vast majority of comments that get moderated out are either direct insults, vague off topic rants, standard trolling, or people trying to play games. All of the authors no doubt feel their contribution was of some great import, but, guess what, we  didn’t agree. People can say what they want on their own blogs (and they do), but they don’t have an automatic right to disrupt other people’s conversations. We’ve recently adopted a new policy of placing off-topic stuff directly in open threads, and the tedious stuff in the ‘Bore Hole’. This seems to working well so far, but I’m sure that the people affected will be greatly offended that we think their comment is boring. Tough.
    If you don’t like me personally, or my style, or the shape of my head – you are completely within your rights to do so. No-one is forced to read our blog. However, many people do, and many people express a continued desire to do so, particularly because it is a haven from the know-nothing comment fest in places like WUWT.
     
    In closing, I note that not one single example of me being mean to someone ‘just asking questions’ has surfaced. Neither have any of the participants who complained about me directly provided any evidence of any prior ‘offensive’ interaction with me. Just saying.

  160. thingsbreak says:

    @149 HugeDifference:
    Can you believe that for some people:
     
    Given that “for some people” Einstein’s ethnicity was enough for them to reject Relativity out of hand, sure I can believe that. Does that make it justified?
     
    If your basis for accepting or rejecting the broad scientific conclusions around a certain issue rest on your personal feelings about specific researchers, it’s not going to be too long before you find yourself on the wrong side of the evidence.

  161. HugeDifference says:

    @Gavin, 159, it doesn’t seem hard to sort out.  Googling for five minutes turns up some policy/science statements from you:
    “Schmidt took the data from the studies and looked at the total emissions that would occur if all developed countries adopted the plan proposed by President Obama to lower emissions 80 percent by 2050.

    If this happened, the world would have a roughly 50/50 chance of staying under the 2 degree benchmark, Schmidt said.
    He noted that this framing could help policy makers see that “if you do all these things, it will make a difference. In fact, it will make the difference.””
     
    It may not be at RC directly, but what I said was that your behavior at RC makes you a dubious person to listen to about policy, anywhere, not just at RC.
     
    So for instance, as another example why you have no credibility is your response to the many many complaints about how you moderate out comments at rc: “Show me some of these comments I’ve moderated!”
     
    This is like Palin saying those were surveyor marks, and Tobis blaming it on mysterious internet gremlins.
     
    The complaint is you delete stuff you don’t like, your response is your critics need to carefully document what they post and what never shows up, or else you won’t take the dozens or hundreds of similar complaints seriously.
     
    So you ask us to believe a) a conspiracy of blog commenters lying about you, or b) we’re all the same commenter, or c) that you delete a lot of stuff for no apparent reason whatsoever and are lying about it now and refusing to take responsibility for your actions.
     
    Occam’s razor, much testimony, and my own personal experience brings us to C) you are not telling us the truth about your moderating behavior, or D) you are somehow unaware of the reality of your moderating behavior.  This leads me to conclude that you might be right about the science, but that you are not a person to believe, trust, or listen to regarding policy prescriptions.
     
    HTH.

  162. ivp0 says:

    @158 Francis says:
    It seems to me that the best opportunity for a useful discussion is for the Skeptics to start making positive claims, like “The Sun is insufficiently well understood”, or “Cloud formation may drive the sensitivity of the atmosphere’s response to the low end”,
    I believe these things are being said by some very bright scientists and engineers if you choose to look.

  163. thingsbreak says:

    @155 ivp0:
    We know that changes in solar activity affect changes in solar wind, magnetic fields, cloud formation, ocean currents, ENSO, in ways that are still poorly understood.
     
    You’re still talking about the way the change is amplified and manifested through the climate system, not the magnitude of the change in radiative forcing.
     
    Attributing solar variability strictly to TSI is a gross oversimplification and often traps students of climate science.
     
    Yes, we’re intentionally having an oversimplified conversation. Do you agree that changes in irradiance during the Dalton, Maunder, etc. result in a change in radiative forcing, yes or no?
     
    We know that changes in TSI (via the 11 year cycle) alone do not correlate well to temp change.  Prolonged periods of low solar activity however do correlate well with periods of falling temps.
     
    You’re still talking about the way the change is amplified and manifested through the climate system, not the magnitude of the change in radiative forcing.
     
    Do you think that it was a big drop in radiative forcing during the Dalton minimum? How big of a drop do you think it was vs. the increase in radiative forcing from continued accelerating emissions growth? Bigger, similar, smaller?

  164. HugeDifference says:

    Well @TB 160, I’d say there is a real difference between bad behavior, arguably unethical and even illegal behavior, and Einstein’s being Jewish and anti-semitism, but frankly, I don’t think you’re open to finding the evidence you claim to seek.  Lots of people here have produced just the evidence you are looking for, and you are unable to see any of it.  So I’ll leave it to other readers to decide what’s going on.
     
    (If you think being upset that Phil Jones obstructed FOI requests and suggesting Michael Mann delete emails is similar to Einstein being Jewish, I would be curious to see how *that* argument flows. I’m always interested in reading a good argument.)

  165. thingsbreak says:

    @158 Francis:
    In the spirit of reducing unnecessary aggravation, I propose replacing the word “denier” with the word “Skeptic”, capitalized as to distinguish ordinary skepticism (eg, what is the expected short-term response to a doubling of CO2) from the kind of Skepticism demonstrated here (eg, Girma’s expectation of 30 years of cooling; ivp0″²s statement that the future is much less certain than claimed by the IPCC).
     
    I doubt you’re going to find much buy in for that. Capital “S” Skeptic has already been adopted by many anti-pseudo science, pro-rationality groups dedicated to debunking stuff like astrology, faith healing, ghosts, etc.
     
    Until someone comes up with a better name, I’ll stick with contrarian or “skeptic” with quotes for those that don’t appear to fit the straightforward meaning of skeptic.

  166. ivp0 says:

    @163
    By attempting to put solar variability in a TSI box you miss the forest for the trees.  TSI is only one small element of solar variability that does not correlate well to temp (see 11 yr cycle).

  167. Gavin says:

    #148 When the emails were first released, I was practically the only climate scientist interacting publicly with people and answering peoples questions. That involved responding to 1000’s of comments over a very short amount of time (all of which can found readily). Your characterisation of that as ‘a quick dismissal’ of concerns just does not correspond to reality.

  168. thingsbreak says:

    @156 Shub:
    You can spin this till the end of time but it won’t change anything. Gavin Schmidt and Realclimate create far more skeptics online than anyone else.
     
    And yet, still no concrete evidence offered in support of this extraordinary claim. How long do we have to wait before calling it rubbish?
     
    @161 HugeDifference:
    it doesn’t seem hard to sort out.  Googling for five minutes turns up some policy/science statements from you:
     
    That example is a science statement about the effects of a particular policy. It’s not an endorsement of a policy, it’s not a policy proposal. What point are you trying to make with that example?
     
    So for instance, as another example why you have no credibility is your response to the many many complaints about how you moderate out comments at rc: “Show me some of these comments I’ve moderated!”
     
    That’s not what we’re saying. We’re stipulating that comments get moderated out. No one is denying that. We’re asking for concrete examples of “outrageous attitude and behavior, statements and arguments at RC”; “act[ing] as a bunch of jerks (with Mike and Gavin being the worst”; etc.
     
    Or as Gavin put it @159 “being mean to someone “˜just asking questions'”; “any prior “˜offensive’ interaction”.

    If you’re saying that people’s acceptance of mainstream science is so flimsy and capricious that it’s reversible merely by comment moderation at a blog, that isn’t exactly evidence of being “convinced” of something, which is what Keith is asking about.
     
    The complaint is you delete stuff you don’t like, your response is your critics need to carefully document what they post and what never shows up, or else you won’t take the dozens or hundreds of similar complaints seriously.
     
    No. No one is denying that comments get moderated at RealClimate. Full stop.
     
    Please provide evidence for “outrageous attitude and behavior, statements and arguments at RC”; “act[ing] as a bunch of jerks (with Mike and Gavin being the worst”; “being mean to someone “˜just asking questions'”; “”˜offensive’ interaction”; etc.
     
    If mere blog comment moderation is the extent of the examples for that request, that doesn’t say much about what it takes to drive certain people to reject mainstream science, does it?

  169. Michael Larkin says:

    I don’t personally know Gavin. I’m sure his mother and wife and all his friends love him to bits, and I have no reason to think they’re wrong to do so.
     
    All I’ll say is that I think the way he runs his blog is counterproductive to the aim of winning over those with doubts. If that’s not his aim, then presumably all’s well in his estimation, and so good luck to him.
     
    On the other hand, if it is his aim, then he seems to have failed. That can’t be because he’s on the side he is, because Judith Curry’s on the same side; I find her blog most congenial and I have a great deal of respect for her as a communicator (even though I don’t agree with her about some things).
     
    Why? Because she accomodates critical views, and that means she has a greater chance of influencing even sceptical posters. She uses T’ai Chi rather than Kung Fu.
     

  170. grypo says:

    It seems all the bases are covered from my original comment.  Can we get onto destroying Trenberth now?  This is taking too long.

  171. Barry Woods says:

    Evidence was called for…

    Evidence of moderation and the very interesting response, that was commented on by Lucia and Pielke.. on their blogs..

    The example I gave earlier…
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/06/what-do-climate-scientists-think/comment-page-2/#comment-178909

    Ray Labury’s response:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2010/06/what-do-climate-scientists-think/comment-page-3/#comment-178923

    I was twice unable to reply to direct personal criticsm. Their blog, they can do what they like…

    Very counter productive though.

    I thought that it was a reasonable question… That might BENEFIT  RC. It was picked up atthe Air Vent and Roger PIelke commented on it.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/extreme-climate/

    RC (not Gavin as far as I’m aware )would not let me respond, whilst letting Ray criticise) Of course Rays criticism of me was allowed.  My responses never to appear. Yet another sceptic chased off, ie no replies, as far as the regular commentors think.

    Roger Pielke had this to say, about it…

    Roger Pielke Jr. said

    July 1, 2010 at 8:29 pm
    I had a brief exchange on my blog with Steig about this comment. His response was that (a) I hurt his feelings and/or (b) he disagrees with my views on policy. You can see the exchange here:
    http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2010/06/reminder-that-serious-engagement-at.html#comments
    —————-

    My Initial question… and Eric’s reply

    91
    Barry Woods says:
    25 June 2010 at 10:46 AM
    If realclimate coudld link to luke wamer blogs, it might reduce the criticism of advocatcy..
    “˜climate Sicence for climate scientists’
    as they link to desmog blog and geaorge monbiot,
    but not climate audit, pielke’s or say lucia’s blackboard..
    george monbiot is not a scientist, he is a journalist!
    So it does look like advocacy to a new observer
    If they cuold bring themselve to do this it would be a gesture of goodwill..
    Having a link to “˜how to talk to Global Warming Sceptic’ vetted and endorsed by professionals at RealClimate, reflects, to an observer badly on RealClimate..
    So, constructive advice, drop the links to the more “˜flag waving’ type advocacy sites, include some “˜respected’ alternative views, it would help Realclimate stop being “˜perceived’ as an advocacy site rather than a science site”¦
    [Response: Being listed on our blogroll does not constitute endorsement. In general, the sites we do list — whether they are run by scientists or not — tend to get the science right much of the time, and hence are consistent with our mission. Being not-listed could mean that a) we haven’t heard of the site, b) that it is uninteresting or unimportant, or c) that we consider it dishonest or disingenuous with respect to the science. Pielke Jr, Blackboard, and ClimateAudit all fall squarely into the latter category.–eric]

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/extreme-climate/#comment-30983

    First attempt at a reply to Ray at RC:
    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/extreme-climate/#comment-30966

    “The link to George Monbiot ““ who quiet famously has a Picture Card ““ Top Ten Climate Change Deniars, including Senator Inholfe!!! And Sarah Palin, how does that help Real Climate.
    Whatever anyone may think of these peoples politics.
    I’m not a USA citizen, but I imagine that can not exacty help politically..

    Climate Audit may be in Real Climates opinion wrong, but the section is other opinions?
    Politically, how does that help RealClimate in the USA, some of these sites are not talking science , but the worse sort of politics”

    The second attempt to follow up at Real Climate, as Ray had got quite snarky about me:
    Comment 106 at RealClimate awaiting moderation:
    “In response to Ray Bradbury. I was merely trying to suggest to Realclimate, how it could help itself, in something that has become very political:
    as an example:
    The link to George Monbiot ““ Guardian journalist ““ who quiet famously has a Picture Card ““
    Top Ten Climate Change Deniars ““ article –
    on a mainstream UK newspapers website -not just a blogger but a political activist
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment

    One of the IPCC co-editors of the ‘Hockey Stick’ AR3 reports directed me to RC when climategate happened….

    So, I went to RC at the advice of this fully paid up respected climate scientist who is a good friend… so my mind was most definetly receptive to RC’s views on climategate emails at that time.

    (at this moment, our sons our having tea in my house as a I type) 

    Partly as a result of that little exchange is why we have a new blog called Realclimategate.org 😉

    RC counterproductive? I think so.

  172. JD Ohio says:

     
    Gavin #167
    #148 When the emails were first released, I was practically the only climate scientist interacting publicly with people and answering peoples questions. That involved responding to 1000″²s of comments over a very short amount of time (all of which can found readily). Your characterisation of that as “˜a quick dismissal’ of concerns just does not correspond to reality.”

    My reference to quick dismissals was short hand for your condescending criticism of KK, claiming that he couldn’t read when he stated that Hansen’s statements (particularly in China & the Barbarians) showed a predilection for Chinese Authoritarianism over today’s American democracy.  You are undoubtedly right about Climategate, but I was only mentioning it as background to explain why people with real skeptical questions are not going to tolerate condescension or quick dismissals. 

    Your intolerance of views different than yours and your inaccurate characterization of Hansen’s views in China and the Barbarians, demonstrates a lack of openness that is contrary to good science.  Not surprising from a principal of a blog that uses the “denier” innuendo to falsely and underhandedley accuse those who disagree with the blog opinions of being Nazi sympathizers.
    JD

  173. Michael Larkin says:

    #170 Grypo:
     
    I thought this thread was about “hands up”, not Trenberth. Why don’t you nip over to Climate etc and have at it in the latest thread?

  174. Keith Kloor says:

    Michael (173);

    Agreed. But I think he was being cheeky.

    JD (172):

    I wasn’t put off by Gavin’s remark, and perhaps that’s because as a journalist I’ve been dealing with scientists for some years. Frankly, I’m amazed that so many of them are as patient as they are with folks like me.

    You got to be able to let stuff roll off your back and not take it personally. I can see people getting ticked off if they feel they’ve been treated unfairly at RC; we’re all human. I just can’t fathom how that would turn anyone into a skeptic.

  175. Gavin says:

    #169 That other people have other styles and that they might reach people I won’t, is totally fine. If people prefer reading Judy’s blog, or Andy Russell’s or SoD’s or Maribo’s or Steve Easterbrook’s or Bart’s  that’s ok.
     
    But I’m a scientist, and part of that is winnowing out bad or unproductive ideas so that ones (limited) energy can be focussed on good ones. I find myself unable to state the umpteenth time that someone says that it has been cooling since year XXXX, that this is ‘interesting’. It’s not. Nor is speculation about an iron sun, nor is manufactured outrage about some out-of-context remark, nor are baseless accusations of unspecified misconduct. If you want a host who thinks such things are worthy of respect, then I am not your man.
     
    But, if you want to know why the IPCC concluded what it did, or what the context is behind a new paper in Science, or to gauge opinion on whether a new result is likely to stand up, or what constraints there are on climate sensitivity,or how paleo-climate can be used to influence future projections, and you’d like to do so in an environment where there aren’t people shouting all the time, then perhaps I can help.
     
    I do not claim to be all things to all people, and so it bothers me not at all that some people prefer getting information elsewhere – as long of course that they get information that is basically correct. I am greatly in favour of expanding the range of knowledgeable people getting involved in the blogosphere.

  176. Michael Larkin says:

    I know you think your information is correct, Gavin; and I have no doubt that you are sincere. All I’m saying is that if people don’t actually visit your blog, they’re not going to benefit from your expert opinion, are they?
     
    Judith is also a scientist. She knows her stuff just like you do; but she’s a cannier communicator, and that’s why she allows a somewhat higher noise to signal ratio. At least then, some of the signal she wants gets through.

  177. BobN says:

    To be fair to GAvin, I think a lot of what he is getting heat for is actually the tone and tactics of many of the regular commenters at Real Climate.  Some such as Hank “Google Me This” Roberts, Ray “This is how real science is done” Ladbury, or David “Read Spencer Weart” Benson just come off as arrogant and somewhat know-it-all’ish.  Others, such as dhogaza or Steve Bloom can be downright nasty.  This is not to say that Gavin hasn’t had his moments of snideness or snark but, it seems to me, much of what gets attributed to him is actually the work of others.  There are cases such as Gavin’s recent interchanges with both of the Pileke’s and with Judith Curry where his apparent disrespect for these people really did not, imo, serve his message well.  I note also that Gavin seems much less confrontational/snarky when visiting other sites that when playing for the crowd at RC.

  178. Barry Woods says:

    Well, their thoughts about a respected scientists like Roger Pielke Junior, might lead you to think, that they are as ‘open-minded’ in other areas as well. 

    It is not a personal response.. 

    As someon has mentioned, it is hard to comprehend, that they have not paused to think… ‘Maybe we should change our approach a bit’.

    I’ve blogged on forums for ten years or more, and I never came across a site quite like RC before, that would delete any criticism or awkward questions..  Since them I’ve found Climate Progress and the Guardian (Comment is Free 😉 )! to have similar totally counter-productive policies.  It might work well with the locals/converted but it can alienate anyone new, and make the new person question the behaviour.

    Far better to let the commentors thrash things out, and let the blog owners, sit back and apply intelectually honest moderation. ie as KK does and Judith Curry

    Judith Curry’s Denizens thread, has examples.  If anyone prefers not to look at The Air Vent’s Readers Backgrounds

  179. thingsbreak says:

    @171 Barry Woods:
     
    Is it your contention that:
    A) You were previously convinced of the reality of anthropogenic warming and/or the need to reduce GHG emissions and that exchange caused you to become a skeptic.
    B) This has something to do with Gavin. Or Gavin “creating skeptics”. Or my request for evidence of Gavin’s bad behavior.
    C) Neither of the above.
     
    I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but I don’t see how that applies to A or B.
     
    Once again, no one is denying comments get moderated. In this instance, your suggestion was made and responded to. (Anyone remotely familiar with the critics of RC might find it more than a little bit of a stretch to believe that merely including some “skeptic-friendly” blogs would end claims of “advocacy”, but that’s probably best left for another conversation). If it upsets you that “Ray” made a comment about your post and your responses were not let through, fair enough. I might not have let them through either because they were attacks on blogroll links that weren’t particularly responsive to either Eric’s reply or the point that Ray was making, but that’s me.
     
    Can you explain what you’re presenting this as “evidence’ for?

  180. Sashka says:

    OK, TB: here’s a very concrete example for you.

    On the subject of code bugs in GCMs, I tried post a comment where I described a bug that persisted for over decade after a postdoc spotted it reported to his superiors. Guess what? The comment was rejected. Being still relatively new to RC, I wrote a personal e-mail to Gavin asking why. He said he couldn’t post such unsubstantiated rumors. No problem: I gave him the name and affiliation of the scientist who would confirm my account. Of course, Gavin didn’t bother to confirm the story or to publish my comment or to acknowledge my point in any other way. He simply dropped the conversation.

    Now: what sort of proof do you want? My e-mail archive? You’ll say I doctored it. A confirmation from Gavin? He won’t remember because he does these things daily. Or even if he did remember why would he admit it now if he didn’t back then?

    Did it help?

  181. Barry Woods says:

    179

    I thought I was being positive – not an attack!, with respect to their blog roll. something that might benefit them and might reduce criticism.

    Possibly they were just being ultrasensitive, who knows. 

    A tiny tiny gesture of good faith, just to acknowledge the existance of their critics.
    Take a look at who they do link to! some extreme views

    How could it hurt them to link to Mckintyre now.  

    Pileke Junior, or Judith Curry  are NOT sceptic blogs in my eyes at all.

    After al, I have my own sceptic blog,. 😉

  182. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    #168 Thingsbreak
    “Please provide evidence for “outrageous attitude and behavior, statements and arguments at RC”; “act[ing] as a bunch of jerks (with Mike and Gavin being the worst”; “being mean to someone “˜just asking questions'”; “”˜offensive’ interaction”; etc.”
     
    Some of us have already provided evidence, ie our opinions. Those are subjective opinions or perception, but evidence none the less. I find the style and tone very offputting and it’s not a blog that encourages cilvised debate for me. I rarely bother looking at Romm or Morano’s blogs for the seem reason. Comments like this from Gavin in #159-
    ..it is a haven from the know-nothing comment fest in places like WUWT
    is a classic example of a crude appeal to authority and why the sides remain so entrenched, bar occasional meetings at DMZ’s like this blog. I’ll still visit RC to see what their take is on something because I don’t like relying on single sources whether sceptical or ‘believer’ blog.
     

  183. thingsbreak says:

    @180 Sashka:
    here’s a very concrete example for you.
     
    That’s your example of “outrageous attitude and behavior, statements and arguments at RC”; “act[ing] as a bunch of jerks (with Mike and Gavin being the worst”; “being mean to someone “˜just asking questions'”; “”˜offensive’ interaction”; etc.?
    And previously to this you were genuinely convinced of reality of anthropogenic warming, but it caused you to become “skeptical”? That’s your claim?
     
    My e-mail archive? You’ll say I doctored it.
     
    Why would I do that? I believe you. Whether or not that’s evidence for what Keith and I are asking about is another question.

  184. thingsbreak says:

    @182 Atomic Hairdryer:
    I find the style and tone very offputting
     
    Fair enough. Do you see any difference between that statement and these: “outrageous attitude and behavior, statements and arguments at RC”; “act[ing] as a bunch of jerks (with Mike and Gavin being the worst”; “being mean to someone “˜just asking questions'”; “”˜offensive’ interaction”; etc.?
     
    Did the “offputting” style and tone of the blog cause you to throw out your understanding and acceptance of mainstream science and become a “skeptic”?

  185. Keith Kloor says:

    A DMZ! I love it. But that would seem to conflict with the characterization in SciAm of this blog being “militantly evenhanded.”

    Nonetheless, I will now always cherish this thread for introducing another term for my blog (and there have been many, both positive and negative).

  186. Michael Larkin says:

    #178 Barry Woods:
     
    You remind me to mention to Keith that I also respect his moderation policies in the same way that I do Judith Curry’s. I also don’t agree with him on a number of issues, but he’s a good communicator too.
     
    There’s this magical thing happens when your host is tolerant even if you disagree. You do tend to listen a bit more, come to empathise with him/her a bit more, and certainly, try to be respectful to him/her. That makes for generally more civilised interchange, despite the risks that s/he takes.
     
    Hmm… I just realised. Courage comes into it somewhere. Good communicators have courage. Yes, that’s it.

  187. Keith Kloor says:

    Michael, you are kind, but I do not consider my style of blogging/moderation to have anything to do with courage. I’m just more tolerant and thick-skinned than I used to be in my misspent youth. 🙂

    Still, I’m glad to hear that whatever I’m doing is conducive to some receptiveness on your part and perhaps others who may otherwise disagree with me.

  188. thingsbreak says:

    @182 Atomic Hairdryer:
    Comments like this from Gavin in #159-
    ..it is a haven from the know-nothing comment fest in places like WUWT
    is a classic example of a crude appeal to authority and why the sides remain so entrenched

     
    How else would you characterize a blog that in the span of six months claims “it’s the sun, no it’s the PDO, no it’s the sun, no it’s ENSO, no it’s CFCs”? When it’s not claiming that we’re cooling or that we can’t tell what the temperature is doing, that is.
     
    You might enjoy the WUWT blog. That’s fine. From a physical science perspective, however, it’s little more than reposted press releases and self-contradictory/mutually exclusive claims about why it must be “not IPCC”. And that’s not even going into Watts’ personal “analyses” e.g. on solar-climate connections with Basil Copeland, station drop-out, etc.
     
    I am sure that WUWT provides a lovely atmosphere for like-minded people. I am unsure how someone can claim that from a climate science standpoint it offers anything remotely approaching a coherent, evidence-based perspective.

  189. HugeDifference says:

    “You got to be able to let stuff roll off your back and not take it personally. I can see people getting ticked off if they feel they’ve been treated unfairly at RC; we’re all human. I just can’t fathom how that would turn anyone into a skeptic.”

    You spend sometime writing a comment asking a question, and that comment never appears.  You spend sometime writing a comment, and that comment appears and all sorts of people call you a denier and make personal attacks, and that behavior is allowed and encouraged and rewarded! You spend sometime writing a comment and you find you are banned and still people are allowed to attack you personally.

    You see this and similar happen not just on one blog, and then you see these guys defend unethical, anti-scientific, illegal behavior, like obstructing FOI requests, and trying to delete emails and trying to stop publication of dissenting opinions.  You see these guys accept grants, take trips, get media attention, while calling out dissenters as deniers, and charging them with taking money from Big Oil.

    And you see all this behavior and you never stop to question the science?

    Keith? Are you replicating the science in your labs? Are you carefully following all of the math? Seeking out all the prior publications?

    How can you see this behavior and not stop to question the science?

    You are a far far better person than I, but I do wonder what they taught you at J school. And I think you have a very sad and unfortunate, dismal, and low expectation of scientists.

    I’m a weakling. When I see Collective Gavin defend unethical and illegal behavior, when I see them defend principles I was taught were core to the scientific method, I start glossing over the rest of what they say.  It’s not GIGO, it’s GOGO I go.

  190. Keith Kloor says:

    HD (189),

    Not much I can say, except life’s a bitch and I didn’t go to J-school (but I wrote for my town paper (during my Oscar Madison phase) in high school and my college paper (during my young rebel phase).

    Everything after that is a blur.

  191. Barry Woods says:

    Climate Wars DMZ.. All copies of the ‘The Hockey Stick Illusion’, Josh Cartoons and ‘hockey sticks’, to be let outside the DMZ! 😉

  192. HugeDifference says:

    Wish I had an Oscar Madison phase, I hope you enjoyed it to the max.

  193. Sashka says:

    @ TB (183)

    That was my example of Gavin behaving like a jerk. You wanted an example of that so badly. Are you satisfied? At home, I have an actual link to an RC comment where Mike is trying to make an idiot out of me and then posting the contents of my comment next as a blog entry without even mentioning what happened the day before. What do you call that? Scientific integrity?

    No, this didn’t change anything for me. If you spent more time reading than typing you’d see that I never claimed being one of the converts. I have always been a luke-warmer, way before the term was invented. In this thread I am only trying to explain why Gavin’s behavior undermines the trust in his message. I think it’s really very simple.

  194. thingsbreak says:

    @193 Sashka:
    That was my example of Gavin behaving like a jerk.
     
    Sounds like he was being cautious and then let something fall through the cracks. Annoying? Sure. “Behaving like a jerk”? You’re obviously entitled to your own opinion.
     
    No, this didn’t change anything for me.
     
    Of course not. And this is my point. The idea that “Gavin Schmidt and Realclimate create far more skeptics online than anyone else” as Shub @156 claimed is just silly. As I said earlier: A more parsimonious explanation is that “skeptics” interact with Gavin in a way that reinforces their own preconceptions.
     
    Gavin could call my mother a wh*re, rob a bank, tell me the sky is red, etc. and that’s not going to cause me to toss out my understanding of climate dynamics or undermine my confidence in the field (or greater scientific community). I have no basis for conflating his behavior with the response of the climate system to GHGs.
     
    I’m not going to claim that Gavin has never done anything wrong in his life. I’m not going to claim that he’s never been a jerk. I am claiming that none of you have but forward any evidence of Gavin acting badly resulting in the creation of skeptics from those who understood and accepted the scientific evidence of anthropogenic perturbation of the climate.

  195. Michael Larkin says:

    #187 Keith Kloor:
     
    It was a genuine ah-ha! moment, Keith. I suddenly saw that you and Judith are doing something I’m not at all sure I could. One man’s thick skin is another man’s cojones.
     
    Seriously, why is it that in climate science, and some other contentious scientific areas I could mention, things get so damn heated? Why can’t we see the other guy’s point of view and focus on substantive issues?
     
    Part of it may be the difference in ability to understand the technicalities. We have to judge based on different criteria of understanding. I can’t argue with Gavin or Judith at the deep technical level, and don’t try. But this issue does affect me and everyone else on the planet, and so I have to find some criteria to guide me.
     
    It goes the other way too – just because Lindzen or Spencer say things that play into my sceptical leanings, I can’t let myself slavishly accept their opinion when they get too technical for me.
     
    I can only in good conscience go remember my limitations and admit to agnosticism.

  196. HugeDifference says:

    Of course not. And this is my point. The idea that “Gavin Schmidt and Realclimate create far more skeptics online than anyone else” as Shub @156 claimed is just silly. As I said earlier: A more parsimonious explanation is that “skeptics” interact with Gavin in a way that reinforces their own preconceptions.

    Gavin could call my mother a wh*re, rob a bank, tell me the sky is red, etc. and that’s not going to cause me to toss out my understanding of climate dynamics or undermine my confidence in the field (or greater scientific community). I have no basis for conflating his behavior with the response of the climate system to GHGs.

    I’m not going to claim that Gavin has never done anything wrong in his life. I’m not going to claim that he’s never been a jerk. I am claimingthat none of you have but forward any evidence of Gavin acting badly resulting in the creation of skeptics from those who understood and accepted the scientific evidence of anthropogenic perturbation of the climate.

    Isn’t this a circular argument? You start off stating your conclusion: it’s silly to think that interaction with Gavin creates skeptics. You start off with your conclusion as your major assumption: people that claim to have been converted to skepticism were already skeptics. Lot’s of people point to their own experiences and you deny every single one of them discarding their testimony and based only your own opinion that it’s a silly claim that Gavin could create skeptics and then you proclaim they were already skeptics and you’ve seen no evidence. And then you conclude with your original conclusion: Gavin creates no skeptics.

    To help us understand how deeply you feel this, you state your mother is a whore and Gavin could rob a bank and tell you the sky is red, and still you would not question the science.

    Okay!

  197. HugeDifference says:

    Hey Gavin, you may wish to contact thingsbreak, because if you’re interested in robbing a bank,… (I bet he’d be willing to drive the getaway car.) (Also, his mom might be available.)

  198. Michael Larkin says:

    #196 Hugedifference:
     
    I’m not one claiming that RC directly turned me into a sceptic, but I sure as hell at one stage wasn’t a sceptic. I swallowed up unquestioningly everything I was told.
     
    I got converted from being a robot into being a sceptic. I never really went through a phase where I was once a believer based on examination of the evidence and *then* got converted. No: once I started considering the evidence, my sceptical leanings started to develop.
     
    Conversion stories of the second kind are rarer, I think, but one does occasionally hear of them.

  199. thingsbreak says:

    @196 HugeDifference:
    You start off with your conclusion as your major assumption: people that claim to have been converted to skepticism were already skeptics.
     
    No, that’s not the assumption, that’s the alternative explanation for the given “evidence” with respect to the proposed explanation.
     
    Lot’s of people point to their own experiences and you deny every single one of them discarding their testimony
     
    Which persons have claimed that Gavin turned them personally (not mysterious unnamed “skeptic” acquaintances) from a position of understanding and accepting the science to a position of “skepticism” and have presented anything approaching concrete evidence of this? Several people who fully acknowledge that their experiences didn’t flip them have provided examples in which they feel Gavin has mistreated them. Okay, great! That’s not what’s under discussion, however.
     
    You’re one of the people that claim Gavin turned you into a “skeptic” through his bad behavior, correct:
    since Gavin comes by from time to time, I have to thank him, it was mostly his own outrageous attitude and behavior, statements and arguments at RC that have convinced me to be skeptical.
     
    Do you have any evidence of this, e.g. a specific interaction with Gavin that caused you to reject your understanding and acceptance of the science? Because in that same statement you make it sound as though that isn’t what actually took place:
    I basically figure that AGW is real
    Then, confusingly: the scientific and non-scientific portions I have looked into, always do seem to sway against the AGW arguments
     
    Are you or are you not claiming to have rejected the scientific case for AGW based on Gavin’s “outrageous attitude and behavior, statements and arguments at RC”?
     

  200. Roger Pielke Jr. says:

    -121-
    In response to this request:
     
    “I’d sure like to see some evidence that “Landsea “¦ called a press conference”. ”
     
    Landsea did not call a press conference.  Those asserting otherwise are simply mistaken.

  201. HugeDifference says:

    So @tb, I don’t think you’re really open to having a discussion, and for today at least, I have other things I do need to get to, and I doubt anyone can ever jump through your hoops for evidence — we’ve shown you two blogs, two complete blogs, created just to discuss rc’s comment policies, that’s two more blogs than any other blog’s comment policies has ever created, and you still can’t understand that to some people rc is poison and that’s it’s not anti-semitism.
     
    So, I hope your weather is nice and not too extreme wherever you are.

  202. kdk33 says:

    Gavin is peddling an article of faith.  He may be right about climate or not.  He can quote literature and cite data ad nauseam, but his (and everybody elses) understanding of climate and consequences is incomplete.  He can walk you to the precipice; in the end, you have to leap the chasm of the unknown and join the believers.

    If his arguments appeal to you (they don’t me), you might leap.  If not, you won’t.  Once you’ve refused, he can’t have you standing there pointing at the chasm; that’s not good for the believers.  He has to drive you away; and he does. 

    Once you see the game, the cognative dissonance dissapates.

  203. Sashka says:

    @ TB (194)

    No, it did not slip through cracks. It is his job to defend the position that the models are great. Remember it was just an example. One of many. And many people tell you the same thing. Why would they all pile it on good old Gavin?

    You really need to take time and scroll back to my comment #3. For once, you and I agree: I also don’t believe that Gavin creates many skeptics. He may have created some but not many. However, I don’t see why you don’t believe people who say they converted because of him? If I weren’t a skeptic already I might have converted. It just takes a certain mindset.

    “I have no basis for conflating his behavior with the response of the climate system to GHGs.”

    Please read my #11 above. His behavior is function of his position. Few people are jerks by birth, i.e. genetically. It’s dirty jobs and the lousy environments that spoil people. For all I know Gavin, is a nice guy in real life. He behaves like that because an honest open discussion will be damaging for his cause.

  204. Gavin says:

    #203 It’s worth pointing out that RC is not your soapbox for spreading unsubstantiated rumours of scientific misconduct. I deplore that when it happens elsewhere, and I’m not about to start having it on RC either. So whether you think I was ‘a jerk’ about not letting you post hearsay, I stand by the decision. You have had plenty of other venues to post that stuff on, and you haven’t, and so I hardly think  that my actions years ago are relevant.
     
    Second, I love the way that it isn’t enough for you to simply say that I’m a mean person. I have to also be running from ‘an honest open discussion’. Clearly this line isn’t designed to open a dialogue (since starting off by saying your interlocutor is not honest doesn’t bode well for the rest of the discussion). Instead, it appears designed to provoke a response, to which you can react, declare that I am doubling down on my meanness, and providing yet more reasons for you to think that CO2 has no radiative effect. Ho hum.
     
    To be clear, I am all for open honest discussions – and I’m happy to conduct them at any time at any place. But honesty goes both ways – it needs an end to lame conspiracy talk,  secret communist plots, accusations of corruption and fraud,  strawmen arguments,  cherry picking,  ad homs and  manufactured outrage in place of scientific discussion. If you are up for it, then so am I.

  205. Sashka says:

    Once again, I don’t think you are a naturally mean person, all my instincts tell me the opposite. You just happen to be doing a dirty job and it rubs off on you.

    In that case, it would take you about one minute to pick up the phone and convert the unsubstantiated rumor into established fact. Why didn’t you?

    To be clear, I am all for open honest discussions ““ and I’m happy to conduct them at any time at any place.

    Yeah, right. Like I didn’t try it before.

    You don’t have to run an honest open discussion but you made an impression that you would. Now I know how it is. Lesson learned.

  206. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    #184 thingsbreak
    “Did the “offputting” style and tone of the blog cause you to throw out your understanding and acceptance of mainstream science and become a “skeptic”?”
    No, but that kind of comment does. All RC is is a lose collective of half a dozen or so working climate scientists who offer their opinions on whatever papers or subjects they chose to post. If it’s something popular, other bloggers will probably comment on the paper or subject as well. I can read a variety of different opinions, do some research of my own if I want or need and make my own mind up. The RC team may be more qualified to offer opinion than some other sites but it’s opinion none the less. They do not have a monopoly on truth, knowledge, understanding or even necessarily accurately represent the ‘mainstream’.
     
    “I am sure that WUWT provides a lovely atmosphere for like-minded people. I am unsure how someone can claim that from a climate science standpoint it offers anything remotely approaching a coherent, evidence-based perspective.”
     
    WUWT doesn’t have a monopoly on truth either, but it does put up a variety of articles and allow more open debate. Whether that’s coherent or evidence based may be in the eye of the beholder, but then part of the problem with the climate debate is unravelling and understanding incoherent arguments or apparently contradictory data. Neat example is the way the O10 paper developed in response to S09. Started with blog discussion aloing the lines of ‘this doesnt look right’ and ended with a peer reviewed paper. It was educational watching that develop, as have some other more open blog debates like the great Bart & VS ‘presence of a unit root’ one.
     

  207. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    #185 Keith Kloor
    “A DMZ! I love it. But that would seem to conflict with the characterization in SciAm of this blog being “militantly evenhanded.”
     
    You have the blue hat and big stick trying to herd cats and keep the peace, sorry. Ok, perhaps not the blue hat because that may encourage more conspiracy theories. A selection of large boxes for dumping attitude, snark, ad-homs and straw men into before entering the DMZ could be useful though. In the centre, perhaps one for zombie arguments to rest in and both sides can battle (politely) to keep those in the box 🙂

  208. JD Ohio says:

    Realclimate Intolerance
     
    Went to the Bore Hole and to me about half the comments were well-thought out.
     
    The first comment and RC response is classic condescension and intolerance”

    30 year trends are not trends at all. Too short a time period in climate and geological terms
    Comment by jacob mack “” 12 Jan 2011 @ 10:26 AM
    Response: Congratulations on being first, and in spectacular fashion!–Jim]

    35 was “30 year trends are not trends at all. Too short a time period in climate and geological terms”  [Perfectly reasonable point of view to me, but I guess below the dignity of RC]
     
    JD

  209. JD Ohio says:

    Correction of Post  — Realclimate Intolerance:
     
    Somehow the first post at Bore Hole came out wrong.  It and response were:
    “I’m sorry gentlemen but I read both articles carefully and it seems that you are the ones guilty of cherry picking.Fortunately we can go to a place like Anthony Watts web site for 10x the amount of information which you supply and 10x the readership!
    [Response: Congratulations on being first, and in spectacular fashion!–Jim]”
    I can see RC not liking the criticism, but RC is not above being criticized for cherry picking, but I guess they think they are.
     
    JD

  210. @200 Roger Pielke Jr. Says:

    “Landsea did not call a press conference.  Those asserting otherwise are simply mistaken.”

    Thank you for confirming this. 

    Alas, the one who conveyed the assertion seems to have lost interest in this thread.  Which is most unfortunate because (as I pointed out in a later comment [@146] – and have documented on my own blog) he has authored a blogpost with other mistaken assertions – evidently from the same source.

    It’s such a shame when people ask to be corrected if they’re wrong, but fail to stick around and/or acknowledge the correction.  Then again, perhaps he’s desperately seeking the “evidence” I had requested in support of the assertion.

    Oh, well … c’est la vie.

  211. cagw_skeptic99 says:

    RE 199 TB:
    This is a somewhat circular discussion and probably for me not personal to Gavin as there are others doing the same thing at RC.  Consider the statements of many climate scientists (maybe even you) that most non-climate scientists and non-scientists are incapable of understanding and making judgments about climate scientists.
    Many of us are not really capable, or don’t have the time or resources, to delve into the science and objectively evaluate whether the samples were collected correctly and analyzed correctly and whether the conclusions are sound or not.  At the end of the day, speaking for me, I evaluate the character of the people making the forecasts of doom.  My judgment is the the Team, the IPCC leadership, and the fervent advocates of catastrophe simply are not credible.  Articles at CA have more credibility than pronouncements at RC, and the authors are open about their work and respond to anyone who challenges them.
     
    Then there is climate-gate; as I have said before, honest people don’t need to lie and cheat and hide and cover up to promote legitimate science.

  212. Shub says:

    “end to lame conspiracy talk, secret communist plots, accusations of corruption and fraud, strawmen arguments, cherry picking, ad homs and manufactured outrage in place of scientific discussion.”
    Very nice, Gavin.
     
    The point is that if anyone submits a comment at Realclimate, *you* decide that it belongs to one of the categories above, and therefore decide to delete it. Or you simply delete the comment, and justify and rationalize that it belongs to one of these categories.
     
    I was exactly the same as Michael Larkin above – a ‘robot’. I was neither skeptical, nor denier or whatever. Even now, I don’t know what I am. My first point of contact with the climate world was Realclimate.

  213. thingsbreak says:

    @208 JD Ohio:
    Perfectly reasonable point of view to me, but I guess below the dignity of RC
     
    Why is it “perfectly reasonable” to you? 30 year periods of surface temperatures are sufficient to make statements about trends. For one, it’s literally the standard (WMO) definition of climate vs. weather. For a more technical answer, you can examine the question statistically.
     
    Are you under the impression that no one has ever trotted out the “X period is small in the scheme of geologic time and ergo meaningless” canard before? Or that it hasn’t been answered? How many times should such tired, nonsensical talking points be entertained- an infinite number?
     
    You can’t figure out in a matter of seconds what’s wrong with the claim? Seriously?
     
    Alternatively, do you not think the burden is on the commentor to search a blog to see if a topic has already been addressed before asserting it, ridiculously, as fact?

  214. thingsbreak says:

    I think I might have tripped the spam filter again. I know it’s the weekend, and I’m not complaining, Keith. Just giving you a head’s up. You can delete this after you read it.

  215. JD Ohio says:

    TB 213  I was thinking of comments like these that I have seen before:
    “One of the great things about being a geologist is being able to actually get that ‘long term perspective’. So, when you want a long-term perspective on climate and weather you do NOT go to meteorologists… you go to geologists. Thus, my view on global warming which still stands. Without taking the larger, geological context of things like the speed of plate tectonics, orogeny (mountain building) and the sudden loss of inland seas, no one can make any basis for discriminating between relatively short term variations in a chaotic inter-glacial period that has typically seen fast and steep temperature variations, larger global effects and the effects of mankind. CO2 levels are at a historic LOW and there is no correlation between CO2 and global temperatures except at the very low end. And even *that* does not take into account break-up of the last supercontinent and the loss of inland seas due to the continents moving faster and riding higher on the mantle.

    The Earth has even had sudden, intense, glacial periods that ended just as abruptly with NO change in CO2 that was appreciable and the picking up the exact same warm period right after the glacial period.

    And let us not forget that Mars is also undergoing a warming spell… so insolation also plays a part in all of this…

    But that is what you get when you ask climatologists to speculate on a mere 100 years worth of data and not on 4.2 billion years worth. It is not their field.”  See link  http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/2006/12/geologist-looks-at-global-warming.html
     
    Personally, I could see 30 years as being reasonable or not.  I think it is scientifically insular to derisively ignore the long-term perspective of geology.
     
    JD

  216. thingsbreak says:

    @ JD Ohio:
    That might sound reasonable at first pass, but it’s not actually responsive to the issues at hand.
     
    On myr timescales, tectonics and knock on consequences like increased silicate weathering from mountain-building, changes in ocean heat transport due to the cutting off and opening up of smaller basins to larger circulations, etc. are undeniably important.
     
    They’re also completely irrelevant when discussing multidecadal timescales.
     
    On multidecadal and centennial timescales, some climatic drivers are important and some aren’t. Pretending otherwise is like saying that you can’t say cardiac arrest is happening without an EKG readout for a patient’s entire lifetime.
     
    Thought experiment: Global nuclear exchange between every player on Earth tomorrow. Would there be climatic consequences? After all, in terms of the entirety of the planet’s existence, tomorrow doesn’t even register.
     
    See what a non sequitur that is?

  217. David44 says:

    @198 Michael Larkin
    “I never really went through a phase where I was once a believer based on examination of the evidence and *then* got converted. No: once I started considering the evidence, my sceptical leanings started to develop.”
     
    Ditto.  When previously well-respected climate and earth scientists who questioned aspects of the consensus were routinely castigated as tools of the great oil and coal conspiracy,  I began to see climate campaigners as kin to PETA and similar to hate-spewing radical antivivisectionist groups who will do any violence to truth (and often to people and property as well) in order to further their agenda.  RC, Climategate and Copenhagen were affirmative of my suspicions but were not their root cause.  The only part of “global warming science” I am convinced of is the Fourier/Tyndall/Arrhenius effect.  The rest remains highly speculative and dependent on “expert opinion” and selective statistical manipulation.
     
    I foresee no resolution to this proof-dilemma in my lifetime since nature will answer only on its own time scale, but anecdotally (I know of no actual numbers on this),  since Climategate I see more publications by reputable scientists in reputable journals daring to question or contravene various aspects of the CAGW consensus.  In the meantime, I’m more concerned for the energy future of my children and grandchildren than I am for their climate future.  Anybody wanna talk about thorium instead of about Gavin?

  218. thingsbreak says:

    Also:
    The Earth has even had sudden, intense, glacial periods that ended just as abruptly with NO change in CO2 that was appreciable and the picking up the exact same warm period right after the glacial period.

    I’m calling bullsh*t on that. Is that supposed to be the late Ordovician?
     
    Rereading the whole thing, I’m less and less persuaded that it was written by an active geologist, or at least one who is passing familiar with climate. That sounds like someone middle aged or older retelling “facts” learned a long, long time ago. Who’s the source?

  219. thingsbreak says:

    @217 David44:
    previously well-respected climate and earth scientists who questioned aspects of the consensus were routinely castigated as tools of the great oil and coal conspiracy
     
    And who might they be? Castigated by who, and in what way that should color your understanding of science?
     
    The only part of “global warming science” I am convinced of is the Fourier/Tyndall/Arrhenius effect.  The rest remains highly speculative and dependent on “expert opinion” and selective statistical manipulation.
     
    Questions: Was it ever warmer in the geologic past than it is now? Was it colder during the Last Glacial Maximum than it is presently? Do changes in the Earth’s position relative to other bodies in the solar system and in particular the sun have a demonstrable climatic impact?
     
    If you answered “yes” to any of the above, congratulations! You’ve moved beyond the basic reality of the greenhouse effect and on to crude examples of climatic change that aren’t “highly speculative and dependent on ‘expert opinion’ and selective statistical manipulation”.
     
    Would you like to know more? 🙂

  220. thingsbreak says:

    @217 David44:
    I foresee no resolution to this proof-dilemma in my lifetime since nature will answer only on its own time scale
     
    Agree or disagree: There are “fingerprints” of enhanced greenhouse warming that are distinct from non-anthropogenic drivers of warming like increased solar or ocean-atmosphere exchanges of heat.
    ?

  221. JD Ohio says:

    #216 TB
     
    You are making unsupported assertions and are closed minded.  I simply stated that the person asked a reasonable question.  Open-minded people can at least ask the question as to whether there are underlying climatic issues not related to CO2 that aren’t understood.  Apparently, you and Gavin can’t.
     
    What you and many climate alarmists lack is the ability to go beyond your current knowledge and be surprised.  This ability was best described by Isaac Asimov who stated his amazement about the result of Julian Simon’s bet with Ehrlich:

    “Naturally, I was all on the side of the pessimist and judge my surprise when it turned out he had lost the bet; that the prices of the metals had indeed fallen; that grain was cheaper; that oil…was cheaper; and so on.
    I was thunderstruck. Was it possible, I thought, that something that seemed so obvious to me – that a steadily rising population is deadly – can be wrong?
    Yes, it could be. I am frequently wrong.”
     
    You don’t see Asimov’s spirit at Realclimate.  Rather, you see groupthink.
     
    JD

  222. thingsbreak says:

    @221 JD Ohio:
    I simply stated that the person asked a reasonable question.
     
    Reasonable is a relative term. At a certain point an initially “reasonable” question becomes a long-debunked talking point. Agree or disagree?
     
    Open-minded people can at least ask the question as to whether there are underlying climatic issues not related to CO2 that aren’t understood.  Apparently, you and Gavin can’t.
     
    This is bulls*t. What you quoted contains no questions. It makes more than one demonstrably false claim about geology and climate. It in no garned a response that the proposition “underlying climatic issues not related to CO2 that aren’t understood” is entirely wrong.
     
    The overwhelming theme of this entire thread has been strawman after strawman.
     
    You seem like a nice person. Please try not to pretend that I (or Gavin) is making claims that I am not. Please don’t pretend that your quoted source was asking questions that he wasn’t. It just muddies the water and leads to acrimony down the line.

  223. thingsbreak says:

    To be clearer,
    @221 JD Ohio was complaining about my response to @215 failing to appreciate the act of asking questions, when it contains 0 (zero) questions.

  224. JD Ohio says:

    TB  222  If an issue about time frames is so simple, the way to deal with it is to point to previous answers you have given.  RC could have simply said: “see answer to post # (xxx)”, instead they derisively dismiss it.  Whether it is a question or an issue doesn’t matter  At most places people can ask the question or raise the issue.
     
    TB “This is bulls*t. What you quoted contains no questions.”  I simply quoted one source for my view that there is a reasonable issue on time frames as raised by the Bore Holed post I cited in 208.  I got a little sloppy not distinguishing between questions and issues, which is of little importance to me.  Whether phrased as an issue or question, the matter should be addressed in a respectful way.  It wasn’t.   RC’s refusal to treat the matter with respect is evidence of the groupthink that suffuses the site.  A lot of people consider that to be bad science, most prominently Freeman Dyson.  RC’s intolerance and that revealed by the Climategate emails has driven many people to question the science performed by those who are so intolerant.
     
    You are arguing specific science.  I am arguing for a solid scientific process that respects the views of others.  I know that I don’t understand a lot of the science.  The issue is who should I trust.
     
    JD

  225. David44 says:

    @219 TB
    Are you really so think that you didn’t understand that “global warming science” in quotes was meant to imply the consensus view that “greenhouse gasses” will cause catastrophic climate change?
    The other well known forcings you mention say nothing about CAGW except that the consensus view claims these don’t account for recent warming.
     
    Agree or disagree:  Climate is extremely complex and chaotic and the greatest determinant and unknown is the behavior of clouds in relation to CO2 and temperature.?

  226. GIRMA says:

    Gavin (#204)
    You wrote:
    “To be clear, I am all for open honest discussions ““ and I’m happy to conduct them at any time at any place. But honesty goes both ways ““ it needs an end to lame conspiracy talk,  secret communist plots, accusations of corruption and fraud,  strawmen arguments,  cherry picking,  ad homs and  manufactured outrage in place of scientific discussion. If you are up for it, then so am I.”
    Excellent!
     
    Let us look at the data and tell me where I got it wrong.
     
    Here the accelerated warming of the IPCC:
    http://bit.ly/b9eKXz
     
    Here is how the IPCC interprets the above data:
     
    1) Global warming rate for the 150 years period (RED) from 1856 to 2005 was 0.045 deg C per decade.
     
    2) Global warming rate for the 100 years period (PURPLE) from 1906 to 2005 was 0.074 deg C per decade.
     
    3) Global warming rate for the 50 years period from (ORANGE) 1956 to 2005 was 0.128 deg C per decade.
     
    4) Global warming rate for the 25 years period from (YELLOW) 1981 to 2005 was 0.177 deg C per decade.
     
    IPCC then states:
    “Note that for shorter recent periods, the slope is greater, indicating accelerated warming.”
     
    Okay, let us apply this “IPCC interpretation of data” procedure to compare the global warming rates in the last 25 years to that in the last 13 years going backward from 2010 as shown in the following plot.
    http://bit.ly/9HxDoK
     
    This result gives:
    1) Global warming rate for the 25 years period (RED) from 1986 to 2010 was 0.188 deg C per decade.
     
    2) Global warming rate for the 13 years period (GREEN) from 1998 to 2010 was 0.004 deg C per decade. (Nearly no warming)
     
    I then state.
    “Note that for shorter recent periods, the slope is smaller, indicating decelerated warming.”
     
    Gavin, instead of reporting this GOOD NEWS to the public and taking about decadal trends, you have shifted the goal post to talking about individual year’s temperature by saying “we have had one of the hottest years on record.”
     
    Gavin, can not someone living in the 1940s also say “we have had one of the hottest years on record.” ?
    http://bit.ly/9kJczm
     
    Yes, the globe was also warming at 0.15 deg C per decade 70 years ago!
     
    There is nearly no warming now.
     
    Gavin, is it possible that instead of the accelerating warming of the IPCC shown above, the global mean temperature can be interpreted as a cyclic pattern with an overall warming of only 0.06 deg C per decade as shown in the following plot?
    http://bit.ly/cO94in
     
    Did not Feynman stated on doing science the following:
    “Details that could throw doubt on your interpretation must be given, if you know them.”
    http://bit.ly/CHGmZ
     
    Gavin, where did I get it wrong?
     

  227. Atomic Hairdryer says:

    #220 thingsbreak
    “Agree or disagree: There are “fingerprints” of enhanced greenhouse warming that are distinct from non-anthropogenic drivers of warming like increased solar or ocean-atmosphere exchanges of heat.
    ?”
    Agree or disagree. Loaded questions are bad when debating complex subjects?
    Fingerprints are a good one given they’re everywhere. Or sometimes not in the case of AGW. Or they’re smeared and mixed up with other fingerprints left by natural variability. Or you don’t have enough points from your fingerprint so your FMR (false match rate) or FRR (false rejection rate) is high. So less useful for evidentiary purposes. Which is a certainty vs uncertainty thing where there may be false correlation between coincidental signals. Years ago Herschel was pondering the Sun and noticed crop yields were higher when sunspot activity was high. This was controversial. He became a bit of a sceptic of his day. We have similar problems today.
     
    Assumptions have been made about various natural components, but better observation systems have been showing that some of those assumptions need changing. Solars a good one for this given SORCE has been busily generating all sorts of interesting data, as described in the recent Kopp & Lean paper regarding TSI in GRL. Some will no doubt claim TSI being lower supports their theory, others will no doubt disagree but the debate will roll on. At least we seem able to measure it more accurately now.
     

  228. Jim Owen says:

    Keith #4 –

    Gavin was Gavin the first week Realclimate was up.  I was there.  I rarely bother to go back. 

    Never been a warmist – always a sceptic.  Partly because the Atmospheric scientists that I worked with for 40+ years were.  And then someone tried to mug me with Mann’s hockey stick.  Grandpa raised me right – I learned about flimflam men and con artists before I was old enough to shave.  And I can smell a lie at 1000 paces. 

  229. Jim Owen says:

    @ Atomic Hairdryer

    Years ago Herschel was pondering the Sun and noticed crop yields were higher when sunspot activity was high. This was controversial.

    Maybe controversial for you. But not for more than one of the ancient civilizations, nor for some of the archaeologists who study them. What did they know that you don’t? 

  230. Steve Reynolds says:

    I did not start out as skeptical at all. As a PhD electrical engineer involved in IR imaging, I knew the IR absorption effects of CO2 professionally, and assumed the climate scientists were doing a competent job of quantitatively analyzing the climate effects.
    I remember advising my father-in-law in the early 1990s to be careful about the land he was considering buying in Florida due to potential sea level rise.
     
    Hearing about McIntyre and McKitrick’s early analysis of the hockey stick led me to look at Climate Audit and I also followed the CA link to Real Climate to see both sides of that argument. I did ask some questions at RC (starting in 2006) and was impressed that I often got good answers (but CA seemed to have the better case based on my professional judgment). One later question about what level CO2 emissions must be reduced to for atmospheric concentration to start being reduced got an answer from Mann: zero. That clearly wrong answer (plenty of ocean absorption to allow some) and Mann’s inability to clearly admit being wrong (only that the answer was more complicated than his initial one) added to my new doubts about the competence of some climate scientists. Asking RC why there was no link back to CA resulted in my first censored comment.
     
    Having spent a lot of time (including a personal discussion with James Annan when I was in Japan a couple of years ago) looking at the evidence, I’m much more skeptical than initially. I still think AGW is a real effect, but that the likely and high range of climate sensitivity has been exaggerated (so I guess I’m now a luke-warmer). My confidence in climate science has been much reduced (confirmation bias, data withholding, peer review rigging, noble cause corruption).

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